Skills for a Successful and Happy Life

October 24, 2008

From my experience as a speaker and consultant, it seems that striving for success creates much unnecessary drama. The image that comes to mind for me is rowing with all of your might to get to an island that never appears. When do I get there? How do I get there faster? What if someone else gets there first? If there is drama in the boat, getting to the island isn’t going to be much better.

With that in mind, here are five skills that will make your success journey one worth savoring.

1. Define success
2. Seek and experience joy
3. Take care of yourself
4. Master your beliefs
5. Own your choices

Define success
One of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle has some great insights about success. He says, “Don’t let a mad world tell you success is anything other than a successful present moment.”  One of his most profound teachings is the concept that you cannot become successful, you can only “be” successful. What if you take the success question off the table and you declare that you are already successful? When you are free to “be” you start living in the flow and you can really experience success versus strive for it.

Seek and experience joy

No matter what your accomplishments or achievements, you can’t experience success if you are unhappy. For two years I have researched happiness and success and I ask the question “what is heaven on earth?”   It is surprising that the number one answer (over 70% of all people surveyed) say time with family and friends is heaven on earth. Vacations is a close second and third on the list with over 50 percent say reading a good book or eating a good meal. The fact is, you can create a little heaven on earth every single day.

Take care of yourself

If you aren’t healthy and happy you can’t contribute at work or at home. When you travel by air, the air, the attendants always tell you “In case of emergency put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.” It seems counterproductive in our fast paced world, but taking regular breaks including taking a lunch away from your desk promotes productivity. According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their business book, “The Power of Full Engagement” the body requires rest and recovery every 90 minutes. If you are skipping regular breaks you are not doing anyone any favors. In addition workaholism is an addictive habit that gets you hooked on adrenaline overload which contributes to a reduced immune system and illness.

Master Your Beliefs

The reason you may be working without breaks is because you are listening to the lies you tell yourself.  You have habitually allowed thoughts like, “I don’t have time to take a break, “or “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”  While there might be a kernel of truth (as there is in every victim story) the reality is, if you died tomorrow the world would go on.

The reality is you need to learn how to say “no” and you might need to delegate. One thing is for certain, if you master your beliefs you can catch yourself when you get sucked into the tribal mentality of “there’s no time” or ” no one will help me.”

Own Your Choices

The best way to “be” successful is to become completely responsible for your choices. This means no complaining, no blaming, no manipulation and no explaining. This means you must be willing to give up a few things. You must be willing to give up the need for others to always agree or understand. You must be willing to quit explaining why you didn’t step up or why something isn’t working. You must also be willing to stop saying and doing things just to get approval.

When you become the master at these five skills you will have plugged the leak, stopped the drama and you will be in the flow and loving your successful life.  Get your copy of Success is a Given Here.

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5 Reasons You Don’t Have Enough Time

May 20, 2008

The biggest victim story today is “I don’t have time.” Now before you get angry with me, know that I’m in the same boat. I’m just accustomed to having what I call “Truth Telling Days” and when I go through this process, I come up with huge insights. I have come up with five main reasons we all experience the “No Time” drama.


1. We don’t know how to choose
There are too many choices and these choices tempt us to skip lunch, stay up late, work over time and avoid rejuvenation.

2. Lack of boundaries
Although most of us crave freedom, too much freedom creates stress. Think about how stressed your kids get when there are no boundaries. If you allowed your children to choose what to eat and when to go to bed, they would be in serious trouble. Most of us do not have the basic discipline skills to set boundaries for ourselves,

3. Self Betrayal
One of the 7 sins of self betrayal is failing to meet your basic needs. Rest and relaxation is a basic human health need. Every 90 minutes the body needs to rejuvenate. When we feel rushed or overworked the natural tendency is to skip lunch or work late. The adrenalin becomes addictive and damaging to our nervous systems, thus the increased stress.

4. Technology Overload
Technology was supposed to help us save time and make life easier. The reality is, the standards have increased to match the convenience. On top of that, it takes time (learning curve) to master technology. In the days before electricity when it got dark, people went to bed. Then light came and gave us new choices. Then came radio, television, answering machines, faxes, cell phones, pagers, e-mail and the list goes on.

5. Convenience
It’s easier to complain about “no time” than it is to create discipline. It’s risky and therefore not convenient to take charge of your time. Others will approve of you when you say you are “too busy” because they also “too busy.” If you simply learn to say “no” you may lose approval and people won’t understand. When you are busy you feel important and when you have free time you feel edgy if not just downright worthless. If you don’t believe me, look at what happens to busy people who retire without finding another purpose.

The new challenge is for all of us to learn how to choose consciously, set good boundaries, discipline ourselves to take good care of our bodies, and to use technology instead of letting technology use us.

Try this experiment: the next time someone starts talking about how busy they are choose a different response just to see what happens. Say, “Really? I have all the time in the world.” Maybe you’ll start a new trend.

PS…Speaking of truth telling, visit my radio show where Ruth King reveals the
UGLY TRUTH About Business.