Tag Archives: personal development

A New Me and a New Year

Read time: <90 seconds

Ok, so for those of you that know me or can tell by my writing style I can be somewhat harsh and lecture people to death. A recent conversation with my wife has helped me realize how I drastically need to change the way I deal with different people in order to have a greater chance of affecting them in a positive way. No one wants to be harped on. No one wants to be told they are in the wrong. Even if what I am saying is the truth. This has been a hard fact for me to swallow. My typical rebuttal would be something along the lines of, “it’s the truth and this is the only way and the truth hurts so deal with it.” While it may be true, it won’t necessarily help the other person change their actions.

While we all know what we “need” to do to improve our lives, actual behavioral change is quite difficult. I was recently reading an old article by Ramit who talks about this fact. I used to be one of those people who preached about how “easy” it is to lose weight, eat healthier, spend less, improve yourself, etc etc. I should know, however, that it is actually quite difficult for most people to change their behavior, even when they know they should and what they need to do. You cannot simply “try harder” in most cases.

Ramit also talks about active and passive barriers in another article and is a great read towards trying to automate your life for success. Even the smallest changes in your life can have a big impact towards your success in changing your behavior.

TAN: What are some small changes you can make right now that will affect your behavior and lead to positive changes in your life? One small change I did to improve my health was buy a doorway pullup bar and every time I need to use the bathroom, I bang out some pullups. Also, I like to do some “pissups” as well, which are just pushups every time I use the bathroom. Read Ramit’s article on active and passive barriers and try and eliminate those that are affecting you the most.

Behavioral change is hard, and I am finally ready to admit that and empathize with people and be more encouraging. Let’s make 2012 a great year with many ah-ha moments and positive life changes! 🙂

Beyond Prayer

Image: kenfotos / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read time: 70 seconds

Now that I’m hitched, during the holidays I attend my wife’s church she grew up in. Looking at the handout, there is an entire page dedicated to prayer concerns. While praying for these people is a nice gesture, my thoughts immediately turn to the question of how many of these people are taking any tangible action to help the people on this list? How many people every Sunday simply pray for their neighbors and call it good?

I’m not here to discuss whether or not prayer works, but my blog is all about taking action to avoid mental masturbation. I can pray every Sunday for the little old lady to get better in the hospital or I can make a batch of cookies/bring a card/offer to help in some way, and most definitively improve her life. The difference is tangible results. All I know is if you take 2 people, one who is praying for a person, and the other who actually, physically, helped in some way, I can see real results from the person who took action.

Moving beyond a religious discussion, the analogy of prayer is relevant to personal development and improving your lives and those around you. Do you talk about the next “big idea” with your friend over beers, or create a landing page to collect emails to see if the idea has merit? Do you make new years resolutions or write down specific goals you plan to achieve for the next year?

I am a firm believer in the law of action versus the popular law of attraction. If you take specific, measurable action towards improving your life, achieving your goals, and helping others, you will see results. Period. Simply wishing/hoping/praying/discussing/thinking/feeling in itself accomplishes nothing.

TAN: If you are a church-goer, the next time you see someone on that prayer list, actually go help that person in some way. This year, don’t make new years resolutions, write your goals down. We must take action to improve our lives. Do yourself and others a favor by actively engaging yourself instead of sitting around thinking things will get better. I know you can do it! 🙂

 

Ah-Ha Moments

Read time: <3 minutes

As I state in my about me section, I cannot change you for the better. Only you can change yourself. I am a firm believer in what I like to call “ah-ha moments” that can greatly alter your course in life for the good or bad. Something influences you, you have that ah-ha moment, and something inside of you changes that causes you to change your behavior. Let’s look at several different real-life scenarios.

I like to talk about health issues a lot with my wife, but oftentimes it can come across as lecturing or harping on her about things. Well she had an AHM one day while randomly watching tv and some lady basically said some of the same things I had been saying. My wife told me about her AHM and how she just needed to hear what I was saying from someone else. Anyway, the lady on tv was her inspiration to have that AHM, even though she knew all along what she needed to do.

Another example is a woman in a physically abusive relationship. I mean, she literally has visible bruises from the abuse. All her family and friends say she needs to get out of the relationship, and, clearly she does, but she decides to stay. One day, the guy breaks her arm during one of his episodes and she finally decides to leave. While extreme, it took that event for her to have her AHM and get out of the relationship, even though she had people telling her the exact same thing the whole time and it seemed obvious that she needed to leave.

I know this girl who smoked about a pack a day. I oftentimes would tell her that she needs to quit smoking/not smoke so much and she always says that she knows and whatnot. Then, she gets pregnant. After she finds out the news, she quits smoking cold turkey for the entire pregnancy. It took that outside event, the health of her unborn child, to spark the AHM in order for her to change. Unfortunately, as soon as the baby was born, she started smoking again, and in this case, the outside influence was the only thing that caused her to change. Once it was removed, she went right back to her old habit. Ideally, an AHM would spark internal change that would cause you to want to change for good.

I, personally, find that I have a lot of AHMs while reading books or even various articles on some of the blogs I follow. Various interactions with people also have been the source of many AHMs for me, specifically deep conversations, mentor situations, and even just having a drink with a friend.

There are many more examples, but one of my goals in life is to help people experience as many of these AHMs as possible. I find that living an extraordinary life and being an inspiration to others is one of the best ways to incite change within others. Whether we are talking health, wealth, relationships, bad habits, addictions, or various mental issues, a person will only change when they decide for themselves that they want to change.

Take action now: AHMs are worthless if you don’t act on that internal feeling of wanting to change. Once you have an AHM, you must change your actions or the moment is wasted.

Start by reflecting on some of the times in your life when you experienced an AHM. Perhaps it was a time you quit a bad habit or started a good one. It could have been when you had a realization in your job, relationships, spirituality, or physical/mental health and you changed your life due to that realization. Once you recognize a couple of AHMs in your life, narrow down the source of inspiration that caused your moment. Everyone’s source of inspiration to change will be different, but the goal is to immerse yourself in the situations that help you have the most AHMs. These sources could be through books, meditation, conversations, through service to others, even tv shows or movies. How about kylefromkansas.com? 😀

Remember you must act on these moments. AHMs without action are worthless. Find a group of like-minded people to support you in your new change. Meetup.com is a good source or even craigslist. Don’t let that AHM go to waste!