Mind Over Matter:
The Surprising Effects of Positive Thinking

Do you ever wonder why some people are GOOD at everything?

Some people are naturally happier, more fulfilled and better at what they do because they have embraced powerful effects of positive thinking.

Maybe it’s your coworker who received a promotion at work, when you were passed over. Maybe it’s a friend who is constantly moving up in all aspects of his life. He has a great relationship with his spouse, recently bought a new house in the suburbs and is always doing something adventurous and amazing (he’s even a nice guy!).

Don’t they get under your skin? You know, those people who are just amazing at everything they do. Like King Midas, everything they touch seems to turn to gold. It all works out for them, all the time. Don’t they just piss you off, those lucky so-and-sos?!

All jest aside, it’s not your imagination, but it’s also not dumb luck either. Some people are naturally happier, more fulfilled and better at what they do because they gravitate toward powerful positive thinking.

Rather than pissing you off, these positive thinkers should be great examples and role models. If you want what they’re getting, you’ve got to shift your approach. Surround yourself with positive allies and learn from them.

These seemingly gifted people have learned to focus on the positive. They’ve developed a positive mindset—a growth mindset—and they’ve used the mindset as a platform to transform their lives. These people learned they possess the power to control their happiness through action (not willpower or willful denial). These people are leaders and influencers. They’ve learned the powerful effects of positive thinking.

Positive psychology isn’t about wishing and manifesting from the universe. Positive psychology can be congruent to faith and religion but it’s not a spiritual practice. It certainly doesn’t mean you’ll never face problems or frustrations. It’s not even about “faking it until you make it.” (Although, faking a positive growth-mindset until it becomes natural and genuine can help you get there.)

What Is Positive Psychology?

Historically, the field of psychology has been focused on the darker side of understanding disordered thinking and mental illness. Psychologists studied and wanted to understand why people were anxious, depressed, and so on. They wanted to dissect the problem to resolve it.

Starting with Alfred Adler, the field of psychology started to slowly break away from the approach of “identify, dissect and resolve a problem” and into a more holistic approach—a focus on each person’s needs and how to help them move toward happiness.

Adlerian psychology is known as Individual Psychology. Not because the practice focuses on the “Individual,” as we would instinctively assume. In German, Adler’s native tongue, the word translated to “whole” or undivided. The focus was on healing and transforming a person into their best potential state.


Positive psychology has evolved on this base of Adlerian philosophy. Positive psychology is a scientific approach to happiness. It’s based on experiments and tested theories. It’s an evidence-based approach to joy and greater fulfillment.


A positive growth-mindset isn’t limited to psychology and the field of mental health but is used by business leaders, counselors and life coaches. In fact, the field of coaching and positive psychology go hand-in-hand.

Coaches work with their clients to help them develop tools to achieve their goals and find more fulfillment and influence in their worlds. Coaches help clients work toward greater fulfillment and success. Much of the growth clients experience is achieved through the effects of positive thinking.

How Can You Benefit from the Effects of Positive Thinking?

We’ve all had times when we feel like an outsider. Maybe you aren’t connecting with your spouse or your coworkers. Maybe your friends seem to click, yet you feel like you’re standing on the outside, looking in. How do you get those connections? How do you get to the “good life” you want?

Well, positive psychologists, coaches and others who’ve studied the “good life,” learn it isn’t about the stuff we buy or own. It’s not about our promotions at work, or having the biggest house or the prettiest spouse, or even being the most intelligent person in the room. The good life comes from unlocking your sense of purpose. It comes from our experiences and our focus on the positive. The good life comes from the effects of positive thinking.

In our signature program, The Year of Transformation, we discuss many different approaches to reaching your version of the good life. One of the most important tools you can unlock is the ability to see life as an adventure. Focus on the positive. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and to explore. Setbacks are no longer setbacks but deeper chances for learning and engagement.

This approach to learning is called a growth mindset. Educators, coaches and psychologists have learned adopting a growth mindset’s one of the keys to success. Transformational leaders and visionaries (those guys with the Midas touch) focus on the positive and possess a growth mindset.


In our Year of Transformation program, Adopting a Positive, Growth Mindset is a key focus.


Make a conscious choice of a growth mindset, over a fixed mindset. Most of us have a fixed mindset. Oh we don’t mind learning something new or even taking a class or seminar periodically, but we’re not passionately curious and really stretching ourselves on a daily basis. We aim for a goal, achieve it, and are content to coast for an indefinite period afterwards. In other words, we engage as a shorter-term tactic to get what we want. We may engage to become a black belt in karate, to secure a plum position with our organization or to find a romantic partner. Once we get what we want, though, we disengage. What we’re suggesting is adopting a growth mindset if you want to sustain engagement past an endpoint.

Live your life as an experiment! This is the essence of the assignment way of living at Wright. This attitudinal shift can foster engagement by getting you out of your routine. Engagement thrives on novelty and an experimental perspective allows you to test all sorts of new endeavors. Too often, we feel that we have to do certain things and follow certain paths. We create all sorts of boundaries that prevent us from venturing into uncharted territory where we could engage in ways that we don’t, when we are following well-trodden paths.

You may recall a world class transformer, R. Buckminster Fuller, who is perhaps best known as the inventor of the geodesic dome. However, Fuller was also a philosopher, engineer, poet, educator and Renaissance man. He talked about living his life as an experiment designed to discover how he might benefit humankind. He formalized this experiment by referring to himself as Guinea Pig B. With this life-changing approach, Fuller was able to engage deeply in a myriad of endeavors. He filled his life with novelty and fostered in himself wide-ranging intellectual and emotional involvement. His ideas and inventions did indeed benefit humankind, thus fulfilling his experiment’s mission.

Be like Bucky Fuller and live your life as an experiment, engaging in all you do and harvesting more of the infinite possibilities available to you. When we engage in our life project as our personal experiment, we make discoveries—a key element of the Transformed process.

-from Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

If you’re ready for a more engaged, more fulfilling life of getting what you want, join us for an upcoming workshop or event. Our free workshops on Emotional Intelligence or a free coaching consultation can help guide you toward your next steps. Please visit us at The Wright Foundation for more information!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Harness Your Power:
Find a Life Coach

If you’re considering finding a life coach, I bet you have big questions about the process and even the concept. 

The time to find a life coach is now. Get what you want more of in your life - whether it's a better career, stronger relationships, or more confidence in your best self. We're here to bring you to your fullest potential.


As an Executive Coach for many years, I’ve seen unbelievable transformations:

  • A non-verbal, number-crunching accountant who became a widely respected author and thought leader in his field, called upon by Congress to provide expert testimony.
  • A timid, conservative attorney who put his job on the line by standing up in a meeting to point out his superiors’ flawed strategy who has since become a highly respected COO in the finance area.
  • A Christian counselor who touched people so profoundly that he became a minister and a thought leader in the church—deepening his marriage, growing his counseling business and writing powerfully to enhance the faith and personal growth of others

And the list goes on…

Of all the aspects of my work, including speaking, writing, and directing programs, the most gratifying, satisfying and energizing is coaching. I love coaching. I love watching people transform and go way beyond their potential and perceived capacity for joy.

Now you may be wondering…

Do I need a life coach?
How do I find a life coach?
What exactly does a life coach do?

Life coaching is one of the most valuable tools offered here at The Wright Foundation. And for good reason—life coaches are powerful allies. An experienced life coach leads you to expand your emotional intelligence. A top-notch coach can help you harness your personal power and achieve more from life.


What do you want MORE of? Adventure? More happiness? A stronger connection in your relationships? A promotion at work?


A life coach will assist you in busting through the barriers and roadblocks to achieving your goals. Do you wonder what’s holding you back? Why you never feel like you’re “all in”? Do you feel like you’re believing your own B.S.—telling yourself, “this” is as good as it gets?

