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So here I am, out with a five-day exhibition with my family. We decided to get out of dodge and go explore the wilderness of Eastern Oregon. We’re having a great time. So what I’ve asked the team to do is put together a mashup of some of the best listener requests that we’ve had for Author of Your Own Story with the over a hundred Daily Growth Hacks we have. So I hope you enjoy over these next couple days. We’re gonna revisit these older Daily Growth Hacks so you can go ahead and go back if you haven’t heard them. Go back and do the work and get a chance to actually listen to them. And remember, go back and listen to the whole library while it’s still available.

Now if you have heard these before, don’t worry. Doing the work again, you’ve changed. So you’re gonna have a different outlook on each of these Daily Growth Hacks. That’s it for me. I’m out living the Author of My Own Story lifestyle and I hope you’re doing the same.

Today I’m gonna talk a little bit about your soul, and kind of in an abstract point of view. Now, if you’ve ever seen Office Space, you know when the woman talks about it, she says, “Oh, you’ve got a case of the Mondays.”, always plays in my head when I hear somebody complain about the work week coming up. Now a typical work week, you know, Monday through Friday, and I know a lot of you listening are already living the Author of Your Own Story lifestyle, and have created a lifestyle outside of that typical workweek.

But I also see on social media, as well as talking to friends, that they talk about, “Aw man, the weekend is over.” Yeah, they’re so bummed. And they’re bummed because they’re going back to work. And they’re actually depressed. And to think about it, they actually get two days of happiness? Two days to look forward to out of a seven day week? That means five of those days, the majority of their week is something that they actually aren’t looking forward to. This is the problem.

If you find yourself waking up on Monday having a case of the Mondays, and yeah, of course, we all have them from time to time. And it might not be Monday, it could be Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday even. But if you wake up in the morning and you’re regularly having a case of the Mondays, this is something that you need to look into. This is a sign. This is a breadcrumb on the road to life if you ask me. This is a sign that you need to take a 90-degree pivot and go a different direction. This is a sign that you need to step up and truly be the author of your own story. ‘Cause if you’re having a case of the Mondays, I can tell you right now, you aren’t being the author of your story.

Now I’m not here to put you down, what I’m here to do is just put a mirror in front of you as a reflection, and let you know, hey look, if you’re not doing what you love, you should be doing something different. A perfect example is Billy, who edits these videos for us. An amazing man. He took a 90-degree pivot. He wasn’t happy at his job and totally wanted to do video editing. And he does a fantastic job at it. We’re so lucky to have him on our team. Just like you, I’m gonna ask you, where in your Five to Thrive are you having a case of the Mondays?

So what I want you to do right now, pull out your journal, write down your Five to Thrive. Your mind, your body, your soul, your relationships and your business. And write down any places you’re having a case of the Mondays. And now I want you to do, right now, at this moment, is take action, and change it. Do one small thing to make that 90-degree turn, and make that change. Honor your body and reach out to somebody else. Maybe you don’t like working out in the way you’re doing it. Do yoga. Do Pilates. Try something else. Run. Get together with friends, play sports. Whatever it is for you. Maybe it’s your job. Maybe you just hate the place you work. Well, then what I want you to do is find five reasons you’re grateful for that place. Find five things you love about it, and focus on those five, and during that time, look for a pivot. Look for a different alternative for yourself.

Maybe it’s your paradigm, or maybe it is the place you work. I don’t know. But write down those Five to Thrive. That’s where it all starts. Today I’m gonna talk about box breathing. Now I first learned about box breathing from Mark Divine, a fantastic author, founder of Seal Fit, a former Navy Seal, and also just a great inspiration. I currently use box breathing with my clients, as well as in my daily practice. So before I get into how to use box breathing, let me talk about some of the benefits and some of the ways I utilize it currently that I think might benefit you.

Box breathing really allows you to slow down, center yourself, and really apply some focus. I’ll use it in the car while driving, as a way of just getting myself centered, calming myself down from the hectic day to day life that sometimes occurs. I’ll also use box breathing just as a walking therapy, or a walking meditation. Oftentimes with clients, I’ll use box breathing at the beginning of a session, just to really get them calm, centered, and focused. And as well most of my clients, in fact, all of them are business owners, and often times they get really stressed or really busy as business owners tend to do. Box breathing allows them to calm themselves down, get centered, especially before going home where they have to check in with their family relationships and check business to the side.

