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high performer

Giving Your A-Game – What it Takes to be a High Performer

When it comes to labeling common sense and things that happen in an everyday working environment, the Organizational Leadership (OLS) department at Purdue is my standard.

During my studies, I remember thinking “that makes sense” to so many concepts that we learned about. From the importance of the transition period in organizational change, to mentorship, to even something as simple as communication. There was a name for everything.

Since then, I’ve run across a number of topics that have blown me away. I find it amazing that something which originally seemed relatively vague and difficult to comprehend can be simply explained by a label and a quick explanation.

It love it whenever something just clicks into place.

Recently, as I’ve been preparing to be better version of myself in 2019, I’ve been reading several books that I’ve been meaning to in the last few years.

One of those books is Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits. And I have to say I’ve gotten a ton of takeaways from this book. In fact, I wrote about one of those takeaways in the last post.

And in this post, I have one more to share with you. It’s all about realizing if you’re bringing your current project, your current role, heck – even your current relationships, your A-Game.

 

Bringing Your A-Game

Now, a lot of us are familiar with this phrase. If not, bringing one’s A-Game is about giving something you’re working on or participating in your complete effort – your full commitment. It’s a phrase that I’m guessing originally came from the sport world – but it’s used in all kinds of situations.  

In life, we need to think as every day as game day.  You simply can’t achieve your goals with B-effort.

That being the case, not everyone brings their full focus or a great attitude to what they’re working on. And, since most projects consist of more than one person, I think we need to be able to identify what level of commitment people are at when they’re working with us.

So let’s take a look at these various levels or identities.

 

Game Player Identities

There are 5 identities we can give people we know in some aspect of our life. Whether that’s at work, a sports league, a band, or even in an online multiplayer guild situation. When we find something which is important to us, we often want to know that the other people on our team are putting in the same amount of effort – if not more.

When I think of great players in sports, I can’t help but think of all the extra time they put into mastering their craft. And you better believe that the best players at any competitive online game have a team that they regularly train with.

If this is the case, why shouldn’t we hold those that we work with – including ourselves – under the same expectations?

So here ya go:

Dabblers

They have a passing interest in whatever it is that they’re “involved” with. I wouldn’t even call it being “involved”. They’re basically just taking whatever they’re doing for a test drive and not really committing to it. Unfortunately, a good part of their life is probably this way. They don’t take much, if anything, serious.

Novices

Like Dabblers, they have an interest in what they’re doing. But, unlike Dabblers, they actually see themselves eventually mastering whatever it is that they’re doing. They want to commit.

Problem is, they might not do that well with discouragement. And whenever they hit a wall without the proper support, they might just shelve whatever they’re starting on. Be this for simply a later date or when they feel more prepared to take on the task.

 

Amateurs

These folks have more than an interest – they have a passion – in whatever it is that they’re working on. This passion (also known as a Why?) keeps them more committed to long term goals, but they tend to need more external motivation to keep going.

When I think of this group, I like to remember that the first time I heard of Tiger Woods, he was playing as an amateur. Sure, he had what it took to get to the next level, but how many people did he play with that didn’t move on to the pros? Likewise when it comes to college level sports, there’s a lot of external pressure from coaches for individuals to perform.

 

Players (Professionals)

When people become pros, not only do they have to perform on another level, but they are also in charge of themselves and their actions quite a bit more. As long as these folks feel as if they are being fairly compensated for their efforts, then they’ll do fine.

However, they are also highly dependent on set rules and routines.

I think this is one reason why you see a lot of college recruited players fail at playing professional sports. They’re simply not prepared to make the transition. They don’t see the change of the game and their surroundings as fair. A good example of an athlete failing to make this transition is Ryan Leaf. (Even though he’s realized it since then.)

We don’t see this in just sports either. Many people outside of sports have issues with this transition, too.

For example, a lot of military personnel really struggle with life when they get out.

When they’re in their unit, they’re used to a certain way of doing things. They have a certain job that they’re supposed to do to make the machine work.

However, when they are discharged, they simply don’t have the support to make a successful transition to a civilian life.

When players don’t have things go their way, they find it hard to recover at times.

 

High Performers

Finally, we have the pinnacle of performers. The elite players – the GOATs (Greatest of all Time).

What is it about these folks that makes them so successful? Well, for one, they have greater all-around necessity, skill, and team spirit. In fact, not only do they have such a high degree of personal excellence and duty to their team (which makes them the de facto go-to player), but they have this uncanny ability to make everyone around them better.

