QUESTION YOUR CERTAINTY

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I was listening to famous blogger Mark Manson get interviewed by Marie Forleo Here when he said something that inspired this whole post.  I believe that this idea can help everyone in their daily lives.

  • “The starting point is simple, start asking WHY about everything.”

“What if I’m wrong?”      “What if my assumption is wrong?”

The more I think about this subject, the more I see how IMPORTANT it is to question ourselves.

“Don’t believe everything you think” is a quote that has impacted my life in great ways.

Author Dan Millman wrote that our thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.

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Our minds are running all day; thoughts appear like clouds passing by, some stay longer than others, but some quickly pass by.  So how can you and I let go of these “clouds?”

1) As Manson would say, “There’s no ‘how.’  It’s all in your head.”  There is not much you can do other than try on a new perspective and ask, “What if my assumption isn’t true?” What would that mean?  And then psychically traverse the answer.

  • So write down 5 things in your life that you could potentially be wrong about.  Question those deep assumptions you’ve had about your identity for years.  For example, “I am lazy” I am not an attractive person” “I don’t know how to talk to people” “I won’t ever be happy” “The world is going to shit”

The more emotion you have behind these assumptions, the more important it is to write it down and CHALLENGE IT!

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After you have written down 5 or more assumptions, go through them and write down what it would mean in your life if it were wrong.

It may not be easy but it’s worth it!  Anyway how confident can you be in your own beliefs if you’ve never challenged them?  Try to see the “other side,” and when it does appear more likely and more valid, join that side!

2) THINK THROUGH YOUR THOUGHTS to see if what you’re thinking is irrational or not.

For example:  Say that you get a little nervous to go to the gym or grocery shopping.  But why?  Because you have to step out of your COMFORT ZONE.

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You are comfortable inside your apartment watching TV & the thought of leaving will disrupt your comfort – so you think..

It’s crazy how the mind can trick us to stay exactly where we are.  But if you want to do anything significant or really even just anything, you need to leave your comfort zone.  It’s worth it.  The pain you will feel later on in life due to staying in your comfort zone will be much worse than the temporary discomfort of going for what you want.

-This can relate to asking a girl/guy out.

-Performing at that open mic night you’ve been considering.

-Joining that group you’ve been thinking of joining.

-Anything that has to do with doing what you want.

People are afraid of all sorts of things & that’s okay.  You shouldn’t try to strive to be fearless, you should strive to TAKE ACTION when you are feeling afraid.

I have learned that it’s not about how I think or feel, it’s about what I do!!  

Don’t believe everything you think!  Question your assumptions and thoughts, and start TAKING ACTION!!!

Stop wasting time caring about the wrong things; things that only worry you.  Start caring about things that truly matter to you!

Click the BOOK PICTURE below to buy Mark Manson’s NY Times Best Selling book that can help you do all of the above!

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6 Human Needs; Why all people do what they do

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This post mainly comes from the ideas of the great Tony Robbins while I only add to it.

You are seeking emotions and experiences. After researching experts, I have found that there are six basic, universal needs that drive ALL human behavior. Every human being has these needs, but we each put different VALUE on these needs. Our focus on these needs will determine the direction of our life!  What need will you live for?

The six human needs include:

1) Certainty

2) Significance

3) Variety

4) Love/Connection

5) Growth

6) Contribution

Each of these needs influence every single human being’s life, and by understanding the needs that shape your behavior, you can take control of your life, and create new habits that lead you to the life you’ve been dreaming of living.

What do you think the most addictive thing in the world is???

Find out in a few paragraphs, it’s not what you think.

Before we get more into our human needs, lets look at how DECISIONS shape our destiny, and our decisions of course are intertwined with our needs.

Decision is the ultimate power. Decisions shape destiny.

There are 3 Decisions we are making EVERY moment of our lives:

1) What am I going to focus on?  Focus=feeling.  Past/present/Future…Self or others?

2) What does it(this situation/experience) mean? Is it the end or the beginning?  Are you being punished or rewarded?

3)What are your going to do? Are you going to give up or move forward?

We make these decisions consciously or unconsciously.**

Lance Armstrong for example could have focused on his cancer but he continued to focus on biking and being the best. He continued to win!

