8 Agreements with yourself

Here are eight agreements you should make with yourself to help you build discipline and willpower in 2012. I do this exercise every year. Whenever I get complacent or fall into a rut I go back to these agreements and remind myself not to break them.

See something bigger in yourself!

Health – Cherish your body. Nothing else matters more. Focus on the energy you have. Eat well, exercise and relax daily. Fill your daily life with purposeful activities that give your body a reason to manifest energy.

Love – Love yourself by looking after your health and guarding your mind against negative images, negative thinking and negative associations. Look your best by wearing clothes that make you feel attractive. Have the courage to show and give love to your life partner, whether or not they give it back. Tell your partner daily what you love about them – words are powerful. Work just as much on your love life as you do on your work.

Family – Support your family at all times. Give them the confidence to pursue their goals and dreams. Help them overcome obstacles. Focus on their strengths and their good qualities. Remind them daily of that. Tell them you love them no matter what happens – whether they succeed or fail at anything. Spend time developing a relationship with all family members.

Work – Choose to love your work. Always do your best. Focus on the difference that your product or service is making to society. Have empathy for your customers. Value the privilege of serving them from the heart. Be grateful that you live in a society where there is the opportunity to work. At all times be honest in the execution of your work. Master your job by constantly learning and evolving. Always ask yourself, ‘can I do this job better?’ Be impeccable in your conduct at work. Be fearless in your execution.

Friendship – Let your words, laughter and charm bring a smile to others. Help your friends see the lighter side of life and not take themselves too seriously. Act with integrity and hold true to your standards and beliefs. Never compromise them to be popular. Never pre-judge others. Be open to new friendships. Always greet people with a smile and a friendly hello. How others respond is their own reality and has nothing to do with you.

Learning – Commit to 45 minutes of learning daily about every aspect of your life and not just your work and wealth. Limit watching TV and other popular media. Watch uplifting talks by great thinkers on TED.com. Read books from pioneering minds. Attend courses and seminars organised by people who care and have something unique to share. Listen twice as much you talk. Discover your talents by having self-awareness for your thoughts and feelings. Live a conscious life where you decide what you want to listen to, read and watch.

Wealth – Invest in yourself first before you invest your money. If you have a business invest in your own field of dreams first before investing with others on the stock market. Live a frugal lifestyle and reduce your dependence on money. Spend less, save more. Say no to consumerism and your addiction to buying more and more things that end up collecting dust in the attic. But don’t skimp on things that improve your life.

Charity – Learn about the plight of others in need. Don’t shut yourself out to other people’s suffering. Help others by giving your time and/or money. Charity does not have to be grand. A simple kind word of support is sometimes all that someone needs. Help a team member at work.  Share an idea that can help a friend live a better life.

You’re Living in the Past Man!

I love that line from Seinfeld.

When it comes to work and working I want to ask you THREE questions. The answers to these questions will determine whether you are living in the past. And please be honest with your response.

1. Are you earning instead of serving?

2. Are you earning instead of learning?

3. Are you earning instead of Enjoying?

If you answered yes to all three then yes you are living and working in the past.

Some of us view work as separate to and a negative part of life. A “must do” and a “have to do” to make money so we can be happy in our personal life. This sort of thinking is outdated and frankly twisted. It is a product of the industrial revolution where we had to toil.

DO THE OPPOSITE!

In truth working is an important part of who we are. Being productive makes us feel good. In fact research shows that Working with purpose contributes to our health and wellbeing.

So change your focus. See work as serving – serving others and making a difference in society is what its all about. See work as learning – working is meant to be a place where we are constantly learning and challenging ourself. And see working as enjoying yourself – do this by having fun in the context of your work and celebrating your achievements often.

Trivia: Who said “You’re living in the past man!” to George? And in what context?

Two Greatest Teachers On Earth! Part 1

Why didn’t they tell us about these two great teachers at school?

The most successful people on earth use these two great teachers. They live by them, follow them and listen to them. Who are they? What are they?

The first great teacher is self-awareness.

Self Awareness

Learning should be an internal adventure. The problem with most school education is that we are only ever taught things that are external to us. Therefore we never develop self-awareness. And when we do not have self-awareness, it is very difficult for us to discover our talents and passions.

To have self-awareness is to know all aspects of ourselves. Especially, our thoughts and feelings. Only when we know ourselves can we know our talents. To learn about ourselves, we must learn not only what they teach us at school. We must learn about our health, love, family, friendship, work, wealth and charity. We should be learning about all these areas throughout our life. Only then can we discover the beauty inside our heart and mind. Only then can we know what hidden gems lie within.

When we consciously and consistently learn about these areas of life, we start to develop a sense of who we really are and what we really want. We start to discover our talents through that self-awareness. When we start to learn as a part of self-discovery and not obligation – we learn with intuition. We learn through creativity. When we are given the freedom to learn what we want, we start to act with responsibility and purpose. Learning becomes a part of who we are for life, and not just an obligation during our younger years. We become inquisitive and curious. Our inner genius will then present itself in a magical way.

We all have a talent that has potential for genius. Every human is born with a talent that is different to everyone else because no two humans are born the same. We are all different. We don’t look the same and we certainly do not think or feel the same. So we all must have a talent that can be applied in a unique way. How and where we apply that talent is what leads to genius. When we build self-awareness in each of the aforementioned areas of life, we give ourself the opportunity to discover that genius.

If I was in charge of all education on this Earth, I would make sure that every school curriculum taught children self-awareness from a young age. What do you think?

NEXT: Who/What is the next greatest teacher?

Flip Fear, Forever!

If you are a person that is a constant worrier and always fears the worst… take heart. You see I believe you have an amazing ability.  It takes imagination to conjure up what could go wrong in life (and business). Some of the best leaders I come across have this ability but they use it to imagine the best instead of the worst.

In my one-on-one mentoring, I come across some brilliant imaginations.  This ability usually manifests itself when we get to that part of the program, which requires action. This is when these same brilliant people start thinking of everything that could go wrong. Left to their own designs such people would think of every conceivable reason not to take action in life.

‘I could get sick’

‘I might get laughed at’

‘I might lose money’

Most coaches call that fear of failure. But when you look at it closely, it’s really nothing more than misguided imagination or, imagination gone astray. My approach is that if you harness that imagination, you can flip fear forever.

Creative imagination is a very powerful asset. And some people are born with an amazing one. But it’s a double edge sword. Your imagination can hurt you as much as it can lift you higher in life.

In my mentoring sessions I get my clients to imagine the best NOT the worst. I get them to close their eyes and imagine themselves on the field or in the boardroom or giving a presentation. I guide them to visualise all the wonderful consequences that could happen when they ‘go for it’. Kicking that goal. Making the sale. Motivating their team. Running that mile.

I finish by asking them: “How did that dream make you feel?” The response is usually, “Really awesome!”

“That’s your imagination!” I add. “Use it by visualising your best dreams not your worst nightmare.”

Dreaming about your best life is different to goal setting. Goals reside in the mind whereas dreams live in the heart. When we dream up our best life we awaken passion in our hearts. Passion then brings courage to the surface to push past fear. It’s amazing to witness some people go from the back foot to the front foot simply by flipping fear. They walk out of my office feeling stronger, taller and fearless! Seeing this transformation inspires me to do likewise.

The marketing genius – George Lois once said:

“Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens”