Work and life balance is central to health, real wealth and enjoyable relationships. Gratitude and appreciation are apparently little known secret ingredients to what everyone is really seeking – inner peace, meaning and joy. Then we can “in joy” our efforts and monetary results and use money constructively and with greater purpose. “Stuff” starts to lose its meaning in general.
“Happiness” is very situational, yet joy is the “peace that passes understanding”. It is not a transient mental state; it is the essence of our “being”. We’ve just lost sight of this truth. So, why is there so much increase in disease, debt and divorce or unsatisfying relationships – at home and at work? For one thing, we have forgotten, “who we are”. We have attached our worth and identity to “stuff” that many of us don’t really want.
In fact, I’d venture to say that most people don’t really know what they want or “why” they are so busy “doing” things. It has become a national epidemic – “Doingitis” – a “dis-ease” state. Then, we don’t even feel grateful or appreciate what we accomplish or have. There are steps and processes one can take to disentangle one’s self-worth and meaning from this chronic distracted way of living. However, here I will offer one simple remedy; cultivate gratitude and appreciation. This one thing, felt with the heart and not just an intellectual exercise can:
Diversity as a consulting arena was not something I was attracted to historically – until now. I notice that it too often seems to be only “representation” which is better than nothing…somewhat anyway. Just to have physical bodies in a room is really not creating a culture of inclusion and innovation. I attended a “diversity and inclusion” corporate event last week and I am inspired to see that some people are starting to realize that personal individual growth will need to be addressed as well as structure change to create inclusion.
Outer change cannot happen until the inner landscape of our mind is adjusted first.
Here’s the traditional ways that society has addressed diversity:
1. External Social Laws
2. Excessive Discussion without change
3. Hiring women and people of color
This is a place to start AND, it’s now time to go deeper. We can’t “force” inner change. Women are smart and more than capable. People of color – men and women – are smart and capable. Where the “smartness and capable” can be applied is not based on color or gender in reality. To do so is just due to one’s blind spot and belief system. The challenge is to help people to grow beyond their inner insecurity on the one hand, and to also help those stuck in “homogeneous comfort zones” to embrace change that brings opportunity to the whole of humanity.
Until there is balance within our minds and hearts, we will not have inclusion or effective innovation in the mini laboratory of change called the “work place”. Change begins at our CORE as individuals and it requires Courage, Open-mindedness, Reflection and Enthusiasm. Organizations are composed of individuals. Here’s three ways to create inclusion and a more diverse work place, both in terms of people and ideas:
1. Start with the culture – be brave enough to explore values, purpose (“why) and without blame, to examine what is no longer working and commit to change
2. Recognize that “know thyself” is the key to creating better and more effective leaders and teams – create a culture of personal growth and development using processes that promote “self-awareness” first which leads to better “emotional intelligence”
3. Realize that people are now looking for meaning, autonomy and fulfillment – beyond money and the weekly grind if you want to attract and retain committed employees
It’s takes courage to overcome fear of all kinds. For one person the fear may of the dark, for another it is fear of the light. Since perception creates our reality, of course the meaning here is relative, yet the common thread is fear of the unknown.
For some it is more comfortable to cling to what they currently believe and not even open their eyes to see other possibilities. They are afraid of the light. Some believe that they have to have all the answers laid out in front of them before they move forward and they are afraid of the unknown, the dark; the mystery of life.
“We can easily forgive the child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” ~Plato
They avoid adventure for fear of what they have been taught to call, “failure”, or “disappointment”. They are afraid of looking into the dark, what they are not familiar with. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is just a heart-felt, spiritual quality that allows one to take the risk, the plunge into mystery, change, to step out of the box – whatever terminology you choose.
If you miss the mark, get up and start again! What robs us of personal power is how we see ourselves in relation to life and this is based upon what you believe about life.8
Having more freedom of choice is likely to be something that most people would choose to experience right now. I just heard it quoted on a CNN news broadcast I happened to walk by that the student load debt is rapidly approaching the trillion-dollar mark. That is a sad commentary.
Of course, then there is the rising personal and national debt along with the alarming rise in cancer and other chronic disease. The system we have created with the promise of more freedom is once again proving to be unwise and illusory.
Freedom from fear and suffering is certainly something the world could use in general these days. Having more purpose, peace and personal power is what true freedom can bring. It is the path to real happiness from the inside out.
