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What an awesome article this is. You just bring it.
I think the challenge that most business' face is a deeper underlying belief that there is a "magic fix all" solution. This leads them to try and figure out the one big solution. Unfortunately, everyone is so busy trying to develop the perfect tactics, that they get away from the character of the organization. Which starts with the leader.
Such an awesome article!
1 year, 6 months ago on The Bitch Slap: Because You’re a Shitty Leader – That’s Why
What's up Sandi :).
I love this line - "Anything that gives us access to a better feeling state is worth exploring." I think that is very powerful and a pretty awesome thought :).
I want to throw out an alternative thought. I think sometimes as humans we become overly obsessed with feeling happy. Sometimes. strife and struggle is a very good thing. This means that I don't think "choosing" to feel better is always a good choice. Sometimes, it much better to sit with the struggle and begin the process of doing the daily grind (which can take a long time) to live a more meaningful life.
I throw out this thought with concern for friends of mine who have a "good job" but in reality they are unfulfilled and unhappy. Yes, they can psyche themselves up by "choosing" to be happy. But in the long run I think it would be more powerful to sit with this struggle and begin making the necessary changes.
I don't think your post necessarily disagree with what I wrote but I felt compelled to share my thoughts :).
1 year, 11 months ago on Cracking the Happy Code
I am often amazed at how a post can be so timely.
I have been spending a lot of time in reflection as of late. I can be a wee bit (and by a wee bit, I mean a massive bit) intense in my desire to make things happen. The danger of this is I can become almost robotic. This is so beautiful.
It reminds me of a poem I read yesterday (about Cherry Blossoms).
Cherry blooms are falling-and now between the trees, a temple appears
It is now Cherry blossom season in Japan and this poem highlights the incredible bloom that comes with these. But it also shows how fast the time comes and goes. There is also a hint in there of the beauty behind the beauty. I could go on :).
2 years ago on A Sea of Awareness
Though, I'm a male I still had to comment because I enjoyed the message of this post.
That being said as I went through this post I found myself thinking "What if we started off by devoting the time to ourselves to figure out what we should devote our lives to." And then "BAM!" you nail it at the end.
I think it is awesome that you are doing this Sandi. Changing lives... 28 days at a time :).
2 years, 4 months ago on A New Kind of Devotion for the New Year
Sandi this is a freaking awesome post! I feel like you don't normally give super specific straightforward advice on subjects like this. Which I guess makes it all the more powerful when you do!
I see list posts all the time - but this on just felt really legit!
Your last point about "Slow down" really resonates with me. I have a tendency to try and go to fast. Plus with all the information out there on the internet it is easy to get blindsided. If we take everything as it is said we will get broadsided.
It's powerful to hear all of this from you Sandi! Super awesome!
2 years, 4 months ago on The Truth About One-Size-Fits-All
Very cool :). Funny how sometimes we make things so much more difficult then it needs to be.
2 years, 4 months ago on Deja Vu
What's up Amber :).
Here is the line that was extremely powerful to me: "the answer to those life-defining questions will forever be changing over time."
That is straight up on it! For me, this nails my dream. My dream has been a constant evolution. The deeper I get in it the more it grows. Initially when I moved to Japan I wanted to live here a for a year or two train in martial arts then head back to America and get a job. Not anymore! The dream has evolved.
Now, I want to travel the world, train in martial arts, truly become a ninja, and develop content that encourages and inspires others to follow their dreams :).
Well put Amber!
2 years, 5 months ago on Phase 4: Rebuild Your Life (But Allow A Breakdown First)
Truth is complex yet so simple isn't it? I feel like everyday is an opportunity to get closer to this truth - this real me. It's crazy because I have had times in my life when I think I'm following this truth but I'm not! But to eventually get on the right path I had to make those mistakes. I guess it can start by identifying our values (if we want get practical). I know for me - after I did this it brought some crazy clarity my way :). Truth is a pretty crazy thing because (as you put) one person's truth is another person's lie. We have to follow our own paths not someone else's.
2 years, 5 months ago on On Owning Your Truth
Hi Amber :).
You bring up a good point. Most of the things online and offline tend to focus on the "I hate my job" and the "Freedom is incredible" portions of the journey. I think one of the things that is so often misconstrued is the power of the ambiguity.
Ambiguity is wonderful because the only way to every truly know what we want is to have moments when we don't know what we want. Though, this is scary it is simply part of the process. For me, my period of "not having a darn clue!" was incredibly empowering - though at the time it was quite scary too :).
