Unleash Your Potential!


Home
About
Great Quotes
Weekly Wisdom
Inspirational Stuff
Top 10 Books & Products
Coaching & Training Services
Event Schedule
Testimonials
Contact Us

Tell a friend about Zeneration X!

Friend's e-mail:

Your e-mail:

Your Personal Message:

* I donate a  portion of my proceeds from this site to meaningful charities.

more info

 

 

WEEKLY WISDOM

 (Over 35 Life Lessons From Zeneration X's weekly e-newsletter)

 

Week 1:  DO PASS GO...DO COLLECT $200!  

How to approach life like a game...

 

Week 2:  SYNCHRONICITIES:  MERE COINCIDENCE OR SOMETHING DEEPER?  

How the Universe send us signals...

 

Week 3:  ZENSENSE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

How Zen applies to your modern day life..

 

Week 4:  MANTRAS:  YET ANOTHER THING YOUR PARENTS NEVER TAUGHT YOU!

How to utilize the power of Mantras...

 

Week 5:  USING FAILURE AS A LAUNCHPAD FOR SUCCESS!

How to use failures as empowering lessons...

 

Week 6:  TIME TO REVISIT YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS NOW!

A call to action on the first day of spring (or anytime)...

 

Week 7:  TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY INTO POSITIVE LIFE CHANGE

How to transform a negative experience into a positive...

 

Week 8:  REINVENTING YOUR SELF IMAGE

A powerful way to become the person of your dreams...

 

Week 9:  ABUNDANCE ABOUNDS

A powerful new outlook on life...

 

Week 10:  ANGELS IN OUR MIDST?

How to see your angels...

 

Week 11:  I WAS A SERIAL PRE-JUDGER

The importance of keeping an open mind... 

 

Week 12:  AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL???

Finding meaning in an increasingly artificial world...

 

Week 13:  TURN ON YOUR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT GENERATOR!

Valuable Wisdom about  "Potential Energy"...

 

Week 14:  ARE YOU A LIFE EXPLORER?

Insights into living vibrantly!...

 

Week 15:  CHOICES R US

The magical power of choices...

 

Week 16:  CARING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING

An simple test demonstrates the importance of caring...

 

Week 17:  RIDE YOUR ROCKET

The importance of approaching life with a sense of urgency...

 

Week 18:  WHAT ARE YOUR MUSTS?

The underlying psychological drivers of everything you do...

 

Week 19:  ARE YOU DRIVING WITHOUT A MAP?

A life worth living, is a life worth designing...

 

Week 20:  EXPERIENCE THE FLOW!

The importance knowing how to get "in the flow"...

 

Week 21:  THE MEANING OF "LIFE"

A unique insight into life's possibilities...

 

Week 22:  FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!

How to discover the bliss in your life...

 

Week 23:  THE "EXTREME" ROAD TO WISDOM

The importance of extremes in your life...

 

Week 24:  REFLECT, REJUVENATE, RE-IGNITE!

The story of 1000 Marbles...

 

Week 25:  IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

How you can still make a difference in the world...

 

Week 26:  TAKE A MENTAL RETREAT!

How to escape from the chaos...

 

Week 27:  DO YOU FEEL CONNECTED?

Thoughts on God, Zen, Physics...

 

Week 28:  HARNESSING POSITIVE ENERGY!

Insights into the power of positive energy...

 

Week 29:  CHANGE YOUR SEDENTARY WAYS!

Why you need "Movement" in your life...

 

Week 30:  EXERCISE YOUR MIND!

The importance of continual learning and mental conditioning...

 

Week 31:  CONNECT WITH YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF!

Insights into re-connecting and shedding your psychic armor...

 

Week 32:  THE HIDDEN GIFT

Finding meaning, even beauty, in the Sept. 11th tragedy...

 

Week 33:  TEST YOUR FEAR BOUNDARIES!

Insights into overcoming your fears...

 

Week 34:  SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS!

Confirmation that great rewards await just outside your comfort zone.

 

Week 35:  WHAT'S GUIDING YOU?

How to determine your guiding question...

 

Week 36:  HEALING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

The True Story of Ranee Folk...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO PASS GO...DO COLLECT $200!

by Drew Kossoff

If you think about it, LIFE is truly the most exciting game ever inventedA game with many levels, tests and challenges.  A game whose objective is to DISCOVER the most creative ways possible to EXPLORE, INTERACT WITH and EXPERIENCE your surroundings, while seeking out CLUES that can lead you to higher levels of ACCOMPLISHMENT and FULFILLMENT. Of course, there are many pitfalls along the way, but the more quickly you LEARN from them (and how to avoid them), the more FUN the game gets...and the bigger the rewards! 

The unique thing about the game is that the rules and objectives are CONSTANTLY CHANGING (as are the players and surrounding environment).  The ONLY THING YOU CAN TRULY CONTROL IS YOURSELF, and even that can be a big CHALLENGE, for TEMPTATION and distractions of all kinds abound, clouding your FOCUS.  Keeping DIRECTED and BALANCED in the midst of all these CHOICES is paramount to success.

SYNCHRONICITIES are experiences or "sign-posts" that occur throughout the game to TEST your awareness and knowledge.  They are easy to miss until you OPEN YOUR MIND to them.  They often act as a “scorecard” for your journey, either reminding you how far you’ve come or signaling whether you're ON (or off) THE PATH.  These "sign-posts" often arrive in the form of temptations which can lead you to stray if you don't catch and/or heed their LESSONS.  But alas, straying is part of the game too, for THERE IS NO LEARNING WITHOUT MAKING MISTAKES. 

Since the game is a constant and never-ending SWIM UPSTREAM, it is important to both FIGHT THE CURRENT and learn to GO WITH THE FLOW in order to avoid getting frustrated.  The STRENGTH to move ahead combined with the UNDERSTANDING that sometimes you simply can't control the ride, will EMPOWER you to thrive in both the smooth and the rough currents. 

Although experienced in a "multi-player" environment, YOU ARE ALWAYS THE CREATOR OF "YOUR" GAME.  It unfolds in front of you based on a combination of YOUR CHOICES and a bit of fate (the game's environmental variables).  It throws you all kinds of curves and obstacles, but since YOU CHOOSE how to react to everything you experience, YOU ARE TRULY THE MASTER OF YOUR DESTINY. 

One of the coolest things about the game is that since it tends to last around 75 years, no matter what happens along the way, even though you can never go back and make a brand new start, you can always begin again and MAKE A BRAND NEW ENDING!   Therefore, it is wise to EXPERIMENT OFTEN and experience VARIETY.  It's the key to UNLEASHING new PASSIONS which MOTIVATE you to BEGIN OVER and OVER AGAIN, perfect your skills, and more thoroughly enjoy THE GAME.

On your mark....ready....set...GO!!!

back to top

 

 

SYNCHRONICITIES:  MERE COINCIDENCE OR SOMETHING DEEPER? 

by Drew Kossoff

 

Have you ever experienced a coincidence in your life so unbelievable that it seemed impossible to be an accident?

 

A friend of mine recently experienced an incredible event like this.  To protect her identity, I'll just refer to her as Piper.  About a year ago Piper went through a painful divorce.  Piper had married very young and found herself trapped in an unhappy relationship.  Against the wishes of her husband (and her family), she very courageously left her marriage and moved out on her own to find herself and create the life she was dreaming of.  

 

Although convinced she'd made the "right" decision, Piper was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt (exaserbated by her ex-husband reminding her on a regular basis that she had "ruined his life").  Piper cried almost every day, and prayed every single night for her ex-husband to find another woman and move on in his life so that she too could move on emotionally and let go of the guilt.

 

About a year later, Piper was making great strides in her new life.  She was taking classes, traveling, making new friends....but the guilt still lingered.  While attending a week long self-help seminar in Hawaii, Piper had some major breakthroughs and was feeling on top of the world when all of the sudden, while strolling by the pool, who do you think she saw?  That's right, her ex-husband reclining on a beach chair, holding hands with a woman!  Piper felt as if a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.  She was finally free.

 

Interpret this story any way you like, but I believe this event was far too significant a coincidence to be an accident.  The odds of her ex-husband being on vacation with his new girlfriend at the same hotel she was attending the seminar at, on the same weekend, and sitting by the pool the same minute she walked by are probably a million to one. Coincidence....or Synchronicity?

 

Webter's Dictionary defines a coincidence as "an accidental and remarkable occurance of events, ideas etc. at the same time, in a way that sometimes suggests a causal relationship."  Carl Jung expanded on this concept, coining the term "synchronicity" to describe "meaningful" coincidences ( i.e. events that not only defy the odds, but are also so meaningful or significant to the individual that experiences them that they give support to the idea that something deeper than pure chance is at work in the universe).  While everyone experiences coincidences from time to time, tha fact that true synchronicities tend to occur during "transition" periods in a person's life further supports the idea that they represent very deliberately placed "roadsigns".

 

So what do you think of Pipers experience? 

 

My interpretation is that it was no mere coincidence, but rather a powerful "sign" from the Universe communicating to Piper that she had made the right decision to start her life over, that she was headed in the right direction (i.e. working on herself, attending self-help seminars etc.), and that she could finally let go of the guilt and live again because she, of course, had not ruined her ex-husband's life.

 

To esoteric an explanation?  At least consider this - the person who you are today has everything to do with the paths you've chosen in your life, and if you actually think about it, almost every major path you've chosen to follow has hinged on some meaningful coincidence (the friends you've made, the career you've chosen, the home you live in...you name it).  While relatively few coincidences we experience would be defined a true synchronicities, my point is that the Universe works in strange ways.  There are hidden "signs" everywhere. Some represent "tests".  Others "lessons".  Keep an open mind and look for the learning.  You're sure to gain more wisdom and insight without those blinders on.

 

** If you're interested in delving deeper into the subject of Synchronicity, I highly recommend a book called "There Are No Accidents"  which covers the subject quite in-depthly and includes many fascinating stories.    Click for a description: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573226815/zenerationx/104-5519096-1972427 ** Purchase "There Are No Accidents" from this link and help raise money for charities Zeneration X supports!!

back to top

 

 

ZENSENSE IN THE NEW MILLENIUM

by Rick Cipes

 

“Thinking...is what gets you caught from behind.”   

-O.J. Simpson

 

Nonsense: n. lack of sense; absurd language.

 

I have no problem doing it with my eyes open, it’s when I close them that I begin to have problems.

 

For the Master-Swami-Zen Monk-Eastern Philosophers of the world, it is a long-held assumption that if you can define the word “Zen” you have absolutely no idea of its meaning. With that in mind--and considering my Master-Swami-Zen Monk-Eastern Philosopher mind is totally bastardized in the new millennium--let’s give it the old college try.

 

Let’s begin with what Zen is not. Zen is not week long binges with blow seeping out our noses and either a hundred dollar hooker named Angel, or Beverly Hill’s slimiest sheik hanging on our arm. Zen is not getting so schizo from our Starbucks addiction that we have to take half a bottle of aspirin before we are calm enough to pour a glass of water. Nor is Zen rushing out to buy the latest gizmo, be it computer, phone, or vibrator, so we can appear to be the hippest kat on the block. Facade. Zen is not desperately seeking Susan at bars, websites, or your nephew Schlomo’s Bar Mitzvah. Desperation. Neither is Zen gorging down a whole pint of Haagen Daas in one sitting, and vowing to get on the treadmill the next day. Fat. Zen is not placing the importance of a television show over our friends, nor is it flipping off your neighbor for the umpteenth time on the 405 Freeway. Zen is not making the scene every night, for fear that the scene is going to make you. Zen is not about trying to make the most money in the world, or accumulate the most toys, because the one with the most toys, contrary to the popular moronic saying, does not win in the end. Loser.

 

Who wins in the end, you ask? Subjectively ranting, I think the one who wins in the end, is the one who learns to respect and reconnect with nature. The one who understands that no matter how much effort we exert to takeover the world, both on a personal and global level, nature will always prevail, and it is Nature that we all must return to in the end. (So, better be nice while you have the chance. )

 

Grasshopper want to find Zen? Be at one with nature. I’m not talking about whittling down a stick and going out to hunt the neighborhood stray for dinner. No, I speak of: Where do you fit in with Nature’s plan, and how are you best going to carry out the mission you were set down on this planet to accomplish?

 

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.” – Aristotle

 

Make time, even if it is in between A.A. meetings, to identify your particular vocation, because it’s only after this step that you can relax into the long journey called: Finding your balance. A journey that promises to be highlighted by stumbles and pratfalls that would make the Marx Brothers look graceful, and “Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly To Jail” cards that haunt us like the neighbor hood crow on Sunday mornings. A long and winding road to be sure, a trek only to be tread by the truly brave and passionate few who are ready to go the extra mile. Selfishness versus selflessness.

 

The reason the Road Less Traveled is the road less traveled, is because there is a very treacherous cliff up ahead. And at the bottom is the word: Change. You either risk your soul (and what is life without a degree of risk), or you opt for the road to Lazyville: Where all High School sweethearts die young.

 

“What we do is but a drop in the ocean, but if we didn’t do it the ocean would be one less drop.” - Mother Teresa.

 

Be that drop in all its splendor. Know that your drop is making a difference to the world. Know that it forms a connection between you and all things Mother Nature.