In fact, I’ve come to understand that most of what we call “common sense” really makes no sense once one realize the patterns of cause and effect. Intention also plays a role here, as even if we do something on the surface with “good intentions” if we proceed with worry, fear, less than honorable intention or do what we do unfocused or without giving it our sincere best, then the outcome will still likely be unfulfilling or undesirable. How does one break the “spell” of their cycles of debt, despair and dissatisfaction?
Here are three (3) little known secrets for creating more freedom in your life and you will almost certainly see that it is not “common sense” advice. In fact, I now for the most part have noticed that what the masses are doing is quite self-destructive so if you want to break free, you had better start opening your mind to different choices than what most people are choosing and doing.0
Happiness has historically been something that for most people seems elusive. In general we have been taught that if we “do” something as in going after a goal, or “get” something, as in a new relationship, money or other shiny objects, that somehow we would “be” happy. Yet look closely at the formula; you must get or do something outside of yourself in order to “be”.
Being is a state that begins from inside out. This is the missing secret. Happiness truly is an “inside job” and now science is validating this truth. While I’m not a hardcore “rational” only thinker that sees science as some sort of religion that I need permission from in order to “believe”, I know that it has a place in not only contributing a type of quantitative objectivity, it also allows the logical or conscious mind to participate in supporting our success.
When we can be more aware of HOW we are getting results, it becomes easier to reproduce them. When you “don’t know what you don’t know” you tend to have blind spots that keep sabotaging you. When you are doing something that works in an “unconsciously competent” way, you will not understand fully how you are obtaining the desired result and therefore it is even more difficult to put structure to your wisdom when attempting to share it or teach it to others in your business.
So, in seeking happiness here are three (3) reasons it can be elusive and unsustainable when you do stumble upon it, and three (3) ways you can use the science of happiness to consciously co-create a happiness habit pattern.
Three reasons why happiness is elusive and unsustainable:0
Law of attraction is often written off as, “that stuff doesn’t work” because most people do not understand the difference between imagining images and belief. I want to say upfront, I’m not addressing the cynics of the world. I’m not speaking to people who think, “Oh, so if I imagine I can fly, I can turn into a bird”.
If you are in this group, keep doing whatever you are doing – whatever paradigm you are living under, keep going for it, I wish you well. I’m addressing people who want to understand better how their mind and brain work and how they can begin to have conscious choice about their business and personal life experiences.
When we were children, we often played, “make believe” and pretended to take on all manner of characters. We could be a princess, a princess warrior or a doctor – all in one day. After about first grade the adults started with the “grow up” conditioning so for the most part, we stopped using our imaginations consciously and instead we start to unconsciously image all the things we are afraid could happen – like lose our jobs or drama scenes from our relationships.
By “grow up” it’s generally meant, worry about staying “safe” and face “reality” – the taught reality of “FEAR” – Fictitious Evidence Affecting Reality. Yet, Einstein said,
“Imagination is more important than knowledge”.
Why? If you understand how to properly use the power of imagination and reconnect with the understanding of what feelings are and what they are designed for, you can begin to accomplish your goals faster and easier be they in business, relationships or health. The distinction here is “belief”.2
Happiness and will power are not often connected, as there is a subconscious belief in society that “will power” is “bad”. I was listening today to a neuroscience lecture by neuroscientist, Sam Wang from Princeton University when I noted that he said that when the woman who co-authored with him a book about the brain mentioned “will power” in the context of an interview she was doing, the editor asked her not to use it, as if it was a dirty word.
I have noticed this attitude on several occasions also. In fact the word “power” in general scares many people, particularly women. I’m glad to see that there is now science research on the importance of developing will power.
In fact, according to Wang, there are studies that show that one’s level of will power is more important than IQ in determining overall success in life. Also, will power is like a “mind muscle”; it can be developed and it can become flabby if ignored and not used. Other words for “will power” are discipline, diligence and persistence. (I do want to add that clarity and heart alignment with one’s goal reduces the need to use as much will power).
It is needed if one is to overcome resistance or go for dreams and goals that are outside the box. I know this very well from experience. Back in the days when I was very unhappy no matter what I did, it took much will power to overcome the negative people in my life and their dismal, small thinking and keep moving forward with my hopes and plans.
When I came to realize that money, status and education could not “buy” happiness, it took will power to discipline myself to seek answers outside of the obvious “common sense” nonsense that was handed down to me by society.2
Entrepreneurship is on the rise and change is occurring rapidly in the workplace. When I first entered the arena of entrepreneurship over 20 years ago, I had the mindset of “hard work and struggle”. Since I tend to have significant will power, I was able to push ahead and “make it happen”.
