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Your Me Exception

Your Me Exception

2022-07-0519:16

Do you ever do something that breaks a rule (or even a law), thinking to yourself that it doesn’t apply to you? I do. Sometimes, I use that speed limit sign as a suggestion.  I’m a good driver, I tell myself.  What harm could +5mph do?  Except the sign is a law, not a guideline or suggestion. But I explain it away.  I decide it is ok. I dare to venture that very close to 100% of people do something similar with some rule or law in their own lives.  Someone tells me that they think affairs are bad and unacceptable, while excusing their own infidelity.  I once saw a doctor (some years back) tell a patient that smoking was very bad for them, and they needed to stop… while heading out for a smoke break! I could go on and on. How do we make those moments make sense?  The "Me Exception,” to borrow a term I recently read about.  (The topic I was reading about is politically charged, but my observations were meant to note how we ALL do it, every day… and not about the topic I was reading about.) The Me Exception.  We all do it… and it isn’t particularly beneficial to us thriving.  It might even be dangerous to the greater good! Listen in below as we explore your Me Exception. RELATED RESOURCES The Un-Stuck Series My Books on Thriving
Do you micro-quit?  I sure do.  And I need to quit micro-quitting!  Maybe you do, too. It undermines my goals (and likely, your goals too).  And it keeps you from thriving. What is micro-quitting?  Well, if you quit something (an activity, a job, a sport, a hobby, etc.), you stop doing it.  You step away from it. But when you micro-quit, you don’t follow through on the smaller building blocks of the bigger thing.  You don’t quit.  But you chip away at that bigger thing. For example, you are exercising.  Maybe you like to.  Maybe you want to be in better shape.  But either way, you have decided to exercise. You set your alarm for an early workout.  It goes off.  You decide to hit the snooze button and do a shorter session.  Or you give up on that next set of reps.  Even though it was in your plan… and it was your intention to do it.  You don’t.  You micro-quit on that plan, on that action. And in the process, you may be undermining your goals.  A little at a time, a micro-quit at a time. It might just be keeping you and me from thriving! I discuss micro-quitting (and how to micro-commit) in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Your Fierce Life The Habits Series Taking on Discomfort
Change Your Algorithms

Change Your Algorithms

2022-05-0247:30

All around the news, we are hearing about algorithms built into our social media.  It directs what we see and hear. It is how all social media decides what to feed you next.  If you like this video, then you might like this one.  If you know this person, then you may know this person.  If you respond to this ad, then you might respond to this one.  The task?  To keep you on the app or the website.  Because that is the thing about social media:  they want your attention and your time.   But guess what?  You have algorithms that are running inside of you.  They are your “Personal Algorithms.”  They are your habits that run your daily life.  And they don’t really function that differently than what the tech companies use. In essence, algorithms are simply If/Then formulas.  “If” this happens, “then” you do this.  In life, they represent your own daily habits and reactions.  The “If” is a trigger.  Something happens.  And when it does, you “then” do something.  If your stomach growls, then you grab a bite to eat.  If you are walking by the cookie jar, then you grab one and eat it.  If the alarm goes off, then you hit the snooze several times.  If/Then. Those algorithms can keep you stuck or free you up, depending on how you use them. My guest this week is Michael Balchan.  He is the CEO of Heroic.us, an app based approach to thriving more in life.  Listen in as we discuss your habits, your life, your algorithms, and how to be on your own “heroic journey.” Throughout his adulthood, Michael has been trying to not just “punch the clock,” but to thrive.  And over the years, he immersed himself in learning and executing.  He sought wisdom from others, then worked to apply it into his life. Along the way, he moved from finance professional to professional coach.  And on that path, he realized his own mission was to help the world to thrive. On this episode, we talk about ways to thrive, and a new resource to help you thrive. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Heroic.us Thrive Principles Simplified The Habits Series
Start Here

