5 Steps To End The “Drama Habit”…John Page Burton

We all know someone who is addicted to drama. They are the type of person who struggles to engage in a conversation that is not centered around “woe is me”. They will openly air their “problems” to anyone who has two ears and is breathing. They are attracted to people who have an equally strong need for drama. They crave attention and routinely create drama in order to meet their insatiable need for significance. Anyone who disagrees with them or offers a “proactive point of view” may find themselves in the cross hairs of the dramateer. Personal responsibility is death to the dramateer and they will avoid it at all cost. The drama habit can be a hard one to break. Drama is addictive. Below are 5 steps to help us end our drama habit once and for all.

DRAMA REHAB…..

1. We must take ownership of our drama. Admitting that we thrive on and identify with drama is the first step toward breaking this habit. Have you ever confronted someone who is being overly dramatic? The first thing they will do is justify their behavior. “You don’t know the half of what I’ve been through and your calling me dramatic” is a typical response of a dramateer. Ownership is awareness and awareness leads to change.

2. Change our associations. The energy of drama needs to be fed. Dramateers attract other drama addicts. If we desire to break this habit it is imperative that we step outside our comfort zone and reach out to healthy, emotionally balanced people. It is time to cultivate a new circle of influence. At first this may be very intimidating because the dramateer is not used to having proactive conversations with people who will hold them accountable for their results. Changing our associations can “dramatically” change our life. Remember, the 5 people we spend the most time with will have the greatest influence in our lives. Choose wisely!

3. End the blame game. Dramateers struggle with personal responsibility and are always looking for people and circumstances to blame for their poor choices. Blame is a very disempowering emotion. When we go to blame we are sending a strong message that we are not in control of our decisions, behavior or choices. The only way to effectively end our blame game is by taking full responsibility for ALL of our actions. This is what is meant by emotional maturity.

4. QUIT trying to fix people! Much of our drama occurs because our “fix it” projects fail. When we try to “mold” people to fit into our model of how we want them to show up we are going to end up angry and frustrated. Most of us have no desire to be “fixed” because we don’t view ourselves as broken. We are far better off working on ourselves and attracting into our lives the people who are destined to be here. “If he/she would just do this then I would be more attracted to him/her” is a typical dramateer perspective. We must work on becoming what we desire to attract. Pointing the finger at someone else is an avoidance strategy designed to keep us from facing our own shortcomings. Drama is born from insecurity!

5. START talking about concepts and ideas and STOP talking about other people. “Small minds talk about people, great minds talk about ideas”. Drama is a result of our frustration with other people. Innovation is a result of our collaboration with other people. When we stop talking about people (gossip, judgment) and begin discussing ideas, our world will open up to endless possibilities. We will find that our physical and emotional health will “dramatically” improve and our interactions will be uplifting as opposed to destructive. Which sounds more appealing to you?

Drama is a habit. We can break this habit with some good old fashioned discipline. I used to get sucked into drama on a regular basis. One day a light went off and I realized that my constant involvement in other peoples “stuff” was robbing me of time, resources and most importantly JOY! Today, I am compassionate and understanding, however, if a person is not taking a proactive approach to solving or resolving their “problems” I have no problem exiting stage left. Drama is a game I choose not to play.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

Advertisements

What Your Bank Account May Be Saying About You…John Page Burton

Our beliefs and values shape our life experiences. Our relationship with money is an extension of our beliefs and values. Lets take a look at two different bank accounts and see what each one may be saying about the mindset of the account holder. Remember…where our energy flows our money follows! ***I understand that good people fall on tough times. This message is geared toward the person who has created these money habits of their own free will.

Account Holder #1

*Overdraft and service fees. Easy come, easy go. The account holder craves instant gratification, routinely putting off until tomorrow what they could easily write a “hot check” for today. This instant gratification mindset shows up in relationships, friendships and their work environment. When things aren’t “fun” they tend to become frustrated, anxious and bored. They live for the next “quick fix”.

*Hundreds of dollars in “fast food” charges. The account holder does not prioritize their physical or emotional health. Their lives are out of balance. People who consume large quantities of “fast food” tend to lack the mental and physical energy necessary to make a significant impact on the world. The “fast food” lifestyle features higher instances of illness and disease which translates into time lost from work which translates into additional loss of household income.

*Multiple (minimum due) payments made to credit card companies. The account holder is irresponsible. This is yet another example of their instant gratification mindset. The account holder lives life using bubble gum to plug holes in the dam. Excuses and justifications are predominant in their speech. This is a very stressful way to live life.

