Question everything, even yourself.


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Be Skeptical, but learn to listen.  The last and final Agreement makes you slow down and hear what is really being said, not just by other people , but in your own mind too.

We have our heads screwed on backwards.  As you begin minding the first four agreements, you start wondering exactly how this happened.  We’re cornered in these little boxes, trying to make everyone happy but ourselves, not saying what we mean, wondering what others mean, assuming intent, and half heartedly committing to life because we never want to put ourselves out there and experience failure.  It’s ok to want more and different in life.  But we’ve been guilted and coerced into conformity by well meaning friends and family who don’t intend to harm us, yet don’t know any better.  We get into bad habits of tearing others down, speaking ill against them, and an even worse habit of speaking ill against ourselves.  Our negative self talk is out of control.  We impose limits on our dreams and abilities without ever testing our full natures because we can’t get our bassackwards selves out of the mucky muck.

As I sit here, I think of some of my mentors and what they have shown me that has truly saved my life.  I don’t mean like I was standing in front of an oncoming car, get pushed aside to safety saving.  I mean I was standing in a dark room, tongue tied and blindfolded with obstacles all over the floor, getting in the way of me finding the exit door.  And little by little, someone clears a path, another removes the blindfold, and finally someone cracks open the door so I can see the outline of light in the dark and find my way out. These heroes all live by the five agreements.  Their word has value, they say what they mean. They aren’t victims, they take nothing personally and they assume nothing. More often, they make me clarify to avoid confusion.  They always do their best, and they LISTEN.

There are some moments that were turning points for me, that emphasize the agreements. If you’re not sure what these agreements are – if you are new to this blog, this post is the last of 5 that reviewed the lessons from The Fifth Agreement.

Slow down – stop rushing.  I was trying (ack there’s that word, but it’s past tense) to do so much, and I couldn’t do it all.  So what I did was piss poor jobs on lots of things, instead of stellar jobs on a few things. I couldn’t effectively communicate because I was rushing to conclusions and assuming things without stopping to understand.

Don’t respond immediately and sometimes for the heck of it, say no.  I was so used to being a customer service all-star.  Immediate, positive, complying responses.  Always the helpful one, always working, always adding to my plate. This was a tough one!  I almost fell out of my seat considering it.  Make people WAIT? But I wasn’t taking the time to listen to myself, to my needs, to my time restrictions, and I was overtaxed and getting (ok already was) resentful.  Pausing, and waiting to respond lets communication flow better, and lets both parties in the transaction walk away happier.  It took a while to retrain the people around me.  They would say, hey do you have some time?  I’d say no. They’d keep talking.  And I would just have to giggle.  It was out of the realm of possibility that I would say no!  The first time I actually said, “no, I can’t help with that”…I felt like the earth was going to open up and swallow me whole, but afterwards, I felt so free!  And I’ve begun asking more questions.  Do me a favor used to get a “Sure!” from me.  Now it’s a “what do you want?”  I don’t mean be rude.  I just mean, protect your valuable time and energy so that you can Always Do Your Best, Be Impeccable with your Word and Not Make Assumptions.

Stop using noncommittal words like sure, okay and try.  They are not truly affirmative, they are noncommittal and they make a liar out of you when you don’t intend to follow through.  They break the first rule, Be Impeccable With Your Word. They are also words that would tempt others to assume your intent – we don’t just want to avoid assuming ourselves – we want to make our intentions clear to others to help clear chaos and confusion from all of our transactions with other humans.

Ask more questions. Become a master at asking questions. It’s as if we are in a battle, a war against chaos and confusion.  Once someone removes your blindfold and opens the door and you can see clearly and communicate and think with purpose, then it’s natural that you should pay it forward. Help people out of their miasma.  Clarify, be specific.  It will keep you both from Making Assumptions, and it will keep anyone from Taking things Personally.  Do yourself and them the favor of slowing down, asking more questions and having clear, direct conversations that leave no room for misunderstanding.

