Pick Your Path

“The only thing worse than setting the wrong direction is having no direction” – Jim Rohn

This is one of those lessons I learned the hard way. For 2 years, being directionless taught me not only will you not be an achiever if you have no goals, you will quickly become depressed. Before 16 years old, I never knew why we needed goals and why the lack thereof is so anxiety inducing.

If you’re reading this, I know you can relate. A lack of clarity and direction produces uncertainty. Go back to a time in your life when you were down. There’s a high probability you were confused about your direction. You questioned yourself, why you’re here and what you’re truly passionate about.

My goal is to help you avoid my path. For 2 years I had no direction and it was a big mistake. What I was missing is that as a human being, I am obviously, as Doctor Maxwell Malts said, like a bicycle.

If a bicycle isn’t headed towards something, or moving forward, it loses it’s equilibrium and it will fall over. Well you and I are designed exactly like that emotionally. When I was 16, I wasn’t moving towards anything. No direction. No purpose. No goals. What I’ve come to realize is that at any point in my life where I’ve lacked this clarity, of knowing that I was going towards something, my life fore, our life force, and our energies are kind of just splintered and splattered. And we cannot produce results like that. Fuck, we can’t be happy like that.

So why set goals? Why have a clear direction? Because it is consistent with our nature. Remember the bicycle? Because it garners and focuses our energies to get things done.

You know what happens when you set goals and focus on something that you want? When we’re focused, in your sleep, we begin to create blue prints in our subconscious to achieve what we want next!

“Our subconscious is either our best friend or our greatest enemy”

We’ve all experienced this. I remember being back in High School and having a test the next day. I studied all night for math and often wouldn’t be able to solve a few problems. When I went to bed I didn’t have the answer. But, when I woke up in the morning I knew exactly which direction to take it. I had the answer.  The subconscious is amazing, once it knows what we want ,our mind must align with what we want and help us get it.

On the other hand, there’s a downside to that. The downside is when I was 16 with no direction, my mind just sat idly,  focusing on anything that came into my experience because it didn’t know what I wanted! My subconscious said,

“well it looks like Jonathan doesn’t want anything, so let’s give him a whole bunch of things he may not want. Because it’s clear he doesn’t want anything!”

The next thing that shows up? You guessed it. It’s uncertainty, anxiety, and confusion. Why did those emotions show up? Why do they show up for you? Their warning signs. We’re out of sync! I wish I could give my 15 year old self this talk. Jonathan, you’re depressed and out of sync because you’re like a bicycle. You need to keep moving. You need to set some goals in alignment with improving your self-image.

But, instead, I’m taking that advice now and I’m also giving it to you.

Do this:

Set a direction. Set a few goals and take action towards it’s accomplishment. Write them down. Share them with your accountability partner and work towards those aims as a team. Finally, stay tuned for my next post as I dive deeper into setting intelligent goals.

Remember, don’t get hung up on carving out the perfect path. Firstly, there is more than one path to the same outcome. Don’t let that be your excuse to not get started. And more importantly, the only thing worse than the wrong direction, is no direction. 

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

-J

Out.

Advertisements

The Tipping Point

Did you know…

92% of the 17 million people that try to quit smoking each year fail.

95% of people who lose weight fail to keep it off long term.

88% of people who set New Year’s resolutions fail at their attempt.

Why is the world full of well intentioned people trying to make positive change, yet so many fail? Why do you hold yourself back from positive change? 

holding-yourself-back- blog

It’s an important question that I’ve been asking myself in 2017 more than ever. For example, I’ve been telling myself I would start blogging about my mental health journey for two years.  Yet, I only started a few months ago. I’ve been telling myself for the last year that I would also make videos. I know I’m a strong communicator, I know I have talent and I also know that if I I could get myself to blog, I can get myself to make videos!

Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, ask your cute neighbour on a date, or if you’re just like me and you want to make videos, we all need to find out what I like to call our tipping point.

