Much like the game show – “WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?” – Life can be seen thru the eyes and strategies on this game show.   It provides a great strategy and way to look at how to deal with questions and challenges as they come up.

Think about it – you are able to do (in this case – answer) a series of increasingly difficult activities that help you progress towards your goal.  And in this case, it is to make a million.   Much like what many of us aim for in our vocations – is an income or wealth level.

We make that our target for many and mixed reasons ranging from the most essential of survival, safety and security.  (Think Maslow’s hierarchy.)  To fulfillment and then ultimately joy (self-actualization).  As we progress in our ability to clothe, house and feed ourselves and those we love – our desires migrate to finding more meaning and fulfillment in life.  For some, that is having a wonderful home, for others it is a series of possessions or experiences, and for others it is adventures, sports and others it can be family, friends and festivities.

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Ever think about the importance of the thoughts you think, the words you use and the resulting actions you take?

Most of us have learned certain words are not “nice” words – you know those swear words! I grew up with a Southern born mother that had a bar of soap handy – so swear words were pretty far and few for me until I was out of the house. I did use the word DAMN – once – when I was a senior in high school.  It wasn’t a pleasant outcome – soap doesn’t taste all that great!

In addition, to those “not so nice words and phrases”, it is also important to be aware of the words we use every day that are negatively impact our thoughts, emotions and thus resulting behavior.  They don’t look, feel or sound “bad” at first use or even over a few uses. It is when they become your “go to” – they become our way of thinking, acting and being.

So, I thought I would share with you what I share with my VIP clients. Here is a short list of disempowering words, followed by some suggested better choices.These options empower your language and thus your mindset, your emotions and your actions.

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Do you awake to over 100 email in your inbox?

Does your heart skip a beat when you hear the chime of yet another email? Or do you feel a sense of dread and hear strains of some “looming” music in your head?

I know I do.

Do you find you spend hours just getting thru all the latest offers, freebies, special deals, one time only, buy it today, get it now opportunities? And that is only your personal email.

And if you are a business owner, entrepreneur or professional you have more than one email account – so double or triple the impact of overflowing emails inboxes.

So, let me share with you a bit of why online marketers send you so many emails.

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You made a decision.

Did you decide on A or B?  Or maybe “C”.  And now that you made the decision to choose “B”, are you second guessing yourself? Does your self-talk sound like this?

 Should I have chosen “A”, what about “C”.   Oh, and maybe there is a “D” option.  Know the spin.  Did I make the right decision?  What if I didn’t?  What if I did?  What if? 

Making a decision is easier for some than others.  However all of us go thru the same thoughts (and doubts) about our decisions. A decision is reaching a conclusion or resolution after consideration of the many variables that play a role in whatever you are making a decision about.

Some people are more comfortable in making decisions, and are called “Decisive” and seem to not go through all the extra thinking and rethinking that others do.  However, decisive people do go through a similar process though it can be so fleeting even they are not aware of it.  They have mastered the process which I call the “SPIN” or “The Doubt loop”.

The more “decisive” person appears to not necessarily spend much time in this loop or has learned to run through it quickly, clearing up any open concerns and moving forward.

Here is how it goes: you make a decision and within seconds or quickly thereafter:

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You don’t quite know why you are “off”, you just know that you are.  AND you more often than not look for a reason or THE reason for WHY you are off, out of sorts or just not feeling your “normal” self.

I can rationalize the reason for my “off” day(s) like no other. Some of my favorite rationalizations are: change in weather, something I heard in the news, something I read on Facebook, not getting enough sleep, eating too late or any other number of rationalizations. And yes, any of those rationalizations can be true at various points in time.

But, there are still those days when it isn’t easy to find the “cause” nor is it important to know the cause. It isn’t required to have a reason, a rationalization or a justification. It is ok to just be off. What is more important is to ALLOW yourself to be and feel whatever is coming up for you. And to offer yourself compassion – SELF compassion.

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Why does it take an incident, an accident or an emergency to get our attention?  It did me.  A visit to the ER, 5 stitches and one heck of a headache.   I had passed out and found the floor the hard way. We are all running so fast to keep up the increasing demands on our time, our energy and our mental and physical health, that it takes a lot to grab out attention and slow us down.

