Part 2 | Strengths and How To Change Your Inner-voice

WhatWeDoLifeEDITMarch 30, 2016

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

When it comes to shifting our mental focus from one state to another, one thing is certain: positive affirmations work. In fact, it’s likely that negative affirmations got our minds into a funk in the first place—so, we are wise to fight fire with fire.

That’s right, affirmations do not have to be “positive” in order to affect our minds. Put simply, affirmations are self-talk, plain and simple. These messages can be productive or unproductive—all that matters is that a “truth” is being validated and affirmed by the mind. Once that occurs, we develop a belief around it and begin to look for it in the world.

For example, if we have heard repeatedly that a certain person is a jerk, when we meet this person for the first time we will instinctively seek out evidence of this “truth”. Even if this person is totally cool and harmless, we have conditioned a belief in our mind about them that sets us up to see a very limited view of them. 

Naming our strengths and then focusing on them with simple phrases like “I am good with people”, “I always meet my deadlines” or “I am always thinking of new ideas” can set up a mental framework where we are countering the flow of self-defeating messages with self-liberating ones.

Taking a 60 seconds each morning and night to name one quality that we like about ourselves can be a game changer, especially when we put it into a sentence that we can repeat throughout the day. Repeating a positive belief encourages a greater awareness of who we are when all the mental chatter appears.

Three Questions 

Have I ever been wrong about someone or something because of a pre-conditioned belief?

Has someone been wrong about me because of their own pre-conditioned belief(s)?

What is one self-talk message that I would consider “unproductive”? Where did it come from? And, am I willing to change it? 

An Action

Desired Result: Increasing Accountability With Your Goals

Concrete Action: Go Public!

We all probably know that when it comes to goals, accountability counts! That is, having someone outside of ourselves to hold us accountable to our mission can make all the difference. And, you don’t necessarily need a life coach to make this happen. Anyone in our network can fulfill this role. All that it requires is one person, or a group of people, willing to check in regularly on our progress. Say, for example, that you have a goal to meditate once a day for 30 days. You can call up a friend and say, “I am setting a goal for myself to meditate everyday for a month. Achieving this goal is important to me because I am seeking a greater sense of balance and calm in my life. Would you be willing to support me in this by being my accountability partner? All you would need to do would be to check in with me every other day and ask me how it’s going. The rest is up to me. What do you say?” If you want to take it a step further, you can even state your goals on social media and ask your entire network to rally behind you. If you choose to do this, be sure to post updates as you progress so that others have the opportunity to cheer you on (and hold you accountable).

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:

Email: zstrengthslife@gmail.com

Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen

Part 1 | Strengths and How To Change Your Inner-voice

SelfTalkLifeEDITMarch 28, 2016

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Imagine if we heard the same song ten times a day for five years straight. It would get stuck in our head, right? We would surely find ourselves absentmindedly humming its melody and mumbling its lyrics throughout the day—for sure. Even if we were sick of hearing it and humming it, it would still pop up in our head all by itself, right?

That’s because the mind is like that. When it hears the same thing over and over again it develops a comfort around it—it keeps it close to the surface for easy reference and recall. With music this is called repetunitis, melodymania, and earworms.

That said, the same holds true for the internal messages that we repeat to ourselves day after day. These messages matter. That is because what we think about most becomes dominant and our dominant messages become our focus, and our focus informs our beliefs, and our beliefs become the glasses through which we experience the world…and our experience is our reality. Literally.

So, to whittle it down to its core: Our dominant messages become our reality. If we think about something enough, we begin to look for it. And when we look for something long enough we, generally, find it.

So, what can be done to work with this process? Developing a strengths mindset starts with the core messages that we repeat to ourselves throughout the day. And, as always, becoming aware of something is always the first step. A micro-action that can be implemented right here and right now is checking in with ourselves and asking, “How am I doing in my life?” The first thought will be a good indicator of what our dominant messages sound like. Positive? Negative? Neither?

Three Questions

What are my dominant messages about myself, my life, and the world?

Where did my dominant messages come from?

Am I willing to take conscious action to shift these messages? 

