Are You Getting What You REALLY Want?

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We received a great question from one of our listeners who said,

“I recently had to make a significant life decision to end a long-term relationship and while I see this as a great opportunity to start fresh and REALLY go after what I want and need, I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to start. Any tips on getting clear on my own needs would be wonderful.”

In this podcast, Chris and Paul tackle the subject and provide two simple exercises that any can apply to their own situation.

One looks at identifying what you want more of, and less of. Another gets your mind stimulated by looking at experiences, people, characteristics and relationships that either fuel your energy or drain your energy.

After listening to this podcast, let us know what you want more of or send us a topic/question for a future show.

Having the Energy to Do It All

With a hint of regret and a look of disappointment, a client recently revealed that she just doesn’t feel like doing much in the evenings after a day of work.

She was too tired to think, too overwhelmed to see clearly and “…just needed some ‘me’ time to unwind”.

Of course, she’s not alone.

It’s a common malaise of today’s “always on” way for many people – demands continue to rise yet our capacity to meet those demands doesn’t naturally rise along with them. This often leaves us in a deficit of time, energy and enthusiasm for what matters to us outside of work (and many important things in work too).

We would never say it’s what we think, but our behaviour often shows that part of us believes that because technology runs at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time, then we should to.

Illogical, but the truth for many of us nonetheless.

Is there an alternative? Is it possible to break this cycle?

Of course there is.

Sometimes we just need to slow down long enough to notice, to think and to reset our perspective on where we want our energy to be directed.

The first thing to understand is that unlike machines and technology that run on one or two sources of energy (e.g. electricity, petrol), we humans run on – and need – four sources of energy.

Physical energy is the foundation. It’s the quantity of energy we have on a daily basis directly influenced by sleep, what we eat and drink, and how we exercise (or not). Without physical energy we are fairly useless to ourselves and others.

Emotional energy is the quality of our energy. We are fuelled by our emotions and how we feel profoundly influences how we perform. What’s more, we have much more control over our emotions than we give ourselves credit for.

Mental energy is where and how we direct our energy. Where does your focus tend to go? On big important things that matter most to you? Or on small, but voluminous details and minor things that keep you busy but don’t move you forward and accelerate your success. When it comes to trying to deal with all the things in our lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of mistaking activity for productivity.

Spiritual energy is simply about having a sense of purpose and being in alignment to that purpose. That doesn’t just apply to the biggest question of all, “What is the purpose of your life?” but even on a daily basis where it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of many of the things that requires your energy, attention and time. In the UK and other parts of Europe it’s a common expression that something, or an experience, can be “soul destroying” – a cancelled project, a task you’ve been assigned where you don’t see the point of it all, or being overloaded with demands from your boss who doesn’t see that you’re already struggling to keep your head above water.

Within these four dimensions of your energy lies every solution you need to lead a more rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, happier, healthier and purposeful life.

If you are like the thousands of smart, educated and committed people who tend to fall flat at the end of the day, or week, you need to do something differently.

It’s not the way it should be. You must stop tolerating that and seeing it as acceptable.

You should have enough energy at the end of your work day to fully engage in your personal life, friends, hobbies and activities that you enjoy.

It’s how we humans are designed and it’s what you deserve.

So as a starting point, at the end of your day, give yourself a score of 1-10. 1 is you are completely and utterly drained, 10 is you are fully energised. Score yourself on EACH of the four dimensions of energy.

The more accurately you can diagnose where your deficit currently is, the more precisely you can apply the right solution.

Having more energy isn’t just about getting more sleep or putting your feet up.

As my client began to realise, making small changes and creating new habits to expand her energy across the four dimensions creates an upward, positive and sustainable spiral of renewable energy.

Within a matter of days, she felt more energised, more focused, more engaged and more fulfilled.

And perhaps most importantly of all, she reconnected with her inner strength and capacity to take back control of her choices and her life.

