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Inspired Action Blog - Write 4 Life

Posted on
Dec 29, 2010 @ 05:57 PM

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New Year’s .... Choice or Chance?


Chance - Good Luck! 

May the winds of favor and good fortune find their way to your sails!


Choice you say!  Splendid! 

I’m a HUGE believer in CHOICE!  What do you choose for 2011? 

 

So often we look at our list of wants, dreams, desires and we ‘resolve’ to do it all... at once! 

 

We’re going to:

  1. Lose the weight, exercise, and get ‘in shape’
  2. Improve our finances, pay off our debt, curb our spending, save more
  3. Get ‘right’ with God and live a more spiritually enhanced life
  4. ‘Make time’ for ourselves
  5. Communicate more compassionately with our family and friends
  6. Redecorate our room, our home, our office - make them more inviting
  7. Perform better at work, get a promotion, land that ‘perfect’ job
  8. Vacation, play, dance, and experience all life has to offer with wild abandon

.....And the list goes on.  We want to do it all! This is a new year, a new beginning!  This is just the time to make it all happen.  We simply have to choose!  Well, yes, and no.  Yes, we do have to choose. AND, we have to act, behave, and execute in ways which support our choices.

 

First, I don’t believe it’s a good idea to resolve to ‘do it all‘ - at least not all at once. 

While I do believe in setting ambitious goals, I also believe we’re more effective when we focus and prioritize.  Choose one or two aspects of your life you’d really like to be different in 2011.  If you really work and succeed at affecting positive change in those one or two areas, you will certainly see a ripple effect of positive influence in all other areas of your life.

It’s important to set ourselves up for success.  While I don’t claim to have the perfect recipe for success, I do believe there are important ingredients we should all consider:

  1. Vision - where our purpose, passion, and desire connect
  2. Moment by Moment - where real choice and action live.. in the moment!
  3. Big Rocks (with space for the Pebbles & Sand)
  4. Mindset Matters - Understanding Our Motive(s)
  5. Attitude / Gratitude / The Story We Tell
  6. 1+1=3 (The power of YOU and your relationships)

 

For this blog we’re going to explore ‘Moment by Moment’ and ‘Big Rocks with Pebbles and Sand.’  I’ll work with the other ingredients as we move into the new year.  For now...

 

 

Moment by Moment

If you were to look at a stream of water coming out of your faucet, at first glance you see a steady stream, a continuous flow of water.  If you were to slow that stream down, really slow it down and take a much closer look, what you would see are millions, maybe trillions of tiny water droplets each following the other.  Now imagine each one of those tiny water droplets as moments in time.  Well, that’s where real CHOICE and ACTION live, in each and every moment.  We have the freedom and responsibility to CHOOSE!  Do the choices we make and the actions we take align with and support our desires?  Our wants?  Our resolutions?  In each and every moment we choose, and our choices either move us closer towards that which we aspire to achieve, or (our choices) move us further away.  Moment by moment by moment... we are in CHOICE and IN ACTION!  BE IN CHOICE and choose those actions and behaviors which move you closer to your wants, dreams, desires, and life aspirations!

Small example: If you want to lose weight and you’re in the check out line at Target, you will be faced with a choice:  your favorite candy bars will be conveniently in front of you, calling out to you... (mine are Twix & Milky Way).  For only .69 cents you can be enjoying the short lived pleasure of these treats... OR you can go back to the produce section and pick up an apple!  (Maybe you already have one in your cart.)  But right there and then, in the very moment of ‘checking out’ - you are in choice!  Which will you choose?  Which (choice) moves you closer to your desired outcome and which moves your further away?  Slow down, and then choose.

 

 

Big rocks (with space for the pebbles and sand).

Many of us have either heard or seen the example of how to fit a few large rocks, a lot of pebbles and even more sand into a medium sized jar.  At first glance you might think ‘it can’t all fit.‘  A child will often pour in the sand and the pebbles only to find there’s no room for the big rocks. The jar in this example is 2011 - a new year.  The big rocks are those one or two aspects of your life you absolutely want to affect positive change in.  What are they?  It’s up to you, but you need to make them a priority - put them in first!  Focus on these one or two areas with everything you’ve got.  When you’re forced to choose between making them happen, or not, make them happen!  Once you have these one or two big rocks in (your jar) you can pour in the smaller pebbles - these are your other life matters that while still very important don’t take the same kind of deliberate intention or focus as the rocks.  Lastly, pour in the sand.  The sand are all the small issues and ‘to do’s’ that easily take up the rest of the space in the jar, the sand quickly and easily fills up all the space between the big rocks and the smaller pebbles.  There you go, you have your most important priorities and new year’s goals contained within your jar of 2011!

