Star Hansen is a Clutter Whisperer and Certified Professional Organizer. She helps successful people who feel like a hot mess to figure out why their clutter isn’t going away so they can finally clear the chaos, and live a life of freedom, joy, and peace. She’s the organizer you call when nothing else works!
Star has been helping people clear their clutter since 2004. She’s a member of NAPO (The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals). Her boutique organizing firm, Reveal by Star, LLC offers online courses and coaching to help people set themselves free from their clutter.
Star created the Chaos to Calm Organizing Community in 2019 to support people from across the globe in their organizing transformations. This online community has provided a safe, healing space for people to unpack what’s hiding in their clutter and finally see progress after years of attempts.
Star’s multi-layered approach is that of mind, body, spirit, & space. She has a knack for seeing through the chaos and into the lives & hearts of the people she works with. Her approach has been featured on OWN, TLC, HGTV, Style, A&E, and NPR. She has been a contributor to O Magazine, Woman’s Day, and Oprah.com. Star’s humorous and thought-provoking TEDx Tucson talk explores what the monsters in your closet are trying to tell you.
Star lives in Santa Fe, NM. She is an 8th-generation Tucsonan who loves living in the southwest and never misses an opportunity to soak up a desert sunrise, sunset, or monsoon downpour.
Have you woken up in the middle of the night, couldn’t fall back to sleep, and are pondering what the fuck you’re doing with your life?
It’s me. Hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.
I think anybody that cares about something meaningful goes through this.
Like are we doing enough?
I don’t know, really. I don’t have the answer. But I have questions I’m asking myself.
What is enough?
Why do I feel I’m always behind?
Is the pressure I’m putting on myself necessary?
The answers come when we’re willing to sit with these uncomfortable and squirmy questions.
I don’t have the answer for you. I barely have the answer for myself, yet.
But the good news is that we are in it together. We all have restless nights and worry that we are not enough. That our life has somehow spun out of control and we aren’t sure what it holds for us next.
All I can say is that we’ve been here before. This isn’t the first time we’ve dealt with these fears, anxieties, stressors, and mental blockades.
But this time it may be the first time we finally become aware of why it’s happening…If we’re willing to answer a few simple questions.
Sit with it for a while. Scribble some notes. Let whatever flows out be what it is. No judgment or editing.
Just pure emotion.
You may not be writing yours at 4:23 am because you can’t sleep but I’d challenge you to carve out just 5 minutes today.
Allow your mind to ponder the reasons why you struggle and where it stems from. Although the answers are difficult to digest they become the start of a new way of thinking.
The common phrase is “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
Even better, “Be so aware you can’t ignore yourself.”
When we remove the barriers we can explore our minds at a deeper level to expose all of our insecurities and anxieties. This work becomes useful to avoid the pitfalls of making the same mistakes over and over again.
As Paulo Coelho says, “A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.”
Mistakes will happen but it’s the awareness and reflection of why they happened that allows us to make better decisions when similar situations arise in the future.
We stop ignoring the flashing red lights and begin to forge a new path toward learning about ourselves.
It’s one of the only ways we can become a better version of ourselves.
There’s a reason we call consistent maintenance on our vehicles “routine” or “preventive”. It’s so that we don’t go without checking in and understanding where it needs some work before it breaks down completely.
How honest are we with ourselves about our own “routine maintenance”?
Do we prioritize this at all?
We are scattered each day with no consistent schedule
We prioritize others before prioritizing ourselves
Are always feeling like we are behind
Are never satisfied with the results.
Then it might be time for a check-in.
Asking ourselves questions like:
Why are we not holding ourselves accountable for specific scheduling of activity, sleep, etc?
Why are we unwilling to give ourselves time before we let others control it?
Why does this always get chopped in favor of other “priorities”?
Why do we do so much and feel it’s not enough?
Are most of these tasks even important to us?
We have to prioritize the “check-in” and it can’t be once a year like our annual physical.
It needs to be constant. It needs to become routine.
Otherwise, we have gotten so out of whack that we aren’t sure where to begin.
Get ahead of it.
Make it a routine practice.
We’ll prevent a complete breakdown and save ourselves a lot of heartache in the process.
Craig Stanland is a Reinvention Architect, TEDx & Keynote Speaker, and Author of “Blank Canvas, How I Reinvented My Life After Prison.” He specializes in working with clients who’ve chased success, money, and status in their 1st half, only to find a success-sized hole in their lives. He helps them tap into their full potential and connect with their calling to create their extraordinary 2nd half with purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.
I’ve been bleeding the Just Get Started mission for several years.
The Children’s Books.
The Sales Consulting.
