Where Did 7.5 Billion People Go?

dyer music

“Don’t Die with your music still inside you”   

Wayne Dyer

I just got back last night from a 6-day trip to Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California.

It was a very intentional trip, a soul-searching recalibration. Just me and a small Airbnb cabin in the woods. No wifi, a cell data plan that was almost all used up, and no agenda other than prayer, meditation, journaling, and rest.

The “rest” part I knocked out of the park by taking 1/2 dozen naps nearly every day! It felt like I had narcolepsy.

And these weren’t all just little 20-minute hitters. Some were as long as 2 hours, complete with drool, face smash and intense dreams. I guess I was more exhausted than I realized.

And the majority of the other time was spent sitting on a back patio with stunning views of mountains, trees, blue skies, fresh air, and all the mountain sounds and smells that go with it.

arrowhead

On my first day of the trip, my son was starting the first day of his 3rd year in college. I guess he decided he wanted to share the love because he texted me at 5:30 a.m.!

And I’m so incredibly grateful that he did.

arrowhead sunrise

Not just to connect with him, but also that it set a precedent for the entire week. Once I saw that first sunrise, my breath was taken away, and I realized this was the very reason I came up here.

I was searching for my awe and wonder; life had become too serious. And this was surely one way to reconnect with all that God has created.

From a short hike…

hike in arrowhead

… that turned up new discoveries…

plant in arrowhead

It didn’t really matter what I was doing, simply being in those surrounding made even the mundane feel significant.

A simple lunch became something to “take in,” and not just “consume.”

lunch in arrowhead

But there was a dark side. That part of me that is constantly driven decided to make an appearance.

Now usually, I consider “being driven” a critical ingredient to success.

There is a vast emotional desert that lies between where we are and where we want to be and without a focused agenda and drive, we will never be able to keep up the momentum and heart needed to persevere.

But I learned a valuable lesson this week. And in fact, I believe it was an answer to prayer.

Along with the motivations listed above, I also needed to reignite Nikaos and Life Mastery Project in my soul. It has felt “motivational” but not “inspiring.” It was as if the fire was fading and it was becoming an endless todo list.

I had become desperate to find out why my dream was becoming a drudge and re-ignite the fire

So in that first 24-hours of the trip, I journaled nearly 20 pages. I was on a mission to discover what my internal roadblocks were; to see where the resistance was coming from.

And that first 24 hours turned into 3 days of obsession, to the point of nearly being manic.

I was uncovering more questions than finding answers, and it was creating massive waves of discontent, confusion, and insecurity.

What I had intended to be a comprehensive restoration and re-ignition week was becoming a train-wreck of emotion and thought.

And then, just as God does, several coincidences took place which created new insight.

One of my daily visitors was a very healthy squirrel; I named him Eggbert ( I honestly have NO idea why!!!)

squirrel

He was super friendly, nearly came right up to me on several occasions. I’m guessing this is a very safe place for him, and that was a comforting thought. The world is full of so much danger and chaos, and to be in a place where wild animals are at peace was very calming to me.

And soon after taking that picture, I read a statistic that squirrels lose up to 80% of all the nuts they bury.

That’s insane! How incredibly busy are these little guys fighting for survival by burying nuts for the winter only to discover that 80% of their hard effort is wasted in over-producing, over-preparing, over-planning?

And as I sat there in paradise, stressing out on having to get to the bottom of what was going haywire in my thoughts and feelings, I suddenly felt just like that squirrel.

I spend hundreds of hours taking new online certification courses, reading inspired materials, listening to Audible books, and watching encouraging YouTube videos.

And I spend even more time journaling and meditating to connect with the deepest inner places.

But now I had a new question; how many of my endeavors are not that important; not much different than that of a squirrel’s pointless toil?

Past connections began to flood my awareness.

A motivation coach stated: “3 hours of intensely focused and uninterrupted work will get far more done than 10 hours of unfocused busyness”.