Start Here

2022-04-1115:15

"Where should I start?", my client asked. Lots of times, we want to make changes, we want things to be different.  And sometimes, we want things to be different before we make any changes. We want a different starting point. If you've ever been at a park or mall, looking at the map to figure out where to go, you might notice that one very important feature, "You Are Here."  It points to the spot where you are now. Not where you want to go.  Not where you want to be. But where you are. If you are at the mall and see the store you want... on the other side of the mall, you might wish you were standing nearby, near the destination store.  Not all the way across the mall. But if you are on the other side of the mall, that is where you are.  Navigating to the destination from a closer point -- a point where you are NOT -- is not likely to be effective. You start where you are. And you might just find... it is a pretty good place to start. Listen to this podcast episode for how to start where you are, and why where you are is a pretty good place to start. RELATED RESOURCES Accepting What Is Limiting Beliefs Making Changes Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living
"Why don't they treat me the way I want to be treated?", my client asked me. So, I asked, "Have you taught them how to treat you?" The silence let me know.  But after a pause, my client said, "I guess it never crossed my mind I needed to do that." The fact is that people do not know how we want to be treated... unless we are clear about how we are to be treated.  Otherwise, we get treated the way THEY want to treat US, and not the reverse. In the end, that leaves people frustrated, defensive, and feeling mistreated. Your BOUNDARIES are what lets people know how you want to be treated.  They are your "NO's" of life.  Things you will not let people do to(wards) you. If your boundaries are solid, you are already following this rule.  But if you find yourself being treated in ways you don't want to be, time to start following this rule, "Teach others how to treat you." Listen to this week's Thriveology Podcast for yet another Rule for Living. RELATED RESOURCES Boundaries and Standards How to Deal with Difficult People The Power of Choice Thrive Books
The Forgive Habit

The Forgive Habit

2022-03-1417:09

A few weeks ago, a coaching client noted her resistance to forgiving for fear that she would be vulnerable to being hurt.  I told her that was not at all true.  In fact, being alive leaves you open to hurt! But not forgiving?  It offers no protection.  It does, however, prolong the pain caused by some person or event. This client was not the only one who told me about her concern of forgiving.  I have heard it over and over through my three decades of counseling and coaching. Most people have fallen into a habit of hanging on to the hurt, of not forgiving.  They have a habit of UN-forgiving. Let me suggest that, just like any other habit, you can change this habit.  You can foster a Forgive Habit.  There, you more quickly work toward forgiving the hurts and pains you feel from events and others.  And in the process, you find freedom to move forward with a thriving life. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss The Forgive Habit and how to foster it. RELATED RESOURCES Why Forgive? How to Forgive Teaching Others How to Treat You How to Set Boundaries The Forgive Process Book
Calm in Crazy Times

Calm in Crazy Times

2022-02-2826:27

Have you seen the meme that caught my eye?: I really wish I weren't living through a major historical event right now! I feel that!  But here is the thing I am realizing — historic events are happening on a very regular basis.  We aren’t living through the first pandemic (nor will it be the last).  This isn’t the first time we have had political upheaval and polarization (nor will it be the last).  This isn’t the first time an unpredictable war has rocked a nation (and unfortunately, it won’t be the last). I could go on and on.  But you get the point.  We are living through historic events.  As have others, through every other historic event. Sometimes, I wonder how future generations will look back on us, what we are going through, and how we went through it.  Will they believe they could have done better?  Will they think we learned anything?  I wonder…. We get caught up in worrying about events all around us.  And that can lead to anxiety, frustration, and inaction.  Nothing changes. As a client told me years ago, “Its not like I’m not doing anything!  I am worrying!” My client felt like that was doing something.  Indeed, her brain was spinning.  But nothing was changing.  Nothing was happening. How DO you find calm in these crazy times?  We talk about it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES The Roots of Worry What is Stress Coping with COVID Series Does Everything Happen for a Reason?
Finding Compassion

Finding Compassion

2022-02-2131:08

Over the past 7 episodes, we have been building our Thrive Code.  The code to follow that allows us to thrive, and also the code that runs your system, like computer code.  And we are closing in on the finish line! We bring the series to an end in this episode. The final piece of the Thrive Code is all about how we feel about others.  Do we see others as “other” or as connected to us?  Do we use compassion or do we objectify? I have a built in belief that we are born with compassion.  Babies and children have a natural compassionate response to others in pain.  But many times, people are taught to not have a compassionate response.  We are taught beliefs about why others are having problems.  Often, those beliefs are based in blame and condemnation. It is no surprise, then, that we are living in a compassion crisis.  Both in terms of compassion for others and self-compassion. Is there a way back?  Yes!  And it starts with understanding exactly what compassion is, where it comes from, why we lose it, and how we can cultivate it.  Learn more in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Challenge Control Community Contribution Create Curiosity Clarity Lee’s Books
Seek Clarity