 

Anyone who was witness to the countless beautiful millennium celebrations around the world (via CNN), can attest to the fact that there is a lot of love in the air, and our potential seems to be endless. Does war in some Third World country affect us? Maybe not directly, but some way and some day, it probably will. For our mission to prosper, there can be no denying  that all fate is tied together in the big karmic web. Pick your drops well, and keep in mind: no matter how technologically advanced we become, if we cross Mother Nature one too many times...

 

Sit by the river and listen to your soul. Meditate. Then enter the forest where no one ever has before. Quest. When you’re ready, come back with your boon and create your ripple. Hero. Because within all the nonsense in the world, some Zensense must be found.

 

I dream that one day we will all be able to walk across the tightrope with our eyes closed. Then we will have found our own interpretation of Zen.

back to top

 

 

MANTRAS: 

YET ANOTHER THING YOUR PARENTS NEVER TAUGHT YOU!

by Drew Kossoff 

** Inspired by the words and teachings of my Tai Chi master Nzazi ("Z") Malonga

(founder of UrbanZen http://www.urbanzen.com/)**

MANTRA (man-tra) n. : a sacred word or syllable repeated in prayer or meditation

Mantra? I know, you're probably already thinking, "Mantra schmantra"...what do sacred words have to do with my life?

You may not realize it yet, but you are already a master of Mantras!

Have you ever wanted something so badly that it was all you could think about?  A car, a job, a lover, a meal, a nap, a better body.  Of course you have!   And how many times throughout your life have you turned that want or need into reality?  Gazillions of times!  How did you actually do it?  Simply by focusing on your want or need and subconsciously repeating it over and over until you achieved it.  e.g. Food, Food, Food.  Sex, Sex, Sex.  Sleep, Sleep, Sleep.  New job, New Job, New job.  Of course, I'm simplifying things quite a bit here (i.e. these are not "sacred words"), but in the modern world, the words we focus on essentially work like ancient mantras. 

The simple magic of a Mantra is that if you focus on and repeat a word or thought often enough, you create a sort of internal conflict (i.e. I need food, but I don't have any), which subsequently pressures you to mobilize the resources necessary to resolve this conflict (i.e. go get food).  The Mantra or thought creates the impetus for you to match your inner thought/want/need with your outer reality.  By simply focusing on the right words or thoughts, you set in motion a process which enables you to actualize or become one with those thoughts or dreams.

According to "Z" (my Tai Chi Master), Mantras work best when they are simplistic and clear.  Moreover, you must be aware of the karmic consequences of a Mantra because they can be both positive and negative.  For example, a drug addict will have the mantra of Heroine and try to actualize the mantra to get high.  Conversely, a spiritual seeker like Gandhi had the mantra of "freedom for my people" and everything he did when he was working to actualize his mantra (e.g. Fasting) was directly connected to the positive karmic consequence or outcome he was seeking.  When you first find a mantra, "Z" explains, hopefully you'll evaluate it for it’s karmic consequence. 

A great morning Mantra is to repeat “It’s a new day!” several times when you wake up.  This will completely free of yesterday and make you fully present today.  Another excellent Mantra which I learned from Tony Robbins is, "All I need is within me now!".  This one will give you strength whenever you're tackling life's challenges.  Make sense?

Here's another example.  When cultivating Tai Chi skills, continuously repeating the words "smooth" and "graceful" helps you become smoother and more graceful.  The spoken mantra and the movement become one - a moving mantra!  Likewise, chanting "smooth" and "graceful" under your breath can also help you in your daily life.  Repeating "smooth" and "graceful" in your head can help you conquer the fear and uncertainty you might have about a business presentation, a first date etc.  The karmic consequence is that you become smooth and graceful in all your endeavors.

So whether you choose "compassion", "kindness", "positive energy", "strength" or any other Mantra you please, you will find that focusing on one or several of these thematic words will help you attract more abundance and happiness into your life! 

It's that simple!

back to top

 

 

USING FAILURE AS A LAUNCH PAD FOR SUCCESS!
by Drew Kossoff
 
 
“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”
-Robert F. Kennedy<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />
 
"If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate."
- Thomas Watson, Sr., founder of IBM
 

"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees."

- Kenneth Kaunda

 
 
We all know that we need to fail over and over again in order to succeed.  So why is it that so many of us cling to the fear of failure as an excuse for not going for it?
 
By never failing, we always know what outcome we're going to get.  What a price to pay though!  Mediocrity, unfulfilled dreams, being less than we can be...all because we fear failure and avoid uncertainty with a passion!
 
Actually, there is a very good explanation for this widely shared fear of failing, fear of not being good enough, fear of disappointing ourselves and others.  It just so happens that fear is most powerful human (and animal) emotion!  It is innate and was pre-programmed into our systems to protect us from the dangers of the wild.  But in a modern world, this instinct often hurts us rather than helping us.  Moreover, unlike animals, we have the ability to overcome our biology with the power of our minds.
 
So let's work on a bit of RE-programming today!
 
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln failed many, many times in both politics and business before he eventually succeeded in winning the Presidency?  Were you aware that "Post-It Notes" were invented as a result of a glue that 3M scientists initially thought was a failure because it wasn't sticky enough?  Do you realize that literally every single human accomplishment, invention, and technological advancement ever achieved has been the result of failure after failure...or should I say, Lesson after Lesson?
 
I often find it helpful to remind myself that failure is like learning to walk.  By falling and then picking ourselves up over and over again we eventually learn to balance correctly, stand tall and head off with confidence in any direction we please.  Learning to walk is actually an excellent metaphor for life, because we are constantly learning to walk over and over again in every new endeavor we pursue.  
 
To continue growing, it is critical that we maintain our childlike diligence to continually pick ourselves up and "try, try again"...because if we don't, who will do it for us?
 
Next time you feel you've failed at something, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I learn from this experience? 
- What good can come out of this?
- How can I use this experience to transform myself?
- What do I have to be thankful for in my life?
(i.e. gain some perspective on the situation...it's almost never as bad as we make it out to be!).
 
Now get out there and fail!  You might just succeed along the way!

back to top

 

 

TIME TO REVISIT YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS NOW!

A call to action on the First Day of Spring (or anytime)

by Drew Kossoff

 

It's the first day of Spring '00 and it's time revisit your New Year's Resolutions and see how you've done so far this year!

 

Have you made progress or accomplished any of your goals? 

 

If yes, congratulate yourself!  If no, don't beat yourself up!  Just make a commitment to start today! Turn your wishes into reality!

 

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Review your resolutions and goals:

a) If you didn't write down any New Year's resolutions, start right now and begin writing your "Spring/Summer/Fall Resolutions"!  I mean right now!!! Even if it is only one Goal!  

b) If you did write them down, then review your progress. How did you do? 

- If you accomplished some goals, give yourself a pat on the back!  Congrats Achiever, now write some new ones!

- If you didn't accomplish anything, give yourself a swift kick in the ass and get moving!  Life is fleeting.  The time to start is now! 

back to top

 

 

TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY INTO POSITIVE LIFE CHANGE: 

by Drew Kossoff 

This week's edition is dedicated to the memory of Earl Bethel - a friend and talented human being who passed away last week at the young age of 28.

When someone so "full of life" suddenly passes away, the first question we usually ask ourselves is, "Why?".  No answer to this question ever satisfies me, so I force myself to
focus on better questions like, "What can I learn from this tragedy?" or "How can I use this painful experience to transform my life and/or the lives of others?" or "How I can transform the pain of loss into a celebration of this person's life and thereby preserve their spirit? "

Earl was a special human being - incredibly good natured, intelligent, creative, kind hearted, and one of the most "outstanding" guitar players I've ever seen. Although his life
was cut short, most people never live to be "outstanding" at anything, so I celebrate Earl's accomplishements, his beautiful soul and the positive energy he generously shared with so many people.

Earl's tragic death has reminded me just how precious (and short) life really is.  Time is fleeting and is not to be wasted.  It's unfortunate that we have to lose friends or loved one's to remind us to "live life to the fullest" and "live every day like it's our last", but the universe works in strange ways and if this is the lesson we needed to learn, then so be it.

I encourage you to embrace this lesson and re-commit making your life outstanding! Cherish the people you love and who love you, have compassion for those less fortunate than you, pursue your passions with vigor and pride, and make a difference in this world!

 

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Tragedies often act as a "wake up call" and become the catalysts for positive change.

Write Down A Tragedy You've Experienced.  

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

 

What Lesson Did you Learn, Change Did It Initiate, or Transformation Resulted in You Life?

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

back to top

 

 

REINVENTING YOUR SELF IMAGE:
A Powerful Way To Become The Person of Your Dreams!
by Drew Kossoff

Who are you?  Are you the person you see yourself as today...or are you something more?

The fact of the matter is YOU ARE WHO YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE, and some pretty magical things happen when you simply change some of your identities.  I'm not talking about Superman to Clark Kent changes, I'm talking about some very subtle shifts in your own mind.

Let's say you want to improve your physical body.  How do you perceive your body today?  Do you see yourself as someone who is fat and out of shape?  How do you think this belief affects your ability to lose weight?  Now Imagine if you saw yourself as a thin person, stuck in a fat person's body.  Do you think that belief might be a bit more empowering towards losing weight? What if you decided that you were an Olympian in Training? Wouldn't that be an even more powerful belief to adopt?  If you see yourself as an Olympian, you'd have to make it to training every day even when you didn't feel like it.  You'd eat healthier because an Olympian wouldn't eat double cheesburgers and banana splits.  Do you catch where I'm going with this?

What if you wanted to quit smoking?  If you see yourself as "a smoker", isn't it true that you'll always be "a smoker who's trying to quit".   Might it be more powerful if you decided that you were a "non smoker"?   Imagine the difference it would make if someone asked you if you wanted a cigarette and instead of you saying, "Boy I'm dying for one, but I'm trying to quit" vs. "No thanks, I don't smoke!".  Your perception of self makes a huge difference in your ability to make decisions because we always try to live up to our identities. It causes pain not to.  That's why we lower our standards or self image, so it's easier to live with ourselves.  We always know what to expect.  But is that going to get us where we want to go in life?

Changing your identity in your own mind is all it takes to make some very powerful changes.  They can be as simple as shifting from, "I only work as hard a I have to" to "I strive for excellence in everything I do and go the extra mile to be outstanding!"  How do you think that shift might impact your life?  In fact, What impact would it have on your life if starting today, you changed just one little belief about yourself to a new improved belief?  Now Imagine what you could achieve if you changed one belief every week for a year!  How much closer to your goals would you be a year from now?  How much more fulfillment would you feel?

TIP:  Reinventing your identity works really well when you create a well know character identity that you can relate to.  For example, might it affect your creativity if you decided that you were "a modern day picasso"?  Or affect your spirit of adventure if you thought of yourself as "a modern day Huckleberry Finn"? Can you see the value in dreaming up all kinds of fun identities for yourself?   It has really made a difference in my life, so why not try it in yours?


(((((((((((((((( YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK ))))))))))))))))


Create Some Powerful New Identities for yourself:

Physical Identity (e.g. Olympian)
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________

Financial Identity (e.g. Donald Trump of Genex)
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________

Social Identity (e.g. Superfriend)
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________

Romantic Identity (e.g. Prince Charming)
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________

Other categories could include your Creative Identity,
Professional Identity, Spiritual Identity, Family Identity,
Intellectual Identity  etc.

Choose whatever categories most important to you and start
re-inventing yourself today!

 

back to top

 

 

 

ABUNDANCE ABOUNDS
by Drew Kossoff

Does it always seem like everyone has "more of something" than you do?  More money, more love, more friends, more clothes, more style, more creativity, a better job, a bigger house, a faster car, a hotter girlfriend/boyfriend etc.  Well, I'm sorry to inform you that you're suffering from AFFLUENZA!!

If you step back for a moment and look at how far you've come in your life, how much you've achieved, how much "more" you have than so many others, you'll realize how much Abundance you already have in your life.  In fact, just the fact that you are alive is a miracle in itself.  You are the result of one sperm out of millions that won an incredible race to the egg to make you!  That in itself makes you incredibly special from the start!

We live in an incredible time in an incredible country where wealth and abundance abounds!  I know it's hard to feel like you have enough when it seems like everyone has more than you do, but the solution to your affluenza is to take your mind out of the
rat race because it's a game that gets you nowhere.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't strive for affluence, but it really helps to keep things in perspective.

I had a little fit of Affluenza myself recently.  A couple of weeks ago I went hiking in the Palisades with my girlfriend and her brother's family.  The road to the trailhead goes through a very beautiful part of LA with many large, lavish homes with lot's of land.  I found myself feeling a bit jealous and all the sudden thinking, "I want to live like this.  I need to have one of these homes."  For a few hours I found myself in a huff dreaming about a bigger house and taking for granted the great house I currently live in.  This spiraled into thoughts about wanting more money, more of this and more of that.

Later that night, I recognized the trap I was caught in and focused on this lesson:  While it's important to continually strive for more in your life, if you're always looking forward and focusing on what you don't have, know matter how far you go, you'll always be dissatisfied, because there will always be something more.  So instead, I began to focus on what I did have, and all the sudden I began to feel a whole lot more satisfied and fulfilled.  After all, I truly do have so much to be thankful for:  An amazing family, a wonderful girlfriend, super friends, a great job, a cool house (even if it isn't a mansion!) and so much more!

