It’s Hard To Be Humble…John Page Burton

You are about to read my 170th blog post! This is quite an achievement considering a college professor once told me I “lacked communication skills”. I’m grateful that I didn’t allow his criticism to deter me from making a living as a professional copy writer, author, peak performance strategist or from earning two degrees in the field of mass communications. I enjoy sharing my perspectives with you and I want to thank you for reading and appreciating my work, it means a lot.

Let’s be honest, the vast majority of us crave recognition. “Men die for it and babies cry for it” is a quote I heard many years ago that still rings true today. When I “surf” my social media streams, I can’t help but notice all of the people who “advertise” their victories with the hope of garnering “likes” and “comments” that will further validate their achievements. I know that when I experience a win my initial reaction is to want to shout “hell yeah, I did it” and commence the celebration! With this being said, I have gradually learned to simply say thank you to my creator, express gratitude for my experience and get back to work. I can ensure you that I am not attempting to be holier than though, rather I’m sharing my “newly found” sense of humility, which by the way I am quite proud of! The seeds of humility are usually planted in childhood, although most of us don’t grasp the concept until much later in life. Society promotes a win-lose model in which winning is the ultimate goal. Looking back on my youth, I never truly grasped the concept of shaking hands with the other team after “losing” the game. It sucked to lose, I wanted to win. As an adult, I carried my “win at any cost” philosophy into every area of my life. The cost became family, relationships, friendships and partnerships. It wasn’t my success that was getting in the way, it was my lack of humility. How each of us can learn to appreciate our wins, embrace our losses and remain humble in the process is the topic of my 170th blog post.

Humility…A check up from the neck up.

Heart space vs Head space- Our head space encourages us to feel one thing, our heart space another. With regard to our victories, it is important to reside in our heart space. In my head space it is always about me vs. you. This is a win-lose model. In my heart space I appreciate my victories, however, I am keenly aware that they are a “temporary reward” for my dedication to a chosen endeavor. I also recognize that it is only fair that others have the opportunity to experience victories as well. As hard as this can be, it is a true win-win model. Residing in our head space will almost always demand the need for winners and losers. Our heart space allows us to recognize that today I had a victory, tomorrow is another day.

Unsolicited recognition-When we come from a place of true humility we don’t have a need to solicit recognition from others because our primary focus is on showing appreciation for the gifts given to us by our creator. We recognize that the only recognition that matters is of an “eternal” nature. We don’t need or seek approval, however we gratefully accept it when it arrives of it’s own accord. The comedian David Spade, recently was asked what he thought of Reese Witherspoon’s comment “do you know who I am” as she was being arrested. His comment was priceless…”If you have to ask that question then it is pretty obvious they don’t”.

Mindset- Being humble is a mindset. Humility is focused on gratitude, lack of humility features shameless self promotion, usually followed by a heavy dose of gloating. When we develop a mindset that is focused on gratitude we will naturally draw more success into our lives. People will desire to help us, favorable opportunities and events will show up in our path and we will exude an endearing aura of personal confidence and happiness. To me, nothing is more annoying than being around someone who has the insatiable need to draw attention to themselves. Conversely, nothing is more calming than to be around a person who is self assured and who acknowledges that their perceived success is due in large part to the combined efforts of countless others.

Blessing-Being a sports fan I was excited to see Nick Foles, a former University of Arizona Wildcat and now the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, tie an NFL record by throwing 7 touchdown passes in a single game. This is a monumental feat to say the least. His interview after the game illustrates his character more than anything else. He stated to a reporter that his three priorities (in order of importance) are “faith, family and football”. The very reason he was being interviewed is the least of his priorities. Nick recognizes that football is a temporary blessing and although he appears very grateful for the opportunity to get paid to play a game, he is also grounded in humility. Each of our lives are a gift that I believe should be honored accordingly.

Lease-Recently, a friend made the comment that they had a “new lease on life”. All of us, no matter how much we accomplish, how many toys we collect, how gynormous our house is or how many cars are parked in our garage must face the fact that we are going to die. We are leasing our time on earth and we will be remembered by how we treated the people we shared this time with. I have never experienced a eulogy highlighting the departed’s “uncanny ability to gloat over others”. In the end we will be remembered and rewarded for our humble service to mankind.

Ego-The Ego desires for us to seek approval, crave attention, win at any cost, gloat, compare ourselves to others and take FULL credit for our achievements. The foundation of the Ego is INSECURITY. The last thing our Ego wants is for us to acknowledge that a power far greater than ourselves is the driving force behind our accomplishments. The Ego always wants to make it about “us” and encourages us to never give any credit where credit may be long overdue! The Ego is indeed the “great separator”.