WHY?  Why do I think I have to blah blah blah, why do I feel responsible for everything, why do I think like this? Why do I stress about the outcome of everything?  Why not be happy with the right here and right now in life, and DO MY BEST at the task at hand.  WHY live in the future and the past and be a shadow of myself in the moment instead of being fully present and meaning everything I say?

Think bigger. Some of the lies we must question are the lies that we tell ourselves, or have been told to us.  For centuries women were told we weren’t good at math or science, so we weren’t.  Until one man broke the 5 minutes mile, no one could run it faster, but as soon as he did, so did many others.  Our own lies imprison us and keep us from doing more and becoming more. Sometimes these are just lies we have heard over and over.  I had a friend in high school whose parents always told her she was too slow and not book smart enough to go to college.  The minute we’d start on homework she would mumble that she wasn’t book smart.  It was a recording she was repeating over and over.  It was such bullshit.  And I was mad about that, but until someone asked me to question my own lies and my own limitations, I didn’t even realize I did the same thing to myself!  So be skeptical – not just of other people, but even of yourself!  Is it YOU, or your ego running your internal dialogue?

It’s almost impossible to separate the five agreements.  They all bleed together.  Each one builds upon and reinforces the other.  I am not a perfect person.  I don’t live by them 100% of the time,  but I know that when I do honor the agreements, life is better.  The lessons learned from the book, which simply give a name and context to the lessons my mentors teach, truly enlighten your life.  Enlighten: to make lighter.  When the agreements aren’t honored, confusion, misunderstanding and resentment are a heavy burden. When they are honored, there is less baggage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series.  If you’ve received value, please comment and share.  I’d love your feedback and I can’t stress enough that you should BUY THE BOOK. That links you right to the author’s storefront. Don Miguel first wrote “The Four Agreements,” then wrote “The Fifth Agreement” with his son.  The value is so much more than the price of the book.  Happy reading!

The 5 agreements

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Only the best is good enough.


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Do you remember being a child and hearing your parents say “as long as you try your best….?” It wasn’t solely trying that was enough, it was trying your best.

We’re on day 4 of reviewing one of my favorite books about life, “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jose Ruiz, and Janet Mills.  The fourth agreement and rule of life is Always Do Your Best.  When you do your best, you will never harbor feelings of self doubt or hatred because of lack of effort, and you will find out that really your best is limitless.  As you do your best every day, you grow into a stronger human with each action.

So many people say “I’ll try.” They say this as if it is enough.  Yet the attempts are so halfhearted or lacking effort that I can’t really call it trying.  Call it check boxing, don’t call it trying.  Try is defined as: to make an attempt or effort; strive:  Strive does imply a feeble attempt.  It means to put in effort.  If I had a dollar for all the times I have heard I’ll try, or I’m trying and the object is never accomplished….

I used to say try all the time.  A great friend called me out on it.  He pointed out rule number one to me – Be impeccable with your word.  His words might have been kinder, something along the lines of “there is no try – either you will or you won’t,” but the tone was more like “what the F*** does that mean?”  Because really, what does “I’ll try” mean? When it’s convenient, when I’ve nothing else to do, and I don’t intend on putting myself out there, so if I say I’ll try and it doesn’t happen, then at least I didn’t commit.

Saying you’ll try really means you aren’t committing to something.  It’s a TOUGH habit of speech to break. Believe me.  I’m still breaking it.  Every time the word TRY crosses my lips, I imagine hot coals in my mouth.  It’s a word I don’t want to use.

The Fourth Agreement teaches us to always commit to what we are doing at the moment.  Not to try, but to do.  Granted, at times our best will be better than others, but at least our actions and our attempts will be impeccable, just as our words should be.  And our friends and family and coworkers will always trust us to complete a task, and to do it well, or know that when we encounter an obstacle that we will communicate that with them.  I would one hundred times rather hear a reliable person commit to me then call and say, hey I’ve hit a snag, than to hear an unreliable person tell me they will try to do something.

