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Don’t Give Up – Stop Settling For Less Now

I Guess You’ll Do.

Are You Settling for Less in Your Life?

Yes, this is just a silly little video–both funny and sad–but after watching it you might want to ask yourself these questions: Is my life the effect of societal expectations? Am I settling for less than what I truly want?

If so, you’re not alone. We believe settling for less happens because people haven’t discovered what they are truly passionate about–what brings joy and meaning to their lives. Or, if they do know what they’re passionate about, they’re not sure how to create a life that embodies this passion.

If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, try asking yourself these questions:

1. What brings me the greatest joy?
2. How do I most like spending my time?
3. Who is the person I admire most in the world?

Your answers to these questions will give you clues to what you are passionate about. When you learn the answer to these questions–and get to the core of what you’re passionate about–you can begin discovering ways you can experience more of these things in your life.

Knowing what’s most important to you is the very first step you must take in order to stop settling and start creating the life you truly want.

Take the time to survey your life and answer the questions above. Pick at least one of the qualities you want to experience in your life. Then identify at least two ways that this quality already exists in your life. If it doesn’t exist, then come up with at least one action you can take to create it. After you’ve taken this action notice what starts to happen.

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.
With love,

Beth and Neill


Is It Really True? New Rules for the Game of Life Quiz ~ Motivate by Fear?

As promised, here is the first installment of our new monthly feature:

If this is the first time you’re playing along, you may want to read our initial explanation. You can find it here:
Is It Really True? Quiz Intro

Please remember that in this quiz there are no right or wrong answers. We simply want to stimulate dialogue in our community about some of our commonly held cultural beliefs. This quiz comes out of a practice we have of asking ourselves if the beliefs we hold as the “truth” are our own, or if we have just adopted them unquestioningly. We hope you enjoy playing along.

Here’s the first statement…

Fear of getting a ticket is the best way to stop people from speeding.

Do you agree or disagree?

Here’s what we came up with when we examined the statement.

Why would governments give tickets in order to stop people from speeding?

We believe that everything we say or do is to meet a need or experience something we value. And when we want something we come up with ideas for getting it–strategies such is giving tickets to people that don’t obey the speeding laws in order to stop people from speeding. Since cultures, societies, and governments are made up of people, we believe the same holds true at that level.

Keeping all this in mind, the first thing we want to do is get to the essence–the underlying values–hidden within any strategy.

What values are people trying to satisfy with this strategy?

We guess these might be the needs or values underlying the strategy of giving tickets to stop speeding:

  • safety–so less people are injured or die on the roads.
  • predictability–so you have greater confidence about what you can expect when you get on the road.
  • effectiveness–by establishing clear agreement about what is and is not unsafe.

Can you think of any other needs our values people may be trying to satisfy using this strategy?

Why this strategy?

Now the question becomes, why this strategy? In our experience, behind every strategy we choose there is a belief that guides the choice and our subsequent actions. So what’s the cultural belief that led the government to choose this strategy as opposed to any other?

Here’s a possible belief we came up with that might have led to adopting this strategy:

  • People need authorities who “know better” to set strong boundaries that will govern their actions.

Which may point to these even deeper underlying beliefs:

  • People can’t be trusted
  • People only care about themselves
  • People make bad decisions on their own

Can you think of any others beliefs that might lead to making laws that impose traffic fines as a way to prevent speeding?

Does this strategy work?

If your goal is to make people worry about getting a ticket, then we would say this strategy works. But if what you really want is safety, predictability and effectiveness then we think it’s probably not working very well.

Think about it. How often do you still see people speeding? How often do you speed yourself? Why is it that so many people continue to speed if there’s a law that tells you not to, and is enforced by the use of speeding tickets?

We’ve identified a number of reasons for this, but the one we’ve picked to explore here is the difference between intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.

We define the difference this way: being motivated from our internal values vs. being motivated from externally imposed consequences.

If you’ve been brought up in a typical world culture, then you are no stranger to externally imposed consequences. They start at a very young age. Early on, the authorities in your life teach you what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s good and what’s bad, what’s appropriate and inappropriate.

And you probably quickly learned that you get punished for being wrong or bad and rewarded for being good or right.

So here’s another rule–don’t speed. Enforced using an externally imposed consequence–you’ll get a speeding ticket that will cost you a lot of money and a lot of time if you disobey.

What does this strategy accomplish?

Let’s recap:

  • There is a cultural belief: People can’t be trusted so authorities must tell them what to do.
  • The culture teaches using a system of punishment and rewards.
  • Government came up with this strategy of punishing people who break speeding laws by giving tickets that costs them both time and money.

