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Have an Inspiring Life Everyday
by On April 18, 2013

Saving the best post for laugh. No, this is not a typo… In Part 1 of this Inspiring Life series we discussed 3 Steps to an Inspiring Life, and in Part 2 we covered how we coach ourselves utilizing our Internal Coaching System (ICS). In this last part we dive into what it means to Fill your Daily Laugh Quotient. Science proves that in many instances laughter IS the best medicine. According to Web MD and healthguide.org laughter has been proven to reduce your stress, lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, improve brain function and protect your heart. The business benefits of laughter are huge as well. It helps connect us to others, such as our clients, co-workers and helps reduce sales resistance.

Most of us understand this concept and often need to be reminded. I have been asked how did I get so funny and I usually reply, “I don’t know, it just came along with my amazing good looks.” Truthfully, I have made it a point over the past many years to consciously follow my own personal 3 step process to bring more laughter in my life and I am happy to share my wisdom with you. These steps comprise what I like to call my Daily Laugh Quotient Checklist and it works like a charm. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to a inspiring life everyday.

1) Schedule Laughter – Pretty amazing first tip, huh? You are probably taking out your notepad and writing this one down… But, no matter who you are it is always a good idea to find time to laugh. The best times I found to be sure you get some good laughs in are first thing in the morning when you wake up and some time before you go to bed. Book ending your day with some joy and laughter can really create positive momentum in your days and you’ll pleasantly find yourself laughing much more often during the day as a result. Hint: Listening to babies laughing is almost guaranteed to cause joy and laughter.

2) Lose Your “Cool Card” – We all have a metaphorical “cool card” and some of us take ourselves so seriously that our cards are enormous. So of us have been card carrying members of “Too Cool for School University” since puberty. Individuals who live an inspiring life are gifted at taking what they do seriously, but NOT taking themselves seriously. Life is funny and it is important that we consciously look for the funny moments in all the seriousness of the day. Make it a goal to find at least one funny, hilarious or joyful experience in your day.

3) Spend Time with Other FUNny People – If it is true that you become like those you surround yourself with most of the time, then many of you may need to find some new friends. They don’t all have to be comedians, but they do have to have an uplifting view about life. Look for those people who can find laughter and even joy in the mundane or challenging experiences in everyday life. Those are the kind of individuals I love to be around.

I am so grateful for the many years of laughter that has been created by just spending time in the company of some of the funnest and funniest people in my life.

I hope you find joy and laughter in the day to day activities of life, because if you can do that then you will most definitely be on your way to an inspiring life!

Have An Inspiring Life Everyday
by On April 11, 2013

In Part I: 3 Steps to An Inspiring Life I touched on what I like to refer as our Internal Coaching System. First of all, each of us has our own ICS. Think of it as an internal GPS System that helps us to move in the right direction, when we listen to it. Some call it intuition, others call it a gut-feeling. However you personally define it, the fact is when we have our ICS working at full capacity, life seems to be much easier and enjoyable.

Through our ICS we have the ability to mentally program ourselves to either succeed or fail, experience joy or sadness based on the thoughts we put into our head on a daily basis. So, first and foremost, it all begins with a thought. That thought has a belief and attitude attached to it and will then create a feeling and finally the thought will produce a result. Whether that result is positive or negative is within your power to create by how you have coached yourself. Two tools that are instrumental in helping to improve the effectiveness of your Internal Coaching System are:

1) Positive Response Loop

Think about it, if you tell yourself you are going to miss a deadline, screw up a presentation or fail it’s almost a certainty that you will because you have coached yourself to believe that. However, if you tell yourself you are up to the challenge or that you can do it, many times you will find yourself rising to the occasion for the exact same reason. What I am saying is by training yourself to respond in a positive way to challenges and your feelings your results can only be positive. When you respond consistently in a positive way you will create what I call a Positive Response Loop. What I mean is that when experience a challenge we, in that moment, have choice to make. To make it simple, we can respond positively or negatively. When we react to the challenge positively it will create a chain reaction in our physiology that results in overall good feelings about ourselves or the situation. This, in turn, solidifies our beliefs and feeds our next response to a challenge. Thus the Positive Response Loop is born. Our ICS, how we coach ourselves, directly influences the effectiveness of our PRL.

