Character
Why Be Great?
23May 2017

Why Be Great?

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Written by Lifebook Vice President, Sandra Garest

Why be great?

Why focus on excellence and continuous improvement?

Sure it takes effort, discipline and gigantic focus to live an extraordinary, world-class life.

So why do it?

Because it makes you feel good, which makes it all worth it.

It all centers around this big idea…

Playing below your potential makes you feel bad about yourself. More…

9 Steps to Quit a Bad Habit
09May 2017
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Just about everyone in the world has a bad habit they’d like to quit.

Whether it’s smoking, sugar, shopping, nail biting, porn, excessive social media or TV, or any other distraction… for better or worse, we humans are wired for habitual behavior.

The problem is, most of us are too comfortable in our groove to bother with the cruel and merciless task of reprogramming our behaviors. So we choose the easy and safe path — staying stuck in a negative loop that neither fulfills nor evolves us — ever wondering what life would be like if we could only work up the courage and fortitude to burn away our limitations and leap into our unknown potential.

Trust me, I get it. Quitting a bad habit is hard. In fact, it takes everything we’ve got.

And on the path of extraordinary living, we are faced with endless opportunities to reprogram our patterns. A truly extraordinary life is a journey, not a destination – made up of a series of opportunities to become even better, even stronger, even more evolved than we were before.

Our ability to continually choose change and growth over comfort and predictability is what ultimately builds our character, and a fulfilling life.

It’s hard to change ingrained patterns. But it’s doable.

Here are 9 powerful steps you can take to quit a bad habit:

(Note: You don’t need to follow every single step to quit a habit… but the more of them you do, the higher your chances of success will be. If you want to go all in, commit to all of them. Otherwise, get creative and see what works for you.)

  1. Have a big motivation.
    Lots of times people quit things because it sounds nice: “It would be nice to quit caffeine” or “how amazing would I feel if I quit drinking alcohol.” But ultimately this is weak motivation. What you need is strong motivation: “I quit smoking because I knew it was killing me and the people around me, and I knew my kids would think it was okay to disrespect their bodies if I continued to set that example.” Know your Why, and connect with it throughout your Quit. Write it down at the very top of a document called your “Quit Plan.”
  2. Make a big commitment.
    Now that you know your motivation, be fully committed. A common mistake is to say, “I’ll do this today,” but then let yourself off the hook when the urges get strong or you start to face resistance. Instead, tell everyone about it. Ask for their help. Give them regular updates and be accountable. Have a support partner you can call on when you need help. Ask people not to let you off the hook. And know that, in the beginning, it’s going to feel like swimming against the current. Stick with it through thick and thin. Be all in.
  3. Be aware of your triggers.
    What events trigger your bad habit? Recognize that the habit doesn’t just happen… it is triggered by something else: you smoke when other people smoke, or you shop when you feel like you’re not enough, or you eat junk food when you’re stressed, or you watch porn when you’re lonely, or you check your social media when you feel the need to fill space in your day. Watch yourself for a few days and notice what triggers your habit. Make a list of all those triggers on your Quit Plan, and develop a strong awareness of when those triggers happen.
  4. Know what need the habit is meeting.
    This is a big one, because it gets to the deeper root of the behavior. We all have bad habits for a reason — they meet some kind of need (or at least leave us feeling like they do). For every trigger you wrote down, look at what need the habit might be meeting in that case. The habit might be helping you cope with stress. For some of the other triggers, it might help you to avoid something, or cope with sadness, boredom, loneliness, feeling bad about yourself, being sick, dealing with a crisis, or needing a break or treat or comfort. Write these needs down on your Quit Plan, and think of other healthier and more fulfilling ways you’d like to start meeting those needs when they inevitably arise in you in the form of cravings (which leads to #5).
  5. Have a replacement habit for each trigger.
    So what will you do when you face the trigger of stress? You can’t just not do your old bad habit — it will leave an unfilled need, a hole that you will end up filling with your old bad habit. You have to develop a good habit to do when you get stressed, or when someone gets angry at you, or when you’re feeling bad about yourself, etc. Consciously choose a new positive habit for each of your triggers, and write them down on your Quit Plan.
  6. Watch the urges, and delay.
    You will likely get strong urges to return to your bad habit when the triggers happen, especially in the beginning or in moments of intensity. These urges are dangerous if you just act on them without thinking. Learn to recognize them as they happen, and create more space between your stimulus and the response. In that space, simply sit there and watch the urge rise and get stronger, and then shrink and fall. There is an ebb and flow to it. This is where awareness and mindfulness is built… in the spaces between things. So delay yourself. Stop what you’re doing and just breathe deeply. Remove distractions and create inner stillness. Become a witness to yourself. Go for a walk. Get out of the situation. Call someone if you need the support. Above all else, remember — the urge will go away, if you just delay.
  7. Do the new habit each time the trigger happens.
    This will take a lot of conscious effort — be very aware of when the trigger happens, and very aware of doing the new habit instead of the old automatic one. If you mess up, forgive yourself, but you need to be very conscious of being consistent here, so the new habit will start to become automatic. This is one reason it’s difficult to start with bad habits — if there are multiple triggers that happen randomly throughout the day, it means you need to be conscious of your habit change all day, every day, for weeks or more. Difficult, but absolutely doable.
  8. Be aware of your thinking.
    Human beings have an amazing capacity for justifying bad habits with our thinking. You must watch your thoughts and realize when you’re making excuses for doing your old bad habit, or when you start feeling like giving up instead of sticking to your change. Don’t believe your rationalizations. Make choices you know you’ll be proud of.
  9. Learn from mistakes.
    We all mess up sometimes — if you do, be forgiving and gentle with yourself, and don’t let one mistake derail you. See what happened, accept it, figure out a better plan for next time and improve. Write this on your Quit Plan. Your plan will get better and better as you continually improve it. In this way, mistakes are helping you improve the method.

