I wish I could take credit for this post’s subject line, but that little gem — “turn your mess into your message” — comes from one of my favorite online mentors, Jim Kwik, host of the Kwik Brain Podcast and all around awesome human being.
It got me thinking about how our greatest gifts to the world often stem from some kind of mess we make along the way. In Jim’s case, he is now a world-renowned mental coach and advisor to some of the biggest names on the planet: Will Smith, Sir Elton John, Jennifer Lawrence…the list goes on for miles…all because he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he crashed his bike at five years old. Told he would never amount to anything, he has gone on to be a leader in his field, teaching us how to harness the massive power our brains possess so that we can lead happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives.
In my case, I turned the darkest time of my adult life into the foundation for my podcast, Play Your Position, a reminder and euphemism for how important it is to stay true to ourselves. Four and a half years and 120 episodes later, my guests and audience are still resonating with the message from my mess:
Show up. Be Yourself. Win.
Like me, Jim believes we can always learn something new and reinforce the foundation of knowledge we already have. Here are three tidbits to help you think differently this month about what’s going on in your life:
1. The next time you set out to learn something new, learn with the intention to teach whatever you’re learning. Jim says when you teach something, you get to learn it twice. Having been a teacher for as many years as I have, I can say without a shadow of a doubt how true and wonderful this sentiment is.
2. Life is hard and we can all benefit from simple tools to ease the struggle. Becoming aware of and then deliberately practicing the following four Gs to living a great life can help in this department:
Growth: Focus on finding small ways to grow yourself each day. One great place to start is by drinking more clean, filtered water!
Grit: Toughing things out when things get tough is an old cliche — with a lot of merit. When you think you can’t go on another minute, tell yourself you can and see what happens.
Giving: Money, time, food, unwanted items can lift the spirits of those less fortunate.
Gratitude: Next time you feel like you gotta do something routine (like wash the dinner dishes or fold laundry) — change the “o” to an “e” so the “got” becomes a “get.” Instead of “I gotta do the dishes” you will say “I get to do the dishes.” Crazy as it sounds, this simple shift toward gratitude yields enormous rewards.
3. Feeling jealous of a friend’s great vacation to Hawaii she just smeared all over Facebook? Wishing things weren’t so boring or lousy in your life? Thinking everyone else is far more successful/thin/happy than you? Think again.
All the social media bluster aside… if you want to feel instantly wealthier, make a quick list and count how many things you have in your life right now that money can’t buy. Off the top of my head, I wrote down my hearing, my eyesight, and my legs. Being able to listen to my favorite books and podcasts while walking outside in the glorious September weather and seeing birds, trees, and blue sky along the way cannot be underestimated in their capacity to bring joy. Having those three things alone makes me a very wealthy woman indeed. I suspect you are richer beyond your wildest dreams, too!
Jeff McManus and Jake Carlson are my two most recent guests on the Play Your Position podcast and they know all about the intangible rewards life blesses us with. Have a listen to their episodes, and if you are so inclined, please give PYP the gift of your 5-star rating and review over on iTunes so they know how much you appreciate them.
Your feedback helps new people discover the great insights PYP MVPs share with us each month, insights like Jim Kwik’s awesome observation about turning our mess into our message. I and my guests appreciate your reviews!