An Attitude

What you focus on expands.

When you focus on what is working well in your life, more of what’s working shows up. When you focus on opportunities, you see more opportunities. (When you focus on what’s problematic… you’ll definitely find a lot more of that!)

Focus sets your frame. quotescover-JPG-18

You know this to true: Think of the last time you shopped for a car. You had your eye on a particular make and model. Maybe you even took if for a test drive. And then… you saw that car EVERYWHERE! Almost as if everyone on the planet had decided to own the very car you’d been thinking about. But, of course, the only thing that had changed was your focus.

When you set your focus on something, you are much more likely to see it.

Gratitude has that power. When you focus on what you are grateful for… more wonderful things pour into your life… more to be grateful for shows up.

So, as we enter into this holiday season, even with all of its stresses and strains, experiment with keeping a “gratitude journal:” Every day, write down three things that you are grateful for… they can be ordinary or extraordinary; anything at all; they can be the same three things as yesterday; or new things: your health, your family, your friends, a new client, a new business opportunity.

You will be astounded by the power of an “attitude of gratitude” … and the power of focus.

I Have Cracked The Code

I finally figured it out. I cracked the code. I discovered – at long last – the secret to success.

God knows that I searched high and low. For years; decades even.

There was a time when I thought that it was a matter of luck; that success was reserved for those for whom the stars aligned; kinda like winning the lottery. I was pretty certain that birthright was important; that having a lineage of successful forebears really mattered.

I’m a big fan of higher education. Education had to matter, I thought. The right courses and seminars and workshops and trainings and certifications. Degrees; a lot of letters after your name. Those people with a lot of letters had a much higher probability of success…  I was sure.

A good suit. A great logo. A flashy business card. A nice car. A jazzy website.

The right CRM and lead capture. Expensive hardware; cutting edge software. A really good VA.

Downloading the next free report; attending the next webinar; buying the next B school; discovering the right product; nailing the launch sequence; going to the next live event. The answer certainly had to be at the next live event… at that expensive, exotic destination with a lot of up-sell to that maxi-emerald-diamond-sassy-platimum-mastermind-secret handshake society. No doubt if I knew the secret handshake after having spent a lot of money at an expensive destination, I most certainly would find success.

Then… one morning I woke up; and even though I was tired and exhausted and depleted, I opened up my laptop to begin my day.  My calendar was full of great clients; and my bank account was solidly in the black; and suddenly…in that moment… I realized that my business was… successful; that I had had the best month ever…. that I had found… at long last… success… .

I became curious. I looked back over the preceding years…. looking for the clues… and I found the one thing.

The code. The secret. That one ingredient that had eluded me. quotescover-JPG-39

Day after day over the preceding years, even though I was often tired and exhausted and depleted, I trudged to my laptop, opened it up… and… and… did the work.

It wasn’t sexy… in fact, on many days, it was downright painful.

But doing the work… day in and day out… that is the secret.

Aikido master George Leonard says that mastery comes from showing up on the mat every day… and staying 5 minutes longer than anyone else.

The Internet and various purveyors of “success” programs have done a huge disservice to entrepreneurs hawking solutions to business problems that promise instantaneous, overnight success.

The real overnight success has worked many overnights.

There is no question that having good mentors, coaches and guides make a huge difference in the rate of your business growth. And having a proven reliable system that you don’t need to re-invent really matters. (I learned and now have the privilege of coaching the Book Yourself Solid System®.) But I have built five businesses successfully from the ground up. And in the end, there is only one thing that matters.

One secret.

Showing up every single day. And doing the work.

 

 

Where Are You Right Now?

Are you thinking about what just happened a moment ago… or yesterday? Are you pondering what’s next… the next call, the next email, the next meeting, the next…?

Doubtful you are here. Right here. Right now. In this present moment. Because it’s so hard to be right here.

Not because we don’t have enough in this present moment; but because we have too much: too much information; too much noise; too much stimulation; too much to do.

