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What Are You Complaining About?

What is the thing/person/situation you are complaining most Complaintsabout lately?  I’m not talking about the guy who cut you off in traffic or the fact that your dinner was cold.  I’m talking about the set of circumstances you’ve been talking/thinking about regularly – the absence of which would make your life/business a whole lot easier.

Try this on for size: What if what I’m complaining about, what I wish were different, is actually pointing me to a comfort zone that I am holding on to?  What if my complaints are actually allies, helping to shine the light on attitudes, beliefs, activities that are no longer serving me or what I’m looking to achieve?

In our business, we can (and do) complain about a lot of different things. There’s not enough people to talk to. I can’t find the right people to talk to.  No one is interested.  Everyone is broke.  People don’t follow through.  People don’t follow the process.  People don’t get into action. People quit. It’s too hard, overwhelming.  I don’t know how to do it. No one is helping me. I’m not getting any results.  And on and on and on.

What’s yours?  Pick your favorite complaint and I’ll show you a payoff for staying there.

Bigger Game 2 Day Experience May 2014I’m fresh off attending The Bigger Game 2 Day Experience which, pardon the pun, truly was a game changer for me. The emphasis is on experience.  Words cannot express how brilliantly simple, yet profoundly powerful this model is as a methodology for clarity & growth.  I’ve written previously about the impact the book had on me.  Now I know it was merely the tip of the iceberg.  The concepts must be experienced (hence the name) in order to understand all that they can really do – not the least of which is to transform inertia into motivation and then into ACTION! (Yes, please. More of that!)

One of my most powerful breakthroughs came with the comfort-zonesexploration of comfort zones – those that serve us and those that don’t.  It was eye-opening to see them broken down into two categories: doing and being.  And finally, the ultimate illumination came, for me, in considering the cost and benefit of  each individually.

On the “doing” side, I will fess up to things like complaining, focusing on details, updating systems, managing, proving, procrastinating…to name a few.   Most, however, fell on the “being” side.  These would include thoughts and attitudes such as worrying, avoiding change, controlling, money and lack of results.

WAIT, what?!  Lack of results?  Rewind that.  The cost is obvious, but what could possibly be the payoff for lack of results?!

The answer came in turning the complaint around and asking myself one simple question:  What am I afraid will happen when I DO get results?   In other words, if I keep saying that I’m creating massive growth but it isn’t happening, what is my fear if it DOES happen?  Bingo!  There was my answer.

I have been afraid of overwhelm.

In turn, I have been afraid of the litany of “what if’s” and “how’s” that come with it.  What if I’m growing so fast that people fall through the cracks?  How am I going to ensure that everyone gets the attention and help they need?  What if I’m not able to give everyone what they need?  How do I create these results and make sure everyone is getting served, including me?  How do I keep from burning out?

Our complaints are protecting us by helping us stay in our comfort zone.  Likewise, they are the ways we sabotage our success.  In my case, I am (was) unknowingly limiting my results because I’m playing it safe, keeping myself from getting overwhelmed.  The intention is a good one, it’s just not serving my purpose any longer.

“Unexamined comfort zones run our lives.” – Rick Tamlyn

Bigger Game BoardOkay, so I’ve outed my comfort zones, now what?  This is where the simplicity of the Bigger Game model helps illuminate and clarify the path of least resistance to achieving our goals.  This is where being connected to our Bigger Game turns all the “what if’s” and “how to’s” into possibilities rather than nagging obstacles.

Picture this: What if growing a Shaklee business (or whatever your endeavor is) didn’t have to be a struggle?   Imagine massive growth that is simple, manageable and sustainable.  Imagine no overwhelm, no burnout.  What if I retained more leaders than having to replace those who quit? What if excuses were a rarity rather than the norm?  How about having a team that crushes obstacles because they are driven from within?  How about working with people who are so driven and self-motivated that the HOW becomes obsolete?