Before that however, we need to understand that a fundamental level, there are two forces that motivate us to do what we do: the desire to avoid pain or the desire to gain pleasure. Taking action and making a change isn’t a matter of ability, it’s a matter of motivation. When change is a should, most people won’t make the change. If change is a must, it’s another story! The tipping point makes taking action a must.

The tipping point is a strategy I’ve used successfully in the past. I’ve used it to overcome some of my biggest roadblocks in creating change. When I wanted to start waking up at 5am, I  used the tipping point. When I wanted to speak in public for the first time, I used the tipping point. And, just like when I finally decided to write my first blog, I’m going to use the tipping point to take action on my first videos.

“Simply put, our tipping point can be described as the moment in time when we associated more pain to inaction than we do to action. “

I want you to imagine an unbalanced scale. scale - blogIf you’re like most people (often including me), your scale is either completely level or tipped in the direction of your fears and excuses. Meaning we can’t take action! If our desire to make a positive change is overpowered by your fears of taking action, we will not change. In this visual, we’ve found the tipping point, only in the wrong direction. In other words,

“Until our perceived fear of taking action is outweighed by the pain of not taking action, we won’t change.”

Have you noticed the whole world is full of people who’s fears are bigger than their desire to take action? Have you noticed that all of the movers, shakers, and people we look up to in this world decided that the pleasure of  creating a legacy and making an impact far out weighted all of their concerns and excuses?

In order to access the tipping point, we need to associate massive PAIN to not changing NOW, and massive PLEASURE to changing immediate. The motivation is based on both pain AND pleasure. Pain is short-term motivation, but you need the pleasure for long term change.

Do This (If you’re not going to participate, close the window now because you’re wasting your time).

*I’ve used the following questions about making videos to help unlock my tipping point. Take the time to ask yourself the same for whatever you want to change!

Pain-associating questions:

  1. What will not changing cost cost me?
  2. What has not changing cost me in the past?
  3. What is not changing costing the people you love?
  4. What is it costing you in (money, work, family etc)?

Questions that identify inconsistency

  1. How does not changing keep you from being close with your friends and family?
  2. Should people follow a leader that doesn’t have the discipline to make the change you’re trying to make?
  3. How can you tell yourself that it’s okay to not make the change even though you think about it everyday?

Pleasure-associating questions:

  1. If you change this now, how will your life be?
  2. What will you gain?
  3. What will it mean for the people you love?
  4. What will it give you?

Final thoughts… The tipping point will only happen when you’re emotionally associated to the massive, immediate pain of not changing, and the massive immediate pleasure of changing now. If you find the questions helpful in making that change, share them with someone you think it can help!

Till next time, stay on the offense. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

J

Out.

 

Fluctuations: The Law of Impermanence

As you’re reading this, I bet you’ve gone through your fair share of ups and downs in life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could only experience the ups and avoid the downs? Well, it’s more complicated than that…

I grew up strong, confident and competitive. On top of the world, I competed for Canada in Trampoline at only 13 years old. But, overtime, my mindset changed and ultimately so did my circumstances. I became pessimistic, I lacked belief in myself and lost my drive to win. At my lowest of lows, I’ve laid in the comfort of my bed for days on end. Not moving for school, for sports, for family, nothing. My depression and anxiety overwhelming. Those months were the darkest days of my life. I felt completely numb. I contemplated whether or not life was worth living. And I almost said no.

For the majority of my life I never understood why I had experienced such dramatic change in my mindset and circumstances.  When life was going so well, why did I suddenly experience such a major low?

But, recently, it all started making sense to me. Last week I walked into CSI Pitchmasters like I do every Tuesday. Joze, our Toastmaster for the evening, was on fire. His theme: Fluctuations. Tuesday night he was witty, philosophical and he shared a unique perspective of Buddhist philosophy I’d never heard before. He said,

“Fluctuations are an inherent fabric of life. The Buddhist law of impermanence states that because nothing is permanent, attachment to the ups leads to inevitable suffering. Conversely, aversion to the downs is illogical because those too shall pass”.

