5 Reasons To Push Past Mental Roadblocks

Do you let the negativity and mental roadblocks keep you from achieving your goals? In a recent blog post I talked about ways to push past mental roadblocks which come across our paths. In this post I wanted to spend some time unwrapping why you need to push past the obstacles in your life.

roadblock

You can become very comfortable living at the doorstep of your roadblock. It may seem silly or even self-sabotage from the outside. But you have lived so long in this place it is comfortable for you. And the thought of breaking through your roadblock is frightening. You do not know what is on the other side and it creates fear and anxiety in you. So you are content to live in this place because you are comfortable.

But there are many reasons to push through your roadblocks and live a more extraordinary life regardless of the obstacles your face.

A Better Way to Live

There is a better life on the other side of the obstacle. This may be difficult to see or believe, but you will never know until you push through. When you choose to live at the doorstep of your obstacle you are letting fear, anxiety, doubt, and mayhem rule your life. This is not a healthy way to live and these emotions and thoughts will always crush you in pursuit of your goals.

By busting through your roadblock you are crushing the fear which has held you down for so long. In doing so you are opening up a whole world of opportunities you never dreamed or imagined. But it will never happen as long as you believe the “I’m not good enough” and “I do not have what it takes” speeches. Believe there is a better way to live, pick yourself up from the doorstep, and bust your way through the roadblock in front of you.

There is Something Better

If you are going to push through a roadblock then you have to believe there is something better on the other side. Many people will not push through their doubts and fears until they become so uncomfortable at the doorstep of the roadblock they are forced to change. The circumstances make it where moving forward has to be better than their current life. But there is no reason to wait for some cataclysmic event to make this change. You have to believe in yourself and believe in a better life to take the first step through the roadblock.

Remember, when you stay at the doorstep you are living with all your fears swirling around you. You believe your greatest doubts. This is physically unhealthy, emotionally dangerous, and problematic for your relationships. You are projecting an unhealthy spirit to everyone around you, because you believe your fears to be true. Take the time to understand what your life will look like despite your current circumstances and use this frame of mind as motivation to bust down your wall to a new life.

There is Much to Learn in the Process

The only wasted and unnecessary roadblock is one not reflected upon properly. You can learn a tremendous amount about your life, passions, dreams, abilities, and strengths when overcoming a roadblock. But you will miss it if you look at the obstacle as just another unsightly part of your life you need to put behind you.

If you look at your obstacles as challenges and opportunities instead of discouragements. You can open yourself up to a tremendous world of learning not only about yourself but refining processes in your life which can lead to success. Never miss an opportunity to reflect upon your roadblocks to discover what you can learn from them in the process.

Discover an Inner Strength

In battling my own obstacles and pain, much of which is extremely overwhelming, I have learned something about myself. I am far stronger than I ever could have imagined. When I do take the time to reflect upon some of my struggles and roadblocks, there are moments when I am surprised I survived the ordeal. Let alone was able to walk through it with a slight amount of grace and understanding.

You are far stronger than you could ever imagine. But the problem with this strength is you will never know what you are capable of accomplishing unless you move forward through your roadblock. You will never comprehend the tremendous strength you possess until you begin the process of moving your roadblock out of the way. This strength will begin to compound upon itself with each successive roadblock. Giving your more strength and wisdom to address any future roadblocks which may come your way.

Better Situates us to Guide Others

I truly believe we were built, made, and put on this planet to serve others. No one has ever sat on their deathbed lamenting about how happy they were they only focused on themselves their entire life. Serving others opens up a creativity and love we would never find in only focusing on ourselves.

When you have taken the time to bust through your roadblocks you are in a much better position to guide others through theirs own obstacles. It puts you in a position to give back. Living on the doorstep of a roadblock is an extremely selfish and self serving place to live. Your focus is entirely on yourself and your circumstances. But once you bust through you have the realization of your own strength, wisdom, and capabilities. Which are much needed characteristics to help guide others through their own circumstances. Never underestimate your power to invest in others and guide them through their roadblocks after you have busted through your own.

The roadblocks and obstacles of life will never be easy or fun to deal with. But they will be there. It is not a matter of “if” we may encounter them but of “when?” Don’t be afraid to begin the process of busting through your doubts and fears. For what you find on the other side will be far greater than your current circumstances and anything you ever could have imagined.

Dig Deep, Rise Up, & Rage On!

Most people wake up each morning and they rage. They attack the day, or at least some part of the day, with gusto, fervor, and energy. But there is a very stark contrast in how and where this energy is expended.

Rage

There is an African proverb which states…

Every morning the lion wakes up and it knows it has to be the faster than the zebra if it wants to eat. Every morning the zebra wakes up and it knows it has to be faster than the lion if it wants to survive.

“Regardless of whether you are a lion or a zebra you have ot get up ready to run if you want to survive.” Joshua Medcalf from Hustle.

Which Are You?

You wake up in the morning and you pursue. Whether that is a job, the family, an entrepreneurial pursuit, or education. The time, effort, and energy is expended in these pursuits. But the deeper questions becomes “Why?” Why are you spending your energy pursuing these goals?. Is it because you are a zebra and are simply attempting to outrun the lion. Are you a zebra just trying to outrun the slowest zebra. Or are you a lion who is controlling their domain for the purpose of meeting their own specific goals?

