Procrastination Is Not A Thing…It’s A Story!

Slow service concept as a time clock with a shell shaped as a snail  as a metaphor for procrastination and leisurely customer service or being tired and sleepy symbol on a white background.

We’ve all said it at one point or another….”I’m a procrastinator” or “I haven’t finished yet because I’m procrastinating.”

People talk about it like it’s a fixed state or has somehow become our destiny. Sometimes it sounds like it has become a part of us. Like a not so powerful superhero…

“The Procrastinator”

But procrastination isn’t a noun, it isn’t a fixed state and it’s definitely not who we are.

Procrastination is a STORY

It’s a story that we have chosen to tell ourselves and tell others as a reason why we haven’t completed what we set out to accomplish.

Recently I’ve been working with my coaching clients on changing the stories they’ve created in their life that no longer serves them. They’ve discovered that most times, the root of becoming a “procrastinator” is fear. It becomes a built in excuse for why we don’t accomplish what we set out to do.

Full Definition of Procrastinate: transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habitually intransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

Dr. Steel Piers did extensive research on procrastination and published his findings in a book called The Procrastination Equation.

Take a second and think about what you have been putting off lately in the name of procrastination. Now I want you to assess how these four factors are showing up in that equation:

Expectancy- this is the level of confidence you have about your goal or what you want to do. People are often fearful that they won’t be successful so their expectancy is low which makes it easier to put it off.

Value- how fired up are you about completing the task or achieving the goal? If you aren’t motivated, think about the benefit of completing it (i.e peace of mind, better health, etc).

Impulsivity- how impulsive are you? Do you stop in the middle of a task or put it off to check email, facebook or send a text message? This is one of the major factors that keeps you in the procrastination story.

Delay- How many times have you said things like “I’ll do it after I watch some TV” or “this can wait until tomorrow.” This is the time to increase your expectancy and realize the value of completing this task RIGHT NOW!

Four Ways To Stop Procrastinating

Set goals- goal setting and creating small wins in your life increase and fuel your motivation. Make your goals challenging, meaningful, feasible and specific.
Just begin the process- focus on process goals rather than outcome goals. For example, instead of worrying about completing your 10-page paper all at once, shift to the process. Set a goal to write for 25 minutes today.

Focus to finish- set a timer for 25 minutes. Turn off all notifications, phones, and social media. Focus on one task for 25 minutes, then give yourself a 5-minute break. REPEAT. This is called the Pomodoro Technique.

Define you WHY- what is your goal behind the goal? Why are you doing what your about to do? Here is a great video by Simon Sinek on finding your Why.
You are not a procrastinator!!! That doesn’t have to be your story anymore!

Create a new story today by:

a) Assessing where you are on the on the procrastination equation.

b) Implementing the four steps I’ve laid out for you!

A new habit usually takes anywhere between 30 days to 245 days to create, averaging out at around 66 days. Starting today, try and implement the four steps above whenever you find yourself telling the procrastination STORY!

Remember it’s only a STORY and you are the author of YOUR STORY.

Change your story and change your life!

———————————————————–

High-Performance Coach and Fatherhood Thought Leader Devon Bandison teaches business owners and entrepreneurs around the world how to achieve more at work, at home, and in the community. His coaching has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and he ‘s a contributing writer for the Huffington Post.

Learn about Live Your Legacy Mastermind Community Here: https://www.legacy.zone

The Youth Sports Trophy Culture: It’s Not About Trophies It’s About Values

Close shoot of black happy smiling little boy holding prize cup with other kids cheering on the back

Are Participation Trophies Sending The Wrong Message To Our Children?

This past weekend one of my clients sent me an article and asked what I thought about Pittsburg Steeler Linebacker James Harrison having his children (ages 8, 6) return the “participation trophies” they received from one of their sports teams. Harrison posted the following on Instagram:

“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”

As former college basketball player and someone who coaches fathers on how to perform at their highest level in life and business, my initial reaction was total support of the message. I never received a participation trophy growing up and was taught the same core values Mr. Harrison was teaching: Everything in life and sports should be earned. My default response was to return to my own experience as an athlete who worked his butt off to eventually earn a college scholarship. In large part because of my experiences growing up, I’ve come to realize how important it is to work hard, experience defeat and be able to learn and improve from losses and disappointments. These are lessons we can take into our everyday life as a parent, business owner, or someone trying to reach their full potential. It’s not defeat that defines us in life but how we react to it that creates our success moving forward. All important lessons I believe Mr. Harrison’s statement supports.

