27 November 2016

It isn't enough to dream of a better life, you have to believe it's going to happen. That's how you create a better life.

The title of this post is kind of telling - it isn't your ability to dream that helps you to create a better life. It's your ability to dream and expect the things that you desire. That's been my learning curve and the lesson that I needed so desperately to embrace. I had the dreaming down pat long before I learned to manage my expectations.

At the worse point in my life, someone spoke those words at a seminar - the life that you have is the life that you are expecting. To say I was pissed was an understatement. I was in the midst of one of the worse days of my life. My home that I cherished had been on the market 8 months - I was behind on payments and even though I had equity in the home, I had no way of accessing the equity because my income was too low. I was living on a fixed income disability pension. (Some might say I didn't know the right broker - topic for another day) :).

One day someone knocked at the door and when I answered the door - there was a gentleman standing there with registered mail. I had to sign for the dreaded letter - it was a notice from the lawyers informing me that they were going to foreclose on the mortgage. It was a soft landing - I hadn't run from my debt. I knew that this was the next step for me. Every day I hoped that the home would sell.

That same day, I got a call from the realtor that we had an offer on the house. Needless to say, we stalled the foreclosure and went ahead with the sale - I took a big hit on that sale because I was vulnerable and not making decisions from a position of strength. It would take a long time to realise the blessing hidden in this mess - many months later, I did eventually go bankrupt but there was no house included in the bankruptcy and for anyone who understands that industry, that makes a world of difference.

I landed in a pretty scary place - no home, no job and no prospects. I was literally dependent on someone's kind heart to help me out. It was a very low point in my life. At a seminar I was given tickets to, I heard this powerful message that really annoyed me at the time. The life you have is the one you believe you can have. Grrrrrrrrr - really?

It took me quite some time before I could appreciate this lesson. I've put enough distance between me and that terrible time to be able to reflect and I can see the wisdom in that statement now. I was struggling with high anxiety at the time - a real fear that I was going to be living in a cardboard box somewhere or dependent on others to get by in life. It was bad enough that I was visually impaired but I really didn't believe that I could create a better life. I was feeling about as low as I had ever been. Like they say - I had nowhere to go but up and I had tough lessons yet to learn.

I spent a lot of time working on the skills that it takes to unleash the creative powers that we all have. It's not an easy task - I took every course imaginable. If there was even a hint that I was creating this mess - someone please show me the way out. I begged the universe to show me how to become a believer when everything around me was not affirming the life I wanted.

The law of attraction depends on three things that have to be in alignment - our thoughts (dream a big dream) and our feelings (this is where belief comes in after all you're not getting fired up if you don't belief your dream can come true) and actions (in alignment with the dreams).

I had a vision board back then with some pretty impressive images on there but I didn't get excited when I looked at that board. Actually, more often than not, the thought that came up was "how do you go from here to there?" I wanted to know "how" but every book I read and every lesson I learned told me that I didn't need to know how. I just needed to get fired up about the good life.

Back them my EXPECTATIONS were low - I was stuck in this pity party but I kept going. If there was a lesson to learn I was going to learn it and I am so glad I did. Now I don't need to know how. I still have days where I stress but once we get rid of bad habits like complaining, it's hard to go back there for extended periods. I also have an accountability partner, a network of people who operate like I do, someone to kick me in the arse on the bad days - oh yes, there will be bad days.

What are you expecting in life? I don't mean what do you dream about - what are you expecting to happen? Really? Deep down? When you expect something to happen it gets you fired up with a knowing that it's coming toward you as quickly as you take action toward it. Don't lie to yourself if you're expectation is not there yet. Work on the skill of a disciplined mind - letting go of the how and working on the things that you need to work on to become the person who can sustain that dream.

It isn't enough to dream of a better life, you have to believe it will happen and only then take the right action.

26 November 2016

Suspend Your Disbelief Until You Can See Your Way Clear - Dreaming is Not For Sissies.

Photo by Christian Holzinger
"I can't see my way clear." Sometimes the way that we speak in our Newfoundland vernacular can be a little confusing. But let's take a look at this one statement - when you "can't see your way clear", you're struggling to see how you can manage to find the resources to achieve a particular objective. I like to take bold action toward a goal even when "I can't see my way clear".

I once considered myself a "rookie dreamer". But fear ye not, dreaming is a skill and like most skills, it can be learned.

The first step is to learn to suspend your disbelief. How the heck do you "suspend" your disbelief?

When I first get students to dream of living their big dream - whether it be living in the perfect home or homestead, taking vacations more than once a year or enjoying a retirement life that is beyond magical, their first remark is usually...."where am I getting the money to do this?"

I call this type of resistance "only allowing yourself to dream to the capacity of your present resources".

Anyone can create a good life if you have the means to make it happen. What I want people to realise is that you can indeed create a better life for yourself without having a road map laid out in front of you and without having the resources at present to do so.

You're not going to be able to "see your way clear" to making it happen in the very beginning.

Are you starting to get it?  Dreaming a better life into existence takes faith - so in order to get started you will need to suspend your disbelief if  you fall into the rookie dreamer category referred to above. By now, I'm hoping you are at least mildly curious.  If so, let's read on.

Your attempt at dreaming probably goes something like this.

You start to dream of driving a fancy and expensive car or opening that next business or quitting your job and suddenly a little voice reminds you that you've got more month than money, your student loan is in arrears and you are 30 days away from Christmas and you haven't even started your shopping. That's reality thinking. If you want to be stuck in the life you have, you will stop reading right now - after all it has been working for you so far. Yes, you have been very efficient - the practice that you presently have in place has been allowing you to create the life you have.