The Coaching calls and guidance.
The venturing out into the dark wilderness.
Almost weekly (or daily) I kick myself thinking I’m not good enough.
I shouldn’t be doing any of this.
Nobody is going to listen.
Nobody is going to care.
I’m not worthy.
And then I look in the mirror and ask myself the question I’ve asked hundreds of times.
“Why can’t it be you?”
Why can’t you be the one to help others who are struggling?
Why can’t you be the one to spread kindness to the world?
Why can’t you be the one to live a purposeful life?
Why can’t you be anything you desire to be?
The struggle is fucking real.
The comparison bias.
The self-limiting beliefs.
The imposter syndrome.
We all have it. We all go through it. Nobody is immune to the demons lurking in our minds.
But, we press on, every day toward our “North Star” because it is bigger than any of us.
To shine goodness in the world and bring forth a new age of vulnerability and transparency that can help us bond and adapt together.
Whatever demons you’re trying to fend off just know you’re not alone.
We see you.
We hear you.
We are going through it, too.
Every time we get down on ourselves we must be willing to stand tall, face the mirror, and ask ourselves, “Why can’t it be you?”
And then look that person straight into the fucking eyes and answer with an emphatic, “It can be and it will be.”
Can we honestly say to ourselves, “I’m happy today?”
If we can it’s important to understand why? What is happening or has happened where we feel this moment, right now, is a moment of happiness? We can’t repeat it exactly but we can work to replicate it again and again.
The same holds true if the answer is “No”. Why aren’t we happy? What are the contributing factors to unhappiness?
Recognizing these puts us in a position to learn what isn’t serving us and navigate away from it.
Happiness is a feeling, a moment, a benchmark in a time of stress-free living.
Are we willing to do the work to understand how we can create more of this?
Clear And Present HappinessBrian Ondrako2023-01-19T20:29:38-04:00
We are happier more often when we’ve found fulfillment in life.
When we have a responsibility or purpose.
When we have a grasp on things.
How do we find fulfillment?
Start with these questions…
What activities make me feel the most alive? When I need energy I ____? When I lose track of time hanging out, the qualities those people possess the most are ____? When I do ____ I normally don’t feel as good about myself? I get most excited when I do ____?
The answers to these bring us closer to understanding ourselves.
Closer to accepting reality.
Closer to finding clarity.
Self-awareness becomes the accountability mirror we need to be staring into each day.
Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of 14 books, and a professional speaker from Northern California. He has reached over 200 million people around the world with his practical methods, and his work has been translated into 47 languages. His work has appeared in Newsweek, USA TODAY, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as dozens of other publications. In addition, Mr. Robinson has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show and CNN, as well as other national TV talk shows. He has spent more than forty years studying the most practical and powerful methods for personal and spiritual growth.
Jonathan’s second book The Little Book of Big Questions became a New York Times bestseller, as did his book Communication Miracles for Couples. Some of Mr. Robinson’s other books include: Shortcuts to Bliss; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Awakening Your Spirituality, and Find Happiness Now. His most recent book is called The Enlightenment Project: How I Went From Depressed to Blessed, and You Can Too.
As a professional speaker, Mr. Robinson has spoken to companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Coca-Cola, Dell, Bank of America, Google, Wells Fargo and hundreds of other successful businesses and organizations. He speaks on 14 different topics, from mindfulness and depression, to communication and personal transformation. He is known for providing his audiences with immediately useful and powerful information, presented in an entertaining and motivating manner.
Jonathan has made a career out of getting to know the greatest spiritual leaders of our time. From Oprah to Adyashanti, he has interviewed over 100 notable people to get their take on how to live a happy, peaceful, and meaningful life.
In his latest book, The Enlightenment Project: How I Went from Depressed to Blessed, and You Can Too, he shares stories of what he learned from his encounters with people such as the Dalai Lama, Byron Katie, Deepak Chopra, and the late Mother Teresa and Ram Dass, as well as powerful methods that helped him out of his depression and into lasting inner peace.
John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus describes Jonathan’s latest book by saying, “This book will inspire and support you to take the next step on your journey of enlightenment. It is fun, surprising, informative, and a real page turner.”
Have you ever looked at a 10-year olds room? Do you remember yours at that age?
It’s messy. It’s sloppy. It’s disorganized. It can be disgusting.
Because they are 10. They have bigger priorities than keeping their room tidy.
As we age, we can become very buttoned up. We make sure we are clean and orderly. We want to look the part to the world. Heck, some of us even clean their house prior to a cleaning company coming in to do it.
To the outside world, we have it all together.