That is the Bigger Game.  That is my bigger game.  Who wants more of THAT?!

 

Kim Reed, TeamONE

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Goals Are Overrated

Goals are overrated?  A declaration that may cause some to squirm.  As for me?  What a relief!!  Truthfully, I nearly wept when I read this and the rest of Rick Tamlyn’s book, Play Your Bigger Game.

More on that, but first, some of my history with regards to goals.

Open any book or attend any workshop on success and somewhere, somehow, there will be a discussion on goals.  That’s usually when I check out or the part I skip over.

Previously, I have talked about personality assessments. Depending on which one you go by, I am a ruby/red (gems/color model) and a Type 6 (Enneagram).  This means that when it comes no-goal-settingto goal setting, I avoid it. Basically, if I’m not sure I can win the game, I don’t want to play.  Setting goals causes great anxiety because I worry about failing.  Quite the conundrum when my success hinges on helping others reach their goals.  How can I not have my own?  Rather hypocritical.  Totally irresponsible and being irresponsible is blasphemous to a Type 6.

Can you see my plight?

The antidote to my avoidance always seems to be the cloying question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”  Uggh… Okay, certainly this opens up the dreaming, but then there are all those guidelines always taught about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals – (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, whatever the (R) stands for, and within a certain (T)ime frame.

Can you sense my disdain?

During a growth spurt in my business a couple of years ago, I was so focused on a goal and the deadline to achieve it, that I was really making things happen.  Correction, I was forcing things to happen.  I wasn’t seeing people, I was seeing results.  It was about my agenda, not theirs.  Whatever you take by force you will have to keep by force.  The minute the force is lessened, everything collapses and so do I.  Not the kind of lifestyle I am promoting, nor want, that’s for sure.

How to do I reconcile the common goal setting dictates (what I’m used to doing to achieve a goal) and have faith in a whole new model?  Is there a new model?  Maybe I just have to suck it up and come to terms with the fact that setting goals is a necessary evil for me.  Or is it?

For a year or more, this had been a regular quandary for me.

Thus, imagine the joyous relief that swept over me when I picked up Play Your Bigger Game and read this:

“One of the underlying philosophies of the The Bigger Game is that goals are overrated.”

Then a couple of paragraphs later:

“When you are fully engaged in your bigger game, which will be something that truly matters, you discover that goals are met and problems solved as you play…..Your attention isn’t focused on outcomes; it’s focused on playing.”

And then this:

“No one has to tell you when to show up for work or what to do at work.  Your work lives inside you as your purpose.  It’s personal, and, as a result, your energy level soars.  You find yourself performing at unprecedented levels: doing more, achieving more, creating fresh opportunities, and feeling more fulfilled.”  ~ Rick Tamlyn, Play Your Bigger Game

Since beginning to play my own bigger game, I am happy to report that all of this is absolutely, positively and amazingly true!

Duplication is a much used word in our industry.  Any success hinges on it.  If we don’t have duplication, if we can’t provide it for those we train, we might as well go home.

Likewise, wbigger gamee are told that having a strong WHY (aka hot spot, identity, compelling purpose, etc) is key.  Yes, yes, I know –  people don’t care what we do, they care why we do it.

But  HOW?!  How do we find or build that WHY and then train others to do the same?

Previously, I’ve also written about identifying your “hot spot” and “building a fire, both metaphors for finding and acting on what Rick calls our compelling purpose.  What I haven’t been able to offer, until now, is a specific road map for how to do either.  And without a road map, how can we help others achieve too?

The Bigger Game concepts not only provide the road map for moving forward on our journey but, more importantly, help us define what our journey is.  Pretty important stuff, in my opinion.  After all, having a road map doesn’t really matter if we don’t even know what road we’re on, right?

Let me add that “bigger” doesn’t have to mean large or grand.  It can be something in our family, life, career or business that we feel compelled to do.  The emphasis is on the energy it evokes within us.

