The 6 Tools to Happiness

January 4, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By

We’ve been sold a bill of goods for what we believe will bring happiness. Most of these false assumptions center around consumerism and buying your way to supposed happiness through wealth. One of the leading scientists in the study of happiness, Dr. Ed Diener, interviewed 49 of the wealthiest people in America and found that their happiness levels were only slightly above average. Similar findings have been uncovered in happiness and wealth correlation studies of nations. Among the more economically advanced nations, America ranks sixth out of seven with Switzerland, Denmark and Canada ranking first, second, and third. Of course as you would expect, the least wealthy countries were also the least happy. There is a moderate ground to seek – enough wealth to take us out of direct need but not so much as it leads to distraction. It what Vicki and Joe Dominguez termed “the Point of Enoughness in their 1990’s book.

Another study by a preeminent happiness researcher, Dr. David Myers showed the percentage of people in America from 1956 to 2000 pretty much flat-lined as their disposable income skyrocketed up since around 1960. What these studies indicate is that money not only can’t buy you love, but it can’t buy happiness past a certain point of enoughness. Of course all the advertisers and manufacturers out there try to convince us that if we buy their product, then we’ll be happier. It’s simply not true, yet we buy into it every time we make a purchase of something not out of necessity. We are all living proof of the grand conspiracy if we have closets, drawers, and garages stockpiled with things we can live without. I can’t even count the number of people I saw this holiday season walking around carrying flat-screen TV boxes. It was really quite a sobering sight.

Here are six tools offered to you according to the book What Happy People Know to help dig out of the consumerism daze and lead you on the true path to satisfying happiness:

  1. Appreciation is the most fundamental happiness tool as it is the purest, strongest form of love. Research has shown that it is physiologically impossible to be in a state of appreciation and gratitude and fear at the same time. Love and gratitude are stronger than fear because they are products of the neocortex and not the lower brain. Something I’ve posted about in the past and will share again is the simple reply one of my spiritual leaders suggested in response to the ubiquitous greeting, “how are you?”, is to answer “Grateful, thank you. And you?”  If you stop and think about how many times a day you are asked the question “How are you?”, you can only imagine how often you will disperse to the universe that you are grateful. It is a great way to remind yourself to remain in a state of appreciation.

 

  1. Choice, the book says, is the father of freedom and the voice of the heart. When we have no sense of choice, we feel deprived, defeated, and in despair which leads to depression, anxiety and a condition called learned helplessness. We have choices and most of the happy people have consciously chosen their path, while unhappy people tend to choose fear and give in to that automatic sense of fleeing or freezing. Use your intellect and spiritual senses and make wise choices. It reminds me of what Anthony Robbins teaches; you don’t have a money problem, you have a lack of ideas problem. You have choices.

 

  1. Personal Power is similar to character that gives you control over your feelings, your actions, your thoughts, your behavior and your fate. Take 100% responsibility for your actions and I do mean 100% responsibility to avoid victim status of what happens for you, not to you. When you have a good sense of personal power, you’re secure with who you are and what you have and are immune to what others say, think or do to you.

 

  1. Leading with your strengths and being bigger than your challenges and situations without giving in to fear. Taking a truthful assessment of your strengths and leading with them feels good and allows us to conquer everyday challenges and builds self-confidence. Success leads to bigger success and it continues to spiral up and out.

 

  1. The power of language and stories to create our world is a heady stuff. We don’t describe the world we see, we see the world we describe. How do you describe your life? What is your life story? What old stories are you hanging onto that you’ve outgrown? Language has the power to alter perception. What kind of language do you use? Are you saying you have to, want to, or get to do something? What message is that sending to your sub-conscious and to your body? The stories of our lives and the stories we tell ourselves become our lives – how do you see your life? What spin are you putting on the experiences in your life and the actions you take? We have the power of choice to tell healthy stories or horror stories.

 

  1. Multidimensional living which embraces three main components of relationships, health, and purpose, which is usually our work. Make sure you are putting energy into all three areas. Usually if we are unhappy, we discover we’ve put too much energy into one area or not enough in the other areas and our lives get lopsided. Because of our fear of scarcity and not feeling that we have enough, let alone not be enough, most Americans focus more on their work. I say work instead of purpose because in my work experience, most people have no clue as to their personal purpose. We can help you discover that very easily if you’re interested – it’s in your personal GPS system, Genetic Purpose System in your fingertips. We’re all born with our purpose and it was formed in utero for us.  We just need to decipher what it is, but I digress…..  Many research studies have concluded that we simply have this scarcity fear burned into our brains. Face the facts of the studies that no matter how much you have, you won’t feel that it is enough and then decide to be happy no matter what.

