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What is Your Sum?
By James Patrick
Motivational speaker and author, Jim Rohn, introduced us to the concept that you are the collective sum of the 5 people you are around the most. So, as we enter into the New Year and begin another decade, you’re invited to reflect on your personal and professional inventory. Who do you choose to surround yourself with? Does your sum add up to something that encourages momentum and growth? Are there changes needed? Take a look at the top 5 characteristics to seek out when creating your best average.
Self-Motivated. Someone who is able to light their own “fire” within becomes a leader in their own life. They are driven by passion, purpose and rarely settle. They are a self-starter who does not live within their comfort zone because they know change happens outside of it. Fear is a teacher and the desire is to thrive. The energy of these individuals is contagious and will constantly leave you charged and pumped to get out there and do some crazy things of your own.
Goal Driven. There are those who truly live and those who simply exist. Someone who lives constantly strives to challenge themselves and achieve goals that push them to the next level. They have a thirst for adventure, are willing to try new things and have an ongoing “to do” list that inspires them to jump out of bed each morning because there isn’t a moment to lose. They have vision boards that focus on what they want most, create deadlines to keep them on task and have people to hold them accountable to their actions.
Resilient. Success and failure are necessary. Yet, those who are able to bounce back when “life happens” are able to change their perspective to see the “blessons” in all things. Failure becomes a “successful attempt” because even though things don’t always work out as planned, any steps taken are better than none. Obstacles become seen as opportunities. They find just as much excitement in “falling down” and learn to pick themselves up quicker each time. These individuals know there is always something to gain.
Compassionate. Participating in this human experience requires that we create value in other people’s lives as we create value in our own. It’s about giving and receiving. Without that, true sustainability cannot exist. Someone who lifts others up when they are struggling or have a desire to be more causes a ripple effect that has the ability to create great change. Showing compassion for those who need it most without expectation makes these individuals some of the greatest friends, teachers and mentors.
Vulnerable. Keeping pride and ego in check can be a challenge for some. Yet, those who know they cannot do everything on this journey alone and are willing to ask for support when needed are some of the strongest. Expressing vulnerabilities is not a weakness. It allows others to see that human-ness and reminds us all that we are perfectly imperfect and draws others in. Sometimes, you may even be surprised to find that the key to that next opportunity comes when we are willing to be open enough to ask for it.
At the end of the day, surrounding yourself with individuals who feed your soul creates infinite potential. Your sum becomes a defining piece of your own presence and a big part of what others will associate with you. Let it be positive and empowering. Know you are supported by the best within you and around you saying to yourself, “every day and in every way I am getter better and better.” And so it is.
High Speed Connection
5 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Thriving
By James Patrick
It is no surprise that current advances in technology and the introduction of social networks have given us the ability to connect in ways like never before, and yet, we have never been more disconnected to those who may be right in front of us, next to us or around us on a daily basis. While these advances have proven their many benefits; when it comes to relationships, much of that personal edge and individualized focus have been lost or made almost effortless with the click of a button. Do you want to create stronger connections in your life? Do you wish to stand out among the crowds, emojis and friend requests? Then here are 5 ways to invest yourself into any relationship and keep it thriving.
You Matter! Sure. You could send a text message, and yet, there is something to be said about that handwritten note, surprise delivery or thoughtful gesture that comes on a day that is not a holiday, birthday or anniversary. It’s the little acknowledgements that make the biggest impact. Going out of your way to let someone know they matter, just because you can, creates value, supports a solid foundation to build upon and can serve as a catalyst for someone else to do the same. Be someone’s reason to smile today.
Consciously Communicate. No phone call, e-mail or text could ever properly convey the energy, emotions and feelings that are shared when two or more people come together in a physical space and communicate face to face. In fact, those other ways often create plenty of miscommunications, misinterpretations and misunderstandings that are not always intended. So, show up and take moments to disconnect and authentically speak what’s on your mind to be seen, heard and potentially co-create solutions to fears, excuses, dreams and desires with those closest to you, without fear of judgement or the need to read minds.
Work Hard. Play Harder. The time to enjoy life cannot be found in an app nor should it be solely reserved for the weekends or that next day off. Be sure to plan some time to break up the week with events and activities that you don’t need to wait for. Participate in things that keep your mind and body energized and engaged. Having something to look forward to in between “life happening” makes the work week feel shorter and minimizes stress levels for everyone involved.
Ready. Set. Goal! While each person has their individual goals to achieve, it is equally important to have a list of goals that everyone co-creates and works towards. Half the fun on the way to achievement is the actual journey taken to get there and the lessons learned and shared along the way. Doing this establishes milestones to strive for, challenges everyone participating without making it a competition, and results in achievements to be celebrated, wondering how far you can push yourselves for the next one. Remain in a constant state of growth and momentum.
