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Posts by Dan Thurmon

Harnessing Positive Tension in Your Life by Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | Oct 06, 2021 | Comments Off

"The first source of positive tension is a compelling goal that pulls you because of its desirability and magnitude."

When can “tension” in your life actually be a good thing? 
 
Tension is defined as the “state of being stretched tight.” Now, when you hear that, you can probably relate, being stretched to the limits of your ability, energy, or emotional capacity. When our bodies are tense, muscles become knots, and our minds can lock up like overloaded processors because you’re trying to handle or think everything at once.
 
Positive tension is the opposite, when there is a force stretching us for our benefit. Instead of being pulled in all directions, you’re being pulled in a primary direction, or feeling the pull between two important objectives.
 
Two ways you can change from negative tension to positive tension are:
 
1. Use your imagination and thoughts to assess your situation and your goals, letting go of negativity. 
Think of a sailboat. In order to tack into the wind, you need a direction, but if the sails are flapping or luffing, then it becomes a tense or frustrating experience. Yet apply positive tension, and the sails snap to become airfoils, propelling the boat on a confident course.
 
2. Identify your primary goals and adjust how they fit in your life between work, relationships and other areas.
The first source of positive tension is a compelling goal that pulls you because of its desirability and magnitude. It resonates with you, and causes you to stretch your thinking, adjust your sails, learn, and test new skills. It doesn’t feel like effort, so much as an expression of desire and determination, and the process makes you better along the way.
 
Positive tension also results because of the pull between two objectives, both of which are important to us. Work and family. Health and friendship. Limited resources and limitless desires. We may default to see life events as separate, competing for our time, energy, and finances. But the opportunity and abundance happens in the connection, or the tension between the forces of our life.
 
Creativity and inspiration happens because of constraints and exactness of circumstance. I call these connections between your work, relationships, health, spirit, and passions, your “lifelines.” And just like adjusting sails, strengthening and luffing the lifelines, gives a powerful shape to the “pull” of your life.
 
You begin to harness the headwinds to your benefit, because every gust provides another opportunity to test your resolve and improve your clarity about what really matters.
 
So this week, when you’re feeling pulled in multiple directions, recognize that this is a chance to improve your understanding and resourcefulness, using positive tension. You’re not being torn, you’re being honed for greatness. 
 

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How to Cope in a World that’s Off Balance by Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | Sep 09, 2021 | Comments Off

"Embracing an off-balance life allows our minds to learn the patterns that we have created in our life and to determine whether they are working for us, or not."

How are we coping? For many of us, not all that well. The world has become off-balance in ways that we thought were predictable. Mental health conditions are continuing to increase worldwide. There are 47.1 million people in the US, according to Mental Health in America (MHA), that are struggling with anxiety and depression. With statistics like this, it is more important than ever that we learn new coping strategies and new ways to find our life balance.

Bestselling author, Dan Thurmon offers life-changing strategies in his book, Off Balance On Purpose, that will help you cut through the malaise and helplessness you are experiencing about your job, your personal life, and other important aspects of your life. Let’s start with a fundamental question - how do you find the balance in a world that is completely off-balance? First, you must learn to accept the fact that life is not static, but is completely fluid by nature. Embracing an off-balance life allows our minds to learn the patterns that we have created in our life and to determine whether they are working for us, or not.

Next, all aspects of your life are connected to one another. You experience that when you have a personal issue that has made you upset or sad, or you are not feeling well, and it impacts your general mood and approach to life. Many experts and authors tell us that in order to achieve “life balance,” we must keep the various aspects of our life separate – or compartmentalized, like rooms in a house. This line of thought will lead to frustration as our life aspects are like the river, ever-changing and never static.

Understanding what the 5 spheres of influence are in your life will help you see the shape of your life pattern and help you to better integrate your life aspects between the spheres.

The 5 spheres of influence are:
  • Your Work
  • Your Relationships
  • Your Health
  • Your Spiritual Growth
  • Your Passions/Personal Interests

If you look at each of these as 5 different pursuits, you’re always going to be overwhelmed – there’s never enough time. But, when you see these 5 spheres as interconnected, you will see that small or big adjustments can be made to the connections between them. I call the connections between these spheres, lifelines.