A life coach can work with you examine the different areas of your life: career, relationships, family, plus your emotional core beliefs. They will help you find the connections between areas and identify what’s limiting you. A life coach will give you the tools to take your life and capacity for satisfaction to the next level.

Timing: When to Find a Life Coach

Does everyone need a life coach? How do I know if it’s the right time?

While yes, a life coach is beneficial to almost everyone, the best time to find a life coach is when you’re ready for transformation. But of course, how do you know if you’re ready?

Transformation sounds like a lofty concept, right? Alumni of our program are PRO transformers (which is why many go on to work the coaching field themselves). They understand the power of transformation—why it’s the answer to getting what you want from life.

For those who haven’t been through our programs, transformation might sound frightening, even Kafkaesque. What’s wrong with changing slightly? What kind of disruption to my “comfort zone” am I about to undertake?!

Transformers know the importance of rocking your world. Yeah, many of us get comfortable in our norms. We’re not happy. In fact, some of us are downright miserable, but we’re comfortable, right? Well, to break out, you’ve got to shake things up.

 

Transformation is a metamorphosis from one state to another. It is not just doing things better. Despite popular belief, changing jobs or careers, going from being single to having a serious relationship or moving from unhappiness to contentment are all just incremental moves. Not to disparage any of those life changes, but transformation is broader and deeper—and it lasts.

 

When you transform, who you become is different from who you were—emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. Transformation impacts the quality of every area of your life in positive ways—your relationships, career, sense of yourself, service and spiritual life. We’re not talking about a cosmetic difference. You can’t measure transformation in pounds lost or money gained or goals achieved. Think of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. One is utterly, complexly and absolutely unlike the other.

 

Here is a litmus test for transformation: You do something that you could never have imagined yourself doing, become something you could never have imagined yourself becoming and ultimately live a life greater than you could have ever imagined yourself living.

 

Transformation is a bold step into the unknown. Yes, the unknown is frightening. That is a large part of why so few venture into the land of true transformation. But it’s also exhilarating and enlightening, leading to profound epiphanies. Even better, we are all capable of becoming butterflies no matter how long we’ve been dragging our bellies across the ground. We are not talking about some formula for how you should be but a process by which you unleash who you could be. This isn’t just talk. We’ve seen it with our eyes, facilitated it with our process, and studied it with our research.
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

 

If you’re ready for transformation, a life coach can help. If you’re ready to live with authenticity—to be true to what you can become—and if you’re ready to wake up to your potential, an excellent coach can help you focus your efforts.

Reasoning: Why Do You Need a Life Coach?

Think of your favorite athlete—LeBron James, Anthony Rizzo, Dwayne Wade—where would they be in their sports careers without a coach?

A good coach pushes their client beyond their self-imposed limits. We all tell ourselves we can’t (or shouldn’t) do certain activities. We tell ourselves we aren’t capable of being the G.O.A.T. (That’s Greatest Of All Time.) But you know what? If you want to live an Olympic-quality life, you need to surround yourself with Olympic-quality people. You are your biggest invention.

Most people have a happiness setpoint. This is called the hedonic treadmill—the tendency amongst people to stay at a steady, stagnant level of happiness. Yes, it can go up when great things happens (we win $50!) and it can go down when something bad happens (our dog dies)…but human nature dictates after the initial bliss or bummer we return to our setpoint.

Life coaches can push you to shift your “treadmill speed.” Instead of operating in the middle, you expand your capacity. You move beyond your limits.

To become great at any passion, it requires deliberate practice. We must break down actions to smaller parts and dissect what’s working and what needs improvement, whether it’s a golf or tennis swing, a musical instrument or our capacity for happiness and transformation.

Renown master cellist, Pablo Casals famously practiced for five hours a day, every day. Now you might think, “Why would one of the all-time greatest musicians, a prodigy, need to practice so much?”

Casals once said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I notice it; if I don’t practice for two days, the critics notice it; if I don’t practice for three days, the public notices it.”


To become good at happiness, to transform and to evolve, we MUST practice. We must practice every day with intention. We must maximize our capacity. Who keeps us focused on our practice? Who calls us out on our (B.S.) excuses? A life coach.


A great life coach is trained in transformation, because they themselves are transformers and changers. A great life coach practices what they preach. Just as in sports, a great coach understands the nuances of the game and all the requirements. They’ve been there and know how to drive you and get you to increase your hedonic treadmill speed.

Our life coaches are also trained in the neuroscience of transformation. They study and understand how new neuropathways in your brain are formed to create change. Life coaches use this expertise to sharpen your brain, increase your response time, and focus on your goals and beyond.

A great life coach leads you to zero in on your goal. They will guide you through emotional connections, and understand and increase your emotional intelligence which is your hidden superpower and GPS on the road of transformation.

If you’re ready to identify your limits and bust through them, it’s time to find a life coach!

Here at The Wright Foundation, we offer you a team of executive, family, relationship and life coaches to help facilitate breakthroughs, and help you engage and transform above and beyond your current potential. Visit us at the Wright Foundation today to schedule a coaching session or to learn more about the services we offer.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

“I Don’t Love My Job”
…Signs You Know It’s
Time to Leave

So you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t thrill you (or maybe even a job you hate). Going to work at a miserable job is just drudgery, isn’t it?

We have all thought "I hate my job" at some point in our career. If you're thinking the same thing, it's time to leave! Here's how to know when to cut ties.


 

If your job no longer fills you with a sense of growth and purpose, then you probably aren’t fulfilled or happy. Chances are, you probably dread going to work.

Our work can’t be the only thing that gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment, but all of us need to find some purpose from the work we do. Even if you work in a restaurant or on a factory line, having pride in the results of your work—and knowing you’re bringing people something they need—can provide a strong sense of fulfillment.

I’ve known blue-collar guys who worked on the line at GM and found immense satisfaction in that. They worked hard and took pride in the results of their work. They paid attention to the details. They viewed the job with a sense of how it was helping the greater good. They also didn’t rest on their laurels, sit back and say, “Well, I’m just going to build this same thing every day and go home.” Those who were the most fulfilled came in every day ready to do a better job. They were constantly trying to up their achievement and growth.

When I started in counseling years ago, I helped golf pros improve their game. Golf is a very psychologically fueled game—it’s a game where you’re actually playing against yourself. Even when golfers are in these big tournaments, they’re playing to beat their own score.


Jack Nicklaus once said, “Achievement is largely the product of raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation.” This applies to both golf and your career. It’s very much a mental game.


Golf is so psychologically driven, in fact, there’s even a condition called the yips. Golfers become anxious, then, due to holding their club and the tension in their body, they start to shake. Their entire career can be ruined by this condition and it’s a very real issue. Similarly, the pros that get the hole-in-one, the course record, and even the green jacket often say afterwards that they KNEW they were going to win, even before they began the game. They envisioned the entire process. They were in their groove.

If you’re in your own groove at work, raising your aspirations and expectations constantly, you will be successful. If you’ve reached a point where you can no longer grow, it’s probably time to liberate yourself and move on to the next opportunity.

When You Get a Better Job Offer…

We’ve all had a great offer come along—an offer we can’t refuse.

What do you do? Well, weigh the merits of the new role. Will you be doing the same thing you’re doing now, just with more pay? Rather than making it all about the money, you have to look at the opportunity and the purpose.

When we’re driven by purpose, money is just the icing on the cake. When we’re driven only by a bigger paycheck, we might never feel fulfilled in our work. I’ve talked to CEOs and presidents who reported they simply felt hollow despite their success. Why? Because they were all about the money—and not about the purpose behind their work.

So if a better offer comes along, weigh it against what you’re doing now. What need will it fulfill within you? We all have deeper needs and desires called yearnings. We might yearn for acknowledgement, achievement, or security. While a raise can provide some of these things, deep human yearnings cannot be fulfilled by money alone.

