(or The Top Ten Ways to Develop Balanced, Focused Energy in Your Life) by Jeffrey D. Brown
1. Eliminate What You Tolerate.
Eliminate clutter, noise, distractions, and people who drain your energy. Beginning today, make a concentrated effort to rid your life of whatever you’ve been tolerating. Begin by making a list of ten tolerations. Now take action to eliminate them, permanently, when possible. Most people say that eliminating a big toleration causes them to immediately feel more energy — as if a tremendous weight has just lifted! To have a high quality life and be healthy, you need all the energy you can get. By eliminating extraneous “stuff,” you will noticeably enhance access to the supportive energy that naturally flows through your life.
2. Create 10 Daily Habits that Support Being at Your Best.
Carefully chosen daily habits are cues that remind you to act deliberately. Acting deliberately has been described as operating from a place of deep inner calm. Access to inner calm prompts you to respond to life in a manner appropriate to the moment rather than merely reacting based on whatever emotion may be active at the time. By practicing 10 Daily Habits that support your best, you conserve your energy and resources so that they can be used to make life better for yourself and those around you.
3. Notice Life’s Small Wonders.
Count your blessings. Tend the garden before you. Enjoy the effect of what you cause. There are a thousand ways to express this idea, so here’s a tip to help you capture the magic of this principle: Create a Book of Small Wonders. In it, write what you accomplished today. Include what you are especially proud of, how you handled difficult situations, how you grew personally and professionally, and those little unexpected moments of wonder that happened in the course of your day. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple practice: it shifts people from frustration to a sense of hope and opportunity with the stroke of a pen.
4. Develop and Practice an Instant Centering Sequence.
Here are some tips to consider.
a- Take brief midmorning and midafternoon work breaks.
b- Get a few minutes of muscular movement every hour or so during the day.
c- Sustain your breathing — it’s been said that it’s the inner breathing of the one hundred trillion cells in our body that’s fundamental to how we act, feel, and think. Continuous, steady breathing is essential to calm, focused energy in any situation.
d- Practice present moment awareness. Our ability to acknowledge what’s happening in the present moment, and to flow with it, influences our capacity for responding to hidden opportunities.
What’s the quickest way to activate an Instant Centering Sequence? Begin by simply feeling your physical body and noticing the sensations you find there. Our entire being is a huge sensing apparatus — all we have to do is begin to understand what it is telling us, and respond from that inner wisdom. Need help? Begin with relaxing (see #5 below) and ask your coach to help you uncover and develop these natural abilities.
5. Take Time-Out Twice a Day.
If you’ve tried meditating before and thought it wasn’t your cup of tea, now is a great time to try again. Here’s a simple, effective way to begin. Sit comfortably and watch your breath, especially the exhalation phase. Imagine you’re like a dolphin — as a dolphin surfaces, it blows all the air from its lungs. The natural result is for plenty of air to flood back in. In meditation, breathe out completely, but keep it effortless. Notice how there is a pause at the end of your out breath, and then a natural impulse to breathe in. Doing this for ten minutes will have you experiencing a much more relaxed state. Twenty minutes can significantly restore your sense of energy and vitality for what lies ahead. Try meditating or relaxing in this fashion for twenty minutes at least one session a day, preferably in the morning. If you’d prefer to listen to a relaxation tape as an alternative to meditation, I recommend audiotape programs created by Emmett Miller, MD. Try using his 10-minute tape during work breaks.
6. Eat small, frequent, balanced, meals and snacks.
We’ve all heard that “we are what we eat.” But did you know that your energy moods are affected by what, and when, you eat? The key point here is when you eat a small amount of a well-balanced food choice every two and a half to three hours, you keep your brain (and body) supplied with those nutrients essential for best performance. Of course, the terms “small and well-balanced” are important to bear in mind, but that’s a discussion for another time.
7. Exercise Regularly for Structural Balance and Good Health.
From my perspective as a former rehabilitative exercise therapist whose clinical practice specialized in postural education and body-core integration for performance athletes, attention to good posture is vital for getting the greatest benefit from exercise. Fitness Tip: Learn what “dynamic moving balance” feels like, and exercise in such a way as to support and enhance it. The right coach is invaluable in this regard. Also, dedicate some time to doing rhythmic “aerobic” cardiovascular exercise as well. It’s good for your heart in more ways than one.
