4 Tips For Managing Stress…John Page Burton

“Man, I’m super stressed” was a friends response to my question, “so how’s it going”? He went on to state, “I’m under so much stress at work and it’s killing me”. Obviously, life offers us countless opportunities to experience stress and none of us are immune from its effects. I can’t speak for you, however, if I truly believed that stress was “killing me”, I would make some significant life changes. We all experience “good stress” and “bad stress”. “Bad stress” tends to occur when we are focusing on a past event or we are worrying about something we believe may happen in the future. Bad stress tends to show up when we are concerning ourselves with things out of our control. 

Interestingly, studies have shown that stress is actually healthy for us. For example, my friend Crystal recently ran in her first long distance race. Toward the end of her 6.2 mile run, her body was clearly experiencing stress, her mind was experiencing stress and yet she felt great when she crossed the finish line. Anyone who has “burned the midnight oil” to launch a new business is familiar with what I refer to as “stimulating stress”. Lets look at some of the benefits of “positive stress”.

*Stress boosts brainpower. Stress can actually cause us to think more clearly. Stress can force us to leave “problem mode” and go into “solution mode”. 

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

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

*Stress can serve as a motivator for us to win or succeed. For example, it’s the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, 10 seconds are left in the game, our team is down by 4 and it will take a touchdown to win the game. This was the reality of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLIII. He completed the pass in the corner of the end zone, game over! Closer to home, how many of us have been under pressure to meet a significant deadline at work, knowing that a potential promotion hangs in the balance? It’s the “bad stress” we need to eliminate or learn to effectively manage. “Bad stress” can cause physical and emotional health challenges. “Good stress” can propel us to greatness!

4 Tips For Managing Stress…

*Minimize “bad stress”. We problem solve from the past, we create in the present. When we begin to experience stress that is related to a past event or circumstance, it’s important to shift our focus to our current reality and intentionally remind ourselves that we can only control what is going on in the present moment. Our Ego loves it when we beat ourselves up! In reference to the past, if we had known better, most of us would have done better. Show yourself some GRACE.

*Seek “positive stress”. It’s 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… We must be mindful to step away from time to time in order to give our minds and bodies a chance to re-charge. 

*Look for 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 level. Conversely, when we “beat ourselves up” we are adding additional stress to an already trying situation. Looking for the lesson is a proactive, empowered way of being.

*Stay out of other peoples drama. “Not my monkeys, not my circus” is a Burton family mantra. Don’t get me wrong, I am a compassionate person and desire to lend a helping hand to anyone who is experiencing a temporary challenge. The operative word is “temporary”. When we routinely find ourselves in the middle of other peoples marital, financial or family challenges, it’s time to take a serious look at why we are bringing this added stress into our life? Being “addicted” to drama is an unconscious avoidance strategy. The key is to determine what we are avoiding, address it and refrain from inserting ourselves into other peoples drama in order to feel a sense of significance in our own lives.

The next time you find yourself feeling “stressed out”, do a quick check up from the neck up and identify what type of stress you are experiencing. For example, I am currently experiencing “good stress” as I approach the deadline to publish this article. 

As Always, your comments and feedback are appreciated.

Cheers!

John Page Burton is the author of Wisdom Through Failure (2014) and Knowing Sh#t From Shinola (2015). To learn more visit http://www.johnpageburton.com

