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!!