How The Power Of White Space Will Boost Your Productivity And Fulfillment

It seems like our lives are becoming more and more busy. We carry around our busyness like a badge of honor… acting like we’re more productive and fulfilled.

But, at the end of the day, we’re exhausted. We’re disconnected.

Is this all that life has to offer?

A demanding schedule and a quickened pace?

White space is the strategic moment of rest and relaxation that will bring you more peace and productivity.

You’ll finally be able to renew the weary parts of your soul and bolster your fading joy.


You’re Not Alone In The Busyness

You wake up early with a headache. Maybe stopping for morning coffee will take away the fog.

The barista asks how you’ve been…

“Busy”, you shrug as you prepare for a long work day ahead.

Although you’re working hard enough to feel exhausted, nothing seems to get done.

At lunch you’re planning for the upcoming meeting and at home you’re with your kids, but you’re not really with your kids… you’re somewhere else.

Planning, organizing, escaping.

Does this sound familiar?

Feeling like you’re just following along and being dragged by things you have to do?

Like someone else is leading the dance.

It’s time to get some white space and reintroduce vibrant energy and flow to your life.


What Is White Space?

White spaces are the strategic breaks we take throughout our day for rest and relaxation.

They help us declutter our mind and ground ourselves in what truly matters.


White space looks like this:

A slow lunch with loud laughs.

And crunching leaves on a fall walk around the neighborhood.


White space is a moment of calm and re-centering that breathes creativity and energy into you.

White space is the exact opposite of what we’ve been told is required to be successful: constant busyness.


Why Busyness Won’t Make You Successful

First, we must recognize the lie that’s been told over and over that busyness creates success.

All of these bloggers and thought leaders are shouting about “the grind” and the effort required of you to “make it”.

In the process of “making it”, you end up working so exhaustively that you lose everything that matters.

Busyness by itself won’t make you successful.

Success is difficult to define, but this is what success means to me...

Forward Progress + Stability = Success

Your success (in whatever capacity that means to you) is a direct result of your forward progress and stability.

Most people focus on the Forward Progress and create a monster of busyness in their lives.

Stability is the conscious recognition and awareness of your self and others. Forward progress means nothing if you’re energy and time creates destruction for yourself and others.

Stability introduces safeguards so you can maintain a relationship with your family, and keep your job, and not lose hope.


Is Busyness Is A Badge Of Honor For You?

Saying we’re busy is almost like a badge of honor in American culture.

We try to impress people with our packed schedules.

Since we know that they’ve also been told the lie that “busyness equals success”, then if we say we’re busy, maybe they’ll think we’re successful.

And we never stop to realize that we’re filling our time because it was expected of us. Not because we wanted it.


Your Value Isn’t In Your Time… It’s In Your Quality

Your value and worth and accomplishment is not tied up in how much you do.

So, take a breath.

Relax.

Quit trying to run the resultless race that everyone else is competing in.

In our culture of inflated egos we all act like our time is the most valuable thing on the planet.

And really, it’s not even that we value our time:

We just value how others perceive our time.

It’s an ironic valuation though, because we say we value our time, but then we fill it with useless activities.

If you truly value your time, you’ll introduce white space. You’ll spend time on your own emotional and mental health.

You’ll recognize your time is so valuable that maybe you need to introduce gaps, moments of rest and relaxation, so you can become more potent when you need to be productive.

More space that allows you to focus on the wonder, mystery, and joys of life.

What would it look like for you to begin focusing on the quality of your time?


Crush Open Loops To Add Clarity

To begin adding clarity and white space, you’ll need to crush the activities and obligations that keep consuming your time.

Open loops are the unresolved tasks that continue to play themselves over and over again in our mind.

Sometimes they’re big tasks and sometimes they’re small tasks.

Instead of letting your “to-do” list stay in your mind and expand and become more consuming, just write it down.

Start making a list of everything on your mind. Then, set up a way for you to tackle it in the future.

I write down all of my open loops (e.g. today I need to finish writing this article, meet with Scott at lunch, I need to start a load of laundry, ooh almost forgot about my meeting with Bryan on Thursday) on the Notes app and then I schedule when I’ll do them with reminders.

If you don’t write down and schedule what you need to do, those activities will constantly play themselves over and over again.

Then, when you enter into a time of rest and relaxation, you won’t be able to focus. You’ll only be worried and concerned about all you have to do.

You can use open loops to find new clarity and tackle projects quicker.


Learn To Say No To Carve Out White Space

Don’t you hate when you’ve spent an entire day running only to realize you still have more to do?

And it seems like tasks and obligations continue to pile up higher and higher.

We overcommit and say yes to things we don’t want to do for a myriad of reasons.

Here’s the danger in that:

You’ll never be able to find moments to relax and savor all that’s happening around you if you don’t learn to say no.

Every event that begs your attention doesn’t require you to say yes.

In fact:

The more you commit, the less potent you become.

You’ll spread yourself so thin that exhausting and frustration will be the only fruits of your labor.

But, learning to say no is difficult. Usually because we want to be included and we want to help people who ask for our help or presence.

And in the process of participating we lose our sanity.

So, carve out some white space in your busy day for yourself.

You’ll become more productive and potent when you learn how to say no.


You Found Some Downtime, Now What? Slow Down And Savor

Sometimes we can feel guilty just taking time for ourselves.

And it’s amazing how how often people will question why you said no to an event just to have some down time.

Here’s the thing:

Most people believe they have to continually be active to feel like their life is moving forward.

They store their value and productivity in activities.

You will find movement and creativity and peace when you are able to recognize the value in white space.

Your life will continue to move, even during your periods of rest because you’ll be able to understand the depth of your value and the creativity in your peace.

So, what do you do once you’ve found some white space?

Slow down. Savor. Enjoy each moment.

Richard Rohr in his book The Naked Now talks about how our minds are so focused on controlling that we miss out on the joy of the present:

"Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving." - Richard Rohr

In your white space, you have unlimited freedom to restore the joy and calm in your life...


Play with your kids without a care in the world about work.

Go get ice cream late at night with your friends.

Take a trip to a city and do things that would offend the locals.


Grant yourself the privilege of white space so you can begin to reclaim the potency of your time and energy.


5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Add White Space To Your Busy Life

  1. Create a rest rhythm in your schedule: set aside a time every day for yourself. Maybe it’s 30 minutes every afternoon that you meditate. Or every dinner you share as a family
  2. Go for a walk: take a walk by yourself or with someone. Simply savor and ponder. My best moments of reflection are taking a short walk around my neighborhood
  3. Grab a meal with a friend: even more fun, make a meal with a friend!
  4. Read a great book: reading is the best way to learn more about yourself and the world. It’s an exploration into the truest elements of who we are
  5. Volunteer: the world needs you. Find something that aligns with what you value and serve. Seek nothing in return and allow yourself to find joy in blessing others

Your Direction, Not Intention, Determines Your Destination

” Direction, Not Intention Determines Your Destination” – Andy Stanley

Unaccomplished Goals Are A Result Of More Intention Than Direction

So often we set up incredible goals for ourselves. We prime our energy with ambitions of goals that will cause change for ourselves and others.

But, how often do those goal go unaccomplished? And we sit back and wonder why our goals were never fulfilled. Especially when we dreamed so long for them to happen.

This is where Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path comes into play. Stanley says that direction, not intention, determines your destination…

Your direct actions, not your thoughts, will define you.

How many people go into a marriage with the intention of getting divorced? Absolutely zero. So why do so many marriages often end in divorce?

This happens because people rely on their intention to guide them through life. Instead of finding a defined direction, they intend to move without actually moving.

Intention will get you nowhere. Intention should only be a catalyst for movement. It should spur on direction and then that direction will create your destination.

Has This Ever Happened To You? (Maybe You’re Going Through It Right Now…)

How often do you dream about your goals and projects you want to achieve. Maybe you want to get married, start a business, finish college, go back to work, etc.

But it seems like life constantly gets in the way. Relationships crumble, career roadblocks arise, illness defeats energy, finances dry up.

Storms come our way and we question why our desires haven’t delivered us into freedom…

Then, frustration sets in. We start to become infuriated with the roadblocks that come up. We blame everything other than ourselves. And movement that seems to block our intention gets smacked down and shunned.

We overlook the fact that our intentions weren’t enough to overcome the obstacles that come our way.

Maybe we didn’t have a direction we were moving in so our environment shifted us like a careless wind blowing on a sail.

And we blame our environment for causing us to move where it wanted us to go.

We battle our intention with our environment’s intention, but lack the direction to have any say in where we end up.

The Principle Of The Path Completely Shifted How I Thought And Acted

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Doing significant things is difficult. I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always intended to finish goals and project and causes.

I’d set an intention and then a year would pass and I’d find that I achieved nothing.

I thought my intention was enough to get my to my destination… turns out, I needed a direction to move in.

This is why The Principle of the Path is so powerful. It helps us quickly reframe where we want to end up and the mindset we need to have to get there.

Direction, not intention, determines your destination.

Only your actions create results… your thoughts just provide fantasy. It’s important to dream, but dreams without action never come to fruition

What You Need To Do Next: Find A Direction To Move In

So, if you feel stuck, let’s get you moving.

Do you feel like you’re in a rut? You keep envisioning what you want to happen but week after week goes by.

Do you feel like you’re trying, but nothing is actually sticking? You’ve put in effort, but for some reason change isn’t happening.