But, inside we can be messy, sloppy, and disorganized. We can be dealing with a lot of things that we are afraid to share with the world. We can be making decisions that are leading us down the wrong path.
We have to pause and reflect.
Why are we neglecting ourselves in order to be perceived a certain way?
Why are we unwilling to realize we have some shit going on that we have to deal with?
When are we going to realize we have to clean up our room?
We may have taken it for granted in the past but now it must become our #1 priority.
We can’t see the forest through the trees. We also don’t know how big it is. Are we standing in someone’s one-acre backyard or in the Amazon rainforest?
Oftentimes, our problems can get pushed to the side and avoided for a short time but if they go unresolved they can resurface and weigh us down creating a bigger burden than if we addressed them head-on.
When problems or feelings arise, zoom out. Look at the big picture. Look at it from different angles. Look at what happens if we solve it now versus pushing it off.
We have to have the courage to get out of the shadows and expose ourselves to what’s happening.
It might be one of the only ways we can free ourselves.
Episode 269 features Monique Rhodes, a Happiness Strategist who teaches students and corporations around the world how to master their lives. She has spent the last 25 years studying the mind and its relationship to happiness and suffering.
Monique Rhodes is a Happiness Strategist who teaches students and corporations around the world how to master their lives. She has spent the last 25 years studying the mind and its relationship to happiness and suffering.
Over 70 universities and colleges use her program The 10 Minute Mind®. Her 8-week online course, The Happiness Baseline, has a 100% success rate in raising the mental wellness for every student who has completed it.
Monique hosts the daily IN YOUR RIGHT MIND podcast, where she discusses how a series of small habits determine our well-being. Monique collaborated with prominent spiritual teachers Thich Naht Hahn, Ekhart Tolle, and Pema Chödrön on the Heartbeats album. She then completed a similar project with the Dalai Lama.
In 2010 Monique received a nomination for the prestigious New Zealander of the Year Award. An insatiable world traveler, Monique spends her time between Los Angeles and her homeland, New Zealand.
EPISODE 266: Founder and CEO of Self Publishing School
Episode 266 features Chandler Bolt, an investor, the CEO of Self-Publishing School & SelfPublishing.com, Forbes 30 Under 30, and the author of 7 bestselling books including his most recent book titled “Published.”
Chandler Bolt is an investor, the CEO of Self-Publishing School & SelfPublishing.com, Forbes 30 Under 30, and the author of 7 bestselling books including his most recent book titled “Published.”. Self Publishing School is an INC 5000 company for the last 3 years in a row as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.
Chandler is also the host of the 7 Figure Principles Podcast and the Self Publishing School Podcast. Through his books, podcasts, YouTube channels, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people write a book that grows their income, impact, and business.
We can get it in our heads that if we’re not moving forward, fast and furious, then we will be left behind.
This is one of the self-limiting beliefs I had for many years. The notion that there is some race.
What I’ve come to realize is that we can all move forward, extremely fast, but it comes at a big cost. We rush projects, we rush parenting, we rush our partners. We are so worried about the days ahead that we forget the moment we are in right now.
We can all go fast.
But it’s the ones who can be still that achieve the most happiness.
They gain perspective on the world around them. They ponder decisions. They develop new routines by analyzing current ones. They open their eyes to new possibilities. They think.
This can’t be done when we are moving a mile a minute. It’s impossible.
The only way to speed up is to slow down. Retool the engine. Refine the skills. Be thoughtful about the next course of action.
With that, we can have the opportunity to move at a greater clip while recognizing that it’s important for intermittent stops.
How many times would we sit idle in class when the teacher asked if there were any questions only because we didn’t want to be the one who looked like we didn’t understand?
We assumed if nobody else raised their hands then we were the only incompetent ones.
Our conditioning at the time blinded our thinking.
Don’t show weakness.
Stand your ground.
Don’t let them see you sweat.
These phrases were ever-present in our adolescent years and they brought anxiety and fear into our decisions.
Better say nothing at all than be the laughing stock for the day.
We all now realize that was a fallacy.
Vulnerability is not a weakness.
Emotions are not a weakness.
Asking for help is not a weakness.
They tend to be the opposite. Having the courage to show up this way means that we have gotten comfortable with who we are as a person and the scrutiny and judgment don’t affect us as much, if at all, anymore.
That’s a sweet spot to be in. That is when courage builds into confidence.
That’s when we get to the point where we raise our hands from the back of the class. Not only because we are curious about the answer but because we know many others are as well.
We are either a part of that change or we are fighting against it.
Our body changes as we age but if we’ve been focusing on fitness and healthy eating, that change is quite delayed. If we haven’t, we start to feel those effects compound over time. Building healthy habits early on and sticking with them help form a foundation for us to live each day by.
