In quiet gratitude, I reflect on the fact that a few years ago, I was severely anemic for almost six years due to having seven large fibroid tumors lodged in my uterine wall. As a result, the craving for ice was unreal. After a significant amount of time passed I had several places earmarked for the perfect type of ice that I could easily crunch. Any time the desire hit me a green light would appear in my mind and I began to plan my next ice-capade. My most frequented spots were, Zaxby’s, Krispy Kreme, Publix, and Chick-Fil-A. Years after surgery, I am proud to say I am free of my addiction to ice, low energy, fibroid tumors, happily married to the man of my dreams and enjoying a strong body full of life-giving blood and vitality.
I have experienced countless battles with my health and several were a byproduct of my own poor choices. Until you get sick and tired of being sick and tired your life is bound to remain the same. Success is the repetition of best practices and the elimination of bad habits. In order to ascend, you must prepare not only to fight but to win!
What is a craving? According to Merriam Webster dictionary, it is an intense, urgent, powerful and abnormal desire for something. There is nothing wrong with having a strong desire, the problem comes when we pursue unhealthy longings that often result in an unfavorable outcome.
Let me give you a primary example, if you are desiring to obtain a flat stomach yet most of your diet is laden with non-nutritional processed food items and your lifestyle is void of physical fitness the probability of attaining that goal is slim to none. That is unless you have a secret magic wand tucked away in the center of your Michael Kors purse.
Allow me to walk you through an easy to follow 4 step success plan to crush any addiction you may be wrestling with. You may have to go to battle more than once in order to win the war.
Step 1: Understand what’s fueling the craving.
In order to crush your cravings, it is vital that you first assess your current beliefs and strong emotions surrounding the unwanted craving. We can start with a simple one such as caffeine. Why do you feel you need to have coffee six times a day? There could be several reasons you may justify within your mind’s eye:
- Due to high demands and exhaustion, it boosts your energy.
- It helps you think clearly without missing a beat.
- You can’t live without the smell of it, the feel of it and the thrill of it.
- You wholeheartedly believe the best part of waking up is having Folgers in your cup.
Step 2: Alter your belief.
In order to change your behavior you must intentionally alter your belief. Now that you have identified your motivation behind desiring caffeinated food or drink substances it is easy to establish a new thought pattern.
- I obtain an incredible boost in energy when I exercise at the start of each new day.
- Having a well-balanced diet packed with clarity foods is what keeps my mind razor-sharp.
- I live free from every unhealthy and life-shortening craving.
- Every morning, as I open my eyes my body feels completely rejuvenated.
Step 3: Amplify your Aspirations!
Once you have a new lifestyle vision it will require constant reinforcement. I recently completed my seventeenth vision board and fifth vision book because I am serious about my subconscious thoughts being in agreement with my conscious thoughts. Total alignment in mind, body, and soul are paramount in order to achieve your desired goals.
Everywhere you find your eyes roaming there should be positive reinforcements to empower you to remain committed to the change you are creating. One way to reinforce your new way of living is to discover caffeine-free communities who will support you on your journey of fresh water, fresh food, and fresh focus.
I recently read the Success Formula by Bob Burg, who shared the law of diminishing intent which states, “The longer you wait to do something you know you should do now, the greater the chances are that you’ll never actually do it.”
Step 4: Take accelerated action.
You have delayed your transformation long enough. It is time to put some fire under your own feet. You must inspire yourself to do something radically different today than you did yesterday. Listen, casual efforts will produce casual results and extreme efforts will produce extreme results. Most people stop before they even start.
Let’s look at eight simple success strategies to crush your cravings instantaneously:
- Begin with the end in mind and make it happen now. Write out the specific change you expect to see in the next 24 hours, 7 days, 2 weeks or 1 month from today’s date.
- Design a vision board, vision book or vision statement centered on your expected accomplishment.
- Purchase an accountability journal to log daily thoughts and milestones achieved.
- Establish your own personal support system and surround yourself with positive people who believe in you.
- Create short reminder messages of why this new change is important on a 3×5 or 6×9 card to carry with you during moments of weakness.
- Pre-Record audio words of inspiration to yourself to hear every day to reinforce your new lifestyle goals.
- Eliminate all traces of unhealthy food or drinks in your home and replace with healthy alternatives that are reflective of your new desires.
