Reinventing yourself…

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw

In April 2015 I had a privilege to spend some time with famous motivational speaker Mr. Les Brown. I was with Les and his Team while he delivered one of his great speeches to more than 25.000 people in Poznan, Poland. I was so inspired by this event that I wrote a blog about it titled A day with a legend .

After his performance, we had some private time in his Sky Box at the stadium. While relaxing, and listening to other speakers he asked me to tell him about myself.

When I finished my story, he said: “you are all about reinventing yourself…”. Continue reading

If you can’t change it, better learn to love it!

If you can’t change it, better learn to love it!

When I look around I notice that too often we are stuck. We are stuck at or with:  work, relation, habit, old car etc.

It’s nothing wrong with having work, relations, habits or old cars as long as we feel good about it!  However, the “being stuck” feeling means most of the time that we do not feel good… Which for many of us can be a challenge. There are exceptions! I could be happy being stuck with my wife, but probably I will not use this particular words to express my feelings :).

In one of the seminars of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer I heard a very wise lesson for this kind of challenges.

My own translation of his lesson is: If I can’t change it, I better learn to love it!

The very important question I need to answer to myself is: why I can’t change it?

The truth is that there are very little things we can’t change. We can’t change the laws of nature. We can’t change something what is irreversible, like death. We can’t change other people. At least I can’t!

The most of the things in our life we actually can change, but we are deciding not to. Often we don’t want to change something because of our fear of loss, fear of unknown, or fear of failure. Other reasons for not changing something in our life can be based on our moral, cultural, ideological or religious values. Sometimes it is lack of vision or lack of self believe.  Very often it is just being lazy. We feel discomfort, but it is not big enough to trigger decision for change.

In my opinion it makes not much difference if we can’t change something because it is out of our reach or we just decide not to change. The end result is the same. We have to live with what we have. In this case we should decide what our attitude towards this object should be?

I do believe that to make our life more fulfilled, more positive and easier it is wise to adopt accepting and loving attitude towards things / situations / people we can’t or we don’t want to change…

Energy barrier and catalysts

This week I have heard a speech of Mr. Wang. He is a chemist and works with Shell. But he was not talking about petrol or chemical formulas. He was talking about relations and chemistry. He said that in chemistry if you want to reach a new relation between existing reactants you need to cross an energy barrier.

It is long time ago that I had my chemistry classes, but it made me think. Generally what I understood from the story is that an existing situation is bonded together by a strong energy force. If we want to change anything we need to break this bond by using activation energy first. Only when the activation energy is strong enough it can break the bond and a new state can be achieved.

Mr. Wang also said that there are some substances called catalysts that, when added to an environment, can speed up the reaction.

This is all about chemistry for now, let’s think a bit about life instead.

If we want to change anything in our life we need to go from one state to another. Like in chemistry this process needs our effort.

The amount of effort will depend on what we want to achieve on the one side and on our current state on the other site.

Have you ever been in a situation when you are putting an effort to change something and it does not work?

It happens to me regularly so I am sure you know what I am talking about.

At this point the catalyst idea kicks in. It just might be that the effort I am using to go from one state to another is not enough. Maybe I need a catalyst to speed up the process? It works like that in chemistry, could it work in real life as well?

When I think about it I am sure it can. I think that I also know some of the catalysts. The short list would consist of:

  1. Inspiration / Desperation
  2. Motivation
  3. Attitude
  4. Knowledge and skills
  5. Relations and people around us

The inspiration and desperation are basic catalysts. Both work the same way by preparing the environment for a new reaction. Inspiration or desperation are the only things that will make us want to change anything.

Motivation is the energetic catalyst, necessary to ignite our attitude towards the change. Only when our attitude is up and positively running can we do positive activities.

But when the energy barrier is huge we will need some extra catalysts. We will need knowledge and skills to fight the energy barrier. Knowledge and skills will give us the answer to the important question: how?

But what if the required knowledge and skills are out of our reach? Does it mean that the change is impossible for us?

No, we have another 2 catalysts that can help us. Relations and people around us. These 2 are the most powerful catalysts. When well used they can make the impossible happen. You see, what we can’t do, others can. It is just a question of finding the right people and building the right team.

So if you have a big dream, if you have a big goal and you are struggling to reach it, check if you have the right catalysts. If not, go and get them. This can be the only way to get through the energy barrier and achieve a new, desired state.

Dealing with difficulties

Last week was quite challenging for me. Not only was I traveling a lot and working long hours, but I had to stop some associations and deliver some true but not very positive messages.

When you run businesses quite often you have to make difficult decisions. Decisions that can have an impact on other people’s lives. When it happens, even though I know the decision is right, still it is hard and heavy to carry it out. It makes me feel lonely.

Have you experienced similar feelings? Feelings of loneliness when you have to make tough, difficult decisions?

When it happens to me I need more than ever to have my moments with positive, encouraging messages.

For me it is usually a seminar or a book of my favorite speaker or author. Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Tony Robins, Zig Zigler. You know what I mean! Sometimes it is not sufficient.

If this doesn’t help me, I am going to my cave where I can be with myself. I am going through the lessons I learned and evaluating what happened. Most of the time it is enough to get back to a positive attitude, but sometimes even this does not work.

Then I need someone close to me to give me encouragement and assurance. This one is tough as I need to open myself. I need to show that I am vulnerable. At such a moment it is good to have a real friend. Someone who will accept my moment of weakness without misusing it and without judging. I am lucky as my best friend is my wife. She has this fantastic ability to encourage me without putting me down!

It is quite normal that sooner or later we have to face difficult choices. Choices that can shake our self-believe, self-confidence.

My strategy for situations like this is to go through the steps I mentioned before.

  • Go to the Masters and listen to the wisdom, positive messages and energy.
  • Go to myself and evaluate the lessons I learned.
  • Go to my partner, my friend and open myself.

I know it works for me and you are welcome to use it for yourself. But this is not the main lesson. The main lesson is to realize that in the circle of life we will meet both positive and negative and it is better to be prepared and to have a plan what to do when difficulties will face us. In the end we will always find a way, but if we are prepared it will take minutes or hours not months or years!

Celebrate and enjoy…

It is interesting that we focus more on our mistakes and failures than on our right decisions and victories. It does not make sense to me! When you look at an average life we are making more right decisions than wrong ones and we have more victories than failures.

Otherwise we would not survive as individuals and as a human race!

Therefore I think it is time to change the focus and be more conscious about all that we are doing right!

In the management schools I was taught to catch employees on doing something right and praise them.

In my opinion this is precisely what we need to do to ourselves. We should be alert and we need to catch ourselves on doing something good more often, on making the right decision, on achieving our small or big victories.

We not only need to catch ourselves on doing that, but we should praise ourselves, celebrate and enjoy it!

I do not mean that we should pretend that we do not make mistakes! I think we should learn from our mistakes. There are 2 very important questions we need to ask ourselves whenever we notice that something went wrong. The first question is why did it happen? The second question is what can I do to not repeat this mistake in the future?

But when we made the right decision, when we reached our small or big victory, why shouldn’t we praise ourselves, celebrate and enjoy it? It will shift the focus from what we are doing wrong to what we are doing right! It will give a boost to our self-confidence. Our self-esteem will grow and we will be more motivated to make the right decisions and reach our victories in the future!

This makes more sense to me than beating myself up over mistakes and failures!

So let’s stop beating ourselves up with past mistakes and let’s celebrate and enjoy all that we are doing well!

This is one small good change we can work on to make our lives even better!