Who do you think you are? – Morning T.E.A. with Brian

Good morning my friends Brian King here . . . It’s Saturday and I’ve been up since a little before 6am, don’t ask me what the hell that’s about, it was not by design.

I started diving into a business book I called DOTCOM Secrets by Russell Brunson. Even if you don’t have a business it has some amazing ideas about how to put yourself out there more authentically.

I tend to want to stay away from the idea that there are kinds of people, there are categories of people. You have your DISC assessments with the LBKJ whatever the different letters are, or the archetypes that describe the different kinds of people there are.

I’m a big fan of variety, of individuality and your unique variation on the human continuum. Even though we know we’re influenced by others, our cultures so on and so forth.

I was reading some archetypes that Russell laid out in this book about what makes, what he calls an attractive character, somebody that attracts other people to them.

I was surprised by just how fitting one of the archetypes was for me now. Of course no one archetype explains the entirety of you but what it can do is give you some insight into who you’ve become settled into.

It doesn’t mean that this is who you are, this is a fixed state you’re never gonna vary from for the rest of your life. If anything it’s a sense of who you are now.

There’s a lot of pressure when you put yourself out there on social media. Like you need to know everything, have to have all the answers and you have to be flawless. I talked about this a little bit in yesterday’s video.

People end up putting up this façade’s that’s just a big fraud because and what Russell does in outlining some of his archetypes is that it’s okay to show your imperfections. It’s okay to be human and I think that’s one of the reasons I was really drawn to this.

Of the four archetypes that he described, I identified most with the adventurer or the crusader and what that essentially comes down to is that I’m on this journey. I am always experimenting with life and resilience in different ideas and different mindsets.

I don’t show up and say, “I have the answers,” “I know the truth.” I’m not the guru or the expert therefore you must follow me.

I’m trying to figure this out, I’ve got some answers, I got some solutions that work for me. They may work for you, give it a shot, try it on.

Don’t like it, no worries, I’m not that attached to it either because I’m looking for the next thing that may work even better.

I want to encourage you to start thinking about who you have decided you are. Who you think you need to be to belong to this group, to this community. Ask yourself what does that mean for you in terms of how you show up. Are you expecting yourself to be perfect because you put yourself in those categories?

I was talking to a new friend recently about the religious traditions we were raised in. How we can be sent the message that we are expected to be flawless, that we are expected to feel poorly about ourselves when less-than-perfect. Even if that’s not the intended message it’s often the message received.

Think about the categories you put yourself in.

What options does it allow you?

What freedoms does it provide?

How does it hold you back?

Question whether that’s a path you want to continue along.

I love to hear your thoughts on this as well, please share.

What’s more important, the journey or the destination?

I imagine you are familiar with the saying, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” Do you agree with this sentiment?

Over the years I’ve met many, who have struggled with where to focus as they work toward their definition of success.

There are some who argue that there is no destination that life is just a journey.

There was a time when I argued that your focus needs to be on the journey as well as the destination. Thinking that a clear destination is what determines the steps you took along your journey, etc.

I had a wonderful conversation with the new coaching client yesterday. The young man struggled to define success and therefore having difficulty feeling successful.  

One thing we determined about his thinking is that he had a tendency toward perfectionism and therefore believed that any mistake equals failure instead of learning. 

A conclusion he arrived at through our conversation is that he loved learning new things and was robbing himself of that experience through his perfectionism. Something he has agreed to reflect upon.

What does this have to do with the journey versus the destination? I’ll explain in a bit.

One thing life has taught me lately, at least in terms of my experience of it, is that emotion invested in fixed destinations can be a slippery slope.

These days life seems to exist in two main categories, what’s now and what’s next?

The reason for this is because living with so much unpredictability, in my case, roller coaster health issues, even the best laid plans and crystal-clear destinations can be shattered in an instant.

What you’re left with is having to grieve the loss of a coveted destination that now seems out of reach. Fortunately, life doesn’t have to be lived that way.

Another sentiment I suspect you’re familiar with is one that says the present moment is the only reality, is the place where all experience and happiness resides.

In that vein, the journey, the step you’re taking right now, is the whole of your experience, the whole of your life, and the only thing that requires your undivided attention.

Once that step is taken, with all your heart, all of your courage, and all of your attention the only thing that’s left to do is take the next step.

In which case, you live your life in terms of what’s now and what’s next, make sense?

The client I mentioned earlier was able to shift his thinking to define what’s now as a journey of learning, and what’s next as an opportunity to apply what he’s learned. How’s that for simple and yet profound?

It’s a big leap from his perfectionism and the return to the wonder that made him feel good about himself and his work.

