“Your Not The Boss Of Me”…John Page Burton

John Page Burton

As children, many of us frequently challenged the authority of our family and friends by uttering the bold yet profound statement “you’re not the boss of me”. We let everyone around us know we were in charge of our own destiny and capable of handling our own affairs. Obviously this argument didn’t carry much weight as a 6 year old, however, as an adult I have found that “being the boss of me” has gone a long way toward determining the overall quality of my life experience. With the hope of creating a self sufficient world, I encourage everyone to once again declare from the rooftops…”you’re not the boss of me, I’m the boss of me!!!”

5 Tips for becoming “the boss of you”…

*We must be willing to take personal responsibility. We must develop a “bottom line mentality” in which we take ownership for our decisions and actions. Blaming…

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If You Think “Life Sucks”, Elevate Your Standards…John Page Burton

In my role as a life and business coach, it’s not uncommon to here the phrase, “life sucks”.  Recently, my friend Lisa posted a great quote that sums up my feelings regarding the chronic use of the phrase “life sucks”. “If you don’t appreciate what you have now, you may find yourself talking about what you once had”. In all fairness, there will be times when life does temporarily “suck” and we are well served to get angry, cry, vent to a friend or release our feelings in other emotionally healthy ways. The danger occurs when we develop a “life sucks” mindset. If we find ourselves slipping into a “life sucks” mindset, it’s time to elevate our standards.

Let’s take a closer look at the word SUCKS

Stagnation. If we’re not growing, we’re dying! Over time, stagnation fosters frustration. Frustrated people tend to use phrases like “life sucks” and routinely blame the outside world for their unhappiness. Solution… GET CURIOUS, TRY NEW THINGS, MEET NEW PEOPLE, COLLECT NEW EXPERIENCES.

Unconscious. When we go through life expecting external conditions to be “perfect” before we can feel happy or fulfilled, we effectively give away our personal power. Rarely, if ever will conditions be “perfect”. Basing our happiness on conditions or expectations is an unconscious way to live. Solution… TAKE RISKS, BE SPONTANEOUS, MARVEL AT LIFE’S IMPERFECTIONS.

Clarity. When we lack clarity of purpose we tend to roll through life accepting whatever life “dishes up”. When it “dishes up” anything we don’t like, we often determine that “life sucks”. Solution… DREAM, SET GOALS, HIRE A COACH, DESIGN A PLAN OF ACTION, GO AFTER WHAT IT IS YOU DESIRE.

Karma. When we operate from a “life sucks” mindset we routinely attract people and situations that validate our assertion. Simply put, we get back more of what we put out. When we operate from a mindset of gratitude, we tend to see life as a series of growth oriented lessons and we begin attracting the right teachers. Solution… SAY THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR EXPERIENCES, SPEAK UPLIFTING WORDS, OFFER GENUINE PRAISE, TALK NICELY TO YOURSELF.

Scarcity.  A “life sucks” attitude is the bi-product of a scarcity mindset.  Many of us “buy into” the fallacy that there is a shortage of opportunities and resources readily available to us and so we use this fallacy as a convenient excuse to support our assertion that “life sucks”. In reality, there is more than enough of everything for everyone. Solution… TAKE INVENTORY OF ALL YOU HAVE, GIVE AWAY MATERIAL POSSESSIONS YOU DON’T USE OR NEED, TITHE YOUR TIME, TREASURE & TALENT.


A standard is considered a model of authority or excellence. It is a measurement of value. To become all we are capable of becoming, we must begin thinking differently.

*EXPECT THE BEST. Whether it’s a challenging project at work or a new personal relationship, “expect the best”. Far too many of us reflect back on a past loss or disappointment and carry this baggage into a our present reality. Today is a brand new day, expect to succeed! Affirm that this will be the best relationship you have ever had or that you will CRUSH your project at work and then fully commit to the success process.

*CAREFULLY CHOOSE YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE. The 5-7 people we CHOOSE to spend the most time with have the biggest influence on how we think and behave. CHOOSE wisely! I am highlighting the word CHOOSE because it is totally up to us to decide how we spend our time and who we spend it with.

*DON’T SETTLE. Why settle for scraps when you can enjoy the banquet! Many of us hold a misguided belief that we are only “allowed” to rise as high as our parents.  For example,”we have always been a middle class family, that’s just who we are”. When we put our dreams and aspirations on hold rather than make someone else feel uncomfortable, we usually end up frustrated and angry. PLAY BIG….it’s your life!

*DON’T MAJOR IN MINOR THINGS. When we have clarity of purpose, extreme focus and the help of a coach or mentor we tend to stay in a results oriented mindset. If we find ourselves getting caught up in “water cooler gossip” it’s time for a check up from the neck up.

*DON’T PERSONALIZE FAILURE. All of us experience set backs and failure, it’s part of life.  As I shared in my book, Wisdom Through Failure, it is through failure that most of us attain true wisdom. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. The key is that we are in the game. “Life sucks” is not the answer to failure, gathering the lessons from the experience and getting right back in the game is the answer!

