You Like Your Comfort Zone Way Too Much

I think you need to leave!

Raise your hand if you have a comfort zone…If you didn’t just raise your hand, I know you’re lying to yourself. We all have a comfort level with certain things in our life and that’s not technically bad – but it can stop us.

Our safety net or bubble can prevent us from being who ought to be. I’m not saying there is something wrong with you, but if you have ever felt like there could be more, then you will understand what I am talking about.

How is your home life? How is work going for you? Is that relationship moving to the next step, or are you fine with “Netflix & Chill”?

The first step is to come to terms with REALITY. Realizing that you have a comfort zone is important because now you can identify exactly what it is, and how you got there. Is it something simple like the route you take to work each day? Could it be the good you eat? Or perhaps it’s the way in which you interact with your significant other. (Do you keep having the same argument or disagreement?)

Once you have come to grasp of what comfort zones you have, it’s then time to make a choice.

DECISION time. Do I stick with the old habit, or do I spice it up with something NEW? Let’s go bigger. How long have you worked where you are? Do you feel complacent? Has the drive that made you a great employee slowly evaporated, and you don’t know why? You’ve become complacent because you found a comfort level in what you do, and you don’t want to lose the security and safety of your work blanky! I challenge you now, though. What if you were meant for more? You like your job, sure. But a new path might be in your future and you have to have the guts to step out of that safe little cocoon you’ve built for yourself. I understand that it might have taken a while to build it and settle in. Our bubbles usually do take some time, but that’s also the catch. We never see it coming and before we know it, we’ve trapped ourselves inside and lost the key in the process.

So how do we break out of this routine and structure we have so nicely adapted to? We have to LEARN.

Learning is the best way to break free from the norm. When we try new things our brains re-engage and we, at least for a moment, forget about how we used to do it because we have to focus on a new way fo doing it – whatever “it” is. I realize this may also mean a new challenge, but that is part of the fun. When we challenge ourselves we get a natural endorphin kicked high that makes us feel great because we accomplished something for a change!

Learning starts with the mind, which leads to a new challenge which makes us struggle (temporarily), and then allows us to celebrate. Celebration leads to confidence. We all want the confidence to do something awesome with our life. I challenge you to find one of your comfort bubbles and pop it like a water balloon. Sure, you’ll get wet and it will make a mess – but how amazing will it feel knowing you don’t need to rely on that balloon anymore to get through your day.

Take the challenge, start a new adventure and who knows what you might learn in the process!

 

These are my thoughts for the day.

(This was taken from part of my “A Life of Heart Book” and can be available to you on Amazon when you order from the link below. Thank you)

A Life of Heart – by Jason Atkinson

The big and LITTLE

Do you ever notice how big the LITTLE things become?

Just today my wife and I went window shopping for a new entertainment console for our living. We have a 1-year old, and he likes to grab – everything! So we have decided to childproof our electronics by hiding them behind a glass door that we can then secure with childproof locks. However, when figuring out what unit to purchase, I found myself being very picky.

I started measuring things there and then again at home after the window shopping was over and realized I was not taking my own advice. I was about to scrap the idea of this particular unit we had found all because the decorative totes that our movies sit in, wouldn’t fit exactly right inside the glass enclosed doors. If we had another inch, or maybe even half an inch, we would have been good to go. But because of that small difference, I was about to give up on a perfectly good piece of furniture. And then it got me thinking…

 

How many of us in our personal lives and our work lives give up on the big picture because too many small things got in the way? For instance, all I need to do is find some other cheap boxes that the movies will fit in and call it a day. Thankfully I figured this out almost immediately, and soon we will have that entertainment console installed in our new living room.

The clients I work with have needs. Sometimes very specific needs – and that’s fine. It helps me because they know what they want. Sometimes, though, we have to discuss specific items in order to find a solution that works. The small things can sometimes pile up and get in the way of the bigger picture. Part of my job is to show the big picture, and then break down the steps that will help get everyone there safely, and happily too.

I wonder how many of you reading this have stopped yourself from achieving a lofty goal due to making small things BIG? If you feel like that’s you — I urge you to take a step back and consider trying again. Those benchmarks that stopped you might not be as big as you think. And since you are in control, don’t you think you should be bigger than they are?

Just a thought…

 

These are my thoughts for the day.

Changing Your Mind – Changing Your World (Chapter 2)

If we can change our mind – we can change everything!

I won’t lie. This blog post comes straight from my book “A Life of Heart”. Chapter 2 of my book is the exact title of this post. It’s a personal favorite because of how simple the concept is, however, it’s also a favorite due to the challenge of it.

So to dive right in, here are 3 reasons we don’t change!