Do you regularly find yourself being drained at the end of the day? What would you love to do that you don’t seem to have the energy to do? Leave a comment below and let us know and we will provide suggestions and strategies in upcoming podcasts and blog posts. Or pop your feedback on our Facebook page.

Why Your Problem Isn’t Going Away

Do you have a problem or challenge that seems to continually behave like an uninvited guest in your life?

Those extra 10lbs around your waist line?

That annoying boss that is always micro-managing your every move?

That credit card debt that is quietly growing, not shrinking?

We all have “problems” that can be a constant thorn in our side and cause of frustration, disappointment or even depression.

But if it’s sticking around in your life longer than you want or need it to, you’ve got to ask WHY?

WHY does it continue to persist?

WHY have you allowed it to persist?

Despite all the resasons you might give, and what you say when you vent to your partner or best friend, they may not be the “right” reasons.

Changing something can be hard and when we face change we fight against our natural tendencies for maintaining our internal status quo.

We are hardwired for self-preservation. Some say that’s evolutionary, some say it’s passed down from generations. Either way, what research shows is that we are designed to conserve as much as possible…calories, physical energy, mental energy, emotional energy, etc.

In other words, we like the path of least resistance and this directly affects the decisions we make and the action we take.

And because we like the path of least resistance we generally respond to change in one of four ways:

a. Procrastinate – we intellectually know – and emotionally, are acutely aware – that something is off in our lives but we decide we can delay taking action until some later time (and be no worse off). It may not feel like a decision, but our behaviour shows that we have decided to not take the action necessary to resolve it.

b. Rationalize – we acknowledge the conflict but downplay it in our mind. We justify the problem for the time being even if it still stings but are convincing enough to allow it to persist. “It’s only 5lbs but I’m not as heavy as I was in 2008 and I don’t have any big social obligations coming up so I’ll just wear my bagging clothes until I need to change…”

c. Suppress – we try to completely ignore it or push it out of our minds. We turn our attention to more pressing matters, or convenient distractions that we can find in the moment. Chocolate or the office sweets jar are a common reprieve from the discomfort.

d. Accept – we acknowledge it yet tell ourselves that this is the way things are and there’s no point trying to change it. We adopt learned helplessness and play victim to the situation rendering us incapable of making it better. It may feel like that is true but this approach can erode our self-esteem, self-worth and resourcefulness to find a way…because there’s always a way if we want it badly enough.

When we engage in any of these behaviours we are effectively resolving our conflict in the moment but the reality is we’re not solving anything. It feels like we are because the tension goes away but we’re only delaying the eventual solution.

And when your action is only aimed at resolving your inner conflict (e.g. your feelings of stress, worrying, frustration, disappointment, etc) in the moment but don’t actually move closer to eliminating the real issue, you are directly and undeniably encouraging your problem to stick around.

So when you ask WHY the challenge continues to be present in your life, start measuring yourself against these four common responses.

  • Are you exhibiting one or more of these behaviours more than you should?
  • Are you doing it consciously and actively avoiding having to face the issue head on?
  • Or were you doing it unconsciously but now you can see how you are contributing to the lingering nature of the problem?

It’s time to take back control of yourself and be more mindful of how you respond to problems.

Just as you trained yourself to take the path of least resistance, you can train yourself to take the path of most effectiveness. You can make your default reaction more conscious, more honest, more courageous, more resourceful and cut off the chance of it sticking around longer than it needs to.

Which in turn, means you will have more energy and optimism for the things that really matter to you and to work on becoming the person you want to be.

If this post resonated with you, tell us why? How do you tend to respond and what do you think you could do differently in the future. Leave us a comment below or post on our facebook page.

 

Summer Book Series #8: The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield

This week Sam and Paul discuss a very different type of book that has helped them with their own adventures into self development: The Celestine Prophecy.

A novel rather than a strictly instructional personal development book, James Redfield wrote The Celestine Prophecy to deliberately act as a parable – a story that illustrates a point or can be used as a teaching aid.

