Circumstances Reveal Who You Are

August 2, 2010

I used to use a little humor in my keynote speech by talking about dealing with adversity, and then I would ask the audience a question: Do you know when I’m at my best?

The audience would guess something like, “when you are tested and overcome circumstances?” I would say, “No, I’m at my best when everything goes my way.” 

After a few laughs the audience would recoginze the truth in that statement. All of us want things to go our way and we are happy when circumstances are of our choosing.

However, the opportunity for growth often presents itself through difficulties and unwanted circumstances.
I call this place “The Gap.”

If you are committed to personal growth there will almost always be a gap between where you are and where you want to be.  The visual I use in my Stop Your Drama Methodolgy is that of a rowboat going to an island. If the journey is 5 miles away, there is not so much drama. If the journey is 500 miles away there is more opportunity for drama. In other words, the larger the gap, the more potential for drama.

Here are some truths to help you manage those difficult times in the gap.

1. Know what is required
Do a little planning and research before jumping out there too far. You can’t get to the island 5000 miles away with a rowboat, no team and no map. Know what you need in time, money, and resources before you make such a big commitment, otherwise you are not going to be equipped to handle the drama in such a big gap.

2. Chunk it down
Whether you are working by yourself, or leading a team you can manage the gap more effectively by making designated stopping places. In other words, row to the island 50 miles away and stop on an island to celebrate. Then get back in that boat and row toward your island. Your team will stay motivated if they feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.

3. Make a game of it
Instead of resisting the drama in the gap, be prepared to see how you can handle it with grace. Make it a part of your inner journey of growth. Practice patience if you are normally impatient. See how long you can go without complaining. Make yourself bigger than your circumstances and see how this improves your self-esteem.

4. Realize that life is lived in the gap
Realize that drama in the gap will not equal success on the island. If you are miserable while on the way to accomplishing your goal, chances are you aren’t going to be much happier once you get to “the island.” Keep in mind that life is always lived in the gap and drama in the gap will not equal real success on the island.


Eleven Reasons You Aren’t Getting What You Want

August 20, 2009

Sometimes you just don’t get what you want. Even if you are an action taker, sometimes you feel stuck in the gap. The gap is the distance between where you are and where you want to go. There are a lot of theories on why people don’t get what they say they want. Here are 11 observations. See if any of these resonate and give me your own observations.

1. You don’t really know what you want.

2. You know what you want but you don’t believe it’s possible.

3. You don’t know what is required to get where you want to go.

4. You are not willing to do what is required.

5. You are not willing to ask for help.

6. You keep asking for approval instead of owning what you want.

7. You are not telling the truth about what you really want.

8. You are more committed to something else rather than your goal.

9. Old programming keeps you operating from your subconscious mind.

10. You do get what you want but you never celebrate or recognize it so you don’t get to experience the joy of success.

11. Your expectations are unrealistic given your skills, resources and time available.
(see #3)

What habits to do you see that keep people from getting what they want?

The Entrepreneurs Journey

June 3, 2009

I see an island and I want to go.

I’m excited.

I jump into a row-boat with one oar and no map.

The island is farther away than I expected.

I become discouraged.

I see a closer island so I row toward it.

I meet a consultant.

I pay almost all that I have to the consultant who convinces me I wanted to go to the wrong island.

The consultant sells me a map and a blueprint to go to his island.

I now need a motor and a better boat.

I get a loan and purchase the better boat and the motor and head to the consultant’s island.

The blue print is helpful, but I’m not that excited.

On the way I see a sparkling island and it looks much more appealing.

I motor towards it.

I have lost the map the consultant gave me.

The fog rolls in.

Now I’m confused about what I really want.

I’m mad at the consultant.

The motor is acting up.

I row to the closest island.

My needs are met.

There is coconut milk and a native there needs my services.

It’s better than nothing.

Time passes.

I am bored and know there must be more.

