blissfullygrow

the time to be happy is now בלוג על שמחה, מוטיבציה והצלחה

what you think, you become.

This is a speech I wrote for my second Toastmasters assignment.

The mind is everything.

You can change almost all aspects of your life, simply by changing how you think. Brian Tracy says that each time we take control over our thoughts and work on keeping them positive, the quality of our lives will improve.

Very importantly, our beliefs have the capacity to make us sick, or even healthy.  Our beliefs actually impact our immune system.  Need proof?  There is the story of the group of fans at a LA football game.  Several of the fans experienced symptoms of food poisoning and the caring physician deduced the cause was a soft drink from one of the dispensing machines, because all patients had purchased from it prior to feeling ill.

An announcement was made over the loudspeaker asking the patrons not to purchase from this machine.  Chaos began in the stands as pople fainted and got ill.  Even people who didnt go near the machine, became ill.  Ambulances took fans to the hospital to get treated.  It was later discovered that the dispensing machine was not the cause after all.  Upon hearing this, people immediately began to recover.

Additionally, there is a great saying that teaches ‘ if you believe you can, or believe you can’t – you are right.’  Our beliefs are what make our lives joyful or painful.

Did you hear the story about two women who were turning 70 years old? One of them “knew” her is life was coming to an end – she saw her 7 decades of living to mean that her body must be breaking down.  The second woman decided that her beliefs determine her capability.  She decided this was the time to try mountain climbing.  For the next 25 years, she devoted herself to this and reached some of the highest peaks in the world.  Her name is Hulda Crooks and she has become the oldest woman to ascend Mt. Fuji.  Amazing, huh?

Lastly, our physical world is a direct resuls of our inner thoughts and visualizations.  If you think about where you are today, where you live, where you work, who you’re with, how you look – all of these things came about because of a thought or image you once had. Everyone of us visualizes, the difference is whether you focus on seeing what you want, or if you focus on seeing what you don’t want.  This is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

As you see, our mind truly can determine our destiny.  The world around you is largely determined by the world within you.

Hulda Crooks

‘Grandma Whitney’ showed the world that mental, physical and spiritual health is attainable at any age.

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this isn’t interesting, it’s enthralling!

thepowerofwordsThe words we choose determine how we feel.  We’ve  heard that words can kill – that they can create, but also destroy.  We know that the way we communicate with others is very powerful.

Have you ever thought about how you communicate with yourself? the impact that the words you choose to say – even just in your own mind- can have?

Tony Robbins says that we can instantly change any emotional experience by choosing new words to describe our feelings.  The danger is in word selection that we make out of habit and not of choice.  If you realize that your entire life experience depended on it – would you try to communicate to yourself differently?

To improve our life, we must improve our vocabulary.  Do you know that most people only use between 12-20 words to describe how they feel? usually half of these words are negative ones!  For example, people often develop a habit of using the word “hate” – they hate their hair, they hate Mondays, they hate going to the gym, or they hate olives. Just by using this word, the intensity of the emotional state increases tremendously.   One way to lower the intensity is to replace the word “hate” with “I prefer.”

Studies show that simply by changing the words you consistently use to describe your feelings, you can dramatically change how you think, how you feel, and how you live. Linguists have shared that an average person’s vocabulary consists of only 2,000-10,000 words.  The English language contains about half a million words.  That means we are only using 1-2% of the language.

Here’s a quick excercise to learn about your personal word usage.  Write down 3 words that you say on a regular basis to make yourself feel lousy (bored, hungry, sad, tired, hurt, etc.) It may help to ask yourself what are some negative feelings that I often feel?

Now-  use transformational vocabulary to make a simple and powerful change – brainstorm new words that you think you can use to break your negative emotion or lower its intensity.

For example, I would often say, “I’m so exhausted” and I would feel myself getting even more tired. Instead, I’ve replaced this expression with “I’m feeling a bit droopy” – because it makes me laugh, I immediately change this feeling to something positive and much less exhausting!

I also try to intensify positive feelings.  so instead of “good” – I’ll use “perfect”, and instead of “fine”, I’ll use “fabulous”.

Challenge – for the next 10 days, change  how you describe your emotions. Notice the words you use and replace negative ones with positive ones. What difference do you think this will make?

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or evil.” – Buddha

decisions determine destinies.