Rosa Parks.  Her focus was that she could change the world for her kids or grandkids instead of focusing on what she was told to do.  She wouldn’t go to the back of the bus & she changed the whole world!

Entrepreneur Tony Robbins also has an incredible story.  When he was a eleven years old with a very broke family and no food for Thanksgiving, a stranger came to his house on Thanksgiving to give them a turkey.  Tony’s angry father and himself had VERY different PERSPECTIVES/FOCUSES on this event that went like this:

Tony’s Father: His 3 decisions: Focus was “this is charity” What does it mean “I am worthless” What do I have to do? “Leave my family.” Which he did…

Tony’s focus:  There’s food!  What does it mean? “Strangers care about me and other people.”  What am I going to do?  “I’m going to do something to make a difference.” Six years later he started feeding families when he was 17. Slowly but surely he built a foundation and has fed millions of people all over the world.

Your FOCUS determines much of your life. Try to be intentional and conscious of what you focus on.

& The most addictive thing in the world is….

Most people will guess wrong. The answer is Problems.

**Most people find a way to feel significant by having a significant problem.  Problems are the safest way to connect with others and not be rejected. Problems are the biggest addiction in our culture.

And SiGNIFICANCE is one of the six human needs!!! Think about your life. Do you connect and feel significant through problems? And are you happy with constantly talking about problems or do you want to live a life with less complaining?

***Instead of just looking at peoples’ behaviors, see their attempts to meet their needs.***

A few insights into the 6 human needs:

1) Certainty

  • People like to be certain, to have financial security, to trust people and experiences. But too much certainty makes us bored, so we need some variety.

2) Variety

  • People like good surprises, if it’s a bad surprise they call it a problem.

3) Significance

  • We all need to feel important, special, unique..People do this in so many different ways-tattoos, religion, joining a group..etc..One of the quickest way some people feel significant is through Violence. Violent things happen each day, just watch the news; these people have a striving for significance, as well as some big mental problems..I encourage you to be significant in a positive way.  Join some great groups, read, write, travel.

4) What we really need is Connection & Love

  • Connection and love are like rain to a garden of flowers, they make us grow.  Surround yourself with people who support and love you. I am so thankful for my family because of their love. Also if you are feeling down and depressed, get a pet. Dogs will love you and are always happy to see you.  Cats are different, but they can show love to their owners as well.

Every human finds a way to meet the first 4 needs. What will your FOCUS be to meet these needs???

The next two needs create fulfillment!

5) Growth

If you don’t grow, you die. Relationships, businesses, self, etc.

  • We grow when we have something to give of value. So don’t always be thinking of yourself..I know it’s hard, but try to get out of yourself for awhile & see what you can give to others that can help them. EVERYONE has something great to contribute, but it can be very difficult to find it. Start by donating food or clothes, or doing something small for someone. It feels amazing and will help you grow. It’s funny how a selfless act will ultimately help you too.

6) To Contribute beyond ourselves

  • Growth and Contribution are intertwined. You grow by contributing.  Contribution=growth.

“The secret of living is giving.”

“It’s not about me, it’s about we.” Tony Robbins

People truly get excited to contribute once they experience it and not just talk about it.

We ALL have the same needs, but whatever need leads us will lead us to our destination.

People all try to meet the same needs, but we do it in different ways. A firefighter saves lives for significance while someone else kills a person for significance.

Try to appreciate how people are attempting to meet their needs, explore your decisions, and give.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO FOCUS ON?

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

45 Life Lessons

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  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

These are all so good.  I read this a few times!  Credit to Regina Brett.  Which is your favorite??

Get more free time by using Parkinson’s Law!

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Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted to its completion.

We work on things with a given deadline, but if we have no deadline we will take up all sorts of time wasting it.

Example—Someone who has a leisure day with no deadlines can spend the whole day writing an easy college essay that is due the next day.  This essay should take no more than one hour, but lets see what happens…

The person wakes up slow, makes coffee and eats, showers, and 1-2 hours is gone.  They look at what they have to do for a few minutes then get distracted with social media and surfing the web for an hour.  Decide to watch Netflix for an hour or two, and the day is almost evening..

