Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Happiness… You Can Choose That?!

So I find it interesting when I hear people say things like… “when I meet the right person I will be happier” or “when I get that new job I will be happier” or “when I pay off my bills I will be happier” or “when I blah blah blah I will be happier”.  This list is endless AND pointless.  These statements make no sense.  Nothing can make you happy unless you first choose to be happy.  It starts from within.  You have to live happiness.  Like success, it is not a destination but rather happiness is the journey itself.

I constantly find myself shaking my head when I hear people say this stuff.  The logic is so skewed that I can’t even wrap my head around it to understand how they can think this way.

I’m not sure when I began to realize that happiness (or success) is something that you have to live.  It was a while ago.  I think it was back when I first started getting into reading personal development books.  For the life of me I can’t remember what book I first read this idea but nevertheless it has come up time and time again over the years.

Below is one of those instances… so without further ado here is food for thought from Jeffrey Gitomer.

(Chad)

On Choosing Happiness. What’s Your Choice?
by Jeffrey Gitomer

After is a self-defeating word. It robs you of the present, and resigns you to wait without taking any action.

You convince yourself that life will be better after something: After you get a new job, after you get a better job, after you get more money, after you get out of debt, after the economy rebounds, after your stocks go back up, after you get that big order.

You convince yourself that life will be better after an event: After you get married, after you have a baby, after you get a new house, after you take a vacation, after you come back from vacation, after summer is over, or some other action-procrastinating “after.”

Are you frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough, and believe you’ll be more content after they’re in high school or out of high school? Are you frustrated that you have teenagers to deal with? You will certainly be happy after they’re out of that stage. Certainly you’ll be happier after they’re in college, or is it out of college?

You tell yourself that your life will be more complete when your spouse gets his or her act together, when you get a nicer car, a new house, a raise in pay, a new boss, or worse, after you retire.

The truth is, the fact is, the reality is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now, when? After the economy gets better?

You may not be able to wait that long.

Your life will always be filled with challenges, barriers, and disappointments. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Alfred Souza said, “For a long, long time it had seemed to me that I was about to begin real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

There is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way.

There is no after to happiness

Happiness is now.

Here’s the answer: It’s inside your head FIRST and everyplace else second. Happiness is a treasure. Your (missed) opportunity is to treasure every moment that you have.

Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until after you quit smoking, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get your new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until the first or the fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you win the lottery, or until the cows come home to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

And treasure the happiness of now more because you share it with someone special enough to invest your time in…

Happiness is:

Not a sale or a commission.

Not an economy or a budget.

Not a yes or a no.

Not a game winning hit or a last second touchdown.

Happiness is a way of life that is inside you at all times. It helps you get over the tough times, and helps you celebrate the special times.

Seems pretty simple to define on paper, but real difficult to manifest when the chips are down. My experience has taught me the difference between resign and resolve. You can resign yourself to what is, and hope or wait for a better day. Or you can resolve that you are a positive person who finds the good, the positive, the happiness, the smile, and especially the opportunity in everything.

Happiness is now, not a goal or a destination.

It’s not an after, it’s a before.

And it’s up to you. All you have to do is: decide.

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Scrawny To Brawny

“Of course, we appreciate this objection.  But in all honesty, this is the same objection that keeps people average in every walk of life.  Those individuals who “can’t imagine” working weekends won’t advance in their profession.  Those athletes who “can’t imagine” training 6 to 8 hours per day won’t become world class.  Those entrepreneurs who “can’t imagine” risking large financial losses with a big investment will never become financially independent.”

This quote comes from Scrawny To Brawny by Michael Mejia and John Berardi.  It struck a chord with me – partly because I’m in this field of work but also because of the message they are delivering.  This quote is their response to objections they receive about how much food they suggest skinny dudes should eat to achieve the body they desire.

Instead of listening to what will make them successful they object and make excuses for why it is too difficult to follow the diet Mike and John outline.  And that, my friend, is the biggest reason why only some people are successful… because it’s hard work and most people just don’t want to do it.

I see it every day.  I’m certain that you do too.

I see people who seem as though they are just going through the motions.

Drifting.

Content with their life.
Content with their job.
Content with being fat.
Content with making excuses.
Content with being average.
Content with playing it safe.
Content with doing just enough to get by.
Content with never taking a chance with the only life they’ve been given.

Foolish!

Maybe the issue is not with being content but rather with being lazy.  Too lazy to take any action to change their life for the better.

Are you?