 

Just accept that we generally won’t feel we have enough and stop waiting to accumulate enough, whatever enough is for you, and make a decision to be happy with what you have. Enjoy the now and practice the six tools to happiness and the other guides to happiness over the past year and have fun re-creating happiness in your life. Happy New Year – may you be more happy this year than last and even happier next year as you practice the steps.

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Top Talent Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

September 3, 2014 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By

People I meet who are contemplating jumping into the deep waters of independent income earnings always wonder if they can do it, do they have what it takes, and should they even be thinking about it. A recent survey of Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, by Deloitte found that a full 70% of them think they will be working independently some day and jumping off the corporate band wagon.

I first offer guidance to those inquiring minds that they need to have their personal and financial act together first and foremost, have their dream and their passion and purpose pulled together, a bank account with at least one year’s worth of living expenses, no debt, and be able to live with ambiguity, flexibility, and creativity.

Successful entrepreneurs have qualities to cultivate deep relationships with customers and employees, have great focus  on business outcomes, are creative problem solvers, and are the best spokespeople for their businesses. They don’t shy away from self-promotion and exert a self-confidence even if they don’t yet have it.

The top talent traits of successful entrepreneurs:

  • Business Focus: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.
  • Self Confidence and Confidence in Others: You accurately know yourself and understand others can do some things better than you and you let them do it.
  • Creative Thinker: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.
  • Determined Independence: You last through difficult times and are prepared to do whatever needs to be done ·         Knowledge-Seeker: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.
  • Promoter and   Relationship-Builder: You have high emotional intelligence and easily build relationships
  • Risk-Taker: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.

 

Take stock of your own talents and skills to see if you have these top talent traits that most successful entrepreneurs embrace. Understanding and acknowledging your inherent talents gives you the best chance at success. All the best in your success and if you need a little help along the way, you know where to find me.

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Keys to Success Found in the Cauldron of Knowledge

April 20, 2014 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By

I have a cauldron. Doesn’t everybody? I call it my Cauldron of Knowledge because that’s where I keep the magazines, books and other publications I’m reading at the moment or have on my To-Do list. I used to keep a bookshelf until I rescued a cute little doggie who had a penchant for knowledge. OK, I think he had a penchant for paper. Specifically tearing up paper and listening to the ripping sound as he held down the pages with his paw and tore the paper with his teeth. He seem to get such pleasure out of such a simple thing.

My need to reading pleasure and knowledge surpassed his need to shred, so I ditched the bookshelf, put most of the books behind an armoire door and put the current batch in my cauldron. His legs are too short to jump up into it, so I feel safe with keeping the wisdom stored in a big pot.

Rummaging through the reads this morning, I came across a poem by William Arthur Ward who wrote so eloquently on the Keys to Success. And since I’m doing a series on the Keys to Energize, I thought this fit nicely into the series.

The Key to Success is to:

Believe while others are doubting.

Plan while others are playing.

Study while others are sleeping.

Decide while others are delaying.

Prepare while others are daydreaming.

Begin while other are procrastinating.

Work while others are wishing.

Save while others are wasting.

Listen while others are talking.

Smile while others are frowning.

Commend while others are criticizing.

Persist while others are quitting.

I believe that about sums it up nicely. Thank you, William Arthur Ward for providing today’s inspiration while sipping some tea on the deck with my pup.

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Breaking Through Your Threshold Thermostat into Your OH! Zone of Brilliance

January 1, 2014 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By

We are responsible for our own success or lack thereof. We are responsible for the outer world we have created from our inner world. We are responsible for our internal threshold thermostat for success we have set for ourselves that stems from learned behaviors back when we didn’t even know we were learning them. Some experts call it a Success Blueprint, some call it an Upper Limit Barrier, others call it our personal glass ceiling. Whatever you call it, you’ve set your own personal threshold thermostat at your comfort zone and when we stay comfy, cozy in our comfort zone, we are no longer learning and we cannot reach our gifts of brilliance.

When we are children, we internalize ideas of how the world is and how we are in it based on what we heard from parents, siblings, school mates, teachers and coaches. We grow up thinking it’s all true when it really isn’t. It’s our job to shine a light on these beliefs and pick them apart to see if it really is true or just something that somebody else believed and stuck on us and we took it with us and hang on to it. It’s not so much as learning about new paths to success, as it is about unlearning some of the stuff that we took to be true, that really isn’t.

