The Success Catalyst

Up Your Game & Bring Out Your Best

Inspire Others By Doing Your Best

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams

There’s a kid who works at my gym who, everyday, gives 100% to every single task he does – cleaning the machines, fixing whatever’s broken, stocking the supplies, sweeping the floors – and always with a spring in his step while unfailingly greeting every member with a warm smile, followed by a hearty good morning. I am moved and inspired by his commitment to his way of being in the world – he is a true leader. Just for today, allow yourself to impact others in a way that leaves them touched, moved, and inspired – it’s not hard to do and the rewards are plentiful!

With Love,

How to Have What You Want

DSC00594Werner Erhardt once said, “If you want to know what you want, look at what you have”. Whoa, that’s pretty harsh.

Or is it? To me, this is one of the most insightful, compassionate, powerful, and truthful proclamations I have ever encountered (and on my personal and professional path of growth and development I have come upon many!).

If the truth of the matter is that we are living out whatever thoughts and beliefs we put into our heads then that means we get to choose the stories we tell ourselves and decide how we want our lives to go. How freeing is that? We can write the story of our lives, chapter-by-chapter, page-by-page.

What would the title of the book of your life be, based on your Life Message right now? Would it be something like, “I never get what I want”, “It’s not fair” or “Why me?”. Or how about, “When’s it my turn?”. Or maybe, “It’s too hard”.

Now, take a look at some of the chapters in your book that you may have authored – here is just a small sampling of the “best picks” I have heard: “it’s never too late to blame someone else for the way my life is going”, or “make resolutions, barely follow through on them, then hate myself for it”. Or, “do unto others as much I can get away with and then come away feeling even more empty and worthless”. One of my personal favorites that I see a lot is, “get excited about having a great life, but balk at putting the corresponding time, energy, and money toward it and then get envious when I see others who have what I want”.

Take your pick from the variety pack above or come up with your own. The idea is to take ownership of the thoughts and beliefs that are guiding your life so that you can decide if they are ones you want to keep or let go of. If they are fear-based thoughts then they will continue to make you miserable and you will continue to not have what you want.

Now, the good news! You can write the story you really want to tell, and LIVE, instead of the ones you have been programmed to believe you’re supposed to have. Ask yourself, “10 years from now, what’s the story I want to be telling about the last 10 years of my life?”. Most people do not have what they want and are waiting until the day comes when it will magically appear. Now, that’s harsh. And so sad. Most of us know plenty of people who, year after year, are still saying the same things over and over, to themselves, and to anyone around them who will listen, and the years go by and nothing has changed. Actually, the quality of their lives usually gets worse – great intentions and all.

That’s because most people do not want to ask themselves the real questions that would actually impact how they can have what they want. Most people would rather stay stuck than let go of old ways of thinking. Even when they say they want more in life, I’ll still hear them say, “I’m definitely going to make the change, just not now, later” and another year (or five, 10, or 20) goes by and it’s the same old story. This one usually starts out with, “If only…” or “It’s too late now, I should have done it last year (or 10 years ago!)” or “Why bother now”. The reasons and excuses go on, ad nauseam.

Now ask yourself what would you like your Life Message to be? What does your Best Life look like? What would you like people to take away from their time with you? What would make you want to jump out of bed in the morning?

Some ideas might be, “Always do your best and your best will keep getting better”, “Whatever the question, Love is the answer”, “Life is happening for me, not to me”, “All dreams appear impossible until someone makes them happen”, “Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, love as long as you live”.

Come up with your own and you’ll know it’s right for you if it makes you feel sparked and alive. And then ask yourself, “what’s one thing I can do to start making my new Life Message real?”.

My favorite parable of all time (and I’m not big on parables), told by Stretton Smith, is about three little fish in Monterey Bay, CA who are in fish school and one day their professor tells them about “water”. He tells them that water is present at every point in space at the same time.

So, after school that day, the three little fish were talking and wondering where the water really is. One of the little fish understood the concept. He knew he was already in the water. The other two said with great excitement, “Let’s go find the water!”