Maybe it’s just me but do you ever feel like nobody has pride in what they do?  I don’t care if you’re a janitor or a doctor or you sell fireworks on the side of the road in Montana.  If you’re going to do something how do you not do it to the best of your ability?  Is this a cultural thing?  Is it America that is breeding a lazy society?  Don’t really know but let me ask you this… how happy was the cashier at your local grocery store the last time you checked out?  Personally, I can say that I have yet to experience a positive and engaging check-out at a grocery store in New Jersey and I’ve been here for over two years!  That is truly a sad thing to write.  How is this acceptable?  Again, this goes back to pride.  Have pride in what you do no matter what it is because that carries over into every aspect of your life.  If you hate your job, chances are you hate your life.  If you love your job then magically everything seems a whole lot better.  Funny.  I think this might be the same thing as mindset… remember that from last week?

What I’m getting at is if you’re going to do something go all out or don’t do it at all.  If you’re going to be a doctor be the best doctor to ever take on the profession.  If you are going to be a parent be the best parent any kid has ever had.  If you’re going to be a teacher be the kind of teacher your students will remember in 20 years.  Are you catching my drift?  Don’t be a mindless worker caught in the rat race.  Wake up everyday with a purpose.  Don’t be content.  Challenge yourself everyday.  Success is not a destination it is a journey.  It should be bumpy.  But it will be worth it.  Nobody has all the answers.  The answer is that you have to take some risks and being willing to fail a few times to find out how you can get to where you want to be.

Oh yeah, and you will HAVE to WORK HARD!

Any time spent complaining about your situation could be spent finding ways out of it.

So don’t complain.

Instead choose to go above what is expected of you ALL the time.  From what I’ve seen over the past twenty-seven years only a small percentage of people in this world ever do.

Be a part of that small percentage and good things will happen.

(Chad)

How Is Your Mindset?

Mindset is something that controls your day to day life and affects your decisions.  Have you ever stopped to think if you changed your over-all mindset how this could change your day completely?  You may not realize how much having a positive attitude in a seemingly unimportant event can affect your day as well as the days of the people around you.  Let me tell you that it can AND does… immensely!

Start thinking of a moment in your day where you could have a positive mindset.  Maybe a moment where your working with someone that you don’t have that much in common with – try looking deeper at that person and think of how you can learn from them.  Or think about the way you could make a positive impact on someone else by using your positive energy to motivate them.  For example, I’m a Performance Coach; I interact and coach people every day about training and nutrition.  Sometimes I’ll have a client come in from a long day of work exhausted and really unmotivated.  I look at that person and try to use my positive energy to get them pumped up about the benefits of what they’re doing. I utilize the situation; their gains equal my gains.  Their success is my success.  If I know my positive mindset can help them to become more focused and energized then my day becomes better as well.

Whether it’s work related, or interacting with family and friends, think of ways to look at situations differently to see the positive side of things and what you can gain from them. You may find out that your life becomes drastically better just by changing the way you think.

Remember you can control your life, your actions and your mindset.  Utilize this to the best of your ability.  Because when it comes down to it life is too short to not be your best.  So give your best to everyone around you – it begins with the mindset YOU CHOOSE when you wake up in the morning.

(Chad)

Ideas Worth Spreading

For those of you who have never heard of TED.com (title of post is in their honor) you should check it out.  There are hundreds of great talks on topics ranging from technology to business to culture that will open your mind to the world.

I’d like to put in my two cents about one talk in particular entitled “How To Live To Be 100+”.  Basically, it raises the idea that we can find the optimal lifestyle of longevity based on the lifestyles of cultures that have the highest rates of centenarians.  In many ways the ideas challenge the American way of life and some things that even I myself believe.  There were a few things that I took from this video.  The most important thing is that it made me stop and re-evaluate how I live my own life.  Could I learn something from these other cultures?  Would another culture be better suited for me?  Or maybe instead of conforming to a culture I could instead adopt pieces of all of these cultures to create my own individual culture – I think I’d call it Chadism.

What I’m really getting at here is that at the end of the day what is important is that you constantly challenge yourself and what you believe.  This goes for everything. Your religion, your way of life, what you value as important, what you do in your spare time, how you treat others or even how you raise your kids (if you have them).  Keep in mind that this is highly individualistic.  There is no one size fits all here.  Just be willing to challenge yourself and find what works best for you.

Obviously the goal of these studies was to find out how to live longer but when you watch this video you will realize that there are many other things being implicitly said. For instance, it is important to value your friends, family and to be sure to spend time “decompressing” on a regular basis.

The video is about 20 minutes long but well worth your time. Also, you can take the Blue Zones Vitality Compass which is a cool little test that tells you your biological age, life expectancy, etc.

Here are my results:
Biological Age = 21 years
Life Expectancy = 95.8 years
Disease-Free Life Expectancy = 81.5 years
Accrued Years = 18.5

(Chad)