Life’s Too Good to Be Bored: How to Cure Boredom for Good

Do you ever feel bored with life? Boredom and work or home isn’t uncommon. But when you forget how truly good life can be, it’s time to learn how to cure boredom for good.


Yes, I know. How can life be good if we’re still wearing masks? When there’s still great racial inequality and discrimination? When we have a climate crisis and a political divide so wide, we can’t even see the other side let alone hear it?

The challenges in the world right now might dissuade you from saying “life is good.”

But I want you to know this: life is good because YOU’RE IN IT, living it, right now. And, it’s impossible to feel your aliveness and be bored at the same time.

BORED, BORED, BORED

No, this is NOT all there is. Were you wondering?

But you’re bored. Bored, bored, bored. Bored at work. Bored at home. Bored in your relationship. Bored with YOU.

Is there a cure for boredom?

As a human being, you’re hardwired toward growth and adaptation. You WANT to learn, explore, and expand. Like your ancestors who forged new frontiers, you want to move forward, achieve, and discover. You’re constantly driven to interact, engage, explore, and transform.


Sometimes this desire for change might be loud and obvious. But sometimes, it manifests itself as a vague sense of dissatisfaction. A subtle nagging that your life as it is not “enough.”


As Psychology Today tells us, this condition is related to the “French ennui, an existential perception of life’s futility—a consequence of unfulfilled aspirations.”*

So perhaps you can thank boredom! You have unfulfilled aspirations that you might not have become aware of otherwise.

Welcome boredom as a warning signal. Recognize it as your mind’s alert system telling you that you’re not finding purpose in what you’re currently doing, so you’d better switch things up. The sooner, the better.

Boredom is like fear: No one likes feeling fear, just as no one likes feeling bored. But both give you crucial information. Fear pushes you away from harm. Boredom pushes you toward meaning.

Maybe it’s time to stop, listen, and learn how to cure boredom for good.

What’s the Point? Purpose

Purpose is the heart of the matter. It’s the “why” behind everything you do, whether you’re conscious of it or not.

Without it, you’ll never find satisfaction, no matter how fun, delicious, or pleasurable what you’re doing is. The moment it’s experienced, watched, ordered, or consumed, you return to the nagging sense of emptiness. Without purpose, you’re stuck in infinite “ennui.”

So then, how do you find it?


“Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.”
– Soren Kierkegaard


To find your purpose, you must understand yourself. And to do that, you must learn and explore your yearnings—your innermost desires and deep emotional longings of your heart. Perhaps you yearn to love and be loved or to touch and be touched. Perhaps you yearn to matter, to make a difference, to fulfill your purpose on this planet. Perhaps you long to create, connect, or serve.

Yearnings are universal, and they are the key to unlocking the mystery of the uniquely amazing being that is YOU. No one like you has ever existed before now, and no one like you will ever exist after.

Once you begin to believe that and act accordingly, you’ll see boredom backing off as aliveness starts filling up your days.

Is this easy? NO. And learning your longings isn’t a quick fix to boredom. But it’s a sustaining one. A transformative one. And the only one that ultimately matters.

Besides, you’re already familiar with the quick fix—soft addictions. Those seemingly harmless habits that distract you from your boredom long enough to make you think your life is thriving.

Twenty-five more episodes to watch? What a full evening of entertainment! Three new outfits on the way? How fun it will be to wake up and wear each of them! A new full bag of cookies? You deserve it after my long week of work. Zoning out on social media? What a great way to keep “in touch” with all your friends.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

But what’s more likely is what all of these have might have in common: pseudo satisfaction. A temporary high/buzz/thrill that comes and then goes, and before you know it, you’re left once again asking yourself, “Is this all there is?”

What’s a completely-bored-of-boredom human like you to do?

Forget Pseudo. Go for Authentic

The dictionary definition of authenticity is “genuineness; undisputed credibility; one who is worthy of belief.”

The existential philosophers defined authenticity as being true to who you could become, instead of being true to who you are—a view that suggests authenticity is being faithful to yourself internally as opposed to conforming to external ideas or norms.


Here’s MY definition of authenticity: forget what everyone else says and wears, reads, eats, and watches (take THAT social media) and find out what makes YOU tick.


How do you find that kind of sense of authenticity? Like Dorothy in Oz, you need to discover the answer has been inside of you all along. As you explore yourself and get to know yourself better, you’ll start to see glimpses and signs of who you really are. You begin “engaging.”

“It is the moment-by-moment practice of engaging that helps you become more spontaneous and more present in each moment. You step outside your comfort zone, try new things, take risks, and turn your life from a routine into an adventure…

…Just as emotions help us sense what we yearn for, they are the litmus test for full engagement. We feel an experience deeply when we’re fully engaged in it. So, when we ask if you’re engaged, we’re asking if you’re involved in a given activity with your heart, mind and soul. We’re asking if you are so intimately connected to a given task that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to get it done right. We’re asking if you’re taking risks and stretching yourself in ways that might feel uncomfortable but also provide you with such a spark that you feel as if you could set the world on fire with a touch of your hand.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Enter whatever you’re doing, intending to be involved heart, mind, and soul. Then you can connect with truly being alive. Once you do that, you may never be bored again.


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. Follow Dr. Bob Wright on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more updates.


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.

How to Get the Love You Deserve

We always get the love we deserve. The real question is: Are we doing what we need to do to earn the love we WANT?


Wondering how to get the love you deserve? Sometimes we may feel we’re not getting what we need, but here’s how to bring more love to your life.


We all deserve love. Now, the love we want to have in our lives and the love we actually receive may look a little different. We may want more romantic love from our partner, more supportive love and attention from our friends, or even more expressive love from our kids, parents, or siblings.

So, if you’re wondering how to get the love you deserve, it may be time to reframe the question—are you doing what you need to do to attract and earn the love you WANT?

What Kind of Love Do You Want?

When we ask the question “how do I get the love I deserve?”, it raises a few points. First of all, the word “deserve” is something to examine. We all deserve love simply by being human beings in this world. But the word deserve can indicate feelings of entitlement or inadequacy. Either we feel like we deserve more love than our partner is giving us, or we fear we don’t deserve the love we want in our life. So instead, we want to frame our analysis of the word “deserve” as earning the love we want.

When we talk about partnerships and relationships, we should look at engagement—not the type of engagement that involves a diamond ring. Instead, we’re looking at the kind of engagement that fosters a deep connection. Are we engaging in our relationship, and is our partner engaged with us? Whether we’re talking business, social, or personal lives, we can ask if we’re fully engaged with those around us. Do we use conflict to get the most out of our relationships?

Conflict gets a bad rap. We might think of conflict as a negative state, where we’re bickering and fighting, but really, conflict is a natural component of change and growth. We can’t change or get stronger without resistance. If we’re smoothly sailing along, going through life conflict-free, we’re missing something.

We’re either fooling ourselves, lying to ourselves, or burying our heads in the sand. By the very nature of being human, we will face conflicting wants, desires, and yearnings. Getting to the heart of these yearnings helps us connect while finding ways to fulfill the needs and desires we have.

Following the Rules in Relationships

Behind every ugly fight—the cycle of blaming and defending or moving around the drama triangle—is an underlying truth. Fights indicate that there’s something not being fulfilled. It could be an unanswered yearning or a built-up resentment.


Growing and transforming in a relationship is all about fighting fair. It’s not about avoiding the fight entirely but rather engaging in a productive, respectful discussion, where we express our feelings and issues to open up the heart of the conflict.


Both parties can follow a few rules of engagement to ensure the fights are productive and fair. The rules are rooted in personal responsibility and directed at both sides of the partnership. Even if only one side follows the rules, there will be a significant improvement in communication and engagement throughout the relationship.