Seek Clarity

2022-02-1422:54

Did you ever have one of those Magic 8-Balls when you were growing up?  I never had one, but a friend down the street did.  You were supposed to ask Yes/No questions of the ball, then turn it over and a die would float to the surface, revealing your answer. For whatever reason, we could spend lots of time asking a question, shaking and flipping the 8-Ball, and study our answer.  Of course, if we didn’t like the answer, we would just shake it again and get another answer. On a side note, I always wondered why an 8 ball from billiards was ever supposed to be “magical” in answering questions.  I recently read that Brunswick Billiards bought the rights to the toy as some point.  So, no, nothing magical about an 8 ball, except for the billiards company being involved! Anyway, there was this one answer that always left me frustrated:  Reply hazy, try again. Naturally, I would.  I’d just shake again and try for another answer.  But I remember this one time… I just kept getting the same answer — Reply hazy, try again.  So, I kept trying again.  And I didn’t get anywhere! Well, life can be that way.  When things aren’t clear, it can be frustrating and paralyzing.  If we don’t have clarity about some decisions, sometimes we do nothing. It turns out that having some clarity helps to make life easier. It helps us to thrive. But, and this is important, seeking clarity is quite a help in thriving.  In fact, when we seek clarity, we tend to find enough of it to move forward.  And sense clarity changes over time, you do have to keep seeking it.  What was clear… what made sense… at one point or stage in life, may no longer make sense at another point.  So, we have to keep seeking clarity — and finding it along the way. This is the code.  The Thrive Code. Listen for more about seeking clarity below. RELATED RESOURCES Challenge Control Community Contribution Create Curiosity Lee’s Books
Be Curious

Be Curious

2022-02-0724:26

As we continue exploring your thrive code, the next topic is… are you curious? OK, that is actually the topic:  being curious. I’ve come to regard curiosity as one of the main paths to thriving.  In fact, in the absence of curiosity, we will have a hard time thriving. All learning comes from curiosity. All change comes from curiosity. New experiences come from curiosity. And growth comes from curiosity. I am a curious person.  And I work to stay curious, to build on curiosity. Learn why curiosity is part of the Thrive Code in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Challenge Control Community Contribution Create Lee’s Books
Create!

Create!

2022-01-3127:44

I must admit, I have said it myself, “I am just not creative.” But that isn’t true. Not for me, and not for you. Perhaps you had some art teacher tell you that at one point. Or perhaps you were looking at the creative work of someone else. And perhaps you aren’t creative in that particular medium (although it may just be you haven’t put effort into that medium). But you ARE creative. And so am I. How do I know? Because we are human. And being human is being creative. We create thoughts all the time. Most of the time, jobs are creative in nature. When we are doing some hobby, it is likely to be creative. Yep, even if it is a sport. When I am rolling in jiu jitsu, I may think that I am just repeating some move I have learned. But in reality, I am trying to creatively respond to the actions of someone else. They move, and I respond, to which they respond, to which I respond. At every step, it is a creative response. Or when I am trying to work a problem on the climbing wall, I have to make a creative choice on how I will make it to the top. I have to be creative in the choices I make, positioning I take, and the route I follow. The fact is, creativity is in our DNA. Humans are probably more creative than any other creature. It only takes a quick look around to see how creative elements surround us with just a quick look around. One part of the Thrive Code is seeing your creativity, and consciously practicing it. I cover it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  You can listen below.   RELATED RESOURCES Challenge Control Community Contribution Lee’s Books
Contribution

