Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What about the PHASES of life????!!!!

Phases?  Hold up!!!  Wait a minute!!  I need to back up a little.  I have realized that an explanation of the phases is vital to our previous posts.  

I mentioned a lot in the previous posts about "our mission" or "my mission" or "making an impact".  I should have mentioned also that these phrases are referring to Phases of my life.   I am now transitioning from Scholar Phase to Mission Phase planning and preparing for my Impact Phase.  That is the journey I have invited you on.  I know it will be a time of great learning and change. Thus I invited those close to me to join me.  It may just be my spouse and children and grandchildren ect. that read these posts, or it may be my close friends and family also (some who are reading these first posts) or hopefully, eventually, once I am in impact phase, those I mentor will be reading these lessons, as they begin their journey also.  All I know is God put it on my heart to keep a record of my lessons, so here they are.  

If you are interested in learning more about the phases of life I am referring to, Oliver Van Demille teaches them in great length in his book "A Thomas Jefferson Education" .  He is our mentor as far as education in life.  I will give a brief description of each phase, but I recommend any of his books if you want to study the subject in more depth.

It's very important that we do not compare our timeline to that of others.  The phases and the timing are very personal, and different for everyone!!!!

Here are the phases:

1.  Core Phase 

Core phase is the phase we look on longingly as we watch toddlers and preschoolers play and learn and grow.  Their lives are so carefree and everything is fun and adventurous.  

We remember this phase with fondness, if we were raised in a good core environment.  I would like to say here that some of us, unfortunately were not, those who were not may need to revisit this phase as adults.

In this phase we should have learned our core values.... Good and Bad, Right and Wrong, Black and White (There is hardly any grey here.  During core phase everything is black and white) , Trust should be learned here.  Unconditional love.  It is called the core phase because the other phase build on it.  It is the center of all the other phases.  That is why, if you did not learn these core values at some point before adulthood it is so important you go back to core phase and read and study the classics that teach these values.  Surround yourself with people who inspire these values and turn to your Savior Jesus Christ, whom you can learn the values of Trust and Unconditional Love.  Find a spiritual mentor to help you learn good from bad, right and wrong.

Educationally, during this phase we are learning through play and work.  Small chores are fun at this time and set a foundation for work ethic.  It is important to note as parents to children in this phase the play and work are done together.  That is what makes it fun and inspiring and educational.

2. Love of Learning Phase 

Love of Learning is the Phase where we are excited to learn and begin to read and get excited about concepts.  It is described that this is the phase where we may read a little on one topic, get bored, shelve that book and pick up another.  We are playing in our education.  Finding where we fit and getting a breadth of knowledge.  Once we gain a true Love of Learning we will grasp the topics that interest us most and drive in depth on them.

This phase is a great phase to read classics that teach as they entertain.  It will hold our interest longer. I recommend Louissa May Alcott in this phase.  Her books teach so many principles.  I also love Jane Austen because she was an expert on portraying the different personality types.  Read her books after reading "Personality Plus" by Florence Littauer.

This phase is typically in children 8-12, but honestly, this day and age most adults have not left this phase.  Sadly, a love of learning is not nurtured in the Public School System.  Some do gain this that have gone through that system, but it is usually because of someone inspiring them outside of school, a mentor or parent or spiritual leader.  I am an example of the this and so is Nathan.  Our inspiration came from our business mentors while we were in Amway and our Education mentor Oliver DeMille.

If you are trying to nurture this phase in your children the best way to do it is to read out loud to them the classics.  ALOT!!!  Don't ever stop.  I will read out loud to my children until they leave home.  We have read so many books together I can't even count them and the life lessons taught will last forever.  Time well invested and much enjoyed.  People make the mistake of stopping this once their children read independently.  Don't stop.  I beg you!  If you have, start again!

3. Scholar Phase

Scholar Phase is the phase where you have figured out your life mission, at least the vision is there, and you are reading and studying in depth those books and people that will help you reach this vision.  You feel an urgency to read everything you can to get you closer to that goal.

