The 7th – and Last – Secret of a Can Do Life!

Find and keep a sense of humor.

Why? Because life it hard enough – being a grouch or always serious just makes it harder.

Song in my HeartBack when I had just started chemo, I was talking with a friend when, I out of the blue I remembered a movie I loved as a kid, With a Song in My Heart.  It is the story of Jane Froman, a singer who toured Europe to entertain the troops during World War II, who was seriously injured in an airplane accident. Painfully and slowly, she rebuilt her life, always keeping a song in her heart. Jane Wyman played her in the movie and I can hear the song in my head as I type.

That was how With a Song in My Heart became my mantra during chemo, reminding me not to take myself or my situation SO seriously. I learned to laugh about the indignities of chemo – from rashes to the runs – and to laugh at myself in the process! That lighter and more playful attitude helped me grow and learn so much more about what is important in life during my chemo and recovery experience.

A sense of humor balances us. And, laughter bathes the brain in endorphins which shutterstock_45929179soothe and heal the stressed out places. I believe that laughter allows the gratitude in your life to take root in your heart.

One of the most important places to be able to laugh is at work, with the caveat of being respectful, and being careful not to be inappropriate. I have worked in several very high risk, high intensity programs where how a crisis was handled could mean life or death, or at least risk of serious injury. But, even in those environments, maybe especially in those environments, I have appreciated the ability of my colleagues and employees to balance the stress with some lighter moments. I have discovered that sharing a laugh with colleagues helps create bonds that create a carry-over of positive vibes that can be quite helpful during stressful meetings.

Once, long before my Can Do days, during a very intensive program proposal writing process, a colleague who was a partner in the project called and said he had something important to tell me. I took my eyes off the narrative to pick up the phone, thinking “this better add another $10K to the project’s bottom line, or I will scream!” After I said hello, he said, “if at first you don’t succeed,” then paused.  I, somewhat tersely, responded, “yes, what?” to which he answered, “don’t try sky diving!”  It was just what I needed. And more than 10 years later, I still remember it!

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Finding and keeping a sense of humor – so full of wisdom that adds years to our lives and life to our years. And in today’s era of technology, being able to laugh is as easy as finding the puppy, kitty or baby videos on YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube (how is that for a finessed transition!?), I have posted two short preview videos for the new Live YOUR Can Do Life online workshop that launches on Friday!  Click here for the Intro to YOUR Can Do Life and click here for Making Possibility Decisions… One of the promises I can make about the workshop series is that it will be engaging and, yes, even fun! While registration is open until March 27th, I encourage you to sign up today to get the most from the workshop videos, tele-workshop on March 18th and the Live YOUR Can Do Life Workbook. Click here to learn more!

Thanks for joining me on the Can Do Blog during these last seven weeks to learn about the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life!  Writing these posts has been great fun and allowed me to understand and live the secrets a little deeper myself.

The fun does not stop here!  Be sure to sign up to be on the email list for the Can Do Blog. (From the menu, it is on the right side of the Can Do Blogs page.) I have made a commitment to post a blog or podcast every Wednesday. It’s kind of my anti-hump-day statement.

monkey-headerNext Wednesday, I will be posting the Can Do Dialogue podcast that my colleague and friend Troy Thompson and I are recording about his fascinating, meaningful – and funny, I might add – No Evil Project. We won’t just be monkeying around, either!!  Come back and check it out!

In the meantime, stay well and remember that you can change the world by making the commitment every day to have a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude and based in reality.

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The Second Secret of a Can Do Life Is…

…to be and stay goal driven.

Can you name your life’s goals as easily as you can name your favorite foods or your favorite vacation destinations?  Do you set goals, yet never seem to make enough progress toward accomplishing them?  Are your dreams real for you, or just something you use to think about as an escape from your current situation?

Goals are dreams with deadlines - motivational phrase on a vintaThere are so many things that I could say about goals, their connections to dreams and the power that they have to change your life, much more than this little blog post can hold. The message I want to communicate here is about the importance of having and working toward your goals, and making sure your goals are connected to your life’s dreams.

Why is being and staying goal driven the second secret?  Because our goals based on our dreams give our lives meaning… and they give us hope when life gets hard and messy. Our goals can provide us with the motivation to overcome life’s challenges that come between us and our dreams.

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Setting meaningful goals requires us to be able to define and describe our dreams. It is never too late!  Age does not matter. In fact, I would argue that as we get older, it is just as important to us, and to the world, that we work to know, aspire to and reach our dreams.

