Monday, July 27, 2009

Is It Time For A 'Summer' Cleaning ...

Why do we have an annual cleaning ritual (commonly referred to as ‘spring cleaning’)? This time between two seasons is prefaced with almost an innate desire to remove the clutter in our life before we create something new. Regardless of whether we are considering changes in our business, personal life, or in relationships we typically start with taking an assessment of what we have and what we are trying to achieve; and then we attempt to create space within our lives for this pending change by getting rid of the old, coming to closure, or completing a lingering task, etc.

All of us have a finite number of “attention units” and over time our life and our surroundings become cluttered with “stuff” that doesn’t necessary support who we are at our core or what it is that we are creating in our life. Once you reach what you perceive is your comfort capacity it becomes difficult adding something new or change, unless you remove the existing clutter or come to closure on items or relationships that consume your time, talent and energy (or take up some of your “attention units”). That ‘letting go’ process is similar to the annual ritual of cleaning house every spring (but in our business and personal lives we can’t afford to make this an annual ritual, but instead it requires regular ongoing effort – some suggest every three months or more).

If you are a sports fan, especially basketball, then you know at some level that all games are won and lost on how effective each team consistently manages space to their collective benefit. What I mean is the winning team will be the one who more consistently uses spacing to their advantage. On defense they closed the space or through team defense cause congestion so that the other team has fewer open looks at the basket. They prevail defensively because they close out effectively on shooters, they box out and get key rebounds, and they rotate quicker limiting easy baskets. On offense they ‘spread the court’ allowing for the right players to drive and dish to open shooters who have open looks at the basket. The team that does these small, but critical, details more often wins the game. That is no different when we consider our business or personal life. How we create space and take advantage of this space will allow for more of what we want to come into our life.

What do you need to complete, resolve, dump, delegate, forgive, or let go before you can move on and bring new activity, abundance, relationships and excitement into your life? Personally several years ago I began an exercise that consisted of thinking about the significant people in my life and the pain I may have caused them. After identifying that I made a point to ask for forgiveness for causing this pain or hurt either in person, in writing or within myself. This healing was in a small way clearing the clutter within myself – my own personal “spring cleaning.” For you it may mean cleaning your desk, a file cabinet, or a room in your house; completing a task or project that has lingered to long; confronting an issue or problem that you have been avoiding; making the call you have put off; forgiving yourself for actions taken or not; or any number of other tasks you have left for another time, thus using up your “attention units” and creating personal clutter. So take a moment as you start your week to identify your clutter and what you need to do to create the space within to grow, attractive new relationships, create a new energy around you or just become more effective.

As always, I hope this reflection finds you and your loved ones well. I hope you enjoy the read, and please feel free to share your thoughts or comments with me. Thank you and have a GREAT week!!! Also, if I can be of service to you or a friend please let me know. Again thank you for sharing this time with me! Jim Peys

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Reflection About 'Change' ...

As you sip your morning coffee while settling in for another week, I thought a mid-season jolt was needed to inspire the greatness in all of US! Several months ago, I was sent the following YouTube link which at this moment has been viewed over 5.5 million times (many of you have already seen the video; but that doesn’t water down its impact). The video clip embodies the speed at which our world changes, even one step at a time. The clip is approximately a year old, and even its contents are outdated – My Space is surpassed by Facebook, and Twitter is the current rage. Click on the link below:

Viewing this clip I wonder how to keep ahead of the tide wave of ‘change’ and evolution that is constant. Last week our bi-monthly business professional mastermind group gathered and discussed ‘change’ in our personal and professional lives. As I listened to the group share (who by the way are much smarter than myself), I became aware of how people often consider ‘change’ as an ‘external’ event or process (“I wish my wife or husband would just change things would be so much better; if only my girlfriend or boyfriend wouldn’t do that; if only my kid would listen; only if my client or boss or peer at work would just see the error in their ways; if our product or service was only this way or that, etc.). Listening to the group I reminded myself of the importance of staying present to what it is that I need to ‘change’ within to effectuate the greatest shift so that I may keep pace to realizing my goals? A parallel thought to that is how must I effectuate a shift in my internal response pattern so as to cause a ‘change’ in all that is around me, including how others choose to deal with me?

