Lining Up the Yes’s (Instead of Fussing With the No’s)

 

I had the honor of writing a guest article on Nancy Battye’s website.  Nancy is an incredible woman who created the tele seminar series ‘Sow a Seed of Self Confidence – Spark Your Ultimate Success.’  I am deeply appreciative to Nancy for inviting me to be one of the speakers in her powerful series.

Check out Nancy’s inspirational website and read the article I wrote on the link below.

Lining Up the Yes’s (Instead of Fussing With the No’s)

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Living Your Definition of Everything

If you are like me, on many days it’s easy to get caught up in dreaming of the some day when life just totally works out and you are everything that you want to be.

My father, who is an amazing poet, wrote a poem on this subject:

DAYDREAMS

A child can carry on,

Where we leave off,

With plans and dreams

For yet another generation.

My eight year old son

Captures the spirit properly

As he answers

(In response to an adult’s query

            about the future)

“I want to be everything.”

Me too.

Even now.  *

Some years ago, I was the kid in that poem.  When I was eight, being everything meant being able to work in all professions, to be a carpenter, a doctor, an airline pilot, a fireman and so on.

Now I realize that my definition of ‘Being Everything I Want To Be’ looks more like this:

Happiness + My goals and dreams + The activities and circumstances that are actually part of my day = Being Everything I Want To Be

This equation seems abstract, even to me, so let me invite our fictitious friends to help explain it.  Meet Samantha, Ken and Bob, three people who seem to have all.  They all want to be everything and all are in the process of making lots of money.  But which of them creates the confident and content feeling of Being Everything He or She Wants To Be on a daily basis?  Let’s see!  (I’m using making money as the goal that our friends share because it’s easy to illustrate.  As you read on think about your individual goals.)

Samantha wants to be a millionaire many times over.  To achieve this goal she knows how much she needs to make everyday.  But today she only made half as much.  Oh no!

As she’s trying to drift off to sleep after a hard day, she keeps thinking:

What I actually made ($10,000) ­minus my goal ($20,000) = (negative $10,000) and FRUSTRATION and Definitely Not Being Everything I Want To Be.

(Ok, I know most people don’t think in strange word and number combination equations.  Our friends may be a little unique.)

Now let’s see how Ken is doing.  Ken keeps comparing his results to Teresa who is a billionaire.  As he tosses and turns, his equation looks something like this:

What I actually made ($12,000) minus my realistic goal ($18,000) minus what I imagine Teresa made today ($2,000,000) = I’m a loser!  I didn’t even make my measly goal.  I’m nothing compared to Teresa, let alone Being Everything I want To Be.

Time to check in with Bob.  Bob has determined first and foremost that he wants to live his definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be.  A major part of his definition is being happy.  Like Samantha and Ken, he also has a goal of being a millionaire many times over by year-end, and he knows exactly how much he needs to make everyday to achieve that goal.  At the end of this particular day, he only made one-fourth as much as his daily goal.

He drifts of to sleep quickly thinking of this equation:

Today I was happy + I had the honor of making ($2,000) + I have the challenge of working to meet my goal tomorrow ($10,000) = I Am Being Everything I Want To Be.  (Bob frequently comments to his clients and friends, “You know, a huge part of success is actually enjoying being successful.”  He also has been known to say, “I’ve created the life I live today and my creation is good.”

 Now does Bob desire that his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be grow?  You bet!  And he has quiet confidence that it will.  As he is drifting off to sleep, he muses that his definition of being everything in second grade was successfully riding his bike around the block without falling.  Wow!  How his definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be has grown through the years.

Notice that person who made the least amount of money during the day is the happiest because he is focused on putting happiness into his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be and then living that daily definition.  Bob has designed his life so that he is happy today, and will be happy when he makes $12,000 or $2,000,000 a day too because happiness is central to his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be.

 * Something At Last: Dakota Poetry and Sketches  Poems by Jerome Freeman, Sketches by Jean Bailey, Pine Hill Press,  1993

Game of the Day 

  1. How can you more intentionally put happiness in your daily definition of Being Everything You Want To Be?
  2. At the end of each day, how can you acknowledge that today you lived your daily definition of Being Everything You Wanted To Be?
  3. Think of your daily definition of Being Everything You Wanted To Be when you were a young kid.  Think of your daily definition of Being Everything You Want To Be now.  How has your daily definition naturally grown?
  4. Now think in as much detail as you can of what you want your daily definition of Being Everything you Want To Be to look like a year from now?   Five years from now?  Ten years from now?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Teaching and Giving Freedom

Some of our most rewarding moments can be teaching another person a skill so that they feel more able to create their own life and be free.  Here’s a poem on this subject:

GEOMETRY AND YOUR BIRTHDAY

In the season

Of your fifteenth year

We often start out

Moving in different directions

Along tangents off the circle

Of our commitments

Only to return

By radial routes

To the center

And one accord.