We may have picked up that we mustn’t outshine others, or earn more than our parents, or to be smarter than our siblings or at least not act like it. We may have learned that we’re always just shy of what we wanted, don’t have enough time, enough money, or are enough. These are the false personal thermostats we have set for ourselves that need to be broken open to allow the light of truth in so we can move forward and re-set our new personal threshold thermostats.

Once we let go and shed the old stories and realize what we may have thought to be true, really isn’t; we are more open to the possibilities of recalibrating our thresholds and hold a new belief that we can be wildly successful, outrageously wealthy and gracious and giving at the same time, inconceivably happy and loving, and joyful beyond all recognition. It is our choice to move our thresholds up and up and up. It may be only a few degrees at a time because it may feel weird to be that happy or successful or wealthy and it’s uncomfortable. You may not think you deserve so much success in so many areas of your life.

When you notice yourself worrying too much, criticizing, irritated for not much reason or having accidents or illnesses; then you may be bumping up against one of your former thermostat thresholds. Maybe things are cooking along too well for you and it’s getting hot, so you self- sabotage in order to bring you back down to Earth. After all, who do you think you are, Ms. Smarty Pants? When you notice those things going on, then you need to take stock and see it for what it is; your old ego pulling you back down to your comfort zone because it’s like a pair of old jeans. Once you realize what’s happening; try another tack and ease your threshold back just a bit until you get comfortable with that setting, then keep easing up until you can really turn up the heat and roll with it. Breaking through those old barriers to get to your OH! Zone of brilliance is liberating.

Practice turning up the heat in all areas of your life and allow yourself the luxury of feeling great in all those areas. Know that if worry, agitation with friends, colleagues or mates and hiding feelings start creeping in, that you are at another threshold that needs to be pushed back so you can be on your merry way towards your area of brilliance just beyond the old thermostat thresholds. Know that every time you backtrack in fear or revert back to your old thinking and ways of moving through the world, that your threshold closes in on you and it gets hard and harder to break through. Make this be the year that you keep moving your threshold past your comfort zone and into your zone of brilliance….. the OH! zone.

You know when you’re entering your zone of brilliance when you feel at peace, in the zone, your work feels like play, you feel joy and gratitude, you feel like you get to do what you do in service to the world and not that you have to do what you do in service to others and you feel that what you’re doing is a full expression of yourself. You feel fulfilled, you feel fully expressed in all areas. It takes time to get all your duckies in order and it takes concentrated focus and a level of self- awareness. It takes reflection, thought and honesty to be 100% responsible for what you create beyond your thermostat threshold to catapult you into the OH! zone. Take some time before the year gets ahead of you and don’t waste another day with a low thermostat. Take some time to take stock and make a promise to turn up your thermostat threshold for success to see what it feels like to live in your OH! zone of brilliance. All the best of success to you in your journey.

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Gracious Acceptance and Asking for Help

December 7, 2013 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By

I’ve noticed that leaders and particularly strong, independent female leaders have a hard time asking for help and then accepting help, accepting gifts or even compliments. After spending over 3 decades witnessing and consulting with leaders; it seems that asking for help is considered a sign of weakness and many just gut it out and figure it out themselves or go without and struggle to get through it or to the other side of it. Whatever IT is.

I’m here to tell you that asking for help is surely not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength that you know your limits and what is out of reach. It is also a sign of gracious giving to allow others the joy of offering their expertise, their help, their perspective and their compliments. You are GIVING others a change to feel good about themselves and their abilities when you ask them for their help. You are GIVING them an opportunity to be of service. And doesn’t it feel good to be of service to somebody? In what book is giving a weakness? Giving comes from strength and abundance -we have what we need and have the ability to give more. When we give opportunities for others to share their services, we expand positive energy all around.

And then there’s gracious acceptance on the other end of generous giving. So many people, mainly women, brush off complements, well-wishes and gifts or they act embarrassed to be the recipient. Learning the art of gracious acceptance, allows others to experience the joy if giving. Particularly in this time of year where there is lots of gifting and giving; practice the art of gracious acceptance to expand the good feelings all around. You deserve it and even if you think you don’t, somebody thinks you do. Accept help with the holiday party plans, accept help with dinner, accept the fact that you really don’t want to cook or clean this holiday season and hire it out, or do something that doesn’t infringe on your time and space.

Now is a great time to practice the art of generous giving and gracious acceptance and allowing others to give freely. Give the gift of grace and gratitude this holiday season and see what changes appear before you.

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Creating Hartful Time to Renew & Recharge on an Energy Escape

November 15, 2013 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By

It seems we’re being pulled in many directions by our personal and professional responsibilities. Leaders at work are answering to the front office and to their teams. Leaders at home are answering to friends, kids, spouses, faith, school, volunteer and sports groups. It’s a difficult challenge to honor free time spontaneously any more, so need to schedule some time for re-assessing our choices, reaffirming our paths, reconnecting with others who are like-minded, or not who have your best interest at heart.