2 years, 6 months ago on Phase 3: “Escape”
Hi Jeff :).
This is some good content man.
I'm in a similar situation. I actually live in Japan now. I quit my job in America, and moved here to pursue my childhood dream: to become a ninja :). Basically I came here to train in martial arts full time. One problem- when I moved here my job placed me in the countryside. There were no martial arts dojos. Plus the job was a joke - I was basically a fancy tape recorder, just speaking English words out loud.
So I learned the hard way that things don't always work out as planned. So I fulfilled my contract, left that job and moved to Kyoto (where I am now). I do part time work, just enough to cover expenses and use the rest of that time to train, explore Japan, and work on generating income on my own.
I completely agree that it makes the transition way easier to have some outside steady work :).
Congratulations on the transition by the way.
2 years, 6 months ago on Thinking of Quitting? Self-Employed Lessons, 2 Months Deep
Your speaking my language Ellen!
So many people are waiting around for a magic formula to conquer fear. But the reality is the only way to beat fear is to face it.
I think there is a common misperception by the public about people they call "courageous". They seem to think a courageous person has no fear. But if they had no fear, they wouldn't be courageous.
It's one of the beautiful ironies to life. The only way to have courage is to have fear. If I'm not afraid to do it, then it's not a courageous act. Correct?
There really is no perfect time to face our fears. There is always an excuse. So since there is always an excuse, there really is no better time than now.
2 years, 6 months ago on The Super Simple Way to Conquer Fear
What a mind baffling study you shared. Wow. That is pretty scary. In theory this means if that if 40% of my thoughts are positive I still am way above average.
I have to share a little story Sandi :). Yesterday I screwed up the laundry. As soon as I noticed I got it all screwed up I immediately responded in my head by saying the following:
"It's okay, there is a good lesson to be learned here"
The funny thing was that this response was completely automatic. I guess that is what happens when I read too many self help books and have super encouraging parents :).
2 years, 6 months ago on From Someday to One Day (how shifting your focus brings a dream alive)
This is awesome Sandi :).
Yesterday I was forced to step back and just laugh at my life. I walked out of starbucks (yup! they have them here in Japan) and my bike was missing. Turns out they tow bikes. Who knew?! Well now I know. I also discovered a completely new location in Kyoto - where they place all the towed bikes. I think you make a great point though. I think we all are in danger of taking ourselves way too seriously. Just that alone kind of cracks me up. Because when we take ourselves too seriously we kill the beauty and joy of life... Yet, when we take ourselves super seriously this is often when we are searching for beauty and joy most intensely. It's like trying to find the Roman Coliseum with a Map from New York :). It just doesn't work. Darn that ego!
2 years, 6 months ago on The Cure for What Ails You
To the point and powerful Ellen.
I think too many people are waiting for some magical cosmic sign from the Gods. They want the heavens to open up, thunder to slam down, the all might God to drop down, and then provide them with a signed and notarized certificated stating "Now is the time. Go do it."
But the world doesn't work this way. It's all an adventure. If it was 100 percent certain there would be no fun in that :).
2 years, 6 months ago on Permission Granted
@ZivanaMindset great to see you here Zivana :). It is funny when you put it like that because it kind of sounds like 3 years is a long time, but I swear it feels like it has just flown by.
It makes me realize how we have to take advantage of the life we are living because time just moves so darn fast!
2 years, 7 months ago on If I Can Quit My Job To Become A Ninja. . .
@Shirl_Corder Wow Shirl! And therein lies the power of taking action everyday. When we focus on taking action we don't even have to worry about "Someday". Because before we know it, it has arrived :).
That is incredibly exciting that your book is going international in 37 days :). I wish you tons of luck!
@Sandi Amorim @30YearOldninja That story just made my morning. That definitely counts!
@thejoshuawilner Hahaha! That is straight up awesome man. NICE!
@Sandi Amorim @30YearOldninja @Vishnu's Virtues Depends how you broke it Sandi.
If you tripped, hit your hand against the wood, and it snapped then that's a no go.
But if you waited until the shop teacher turned his back. Took a solid breath in and thrusted your fist down and blew the piece of wood to smithereens then yes it definitely counts :).
@Sandi Amorim @30YearOldninja @MichaelGarvey I don't know if I deserve it. But I'll take it!
@EnsoJourney Well, it is only fair that you borrow this Alex because I have borrowed quite a few things from you (Battle Cry and now a morning ritual).
