“Popularity is people liking you; happiness is you liking you.” In a world in which we are all trying to discover our full potential and create “happy” lives, I find this to be an interesting quote. In a world that is often over-stressed, out-of-balance, and out-of-shape, it is not because there is a lack of want for success that prevents so many people from discovering their full potential or attaining the happiness they so aspire. Most people want success, desire the best for themselves, and want to achieve balance in their lives. It often is they feel trapped in their situation and don’t know how to overcome it.
As a personal trainer, business owner, and coach that has the opportunity to work with world-class executives, athletes, and clients, I often hear the same challenges, obstacles, and issues facing all of us today. The purpose of this article is to share with you the 6 biggest challenges we face today and solutions to overcome them so you can find peace, health, harmony, and happiness in your life. Here we go:
“No Time”– People will often say “I have no time to get anything done. Between work, family obligations, kid duties, soccer games, and everything else I try to balance out, I just have no time to do anything I enjoy”. My comment is it all comes down to TIME MANAGEMENT. Yes, we do often have too many things on our plate and we are trying to juggle too much. Here are some strategies to improve our time management:
- Learn to say “No” more often. We do have a choice of how much is on our plate. Saying “No” to more things can free up valuable time to do more of what you WANT TO DO and not more of what you do not want to do.
- You do not need huge chunks of time to get projects done. I often find people procrastinating to take action on projects to find the perfect time to dive in. The “perfect” time will never come and the reality is we rarely have large blocks of time to put into projects unless you prioritize them and build it into your schedule. The most successful people have the discipline to use every 30 or 60 minute time block to be chipping away at “large” projects. Although it would be ideal to devote an entire day or two to some projects, that time block does not often come unless you plan far in advance. Make the best use of your time in small increments.
- Do not get side-tracked by emails. The average person receives approximately 70 emails per day. It is impossible to keep up with them all. In order to best manage this, have specific times to read emails and specific times to respond to emails. If you just answer emails all day, you will rob yourself of the important tasks that NEED to be done on your list.
- Prioritize your “To Do List” into an “A” category & a “B” category. The “A” category holds the tasks that NEED to be done. The “B’s” are the items that you would like to see done. You may enjoy the “B’s” more, but do the “A’s” first and have the discipline and focus to complete the A list before proceeding to the B list.
“Not Enough Money”—I hear this quite often and there are many ways to overcome this. First off, stop saying I do not have enough money. By simply saying it, it puts a negative in your head. Although it may be reality that you do not have enough money right now, you must think differently. Remember, your thoughts ultimately are your actions and we need to think of strategies and solutions to generate more financial freedom in your life. John Wooden says that the cornerstone of success is hard-work and persistence. It is best to develop a plan and strategy to create more income. Potential ways to do this include:
- Create a workshop. Whatever your passionate about, develop an educational or motivational program that can help people within your area of “expertise”.
- Create a DVD. It does not necessarily have to be an elaborate, expensive DVD that costs you a ton of money. Most people want content with a professional feel. If it is your first product, use the K.I.S.S. method (Keep it Simple Stupid). By having the attitude that “Good is good enough”, that can free us from our perfectionist attitude that many times holds us back from taking action on any project. When you take action that creates Mo-mentum. And Mo-mentum means “Mo’Money”.
- Create your own Mastermind Group. If you want to be successful, you must surround yourself with great people. Regardless of your occupation, find the top people, mentors, leaders in your field, and surround yourself with them. Whether it be meeting or talking once per month or facilitating an on-going means of communication via email, the power of surrounding yourself with forward-thinking, positive people can help propel you to great levels and accelerate your results.
- MLM (Multi-Level Marketing). Let’s face it; if you are looking to create passive income, this is one way to do it. I have many friends that are doing extremely well with products that involve MLM. While MLM always makes people feel uneasy, the bottom line is that it is one way for you to create more passive income. The key here is to do your research, believe in a product you represent, and make sure you are a passionate about it. Remember that any product that you endorse also reflects your brand, so choose accordingly.
- Become an expert in your field. This can only enhance opportunities that can propel you to new levels, new roles and positions in your job, and further opportunities that can not yet be seen.
If you want to be an expert in a field, you can do several things to create this:
- Listen to audio CD tapes in your car. Since the average American spends 300 hours per year in the car, this is a great use of your “Free” time.
- Instead of watching TV at night, read a good book.
- Read at least 1 good book per month.