On the other side of the argument are those  believe participation trophies serve as source of pride and a self-esteem booster for kids. That children who participate and work their tails off all year need to be rewarded for finishing the season and not giving up on their team. This reward anchors a child’s experience and encourages them to show up and contribute to the collective.

A 2014 Reason-Rupe poll showed that the more successful adults are in life, the less likely they are to be in favor of the participation trophies. The poll found that the desire to withhold participation trophies increased with income, age, and education. For example, 55 percent of those making less than $30,000 a year were in favor of participation trophies, while only 23 percent of those at the top earners ($110,000 +) wanted trophies for all. It really isn’t about trophies, which by the way has skyrocketed into a 3 billion dollar a year business. The issue is really about instilling values and life lessons in our children that they can take off the field into the world.

It is important that we all take a deeper look at this discussion and see why there has been such a spirited debate over whether participation awards for children are healthy or not. I know parents who sometimes struggle to identify the fine line between appropriate praise and overcompensating by praising everything their child does. Behind Mr. Harrison’s statement is the bigger issue of how to best support our children (emotionally, psychologically) and prepare them for success in life.

Here are questions to consider:

Are participation trophies a way to improve and support positive self-esteem in a child?

OR

Are these types of awards part of a bigger problem that creates entitled and unmotivated adults?

In order to create a meaningful discussion that goes beyond who is right and wrong, I wanted to explore several different perspectives and then offer a potential solution to the issue at hand:

The Issue At Hand

How can we best set our children up for success in life (socially, emotionally, psychologically, financially, spiritually, etc.)?

Different Perspectives

Over the weekend, I made some calls and asked this question:

Is James Harrison right? Are participation trophies sending the wrong message to our children?

My first calls were to the professional and college athletes I work with who are also parents. Next I asked some of the high-performing fathers (business owners, CEO’s) who said they were either average, below average or non-athletic growing up.

Finally, I went to the people who this debate affects the most, children. I asked my own children (ages 13, 17) as well as some of their friends what they thought about the debate over participation awards. There are far too many instances in today’s society where adults and experts create a discussion about our children and youth without including them. This was an important perspective and their responses may surprise you.

All three perspectives were important for me to integrate into what I already know from my experience in child development, parenting and human behavior.

Here is what I’ve learned from everyone’s comments:

The “Yes” Argument

Participation trophies creates a false sense of accomplishment

“I wanted to give my children all they wanted, all I hadn’t had. In so doing I may have deprived them of what they needed most: the grit and the tools, to take on the world and make their own way.” Harry Belefonte

The professional athlete’s I spoke with whole-heartedly agreed with Harrison’s perspective. One stated, “Great job Mr. Harrison for teaching the value of hard work and that nothing in life comes easy.” As a father, I also want to instill in my children the importance of creating good habits, working hard towards a goal and giving your best. I agree with Mr. Harrison that teaching children the importance of earning things in life through hard work is a very important life lesson.

These are the times in our life when the most profound transformations take place because of defeat. Defeat and experiencing losing is important for development and has a way of getting our attention. It allows us to look at our habits, work ethic and performance to see where we can improve. If you never experience losing and are rewarded for simply showing up you may never learn this lesson of perseverance.

What I’ve noticed from observing the high performers I work with, whether its sports or business, is a sense of never settling for mediocrity. Winners in life, business and sports always feel that there is more to do. If business exceeds expectations in the first quarter, they want to top that in the second quarter. If the team wins a championship, they are quickly focusing on repeating the following year. In many ways, there is never satisfaction because there is always a bigger milestone to achieve.

The “No” Argument

Participation trophies teach children the value of showing up

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up” Brene Brown

The lesson that may have been missed in all of this is the value of showing up. One of the CEO’s I spoke with had a different take on the message the trophy sends. “By not giving a child a trophy after a long hard season teaches children that there is no value in trying. As Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of life is showing up.”

As a father who has coached many of my children’s teams over the years, I understand the hard work, dedication and commitment that a children (and parents) make to attending practices and games. Advocates for participation trophies argue that sending a child home after a long season empty handed sends the message that there is no value in the attempt. Sports can be a microcosm of life and teaching children that it’s bigger than winning or losing is important. By earning participation trophies, children receive the message that being accountable, showing up and working hard means something. Some children won’t be superstars or be fortunate enough to be on winning teams, but that doesn’t mean they’re not embodying winning values.

