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Welcome to the talk shiFt™ shorts series with Tom Leu >> (short posts that cut to the chase to help you kick your business or personal brand to the next level)

A new year. A big deal… or is it? Lately, I’m thinking about new changes (I’ve just recently moved to a new state), I’m thinking about good intentions, I’m thinking about new year’s resolutions, and my disdain for the previous two. Truth is, I often worry about worrying. I have exhilaration for new ideas and projects that are simultaneously stifled by fear. I often examine what’s old that’s now new again, as well as the reverse of the previous. And as always, as a card carrying introvert, I marinate in melancholy reflection.

To combat my own self-defeating tendencies past and present, I’ve organized my nearly 30 years of experience, education, successes, and lessons learned from failures to create a set of principles and success strategies I call Lifestyle Initiative Training™ to do my part to give back as I have been given through the years. It’s here I talk shiFt™ with weekly blog posts and videos, to teach people how to get unstuck and out of ruts; to recover and retain their personal and professional EDGE to get ahead. Why me? Because at 50 years old with 15 years of continuous sobriety, and three decades professional experience in education, media, sales, marketing, and management… I’ve learned a few things that are valuable and worth sharing.

So here’s my first message on this first day of the new year: resolve to make no resolutions this new year, or any other “new” year. Why not? Because it’s counter-productive. It sets you up for disappointment if you fail to accomplish all of your good intentions. Resolutions are typically too big, over-generalized, not time specific, and unrealistic. It’s a recipe for producing the exact opposite of what you think you want.

What to do instead: Set small, but deliberate DAILY goals that are challenging, but doable. Things you can actually accomplish daily, see your progress, and feel good about. Doing it this way builds and keeps momentum. It’s empowering whereas lofty, ill-defined, big-picture goals often serve to do the opposite. For example, I embrace physical fitness, so one doable, but challenging goal I have is to do 100 push-ups per day. I do them in small increments spread out throughout the day. The quick math of 100 push-ups per day totals 36,500 per year. Even if I were to fall short by 15-20 per day, I’m still cranking out over 30,000 push-ups annually. That’s a shit ton of upper body resistance training that DOES produce results. Again, daily goals that are challenging, but doable, is the key.

Small shiFts in lifestyle choices daily, over time, produces big changes. If this speaks to you, and if you think you can benefit from this type of coaching, encouragement, and challenge, then keep coming back.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Stop Complaining, Get Pissed, & Grow a Pair

If this title offends you (*self-assured chuckle*) then you probably won’t find anything of value here.

This piece is for those (of us) who benefit from getting the cage rattled a little bit sometimes. If you can’t handle that, then you should consider clicking off… no harm, no foul. But, if you think you might be in the 5% I target, then please read on…

I can’t stand perpetual whiners. I have a very low tolerance for those who bitch and moan constantly about the status quo; those who are solution-averse, problem-dwellers.

Boo, fucking hoo…

Your plans didn’t pan out? Your goals got side-lined? Your expectations weren’t met? Your ego got bruised?

What are you gonna do now? What do you do with those inevitable moments of discouragement, doubt, disillusionment, and despair?

Kick and scream? Pout? Blame others? Give up? These are all (self-sabotaging) options for you if you choose them.

However, I suggest you start stopping your self-sabotage NOW!

How?

STOP

…wasting your precious time; it’s NOT unlimited; time is ticking.

…complaining about everyone and everything.

…whining about all the reasons why your life has not turned out the way you wanted it to.

…blaming others for why you don’t have what you want.

…beating yourself up for having dreams that are challenging and hard to achieve.

…turning to diversions (attractive distractions) that get you off track.

…using money as an excuse for why you can’t do something (point: we all “find” the money we need for the things that we really want).

…hearing only what you want to hear and believing your own bullshit.

…second guessing your real passions (point: if they recur, they’re likely real).

…envying those who (appear to) have what you want (most don’t).

…trying to be all things to all people (point: diplomacy has its place, but so does drawing a line in the sand, taking a position and putting people in their place when necessary).

…ignoring the signs that confirm you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Instead…

START

…listening to others you trust.

…believing in your real abilities and strengths.