  1. Obstacles
    1. How we view our day-to-day activities of everything we must do just to get by, we can be overwhelmed with the list. And because of that, it can be difficult to ever even get to the one thing that makes us feel alive or drives us to do something awesome with our day. We have goals, we have ambitions, but the obstacles in our way can prevent us from ever achieving anything of substance. So thinking of how to tackle that can really change our view. “In order to get to that one thing that excites me, I will first gain power over the three things in my way.” That is the correct approach. And we can do this day in and day out.
  2. Fear
    1. Let’s get real. Fear is a mind-crippling vice that holds us back all the time. But what are we actually afraid of? The answer lies in the object of our desire. We fear we will fail because of things that haven’t even happened yet. Fear tells us that if we try, we won’t succeed and we will look foolish. Fear tells us that we can’t do it because we are not equipped. Fear tells us that we will never be successful because we aren’t good enough. Fear tells us, Fear tells us. Fear tells us… I hope you get my point here. Fear is not the future version of our life. Fear is an illusion of the worst outcome if we simply try. But what fear won’t tell you is that you might actually surprise yourself and become a winner. Sure, it might not happen on attempt number one. But who cares? The fact that you are trying means you are saying “NO” to fear and pushing past your roadblocks in order to achieve something great for yourself.
  3. Lack of Motivation
    1. If you’ve always been told that you can’t do something (by other people like a co-worker or friend), then your mindset will never turn into the opposite. Your motivation comes from within. A simple exercise is taking the negative that is hurled at you, and turning into a positive. “Why do you even bother, you’ll never make it.” Turns into. “I’m going to give it everything I have until I do make it.” Using this simple guide will train your mind to think positively more often than you do negatively. None of us need help listening to negative words, we do it to ourselves way too often. But that is only because we have been trained to do that all our lives. Start training yourself to think differently, and your mindset will follow you to victory.

I don’t know what kind of person you want to be in this life. But I am quite sure you want to achieve something you can be proud of and can stand by. One day, when you look back on where you were and the person you used to be…you might surprise yourself with the individual you have become. It doesn’t take much to start the process, so what are you waiting for. Be conscious of the negative words that flow into your head. Turn them around and don’t let silly obstacles, unnecessary fear, and other people tell you you’re not good enough.

You know all too well that you are!

These are my thoughts for the day!

A Life of Heart – By Jason Atkinson

What’s My Name?

You may know my name – But do you know me?

 

A name is an interesting thing, I think. The name itself doesn’t really tell you anything specific or compelling, and yet, for a lot of us, it makes a huge difference.

My name is Jason. So what? What can possibly make that exciting or worthwhile? But somehow over the course of our life on this rock, we have managed to make something out of a name.

It’s really the name is it. We all know this. It’s actually what the name stands for that really tells the story of who we are. But how does someone find out who we are if we are not there to tell them?

For example: How would you know that I am a husband of 10 years and counting. A father to a little boy. A Published Author with two books and a third on the way, not to mention the fourth that I am writing. I’m a drummer, I was born in the U.K., and I’m honestly an extremely picky eater. But how does anyone get to know that just by knowing my name?

They Can’t.

What we do with our name will live on for a long time. In the workplace, it is our responsibility to make sure our name survives through everything that is thrown at it. Lies, slander, false hope and so on. We go through a lot on a day to day basis and our brains filter through everything to figure out what is truth and what isn’t. So even though the name “Jason” means nothing. What Jason stands for and what Jason has done means everything.

True — we don’t always do the right thing, or say the correct words at the right time. But if the heart behind it all is leading us in a truthful, morally direction, all those things go away.

In my workplace, I take it very personally when I talk to my clients or even potential new clients. They know or will know, my name. So what I do, say, promise, (or not promise), is very important. I always do my best to level with them and be as transparent as possible; even if that means delivering news I know they don’t want to hear.

So take it from me. When you are working (maybe that’s right now), take a moment to think about your name. Who knows it? And what story do they know about you? If you like the answer then keep going. If you don’t think you do like what you are telling yourself — maybe it’s time to do something about it.

These are my thoughts for the day!

 

Don’t Do That!

Don’t you think it’s interesting how we learn?

For example, we often learn how to do something, by first learning how NOT to do it.

I find myself, today, thinking back to my childhood. You see, I recently moved into a new house, and for the first time became a home owner. If you are a homeowner, you might remember what those first few weeks felt like. You are overcome with excitement and pride, and then as the walls become more familiar, their hidden secrets start to slowly emerge. Replacing appliances, fixing the faucet, replacing screens or windows etc. All things that have to happen, and yet, sometimes you are not equipped to handle them.