6 Truths of Authentic Leadership…John Page Burton

Everyday, I see the word “leader” casually tossed around by people who seem to know very little about authentic leadership. For example, on my social media stream, I routinely see people publicly declare that they are “great leaders” and if someone desires to make real money, travel, live in the burbs and drive the car of their dreams, it would be wise to follow them. Give me a break! Last week, I actually saw a post where a person declared he was “a nationally recognized leader of leaders”. If this declaration wasn’t so blatantly egotistical, it might have had a slim chance of being funny!
For the past 15 years I have had the privilege of interviewing, working alongside and coaching hundreds of authentic leaders, leaders who conform to the highest standards of professional decorum. None of these authentic leaders  go around declaring themselves leaders, their followers have already made that determination for them. Their ACTIONS speak to their leadership skills. Remember, leadership is not taken, it is earned. Authentic leadership is genuine, real, worthy of trust, accountable and consistent. Authentic leadership doesn’t need a title to be effective, It’s effective because it is genuine.
AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP…
Listeners. Authentic leaders tend to be excellent listeners. They listen to different points of view, ideas, concerns and most importantly, they pay attention to what is not being said. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Empathetic. Authentic leaders are able to identify psychologically with the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of those in their charge. An authentic leader rarely asks you to do something they are unwilling to do themselves. Empathy builds bridges and fosters allegiance. Empathy is endearing.
Alignment. Authentic leaders remain grounded by their beliefs and values. Their vision and actions are congruent with these beliefs. Effective leaders are recognized by others as people of strong character who can always be counted on to take the moral high ground.
Decisive. Authentic leaders are decisive. They gather information, weigh evidence and make a decision. They are willing to make changes if something is not working. They possess strong emotional intelligence and take bottom line for their decisions. Blame is not an option for an authentic leader.
Ethics. Authentic leaders place a high value on professional ethics.  They don’t cheat, take shortcuts, lie, use disrespectful language, hold grudges, gossip, sabotage subordinates or engage in any other “shady practices”. Authentic leaders prioritize integrity and treat people in their charge with dignity and respect.
Results. Authentic leaders achieve results. Results inform the world. Remember, people don’t follow titles, they follow people who they admire and trust. People will work their tails off for someone who is genuine and who has the teams best interest at heart. This is why authentic leaders achieve predictable results.
I encourage you to strive to become a leader others CHOOSE to follow. These 6 truths will help us stay focused on our journey to becoming an authentic leader.
John Page Burton is a life and business coach and the author of two books.  To learn more visit http://www.jpburtongroup.com/

5 Minutes That Will Dramatically Change Your Life & Business…John Page Burton

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If we desire to live a rich, rewarding life, it’s important to embrace three universal principles.  1. What we appreciate, appreciates. 2. Gratitude is the foundation of abundance.  3. Givers Gain. 

 

The 5 Minute Challenge…   

*Count your blessings when you first wake up. (1 minute) Being grateful is a great way to start your day. Speak to the things you are grateful for. For example, I am grateful I woke up, can enjoy a healthy breakfast, have a reliable car to drive to the job that supports the family I love. Remember, what we appreciate, appreciates.
*Compliment, encourage or thank 3 people today. (3 minutes) Everyone enjoys being appreciated. “I’m proud of you”, “I appreciate your efforts”, “you look nice” and “great Job”  are a few examples of how we can brighten someones day. Let’s face it, we need more positive energy swirling around our planet!
*End the day with a prayer of thanks. (1 minute) Take a minute (that’s all most of us need) to thank GOD for another day and for all of the blessings that came with it. This is a great way to sign off!

 John Page Burton is a life and business coach and the author of two books. to learn more visit http://www.jpburtongroup.com/

 

 

 