It’s hard to be humble, however, it is through our humility that our greatest rewards will be realized. In the words of the Dos Equis man…”stay humble my friends”.

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

The Secret to Dying Rich…John Page Burton

No matter how much “stuff” we accumulate or how much “money” we earn, ALL of us are going to die. Death is the great equalizer! In our final moments we won’t crave the “stuff” we have accumulated or have a desire to fondle the piles of cash hidden under our mattress, rather, we will crave the love and connection of our family and friends. How we spend our final moments will be a direct reflection of how we lived our life. Dying rich should be our goal. Below, are a few of my thoughts on how each of us can begin filling up our emotional bank account as we travel down our chosen path.

*Nurturing our personal relationships. Far too many of us focus our non working energy on work related issues that we bring home from the office. Many of us routinely find ourselves immersed in someone else’s drama. This causes us to miss out on countless opportunities to connect meaningfully with family and friends. Remember…where our focus goes, our energy flows. Work is important , however, it should never dominate our personal lives. Our personal and family relationships require us to be fully present. In order for this to happen we must side step drama and leave our work at our desk. Ponder this… Are work related thoughts and conversations dominating your personal life? Do you routinely find yourself getting dragged into other peoples drama? Would the quality of your personal interactions improve dramatically if you focused your non work time nurturing them?

*Treating everyone with dignity and respect. When we make it our mission to live from this perspective we tend to find that the world opens up to support our journey. Despite what many of us have been led to believe, none of us are “better” than anyone else. ALL of us were born into a different set of circumstances. We are well served to be grateful for our blessings and refrain from judging others for what they have or don’t have. Remember…but for the grace of God, there go I. Ponder this… Do you find yourself judging other people by what they have or don’t have? How do you treat people when you believe nobody is watching you?

*Proclaiming our authentic self. This means that we speak our truth and run our own race. We don’t compare ourselves to others and we operate in a manner that is congruent with our values and beliefs. We are not swayed by the opinions of others and we freely stand up for what we believe in. We follow our heart and only engage in activities and vocations that are in alignment with our authentic self. Ponder this… Are there areas in your life where you are “selling out” on your truth? What would your life look like if you began living in a manner that honored your true, authentic self?

*Serve. Givers gain. Whenever we volunteer, we have an opportunity to connect with other like minded people and collectively we can effect change. When we give back to our community and the members within, we are honoring God’s blessing by sharing our time, treasure and talent. I believe that the more we give, the more we gain. As my mentor Tony Robbins often says…”the secret to living is giving”. Ponder this… What can you do this week to help someone who needs a helping hand or a little inspiration? Make the commitment to get more involved in your community. Teach your children the power of giving.

*LIVE NOW. A few years ago, Tim McGraw wrote a hit song called “Live Like You Were Dying”. In his song he shared many of the things he would do if he knew he only had a short time to live. We don’t need to receive a “death sentence” to start living. It begins with a conscious decision to begin doing the things we desire to accomplish and doing them NOW. Ponder this… What are some of the things on your bucket list? What do you desire to accomplish over the next 5 years? How would you feel if you began living your life with true passion?

Here’s to dying RICH!

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

5 Tips For Developing A “Garage Sale Millionaire” Mindset…John Page Burton

Let me begin by confessing that I am a “garage sale junkie”. I love garage sales! Recently, I found a bottle of wine that had been produced exclusively for the late actor, Dean Martin. The label bears his likeness and the wine is 35 years old. The label also stated that only 850 cases of this wine had been produced. (this could be a good or bad thing?) My cost for this very cool find was a whopping $1. But I digress, this article is not about my love of garage sales, it’s about defining our relationship with money.

MONEY

Money is either a small sheet of paper or a piece of metal, WE attach the meaning to money. Depending largely on our upbringing, we either have a healthy or an unhealthy relationship with money. Many of us are frugal and hunt for bargains. Shopping this way allows us to channel the money we are saving into interest bearing accounts and investments. Over time, this money can become significant and help provide us with a secure retirement. (“garage sale millionaire”) Others find it challenging to exert any type of spending discipline. They habitually make purchases on impulse and tend to pay full retail price for everything they buy. Unfortunately, many wake up one day to find that they are in significant financial trouble due to their lack of discipline. Below are 5 tips for developing a “garage sale millionaire” mindset.

THE “GARAGE SALE MILLIONAIRE” MINDSET….

*Get in the HABIT of spending less than you earn. Let’s face it, we live in a world with a ton of cool toys. Delaying gratification can be extremely hard. The first step on the road to financial freedom is to spend LESS than we earn. You may be saying yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know that. The question is…are you practicing it? This one habit can dramatically change your financial future. Examine your monthly bank statement and determine where can you cut wasteful spending? Make the commitment to this for one year. You will be amazed by how much you save!