A client I worked with, Ellis, discovered that working with a sense of purpose is more powerful than money:

 

From early on, Ellis wanted to be well known and make a lot of money. This was his highest conscious purpose for many years. He lived in a feast-or-famine world. To make ends meet he even once traded his house for a less expensive one. His life was dominated by fear and chaos. He began living by the principles of purpose, and then his career purpose took form.
Over the years he discovered the joy of partnering with his clients in fulfilling their dreams. His sense of purpose expanded. As money receded in importance, he made more. As fame became irrelevant, he was mentioned more and more. He became absorbed in meeting his clients’ needs. In doing so, his own needs were met or exceeded. His famine periods receded and life became remarkably enjoyable.
When he moved from a limited purpose of making money and becoming famous to one of servicing clients and fully helping them succeed, he discovered unanticipated excitement. This enthusiasm caused him to conceptualize and develop new products at breakneck speed. He wanted to serve as much as possible. Clarity of purpose helped him prioritize product development and keep focused on the well being of his growing organization. He even split off a major portion of his business because the key executives were not in line with his higher purpose.
—from Beyond Time Management: Business with Purpose

 

When you have purpose, the money will follow. Don’t be swayed by a “better offer” if it’s not a more purposeful offer.

When “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Many of us get a chip on our shoulder at work. We start putting ourselves on the “pitty potty” with what I call Stinkin’ Thinkin’. We shift the blame from our own inadequacies and under-performance to understand our own mistakes as everyone else’s fault.

As it turns out, YOU are responsible for your own happiness. Not your wife. Not your husband. Not your kids. Not your employer or coworkers. YOU.

If you’re miserable in your job and you dread going in every day, you need to look at it just like you would a relationship. What got you to this point? Why did you pick a job that lead you to this place of being so unfulfilled? What missteps did you take on your journey?

If your answers start out with something like, “Well, it’s these coworkers of mine, you see, they’re just awful…” or, “Look, my boss is a jerk,” then you still need to step back and reassess. Why did you let it go so long? How did you fail to set up appropriate boundaries?

Now, I get it. Some bosses are jerks. Some people get off on power trips and like to torture their employees. In the business world, we still have problems with bullying just like in elementary school.

But if a boss, manager, or coworker is truly abusive, then why are you putting up with it? Most bullies, just like in the movies, back off the moment they’re called out.

Level with your boss. Let them know you want to improve your performance and you want to be successful. Ask them how you can get there before it’s too late or before things have unraveled too far. Get on the same page and have them explain their vision to you. How do they want the company to run? What does a successful department look like to them and how can you help them get there?

If all else fails, then resign—but don’t leave and fall into the same trap as before. Leave and learn from the experience. What can you do differently next time to set yourself up for success?

When the Bridge is About to Burn

If it’s time to leave a job and you’ve found an opportunity that presents more possibilities for your own personal growth, developing your greater purpose, and achieving more fulfillment, great!

Just don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Don’t burn the bridge you might have to cross again. Cities are like big small towns, so if you plan to stay in the same industry or if you might run into crossover client, leave on good terms. Don’t run around spouting off to everyone about what an egomaniac or jerk your former employer was.

Keep connections strong with coworkers, particularly those who have shared your vision and who are supportive allies. Stay in touch and build on those connections outside of the work environment.

If it’s time to leave a job, leave things in the best condition you can. Don’t use your resignation and as opportunity to give your employer a laundry list of grievances. If there’s something concrete that needs to change, share it with your boss to help ensure the role is more successful in the future for the next person who takes it on.


We’ve all had the urge to walk out of a job or a meeting in a flurry—throwing things, yelling, or just disappearing for good. Unfortunately, these actions can haunt us later.


Do your own mental evaluation and work through your own “stuff” before you carry it to the next job. Let your employer work through the company’s baggage themselves. If the company is good, and vision and mission-driven, and was just a bad fit for you, they’ll move on and be fine. If the company is truly terrible, chances are they’ll fold eventually anyway.

Leaving a job can be done on good terms and lead to better things for you and your future. Keep your goals growth-oriented and focused on the big picture. Evaluate what YOU need to do to improve your game and continue to work on bettering yourself.

Want to learn more about freeing yourself and finding your purpose? Learn how you can up your game at the Wright Foundation.

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Considering Divorce?
Inventory Your Assets First

 

Are you considering divorce? Be sure you pull out your personal assets. It’s time for some tough questions.

Considering Divorce


I’m not talking about your savings, your house, and the dog. Of course, whether you are divorced, divorcing, considering divorce, or just in a rough patch…chances are, you’re weighing and measuring those things and their worth in the relationship.

But you have more assets than just those that are tangible. You have personal assets—emotional assets—that you’ve invested in this relationship (even if divorce is inevitable). These are worth far more than anything else, so it’s time to take emotional inventory.

How Did YOU Contribute to the Failure of the Relationship?

Can you even ask yourself this question? If you walk away without dealing with the choices you made to get to where you are, dealing with yourself, and dealing with each other, you’re leaving empty-handed. You’re walking away from the learning, growing, and personal improvement that can be the result of a significant inventory of the relationship. Think about it:

How did you get together?

Why did you get together?

How did you manage to let the relationship fall apart?

How did it manage to end (whether it was an affair or you think you just grew apart)?

Here’s the news: It wasn’t JUST because he was a philandering jerk or she was an ice queen. There were skill deficits on each of your parts.

Failing to recognize this and take stock of the situation honestly means you’re walking away from valuable assets—assets that will help you rebuild your life, grow, and find happiness.

When considering these tough questions and maximizing the assets that you have, follow the Rules of Engagement. The first rule is: no one can give or take more than 50% of the blame. Each of you gets only half of the blame and each of you is 100% responsible for your experience in the situation and what you take away.

When you first got together, there was something that drew you in (more than just sexual attraction). It might not have been enough to keep you together, but it was enough to pique your interest. The problem is stagnation—where did you take it from there? Did you keep growing and working on yourself? For relationships to be durable, research demonstrates you must learn within the relationship.


You must be constantly adapting, changing, and discovering. You must grow and your relationships must transform. If it stays static, it can’t be sustained.


So, how did each of you avoid transformation?

(No, you don’t get to blame it all on HIM, and no, it’s not HER fault because she didn’t kiss your butt forever!)

The Scenario:

It usually starts out that He is “Mr. Solid” and She is “Miss Aliveness” (or she may be “Miss Solid” and he may be “Mr. Aliveness”)…we tend to pair up to and be attracted with people that are what we call our complements.

This other person seems to fill in what WE are missing: “She’s so adventurous and fun!” or “He’s so stable and reassuring—I just feel like he’ll take care of me.”

For the relationship to grow, that “sparkplug person” needs to learn to be more solid, not just for the relationship, but for the benefit of his or her own personal growth. Similarly, the “solid person” needs to not just be an anchor (or the stick in the mud holding things back) but needs to channel that solidity into stability and aliveness.

That is the first part of your inventory.

The first part of your inventory is: What was I looking for? What attracted me in the other person?

“He was handsome” and “she was pretty” doesn’t quite do it. The only time this is the sole motivating factor is cases where one party has particularly low self-esteem, so they’re just looking for an armpiece to validate their existence. If this is the case, it’s a red flag that you’ve stumbled into: a pit of unconscious snakes representing your failure to develop your self esteem and independence in your singlehood.

And no, women (usually), it’s typically not that you were so “strong and independent” without him. That is such a common script (and frankly a piece of horse manure).

Our Unconscious Landmines

When we declare our love–and notice I’m not saying “fall in love”…because it doesn’t happen. Love is a choice. When we begin to love someone, there are a host of landmines in our unconscious programming that we begin stepping on. Why?

Because, we all have a prerecorded script for marriage from our childhood.