What are your dreams? I encourage you to take some time in the next few days to think about those dreams. Mine dream has been to be a writer… to use my words, images and stories to motivate and inspire people to reach their potential.  I am in this moment, quite literally, living my dream!  And, it is AWESOME!

Our goals provide the road map on our journey toward those dreams. Newton’s first law of motion is: a body in motion tends to stay in motion; a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Coridan’s Corollary is that a life in motion tends to stay in motion… We need to be and stay goal driven to keep our lives moving in the direction that meets our needs and keeps us healthy. Otherwise inertia creeps in, and we know that a life at rest does not achieve its dreams!

Not all goals are the same. For one thing, they come in sizes. There are big goals, like buying a house, getting a degree, raising a family, retiring to a warmer climate… and then there are the smaller goals that lead us to the big ones, like saving money, enrolling in a class, meeting someone special with whom you would consider raising a family, and again, saving money. Breaking things down into a smaller, more manageable size makes the goals easier to achieve.

America Football field with ballI like to think of the need to set smaller goals as the “rule of the first downs.”  I am a big Ohio State Buckeye Football fan. I know that this dream that we just realized of becoming the National Champions did not all happen with big plays and dumb luck. The team focused (in part) on working together on basics, on getting first downs and building the momentum and the rhythm to be ready when they have a chance – and THEN they made the big plays. When I watch football, I sometimes yell at the TV to remind the Buckeyes, or the NY Football Giants, that when they have the football, they don’t have to do any more than get that next first down unless the opportunity is really solid for the big play. First downs create scoring opportunities and build momentum. First downs win games.

Do you want to become more goal driven?

Set Goals Hand Red MarkerTo help get you started, I have several questions: What are your big goals?  The ones that you focus on for a year or two at a time?  How are they connected to your dreams?

Then, what are your smaller goals, the ones that form the steps on the way to your bigger goals?

Where are you starting?  If your big goal is to run a marathon next year and you have not worked out in five years, I hope you will create a different plan than if you have been running 5Ks and are ready to step it up!

Start by writing your goals down today!  Work with them, revise them, talk them over with your family and friends. Start small and build – daily, weekly and monthly goals function to help keep things manageable. Losing 5 pounds usually comes before losing 10; running a mile comes before winning a marathon! Writing your goals down lets you put big red check marks next to them when you are finished – and I find that checking off completed goals is a great way to build and maintain momentum.

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Be and stay goal driven… it’s not such a big secret, is it?  But, it holds the key to achieving your dreams!  Goal setting unleashes the power of Can Do to help you become the person you were meant to be!

Need a Resolution for 2015? How about a more Can Do Life?

2015 On Athletics All Weather Running TrackAs 2015 rolls into existence later this week, some people are scrambling to figure out their New Year’s Resolution.

I am sure that there are many people out there who want to make a difference, be better parents, volunteers, bosses, employees, friends and caregivers – or be healthier and happier –  but just don’t know what to do differently. They set goals every year to “be a better ______” fill in the blank. But they get frustrated, busy, distracted and give up, and are disappointed in themselves until this week every year, when they start to make their resolutions again!

Here’s my recommendation:

The FREE Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life virtual workshop series might offer just the ideas, resources and support you need to make a Can Do kind of difference in 2015.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

The benefits of a Can Do life go way beyond what it does for us individually. I believe that there are many people who can use the Can Do model to become a Can Do Role Model for the kids (and some of the adults) in their lives. Become people who say YES! to life and focus on building their goals and achieve their dreams. Individuals and teams that make decisions based on possibilities and potential. People who quietly inspire and motivate others, sometimes without knowing that they do it.

With so many “sports heroes” clearly focused on themselves and having a good time, with so many so-called pop stars trying to outdo each other with odd, immature and weird behavior, and with the political leaders competitively tearing each other down, I say it is time for some everyday heroes to commit to show up, step up and speak up!

Seven Secrets Workbook CoverThe Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life virtual workshop series provides the resources, tools, inspiration and motivation to become an every day hero to the important people in your life, starting with you!

This new – and FREE – virtual workshop series starts on January 2nd and includes 2 videos, 2 podcasts, a workbook and a live tele-workshop on January 7th.

Registration is open. Click here for more information.  

You owe it to yourself and the ones you love!

Happy New Year!

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