Dreams and actions

Let’s face it; we all have a ton a great ideas and plans for our future that are never realized or acted upon. We dream about these things and feel good in the warmth that those dreams bring to us, but later on down the road we find that we have not even taken one step towards those dreams. They have been a mirage that has kept us where we are and content, a trap that has us standing still. The reason for this is that we keep allowing ourselves to dream about something instead of taking the first step and getting our boots on the road.

Jim Rohn identified this trend in humans as call it the Law of Diminishing Intent. This is a phenomenon that he noticed where the longer we dream on an idea without taking action; the less likely it is that we will ever take action on that idea. The reality is that the dream feels good while the reality has risk, pain and hard work involved in it, so we sit and dream and feel good about it without ever taking the steps to turn that dream into a reality. Then at some point, we stop dreaming on that as the joy has dimmed, but that is okay since we will find another dream to hang our joy on until it to fades away. This is a self defeating trap; to dream and stand still. To avoid this trap, we need to take that dream and actually move towards it so that we are living our dream rather than just day dreaming about it.

The thing that we have to do is to take action, take the first steps towards our dreams. This takes a leap, an initial burst to get into motion and then a willingness to keep ourselves in motion. It is true that we need a idea of where to start towards our dreams, but it is not true that we need to see the entire path to get there. What we need is the path for today, for this week, and a drive to follow the path. As we move along that path and keep our dreams in our heart and mind, we will find that we have the ability to see and plan more and more of the path as we move forward. If we had sat still until we had seen the entire path, we would have been paralyzed by that waiting and never started towards our dreams to begin with. Will we make missteps along the way? Of course we will, but the only way to correct a misstep is by moving forward, learning and adapting. These are things that can’t be done while sitting still.

What dream has you raring to go but you haven’t started because you are looking for the entirety of the path? Take that dream and find the first steps, the path at your feet rather than the one all the way up the mountain. Now take that step, and the next one and the next one. Get the momentum building and adapt your course as you strive towards the top of that massive mountain.

Tell us what that first step you are going to take today is? Are you going to call a lead? Get to the gym? Hug your partner? We want to know!

And if you have a dream but aren’t sure what the first step is, email us at WithTheDrakes@Gmail.com and we will help you figure it out.

 

We can’t wait to see your dreams and first step in the comment!

-Dominic and Xiaoyi

Expectations

    Expectations are a constant in our lives. We all have expectations about how things are going to happen both on a large scale and on a small scale. Though they are constantly here, most of us wander through our lives without taking a close look at our expectations or being mindful of them on a regular basis and this is a predominant cause of strife and sadness in our lives.

    Look at it this way; if you are headed out to meet up with friends, you have already built a picture in your mind of what is going to happen and who all is going to be there. You have an expectation of the evening. Now, when you get to the meeting spot, you find that most of the people you expected to be there aren’t and there is a group of strangers that you are joining for bird watching. Even if you enjoy bird watching, this isn’t the situation that you thought you would be in and that creates contradiction inside us. Some of us are very good at rolling with these kinds of changes, but most people end up feeling disappointed, or slighter, or a myriad of other negative emotions when something like this happens. If we really look at it, we can see that the most likely reason for this downward emotional swing is that our expectation and the reality did not match closely enough.

This happens on a constant basis in life and is a key source of pain and strife in relationships. As both people move through the relationship, they have expectations of what the other person will be or do and when their expectation are different then the reality, they become hurt and angry over the situation. The problem is that we allow these expectations to be created on autopilot without ever really looking at them. It is this habit that turns expectations from a source of excitement for us into a source of pain. When we just let our subconscious mind create our expectations without analyzing them or communicating about them, we steer ourselves into a trap and it creates pain and strife in our life as our expectations are constantly disappointed.

Instead, we can take over our expectations and make them actively. This takes two steps. The first step is internal and is a matter of being mindful of when we are creating expectations and what those expectations are. This will give us a handle on what we are actually looking for as well as allow us to apply our forebrain to them so that they become realistic. It is much more likely that when you visit your parents around the holidays that you are going to have a nice dinner and conversation then that they are going to give you a brand new car. Your forebrain can realize that and adjust your expectations to match and avoid any pain from an unrealized expectation. The second, and most important, step is to communicate. When your expectations involve the actions of another person, it is unfair to them and damaging to us to not communicate those expectations with the other person. If we do create them without communication, we are angry at the other person for taking us bird watching when we expected a day on the town with friends. Chance are that the expectation was never set by either party, but now you are in a bad mood and they are frustrated because you aren’t engage in the outing with them. Instead, be clear with the people in your life about your expectations and ask them to be clear with you. That way you can both create a shared expectation that will come to fruition rather than both having private expectations that don’t happen and create strife.

