How To Inspire Others To Change

Do you see people you love around you and wish so badly you can do something to get them to change their lives?

To see those I care about screwing up their lives in some way, or even just not fulfilling their potential, has been a never-ending source of frustration for me.

Sometimes I just want to grab people and shake them saying, “Wake up!  Don’t you see what you’re doing!  Don’t you see how you can do so much better!  Ugh!!”

Try this a few times though… and you’ll probably find it’s not a very effective strategy.

While you can’t force people to change, there is one particular thing you can do to inspire others to want to willingly change themselves.

It was through learning one thing in particular that I was able to actually see real transformations in the lives of those around me.  What I learned was the power of influence.

Influence – Manipulation Or Service?

When I talk about influencing others, it may sound like a form of mind control or manipulation.  Keep in mind the word “manipulation” can have a neutral meaning – like manipulating the orientation of my phone in my hand.

For the sake of practicality, I’ll simply say that influence here will refer to “positive influence” which is the ability to persuade others and yourself to do what’s in their own best interest.

You see, many people DO want to change, but they don’t know how to motivate themselves to change. By learning how to influence them, which can simply be a matter of being a good role model, you can help them achieve THEIR goals.

This means learning influence not to get them to do what you want, but to get them to do what THEY want for themselves, but have been unable to do.

Inspiring Others To Change Means Changing Yourself

Skills of influence are first honed in on yourself.  You can’t help others get their act together if your life is all jacked up.

This starts with educating yourself, and then implementing what you learn immediately in your own life.

I’ve had a handful of trainers that taught me many skills of influence as I’ve gotten certified as a coach and NLP practionor.  If there’s one person that jumps to the top of the list for the most powerful and effective trainers of the skills of influence, it would easily be Brandon Broadwater, which my journey started with in his three day event Master Your Power Within.

A Powerful Learning Strategy

There’s one way I’ve found that dramatically enhances my ability to learn the skills of influence and apply them to help inspire those I care about.

What I did was learn with the intention of ultimately teaching others.  When you learn with the intent to share and teach, the learning goes deeper.  You’re now actively participating in the learning process rather than just passively receiving information.

Plus I find that when I know I’m going to teach a lesson to others, I’m now held accountable to put that lesson into practice.

For instance, if I teach others the importance of doing a daily reflection, I’m going to make sure to do a daily reflection myself so I don’t feel like a hypocrite.

Changing Others Means You Must…

If there’s one thing I can give you to takeaway and put into practice besides developing the skills of influence, it would be this…

See the potential in others they don’t see in themselves.  See them as they could be, not as they are.

When you can genuinely see the greatness within another, you’ll be inspired to draw it out of them.

You’ll develop a relentless striving to study everything you can about how to uplift and change the lives of others.

This article is just a starting point.  Are you committed to unleashing the greatness in others and in yourself?  Message me if you’d like recommendations for how to start your journey.  I have some powerful books, seminars, and resources I can recommend.  info@excuseproof.com

Now go and inspire others to unleash their greatness!

 

Make Little Things Matter

A mentor of mine, Brandon Broadwater, at a Higher Laws event called Master Your Power Within shared with me a lesson that confirmed a truth about success I had long ago discovered, but would often overlook when it mattered the most.  It explained why I had been missing so many great opportunities while also falling into easily avoidable pitfalls.

Brandon said, “Life is won and lost with the little things.”

On the surface it sounds like a simple reminder to pay attention to details.  But upon further reflection, I discovered this was applying to almost every area of life in ways I had never before considered.

The Little Daily Decisions That Lead To Big Success

I started to think about how often I was looking for the breakthroughs and transformations I wanted to have to come in the form of major life altering opportunities.  I was hoping for a dream job offer or meeting someone who was going to completely change my life.

Yet when I looked at where my life was at, and what I could attribute my current level of success (or failure) to in my health, business, and relationships, it wasn’t prior major choices or opportunities that made the difference.  It all came down to the little choices I took day in and day out that added up over time.

