Do you believe you can teach old dog new tricks?
10 human years is when a dog is considered to be old. What about humans?
What is your definition of old?
At what age do you consider yourself too old to learn new things?
I recently met a man that is 77 years old and he told me about his father who is 103 years old and how he’s learning to you use the new smart phone and smart watch that recently bought himself.
What about you?
Are you still willing to learn new things or have you decided that you’re done?
Committing to being a lifelong learner is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only will it keep you current with the fast paced, ever changing world. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Don’t be intimidated by learning. Learn at your own pace and use the tools and resources that work for you. Just commit to never stop learning, even when you are an old dog.
When was the last time you laughed until your eyes watered?
The last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?
Kids do it all the time, you see them rolling around on the floor laughing and giggling uncontrollably. They even tickle themselves in order to laugh.
There’s a common myth that four- to six-year-olds laugh 300 times a day while adults only laugh 15-20 times a day. No-one knows what the real numbers are but children definitely do laugh more than adults.
You’ve heard it before ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ and there is scientific proof of this. Laughter has been showed to lower stress levels and improve brain function.
So make it a point to laugh every day. You can practice laughing yoga, watch funny videos, or read funny material. Or you can do my personal favorite and just tickle yourself. Go ahead, have laugh!
Are you waiting for permission to do your thing?
Are you waiting for permission to take the next step?
Are you waiting for permission to be you?
Who are you waiting for permission from?
Are you afraid that you’ll rock the boat or upset someone?
The truth is that you might and that’s why you’ve decided to play it safe.
There will never be a time when you will please everybody, no matter how hard you try. I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about people’s feelings or disregard them, but don’t use them as excuses you hold yourself back.
Give yourself permission to explore, to grow, to try, to fail, to experiment, so that you can experience your life to the fullest.
What is the limit to how great you can be in any area of your life?
Do you believe that you are capable of more, or have you already decided that you can only be as good as you currently are?
In order to move beyond you current abilities you have to acquire and implement new skills and knowledge. And this is where most people stumble because they have the desire to move past their limitations but they don’t take the time to work on themselves.
Evolution is all about going beyond limitations. In nature only organisms that develop new skills are the ones that survive and eventually thrive.
Learn to question what you think your limitations are. Ask yourself why you think that you can only do so much, why do you doubt yourself. What beliefs led you to your limitations?
There is an abundance of resources readily available at your fingertips where you can find information that will help you improve any area of your life and move you beyond where you currently are. The only reason for you to stay within your current limits is because you choose to, not because you have to.
I’ll love you only if…
Does this sound familiar? Even if you’ve never said it out loud, have you thought it?
Do you hold your love as a bargaining chip that you only share when people do things you want them to do, or only things that please you?
Loving unconditionally is not the same as trusting unconditionally or is it about being a ‘soft’ and allowing people to take advantage of you. It is about not expecting and just sharing a piece of you without attaching conditions.
Unconditional love is about being at peace with yourself despite the actions of others. It’s also about you not having an agenda for another person.
Unconditional love doesn’t come easy because it’s a direct challenge to your ego. It’s a constant battle between how the world is versus how you think the world should be.
The secret is that unconditional love is freeing. It allows you to be at peace regardless of what is going on around you. It’s one of the few things you can control.
Try loving unconditionally for just one day. In all your interactions throughout the day just let people be who they are, send them thoughts of love and notice how it makes you feel. But be careful, you might enjoy it and then people will have to adapt to the new version of you.
How do you feel when no one notices?
When they don’t notice your new car, or your new outfit, your accomplishment? The one you spent so much time thinking about and wondering how people would react when they saw it.
Did you build up an entire mental image of what they would say when they saw your new thing?
Were you disappointed when they didn’t react the way you thought they would?
It’s normal to feel a sense of disappointment when people don’t notice something you thought would be big deal, but how long you hang on to the feeling is up to you. When someone doesn’t notice it’s usually not out of malice, they are just preoccupied with what is important to them at that moment.
Do what you want to do, and do it for yourself. If others notice then great, but if they don’t it’s okay. I’m sure there has been a time when you haven’t noticed too.
How often do you exercise real patience?
Phrases like, ‘I’m being patient with you,’ ‘waiting patiently,’ and ‘you’re trying my patience’ are easy to say but are commonly used when there is in fact very little patience being used.
Patience is all about control over your own emotions, reactions and responses more than anything else. It’s your ability to wait when things don’t go as planned, and cope when people don’t behave the way you want them to.
Patience also goes hand in hand with faith. When you’re pursuing a goal or mission and you’re not seeing results as fast as you’d like but you know that you’re committed, then patience will help you stay the course.