The book spent 165 weeks in the New York Times best seller list, and has sold over 20 million copies.

Both Sam and Paul have very different points of view when it comes to spiritual ideologies, but this didn’t stop them finding the book equally intriguing and even powerful in what it sets out to teach the reader through a mini adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a new perspective on life, the world and our connections, or whether you’re just curious and up for a new adventure, The Celestine Prophecy is a book that will allow you to develop your own experience and understanding of it, therefore taking from it whatever you want or need.

The Celestine Prophecy in Books

The original book, [amazon ASIN=”0553409026″]The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield[/amazon], has been added to and expanded upon by not only a guide that can be used for book groups, discussions and reflections, [amazon ASIN=”0553503707″]The Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide[/amazon], but also by a couple of additional insights which can be read after the first adventure.

Do let us know about your own experiences of it if you’ve read this book before, or what you think if it isn’t the type of book you’d usually find on your bookshelves. Was it an interesting adventure? Was it jam-packed with insights and wisdom that really resonated with you? Please leave comments below, or tell us at facebook.com/ActionPodcast.

Turn Regret Into Action

No Regrets....

No Regrets...

This is a time of the year when our thoughts turn reflective as we look back at the year we’ve had.

Can you say there’s nothing you regret?

Chris and Sam reckon it’s not too late to turn things around – whether it is something that didn’t happen or something that didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. Pick one thing you’d like to either resolve or at least progress a little, before the year is out. (We help out with some relationship examples). The more emotionally charged the better!

A baby step could see you dissolving a regret, freeing up some emotional energy or creating a stronger foundation to move forward from in 2012.

Make a real difference to this year and your relationships this week!

The Key to a Rapid Boost in Your Performance

How often do you start your day by getting all the little things ‘out of the way’ first – clearing email, cleaning your desk, catching up on niggly out-of-date to do’s that are stressing you out since they still haven’t been done?

All done in an attempt to get the smaller, mundane (or urgent) things off your plate so you can settle down into your day and finally get to the important stuff.

It’s a strategy most of us use on a regular basis – but for most of us, it’s flawed. And usually painfully so.

While this approach often feels like the best thing to do, how often do you actually get to the most important items? Chances are, it’s rare and often at a cost. Continue reading

Get More Energy From Your Relationships

Is that possible? To get energised from your relationships? In this podcast Gina and Chris provide a practical strategy and steps to evaluate your current relationships. With this awareness you can make better decisions on how and who you spend your time with to improve your energy levels.

After this you’ll now have more energy to put towards the most important things in your life.

Leave a comment and let us know what you discovered by following this exercise and putting the strategy in place.

How to: Expand Your Comfort Zone

“You should expand your comfort zone”

Often when people first hear that phrase it strikes fear into them, that dreaded thought of moving out of their comfort zone. This is often because people think they need to do something something big and dramatic, and that quite frankly scares the life out of them. This simple is not true.

Continue reading

The Words and Thoughts That Cost You the Most

Just like the financial loss of a unattended credit card debt or an unused monthly membership, whether you realise it or not, you are paying a significant price for some of your thoughts and words.

It’s a concept you’ve probably never considered, but the payoff is huge.

Which thoughts and words?

The most expensive words you’ll ever utter are the excuses you use to rationalise not doing the things you know need to be done.Continue reading

The Power of the First 1/10th

You may not have noticed, it probably passed like a ship in the night, but this week included a milestone day for all of us. That’s right…Monday February 7th was the 37th day of the year. An ordinary day by any standards but one that also marked the end of the first 10% of this year.

One-tenth of 2011 is now gone. How was it for you?

Are you off to a flying start like an Olympic sprinter? Are you really making an effort to do what you want to do? Having more fun, checking off your to-do list with a steady flow of energy and optimism?

Or are you still stuck in the starting blocks? Putting off what really matters to you or perhaps waiting for some issues to clear before starting on your goals for the year? Maybe just postponing real action until Continue reading