This script comes from our parents. It’s based on the relationships we saw, ideas of what a relationship SHOULD look like from the media, from fairytales and whatever baggage we picked up at that time. It came from the way our parents treated us and the role we took within our family.

Around here, it’s always amusing to hear somebody say, “Well, I’m exactly the opposite of my parents.”

I have a friend from my younger years whose parents were rabid conservatives—John Birch Society conservatives. We went to college together in the 1960s, where he met his wife. They chose to live a rather marginal, hippy lifestyle. He thought (and repeatedly professed) that he was the opposite of his parents.

BUT, not surprisingly, he brought all of the unfinished baggage with him. He didn’t understand the psychological elements of his family. In his own marriage, he became distant and unavailable and his wife became very domineering in the relationship, which mirrored his parent’s relationship almost to a T. Now, maybe he didn’t espouse their political beliefs, and on the surface he seemed to embrace the laid back lifestyle, but when it came down to it, he was repeating exactly what he’d seen at home on a fundamental level. We can put on different clothing, but our core remains the same, unless it’s addressed.

Breaking Through Limiting Beliefs

A few years later, I had the opportunity to coach a woman who was facing her third divorce. This woman was quite gorgeous and knew it (and how to leverage it) at an early age. She grew up with significant pain: her parents had a troubled marriage where they were fighting all of the time. There was never enough money and they survived in a scarce and impoverished existence. She swore, no matter what it took, she would never be poor again.

Discovering she was particularly attractive and desirable to men, she married a man who was very wealthy. He appeared to have plenty of money, but shortly into the marriage, she learned it was his mother who had the money and he hadn’t a dime. She had a child with him, but the marriage crumbled and they ended up divorcing.

She quickly met a second guy, a wealthy widower whose mother was dead (so no mother-in-law concerns there). Thinking she’d overcome the problems from the first marriage, she married him. Low and behold, the source of his wealth turned out to be his dead wife’s mother. Once again, with a marriage built on no affinity beyond wealth, they divorced.

She then met and married a very financially stable self-made man who was the CFO for a series of increasingly important companies.  Thinking he was upwardly mobile and driven, she was thrilled he had the financial stability she craved. Every two years, he’d move up to a new company. He owned real estate all around the US. Little did she know, the real estate was all leveraged and the reason he was moving “up” every two years so rapidly was because he was always running just ahead of getting fired.

This led to her third divorce, when she sought me out to address what was going on. I helped coach her through these issues. During our discussions, she realized that deep in her unconscious mind was a false belief that marriage was about existence or survival, not about caring for each other. She entered each relationship expecting men to be dishonest, and she was drawn in and attracted to men who weren’t forthright—setting up for failure from the start.

She began dating differently. Now with a daughter in high school, they were taken care of through the divorces and her lucrative employment and didn’t need to worry about money any longer. Having worked through the core issue behind her divorces, we parted ways, and I hadn’t seen her for several years.

About a decade later, Judith and I were delivering a talk on couples, when I saw her. She came up to me with a smile and a man on her arm. She said she wanted to thank me and introduced me to the man she had been with for the last ten years. She was very proud to tell me how well they were doing together including the fact that they were learning and growing, and actively pursuing opportunities to explore together.

These are just two examples and there are many more: The top asset you have in your relationship is an assessment of your investment.

So if you’re the “solid one”…how did you avoid becoming more alive? How did you move from stability to anchor (to dead weight) in your spouse’s vision?

If you happen to be the “alive one”…how did you avoid becoming more solid in a way that freed up the other person from always having to be the rock? How did you become a helium balloon to his anchor, pulling in opposite directions?

Similarly, what unconscious programming did you bring into the relationship? What beliefs did you have that held you back, and what fears kept you from moving forward? What do you need to address to learn the lessons that are there to learn in the situation?

School Your Relationship

If you’re in couples counseling, one of the ways you can go about doing this is to look at your relationship as a four-year course of college. Identify all the classes you had, what you learned, and what you didn’t learn in those classes. One of the classes might be Understanding My Unconscious Programming 101. Another class could be An Intro to Challenging My Limiting Beliefs. Another could be An Advanced Study on Taking Full Responsibility for my Own Happiness…and so on.

I want to conclude this conversation with a story of one of our students who learned to take responsibility for her happiness.

She had been married for over 35 years and her adult children had successfully launched. When I first met her, she referred to her husband as, “What’s His Name” and he spoke about her as “My First Wife.” She blamed him for her unhappiness at home and general misery in the relationship. He was uninvolved, unaffectionate, and distant.

As she learned to take responsibility of her own happiness, even though he never took a single course with us, she began coming home happier every day. She didn’t come home with her guns ablaze, ready to blame him for her unhappiness. Consequently, he didn’t seem as zoned out and addicted to the television. He started to pay attention to her and they started talking more and communicating more. In fact, they became closer and closer. They are deeply in love and have weathered incredibly difficult health situation where he was near death. Her emerging confidence and assertiveness skills enabled her to be direct and challenge the doctors and nurses, as well as his treatment protocols in the hospital. This, they both credit for him being alive and healthy today.

No matter where you are in your relationship, divorced, divorcing, considering divorce, or just in a rough patch, do an inventory of all of the courses. What are you learning?  Understand what transformation really is. A partnership, when fully engaged, will be a womb to facilitate your development as well as a crucible to burn off your unfinished business. It will serve you on the way of you becoming the most magnificent human being you can become.

For more on how you can continue to explore yourself and your relationships to become your best self, please visit the Wright Foundation website.

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Entrepreneurs: 3 Core Factors for Finding Your Purpose

 

Current and future entrepreneurs: I want you to think about your WHY. Are you considering becoming an entrepreneur? Are you already an entrepreneur?

finding your purpose


Why? Is it because you want to be your own boss? Is it because you’re sick and tired of making money for someone else?

I’m betting everyone who has entrepreneurial aspirations is nodding along right now. But guess what? Making money, being your own boss—it’s not enough. Sure, those reasons are certainly motivating factors, but they’re not going to give you purpose.

How about this…

Do you excel at a certain skill and you want to use that skill to create a company and become an entrepreneur? Now you’re closer to the right track.

I had a skill too. I’m what I like to call a “default entrepreneur.”

When I first started out, I learned how to deliver psychotherapy and I went into business on my own. Using that skill, I paid my way through grad school, delivering therapy and building a client base. Upon graduation, I discovered I had enough clients between $7.50 and $15/hour to pay my rent. (This was in 1979, mind you.)

Realizing I had this autonomy and self-sufficiency fueled me to keep going on my own. I was able to hold to “being my own boss” in the face of job offers that would have been very desirable to me before.

I had the good fortune to be well trained and have a strong background, which enabled me to help athletes—golfers in particular—win tournaments. Using these same concepts, I was able to help politicians win elections, help couples resolve their marital issues, and help CEOs build their businesses.

During this time, my own business grew very fast and the next thing I knew it was six months after graduation. I had so many clients I needed to hire my first employee! I went into business with the man who was to be my business partner for the next 15 years.


I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. I simply had a skill. I built on that skill and I became a “default entrepreneur.”


When I began, I didn’t even think about becoming an entrepreneur. I focused on doing what I knew how to do best. I knew my skills were strong, and would carry me. Conventional wisdom in the therapy profession was to work for an organization for five to ten years first, build up a client base, and then strike out on one’s own. I was already on my own and had the clinical supervisor I needed to practice, so there was nothing more an organization could offer me.

Eventually I had to look at why I was doing what I was doing.

The “WHY” behind our actions is our purpose.

How many of you have a higher mission—and you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur because of that greater social mission?

To obtain success and continue to achieve, you must have purpose. A career is more than a paycheck. To find fulfillment, a career must also include purpose. Purpose isn’t simply wanting to be your own boss or having the necessary skills to make money.