I believe the pace of information, technology and our new millennial culture is continuing the 24 x 7 pace so popular in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The years of the internet boom (and bust), the exponential growth of technology, the globalization of information in an instance and the increasing need to “keep” up the charade.   Yes, I said charade.

The charade was, and is, our belief that MORE is better, FASTER is better and… and…   Well, I have something to share…..  Simplicity and self-compassion are making a comeback.  Yep… and their time has come.  (Breathing a sigh of relief) and none too soon.

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Over the past few years, here has been a huge influx of providers into the personal development, coaching, entrepreneurial and on line guru industries.

Like any profession or business when it hits a surge of growth, where the chance for riches with ease seem to likely or – many “will jump” in to make that “easy buck”.  And with the movement back to authenticity – it shines a light on the profession and the professionals in it.

Here are few tips to help you sort thru the many personal development, entrepreneurial, and coaching professionals out there.  These tips are based on my years in coaching as well as from my years in recruitment and hiring.  I know from experience – when I was weighing the pros and cons to make the best hiring choice- determining the “CAN DO” and the “WILL DO” were a bit easier than the less quantifiable “FIT”.   

CAN DO (Knowledge/Ability) –

Does the coach/expert/professional bring the specific expertise for the goal(s) you wish to achieve?

For example, if you desire help on handling your primary relationship better – go to a coach that specializes in relationships.   While I can be a great ear and wonderful friend when talking with you about your primary relationships, I am not a relationship expert and I would refer you to someone that is.

WILL DO (Methodology/Process/Plan)

Does the coach/expert/professional use a well-defined and easily understood methodology?

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Do you ever feel vulnerable?  I know I do.  It feels like a mix of excitement, anxiousness and makes me a bit nervous. My 12 year old refers to that feeling as” nervcited”! (Don’t you just love her clarity?)

I know for many years, even hearing the word “vulnerable” set my stomach awhirl, my pulse racing and I had an instantaneous desire to dash from the room, the conversation and even the building.  Seriously!

And to this day, I choose to prepare “to be” vulnerable.  I guess you can consider me vulnerable with the idea of vulnerability.   ;’)

So many of us are not comfortable with the idea of vulnerability let alone allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.  Maybe it is because we have been made fun of, picked on, laughed at, or any number of other harmful actions and reactions humans can lob at another.  Every one of us has had more than our share of those times.  I can relate.  I was that very over weight, bucktoothed smart kid that was picked last for intramural sports – I get it!

So why my focus on this topic?  Why is my stomach a bit awhirl even writing about this (and maybe yours is too)?

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A 13.1-mile race was much more than a simple half-marathon. At least to me. So having success at this was something I was doubtful about at first. I am by no means a trained athlete or even a person who loves athletics. But I am a person who seeks to expand my abilities and accomplishments by challenging myself.

So why is this such a big deal and why am I sharing it here? Because it is a clear example of how anyone can set an intention, focus over a period of time, find joy in the process and succeed.

It wasn’t that bad, either!

Sure, it did rain that day but thankfully stopped just in time for the start of the race. The rain made things a bit humid, though. It led to a very “terrarium” type day for the 2.5 hours it took me to complete the course (my way of speaking kindly about the oppressive humidity in the lower Ohio Valley). While many runners actually run marathons and half-marathons because they are runners at heart, many more do it to be a part of something larger than themselves. There are also those that just want to be able to take selfies along the way so they can get lots of Facebook attention.

So assuming you are going to run a marathon, or a half-marathon, let’s take a deeper look at how you can apply these training techniques to help you have success.

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Welcome back to Part 3 of The 3 Keys to Understanding Success.

I hope you are finding the first two keys helpful and that you are growing in your understanding of SUCCESS.

Last week, in the 2nd key, the idea of contribution and how that relates to our feelings of “SUCCESS” was discussed. I defined contribution as the ability to be of service to others, to be of positive impact and to add value to another.

So who did you contribute to this past week? Your family, your friends, your community?

Where do you make your impact? Locally? Globally? On-line? At work? At home?

How did it make you feel? I bet it felt good to be doing something for someone else and focusing outside of yourself. And

And by now, I bet many of you have figured out the concept of SUCCESS isn’t necessarily a specific thing or event but rather the feelings and intangible satisfaction you feel and receive. Success is more than a plaque for your wall, the title on the door, or the number of likes on Facebook.

And that sense or feeling leads us right into the third and final key to understanding success – Joy and Happiness.

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