…taking tangible action toward your goals.

…accepting that you’re going to get down occasionally, and that’s OK.

…embracing that not everyone is going to dig you and what you do.

…committing to sharpening your skills, learning new things, and growing as a human being.

Stop complaining – and only identifying and rehashing the problems, without a solution.

Get pissed – reach your threshold, the point of no return, a moment of truth that moves you act.

Grow a pair – realize your solutions, make decisions, undertake massive and consistent action of high-pay off activities to change your circumstances.

To accomplish all of the above, keep these 3 initiatives on your radar at all times:

  • FOCUS – continually be creating, evolving, and executing your plan.
  • INSULATE – avoid the many dream stealers attempting to suck the fucking life out of you; embrace primarily those who keep you inspired, yet accountable.
  • PERSPECTIVE – recalibrate, recharge, recommit, re-examine, and re-focus your actions daily along the way.

Stop simply drowning in the “dreaming”… start really doing.

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Dream-Stealers

dream-stealers

“We are all either building our own dreams or building somebody else’s.” ~ Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

Distance yourself from dream-stealers… you know who they are. Those people who take energy and inspiration from you rather than give it to you. You don’t have to go far to find them. They may be family, friends, colleagues, or simple acquaintances.

It’s tricky because dream-stealing often comes disguised as good advice; you know the… ” for your own good” bullshit speeches.

There are two types of dream-stealers…

Those who view you as:

  1. a Nut – These people truly feel that your endeavors, undertakings, plans, and goals may be unrealistic or are unattainable. They think you’re crazy for attempting to attain your type of goals. In an effort to be protective, they try to kill your enthusiasm in the name of helping you avoid future disappointments. Though their intentions may be good, the poisonous message they’re sending is that you aren’t good enough. Only you can decide that.
  2. a Threat – These people cannot, or will not support you completely because you and your ambitions make them feel bad about themselves. You are a mirror to their own perceived inadequacies, lack of action, or accomplishments. There are strong elements of competition, jealousy, and envy present. They often react uninterested and/or apathetic to your efforts because you are inadvertently calling theirs (or the lack thereof) into question. These are the worst kind of dream-stealers (and often the most prevalent), who need to be avoided at all costs.

**Remember, these two types describe how dream-stealers view YOU. This is just a symptom of their problem. The real problem, and their source of discontent is primarily about THEM, not you. Take some comfort and be confident in that knowledge.

If you can’t turn them off, at least try to turn them down. Where and when feasible, put some space between you and go your own way. Or to put it another way:

“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the f*ck you were gonna do anyway.” ~ Robert Downey Jr.

Stay tuned-in…


 

The Pretender

Jackson Browne

We’ve all got just two choices:

  1. Get in the game and play… (OR)
  2. Give into the game and pretend

It’s really that black and white…

The “game” = your one and only life that includes your endeavors, your careers, your pursuits, your passions.

Playing the game requires pushing through the inevitable fear and uncertainty that comes with taking roads less-traveled. It comes with a high price tag and can often seem unrewarding and futile.

Pretending is about going through the motions for short-term comfort at the expense of long-term accomplishment. The irony is that pretending appears rewarding at first glance, but is far more costly for most in the long run.

Few folks endure in the face of ongoing opposition, extreme competition, and criticism. Most people eventually give up and give-in when sh*t gets too hard.

Jackson Browne: “…’the Pretender’ is anybody that’s sort of lost sight of some of their dreams… and is going through the emotions of trying to make a stab at a certain way of life that he or she sees other people succeeding at…”

Comparing one’s “success” to someone else’s may just be the most crippling act of all. Unhealthy comparison often turns players into pretenders. Avoid this black hole by taking even more action toward your goals.

“Say a prayer for the Pretender | Who started out so young and strong | Only to surrender” ~ Jackson Browne

To keep anything up ongoing requires a strong enough “why” to get you through the down times. Your reasons for doing anything must be your own and must be owned ongoing or it’s all going nowhere.

Real-world “rock stars” know WHY they’re doing what they’re doing, and have committed to a WAY of life that supports accomplishing their pursuits.

Players don’t pretend; they intend, act, and then ascend.

Stay tuned-in…

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