For most of my adult life I was the zebra who was running. But I was only attempting to outrun the slowest zebra. Because of my chronic pain and my inability to admit its effects on my life I was floating by. I was too afraid to put the energy and effort into any pursuit. I was too afraid of how drained I would be in the execution. In order to pacify this type of life, I would take the easy job, the easy pursuit, and attempt to not expend too much of my time or energy.

The Problem

The problem with this way of living is that more than once I was caught by the lion. When you live life as the zebra you live with fear, anxiety, and constantly looking over your shoulder. The emotional, spiritual, and physical drain this lifestyle eventually takes on you is overwhelming. But when you are the lion, you are in charge. You are running the game and dictating the rules. This mindset and attitude can change everything in pursuit of your dreams and goals.

In making a radical mindset transformation from the zebra to the lion there are three principals I wake up every day and pursue. Everyday I remember this statement because this is not a one time decision. In living too long as a zebra I allowed this mindset to rule my life. I have to be careful when the pain becomes overwhelming to not allow myself to fall back into the old patterns. So everyday I recite and execute these three principals like a well versed mantra.

Dig Deep

The first principal is to dig deep. This is the dig deep within my soul and strength in order to attack the day in order to get the zebra. This value can manifest itself in many different ways. It can simply be getting up out of bed. Pushing through a mental block when I know I need to write. Getting myself in the right mindset to spend time with my family instead of mindlessly watching TV or surfing the internet. Because those activities would require less energy.

What allows me to dig deep is understanding my Why? By creating an individual mission statement which allows me to dig deep because I understand why I am here and what I am doing. Digging deep is pushing past the superficial activities in life to discover what lies beneath the surface of your own life which brings about your purpose.

There is an opening scene in the movie The Matrix where one of the main characters, Trinity, is running from the bad guys. Trinity is running across roof tops and eventually flies through the air, crashes through a window, and rolls down the stairs. She lands at the bottom of the stairs guns drawn at the window she crashed through waiting for what might be coming behind her. As she lays there she begins to tell herself “Trinity, get up, get up!”

This particular scene sticks in my mind during those times when I am attempting to dig deep and push through the fog. When I am trying to write, attempting to find the energy to take a walk, or working on a project where I struggle to concentrate. I will literally whisper to myself “Eric, get up!”, “Dig Deep!” The words are a reminder that I at least need to attempt to push through this time to see if I can accomplish a task. It by no means is easy, but is a necessary step to walk every day if I want to stay the lion. And I am able to “get up” because I understand my why, I have a purpose to get me up off the ground.

Rise Up

The second principal I need to follow is to rise up! This principal is what separates the lion from the zebra. For even the zebra is going to dig deep, most of us will when we are being chased. But being able to rise above the noise, messages, and clutter of this world is what makes us a lion.

Zebra’s are followers and are only going to do the bare minimum in order to get by or survive. Following what they are told, staying in line, and always one step ahead of the slowest zebra in every situation. The lion blazes their own trail. Seeking their own path in work, relationships, and life. They take the time to define their goals, then create a specific plan in order to achieve their dreams and live life on their terms.

Rising up is choosing not to live like everyone else. In doing so the lion is taking the extra steps to ensure their ability to rule the plains. They are educating themselves, taking care of their bodies. learning, and serving others. The repeated verse of society is to serve yourself and you are the only one that matters. But rising up is creating a better you in order to serve and help those around you.

Rage On

The last principal is to Rage On! This is where the rubber meets the road. For as a lion you not only define your dreams and create a plan to achieve them. You get out there every day and hustle to execute against them. When the obstacles, challenges, and limitations come your way you keep running and keep fighting. You do not let minor setbacks stop you from achieving your goal. You know you need to catch the zebra at the end of each day in order to live to fight another day.

Raging on is the burning desire inside of you to do more and not live as the status quo. But it also is the motivation to dig deep and rise up everyday to live an extraordinary life on your terms regardless of your circumstances.

Raging on is what keeps me going. It keeps me focused and reminds me I was created for more, but it is up to me to get up everyday and execute against this plan.

This world is full of zebra’s. What it needs is a few more lions to make an impactful difference in this world. It does not matter the challenges or limitations you face. If you want to live an extraordinary life then it is time to dig deep, rise up, and rage on!

Challenge

Are you a lion or a zebra? What is the first step you need to take in order to become the lion today?

Why Relationships Are Important as a Raging Sloth?

5 Ways to Maintain Relationships While Living With a Limitation

One of the greatest challenges when living with a limitation is maintaining relationships. When an unwanted challenge or limitation is placed upon you, the realization of the circumstances can make you focus inward. During these inward facing times you will tend to push relationships further away. The reasons are many; not enough time, not enough energy, afraid you are not enjoyable to talk to, and any of a number of reasons to justify not getting together.

Relationships

But the problem is we need relationships. When we are suffering we need them even more. They are not something we can push aside during trying times, but we must diligently pursue with what little energy we can muster. In order to accomplish this task there are 5 different ways we can maintain our own relationships when a limitation turns our life upside-down.

1) Be Intentional

Relationships will not simply happen. In the beginning it may be easy, but to maintain them takes work and you will need to be intentional with them in order to keep them moving forward. You can accomplish this step by doing a quick evaluation of your relationships and putting them into categories. There are three basic places we have room for relationships; close, casual, and ceasing.

