5 Strategies For Creating & Maintaining Personal Happiness…John Page Burton

“I just want to be happy” is a recurring statement made by many of my clients. When I ask them to describe what true happiness looks like to them, most are really not sure. When I ask them to describe what unhappiness looks like, most go into great detail describing all the things in their lives not living up to “their standards” therefore causing them angst and pain. Isn’t human nature interesting?

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well being characterized by positive, pleasant emotions ranging from basic contentment to intense joy. Happiness means different things to different people. One person can experience a tremendous amount of happiness because they purchased the car of their dreams while at the same time, another person can be experiencing a similar level of happiness because they have just had their first meal in a week. Many of us experience “convenient  happiness”, which is solely based on whether something makes us feel good or bad.

Below are 5 tips for creating and maintaining a happy, fulfilling life.

*Communicate in REAL TIME. We have all known someone (maybe even ourselves) who carry around a great deal of resentment and anger stemming from an event that happened in the past. This is quite common within the family structure, hence the term family feud. By addressing an issue when it happens (real time) we are engaging in explicit communication, which is respectful, yet straightforward and to the point. When we internalize our feelings and expect everyone around us to figure out why we are so miserable, we are engaging in implicit communication which is passive and vague, ultimately leading to miscommunication and misunderstandings. If you truly desire to maintain your happiness don’t hold things in, CLEAR and move on!

*Stay on purpose. Most of us at one point in our lives have asked ourselves the questions why am I here and what will my legacy be? When we become clear on our life purpose we find that a lot of our outside distractions disappear. Purpose inspires direction, direction leads to results and results create happiness. If we desire to live a happy life, we must get clear on our purpose and begin taking action steps. Here is a hint…If you are excited when you wake up in the morning and you feel fulfilled at the end of your day, the chances are above average your are living on purpose.

*Tap into your inner child. Some of the most miserable people I know are also some of the most uptight. The benefits that come from tapping into our inner child are immeasurable. Our mental and physical health improve dramatically when we play and have fun. Far too many people have forgotten how to cut loose and raise a little hell! I challenge you to revert back to childhood from time to time as it’s good for your soul and gives everyone around you permission to join the party!

*Accepting change. Change is inevitable and if you continually fight it, you will always be able to justify being unhappy. Jobs will change, relationships will change, lives will change, plans will change, the weather will change and believe it or not, even the government will change. When we change our relationship from one of resistance to one of acceptance, we find ourselves less agitated by the inevitable nature of change. Accepting change is an important key for maintaining our overall happiness.

*Contribution. When we volunteer and give back to our communities, we experience the world in a much more compassionate manner. Most of us are humbled when we realize just how well off we actually are. It is hard to be unhappy when we are out there making a difference. As we begin to see the world from a broader perspective, we recognize that someone else is extremely grateful for what we routinely complain about.

I am not able to speak for you, as for me, I choose happiness!

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

RESULTS: A Proven Formula For Success…John Page Burton

Most of us have heard the phrase “results inform the world” and we have been taught that people who are successful at any endeavor simply know how to produce consistent results. This is true, however it is important to understand results are the bi-product of a proven formula for success. Understanding and embracing this formula will produce consistent results in every corner of our lives. Let’s take a closer look at the results process.

R – Repetition. Results are born from repetitive action. Those of us who engage in physical exercise know it takes months of consistent training before we begin to see the fruits of our labor. Learning a new language or playing a musical instrument also takes a tremendous amount of repetition before we are able to commit the syntax or chords to memory.

E – Energy plays an important role in our ability to produce consistent results. In order to maximize our results we must maximize our energy. They go hand in hand. Healthy people tend to have a more positive outlook on life than unhealthy people.

S – Sacrifice is a mindset. People who produce consistent results understand the role sacrifice plays in their achievement. Sacrifice requires giving something(s) up in order to reach a higher purpose. For example, anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight has given up something (unhealthy foods) in order to gain something (health, vitality, self esteem) of greater value. In order to produce consistent results we must be willing to make consistent sacrifices.

U – Undying faith. Without undying faith most of us will give up or quit at the first sign of trouble. Faith allows us to trust that which we are unable to see so we may boldly go where we have not ventured before. Without undying faith we will not journey far.

