How do you pronounce HAPPINESS?

“In order to love who you are, you can not hate the experiences that shaped you.” – Andrea Dykstra
 
A good friend shared the following with me recently, “My daughter had trouble pronouncing happiness when she was little. She said happi(m)ess. Life gets messy. I choose to find the happy in the mess.”
 
From the mouth of babes huh?
 
Much of happiness is found this way. From the ability to find the silver lining, the lesson, the opportunity.
 
Happiness isn’t found in a state of zero resistance, where everything is easy and pleasurable. That my friend is comfort NOT happiness.
 
You want happy? Then be prepared to work for it. You must also be prepared to lose it. Then work some more and experience it again.
 
Sure, you can decide to be happy this very moment. Should life distract you, then you must find your way back. Back and forth, ebb and flow, they work together.
 
The happy and the mess. ​​​​
 
Without the dark, you wouldn’t appreciate the light.

A Tribute to Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) – Morning T.E.A. with Brian

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
– Stephen Hawking


Each morning I have the distinct pleasure of arriving in your inbox to share my thoughts and experiences with mindset in service a living with greater resilience in the presence of life’s challenges. 

I had planned on sharing something entirely different today until I awoke to the news of the passing of theoretical physics titan Stephen Hawking.

Stephen has been a lifelong role model for me as someone who continued to stretch his own mind and challenge our understanding of our place in the universe. 

Many of my coaching clients are young adults or in their teens and are not familiar with Stephen. I enthusiastically introduce them to him as someone who thrived in spite of his physical challenges. As someone who has defied the odds and was a shining example of resilience.  

In recent years, I’ve referenced him as someone who taught me to live fully with a physical disability. I go into this more deeply in today’s video. I hope you enjoy it.

What’s your message?

“My life is my message.” – Gandhi


The people you spend the most time with have a front row seat to the way you choose to live your life.

Every day they get to see the latest episode of the (insert your name) show.  What is it you show them? 

This has been a theme of a few conversations I’ve had recently. First, in the weekly mastermind call I have with my clients (as part of my group coaching program), we discussed the importance of scheduling your values instead of your busy work. 

In doing so you make sure the things that light you up get your time and attention. You also tell the world what you care about, what you stand for. 

In a mastermind I attend for my own growth, I was challenged to take greater responsibility for losing the 100 extra pounds I’m carrying around. I realized just how much I continue to sabotage myself regardless of the positive changes I have already made. 

The message I’m sending is a half-assed approach to improving my health. That isn’t the message I want to send nor is it the way I want to live my life. I committed to stepping up my game (I type while eating a salad), GO ME! 

You simply can’t expect good, lasting results without a complete commitment to creating what you want. 

What one thing are you half assing that you really need to step into?
What result will you experience by going the distance?
How can I support you in making it happen?

“How do YOU handle being unplugged? – Morning T.E.A. with Brian

Do you schedule time away from your electronic devices? Or are you like me and feel disoriented without your phone within reach at all times?

I’m in the middle of a lesson on how to be unplugged due to accidentally leaving my phone in my pocket when I went for a swim yesterday.

You know me, I’m passionate about finding the lesson in every experience. This one is no exception.

I overslept this morning because my Plan B alarm didn’t work so well. I was late to an appointment and my self-talk, around my lateness, my disorganization, my helplessness without my phone was pretty brutal.

Right when I needed it, a stranger reminded me of what was most important and it totally shifted my mindset. Watch today’s video as I explain what happened. A lesson that’s good for both of us to remember.

Just like that things can change

“Actually I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to feel like that anymore or ever again so I changed. Just like that!”
– Unknown


Is it really that simple? Can you decide to change the direction of your life so quickly and completely?

Take a moment to think about this. Have you decided to start a new job, end a relationship, begin a new habit? A decision that came from the spirit of no turning back.  

To make decisions of such dramatic change takes courage, commitment, and faith in yourself. 

It’s the latter that most often holds you back in making decisions that can radically improve your life. 

I remember a young man I worked with several years ago who found himself friendless a few years into high school. He was so paralyzed by shyness he wouldn’t even respond to a simple,”Hi” from peers who eventually gave up.

One day he decided he was tired of feeling lonely and no longer wanted to hide. He wanted to learn how to make friends. 

We began working together and but the end of the school year he had friends, was involved in after school activities and had a date to the prom. 

He not only believed the outcome he sought was possible, he believed with the right guidance it was possible for him. 

When I found myself in remission from cancer at a young age, I declared I never wanted to feel that helpless again. So I’ve devoted myself to a solution-focused life.  

A single decision made in the presence of a situation deemed completely unacceptable. Do you find yourself in a situation, right now, that MUST change? 

Do you have the courage to decide to change your life so completely?
Do you believe in your ability to create the change you want?
Do you have the courage to ask for the help you need to go the distance?

If not, why not?

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.