So the next time you find yourself focusing on things you "don't have",  try reflecting on what you do have.  I promise it will make you feel better!  i.e. Definitely strive for more, but
utilize the power of "GRATITUDE" to keep you balanced in the abundance you already have!

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

What ABUNDANCE do you already have in your life?

List all the things you have to be thankful for:
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________

 

back to top

 

 

 

WHAT DO ANGELS LOOK LIKE?
author unknown

What do Angels look like?
- Like the little old lady who returned your wallet yesterday.
- Like the taxi driver who told you that your eyes light up the world, when you smile.
- Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple things.
- Like the poor man who offered to share his lunch with you.
- Like the rich man who showed you that it really is all possible, if only you believe.
- Like the stranger who just happened to come along, when you had lost your way.
- Like the friend who touched your heart, when you didn't think you had one.

Angels come in all sizes and shapes, all ages and skin types. Some with freckles, some with dimples, some with wrinkles, some without. They come disguised as friends, enemies teachers, students, lovers and fools. They don't take life too seriously, they travel light. They leave no forwarding address, they ask nothing in return. They are hard to find when your eyes are closed, but when you choose to see, they are everywhere you look.

So, open you eyes and count all your Angels -- for you are truly blessed!

Angels, please send this story to all those who make a difference in your life.


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

1. Get out there and be a GUARDIAN ANGEL to someone.  Be kind for no other reason than to make someone smile, ease their pain, or help them through a difficult time.  Be a positive force for good in the Universe and make a difference!

2.  Give thanks this week to the Angels who've made a difference in your life!   Call an old friend; write a card to an influential teacher, parent or grandparent;  take a good friend or mentor out to lunch.

 

back to top

 

 

 

"I WAS A SERIAL PRE-JUDGER"
by Justin Johnson

I'm sure you've all heard the story of a young "dead-head" looking man walking into a city bank with nothing but sandals on his feet, and old shirt on his body, a pair of shorts and a torn back-pack.  He proceeds to the teller, who doesn't give him the time of day for several minutes, and asks to see the President of the bank.  She laughs and tells him that President is very busy and can't waste his time seeing every bum that comes in off the
street.  After hearing this, this "bum" opens his back pack and pulls out a cashiers check for $5 Million Dollars and tells the lady, "Well, I guess he doesn't need to bother with my money either."  Leaving the bank and the teller speechless.  I'm not sure what happens after that, but I would suspect, she was looking for another job by days end while our "bum"  was over at another bank helping it's President put his kids through school.

The moral here is simple:  Don't judge a book by it's cover.  Of course, we all know this is much easier said than done. Our beliefs, when turned into positive convictions have the power to propel us toward success, while beliefs, as negative opinions limit our progress and leave us critical and judgmental of everything around us..

Being in advertising sales, for example, I've learned that pre-judging the person on the other side of the desk (or phone) can be one of the worst things you can do..

Four years ago, I walked into an interview with a dot com development company.  I was dressed to the nines, expecting a "formal" meeting.  I get to the front desk and I see a kid, not more than 20 years old in shorts, sneakers, a surf shirt answering calls at the front desk.  I tell him who I am and who I am here to see.  To this he replies, "wait over there for a couple of minutes and I'LL be right with you."   Wait a second! "I'll be right with you?"  This kid?  This is the alchemist that is going to take me out of the traditional media world with a tap from his golden wand and bring me into the "dot-com" world?  This was my future?  I really fluffed my resume for this..I'm even in a new suit over here. Well, luckily for me, I harbored those thoughts only in my head and not out my mouth or I would still be
selling Ad pages in some magazine.  Turns out he was not alone, he started this (now very successful) Internet company with 3 of his childhood friends, and I still look at each of them as three of the smartest Internet business people I have met!

Another experience happened to me a few months ago where I received a voice mail from a funny sounding internet start-up I'd never heard of.  I initially pre-judged the opportunity thinking it was some fly by night company that would never result in any significant business.  Luckily for me, I overcame this "limiting belief", returned the call and treated them with the same respect as I do for my major accounts. To my surprise, the company turned out to be incredibly well funded and has become one of my largest and most valued clients!

The moral?  Don't limit your beliefs..because YOU NEVER KNOW! Creating positive beliefs and assumptions towards new people and/or situations opens you up to so many more opportunities because you stop limiting yourself .  Why not assume that they want to do business with you from the get go?  Why not assume they NEED to meet with you?  Why not assume they can't succeed without you?  What if the "slacker" you are talking to is a millionaire CEO?

I used to be one of the biggest offenders of negative assumptions and beliefs.  I would practically talk my self out of getting a sale.  As I matured in my career, I learned to overcome my fears and keep my ego at home.  This has helped create positive outcomes in nearly every scenario.  I'm confident it will do the same for you!

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

What beliefs do you have about money, relationships, career, health etc. that are holding you back in life?  How have you been limiting yourself?

Write down at least one limiting belief you have (right now!) and how changing that belief might impact your life: (e.g. imagine how different your life could be if you changed these beliefs:  "smoking not so bad for me",  "I'll never be a millionaire", or "relationships equal pain"....to these new beliefs:  "smoking equals cancer and death!", "I can achieve financial freedom!" , "relationships can be beautiful and incredibly fulfilling"
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________

Commit to trying on a new and more positive belief for size this week!

back to top

 

 

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL???
Finding Meaning In An Increasingly Artificial World

by Drew Kossoff


School shootings, female eating disorders, 24hr mind dulling entertainment, credit card debt up the wazoo, wasteful commercialism, loss of community and values, young Americans tuning out to ecstasy like the hippies did to LSD in the 60's...

What's wrong this picture? Can you sense the general malaise in our great land?   Why does everyone seem to be LACKING something? <money, time, love, meaning...>

I believe one of the core reasons for this unrest in our world is we've simply lost touch with our true nature as human animals. As a species, we've evolved to the point where we no longer have to focus the majority of our time on survival and teamwork - finding our next meal and protecting ourselves, our family and community from the dangers of the wild.

It is simply amazing that we can get food 24 hours a day, most of the time not even realizing or caring where and how that food came to arrive on our plates.   We can flip on the lights at any hour of darkness, oblivious to the natural cycles of day and night.  We can travel great distances by land, sea and air in amazingly short periods of time.

Without "survival" as our primary goal and the absolute need for "connection" with others, it has become incredibly easy to get caught up in the rat race and the glamorous pursuit of money, status, toys, the next party etc. We live in an increasingly artificial world of individuals conditioned to the pursuit of self leisure.   While the pursuit a comfortable life is certainly important, for many this becomes the "ONLY" pursuit, and this inevitably leads to the sense of emptiness and unrest so many of us feel.

It is a certain truth that BALANCE is critical to achieving fulfillment in life.  On your deathbed, will you really look back on your life and say,"I wish I worked more hours, had a nicer car, a bigger home entertainment system?"  Think about what is truly meaningful to you.

The other morning, while rushing to get to work, I encountered 11 "just hatched" baby ducks waddling after their mother towards the canal in front of my house.  Amidst the blur that is often my life, this "real moment" re-connected me to the miracle that is LIFE.  Nature itself - Birth, Growth, Death, Family - is what "connects" us to our world.  If you were to lose everything, you'd still have your family, your friends and mother nature to nourish and support you.  Everything else is secondary.

Pursue your dreams, seek financial independence, enjoy the fruits of your labor, but also reflect on what "REALLY" matters to you. Is it a shiny new car or a hug from your child?  A good stock investment or a beautiful sunset?  Watching "Who wants to be a millionaire" or taking a walk on the beach?  Getting wasted or spending quality time with a friend or loved one?  Buying another pair of shoes or helping someone in need?

If you want more meaning in your life, figure out what truly matters to you, make it a priority and then balance it with your pursuit of everything else.


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Write down three ways you can re-connect with yourself and the meaningful things in your life.

1.________________________________________
2. ________________________________________
3. ________________________________________

Commit a mere 1/10th of your month (3 days) to doing these things!

back to top

 

 

 

 

TURN ON YOUR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT GENERATOR!!!
by Drew Kossoff

If you look around you, you'll see that life is all about exchanging "ENERGY".  Everything is in a constant cycle of creation, degradation and exchange.  Potential Energy is everywhere.  Each molecule of water has the "potential" to evaporate and join a cloud, then to turn into rain and then back into a happy water molecule in a lake or river. Each child has the "potential" to become the next great leader.  Each smile has the "potential" to make a new friend.

It is a simple fact that INSIDE YOU lies a powerful PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT GENERATOR just waiting to be fired up!

A quick sojourn back to Physics class reveals valuable insights into getting your generator cooking:   "Work" is needed to create or build Potential Energy, and the amount of Potential Energy a system possesses is equal to the work done on the system (i.e.
the farther you stretch a rubber band, the faster it will fly when you let go).  Likewise, Potential Energy can be transformed into other forms of energy: "Heat", "Light", "Kinetic Energy", and even "Nuclear Energy".

Just as in Science, your personal achievement "potential" can be transformed into a powerful reality if can learn to fire up your energy and release it.  In Tai Chi, we often describe this process of building energy as "cooking chi".  I actually like to think of my personal achievement generator as similar that of the movie character E.T.  When my generator is weakened, my inner light or energy is dim, but when my generator is revved up, my inner light glows bright, enabling me to fly!  For me personally, the secret to revving up my engine is expending "Energy" in all directions, which I equate to both "Working" and "Giving" because the more I "Work" on something and the more I "Give of Myself", the more energy I build up in me and those around me (very important).

Just as "Energy" can be transformed into other forms of "Energy" in science, "Energy" in our lives comes in many exchangeable forms: money, love, knowledge, ideas, craft, labor etc. "Energy", in whatever form, is the fuel that everything runs on. Building up "Energy" is what returns it to back to you because the more momentum you build, the more powerful the energy gets (like a snowball rolling down a hill).

My goal is to build that energy into a Nuclear Reaction, but building a Nuclear Reaction by yourself unfortunately isn't possible.  Your ability to build energy to extraordinary levels
is affected by others around you.  In fact, you need their help to get to the next level!  Great Leaders don't act alone, they excel at aggregating people toward a common goal.   Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft by himself, nor did Gandhi or Martin
Luther King effect social change without the help of others. In order to secure the help of others (i.e. to receive), you must expend some form of "Energy"(i.e. Give!!).  So many people see "Giving" or expending "Energy" as a "burden" or "work" or a "waste of their time"...but it actually is the key to getting where you want to go.  Build energy, build connections, build love.

How do you build energy in others?  People are motivated by many types of energy: financial energy, political energy, religious energy, love energy, fun energy etc.  Thinking of "energy" in these terms, how might you achieve more of what you want in life?
Certainly not by taking more energy than you give!  The more love you give, the more friends and loved one's you'll have.  The more you apply yourself at work, the more success and promotions you'll receive.

I utilize this "Giving" philosophy in my life by trying to create "positive" human energy wherever I go.  I try to affect and connect with others - whether they're a cashier I'll never see again, a homeless person, or my most important client - even if its merely winning a smile or a laugh.  Some might simply label this "extroversion", but I see it as spreading good energy.  In fact, I even try to spread this good energy in my voicemail messages .  I'm quite well known (sometimes teased) for my upbeat "radio announcer" sounding voicemail greetings, but you wouldn't believe just how often people leave me messages telling me that my voicemail greeting alone cheered them up, changed their mood
etc.  To be able to affect people simply with my voice is one simple example of how a creating/giving a little energy can build even more energy.  You should try this out next time you're in the supermarket.  Try first walking down an aisle frowning and without looking anyone in the eye.  Then try walking down the next aisle smiling and giving a nice cheery "hello" to everyone you pass.  I guarantee you'll create positive energy!

I've found it valuable in applying this approach to all aspects of my life to think of myself as a CREATOR OF ENERGY (substitute any of the following words for "energy":  wealth, love, friendship, knowledge, art etc.).  The more energy I expend, the more momentum I build, and the more I get back.  For example, when I give to my body in the form of nourishing foods, exercise, and a good night's sleep, my body returns a vibrant, healthy and well functioning shell to live in.  When I give energy to my work (to my co-workers and clients), it returns to me in the form of financial energy, social energy and intellectual stimulation energy.  When I give energy to my relationship with Chareen, it returns to me in kind.  When I give energy to studying and mastering something, I always get more back than I initially invest.  In fact, investing is a good metaphor for all of this. Invest in energy and you will get great returns.  So stop waiting for that lucky break, that winning lottery ticket...start to be the greatest energy creator you've ever known!

Potential Energy resides inside of you too.  You have significant power over your "energy generator".  If you can simply begin to think of yourself as an "energy creator" in all aspects of life, you too will achieve more than you ever hoped for!!!

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Go spread your energy.  Pour your milk on every cocoa puff you see and surround yourself with chocolate milk!

back to top

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU A LIFE EXPLORER?
by Drew Kossoff


There is one thing you can be certain about in your life: "Change Is The Only Constant".

Vibrant living beings are characterized by "movement" and "growth" while sick, aging, dying beings are characterized by "stagnation" and "decay".  Thus, it is no secret that in order to survive and thrive you must stay active, keep moving, learning, growing, changing and evolving both mentally and physically (and spiritually some might say).