When you think of these people in sports, we often think of people like Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and for you baseball fans – Babe Ruth. Who do you want to have the last chance to score?

In the working world, people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs come to mind. Who would you want to run your company?

While these individuals might not have an well rounded life, they’re definitely well known for their work – their game. They don’t want to master just one of area of the game – but want to be known for their commitment in mastering the game entirely.

 

Action Steps

Pretty interesting, huh? Just like last post, my recommendation for your next step is to get this book of Brendon’s and read (listen to) it. In the last couple of years Gary V is credited for saying “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless.” In a nutshell, knowing how to be a high performer is knowing how to act on your personal mission.

education reform

Daniel Blanchard – Teaching the Whole Child: Making the Case for Education Reform (AoL 136)

When it comes to your everyday classroom teacher, a lot of them feel like their hands are tied in a similar fashion.

They’re not allowed to teach the way that they believe they should.

Because of this, the average time that someone works in the public education system as a classroom teacher is 3 years.

This is a horrible statistic.

That said, students are paying for this lack of competency just as much as teachers are.

It’s producing people who simply aren’t ready for life and the real world.

In this session, I talk with author, speaker, and teacher Daniel Blanchard about what’s causing this and what can be done about it.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What was school like for Dan growing up compared to today? 8:58
  • What came first for him – college or the military? 13:29
  • How did he get into teaching? 21:07
  • Where does Dan see himself as a classroom teacher as the entire industry is changing? 26:17
  • Are schools realizing how much they’re failing kids and trying to improve? 30:44
  • Where did he get the inspiration to write his first book? 38:23
  • What’d he learn from writing the books? 41:56
  • Is there one takeaway that he’d want his audience to get from his books? 44:14
  • What are his academic books about? 45:16
  • What’s he looking forward to in the not too distant future? 47:22
  • Who are his 3 Favorite Influencers? 53:01
  • What’s something Dan has been learning about recently and he’s excited to implement? 54:11
  • In the last 5 years, what belief, behavior, or habit has most improved his life? 55:23
  • Is there something that he believed as a 35 year old but today believes is completely inaccurate? 57:27
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 58:54

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Dan Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
Session Sponsor: Fizzle – Get 1 Month Free to get access to Practical Courses, Coaching, and a Community that won’t let you quit!
Uncover Your Personal Mission (Personal Mission Guide)
School Sucks Project
Bill Parcells
Dan’s books
Q-Collar (helps to prevent concussions in sports)
Tony Robbins
Teddy Roosevelt
Brendon Burchard – Golden Ticket

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Daniel Blanchard on Connecticut Style

Jeff Davis Reviews 2 of Dan’s Books

Dan’s “We’re Here for a Reason, Not a Season” Speech

Leaderships Takeaways with Rachael Orchard


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

find your niche

How to Find Your Niche and REALLY Act On It!

 One of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey could be a great subtitle for what I’ve been thinking about lately:

“The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

For the first two years of the reboot of the New Inceptions, I was working on content pretty much daily. Whether it was writing a blog post or working on the AoL Podcast (and becoming an audiophile), I was doing the work that I thought I should be doing to get ahead in this online business world.

As you might have heard on the show itself (or even on other shows I’ve been a guest on recently) I’m starting to see a bit of a shift from entrepreneurs being more interested in “hustling” to being more about “lifestyle design”.

I’ve also noticed that there’s a bit of a formula for those who seem to get it all done but also live life to the fullest.

In this post, I want to touch a little bit about both.

 

Find Your Niche: Home is Where the Heart Is

In the last week or so, I finally released the guide called Uncover Your Personal Mission. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the gist. It helps you find your personal mission and start thinking about what kinds of businesses you would excel in. Your mission is the combination of what you love (your passion), what you’re good at (your process), and how you can provide value to other people (your purpose). I call it the 3 P’s. (Some refer to one’s personal mission as the Sweet Spot.)

In the resource, I give 9 questions per P to help you determine what it is if you don’t already know.

I wish it was something that I had access to when I was going through high school and college. It would have made my time in each more enjoyable and more focused.

Now that this resource is out there, I’ve been hearing more and more people in different podcasts talking about the importance of finding your mission. While they might use different terminology (Determining Your Sweet Spot, Finding Home, “Goldilocks” zone, etc), it’s all hovering around the same concept: How to learn what you’re supposed to as a grown up.

If You Won the Lottery, What Would You Do Differently?

Recently in the US we had a lottery where the winner had the opportunity to win $2 billion dollars.

