2014 Go For It!

2014 Go for It!
Last week looked at finding out our wins and challenges for the year 2013. Now we will look forward always in the objective of creating a compelling future that jazzes US (no one else!). I’ve included a few

1) In terms of each of the following life areas, rank your level of satisfaction RIGHT Now (in this moment, don’t over-analyze) with that area in your life 1 to 10 where 1 means that area is completely unsatisfactory to 10 being completely and utterly over the moon.
Satisfaction (Out of /10)
My Relationship with family                __
My Realtionship friends                        __
Significant Other                                       __
Fun and Recreation                                  __
Health                                                             __
Money                                                            __
Career                                                            __
Personal Growth                                       __
Physical Environment                            __

So any areas at or below a “5” should definately be focused on for you to live a fulfilling life in 2014.

2) Look forward to the end of 2014, you are writing out what an incredible year it was.
You begin:

  1. Imagine that it is one year from now – you’re feeling especially gratified and thankful. You are looking back over the past year with a sense of satisfaction and pride. It has been a fabulous year of growth and personal achievement – a year that spoke to your heart. You sit down to write a letter to your closest friends, describing the year,
  2. What are the highlights? You begin: “This has been a most extraordinary year for me…”

What are the obstacles you had to overcome?
There is an underlying theme for the whole year – a thread that was woven through it all. What was that thread?
Who did you have to be in order to get to that place?

3) What experiences on your bucket list will you endeavour to experience/accomplish?

These should get you started!

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2013 an overview

A New Year, a Newsletter Returns
For the long time readers welcome back to 2BFRANK Living, Canada’s most authentic newsletter. For those of you who are new welcome and enjoy!

Since this is 2014 I thought I would share with you some questions you may want to ask yourself to learn and gain insight from 2013!
I use these with my coaching clients

1) What was/were my biggest breakthrough(s) in 2013 in terms of:
My Relationship with a) family and b) friends.
Dating/Relationship
Fun and Recreation
Health
Money
Career
Personal Growth
Physical Environment

2) What was the biggest challenge I overcame in 2013? Who did I have to become to do so?

3) What were my 3 greatest accomplishments for the year (think about if you will remember them in 10 years time)?

4) What experiences did I have that were on my “bucket list”?

5) How am I different than I was January 1st, 2013?

6) What personal Milestones did I accomplish (example: ran a 5K race, saved $5,000, took my scuba diving licence)?

7) What difficult choices did I make to be authentic and live my values?

Next Week we will get focused on 2014!

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The “Happiness Trap”

I have re-purposed and added from the brilliant book, “Rascal: Making A Difference Becoming an Original Character” by Chris Brady. Many people mistakenly believe that life is about an individual’s happiness.

 


The biggest trap is believing that happiness can be obtained by direct pursuit. The route most people take to pursue happiness is the seeking of pleasure.  We somehow think that by gaining enough pleasure we will be happy. But the pursuit of pleasure is a con job. It ends in an endless spiral of the pursuit of MORE. This is because pleasure in and by itself is not fulfilling (it should be an earned reward). As each thrill is experienced, we automatically seek and desire a bigger thrill, a higher high. We become desensitized to the pleasure and seek/want stronger stimulation next time.

With the above critical fundamental in mind, it is easy to understand our modern epidemic of addictions to EVERYTHING. It seems there are addictions to anything and everything these days, from the traditional alcohol, drugs, gambling and promiscuity to the more subtle but as destructive addictions to TV, media, shopping, coffee, social media, sloth, etc. At the root of everything is the same empty pursuit of pleasure and more pleasure (for it’s numbing qualities).


The other side is just empty. Many chase peace and tranquility in the hopes happiness will be found there. Alas this chase is just as empty! Why? In the land of peace and tranquility lies the disease of boredom. Idleness begets shallowness robbing us of confidence, courage, contribution and direction. A well earned vacation is a good thing however.
Happiness is always and only the byproduct of right and purposeful living in accordance with values that serve others and make a difference.