What a powerful observation.

Life is cyclical. As Jim Rohn would say, life is like the changing seasons.

Winter- a season of difficulties, trials and tribulations.

Spring- a season of opportunity. The time and space for us to start new projects.

Summer- a season to hustle. The time for us to work hard and protect all the good we started.

Fall- a season of harvest. The time to reap all the rewards of which you’ve previously sown.

4 seasons blog picture

As I spaced out reflecting in the meeting reflecting on my life, it became clear to me now that my life, my thoughts and my circumstances have always fluctuated. That it is in the contrast of our emotions that beauty exists. If there was no such thing as winter, how can we truly appreciate the summer? If there was no pain, how can identify our joy? If I never experienced my depression, I never would have treasured the happiness I now enjoy.

I regained my focus just in time to catch Joze finishing up his toast. He said that the philosophical pop-singer Nelly Furtado once sang,

“All good things come to an end”. And that he would modify those lyrics into,

“All things come to an end”.

I now know that too be true. So, if you’re experiencing a high, please share in the comments so we can help celebrate your success!

If you’re experiencing a low, know that I’ve been there. It’s okay for you too as well. Don’t get too addicted to the ups, they are temporary. And don’t get too bogged down by the downs, they too are temporary. There are people you can reach out to and connect with for support. I personally know that in my lowest of lows, the strongest and most courageous thing I did was ask for help. I couldn’t have done it alone, and you don’t have to either. Email me at mrjfandrews@gmail.com or send a text to 416 886 4774, I only write this blog to help.

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

-J

Out.

 

Practicality of Positive Thinking

Courtesy of my favourite Google Chrome Plug In  Momentum, every morning I open my laptop, I’m presented with an inspirational picture and quote.

Blog picture- thinker prover

How appropriate that as I sat down this morning to write about the mind, our thoughts and ultimately how they dictate the success or failure of every facet of our life, Momentum gave me this quote,

“Don’t think about what might go wrong, think about what could be right.”

How true! But it’s not enough to understand this concept on a surface level. For you and I to take our health, wealth, relationships, or impact on this world to the next level we need internalize this as part of our belief system. Fundamentally, positive thinking is extremely practical. And while the mind and brain are extremely complex, my mentor George Zalucki broke it down for me so that it is simple to explain. He said the mind is made up of two parts, the thinker and the prover.

The thinker thinks. 

The prover proves. 

What does the prover prove? Simple, whatever the thinker thinks! This is why positive thinking is so fucking practical! Let’s explore two examples:

A) I can’t do it. That is my thought. Now, the proving part of my mind must bring into my experience the actual events and criteria that say’s, you’re right! You can’t do it…

The thinker thinks and the prover proves.

B) I can do it. That is my thought. The thinker thinks, what must the prover prove? The prover must bring into my experience all of the events and criteria that say’s, you’re right! You can do it…

The thinker thinks and the prover proves.

Simple right? Here’s where it becomes a challenge, most of our thoughts are unconscious. That means that 95% of my life is run by my subconscious programming! When I started to take a more positive direction in my life, I had to become conscious of every thought coming from my thinker!

What do you think my prover said to me through 18 years of thinking: I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not good looking enough, your voice is too feminine, your nose isn’t symmetrical, you can’t be a public speaker, I’ll always be a runner up, there’s no point of living? You guessed it… It said, you’re right! 

When I started to consciously think more positive thoughts, my life change was dramatic. For example, at 18 my parents forced me to start working with them on their business. Forced WAY out of my comfort zone, I was asked to speak in public, to sell and share the companies story. If I let my subconscious do the thinking for me… My prover would have slapped me in the face with massive failure.

Instead, I thought, I can do this, I deserve this, I’m confident, I have what it takes, I know the information, I will be charming and charismatic and they will love me. Guess what happened? Surprise, surprise, my prover brought into my life all of the experiences that were in exact agreement with the thinker.

