Want to Exist in the Now, Be Happy and Less Stressed?

As revealed in my new book, Fierce Reinvention, there are three things you can do to increase your ‘now’ time.

Now time is good for you because it raises your happiness levels, helps you to de-stress and decreases the amount of negative chatter in your mind.

So let’s get started:

  1. Minimize the potential for distractions

Perhaps unsurprisingly, you can minimize the potential for distractions by keeping an uncluttered workspace, placing your mobile phone on silent and, while you are wanting to focus, removing any form of email or social notification and abstaining from accessing any form of social media.

  1. Create focus time

No doubt about it, you can create focus time by allocating calendar slots for progressing your prioritized projects and then sticking to them. Within these 90-minute slots make sure to take a 10-minute break mid way to stretch, look at the horizon and breathe in the world around you.

Give the task your full attention and notice when your mind wanders. Acknowledge the intruding thought and gently, but fiercely return your mind to the task at hand.

  1. Build a “now” practice

Wham! There is no end point you are trying to get to when practicing living in the now. It is all about building up to a regular practice of now-related behaviors.

And boom! You’re there: the more you practice being present, in the now, the better you will become at achieving this depth of focus.

The result? You may also start to notice the compulsions to ‘quickly check’ your email or your social media feed become weaker. As your practice grows the intruding thoughts won’t be as loud and they will arrive less often and with less fanfare, and you will easily be able to shuffle them on and stay focused. This indicates that you are positively shifting your behavior and strengthening your ‘now’ practice.

Taken from my new book, Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success ($11.99 digital, $15.99 print (USD), October 2017) is available from Amazon.

How to Find Your Soul Voice

This is Day Twenty One in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Break the vicious cycle of busyness and delayed joy.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

It can take months, even years to reinvent yourself.

The journey usually starts with a sense of the collapse of your ego structure.

Something much deeper within you seeks to voice itself. Think of this as your soul voice.

At this point you begin to recalibrate the structures that surround you. To align with your soul voice.

You may need to change:

  • your workplace
  • your community
  • your activities.

The catalyst for starting this journey may be a profound feeling of apathy; it may be a feeling of anger or even isolation.

Whatever it is that signals the breaking of the vicious cycle of busyness and delayed joy for you, you should welcome it with open arms.

My near death experience broke my vicious cycle: I still get goose bumps thinking about it; I was able to still my busy mind and focus inward; I peeled back layer upon layer, until all that remained was my inner voice; with constant exercise it became stronger, and as it did I became calmer and more attuned to the universe. For the first time, pure joy entered my life.

Be aware that the journey of reinvention can be a painful time, filled with confusion and fear; repressed feelings can flood into your consciousness; moments of uncertainty about the path forward can hinder your progress.

But it is such a worthwhile journey. Instead of being filled with your own joyless noise, you will begin to listen at a deeper level. And you will start to hear what the people around you are really saying.

Invest the time to determine what excites you; invest the time to determine what delivers you real meaning; work on that the rest of your life.

This work’s true value is fulfilment and inner joy. This work is priceless.

 

How to Deal With the Dark Side of Success

This is Day Twenty in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Avoid the depressing effect of success by setting off on a meaningful quest and tackling your triggers.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

Success can come with a dark side: successful people are more prone to depression and loneliness; success can act as a depressogen, causing depression.

Why is success such a lonely place?

Once we are successful, the Expectations don’t stop. They get higher.

This is true for our expectations and for the expectations placed on us by others.

Once we are successful the stakes get higher. There can be so much more at stake: there can be so many more people reliant on our continued success.

At any given time you are only ever a heartbeat away from failure, and the press love a rise and fall story.

Subconsciously, you may see or read of others who have fallen from grace and the pressure on you mounts up.

What can you do to deal with the dark side of success?

The first thing you can do is to embark on quest-centred therapy.

Figure out something you want to achieve, for example, being at peace with yourself. And then set off on a quest to achieve your objective. As you go, mark your journey and your progress with small wins.