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”  Steve Jobs inspires me again.  This quote of his has been echoing in my mind for several months.  I knew I needed to make a change, take a risk, jump into the unknown and follow my true passion.

It’s not easy to leave a place we are used to, where we know the people around us and the amount of money that will go in the bank each month.  It’s easy to stay and very difficult to make a change.

But do you ever wonder – what is my true purpose? what do I want to do with  my life? how do I want to feel everyday?

Do you want to feel bored, frustrated, and stuck, or energized, passionate, inspired, challenged?  What type of role will fulfill you right now?  The decisions we make today will impact the rest of our lives! Think about where you want to be in 5 years – what decision must you make today to make sure that happens? what action must you take to ensure that you’ll be  exactly where you want to be?

Tony Robbins says that one of the greatest tools we can use to make change, is to raise our standards.  In life you get what you accept and what you expect. What are you willing to settle for?  Are you ok with being average? with living an average life and having an average job?  Are you accepting your career path or are you choosing it?

To succeed you must raise your standard, you must begin to see yourself differently. The decision you make, to stay, or to go, will determine your journey and destination. Make it a good one.

visit my FB page – Life & Career Coaching

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begin the journey

decide that you must!

resolutions A

2013 is fast approaching & so are the resolutions.

If you’re an achiever, you are probably working on something you want to improve or change.  You may be convincing yourself that you “should” do something different to get different results.should lose weight. should work out. should find a new job. should start school.  Are these “shoulds” things you’ve been saying for years?  why should 2013 be different?

Perhaps a new way to approach your goals could make a difference.  Think about one of your “shoulds” & ask yourself why.  why do you want to lose weight? why find a new job? why start working out?

Understand the value behind your statement.  Find the big reason behind it that will change your thought from should to must.  Raise your standards and don’t be willing to settle for anything that’s less then your best.  If I tell myself that I must do something – then I will do it, no matter what, because I don’t even allow myself the choice not to.  I decided last week that I must get in better shape in order to increase my energy level.  My energy will impact my relationships, my work, and my overall feeling.  In addition to pilates, I must do cardio twice a week for at least 25 minutes.

Once you identify the area in your life to improve & find the why behind it, identify a specific plan of action. What do you need to do? when will you do it? how often? how will you measure success?  Make it a must!

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action.  If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” – Tony Robbins

 

don’t settle for sugared water.

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want to change the world?”  This is how Steve Jobs lured Pepsi-Cola USA president to Apple.  And change the world he did; revolutionizing the technology that people of all ages use all over the world.  In 1993, Apple posted 100% drop in earnings and today after the sales of tens of millions of iPods, more than 10 billion songs downloaded, almost 15 million iPads sold, and one more thing… over 100 million iPhones, the company has $76 billion in cash.

Steve Jobs loved his job and inspired others to think about theirs.  We spend so much of our life working.  Why is it that so many people get stuck in jobs that don’t truly express who they are? Most of us carefully choose the people who surround us, the activities we involve in, the food we eat, and the clothes we wear.  Why is it then, when it comes to our work, we are passively guided by whatever comes around?

If you examine your career path today, would you say that it’s right on track to where you want to be in a  year and 5 years?  Do you enjoy going to work? do you get excited about what you are accomplishing?  If yes, that’s fantastic, it probably means you’ve carefully thought about what drives you.

If the answer is no, then I challenge you to dig a bit deeper.  How can you fix that? Maybe it means taking a different path within your company? Maybe it means transferring your same role to a different company? or maybe it means that it’s time to change careers altogether.

Here is a quick exercise you can use to better understand what your perfect job looks like (it really works – I did this exercise years ago when I decided to leave teaching and go into sales, and it was one of the best decisions of my life!)

write down 10-20 things that are most important for you in a job.  (for example, job security, independence, creativity, money, advancement, team environment, no job stress, results-driven, travel, working outdoor, computer work, leading others, etc) Next, rank them from top importance to least importance.

When you finish, ask yourself – how many of my top 10 criteria do I enjoy with my current job?  If you find that most of them do not exist in your current job, it would explain your frustration and it’s probably time to explore new opportunities.  Use your list to learn about new career ideas that do include your top 10 criteria – talk to people, do research online, read career-coaching books, meet with a career expert- and I’m confident that you’ll find the job that’s more right for you.