The previous information married with my new compensated community business building has helped me greatly focus my life in the pursuit of servant leadership to change others’ lives via life coaching. The side benefit has been a remarkable decrease in pleasure seeking behavior for its own sake. I highly recommend it. Drop me a line or email if you want to chat!

What will you pursue instead of pleasure? Is it big enough and impacts many, otherwise it won’t sustain.

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A Cottage Frame of Mind

        Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of renting a cottage in the Haliburton area.  The weather was rainy. Regardless, it was still wonderful as only a place far from the hustle and bustle of city and regular life can create. As with most vacations it took a day or so there to get used to the new place and change in routines on all fronts. Isn’t that why we go away on vacation? To change the routine, see new things, people and experience life through a different lens.

             Some insights from the cottage came to me today and I thought I would share them with you.

 Mother Nature: Without the distraction and sound and visual pollution of the city, amazing sights and sounds are right there and spectacular. My first night there was amazing as the power of a thunder and lightning storm created a Halloween sound and visual landscape. One lightning strike was so close and powerful that my trusted Riplee dog launched onto the bed with me! The pitter patter of rain on the leaves and roof is something to behold.

 The stars at night are absolutely breath-taking and very visible.

The air is completely different (nights cooler) leading to sounder and deeper sleep.

Food:  Eating becomes one of the central themes of the day as one removes most/all regular tasks and responsibilities. Preparing and sharing a meal with your family is a great chance to connect.

No Cable TV:  As much as I’m a minimalist in terms of what I consume on television, once at the cottage, the only indication of civilization was the background radio station playing classic 70’s-80’s music harkening back to those glorious musical generations. Watching an older DVD of “The Great Escape” for the first time on a 13 inch TV has its own quaint appeal. The lack of cable TV also opens up the time for board and card games with much merriment. I was fortunate to have internet so I could still stay in touch with the Olympics (my little obsession) and a couple of coaching calls. I have always dreamed of coaching from a cottage, that dream happened this week and was amazingly motivating for me to get my own cottage-type place soon.

Miscellaneous:  One other interesting tidbit was that I had brought my laptop in the hope of doing some writing on my newest “Motorcycle Chronicles” (working title) book. Although I did ride into Algonquin Park, I DIDN’T feel like writing at all! At first I was worried I’d lost my writing touch. Then I realized (and reframed the experience) that this was what was meant to be and I enjoyed the writing break. Maybe my current writing location (dining room) environment is part of my “being a writer”.

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Nurse Reveals the Top 5 Regrets People Make On Their Deathbed

By Bronnie Ware (who worked for years nursing the dying)

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.  It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others.As a result, they settled for amediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level.Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.  That’s what I’ve been saying!

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Wow, that’s powerful, maybe you should cut it out or copy it, go to the website. I really felt a few twinges when I read that.

Self-Coaching Exercise:   After reading this unbelievable information, you need to make a commitment to focus on what matters. Use this as a measuring stick for every decision. Will I regret not trying/doing this? If yes, DO IT!

Source: [1] [i]http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html

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The Cottage

Having had the pleasure of visiting my close friend Chris (thank you so much CP) up at a wonderful lakeside cottage up in Haliburton I thought I’d write my thoughts since return.

  1. I need a cottage! It reconnects me with nature and puts my crazy “do,do,do” lifestyle in perspective.
  2. My dog loves a lake to chase sticks and balls in!
  3. We don’t eat so well when there are chips, pop and beer around all the time!
  4. The stress of the big city is palpable upon arrival beginning with traffic
  5. People in the country are so laid back, it’s nice
  6. Swimming in a lake is still an amazing experience after many years absence
  7. Cool nights by a campfire rule
  8. A nice nap in a cool cottage afternoon is a blissful experience with little to do or complete
  9. Playing cards with friends connects deeply
  10. We worry much too much about things we have little to no control over
  11.  Coming back from a short 3 day vacation, it’s hard to restart the momentum we had, the mental, spiritual and physical adjustments can take a few days
  12. I’ve already made plans to go to another cottage in 2 weeks, darn, I think I have cottage fever                ********************************************************************************************************