Each of these wins will stave off the darkness in small amounts at first, but cumulatively the process of being involved with a quest that has meaning for you will help you deal with the dark side.

Secondly, instead of avoiding the dark times, explore them by delving into your past and present. Confront the fear wrapped in those dark moments and this will lead you to the third activity – tackling your negative triggers.

Sometimes things happen in our lives that for most people would be viewed as slightly or somewhat negative, but for some reason we view them as off the charts negative.

These are your negative triggers and when they are sparked they can send you into a downward spiral of negativity that can impact your entire life.

By exploring your dark side you become more aware of these triggers and  what sparks them off. Your aim should be to tackle them  as early as possible. Preferably before they start having an impact.

How to Unleash Your Potential

Think about this for a moment. When we are young we dream impossible dreams, but as we get older these can be all but knocked out of us:  perhaps by societally induced constraints; perhaps by our parents’ ambitions for us, perhaps by our peer group’s limiting beliefs, perhaps by our inherited dogma, or perhaps by our upbringing.

You know the score: as we hit failures, feel pushed outside our comfort zone, and get older, we start to develop a series of self-limitations that can hold us back from using even more.

Sadly, we might believe we’ve missed the boat, that we’re not capable enough, or don’t have the right personality or social set to attain success.

Don’t worry. There’s a solution. The good news is that we are all born with the powers we need to achieve our absolute potential.

What if I could show you how to be fierce and harness your super powers to reinvent your life, and through them, achieve your absolute potential, as if born again, without constraints?

Would you be in?

Let me lead you through my new book, Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success ($11.99 digital, $15.99 print (USD), October 2017), which is available from Amazon.

How to Punch Through Failure

This is Day Eighteen in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Adopt behaviors that make failure a learning exercise.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

Don’t let fear prevent you from doing what you need to do to have an impact.

One of our biggest fears is the fear of failure. You need to comfortably face this fear and there are behaviours you should adopt to help you punch through failure.

Firstly, fail fast and succeed slow.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Most successful leaders failed  multiple time before they had a success.

Robert Kiyosaki says, “Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”

Secondly, succeed and then fail.

A big success can hold us to a high bar of what success is. This can make us less open to failure. Put your ego aside, lower your benchmarks and be prepared to fail before your next success.

This will relieve the pressure, and allow you to iterate more with more chance of magic happening.

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal.”

Thirdly, get into failure flow.

Be mindful of failure, because failing without learning is a wasteful exercise.

Try to be aware of what is happening as a project fails. If you are in failure flow you will see the elements that lead to failure as if in slow motion.

Henry Ford said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

Fourthly, only fail when you cannot succeed.

Let’s face it, failure sucks. It sets you back. It impacts the lives of people who believe in you. It impacts the lives of people who rely on you.

Have grit and persistence  and don’t choose failure as an easy way out when the going gets tough.

Fifthly, fail resiliently.

Get up, take the hit and move forward.

When you fail and I hope you will, how do you treat it?

Yep, your heard right: I want you to fail; I want you to fail often!

Why?

Because every failure brings you one step closer to success.

How you deal with each failure, big or small, determines whether you will succeed.

CS Lewis said, Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

Want to Know the Secret to Avoiding Failure, Forever?

Want to learn how to never fail, ever again?

Do you want to learn the overarching or universal rule to never failing?

It all comes back to how we define failure and what we do when faced with a setback.

Deep down you know this is true: if things don’t work out, for whatever reason, we have failed only if we do not try again. And, sadly, sometimes things don’t work out multiple times in a row.

But boom! All it takes is for us to succeed once and we are seen as a success.

It’s simple. The universal rule to never failing is NEVER GIVE UP!

It really is that simple. As I discuss in my book, Fierce Reinvention, I define failure with a capital “F.” In our journey as leaders we can expect to lowercase fail many times. An uppercase Fail
would take place were we to check out, completely.