Consider this:

  • When individuals or groups are purpose-driven, they are deeply engaged.
  • We inherently become more creative, innovative and bolder with our actions when we are compelled and passionate about what we are doing.

I believe everyone has a bigger game within them. The question is how to connect to it and put it into action.

Imagine your business being filled with people who are playing their bigger game.  How would it be transformed?

So, if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m giving up the goals (or at least not making them such a priority) and focusing on playing my bigger game instead.  Who’s with me?

Editor’s Note:  Check out this free webinar Rick conducted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 => CLICK HERE.   Find out how The Bigger Game concepts can make a difference for you.

Kim Reed, TeamONE

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The Cure for Frustration

We in Shaklee can be very, very arrogant.  Seriously. No joke.

We can also be very big-hearted, which is often how we rationalize the arrogance.  After all, we are only trying to help, right?

Now before everyone gets all indignant, let’s consider the definition of arrogance:

“Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.” ~ Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary

Overbearing pride.  Yep, that’s what happens when we know we can help someone.  Whether they asked us or not, we begin to tell them, in great detail, how Shaklee is different and what they should do.  We call it “fire-hosing.”  It’s why, when I first started learning more about the Shaklee Difference and talked about it every chance I got, my mom literally asked if I’d joined a cult. (Note to Facebsoapboxook over sharers:  Multiple daily posts promoting your business is the digital equivalent of fire-hosing.  It’s also a good way to get blocked.)

Of course, our intentions are most always in the best interest of the other.  It’s the methodology that is the problem.  Actually, I take that back.  It’s the lack of awareness. (BTW, I may be talking about this in the context of Shaklee, but this concept applies to all interactions or relationships.)

How about we give up our arrogance?  How about we stop trying to convince others that Shaklee is the best and look for people who are ready to have Shaklee in their lives?

But I know this could help.”  I don’t care how magnanimous the motivation is, anytime we think we know better, we are forcing our own opinions.  This is the problem in politics.  No one is listening to anything other than the sound of their own agenda.

Give up the debate.  It is a clear sign we are forcing our own agenda instead of hearing theirs.

We get so frustrated, don’t we?  We put our attention on figuring out what to say. How do I handle their objection(s)? How do I get this person to SEE that we have the answer?

We don’t.

Anytime any of this is going on for us – debating, frustration, fear, worry, strategizing on the perfect thing to say –  any of these is a clear indication that we are operating on our own agenda and not listening for theirs. Overcoming objections isn’t about convincing someone that Shaklee is the best.  Real success is about figuring out if, at this moment, Shaklee is the best for them.

Freedom comes from focusing on having a conversation rather than getting them to say yes.  If I am truly detached from the outcome then I can truly help because I am listening for their needs, not trying to meet mine.  Freedom comes from letting go of our agendas and what we think we know.

Whatever we push against pushes back. When we give up push backdefending our position and receive the person in front of us instead, the results that come back are pretty darn amazing.  By letting go of our agenda, our need to be right, we free people to come towards us.  Unfortunately, we can be blind to how firmly we are planted in them. The key is to catch ourselves in the act of holding on.  That is the hard part.   Agendas are insidious.  It takes practice to see and get off them, but that, my friends, is the cure for frustration.

Kim Reed, TeamONE

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Argo Believe In Yourself

What I do involves a lot of helping people surmount obstacles, usually in the form of handling objections. The most prevalent objection we, as mentors, get asked about is how to respond to the problem of “no money.”

The answer is always the same.  Money (or time, or skills, or lack of knowledge, etc., etc.) is never really the issue. The issue is always BELIEF.

Henry Ford QuoteNo one sets out to achieve something if they don’t have an inkling that they can do it.  Even on some tiny level, maybe buried deep inside, they have a flickering ember of a belief that it is possible.  As they embark on mastering whatever it is, the ember starts to glow then grow into a flame that eventually consumes any doubt about accomplishing the goal.  They have fostered belief.  Belief is the flame.

