Monday, December 31, 2007

A Life Examined

I always love this day - December 31 - because ever since I've been my own boss (since 2003), I've used this day as a chance to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the coming year. Today I've been up since about 6:30 (I slept in a bit today!) and I'm in the lower level of my home in front of the fireplace with books and a journal strewn on the coffee table and couches next to me. I've got Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Workweek sitting here with a bookmark in page 37, which is the first section of Q&A which I plan to journal about today.

I'm going to head upstairs in a couple of minutes, take a shower, and head to my favorite coffee shop with my journal and this book and work through it as I set my intentions for 2008 - both professionally and personally. Then I'm going to come home and get ready to spend the last part of 2007 with some of my best friends at a house party and welcome in the next Best Year of My Life: 2008. Each year since 2003 has been that because I've made up my mind that that is what I'm living into.

Which leads me into the title for today's post. I went to a workshop a year or so ago, where I learned a little bit about a breathing meditation. I've never been great at being quiet - and I still have that on my intention list for 2008! - so this was a very interesting class for me. One thought kept coming into my head at that class, and it popped into my head again today. I haven't quite figured out the entire thought yet, but it seems to be a combination of two thoughts: one from either Plato or Socrates (the jury is still out, from what I can see by my internet research) which says "An unexamined life is not worth living" and is, in some places, attributed to Socrates when he chose to drink hemlock rather than stop asking questions.

The other part of the thought has something to do with a life half-lived. I've seen it quoted a few places as "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived" and that seems to suit me fine right now. So with those two thoughts swirling around in my head today, I will set my intention for the last day of 2007.

What questions are swirling around in your head that you would rather not answer? Where might you be living an unexamined life or a life lived in fear? What is holding you back from connecting with your authentic self? There's no better time than the present to start asking those questions. Get yourself a journal for your journey - and start small. Ask the questions of yourself. Or if you'd rather, get a good friend to kick the ideas around with. Pick up my book The 100% Factor - it's a great starting point for interesting conversation, and it has a mini-journal built in.

It's on my intention list for early in 2008 to reprint my book with a new cover and a tiny bit of new content, so that might be a good time to check it out.

Thank you to everyone who has supported You Already Know This Stuff, Bock's Office, The 100% Factor, and me personally in 2007 and in years prior. I'm eternally grateful for your interest and support!

I couldn't close out a year-end post on this blog without a huge shoutout to the people I met either personally or by phone or by email this year because of the wonderful world of blogging:

In person:

Steve Farber
Phil Gerbyshak
Lisa Haneberg
Dick Richards
Pam Thomas

and by phone:

Liz Strauss
Mike Sansone
Mitch Matthews
Greg Balanko-Dickson

and by email:

David Zinger
Nick Smith
Patti Digh
Terry Starbucker
Kirsten Harrell

I pledge to become a much more active blogger in 2008 and not let my other "stuff" get in the way of connecting more often with these and other friends I have yet to meet. Among my intentions right now is to meet Rosa Say (I'll be in Hawaii in November, Rosa, and would love to buy you a cup of coffee or some other Hawaiian delicacy!), to reconnect with Steve Farber again (what a great Valentine's Day I spent with Steve last year here in Fargo!) and to meet Nick Smith somehow.

I will be hosting the second annual Summit for Bigger Small Talk here in Fargo in June and I hope to see many of you there. I'd also love to come to SOBCon this year, so I'll throw that out now and see what happens.

Take some time this next year to really examine your life. There are some WONDERFUL resources available here in blogland to get you started. Check out any of my friends' links here in this post and you'll have an amazing conversation even over email - guaranteed.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Choose Love in 2008

I've just been totally inspired by my blogging buddy Nick Smith and his brand new post "The Renaissance of Love" and want to share this video he featured on his blog today.

I'm confident and excited about the possibilities for 2008 - and I'm committed to making a positive difference in the world through my chosen career as a transformational consultant. My partner and I will be launching a new website in the next couple of weeks and are very enthused about everything our clients are doing to change the world around them - we're blessed and grateful to be a part of their transformations.

What will you choose in 2008? I choose love!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Things that make you go "hmmmm"

Have you ever gotten a call "out of the blue" that answered a dilemma you were thinking about? Did you think to yourself, "well that was sure a coincidence" or "man, I'm sure lucky that guy called" or "what are the chances that would happen just when I was needing an answer"?