The 10 lifelines are the key to a more fulfilling life and rewarding life – they are:

  1. Work Relationships
  2. Work Health
  3. Work Spiritual Growth
  4. Work Personal Interests
  5. Relationships Health
  6. Relationships Spiritual Growth
  7. Relationships Personal Interests
  8. Health Spiritual Growth
  9. Health Personal Interests
  10. Spiritual Health Personal Interests

When you began to anticipate, prepare for, and correct breaks along your lifelines, you will begin to see a more fulfilled life. How about work and health? Does your job support you to be healthy or challenge your health in certain ways? If so, what are you going to do about that?

Evaluate the lifelines between your 5 spheres of influence - are there changes you can make that will bring more harmony between the aspects of your life? Are there new ways of thinking that will eliminate negativity that is holding you back in one area, while impacting another one? Your mind is powerful – what you think is what you are. Change the patterns and choose to become off-balance, on purpose. You will be amazed at the happiness that is within your reach.

 

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How to Turn Chaos into Positive Chaos by Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | Jul 27, 2021 | Comments Off

"You Can Learn How to be More Confident and Comfortable in the Midst of Change"

What if CHAOS isn’t a bad thing? How can you harness constant change into a force for growth and opportunity? Dan Thurmon, author of Off Balance On Purpose, teaches how to excel in uncertainty and take confident action right now to create amplified, desirable future outcomes.
 

This is a challenging time for organizations and leaders to adapt and keep moving forward in the ever-changing chaos of the world around us. The one thing we have learned in the last year and half is that we can’t predict what’s coming next and many things are often out of our control.

 
Gain insights and tools to transform your C.H.A.O.S. from “Challenging, Hectic, Anxious, Overwhelming Stress” into “Challenging, Healthy, Aspirational, Ongoing Symmetry.”
 
Learn to see clear patterns in what now appears random, and take intentional action to shape them for your benefit!
 
When you apply these Positive Chaos principles to your personal life, your work and your world, you will be more confident and comfortable in the midst of change. You will be more resourceful and precise with the ability to succeed and lead others.
 

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How Do You Prepare for Returning to Work Post-Covid by Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | Jun 23, 2021 | Comments Off

"It’s the stretching to what’s next, or what’s different that improves you, whether you plan it or not!"

Millions of people around the world are experiencing or will soon experience the reality of returning to a physical workplace. For some, this is a welcome and joyous, overdue event. And for others, quite the opposite is true.

Either way, as you reintegrate into work, or lead your staff to do so, I would wholeheartedly recommend that you do it with a very intentional, personal plan.

You’re not going back to work. You’re upgrading your workplace systems. You are bringing lessons and skills you’ve learned while away, which you may not even fully appreciate yet, back into a physical realm where you and your improved skills will intersect others and their personal improvements. Expect it!

For instance, I am now returning to stages, audiences, and in-person events, after many months away. And what I’m discovering is that rather than feeling that I’m relearning what was, I’m bringing so much more to the table. More content, more awareness, deeper understanding, more appreciation, more attention, and a style that is now imbued with a new confidence.

Look. The hard stuff you go through makes you stronger, a point I make about juggling. When I was working on four, my three ball juggling got better, and I never got the hang of four, until I tried five. It’s the stretching to what’s next, or what’s different that improves you, whether you plan it or not!

You’ve been stretched and improved by what you’ve been through. Own it. Claim it, with specificity. And step back in confidently, and curious for your enhancements. If you are leading others, have a conversation about what’s better now, and set an expectation that you’re about to experience new and profound breakthroughs as a result.

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How do you deal with uncertainty? by Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | May 17, 2021 | Comments Off

"When you lean into the uncertainty, create a new action and go off-balance on purpose, you position yourself for greater success."

Imagine doing a handstand on a podium. Feel your body trying to balance against the wobble, as you try to keep your body straight in the air. After all the effort of trying to position your body up in the air, while the podium shifts back and forth, you are still in the same place, only a lot more exhausted. This is how many organizations and teams deal with uncertainty.

When your teams are fatigued, anxious and productivity has slowed, you feel the foundation is shifting and things feel unstable. It’s easy to hold on tight to the same processes and strategies, but this is a mistake and will keep your people from being agile and rising to the top.

In every uncertainty, there is a huge opportunity to create something extraordinary. When you lean into the uncertainty, create a new action and go off-balance on purpose, you position yourself for greater success.

Balance is not what you get. Balance is what you do.

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How to Find More Time - Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | Apr 14, 2021 | Comments Off

More than ever, we need to slow down and examine how we are working, living our lives, what goals are we setting and what are our expectations of ourselves and others? 