*Repeated ATM withdrawals at casinos. The account holder has an addictive personality and more than likely is using avoidance strategies to cope with extreme internal pain. Addictive behavior will predictably show up in other areas of their life and is more than likely wreaking emotional havoc in their most intimate personal relationships. Drinking, drugging and overeating are but a few of the behaviors common to this account holder.

Account Holder #2

*Interest earned on checking and savings. The account holder places a high value on and pays close attention to their money. Their mindset of what we appreciate, appreciates will spill over into other key areas of their lives.

*Payments made to charitable organizations. The account holder is service minded and cares about humanity. They routinely volunteer their time and are outward focused. Gratitude is a core guiding principle in their lives. They teach this sense of responsibility to their children.

*Dividend deposits, mortgage payments. The account holder is a planner and can be trusted with responsibility.

*Tuition payments. The account holder is a visionary thinker. Planning for future events is important to them. They can be trusted to take care of others. They are practical.

This begs the question…

Which of these account holders would you hire as an employee? Which one would be a reliable business partner? Which account holder would you desire to start a family with? There will be exceptions to every rule, however, our relationship with money is a pretty reliable indicator of how we will show up in other key areas of our lives.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

2 Keys For Creating A Rewarding Life…John Page Burton

As a peak performance strategist I have the privilege to interface with a diverse group of clients. Many of my clients are well established and quite successful while others are just getting started out in their business or career. Many of my clients enjoy happy, fulfilling marriages while others are searching the yellow pages for a good divorce lawyer. Some enjoy a healthy lifestyle, others are overweight and out of shape. I am always searching for key distinctions that separate the person who by their own definition is living a full, rewarding life from the person who routinely feels frustrated and dissatisfied.

Today, I would like to focus on two key distinctions that can play a big role in the overall quality of a person’s life. Our CHOICES and our PERSPECTIVE.

Every day we make choices. We choose what we wear, what we eat, how we treat our children, spouse, employer, employees, customers, neighbors and friends. We choose to be honest or deceitful, faithful or unfaithful, principled or unprincipled, kind or mean, generous or stingy, loving or hateful. Every choice brings about a consequence. Some consequences we intend to happen, others “not so much”. It’s the “not so much” consequences that offer us the biggest opportunity for growth. Here are three tips for making better, more informed choices.

CHOICES…

1. Think things through. This sounds pretty basic however, most of us make emotional choices. In other words we make choices based on whether something offers us pleasure or pain. When we take the time to think things through we tend to make better choices. For example, I recently enjoyed dinner with a friend. During the course of dinner he consumed several cocktails. He wasn’t slurring his speech or acting silly but he did have a “good buzz”. He was concerned that he might be over the “legal limit” and thought that it would be a good idea to “take a few side streets home”. I encouraged him to think things through. I asked him to consider the worst thing that could happen if he made the decision to drive in his current state. I ended up dropping him off at his house and he retrieved his car the next morning. He CHOSE to leave nothing to chance. Good choice=positive consequence.

2. When in doubt, get a second opinion. Let’s be honest, most of us are capable of making unfavorable choices. Whenever I am making an important decision (choice) I routinely reach out to a close friend or associate and solicit feedback. I am NOT asking them to make the decision for me but rather to make sure that I am not missing anything that could lead to an unfavorable outcome. I then weigh the feedback and make my decision. This also allows me to keep my emotions in check.

3. History. Our past history can serve as a reliable indicator as we make future choices. For example, I may consider using my “bill money” to go to Las Vegas for a weekend with “the boys”. As I contemplate this choice it is important to reflect back on another time when I may have made a similar choice. What was the result? Did everything work out fine or did my phone get turned off? Did I enjoy the feelings associated with not paying my bills in order to experience immediate gratification? Our personal history can help us make better choices.

PERSPECTIVE…

Our perspective is the way WE see things. It is experiential in nature, meaning that our current perspective is based on past experience. I like to refer to an experience as a “reference point”. Simply stated, perspective is our point of view. When we find ourselves feeling angry or frustrated it is often a good idea to step back and look at things from a different perspective. Here are three tips for shifting our perspective.

1. Don’t personalize things. Whenever we experience a rejection many of us immediately begin looking for something “we must have done wrong”. We may also find ourselves taking on a tremendous amount of UNNECESSARY guilt. For example, when a relationship ends and despite what the other person claims, it was not entirely our fault. It takes two people to make or break a relationship. Deflection temporarily takes away from the sting of a rejection. It is always in our best interest to move through the stages of grief and gather the lessons from the loss. Personalizing our grief means that we are trying to be RIGHT about something. It is important that we identify what it is we are we trying to be right about and begin telling ourselves a new, more empowering truth.

2. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Objectivity is one of the most important things we can practice. Whenever I find myself in a situation in which tempers are flaring and angry words are being spoken, I seek to identify the “root cause” of the tension. Is the other person feeling insecure, insignificant, not heard or not respected? What can I do to meet that persons emotional need and diffuse the situation? By putting myself in their shoes I am able to gain a different perspective and begin meeting them where they currently reside. This practice is often referred to as “grace”.

3. Be open to other points of view. “My way or the highway” is not an endearing way to live life. It is important that we remain open to learning. A differing point of view can open a dialogue and this dialogue will often help shift our perspective. In any disagreement there are two points of view, mine and yours and somewhere in the middle lies reality. Our willingness to listen to new ideas and different points of view allows us to make informed choices based on a newer, more defined perspective. An “expanded mind, never returns to it’s original size”.

This is how I see things from my perspective. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and perspective as well.

8 Reasons Why People Remain Stuck In Life And Business…John Page Burton

Why do some people seemingly “sail” through life while others seemingly “flail” through life? Two words immediately come to mind…PERMISSION and CHOICES. Those who have CHOSEN to give themselves PERMISSION to “go after” all that life has to offer tend to make the game of life look so much easier than those who have CHOSEN to get bogged down in life’s minutia and “flail” their way through. As a peak performance strategist, I coach both “sailers” and “flailers”. I recently compiled a list of 8 common reasons why many people remain stuck in life and business. ***For the purpose of this article I am defining “success” as the attainment of anything worthwhile and rewarding.

1. LACK A TRUE VISION. Our journey to success will start with a compelling vision but must be followed by hard work and dedication. There are NO shortcuts! Our vision must be big enough and exciting enough to ensure that nothing can derail us from our dream. Frustration is usually birthed from a lack of focus. When our vision is small we tend to allow excuses and justifications to become our focal point. This is death to a dream.

2. MAJOR IN MINOR THINGS. Drama is another killer of dreams! I have seen countless people put their dreams on hold or lose momentum in their business because they seem to constantly be “coming to the rescue” of a “wayward” friend or family member. Helping people in need is a compassionate way to live life but far too many of us are using it as an avoidance strategy. Getting “sucked” into other peoples drama is an unconscious way to live and will keep us from “sailing”.

3. COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS. When I spend time comparing myself to someone else I am wasting my most precious resource…TIME! I am also sending a very loud message to the universe that I don’t appreciate my life and opportunities. This is NOT the message we want to send! My job is to run my race, not yours.

4. SEEKING ADVICE FROM THE WRONG PEOPLE. Once we create our vision and begin establishing our goals, it’s now time to seek counsel from people who are capable of helping us design a success strategy. It’s always wise to seek advice from people who have achieved the results we are striving to achieve. Their guidance can save us valuable time, resources and energy. It never ceases to amaze me how many people accept guidance from people who are no further along than they are? If you find that you are the smartest person in the room…FIND A NEW ROOM!

5. MOVING FROM “GURU TO GURU”. There is no such thing as a magic bullet! Knowledge is a good thing. APPLIED KNOWLEDGE PRODUCES RESULTS! A person can only take so many courses, gain so many certifications or earn so many degrees before it is time to APPLY what we know. Ask yourself…are you chasing your dream or are you chasing your “guru”?

6. LACKING A PROGRESSIVE CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE. The 5 people we spend the most time with have the greatest influence in our lives. It is imperative that we choose wisely. As we begin changing and growing so will our circle of influence. Many of us are surprised when friends and family members begin mocking our personal growth or even attempt to sabotage it. The reason for their behavior is simple, they want us to remain WHERE IT IS COMFORTABLE FOR THEM and they feel threatened by our ambition.

7. LOOKING AT THE “COST” RATHER THAN THE “INVESTMENT”. Successful people view personal growth and professional development as an investment rather than a cost. They invest in seminars, programs, workshops and they hire coaches while knowing full well that the true return on their investment will occur in the future. Cost minded people are focused on immediate return, have a difficult time delaying gratification and play a heavy game of “either-or”.

