Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do You Need Evidence?

I love starting a new week with something to make us say.... hmmmm. Hopefully you will.

Most of us continue on our difficult journey only when there's evidence that supports our desired result. Very few keep stepping when nothing is all they see... when "failure" is laughing at them. These few are who I want to talk about. These people live in the minority, and enjoy a club they know will never be overflowing with members. When they glance at their reflection, they see an invisible smile coming from within, knowing they have a group secret ~ knowing they've figured out how to stand out from the rest.

These people understand that evidence isn't, and never will be, the key. Self belief is their master. This type of belief is unflappable, living deep in their core. It looks at past failure as something that doesn't exist, created by those who were too weak to look for an alternative. This 'F' word is a good word, only fueling their intense passion to succeed when others say it will be impossible... knocking down walls built by the scared.

In their world, evidence is all around, especially living in their minds and imaginations. They don't need a past to tell them, "yes, you are worthy." Their main objective is to create a present that proves the past is unimportant, and the future awaits with open arms. Of course, the past should be learned from, potentially improving the present, but never playing a role in whether or not we reach the finish line today.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Thomas A. Edison

You see... these few, special players in our never ending game have learned that possibility begins, not with the opinions of others or actions from our past-selves, but rather from our thoughts and beliefs. They believe because they've chosen to believe, not because someone has told them it was safe and probable. They believe because they know negative past actions don't dictate positive future results!

Evidence: Need any? 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Could You Use More Of This?

To be good is great. To have passion is wonderful. To want more is outstanding. All of those qualities aren't enough... we must have something else to make them come together and stick for the long term.

We need discipline... lots and lots of discipline!

Want to lose weight, become healthier, and live a new life? What's going to stop us from eating those chocolate chip cookies? What's going to make us get out of bed and run those miles when we'd rather keep sleeping? How do we say no to those offering us a soda... especially our favorite soda that we used to drink by the case? The answer isn't passion, that desperate need for change, or a specific talent we were born with. Discipline is the glue that connects our wants and needs, turning them into long term reality.

Unfortunately, discipline is underrated and rarely talked about in the same sentence as passion and talent. Those two guys are famous for creating change, yet if you ask them, they'll tell you the truth... they'll tell you who the real hero is. Without discipline, passion and talent can only go so far ~ will only reach a few. And the people they do reach will most likely experience their new success for a short time because they failed to reach out and introduce themselves to discipline.

What separates the good from the great? Talent plays a part, passion takes that talent to the next level, but what allows that next level to keep breathing and striving for even more? Discipline, baby! 

Think about your own life for a second and that change you've wanted to make. Maybe you actually did change for a short time, but eventually fell back to your "old self" and your old habits. What was the reason for the setback? Lack of passion or discipline? If the answer is passion, then discipline can't help... and actually won't begin to enter your life until you've solved the passion quiz. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and honestly say you were as discipline as you could've been?

This 'D' word isn't magical, and isn't difficult to find... but we must make a conscious decision to bring him into our life, and be "discipline enough" to keep him here!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When Pressure Puts A Mirror To Your Face... What Do You See?

I was recently watching a tennis match, where Roger Federer was on the brink of losing, but found a way to come back and win. The announcers kept talking about his ability to "thrive under pressure." They were in awe of how good he plays when he's under the most stress, trying to explain it to the viewers, but not quite sure what to say.

I couldn't help but scream at the television, wishing I was in the booth breaking down Federer's mental toughness. He does thrive under pressure, playing his best when he's being pushed to the limit... but why? What separates him from the others? During these moments, what does he see staring back at him when he's forced to look in the mirror?

I ask these questions, not because I want you to analyze a sporting event ~ instead, I want you to ponder your own specific challenges and pressures. You and Federer have a lot in common... you just don't know it yet.

The more strain he feels, the better he plays... why? Because he LOVES THE PRESSURE! He embraces the difficult emotional moments, and understands that most of his competition does not. How does this relate to your life? Pressure is a part of all of us, whether we're professional athletes, trying to create a healthier body, in the corporate world ~ whatever the specifics. How we handle the pressure is what will ultimately define us.

Learn to love the pressure we feel, rather than running away.

"I love the challenge of losing (X) lbs. this month. This will be exciting, trying to stay mentally and emotionally tough all month long. Nothing will hold me from accomplishing my goal because I'm too tough. I love the pressure."

"I thrive under the pressure my boss just put on my shoulders. The higher the expectations, the better I'll do."

Pick a situation, put "love the pressure" into the sentence, and witness the different feelings you immediately have. Strength and confidence automatically become part of your core, because there isn't fear attached to that pressure any longer ~ only passion, assurance, and determination.

Roger Federer competes better than his opponents when the match is on the line ~ when he's walking that tight rope. He's learned to love the situation, and builds confidence from the fact that most run away from it. You can love it too. Simply, switch your mindset.

