5 Keys for Living the Life of Your Dreams

DEAR-DynamicIf you’ve been with me for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about the BAR Theory where your beliefs shape your actions and your actions highly influence the results you attain in life.
This ‘new’ model reflects more recent things I’ve been studying about how life works: how to accomplish what you want without having to ‘force’ it or ‘make it happen’ through direct activity and hard work.

It all starts with your desire which is fueled by your emotion. But not the emotion you experience today about not yet having your heart’s desire (like frustration, disappointment, worry, etc.). But rather bringing into your experience TODAY, the emotion EXPECT to feel once you HAVE your heart’s desire. The key is feeling that joy NOW even without the presence of the thing you’re longing for. It’s a far more graceful (literally, full of grace) process that still gets the job done.

Here are 5 keys to living the life of your dreams:

1. Allow yourself to dream
It’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced world in which we live, rushing from meeting to meeting, from job to family, from cooking, cleaning, and producing to bill paying, from driving to more driving and sometimes, from emergency to emergency. It feels like power and energy arise from some outside phenomena.

It’s critical though to carve out time to just be and be present: to relax, reflect, day dream,  meditate, pray, journal. Just feel yourself and the power within you. When we lead dramatically busy lives, it’s hard to find that quiet, knowing yourself sometimes.

Schedule it. Do it daily.

2. Listen to your heart (or your intuition or your inner voice or the VOG)
As soon as I heard the words, “feel the earth under my feet” this morning, I was ‘rewarded’ with a cash prize. OK, it was a small prize (a quarter), but how often to you find quarters on the ground, far away from any retail establishment where they may have been in motion?

You may have heard me share about another time I heard the VOG (voice of God) several years ago when I was sitting in a confernce room participating in a guided meditation, when the VOG told me, “You should make jewelry.” It was such a clear message, I immediately went out and started telling people I was starting a jewelry design business even though I had only ever made one pair of earrings in high school art class.

That turned out to be my first entrepreneurial venture and was so successful, it funded nearly a month in Africa (Tanzania and Zanzibar), exploring, safari-ing and living in “the bush” with the Maasai.

3. Be grateful for ‘what is’
When you feel frustrated because things aren’t going as planned, and you linger in that frustration, it just keeps the object of your desire at bay. The key is to appreciate the things that are already working in your life (even if you have to really hunt for them) and focus on them. You’ve probably heard, ‘What gets measured, gets managed”.

Here is an interesting quote, “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.”  Jose Ortega y Gasset

Read more quotes on attention here. www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/pay_attention.html#6SWlWXb1hgGyKGRQ.99

4. Do good in the world.
Make it a practice to do everything you can to make the world a better place. Be kind. Recycle. Do no harm. Pay it forward. Help someone else. Live purposefully and conscientiously. Recognize you’re in a community and collaborate with those around you for the good of the community and its individual members. Stive to help people get their authentic needs met. Be a positive energy and voice in the the world. Be a part of the solution rather than harping on all the problems.

5. Expect things to turn out well.
Just last week, a dear friend shared this thought: “God responds to expectations, not prayers”. Not to knock prayers. I do pray, often. But there’s something about the certainty and knowingness of expectations that energizes you from the inside that warrants consideration. It’s the BAR Theory. If you expect things to turn out poorly, they likely will.

On a related note, Art Linkletter (am I dating myself here?) said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

And I’ve always said, “We have more options than we generally see, and more control than we tend to take.”

5 Top Tips for Getting What You Want

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-large570At the beginning of the year, many people make New Year’s resolutions, vowing to bring some new quality into their lives.

Progress is always a good thing. And the DECISION to make progress is the first step.

Unfortunately, if not done properly, setting goals doesn’t always get you to your destination. Whether it’s a promise made at the stroke of midnight or a commitment made at some other time, there are important aspects to those desires that help ensure they will be made manifest.
Here are my 5 tips for getting what you want:

1. Be clear
Know what you want. When you know where you’re heading, the path to get there becomes more apparent. Desire is one of the key secret ingredients to a better live. Avoid focusing on where you DON’T want to be and keep your attention on your desired outcome.

