Get Your Free eBook

GET IT NOW! Rory Vaden eBook

Sign up to receive my Daily Discipline blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-mini book of quotes FREE.

Get a free Rory Vaden e-book!

5 Healthy Heart Transformations of that Result from Giving – Episode 212 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Rory shares his own personal struggle as he learned the power of giving and the 5 transformations he went through that dramatically changed the way he views money, time, giving and more. The lessons in this episode will translate to how you spend your time, lead other people, how you feel about yourself, and even the ability to overcome your own psychology of procrastination when it comes to working out and exercising.

Show Highlights:

In theory, we all want to be generous. We want to be known as people who give. @rory_vaden

For many, there is a disconnect between wanting to be generous and actually being generous. @rory_vaden

When asked, “How much money do you need to feel happy?” for most, the answer is “it’s more than I have now.”@rory_vaden

Scarcity is always feeling that you don’t have enough. @rory_vaden

There is a payoff that comes from submitting to obedience. @rory_vaden

Sacrifice in the short term to gain in the long term. @rory_vaden

Submit to self-discipline temporarily for long-term payoff. @rory_vaden

There is nothing weak about obedience. @rory_vaden

Giving out of obedience creates a long-term payoff. @rory_vaden

The amount of the gift we receive is in direct proportion to how we handle that gift. @rory_vaden

Learning to give money creates freedom. @rory_vaden

Your ability to acquire more money is inversely proportionate to its power over you. @rory_vaden

The joy in the experience comes from seeing others receive. @rory_vaden

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

A First Step of Solving Almost Every Problem

A First Step of Solving Almost Every Problem

One of the biggest reasons why people struggle with solving problems is because they often overlook this critical first step.

Because no matter what the problem is or what the circumstance, you’re best hope for solving it almost always requires the exact same beginning.

You have to take ownership of the problem.

You have to internalize responsibility for your problem.

You have to resolve that regardless of how the problem came to be, it’s both your duty and your ability to find the solution.

It’s not something that you rely on someone else or something else to solve.

Because until you own your problem you can’t own your solution.

When you encounter a problem that you believe is the result of something outside yourself, then you will never be able to have power over that problem.

It is something that is happening to you of which you are just a bystander and a spectator.

By definition, its outside your control.

But when you own your problem, when you take responsibility for its existence, and when you decide that you’re in charge of fixing it, things start to change.

You stop viewing it as something that is occurring to you and you start viewing it as something you can maneuver.

You stop experiencing it and you start influencing it.

You stop being affected by it and you start affecting it.

Once you own your problem, you create the opportunity to find the solution.

Because if it happened to you through no fault of your own, then you are just an unfortunate victim of circumstances that are beyond your control.

But If you decide that you played some part in creating it, and you own it as your fault, then you can play the lead role in solving it.

And even if you didn’t create the problem. Even if the problem did result from something outside your control. You can still do something about it.

There are always things within your control that you can do. So do those things and never let any problem be an excuse for why you don’t focus on what is in your control.

While you can’t always control whether or not problems show up, you can always control how you respond to them and what you do about them.

One way or another, your life is your fault.

So own the problem.

Then own the solution.

The Marshmallow Test – The Payoff of Delayed Gratification

THE PAYOFF OF DELAYED GRATIFICATION

If you’ve never heard of the marshmallow test, it’s worth knowing about.

From Wikipedia:

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward (a marshmallow) provided immediately or two small rewards (i.e., a larger later reward) if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned.

In follow-up studies, years later, the researchers found that those children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), and other life measures.

It’s a simple choice in this experiment, “one marshmallow now or two later?”

That is a variation of the same choice that each of us make every single day when it comes to a multitude of decisions in our lives.

Indulge in the thing right in front of us or make a disciplined choice now and receive more blessings later on?

In Take the Stairs we called this dynamic the Paradox Principle of Sacrifice.

Which simply stated is this: Easy short term choices lead to difficult long term consequences.

Meanwhile, difficult short term choices lead to better long term consequences.

That’s the payoff of self-discipline.

And self-control is the brother of self-discipline.

If self-discipline is doing things you know you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing them.

Then self-control is not doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

But both of them have the same result: long term rewards.

Long term gain.

Long term satisfaction.

Long term happiness.

Doing the right thing in the short term is what creates the better life in the long run.

We often think of these things as “sacrifices” but they aren’t sacrifices.

A sacrifice is giving something up that you never get back.

Good decisions aren’t sacrifices at all.

Good decisions are short term down payments on rich future blessings.

Of course, this idea is nothing new.

Hebrews 12:11 said it this way 2000 years ago:

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time. Yet it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Think about that: “a harvest of righteousness and peace…”

Isn’t that what you want?

A harvest of righteousness and peace.

An abundance of blessings, good fortune, and calm faith.

A life filled with joy and free from stress.

Those things are available for your future.

They are available by the choices you make today.

They are available by doing the things now that you know you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing them.

And by not doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

They are available through a little self-discipline and self-control expanded consistently.

In every area of your life, sow today for your harvest tomorrow.

Why Cheat Days Never Work and How to Create Real Change

cheat-day

“Cheat days” don’t work.

Because “cheat days” fly directly in the face of what actually creates sustainable behavior change.

The concept of a “cheat day” is that you “reward” yourself for one day as the result of “depriving” yourself for all the other days.

But cheat days don’t reward you; they ruin you.

Not only is it just a waste to undo all of your progress you’ve made the rest of the time, the worst part is the thinking behind a cheat day is completely destructive.

You can’t create sustainable self discipline and behavioral change through the strategy of self-denial.

Self-denial doesn’t tackle the root of the problem.