Does It Really Matter What Jesus Would Do? John Page Burton

jesus-statue--1“Living up to the lofty standards of Jesus is impossible in the real world” stated Jane in response to her husband Bob’s comment “ask yourself what Jesus would do?” After 15 years of marriage, Jane and Bob are experiencing significant challenges in their relationship. Jane is also experiencing a great deal of frustration with her career. To further complicate matters, Bob is a very religious person while Jane has spent most of her adult life rebelling against what she describes as “a rigid, religious upbringing, wrought with hypocrisy”. Bob firmly believes in living the 10 commandments while Jane gives them very little thought. This scenario prompted me to ask myself two questions. First, how hard is it to live the 10 commandments in today’s fast paced, high tech world? Second, does is really matter what Jesus would do? After all, it’s our life experience to live as we choose.
I decided to take an objective look at the 10 Commandments and see if maybe it was in fact “impossible to live up to the lofty standards of Jesus” while navigating through today’s world.
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS…
1. I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.  Sounds reasonable to me, someone has to be in charge. Seriously, regardless of our religious affiliation, we must possess a great deal of faith to move through our earthly experience. We must have faith in our parents, teachers, political leaders, employers, spouses and most importantly ourselves. Having a healthy respect for GOD establishes a foundation on which we will build our worldly values. This is a great commandment to the get the ball rolling!
2. DON’T WORSHIP FALSE IDOLS. Madison Avenue executives work tirelessly to convince us the key to success and happiness is our ability to make money and purchase cool, fashionable, stuff. Celebrity spokespeople, on behalf of corporations, look into the camera and seductively encourage us to be one of the “cool kids” by signing up for their credit card, driving their luxury car or vacationing on their amazing cruise ship. We must not base our self worth on our ability to accumulate money and stuff.  This is an emotionally healthy commandment.
3. DON’T USE THE LORDS NAME IN VAIN. There are thousands of words in the English language and some of us choose to use the ones that incorporate our creator and his son. I recommend GOSH DANG and JEEZY WHEEZY as two good alternatives. Beyond using the Lords name in vain, we are well served to stay away from insensitive speech toward people of different ethnic, religious or economic backgrounds. Cleaning up our language and speaking in a respectful manner is the foundation of this commandment.
4. KEEP THE SABBATH HOLY.  Different religions observe the Sabbath on different days. Mine happens to be on Sunday. The Sabbath is an abstinence from work. It’s a time to re-charge our batteries. Most importantly, it’s a time to celebrate our creator. This commandment brings to light the importance of rest.
5. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER. Beyond our parents, I interpret this to mean respecting our elders, teachers, employers, law enforcement officers or anyone else who is a person of influence or authority.  Being courteous and compassionate is a great way to be in relationship with our family of origin as well as the world around us. This commandment encourages us to be respectful people.
6. DON’T MURDER ANYBODY.  This commandment is dead on. Nothing kills momentum like a trip to prison. All puns aside, this commandment speaks to anger management. Most murders are committed in a moment of rage, however, many are planned and executed because of greed and envy. For example, most of us have seen a story on Dateline involving a “hired hit man” that is paid to kill an unsuspecting business partner. If you find yourself  feeling intense anger, greed, envy, jealousy or any other low level emotion, I encourage you to seek help. The Ego is very powerful and in one irrational moment lives can be changed forever. This commandment encourages us to use self control.
7. DON’T COMMIT ADULTERY. Sex is a very powerful drive. Adultery is a selfish act that can have life changing consequences. Today’s business environment presents a plethora of opportunities to find ourselves in a compromising position. Business travel, social engagements and employer intimidation can lead to acts of sexual indiscretion. I encourage my clients not to use sex as a means of getting even. If you find yourself moving toward an adulterous act, I recommend engaging a coach or therapist to help you put your thoughts and feelings into perspective. A 20 minute indiscretion can haunt you and your loved for the next 20 years. This commandment encourages us to keep our clothes securely fastened.
8. DON’T STEAL. Many of us equate stealing with shoplifting, burglary or white collar crime. I contend that many of us steal everyday and don’t give it a second thought. We steal from our family when we stop off at the bar on the way home from work. We steal from our employer when we surf our social media sites during work time or we “fudge” on our expense reports. We steal from our government when we routinely apply for entitlement benefits rather than seek a job. We steal from our country when we protest against our military or we fail to cast our vote in elections. This commandment encourages us to focus on being in integrity.
9. DON’T BEAR FALSE WITNESS. Most of us have seen a television news story about someone being released from prison after new evidence proved they could not have committed the crime they served time for. Knowingly ruining someones life in this manner is pure evil.  At one time or another, all of us have gotten caught up in gossip. The purveyor of gossip usually has a gleam in their eye as they share the latest dirt on some unsuspecting soul. Rather than work harder for a promotion, there are those who choose to start a covert “smear campaign” aimed at someone they consider a threat to their potential promotion. These are three examples of bearing false witness. The extent of the consequences varies but the intention is the same, to cause harm. This commandment instructs us to refrain from lying.
10. DON’T COVET YOUR NEIGHBORS WIFE OR HIS BELONGINGS.  What we appreciate, appreciates. Many of us hold the false belief that the grass is greener in our neighbors yard. The grass is greener where we water it. Envy is a lower tier emotion and we are well served to run our own race. We can’t expect GOD to bless us with the abundance he desires to deliver, if we are focused on our neighbors house. This commandment encourages us to be grateful for what we have and hold.
There is no doubt in my mind that all of us are capable of living the 10 commandments. It’s a choice we can make everyday. Asking ourselves “what would Jesus do” serves as a  reminder to take the higher ground when we are faced with life’s temptations. I know what Jesus would do matters to me.
John Page Burton is a life and business coach and the author of two books. To learn more visithttp://www.johnpageburton.com