But what do most people learn from this strategy–both now and when they were children? In our experience the lesson learned is:

Don’t Get Caught When You’re Breaking the Rules.

Given the number of people who still speed, it doesn’t appear that this strategy–or what people actually learn from it–satisfy the underlying desire for safety, predictability, or effectiveness.

What might satisfy these underlying values?

Now let’s contrast the use of extrinsic motivation with intrinsic motivation. What would it take to cultivate intrinsic motivation?

How would we motivate people to do things–such as obey agreed upon speed limits–simply because this was in harmony with their personally held values?

Let’s start with the underlying belief.

What if we were able to change our cultural belief from “people can’t be trusted,” to “people can be trusted to make decisions that are for the highest good of everyone involved” because they inherently care for, and want to contribute to others and themselves.

Where would this belief take us?

Would we change how teach our children?

Let’s see . . . If our underlying cultural belief was that “people can be trusted to make their own decisions,” then most likely we would want to support them in staying present to what’s most important to them–what they personally value.

And we would probably ensure that our children’s education included developing their emotional intelligence. This would support their ability to make decisions based on how their actions might benefit or impact themselves and those around them.

We would still want to do whatever we could to maintain safety, predictability, and effectiveness on our roads, but with this underlying cultural belief, what strategy might we come up with?

This is where we start getting into very unknown territory. We’re not raised to pay attention to our internal values, or whether the consequences of our actions are in harmony with our values. Instead, we are constantly being distracted by external authority telling us what to do–and by the threat of consequences if we don’t obey.

So where this would go and how it would turn out is anyone’s guess.

But imagine being raised in a culture where your caring, kind and competent nature was valued and nurtured. Where your ability to reason and come up with successful, satisfying choices for everyone concerned was respected.

Imagine that your education, both at home and in school, had focused heavily on supporting you in making your own decisions, with respect for your internal guidance. And it supported this through teaching, conversation and experiences designed to help nurture these abilities.

Now imagine, as a society we have decided that limiting speed really will support achieving the goal of keeping our roads safe, predictable, and effective. What strategy might you use to achieve the greatest possible compliance with these speed limits?

What occurs to you?

That’s our thinking on the subject. Please let us know what occurs to you about any or all of this in the comment field below.

We look forward to reading your response.

With great trust and respect for your ability to choose wisely,

Beth and Neill

PS Please remember to sign up for the RSS feed to make sure you are alerted to our next installment of: Is It Really True?


10 Personal Growth Questions That Make a Difference – Part Two

Supporting Your Continued Growth!

Yesterday I posted the first five out of 10 Personal growth questions that have made a difference in my life. Here is part two, the next five questions out of 10. I hope they support you as much as they have supported me.what motivates you?

6. What motivates me?

Motivation is what gets us in action, action is what creates results. Ask the question, what motivates me? Then observe your life. When you accomplish something, identify what is that motivated you to accomplish it. Watch when you get excited, what are you feeling excited about, that’s motivation. If you discover the answer to this question you are well on your way to creating a life you love.

7. What do I value most?

Your values are the essence of who you are. Getting clear about them and living them is a guaranteed way to be the fullest most authentic expression of yourself.

8. What do I really want?

Yes I know this question might seem trite, but how many times do you actually stop and ask yourself this question and then really listen to the answers. The funny thing is, in each moment this question can generate completely different answers.

So, start asking this question, stop and really listen to the answer, and then identify small step towards getting it. You are worth it.

9. What do I appreciate most about myself?

This question is essential for creating a life you love. It’s very challenging to love your life when you can’t identify anything you appreciate about yourself. And I’m convinced the only reason that you couldn’t find things you appreciate about yourself is you haven’t had enough practice. So start practicing today!

10. What am I grateful for?

If you want to live your best possible life, if you want to be all that you can be, or if you just want to be happier in any moment, asked this question as often as you can remember. When you’re in the process of being grateful you can’t help but feeling good.

Why ask questions?

Questioning myself is the easiest way I have found to find truth in my life. This is because we are the only ones that can say what is true for us. So ask questions and never stop asking. Listen to the answers and trust they are true for you. Then start taking actions that move you closer and closer to your truth. This process will guarantee your continued growth into the fullest most authentic expression of you.


10 Personal Growth Questions That Make a Difference – Part One

Prepare to Grow!

Growth takes time and patience

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Be All You Can Be”. The Army may not be the place you want to Be All You Can Be, but for most of us, we truly want to grow into the fullest most authentic expression of ourselves. The question then becomes, how– how do I get to the point of being all that I can be? I mostly see myself as truly content with my life– happy with the way things are going, but I also know that I’m far from Buddha and I’m sure that my life can be more wonderful than it is in any given moment.

