Hold me close young Tony Danza

There’s a famous episode of Friends in which Phoebe Buffay claims the most romantic song ever was by Elton John…you know, the one that goes: ? “Hold me close young Tony Danza…”

Of course, Phoebe is referring to Elton John’s famous hit Tiny Dancer (which never once names Tony Danza!)

Don’t we all have stories of mishearing song lyrics and assuming we’ve got it right? Here’s one of mine…

The other day, I was on a walk—powered by Spotify’s Sam Cooke playlist—when his iconic Twistin’ the Night Away came up.

Now, I’ve heard this song 1,000s of times. So, I’m walking my neighborhood, singing along because I can and because I (mostly) don’t care about looking cool. And also, no one is around.

So I am belting out:

Here’s a man in evenin’ clothes
How he got here, I don’t know, but
Man, you oughta see him go
Twistin’ the night away!

He’s dancin’ with the chicken slacks ?
She’s a movin’ up and back
Oh man, there ain’t nothin’ like
Twistin’ the night away!

Wait….Chicken Slacks? What the……?

Having first encountered that song at age 6, I clearly and definitively heard ‘chicken slacks’. I was too young to clue into the slang of the real lyrics—’chick in slacks’. As in, a woman wearing pants.

This is that moment of a paradigm shift—something you’ve thought was so true but isn’t!

I bet you have stories like this, too. Song lyrics or popular sayings that you didn’t fully understand, so your brain filled in something else—even if that something else made little sense.

In most cases, such distortions go unchallenged for years — in my case, decades! And that had me wondering… What else am I holding firmly as TRUE that just isn’t?

I invite you to consider that question, too. It’s tricky, right? Where do we even begin?

One place to look – that is sure to generate greater power and freedom for you: your beliefs about financial Success & Security.

Consider this: What do you tell yourself is required to be financially successful?
Is it really true? How do you know?

How about this one: What do you believe makes you (or would make you) feel financially secure?

Most of us have many inherited familial, societal, and cultural beliefs and rules about these things. Many of those rules / beliefs are distorted and yet we live with them as if they are the undeniable Truth.

These distortions don’t give us much room to live a full, vibrant life. And isn’t that why we are here?

I’d love to hear what you discover.

(And if you want to share your funny stories of misheard song lyrics, I want to hear that, too!)

Finally, on January 12th from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Eastern, Meredith Moore and I are hosting a FREE interactive webinar: Opening to a New Future in which we’ll help you illuminate outdated beliefs and start you on a process that you can work with going forward.

Click HERE to register.

Til then…

When to Use the F-Word

As Much As Possible!

Everywhere, with everyone.  Naturally, the f-word I’m referring to is “FUN”. F-Word

People hire me because they want to experience greater success and happiness. You’d be surprised how much they resist Fun.

At first, they think I’m joking.  When I press, it can get ugly:

Me:  What would it be like to bring Fun to doing your taxes?

Client:  Hahahaha…yeah, right….

Me:  I’m serious — how could you bring Fun to doing your taxes?

Client:  Are you feeling ok?  Are you insane?

Me:  (coach-like silence)

Client:  WTF??  No way!  Have you ever done taxes?  You can’t just….I can’t….  WTF?  If I went around having “Fun” [exaggerated sarcasm], nothing would get done!  I’d go broke!  They’d lock me away!  No way!  What are you talking about?  What’s wrong with you?

Why So Threatening?