When I was thinking about buying some tickets, a question came up. If I won, what would I change in my day to day work schedule?

I really couldn’t think of anything. Sure I might hire a team to help me do more, but I’m already starting to get a lot of that support through the Amplify team.

With that in mind, it occurred to me that while my life isn’t perfect, I’m pretty happy in general.

Because, after all, happiness isn’t the result of the obtaining the end goal itself. It’s all about the pursuit of something that you care about.

 

Pursuing Meaning at a High Level

It’s one thing to know what you’re supposed to do, it’s quite another to actually do work on a daily basis that will get you to where you want to be.

This is why one of my favorite thought leaders, Brendon Burchard, researched and released a book called High Performance Habits.

Now a lot of you guys might know Brendon for starting Experts Academy. That’s how I first learned of him myself. But since then, he’s also put a TON of time and effort in studying the habits that the top performers in the world practice regularly.

And believe it or not, one of the things that you don’t necessarily want to focus on is honing your strengths! (Yeah, crazy, huh?)

6 Habits of High Performers

Here are the 6 habits all high achievers should be focusing on:

  1. Seeking clarity
  2. Generating energy
  3. Raising necessity
  4. Increasing productivity
  5. Developing influence
  6. Demonstrating courage.

Now, after reading that list, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might realize that I already write about some of these.

Interestingly, I’ve already talked about clarity in this very post!

However, while finding your personal mission right now is a big help in getting started, it’s something you need to keep track of regularly. Life changes around us, and as that happens, we need to keep the right priorities in front of us. Because they will change.

And just as you should keep track of what’s important to you, it’s also important to develop and track your progress in these other 5 habits.

Sure, you can do it on your own in spreadsheets, but, in the last week or so I’ve learned that Brendon is releasing his own “journal” to help us.

However, it’s not just a journal. In fact, if you’re familiar with the 5 Minute Journal (which has been a favorite of mine for sometime) – it sounds like it builds on it. (I haven’t received mine yet to fully talk about what it is and isn’t.)

 

Action Steps

So guys, I think 2019 and 2020 are going to be years of change. People you’ve known for “hustling” for the last 5 to 10 years are going to start discussing “lifestyle” more often.

The truth is that everyone in this “online entrepreneurial” space has gotten just a wee bit older. They don’t feel the need to grind as much. On top of that, as more Millennials enter this space, “meaning’ is just going to become an ever larger presence.

So do yourself a favor. Find out what your personal mission is and then start executing it with those 6 habits!

 

positive and negative effects of technology

Veronica Kirin – Chronicling the Stories of Elders: Exploring the Positive and Negative Effects of Technology Through the Years (AoL 132)

The phrase “I’d walk in 5 ft snow and blowing winds BOTH WAYS to school!” or something similar is a pre-internet meme that many of us think of when we think of stories from our grandparents. This generation, dubbed the “Greatest Generation” saw tons of changes in their lives – from civil rights to electricity and TV in every house. Over the years, technology changed the way they lived, worked, and even played.

Unfortunately, with each passing year, there are fewer members of this generation around to share their wisdom.

Today’s guest, and regular cohost of the show, Veronica Kirin made it her goal to get perspectives from this generation about something we all take for granted today: technology.

By chronicling more than 8,000 years of life lived, driving 11,000 miles across more than 40 states, she accomplished this goal.

In today’s conversation, we’ll be talking to her about how it all went down and some of the things she learned from the experience of publishing her first book.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What attracted Veronica to becoming a thought leader? 7:26
  • How did the rebranding of her company go? 10:24
  • What platform has she struggled with getting into as she’s building her brand? 12:21
  • Why did she opt to write a book when many people’s preferred format is video or audio these days? 14:36
  • Is there anything she would have changed in making the book as she’s finished the project? 18:04
  • What actually triggered Veronica to pursue writing the book? 19:36
  • How did she come up with the list of individuals she wanted to visit? 23:19
  • Was her Kickstarter campaign a success? 25:00
  • How did the knowledge of all the stories she heard changed her perspective on how we’ve changed as a culture? 27:59
  • How can we be more intentional in our use of technology? 31:30
  • What’s on the horizon for Veronica in the near future? 45:08
  • Which books are her favorite books to give or tell others about? 48:32
  • Something she’s been learning about and wanting to implement more? 52:37
  • If she could, is there any business she would want to magically have? 53:43
  • What’s something that would horrify a person from 100 years ago? 54:31
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 55:39

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Your Grandmother Uses Technology Better Than You
>

Why This Work is Important

Self Care Through Scaling

You Don’t Work for Henry Ford


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

the marshmallow test

The Marshmallow Test – Does It Really Predict Success?