Now, what is box breathing? So I want you to do is picture a box. Now a box is gonna have four sides, we’re gonna use all four of those sides with four-second counts. So first what you’re gonna do is inhale, doing a belly, deep diaphragm inhale through the nose and a four-second count. And then once you’ve finished that, you’re gonna hold for four seconds. Slowly open your mouth, and let the air naturally come out from your pursed lips. Now once you’ve actually exhaled all your air after the four seconds, go ahead and hold for another four seconds before repeating the process by inhaling through your nose once again.

So again, that’s four seconds inhale through the nose, followed by a four-second hold, a four second gentle exhale through the lips, followed again by a four-second hold. Alright? So we’re gonna inhale for four, three, two, one. Hold, four, three, two, one. Gently exhale, four, three, two, one. Hold, four, three, two, one. And repeat the process from there.

So what do I mean? Stop lying to yourself. When I say that, what I’m talking about is all the lies that we tell ourselves on a daily basis. These are lies that come from previous stories. Stories about our past. These stories become records playing in our head, over and over again on some kind of crazy loop. Now what these stories do is they disempower us. Now, these stories are things that we’ve made up based on past experiences or things people have told us, or things that have happened. Some of the common ones I hear from people are, “Well I don’t have enough money to start my own company.”, or “I don’t have enough money to do X, Y, and Z.” Or, “I’m not good looking enough for him or her.” Or, “I’m too fat to do this, that, or the other.” Or, “I’m not athletic enough.”, or “I don’t have time to do X, Y, and Z.”

I hear this all the time. And I’ve got my own records playing in my own head. Now, this is obviously an analogy, but these are things that we’re constantly telling ourselves. These are disempowering stories. You can’t allow these disempowering stories to occur, but you can’t lie to yourself either. You can’t pretend like they don’t exist. That’s the key. The key is recognizing that you have disempowering beliefs or disempowering stories, recognizing them, and then changing the script. Flip the script on these things. Now what I want you to do if write every disempowering story you’ve told yourself, or tell yourself currently, and leave a space. Leave three to five lines, and then write out the next one. Whatever your stories are. There’s all kind of stories that are out there, and everybody’s is unique. Course there’s some common ones.

Now I want you to write them all out. Take time to make an extensive list, and you’re gonna leave three to five lines between them. And you’ve got your extensive list, and if you’re just the average person, you should have probably five to seven pages here. Five to seven good pages of disempowering stories that you tell yourself. Now if you don’t know them, ask a good friend, ’cause these are things that you repeat unconsciously on a regular basis. Once you’ve written these down, then I want you to go back to them and say, “Hey, what the truth? What’s the real reality of this?” For me one that came up was six months ago my wife pointed out, was I was always saying, “I’m tired. I’m always tired.” And that was a story I’d told myself. And when I eliminated that phrase from my vocabulary, suddenly my energy increased. These are all kinds of opportunities you can create within this lie that you’ve created to flip the script.

As you’re out becoming the author of your own story, you really need to give yourself permission to fail. And permission not to succeed. Now, of course, you want to succeed, and you should be striving for that, but you need to give yourself permission to fail. ‘Cause if you don’t, you won’t jump. You won’t jump forward, you won’t take that great leap or even that first step that’s necessary to become the author of your own story. Now almost all the clients I’ve worked with when I’m coaching them, they all have this fear. This is a fear to actually take that leap. To take that jump, because what if I fail? What if I don’t succeed? What are people gonna think of me? What are people gonna say? Am I ever gonna be able to show my face in this group or with my friends or my family again?

Or am I gonna lose all my … I’m gonna lose my house, I’m gonna lose my money. Now I’m talking about calculated risks. And all, and I mean all of the successful people that I know and have coached and have worked with, all are amazing risk takers. And the reason they’re great risk takers is ’cause they’re calculated risks, and they’re not afraid to fail. But when they fail, they fail forward. And what I mean by failing forward is, as soon as they fall down, they learned a lesson, and they get up right away, dust themselves off quickly, and move forward. They’re not afraid to jump in the deep end to test the waters, but knowing that they can grab onto a life raft or a vest, or whatever it is, to get back to shore. Now as soon as they jump in, they know that they’re learning something each and every time. They’re growing.

So growth happens outside of your comfort zone. And you have to be okay with failing. One of the stories I’ve loved comes about a baby. If you have a baby and they get up and they try to walk and they fall down, which all babies do, do you say hey you know what, you failed? That’s it. We’re not gonna do that anymore, I’m sorry. You’re gonna be crawling the rest of your life. Course not. The baby falls and you cheer them, and they get back up and try again, and they fall, and this happens for a long time until they’re actually able to successfully walk. But most people can actually walk if you’ve given that ability and that grace to have two strong legs, you can walk. It’s not that somebody said, “Hey, you were crawling and you got up, you fell, and therefore you gotta stay down there now.” That not … doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t happen. You need to give yourself, you, the author of your own story give yourself the grace to fail.