Bizarre, isn’t it, how threatening Fun can be?  Turns out, we have a long list of reasons:

  • We have it confused with childhood or adolescent ideas of Fun:  balloons, cookies, & beer  
  • We have it collapsed with goofing off or getting in trouble
  • We think it makes us seem like we aren’t committed or serious
  • We’ve been conditioned to believe we must earn the right to have Fun
  • We’ve been trained to compartmentalize Fun — it’s for weekends and vacations
  • Fun often triggers intense emotions (joy, gratitude, love) & we don’t want to be exposed, even in our glory
  • We believe Fun is weak or naive because it’s vulnerable
  • We believe we can only grow through pain, not through Fun
  • We feel guilty: “I can’t have Fun while others are hurting!”
  • We’re addicted to self-pity, struggle, suffering, guilt, blame, control, and/or martyrdom
  • We want to fit in — most of the world operates from “Ain’t it awful!” and misery loves company
  • We don’t know how to bring Fun to different areas of life, in part, because we don’t have a matured definition.

What If?

What if learning to have Fun were the most profound thing you could do for your growth?

What if Fun included all of the common things like laughter, celebrating special occasions, and entertainment but was expansive and mature enough to include :

  • fulfilling your commitments
  • honoring your values
  • living with integrity
  • learning something new, even if you’re terrible at it
  • helping others
  • forgiving yourself and others
  • succeeding and learning from it
  • failing and learning from it
  • telling the hard truth
  • doing taxes

What if you decided to bring your sense of Fun to all that you do?

Practical Application

The first step in learning to bring Fun to all that you do is to examine your relationship with Fun itself.  Here are some tips:

  • Explore your own resistance to Fun.  What rules have you made up about it?
  • What are you considering NOT FUN?  Why isn’t it fun?  What’s the story you are telling about it (if only to yourself)?
  • Allow your definition to expand.  Experiment by bringing Fun to your answer above. (Review the “What If” list if you get stuck.)
  • What is genuinely Fun for you at this point in your life?  Do more of that.
  • Decide to “peel away from the pack” and don’t participate in the complaining, struggling Ain’t It Awful club.  Try thinking the mantra: “That may be true for them, but it is not true for me.”

Have Fun!

“Gym Rat” Shares 4 Secrets to Creating Habits

BetterThanZero

Last September I had some minor surgery that prohibited exercise for a short time. Fortunately, in November I got the All-Clear from my surgeon so I high-tailed it over to the gym and kicked my weight training routine back into into gear!

Just kidding.

Want to guess how many times I’ve been to the gym?   Here are the actual stats from my gym, showing the number of visits between 11/15/12  –  02/01/13:  one.  Yep, I went once.

Hmmmm……

The old ways of motivating myself weren’t cutting it.  Being a Drill Sargent no longer worked (as if it ever did), pep talks were lame, and threats of  losing muscle mass/bone density had no effect.  I needed a new approach.

New Way Saves The Day

That’s when Leo Babauta’s article on Sticking To a Habit: The Definitive Guide arrived in my inbox.  Here’s my version of his premise:

1.  Build ONE habit at a time — don’t try to get in shape, change your diet, quit coffee, de-clutter your house, etc., all at once.  Choose one.  Don’t add another until you have some confidence in the first one.

Photo by Lee Goss

Photo by Lee Goss

2.  Start with micro-steps — Break it down into ridiculously manageable action.  I started by doing 1 push-up, 10 sit-ups, & a 30-second plank.  Slowly adding as I get stronger.  I’m on day 5 and can already tell a huge difference.  [By the end of the month, I’ll be doing 20 push-ups, 50 sit-ups…but I’m getting ahead of myself.]   Here’s the other great thing about these micro steps:  my excuse for not having enough time has vanished!  Seriously, how long does it take to do a push-up?

3.  Do it once per day and don’t miss more than 2 days in a row — obviously essential to converting a one-time action into a reliable habit.  Stay with your daily action and crowd out excuses.

4.  Have an accountability buddy (or two) — yes, you could hire a coach for this but  it isn’t necessary.  You could check in regularly with a friend.  I have two friends as accountability partners:  Photographer and Real Estate Agent Extraordinaire Kate Maxwell-Williams and Brilliant Coach & Trainer Keri Kuerbis-Lehmann.

Your Turn

What do you want to accomplish?  What habit would facilitate that accomplishment?  Who will be your accountability partner?