These are usually a result of intention disguising itself as direction. You intend to complete your goals, but you haven’t planned them out enough for them to become directions.

Start to transform your intention into direction by making a quick plan. Then, take action.

You’ll thrust the future into the present when you turn your intention into direction.

Create A Rhythm Calendar

A rhythm calendar is a 7 day spread that acts like a template for your main calendar.

Pull out a sheet of paper… Make 6 lines down the horizontal page and then write in Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…

In the blank boxes on the pages, start writing in rhythms that will help you move in a direction. A rhythm is something that you want to happen on a specific day every week.

Don’t over complicate it… make it so basic that you cannot stray from it.

A Couple Examples

Example 1

Who: a manager

Intention: empowering employees and developing a relationship with them

Direction With A Rhythm Calendar

Sunday:

rest and relaxation day, plan a simple event with family e.g. go out for ice cream, take a walk, grill some steak

Monday:

Spend 15 minutes this morning writing down names of a few employees and what I love about their service. Or, if I don’t know that yet, write down questions I have about what they’re goal are and how the company can help them

Tuesday:

Read a few chapters of a mentoring/managing book that will equip me to become a better boss

Wednesday:

Go out for lunch with a few employees

Thursday:

Develop a mentoring relationship with one employee and then meet with them every Thursday afternoon for coffee to empower them

Friday:

Take an hour to read more of the book I’m on

Saturday:

Spend time with my family however I choose

Example 2

Who: a cancer survivor

Intention: walking with power going through cancer and being an encouragement

Direction With A Rhythm Calendar

Sunday:

rest and relaxation day, plan a simple event with family

Monday:

Send a quick message to two people who I know are going through cancer. Just let them know I’m thinking about them

Tuesday:

Wake up 30 minutes early and start writing a blog as a collection of thoughts and encouragement that will bless people for years to come

Wednesday:

Visit someone struggling with cancer. Bonus: see if I can get them a small gift that would help them, provide a service (e.g. do their laundry if they can’t), watch a movie with them, make them a meal they might be able to tolerate

Thursday:

Walking with others through cancer is taxing emotionally and mentally, today I’m going to spend an hour pouring into myself by reading a bit of an encouraging book or a video where I learn and glean knowledge and inspiration from someone else

Friday:

Spend another 30 minutes writing

Saturday:

Spend Saturday however I’d like, but I mainly need to spend time recharging

Why A Rhythm Calendar Works

A rhythm calendar is by no means groundbreaking. It’s simple, and that’s the goal. Keep is so simple and easy that you have no excuse for breaking it.

In those two examples you’ll see how small each of those actions are. Although small, they make an incredible impact over a longer period of time.

All you’re looking to do is to start moving in a constant direction over a long period of time.

You’re going to have to start somewhere, so why not start with small, consistent steps. If you want to build a business, don’t start with trying to build it. Start by adding reading time to your week and then meet with one business leader every Friday.

You’ll need to break down large goals into small habits that help you turn intention into direction.

Don’t dream of being a writer… spend 15 minutes each day writing. Don’t dream of being a great boss… buy a new book each week and mentor people.

Don’t dream of your goals… break them down and chase them.

You direction, not your intention, will determine your destination.

Ready For More?

Reading Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path will help you get a clearer understanding of how to apply this method to your life.

Also, we’ve created a stellar PDF about leveraging core values to kickstart your dream.

Download The 1 Tool You Need To Effortlessly Kickstart Your Dream!

The Ultimate Guide To Cure Your Fear Of Missing Out

Ready to escape the fear of missing out? Learn to crush FoMO and start thriving. You’ll learn just how damaging FoMO is and the exact ways you can combat it and live a joyful life.

Together We’ll Explore:

  • The #1 Lie About The Fear Of Missing Out
  • What Exactly FoMO Is
  • The Psychological Implications Of The Fear Of Missing Out
  • The Main Thief Of Your Joy
  • How To Find Unlimited Goodness In Your Life
  • The Main Perpetrator Of FoMO
  • One Relational Shift That Will Bring Joy To Yourself and Others
  • 6 Symptoms Of FoMO
  • How You Can Eliminate Outside Thinking And Embrace Each Momement
  • What You Need To Directly Combat FoMO And Develop A Gameplan

The Fear Of Missing Out

How often are you waiting somewhere and you habitually pull out your phone?

You hop on social media to check what’s happening in the world and with your friends and what events are taking place.

And you see people at parties and getting promotions and flying planes (10 year old me wanted to be a pilot so I’m a little jealous).

In those moments, we feel isolated and lonely. Like there’s so much going on without us being involved.

We start to question our value and time. Are we doing something exciting right now? Or are other people doing something more rewarding and more fulfilling than we are?

I remember one specific time when I was sitting in a coffee shop on my phone and saw that one of my friends got engaged. And I distinctly remember how pathetic I felt to be “doing nothing with my life” while “everyone else” was living a more fulfilling life.

The tragedy is that in moments when we feel bored or alone or tired, we crave to know what other people are doing. In a subconscious way, we’re trying to justify our current situation.

We seek out opportunities for jealousy and loneliness and contempt when we are most vulnerable.

What a lie we continue to tell ourselves when we compare a present moment of our timeline to a highlight in someone else’s!

We begin to create tension and anxiety within ourselves by assuming that the experiences other people are having are more joyous and complete than our current position.

The common irony is that the people we assume are living better experiences, are often wondering if we’re living better experience than them as well.

How consuming are our egos that we falter under the highlight of another's life?

This is the Fear of Missing Out (or FoMO for those who want to be in the “in crowd”).

Here’s the joy in all of this:

  • You can resolve the relentless cycle of FoMO
  • You no longer have to be bound to the cyclical journey of inspecting and comparing your life to others
  • Your unique life path requires no calibration with what someone else is doing
  • You’re allowed to celebrate the lives and experiences of others while maintaining your own joy
  • Other people’s joy will never squander your own

We need your unique direction and purpose to fulfill the needs we’re all seeking in the world.

When you chase after fleeting moments and act like joy is a handful of sand running through your fingers, we miss out on all the life and prosperity you can bring.

Let’s reclaim the fear and transform it into movement and peace…

What is FoMO?

FoMO has been studied as:

"a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent". This social anxiety is characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing"

The fear of missing out is something almost everyone encounters sometime in their life.

For some people, it’s the thing that runs their life.

It’s deadly and dark. The fear of missing out challenges what we believe about ourselves. It questions the very nature of what we love to do and how we love to spend our time by showing us everything else we could be doing.

The fear of missing out takes what we think success is and manipulates it. It puts our ideas of success on display and says “I sure hope you can participate in this goodness before it’s gone”.

It makes us believe that goodness only exists over there instead of everywhere around us.

(After all, goodness is something you cultivate, not tirelessly chase after.)

At its core, FoMO is about survival. From a cultural-evolutionary perspective, we thrive when we're participating in what our tribe is doing.

Group tasks and projects are what help nations and empires grow and expand. Missing out on the growth and expansion of our culture is detrimental to our integration in society.

In other words, knowing what’s going on helps us connect with others in a way that leads to our success.

But, FoMO has leeched into everything that we do. It’s begun to micro-manage our time and happiness.

No longer is FoMO about culturally survival, it’s now about popularity and attention.

It’s about staking our claim on moments in front of people so they can know we belong.

Do you struggle with FoMO? If so, you’re not alone.

Recognizing the issue is the first step to reclaiming your time and energy. In fact, FoMO is the perfect launching platform for recovery and growth.

If you’re right here in the struggle… welcome. I’m right here with you. So are thousands of others.

Let’s reclaim our energy, hopes, and dreams.

Let’s walk through a bit more of the fear of missing out and how it shows itself. Then, we’ll tackle the solution!

How The Fear Of Being Left Out Affects Your Mind

The fear of missing out drastically impacts our mental states. It primes us to believe that what we have is lacking in comparison to what we imagine could be happening.

Vast research on FoMO reveals:

> “Research focused on the motives underlying social media give additional reasons to expect FoMO linked to deficits in mood and satisfaction with life drive social media engagement. Research on internal motives for social media engagement indicates that avoiding negative emotional states such as loneliness and boredom” (Source)

Rather than dealing with the underlying issues that we face, we often use resources like social media to cover up our problems.

Like a small bandage over a large wound, we seek to patch the problem while it continues to harm us.

FoMO causes a wide range of mental problems:

> “Taken together with the wider motivation literature, it appears that fear of missing out could serve an important role in linking individual variability in factors such as psychological need satisfaction, overall mood, and general life satisfaction to social media engagement.” (Source)

The psychological research on FoMO shows us that habitually focusing on what others are doing as a patch to cure our own loneliness only pushes us further into anxiety and depression.

When we gain perspective and insight on how to eliminate the fear of missing out, we being to reclaim our sanity and mental energy.

You’ll be able to move forward in a fulfilling direction where you view everything in life as a gift. You’ll begin to find gratitude in the movement of participating in something grander than yourself.

Feel Like Your Missing Out On Life? Learn To Cut Out Comparison

When we feel down, we check on others to compare our life to theirs.

We want to know how we stack up… which forces us to treat someone else life as competition.

When we treat life and its joys as a competition, we view everything in life as a resource that will help us get ahead. We start to believe that the best and most successful are the ones who have to most resources. We start to view resource as scarce… and we start to hoard goodness from others so it won’t slip away from us.