8. QUIT EASILY & QUIT OFTEN. Success is not for the faint of heart. I recently observed a person on my social media stream lamenting their challenge of getting their business off the ground. Which business I wondered? It seems like every month they are promoting a new business venture. The previous one “just didn’t work out”. My guess is at the first sign of resistance they quit and move on to the “next great thing”. What they fail to realize is that nobody wants to follow someone who quits easily and often. Anything worthwhile takes time, patience and a great deal of sweat equity before we can realize the joy of achievement.

STUCK is a CHOICE!

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

Is Pinocchio Syndrome Blocking Your Success? John Page Burton

Most of us are familiar with the story of Pinocchio. Pinocchio was the creation of a wood worker named Geppetto. Geppetto created Pinocchio to be a puppet but Pinocchio wanted to be so much more, he wanted to be a boy! As the fairytale goes, Pinocchio was prone to fabricating the truth and each time he told a lie his wooden nose would grow. His nose became a dead giveaway to those around him whenever he was not being truthful. Much like young Pinocchio, many of us continue to tell ourselves lies and although our nose doesn’t protrude from our face we are still suffering a subtle, yet painful sense of shame. We know at our very core that we are allowing the lies we tell ourselves to keep us from becoming the best version of ourselves. Through my own personal growth work and my interaction with hundreds of clients, I have identified 5 predominant lies that many of us have been telling ourselves for years. These lies will keep us from living the abundant, fulfilling lives we deserve.

THE PINOCCHIO SYNDROME…5 lies we must stop telling ourselves!

1. I’m not as gifted as he/she. All of us were born with unique talents and gifts. Our objective is to identify and use them to our greatest advantage. My ability to relate to and communicate with others is one of my gifts. As a life coach and author, my job is to use my gift to deliver great content to my readers and design success strategies for my clients to implement. If I spend my time comparing my results to those of Tony Robbins, I will become frustrated and it will distract me from sharing my authentic message . I will let Tony run his race and I will focus on running mine. Comparing my gifts and results to Tony’s doesn’t serve my greater good.

2. I’m not attractive enough. This is one of the biggest lies of all. Madison Avenue has led us to believe that if we are anything less than a “super model” driving a sports car our lives should be considered mediocre at best. God created and blessed each of us with our own unique body type and features. Our mind, emotions, desires, habits, knowledge, fortitude and persistence are what will determine the quality of our lives. I have known numerous “attractive” people who seem to always just “get by” and I have known numerous others who “society” would deem “aesthetically average” who have built companies, are leaders in their communities and have created true legacies. Looks will only get us so far and then we will have to rely on our intellect.

3. I don’t have the education. Whenever I am in the process of hiring someone I rarely ask to see their resume. I prefer to have a series of conversations with them. I am a firm believer that the “I will” is a far greater indicator of a persons potential for success than the “IQ”. I know several highly degreed individuals who can’t seem to hold down a job and I know several high school graduates (and GED recipients) that have built multi million dollar companies. What is the difference? In my opinion it is the desire, persistence, determination, vision, resolve and the other driving qualities found in a person with a high “I will”. When you find a person who has both a high “IQ” and a high “I will” you have hit the jack pot!

4. I don’t have the time. Whenever someone tells me that that they “would love to (fill in the blank) but just can’t find the time” I know that they are lying to themselves. ALL of us can easily create time for anything that is important to us. We can simply cut out wasteful activities or rearrange our schedule to allocate the time. For example, I was recently invited to join a mastermind group that holds it’s monthly call at the same time I have a scheduled call with a client who pays my fee a year in advance. I saw the value of being part of this mastermind group and so I called my client and asked if we could re-schedule our call by one hour. We can always find a solution once we deem something important. The bottom line is that truly busy people know how to manage their time.

5. I don’t have the right “success genes”. Our family environment plays a role in our success programming but it is not the determining factor for whether or not we are successful. Shelly Duncan has played professional baseball for 12 years and his brother Chris played professional baseball for 8 years. Their father is Dave Duncan, a professional pitching coach who spent most of his coaching career working under hall of fame coach Tony Larussa. Growing up, the boys spent their summer vacations “hanging out” with major league baseball players and coaches and had the opportunity to gather instruction in a major league environment. They both followed their fathers footsteps and have enjoyed successful careers in professional baseball. On the other hand, I have a client whose father was the CEO of a large company. When he was 12 years old, his father began taking him to work during summer vacation in order to teach him the “inner workings” of the corporate world. Throughout high school he spent his summers working in various departments within the company. He recently shared, “I felt never felt like I had a chance to be a kid”. During his freshman year in college, he was arrested and convicted for his role in an armed robbery. He served 4 1/2 years in prison and once released was unable to secure traditional employment because of his felony conviction. He has since gone on to enjoy tremendous success in the network marketing industry and routinely shares his success story from stages across the country. There are thousands of stories involving people who came from extreme poverty and despair to beat the odds and make it to the top. Success is a DECISION that must be followed up with HARD WORK & PERSISTENCE.