Or AA’s motto of “keep it simple stupid,” and the Bible’s admonition to have a “child-like faith” or the entire books of Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 statings “everything is meaningless”

In many cases it is true, “less is more”. There can be a beauty in simplicity and clarity.

Sure, my 3 days deep-dive revealed some excellent stuff that I was unaware of before. But in many ways, not the things I had set out to find.

What followed over the next couple of days was a series of more profound takeaways that I didn’t even expect. And aren’t those always the best ones!

  • Fact: There are 7.5 billion people on the planet today. But 100 years from now, there will be 7.5 billion completely different people alive on earth

The entire earth recycles itself of all living life in an incredibly short amount of time. How much of our time is spent thinking, believing, and doing unnecessary things or thinking unhelpful thoughts that increase the risk of missing out on all the good that God intended for us in this life?  

  • Plants are the only living thing that has absolutely no say in their survival, they are completely dependent upon Mother Earth. Animals, on the other hand, must pro-create and survive in the wild. Humans, however, are the only living organisms that create or destroy, love or hate, build up or tear down. 

And the odds that your mother and father connected at the exact time and space they did and that your single sperm beat out millions of others in that fateful moment of conception, means that we are important representatives of the human race, and stewards of planet earth. What are we doing with this awesome and unique opportunity?

  • Wayne Dyer: “Every person has a song, don’t die without letting others hear your song.”

Is there anything more important than just singing our song loud enough that others can hear it every single day? Isolation, fear, self-doubt, worry, procrastination, unforgiveness… these are all song killers. 

  • A friend of mine said in a phone conversation,” George, it sounds like you are lost in the weeds, get out of your head, and get back to experiencing the mountains.”

And it is true… No matter where you go, there you are.

I took the crazy-overthinking-guy with me believing he might slow down also. Nope, he only has one setting, full blast. Which is great, I just need to remain aware and be intentional about when I step into his realm.

(On a side note, I’m a big fan of the exercise of personification of emotions or beliefs, it makes it easier to recognize and interact with them in a revealing and positive way. I will share the details of that exercise at a later time.)

I was touched by awe for a moment then dove back into figuring out the complexities of life, and in the process was missing out on life.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Our yesterdays are merely a filter by which our beliefs, decisions, and feelings pass through. And our tomorrows are made up of dreams or dread.

What we do with all of that is our choice, in each moment.

Only in our today will we experience what it is we choose to experience. Hope or hopelessness, connection or disconnection, desire or defeat, love or loneliness.

Lives can be transformed from a single conversation

Hearts can be restored by a single loving gesture

Purpose can be discovered, new freedoms unleashed, new hope can be born, but only for today, in the now.

If we will only believe it is possible and we live as-if it’s already true.

Love is the key: Love ourselves, love our neighbors, love our enemies, love what we do, love who we are, love who God is, we must cherish each moment of our life, even the hard stuff.

We will never find hope, courage, strength, endurance, or any other pursuit of the heart in our tomorrows, they must be lived out today.

And if we will do that, tomorrow we will remember a great yesterday and that will nourish a greater hope for our tomorrows.

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful days

beautiful day

And thank you to the community of Lake Arrowhead for the hospitality.

lake arrowhead

It was indeed a trip to remember, although, with the amount of information and stimulus pouring into my mind daily, it’s likely I will forget most of the journey in a short time, or “lose my nuts” as it were.

So, heeding the lesson in this post, I will have to find more ways to “enjoy the moment” and quit trying so hard to prepare for my future when in reality, my yesterday’s future is here today.

We can choose to live at peace with ourselves and the world around us in the midst of the struggle by choosing not to miss a single nugget of what this life is offering right now, today.

We must always remember that discovering our song and singing it loud and proud is what matters most in every moment.

Join the conversation: How do you “enjoy each day” and “sing your song” as you move toward a more abundant life?


