The Saturday Morning Mindset

I’ve had this nagging experience lately that I just haven’t been able to put my finger on, but it is now, I believe, slowly starting to take shape and I figured I would share it with you guys and see what you think.

I got sick over a year ago and was forced to leave my 30+ year career. That was hard.

For men in general, we derive much of our self-worth through our careers. We are providers, we are problem solvers. We are meant to work, to have an impact and for many to be a leader.

To not have the health to perform the typical 40-hour work-week (ok, mine was 60+hrs per week which influenced my illness but that’s another topic) meant I needed to now reinvent myself.

That in itself was not an easy transition, letting go of the traditional employee mindset is completely counter-intuitive. But I believe in the end, being forced out of my career will likely turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

And trust me when I say that isn’t a statement made lightly. I am currently only 54 and living off my 401K retirement, and using it to seed my new business.

Yes I know, accountants all over the planet just groaned in unison.

So it is critical that I make this transition into entrepreneurship sooner rather than later. But talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

There is nothing in my life that says success is just around the corner or even remotely a lock.

In fact, quite the contrary. Statistics are horrible for new entrepreneurial startups and everything is screaming that I’m wasting my time, that failure is imminent and that every day that I’m not looking for another 40-hour job that I can do from bed or computer desk is one day closer to the point of no return and self-insufficiency.

But the choice has been made, give it at least 1 year before freaking out. I’d say I made it maybe 4 months before I began freaking out.

And that’s where I’m at today. For the past month, I have woken each day with a sense of discomfort, some internal unrest that has been sapping energy, creativity, motivation, and commitment.

But I haven’t been able to pinpoint the source, or even recognize what exactly the emotion was. Everything has just been off, but off how?

And it hit me talking to an accountability partner earlier today. It’s just simple fear.

The Problem

Imagine the scene, you’ve worked a hard week and it’s Friday night and your off work. Feels good but your tired. You might go out, have some fun or stay in but you hit the sack wiped out.

But oh, when you wake up Saturday morning, there isn’t a care in the world; you’ve got the whole day.

You can sleep in, you can go for an early morning jog or hit the gym. You can call a friend and make lunch plans, hit the clubs later that night, even go into the office if you felt like getting a jump on next week.

No matter what choice you make for a Saturday it is the right choice because you are the master of this day and it will go any way you choose, and whatever you choose will be the right choice.

There isn’t a care in the world because no matter how far you push it, you’ve got another day off, all day Sunday, to enjoy just the same.

This is what I call Saturday Morning Joy, it is true freedom and it is how life is supposed to feel.

What do I want, what do I need, ok, let’s go… total freedom of spirit, mind, and soul.

But what happens when you get up on Sunday? Is it “I’ve still got a whole day off, how awesome, the best day ever!”

For some, maybe. But for most people I know, the dread starts to come in and the thought “ugh, I have to go to work tomorrow” starts to drape a cloud over our sunny disposition.

What???? This day is going to be less-enjoyed because of commitments more than 24 hours away that have no bearing on today?

And no matter what you engage with, there is always this nagging voice that interrupts the joy saying “don’t forget, you have to work tomorrow”.

And that is the feeling I haven’t been able to shake; for more than a month!

As an entrepreneur with a business plan, short-term and long term goals, financial stability at least for the short term, I should be thrilled every day.

This is it, the dream transition has begun. Every day I can choose to work on the business some, engage in social activity, change tasks. I am my own boss and I can do anything I want to or need to. Every day is Saturday.

But instead, every day I have been filled with a sense of dread that even if I am free today, I’m still not free. There is this weight that is stealing my ability to stay present, a weight centered around the unending insecure tomorrows, even if today is secure.

Once I realized that it is my thoughts and subconscious beliefs messing with my emotions I began to ask friends and mentors about the “Sunday Mindset”.

They all knew exactly what I was talking about, and the conclusion I drew I’m calling ACTIVE SURRENDER. 

The Solution

Everyone shared tales of how they pushed through the darkness of uncertainties that dominated different seasons of their life. And, in the end, they simply needed to do the actions of a successful person while surrendering to the fact that it was God who had to bring the miracles.