What the kids are saying

“Participation is more than just showing up”

When I asked my 13-year-old son and the players on his AAU basketball team, I was expecting them to be opposed to the trophies. These very competitive kids are always looking to win the next game and tournament. To my surprise, most of them (9 out of 10) were in favor of the trophies. They told me that they understand the difference between MVP, Championships and Participation Trophies and there is room for them all. The players went on to say that working hard and being committed during the season should be rewarded. WOW! I was impressed.

So, I called my 17-year-old daughter to see if she would have another view. A few days earlier, I had moved her into her dorm room for her first year of college. She spent most of her life on dance teams that participated in recitals and competition. Her view was similar to that of my son’s team. She said, “participation is more than just showing up, it’s agreeing to work to be part of a team. Whether we win or lose, it doesn’t take away our effort.” She continued to say that a criteria has to be met to receive it though. Things like attending practice, working hard and being a good teammate. Children get it and fully understand the distinction between a first place trophy and a participation trophy. As they schooled me, I wondered to myself if it was the adults, who were making this more complicated than it needed to be.

It’s Not about Trophies It’s about Values

“The major value in life is not what we get. The major value in life is what we become”

Most people are either on one side or on the other of this debate with no wiggle room for common ground. Participation trophies are either GOOD or BAD.

There is common ground between both sides of this debate that can ultimately benefit our children. The commonality is that everyone wants the best for their children, but we often go about it different ways.

As a student of child development, I also have to point out the research of Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck who wrote a New York Times piece titled “Too much praise is not good for toddlers.” In her research, Dweck talks about the negative repercussions of praising children for everyday achievements. She doesn’t discourage praising kids altogether, but suggests focusing on how they approach difficult tasks, strategize and concentrate.

The adults may have missed what the the kids recognized all along: Participation is more than “just showing up.” Webster’s defines participation as “the state of being related to a larger whole.” Isn’t that a value we want to instill in our children? Teamwork, sacrifice, service and contributing to a greater good.

It reminded me of the college professor who on the first day of class announced, “You all start the year with A’s, and this is what you have to do to keep it.”

Maybe the answer is to place meaning and emphasis on values rather than a trophy. Sports can provide valuable life lessons to help our children develop into healthy adults:

1. Teamwork– Teamwork in sports fosters emotional and social development that can easily carry over to life. This translates in how well your children work with their teachers, classmates, relatives, and anyone else they may encounter in life.

2. Resilience- You will experience adversity in life but never give up. Everyone gets knocked down, but what’s important is how you respond.

3. Sportsmanship- Your character shouldn’t be determined by a win or loss. Show up in the world as the person you want to be.

4. Fun- Children do this much better than adults do. In sports and life, find what brings you joy. Follow your dreams and have fun with it.

5. Hard work- This is a valuable lesson that translates in all aspects of life.

6. Everyone has strengths- Teaching children to look for the strengths in other people is a great lesson in relationship building though connection and empathy.

7. Responsibility and Commitment- “No practice, No Play.” Sports help children understand the importance of following through with their commitment by attending practices and games. Being responsible for yourself and keeping your commitment to your teammates is a valuable life lesson.

So… Is James Harrison Right? Are participation trophies sending the wrong message to our children?

It depends… Trophies don’t send messages, PEOPLE do! 

Maybe we’ve been debating the wrong question and complicating the issue all along. Harrison’s points about earning things in life and dealing with adversity are great life lessons. I think it’s fair to challenge the second part of the statement “your best sometimes isn’t enough. When children give their best, it should be good enough.

Competition is at the heart of sports, and maybe trophies should be reserved for the winners, but everyone’s effort deserves to be acknowledged.

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”

Fatherhood Picture Of The Year Contest: And The Winner Is…..

First, I’d like to thank all the families who contributed to the Fatherhood Picture of the Year contest. It has been a huge success, as we received an overwhelming response of amazing pictures depicting modern day fatherhood.

Pictures were submitted by wives, husbands, children and friends, which made it all the more fun. The decision to choose a winner was extremely difficult, so I enrolled the help of my own children in the process.  Before I announce the winner, I’d like to personally thank and recognize all the fathers for being such great role models in the lives of your families.

And the WINNER is……..

All nine fathers below are the winners. Yes, that’s right, we have an 9-way tie. These submissions of our fathers in action were too good to pick just one winner.