Glad you enjoyed the post man.
@Sabrina at MyMiBoSo Awesome Sabrina :) I hope you go out and do something super awesome today!
AND TOMORROW :). By the way, I love the opening video at your site.
@Sandi Amorim @otitiovuewhorie This is a seriously awesome metaphor that you two are talking about. We need to "ride the elevator up and down".
@otitiovuewhorie Haha too true Otiti. I think it can be real scary when we start to realize that the things we thought we wanted aren't what we wanted all along. Because if we don't want that then what the heck do we want?
After finishing up your book (YUP! Just finished it!) I know that you completely agree with me on all accounts. I think there is an art in learning how to listen to our heart. It's not perfect science, though in time with practice I do believe we get better.
@Sandi Amorim @Vishnu's Virtues Haha! you two flatter me too much.
I love breaking things down to smaller steps because it makes it feel possible. When I have a huge big goal it can feel daunting. I might not be able to break a brick today, but I can certainly go and train for 1 hour. I can go learn how to throw a better punch... Gosh, I really want to break a brick!
@Ellen Berg Ellen there is a reason why you and I get along so well (and it isn't just because we both love organization and charting!). You focus so much on process, and I love that.
This is why your writing feedback helped me so much, you gave me great feedback that made me feel like I can do it. I simply needed to focus on the process. Thank you and I always enjoy your comments.
@MichaelGarvey Thanks for the nice comments man. But you know I have to throw it right back at you. Nothing I say nor write means anything unless you are willing to take action. Which you are doing!
With uncertainty comes new opportunity. Keep on taking advantage of those new opportunities Michael. I love hearing the progress of your journey.
@Carol Hess Haha! I hope it does too Carol. I find it fascinating that often the best way to express our love is to give people the truth, not some short term flattery. I think it's awesome that your bringing "the real" your clients need to hear.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Insanely Simple Formula to Discover What You Want in Life
Hi @saraho :).
You bring up an excellent point. The people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on our behavior. There are those who talk and those who are too busy doing to talk :).
I think talk is fun but only for so long. After a while it is debilitating because if we don't take action deep down inside we know we are lying to ourselves and the world. If we don't take action we get put in this situation where we either must face the truth and do something or justify our lack of doing something with more lies. I think this is why it is SO dangerous to be around a bunch of talkers who don't do. At some point in time, they have to lie to themselves and you.
I hope that you go out today and kick some serious ass Saraho :). Great comment!
@MichaelGarvey Dang! That quote is incredible. It's a vicious cycle! The second we buy into limits in one area of our lives we buy into other limits and before we know it we are selling ourselves short in all aspects from careers to relationships.
Mike I am very glad that the message I am communicating resonates with you but I have to give you credit man! If you are making things happen in your life then you are taking action. Taking action is a huge f'ing deal. Action gives experience and experience gives learning :).
Your comments always bring in a philosophical aspect to the conversation. Always a joy to sit back and read them.
@Carol Hess It is so true! " talking was one thing, taking action was another".
A little while back my father said "Izzy, you can take action without talking and get results but if you talk without action you'll never get results." It was his graceful way of saying "words are cheap."
At the same time, even though I give talking a tough time I do think it has a place. I think establishing a plan is good as long as we don't get caught up in trying to make it perfect. I just think it is very dangerous because a lot of people use it as an easy out. They talk, talk, and talk and then are shocked that they make zero progress.
How did your client respond when you said that?
@Carol Hess Hi Carol :). Thanks for the kind word. I'm glad the message resonates with you.
@EnsoJourney That's so darn true Alex! Lying to ourselves is hard work. The more I follow my dream the more beautiful life becomes.
Your comment allowed me to gain a deeper level of understanding as to why it is so empowering to pursue our dreams. It is because we no longer have to lie to ourselves. And (as you put) lying to ourselves is stressful!
Ehen we move forward with a dream we don't get bogged down by our lies. We get liberated by following our truth.
@Ellen Berg You are straight up speaking my language! I don't know where I learned this, but I 100 percent agree. I am a talker but I work hard to keep my mouth shut about my plans until I start taking action on them.
Even with my blog I wrote for 1 month posting 5 days per week before I told anyone (including my mom). I told myself "Izzy, you need to prove to yourself you can do this before you start spouting to the world that you are going to do this."
It was a powerful lesson and experience. It helped me keep my ego in place and allowed me to prove to myself that I was serious.
One month later I told my mom :).
@Ellen Berg @Ellen Berg That is a powerful question and a scary one that many people are not willing to face.