I suggest planning a weekend getaway, or Energy Escape, to connect with close confidantes for brainstorming, master-minding and recharging your batteries. We tend to be in high gear producing and implementing and reacting to life at work and at home. Leaders sometimes have nobody to turn to at work to bounce ideas off of and discuss vulerabilities, possibilities and question their choices. Creating time and creating space with supportive friends and colleagues can help catapult you in the right direction and affirm what you are thinking is your direction, or help guide you down another path.

These gatherings can be weekly Success Teams or Mastermind Circles or quarterly gatherings or even larger annual affairs in person with emails and calls in between the weekend soiree. Hiring a coach to bounce things off of is another option. I find my clients and myself included tend to talk our way through situations better than if we just think it through in our heads on our own. The synergy of the group and the energy it brings to the issue results in a much better and clearer outcome. We tend to question ourselves and when we have the confirmation of a group of knowledgeable and respected professionals and friends; we get it faster and it sticks. There’s something about accountability and knowing others are believing in you and counting on you to do what you say that helps propel us forward in the right direction.

I’ve experienced a few of those weekend gatherings recently  which I call Energy Escapes, and have another planned in the near future. They are uplifting, energizing, refreshing and rejuvenating. There’s something about being together in a different setting without distractions to sit and be and talk and set imaginations free for coming up with solutions to professional and personal issues. A nice number is 5-7 attendees coming together with their ideas for others and asking for what support and resources from the group they want as well. Being focused on each person at a time and coming together to pool resources generates incredible outcomes in these synergy sessions. It also helps each participant live and lead more Hartfully, staying closer to their truth, their heart, their centered way of moving through the world. It keeps us focused on the right path and gives us the courage to choose that path.

Why not plan for a solo getaway to get refocused on your personal goals and then plan several more with your pals to help each other achieve their goals as well. I generally use the holidays and the new year change-over to reassess what I’ve accomplished the past year and what lies ahead – calling it my year in review and year in preview. See earlier blog posts about that and the Hot 100 List. I see these gatherings as my 10,000 mile check-up and continual tune-ups for a life well lived in a very Hartful way. Try it yourself and see how much further along the right path you go with the help of others (pals, coaches, colleagues, other professionals) who are conspiring in your favor vs. doing it on your own. I bet you’ll see a vast difference. Facilitating Energy Escapes is something you do for yourself so you can do more for others. It’s a way of giving back to the world your best self with your highest goals in mind.

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Being Unreasonable May be Your Answer to Success

March 1, 2013 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By

Practice the mindset and manifesting secrets of the masters for unreasonable success.

If you keep doing what other people want you to do, and thinking about what other people want you to think, what do you suppose is likely to happen?

Repeating the successes of the past, preserving tradition, doing things as they are “supposed” to be done, will- at best – produce results like those had before.  Except that in this new future – our present – those results can’t possibly be as good, as productive, or as powerful as they once were.  And probably not
as much fun, either.

Unreasonable success requires unreasonable approaches to the future. Breakthroughs needn’t happen by chance. You can create them at will. Breakthroughs are great leaps forward, and while they can happen by accident, they can also happen by design.

Here are principles of Being Unreasonable

1. Don’t base your life on what’s likely. Base it on what you dream about

Take the possible further. Chart the course of your life not on what you think probable, not on what you think possible, but on that about which you think fantastic.  The biggest breakthroughs and biggest successes come from dreamers.  (Caveatfanaticus {dreamer beware}: It will still you take all the same work to get there – dreams just don’t yield results without action.)

2. Expect the best

Expect the best from those around you. Expect them to be successful. Count on it. Plan for it. Budget for it. Expecting the best gives you the highest likelihood of getting whatever IT is.  Start with the best case scenario and figure out how insure it. By the way, expecting the worst has a similar, but opposite, effect.

3. Don’t think, “Can I accomplish it?” Think, “How can I get this done?”

If it is worth doing, and you have strong reasons for doing it; you’ll find a way. Stop worrying if it is possible. Trust me, it is. Focus your deepest mind on how to make it happen.  Remember the best answer to “How…?” is “Yes.”

4. Back yourself into a corner, so the only place you can go is forward.

Warrior-sage Sun Tzu wrote that nothing is as dangerous as an enemy backed into a corner.  They will fight to the death for the have nowhere else to run.  Don’t think about “enemies,” use this strategy on yourself.