We try to compare ourselves to others as if goodness and prosperity were limited.

First begin to understand that goodness isn’t limited, it’s abundant.

In our capitalistic cultures, we’ve been taught that we have to find our share, our portion and never let it good. We’ve been taught that there is limited joy and fulfillment and resource and peace.

And that to be truly happy, we must rummage up as much goodness as possible and hoard it up.

To know how we’ll we’re doing, we look to others instead of ourselves. We see how many followers a friend has or how great Jenny’s kid is doing in school or how perfect our co-workers marriage is before we ask ourselves “yeah, but outside of this, how am I feeling about the gifts and joys I’ve been given”.

You’ve been told for so long that your standard of living is tied up in how you compare to others that you might have forgotten how to embrace your own happiness.

You will always feel like you’re missing out on something greater than yourself when you choose to place your worth in how you stack up to others….

Your worth and joy and fulfillment is uniquely tied up in who you are and the direction you’re moving. Not in how you look compared to someone else.

Comparison will rob you of joy and contentment. But, when you start to live a presence-saturated life, you'll begin to find peace in every moment.

You’ll find you don’t have to document a sunset or share an experience to show others how well you’re doing.

You’ll begin to share life because you want to be inclusive and incorporate others into the joy of creation.

Sometimes, you might find a still, delicate joy that only you choose to revel in. A delight that needs no comparison or external validation.

FoMO In Social Media

The fear of missing out has always been prevalent throughout culture, but social media has completely changed the landscape for how we interact with others.

We often get on social media to check on others and see how they’re doing compared to us.

Those who suffer from FoMO are convinced that other’s are living a more complete life than we are.

Social media prey’s on our confirmation bias. It creates an environment where we scroll for an extended period of time until we find exactly what we believed to be true, even if it took us hours to find it.

Social media is detrimental as it takes away our attention in the present moment:

> “always-on communication technologies can distract us from important social experiences in the here-and-now” - Redirecting

Even though you can experience it without using social media, FoMO is a large creator of FoMO:

> “FoMO is associated with higher levels of behavioral engagement with social media, possibly to the detriment of learning outcomes”

We must constantly remind ourselves that social media is a glowing view of someone’s life. It’s not reality.

Your timeline is an amalgam of highlight reels constantly seeking your approval.

It’s perfectly find to use social media, but don’t compare 500 Wednesday afternoons that 500 other people are living to yours.

If social media is something that causes anxiety and comparison and fear of missing out, then cut it from your consumption.

Your movement and mental health is worth far more than your social profile.


FoMO In Relationships

This video walks through the importance of relationships on your long-term health and well-being.

Instead of spending your time worried and consumed by what relationships you’re missing out on, spend you your time creating them.

If you feel lonely, plan something. If you feel like you’re on the outside, then invite someone in.

When you shift from being an invitee to being a host, you’ll be amazed at the fulfillment you’ll bring to others and yourself in return.

Also, you’ll create sustained influence and camaraderie with others.

We continually expect others to initiate.

I was talking to a friend the other day who felt bad because he friend told her, “you never text me anymore!”.

My friend kept ruminating on this idea that she was a bad friend. I asked her, “she’s upset that you don’t text her… but, does she ever text you?”.

See, we love when people initiate in relationships with us. A relationship is a two-way street. Both people have to communication on their own accord.

Instead of always expecting people to initiate relationships and growth with you, start to become the initiator and watch yourself flourish.

“Some people are initiators. Some are reactioners. If no one reacts, act. Your role has been chosen.” - Manguana

Symptoms Of FoMO

  • A packed schedule: you fear time that might be spent alone
  • Half-hearted commitment: you say a partial yes in case something better might come up
  • Every free moment is spent on social media: all of your down time is spent consuming information about what you might be missing
  • Disregarding financial situations and live above your means: you can’t possibly miss a night out to save money
  • Ignoring emotional needs to be social: you hang out with people and attend events even where you’re tired or exhausted
  • Not knowing how to say no: you think saying no means you’ll miss out on something big or you’ll never be invited again

How To Deal With FoMO

Now you know exactly how destructive the fear of missing out is. It’s more than just a fleeting moment. It’s a pattern of thought and behavior that will tightly choke out joy and fulfillment.

The solution to the fear of missing out can be summed up with one, glorious Rob Bell quote:

> “Worry is lethal to thriving because it’s a failure to be fully present”

To combat FoMO, you have 2 tools accessible to you: Presence and Gratitude & Gift

1. Presence

> “Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving.” - Richard Rohr

So often we are consumed with analyzing and controlling and understanding. We directly remove our present emotions and interactivity when we become cerebral.

When you spend your time focusing on what you might be missing out on, or on scarcity of goodness, you choose to neglect the joy that’s right in front of you.

I struggle with this so much: I remember countless times where I would be with friends in person, but my mind was elsewhere planning what’s ahead instead of being present with what’s before me.

Learning to become present is the simplest, yet most difficult, way to calm your fear of missing out.

You can become a more presence person in many ways, but you have to recognize that it’s a growing process. You won’t become a present person overnight.

Start by mentally noting that everything you desire to control and understand is futile compared to the moment before you. Simply relax and begin to embrace everything within the present moment.

Slow down your day. Take walks around your neighborhood. Sit in silence instead of on your phone. Be engaged in someone’s life.

Presence is simply about finding wonder and awe in everything from the extraordinary to the mundane.

2. Gratitude & Gift

Gratitude is like medicine for the fear of missing out.

When FoMO says “everything is greater over there, so you must not have it that good”, gratitude says “deep inhale this is all a gift”.

How often do you pass through your day without even recognizing the giftedness and joys of your life.

Ram Dass says “Often we only know we’ve been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we’re in it, we don’t have the perspective to know, because we’re only being.”

You breathe. You consume. You communicate. Gift.

Start to refocus your energy throughout the day and direct it towards gratitude for the abundance that’s already been given to you.

When you wake up, or throughout the day, just jot down a couple quick phrases of things you’re grateful for.

The morning of writing this I’m grateful for:

  • I get to spend my time teaching and encouraging others
  • Almost every significant tool I use has been given to my by loved ones: a camera, guitar, laptop.
  • I have close friends who regularly ask me about how I’m doing emotionally and spiritually and guide me through things I struggle with

FoMO Doesn’t Have To Control Your Life

The first step in removing a vice is to be willing to remove it. Once you recognize you struggle with the fear of missing out, start the process of systematically removing it from your life.

Become ruthless.

If you need to, unfollow people, delete your social media, block numbers of unhealthy people, cancel events, etc.

Do what you need to do to become a healthier person.

When you learn to cultivate a mindset of presence and gratitude, you’ll see FoMO begin to release its grasp of you.

But, it’s not going to stop on its own. Reading this article and then doing nothing will not change anything.

Draw up a gameplan. Start tackling this head on.

We need you at your fullest. We need you with vibrance and life.


What We Discovered:

  • We think we’re alone, but so many other people feel the same about us
  • FoMO: the fear that others are having a more rewarding experience than us
  • FoMO is directly related to increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression
  • Comparison is a thief of joy
  • Goodness isn’t given in limited quantities… it’s abundant
  • Social media is the main perpetrator of the fear of missing out
  • Becoming an initiator will bring joy and fulfillment to yourself and others
  • The symptoms of FoMO
  • Presence will allow you to eliminate outside thinking and embrace each moment
  • Gratitude directly combats FoMO and reframes your mind


A Killer Book On Presence (So You Can Replace FoMO With Something Productive)

Richard Rohr’s book The Naked Now absolutely revolutionized the way I think about the present moment.

Here are some remarkable quotes:

  • True spirituality is not a search for perfection or control or the door to the next world; it is a search for divine union now.
  • “Presence” is my word for this encounter, a different way of knowing and touching the moment. It is much more vulnerable, and leaves us without a sense of control.
  • Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic, but pure experience is always nondualistic.
  • The mind wants a job and loves to process things. The key to stopping this game is, quite simply, peace, silence, or stillness.
  • Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving.
  • Once your presence is right, you grow from everything, even the problematic. If your presence is wrong, you will not even recognize the Real Presence when it shows itself every day. The Presence will be there — it always is — but you won’t be.

Get The Naked Now here

A 47 Minute Teaching On Presence
​Rob Bell's Podcast, or as his calls it the RobCast, brilliantly talks about the idea of participating and becoming present.

It's greatly changed the way I view the world.

Listen to it here!

A Great Video On FoMO

How Instagram Became One Of My Strongest Spiritual Teachers

I did the socially progressive thing. That thing your friend does when they delete a social media account.

But usually they post about it to appear like they’ve got life together. I didn’t do that, but I thought about it. I want to seem to have it all together.

It’s deep and dark though: the goal behind those kinds of actions. When we feel a dramatic pull from the interiors of our heart to remove culturally-instilled systems to recollect sanity.

Each day was the same: a fresh morning with motion-blurred blue light competing with inviting amber rays.

Complacent scrolling was demolishing any hope I had of starting something new.

More than that, I was starting to feel a wash of loneliness that was only present when I was connecting “socially” online.

The Intention Was Right

I deleted Instagram because I was exhausted with how much I compared my life with others.

A mental tally was skyrocketing with the uncountable events that should be a part of my life because they were a part of someone else’s life.

And the VSCO 06 filter made it all look like a dream.