My life looked the way it looked because of small choices like drinking water each day, having an apple instead of a cookie at lunch, listening to a podcast on marketing instead of music on the drive to work at my old job, and taking half a second to utter the word “yes” instead of “no” when a friend invited me to come to my first Higher Laws event.

Think about your own life.  How much can you attribute the condition of your finances, relationships, and health to the small choices you’ve made over the past several years?  Chances are, it’s the little things that get you almost all of your results.  And if your success came from little things, wouldn’t that mean you may only need to do a few more little things to have even more success?

The Little Course Changes With Big Outcomes

One reason little things can be overlooked is because their results may be small… externally.  Eating one carrot a day or exercising for 30 seconds in the morning might not make any noticeable tangible difference.

Yet I’ve found something else happens when I start doing these little things – my identity starts to change.  Eating one carrot a day is all it takes to be a “vegetable eater.”  Exercising for 30 seconds each morning is all it takes to be an “exerciser.”

With a shift in identity, you change the course of your future actions and therefore your ultimate destination in life.  It only takes one tiny action, like a small change in direction in an airplane, to end up in a completely different place over the course of time.

Brandon Broadwater shared at his Mastering Wealth event the importance of shifting our inner identity to that of an investor, and all it takes is making one little investment like buying a piece of silver.

Does a piece of silver make your rich?  Yes and no.  In itself a piece of silver won’t make one rich.  But if that little action was what it took to shift a person’s identity so they start to see themselves as an investor and therefore begin to invest in other areas leading to riches, then couldn’t you say it was the one piece of silver that ultimately made a person rich?

The Little Slipups With Big Consequences

When I thought about what Brandon Broadwater shared, I also realized the power of little slipups.  It wasn’t just that life was won with the little things, it could also be lost with them.

Have you ever told yourself, “it’s just one little…” and regretted that decision?  “It’s just one cookie.”  “It’s just one little white lie.”  “It’s just one night.”  The problem is that the one little compromise in your integrity can be the catalyst for a big downward spiral.

Remembering this helps me keep things in perspective.  That’s not to say I can’t ever have an occasional treat, like eating a bowl of ice cream.  But now, I’m sure to ask myself, “Knowing my history, would this one little thing likely lead to a lot more?”  I’m now on guard to realize any little choice may have big consequences if I let it affect my emotional state, my identity, and my future choices.

Research has shown those who cheat just a little bit on a test are much more likely to cheat a lot more because now in their minds, “cheating is ok.”  They may have never have said that before cheating, but the little compromise makes bigger compromises seem justifiable.  One little slip-up can lead to one major snowball of poor decisions just like one little step in the right direction can lead to a momentum of greater success.  Be careful with the little things, because they’re setting a precedent for future actions.

The Little Signs Of Big Significance

Signs are subtle.

Have you ever had a small tinge of feeling that something isn’t right and didn’t listen to it only to find yourself devastated with the consequences?  Something seemed off… but the feeling was so subtle you had no idea the danger you were being warned of.  Don’t confuse the size of the warning with the size of the danger.  These little “red flags,” while not to be blown out of proportion, need to be recognized as warning of something that could be seriously significant.

The same is true with great opportunities.  I’ve found the decisions that forever altered my life didn’t come with a glowing ray of sunshine magically appearing around them and a booming voice from Heaven saying, “Yo dude!  This is totally what you’ve been looking for!”  Instead, it was a subtle, almost imperceptible voice inside that was saying, “Yes… this is right.”

A sign for your next step to a major breakthrough may be subtle, and the sign of a misstep that leads to a devastating downfall may be equally subtle.  Your life may be won or lost depending on what you make of these signs.

Little Things = Big Things

My lesson from Brandon’s words, which go even deeper than what I share here, is that I must be proactive in understanding little things are big things.  After all, everything is made up of little things, which means, quite literally, the little things are everything.