And so, they swam the seven seas, and finally, years later, they returned to Monterey Bay, old and decrepit, impoverished and home to die. They looked up their old fish school chum, who was still looking young, who had a whole string of condos in the reef, a fine family with several generations of grand-fish. And the two fish asked, “How did you ever find the water?”

I love this story – it makes me cry. Everything we need and want is already right here, in this moment – inside us, and all around us. All we have to do is awaken ourselves to the truth of how life works and we can have everything we want, beyond our wildest dreams.

So, here’s the key – in order to have what you want, start with understanding these three things:

1. You can never get enough of what you don’t really want. Most of us are relentlessly looking outside ourselves to fill up the emptiness and lack that we experience deep inside. There is not enough alcohol, food, sex, obsessive romantic love, drugs, shopping, over-busyness, or whatever other obsessive-compulsive, self-sabotaging, fear-based and blaming thoughts or behaviors you are engaging in, that will fill the emptiness inside of your hungry heart. We are starving for love and attention and what most of us don’t know is that it is we who have abandoned ourselves and we are just trying to get back home to us.

It can seem so much easier to tell ourselves the same old crusty story about “how things are” rather than feel the fullness of life that is always flowing through us. It takes great courage to be vulnerable and to allow ourselves to connect to our inner experience and awaken ourselves to the places inside that we hide from. It’s everyone’s dirty little secret that they think they are the only ones who are scared to death to live a life of open-heartedness, connection, peace, and joy. So many are consumed with trying to get what they think they want or desperately trying not to lose what they have that they are living in their own solitary confinement.

We live in a culture that obsessively promotes the false notion that once we get what we want, then we’ll be motivated to do what we need to do in order to be the person we know we can be. Any happy person will tell you that it’s the other way around!

Start putting who you are being first and watch your life completely change. Do what you love and what you were born to do and watch your life completely change. And then enjoy everything that you have as a result of who you are being, while you are living a life you love!

2. Want what you already have. There is nothing cliché about being fully aware that every breath you take is a gift – ask anyone who is dead and see whether they agree! And that the happiest people are not those with the most stuff, but those who are rich in gratitude and generous in spirit.

Make a (written or mental) gratitude list every night before you go to bed and it’s impossible not to go to sleep feeling filled by all of life’s riches. Reminding ourselves of all that we do have – inside of us and in our lives – is hugely gratifying and, above all, transformational. Don’t wait until you “don’t know what you got till it’s gone” to start appreciating what’s in your life now.

When we don’t take the time to appreciate what we have and acknowledge ourselves for what we have accomplished, how is it that we think we’re going to appreciate what’s to come once we get it? Who you are being while trying to get what you want is who you will be when you get it so be very clear about thinking you’re going to be happy by manipulating a situation into giving you what you think you want. Disappointment and self-hate will surely accompany that one.

3. Ask yourself “What do I love to do?”. What makes your heart sing? What would make you get out of bed in the morning that you couldn’t get dressed fast enough to go do?”.

What I love to do: I love to dance. I love to write and read, to sing and play my guitar and to listen to my favorite music, watch movies, and play with my adorable and irresistible cat. I love to swim and kayak in the ocean, ski powder, and hike in the mountains. I love improv theater and comedy, and to travel everywhere. I love dinner parties with friends, having great conversations about everything. I love to coach people to live their dreams and have their best life possible and I love to get coached – I love it!

This is just a small sampling of what I love to do. What is yours? Start writing down what you love to do, and then start doing it! It will make you come alive and, when you feel alive, you have no interest in blaming others and complaining about why you can’t have what you want, because life is too good!

And, if you’re still not convinced that your thoughts create your reality, then you’ll have Albert Einstein to contend with because he is the one who said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”. Still with me? Good because here’s more good news, you can have whatever you want. Whatever you want. Start by,  1. Getting honest with yourself about what you’re focused on wanting, 2. Want what you have and, 3. Do what you love!

Do this for a week and email me what you notice. And, don’t forget to have FUN while doing it!

With Love,

Now Could Be a Good Time

Hopi Elders Speak

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and so swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being
Torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep your eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

The Elders, Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

Wishing everyone a Happy Holidays – make this holiday season a joyous and prosperous one in every way!