It’s as if the muted aesthetics of peach skin tones and dulled greens truly sought to fragment what was left of my fragile ego.

And a stream of 500 people’s Wednesday afternoon made a stark contrast against my day.

It’s amazing how I created this fictional superstar out of an amalgam of everyone I followed.

I don’t know if you’re the same way, but my brain treated 500 people as if they were one superstar person I was specifically supposed to out live.

Comparison was killing my drive, my joy, and my energy.

Everyone seemed to be doing better than me. Everyone had better lives.

How am I supposed to keep up when everyone keeps getting more than me?

I deleted my Instagram account with the right intention of silencing my envy and longing.

But, deleting my Instagram account didn’t change the deeper issue I had with scarcity and goodness.

Abundance Doesn’t Have A Limit

So often we carry around the idea that goodness is limited. And you better hope that you can find more and more of it and store up what you get before it’s gone.

How often have you seen someone else with part of the life you think you deserve and are filled with contempt and envy?

This is the scarcity mentality. The scarcity mentality tells us that there is a limit to joy and prosperity and hope and love and resource.

Only a few and select get to benefit from it.

But, this scarcity mentality is a lie we tell ourselves because we’ve believed that abundance is limited.

We’ve believe that we don’t deserve goodness. Or that that we don’t deserve love and joy.

I Started Discounting The Abundance In Other’s Lives While Crushing My Own

The scarcity mentality had me believing that if someone else was receiving goodness, then that meant I wasn’t getting my share.

It created a frustration and hopelessness that immediately caused me to everything about someone in a desperate hope to cling on to my own pride.

Someone would receive goodness and I’d list in my head everything that proved to me they didn’t deserve it.

I squashed the goodness that others received and expected goodness would come to me because of it.

See, when you criticize the very thing you want, you’ll never receive it.

You’ll only continue to squander the little piece of goodness you have left in yourself.

About A Friend And Money

I have a friend who absolutely despises “rich” people. Not even crazy wealthy multi-millionaires. Simply anyone who receives goodness.

At the same time, he would talk about how beneficial a resource like money could help him accomplish his goals and help others as well.

As I started considering his mentality, I realized that he was condemning the very thing he wanted…

He wanted resource. But, whenever it came to someone else, he cursed it.

How do you expect anything to flow to you without first considering that thing a gift, no matter who receives it?

The Truth About Giftedness

The flow of giftedness and resource and goodness will never run dry. 

Richard Rohr brilliantly says it like this:

“We mend and renew the world by strengthening inside ourselves what we seek outside ourselves, and not by demanding it of others or trying to force it on others.”

Abundance is a flow channeled by what we cultivate inside of ourselves.

If you’re searching for peace, become peaceful.

If you need love and affection, treat others with overwhelming love and grace.

Nothing you desire is limited. The divine doesn’t serve fixed quantities of hope and joy and the like.

All that is required of you is the willingness to cultivate within yourself what you’re searching for.

Instagram, The Teacher

Social media has taught me much about myself.

It showed me the deeply rooted pride and ego that was systemically controlling my life.

It taught me how to express my deepest fears and insecurity through jealousy and hatred and ego.

Ultimately, it left me with the shockingly cold realization that I am simply how I react to what’s around me.

Now that I’ve had time to process and grow, I’m welcome the things in my life that show me my faults. I’m thankful for the things that cause me to grow through the unhealthy patterns.

Are You There Too?

Maybe you’re right there with me. Are there things in your life that are causing jealousy and frustration and contorting your view of goodness and joy in your life?

What’s causing you to believe that goodness can only exist when you get your share?

I see so many people delete social accounts or throw away damaging things, but they never deal with the underlying issue of what they believe about joy and fulfillment.

See, social media isn’t inherently bad. But, the relationship I had with it was.

It led me to believe lies about myself and others and the world.

You’ll start to gain freedom and joy when you can break down the limiting beliefs you have about the goodness you can find.

And it isn’t this mystical idea that goodness is swirling around you and you have to catch it…

It’s the idea that goodness exists in your life when you willingly choose to create it.

But it’s going to take work on your part.

You’re going to have to forgive your parents. You’ll need to work past the abuse and manipulation you experienced.

You’ll never to recover from the lies you’ve been told.

Ultimately, what you cultivate inside of yourself will champion you through the rest of your life.

Don’t let accounts, or people, or giftedness, or tragedy control how you react to events. Don’t let poor circumstances control what you create.

What are you choosing to cultivate inside yourself that will lead you into a life of joy and inclusivity for others?

8 Powerfully Potent Communication Techniques

What Are Communication Techniques?

Communication is vital to thriving in any environment. Without communication, we simply exist on our own, entirely subject to our self-positioned distance from others.

Learning how to communicate clearly will allow you to find freedom and joy in life by inviting others into a conversation that has movement and clarity.

When you Communicate clearly, you create:


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    Less conflict


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    Avoided misunderstanding


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    Quicker results


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    Improved organization success


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    Developed productivity


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    Far-reaching influence

Communication is defined as “the act of conveying intended meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules”.

In other words, communication is the process of taking intent and clearly translating that into understanding.

The Major Roadblock In Most Communication

Definitions:

Noise: the obstacles that interrupt the flow of communication

Intent: the message the communicator desires to convey

Understanding: full and accurate decoding of a communicators message

Noise

Communication is something that seems fairly simple. We’re just taking our ideas or thoughts and using different techniques to convey those to someone else.

But, communication is riddled with obstacles that are constantly tripping up the flow from one person to another.

For example, when someone says they’re fine, but you absolutely know they aren’t…

Or how the translation of the Pepsi slogan: ‘Come alive with the Pepsi Generation’ came out as: ‘Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead’ in Taiwan…. I think there was some miscommunication there.

Communication is plagued with noise: influences on our understanding of communication that shift the intent of our message.

When there is a mismatch between someone’s intent and another’s understanding, there is communication noise.

Communication noise has single-handedly been destroying relationships and influencers for years.

Instead of considering if the message is being understood correctly, noise makes us continually believe that the other person's intent is wrong.

We immediately assume that the problem is with the sender rather than with the way the sender communicated.

So many relationships and organizations would be saved if we all learned how to communicate with more clarity and care.

To become a more influential speaker, thoughtful parent, considerate caretaker, empathetic friend, successful worker, etc. start to leverage the power of clarity in your communication to cut through the noise that clouds your intent.

Communication Techniques Definition:

Communication techniques are simple ways you can begin to add clarity and care to the message you want to share with others.

These techniques and tools will help you effectively communicate your intent so others can understand your message in a way that is beneficial to everyone involved.

Why Have Influential and Effective Communication?

Clear communication is the only solution to eliminate discrepancies between intent and understanding.

Effective communication also helps us become more powerful influencers in every aspect of life.

Even if you’re not trying to merge companies or present a groundbreaking idea, clear communication is necessary to your success wherever you are.

Clear communication will help strengthen your relationship with your spouse. It will help you feel more joy in your friendships. And it just might help your kids get better at cleaning up… well, let’s not get too optimistic.

On the other side, a mismatch between intent and understanding will lead to communication and relationship failure.

poor communication results in:

  • Failed relationships

  • Suffering productivity

  • Decreased joy

  • Lasting confusion

Clear Communication Can Cause Massive Culture Change

Effective communication is not only vital to your own success, fulfillment, and productivity, but it also is vital to the growth and movement of organizations and cultures.

“Organizational change has widely become an area of focus in management literature. Despite the growing significance and research, many of the attempts to generate organizational change fail. Recent studies reveal that change efforts often suffer a dismal fate…. The empirical picture appeared indicated that organizational change and communication process are inextricably related processes” (Husain, 2013)

Organizational change is statistically difficult. Most initiatives fail.

But, studies have shown that clear and powerful communication help organizations enact change with more potency and success.

This doesn’t just apply to businesses. Any culture (e.g. your family, friends, work, political party, etc) can be changed effectively with proper communication.


Types Of Communication Techniques

Ready to get started having powerful conversations?

We’ve outlined powerful communication techniques that will help you overcome the noise that separates intent and understanding so you can begin changing the cultures you’re in.

1. Copy The Body Language Of The Person You're Talking To

“Social synchrony underlies the development of affiliative bonds and, thus, its detection in social contexts may be important for bond formation and, consequently, for adequate social functioning.”  -  (Atzil, Hendler & Feldman)

You’re strolling through the park and suddenly someone gets smacked in the face by a rogue frisbee. Immediately you wince at what just happened. And probably laugh.

This is because mirror neurons allow us to understand and feel what other people are experiencing.

They’re responsible for us shuddering when someone else gets hit or crying when we binge watch military homecoming videos.

And they’re responsible for social synchrony: when people unknowingly mirror body language as a way to show understanding, support, and respect.

For example, when a close friend leans in to tell us a vivid story, we unconsciously lean in too.

This is because mirror neurons allow us to understand the intentions and feelings behind physical actions. And social synchrony allows us to socialize and empathize deeper with these mirror neurons firing.

Scientists used to think that analytical thought helped us understand other people’s motives and actions, but research has found that we understand each other through emotions… namely the reading of body language and automatically understanding the emotions behind them.

Mirroring, or social synchrony, is quite common in stronger relationships. But, sometimes we struggle to develop a conversational rhythm with people that develops trust, empathy, respect, and rapport.

Without mirroring, studies have shown that relationships are not as sociable and lack trust.