So, why is a properly functioning Internal Coaching System so important? Firstly, it is better than the alternative. You may be saying, “I can see how you can have a great Internal Coaching System Mr. Motivational Speaker Guy, but I’ve tried that positive thinking garbage and it didn’t get me anywhere”. Have you ever had this thought? My response to this is always “Well, try it the other way. Use negative self-talk and see how far that gets you. The fact of the matter is you’re much more likely to achieve great things if you frame your thinking towards the positive.

2) Ask yourself the RIGHT Questions

Another programming tool that can aid in the implementation of our Internal Coaching System is to ask yourself the right questions. Another way to look at it is to change the way you phrase things in your mind. In Noah St John’s book The Secret Code of Success he talks about the use of Afformations versus Affirmations.

Affirmations are statements of something you want to be true. There is nothing wrong with affirmations and they can be very useful from time to time. Some of the most successful people in the personal development industry promote them and experience great things as a result of using them. However, often times when we, the everyday person, use them we are trying to convice ourselves of this truth, but our mind doesn’t actually believe it is possible. For example, if we look in the mirror and see someone who is overweight or “fat” no amount of affirmations will help. We can say things like, “I’m in great shape.” Or “I’m beautiful, skinny and lovely”, but if we don’t see it in our mind we won’t believe it in reality. Our mind will respond by saying, “Yeah, right, who are you looking at?!” Until, we can change the picture in our mind the vision in the mirror will continue to be overweight. This is where the right empowering phrase of question can make the difference.

Afformations, as explained by St John are empowering questions that focus on what you have and NOT what you lack. I see it as another way to express gratitude. If you look at your state of being when you are expressing gratitude for what you’ve been given all you are focusing on is what you have. By asking empowering questions you are also strengthening your Positive Response Loop because they force us to focus on what is right and good about us. Our mind is always coming up with answers to our questions. It is continually looking for confirmation of our beliefs and comments. So, by telling ourselves we have “horrible memory” or asking ourselves “Why can’t I remember that?” our mind comes up with the responses like: “Yes, you do have a horrible memory and here are 3 reasons why.’ Or, You can’t remember that because you are stupid and always forget things when your stressed.” In our memory courses, I suggest that instead of saying, “I have terrible memory”, you rephrase it by saying, “My memory is getting better and better.” It’s a small change, but it is empowering and can make a big difference. Other great empowering questions and afformations:

Why do I have all the money I need? Why am I in great shape? Why do I always meet the right person at the right time? Business consistently comes to me in unexpected ways. I am experience abundance in everything I do.

Empowering Phrases Exercise

Use your ICS to focus on something that you would like to see yourself improve on in your business or your personal life. Create an Empowering Phrase list on 3×5 notecards specifically focusing on the areas in your life that you would like additional encouragement on. I have approximately 20 empowering phrases collected and read it 2 times per day (sometimes more if I need the extra motivation) By doing this you will continue to reinforce your Positive Response Loop and strengthen your Internal Coaching System.

In Part 3 of this series I will talk about probably the most important element in our ability to have an inspiring life everyday and that is daily filling our laugh quotient. See you next week.

Have An Inspiring Life Everyday
by On April 4, 2013

How many of us have got to the end of a week, month or year and had the feeling “Man, where did the time go?”  Or, you even had the thought “Time sure does fly by when you’re having fun?” Well, Ed Cooke, considered a Grand Master of Memory according to World Memory Championship has an interesting take on the passage of time that I personally love. Mr. Cooke mentions that he is trying to EXPAND “subjective time” so it feels like he is living longer. Subjective Time being how each of us individually perceives the passage of time in our lives.

You’d think it would be opposite. You’d think, if time does fly when we are having fun that in order to slow time down our life needs to be boring. Not true, “…the more we fill our lives with memories the SLOWER time seems to fly.” So, what Mr Cooke is saying is, by remembering more we are providing more chronological landmarks. In essence we are lengthening our lives and by doing this you are packing life with adventures so, as you look back on your life, you have a lot more memories to draw from. In other words if you could remember more events, happenings & experiences in a given year, that as time progresses you will have expanded your time on this earth.

This concept fascinated me. I thought if I am going to be remembering more than I want those memories to be inspiring. And then I thought how do I make my life more inspiring? And it came to me: CHOICE – I need to choose to do this everyday. Because all an exciting life is: a series of great days built upon each other.

