Simplify Your Life

Copyright Skip Prichard

The Beauty of the Simple

Sam Davidson met me one January day in a hip new coffee shop in Nashville.  As he shared stories about his life and his books, I listened intently while still managing to watch the painting and construction of a stage.  (If you’re in Nashville, this is a requirement.)  As my schedule allows, I try to meet interesting people in person to learn their stories.  Sam is an author, speaker and the cofounder of Cool People Care.5Mfd3lB_0xfSiuGZavtpq0wOpP9xhONr197wV2mw6uo,Bdyzc_sNHB0bFZOu1V7NWtzpLmLj4J0wLM6I03w0Fsg

Leaving the little café, I tucked the book Sam gave me under my arm and made my way back to my car.  Not needing much sleep, I average a book a day.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that I’m sent so many books, I can’t keep up with them.  But any book with tips on reducing stress has to go right to the top of the pile.  I found a very practical and somewhat surprising book on how to Simplify Your Life.

I decided to follow-up with Sam to talk about his ideas on how to live a simple life.

Determine your values and passions

Sam, you have a very different approach to simplifying life.  When I first saw the book cover, I thought “minimalism.”  Any thoughts of minimalist advice were quickly cast aside when I saw your first chapter begins with the words, “Down with Minimalism.”  You say, “Minimalism is boring.”

What is minimalism and why is that not the right place to start?

Minimalism puts the focus on quantity, perhaps to a fault. In the rush to minimize, I fear we miss out on a reflective or introspective process that gets to the heart of why it is we have too much stuff or feel too stressed. Instead, I encourage people to first determine their values and passions. Then, everything that doesn’t enable or enhance one of those can go.

Eliminate things that don’t match your purpose

Getting rid of things for the sake of minimalism may mean we miss out on a valuable tool needed to achieve a great dream. Furthermore, if all we have helps makes us better, the amount of things around us matters less since it’s all beneficial and important.

Get Your Shift Together!

Image courtesy of istockphoto/AndrewJShearer

Steve Rizzo is The Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his seminars or read his books and leave with the same attitude.  He is a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker and author. His popular PBS special brought him into millions of homes. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame. His latest book Get Your Shift Together is one that I just had to share. I had the opportunity to ask a Steve a few questions about his life and his new book.

Let Go and Yield To a Higher Purpose

Steve, everyone would say that you were on the top of your game. As a comedian you were a national headliner, sharing the stage with Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Dennis Miller, Ellen DeGeneres and many others.  Your roommate was Drew Carey!  But, you made a decision to leave comedy and start over in a new career.  Tell me about that decision.Steve Funny

Growing up as a child, I acquired many fears and limiting beliefs about myself and the world that surrounded me.  Unaware, I carried many of those unresolved negative labels and limiting beliefs into my comedy career.  As a result, I kept sabotaging many opportunities that were coming my way. I knew I had the talent, but I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting my big break. I eventually figured out that I had a fear of failure AND a fear of success. (Talk about not being able to make up your mind.)  So I went on a self-help quest to better myself.  I read countless self-help books, went to personal development seminars, and listened to motivational CD’s.  I was determined to turn my life around.

Through the years I noticed a major shift taking place within me.  I guess you can say I was starting to get my SHIFT together. Eventually, the comedy industry was starting to show a lot of interest.  Ironically I was no longer interested in them. I was being called to do something else with my life.  This gradual shift that was taking place led me to my true purpose in life, which is to show people how to be happy and successful, regardless of their circumstances.  The tools that I used to better myself are the very tools that I use when I speak to groups throughout the country and around the world.

My quest to overcome the obstacles that were keeping me from the life I truly desired has brought my work full circle. I am truly grateful that I’ve come to the understanding that I didn’t quit stand-up comedy.  I simply let go and yielded to a greater purpose.  A new dream.  Okay, I didn’t simply let go.  At times I held on with white knuckles in a desperate grip, kicking and screaming!  The point is, when I finally did let go, I was free to pursue my true dream–to use humor and the power of positive thinking to help people learn the skills they need to get to a better place at work and in life.