..They open up their paper and work on it for about 5 minutes before getting distracted and going back to checking out social media.  This cycle continues for hours until they finally begin and finish the paper around midnight.  The paper would have only taken at most an hour to finish, but this person believed they did not need to finish it first thing in the morning so they took all day to do it.  They did not have a specific deadline for the paper!

This is similar to a typical 9-5 workday where many people babble their days away with coworkers in pointless conversation.  There have been studies done about how much people actually work throughout the day at their 9-5 jobs and the average does actual work-related tasks about half of the time.

Useless meetings, lunch and water breaks, surfing the web and other distracting things take them away from “what they should be doing.”  And if their bosses allow it, I would do it too!  If a boss gives an employee a week to do something, that person will take the full week to lazily do that task, when it could be done in a much shorter time if given a shorter deadline. Check cartoon below↓↓↓

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“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”  I can’t say it enough.

By assigning the right amount go time to a task, we gain back more time and the task will reduce in complexity to its natural state.

Parkinson’s Law works because people give tasks longer than they really need, for different reasons, because they have an inflated idea of how long the task will take to complete.  **You can’t realize how quickly some tasks can be completed until you test this principle.

Work smarter, not harder…when most people are working harder and not smarter.

A practical way for you to complete goals/tasks faster:

  • Make a list of your tasks for the day, week, month, etc.  and divide them up by the amount of time you think it will take to complete them.  Then write down half of that time that you first gave yourself to complete each task!  Make sure you view your deadlines just as crucial as you would if completing it for a boss.
  • Stop checking your phone and email every 15 minutes and take 45-60 minutes of focused time to only work on your main task.

When you begin applying Parkinson’s Law to your life and your tasks, you will begin to be more productive than you’ve ever imagined.

Please share and comment, letting me know your thoughts and how Parkinson’s Law has helped you!

My 3rd, 4th and 5th Weeks in Denver

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Crazy that I’ve already been in Colorado for a month. Time goes by fast when you’re living life to the fullest! —My car ride seemed like it took a whole month to get here; although it was less than 24 hours. Anyway here is what I have been up to the past few weeks:

During my third week in Denver I moved into my new apartment! No more sleeping on a couch. The hot tub and pool at the apartment complex were some big deciding factors, even though they are being renovated currently and I haven’t used them yet! So I moved all my stuff into the apartment, chatted with the new roommates-they are super chill and awesome. I also went to an orientation for substitute teaching after hours of paperwork to get there. I was outside most of the week really just hanging out with friends and enjoying the week before I started teaching. The weekend was fun, and then I began teaching during my 4th week here.

Monday I taught at a pretty rough school. I have previously been working with juvenile delinquents so I thought that teaching at all these schools would be a breeze…not so much. I taught freshman Biology that Monday and these freshman definitely challenged me and tested my patience but I made it through the day. Tuesday I taught a French middle school class. They were filled with sooo much energy-The classroom got loud, so I got a little loud back. Wednesday was amazing! I worked as a physical education teacher and the school does “team teaching” where some teachers work together for the lessons. This made classes very easy and the day flew by. Thursday as a middle school math teacher was okay; some classes were great and some weren’t. Friday I was a math teacher at the school I was at on Monday so I was ready for chaos, but since it was a different class with different students it wasn’t bad. Only one class was out of pocket. Substitute teachers experience all sorts of interesting situations throughout the day, and I was already beginning to experience these things.  Overall it was a decent first week of teaching.

My 5th week and 2nd week of teaching here…This week was a lot better than last week as far as teaching goes. Monday I taught gym at an Elementary school and it was awesome. I got to play basketball and other sports with the students as we jammed out to music. Tuesday and Wednesday I was a floater. They needed me as a 4th grade teacher on Tuesday-I was not the happiest about this, but I do what they need me to do. The kids were crazy. Wednesday was okay. I taught another loud group of students, but I did get to leave early so that was awesome. I went to a park after school and played some football with a friend. Thursday was the best day of the week for teaching!! I was a high school gym teacher and the students listened and behaved so well. I was at a great school and I got to run and workout with students in each class. The teacher I was subbing for had a prep period at the end of the day so I got to leave a little early again! Good times. Friday was a good day too. I was a math teacher at a pretty good school and some of the kids had really funny jokes. I laughed a lot during the first period class.

