By Casey Grey
Fun is an important aspect of life that can easily be forgotten or pushed to the side for a later time. Life is not suppose to be serious all the time. In fact, why can't everything be fun?
I like to believe that not all situations are fun but fun can be brought into all situations.
In my opinion, fun is a state of mind. When you are having fun, life is easy. Problems turn into opportunities. Failures turn into lessons. Enemies turn into friends. Tears of pain turn into tears of joy.
Easier said than done. I get it. If you're going through a lawsuit it's hard to have fun. If you're going through a breakup, it's hard to have fun. If you just lost a loved one, it's hard to have fun. If you have no money, it's hard to have fun. Or is it?
Can you turn that lawsuit into a game in your head? Can you still have fun with the person you are no longer going to be in a relationship with? Can you focus on all the great memories you have of the loved one you just lost? Can you get creative and have fun with little to no money?
Like going to the gym, this is a muscle that needs to be worked out. What are you bringing into your environment to promote that fun and playful thinking?
For myself, I purchased a 1977 VW Camper Van. It's impossible to drive this thing without a smile on my face. I drive it everywhere I can and make sure to do some camping trips in it with my son. I've also started doing gymnastics and right now I'm skiing/snowboarding every weekend with the family. Doing things like this make it easier to bring a playful mindset to the more serious situations in my life.
Everybody will gravitate to the person with a genuine smile and playful outlook on life.
Honour is a powerful word. It's one of the values I like to focus my life around. Another word for it could be respect. To be honourable is the highest form of respect in my books. I've worked it into the values of The Conscious Builder as well.
Honour yourself for where you are today. Honour yourself for how far you have come. Honour yourself for reading this. Honour yourself by eating healthy. Honour yourself by exercising. Honour yourself by taking time to reconnect with you. You have been blessed with this amazing body, mind and soul. Honour them every day for you would not be here without them.
Honour the environment and everything it produces for us. The trees. The birds. The bees. The squirrels. The soil. The grass. The snow. The mountains. The oxygen. The plants. The fruits. The vegetables. The water. The clouds. The rain. The wind. The list goes on. Without the environment we would not be here today. It gives us everything we need to physically survive. Honour that and you will go through life with a different perspective.
Honour all the people of this planet. Without people we would not have electricity, or the internet. We would not have the computers or phones that you are reading this on and that I'm writing this on. We could not have homes to live in, cars to drive, trains to travel or planes to fly. Without people we would not have families, friends or communities. Without people we would have nobody to serve and nobody to help us. Together we can do anything. Alone we are limited.
Honour yourself, the environment and the people around you.
The brain is here to protect us and it bases its information on past experiences.
As a child, our experiences are limited. If something is hot, we'll grab it and burn our hands because our brain may not know what hot is. After an experience like this, our actions will change.
As we grow older we continue to gain experiences and our decisions continue to change based on those experiences. The problem is that the brain (not your brain) is often thinking about all the negative things that could happen as appose to the positive. As we know, it's there to protect us.
What if I ask for the sale and she says no?
What if I ask for a promotion and my boss says no?
What if I write this blog and nobody reads it?
What if we change our mindset and start to focus on the positive? What if I ask for the sale and I get it? What if my boss gives me more than I expected? What if this blog starts to help millions of people?
I feel way better thinking about those outcomes.
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware is one of the best books I have read. This book puts decisions and their implications into perspective from people who have lived and have had those same fears that we all have today.
What if you take one step towards your dreams right now? How could that positively impact your life tomorrow? Next week? Next year? 10 years from now?
What if you don't take action towards your dreams? How would you feel tomorrow? Next week? Next year? 10 years from now?
Which outcome do you choose?
Yesterday afternoon I was feeling a little overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. I had a day packed with meetings and phone calls and they were all taking longer than I had booked into my schedule. Things I wanted to get done towards the end of the day were slipping off the schedule and the additional questions for help coming my way were just not going to get done. In fact, I'm starting to feel a little anxious just writing and thinking about this.
At one point my wife asked me if there was anything she could help with to take some stuff off my plate and I said, " No. I'm fine. I'll figure it out. It's not like I'm saving lives or anything."
After I said that, the overwhelm started to subside a little. It's true, isn't it? The majority of us are not saving lives yet we put so much pressure on ourselves that everything feels like it's life or death.
What is overwhelm, stress and anxiety? They're just feelings, right?