Watch Dan Thurmon use juggling (even glow-in-the-dark!) as a tool to highlight the patterns in the movements in order to teach us how to find the moments between our actions.

dan-jugglingballs

It’s hard to imagine that in order to find more time, we actually have to slow down. Doesn’t that somehow seem counterintuitive? The busier we get, the more we often try and speed up, only to realize that life speeds up with you and never tires. You will lose that race, eventually. But, there’s more time than you think. By slowing down, you can observe the moments between your actions.

Each moment is a chance to appreciate something, to choose how to react or respond, or to internalize it so you can express it to someone else. All you ever get is the moment. So, as we go forward, we need to slow down.

Take juggling, for example. There’s a rhythm and a pattern in the movements and the basic principle is how long the object will be in the air and where it is going to land when it comes down. One throw, one thought, one deliberate action at a time. One moment.

The opportunities in life are like the moments between the throws and the catches. Your life right now is how you’ve utilized the moments in your past. In order to create new growth, we need to slow down and recognize the patterns. Can you see it?

Find the patterns in your life and see what pace you have set by how high you decide to take the throws, and how high you decide to live your life. Find that infinite loop, that pattern in your life, to understand how you can grow.

 

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Dan Thurmon Spectrum of Certainty

By Dan Thurmon | Dec 07, 2020 | Comments Off

At any moment in time, including this one, there really exists a sort of a spectrum of certainty. There are some things we're going to know for sure, absolutely. And others that are unknowable, there's a huge amount of uncertainty. And that's okay.

Dan Thurmon Spectrum of Certainty

All we ever get you to see is some certainty. So the question is, how can we operate every single day from this place of only having some certainty, and still be optimistic and confident, and joyful, and connected and fulfilled in what we do, and for in your case, to be the Great Leader, that can not only embody that for yourself, but give it to others, because you can't give away what you don't have. So here are three simple strategies that I promise you'll remember. And if you do this, you will have a better time navigating the future, and these moments.

Spectrum of Certainty

 

The first is to claim your certainties. You got to claim the certainties that you have. And you know a lot for sure. You know, who you are, you know your name, you know your past, what you love, who you love. You know, your purpose, your mission, your vision, and your incredible core values. And you know, that what you do matters so much, and your life matters, but it won't last forever. So we have to get busy living and becoming who we are at this present moment.

 

The second thing we need to do is to embrace the unknown. Right? Embrace the unknown and what that means is, you're going to be in this place, obviously, where some things you don't know. And rather than seeing the future as uncertain, I want you to think about it as unfolding. There are some things that we just don't know now. And they will be unfolded and revealed in time. Sure, we participate in making that happen. To help that happen, you can create and shape the future as you go. But imagine, for example, if you are reading a great book, or watching a fantastic movie, and for whatever reason, you couldn't enjoy yourself, unless you knew the ending in advance. It sounds crazy, right? And yet, this is how most people live their lives. So they say "when I'm dealing with only some certainty, I've got to know how this is going to work out" right? If I have a guarantee of success before I'm even willing to be comfortable, or to even start or try something new. But if you embrace the unknown, you see the future is just unfolding, and you're an active participant, and you become much more okay with that.

 

And then the third thing is to create more certainty, more certainty. And the way you do this, is you engage with the test. Now, our doctors have just told us a lot about the testing. And we know that testing has been a huge part of the psychology and the mindset and the language. And you probably have felt like you have been undergoing a test during these past few months in a new way. The question is, how do you engage with that? Is it a test coming at you? Or do you choose rather to test yourself? It's an intention.

 

Intentionality. And what you're saying really, is that in the midst of all this unknown and all that's uncertain, and things that might be going poorly or, you know, not necessarily in the direction that we wish them to go. That there is something, I can do right now at this present moment, to create a different trajectory in my life, that I know some things many things are going to be getting better in my life and in my leadership abilities and my skills.

Dan-Thurmon

 

Techniques to Connect Effectively on Camera

By Dan Thurmon | Sep 15, 2020 | Comments Off

 

Read instead of watch:

Here's some of the principles that we typically talk about regarding on-camera excellence and building your on-camera persona. I feel like there's a version of us that we have to think about when we're on screen, and how that version comes across.

