Archive | January 2017

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?

Changing Ourselves for the Better

Yourself before your Health:

    Everyone one of us has struggled with some aspect of our health in our lives, be it our weight or our appearance. I know that I have tried many things since I gained those extra pounds to get rid of them with varying degrees of success, but the common theme is that the weight came back in short order. Most people can relate to this having spent time on diets and with weight loss pills and the like, finding that the achievements they do get to never stick around. This is a good metaphor for many of those other physical health aspects of ourselves that we try to change over the years from our appearance to our cholesterol and blood pressure. By concentrating on the immediate problem, we gain successes that doesn’t stick around. The reason for this is that we are constantly treating the symptom rather than the problem.

    We have already seen how our world is shaped by the lens that we look at it through, that our perception of our reality creates our reality. This problem is no different, yet we never analyze the lens that we look at ourselves with. The reality of it is that, for the vast majority of us, we have a negative outlook on ourselves and our worth, even to ourselves. We don’t believe that we deserve even what we have, much less those dreams on the horizon. This outlook of negativity is a perception filter that we have in place when we look in the mirror or into ourselves and it is one that we rarely analyze and adjust to better suite our lives and the lives that we want to live.  Simply put, our perception of ourselves is creating the reality of ourselves.

    So the task in front of us one that we have done time and again at this point as we look to achieve our dreams. We have to analyze the perception filter that we are looking at ourselves with and work to change that filter so that we can see ourselves as wonderful and deserving people. We need to change that core belief in our own worth before any exterior work will stick. It is time that we worked on ourselves from the inside out rather than the outside in, though most never even move in when they work on the outside.

    The process is going to be a tough one, even worse than changing one of the filters we look at the world with. We have to take that same attention to analyze the filter that we look at ourselves and we have to realize that it is a flawed and detrimental to our dreams and goals as our old external filters were. We have to change it so that we can see ourselves as deserving and healthy people so that when we change the exterior to match, those changes will stick rather than be sabotaged by the flawed self filter we have in place. For me, I use self-talk scripts. These are short things that I can say at certain points in the day to reaffirm the beliefs that I want to hold. They can feel very silly when you start them, but repetition makes them a reality in our lives and will work to change the filter we have in place. There are other methods out there from meditation to self help books and classes.

    It is time to find that a method to work on our emotional health and inner self so that when we make those great external changes, we have the framework to support those changes as well. Continue reading

Facing Adversity to Clarify Our Goals

Self Adversity:

    As we journey along our paths we are going to find times that our goals and our means seem to be very different. We cognitively understand that as we continue on our path those things will come together and be more in tune with each other, but that is hard to keep in mind in the moment when things seems so far out of measure. These are times that we have to not only hold to our path using the skills we have, but we have to turn our insight inwards to help us overcome our inner demons. Only through this introspection will we be able to change our cognitive understanding into something we can really feel.

    For me, this dissonance came in concerns to a car. When I was young I had a high powered muscle car that I really loved to drive. As I got older I change out that car for a more mature and sensible vehicle until recently when I found myself driving a Prius. Not a bad car, but it was not a car I enjoyed driving. It was a sensible way to get where I was going, nothing more. Recently I realized how counter to my goals driving that car was. It did not fulfill me in any way and I had lost the joy I used to have driving a fast and fun vehicle. Since the Prius is starting to die a slow death, I am on the hunt for a new car and this time I plan on getting something that I can really enjoy driving. The problem is that my goal of a fun vehicle and my current means are not matching up. This has turned into a frustrating experience as fulfilling that piece of my overall puzzle to get a fun car and my ability to actually do so that this time are not lining up the way I want it to.

    So I have taken a step back and looked at myself and my goals. I have seen that the goals are going to take years to reach and I need to be focused on them. Since the fun car is a portion of those overall dreams, I can still work forward to that as my current car slowly dies, but I need to keep in mind the scope of things. I have the luxury at the moment of taking some time and being patient as I look for the right car. This means that I don’t need to jump into a car because it is almost right and end up regretting the situation. The end result is what is going to matter to me and I have the time to make that end result one that I want. With this perspective I can combat the demons of doubt and self worth that spring up and allow my patience and perspective lead me to something that is actually fulfilling rather than something that salves the immediate desire and leaves fulfillment behind.

    So take some time and step back from the adversity and demons that are plague you and measure them against your long term goals. Use that perspective to help make the overall journey that much better and be able to handle the potholes along the way that much easier.