Another thing that happens when you start to rid your personal vocabulary of this word, is that you commit more fully to yourself, and your efforts and your results grow.  Soon you have more confidence in your word and in your actions, and you also stop OVERCOMMITTING by saying you’ll try to do 11 million things when we all know there is only so much time in a day and you can’t get it all done. Then you don’t feel guilty for leaving things out or partially finished, or for canceling on people who relied on you.  This bleeds into being impeccable with your word, just as the rest of the agreements bleed into each other.  Following this agreement lets you have more regard for yourself, your time, your word and your abilities.  And less truly is more! There is no such thing as multi-tasking, and quality over quantity creates more abundance in our lives.

Always do your best.  Nothing less than that is good enough for you.  Because you are worth it!

The 5 agreements

When you assume you make an ass out of….


Everyone.

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I think one of the most important skill sets in life is communication.  And for whatever reason, our modern conventions have actually screwed our heads on backwards and taught us that it’s better to be polite, or to skirt around issues than it is to just be direct.  We don’t want to say no and hurt people’s feelings, we don’t want to express opinions in case others don’t share them, and we definitely don’t communicate our desires and intentions, because it’s considered selfish.

Looking at past blog posts, I already have a few examples.  My friend that can’t say no – she absolutely cannot say “no I don’t want to, or can’t come over to your house Thursday night.” She’d rather NOT answer than say no.  My example in yesterday’s blog about my make-believe friend who owns a Chinese restaurant is another. Life would be easier, wouldn’t it, if I just told my make-believe friend that I don’t like Chinese?  Then their feelings would never be hurt thinking that I didn’t eat at their establishment because I didn’t like THEM.

I think women are more guilty of this bad habit than men are.  When women plan a lunch together, we tend to ask a few friends when and where we would all like to meet.  The chances of 3 or more women wanting the same thing at the same time is astronomically unlikely, but we all try to compensate and rearrange schedules and then agree to go places maybe we don’t really want to go to, whereas a man will say something like, “dude, want to meet me at the mexican place for lunch Tuesday?”  Ok, actually I can’t see many men texting their friends for a lunch date like that.  They would probably text on their way TO the restaurant, but this is my example, so deal with it.

I’m digressing. Here’s the point.  We have lost the art of simple and direct communication.  Instead of saying what we mean, and meaning what we say, we encode things, and white lie and pussy foot around everything.  In turn, when we are receiving communication from someone else, we think we have to decode everything and we wonder what the person REALLY meant.  Was that a compliment just to be nice, or do they need something from me?  Are they buttering me up?  Did they say they don’t want to eat Chinese food with me cause they don’t like me?  Maybe my boss didn’t talk to me this morning because he’s going to fire me this afternoon.  Maybe Sally didn’t answer my call because she’s avoiding me (maybe Sally is just busy)!  Do you see all of the needless worry and stress that comes from assuming people’s feelings and intentions?  I am guilty of this often, and I’m aware of the problem!   Whenever I find myself going to “maybe” land, I have to redirect and remind myself to be a great communicator.

We’ve also become so dependent on written communication.  Text, email, messaging – methods where we tend to shorten things for brevity, but can’t hear emotion.  The person receiving our messages might often “overestimate” our emotion, and read more into our responses than we intended.  Whenever things get mucky, or when there is an important message to convey, or question to ask, I always pick up the phone and call.  It’s so much easier.

I’m learning from a mentor to not even assume commitment from people.  When I have an event I am planning, rather than assume that my helpers will be there and be on time because (hello, that’s what I would do), it causes much less pain and frustration later if I ask the simple question – “is there any reason you would cancel?  And I can count on you to be there 15 minutes early?” or whatever my requirements are, because why not just state my expectations rather than have them quashed by misunderstanding?

My husband is actually great at not assuming anything.  While I tended to hope and bank on things happening a certain way, even many many years ago he would always say: “well it could happen, or it could not.”

