The Question You Must Answer!

In 2005 I began a journey I didn’t know I was going on. It was early January and I walked into a bookstore looking for a book for my wife. You know, that book that you think she needs to read. I know I can hear all you right now saying, “What an idiot!” I again learned that the Good Lord works in mysterious ways. The book that jumped off the shelf was Matthew Kelly’s, The Rhythm of Life-Living Everyday with Passion and Purpose. 

When I got home I thought I’d read a few pages before I gave my wife, “The Gift”. Oh by the way did I mention that it was going to be part of my anniversary gift to her? Now I can really hear you say, “Dude, what in the world were you thinking!” Ok, Ok I wasn’t thinking clearly and I hadn’t yet grown into the mental giant that I am today (Even bigger laugh right?).

So I begin turning pages and right past the table of contents, in Part One, is The Question.

What Do You Want From Life?

I was stopped in my tracks! I realized this book wasn’t for my wife, it was for ME! This one question, asked at the right time, started me on my journey. My exploration of what my purpose in life was and what DID I want from life? It has been a wild adventure for sure and one I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. The Rhythm of Life, gave me a starting point on my journey. Like so many people, I had been struggling with my life’s purpose, why I was here and yes, what did I want my life to look like. What was the legacy I wanted to leave?

The simple answer? Become The-Best-Version-of-Yourself that you can become. What would that look like? I started to journal my ideas (look for an upcoming blog on the power of  keeping a journal). I broke my life down into the 6 areas that I felt I wanted to be healthier in, Spiritual, Family, Physical, Financial, Intellectual and Emotional. Through this exercise I’ve been able in the years since, to define how I would Become-The-Best-Version-of Myself (it’s still a work in progress) and recognize that my mission would be to develop healthy leaders. To help them on their adventure to answer the question: What Do You Want From Life?

Matthew has one of his quotes in the front of the book that says:

“Do not let your life be like a shooting star, which lights up the sky for only a brief moment. Let your life be like the sun, which always burns brightly in the heavens, bringing light and warmth to all those on earth. Let YOUR light shine!”

So I ask each of you to visit the classroom of silence on a daily basis and begin to answer this question for yourself, What Do I Want From Life? I can guarantee you, your light will begin to shine much brighter as you begin the journey to let your inner spirit grow and glow!

Remember, our intent is to make this blog interactive so if you’d like to write a comment, I’d love to hear it. Also, don’t be shy, subscribe for the blog if you haven’t already and send it off to someone you think would be interested in joining our community. So pop on over to the right and subscribe.

The Key to Your Future!

Everyone is looking for The Secret to Success, The Secret to a Happy Life, The Secret to a Successful Relationship, The Secret to a Sexy Body, or The Secret to Something! Well, I’m pretty sure that by now we’ve all come to the logical realization that THERE IS NO SECRET! It’s just good old fashion hard work that’s going to allow us to achieve any of the goals we seek.

Yet if there was one word that keeps popping into my head over the past year it’s…REINVENTING!

As I look at my life and all the wonderful experiences I’ve had, all the challenges that come with living, and the changes that have taken place in the world, I’ve come to realize the Rules of The Game have constantly changed. And that the most successful people playing The Game have been able to adjust and reinvent themselves to not just survive but thrive! Let’s take a look at just a few who you might recognize.

Tony Bennett, one of the legendary  singers of the 20th century, who today at 87 years old is more popular now and with a larger generational following than he’s ever had. Here is a guy who was a contemporary of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and today has virtually every young singer in the business wanting to record with him. What’s he got besides a great talent? A consistency to live with passion, to utilize his God-given gifts and a willingness to REINVENT himself to a new generation of fans and give inspiration to his countless fans and to a young generation of entertainers.

Rod Stewart, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (who surprisingly survived that era), one of the best selling artists of all time, and has become the epitome of the classic crooner, interpreting songs from The Great American Song Book ( music of the 20’s through the 50’s) as well as his rock genre songs. Here’s a guy who loves his craft, recognizes the gifts he has to give and has REINVENTED himself and survived thyroid cancer at the same time. Oh by the way he had to re-learn how to sing and is active in raising money for The City of Hope Foundation.

The list of people who have reinvented themselves goes on and on and we admire those people don’t we? But what about you? Is it time to take a serious look at yourself and begin to say “I AM REINVENTING MYSELF!”. I believe REINVENTION is truly The Key to all of our futures. No longer can we blindly continue to play in The Game of Life by following an archaic rule book that has long been out of print!

How are you going to reinvent yourself? Let’s hear from you in the comment section! Let’s all come together and share our ideas on this exciting adventure! Life’s too short to just survive! Let’s all begin to THRIVE by becoming leaders in the REINVENTION REVOLUTION!

