Archives for personal development

Making 2018 Better Than 2017

Part 2 of 4

Thinking by Creative Ignition on Flickr

If you celebrate Christmas, this next week will be hectic. As you lay your head to rest, instead of visions of sugarplums (whatever they are,) you might see all the things not yet done – presents not bought or wrapped, recipes not yet altered to accommodate Cousin Joe’s lactose intolerance. You might spend your time going through a mental checklist of people wondering or feeling like there was someone important you missed.

If we took a page from nature, however, as the first day of winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, we would see more stillness – an incubation (at least we do here in the Northeast). Even nature knows there is a time to rest and reflect, a time to renew and plan for what kind of rebirth is wanted or needed.

This can also be the most active time of the year to be together, and being together is what we try to remind ourselves this time of year is all about.

We’ll take a look at three more areas of your life to reflect upon and recreate for 2018, starting with the one that takes a lot of focus this time of year, even as we naturally crave seclusion.

  1. Social Life

Once I started digging into the personal and professional development world, there was an advice that really bugged me, and it continues to, even though at times I think it is sound. The advice has been regurgitated in various forms. Jim Rohn, who I quote a lot and love many of his teachings, says that you are the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time. Other teachers flat out preach that you need to leave negative people behind you and fill your inner circle with more positive, wealthy people if you want to get or stay positive and wealthy.

When I was in college I had heard that your network is your net worth, and that was so discouraging. There was some family who were (are) wealthy and prominent, but they had proven to be not very helpful, and that was the only existing route I could see to elevate myself.

I was grateful to find, as a recruiter when I started to network more, that new connections can be made, and fairly easily.

That being said, I wasn’t about to leave behind my friends. Yes, I wanted to spend more time around people who followed a path to success that I aspired to follow, but I couldn’t just cut off from my life the people who care about me, though they may not be successful, wealthy, or even positive.

The whole personal development world is now plagued by people who are aspiring to be ascended in higher thought and living, but who create a contrast between themselves and others less ascended. I see this only leading to disdain.

There are some obvious reflections you might have: did you see your loved ones enough? Did you entertain as much as you could have? Are you losing connections to friends you intend to keep?

But also consider that if you can spend more time with successful people and add to your knowledge and inspiration, the time you spend with less successful people will enable you to add something positive. Just stay mindful so that you don’t fall into a superiority trap.

As you start to see a better way to be and live, it’s natural to notice more how the people who are not living better are choosing that, and to be frustrated by it. If you really want to change it, though, you will not be effective from a place of judgment. Once you achieve a better way of living for yourself, the next thing to work on is how you can accept others where they are. And, sometimes you will also see opportunities to set healthy limits for how much you let others keep you down.

  1. Intellectual Life

As my senior business students shared their goals, it was clear to me that they were putting the accountability on their development in the hands of their future employer. Does it belong there? Is every employer going to care where you want to see yourself in 5 years as it does NOT relate to their company?  I am tying intellectual life to develop because there is a strong correlation between new knowledge and development. Can we effectively grow without gaining new knowledge?

Anecdotally in my own life, I started to see my development accelerate exponentially in my 20s when I did three things – hired a coach, started to network (as stated before), and started reading non-fiction habitually. Then in my 30s it seemed clear that I didn’t just want to read, but I wanted to discuss with others what I had been reading. I had forgotten in my 20s how much I missed discussing ideas, as was encouraged and came naturally in college. I started attending more lectures and meetups, and even started my own mastermind and meetup.

I have to admit that when I’m really busy, reading and discussing are what I cut out, but because I made them such habits and enjoyed such a boost of growth from them, I go back to them as soon as the dust settles.

It’s the best time of year to develop your reading wish list, since you may even receive one as a gift. Ask others what to read based on your goals or resolutions for 2018. People only recommend books they have read, so make a note of who recommended what and invite that person to discuss the book once your done. This helps you create a goal for finishing the book and also nurtures your social goals.