The Rules of Engagement for Fair Fights

  1. Minimize the Negative: This means we should avoid passive-aggressive behaviors like disengagement (stonewalling, withholding, and secretive behavior) or the “hidden middle finger (actions to intentionally provoke). But avoid tiptoeing around conflict, focusing on soft addictions, or extreme fighting with blame, shame, whining, and justifying.
  2. Accentuate the Positive: This means sincere engagement, where each party approaches the situation openly, with humor, honesty, and responsiveness. It means staying truthful about yearnings, talking, sharing affection, and being real.
  3. No One Gets or Gives More than 50% of the Blame: Think of it as a no-fault relationship. No matter who instigated the argument or began the discussion, there’s no need to break it down into who did what. Each partner is part of the system. As they say, “It takes two to tango.”
  4. You Must Take 100% Responsibility for Your Own Happiness: When we feel hurt, we are 100% responsible for our own feelings of happiness. It’s not our partners’ job to make us happy. No one can control our emotions but us. Support is one thing, but personal responsibility is the foundation of transformational conflict and engagement.
  5. Express and Agree with the Truth: This means always being truthful in engagement. ALWAYS. Often there’s a lot of truth in an argument, but neither party wants to give in by acknowledging that truth. It’s okay to say, “You’re right, but I don’t like it.” When we acknowledge the truth in an argument, it often turns the tide.
  6. Always Fight FOR, Not Against: We can ask ourselves what we yearn for. For example, rather than arguing how our partner never helps out, consider arguing FOR our partner to help out. When we reframe the conflict, we turn it into a positive, growth-focused interaction that helps meet an underlying yearning. Go into each interaction by asking what are we really fighting FOR?
  7. Assume Goodwill: This is one of the toughest rules of engagement for couples to accept. But when we think about it, we often realize that our partner isn’t out to get us in most cases. In fact, they WANT to work things out. They want to make things better. That doesn’t mean that a cruel comment won’t come out, or we always get along, but for the most part, both parties are trying. Stop looking at each other as the enemy.

The above ground rules set the stage for fair conflict. When we sincerely apply them to our relationship, we can instantly start seeing a shift. Even if our partner isn’t on-board with the rules, the tone and tenor of the argument will often change quickly. Both parties feel more connected and less defensive.

If we’re looking for the love we deserve, the rules of engagement can help us move toward the relationship connection that we’re seeking.

Applying the Rules to Get the Love You Deserve

Each situation is different, and sometimes applying the rules of engagement won’t make someone fall in love with us or give us the emotional connection we’re hungry for. However, if we’re honestly expressing what we need in a relationship, we’ll quickly realize whether or not we’re on the right path.

It’s also important to recognize that we can bring love into our lives in many different ways. It doesn’t just come from a fairytale romance (in fact, the idea of a fairytale romance is a myth—there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship or partner). Instead, we can find love in our life by focusing on the connections and engagement that meet our yearnings.


The rules of engagement apply whether we’re single, married, or applying them at work or with friends. When we follow the rules for fighting fair, we’ll find that our conflicts become more productive, and they move us towards the things we really want.


Within the conflict, we’ll realize our personal responsibility and personal power. We’ll start to approach the situation in a way that will help us meet our yearnings to foster growth and deeper engagement.

Getting the love that we need and want doesn’t mean we have to be in a relationship to enjoy the closeness and a connection. Instead, we can learn to love ourselves and enjoy the love and connection we experience with our friends and family. There is beauty and love throughout the universe, and when we start to recognize it and apply it to our yearnings, we may realize that we can be seen, heard, and valued in many different ways.

If both sides of a couple are learning and growing together, following the rules of engagement, and sharing their yearnings, they’ll both get the love they want (and the love they deserve).

For more ways to enjoy a deeper connection with others, don’t miss the resources available at Wright Now. We have many courses and materials designed to help you get the career, relationship, and life you want—a life of MORE.


About the Author

Kate Holmquest

Kate Holmquest is a coach, curriculum developer, and campus director for Wright and the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential who believes that dating is one of the best possible playgrounds for discovering and transforming yourself! Potential movie titles that describe her quest for satisfaction in single life are “40 First Dates” (a.k.a. dating with velocity), “Ten Things I Hate About You” (a.k.a. telling the truth on dates), and “The Thing About My Folks” (a.k.a. noticing and breaking the relationship rules I learned at home).


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

 

F**ck Up at Work? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Hide Mistakes at Work

Have you made mistakes at work? We’ve all made mistakes, and often the first impulse is to try to hide them under the rug. Here’s why you should admit to mistakes and make amends.

We've all made mistakes at work, and often try to hide them under the rug. Here's why you should admit to mistakes and make amends.


Ah, the hot potato of mistakes! I’ve had more freedom to make mistakes than most people I know – so I have a lot of experience f**cking things up.

One of the blessings I’ve had in my life is the freedom to be the age I am (and at 73, I still feel a little immature). To mess up and live to see another day. To be around long enough to know that I’ve learned MORE from messing up than I ever would have from not messing up.


How can we live a successful life unless we embrace failure? How can we learn without being allowed to make mistakes along the way?


We live in a blame culture. We’re quick to point the finger at someone or something as “the problem,” falsely thinking that if we fix that one thing, everything else will fall into place and be just fine.

But pointing a finger IS the primary mistake we make instead of understanding that we are in a complex system. And hopefully, one we can learn from sooner rather than later.

Mistakes Can Break Us OR Make Us

Whatever the mistake is, we ALL have a part of it. We each have some degree of responsibility.

We had a pile-up of trucks on a hill on our campus last night. With a quarter-inch of ice on everything, the Amazon truck got almost to the top then slid back down into a tree. The pizza delivery guy came over the hill to go down while the Amazon guy was walking up the hill to keep anyone else from coming down. Unfortunately, the pizza guy was going too fast and slid down into the tree next to the Amazon truck. And the tow truck only had 50 feet of cable, and he needed 100 feet to pull them up the hill.

I’m grateful to the Amazon truck guy for bringing our stuff, but he wasn’t going fast enough to get up the hill, and he didn’t understand he could have gone over to the side to get his tires onto the grass for more traction. Instead, he stayed in the center of the road and slid down. So, was this his fault?

The pizza guy was going too fast, and he didn’t follow the sign at the top of the hill that said, “Keep Right.” It says “Keep Right” to guide you into a turnout so you can look down the hill to see if anyone’s coming BEFORE heading down yourself. So, was it the pizza guy’s fault?

Well, my sign did NOT say, “Keep Right so you’ll be guided into a turnout so you can look down the hill to see if anyone’s coming BEFORE heading down yourself.” My sign just said, “Keep Right.” So my sign wasn’t good enough. And I had an ice-covered hill! Was it my fault?

Yes, yes, and yes. We were all part of the mistake.

I then paid $400 to have the entire driveway salted. Why wasn’t it salted before last evening? Our salt machine wasn’t working, and our caretaker was having surgery. The truth is, I could make any number of excuses, but if we take a good hard look at it, we can see there’s any number of problem points that could have kept what happened last night from happening.

Mistakes are simply a symptom of how a system needs to function better. That’s it.

Instead of pointing a finger, what if we looked instead at what each of us could have done better?

Shifting from a Blame Culture to a Problem-Solving Culture

One of the greatest tools we have RIGHT NOW to help us shift from a blame mindset to a problem-solving mindset is social and emotional intelligence. Social and emotional intelligence invites conversation rather than encouraging blame. It allows us to be with what is, instead of what we think should be or could be or once was or may never be.


We all have acceptable aspects of ourselves and unacceptable aspects for ourselves—for me, fear and hurt are those zones.


As the one who carried the anger in our family, I was very comfortable being mad. I picked a lot of fights (some might say I do still!) But what I wasn’t comfortable with and failed to look at growing up was my fear, hurt, and sadness.

Ideally, we’re all like giant love sponges that get filled up with positive affirmations. Then, when we’re full, we spill over onto others, offering affirmations to them and, when needed, problem-solving.

But we all have dry parts of our sponge where the positive affirmation never gets into. Those dry parts are what Freud refers to as our false selves.

Our false selves are based on certain beliefs we take on to fit into our world better. For example, if we’re pretty, we’ll be more likable. If we have a lot of money, we’ll be successful. If I work hard/achieve more, we’ll have more value.

The blame culture needs our false selves to thrive.

At the Wright Foundation, we practice what we call the assignment way of living to help put cracks into our false selves. Each day our students embrace a new assignment to challenge their limiting beliefs and mistaken perceptions—for example, thinking we won’t be valuable/accepted/loved if we make a mistake.

The more we crack that façade, the more our sponge can get filled with love, and the more we can contribute to a world that works for everyone.

See the Flaws, SAY the Flaws, Be the Flaws

This post has gotten me more likes than most. Why? I imagine those pink socks give us all permission to take pleasure in who we are – the parts of ourselves we usually hide under our pant cuffs.

I also imagine those pink socks could easily have been a mistake—perhaps I didn’t pack enough dark ones? Maybe it was dark when I got dressed and grabbed the wrong ones? Who knows? But I owned them in that photograph. I let them lead me into pleasure instead of shame. They became my success instead of my mistake.

That’s why we should embrace our mistakes instead of hiding them or hiding from them. When we make excuses, we don’t learn and grow. AND we miss out on potential joy and connection.

Don’t let your false self run the show. Let the anxiety of making mistakes at work go. Put on a pair of pink socks and start looking for the solution instead of the culprit. Let your mistakes make you, not break you.