You've attracted what you've allowed yourself to dream of.

It takes strength of character and mind to dream of a bigger life long before you can "see your way clear". Dreaming is only the first step - I'm not going to touch on the "right action" here because the reality is, in order to muster the activation energy that is required to take that first step out in faith - you're going to have to buy into the part about dreams.

You can read more about achieving goals here. After all, creating an awesome life is a real art form. I would also suggest that you sign up for my blog and remain involved in the dialogue.

I come form a long line of realists - folks who are "sensible" about dreaming. Most of this law of attraction stuff would be hocus pocus and a crock of crap. But I've learned that this type of thinking keeps a person stuck. I have migrated over to the other camp of practitioners. After all, things could only get better. Learning to "suspend my disbelief" was one of the first things I needed to do.

When I set about trying to create a dream, I would have the same resistance "Not possible, seems like nonsense." But I would let the thought float away. If a thought like "I can't afford that" came up. I wouldn't engage or meander down that path. I would just release the thought and get back to dreaming. I dreamt myself off the couch into a new training facility where I could teach people simple skills. I even dreamt of teaching people who didn't have the resources to pay me. After all, if you're going to dream, you may as well make it a good one. I knew they would find the resources if they wanted the information - and they have.

There are many more steps to achieving a goal than dreaming. Some of those include having the right network, taking bold action and stepping out of your comfort zone. There is also a need to understand and avoid self sabotage which is apt to come along more often if you're not buying into the process or have underlying core beliefs that are counter productive to what you are trying to achieve. I can always spot a person who is a naysayer - they are full of "ya buts".

I  believe my law school experience came about as a result of me not quite getting it (I quit in 2nd year). I didn't feel comfortable with the decision - I felt like an impostor. I don't feel that now. I feel that I do have things to learn but I'm on my way to building a very productive life, a place where people come when they want to build a better life. I'm also very aware that there are things I need to learn and that there will be more turns in my road.

It all starts with a dream - even if you can't see yourself clear. Can you dream a little dream? I'd love to hear more.

7 November 2016

When does it make sense to barter?

Sometimes I barter but when I do, there have to be certain conditions met.

- I won't barter if what I need is cash. The bills have to be paid before I will trade consulting for head shots. After all, I wouldn't purchase that product if the bills were not paid. So someones reluctance to pay for my services is not a good reason to barter.

- I must be getting the same value in return. If I give $200.00 worth of value (ie consulting or taxes) I expect to get $200.00 worth of value in return. I wouldn't give an hour of business coaching in return for a $60.00 manicure for example.

Listen to your instinct. If you feel like you got the bad end of the stick, you likely did.

5 November 2016

Networks - no one makes it to that next level without asking for help from the people around them who can open doors. Get used to asking for help in business.

Privilege is defined as "a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people".  Having a network is an advantage.

A stark example would be to use President Barack Obama's children. Even though the President and first lady may not have come from privilege, there is no doubt that their children are now privileged. Let's say that those children decided to become entrepreneurs, the networks alone have the potential to be phenomenal.

Networks are important - growing one has been my biggest challenge in life and it has been my biggest disadvantage as well. When I think back on the tight places I have been in my life, the biggest challenge has been not having the network to get through it.

When you don't have that edge, you have to ask for help. It is key that you get comfortable with asking for the big ask. It only feels big to you when you are uncomfortable asking. Successful people ask all the time.

1 November 2016

A Few Words to Support You When Your Mind is Made Up About Leaving

It's never an easy decision to leave a bad situation. Whether it's a job you hate, a career that saps the life out of you, a business partnership or a marriage, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to walk away. 

In all likelihood, you have invested a lot into trying to make this work. You've put your heart and soul into building this thing only to get to this point. I have been where you are and I know it's not an easy decision. I suspect you have gotten this point before but chickened out at the last minute. That's your truth isn't it? 

But this time it's different. This time, you're not turning back. You're going to let your feet take you where your heart already is. Now that you've made the decision - run as fast as you can. There's nothing more energetic than a mind made up. 

Women don't make these decisions flippantly. Putting our needs first is not something we have done well. I know you have thought long and real hard about how everyone will be impacted by this decision and you've decided that staying will be worse. Is that where you are? 

Here's the deal - if the present state of affairs is not life affirming,  you need to go. If your inner spiritual resources are depleted with every day that you wake up in this same job, same relationship or same boat, it's time to go.  If you believe you have done all that you can do and something must change then....


You have wings to fly. We are born to live a joyful life!!! We all have an opportunity to live a rich and rewarding life that inspires us. You know when it's time to take the leap. You thought you would save a bit of money and leave when you were in a better position but when the extra money comes along, you spend it. By the time the kids are grown or your responsibility lightens, you'll be so used to pushing your yearning down, that you won't even feel the need. The time has come. 

You're not alone - many of us have taken that leap and never looked back. Once you start caring about you, magic happens. 


Why mirrors are important if you want a successful business.

Are you serious about creating a successful and profitable business? If you really are, then you need to be able to take a long hard look in the mirror over and over again. Once you buy into the benefits of mirror then you will no longer avoid them. A good way to know when to look in a mirror is to look at what annoys you in other people. One of the things we have a tendency to do is see in other people what we can't see in ourselves. If you have trusted friends and colleagues, you can ask them "when have I been like that? There was talk of a 360 evaluation at one time. It's not an easy thing to do. I can remember the first time that I heard so and so speak about the 360 evaluation, I had to sit for a while and think - whose opinion would I trust to give me that information? Who would I turn to to let me know the truth? Who is going to have my back?That's a tough one. I actually found that I didn't trust a lot of people to care for me in that way. But I really needed to.