 

New Year’s... Choice or Chance?  You decide!

 

Always my best,
--Todd


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Posted on
Dec 20, 2010 @ 04:20 PM

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Life lessons in the lyrics of a song from my 7 year old daughter’s play list…


I LOVE time with my daughter, Rebecca. 

I especially love the time when I give myself permission to slow down and truly appreciate, even honor, the moment(s) of BEing with her.  These moments go a long way to strengthen the fabric of our relationship - it’s a good thing.

 

“Yes Dad, can you put on Kiss & Tell by Selena Gomez, and can you play song # 13.”


The other day we were driving to Sunday school and listening to some music from my iPhone.  I ask Rebecca if there’s something specific she’d like to listen to.  “Yes Dad, can you put on Kiss & Tell by Selena Gomez, and can you play song # 13.”  OK then, she knows exactly what she’d like to listen to!  Sure sweetheart...

Pleasantly surprised!  I can’t speak for the entire album, but song # 13, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, rocks!  We played that song 6 or more times on our drive (it’s 45 minutes one-way to our synagogue so we had plenty of time).  We both were singing at the top of our lungs, shaking our heads, body, and arms to the beat of the song, not caring what anyone driving next to us might think - we were having a blast, being in the moment together!  You’ve probably driven by a car and witnessed the same sort of craziness!  After the second or third listen I started to appreciate the insight and wisdom this song shares with the world.  The lyrics tell a such great story - a great life lesson about believing in your dreams and holding onto those dreams regardless of what other people say or think!  We all know achieving our dreams isn’t always easy, but there’s really no value in listening to all the negative talk, all the neigh sayers, all the dream busters who don’t see it like we do.  It speaks of how we need to ‘tune into’ something far more positive, upbeat, and encouraging.

“Yeah Dad, it’s a lot like your business of Inspired Action"

In between one of our ‘jam session’ replays I take a minute or two to ask Rebecca if she knows/appreciates what the words in this song are saying?.  She says, “yeah Dad, it’s a lot like your business of Inspired Action - you have to believe in you first, you have to listen to yourself and not let other people tell you what you can or can’t do - right?”  I was floored!  Not only does my daughter have a healthy appreciation for part of what I do as an executive life coach, but she can also hear the real value and message from a pop song.  At 7 years old Rebecca has an incredible appreciation for the value of beliefs, for believing in herself, for KNOWing she’s capable of all she aims and aspires to achieve, AND what others think or say about her doesn’t have to influence or affect who she is and what she wants for herself!  I can only hope and pray that I’m able to help Rebecca hang on to those values and beliefs for herself as she grows up and the pressures of becoming a teenager don’t dampen her belief in her own dreams and aspirations.  You go girl!  Rebecca - YOU ROCK!

Where are there opportunities for you to live more in the moment, in the now? 

 What opportunities exist for you to slow down and really BE with someone you love, someone very special to you - son or daughter, husband or wife, Mom or Dad, sibling or best friend?  What could you learn?  What song can you share? Isn’t it interesting, and I think certainly unfortunate, that as we ‘grow up’ we let the thoughts and opinions of others influence our own goals, dreams, and aspirations way too much?  We let the world shape our thinking much more towards why something can’t happen instead of embracing our own ability to see how something CAN (happen).  Does it have to be like that?

Where are you letting others influence your own beliefs by what they think or say about your dreams and aspirations? 

Are they talking you out of what you know to be TRUE for you?  Are they neigh sayers - dream busters - convinced you don’t deserve what you want for yourself (likely because they don’t know very clearly what they want or dream of for themselves)?  And if they can’t see themselves achieving ‘success’ then they’ll do what they can to keep you from achieving success as well.  How well (or not) are their thoughts and ideas serving your pursuit and belief in your own dreams and aspirations?

Maybe you want to download song #13 from Selena Gomez’s Kiss & Tell CD, plan a short road trip, turn up the volume, and drive/dance like it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! 

I suggest everyone read the Lyrics to this song here --> Tell Me Somthing I Don't Know Lyrics

 

Happy travels!
- Todd


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Posted on
Dec 14, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

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WHAT ARE YOU GIVING BIRTH TO?


