The JOY That Comes From Being “Self Centered”…John Page Burton

When most people hear the phrase “self centered” they conjure up an image of a person who is self absorbed, someone who only cares about themselves. Most of us were admonished at an early age to not be “self centered.” As adults, many of us continue to hold the belief that “self centered” people cannot be counted on because they usually have a hidden agenda. In my early forties, I began to immerse myself in spiritual studies. Gradually, the words “self centered” took on a much different meaning and I realized that this supposedly “bad” thing called “self centeredness” could in fact be a very good thing. My journey toward  “self centeredness” had begun.

Webster’s Says….

Self-centered (adjective): concerned solely or chiefly with one’s own interests and welfare, independent, self sufficient, centered in oneself or itself.  I then looked at each of these words separately in order to gain an even better understanding. Self (noun): a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality, a person’s nature of character. Centered (adjective): having a central axis, situated in the center.

As I pondered Webster’s definitions, I began to ask myself some important questions.  Shouldn’t all of us strive to be independent, self sufficient people? Isn’t our ultimate goal to become a person of sound character?  Isn’t self sufficiency what our family, friends and especially society are expecting from us? How could I possibly add value to someone elses life if I am unable to take care of myself? If we fail to become a self sufficient person doesn’t society then deem us to be an even greater liability than those who have been labeled as simply being “self centered”? Having pondered these questions in great detail I made a decision and adopted a philosophy that I do my best to live by each day…..

I BELIEVE THAT LIVING A SELF CENTERED LIFE CREATES  HIGHER LEVELS OF ABUNDANCE, JOY AND LOVE IN MY LIFE.

We live in a fast paced, technology driven world that is moving faster than most of us can comprehend.  In order to find peace and re-charge our soul it is critical that we become “SELF CENTERED”. We must become still enough to tap into our inner voice. Many of our spiritual teachers encourage us to find a quiet, sacred space that will allow us to dialogue directly with our creator. A daily practice of prayer and meditation can help us to create an opening where we can explore the deeper levels of self.  When we make the commitment to take care of our minds, bodies and spirits we are honoring both ourselves and our creator. I have found that those who readily give to others but never honor themselves eventually become “angry givers”. Finding a healthy balance between what we lovingly give and what we are open to receive should be our goal. We must become “self centered”.

THE BENEFITS OF BEING SELF CENTERED

*When we are “self centered” we understand who we are and what we believe in. We are grounded in these beliefs. We are confident in our ability to make decisions that always honor the greater good.

*We trust our our inner voice. We are comfortable getting out of our head and into our heart. Our feelings become the language of our soul. We freely express our individuality. We are able to respect and honor others for who and where they are.

*We take responsibility for ALL of our experiences and actions. Because we are “self centered” we no longer feel the need to play the victim role by blaming our circumstances on others. When presented with challenges we trust in our own ability to make an informed decision.

*We have more to offer those around us.  An anchored, self sufficient person can have a much greater impact on our world than someone who is “flying by the seat of their pants”. When we are “self centered” we stay grounded and  view our lives in an objective manner.

Today, when someone refers to me as being “self centered” I am able to thank them for recognizing my efforts and for supporting me on my journey. As always I openly welcome your thoughts and feedback.

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It Sucks To Feel S.T.U.C.K….John Page Burton

STUCK is defined as being caught or held in a pattern or situation that doesn’t allow you to move. It is also defined as being unable to solve a problem and continue working.

All of us have felt stuck at one time or another. Some of the more common areas in which we feel stuck include our careers, diet, fitness, relationships and finances. It is not uncommon to get ourselves unstuck in one area only to find that we are seemingly stuck in another one. In order to get unstuck we must first identify and then re-frame the challenge we are focusing on. Recently, I worked with a client who complained of feeling stuck in their career and in their relationship. This person shared with me that they routinely felt overwhelmed, exhausted and angry “for allowing themselves to get into this position in the first place”. I pondered our conversation and began examining the word S.T.U.C.K.  Here is what I concluded…

S=Solution. When we feel stuck we are dwelling on the problem. We are operating from a place of scarcity which in turn is preventing us from seeing a bigger picture. THERE IS A SOLUTION TO EVERY PROBLEM and it is our job to focus our energy on finding that solution. When we are dwelling on the problem we are like a tiny rowboat in a giant whirlpool…we just keep going in circles.

