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Change your perspective, Change your life

On October 30, 2012, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

 

Today’s video is about perspective and taking care of the lens through which you view and interact with the world around you. How come we clean our car windshields, camera lenses and glasses when they get dirty or smudged, but the lens through wich we see the world goes untouched? Check out this video on what it means to change your perspective to change your life, and let me know your thoughts.

What do you feel you would see differently if your lens was suddenly clean?

What would a different, potentially more positive perspective give you in your life today?

As always, if you liked this video, please comment and share!

Peace, Love, and a million successes to you all!

Blake

Who is the Best Version of You?

On August 5, 2011, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Best Taco courtesy of Kate Leth (kateordie.tumblr.com)

 

This week I want to talk about the “best version of yourself” you can be. Moreover, I want to talk about the meaning of that famous phrase. It’s touted in self-help books and seminars across the globe, but do you really know what it’s all about?

What the phrase means to instruct is that you identify your greatest qualities and accentuate them as often as possible – embody those qualities so you operate from your most powerful or resourceful place.

I want to give a few tools to help you figure out what that means for you, and what you can do today to start living the best version of yourself.

1 – Listen.

No, really, listen. The greatest version of all of us – individually and collectively – listens at a much better level.  Many people feel their best when they connect with another person through powerful conversation, or simply being a shoulder to cry on. Do you have a friend you can tell anything to? It feels pretty good to confide in someone and have your voice heard, right? Well, return the favor. Listen to the world around you, and let the voices be heard. You’ll grow more than words can say the day you start truly listening.

2 – Have an open mind.

Close mindedness is a sure-fire way to cut off opportunities, relationships, and great experiences.  Open it up… wide!

3 – Ask for what you want.

Truly, one of the most powerful attributes one can possess is the ability to articulate what one wants. When you go to a restaurant you don’t simply stare at the server hoping you get what you want, do you? No, you ask for what you want. Life is no different. Start asking!

4 – Respond instead of React.

This is a big one. Take a moment to pause before reacting to something that you may find upsetting. Instead of jumping into the negativity, discover within yourself whether it matters or not. Many, many people react negatively to situations that don’t matter 30 minutes later. They find themselves all worked up for no reason. When you respond instead of react, you give yourself permission to be in control of your emotions and your circumstances. Try it!

5 – Take on new perspectives.

Try looking at a situation from someone else’s shoes.  This is the sister to the “have an open mind” point.  Sometimes our chosen perspective causes us to assume things that simply don’t apply.  Remember your truth may not be the truth… and not necessarily someone else’s truth.

6 – Ask the future you for advice.

Whenever you feel stuck, ask yourself what the “you” one year from now would say about it. What would 2012 Lauren say to you today?  The same can also be said about what advice you’d give yourself if you could speak to the 2010 version of yourself. What piece of advice would you share with the Steve from last year? You will be amazed what comes out of your mouth when you answer a few questions from each perspective.

7 – Connect with giants.

David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather (arguably the largest advertising firm in the world) sends a care package whenever someone new is appointed to run one of their global offices. Inside this package is a Russian Nesting Doll. Inside the innermost doll is a little rolled-up hand-written note. It reads, “if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”

Surround yourself with those that make you feel the greatest. Play in groups of people that are bigger than you – that you can learn from – that encourage you to be the best you can be.

Remember, the best version of yourself has a vision and is driven by purpose. The best version of you knows what he or she is fighting for. If you need help discovering what that might be for you, don’t hesitate to contact me. It’s never too late to discover what makes you happy, and what makes you feel alive!

Blake

P.S.  Be the best taco you can be! 

How do you know you’re living the best version of yourself?  Share in the comments below!

Yes, There is such a thing as Bad Publicity.

On June 10, 2011, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Angry Woman via Jason Ippolito (flickr)

“If you want to end your suffering, stop being the publicist for your problems.
If you treat it like front page news, it will behave like it.”

Contrary to popular belief, there really is something called bad publicity. Moreover, it’s affecting you more than you’re even aware. We spend more time communicating our opinions, beliefs, issues, passions, and shortcomings to other people than we realize. Every day we are our own publicists. Consider how connected we all are nowadays – social media has us plugged in at every moment. When was your last status update on Facebook? How about your last tweet? When was the last time you read through feeds on either site?  It wasn’t more than an hour, was it?