Birthing Process With plant

You’re not pregnant you say? Simply can’t be! You’re a male? Celibate? A virgin? Self-satisfying? Married?


Ok, I could go on but won’t, maybe I’ve gone too far already!   The point is... ‘We are all giving birth to something!’  Each new day we are unfolding something of ourselves.  A warm smile, a sincere ‘know you’re there’ hug (vs. the kind of hugs you get and wonder where the other person is because they’re afraid to wrinkle their shirt).  Perhaps you’ve incubated a really great idea and now is the time to bring it to the world, or possibly its an ‘in your face’ challenge to someone (maybe to yourself), a new you, a new idea, a new perspective, an old perspective that’s one day dustier than before, a hope, wish, dream, or DESIRE!  What are you giving birth to... today? 

In the spirit of full disclosure, my wife’s a labor and delivery nurse and I’ve experienced the delivery of my own two children (albeit from a different perspective than her - thank God!). 

 

While my language is somewhat real life, my challenge to you is to take the figurative equivalent to what you’re giving birth to and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where are you in the birthing process?
  2. How serious are the contractions?
  3. Are you committed to going the distance and really bring this ‘thing’ into the world?  Or, are you all too comfortable in your current surroundings?  Does the status quo have a controlling hold of you and what’s possible?
  4. Fearful of the impending pain and fear of not knowing how the world will respond?
  5. Do you feel the pain?  Are you going to fight the pain, or succumb/surrender to the pain and let it work its magic?
  6. Do you want an epidural or is it too late?
  7. Do you have help or are you going it alone?
  8. How’s your breathing? (Don’t forget to breath!)
  9. Too tired to push or can you give it one more go?
  10. Is what’s on the other side compelling enough for you to fight the fight?

 

Let me share my Birthing Process with you:
 I’m giving birth... to a really cool ‘Inspired Action Journal’ - it’s an idea I’ve been incubating for quite some time and it has officially gone to print and ships on December 17th!  I am thrilled! And nervous!  And inspired!  What will others think?  How it will it be received?  Will it have the kind of impact I hope for?  Will it make a difference in someone’s life?   I know the answer to that already - it makes a world of difference to me, in MY life.   I’m ‘delivering’ on a dream, desire, and aspiration of my own.  I’m embracing my own authenticity of who I am and the difference I want to make in this world.  I’ve had my moments of doubt, I’ve felt at times that I was all on my own, that it would be easier to just ‘give up’ and park this  idea back in the virtual garage of good ideas.  I’m am SOOOO glad I didn’t.  The feeling I have of accomplishment is amazing (I love those words - amazing accomplishment!).  The journal really embodies my love of great quotes and asking powerful questions as a life coach.  This journey of giving birth to an Inspired Action Journal has and continues to presence myself in an incredible place of truly knowing AND not knowing all at the same time!  (I’ll Write 4 Life about that idea another day).  Enough of me, let’s get back to you.

So, I assert we’re all pregnant in one way or another, we all have something we want to let out, to unfold and introduce into the world, to manifest as our own amazing accomplishment.  What is it for you?  What are you giving birth to?

May your labor be blessed in amazing accomplishment!

- Todd


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Posted on
Dec 06, 2010 @ 01:12 PM

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WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO (really)?


Who are you Listening to?

 

Think about how much we're broadcast to... by the TV, Radio, Billboard, Internet, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs, RSS feeds, iPods, friends, family, spouse, children, at work - your boss, coworkers,... all vying for your time, your attention, wanting (not necessarily needing) to be 'listened to' and be 'heard'. Sounds a bit overwhelming! What do you think they want you to hear? Whose agenda are they promoting? Whose truest interests do they have at heart? Who else really needs to be heard? Who else should you absolutely tune into? Curious?

 

 

Does it ever make you wonder just how much time you commit (or not) to listening... to you? To yourself? Not to the self defeating voices, saboteurs, or gremlins that doubt and discount your greatness, but to the voice, your voice, of (your) higher self?

  1. your voice of reason and especially wonder
  2. your voice of passion and purpose
  3. your voice of dreams and aspirations
  4. your voice of possibility

 

 

It begs the question, how do you construct a personal practice and commit the time to listen to yourself?

  1. Do you journal?
  2. Meditate?
  3. Work with a life or executive coach? (I know a really good one!)
  4. Do you evaluate your own life's balance sheet?
  5. Do you check the direction and desired destination of the path you're traveling?