You know those people who build you up, give you life, and can push you further. These are the relationships you want to cultivate and be very intentional about. Be purposeful in getting together with them, growing the relationship, and making it beneficial to both of you. The second group are the casual relationships. This group consists of people you enjoy, they may be long time friends, but not a place where you can exert much energy. Put these on the back burner. Check-in every once in a while through email, Facebook, or even a coffee. But since your limitation does not allow for an overload of energy make sure you are not investing too much of your energy with this group.

The last group involves the people you need to cease meeting with and break ties. You have people in your lives which suck the energy out of you. Do not be afraid to sever ties with this group. You may not have to break ties in an official capacity, but if you have people in your life who only take, then you need to stop being around them. You do not have the energy to deal with these people and they are doing nothing to move you forward in the pursuit of your life or goals. Evaluate this group carefully and take the necessary steps to ensure you are focusing your attention and energy in the relationships which are meaningful and useful in your life.

2) Give Permission

Once you have defined your close relationships then do not be afraid to give them permission. What this means is you need to be honest with them about your circumstances. This is not a gripe session, even your closest friends can only take so much complaining. This is letting them know what your circumstances look like, how your limitation affects you, and your struggles.

Once you have laid this out them give them permission. Give them permission to speak into your life, tell you stop complaining, keep you focused on your goals, and have them reach out to you. When you are living with a limitation you need as many people in your corner to fight with you as possible. Most close friends want to fight with you and for you, but do not understand how to help. Lay it out for them in a very clear fashion so they understand how they can not only help you, but speak into your life where you need it the most. Sometimes all you need is a good butt kicking to keep moving forward. Do not be afraid to ask!

3) Be A Friend

If you are going to maintain relationships, then you can not just take, you need to give and be friend. This may be the most difficult part for you, which is why you need to be intentional and make sure you plan this part into your life. If you want to keep your close relationships going then you need to figure out how to be a friend to that individual. What do they like to do? How can you say thanks every now and then? What is their sweet spot you can speak truth into?

The best way to manage this piece is to plan. Now that may sound a little stale for a relationship, but when you are living with a limitation you need to make sure you are making room for the important things in life. You may also never know how you are going to feel when you wake up. But if you have something on the calendar you are more likely to complete that task than brush it aside because you do not feel well. Put on your calendar when you can reach out to them. When you can say a nice word, schedule coffee where you just talk about stuff other than your issues. Give them little gifts to say thanks. You would never want a friendship that was one sided, so why would anyone else. Be a friend in order to maintain those relationships you need the most.

4) Be Realistic

In order to maintain your relationships properly you need to be realistic. You need to be realistic about your limitations, how it effects you, and how you can best be a friend. If your limitation limits you physically then trying to keep a close friend who is an adrenaline junkie, could be difficult at best. But it can work if you are honest and realistic about what you can do and what a friendship looks like to you.

Be honest with your friends and layout what life looks like for you. Then lay out what a friendship would look like and how you will function best in that situation. Once you know how your limitation affects your life, then you know what you can and cannot do. Let that knowledge guide your understanding of how you will function with others. If you overcommit to any relationship it will leave you exhausted and frustrated. This is not what you need in your life, but is what will happen if you are not realistic.

5) Serve

The last great way to maintain relationships is to serve others. This may be serving your friends or taking yourself to a place to serve those in need. Serving at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or food pantry. What this act does it gives you perspective on your life and relationships.

When you suffer from a limitation it is easy to be selfish. To always think about your problems and how bad life is for you. By serving others in any capacity it immediately takes the focus off yourself. You may even realize your limitation is not so severe when looking at others lives who face misfortune. This may even be an activity you do with your close friends to continue the process of strengthening your time together.

The last thing you need to do during this time is turn your back on relationships. If you have a limitation or challenge placed upon you, then make sure you are taking the time to build and strengthen the relationships around you. This may be your greatest use of energy in your life.

5 Ways to Push Through the Mental Roadblocks

There will always exist in at different points in your life roadblocks you will have to push through. Those mental or physical obstructions which prohibit us from completing a certain task, activity, or goal. Every time one of these roadblocks appear we have one of two options, we can simply stop and give up. Or we can push through the roadblock to achieve our dreams.

Roadblock

Overcoming My Roadblocks

These roadblocks pop up almost every time I go out to ride my bike. I really want to ride my bike, I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors, getting exercise, and exploring the mountains on two wheels. But it seems like every time i start the ride my mind and body are saying “dude, don’t do it, just go back home!” I am tired, my body is sore, my pain is spiking, my mind is wandering, and part of me wants to recline on the couch and watch some football or a movie to unwind. But I have learned to push through. It is not fun, but no matter how badly my mind is screaming, I keep pedaling.

What I have learned over time is that if I keep pushing, more than likely I break through the obstacle. If I keep riding, my mind and body will eventually settle in and I begin to enjoy the ride. Sometimes I even end up riding farther than anticipated. But I never would have known this about myself or this ability to push through the roadblocks, if I quit every time I did not feel like continuing. I would have missed the mountains, the views, the beautiful trees, and feeling great about the exercise. I would have given into the roadblock instead of having the knowledge I can push through the roadblock and experience the greatness which exists on the other side of every obstacle.

In order to push through the roadblock there are 5 different areas I keep focused in order to break through.