L – Leadership. We must first become leaders of self before we can lead or influence others. When we become true leaders of self we are able to summon the discipline necessary to produce consistent, meaningful results in every area of our lives.

T – Trust in the process. Setbacks, failures, frustration and self doubt are our constant companions as we strive to reach our goals, ambitions and dreams. When we have placed our complete trust in the process we rarely take things personally and are able to maintain a laser focus on the end result. If we doubt the process, we will experience minimal results.

S – Skills. When we focus on refining and sharpening our skills we are sending a very clear message to the universe we are “dead serious” about achieving our desired results. Much like an Olympic athlete, our goal is to get better, faster and stronger. Sharpened skills combined with massive action leads to unstoppable results!

Results inform the world and we now have access to a proven success formula for producing consistent results in every corner of our lives.

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

What On Earth Are Women Looking For In Men?…John Page Burton

Being the hopeless and often times “clueless” romantic that I am, I recently conducted a survey to help me determine more specifically what it truly is that women are looking for in a man. I instinctively knew that it had to be more than a hot body, fast car and a ton of cash but I needed to be sure. I posed a single question directed at the female members of my social media circles and patiently waited for their responses. The question I asked was straightforward and to the point. “What do you find to be the biggest “turn ons” in a male partner”? I received over 150 responses from women representing 12 different countries (their responses also included quite a few “turn off” comments) which I then narrowed down into a list of the 12 most common “turn ons” for women.

Men, pay close attention, the women of the world have spoken! FYI…The majority of women that I have spoken with seem to agree that men say what they have to and move on, while women often hold on to and analyze a situation for extended periods of time. Although it can be emotionally painful for men, there will be times when our fishing trips will have to be placed on hold in order to meet our partners emotional needs. I have taken the liberty to include some helpful tips for all of my male friends.

Below are the BIG 12…(I am not referring to an athletic conference)

1. Women are turned on when we listen, acknowledge their feelings and DON’T try to FIX them. (in other words unless a women has called 911, our rescue efforts are probably not necessary)

2. Women love when we tell them how beautiful they are. (not in reference to specific anatomical parts)

3. Women love it when our entire focus is on them. (remember…one eye on her and one eye on the ball game does not meet this criteria)

4. Women are attracted to men who are assertive and exhibit a direct style of communication. (agreeing with her in order to get along, is viewed by most women as “wimpy” and it significantly undermines our manhood)

5. Women crave a gentle, attentive touch as opposed to “pawing” or “groping”. (most of the women surveyed, agreed that when men take a gentle, attentive approach, we usually end up getting everything we desire)

6. Women desire a man that has a sense of humor and who is not afraid to poke fun at himself. (this is good news, we are free to be our natural comedic selves)

7. Women are attracted to men who maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. (my hunch is that once they fall in love with us, they desire for us to stick around for awhile)

8. Women desire to feel safe and protected. (sometimes it may be necessary to kill spiders and shoo off snakes)

9. Women desire support, acceptance and encouragement. They do not want to feel like they are in competition with their male counterpart. (we must focus on and celebrate her victories and refrain from comparing our success to hers, let her shine, she earned it!)

10. Women are turned on by confidence and humility. They desire to know that we are confident in ourselves and in our abilities and that we are not afraid to admit when we are wrong. (I take this to mean that it is all right for us to stop and ask directions after the third trip through the same part of town)

11. Women are turned on by generosity. They respect men who freely give of their time, treasure and talents to help make the world a better place. (again, this illustrates the concept that givers gain)

12. Women are turned on by men who continually seek to develop a deeper, more meaningful connection with their creator. (acknowledging and worshiping a power greater than ourselves is a truly masculine activity)

The results are in, the women have spoken, there’s work to be done, got to run! I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!

6 Characteristics Of Vision…John Page Burton

We have all heard someone referred to as a visionary. Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs are considered to be some of America’s greatest visionaries. Over the years, I have known several people who seemed to have an uncanny ability at picking winning stocks, investing in successful start up companies or who could spot an upcoming trend from a mile away.  When I was younger I was concerned that I might have come up short in the “visionary gene pool” yet as I have grown older, I have been able to tap into my natural visionary abilities and have enjoyed a great deal of productive, forward thinking. Today, I view the word visionary from an entirely different perspective.

