We say soothing words to others when they are upset. Why not use the same approach with ourselves when we’re feeling down, asks Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (William Morrow). Gestures of compassion—even when given to ourselves—release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes feelings of trust. You might speak soothing words to yourself when you are upset, just as you would to someone else. You might say, “I know that I am feeling bad right now. And I’m ready to do anything to support myself right now.”
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born…and the day you find out why. ~Mark Twain
It is essential to know why you do what you do. This is your purpose. And when the purpose is clear and communicated to everyone in a way that is understood, everyone is on the same boat, so to speak and can move forward in the right direction.
Like building a house and putting down a strong foundation, this is the first foundation block to creating an Amazing Company.
A company is a system, just as an individual, a family, and even the Universe. When you know how to optimize the system, you bring the best into your world. A big part of this is in knowing why you exist. In the business world, it is the reason why the company exists.
Here are a few examples of great purposes from our model companies that we feature in our book, Engage!:
- TOMS Shoes—it is a “One For One” movement; not a shoe.
- MindValley—it is about “Pushing Humanity Forward” and optimizing human potential through personal development products and education.
- HCL Technologies—putting “Employees First, Customers Second” has taken this global technology company to $4 billion in revenues in 3 years—and the primary focus has shifted to their people.
- Whole Foods—they know that “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” make the world a better place
- Southwest—giving their customers the “Freedom to Fly” drives their business forward and give clarity to all business decisions.
- Achievers—they are “Changing The Way The World Works” through recognition.
The clear purpose is one of the key foundational elements that you can build your company on… and your life too. When a company is not in touch with its purpose, it will be lost.
Why do you do what you do? Let’s say you’re an executive of a company. You want to make a good living.
• Why is that? Because you want to live a good life and take care of your family.
• Why is that? Because you want to make them happy.
• Why is that? Because it’ll make you feel good.
• Why is that? Because you want to be happy too.
When anyone does this exercise on a personal level, eventually we end up with just a few core reasons: love, happiness, and peace.
It’s a simple exercise and it shows that even though we all come from different walks of life, we all have the same core desires within us…which doesn’t make us so different from each other after all.
A purpose statement is like a compass—guiding you on the path to reach your destination. A company may have a purpose well defined, but the important question to ask is this:
Is it a purpose that will inspire others to take action?
If not, it is probably not the bigger purpose. We can lift a company’s purpose to a much higher level just by asking “and why do we do that?” several times until you discover that higher purpose for being. Knowing the purpose then becomes the guiding light for smooth sailing. The same is true on a personal level.
After going through so many difficult years, I now know my purpose is “Bringing Joy To The World” by teaching all that I have learned along the way through my books, courses, programs, etc. Even Jim Carrey, one of the funniest people alive, has his own personal purpose defined very clearly—“Free People From Concern”.
A clearly defined purpose statement is the foundation to building a purpose driven life and a purpose driven company.
We are in some crazy times and if you watch anything on the news or TV, you’d think the world might be coming to an end.
Let me tell you that this is not true.
According to research by Peter Diamandis, best selling author of Abundance, and many others, we are living in the most abundant and peaceful times right now.
However, that is not what mainstream media wants you to believe. It is a machine that churns out negative news to keep us in fear.
Yes, there are atrocities still happening in the world and I am not denying that. Yes, there are still horrible incidents occurring that should not be. No human being should be losing their life in violence and we definitely should not be killing each other—ever!
But what we are seeing is the revealing of old systems that are dying right now. We are bringing out dated belief systems to light so that we can understand that it is time to move on. These old ways of thinking no longer serve us! And it’s time to transmute them by consciously choosing to think, feel, and believe something else.
Humanity is waking up and choosing love over fear. It is a joy to see this!
The reality is that peace starts inside, with each and everyone one of us. When you can keep the calm during the chaos, you influence the situation around you by modeling something positive.
This was a lesson I learned all too well sitting wrongly accused in a high security holding facility for almost four years. It is possible to practice peace, to choose love over fear, and to positively impact those around you by doing this.