This got me thinking back to my childhood. I’m going to be a little personal here,w ay more than before, so bear with me. I can’t really say that my father taught me anything. I lost a connection with him at a young age, and it was only a few years later when I lost him completely. Growing up, I didn’t really have that father figure who could teach me how to use tools, or show me how to change the oil in my car, or even put something up on the wall. So needless to say, that I am a homeowner, I have a lot to learn.

Thankfully, my wife has a very handy father who has gladly taken us both into his personal care and has been aiding us in all kinds of odd jobs. That’s what dads should do! (If they have the skill set of course).

All of this to say — I think about our work lives. I think about our responsibilities and how we get things accomplished. Sometimes there is a ‘tried and true’ method which shouldn’t change. Other times it can be more explorative as we uncover the different ways in which we can complete certain tasks.

Almost all of us are going to want to find the ‘right’ way immediately and stick to it. As odd as this sounds — Don’t Do It! I know I am sounding a little crazy at the moment, but I can explain myself!

If we found the correct way right out of the gate, what have we learned? Did we get lucky? Is it really that simple?

What if instead, it took a few, a lot, forever… to figure out the best practice, to figure out the “Standard” approach? We will for sure learn, we will have experience, and we will have knowledge and wisdom to share with others. I’m not telling you to never get it right. (People often get fired for that!) But I am telling you to not be afraid of trying and failing; because in reality, you haven’t failed. You have merely experienced a way in which to not get the results you need or want. This in itself is a valuable lesson. Sooner or later, someone else is going to step into shoes that you once filled, and they are going to possibly make the same mistake you did. Except now – you can be there to guide them. You will be there to Lead them into success.

So like the title says – Don’t Do That! Don’t take the quickest, easiest path all the time. Sometimes, you need to skin your knees, brush off the dust and learn a little before you can really say you’re the person with the knowledge and wisdom.

 

These are my thoughts for the day.

Hey! Let’s Hang Out!

 

There is always Magic in the Numbers!

It doesn’t matter if you apply this phrase to your personal finances or your business plan. The magic lives in the numbers. Ask any accountant — no really, go ask!

But — there is also magic in the number of people you surround yourself with. WHHAATT? Surely this cannot be true?

Well, let’s think about it. I don’t know your numbers on this topic, so you will need to fill in some blanks for me.

  1. How many people are you “friends” with on Social Media?
  2. How many friends do you have that you talk occasionally?
  3. How many friends do you actually see on a day to day basis?
  4. How many friends do you share your personal details with?

You should see a declining number as you answer these questions. True, for some people out there, the last 2 questions might be very close together, but certainly nowhere near Social Media.

So why do we care about this? We care because who we surround ourselves with makes a HUUGGE impact on our daily life. All I want to do is encourage you, and help you grow as an individual. It doesn’t matter if you take that on a personal level, or professional level — because what we are talking about here applies to all aspects of our life.

If you want to become a better electrician, you surround yourselves with Master Electricians that have been doing that type of work for years and years. If you want to be a better painter, you surround yourself with painters that have paint for blood! (You get the idea)

So who do you spend your time with? 

How we spend our time is one thing, but the people that are closest to us will either help us grow or keep us from moving anywhere. In fact, sadly, some people we interact with could drag us down with them. Sad but true. Not everyone in your life wants to see you succeed. If you do, they fear that they will be left behind, and those people only survive in a pack formation. If you separate them from the herd, making them stand out, they will wither.

The types of people you bring around you should be there to help you grow and achieve new and great things. But keep in mind — you could end up, or maybe you already are, that person for someone else. Recognize the difference. If you are that person for another, be supportive and helpful — but don’t live there. You too, need to be inspired by people above you that can teach you and mentor you. It’s easy to stay in a safe place where people praise you and think you’re awesome! We all need a pat on the back from time to time; just don’t stay there all day!

So to wrap this up. Find people that you want in your life that can push you in the direction you want to go, and don’t forget to give back to the other guy/girl that needs help from you!

These are my thoughts for the day!

What Challenges You?

Challenge Accepted!

At least that’s what we tell ourselves, right?

“It’s not the challenge itself that stops us from winning, but the steps we take to complete that challenge.”

(I know — I just blew your mind!)

When we face a challenge in the workplace, part of our brain goes “No! That means I have to DO something!” And then there is the other side that gladly accepts the task because we are now able to start and finish something, which means we accomplished something. And because we didn’t give ourselves this task — it is a now a challenge!

But a challenge in the workplace compared to a challenge in our personal lives, are perceived and dealt with in a very different way. At work, we need to do this task because we want and need the paycheck to live and pay bills, and maybe even eat some food. But personally, it becomes a choice of necessity. Do I do this challenge because I want to? Or because it will make be better? Or I’ll be healthier? Or whatever the reasoning behind it might be. On the flip side, we don’t have to challenge ourselves because, well, it’s personal, and who cares.