Without belief nothing great is possible.  The Olympic athlete doesn’t sacrifice years of hard work because they are “trying” to win a medal.  They know they can and that knowledge is bound to belief.

The realization as to how intrinsic belief is to achieving a goal came to me quite powerfully when I first saw the movie Argo.  It washed over me as I watched the climactic scene at the airport.  The Americans trapped in Iran must play their parts to convince the guards that they are Canadian film-makers.

Argo1

As an actor previously, I knew the effectiveness of my performance relied on fully immersing myself in a character.  If I didn’t believe I was the person I was playing, the audience sure wasn’t going to buy it either.  While on the edge of my seat during this scene in Argo,  I kept inwardly screaming, “Just act “as if!”  Believe it!! Just lose yourself in that identity and they will believe you.

It is hard for me to describe just how powerful & vivid this epiphany was for me.  During the previous weeks I had been pondering what was holding me back.  How was it that success seemed just out of reach?  I sat there, in that theater, and this movie had just revealed to me one of my biggest roadblocks: My lack of belief in my own abilities. (As an aside, I am always in awe of how messages can be delivered when one is open to them.)

Earlier in the film, Ben Affleck, as Tony Mendez, delivers this line:

Ben Affleck in Argo

“The only way this works is if you believe that you’re these people so much that you dream like them.”

Could that be any more perfect?!

If we don’t believe we can do something, we are doomed.

In our industry, we are persistently reminding people to believe in themselves, what they are doing, the company, the possibilities, their dreams, etc.  Time and again, people sabotage themselves because they don’t have the level of belief they need to overcome challenges.  They cave to the first person who tells them that what they are doing is crazy.  (Never mind that the person discouraging them likely has no credibility themselves and is rather projecting their own fears onto the situation.)

So the question follows – how do we build belief?

We build a fire.

Belief starts as an inside job.  Just as with a fire, it starts as an ember, an inkling.   This inkling is our commitment to something.  It could be something we want to change, something we value, but ultimately, it is something we stand for. Joy of Fire As the ember (our commitment) is fanned and wood is added (action is taken), the fire (our belief) grows.

First, it might be helpful to identify where the fire has gone out.  Do you need more belief in yourself, the process, the company, the industry, the products…all of the above?  Also, the wood you use to keep it going will be contingent upon which fire you are stoking.  Maybe you need to improve skills or gain more knowledge.  This is where a good coach or mentor can make suggestions.

As a simple formula, it looks like this: Commitment leads to action which builds belief.

For example, based on empirical evidence or clinical research, someone might have an inkling that our products are different.  (Here, belief is literally an inside job!) Personally, I did not believe, just because someone was telling me how different Shaklee was, that I would get results that no other solution had yet produced. But, I was committed to finding a solution to my health issue.  Belief comes from action that results from a commitment.  In this case, it was a commitment to my health.  I took the action that started building the belief.  Without action there is no belief, but the ember that starts the fire is a commitment to something.

Commitment leads to action which builds belief.  Likewise, you can’t get to commitment until you decide what you want.  You must take a stand for what you want to change.  Without taking that stand, making that commitment to whatever it is we want, and taking the action to build on it, the flames of our belief will easily be extinguished.

And, we can’t just take action once.  We must do it repeatedly.  A fire must be fed continuously or it goes out.  Belief isn’t something you achieve once and you’re done.  It is a practice.

Pastel, paint on paper by Lois Keller.  www.loiskellerdrawing.blogspot.com/

“Asleep by the Fire” – pastel, paint on paper by Lois Keller
http://www.loiskellerdrawing.blogspot.com/

What are you committed to?  Maybe it isn’t as dramatic as wanting to get out of a hostile country without getting executed, but what is that ember, deep inside, that you have silently (perhaps unconsciously) been fanning?  Is it better health?  Is it more financial freedom?  A better relationship?  Making a difference?