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. “- Steve Jobs

Nike.

“I can’t stand my job.  I hate going to work, I hate how my day looks, and I am bored out of my mind!!  Why did my mom suggest this?  why does everyone say it’s so rewarding? why didn’t I study what I really enjoy?  I spent 4 years of college to prepare for this, I don’t want to waste that.  Anyway, it’s a secure job and there are people who are jobless, so I should be grateful and stop complaining.  I’m sure at some point, someone will offer me to do something different.”

This was my internal conversation in regards to teaching.  I was 24 years old, teaching 4th grade, and I hated it with a passion.  I remember the moment when these thoughts changed.  I was talking to a colleague at the school and telling her about my feelings.  She said something I’ll never forget.  She said, “Keren, nobody is going to grab you by the ear and kick you out of here.  This is something you need to decide.  What are you waiting for? just do it.”  that moment created a switch in my thoughts and I realized, she’s right, why am I thinking that someone is going to come offer me something, why am I stuck in a career that makes me so unhappy? I left teaching that summer and never looked back!

Today, one of the things I am working towards is becoming a life coach.  One of the tools we are teaching is learning how to take responsibility.  When we think of taking responsibility, there are other amazing things that come with it.  With responsibility comes power, control, growth, success.  But for some, responsibility is scary, it’s risky, and it’s too much hard work.  It’s easier to find someone else to blame.

A person who takes responsibility for things in his life understands that with success come great rewards.  If he fails, he can take action to fix the problem, grow from it, and find the solutions that could lead to success.  When I am confident in myself and my abilities, I will take responsibility for my life.

On the other hand, a person who sees responsibility as a negative thing, will prefer to make himself a victim.  When we act as a victim we are placing the control in others’ hands; we are giving power to outside factors that we can not change.  The problem of playing victim is that we will watch our life pass us by while wondering why it is that we don’t see success.  We feel that this is our destiny and we become jealous of others around us.  Short-term, it may work really well for us because we can put our feet up and relax (even though we may not be happy about it).  It’s easy to play victim since it doesn’t take much energy from us.  Victims complain, victims are negative, and they’re typically on an up and down rollercoaster, always afraid of the next sharp turn.

I believe so much that each person is responsible for their life.  We have control over how our life looks.  Unlike the victim, the person who accepts responisiblity for their life, has to work hard at what they dream. They know that it takes determination, hard-work, and bravery to go after the things they want.  But wow- the long-term rewards way override the short-term sacrifices.

What about you? are you typically one who accepts responsibility, or chooses to be a victim? how does this play out in different aspects of your life?

“The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.”
-Michael Jordan

be afraid to be afraid.

over the last few weeks, a main theme in my coaching course is the importance of taking risks and moving towards the things you want in life.  Brian Tracy explains that the number one reason we don’t go after our dreams is fear.  We are afraid of failing, afraid of what others will say, afraid to look stupid, and afraid to disappoint.

What would you do differently, if you could do anything you wanted, knowing that you would be successfull? would you invest all the time and money necessary, if you knew you could accomplish it?  chances are, that if you wrote down a specific plan, had the discipline to stick to it each day, invested the time, energy, and money you needed to do it – you would achieve it.  This is what makes really successful people, really successful. There isn’t a magic pill they take that makes them this way instantly.  It is something they work at, everyday, every month, every year.   The amount of time and energy it takes will depend on what you’re trying to achieve.  If your inital goal is short-term and simple, then maybe achieveing it in a year is feasible.  If your goal will take more time and effort then that, then be honest about it and allow that time. Ask yourself if you are ready to give it all you got.  If it is truly something that is important and personal to you, and you are willing to make it happen, sticking to your plan, and staying focused on it each and everyday, then you will achieve it.How do I know? because research and history prove it.

There is the story of Alice Stewart, an Oxford doctor from the 1950’s.  Alice was a young, female, which at that time, made her  extra unusual.   Alice studied patterns in disease and chose to study the cause of childhood cancers. She could barely get funding for her reasearch, however managed to to get 1,000 pounds.  With only one opportunity to collect data and conclude the cause of this, she asked many questions in her study and actually made a huge discovery.  She found that by the rate of 2-1, children who had died had mothers who had been x-rayed when pregnant.  Although it took 25 years, the British and American Medical establishments abaondoned the practice of x-raying pregnant women.