8. Know Your Mission, Vision, and Purpose.
Have you identified a clear vision for your personal and professional life? Do your recognize the power of clarifying and reviewing your vision on a regular basis? This is a recurring theme in my work with high-achievers. We all need a clear vision to orient around that helps us stay on track when we hit stormy seas (or get tempted by the latest fad). A vision is something felt in your heart, expressed in words and symbols, and undeniable once you’ve found yours. Circumstances may change (and probably will), but your vision has been with you for a long time because it is who you are, or at least, one of the more profound expressions of that.
9. Strengthen Your Community.
Communities are great for creation and creativity. The community you select will prompt results in your life that you simply could not get on your own. The key term here is select. The benefit of a chosen community is it brings out your best — their best brings out your best. We naturally upgrade our community throughout our lives as we develop personally and spiritually. The process of strengthening community may take time, but being around people who hold you to your personal highest and best, is unmatched in its contribution to our lives.
10. Create Reserves.
Now, here’s an interesting topic: Reserves. Let’s define Reserve as “having enough plus a little bit more,” or even “some extra that’s put away.” Why would you want Reserve? With Reserve in a few key areas, you gain a sense of freedom to be and deliver your best. A Reserve of anything can translate to feeling a sense of peace and possibility. Each of us have our own unique sense of how Reserve works in our lives. It’s not about acquisition; it’s aboutthe process of creating and owning a Reserve, and how negotiating that process empowers us with a sense of our natural ability to make a difference in the present moment. What would it be like to have a Reserve of Balanced, Focused Energy in your life today? Good things will come to you in the process of creating one!
Copyright 2001 by Jeffrey D. Brown. All rights reserved. However, permission is granted to freely copy or distribute to anyone you wish, so long as you retain the entire message, including the name and address of the author.
The focus will be on the 4 important competencies of the entrepreneur:
Since the publication of my book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I have worked with many wonderful individuals who are seeking to improve the quality of their communications, relationships, products, services, organizations, and lives.
But sadly, I see many people using a variety of ill-advised approaches. In effect, they try to apply short-cut, manipulative practices learned in academic and social systems to natural systems, the “farms” of their lives.
The Problem: Alternate Centers
Let me share with you some examples of the problem. Then I will suggest the principle-centered solution.
The Solution: Center on Principles
These are problems that common approaches can’t solve. Quick, easy, free, and fun approaches won’t work on the “farms” of our lives because there we’re subject to natural laws and governing principles. Natural laws, based upon principles, operate regardless of our awareness of them or our obedience to them.
Often habits of ineffectiveness are rooted in our social conditioning toward quick-fix, short-term thinking. In school, many of us procrastinate and then successfully cram for tests. But does cramming work on a farm? Can you go two weeks without milking the cow, and then get out there and milk like crazy? Can you “forget” to plant in the spring, goof off all summer, and then hit the ground real hard in the fall to bring in the harvest? We might laugh at such ludicrous approaches in agriculture, but then in academic environments, we might cram to get grades and degrees.
The only thing that endures over time is the law of the farm: I must prepare the ground, put in the seed, cultivate, weed, water, and nurture growth. So also in a business or a marriage there is no quick fix where you can just move in and magically make everything right with a positive mental attitude and a package of success formulas.
Correct principles are like compasses: they are always pointing the way. And if we know how to read them, we won’t get lost, confused, or fooled by conflicting voices and values. Principles such as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty, and trust are not invented by us: they are the laws of the universe that pertain to human relationships and organizations. They are part of the human condition, consciousness, and conscience.
People instinctively trust those whose personalities are founded upon correct principles. We have evidence of this in our long-term relationships. We learn that technique is relatively unimportant compared to trust, which is the result of our trustworthiness over time. When trust is high, we communicate easily, effortlessly, instantaneously. We can make mistakes, and others will still capture our meaning. But when trust is low, communication is exhausting, time-consuming, ineffective, and inordinately difficult.
Most people would rather work on their personality than on their character. The former may involve learning a new skill, style, or image, but the latter involves changing habits, developing virtues, disciplining appetites and passions, keeping promises, and being considerate of the feelings and convictions of others. Character development is the best manifestation of our maturity. To value oneself and, at the same time, subordinate oneself to higher purposes and principles is the paradoxical essence of highest humanity and the foundation of effective leadership.