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. Follow Dr. Bob Wright on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more updates.


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.

Here’s How to Ask Your Partner for More Intimacy

Got intimacy? If you’re wondering how to ask your partner for more intimacy and closeness, it’s important to explore what you’re really looking for.

Wondering how to ask your partner for more intimacy? Here’s how to connect with your partner to get the closeness you want and deserve.


Relationships are an adventure in intimacy and navigating our connections with others, but understanding how to get the intimacy we want can be confusing. What are we really looking for? Deeper conversations? More sex? A more attentive partner?

Here’s how to ask your partner for more intimacy and get the connection you crave.

Embark on An Adventure in Intimacy

Intimacy. It’s an often-misunderstood term. We may think intimacy refers to our physical connection. We may think of intimacy are romance, closeness, or sharing a deep conversation. Real intimacy is all these things and more.

Intimacy is about learning and growing together to fulfill our fullest potential. When we’re working on our best selves, relationships can be both a womb and a crucible. They form us and forge us into our best selves. So while it’s important that our relationships are nurturing, it’s also crucial to recognize that growth can also be a painful process.

When a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, it must go through the struggle to build up strength. If we “help” the butterfly before it is ready, the wings will fail to develop the proper strength, and the butterfly won’t be able to fly. Similarly, when we emerge and grow into our potential, we must go through difficult challenges to increase our strength. While our relationship can support us through the lessons, our partner can’t take away our difficulties or “fix” us. In fact, our partnership is strengthened when our partner is an ally—pushing us toward our best self.


If our relationship isn’t challenging us and pushing us to grow, then it’s just a pacifier. We need the conflict to continue to evolve. Conflict is where growth and change really happen.


In our book, The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the many ways that love and intimacy are messy. It’s about embracing our roles in the relationship and working on ourselves to live extraordinary lives together. One partner may be a great parent, and one might have a great career. Relationships and intimacy are about bringing those strengths together to become transformational agents, engaged fully and intimately together, bringing out our best selves and the best in others.

Great relationships are all about engaging in the adventure of life together as partners and allies.

Yearnings and Understanding the Nature of Conflict

Our yearnings drive us. As human beings, we constantly try to fulfill our yearnings and listen to them. At times, we may deny our yearnings, but that becomes painful. We find ourselves shifting blame and being dishonest about what we want. This can cause resentments to build as we disengage from the relationship.

The truth is that many of us fall out of touch with our yearnings. We aren’t sure how to get what we truly want because we don’t know what it is. Yearnings are the deeper longings of our heart—to be loved, to be connected, to feel respected. Many of us mistake wants for yearnings. We think that we want to lose weight. We want a bigger house. We want to have fashionable clothes.

We may think that we want our partner to clean up around the house more often. We want them to take us out on a date. We want them to buy us gifts. However, the underlying yearnings go deeper than that. We want our partner to pick up the house because we yearn for the security that comes from an orderly space. We want our partner to take us out on a date because we yearn for intimacy and connection. We want our partners to buy us gifts because we yearn for love or admiration and connection.

When we confuse our wants for yearnings, we fall into a pattern of miss-wanting. We get what we thought we wanted, only to find that we’re still left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. We still long for more. We may even feel resentful or disengaged because our partner isn’t fulfilling the fairytale notion of giving us “happily ever after.”


Conflict helps us reengage with each other. It’s impossible to work for something—even a fulfilling relationship—without at least a little struggle and fight.


Think of any goal. We have to train and sweat for months if we want to run a marathon. If we want to get a promotion at work, we have to learn new tasks and work hard to get there. When we want something big, hard work is required. It’s likely going to be painful and even unpleasant at times. We can’t skip out the door one day and win a gold medal.

Most of us don’t enjoy fighting (and if we do, that can be detrimental too). Maybe we were raised to believe fighting wasn’t beneficial or that fighting would push others away. We call these types of situations “conflict-avoidant.” If we grew up in a conflict-avoidant household, it could be hard to see the merits and productivity of conflict. It’s difficult to let go of our limiting beliefs about conflict. We might feel like we shouldn’t express our yearnings or ask for what we need in a relationship.

Feeling conflicted isn’t wrong or bad. Engaging in conflict doesn’t make us mean or negative people. On the contrary, it can actually bring us closer together by moving us toward what we really want and need in the situation.

The skill in conflict is taking responsibility for our own satisfaction and then working together toward that satisfaction with a partner. People become so skilled at avoiding conflict that they avoid themselves right out of their relationship. When we avoid confrontation and conflict, we disengage. We become distant and disconnected. We might even resent our partner for not reading our minds or understanding why we’re upset.

Instead, rock the boat! Ask for more intimacy! When couples learn the rules of engagement, they learn to express their desires responsibly. They realize that conflict arises because they’re working for, not against, their relationship. Conflict is a means to strengthen our relationships and make our yearnings known.

Intimacy is Engagement

Intimacy is synonymous with engagement. If we want more intimacy, it’s not just that we want to have more sex (although physical intimacy can be an added benefit of reconnecting with our partner). It’s not that we want our partner to be more affectionate. That may be part of it, but we really want more engagement. We want our partner to connect with us, to see us, hear us, and know us.

If we think we’re moving toward our yearnings but expect our partner to get us there, we aren’t taking 100% responsibility for our own satisfaction. We are each responsible for getting satisfaction, and no one else can hand it to us. We must be learning and growing on our own, AND together.


We can get there by expressing what we want to our partner. We can tell them our expectations and share our yearnings. What would happen if we just asked? What is it that we want from our partners?


Ultimately, intimacy is about connection—loving each other and being close. It’s about wanting to have more of each other and gain a deeper understanding of the other person. Over time couples can become like systems engineers—working through the daily tasks of running a home, going to work, raising the kids. But within this scenario, intimacy is lost. We become two people bumping into each other and existing together. It requires deliberate action to get on the same page with a vision and connection. If we want it, we have to stop going through the motions and start doing the work. (It’s worth it!)

How To Get Your Partner Engaged in Your Relationship

What happens when one partner is ready to engage and get more intimacy, and the other partner is on the fence? What do we do when we tell our partner we want to build a deeper connection, and we get an eye roll because they think it sounds like B.S.?

First of all, this happens quite often. Change can be difficult and frightening, especially when we haven’t had time to process it. Our partner might be perfectly comfortable with the status quo because we’ve made them very comfortable. We’ve allowed them to ignore our yearnings and to be oblivious to our feelings. We can’t expect them to read our minds—they need to be uncomfortable too.

Too often, we get bogged down in a state where we feel sorry for ourselves and use it as an excuse for inaction. We think, “I’d love to work on myself and grow, but my partner isn’t into it. So it’s their fault that I can’t.” In reality, this is a lie.


We are each 100% responsible for our own satisfaction. If we’re learning, growing, and working to bring out our best selves, our partner must rise to the occasion. If we’re expressing our yearnings and acknowledging the truth in what our partner says, being open and honest, we will be a force to be reckoned with.


When we’re following the rules of engagement and engaging in conflict responsibly and honestly, it becomes uncomfortable for our partner to ignore our personal power and energy. They will engage with you because they have to.

It’s all about using conflict to get to the heart of what we really want. Just because one time we threw out, “I’d like to work on this,” and got shot down, we shouldn’t give up. Go for a different approach. Learn the rules of engagement and start engaging. Follow along in the book. We can get our partner to read the book with us, and if they won’t, we can start using the skills and following the rules. Eventually, our partners get curious about what we’re doing, and they will want to know more (even if they don’t admit it at first).

Relationships are beautiful and messy platforms to help us grow and change. When we’re working on our personal power, a healthy relationship is a launchpad for bringing out our next best self.

To learn more about living your best life and enjoying stronger relationships, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now. We have resources to help you discover more about yourself, your partner, your career, and your world. Get MORE today!


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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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.

The Joy of Truth: Express Your Likes and Dislikes to Get More of What You Want in Your Relationships

Do you ever wonder what likes and dislikes you should express in your relationship–or HOW you should express those feelings?


Are you ok? Do you need something to drink? How about a pillow? I want you to be comfortable while you’re reading this!

For most of my life, I’ve been so focused on OTHER people—what do they like? What do they need? I was so focused on what others like, I wasn’t aware of what I liked or needed. Even now, I want you to be comfortable while you’re reading this–and didn’t check in with myself to see that I am comfortable writing this!

But a lifetime of not being in touch with myself and not tending to my own needs eventually started taking a toll. I was feeling empty, unsatisfied, unhappy. I felt alone even when I was with someone–because I wasn’t with me. I wasn’t expressing my true thoughts, needs, or desires.