The easiest way to create the social synchrony that demonstrates trust is to simply mirror the person you’re talking to in subtle ways.

If they lean in, lean in too.

If they sit back and have a low tone of voice, do the same.

You don’t have to copy every small movement or make it obvious what you’re doing.

The ultimate goal is to become aware of mutual body language, and then allow yourself to naturally follow the other person with your body language.

2. Learn To Read Simple Body Language

Body language is key in understanding how comfortable someone is in a conversation.

You don't have to be an expert, just look for signs of comfort and discomfort.

Some comfort signals look like: leaning in, moving closer, turning to face you, a tilted head, a head rested on a hand, a genuine smile, and physical touch.

Some discomfort signals look like: neck/face touching or rubbing, turning away, crossing arms, pointing feet away, and little eye contact.

“The trick is to start superficial, and then slowly go more intimate while keeping an eye on the other person’s comfort level. If you find that they start giving signs of discomfort, then you should ask less intimate questions. But if they are giving you consistent signals of comfort, then you can consider that a green light to continue digging deeper… this progression from superficial to intimate is something that happens over the course of a relationship, not over the course of one conversation”  - Daniel Wendler

All you’re looking for is a general understanding of comfort and discomfort so that the person you’re talking to feels welcomed and understood the entire time.

For example, if you notice someone is rubbing their neck frequently, then maybe back off on the topic you're on.

Or, maybe they show calm body language, then, you can continue asking questions and sharing about yourself on the same level

Want To Learn More About understanding body language? get the book improve your social skills here

3. Open-ended questions

The Two Types Of Questions

Closed-ended questions: questions that seek a fixed answer with little thought. “Did you finish the report today?”

Open-ended questions: questions that illicit deep thought and a formulated answer. “What’s been the biggest challenge for you today?”

Closed-ended questions don’t communicate the value that you have for someone else.

To become an effective communicator, start by asking open-ended questions.

Closed-ended questions make you assume you know part of the answer. They limit the possibilities and potential of someone else.

Open-ended questions allow you to explore the thoughts and ideas of someone else and will help you gain trust and rapport with others.

3. Stare To Invite Someone Else To Go Deeper

“A gazer may invite interaction by staring at another person on the other side of a room. The target’s studied return of the gaze is generally interpreted as acceptance of the invitation, while averting the eyes is a rejection of the request” - Adrian Furnham

Our eyes are subtle, yet powerful communicators of emotion.

And subconsciously, we’re able to understand conversational cues simply through the cadence of eye contact and direction.

Often, the first thing someone says isn’t the only answer. And it usually isn’t the best answer either.

To help someone continue to explore their ideas and thoughts, simply return a gentle and engaged gaze when someone stops talking.

This small glimpse of silence might seem uncomfortable for a moment, but you’ll be amazed at the detail and depth people will share after you open up conversational space for them to communicate well.

To foster relationships with depth, it's your responsibility to invite someone to speak about the things they truly want to talk about.

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4. Silence

Silence goes a bit hand-in-hand with staring for depth as you’ll want to remain silent while you wait for the other person to continue speaking.

Talking seems like the only way to actively communicate, but silence is one of the most powerful communication tools.

Silence does two things:

1. It forces us to become active listeners

2. It encourages others to talk more

When someone is speaking, or telling a story, and pauses, it’s easy to want to share our side of the story, our thoughts, and ideas.

But, when we interject, we miss the critical depth someone else might be wanting to share.

Instead of interjecting, simply create an environment that people feel welcome to express their ideas in.

If someone is holding back in conversation, your silence encourages others to talk more.

Silence subtly prompts the other person to continuing speaking as your attention becomes an invitation for depth and meaning.


5. Scaling Questions

Scaling questions are perfect for effective communication in the workplace, but they also work in other communication environments well.

A scaling question simply helps you take an inventory of where someone is at so you can help them find the next step in their growth or productivity.

Here’s an example of how this might work with a writer who is struggling to communicate emotionally through her work:

You: “Ok, you want to communicate more emotion in your writing. If you were to rate how much emotion is in your writing on a scale from 1 to 10, where would your audience place you?”

Writer: “I think they’d give me a weak 4.”

You: “Why would they give you a 4?”

Writer: “Because they can’t connect with me. I don’t think I share as much on paper as is in my head.”

You: “So, if you’re at a 4 today, what would you need to do this week to bump that up to a 5?”

Writer: “To move up to a 5, I could start by adding at least one vulnerable story or anecdote into my writing.”

Scaling questions simply seek a starting point so you can help someone find the next step in their journey.

Far too often we try to fix people and their problems. Which is way too large of a task. People often have an idea of their best course of action, but they need you to gently and graciously direct them to it.

Effective communicators can use scaling questions to gauge where their audience is at and collaborate on a game-plan for sustained growth.

Want To Learn More About Scaling Questions? Grab the book 1001 Solution-Focused Questions here!

6. The AWE Question

“So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments” -  Dale Carnegie

Influence is found in the question you ask rather than in the knowledge you speak.

Most people think that to be influential and wise, they must constantly speak at people and have a response to anything that arises.

However, people already know what’s best for them. You are not more of an expert on someone’s life than they are of their own.

So, your influence will be found in guiding questions that help people explore themselves and environment rather than what you say to them.

Any time I’ve had someone say I’m wise or thoughtful I have to laugh a little bit inside. Mainly because I only did 10% of the talking and most of that was just asking thoughtful questions.

So, how do you ask inspiring and profound questions? Three words…

“And What Else?”

The AWE question.

Start off with those three simple words and you’ll unleash a depth of conversation that will have true impact.

Questions that continue to generate depth will always revolve around “and what else”… and you can change the way the question looks.

It can look like:

“how did you manage to do that”

“how did you accomplish that”

“how did you know that’d help”

Tailor your questions to the context.

Master The AWE Question And Develop A Coaching Habit. Get the book The Coaching Habit here.

7. Be Vulnerable With Others And They’ll Be Vulnerable With You

Vulnerable conversation

“It’s true: if we live behind a mask we can impress but we can’t connect.” - Donald Miller

Effective communication can only happen when communicators choose to be vulnerable and safe in their messaging.

Vulnerability fosters trust and deep connection that will help improvement fulfillment and joy in whatever you do.

And creating an environment where people feel safe to be vulnerable will all you to become much more influential and begin caring for the actual needs people have instead of just their surface needs.

For the longest time I wanted to have vulnerable relationships with people. I was so confused why I didn’t have any super close relationships.

I realized that if I expect others to be vulnerable with me, I must first be vulnerable with them.

If you want to foster vulnerable and protected relationships, start by be open and transparent with the people you communicate with.

Openness and honesty will greatly contribute to lasting joy and satisfaction.

Ready To Drop The Act And Find True Intimacy? Get The Book Scary Close Here


8. Show Empathy

Brené Brown is an expert on empathy.

Influential leaders and communicators must be empathetic.

If you choose to eliminate empathy from your communication, you’ll end up becoming a self-seeking and authoritarian leader.

Powerful communication can only take place when a communicator is distinctly in tune with the listener’s emotions and desires.

Want the courage to be vulnerable ? get the book daring greatly here

You're Only As Good As Your Communication

Influential communicators and influencers understand the power of effective communication and the techniques required to translate a message well.

Communication seems simple from a quick glance, but as you begin to examine communication more, you'll begin to see new layers and areas you can improve in to become drastically more influential.

If you're looking for deeper relationships, more fulfillment, and lasting influence, start using communication techniques that help you translate you message's intent in a clear and concise way.

Continually challenge yourself to improve and through the process you'll discover monumental growth that comes from small changes built up over time.

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The Top 5 Motivational Videos for 2018

Motivation is the driving force behind why you do what you do.

And motivation ultimately ends up shaping the action or inaction that causes peace, destruction, harmony, and conflict.

To find true, lasting motivation, we must search inside of ourselves to find the values that drive every action we take.

Instead of hyped-up anecdotes with dramatic music in the background that only energize you for a couple hours, here are the top 5 motivational videos that show depth, creativity, and research that will help you live a full and energetic life.

1. What Makes A Good Life? Lessons From The Longest Study On Happiness - Robert Waldinger (12:46)

How do you imagine a happy life? With money and fame? This video inspires by showing exactly how futile chasing after happiness is. Happiness is something created by the relationships we foster. Robert Waldinger walks through the fascinating, 75-year study into happiness and motivation. The study, which continues to this day, reveals something most of us already know: relationships are the ultimate creator of joy. But, this study highlights the scientific support behind how relationships carry and health and wellness through every event in our lives. Life isn’t about wealth, or fame, or working hard. Life satisfaction and joy is simply about the relationships we develop that bring satisfaction and fulfillment. This study proved that scientists could predict the health and vitality of someone later in life by looking at how satisfied they were in relationships in middle age by saying, “the people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50, were the healthiest at age 80”.

“The clearest message we get from this 75 year study is this: good relationships keep up happier and healthier, period… loneliness kills”

2. If You Want To Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus On Them - Reggie Rivers (10:40)

Focus on your behaviors, rather than your goal. Reggie Rivers walks through how to focused intently on the things you can control. How often have you set up a goal for yourself and begin immediately checking to see if you're on your way to accomplishing it? Reggie argues that when we focus on completely goals, we'll never accomplish them because we'll lose sight of the process. To find motivation and drive, we must set a goal and then only focus on the behaviors that will drive us to accomplish that goal. If your goal is to write a book, focus on writing 500 words per day. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, focus on going to the gym 3 times per week.