I started to gain momentum. My self-esteem sky rocketed. I was asked to speak more and more. Eventually, my subconscious thoughts became empowering and self-serving. I’ll be forever grateful for those months and years of consciously focusing on positive thoughts.

“Thinking about what could go right changed my life.”

Do this: Choose two new empowering thoughts that you will repeat consciously. When something outside your comfort zone presents itself, remember those thoughts. Repeat them to yourself. Yell out loud, I CAN do it! And like magic, you’ll gain the strength you need, like I have, to overcome all obstacles.

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively purse a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

-J

Out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling Out My Bullshit

As we change seasons and Spring makes it’s appearance, I’ve spend the last 24 hours reflecting on the first 90 days of 2017. Looking from the outside in, most people would say that I’ve had a pretty good start to the new year. From the outside, they’d be right.

But, that’s just bullshit. 

The truth, which is what I spend the last 24 hours reflecting on, tells a much different story.

Am I too hard on myself? Yes. Have I made significant progress on some of my 2017 goals? Yes. Then what’s all the drama about? Last night I realized I’ve been using the wrong god-damn measuring stick! I’ve been focused on the wrong progress. I have the wrong reasons for why I’ve been working.

In a world of Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, where we obsessively check our social platforms all day long, where “entrepreneurship” and the “hustle” is romanticized, I’ve been working hard because I want more likes. I’ve been working to impress others. I’ve been trying to look good in front of people who’s opinions shouldn’t even matter to me. It’s vain.

The truth is, when I was sharing pictures of me winning awards, I was actually beating myself up for second place. When one of my mentees won his public speaking contest, I was jealous. When I was smiling on camera to show other people how great my life was, I had just spent the last 2 weeks homeless.

The truth, is that I’ve been lacking in integrity. My discipline has wavered. My zest for life diminished. Telling the truth is hard. Calling out my bullshit sucks. But it’s the only way I’ll ever grow.

It’s clear that my character needs a facelift.

Myself and the majority of people have strayed too far from what matters in life. Living a life of quality character, not quantity of likes. My focus needs to shift from what will other people think of me, to what will this make of me. When the dust settles, and I’m 6 feet under, I know no one will remember what I did, but how I made them feel! It’s my character that people will remember, end of story.

The question that’s left is: what do I do about it?

Well, if you’ve been following any of my shtick so far you know almost any question I ask myself can be answered with the late Jim Rohns philosophies. This is no different. I’ve traveled  down the wrong path and I don’t like my destination. Jim Rohn would take one look and simply say,

“You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction.”

My Declaration

The character facelift:

Gratitude- A commitment to swapping my expectations for appreciation.

Integrity- A commitment to doing all that I said I would do.

Service- A commitment to focusing on what I can give, rather than what I can get.

Discipline- A commitment to getting up with my alarm, regardless of how I feel.

Personal Development- A commitment to learning everyday.

Enthusiasm- A commitment to maintaining my positive attitude regardless of my circumstances.

I ask you two favours:

  1. Hold me accountable to this. Don’t let me get anyway with wavering on any of these virtues. I know there will be days that I forget this declaration and your accountability will ensure I don’t slip up.
  2. Be honest with yourself. Why are you doing what you do? Are you focused on what people will think of me, or what this will make of me? Does your character need a facelift and if so where can you start?

The rest of 2017 is going to be the best of 2017. 

Till next time, stay on offense. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you change change your direction”.

-J

Out.

