Personal Mastery Year in Review – 2014

images-1First off I want to thank you for following my blog! I am grateful for your feedback and willingness to listen to my musings around the concepts of personal mastery. This will be my final post for 2014 so I thought it would be fitting to take a snap shot of what I’ve written to help reinforce and deepen our understanding and hopefully our learning!

keep-calm-and-begin-with-the-end-in-mind-6We Begun With the End in Mind – We used Dr. Stephen Covey’s Habit 2 to envision ourselves at our own funeral. (A wee bit of a morbid start to a blog but what better way to kick start some real change in our lives! 🙂 ) What did our family and friends say about us? What were our accomplishments and contributions? If we didn’t like what we envisioned now is the time to make changes – heck while we’re still alive and kicking! We also reviewed our personal values and wrote a purpose statement. If your purpose statement isn’t feeling right…maybe it’s time to tweak it. I tweak mine every January to make sure that it still provides me intrinsic motivation.

images-1We experienced the Power of Forgiveness – Forgiveness doesn’t justify the hurt or remove another person’s wrong doing but it allows us to come to terms with it so we can get on with our lives. Forgiveness is about changing our life, so we may heal and have more peace and happiness. We are only human and we’ve made mistakes; we need to also forgive ourselves! There is a growing body of research regarding forgiveness that when we can forgive we are happier, more empathetic, and hopeful. When we make a habit to forgive we are more likely to have higher self-esteem, more friends, longer marriages, and fewer stress-related health issues.

personality_traits_list_personalityWe got to Know Our Personality – knowing ourselves is how the Personal Mastery journey begins. We took a short Myers/Briggs assessment that gave us an acronym to help clarify our personality. This is very important because our personality is part of our “why.” When we understand our why, we can be more authentic and happier. Knowing our personality helps us to comprehend our deep-seated thoughts and unconscious processes. When we know this information, we can understand how we show up to others, how we interact, parent, work, and love. WOW!

limiting-beliefs-211x300We reviewed Limiting Beliefs – All of us have battled limiting beliefs in our lives, some have threatened to derail our personal or professional success. These beliefs typically start in our youth and sometimes as we age remain with us and cause us heartache and/or fear. It is important to understand what those beliefs are so that we can assess the deep-seated perspectives that are limiting our potential. “The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.”William James

images-2We Discovered Our Strengths – Society doesn’t teach us to focus on our unique and individual strengths. Instead it tells us to work hard on our weaknesses so we can turn them into strengths. No longer will we spend our energies in repairing flaws that others have determined; we will focus instead on our natural strengths. Using Gallup’s StrengthsFinder we can understand our top five signature strengths and put a plan of action to lean on our strengths for our sustained success. “If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow in their capabilities.”Author unknown. 

images-2We recognized the power of Loving Ourselves – When we love ourselves we can express ourselves completely to others and enjoy being who we truly are. To love ourselves we need to stop judging so that we can secure a more positive sense of who we are. In other words, we need to practice self-acceptance. To become more self-accepting we need to remind ourselves repeatedly, and with ever increasing conviction, that given all of our biased beliefs of ourselves, we’ve done the best we possibly could so far. Self-acceptance and happiness go hand in hand. In fact our level of self-acceptance determines our level of happiness! The more self-acceptance we have, the more happiness we’ll allow ourselves to accept, receive, and enjoy. Self love, self respect, self worth…there is a reason they all start with “self.” You cannot find self in anyone else.

positive-thinkingWe learned the importance of Positive Thinking and WOOP! – By using mental contrasting we can focus on our dreams by visualizing and putting plans in place to identify and understand the root of as well as overcome obstacles that stand in the way of successfully reaching our goals. By using the acronym WOOP we can put plans into place to Wish (identify specifically our wish, dream, or goal), Outcome (picture the best outcome of obtaining our wish/dream/goal), Obstacle (understand what’s in the way of achieving the wish/dream/goal), Plan (using the “if this then that” method to identify obstacles and then create the actions and/or the behaviors needed to overcome them.) “It isn’t enough to sit and dream; we have to take action and make sacrifices. Our dreams may be realizable, but they come down to challenges that require engagement and action.” – Gabriele Oettingen.

images-1We Got it Done through Self Discipline – Successful people are successful because they are disciplined in their actions, thoughts, and words. It isn’t just about having willpower and self-control, its about tackling the wants over needs constant message in our heads. We make difficult choices sometimes when our goals are about to get railroaded, we need to have a long-term over short-term focus. Remember….The price of discipline is always less than the price of regret. Self-discipline is the number one component that creates long-term success. It is also a required ingredient to accomplish any goal.

imagesWe learned about Goals and how to set them. Goals provide focus by creating a vision to what we really want; by envisioning our ideal future, goal setting can help turn that vision into reality. Goals provide the measuring stick to know when we’ve achieved success; they help us to choose what we want in life, where we would like to be in a given time period, and they set the road map on how to get there. Establishing and working towards goals gives us a sense of meaning and clear direction, the benefit to goal achievement is that we control the direction of change in our life not others. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau

imagesWe touched on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – There is scientific data that demonstrates EQ is more important than IQ when achieving success; EQ is the primary determinant of the quality of our personal and professional relationships. The good news is that unlike IQ, EQ can be learned and enhanced. We can even make radical changes to our emotional reactions and to our lives when we understand what drives our emotional intelligence. We can unlearn ineffective emotional responses and introduce new more effective ways of filtering data received during our interactions with others.