- Celebrate each accomplishment big or small and reward yourself with a smiley face on a dry erase calendar placed on your refrigerator to witness personal progress.
You possess the power to create massive momentum in minutes and it is all a matter of willingness to change your life for the better! Always remember, small steps create BIG RESULTS!
Can you REIGN in the RAIN? Any queen can LOOK FANCY. The real question is can she smile consistently in the face of adversity, LEAD FAITHFULLY, and FIGHT FIERCELY in the furnace of affliction until she kisses the lips of ascension?
“I will do what queens do, I will rule.” -Daenerys Targaryen
As a leader I have to constantly reiterate to my insecurities that I was not called to EASY, I was summoned to EXTRAORDINARY. When I was younger I almost placed my fate in the hands of the state by allowing a standardized test to say I was less than great. YOU’VE GOT TO GO THROUGH, TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL! New altitudes are commanding you to soar higher.
“Life is not easy for any of us but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing at whatever cost must be attained.” -Marie Curie
In March of 2014, I found myself in a new matrix of greatness when I was abruptly terminated. I am no stranger to challenges and I knew that I was going to have to find out who I had yet to become. I was re-introduced to my divine power and transformed a pink slip into Queenfidence. I would love to tell you that it has been a walk in the royal garden yet the highs have outshined the lows.
How do I continue to tread forward when I’m surrounded by a forest of uncertainty? MY VISION WON’T LET ME VANISH! In the words of Cleopatra the great, “I WILL NOT BE TRIUMPHED OVER!” I was not created to SUCCUMB to fear but designed to SUBDUE my future.
“The first step in gaining fortitude is to ask yourself, “What do I value most? What do I fear losing the most? The brave person values the thing he is pursuing more than the things he is risking.” -Unknown
If I could capsulize one main jewel I have embraced on this journey is, Do not be afraid of who you are because no one is you and that is your power. Focus on where you are going, not where you have been.
“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” -Maya Mendoza
The voice of brilliance began to advocate for me even when I failed to believe. Faux societal labels serve one goal, to disable your growth. One of my saving graces throughout the years since childhood is understanding that IMAGINATION is the gateway to ELEVATION.
“Fight for the fairytale it does exist.” -Joy F.
We house infinite potential in the crevices of our beings. Our innate abilities are often buried under the debris of disappointment, despair and delayed dreams. The mind is a highly sophisticated instrument that will perform magnificently in the face of adversity. In order for us to operate at optimal capacity, we must retrain the brain to reign exponentially.
“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” -David Viscott
I am always seeking to find the open door where there are only walls. In tech a gateway is defined as a network node that connects two networks using different protocols together. A bridge is used to join two similar types of networks. A gateway uses two dissimilar networks. This is how I interpret it for real life: adversity + opportunity = the perfect partners to produce uncommon feats. Adversity holds the key to limitless possibilities but you must open your eyes and seize.
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask, ACT. Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson
A gateway also means a tall and wide entrance which you have to go through to get to another place. It would be quite refreshing if we could swim through cool waters to DESTINY but the reality is, fire awaits.
“What is courage? Courage does not always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” -Unknown
Use your voice even if it shakes, the future is at stake. Your brilliance is unquestionable, co-sign your own purpose, power and potential.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” -Nora Ephron
We live in a society that is driven by capitalism and consumers are becoming more astute each day. Marketing has taken on a new direction and it is based on authenticity, relationship building and transparency. The power behind promotional campaigns rest in the ability to connect emotionally and psychologically. It is no secret that the lifeblood of any organization is rooted in strong relational bonds. Women account for 85% of purchasing decisions ranging from automobiles to healthcare. Their choice to do business is often motivated by an instant emotional connection.
Here is an easy acronym to remember when thinking of becoming more transparent in business: S.H.A.R.E. I.T.
1) Share the START. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Lisa Nichols has become a master storyteller. She shares how difficult life was during the beginning phase of entrepreneurship. She pulls on our heartstrings when she talks about how she didn’t have enough money to purchase pampers for her child. He was wrapped in a wash towel and she declared in a pivotal moment that she would never be broke again. Her ability to be transparent even to this day creates an unshakeable bond with her loyal audience.