- Attend at least 1 conference or seminar per year in your field.
- Write an article for a major publication or website for your industry to help expose your brand.
- Surround yourself with great people on on-going basis (ie. A Mastermind)
Notice I said “CREATE” throughout this section. It takes a lot of work and some strategic planning on how you are going to spend your time to develop more income. Set your intentions, commit to your success, and create whatever it is you so desire. And remember, there are no short-cuts and easy ways to success.
“My physical health needs to improve”—We all know that we need to exercise more, eat better, and sleep better. The key is how to do this with the time demands on our schedule. My solutions to this include:
- Hire a trainer. If you don’t have one, get one. Trainers can help you with motivation, accountability, and game-planning. Even if you use a trainer to jump start your transformation, they can play a major role in helping you achieve the results you desire.
- Take a class. Mix it up and try yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, Kickboxing, Nia, or something brand new.
- Put it in your schedule. Whether you exercise at 5:30 am, Noon, or 6 pm, the important thing is that it goes into your schedule and you work around that time. Honor your body, your mind, and your spirit with at least 20 minutes per day, 5 days per week. This will make a huge difference in your life.
- Improve your nutrition by deciding on 3 things you will commit to changing. Maybe it’s eating breakfast, not eating fast-food, eliminating soda from your diet, getting on a supplement regime, reducing caloric intake, drinking more water, or improving your fruits/vegetables intake. Whatever you choose, commit to changing 3 things, write it down, and make it happen.
- Sleep more. While experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep, I’m going to recommend that you also focus on the quality of your sleep. Going to bed before midnight, improving your environment, not eating late at night (energy goes towards digestion instead of rejuvenation and re-energizing), and listening to some relaxing music before falling asleep can all help the quality of your sleep and make sure you get enough REM sleep.
Your physical conditioning drives a positive mindset and drives success. Your health is an integral component of your success. You must commit to its success!
“My life is out of balance”— While we all crave more harmony in our lives, it is going to take conscious effort to create improved balance. Methods to improve the quality of your life may mean:
- Say “no” to the things you don’t want in your life and “yes” to the things you do want in your life and commit.
Honor your time and energy. They are the most precious commodities you have. Protect your time. Ask yourself this question, “How can I best utilize my time right now and stay present in the moment.
One of my favorite quotes on balance comes from Brian Dyson of Coca Cola Enterprises. He says that “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends, and spirit – and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
“I am always thinking about what is next”—So many times we forget about what we did yesterday or accomplished just hours ago. We are always just so focused on tomorrow, next month, next year, etc. Take a moment to relax sometimes and not be so anxious. It is really important to stay present in the “now”. This is called living in the “Zen”. I often say you need to live in the moment and not worry about the future. The reason for this is because that 90% of the things you worry about never happen and the other 10% you can not do anything about anyway. Stay focused on the things you can control and not on the things you can’t control. Although extremely challenging to do, do your best to stay present in the moment and it will help reduce stress and worry, and will help you relax and feel more in control of your life. Be “aware” of this and it will help you stay present in the moment.
“I am stuck in a rut”—If you feel like you are stuck in life and can not get out of the hole you are in, there are several ways to get out:
- Serve others. Fellow fitness professional and author of the Workout of the Month program, Jeanie Callan-Barat, says that if you want more, you must give more. I love that. If you are stuck, serve…serve…and serve.
- Push people “up”—While closely related to serving, continue to make a difference in other people’s lives. Encourage, motivate, or send someone a hand-written inspirational letter, call a long last-friend and offer some kind words, or continue being an inspiration and set an example at your place of work. The higher we help others go, the higher we go. Start with your own family and than spread your encouragement to all people with which you come in contact. Motivational speaker, author, and pastor Joel Osteen says that “If you want to be happy for 1 day—go fishing; if you want to be happy for 1 month, get married; if you want to be happy for one year, inherit a fortune; if you want to be happy for a lifetime, invest in others.”
These are just some tips and strategies to help you in your quest for peace, health, happiness, and prosperity. As your journey in life is always unfolding, remember that one of the Four Agreements from dom Miguel Ruiz states that you must “Always Do Your Best”. As long as you are aware of strategies for success, willing to create and implement a game plan for personal growth, and you always do your best, I believe it is then that we fulfill our full potential and discover happiness. Best of luck to you in overcoming any of your challenges and discovering happiness in your journey.