An Action 

Desired Result: Change one self-limiting belief

Concrete Action: Create a self-liberating belief

If our dominant messages become our focus, our beliefs, and our worldview, why not condition one of those messages to create a worldview that invites greatness? It’s pretty simple: The next time you catch yourself saying something like “I don’t do well in social situations” or “I am always overreacting” or “No one cares” write it down on a piece of paper and determine its opposite. For the examples above, it would look like this “I can handle myself in any social situation” and “I am always relaxed and calm” and “I matter, I add value to the world”. Now, write that phrase on a note card, take a picture of it with your phone, and put that image as your screensaver. This way, every time you unlock your phone, you will be forced to see this message. If you really want to supercharge your process, make it a practice to quietly say this message to yourself each time you use your phone. Then, importantly, look for evidence of its truth in your life. That is, begin living in expectation of no longer begin shy or unpredictable or taken for granted. The force of repeatedly seeing the same message allows it to become your reality.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:

Email: zstrengthslife@gmail.com

Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen

 

Part 3 | Strengths and How To Feel Awesome All the Time

March 25, 2016

 

BuildLifeEDIT5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Five Ideas for Feeling Awesome All the Time

Commit to doing a thousand of something. Setting a big goal of a thousand push-ups, good deeds, compliments, drawings, meditations, stretches etc. can provide a nice frame around taking daily micro-actions toward a greater accomplishment. Sure, maybe you only do 5 push-ups on the first day, but as those daily actions start adding up—and as you get physically stronger and more capable—the task creates its own momentum and ease. The sense of accomplishment can feel prolific. Remember, doing just 10 push-ups a day after one month is 300 push-ups. When you do this, track it. Make a record of it. It can also remove the phrase “I don’t have anything to do” from your vocabulary.

Read One Page a Day from a Personal Development Book. It’s worth asking ourselves, “How much time have I consciously dedicated to my personal development lately?” If the answer is “not much”, reading one page per day from a dedicated text is a concrete way to ease into that world. Remember, one page per day adds up a few books a year. Some authors to consider: Gretchen Rubin, Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Brené Brown, Gabrielle Bernstein, Martha Beck, and Seth Godin.

Brain-dump. Once a day, take a pen and a blank piece of paper and go wild for a few moments writing down everything that is in your head.

Pay Compliments. Commit to paying one nice compliment to someone in your life each day for a month. Set a reminder in your phone to go off, and when it does send a text, email, make a phone call, turn to your neighbor, write on someone’s wall, tweet a tweet, and make it about complimenting another person on a real quality about them or value that they add to the world.

Go To Bed One Minute Earlier and Wake up One Minute Earlier for Thirty Days. By the end of one month, you will be going to bed and getting up a half-hour earlier than usual, which is, generally, a challenging shift to make. But, if you ease into it, it happens all by itself. Best part is, you won’t lose a single minute of sleep, mathematically.

Three Questions

Do I have any goals set for my day tomorrow?

What have I done today to affirm my greatness?

If someone gave me a million dollars and told me that I had to spend it all, but I could not spend a penny of it on myself—what would I do? 

An Action 

Desired Result: Inspire someone

Concrete Action: Share one secret to life that you have found

It’s pretty straight forward: We’ve all discovered some trick, some secret that makes living life that much more meaningful, enjoyable, or stress free. Ask yourself, “What is my secret?” and then create a way to share it with someone else. A great way to start this conversation is to ask them the question first: What’s your secret? Because it is an uncommon yet significant question, people generally love the opportunity to reflect on this idea and share what they know.

So, what is your secret? I’d love to hear from you.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:

Email: zstrengthslife@gmail.com

Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen

 

 

Part 2 | Strengths and How To Feel Awesome All the Time

ThoughtsLifeEDITMarch 23, 2016

 

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Five Ideas for Feeling Awesome All the Time

The following four planning actions can serve as total keys to feeling awesome all the time. The guiding idea here is this: Our morning begins the night before. See if anything clicks.

Plan it out the night before: Goals. As Logan Whitehill says, “Start writing out the night before what you plan on doing the next day. Your subconscious mind plans it out while you sleep and makes it easier to stay on track.” This works! Instead of waking up and making a plan as you go, plan it out the night before while that day’s victories and challenges are still fresh. Allow some time for the big ideas to percolate over night so that by the time you wake up they are familiar as opposed to surprises.

Plan it out the night before: Clothes. Cut decision making out of your morning routine by pre-selecting the clothes that you will wear the next day. Lay them out on the floor or on the couch or on hooks. Be sure to include socks, undies, and belt. If you carry things in your pockets, put that stuff in there too. This allows you to basically wake up and step directly into the day’s outfit. 

