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BHB3: Change is Just a Click Away

BHB3: Change is Just a Click Away

So this is the third attempt at the BHB3.  The first one was complete case of writer’s block, so that one found its way to the windows recycling bin.  That same morning while I was out for a run I decided I would cut the crap and be real. So I came home, grabbed my computer and the words started flowing.  Then technical issues ensued; which ended in losing the second draft.  Sound like the start of some of your days?  Sometimes the world is determined to either make you take a deep breath or tear your hair out.  Which will it be?   For me there is no choice, I don’t really have any more hair to loose.  But honestly, that sad attempt at humor may have more truth to it then you realize. My younger self would have chosen the latter.  I would have let a tough start to a day, a poor result on a test and especially a poor performance on the court ruin the rest of my day or more.

So this less than ideal start to the day seemed like a great segway into the topic of mind-set and managing emotions.  Robin Sharma put it best in his book The 5am Club (love this book BTW), change is hard at first, messy in the middle and beautiful in the end.  Obviously you can take a guess what phase of the process I’m in! It’s meant to be messy and hard.  Recognizing you need to make a change is easy, deciding to actually follow through is bloody hard.  As I was trying to explain in version 2 of this blog, I woke up this morning, felt like crap, wanted to stay in bed, got lunches ready and pestered (nicer description then yelling) my children to quit goofing around and get ready for school.  Super parenting Steve!

But this is where the right content can help shift your mindset.  After all the morning chaos I decided to go for a run. That’s when I noticed an email notification from The Rich Roll Podcast (staple on my Podcast list).  He was interviewing Mark Manson, the author of the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#@K.  I’ve actually seen this book numerous times and never given it a second thought.  But today, the Podcast title (Stop Compromising Yourself – Hope, Human Dignity & The Perils of Comfort) seemed to catch my attention.  It’s a great interview and Manson explains it perfectly, personal development should be hard and uncomfortable.  In the first version of this blog, I was simply trying to explain that finding content that resonates with you, is one of the first steps in starting this journey of personal discovery.  I totally agree with that statement, but looking back, I’m glad I didn’t post that version.  In all honesty, it was fluff and bull shit.  I was painting a picture of sunshine and roses.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, the changes I’ve made and the path I’ve chosen, but that doesn’t mean I never have bad days or negative thoughts; quite the contrary.  But the work I have done with my coach, the books I have read and the Podcasts I listen to, have helped me open my mind enough to recognize these non-productive thought patterns, and I now implement strategies to get my mind back on track.

You see it’s like formal meditation.  About a year ago I made an attempt at daily meditation, but after 4 or 5 days I gave it up because I simply sucked at it. My mind was constantly going off in all directions.  “Focus on the breath”. I could do that for maybe 5 sec before I would begin wondering once again.  What I came to learn was the point is not to stay on track the entire time, the skill is recognizing you are not focusing on the moment and pulling yourself back.  It’s just like your mood day to day; it is completely unrealistic to expect yourself to be on all the time. Real growth is in your ability to simply accept you are off and take some form of action to change your state.  Simple right?  Well it is simple to write about, but actually changing your state is a bit more challenging.

Sometimes, for no good reason at all, I’ll find myself in a shitty mood, and in a weird way, it’s rather familiar; like a safely blanket.  A year & a half ago that emotional state, although completely destructive and unproductive, was home base for me.  Yes this is one of those “unopened” chapters in my life that I talked about in BHB1. For the most part I was always on at work and in social situations.  But when it came to home, well I’m not proud to say that my family got the shit end of that stick.  Moody, stressed, anxiety ridden Steve, was a regular fixture at our home.   No one can keep up two separate personalities, it will catch up to you at some point.

What changed?  Significant emotional PAIN……. (that topic could be a full Blog by itself).  The pain of not being the husband and father I knew I could be, the pain of not liking my physical & emotional self, the pain of thinking about what would happen to my family if I didn’t do something.  It was honestly a bit of a rock bottom for me.  So in typical “all in” Steve fashion I started to seek out enormous amounts of information.  Podcasts, audio books, blogs, you name it.  I listened to material on improving my marriage, my physical fitness, my daily routines, diet, parenting and high performance.  I’ve listened to similar content in the past but this time was different, I was actively listening and actually implementing many of the things I was learning.

But don’t get me wrong it was boarder line exhausting and the ultimate test of my personal and family’s patients.  Some of the recommendations felt odd and forced, some came across insincere and just simply did not work for me, my marriage or my family.  But I also found some amazing content. The collection of information and ideas allowed me to create a bit of a personal roadmap for me and our life.   You see whatever path you choose, it needs to work for you and your family.  My plan forced me to seriously revisit our family goals and make life decisions that aligned with them.  It also forced some hard, uncomfortable conversations between Ang and I that resulted in some massive changes for our family.  For those of you who know us well, you have seen us make some major changes in the past year and a half.  They didn’t come of thin air, they are part of our plan and a direct result of those hard discussions. We have always said that the most important people to please in this world, besides ourselves, is our spouse and then our kids.  Without us there is no family, so we implemented changes which built on that focus. Everything else was just noise.

A lot of times when you feel like something isn’t going “right”, it’s hard to identify exactly what it is, how to change it and where to start.  Because of those conversations we knew that some things in our lives were not where they should be, so the starting point for me was change myself and my role as a husband.  A 14 min Youtube audio clip from Tony Robbins changed the way I viewed marriage and myself.  The changes I made in that area began to naturally affect other areas in my life as well and a year and half later you’re reading this.  I guess what I’m trying to get at is, if you want to change something in your life, everything you need to change is at your fingertips, a simple click on the Podcast icon on your smart phone could change your life.  But you need a “why” strong enough to take massive action.

Are you struggling with your diet, try Sean Stevenson’s Podcast, The Model Health Show.  Is your marriage or relationship not where you want it to be, Rachelle & Dave Hollis have a fabulous Podcast called RISE.  Looking for motivation or self-improvement? Try The Steve Weatherford Show, Max Out with Ed Mylette or the Marie Forleo Show. You see there is someone out there that will resonate with you.  I promise that if those personalities don’t work for you, you’ll find someone through their interviews that will.   Remember this is a starting point.  In some cases you’ll find the answers you’re looking for and in others you may realize you need more info or maybe you need to seek out professional help. The goal is to be open minded, get out of your head and actively listen to different opinions.  So don’t wait, search through some shows, download a few episodes and listen to them during your morning commute, walk etc… Tony Robbins always cuts through the fluff with his quotes, you’re either growing or dying.

Choose Growing,

Steve

 

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