2. Be explicit
In addition to being clear, be explicit, meaning make that picture crystal clear. If you can put a number with it (15 pounds), all the better. Articulate in as much detail as you can muster. The Universe may reward you with something slightly different, but the process of you getting so clear that you CAN be explicit will help you ferret out what’s really important to you.

3. Be expressive
Expressiveness has two aspects. One reflects a deep emotion related to the object of your desire like joy, accomplishment, security. It’s important to FEEL the way you’ll feel once the goal is in hand BEFORE it’s in your hand. That feeling attracts the thing to you.

The second aspect is an outward expression of your desire. Go public with your goal. It’s amazing how much more likely you’ll be to take action if the world knows what you’re up to than if you’re dealing with it in secrecy. Ask for support and help. Tell people why it’s important to you and even how it’s realization will benefit THEM. That What’s-in-it-for-me? aspect will really get them in your corner.

4. Be persistent
While the goal may get reached quickly, it’s likely to take some time. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble or lack of progress. Persist. Believe in yourself. Belief in your goal. If you need the help of others, believe in them. If they seem to have lost interest, re-engage them. It’s YOUR goal, not theirs necessarily. They may have forgotten. Remind them why it’s important. Be polite but relentlessly persistent.

5. Be-lieve
The number one factor that makes the prior four possible is to believe. When you believe, you can be clear, explicit, expressive and persistent. Goals do not always get completely quickly. Sometimes when goals/dreams are first born, the circumstances surrounding the beholder might make the goal seem completely unrealistic. Never look to your circumstances to validate your dreams. Clearly, you need to be aware of your circumstances and the point from which you are starting. But belief has overcome many a hurdle while lack of it has stopped many dead in their tracks.

See it. Say it. Believe it. Be it!

 

3 Keys for Unveiling and Leveraging Your Brand

brand-elements2I attended a fascinating conference for corporate women last week. One of the presenters spoke about the importance of understanding your personal and business brand. I also had an insightful conversation with a visibility expert who reiterated the same thing.

As an employee or small business owner with a limited budget, you may be thinking “I don’t need a brand”, “I don’t have a brand” or even “I can’t afford a brand”.

But you’d be wrong. You have a brand whether or not you’ve actively constructed one. Your brand is how OTHERS perceive you and the value (or lack there of) that you provide.

It’s critical that you take an active role in creating the impression you WANT
to have in the public domain.

There are 3 factors that will help you articulate your brand. Once you know them, you can leverage them by CONSCIOUSLY articulating them in your marketing materials, resumes and cover letters, service offerings, emails you
send, interviews and sales meetings.

Here are 3 factors and the very simple ways to get at them that Deb Miller,
Chief Marketing Officer of Adreima shared.

The 3 factors are:
1) Your Essence Factor
2) Your Authority Factor
3) Your Superstar Factor

Your Essence Factor the core of you. You can access it by completing the sentence, “I know I’m in my element when I’m …” When you work in your essence, work is a joy instead of a drudge. You are doing what comes naturally and it therefore seems easy.  Life is good. You feel in harmony with the world, with your calling, with your purpose.

Your Authority Factor is based on your knowledge and skills. It’s what makes you credible in your profession. You can access it by completing the sentence, “People recognize my expertise in…”

Your Superstar Factor addresses, as you might imagine, your ‘secret sauce’, that quality, skill or ability that makes you a unique standout.  The way to
think about this one is to finish the sentence “People comment on my ability
to…”

Once you’ve identified these 3 factors for yourself, do some market research and ask others how they would answer the same questions. Compare the responses. Again, your brand is largely how others see you.

So decide if what you hear from others is actually how you want to be perceived. If not, you’ll have to get active in changing your behavior, image and/or service delivery so that it reflects more closely the you you want to be known as.

When you have landed on the right combination of Essence, Authority and Superstar Factors, fashion them into a sentence like one of the following:

  • I use my ____(skill) for ___ (outcome)
  • Using ____(trait), I ____( result)
  • Through my ___ (quality), I ____ (thing you do/produce) when I serve ____ (your client)

An example might be, “Using my creativity, I spark innovation in others”.

When you’re clear about who you are, what you do and the market sees and values you similarly, you’ll be well on your way to capitalizing on your skills and living in harmony with your gifts and your purpose.