“Goals require you to have the participation of other people, therefore, they are outside of your control. If you spend too much time focusing on your goals, you'll never achieve them. Behaviors, by contrast, are things that you alone can do.” - Reggie Rivers

3. The Secret To Self-Motivation - Mel Robbins (22:10)

Mel's fascinating talk outlines the root problem of our lack of motivation: hesitation. Mel Robbins struggled to figure out why she could never do the little things that would dramatically improve her life. It wasn't until she discovered how small hesitations signal stress in our brain and cause us to turn away from action.

“Motivation's garbage. You're only motivated to do things that are easy. Our minds are designed to stop us from doing anything that might hurt us. We all have a damaging habit of hesitating.”

4. Empathy - Brené Brown (2:53)

To be motivated and influential, you must understand the "why" behind what you do. And the "why" is always saturated with empathy for other people and what they're experiencing. Brené Brown outlines the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection. Empathy says, "I've been there before". It creates a sacred, safe space where people can feel and connect together and ultimately end up thriving. Buy Brené Brown's Daring Greatly here.

“Empathy is feeling WITH people... It's a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something inside myself that knows that feeling” - Brené Brown

5. The Puzzle Of Motivation - Daniel Pink (18:36)

Most workplaces try to incentivize or motivate employees through a direct reward system. e.g. if you make more sales, you make more money. Research shows that rewards don’t work to motivate employees. In fact, rewards actually decrease productivity. Rewards dull thinking and block productivity because they narrow the possibilities of performance. So, when you’re looking to motivate yourself or other people, don’t start with a reward system. To motivate yourself and others, you must understand the core desires that actually move people towards action. Motivation shouldn’t have to be pumped into everyone to see a world full of motivated and inspired people. Motivation is instilled in our core desires and values. The job of an influencer or leader is simply to tap into the desires that light people up and foster them. Buy Daniel Pink's book Drive here.

“There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. The motivators we think are a natural part of business only work in a narrow band of circumstances. If/Then rewards, often destroy creativity. The secret to high performance is the unseen intrinsic drive: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” - Daniel Pink

Don’t Check Your Phone The First Thing In The Morning

If you’re like me, you struggle to not look at your phone the first thing in the morning… I had to start finding a way to break this pattern.

Checking your phone in the morning will immediately limit the rest of the day. It will often make you play the comparison game with the highlights of other people’s lives. Let’s explore more about this trap and how to get out of it quickly.

Read more “Don’t Check Your Phone The First Thing In The Morning”

The Importance of Motivation – How To Get Out Of Your Rut: Motivate And Inspire Anyone

Great leaders and influencers understand the value of motivation.

They understand their effectiveness as a leader is directly proportional to their ability to inspire action amongst the people they work with.

Everyone from moms to business leaders needs to understand the importance of motivation

Most people go through life feeling stuck. They become overwhelmed and paralyzed by the actions they should be doing.

They spend their time chasing after the next thing they think will bring inspiration and energy instead of spending time simply starting to take action.

Motivation is important because it sets up a culture around us that will accomplish more than we ever could on our own.

And when we learn to tap into the inspirational power of true, internal motivation, we set others up for liberation and success that will propel generations forward.

What Is Motivation?

“As a man thinks, feels, and believes, so is the condition of his mind, body, and circumstances.” - Joseph Murphy

Motivation is simply the desire to do things. It’s a word used to describe the driving force behind our actions.

Every action in our life has an obstacle in front of it… motivation is the driving force that challenges us to push through the obstacle and accomplish a goal.

For example, when you need to mow the lawn the main obstacle between you and the mower is usually just laziness. Sometimes the obstacle is a lack of time. Maybe the obstacle is you simply forgot to refill the gas can again.

To push past that obstacle, you might be motivated by the 6 inches of grass that make your yard look like a jungle causing embarrassment. Or, you might be motivated by your spouse telling you to mow for 8th time.

Motivation is the internal reason you have for pushing past an obstacle and taking action.

Everything we do requires some form of motivation, something that creates a desire, for us to want to do something.

Our actions are a direct reflection of the thoughts and desires we have.

Many of us go through life thinking motivation is difficult to come by. We watch videos and clips of people saying gorgeous sentences, but we still suffer without taking action.

We’ve commoditized action. We’ve started to believe that to have action in our life, we have to pay for it with a burst of motivation. And that there is no way we can start a project unless we “feel like it” or are “energized enough”.

To find lasting and endless, distraction-free motivation, we must push beyond external bursts and discover the values that drive our actions.

Quick Tip: Rewards Don’t Work (Watch The TED Talk)

“Higher rewards led to poorer performance… This is one of the most robust findings in social science and also one of the most ignored” - Daniel Pink

I love this TED Talk. Daniel Pink talks about how workplaces still view motivation from an outdated perspective.

Most workplaces try to incentivize or motivate employees through a direct reward system. e.g. if you make more sales, you make more money

Research shows that rewards don’t work to motivate employees. In fact, rewards actually decrease productivity.

Rewards dull thinking and block productivity because they narrow the possibilities of performance.

So, when you’re looking to motivate yourself or other people, don’t start with a reward system.

To motivate yourself and others, you must understand the core desires that actually move people towards action.

Motivation shouldn’t have to be pumped into everyone to see a world full of motivated and inspired people.

Motivation is instilled in our core desires and values. The job of an influencer or leader is simply to tap into the desires that light people up and foster them.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

So, how do we find the values that drive and motivate us? Here’s a structured view of motivation…

In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed a theory of motivation. He said that certain human needs take precedence over others. He said that for someone to be motivated, they need their needs to be met in a specific order.

For instance, Maslow proposed that for someone to be motivated in Love and Belonging, they would need to have their Safety and Security needs met first.

This was revolutionary at the time because Maslow proposed a structured way for influencers to motivate themselves and others.

See, you can’t expect someone to be creative and find purpose (Self-Actualization) if they don’t have their Self-Esteem needs met first.

Great influencers and leaders recognize how important it is to provide for the needs at the base level of Maslow’s hierarchy first. Then, they slowly work their way up, fulfilling more needs so they can partner with others in self-actualization.

Maslow’s Hierarchy allows us to examine the core behaviors and drives that make up motivation.

Through the hierarchy, we can see how a simple monetary reward wouldn’t be sufficient if someone was longing for friendship, family, and intimacy (Love and Belonging).

Maslow's Hierarchy for the importance of motivation

To motivate ourselves and others, we must understand the core values that ultimately end up shaping our actions.

It is important to study motivation so we can partner with others in the process of self-actualization.

The Two Types: External and Internal Motivation

Daniel Pink talks about two types of motivation: external and internal.

External motivation is the "carrot dangling from a stick" approach. It's all about rewards and hype and dramatic YouTube clips and eloquent phrases.

Internal motivation is the underlying values we carry that shape the decisions and actions we make every day.

Most influencers and leaders attempt to create an environment that runs on external motivation. The problem is that external motivation rarely works.

The rewards and punishment approach only causes a lack of creativity and stifles productivity.

Rewards (i.e. external motivators) narrow our focus and limit our possibilities.

Internal motivation creates an environment that is open and free. It’s an environment that fosters creativity and connection and lasting energy that doesn’t fluctuate depending on how epic the background music is.

In your home, workplace, or relationships, start to identify internal motivation within yourself and others.

You’ll foster an environment centered around internal motivation when you choose to see the people around you as infinitely complex. Begin creating true relationships with people and understand the values that drive them.

As an influencer, it’s your job to foster the values that help actualize others. Not simply for your benefit, but because you cherish the people you’re with and their prosperity.

The 3 Elements Leaders Must Foster

To allow others to enter into self-actualization, Daniel Pink suggests 3 elements leaders must foster.

Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives

Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters

Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in something bigger than ourselves

In every aspect of your life, begin to evaluate these 3 elements.

How can you build and incorporate autonomy, mastery, and purpose in your workplace, home, and relationships?

Let’s take a coffee shop for example. We’ll walk through each element and see how we could motivate baristas and champion their self-actualization:

Autonomy: Baristas are usually creative people. Most of them are artists in some band and half of their music sounds terrible (or good? Maybe my music taste isn’t as refined). Instead of creating coffee recipes and forcing people to follow them, the coffee shop could create a rhythm when baristas get an hour each week to experiment with new drinks and recipes and presentations. Giving autonomy and ownership to others allows them to enter into their own liberation and become more motivated in the workplace.

Mastery: When I worked as a barista, my manager asked me, “what’s an area in coffee I can help you grow in?”. I was so taken back by that question. I thought it was so thoughtful that he was interested in my growth. From there, he helped me work on my latte art every time we worked together. He was a guide in my progress and because of that, I was motivated more and more to work better.

Purpose: Coffee is a great drink, but it’s really a cultural phenomenon that is largely about people. A coffee shop could motivate employees by exploring different ways the company could begin impacting community and culture through coffee. For example, my friend is currently pursuing his counseling degree while working in a coffee shop. He’s been exploring ways to incorporate meaningful conversations and relationships with coffee. Creating a space for purpose inside of work, or any environment, allows people to achieve self-actualization much quicker than simple rewards.

How To Become A Better Motivator

The importance of motivation is found in our direct ability as influencers to help other people enter into their own liberation and actualization.