As Tony Robbins says in this month’s LifeNote, Awaken the Giant Within, “using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.”

So make the decision, and stick with it. You got this!

It’s in our moments of decision that our destiny in shaped, again and again.

More…

Why Self-Discipline = Freedom
13Dec 2016
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Written by Lifebook Wisdom Curator, Jessi Kohlhagen

I wear a lot of hats in my life (and, if you’re a fellow human of the 21st century, it’s safe to assume you do too!).

I’m a wife, mother, careerwoman, homeschool teacher, yogi, maid, chef, chauffer… and underneath it all, I’m a human being who wants to create the best possible life for myself, and the people I love most.

If I had to pinpoint the single most important characteristic I employ to be the very best woman I can be in every area of my life, it would undoubtedly be self-discipline.

SELF-DISCIPLINE is the key to FREEDOM and FULFILLMENT everywhere in my life.

It seems counter-intuitive, I know. Self-discipline implies restraint, control, and limitation — where freedom embodies flexibility, allowance, and even indulgence.

But in my own experience, I’ve found that these two traits are inseparable… You can’t truly experience the power (and privilege) of freedom without first activating self-discipline.

You can’t have a vibrant, healthy body without applying willpower toward what you eat and how often (and well) you move.

You can’t experience the enjoyment of having a peaceful, beautiful home without spending some amount of time organizing and caring for it every single day.

You can’t be a rock star in your career without getting your hands dirty and putting in the necessary hours to get the job done well.

And we all know you can’t drink the sweet, healing nectar of a blossoming love relationship without daily cultivation and devotion to its growth.

Self-discipline is the giver, not the taker, of freedom. More…

How to Transform Failure into Opportunity
31May 2016
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In this month’s audio presentation by Lifebook Member Ken Coscia, we take an in-depth look at failure; what it means, why we fear it, and how we can redefine it in our lives.

With his takeaway daily strategies and tips, Ken inspires us to increase our flexibility, open-mindedness, self-confidence and self-worth.

It’s time to transform fear into hope, and failure into opportunity.

Enjoy!

Click here to download the audio to your computer (right click player and “save as”)

About Ken Coscia

Ken Coscia, the International Training Director for all Silva Instructors, has facilitated transformation and coached well over 100,000 people from all over the world.