T=Trust. We must trust our ability to find a solution. We must have faith that the outcome will be far greater than the temporary setback that is “bogging us down in the quicksand of our mind”. For example, losing 50 lbs begins by cutting our caloric intake and engaging in a consistent exercise routine. We must trust that over a sustained period of time we will release the unwanted 50lbs and restore our health. Trusting ourselves and our own judgment can be difficult at first but with each small victory we are building muscles of belief.

U=Understanding. In order to create  lasting change and get unstuck  we must first understand what is driving our thoughts. What disempowering thoughts keep creeping in? What are we focusing on that is creating our fear? Are these thoughts real or make believe? By asking ourselves these questions we can better understand how our thoughts can be keeping us in a holding pattern. Once we change our thoughts the wheels of positive change begin to propel us out of our mental muck.

C=Commitment. We must be willing to DO THE WORK. When we are fully engaged in the process of change we are creating the right climate for a breakthrough. For some, remaining stuck is a badge of honor that is pinned proudly to their chest. For them, it is simply easier to remain stuck than to face the challenges associated with growth. If we desire to get unstuck and live the fulfilling life awaiting us, it is imperative that we get uncomfortable and DO THE WORK.

K=Kindness. Let’s face it, feeling stuck sucks! Beating ourselves up only makes the feeling worse. Being unkind to ourselves actually prolongs our feeling of hopelessness. Most of us have developed some rigid rules regarding how we believe our lives should look. Let’s face it…tough times happen to good people and it isn’t always our fault. When we find ourselves in challenging situations it is important to remember to show ourselves some grace. We have all heard the phrase “this too shall pass” and it will. I know that when I look back on the “storms of my life” each of them delivered the lessons that I needed to learn at that point in time. The storms indeed passed, I’m still standing and I am wiser as a result.

I encourage you to print out this message and refer back to it the next time you are feeling stuck. As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Living In The Illusion Of Ruin…John Page Burton

When I was in my early thirties I saw a bumper sticker that read…”he who dies with the most toys wins.” It was in that moment, at that stoplight that I would adopt a philosophy that would “misguide” me for the next 15 years. At the time this bumper sticker philosophy made perfect sense to me and I was ready to start collecting my toys!

 Like most of us, I grew up believing that a person’s success and self worth were due in large part to their ability to make money and accumulate nice things.  I attended numerous wealth creation seminars and was introduced to and later joined the network marketing industry. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. The good news is that I did experience tremendous success in both network marketing and in the traditional business world. The bad news is that I never learned the concept of balance and this lack of understanding cost me dearly in my personal and family relationships.  Today, my bumper sticker philosophy has changed to…”he who dies with the most toys is still DEAD.” Bestselling author, Brendon Burchard in his book Life’s Golden Ticket talks about asking himself a very profound question, one that has guided his success principles for the last decade. His question was… Did I live, did I love, did I matter? How do you want to be remembered? How would you want someone to describe your life?  I wanted to share a few of the philosophies that I have adopted over the last few years, philosophies that have truly helped me to create an abundant, more meaningful life. I hope that you will find them helpful on your journey.

*Simplify your life by clearing the clutter. For most of us this entails clearing both material and emotional clutter. Comparing yourself to others and trying to keep up with the Jones family is very taxing. I like to refer to this as “the illusion of ruin.” If we are not careful we can easily slip into debt, lose interest in our family lives and end up with serious health challenges that stem from being out balance. I encourage you to evaluate how and where you spend your time. It takes discipline to right the ship but it is well worth it.

*Define your true beliefs and values. NEVER be willing to compromise them! We all possess an inner compass. We know what feels right and what feels wrong. My father used to say “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” What is important to you? What would you be willing to die for? What are your guiding beliefs and values?  Far too many people don’t have an answer to these questions. Once you are able to truly define your beliefs and values you will be able to shape your life and your actions around them.

*Prioritize what really matters. One of the most important keys to achieving life balance is to prioritize things in order of importance. Work is a defined, structured environment that takes up an average of 45 hours per week. What we do with the remainder of our non-work time goes a long way in determining the quality of our lives. I encourage you to take a close look at how you spend your non-work time. What activities do you engage in? How does your social life shape up? Do you make time for exercise? How active are you with regards to family activities? By taking this inventory you will clearly see how you spend your time and in which areas you are out of balance.