The other day I was talking to someone who was "trying to figure it out". I asked her "What are you doing to 'figure it out'?" She became angry and frustrated and told me she didn't want to talk about it.
It was eye opening. She wasn't willing to face the truth. She would rather sulk in her confusion.
Her actions and her words had no relationship.
@Sandi Amorim You are really good at taking big concepts and turning them into 1 straight forward statement. You do this all the time at my site and you did it hear again! No action = no commitment. Awesome Sandi! Well put.
@otitiovuewhorie Really great comment. I agree that it is easy to get caught up in the black hole of creating a plan. I think it is tricky because at some point in our journey we do need a plan. The trick is that we have to be totally cool with an imperfect plan. I think we need to come up with some plan and then just run with it!
Some people I meet wear the perfectionist badge like a medal of honor. But the problem is that while they are trying to piece the perfect plan on paper, they are losing time in real life.
The fastest most powerful way to learn is to put ourselves out there and fail. Failure is such a fantastic teacher. It hurts, but it forces us to try new things.
One kind of funny example are the drawings on my site. Those drawings started out because I found out I had been using copy righted images. I had a post coming out that day and was thinking "crap! I need some pictures". So for that day I made some cartoons as a placeholder until I could find some pictures.
But then it happened for 2 posts in a row. All of a sudden I was getting comments about the cartoons and I was having fun making them.
Now, people often tell me this is one of the things they enjoy most about my site. It cracks me up because this only came about because I was using illegal copyrighted pictures. I failed, and was forced to come up with a solution. The solution ended up being way better than what was there before.
Initially I was opposed to this whole "Izzy salsa dancing YouTube thing. But then you brought up the double rainbow guy.
@Ellen Berg I am humbled that you would put me in the same rank of YouTube Stardom as the Double Rainbow guy.
It's done! This will be my next blog after I become a ninja. Give it 10 years or so.
It will be called "The 40 Year Old Salsa Dancer."
"It took me time to realize I had to take action in order to see any change". What blows my mind Alex is the crazy things we all are capable of when we stop talking and start doing.
I think the more we talk and the less we do the more debilitating it becomes. Deep down inside we know we aren't taking action. So we are forced to lie to ourselves, to come up with reasons why we haven't yet started.
But starting has the complete opposite effect. It is incredibly empowering. It makes us realize "I can do this!".
@Vishnu's Virtues I love this line man "which is we'll never know what our dream really is until we figure out all those things that our dream isn't"! Even if you have said it on my blog I think it is worth repeating. It shows respect for the power of experience.
We have to take action, be willing to fail, adjust our approach based on what we learn then rinse and repeat. I think it sounds a little painful, but it doesn't have to be. I think the whole process can be beautiful. I think when we are genuinely pursuing our passion and dreams then the process itself turns into a joy.
Always appreciate your comments V.
Man, this is a great question! How do we maintain inspiration after the event has struck.
I think for everyone there is a unique process that works for them. I guess the trick is discovering that process.
For me, I find it really powerful to set intentional time aside to do something that forces reflection. I am not talking about sitting on my couch and thinking. I am talking about taking a hike in the mountains, going on a crazy run, or training in martial arts.
All of these things give me time to process what has just happened. As I process these things, I always end up coming up with some new ideas. I never know what these ideas will be, but it is always something. That is the power of inspiration, it can spark crazy CRAZY things.
I guess my answer sounds a little vague and fuzzy. But it works for me.
2 years, 7 months ago on How to Turn Inspiration Into Lasting Change
My father has a saying that he recently shared with me. He says "Life is a mystery to be embraced"
This post reminded me of exactly that. That quote by Joseph Campbell is just beautiful. It really touched my heart. I guess this is because it resonates with me word for word. I used to be a teacher in Los Angeles. I thought it was my dream, but it wasn't. The irony, is that (as the quote states) I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it. I wanted to run my own school, become a principal and change the education system. Yes, it was a good dream, but it wasn't my dream. It was someone else dream.
Now, that I am moving forward with my dream, it has moments of intense ambiguity. I have learned and am learning to embrace this ambiguity.
2 years, 7 months ago on Step By Step
Straight up bringing it Sandi.
This is so honest and so darn different than the tradional "5 ways to ________". Not to say I don't enjoy those types of posts as I thoroughly do. But once I got to your list I was like "dang, this is different! I like it :)".
What do I suck at?