Look at your specific challenges through different lenses from now on. Break away from the majority who dread these moments... who fear failure. Instead, invite success!

Pressure is our best friend. He forces us to concentrate and dig deep to achieve. He's directly responsible for every goal we've accomplished in the past, and every goal we'll attain in the future.

When pressure puts a mirror to your face... what do you see?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Have A Dream...

January 18th was Martin Luther King day, which in my world, is a huge deal. Where I walk, it means bigger, better, new, and more. This day symbolizes possibilities in a world that, at the time, didn't believe in a new way of thinking. Martin Luther King recognized the need for change, but did more than just talk about what he wanted and saw for the future ~ he took action! His daily path was full of sharing, and a willingness to stand for those who couldn't stand for themselves. He made sure they had a voice, even if (especially when) others attempted to silence his call. He was a quiet man who spoke with a loud roar. He stood courageously while the fearful threw stones of anger and ignorance. It was this ignorance and fear that fueled his passion... not to prove the nay-sayers wrong, but rather to help them see the same possibilities he dreamed of. He loved them. The more they hated him, the more love he wanted them to feel.

He did have a dream, and knew light would shine on that dream, changing the world forever. It arrived. It's still arriving.

My words will never be worthy to be on the same page as this great man, so instead, I'll give you his:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." 

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent." 

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." 

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love." 

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." 

"A lie cannot live."

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness." 

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." 

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." 

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." 

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" 

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

When Will Enough Be Enough?

When will we stop feeling sorry for ourselves, and begin taking control?

We all have control ~ control over how we think, feel, and what we choose to believe. If we improve those three aspects of our lives, the empowerment that immediately takes place will be overwhelming.  So often, we're victims of others' thoughts, emotions, and opinions... making us live in their world of unhappiness, disguised as our own.

When will enough be enough?

When will we stop making excuses and begin creating a course of action? This path of productivity is success all by itself, standing on it's own two feet, waiting for us to trust. To move forward, we must trust in ourselves, our passions, our hopes, and our strength. Yep... we're strong! Even (especially) during the weakest of moments, we possess the power to overcome those demons that laugh in our face. In order to make that strength come to life, we must first punch back ~ take control back, and realize we do own our futures. We're not destined to live a life of "less-than."

When will enough be enough?

When will we stop asking them to create our happiness, and begin painting our own pictures? They are not responsible for our exhilaration through this adventure! They are not responsible!! They will never be able to dictate our thoughts, emotions, and decisions... unless we give them the power. I understand this isn't new advice, but I do believe the action needed to accomplish such high-end results isn't being taken often enough. We don't listen (or even ask, for that matter) to ourselves enough, which allows them to weight-in, delivering messages better suited for their wants and needs. We fall into this trap time after time.

When will we read messages like this and begin putting them into immediate action? When will we start believing in our own message that's been ringing in our minds for God knows how long? If that call hasn't yet begun ringing, when will we fix the ringer? When do we unlock the ball-and-chain that's kept us trapped for so long?

When will we find the courage to say "Enough!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm The Greatest At Being Humble. Really... I'm The Best!

I won't tell you how good i am at what I do, or mention that I believe (excuse me... know) that I'm the best in my area at my speciality. I refuse to say this because I'm so damn humble!

Humble: Not proud or arrogant; modest.

Use in sentence: Even though I know I'm the greatest, I won't tell anyone because I'm so humble.

Humility is becoming a lost art, if it hasn't already disappeared completely. I say "art" because it takes so much creativity to achieve in these days of self promotion. "Look at me. You need me. No one does it better, or can take care of you the way I can. I will take you further into the next level!"

Humility starts at the top, and will only be accomplished if the cycle continues down the chain. When that chain is broken... so begins the cockiness, eventually leading to arrogance. When this type of behavior takes control, it makes humility feel like a second class citizen. Arrogance is very powerful, overwhelming, and extremely addicting. I compare it to the strongest of villains... it has the illusion of invincibility, but as in all stories, the super hero continuously finds a way to win in the end.

Humility is the super hero in this adventure. She very often takes a back seat to the villain, and even gives the impression of defeat in the middle of the story, but always seems to find her way back to the top before the credits run. She truly believes that you don't need to know how strong she is... her actions will be proof enough. Her motto has always been, "I don't need to talk... watch, I'll show you." She never allows others to feel as if they are less than, and if anything, she enjoys taking on that role. She doesn't mind "taking it for the team," if it means long term growth and change for her teammates.

Humility... consistently apprehending the bad guys, never taking the credit, and she's always scoring the cute boy!

(did I just say "cute boy?")

Friday, January 8, 2010

Live In The Why

To those of you who are looking for a New and Better, and visit CoachYourMind because you're in need of a kick in the arse or just a simple reminder... I have a challenge for you:

Think of that Better Road you wish for yourself, and ask why you want to travel that direction. After you've answered that simple question, throw it in the garbage and ask again. This time, go deeper!

Begin living in the Why...