 

 

Who are you Listening to?What would be different in your life if you actually took the time to really listen... to you? Not sure what questions to ask?

Listen a little closer - you'll hear the questions. Tune in without all the noise from the outside. What if you hear silence? What if? Every great painting began with a blank canvas - listen to the silence - you'll likely hear something amazing (I expect).

 

 

Take some time and tune in... to YOU! Enjoy!

--Todd


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Posted on
Dec 01, 2010 @ 01:34 PM

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Looking for Answers?


What you find depends a great deal on where you look, to whom you ask, and of course the power of your questions...


Where are you looking? 


So many of us ask some of life’s most important questions looking through a window, as if the answers are ‘out there’ somewhere.  And while we certainly may find inspiration and insight from looking outside, from the beauty of nature like a magnificent maple tree in full Fall colors, or the beauty and stillness of a snowfall onto that same tree a month or two later.  Asking important life questions looking through a window suggest the answers are ‘out there somewhere.’  They’re not, they’re inside, inside you!  If you really want answers to life questions that matter, that make a difference, that affect the quality and fulfillment of your life, don’t look for the answers ‘out there,’  look inside - you’ll be impressed with what you find.



To whom are you asking these important life questions? 


Are you asking others for the answers, for what they think is ‘right’ for you?    Yes, without a doubt, there can be great value in getting input, perspective, and ideas from others.  And, the true answers for yourself come from yourself.  So who you should you ask?  Yourself, of course.  No, it’s not always easy.  Rather than looking through a window, take a good long look in the mirror!  The longer you look, the deeper you get... into you... into who you are, who you want to be, what you want, what you want to do, the difference you want to make, the contributions you want to make.  The answers to these questions aren’t something anyone else can answer for you, and the answers won’t be found ‘on the surface’ of your personal exploration.  You’re going to have to invest some time looking in, looking deeper into a mirror which reflects your purpose, your passions, values, dreams, and aspirations that compel you to both stand for these things, as well as take action for them.  In need of a few answers?  Do you wish or hope someone else would make the decision, tell you what you need to do?  Maybe you could hire a ‘consultant’ who would sell you the answers?  Come on... get real.  If you’re living someone else’s life, or you’re letting someone else live yours, STOP!  This is your one shot, this isn’t a dress rehearsal, take the bull by the horns and go for it!  Live the life you imagine!  Live into the highest expectations you set for yourself!  Looking for Answers?  Look within!

 

The power of your questions can make all the difference! 


Do you know what to ask yourself?  Are there one or two questions you’ve been wrestling with for the longest time and still don’t seem to be making much progress towards an answer?  Are you asking the really hard questions which will yield the juiciest and most compelling answers for living your most fulfilled life?  Do the questions you’re asking open up an incredible space for you to explore, discover, and find the best answers for you?  Here is where working with professional life coach can really make a difference.  A professional life coach will ask powerful questions to help you open up a space of exploration, discovery, and yes, finding answers.  Your answers, found from within yourself, answered by yourself.  Interested in a test drive?  Most importantly, keep asking the questions of yourself, you’ll be amazed at how the answers can truly affect the quality of your life’s experience!  Live your very best life!

--Todd


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Posted on
Nov 22, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

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Shopping for YOU!


Shopping for YOUHow many of you have some degree of shopping on your agenda over the next few weeks?  Shopping for that perfect gift to give to someone you care about, or maybe a gift for someone you really could care less about but it’s the ‘appropriate’ thing to do?  Let me ask you something.  What gift could you give YOURSELF, that would absolutely rock your world but... can’t be purchased over the counter, online, or through a catalog?  What gift can you open up for yourself that would open up your world to something AMAZING?  Now, stop and think for a second, would this gift to yourself also be a gift to those in your life?  Could the gift you open up for yourself also be one of the greatest gifts you could give others? What would open up for them?  Can you feel the excitement, anticipation, and maybe even a little fear? 

 

 

Here are a few ideas you might want to put on your own ‘wish’ list of ‘MY GIFTS to ME’ and try on the idea of unwrapping...