It ultimately became the opportunities, resources, and discoveries outside of their control that rescued them from their dire situations and carried them to the next level.

All they could do was remain active and faithful to the dream, but they also had to surrender the timelines and outcomes as to when the next breakthrough would come.

We simply move forward on faith that the breakthrough is coming without ever getting the assurance of knowing when and how it will come. 

I know many motivational speakers or coachers will say “you make your own breaks”, but the reality is, on some level, success only comes when we actively pursue through faith and trust that God will meet us in our efforts.

Active Surrender

So what does Active Surrender look like?

For me, I’d say it is staying rooted in the Saturday Morning Mindset.

True freedom is a state of mind, soul, and spirit and must not be based on physical circumstances. 

We won’t escape the feelings of anxiety, fear, insecurity or hopelessness until we change the often hidden limiting beliefs that are feeding them.  

We must recognize every morning when we wake up that we are free today to craft whatever we want with the next 12 hours of our life. Work, play, socialize, rest, dream, sing, dance, write, draw, create, destroy, we choose each activity.

I am not a victim, I am not trapped, I am not dead, I am not helpless or hopeless.

Quite the contrary!

I can do whatever I want today, and tomorrow I have the same freedom. Sure some decisions may come with huge repercussions, but if not making the decisions leads to unending misery then is it really a choice?

Change or die. Grow or die. Risk or die. Overcome fear and insecurity or die.

Live or die, the choice is ours.

We are all going to die, the question is, will we die without regrets?

If there is an aspect of my life that I feel trapped in, then it is up to me to evaluate what needs to change and start moving in that direction.

The Sunday Morning Mindset knows it is free physically but yet still feels emotionally captive to an unsure or undesired “tomorrow”.

It is a victim mindset that believes it is trapped, that nothing will ever change, and that we have no power to overcome the circumstances of our life.

Once we get the heart and mind right, then it’s back on course.

Focus on your “why” and get busy kickin’ ass 

If we can just choose to hang on to the Saturday Morning Mindset and remain Actively Surrendered we won’t just endure each day, we will tackle each day with enthusiasm, with a free spirit that lives without boundaries or limitations in pursuit of dreams and desires.

To successfully navigate risk in any area of life requires making peace with the unyielding pressure for assurances that aren’t coming.

The sooner we (I) get over it, the sooner we (I) can back to crafting our song and dance the day away.

Romans 8:28 
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


So, how about you? Do you have a Saturday Morning Mindset or a Sunday Morning?

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below.

Let’s do this!

George

 

 

 

Where Does Freedom Begin?

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This topic of FREEWILL or CHOICE is clearly an important one.

It is easy for us to say that we are ‘free to choose’ or that we have ‘freedom’, especially in America.

We are founded on the principles of freedom, of capitalism and democracy that says you are free to live (nearly) any way you choose, work at any job you choose, live in any town, city, or state you choose, drive any car you choose, etc…

If that is the case, however, then why is much of the population living unhappy and unfulfilling lives as if we are not free?

Do we even know what freedom means?

Do we even BELIEVE we are free?

We find ourselves stuck in unsatisfying dead-end jobs, feeling trapped in toxic relationships, out of options due to poverty, helpless due to physical or mental illnesses.

In all of life’s situations it is so easy to say “because of _______ I can’t have/do _______”


If that were true

  • it would mean we are victims trapped by circumstances and not free at all.
  • It would mean that every person in history who was in that same situation NEVER FOUND A WAY OUT because THERE IS NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean that every person that is to come after us with similar circumstances is doomed because they fell into the very trap that destroys lives with NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean our ONLY options are to succumb to addictions, take prescription meds, get on government subsidies, or stay in miserable jobs because we “need the money”, or stay in abusive relationships, be depressed, hopeless and powerless

(I’m not casting stones here… I’ve done, said and felt all those things myself)


But are those statements really true?

I think most people could get past those statements and agree that freedom means I have a choice to stay in this situations or to get the courage, drive, creativity, and self-worth to break free from the limits claiming to hold us captive. 

And what are those limits? I’m glad you asked!

