Aliveatwork's Blog


Do You Really Know How To Swim?

high_dive

Recently, a friend of mind and I were discussing the topic of commitment. I was sharing a situation where I felt that I needed to be ‘all in’ or not. Fence-sitting for too long can be uncomfortable.

Let me add here, that at times, I have been known to analyze, scrutinize, and over-think, a situation to death … and this was one of those times!

My friend Matt was telling me about a television show he watched where they asked a guy if he knew how to swim. The guy replied, “Sure, I watched videos on the internet and practiced on the kitchen floor!”

Matt was quick to follow up with, “Imagine someone thinking they could swim because they watched a video, rolled around on the floor, BUT never got in the water!”

It get worse!

He then said “So are you in … or are you out … you know you said those exact same words to me not too long ago … remember?”

One of the worst things about having a close friend is that they will remind you of things you told them when they were in a similar situation. One of the best things about having a close friend is that you can trust them to tell you the truth … even when it stings.

What’s The Point?

  1. You can’t swim … until you get in the water.
  2. You won’t realize your dreams … until you take a step to act-u-a-l-i-z-e them.
  3. You aren’t a leader …. because you read a book on leadership or have a title!
  4. You aren’t a parent … if you’ve never raised kids!
  5. You will never experience love … if you’re not willing to be open your heart, take a risk, and let it in!

If you truly want and desire something you have to be willing to take a leap of faith and jump into the deep end of the pool. And you have to do it … even if you’re afraid.

A lot of people have dreams and desires … few people are willing to risk what it takes to experience them.

Bill Cosby once said, In order to succeed, your desire for success should (must) be greater than your fear of failure.

So do you need to jump in the pool in some area of your life?

If so … my wish for you is that you choose … the deep end?



Purpose: Are You Being Called to Play a Bigger Game?

The other day I was conversing with a colleague and fellow coach by the name of Barry Zweibel. We’ve been friends and have had a Mastermind of sorts since the day we met about 12 years ago.

We were talking about life in general when Barry, as only Barry can do, pulled out a 2 x 4 and walloped me upside the head with a question that challenged what I believed about my purpose in life. He was challenging me to embrace my purpose at a much higher level.

Now if you asked me, I would tell you that I am living my dream, I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point in my life (speaking, coaching, and consulting).

But Barry was challenging to go deeper into my purpose and look into the recesses of my heart and soul for any remnants of old beliefs, ideas, or defense mechanisms, that were holding me back.

And of course I found them. I won’t bore you with the details, I will however tell you that I had to search deep in the recesses till I discovered some leftover remnants of good old-fashioned … fear!

Now I’d like to tell you that as a Professional Speaker and Executive Coach that I have overcome all my fears and I am completely self-actualized … but the truth is I am not. I am not perfect, I bump up against things that slow me down and temporarily hold me back. I guess the key words here are slow down (not stop), and temporarily (not permanently).

Fear can cause you to drift from your purpose, it can stop you in your tracks, and it can kill your dreams. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown fear that is evident to you, it can hide in the deep pockets of your mind and actually disguise itself as reason, logic, security, or limited success.

That said I want to share with you a quick way to get out of your fear and moving forward again so you can achieve the level of success you want.

3 Questions To Ask Yourself To Put Fear Behind You:

  1. What am I afraid of losing? Fear is always associated with loss and the quickest way out of fear is to identify the loss.  I refer to these fears that can occupy your mind as Fear FILLERS ™ – Loss of  F-reedom, I-income, L-ife, L-ove, E-go, R-eputation, S-ecurity.
  2. What is the truth? Will I really lose my freedom, life, etc.? Remembering that 93% of the things we fear never happen!
  3. Now that I know the truth, what action do I need to take to move forward.

This a simple process that will take you from a fearful place (emotion) and move you into a more logical place where you can move into action.

So … got any leftover remnants of fear hiding in a corner in your head, heart, or soul?



How Do You Solve A Problem Like …

At any given time in life we are all faced with problems and challenges.

It’s a fact … you can’t navigate through life and avoid having problems.

Problems will come no matter how hard you wish them away. What you believe about problems and the actions you take as a result of your beliefs will determine your level of happiness as well as your ability to work through them towards a solution.