When we go through a breakup or loss, that change is hard, but if we’ve been focusing on our self-reflection inward then we gain a different perspective on the situation. We start to be comfortable with who we are and that others compliment us. They do not define us. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. It can just suck much less.
When we lose a job, the same thing happens. If we rely on this job so much to keep up our lifestyle and identity then when it ends we are broken. It’s because we haven’t put in the work to recognize our strengths and give ourselves room to maneuver if need be.
We may not always be in control. We can’t control aging, we can’t control if someone breaks up with us, and we can’t control a job loss or a myriad of other life events.
But we can control if we are prepared for them.
We can control if we’ve taken proper measures to mitigate increased risk or pain.
We can control if we are willing to learn from each experience.
It starts by gaining better self-awareness. It starts by asking ourselves simple questions.
What really makes us happy?
Is this the right “fit”?
Do we need that new “toy”?
Are we okay if this doesn’t go our way?
Do we feel we have a great support system?
Asking simple questions about the foundations of our life offers a glimpse into the crystal ball and whether those will crack under more pressure or hold us upright to weather the storm.
Strong foundations lay the groundwork to build upon and allow us to take chances and be okay if it doesn’t work out.
We need to ask ourselves, today, what is our foundation built on, and are we confident it can hold up to the fiercest storm we might encounter?
One of the more interesting things about social media is that we can get judged very often, both directly and indirectly. Comments and likes and DMs and even a “non-response” could be perceived a certain way.
But then there’s the “unfollow”. Someone took the time to follow and look at your stuff and then at some point realized it’s not for them.
We have to get comfortable with this. Rejection is a part of life. People will come and go. This happens on social media and in “real life” outside of it.
People don’t respond. People ghost us. People don’t make the effort. As Abraham Lincoln quote says, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
Not everyone will like us. In fact, most won’t.
The ones who do are in it with us.
Those people. Those are our tribe.
Those are the ones we need to cherish and take time for. Those are the ones we need to recognize and reciprocate.
It can’t be one-sided. A relationship works both ways. We need to give more than we take. We need to be empathetic. We need to be encouraging.
Otherwise, we might just get another “unfollow” and this time it might hurt a little bit more.
We are told growing up that we have to cut the paper neatly without making a mistake or that we need to be sure to take our time and color between the lines. “That’ll look the best”, we were told and we were compared to others in our class who appeared much better and more skilled than us.
But that’s one skill. One small area of expertise. In a vacuum, sure, maybe that’s relevant but we shouldn’t crush our confidence over something so meaningless.
We are great at a lot of things and if we aren’t great then maybe we try hard and enjoy the chance of improving. We don’t have to be an expert, a guru, or savants just to take on a specific project.
That’s the fun of it altogether. Messing up. Trying and crumpling up the paper. Not caring if it takes another try.
That’s when this magic of two colliding things happens. There is this thing that many before us have completed, accomplished, and tackled in their own way. Now we get to come in, with our unique perspective and experience on it all and create something incredibly different.
It may not even be recognizable and that’s quite alright. That’s when we create things that are truly original.
But we won’t know until we try. And we have to get out of our head that it needs to be some level of perfection.
I used to never want to celebrate my birthday. I was shy and didn’t like the attention. Part of it was growing up a middle child and never feeling like I fit in. Part of it was that I felt awkward and uncomfortable in the limelight.
But there was a part of me that wanted the attention, that craved it because I never felt I had any. It’s a weird paradox.
I was introverted and scared to have attention called upon me in almost any situation but yet I yearned to be heard and for my voice to matter.
But what I didn’t realize back all those years ago (and even until just recently) is that I didn’t need to be heard by others to make me happy. What I actually discovered is that I needed to listen to myself. My innermost thoughts were the voice that was being suppressed all along.
I wasn’t looking for approval from the outside. That’s where I was mistaken. I needed approval internally. Approval that the decisions I was making, the things I wanted to do, and the people I wanted to be around were all my decisions if I just listened to myself.
What I have come to realize and respect is that the only way to discover happiness is we must first discover ourselves. We must be willing to gain acceptance from within before ever looking for outside validation.
We know what we want. We do. We’ve just let “society” do the play calling for us instead of being in the center of the huddle and scripting our own plays.
That’s where the game can change. We are in control of our happiness if we want to be. What we spend time doing, who we spend time with, how our attitude is every day, where we put our energy, and what we know is our “why”.
It’s in our control if we take the time to block out the noise around us and listen inward.
We don’t have to fear the limelight as long as we show up as our true authentic selves and put into the world what is deep inside us and makes us energized and driven toward a life full of happiness.
