"The first source of positive tension is a compelling goal that pulls you because of its desirability and magnitude."
Words paint a thousand pictures, through stories, tales, and more. Creating imaginary worlds to jump into and explore.
Once upon a time…how those words can still conjure up the magic of childhood for many of us when our parents would read us books at bedtime. Perhaps you are a parent and are reading books to your little ones again.
Words are essential for all of us and have the power to build you up or tear you down. They can spark a war or negotiate peace.
Most adults still find it challenging to find the right words for the right moments.
And many adults still fail to understand the impact of what leaves their mouth, their pen or their keyboard…
Could it be possible that reading a book like this with the children in our lives could help raise the consciousness of ourselves AND our children?
The young at heart can also hear simple truths from this book, so get your cup of tea and nestle into your armchair to read this book’s deceptively simple message on how your words each day will change your world.
Illustrations by Eevi Jones
"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."
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:
- Work ⇔ Relationships
- Work ⇔ Health
- Work ⇔ Spiritual Growth
- Work ⇔ Personal Interests
- Relationships ⇔ Health
- Relationships ⇔ Spiritual Growth
- Relationships ⇔ Personal Interests
- Health ⇔ Spiritual Growth
- Health ⇔ Personal Interests
- 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.
In person events provide one of the most in-depth learning experiences that is almost impossible to recreate in a virtual setting.
Last month, Phil M Jones did an event for American Equity in Las Vegas. When we chatted after the event, he said that he "felt safer at every part of that event than he does getting supplies from the grocery store." We asked him why and thought that his answers might be of interest to all of you who are seriously re-looking at your in-person events.
WE ASKED THE CLIENT: How much extra effort/burden did all of your protocols put on your team/company?
And, we are very grateful that his client gave us his perspective as well which you'll also find below.
PS: a big shout-out to Speakers Spotlight for connecting Phil with their American Equity client!
KAREN: Was there anything your client at American Equity did to make you feel safe prior to the event?
PHIL: Prior to the event there was a level of diligence that really helped to give confidence that 2 things were being taken very seriously. One was the well-being of all who participated in the event itself and second was an unrelenting passion for creating a fabulous experience for attendees.
Making the effort to ensure all attendees could show a recent negative test was a huge reassurance in their dedication to safety, especially when backed up with not only their persistence in securing and documenting my own personal result, but also their numerous steps at the event itself.
KAREN: What happened when you arrived in Vegas? Was there something special that was done for you at the airport? with the car service? upon your arrival at The Cosmopolitan?
PHIL: As a solo traveller, I feel that typically I can navigate my own logistics to avoid too many unknowns, but the airport meet and greet removed an additional layer of human interaction that was very welcome.
KAREN: What type of protocols were implemented on-site for the attendees and yourself that made you feel safe and still like a human being?
PHIL: I think this is where things really shined. They created a dedicated space for their event and attendees. The main event hall, the lobby areas plus all the food and entertainment amenities were all private to event attendees only, were incredibly spacious and even the fact that a dedicated member of staff was serving coffees from the urn, plus dedicated staff were creating custom food plates, made a welcome and comforting change to the free-for-all of many past events.
When these steps were added to a well communicated and respected, colored lanyard, social distancing guideline, plus ample space for all attendees having their own dedicated desk space in the meeting room - there seemed to be ample space and respect to converse and communicate freely while being at a comfortable social distance.
Finally, there was an unwritten respect and grace that all presenters and on site staff had for all protocols - nobody was cracking jokes at the seriousness being taken - regular moments were taken to re-communicate the protocols to all attendees - and it was mostly normalized without judgement. This resulted in people seemingly accepting the rules as opposed to debating their place - this made for far more meaningful conversations.
KAREN: How valuable do you think this in-person event was for re-connecting and learning for the attendees?
PHIL: In-person events provide one of the most in-depth learning experiences that is almost impossible to recreate in a virtual setting. I am talking about peer to peer commentary, reflection, reinvention and creation. It is essential to spend time learning from the real experiences of others and challenge everyone’s thoughts by presenting them with new areas of focus.
A great speaker does the important job of sharing new ideas and then in turn starting new conversations - in-person events then develop those conversations, turning them into shared experience, collaborative thinking and then help create lasting change.
So many people are lacking inspiration, direction and purpose right now as well as a shared frustration. An in-person event can help deliver solutions to all those problems, with attendees leaving empowered, inspired, belonging and re-energized.
KAREN: Do you have any advice for anyone who is re-thinking their in-person event?
PHIL: The start of EVERY event is the audience and the responsibility for all of us in the industry is to deliver experiences that change their world. If you can still work within some very real constraints to create a life changing experience then fighting to achieve that, as opposed to picking the option of re-scheduling or streaming recorded content online, could well be worth the extra effort and energy.
Not ALL events should run - but we all know that GREAT events are one of the most powerful tools we all hold a part in to change our world.
WE ASKED THE CLIENT: How much extra effort/burden did all of your protocols put on your team/company?
JOHN LICKTEIG, AMERICAN EQUITY: I will say there was a lot of extra effort that went forth in planning this event and was completely different from events I’ve done in the past. However we wanted to make sure all of our attendees felt safe in the environment they were in and I think my company delivered that flawlessly. We outlined and communicated all of the protocols that were set in place in order to host this live event.
How important are your words? Is it possible to change the outcome in sales or in in your relationships when you change just one word?