Ever wonder why little children are so easily fascinated by pretty much anything?  Because just about everything is brand NEW and therefore fascinating - new flavors, new sights, new sounds, new smells, new experiences.  When you're constantly experiencing
new things, it is easy to approach life with a curious, open and explorative mind.  Unfortunately, as most of us get older, we form our opinions, become set in our routines, and slowly but surely stop learning, exploring, and experiencing new things.

The more we stay the same, the less alive we are.  Just as our muscles wither from lack of exercise, so do our minds.  That is why it is critical to keep "moving" and "growing" to be fully "alive".  My grandfather walked two miles and studied and hour of Italian every single day until he passed away of "natural causes" at the age of 95 (with "all his marbles" intact).  I believe his consistent physical "movement" and mental "growth" helped him to
achieve such longevity.

Longevity isn't the only benefit of continually "moving" and "growing".  Abraham Lincoln once wisely said, "And in the end, It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years".  In order to live a rich, full life and  get the most out of your years, you MUST continue to move, explore, try new things, consider new perspectives, embrace change and EVOLVE.  In my mind, this approach to life is exemplified by "Explorers" because by definition they are constantly moving, learning, growing, changing and discovering.  That is why I like to think of myself as a "Life Explorer".

How does this "identity" help me in life?  Today, for example, I found myself having a pretty "routine" Sunday morning.  My mind was stagnating and I needed to get out and get some perspective.  For me, surfing usually achieves this end, but instead of walking from my house for a quick surf session here in Venice, I asked myself, "what would a true "Explorer" do when a South swell rolls in?" Answer:  Jump in their car and search for surf up in Malibu country!  I somewhat reluctantly jumped in my car and headed up to Malibu for a change and the fresh perspective was exactly what I needed!  New sites along the drive stimulated my curiosity (restaurants to try, a new surf shop to check out), bad traffic
on the PCH made me appreciate the "easy in, easy out" access I have to my home in Venice, unknown faces in the water (some friendly, some not) stimulated my competitive "fight or flight" nature and made me feel alive, and the near perfect waves, surrounding beauty, and almost mystic surf culture at the 'bu reminded me just how lucky this New York City kid is to be living the SoCal lifestyle he always dreamed of.   A simple journey out of my routine comfort zone "made" my entire weekend.

My experience today is seemingly small in the scheme of things, but let me tell you, approaching all aspects of your life as an "Explorer" will bring your far greater rewards.  I should know. I'd still be stuck in New York in some corporate job and with the wrong girl if I didn't have the courage to be an "Explorer".  So whenever you're stuck, frustrated, stagnating, losing hope...start moving!  Make a change!  Try something new! Explore!  You'll be happy you did!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Are you an Explorer?

When is the last time you went exploring or discovered something new?

How are you learning, evolving, growing every day?

START MOVING TODAY!!!
- Sign up for an interesting class OR dedicate 30 minutes a day to study something new!
- Take a vacation to somewhere you've never been OR drive a new way home!
- Start exercising again or try a new approach to your routine (a new trail, new surf spot, new class).

Write down at least one thing you're going to do to begin "exploring" or "moving" and Commit to doing it!


1.________________________________________
2.________________________________________
3.________________________________________

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

CHOICES R US
by Drew Kossoff

As human animals, we have, for the most part, evolved beyond the basic need for survival.  Consequently, we find ourselves "seeking" various forms of stimulation to give our lives meaning and keep us occupied.  Each of us achieves this stimulation in a combination of ways - through work, hobbies, entertainment, creativity, music, physical exercise, relationships etc.  Since our society is based on a hierarchical system of rewards based
around money, the majority of us spend from one third to one half of our waking  hours "working" in order to fund our "stimulation" and basic survival requirements.   Unfortunately, so many of us don't find our work meaningful or enjoyable...it is simply a means to an end.  Or is it?

A magical thing about being human is that we can CHOOSE what meanings we give to our experience and can very quickly change our reality by simply adjusting how we approach life inside our minds.  For example, what if you decide today that no matter how routine or frustrating your job is, you are going to create challenges and fun for yourself at work and make it a totally amazing day.  You will do this by attempting to make every person your speak with laugh or smile, by setting a personal productivity record, and by turning up your "quality" and "creativity" 110%.  How do you think this day might turn out? Significantly better I'd be willing to bet!  And not because your job or anything external to you changed at all.  YOU CHANGED, you CHOSE to make it different.

I have a friend who recently came to this realization.  When his boss left the company, with her went his entire structure and reward system and he soon became disenchanted, starting slacking off, began interviewing for other jobs and completely missed the fact that this was an opportunity for him to "step up" and really prove himself to his management.   After receiving a number of other offers, he realized that he actually had it pretty good right where he was and just needed to create challenges for himself to give meaning back to his job.  He once again took pride in his work and turned up the quality a few notches and in no time was having more success than he'd ever achieved at any point in his career and feeling great about it.  The solution was not another job, or anything outside himself... the solution was inside his mind.

To free yourself and truly take control of your life, you must simply CHOOSE your own meanings (and rewards).

I try to think of my life as a never-ending flow of experiences to enjoy.  From the most mundane to the most meaningful moments, by grasping onto "present"  instead of always focusing on the "just out of reach" future, I achieve more inner peace and have less difficulty weathering the inevitable storms that come my way.


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

 

What one thing could you CHOOSE to approach differently from this day forward?
(e.g. your work, your relationships, your body etc.).
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

How could changing the way you think about this one thing affect your life?

List 3 ways:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

 

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

CARING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING

 

The following insightful thoughts come from Patrick Combs' "Good Thinking" newsletter (http://www.goodthink.com/):

"Take this quiz:
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.  But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

The lesson? CARING IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING. The people that make the biggest difference in your life are the ones who CARE. And when someone goes to great lengths to care, they make a difference that becomes legendary."


WEEKLY CHALLENGE

1. Think about everyone in your life that you really care about and love

2. Then think about everyone who really cares about and loves you

Pretty hard not to feel fortunate, loved, blessed, huh?

This week, express yourself!  Tell the people that matter most to you how you feel and thank them for being so special in your life!

 

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

RIDE YOUR ROCKET
by Drew Kossoff

Are you riding your couch or a magnificent technicolor rocket through life?

Think about your most memorable achievements.  Did you accomplish them by chance?  Did they happen while you were slacking, taking it easy or waiting for something to fall in your lap?

I'd be willing to bet that most, if not all, your greatest achievements occurred when you had a dream or goal, really planned and focused on it, worked hard, struggled, sweat and pushed yourself to get there.  You didn't dilly dally toward your goal, you ran up that hill full speed ahead with courage and conviction.  Right?

Tony Robbins says "success leaves clues" and he's certainly right.  If you study great achievers, you will find a common characteristic...they approach life with a sense of urgency (not as if they "have all the time in the world").

So consider embracing this metaphor: Life is like a starship adventure.  You are the captain of your rocket and constantly struggle against gravity to break through the atmosphere and pull into comfortable orbits.  You take off and land many times in your relationships, your career, your interests etc.  Each trip teaches you something and enables you to enhance/improve your ship and reach higher and more beautiful orbits.  It is inevitable that you will have to fight the force of gravity every time you travel in order to "break free".  Of course, you could just keep your ship in port and rationalize the benefits of being free from the struggle...but in actuality, you'd be a prisoner to mediocrity and unfulfilled dreams.

So how do you choose to live your life?  Do you feel like you have all the time in the world?  Or is time pressuring your daily?  Do you welcome all difficulties and enjoy life's inevitable challenges?  Or do you live your life in a box, traveling back and forth from your routine job to your couch and 300 channel TV remote?

It's never too late to take the road less traveled and achieve significantly.  The clock is ticking, time is moving in only one direction.  Be like Forest Gump and start running!   Fill your life with memories, experiences and achievements!!!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

What one thing can you do today to take a step towards something you MUST achieve in order to feel fulfilled in your life?

E-mail me your one thing right now in order to make it real! drew@zenerationx.com

Now empower yourself by asking these questions:  How amazing will it feel to achieve this goal?  How painful will feel if you stay "as you are" and don't pursue this?  Why would you choose to postpone the fulfillment you deserve by putting it off until tomorrow, next week, next month, next year?

The time is now!!!!   Life is fleeting!!  Go to it!!


back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSTS?
by Drew Kossoff

Do you ever get the feeling on a Sunday night that you "wasted"
your entire weekend?

Until recently, I used to beat myself up after a weekend of pure
frivolous play (e.g. like this July 4th weekend).  As much fun as
I'd had, I'd often feel a sense of emptiness come Sunday
night...like I'd let another weekend go by without getting a
single meaningful thing done...like I had nothing to show for my
time.

Luckily, I figured out that the cause of my disappointment was
all in my head!  It had everything to do with my beliefs about
what I viewed as a worthwhile way to spend my time.  Even though
I try to view every weekend as a mini vacation, my hardwired
belief is that I MUST accomplish things in addition to my leisure
activities in order to feel fulfilled!

It came as no surprise, then, when I read that our MUSTS are the
underlying psychological drivers of everything we do.
Discovering my MUST was the first step towards a solution.

My MUST now has two options:
1) Whenever possible, I MUST plan my weekends so they include
time to accomplish things that are important to me, as well as
time to "let go", relax and play.
2) I MUST also accept that occasionally my weekend plans may not
fit my idea of a well balanced weekend, and that's okay too.  My
MUST is something that I've created, and therefore something I
can change (i.e. some weekends I will have a great time,
accomplish nothing, and simply experience life, accept it, and
enjoy it...without guilt!).

REAL LIFE RESULT:
I planned this weekend well and feel completely amazing and
fulfilled writing to you this Sunday night because I accomplished
many things on my agenda in addition to playing and relaxing.
Next weekend, I'm going surfing with the boyz and will accomplish
nothing more than a good time :-)

As you can see, discovering and adjusting my MUST really made a
difference in my life!

What are your MUSTS?


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Figure out one of YOUR musts right now!

Identifying MUSTS is not only extremely valuable for
understanding yourself better, but is also the cornerstone for
enabling you to change undesirable or unproductive behaviors.

Consider something that frustrates you...What is the MUST behind
that frustration? Write it down!

Now think about how this must affects your life and your
decisions. Does it benefit your or hold you back?  Decide
immediately whether to keep your must, replace it with a new one,
or adjust it like I did!


back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU DRIVING WITHOUT A MAP?
by Drew Kossoff


For quite some time now, I've been trying to figure out why so many people (including myself at times) feel lost or without direction in life.  The other week, while designing a "life map" to help guide one of my clients, I had a little epiphany about the answer:  How can you possibly not feel a little lost when you're driving without a map?!!!

My dad has told me a million times, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" and "Goals that are not written down are just wishes",  yet until the other week I never realized just how important these statements were to us as individuals on the macro scale.  Life instantly becomes more meaningful when you have a direction to go, a plan to help you get there and a system for measuring and celebrating your progress.

Do you have a written "PLAN" for you life?  How many people do you know that do?  How many people do you know that can even articulate their short term and long term goals, their minimum requirements for a fulfilling life, how much money would be "enough" etc. Not very many, I'd be willing to bet!

Why don't more people have a plan or map for their lives?  Life simply doesn't come with an instruction book!  But that certainly doesn't mean its too late to get started because, as Tony Robbins says, "A life worth living is a life worth designing!"

I myself have been working diligently on my life plan for the past 9 months (it's over 14 pages long) and it has already had a tremendous impact on my life!   I'm synthesizing an "easy to chew" version of it that I hope to share with you by mid August!

The bottom line is that every successful individual and movement from the beginning of civilization has had some kind of theme/map/direction to guide them in their quest: from the Judeo/Christian Bible, to America's Declaration of Independence and Constitution, to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, to the Microsoft business plan.  Why shouldn't you?

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Begin your map!

By January 1st, 2001, what are the TOP THREE GOALS that you MUST
ACHIEVE in order to feel fulfilled in your life?

1.

2.

3.

**Take some time, think about it, and then write down your
answers!  Paste them on your bathroom mirror or put them in your
day planner and review them every morning and evening!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

EXPERIENCE THE FLOW!
by Drew Kossoff

Have you ever been so engrossed an activity that time seemed to stand still, nothing else seemed to matter, your brain went into auto pilot and you experienced a deep sense of peace?  This is commonly known as a FLOW experience and might also be likened a mini "Satori" - the Zen concept of enlightenment when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness.

The depth of one's FLOW experiences will vary, but if you analyze the things you enjoy most in life, you'll find the majority of them are actually FLOW activities.  Music can get you into the FLOW, as can eating, exercising, sex, singing, reading, writing, painting, even just taking a walk at the beach or staring up at the stars.  One of the most popular ways that many people quickly get into the FLOW is through the use (or abuse) or drugs or alcohol.

Personally, I've found that identifying my most significant flow activities, and having complete "awareness" of the things really serve me, has made it easier for me to make better choices in my life.   I know the types of FLOW activities that really benefit
me (surfing, tai chi, music, art, nature etc.) as well as the one's that really betray me (alcohol etc.), so whenever I'm feeling stressed in my life, I now have a list of positive choices to pick from that I can use to "escape" into the FLOW. For me, this has been a special gift.