So when you start to feel overwhelmed by the circumstances around you…look closely around you and know that you are a powerful being who can influence the world. You can choose to have thoughts of love, compassion, forgiveness, healing, and peace, and send that out into the world instead.
I had a clear vision once where I saw how polluted the world really was by all of our emotional baggage and drama. I saw the earth from space covered with a thick grey smog or clouds and the war zones were black clouds. But there were beams of light shooting out through those clouds. Those beams of light were people who were practicing peace, love, and joy.
Ok, now you might think that sounds hokey. But those beams of light are powerful. And they do break up the collective emotional pollution. The more people that can practice peace in their own lives, the sooner we will all have peace.
The key is to know that it all starts inside of us.
So what can you do now in the midst of all this turmoil?
Turn off the TV. Stop reading the news, or read it in limited quantities. Trust me, you’ll still hear about the important things you need to know about anyway. And choose to find the joy in your life. Appreciate all the good things that are happening. And find peace in knowing that we are in the middle of the greatest transformative times in our lives. Be a part of the solution…not a part of the problem.
Help make the world a better place for everyone. The time is now.
Start practicing peace daily.
Smile at everyone who comes within three feet of you, says Kevin Knebl, social-media and networking consultant and coauthor of The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking (McGraw-Hill). He believes that the Knebl Three-Foot Rule, as he calls it, is the “right way to live” if you want long-term success in business and in life. The rest of the rule goes like this—“If they smile back, say hi. If they say hi back, start a conversation with them about them.”
In the last two months, my life has been turned upside down and sideways by two major family crises. Everyone will eventually be fine but it has been challenging to say the least.
I have done my best to manage everything and kept thinking to myself, what am I meant to learn here? So I decided to write down five tools and tricks that I’ve been using myself to maintain my level of inner peace, even when things seem to be falling apart all around me.
- Stay Present – I may not be the best at practicing mindfulness but in these times, it has certainly helped to just be living in the moment because you don’t know what else may be there. Staying focused on the exact moment, the feelings and making sure that you are giving love, can help. As with all crises, this too shall pass, the sun does eventually come back out.
- Prioritize – when you’ve got things coming down at you from many directions, it is a matter of figuring out what is most important and focus only on that. All else can wait. We knew with the situation that we faced, that it would require our full focus and energy and therefore we cleared all the other major projects that we had coming. It just wasn’t going to be viable to take on big projects in the middle of having to deal with a crisis. Family comes first above all else and this was definitely the right decision for us at this time.
- Reframe – I’m a big believer that things happen for a bigger reason. It can be hard to see that when you’re in the middle of having your life falling apart around you. But if you can lift yourself up to become an observer of your life, you can then start to ask, what is the lesson from this experience? Our attitude is what will make a difference in your outlook and how well you can manage. Reframing helps to make sense out of chaos.
- Trust – Life doesn’t happen TO us, it happens FOR us. If you can break out of the victim mentality of things happening to you and instead realize there must be something in the crisis for you to learn, you become empowered. There are times when you just need to surrender and allow the process, without being attached to the outcome. This is NOT easy but when you can trust that the Universe (or insert the word/name that resonates with you) will take care of you, you can move past the pain and suffering and into a place of gratitude and love…and peace.
- Self-Care – I can’t emphasis this enough! Be kind to yourself. Get extra sleep. Eat well and get some exercise. Do things that make you happy and listen to uplifting music, even if only for a little mental escapism so that you can feel better. In the middle of the first crisis, I was hit with a horrible flu. For a week, I was sleeping 10 hours a night. I haven’t gotten that much sleep in years! But my body needed it and I allowed myself the “luxury”, although it was more of a necessity. Pamper yourself in whatever ways you can so that you can be strong for others.
Crises and chaos are a part of life. And especially during these very turbulent times, I believe we are facing a massive clearing. Things are being brought to light in everyone’s lives so that we can deal with issues and move on energetically. It seems like so many people are facing tough challenges right now. Know you are not alone and there are tools that can help you manage. Collectively, we will all get through these challenging times and I have faith some really amazing times are just around the corner for humanity.