  1. Family

It seems this should be higher up the list, right?  The thing is, if money isn’t the area of your life that vexes you the most, it could be this. If this is true for you, it may seem more logical to survive the holidays and then reflect, which can look more like venting.  We can do better than that, though, and starting to achieve peace in this area by doing what is in your power to do (because we can only control our actions, not those of others) will enable you to start the year more as the person you want to be. We can’t pretend a new year will change you, but if you can demonstrate to yourself what you are capable of in this area during the time of year where the expectations are highest, you will feel more empowered to create an even better vision of your family life in 2018.

(I know very few people who can’t relate to this. If you are one of them, count yourself so blessed!)

Some of what I have learned about myself in relation to my family through my personal development has to do with me NOT wanting to feel bad and the lengths I go to not feel bad, which can include making my family wrong to make me feel right. Once I realize I am doing this, I feel worse, but only then can I start to course correct and forgive myself and them – which is very powerful.

There is one mantra that I hear a lot at personal development events that helps me maintain my sense of humility and acceptance of myself and others – “We are all doing the best we can with what, where and who we are at each stage of our lives.”

If you are feeling extra stressed this holiday season and the source is your family, watch some Brené Brown interviews on YouTube. Practice ho’oponopono, which is a Hawaiian practice that induces healing and forgiveness.

Notice that my advice in this area is actually more around action than reflection; this is because I feel I personally spend too long reflecting in this area, and not spending enough time actually making efforts that can improve it, which take practice because this is the area where triggers are voluminous. This also means that this is the area where there is the most opportunity for growth, but where growth is the hardest.

Which of the 6 areas covered so far feel the hardest to you? Which do you want to dive into first, and which one do you want to avoid?

We’ll cover 3 more areas next week.

 

Cheers to a year that is better than any before!

Sting – Brand New Day

Music video by Sting performing Brand New Day. (C) 1999 A&M Records

Think There Is Nothing You Can Do About North Korea? Think Again!

Part 3 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

Have you ever been to a live learning event? It could be a conference, or a seminar, or a Ted talk. Have you ever been awe-inspired by what you learned? Did you have an epiphany that changed your life, or did you realize something about who you are that altered your idea of yourself and the world?

If you have, then you know it’s an experience worth doing again, and yet life and obligations can push it down our priority list, as powerful as we know it has the potential to be.

If you have not, you may be initially out of your comfort zone, especially when efforts are made to have you fully integrate and become acquainted with your fellow attendees, but if you are willing and able to open your heart and mind to new possibilities, you WILL take with you insights that are bound to change the trajectory of your life, if you are also then able to apply them, and given you have found the right event.

Last week I shared with you that the MindValley Reunion in San Diego August 19th and 20th was one of those such events.

Over the next several weeks, I intend to relay to you some of the most influential moments and teachings for me. Even though all in all it was just 16+ hours of experience, my challenge will be trying to capture the power of the moments, and I’m still only on things revealed by the host, Mia Lux Koning, in the initial opening of the event.

Lux means light, and I can attest to how she illuminated some very interesting observations that started off my experience in such a thought provoking way, setting the tone for a bombardment of illuminations. One I covered last week, how some people perceive personal transformation to be selfish. [http://epiccareering.com/personal-development-selfish/]

This week, I want to focus on her observation that personal development has not yet been adopted widely by people on the East coast (of the US). She has traveled all over the world with MindValley, and lives on the East coast, as do I. I have noticed that many of the personal development coaches that I have learned from live on the West coast.

That always left me wondering, as I do sometimes when it comes to my clients’ decisions to relocate to an industry hub, as well as my own questions in my youth when I considered pursuing a career in music if I should go to New York or Los Angeles or make a name for my home metropolis, Philly, like Boyz II Men or The Roots. If what you want to change the world or make a name for yourself, do aim to be a big fish in a little pond, and then upgrade, or dive into a pond full of sharks as a little fish? And, does where you live even matter in this connected world where people collaborate remotely with ease?