I suck at going with the flow. I always want to have a plan. When I have a crazy day where I do a ton of things I immediately trying to imagine how I can scale it into everyday. I am a planner by nature and this has it's advantages but at the same time, I can shoot myself in the foot because I get to locked in on a plan. I then might miss out on golden opportunities because I am too zoned in on following my plan.
I also super suck at being patient... I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW!
I really enjoyed this post :).
2 years, 8 months ago on Come to the Dark Side: permission to own where you suck
Wow. It is really interesting that you bring this up. I have a weekly discussion with my father where he gives me a life lesson. Just last weekend we went through a discussion that dealt with authenticity.
The conclusion that we came up with is that the only way to truly express one's creativity is for them to be truly authentic.
I think the struggle with authenticity is that we are all vulnerable to doubting ourselves. Do I really have something to give? Can I actually give any value?
As you point out. Yes we can! And the only way to truly do it is if we are authentic. As I went through the post I kept on asking "how can I be authentic?" And then I got to the end.
"Allow yourself to create fabulously bad work or even amazingly good work. Just do it. Beginning is the hardest part."
Begin. It is so simple yet so complex. Allow myself the opportunity to be me.
Wonderfully written post. It touched my soul :)
2 years, 8 months ago on Authentic Creativity is Self-Love
What an awesome name! Obviously I am just one person but I don't think you need to worry about falling off the map.
I love the name! It is freaking awesome. It gets me excited just saying it outloud. Paidtoexist. That is some really great marketing. I'm all for it. I am also really excited to see the new site.
2 years, 8 months ago on The Biggest Announcement in Illuminated Mind History
This is a very honest and real post. Money is an important issue to address and all too often people try to act like it isn't. I really like the approach of slowly transitioning from a traditional 9 to 5 esque job to part time to completely on your own all the while, building your business on the side.
I think this is powerful because when you are running your own business you need all your creative juices. If you spend all your time worried about financial constraints it really limits creativity. But in making an intelligent transition it allows the brain to sift through potential problems and then identify solutions.
I have saved up a lot of money from my 2 previous jobs. I live in Japan right now and will be leaving my current job at the end of this month. I want to move to Kyoto, train in martial arts, work part time, and spend the remaining time on building my own business via my blog.
I like reading posts like this because it shows it can happen.
2 years, 9 months ago on How I Used My Day Job to Fund My Freedom Business
I am always interested whenever I read a headline that claims to help people meet their goals. Most of the time the posts are filled with big words, and no practical application.
But I think you nailed some really poweful things here. I have found that routine has been one of the most (if not the most) powerful tools in helping me focus on my dreams and making them real.
My routine is consistent. Every day I wake up at 5 am eat breakfast and at 540 I start writing. I exercise at 630 for an hour. Then I head to my job. I have a lot of free time at work so I am able to focus on my longterm projects.
Having a consistent daily routine is really powerful for me because it has allowed me to take steps daily towards my big goals.
But even before all of this, sitting down developing the big goals and breaking them down into measurable steps is what has allowed me to live it out on a day to day basis. I know that any day I break away from my routine I am choosing to not follow my dreams.
I think the challenge can be that after so many weeks of doing the same routine, it can be hard to make sure everything stays fresh and exciting. This is when number 2 - having a strong community is so darn incredible. When I communicate with people that inspire me, it ignites a fire in my belly that keeps me pushing hard and wanting it.
Awesome post man.
2 years, 9 months ago on How to Stay Hungry and See Your Goal Through to the End
@Ellen Berg Well said Ellen. If we can respect the journey rather than fighting ourselves every step of the way than awesome things can happen. And we'll be able to enjoy it as well.
2 years, 9 months ago on Stop Half-Assing Your Life
This is awesome.
So in Japan (where I currently live) there is a phrase that is constantly said "Ganbate" which means "do your best". When I first came here, I really liked it. But after 10 months I consider it a massive cop out. In classes, teachers will tell students "ganbate" and students will respond with "ganbaru" which means "I'll do my best"... But they don't do their best.
This phrase is used as a cover up. It basically means "Well, if I fail it is okay because I tried my best and I can't do better than that". I call bullshit!
It is funny (or ironic), because I used to live and die by the phrase "I'll do my best" now I despise it. I think it is the ultimate crutch. Now, I say "I'll get it done".
The simple reality is that sometimes my "best" isn't good enough.... So, I have to make it better. That is what personal growth is all about right? Taking our best and making it better.
Awesome Post Ellen.
Do or do not. There is no try.