The 10 Human Drives: What You Need to Know to Live a More Charged Life.

Brendon Burchard- Charge- 10 Human Drives

What drives the essence of who you are?  

There are undoubtedly times in life when we feel like hitting the reset button and when this happens, I turn to inspiring thought leaders for mental reactivation.  I picked up a copy of New York Times best-selling author Brendon Burchard’s classic,  The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive to find this inspiration.   Brendon is widely considered the world’s leading high-performance coach as well as the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers of all time.   A near-death car accident and painful breakup with his first love served as motivation for writing the book coupled with a longing to answer the questions Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?

I love the connection I feel when reading the thoughts of expansive, passionate thinkers and my intention in sharing this condensed book summary with you is twofold:  First,  to provide you with self-discovery questions you can implement immediately to deepen your understanding of what drives your behavior and how to move your life’s happiness needle if you find yourself off-track.  Second,  my goal is to inspire you to connect with more of his highly insightful work.

The 10 human drives are broken into two categories:  5 baseline drives and  5 forward drives.  Let’s start by examining the 5 baseline drives together.

5 Baseline Drives

Think of baseline drives as the starting point or the foundational behaviors shared by  every human being.

  • DRIVE #1 CONTROL

Whether we admit it or not, we all desire a certain level of control in life, and while we cannot control others despite our most concerted efforts, we can control two things: our outlook and our character.  We can also control how we choose to live our life:  caged, comfortable, or charged.    Brendon encourages us to “safeguard our outlook” by choosing optimism to keep things in perspective.   He introduces the concept of “control for new”, a strategy that focuses on planning time specifically for new things in life in order to mitigate boredom, depression, and malaise while at the same time feeding our body a healthy dose of dopamine. Neuroscience shows our brains are enticed by novelty, so make it a practice to try new endeavors as often as possible.

Ask yourself: Do my actions reflect the quality of person I want to be and can be?

  • DRIVE # 2 COMPETENCE 

The second baseline drive addresses our innate desire to have the ability to understand, perform, and master anything in life.  From tasks to relationships, competence breeds confidence and without competence in our life, we are more likely to experience anxiety, stress, fear, even apathy.    Brendon’s research shows that when we lack competence in a particular area, we are likely to procrastinate.   Conversely, with competence, we are more likely to work harder and smarter at the task at hand.   The key to competence:  learning.

Ask yourself: What new knowledge, skill or ability could I start learning and mastering to become a high performer at what I do and increase my success in life?

  • DRIVE #3 CONGRUENCE

 The third baseline drive speaks to how authentically we are living life.   How aligned are our relationships, work environments, friendships, thoughts, and behaviors with our intentions?    Does your gut tell you to move on and step into your truth yet your head continues to rationalize the behavior and keep you stuck and unhappy?   Do you continue to show up at a job that deteriorates your soul when you would rather be following your passion and truly living and creating in your element?  Do you even know what your element is?

Ask yourself:  What 6 words shape and define who I am and what I want to live in the FUTURE?

Remember, you are not defined by your past or the people in the past who had particular expectations of you.

Tip: Choose 3 words that describe “who I am” in terms of traits/ nature, then choose 3 words that describe “how I treat others“.    Let these words serve as a guidepost for living more congruently. 

  • DRIVE #4 CARING

The fourth baseline drive shines light on the importance of being others-focused.     “Be curious about others and they will be curious about you.”  According to Brendon, one of the best questions you could ask another person to show you care is: “Wow! How did that make you FEEL?”   When caring for others, it is paramount to prioritize self-care.   We serve best when balanced, rested, and nurtured.  We cannot give to another what we do not have.   Try these: Care for thyself.  Be more vulnerable. Give your presence to others.

Ask yourself:  Who are the 10 people I interact with most? What are his/her top 3 ambitions in life? Who are their closest 3 friends?  What are their top 3 experiences in life? What are their 3 worst experiences?

  • DRIVE #5 CONNECTION

Connection: (n) a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.  Connection is vital for humans.  It’s the spark that keeps us going in troubled times, the bond that keeps friendships alive despite long distances, and it’s the intimate, engaging conversations with loved ones.  To me,  connection is the peanut butter and jelly of my life’s travel experiences, knowing we are somehow bonded with others, no matter how different our backgrounds geographically, culturally, socially, or spiritually.   It’s knowing we all share life’s most elemental emotional needs.  Throughout my travels and experiences around the world I have found one thing to be certain:  we all want to be seen, loved, and cared for.