Today, take the time to analyze the expectations you have for the rest of your day and get your forebrain involved. Are those expectations likely or realistic? If not, can you modify either your actions today to fulfill the expectation you have or modify the expectation to be more in line with the likely outcome? Finally, if those expectations involve a planned encounter with another person, touch base with them and find out their expectations for the encounter and share yours. Come to shared expectations so that you can both feel fulfilled once everything is said and done.

Share your experience with being cognizant of your expectation below in the comments!

Being a Good Sport in Life

    I have discovered an unexpected benefit of the self growth I have been doing as xiaoyi and I work on becoming entrepreneurs.  I have found that I am described as a very good sport when I am in competition. Both when I am losing and when I am winning, the people I have faced always comments on how fun I was to play against and how much of a good sport I am about things. This got me thinking one evening as I drove home after a game where lady luck was on my side and I pounded my opponent pretty badly. What do I do that makes me a good sport? What is it about me that people have such fun playing against me, win or lose? And how do I apply this to my life?

    I think the first and most important part of it is that I am there to have fun. To me, that is the point of when I go to compete or to play. It is a method for me to have a good time. Having that attitude in place as I walk in, allows me to go with the flow and let the setbacks roll off my back like water off a duck. No need for me to get up in arms or agitated because the swing doesn’t go right or the dice backfire on me; they are all a part of the activity and I am taking pleasure in the activity. This outlook on the whole thing lets me laugh at my own misfortune and maintain that spirit of fun. It also helps me maintain a spirit of gratitude. I mean, I am getting to indulge in something that brings me joy, why dwell on the negative to the detriment of the whole?

    The second part of it is interacting with my opponent. Though I go into something like this with a jovial attitude, I don’t assume that they are in that same place. I hope they are having fun, but I don’t assume that they can shrug off the vagaries of fate the same way that I do. Instead, I endeavor to create a connection to them during those hard moments when everything seems to be going against them. This is most apparent when I am gaming (tabletop, board games, miniature games, etc.) as the dice can play a major role in the game. When the dice backfire on my opponent, I support their incredulity in the role. “That is just unreal man, suck!”  Things along that line put me and my opponent on the same side of the table and fate on the other side. We can both glare at fate and roll our eyes at the miss turns it sends our way.

On the other hanf, when my dice are on fire, instead of taking obvious joy in the results, I instead put myself in my opponent’s shoes and commiserate with them. “Wow man, sorry. My dice want you dead.” Little things like this, again, put my opponent and I on the same side of the table. I know and they know that the competitive side of me is happy for the good roles, but I am showing an understanding of being on the other side of fate’s stick and that creates a connection between us.

    These things can be used in all sorts of situations in life. Realizing that everything isn’t as earth shatteringly important as we often think it is, is the first step.  Most of time, we can shrug, let it roll off and laugh at the vagaries of life. This helps us to maintain our own sense of gratitude and helps to show others that the pains in life don’t have to ruin our joys. Secondly, this portion is a great way to deal with people. Finding ways to move from being across the table from them, aka in contention, to being on the same side of the table is a powerful tool. The problem is the thing that should be across the table, the thing that needs to be countered or solved and by putting ourselves on the same side of the table as the other person, we can gang up on that problem. We create a sense of camaraderie and cooperation that can’t occur while both people are glaring at each other rather than at the problem and our goal in our business here is to help you improve your life so that you enjoy more fun, freedom and fulfillment.

    Next time you are out and participating in a competition of some sort(or life), remember these ideas and see where you might be able to implement them into your contest/day. It feels great walking away having won the joy of being a good sport whether you won or lost the event. It is always a win in my books.

Intimate Content for your Audience

 

    There are many ways to market ourselves and the services or products we provide. Enough, in fact, to make our heads spin and to end up discouraged at every being able to master them. The key about there being so many options is not that we need to learn them all, but rather we need to find one or two that resonate with us and becoming a master of only those things. For me, I tried the Facebook side of things and just don’t spend the kind of time and energy on that social platform for it to work very well for me. I have left that outlet to xiaoyi at this point, she is a facebook guru and I had to seek out other methods such as mastering a new type of marketing, article marketing. I wanted to share with you the quick breakdown of steps to work on this idea. If this idea sparks your interest, you can get more in depth training by signing up with My Leads System Pro and if you ping us as soon as you join, I will show you which trainings I have used and how.  

    The first step to article marketing is to find the keywords or phrases that people in your niche are searching for on search engines. You can find free programs that will help you with this, and some paid for ones with a lot of extras. For me, I just need the basic, so I use Google.    

    Step two is to write an article on one of the highly searched for phrases, something that is interesting to you and you can share your insights on. Remember to use that keyword or phrase in the title of the article and use it several times in the article as well.

