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happiness Archives - Andrew Wittman

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The Sound of No Hands Clapping

“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”

Dale Carnegie

 No Hands Clapping

 

I am constantly reminding myself to not base how I feel about my performance on what other people think. If you do all that you can to prepare, and you execute with your very best effort, who cares if people applaud you or not. Do I like it better when they do? YUP!! I really do like it when people like me. However, and my wife and kids can testify, I honestly don’t care if someone likes me, approves of me, or applauds me or NOT.

One day, several years ago, when my oldest son was in middle school, it was my turn to pick up in car line. He got into the truck, we exchanged hugs, and asked how each other’s day was going. I mentioned, laughingly, a response to an op-ed piece I had written for the newspaper, it was ripping me, but was poorly written (SHOCKER!).

My son laughed with me, and said, “Dad, half the world hates you!”

Well, it’s probably a lot higher percentage than that, but those folks aren’t contributing to my family’s well-being anyway, so who cares. 300 Spartans took on the world’s superpower, Persia, and stopped them dead in their tracks. I’m pretty sure, Leonidas wasn’t heartbroken over the fact that Xerxes didn’t like him. In fact, Leonidas didn’t much dig Xerxes either.

Every major decision I’ve made in my life, had a truck load of folks who didn’t applaud the decision I made. And guess what, had I made the opposite decision, I would have had a truck load of folks who didn’t applaud the decision. Live your life, make your choices based on the criteria that making these decisions will bring you closer to realizing your vision and overall goals. (Of course, if you don’t have a vision, making decisions is like taking a vacation with no destination, or start date, but that’s for another day.)

Today, instead of taking into consideration the validation of others (family, friends, coworkers, the boss, etc.), think about becoming the one validates them. Can you imagine being a lowly foot soldier in World War II and having General Douglas MacArthur slap your shoulder and say, “You’re doing a great job, keep on keeping on”? Do you think MacArthur was seeking validation?

 

Boo Yah!

Facts Ain’t Always The Truth

Facts and Truth are two completely different entities.

truth

Facts and Truth are two completely different entities. Facts are something that have actual existence. A fact is merely information, neutral, independent and objective. As a cop, investigating a crime, I was always in search of the facts. If, and when, a case went to court, witnesses would swear an oath to tell the truth. We know, for a fact, that eye witnesses are unreliable at best. Why? Because, people deal in truths, not in facts. The truth is our internal perception of the facts and circumstances that make up the experiences of life.

For example, the fact is, it is 68 degrees outside. The truth is, that after 3 years of living in Hawaii, 68 degrees was downright cold. However, it is also truth, after spending a winter in Serbia and Kosovo, 40 degrees felt balmy, and 68 degrees is heat stroke territory.

Facts cannot change, they are unalterable. Truth, on the other hand, is pliable. Knowing this, we can take the facts of any circumstance and perceive them from any angle we want, creating for ourselves, a truth or truths. (Heads up, you are already doing this and have been your entire life, usually to your detriment.) Truths are what beliefs are founded on, we take action on our truths. Almost everyone knows the medical facts that fast food isn’t good for you, but for most of us, the truth is that “it’s okay.” (Based on the fact that the fast food industry does billions of dollars in sales each and every year, and the fact that 1 out of 10 deaths are related to obesity. It’s killing us, but we’re bellied up to the fry-daddy feeding trough.)

I’m reminded of the story of the 300 Spartan Warriors of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. The Persians were attacking Greece during a Spartan holiday and it was against Spartan law to go to war during the holiday. To work around the law, the Spartan king, Leonidas, selected 300 members to serve as his bodyguard and accompany him on a “stroll” to the battlefield.

Legend has it that he selected only warriors that had living sons to carry on their family’s bloodline, because the mission was a one-way ticket. The King, in his wisdom, went further and selected the warriors based on their wives’ and mothers’ ability to show courage and leadership under the grief of losing husbands and sons. Leonidas believed that if the wives and mothers were bitter and depressed, it would spread like a disease, cascading into the defeat of all free Greeks.

In essence, the warriors were chosen based on their wives’ and mothers’ abilities to take the facts of war, gore and the death of their dearest loved ones, and apply the higher truths of freedom, liberty and patriotism for the good of the nation.
We must collect as many unbiased, objective, and evidence-based facts as possible, in order to make logical, well-reasoned and clear decisions. We must also perceive the facts in way that elevates us and puts us on the path to success and fulfillment, in even the face of the deepest sorrows.

What truths are you using as “facts” in your decision making? (This is not good)
What truths are you manufacturing that puts you on the path of fear, depression or defeat? (Also, not good)
Can you create new truths by changing your attitude, perception and level of awareness that will put on a path to confidence, fulfillment and happiness? (Yes, you can and this is good)

Remember, Danger is a Fact – Fear is a manufactured Truth… but so is Love.

Boo Yah!

How Do You Respond?

Pop Quiz: What would you say in response to emotionally challenging information?  What if it was devastating information? How do you respond to change? What if it is life-altering change forced upon you?