I could have had the same outcome with a lot less effort had I known then what I know now. It is a good thing that I am more aware these days about the importance of mindset as I have transitioned from being a medical business entrepreneur to a speaker, trainer and “mindset coach” using neuroscience and intuition as a part of my skill set.
I say it’s a good thing because it is much harder to avoid distraction and to “push ahead” these days than it was back then. If one is not aware of how to stay focused and present, it can easily seem like there are not enough hours in a day and there seems to be a never-ending “to-do” list for most people.
Neuroscience is now supporting many of the concepts that I have used over that past decade to learn how to calm the mind down, have more “time” and bring to form ideas and goals much easier than just using the force of willpower and “hard work”. It takes persistence, discipline and diligence, yes, “hard work” – no.
Hard work is a paradigm; it is the old “work by the sweat of your brow”. When you are clear about coming from authentic center and learn how to change your focus from fear to faith by engaging your brain to support you instead of using it in a way that holds you back you can transition into entrepreneurship easier.
This is very important if you are ever going to earn the type of income that you desire and create a business that is more than just a “hobby”. Until you can support yourself, your business will not be sustainable. Also, if you are ever going to live healthy without stress, you will need to know how to manage your mind. Here are 5 simple steps, based on the science of the brain to consider:2
When I ran my medical practice, I ran a brick and mortar business with typically up to five employees and the principles are the same even if you are an executive running a Fortune 500 company – people are people, it’s just a matter of scale. I learned much by trial and error over the years.
I was a medical business entrepreneur between 1991 and 2007, having come out of the corporate hierarchy world of the halls of academia and also having worked for a corporate medical office during my transition to entrepreneurship. The main factors I had going for me was courage, a willingness to learn and a knack for entrepreneurship.
The issues I had to overcome was “not knowing what I did not know” about my perception around self-identity, my dysfunctional beliefs about myself relative to others, and a terrorizing fear of feelings to the point of being out of touch with them. Stay with me here, as these three issues are at the heart of dysfunctional teams on many levels.
What I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of consultants who can dole out information and set up role-playing exercises, but they do not have a clue as to what is underneath the team’s dysfunction, what is at the heart of it. I just gave you a clue when I mentioned the word, “heart”. Change does not happen at the intellectual level; feelings are what drive real, sustainable change.
Over the years, after dealing with my own self-image issues, deconstructing a mindset system that no longer served me to my higher potential, and making friends with my feelings, I begin to have inspired ideas and come across principles that helped me to turn around the dysfunction and drama that was going on in my business so dramatically that ultimately accounts receivables more than doubled, I worked less, absenteeism fell to practically zero, and customer service improved so radically that I ultimately was awarded the community’s Service Award for 2004.
Also, interestingly enough, neuroscience began to catch up with what I had started applying. I did not wait on science to dictate to me what worked; by learning ten years ago how to quiet my mind and reconnect with my spirit, I begin to have inspired ideas and insights and to acquire the information that I needed and I took action, radical action and sure enough, it changed my life and business on every level.
My intensive background in studying the brain and science, as well as my natural ability to be creative and intuitive has come together for such a time as we are now living. Now that I have the science it is nice to be able to help other logical intellects to be open to accepting new information to help them to upgrade their way of seeing their life and business.3
I can help by sharing wisdom and insights gleaned from information and experience, yet at the end of the day, you have to make the decision to wake up and take your own power back from external voices that seek to use your energy to their own ends. In an ideal world, the flow of energy is a mutual, collaborative effort between caring, healthy-minded individuals. I share my gifts and talents and you share your resources based on its value to you and vice versa.
No person is an island and we are all like little cells that form the body of the planet. We are all interconnected. In fact, do your see the root words “one song” within the word “universe”? We are the orchestra leader in our own life but instead of focusing on creating our own unique beautiful symphony, we keep our focus on what externals are telling us to play.
We stay in constant distraction by what we fear or “don’t want”. When we come from an awareness that that the universe is here to support us and that we have within us whatever we need to fulfill our own destiny, we can start to turn our attention on integrating the many moving pieces of our lives and to create a harmonious life.
We are the common denominator within the various areas of our life. If we continue to buy into the idea that we are “not enough, not good enough or that something is wrong with me”, we create a life that is noisy – a cacophony full of drama and overwhelm. We often miss the beauty within ourselves and in others and instead our brain attempts to create our “self-fulfilling prophecy”, which will keep us focused on what we have unwittingly bought into as “facing reality”, the default pattern of fear.1