*Build up your spiritual and emotional bank accounts. Financial stability is important to the majority of us. We hire financial planners, CPA’s and other professionals to help ensure that our personal bank accounts are in order and that our investments are paying us the highest dividends possible. Building up our spiritual and emotional bank accounts requires us to be in tune with the needs of our fellow man.  Giving back to our communities is a great way to say “thank you” to our creator for all of the extra time, treasures and talents that he has bestowed us with.

Anthony Robbins once said that “success without a sense of deep fulfillment isn’t really success at all.” I know that I am grateful for the lessons that I learned during my “toy collection” years and I am very grateful for the simpler, more grounded life I live today. Both my financial and spiritual bank accounts are abundant and my personal relationships keep getting better and better. I do in fact feel a much deeper sense of fulfillment which lets me know that I must be on the right track

As always I appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

Creating Authentic Self Esteem…John Page Burton

Self esteem is a term in Psychology that is used to reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of their own worth.  Self esteem also takes into consideration a person’s beliefs and emotions. I have come to realize that a person’s true level of self esteem can be quite deceptive. We are all capable of going to great lengths to disguise just about anything we believe could be perceived by others as a flaw or shortcoming. I know that I have been guilty of this on many occasions. Our friend the Ego is quite the character.

In order for each of us to create what I refer to as authentic self esteem it is critical that we first conduct an honest evaluation of ourselves and then be willing to be transparent as we begin the work of creating our own authentic self esteem.  Here are 6 areas to embrace and master.

  1. Face your FEARS when they come up. Pretending that they do not exist or actively avoiding them will keep you stuck. The only way to get past a fear is to meet it head on. Once you have experienced your breakthrough the fear no longer holds a negative meaning for you. Enlist support as you work through your fear, it will make it easier for you to conquer it. Celebrate every breakthrough because you have achieved authenticity.
  2. ASK for what you want. If you don’t ask the answer will always be NO. Every time you ask for what you want you are building muscles of confidence because you believe that you deserve that which you are asking for.  You will begin to experience YES more than no and your belief system will change.  You are not waiting for the “scraps” of life to fall your way you are actively going after what you desire. Authenticity is YOURS!!!
  3. Change your language. Speak positive words in every situation. When you begin a negative dialogue you must STOP and remember that this is an avoidance technique that is being hand delivered by the Ego. Speak gratitude for every life experience and bless everyone you meet along the journey as they are your teachers. You are now experiencing your authentic self. No more hiding for you!!
  4. Make your health a priority. Our health is our best friend. When we are in good health our attitudes improve, we take pride in our appearance and we recognize that we are viewed as people with sound habits and discipline. Our vitality and energy spill into every area of our lives and we are able to face challenges in a much more focused manner. Looking good and feeling better truly showcases the authentic you!
  5. QUIT comparing yourself to others. This is your race and it is your job to run it!! When we spend our time comparing ourselves to others we are sending a message that says “I am not enough” and this message is very damaging. We are all created for a different purpose. As our lives evolve we begin to better understand our God given talents and how to apply them. Constantly comparing ourselves to others robs us of the valuable energy that is needed to run our BEST race. I have also learned that everyone has a back story and that the grass is truly the greenest where you water it! God loves our authenticity.
  6. Challenge yourself and get UNCOMFORTABLE.  Living a “safe life” is not living life. Take up a hobby, learn a new language, try a new sport, go back to school or anything else you have wanted to do but instead chose to buy into the story that it was impractical or “stupid.” Get out of your comfort zone and learn to embrace your curiosity zone. With each new accomplishment you are building higher levels of authentic self esteem.

This is your life, how do you desire to live it? To create authentic self esteem you must be in integrity with yourself and embrace the journey. I look forward to your thoughts on authentic self esteem.

The 5 P’s For Life Success…John Page Burton

Let me start out by saying that I am and always will be a work in progress.  I firmly believe that there is no better teacher than life.  Life presents us with daily tests, the appropriate teachers and a wide array of experiments that will truly challenge our ability to see things from a logical perspective.  Sometimes we will achieve high marks and at other times we will fail.  I have determined that there are 5 keys to living a much more peaceful and productive life. The 5 P’s are relevant to both our personal and professional lives.