Ken is committed to The Silva Method and has been teaching the work of Jose, Juan and Laura Silva, for over 44 years (since 1971).

Ken is best known for helping his students discover and apply the practical skills to:

  • naturally and easily increase productivity
  • lower medical costs by increasing health and resilience
  • get focused, naturally
  • shift mindset and improve mood
  • and use natural intuitive ability to create solutions and get into “Flow”.

You will find Ken on stage with some of the industry greats as well as teaching Silva classes all over the world. He is the lead instructor and teaches the entire Silva Method core material as well as the creator of specialty advanced courses like the Silva Mastery SystemTM, PowerLearningTM and The Lost Sense: Intuition & YouTM programs. As the Director of Training he is responsible for keeping educational standards in place for all Silva Instructors worldwide.

Ken is one of Silva’s most experienced instructors’, having started in his twenties, he was handpicked by Jose Silva to serve on the elite Silva International staff. He is also on the Board of Advisors for Silva International and in his spare time serves a growing corporate, union and physician group client list with emotional intelligence and dynamic meditation workshops.

Ken has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Managerial Psychology. He stays up-to-date with related topics in brain science and behavioral studies.

Ken’s most popular program is the consecutive 4 Day Immersion Experience. It is by far the ideal format for accelerating your life with Silva Mind Technology. The 4 Day Immersion is now regularly available with Ken in Boston, Connecticut, and Chicago.

You can learn more about this work here.
http://www.silvamethodct.com/

Experience the trademark in-depth and personalized training system, with Ken, which has been perfected through nearly 5 decades of working with people from all walks of life. Under his guidance, you’ll find yourself easily entering deep levels of mind and sparking profound and lasting change.

Ken has some unique guided Dynamic Meditations and online programs to support your personal development her.
http://www.silvamethodct.com/ken-coscia-instructor/unique-products/

You can also follow and learn more about Ken’s work:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SilvaMethod.Boston.CT.Chicago/

LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kencoscia

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-_3jS56w73OvdQ0ftNlFyg

Ken Coscia
Silva International Training Director
860 674-1009

Lifebook’s Master List of Virtues
26Apr 2016
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Character determines our destiny, and virtues are the core essence of our character.

The more we recognize the impact that consciously practicing virtues has on our lives, the more we open up to new possibilities, growth and greater joy and fulfillment.

So pull out your Lifebooks and flip to your Character chapter… it’s time to hand-select the virtues you are most committed to mastering this month!

Explore our Master List of Virtues below, and discover powerful new definitions for each of them.

In honor of the virtue of “order,” we’ve listed them in six main categories: Wisdom and Knowledge, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance and Transcendence.

Once you’ve read through the list, comment at the bottom to share which virtues resonate most deeply with you at this point in your life. And if you have a virtue to add that isn’t listed below, be sure to share it with us!

Enjoy! More…

The building blocks of character
25Aug 2015
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Written by Lifebook Member Joel Wade

We know that character underlies our health and fitness – the self-discipline, commitment, and devotion that are needed to keep up a regimen of good diet and exercise are all qualities of character.

But how do we grow our character?

Practice.

As a psychologist and a life coach, I’m always looking at the latest research on what’s effective, how we change and grow, and I’m always on the lookout for tangible, practical strategies to help people.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so proud and excited to be part of Lifebook. I keep finding elements of this program that are supported by solid research in the field.

Starting with health and fitness is one great example of this. Because exercise is such a concrete action – you either work out, or you don’t. How many push-ups did you do? How many laps did you swim? How hard did you work? How sore are you the next day? – This very concreteness makes it (relatively) easy to commit to, easy to measure, compared to some of the categories that may be more abstract or complex.

What we know is that when we grow our capacity for self-discipline in one area, that capacity generalizes to other areas.

So by mastering the discipline that it takes to create the health and fitness we want, we’re also growing the self-discipline that we can draw from for all the other categories as we go along. More…

Habits 101: How to Make Change Stick
04Aug 2015
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All of history’s wisest teachers tell us that greatness is about consistency with the fundamentals.