As I see it, the more important truth here is:

WE ARE FREE TO BELIEVE WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ABOUT OURSELVES AND OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

BELIEF REFRAMING EXERCISE

WHEN I CURRENTLY BELIEVE I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
I am not smart enough I can learn what I need
I am not skilled enough I can get the skills I need
I had a horrible childhood my past doesn’t define my future
I am my own worst enemy I am my best friend
I’ve tried before and failed to stop trying is to guarantee failure
But I’m afraid Faith cast out fear
But leaving my comfort is hard Staying miserable forever is harder
I need _______ to be happy I am happy while pursuing ______
I can’t do ________ I can do ___________
I’m depressed I’m empowered, alive, beautiful and FREE

Clearly, this list could go on for miles.

As you can see, this exercise is incredibly easy to do.

  1. Grab any piece of paper and make two columns.
  2. In the left column list the items that are the current “thought” limitations in life that are preventing you from true happiness and fulfillment
  3. In the right column counter all those limiting beliefs with an opposite reality.
  4. NOW CHOOSE TODAY TO CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS ABOUT YOUR LIMITATIONS

I know it may sound easier said than done, but after decades of battling my own demons, in the end, I realized it’s not difficult at all, it is a choice, it’s a decision!

I no longer choose to label myself as a victim of circumstances, today I am a warrior in pursuit of my dreams.

Most all of our problems in life stem from the disconnect we have from our UNDERSTANDINGS and BELIEFS.

We can say “I am free” and mean it, yet believe and feel we are trapped, helpless, and hopeless.

These are the subconscious limiting beliefs at the core of all of our indecisions, misfires, and our mindless and endless groundhog day experiences… nothing ever changes if we don’t’ change it. 

And labels are one of the biggest problems here. “I have PTSD”, “I am an addict/alcoholic”, “I have an eating disorder”, “I am poor”, “I am weak-willed”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t because…”.

It we don’t first change the “I AM” statements we will forever be self-sabotaging any success we attempt or desire.

Once we discover that it is our BELIEFS that hold us captive and not our circumstances, we will then truly understand what real freedom is.

Real freedom is a choice.

And we are always choosing to live in the solution or be defined by our problems; whether we realize it or not.

It is a single decision to believe differently that can change a life immediately and forever.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” 

~ Henry Ford

Here’s to your best life now!! ~George 


Nikaos Strategic Coaching – I myself have overcome PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder and a host of addictions and am now living my best life, every day. Does that mean it is easy, no… but I am no longer held captive by my limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking patterns and I have found freedom from believing that my severe childhood physical, sexual, mental, emotional and spiritual abuses made me who I was; today I am happy and at peace with myself and the world and I am boldly pursuing my dreams in every area of my life. And part of my passion, calling and gifting is helping others awaken their inner-warrior and find the same freedom I have found.

Learn more about how I can help you on your journey to true freedom 

Once Grateful, Now Trapped?

  • “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

I’ve had a growing awareness lately of the people around me who have so much in their lives to be grateful for, but everything “needs an upgrade”.

That’s fine if your car is 25 years old and it’s due for a new transmission, or your roof leaks and it’s time for a new one… but what I’m noticing is something different.

As a leader of Men’s Recovery Groups for nearly a decade, it is pretty obvious that people are unhappy, discontented, “dis-eased” with either some part of their external world, or something within themselves isn’t right (blame & shame) so they try and medicate the disappointment away instead of dealing with the problems.

But beyond even that, I’m seeing mostly successful people with good jobs, loving wives, healthy children, some material comfort, may even be serving at church or in their community… by all accounts, they should be happy.

NEARLY EVERYTHING IN OUR LIFE IS A BYPRODUCT OF SOMETHING WE WISHED FOR, PURSUED, AND GOT

Yet, for some reason the things they longed for become not enough… they lose gratitude and start feeling a lack. If only my wife was x, if only my children x, if only my job, car, friends, house… blah, blah blah.

I don’t know whether it is the non-stop bombardment of an commercialized society that needs people dissatisfied with their lives to keep working unfulfilling jobs so they can pump money into the economy to keep the merry-go-round spinning, or some form of natural human instinct that is always bent on “the next thing”, but I do know one thing for sure…

When Gratitude Begins to Fade the Prison Walls Begin to Erect

We take on a different vision of the people, places and things around us. The job that we prayed for, maybe spent months trying to get, and brought such incredible elation when we finally go it… is now a burdensome trap and is sucking the life out of us.