When we learn the lesson from all this, we become better communicators.  State what you want, and how you want it, express your feelings and your intentions clearly.  Remember the person on the other end (lesson from yesterday) is playing their own version of the story.  What they hear might not be what you said, even when you are as straightforward as possible.  Why be unclear and let the message go even farther from what you intended?  And don’t assume what another’s intentions are!  ASK THEM!  Simple, direct questions.  Hey Bob, you said you didn’t want to go eat Chinese.  Do you want to go to lunch anywhere?

Just be ready after you learn to communicate like this, to feel like everyone else around you is CRAZY!  Why won’t they just say what they WANT?  Then remember to be patient, and pass the lesson along to them.  Build more people up around you who can cut through the crap.  It’s the kind thing to do.

The Third Agreement teaches us Don’t Make Assumptions.  Again, get the book – The Fifth Agreement.  It will be one of the best things you ever do!  Oprah featured it too – read an excerpt here and then follow the links to your favorite book purchasing website.

The 5 agreements

It’s not about you…


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People are so wrapped up in their own lives. They really are.  The Second of the Five Agreements is don’t take anything personally.

Do me a favor, don’t just read my blog – get the book.  The Fifth Agreement is one of my top five most influential books I’ve read in my life.  And it’s worth reading over, and over and over and over….basically any time you catch yourself breaking one of the agreements, you should go back and read it again.  Because it makes life SO. MUCH. EASIER.

Have you ever watched one of those shows where there is a staged crime and then several eye witnesses are interviewed to give descriptions of the event?  They all have different answers, and they all remember different things.  Our life is much like that, too.  First, people will always be concerned with their own welfare and happiness, including people that are concerned about others who you would never accuse of being selfish.  My own mother in law – the most caring and sweet person in the world, makes the most selfish decisions.  She REALLY LOVES to throw birthday parties for her family, and if she doesn’t get to she gets mopey.  Even though her son would rather not ever have a birthday party, she makes a huge fuss about it and we basically have to have the party to make her feel good.  She says it’s about him, but it’s really about her.  She wants to have the party because it makes her feel good to do it for someone else.  Many a martyr or kind saintly figure we come across might plea that they always have others in mind, and in their viewpoint they do.  Take the story from another person’s perspective, and it changes.

So even when someone is doing something nice for you, they do it because being nice feels good, because being kind makes their spirits rise, because they are generally nice wonderful people, yes – but it also fits into their paradigms and their story they are crafting about the nice person they are.

When someone makes a decision that is inconsiderate or frustrating to you, it’s not about you either.  You have to remember that everyone is playing out their own version of the script.  No one sees the same thing, no one reads the same thing, and no one can understand everyone else’s emotions and thoughts.  And if you continue to take everything everyone does personally, then you are in for a looooong and difficult, frustrating ride.

Take me for example.  I am in a direct sales party plan business.  In the beginning of my career, I would feel very personally attacked by any hostess who cancelled her date with me.  How could she?  Doesn’t she know this is my income?  How come she was so thoughtless?  Finally I asked one lady – what could I have done differently to hold this date with you?  She explained absolutely nothing!  I had sensed stress from her earlier on, and took it as her not wanting to communicate with me, and it ends up all along she was beating herself up about not being able to get people to come to her party and she felt guilty.  She wasn’t trying to be mean to me at all – she was just upset.  She ended up canceling finally and coming clean,  but for two weeks before we had our open and frank conversation I’d been thinking why doesn’t she like me? I’ve been so nice?  Why won’t she answer me about her guest list and how many people she has coming to the party, has she even sent out her invites?  I tortured myself for no good reason.  A great life skill set you can foster is asking direct and simple questions (that will be a later blog).

A popular example we use in our industry is one about restaurants.  Let’s say that you own a Chinese restaurant.  And I’m your best friend  (I hate Chinese).  I would come to your restaurant ONCE to be nice, to support you ONCE, and I would never ever ever ever come back.  If I’m like most people, I’m not going to tell you I don’t like Chinese. If you took this personally, you would wonder forever why didn’t she return, doesn’t my friend like me, doesn’t my friend want to support my business, did I do something wrong, was the food bad?  No, the food was great, for Chinese food (ick).  And every time someone asks me for a great Chinese restaurant I would tell them your place, but if someone asked me for a great restaurant, I would tell them about my favorite place, Public House 124 down on Main.  Not your restaurant.  It’s not about you, it’s about me, and my personal tastes.