 

Dr. Jerome Freeman, who is my father, and whose birthday coincidently happens to be today, wrote this poem when both he and I were some years younger.

Think of the teachers you most appreciated.  At the time, they may have taught you very challenging material.  And if you are anything like me, you may have gotten frustrated because the material was so difficult. But once you learned these skills, you enjoyed a new sense of accomplishment and a new sense of freedom.  You enjoyed more freedom to “mov[e] in different directions” because of what you had learned.

Around the time of my fifteenth year, my father was teaching me how to drive.  This wasn’t an easy task because while I very much wanted the freedom of knowing how to drive, part of me was convinced that I would never be a good driver.  So that part of me that lacked confidence drove my dad and myself on many a hair-raising adventure.  But my dad was a great teacher who had confidence that I could learn to drive safely.  When I grew frustrated and wanted to give up, my dad’s confidence helped me get back in the driver’s seat.  Eventually and without major mishap, I learned to drive.  Driving has been a crucial to my daily life ever since.

My dad taught me how to drive and then gave me the freedom to choose where I drove.  This is a true gift from a very gifted man.

I realize now that because of my father’s commitment and love in teaching me how to drive, I could actually, at this point in my life, teach a teenager how to drive and then give him or her the freedom to drive where they wanted.

Maybe this is what it is like to come totally into “one accord” with our teachers; to have learned well, savored our freedom and progressed to the point where we are capable of passing our learning and freedom on to others.

*Something At Last: Dakota Poetry and Sketches  Poems by Jerome Freeman, Sketches by Jean Bailey, Pine Hill Press,  1993

Game of the Day

  1. Who have been the great teachers in your life?  What did they teach you?  How did they give you freedom to go in your own direction with what you learned from them?
  2. Wouldn’t it be nice to let at least one of them know the impact they have had on your life?
  3. What do you most want to teach others that you have learned from your teachers?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Taming Our Tendency To Get Side-Tracked

Even when we embark on a project we are passionate about we can sometimes become diverted.  After all, we live in a world full of endless potential opportunities and endless potential distractions.

During their keynote presentation at the All American Laughter Yoga Conference in 2011, Jill and Dan Johnson alluded to this phenomenon by first exclaiming “squirrel!”  What they meant is that sometimes when we are concentrating we can get distracted by something as simple as a squirrel that we spy outside our window.

The effects of being distracted by one thing can be compounded when it leads to more distractions.  For example, say Carol is happily working on a painting.  She is elated because she feels that this is her best piece yet.  Suddenly (wouldn’t you know it), she sees a squirrel running outside her window.  Watching the squirrel gets her thinking about how she used to romp around with her grade school friend Shelly trying to find where the squirrels kept their acorns.  On impulse, she finds Shelly on Facebook.   They message back and forth for the next three hours.  They have much to catch-up on because they lost track of each other twenty years ago.  Inspired, Carol is now booking a ticket to fly across country for a joy-filled reunion with Shelly….

Six months later Carol notices the painting that she was initially so excited about.  It’s one quarter done and gathering dust.  By this time, the passion she had for this project has evaporated.  She has forgotten the amazing creative ideas she had for finishing the piece.  Carol sighs.  She is on to five other projects now and wouldn’t have time to work on the painting even if she wanted to.  She says somewhat melodramatically, “Another Mona Lisa down the drain!”

I like to think of a “SQUIRREL” as anything that distracts us during the time we have set aside to work on our projects.  The confusing thing about many “SQUIRRELS” is that they are so friendly. After all, a “SQUIRREL” led Carol to joyfully reunite with her friend.

Darn squirrels!  “SQUIRRELS” can indeed be very disruptive even to projects we are passionate about.  So what is there to do about ““SQUIRRELS”?

What if we could concentrate on the projects we love AND also make use of the inspiration that “SQUIRRELS” provide us?  We can!  I like to think of this process as Taming Your “SQUIRRELS.”