We all have core values and drives that shape our actions and behaviors.

External motivation simply just stirs up the drives that have always been there. We will have endless energy and become powerful motivators when we can help others tap into the core values that exist within them.

Once you help others foster their inner motivation, you will see the extraordinary capability people have when they become self-actualized.

3 Steps You Can Take To Become A Better Motivator:

  1. Begin by listening and understanding the core values of the relationships around you.
  2. Reduce external motivation and start fostering internal motivation in other people.
  3. Explore and create environments of autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Motivation Isn’t About What You Say… It’s About What You Ask

“On the other hand, when you’re asking questions, you might feel less certain about whether you’re being useful, the conversation can feel slower and you might feel like you’ve somewhat lost control of the conversation (and indeed you have. That’s called “empowering”). Put like that, it doesn’t sound like that good an offer.” Michael Stanier

Wisdom is found is in the questions you ask rather than in the words you speak.

External motivation is all about talking at people. It’s about trying to convince them to take action. This rarely works well.

Internal motivation is about starting a dialogue. It’s about asking questions that help people realize their potential and the future they want to create.

Great influencers ask great questions. They ask questions that allow others to take responsibility for their own growth.

Understanding the importance of motivation requires you to become an active listener. One who is empathetic and understanding. One who truly desires to see others flourish and prosper.

Great influencers are interested in coaching others towards development, not simply coaching others towards performance.

Book Suggestions To Become A Better Motivator

Drive

Drive details the 3 elements of motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Pink covers exhaustive scientific detail about what truly motivates people and how we can create environments of influence and creativity.

1001 Solution Focused Questions

1001 Solution Focused Questions explains the process of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Essentially, it’s a form of motivational therapy that helps people understand where they’re at with goals and where they want to go. Even though it explains ideas in therapy, it includes great tools that will help you motivate others and help them stay on track with their goals.

The Coaching Habit

The Coaching Habit will help you understand how to ask great questions that lead other people to success. The author identifies 7 essential questions that work great as outlines for helping others become more motivated and creative.

The Motivation Process – How To Find Endless Distraction-Free Motivation

I’m not going to yell and cuss at you. Or give you a quick pep talk that will only energize you for the next 25 minutes. I’m simply going to show you how I find the motivation within myself to master my energy and become motivated beyond external bursts.

Reliance on external motivation only causes noise that continues to cloud our productivity.

(e.g. intense speeches, pep talks, inspirational songs with epic choirs saying latin words, random self-help teachers who just want to cuss at you)

When you’re tackling work or a project, the most difficult part is getting started. It’s so easy to feel like our projects and goals are overwhelming.

Defeat feels like it already happened even though we haven’t started yet.

And the possibility of future regret constantly stifles our attempts to even get started.

Motivation shouldn’t be a battle between willpower and external stimulation.

Motivation shouldn’t need to be pumped into us all of the time.

Motivation should be a way of life that flows from what we value.

Once you learn how to find motivation within yourself, you’ll allow energy and productivity to flow. Your values and drive will empower you rather than external sources.

Motivation flows from what you value

Most people think that motivation is something they have to find. So, they spend their time searching for motivation outside of themselves rather than cultivating it within themselves.

True motivation isn’t something that occurs outside of you. It’s found within yourself.

Sure, an inspirational video might give you a good nudge, but ultimately, that video is simply stirring up the values inside you already had to begin with.

So, how do you find and cultivate the motivational values within yourself?

First, recognize what you value. Then, practice those values and make them crucial to a life well lived.

It’s that simple.

I’ll walk you through an example of myself:

I need motivation for writing. So, I first need to recognize why I want to write. Why do I want to communicate with people in this medium?

A value I recognize within myself related to writing is growth.

I value growth within myself and within other people. So, writing for me isn’t actually about writing at all. It’s about sharing growth with other people.

It’s about a communal challenge to enter into a better humanity with each other.

If I spent hours trying to become motivated to write from external sources, they would never help me arrive at that conclusion.

Instead, all I had to do was take 5 minutes to recognize the values that are underlying my desire to work on a project.

I had to recognize that what I value is crucial to a life well lived. Fostering that value inside myself allows me to transform writing from work into a gift.

This is how you find true motivation: by cultivating the values inside yourself that drive you beyond the norm.

Try this for yourself… what values are behind your drive to accomplish a task? Find those values and foster them.

Lasting, determined motivation comes from your ability to translate values into action.

“Over-motivation interferes with reasoning processes. The automatic reaction mechanism is jammed by too much conscious effort—trying too hard. Something akin to ‘purpose tremor’ develops and the ability to think clearly is lost. “ - Maxwell Maltz

Andy Stanley says that “direction, not intention, determines destination”.

Your intention might be to get started on your project, but unless you put action and direction towards your goal, you’ll never get to your destination.

Simply willing something to happen won’t work.

Once you find the values that are behind your desire to start and complete a project, you’ll need to get started.

You can get started in a small way… begin by creating an outline of the work you need to do and a simple timeline of when you’ll get it done.

Direction will move you towards your destination. Intention will only cause stalling.

Resolve the tension of open loops

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” - Neil Gaiman

Our lack of productivity and motivation mainly comes from the unresolved open loops in our life.

Open loops (called the Zeigarnik effect) are the reason why we remember uncompleted tasks more than completed ones.

This is why all the little errands and tasks you have to do slowly add up and completely destroy your emotional energy.

Our brains crave completed tasks and ideas. The biggest function our brain has is to figure out how to complete things through logic.

When we have a myriad of unresolved tasks, our mind will spend its processing power trying to accomplish them.

This is detrimental because we use up precious energy and time thinking about ways to solve things without completing even a single one of those tasks.

Learn how to resolve open loops here.

Learning to resolve open loops will free up your mental and emotional energy so you can have deep focus and motivation without distraction.

Stop consuming so many low-quality things

“A person cannot rise above how he sees himself” - Maxwell Maltz

Buzzing notifications will never serve you well.

I love staying connected to people. I want to know when people get engaged, or how their Christmas was, or even the snarky face their cat made, but continual low-quality consumption is devastating to productivity.

We willingly choose to allow ourselves to become distracted by things that don’t provide value to us. And don’t get me wrong, it’s great to stay connected and to have times where you can relax and watch TV.

But, rest and relaxation have a time and place of their own.

A majority of your motivation-block my be coming from your choices to distract yourself away from the fear of getting started.

I’m an avid reader. And I think everyone should be. So, I try to tell everyone I meet to start reading because I believe it has the power to greatly change someone’s life.

But, most people I talk to argue that they don’t have enough time to read…

This is fascinating to me. Usually, because they were talking about the last Game of Thrones episode they watched.

I don’t read a lot because I have more time than other people. I read a lot because I choose to value it over other activities that are low-quality.

If you spend your life only choosing low-quality activities, you’ll never find the motivation to starting doing high-quality activities.

Motivation to start your goals and projects will never be found in low-quality distractions like social media and TV. They might serve as great periods of rest and relaxation, but only after you spend more time choosing to invest in high-quality activities.

So, start toning down your consumption of low-quality things. Choose to fill your time with high-quality activities that will serve you well and usher in motivation.

Practice in the open

"A lot of people believe in talent. I don’t think something like talent exists. I think the only way to get good at something is to do it over and over again. In front of an audience of people so you can get immediate feedback.” - Yann Girard

You’ll gain a remarkable amount of motivation by publicizing what you’re doing.

Even something as simple as telling a couple of friends what you’re doing will introduce an unparalleled level of accountability and encouragement.

Also, practicing in the open will allow you to gain valuable feedback about what you’re doing.

People will be able to help you in ways you never thought possible when you become inclusive with your projects and goals.

When you share what you’re doing with other people, you open yourself up to the possibility of people knowing if you failed. And that’s ok.

No one expects you to be perfect except for yourself.

You’ll create a vulnerable community that lasts for years when you can begin to trust others to see what you’re building.

Don’t rely on external motivation. Find it within yourself

“Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it.” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Don’t become affected by your circumstances… or merely reactionary to your environment.

Cultivate the values within you that will allow you to master your energy and become motivated beyond short, external bursts.

Getting started is tough… I used to search for motivation everywhere until I realized that motivation has always been inside me.

The values for the life you want to live are the only things that can truly empower you.

Once you recognize that, motivation will flow out of practicing your values.

Find the deep values behind the work and goals you have for yourself. Make them crucial elements of a life well lived.

When you begin to recognize the power that values have on your motivation, you’ll never have to search for it.

External motivation will only give you a temporary burst of energy.

Motivation cultivated within yourself, based on what you value, will create endless, distraction-free energy.

4 Steps To Find Clarity When You’re Confused

Are you confused about what your life direction is? Maybe you’re trying to decide a major. Or maybe a career. Maybe you feel lost and distanced from community and fulfillment. I struggle with feeling like I’m on a solid direction so much… I think it’s because I lose myself in the destination rather than the process.

Finding clarity and direction in your life isn’t difficult. You first have to accept that growth will always be found in progress instead of the destination. Then, we can leverage our skills and mindset to find a clear direction.

4 Easy Steps To Gain Clarity And Focus

  1. Slow Down And Relax
  2. Close The Open Loops
  3. Leverage Your Core Values
  4. Start A Project

You’re Not Alone

” We suffer more in imagination than in reality”

Seneca

It’s so easy to feel like you’re facing confusion about your relationships, or career, or just life in general, alone.