Another interesting example is Thomas Edison.  One of his greatest inventions was the light bulb in 1879.  After testing more than 1,000 metals, he finally found the combination of metals that kept the light lit. 1,000 metals. Not 15, not 100- 1,000 – do you realize how much failure and focus that took?  The inital test kept that light lit for 13.5 hours, and months later he discovered a filament that could last over 1,200 hours.

What would you go after, if you weren’t afraid to fail?

Don’t be so afraid, that you end up sitting in the dark.

Money actually does buy happiness…

If you spend it on things that you value and leave you feeling good.  In order to spend on the things that actually are important for you, you have to know yourself really well.  Often, we do things because we are expected to do them, or because we think we enjoy them, when in reality we don’t.   We end up buying things to impress, keep up with fashion, or earn recognition.  One purchase can be a total splurge and waste for one person, while providing an important source of happiness for another.  When we spend well, money can help us achieve our personal goals – whether it’s better education, deeper relationships, or entertainment, which in turn brings us happiness.

Although my pillows and mattress were quite expensive, they were important for me to buy for good  sleep, which is something that is very important for me.  I do pilates once a week and often hear others say , ” wow, that’s an expensive class” I am satisifed knowing that it’s something good I do for my body, with many short and long term benefits.  I’m now also committed to getting a massage once a week because it does me so good mentally.

Since we are all so different and enjoy different things, it is important to know yourself well enough to understand when you are wasting money, and when you are spending it wisely.  We’ve heard before that when we make a purchase like buying a new pair of boots, we shouldn’t expect that to make us “happy”.  This is because when we purchase something material, we become accustomed to it and end up no more happier than we were before.

Another interesting aspect of money and happiness is that we’re happy to see change and growth as opposed to staying stagnant or going backwards.  Lisa Grunwald, a novelist, said “Best is good.  Better is best.”  A study asked people if they’d prefer to make $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 over a period of 3 years, or $60,000, $50,000, then $40,000.  In general, people preferred to make less money while showing growth in income, rather than earning more but on a decline.

Finally, the best way to spend is out. Don’t be a scorekeeper, or hoarder, don’t keep things inside, but rather out. Be generous and give to others without demanding praise or doing it for appreciation.  Saint Therese of Lisieux said, ” When one loves, one does not calculate.”  In relationships, we usually have a tendency to do something nice but then expect a return.  ‘Since I made dinner, you need to wash the dishes.’ When you spend out, you create an environment of love, while scorekeeping and constant calcuatlion causes resentment.  When both people give, both people receive.

“It is be spending oneself, that one becomes rich.” – Sarah Bernhardt (actress)

wine improves with age. and so do you.

My birthday is in just a few weeks and so it triggered conversations with different people about age and our attitude towards it. My attitude- age is nothing but a number.

Our attitude and thoughts, of course, impact, our level of happiness at any stage of our lives. I will be turning 32 in less than 2 weeks, and I always love this time of year, the time when I’m surrounded around my favorite people, on this ONE specific day in the year. Some people say that having a birthday is no big deal, that it’s always blown out of proportion.  well, I highly disagree. It is the day that you were born!!! what is more special then that? and if YOU don’t celebrate you- then who will? Mel Robbins, a self-help author and life coach, stated that scientists calculate the probability of your existing as you, today, at about one in 400 trillion! Amazing, huh?

so let me back track a little bit… in my early 20’s, I was all about the future. I was constantly bouncing from one accomplishment to another, in pursuit of my fate and purpose.  Eventually, I found myself in a career that made me absolutely miserable, in a relationship that was “fine”, and I felt stuck in a bubble that I created for my self.  I remember asking one of my mentors at my school what I should do. On one hand, I had a secure job which I was very good at, plus I liked children and had summers off.  On the other hand, I couldn’t bear to commit to another year of school.  She said, “Keren! No one is going to push you out of here, ever.  You’re a good teacher and you’ll be a big loss to the school, but that just means that we’ll take you back if you ever want to come back, so what do you have to lose?” and she was absolutely right. No one was going to pull me by the ear and kick me out and say go find something else – that was MY responsibility for myself. wow- making that decision felt so good. I felt free again.