That wonderful wife that we completely transformed ourselves into Prince Charming for and courted for months or even years who finally said yes and made us the happiest man on the planet, is now that nagging bitch that spends all our money.

Or our beautiful kids who we would die for have become rebellious whiny brats, our awesome new car is now a piece-of-sh*t, our wonderful new apartment is now a hell-hole we’ve got to escape from. (Feel free to reflect on your own heart at this point).

This is what I call the Zombie Apocalypse.

We are each living in an existence that is the direct result of every choice we ourselves have made, and we will only have the direct result of what we believe we can have or deserve in the future.

Believing anyone else is responsible for our place in life or our emotions, good or bad, is complete bass-ackwards!

If we ever wonder “how did I get here” and begin to resent the very things we pursued, achieved and obtained, then we become disconnected from gratitude which disconnects us from feeling joy, contentment, peace, happiness, fulfillment.

Those feelings are never something we can pursue, they are current states of mind that we choose, every minute, of every day.

A good example of this, a friend called recently because his wife was “really” upset that the “automated” cat box was broken and the box was a mess and the cat just kicked old litter all over then took a leak in the living room”. His heart was burdened because she called him venting AT him. That word AT is the key.

He was feeling responsible for “her” feelings. Instead of just being able to take ownership of his chore that he neglected and apologize, he was carrying the shame and burden of his wife’s anger, disappointment, judgment and condemnation.

But how did this typical marriage discord begin. A piece of mechanics broke, and an animal didn’t want to pee in a dirty box.

I shared with my friend that his wife could have looked at the situation, and actually laughed. “What a freaking mess, how disgusting, here goes 15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back”. Then clean it up, or leave it for her husband, and simply comment “how bad did that suck” with a light heart.

But instead, as I understand it the conversation never came up again, he’s walking around with shame and she’s burying blame and resentment… and the once grateful marriage adds another prison bar.

We are NEVER responsible for the emotional state of another person. And we have the freedom to choose to own it, try fixing it, or simply help the other person re-frame it.

She had the choice to tell him “about” the situation, but instead she chose to throw it “at” him. He then had a choice to let the ball roll past him, but instead he picked it up and swallowed it, storing it in his ever-disheartening soul and begins daydreaming about “better days when life isn’t so hard”.

We have to check ourselves, if we can’t be grateful for EVERYTHING in our life, even the acceptance of uncontrollable and messy things in our life, then we simply need to get busy changing it.

We are not victims, we are not imprisoned to the situation, we are not stuck, we are simply in a reality we created and we have the same power and freedom to change it again, period.

Does that mean it will be easy, no. Does it mean it’s not our responsibility to change it, no. It is absolutely on us to adjust our own beliefs, feelings and behaviors and accept the people, places and things around us as they are, and be grateful in the process. Until we do, we will always “feel” stuck in the very prison we constructed in our own mind.

May your self constructed walls disappear with the renewal of your mind sooner rather than later.

George

If you would like to explore how to break free from the limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns holding you back from your best self, and discover your core strengths and begin dreaming into reality your best life, then please don’t hesitate to book a free consultation.

Why Doesn’t Freedom Feel Like Freedom

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Like ALL of our challenges in life, KNOWING something is true and actually BELIEVING it is true are two very different things, and most often, we just end up WISHING something was true.

We can get very excited about the “thought” of being free, and our morning meditations and visualizations of what life will look like and feel like when we have already achieved those deepest desires of our heart can inspire us to keep moving toward the prize.

But true freedom, as everyone here should already know (or you will soon enough because this is the core message on my heart that applies to everything), That when I talk about freedom I am rarely referring to material freedoms. Sure we may have needs that represent freedom like a new car, better living conditions, a successful business or financial freedom to allow for deeper relationships.

But more importantly, the deeper freedoms, and the more insidious prisons we find ourselves searching for a way out of are the elusive desires for inner-peace, contentment, joy, fulfillment, happiness, feeling connected, significant, empowered, even loved; these core longings of the soul we often mistakenly try to fill by increasing outer world advancements.