If what I want is for more people to realize the integral role that personal development has in achieving goals in any realm of life, do I go to where people are already in alignment with that concept and capture that audience, or do I meet the rest of the people where they are at, earn their trust, build rapport and leverage that to influence them to experiment with various techniques and tools?

So many other questions were spurred by this one observation. I attempted to speak with Mia about them, but you can imagine how busy she was; we only had a total of 3 minutes or so to speak, total.

Some of these questions were spurred by things I had learned previously from MindValley teachers, such as Christie Marie Sheldon, and authors, such as Lynne McTaggart [The Field, The Intention Experiment.] Follow this like a theorem, if you can remember learning those. If all of the following are true, then… (read the bullets below and then see my assertion.)

  • Jeffrey Allen, a Saturday speaker at the MindValley Reunion, pointed out that the Earth, as scientifically measured, is vibrating at an exponentially higher rate than in the past, and that vibration continues to increase exponentially. In the 1970s, the earth’s vibration was 7.83 Hz. In 2014, it was ~ 24 Hz. Today it is 40 Hz. This increase is true of the human species as well. Our vibration is increasing at the same ratio. (More on Jeffrey Allen’s presentation in later weeks.)
  • Christie Marie Sheldon revealed that there are various parts of the earth where the vibration is very low, and others vibrating much higher. War torn areas, for instance, are vibrating very low. The scale that she uses is from 0-1000 and is based on researchers using kinesiology and muscle testing.
    • Muscle testing was demonstrated definitively by Donna Eden on Sunday at the event. Even the medical doctors that were in attendance could not refute the veracity of muscle testing. (More on Donna’s demonstration in later weeks.)
  • In her book The Field, Lynne McTaggart chronicled historical clinical and government tests that support the science behind quantum physics, the law of attraction, the mind-body connection, and our inherent intuitive and psychic abilities, and then in her book The Intention Experiment (The Field is a prerequisite for reading The Intention Experiment,) she went on to use science to demonstrate how we can tap into the Universal forces within all of us to influence reality.
  • In 1993, 4,000 practitioners of Transcendental Meditation focused their practices on reducing crime in Washington D.C. between June 7th and July 30th. Their goal was to reduce homicide, assault and theft by 20%. They achieved a 23.3% drop, and the results seemed to correspond with the number of participants, and there was a lasting effect on lower violent crime.
  • Back to Lynne McTaggart, who shared that remote psychokinesis, or the ability to use the power of the mind to affect physical reality from afar, had proven to be such a credible practice with substantial results that the US government had a program to use such capabilities to gain intelligence from afar, as well as to impact enemies’ environments, bodies, and weapons. This is the same program the book and movie Men Who Stare At Goats starring George Clooney is based on.

If all of this science is true, then…

We are capable of influencing peace and positive progress, AND by collaborating in real time from remote places, focusing on the same results, we may be able to

  • Disarm North Korea
  • Accelerate rebuilding and recovery of Texas and Louisiana
  • Reverse global warming, so that these regions and everyone else impacted can stay in their homes
  • End the war in Afghanistan
  • Ease tensions in Syria, South Sudan, and the Ukraine
  • Alleviate hunger in Nigeria
  • Deliver rain to Somalia
  • Of course, reduce violent crime in your own neighborhood or city

And on and on…

I think you are seeing now how the 10K hours+ I have invested in personal development is anything but selfish, if that was even a perception you had, but more so, I hope you realize the significance and potential impacts of these findings.

Now questions that remain are:

  • How and where do I start to lead such an effort, or is an effort already ongoing that simply needs more awareness, and I can contribute in that way?
  • Do I focus on gathering people from areas already aware of practicing disciplines that have proven effective (which include prayer,) or…
  • Do I bide my time, increase my influence as it relates to careers and purpose and then leverage a greater platform to influence such an initiative?
  • Can this even wait? Vishen Lakhiani presented on The Human Reset and shared an alarming insight from Tom Chi that if we fail to raise the consciousness of the people on the planet, and technology continues to evolve at a faster pace, then technology is sure to be used for lower-consciousness intentions – war, and we may not be able to save our planet!