Transition Season

There you have it folks, the summer (beautiful in Toronto!) of 2011 is almost done! You can feel it in the crisp evenings, in the way people are dressing nicely for work, and conversations transition to more fall like subjects such as hiking, wool sweaters, school and back to “serious” work.  I hope the summer was good to you, as it was for me. Fall is actually my favorite season, with the leaves changing colors, Halloween, watching movies, riding the Dakar in the fall as long as I can til the slippery white stuff flies (shhh!, maybe it will forget Jthis year)!

I’m, actually happy to return to teaching at the college. I feel disconnected from the world in summers as I have too much time off (I know it’s tough!), probably more like no structure and place I need to be for 10 weeks! I really love teaching, I get to share some of my insights with (mostly sometimes) hungry young minds who still dream like it’s still totally REALLY possible. They think big and crazy (like I do!). Can you say the same? Do you still dream FULL ON, no holds barred? Or have you settled into a “comfortable” not too challenging rhythm. As comfortable as it may be, we need change and growth and new things to really thrive and live like it means something.

Remember, “This is not a practice life!”, we don’t get a redo, or “scene 2”. This is it! Live it like you mean it, like it counts, like you just thought you had terminal cancer and will die in 60 days. If you don’t love your life or are like, “it’s there, you know, not bad, etc”. If that’s what you say, get uncomfortable, take a class, go on a date with a dicey person, say something or do something bold. Don’t let your life fade to “average”. You weren’t meant for average, don’t even try it’s so unbecoming! So go out there live like you mean it, I DOUBLE DARE YOU!

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LIFE: TAKE-IT!

“Life is but a gift” Before you roll your eyes and tune out, please don’t! I know it’s clichéd and in this world of short attention spans that’s a no-no, but bear with me!There’s no easy way to say this: a close young (34 years old, I believe) friend of a family member has been diagnosed with stage 2 terminal pancreatic and liver cancer. Upon visiting his doctor 3 weeks ago with generalized pain, within 2 days the doctor asked him to get his financial affairs in order as he had but weeks to months to live. He is the proud father of a one year old daughter. I share this with you because it has been in my life’s forefront for the last few weeks, and I always write about what is important and very present to me.

I tell you this to use it as a backdrop for a few points I keep wrestling with myself.

  1. The first issue is obviously about living our lives in every moment as if this day was a gift and definitely not to be taken for granted but that one is obvious.
  2. Secondly, we were only given one body for this life. It has to last us for the whole journey and be as trouble free as possible so we can enjoy the years with full vitality and power. Sadly, most people treat their bodies very poorly, packing them with unhealthy food, sedentary movement habits (the body does best in motion) and worst perhaps of all is stress (external and self-created)
  3. Take chances and do the things you know you will regret if you don’t do them. Don’t live in a safe, “everyday is the same, let’s play it safe” bubble, you and the world deserve better.
  4. Do not ever give more than passing credence to what a health practitioner tells you about your health. Yes, they are experts on disease, but no they don’t know you, how you heal, etc. I believe what the doctor above said to the patient to be literally criminal. As smart as doctors are, what they give you is an informed opinion but not the truth. So many people have had “terminal” diagnoses and decided to focus and visualize on how their bodies were destroying invaders. It is now being taught to young doctors, don’t wait until yours gets the (late) memo. Once you accept someone else’s vision of your life, your subconscious makes it real and brings it.

To this young man I wish all the best and a “miraculous” (to science anyway) complete and full recovery, join me in sending your positive vibes!

That is all.

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Three 18 Hour Driving Days : Totally Worth it!

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a young (early 20’s) person about what they did on their week off. I was pleasantly surprised!