When do I feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious? If I start thinking about what happened when I started to write this post, all it takes is for me to shift my focus to a time when I was overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. If I put myself back in that specific time and think about what I was doing, I was focusing on the stuff I couldn't do, things that were out of my control or people I couldn't help.
That means that the way I feel is just a matter of what I focus on.
As a high achiever, I put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish things and make sure I do them well. I'm always looking to be better and I set my goals high. Often I don't even achieve my goals because I set them so high and it becomes a little demoralizing. In order to get past this feeling all I need to do is shift my focus back to what I have accomplished and the people I have helped. Or perhaps the people who are there for me and what to help me. Or perhaps the sun that is shinning or the rain that is helping the flowers grow.
The point is that focus is everything. You can't have a positive attitude focusing on the negative shit.
And nobody wants to hang out with negative people.
This post is dedicated to my wife, Natasha. Happy Valentines Day.
I am a true believer that behind every man is an even greater woman (or partner). I would not be the man I am today if it was not for my wife.
As I'm sure you have heard before, you are who you surround yourself with. That includes our partners.
I can pinpoint the time to when I really started to get into personal development and understand the importance of working on myself. Natasha was interested in this before me so naturally, as a good husband, I was starting to look into it for her. On this particular occasion I was looking for a book for her. The book that presented itself to me was The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
As she read the book she came across a part where Jack was sharing his experiences at a Tony Robbins event called Unleash the Power Within. Natasha thought to herself, "I remember seeing this guy on TV when I was growing up." She would always watch him at grandma and grandpa's house on the informercials he was doing at the time. Obviously this intrigued her so she looked up the event.
Side note... It's amazing how things come full circle like this, isn't it? You never know how such a small seemingly insignificant thing from the past can ultimately turn into a life changing event. This is a perfect example of an acorn being planted and growing into an Oak tree.
Back to the story... Natasha then asked if I was interested in going to a conference. I said "Sure! That would be fun." Of course I didn't ask any questions at the time because it didn't really matter. I just thought it would be something fun to do together. I had no idea what I was in for. The next thing I know I'm jumping up and down, screaming, laughing, crying and dancing. It was an event I will never forget and it was the catalyst to raising my standards and upping my life to the next level. All thanks to my wife, Natasha and having the courage to just say YES.
Since then it has been an unbelievable journey. There have been many ups and downs and I know there will be many more. One thing is for sure though, I know Natasha will always be by my side. The more we grow together, the more connected we become. The more experiences we have together, the more enjoyable life is. The more we share with each other, the more we have to share.
Isn't that what life is all about? The ability to share it with somebody you love.
I can tell you that marrying Natasha has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. Together, we have created more than we could have ever done on our own. Together, we are not twice as powerful, we are infinitely more powerful. Together, we can change the world for the better. Together, we are whole.
Natasha, thank you for being you. For not wavering and standing true to what you believe in. For believing in me. For teaching me. For supporting me. For inspiring me. For challenging me. Most importantly, thank you for appreciating me. I will forever be with you.
What is good?
When I ask that question a flood of good things come to mind. It's hard to explain what it is but I can explain times that I felt "good" and what happened to make me feel that way.
What is bad?
Just like "good", a flood of "bad" things come to mind. Once again, an explanation is hard to come up with. Bad seems to be more of a feeling as well.
What if there is no good and bad? What if there just is? What if I removed the label?
Good and bad are just opinions. A way us humans try to explain something that has happened. Often what is good to one person may be bad to another. Actually, I've had experiences where I thought something was bad but they ended up being good.
The lawsuit I was in for 4 years sounds like a bad situation. Which, in how we're using this word right now, it was. I spent hours of time on it, lost lots of money on legal fees and lost lots of hours of sleep. I do not wish it upon anybody.
That all being said, I am happy to have experienced this. It was a good thing to be a part of. It made me a better person, gave me more knowledge and made my business stronger. How could a bad thing have a such a good outcome? Would somebody else in the same position think the same way? Perhaps but perhaps not. It's just my opinion of how I see the outcome. It's my opinion.
I ask again... What if there is no good and bad? What if there just is?
What if we removed the words "good" and "bad" from our vocabulary and just accepted things as they are without the label? How would that affect your life? Would it be good or bad ;)
I believe there are 3 things that will create an extraordinary life no matter where you are and where you came from. They are simple but not easy.
Presence. Gratitude. Faith.
When you are present, nothing else matters. The only thing that ever does matter is right now. We can't change the past and the future will never be here. When the future does get here, it changes to now... All that matters is how we show up right now. I'm talking real presence, not just physical presence. Presence that the other person can feel when you're in front of them.