Like Attracts Like. Make a conscious effort to put down the tech and surround yourselves with people that feed your mind and spirit. These individuals create a great deal of personal, professional and social support when it is needed most. They encourage growth, empower trust and build confidence. When you are in a space with these people, you can’t help but feel motivated, inspired and ready to take life by the horns. They become the best of friends, teachers, mentors, role models and accountability partners. Be forewarned though. As you continue to evolve into your next best self, don’t be surprised if there are some relationships and connections that begin to fall away. Remember, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” Anonymous
At the end of the day, you will find that it doesn’t take much to maintain a healthy relationship or connection with your partner or your social circle, if it is a two way street. Don’t rely on technology or over complicate a simple process. Show up! Gratitude is a standard of living. Inclusion makes everyone feel they have a place. Enjoying the journey together leaves footprints on our heart and memories that will last a lifetime.
It Takes Two…
By James Patrick
So, 2019 has begun and perhaps you’ve been with or have finally found someone that complements you in all the best ways, understands your unique brand of crazy and is willing to continue this life journey with you. Congratulations! You ask, “Can it last? Will it last? Should it last?” Well, that answer depends on the quality of life you are aiming to produce. Check out these 5 tips that will promote forward momentum and growth for any relationship.
1. Partner Up. Let’s face it. We can’t know it all or do it all on our own. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s called being human. The key to success is our ability to be vulnerable with those we trust. Be willing to openly communicate your needs to determine how you can support each other’s individual dreams and goals. Establish a partnership that feeds passion and purpose.
2. Co-Create. Make time to generate a list of goals that you will pursue together. Within this partnership exists plenty of opportunities to challenge and push one another as you strive to attain common goals. Condition your relationship just as you would condition your body through exercise. It’s always better with a partner and someone to hold you accountable. Live the dream and come out stronger with a more optimistic perspective on the life that you’ve collaboratively designed.
3. Spend Time Apart. The time we spend apart can be equally important as the time we spend together. Remember, there was a life before this connection and that life should still remain intact. It’s part of our self-care which is necessary to maintain a healthy balance. Spend time with family and friends. Give yourself permission to experience your own adventures and have something new to talk about on that next date night or when you come home to your companion.
4. Show Gratitude. Life happens and it’s easy to get distracted by all things happening in our daily life. Do not take the meaningful connections in your life for granted. A sustainable relationship is one that creates value in someone else’s life as you create value in your own. Be sure to take a moment each day to express your appreciation and let them know they matter. “I see you and I thank you.” A little acknowledgement can go a long way and keeps that spark alive!
5. Stick it Out. Navigating the journey through any relationship isn’t always easy. The good and the bad are part of this package deal. There will be times to celebrate some epic accomplishments. There will also be obstacles that challenge and test the fortitude of our commitment to one another. When this happens, remember that the grass isn’t always greener. For the moment, stay put. Get to the root of the problem and determine what will make or break this bond. Be willing to do the work IF you both decide there is enough to keep this relation-ship sailing. You’ll be glad you did.
At the end of the day, be mindful of the relationships you choose as they will always provide the greatest “blessons,” have the potential to last a lifetime and may serve as the inspiration for generations to come. What is the precedent you will set? Be the example. Choose wisely!
Life by Design
By James Patrick
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Life requires action beyond the dream. That larger vision for growth and what we desire most is reserved for those who are willing to DO. The problem, however, is that sometimes that vision is TOO big for the moment. This can cause overwhelm and result in a lack of proper planning and execution. It’s why so many never take that first step towards realizing their true potential or simply do too many of the wrong things. So, what exactly can be done to support some forward momentum which produces results? Below are 5 steps to connect with the vision and lock into action.
1. Frame It. – Planning for the future means looking ahead without getting lost in unrealistic expectations. Where are you at TODAY with time, money, resources and support? Planning for the “now”, means looking at the year ahead and working with short term goals that support the bigger picture. These are baby steps which you will take in the next 6 to 12 months. The ideal future is the one which you can encapsulate within the next 3-5 years. Any more than that and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
2. Focus It. – Once you’ve set a reasonable time frame, get clear on what it is that you want to accomplish both personally and professionally. Vision boards are great support tools which can be quite effective ONLY if the rest of these steps are followed. The visuals of what we want to achieve serve as great inspiration and motivation. Be realistic. Can you accomplish what you’ve placed on your board within the next 3-5 years? Does your vision inspire you? You’re mind and body should have a physical reaction which ignites the desire to move.
3. Direct It. – Where do you start? Monthly themes, weekly goals and daily actions allow you to organize and prioritize how you plan to get the work done without trying to do too much at once. Remember, nothing worth having happens overnight. Honor the process. You may be inspired by your vision, but you must give it direction and set deadlines before you can take any action. Invest your time wisely.
4. Own It. – Create your support team, by speaking with other self-motivated individuals about your ambitions. Establish accountability partners who are working towards their own objectives. When you are held accountable to someone other than yourself and when someone is being held accountable by you, the odds of producing the desired results will rise. Who will be on your team?
5. Do It. – At the end of the day, achieving the dream requires a change in behavior. The plan isn’t enough. This is the difference between being committed to your vision and being compelled into action. You need to condition your mind the way a personal trainer would condition the body. The system is set. Now, you need to take consistent steps towards that vision and document your successes and successful attempts. There is no failure if you’re in action. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. It takes 90 days to make it part of your lifestyle. Repetition of these steps is the key.
