The Saturday Morning Mindset

I’ve had this nagging experience lately that I just haven’t been able to put my finger on, but it is now, I believe, slowly starting to take shape and I figured I would share it with you guys and see what you think.

I got sick over a year ago and was forced to leave my 30+ year career. That was hard.

For men in general, we derive much of our self-worth through our careers. We are providers, we are problem solvers. We are meant to work, to have an impact and for many to be a leader.

To not have the health to perform the typical 40-hour work-week (ok, mine was 60+hrs per week which influenced my illness but that’s another topic) meant I needed to now reinvent myself.

That in itself was not an easy transition, letting go of the traditional employee mindset is completely counter-intuitive. But I believe in the end, being forced out of my career will likely turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

And trust me when I say that isn’t a statement made lightly. I am currently only 54 and living off my 401K retirement, and using it to seed my new business.

Yes I know, accountants all over the planet just groaned in unison.

So it is critical that I make this transition into entrepreneurship sooner rather than later. But talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

There is nothing in my life that says success is just around the corner or even remotely a lock.

In fact, quite the contrary. Statistics are horrible for new entrepreneurial startups and everything is screaming that I’m wasting my time, that failure is imminent and that every day that I’m not looking for another 40-hour job that I can do from bed or computer desk is one day closer to the point of no return and self-insufficiency.

But the choice has been made, give it at least 1 year before freaking out. I’d say I made it maybe 4 months before I began freaking out.

And that’s where I’m at today. For the past month, I have woken each day with a sense of discomfort, some internal unrest that has been sapping energy, creativity, motivation, and commitment.

But I haven’t been able to pinpoint the source, or even recognize what exactly the emotion was. Everything has just been off, but off how?

And it hit me talking to an accountability partner earlier today. It’s just simple fear.

The Problem

Imagine the scene, you’ve worked a hard week and it’s Friday night and your off work. Feels good but your tired. You might go out, have some fun or stay in but you hit the sack wiped out.

But oh, when you wake up Saturday morning, there isn’t a care in the world; you’ve got the whole day.

You can sleep in, you can go for an early morning jog or hit the gym. You can call a friend and make lunch plans, hit the clubs later that night, even go into the office if you felt like getting a jump on next week.

No matter what choice you make for a Saturday it is the right choice because you are the master of this day and it will go any way you choose, and whatever you choose will be the right choice.

There isn’t a care in the world because no matter how far you push it, you’ve got another day off, all day Sunday, to enjoy just the same.

This is what I call Saturday Morning Joy, it is true freedom and it is how life is supposed to feel.

What do I want, what do I need, ok, let’s go… total freedom of spirit, mind, and soul.

But what happens when you get up on Sunday? Is it “I’ve still got a whole day off, how awesome, the best day ever!”

For some, maybe. But for most people I know, the dread starts to come in and the thought “ugh, I have to go to work tomorrow” starts to drape a cloud over our sunny disposition.

What???? This day is going to be less-enjoyed because of commitments more than 24 hours away that have no bearing on today?

And no matter what you engage with, there is always this nagging voice that interrupts the joy saying “don’t forget, you have to work tomorrow”.

And that is the feeling I haven’t been able to shake; for more than a month!

As an entrepreneur with a business plan, short-term and long term goals, financial stability at least for the short term, I should be thrilled every day.

This is it, the dream transition has begun. Every day I can choose to work on the business some, engage in social activity, change tasks. I am my own boss and I can do anything I want to or need to. Every day is Saturday.

But instead, every day I have been filled with a sense of dread that even if I am free today, I’m still not free. There is this weight that is stealing my ability to stay present, a weight centered around the unending insecure tomorrows, even if today is secure.

Once I realized that it is my thoughts and subconscious beliefs messing with my emotions I began to ask friends and mentors about the “Sunday Mindset”.

They all knew exactly what I was talking about, and the conclusion I drew I’m calling ACTIVE SURRENDER. 

The Solution

Everyone shared tales of how they pushed through the darkness of uncertainties that dominated different seasons of their life. And, in the end, they simply needed to do the actions of a successful person while surrendering to the fact that it was God who had to bring the miracles.

It ultimately became the opportunities, resources, and discoveries outside of their control that rescued them from their dire situations and carried them to the next level.

All they could do was remain active and faithful to the dream, but they also had to surrender the timelines and outcomes as to when the next breakthrough would come.

We simply move forward on faith that the breakthrough is coming without ever getting the assurance of knowing when and how it will come. 

I know many motivational speakers or coachers will say “you make your own breaks”, but the reality is, on some level, success only comes when we actively pursue through faith and trust that God will meet us in our efforts.

Active Surrender

So what does Active Surrender look like?

For me, I’d say it is staying rooted in the Saturday Morning Mindset.

True freedom is a state of mind, soul, and spirit and must not be based on physical circumstances. 

We won’t escape the feelings of anxiety, fear, insecurity or hopelessness until we change the often hidden limiting beliefs that are feeding them.  

We must recognize every morning when we wake up that we are free today to craft whatever we want with the next 12 hours of our life. Work, play, socialize, rest, dream, sing, dance, write, draw, create, destroy, we choose each activity.

I am not a victim, I am not trapped, I am not dead, I am not helpless or hopeless.

Quite the contrary!

I can do whatever I want today, and tomorrow I have the same freedom. Sure some decisions may come with huge repercussions, but if not making the decisions leads to unending misery then is it really a choice?

Change or die. Grow or die. Risk or die. Overcome fear and insecurity or die.

Live or die, the choice is ours.

We are all going to die, the question is, will we die without regrets?

If there is an aspect of my life that I feel trapped in, then it is up to me to evaluate what needs to change and start moving in that direction.

The Sunday Morning Mindset knows it is free physically but yet still feels emotionally captive to an unsure or undesired “tomorrow”.

It is a victim mindset that believes it is trapped, that nothing will ever change, and that we have no power to overcome the circumstances of our life.

But the Saturday Morning Mindset, along with knowing it is free, also chooses to believe it and live like it.

Once we get the heart and mind right, then it’s back on course.

Focus on your “why” and get busy kickin’ ass 

If we can just choose to hang on to the Saturday Morning Mindset and remain Actively Surrendered we won’t just endure each day, we will tackle each day with enthusiasm, with a free spirit that lives without boundaries or limitations in pursuit of dreams and desires.

To successfully navigate risk in any area of life requires making peace with the unyielding pressure for assurances that aren’t coming.

The sooner we (I) get over it, the sooner we (I) can back to crafting our song and dance the day away.

Romans 8:28 
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


So, how about you? Do you have a Saturday Morning Mindset or a Sunday Morning?

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below.

Let’s do this!

George

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