Principle-centered leaders are men and women of character who work with competence “on farms” with “seed and soil” and who work in harmony with natural, “true north” principles and with the law of the harvest. They build those principles into the center of their lives, into the center of their relationships, into the center of their communications and contracts, into their management processes, and into their mission statements.
Dr. Stephen R. Covey is an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and co-chairman of Franklin Covey Co. He is also the author of several acclaimed books, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Copyright © 1992, 2001 by Franklin Covey Co. All rights reserved. For personal use only.
By Jeffrey D. Brown
In a changing world, it’s not uncommon to find yourself faced with the unfamiliar, where things look similar to something in the past, but the moment requires a new approach, a new way of thinking, and a new set of actions.
So, how do you navigate change? Sometimes, surrendering old ways of thinking and doing are required in order to discover a more effective way, something better suited to the demands of today. But, if you are to surrender, what do you surrender to?
A mentor of mine taught that surrendering to a place of larger knowing, a sense of the Universal Spirit within us, yields the right results. This is advice that has proven valuable to many of my clients through the years. But how do we surrender?
I coach clients to follow a heartfelt sense of what they deeply want in life, to explore an inner sense of who they are, beyond limited self-concepts, and to look deeply into their own intuitive sense of what to do next, given what they know and what is available. When faced with radical change, it helps to use your best resources!
Here’s a simple sequence to explore when you’re feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what’s next:
— Sit quietly for a moment.
— Feel the pace and depth of your breath. Notice if you can, your heartbeat.
— For just a moment, surrender your body weight to whatever you are resting on.
— Bring to mind the question or concern that you have.
— Ask your inner self what the most loving solution to this challenge would be.
— Ask your self what action to take in response to this challenge.
— Ask your self who you will become by taking this action.
— If who you will become is aligned with who you want to be, choose several simple things you can do to accomplish this.
— Knowing what you now know, take a moment to practice gratitude for all the good in your life. Find something simple you are grateful for, and rest for a moment in this sense of loving gratitude. Give thanks for what you now have and for the opportunity to express your new insight through action.
What did you discover on your journey inward? How often do you allow yourself to surrender “what must be done” to your inner knowing for guidance? Who can you look to for support as you apply these insights in your daily life?
As a coach, I regularly remind clients to take a moment and pose challenging questions to that part of them that can provide the answer. I’ll guide them through a sequence for accessing inner knowing, and then, based on what they find, we’ll work together to develop strategies for implementing the wisdom gained.
At its finest, this is where the real magic of coaching occurs. And, it’s a wonderful reminder for us that the answers to life’s really big questions are best found within.
May you be blessed with wonderful change(s)!
About Jeffrey Brown:
Jeffrey is a business and personal coach specializing in progressive wellness, emotional intelligence and everyday spirituality in business and life
By Jeffrey D. Brown
What Are You Putting Up With?
All of the things you tolerate — clutter, distractions, people who drain your energy, and other annoyances both large and small — are costing you.
They are keeping you from having a quality life. At the very least, they are having a negative effect on you, draining energy and attention from the more important things in life.
Do something about what’s bugging you! Make a list of at least ten tolerations and commit to resolving these energy-drains. Beginning today, take action to eliminate them from your life — permanently!
Once you’ve gotten a taste of just how fun toleration-elimination is, try creating a “super-long tolerations list” for yourself. Compile a list of a hundred things that you’re tired of putting up with and set aside some time each week to systematically eliminate them. As a coach, I’ve found that making such a list often ignites a kind of “toleration-solution engine” in my clients, leading to quicker resolution of many of their most common tolerations by helping identify and avert them at the source.
Most people say that when they eliminate a big toleration, they immediately feel more energy — as if a tremendous weight has just been lifted! To have a quality life and be healthy, we need all the energy we can get. When you eliminate extraneous “stuff,” you noticeably enhance your access to the energy that naturally flows through your life.
And that’s what it’s all about, right?
All the best to you. Jeffrey.
About Jeffrey Brown:
Jeffrey is a business and personal coach specializing in progressive wellness, emotional intelligence and everyday spirituality in business and life. More
A major step toward financial freedom is about getting back in touch with your money and understanding that you have the power to decide how to use it. And it’s about being honest with yourself. Have you ever taken a big wad of bills from an ATM machine, then found yourself, a day or two later, nearly out of cash and unable to reconstruct exactly where you spent it? And even when you retrace all your steps, you still come up $20, $40 or $60 short? It’s upsetting, but most of us feel that way most of the time: a little short, a little panicky, wondering exactly where our money is going.