Now, that line above… If I’m like most people… let’s talk about that line for a minute.  Remember yesterday’s blog?  Agreement number one is Be Impeccable with your word.  A better friend than I would have said, hey I’m going to come to your grand opening and invite all my friends, but I really really dislike Chinese food.  Don’t take it personally,  I won’t ever choose to eat there, but I’ll definitely recommend your place to anyone that asks!

By taking things personally, we end up making so many assumptions and thinking with our ego, rather than just saying it is what it is, and I can’t possibly know everything.  There’s a lot of negativity that comes from taking things personally.  And so much freedom from just deciding not to.  As each moment passes, it passes, and that’s all we deal with is what is happening in the moment.  Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.

I love how learning about each agreement reinforces the others.  Be honest, say what you mean, be direct with your communication, be impeccable with your word, but also realize that most people aren’t always following agreement number one.  Any situation you face where other humans are making choices – it’s not about you.  Unless they’re actually following the first agreement and tell you it’s about you 😉 (kidding).

The 5 agreements

Conviction and doing what you say you will….


I find myself in a bit of a pickle today.  I’m not whining, no not at all.  I’m just explaining to you my morning, so that you can understand where I am coming from later.

Thanksgiving Day was wonderful.  We had lots of great time with family, we had delicious food, and after a pleasant evening with our legal family, we headed out to our Thursday night poker game, to spend the evening with more people that we love – our friend family.  We didn’t even stay out that late, but my husband was mighty tired, and I think probably had turkey induced snoring of godzilla-esque nature.  I could not sleep.  I headed to the couch.  Then the cats fought all night, including jumping onto my chest mid fight and waking me out of my barely attained slumber.  I actually went BACK to bed at 5:30 when hubby woke up and fell asleep.  I had a lot planned to do today, but I slept until 10:30.  That’s the joy of working for yourself, I just flat out don’t set alarms 90% of the year.  But I had a lot planned today.  Including an hour of phone calls that had to be made for business, and deliveries to clients.  Waking up at 10:30 was NOT part of the agenda.  My agenda tonight includes a family birthday party, which I need to make a dressing for, and a party for my husbands’ job.

When I got home from my deliveries around 4:30, I realized I was really really short on time.  But I was also worn out and useless.  I took a look at the rest of my to do list, and decided to do one of my favorite things – take a power nap.  That, my friends, is a 20-60 minute nap, depending on what you want to gain from it.  I find that 20 minutes is great, because at 40ish and up, my body just wants MORE sleep, while 20 minutes just gives me a little pep of energy.  Learn more about naps and the perfect length – it’s neat info!

That meant I had exactly 80 minutes left when I got up to make the calls, and get the dressing ready.  WAIT!!!!  Mid calls, I realized I pledged to write this blog DAILY for 28 days.  I’m probably NOT going to write it when I get home after a work party, right?  So, now my agenda includes blogging in what was now 40 minutes left.  And I could easily make the excuse that I ran out of time, but I gave my word.

Which is why I am writing RIGHT NOW.  To make sure it gets done.  And the feeling of doing what I said, and upholding my word feels much better than the guilt (bad vibration) I would feel not getting it done.

Which brings me to another favorite saying – HOW YOU DO ANYTHING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING.  If you are a person of your word who gets what you say you will done, then you always do it. If you are a late person, you are always late, (me 5-7 minutes and I’m bound and determined to change that). If you ditch out when you had an appointment, then you always do.  If you don’t show up to things you said you would show up….you get the point.

One of my favorite books ever ever ever is “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel RuizDon Jose Ruiz, and Janet Mills.  The first agreement to having a happy and fulfilled life is this:

Be IMPECCABLE with your word.  Speak with integrity.  Say what you mean, avoid speaking against yourself or others, and use the power of your word in the discretion of truth and love.

Not read it yet?  DO IT.  It will change your life.