1) Focus on the Next Step With The End Goal in Mind

When I begin my bike rides it is really easy to get caught up in the entire journey. I can get consumed with the facts of it’s a 2 hour ride, there are 2 big climbs on this trail, and there is that one rocky section I can never make through without getting off my bike. If I think too much about those obstacles, especially at the beginning of my ride, it can derail my entire ride before i even get on my bike. What I do is focus on what is in front of me; can i make it to that tree, the bend in the road, or sometimes make it past the cows (entirely different story). I know in the back of my head where the finish line is, but that is not as important as simply getting to the next point.

This is how you need to address the obstacles in your life. When doubt or fear creep in, do not think about the end goal, think about the next step. What next step will get you closer to your goal? What next step will bring you closer to completing the task? Do not let the fear of the obstacle in front of you, or the magnitude of the task, derail you from taking the next step. Sometimes pushing through is just taking it one step at a time in order to cover more ground. As long as you are still moving toward your end goal, then you have been successful.

2) Keep Grinding

I remember a couple of rides over the last few months where I wanted to quit about 5 times within the first 30 minutes. I had either not ridden in a while and was gassed, did not eat enough, or had just eaten. But each situation made me want to turn back for home. Instead of giving up I kept grinding. I would just put my head down, look at my feet and keep pedaling. The grinding action, which would require my full attention, was enough to push me through my obstacle. I would literally grind my way to the next milestone until I eventually had moved passed all of my doubts and fears.

It is easy to give up. It is easy to throw in the town and turn back for home. It takes a lot more strength, resolve, and fortitude to grind it out. But the grinding action is what separates you from the rest of the crowd. When you get stuck on a project or task you may have to take a step back and make sure you are addressing it properly. But then you may just need to put your head down and grind it out. The action of moving forward will push you through the obstacle. Then once through the obstacle, you may get an entirely different view of the problem or task. You are stronger than you have ever imagined, but you will never realize this strength until you grind through the obstacle.

3) Know Yourself

One of the key aspects of pushing through your obstacles is knowing yourself. There are a few times where I did have to turn back. These are few, but necessary. I know myself well enough now where I can distinguish between me just letting my fears get the best of me to knowing something is a little off and I need to turn around so I can fight another day. This mentality and acuity is important to know when to push through and when to throw in the towel. If I attempt to push through the obstacle when I am not mentally and physically ready I run the risk of causing more damage and derailing my journey for an extended period.

When you come across an obstacle, know yourself well enough to understand when to push through and when to stop. More times than not, you have the ability to push through any obstacle in your path. If you are quitting frequently then you need to evaluate that piece of your life. Knowing when you need to take a step back, reevaluate, and reassess is crucial. Quitting is a grand quality when it allows you to attack better and with more precision on another day. Know when to push and know when to quit. It could be the greatest gift you give yourself in achieving your goals.

4) Remember Past Experiences

When I begin a ride and the obstacles begin to appear, one of the first thoughts which comes into my mind is “Eric, you have done this trail dozen’s of times, keep going.” You see I have done this trail before, many times before. I have even felt this exact same way when I started this trail before. This remembrance allows me to push through the momentary obstacle to keep going. It is a reminder I do have the strength and ability to push through this time to keep moving forward.

This is why, I believe, it is important to journal. Write down those times you came face to face with your greatest fear and won. When you conquered the challenges and obstacles in front of you. It is a constant and consistent reminder that you do have what it takes. You are strong enough to overcome. You have been in this exact spot, or a similar spot before and you won. So why would you not overcome now? Remember what you have conquered in the past to keep moving forward to conquer in the future.

5) Visualize Your Journey

When the obstacles try to block my path it is extremely helpful to visualize my journey. I think about the hill up ahead and how brutal it is, but there is a nice flat area just after I can regain my breath. When I get to the rocky climb, I need to stay to the right side of the path. Or when I get on the other side of the mountain, the downhill part is a blast and the whole reason I suffer through the climb. By visualizing what is in front of me, I am preparing my mind to prepare my body for what is ahead.

When you enter a new task or project, begin to visualize your journey. Even if you have not been on this particular trail, you have probably done something similar. Begin to get into your head what it is going to take, where are the breaks, where are the tough spots? What are the milestones you need to hit along the way. While you cannot prepare for everything, by visualizing what is ahead you are eliminating as many mistakes, excuses, and fears as possible before you even get to that spot. This lessens the obstacles and can allow you to move through them with more purpose and intentionality.

You will never be able to eliminate all of the obstacles in your life. The goal is to find out how you can move through them as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

How the Wrong Message Can Derail Your Dreams?

5 Reasons to Block the Negative Messages from Your Life

A few years ago I began to receive a strange message on my cell phone which increased in severity The calls were from local numbers, so much like Adele, I would answer the phone with a simple “hello.” People on the other end would then ask if I was Comcast Cable. To which I would simply reply “no.” Because while I may not know much, I do know I neither own, use, or am apart in any way of Comcast Cable.

Message

Wrong Number

Now this is the part where it would get strange. While most people would simply say “ok, thank you” and hang up, there were a few people who did not believe me. I had people belligerently tell me “yes you are” with a defiant tone in their voice. I am not quite sure how they wanted me to respond. It is a rather surreal moment to have people yell at you about who they think you should be. I was tempted to just tell them “sure I am Comcast, I will be there tomorrow at 2pm, see you then.” Just to get them off the phone.