To learn more about Brandon Broadwater, I suggest checking out a 3 day Master Your Power Within event.  Contact me at doepkerd@gmail.com if you’d like to hear more about my experience.

Pay Attention To What Pisses You Off

Are You Guilty Of This?

Have you ever watched a movie, started getting teary eyed, then quickly wipe away your tears when someone next to you looks over?

Or how about this…

Have you ever been ecstatically happy only to then feel you need to take it down a notch so as to not make other people feel uncomfortable?

The common denominator among these situations is that in peak emotional experiences, we often tone things down so as to not appear too emotional. Even if no one is watching we ourselves can feel uncomfortable with very strong emotions.

Something I learned from Greg Montana is there’s an unwritten rule in society that a certain degree of emotion is good, but get TOO happy, sad, angry, or anything else and it can potentially make others feel uncomfortable.  It’s common to try to keep things in a nice comfortable 6-8 level of happiness.  If someone is really upset,  oftentimes their friends try to make them feel better.  If they’re a little too cheerful, they may subtlety (or not so subtly) get reminded by others that not everything is sunshine and rainbows.

The Downside Of Emotional Restraint

I’m the epitome of a ‘keep it cool at all times’ type of personality.  You’ll rarely see me getting highly emotional in any way.  The downside of this is that when I don’t pay attention to the times I’m genuinely fired up and pissed off about something, I’m missing a HUGE lesson.

That high degree of emotion is a sign that something I value is being touched upon.  For instance, I get really pissed off when people make generalizations based on their limited experience.

An example would be when someone says “LA people are snobs!”

I want to say to these people, “Hey idiot! YOU live in LA! Are you calling yourself a snob?  Are you calling me a snob and you don’t even know me?  There are millions of people who live in LA, have you met ALL of them? Have you even met a majority (millions) of them to make a claim MOST of them are snobs?  Can you really know this to be true?”

On the surface it’s such an innocent thing to say and yet it sets me off.  Of course, I keep my cool about it, but I’ve learned to pay attention to that emotion.  Through paying attention to what pisses me off, I discovered I’m committed to truth, empowerment, and enlightenment.  When someone says something they can’t possibly know is true, I feel a virtue that resonates extra strong with me, the virtue of ‘truth’, is being violated.

Through this understanding, I’ve used that emotion of anger to drive me to do things like write and share messages to assist people in thinking about the stories they’re telling themselves rather than just sit around and wave my hands in the air being upset.  That’s important to note because it’s not about passively being pissed off or happy, but using those emotions as fuel to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Your Emotions Are Your Greatest Guide

Similar things may get you pissed off, but for entirely different reasons.  When you understand why things upset you to the degree you want to punch a hole in the wall, or alternatively see something that moves you to tears, you can better understand what you value.  Maybe it’s compassion, justice, beauty, peace, hope, loyalty, honesty, humility, kindness, and/or something else.

Consider three times in your life you were extremely moved with happiness and three times you were extremely upset.  What is it about those situations that moved you?  What virtue could have been tapped into?

This will give you a starting point to discover what your most strong core virtues are.  While you may have many virtues, the few that you’re hard-wired to have as a ‘priority’ will be the strongest force for moving you into action in making a difference in this world.

For more on this process, I recommend checking out http://heartvirtue.com.

My Most Gut-wrenching Failure

I’ve experienced many failures in my life, and the most tragically painful ones often involve other people who’ve failed me. There’s one kind of failure however that has a particularly unique sting to it, and that is the kind of failure only a creator experiences. This is the experience of pouring your heart and soul into a creation only to have it ignored, rejected, or worst of all completely ripped to shreds by a critic.

As a college student, I was getting my Bachelor’s degree in music composition. While my expertise was in playing guitar, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and take on orchestration. This means I would be composing music for a symphony orchestra to play. There was a contest held by my college that would reward the winning orchestral composition with a live performance of the piece by the school’s orchestra. I have no idea why, but as soon as I heard about this competition a fire was lit inside of me and I had to win.