That said … here are 6 lessons I have learned about problems:

  1. Whatever problem you are experiencing … chances are someone else is dealing with one that would make your problem look like a sneeze in comparison.
  2. While it is our inclination to immediately try to resolve the problem, sometimes it is best to sit in it for a short spell. Why? Just to make sure you are understand and address the cause of the problem and not just the symptom(s).
  3. You can ignore a problem and bury your head in the sand. However, it is just a matter of time before it rears its ugly head  again. Only this time the head will be a little bigger and a lot uglier.
  4. At some point after sitting in a problem (for too long) and not coming up with a solution – the only way out is to take the focus off of yourself and serve others. Self-centered-ness can lead to depression.
  5. You can change your perspective on problems by asking yourself, “What can I learn from this experience? and “How can I benefit from what I am learning?”
  6. If the problem exists … the solution exists simultaneously … you just might not be able to recognize it in the moment. Step back, breathe, and walk away for awhile. When you come back there is a good chance you will see things in a different light and the solution (which may have been there all along) will be more evident.
  7. (Your turn … fill in the blank)

Obviously the list is incomplete. Maybe a great question to ask at this point would be … “So what lessons have you learned from your problems?”

Would you be willing to share your wisdom with the rest of us?

Who knows,  your wisdom might just influence someone who needs a little help today and besides we’d love to hear from you!



When I Grow Up … Making Your Dreams Come True!

Do you remember when you were a kid and someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

“I want to be a … fireman, policeman, a nurse, a superhero, etc.”

So what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 7-years-old I wanted to be an entertainer, a stand-up comic. My parents and I would listen to Pat Cooper albums and we would laugh hysterically.

Pat’s real name was Pasquale Caputo and he would talk about growing up in an Italian Family. It didn’t matter if I understood the jokes or not … if Mom and Dad were laughing, I was laughing too.

When I was 16-years-old, I wanted to be the drummer for Van Halen. It didn’t matter that I didn’t play the drums, I dreamed of getting an emergency phone call from Eddie Van Halen telling me that Alex got sick and they desperately needed me!

What is it about children and dreams?

When you’re a kid your dreams and ideas are unlimited, you don’t care if it’s realistic or not, you simply believe you can be anything you want to be.

When a group 5-year-olds were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, the number one response … a super-hero.

What is it about adults and dreams?

At some point most adults give up on their dreams and end up settling. The excitement and aliveness that once filled them seems to fade away each year that passes. Almost as if time is slowly erasing the image of their dreams they painted so many years ago.

A recent Salary.com survey found that only 16% of the people surveyed said they were living their childhood dreams. They went on to say that 60% of those surveyed still wished they could fulfill their dreams!

So what about you?

Maybe your dream to be a ballerina or a policeman changed over the years. The core question here isn’t whether you actually became a super-hero or not … the real questions are:

  1. Are you happy?
  2. Do you love what you do?
  3. Do you love the person you’ve become?
If the answer to any of those question is “no” or “maybe” here are 7 steps that will help you:

7 Steps to Realizing Your Dreams:

  1. Ask yourself: What did I want to be when I grew up?
  2. Look for any correlations between what you wanted to be and who you are today.
  3. Write down on a sheet of paper 10 things you love to do?
  4. Look for any gaps between who you wanted to be and who you are.
  5. Look for any gaps between what you do and what you love to do?
  6. Write down one action you can and will take today to close that gap (make a phone call, an appointment, or put on a cape and run around the house).
  7. Commit to doing one of the things you love to do once a week for one month and watch what happens to your happiness meter.

No, I never became a stand-up comic or the drummer for Van Halen and yet … I love what I do … I cannot imagine doing anything else.

Sometimes I get chills thinking that I get paid to be a professional speaker and to help other realize their potential. It’s like I’m living a dream!

Oh and one last thing … I have a drum set in my living room that I play whenever I want to feel like a rock star …

I’m sure Eddie will call … eventually!



Talents, Skills, and Being Extraordinary!

People seem to use the words talents and skills interchangeably, almost as if they had the same meaning.

I believe that talents and skills are different.

Talents encompass your strengths, your brilliance, and your genius.

And by genius, I mean in its original form found in the word – genie which mean magic … specifically, your magic!

Talents also include your God-given gifts and when you’re aligned and utilizing your talents in your work … it doesn’t feel like work.

Skills are a little different, skills are the things that you work on, learn, develop, and continue to work so that you can become an extraordinary lawyer, parent, teacher, leader, etc.

It is in the blending of your talents and skills that 2 of the 4 ingredients for greatness are found.

Michael Jordan was probably one of the most naturally gifted basketball players who ever played the game. One of the components that made him so extraordinary was his commitment to constantly sharpen his skills.

Even after winning 6 NBA Championships, if he missed foul shots during a game he would go out on the court after the arena was empty … and practice free throws.