  1. PATIENCE. True success in any endeavor will take time. The vast majority of us live in an instant gratification culture that is very materialistic. In order to be viewed as a success we believe that we must drive a certain type of car, live in an exclusive neighborhood and our wardrobe must include the latest fashion trends. This misguided view of success leaves many of us exhausted and deeply in debt. There is no shortcut to success. You must have a plan, work that plan and have the wisdom to modify your plan when necessary. Patience truly is a virtue that I always seem to be working on.
  2. PERSEVERANCE.  We have all heard the phrase “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It’s true!  ALL of us will hit rocky points in our relationships and careers. The specific meaning that we attach to our low points will determine our experience of them. The manner in which we communicate with ourselves and others during difficult times will have a profound effect on our situation. When something is not working, it is imperative that we make a course correction. To experience a breakthrough a person must be honest with themselves and not give up.
  3. PRIDE. The Ego wields tremendous power over our lives. Learning how to accept failure is an important part of our maturation process. We are taught that “winning” is everything and when things don’t work out in our favor the Ego has a field day. Our programs begin running, the voices start chattering and before we know it we take on the identity of being a “loser.”  In my opinion the best way to combat the Ego is through a daily practice of GRATITUDE.  I thank my creator for ALL of my experiences (good or bad) and accept them as important lessons in my life.  Expressing gratitude helps me keep my life in perspective.
  4. PROCESS. Success is a process. We can choose to embrace and enjoy our journey or we can fight it and be miserable. When we choose to embrace the process, the journey becomes an educational adventure. With each step, we learn more about ourselves and our true character begins to form roots.  Viewing this process as a learning lab allows us to challenge ourselves and become more confident in our abilities.
  5. PASSION. “Variety is the spice of life.” We have all heard this phrase but many of us don’t realize just how important variety can be. Far too many people live in a constant state of complacency. They are willing to accept “whatever comes their way” and they do very little if anything to change their circumstances. Life is a GAME and it is meant to be played with PASSION!  Be curious, try new things, become a person who is adventurous and spontaneous. I personally make it a point to release my work on Friday afternoon and then proceed to play hard on Saturday and Sunday. Rarely do I have a plan, I just let things unfold. Monday morning finds me ready to jump back into the process and move towards my goals. Try it…you may find that you like it!!!

I hope that you find the 5 P’s helpful as you embark upon or continue your journey. Thanks for letting me share and as always I look forward to your feedback.

A 5 Step Process For Achieving Results…John Page Burton

Most of us desire to live productive, fulfilling lives. We live in a world where the sky is the limit for anyone that is willing to dream big, formulate a plan of action, roll up their sleeves and go to work.  I encourage you to follow this 5 step process as you move towards achieving your personal goals and dreams. 

 

  1. Clearly define what you desire to accomplish. Write it down. Carry it with you at all times. Read it out load no less than 10 times per day. Written goals that are stated on a daily basis send out a strong message to the universe that you are serious in your intention. *A goal that is “rolling around in your head” holds no real power.
  2. Determine the price you are willing to pay to attain your goal. Achieving your goal will take sacrifice! For example…Losing thirty pounds will require that you make time for exercise and stop eating “comfort foods.” Creating a second stream of income will add extra hours to your work day and may keep you from participating in activities with friends and family. Success comes with a price tag. You must be willing to pay the price.
  3. START, TAKE CONTINUOUS ACTION & DO NOT QUIT!  Often our most well intended plans never come to fruition because we fail to take the first step. Once we start the journey towards our goal we must take continuous action and never allow ourselves to give up. This sounds simple and yet it is quite difficult for most of us. When the going gets tough the excuses start surfacing and before we know it we are dead in the water. Hiring a coach or enlisting a work-out partner will help to keep you on track and hold you accountable.
  4. Evaluate your progress on a regular basis. Again, a coach or work-out partner will serve you well.  This evaluation process will reveal the things that ARE working well and you will also be able to modify or change the things that are not. Be open to change and most importantly be flexible. There are going to be countless detours on the road to success and your ability to take a different route will often be the difference in whether or not you reach your final destination. 
  5. Reward yourself along the way. I am a big believer in rewarding the “little victories” that we experience on the journey towards the end result. For example…If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, reward yourself when you lose the first 10. (Don’t have dinner at a Buffet) Rewarding yourself sends a very positive message to your brain and it will keep you motivated as you work off the next 10 pounds. I also recommend establishing a significant reward for achieving your overall goal. We all enjoy being rewarded for a job well done and learning to reward ourselves is very important.

I hope that you find these tips helpful and as always I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.