*Pay CASH for purchases. I employ 2 strategies that serve me well. If I can’t pay cash for it, I don’t buy it and before I make any significant purchase I ask myself if it is something I NEED or just something I want. Something I NEED will always take precedence over something I want. Paying cash and avoiding impulse buys helps curb wasteful spending. We can then invest this “impulse money” into our future.

*Look for opportunities to create new streams of income rather than new lines of credit. I carry one debit card and one credit card. I focus my energy on looking for opportunities to create new streams of income. This mindset is a proactive wealth building mindset opposed to a “credit” mindset. For example, this past year I wrote a book. My book has become a NEW stream of income in the Burton household. I have not applied for any new lines of credit this year. ***One of the best TAX strategies we can employ is to own a home based business. New stream of income, new TAX savings.

*Avoid paying retail. Turn this concept into a game. Garage sales, consignment shops and services like Craig’s list are great places to find items that are in great condition and many items are brand new. Diana and I have furnished three homes employing this strategy. We have saved thousands of dollars and routinely receive positive feedback on how nicely our home is decorated. For example, we recently purchased a desk for our mountain home. The estimated cost of this desk was $1000. We were able to purchase it for $50 dollars and the seller even threw in a high end desk chair. Our patience paid off! FYI…you are the only ones who know how much we actually paid for this gorgeous desk. Ha, Ha!

*Make financial education a priority. A person doesn’t have to make a lot of money to save a lot of money. However, we must make financial education a priority and we must design a financial strategy and maintain the discipline to see it through. Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are best selling authors who specialize in providing their readers with great strategies for creating financial freedom. Go to the local library and check out their books. (I just saved you $50 dollars) Make an appointment with a TAX professional to develop a strategy for paying less TAX. Meet with a financial planner to help you maximize your retirement plan. Remember, burying our head in the sand or relying on the government are not proactive financial strategies.

I have been wealthy and I have been broke. I can honestly say that a life free from financial worry is a much easier one to live. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, running out of money before you run out of month or you just want the peace of mind of knowing that your retirement is secure, then I encourage you to begin developing your own “garage sale millionaire” mindset. Here’s to prosperity!

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

FOCUS,FOCUS,FOCUS…John Page Burton

Bright, shiny objects have been the demise of many a dream. Our societal obsession with bright, shiny objects is often the root cause of marriage, business and financial problems. Bright, shiny objects routinely show up in our path in the form of people, possessions and technology. Our attraction to them is driven by the Ego and only serves one purpose and that is to throw us off course. Referred to by their more common name, bright, shiny objects are DISTRACTIONS. Many of us have created the habit of employing distractions as an “avoidance strategy” whenever we find ourselves on the verge of leaving our comfort zone. So how do we curtail our attraction to bright, shiny objects? When they appear we must remember the three keys for overcoming them…FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!
*Try not to get them out of order!

Where our FOCUS goes, our energy flows.

Below are a few tips for maintaining FOCUS as we move toward our goals and dreams.

FUN. When we inject an element of “fun” into the pursuit of our objectives the process becomes more enjoyable. When something is “fun” we tend to maintain our FOCUS for longer periods of time and we are less vulnerable to bright, shiny objects. It is human nature to move toward things that bring us pleasure and away from things that cause us pain.

OBJECTIVITY. When we look at life with an objective point of view we tend to see bright, shiny objects for what they are…distractions. Remaining objective as we move toward what we desire does wonders for our mental and emotional health.

CHALLENGE. Most of us are up for a good challenge. The pursuit of our goals and dreams should always be challenging. Weak goals leave room for distractions, BIG goals require discipline and FOCUS. The higher we set our personal bar the more dedication and commitment it takes to reach our destination. This leaves little room for distractions to creep in.

URGENCY. When we add a sense of urgency to our goals we tend to take massive action. Urgency requires action, complacency requires nothing. Creating a sense of urgency will keep us FOCUSED and we will begin viewing distractions as the nuisance they are.

SIMPLICITY. The more complicated we make something the easier it is to lose FOCUS and quit. Once we have determined what it is we desire to achieve we must then design an easy to follow strategy for reaching our objective. The less complicated the plan, the easier it will be to FOCUS on the process.
KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Take inventory of your bright, shiny objects and determine what your life would look like if you began shifting your FOCUS in a more empowering direction. Remember, we get to CHOOSE what we FOCUS on and that in and of itself is very powerful.