What we should all fear is suppressing that voice and following the direction of what others think we should do. What others care about. What others are doing.
Because their decisions don’t affect us.
The people who we want to be around the most and who love, support, and respect us are never making it about them. They are only asking us one question, “What do you want?”
Are we prepared to trust our inner voice and answer?
If we’re not getting the results we want we could consider a few things:
It’s too early, we haven’t given ourselves enough time
We’re wrong – what we thought would work wasn’t correct and it’s time to pivot
We’re asking the wrong people – Audit your group that is sharing advice
We’re not talking to the right audience – We might have something magical but it’s not the right group of people who would benefit from it.
We overthink why things aren’t happening to us at the rate we feel they should be happening and start to think the world is out to get us. In the back of our minds, we know this isn’t really true.
If we focus from within and leverage deep self-awareness we might uncover that we are the stubborn ones who are getting in the way.
Growth happens when we are willing to admit we were wrong in the first place, put the ego aside, and move forward in a positive direction.
That positive mindset can allow us to progress with an optimistic view of the world; something that is vital to visualizing success and then staying hyper-focused to get there, no matter how long it might take.
Precious metals and jewels are generally not found on the surface. There is a lot of digging and excavation that has to happen to get to them. Then, there is additional shaving and cleaning and sifting that happens to finally get to a clear piece of material. It can be exhausting and excruciating but rewarding in the end.
When we become angry or lose hope or feel like we’re never going to be happy, we have to remember that we, too, have precious things on the inside. Somewhere, deep down in our soul, there are things we know are the most important to us, things we want to do, and the types of people we want to be around.
Maybe we’ve just settled over the years into what has become comfortable and those feelings have been buried.
We have to have the courage to dig down deep and unearth these feelings and expose who we really are.
They might end up becoming the jewels that bring us the rich life of happiness we’ve always been searching for.
If we got away from the noise and pressure of pleasing others we might find clarity in our thoughts.
As much as we might have a hard time trusting them, our thoughts paint a colorful picture of the world we’d like to live in and the person we’d like to be.
Our thoughts are truthseekers. Our thoughts are vivid and exploratory. Our thoughts hold a key that could unlock our dreams.
Which is why we often avoid them. We’re scared of what our thoughts might tell us. We fear the truth. We fear it telling us something far different than what the world wants us to be.
So we seek chaos and noise and warm bodies. We seek distractions. We thrive on being busy.
But when we get those moments of calm where our thoughts can become vibrant, those moments can wake us up and make us whole again, even if only for a few precious minutes.
Instead of running away, we should be seeking, chasing, and trying to plan more of those moments as they might end up giving us the fuel we need to power us to the next level of our growth.
We just have to bridge the gap between what the world wants us to be and what we truly want to be. That bridge is built on acceptance. We must accept the truth within and respect it for what it is. That is the only way we can start to become comfortable with our path forward.
Walking toward the truth ends up being the most honest thing we can do for ourselves and for our lives.
A hard truth in life is that we can’t be the one to someone else until we can be the one to ourselves.
Most relationships don’t end later on down the line like it appears they do. Generally, when a relationship ends it was going sideways for a long time before.
Really, they end well before they even start.
It will inevitably happen if we don’t learn to practice “self-love” and seek to understand our own inner workings on how to best communicate, trust, support and respect the other person we are with.
It can be easy to blame a significant other when things start to go bad but the hardest part, the most needed part, is figuring out what we are doing wrong and how we could fix it. The finger should only be pointing in one direction until we can figure ourselves out.
If we show up for ourselves first then we’ll be able to show up for anyone else later.
When we tie our self-worth to what we see others doing online we put our minds in a place of false reality. We trick ourselves into thinking this is real.
Those people in the videos with the crowd cheering their name, or in the picture with the caption of them professing their love and unwavering happiness to a significant other, or tagging themselves with another humblebrag about another award they recently won all have the same things in common as us.
They feel pain.
They feel left out.
They feel alone.
They question their purpose.
They question their work.
They question if they deserve to be in the position they are in.
We shouldn’t think that somehow we are behind. We shouldn’t think that somehow we didn’t get sprinkled with the magic pixie dust of “success” and are now less of a person.
We have to get out of our heads about it and create the great work that we know we love to do. Be around the people that fill us up. Do the things that make us feel energized and alive.
The rest of the stuff works itself out if we are making decisions that lean into those areas that make us happy or at least have the potential to make us happy.
We still may be figuring it all out but so is everyone else. Just because someone is able to commit more time to gloss up a photo or putting out more content it doesn’t mean they are better than any of us.