My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2
George Crone
Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner
Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching
Developer of The Life Mastery Project and Life Mastery Series
Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

LMP #2: Is Anxiety a Myth

worry

Anti-anxiety medicine kills more people in the United States than all illegal drugs combined. And the prescription rate has risen over 67% in the last several years alone.

So if the problem is getting worse, and the prescription rate and death rates are both exponentially increasing, are we really seeing the problem accurately?

I propose that anxiety is not the problem, but instead, a condition created by a bigger problem, and actually, that problem isn’t a problem at all, unless we make it one.

Wonder what the hell I’m actually talking about?

Check out this week’s podcast to find out.

And don’t hesitate to join the conversation in the comment section below, I would love to add your voice to the discussion.

Life Mastery Project Resources

 


*statistical references

Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

Growth Requires Acknowledging Weakness

self-awareness

I am happy to share I have really been enjoying my new found empowerment and freedom.

And it has been reaping rewards: the checklist is looking great:

  • completely overhauled my diet and eating habits
  • established healthy sleeping patterns
  • developed powerful morning and evening routines
  • fighting back against my chronic fatigue Syndrome and getting more exercise while maintaining new push/crash boundaries
  • and of course the big one; leaving my 30-year corporate IT career to start my own coaching business. 

That’s nuts, right?

I Have Arrived

Have you guys noticed this? It seems like every time I start thinking “I have arrived” I am soon after humbled by the realization that there is ALWAYS a “next thing”?

Allow me to explain

Part of my morning routine is to set balanced and reasonable expectations for the day, and my evening routine looks back over the day to make sure I stayed true to that plan.

However, over the last several days, I have been solely focused on my new business, from early morning into the late-night hours. I’ve been “in the zone” cranking out tons of content on The Life Mastery Series program.

So much so, that my morning and evening routines have been truncated or even skipped completely. Each morning I moved straight to the keyboard,  painting my thoughts onto blank white canvas, turning them into grand masterpieces (in my mind anyway) and being so tired each night that I would hit the pillow completely spent. 

A younger man could likely maintain that level of… commitment?… obsession?… drive?… not sure what the right word is there… but being in my 50’s and still working towards undoing the physical damage that decades of poor self-care manifested; I can’t.

But I have learned that a key component to Life Mastery is Self Mastery.

And a key component of Self Mastery is Self Awareness.

And a key component to Self Awareness is Self Acceptance.

Gone are the days of Self Condemnation, when I would look at some mistake or lack of action and spend the nightly recap being Self Critical over falling into old patterns or “wasting the day”.

Instead, I now choose to frame everything in life as “knowledge gained” and with that, the sense of wholeness, contentment, self-worth, and inner-peace has had fertile soil to flourish. 

We are always only discovering what works and what doesn’t.

Heck, other people are human and will make mistakes and let us down; and so am I… and so do I… welcome to the human condition.

That is easy to say, but I had that play out in an unexpected way.

I sat down two nights ago and looked over my Life Balance Checklist and this is what I found.

  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Health
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Relationships
  • Business
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Finance
  • Growth
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Spiritual
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Recreation

Clearly, not much balance there, and I found myself starting to get self-critical.

But here is where the magic happened. and why I had to share this with you guys.

Because of my difficult childhood and gaining the false belief that no matter what I do it is never enough; I realized early on that my ultimate priority is NO SELF CRITICISM. 

But yet, here I was, living out of balance. Clearly, I lost vision right, I’m obsessing in one area and the other areas are suffering, I’m blowin’ it, right?

Wrong!!!

Rebalanced Living Begins With A Rebalanced Focus

I had to get off the self-criticism train before I could recognize that the last several days have been HUGELY successful. I was experiencing a season of massive productivity on the new program that I’m working on. 

I was writing more than 5000 words a day, I converted each lesson into a podcast, laid down intro and outro music tracks on each and then uploaded into the program database and wrote page content for each lesson. 

What the heck, that is Superman status in a writer/podcast world. I did 4 complete entries in 4 days, from initial concept to editing and posting. That is nearly a full month of publishable content productivity in a span of only 4 days…

… and I’m being self-critical because I’m “out of balance”??!?!?!