FLOW activities can be as simple as you need them to be.  You can actually experience FLOW in a just a few seconds if you want to. The other day, I was sitting in my car at a red light and just looked up into the sky through my sunroof and immediately it was as if I was lying on my back in a field of grass.  I just completely lost myself in the clouds until the car behind me honked indicating the light was green.  For those 30 seconds, I lost all sense of time and the stress of my busy day just washed away!

What types of activities are your gateway to FLOW experiences?  How can you utilize awareness of these activities to benefit you?


WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Identify three FLOW activities you can use to find peace in a
chaotic world!

1.

2.

3.

**Take some time, think about it, and then write down your
answers!  Add them to your planner or palm pilot and make sure to
do at least one activity every day that gets you in the FLOW!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

THE MEANING OF "LIFE"
by Drew Kossoff (inspired by Chareen Anstey)

Although I can't actually define what the meaning of life is FOR YOU personally, I can share this valuable insight:  Did you ever notice that the middle two letters in the word LIFE spell "IF"?

I found this fascinating when my girlfriend Chareen pointed this out to me recently!  It points to an undeniable truth - that our lives are simply one giant "What If?".  Surprise! surprise!, your life is all about POSSIBILITIES!

This is more exciting than it sounds.  It is a core reason why children find life so fascinating.  They are enthralled by life's "what if's?". Illuminated by discovery. Fascinated by mystery. They are naively fearless.

Unfortunately, as we grow up, we develop habits, routines, and rules.  We begin to allow our fears and doubts take over our minds and squeeze out our hope, our dreams, and our faith in the endless sea of possibilities.

If you want more out of your life, you need to re-awaken that part of yourself that believes dreams do come true.  You need to embrace the notion that there are potential destinies out there just waiting for you, but only a limited amount of time to manifest them.

Living the life of your dreams comes down to the choices you make!  Losers and underachievers complain about the circumstances in their lives, but don't do anything to change those circumstances. This is so terribly sad because a beautiful rainbow of more fulfilling possibilities floats just out reach of every one of our lives, and so many of us simply never reach out and grab them.

How much longer are you going to settle for a life less than your dreams?

"No Longer" I say!  Life is too short to waste my potential. I want my life to be extraordinary.  I want to make a difference in people's lives.  I want to live life to the fullest and nothing is going to stop me!  What about you?  Will you join me?

You been given certain gifts.  You have incredible potential. Life is shorter than you realize.   Wouldn't it be a waste for you didn't nurture your gifts and pursue the life of your dreams? If so, these affirmations should help motivate you:

IF you can, you must!

IF you believe it, you can achieve it!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE

What special gifts do you have that you're neglecting?  What
dreamlife destiny are you denying yourself?

Write down three reasons why you MUST begin nurturing those gifts
again or pursuing those dreams!

1.

2.

3.

**Take some time, think about it, and then write down your
answers!  Paste them on your bathroom mirror or put them in your
day planner and review them every morning and evening!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!
by Drew Kossoff

I've always been intrigued by Joseph Campbell's directive to "Follow your bliss" .  Innately I know this to be wise advice, yet in reality I know so few people who act on this wisdom, including myself in several aspects of my life.

Following my discovery last week of "IF" being contained in the word "Life", I immediately spotted "IS" in the word "Bliss" and a little lightbulb went off in my head.  If life is about
possibilities and "what if's", could it be possible that bliss "just is"?  Not only is it possible, it is a certainty if you utilize the right psychology!

Thus, instead of focusing on the, "Why you should quit your day job to follow your bliss..." angle to Campbell's mandate, I'd like to pursue what I believe is a more fruitful route, a road less traveled if you will, a journey into the concept that bliss "just is".

I was extremely fortunate to discover at a very young age that one's psychology is the single most important ingredient to finding happiness in life.  This self evident truth has been confirmed over and over and over again.  Some people simply decide their cups are half empty while others decide they are half full.  The bible teaches "Salvation Lies Within".  Oprah shares it this way: "If you focus on what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough, but if you focus on what you do have, you'll always be fulfilled." Tim Robbins exemplified the concept in Shawshank Redemption by finding peace inside his mind even
when locked up in a miserable jail.  Finding and following your bliss merely requires an awakening to the fact that bliss "IS" everywhere!  You simply need to open your eyes (both inner and outer) and slightly shift your focus and you will see it!

Let me share a real life example of how bliss "just is".  When I was in Hawaii a few weeks ago at Tony Robbins' seminar, I participated in an powerful relationship analysis exercise.  I had specifically looked forward to this part of the program because I had reached a critical point in my own relationship. You see, I was totally in love with my girlfriend Chareen, but
was challenged by a disempowering belief I'd developed that "commitment equals loss of freedom".  The strange thing is that I have happily married parents and plenty of role models to say otherwise, but the aftermath of a painful and smothering relationship I experienced a few years ago was a kind of psychological armor my mind created to protect me from potential pain and uncertainty.  By remaining single I had control, certainty and no pain, yet I was also on a fast track to no fulfillment!

Anyway, the exercise involved writing down all the qualities I was seeking in a soulmate as well as all of the qualities I would never accept or put up with in a partner.  By the time I was done designing my soulmate (and her alter ego) and began comparing the qualities one by one to Chareen's, I experienced an instant awakening as I realized Chareen had 98% of the one's I was seeking and not a single one I was committed to avoiding!   As simple as this exercise sounds, that exact moment was the catalyst and breakthrough I'd been looking for! I knew right then and there with 100% certainty, that I already had my bliss!

So if I already had my bliss, what freedom was I holding out for? What would I do with this freedom if I always remained forever free and single?   The answer was very clear:  I would do all the same things I'm doing now since my partner complements me harmoniously, brings out the best in me and gives me all the love, fulfillment and freedom I've ever needed!  It could only get better from here!

Can you see how powerful it was for me to shift my psychology and focus?  Instead of concentrating on all the things I had to lose and allowing disempowering fears to control me, I focused on the blessings I already had and all the fulfillment I would gain from a deeper commitment.  Bliss was right in front of me, and my psychology was holding me back from fully seeing it!

If you take anything away from this story, I hope that it's the following:  In life you get what you look for.  Your psychology is everything.  You are either a victim of circumstance or a
master of choice.  You and only you decide what meanings to attach to the experiences in your life.  Look for the bliss! You'll always find it!

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Take an inventory on your life.  Your job. Your hobbies. Your relationships.

What are you thankful for?  What do you already have in your life that "IS" BLISS that you've been taking for granted? (e.g. your friends, family, the roof over your head, your
talents/gifts, the hobbies you enjoy etc.)

1.

2.

3.

** Write them down.  Post them by your desk.  Paste them on your
fridge.  Pile them in your planner or palm pilot!  Focus on the
bliss you already have in your life instead of the bliss you
think you're lacking!  It will make all the difference!

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE EXTREME ROAD TO WISDOM
by Drew Kossoff

What is your gut feeling about the EXTREMES of life?  Do you avoid them with a passion?  Or do you embrace them with excitement?

I've come to learn that it's the EXTREMES in life (both good and bad) that really give us the perspective we need to "seize the deepest truth" as Deepak Chopra says.

Even the simplest experiences make a difference.  For example, the other day I went surfing with my friend Megan and afterwards went to breakfast and then ran some errands. Three hours after getting out of the Ocean, I was feeling pretty salty and grimy so I headed home to shower.  For some reason, even though it was identical to any normal daily shower (same shower, same shampoo, same soap), it felt more gloriously refreshing than any shower I could remember!  The shampoo seemed to strip deeper, the water smothered me like a beautiful waterfall, and the soap gave my skin that extra "squeaky" clean feeling.   I quickly realized that it was the EXTREME of being dirty that enabled me to truly appreciate and notice the experience becoming clean again.

There's actually a scientific explanation for all this that I discovered a few days later while reading an article about Einstein's "Deep Thought Experiments".  It described a biological state we all experience called "Neuronal Habituation", which is the "tendency of nerve cells, circuits and the nervous system itself to go to sleep on a constant signal and, conversely, wake up on a changing signal."  This biological state explains why we "get bored" with routine experiences and "stuck" in linear ways thinking and why "new" or "different" approaches or stimuli (particularly EXTREME ones) "unleash the floodgates of new ideas, perceptions and answers."  Aha!  So that explains what happened to me in the shower!!!

While Einstein, similar to Socrates, utilized consciously directed thought experiments to get out of "Neuronal Habituation" and make breakthrough discoveries (he actually held a rock in his hand so that he didn't fall asleep in the process!), each of us already knows many "quick fix" ways for breaking out of our own Neuronal Habituation -  pretty much any
NEW EXPERIENCE, CHANGE, or EXTREME in your life will achieve this end (new toys, clothes, lovers, music, drugs, food are all ways to "wake up" your brain).  The biggest challenge for most of us is figuring out how to balance an appreciation for the present and all the gifts in our lives with the constant pull of the forever dangling carrot of the "new new" thing.  However you look at it, you stand to gain far more than you lose by consistently
experiencing NEW and/or EXTREME things.  Life on auto-pilot gives you a lot of certainty, but not the perspective, wisdom and excitement you need to really get the most out of your life.

Some might disagree with my recommendation to seek out EXTREMES and I've actually been criticized by some for going from one EXTREME to the next in life...but let me tell you, these EXTREMES are where I discovered my deepest insights, which, in turn, helped me to develop the strength and clarity I needed to make smarter choices and achieve greater balance in my life.  I am grateful for those EXTREMES and knowing what's "on the other side" because it makes the present all the more fruitful.

Two recent EXTREME experiences are good examples:

The first was ever so briefly "stepping in on" the lives of those poor needy families during the basket brigade this Thanksgiving. It literally "woke up" my system and gave me the perspective to see just how lucky I am.  Seeing how challenging life is for these single mothers (and especially for their kids) made me wonder how I can even pretend to think I have any real problems at all!

The second occurred on a flight to San Francisco where I met a woman named Maria who shared her painful life story.  She used to be a Heroin addict, then began "delivering packages" for her dealer in exchange for money and dope, and eventually was caught by the DEA with a kilo of Heroin!!!  For this crime of drug trafficking, she spent that last 2-1/2 years in Federal Prison and now the INS was trying to deport her to Venezuela because she was not a U.S. citizen even though she'd lived here for 35 years!  She was going to San Fran to see some hot shot attorney who was her last and only chance for remaining in the U.S., but was asking for a fee of $25,000 which she had no idea how she'd be able to afford!!  Just like in the previous example, the EXTREME contrast of Maria's life to mine gave me such amazing perspective on my life and again made me deeply and sincerely appreciate all the abundance I have in my life.

So repeat after me....EXTREME is good!   CONTRAST is good!  CHANGE is good!   Whenever possible, embrace new things, experiment, and open yourself up to new people and experiences...it will significantly enrich and enlighten your life.  Go EXTREME!

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

List at least three things that have become routine and/or boring
in your life:

1.

2.

3.

Commit right now (in your mind or on paper) to trying something
new, doing something differently, going to an opposite extreme
from your normal life. Say NO to Neuronal Habituation and YES to
re-igniting your internal engine!!!

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

"A THOUSAND MARBLES"
Author Unknown

"The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work.  Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice.  You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles."

I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.  "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job.  I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."  He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."

And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.  The average person lives about seventy-five years.  I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."

"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.  I got to thinking
that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."

"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had.  I ended up having to visit three toy stores to roundup 1000 marbles.  I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.  Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away."

 "I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast.  This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container.  I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.  75 year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off.  I guess he gave us all a lot to think about.  I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.  Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.  "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.  "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids.  Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out?  I need to buy some marbles."

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Using the formula above, I've calculated that I have 2,236 Saturdays left (1,664 already used).

A) If you're curious, calculate how many Saturdays YOU have left!!!


      ? <Lifespan X 52 Saturdays/yr (e.g.75 yrs x 52 = 3,900)>
-     ? <Minus your Age X 52 Saturdays/yr (e.g. 32 x 52  = 1,664 used)>
-----------
=    ?  <Total Saturday's Remaining (e.g. 2,236)>


B) You have 52 Saturdays in 2001.  Make a list of ten "REALLY IMPORTANT" ways you will take advantage of them and then tentatively schedule all ten into you calendar immediately!  (e.g. take your kids to Disneyland, take your significant other to a spa, visit your parents, contribute to charity, sign up with a personal trainer or coach etc.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE DIFFERENCE!
by Drew Kossoff

I was blown away to learn that Martin Luther King's renowned public-speaking abilities developed slowly during his collegiate years. He actually received C's in two public-speaking courses in his first year of graduate school!!!   By the end of his third
year, however, professors were praising King for the powerful impression he made in public speeches and discussions...and the rest, as they say, is history.

This story is proof positive that it's "never too late" to start making a difference.  If MLK could bloom as late as he did, just imagine what you can still do!  You simply need to begin with a dream and then fuel it with passion!