Remember, Pinocchio was created to be a puppet. He was uncomfortable being a puppet because he knew he was so much more. In reality, his life and his options were very limited and so he turned to fabrication to create that which he could never have. We were not created to be puppets and we were not designed to lie. Our Geppetto is the Ego and it is imperative that we cut the strings and run for the light!

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback. Cheers!

Take ACTION Even If It’s Wrong…John Page Burton

We live in a society where most of us seem to be hung up on the concept of “right or wrong”. Please don’t get me “wrong”, I’m not talking about breaking laws and causing harm to others as that is just plain “wrong”. I’m talking about the “right and wrong” that is keeping many of us from playing a much bigger game of life. The majority of my clients initially hire me because they feel that they need “some direction” in their lives. Nine times out of ten, it is not direction that is holding them back but rather their fear of doing something “wrong”. Their fear is keeping them from taking the ACTION necessary to passionately go after their dreams and ambitions. For example, I have a client who invests a tremendous amount of money on personal development and business related courses. He knows the “lingo” of the business world, the “buzz words” of personal growth and has read “Think and Grow Rich” 25 times. The problem isn’t his educational commitment, it’s his unwillingness to take ACTION. A failure to take ACTION can almost always be attributed to an overwhelming fear of being or doing something “WRONG”. Remember, knowledge is a good thing, APPLIED KNOWLEDGE is a great thing! Everyday I TEACH and PREACH this simple philosophy….”TAKE ACTION EVEN IF IT ENDS UP BEING WRONG”. Taking ACTION is a decisive first step toward a compelling future. In other words DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!!!

3 Strategies For Taking Action. It is important to note that we learn some of our greatest lessons from failure and in order to fail we must first be willing to take decisive ACTION!

1. Get clear on what it is you DON’T WANT. Until we have identified what we are no longer willing to settle for, it is impossible to harness the emotional energy necessary to propel us into the future. When we remain stuck in dead end jobs, meaningless relationships or unhealthy bodies (I’m not talking about a serious illness) we are telling ourselves that we are “not worthy” of happiness and success. The day we wake up and find ourselves truly PISSED OFF by what we have “attracted” into our lives is the day many of us will begin taking the ACTION necessary to move us toward our destiny. If we don’t like what we have “attracted” thus far, now may be a great time to make a significant course correction and start sailing in a different direction.

2. DREAM BIGGER. Big dreams are exciting and can serve as great motivators. For example, twice a week, Diana and I drive through a specific neighborhood where we desire to buy a home. We are extremely grateful for our current Tucson home as well as our summer home in the White Mountains, however our dream is to own a home that overlooks the city of Tucson, affords us spectacular sunset views and backs up to a mountain preserve that we enjoy recreating in. The specific home we desire to purchase is not currently for sale, however we know that one day it will be. Whenever we find ourselves questioning WHY we put in the long hours and deal with the frustrations that come with being entrepreneurs, we simply drive to the top of “our mountain”, spread our blanket, pour a glass of wine, watch the sun set over the city below and we quickly regain our clarity of purpose. Our glass of wine is an ACTION step!

3. Facing our fear of FAILURE! Everyone experiences insecurities and fear. How we manage insecurity and fear is the key to living an abundant life. It is easy to tell someone that they must face and conquer their fear but is also much easier said than done. Most of our fear programs are deeply rooted in our subconscious. My belief (and this is not a shameless self promotion) is that the most effective way to overcome a fear is to hire a coach. A good coach will help you pinpoint the true origin of your fear and then help you design a strategy to breakthrough that fear. An effective client-coach relationship is based on trust. Most of us will FIGHT HARD to avoid confronting our fear. A good coach can help you FIGHT EQUALLY HARD to conquer it. Nothing of significance can happen without ACTION. A good coach will hold you accountable to that ACTION.

RIGHT and WRONG have one thing in common, 5 letters. Whenever we make the commitment to take action it is with the understanding that we may end up being “wrong”. A “wrong” ACTION simply means that we learn what we can from the lesson, re-group and take a new, more informed ACTION toward our goal or objective. Worrying about being “wrong” (failing) will keep us from living the rich, rewarding life we deserve.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.