What does it cost you to live each month? If you are married or living with someone with whom you share expenses, please ask him or her to write down the answer to the same question. Most of us believe we need about $1,000 to $1,500 a month less than we actually do need to go on living the exact same way we live right now. Surprisingly, this figure seems to vary only a little bit regardless of income levels. Where does this month-to-month self-deception lead us? Into financial chaos. Often, our planned spending doesn’t cover expenses that don’t occur every month or expenses that just crop up.
These big expenses hit once or twice a year, probably surprising you every time. And then there are seasonal expenses:
Michael Gerber is a world renowned speaker, entrepreneur, and best selling author of “The E-Myth,” “The Power Point,” “The E-Myth Revisited,” and “The E-Myth Manager.” He is also the founder and chairman of the E-Myth Academy.
“One evening in April my sister, Nancy Dreyfus, who lives across the country in Philadelphia, called me to ask me what I thought of the idea of our meeting in Sedona in July and spending nine days at something called the Sedona Method Training. The thought of spending nine days with my sister, who I adore and never get enough of, anywhere, let alone in Sedona, was all I needed to hear. I made my childcare arrangements, gave instructions to my husband, kissed my family goodbye and I was off, without much more information about what I was about to get myself into.
“Nancy and I met at the Phoenix airport and drove to Sedona together. Everything was as it was supposed to be until the last 10 miles of the drive, which took us off the main highway, in blazing heat, deep into the desert and the middle of nowhere. As soon as I got out of the car at the retreat center to check in and get our room assignment, I was convinced I had made a big mistake. It was hot, it was desolate, there wasn’t a familiar face around. (Even my sister seemed like a stranger at this point.)
“I started plotting my departure. What good excuse could I use to get out of this? Could I get a flight back to San Francisco that evening or would I actually have to wait until tomorrow? How could I have been so stupid as to not have asked more questions about this Sedona thing?
“I looked over at Nancy and suddenly felt unable to abandon her without at least giving the training a shot. We lugged our suitcases up to our room, went to dinner and got ready for the first evening session with Hale and about 15 other participants. I walked into the training room and everything seemed wrong. The room was wrong. The trainees were the wrong people. And the heat. Nine days without an air conditioner. Were they kidding? I settled into my chair, waited anxiously for Hale to start, and somehow, within minutes, I had a profound sense that I had come home. This feeling has not left me, except in moments, of course, since then.
“In the last four months, I have let go. I have let go of anger. I have let go of judgment. I have let go of desperation. And I have let go of wanting stuff that I would never have imagined I truly wanted, until I did the training. Yes, it all comes back from time to time. But it’s different. It’s moved from the foreground into the background. Joy, acceptance, and calm are in the foreground so often I sometimes can’t believe it. I actually find myself laughing at other people’s insanity that would have, four months ago, made me insane.
“People find me so much more approachable. My children, my husband and partner, my employees. I find myself telling myself that it must be that the people in my company are just getting to know me better. But I don’t think that’s really it. I’m just not so scary.
“In October, we brought The Sedona Method to our small business consulting firm, The E-Myth Academy. Our entire management team, including my husband, has been through the training, and this month, 14 more employees out of 50 will be trained. We will soon become a company committed to releasing. In a world filled with people who have, for the last 21 years, done their share of suppressing and expressing, it’s a dream come true.
“And the best is yet to come. Over the next several months, with Hale and Amy’s help, The E-Myth Academy will be integrating the Method into our already astonishing small business development tools and technologies so that thousands of small business owners around the world can benefit from releasing in the process of building their businesses. For 21 years, our company has been in the business of ‘Transforming Small Business Worldwide…One Small Business Owner at a Time.’ How perfect.”
“What can I say? I entered into the 2-day training with no expectations, simply a willingness to discover something. Did I ever! The simple process of letting go has had a profound impact on my life. I don’t readily say such things. I’ve been brought up to believe that leaps in consciousness don’t come easily. That the work is hard. That you have to fight for every step forward, and that you most often slip back three steps for every forward step gained. Not so with The Sedona Method. The freedom gained in those two days is forever with me. The simple question, ‘Would I rather stay stuck, or would I rather be free of it?’ says it all. I would rather be free! Thanks, Hale. It has been a gift. To me, to my family, to my company. And, to our clients.”