Ask Yourself:  Who are my friends? Why am I friends with this person?  Why am I no longer in touch? Is this person supportive? Is this a friend who exposes me to new adventures? Is this friend trustworthy?

Tip: Don’t forget the saying “you will become like the 10 people you hang around most “. Choose your company wisely.

5 Forward Drives

Now let’s take a look at what Brendon calls the forward drives.  These are the drives that have the ability to propel our happiness needles, pushing us forward into a more engaged life.   A warning on forward drives:  They are not easy and are often met with great resistance.   Anything that challenges us to be a better version of ourselves invites discomfort and tests the limits of what we think is possible.  This is what makes life so fascinating! We can choose to step forward trusting that personal growth is worth the risk.   Let’s take a look at each of the 5 forward drives in a bit more detail.

  • DRIVE #6 CHANGE

I love this first drive!  After all, change is what makes life exciting!  By focusing on positive outcomes (gains) instead of perceived setbacks (losses), we are able to step into change with less resistance.  Let’s face it, it’s easier to talk about change than to make change.  Change demands we drop fear and familiarity and adopt the discomfort of uncertainty and future possibilities.  By asking “What if? ” questions and using  “I’ll get to __________” statements, we shift our focus to the pleasurable aspects of change.    Making change = finding clarity.

 “It’s hard to have vision when you haven’t seen all the options.  If you are truly in a position to change something in your life, what have you been trying to do/achieve over the past 12 months to make the change a reality?” – B.B

Ask yourself:  Do I both welcome and cause change?

A major change I’ve been holding back from making in my life because of an expectation of a loss or associated pain is: 

A clear and bold new change I could make in my life would be to: 

  • DRIVE #7 CHALLENGE

Who doesn’t love a good challenge?!  Our brains LOVE challenges!!! This is how we stretch ourselves and get out of our comfort zone!  Remember the forward drives are often met with resistance because they force us to expand into unchartered waters.  Let’s not forget that the #1 human drive is control, so it makes sense that challenges will disrupt our natural desire for control.   Good news is that we have control over our outlook, so we can choose to accept challenges that come our way and apply positive outcomes to them.

Accepting challenges means you are being part of the solution.   Brendon suggests designing a 12-month challenge chart, picking a new 30-day challenge for each month, including personal, social, and giving challenges.    This gets our brains into forward thinking and activates our desire for vision and clarity in life.   I highly recommend this activity as it opens up the doors to following your deepest desires and sets a pathway for achieving it!

“Easy and Comfortable are DETRACTORS of living a charged life. ” – B.B

Ask Yourself:  The next big and bold challenge I’m going to take on in my life is:

The 30-day challenges I could set over the next 12 months are:

  • DRIVE # 8 CREATIVE EXPRESSION

We all have a desire to express who we are daily.  From the clothing we wear, to the music we listen to, to the messages we post on social media, these are all forms of self-expression.   Even if you don’t self-identify as a creative,  you are!  Don’t forget you are one in 7.5 billion people in the world.  You have a unique way of expressing everything you do and say, and when you suppress this drive, you miss out on the simplest form of happiness.

“Creativity isn’t a trait, it’s a discipline.   Creativity isn’t a spark, it’s a slog, an iterative process.”

Ask Yourself:  What could I do to begin creatively expressing myself in the things I do each day?

  • DRIVE #9 CONTRIBUTION

According to Brendon there are two ways to define contribution:  we can give “of” (self)  or give “to” (cause).    Giving of  the self means we share our talents, gifts, and strengths with the world.  We intentionally give our best efforts.  We show up authentically and fully expressed.   One of the best gifts we can give to the world, Burchard shares, is the concept of a life fully expressed.    This is an act of contribution that is often overlooked and minimized by the more familiar types of contribution such as donating money or time to a particular cause.   Everyday we can contribute by giving of ourselves, and in return receive joy and happiness!

Ask Yourself:  The ways I’ve contributed to or made a difference in my family’s life this past year include:

A new and deeply meaningful giving experience I’d like to create is:

Someone who could use my mentoring is:

  • DRIVE #10 CONSCIOUSNESS

Consciousness: (n):  the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.   Practicing consciousness means asking self-reflection questions like: How present am I in this moment?  Where shall I focus my thoughts right now?  How are others feeling / thinking in this moment?  How would I like to interact with or influence them?   Am I contributing positively in my relationships?  When we live with an increased level of consciousness, we experience more happiness because, as Brendon says,  “we are choosing to be present to the love that is already around us. ” 

Ask Yourself:  If I were more aware and directive of my consciousness in life, my life would change in these ways: 

In order to connect with a higher consciousness on a more regular basis, I could: 

 

For an in-depth examination of his work, I invite you to indulge your brain in any of Brendon’s #1 NYT best-selling books including The Motivation Manifesto The Millionaire Messenger, and his most recent, High-Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way.  