 

First Response

I don’t like to think about these things, but I’ve found over the years, that if I have thought about my response to the unexpected, it helps….a lot.  I’ve also found that my initial response sets the course of how everything goes after any surprising news hits.

Several years ago, I had a coaching client that was diagnosed with the advanced stages of an insidious disease.  The client was told that he a certain amount of time to live, and to get his business in order.  This is an extreme example, and one I hope none of us will have to face.  I had given this client the Pop Quiz long before this incident occurred and he was prepared.  He responded by being grateful for knowing the problem and what he was up against, but decided he would rather live than die.  His initial response was to NOT roll over and blindly accept what he was told about the amount of time he had left on planet Earth.

His fighting spirit set the course for his aggressive treatment plan, and his attitude toward his family, friends, and his business/career.   If he hadn’t prepared his initial response, the news might have taken him out before he even started to fight.  Any professional will tell you that the “will to live” plays an enormous role in the outcome of a fight for one’s life.

Take the Pop Quiz and decide now to have an initial response that spurs you on to victory.  I hope we never have to deal with anything even close to this example, but no matter the case, commit to yourself to win any (and all) challenges life throws at you.  Big, small, huge, or tiny; decide to win, no highway option.

 

Boo Yah!

Punching Stress Right In The FACE: Anticipation

DeFrag Yourself: The 3 Parts of You

We defragment our computers in order to optimize them, i.e. get them running at Peak Performance!! Time to optimize ourselves and get up to Peak Performance.

 

Most people I know don’t realize they need to defrag themselves, let alone how to, where to start, or even that every human being is a 3-part being.  We may give lip service to that fact with sayings about “Body, Soul, and Spirit” but beyond that….nothing.

Defrag Yourself Peak Performance Training

 

We all are made up of these three components:

 

  1. Body  (our flesh, blood, bone, and tissue)
  2. Soul   (our mind, will, and emotions)
  3. Spirit  (the REAL YOU)

 

Duh, Andrew! I know it sounds basic, and it is, but let’s think on these things for a moment or two.  We are built a lot like our favorite device (desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone); we live in a body (the hardware or outer shell), have a soul (the OS, software, and apps), and we are spirit (the user/administrator).

 

Most of the people I have coached over the years had no idea that they were in charge of their bodies, not the other way around.  Most of us are dominated by our bodies, we eat whenever and whatever our bodies want, sleep when our bodies want, exercise (or mostly not) when our bodies want, etc.  What if your phone only charged its battery when the case wanted to; or powered up, not when you (the user/administrator), hit the button, but whenever the screen wanted to? RIDICULOUS, you say! Exactly.

 

Most of us, if we do get past our body’s total dominance, are driven by our emotions.  Those who are more advanced actually manage for short durations to run on will power, but will default back to their minds (thoughts, see RED FLAG LIST).  What if you (the user/administrator), went to text your BFF and your phone’s OS thought, “Yeah, I feel like some music instead,” and then just to spite you, it launched the Engelbert Humperdinck Pandora Channel?  (Read – call in sick to work because your soul (OS) thinks, “Yeah, I don’t feel like it,” and watch Jerry Springer instead.)

 

Time to defragment both the hardware and the software and take over the both of them.  You, (the REAL YOU, your spirit) needs to be dominant. If your spirit isn’t running the show (your life), chances are pretty high that the system is going to crash sooner rather than later, and it may already have.  Don’t fret, don’t feel bad about it, just fix it.  If your lawn mower didn’t start because the spark plug was bad, you wouldn’t feel bad about it, you would just fix it.  Let’s just replace some spark plugs.  A good start is to subscribe to the Newsletter! (I’m just saying.)

 Boo Yah!!

Mind/Mouth Connection

 

We’ve been exploring the thought process of Peak Performers by categorizing thoughts into a Positive (Green Flag) List and a Negative (Red Flag) List.  We know that we must replace Red Flag thoughts with thoughts that are Green Flag, but that is easier said than done.  Literally! No, seriously, it is easier to direct your thoughts by “saying” or using your mouth to control and guide your thoughts.

 

Let me illustrate with an experiment.  Begin counting backwards in your head, starting at 999.  Ready, set, go……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

SAY YOUR NAME OUT LOUD!!

Chattering teethWhen you spoke your name, what happened to your backward counting? What number did you stop on?  The point is you had to stop the train of thought of counting backwards when you spoke out loud.