The 5 agreements

I hope you enjoyed my brief post today.  I’ll go over the rest of the agreements over the next few days.

Join the Gratitude Bandwagon


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It’s obviously a good day to mention it, and Facebook is filled with gratitude posts and my inbox is filled with gratitude articles. While I want to be different and never want to follow like a sheep, I couldn’t think of a better thing to write about today.  Perhaps it’s permeating the ethos today.

However, today is not the first day I’ve thought about gratitude.  I’ve been focusing on it for over a year now, and it’s done me a world of good.  If you haven’t jumped on the gratitude bandwagon yet, you should think about adding a daily gratitude practice to your day.  It’s the white magic of the world.

I’m a naturally pessimistic and I’ll admit it – negative person.  Sarcasm in droves, and my mindset has always run to the worst case scenario in life.  I think I might write this in every blog – what you think about comes about.  I found myself in not happy places in life, and I found myself angry and upset at where life had landed.  Even when things were starting to turn around, my attitude was that God had blessed me beyond my worth and that I should expect it all to come crashing down around my ears any day.  I took some good advice from friends and sought out the help of a mentor, and I learned some great tricks to refocus my mind and calm that worrying ego.  I’ll share them a little later in this post.

There’s great reasons to be grateful.  Studies show that grateful people suffer from 10% fewer stress related illnesses, have on average 7% higher income (but if you look at any of the millionaire coaches, you’ll see that gratitude tops their lists), they have more energy, fewer headaches (so true! I used to have 3-4 a week, and never have them now), get better sleep, have higher emotional intelligence and less depression.

There are some really neat info-graphics from Templeton.org and mindvalley academy you should read for more…

And what’s better than better health and life?  I’ll tell you – getting more of that better health and better life.  See, gratitude works exponentially.  Oprah says

Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have you will never, ever have enough.

Gratitude is what helps your soul blossom open to receive all gifts.  It’s not always easy, and it’s certainly not second nature in the beginning of changing your perspective.  On days when I catch myself going down an ungrateful and negative road, I have to stop and backtrack.  Say a prayer: pause, reflect, reset.  And if you don’t have it completely in your heart, fake it till you make it.  There’s nothing like a negativity train to bring down an entire group of humans.

I’m not perfect yet, and I’ll never be perfect, but I can take today to put my foot down and be more steadfast in my practice.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Here’s my two practices:

1. When I wake up, I have to think of 5 things for which I am grateful before I get out of bed.

2. Before starting a task like making phone calls to clients or teammates (something that can cause nervousness and be uncomfortable at time – anyone who has done cold calls knows this), I make a gratitude call first.  I call someone to tell them how much I appreciate them, or thank them for their business.  It elevates your mood and your energy.  Gratitude is second only to love when you look at the vibrational energy of emotions.  When I show gratitude first, everything else is more enjoyable and successful.

I hope that you had a relaxing and refreshing day with your family and loved ones.  Many blessings to you now and always, and thank you so much for visiting my blog.  Post a comment or share if you enjoyed!

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I can and I will – secrets to happiness


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A few days ago I earned a trip to Paris for two with my company.  I had already earned it for one, but going without my husband was not an option.  Believe me, I am ecstatic that I get to go back to that amazing city, one of my favorite places in the world, but I am not surprised.  I’ve made goal setting and achievement my business and a habit.  And honestly, it’s not so much a forced habit as an addiction.  I read something a friend posted about trying to earn the same trip, and it made me really sad – she said something along the lines of almost being close to the goal, but she’d never really intended on earning it, but now that she was close, she would try.  Excuse me, but WTF?

I try to learn as much as possible about being happy, about achieving, about growing as I can, and I can tell you even from my novice perspective, not really intending on achieving something is a sure fire way NOT TO.  And if you want to be happy in life, you should start setting some goals NOW.  And I don’t mean little goals. I mean big scary goals that make your guts ache a little.