Why do we do what we do?

Let me clarify.

What makes us do what we do?

For most of us, if we really are truthful with ourselves, there’s an external motivation for us to actually get off our butts and do something.

For a lot of people, that motivation has to come at the expense of having a pain in our lives. But is this purely source of our success? Or is it something else?

But before we go there, here’s a bit of context.

There’s this recent video of Dr. Michio Kaku talking about the one test that predicts whether kids will be successful in the future: the marshmallow test. Here’s the vid:

What are your initial thoughts? Here’s mine…

 

Does Personality Play a Role?

When I watched this video, I started thinking about which group I identified with. I’d like to believe that I’d be part of the “wait for 2 marshmallows” group. In fact, if I was to recall myself as a kid, I probably would have waited.

I’ve always seem to be motivated by things that could be.

For example, I was never the kid to go on spending sprees whenever I was given a few dollars. In fact, I always saved the money I earned for something I REALLY wanted. Usually an upcoming video game. And since I had put that earned money into buying those games, I tended to play the heck out of that one until the next one I bought came along.

But where did that saving strategy of mine come from?

Michio brings up a good point. Do our personalities really affect whether or not we’d go for the immediate gratification?

Perhaps.

If I was thinking about the DISC personality profile, I’d imagine Supportives and Calculatives would be the natural two marshmallow types.

Being a base Supportive (S) myself I know a few things about them. Besides being tremendously stubborn, we tend to only do things that are going to mean something in the long run. If we can’t make that connection, there’s not much motivation for us to act.

That being the case, it makes sense how I would have developed my saving strategy early on.

As far as Calculatives – I’d imagine that they’d think “Oh, two is better than one. I can put in a little more time to get that reward.” So that’s pretty straight forward.

As for D’s and I’s – I think they might be more prone to being “one marshmallow now” types.

Dominants are known for wanting results right away. The I’s, (called Imaginatives) are known to be constantly seeking fun. Waiting for 2 marshmallows – that’s not fun! Having one now is!

But then again, Dominants are usually the most successful people out there and I’d believe that many celebrities on TV are Imaginatives.

So I don’t know if I’d say that personality yields this response.

 

Which Motivates More? Future possibilities or pain?

In The Delusion of Passion, David Anderson shares with us what he had to go through growing up. He went through a TON of pain before he got his opportunity at Goldman Sachs. Growing up, more often than not, he had to battle the odds to get what he wanted. He did so because he was uncomfortable being where he was in life.

He had a pain that he used as motivation.

Who would have predicted that he’d be as successful as he’s been? Would he have been a one or two marshmallow kid? Hard to tell.

If I had not much going for me growing up, I’d think that taking the marshmallow right away was the only for sure option. In fact, The Atlantic addressed this in a recent article. The article essentially states that the whole test produced unreplicable results and, at best, was biased. Apparently the pool wasn’t all that big and the sample they used for the study was full of kids that grew up around Stanford.

Yeah, that’s a bit of a bummer that we can’t predict people’s future as simple as Michio would have said.

Or maybe it isn’t?

If what the article says is true, then the potential for what could doesn’t motivate all of us. So what does?

I believe that we’re still motivated by things that could be true. But looking at David’s story, it would seem that pain has been as much of a motivator (if not more so) for him as the possibilities of what could be in the future.

Maybe it’s this combination of having some emotional pain and hope for what could be that is the driving force behind so many successful people. The more pain, the more fuel they have?

Action Steps

So now that you’ve soaked all of this in. Think about what you’ve accomplished in life. Legal or not, are there things that you’ve put together that were successful?

Why did you put together that process or do those actions? Was it from pain? Was it because you imagined something that wasn’t there? Or was it both?

Make sure you make a journal of this so when you’re ever running on empty, you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Knowing your Why is essential in long term achievement.

 

important life lessons

5 Important Life Lessons I Learned from My Dogs

Back in February I wrote about the loss of my dog, Sadie. She was so cool and VERY laid back about things in general. Other than me needing to feed her, she was a pretty independent (and stubborn!) girl.

That was in stark contrast to my other girl, Sable.

Sable has always been high maintenance. Maria would said say she was spoiled as a puppy.

There was good reason for this… and it all started the first night I had her back at Purdue.