The only thing you risk is growth!

I’d also love to connect with YOU!  Join me on Facebook or Instagram @standinlovejen  or share this article and tag a friend who you think would appreciate this!

Jen xo

 

 

 

 

Certain Captain

Transitions.

Storms.

Uncertainty.

Seasons of life come and then they go.

Welcome them all with open arms, and trust your Captain.

When questions abound, and you are not sure which way to go, look up; God is always with you, and you are never alone.  He is your Captain.   He will steady the rocking ship, calm the turbulent waters, and steer you into the right direction.  He is your Captain.

Captain by Hillsong United:

Verse 1
Through waters uncharted my soul will embark
I’ll follow Your voice straight into the dark
And if from the course You intend I depart
Speak to the sails of my wandering heart

Chorus
Like the wind You’ll guide
Clear the skies before me
And I’ll glide this open sea
Like the stars Your Word
Will align my voyage
And remind me where I’ve been
And where I am going

Verse 2
Lost in the shallows amidst fear and fog
Your truth is the compass that points me back north
Jesus, my Captain, my soul’s trusted Lord
All my allegiance is rightfully Yours

 

Thank you God for reminding me where I’ve been, and where I am going.

Photo: Murchinson Falls National Park, Uganda.

#standinlove

Farewell Fare-thee-well

It is a gorgeous morning, clouds full of pre-purge precipitation in the desert sky as fresh fallen snow tops the higher reaches of the Red Rock mountain range standing mightily in the distance.  As we  prepare our hearts and minds to say goodbye to 2016, let us be encouraged by the joy that is found in farewells.

While enjoying my routine, mind-clearing, morning jog I was filled with excitement about the close of another year.  Today is like the joy of reading the final page of a book you’ve struggled so hard to finish.  Some chapters harder to read than others, but you pushed on, and made it to the end.  Well done.  With the next fresh book patiently beckoning, you muscle through anticipating that wonderful sense of accomplishment .

I am inspired to share with you a few things to consider as you cross the threshold into the new space that is 2017.  I believe these may soothe sore spots in your life, and provide an opportunity to create space for abundance.

Reflection

In an article entitled “Clear Your Clutter” featured on Martha Stewart.com, the author gives wise advice about making room in your life to receive what you desire.  She says “that space is a reflection of what’s inside”.  So simple and profound as we take a look around us at all of the spaces we inhabit.  Beginning with our bodies, what do our physical bodies say about what’s inside of us?  Move out gently to our immediate surroundings, and notice the spaces you frequent most often.  What do those spaces say about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing in life.  Do they line up with how you want to feel?  We can take a look at our work spaces, our relational spaces, even our mental spaces.  What is taking up space, using our energy, and do these things help us or hurt us?  Can you pause long enough to simply think about an area in your life that you would like to improve?  Do you long to make more time to read books you love?  Are you curious about making a special meal that requires an organized kitchen pantry?  Have you ever considered writing that book or taking that photography class, or maybe signing up for a session of Reiki you’ve always wanted to try?  What’s in the way preventing these thoughts from becoming realities?

According to the article referenced above, ask yourself the following question:  ” If eliminating things from my life would make space for something new, more important, what would I want? ”   This is a great starting point, because without a vision of what you would like to do or see in your life, you will likely remain stuck in the clutter.  We must decide that our stay in the land of in-between is up.

Decision Making

Best-selling author Tony Robbins opens his  500 page book  Awakening the Giant Within with a reminder of the power of decision-making.  Strength born from taking action.  Indecision is paralyzing, and when you become empowered by making small decisions more frequently, you set yourself up for confronting bigger decisions.  Most of the things we truly want in life are available to us, we just have to decide we want them.   Decide we will take action by implementing a plan that will guide us along the way.

Decide what you would like to get rid of in your life in order to make space for the things you deeply desire.   Do you need to get rid of self-imposed expectations weighing you down?  Maybe now is the time to purge yourself of hopelessness, bitterness, and powerlessness.   Decide and do it.   It is your choice.    Is this the time to donate your unloved material possessions to a favorite charity you have always wanted to support?  Decide to let go of those items.  Ask yourself, “Do I love them? Do I need them?” If the answer is not a resounding YES!, give them up.  You are practicing decision-making, and you are blessing someone in greater need who will benefit from your release.