5 Suggestions For Addressing Mistakes…John Page Burton

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Have you ever made a mistake? Of course you have, we all make mistakes, it’s called being human. Many of us will make the same mistake more than once. (I certainly have!) In fact, the universe has an uncanny way of presenting us with the same lesson until we successfully graduate from the experience. In order to make our mistakes less painful, I highly recommend taking a closer look at the 5 suggestions below.

1) Own the mistake. We made it, therefore it’s our mistake. Taking the bottom line for our mistakes is an endearing leadership quality and builds our character. Own the mistake, so the mistake doesn’t own you!
2) Avoid blame. When we make a mistake, our first inclination may be to assign blame to someone else. This is commonly referred to as “looking for a scapegoat” or “throwing someone under the bus”. Unfortunately, this scenario happens frequently in life and business. Assigning false blame is a short term fix that has long term consequences.
3) Be humble. Admitting we made a mistake is the first step toward rectifying the mistake. Let’s face it, making a significant mistake can be a very humbling experience and our Ego wants us to do anything but admit we made it. Our ability to swallow our pride, own our mistake and focus our energy on resolving the mistake builds muscles of humility. Character is a bi product of humility.
4) Make amends. If our mistake has caused someone harm, it’s imperative we offer a sincere, heartfelt apology to the person(s) affected. This may be uncomfortable, however, in time, most people are willing to accept our apology if it is sincere.
5) Move on. It’s important not to let our mistakes define us. Far too many of us carry around feelings of guilt, shame or unworthiness based on mistakes we made in the past. The past should serve as a reference point, not a permanent resting place. LET IT GO! MOVE ON!
THE TAKE AWAY…
Mistakes happen, own them. Refrain from blame, it makes us appear weak. Humility is an endearing trait. A sincere apology takes courage. Keep moving forward, hanging in the past doesn’t serve us.
John Page Burton is a life and business coach and the author of two books. To learn more visit http://www.johnpageburton.com

The Law of A.C.T.I.O.N. John Page Burton

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Most of us are familiar with the “Law of Attraction”. Numerous books have been written about this law and how we can use it to manifest the things we desire. One of the most famous books written about the law of attraction is called The Secret. The Secret was also made into a blockbuster movie, viewed by millions of people worldwide. After reading The Secret or watching the movie, many of us set our intentions and waited anxiously for our dreams to manifest before our eyes.
THE TRUTH…
Setting significant goals, constructing vision boards and speaking daily affirmations are important first steps toward bringing about what we desire, however, nothing of any real value will be created without applying “The Law of ACTION“.  In other words, just thinking about what we would like to attract into our lives will not bring about what we desire. If we desire to bring about what we are thinking about, we must set our intentions and then implement….

THE LAW OF ACTION….
Accountability. We must be willing to take full responsibility for the goals we establish and the choices we make. When we possess a bottom line mentality, we will make choices and decisions that are congruent with our internal compass. The Law of ACTION leaves no room for justification and blame. We are the CEO of our life and we must be willing to take meaningful ACTION steps toward our objectives. Simply thinking about what we desire will not bring it into our reality.
Clarity. What do we desire to bring into our lives? We must design and EXECUTE specific strategies for accomplishing our objectives. (ACTION) Our clarity of purpose (VISION) keeps us on track and serves as a motivator whenever we face obstacles that threaten to derail our dreams.
Trust. Many of us have been led to believe that all we have to do is “visualize” what we desire, say a few affirmations and poof, it will appear. I am a firm believer in visualization, however, we must be willing to take ACTION if we want to manifest what we desire. ACTION requires us to trust ourselves and the process. When we doubt ourselves or our ability, we become vulnerable to those who peddle fiction. Again, simply thinking about what we desire will not bring it into existence if we are unwilling to do the work and trust the process.
Integrity. We must be in integrity with ourselves and others. Taking shortcuts or outright cheating will derail our success process. In other words, if our ACTIONS are not congruent with our stated intentions, we are destined for disappointment. Strive to be a person of integrity and allow the universe to line up the right people and opportunities to take your life and business to the next level and beyond!
Objectivity. If we find ourselves trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, we are well served to change our approach. Being open minded and remaining detached from expectations is the key to staying in ACTION mode. If something isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it. If something isn’t working, replace it.
Natural. Over time, The Law of ACTION becomes a habit. We simply set our intentions and take massive ACTION! 
I’m a big fan of the Law of Attraction and an even bigger fan of The Law of ACTION. When we combine the laws we can’t help but enjoy a  rich, rewarding life!
John Page Burton is a Life and Business coach and the author of Wisdom Through Failure, Guiding Principles For Life & Business and Knowing Sh#t From Shinola, Conquering Life One Breakthrough At A Time. To learn more visit http://www.johnpageburton.com