Contribution

2022-01-2422:53

When I talk about Thriveology, many people say, “Oh, that is more of that ‘being happy’ stuff, isn’t it?" My response:  No. Well, not just that.  Sure, being happy is fine.  No need to avoid being happy! But that is only one dimension of life. It IS the dimension of life that hedonism celebrates and pursues.  If it feels good, do it.  Enjoy life.  Have a good time.  Seek out pleasure and avoid pain. Except that doesn’t lead much to thriving. It posits your satisfaction with life externally to you.  It is THAT thing that makes you happy, brings you pleasure, makes life worthwhile. Eudaimonia was the counterpoint in greek thought.  This is the pursuit of life satisfaction by what things mean to you internally. It is how you bring meaning, enjoyment, and satisfaction into your life from within. And there is a cornerstone of that:  Contribution.  What we GIVE to the world, versus what we GET from the world. Giving versus Taking. Research has long pointed out the power of giving and contributing to the mental health, wellbeing, meaning/purpose, and satisfaction of people to their lives.  Which is why it is part of The Thrive Code. Listen below to learn why contribution matters and some principles of doing it. RELATED RESOURCES: Challenge Control Community Lee’s Books
It’s in our DNA.  We have a need to connect with others, to have connections and relationships.  We express that in close relationships and larger groups. And unfortunately, lately, we have often allowed tribalism into our connections.  When we slip into our tribal thinking, we work from a place of exclusion.  This leads to a greater illusion of connection.  In reality, that connection is based in being the same as others in the tribe. Community, on the other hand, allows others to include themselves.  It is not about differences.  Lines are not drawn to separate.  Differences have room for inclusion. And true connection can grow. Speaking of connection… we need connection in life to thrive.  Those who are caught in isolation suffer, both emotionally and in their health.  It is also deeply wired into our DNA. Where is YOUR community? Where is YOUR connection? Listen to this episode of Thriveology Podcast for why community and connection are so important. RELATED RESOURCES Challenge:  Thrive Code #1 Control:  Thrive Code #2
Many people make the Control Error — they attempt to control what they cannot control, while also failing to control what they can. Why? Because they don’t know what they can’t control and they don’t know what they can control. Humans have a desire to feel like they are “in control” of their lives. Most people hate feeling out of control. And yet, by making the Control Error, they constantly feel out of control (and work harder to control… what they cannot control). Thriving is tough when you feel out of control. And it is even more difficult when you are not controlling the areas you can control. There is a code to thriving. Think of it as the computer code behind all the things your computer programs can do. The basic assumptions and directions come from the underlying code. It allows the tasks to happen. Similarly, there is an underlying code to thriving. If the code is working, daily tasks and living go much better. You thrive in your life. One element of that Thrive Code, we discussed in the last episode:  Challenge. In this episode,we take on the second element of the Thrive Code: Control. More importantly, it is about controlling what you can control, while releasing yourself from what you cannot control. Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES: Thrive Code 1: Challenge Your Circle of Control Solving the Control Paradox Lee’s Books
It’s A Challenge!

It’s A Challenge!

2022-01-0418:34

Life is a challenge, isn’t it? I don’t think I am saying anything that is a surprise these days. We’ve been dealing with a pandemic now for over 2 years. For many people, that has led to many challenges throughout life. Which brings me to my word for 2022. Each year, my family chooses one word to live into for the year. And this year, my word is Challenge. Not just to acknowledge the challenge of these days, but to claim that I am going to live into and lean into the challenge! Even without a pandemic, life would still be a challenge. Why? Because that is the nature of life. Life challenges us. We can see it as an obstacle. We can even stomp our feet and proclaim that “it shouldn’t be this hard.” But that won’t change the fact that life is just a challenge. So, philosophically, I just acknowledge and accept that it is a challenge. Not an obstacle; a challenge. Also, I need a challenge. If I don’t have something to take on, some challenge to work toward, I tend to get stagnant. I’ve learned this several times over this past year. Looking back, I see the challenges along the way. I see how they have helped me to grow and expand. A challenge is part of my growth. But guess what? That is true for all of us. Our bodies and minds have evolved to be at their best when under a challenge. Too little challenge, and the body weakens. So does our brain. So does our mind. Which is why I will also be doing more challenges (of myself and of clients) in the coming year. What is YOUR challenge? (Listen to the podcast below for more on why we need a challenge, and how to take one on.)   RELATED RESOURCES: Thrive Principles book Podcast Episode: What’s YOUR Challenge? Immutable Law episode: Life Has Challenges
And just like that, the Holiday season is upon us! All the hustle and bustle. All the events. All the demands… in the midst of a time that you want to be enjoyable, meaningful, and manageable! Why the stress? In a repeat of last year’s podcast (since we still have that holiday stress!), I discuss the causes of holiday stress. But more importantly, I cover the ways to cope with holiday stress. Don’t let stress rob you of the deeper meanings and connections of this holiday season. RELATED RESOURCES Why We Stress 5 Ways to Shift from Stressful to Restful Deepening the  Holidays Book: Thrive Principles
Stuck in When/Then?