imagesWe chose to be Response-able and Proactive – Being response-able is taking proactive responsibility for our lives. When we are response-able, we choose our responses to situations rather than letting situations overwhelm us. We have the opportunity to do things differently if we choose. Being proactive is a way of thinking and acting. It includes foresight and anticipation of “what if scenarios.” Proactivity uses the lessons of the past to identify the obstacles of the future – when challenges appear, proactive individuals take the bull by the horns and put a plan of action together so a challenge doesn’t become a brick wall roadblock.

images-1Finally we learned about the power of Channel 2 Listening – When we actively listen we engage our brain to connect with others. We obtain a deeper understanding of their views, values, thoughts, and dreams – we tap into our senses and feel, see, smell, and taste what the other person is sharing. Channel 2 listening is the ability to consciously be aware of our own bias’ and judgments, to be present, and to mentally remove distractions around us. Channel 2 listening it is maintaining eye contact, keeping an open mind, and not jumping to conclusions as someone is talking. It is also the ability to maintain a curious mindset so our questions can continue dialogue to understand what the other person is intending to convey.

As we conclude this year, I’m looking forward to the next 52 weeks of personal mastery blog posts. It is my hope that you will continue along this journey with me, by sharing your thoughts and ideas as well. I wish you all well!



Get R Done!


Larry the Cable Guy coined the phrase “Get R Done” and I’ve been a fan of how the act of saying it (especially the way he does) can help me buckle down and get things done. Just try it…………..see what I mean! 🙂 Getting R Done, AKA being task oriented, doesn’t always mean that a person has self-discipline. A person can be great at getting things done yet when they also focus on the steps and learning that will help them to grow then they are practicing self-discipline.

Some people view self-discipline as an act of religion or only practiced by up tight and prudish people. I say this just isn’t so!  Look at history and you will see that successful people aren’t successful because they are lucky. Successful people are successful because they are disciplined in their actions, thoughts, and words. They create goals and retain focus on them, they have an understanding that it takes willpower and hard, roll up your sleeves, and roll around in the muck work!

“Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There is a season for sowing and a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you to know which is which.” – Gary Ryan Blair.

Self-discipline isn’t just about having willpower and self-control, its about tackling the wants over needs constant message in our heads. It’s about making choices when our goals are about to get railroaded and choosing to have a long-term focus rather than a short-term focus. And no…self-discipline doesn’t have to mean self-denial. It’s knowing the big picture and how our choices and actions will effect when we reach our targeted goal.

Before we can start practicing self-discipline we need to understand ourselves.  When we understand who we are and what we are capable of, we can then focus on mindful awareness of what we are doing or not doing to get things done. When we identify undisciplined behaviors we can then make a course correction to eliminate them. Maybe try keeping a log when these situations happen so that you can track your progress in remaining self-disciplined.


The practice of self-discipline won’t work without your conscious commitment to the process. We need to follow through on what we say needs doing. If needed, ask for an accountability partner to help ensure that you are working on staying focused and Getting R Done!

“Self-discipline is awareness of consequences.” – Dalai Lama

Embrace the difficulty of staying disciplined. Self-discipline can be a hard thing to do guys! Listening to that devil on your shoulder sometimes can seem more fun and gratifying yet we need to rely on the angel on the other shoulder to guide our focus back to the big picture and the end goal.

Train your inner voice to help you to Get R Done! This process can help you to regain focus when its lost and to have the courage to keep working to move forward. Remember that the price of discipline is always less than the price of regret.

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” – Jesse Owens.

If we can view self-discipline as a positive effort rather than a mode of denial we can create new habits of thoughts, actions, and words to improve our ability to motivate ourselves to persevere until our goal is achieved.


A friend asks me each week what I’ll be sharing in my next blog post. Actually, his positive feedback has helped me remain disciplined in maintaining my blog! He is my unofficial accountability partner. 🙂 He recently shared with me that he is motivated by reading my blog topics but he is struggling with how to pull it all together. I shared with him that he has great timing because the pulling together of Personal Mastery concepts requires self-discipline! Here’s my take on it:

  1. Timing is everything. Whatever time of day you are most effective cherish and guard this time. Use it to work on the steps you need to Get R Done! For me, I’m most effective early in the morning so I block out that time to work on my current two primary goals. The first goal is my coaching certification course work and the second is writing for my blog.
  2. Write your goal down. Don’t keep it in your head – because that’s where it will stay! Build a plan to reach your goal by breaking it into workable parts. Again ask for an accountability partner if you’re concerned that the devil on your shoulder my override your drive and focus. This is a difficult area for many people who are feeling stuck in the how too’s of goal setting. (Spoiler Alert! – goal setting or what I like to call goal achievement plans is the topic for next week post.)
  3. Create a vision of your goal and attach an emotional component to it. When emotion is involved we are much more likely to do the work needed to be successful. Attaching an emotion gives the motivation and energy we need to complete the tasks.
  4. Create a goal to do list and a daily to do list and prioritize them. Each workable part you created in step two have smaller tasks that need to be accomplished. The act of checking items off a list can also be a visual motivator to completing a task or reaching your goals.
  5. Don’t wait until you reach the end goal to celebrate. This is a very important step! Celebration of the small successes you’ve just achieved will keep you motivated to keep working at it. Self-discipline is hard but it shouldn’t be painful!
  6. Be positive and be persistent. You know what you want to achieve, you can visualize yourself achieving it, you can feel the joy and pride of accomplishment, and no mater how long it takes or how hard it is YOU CAN DO IT!!


“Being self-disciplined is the number one component that creates long-term success and it is a required ingredient to accomplish our goals.”