    Step three is to publish your article on an accredited site that allows free uploads. These sites are easy to find. Just do a search for the phrase and look at the first page of results. Take a look at where those articles are posted and you can find sites that this will work with. You can also find them in the in depth trainings I use on My Leads System Pro.  They also generally allow you to add a couple links into your article. I would recommend links to your personal sites and well as to where you store the same article.

    Once published,  get back links to the article so that it goes up in rank on the searches. This is where an automated program to post the article to online article databases works best. On these things, make sure to have a link to the article itself in the article that is submitted to these sites. These programs are usually a onetime cost and you can find them in the in depth trainings as well.  

    Once you have all these back-links to your article, you will find that it will reach the first page of a search for the key phrase you used and that will result in people reading it and going to your site as well. Easy as that, leads from writings that you are going to be doing anyways.

    I am starting in on this and looking forward to the results. Tell me if you join in and how it works for you!

Looking for the Easy Button? Try Values

Core Values:

    I have spoken a lot about the methods that I  use to achieve my goals, to live the dreams that I want to live and the life I have decided will be mine. I have even spoken about that reason that I am  on this path, the Why that keeps driving me forward no matter how difficult the road gets or the obstacles in the way. Yet I have not spoken about a very important factor in all of this, my core values.

    If we live our lives driving towards our goals, but lose sight of our core value along the way, there is every likelihood that we will get to our goal and find it as fulfilling as ashes in our mouth. It will not be the triumph that we thought it would be, it will feel hollow and worthless. In fact, the most important factor in determining our happiness in life is whether or not we are living our lives according to our core values. That being the case, it is well worth looking at and learning our core values so that we can live them as we strive for our future.

    Core values have another purpose in our lives; they make the hard decisions easy. When it comes right down to it, the reason that a decision is hard, is because we have indecision and fear attached to the decision and the outcome of that decision. We agonize over the choice we are making or not making and the outcome that will result from either action.  Yet this can be solved by just making the choice and moving on with our lives, but the pain of the indecision is still there for at least a short time.  Now the problem comes to dealing with the fallout of our decision, yet that can be solved to. The only fallout that should be fearful to us is fallout that we endure due to a decision that does not align with our core values. That fallout feels painful, scary and unjust to our hearts. The answer is to judge our decisions against our core values and make the decision based on those ideals. That way, when the fallout happens, we are at a place of strength and happiness to tackle it. It becomes the fuel that keeps our internal compass and happiness intact rather than an event that tears it down. Our core values act as a flow chart in helping to make those hard decisions as it holds us to the things that mean the most to us in our hearts.

    So how do we understand our core values? This is a massive undertaking within ourselves, but it is as vital as finding our Why. I would suggest you utilize this tool that has been created for us to get a start on this work. Take your time and really thing about these things; find the ones that ring deep within you and not just the ones that our culture or society feel is right or just. Once you have those, share them with me here. I am working on the same project and would love to hear your insights on it!

Decisions, decisions

Rest vs. Persistence:

    When the world makes us feel terrible, we have a couple choices to make. In a normal, day to day job the choice is simply if we go into work that day or not. This choice gets more complicated when we are working on our own business and our own goals. What choice is better, which one is going to improve our lives instead of making them more difficult? Here are a couple thoughts on the matter.

    The choice actually comes down to the same choice as when we have a job, do we take the day off or do we push through and be productive. The first choice is one of immediate self-care and can be very valuable. The idea behind taking the time off is that you can rest, heal  and gather your strength so that you can dive back into everything faster and with more energy than you might have if you didn’t rest. However, this only works if it helps you improve for the next session.  Calling in, even when you work for yourself, because you have a case of the blahs will lead to the same results as calling in to a different job with the blahs, do it often and you won’t have a job anymore. Is it a better idea than the other choice?

    The other choice is to push through and get things done anyways. When you choose this path, you are making an active choice to take steps towards your goals no matter how hard those steps are to take. It is a test of will and commitment to make this choice and the advantage is that you keep your goals in mind at all times and never lose any momentum as you push towards them, a very important thing to keep in mind as it keeps your focus and doesn’t allow any chance of not being able to get moving again. It is also easy, in our culture and training, to look back at the herculean effort you spent to work through and be proud of ourselves, to pat ourselves on the back for overcoming adversity.

    Are you really good at taking a slow down and then springing forward with renewed energy? Many of us aren’t. Do you find getting that momentum going again to be a difficult thing? Most of us do.  Can you take the time and energy to redo something you are not happy with or accept it as it is? Do you have the time to redo it?

    So what choice is right for you in most situations? Are there circumstances where that will change, where the other choice is better for that one time?

Did you resolve to be happier this year?