So that got me thinking …

3 Questions To Ask Yourself:

  1. Are you conscious and aware of your natural strengths, gifts, and talents?
  2. Are you utilizing them in your work?
  3. What are you working on (reading, learning, growing) today that is enriching your skills as a leader, as a sales person, as a teacher. etc?

Every single person on this earth has a unique set of talents and gifts. Identifying them and incorporating them into your work/life will bring you happiness and set you on a course towards discovering your purpose.

Additionally, if you continue to develop your skills by learning, growing, and constantly increasing  your skill base … you will be on a path to being extraordinary!

So are you on your path to being extraordinary?



Somebody Hold Me Accountable .. PLEASE!!!!

Most of us want to be successful …

Most of us want what we want …

Most of us want more …

And the truth be told … we want it to be easy!

Have you ever wished you could simply wave a magic wand and create your dream life?

What would you wish for … exotic cars, amazing houses, fabulous vacations, traveling the world …  of course you would give a portion to charity … right?

Whatever your dream is, you know that success doesn’t happen just because you read  “The Secret” or that it will simply knock on your  front door while you’re inside watching American Idol on the couch!

Well maybe some folks do … and most of us know that if we want to be successful we need a few things.

We need: 

  1. Clarity –  of our vision or goal – what we really want.
  2. A Plan – that is well defined, attainable, and measurable.
  3. Consistent Execution – over a long period of time.
  4. Accountability – that keeps us on track or helps us get back on track when we slip a little or a lot! 

Of course all four components are needed in order to be successful. But if I had to admit which of the four I find the most difficult to achieve … I would say Accountability. Why?

First, I think it is difficult to commit to being held accountable. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable, a surrendering of sorts … and surrendering or asking for help typically isn’t in my vocabulary.

Second, I think it is rare to find the right person or group of people who challenge you, question you, praise you, guide you, help you get back up on your feet when you fall down, and love you enough to tell you the truth … the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

We can all sit down and write out our goals … we do it all the time. We can create a plan, and start executing our plan. We can even hold ourselves accountable … for awhile.

However, I have found that without checking in with another person or group on a daily or weekly basis I easily start to slip off the path …

And when I slip off the path my actions become erratic and inconsistent …

And when I am inconsistent with my actions I am not following my plan so well …

And when I don’t follow the plan … I don’t achieve my goals or the level of success that I want … basically I miss the target.

Accountability is the glue that holds it all together. It is what gets you back on track, It’s the pat on the butt when you succeed and a kick in the a** when you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and play bigger!

So what about you … who’s holding you accountable?

Need a little help?

If you need a kick in the a** email me, call me, or respond to this blog, and I will help you find a system that can help you achieve more success than you ever thought was possible!

And you were waiting for … ?



Are You … All Out or All In?

A while back I was presenting to a group of entrepreneurs. The topic was about turning your business around in a tough economy.

I shared my experience that at one point in my career I went from having the most successful year in my business to having one of the worst years in my business … overnight.  I also shared how I got my business back on track.

At one point I asked the group to COMMIT to a system which I call the 3-4-5 System ™ with an accountability partner.

The system is simply doing the 3 things that have the most positive impact on your business bottom line, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

There was a gentlemen sitting in the front row who had no problem identifying the 3 things to help his business. Where he got stuck was when I asked him to commit to taking those actions and being held accountable with a partner. It was at that point he basically said “no … I won’t do it”

My first thought was this guy needs to be committed alright!

Webster define commitment as, “the act of committing or pledging, a pledge, an obligation, a promise, etc” … and then adds, “THAT RESTRICTS ONE’S FREEDOM OF ACTION.”

So that got me thinking … 

  1. How many times have I failed to commit to doing something even though I knew it was the right thing to do (business building, working out, etc)?
  2. How many times have I chosen to NOT do what I needed TO DO to get the results I want in my business or in my personal life?
  3. How many times have I chosen NOT to commit to doing something … BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID THAT IT WOULD RESTRICT MY FREEDOM?

Bingo! Failure to commit is about freedom. It’s about the fear of losing our freedom to do what we want to do when we want to do it. It’s about feeling like were being imprisoned and we have no choice.

And The Truth Shall Set You Free:

  1. When we do commit to doing the things we need to do it actually gives us more choices and more freedom … not less!
  2. Being more focused on the things that give you more revenue gives you the opportunity to do more things … not less!
  3. Working out regularly actually gives you the freedom to eat things more things … not less!

So what about you … are you willing to commit?

Is there an area of your life where you need to go all out … and go all in?

Well … what are you waiting for?