4. Mission Phase

Mission Phase is where you are working on that initial mission God put on your heart.  You know you are made for Greatness and you know you are meant to do great things and you are determined to do them.  I have found in my own experience that many brick walls appear during this phase, Giants and distractions.  Satan wants to discourage us from accomplishing our mission.  He does not want us to move on to impact phase.  This is important to remember during this phase.  Don't let him win.  Impact is to important!  At the same time do not fear him.  He cannot win when you have the Lord on your side.  The only way he wins is if we quit.  Push forward with faith.  Knock down the walls or climb over them, remove the distractions (those things that bring only temporary satisfaction), beat the giants and win!!!  A great book that illustrates this is 'The Dream Giver" (I don't remember the author.) Then guess what?? It's now time for Impact Phase!!!

5. Impact Phase

This is the phase where we are now being sought out as a mentor.  We now have the money to do things that will impact thousands.  

Mission and Impact Phase are so personal to each individual.  We were each preordained to do different things.  If we have properly gone through the first 3 phases however we will have no problem finding our life mission and eventually making and impact.

I do want to mention that this is a progression, the time scale is also personal.  The process could take 30 years or 3.  It is honestly in God's time and is also personal.  I would never have been able to be in true Scholar, Mission or Impact phase when my children were small. It is easy now because they are part of the Mission and the Impact.  It has become a family mission.  They are on the journey with us.  I'm not saying others can't be in this phase with small children, but for me it wouldn't have happened.  

I spent time with a couple in Orlando who have a world wide ministry Tim and Gaye Goad.  We went to their ranch on Sunday to hang out with them and their kids.  They have been traveling the world making a difference in the lives of thousands since before their kids were born.  It's all their kids know.  Gaye was telling me about raising kids on airplanes and in hotel rooms.  People would be amazed that they could do it, but we shouldn't be.  They are living their God inspired mission and impacting thousands of lives!!! He has helped them work it out!! We are excited to begin a mentee relationship with them as we move into our own mission and impact phase since our impact goal is also a world-wide goal.  

With all that being said!!!  Enjoy each phase!  Embrace where you are and seek inspiration!!!  
I know I will!!!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Temporary Pleasure or Lasting Satisfaction - Balance part 2

I recently read the book OFF BALANCE by Matthew Kelly (recommended by our mentors). It busted through the Work-Life Balance Myth that we have all been taught.  It resonated with me and made me realize that this myth is one of the things that holds a lot of us back and has been holding us back.

Mr. Kelly says "Every great civilization since the beginning of time has concerned itself with a single question: how is the best way to live? This is the primary question that the great philosophers of every age have grappled with.  It is the question every culture, country, generation, and individual consciously or unconsciously wrestles with.  It is also the question that the whole work-life balance conversation of the past twenty years has been centered upon.  But most important, it is a question you and I grapple with in a deeply personal way."

People struggle with keeping work and family in balance.  When we are working we feel guilty because we aren't spending time with family.  When we are spending time with family we feel guilty we aren't working.  We feel that our family is suffering if we aren't splitting our time between work and family evenly.

The question isn't "Am I spending enough time at home?", because honestly the AMOUNT of time spent at home isn't the question we should be asking ourselves.  This is not what brings us balance.  But before we get to that, lets talk about the ultimate question....

Do you know your life mission?  

 I suggest we think and ponder on this.  Read books that will inspire this line of thought.  The classics are a great start.  The books I mentioned in the previous post would be a great place to start.  Once we know our personal life mission, we need to figure out the family's mission.  These will often be very similiar in nature and one can help accomplish the other.

Once the Family has come together and defined the family's mission, a schedule should be put together based on that mission.

Steven Covey teaches that we should put the big rocks in first when scheduling.  This is very important.  Make a master list of all the families activities and scheduling wants.  Then rank them on importance in accordance to the family mission.  Put the top priorities in first.  This should be done every six months, because things will sneak into the schedule that shouldn't be there.  Oliver and Rachel DeMille teach this principle and call it the 6 month "NO".  This is when we clean up and purge the calendar.  We have done this recently and it was really, really hard for me.  I needed to simplify my life, but didn't want to let go of anything.  Now that I have, I feel peace and relief and my family has been so blessed.