I had one lady begin to cry on the phone because I was not Comcast Cable. Which I found odd, I am usually the one crying at the end of a two hour conversation with the cable company. But, I really had no responses to these reactions and I could not understand why people were calling me and they were the ones getting upset. Their anger and emotions were completely misplaced.

The more this happened the more I began to ask questions of the callers. I began to piece together that my number was being used in a scam. Someone would call a house and leave a message saying they were Comcast Cable and would be showing up tomorrow at 2:00pm to check the cable lines. What they were doing is attempting to see if the person would be home at a specific time in order to rob their house. The issue was when they called the house they were displaying my number on the homeowner’s Caller ID. It was at this point I decided to change my number in order to not have to listen to these distracting messages anymore.

Believing the Wrong Message

As individuals it is amazing what you will believe when a message is presented to you in a respectable manner. How many times in your own life have you believed the caller because they sounded legitimate? When what you should have done is hung up? I am not talking about an actual phone call, but those voices, thoughts, and descriptions of yourself. The message you hear which says “you are not good enough.” The one which states “you do not have what it takes.” Or “you will never make it.”

These are the scams you allow in your life when you let your internal thoughts, or the words of others, impede your own pathway to success. When the messages are packaged in a legitimate format you will believe the content, whether it is correct or not. You need to be able to discern the message as a scam as soon as possible and hang up. When you believe the wrong caller you begin to derail your journey is very specific ways.

1) Distracts you from your goals

When you believe those internal thoughts or even external conversations, they will distract you from your goals. You will begin to exert the energy needed to accomplish your goals into attempting to justify your actions. If you ever feel you have to justify your actions to anyone, even yourself, then take a step back and look at your motives. These wrong callers do nothing but keep your focus from where it should be in accomplishing your goals.

2) Plants seeds of Doubt

Listening to a wrong caller will also plant an unnecessary seed of doubt in your mind. When you hear specific words which pierce your soul, and you know what those sound like. “You are not good enough,” “You do not have what it takes,” “This is awful.” It plants a seed in your mind. If you ignore the seed it will not grow. But most of the time you begin to think about the doubt. When you begin the process of thinking about the doubt, you are giving it water, you are giving it life, and it begins to grow. When doubt grows in your mind it begins to push out all the positive and useful thoughts, ideas, emotions, and goals which were occupying this space. In order to not derail your journey, you need to do whatever is necessary to NOT give life to those seeds of doubt.

3) Wastes your Time

You will completely waste your time when you listen to the wrong caller. There is no good which can come of this process. When you receive constructive criticism digest this information wisely. But if it is simply people pushing their own agenda and purpose, then you will waste your time attempting to rationalize an irrational statement. You will spend your time thinking, contemplating, and reorganizing your goals or thoughts to justify your actions. Or worse, change them to appease the naysayers. Either way you are wasting valuable time which would be better served in crushing your goals.

4) Kills Productivity

Much like wasting time, you will also lose productivity toward your goals and dreams by listening to the wrong caller. When you change your goals because of other people’s criticism or suggestions you have just moved from creating your own unique product, to attempting to keep people happy. Which by the way, you will never be able to please everyone. Stay focused on on what you are accomplishing. Keep a vision in mind of the end result. Then shut out all the wrong numbers. Nothing will kill your productivity quicker than listening to a message from someone who has no idea about what they are discussing.

5) Feeds the Fear Monster

The last thing you ever want to do when listening to the wrong caller is to feed the fear monster. Much like the seeds of doubt, when you listen to the haters you can begin to build a wall of fear between you and your goals. When those seeds of doubt grow you begin to believe in what they say. When this happens you begin to fear what is next. You start asking yourself the questions of “What if no one likes it,” “No one is going to read this,” or “I am just wasting my time.” If you ever begin asking these questions, or anything similar, you are feeding the fear monster. You must do everything possible to crush this fear to keep moving forward.

This is not an easy process, but it is doable. You must understand fear is a natural part of a new process. If you didn’t have a little fear in what you were attempting you are probably not dreaming big enough. But you can never let fear freeze you or stop you from taking a step each day toward your goals.

Your pathway to success will be met with challenges. The one obstacle you need to be able to eliminate or address from the very beginning will be the doubts and fears which can plague your journey. You are capable, you have a dream and vision only you can bring into this world. But you must let loose of the false messages inhibiting you from bringing your dreams from thoughts into a reality.

Challenge

What false messages have you been listening to in your life? How do you need to hang up on these people or thoughts in order to keep moving forward on your pathway to success? Choose today to live life on your terms and not be defined what other people think about you.

5 Reasons to Engage in Intentional Wandering

Living a life of pain, or constant challenges, can send you on a journey where you begin wandering aimlessly. The former life you so carefully constructed came crumbling down around you with little understanding of what steps to take.

Wandering

Wandering can be dangerous and lead you down treacherous paths you do not need to travel. It can distract you from the important tasks in life and can lead you far from your purpose.

What is Intentional Wandering?

But there can be benefits to intentional wandering. Especially when your life has been turned upside-down and you are attempting to see how to live in a new place effectively.

Intentional wandering is specifically choosing a path with the intent of learning and growing regardless of the outcome. In other words, you are not taking whatever comes your way. You are attempting tasks or actions which can benefit your life, your purpose, and direction. Then you specifically engage in this journey, not to succeed, but to learn something you would not have endeavored otherwise.