I went on dates and smiled at the right times and nodded my head at the right times, and said, Oh, that’s so interesting, but inside, it was SO not interesting to me. My real self was utterly bored and gagging.

The absurdity of that when I look back still blows me away. I wanted to be liked and loved for who I was, for someone to know ME, but I wasn’t even there. How could they know me, or know my likes and dislikes in a relationship? I was so focused on their experience, I wasn’t expressing my true thoughts, needs, ideas, opinions, or feelings.

Can you relate? Have you ever done something that felt completely NOT you just to fit in? To not make anyone else uncomfortable? I wanted to find true love, but how could I find that when I wasn’t true to myself?

Why Do We Lie?

Do you know that each of us experiences 200 lies a day? That’s seven lies an hour!

Do you also know that 100% of dating couples lie? 100%! And how about this? We’re more likely to lie to our co-workers than strangers.


Why are we so afraid to say what we like and don’t like? Because we want to look good, we’re afraid to be vulnerable, or we don’t want to make others uncomfortable.


Somewhere in our lives, most of us have been taught consciously or subconsciously that certain parts of ourselves were NOT ok. So, we created false selves–only presenting certain aspects of ourselves to the world around us and hiding the parts we thought were not ok. These false selves were formed by the time we were seven years old, and we continue to build on them throughout our lives.

But imagine how powerful we could be if we let ourselves be vulnerable and honest—if we showed up, and kept showing up, as our authentic selves.

“This above all, to thine own self be true.”
– William Shakespeare

Once we understand that our authentic selves are exactly who we need to be–and ultimately what the world wants and needs us to be–we can realize that we don’t have to hide behind our false selves anymore!

Tell the Truth and Deepen Relationships

My awakening came when I had my first blind date with Bob. I had decided I was going to tell the truth on dates. Finally, I was done smiling and nodding and pretending to like whatever the person sitting across from me was saying.

I was done being fake, and I decided to tell the truth. My likes and dislikes in relationships, what I agreed or disagreed with, to give my dates my true reactions to what they were saying and how they were being.

And dang if he didn’t respond in the same way!

It was kind of shocking at first. But it was also kind of electric. Something real was happening here. This wasn’t about two people trying to impress each other.

This was two people being exactly who they were and discovering exactly who the other person was. We were getting to know each other AS OURSELVES.

And that’s where the sparks are.

I wasn’t trying to please him, and I wasn’t trying to present myself in some false way. And neither was he.

It was scary to go against the grain. To say what I liked and didn’t like. But it was also fresh and alive, intimate, and real. And when that is the truth of the moment we’re living, we’re way more likely to get what we want!

You can apply this in a lot of ways (wink wink).

And this is not only true for romantic relationships, but for our relationships with our families, friends, and co-workers too.

Our Dislikes are as Powerful as Our Likes…

…And letting them both be known is crucial!

Of course, I’m not saying we should just dump all over people. But often in relationships, people expect us to be mind readers. Or we expect them to read our minds. We complain that this person doesn’t know what we want, but we never told them what we want to begin with!


Here’s the deeper truth: the real purpose of relationships is not to make us happy. The real purpose of relationships is to help us learn and grow and become MORE of who we are.


Yes, of course, relationships should have happy moments, but WE are 100% responsible for our happiness and satisfaction—in AND out of relationships.

And we are 100% responsible for our likes and dislikes in our relationships.

Early in our relationship, Bob and I decided we would have a “no secrets” contract. Was it challenging? Yes. Does it continue to be? Yes! There are many times I don’t want to divulge the truth. I don’t always want him to know even how much I’ve spent on a pair of shoes. But because of our commitment to no secrets, I must dig a little deeper and explore why I don’t want him to know. Is it because I don’t think I deserve to spend that money on myself? Is it because I’m afraid he might judge my decision? Am I worried that this purchase might somehow make me less loveable?

Now I’m getting somewhere. One of my deepest yearnings is to be loved. I’m risking that he will stop loving me by telling him this truth. Or at least that’s what my mind is telling me.

But our relationship is built on being real, sharing everything, telling the truth, letting each other know what we’re feeling and thinking. And also, being responsible in our communications­–cleaning things up when we’ve been out of line. We’ve built a foundation of trust that allows me to take that risk.

And if something does happen, I know we’ll handle that. And get to know ourselves and each other better because of it.

Conflict helps us grow. In the book Bob and I co-wrote, The Heart of the Fight, we identify that the common thread of most conflicts is unmet yearnings. Those longings we wish our relationship would satisfy for us. But when we accept that we are 100% responsible for our own happiness, that conflict shifts too.

Can you see how the ripples of being ourselves can so powerfully affect every part of all our relationships?

You Do You

The risk of being ourselves in our relationships is a big one. But it’s worth it.

After practicing it for so many years, I now WANT people to tell me what they like and don’t like. And I rarely (because we are all works in progress) try to fake my way through a conversation or a meeting just to make someone more comfortable. I value forthrightness—in others and myself.


“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
— James Baldwin


We don’t have to be anyone else.  Come on—let’s take off our masks and let our real selves shine! To discover more about living up to your full potential, don’t miss our resources on Wright Now. We have many different courses available to help you discover more about yourself, your relationships, and your career. Get MORE today!


 About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation 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 Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Yearnings: Follow Your Inner-GPS to Express Your Wants and Needs in a Relationship

Do you feel like you’ve been fighting over nothing lately? Does every little thing become a nitpicky fight between you and your partner?



Are you expressing your wants and needs in your relationship? It’s a tricky question, but one that most of us have pondered before.

We believe (or maybe expect) that a relationship should meet our wants and needs. We hope that our partner will “get” us and do those things that help us feel connected, happy, and fulfilled. But most of us have probably realized that our partners aren’t mind-readers. We have to express those feelings to get them on the radar—but how?

If we want to meet our wants and needs in a relationship, we need to dive in and discover our yearnings. Here’s how.

When the Thrill is Gone

It may sound harsh, but even the best relationships hit rough patches. As the old song goes, “The thrill is gone,” and some of us might be wondering where it went

When a relationship starts, we’re often energized, engaged, and ready to put our “best foot forward.” But after a few months or years, we shift out of the lavender haze and may start to feel a loss of connection. We may feel like we’ve been fighting over nothing lately. Every little thing becomes a nitpicky fight between our partner and us.

After we cool down and step away for a minute, we might think,

  • “If we could just get away for a few days, we’d probably get along better,” or…
  • “If we’d just have sex, I’m sure we would feel reconnected.”

We may feel dissatisfied, but we can’t pinpoint the actual problem. We know that neither partner is having an affair. No one has a substance abuse problem. We still genuinely love and care about each other, but we don’t get the same sense of excitement we once did. We may even find ourselves thinking about other people or remembering other relationships fondly.

Essentially—the thrill is gone. But is it really? And more importantly, can we get it back?The good news is that all of these common relationship feelings are rooted in our yearnings.


We long to have our wants and needs met in a relationship, but we might not know how to get there. These longings are what we call yearnings. They are feelings that we all have—hunger of the soul. They go deeper than “I want to look good naked” or “I want to go on vacation.”


Yearnings speak to the desires of our heart:

  • We yearn to be acknowledged and known.
  • We yearn to be seen, valued, and loved.
  • We year for respect, connection, intimacy.

For most couples, yearnings and unmet yearnings are at the root of dissatisfaction and at the heart of every fight. Our yearnings drive us. Like GPS, they steer us toward the direction of greater happiness and satisfaction. Our yearnings push us toward the things we want.

We often say that yearnings make couples tick, and unmet yearnings tick couples off.

We can imagine for a moment: what it is like when our yearnings are met in our relationship. Think of a time when we got home, and our partner’s eyes lit up when they saw us. They told us how much they missed us and couldn’t wait to hear about our day.

Imagine telling that partner about something extraordinary that happened during the day and knowing our partner is thrilled for us. Envision asking them for something that we really wanted—a dinner, a long walk, a conversation, physical contact—and having them enthusiastically agree. Or imagine telling them something we’re dissatisfied with, and they acknowledge our feelings and work together on a resolution. These would be examples of interactions that speak to our inner yearnings.

When our yearnings are ignored or unmet in our relationship, we may find ourselves drifting in opposite directions. Maybe we’re feeling distant from our partner, but we aren’t sure why. We might be afraid to bring up problems and discuss our feelings because we’re sensing a hidden middle finger (or giving one ourselves). We might withdraw from the relationship and feel a sense of disconnectedness.

