Life’s big truths for phenomenal living: Why take risks and the three R’s that are killing you


This is the second post in a series titled Life’s big truths for phenomenal living. In last weeks first article in the series we talked about a few things.

  1. How events in your life are a reflection of your thoughts
  2. The importance of creating more “win-wins”
  3. How important listening skills are. Not only with others but the self as well.

I even gave you a little homework assignment… and I know you’re dog didn’t eat it so I hope that you participated and found the exercises beneficial. If you haven’t read the first post just yet go catch up would ya?

Week 2: Let’s do this sh*t

wuerfelCreative Commons License Willi Heidelbach via Compfight


The story goes something like this…

Researchers conducted a study in which they posted a computer programming job online. The job description was very detailed and specific with requirements, past experiences, and educational history. The job was tagged with a $39,000 salary – Over 1,000 people applied for this job.

The same exact job description was posted except this time the only thing that changed was the salary. This job offered $108,000 for you to bank – Only 12 people applied for the gig.

What gives?

Those that did not apply for the $108,000 per year job didn’t think that they deserved it. Absolutely nothing changed with regards to the job description but because the salary was so much more all the negative self talk set in and kept them from applying for the job.

The Limitless community is pretty smart and I know you can do the math. You could have 1 in 12 odds or 1 in 1,000… hmmmmmmm

One way I like to deal with doubts in my mind is to create a frame. I like to get a little creative; and much like we talked about in the first posts in this series I find that changing the way I interpret things helps me to change my experience with them.

This works really well for me if I’m dealing with overcoming one specific decision, fear, or doubt.

Before you begin ask yourself this question: “What is one big thing that I want to change right now?”

Step 1: Close your eyes and imagine a picture frame, you can also take out a sheet of paper and draw a little picture frame. It doesn’t have to be fancy just a simple square will do.

Above the box write or imagine the words “Point A.” Underneath this box write or imagine the words “As it is right now.”

Now picture your life as it stands. Consider things like your personal life, career, relationships, and health. If you you don’t do this one big thing or if you do it and fault what happens? What changes? Most likely things stay as is right?

Step 2: Repeat step 1 but this time above your frame change the words to “Point B” and below it change the words to “My perfect end result.”

In this frame picture the prefect end result for yourself if you decide to do this one thing. I mean the PERFECT end result. What does it look like? Feel like? Taste like? Smell like?

Again, think about things like you relationships, career, and health.

Now which frame looks better to you? Keep that mental image with you (or that drawing if you need to refer back to it.)

"Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me."Creative Commons License JD Hancock via Compfight


Ooops, we’re not pirates, I meant the three R’s are killing us. These three things can create so much chaos, discomfort, uncertainty, and tension in our lives.

  1. Resentment: An emotional response that can be perceived as negative to what was “thought,” was said, or done (interpretation)
  2. Resistance: Not excepting what is. What you resist controls you. (Stepping aside is not resistance.)
  3. Revenge: Settling the score – getting even, we actually do this to ourselves more than anyone else.

Think about today or maybe this week. Where did the three R’s show up?

Did someone cut you off on the road and did you catch yourself saying, “what a d*ck?” Sure they may have just cut you off but maybe they were in a rush to get to their pregnant wife in the hospital or on their way to see their kids first baseball game.

Just that simple change in your interpretation can create a completely new event.

You finished a project you had for work or maybe took a test for school. The response you got from your boss was not what you expected. He was less than impressed and even asked you to rework some of the logistics….WTF!

You got that test back and the results were to not what you expected. You were hoping for higher marks…WTF!

Accept it, what’s done is done. Are there ways in which you could have improved on the quality of work or have prepared better?

Two weeks going Paleo and proud of it. You have not touched a slice of bread, desserts, and you’ve even steered clear of the booze. You are feeling so pro!

But oh no… you had a rough day at the office, you missed an appointment, and you forgot to make lunch for yourself and you haven’t eaten all day long. You’re starv’n Marv’n by the time you get home but you have nothing prepared. You notice a box of cookies on the counter that the kids must have picked up. You decide to break off a piece.

“Oh man it’s delicious.”

You’re starving and have been doing really well with your nutrition so you say forget it and decide to indulge a bit and enjoy the entire cookie. A few moments after you feel terrible, you ruined your diet so you say screw it and have another, you’ll just start over on Monday and punish yourself with a couple extra hours at the gym…WTF!

These situations are definitely not unique as many of us have come across them at various points in our lives but what can you do about them when they show their ugly mugs?

Freestyle Converse Daniele Margaroli via Compfight


1. Create a new perspective: The late great Stephen Covey gives us a wonderful example of how a simple change in perspective can really change your world. This story can be read in Covey’s amaze

“…A man and his kids boarded the train, and while his kids were yelling and throwing things around, he just sat there doing nothing. It was clear that everyone in the train was irritated, and when he couldn’t take it anymore, Covey turned to the man and asked if he could control his kids. The man apologized and explained that he was feeling at a loss because the kids’ mother died in hospital just an hour ago.

Imagine how his perception would have changed immediately, and how that change would have led him from a feeling of irritation to one of compassion. Bringing up this story is just to reinforce the idea that what we see and think may not be what it really is…” (7 habits of highly effective people)

2. Create more understanding: One of my the best examples of creating more understanding can be seen in the cookie story. It goes a little something like this.

“…A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other, she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief…”

3. Become open, honest, and responsible with yourself and with others: I can remember performing an exercise in which I was to pick a recent event in my life in which I put blame on others as opposed to excepting responsibility for myself, an event in which I became extremely frustrated, upset, angry, or associated some other negative emotion with it.

I had recently been pulled over for not having my car stickers on my license plate showing that everything was up to date. I told the officer that the stickers were never sent to me and this was not my fault. It was true, the stickers were never sent to me and the DMV confirmed this for me. Regardless, I was still required to pay the fine…WTF!

This wasn’t even my fault right? The DMV totally screwed me here.


I chose not to contact the DMV to let them know I had not received my stickers after I had paid for them. Whether I forgot, didn’t care, or whatever – the entire onnous here is on me. This entire situation could have been remedied if I had just called to let the DMV know I had not received them.

We always have two choices in life. We can constantly play the victim or we can take responsibility for our actions. I chose to play the victim here and the only thing it got me was a dent in my wallet and a frustrated mindset.


The bombicini or sand wasp is a type of wasp that seems to always be coming and going. They typically burrow holes in the ground to store food and generally hang out.

However, they’re not the smartest little buggers.

After a sand wasp collects food it will bring it to the edge of a hole in the ground and leave it there. It will then head down the hole to check for any trouble-makers that may try to attack them or still there food.

If I were to move it’s food away from the edge of the burrow while it was looking around it would come up momentarily to move it back to the edge of the hole and then proceed to head back down to check for trouble-makers again.

If you were to keep moving it’s food away from the hole this cycle would repeat itself over and over and over again. Eventually the wasp would starve to death all the while having exactly what it needed right in its mouth to survive.

The point of the story is that many of us are also victims of our own programming. We’ve been doing something for so long that many of the answers we seek are right underneath our noses without us even knowing it.

All of us have the ability to make great changes. All you need to do is make a choice to change, have intention to change, and believe that you can change – the mechanisms to make those changes will then begin to show themselves.

There is a little equation I like to live by 


Simply stated there are a million and one ways to do something but if you don’t have the intention and never get started you’ll never see those results.

How are you creating change?

Live limitless,