Three Anytime

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Crazed, furious, afraid, sad, impatient, worried, hurt, frustrated, et cetera.

These are but a few states you might find yourself in that diminish your effectiveness. The trick is not to prevent those states but to ease out of them as soon as you notice you are in one. Feel good. Then act.

One of the easiest ways to ease out of a less effective state is to take three deep breaths. Three long, slow breaths– in through your nose, deep into your belly, out through your nose or mouth–calms and centers you.

Best part is you can do it most any time, any where.

In your corner,

Mike

Perfect Planning Prevents Performance

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As they say, “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” Thing is, it can also promote poor performance–especially where there is fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

It can be scary to act. And refining the plan can seem like such a more palatable option.

Yet when we hold out for the perfect or even the near-perfect plan–one that answers the questions, silences the critics (including our own inner critics), and covers the risks–we stall. This has the unfortunate side effect of holding away our desired goals

Tip: Let’s say you imagine what it would be like to have achieved a long-desired outcome and it feels good. If you remain unsure how to proceed, then proper prior planning won’t help. Getting going will.

Luckily, you can always get going using Simple Planning. First, feel good. Then define or reiterate your desired outcome, decide and do the next step from where you are, and repeat until you have that desired outcome.

In your corner,

Mike

What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do To Work On Having Less To Do

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
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Have you ever caught yourself saying something like, “I have too much to do; I am behind. There is no way I can possibly work on projects that would help me do things smarter, clear my backlog, get ahead…” ?

Silly, yes? Yet we all get caught in this trap. It all looks too big to even think about. To get out, try these steps:

  1. Feel good. Then Act. If you are feeling bad about what you have to do or what you’re not getting to, no amount of activity will be very effective for very long. Feel better then move on to the next steps.
  2. List projects you could do. Make a list of the things you could do (regardless of how difficult to do they may seem) to work smarter and get ahead.
  3. Pick one project. Scan your list and select the one project that you find most compelling right now.
  4. Do the very next task. What is the logical next task that you would take to make some progress on this project? Do or schedule that task. Note how it feels.
  5. Repeat. Return to step 3 regularly. Use step 1 and step 2 as needed.

You will be back on track sooner than you think.

 

In your corner,

Mike

You’ll Be Fine

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Of course, to break with your tried-and-true-and-not-so-useful-anymore ways, you’ll have to be vulnerable. Yeah, I know; sorry about that.

Quick reminder, though: no matter what happens, you will be fine, really. Sure, you can scare yourself pretty badly as you consider everything. Maybe you will scare yourself enough to tempt you not to be vulnerable. And don’t fall for it. Just remember the trick: Feel good. Then act.

You’ll be fine.

In your corner,

Mike

Fear or Love

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There are two ways of thinking about anything.
You can look at it from the perspective of fear. Or you can look at it from the point of view of love. One feels bad and leaves you trying to figure out how to control things, make or prevent things from happening. The other feels good and leaves you quietly excited and curious about how it will all unfold.

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Yes, really. Anything.

How to Silence Your Inner Critic

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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Our Inner Critic slows our success. It likes to distract us by arguing why something won’t work. It tells us lies about how ignorant, poor, unattractive, isolated, weak, or insane we are.

Here’s how to silence the Critic.

  1. Counter its opinions with thoughts and stories that say you are wise, abundant, attractive, connected, strong, and in charge. (Start small if you need to with thoughts that are only slightly more positive and that you can buy into.)
  2. Note how those improved thoughts feel, physically. Common sensations include relief, release, lightness, or warmth in your legs, back, arms, neck, belly, or chest.
  3. Chances are, the Critic will argue even more loudly, insisting it is right. Note how the Critic’s opinions as always feel bad.
  4. Remind your Critic that bad-feeling thoughts are always a lie. Good-feeling thoughts are always true.

Unable to argue the point, your Critic will back down and let you get on with your success.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: You may need to try this one to see how it works.

PPS: And if you want to hold your thumb and finger in the shape of an L on your forehead and say “Loser!” to the Critic, it might feel good, too. 😉

Who Ordered This Mess?

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Have you ever caught yourself in a foul or fearful mood and wondered, “Who ordered this mess?” Worse, have you gotten angry or worried about being in that mood? Yeah, me too.

We know there are thoughts that work for us and those that do not. We feel good when we think thoughts that work for us.

When you catch yourself thinking thoughts that feel bad, that are not working for you, remember:

  1. Your job is not to fight off the unhelpful thoughts or moods. That only makes them worse. (“Fire? This is fuel.”)
  2. Your job is to refocus on thoughts that feel good.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

 

The Keep or Toss

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How are you feeling today?

We have spoken about the improved effectiveness and other benefits of deliberately tuning your thinking towards thoughts that feel better and better. (See Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel Good. Then Act and here.)

Tools to help you feel good include The Flip, The Ladder, Telling Yourself a Different Lie, and Focusing on the Good Stuff. Let’s add another tool (inspired by an article from Ohio State University that demonstrates the usefulness of tools like these), The Keep or Toss:

  1. Grab any thought that you happen to be thinking a lot.
  2. Write that thought on apiece of paper.
  3. If that thought feels good and you believe it, fold the paper it’s on and slip it into your wallet or purse.
  4. If that thought feels bad or if you don’t believe it, shred (or crumple up) that sheet of paper and throw it away.
  5. Repeat as needed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

A Better Way and Why

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Success, Will=Our inner game
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Why not to do anything :

  • To pay the bills
  • To avoid pain
  • To please another
  • To get the girl or guy
  • To stay safe
  • Because it’s what you have always done
  • Because someone says so

Why do anything?

  • To enjoy it
  • Because it is interesting, exciting, tasty, different
  • Because it feels better

The first list describes a difficult “way and why” full of resistance and wasted energy. The second list describes an easier, better way and why. I strongly advocate you shift more and more to the easier, better way and why.

Here are some practical tips to help:

  • Allow yourself all the time you need to make this shift. You may be able to do it all in an instant or in a lifetime. You will be carefully replacing old habits with new ones and that may take a bit of time.
  • Choice is your big helper here. Follow rules because you choose to. Fulfill commitments because you choose to. Follow my suggestion to make this shift only if you choose to.
  • Delegate smartly. If you have something that needs to be done and that you don’t enjoy, delegate it to someone who does enjoy it.
  • Address the apparent selfishness. Making this shift can seem selfish. Let’s call it enlightened selfishness instead. As you become more discerning about what you will do and why, you free up time, energy, and resources that had been wasted grinding through the resistance. And you will have more available to help others. It simply will come bubbling out of you.

Shift, ya?

 

In your corner,

Mike

Focus on the Good Stuff

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
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In the Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel good. Then Act. we see how useful it is to take some time and feel better about your situation before acting. In addition to tools like

listing things that you appreciate also does wonders. Make a list on paper or electronically of anything and everything that you appreciate. You can focus on things that you appreciate about the situation you are in or list things you appreciate in general. Appreciation focuses your thinking on the good stuff.

Give it a try.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: If needed, 10 Bonus Points for every “appreciation” about yourself! Whoooooohoooo!