Friday One Minute of Excitement

Are you even aware of the service you bring to the world?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

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

Advertisements

It’s A Miracle That So Many Things Went Right

Who here, like me, was born?

(Ahh Jason, I think that would be anyone reading this post.  I know you were trying to make a joke, but really it’s not that funny.)

Well, Mr. Joke Critic, my point is, hmmm, what is my point?  Well, I guess my point is that to be born is an extraordinary thing and something we all have done.  We were all present at the miracle of our birth.  Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

(Ok, getting a little warmer Jason, but that fourth “Wow!” might have been a bit over the top.)

I’m really trying Mr. Joke (and Wow!) Critic.  Anyway, when we are born our lives start to happen.

(Wow!!! Jason!!! You must have a PHD!!! in the OBVIOUS!).

!!! to you too!  As I was saying our lives start to happen, and mine started to happen right away.  Oops! That’s obvious too.  What I mean to say is right away when I was born something SEEMED to go VERY wrong.

You see I was excited for my life to start to happen, so I decided to arrive a few weeks early and surprise my folks in the middle of the night.  I found out right away that what happens in the middle of the night is that people tend to sleep.  And this is in fact what my folks were doing, that is until I startled them awake.

Can you imagine waking up from a deep sleep to your baby starting to be born?

In the rush to the emergency room my umbilical cord got kinked like a garden hose for a period of time, but I imagine not for too long because I’m sitting here right now writing this.

(Now that was sort of funny.  Slowly improving with the jokes.)

Thanks Mr. Joke Critic.  So as the result of the happening called my umbilical cord being kinked, I was without oxygen long enough that there was some “damage.”  As I grew, it became apparent that I had a pronounced speech impediment and some fine motor coordination deficits.

(As well as joke telling deficits.)

Hey, enough from the peanut gallery!  As I grew, I noticed that I wasn’t like the other kids around me, that I wasn’t naturally good at sports or playing musical instruments.  So I choose to assume that SOMETHING WENT REALLY WRONG and that I was the victim of these circumstances that HAPPENED TO ME AND MY PARENTS when I was born.

I looked upon the happenings surrounding my birth with sadness and frustration for many years.  My self-talk was often sad and frustrated.

Through much internal healing and the love and wisdom of many people, my perspective slowly began to change.

Today I celebrate the fact that the circumstances of my birth signaled THE MIRACLE THAT MY LIFE WAS STARTING TO HAPPEN, the miracle that I wasn’t without oxygen for a longer period of time, the miracle that I can sit-up straight and type on a computer, the miracle that I didn’t die at the time of my birth, and THE MIRACLE THAT I’M ALIVE TO WRITE THIS.

(Wow that’s a miracle AND it’s a miracle that you didn’t attempt another joke!)

Game of the However Long It Takes

***I usually entitle this section of my posts “The Game of the Day,” but this process is important to let take the time it takes.  It may take a short time.  It may take a long time.  It’s all perfect! ***

What has happened in your life that when you think about it you feel that, “Something went really wrong?”

Honor your view that “Something went really wrong” during this happening and at the same time put it aside for a few minutes in the same way that you would put a project aside that you are not presently working on.

Once you put that view aside, just ask yourself the question, “If there are miracles hidden in this happening, what would they be?”  (If no answers come to you or you start feeling sad, frustrated or angry, put this “Game of However Long It Takes” aside and try it another day.)

If you get some answers really think about them and appreciate them.

How can you use your answers to move towards understanding your happening in such a way that you can say, “IT’S A MIRACLE THAT SO MANY THINGS WENT RIGHT.”

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. 

Friday One Minute of Excitement!

 How Can You Express The Most Wonderful You Today?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

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. 

Why Is This Problem So Hard?

Try a simple experiment (no safety goggles necessary). Pick any unlocked door.  Stand close to it.  Now see if you can pass through it within a five-minute time period.

Did you succeed?  Yes?  Congratulations!

This experiment was ridiculously easy right?

Now try a second experiment.  Find a concrete wall.  See if you can walk through it within a five-minute time period.  (Please note that it’s cheating to use a jack hammer.) 

How did this experiment turn out, probably not nearly as well as the first one, right?

The results of these two experiments seem obvious, don’t they?

Yet how many times in life do we live in frustration and failure as we repeatedly try to walk into the “concrete walls” of our painful thoughts and beliefs instead of searching for a “door?”

I ask this question because I’m a seasoned veteran at walking into “concrete walls.”  (Fortunately, for my body, these walls have tended to be metaphorical and not real.)    For example, the repetitive thought, “I have a speech impediment and therefore I will NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH” was a “concrete wall” that I spent years walking straight into.