Train Yourself to Be Happy, Confident & Successful

Move TO your future not AWAY from your past

Photo by Fellowship of the Rich on flickr.

People seem to be motivated by one of two forces.  Either toward or against.

Both can be equally powerful motivators, but one seems to last.

Why are you in motion?

When I interview people for a job, I often ask questions about how the individual made career decisions.  Some job changes were motivated by moving AWAY from something—a bad boss, a negative work environment, low pay.  Other people make a change to move TOWARD something—a new opportunity, the ability to make a bigger impact, a better use of talent.

Though it’s not scientific validation, I’ve found that the people moving TOWARD the new opportunity are more successful, happier, and continue on an upward career path.  These people are energized by the future, by what’s to come, by what’s possible.

Contrast that with the people moving AWAY from a job.  It seems that the very same things that they didn’t like about the one job magically seemed to follow them to the next!

Moving TOWARD is more powerful than moving AWAY.

Selling Fearlessly

Photo by amhuxham on flickr.

 Because of his nearly four decade career in sales, Robert Terson is often labeled a master salesman.  He retired from his advertising company in 2010 and is now writing and speaking about sales.  Robert recently released Selling Fearlessly.  After reading the book and talking with Robert, I realized that the book is more than a sales book.  It’s a life book.  It could just as easily be titled Living Fearlessly.

 

Why Relationships Are Important

Robert, alreaSelling Fearlessly Coverdy in my interactions with you, I can tell how important relationships are to you.  Why are relationships so important to success?  How are you able to build relationships with so many people so quickly and easily?

First of all, Skip, I’m not sure the words “so quickly and easily” are applicable. One of my favorite expressions is, “The Tortoise won the race.” It is true that I’ve literally established a few hundred strong relationships over the past 19 months of networking, but it’s been done in a “slowly but surely” methodology. I’ve been going about networking the same way I’ve interacted with people all my life: caring about them, showing an genuine interest in them, trying to help them all I possibly can, creating friendships wherever I go—the bank, cleaners, post office, you name it. I take the time to get to know people well. Then, when I go out to do my errands, I’m not just doing mindless tasks; I’m going out to see my friends. It makes life so much more pleasant and meaningful. It’s smelling the roses and enjoying the journey as you live your daily life. It’s living in the moment.

It’s the same way with networking. When people of interest follow me, I send out personal direct messages inviting them to talk, interact on a high plain. I offer to help them; and it’s not just empty rhetoric, it’s for real. It’s putting into practice what the late Zig Ziglar meant when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” It’s giving of yourself, paying it forward, so to speak; and people respond positively to this approach. Who doesn’t want to be around people who genuinely care about them? We all want that! What’s so wonderful about it is how it comes back to you in so many positive ways. Not always directly, but it does come back to you. Those who approach networking with the “it’s all about me” mindset, who are in a hurry to sell something without bothering to establish a solid relationship first, are foolishly self-sabotaging themselves, to say nothing about missing out on a lot of fun.

Let’s talk about fear.  It stops so many of us at various times.  Whether in sales or in life, how do you help people overcome it?

Self Control Quotes

Self-Control, Self-Mastery, Self-Discipline

Many say that the first step to leadership is self-leadership.  The ability to discipline yourself is important in achieving any goal.  Whether a New Year’s resolution or a business goal, I am inspired by these quotes on the subject.  Mastering yourself is one of the hardest things to do. I also believe that it’s impossible to achieve perfect victory over yourself, but these quotes will inspire and encourage you on your self-mastery journey.

 What’s your favorite?

The first and best victory is to conquer self. –Plato

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.  -Thomas Jefferson

To rule self and subdue our passions is the more praiseworthy because so few know how to do it. –Guiana

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. -Seneca