That night, she wouldn’t stop whining when everyone went to bed. Of course, it might have had something to do with the fact that we put her in the back room away from everyone.

I tried so hard to keep her out there. But she was so persistent! Eventually I caved in and brought her into my room. It wasn’t long after that she learned she could get practically anything she wanted by asking for it. Including sleeping on my bed!!

From that point, she became one of the most vocal dogs I’ve ever known.

 

Almost two weeks ago, on Thursday June 21st, I had to let her cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Like her sister, she had been fighting cancer for a long time. While it wasn’t until recently we found out that it was lung cancer, we did know she had developed it because she started having seizures in late 2017.

She was having a heck of a time that last week and it was so hard to make that decision as it hadn’t been that long since I lost Sadie. However, anything that the veterinarians could do was a Hail Mary at that point.

I knew I had to make the call. I never had it in me to see her suffer – even as a pup.

So she’s now with her sister at Mom’s dog park in the sky.

Love you and miss you both, Girly Girls.

important life lessons

Princess Sadie and Duchess Sable – My Girly Girls

Traveling – A Great Time to Reflect

The next day, I had to hop on a flight to San Diego to meet up with Maria in the El Centro / Mexicali area. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of weeks – so it was certainly something to look forward to.

As I was traveling down there and back, I had time to think about how I was going to memorialize Sable’s passing.

With Sadie, I wrote about the grieving process. In there, you’ll see that my grieving process includes being creative in some way as a tribute.

For this tribute, I’m going to share some things I picked up from the two of them over the years.

 

Persistence Pays Off

As I’ve mentioned, Sable had a way of getting what she wanted. Not only did she start barking at someone if she wanted something bad enough, but she’d always outsmart her sister when Sadie was chewing or playing with something.

The biggest power move she had in this situation was when she acted as if she didn’t want Sadie’s toy. She’d walk over to someone for a butt scratch. When she got it, Sadie noticed and came over too (she was a butt scratch addict!!). Right away, Sable would run over to whatever Sadie had been working on and wouldn’t give it back!

They taught me that if you want something, just become the squeaky wheel!

Forgiveness and Living in the Moment

For the longest time, I had problems forgiving people. I took a lot of hurt around with me wherever I went.

When I went to Purdue, I wanted to become a new version of myself. However, my old habits kept me in a mental jail cell which prevented me from fully experiencing life at another level. It wasn’t really until my mom passed in 2010, that I started becoming my current self. It was then that I realized you have to live your own life – despite what you might perceive others expect of you. That was something she hadn’t done. She lived in her own mental prison herself, and most of it was self inflicted.

When I was suddenly in charge of both girls, I noticed that despite all the change that was going on, they were content and happy. They lived in the moment. They weren’t concerned with what people thought of them. And they didn’t hold aggressions with neighbors who yelled at them for being on their property.

My girls were just themselves. They taught me to just be me.

 

It’s Going to Be Okay

When I was going through that transition period between losing Mom in 2010 and marrying Maria in 2013, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I grew up. On one hand, I felt that I had to live the life I went to school for. On the other hand, I realized that most of the time I was in school, I was simply doing what was expected of me.

I was expected to have a successful career.

And to be frank, I had no feeling of what success meant. The only things I had success in I had help achieving – I had guidance. I was now in the real world… and struggling!

But whenever I was with them after getting home from a long day of work – I was at piece. As long as I lived day to day and not sweat the details, things were going to work out.

It’s truly amazing what happens when you have this perspective.

Things will work out. Maybe not the way you plan for in the beginning – but they work out.

 

Take Time for Daily Exercise

One of the things that the girls wouldn’t let me forget about, especially between 2010 and 2016 was that they needed their daily walks. During those years in particular, we’d walk in the heat and cold. They didn’t care. Between 3 to 5 pm, they’d expect their walk.

Especially Sable. She was always on a mission to get to where we were going. She barely stopped to smell scents!

While I might not have been ready to take a break yet, it was during these walks that I was able to just think about things. I’d come back even more focused to wrap up the day on a good note.

I need to start getting Max on that same schedule. Unfortunately, we’ve had a pretty hot summer and he has had very little interest in being outside for long!

 

Pay Attention to Those You Love

My last Labrador, Shadow, passed when she was 10 years old. Like Sable and Sadie, she had developed cancer. Her mass was on her shoulder and it was super unbearable. In fact, she was in so much pain that she wouldn’t even try to move to go outside.

Knowing their life expectancy was around that 10 year mark, I started paying attention to them when they got to be about 8 and 9 years old. Often, I’d wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, wondering if they were still with us.