Expressing Your Yearnings: It’s Not Actually About His Socks on the Floor

Our yearnings are extremely powerful. They go deeper than wishing that our spouses would stop putting their socks on the floor. But sometimes, something as simple as socks on the floor can make us feel like our yearnings are ignored and brushed aside. If having a clean, organized home is important to one partner but not the other, there might be an incongruency. That difference is underscored when the preference isn’t something that’s been clearly expressed. Often one partner doesn’t realize the importance of picking up the socks, while the other partner feels ignored and frustrated.

Years of socks on the floor pile up, and so do frustrations. Each night the irritation builds as we silently pick up our partner’s socks and seethe about it. Eventually, this can lead to resentment. We make a crack about our spouse’s sloppiness to friends. We make something he hates for dinner. We ignore his comments about his day. We’re silent and angry, and our spouse is confused about why we’re so cold and annoyed with them.

But at the root, we probably grew up in different households with differing standards of cleanliness. To one partner, socks are no big deal—a sign of feeling relaxed and comfortable. To the other partner, socks on the floor are an affront that says, “I don’t care about the work you put into our household. I don’t respect you or notice your efforts.”

We’re often engaged in these little power struggles in relationships, and we aren’t even aware that they’re happening. These little resentments and actions build up and can even cause explosive fights that seemingly go nowhere. Our partner might start picking up the socks, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying issue. At the root of the fight is often an unmet yearning.

Yearnings are significant wants and needs in a relationship. They may be:

  • Yearning to be respected,
  • Yearning to be cared for,
  • Yearning to be safe and secure,
  • Yearning to nurture and grow, and
  • Yearning to be appreciated.

Notice that nowhere on this list is “yearning for picked-up socks.” That’s because the true yearning isn’t really about the laundry pile. It’s something more poignant that runs much deeper. Yearnings are connected to the core of our humanity, existence, and identity.

Wants and Needs in a Relationship vs. Yearnings

It’s important to understand because there’s a difference between basic wants and needs in a relationship and yearnings. We often express what we think are our wants and needs, but when we get them met, we still feel unsatisfied, as though the larger issue still looms.

  • We can want our spouse to have sex with us more frequently.
  • We can want her to clean out the car when she uses it.
  • We can ask him to stop splashing toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

When we express our wants, our partner often complies, but we may still feel annoyed. We feel like we’re nagging them or like we always have to tell them what we want. That’s a sure indication that we haven’t addressed the deeper yearnings behind our desires. A superficial action, like putting down the toilet seat or rinsing a dinner plate doesn’t really address the heart of the issue. We find ourselves running around mopping up water without fixing the broken pipe and addressing the source of the leak.


Real, true satisfaction and intimacy come from expressing our yearnings and understanding why they matter to us. This can happen in or out of a relationship. It’s about first doing the work to understand what’s going on inside our hearts and minds.


The great part is that when we identify our yearnings, we can find many different ways to get them met. It’s not just about relying on one person to do a specific action. We may yearn to connect with others, and we can do that by connecting with friends, coworkers, family, or our spouse.

If our partner simply complies with our expressed demand without understanding or learning our underlying yearning, the interaction might feel hollow or superficial. We aren’t getting those feelings of being acknowledged, appreciated, or loved. We’re simply training someone to pick up socks.

Our Yearnings Matter!

So, what about when we fight? We don’t really yearn to “win” the fight when it comes to fighting. Yes, we may want to express our point; we may think we want to win. But after we feel briefly superior and proud of our status as the “winner,” we might realize that we haven’t solved anything at all.

At the heart of many of our conflicts is fear (or the simple fact) that our yearnings aren’t being met and that we aren’t clearly expressing and requesting them from our partners. Yearning is at the core of our survival. Yearning to love and bond keeps mothers caring for their children. Yearning to be safe, sheltered, connected, and respected all have a biological imperative behind them. When our yearnings are met, we experience a rush of feel-good emotions and chemicals. When our yearnings are ignored, we experience a flood of fear, adrenalin, and stress hormones.

When we understand the neuroscience beneath our yearnings, we can quickly see why they’re so powerful and why they play such a strong role in our conflicts, especially with our partners—the people we rely on and trust.


When we feel frustrated about something our partner did, we can step back and ask ourselves, what is the underlying yearning? What do I really want from them? Is it that I want to be seen? Heard? Respected? Connected? When we identify those yearnings, we can try expressing them.


What would happen if we asked our partner for more physical contact? What if we explained why a clean house makes us feel more secure? What if we “went there” in conversation and brought our yearnings out into the light?

If we want to build stronger connections and get our yearnings met in our relationship, we must first identify them within ourselves. Then we can take steps to express our yearnings to our partner. Acknowledging our yearnings is the first battle, one we must wage within ourselves. As we come to a better understanding of what drives us, we can start expressing those wants and needs to our partners. Ultimately, when we say what we really want in our relationship, we’ll strengthen our bond and start getting closer.

For more ways to strengthen your relationships, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses to help you build stronger connections, discover more about yourself, and move towards the life you want—a life of more. Start getting what you want today!


About the Author

judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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.

What is Life Coaching?
Do I Need a Life Coach?

Maybe you’ve reached a crossroads in your life. Perhaps you’re at a stuck point in your career or relationship. Maybe you’re not sure what you want to do next. You find yourself asking, “Do I need a life coach?”


Before you decide to engage with a life coach, it’s important to understand what life coaches do (and what they don’t). Life coaches can be instrumental at certain points in life, especially when you’re in the right place to fully use their services.

So what is life coaching? What should you expect out of coaching?

What is Life Coaching?

What is life coaching? If you’re asking yourself, “do I need a life coach,” you may be looking in the wrong direction. Life coaching isn’t something that emerges from a need. You don’t NEED life coaching. It comes from desire—a desire to get MORE out of life and be your best.


If you think you need life coaching to fix your problems, chances are you may actually need a therapist or counselor.


Just like an athlete needs a physical therapist to work an injured area of their body, a therapist helps you work on the areas of your mind and emotions you need help with.

A coach, whether sports coach or life coach, helps you bring out your best, so you can perform at your optimum level. Coaches help you improve your life by focusing your efforts on what’s already working. Coaches help you get to what you want to accomplish and achieve. A career coach coaches you on your professional goals; a relationship coach or marital coach coaches you on your relationships, just like a basketball coach helps your team reach the championship.

As with any sport, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to coach yourself to the top. We’d laugh if a professional team showed up and said, “We’re just going to coach ourselves this year.” Yeah right!

If fans heard that, they’d sell their season tickets and expect the team to fall apart. Similarly, we can look at Olympic athletes. If they have an athletic talent or skill that they want to refine to make their way to a gold medal, they need a coach. In fact, when it comes to Olympic dreams, athletes need the very best coach that they can find.

If we want Olympic-level lives, we need the same level of coaching. Succeeding and getting the most out of life requires the mastery of many skills—social, emotional, and physical. For an Olympic quality life, we need a coach in our corner. Even the most talented athlete can’t coach themselves to a championship, so why would we expect to coach ourselves to a championship life? A good life coach will help us discover what we need to do to unlock the door to a win.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

So how does a life coach help us unlock those big wins? Is it accountability or something else? If we have strong relationships with our friends, do we still need an outside life coach too?


A professional life coach helps in many ways beyond simple goal setting, accountability, and achievement. Life coaching isn’t only about checking in regularly or receiving advice. A good life coach doesn’t give advice at all.


An excellent life coach helps clients explore how they feel about their world and how they feel about themselves. More importantly, a great life coach won’t simply tell clients the answer or solve their problems—instead, they help clients evolve and work through their problems, empowering them to find their own solutions. In life coaching, we understand that the best answer is one someone discovers for themselves.

A professional life coach will help clients build on their strengths and identify their paths. A life coach won’t lay out the path for their clients and hand them a map, but instead, they help them find their own road along their journey. A life coach isn’t someone who gives advice or tells people what to do. Instead, they help people examine what they want and where they want to go with their life. A great coach will help their clients engage and fully live their life.

Who Does Life Coaching Help?

While life coaching doesn’t replace therapy or counseling, life coaching is for everyone. Yes, it can be most effective at discovering and playing up strengths, but coaching can work at any time. Often when we try a new endeavor like taking a class or reading a book, we apply a few of the ideas for a while. Then, when we don’t get lasting transformation and change, we think to ourselves, “Well, I tried, and it didn’t work.”

Instead, it can be helpful for us to reframe the thought pattern of “it didn’t work” to look at what we can learn and take away from the experience. We can examine the results that the experience did bring about, and those results can help us extract more from our other life experiences. Everything we read, try, and work on gives us more knowledge and ultimately brings about a result. It may not always be the result we want, but we always get a result.