Why Getting Pissed Off Can Bring Out The Best In Us…John Page Burton

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When we hear the words “pissed off”, many of us conjure up the image of a person with bulging eyeballs and smoke coming out of their ears. The dictionary defines “pissed” as being annoyed or angry. I believe being “pissed off” can be a good thing if we are truly committed to becoming the best version of ourselves. Humans are driven by two primary emotions, pleasure and pain. When our pain becomes unbearable we tend to become more receptive to change. As a professional coach, I routinely encourage clients to get pissed off because I know it’s the first meaningful step toward achieving a BREAKTHROUGH.  Lets look at 5 areas where we may be well served to start getting a tad “pissed off”.
1. Ourselves. When we become pissed at ourselves, it’s a sure sign we know we are capable of doing better. Think of an area(s) in your life where you know you are not producing the results you are capable of. What fears are holding you back? How would you feel if you faced and conquered your fear?  Rather than continue being pissed off, recognize that it’s time to start taking meaningful ACTION STEPS toward your objectives.
2. Our Circumstances. Being pissed off at our current reality is an excellent motivator for change. Once upon a time I slept in my car, (a car held together with bailing wire and duct tape) rolled change for food, bummed cigarettes from strangers and routinely blamed my family of origin for my predicament.  It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror and became pissed at the person staring back at me, that my process of change began.  Whenever we find ourselves uncomfortable in our current reality, it’s time to make a different decision. Our current reality won’t change until we change our relationship to it.
3. Our Associations. I believe the 5-7 people we spend the most time with have the greatest influence in our life. When we find ourselves getting pissed off for “wasting time” with a friend, co worker or family member, it’s a sign that we have outgrown the relationship and we are well served to move on. As WE expand and grow, our circle of influence will expand and grow. My circle of influence looks very different today than it did ten years ago, five years ago or even one year ago. Ask yourself this question… Which members of my current circle of influence are supporting my personal growth and which members are holding me back? Change your associations, change your life!
4. Our Employment. We all know people (maybe us) who constantly complain about their job. They are under paid, under appreciated and of course they are over worked.  If you ask them why they don’t look for another job you may hear excuses like, “the place couldn’t run without me” or “It’s better than not having a job at all” or my personal favorite, ” it’s to late to change careers now”.  NEWSFLASH…It’s only too late when we’re dead! If you find yourself getting pissed off because you know you’re capable of doing and being more, it’s a clear indication you’re not following your passion.
5. Our Health. Being pissed off at the way we look or feel can be the first step toward establishing a meaningful health and wellness strategy. For example, when we are carrying excess weight not only does it effect our energy level, it also effects our psychology. Over the last three years, I managed to gain 50 pounds. I went from 6’3 225 to 6’3 275. I routinely blamed my weight gain on the fact that I had contracted Valley Fever (Google it) and was unable to maintain my normal exercise routine. In reality, I had failed to modify my food and beverage intake to offset my lack of exercise. 4 weeks ago, I got pissed off.  I established a new food plan, set some aggressive exercise goals and went to work. As of this writing I am down 15 pounds. I intend to be 6’3 225 by May 1, 2016.
All of these are examples of how a “healthy pissed off” can move us toward our greater good. I don’t advocate being pissed off at every little thing that presents itself but rather to wisely choose what we focus on being pissed off about. Until next time….