It wasn’t until I got my weekly Grammarly update which stated I was more productive than 99% of other Grammarly users, that I realized my expectations were what’s out of balance, not my productivity focus! 

That Life Balance Checklist should have looked more like

  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Health
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Relationships
  • Business
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Finance
  •  Growth
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Spiritual
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Recreation

Under my original perspective, all I saw was a sea of red boxes, a 75% failure rate; what I failed to see was that the green checkmarks were HUGE.

I was devaluing my progress. I was intentionally sabotaging my wellness by searching for some criteria to criticize myself. 

Another aspect of growing in our Self Mastery in pursuit of Life Mastery is to make sure we are trying to solve the correct problems.

I believed that not only was a balanced life one of the keys to a successful life, flipping that meant if I wasn’t living a balanced life then I’m not being successful. 

The problem was, my view was too narrow and my precepts were wrong

Having properly identified the areas of life that are important to me, I felt I needed a green checkmark next to them all, every day, with few exceptions.

I have disagreed with the huge philosophical movement that says having a balanced life is a myth.

I maintain that life balance is absolutely critical if we want to experience a deep sense of wholeness and fulfillment. 

Many times the problems are not that we are missing out on success, it is that we define success improperly. 

Being that I made huge progress on my business in such a short amount of time now means I can focus on recreation and relationships for a couple days. 

This is an entrepreneurial mindset that I never realized existed; that time management when working in corporate America is very different from time management when you are your own boss. 

If you are working 60+ hours a week for someone else then you are forced to cram in the rest of your life in the margins, evenings and weekends. And with such little time left it is critical to ensure that in the few hours you have you need to hit on all cylinders of your balance worksheet.

That does make balance a misnomer because working for someone else makes time a mostly non-negotiable commodity… they own you.

The Good News – I Am Still Balanced

So sure, it was 4 days of manic OCD type behavior, but that is wonderful. To be “in-state” or “in-flow” for 4 days in a row and knock out so many needle-moving activities is spectacular! 

I will now take the needed time to re-incorporate the other areas, no harm, no foul.

So what does this have to do with exposing weakness? Great question!!

Without an intentional and honest assessment of what isn’t working, we simply can’t develop an effective growth plan, either personally or in business.  

My growth this time came in the form of humility. I had to admit that my weakness was not life imbalance and just trying harder.

My issue was my old nemesis self-condemnation and perfectionism; it was listening to the voice that says “you may be doing a lot, but you aren’t doing enough” or “you aren’t doing the right stuff”

That’s bullshit!

The bottom line is, the verify definition of growth or pursuing success is that “we make progress”. That’s it! 

If perfectionism is still a struggle for you, know this: the only outcomes can be giving up because you can never achieve it, or burning out and dying miserably. 

Pride, fear, ego, control, expectations, limiting beliefs, unhelpful thinking patterns like living-in-the-extremes… these are all character defects that try to re-define success by setting the bar juuuuuuust outside of our reach; therefore making us feel defeated when we are actually being successful. 

Recognizing those faulty beliefs or reframing unreasonable expectations and getting back to loving ourselves and staying the course is what facilitates growth, and it is an indispensable ingredient of success. 

Success is not something we are chasing, it is something we live out daily

My success came in recognizing that my OCD served me great when channeled into business or health or relationships, but it serves me poorly in the area of self-critique because it feeds my disease of perfectionism.

So, instead of believing my growth was temporarily derailed by living imbalanced and dropping the ball, I now believe I grew personally through gaining greater self-awareness and I’m thrilled about my business progress.

It’s a win-win. I didn’t have to change my gameplan, I just needed to change my perspective. 

Can you relate to this topic?

How do you leverage your weaknesses into next-level strengths?

Join the conversation, add your voice to the comments section below.

My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and victories with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2George Crone

Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner

Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching

Developer of The Life Mastery Project