Stuck in When/Then?

2021-12-0619:39

It's a trap.  And we all fall into it. Sadly, we set it up on ourselves, then step right into it. WHACK!  We are stuck... waiting.  And that's the trap -- the wait.  Life can't begin until.... What's the trap?  The "When/Then Trap."  You know, that time when you say, "When ____ happens, then I will ______."  When you finally get that great job, get that perfect spouse, make $$'s, win the lottery, etc.  THEN, life can finally get started.  THEN you can be happy, help others, find meaning, do... well, you get the point. It just seems that something has to change, (right?) before you can get to something else.  And so, we get stuck... waiting for that something to change.  Not realizing that there may be other ways to get there... or even other places to get to! There are alternatives to being stuck in the "When/Then Trap."  In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we explore why and how we get stuck.  And how to get out of that trap.  Listen below. GRAB MY BOOKS ON THRIVING: Thrive Principles The Immutable Laws of Living
What Is Stress?

What Is Stress?

2021-11-2920:41

I bet you hear it as much as I do.  You may even say it.  "I'm so stressed!"  The malady of the modern age.  Stressed out, exhausted, and frustrated. But what IS stress? As much as we toss that term around, sometimes almost as a badge of honor, you may not think about what that term is REALLY about. These days, I tend to push my body, physically.  I take a good long walk in the morning, usually do a workout after that, then go to jiu jitsu 3 to 5 evenings per week.  My body can, indeed, get stressed. When we talk about "stress," in everyday life, we are more talking about psychological stress.  Which is really just a term for something else.  Something we'd rather not claim. But once we recognize what it really is, we can do something about it.  So, let's figure out why we stress... and what we can do about it. Listen below to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES We ALL Have Fears Your Thriving Body Dealing With Anxiety Dealing With Depression Thrive Principles Book
Does Gratitude Matter?

Does Gratitude Matter?

2021-11-2319:37

If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days. For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little "thank you for that gift," but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life. Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dogs, Ziggy and Clementine, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude. Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up. But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis. How about you? Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain... away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain... just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful. Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings! RELATED RESOURCES Gratitude & Appreciation Two Targets To Thrive The Appreciation Approach Stop Trying To Change The Past Thrive Principles Books
Correcting Course

Correcting Course

2021-11-0816:46

"How did I end up here?," my client asked.  He told me that for so long, he thought he was headed in the right direction.  Now, he thinks maybe it was the entirely wrong direction. I asked him, "Did you course correct along the way?"  He looked at me rather quizzically.  So, I elaborated, "If you are sailing, you point the boat toward some object in the distance, in the direction you want to sail.  You sail toward it.  But the winds push, the current pushes, and you end up a little off-course.  So, you course correct." But then, I added: "Sometimes, you realize that where you thought you wanted to go is not really where you want to go... or maybe it isn't safe to go.  Maybe a storm or something else.  But you have to go somewhere else.  So, you change course." And I continued, "Then there are the times when you don't course-correct as you go, and the small space of being off-course begins to broaden as you go.  What might have been just a course correction at the beginning is now a course change." Then I returned to our dialogue and asked, "So, did you course correct... or is this a course change?" Just to be clear:  either is fine.  We all have the option of course changes in life.  Sometimes, it is just a course correction.  But it is okay if you need a course change. It's a part of life. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore the difference between a course correction and a course change.  What does it look like, and when is it time for a change? Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Book:  Immutable Laws of Living Dealing with Change How Are You Showing Up Meaning and Purpose
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