Debunking The Myth of Work-Life Balance…John Page Burton

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I routinely hear clients express their frustration with their inability to find balance between their work life and their personal life. They tend to become equally frustrated when I explain that for most of us, achieving total balance in our personal and professional lives is a myth. In order to maximize our effectiveness in any area of life, we must be able to maintain focus and channel our energy into the task at hand. For example, when we are at work we must be focused on work. When we go to the gym we must be focused on our work out. When we are at home we must be present and focus on activities that involve our family. It’s impossible to be physically or mentally at two places at the same time. It’s also impossible to block out all of the distracting thoughts that roll through our mind in any given day. For example, if a family member is battling a disease we are going to carry this worry to our workplace. Likewise, if we are having significant challenges at work, we are going to bring them home with us. The key is to remain present and simply BE with the task or challenge at hand.

Below are a few suggestions to help keep us focused in life and business.

At work…

*Leave work at work. When we fail to turn off work we are effectively stealing from the emotional bank accounts of our family and friends. Our spouse, children and friends all deserve our undivided attention. For example, my wife and I will allocate 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to re-cap our work related experiences and then we shut off our work conversation and focus on BEING together.

*When at work it is important to focus on our 3-5 most important tasks. Don’t add anything else to the list until the last one is complete. This keeps us focused and free from creating long, meaningless “to do” lists.

*Stay out of office politics and refrain from participating in gossip. Gossip is like Cancer, if not cut off early, it continues to spread and grow and before long it infiltrates every area of our lives.

*Delegate. Delegation is freedom. When we routinely “do everything ourselves to ensure that it is done right” not only do we eventually burn out but we send a strong message to those in our charge that they are not capable. Delegation frees us up to focus on the tasks that truly need our attention. Focus on your strengths! Someone is strong where you are weak and vice versa.

*Use your vacation time. Every year, millions of Americans fail to use their paid vacation time. Vacation time should never be left on the table. If you are afraid that using your vacation time could put your job in jeopardy then it might be time to look for a new job. Vacation is good for the soul and allows us to recharge our mental and emotional batteries.

In our personal life…

*Date nights.  Regularly scheduled date nights are a great way to stay connected and keep the spark alive in our relationship or marriage. There is only one rule for a great date night…DON’T TALK ABOUT WORK! 

*Planned family activities. The family that plays together tends to stay together. Family activities effectively open lines of communication between parents and children which in turn builds trust. When enjoying family activities it is important  to disconnect from technology in order to focus on and truly enjoy the experience at hand. Growing and deepening our relationships with friends should also be high on our priority list.

*Nutrition. What we put into our body goes along way toward determining the quality of our life experience. Good fuel=energy and focus. Bad fuel=sluggishness and apathy.

*Exercise. Movement is good for the body and soul. For example, a brisk 30 minute walk can significantly boost our mental acuity and improve our mood due to the “natural high” that comes from the release of endorphins and serotonin. Become a mover and shaker!

*Become a life long learner. Not only is learning fun but studies have shown that as we get older the consistent use of our cognitive function may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

By focusing on these suggestions we can’t help but become better partners, parents, employees and friends. In today’s fast paced, high tech world, finding balance between our work life and personal life is  “pie in the sky”. Our goal should be to focus on our present moment whether that involves work or play and let life unfold accordingly.

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

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4 Reasons Why Our Future Success Depends On The PAST…John Page Burton

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CONGRATULATIONS! If you are reading this article you have successfully survived your past! Never again will we have to revisit anything that has caused us unhappiness or pain unless we CHOOSE to! From this moment forward, ALL of us get to CHOOSE what we focus on. How empowering is that! Most of our “adult unhappiness” comes from incidents and events that took place somewhere in our past. Our “good memories” are not the problem, it’s our “bad memories” that cause the majority of our frustration and pain. Many of us have been carrying around this baggage for so long that it has become a significant part of our identity. For example, we may identify ourselves as an incest survivor, product of a broken home, child of an alcoholic parent, victim of poverty or any number of other self assigned labels we continue to identify with. It’s time to ask ourselves whether these worn out labels are true in the present moment? What would our life look like if we stopped identifying with our tired old stories and began telling ourselves new and empowering ones? Here are 4 key things we can take away from our past.

Perspective. “The past should serve as a reference point, not a permanent resting place”. Whatever events took place in the past whether we deemed them “good” or “bad” are now behind us. The good news is we can tap into this base of reference points to help us shape our perspective and make better decisions in our present and future reality. Emotionally healthy people prefer to dwell on present pleasure than past pain.

Acceptance. Acceptance of ourselves and others is an important first step toward emotional freedom. Everyone did the best they could with what insight they had at the time. Many of us have spent far too much time blaming others for our unhappiness and pain. As emotionally intelligent adults, we are in charge of our thoughts and therefore can change the meaning of an experience by changing our thoughts about it. When negative thoughts arise we must CONSCIOUSLY seek a different meaning to attach to them.

Strength. Both our past success’s and perceived failures serve as positive reference points. When we have succeeded at something we can simply repeat the process and anticipate a similar outcome. When we have failed at something we are presented with an opportunity to take stock and formulate a new approach. When we face and overcome adversity, we can’t help but become stronger in the process. Most of us never beat ourselves up when we win but we can be relentless in our self abuse when we believe that we have failed. Remember, strength is born from success and failure!

