Change Your Life by Stepping Into Monk Mode

Change Your Life by Stepping Into Monk Mode

It’s common the hear people talk about going, “monk mode.” What does this mean?

How does a Buddhist monk live? Their entire life is about understanding how the mind works and gaining enlightenment. To that end, they give up just about everything else: money, entertainment, women, and so on. They have zero distractions to keep them from their purpose.

A more relatable example might be that of a serious writer. She might put herself in a cabin in the woods with nothing other than a word processor, some food, and a bed. She avoids contact with most people and focuses 100% on writing.

You can do the same thing on a more or less temporary basis. You can focus on one aspect of your life and largely ignore the rest for a short time.

Choose a focus:

1.  Health. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, heal from childhood trauma, or clean up your diet. 

2.  Fitness. Maybe you want to focus on getting in the best shape of your life. You might want to see your abs, bench press twice your bodyweight, and run a 10K in under 48 minutes.

3.  Finances. Most of us could use a little more money. You can choose to temporarily focus your life on maximizing your income and minimizing your expenses.

4.  Spirituality. Education, meditation, and prayer might be just what you need to take your life to the next level.

5.  Finding a partner. What would happen if you made finding a life partner your primary focus?

6.  Writing a book. Have you always dreamed of writing? This could be your chance!

These are just a few possibilities. You might want to focus on the piano, perfect your oil painting, work on your communication skills, or build an online business.

What is so important to you that you’re willing to put the rest of your life on the back burner for a while?

Use these tips to go monk mode:

1.  Eliminate as much as possible. What are you willing to give up? What do you need to give up in order to maximize your results?

*  Irrelevant social interaction. You don’t have to cut yourself off completely, but it would be helpful to come close. Most of the interactions you have with others are of minimal value and waste time.

*  Meaningless distractions. TV, internet, smartphone, reading fiction, reading non-fiction that isn’t related to your area of focus – these are a good start. How do you like to waste time?

*  Anything that doesn’t contribute to progress in your area of interest. Remember, in a perfect monk mode world, you’d do little other than eat, sleep, and improve in your area of focus.

2.  Define the most effective ways to spend your time. Now that you’ve created a lot of time for yourself, you have to know how to spend that time wisely.

* What are the most important actions you can take? How can you best implement them into your life?

* What information do you need? A mentor? A new book? Ensure that you know enough to make wise choices.

3.  Expect to be uncomfortable. If you’re used to meeting the same set of friends for nachos and beer twice a week, it will be awkward to end that practice. If you numb yourself with TV every evening, it will be uncomfortable to no longer have that crutch. Imagine living like a real monk.

You know that you’re smart and capable. The biggest challenge you have is that your time and focus are too scattered. By going monk mode, you can put all of your resources toward mastering one aspect of your life.

What do you want to master?

 

The Circle of Life

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I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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I project confidence.

I project confidence.

I am hopeful and strong. I stand tall and make eye contact. I set compelling goals and tackle new challenges. My confidence grows when I make personal development a top priority and follow through on my plans.

I leverage my strengths. I figure out what I excel at and what I like to do. I approach projects in a way that maximizes my capacities.

I think positive. I focus on what I have to gain. I look for opportunities instead of dwelling on losses. Optimism enhances my wellbeing and prepares me for success.

I face my fears. I take worthwhile risks and practice doing things that scare me a little. Each time I break out of my comfort zone, I teach myself that I am capable of great things.

I celebrate my achievements. When I think about the things that I have accomplished in my life, I feel excited about my potential.

I learn from setbacks. I evaluate my performance and give myself a second chance. I am a winner as long as I keep learning and persevering. I assess the situation, change my strategy, and move forward.

I surround myself with supportive family, friends, and colleagues. They give me constructive feedback and boost my self-image. Healthy relationships make me more resilient.

Today, I build my confidence and pursue my dreams. I accept myself as I am and appreciate my worth.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What is the relationship between self-confidence and self-knowledge?
  2. How does my appearance affect my confidence?
  3. Why is it important to believe in myself?

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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13 Habits That Increase Patience

13 Habits That Increase Patience

Life is full of bumps in the road. Construction holds up traffic on your way to work. Your child loses their homework folder about once a month, and your boss blames you for a decision they made.

Sometimes you can change your circumstances. More often, you’ll need to change your attitude so you can run into obstacles without losing your cool.

Developing more patience will make your life run smoother. It’s like acquiring any other skill. You’ll need to practice regularly.