You might be interested to know that I DREAMED about launching Zeneration X for two years before actually doing it!  In my first full year (2000), just look how I was able to make a difference (thanks in part to your loyal readership and feedback, purchases on Amazon and fees/contributions for coaching):

1) Donated over $700 to the following charities:

- American Foundation For Aids Research (AMFAR)
- America The Beautiful Fund
- Anthony Robbins Foundation
- ChildHelp USA
- I Have a Dream Foundation
- Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Safe Horizon
- Surfrider Foundation

2) Delivered Baskets of Food and Clothing to Five Needy Families in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving

3) Inspired hundreds of readers across the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia with twenty-four "almost weekly" issues of Zeneration X


4) Personally helped over a dozen people get re-inspired and improve the quality of their lives (lose weight, improve relationships, enhance their careers etc.)

I know this is only the beginning and there are limitless possibilities for what I can achieve!   I am committed to "at least" doubling my "GIVING" in 2001...but back to you...have you ever seriously thought about how you can make a difference??
Ever considered Volunteering as a big brother or sister?  Helping out at a soup kitchen?  Spending time with elderly or sick folks at a retirement home or hospice?  Teaching or Mentoring? Donating $$ to meaningful charities?

I challenge you to make 2001 the year that you too make a difference!!!   Maybe you'd even like to help me!

A famous explorer once said, "Dream Big, Dare to Fail."    Watch Out World...Exciting things to come from Zeneration X in 2001!!!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE

What is your CAUSE?

What do you BELIEVE in?

How can you make a DIFFERENCE?

Write down at least ONE thing you can do today to begin making progress toward making a difference!!! <e.g. look up charities on the net, help out a friend, make a list of meaningful causes, share a story with us!>


1.


2.


3.

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

RETREAT! RETREAT!
by Drew Kossoff

Are two weeks of vacation a year enough to relieve the stress you experience in today's fast paced world? I think not!

I've reminded you in past issues to think of every weekend as an opportunity for a vacation. I've shared with you the story of "1000 marbles" and the 10 Saturday's exercise. I've discussed the importance of findng your "FLOW" activities and, today, I'd like to promote the importance of regular mental retreats (even if they're just a quiet night in random hotel room!).

Mental Retreats can serve to simply rejuvenate your energy, or they can be utilized for deep introspection, soul searching and growth.

I know each of you has your own preferred method(s) of retreating for relaxation. My father, who is a very early riser, finds solace in half hour afternoon naps everyday to keep him going. My mother enjoys reading before bedtime. A good friend of mine meditates daily to reduce anxiety and stress. Another friend does the crossword puzzle during lunch. Other friends practice yoga religiously, jog in the mornings or weight train at the gym. Unfortunately, many people do very little to relax other than crash in front of their TV's nightly and maybe get a massage once a year. I believe this is extremely unhealthy.

We are, at our core, human animals. There are some pretty basic things that we must do in order to survive and thrive: intake nutrients, expel waste, sleep, think, move, rest and interact with others. Unfortunately, the majority of our population are severely deprived in most of these categories - from eating terribly unhealthy food, to not getting enough rest, to living sedentary lives with little or no exercise, to rarely experiencing peaceful time alone (especially out in nature), to living in "literal isolation" without love or regular physical contact. With all this deprivation, it's no wonder so many people feel so stressed!

Deepak Chopra says,"To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions."

I think Chopra is "spot on" (as they say in South Africa) with this advice. Most of the great wisdom, epiphanies and serenity in life, from the prophets to the poets, the sages to the scientists, to everday people like you and me, was and is experienced in solitude.

Ironically, it is solitude and aloneness that so many of us do everything in our power to avoid. In doing so, we miss out on the opportunity to fill that void with the peace that comes from self knowledge.


WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Where do you find solace and peace? Yoga? Afternoon Naps? Nighttime Walks? Painting? Running?

List three types of "mental retreats" you enjoy or would like to try:
1.
2.
3.

List three ways these retreats will improve your life:
1.
2.
3.

List three reasons why you must commit to regular mental retreats:
1.
2.
3.

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO YOU FEEL CONNECTED?
by Drew Kossoff

Surreal doesn't even begin to describe what happened to me last week, and it has me wondering just how many sign posts I can ignore before accepting that the universe is trying to tell me something.

Of course, the situation may just have been a total coincidence, but it follows a chain of spiritual events that have happened in my life over the past year that have left me feeling really "connected" to something, and trust me, I'm not a particularly religious "god squad" kind of person!

Here's the plain in simple: I was on a flight to Seattle last Wednesday night when all of the sudden we encountered some terrifying TURBULENCE. It was the look of fear on the flight attendant's face as she nearly fell into my lap, then dove into the seat next to me and "buckled in" that told me this was a pretty serious situation. The plane was getting battered around like a toy and losing altitude fast. I reasoned the pilots were looking for smoother air below, but the nose of the plane was basically pointed down, my stomach was in my throat, and it seemed like some invisible giant was outside slamming the plane with a huge sledge hammer the way it was getting tossed about. I tried convincing myself that I'd been through this before, but after ten minutes of this jarring, my gut wasn't listening to my head anymore - I was scared for my life.

So I prayed for the first time in years. I said under my breath, "God, I know you've always been there watching over me, and I know my life has a greater purpose. You put me here to be a positive influence on the world and make a difference in thousands, maybe even millions, of people's lives and my work has only just begun...so please just get me through this storm and I promise to continue pursuing this quest with all my heart and all my might."

In the midst of all the chaos...SUDDENLY THERE WAS SILENCE! No more than five seconds after I had finished that prayer, everything went completely SMOOTH. The timing was unbelievably ironic. Literally speaking, it was a miracle!

Now I'm not sure what you believe in. I'm not even sure what I believe in! Is there a God or higher Power? If there is a God, is he a man up in the sky with a magic wand or just some powerful unexplainable energy force? I've been questioning God's existence for a long time, and man, I gotta tell ya, this experience kinda freaked me out. Wouldn't it freak you out?

What made it all the more powerful for me was something I had experienced in Hawaii last September. I won't go into the specific details of how the experience occurred (although I believe I can replicate it for you if you wanted to experience it yourself), but basically I had what some might call an experience of "enlightenment" or at least "stumbling towards enlightenment". I had a very powerful sense that I was surrounded by something (call it God or whatever you like) and it it brought me back to a time in my childhood where I remembered feeling this same "connection". It awakened a long forgotten part of my soul and gave me the sense that I was guided and that something had always been there watching over me. It was beautiful, loving, and safe and it was a part of me.

I selectively began relating these experiences to friends and peers over the past week and found myself investigating "spiritual" and "connected" experiences in general. To my surprise, almost everyone I spoke with could recall having some similar type of experience at least once in their lives.

What about you? Have you ever had a spiritual experience like mine? Do you feel "connected" to something greater than yourself? Do you believe there is something more to life than just the next increment of money, the next drink, the next new pair of shoes, the next new restaurant or lover or... (you fill in the blank)?

I truly believe that I am "guided" by something external to me and I guess I kind of always have. Everything I've studied from Physics to Astronomy, Biology to Zen, and experienced with Reiki, Tai Chi and Yoga convinces me that the Universe is made up of "energy" and we are all connected to that "energy". I definitely feel connected to it and whether or not it's "all in my mind" or absolutely "real", it gives me a sense of peace and direction. A sense that everything will be okay no matter what.

I've always found it difficult to believe in things that I couldn't see or define, but I've now realized that there are plenty of things I can't see that I believe in - I believe electricity is real, don't you? I know radio waves and cellular waves flying through the air are real, aren't they? Any doctor will tell you that the human body has an electromagnetic field - Can you see it or feel it?. So why should it be so hard to believe or at least be open to the possibility that something else (call it God, call it an energy force) exists?

The bottom line is that regardless of what you believe, the Universe we live in is a magical place. Nature's beauty and complexity are truly mind boggling. We each have lessons to learn. We each have lessons to teach...and ultimately, I believe we each have a purpose.

Getting "connected" is one first steps toward figuring out your purpose. Connected to yourself, connected to Nature, Connected the "Energy".

If you want more peace, more happiness, and more meaning in your life, then please take a few minutes to breathe....ponder....and complete the following weekly challenge...

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Describe a time in your life when you felt really connected to or in awe of something greater than yourself
:
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

How did it make you feel?
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

What about it made you feel that way?
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

Would you enjoy that feeling if you could find or create it on a regular basis?
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

List three ways you could add that sense of connectedness back into your life

1.
2.
3.

COMMIT right now to doing one of these three things some time in the next week!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARNESSING POSITIVE ENERGY!
by Drew Kossoff

A few weeks ago I saw Dr. Wayne Dyer speak at the Learning Annex. I was excited to see him speak because his book "Erroneous Zones" was the first self-help book I ever read when I was just a "wee little lad" of eleven.

Dyer is kind of like the earthy, spiritual version of a Tony Robbins and I have to say, many of the ideas he discussed were a bit "out there". I kept an open mind though, knowing that some of the greatest breakthrough's in history have come from unreasonable and unconventional thinkers.

If you've read my previous issues, based on my experiences from Tai Chi to Biology to Physics, you know that I'm very open to most concepts relating to metaphysical "energy" as well as our connectedness to all things. Thus, one idea in particular that Dyer expressed really resonated with me - the concept that "every thought has energy". What blew my mind was when he attempted to prove it!

Dyer began with some biblical references, including, "as a man thinketh, so is he" and then moved on to physics explaining that "every force always creates a counterforce". He continued along these lines elucidating that higher, faster energy always dissipates lower, slower energy (for example: light dissipates dark, hope dissipates despair, love dissipates hate etc.). He described how having a "burning desire" creates "attractor energy" which enables you to manifest what you want and need in your life, whereas clinging to your "personal history" (the "story" of why you can't or don't have what you want in life) merely harbors negative attractor patterns in your life.

Dyer claimed that when you "connect" into a positive source, you gain the power of that source and used examples of Jesus, Buddha and Mother Theresa as people who'd tapped into the power of Compassion (positive) while freeing themselves of Resentments (negative), thereby aligning themselves with the power of pure positive energy.

I could see where he was coming from with all this, but the really interesting stuff came when he began to talk about the work of Dr. David R. Hawkins (M.D., Ph.D.), author of "Power vs. Force" and a pioneer of 20+ years in the field of Kinesiology, a well established science based on the testing of an all-or-none muscle response to stimuli (A positive stimulus provokes a strong muscle response, a negative stimulus results in a demonstrable weakening of the test muscle).

If you've never seen or experienced muscle testing before, the most commonly used test consists of a person standing with their arms out to each side with instructions to resist the downward pressure from the tester.

Dyer took a woman out of the audience and proceeded to demonstrate how her muscles went weak (she couldn't resist) in the presence of negative stimulus and how they stayed strong in the presence of positive one. The amazing thing was that the woman didn't have to consciously know whether the stimulus was positive or negative for the test to work! For example, he took out two envelopes and did a test with each. One enabled her to resist and turned out to contain vitamin C, the other made her weak and turned out to contain a cigarette! This looked pretty far fetched on stage, but when I tried it at home I too experienced the same thing (even more pronounced when I actually put a vitamin C in my mouth as compared to an unlit cigarette)!

Even more fascinating about this Kinesiology testing is that it even works with thoughts as a stimulus (not just objects). Ask the person being tested to focus on horrible things (death, Hitler) or to lie and they go weak. Ask them to focus on the positive, tell the truth and they stay strong! Likewise, Dr. Hawkins 20+ years of research with subjects from around the globe revealed that people's strong and weak responses were predictable, repeatable and universal!

Hawkins created a calibration system from low to high and went on to analyze the full spectrum of the levels of human consciousness and experience (pretty far out stuff). The bottom line is that thoughts themselves do actually seem to have negative or positive energy associated with them, as well as a measurable effect on human beings!

What effect could it have on your life if you were able to harness massive amounts of positive energy?

Well, the good news is you already know how to!

Experience my weekly challenge and see for yourself!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

What kind of energy do you consistently "put out there" in your life? Positive, fast, light energy? Or Negative, slow, sad energy?

I want you to try a really enlightening experiment one day this week (I first did this exercise in college and changed my approach to people forever!).

1) From the moment you wake up until lunch time, I want you to deliberately put out negative energy. Don't smile when you see people. When someone asks you how you're doing, sigh, roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders and say "could be better". Complain about everything (the traffic, your job, your kids). Focus on all the negative things that frustrate you about your life - your job, your body, your friends etc. Write down how you're feeling after lunch and how people reacted to you.

2) Next, I want you to completely swing the other way! Smile at everyone for no reason at all. Put a skip in your step. When people ask you how's it going, you respond with an energetic, "Great!". Focus on all the things you have to be thankful for in life - your family, friends, job etc. Surprise a loved one with a phone call, a gift or romantic dinner plans. At the end of the day, write down how you feel and how people reacted to you after lunch.

** Seriously, try doing this! You'll be amazed at how significant your energy and approach determines everything else around you! Use this little test as a metaphor for bigger things. Imagine what you can do with a lifetime of positive energy!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHANGE YOUR SEDENTARY WAYS!
by Drew Kossoff

Would you believe me If I told you that I'd discovered a secret health tonic that's 100% natural, FDA approved, has been scientifically proven to increase longevity and aid in the prevention of seventeen chronic diseases (including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis), and has beneficial side effects? Well I have!!

What is this magic potion? Actually, the medicine is not quite a secret at all. In fact, the ingredients are so cheap, so readily available, and make such common sense, that it's truly sad more than 75% of our population refuse to take advantage of it's benefits!