Perhaps we’ve been through some life changes or reached a make-or-break point in our career. Or maybe we need to resuscitate our social lives because we’ve become “all work and no play.” Perhaps we’re entering back into the dating game after a divorce or a breakup. Or maybe we want to work on our relationship with our spouse because we feel it’s become strained or lost the “spark.” A life coach can help us navigate through all these struggles.

A relationship coach guides us through conflict and helps us figure out the real heart of the fight. (Hint: conflict isn’t always a negative sign—it can actually mean engagement and growth!) A relationship coach can help us discover more intimacy and a greater connection with our partner to regain that magic and take it to the next level.

We might be the most successful person in our workplace. We might be at the top of our game. We might have a great marriage, a wonderful connection with our kids, and fulfilling social life, but we might still be nagged by the feeling that there could be MORE.

Life coaching can help us discover how to extract even MORE goodness out of the good things in our lives. It can help us level up and get even better.

How Does Life Coaching Work?

So, how does life coaching work? What should we expect when we engage with a life coach? Do we look up coaching online and go with it?

If we feel like we’re going through the motions—wondering if this really is all there is—it may be time to investigate work with a life coach. A coach helps us get more out of life. They can help us focus on our vision and work toward a path of greater meaning and purpose.


Getting started with a coach means finding someone who is professional, experienced, and who understands us. At the Wright Foundation, our students work with our Chicago-based life coaches one-on-one.


They also do peer-to-peer work in small groups. Our approach to life coaching is based on neuroscience. We explore how our brains process and experience different interactions and use that exploration to reframe and change our mindset. Through mindfulness—not just awareness, but deep, intentional engagement—we can all live life more fully. We can start engaging at the speed of life.

Our approach also offers a way for our students to engage with others at the top of their careers, trying to take it to the next level. Like a professional sports team plays together, relying on their individual strengths to help each other move towards a goal, our Chicago life coaches and peers help each other maximize their potential. Our students discover untapped resources and social and emotional strengths that help them find success in their career, sales, marriage, and life in general.

Working with a life coach can help us bring out the best in all areas of our lives. A great coach helps us reflect on past experiences and look beyond our current circumstances to find the next mountain to climb and the next beyond that. Working with a life coach helps us get better and better. Whether we work in sales, we’re an entrepreneur, work in tech, accounting, or education—anyone can benefit from transformational thinking. It’s all about learning to think beyond ourselves, transform ourselves, and reach out to transform and bring out the best in others.

If you’re ready to take the next steps toward living your best life, explore our coaching resources. You can learn about our Chicago-based life coaches and discover more about our workshops and educational offerings. We offer courses for download at Wright Now, so don’t miss the opportunity to get ahead in your career, relationships, and life.


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.

 

How to Get What You Want in Life: Engage!

Are you wondering how to get what you want in life? Do you really know what you want?

Wondering how to get what you want in life? If you want a life filled with more satisfaction and joy, it’s time to engage and go for it.


It’s not uncommon to feel like we want more out of life but to feel uncertain about what a life of more really looks like. We might feel like something is missing, but we can’t really put our finger on it.

If this sounds all too familiar, here’s how to figure it out and get what you want in life. By making a few shifts in your mindset, you can discover a life of greater fulfillment, more satisfaction, and joy!

Not Sure What You Want in Life: Does this Sound Familiar?

In our career: We may be working hard at our job, climbing the ranks, and yet still feel beaten down. We might be the top salesperson or the head of our department but find that we’re still miserable at work (or at least dissatisfied). Maybe we’re missing that “high” we used to feel when we closed a deal. Still, we show up each day, do our job, and go through the motions. We don’t feel the joy, but it’s not enough to push us to leave.

In our relationships: Maybe we hear every word our partner says, we make eye contact, and nod in agreement. Maybe we can even repeat every word right back to them, but yet we still keep hearing, “I feel like you’re not listening to me.” Perhaps things have become routine, even a little boring. Between managing our household, daily tasks, and lives, we feel like two ships passing in the night. We’d love to get that spark back, but we aren’t sure how.

In our social lives: Maybe we have a great group of friends and acquaintances in our social lives. We enjoy going out to dinners, watching sports, hosting a game night, or meeting up with our buddy for a weekly trail run. We have conversations, and it’s nice, polite, and pleasant. But yet, we still feel disconnected. Our friendships don’t offer that same exhilaration we used to feel in college when we met new people that really challenged us and helped us grow.

In our free time: What free time? We’re all busy. Most of the time, we don’t sleep enough; perhaps we indulge a little too often with wine, food, and other soft addictions. Our pastimes feel like they’re all we have the capacity for, but they leave us feeling hollow. We go to the gym, and it’s the same routine—20 minutes on the treadmill, a few rounds on the weight machines, shower, return to work. We’re healthy, but we’re not where we used to be. Is it just part of getting older, or is it something else?

What’s missing in all of these areas of life? How can we get what we want in life?

Engagement!

What Does it Mean to Engage?

Many of us have heard about the importance of employee engagement at work. We may have taken a course on building intimacy in our relationships. We know engagement is a crucial part of friendship but is engagement just a buzzword? What does it really mean to engage in life?

At the Wright Foundation, we talk a great deal about engaging. Transformation and personal growth require engagement and action, but without understanding engagement, it can be hard to “get it back.” We all know when it’s missing from our lives, but recapturing those feelings of being turned on and tuned in can be an elusive task.


At the core, engagement is aliveness. When we’re engaged, we feel a sense of flow.


Most of us have felt flow at one point or another in our lives. We reach a flow state when we’re doing a job well, and we know we’re doing it well, or when we’re connected to our significant other and we’re simpatico. We experience flow when we love our hobbies and personal pursuits, and we find ourselves losing track of time and the outside world because we’re so engaged. We might feel the engagement when our conversations with friends are stimulating and enlightening. We feel aliveness when taking care of our physical body, finding ways to keep ourselves healthy, nourished, and strong. Flow happens when everything seems to be working. We feel on top of our game and on top of the world.

The hum, the buzz, the flow that we feel is engagement. We’re fully present in the moment, and we’re emotionally and physically encompassed in what we’re doing. When we’re engaged, we’re growing and learning; we’re striving and thriving. So even if we aren’t at our destination, we are on the way!

But then we peak. We reach that point where we close the big sale. We land our dream position. We have a beautiful wedding and say, “I do.” We run the 10K and cross the finish line. Once we’ve hit a goal, we might shrug and say, “Well, I guess that’s it.” Even though we accomplished something, we quickly go back to where we were before. We might wonder why or what’s wrong. Does life become less fulfilling as with experience? Is that all there is?

We need the new!

Our brains are hardwired to crave change and challenges. Even though we may think that the easy route sounds ideal or that we prefer to keep everything at status quo, our brains say otherwise. We’re designed to derive pleasure from engagement with discoveries and connections. We need new experiences to facilitate our brain’s plasticity and growth.

Neuroscience shows that it is only by engaging—being aware, paying attention, and intentionally doing new things—that we learn, grow and ultimately transform into someone doing something that would have been unimaginable without full engagement.  –Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

In other words, if we aren’t growing, we can’t engage. If we aren’t engaging, we’re definitely not going to get what we want in life. We’re not reaching our full potential and accomplishing the great things we could be doing with our lives. Instead, we’re going through the motions.

Seeking New Challenges to Get What You Want in Life

Each of us must seek out new challenges and new experiences to keep our minds engaged and alive. While routine can feel comforting (and can help us feel organized), we disengage when we fall into the same pattern of gym, work, dinner, and Netflix each day. We’re not getting what we want in life.


We all have desires and yearnings. Our yearnings are deep longings of the heart. If we think of what we truly want the most—acknowledgment, being respected, being loved, being seen and heard—those are the things that drive us toward our goals.


Our yearnings keep us striving toward the next peak. Many of us climb to the first summit, thinking we’ve met our goal, and we still feel unfulfilled. It’s only by climbing to the next peak and the next beyond that we can continue to find fulfillment.

To meet our goals, we need to be fully engaged. That means being present, focused, and tuned into our yearnings and emotions. When we understand our yearnings, they become our guiding star, leading us towards discoveries about ourselves and others. When we follow our yearnings and engage, we will start to feel the satisfaction of getting what we want out of life.

How Do I Know If I’m Engaging?

We might think that this all sounds well and good, but how do we really know if we’re engaging in life? Engagement isn’t simply about taking action. It’s not about listening or even about attention. We might pay attention to a movie, but often that doesn’t mean we’re fully engaged (we may even be using a film to escape from engaging in the real world).

