Listening to one of the many amazing personal development speakers on this year's Hay House Summit - I've just tuned into Brendon Burchard. I first came across this guy last year when I was exploring how to market my business and my products and he has a strong presence on Facebook with his enigmatic and high energy sales and motivation videos. So I was intrigued to hear his message this week.
I will be honest with you, a lot that he offers feels kind of masculine and corporate, and yet hidden amongst his message is a pool of concealed gems, which have certainly inspired me and I thought I would share my perspective on it with you, as we begin to take our lives back from the cauldron. Brendon positioned his talk around his newly launched book - The Motivation Manifesto - focusing on how to achieve more and feel motivated by writing a Personal Manifesto. Now first off, motivation for me is most definitely an echo of past corporate days where superficial motivation incentives created a disingenuous culture amongst people. Having shed that amour, I worried that his language and business-like philosophy would not give me anything. How wrong I was, once I persevered with his talk and got beneath the vocabulary's disguise.
The first thing that struck me was an early phrase he used around 'How deeply do you believe in your inner song'. Now I'm sure you will agree with me that this is not a business phrase and it would certainly get relegated to the bowels of the meeting room, should anyone utter such words, being labelled as 'fluffy' or 'woo-woo'. So my ears pricked up at this point and persistence and curiosity became my friends.
How deeply do you believe in your inner song? When you stop to explore what this question is really asking, it reveals a plethora of investigations; What song do I want to sing? What song am I singing now? How does that song sound when I sing it and do I even have the confidence to give it a tune? What is the quality of my self-belief that provides the fuel to this song's release? Wow, what a lot of exploration is needed just with that one question alone.
Ok Brendon Burchard, you have my attention.
He continued to talk about the noise and speed of our daily lives in today's busy society and how we overcommit ourselves. Whether that's with a work request, the needs of our family, a social engagement with friends after an intensive week or other activities that we believe we must complete to ensure our sanity and our goodness. And notice, if you will, how no where on that list is an overcommitment to ourselves. Where does the investment in ourselves appear on the agenda? At the bottom, perhaps? Not even on the list at all, perhaps? This is a worrying trait that I have seen increase over the last 15 years in my work as a coach. Particularly in the halls of commerce and more particularly in the gatherings of mum's at the school gates. In so many walks of life, we give away our personal power, believing that to keep it is selfish and that it is our destiny to ensure the welfare of others before ourselves.
For those of you have have flown anywhere, you may have noticed how the safety briefing always states that, in the event of the cabin pressure collapsing, we must apply our own oxygen mask before assisting anyone else, even a child's. That tells us something about the importance of what Brendon calls - Reclaiming Your Own Agenda. The bottom line? It's time to put more energy into our own needs, not at the exclusion of others, although to ensure that we are at least on the flipping list.
So how much of this is resonates with you? Do you fall victim to the 'needs of others before self?' I'm sure you do and I certainly have for much of my life, until recently. Recently I realised that in order to fulfil my desires and dreams that I needed to not just reclaim my agenda, I needed to write one and ensure that I was at the top of the list. Then and only then, could I recharge my batteries sufficiently to look after others and nurture my dreams more resolutely.
Two of the questions that Brendon posed in his talk was this; 'What strips you of your power?' And, 'How deeply committed are you to your dreams?' 'Dreams?' I hear you proclaim - 'Dreams, I don't have time to think about my dreams.' And that is because we are so sucked into life's pessimism and madness, that we are distracted from thinking about our dreams, desires and creating more meaning in our lives. Often we will find things to submerge ourselves into as a distraction from thinking about this sort of stuff, because we don't believe that we deserve to focus on our dreams.
We all have a unique place in this world and when we can fill that place with meaning, value and purpose, our lives can become instantly happier, healthier and more impactful. When this happens we then begin the ripple effect, where other's lives become affected by our energy and so their lives become better. Does this thought excite, inspire or compel you to take action? Leave the fears of selfishness behind and think about the bigger picture of your dreams and desires. Imagine if you could achieve more meaningful results and feel more personally fulfilled. Got the makings of a great movie - right?
As we begin to think about the interesting possibility of 'taking back our lives' from life's treadmill and begin to rev up our internal fire and passion for life, Brendon talks about writing a Manifesto that states all the things that we desire. Now my personal feeling is that the word manifesto is to structured, masculine and unfriendly. So I looked the word up on Thesaurus and found Declaration. This goes well beyond the bullet points that we begrudgingly write with a hangover on 1st January, when overindulgence drives us to make changes to our drinking, eating and exercise. Why do they fade by February? Because they are fuelled by the wrong intention and have little, real value and meaning to our lives - otherwise we would commit to them. Instead, writing down a Personal Declaration any day - today - gives you a chance to think about how you could live your life with all your heart and feel happy whilst doing it. Leaving the excuses behind that prevent us from having this life, writing with gay abandon, releasing all our internal desires through the pen and seeing our dreams suddenly coming to life on paper.
Here are a selection of questions, some from Brendon and some from me, that inspire change and awareness:
- From this point forward, what would your ideal life look, sound and feel like?
- What is important for you to achieve in life?
- What legacy do you want to leave, to the world and to your family?
- What would give you a real sense of satisfaction at the end of the day/month/year?
- What dreams will I chase today?
- How do I want to be treated?
- How will I treat others?
- What will I accomplish each day, no matter what?
- What must I say no or yes to today that will give me a happier day?
- Who will I give value, love or appreciation to today?
- What would I most like to experience today that I will be grateful for as I lay my head down to sleep tonight?
- How can I nurture myself more today in honour of my making a difference to others role in life?
Buddha was once quoted as saying, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." It is only when we reclaim our right to have a meaningful place in the world and become fired up to make that happen that our lives will improve. And if the list of questions above scare you, then, perhaps this one simple question will be enough to create a shift:
'If there was one thing I could do today that would fill my heart with happiness, joy and love, what could that be?'
As we become increasingly consumed by reality TV shows and spend up to four hours a day consumed by other people's reality, imagine what a difference we could make to our lives and those around us that we love the most, if we invested that time in creating our own Personal Declaration and living out our own desired reality.
And so with that loving thought, I will offer gratitude to Brendon for his inspiration and wish us all a more fulfilled and happy life - as this is our true destiny.