And the secret, of course, is...EXERCISE! From the most strenuous forms to the seemingly easy one's, "Movement" is absolutely vital to your health!

Unfortunately, Americans are increasingly living sedentary lifestyles and all the wonderful technologies and labor saving devices we've come to enjoy over the past 100 years are actually hurting us. We "sit" in our cars instead of walking, ride escalators and elevators instead of climbing stairs and hills, "sit" at our desks in front of computers, "sit" on the couch in front of the TV... and with all this sitting, it's no wonder people are overweight, disease ridden and lack energy!

In fact, in the past 100 years there has been a 29-fold increase in heart disease deaths, and in the past 40 years there has been a six-fold increase in diabetes and a two-fold increase in obesity in America.

Most of us have forgotten that we are HUMAN ANIMALS. I mean, think about animals in the wild… Do animals sit around all day without any exercise? NO! Certainly they take rests, but generally they are moving all the time (hunting, gathering, playing, traveling, interacting etc.).

"Moving" is critical to so many of our bodily functions - keeping our lymph fluids flowing, heart muscle pumping, blood circulating, lungs fully absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide, sweat glands expelling toxins etc.

If you don't exercise or "move" on a regular basis, this is your WAKE UP CALL!

An article in the Journal of Applied Physiology begins, "Chronic Disease on the rise due to American Sedentary lifestyle." A similar report from the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine stated, "There is growing evidence that many of the degenerative diseases of aging is due to the American sedentary lifestyle."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include a "sedentary lifestyle" among the top three primary risk factors for all chronic diseases (the other two are smoking and poor nutrition).

Finally, the American Heart Association warns that a sedentary lifestyle (and the excess weight usually associated with it) represents a significant risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular mortality. Most importantly, this risk factor can be reduced by simply beginning an exercise regime!

Unfortunately, 25% of Americans continue to be completely physically inactive, and only 22% are active enough to derive any health benefits!

So here's a simple piece of advice - When it comes to your body, there are two primary factors you need to consider for your health 1) What are putting into our engine? 2) How well tuned and oiled are you keeping your engine?

If you sit around and never turn your engine on, your oil will get clogged up, your parts will rust, your battery will lose it's charge and it will result in a myriad of problems for you down the road. Conversely, If you fill up with clean burning Natural Gas and regularly run and tune up your engine, you can expect a healthy, high performance vehicle.

One last thing you need to remember about your human engine - unlike a car, if run it into the ground and don't take care of it, you can't trade it in for a new one! I therefore urge you, if you care about your health, to please take out a pen or pencil and complete my weekly challenge below!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Decide right now that you're going to find a way (some way!) to move everyday. It doesn't even have to be strenuous - any movement at all will do - walking, stretching, bike riding, or even beginner yoga class!:

1) Make a list of possible ways you can start to move (and hopefully enjoy doing it!):
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

2) List three ways moving every day will improve your life:
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

3) List three reasons why you must commit to moving every day!
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

** Now do it! That is, if you're interested in having more energy, more vitality, more clarity, more longevity, less disease! And Please start out easy. If you kill yourself from the beginning, you probably won't stick with it!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXERCISE YOUR MIND!
by Drew Kossoff

Most people believe they were either born smart or never really "had it in them", but research suggests that with regular mental conditioning, you can actually significantly improve your memory, creativity, ability to solve problems, ability to learn...even your intuition! Just like your body, your brain also requires exercise!

Have you been feeling foggy lately? Considering the sheer quantity of data we process every day (more than ever before in human history), it's not surprising that your clarity is waning. One reason is all the clutter, but the other primary cause is lack of exercise. That right, simple data throughput (i.e. repetitive daily stimuli requiring unstrenuous thinking and processing) may stress you out, but it does not create new neural pathways. Expanding your mental capabilities requires learning which, much like weightlifting, requires resistance to obtain growth. If you exercise with feather weights, never increasing resistance or duration, you will get weak results with both your muscles and your brain.

The sad thing is that one of the primary reasons we stop exercising our brains regularly is a little trick life plays on us called AGING. When we were children, we were constantly learning because almost everything we experienced was new. As we get older, we become so familiar with the majority of what we need to know to survive that it becomes easy, if not comfortable, to stagnate and stop learning new things. It requires significant effort to get out of that "comfort zone", so may of us just choose not to, but that's exactly what we need to do if we want to stay sharp and continue expanding our minds.

I've known all my life that continuously learning is critical to healthy brain functioning because I remember vividly my own grandfather passionately "learning" Italian until he died at the Grande old age of 95 with all "his marbles" intact. He also walked over a mile a day into his 90's - evidence enough for me of the importance of both mental and physical exercise.

If you agree and are interested in sharpening your mind, I've included three mental conditioning exercises in your "weekly challenge" below that will help give you that extra boost! At a minimum, try and read every day instead of watching tv!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Decide right now that you're going to find a way (some way!) to exercise your mind everyday. In fact, commit to trying least one of these exercises right now!

1) FIVE ALIVE:
Practice thinking with "all five senses". Instead of thinking one dimensionally, try and increase your awareness of the sounds, sites, smells, tastes and texture and feel of whatever you're experiencing. For example, if you're sitting in a room...think about the texture of various things in the room and what they feel like. What does the room smell like? What sounds are you hearing? What do you imagine the objects in the room might taste like? Can you visualize everything you see if you were to close your eyes? Although this sounds a bit strange, waking up and thinking with all your natural animal senses stimulates the growth of new neural pathways in the brain and will improve your overall sharpness, focus, and awareness.

2) HOLOGRAPHIC VIEWING:
Practice thinking holographically by varying your points of view. When experiencing a challenge, analyze how you might perceive the challenge if you were 30 years older or younger, were a different gender, race, or religion, were your boss, your employee, your competitor etc. Wearing other people's shoes will provide you with the 20,000 foot view and a much broader perspective (i.e. "big picture") that very often will reveal groundbreaking insights that you might otherwise have missed (i.e. you're bound to learn something new!).

3) BREAKING NEW GROUND:
Go out and do something you've never done before, especially if it's something you don't think you'd pick up very quickly (e.g. painting, wood carving, ice skating, playing an instrument, playing chess etc.). Learning new skills, especially when difficult, will force you to mobilize and exercise new resources in your brain which can significantly improve your and mental flexibility and self awareness.

** These exercises are just the tip of the iceberg. If exercising your brain is important to you and you'd like to learn more about how to condition yourself, please check out this week's recommended book "The Einstein Factor"...it's chock full many more great mental conditioning exercises!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONNECT WITH YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF!
by Drew Kossoff

Two weekends ago I had a breakthrough experience that profoundly changed my life. A metamorphosis occurred. I cracked open my psychic armor and got in touch with an inner place I never knew existed (and watched twenty nine fellow souls do the same).

Considering the fact that I launched Zeneration X to awaken, enlighten and inspire others (and make a difference by helping people to re-connect with themselves), it came as quite a surprise to find out that I wasn't actually as connected and evolved as I believed I was!

Maybe it shouldn't have come as any surprise at all. Deep down inside I've always known that my drive to help others stems from my need to help myself, and help myself I did indeed!

My experience confirmed what I've believed and have been sharing for over two years now - that much of the emptiness, unhappiness and pain in people's lives stems from being SEVERELY DISCONNECTED:
1) Disconnected from OURSELVES (Are you fully connected to your inner self, your deepest truth? Do you experience a complete range of feelings or do you repress certain ones?).
2) Disconnected from EACH OTHER (How much genuine physical and emotional contact do you have with others? How many hugs do you get each day?).
3) Disconnected from NATURE (Do you know when the next full moon is?).

My RE-CONNECTION occurred in the mountains near Big Bear at an experience called "New Warrior Adventure Training". I truly re-connected with myself, with others, and with nature and released years of repressed garbage. I got in touch with my authentic self and discovered a bevy of facades and defense mechanisms I'd developed to repress and stave off feelings of inadequacy, fear, and pain that I didn't even know I had! Deep, hidden feelings from thirty-two years of striving for unattainable "perfection", unrealistic "self reliance", and superhuman "tenacity and endurance".

The walls came tumbling down with outpouring of tears, emotion and self honesty - I do have weaknesses. I do allow fears to hold me back. I do have feelings of anger, sadness, and pain in addition to all the positive energy and feelings I outwardly favor. I'm imperfect...and that's perfectly okay!

My new found self awareness has been very much like turning on an internal GPS (global positioning satellite) system, empowering me to easily identify and navigate my true inner thoughts and feelings. I've been liberated! I'm now fully equipped to overcome the inner challenges that previously bound me. The next stage in my evolution has just begun!

If you're also ready to get "equipped" and connect with your authentic self, then I invite you to complete my "weekly challenge"...it's the first step toward your own liberation!
 

 

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Get in touch with your deepest truth. Let down your walls and take an honest look at the facades you create. Ask yourself the following questions and then pause, breath and listen for the answers your inner SELF reveals to you:

1. What are you repressing or in denial about in your life right now? (Don't skip this...everyone is in denial about something!)
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

How will continuing to repress or deny these things affect your life and the achievement of your dreams? (Be honest...don't just put your blinders back on!)
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

Write down three reasons why you must immediately face your truth and change your attitude, your beliefs, your identity, or your actions:
1.
2.
3.

Commit to that change by sharing it with someone who will hold you to it and setting the following deadline for starting your new beginning!
Date I will begin: ____________
Signature:________________________
 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 


THE HIDDEN GIFT
by Drew Kossoff

It's still hard to believe that September 11th, 2001 was real. It caught me so off guard, I was literally "stunned" for days. Enveloped by grief, sadness, anger, fear and confusion, I spent hours glued to CNN, shed numerous tears, made prolonged phone calls to my family in New York, gathered and "clanned" with close friends in LA, waited in line for hours to buy American Flags, and donated precious greenbacks to charities like the "September 11th Fund".

After several "zoned out" days, my feelings of anguish began to dissipate, replaced by hope, pride, and even joy for the heroism, unity and fundamentally positive shifts taking place in America and around the World. It appeared that good was emerging from evil and there might be something to learn from all this.

As my healing progressed, I naturally began looking ahead. I thought about my purpose in life and connected more powerfully than ever with my mission to "co-create a world of authenticity, love and enlightenment and make a difference by being a courageous, passionate, loving and responsible leader and contributor." I was feeling renewed and inspired.

Just as I felt I was putting all the pain from the tragedy behind me, I found myself squirming as I watched the emotion packed Celebrity Telethon on TV last Friday night. I felt as if I were being dragged back to the depths of a dreadful swamp from which I'd just escaped!

My wife sensed my uneasiness and asked me what was going on. It took deliberate effort and courage to face this discomfort instead of brushing it off like I would have done in the past, but as I explored my feelings, I immediately recognized what had triggered their intensity - my unconscious mind had erected fresh layers of psychic armor to shield me from the pain I'd been experiencing and was struggling desperately to repress the pain that was being unearthed. Fortunately, a hidden gift was also being revealed.

It's my personal belief that tragedies always come to us with a "gift". Some choose to receive this gift, others choose to ignore it. The "gift" I received ten days after the September 11th tragedy bloomed from the "awareness" of my mind's natural defense mechanism kicking in. My gift was an invitation to consider NOT "blocking out the pain" or "returning normalcy". My gift "is" the opportunity to EMBRACE the pain and use it as a reminder every day to CHERISH LIFE and all the blessings I've been graced with. I will not ignore this gift by conveniently "tucking away" the pain. Instead, I intend to actively use the memory of all my lost brothers and sisters as added motivation to "live life to the fullest", to seek harmony and meaning in all my pursuits, and to tell friends and loved one's how I feel about them while they're still here. My gift empowers me!

WHAT IS YOUR GIFT? How do you intend to use September 11th as a catalyist for positive change in your life?


WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Take a few minutes of "quiet solitude" to consider the following questions (I encourage you to print this out and write down your answers in the space provided).

1. How will you use September 11th tragedy as a catalyst for positive change in your life?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

2. How has it changed your focus and/or values?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

3. What have you learned about yourself and others as a result of this event?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

4. What good will come out of this tragedy for you personally?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEST YOUR FEAR BOUNDARIES!
by Drew Kossoff

I've recently had the good fortune to participate in some powerful personal growth work which opened my eyes to my own FEARS and how they were ruling my life! What I discovered was that even though I've succeeded at so many things throughout my life, a pervading fear of failure as well as a resistance to asking for help was severely limiting my ability to achieve my potential.

Thankfully, the work also taught me how to transform these fears into allies. By acknowledging and then testing my fear boundaries over the past six months, I've experienced how I exponentially magnify my fears (the "Elephant Afraid of a Mouse" syndrome) and that when I simply face challenges with my fears right out in front of me, 99% of the time my fears miraculously de-materialize right before my eyes!

So I've come up with a new definition for FEAR: Fiercely Exaggerated Amplification of Reality. I now see that Fear is merely an "inner alert signal" that some action or preparation needs to take place and this is how it becomes an ally.

For me, once I become aware of the "alert", the secret to turning it off and overcoming the fear has been to make small commitments that test my fear boundaries. Making these small commitments enables me to put a dent in the fear instead of tackling the entire overwhelming thing. Funny enough, much like a balloon, putting a dent into it usually ends up puncturing it's expanded walls and releasing an avalanche of pressure.