We imagine that our struggles are singular and unique only to us. And we close ourselves off to the community around us who are the only ones who can help.

This spiral of confusion and doubt affects so many people. I talk to people every single day who feel lost or hopeless because they don’t have an exact map of the future.

And that’s perfectly ok! You don’t need a detailed destination and map to live a free and fulfilled life. All you need is a little guidance that will clear the fog and set you on course.

This idea of “having our life together” stems out of cultural perceptions that have been instilled in us since we were kids… “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.

We were taught to look towards the future so much that we forgot how to find true peace and connection in each moment.

A Lack Of Clarity Creates Chaos

Transforming confusion into clarity is more about the process than the destination.

A fulfilling life will always be about the perpetual progression that leads you and others towards growth.

The big struggle is that most of our lives are filled with chaos. Everything in our life is begging for attention. Relationships, work, chores, senseless notifications…

Until we can begin to discern what is valuable from the chaff, we will never find clarity and remove confusion.

This 4, step confusion-to-clarity plan is broken into 2 parts:

Remove the distractions

1. Slow down and relax

2. Close the open loops

Practice in the open

3. Leverage core values to dramatically change your life

4. Start a project to gain momentum and vision

Our lives are plagued by distractions. Most of the time our confusion actually comes from distractions instead of a lack of direction.

Clear direction is usually right in front of us, but so many distractions keep us from following a defined path.

1. Slow Down And Relax

Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving.

Richard Rohr

First, realize that life isn’t going by as fast as you think. You have plenty of time to continue to discover who you are and what you want to do.

Nothing will be lost if you don’t figure out what you want to do soon. You will still have the ability to enjoy relationships. And you will still be able to do crazy dangerous things you shouldn’t tell your mom about. 

Your life won’t all of a sudden get better once you find a direction. Your life will get better when you can seize the present moments before you and make the most of them.

I used to struggle with slowing down. And I still struggle with it. I was so consumed with what I wanted to do in the future that my relationships suffered because of it.

If you become consumed by confusion and finding direction for the future, you will only neglect the presence in front of you.

You will miss out on opportunities for growth, community, development, peace, and joy.

So, take a deep breath. Relax.

You have plenty of time to figure out what your future direction looks like. 

Don’t allow the future to destroy how you interact with the present.

Take time away from work. And take time away from obsessively thinking about why you’re confused and what to do about it. Take a walk, have dinner with a friend, get lost in a story.

Take a break from worrying. Slow down and relax in the present moments around you.

In this process you’ll find refreshment and fulfillment that was lost in confusion and worry.

Slowing down will give you a platform to begin finding direction in your life.

2. Close The Open Loops

“The mind wants a job and loves to process things. The key to stopping this game is, quite simply, peace, silence, or stillness.”

Richard Rohr

An open loop is a psychological phenomenon discovered by Bluma Zeigarnik. Open loops (called the Zeigarnik Effect) state that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.

Open loops are the unresolved tasks that replay themselves over and over again in our minds.

The laundry needs to be done. The kids need to be picked up. I have a meeting tomorrow. I still have to pick up a wedding present.

We carry these open loops throughout our days and weeks. And they pile up. They consume all of our mental and emotional energy until we’re drained and exhausted.

We carry so many open loops with us that they cloud our vision and create confusion and chaos. And then we shape our actions and decisions off of a false sense of reality that is being choked out by unresolved tasks and storylines.

Open loops can be exhausting!

The key to removing them is to expose them for what they are and let them air out.

I’ve created a note on my phone that contains all of the open loops that present themselves throughout the day. If something I need to do comes to mind, I write it down. Then, I begin to plan how I’ll tackle it.

I either set a reminder or a calendar date of when I’m going to get it done.

Then, these small tasks aren’t piling up and consuming my mental and emotional energy.

I used to constantly feel confused and unmotivated until I realized that I had hundreds of open loops constantly replaying themselves in my mind. And those small tasks were causing incredible frustration for me until I started to write them down and tackle them one by one.

The chaotic power of open loops is found in their ability to constantly repeat themselves as they float around our thoughts and are continually unresolved.

Start writing down the open loops and small tasks that keep replaying themselves. Develop a game plan to tackle a few each day.

This will help you remove the confusion that is being created by distractions.

Learn more about tackling open loops.

Practice In The Open

3. Leverage core values

4. Start a project

Once you’ve taken the steps to remove distractions, you can begin the last two steps. These steps are about finding energy and practicing your values in the open (i.e. practicing with other people).

Most of us have closeted dreams. We’re afraid to tell people our goals and are scared to start because we realize we might actually have to follow through with them.

You’ll begin to live a clear life when you can move past your fear of what others think and begin practicing what you’re passionate about in front of other people.

3. Leverage Core Values To Dramatically Change Your Life

“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target – the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensure, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself” – Viktor Frankl

Core values are the foundation that we base every single decision off of. Throughout our life, we begin to discover aspects of life that we truly value.

For example, growth is a huge core value for me. I value growth from all aspects of life. I constantly challenge myself and others to grow.

Core values are what you believe is required to have a life well lived. Core values are what you believe to be meaningful and treasured beyond yourself.

Here’s the disconnect: most people imagine themselves in the future with a glowing idea of the person they will be. But, they never do anything now to practicing becoming that person.

Who do you want to be in the future?

Do you plan to be an empathetic father? Or an influential leader? Maybe a service-oriented philanthropist?

You have to identify the traits of the person you want to become and then practice those traits every single day.

You will never become the person you want to be if you don’t continually practice and shape yourself.

Finding your core values is easy. Follow the instructions on this sheet:

Once you find your core values, start practicing them in every single aspect of your life.

If you have a core value of respect, start practicing respect in your marriage. And teach your children how to respect others. And find ways to show respect to the cashier at the grocery store.

Start to full your life with the core values you resonate with and you’ll begin the transformation of becoming who you want to be.

Here’s The Plan:

  • List out the core values that resonate with the person you want to become: the person you want to become is already inside you, you just have to practice those traits
  • Memorize your core values: make a reminder, or sticky notes on your mirror, or go over them every morning when you wake up
  • Begin practicing in front of people: this will help you find new ways to help and give value to others while drastically improving your mood and performance
  • Allow yourself to fail: negative feedback is the only way to get better. Have a learning mindset instead of a losing mindset

Finding and practicing your core values is the quickest and easiest way to remove confusion and replace it with clarity.

Living your core values doesn’t require excess time or money.  You can even practice your core values at work and essentially get paid to start your dream.

Practicing core values will help you constantly search for growth and a clear direction without having to decide on a major, job, activity, project, cause, goal, etc.

People get so consumed with feeling like they have to make a big decision about what job to choose or what to do after retirement or what to do in their free time.

Core values help you take a step back and examine what truly matters. They allow you to live a life of purpose and meaning without being attached to a dream, goal, project, or cause.

Time will reveal your next big thing, but for now, focus on what you value and start to live that out now.

4. Start A Project To Gain Momentum And Vision

“Get yourself a goal worth working for. Better still, get yourself a project. Decide what you want out of a situation. Always have something ahead of you to “look forward to” — to work for and hope for. Look forward, not backward”

Maxwell Maltz

After you’ve cleared the confusing distractions that surround you and identified your core values, you can begin looking for a project or movement you can begin working towards.

This step is the most open-ended. There is no guide that can tell you exactly which path to take. Most of the time, a clear direction is laid right in front of you once you clear distractions from your life and you begin practicing core values.

A few things to keep in mind with whatever project you want to tackle:

Your Direction Should Be Bigger Than You

Your life direction should be more encompassing than just your desires. Your purpose should be about how you influence people and grow with them to create a more fulfilling and joyous life.

Make sure that whatever project or direction you move towards you’re constantly serving people.

If you’re not sure where to start, begin by examining yourself. What talents and skills and passions do you have? Then, examine what good is happening in the world already. Are hungry people being fed? Are people being taught how to read?

You can begin to get a sense of your life direction by finding where your life overlaps with the good that’s happening in the world.

There Isn’t One Right Answer

Sometimes I wish someone would just hand me my life purpose and then I’d never have to worry again. But, that would remove what it means to be human. It would remove joy and struggle and union.

Understand that there isn’t one right answer. And you will never be able to “pick the wrong thing”. It’s all about constant development.

One of my friends in college panicked about choosing the right major. She thought that there was a right choice and she was going to miss it somehow. But, this is never true.

Start with a direction that energizes you. As long as you’re helping people and finding growth and energy coming from it, you’re on the right track.

Start With Small Steps

You don’t have to have a massive project as a goal you’re working towards. Start out with small goals and work your way up.

If you want to start an organization that aids in drug addiction, don’t start by trying to raise funds for a building. Start by mentoring someone you know who is struggling first.

You’ll become overwhelmed if you try to do something too big first. Small actionable goals will always win.

Discovery Is a Great Place To Start

Most people start without even researching what they want to do.

A great place to start is by discovery more about a potential future direction in your life.

Read online articles. Listen to podcasts. Read books. Interview local leaders.

Start by learning more so you can spark new ideas and motivation for your future direction.

Next Step

Confusion comes from letting the past cloud your vision of the future.

If you follow these 4 steps, you’ll begin to transform “I’m confused” into “I found clarity”.

The process will take time and effort, but continue to grow and develop into the person you want to become and confusion will never cloud your vision again.