Although I don't know how to prove it, I've heard that coincidental angles in mathematical terms are angles that fit together perfectly - no accidents there.

So maybe things that appear random and just seem to "fit together perfectly" could be a result of what we are thinking about. I'm beginning to understand that that's what quantum physics is all about. There's something called the "observer effect" that causes particles to respond in the way we expect them to. Or as Wayne Dyer says, we will see something when we believe it.

I got a call yesterday like that. I got asked to be on a radio talk show today (less than 24 hours' notice) to discuss New Years Resolutions. I had just prepared that very talk for a group on December 6, and the feedback was very positive, because I didn't talk about the usual way to set resolutions, which we know rarely stick. I told the radio announcer what I planned to talk about and he was very interested. So interested, in fact, that he wants to talk with me after the show about some ideas he has for some dreams he'd like to accomplish in 2008. Coincidence? I don't think so.

I'll let you know how it goes - and I'll see if I can record the show and put it up here tomorrow. We'll talk more about 2008 then as well.

In the meantime, notice the "coincidences" that occur in your life today. Let me know what you notice!

UPDATE: The radio interview was only 3 minutes and I forgot my recorder, so it's not here. It was fun even though it was short!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You Are Here

The best gift I got last Christmas was my beloved Tom Tom GPS for my car. I've always told myself I'm directionally challenged, which ended up just being a good excuse for not being responsible to really pay attention when I was driving. Now I can get around that excuse by trusting Mandy (the pre-programmed voice I've chosen to help me find my destination)!

One of the coolest things about my GPS is that I don't even have to tell it where I am before I tell it where I want to go - it just knows. Of course, that doesn't seem to work the same way in real life. If we don't know where we are, it's pretty tough to pick a starting point. That's why, when I don't have my GPS with me (like in the Mall of America, for example), I rely on that big red arrow telling me exactly where I am. That way I can get my bearings and decide where I want to go.

However we do have that same ability in our lives if we'll just listen to our inner navigation system. In Maxwell Maltz's classic book Psycho-Cybernetics he refers to this as our Automatic Success Mechanism (ASM). When we set our ASM with a clear and detailed sense of direction, we don't have to know how we're going to get where we're going - we just have to be clear about our intention.

Now is a great time to decide if where you're headed is where you want to end up. As Lao-Tzu reminds us:

"If you do not change direction,
you may end up where you are heading."

There's no time like the present to set your ASM for 2008!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Who are you in your story?

I've been doing quite a bit of speaking recently about goals and the distinction between setting them and actually achieving them. This seems to be the time of year when people start reassessing their accomplishments from the previous year and look ahead to the year at hand.

One thing we may begin to realize as we find ourselves in that resolution state of mind is that our story may no longer be valid.

What do I mean by your "story"? It's that message that runs in your subconscious over and over again, usually without your even realizing it. I've heard it said that we have 60,000 random thoughts going through our heads in any given day - and many of those thoughts are the same ones over and over and over, like a stuck record (does anyone even remember what a stuck record is?) without our conscious thought.

In fact, Bob Proctor says that if most people said what they were actually thinking, they would be silent. We're so conditioned to react to our lives instead of actually responding and then we wonder why we get the same results.

So, who are you in the story that's running through your subconscious? Remember the old Dudley Do-Right cartoon? That's a great example of some of the characters that may be running your show.

If you find yourself asking "Why does this keep happening to me?" you might be Nell, the helpless victim who has given up her personal power to sources outside herself.

Or you may be Snidely Whiplash, the villain who is always taking advantage of poor little Nell, and who seems to exist to make other people's lives miserable.

And then there's our hero or our victor, good old Dudley Do-Right, who seems to exist to save everyone else, but loses himself in the process.

If you find yourself playing one of these characters in your own life, this might be a good time to do some reflection and discover your Hidden Self (H.S., which can also stand for Higher Self). That's the real you, and the beauty of uncovering that part of you is that there is no one else who can play that part. If you're not doing it, no one will.

So take this time in the weeks before 2008 and really consider who you've been and see if where you're headed is where you want to end up next December.

A year from now you will wish you had started today. And what better time than NOW to take stock before taking charge in 2008?