A life of design is created by your choices. Per, Tony Robbins, “I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve.”
Children are our greatest teachers and we are theirs. Each of us serves as an example for the other to reflect and yet, the value of this reflection will often go unseen. The communication which can occur between an adult and a child is the mirror which provides some of the most authentic and genuine lessons for all. It’s a connection where there is much to gain on both sides. It’s also a platform that has the greatest potential to reflect the best parts of us all if nurtured and handled with the greatest of care. “How,” you say? Let’s get back to basics with 4 ways to enhance our communication with childlike wonderment.
Embrace your senses. - Step into the child’s mindset together. Give yourself permission to go back and remember what it was like to be a kid. What was it like to taste, touch, smell, hear or see something for the very first time? Take a step back and allow yourself to relive those memories all over again. Then, share your experiences to reinvigorate that child within. You may notice that you’re able to better relate to that younger reflection sitting in front of you and they may be more willing to open up to you.
Observe with wonderment. – It’s not a small world after all. Take moments of pause to observe and appreciate everything that is going on around you. Kids do it all the time, so pay attention. A child’s imagination and creativity can often be a resource of great inspiration. Be open and listen to what they have to say if you expect them to listen to you. Connect to their fearless, sometimes rebellious nature! Then watch as any limitations (often placed on ourselves) become endless possibilities. Be willing to live in those possibilities together and prepare to be a little rebel yourself.
Get curious. – Robert Schuller asks us, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Well, now that you’re embracing that child mindset and you’ve seen just how big the world is around you; it’s time to get curious about that next adventure. Children develop a natural curiosity for pretty much everything early on in life. They watch your every move, no matter what age, and they will often try things for themselves, constantly test their limits (and your patience). Take a breath and get curious with them. When you seek to understand one another, you create a better relationship and stronger bond that you can all trust.
Be willing to play. – What did you want to be when you grew up? Have you figured it out yet? You may have heard this question many times as a kid. As an adult, you may still hear it. The truth is there has never been just one answer or one path. The beauty of life is that it’s a big sandbox with lots of room to play. Invite your children to be a part of your adventure and be willing to be a part of theirs. Challenge each other, have fun together, learn from one another, appreciate each other and never lose that passion for life. Remember what George Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”
At the end of the day, our time together is limited. Make it count. Open the lines of communication between that child within and the child in front of you. You need them as much as they need you. Discover the reflection of yourselves through the eyes of one another. Let that reflection be the one that follows for generations to come.
WHEW!! I'm BAAAACK! There is something to be said about taking a step back now and again and taking times to clean, clear and organize our "life happenings." I did just that over the last few months and took the time to create peace in the chaos that had become my crazy busy living and work environments. Now, to be fair...none of this was bad. It was all about organizing and prioritizing a collection of projects, ideas and plans to move forward effectively as we prepare to enter into the 2nd half of 2018. I don't do well in disorganization or chaos and it was clear that it was time to take a moment to remove some of the clutter I had collected. When you create peace at home and at work, it makes way for the most important goals and priorities to be seen and acted upon. It creates peace for the mind and can often bring a great feeling of personal accomplishment and clarity for your next step. It also creates time that we did not have before. For me, I utilize that spare time practicing self-care. This is something I have not been great at (outside of my workouts) and it has become clear to me that I need to honor myself more. There are tons of activities to do, places to see and people to meet. We all need to take moments of pause...and even though there is still much work to be done (and always will be)...nothing says it can't be done someplace away from home or outside the office. So, I will be venturing back up to Denver in the next couple of weeks to visit, unwind, relax and create. Have you had your moment of pause yet? Where will your next adventure be? I shall return with more news and excitement for all that's to come for the remainder of 2018!! Blessings and cheers to you all!! JP
Checkout my latest article in this months issue of Scottsdale Health Magazine. How we show up in this world has A LOT to do with how we relate to each other. What can we do as individuals to create stronger connections to those around us and grow the ones that influence us in the best ways possible. Click on the link to find out more...Pages 52-53
Many people have heard that it takes 28...perhaps 30 days to create new habits. Yet, it takes 90 days to make it a permanent lifestyle change. This is part of the reason that so many New Year's resolutions don't last. The KEY is to push past our limits...or those moments where "life happens" and we are actively embracing any excuse we can to give up. Nothing ever got done without WORK!! It's about being determined to succeed. It's committing to a goal, dream or vision. It's taking that commitment and being compelled to action. It's taking that action...evaluating the results. Did you succeed or have a successful attempt? There are no failures. If you succeeded, celebrate and keep going. If you had a successful attempt, what did you learn? If it's something that you want bad enough...Is it worth another shot? Or is it time to move onto plan B? Finally, no matter what the outcome...repeat the process. The goal is to never stop. Have your moments of pause...celebrate...and appreciate...but never stop! So, how are you doing with 2018 so far? Are you ready and compelled to do the work!?
Checkout this month's issue of Scottsdale Health for tips on maintaining your sanity and balance during this coming holiday season. Page 34:
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