Clearing Space

Tina Turner once said, “Sometimes you have to let everything go …purge yourself.  If you are unhappy with anything, whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. You will find that when you are free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

Purging, de-cluttering, sorting, organizing, are forms of therapy.  Give yourself the gift of making space for the things you would like to attract and enjoy in your life.  In order to invite those things into your life, you must make room for them.   How do you want to feel in these new spaces?  Inspired? Productive? Intimate?  Creative? If the space is full of things that contradict its intention, take action:   Reflect, Decide, and Remove it!

C. S. Lewis leaves us with these wonderful words to consider on this final day of 2016:

” There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. “

Stand in Love,  Jen xxx

Authenticity Awakening

Bonjour mes amis!

Well, it’s another scorching hot summer afternoon in the Mohave desert today.  As a 13 year resident of Las Vegas, ( a Chicago transplant) I have come to appreciate the inherent gifts in  consecutive 100+ degree days- often with 12-14 full hours of non stop sunshine!   As a practice of gratitude and appreciation, I will share with you a few :

  • waking up naturally before sunrise and strolling to the park to see golden retrievers and their loving owners enjoying a game of fetch in the cool, freshly watered grass.
  • cycling in the dry air on my very first mountain bike purchased in 1998 (yes, it still works, and I LOVE it!)
  • knowing exactly how to dress each day for months, as the temperature is incredibly consistent!

I shared a little in my previous post about the nature of transitions…. and in honoring the title of this entry, authenticity,  I felt it time to delve a little into what authenticity has meant to me over the past couple of months.   (Giving myself permission to be vulnerable and without shame…. here goes….)

After 10 years in the fine jewelry business, I made the difficult yet necessary decision to follow my heart on a journey towards authenticity.   While I absolutely loved being a part of so many of life’s precious moments with clients , my heart told me it was time to venture into the space of the unknown, trusting my instincts calling me forward in faith .   What made this decision a tad bit tricky, was the fact that I worked for a small family owned business- my husband’s family.    As anyone who has ever worked in a family business environment knows, it has its unique challenges.  Suffice it to say that life unfolds in mysterious ways, making marvelous masterpieces out of what appears to be destruction.  I have always reflected on the beauty of Anais Nin’s words below and wondered when I would get the courage to take the risk. pranaprogram_anais_nin_quote_and_the_day.jpeg

Well, now is the time.  July 2nd I decided to take a risk and dive into the beauty of the blossoming.    I met with as many clients in store as possible  the weeks preceding in efforts to connect in person to say goodbye and thank them genuinely for sharing part of their defining moments with me. (engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, achievements, milestones, and birth/ adoption of babies!!) I have witnessed the love of so many people in 10 years… wishing to express this love with precious pieces of jewelry.

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How blessed I have been!  My colleagues and I have also enjoyed spreading the message of hope at the heart of Beadforlife’s ( www.BeadforLife.org)  recycled paper jewelry in the shop every day.  Creating a bridge between sharing the story of diamonds as well as recycled paper beaded jewelry, handmade in Uganda by beautiful women living on less than a $1 a day, striving to be their best selves daily through income generating opportunities and entrepreneurial training.

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I was reminded at a Sunday service that we most often fear the unknown.  We fear change.  We fear the truth.  We feed the fear wolf, instead of feeding the faith and hope wolf.   Which wolf are you feeding?   It is essential that in these times of transition we give ourselves permission to try new things, and allow ourselves the opportunity to fail.  Give up perfectionism, and fall into the arms of grace.  The grace of giving it a go ’round and changing our approach if unsuccessful.  Giving it a rest instead of giving up when our realities don’t match our expectations.  And like my good friend and mentor always reminds me, “we are human beings, not human doings.”   (Thank you Joan, for this insight.)

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I have been eager to share with you this little poem I discovered, whose soul I believe connects with each and every one of us.

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,  Be a scrub in the valley- but be the best little scrub by the side of the rill;  Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of the grass, And some highway happier make;  If you can’t be a muskie than just be a bass- but the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew, There’s something for all of us here, There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do, And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be the highway than just be a trail, If you can’t be the sun be a star; It isn’t by size that you win or you fail- Be the best of whatever you are!

 

Author and researcher Brene Brown writes truthfully on this subject of Authenticity in her book “The Gifts Of Imperfection”.  Authenticity, she describes, “is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be, and embracing who we ARE.”   

May you take a step, even a micro movement… towards your authentic self.  What would your authentic self look like?  Dare to ask yourself.  Dare to do it on paper, with a loved one, or in the mirror.  Dig into a book by SARK, Brene Brown, or Marianne Williamson.   Connect with friends and ask this question to each other over coffee or tea.  I’m on the journey together with you… and I’m daring to explore  passions of connection with cultures around the world- uncovering the commonalities in humanity.

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What would you do if time, education, resources, and self-doubt were not obstacles on your journey towards following your passion?  When you discover it, hold it deep in your heart and commit to making it a reality step by step.

One thing at a time“, as my dad always lovingly reminds me.

Remember to Stand in Love, rooted in truth, and aim to be the best version of YOU today that you can be!

Jennifer

Transitions in Orange

“We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. “- E.M. Forester

Transitions

Passages. Progressions. Shifts. Changes.

Developments. Alterations. Conversions. Transformations.

A beautiful bridge connecting two spaces: Here and There.  Then and Now.

The free flowing, often times grey expanse in between.  Not black, not white. No top, no bottom.  Just in the middle.  No beginning, no end.  Just Now.

Last week at a neighboring coffee shop, as I was enjoying a piping hot cup of dark roast Papua New Guinea blend swirled with enough half  & half to soften its robust flavor, in the delightful company of strangers, I realized transitions are ubiquitous; Teaching us, conditioning us that change is inevitable.   Our minds like antennas, if in tune to receive the signals, we empower ourselves to replace old, limiting beliefs with new, empowering ones. We invite change inside, to navigate a fresh, undulating path , and welcome the energy of endless possibility to manifest in our lives.  The choice is ours for the taking, and  the decision for the making.

Is your mind awake to hear this calling?   Or are you attached securely to what you know and fastened tightly to the belief that life couldn’t possibly offer rewards for you on the other side, let alone the proverbial greener grass we are taught to fear and told does not exist?  Have you dared to step out in faith, into the deep unknown, trusting your instincts and inner voice to guide you on your path towards your passions?  What do you have to lose? Better yet, what do you stand to gain?  What will it cost you in the long run if you deny your truth?  What if instead of searching for greener grass, you dream of a future in soothing shades of limitless blue skies?  Ever thought about creating your passion in vibrant, clementine hues of orange?  Maybe you decide to plan a sunshine journey in yellow intellect.  Or meditate in circles of purple, encouraging wholeness and unity with the universe.   If the stirring is inside of you, be courageous.  Be BOLD.  Trust your instincts.  Trust yourself.   Give yourself permission when no one else will.

“The journey of a thousand miles begin with one step”, as the saying goes.  What might this 1 step look like to you?   Would it unleash incredible potential, propelling you towards your passion?  Would taking a courageous step forward into the expansive world ignite a spark that would change your destiny forever?

If there is one thing I love , it’s the simple joy of discovery while on a journey.  The anticipation inherent in every adventure- namely, the people I have the pleasure of meeting along the way, sharing  circumstances, and connecting with in plain, yet profound ways.

Take for example, Charles, pictured below, whom I encountered while on a 13 mile trek to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park, Montana during the summer of 2014.   Charles’ story is incredibly fascinating, and certainly inspiring!   I intersected Charles on a few different trails while hiking in the raw beauty this section of the park afforded.  On the 3rd encounter, I figured it time to ask his name and find out his story.  He shared that he had always wanted to hike this trail, but had fears about his ability to finish.  After losing his wife a short time prior that year, he decided in that moment, that NOW was the time to make the journey.  He stepped out into fear, the unknown, while guided by an inner light that told him to trust the process during his life transition.  May you, like Charles and like me, embrace the transition in which you find yourself.   Keep pressing onward.

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With Charles on Grinnel Glacier Hike Glacier National Park.

We are all on this journey of life together, interconnected.   May the lyrics of this song inspire your soul and give you a fresh reminder that we are already set free by the love of our eternal Creator!

I’m painting my life transition orange -inviting creativity and feeling in, and adding long brushstrokes of purple- connecting me to oneness with humanity, and the unifying, healing properties it embodies.  What color/s will you choose?

“Hope Now” by Addison Road.  Close your eyes and let the words penetrate your soul! You are so deeply loved! Stand in this love!