There is a mind/mouth connection wired into all human beings.  If you know about this connection, you can then begin to use it to your advantage.  If you physically force yourself to speak, to say out loud, thoughts based on the Green Flag List, you can control and guide your thoughts in the same way that Peak Performers do.  Concentrate all of your conversations on the Green Flags.  Whenever a RED FLAG thought pops up, make an effort to speak out loud something on the GREEN FLAG List.  Here it is again:

 

BEAUTIFUL – attractive, exquisite, fair, handsome, lovely, pretty

BOUNTIFUL – abundance, ample, plentiful, substantial

BETTER – bigger, faster, stronger

CHEERFUL/GLAD – light-hearted, willing

AT EASE – relaxed, unworried, unembarrassed

WELL FAVORED – to be treated with partiality, even when it’s unfair to others

HAPPY WELFARE – health and prosperity

LOVING – expressing goodwill and affection

KIND/USEFUL- helpful

PLEASING/PLEASURE- delighted, satisfied

SWEET – rich, productive, possesses winning qualities

READY- available for immediate use

PROSPERITY/WEALTH – success, great abundance, riches far greater than riches

PRECIOUS/HIGH VALUE – highly priced, of great worth, excellence

FINEST/BEST – excellent, elegant, refined, pure, (like gold and silver)

 

It takes awareness and energy but Peak Performance through Mental Toughness is work.  Green Flagging pays a huge return on your investment though, so Cowboy Up and Stick With It!! It’s not Positive Thinking, it is speaking out loud the thoughts that eradicate limiting beliefs.  This is the first step, it is foundational, but it must be mastered before going on to Peak Performance.

 

Go forth and speak RED FLAGS NO MORE!!

 

Boo Yah!

15 Winning Thoughts of Peak Performers

Last post we RED FLAGGED 15 categories of negative thoughts.  I had to give you the list of negative thoughts to make it easier to identify them, however, telling someone NOT to think about a thing is to cause them to think about it.  Let me give you a few examples:  DO NOT, under any circumstances, think about an elephant.  (What did you just think about?)  DO NOT think about the color RED, nor the number 13! (Too late, you just did.) See what I mean?  Peak Performers know that it is not enough to just identify negativity, they know that they must replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.   To that end, I am going to share my list of Positive Thought Categories, (they are the same ones used by Peak Performers):

BEAUTIFUL – attractive, exquisite, fair, handsome, lovely, pretty

BOUNTIFUL – abundance, ample, plentiful, substantial

BETTER – bigger, faster, stronger

15 Winning Thoughts of Peak Performance

CHEERFUL/GLAD – light-hearted, willing

AT EASE – relaxed, unworried, unembarrassed

WELL FAVORED – when other folks just like you and treat you well

HAPPY WELFARE – health and prosperity

LOVING – expressing goodwill and affection

KIND/USEFUL- helpful

PLEASING/PLEASURE- delighted, fulfilled

SWEET – rich, productive, possesses winning qualities

READY- available for immediate use

PROSPERITY/WEALTH – success, great abundance, riches far greater than riches

PRECIOUS/HIGH VALUE – highly priced, of great worth, excellence

FINEST/BEST – excellent, elegant, refined, pure, (like gold and silver)

These 15 Winning Thoughts are what you should be thinking about day and night, night and day, over and over, if you want to reach Peak Performance. Print this list out and tape it to the refrigerator and put it next to the RED FLAG LIST.  This is the GREEN FLAG LIST!!  Think about these things, turn them into a movie clip (an imagination), play the clip constantly, turn these 15 Winning Thoughts into Winning Beliefs and crush it!!

Boo Yah!!

15 Thought Filters Used By Peak Performers

The thoughts we entertain, (i.e. mental house guests) make us or break us, like the Unwanted House Guests from the old Saturday Night Live skits.  If you let negative thoughts set up shop in your brain-housing group, it’s hard to dig them out and get rid of them.  Many times, we don’t even realize our thoughts are negative.  Identifying destructive thoughts is the first step to getting rid of limiting beliefs that hinder our Peak Performance.  Peak Performers actually take the time and mental energy to check out the identity of their thoughts and dump any that don’t push them towards their goals.  Here is the list of 15 that I use to ferret out even the most stealthiest seeds of negativity.  If you find yourself dwelling on any of these categories, RED FLAG IT!!

ADVERSITY- a condition of hardship, anything opposing you, unfriendly, detrimental

AFFLICTION – to be distressed with continued suffering, trouble

CALAMITY – any event causing great suffering, disaster

Peak Performance Thoughts

DISPLEASURE – to be annoyed, confused, outraged

DISTRESS/ANXIETY – worry, anxious, fretting (this is the most preferred destructive thought category, favored by BILLIONS everywhere)

GREAT GRIEF – intense sorrow, tribulation, regret

HARM – injury or loss

HEAVINESS – despondent, burdened, depressed

HURT – pain, wound

ILL FAVOR – can’t stand ya! When you think people don’t like you.

MISERY – suffering, especially as a result of poverty or lack

SADNESS – depressed, miserable, pitiful, dejected

SORROW – distress and pain because of loss

TROUBLE – difficulty, unrest, perplexed, agitated

WRONG – injustice, anything not working properly

 Print out this list, tape it to the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, next to your office phone, by your computer,  anywhere it might help you to identify the negative assault on your mind. (Hint the news and talk radio love to bombard you with almost everything on this list.  Editors and Producers base most of their content on this list!!)
If you aren’t telling your brain what and how to think, there are plenty of folks out there who will! We have to take responsibility for our thoughts. We can’t keep bad thoughts from coming but we can arrest them and deport them.  Just like you can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair!
Boo Yah!!