so teaching wasn’t for me, but I didn’t know what was.  I started to do some research about myself.  I went to the library and picked up a few books that focused on career changing, job hunting, and self-reflection. For the first time, I actually thought about what was important to me in a job, what drove me, what my natural talents were, and what skills I’d want to use in my next career.  What stood out in my mind was a part-time sales job I had while in college.  It was fun and satisfying, and I loved talking to people and convincing them to do something.  SALES!  I started networking and talking to everyone I knew about sales. I went to a sales recruiter and 3 months after being a 4th grade teacher, I became a Media Consultant, at an amazing billion dollar company where I spent 5 years selling, managing, and learning a ton about sales and the business world. This company and its people influenced me tremendously and will always be one of the most precious experiences of my life.

ok – so I changed my career. I was definitely happier, but that wasn’t enough. I knew that another big part of my life was on cruise-control and I  just wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I tried to deny it and pretend that things were good, but I was lying to myself.  I knew I couldn’t settle for “fine”, I wanted “great” and I had to make a change.  I ended my 8-year relationship.  Obviously, it wasn’t as easy as I make it out to be, it was one of the hardest things I had to do.  It took a lot of strength, reflection, crying, and acceptance that it’s ok to move on.  If I wasn’t happy, what was the point?  Change is part of life, but change needs an action to move it along.  Sometimes you need to experience something to know that it’s not the right thing for you.  The final and biggest push that helped me move forward came from my dad. He said, “There is no reason in the world for you not to be happy. If something is bothering you, or isn’t satisfying you, change it.” and that is one of the strongest messages I carry with me today.

You are in control of everything in your life. Everything.  Something isn’t how you want it, change it. Your job, your friends, your relationship, where you live, what you eat, how you look- all of it.  Turning 30 was one of the best feelings for me – it symbolized surviving huge changes.  It was a new beginning and a new decade.  A decade, that I decided, will be the best times of my life. Life is just beginning now, and Thank God, life is so good!

If you’re 25, 29, or 34-  it doesn’t matter. What matters is that  you are doing what you want to be doing. If you’re not, make a change.  Next time your birthday rolls around, celebrate the fact that you’re alive, that you’re wiser and hopefully stronger.  Know that your life can be anything you want it to be. The choice is yours.   Age really is nothing but a number!

“Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.” – Natasha Bedingfield ‘Unwritten’

Love is the Answer

As one of my favorite Jack Johnson songs explains, “love is the answer, at least to all of the questions in my heart, like why are we here, and where do we go, and how come it’s so hard? ”

I truly believe that love is the driver of everything. At least, it’s supposed to be. Companionship and intimacy are most associated with a person’s happiness. Everyone has that need to love  and be loved- whether they realize it or not – it is a basic human need.  So here, I focus on love.

I want to say to those who are looking for love – that you have to believe that you will find love. you have to know that you deserve to have the exact relationship you seek and dream of, and that you should never ever settle for anything less. Just as experts will tell you to write down your goals in order to accomplish them; make finding love a goal, write it down, and think of how you will achieve it.  Ask yourself where “find love” ranks on your list? if it’s at the top, act that way! As The Secret states – ‘Ask, believe and you shall receive.’   Make a list of the things you want your relationship to be, and the kind of person you want to meet and be with. seriously – do it. write down every little thing you think, the more detail, the better.  BELIEVE  you will meet this type of person and go about your day, happily knowing that you will soon meet that guy or girl that you’ve described on paper.  Be open to meeting new people, whether it’s through mutual friends, online dating, or singles mingling parties (thank you, Shirley Politzer), put yourself out there, make it a priority.

A quick bit for those who have love, and want to make it better. (I feel that even if you find yourself in healthy, happy relationship, there is always ways to make it better and stronger.  And working on ourselves and on our relationships, is a great thing so don’t for a second be ashamed of it!)  We’ve heard before that you cannot change a person, right? well, it’s true, you can’t.   Happy relationships are when the people in it don’t try to change each other.  What you CAN do, is work on yourself.  Reflect on your own behavior, thoughts, and speech and be more conscious of things you can do differently. Often, we can say the same thing in a much nicer way and it makes a world of difference.  And one thing you should always do more of is show acts of love. We can see proof of love by our actions. so take time today and this week, to show at least 3 proofs of love and enjoy the love that you’ll receive back…

Who, being loved, is poor? -Oscar Wilde

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