For purpose to be complete, you need a trifecta of factors:

  1. Self-motivation (wanting to be your own boss)
  2. Skills, plus the ability and drive to make and manage money from those skills
  3. A higher mission

I learned that the hard way. I built a vision and was driven by my mission to help others. But I didn’t care about money enough. In fact, I was paying staff MORE than I made until I’d been in business for five or six years! Money just wasn’t enough of a motivator for me. I loved what I did so much that I told people I was willing to PAY to keep doing it.

Little did I know—I actually was!

There are many marginal entrepreneurs driven by the fact that they don’t want a boss and don’t want to answer to “The Man.” They’re self-motivated (or they have issues with authority), but it’s not enough to push them over the hump financially. Their mission is themselves—to gain their own independence.


Without a higher purpose, they’ll never find the success they’re looking for, even if they’re skilled and great money-managers.


Sometimes they’re like me because they didn’t care enough about money. The mission is there, the self-motivation, and the skills, but they’re missing the drive to make and manage money. Fortunately, in my case, I had done a lot of work and partnered well with authority, as I needed to. I was self-motivated, but all three factors have to be in place or you’ll end up going under.

Some entrepreneurs are very mission-oriented. So much so, that they suffer with their mission for the community. They sacrifice and feel bad about taking money for helping people. Unfortunately, a mission isn’t enough to sustain success for yourself or others. Growing a business (even in a helping profession) requires revenue.

Think of these three factors as a tripod or legs on a stool. If they aren’t all considered, you have a cockeyed stool that isn’t any good. It’s unstable. It won’t hold up.

So do a self-assessment and check your “why.” Make sure you aren’t just a pissy, reactive employee who doesn’t want a boss. Be sure you’re learning about money and how to manage, make, and save money to fund your life and your business. Consider your community and the larger picture, too.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you contributing to your employees?
  • How are you as a boss?
  • Are you contributing to the people that provide you with the goods and services you need to exist?
  • Are you contributing to the community?
  • Is there a larger vision for your business that your employees can orient to and align with?
  • Do your employees want the best for you and do you want the best for them?
  • Are they are proud that your business exists for the betterment of the community?
  • Are you?

These questions can help you shape your WHY and ensure you’re an entrepreneur with purpose. Purpose drives success and keeps you moving toward the bigger picture. Find your purpose.

For more on how you can inspire others, ignite your world and live your best life at home and in your career, please visit The Wright Foundation.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

From Doormat to Direct: How To Ask for What You Want

If you want to stop being a doormat, it’s time to face confrontation head-on and ask for what you want. Are you ready to speak up and get what you want? 

 

how to ask for what you want


You’re at a restaurant you’ve been hearing about for weeks.

You’re excited to try the food.

The atmosphere is nice; you’re company is delightful.

You order and request they leave the green peppers out of your dish (blech). The server doesn’t write down your order. He seems harried.

Out comes your food, steaming hot, beautiful…and covered in little chunks of those damned green peppers!

What do you do?

How many of you read this and thought, “I’d just pick them off and go on with my meal” or “I wouldn’t want to make a fuss”…?

How many of you cringe at the just the thought of sending the meal back—or even worse (the horror!)—requesting they make amends with a free round of drinks?

Many people, especially women (but some guys, too) HATE the thought of confrontation—even if it’s polite, and even if they aren’t at fault.

We don’t want to come off as a “bitch” or a jerk…particularly when it comes to social situations and interacting with strangers. It’s as though we don’t feel we deserve to inconvenience someone with our patronage. We worry we’ll offend someone or we’re afraid to engage.

Others of us (myself included!), don’t run into this problem so often. We have the opposite issue: we have to temper our reaction and learn to listen.

If I was in the restaurant, I would, without question, send the meal back. I’m paying for it and I intend to get what I ordered. I know I deserve it. We all do. I don’t feel I deserve it because I’m more important than other people, but I deserve it because I’m paying for the meal, so it should be right.

Now, as my lovely wife will tell you, people have occasionally (okay, maybe more than occasionally) pointed out that I can come off as a bit abrasive, even insensitive. It’s something I’ve worked very hard to become aware of.

There’s a fine balance between being direct, being a jerk, and being a doormat. It’s all about how we embrace and work with conflict.

Doormats Unite

Are you a cringer? Afraid to send back your meal? TODAY, I want you to go out into the world and tell someone what you want. Pick a situation that’s tough, walk in, and do it.

Why? Because you deserve to get what you want.

You are a gift.

Each of us is a gift to the world. Every human being is part of a large fabric. We are interconnected and we affect each other. Your thread is not more or less important than those around you.

You deserve to have good things. You deserve to receive what you ordered, to be properly compensated for the work you do, and not to have to pick up after your children, husband, or those around you. You deserve to be heard and seen for who you are. You deserve to be loved.

When we believe this within ourselves, we start to find our voice. Our limiting beliefs build up over the years. These are the thoughts that hold us back, like, “I’m not good enough. I am stupid. I’m less deserving than others.” We believe our own negative self-talk and internalize it.


Take the negative self talk and tell it to go to hell. Turn it off.


You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, easier said than done,” but I’ve seen CEOs with PhDs who were afraid to speak up, engage, or tell people how they felt because they didn’t want to rock the boat. They didn’t think they deserved it.

Until you believe you deserve to get what you want, you will keep holding yourself back.

Kick yourself in the butt and embrace it.

Because you know what doormats become? Passive aggressive. Doormats are often the ones who are big fans of what we call the “hidden middle finger.” You know the deal: you sigh loudly when you pick up your husband’s socks. You purposely put them away dirty or mismatched, or you throw in the trash. You’re pissed off but you say nothing, hoping your message gets to him.

Meanwhile, he’s clueless (and sockless). He keeps throwing the socks on the floor and you keep getting angrier and angrier.

Passive aggressive behavior solves nothing. It only serves to damage our relationships and make things worse. In fact, I’d much rather send my order back at a restaurant and tip well, than pick off the peppers and leave a crappy tip. Your message won’t be “You got my order wrong,”—it will be “I’m a crappy tipper.” Passive aggressive behavior solves nothing.

Instead, say something. It can be very polite: “Excuse me, but I didn’t order this,” or “I’m frustrated because when you leave your socks on the floor I feel like you don’t respect the work I put into the house. I’m not going to pick them up any longer.” It’s not about screaming and yelling, it’s about fighting fair. It’s about speaking up and getting your point across. You deserve to be heard.

For All the “Jerks”

On the other hand, if you would’ve sent back the meal without hesitation, bravo! I get it.

If, on the other hand, you send back the meal AND then get punitive with the tip (even when the server made amends), you might be veering over into the jerk category. Take a step back.

I’ve found when people get offended, it’s often an issue of tone over message or a problem with listening skills. A few important rules of engagement? Everyone is 100% responsible for themselves and their own happiness, and also, no one gets more than 50% of the blame.

In the restaurant scenario, the server might be the one who got your order wrong, but once he or she is aware of the issue and works to resolve it, there’s no sense in continuing to heap on the blame.

Similarly, another important rule is to assume good intentions and fight FOR (not against) each other. If you’re fighting FOR a relationship and to find a resolution in a conflict, chances are good you’re fighting for the right things. If you’re fighting to shame the other person or just to continue to dwell on the problem, you may need to reassess.

When we assume good intentions, we realize that no one purposefully tried to screw up our order. Our boss isn’t trying to make us miserable. Our girlfriend or boyfriend isn’t trying to make us upset. There might be an upsetting situation, but rarely is the other party intentionally trying to hurt us. In fact, oftentimes they’re hurting too and just expressing it differently.

When it comes to conflict, it’s not something to be avoided, but rather, embraced. We can be polite and civil about it and we should never personally attack someone, but engaging in dialogue and finding common ground is the only way we can truly connect and come to resolution.