That’s exactly my point. We’re sharing our lives – the good and the bad – with the world all the time, and sometimes it gets the best of us. Have you ever told a story enough times that it makes you feel worse, not better?

I remember working in sales a few years ago, and after busting my ass and working all my tricks, the promotion train came around. I was absolutely sure the new position was mine. I was so sure that I didn’t even entertain the notion that it might not be my turn. When the announcement was made that another representative had been promoted instead of me, I lost my mind. I couldn’t believe that all my hard work was not enough for them. I posted that “I’m the victim of this stupid company and their stupid people and their stupid policies” story on my front page.

This was a poor move.  I vented to friends and family, coworkers in other departments – even people at the grocery store. I felt like absolute crap. As the publicist for my life, I was running page after page of bad news, and it was doing me no good.  My articles were all about how difficult and unfair my life was. And as a direct result, I was treated that way… and my life became difficult and unfair.

Fast forward to 2008.  I had just started my life anew. I was opening my first company, embarking on new relationships with friends and new loves. Life was exciting. My front page read, “AWESOME” across the top. The stories I told reflected the great experiences I had, and those I wished for more of. When unfortunate setbacks came (as the always do), I didn’t put out a personal press release to the world.  Instead, I vented to a select few in my circle, and moved forward.

Why is this important?

I consciously chose what I publicized about myself and my life, and it allowed me to keep my energy on the up-and-up. When energy and confidence are up, life is easy, fruitful, and exciting.  Much better than difficult and unfair, no?

Another example is the “water-cooler-complaint break.”  If you’re always complaining about something to your friends or co-workers, you are publicizing negativity.  We all know someone like that, right? Case in point: Debbie Downer – she’s always negative and finds a way to turn a parade into a prison exercise. She’s got problems, right?

So what’s the lesson here, Blake?

 

If you want to change the world according to you, change the world you put in your news.
How do you like that – it even rhymes!

 

I know this can feel harder than it sounds. It’s easier to follow the media and crowds, and just complain like everyone else. I know that. But this isn’t about easy. It’s about better. We all believe life would be better if we didn’t have all these (insert your problems here), right?  Now it’s about declaring that we’re no longer going to give those problems strength. We’re taking the wind from their sales, and we’re going to stop promoting them. Let’s see how influential they are when they’ve got no more publicity!

I know this is a big step, but I know you can do it. For good measure, though, I invite you to vent it one last time here in the comments below, and let it go.

What are you willing to let go – to no longer publicize?

The Power of Words

On April 14, 2011, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

 


This video is a brilliant example of the power of words and communication.  We are only human, creatures of habit, and products of our environment – often our affinity for believing we know best or we know the truth about something prevents us from taking action. When you want something, do you simply ask curiously, or are you asking with a judgement that you won’t receive it?  When something is confusing, do you ask for clarification, or do you seek validation that your opinion is correct?

Here’s an example:

Pete: “I think I’m ready to quit my job and run off to be a rodeo clown.”
Kelly: “Don’t you think that’s a stupid idea? Aren’t you worried about your bills? What will people think?”

vs.

Pete: “I think I’m ready to quit my job and run off to be a rodeo clown.”
Marie: “Wow! Pete, that’s quite an idea! How did you come to this decision? Do you have a plan already?”

Clearly, Marie feels a little friendlier than Kelly, right? Kelly believes that Pete is making a stupid decision, and because she knows best, her questions will feel like statements, i.e. “that’s a stupid idea, you need to worry about your bills, and what people think.” Can you notice the difference in responses between Marie and Kelly.  Which do you find your responses resemble most often?

I know we’ve all been in a situation where someone may say something and we immediately react with judgmental questions. Instead of asking why to that person, we ask why on Earth would you want to do something like that?. The tone and judgment are much louder than the words.

So Blake, what’s the moral of the story here?

There are stories all around you. Which stories are you actually hearing?  How are you responding? The words you use can make a big difference in how you’re received. I invite you to find examples in the world around you, and change the words. Notice any difference in emotion. Did you feel any different when the words in the video above changed? Would you have given your change?

This is a beautiful life, my friends. Sometimes it just takes the right words to express it.

What words do you use to describe your beautiful life?