This person decided driving three days straight for 18 hours a day from Toronto to Banff with her boyfriend was an adventure of a lifetime! The fact that they would be in the gorgeous mountains for ONLY 3 DAYS would have stopped most people (including even myself truth be told, I’m working on it!). It didn’t stop them and they had a life-altering experience. Any of you who have been in that area will concur, it is world class, beautiful part of this great Canadian land. People fly from around the world to see Banff, it’s that incredible!

This was a great experience for this lovebird couple, I believe the boyfriend is from Australia or New Zealand. Either way those people know how to have fun and follow adventure! Crocodile Dundee?! Steve Irwin!? Passion and love of and for the adventure, pure and simple! It isn’t always pretty, comfortable or easy but darn doesn’t it completely change you every time you do something totally new. You grow in a new way and are better for it, in all your life areas!

I did tell this person and many around that this is what life is all about. These types of decisions (unpopular, illogical, uncomfortable, dangerous) are the ones that make us who we are.

I hate to sound like a bad “motivational speaker” (can I tell you how much I dislike the idea of “motivating someone”, motivation is from within, I can reframe and honor the client’s values, but they find their own motivations!). But the journey to get to the goal is part of the “JOURNEY” of the experience.

As pretty as those mountains surely were, I’ll bet the weird Chinese food in the dive bar/motel east of Estevan, Saskatchewan (or some other random event/location combo) will be more memorable. Those jokes and stories exchanged, perhaps the love strengthened made for a connection for life.

I know my two copilots on the driving trips to California and back would tell you we have a deep bond that was created on those journeys.

They say you can’t walk a mile in another “man’s” shoes. Trust me walking that mile next to and chatting and connecting is just as good, plus your feet don’t hurt!

This from Kathy at “ask.com” I love the two definitions:

 “During the time that Rome was the power in the known world, a roman soldier could legally require any one to carry his pack for a mile, Jesus suggested you carry it a second mile as a sacrifice, gift or to have a greater understanding if the others lot.

First Migratory Americans have been credited with the origin of the phrase suggesting you can’t really understand someone else unless you live their life, walk in their shoes so to speak!”

What unpopular, uncomfortable, illogical decision or journey awaits you? Take it and do it! Trust me the world will be a better place upon your return! I just booked two weeks to Argentina at Christmas to meet a mysterious, sexy woman, how’s that for living dangerously! I dare you, actually, I double dare you, do something crazy! Your life will thank you, I love and openly accept postcards!

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Knock one off Your Bucket List!


I won’t bore you with why you should have a bucket list (Unbelievably great film “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman), how critical they are to stretch and reconnect with a meaningful life and path. I’m sure since you are reading this you are already an expert on living authentically and meaningfully.

Last weekend in Mont Tremblant, I crossed one of my bucket list items off. As with most such experiences it’s the people along the way that make the experience that much more powerful, insightful and memorable. I went DOGSLEDDING! I love dogs, own one, and from just a young lad reading jack London’s “White Fang” I have had a fascination with dog sledding. So I signed up for the afternoon as the other persons in my group decided a second awesome day of skiing was their delicious life poison of choice.

I booked the “Mountain” adventure here:
http://www.aventure-ecotourisme.qc.ca/producteurs/aventures-banquise

It was surreal, sublime and simply life-changing. As if the universe wanted to supercharge my bucket list event, I was chosen to ride and pilot the lead sled with the husband half-owner of the company (his wife was the lovely instruction before the event person). He was an incredible person in so many ways. His huge heart burst for his team of 69 dogs pulling 5 sleds of eager adventurers. Incredibly, he could tell which dog was doing what by their barks and howls! The 69 dogs were descendants of two original dogs.

The experience of piloting these sleds and helping the dogs up the hills is as connected to nature as I’ve been in a while. I felt as an adventurer would on the Iditerod, Alaska’s world famous 1000 mile (covered in 9 days!) dogsled race.

So, as homework for you this week, I challenge you to a) Begin your bucket list (if you don’t have one and 2) commit to doing one of those items in the next 6 months! Your most Brilliant Self will thank you and you will become a better person. We need better people. Better yet do it for yourself , be selfish.

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