Happy Spring! I hope it feels like spring where you are (it’s still a little cold here). As many of you know, we’ve built the dream home and have moved in. We’ll be unpacking boxes for what seems like forever, but we’re getting more and more settled in every day. Now that we’ve moved, I’ve put my first beach house up for sale. There have been a lot of people who have come through to look at it. Some have loved it and some have not, which has reminded me to practice this week’s happiness habit. Keep reading…
This week’s happiness habit is don’t take anything personally. As far as the house is concerned, I’ve been reminding myself to remain neutral.
Someone’s like or dislike of it isn’t personal. In fact, it has nothing to do with me at all. This applies to more than just me selling the house though. The concept of not taking anything personally applies to all areas of our lives. Someone cut you off in traffic? Maybe they’ve just found out that a loved one is in the hospital—it’s not about you. Someone rude to you? Maybe they’re having a horribly rotten day—that’s not about you, either. You get the point. For the most part, everyone is so busy paying attention to what’s going on in their world that they don’t have time to consider what’s going on in yours. And that’s ok because it’s not personal.
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I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled that this week marks the official start of Spring. Spring signifies new birth and new beginnings, and for many of us in business, it also means taking on new projects or launching those we’ve been working on during the winter. I know here at Lee Milteer, Inc., we’re working on a plethora of new projects. Stay tuned for more info, and enjoy this week’s tips.
One of the easiest things to do in life is to judge and criticize ourselves and those around us. Let 2015 be the year we put that habit to rest.
I know I’ve caught myself making unfair judgments or criticizing others. We do it unconsciously to soothe our own egos and justify our thoughts, actions, and opinions. The problem with these unconscious behaviors is that they rob us of precious life energy that could be better used in productive and beneficial ways–and they make us (and the other person) feel bad. How about starting a new habit today? Make it a point to be aware of when you’re judging and criticizing yourself or others. When you catch yourself, do a pattern interrupt. Say “Stop, that’s not like me to judge and criticize. Next time I’ll be more understanding and compassionate.” Make it a point to start stating your criticisms in requests. Have some empathy for others who see life differently and notice how your life changes.
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Let this year be the year you release blame from your life. Are you still blaming yourself and others for things that happened last month, last year, or even 10 or more years ago? Now is the time to stop!
No one is perfect, including yourself. It’s also a good idea to remember that everyone does the best they can with the knowledge and information they have at the time. Now is the time to forgive. You only have so much available energy in life and when you hold on to old “stuff,” it keeps you from being and having those things you really want for yourself. When you spend your energy on blame, whether you’re blaming others for your circumstances or you’re holding on to the past, there isn’t any energy left to create the life you desire. I encourage you to start a new happiness habit today: Make a conscious effort to start looking for the good in yourself and others. I promise it’s there.
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Do you ever catch yourself making your life harder than it has to be? I know I’ve been guilty of it. We’ve all experienced this: we bombard our brain with negative, self-defeating messages like, I hate this job, I wish I didn’t have to do this, I’m not good at this. When we say things like this to ourselves, we program our brain to not do a good job (or not even start doing what needs to be done). I know I have a hard time feeling motivated toward new projects when I’ve decided something going to be difficult before I even start.
I want to share a fantastic strategy I picked up for having more fun and enjoying the moments in life. I learned this from one of my mentors, Dini Petty, who is a great inspiration to me. She hosted her own television show (which was the number-one-rated talk show in Canada) whose theme was Live, Love, and Laugh. I believe her show was so highly rated because she was enthusiastic, funny, and always left people feeling uplifted and good. Dini and her staff of producers decided there was already too much negative television and they wanted to add value to the lives of their viewers with positive subjects.
One thing that I realized that helped make Dini such a tremendous success, is that she deliberately programmed her mood before being introduced to her live audience. She would turn to the staff and producers and announce, “Let’s have fun! Let’s go PLAY TV!”
After watching Dini consistently do a great job, I decided to check out her strategy and try playing at certain tasks that, in the past, I’ve considered difficult or unpleasant. The week after I observed Dini’s strategy, I had three speaking engagements back-to-back in different cities. This type of trip was usually grueling, but this time I decided to take a new approach. I told myself before I left for the airport that I was going to PLAY vacation traveler and that I was going to enjoy the trip. I realized that in the past I had created the feeling of dread because of my attitude of “let’s get this trip over with.” So this time, instead of feeling stressed out and hurried to get to my destination, I simply kept saying to myself, “I’m a vacation traveler and I have all the time I need.” I faced the same obstacles I normally do while traveling, but the difference this time was that none of the obstacles were as stressful as they normally are.
Since it worked so well while traveling, I thought I’d to try this new strategy out on an office task I’d really been avoiding. I have tons of research, and while I’m working, it tends to get stacked up around my personal office. Once it’s stacked, it winds up getting shuffled and re-shuffled, never actually getting put away (also wasting time and therefore money). So I decided that I would PLAY professional file organizer for just one hour. I tackled the job with the mindset that it was my most important task at the moment and I was going to enjoy doing it quickly and efficiently. As I began organizing my research and filing it away, instead of my usual muttering under my breath, I kept my focus on the fact that I was good at this and that I would enjoy the benefits of a clean office after it was done. To my surprise, I finished faster than I ever had before…and it was a lot less painful than ever before.
Food for thought: go “play” whatever role you have to be at the moment. If you are playing golf, be a pro; if you’re gardening, be a professional landscaper! If you have what you consider to be mundane tasks to accomplish, pretend you’re a pro while you’re doing it. Try it; time passes more quickly and you’ll probably even have fun! Most importantly, you’ll feel better about what you’re doing.
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