In our brains, there is a section called the substantia nigra/ventral segmental area or SN/VTA.  It’s the “novelty center” of our brain and releases dopamine when we encounter new things.  Dopamine makes us happy.  Doing new things makes us happy. Here’s a real life situation:  My husband is a creature of habit, and while generally a nice and happy guy, he’s not on fire about things – usually.  Fortunately, his old company shut down, and he lost his job.  While he was training for his new job, he would come home every day and he would not shut up about all the things he was learning.  He brought home books to do extra study, he looked at websites, he talked to me nonstop, and he was so friggin happy! He was like a kid on Christmas morning going over all his new presents.  He was truly happy and blossoming.  I’d read about this chemical happiness from new challenges, but never noticed it happening before.  It was so fun to watch! That release is what triggers us to want more new things, because then we get another release.  Silly visual – I like to think of it like a hamster that has figured out the release trigger for his treats.

Or maybe look at it as a video game of life.  Remember playing Nintendo when you were a kid?  And you’d beat one level and mom or dad would come in and say turn it off….NOOOOOO one more level.  New thing=dopamine release.  Want to know what’s next?  Winning new thing=more dopamine, plus endorphins, plus oxytocin plus seratonin.  One more level.  Gotta get the next fix…  Scientists actually think the reason children learn to speak languages so quickly is tied to these neural chemical cocktails of happiness.

It’s a beautiful addiction.  New things are great! but achievement is BETTER.  The act of setting a goal and truly working on it, in and of itself creates happiness.  And we could keep talking science, we could even just say that your soul thrives on it, because it does.  The Japanese call it ikigai: that which I wake up for.  It’s these goals and causes that fuel our hearts and souls and set us on fire.  We anticipate not just the reward, but we enjoy the journey.

Why can’t it be a simple goal?  Because with a simple, easily achieved goal, there is no effort.  The mind feeds on that effort and the feeling of achieving those scary big goals is like none other.  I remember the first time I earned a trip with my company, I yelled in my office, but to me it felt like a lion’s roar.  When you set hard goals that are outside your comfort zone, it gives you authentic self esteem:  the true belief that you can and will.  The true belief in your abilities and powers and talents.  If you don’t test them, how do you know the limits?  I have not found mine yet…and I bet you won’t either when you really try.

I learned from Dr. Adam Fraser that in Goal Orientation Theory there are three drivers in people. 1 – the desire to WIN.  A very powerful one. You can see this anywhere from a game of Life around your kitchen table to a high school football game.  Even the audience wants to win!  2. Mastery – the desire to improve all the time, to master a new task, to complete a hard goal.  This is the driver that will let you wake up every day to put in a little more effort towards your dreams and desires.  This is what major athletes and CEOs and leaders live by.  Don’t let yourself be content with driver 3 – the desire simply not to lose.  If that is where your goal setting comes from, you will set tiny goals that don’t push you outside your comfort zone, because that third driver is fear based.  And there are only two things that you should really fear: loud noises and falling.  Everything else is just your ego talking.

So when you set a goal try to do these three things:

FOCUS – make sure that your goal is specific, and that you have reminders of your specific intentions everywhere – (notes on your mirror, goals on paper near your desk, write them down on the top of your daily calendar, or even make your commonly used passwords whatever your goal is).

STAY POSITIVE – if you’ve been reading along, you know that what you think about comes about.  Right now I could say, “my goal is to climb Mt. Everest.  But if my hearts’ not in it, and I don’t really think I can – I’ll keep saying “yah but that’s never gonna happen” in the back of my head, and then it won’t.  You have to keep those positive thoughts in your mind all the time. And if you aren’t feeling it – find a tool that helps you get there. Talk to a good friend, listen to a motivational cd, or go onto YouTube and just search motivation.

TAKE MASSIVE ACTION – meaning LOTS OF IT!  You can’t learn to run a marathon by going out on day one and trying to run 20+ miles.  Start with one mile, or half a mile, and keep running every day and add little bits onto your total.  What’s your goal? What’s the way to achieve it?  What’s one thing you can do NOW to travel in that direction?  Got an answer yet?  Then go do it!

success and belief