You are choosing to write because you always wanted but never thought you could. You rebuild a car, make your own clothes, work with a non-profit, or start a project you have been putting off. By entering into this time period with no idea of the outcome you are learning more about yourself, your likes, dislikes, and abilities. All for the purpose of learning how to live life on your terms.

If you have found yourself in a situation where your journey seems unclear. Here are five reasons to engage in some intentional wandering to learn to live upside down.

Reveal Purpose

Intentional wandering has the uncanny ability to reveal a purpose. Part of entering a time of intentional wandering is choosing tasks which peak your interests. When you wander with intentionality you are engaging your journey with your eyes wide open. You are embracing new opportunities and attempting to get the most you can out of life.

Through this process a hobby, task, or even career might reveal itself in places you never dreamed. These revelations come because you chose to take a different path and embrace your current circumstances. You began to look for opportunities in new places. When this happens you never know what might arise.

Provide Focus

Intentional wandering can also provide focus. When you wander aimlessly you are attempting to see what sticks. By adding intentionality to your journey you are eliminating those pursuits which may not provide any production. By knowing yourself and understanding where you want to go, but not necessarily knowing how to get there, you can still make progress by saying “no.”

If you know you don’t like sitting all day then you want to look at more active pursuits. If you do not want to stare at a computer all day long then you want to eliminate jobs or hobbies which might be more stagnate. By understanding yourself better, you still may not know which path to take. But by saying “no” you understand which paths you need to avoid. This process adds to your focus while wandering.

Hone skills

Honing your skills can also rise to the top during your intentional wandering. When I got the bug to write, I started writing. I had no idea what I was writing, why I was writing, and no one reading what I was writing, but I was writing every day. Over the course of a year, after writing thousands of words I realized my writing was improving.

Even though I did not have an outcome or reason to write, by simply committing to the process, the quality was improving. I was honing my skills with content, grammar, telling a story, and composition. When you commit to the process during your time your skills in any given area can vastly improve. Which, in turn, can open up different opportunities not seen before.

Introduce you to new people

One of the greatest aspects of intentional wandering is being able to meet new people. Through the process of attempting something new you are inevitably going to meet people outside your normal sphere of influence. In this process you have the opportunity to connect, grow, and be influenced by some pretty awesome individuals.

It has been during these times I have met some amazing individuals who have offered me insight I would have have found otherwise. These people can have a tremendous impact on you because they are speaking a truth in your life you were not seeking. It was unexpected but they hit you on the target and created a tremendous opportunity for you. Never miss out on looking around when you are intentionally wandering to see who might be walking beside you.

Make the most of any situation

Intentional wandering can also help create a mindset of making the most of any situation. Remember, when you enter into this time of wandering you are doing this to learn, regardless of the outcome. This means even if you failed, you learned. This mindset can be extremely valuable if you learning to make the most of any situation.

I have seen time and time again, people who get frustrated or angry because the project or task did not go as planned. This did not mean it was bad or the project was derailed. We needed to make some adjustments in order to get the train back on track. But because of certain expectations about how the project should go, these individuals could not recover.

The only wasted task is one not reflected upon properly. This outcome of your wandering is not as important as your reflection. If you can learn this trait in the midst of your wandering it will be an invaluable resource no matter where you life takes you.

If you are in a place in your life where you are in pain, facing an unexpected challenge, or life is not turning out as planned. It may be time for some intentional wandering. But be specific, make a plan, be intentional, and open your mind to what you can learn through this journey. Your eyes may be opened in ways you never even imagined.

5 Ways To Keep Stepping Forward

How to move forward with your goals one step at a time?

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation in life where your only option is to keep stepping forward. You do not know what the next step will look like, or even take you, but you need to keep moving forward.

Stepping

When I began my writing process all I wanted to do was write a book. I had no idea the monumental process it would take to get a book published. I was viewing the tip of the iceberg with no clue as to what lay underneath the water. But I was committed to the process.

Getting Through the Jungle

This period of my life is equated to traveling through a densely populated jungle. I knew the destination. I had an awesome guide in Kary Oberbrunner, and a compass in the Author Academy Elite Coaching Program. But it was up to me to take a step each day. Most days those steps felt like trudging through mud up to my knees.

There were times I did not know what I was doing or where I was going. I knew nothing about editing a book, interior design, cover design, promotion, marketing, ancillary material, or even social media. But each day, with instructions from my guide, I would take a step. Many times I had to backtrack and start over. Other times I would move forward on faith. Each time knowing I could not remain stagnant.

Walt Disney stated “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps moving us down new paths.” I do think this was part of my motivation. I was curious, I wanted to see if I could write a book. If I could fulfill this dream which had been stirring in my soul.

But in the process I related to Victor Kiam who stated “Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.” I was making progress, it just wasn’t always as graceful as I had imagined.

What I did realize through this endeavor was with each step I was learning something. No step was ever wasted. I learned an incredible amount of information, I met some amazing individuals, and completed a life-long dream in publishing a book. If you are living with a limitation or daily challenge, many days you focus on what you cannot accomplish. When all you should be doing is taking a step. Move forward no matter what, so you do not remain stagnant.

If you are in the midst, or about to start, a similar journey. Here are 5 ways to keep moving forward and putting one foot in front of the other.