Here are three ideas for Taming Your “SQUIRRELS”:

1. When you are working on a project and feel your attention distracted by something that has nothing to do with the project, label your distraction by exclaiming, “SQUIRREL”!  Once a “SQUIRREL”  is noticed it is much more manageable.   You can then recognize and be fully aware that you are drifting off topic, instead of just distractedly drifting off topic.

2. Save your “SQUIRRELS.”  (If they are worth saving.)

Even though following a “SQUIRREL” during the time you have set aside for your project can be distracting and disruptive to your project, at another time your “SQUIRREL” could be a grand opportunity.

If you have a hunch that the “SQUIRREL” that is suddenly distracting you from your project could be a great opportunity, quickly write down your “SQUIRREL” idea.  Then you can even schedule a time to consider acting on your “SQUIRREL” idea and put it in your calendar.

For example, Carol could have written a note that she had an idea to look Shelly up on Facebook and get back in touch.  Then she could have put a note on her calendar to remind her to give this idea full consideration at 3:30 next Saturday.

(Scheduling a time to think about your “SQUIRREL” idea might seem like a little much, but I find it highly useful in practice because you have a time set when you will give your  “SQUIRREL” full attention so that your “SQUIRREL” isn’t distracting you before this time.  In addition, scheduling a time helps you keep track of your “SQUIRREL ” idea so you don’t lose it.

3. A statement of the purpose of your project can help you to refocus when “SQUIRRELS” distract you.   This statement of purpose is important because it’s your “SQUIRREL” Taming Statement

For example, Carol could have created her project purpose to be, “I’m excited to complete this painting because it will be the best I have ever created and bring joy to others.”  She could have written this out and posted it by the painting she was working on.  When distracted by “SQUIRRELS,” she could have refocused by reading this “SQUIRREL” Taming Statement.

Happy “Squirrel” Taming!

Game of a Day

Notice the next time a “SQUIRREL” distracts you from a project you are working on.  Figure out a way to tame your “SQUIRREL” and refocus on your project.

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Making Assumptions About What Others Assume (About You)

When you are walking down the street and say, “Good Morning” to a stranger passing by, what do you assume that person assumes about you?

Even after all the work I have done to create healthy self-confidence for myself, I noticed this morning while on a walk that when I said “Good Morning” to a person I passed, I assumed that they assumed that I was of low intelligence because of my speech impediment.  Does my assumption, in fact, represent the truth of what the people I passed were thinking or anywhere close to it?  Upon reflection, I realized that I had absolutely no idea.

What inaccurate assumptions do you assume that others assume about you the moment they meet you?

Maybe we ought to say, “Hi! Glad to meet you.  I already assume that you are making assumptions about me and, just so you know, it is going to take you a while to prove that you are not.”

This is craziness!

Rather than enjoying the process of meeting someone, we often assume that we have to disprove assumptions that we assume the person we just met is assuming about us.

(This is lots of assuming and the other person has barely said anything yet!)

Or we could just state flat out what we assume the person we just met is thinking.  In my case, I could say, “Hi, I’m Jason! It’s awesome to meet you.  And by the way, I already assume that you assume that I’m of very low intelligence because of the sound of my voice.  Want to be friends?”  (This approach might be slightly awkward.)

If we are going to naturally make assumptions about what people we are just meeting think of us, why not replace our disempowering assumptions with empowering ones?

For example, Daniel instantly assumes that whenever he meets someone, they are making the assumption that he is a goof-off and not professional.  He could work to become fully conscious of this assumption and then consciously tell himself when he meets people that they instantly admire him, want to be his friend, and see him as a professional.  Of course, Daniel is still making assumptions, but now the assumptions that he is making work in his favor.

What would it be like to assume that when people meet us, they instantly see someone they like, someone they admire, and someone they want to be friends with?

Game of the Day

If you find yourself assuming that people you just have met are making inaccurate or negative assumptions about you:

  1. Practice becoming fully conscious of these assumptions.
  2. Practice replacing these limiting assumptions with positive assumptions.

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Plan Out Your Drama

I have been known from time to time to become fixated on minor circumstances that I don’t like.  I then have been known to use these circumstances as an excuse to create high drama for those around me and myself.  (High drama, as I’m using it here, involves worry, anxiety, possible arguments and general frustration.)

Can you relate?  If so, think of the last time you created high drama out of a minor circumstance.

Today as I was on the verge of creating high drama, I thought, “When we feel ourselves itching to create high drama, why not script it out like they do in the movies?”

This idea sounded fun!  Check it out- we could script out our highly dramatic part, and other people’s parts as they responded to our drama.  We could even add in emotional cues.  This would be our DRAMA-RICH SCRIPT.