We can discuss this topic for hours, I’m sure. But now I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How do you approach your journey? Do you have a destination? Please share.  

That’s all for now.

You can always begin again

“No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again.”
– Jack Kornfield

The world is filled with self-starters who declare the merits of beginning each day with a positive attitude. Honestly, I declare the same.

The disservice we do others is when we forget to mention we were not always able to do this. That it’s a journey and a lot of work to arrive at this place.

 Many people have sought my services over the years to learn from me, among other things, how to reach the place where they can begin their days powerfully and positively.

One such person, a client of mine, reached out to me this morning after a less than positive exchange with a family member cause them to backslide in their mood and attitude about the day.

It’s easy to get stuck in moments like this, to get caught in a self talk loop that sounds like, “just what I needed today,” “this is not how I wanted to start my day, now I feel like crap.” Sound familiar. 

The simple solution here, though not an easy one at first, is to start over. When you decide as a principal for your life that you’re going to begin each day on a positive note, with a focus on opportunities and gratitude, that doesn’t mean you will never be distracted from it or knocked off balance in some way.

One important reason for solid principles is to create a psychological home base for yourself to return to when you lose your way, even for a moment.

 It is this homebase I reminded my client of and through a series of heartfelt text exchanges I guided them back to it so that in spite of a difficult beginning to the day they were able to begin again and see the path to the positive experiences the day still has in store.

I offer this to you, the opportunity to begin again no matter how difficult your day may have started. I hope you accept the offer.

That’s all for now.

 

It’s easy to underestimate yourself when things get tough

“Life is so messy for all of us and when brave and vulnerable souls like you share from the inside out, we all have the opportunity to connect and grow!! High five for honestly and big hugs for healing.” – Diane Shrock

“This guy, my friend, Brian R. King is a F***** WARRIOR and the definition of an incredible and inspiring man. ‘Some days success is measured by getting through the day.’ Watch this incredible, honest, real, and raw share.” – Sara Cruz

Lean on me

“…something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.” 
–  Marianne Williamson

 

Recent developments in my health have resulted in a great deal more humility.

I’ve had to lean on community services such as MedVac as well as lean into friendships more than I have needed to in years.

What at first led to feelings of sadness and even depression have given way to profound gratitude and humility.

I was speaking with the client yesterday who is unable to drive because of his challenges and he is reluctant to reach out to friends when he needs transportation out of fear he would be a burden to them. Man do I know how that feels.

But here’s the reality, if you surround yourself with the right people, people you also make a point of serving out of your love for them, you’d be surprised how willing they are to hold you up and help you out when you need it most.

But you must be willing to ask. You must be willing to admit that you can’t do it all, that you need the help of others and that’s okay. Because there will be times in life when we invite others to lean on us, then there will be times when we need to lean on them. 

And it is when you deny yourself the option to lean on others that life becomes unbearable. So lean on me when you’re not strong and if needed we’ll lean on each other and together we will carry on.

 By the way, in my group coaching program, we gather once a week through video conference to lean on each other and help each other be stronger as we work to create the lives we want, check it out here.

That’s all for now. 

There’s only one first, Roger was one of them

They always say, “It can’t be done.” Then somebody does it. 

Roger Banister defied the skeptics and ran a mile in just under four minutes, he died today at the age of 88

He was the first to do it and was followed by others inspired by his lead. He demonstrated an essential feature to achieve any breakthrough. You must first believe it is possible. 

When reflecting on his accomplishment he said, “I’d like to see it as a metaphor not only for sport but for life and seeking challenges.” 

I can barely walk these days let alone run a mile. But I can surely use Roger’s example as a metaphor for the challenges of my life. I hope you will use it in some small way for yours as well. 

That’s all for now. 

“But they meant well,” isn’t a credential

I was speaking to a colleague recently with an all too common conundrum. Once you share the news you’re looking to start your own business, suddenly everyone has advice for you. Whether they’re qualified to advise you or not.

For the record, having an opinion is not the same as having expertise. 

It may be hard to decide who to listen too.  You don’t want to upset those you care about nor do you want to waste your time and resources following poor advice. What do you do?

Tell them how much you appreciate their support and move along. Yes, it can be that simple.

That’s all for now. 

What do guns, gymnastics and business have in common?

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses'”
-Henry Ford


In watching the news headlines this morning two stories stood out. Olympic Champion Aly Raisman filed a lawsuit against the USOC to keep the pressure for accountability and change on track. 

The second story is the ongoing and sweeping pressure for common sense gun laws to be enacted immediately. 