1) Keep Stepping Forward

Movement forward is absolutely important. If you ever stop, even for a brief moment you will be tempted to quit. The momentum you gain by moving forward can keep you rolling even during times you may not know the next step. Even if you are only taking small steps,or as Kiam states “falling on your face”, it is still motion moving you forward. This progression is the most important point in getting you closer to your goals.

2) Do Not Be Afraid to Back Track

You may move forward and realize you are not quite in the place you want to be. Do not be afraid to back track. It is all part of the process. The time was never wasted and there was always a nugget of information to learn. Especially if you want to repeat this process in the future. You learned something not to do next time. Or you learned how to repeat a task more efficiently or better in the future.

When you do have to back track make sure you are taking the time to reflect on the experience. Write it down and incorporate it into your notes in order use the experience wisely. I am very excited to begin work on my next book because of what I learned in this journey. The only wasted step is one not reflected upon properly.

3) You Are Going to Fall Down

When you are walking through a place you have never been you are going to fall down, you are going to fail. It is inevitable, but not destructive. It matters less how you fall down or what you trip over. The difference is getting back up and continuing with your journey. Again, you need to always have your ultimate goal in front of you in achieving your dream. But some days you may only need to concentrate on the next step.

The only failure is one you do not get up from. If you fall down and do not get up, then you have given up on your dream. There will be tough times and distractions. Get in your head before you start the journey will be challenging. Then commit to always get up no matter what you encounter. You always want to be in a place to take another step.

4) Enjoy the Experience

If you go through this process heads down you are going to miss many of the wonderful opportunities happening along the way. Your journey will be tough, but it can also be extremely enjoyable. You need to have your head held up in order not to miss these experiences.

If this is a new area for you, then you will be encountering a series of first. Don’t forget to enjoy the experience. Celebrate the milestones, like getting your edits back, your final front cover, your proofreading edition, or your launch. Whatever your goals, do not miss the opportunity to celebrate the small victories. You will never have these “firsts” again and they are worth celebrating. These milestones are also encouragement to take the next step.

5) Don’t Forget to Look Back

When you are taking your steps forward you also need to remember to look back. Have you been on one of those hikes, where it was pretty grueling? But then at one point you look back down the trail only to realize you have covered an incredible distance. The same is true with what you create. Although the process might be grueling, when you take the time to review the ground you have covered it can be pretty amazing to see how far you have come.

When you feel stuck, or feel like you can’t go on. Then take a little time to reflect on the ground you have covered. If you are pretty far up the mountain you do not want to turn around before reaching the top. Take the time to see how far you have come and use the motivation to take the next step.

Never discount your dreams, but also never think they are going to be laid in your lap. You are going to have to work hard and put in the effort, but the journey itself is well worth the work. Find your dream, create a plan, dig deep, and then start taking the steps. It may be the greatest journey you ever travel.

Challenge

What are your dreams? Have you figured them out? Do you have a plan to get there? Check out the bonus material at The Raging Sloth to define your journey today.

Breaking Out of Our Cocoons

How do we respond when life does not turn out as planned and we are stuck in our cocoons?

Cocoon

Many times the end result is frustration, anger, and isolation. We had grand plans in our lives to accomplish the extraordinary. But life took a different turn or we had a limitation placed in our lap which inhibited us from attaining our goals. When placed in this situation we usually end up retreating to our cocoon to build up a wall of protection around us.

Creating Our Cocoons

There is nothing wrong with retreating to our cocoon. There are times we must retreat and protect in order to deal with the issues at hand. When looking at the animal kingdom, the caterpillar creates their cocoon for the purpose of transformation. They are going from existing in one state, as a caterpillar, to becoming something beautiful, a butterfly. But without the cocoon this transformation could not take place.

Issues only arises when we make the cocoon our permanent residence. When we refuse to break out of our cocoon and fly back into reality.

Isolating in the Cocoon

This process can easily occur in our own lives. Because of the pain, hurt, or frustration we may need to create our own cocoon. Not to isolate ourselves from the world, but so transformation can occur. We go into the cocoon in one state, but we use the time in the cocoon to transform, to dream new dreams, create a new reality, and to live a new life. We may enter the cocoon in order to figure our how to life a new life under different circumstances.

But we cannot stay here. We must enter the cocoon with the understanding transformation will occur and we will leave a better person. This is the point where we can begin to bust out of our cocoon to become something even more beautiful and amazing.

If we choose to stay in the cocoon we are making life more difficult for us. The longer we stay in our own cocoons the thicker the walls become. The longer we wait, the longer we delay our own transformation. The longer we stay in the cocoon the thicker the walls become. The harder our heart will become and it will become more difficult to bust through the walls.

Breaking Free

Regardless of our circumstances we must be committed to transforming our lives. Our life will not turn out as planned, obstacles will be placed in our path, and our dreams will change. That is fine. There is nothing wrong with any of this. But if we choose not to transform, or to keep ourselves locked up in the cocoon, then we will never unleash the fullness of our own lives. We will never allow ourselves to live an extraordinary life because of our own limitations.

Challenge

Where are you in your life? Are you unwilling to transform or are you bitter of the hand life has dealt you? Are you stuck in your cocoon not wanting to break free? How can you transform your life and what can you do to begin the process today?