Many of us complain that there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything we need and want to do. But sometimes the more we do, the more we can do. Researchers are finding that when people spend brief periods of time helping others, they end up feeling as though they have more time. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that people who spent time volunteering felt more efficient and less stressed and hurried than those who did not. We know that volunteering is good for our health, but who knew it also could help with time management and stress management?
In these hectic days of busy-ness, the best present you can give to yourself is to take a little time to evaluate your life. If we don’t do this regularly, time will disappear and before you know it, years have gone by and you’ll wonder where it went. Rather than allowing your life to slip through the sands of time, take a little time on a regular basis to evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go.
Personally, I generally do the following activities at the New Year, my birthday (which is in March), and at the end of summer when I’m gearing up to finish the year. I recommend at the very minimum, annually, but quarterly or even monthly is great.
Here are some simple ways that you can keep your life on track moving forward towards the experiences you want to have. Take out a piece of paper or better yet, write this down in a journal so you can come back to it in the future to reflect back.
- Write down your top goals that you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. Just the act of putting it down on paper makes it more concrete and the odds of these things happening increase dramatically. In fact, only 3% of people actually write down their goals and according to a study of Harvard students, that 3% will make ten times more than the other 97% put together!
- Write down how you want to FEEL in the coming months. Get in touch with the emotions and feelings you want to have as your dominate feelings. Whether it is love, happiness, joy, abundance, peace, fun, excitement, passion, or whatever is important to you, bringing this awareness to how you are feeling is going to keep you on track of situations that are in line with these feelings—nor even more importantly, situations that are NOT in alignment with these core emotions.
- Write down what experiences you want to have. Be specific, dream big, bring fun into this. What are the things you’re dreaming about doing in your life. There is absolutely no time better than NOW to start experiencing it. Life is about living…not settling or waiting until the time is right or you have enough money/time/freedom/ability/insert your reasons here to make it happen. The dynamic about creating your life is that you need to be clear and specific about you want, set the intention to make it happen, and then guess what? It has a much higher liklihood of happening!
- Write down how you want to give back in your life. The key to bring joy into your life and creating the life you want to live is directly tied into how you want to give back. Your ability to receive grows as you give. And as you give, you help others feel good which in turn makes you feel good too. The more interactive this is, the better. Although it is nice to write a check to your favorite charity, it doesn’t have nearly the positive impact energetically on you versus going down to the local soup kitchen and helping to feed the homeless during the holidays or reading for children at the local library. These are just examples—come up with what feels right for you.
- Write down how you are going to take care of yourself and get committed. We only have one body and it is important to take care of it. So whether that means eating healthier foods, getting regular exercise, sleeping better, having more fun, nuturing relationships more, think about how you can take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Often people think it is selfish to put yourself before others but in fact, it is the exact opposite. When you take good care of yourself, you have more to give to others.
Once you’ve written these 5 ways to get the most out of the coming year, think about all you’ve accomplished, and how far you’ve come so far. Celebrate your progress and know that you are getting in the driver’s seat of your life. You become empowered when you stop and take a little time for this reflection. And dream about how you want to experience your life. Because everything that we can imagine and dream about, we can bring into our experiences if we stay focused, determined, committed, and loving the path we’ve chosen to take. Good luck and here’s to making your dream life come true!
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City compared pleasurable emotions and heart disease risk in about 1,800 adults. The more positive emotions expressed, the lower the risk for heart disease.
Smile on—it’s good for your heart.
I recently read this on a window while walking down a busy city street. It made me stop and think for a minute… and stuck in my brain permanently.
Such a simple statement, yet so profound…
We are ALL perfect, right here, right now.
There is nothing we have to do other than accept ourselves as we are — a work in progress!
Suffering comes when we become attached to an expectation. If you truly learn to be living in the present, being fully aware, you are able to love your imperfections.