Most of us are extremely busy, but multitasking and checking the next thing on the to-do list doesn’t mean we’re engaged either. Taking on more tasks doesn’t necessarily mean we’re engaged at work. Likewise, enjoying time with our friends or spouse—going out and being social—doesn’t mean we’re engaging in our relationships.

Instead of engaging, we might actually be suppressing our underlying wants and desires. We might be using activity to mask connections or as distractions. Engagement is emotional and visceral. It means challenging and pushing ourselves. It can mean conflict and passion. Engagement is more than filling up your calendar with activities.

Engaging with life also doesn’t mean overhauling everything or making sweeping changes. Divorcing a spouse, quitting a job, enrolling in a Ph.D. program, or going out and adopting a St. Bernard, doesn’t necessarily make us more engaged. We might still be the same person we were before. We might still feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied, but now with more debt and a dog to take care of.


Motivation for engagement shouldn’t come from a place of avoidance. Engaging means getting into things, not getting away from them. It doesn’t mean we swap out one relationship for another or seek a different career path.


Instead, engagement means we learn how to grow and transform, getting fully involved where we are. It means rather than avoiding, we roll up our sleeves and start to work on the things in front of us, rather than jumping from one ship to the next.

Engagement also isn’t limited to working hard or throwing ourselves into a single-minded task. It’s about having the grit and wherewithal to stick to something. It’s about perseverance and learning, and growing in each experience as part of a well-rounded life.

When we make mistakes, we can learn from them and build on what we’ve learned. Celebrate mistakes as a chance to grow and a sign that you’re taking risks and getting involved. Seek out new experiences and people who challenge and push you to be your best. Each experience is a chance to learn more about who we are and to uncover deeper aspects of ourselves.

Engagement is about doing things we aren’t successful at, over and over, until we get better at them. When the horse bucks us off, we dust off and get back on. We don’t just pack up our spurs and go home. Don’t rest at the summit and forget that there’s another peak to reach (and another beyond that).

To discover more ways to get what you want out of life, don’t miss our courses and resources available at Wright Now. You’ll find new ways to bring out your best in your career, your relationships, and your personal growth. So live the life you’ve always wanted—a life of more.


About the Author

Bob-300x250

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.

Come Home to Yourself: The Benefits of Mantra Meditation

If you’re looking for a simple way to calm yourself and refocus your attention anytime and anywhere, mantra meditation is an excellent tool.

 

Looking for a way to feel calm and refreshed? The benefits of mantra meditation are endless. Here's how to use this simple meditation tool.


What if I told you there’s a simple tool you can use to foster calm and peace at any moment of your life? A tool that will help you sleep better at night and be more productive during your waking hours?

And will cost you absolutely nothing?

Because there is. It’s called mantra meditation.

You’re welcome.

If you haven’t tried meditation before, or even if you’ve stuck your little toe in, you might be wondering if it lives up to the hype or if it’s some mystical practice that’s a little too “woo-woo.”

You’re not alone. But don’t let a little woo-woo talk you out of something as powerful as the benefits of mantra meditation.

The truth is, meditation has gotten pretty mainstream over the years, and even the skeptics are starting to come around.

My 50-Year Meditation Practice

I’ve been practicing meditation for 50 years. (I know, I know,  I’m old, right?) But each time I practice meditation, I feel like a beginner—young, enthusiastic, open-minded.

I’ve trained in many different styles of meditation—pranayama, Tibetan, and various hybrid approaches. When I found mantra meditation, I knew I had found my path to inner and outer peace.


When I meditate, my goal is to interrupt my mind and get out of my head.


This is different from trying to “stop” my mind. There are plenty of meditation disciplines where the objective is to stop your thoughts, but that creates a tension that doesn’t work for me. It feels like I’m trying to stop a freight train, and I become distracted from my practice rather than engaged.

I’m a pragmatist. Those who know me know that I prefer practical applications with a payoff. I meditate to bring myself a sense of calm. I meditate for creativity. I meditate to get away for a few moments and refresh my mind.

Honestly, it’s like a mini-vacation I give myself.

The benefits of mantra meditation are many, and that’s one of them. Here’s a couple more:

You are Getting Sleepy: The Abundant Benefits of Mantra Meditation

When I use mantra meditation, I sleep better, my moods are steadier, and I’m more creative. I’ll often do some right before bed, or even while in bed, to help me relax and drift off to sleep.

Sometimes I use meditation instead of sleep.

There have been times our team has worked with us, and we’ve needed to work through the night. To do that, we take a cue from sailors who travel around the world—they wait until they reach a clear zone and take a 20-minute nap. Twenty minutes is enough time to refresh your mind and give yourself a needed rest.

So, when we’d start to get foggy in our writing or find ourselves nodding off, we’d take a few minutes to practice mantra meditation. Then, I’d set the alarm, go into a quiet room and repeat a mantra several times, first loud and then softening, rhythmically. Many times, I’d find myself awakened by the alarm after a refreshing 20-minute sleep.

Why does this work?

Our brains have different waves—Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta:

  • Beta is when you’re fully awake, engaged, and ready to go.
  • Alpha is when you’re relaxed but aware—you may not be fully attentive, but you’re listening.
  • Theta is the hypnagogic state that you reach right before sleep—when you start to drift off but are aware of thoughts right below the surface.
  • Delta is your deepest state of sleep.

Occasionally, during mantra meditation sessions, you may drop into Delta sleep, but your awareness will hover in Theta most of the time. This state allows you to return refreshed and aware, without that grogginess that can come with a longer nap.

Other benefits of mantra meditation?


Because I use mantra meditation as a tool to refresh myself body and mind, I often experience powerful creative insights and a renewed sense of focus once I complete a mantra meditation.


Another benefit of mantra meditation is that my practice helps me become a more focused leader, who approaches situations with a more even temper.

Truthfully? For me, the meditation practice is often about survival. I tend to operate under enormous pressure, so learning to defuse that stress that and escape with mantra meditation has been a game-changer for me.

Want to try it?

You Can’t Do It Wrong! How to Practice Mantra Meditation

Ever heard of “monkey mind?” This is the busyness that occasionally happens in your mind. It happens in everyone’s mind, and it ALWAYS shows up when you sit down to meditate. Suddenly, all the things you need to do, ask, fix, find or be, line themselves up to distract you.

As you begin to practice mantra meditation, it’s essential to let yourself carry it out however you see fit. If you have an itch, go ahead and scratch. If you’re uncomfortable, shift your posture. If you attempt to ignore or override these distractions, they tend to become more intense and disturbing.


Remind yourself there’s no “best” way to meditate. You can’t do it wrong, AND you won’t get an award for doing it right.


Meditation is simply about refreshing your mind and allowing yourself to escape for a few moments:

  1.     Set aside 20 minutes in a quiet space
  2.     Get comfortable (sit, stand, lie down, walk)
  3.     Close your eyes
  4.     Repeat a mantra, loudly at first, then getting softer and softer

When I follow these steps, eventually, I will find myself reaching a state of relaxation. Until my monkey mind takes over, and I lose it for a minute, chasing another thought, another insight, another hurt, or concern.

The moment that happens, I interrupt my mind by repeating my mantra.

Sometimes there’s a higher self that allows new wisdom and insight to come in. How that works is way beyond me. But, wherever it comes from and whatever it is, I never cease to enjoy the vacation.

How Do You Choose a Mantra?

You may have heard the Buddhist “Om” repeated during meditation. Some of our Jewish students use “Aleph,” the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Some Christians prefer to repeat “Hallelujah,” “I Am,” or another meaningful word or phrase. You could pick a letter or any word for your mantra.

I repeat the mantra “Akal” in my meditation.

However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret—your mantra doesn’t matter. It can be a sound. It can be a word you like. It can be anything. As long as it resonates with you, simply allow the sound of the repeating rhythm to bring you to that peaceful-relaxed state of mind.

So, what are you waiting for?

It’s easy to get intimidated by the formality and nuance of meditation. It seems so ancient and mysterious. But it’s simple: a mantra replaces the 10,000 different thoughts in your mind with one powerful, clear, conscious engaged thought.

What’s not to love about that?

Want more ideas and opportunities to learn? Check out our upcoming events. You can also explore our webinars and presentations on leadership, relationships, self-discovery, and more on Wright Now. We offer an array of classes to help you get ahead in your career, boost your relationships, and discover yourself. Learn more today, so you can go forth and ignite 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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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.

 

4 Reasons You’re Miserable at Work…and What to Do About It

Do you hate your job? Are you miserable at work? Do you get the “Sunday scaries” and dread the office on Monday? Are you wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel?