We are all gifts in the world. We have an important role and limitless potential. We all deserve to have our needs and yearnings met and to be happy. So engage! Embrace conflict! Don’t back down!

But still leave a tip when the server brings your corrected order!

For more on embracing conflict and fighting fair, visit www.wrightliving.com. Give back to the world around you and become your best self!

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Coworker Conflict: How to Productively Deal with Disagreement

“Call out culture” is becoming more common. People used to pussyfoot around, avoiding saying how they really felt under the veil of “politeness.”

coworker conflict


They might have been passive aggressive about it…or they might have suppressed it and exploded later. They avoided confrontation, especially with coworkers or friends. Now, in the last few years, particularly online, there’s a shift to expressing how we feel more often—for some of us at least, we’ve seemingly found our “inner New Yorker.”

You might think this is unhealthy or a bad thing—but really, it is and it isn’t. It’s all about the intentionality behind your “call out.”

Speaking up, expressing your needs, wants and yearnings, and setting boundaries—these are all positive actions. They’re the fundamentals of engagement and expression. If it’s done with honesty and with intention, engagement is a force for good. Engagement brings about mutual respect, positive change, and even transformation.

So find your voice! Let it out! Stand up for yourself and refuse to be a doormat. Refuse to get sucked into someone’s drama! If someone treats you badly, saying, “Hey, I don’t deserve this” doesn’t make you a jerk, it makes you stronger. (Hey, if they ignore or dismiss you, then they’re the a**hole.)


Speak up! Stand up!
Engage in conflict and don’t back down.


We all want to be seen in the truth of who we really are. We want others to recognize us, to KNOW us and respect us. Engaging with another person is about reciprocity—they see you and you see them. You’re both acknowledging the humanity that exists within each of us. You’re both trying to understand each other and find common ground. It doesn’t mean you acquiesce or even agree about the topic, but you’re both listening and obeying the rules of engagement.

When Someone Doesn’t Stick to the Rules

On the flip side, there are cases, such as with social media, where there’s a perception that we can say whatever the hell we want. Things we would have never said to someone’s face, we now type as a comment on Facebook. We say things we’d never say in front of a crowd. Everyone has an opinion (and you know what they say); but under the veil of anonymity, we start to get it all out regardless of the stink.

There’s a balance. There’s making an intelligent argument, and engaging in discussion and dialogue. There are ways to fight fair, but “yelling about it” on the Internet is one-sided and disengaging. Hurling one-sided insults, threats or cuts is no way to affect positive change.

While technology can be a great tool, as it helps us learn, grow, connect, and expand our world, it can also be a place where people forget the consequences of their actions. People get themselves into real trouble—career-ending trouble—because they can stupidly forget that everything you post online has real-world repercussions.

Similarly, in the workplace, we might hear of collusion and things said behind closed doors. These have repercussions, too.

The “he said/she said” drama that often goes on in offices can cause real damage. Entertaining this type of drama only sucks you into the pattern of blame, shame and justification. One person becomes the victim, one person becomes the rescuer, and one person is the aggressor. We call this the “drama triangle.”

If this sounds familiar to you, maybe you grew up in a family where this was the norm or maybe you see these patterns in your marriage and in other relationships. The drama triangle is a repeating pattern that’s easy to get stuck in, and it can be hard to extricate yourself from the pattern.

Avoid the Drama Triangle

Learning instead, the rules of engagement, avoiding blame, shame and justification, and fighting fair can all help us keep things above board and moving forward. We talk more in depth about these important rules in our book The Heart of the Fight, in which you can learn to fight fairly and productively.

If someone at work does or says something you don’t like or agree with—let’s say they take credit for a project you did—do you discuss it with them directly?

  • Do you make snide comments during the rest of the presentation?
  • Do you give them the cold shoulder after?
  • Do you go around to your supervisor to blame them, so you can be rescued as the victim?
  • Do you post a “vent” about it on your social media page?
  • Do you plead your case to your coworkers, so they can swoop in and rescue you?
  • When the roles are reversed, do you swoop in on their behalf?

Direct action is always more productive than passive aggressive or “hidden middle finger” actions. Better yet, it keeps you out of the drama triangle.

When you go into a discussion, assume responsibility for your role and action in the situation, and assume goodwill on the part of your coworker. This can be a challenge, especially if you’ve built them up to be the villain. In reality, they may be coming from a place of insecurity or they might not even realize the consequence of their over-step.

When we go into a situation with guns ablaze and accusations flying, we can set ourselves up for a conversation that goes nowhere. Instead, remember one of the most important rules of engagement is to accentuate the positive. Another important rule? No one in any situation gets/takes more than 50% of the blame.

Does that mean it’s your fault if someone took credit for your work or if someone else instigates the argument? It’s not your “fault,” but it’s your responsibility to set appropriate boundaries, to communicate your expectations, and to express yourself in a direct manner now.


YOU are responsible for your own happiness—100% of it! If you’re unhappy with your job, your situation, or the way something was handled, it’s up to you to change it.


We often forget this, when we blame our coworkers for our dissatisfaction and frustrations at the office. It’s up to us to address the situation and express our feelings. We can then move forward or change our role (or even liberate ourselves from a negative situation), but we need to take back the power as being our own.

If you are unhappy with a situation at work, YOU have the power to change it. You have the power to engage productively and proactively. Speak up, stand up, and call out.

You don’t have to be rude—in fact, productive engagement is often the opposite. If you’re expressing yourself using the rules of engagement, you’ll approach it from a place of accentuating the positive, assuming responsibility, and not passing off the blame. This sets you up for a conversation that can move things forward and make things better.

So if you’re biting your tongue, or venting about your coworkers on social media or to the others in your office: stop. It’s time to man (or woman) up and engage the situation head on!

For more on how to get what you want out of you career, your relationships and your life as a whole, please visit us at the Wright Foundation website. Remember YOU have the power to change your world!


About the Author

 

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How To Face Your Fears,
Get Out There & Live
an Amazing Life!

 

If you want to change, if you want to be more fulfilled, if you want to be stronger—you have to learn how to face your fears.

How to Face Your Fears

Now I’m not talking about bungee jumping or smashing a spider or “facing your fears” in a conventional way.

We all have traditional fears like arachnophobia or agoraphobia, and those are things to overcome, and yes, they can hold us back, of course…but those aren’t the fears that keep us from becoming fulfilled in a larger sense.

Our fears that keep us from becoming fulfilled are based on the things we don’t say because we hold back. They’re the things that terrify us about ourselves. The feeling that we shouldn’t change. That we aren’t worth changing. That we’re too much, not enough, disappointing, or not worth putting forth the effort for. The feeling that we’re supposed to always be “the strong one,” no matter how we really feel.


New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson wrote,

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

 


YOU are powerful. Each of us has, within our very being, the ability to become our greatest self. We can face our fears; we can overcome them and realize our full potential.

The Shadow Inside Each of Us

Carl Jung discussed our shadow self in his archetype model. Inside each of us, we have certain archetypes (or selves) that make up who we are. Jung describes two of these as our persona and our shadow self.

Our persona is the face we put on for the world around us. In fact, the Latin origin of persona literally means, “mask.” We put on this mask and walk around presenting the side of ourselves we want others to see. This is who we think we should be. It’s how we want people to see us.

Each of us has this other side, however—our shadow self. It sounds menacing and scary, and to be honest, it can be. Our shadow self is our denied self. It’s the desires, our fears, and our embarrassment that lies within us. It’s the thing that both holds us back and represents the feelings we have that “aren’t okay.”

Maybe you were raised in a family where it wasn’t okay to be angry.

All of us feel anger, of course, and logically and consciously you probably know that. Whenever YOU feel angry however, you might have this nagging sensation that it’s “wrong.” You may think it’s not how you should feel or that your anger isn’t okay.