5. Cut your timelines in half. You’ll do better work.

Not only does work expand to fill the time available, so do our schedules, creating a viscous and every-expanding circle. We need pressure to accomplish great things. Shorten your timeframes, cut them in half. Then tell your friends. Your work may not be any better, but you’ll get it done in less time.

6. Ask people for a lot. They just may give you what you need.

Shrinking violets rarely accomplish anything, and asking for what you want will often get it for you.  People like to serve. People like to accomplish. People like to win against great odds. Why not ask them for everything.

7. You don’t have to when someone says you should

People say, “you should” when what they really mean is, “In the past, most people I have known have done thus-and-so.”  Ask, “Why should I?” whenever the conversation turns to shoulds and shouldn’ts.  Should is the road to mediocrity.  “Why should I” is the first step towards majesty.

8. If you’re not scared, you’re not doing anything worthy.

All great ventures things in life contain elements of profound risk, and the promise of failure as well as success.  Courage isn’t acting without fear, it is being afraid, and acting anyway. If you are not at least a little afraid, you are probably not doing anything worthy of the name great. Unreasonable people are
often afraid.  So what, just be sure you are afraid of the right thing.

9. Don’t worry about getting it just right.

Perfection prevents progress. New ideas must be tested against human beings. If you wait until you get it perfect, it may be too late. It may be never. Think functionality and workability. Experiment in the chaos of the real world, and fix the problems that arise later.

10. Freedom comes from responsibility

Be fully responsible for your actions and the effects they produce. Most people look for outside causes. Unreasonably lay claim to every miracle and debacle within your sphere of influence, which includes, by the way, everything. Make it all yours, for that’s the only way to exert dominion over your world and gain freedom.

 

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How Self -Talk Affects Success

May 7, 2012 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By

What we think about, we bring about and we give energy to what we focus on. So as long as we complain about our current circumstances, our mind will focus on it and keep us stuck. By continually thinking, talking, writing, complaining aobut a current situation; we are continually reinforcing the very same neural pathways in our brain that got us there in the first place.

We need to send different vibrations to our brains and create different neural pathways by thinking, doing, writing about, reading about, speaking about and envisioning the reality that we want to create. If we keep these thoughts on the top of our mind, we can get unstuck and move our way towards the success we want, edging out the old stuff that we don’t want without thinking about it. The way to get unstuck is to take action and actions start with thoughts. We must flood our brain with unconscious thoughts and conscious thoughts and images of this new reality. This is why vision boards or treasure maps of what we want in our lives is so vitally important – to give our brain something to land on.

Stop telling your hard luck story. Stop all the stories that got you stuck or in your current circumstance because it will keep you there. Just shut up about it already. If somebody asks, then all you need to say is that you know more now than you did yesterday and then do what politicians do and change the topic to what you’re doing now and in the future to create your new future. I once started in a join venture with some other speakers and authors to talk about life’s transitions. It became clear to me that if I continued down that path to speak about and write about the tough stories and how it catapulted us into life transitions, that it would keep me stuck in the story. Once I was enlightened to this fact, I immediately and abruptly pulled out of the venture to save my own success and sanity and to stop the story dead in its tracks. One of the best decisions I ever made and in the nick of time before it did any more damage.

Get ouf of the endless negative self-talk loop. The self-talk starts with a thought, then comes out of your mouth or stays in your brain only talking to you, then if affects your self-image and your subconscious takes over and believes what you say and think and then that affects your performance because you believe that’s who you are. If you want to be successful, you must jam the negative self-talk airwaves and replace it with more positive self-talk, beliefs and stop the negative stories. Focus on what you want and not on what you don’t want.

One way to do this is to do a vision board. I have created one inside my medicine cabinet so I see it at least twice per day when I brush my teeth and get ready for the day and when I get ready to turn in for the night. I start my day with images of what I want my day and my life to look like and I have those images fresh in my brain to dream about when my mind is most receptive to images. I also have created a tri-panel card from BizBuilderCards.com that I carry with me in my purse so when I’m waiting in lines or have some extra time, I look at the photos and read my affirmations. I’ve also taken photos of my vision boards and carry it with me on my Iphone.

Another way is to write down positive affirmations  in the present tense, as if they already happened. If you writ them in a negative fashion of what you don’t want, it puts that image in your brain and you start focusing on that. If you write in a future tense, your subconscious will always keep it in the future, just out of reach. Start focusing on who you are now, who you want to be, what you want to do and what you want to have. Be, Do, Have. It must start with Be. Be the person you want to be and do the things you want do to and then you will have the things you want to have. It starts with thoughts and self-talk about who you want to be and your subconscious and your body and your life will follow.

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