Life is a gift…OPEN IT!!!

The Joy of Stress…John Page Burton

It seems like everyone I talk with is either under a “great deal of stress” or just plain “stressed out”. There is a lot of stress in today’s world. I know that I experience both “good stress” and “bad stress”. “Bad stress” occurs when I focus on past or future reference points. In other words, when I experience “bad stress” it’s usually because I am choosing to dwell on a past experience or I am obsessing about something that may or may not happen in my future. Interestingly, studies have shown that stress can actually be quite healthy for us. Recently, my friend Crystal ran her first 10k road race. Toward the end of the 6.2 mile run, her body was experiencing stress, her mind was experiencing stress and yet she felt fantastic as she crossed the finish line. Anyone who has burned the midnight oil in order to launch a new company is familiar with what I refer to as “stimulating stress”. Some of the benefits of “positive stress” include…

*Boosts brainpower. Stress can actually cause us to think more clearly.

*Stress can temporarily increase our immunity. Stress produces extra Interleukins which are chemicals that regulate our immune system.

*Stress can make us more resilient. This is the premise behind the rigorous training undertaken by Navy Seals.

*Stress can be a motivator for us to win or succeed. For example, it’s the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, 30 seconds are left in the game, the team is down by 5 and it will take a touchdown to win the game. Closer to home, how many of us have been under pressure to meet a significant deadline at work knowing that a potential promotion hung in the balance?

It’s the “bad stress” that we need to eliminate or effectively manage when it surfaces. “Bad stress” can create physical and emotional health challenges.

4 Tips For Managing “Bad Stress”…

*Minimize “bad stress”. We problem solve from the past, we create in the present. When we begin to experience stress related to a past event or circumstance, we must remind ourselves that we did the best we could with what insight we had at the time and quickly move on. We can only control our actions in the present moment.

*Seek “positive stress”. It is important to place ourselves in a position to experience “positive stress”. Working out, volunteering for a challenging project at work or starting our own business are great ways to bring “positive stress” into our lives. FYI…like with everything else, we must be mindful to step away from time to time in order to give our minds and bodies a chance to re-charge.

*Find the lesson in every adversity. Regardless of how hard we try, how much we have planned or how much time and money we have invested, none of us are immune from set backs and failure. When we focus on the lesson and what we can take away from the experience, we significantly reduce our stress. Conversely, when we “beat ourselves up” we are adding additional stress to an already trying situation.

*Stay out of other peoples drama. “Not my monkeys, not my circus” is a Burton family mantra. It’s human nature to insert ourselves into other peoples drama. Please don’t get me wrong, I am a very compassionate person who truly desires to lend a helping hand to anyone experiencing a temporary challenge. The operative word is “temporary”. When we constantly find ourselves in the middle of someones marital, financial or family challenges it’s time to take a serious look at why we are willing to bring this added stress into our lives? Being “addicted” to drama is an unconscious and very unhealthy way to live.

So the next time you are feeling “stressed” do a quick check up from the neck up and see what type of stress you are experiencing. I know that I am currently feeling some “good stress” as I approach my deadline to publish this article. Cheers!

As Always, your comments and feedback are appreciated.


Are You A GIVER Or A TAKER? Take This Test…John Page Burton

As a writer, I’m always looking for new ideas and material. Last week one of my clients stated “all I do is give, give, give” which prompted me to ask them the question…do you consider yourself to be a “giver” or a “taker”? Our subsequent conversation prompted today’s message. *At the conclusion of our coaching session my client realized they were actually “taking” far more than they were “giving”.

The million dollar question…

Would the people you interact with describe you as a “giver” or a “taker? It’s a safe bet that most of us view ourselves as “givers” but are we really giving as much as we think we are? I encourage you to answer the following questions…

Be honest with YOURSELF…

*Do you readily give credit to others or do YOU take most of the credit for a group or team success?
*Do you routinely hand out sincere compliments and praise or do you hold back?
*Do you practice your manners? Please, thank you, I appreciate you, etc.
*Do you take people for granted? I.E. “It’s their job, they’re supposed to do it” or “they’re just volunteers”.
*Do you genuinely support the accomplishments and success of your friends, co-workers and peers?
*Are you jealous or envious of someones success, relationship or health?
*Do you give freely or do you keep score? I.E. “I did this for you, so you need to do this for me”?
*Do you volunteer your time, treasure and talent to causes you believe in?
*Do you crave recognition and feel unappreciated when you are not “celebrated” for everything you do?
*When was the last time you were in a restaurant and picked up the check for an elderly couples dinner? Paid for a soldiers lunch?

The results are in…

How did you do? If you scored an 8 or higher you are living the conscious life of a true giver. If you are in the 6-7 range I encourage you to take a look at areas where you hold back from unconditional giving. If you scored a 5 or less you are self absorbed and possess a scarcity mindset. It’s important to realize there is more than enough of EVERYTHING for EVERYONE! Release your death grip on “getting what’s yours” and start giving!

The secret to living is giving!

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