Miserable at work? Don't give up hope! Here are four reasons why your job makes you miserable and what you can do to turn it around.

 


 

Many of us are looking at our job satisfaction and wondering if we shouldn’t be getting more out of our work. We may think of moving on but feel afraid of the career and financial consequences. So we trudge in each day, accepting that we’re doomed to feel miserable at work.

If you’re unhappy at work, there are a few points to examine. Here’s why you might be so dissatisfied with your job.

Is It Me or Is it the Job?

As a coach, I often hear people complain about their job situation. Many people have told me that they’re miserable at work. But what does that really mean?


Underneath that misery could often be feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, and even boredom. It turns out we feel more satisfied when we’re challenged.


When we’re just going through the motions, trying to make it through the day, it might be time for a step back.

The first question is—does work have to be miserable? After all, it’s called work, not fun, right? Absolutely not! I’ve worked with hundreds of people who were satisfied, stimulated, and purpose-driven in their work. They had fulfilling job experiences, whether they were a CEO, an entry-level intern, or serving up coffee behind a counter.

4 Reasons Why We’re Miserable at Work

When we look at our mindset, we can often turn those feelings of being miserable at work into feelings of fulfillment, growth, and betterment. Are we getting in the way of our career satisfaction? Here are a few reasons we might feel miserable at work.

1. You’re Not Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

We are all responsible for our own actions. But what does personal responsibility at work mean?

Taking personal responsibility is the act of declaring: “I determine how I react to the world. I am responsible for my own self-care. I don’t expect others to take care of me, AND I take responsibility for my emotional responses.” In our work life, we could also add, “I’m personally responsible for giving work my all, every day.”


When we feel miserable at work, we should ask ourselves if we’re really pushing ourselves. Have we become stagnant in our work? Are we learning and growing with new challenges? If not, how can we take personal responsibility to ask for more challenging, engaging tasks?


When we don’t take personal responsibility, we enter a state of victimhood. We get stuck in a drama triangle, where we’re the helpless victim. We stop analyzing our situation and making choices to become more effective and happier. Instead, we are disempowered, in a hole of our own unhappiness. We’re blaming others for our problems without doing our part to improve our situation.

It turns out that people who are unhappy at work are often the same people with the least to do. Boredom is anger turned inward. When people take that attitude to work, they aren’t set up for success. They’re spinning their tires on the ice rather than moving forward and accomplishing tasks. When we face challenges and complete a task for the day, we feel accomplished and excited. These achievements lead to pride, joy, and job satisfaction.

Personal responsibility is about understanding that we each own our emotions and reactions at all times. We can make work a fun game or see it as drudgery. For example, I once hired an acquaintance and two temps to help with an envelope-stuffing project. The work was monotonous, but the acquaintance would stuff 300 envelopes at a time. When he finished his goal, he’d reward himself with a quick walk outside or a snack. Then he’d come back a get right back to work.

On the other hand, the temps viewed the task as dull and frustrating. My acquaintance ended up stuffing more envelopes than the two temps combined. He was much happier too. He didn’t complain or blame the task. Instead, he got to work and turned it into a game.

If we want more satisfaction at work, we must start to shift our perspective about what’s “fun.” How can we set a goal and work towards it? Setting a timer, creating a milestone, or seeing how efficiently we can complete a task can make the time pass quickly and leave us feeling satisfied.

2. You Have Authority Issues

When we were kids, we may have heard that we had a problem with authority. It happens to many people, me included. Like many of our childhood memories and ideas, our pushback and rebellious streak can continue to manifest in adulthood.


But just because our boss is bossy (or even a jerk—and they are out there), it doesn’t mean we need to be unhappy. We need to look at how we’re reacting and get honest with ourselves.


If we have issues with authority (if we’ve had similar feelings whenever someone else is in charge), we’ll probably react to any boss, supervisor, or manager in a volatile way. Whether that means we shut down and withdraw or resist and defend, we’re likely to face continuous conflict unless we explore our feelings.

There are two steps we can take to get a handle on our authority issues:

First Step: We can deal with our unfinished business. All of us carry unfinished business with us. These issues are often unresolved from our childhood (even if we had happy childhoods), and they can come up when we experience feelings of powerlessness or frustration.

Yes, our “jerk boss” might be overly aggressive or even a bully because he’s unhappy with himself. But we don’t have control over that. We can only control our actions and reactions. Some folks can really struggle with this area, and it’s essential to get to the root of the problem. It could stem from residual childhood issues with authority. Perhaps our boss brings up negative feelings we had about someone in our past (an older sibling, a teacher). Becoming aware of these emotions and projections helps us get on the right path to control our reactions and make confrontations constructive.

Second Step: Deal with it. It may sound harsh, but sometimes we face people who are just jerks. If we’ve done work to become conscious of our projections and emotional reaction, but our boss is still a problematic bully, then the real question is—is it worth it? Can we deal with it? Can we put aside the feelings and work with this person productively?


When we focus on effectively doing our job rather than the emotional ups and downs of the day, we might find a greater sense of empowerment and control.


We can ask about our performance and spark a conversation with our boss down the road. This presents a less-heated opportunity to confront our boss about their attitude honestly and openly.

How will the boss react? They may respond positively or negatively, but when we’ve honestly expressed our feelings in a responsible manner, we own them. Our boss may not listen, and they may not change, but these opportunities can teach us powerful lessons about our inner strength, skillset, and even how to do a better job. If the situation is genuinely unworkable, then it may be time to liberate ourselves from the job and find something that’s a better fit.

3. You Aren’t Recognizing and Honoring Emotions

Sometimes our misery at work doesn’t stem from our boss or the drudgery of the job. Sometimes we feel miserable at work because we aren’t connecting with others—customers, vendors, and coworkers. We’re letting our emotions take over without examining their origins.

Take, for example, if we feel really angry at a coworker. When we engage our emotional intelligence, we own, examine, and understand our emotions. We explore where our anger comes from, and we own our part in it. As a result, we can engage in productive, honest conflict with the other person and find a proactive way to resolve the situation. We can learn and grow from every interaction, thus nourishing our emotional and social intelligence.

Where do these emotions and projections come from? Childhood lessons and values can project onto our adult selves and influence our interactions with others. People often become their childhood selves while interacting with those who remind them of certain family members or friends. One person may stir feelings of comfort and happiness—like a favorite aunt. Another person may evoke feelings of inadequacy, like our demanding dad.

When we examine everyone we have issues with at work, we might discover some distinct familiarities with our relatives and friends from the past. Examine these issues to determine what we might be projecting onto others, whether good or bad. Recognizing our emotions can help those emotional intelligence skills grow.

4. You Don’t Have Social Intelligence Skills

Social and emotional intelligence skills help us understand people’s emotions and reactions. Social intelligence is the ability to understand what other people are feeling, then learning to influence them positively and productively.

If we want to explore our social intelligence skills, we can ask ourselves questions like:

  • Am I a contributing team member?
  • Do I ensure my colleagues are working effectively?
  • Do I support the team?
  • Am I helping everyone win by contributing?
  • Am I open and honest in communications with everyone at the company?
  • Do I try to better both my work and myself?

Some people lack social intelligence skills because they lack emotional intelligence too. They don’t understand their emotions and reactions. One leads to the other, and both skills are essential for happiness and satisfaction in work and life.

For example, if we feel like we’re on a team that drags us down, we can turn it around and ask, “What have I done to lift my team today?” That’s part of that social and emotional intelligence in practice. If we take responsibility for ourselves, even when others are not, we can be socially aware and carefully, responsibly, and clearly communicate our feelings. We can start to understand our colleagues and how they might react and then engage with them accordingly.

How to Stop Being Miserable at Work

All these reasons go hand-in-hand with why we might feel miserable at work. I’m not interested in just helping people be “happier” at work. I’m interested in helping them have a wildly successful career of fulfillment and satisfaction. Most of us won’t be happy every day with every task, but we can shift our mindset to find purpose in every task.

The 4 reasons for being miserable at work are in a very specific order for a reason. The first step is taking responsibility for ourselves. Then we must deal with our authority issues, increase our emotional awareness, and build our social and emotional intelligence.

Learning these social and emotional intelligence skills allows us to create joyous work, practice gratitude, learn and grow in an adventuresome way. We will discover more about ourselves, others, and our world every day.

To build up your career satisfaction, don’t miss the courses available at Wright Now. We have insightful resources to help you increase your satisfaction in your relationships, career, and with yourself. Don’t miss the opportunity to live a life of more!


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.


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

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.