Our minds can do crazy things when it comes to “concrete walls”, like telling us that going through the “concrete wall” straight ahead of us is the ONLY WAY TO GO.  Or our minds might even get trickier and paint an image that looks like a door and a knob on the “concrete wall” and tell us, “You SHOULD be able to open this.”

My “door” at last appeared when I stopped walking into my “concrete wall” long enough to look around and listen to others.  I noticed that contrary to the belief I had been walking into as if it was a “concrete wall,” people understood me and were glad to be around me.

Have you ever had held a belief that was highly painful, only to discover that once you started looking around that there was a “door “standing open for you, as an invitation to look at your painful belief in a whole new way?

It started to appear that there was approximately one person in the world who thought the sound of my voice was a barrier as rock solid as a concrete wall and that person was me.

Everyone else seemed to see my voice as a “door.”  Sure the “door” had an unexpected shape, but people saw a “door” nevertheless.  So by finally looking around, I noticed that I had the option of walking through this “door” and cherishing the sound of my voice as a great gift, instead of arguing with the “concrete wall” of my insecurities.

May you notice when you are attempting to walk through a “concrete wall” and start to quickly look around for a “door.”  Finding the “doors” really does make life much easier.

Game of the Day

Do you feel like you are straining against a “concrete wall” somewhere in your life?

What would it be like to search for a “door” instead?

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. 

Do You Have a Unicorn Horn Secret?

Pretend for the next few minutes that I have a unicorn horn growing out of the center of my head.  (Please bear with me.  It’s a big step for a grown man to talk about a unicorn horn in his blog.)

Now pretend that when I talk to people, I never acknowledge that I have a unicorn horn growing out of the center of my head.  Furthermore, I become defensive and change the subject when people who are just getting to know me comment on my unicorn horn.   And if they inquire how I feel about having a unicorn horn or ask for any explanation of the medical condition that caused my horn, I make it obvious that they have offended me.

Since, I react in this way at any mention of my unicorn horn, soon nobody speaks to me about my horn, not family, not friends.  Even acquaintances who have made the mistake of inquiring about my horn once, never speak to me about it again.

People are only willing to get so close to me.  (How close can you really get to someone who refuses to trust you enough to talk with you about the unicorn horn growing out of the center of his head?)

I never know what people really think of my horn.  Maybe they think it is the height of fashion and pray that they will wake up with one growing out of the center of their head tomorrow.  Maybe, they think I would feel better about life without the horn and know a professional to refer me to who removes unicorn horns.

Now remember this unicorn horn stuff isn’t autobiographical.  (If you were about to call Guinness, you can hang up the phone.)

However, I have a unique feature that is like a unicorn horn in that there is no way to hide the reality of it when I speak.

For years, I refused to talk about my speech impediment and made it an awkward conversation, to say the least, when people tried to talk to me about it. When I finally did begin talking with people about the speech impediment (my Unicorn Horn Secret) I soon discovered that no one thought my speech impediment was nearly as big of a deal as I thought it was.  I learned to my surprise that some people actually even find the way I speak cool.

By talking freely about my Unicorn Horn Secret, I also opened up a way for people to suggest that I go back to speech therapy, which I hadn’t done since grade school.  Following their advice, I went back to a speech therapist and after about three or four sessions, she said that I had accomplished what I needed to accomplish and didn’t need to come back to see her.  (When I was trying to keep my Unicorn Horn Secret, I had feared that if I ever went back to speech therapy, I would be going once a week for the rest of my life.)

These were the wonderful benefits of finally talking about my Unicorn Horn Secret.  However, by far the biggest benefit of talking freely about my Unicorn Horn Secret is that people now find it much easier to be around me and connect with me because I am not trying to hide and not tell the truth about what is obvious.

Now my Unicorn Horn Secret, that for so long I refused to talk about, has become part of my “Limitations To Extraordinary Results” message.    As a professional speaker, I am now proud to share this message and my Unicorn Horn Secret with audiences both big and small.

Our Unicorn Horn Secrets can become some of our greatest assets once we find the courage to talk freely about them.  We then have a pathway to open up to the idea that the way we view our Unicorn Horn Secrets can transform from a source of shame to a source of strength.

Game of the Day

Do you have a Unicorn Horn Secret?

What would it be like to talk freely about your Unicorn Horn Secret?

What would it be like to transform your Unicorn Horn Secret from a source of shame to a source of strength?

What is your next step?

On The Other Side of Mistaken Assumptions

When we talk with people we have never met on the phone, we naturally observe their voice and make assumptions about them based on their voice.  I speak in a unique way, which is often called a speech impediment.  People naturally make assumptions based on the sound of my voice and I can understand how easy that is to do.  I know that if I had never met myself and heard the sound of my voice on the phone, I would probably also make mistaken assumptions about my intellect and ability to function in the world.