A few things I have learned while working with students:  Be patient, listen, and from the start make sure they know what rules and expectations they should follow.

In my free time I have been reading, writing, playing Fifa with friends, going to parks, working out, and I bought a new laptop!

“I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something greater than you, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”

3 Takeaways from Mark Cuban’s Book, How to Win at the Sport of Business

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Billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban gives insight into his success.  He started from the bottom now he’s where he’s at, and he’s lovin it.  Here are three key takeaways from his new book, How to Win at the Sport of Business:

1.Never Give Up

When Cuban was running one of his first companies, his secretary stole $83,000 dollars out of the $85,000 dollars they had saved.  Cuban tried to get his money back but it wasn’t possible.

Instead of dwelling on the problem, Cuban focused on the positives, and what he could do to continue to succeed.  He never saw or heard from that secretary again; she probably changed her name.

Anyway, Cuban being a stoic, a genius, and just being real with the situation said, “What’s done was done.  Worrying about revenge, getting pissed at the bank and all those ‘I’m going to get even and kick your ass thoughts’ were basically just a waste of energy.”

Cuban got right back to work, and he never stopped, just call him the energizer bunny.  Key takeaway is to be able to let go of people who have wronged you, and move on.  Taking time out of your day to try and get revenge is only a waste of time.  Let karma take care of it.

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2.Become an autodidact

The most brilliant minds throughout history have all been in some ways an autodidact; that is, a self-taught person. Cuban himself is very much an autodidact, teaching himself how to program as well as continuously reading and learning.

Cuban reads multiple hours each day, and it pays off!  Literally, he’s a billionaire, and a lot of why he is so successful is because he consistently reads.  A huge take away from this book is to be able to teach yourself; learn how to learn.

If you don’t know something, stop sitting around doing nothing about it and research it!  Study it!  Whatever you want to learn is at your fingertips, we have the internet and Google!  Almost all the information we’ll ever need is online, and usually for free!  Be your own teacher.  Stay ahead of the curve.  Have the edge.

One definition Cuban has for the edge is: “Knowing that people think you’re crazy, and they are right, but you don’t care what they think.”  Get up early, stay up late.  Kick yourself in the ass before someone else does.

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3.Enjoy the entire process

When Cuban was 23 years old he was sleeping on a floor. He was living in a 3 bedroom house with 6 people.  He was basically broke and lived off of happy hour food during that time.  He was having a blast though, not kidding, he loved it!

He got fired from multiple jobs but he was surrounded by great friends in Dallas and that made all the difference.  Now he owns the Dallas Mavericks, and has made the team and program better with his approach.  On this subject, Cuban says, “Start the day with a positive attitude.

You are going to screw up.  We all do.  But no matter what happens, every morning, the minute after you wipe away the crust from your eyes, remind yourself that you’re going to enjoy every minute of the day.  You are going to enjoy the twenty interviews you have.  You are going to enjoy waiting in the heat for your roommate to pick you up afterward.  You are going to enjoy realizing how frayed your collar has become and how sick you are of your one, lonesome tie.

You are going to enjoy all the bullshit you have to deal with as you chase your goals and dreams, because you want to remember them all.  Each and every experience will serve as motivation and provide great memories when you finally make it all happen.  It’s your choice.  What are you going to do?”

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I hope these 3 key takeaways can help you as much as they have helped me!  If you would like to order the book from Amazon you can order it here: How To Win At The Sport of Business.  I highly recommend reading it however you can get it!

My First Week in Denver

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It’s hard to believe that I have been in Denver Colorado for a full week.  My car ride here seemed like an eternity, but everything sped up as soon as I arrived.  There’s something about being in good company that makes time go fast, and I am very grateful to be in good company.  I am currently staying at my good friend Kory’s house.  He and his roommates are all friendly positive people; a trend I’ve noticed by most of the people in Denver.  Anyway, here are the details of my first week in Denver, beginning with the car ride.