Give yourself grace for failure. Now when you think about it, every day we make things mean something. So listening to this daily growth hack, or watching this on video, you’re associating a meaning. A meaning not only to what I’m saying, but a meaning to you, and to how you’re interacting with this audio or video, or what’s coming out. What does it mean to you? And that meaning equals emotion. It triggers some kind of emotional response within you. So for example, if what I’m saying excites you, you get excited, you get the emotion of excitement, hope, probably, enthusiasm. And that brings energy inside of you. It not only brings energy inside of you but also radiates out. You can see if somebody’s excited about something, and it’s contagious, right?

So that emotion is part of life, right? So you can also say that the emotion is that what brings somebody a truly magnificent life. And not just an ordinary life, or your humdrum going through your days. It’s actually the emotion that brings the character, the good stuff, to life. It’s love, it’s passion, it’s energy, it’s excitement, it’s hope. It’s really getting in there. And you know what, also it’s the sadness. Unfortunately, you have to see the valleys and go through the valleys to actually recognize the mountains. If you’re always happy, they call that crazy, right? No one ever is always happy. Now but you can control things to a certain degree. And it’s the way you associate the meanings to those things that control the emotion. So for example, the other day, I was hoping to get an email from a client, and the client did not email me. Now, I had an option there. I got frustrated, upset, and then I started saying, well what does this mean? Is the client mad at me? Are they upset? Did they not like the service that I was providing? And it was very easy for me to get frantic, anxious, and maybe even depressed and scared, right?

But I didn’t associate that meaning. That meaning I took from that is, wait, the client didn’t get back to me and therefore I got tons of space and time to do everything else that I wanted to do. Everything else that was in my journal that I’d planned on doing that day, and I got excited about it. And I flipped it around. Turns out, the client had an emergency. They actually had a tragedy in their own lives that they had to take care of in order to get back to me. Everything worked out fine. Now, if I would associate that meaning, so the meaning that … of despair, the client isn’t getting back to me ’cause they don’t like me, they don’t like the work, they’re not happy. Whatever it is, that would spill over to my whole day. I’d start panicking, maybe even trying to contact them, trying to figure out what’s going on. Talking to my team, like hey, pick up the phone. “Hey, what happened? Did something go wrong? Did you hear back from them?” Going back and forth, and then being stressed out.

So I could’ve gone with that story in the back of my head and just really been worried about it, consumed. Which also means I wouldn’t be present with anybody I interacted with. Instead, I made it mean nothing. I made it mean they didn’t email me. That’s just a fact. Okay? Whatever. And I moved on. I decided not to create a story about that, and then I got excited about the free space that I now had to work on other projects and things that I wanted to work on. And I did. And I took that excitement, I took that energy, and I applied it throughout my businesses. I also was able to hang out with my wife and child, be fully present and happy and joyful about it. And that’s what life is about. So to remember, we have meaning. It’s whatever you make that mean equates to an emotion, and that emotion equates to having an epic author of your own story life.

So what I want you to is write this equation out in your journal, and write it in big, bold letters. Right? Meaning equals emotion, emotion equals life. Now what I want you to do is think about things that are going on, how are you reacting to what I’m saying right now? What are you making it mean? And is that serving you? Is that serving you as the author of your own story? Is that serving you as the person that you want to be, and the person that people want to be around? Does it serve your story? Now you can do this through your Five to Thrive, but what I really would like you to do is every time something is happening, catch it. When you’re writing your journal, you should be journaling daily. Most successful people journal on a day to day basis throughout history. So with that said, I want you to be one. I want you to be one of those individuals if you choose to be. And I think you are, if you’re taking your time to go through this, you should.

Well, if you haven’t been doing the work, you could feel bad about yourself and get depressed and get down and do whatever it is you do what you get down. Or you could say, “Hey, look, I haven’t done the work, but I’m making a choice right now. I recognize this, now I’m gonna do the work.” And then get excited about that. That is two different lifestyles. So the meaning, emotion, life. Right? Meaning equals emotion, emotion equals life. So what I want you to do is just start writing it down. Go back to your journal and pass if you have it, and look at some of those things that you’ve written, and look at the meanings that you’ve associated with those, and then the emotion that’s tied in with that meaning. And then if it doesn’t serve you, I want you to flip that around.

Have a great day and remember, share this with at least three people that you know, build your tribe, start the conversation. I’d love to talk about it more in The Author of Your Own Story group, and that’s it for today. Have a great day and remember, go out and be the author of your own story.

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