Control Your Eating During the Holidays

November 23, 2011

Many people struggle with weight issues around the holidays. Face it, there are all kinds of parties and big family dinners and stuff, and it can be really challenging to make healthy choices.

As a way of saying “Thank you!” to all of my loyal readers and clients I’ve posted two tracks from my popular “Control Your Eating & Achieve Your Ideal Weight” CD to help you prepare for those situations where you may be tempted to over-indulge. Listen to them for free:

Step 2 of 6:

Step 3 of 6:

And remember to apply what you learn ASAP. If only there were some event or holiday you could practice this stuff at where you typically eat too much and then feel bad about it the next day…

Oh well. And by the way, happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Peace & Passion,
Curtis


Miracles, All Miracles

September 6, 2011

This line from A Course in Miracles has fascinated me since I first encountered it:

Each decision that you make is one between a grievance and a miracle.

That statement is quite confrontational when you really look at it. There’s no middle ground. Kind of like life’s version of “love me or leave me.” Now, whether or not that’s true that there’s no middle ground, I’m not here to debate. What I’m interested in most is the degree of insight this perspective provides on the choices we make—specifically, how conscious and intentional are those choices, and how do they combine to create our own personal versions of heaven and hell?

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
—Milton, Paradise Lost

Let’s begin by drilling down into what this “miracle or grievance” idea is saying.

Essentially, it’s saying that in each moment, you are choosing whether to appreciate life for what it is OR resent it for what it’s not.

But what of moments that blend things we appreciate with things we resent? Does appreciating those moments mean we must resign ourselves to accepting things we don’t like? If so, then how do we grow, learn, and progress?

Acceptance is very simply a gracious acknowledgement of what is. It does not mean resigning, condoning, or endorsing. And until you can acknowledge a situation as it is, your power to change it is handicapped.

When you don’t accept something, you’re denying what is, and denial does not lead to change or growth. When you deny what is, you stop perceiving the world. You’re like the child with his fingers in his ears, repeating, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.” This limits your options and your ability to respond and create change. The ability to perceive a situation—especially the parts of the situation you want to change—gives you the most power to influence the situation and create the very change you want. Only through acceptance can we harness our real personal power to create and take action.
Peaceful Productivity Now, p. 61

But as valuable as it is to learn acceptance as a precursor to effective change, that’s not even the most important part of this conversation. There’s another reason why consciousness and intentionality of choice is so fundamental that it means the difference between experiencing life as heaven or hell.

Our choices are how we consciously interact with the world. We interact with the world in many unconscious ways, too. But if we are able to rise above the level of instinct and reaction in any given moment, it is only because we’ve evolved the ability to choose.

The most direct way we can participate in and converse with life is through the choices we make. How conscious and effective our choices are determines the quality of that conversation.
Peaceful Productivity Now, p. 72

Is your conversation with life a miraculous collaboration, or is it a grievance-filled argument?

Now, here’s where things gets tricky.

Let’s say you just happen to be choosing a grievance in some given moment. A coworker stole your idea and presented it to the boss. You find a fresh dent in your car in the parking lot at the supermarket. Your best friend forgets your birthday. Et cetera.

You feel betrayed, pissed, hurt. That’s what NOW is for you—one big honking grievance.

You become aware you’re feeling this way, and you think, “I should find the miracle. I shouldn’t be focusing on the grievance.”

Hm. Do you see what just happened? Look for it…

That thought was another grievance. You made yourself wrong for feeling betrayed, pissed, or hurt. Making yourself wrong doesn’t get you to miracles. So where do you go when you’ve chosen a grievance? You don’t go anywhere. Stay with the grievance because…

The grievance is the miracle.

WTF?

Both miracle and grievance are perspectives; they are mental concepts we layer on top of our experiences. In other words, a miracle and a grievance are simply different interpretations of an experience.

Therefore, even an experience of intense physical or emotional pain can be interpreted as a miracle, just as an experience of tremendous good fortune can be experienced as a grievance.

But let’s avoid platitudes and address directly the burning question on your mind: What is the miracle of intense pain?