I suppose that was a bit unrealistic seeing as how I was completely outmatched. I was just some wannabe rockstar guitar player competing against composition students getting their Master’s degrees. One thing I did have though was a big enough ego to believe I could, and would learn how to write the greatest piece of orchestral music the school of music had ever heard.

In addition to honing my skills with a private instructor during the Fall semester, I ended up spending my entire Christmas break studying everything I could get my hands on about orchestration, analyzing classical and modern orchestral scores, and listening to endless hours of symphonic music.

When I returned to classes after break, the deadline to submit the piece was moved forward giving me less time than I anticipated. I now had about one week to finish my masterpiece that I had only barely started. So I did what any reasonable person would do that has a goal in mind – I went days without sleep, skipped classes, and simply did not leave my desk to stop working on my score until I had to go to the bathroom or eat. Never in my life have I worked so hard on something, although looking back it was less about working hard and more about being completely consumed in the work in the ultimate state of creative flow.

Somehow, I made the deadline and turned in what I believed to be the absolute greatest piece of music I had ever written. I smugly walked away imagining the judge’s jaw dropping to the floor after he hears such a masterpiece. Now I just had to play the waiting game to see the results of the competition that I was pretty sure I had in the bag.

I ended up being right about one thing, I was able to beat the other people I was facing off against. I didn’t however anticipate what would end up happening – they decided not to have any winner of the competition. They also offered reasons why my score, no matter how good it was, had its problems. Looking back they did have some good points, but I only remember rejecting everything that was said and adamantly defending my work as being more than good enough to deserve the once in a lifetime opportunity to hear it played by a live orchestra.

To have the greatest masterpiece you’ve ever created rejected can only be described as “soul-crushing.” Especially in light of going days without sleep and pushing the physical limits of my body to create it. That’s not counting the countless hours of study just to be able to pull off writing something like that in the first place with limited experience. Yet somehow despite all of the sadness, anger, and feeling of rejection, I still managed to walk away feeling proud of what I had accomplished. Little did I know this was only going to be the beginning of a series of failed creations.

Stay tuned for more epic fails…

Do THIS (and never fail again)

Is there a way to guarantee you’ll get started with your resolutions, develop great habits that stick, and change your life forever without ever relying on being super motivated?

There is, and that is by utilizing a practice Stephen Guise of Deep Existence calls Mini Habits.

What Are Mini Habits?

A mini habit is a “too small to fail” action that you take each day.  Here’s what some may look like.

1. Do one pushup a day

2. Read 2 pages of a book a day

3. Do 30 seconds of meditation a day (one of my mini habits)

At first this will appear to be too easy and unlikely to lead to any significant results, but that’s only if you don’t understand the science behind it.

Once you do a single pushup for instance, you’ll more than likely want to knock out a few more.  Then once the blood is flowing, next thing you know you may be doing some pull-ups too.  That’s what happened with Stephen, and that’s what happens with myself and countless others who take on mini habits.  They bypass the initial resistance to a behavior.

But EVEN IF you don’t go past your mini habit, that’s STILL a success.  The idea is that you’ll gain such consistency with your new behavior that it becomes second nature.  Then it becomes a part of your identity.  Then you do it (and a lot more) all on your own without needing any willpower or discipline.

People are raving about how much this is helping them finally develop great habits that stick, and it’s exactly the type of approach I recommend to make gradual and long-lasting changes to your life.

I suggest you check out Stephen’s book Mini Habits on Amazon to learn more about applying this in your life.

Technique to ensure you have a breakthrough

There is one common characteristic among the world’s most successful people (whether in business, relationships, fitness, etc) that I rarely hear anyone talk about.

Fortunately, one of my mentors shared this secret with me and it has often kept me from one of the biggest traps I see people fall into where they go from self-help book to self-help book (or seminar) and constantly look for answers only to spin their wheels and go nowhere.

It could be said that a characteristic of success is “constant learning,” but that’s a little too simplistic. Instead, it’s about HOW people learn that makes or breaks their results.