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5 Reasons to Discover Your Life Purpose

On February 9, 2011, in Coaching, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim.
When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
~ Seneca

What harbor are you making for? Where are you headed? What is your definite chief aim in life? There are many reasons to have a declared life purpose, and all of them create advantages to “finding your harbor of choice” in life. Here are 5 reasons (among many) for discovering your life purpose.

1. Meaning and Fulfillment in your actions

When you act on purpose, you experience significantly higher levels of satisfaction with the results.  When you have no attachment to the outcome of your life, you won’t feel too elated or hurt if things are great or poor.  Life purpose is more than, “I just want things to work out.” Life purpose is about discovering and declaring your purpose here on Earth. When you know what you want, what motivates you, where you’re going, and why – well, that’s a horse of a different color. Having that wisdom opens the world up, and gives you meaning and fulfillment in everything you do.

How do you get started?  The best way is to work with me as a coach. We begin with a journey of your personal inventory of fulfillments.  What lights you up the most in life?  What experiences would you love to perpetually replay? These fulfilling experiences shed light on what your Definite Chief Aim might sound like. From these two places, you can start writing out your own personal mission statement.

Have a mission statement of definite chief aim? Share it in the comments below. Want help creating one?

2. Effortless Focus and Direction

A defined life purpose is a like a compass for the soul.  When you discover and declare your intentions and purpose, you let your soul move in the direction of that which best fulfills that intended purpose.  Suddenly your compass knows each direction, and which way to go. This is huge. Do you ever find yourself bouncing from one endeavor to another – maybe changing careers, passions, significant others, locations? This is totally normal without a defined purpose. When you know who you are, what you want and why, you stop bouncing – you start building.

The “compass” feature of a defined life purpose allows you to start setting a course for your ship to travel. Clarity and creativity come without struggle, and your life begins to take a different shape.  You will have the ability to see opportunities and paths around you that have been hidden before.  You can see the paths that will lead you to you best life. It will no longer be a struggle to “figure out” what you need to do, or where you need to go. You’ll know your purpose, and you’ll move confidently in the best direction every time.

3. Limitless Passion and Flow

Here’s a reality check for you: is your life filled with joy and fulfillment? Do you feel like everything you want just seems to happen for you? Are you in flow most of the time?  If you answered no to these questions, it’s a pretty strong indicator that your life purpose is still a mystery to you. When you know what your purpose is, these answers become resounding yes’s. Without question.

Passion is an incredibly addictive substance. It fuels actions and desires like nothing else on Earth. Having a defined and declared life purpose opens the flood gates for an unlimited supply of passion to come rushing in. People that are driven by passion are always making things happen – things that bring them more of what they want.  They are in flow. You want in. Trust me.

4. Release from things that don’t matter

No more chasing down solutions for problems that won’t move you forward. No more action that takes you back to square one. No more wasted effort and mental bandwidth on things that don’t matter.   Having made the choice to follow your defined life purpose statement, you will begin releasing from issues that don’t matter.  You free yourself up to opportunities that will move you toward your goals when you release the anchors of issues that hold you back.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly quit your job, stop helping people deal with their issues, or become a guru of awesomeness. It means that you’ll begin to see other opportunities within your job, or outside, that will fulfill your purpose better. You’ll continue to help people, but with a different purpose in mind – one that fulfills you in a greater form. You will, however, be awesome. The truth is, you were awesome before you defined your purpose, and you’re still awesome after it. It may make you feel better as a side affect though. Not a bad side affect, right?

5. Unshakable Foundation

A definite life purpose provides you with an unshakable foundation. Should rough waters threaten your course, you’ll have the asset of a defined life purpose to take you through to the other side.  Life is filled with adventures in both joy and doubt. When joy is filling your sails, life is smooth and easy. On the other hand, when doubt takes the wind away, life can be overwhelmingly difficult. An unshakable foundation of life purpose will see you through whatever comes your way.

What is your life purpose? If you need help putting yours together, post a comment.

What Do You Transform Into?

On December 16, 2010, in Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

I stumbled upon this image this evening and had to post it up.  What a brilliant little illustration.  I’ll have much more thorough and educational posts in the next couple of days, but this just couldn’t wait. I even made this the wallpaper on my laptop to stay focused on positive transformation!

What are your thoughts?  What image or thing keep you motivated?

Leave comments and have an amazing day, my friends.

Blake

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