We all matter and we all have a gift we can give to the world. If we know ours then that’s great but if we’re still figuring it out just know that’s okay as the journey to discovery can be painful and lonely at times.
But know that it’s worth it.
And when we discover it, we won’t have to question our purpose any longer and we’ll be ready to give it generously.
Ken Kladouris is an esteemed wealth advisor and author of Get There!: Chart Your Course to Financial Abundance and Live the Life You Desire. Ken believes life should be lived, by design. Charting his own course in the wealth management industry, Ken earned the respect of his peers and the trust of his clientele. Most recently, he developed an online course entitled “Stillness to Success” which provides a valuable resource for individuals who are ready to create real change in their lives.
Ken compiled this course with practical and impactful lessons he extracted from years of his own self-study with a spin that is fresh and relevant to the 2021 world we are all experiencing. The online course includes a series of lessons that are broken out into consecutive modules – each of which begins with a breathing exercise to help individuals become present before they embark on their curriculum.
Those who participate in the course can expect to complete it feeling more empowered and better equipped to navigate their personal and professional day-to-day decision-making.
Outside of the office, Ken’s love of the ocean led him to pursue sailing. It is there that he also found his passion to give back to the community. In his spare time, he can be found with friends and loved ones aboard a powerboat, sailboat, or at community events.
Blocking out the noise and going to do what we feel compelled to do sounds easier said than done at times. We often hear the opinions of others and let that in some way give us a false start and second guess the endeavors or ideas we want to go tackle.
Think about all the times people told us “You can’t do that” and then we proved them right. In those moments, trusting what we believe is best for us might have been the better decision.
How come we took their thoughts as gospel and neglected our own?
You rarely see this with kids and I think we should all strive to be like nine-year-olds again where we listen to what other people are telling us we should do and then we go do the thing we want to do instead.
We are going to gain some valuable lessons and experiences anyways, they might as well be on our own terms.
Some days zip by in a jiffy. Others tend to meander through a long winding space and feel slow and calm.
Most of the time we don’t know which day is going to creep up on us but it might be valuable to embrace both.
If we are a person that is full-go from the jump then the slower days feel lazy and dragging on too much. We are already looking forward to the next day.
If we are the more relaxed and slow-flowing day type of person then when stuff flies at us from all over we get flustered and chaos sets in rather quickly.
Whichever type we might lean toward we should embrace the other when it comes. Slow days can allow us to think and ponder and let things settle. Fast days can make us feel productive and active and that we are progressing our purpose.
Both days last the same amount of time. And when both days are completed it is one less day we have to enjoy in our lives.
When we focus on the present moments and become grateful for whatever the day holds for us, we start to cherish the little things and hold on to each moment as a blessing, however relaxed or chaotic they become.
Change might be the only thing consistent and when we can accept this thinking it opens up a new door of possibilities because we’ve taken the optimistic viewpoint.
Tomorrow will get here if it’s going to get here but we shouldn’t miss out on the tremendous opportunities and experiences we can have today all because it turned out to be a different day than we hoped for.
Greatness is hard for an individual person to conclude on their own. Although we might be able to lay out several areas that are worthy of the answer we can often skew the results with what we want to consider our “strengths” when they may not exactly be that. Ego gets in the way a lot.
If you want to know what you might be great at, ask your closest friends. Pick 3 for starters.
Ask them “if they had to pick the one thing they feel you are great at what would they choose?” This can be any number of things like writing, listening, compassion, organizing, etc. There are no wrong answers.
When you start to see patterns in your friend’s responses you can lean into their answers and start to discover where the truth lies.
We may not want to always admit or accept what others see as our great attributes but respecting the results of our close friends will get us on a path to happiness much quicker than going about it alone.
Try it and see how different their responses are from yours. You may save yourself a heck of a lot of time not going down the wrong path.
Our world wants big and bold and lavish lifestyles. We see it all over mainstream media. The “keeping up with the Joneses” ideals seem real. That’s at least the stories we were told growing up.
Get a job and work your way up so you can buy things and be happy and then when you retire you can ride off into the sunset. We were told to idolize the Hollywood celebrities and those that were “successful” which really meant those that were “rich”.
We were told a lie.
The loudest person in the room doesn’t necessarily win.
Just because we might happen to hear them doesn’t mean we have to listen to them. It doesn’t mean we have to join in.
We have the choice.
Sometimes silence and separating from the digital world becomes the true gift. Not “fitting in” can actually be a blessing because we don’t have to feel like we are comparing ourselves to anyone else. As we all know, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
So when the world is shouting “Go left” it’s not a bad idea to sneak down the alleyway and go right. It’s not a bad idea to make decisions that make us happier versus making decisions that make us “appear” happier.