Being an author and coach myself, one piece of feedback I occasionally get from people either about my own work or another person’s is that “it isn’t anything new.”

And my response would be something like “do you want to learn something new that doesn’t work, or learn what’s age old and has worked for thousands of years?”

To me, I’d rather go with the time tested and proven approach any day. After all, there’s really nothing new under the sun. Most things written in a self-help book in the last 50 years can probably be found in spiritual and philosophical book dating back thousands of years.

Now I’m not just trying to defend my place in the world as an author and coach. Rather, I want to make it clear that no one else teaches you anything. Instead, YOU teach yourself.

All a mentor, coach, author, friend, or other individual can do is show you a different perspective which you can either adopt or reject.

It’s not only in seeing something new that you learn, but also in seeing something old in a new way.

In order to do this, you must adopt something called “beginner’s eyes” where you imagine you’re coming across this information for the first time.

Many of the world’s most successful people re-read the same books over and over again. Obviously they’re not getting new information, but they’re still learning because each time they read, they’re coming from a different place internally.

Most of us already kind of know what to do, but we don’t apply it for a number of reasons. So instead of focusing on the basics we know, we turn to distraction in the form of novelty.

That novelty could be TV and Facebook OR it could be seeking out “shiny new objects” in the form of books and trainings where we want something new and different instead of doing what we already know works. This is referred to as being a self-help junkie. I’m speaking from a LOT of personal experience here. :)

Recently I was feeling really down and depressed and couldn’t quite get to the source of it. Now as the author of “Why You’re Stuck” you might think I’m immune to this, but far from it. I’m still human, but fortunately I often know how to dig myself out of these states.

To make a long story short, I ended up spending some time focusing on forgiveness towards someone I didn’t even consciously realize I was holding ill feelings towards. After that, things started to get a lot better.

Practicing forgiveness isn’t anything “new,” and I make it a big focus in my book. Yet, I went for weeks suffering needlessly because I was overlooking such an obvious thing because I lacked the AWARENESS of what my issue was.

The answers are often simple, it’s finding them within ourselves that’s the real challenge.

As you go through your week, start to observe all the information you take in both from EXTERNAL sources and INTERNAL sources (thoughts, feelings) as if you’re experiencing them for the first time. See them as fresh new information sent to you to raise your awareness as to what’s most important right now in your life.

I promise life will get a LOT more exciting – and breakthroughs will be guaranteed with enough time and practice.

Where Do Good Ideas Come From

I saw this video on youtube the other day on where great ideas come from and found it to be spot on with my own experience.  Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU

Many times people are looking for the “silver bullet” or “magic formula” to success.  I know for a couple years I was caught up in the idea of just finding the right program to go through that would give me quick success and take care of all my problems.

But time and experience has shown me that coming up with successful ideas is often a result of continuous effort and education and not something that happens in a flash of inspiration.

Even when I have had flashes of insight, I realize now that those flashes of insight came AFTER a period of time of studying and taking action.  By constantly surrounding myself with educational books, audio programs, seminars, masterminding with others, listening to mentors, etc., eventually pieces would come together until I had a winning formula.

So if you’re still trying to figure out what kind of books to write or how to set up your business, just remember that it’s not necessarily an overnight thing.

Take action on what you DO know you can do, be in a constant state of learning and growth, and trust your intuition through the process.   And trickiest thing of all, let go of wanting to have all the answers.  You’ll never have all the answers (even if you think you do), and it’s a lot more fun to enjoy the journey not knowing where it will take you.

Resisting Your Own Success

Does it ever feel like there’s some sort of unseen force keeping you from achieving success?

Perhaps it feels like you keep spinning your wheels and going nowhere.  Or maybe you can’t even get yourself started with something and don’t know why.

I’ve felt both of these things many times and continue to feel them.  In the book “The War Of Art,” Steven Pressfield talks about a force called “resistance.”  I think this word sums up quite nicely what a lot of us feel whenever we’re trying to create a business, write a book, or just better our lives in anyway.