The Truth About “Magic Bullets”…John Page Burton

In today’s fast paced, I want it now world, millions of people are searching for the proverbial “magic bullet”. They want this “magic bullet” to immediately improve their health, business growth, intimacy and general happiness. Many of my clients initially seem quite receptive to any “shortcut” that would enable them to avoid putting in the hard work and discipline needed to achieve the success they seek. I routinely advise my clients that success comes to those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and engage in the SUCCESS PROCESS. Ironically, five of the key elements inherent to the SUCCESS PROCESS just so happen to spell out the word MAGIC. Let’s take a closer look…

MAGIC…

MOTIVATION. Motivation is an inside job, either you’re motivated or your not. There is no “magic bullet” that can motivate someone to do something they’re not dedicated to accomplishing. Find your “WHY”, design a plan, secure an accountability partner and get started!

ACTION. We must be willing to take massive action. Action doesn’t come in a “pill” or secret potion, it is born from BIG DREAMS. The bigger our dreams the more action we will be willing to take. Action builds muscles of courage and boosts confidence.

GOALS. Our attainment of a significant goal is a profound experience. Who we become as a person from the time we set our goal to the moment our goal is realized (the process) is the true “magic” of the goal. “Magic bullets” are not an option, hard work and sacrifice is the determining factor.

INTUITION. Tapping into and trusting our inner voice is THE grounding principle of the success process. All of us know how we truly feel in every interaction or situation we encounter. Our ability to communicate this truth sets us apart from those who are in a continual search for the “magic bullet”. When we are in touch with our authentic self we have little use for outside chatter. We take full responsibility for our RESULTS.

COMMITMENT. Without a high level of commitment we will never achieve anything of real significance. We must be committed to our plan of action. Our dedicated commitment to ourselves and our plan will get us through set backs, rejection, failure and our commitment will accelerate our resolve.

THE TAKEAWAY…

There is no such thing as a “magic bullet”. The only “magic” lies within the process. The process goes along way in determining who we become. LEARN TO EMBRACE THE PROCESS.

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

Learning To Approach Life With A Profound Sense Of Purpose…John Page Burton

Are you treating your life like a hobby or are you approaching it with a profound sense of purpose? Far too many of us are in “hobby mode” because we don’t believe that we deserve success or we have become deathly afraid of failure. Others have not given themselves permission to dream any bigger than what they were told they could achieve by parents, teachers, friends or others who themselves were afraid to leave their own little box to explore all of the amazing opportunities available to them. If you truly desire to play a much bigger, more impactful game of life then the tips below are guaranteed to move you in the right direction, provided you initiate them.

5 tips for playing a much bigger game of life….

1. Quit dabbling. Far too many of us are “dabbling” our way through life. We get excited about something, run with it for awhile and then lose interest and move on to the next “bright shiny object”. When we live with a profound sense of purpose we are able to harness the power of focus and begin accomplishing great things. What would your life look like if you quit dabbling, defined your purpose and applied the laser focus necessary to see your dreams become a reality? My guess is that you would begin to feel better about the new, committed you!

2. Get curious. Curiosity leads to opportunity. As children most of us were quite curious about the world around us. We tried new things, explored unchartered terrain and didn’t take NO for an answer. Slowly but surely, we found ourselves stepping into a custom designed box. We were encouraged by our parents and teachers to choose a specific path and then follow a set of instructions that would lead us to our “final” destination. Many of us woke up one day to the realization that this plan wasn’t working and the air in our little box was getting thinner. What would your life look like if you began approaching it with a sense of curiosity and you gave yourself permission to try new things and explore new opportunities? My guess is that you would quickly tear the lid off your tattered box and begin racing toward the opportunities awaiting you!

3. Give yourself permission to be great! We are usually our own biggest critic! Most of us judge ourselves far more harshly than anyone else ever could. We compare ourselves and our success to those around us and when we don’t feel like we are measuring up we become even more judgmental and critical toward ourselves. What would your life look like if you took your gaze off of others and began running the race you were destined to run? My guess is that you would have more energy and be a much happier person!

4. Seek role models. Once we define our purpose it’s time to find a role model, coach or mentor who can help us create a road map to reach our destination. There are no shortcuts to success, however, a good coach or mentor can help speed up our learning curve by sharing advice and designing strategies based on proven results. What would your life look like if you had a clear cut plan of action for achieving your goals as well as a coach or mentor to hold you accountable? My guess is that you would experience the magic that happens when responsibility meets accountability!

5. Embrace failure. I recently wrote a book titled Wisdom Through Failure. The premise behind this book is that in order to gain true wisdom we must accept and learn to embrace failure. We are all going to fail. When we personalize it we build scar tissue that causes us to become resistant to taking risks or trying new things. What would your life look like if you put yourself in a position to fail? My guess is that you will feel far more empowered than you will if you continue to play it safe?

I believe that all of us desire to make a difference in our world. The difference between you and somebody you envy is that you settled for less! As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback. Cheers!

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.

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.

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.