I left my hometown on Friday March 10th to head to my sister and her husband’s house in Kentucky.  My parents had planned to visit them that weekend so it worked out perfectly for me, as this would make the ride to Colorado a little shorter and I’d get to visit some family!  I followed my parents to my sister’s house in which we got there in about 7 hours.  It always feels so good arriving to a destination after a long haul.  I spend the next couple days with my family in Kentucky and we had a great time.  Louisville is a beautiful city, but the experiences we all have depend on the people you’re with.  I’m lucky because I really enjoy spending time with my family.  Anyway, after a nice weekend with some of the family, I departed for Denver Monday morning around 9:00AM.

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Some of the Family at Sister’s Wedding

The GPS told me that Denver was 16 hours away.  I was super excited to drive for almost a whole day…but not really.  I did feel pretty good for the first few hours of driving; I think my adrenaline was still going.  I went to a rest stop after those first hours for a short bathroom stop then immediately went back to driving.  I do love blasting music to help make the car ride easier, but I also listen to podcasts and audio books.  I definitely recommend listening to podcasts and books to anyone making a long trip.  Moving on, I continued driving through Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.  I stopped once every 3-4 hours to either get gas, go to the bathroom or get food.  I planned on driving straight through without sleeping, and so far I felt fine.  Then along came Kansas, a stretch of over 500 miles.  I arrived at Kansas right after going through Kansas City Missouri-which was the only time I missed an exit during my trip.  I was frustrated I missed the exit, but it was an easy fix that only took away about 10 minutes of my time.  I’m not a huge fan of speeding drivers in a big city with exits all over the place.  I definitely understand why it’s easy to get upset while driving.  I finally got out of Kansas City and I was halfway to my destination around 5:00PM.  I was relieved to not have to drive through any more big cities.  I continued driving through the plains of Kansas, where I passed by some places that looked like what I’d imagine Hell to be.  This was the time where I was really hoping my car wouldn’t

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House in the plains of Kansas

break down, and it didn’t!  Thank you grandma for the car!  It still works.  Around 10:00PM when I was somewhere in Kansas I stopped for McDonald’s.  I wanted to arrive at my friend’s house at a reasonable time, not 2 or 3AM, so I decided to try and find a place to sleep.  The place I found was the parking lot of a grocery store.  Good times.  It took me more than 30 minutes to get to sleep, and I woke up only after 45 minutes of sleeping.  I couldn’t sleep any more so I kept driving.  I took my time driving, stopping at a couple more rest stops before finally arriving in Denver!  I arrived around 3:30AM and didn’t want to wake up my friend or roommates in the middle of the night so I slept and stayed in my car until 6:00AM.  I was very happy to finally be in Denver!  After catching up with my friend for a bit I went to sleep but only for a couple hours.

I woke up feeling refreshed, but knew I’d probably be tired later on.  I and one of Kory’s friends, Boy, walked into downtown Denver to check out the city.  Yes his name is Boy, he’s from Amsterdam, really cool guy.  It was a great day to walk around as the weather was in the 70’s!  We went to a couple stores then got some coffee at a café.  We walked through a couple parks too, they’re everywhere in Denver!  It was a good first day, I ended up walking over 10 miles.  The next day I went for an interview for a consulting job.  They gave me a second interview the same day and offered me the job but I didn’t accept it.  The hours were too many for not enough pay and I plan on substitute teaching.  I enjoy checking out different job opportunities though.  The next couple of days I applied to more jobs and got in contact with some school districts.  Anyway, the weekend was here already, and the weather was still amazing.DT Denver  Denver is pretty cool at night too.  I went out with a group of people on Friday and we had a couple drinks and just enjoyed some of the bars around the area.  It was a relaxing night with some good conversations.  I’m excited to explore more of Denver; I always enjoy finding the hidden wonders of an area.  The next day was the best yet.  Kory, Boy and I went to a huge park to meet some friends and play volleyball and football.  It was 80 degrees and sunny; beautiful weather with the snow covered mountains in the background.  We played for hours and I got pretty sore.  Afterward we all relaxed for a bit then had a couple drinks.  A few of us had a great conversation that led to laughing more than I have in a long time.  Sunday came and we pretty much watched March Madness basketball all day.  Let’s go UNC!!!  Good times..

So as I sit here writing this I’m excited for what the next week holds.  It’s always awesome discovering new places, but remember, it’s all about the people you’re with!