 

 

 

Tough Love

nona and me- blogThe past few months I’ve received tough love because, well, I’m tough to love! It was extremely tough for me because when the dust settled, I was left homeless.
This experienced forced me to reflect. It made me want to take all of the positives out of this challenge and be an example for others for what it means to learn from your obstacles. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a mentor a few years back.
He said,
“There are three types of people in life. Wise, smart and stupid”
Wise- these people have a huge advantage. They are the type of people who learn from other peoples mistakes.
Smart- these people tend to get ahead. They are the type of people who learn from their own mistakes.
Me- stupid people…well…. they just keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Why stupid? Well…
People say i’m charismatic, I’m supportive, that I’m a good person. Yet, there I was, kicked out! Homeless. Today, looking back, I now know where it all went wrong. I have always been on the receiving ends of a relationships. I have always been the taker. I have always asked for far more than I have ever given. It took me all of my 22 years and being kicked out of my grandparents house for me to finally understand a universal truth:
“The secret to living is giving!”
When I got my first sales job in downtown Toronto I panicked. Anyone who knows me knows I HATE sitting. Living in Bradford at the time,  I wasn’t about to commute 3 hours a day to get from Bradford to Toronto….and back again. I just wasn’t going to do it!
Then it hit me!
3 years ago my sister lived in downtown Toronto with my Grandparents when she was going to school at Ryerson. So I thought, this is fucking perfect! I’ll just live with my Grandma and won’t have the harsh commute. I smiled as I thought, we’re family, they would feel obligated to help me out. And they did.
Wise
wise- blog
This is where, if I was wise, I would have quickly recognized my Grandparents had all the leverage. They opened up her home and gave me everything they had. If I was wise, I would have grilled my sister and found out about the things my Grandparents loved, their quirks, and anything that I may do to really piss them off (which turned out to be virtually everything I did)!
Instead, I took their generosity for granted . As I settled in, I got into a rhythm of leaving for work early, coming home at night to a dinner prepared by my Grandma, and packaging up the left overs preparing to do it all over again.
This repeated and very quickly 6 months had passed. One day, my Grandma and Aunt asked me what time I would be home the next day and that they wanted to meet with me. We sat down, and I couldn’t understand what they said next,
“Jonathan, you’ve been living here now for over 6 months. When we ask you to do something, or to stop doing something, we mean it. We opened up our home to you out of the goodness of our heart and if you want to stay here you’re going to need to start contributing like it’s your home too.”
That makes sense right? Their house, their rules. Well I didn’t get it.
Smart
Cute Thinking Kid Girl In Glasses With Empty Bubble Looking
If I was smart, I would have realized this is a learning opportunity. I’ve been messing up,
I’ve been focusing on what I can get rather than what I can give.
The relationship has been completely one sided, not even close to 50/50, and you can guess what happened next. Another few months passed, I didn’t change much. I came home one day, I walked over to say hello to my short, non english speaking Italian Grandpa and before I could say a word he yelled, “GET OUT!”
I thought he was joking. He wasn’t…. I sat there devastated. I felt confused, I felt angry, but most of all, I felt stupid. How did I not see this coming? As much as I wanted to argue about all the reasons as to why I should stay, there just weren’t any.
Stupid
jetta- blog
What a sobering experience being homeless was for me. A few nights of sleeping in my car in the cold of winter made me completely see the light. The secret to living is giving!
Life is not a zero sum game. If you give, in any capacity, give with you money, connect someone to the right person, help them become more successful, if you give, it doesn’t mean there’s less for you. But that’s how I saw life!
I thought if I gave, you win, and I lose.
That is just so stupid. The world doesn’t work that way that way. In fact, the world works the opposite. 5 months ago I damaged my vocal cords. It still hurts to speak. I now realize, the times my throat feels the best, is when I’m helping people. When I’m giving a speech to share my mistakes or when a friend calls me up in need of a boost. The secret to living is giving, and there is only an upside in it for you and for me.
Be wise, and learn from my mistakes. Because sleeping in a warm soft bed with the fireplace blazing, beats the shit out of huddling in the cold in the backseat of my 2000 Jetta EVERY Time!
Leave a comment and let me know how you plan on giving more in your life!
Till then, stay on offense. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.
-J
Out.