Have you been meaning to start a meditation practice, exercise more, eat better or otherwise optimize your life via great habits?

If so, we think you’ll dig this special class hosted by Brian Johnson (author of our beloved Philosopher’s Notes), where you’ll look at the science (and art!) of creating habits that will change your life.

This month, Brian has shared his 90-minute Habits 101 class recording for Lifebookers absolutely free, so you can absorb all the goodness into your own life and amp up your Character this April.

(Keep scrolling down for the audio)

Here’s the class overview:

More…

9 Heart-Swelling Acts of Courage
09Jun 2015
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“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless when facing them.”
-Rabindranath Tagore

Superheroes are not just for comic books and movies; there are countless real-life heroes that perform superhuman feats throughout the world.

From superior strength to incredible acts of courage and perseverance, these real people have shown what incredible feats are possible through the power of the human spirit.

Let us all be inspired by their greatness to become bigger than we have been, more courageous, greater in spirit, and larger in outlook.

Here’s to heroes, all around the world. More…

How to Make Decisions Like a Samurai
04May 2015
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Life is all about CHOICE and ACTION.

The samurai knew it. Lifebookers know it. Yet, somehow, most people don’t make the connection between the choices they make and the quality of their life.

At Lifebook, we believe that ANYONE can have a fantastic, fulfilling, happy life if they make the kind of choices that we all have the ability to make.

Our ability to choose is our greatest freedom and our greatest strength. No matter where we start in life, we will be presented with countless choices — and what we choose will make all the difference in the quality (and even the quantity) of our lives.

We can’t always control the things that happen outside of us. Most of the time we can, but not always. But we can ALWAYS control our inner experience.

Anything that goes on inside us that is immobilizing, stops us, gets in our way, or keeps us from reaching our goals – ANYTHNG that happens inside: WE CHOOSE. It’s ours and we own it all.

No matter what conditions we are faced with:

  • We can choose our own values
  • We can choose how to treat others
  • We can choose to mold and develop ourselves
  • We can choose how to handle adversity
  • We can choose to be disciplined/hard-working
  • We can choose our own purpose in life
  • We can choose our attitude, which is the single most important choice

Each one of these choices happens INSIDE and is not controlled by ANYONE but us. Everyone has the ability to control and choose these things. Just think of the difference the right choices in these areas can make.

If there’s something we don’t like about ourselves — if we are anxious, shy, fat, unhappy, if we hate our job, if we’re stressed out — WE HAVE CHOSEN IT. Our choices got us there. And we can change almost anything in our lives if we are aware of our choices and our desire is strong enough.

Samurai code (known as Bushido) teaches that right and wrong, good and bad, are absolute. They are givens, not arguments subject to discussion or justification — and men should know the difference.

Now, we can’t all spend a lifetime immersed in martial training and spiritual development, but this loud-and-clear message applies to just about all of humanity…

You know what is right. You know what is good. You know what you should do. It’s just a matter of doing it — and making the right choice.

Unfortunately, most people don’t even begin to acknowledge or understand their own power to choose, and the awesome control they can exercise over their own existence. It is hard to learn because it is rarely taught. More often, we are taught helplessness and powerlessness…

“I can’t because I’m poor, a minority, a middle child, too busy, too tired, not smart enough…”

If we adhere to these belief systems, we are giving up control of our life. We have rendered ourselves powerless.

At Lifebook, we totally reject the concept that there are “a few chosen people” who are lucky, born into the right circumstances, destined to have great lives.

We believe a fantastic life is available for everyone. Anyone can be happy, healthy, together and alive — if we just make the right choices.

We — like the samurai — believe in taking responsibility for EVERYTHING that goes on in our lives; every choice, action, behavior, value, and goal.

Taking responsibility means we don’t allow the “externals” of our lives to take control of our “internals” — who we are, how we feel, or what we do. We don’t let anything outside of us dictate our lives.

Taking responsibility means NEVER blaming for ANYTHING. Our lives are the result of OUR choices – our problems are no one else’s fault. Taking responsibility means NEVER sitting around and complaining or worrying about how the world is. Instead, we take responsibility and get mobilized by the things we don’t like. We don’t flail about wasting time and energy.