Bestselling author of, “Exactly What to Say,” Phil M Jones says that is exactly what happened to Jessica, a client of his who is in the real estate world. During his phone call with her, she explained that for a period of time in her business the world of real estate had gone “crazy.” Crazy time to buy, crazy time to sell – the result was that people started behaving kind of crazy.
She decided to change the word “crazy,” that she used to describe the real estate environment, to the word “rapid.” By using this new word, she realized that the time to buy was now, that people needed to act quickly. As a result, her customers realized instantaneously that the time was now to be making decisions, that this was the moment to respond – there was no time for indecision. It changed her world by changing one word.
Think about how you’ve been describing the last 12 to 18 months in your world. Challenging. Stressful. Refreshing. Awakening. Has the adjective you’ve been reaching for to describe what you’ve been through something that is serving you today? Or, is it merely commentary from the past on a personal emotion? If you change that adjective to something more constructive, it will give you something to build on. Choose the word that best enunciates what you been through, that gives you a platform to build from and you will start building and stop looking backwards, wishing life was easier.
Remember this above all else: When you change your words, you can change your world. Jessica proved that in the example of moving from “crazy” to “rapid.”
How are you changing the words that are enunciating what you’re looking for in your organization right now?
"You Can Learn How to be More Confident and Comfortable in the Midst of Change"
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.
The daily choices and actions you make will inevitably shape your life greater than any external event.
Here are just 5 lenses that help me, have helped others AND could quite possibly help you too.
1. STOP looking for PRAISE and instead SEEK trusted feedback.
Sure, a compliment can add a warm, fuzzy feeling to a moment, but the relentless quest for acknowledgement is more likely to fuel anxieties and promote depression than genuinely build you up. Worse than this, is the people that you and I grant the power to influence your real life. Advice and opinions are certainly not the same things and choosing the specific individuals that can add perspective, experience and wisdom to help you shape your future is a discipline that can garner huge positive effects.
2. STOP counting your FOLLOWERS and SERVE the people that entrust you with their attention.
For full disclosure, this is still very much work in progress in my own world. Yet writing it down is just another process to help solidify a new habit. Ego is ever present and managing its power in a modern world is more challenging than ever. Businesses chase new clients, individuals are focused on meeting new people and success in a digital world is often validated by a quantity metric that is only ever satisfied when the never-ending objective of “more” is achieved.
Picture the difference you and I could manifest if that effort and attention was instead pointed at what already existed. Businesses obsessed about serving their existing relationships, you and I obsessed about the people we love that already exist in our lives. On social media, we all just got busy serving the people that have already clicked a button to commit that they are interested in what you have to say.
Just imagine how much more you could achieve with what is already within your reach.
3. STOP WORRYING about others and focus on your own HABITS instead.
The comparison trap is real. And adding to our deep-rooted desire to see how we fare alongside others is the other sabotaging human trait of judgement. When the focus is external, you can only ever follow your inquisition with feelings of disappointment or worthlessness.
A great mentor once shared with me the wisdom that if you are to ever compare yourself to anyone, you must compare the whole of you, with the whole of them. An almost impossible task, yet the very attempt has you quickly realising that your own progress lies in your own habits and any shortcomings you have versus others are almost always countered by a significant benefit you have by alternative.
4. STOP referencing the PAST as evidence that controls your FUTURE.
There are very few things in life I am certain of and one of those few things is uncertainty. I feel confident that nothing stays the same and what was once true is not necessarily true today. Life to me is like water. It’s fluid and ever-changing, and our choices become the vessels that contain said water.
It’s easy to avoid new choices and create conflict by stating things like “you said…” and “last time” as articles of evidence to support today’s decision making. The tough part is accepting that a thought or feeling in the past, is nothing more than a momentary opinion. Opinions can change through experience and allowing yourself to evolve your own opinions based on new experiences is key to your own organic growth.
To change your reality, you must first change how you think.
5. STOP CELEBRATING the finish line and start working on the STEPS.
Jeez this drives me crazy. I see it all the time and fail to understand why so many people make this choice. Achieving big things is typically hard work, yet too many people celebrate the outcome of the thing they are working on before they have done the work and as such, remove the possibility of the true celebration later. Further challenge from this set of actions is that the euphoric feelings of an early celebration are soon replaced with an anxious reality of what now needs to be done, without the pull of the future victory celebration to help you go the distance.
I remember a conversation with two dear friends in a bar in Boston, where one of them shared the old saying “It’s the second mouse that gets the cheese”. Think on that for a second. The vivid reality of a baited trap and the knowledge that the first mouse is likely to lose its life, and the more patient one gets a risk-free snack is a metaphor that may instil a little extra patience in how quickly you proclaim your next victory.
From achieving life goals with my family, career and personally – it seems to have served me better to put my head down and work on what needs to get done and save the real celebrations for when the real milestones are achieved. This as opposed to reaching straight for social media the moment a new idea is considered - a new venture is launched - or some good news hits my inbox.
Sometimes the applause can help you go the distance. Other times it can be a giant distraction that prevents you reaching your desired outcome.
cmi Carefully Selects Keynote Speakers that Empower Organizations
We are grateful for our incredible speakers. They work hard to transform the world, one person at a time. Their inspiration and leadership shines in best-selling books, videos, blogs, podcasts and incredible keynotes that launch profound change for leaders, individuals and organizations. From all of us here at cmi, we wish everyone in North America a very Happy Canada Day and 4th of July. We've earned it this year for sure!!! xoxo
"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.