So why is it, if God (and you are free to define God as you choose) wants us to be free in spirit, fully alive, living out our best lives, loving ourselves (healthy, not ego) and serving the world and if we believe we are doing that to the best of our ability; then why is it so hard to feel those things?

IT IS ALL IN THE PROGRAMMINGWE STOP BELIEVING WE ARE FREE

Yesterday is a great example of this (and why I felt inspired to share this morning). The morning was difficult, I was having troubles getting inspired and engaged. I’ve given myself the freedom to work on what I want, when I want. That in itself was a difficult transition because most of my life I had been so rigid in my “set goals and achieve them” road-map to success mentality that if I had a goal in front of me and I didn’t feel like working on it, I would grind through.

But I discovered recently that there are always a dozen different goals to work on in my new business, or in my relationships, or in the areas of self-care or growth and learning. I realized that I was the one putting the rigid pressure on me to achieve “believing” a difficult grind is the “only way to success, freedom and fulfillment”.

But when I choose freedom today, I give myself permission to be me. When I love me, I don’t carry on in a taskmaster/slave relationship with myself.

When I feel stuck, unmotivated, unfocused and it begins to lean on frustration, I am not only FREE to step away from that, it is a soul-care imperative that I step away. Whether it be just for a break, a quick walk around the office, get some water (I never drink enough water anyway), or maybe a 5 minute meditation or prayer, or put on some binaural beats to clear the energy or call a friend for a quick chat; anything to get re-centered, refocused and back In-State or In-The-Flow or connected to God (I’m sure you know what I mean)

But yesterday wasn’t about that, no matter what I tried including changing tasks over and over and many steps mentioned above, EVERYTHING was out of sync. By noon I had a 1/2 dozen misfires and had no idea what was going on.

I realize in hindsight, it was at that point that I no longer “felt” free, because I no longer “believed” I was free, and therefore I no longer “was” free, but it was a cage I put myself in.

Always remember, we HAVE what we BELIEVE we have, and we ARE what we BELIEVE we are.

… AND THE DEATH SPIRAL ENSUES

I believed I was “supposed to be productive” or I would “fail” and then the catastrophizing mindsets begin to chant their ugly song.

“If I don’t get this project done I can’t move forward”

“If I don’t move forward then I will have to push back the deadlines”

“If I push back the deadlines then the customer will be unhappy”

“If I make my customers unhappy then I will lose them”

If I lose customers then my business will fail”

“If my business fails my family will struggle, and I will be humiliated, and I will never be able to start over, this is my only shot, and this can’t be happening I have to get back to work and… and… and… whew… exhausting!

And notice, the exhaustion comes from the internal battle that ran amuck, not from actually getting something physically productive done.

The Real Problem

So what did I end up doing yesterday? I just laid down to “rest my eyes for a minute” around one in the afternoon, and I passed out for 2 hours! Go figure, I had been burning the candle at both ends creatively and I emotionally was exhausted! That’s why I couldn’t engage in any project, body was fine; mind was done.

Free Again

So I got up at three, listened to some of my favorite music, made a healthy meal.. and I sat back down at the computer around 4 pm and then had one the most incredible epiphanies; I had been trying to grind out one aspect of my new company for several days, but turns out it was putting the cart before the horse and I needed to adjust my short-term goals to a whole different target.

Once I started working with a completely new agendy my creativity and energy began to flow like melted butter out of a hot pan and I probably looked like a madman on crack until 2 am because I was loving every minute of it! And the result was a giant needle-mover in my business that I didn’t even know was possible!

Once I gave myself the freedom to be me, to listen to my internal needs, and to love myself enough to meet ME where I am (instead of beating myself up with my own expectations and condemnation that “I wasn’t where I felt I should be by now), my joy, inner-peace, contentment, satisfaction, self-worth, feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment all returned in full-force.

Our freedom, or lack there of, is a product of our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions, in that order.

When we learn to tune into our God-frequency and live from inner-awareness, then we can begin to trust our inner-barometer to guide us into the “next best thing”.

Freedom is a choice, it is internal, and it is available 24/7 if we ALLOW ourselves to experience it.

May your hearts deepest desires be realized sooner rather than later,

George