Happiness is Not a Goal:

    As we set the goal for ourselves that we are working to achieve, we are going to run into the idea of happiness and how it factors into our future lives. We all want to be happy when we get to where we are going, but happiness is not a goal. In fact, happiness is nothing more than a choice and one that we can make at any moment of any day. If that is the case, then our goals can’t simply be to be happy as there is nothing to strive for in that goal. Let me explain:

    First of all, happiness is an emotion that comes and goes in the moment and is influenced by many factors. For instance, when I get to enjoy a warm brownie, I am happy. But if someone takes that warm brownie away from me, the happiness goes with it. Happiness is transient and always doomed to change since it is a reaction to our world and the events within it. This isn’t something that we can create as a goal with any hope of achieving and maintaining and since we can’t get there and stay there, the goal will forever elude our grasp. It is a never ending, never changing fantasy to chase. Instead, what we need to do is figure out the big things in our lives that allow us to feel fulfilled, growing and engaged in our lives. These are the things that we need to strive to achieve in our goals. Times of happiness will come and go as we travel along our path, but the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment will only grow and grow as time goes on and create a life where we are whole. That is a real goal of working towards and achieving goals, to live a life that is fulfilling and in line with our values. Happiness will come more and more often the more and more fulfilled we are, but there will always be times that it fails us.

    So the real trick is to learn how to achieve happiness by choice, rather than letting events choose it for us. This is the only real way to maintain happiness, since it gives us some control over it, rather than it being a transient thing defined by the world outside. Even with the ability to change our happiness is not a guarantee for being happy all the time, but it will help us see the world in a better light for the majority of the time and that will make our lives richer as we work towards our goals.

                 For me, I use a gratitude mindset to try and maintain happiness as often as possible in my life. I take pains to look for the benefit in hard situations and concentrate on the hopes and joys in my life. In these ways I change my filter to see those positives in my life rather than focusing on the negatives. This makes the world in general a more positive place for me to live in. I take it one step further each day and do something that I recommend everyone do. Keep a gratitude log and track those things each day that you are grateful for. For me, I sit down before bed each night and have to find three things that I am grateful for before I can head to sleep. This forces me to refocus on the good things of the day and in my life each day. It also adds ammo so that I have something to combat any negative emotions I might feel the next day by simply looking at the things I was grateful for. It refocuses my mind and sets me up to maintain that positive focus as I travel through the day. It might work better for others to do it in the morning as they set out or to keep it all day as they go through daily life, but keeping on is a wonderful way to maintain that outlook and see the world as the wonderful place it is.

    Finally, share your happiness when you have it. The best way to compound your own happiness is to help other achieve happiness. This in turn will travel like a ripple and create a better environment around you and help to increase the longevity of your happiness. Who doesn’t like sharing in another’s happiness?  I know when someone tells me good news, I am happy for them and it lifts my spirits too.  

    To sum up, don’t base your goals and life plan around being happy. Instead base your goals around being fulfilled and then use tools to maintain get and maintain happiness when you can. This will allow us to live and fulfilled life that is also filled with happiness!

Self care vs Persistence – Knowing Which to do When

Rest vs. Persistence:

    When the world makes us feel terrible, we have a couple choices to make. In a normal, day to day job the choice is simply if we go into work that day or not. This choice gets more complicated when we are working on our own business and our own goals. What choice is better, which one is going to improve our lives instead of making them more difficult? Here are a couple thoughts on the matter.

    The choice actually comes down to the same choice as when we have a job, do we take the day off or do we push through and be productive. The first choice is one of immediate self-care and can be very valuable. The idea behind taking the time off is that you can rest, heal  and gather your strength so that you can dive back into everything faster and with more energy than you might have if you didn’t rest. However, this only works if it helps you improve for the next session.  Calling in, even when you work for yourself, because you have a case of the blahs will lead to the same results as calling in to a different job with the blahs, do it often and you won’t have a job anymore. Is it a better idea than the other choice?

    The other choice is to push through and get things done anyways. When you choose this path, you are making an active choice to take steps towards your goals no matter how hard those steps are to take. It is a test of will and commitment to make this choice and the advantage is that you keep your goals in mind at all times and never lose any momentum as you push towards them, a very important thing to keep in mind as it keeps your focus and doesn’t allow any chance of not being able to get moving again. It is also easy, in our culture and training, to look back at the herculean effort you spent to work through and be proud of ourselves, to pat ourselves on the back for overcoming adversity.

    Are you really good at taking a slow down and then springing forward with renewed energy? Many of us aren’t. Do you find getting that momentum going again to be a difficult thing? Most of us do.  Can you take the time and energy to redo something you are not happy with or accept it as it is? Do you have the time to redo it?

    So what choice is right for you in most situations? Are there circumstances where that will change, where the other choice is better for that one time?