Thankfully, they were.

In retrospect, I think because of this fear and appreciating them as they ran to the door each day as I got home, I had a lot of good quality time with them. That’s actually a comfort for me now as I grieve.

In a time when we’re all glued to our digital devices or work, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to spend this time with our loved ones.

Take the time to appreciate your close ones on a regular basis. You never know when the last time will be.

 

Action Steps

Nothing really deep here, guys. If you have doggos yourself, give them an extra strong hug for me when you see them next. Appreciate them.

For those of you who might have recently lost your own furry friends, is there anything they taught you?

Feel free to share below.

a simple life

The Magic of a Simplified Life

Over the weekend, many people all around the world watched the Royal Family’s wedding. When you think of a Royal wedding, you think of a huge production full of… well all kinds of stuff: trumpets, long dresses, swords, horses, crowns and tiaras, limos… you name it.

As much as it was advertised, many would say that you had to practically be under a rock to not have watched a part of it.

If that is the case, then consider me squashed!

I really had no interest in watching it.

If you did, then we’re cool. It’s your call to do so.

But for me, I didn’t want to watch it because it interferes with my desire to keep simplicity in my life.

What do I mean by that? Well, let’s talk about it.

 

The Western World is Full of Offers

So what do I mean by keeping simplicity in my life? Well, it’s what it sounds like.

I like having a simple life. I’m really a simple guy. I have the things I like to do, and there’s only certain times where I feel I need to buy something.

Heck, I won’t buy anything unless it’s a replacement for something else that’s broken, torn, or somehow wrecked. I have clothes that are fairly old (some are 10 years old!), one of my cars is 20 years old, and when I do listen to music – it’s usually from the 90’s or the 00’s.

Here’s the thing, I’m happy with this stuff.

But, if I was to watch the wedding – I might have thought “Oh, damn. I really need to step up my game! I want something like that!”

Growing up, I was always comparing myself to others. It’s something we all do.

Even this morning, I saw an advertisement for a store I’ve never heard of. It was a very Ikea like place – I think it was called At Home?

Anyway, the ad that was played was like, “Keep up with the seasons by buying all new furniture!

Keep up with the seasons? Really? Who needs to switch their chairs and sofas that many times?

No one. But society, especially here in western society, would make us think we have to keep up with the Jones’. No, scratch that. The Kardashians!

Why do people behave this way?

Because buying stuff just to buy stuff – aka retail therapy – is nothing more than addiction. Those who participate get a high when the thing is new, but in the end, they don’t want the item anymore and/or, even worse, they end up being in a worse financial situation than they started.

 

Getting rid of Stress with a Simplified Life

So if you find yourself with a lot of stuff in your house you wonder why you bought OR you find it hard to live under your means, perhaps it’s time to not think about buying yourself out of the problem. Instead, perhaps it might be easier to bring more simplicity into your life?

I’m not saying you have to go minimalistic. No, instead I’m suggesting to have less stress in your life. Less clutter. Having the money to buy things you really REALLY want.

Does that sound good?

Well, here’s a few things to think about:

If your house was about to get hit by a tornado or a hurricane and you had a 20 minutes to pack a handful of items, what would they be?

In that same situation, what items would you pack in a suitcase?

If you had to move into a space half the size of what you’re currently in – what would you HAVE to keep?

 

Action Steps

I’ll tell you, when Laila told me she was a minimalist, I wondered what she meant by that. What went into being a minimalist? Later I had the chance to interview a couple of digital nomads including Arne Giske and Gregory Diehl. We found out that being able to live the lifestyle they do requires a minimalistic approach.

Today, I know that the minimalist lifestyle isn’t completely for me. However, it might be for you. Here’s a couple of exercises you can try if you’re wanting to experiment with this lifestyle. If it feels liberating, then maybe it’s a sign to bring more simplicity into your life.

 

  1. For one month, limit the non-essential items you bring into the house to one thing a week. At the same time, go through your house and ask yourself what items you need and love. If you don’t need OR love something, then consider getting rid of that item – you can trash it, sure – but I’d recommend giving it to someone who appreciates it (just like the collectors do with Mike and Frank on American Pickers!) either by giving or selling it.
  2. Also, as I mentioned in a recent post, pay for everything with cash only. This gives you a finite about amount of funds to work with and makes it harder for you to buy on impulse. You learn to appreciate the money you have. Stretch that dollar!

 

Let me know how it works out for you!