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7 Pillars of Healthy Leadership

“Life is a great adventure or it’s nothing!” -Helen Keller

I’ve always loved this quote by Helen Keller. Years ago as I began my leadership journey I found these words very inspiring! In fact my wife, Christie and I had cards made up with our job description being “Adventurers”.  As my journey continued, I came to the realization that the greatest adventure in life was exploring who I was and what my purpose in life actually was. It’s been an adventurous exploration and not always one I have enjoyed, but as I spend more time understanding the rhythm of life I realize that each piece has been a divinely orchestrated puzzle. A puzzle designed to help me become the best version of myself and understand my true purpose in life.

That is why I call this blog, Adventures in Healthy Leadership. I’m just fascinated with the idea that “Life is a great adventure or it’s nothing!” and the greatest adventure of all is knowing your purpose, growing to your potential and sowing the seeds of possibilities. In other words, becoming the best version of yourself that you can ultimately be.

For years I’ve developed and taught what I believe are the 7 Pillars of Healthy Leadership and so I thought I would share the foundational principles with you today and expound in greater detail in future blogs.

Pillar #1-Harmony: We have heard for centuries that life is about the quest for balance in our lives. Yet I believe that what will give us fulfillment is understanding that perfect balance is elusive and what our ultimate quest should be is, Harmony. The awareness that for most of our life, we are out of balance in the significant areas of life and that is OK. It’s being comfortable knowing that if, for example, you are making a career change, you are going to be focused on your new career for awhile. It’s understanding that perhaps your physical life or relationships may suffer short-term, but you and your family are OK with this short-term imbalance. This is being in harmony with your life. It’s also important that a truly healthy leader recognizes that he must help others create a harmonious life and not be the creator of stress and anxiety in others.

Pillar #2- Energy: For most of the latter part of the 20th century, the guru’s of the personal development industry, blasted the airwaves stating that TIME was our greatest asset. That we only had so much of it and success was built on proper management of the 24 hours we had been given. Today, it’s a given that you must know how to invest the hours and minutes in each day. It’s all we have, it’s our gift, that’s why they call it The Present. But the reality is, that nothing great has every been accomplished by low energy individuals. So what is your ROE? Your Return on Energy! When are you most productive, when you have excess energy or when you have none? I love the statement that, “capacity is a state of mind.” While this statement is true, it’s also a function of how we feed not only our minds but also our bodies. How do we take care of this body we’ve been given? Do we treat it as a God-given temple or a teepee? It’s a choice isn’t it?

Pillar #3-Attitude: it’s not everything but it plays a tremendous part in every successful life. What condition is yours in? The principles of successful living are no different today then they were thousands of years ago, and having a positive mental attitude is one of the solid pillars of every healthy leader. In leadership we must first lead ourselves before others will follow. We are the living billboards of the message we hope to convey to the rest of the world.

Pillar #4-Love: If we are going to be the billboards for healthy leadership, we must love the people we are associated with and let them know that they are important to us. This may be your family, friends, business associates, and yes, even those you dislike. I admittedly have struggled with this over the years, but I’m getting better at realizing how important everyone is who has ever entered my life. Each person is my teacher and I the student.

Pillar #5-Time: Yes, admittedly I said earlier that energy was more important than time (by the way, feel free to discuss any of these ideas, pro or con in the comment section below. I will gladly get involved in the discussion), but healthy leaders understand that how time is allocated is critical. The question I love is, “What do I need to say NO to, in order to make room for what I should say YES to?”

Pillar #6-Humor: In our society today, we have created far too much chaos and not enough laughter. We take ourselves too seriously and don’t see how humorous much of what we do is. I mean, comedians make entire careers out of real life situations that have us laughing uncontrollably. So why not slow down, and realize how funny we really are as a species. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I love to hear children laugh don’t you? Norman Cousins, cured himself of a serious ailment by locking himself in his room and watched funny videos. Why is it, that over the years, some of the oldest entertainers have been comedians? I love to hear my wife laugh, it’s infectious. So seek out more experiences in life to lighten your spirit. Happiness is a choice!

Pillar #7-Youthfulness: Many people ask me, “Greg, where did you grow up?” and I proudly say, “I have made the decision to get older and take on adult responsibilities but NEVER GROW UP!”  or ” I was raised in Southern California, but I have decided to NEVER GROW UP!” I want to maintain a connection with my inner child until the day the Good Lord calls me home. It’s just a lot more fun to live life that way. Many people get old at 25 and many 80-90 year olds maintain their youthful exuberance.

And the GREATEST Pillar of all is to maintain a solid Spiritual Connection. It is absolutely your lifeline. None of the toys or money you collect are going with you on your final adventure so begin to focus on the people in your life and what kind of billboard message you’re conveying.

So my friends, come join me on this adventure in healthy leadership. Lead yourself first, become the best version of you and choose to be happy. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Remember, if you haven’t done so yet, subscribe to this blog so you can become an ADVENTURER and get involved in our discussions.