Trust. The past has presented all of us with a plethora of valuable experiences and life lessons. Some of them were awesome, others not so much! Successful people have learned to trust their intuition. They have established specific reference points that guide their internal compass and validate their belief system. On the other hand, frustrated people have not learned to trust themselves and tend to change their minds quickly and often. They rely heavily on a system of consensus.  Present moment trust along with intuition is a bi product of our past experiences.

Our future success truly depends on our relationship with the PAST.

The G.O.D. Formula For Creating Abundance In Life & Business…John Page Burton

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Countless books have theorized what it takes to enjoy abundance in life and business. (I have written 2 of them) Clients routinely hire me because they desire to be happier and more effective in their personal and professional lives. For years, I have actively studied successful people to learn what “magical powers” they possessed allowing them to consistently achieve above average results. Recently, while engaged in my morning spiritual reading, it dawned on me that the “magical powers” of above average achievers can be broken down into one word, GOD. If we believe that we were uniquely created in the image and likeness of GOD then it makes sense to adopt the practical wisdom behind the G.O.D. formula for success in life and business. Let’s take a closer look….
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Greatness. First, we must believe in our own greatness. If we don’t believe in ourselves, no one else will.
CONSIDERATIONS…
*In what areas of my life am I playing small?
*What voices or external forces are driving the key decisions I make?
*What would my life look like if I no longer held onto limiting beliefs?
Outward. We must be willing to look beyond ourselves in order to make a lasting impact on our world. GIVERS GAIN… When we help enough people get what they desire, the laws of reciprocity tend to return the FAVOR. 
CONSIDERATIONS…
*What act of random kindness can I deliver today?
*Who can I be a mentor to?
*Where can I offer my time, treasure and talent?
Destiny. We must hold an unwavering belief that success and happiness are our divine destiny. Success in our intimate relationships, parenting and business ventures are ours to experience once we truly believe we DESERVE it.
CONSIDERATIONS…
*What are my predominant thoughts? Are they based on scarcity or abundance? Remember, where our thoughts go, our energy flows.
*Have I created my life plan? Our life plan is instrumental in helping us design and live the abundant life we are destined to live. (a reputable coach can help you custom design yours)
*Am I focused on where I desire to go or am I spending my time and energy dwelling on the past? Our destiny isn’t realized by looking through the rear view mirror!
The words “In GOD We Trust” are inscribed on our monetary currency yet many of us have an uncomfortable relationship with money. Our programming causes us to feel guilty for desiring financial abundance.  Many of us faithfully show up for our weekly church service yet begin doubting ourselves first thing Monday morning. Rather than truly trusting GOD and stepping out in FAITH we choose to stay firmly planted within our comfort zone where we can play the game of life from our determined “safe place”.
If you’re the type of person who desires to take your game to the next level and beyond then I encourage you to incorporate the G.O.D. formula into your daily life. Answer the above questions honestly. This will serve as your new point A. Belief in ourselves, outward focus and the belief that success is our destiny will help us take our life and business to a whole new level!
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

4 Step Formula for Facing & Conquering FEAR…John Page Burton

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We all experience fear. Many of us thrive on fear and use it as a motivator to accomplish great things. Others allow fear to keep them from experiencing their true greatness. When fear comes up, it’s an indication that we are outside of our comfort zone. The vast majority of what we fear is illusory (imagined fear). For example, I’m hiking in the woods and as I round a corner I see a bear 50 yards away. My fear would be very real! On the other hand, I have heard a rumor that a bear has been seen in the forest and therefore I make a decision to not go hiking in the woods because I may run into the bear and be killed. This is an illusory fear. Whenever fear comes up, it’s imperative that we face it head on in order to break its grip. Below is my 4 step formula for facing and breaking through fear when it shows up in my life.

FEAR…

FORMULATE a success strategy. For example, let’s say we have decided to leave the comfort zone of our job in order to fulfill our dream of launching our own business. This can be a fearful experience due in large part to the uncertainty and financial risk involved. As we begin to design our strategy, it’s important to begin asking ourselves some key questions. For example, who is our ideal customer? What material and human resources will we need? What is our budget? What is our timeline? As we begin to pour our energy into developing and executing our strategy, we will begin to see the unlimited possibilities for our new venture. (This strategy can be used in any area of our life where we desire to achieve success) Formulating our strategy/plan will create the initial “rush” of energy that will propel us toward the next step….
ENVISION a compelling future. One of the keys to conquering fear lies in our ability to hold a compelling vision of what our future will look like when we have broken through and achieved the results we are seeking. Remember, compelling vision=commitment and discipline. Small vision=excuses and distractions. A strong vision will lead us toward the next important step…
ACTION. In our battle with fear, ACTION is our most proactive defense. When we are fully engaged in the success process, we have very little time to listen to the voices of doubt and fear. When these voices begin to surface (they will) we can simply overwhelm them with ACTION. Taking consistent ACTION keeps us in a continual state of forward progress. Without massive ACTION we can’t help but remain a hostage to fear.
ACTION leads to the final step….
REFERENCES. Achieving the results we set out to accomplish is the bi-product of our strategy, vision and ACTION. Results validate our efforts and significantly boost our confidence and belief. Results also validate that we have the courage to face and conquer our fears thus becoming a much stronger, more capable person. Results serve as reference points that we can recall whenever we face a new fear or adversity.
The next time you experience fear or self doubt in any area of your life, I encourage you to implement this 4 step process and begin building a strong data base of fear busting references.