This Why won't allow lack of motivation to enter any part of your day. This Why is the reason you were born, and the gift you'll give back when you leave. Your new Why can't be lazy and doesn't understand "too tough to continue." I'd say this Why is bullet proof, but that wouldn't do it justice.

I hear you responding now:

"Dayne, my Why is already strong enough. I've improved (X) amount already... look at my new and different (X)."

"New and different" is relative, and easy to attain... just matters what you're comparing it to. I'm not talking about the simple Why, I'm mean that Why you've only heard others whispering about.

Ever wake up too tired to do (X)? If yes, then your Why needs reevaluating. Does that piece of chocolate cake make you question your (X)? If so, give that Why a harsh talking-to. Does your best friend or close family member make your Why hold on to question marks, due to the impossible task of your (X)? Yeah? Your Why may need some Human Growth Hormones.

When we find our true Why, nothing is too tiring, too choco-liscious, or impossible. This type of Why feeds the adrenaline pumping through our veins, and is what keeps our eyes open in the middle of the night, searching for even more ways to accomplish our (X)!

This Why isn't easy to find, and isn't supposed to be. If you answered the initial question in the beginning of this post within 15 minutes, your Why isn't strong enough. I know I'll probably get some heat for that last accusation, but that's o.k... because after you're done yelling at me, you may just secretly look for a deeper, new Why. I can take that kind of heat, as long as passion is connected, and a new mindset becomes a possibility.

This is my challenge for you. Are you up to it? I don't guarantee much, but I will here:

You'll soon discover that when you say, "Why"... it'll no longer be a question!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It Begins And Ends With Our Left foot... Or Right

"You don't need to see the entire staircase... just take the first step."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was reminded today that it's all about The Walk! While talking with a student this afternoon, it was obvious that she was overly stressed about something. Long story short... she was focusing all of her energies on her future "finish line," taking her mind away from what's really important: Today's Walk!

Wherever we are now, and wherever we want to be later... doesn't matter without our day-to-day steps. Left foot, right foot ~ one in front of the other. It's so easy to get wrapped up in who we don't want to be, but it's also very common to over focus on our "new selves," taking away from how we plan on getting there. How we get there is what it's all about, and is the only way we assure the outcome we want.

Walk on...

My student was instinctively concentrating on 6 months down the road, where her future will be dictated by certain results. Unfortunately, those results are completely out of her control. The only thing she has control over is the step she chooses to take ~ her every day Walk. Fortunately, she gets to choose which foot steps first.

Whether we're trying to lose weight, quit smoking, stop drinking, exercise more, or all of the above... it's important to know where our "finish line" is, but it's essential to understand the destination will only be realized after we lace-up our sneakers, and get to Stepping.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Money... Need Any? Happy Without?

Happy New Year to you and your family! I want to first give a big thank you for taking the time to visit Coach Your Mind ~ much appreciated. To those who have commented, an even bigger thank you, knowing how much time this can take, especially doing this on multiple blogs. I appreciate all feedback, as this is the only way improvement can be made. Health and happiness to you in 2010 and beyond!

Let me begin with two questions, as I believe answers can't be found until we ask those important questions...

~Do we need money in order to be happy?
~Who believes yes/no?

Where I live, we have two complete opposite ways of living... from the many homeless sleeping under Fig trees, to the supreme wealthy who haven't heard yet that our economy is on a downswing. By having these two extremes, I've heard and seen both sides of the coin, and more importantly, have experienced a little of both. My parents divorced when I was young, and fortunately (or unfortunately ~ my choice), I've been taught to believe the answer to the above question is both 'yes' and 'no.'

Are those without money the people who preach, "money doesn't make us happy?" Do they say this because they tried and failed to become wealthy, or have they found that true inner peace? Are they jealous of those who have brought home the green, watching them experience certain freedoms, secretly wishing those same freedoms would walk in their front door someday?

Are the families with the 6500 sq. ft. homes, 3 Mercedes and 1 useless Hummer parked in the driveway saying that without such wealth, they'd still be happy? Are they even "happy" to begin with? Would either trade places for a year or two? I believe with all of my soul that the poor, preaching the money doesn't make us happy gospel, would trade their life in a millisecond... whereas the rich wouldn't even consider that option, happy or not.

I completely understand that 'true happiness' can only begin from within... but why not have both? Am I going to teach Logan that total peace comes from your soul, but you can't have an overflowing bank account?

Taking our morning walk and listening to Logan talk to herself (most likely trying to disprove the Theory Of Relativity), I couldn't help but look up at those gorgeous homes and ask myself these types of questions... as it seems to have been burning a hole through my core since I was very young. "Does money make us happy? Would I be happier without it, or can I have both?" I think the reason I've struggled with this question stems from listening and watching the tug-o-war between both parents, as they've tried to prove to me why their answer was the correct one.

I guess that's the greatest part of any question... there are many different answers.

What's yours?