The people that live the most extraordinary lives are often the ones doing it in the shadows, out of the limelight, and away from the noise of the glittering lights.
We all deal with stress in our own way and I’ve found that most of the “dealing” is rooted in childhood behaviors and situations that are not going away any time soon. There is hope though that you can change those behaviors and become a person who can deal with stress much better or whatever challenges you’d like to overcome.
I got to thinking about this with a work situation today when I was trying to get some information to a potential client and was waiting on others to finish their side of it before I could send it over.
In the past, I’d get anxious and be stressed out if things were taking a bit too long. I’d be checking emails or refreshing salesforce or whatever to help me cope and feel like I was at least checking and would be ready to pounce when needed. This was rooted in a lot of childhood issues I dealt with around wanting to make everything perfect because I was always fearful of being judged and not being good enough. I was always someone to go above and beyond in many situations especially when it was with people I didn’t know because of this need to make a good impression. Not a bad thing, I guess, but I’d get stressed and worry a lot. As I got older, this worry continued to transpire into my work and always having that fear of judgment in the back of my mind I’d bend over backward to get things done so quickly.
I still like to try and get things done quickly, that’s just how my personality is and I have a hard time sitting around when things aren’t complete. However, I recognized that it didn’t make any difference for (insert a given task) to be done 2 days earlier, for example, and therefore I became much better at prioritizing and staying patient.
What I have come to understand is that I need to prioritize very quickly the tasks coming across my desk and make lists / time stamps on when these need to be accomplished. If urgent, then let’s get it done but if not then don’t fret so much if it’s sitting there to do in a couple of days. This is where the patience comes in. One of my best traits I’ve learned as an adult and it transfers to many areas especially when dealing with stress and getting things done. It wasn’t always this way but as I prioritize things more clearly I don’t let my mind get cluttered anymore with focusing on it and I move on to the next important item.
The big step to make all of this possible was to address those feelings as a kid that I had to please others and look good in their eyes or I wouldn’t be worthy enough. Although I am continually working on this, I’ve all but conquered that tall mountain. My self-confidence is at a high level and I’ve come to grips that I’m not perfect and will never be. I’ve realized that if I am true to myself and the others around me that’s all that matters and I can hold my head high that I am living the life I want. Trust me, this took many years to work through and it’s a continuing process.
Here are the steps I’d go through and still do:
Sitting in thought and reflecting on my past
Have the self-awareness to recognize where I need to improve
Have the courage to make changes, slowly if necessary, to move in a better direction
Keep checking back in with myself and repeating this process to build a more solid foundation
There is no “easy” button, that’s for sure, but dealing with stress and anxiety and worry has been a big issue in the early part of my life and I made a commitment to change this, among other things. It took time and patience but I had a vision for where I wanted to go and trusted the process of getting better every day.
One last thought, I’d encourage a read of the book “Awareness” by Anthony De Mello as a starting point as it was a welcomed addition at the right time and helped a lot in these areas above.
I hope my story helps you in whatever areas you are trying to improve and please reach out if I can be a resource at all.
Well, I knew it would happen at some point and my impulses to jump on a new idea would shake up my Dozen Months of Discovery.
It’s actually a great lesson to follow your feelings and passion and don’t be stuck in a certain path just because that’s what was initially scripted.
Originally, when I planned out my twelve months I had April slated as a month where I was going to learn the Ukelele. Solid choice and it was going to allow me to be that “beginner learner” again like I experienced in March learning Spanish. However, as I spoke with a friend and editor of a book I had been thinking about writing, it was determined that maybe the best thing to do was to put a time window into play and just get it done because it can be very easy to procrastinate especially when writing a book.
So, I took a short look into the future and said “Adios, Ukelele, and hello Book writing!”.
Little did I know the path it would take me down.
As I rounded out March and already had some ideas and notes down for the book I intended to write, one focused on the Just Get Started mission, I stopped myself and really thought about the path I was going down.
This is where self-awareness comes in.
My mission is to help the next generations of our world through earlier self-discovery about themselves and the world around them. This book idea was geared toward that but I had a change of heart.
So, I pivoted and started writing a fictional book taking the elements of the non-fiction book I was going to write and turn it into a story about a boy learning entrepreneurship at an earlier age. I had the idea finally and started writing. I scripted out notes, had the plot laid out, and began on my way. But there was just one problem…I couldn’t stop thinking about rhyming.
See, I am already in the process of publishing my first children’s book called “Luke’s First Round Of Golf” and finishing up on the illustrations as I type this. I couldn’t help but think; maybe this is my “thing.” Maybe someday I’ll write a longer story but I love the rhyming aspect of children’s books, I always have. I love rhyming, in general, having been a fan of the greats of Hip Hop all my life. It’s in my DNA.