Congratulations to all our fathers below. As promised, each winner will receive a FREE coaching session from me.

Here are our winning father’s:

Charles Jones shows that “proud papa” smile moments after the birth of his precious newborn

2015-06-01 11.27.56

Jeff Bogle sharing the sunshine with the light of his life

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Darryl Mathis in the New York State of mind with his adorable children.

FullSizeRender

Rob Barea teaching his son that fatherhood is a marathon not a sprint

running

Jon Harrison and his son “May the force be with you”

classically trained

Jesse Foster shows what being an ambidextrous father looks like

jesse

Michael Vigneau riding the waves of life with his little ones

FB_IMG_1433203453669

Brian Henderson sharing creativity and endless possibilities with his daughter

museum

Brian Mininger with his own version of the “Fab 5”

brian mininger

Congratulations to all our winners…

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Father’s Day: 3 Things To Think About This Year

bandison fam

What an amazing Father’s Day weekend it has been already. It started out with Friday Pizza Night with my children and continued into Saturday at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We roller skated, played basketball and barbecued. But most importantly we laughed, talked and enjoyed each others company. Another opportunity to celebrate life as a family!

Father’s day is a celebration! A great celebration honoring the importance of a father’s influence on his family and society. Its origins date back to July 19, 1910 when the governor of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.”

While I am a big advocate of Father’s Day celebrations, I also understand that fatherhood is an everyday responsibility. As a father of three wonderful children and someone who works with fathers throughout the world, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to shifting the perspective of fatherhood.

In my TED Talk, at TEDx Boca Raton, titled “The Most Important Question A Father Can Ask Himself,” I addressed the importance and impact of fatherhood.

Here are three things to remember this year when celebrating Father’s Day:

Fathers Matter- Children with active fathers in their life perform better academically, behaviorally and socially.

Today’s Father is Present- Today’s father is more active in their children’s lives than at any other time in history. The amount of time the modern father spends with his children has tripled since 1965.

Fatherhood Is Leadership- “Like Leadership, Fatherhood isn’t about your authority, position or title. Fatherhood is about influence; how one life can influence another.” A father’s actions and example directly influence the lives of his children and family.

While you think of what present you want to buy your father this year, take the time and reflect on what his presence has meant to you and your family.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
From our family to yours

 

Fatherhood Leadership Academy

Fatherhood Leadership Academy blue

Are you a father that wants MORE?  

More freedom? More fulfillment? More time to do the things you love?

Are you a father who wants to be better?

Do you want to be a better leader? A better father? or BOTH?

Are you a high achiever who has found success in the business world but sometimes feel like you’re failing as a parent?

Did you set your goals and dreams aside when you became a father and no longer think they’re possible?

If the answer is YES… The Fatherhood Leadership Academy is for you!

Click here to learn more: Fatherhood Leadership Academy

Are You Living Your Default Future?

man try to exit from his glass sphere

Lets Stop For A Minute! Yes Stop….

Take a deep breath, check in with yourself and become present.

Ok, are you here?

Good…..

Now check in and see where you are on your journey called life! With almost half of 2015 behind us, now is a great opportunity to become aware of where you are in the here and now.

Have you reached the goals, dreams, and milestones that you had set for yourself? Are you satisfied, fulfilled and passionate with your life? Is what you are about to do today what you really want to do?

Or

Are you living your default future?

What is a default future you ask?

Your default future is that life you “settled” into. The one that has subtly placed your dreams to the side because “life showed up.” The vision of the life you really wanted for yourself that has been placed on a waiting list. It is that relationship, job, or situation that has now gone on auto pilot. Many people I work with begin to realize they have settled into their default future without even knowing when it happened.

Some have promised to go back to school after a year, and it’s 10 years later. Others have said they wanted to start their own business but continue to show up to a job they hate. Some wanted to have a healthier relationship with their body but never made it to the gym. You get the point.

We all have had opportunities in our life to either settle or move forward towards our ideal life.

Where are you?

The number one cause for this life on auto pilot is….Failure to leave your comfort zone

Yes, the dreaded comfort zone. Trust me when I tell you that your comfort zone is NOT your friend. Your comfort zone leads you to a one way ticket to your default future.

Comfort zones foster an attitude of learned helplessness, making progress harder. Learning, creating, and growing happen only when you step outside and challenge yourself.

“Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone”

Here are 3 Ways To Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone:

Lean In- Ever been working out at the gym and it hurts? Then you make a decision to lean in and continue working out despite the pain. What happens? The result is that you become fit, stronger and generally feel good about yourself. The discomfort was worth it. The same applies to your life. Lean in to discomfort. Choose to have that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off. Choose to apply for those jobs that you think you”ll never get. Choose to book put a date on the calendar and book the flight to your dream destination. Choose to write that book you’ve been putting off.

Become Present and Expand- Awareness can bring about change. When you become aware of your tendency to default to your comfort zone, shift your mindset to expansion. Ask yourself, what can I do that will broaden my horizons? Is it a 30-day challenge? Is it a conference you wanted to sign up for that will deepen your knowledge base? Is it an email to the author of the book you really connected with? These are all ways to expand.

Accountability- When leaving your comfort zone it’s important that your track your progress to ensure that you’re not subtly slipping back into old habits. Support yourself by creating an accountability group with friends. This can include gym workout buddies, a book club or a master mind.

Looking for deeper transformation? Consider hiring a coach or connecting with a mentor.

As you begin to move out of your comfort zone you will see opportunities that you thought were out of reach. This will build your confidence and allow you to take healthy risks.  I’ve seen miracles happen with the clients I’m fortunate enough to work with as a result of pushing past their comfort zone. Transformation in its truest sense. Leaving your comfort zone will create a life of increased fulfillment, optimism and confidence.

Make the decision today to get out of your comfort zone and live your ideal life, instead of your default future. Life is truly what you make it!

 

My TED Talk Takeaways

11070744_1579101145675002_4625280898266579583_o

 

Recently, I was honored give a TED talk on fatherhood and leadership at TEDx Boca Raton. As a professional speaker and someone who has watched many TED Talks over the years, it was exciting to be part of such a rich history and tradition.

For those who are unaware of TED, TED is a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. The motto of TED is “ideas worth spreading.” You can see for yourself at TED.com.

I have to applaud the organizers of TEDx Boca Raton for putting together a first class event. Everything from the pre-conference VIP party to the event itself was filled with innovative, thoughtful people making the world better.

My talk was titled “The Most Important Question A Father Can Ask Himself,” drawing from my experience developing programs and coaching fathers throughout the globe. And of course my own experience and trials as a modern day Dad!

My idea worth spreading….”Fatherhood is Leadership!”

After a few days processing my time with other thought leaders, scientists, engineers, gamers, child prodigies and former professional athletes, I have a few takeaways from my TED Talk:

  1. Tell and Own Your Story- This applies to a public forum like TED or in everyday life. Our lives are a continuous narrative of the impact we make on people and the world. Be proud of sharing your story, ideas, accomplishments and perceived failures. Tell it, own it and be passionate about your story!
  2. Preparation- There is no substitute for hard work and preparation. Rehearse…Rehearse…Rehearse… Whether its a big speech or boardroom meeting, preparation is the key to success. Nervous energy can be expected but preparation turns that energy into peak performance.
  3. Innovation Can Be Simple The best way to approach complex ideas is to make them simple. Creating an authentic perception and reality of ‘new value’ for the audience is what matters. Remember Albert Einstein’s quote? “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, your don’t understand it yourself.” Just because a topic is complicated, doesn’t mean your talk needs to be complicated—the true mark of good communication is clarity.
  4. Remember “It’s Not About YOU”– Whenever you are asked to deliver a speech, workshop, idea or information don’t lose sight of the goal. For me it’s always to provide value to anyone who has taken the time to listen. When preparing I always ask myself “what’s in it for them?” While you may not reach everyone, you can surely make a difference in at least one persons life that day, if you deliver value.

Do you have a favorite TED Talk or TED takeaway? Let me know by commenting below and feel free to share with others…

If you want more details on how to become a better leader and successfully integrate work-life and home-life, let me help you. For your complimentary discovery session…and to find out about my LEGACY of LEADERSHIP coaching program, I have a limited number of appointments available and requests for people. If you are serious about creating a legacy of leadership, purpose and connection. Contact me

==========

Fatherhood Thought Leader, Speaker and Leadership Expert Devon Bandison teaches business owners and entrepreneurs around the world how to become better leaders at work and at home. Get his FREE report “Top 4 Way To Become A Productive Leader” at www.devonbandison.com.

Want To Be A Better Father This Year? A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Want to become a better father?

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

In today’s world where work-life integration is difficult for many, I’ve been fortunate to have the best of both worlds. A career that incorporates the very thing I love most…Fatherhood….