Truth be told, if you want the answer to what you are committed to, take a good hard look at your life.  What is manifesting for you, right now, is what you stand for and ultimately, what you believe.  The results you have in any area of your life will reveal what you are truly committed to in that situation.

Harsh.  I know.  The good news is that you have a choice.

Don’t like it? Is what you’ve got now not what you stand for because, literally, you can’t stand it anymore? Decide to change it.  Choose and DECIDE!!

Choice.  Decision.  Discussions, perhaps, for another time.  For now, I’ve got to go put some more wood on the fire.  Stay tuned.

Kim Reed, TeamONE

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Are You Living on “Tomorrow Isle?”

When the phone rang at 1:17pm yesterday, I didn’t recognize the number.  I hesitated to pick up, but for some reason, I did.  A neighbor who knew I served on one of our community committees with Barry was calling to tell me he had died suddenly, of a heart attack, the day before.  Thoughtfully, she thought to reach out before I read it in the paper.

Only seven days before, I spent almost awalden woods meeting housen hour on the phone with Barry, handling some neighborhood issues, joking and commiserating.

“Hey, if I don’t see or talk to you before, have a great holiday,” he said as we hung up the phone.

That was it.

You never do know.

The immense sadness I feel for the loss of his warm, generous spirit is lessened only by my gratitude for having been able to know and serve with him in our community as long as I did.  The example he provided of always leading with sincere respect and consideration for all is something I aspire to…and I am glad to say, I often told him so.

As I make the turn now, to the other part of this message, some might read it as opportunistic. Maybe you think I am taking advantage of this tragedy, exploiting it to further my own agenda as a health professional.  I might be accused of trying to profit from this loss.

My answer?

YES!  Yes I am.  If, by reading this, even one person takes action to better their health, no matter what it is, then, yes I have furthered my agenda.  And yes, I AM profiting if any of my friends or family lives longer by making even a small change.  Call me selfish.

Walking the line between knowing we have something that could help and being afraid to offer it is something my colleagues and I always struggle with.  I suppose the lesson here is allowing grief & loss to galvanize action. So, here goes.

If you were given an 80% chance of surviving a horrific car crash, cancer, natural disaster or any other life threatening situation by doing something small in comparison (like losing just 10 lbs), would you do it?  broken heart

Let me stress that I do not know if my friend’s death could have been prevented or what his health history was.  What I do know is that 80% of cardiac disease is PREVENTABLE.  Not only that, in some cases, it is reversible!  Hello?!

We are talking about the #1 cause of death, which 8 out of 10 times, could be prevented!!  This is nuts.  Even small changes can make a significant impact, according to leading research.

Please let this be a wake-up call for someone!

For my friends & family to whom one or more of the following apply (and especially if you have risk factors), I am hereby begging you to please, PLEASE:

  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat more vegetables & less sugar (including alcohol & refined carbs)
  • Exercise more & worry less
  • Take your vitamins

Most importantly, I am asking that you make changes TODAY. What are you waiting for?!    If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones.

Please, stop saying, “Tomorrow, I’ll…..”  Please vote yourself off that island.  “Tomorrow Isle” is a dead end.

Last Monday, I hung up the phone with Barry without a clue that one week later, I would be attending his memorial.  I write this in his honor.  I write this in honor of all the ways he contributed to his community, friends & family.  I write this hoping I can do the same.

Kim Reed, TeamONE

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Know Thyself?

Beyond navel gazing, when I searched this phrase I found the following from a March 14, 2013 article in Science Daily titled, “Know Thyself: How Mindfullness Can Improve Self Knowledge”

“Recent research has highlighted the fact that we have many blind spots when it comes to understanding our patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Despite our intuition that we know ourselves the best, other people have a more accurate view of some traits (e.g., intellect) than we do. In some cases, blind spots in self-knowledge can have negative consequences, such as poor decision-making, poor academic achievement, emotional and interpersonal problems, and lower life satisfaction.”

