Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Ends Now - Are You Happy?

I watched a very inspiring movie last night called The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Good movie with an interesting perspective about life (no, I won't spoil it here). My favorite part is when the character of Brad Pitt asked "If your life ended now, would you be happy?" He then followed that up with "If the answer to that question is 'yes', then okay, keep living the way you want!" and then "But if the answer to the question is 'no', then start over."

So, how is your life, right now? If you were to die and transition from this Earth right now, would you be happy?

Yes ________ No ________.

If your answer is YES - RIGHT ON! I love empowered people!

If your answer is NO - I'd like to ask you to immediately write down the three things you feel are missing from your life. Or, if the list is longer, take as long as you need to write your list. But do it now. Do not delay.

After you KNOW for SURE what is MISSING or NOT RIGHT I'm going to encourage you to CHANGE IT RIGHT NOW. Start a new direction towards what you want, right now. That's right, DON'T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW or HOPE for a BETTER TIME. The time to make change when you don't like what is happening is right now. *

*The only exception to this is if your job sucks, you might want to make sure you get another job before leaving your existing job - especially if you're supporting a family.

Okay, now, if you've made a decision to make a difference, but you're still SCARED, I want you to email me your list. Send it to Scott [at] AspireNow (com) take out the brackets and spaces, and your email will reach me. If you're interested in coaching, let me know, and I'll hook you up. If you just want to share, indicate that. If you want feedback, please indicate that, too.


If life ends now, how do we live within our truth to live on purpose and be happy with our life?

The answer is comprised between two words: perception and choices.

How we perceive our situation (predicament) and our attitude (based upon perception) may dictate how we see our possibilities and how we choose to act.

What we choose to do with our time also is what dictates our life path and happiness.

The truth comes when we follow our path and take action towards our dreams, every day. Whether your dream is to be a good golfer or swimmer, take action now towards that goal and sign up for golf lessons, buy a Jack Nicklaus golf video (helped me), or start swimming at your pool or a local pool nearest you. Or whether it is to share more joy with each person we meet, take action with each new person you meet towards that goal. Or whether that truth is to start that hobby or turn that hobby into a career, then take steps towards that, right now. Perhaps your dream is to start a new business, then take action towards starting that business (one way I recommend is to contact, a company I created out of AspireNow who helps you launch your product or service).

Whatever is not yet decided, whatever is not a "done deal" -- that is what we've got to go after, if it truly is what we want.

Last, I want to examine our perception more closely. What is blocking you? Is your internal and external language you speak SUPPORTING your dream or BLOCKING it? Tape record a conversation with a coach and/or a friend and pay attention to things you say. If you use words like "I feel stagnated with... " or "I hate..." or "I would if only..." whatever follows those types of negative statements is what is blocking you. Or, at least, your PERCEPTION of those things is blocking you.

If you then notice when you say "I love..." and "I enjoy doing..." and "I'm most happy when..." and ".... makes me smile and feel good..." those types of statements are the things you MOST WANT TO DO and MAKE YOU HAPPY. Pay attention to these, do them more often, and make sure you prioritize these things.

If you do not know what you truly want from life I suggest you hire a coach to help you out.

You can also start with a workbook on discovering your purpose.

The good news about life is that we are always seeing life from INSIDE OUR EYES so we truly CAN start a new life from where we are, at whatever age, when we believe and take action towards that dream. I encourage you to start immediately. Your happiness depends upon it.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Being Safe Or Being Great?

Are you a great leader?

Right now, many people are retreating into their shells in order to be "safe". However, I'd like to pose the question: "Do you want to be SAFE? Or do you want to THRIVE?"

If you want to be safe, okay, do that. Just don't complain to me in ten years that you never really lived your dreams and never reached your full potential!

But if you want to THRIVE, you must take a risk every now and then.

Two years ago, a friend of mine was launching a consulting business. At the time, the real estate market was at an all-time high. She had a secure (safe) job. She was making good money. And, she knew she was going to leave the secure job for the unknown. She asked me for my advice. I told her to sell her house, sell her expensive car, and downsize everything, then build from that smaller expense base for her new business.

She told me that such an idea was unthinkable. She played it safe.

Wind the clock forward. The real estate market collapsed. She's been out on her own consulting and no longer has the "safe" harbor of her job AND she now needs to refinance the house in order to keep it. With the real estate and lending market tightened up, she cannot qualify to refinance her house unless she has a secure job. However, getting a job in this market is not an easy thing to do. She now has herself backed into a much more difficult position. In this market, if she were to sell her house, she would actually lose money.

Do you see the risk you take by being safe? When you have the position of equity, and you want to launch a new business, that is the time to cash out, lower expenses, and then build your business with the equity in the form of cash, rather than asset. Normally, I'd say build assets, and then use that cash for growth. That works great until you're launching something new. And, even when you're launching something new I recommend this approach. But if the market turns south, you must first have a secure fort, then venture out to forage.

"The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." - Tacitus

As you can see, wise leaders in the past took a stand against being safe and promoted taking risks if you want to be GREAT. When I play a military strategy game, I've noticed that if a general is attacking one of my cities, I can react a few different ways. First, I could take a strike at the general's attacking army. Second, I could wait for him to attack me. These are both defensive postures. Or, I can be bolder and leave my city to defend itself (risky) and attack one of the general's cities with my roving army. More times than not, I end up fending off his attacking army with my smaller defensive force left behind, then win the battle against his city with my attacking army. When I do this, I not only keep my city, but gain one of his. This is the bold strategy and the quickest path to being great in the strategy game. Taking the risk produces the reward. Now, there is the risk that my attacking army could be defeated, and that the defending city could be surprised by an even greater foe and fall to his attack, in which case I'll have to double back to defend the next city he will attack. But, more times than not, I prevail using this strategy of attacking with part of my defensive army. General Lee used this very same strategy against General Hooker at Chancellorsville when he split his army and sent General "Stonewall" Jackson in a flanking maneuver around Hooker's army in one of the greatest victories for the South during the American Civil War.

In order to be bold, you must have a superior strategy. When your strategy is superior, you will win even when the odds in numbers are against you. If your strategy is weak, you will lose if all else is equal. So, if you are losing more than you are winning, rather than pull back ALL your forces, why not evaluate your strategy. Discover where you are weak, and improve upon that position.

This is my recommendation for us, in life, too.

When my band was struggling to get gigs, I evaluated our CD. The song I was sending out did not position the band as "feel good, happy music" so we missed out on the festival season's gigs. The next time I went into the studio I focused on the songs that create a feel-good, happy vibe. Those will be the songs I release next.

When Bruce Springsteen released Born To Run, he already released two albums. While the critics thought the albums were good, they still did not sell. When he released Born To Run, the song was about breaking free, with the protagonist positioned as a motorbike and a woman named Wendy the person going on the journey. The idea was to break free down the turnpike, strap in for love, and go for it! This is the energy that SELLS! It is the energy of GOING FOR IT that people will be drawn to. The energy of making SAFE, SOUND decisions might bring you SOME success but most likely will not propel you to stardom.

If you, like me, seek to go ALL the way, then you must look at the ways you're playing safe, and then break free from those safety nets to GO FOR IT! Let others know how you're going for it and that you want them to come with you, buy from you, taste the excitement of the journey. It is an invitation that is hard to resist. And, as they join in with you, watch your abundance flow!

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