“In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular.” ~Kathy Norris
Tomorrow morning I am starting a juice fast. For at least 60 days, or until I have gotten clear of gout symptoms, I will be drinking only freshly extracted juices and water. No coffee, no tea, no sodas – just fresh juices and water.
Why am I doing this? Because I’ve finally had it! I suffer from gout and when I say suffer – I mean it! Gout has been plaguing me for almost 10 years now and has become the defining characteristic and limitation of my life. (for those of you that don’t know – and you should be very happy that you don’t know!; Gout is a excruciating swelling of joints – typically toes or ankles. My last attack immobilized my left ankle and my right knee – until you can’t move them you may not realize just how much you use ankles and knees! I was left with a walking gait not unlike the recently reanimated dead so popular in horror films.)
I’ll talk much more in the upcoming entries about exactly what I am doing and why. For today, I wanted to get this commitment out to my readers and myself – I believe in the extraordinary power of public commitment.
Bye for now…Jack
“Living involves tearing up one rough draft after another.” ~Author Unknown
“One reason I don’t suffer ‘Writer’s Block’ is that I don’t wait on the muse, I summon it at need.” ~Piers Anthony
Last time I mentioned that I am creating a muse for myself. This time I will begin to go into that process in greater depth. Strap on your safety belts…here we go!
Project: Create the Ideal Muse (Creating a Great Muse in probably good enough for now and I can evolve it over time)
Deadlines: Created by January 1st, 2011; Tested, de-bugged, installed in myself and fully operational by February 1st, 2011.
- My memory of great writing sessions and what that felt like.
- My memory of poor writing sessions and what that felt like.
- The readily available information (thanks to the internet) from other famous writers about writer’s block and what they did about it.
- The readily available information from other famous writers about what it was like when they were in a great writing place – what I am going to call for now: a place of connection and flow.
- NLP and my ability to model excellence in other people.
- That fact that I am really fed-up with not being more productive in my writing.
- My compelling vision of how my writing and speaking business life can be once I am writing freely, consistently and well.
Definitions of Success: How will I know that I have successfully achieved my result? How and what will I measure to know that I have a created a great muse for myself?
I’ll talk more about this next piece more next time.
Bye for now…Jack
“For hundreds of years people have talked about artists having inspiration, but often, some persons would say, write us a symphony or write us a song, on commission. The artists would come up with a masterpiece without waiting to have their muse inspire them.” ~Tom Glazer
Muse…Noun: The spirit that is thought to inspire a poet or other artist; a source of genius or inspiration. ~ from Ancient Greek Mythology
I have been spending an every greater part of my business life writing. This is certain to be a permanent change and I have been working diligently, sometimes intelligently, to make myself a better and especially quicker writer. Some days I am great. Some days I would need to improve quite a bit just to be terrible. It is well past time to make the great days much more common and the terrible days mostly a thing of the past.
Over the next few entries I am going to talk about creating an ideal muse…in some NLPish terms, creating the perfect set of nested and related emotional states and beliefs and I am even going to create an artificial entity – an ideal muse. Once I create it, then I will start to use it, to use this newly created muse on a daily basis, and then share my results with you…I expect it to be fun and effective!
For now, read this article from the Washington Post, written by Stephen King, where he talks about his muse…just excellent!
Till next time…Jack
When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why God? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, “There’s just something about you that pisses me off.” ~Stephen King
“Learn to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” ~Julia Child
I recently had the pleasure of reading “My Life in France” written by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme, the grandnephew of Julia’s husband – Paul Child. Wow! I had a great time reading this book and there were many wonderful life lessons that jumped out of this autobiography at me. Come back soon and see how you and I can improve ourselves by learning from Julia Child’s incredible life.
Till next time…Jack
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ~Julia Child
“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” ~Colette
When I was younger, the ink barely dry on my University diploma, I was very focused on achieving goals. Like many others, I wanted to earn a lot of money, live in a great home and drive the right car. I was sure that once I achieved these things – then I would be happy and you know what? I did achieve them, rapidly, and I was happy – at least for a little while.
This all sounds okay doesn’t it? I set goals about things that were important to me, took action, learned and adjusted, took more action and eventually I achieved these goals and felt great, a real sense of accomplishment, once they were done. So what’s the point here – what’s the issue?
The issue is that I was miserable and/or unhappy much of the time that I was working towards my goals. I wasn’t miserable or unhappy because I had to be – I often felt unpleasant emotions because those were the rules that I operated under! I used pain to drive myself to achievement – and I only allowed myself to feel great once things were done.
Achieve then be Happy or Happily Achieve?
I can clearly remember the day that I realized I had a choice about how I motivated myself and that I actually could choose different rules that enabled me to feel great (or ecstatic or blissful or endlessly curious or expecting the best or any combination of these and many other positive emotions) while I was working towards my goals. What a revelation!
I was early into my NLP training, now nearly 20 years ago as I write this, and we were looking at the structure of effective motivation strategies. I will get into topic in great detail in future entries, but for today, here is my point and my question: How do you choose to feel while you are working towards your goals? Do you make sure that you feel great along the way or are you working to get things done and then you will feel great?