2) Communicate HONESTLY. When you conduct your business from a place of integrity it fosters current relationships and becomes appealing to potential clients. If the shipping was delayed due to an unforeseen technical issue express it to the consumer and honor them with a complimentary item for any inconvenience. It only takes one great encounter to gain a client for life and it also only takes one unpleasant experience to lose their business for good.
3) Pay ATTENTION. People are always telling you what they need. The question is are you listening? The mouth is inspired to speak from thoughts residing beneath the surface. How many reoccurring complaints have you received about a specific product or service in your company? Are you continuously distracted during business meetings with technology? Every interaction with the public from employees, shareholders and clients will communicate a message that you are either thoughtful or thoughtless. “Nothing is so powerful in making others feel important as giving them your undivided attention.” ~Ben Brearly
4) REACH out. If you want to boost your know, like and trust factor pick up the phone to talk directly or face to face through video conferencing and connect deeply with your potential clients. We have lost the art of human touch in our technology saturated society. The written letter is more endearing than a cold email. If someone contacts you via telephone please have the courtesy to respond back in the same manner. Social etiquette is always appropriate. Connect frequently to your buying audience and invest in their life before you ask them to increase your bottom line.
5) Lead by EXAMPLE. If you expect transparency from your team it starts with you. What type of culture do you desire to create, toxic or non-toxic? Research shows productivity, trust and profitability increases as a result of transparent leadership. If your top tier management is unsteady it is only a matter of time before the organizational structure collapses.
6) Respond IMMEDIATELY. Today’s businesses dwell in a world where speed leads especially on social media. Around August of this year we saw Joel Osteen come under fire for not responding in a timely manner to the public. When questions are asked pertaining to your moral values address them swiftly. The longer it takes you to resolve issues the likelihood of suspicion in the minds of your audience increases. Do not allow an insignificant molehill to become a mountain of mayhem.
7) Build TRUST. The foundation upon which your success stands is in the ability to foster trust every single day. Business leader Jon Gordon stated we should, “Value long term relationships more than short term success. When you are transparent with nothing to hide you can easily radiate trust.”
Always remember, no matter what business you are in, you are in ONE business and that my friend is the people business. If you take care of people, in the end they will take care of you. Ask yourself this question, “How can I enhance my leadership skills today in order to be a more effective leader tomorrow?”
The secret to success is hidden in our daily routine which consists of powerful habits that create favorable outcomes. In the simple words of Emerson, “Do the thing and you will have the power.”
Beat the Sun!
We often overlook the power of ending our day early. Our physical body goes into its most regenerative state between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. A lack of proper rest can create medical problems such as obesity, fatigue, hypertension, premature ageing, poor memory in the long run. Having the proper amount of rest allows you awaken revitalized and ready for limitless opportunities.
Top salesman have learned to detach from yesterday and approach each new day as a clean slate to surpass goals. They live in a constant Carpe Diem mindset, in order to seize the day! The sales industry requires thick skin, unshakable confidence and internal resilience. The objective is the BEAT THE SUN and get plenty of work completed before the day is done!
Peak performers know the value of staying hydrated and immediately kicking their metabolism into high gear. One of the first things health-conscious performers reach for is a bottle of water and a bowl of fruit. The key benefits of water are energy, brain alertness, toxin elimination and headache prevention. This is a high-impact profession and you need to operate at optimum capacity for extended periods of time. There are over 180 million individuals who begin their day with coffee. We were raised to the melody, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” The long-term side effects of caffeine are insomnia, nervousness and restlessness.
Elevate to Great!
The sales industry is full of twists and turns which can be highly stressful to the individual who has not invested quality time in nurturing their mind. Sales leaders are readers. The best sales performers focus daily on mastering the inner game. This would be a great time to do meditational work such as affirmations, review your vision board, journal writing, audio or video motivation. Succeeding begins with BELIEVING. Starting the day off with positive reinforcement places you in the best mental position to crush your goals for the day. One of the greatest attributes a salesperson possesses is OPTIMISM.
Move Your Body!
The sales rock star understands they are fully responsible for their own results. One of the best ways to skyrocket your energy in the morning is to incorporate physical fitness. This will allow you to be more active all day long, consume less calories and decrease blood pressure. The sales leader who stands apart from the masses of mediocre knows the power of aesthetics. Look the part, be the part and get the part. Research shows that 10 minutes of stretching can boost your mood instantly. Think of exercise as the gift that keeps on giving back to you. Your fitness regimen can be as easy as a walk in the neighborhood to get your blood circulating or watching a fitness video in your living room. Either you find an excuse or decide to execute.