William Arruda, Brand Expert
To succeed today, you need to be visible and known for something. That means you need to take every opportunity to make your mark – enabling you to benefit from the personal brand equity that builds over time. You can do this by consistently expressing your brand through the most routine and banal opportunities you have every day. Here are ten ways to ‘Make Your Mark.’
1. Your Voice-mail or Answering Machine Message
How many voice-mails do you get each day? Your outgoing greeting is an opportunity for you to express your brand. It says a lot about you. Last week, I was speaking with a professional trainer and self proclaimed ‘fitness freak’ and she told me that her voice-mail greeting includes a different health tip every day. This reinforces her message of commitment to health and fitness. She told me that she often receives calls where the person on the other end of the phone says ‘Oh…I was hoping to get your voice-mail.’
2. Your E-mail Template
You probably send hundreds of e-mails a month. Each one is an opportunity for you to communicate your brand. The way your mail template is designed along with the information you include at the bottom of your mails – your signature and contact information – says a lot about you. Jeff, a marketing manager whose brand is all about fun, adds a dose of humor to his contact information. He includes a randomly generated joke and links to his favorite humorous web sites.
3. Your Written Correspondence
Your stationery system and business cards are great opportunities to express who you are. Ensure that you choose materials and formats that are expressing your brand attributes.
4. Your Office/Desk
What does your work environment say about you? Do you have a messy desk, art work on the walls of your office, etc. What does your office say about you? What makes it speak in your unique voice? Have you moved to a completely paperless office, or are you surrounded with manila folders and sheets of paper? Does your workspace communicate your interests, passions, talents, values, and strengths? Whatever your answers, be aware that your workspace reveals a lot about you.
5. Your Web Site
If you are in business, your potential clients will certainly take a look at your web site before bringing you on board. If you are working inside a corporation, you still should have your own web site. If you haven’t done so already, consider buying your personal web site address. And if you have a web site, make sure the content, format and navigation reflect your brand. And update it regularly to ensure that the content is fresh and relevant.
6. Your Clothes/Personal Trademarks
What you wear can help you make your mark. Make sure your wardrobe both reflects your brand and is appropriate for your target audience. You may even want to develop a trademark if it feels right for you. A client of mine who consults with design departments at ad agencies is an expert in color. People hire her because of her keen eye for choosing and combining colors. Her daily attire always combines complementary colors. If she has on a blue suit, she will wear an orange scarf or if she is wearing a red dress, she will wear a green belt. For most of us, this complementary combination goes unnoticed; but members of her target audience always receive the message.
With so many people competing for the same jobs or for the same piece of business, you need to make your resume or proposal stand out. And you need to do so in a way that reflects your brand. Do you have a written resume, send people to a web link, is it on CD, do you have a portfolio? Is it color or black and white? Do you include the logos of companies where you have worked before? Make your mark with your proposal and you will make a major impression.
8. Logo/Graphic Elements, Fonts, Colors
Think of all the simple things like the logos or fonts you use, the colors you choose for your electronic correspondence as ways to make your mark. Don’t choose rare fonts or colors for the sake of being different, choose them based on how strongly they will reflect your brand – your unique promise of value. Create your own identity standards and use them consistently. Your logo, fonts you use, standard color palettes used consistently communicate your brand. Do you have a standard font that you use?
9. Your Thank-you cards
The way you express thanks says a lot about your brand. Do you send e-cards, written thank you notes or call people to thank them? Brian, a communications executive sends thank you cards to members of his team every time they have achieved a goal. He hand types them to express the importance he places on the written word. By doing so, he makes an indelible mark on the recipients.
10. Your Brief Case/Notebook, etc.
What do you carry to client meetings? Do you use a laptop or paper notebook? Do you have a leather-bound diary or a palm pilot? What type of pen do you carry? Although these are small items, they say a lot about you and give you an opportunity to make your mark.
Meet the author . . .
With his unique expertise in the human side of branding, William Arruda delivers keynotes, programs and workshops to inspire, entertain, educate and motivate. Learn more about William at http://www.reachcc.com