Self-denial is convincing yourself to use willpower to give up something that you have convinced yourself that you really want.

There are 2 problems with that strategy:

  1. At some point your will power is likely to run out because you’ll be tired, or sick, or convince yourself that you’ve done something that makes you “deserve” the thing you’re trying to keep yourself from.
  2. As long as you’re convinced you really want it, you’re brain will constantly unconsciously be looking for ways for you to get it – even if you are consciously trying to avoid it.

So how do you create real, meaningful, sustainable and lasting behavior change?

It’s simple.

You don’t “deny” yourself.

You “re-program” yourself.

You have to convince yourself that you don’t really want it… now or ever.

You have to change the way you think about the thing that you currently want.

You have to literally form new neural pathways in your brain that tell you what to think (and feel) whenever you think about that thing.

The number one first step to doing that is to change your self talk about that thing.

You stop saying “if I’m good about not having ___ now, then I can indulge and have it later.”

You start saying “I don’t even like _____ because it has ______ and _____ negative affects on my life.”

You retrain your brain. You use what we at Southwestern would refer to as “Self-Talk.”

You keep repeating it over and over until one day you “actually” really don’t want the thing that you used to.

Similar to forming a new path in the wild woods, it’s hard and slow at first, but the more you work at it, the more clearly the path forms. Until one day the new path becomes so ingrained and automatic that you forget the old path was ever even there.

Is this hard? Yes.

Does this take work? Yes.

Does it require intention? Yes.

But so does exercising short term will power.

The only difference is that this is actually sustainable for the long run.

This strategy will actually change your life.

Because it starts by changing the way you think about a thing, but that then quickly adapts to influencing your actual physiological attraction to the thing.

The first time I said I no longer liked fast food, it seemed like a terrible thing to say! I didn’t believe it. I knew I was “lying” to myself.

But your brain is a funny thing in that it doesn’t believe what is true or false; your brain simply believes whatever you tell it most often.

So after you say it over and over again you eventually start to believe it. Until one day, your desire for that thing has truly disappeared.

That’s when everything changes.

Because you don’t have to “deny” yourself anything anymore. Because at that point you really don’t want it! You don’t spend any time thinking about having it. You don’t feel like you’re missing out on it. And you really, truly, are more aware of the negative impacts of the thing than you are about whatever short term part you used to like about it.

Plus, while it’s nearly impossible to deny yourself of something that you know you really want; it’s nearly inevitable that you’ll automatically stay away from things you really don’t want.

The thing doesn’t change. It’s your mindset about the thing that changes. And once your mind about the thing changes, you’ll see that your body’s response to the thing will also change.

And trying to temporarily increase your willpower will never be as effective as permanently changing your taste buds.

So don’t deny yourself and find yourself in a constant never ending battle to find willpower.

Instead, reprogram yourself to make a permanent and proactive change into becoming the person you truly want to deign yourself to be.

Change your thinking about something and you will change your life.

Finding Your Life Purpose with Steve Reiner and Tom Merritt – Episode 187 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Tom Merritt is a branch manager at Summit Funding, Inc. As a privately owned residential mortgage company operating across the country, their customers enjoy the benefits of working with a mortgage banker that is powerful enough to be a direct endorsed seller/servicer with GNMA & FNMA. This means they process, underwrite, fund, and service your loans – all in house. This enables Summit to speed up the lending process in a more make sense process so our customers close on-time!

Steve Reiner is an expert at helping people remove the emotional hurdles that prevent them from excelling in business and in life. Having personally delivered over 2,500 1:1 sales and leadership consulting calls, he understands how to get the most out of his clients, helping them to break personal belief barriers and achieve their maximum potential. Steve begins this life-changing journey with his clients by helping them to identify their purpose, crystallize their vision and reinforce their desired behavior change with the right self-talk. As an author of the upcoming book Fearless Selling, Steve will equip you to pursue your goals with greater joy, resolve, and effectiveness.

Show Highlights:

  • When you understand the why, you figure out the how. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is your mission for how you invest your life. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is bigger than the obstacle. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is the person you want to be and the impact you want to have. – Steve Reiner
  • The more you focus on results, the fewer results you get. – Steve Reiner
  • When you focus on purpose, results are the byproduct.
  • The biggest reason we have anxiety is due to trying to control things we can’t. – Steve Reiner
  • Your purpose must be grounded in service. – Steve Reiner
  • In the clarity of your purpose is the absence of your fear. @rory_vaden
  • 5 characteristics of a great purpose. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is useful. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is universal. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is Aspirational. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is formidable. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is controllable. @rory_vaden

Click here to request a free call with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How to Become a More Inspiring Person

inspiring

The word inspire means, “to breathe life into.”

So inspiring people around you means “breathing life into them.”

And living inspired means doing things that “breathe life into you.”

So the question is “are you life-giving?”

Do you lift people up?

Do they feel better when they’re around you?

Do you make them feel good about who they are and what they’re doing?

Do people leave their interactions with you feeling recharged, rejuvenated, hopeful, and positive?

Or are you life-taking?

Are you life-draining?

Do you make people feel pressured, used, unappreciated, unimportant, or taken advantage of?

We think of inspiration often as a mystical or ethereal trait. It’s often a term reserved for the greatest leaders.

Yet anyone can inspire. And it’s actually quite simple.

You inspire by helping people feel good about themselves.

You inspire by showing them possibilities that are available for their own life.

You inspire by valuing them for who they are and what they do.

You inspire by challenging them to live up their potential.

You inspire by “breathing life into them.”

And if you can inspire then you can lead.

Because if you inspire…

If you are life giving…

If you are life breathing…

You may not even have to focus as much on trying to lead.

People will find a way to show up because they will naturally want to follow.