Start with minor irritations and work your way up to handling bigger challenges. Take a look at these exercises for developing more patience.

Basic Exercises for Increasing Patience:

1.  Spot your triggers. Figure out what frustrates you and why. It could be certain events or words. Ask your family and friends for feedback if you’re not sure about what usually sets you off.

2.  Keep a journal. While you’re trying to develop more patience, it helps to keep a record of your activities. Use your phone or a notepad to count the number of times you feel stressed and describe the situations.

3.  Slow down. Rushing around creates more tension. Pause for a moment when you feel overwhelmed, so you can resist the urge to speed up.

4.  Meditate on your breath. Try to maintain a daily meditation practice. Even a few minutes of deep breathing can be beneficial. Put aside other thoughts as you focus on each inhalation and exhalation.

5.  Relax your muscles. Scan your body when something disturbing happens, so you can release tension quickly. Smooth your brows and unclench your jaw. Soften your neck and shoulders. Gently rub your back or any sore spots.

6.  Take care of basic needs. Dehydration, hunger, and lack of sleep can threaten your composure. Carry a water bottle and healthy snacks with you so you can refuel as needed. Go to bed early and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

7.  Enjoy the weather. Heat, cold, rain, and snow can teach you to embrace change or at least tolerate discomfort. Buy a beautiful, warm coat or think about plants that need water to grow.

Advanced Exercises for Increasing Patience:

1.  Delay gratification. Practice waiting for what you want. Postpone purchases for a day or two before you buy new shoes or sports equipment. Go for a walk before you eat dessert.

2.  Set priorities. Are you trying to do too much? Delete nonessential tasks from your to do list. You’ll have more time for the things that really matter to you.

3.  Adjust your expectations. Technology conditions us to expect things quickly, like groceries delivered to your door or streaming movies and music on demand. Remember that important projects usually require significant time and effort.

4.  Evaluate the outcomes. Losing your patience might be tempting if the clerks at the DMV escorted you to the front of the line and fed you ice cream while they completed your paperwork. However, you usually just wind up feeling less-than-satisfied when you lose your patience.

5.  Listen closely. Do you become edgy when your children ask multiple questions or coworkers talk so long that a meeting runs overtime? Instead of tuning them out, give them your full attention. You’ll probably feel calmer and you may learn something new.

6.  Be thankful and helpful. Gratitude and generosity are the ultimate recipe for patience. Count your blessings so you can keep minor irritations in perspective. Think about what you can share with others instead of focusing on your own comfort.

Increasing your patience will make you happier and better-liked by others. You’ll experience less stress and find it easier to get what you want.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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I feel relaxed and comfortable around others.

I feel relaxed and comfortable around others.

I feel relaxed and comfortable around others.

I am comfortable in all social situations. Being around others is one of the ways I like to unwind after a long day. Socializing is relaxing to me.

I appreciate what others have to offer. Everyone is interesting if I take the time to get to know them well. Meeting new people is exciting to me. I would even say it is a hobby of mine. There are few things that I enjoy as much as meeting someone.

I can relate effectively to a wide variety of people. Everyone is unique, just like me.

Part of the reason for my high level of comfort in this area are my social skills. I know how to speak with others, and I am an excellent listener. People like to communicate with me. They automatically trust me and feel that they can open up to me.

I feel at ease meeting new people. Everyone has the potential to be a new friend. Each time I meet someone new, there is so much potential for something good to happen.

My social comfort increases each day. I feel relaxed and comfortable around others.

Today, I am open to socializing with anyone that crosses my path. I am open to new social opportunities. I am looking forward to making stronger connections with the people in my world.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What is my greatest concern regarding social events?
  2. What can I do today to become more comfortable with others?
  3. What are some social situations that I would like to master?

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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Start Living Your Dream Today

Start Living Your Dream Today

Why are you in a holding mode? People everywhere seem to be waiting for something to happen before they can begin living their dream. This is a mistake. Now is the time to begin making things happen.

You might be short on time or money, but there are still things you can do to get started. Let today be the day you start to make your dreams come true!

Use these tips to begin living your dream:

1.  Realize that life gets shorter each day. It’s easy to believe that you’ll have time to do what you really want to do after the kids finish school, you have a better job, you’re retired, or more money in the bank. The truth is, there will never be a perfect time to start living your dreams.

–  The amount of time we all have left gets shorter each day. Time is the most valuable resource of wealthy and successful people. It’s also the most valuable resource of the average person, but the average person doesn’t realize it.

