Theme for 2012: Don’t give a rip what anyone thinks!

2011 has been a big year for me, in both the personal and professional arenas. I can honestly say I have raised he bar in my the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional pillars. The point of life is eternal growth and we all came here to be creators. According to Abraham: “You never get it done, and you can never get it wrong”, and that’s a good thing. So, with this in mind – I want to be even more deliberate going into the new year. As a designer, whenever I start a creative project I always come up with a theme before I dig in. This sets tone of the overall project, keep me inspired and allows me to stay in alignment with my vision. In a recently heard a quote in a documentary that said, “The greatest prison that people live is the fear of what other people think.” That spoke volumes to me. It’s only when you step out of this fear, that you set yourself free of this self-imposed mental prison. You begin to realize how much external influences control our daily lives and dictate what is the norm, what is acceptable, what we should believe, say and think. Moving into 2012, I want to transition out of this pen by expressing my uniqueness in a bigger way. It’s time to stop being what is perceived as “normal” – that has limitation written all over it. The reality is “No one who was normal ever made history.”

“We have been trained to live in fear and mindlessly behave like everyone around us…It’s time to break free from that cycle, start thinking for yourself and take what’s rightfully yours in life.”

~ Jad T Jones

Special thanks to Dolores Morford for inspiring this visualiztion.

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True Success Requires Acknowledging your Personal Support System

Many of the successful people we admire – whether it be an entrepreneur, musician, athlete, mentor, executive, spiritual teacher or guru are typically perceived as people who have pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Meaning they achieved their success solely by their own efforts and determination. The reality is, that is only part of the equation. Anyone you who you see as successful or a high achiever has a massive Personal Support System which is rarely brought to light, because it is easier to focus on one person than the power and support of many. The bigger the success, the bigger the support.

We all have Personal Support Systems to some degree and the best way to harness the power of it, is to first acknowledge you have one. This system is your personal community of advisors, mentors, inspirers, coaches, teachers, leaders and experts who motivate and strengthen you in areas that you are weaker in or need further development in. This works similarly to the concept of the “Mastermind” Group. Popularized by Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich. Hill defined the mastermind as  “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”, excerpted from Feel Good Girl The beauty of the Personal Support System vs. the Mastermind Group is you already have one, it doesn’t require and formal meeting and doesn’t even have to be organized (though it would help).

Furthermore, it is not required that all the people in your Personal Support System have a personal relationship with you. I have several people in my system who I am not on a first name basis with, whom I look to for inspiration and motivation. They support me merely through observation. Have you had anyone whom you see regularly, and doesn’t know you – that make you want to step your game up? Whether at the gym, in a race, at a store or on the job. These people are in your system too.

Personal Suppoer System Map

5 keys to attaining success through your Personal Support System:

    1. Acknowledge your Personal Support System and the people in it as much as possible.
    2. Pay it Forward: Share the knowledge you have gained from others and give them credit.
    3. Support your supports: Play an active role in their Personal Support Systems.
    4. Let people know how they support you, ie. “thanks for the motivation” or “hey you really pushed me today”.
    5. Become as excited about the success of others as your are about your own success (don’t fake it).

FEEDBACK: If you like this post, disagree with it or have a better suggestion – please leave a comment.

You are what you think, not what you eat

Last month in April I hand the honor of being featured in employer’s Wellness Spotlight on our employee portal site.
I got such a positive response, I decided to expand on it and share it with you:

Wellness Spotlight Questions:

When you started out, what were your wellness goals?
Get out of the obese category on the BMI scale, get my blood pressure under control and become physically fit.

What goal(s) have you achieved so far?
I surpassed all my goals. In 8 months I lost 40 pounds, and my total weight lost to date is 65 pounds.

How did you do it?
For me wellness, or well-being starts in the mind (not in the waistline). In 2010 I made goals and New Year’s
resolutions about my health, but the difference this time around was I slowly changed my belief system. I once heard a wise person say: “a belief is just a thought I keep thinking.” So, I starting thinking more about being healthy and in shape and stopped focusing on my unhappiness with being overweight.

To help me maintain my focus I surrounding myself with people, places and things that inspired me. I started
exercising consistently, hired a personal trainer and took up running. In the first 4 months things move slowly, but in May I cracked the code. A co-worker introduced me to a body chemistry and blood nutrition diet book call the GenoType Diet. Long story short – I learned what foods were toxic to my system based on my blood type, body composition and genetics. I found that the food I was eating was canceling out the exercise I was doing. So, I wasn’t gaining weight or losing weight. Once I eliminated these foods along with gradually increasing my physical training to three times per week  and running 3-4 times per week — the weight started melting off.

Once I achieved this initial success — I didn’t get comfortable. In fact, I purposely put myself in the position of being uncomfortable. This forced my to grow to new heights. Back in 2009 the longest race I had completed was a 5k (3.1 miles). Fast forward to December of 2010 where I completed my first marathon (26.2 miles). Running isn’t for everyone, so find a sport or activity you are passionate about. It can be anything: swimming, biking, croquet, tennis, kickball, dancing or even chasing your kids around the house. If you are doing what you love, the consistency issue is a non-factor.

What’s next for you on your health journey?
My goals this year are to continue improving my health and diet, continue to work with my trainer at Cross Training San Marco to take my fitness to a new level. Lastly, compete in my first sprint triathlon.

What advice would you offer to others just starting out?
The biggest challenge is not losing the excess weight. The real challenge is losing the excess emotional baggage we carry around in our minds. This excess brings a feeling of unworthiness and self-doubt. Some specific advice would be the following:

Last piece of parting advice:

  • Be more consciously aware of your thoughts, feelings and the words that come out of your mouth. How aligned are they with the direction you want to go?
  • Get out of the habit of blaming your situation on people and things you can’t control. Take full responsibility for the direction of your life – the only thing that is stopping you is you!
  • Only think and speak highly of yourself and do things that honor your worth.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Set small milestones over time and measure your progress.
  • Lastly, when the vision for yourself on the inside becomes more compelling than what people see on the
    outside, you will become the master of your experience and achieve whatever you desire.
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