I still want my original island.

This time I’m smarter.

I take TWO oars and a map.

I’ll geet the motor fixed eventually.

I’m back in the gap.

(to be continued.)

“Right Thinking” Eliminates Mind Drama

February 4, 2009

One of my favorite books is “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen.

Allen says, “Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction.”

When you are suffering (mentally or emotionally) challenge yourself to see the whole picture. Is there one ounce of good in what you are going through? Is there a lesson to learn? Have you become a better person though your trials? Can you help others because of your new insights?

Once you begin to “think right” your suffering will begin to subside.

In my SYD Signature Process, I call it “Telling Yourself the Truth.” Suffering is usually a result of telling yourself things that are not entirely based on fact, or looking at only a part of the puzzle and making a judgment.

What I see with a lot of my clients is the suffering they feel when they compare their growth and/or success with someone else. They see someone who has skyrocketed their business in just two years and they are already on year five and are struggling.

All of us can fall into this trap if we aren’t careful. While it’s good to let someone’s success motivate you, the REAL truth is you never have all of the puzzle pieces.

You don’t know their level of desire. You don’t know what skills they started with. You don’t know their background.

Not that any of that matters. Ultimately you need to keep a clear vision about YOUR goals and tell yourself the truth about what you need to do to reach your goals. I call this “identifying the gap.” Most of the time we just make an assumption and work from feeling rather than planning, organizing, or doing the necessary research.

Get clear about who you are and what you want. Identify where you need to up your game. Keep your eyes on your island. Anything else is just drama, and drama always leads to suffering.

To your mental and emotional health…

Is it REALLY Your Belief System Holding You Back?

January 30, 2009

I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You see someone else who does exactly what you do but they make lots of money and you continue to just get by.

A GURU tells you it’s your belief systems.
How much more can you work on your beliefs?

You journal. You meditate. You read spiritual books like Heart of the Soul and The New Earth. You practice yoga.  You TRULY believe in the Law of Attraction. You know the famous quotes about how “What you focus on expands ” and “If you can believe it you can achieve it.” Still, nothing works.

You have invested thousands of dollars in coaching only to wind up disappointed.

Now you are confused. Maybe you don’t have the right market.
You keep changing direction.


Let me give you a huge wake up call:  It’s not your belief systems.

It is your wrong thinking

Let me make the distinction. For most of us spiritual entrepreneurs, we associate “belief systems” with all that I mentioned above.

In contrast “wrong thinking” is what James Allen refers to in his quote: “Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction.

Pay attention to the words “IN SOME DIRECTION.”

You see, if you keep fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed…that is the WRONG DIRECTION.

For the sake of argument let’s assume…

You don’t need another degree.

You don’t need another certificate.

You don’t need more yoga.

You know all you need to know.

You are talented, bright and responsible.

You are positive and energetic even in the face of many disappointments.

You cannot close the gap between where you are and where you want to be if you keep going backwards.

You must head in the right direction.

That direction is understanding the difference between content and process.

The ones who make lots of money do so because their systems are in place. They have leverage. They know how to make money when they aren’t even in the room.

Seth Godin talks about this in his blog.  If you already have the knowledge and expertise the reason you aren’t making money is probably not because of your spiritual beliefs or your low self-esteem or your lack of self worth.

The irony is this:  The lack of self-worth clouds your vision WHEN you are headed in the wrong direction.

You can keep working on your self-worth, and “belief systems”  and spend years in therapy, or you can simply start rowing in the right direction and create some processes and systems around your already good-enough content.

That is, if you have the courage to OWN your self-worth, expertise and knowledge. (If not, it probably is your belief system.)  Be sure to tell yourself the truth about this one.

So, by all means, clean up the head drama and work on your spirituality. The inner game is foundational to your success.

But when it comes to the lack of making money it’s more likely that you are simply polishing an apple that is already polished and you need to find a way to market and sell  your apples.