2.  Define your dream. Have a crystal-clear objective of what you’re trying to achieve. It’s not enough to have a vague idea. A vague idea isn’t motivating enough to keep you going when faced with obstacles. It’s important to have a clear picture you can keep going back to when challenges arise.

3.  Work backwards. It won’t be possible to take one step from where you are to the end. There will be many steps along the way. The important thing is to find something you can do today. Keep working back from the endpoint until you find something you can accomplish right now and get busy working on it.

4.  Do a little each day. A little each day turns into a lot over time. Cutting a few calories each day can result in a lot of weight loss over a year. Adding a piece or two to the wood pile each day is a lot of wood after a year.

–  You can probably reach your dreams without spending eight hours each day on it. Just do something each day.

5.  Deal with limiting beliefs. The primary reason you don’t already have everything you want is limiting beliefs. There are many forms of limiting beliefs:

–  It’s going to take too much time.

–  It’s too hard.

–  I don’t have enough money to get started.

–  People won’t approve.

–  I’m too tired.

–  I can start next year.

–  Any thought that prevents you from getting started is a limiting belief.

6.  Ignore the people that get in your way. There’s always someone trying to get in your way. It might be a family member, friend, neighbor, or anonymous person online. You have to be strong enough to ignore those people and stick to your plan. You can have the last laugh.

7.  Focus on the things you can control. There aren’t too many things you can actually control. However, it makes no sense to spend your time, energy, and focus worried about things outside of your control. Keep your attention where it can make a difference.

8.  Celebrate victories. A long journey is easier with a few pleasant experiences along the way. Celebrate your progress regularly. It will be easier to reach the finish line.

It’s never too late, or too early to begin living your dream. Each second that passes by is a second you’ll never get back. There’s not a good reason to wait any longer. The time to begin living your dream is right now.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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Forever Friends  A story of self-determination and a lost friendship

Forever Friends A story of self-determination and a lost friendship

Forever Friends:  A story of self-determination and a lost friendship

 Emily refused to let Ella make her own decisions… 

..And it cost them both the friendship.

 

 Short Story:

 

Ella the Elephant fell in love with Mason the monkey. She knew it was an unconventional union. But she was beaming because they were so madly in love. 

 

Ella was absolutely over the moon due to her newfound love. So, of course, she had to tell her best friend, Emily! 

 

While the two ladies were bathing in the sun, Ella found it difficult to contain her excitement and exclaimed, “I’m in love with Mason!” 

 

Immediately, Emily stood up and screamed, “What? Mason? He’s a monkey; you can’t love a monkey! I don’t think this is a good idea.” 

 

Ella was incredibly offended. Trying to remain polite, she sheepishly replied, “Emily, I know we’re best friends. But I feel it’s out of line for you to say something like that to me.” 

 

At this point, Emily was flailing around in a frantic rage, “Out of line? You’re  my best friend. This monkey is bad news. This love is unacceptable to our kind!” 

 

Ella was growing tired of Emily’s judgmental behavior. 

 

Before she could say anything, Emily walked up to her and dramatically demanded, “Well, if you’re going to be with him, I refuse to be your best friend. I will not tarnish my name by associating with a monkey lover. It’s either him or me!” 

 

Ella was at a loss for words and too shocked to give a reaction. She simply got up and gave Emily a shameful gaze as she walked away. 

 

 

 

MORAL:  If you love your friend, accept them for who they are, even if you disagree with some of their decisions.

 

 

 

Personal reflection.

 

Emily felt a sense of entitlement. She felt she had the right to dictate Ella’s decisions simply because she was her best friend. But Ella effectively reminded her that she is free to live her own life as she sees best. 

 

It’s tough to know how far to take your concern when dealing with close friends. 

 

You may feel like you have to be the guard dog of your loved ones. But your vow to keep them safe can be misconstrued as obsessive and controlling behavior. 

 

If you have nothing nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all. 

 

No matter how loud you scream or how hard you stomp in order to get your way, you are in no position to be the authority figure in your friend’s life. 

 

It’s vital to maintaining healthy friendships that you know where to draw the line between concern and judgment. 

 

Once you learn to express your concern while keeping a mindset that your advice may go unused, your friendships will strengthen tenfold.

 

Self-Reflection Questions:

 

  1. Do I expect my friends to follow my lead in all situations?
  2. How can I tactfully express my concern without sounding demanding?
  3. Do I express possessive behavior over my loved ones?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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