Why in the world would we feel resistance to doing something that would improve our lives or when we’re about to do something we would even enjoy?

For instance, sometimes I’m about to help someone and a little voice says “You don’t want to do that!.  Don’t waste your time.  No one wants to hear this.”

Do you have a voice like that?

Chances are you do because WE ALL do!

It’s the voice of our inner (and sometimes an outer) resistance coming up trying to keep us where we’re at.

The first way to overcome this resistance is to be aware of it.  Realize that voice isn’t you!

For myself, whenever this comes up, it’s usually a sign that I’m about to do something very important.  I even felt it before thinking about writing this email, so I made sure to go straight to my computer and write it before I could distract myself with something else.

The second way to overcome this resistance is to realize why it exists.  It’s not something bad that we need to rid ourselves of.  Rather, we should recognize it as a force that’s there to empower us.

Just like you can’t grow physically stronger without putting your muscles under resistance, you can’t build your character without pushing through internal resistance.

Virtues of character can only be developed when there is some opposite “dark” force to overcome.

A simple example would be courage.  Courage isn’t action without fear, but action IN SPITE of fear.  Courage actually requires fear to manifest itself.

And this goes for the other virtues.  Even things like forgiveness and compassion can only be happen if wrongdoings take place.

The point is to recognize the resistance you feel for being what it is, to THANK it for serving you in its own way, and to let it be a force to help build your character and resolve.

In other words, you don’t fight against the resistance (resisting the resistance) such as trying to eliminate fear all together.  Rather you fight FOR what the resistance is trying to help you develop, such as courage in spite of fear.

If you feel like you could use some help in overcoming your resistance, then reply to this email and we can set up a mentoring session.

Act Then Analyze

I was sitting down with a friend today who was asking for advice about a book she was writing.  She was struggling with what many authors struggle with, and that is how to turn her stories into something exciting and captivating for the reader.  In other words, she needed to find her message or “hook.”
She was facing a common challenge that many people face in all areas of business.  That is figuring out how to proceed when you don’t have all of the answers.  I’ve dealt with this quite a lot myself and continue to deal with it.  That’s because there’s NEVER a point where you’ll have all the answers.  It’s a continuous journey.

My advice for her and the rest of you is to remember this formula: Act first, then Analyze, then repeat.

Where some people get stuck is they try to analyze everything from the start and they never take action.  They trying to figure it all out ahead of time, but it’s almost impossible to figure things out until you start taking action.

The other alternative is some people just blindly do things without ever stopping themselves to see if what they’re doing is really working well.  They end up spinning their wheels but going nowhere.

In my friend’s case, she had already started writing the first few chapters of her book.  So she had the “act” (or take action) part down.  But after looking at it so far, it could use a lot of improvement since it lacked anything to really captivate a reader.

What she needed to do is STOP writing and analyze what she was producing.  She needed to look her work as well as study other people’s books to figure out how she can make her’s better before continuing on with the rest of the book.

If she would just keep writing and writing without ever stopping to analyze what she was producing, she would have ended up with a complete book (better than nothing), but the quality of her work would have been sub-par.  She would then have to go back and rework everything she had produced.

I advised her on taking some time to read similar books, analyzing what they do well, and go back over her own work to tweak a few things to make it more engaging.

She’ll likely have to keep repeating the entire process of acting, analyzing, acting, analyzing, etc. until she gradually finds her groove and how to present her message.

They say an airplane is off course over 90% of the time, but in the end it gets there because of constant course corrections.  It’s also like the positive and negative terminals of a battery where the charge goes back and fourth between two extremes.  You don’t want to get stuck on all action or all analyzing, but maintain a steady flow back and fourth.

So don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers.  Be sure to take your first steps and THEN analyze afterwards, and then get back into action.  It might be a bit more work compared to what you wish it would be, but I promise it’s all worth it in the end when you find the path that’s right for YOU.