Making the Best & Most Profitable Decisions for Your Business

Recently, I had a conversation that opened up a critical new distinction.

decision-makingA client was struggling with redefining her relationship with a new partner in her business who wasn’t working out as well as expected.

During our call, as she grappled with how to move forward, I noticed she repeatedly seemed to be taking the path of least resistance and making concessions I thought, deep in her heart, she knew were not in her best interest.

The decisions she reached seemed reasonable enough; her decision process sounded rational enough, yet I knew something was amiss.

I interrupted her thinking out loud process by throwing her a curve ball posing the question, “If your business had a personality, how would you describe it?” She proceeded, quite quickly I might add, to use terms like ‘curious, detailed, tech savvy, trendy, challenging, informed and knowledgeable’.

It was quite an amazing experience to hear her describe her company and ‘brand’ so clearly. It also gave me new insight into how she sees herself and business and gave HER a new decision-making tool.

I asked her how well her partner represented the feel of that brand. “Hmmm. Not very well”, was her response.

I then asked if that curious, tech savvy, trendy entity were hiring someone for the business, would he/she hire the person who is now the owner’s business partner. “Probably not”, she replied.

Our businesses have needs that , while intimately connected, are separate and distinct from our personal needs (and fears). When we look from that more impartial, perspective we can be more objective, less concerned about our insecurities. When our ego is out of the way, the truth is more apparent. If we don’t to that, we’re doing a disservice to the future of our business and casting a shadow over the possibility of our life.

So the next time you’re agonizing over a decision about your business, take a step back. Rather than making the decision from your point of view, envision the best and highest expression of your business and determine what IT needs for that highest expression rather that what would make you feel safe and comfortable.

Stepping into the ‘role’ of the business and making decisions based on what it needs in order to accomplish the goals you’ve set for it will give you a different perspective from which to view the landscape and the perspective to make critical decisions using the right criteria.

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7 Key Steps to Achieving Mastery

balance-masteryAccording to Merriam-Webster, “mastery” is defined as: 1) knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well, 2) complete control of something, 3) possession or display of great skill or technique.
Here a 7 key steps to achieving mastery…

1. Decide.
I’m becoming more and more aware of the power of the decisions we make in our lives. Without a decision to do something, life moves on somewhat aimlessly, resigned to dealing with the outside incidents and internal states through at us.
Decisions however, alter the course of your future. Once you make a decision to do something, to master something, the path to achieving it becomes more clear. You may not know all of the steps, but deciding is the first one.

2. Focus.
You have to concentrate your energy in the direction of the area you want to master. This might start with taking a class or practicing, but the key component is the focus. You may need to re-prioritize your activities and how you spend your time. Mastery, unless you’re already, naturally, extremely gifted in that area, doesn’t happen overnight.

3. Delegate
Get rid of the other things that steal your time, drain your energy and suck your soul right out of you. Life must continue, but for you to focus, you’ll likely need other people taking care of some of the tasks that don’t require your talents or that have slipped to a lower priority status now that you’ve decide to master something.

4. Take risks.
Mastery won’t happen inside your comfort zone. You’ll need to press the edges of what you know and step outside of them frequently. You won’t discover new horizons if you stay in territory you’re already familiar with.

5. Evaluate.
As you progress, regularly take time to step back and ask questions like
“What can I do better?”
“Is there a more efficient way to get this done?”
“If I weren’t attached to doing it the way I currently am, what else might I try?”
“If I were a master at this already, what would I do?”

6. Improve.
Incorporate the insights gained from your consistent questioning of your process, progress, skill level, mindset shifts about what’s possible. Do it one more time. Do it a different way. Do it more quickly. Reach for your goal.

7. “Rinse and repeat”.
Mastery is a continuous process. Even once you think you’ve achieved mastery, you’ll see there is farther to go. I’m reminded of the process of cleaning or weeding. You get started and work to remove what shouldn’t be there. You think you’re almost done, but now that the area is more ‘clean’ you notice dirt and weeds that had previously been obscured by the massive about of dirt and weeks that were there when you first started.

Mastery is like that. The better you get, the more you’ll see how you can improve. Rejoice in that process.

Enhanced by ZemantaIn case you want to see mastery in action, watch this YouTube video

Loretta Love Huff, The Dream Leader for Business: People and teams EXCEEDING their dreams!