You may be in a place where you have immediate issues in your own life that require your focus and attention before you can expand concern to others in the world, and I hope that you turn to personal development, which can look like spiritual development, or psychological development, or physical development, or mindfulness development. Science has proven its effectiveness.

I suggest you start with MindValley – they have teachers and courses that cover almost all realms of your life, and if you have an issue causing you immediate pain and requiring all your focus, they most likely have a teacher, coach and/or course to help you, except for careers – you can still come to me for that.

 

Please leave a comment if you can see the potential for a large-scale effort of this kind, or if you have doubts and questions to share. If you want to be included in future invitations to do so, PM me with your e-mail address.

Eric Clapton – Change The World

Come On Sing Along!

Is Personal Development Selfish?

Part 2 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

In the first couple hours of the MindValley reunion, thought provoking questions were invoking a deep sense of curiosity.

The host, Mia Koning, a beautiful Kiwi soul, shared a couple of observations:

#1 – On the East Coast of the US, where we both currently reside, though in different cities, personal transformation, also known as self-help, has not yet been adopted on a wide scale, or at least as widely as it has been adopted on the West Coast (more on that next week), and…

#2 – That there is a perception that personal development is a selfish indulgence.

What?! At first I thought, who would think this, then I looked deeper at the time that I spend on personal development, which also in my field happens to be professional development, being that I am a coach. Because it is something I have benefited a lot from, and it enhances how I serve my clients, it is a common sense investment of time and money for me. However, it is also something I thoroughly enjoy, and there are times when making it a priority means making something else less of a priority.

One time instead of playing a game with my kids, I took them to a playground to play with other kids so that I could listen to a live-streamed event. I have rushed them off to bed so that I could attend a live webinar at 9 PM.

Is that selfish, and is there a line that, if crossed, personal development is something that is more costly than beneficial?

Then, also, having not been to, let alone immersed in, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, or Australia, I cannot compare how many people are adopting personal development as a regular practice. I wondered if any data available could substantiate where in the world personal development was most promoted and acceptable, and if it would be better to live there, or to live in a place where there was less adoption and be a change agent.

In a later post I will cover more interesting revelations shared by Jeffrey Allen, such as how we’re being pulled as a race toward awakening and awareness and how the vibration of the earth and of humans is exponentially higher as measured scientifically, and is continuing to increase. Conflicts as we experience them now are due to this shift and the contrast between those who adopt versus those who resist.

An engineer once told me that innovators have a target on their backs. Someone is always waiting to let you make groundbreaking discoveries and then leverage it and surpass you for glory. Is glory the right goal, and should people be discouraged from innovating because someone else might get the credit? Should it matter to me if I am a pioneer or if I am simply a more visible, vocal spokesperson spreading the discoveries of those before me?

I realize my curiosities are starting to seem scattered from the main topics here, but this demonstrates how one event with several impactful speakers can get you from thinking singularly about your own world and your own problems to thinking globally. Furthermore, it was shared and has been proven to me, that people connect deeply with others when they co-experience an awe-inspiring stimulus together. I was not the only person opening myself up to greater possibility and potential.

So, was my trip to San Diego for the MindValley Reunion selfish? Were my investments in time and money in the courses I have taken over the years selfish endeavors, which include but are not limited to:

  • Online programs through MindValley and by John Assaraf, Rikka Zimmerman, Derek Rydall, Brent Phillips, Eben Pagan, and Christian Michelson.
  • Live transformational programs, such as doing a year of Landmark Education curriculum (The Forum, The Advanced Forum, The Self-Expression Leadership Program, Power to Create, and Access to Power,) an Abraham Hicks live event, Bill Walsh’s Rainmaker course, and T. Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mindset Intensive.
  • Reading books by Gretchen Rubin, Sonia Choquette, Don Miguel Ruiz, Hal Elrod, Jen Sincero, Jen Groover, Susan Gregg, Esther Hicks, Louise Hay, Rhonda Byrne (of course!), Lynne McTaggart, Bruce Lipton, Robert Kiyosaki, Napoleon Hill, Joe Vitale, Gary Vaynerchuck, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Dan Milman, James Redfield, Marcus Buckingham, and more.