Self-improvement pundits suggest in a multitude of forums that resistance to ‘change’ results in falling behind and eventual failure – whether personally or professionally. So why is it that we think of ‘change’ outside of ourselves or even yet avoid ‘change’ altogether? With little thought the answers are as numerous as those considering the question … fear, complacency, ignorance, apathy, comfort, to busy, satisfaction, uncertainty, being overwhelmed, family, kids, work, etc. Truthfully I never get to the question of “why I’m resistant to change” because I view ‘change’ as the ONLY constant in our universe. Consider for a moment that our body regenerates itself (fundamental change) at a cellular level every couple weeks, regardless of whether we acknowledge ‘change’ or not.

So if that is the case, how do we stay in “motion” in our life so as to embrace the ‘change’ that is occurring all around us 24/7? Borrowing from Jack Canfield’s book entitled “
The Success Principles” his “Rule of 5” seems like a worthy tool that can help us move from vision or goal (mere thought or mindset) to ultimate success. The theory is that after defining what it is we want to co-create in our life, we commit ourselves to accomplishing 5 things each and every day that moves us toward our goals (regardless of what they may be); then gradually over time we will manifest all that we seek. Really the essence of the message is to “get in action” and then “stay in motion” until it just becomes an integral part of our being evidenced in our daily routine and a part of our every thought.

For those of us who are “immediate gratification” type personalities (which I am certainly one) this seems too slow … well consider the following excerpt taken from “
Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul.” “Jaroldeen Edwards describes the day her daughter Carolyn took her to Lake Arrowhead to see a wonder of nature – fields and fields of daffodils that extend for as far as the eye can see. From the top of the mountain, slopping down for many acres across folds and valleys, between the trees and bushes, following the terrain, there are rivers of daffodils in radiant bloom – a literal carpet of every hue of the color yellow, from the palest ivory to the deepest lemon to the most vivid salmon-orange. There appear to be over a million daffodil bulbs planted in this beautiful natural scene. Totally breath taking. So as they walked to the center of this magical place, they stumbled upon a sign that read: ‘Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking.’ The first answer was ‘One woman – two hands, two feet and very little brain.’ The second answer was ‘One at a Time.’ The third: ‘Started in 1958.’” Personally the following quote brings this whole subject of ‘change’ full circle and truly resonates with me ... “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.William James, Harvard Psychologist

And so it is that ‘change’, progress, evolution, growth, expansion and success ultimately starts from the seeds of a internal thought and mindset that is held within; an openness and willingness to consider approaches behind just our own experience; a commitment to be more than just the totality of our own internal stories; and to resonant with the very law of nature that
is ‘change.’ Those of us that do are typically found at the forefront of radical shifts in our world. But the seeds of ‘change’ start and continue incrementally from commitments fulfilled within each of us every day. So instead of avoiding ‘change’ or rarely giving it a nanosecond of thought, why not give yourself a gift today and throughout the week and embrace every opportunity to experience ‘change.’

As always, I hope that you enjoy the read as well as the video clip. I am interested in your feedback, so let me know your thoughts. If in the meantime, I can be of service to you or your friends please let me know. Most of all though is have a GREAT week!!! Again thank you!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Internal Key To Success … Affirmations

Recently a friend and I started getting together to discuss the contents of a book we are reading – Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles.” Our goal is to discuss the concepts raised in the book, and assist (challenge) each other in implementing these principles in our every day life. We have been exposed to most of the book’s material before; however, the manner in which the messages are told (story format) and the exercises offer a unique spin. One of the concepts detailed in Canfield’s book is about “affirmations.”

Most of us have a series of internal stories or messages we repeat which limit our ability to create the greatest vision of ourselves. Such messages as “I’m over weight”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough”, etc., are just a few we tell ourselves throughout our day. People that achieve high levels of success simply let go of these types of limiting thoughts and beliefs, and replace them with other positive messages that change or affect their self-image.