So, after a second pivot one week into April I began freestyling on this book.
What did I learn through this process
Go with your gut, sometimes it is always leading you in the right direction
If you are not truly invested in something, you won’t get your best work. Don’t settle for something you deem so important
Be patient – some days you don’t have your best stuff. Even Michael Jordan had off shooting nights.
Hold yourself accountable to finish – There are a lot of ways to weasel out of things and put it off until later but later sometimes never comes. Get back on the horse and ride and finish what you started. Parkinson’s Law works well here “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”
EPISODE 89: Principal Investigator, The Quality of Life Laboratory
ALSO AVAILABLE ON THESE PLATFORMS
Episode 89 features Dr. Orin Davis, a Self-Actualization Engineer and consultant for companies from startups to multinationals on hiring strategies, culture, innovation, and employee well-being. This was a very intriguing interview and I’d be curious the takeaways for everyone else. I learned a ton!
Orin Davis earned the first doctorate in positive psychology, and is a self-actualization engineer who enables people to do and be their best. He consults for companies from startups to multinationals on hiring strategies, culture, innovation, and employee well-being. As the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory, he conducts research on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring. Dr. Davis also serves as an adjunct professor of business, psychology, entrepreneurship, and creativity, and gives workshops and lectures globally about human capital, creativity and innovation, and positive psychology. He is a startup advisor who helps early-stage companies enhance their value propositions, pitches, culture, and human capital, and writes and speaks avidly about human capital, creativity and innovation, and positive psychology.
Recently, my piece on sustainable diversity was recently featured by Medium in their Leadership channel and was picked up by The Startup.
It’s a new year, a new decade, and a clean slate to get it all right this year. “This is going to be my year”, It seems is the type of thing we say to ourselves each orbit around the sun. Why will this year be any different? What have you learned in the past 12 months that will make you believe you can change?
We all have aspirations at one time or another to break outside of our comfort zones and explore new ideas or endeavors. Then fear sets in and the excuses start to flow on why we “Can’t” do it. Just like a butterfly that landed on your shoulder, it’s there for a second before the idea fleets from your mind. All too often, that isn’t the last time we think about it. It continues to pop up at random with no regard for the timing of it all and the longer it goes without being acted upon the fear generally turns into regret. A disappointment of what could have been. Arguably, one of the worst individual feelings one could have.
I have a hunch that as you are reading this there is something festering inside that you want to accomplish but for whatever reason, you haven’t taken the leap of faith yet. Whether it is the smallest action or the biggest idea we all know that overcoming the fear of starting can be quite challenging. Let’s try to get started on it before the chance of regret from not trying can even weasel its way in.
I think I have the key that will unlock that door for you. It might be quite literally the simplest action you can do but could end up being the hardest. Because it involves self-observation and accountability for your actions.
Think of all of the reasons or excuses you can come up with as to why you can’t get started. You can write them down or just think of a couple in your head. They probably seem legitimate and you may even be able to convince yourself there is some truth to them.
Now I’d like you to try something.
Simply change the “can’t” in the sentence to “won’t” and see how that sounds.
Here is an example:
I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have time.
I won’t go to the gym because I don’t have time.
Which one stings a bit more and why?
“Won’t” does sound a whole heck of a lot worse because it’s a choice. Can’t is final. Can’t has some boundaries. Can’t is a line in the sand that we are not able to cross.
But won’t, that’s a different story. That’s personal. That’s a direct reflection on you as a person, what you prioritize, and how you want to live your life. You are making the conscious decision to not do whatever it is you want to do. You are standing in the way of it happening. You are your own worse accountability partner.
This simple exercise on reflection can fundamentally change your perspective on what you are trying to accomplish and get you in the right frame of mind to accomplish it. I’m not saying it’ll work out every time and you may find instances where you confirm that this isn’t the right path. It’s okay if that is the outcome. However, most of the time, it will allow you to take a deeper look in the mirror and help you gain perspective on why you are scared to do this in the first place and what you would really lose (if anything) from trying.
We all have fear and doubt. We all overcomplicate things. We all worry about stupid shit that is ridiculous and mostly meaningless.
It is the perspective shift that is needed in order to overcome these obstacles and start moving forward. Please keep it simple and believe that you can do it. Once you alter your perspective and start improving your mindset it can open up a lot of doors you never imagined possible.
Now get out there and crush 2020!
The Surprisingly Simple Way to Make Sure You Start In 2020Brian Ondrako2021-03-19T10:41:55-04:00
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