So what do you do? You smash down that anger. You put it away. You feel guilty for feeling it. You might even think you’re a bad person.

Eventually it builds and builds inside you. One day, you explode over something when it might not be warranted and you’re filled with shame. You feel like you shouldn’t have gotten angry. You’ve reinforced the belief that not only that what you did was bad, but that YOU are bad. You have this monster inside you.

First of all, we have to embrace our shadow self. To feel alive, we have to reanimate this area of ourselves that we’ve cut off and not allowed. What happens to tissue when it’s cut off from blood flow? It necrotizes. It dies. It infects the rest of the tissue around it and kills it.

Instead of allowing these negative and false beliefs to dictate how we feel, we instead need to let go of our family myths and our limiting beliefs. We need to open it up, examine it and heal, rather than cut it off.

Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs

Now, of course, it’s not that easy. You can’t just go, “This makes me feel bad, and so I’m going to let it go.” If it were that simple, we’d all be living our best lives right now…without any work.

Instead, we have to really listen to what’s going on inside of us. We have to understand the ideology of our own hurts. We have to open the doors, even if we’re afraid of the floodgates and what might happen when they open up.

You know what will happen? Change.

It might feel scary and it might feel uncertain, but what is life if you aren’t embracing it for all you can? What is life if you aren’t pushing yourself?


If the things that come out of your mouth and out of your head aren’t terrifying you, then you aren’t really pushing yourself. You aren’t opening yourself up.


We’re all carrying around these pieces of ourselves from our childhood. Many of them were formed before we even realized it or could do anything about it. These pieces we carry around might be painful. They might be pressures put on us by our parents—maybe you had a mother who emotionally “bled” all over you to show how much you hurt her when you disappointed her, so consequently you walk around in fear of disappointing all the other “mothers” in your life.

Maybe you had to absorb your father’s anxiety and anger. Battleships have zinc cores because they have an electrical current that runs through the center. If left, the current would eat right through the ship, so the zinc is there to absorb all of the electricity. Often, particularly with women, they end up having to “be” the “zinc” to absorb the anxiety and stress around them. (Think of the Office Manager, Human Relations Director, or the Engagement Coordinator.)

We all have a dark side, a shadow side. We all have pieces of our youthful selves running around in our head, believing those very things we were told as children, such as: You’re too much. You need to help calm things down. You disappoint others. You need to protect everyone around you. It’s not okay to be angry.

By not facing and dealing with this unfinished business, we can’t put our best selves out there.

Experience the pain. It’s okay to feel pain and use it as a gift. If you deny pain, you’re denying your gift to the world around you. We have to start exercising that best self, grow ourselves up, and start to embrace change no matter how frightening.

We’re all interested in stasis. Stasis is safe. It’s familiar. It’s easy.

But when you want to be truly great, when you want to level up and fight, stasis isn’t productive. In fact, stasis is damaging. Even if it’s painful to push ourselves, it’s through that pushing that we grow. We have to stretch our muscles, stretch our brain, and stretch our emotions to push through and become the best we can be.

So often, when people are on the verge of real success, be it in business or in life, they reach a point where they get scared and they start holding back. Rather than grow their business in the next step, take their marriage to the next level, or push themselves further, they hold on to the status quo, thinking they’re happy enough. They’re afraid to rock the boat.

You know what? Screw being happy! Aim to be fulfilled, not just “happy.” Aim to make your last breath your best breath, not just to hold where you are.

I’m reminded of a clip from the movie Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino:

I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes till the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Now either we heal as a team or we’re gonna crumble, inch by inch, play by play, ’til we’re finished.

We’re in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me. And, we can stay here — get the s*** kicked out of us — or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell one inch at a time.

Now, I can’t do it for you. I’m too old. I look around. I see these young faces, and I think — I mean — I made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know, when you get old in life things get taken from you. I mean that’s…part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small — I mean one-half a step too late, or too early, and you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast, you don’t quite catch it.

The inches we need are everywhere around us.

They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch, because we know when we add up all those inches that’s gonna make the difference between winning and losing! Between livin’ and dyin’!

I’ll tell you this: In any fight, it’s the guy who’s willing to die who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m gonna have any life anymore, it’s because I’m still willin’ to fight and die for that inch. Because that’s what livin’ is! The six inches in front of your face! 

Now I can’t make you do it. You got to look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes! Now I think you’re gonna see a guy who will go that inch with you. You’re gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows, when it comes down to it, you’re gonna do the same for him!

That’s a team, gentleman!

And, either we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.

That’s football guys.

That’s all it is. Now, what are you gonna do?

So that’s the question—do you heal NOW? Do you let yourself move forward? Do you let go of the things holding you back and kick yourself in the butt and start making each moment your best moment?

If you’re ready to start living your best life, reach out and contact us at The Wright Foundation. Learn how you can make each day your best. Go forth and ignite your world.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Why You Need More Allies, Instead of More Friends

Do you think your coworkers have influence over you? What about your significant other? Your friends? Could they get you to do something just because you’re following the crowd?

more allies


 

You’re probably thinking, “Eh, maybe a little, but I’m a pretty tough, independent guy/gal. I’m beyond being suckered in by others’ influences. Influences are for Junior High kids.”

Think again, buddy.

Surprisingly, we all have a wide circle of influence—larger and stronger and more powerful than we may realize, think or believe.

We’re Less Than Six Degrees Apart

Remember a few years ago, when the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” was all the rage? People were fascinated by the theory that any Hollywood actor could be connected back to the actor Kevin Bacon through six connections or less. It became a popular party game. People would sit around trying to link back to Kevin Bacon.

Truth be told, this separation? It’s not limited to just actors, and in fact, it doesn’t even go as far as six degrees. Not even close! In fact, a Facebook study revealed that users in the United States were separated by only 3.46 degrees! Everyone—from the lady at the coffee shop, to the mechanic in Arkansas, to the elderly woman in Salt Lake City—you’re connected THAT closely to the people in the world around you.

The people we surround yourself with have an impact on our actions and our achievements. Look at “herd mentality” when it comes to trends, the stock market, and more. In fact, there are plenty of consumer studies out there on the way we influence each other’s’ choices in purchasing, how we dress, and even what we eat.

The thing about herd mentality and the influence of others is that we all think we’re “above” it, right? We ALL think we’re independent thinkers. We control our own minds and choices, right? Well, guess what?

As it turns out, our circle of influence is much stronger and broader reaching than we think or realize. If you go into a room with a bad attitude or feeling like you’re having a crappy day, your influence will spread. Rapidly. Like an infection, you’ll actually bring every person down you come in contact with.

The reverse is also true. In phone sales training, you may have heard the phrase “dial and smile”—because your smile can be heard in the pitch and tenor of your voice. Even without seeing you, customers can literally tell when you aren’t smiling or happy to be selling something. Your influence even extends through the phone!

So what can we take away from all this? Are we just products of our environment? Is it time for an existential crisis?

Do we have any free will at all?

Surrounding Yourself with Transformational People

Of course the point isn’t to scare you into feeling helpless or powerless. In fact, the knowledge of your influence should actually make you feel MORE powerful and even MORE in control.

You are a person of great influence!

As it turns out, you have incredible power over the people in your life.

For example, in a study called The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years (PDF), it was found that people who were obese were more like to have friends who were also obese. In turn, the friends-of-friends of the obese people were also more likely to be obese. And here’s the kicker: almost unbelievably, the friends-of-friends-of-friends were ALSO more likely to be obese. This isn’t a lesson on obesity, of course—it’s about the power of our influence. Our habits can affect not only our family and friends, but also our friends’ friends…and even our friends’ friends’ friends. If just our habits can do that, imagine what our attitude can do!

Right now, you have influence over somewhere around 1,000 people. Your habits, your actions, and your attitude—they all have an influence on over 1,000 people in your circle.