In Part I of this 3 part series I am going to introduce you to 3 Steps to an Inspiring Life and in parts Two & Three I will elaborate and expand on specific elements. Much like building an airplane, it is important to add each piece to ensure your plane flies. Here, following any one of these steps will help, but if you really want to soar with the eagles and experience a truly inspirational and exciting life (for you – NOT what anyone else says is exciting) than you should apply each of these 3 steps:

Step ONE: Plan Exciting Adventures

We know from memory training that the brains ability to recall information is dramatically linked to the emotional attachment we place on it. The Glue of our memory (what helps us recall information) is Action & Emotion. If you don’t believe me than try and think about what you were doing on September 22nd, 2001. Most of you can’t, but if I asked you to recall exactly where you were on September 11th, 2001, those of you who were old enough to experience this can remember in vivid detail where you were, what you were doing, who you were with, what you were eating etc…. Why is that? Because you provided your brain with more than enough action & emotion to store it in the long-term part of your brain.

All this being said, if you want to have an “inspiring life” you MUST plan for at least some of it. Most of us don’t just wake up and decide “I’m flying to Uganda, Africa to provide relief for the Karamojong Tribe and than the next moment purchase tickets and start setting up the trip. Although it seems super exciting and will provide an amazing service, most (I emphasize most) people aren’t wired that way. Most people are wired to have an exciting thought and think “That would be cool, someday!”

So, when I say plan, I mean put it in your calendar. Circle & highlight it and tell others about it. When I say “it” I mean anything that you would truly like to experience. If skydiving is your thing, than put it on your calendar and tell others you are going to do it than watch the support flood in. If someone asks you to compete in a triathlon or climb a mountain or travel to Egypt and provide love and supplies to orphans AND it is something you truly would like to do than say “YES” and figure out a way to make it happen. (By the way, the 3 examples above happened to me) What is holding you back?! How long are you going to wait on the sidelines of life and watch other people doing what YOU should be doing? Say yes, and put it on your calendar. That is the first step.

Step TWO: Start With Your Thoughts

At my company, we define Attitude as “The way you choose to view your world”. If that is true, than most of us really have to work on, what I like to call our Internal Coaching System, which I will elaborate more on in Part 2 of this series. Our ICS is a term I came up with to define what we say to ourselves and how we regulate the thoughts we experience every moment of the day.

We know from polygraph (lie-detector) tests our body react to our thoughts. Thoughts affect us physically. Noetic Science, or the study of human consciousness looks at our thoughts from a different viewpoint. As I understand it, noetic science looks at our beliefs, thoughts & intentions & how they affect our physical world.

The Law of Attraction states, that “like attracts like.” Or, put another way, what we focus on most of the time, is what we will receive.” The pictures we see in our mind about our lives, tend to be the things we spend the most time thinking about. At Freedom Personal Development we understand it as “What you see is what you look for.”

The Bible even refers to the power of our thoughts in Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinketh, so is he.” And additionally in Mark 9:23 “According to your faith, be it done unto you.” But, whatever your belief there is no arguing that if we simply changed the thoughts we have from negative to positive (Or switching our focus from what we lack to what we want) it will have a profound impact on our productivity, belief and excitement about our life. Our thoughts have the power to seriously influence our success.

So, all that being said, in order for us to change anything in our lives we must first start with our thoughts! We must consciously make a choice to think positive or by default we will focus on the negative.

Step THREE: Fill Your Daily Laugh Quotient

You have all heard that laughter is the best medicine and some of you even believe it is true. The fact is, and there is nothing I can find to dispute this, laughter has profoundly more positive benefits then negative. If you’d like to find out more than revisit my blog on Laughter and Your Brain. Gelotology, the study of laughter and it’s effects on the body from a psychological and physiological perspective has much to support these claims. In Part 3 we will dive more deeply into 3 great ways to fill your daily laugh quotient, but in the meantime start up your laughing muscles and get healthy.

Conclusion

I hope you found these steps useful and I look forward to sharing more on this topic in the next couple weeks. Good luck as you begin to build your airplane, expand your horizon with subjective time and soar to more exciting days ahead. If you’ll simply Plan Exciting Adventures, Start With Your Thoughts and Fill Your Daily Laugh Quotient you will be well on your way to having the inspiring life you deserve. Catch you next week.