Regardless of how you feel about either of these issues, They both represent the challenge to the status quo. The status quo of abuse that went unchecked against young female gymnasts for years or the wanton violence that was allowed to grow to epidemic proportions in the name of preserving individual liberty.

One of the primary responsibilities of the entrepreneur is to innovate by challenging the status quo. You saw this in the auto industry and especially in the computer industries.

Changes in the business space can and have dramatically changed the way we live our lives. Social changes, changes in mindset like those mentioned earlier change the way we see ourselves, the way we value each other, and what becomes important to us as human beings.

I think of being an entrepreneur as much bigger than providing a service or turning a profit. I see it as an opportunity to impact lives, not in terms of transactions, but in terms of creating a legacy, that outlasts the business itself.

It’s that level of purpose that gets me out of bed every morning, keeps me moving no matter how tough things get. Because it’s not about me, it’s about the change that must be made to challenge the status quo and remind the people I serve that life can and will continue to get better.

That’s all for now.

How to keep moving when you just want to stop

This is a useful follow up to our conversation yesterday about resilience (read it here if you missed it).

Have you ever had a life experience blindside you in such a way you felt incapable of or simply not wanting to engage life?

I experienced it when I was diagnosed with cancer at 18 yrs old. I experienced it again when my ex-wife walked out on me and my three young sons. 

Over the past few days, I’ve guided a family I work with in managing the sudden death of a family pet. If you are very emotionally attached to an animal you understand how painful a loss this can be.

The oldest daughter (age 15) was taking this loss particularly hard and wanted to opt out of school for the rest of the week.

She’d convinced herself she couldn’t handle school and needed to stay home in her room. 

My responsibility as her coach is to help her tap into her inner reservoir of strength to increase her ability to cope. 

Not to deny her grief, but to engage life while grieving. There will be times in life when you’re kicked hard but must keep moving.

Of course, there are exceptions, those aren’t the subject here though.   

The first thing was to help her realize she had such a reservoir. It can be difficult to remember you’ve bounced forward in the past when you feel knocked down now. 

We discussed how she made it through which reminded her she had a path from grief to happiness. 

By the end of our conversation, she had a plan for getting support at school if she felt overwhelmed by emotion. 

She moved from “I can’t go to school because I’ll fall apart, I just want to stay in my room,” to “I’ll go to school and this is what I’ll do and who to reach out to if I need to.” 

We accomplished this in 30 minutes through texting. Pretty cool huh? 

But the loss of a cat is different than the death of a spouse, right? Of course, it is. But the greatest inner reserves are built brick by brick. 

They start with giving up your pacifier as a toddler, losses of friendships, the loss of a pet and on and on.

You build your capacity by having the experience and doing the work to move through it. NOT by stuffing it down so you don’t have to feel it. NOT by shutting yourself away from the very support you need to remember you aren’t alone. 

This is as an important a lesson for business as it is for life. 

You won’t last as an entrepreneur if you aren’t equipped to ride setbacks like a surfer on a board. A board you often get knocked off but must find a way to get back on because the waves won’t stop for you. 

It’s great if you can avoid the tough times. It’s wise to have a plan for moving through and moving forward when they happen. 

That’s all for now.

How to be more mentally resilient

I’ve seen the term “mental toughness” being tossed around and written about for years but hadn’t looked into it at length. A cursory overview showed that the word “tough” was being used instead of or synonymously with the word “resilient.” THAT’S a word that resonates with me. Let’s go with that.

Darwin is often misquoted as believing that “only the strong survive” or in “survival of the fittest.” These statements have been perverted into a belief in the supremacy of physical toughness or strength. Where are those dinosaurs again?  

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin 

Responsiveness to change results from resourcefulness, flexibility and adaptability on your part. It requires the desire to question, learn and grow. 

How are you doing with this?

This is a subject explored over and over on deeper levels in my client coaching groups, but for you and I, here, I’ll keep it short and sweet.  

Regardless of what life throws at you, your ability to outlast and attain even greater resilience, in the end, requires a minimum of these three ingredients.

1. You got through it (whether you got past it is another story). 

Recognize that you have experienced challenges before. During which you may have declared, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. But somehow you did. Give yourself credit for those successes. 

2. You found happiness again.

You found your way back to a smile again. You allowed yourself to enjoy
life. The lotus must climb through and above the mud to reach the sun.

3. You did it with the support of other people. 

You must realize and accept that the cultural belief in “doing it by yourself” 
can be very harmful in this instance. It robs you of resources.  

We learn best through experience tempered by the wisdom of those who have
gone before us an succeeded. There’s no reward for reinventing the wheel
when you could lean on others and cut your suffering time substantially.  

I recorded a video on these three ingredients if you want to watch it here.  

That’s all for now.