  1. A gift of... Time
  2. A gift of... Gratitude
  3. A gift of... Voice
  4. A gift of... Truth
  5. A gift of... Values Clarification
  6. A gift of... Goals
  7. A gift of... Forgiveness
  8. A gift of... Saying No
  9. A gift of... Saying YES!
  10. A gift of... The Moment
  11. A gift of... Attitude
  12. A gift of... Choice
  13. A gift of... Song & Dance
  14. A gift of... Play
  15. A gift of... Peace
  16. A gift of... Love & Joy
  17. A gift of... Acceptance
  18. A gift of... Passion & Purpose Fulfilled!
  19. A gift of... No Regrets

 

What gift do you want to add to the list? 

What gift to yourself would you like to open up? 

What difference will it make for you (and those around you)? 

 

Happy shopping!

--Todd


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Posted on
Nov 15, 2010 @ 12:19 PM

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Enough, is Enough!


Are there things you’re tolerating? 

Things you feel you’ve swept under the rug, but eventually find yourself tripping over? 

Do you start your day, or end your day, or even consume your day with the desire for change? 

Do you seek small, subtle change or BIG, BOLD, transformational change?  When does your desire for change outweigh your hold on the status quo?

 

Enough is Enough! At what point do YOU say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!?


It’s certainly different for each person.  How or when you choose to ‘put a stake in the ground’ certainly depends, in part, upon the particular situation, circumstance, significance, and potential or possible outcomes of your declaration - “Enough, is enough!”  How does an individual define or set their own limits?  How do you know you’ve reached the tipping point where you can no longer tolerate the status quo and must make a change?  How long do you explore, consider, and ponder the many implications of possible choices... and subsequent actions that must follow? 

 

 

Here are a few scenarios when it’s likely time to make the call of “Enough, is Enough!” for you...

  1. When you feel the loss of self is imminent.
  2. When you pray for a gust of wind to re-ignite (oxygenate) the slow burning embers that once were a raging fire of passion and life purpose.
  3. When the weight of a smothering blanket flirts with extinguishing the last of your hopes, dreams, passions, and aspirations.
  4. When you look in the mirror wondering who the stranger is in its reflection.
  5. When the song in your voice and the dance in your step are but a faint memory of better times before.
  6. When the struggle for life’s breath is more a struggle for the breath of one’s life.

So how do you know when the balloon is about to burst, when the rubber band has been stretched to its limit?  Do you have to hit the wall crashing in at full speed, or can you see the wall quickly approaching, aware of time and choice, and choose to do something different, to alter your course?

 

 

It helps to know what your values are, what brings purpose to your BEing! 

Here are just a few of mine:

  1. I love to dance and sing, I’m committed to doing so much more of both.
  2. I have a burning passion for executive, life, and life transition coaching (and it doesn’t hurt that I’m pretty damn good at it).
  3. I am a Jew and a parent who believes strongly in living by example, setting an example for others and most importantly for my children.  I aspire to set an even better example tomorrow than I do today; I want my life, my choices and actions, and who I’m being to set the best example for my children.  Certainly Gary and Rebecca will make their own choices, BE their own selves.  The examples we set for our children act as an incredible foundation for them to build upon. My parents set an incredible example for me, for the foundation of my life experiences and choices, and how very grateful I am (that they did)!  Thank you so much Mom and Dad!
  4. I’m reminded of the saying, and I don’t recall who said it, ‘It’s not what we leave for our children, but what we leave IN them that matters most!’
  5. I absolutely believe in abundance and not scarcity.
  6. I believe lifelong education and the perspectives of curiosity and wonder are fundamental to who I am and to who I am becoming!
  7. I believe what you give is what you get.
  8. I believe family and friends are the truest riches of the world.
  9. I choose to live life on my terms, on what fulfills my soul.
  10. I choose to respect my own needs, my own integrity to self, my voice, my choice.
  11. I choose to act.


Something interesting to consider when asking, When is ‘Enough, Enough’?

Are the most important or significant things, issues, circumstances I’m tolerating really born from someone else, or from myself?  What am I tolerating from me?  From who I’m BEing?  From my own fears or rationalizations?  What behaviors of myself, what stories, what limiting beliefs, what gremlins or saboteurs?  What inaction, patience, silence?  While it may seem what we’re tolerating is born from outside ourselves, I would argue that what we find and feel as our most frustrating and limiting ‘circumstances‘ of life are born from what we tolerate of our selves.  Is it time to say... ‘Enough Is Enough!’?

 

As I have shared my list above, I would love for you to share YOUR list with me!

Comment Below with YOUR list:

What are your values?

What brings purpose to your BEing!

--Todd


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