For many people the fear of failure holds them back from doing things. At best
such fear is self-limiting, at worst it can be debilitating. And that’s just sad.

What it all boils down to is that we don’t know why we are here, on Earth, but it’s not just to make money or have fun; we are all on rickety little boats that are motoring across the narrow expanse of time that is our lifespan; if we want to be successful then we’ve got to leave a wake behind us; if we take life too slow and steady we don’t create a wake and then what’s the point.

So what’s the answer? The secret to success is the realization that failure isn’t a big deal.

Unfortunately, we tend to get entangled in what we should and shouldn’t do. When we unravel this we formulate constraints on what can and can’t be done. They appear fact-like,
yet they are far from it. They only amount to conversations that we have in our
heads. The challenge is that we are having these conversations at such a rate that they seem to crystallize into facts.

But the silver lining is that as long as the solidifying conversations are driven by
positive, motivating thoughts then they are not a bad thing. It’s when we view fear-induced inner conversations as fact that we limit ourselves.

Be warned that without training and mindfully creating a different set of thoughts we can easily default to that negative conversation.

The truth is that we need to do all we can to banish negative thoughts; we need to do all we can to banish fear and focus on having a positive conversation in our heads. It seems overly simplistic but the cool thing is that we can change reality through the power of what we say to ourselves: as ourpositive thoughts and conversations crystallize into facts, we change reality by having these positive facts guide us, instead of the fearful ones.

You start by imagining a yes when you were expecting a no; you start by acting confident when youfeel nervous; and wham! You can reinvent yourself and become the person you want to be.

Here’s the secret: act like the person you want to be and success will triumph over failure. Remember that success and failure are far from random; they live within the very DNA of our
character and personality; they are expressed through our thoughts and actions.

All in all, we choose which side of the fine line we find ourselves on—success or
failure—by our courage in the face of both adversity and uncertainty and
also how we choose to visualize ourselves.

My new book, Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success ($11.99 digital, $15.99 print (USD), October 2017) is available from Amazon.

Are you afraid of having difficult, confronting conversations?

Picture the scene: you need to confront a colleague, a loved one or a friend about something they’ve done or not done. But you are afraid that the conversation will go badly. They will deny, they will overreact, they will shift the blame to you. And so instead you deny, ignore, and obfuscate that they ever did or didn’t do that for which you need to confront them.

Get this: one of the biggest fears we often encounter as leaders is about having difficult
conversations.

Astonishing, isn’t it? Perhaps it is due to us having an inbuilt, culturally amplified tendency
to want to avoid conflict. Perhaps it is due to us wanting to avoid those conversations with others, and ourselves, that may be difficult, and in which we may well encounter aggression.

But here’s the thing: when we confront our fears head on—and not displace them onto others through blame, or other avoidance mechanisms—it is easier to be honest.

Think about your interactions over the last few years. Now ask yourself the question: How many fierce conversations can I recall?

The point? For most people, fierce conversations are quite rare.

And what’s worse? We’re often not comfortable with revealing our real selves; we’re often not comfortable revealing our true thoughts in a social or business setting.

The cool thing, though, is that when we come out from behind the mask and speak with honesty and compassion, then we stop fearing difficult conversations.

And even better: this in turn makes it easier for others to be honest with us too.

The end result is the beginning of a more honest dialogue.

So, it all adds up to this, every time you feel that you are being guarded in your behavior, be mindful that this is tantamount to failure. By being overly careful you are postponing the behavior and the
conversation that wants and needs to be taking place.

It’s simple, don’t overthink it. Ask yourself:

• What am I avoiding saying that needs to be said?
• What conversations am I keeping bottled up inside?

To sum up, by having fierce conversations you release any tension that has been rising and you free yourself of the build-up of both emotional and physical toxins.

Find out more about being fierce in my new book, Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success ($11.99 digital, $15.99 print (USD), October 2017) is available from Amazon and other leading online bookstores.