If we don’t like something, we do something about it.

We get involved and find a solution. We fix it. Or we shut the heck up about it. No blaming, complaining or worrying – EVER.

Immobilizing emotions like anger, annoyance, jealousy, fear, or depression are hardly worth defending, and yet many people spend most of their time defending them (which is what fights are all about; “I feel this way because of YOU and it’s justified and it’s a big deal”).

But the fact is, anytime we feel an emotion like that – it’s all ours. We own it. It’s not someone else’s. No one can “inject” us with those things. If people behave toward us in ways that are annoying – that’s their stuff – not ours. Don’t let them get it all over you (and most of the time that is what they want to do).

Instead, respond with ability. Look for solutions.

They are behaving the only way they know how to behave. Instead of getting upset, we should respond to them with who WE are: loving, confident, solid, together, helpful, etc. Don’t ever go to the place where someone else has control over us. Don’t process it that way. Don’t blame someone else for our upset. We can transcend that. No one outside us can control our emotions – WE are in charge of our own internal experience.

In addition to taking responsibility for how we feel, we must take responsibility for how we allow ourselves to be treated.

We get treated in life the way we teach people to treat us.

If someone disrespects you, simply move away from them. Don’t ALLOW that. Don’t permit that behavior. Don’t teach people that they can treat you poorly. Take responsibility and let them know that you will not tolerate that kind of conduct. We can react with kindness – and if that doesn’t work, immediately remove ourselves from the situation. NEVER stand by and be abused or disrespected by anyone EVER. If you see yourself as valuable and important, you should never abuse yourself or allow anyone else to abuse you.

All this leads to a profoundly important moral idea. In taking responsibility for our own existence, we implicitly recognize that other human beings are not our servants and do not exist for the satisfaction of our needs. We are not morally entitled to treat others as means to our ends, just as we are not means to theirs.

Our choices control our lives, and the most important choice we can make is choosing a positive attitude.

Attitude is a mental outlook – a frame of mind. It’s how we think, how we process events.

The difference between being neurotic, unhappy, depressed etc. and being happy, fulfilled and actualized is NOT whether or not we have problems: We ALL have problems.

The actualized person has a different ATTITUDE toward the problem – A totally different orientation toward life. They see opportunity in EVERYTHING. They look at their problems and mistakes as learning and growing experiences.

Our attitude is also the sense of expectation that we have toward life. People with positive attitudes expect the best. Things always seem to work out well for people with good attitudes. People with negative attitudes expect the worst. Nothing ever seems to go right or work out for these people. In either case, one’s expectations becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You get what you expect.

We can direct our attitudes to work FOR us or against us. Our attitude can be our best friend or our worst enemy. It can attract people to us, give us a great life and pull us toward success, or it can do just the opposite.

If we create and keep a happy, successful, empowered attitude, we’ll have a happy, successful, empowered life.

If we expect to be great and feel great on a consistent basis, we will experience it. If we expect happiness joy, fulfillment and success, gratitude and appreciation, we will find it.

Here is an excerpt directly from Jon’s Lifebook, in regards to the attitude he has about his life:

“As for me, personally, I have an attitude and an expectation that I was born to be a big success in life. I was put on this earth to accomplish important things and to have a fantastic time in the process. Things always seem to go well for me and I know I will always be surrounded by the very best life has to offer. I’ll have fantastic relationships, extraordinary physical health, and a fulfilling emotional, intellectual and spiritual life. The universe seems to support my wants, needs desires and goals. I always have the wind at my back.”

What can you do to cultivate a healthier, more positive attitude towards life this month?

How can you start making decisions and taking action like a swordless samurai?!

As always, we wanna know all the details! Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Make the World AWESOME: A Pep Talk by Kid President
27Apr 2015
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He may only be a kid, but he sure knows what’s up!

In this short and sweet little video, Kid President (aka adorable 9-year-old Robby Novak of Henderson, Tennesse) will inspire you to persevere, BE AWESOME, and give the world a reason to dance.

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