Do you seek personal growth and spiritual development skills that would bring more meaning to your life– something a bit more important than your day-to-day activities?

I don’t know about you, but when I get entrenched in the details of my life it seems challenging to step back and ask: “Am I being all that I can be?. For this reason I’m always looking for ways to interrupt the day-to-day routine and create more of what I want in life. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… or can you?

Here Are 5 Of The 10 Questions I Came Up With To Help This Old Dog Be All She Can Be.

1. Am I happy in this moment?

Anytime is a great time to ask this question, because each moment added up becomes your life! Check in as often as you can remember.

If the answer is yes, celebrate! But if the answer is no, find something in that moment will make you happier than you are right then.

2. Am I comfortable with the direction my life is headed?

The one thing you can count on in life is change. Because our lives are always shifting and changing it’s important to stay conscious about the direction it’s going. Check in with yourself. Ask, am I comfortable with this course my life is taking. Remember, its never too late to adjust course. Every small adjustment is a conscious choice in creating a life you want– instead of the life that just happens to you.

3. Is there anything about me, that if changed, would dramatically enhance my life?

This is the kind of question that many of us might have trouble with. Guilt, sadness, or regret might come up in the process of asking yourself this kind of question. But just like I said before, change is inevitable and if were lucky in the process of our own personal changes we consciously choose what would enhance our lives.

So every once in awhile take an honest self inventory of your habitual behaviors and choices. Try not to beat yourself up if you find things you would like change. Then get very clear about how you want to be instead and start practicing.

4. What do I believe is possible for my life?

It has been said, that we can only have what we believe is possible. Check-in, this question will give you amazing insights on what is in your way of you getting what you want.

5. What’s most important to me?

Unless you know what’s important to you, it’s almost impossible to get it. Make a list and make sure you spend some time focusing in each of these areas of your life.

Yes You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

yes you can teach an old dog new tricks

These may seem like simple questions, but the answers can be profound. Asking them, listening to the answers and taking action, has helped this puppy to be all that she can be.

Spend some time asking yourself these questions. Be with them, write down what occurs to you. Next right down any actions you want to take in relation to the answers you came up with.

click here for Part Two–the next 5 of 10 Personal Growth Questions That Make a Difference.

until next then.

live, love and laugh,

Beth


Some of Our Favorite Inspirational Books

Inspirational books

We just love receiving good recommendations, whether it’s for restaurants, movies, great books, or whatever.

Over the years we’ve been asked what books we have enjoyed reading and have made a big difference in our lives, so we thought we’d start putting a list together for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are five of the ones that make our ‘favorites’ list.

 

1. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Benjamin Zander

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Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander’s genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment.

The authors’ harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.

 

 

 

2. The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynne Twist

 

This unique and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money—earning it, spending it, and giving it away—can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity.

Lynne Twist, a global activist and fundraiser, has raised more than $150 million for charitable causes. Through personal stories and practical advice, she demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose.

In this Nautilus Award-winning book, Twist shares from her own life, a journey illuminated by remarkable encounters with the richest and poorest, from the famous (Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama) to the anonymous but unforgettable heroes of everyday life.

 

 

 

3. Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Possibility and Play by James P. Carse

 

“There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.”

Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end.

This book had a profound impact on how we see the world and or choices in it.

 

 

 

 

4. Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (Revised Edition)
by David R. Hawkins

 

David R. Hawkins details how anyone may resolve the most crucial of all human dilemmas: how to instantly determine the truth or falsehood of any statement or supposed fact.

Dr. Hawkins, who worked as a “healing psychiatrist” during his long and distinguished career, uses theoretical concepts from particle physics, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos theory to support his study of human behavior.

This is a fascinating work that will intrigue readers from all walks of life!

 

 

 

 

 

5. Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili-King

 

If you have ever been interested in the art of shamanism this book is uniquely suited for use in today’s world, Hawaiian shamanism follows the way of the adventurer, which produces change through love and cooperation, which is in contrast to the widely known way of the warrior, which talks about solitary quests and conquest by power.

In this book you’ll discover how to:
• Interpret and change your dreams
• Heal yourself, your relationships, and the environment
• Cast the shaman stones to foretell the future
• Design and perform powerful rituals
• Shapechange
• Make vision quests to other realities

 

 

We hope you check these out and, if you’re inspired to read them, that they are as meaningful and supportive to you as they have been for us.


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