How Death Gives Us More Life: Two Truths to Live By

Fear of death is our greatest fear. It can override everything and it can leave us frozen, like deer in the headlights of life, too afraid to really live large.

Yet we can learn so much from death. In this post I want to share with you two truths that death can bring us:

1. Death provides us with a vital spiritual awakening.

If we have been ultimately present in our lives then death arrives as a welcome friend rather than as an intruder.

We are here: enjoying the day; hanging out with friends; busy on a project at work; or focused on any other every day activity.

And then: we are not.

It is essential that we understand not only that life can end so very quickly, but also that there is not necessarily any logic or reason for death arriving.

We need to be comfortable with this knowledge and have some form of spiritual platform, whether religious or not, that gives us comfort.

2. When death is an integral part of our lives it becomes a wonderful opportunity for expression.

If death is part of our living then when a family member of some other cherished person passes, we find ourselves less prone to resisting death which causes us anguish.

Instead we welcome it with open arms and let our hearts break open wide with love and compassion.

How to Quieten Your Mind

This is Day Eleven in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Build a meditation practice and align your body and mind.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

Our monkey minds constantly barrage us with negative chatter:

“I’m not good enough”

“She will let me down”

“Who is this guy?”

But by asking yourself, “What do I need to prove?”

And by realising that there is nothing to prove to your inner self, to your observer, you significantly reduce that internal dialogue, that monkey mind chatter and you will begin to convert  the negativity into positive, connective, universal thoughts that transcend the need to prove yourself to others and to society at large.

So much of our time is taken up with distracting thoughts that leave us in a fractured state of mind. Off-task thinking and mind wandering both increase that mindless chatter.

So what can we do to keep ourselves on task and aligned?

The answer is Meditation. It is fantastic for bringing your mind back into focus.

Think of meditation as the practice of aligning mind and body. It is less about switching off all your thinking and more about relaxing with your thoughts: acknowledging them without judgement and letting them pass through you without trying to hold onto them.

Your to-do list will still be there when you finish meditating, but during your meditation practice you need to be fiercely gentle with yourself, noticing thoughts and feelings but not acting on them.

In meditation you will acknowledge a thought and then let it pass through your mind, comfortable that it is something you can take care of after you finish your session.

Shifting from your everyday dream-like wandering to a more focused state, you substitute the chatter of your discursive mind with another, more calming object of attention. This could be your breath, or it could be a chanted mantra.

A meditation practice allows you to see the gap that exists between your everyday narrative, your story, and what manifests once you quiet down all the chatter and achieve relative stillness.

How to Centre Yourself

This is Day Ten in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Create behaviors and patterns that become your soul habits.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey its Rand,

The end result of a deep, contemplative self-inquiry is the release of emotions, fears, feelings and thoughts that may have been swirling around for years, if not decades.

You may feel the shift within you as you transition from draining habits that have weighed you down into more aligned and energy-generating patterns.

What are your current rituals for connecting to and centering yourself?

What things do you do that fuel your energy?

What things do you do that nourish your deepest self?

How do you create moments of pause during your day?

As you unpack who and what you want to be in the world, I suggest you devise a set of daily, weekly and monthly patterns that fit with your reinvention.

These are your soul habits and could include listening to more music that stimulates your flow state; it could also include regular walks or runs through a nearby forest, on your local beach or around an oval.

Your aim at this point is to turn these activities into instilled behaviours.  You can achieve this by doing them on a daily and or weekly basis

Your aim is to be prepared for that inevitable moment when your life gets busy or crazily complicated.

At such a time we usually prioritise tackling whatever crisis has come up and our intentions to exercise more, be more mindful, eat healthier get dropped quicker than you can say “New Years Resolutions”.

Now you will be armed with a newfound resilience so that you’ll be able to handle those tough moments with ease and maintain your soul habits.

In later videos I’ll talk through how you can map these soul habits  onto the Fierce Operating System so that you get even greater alignment and grow your familiarity with your new behaviours.