You can forgive yourself because you are a work in progress and you aren’t done growing, learning, and discovering the best version of yourself.
Understanding that you are perfect because you are not allows love and self compassion to flood your life. It brings a level of acceptance that eliminates a lot of the criticism, harsh judgments, and berating we tend to do to ourselves.
You can either be your own worst enemy or the one who loves you the most.
Having teenager daughters, we often have discussions about image and self confidence. Those teenage years can be some of the harshest in our lives when we are so wrapped up in what everyone else thinks about us.
I know many adults still feeling the sting of cruel words that were said to them in their younger years.
It is such a fragile time. We do not need to carry those wounds.
You can choose to heal, accept, forgive, and move forward with your life.
With these magical words, you are given permission to do so. It frees you up to work consciously to be the best version of yourself.
I recently had one of the deepest coaching sessions with a new mentor. In a matter of a few minutes, he had taught me the power to be aware of being aware.
That is how you can bring yourself into the present moment. This is conscious living.
We are the only species who replays movies in our head over and over and continue to suffer from them, whether you are beating yourself up for something you’ve done or are worrying about a future event. Either way, it is not serving you.
Bring yourself to seeing the joy in the small, seemingly inconsequential moments of life. Because in the end, it is those little memories that make all the difference.
Love yourself because you are NOT perfect… because you are perfect just like that!
Written by: John Assaraf
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
Thoughts create everything. But here’s the problem. Most people spend their time thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again. In The Secret, we referred to this as the “don’t want” epidemic. When people think, speak, act and focus on what they don’t want, they keep it alive.
You can free yourself of this epidemic by thinking and speaking about what you do want. Your thoughts not only matter, they create matter. Thought is where everything comes from. And your thoughts are where your business comes from. Consciousness is what the universe is made of; matter and energy are just two of the forms that consciousness takes.
So, what are we saying here, that everything is made of thought? That thought creates the physical world? Yes, that is exactly what we are saying. In a nutshell, here is the conclusion so far of humanity’s epic quest to understand the world:
- Everything in the physical world is made out of atoms.
- Atoms are made out of energy.
- Energy is made out of consciousness.
If all of this seems difficult to grasp or accept, imagine what it must have seemed like to the people of Galileo’s time when they were asked to consider the proposition that the earth travels through space around the sun. Or the idea of a spherical earth to pre-Socratic philosophers. The truth is, we don’t see what is there. We see what we are prepared to see, what we are conditioned to see.
Once we know that everything is energy—that there is no absolute distinction between matter and energy—then the boundaries between the physical world and the world of our thoughts start to disappear as well.
You’ve heard the old expression, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But that’s not really how it is. The truth is more like this: “You’ll see it when you believe it.”
When novelist Victor Hugo said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” we now know that this was more than a metaphor. He may not have fully realized it at the time, but he was giving us a literal description of how reality works. Our thoughts are the controlling factor in what we manifest and create in our lives.
The idea precedes the thing.
In a very real, concrete sense, your beliefs don’t simply reflect your reality, they create your reality. This concept applies to the reality of massive success in business.
Listen to your thoughts. What are the dominant thoughts that run through your mind?
Review your thought list. Is it a list of “don’t wants” or wants? What thoughts do you need to change?
Replace your “don’t wants” with wants. When you find yourself thinking of things you don’t want to manifest in your life, interrupt those thoughts and replace them with thoughts about what you do want.
Start with a picture, an idea in your mind, and before you know it, you will be living it. This is at the heart of how John Assaraf’s dream house showed up, as well as every business he has built. The same thing happens to every business person who has a vision and knows their thoughts have a direct, causal impact on reality.
Your thoughts and beliefs are the most powerful force in the universe. Make sure you are cognizant of yours.
John Assaraf is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, researcher and explorer of consciousness and human behavior. His love and passion for discovering and teaching people how to release the internal mental blockages that holds them back from achieving their fullest potential is what drives him and gives his life purpose and meaning. You can find out more about John at www.JohnAssaraf.com or www.PraxisNow.com.