Plan it out the night before: Meals. If you haven’t tried the following action even once in your life, try it now. Prepare your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the following day the night before. If you eat cereal, pour your bowl and cover it so that it’s waiting for you—the next morning: add milk and go. If you make bacon and eggs with black coffee, assemble the ingredients in one spot in the fridge, grind the coffee and prep the machine. Do the same for lunch and dinner. If you work outside of the home, pack your lunch and have it all ready to go, even if it means having a paper lunchbag in the fridge overnight.

Plan it out the night before: Fun. Each day, give yourself something pleasurable to look forward to for the next day and write it on a piece of paper before bed. It can be something small like “I will take a nap at 1:00 pm” or “I will call and connect with so-and-so” or “I will get my favorite pastry at my favorite shop.” This will give your mind something to focus on as you sleep, then, as you move about your day you will have something fun engrained into your mindset about the pleasures of life that day.

Three Questions 

Who is the most awesome person of all time that you know personally?

Is feeling awesome always the same feeling? If not, what are the different levels, types, and ways of feeling of it?

If I were an animal which one would I be and why?

An Action

Desired Result: Shake up Your Wake Up

Concrete Action: Commit to one new action for a better morning

You’ve heard the saying, “Practice what you preach” and with this action you’ll be asked to “Practice what you read.” It’s right there, mapped out in front of you. Above you will find five concrete actions that take about 5 minutes to perform. Pick one and commit to practicing it for 10 days in a row. If you like your results, do it for another 10 days in a row. Repeat and repeat until it is your new normal…then, pick a new action from the above list and work it in.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:

Email: zstrengthslife@gmail.com

Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen

 

Part 1 | Strengths and How To Feel Awesome All the Time

AwesomeLifeEDITMarch 21, 2016

 

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Five Ideas for Feeling Awesome All the Time 

Start small. Take a 5 minute micro-action for 10 days in a row and see how it feels. If you like it, do it for another ten days. This might mean reading from a personal development book, following a blog, stretching, singing, walking, prepping food, writing, journaling, or meditating for five minutes each day. Commit to it. Make a small change. Mark it on your calendar. It’s five minutes a day. 

Change your alarm sound. If you wake up to an alarm, make sure that it is a soothing sound. When we are shocked out of sleep by a disturbing noise our bodies instantly begin releasing the stress hormone cortisol, which creates unnecessary challenges in virtually every area of our lives. Google it. Find a more soothing tone, or get a “progressive alarm” that wakes you up slowly. 

Garbage in/garbage out. We can all agree that if we put a mixture of gasoline and mud into our cars it would cause problems, right? So, it might benefit us to apply this same principle and logic to our emotional, mental, and spiritual gas tanks. What we expose our mind to influences our beliefs. The conversations we have, the shows we watch, the podcasts we listen to, the people we know—everything is reinforcing specific ideas, mindsets, and beliefs. Ask yourself, “Are these the ideas and beliefs that I want more of?” If so, keep having the same interactions with others and media. If not, start “weeding the garden”.

Don’t look for the silver lining, look for the lesson. Having a positive outlook does not necessarily mean being cheerful and carefree all the time. Instead, it means being willing to learn and grow from all of life’s situations and, in doing so, find the value of each season of life. As yourself, “What is the lesson here?”

Affirm your greatness. Find one quality that you like about yourself and write it down on a card. Something like, “I have a great sense of humor.” Or, “I have good intuition.” Or, “People enjoy my stories.” Take this card and carry it with you in your pocket. When it gets tattered from day after day of being carried—make a new one. Repeat.

Three Questions

How would my life change if suddenly each day had 34 hours in it?

What does “making the most of the day” mean to me?

What is my favorite invention and why?

An Action

Desired Result: Being less anxious.

Concrete Action: News Fasting

This is an easy one and it’s very straight forward: Cut your news consumption in half for one week. Or, if you are feeling particularly motivated to feel less anxious, cut it out completely. This means, if you watch 30 mins of news twice a day, just watch the one broadcast or none at all. Make a few notes about what your reservations are to resisting this idea. Then, study these reservations, asking yourself, “Why do I feel this way? Why do I want to “be informed” in this way? What am I afraid of happening if I choose to fast from the news? What good can I make with that new free time?”

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:

Email: zstrengthslife@gmail.com

Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen