This day (really the whole dang week) could have gone to hell in a handbasket. Fast.
It’s been one challenge after another (super sick pup, bank screwups, delayed flights, and more). None of it, of course, was on my schedule, so it was a lot, as in hours, of wasted time. (Would that we could schedule in time to deal with these kinds of ugly surprises – crystal ball, perhaps? Tea leaves might be helpful? They work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel…😜)
As I was walking back into my office today, I thought, “it’s really tempting to sit down and wallow in aggravation and self-pity for a bit. To let myself get whiney and yell at the air.”
Instead of giving in to self-pity and despair and a bag of Ruffles, I sat down and got back to work. With a song in my heart and a smile on my face. 😘
It would also have been really easy to let my frustration come through on the phone with the representatives at the bank who were trying to help me. But instead, I had all three of them laughing.
I’m not a spiritual guru. I am not so enlightened that nothing bothers me. I don’t have an extra stash of willpower.
I’ll give yoga some of the credit but not all. What’s helped me more than anything has been books.
In the past, I would have let this week’s challenges control my thoughts. I would have used them as an excuse to call all my girlfriends and complain, snap at everyone I ran across, and eat my weight in Ruffles. But now it’s a mere blip on the radar screen.
I’m sharing with you the three books that have helped me the most. I read parts of them over and over. I cling to them like Elbie with a beef bone.
These books don’t teach you how to treat other people or control your temper. They teach you how to treat yourself. Once you have that down, treating others with the same respect, love, and compassion you have for yourself is easy.
These books are about habits, thoughts, and your brain. Read and use the information in all three and you will literally be unstoppable.
1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
The bad habits you continue to repeat will compound and wreck your life. The same is true for good habits. Practice them over and over, and it will create so much good in your life, you will hardly be able to stand yourself. Creating good habits is not about willpower or energy or finding more motivation.
Chapter three of this book tells you what creating good habits IS about. I’ve read that chapter about 28 times. The rest of the book lays out the exact process so that the good habits stick and the bad ones fall right off you.
You don’t have to get it right 100% of the time. He says the 80/20 rule applies to forming good habits the same as anywhere else in life (nutrition, exercise, marketing…).
The quality of our lives depends on the quality of our habits.
No truer statement has ever been written.
2. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
It’s tough for me to describe how good this book is.
I have clients order it when they are stuck in their businesses. I have gotten thank you notes for recommending it and testimonials on how it changed their lives. Even though I didn’t write it. She says everything I would say and saves me the trouble. This is what that looks like:
Stop flip-flopping between freaking out in your head and “breathing into the now.”
No matter how smart you are, you are not aware of what’s available to you.
You get to choose how you perceive your reality.
We invest in what other people believe we should invest in. Stop doing that.
When you think, after the fact, “I should have listened to my gut,” you need to learn to listen to your gut.
The moment you have the audacity to start believing in the not-yet seen, your reality will begin to shift.
Stop talking about how busy you are.
Nothing has any value other than the value we put on it.
Jen Sincero’s background (punk rock band member, lesbian dating coach among others) reads like that of someone who should be living in their mother’s basement instead of coaching people to more success than they ever thought possible while making millions herself.
Jen uses her real-life stories of failure to illustrate how you can achieve success.
I’ve had clients order the paperback, read it, and turn right around and order the hardback. They loved it that much. Because it’s the manual on how to “get over your crap and start living an awesome life.”
It’s stuff you’ve probably heard before but, as my good friend and expert book reviewer Jesse Kornbluth said, “It’s straight-up Eastern wisdom, translated into current lingo.” And as Jen Sincero says, “This shit works.”
3. Back in Charge! A guide to harnessing the magic of your brain to create the life you’ll love by Dr. Adrianne Ahern
Let’s get right to the fact that I think the title of this book not only stinks, but it also doesn’t do it justice.
This book was buried in a Google search I did on a story about a tiger named Mohini.
There was a .pdf download of the intro, and that was so powerful I bought the book.
You see everything you need to see precisely when you need to see it.
Dr. Ahern, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, teaches you everything you need to understand about your brain to make all the stuff you read in books 1 and 2 above work.
Ever wonder why not everyone who reads “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill or Zig Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the Sale” is filthy rich? It’s because all the ideas, motivation, processes, and affirmations in the world will never work until your brain gets on board with it.
And our brains are stuck in subconscious beliefs that don’t serve us.
This is not a book full of warm and fuzzy Eckhart Tolle ideology or Oprah Winfrey quotes.
It’s cold, hard facts about what your brain is up to when you’re not looking, the physiology behind it, and the scientific studies and processes on how to get control back and rewire your brain to accomplish what you want to accomplish.
And it’s old school—the book comes with CD’s (my computer doesn’t even have a disk drive anymore) with all the brain-rewiring exercises she teaches her clients in her private practice (the exercises are in the book too, this is just a bonus).
I have loved every single word. This is the book that will make all the self-help books on your shelf work for you.
She talks about fMRI’s, neuroplasticity, psychoneuromuscular theory (the science of training muscles with visualization), and cultural conditioning (more importantly, how to reverse it).
But the chapter that surprised me the most was Chapter 5—Power of Breath. I was ready to be so bored. Breath? Really? I’m a yogi. Don’t talk to me about breath. Humph.
But as much as I’ve loved every chapter, this one held my attention word for word. Did you know we lose 10-27 percent of our lung capacity every year starting in our late 20’s?
“Think about that statistic: if we lose 10 percent to 27 percent of our lung capacity every year, we are losing 10 percent to 27 percent of our ability to exhale toxins as well. Our breathing is responsible for releasing 70 percent of all toxins and waste entering and produced by the body; elimination and sweating release the remaining 30 percent. The volume of waste and toxins entering and created by our bodies certainly doesn’t decrease as we age. So if our lungs lose capacity over the years and their ability to release toxins is compromised, where do all those unreleased toxins go? Research shows that these unreleased toxins sit in our cells. As scary as this sounds, the good news is that we can reverse this process by learning how to breathe properly.”
Well, thank goodness. Chapter 5 teaches you how to breathe properly. And yes, this is relevant, in fact vital, to rewiring your brain for success (at anything). And it’s a sneaky reason as to why yoga “works.”
If you only order one book ever again in your whole life, order this one. And FYI—Dr. Ahern is still practicing in San Diego, California. If you want to skip the book and go big, look her up.
What does this have to do with marketing, Julia? 🤔
I can teach you strategies all day long. What to say on video, blog topics to cover, how to update the backend of your WordPress website, the keys to social media ad success—all the things. But if your habits, thoughts, and your brain aren’t aligned with the activity, it won’t happen. I see it every, single day. In myself and my clients.
Teaching marketing strategy has become the easy part of my business. I watch clients pick that stuff up faster than Superman can leap a tall building. Once they get going. AKA as soon as the fear of failure, the fear of success, and the comfort zone get out of the way.
And that’s why we talk about how to rewire the brain, build good habits, and control our thoughts. It has everything to do with your success.
Always behind you 1,000%-