Three Deep Breaths

Recently I spent some time with Tom Crum and his daughter, Alia. Tom’s a good buddy of ours and is an Aikido expert. He wrote a wonderful book called Three Deep Breaths. I think I probably have shared these at some point but they are worth repeating… You know, as you head off any day in the car – I think the car is a wonderful place to quiet yourself if you don’t listen to the radio.

The first breath is the Centering Breath – you just breathe in, into your center right below your belly button. Just center yourself and feel your breath. Continue reading

March Madness

Last week and this week we are having a “Blanchard March Madness” tournament here at the corporate office. Last week we had some individual competitions including HORSE and a Sharpshooter tournament, and this week we are having 3-on-3 games. Well, on Thursday we had the finals of the individual competitions, and do you know who won the sharpshooting contest? Yours truly! Ha! I made 16 out of 20 shots from the foul line. What a great time we had, and I couldn’t believe I beat all the youngsters here at the office!

It was interesting. I’m proofreading the second edition of The Mulligan that I wrote with Wally Armstrong, about golf and faith. There’s a lot of mental stuff in there too. Tony Robbins said that if you want to perform well, there are three aspects. One is focus—you have to see yourself doing well. And you know, I used to be a great foul shooter when I was younger, so I just saw myself pouring the shots in. Then Tony said you have to have the physiology—you have to walk like you know what you’re talking about. So when it was my turn, I just walked there like I knew what I was doing. And then Tony said you have to have a routine. So I bounced the ball and tossed it around the same way every time before I went for the shot. So I made 16 out of 20 at the line, which even surprised me.

I also read in there what we wrote about playing NATO golf—Not Attached To Outcome. So you’re not worried about your outcome, you’re just going with the flow. Last week we were at a program called Inspire San Diego. The guy who put it on was Greg Reid, who cowrote a book called Three Feet from Gold, which really built on the ideas from Think and Grow Rich, the classic book by Napoleon Hill. Just listen to this line from Napoleon Hill:  “There are many things you cannot control, but you can control the only thing that really matters—your mind and your attitude. External forces have very little to do with success. Those who program themselves for success find a way to succeed even in the most difficult of circumstances. Solutions to most problems come from one source, and one source alone: yourself. You can do it if you believe you can. You control your destiny. Decide to live life to the fullest. You may be three feet from gold.”

That was fun. Life is a very special occasion, don’t miss it!

Make Love Your Goal for the Holidays

You know, at this time of year you can really get yourself hassled. You know, running around, making sure you have every present bought and everything done and all that. And life can be a burden rather than a joy. This is supposed to be the season of joy and love, not of burden and hassle and all those kinds of things. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want to get things done and cross things off your list, but don’t make “list accomplishment” the goal of this holiday season. Make LOVE the goal of this holiday. If you couldn’t find the right present for someone – maybe you should sit down and write that person a note about how much you care about them and that you’ll send them something after the holidays. Stress is a major problem this time of year because people have so many “to do” lists. They forget why they’re doing it and get too much into the doing. Too often this time of year we’re human doings rather than human beings. I just wanted to check for you, as well as myself as I run around and try to get things done at the end of the year, that I’m a human being, not a human doing.  So reach out to anybody you talk to and wish them the greatest holiday, the greatest the greatest New Year, and just tell them you care about them. Maybe that’s what you ought to do. What I like to do this time of year, too, is to go through my phone list and call people I haven’t talked to in a while, and just tell them I care about them. What can you do to make this a joyous time, rather than a hassled time?  Remember, life is a very special occasion if you keep things in perspective.

Monday Again?!

One day last week, I suddenly realized that I was having a great day at work. I had so many different things going on that I lost track of time. That’s when you know you’re doing what you ought to be doing. Are you losing track of time?  If you’re watching your watch, and you’re thinking, “Thank God it’s Friday,” or, “Oh no, it’s Monday,” then talk to somebody in the company about switching jobs, because you’re probably in the wrong job. Remember, to be the best, you need to be passionate and excited about what you’re doing. That’s the way I was last week – I just lost track of time because I was having a ball. So you have a ball today. Love what you do, because when you do that, your customers are going to love you and you’re going to have a successful company.

Giving Thanks

You know, not long ago I woke up and I had a little “pity party.” I was kind of feeling bad.  I had been traveling a lot, and that day I was flying out of state to do something I had agreed to do over a year earlier. And I was thinking, “Wow, I’ve had enough of travel.” I’d just as soon have stayed home with Margie and our dog Joy and gone up to the office and hugged everybody. So I was having a pretty good pity party. And then I just kind of backed off. I read my mission statement and my obituary and my values—and I realized that there must be some reason I was going there. Maybe somebody really needed the message I was going to bring; maybe somebody really needed something I could help them with. You know, if you’re going to make the word a better place, you do it by the moment-to-moment decisions you make as you interact with other people. So I just kind of pumped myself up and said, “Okay, Blanchard, you’re here to make the world a little bit better, so stop with the pity party. You’ve just got another new audience—a new group of people.” And maybe, just maybe, I did make a little bit of a difference in someone’s life.

So if you ever have those feelings, you know—“Monday, oh my God. I’ve got to go back to work,” or whatever—the reality is that we’re really wonderfully blessed. We have to keep on reminding ourselves when we get into our pity party to just get up. Because somebody always has it worse than we have it. Somebody has some problems and maybe we can help—whether it be a customer or coworker, family member, or friend. So no more pity parties. Although it is good to recognize that we can all fall into that mood, the way out, especially this week, is positive thinking, giving thanks for what you do have,  and realizing that we are really here to make a difference.