Below are 6 characteristics of vision…V-Vested. Visionary people live their lives without contingency. They treat their life as an investment and they are expecting a high return. They refuse to play small and they routinely take calculated risks. They embrace the statement “life is not a dress rehearsal” and they go after their dreams.

I-Ingenuity. Visionaries are ingenious, clever and inventive. They look for innovative ways to meet challenges and they scoff at the belief that “it has always been done this way”. They think WAY outside the box which keeps them fully engaged in the creation process.

S-Solution oriented. Visionaries are not consumed by problems. They acknowledge that a course correction is necessary and they immediately begin looking for a solution that will enable them to reach a desired outcome. They are masters of energy allocation.

I-Intuition. A true visionary trusts their intuition. Intuition is our single greatest gift and all true visionaries have learned to listen to and most importantly trust their inner voice. With all of the clutter in the outside world this can be a challenging skill to master but one that can pay amazing dividends.

O-Observant. Visionaries pay close attention to the world around them. They are also extremely conscious of their own behavior and recognize when it is time to make the adjustments necessary to take their game to a higher level.

N-Non-conformists. Visionary people tend to be non-conformists. Because they think outside the box they tend to see a much bigger picture than the average person. They ask a lot of questions, routinely challenge authority and have no interest in blindly following others. In short, they are natural leaders.

Are you a person of vision? The answer is a resounding YES! We ALL have the 6 characteristics of vision and we can tap into them with a decision.

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

People Pleasing, A 12 Step Recovery Program…John Page Burton

We all know people who are serial “people pleasers”. The art of people pleasing is not gender specific nor is it limited to race, religion or culture. People pleasing is an addictive, learned behavior that can be very difficult to change. The stereotypical people pleaser is adept at creating an environment of co-dependence in every area of their life. People pleasers are masters of avoidance. The philosophy of a people pleaser holds that as long as I am doing everything possible for someone else then I will never have to be responsible for my  life, my dreams or my desires. People pleasers are also extremely comfortable in justifying their behavior. “My kids could never function without me”, “my spouse would burn everything if he had to cook dinner for himself”, “the committee would be lost if I didn’t guide them every step of the way” or ” it just makes me happy to see them so happy” are some of the many excuses people pleasers routinely use to justify their inflated sense of self importance.  Unfortunately, people pleasers are also teaching their children that it is normal to do everything for everyone else and to do nothing for themselves. Children of people pleasers often grow up to be socially stunted adults. Remember, we teach people how to treat us.

Finally,  although they put on a happy public face, most people pleasers give of themselves begrudgingly and tend to harbor a great deal of resentment toward those they do everything for. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to sign up for the “People Pleaser 12 Step Recovery Program”.

The 12 Steps To Recovery…

1. We admitted that we were people pleasers and that we were sick and tired of obsessively doing everything for everyone else.

2. We came to believe that doing everything for everyone else was robbing us of our dreams and goals.

3. We made a conscious decision to turn over the majority of our dysfunctional workload to those around us who were just as capable of fending for themselves as we were.

4. We then took a fearless, moral inventory of our lives and came to the realization that we were in fact worthy of and open to letting other people meet some of our needs for a change.

5. We admitted to a power far greater than ourselves that we no longer had the desire to be in obsessive control over every single aspect of another persons life.

6. We were then ready, willing and able to let someone else do the laundry, cook meals, shuttle kids, mow the lawn, shop for groceries and search tirelessly for the remote control.

7. We humbly asked our creator to re-wire our brain to reflect a more self-centered mindset.

8. We made a detailed list of everyone we had been doing everything for and gave them each a copy of “the do it yourself guide to empowered living”.

9. We also made amends to everyone we had been doing everything for and let them know it would never happen again.

10. We continued to take a personal inventory and when we found ourselves slipping back into our unhealthy, enabling patterns we promptly rapped ourselves upside the head, thus bringing us back to our senses.

11. We continued to seek through prayer and petition the strength needed to first recognize and then act upon the principle of “feed a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”.

12. Having had this “mind blowing” revelation regarding how much time we were taking away from our own dreams, needs and desires we made it our mission to share our message of hope with people pleasers everywhere.

And so it was…..

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback on people pleasing.