“How To Be A Raging Sloth And Free Yourself For Success”
by Rick Coplin with special guest Eric Eaton

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Success to Significance
August 19, 2016

Success to Significance welcomes Eric Eaton, who had his career interrupted, not once, but twice by chronic pain. Eric became the “Raging Sloth” by re-framing success on his own terms.

Eric is a business leader, former lead pastor of his church, philanthropist, and author. Eric and his wife have three active kids and lead a typical busy life.

Vertical_3D_coverEric has recently written The Raging Sloth – An Upside-Down Blueprint to Bust Your Limits, Build Your Purpose, and Balance Your Life to help others navigate and leverage their chronic pain and other limitations into success and significance.

His career was interrupted, not once, but twice by chronic pain. His medical condition made it impossible to keep up with colleagues physically and mentally. The demands of a high profile consulting career that bracketed a taxing career as a lead pastor of a large church, proved to be too much against the backdrop of pain and the inconsistency of being “up” or “down” any given day.

Eric’s life changed when he changed his mindset and re-framed success in his terms to leverage his disability rather than suffer under it. He became the Raging Sloth.

You’ll be amazed at his story of interruption, pain, guilt, and re-creation. Eric’s story will inspire you!

How to Understand the Problem with Perfection

If you live with a limitation, perfectionism may be your biggest adversary. When you live your daily life with a limitation even the simplest task can be overwhelming and difficult. If you add in your desire to make everything perfect you may have just sabotaged any chance you have at success.

perfection

If you live with a limitation of any type, then you have to eliminate perfection from your life. That does not mean you are not doing your best at everything you attempt, but you understand when you walk away and say something it “good enough.” This transformation will not happen overnight, you will simply have to put one foot in front of the other. But you need to begin the process.

Here are 4 reasons why you need to eliminate perfection from your life in order to live a more extraordinary life and not sabotage your success.

1. Perfection is a Myth

You can never truly reach perfection. To think so is a lie as well as a myth. What you create and produce needs to be done well and given your all, but it will never be perfect. We live in an imperfect world, which is fine. This also means what we create will never be perfect. When we create, no matter if it is writing, painting, music, or business model, it is subjective. We are creating it from our point of view, based upon our tradition and background, and our likes.

Our creation will always rub someone else the wrong way, because their point of view, tradition, background, and likes can be vastly different from ours. It does not matter whether our creation was good, let alone perfect, it will offend, seem tacky, or down right awful to another individual.

Thus the idea of making our creation perfect is absurd, it will never be perfect, because our society and likes are not perfect. If you are striving for perfection is will be a beast you carry on your back throughout your creation process. The beast will not serve to advance your creation, but will weigh you down every step of the process.

2. It Will Never Be Perfect

If we can understand that perfection is a myth, then we must comprehend what we create will never be perfect. It needs to be great, it needs to be our best work, but it does not have to be perfect. For it will never be perfect. If you have ever poured your heart and soul into a project, you know there are always tweaks you can make in order to make it better. One more brush stroke, one more edit, one more note, or one more graphic for your presentation.

You can spend a tremendous amount of time in attempting to make your end product perfect. But under the realization you are only wasting your time instead of putting your product our there for others to use. Never get caught in the trap os using perfection as an excuse.

3. Perfection Can Actually Crush You

The weight of perfection is overbearing, oppressive, and can be extremely expensive. If you are constantly falling under the pressure of perfection, then you, and your dreams, will eventually be crushed. The creation process is much like climbing a mountain. Eventually you will reach the top. Even though it may have been a grueling and tiring trek you get there. But when you get the top there is not place to go but down. No matter how much effort you put into the climb, you are never going to climb any higher than your current position.

Achieving perfection can have the same effect. Sooner or later you need to come down off the mountain, because not matter how much more effort you put into your creation you will not make it any better. In fact you may be making it worse with constant edits, repaints, rewrites, or note changes.

This process will put you in downward spiral which will eventually crush you and your creation. When you concentrate too much on perfection, instead of your creation, then you begin to loose site over what you were creating in the first place. Once your thoughts move from the creation to perfection you know it is time to either stop or step away for a bit to regain perspective.

4. You will be more productive

When you spend your time laboring over the detail of perfecting your work, you are taking your focus and talents away from your next creation. If you can get to a point of knowing what you are working on is great, but not perfect, and be alright. Then you can move onto the next project, creations, or client.

If I had waited until my book, blogs, or podcasts were perfect, I never would have released them. I could always do another edit, make another change to the website, or tweak how the podcast sounded. There was always one more thing for me to do. It was far more productive for me to simply take the next step regardless of where I was in the process. Taking the step taught me more about the process and what I was attempting to accomplish than making sure the product I was engaging in was perfect.

Sometime you simply need to take the next step and see what happens. What can you learn from putting your content out there? This step may open your eyes to opportunities you never even dreamed. It will certainly clear up your space and time to be more creative and produce more content. But these will never happen if you never take the next step.

You need to break through the restraints of perfectionism. This may be the place where you find, and produce, your best work. If you are true raging sloth you do not have the energy to waste of attempting to make something perfect. You need to get it out there and keep moving forward.

Challenge

How are you bound my perfectionism? What do you need to do drop perfectionism? What is the first step you need to take today in order to get your product “out there”? Take the first step today, or right down the date you will take that step and rigorously stick to it.