I know many who deem self exploration a “touchy feely” waste of time.  As I alluded previously, I used to think that as well.  Quit overindulging.  Control your emotions and just get on with it already!   Might putting some science behind it give credibility to the importance of knowing oneself?

What I’m talking about isn’t simply a matter of being able to say, “Well, that’s just the way I am.”  Too many of us stop there, short of getting to the crux of what can really transform us, our relationships and our results.

It is knowing how “the way I am” can limit me.  Knowing how “how I am” impacts my relationships with my family, success in life and/or business.  It’s knowing how I operate in the world affects my ability for joy, compassion and even love.

At a recent conference, I attended a “Future Masters” training led by those in our company who have reached the highest achievement.  Anyone wanting to learn the magic road map to profit in our business would have come away sorely disappointed.  The resounding message from leader after leader, again and again, was that it isn’t about what we are DOING.   It is about who we are BEING.

Uh oh.  You mean I might be the problem?

Over dinner at that same conference, a group of us discussed what deters people from self exploration.  The common denominator for each reason was the same:  Fear.  Fear of what one might discover.  (What if there’s something wrong with me?)  Fear of having to take responsibility.  (What if I have to give up complaining about my boss/mother/father/son/sister/family/colleague/friend?) Fear of being overwhelmed.  Fear of opening up a box of worms, losing control, etc.

I can relate to all of it, but most certainly, the overwhelm.  In my twenties, when I first embarked on my own inner journey, I was confronted with a wall I had built up around my emotions.  As the article above suggests, it took someone else to point it out to me.  Thank goodness they believed in me enough,  had the courage and skill to do it with compassion.  I certainly wasn’t going to see it myself.  In retrospect, I can see why my self preservation instinct (i.e. ego) kept me blind.  Once there was a crack in the wall, the floodgates opened, and yes, it was a little overwhelming at first.  However, what lay beyond was well worth it.

If you’ve read this far, maybe you can relate.  Maybe you’re looking for a way in.  Previously I’ve talked about exploring your values and clarifying a purpose, but that can be elusive without a sense of who you are.

As a simple starting point, I often suggest the ubiquitous assessment tools, a.k.a. personality models. (Okay, cue the eye rolling.)  This could mean anything from the zodiac to Myers Briggs.  I agree that, in the wrong hands, they can be used to manipulate.  Proponents can use them as crutches to easily label and avoid seeing complexity.  All this, however, does not erase how eye-opening they can be for someone to learn more about themselves.

EnneagramOne of the most prevalent personality tools in my industry has been the “colors” or “gems” model.  I have found it to be a very simple, easy to use model and knowing where I fit into it has certainly helped me communicate better.  However, when I wanted to go deeper, I found its simplicity to be limiting.  Then, my good friend Toni introduced me to the Enneagram.

I appreciate that the Enneagram has a spiritual base, but what I like best about it can be summed up this way:

“The Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box.  It show’s you the box you are in and the way out.”  ~ Don Riso & Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram

At the risk of sounding bombastic, one of the most transformative life experiences I’ve had thus far was at a week long Enneagram workshop at the Omega Institute, studying with Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb.  What I learned there has influenced me ever since.

Whether you use the Enneagram, or any of these modalities, doesn’t matter.  There are many paths to learning more about ourselves.  Choosing to continue on the path is what matters.

Yes, we might be afraid of being overwhelmed, but what if that leads to profound inner peace?

What if losing control actually leads to gaining it?

What if, by digging into that box of worms, we find the beautiful flower of our inner strengths?

What if the only way to have success in leadership is in leading ourselves first?

Personal growth is as important to our total health as nutrition and exercise.   When we ignore self exploration, we are making the choice to limit ourselves just as certainly as ignoring our health does.  Without the willingness to honestly look in the mirror and grow ourselves, we will be forever limited by what we are hiding from, whether we are aware of what lays hidden or not.  It’s just that simple.  And, it is our choice.

Kim Reed, TeamONE

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