Accountability: How to 4x the speed to your goals

In November of 2016, I had already been a member of toastmasters for 2 months. I badly wanted to complete my first speaking manual (10 prepared speeches). Yet 2 months into my membership, as much as this was a goal of mine,  I hadn’t even started…

As the end of November approached, and the accountability partnership between Ryan and I was beginning to  blossom, I formally made the goal to complete my manual. Initially, as many do, I set a one year goal to complete the manual by November of 2017. Most people take 1-2 years to finish this manual and I felt this timeline was both rational and doable. But, I forgot to factor in one critical element into that timeline… A belief that Ryan is constantly repeating, and I know to be true,

We’re stronger together.

With that at the forefront of my mind we decided that together, by holding each other responsible for our word that we could not only set big goals, but that we could accomplish them. With Ryan’s support I decided to dramatically collapse the timeframe on my goal. Instead of 1 year, I set the goal to finish my first speaking manual by March 31st, 2017. From 1 year to 3 months, I collapsed the timeline by 4x!

What seemed unreasonable and even impossible with my busy schedule, quickly became a reality in every weekly accountability call with Ryan. With 9 speeches under my belt today and my final speech scheduled for Tuesday March 14th, I will officially have completed my goal with two weeks to spare!

Ps. Outlined below is the exact system Ryan and I use for our accountability partnership. But, if you’re not convinced that this process will make a dramatic difference in your results, whether it be in your relationships goals, business goals, or you just wanted to improve your mental health like me, read this first.

Do This. 

  1. Find your partner– Unable to accept excuses, your accountability partner must be 100% confident being honest with you. In turn, you must be able to reciprocate the same level of candid support. Nobody wins in this process unless both of you are holding each other responsible for what you say you’re going to do.
  2. Create a shareable google doc– This document will be both passive and active.
  3. Set your own personal and professional goals (passive)– Do you want to improve your physical or mental health? Make more money? Get better grades? Have a stronger relationship with your family or partner? Here are examples of Ryan and I’s current top priorities.
  4. Choose a time for your weekly accountability calls– Ryan and I have our call every Thursday from 6:30-7pm. We often get so deep in conversation that it will run over the 30 minute cap.
  5. Set weekly goals that align with the achievement of your monthly or annual top priorities- This is critical. In order to get the most of of your time together, you will need to set and hold each other accountable for your weekly goals. Ask yourself what is the smallest next step I can take? Too many people look at their HUGE one year goal, are overwhelmed, and never start. Set actionable, bite size goals that will get the ball rolling!
  6. Structure your weekly call– This may take you a few weeks to get into a rhythm. Here’s what works well for us…
    1. Be transparent about the completion or incompletion of your prior weeks goals (5 minutes total).
    2. Discuss the blocks, or challenges you faced that week.  It’s important here to avoid excuses, or blaming circumstances for the incompletion of your goals. Instead, take ownership. Did you set unrealistic goals? Did you procrastinate? I often make the mistake of being overly ambitious and setting too many unimportant goals rather than 1 or 2 I can dive deep into (10 minutes)
    3. Discuss any wins or “aha” moments in the week. Celebrate victories and document what is working. If you find a cadence or tactic that is working, make sure you write it down and repeat it (10 minutes)!
    4. Set your goals for the next week. Make sure they’re aligned with your monthly or annual top priorities (we often come to the call with our goals already prepped and put it up on the doc during our call together- 5 minutes).
    5. Get to work!
  7. Start today– If I knew I would 4x the speed to my goals by having an accountability partner, I would have started this process years ago. If you’re like me and are often disappointed in yourself for procrastinating or feeling uninspired to to set big goals, I know this system will jumpstart your success! No excuses, just work. Please find your buddy and get started today!

I want to know if this system works for you. If you’ve decided to stay accountable for your goals and take your fulfillment to the next level, leave a comment! Let Ryan and I know what works, what your challenges are and how we can help.

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

-J

Out.