Gentle ways exist of showing people that the assumptions they make about us aren’t true.  For example, since I realize that people I have just met might naturally make assumptions about me based on my speech, I take care to converse with them in an intelligent manner.

They then know by the content of what I bring to our conversation that their assumptions are not accurate.  On other occasions, I just say at the beginning of our conversation that my speech is unique and if they have any problem understanding me to ask for clarification.

What mistaken assumptions do people commonly make about you upon first meeting you?  What would be some gentle ways of showing them that these assumptions are not accurate?

Far more important even than the mistaken assumptions other people make about us are the mistaken assumptions we make about the nature of our own limitations.  For example, at different points in my life, I assumed that because of coordination issues, I could not write more than a few sentences longhand, wash dishes or do yoga.  Now I fill up notebooks with my writings and often go to yoga class six or seven times a week.

And I discovered that I’m a pro at washing dishes.  OK, I admit it, sometimes I let them pile-up before I take responsibility for washing them.  But eventually I get the job done

What mistaken assumptions have you made about yourself in the past and since disproven?

These reflections make me curious about the mistaken assumptions we believe about ourselves that we still hold as accurate.  These are the assumptions that make us say, I can’t, as if it is the cold hard truth, when in fact it could just be a misunderstanding of ourselves.

From a lifetime of experience with a so-called speech impediment, I know that there can be a great deal of room for misunderstanding.  We especially have a tendency to misunderstand what we are truly capable of.  It often takes patience and courage to get past our misunderstandings of ourselves. The reward is once we get past these misunderstandings, we are freer to live a confident life and pursue our dreams.

Game of the Day

When you listen to yourself and look at your life, what assumptions do you make about your limits?

How would your life be different if you had the confidence that these were mistaken assumptions and not accurate?

Living on a Foundation of Appreciation

A few years ago, I had the privilege of being coached by Carol Draper, an excellent life coach.  One of the homework assignments that she repeatedly suggested I do was keep a Gratitude Journal.  This assignment was really simple; each day for the two weeks between our meetings I was to write down three to five things that I was grateful for in my Gratitude Journal.

So did I do the homework? Well kind of…. I would write in my Gratitude Journal for three or four days and then I would stop for one reason or another.

I have a confession to make….I still don’t keep a Gratitude Journal, but now I do see its benefits.

In the last few years, I have come to realize that being appreciative is more than a way of being polite to the people who give me things and the world that gives us life.  Being appreciative is a foundation that can allow us to build a thriving life.

I realize this from personal experience.  For much of my life I considered myself disabled, but in retrospect I think I was more disappreciative.  (If you are scratching you head on whether disappreciative is a word, it’s not.  I just coined it this morning at 7:38 AM.  I italicize the word to celebrate this very tiny event in the history of the English Language.)

When I rested my life on a foundation of disability and being disappreciative, my life was always wrong.  I didn’t speak right.  I wrote too slowly.  I caught basketballs with my glasses instead of my hands. And on a global scale too….the world appeared full of things that didn’t work and things to be afraid of.

Now that I build my life on the foundation of appreciation, I not only notice what is good about the world and myself, but base my actions upon that.  This might sound somewhat lofty, so I will give you a concrete example of employing disappreciation and appreciation in regards to the sound of my voice and how each of these views impacted my life.

When I was constructing my views about my voice based on the foundation of disability and disappreciation, I wouldn’t have dreamt of becoming an inspirational speaker because I was ashamed of my voice, upset that I had a speech impediment and thought that groups would never want to hear me speak.

Whereas, from a foundation of appreciation, I am grateful I can be understood the vast majority of the time, that I have a unique story to tell, a sense of humor, a love for people and a love expressing my creativity through the spoken word.  Upon this foundation of appreciation, I built my career as an inspirational speaker.

How does the shift from disappreciation to appreciation happen?  This is a complex question.  Many factors accumulated to cause this shift in my life.  One thing that has helped me greatly and I think might be useful to you is simply asking myself questions that call for a response of appreciation such as in the morning, “What am I grateful that I get to do today?”  Or during the day when a challenging situation arises ask, “What can I appreciate about this challenging situation?”  And at night of course reflecting back on the day and asking the classic gratitude journal question, “What am I grateful for today?”

Game of the Day

Today- When a challenging situation arises ask, “What can I appreciate about this challenging situation?”

Tonight- Reflecting back on the day and ask “What am I grateful for today?”

Tomorrow morning-  Ask, “What am I grateful that I get to do today?”

 ***These questions are simple to ask.  The fun and challenging part of this game is to ask one of these questions every time you feel yourself slipping into disappreciation mode and then to focus on the power and joy of your answer.

I admit that at first I was a bit skeptical of things like gratitude journals, but I have found living a life of appreciation to be life transforming and a pathway to achieving extraordinary results.