I believe the secret power behind making commitments (even little one's) is that they initiate a powerful form of inner pressure that propels us forward, providing just enough momentum to overcome the gravity our fears place on us. The power is quadroupled we share our commitments with at least one other person and ask them to hold us accountable. The pressure to live up to our own and others expectations is incredibly powerful and therefore highly recommended if you truly want to change.

Since I believe in leading by example, I'm publicly making a commitment to test my fear boundaries by going skydiving for the first time on January 13th at Perris Valley, CA...and you're invited to join me! Interested? E-mail me for more details: http://link.ixs1.net/s/lt?id=d27180&si=l14396504&pc=j2004&ei=a12531

If skydiving isn't for you, at least try my New Year's challenge below to help you build momentum in 2002!
 

 

NEW YEAR'S CHALLENGE

The difference between COMMITMENT and RESOLUTION is the difference between "I will" and "I wish". One is about "action" and the other is about "intention".

The statement, "I'll ask for more help in 2002" is a merely resolution or intention without plan. A commitment looks like this: "To overcome my fear of asking for help in 2002, I'm committed to asking for help at least once a week. I'm going to begin by looking in my database this evening, choosing a mentor or potential mentor that I respect, and will call him/her first thing tomorrow and ask for help to test whether my fears of being rejecting or appearing weak are valid. I will tell my wife I'm doing this and will report in to her tomorrow night. I will continue this every Monday after that for 52 weeks straight and will measure my success by tracking it on my calendar and reviewing my progress monthly."

See the difference?

TRANSFORM YOUR RESOLUTIONS WITH THIS 7 STEP PROCESS:

1. Choose one New Year's Resolution and identify at least one fear, frustration or limiting belief that might hold you back from achieving it
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

2. List three ways this fear, frustration or limiting belief has previously held you back from achieving your resolution or dream:
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

3. List three reasons why you must change or overcome this fear, frustration or limiting belief(i.e. Describe what would your life look like if you succeed!):
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

4. List at least one action you can take in the next 24 hours to make a step towards overcoming that Fear, frustration or limiting belief.
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

5. Make a commitment to taking this action at or by a specific date and time (When would NOW be a good time?).

Date:________________
Time:________________


6. Choose someone to hold you accountable (*this is critical), explain your commitment and make a promise to following up with them to report your results:
Friend's Name: _______________________________
Date You'll Report in: __________________________

7. Rinse & Repeat for each resolution!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS

by Drew Kossoff

 

Yesterday I began the first day of my new life! I jumped out of an airplane 13,000 feet above the earth and soared through the air like superman at 125mph!

Was I scared? Hell yeah...but in finding the courage to face my fears, I proved to myself that I can achieve almost anything, and let me tell you, I've never felt so alive and connected to something greater than myself in my entire life!

Am I suggesting you need to jump out of a plane to overcome your fears? Certainly not. Can you take some action, however small, to test your fear boundaries and overcome whatever is holding you back in your life...YES YOU MOST CERTAINLY CAN!

Great rewards await just outside your comfort zone...reach for them!

WEEKLY CHALLENGE :

1. Write down one courageous thing you can do in your life (however small) to test your fear boundaries this week.
2. Make a commitment to act on it on a certain day and time.
3. Share your commitment with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable.

I look forward to hearing about what you learn and accomplish!

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT'S GUIDING YOU?
By Drew Kossoff

After spending ten successful years in sales and doing twenty plus years of personal growth work, I've learned first hand the transformational power questions can have, but the idea that we each have one core, usually unconscious, Guiding Question that drives our entire lives was enlightening news to me. The ramifications were just as eye opening.

Can you imagine the difference in the quality of life of a person who's Guiding Question is "What's wrong with me?", or "Am I good enough?" or "What will other people think?" versus a person whose question is "How can I be the best at everything I do?" or "How can I add more value to everyone and everything I touch" or "How can I share my love and god given gifts with others?"

It's clear that if your Guiding Question is a negative one, you're going to constantly reinforce it with negative answers. No wonder it's so challenging to feel fulfilled! The great news is that once you awaken to your question, you can transform it into a new empowering one.

Personally, this concept has enabled me to make a powerful distinction in my life because I finally learned what was driving the "perfectionist and significance seeking" part of me. My old Guiding Question was definitely "Am I good enough?" This question encouraged an often paralyzing perfectionist approach to things to overcome my fear and prove that I was indeed good enough. By needing so much certainty that I was indeed good enough (or the best), I tended to either obsess beyond all reason to be perfect or, conversely, "beat myself up emotionally" and hold myself back from taking risks where I thought I might fail! An all or nothing extremist approach to life that in some ways served me, but in many other ways severely limited me.

Since I truly know that I am indeed "good enough" even in my imperfection, I've replaced my old Guiding Question with this new one, "How can I shine my beautiful guided light and enjoy the love and abundance that surrounds me?" This works so much better for me because it always results in a positive answer! I can shine my light in so many ways knowing I am guided, and this new question pre-supposes that I always have some gift to offer and an opportunity to enjoy and learn from any situation!

Last weekend, I had a chance to put my new Guiding Question to the test at a family gathering when a hilarious cousin showed up and lit up the party with one brilliant and witty response after another. I caught my internal self saying, "He's brilliant! How could I ever be as funny and witty as him? If only I...." Quickly realizing I was "doing my old question", I quickly asked myself my new question, "How can I shine my beautiful guided light in this moment and enjoy the love and abundance that surrounds me?" I immediately knew that I didn't need to compete or compare, but instead, to simply have gratitude for the wonderful gift of laughter my cousin facilitated, and to share my light in my own special way.

For the rest of the evening I had a wonderful time sharing my love and positive energy with everyone at the party, and to my delight at the end of the evening, my cousin revealed to me how impressed and inspired he was by some business ideas I had shared with him! Is it possible that while I was envying his humor and wit, he was simultaneously envying some of my gifts? Life can be so ironic! Long live my new Guiding Question!
 


WHAT'S YOUR GUIDING QUESTION?

1. Close your eyes, breathe deeply for just a minute and reminisce about your life, remembering what you've consistently focused on to get where you are today. What kinds of questions have you always asked yourself and have driven you? A number of questions will quickly bubble to the surface. Some will be positive, some negative. Jot them all down.

2. Now again close your eyes, breathing deeply and ask yourself openly and honestly, "Which of these questions has been the most powerful Guiding Question all these years?" The answer will come to you as you connect with your deepest self. Even if it doesn't feel right at first or you don't like what you come up with - trust your truth!

3. Now ask yourself, "In what ways has this question served me? (There are always positives even if your question is negative).

4. Next ask yourself, "In what ways has this question debilitated me or held me back in my life? (The truth can be painful, but the truth will set you free).

5. Now the fun part! If you feel your Guiding Question no longer serves you, Dream Up a New More Empowering Guiding Question! A suggested format is as follows (fill in the blanks with positives): "How can I (do what?) _____ so that I can (experience what?) _____" (e.g. How can I serve god in this moment so that I can live my values and be a force for good?).

6. Next, acknowledge your old Guiding Question for getting you where you are today and then release it! (You can do this mentally by saying to yourself, "You no longer serve me and I'm relieving you of your duty!", or if you feel like it, you can write it on a piece of paper and then tear it up, burn it, bury it...anything that is meaningful or symbolic for you).

7. Finally, make a commitment to repeating your New Guiding Question first thing every morning to anchor it into your brain, and then and as often as possible throughout the day when you find your old guiding question creeping back (**It is absolutely critical that you do this last step and repetitively condition your new question into your mind for several weeks to make it stick!)

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

HEALING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
The True Story of Ranee Folk
by Drew Kossoff

Years ago I read a book by Deepak Chopra called QUANTUM HEALING - EXPLORING THE FRONTIERS OF MIND/BODY MEDICINE. The gist of the book was that self healing is no miracle! Clearly we each have the ability to heal wounds and sickness in our bodies and the source of this ability, Chopra claims, is exactly the same source that enables a certain few people to "spontaneously" heal from debilitating injuries and terminal diseases. The fact that even a few people are able to miraculously heal is evidence that we all have the "potential" within us. The mystery seems to lie in how to trigger the healing (or does it?). The mind is a very good place to start!

My friend Ranee Folk is a living example of quantum healing. After spending 9 years in and out of the hospital, today she's completely transformed her health and her life, and it all started in her mind. This is her story.

Ranee was sick throughout her life. It started at the age of two when she had to wear casts on both legs for arthritis. After being molested by an Uncle around age four or five, she recalls just completely giving up her power. She remained in this state of weakness throughout her childhood, always feeling tired (and often anemic).

Growing up, Ranee didn't believe she had any control over her body and didn't think it was something she could change. She just thought it was her lot in life to accept that she'd always be sick (and if she was going to be sick, she needed to be the sickest person around!).

Her sickness became severe about 10 years ago after the birth of her first son. She lost 50 pounds in four months (from 140 down to 90 lbs!!), was diagnosed with Crones Disease (an inflammatory disorder) and underwent surgery to remove a portion a her small intestine which had become blocked.

For eight more years, Ranee "bought into" the fact that she was sick, but she didn't buy into the fact she couldn't do anything. She had two more kids, did counseling for others and kept herself busy. She was in hospital an average of six or seven times a year (for over a month on two occasions) and she was continually medicated with Prednisone (a steroid which produces adrenaline for you) and Methotrexate (a Chemo drug that suppressed your immune system). The drugs gave her stomach aches and chronic diarrhea. It became so painful at one point, she had to walk around with a hot water bottle under her shirt.

Being sick actually fulfilled many needs for Ranee. She got love and connection because everyone took care of her ("The Doctors cared about me so much!"), it made her feel quite significant ("I was sicker than everyone else"), it enabled her to contribute and feel valuable ("I did support groups and helped others with Crones"), it gave her plenty of certainty in her life ("I knew I was sick") and at the same time offered her plenty of variety ("I never quite knew when I'd get sick.").

So what idea or distinction enabled her to see the light and heal herself?

Ranee saw Tony Robbins speak at a Discovery Toys convention and said to herself, "If he's capable of all this energy and endless possibilities, I can do it too! I just need to tap into that energy I have in myself and get the tools to do it."

One statement Tony made really stuck. It was something like, "To decide in Latin means to cut off all other possibilities" and that's exactly what she knew she needed to do. She was fed up with being sick and "decided" she really needed to make this change happen. Being sick wasn't the way she wanted to get her needs met anymore.

She started thinking to herself, "People overcome obstacles all the time. People down the hall from me are dying and I'm just sick! There's no reason why I can't go out and overcome this! If anyone's done it, so can I!"

"I decided I couldn't live like that anymore," said Ranee, "and I believed I could do it! No other possibilities! Thinking back, it was kind of extreme, but I got to a point where the pain was too much and it wasn't my identity. I could see how great the rewards were to be who I really was and not let my body stop me from doing what I wanted." It's been clear sailing ever since!

When I asked her how she is today, she responded vibrantly, "I'm wonderful! Right before attending Tony Robbins' Life Mastery seminar, I went off the drugs without telling my doctor, started walking everyday, joined a ballet class, and totally changed to an alkalizing diet - vegetables, salads, almonds, almond butter, fruit, green drink, multivitamin, spelt, no sugar, no dairy and sometimes date sugar, a lot of deep breathing (in for a count of 10, hold for 40, out for 20), plus lots of water."

When asked what advice does she has for others who are sick or facing chronic illnesses, Ranee responded, "I would say find in yourself whatever it is that you need to make yourself so angry and so fed up with what you're giving yourself, and "open your eyes" because the answers are right around you, and just do it! It's simple really."

"Now I get significance from being healthy and feeling strength from that internally - giving it to myself. Yes others are "wowed" by it, which does it too, but it's more about me."

"Now I receive Love and Connection because I feel totally connected with myself. I can love myself and I have more love to give because I'm connecting with people because I'm healthy, not weak. Plus I'm connecting with stronger people!"

"Now I have certainty that I'm healthy and have even more wonderful opportunities to contribute because I've been able to help so many people, sick or not, just by talking to them about my experience, my diet etc. I just feels like there is growth all the time now because I know anything is possible!"


WEEKLY CHALLENGE

TRANSFORM YOUR HEALTH WITH THESE POWER QUESTIONS:

1. List at least three reasons why your health is absolutely critical to living a fullfilled life?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

2. What has held you back from achieving or living a life of optimum health in the past?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

3. List three reasons why you will no longer settle for an unhealthy life or lifestyle?
(allow yourself to get angry!)
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

4. List at least one action you can take in the next 24 hours to make a step towards a healthier life.
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

5. Make a commitment to taking this action at or by a specific date and time (When would NOW be a good time?).

Date:________________
Time:________________


6. Choose someone to hold you accountable (*this is critical), explain your commitment and make a promise to follow up with them to report your results:
Friend's Name: _______________________________
Date You'll Report in: __________________________

Let me know how it goes!

 

back to top
 


Home | About | Great Quotes | Weekly Wisdom | Inspirational Stuff | Top 10 Books & Products | Coaching & Training Services | Event Schedule | Testimonials | Contact Us

 

© Zeneration X '00, '01 , '02       

 Comments, Contributions and Inquiries: drew@zenerationx.com