You know, one of the things we've all heard is “You’ve got to love the lens”! You’ve got to look right into the lens of the camera, and it’s just so unnatural. It's counterintuitive because we want to watch people and so you find you watch their little pictures on screen and see what they're doing and what their body language looks like. That's what we've been told in all our training classes for so long.

“You’ve got to watch people” but it's not accurate. If you want them to feel like you care about them, like they really matters to you, you have to ignore their picture completely. Just pour yourself into that camera lens and let them watch your picture.

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What Happens When You Lean Into Uncertainty

By Dan Thurmon | Jan 29, 2020 | Comments Off
Up Your Commitment - Dan Thurmon

When you teach what you've learned, you actually learn it much more deeply. You give language to what you already understand. But don't diminish what you already have learned. 

I see over and over again, people who say, this is my struggle, this is my limitation. When you say that you essentially reinforce it, and you make it so much more difficult to move on. Life's too short to keep starting over with something so important and meaningful. We have to plant the flag that says, I've got this, I've learned this lesson. This is my new base camp. This is the point with which I'm going to start and then reach for something even greater. So I can continue that journey of evolution.

If you go down that road, you will get to a point where you can take on the daunting challenges. If you limit yourself to what's comfortable, you deny yourself what's possible. In other words, I've just upped my commitment, are you going to up yours?

When you do, you have to get very specific about the goal. It's not just to catch, it's more specific. That's important, and they're all different. But the moment one of them is out of my hand, it's also out of my control. I need to let it go. So I can handle the next one with equal attention and commitment. 

If you feel overwhelmed, it's probably from the inability to disengage from what is already out of your hand. You must let go in order to get a grip. Notice it's not some incredible, unbelievable show-stopping moment. What it is, is a meditation of concentration, excellence, performance, and focus. I'm looking up, I'm slowing down. I'm handling each one uniquely. And then those moments give me opportunities to expand into new variations or opportunities.

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How to leverage your past to prepare for the future

By Dan Thurmon | Oct 16, 2019 | Comments Off

 

How do you leverage the trajectory of your life and step more confidently into the unfamiliar? 

When I describe the work that I do for organizations and individuals, sometimes I put it like this: I help people leverage the past and be more present in order to create a better future. That's it. Life is trajectory. You're either on an upward trajectory of improvement, or a downward path of decline. Growth happens when we seize the present moment. But it's often precipitated because we found a new way, a better way to leverage our past. 

For example, perhaps you're facing change in your life right now. Maybe it's a difficult decision you're trying to make or a challenge that you must overcome. Maybe it's related to your job, your family, your health, your finances or a passion you feel compelled to pursue. You're not sure what to do because this seems so different than anything you've encountered in the past. When we perceive change as completely new and different, it puts us at a huge disadvantage, and almost guarantees that you will miss opportunities and make unnecessary mistakes. So when people tell me, “What I'm about to do is so completely new for me,” I usually respond by saying, “what you are facing right now is extremely similar to what you've already experienced.”

Leverage the similarities 

When I was in my late teens and early twenties paying my way through college by performing, I was constantly going into new venues and new situations—whether I was the opening act for a major recording artist at a music festival, or performing for CEOs after dinner at a corporate function, or as the fire juggler on the ledge of a building outdoors at night. Hundreds of different challenges that were exciting, because I'd have to, in a matter of moments, evaluate my surroundings, my audience, their expectations, my skill set and find a way to rise to the occasion. 

How did I do it? By leveraging the similarities. I haven't done this before. But this challenge reminds me in some way of situations I've moved through in the past successfully, or lessons that I've learned along the way. By associating to those positive reference points, I was able to step into the new moment with familiar confidence. So again, if you're thinking right now that what you’re going through is completely new to you, I strongly suggest that it isn't. 

What experiences from your past have prepared you for this one? What lessons have you learned that do not need repeating? What skills have you developed that enable you to rise to this challenge right now? I promise you, you've been preparing for your future all of your life. It is time to leverage your past and step into this moment with the confidence that you are ready. Take the confident step from yesterday to today, knowing that your footing is solid, and your trajectory is moving ever upward. 

Dan Thurmon and his keynote Off Balance On Purpose excites audiences with an interactive performance while giving a multi-dimensional view of success. He doesn’t stand behind a podium and talk about dealing with fear and change – he does handstands on the podium to demonstrate what being uncomfortable and living off balance on purpose truly looks like. Your audience will talk about this presentation for years to come!

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