Then for comparison, we could write a script that was absent of the high drama that we are contemplating creating.   This would be our DRAMA-FREE SCRIPT.

Finally, we could compare the scripts and decide which we preferred.

As an example, I’ll give you a brief background of the high drama I was contemplating creating yesterday, followed by a few lines of my DRAMA-RICH SCRIPT.  Then, I will share a few lines from my DRAMA-FREE SCRIPT.

Ok, here it goes.  Drum roll please!!!  (It’s good to be dramatic when you are about to create a DRAMA-RICH SCRIPT).

Background:

On a dark and stormy Saturday night in a Mexican Restaurant at about 9:05 and 10 seconds, I noticed an unexplained black spot about the circumference of a pen cap on my left thumb.  Now common sense told me that there was a 99.99% chance that this mysterious spot was no big deal.  However, my sometimes-hypochondriac imagination darkly entertained me with different ideas.

A few lines from my DRAMA-RICH SCRIPT:

Jason Freeman (with a super concerned look on his face asks everyone he meets):  “What do you think this spot on my thumb could possibly mean?  Should I go to a dermatologist?  Should I go to the emergency room?  Why me?  Why poor me?”

First person Jason meets (sensing Jason’s distress and wanting to comfort him):  “Oh Jason, it’s nothing.”

Second person Jason meets (wanting to be on the safe side):  “Jason you should definitely make an appointment to see a dermatologist.”

Third person Jason meets (annoyed by Jason’s over-dramatic nature):   “Jason get a life!”

A few lines of my DRAMA FREE SCRIPT:

Jason Freeman (Our proud hero takes courage, believes the black spot on his thumb is a tiny blood blister and boldly asks everyone he meets):  “What has been amazing about your day?”

Person 1:  Says something cool.

Person 2:  Says something cool.

Person 3:  Says something cool.

Conclusion of this episode:

The mysterious black spot did end up being a tiny blood blister, which popped while our dashing hero, Jason Freeman, was washing dishes.

And Everyone Lived Happily Ever After.

The key to writing your DRAMA-RICH SCRIPT is to have fun and to go a little overboard on the drama.  And have a great time writing your DRAMA-FREE SCRIPT too.  Then after composing your two scripts, you will be able to make a more informed choice as to whether you want to create high drama or not.

Game of the Day

The next time you feel yourself working up to creating high drama out of a minor (or major) circumstance, follow these four simple steps as soon as possible:

  1. Create your DRAMA-RICH SCRIPT.
  2. Create your DRAMA-FREE SCRIPT
  3. Read both scripts and decide which one you like better.
  4. Act out the script you like the best.

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Take the “What Has Been Amazing About Your Day?” Challenge

Some months ago, I started asking people the simple question, “What’s been amazing about your day?”  I have asked friends, family, people who check my groceries…  just about anyone I come in contact with could potentially be asked this question.  I’m excited by how this question inspires people to think positively and encourages them to contemplate the goodness of their day.  As you might imagine, I have gotten all matter of responses from people, most positive and some neutral, but none negative.

Here are six reasons I’ve found that asking this question is valuable.  (Now listen up.  This is your pep talk before I invite you to take the “What has been amazing about your day?” challenge.)

  1. “What has been amazing about your day?” is a great question to ask because the person you are asking either thinks of something amazing to tell you (which I found to be the case the vast majority of the time) or they say, “nothing.”  If they say “nothing,” you have an opportunity to ask them more questions and allow them to talk about their day, which they may have found to be somewhat disappointing.
  2. When you ask “What has been amazing about your day?”, the person you are asking might contemplate the question and be inspired by it long after your conversation with them is over.
  3. When you ask this question, you convey to the person you are asking your belief and confidence that they have experienced something amazing in their day.
  4. By asking this question, you can make small talk larger, or in this case more amazing.
  5. From a self-care stand-point, this question is phenomenal because you are empowering people to respond to you in a positive manner.  The more you ask this question, the more you intentionally surround yourself with happiness and joy.
  6. The more you ask this question of others, the more it is on your mind as you create an amazing day for yourself.

 So are you up for a joyful and AMAZING challenge?  I invite you to take the first ever (that I know of) “What Has Been Amazing About Your Day?” Challenge.  Here are the details:

 The Challenge

Each day for a week, ask five people the question, “What has been amazing about your day?”

Listen and enjoy their responses.

Have an answer prepared if they ask you the same question in return.

Post your results on this blog.

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.