Patience is a skill that you can learn to develop by being mindful about what triggers you to frustration or anger. When you find yourself being impatient then ask yourself if your behavior will improve the situation. More often than not you’ll find that being patient will help you remain calm and will also help you gain new perspective on the situation.
When was the last time you felt that your mind was truly at peace? No internal chatter, no feelings of being overwhelmed, no judging yourself or others, just peace?
If you’re like most then you probably can’t remember your last moment of mental peace, and that’s okay because being human means always being on. But you can still create tiny opportunities for you to experience momentary peace.
The easiest way to create momentary peace is to focus on your breathing. Try it right now. Close your eyes and take a deep breath and feel the air as it passes through your nose, just one deep breath. Hold it for a second and then release it.
In that breath lives your entire life. And it is in that breath you will find your momentary peace. It is in the simple yet powerful act of breathing that is the difference between you existing or not.
So the next time you feel as though you need a moment of peace, close your eyes and take one deep breath, focus on the entire experience and appreciate that ultimately your entire life is a collection of just one breath.
What if you unsubscribed from everything for a day?
How much time would you get back?
I know it sounds impossible but there was a time when you were never subscribed to anything and you could just be you.
If a day is too long and you get withdrawal syndromes just thinking about it, then try it for an hour, or even 30 minutes. By the way if the idea of unsubscribing does cause you anxiety then perhaps that should tell you something.
Go ahead and unsubscribe, I promise you the world will still go on and everyone vying for your attention will still be there when you re-subscribe.
Do you ever get a gut feeling about something?
Have you ever been told to just ‘trust your gut?’
If you’ve listened to ‘successful’ business people or even athletes you’ll hear them say that they often rely on their gut feelings despite what data tells them.
Recently there’s been an increase in research showing that humans have what is being described as two brains. You have a similar set of neurons in your stomach as the ones that make up your brain. And just like your brain your gut will give you messages but you have to learn to listen to it.
Your gut feelings are your intuition. It’s your intuition to move, to do, or to take action towards or away from things. Learning to trust your intuition comes with practice and is not easy because it might defy what you think is logical, especially if you’re the analytical type. But give your intuition a chance, listen to it and see what it does for you.
What can I do?
What, can I do?
Can you see how the comma changes the entire meaning of the question?
If you use the first ‘what can I do’ when faced with a challenge then you feel as though you have no control. On the other hand if you use the second one then your mind switches to finding ideas and resources to overcome the challenge.
This is a simple mental adjustment but can make a huge difference in your life. It moves you from passive position to an active role.
You can also use this tactic in anything you’re trying accomplish. Choose something you want to get done, ask yourself ‘what, can I do?’ And then make a list of 3-5 really small things you can do right now to get you started.
Develop the habit of moving the comma, and see how it changes your life.
Do you remember practicing fire drills at school or even at work?
The reason for the practice was to ensure you behaved in a way that would ensure your safety in the event of a real fire.
Well what if today
Your car didn’t start.
You burned breakfast.
You were late to work.
You got in to an argument with someone.
Your kids were sick.
This is a very short list of the potential fires that can occur in your life and obviously some are worse than others.
The question is how will you respond when these things happen?
What does your emotional fire drill look like?
Now you might think that you don’t know how you’ll respond until one of them does happen, but you can practice how you will respond by defining what your core values are and what is important to you. Once you know deep down who you are, then responding to the next fire will be second nature.
Do you remember the fairy tales where the prince and princess ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after?
Do you know what happened the day after they rode off?
Nothing! It was a fairytale and written to make you feel good for a moment. It was not a representation of real life.
Hopefully somewhere along the way you’ve realized that life rarely imitates art because life is a continuum of events not a snapshot in time.
Fortunately though, if you focus on creating moments of happiness for yourself and the people around you, then the accumulation of those moments can result in a happily ever after ending.
What is the most overwhelming thing you’re doing right now?
Is it parenting, working, studying, being a spouse, trying to lose weight?
Is it all of the above and more?
If it’s really that overwhelming then stop doing it right now.
There you go, you’re off the hook. Does life feel better now?
Or do you think I’ve lost my mind?
Well maybe I have. But stick with me for a minute.
At any one time you have an entire jumbled mess of things going on in your mind so what you’re experiencing is overload. And when you are overloaded everything seems difficult because your mind can’t think clearly.
One way to alleviate the feeling of overwhelm is practicing not being in all modes at one time. This doesn’t mean that you can stop being a parent, spouse or stop studying etc. it just means that you learn to switch between modes, even for a brief period of time.
The best way to start dealing with the feeling of being overwhelmed is by stopping, even if it’s just for a few moments. To re-center yourself and on the role or task at hand and ask yourself what is important right now and only focus on that.
How many subconscious choices will you make today?