The work with fathers and leaders around the country is an amazing and purposeful journey. An added benefit to this work is the ability to share some of my own experience as a father for them to relate to.

Here are a few pictures over the past year that highlight important fatherhood lessons:

1. Be Consistent- Show Up

2014-08-22 18.23.56 HDR

This is what me and my little man call our Friday Night Spot! On Fridays we stop by our favorite pizza shop and have a blast. By making this our special hangout, he looks forward to it and feels special.

Consistency and making your child feel special is important and helps with adjustment. Routines help our children understand what is coming next, so the world doesn’t feel like such a scary and unpredictable place. (warning- It could be fattening too)

2. Encourage and Support Them

2014-10-10 20.12.31

When my daughter was nominated for homecoming Queen, there was a lot of anxiety to go around. She tried to be cool and act as if she wasn’t nervous but as a father you know the “real deal.” We let her know that she is amazing and a winner no matter the outcome. The best moment came when I escorted her on to the field and she turned to me and said “Dad you’ve been treating me like a Queen all my life”

3. Have Fun and Laugh

2014-07-12 16.14.36

This was called the Toys R Us Takeover. Allowing your children to laugh and see the lighter side of you is important. By sharing this side with your children you actually help with their social and emotional development.

Research has shown that children who laugh more are healthier — they’re less likely to be depressed and may even have an increased resistance to illness or physical problems.

4. Teach Them What Gratitude and Service Looks Like

2014-11-27 14.30.25

There’s no better education than seeing the less fortunate first-hand. One way I teach gratitude is by bringing my children to feed and donate gifts to homeless families during the holidays.

Studies show that children who express gratitude through service reap concrete benefits, including greater life satisfaction and a better attitude about school. When children give their time and energy to help others, they’re less likely to take things like health, home and family for granted.

 5. Show Them The World

14846007977_4691810fe9_o

Teach your children to follow their dreams and show them the world. They look up to you, so make sure your children know that anything is achievable, regardless of the current circumstances.

Do you have any pictures

depicting fatherhood that

you’d like to share?

The 4 Keys To Increase Your Inner Paycheck

There is a big misconception held by companies and people that success leads to happiness.  I often hear people say things like “Once I get the ________ (raise, promotion, house, car, etc), I’ll be happy. This way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth and actually prevents people from living life to the fullest. But did you know that this thought process can actually impact your paycheck?

Science and research has proven that fulfillment and happiness are key ingredients to a successful career. Optimism fuels performance and achievement which, in turn allows us to advance monetarily. The studies show that our brain is hardwired to perform at their best when they are in a positive mindset.  Its biological! Without getting all Mr. Goodbody on you, here are the facts:

  • When we feel optimistic about our future, dopamine and serotonin are released in our brains which in turn heightens our sense of well-being. This allow us to more rapidly organize new information and become more skilled at problem solving.
  • Conversely, when you focus on your problems it exhausts your energies and ability to work optimally. Low performing employees always lead to lower paychecks.

So it’s all about your inner paycheck. If you can create a life for yourself grounded in the things that make you happy it will lead to greater success.

Here are 4 keys to increase your inner paycheck:

  1. Keep Healthy– The most successful people understand the importance of keeping a healthy mind, body and spirit. Treat yourself to the gift of your own attention. Eat well, workout and meditate; they all increase optimal functioning.
  2. Stop Complaining- I knew a woman who always said she had issues. After we spoke a few times I asked her to slow down the pronunciation of the word ISSUE and break it down to IS U! Every time you complain, you reinforce a negative state of mind without offering a solution to the problem at hand. Instead, next time you feel frustrated, take a few deep breaths and try focusing on something positive.
  3. Journal- Take time every day to write down at least two positive experiences you had as well as gratitude. Include small moments of happiness and random acts of kindness. It is important you write it down so you can look back and remember all you have to be thankful for when life becomes difficult.
  4. Show Your Gratitude- Write a thank you card, pick up the phone, volunteer or send someone a book they would enjoy. One of the best ways to increase  happiness is by reaching out and helping others.

Happiness is the key ingredient to increasing your “Inner Paycheck” which will lead to success in all areas of your life.  If you allow yourself to feel positive, your brain will take care of the rest.  You will see increases in productivity, resiliency and problem solving which in turn will lead to greater opportunities. If increasing your pay grade is your goal start with increasing your inner paycheck.

Share some of the ways you increase your inner paycheck.