When trying to balance work and family it is really important that we realize that spending large amounts of time at home is not = or even close to as important as spending planned out, scheduled, quality time.  This is the principle Jane taught me right before we started the pendulum swinging again.  We pulled out the calendar and scheduled special family time.  It has made a world of difference.  We spend a lot less time together, but we feel closer, because the time we spend together is QUALITY!!! We are also pursuing a goal and vision together as a family.

Another principle taught in OFF BALANCE (I recommend all read it!!) is to make sure that the activities we choose to do in our free time bring us LASTING SATISFACTION, not just temporary pleasure.  This is taught in great detail in the book and is something I am really working on.  I will ask myself often.  "Is this bringing me temporary pleasure or lasting satisfaction?"  It helps me make my time more QUALITY.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Balance!! Our Journey to Find Balance in Life. Part 1

I've read 7 books so far this year.  They were all good, but 4 of them have made a huge impact on me and my thought process, and are in essence the cause that led me to begin this blog.  I have read books that have impacted me before, but the synergy of these 4 books transformed me.  They are these. (In order of the order I read them).

1.  Off Balance by Matthew Kelly
2. Mastering the 7 Decisions by Andy Andrews
3. The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino
read in conjuction with one of my 2012 books (The Noticer by Andy Andrews)
So really there are 5 ;) !!
4. You Can Work Your Own Miracles by Napoleon Hill

The journey began back when Nate had his other brokerage... Patriot Network..... Our life was definately out of balance.  We had plenty of money and all our material needs and most of our wants met.  We just had no time and honestly no satisfaction in what we were doing.  We were not in the impact stage of our life.  We were in control of our finances, but we did not control our time at all (Lifestyle = time + money), but more importantly we did not control our peace of mind.  Something taught in detail in book #4 listed above.  That is what we are all truly seeking PEACE.  Someone who is really at peace in their lives is attractive and draws others to them.  People want to know what they know and learn what they have learned.  That is when we can truly begin to make an impact on others and inspire them to find their greatness, to find their PEACE OF MIND.  That is the journey I am beginning and have invited people I love to join me on.  

The next stage of our life was a huge pendulum swing.  Most of you reading this blog know what that was.  Our year adventure in Guatemala.


It was an amazing year of adventure.  One where our life was totally out of balance in the other direction.  We spent the year having lots of time as a family.  I wouldn't change it for the world, but we did have one problem arise from it.  Fear of the pendulum swing back the other way!!

This fear has kept us on that side of the normal range of balance.  The range most people feel comfortable in.  We started inching back toward normal.

Before we move on I have to urge everyone reading this post to find a mentor in your life.  My definition of a mentor is someone who is where you want to be.  Who has accomplished what you want to accomplish.  This person should be someone who is still learning and growing and changing but just further on the path than you.  You do not want a stagnant mentor. It should be someone whom you can trust your information with, who will not tell it to the world.  It should be someone who will not be afraid to tell you the truths you need to hear.

Now back to the journey!

Nate and I were in a training in Fort Lauderdale where Nate's mentor, Andy Albright, asked another successful agent, Shawn Meaike,  to address Nathan and I and help Nate step it up in sales.  He asked me if I wanted him to tell us the truth in front of all those people and in front of Ammon, who was with us.  I answered yes, because in my mind I was thinking "The problem isn't me, it's Nate, so go ahead."  He went on to tell us that our life was too balanced.  Little did he know that we weren't even to balanced yet.  We were still inching toward it. He told us other stuff that helped, but this stuck with me. I knew deep down he was absolutely right and I knew that we were in great fear of being out of balance or off balance again.

I emailed my struggle with balance to Jane Albright, my mentor, a woman who is where I want to be in life.  She told me that balance is different for everyone.  She said she would call me and help me come up with a plan that I could live with.  I'll discuss that plan in part 2.  Her words got me thinking.  Nate and I began to discuss the subject and we realized that balance for everyone is their comfort zone.  When we push ourselves out of our comfort zone we feel Out of balance until that spot becomes our comfort zone.