People from all walks of life practice affirmations to change their state of mind and free themselves up to achieve greater success. One such story retold by Canfield concerns Jim Carrey, Actor, who early in his career would drive up to Mulholland Drive every night look out over the City and repeat several affirming thoughts. Everybody wants to work with me. I’m a really good actor. I have all kinds of great movie offers.” Movie offers are out there for me, I just don’t hear them yet. He would say these affirmations over and over, literally convincing himself as he sat alone on top of Mulholland Drive.

So what is an affirmation? An affirmation is a statement that describes a goal in its already completed state. Personally, I am in the process of rewriting my affirmations by integrating nine guidelines mentioned in Canfield’s book. These nine affirmation guidelines are:

1. “Start with the words ‘I am’;

2. Use the present tense;

3. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want;

4. Keep it brief;

5. Make it specific;

6. Include an action word ending with ‘ing.’ Use a verb not a noun to create power to the effect of the image created;

7. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word;

8. Make affirmations for yourself, NOT OTHERs; and

9. Add ‘or something better’ to the end of each affirmation.”

Write your affirmations down and repeat them out loud two or three times a day with passion and conviction. Another great idea suggested by Canfield is to tape them to your bathroom mirror, and carry them with you at all times in your wallet. Constantly bombard your subconscious with your life affirming messages that support your vision and goals for yourself.

I spent most of my life involved in various sports related activities – playing basketball through college, and then coaching. It always struck me as odd that most high school and college coaches take this attitude of “break down an athlete to build them up” approach. One problem is that often times they forget to affirm ALL their players and just continue breaking them down. The really great coaches (the one that comes to mind is John Wooden) seem to understand the power of affirmation as a method to motivate the greatness within people. Sometimes we never quite get past the “break down” mindset in our life and continue to perpetuate these negative patterns in the stories or messages we constantly tell ourselves. The daily routine of repeating your positive affirmations that support your greatest vision of yourself can truly make a difference.

As always, I hope that this MOJO finds you and your loved ones well. And, if there is anything I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask!!! Jim Peys

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence

On July 4th each year Americans all over the globe celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence that contains arguably the most famous sentence in the English language. Each year we gather our family and friends to celebrate the creation of this Nation – truly a “national” day. A day of celebration marked with friendly banter, tons of food, fire works, laughter and gratitude.

Approximately seventy-six (76) years later (July 5, 1852) Frederick Douglas gave a speech in Rochester, New York entitled “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” In this speech he stated:

“Trust no future, however pleasant,

Let the dead past bury its dead;

Act, act in the living present,

Heart within, and God overhead.”

And later in the same speech, Douglas states:

“The evil, that men do, lives after them,

The good is oft interred with their bodies."

In reflection my question is what does the 4th of July symbolize for you personally in your life? If you read the quotes above they suggest a reverence for the symbol that this day represents; however, its personal significance varies dramatically. If you strictly construe the text of the Declaration of Independence above in the context of when it was written, you have to wonder if the signers (written primarily by Thomas Jefferson) truly believed the words written – “truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” How do you reconcile this statement with the notion of slavery; and if that is not enough where is the acknowledgement of women?

I reconcile this statement by the suggestion that it is Jefferson’s vision or dream of what could be possible to create in a free nation separate from the British rule. Fast forward the movie and for me July 4th symbolizes a day that we celebrate with our family and friends in gratitude of a dream embodied in the concept of freedom or liberty. It is our liberty that enables us to choose how we live our life in the pursuit of happiness. How and what we make of our life, and what it means to be happy are personal choices that as free individuals we define. That is the gift that our fore fathers and all who passed before us have given, and that is the set of principles we celebrate every 4th of July. A gift that deserves to be celebrated, cherished and never taken for granted … for this freedom has come at a severe cost to those who have lived before us.

Writing to his wife, John Adams said “I am apt to believe that it (July 4th) will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” And so it has, and so it shall be ….

I hope that everyone reading this truly celebrated your 4th while pausing to give thanks and appreciate the simple things in your life at this moment. For Douglas had it right – what is in the past remains in the past; act in the present from a Godlike heart present to the dream that is your vision. God Bless!