I know the answer is fundamentally NO.

I started on this journey to find joy – to be more in joy than in suffering. I admittedly suffered a lot. I had a great sense of self-pity for my unhappy childhood, and I had a great sense of justification for my attitude. Personal development has helped me spend more time in joy and less time in suffering. On the surface, this may seem like a selfish endeavor, but I knew I wasn’t just doing it for me. I was doing it to make sure that my suffering didn’t have a cost for others in my life.

Plus, so many of my decisions in life were driven by a false sense of needing to belong and be accepted. When I decided that if I wanted to be a game-changer, I had to be authentic, the hard work of being authentic began, and continues. Through personal development I have expanded my sense of purpose beyond my immediate circle of influence and now see myself as someone contributing to grander initiatives, resolving problems that impact more than just myself – but I had to start with the problems that plagued me before I could expand further.

Even if someone just wanted to be his or her best self, is that selfish? Even if it ends there, is that selfish?

Don’t you think that when you become someone who is more in joy and less in suffering, you become someone creating ripples that spread joy?

 

Please comment and share your opinion: is personal development a selfish endeavor?

Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror (Official Video)

In keeping with the lyrical message of “Man in the Mirror,” which was strongly identified with Michael Jackson and reflective of his own philosophies, the short film features powerful images of events and leaders whose work embodies the song’s message to”make that change.”

Bias is Human, Yet Harmful

Interview by Alan Cleaver of Flickr

 

In my recruiting days I had a Vice President who advised repeatedly, “Refute your bias.”

Obviously there are biases that could get us in legal trouble, but she was more so referring to the more subtle biases that can make us dismiss or favor certain candidates. This advice was not in contradiction to using your intuition, but it was just a way to check ourselves before we make decisions that impact our candidates or clients.

Bias is not always bad or wrong; it is a built-in safety mechanism in which we make associations to decide if we are in any harm. It is automatic and it is human. However, now that our brain has evolved higher intelligence beyond our reptilian, instinctual brain, we can take into consideration much different input and make decisions that are more based on logic. The tricky part is recognizing which part of your brain has made the determination.

How much does bias really interfere, though? Why can it be detrimental?

Last week we talked about how critical EQ and empathy have become to corporate success. Bias, on the other hand, when not accurately and promptly assessed will impose unnecessary limits to what you can achieve with other people. This is because you are, by nature, actually limiting the population with whom you can successfully create or limiting the success that you can have with people for whom you have a bias.

It is easy to see that from a recruiting and hiring perspective, a bias will slant what the right candidate looks like, causing you to overlook someone who does not fit that image, but is the better candidate for the job.

As a job seeker, you may think that your intuition is telling you that a potential boss or co-worker is not someone with whom you could work successfully, and you may either decide to not pursue that opportunity or not to give that opportunity 100% of your effort in expectation that it will not work. This, then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Biases against the wealthy keep poor people poor. Biases against the poor have the same effect. You may have biases against generations, religions, races, genders, status, roles, opposing teams’ fans, people from a certain area, where people shop, etc.

If I continue to list these, I will eventually hit upon a bias you possess. The question is, will you recognize it? The ability to recognize and evaluate your own bias is absolutely essential to your EQ.

Here are three questions to ask yourself to determine if bias is impacting your perceptions, beliefs and actions, and potentially limiting your success and happiness:

  1. What HARD, TRUE evidence do I have to support my opinion?
  2. What do I still need to know and understand in order to know if I am accurately assessing this person?
  3. Could I be wrong?

Only someone with a high EQ would be willing to accurately answer #3, but just asking these questions in the first place are a great way to raise your EQ.

I would like to disclaim that I believe strongly in developing and using your intuition. I distinguish my bias from my intuition by asking these questions. However, once I acknowledge and remove bias, I lean on my intuition, which is a completely different exercise – one that I’ll save for another time.

 

How has bias impacted you?