For Example:  Someone with 1 child looks at someone with 
5 kids and asks "How does she do it?"
This is how she does it.  Each child pushed her to a new level
of uncomfortableness or offbalancedness.
The family goes through an adjustment phase and eventually becomes
comfortable in their new balanced life or new comfort zone.
(A great book on this subject is The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson.)

Don't worry!  I'm not planning anymore kids!!
My mission is different.  LOL!
Hats off to those with more kids though!  I do envy you!

This realization sent us on a journey to discover what true balance really is.  Nate and I realized that if balance is your comfort zone, which in our opinion is your failure zone and mediocrity, then we needed to get out of balance, to stretch, become uncomfortable, adjust, become comfortable again, get back out of balance again, stretch, become uncomfortable adjust, ect....
Most people are happy being in a mediocre state.  I am not saying this is a bad thing.  Each of us has our own mission in life.  I can not say what that mission is for those who are reading this post.  I would never even dare judge this of another person!!! That is an individual journey to be taken by each individual.  I do know that each of you will have a butterfly effect on those closest to you, regardless of your mission.  I also feel that everyone born on Earth has Seeds of Greatness within. I will say, however, that I do not believe I am made for meiocrity and neither does Nate.  We personally feel that we were made for greatness and meant to have an impact in the lives of many.  This statement does not sound very humble, but I have to say that this has been put on our hearts and we believe it to be true.  We are not better than anyone else! We are all great in our own individual mission. 

We have found that we are personally not happy and not happy as a family sitting in our comfort zone on the other side of balanced.  We have temporary happiness, but not true lasting satisfaction, which I will elaborate on in the next post.

My next 2 books, if anyone wants to read along, will be

1. The Choice by Og Mandino
2. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Why Blog? Why Butterfly Effect?

Why blog?

This will sound crazy to people who don't know me, but people who do will understand completely!!

1. I love to talk and as I learn something new I love to share everything I learned with everyone :) !!  If something has impacted my life, I want to pass it on to everyone I know and love. 

Now the problem with this is, not everyone wants me too!!  A blog solves this problem!! With a blog, if you want to know what I'm learning, you can, if you don't, you don't have to!!

2. I would love to leave a digital record of all I am learning to my children.  Books and Journals are great, but they get lost, they get dusty, they can only be POSSESSED by one person (They can be shared but it is difficult), they can be ruined :( !!! Let's face it.  Typing is so much faster!! :) !

We live in a digital age which can be viewed as a curse or a blessing. In this particular situation, I view it as a blessing.  I wish to leave this legacy to my children and grandchildren, as well as close friends and family who would like to come with me on my journey of the change and growth.

Why the Butterfly Effect?

I will always do my best to give credit where credit is due, so that you can see the path of the butterly wind in my life.  With that being said.... I have to give credit for this idea to Andy Albright, who had Andy Andrews speak at National Convention and had me read his books as part of our book club.

Or.... should I give credit to his wife Jane Albright, who saw Andy Andrews speak and read his books and promoted them to Andy.

(Andy Andrews author of The Butterfly Effect, The Traveler's Gift, The Noticer, Mastering the Seven Decisions (my favorite) and many other fantastic life changing books. )

Or..... should I give credit to Andy Andrews who wrote the books that taught me about the Butterfly Effect??

Or does the credit go to all the many authors of the books Andy studied to transform him into someone who can make an impact through the written word in the lives of many.

Or... should the credit go to Jones (from The Noticer) who mentored Andy through his transformation.

I plan to have a butterfly effect in the world.  I feel like God created us all for GREATNESS and he has an individual mission for each of us to accomplish.  I do feel that we all have the FREEDOM OF CHOICE (a God given right) to become great, to change and grow and find our mission. 

I CHOOSE to change and grow and find my mission and make an impact or EFFECT in the lives of all I have the privledge to call friend, family, children, grandchildren ect... anyone God gives me the opportunity to EFFECT.... ! 

That is why I chose Butterfly Effect as my Blog title!!

I hope you will choose to join me on my journey!!