Plan to Win!
The old adage still rings true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Victory loves preparation and you must believe that you are too big to fail. Top sales leaders prepare a concise plan of action to follow through in order to hit the bullseye. They are focused on closing a set amount of sales for the day and that means being ready for every objection thrown their way. A winning attitude is essential to being a leader in the sales industry. Zig Ziglar once stated, “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
Lastly, on your way to the top remember the words of Brian Tracey “Get in line and stay in line.” Our lives are just like a buffet which requires self-service. Decide what you want and take full responsibility for your choices. If you persevere and willingly pay the price eventually you will reach the pinnacle of your potential.
Have you ever felt as if the anxious thoughts in your mind were spiraling out of control? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about the future or someone else’s beliefs about you or your performance? The whispering voice of self-doubt can start out as a small snowball rolling down a mountain and become larger by the minute until it disrupts your entire day.
The New Year and new decade, has offered us collectively an open invitation to embrace a state of inner bliss. Noticing the opportunity to inhale a bouquet of joy can provide a calm refuge and an open door to remain grounded as you traverse through an unprecedented global crisis. In the words of Albert Einstein, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
We often equate and base our happiness on what is happening or the tangible items we possess. There is a hidden paradise nestled in the soul that readily welcomes bliss in times of busyness, barrenness and brokenness until it kisses the face of bountifulness. Sherrilyn Kenyon powerfully stated, “The strongest steel is forged by the fires of adversity. It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it STRENGTH. Those two things make the metal pliable and able to withstand every battle it’s called upon to fight.”
On July 3, 1978 Aviation Week and Space Technology released a report about an aircraft that was designed to fly at sea level and they desired to extend its performance capabilities to fly at least 10,000 feet higher. If you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts or anxious feelings ask the question, “Where can I begin ascending from within to pivot in perspective or elevate my emotions?”
Here are five ways to shift from a low state to a peak state of being:
- Gratitude: You can insulate yourself from the harsh winds of life by planting your heart under the tree shade of gratefulness. Oprah stated, “The more you celebrate, the more you have to celebrate.” Find a jar or box and write on a notecard the simple pleasures you are thankful to experience each day. They can become a source of encouragement in moments of discouragement.
- Grounding through Meditation: The ability to intentionally think kindly to yourself, about yourself and others will cultivate a rich inner peace. Thich Nhat Hahn offers a short mindful meditation in his book Being Peace: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful time in my life.”
- Gardening: Nature provides a healing therapy that is often overlooked and underappreciated as a result of the constant bombarding of commercialization and materialism. Can you picture a more vibrant way of being if you basked in the sweet serenity of Mother Nature’s beauty?
- Growth and Development: A deliberate investment in your personal growth is guaranteed to yield a priceless return for generations to come. Operating at the highest level of excellence allows you to discover who you are beyond who you have been. The perfect time to sharpen your mind and prepare your portfolio for future opportunities ahead starts now.
- Generosity: One of the fastest ways to elevate your emotional state is to brighten someone else’s day. She who refreshes others in a time of drought shall also be rejuvenated. There is an indescribable gratification that comes from intentional acts of kindness. How much more fulfilling and thrilling could your inner world be if you chose to live generously?
It is not always easy to choose the most positive responses in the moment but with practice you will begin to strengthen your ability to live by your values rather than allowing feelings to dictate your behavior. How can you manage strong emotions and remain emotionally balanced in times of crisis?
- Refuse to respond immediately if your emotions are unsound and unstable. Create a quiet space to contemplate and process your thoughts with mindful awareness.
- Write out your feelings in a journal to sift through your emotions in a safe private place alone.
- Speak with an unbiased and non-judgmental confidant who can be a sounding board and provide you with loving support and honest feedback.
- Accept full responsibility for being a contributor to a viable solution rather than a one who exacerbates the problem.
- Remove yourself emotionally and create distance from the situation. If you were an outsider looking in what would you say or do differently? If you could choose to let go of one thing you’ve been trying to control what would it be?
Those who rise above the challenges of life have a special ability as stated by Bruce Lee, “to absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add to what is uniquely their own.” As you proceed forward each day, concentrate on what can be changed and remember you possess the power to prevail.