Till next time faithful readers…Jack
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet.” ~James Openheim
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ~Diana Scharf Hunt
Over the next four months or so, I am going to be sharing on this blog many of my top techniques for achieving goals – both personal and professional goals. Much of this is material that I will be including in my book about goals and achievement that will be released in September of 2011, but you will get to see it first here. These will be the exact same tools and strategies and tips that I use today with my high-end executive coaching clients – information on goal achievement that I have tested and refined over more than 25 years as a coach. I am going to deliver this life enhancing information in small and easily assimilated chunks. Be sure to come back here often or subscribe to my RSS feed – I promise it will be time very well invested.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ~attributed to Leonardo da Vinci
“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~Marsha Norman
Is it time to share your dreams? Maybe. (Sharing dreams with a friend is a wonderful way to play and sort thru dreams and see which ones are ready to move from dream to goal.) If you have a recurring dream, one that excites you and you think it might be time to go after it, maybe. If you are also fortunate enough to have a friend or partner that will willingly hear your dreams, keep them safe as your secret to share, hear the desires hidden behind the dream – no matter how silly the dream itself may sound, and then will reflect back to you gently with their own insight added; then yes it is time.
Do you have this kind of person in your life? Count yourself amongst the lucky if you do. They are quite rare and if you have someone like this in your life, I hope you are nurturing them.
Are you this kind of person in someone else’s life? It is not an easy role for most of us and it certainly didn’t come naturally to me. But wouldn’t it be a real gift to the world to become this kind of person for someone that you care about?
Next time, I’ll begin to talk about going from dream to goal – they aren’t the same thing.
Till next time…Jack
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~Anatole France
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop on the South side of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have just finished walking for an hour around Lake Calhoun, one of the beautiful string of lakes and parks that help to make this city such a delight. Even though I am traveling on business here today, I made time for this walk – regular walking is a critical component to my achieving the goal that I shared last time. (The weather here is so nice today, it really was not a challenge at all to get myself out walking – today the challenge was to quit at an hour!)
I am going to be sharing just a bit more about my health goal for next year. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. First, I want to clearly state to the world, and of course myself, exactly what I am going to do. (The how I am going to do this comes later – I certainly don’t know all of the how yet, but I have faith that I will find it.) Second, some of the ways that I have formed this goal, and am now committing to it, may be of use to some of my readers.
To recap, last time I shared that I had committed to the goal of getting myself back in shape in the coming twelve months. I made this goal public on this blog to get leverage on myself. Getting leverage on yourself can be a very good thing indeed. So can making a public commitment to getting something accomplished. I realized today that I had not been very specific in the details that I shared about that goal. Here are those missing specifics:
- By July 1st, 2011, I will weigh no more than 195 lbs (dressed in summer workout gear including shoes). This is very specific.
- My bodyfat percentage will be no more than 15% and I will have this professionally measured by a personal trainer at my health club.
- I will also be very aerobically fit. I will measure that this way: I will be jogging at least 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes each time at a pace no slower than 10 minutes per mile. Additionally, I will be bike riding at least 3 times per week for at least 1 hour each time at a pace no slower than 10 miles per hour.
Now that is a decently written goal for me and here are some of the reasons why:
- It is doable in the time frame (barely!).
- It is very measurable.
- It does take into account some larger aspects of my life. (I must be aerobically fit and has a healthy ending bodyfat percentage – it isn’t just about my ending weight.)
- Accomplishing this goal will open up lots of other aspects of my life as well.
Okay. Enough for today about my getting in great shape goal. Here is a question for you: Should you always share your goals publicly? I say no. Next time I’ll talk more about the why and why not of this.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” ~George Eliot
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” ~Plato
Thirteen years ago, almost exactly to the day that I am writing this, I quit smoking. I didn’t quit because I got sick. I was a very fit smoker; I would jog four miles at a nice eight minute per mile pace and then light up a cigarette as soon as I finished. I quit for other reasons.
It had been obvious to me for years that I needed to quit. The smell, the expense, the increased risk of cancer – all of these bothered me – but they weren’t enough. I finally stopped because my career as a public speaker, and my beliefs about what it truly meant to live a successful life, and the habit of smoking had become completely incompatible. I just could not continue to talk about success when I was addicted to a substance that I knew was not good for me. So, I quit. It was a horrific process, but I made it thru. Thirteen years later and I have never smoked again.
I did however gain weight after I quit smoking; I gained lots of weight. In the year after I quit smoking I gained nearly ninety pounds of bodyweight and I still carry most of this excess today.
So, I find myself back in a very similar situation to the one that I found myself in thirteen years ago: being overweight and the health consequences of that are no longer compatible with the rest of my life. I have committed to returning to my ideal bodyweight and body-fat percentage within the next twelve months. I don’t know all of how I will accomplish this yet, but I am going to make it happen. Wish me the best and follow along as I travel back in time to a much younger and fitter body. I will be updating my blog weekly with my efforts and my results.
Also, since I am releasing a book about goals and achievement next year, this seemed like a great time and place to use this leverage on myself for myself! More about this process next time.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“The greatest wealth is health.” ~Virgil