That being said, planning and envisioning the future has its place and I believe it's extremely important. We just don't want to live there. This is something I've been working on because I have missed a lot not being in the moment. Meditation has helped tremendously.
Gratitude is self explanatory. The two words that can never be said enough are "Thank you." The hard part about gratitude is to be grateful for the painful moments. It's easy to be grateful for the good things that happen in life but being grateful when somebody breaks your heart or takes your money is easier said than done.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. The good and the bad. What is good and bad anyways? Good and bad is really just a point of view but I'll save this for another blog post... If you can see the silver lining in everything that happens in your life, that alone will 10X your life.
Lastly, Faith (or trust). Just like gratitude, it's easy to have faith when things are going well and you're in the flow. Then life happens... Shit hits the fan and goes everywhere. "Why me?" is something I have asked many times but I have learned that that is the worst question ever and does nothing but turn me into a victim. Now, what gets me through the "tough" times is a simple thought:
"God has put me in this situation because he knows I can handle it."
That believe gets me through everything. That belief tells me that there are bigger and better plans on the horizon. Everything is happening for a reason. I'm being prepared and shaped into the person I need to become in order to accomplish what I'm here to do.
I am exactly where I need to be right now.
As kids, we're often brought up to be independent. We even get rewarded and praised for doing things by ourselves.
For some things, this is great. Walking, writing, spelling, reading and so on. The basic things that are good to know how to do alone as they will help us continue to grow throughout life.
For other things, it can slow us down. For example, problem solving. We get rewarded for solving problems by ourselves. In school we actually get in trouble if we ask for help on a test. It's called cheating.
Life is not a test and we don't have to do it alone.
The whole notion of having to figure things out on our own and do everything by ourselves just slows us down. There are only so many hours in a day and I hate to break it to you but we don't live forever.
Stick to what you're good at and find people to partner with for the rest.
P.S. Want a wakeup call every day? Install a countdown timer on your phone or computer which shows how much time you're expected to have on this earth based on your age and health. Of coarse with technology and so many things at play, this is not an exact science but it will give you a kick in the butt to get going. Heck maybe you'll invent something for life longevity!
Sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. It's almost like some outside force takes over.
For myself, this is usually something that happens with people who are closest to me. A certain look, tone or word will trigger a reaction that is not the way I would have chosen to react if I was in control.
After an event like this, I'm never happy with myself. If I notice what happened quick enough, I will do what I can to get in front of it right away. Acknowledge what I did, apologize to the person I did it to and forgive myself.
Unfortunately that's a retroactive approach. The damage has been done and sometimes that damage can be too much to fix or will take time to fix.
I've noticed I have less control when the following things creep into my life:
What I noticed is that I have control over all of these things. I can make sure I get enough sleep, eat healthy, get exercise, meditate, write and have time for family. When I take care of these things than the stress that may be caused by work usually disappears or becomes less of a concern.
By taking action on the right things, I can avoid reactions in the wrong way.
The most important part of all of this is forgiving myself if I do respond in a way that is less than desirable. Even when I do all of this stuff, I may still slip. But that's okay! I'm only human and this is part of the human experience.
Ask and you shall receive. Something I have heard over and over again in my life. I believe there's another part to this that makes the first part useless if you don't follow through.
Ask and you shall receive... If you're open to receiving.
I've had plenty of days throughout my life where I was asking God for something that I wanted. Usually it was something that I felt I needed in order to get past a specific obstacle. Rarely do I receive what I want but I can honestly say that I always receive what I need. But only if I'm open to receiving it.
In having a meeting with a good friend yesterday, who approached me with something that I needed, he told me a funny joke.
"Do you want to know how to make God laugh?" he asked. To which I replied with a blank look on my face.
"Tell him your plans."
How true it is. Most things in life do not go as planned. From the houses we build, to the renovations we do, to the day off with my son, the date night with my wife, or the meeting with my team. They rarely go as planned.
This is not to say that I don't plan. My point is that I can't be attached to the plan. That's a recipe for unhappiness.
Just like a map, you need to know where you are and where you want to go. The map is one-dimensional though. It does not show you all the obstacles and detours you will need to take along the way. Life is multi-dimensional.
So I make plans, set goals and connect with my purpose. Then I let it go.
I know I'm going to get to my destination and then beyond because the journey is never over. It just won't be on the exact path I had planned.