With love,

Yes We Can, Yes We Did, Yes We WILL!

We have, as a country, elected as our President a man who is committed to being all that he can be – as a father, as a husband, as a citizen, as a governmental representative, and as a human being. And he is also asking us, as individuals, to rise up and do the same in our own lives – to make a difference wherever and however we can.

In his own words, “We need to internationalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.”

I’m going to be so bold as to slightly modify this powerful statement for the purpose of this discussion and say, “We need to INTERNALIZE this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.”

What does it mean to internalize the “idea of excellence”? In order to internationalize the idea of excellence, we need to internalize it. One way to better understand what this means is to ask ourselves what is at stake if we don’t strive for excellence. If we’re not striving to be the best version of who we can be, we are settling – not only as Americans, but as human beings. We are essentially saying to ourselves, and to those around us, that we are not important enough to live the best life possible and live a life we love.

Barack Obama did not win this election on his words alone – it was his actions and who he was being that clinched it for many of us – as opposed to his opponent who had resorted to such hostile tactics as antagonism, mockery, finger-pointing, and fear-based accusations, Obama remained committed to a way of being, based on his values and his Vision, never wavering, regardless of whatever challenges beset him – and there were, are, and will be, many.

What a challenge he is giving each and every one of us and, true to form, he is living his version of excellence – how are you living yours?

Two things you can do to bring more excellence into your life:

1. Obama has reminded us that “anything’s possible” – what’s possible in your life? What can you imagine having more of? What would give you more true fulfillment and joy? What would bring more peace in your mind and love in your heart? What would bring more harmony to your relationships? What would leave you feeling more connected to your dreams and goals?

Knowing what’s possible for yourself and your life is the start of becoming who you really are and having what you want, which frees you to be able to live a life you LOVE. Otherwise, you are just trapped in trying to look good and fitting in, never getting what you really want and likely never even finding out what that is.

2. Take a look at your daily habits, beliefs, and attitudes to determine whether they are fanning the flames of excellence or separating you from yourself and others and thereby draining you of your life force.

However we see things is how they are. It’s that simple – if you see the world as unfair, hostile, and withholding then that is what you will get. If you see life as an exciting adventure filled with endless opportunities to be kind, loving, compassionate, and understanding then you will enjoy a life filled with never-ending joy, goodness, and love.

We are the sum total of our daily habits so you want to get honest with yourself about what habits, in thought and deed, serve your highest good and which ones are getting in the way of you having what you want. Thinking, “It’s always been this way and there’s nothing I can do about it”, conveniently keeps you from having to do what it takes to get the results you want.

When you don’t follow through on the commitments you make you are communicating to yourself that you cannot be counted on to do what you said you were going to do. This causes a breakdown in trust with yourself and, if trustworthiness is an important value for you, you will be leery of any promises you make, to yourself or to others.

Instead, ask yourself, each day, “knowing how important it is that I treat myself with the love, care, and respect that I so often expect from others, what can I do today, to feel loved, cared for, and respected.” And then do it! And, when you don’t, simply notice and acknowledge having fallen short of your best intentions, remind yourself that you’re human, make any reparations necessary to restore your word, and then let it go, knowing that, if you’re lucky, you will have many more opportunities to be the person you are becoming.

Do this for a week and email me what you notice. And, don’t forget to have FUN while doing it!

And, once again, to alter the words of another great leader of our time,  “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for you”. By putting our attention on how our thoughts, beliefs, and actions affect the quality of our daily lives, we are conveying to the world that we care about all of humanity.

President-elect Obama will be calling on all of us to join him in his Presidency to make “being excellent” a priority. How excellent of us that, as a nation, we elected a President whose values reflect that of someone who chooses, every day, to, in the words of John Quincy Adams, “dream more, learn more, do more, and become more” and, in doing so, he inspires all of us to do the same!

Feel free to get in touch with me to find out more about what coaching is. And please share this article with everyone you know – let them know about what’s possible for them and how they can get it!

With Love,