We’ve become addicted to the stimulation and outside input, checking and re-checking our smartphones and our tablets and our emails; responding incessantly to the phone calls and messages and notifications and alerts. Overwhelmed and inundated by the expectations and the deadlines and the demands, endeavoring to pay attention to everything and succeeding only at a continuous partial attention.

We’ve become addicted, as Jim Collins, author of that wonderful business book, Good to Great, says,… we’ve become addicted to “the undisciplined pursuit of more.”

Perpetually distracted.

Untethered, unfocused, unproductive.

And despite our hyper-connectivity… isolated and disconnected.

I love the power of still photography; and yet I am aware that every time I put my eye to the viewfinder, I pull myself away from the moment as it is right in front of me; from the intimacy of the experience as it is.

I love the power of social media; and yet I am aware that when I am thinking about how much fun or interesting it will be share my experience, in that instant I have left the experience itself.

I love the power of technology; and yet I am aware that the very technology that allows me the freedom to live and work anywhere in the world also can enslave me.

Our distractions dishonor; and disempower.

So here are some simple things that have worked for me that you might do to reclaim the power of the present moment:

  • Avoid your email inbox first thing in the morning.
  • Turn off all of those annoying alerts on your smartphone and desk top
  • Don’t multi-task; it can’t be done
  • Work in block time; do just one thing
  • Let your calls go to voicemail
  • Don’t flit in and out of social media
  • Have a smartphone free dinner (or evening)
  • Carve out some (dedicated) time to read, write and reflect
  • Make (real) dates with yourself; and your loved ones; and honor them
  • Go off the grid entirely from time to time

Life unfolds only in this moment. Our power to impact, to influence, to make a difference, to touch a life, to do an act of kindness, to smile, to hold, to love, to leave a mark, exists only in this moment.Screenshot 2014-10-14 10.35.18

What is past is gone. And the next moment is promised to no one.

So be here now. In this one and only moment.

Maybe It’s Just A Bad Hair Day

I’m old; I’m fat; I’m out of shape; I’ve lost my edge.

At least those were the stories I began to tell myself on my morning run.

I pushed on. Turned out it was just an off day.

Some days are like that: Some days, it feels as if someone has poured cement into my running shoes. On other days, I flow like the wind.

All of us have days when it flows; and days when it doesn’t.

The problem is that, when it doesn’t flow, we tend to think that it “means” something; that something’s wrong; that’s something’s broken; that the magic has vanished. We get dark and despondent. We think it will last forever. We get discouraged. We want to quit.

The truth is: Some days it just doesn’t flow.

And it doesn’t mean a damn thing.

This is true in writing, in business, in finance, in relationships, in art, in music. Shit, I’m fairly certain it’s true in everything.

Some days, it’s just a bad hair day.

Thankfully, there’s a remedy: Show up the next day; and the next. Pretty soon it will flow again. Just as long as you haven’t given up.

I recently heard an audience member ask best selling author Theresa Ragan what the secret to her success was, what her secret was for being so prolific. She said that she showed up every day, “put her butt in the chair,” and wrote.

Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way said that our only job as creatives is to “show up on the page;” to be present on the canvas.

George Leonard who wrote the book Mastery using the metaphor of his Aikido practice said that our only job on the path to mastery (in anything) is just “to show up on the mat.”

This means showing up in the practice room, the board room, the laundry room, the bedroom; this means showing up in our business, in the classroom, on the track, in the studio, no matter what happened yesterday; or the day before; or the day before that.

Whether it flowed brilliantly; or not.

The judging, the evaluating, the questioning, the hand wringing, the self-deprecation: they’re all just distractions; they’re all just a waste of time and energy.

Our job – our only job – is to show up and do the work.

The rest will take care of itself.

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If you’re ready to push through whatever is holding you back, let’s explore whether coaching might be right for you. Email be at: walt@walthampton.com today!