YOU have the power within you to influence all those people with your positive choices, your goals and your actions.

…and you also have the power to be a stick in the mud and bring everyone down. It’s up to you.

This is why the importance of surrounding yourself with transformational leaders cannot be understated. If you want to be MORE, to feel MORE, to GROW, learn and engage, you have to surround yourself with not simply friends, but allies.

Friends vs. Allies

Friends love you for how you are. Your friends might be good influences…or they might look to you to co-conspire, to be an ear and a sounding board, or to listen, nod and smile. Friends bitch and moan to us, and yes, they care—but sometimes they’re too polite. They have their agenda. Hey, they’re friendly.

Allies, on the other hand, bring to mind a different image. We think of allies as partners in war, right? World War II, we think of the Allied forces—those who came to the aid of partner countries and helped hold the line and fight against the Axis powers.

Allies have your back. They fight with you. They call you out on your shit. They’re tough. They’ll tell you when you screw up and when you’re not doing the job you should be doing. They’ll tell you when you aren’t living up to your own expectations.

We can find allies all around us. An ally might be your life coach, your partner, or your mentor. Yes, an ally might be your friend, but a friend might not always be an ally. To truly be someone’s ally, you might need to give them tough love—not warm and fuzzy acceptance and permissive leeway, but brutal honesty.

Greatness is in each of us. Our allies know that, and more than that, they expect it. Surround yourself with allies and you will win each battle and continue to forge ahead. Allies believe in us because they can see the truth of who we are.

So look at your circle. Who influences you and whom do you have influence over? Are you their ally and are they yours? Are you pushing your friends, your partner, and yourself to be the best you can be? Are you being an ally to yourself as well as to others, or do you listen to your own excuses?


For more on how you can become a transformational agent and ignite your world, please read more on our blog at Wright Living. You’ll learn more about how to connect with those around you, expand your circle of influence, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to a place when you can truly be your best self.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

New Year, Stronger Relationships: How To Truly Connect

Maybe you’re married or in a relationship, or in the words of social media, maybe “it’s complicated.” Whatever your relationship status, whether you’re single, dating or long-attached, chances are you wouldn’t mind bringing more passion and a stronger love connection into the New Year!

truly connect


 

How many of us would like a stronger connection with our partner in the year ahead?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. So if your current actions aren’t resulting in the connection and charge you’re hoping for, why keep doing what you’re doing?

Time to change it up! Ignite or reignite the passion and get fired up!

Those in long-term relationships and marriages, might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, but after a while, don’t you just get kind of…comfortable? Isn’t all this ‘fiery passion’ just for new couples?”

How boring! Who wants to be in a passionless relationship?

What if I told you, you could have the same connection, the same passion and the same attraction for your partner today that you had when you were first dating? For those of you who are still playing the field or who might be re-entering the field after a breakup or divorce, wouldn’t you like to REALLY connect with someone else?

What it Means to Truly Connect

What does it mean to truly connect with another person? It’s more than sex or attraction. It’s also more than just “getting along.” When you see couples with a real connection, you might notice that they have a great back-and-forth or rhythm they follow. They just “click.”

The great thing about the click is that it’s not limited to just long-term couples or certain personality types. Everyone can click with another person and truly connect. In fact, you’ve probably clicked with quite a few people in your life already, whether they’re good friends, siblings, and yes, significant others.

Now, of course there are factors like physical attraction, fundamental values, and other things that help us form bonds and create new relationships. If you’re dating online or if you’ve been “fixed up,” chances are you’re well aware that not everyone you meet is going to offer a love connection. Some are simply friendships, and some people have too many fundamental differences to bridge the gap.

However, two people who are self-aware, and who each have an openness and desire to engage, have a great chance at finding that “click.”

We have to get beyond the idea of a fairytale romance. The idea that someone else can “save” us, change us, or be the answer to what we need, sets us up for a false expectation and disappointment, leading to eventual resentment and distance. There’s no “one” person out there for any of us.

While this might sound unromantic or harsh, in reality, it’s the opposite! After all, if there were only one person out there in the world for each of us, what are the odds we’d ever find them (and find them at the ideal time in our lives to make the connection)? How sad would it be if our happiness hinged someone else or on simply one other person in the world?

Instead, when we open ourselves up to the possibility that there are many humans to connect with and learn from, the world seems like our oyster—a giant playground where we can test our relationships and connections, where we can learn from each other and experience new realizations about ourselves and about those we come in contact with.

Together, we can explore, learn and grow.

Similarly, if you resent your significant other or spouse for not being the answer or your “everything,” then this realization that there’s no “one” person out there should enable you to let that resentment go as well. Your spouse is just a person, just like you. They have their own wants and needs. They have their own yearnings and they’re made up of their experiences and interactions.

Viewing your partner as someone to explore, to get to know, and to learn about can help you shift away from the boredom or the feeling that your relationship is drifting along a passionless shoreline. There are things about your partner you have yet to learn. Even couples who have been married for fifty years still surprise each other and can discover and unlock new things about each other. Get back that sense of wonder; it’s the desire for growth and exploration that will propel you forward!

Embrace Differences

Each experience we have and each person we meet helps us form new context and opens up new neuropathways in our brains. Our brains are constantly growing and changing! As children, we’re always in a state of development and discovery because we’re confronted with so many new opportunities and new situations. As we age, these situations and opportunities come up less and less frequently. We get up, go to work along the same route, do the same job, come home, eat the same dinner and go to bed.

That routine, as comforting as it might seem, sets us up for boredom and discontent. As it turns out, we all need and desire new experiences! New experiences keep us feeling smart, engaged and alert. We want to continue to grow and learn. This growth and forward momentum is at the core of our humanity. We crave new experiences and with each discovery, we feel more alive and more connected.

So guess what? If you want to change the status quo with your spouse or if you want to feel invigorated and impassioned, you need to find a way to wake up your brain! This might mean trying a new activity like getting outdoors, going for a walk in a new neighborhood, exploring a new restaurant, or learning something together. You don’t have to fly to Giza to explore pyramids or take up skydiving; just a simple change of pace and new experience will set the wheels in motion.

Stop Avoiding. Start Engaging.

Whether you want to reform and strengthen your long-term connections or build a new connection, you have to get in the game. Dating sets up the perfect context for new activity and experience. Each moment is a new opportunity to explore something together. After a few years, you might be used to the same restaurants and the same patterns, and that’s when boredom can settle in.

Instead, we have to engage! Budding and established relationships both require engagement. This also means embracing conflict. For so many of us, in our relationships, new or old, we shy away from conflict and confrontation. We want the other person to like us and we don’t want to fight. Maybe we were raised in families where fighting was scary or avoided. Maybe our parents taught us to ignore problems or pretend things were always “fine,” even when they weren’t.

If you want to feel MORE in your relationship, let the emotion in! That means it’s okay to say to your partner, “You’re really pissing me off,” or to tell them when you don’t like something they did or said. You can engage in a little debate and discourse. Just be sure to fight fair. Conflict is healthy!

Sometimes, when we’re conflict avoidant, we’re just building up resentment and distance. To snap out of it and reverse the trend, we have to let it out. As you explore your yearnings, you may start to identify areas where they aren’t being met. When you reach for ways to meet these yearnings, bring it up to your partner. Speak up and tell your partner how you feel!

Make this year the year you reignite your passion. Do the things that speak to you and keep you feeling vibrant and engaged. Open yourself to new experiences and explorations, and invite your partner to do the same. If they’re hesitant, don’t let it hold you back. Often, as you grow, you create a ripple effect to those around you. When they see you happier, more creative, more alive and more alert, they’ll want to “have what she’s having…”


Go forth and engage in self-exploration and discovery! Unlock what makes you happy and connect you with the world around you. For more information on ways to grow and transform your life and the world around you, read more on our blog here.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.
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