I can assure you, as a person that has gone through some difficult challenges (some forced, and some welcomed), that accepting challenges in your personal life will benefit you greatly in your work life. 

Let’s take something as well known as breaking a habit. We all have habits that we want to stop, or maybe even start. But maybe this habit doesn’t affect your working world (or so you think), and therefore, it isn’t a priority. I can personally guarantee, that any habit you try and break, or start will have great help towards how you perform in the workplace.

It’s not just about the habit itself. Personally, many months ago (maybe even a year by now), I made the decision to stop drinking pop/soda. I went cold turkey and just did it. But this wasn’t my first time trying this. I went about this habit breaking business, in a  few different ways at first. I stopped drinking my favorite. Then I only tried drinking caffeine free options, but regardless of my approach, I always found myself attached to the end of a pop bottle. It wasn’t until I knew which method would fail me, that I could then learn from those experiences and finally get to the point of just not drinking anything and winning!

This habit that I broke taught me about endurance, patience, acceptance, trial & error and more. This one thing turned me into a person that now understood anything I want to do can be achieved — I just have to know the correct approach.

So the next time you are faced with a challenge — don’t run away from it because of the steps that might need to be in place to get the job done. Embrace the process, don’t be afraid to slip because you will always be able to get back up and try again. In the workplace that might mean trying over and over. It may also mean that you have to lean on others for help to get you there. Whatever it is, accept the challenge.

Challenges help us all become greater. Without challenges, we would never evolve. We would never learn, or grow, or be confident in anything we do.

These are my thoughts for the day!

When We Look Up

When we look up at night, we should feel something, right?

For me, recently, looking up was and is a constant reminder of how small I am. But also of how insignificant my problems are.

When we focus on ourselves too much, the world around us shrinks. Anything we encounter, good or bad, becomes bigger and therefore, harder to digest. This wouldn’t be so terrible if everything that happened to us was positive. But how often can we say it is always positive?

So I look up. I look up to be reminded that I am tiny. I look up to be reminded that there is this huge, powerful, magnificent world all around me and me being here, is just one teensy speck of that big, big world.

 

I also flew recently for work. During the day, and while gazing out of my window, I got to enjoy the cities below me. The view from 28,000 ft, is always a great one, and even here I am put into place with outlook, on life. We tend to put ourselves in a bubble that includes only the people we know, and the places we frequent. But flying this high, and seeing for miles and miles around allows me to again appreciate how disconnected I am with everything and everyone around me.

I guess you could say between the starry nights and the high altitude of flying, that I am re-appreciating how much work there is to be done to make an impact on this planet. So next time you are faced with a problem too big, or a challenge too tough – look up. Be reminded that we are small, and our problems and indecisions that tend to haunt us, in relativeness to everything else, are also minor.

Let this also be an encourager to you, that with enough strength and endurance, you can reach a whole lot of world around you if you really try.

These are my thoughts for the day.

A Thought For You

 

We all have many thoughts that run around in our heads. Sometimes they are there for mere seconds, and then others last a lifetime.
But what do we do with those thoughts when we have them?

 

This topic seems especially fitting for 2017. Each time we start a brand new year, we gaze into the virtual distance and imagine what we will experience this year compared to the downfalls we hold onto from last year. Which leads me to thought bubble #1.

#1.  Let go of last year. All we can do is remember it, but holding onto it and dwelling on it can only slow down our potential for a new year ahead.

Short term thoughts can be great because they are spontaneous and random. But because they are so random they can be tricky to keep ahold of. Of course, they may not all be worth holding onto, but I am almost positive that a few of them will be.

#2.  After an idea strikes into your brain, jot it down. It may end up in the trash, but that’s ok. It removes it from your head and makes it a potential winner in life.

What about those ideas that come back over and over? How come it is so difficult to act on those? Usually, those ideas are “too big” for us to handle. Of course, they are! They are just ideas right now. How can you possibly see the end game? Don’t worry about what the end looks like, or how you’ll get there. Write it down and then seek out advice and wisdom on making it a reality. The internet has billions of avenues we can walk down to get answers we need. I’m sure, if you spend enough time searching, you will find the answers you are looking for.

 

At the end of the day, we can help ourselves by growing into ourselves. This isn’t a yoga pose! But it is excellent for the brain to adapt and stretch. Not every person is good at everything in life. Which I am glad for because it would get really boring really quickly if we were. You are a special and unique individual that can bring something of value to the table. Whether it is just for you and your own growth, great! Or if it can be shared with the world around you, fantastic! Regardless of who gets to enjoy what you bring, it has value, you have worth, and your thoughts can lead you down a path to amazing things. Don’t be lost in your mind and lose out on opportunities to set yourself apart.

 

This is my thought for the day! (Glad I wrote it down!!)