Probably more than you can keep track of.
Some of your subconscious choices will be as simple as which lane to drive in and others will determine your how your live your life.
Your subconscious choices are tied directly to your beliefs and values. And your beliefs and values will drive your behavior because they will prioritize your actions.
For example, if you don’t have a belief or value that says great health is extremely important then you will behave and act accordingly. And during the day your subconscious choices will be to not exercise and allow yourself excuses to eat unhealthy food.
The way to leverage your subconscious thoughts is to take the time to clearly define what is important to you. Once you bring this level of clarity to your mind then your subconscious choices will begin to drive you towards the outcomes you want.
You’ve planned the perfect weekend outdoor and it rains, now what?
You planned the perfect trip and it turned out to be a disaster, now what?
You planned the perfect date and then you got sick, now what?
You planned to lose weight and you didn’t, now what?
You planned to retire early and you didn’t, now what?
How do you respond to any of these scenarios?
Since any one of these is entirely possible should you stop planning?
Planning is a skill and an art; it’s something you can learn over time.
Sometimes planning for contingencies is necessary and sometimes it’s not. A pilot or a surgeon obviously needs more plan B’s than someone going for a walk.
Planning allows you to dream, think and decide on how you’re going to get where you want to go. However, your original plan will rarely be the one that works and this is something you’ll have to get used to.
P.S. This post was inspired by the internet being down this morning and that’s why it’s being posted later than usual, just another example of having to change plans.
What would your day look like if nothing bothered you? If nothing triggered feelings of anger, anxiety or misery?
Do you believe that you can have such a day?
Hopefully you’re hesitant to believe that you can have such a day. Because that means there’s at least a chance it’s possible.
What if you can’t do it for a day? What about an hour or a minute? Is that possible?
I know, I know, you have to think about it. Because you have to go through your list of what if’s.
What if your kids don’t behave?
What if your spouse doesn’t say the right things?
What if your co-workers, employees, employer…?
What about the traffic?
And after going through the different scenarios you might decide that I’m being unreasonable.
Perhaps I am being unreasonable. But so what?
What if it’s time to be a little unreasonable?
Greatness and magic takes place beyond reason.
So just for today, or this next hour, commit to not letting anything move you towards anger, anxiety or misery, and live with being unreasonable.
Do you ever find yourself saying ‘I wish someone would, build this, fix that…fill in the blank?’
Can you imagine if the Wright brothers, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs would have asked the same question? Where would the world be today?
It’s easy to fall in to a pattern of wanting others build products or invent things to solve problems that you encounter. But what if you took matters in to your own hands?
If you’re experiencing a continuous problem in your life with an existing product or service then there’s a great chance that others too are feeling the same. So why not try to fix or improve it?
You’re probably hesitant because you believe you’re not an expert or don’t have the right qualifications or education, and that might technically be true but that shouldn’t stop you from trying or at least investigating.
Generating ideas of how to improve and invent things is also a great exercise for your brain. It doesn’t matter if all you have are bad ideas because almost everything you see around you started either as a bad idea or an idea someone ridiculed or didn’t understand.
So the next time you see or feel that there could be a better way to do something don’t wish or wait for someone else to do it, try to do it yourself. And don’t worry if all you can do at first is write down what you think is a better way, because many of the great ideas you see around you started the same way.
Did you read any positive headlines yesterday?
Did you hear any good news?
Or was doom and gloom all you heard about?
If you allow the news, traditional media and social media to guide your thinking then you’ve opened yourself to being scared and pessimistic.
You see, these outlets know that fear, scarcity, poor self-image and loss are the best emotions to evoke if they want to sell to you. A common phrase in sales is ‘fear of loss is a greater motivator than an opportunity to gain.’ So all their efforts are driven towards making you feel fear, loss and insufficient.
Now you might not read the negative articles but just exposing your mind to the headlines is enough to influence your thinking. Studies have shown that headlines or teasers matter much more than copy or content because it’s the headlines your brain pays attention to.
Try and 24 hour experiment where you only listen to and read clean curated information. Give your mind a break from the news and advertisers that are constantly trying to get into your head and only allow you to have access to your attention.
What is your personal brand? And yes, you do have one.
Your personal brand is not what you say you are, but how people feel about you.
When people think about you or hear your name, what are their feelings and perceptions about you? What do they say about you when you’re not around?
Now you can influence how people feel about you by behaving in a manner in which you want to be seen but you have to be consistent because if you’re not then you will tarnish your own brand.
And being consistent is hard unless, you always remain true to yourself and behave as the person you really are, not what you think people want you to be.
You are the CEO of you and the great thing about brand you is that you always have a choice about how you want to be seen and thought of, so choose wisely.