Very simply put: Depth of feeling. Pain is a strong feeling that wakes us up from the numbness of ego. In other words, pain snaps us back to the present. Any intense feeling can do this, including feelings like love, joy, and gratitude. But if we were to live in a space of love 100% of the time, we would certainly go numb to it. That is how our bodies and brains are built. We need contrasting experiences.

So grievance provides contrast. That is its miracle. Because life is contrast. Light does not exist without dark, nor does hot without cold, trust without betrayal, or connection without separation.

The miracle of grievance is that miracles could not exist without grievances. And yet, if even grievances can be interpreted as miracles in this way, then yet another interpretation is possible: It’s all miracles.

What a beautiful paradox…

I invite you to share your grievances and miracles.


Conscious living means conscious choosing

Read Peaceful Productivity Now and learn how to:

  • Respond consciously and intentionally to life, no matter how it shows up
  • Recognize the gifts and miracles that surround you in every moment
  • Connect to your “Big Yes” in life so that your choices become filled with even more meaning and passion
  • Transcend the “lie of time management”
  • And much more…

Click here to start experiencing the miracle of Peaceful Productivity NOW!



More Joy, Peace, Happiness, Abundance, Love, and Freedom

February 25, 2011

If you want to experience more of something in your life (joy, peace, happiness, abundance, gratitude, love, freedom, etc.), the key is to focus on it.

“Great, Curtis, but how do I do that?”

I will share the most powerful tool in guiding your focus and revealing unseen opportunities or blocks, a tool you’ve been using (whether you knew it or not) your whole life: Questions.

Questions are difficult to ignore. If you’ve ever been nagged by a child asking the same question over and over again, then you know what I mean. Questions create a space that your mind wants (almost needs) to fill. In other words, questions beg answers.

Here’s a list of 10 questions you can start with to consciously create more of the experiences you desire in life. I’ve used “play” in the example, but you can substitute anything else you might want to experience more of, like joy, peace, happiness, etc.

(Note that in these questions, you’re personifying the experience to shift your perspective. It may feel different at first, but that’s the point.)

  1. What’s most important to Play?
  2. What’s unimportant to Play?
  3. What environments does Play feel most comfortable in?
  4. What environments does Play feel most uncomfortable in?
  5. What does Play believe?
  6. What words does Play use when it speaks?
  7. What words would Play never use?
  8. Where in your body does Play feel most at home?
  9. What scares Play?
  10. What inspires Play?

You can take your answers to these questions and use them to make some new choices. For example, if Play likes being outside and doesn’t like being inside, you can now use this insight to schedule more time for yourself outside.

I invite you to share your answers, insights, and experiences by commenting below.


Learning to focus on what’s most important to you is one of the key steps in effective and peaceful productivity. If you tend to feel stressed and overwhelmed, you’re spending too much of your time on things that are not important.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body has achieved tremendous happiness and success living by this fundamental principle: “I have more than enough time to do everything that’s truly important.”

If you’d like to learn a simple and effective 6-step planning process that keeps you focused on what’s most important, click here. Trade your stress for success!



How to Control Your Eating Choices

November 25, 2009

Listen to a short podcast on how your brain works and why you lose control of your eating choices:

[ Or, download this podcast. ]

This podcast is an excerpt from the CD Control Your Eating & Achieve Your Ideal Weight. Click here to buy this CD and learn the simple and effective 6-step process for gaining control of your eating choices.

Or get this CD free by joining the Peaceful Productivity Group coaching program.

How to Control Your Eating

Tell me if you’ve had this experience: You stuff yourself at some meal or event, and afterward when you’re thinking about what a glutton you were, you promise yourself that you’ll never do that again. Starting now, you’re turning over a new leaf. Things are going to be different! And they are…for a few days, maybe. But before you know it, your old eating habits have returned. Why?

A few years ago, I restricted myself to a special diet — vegetables and fruits only — for 6 weeks as part of a cleanse program I was doing. I was shocked by how difficult it was. I craved things like pizza and cookies, not out of hunger, but out of an emotional need for them. I had no idea just how much my emotions had been controlling my eating choices until I tried to stop eating my “comfort foods.”

Maybe you’re aware of your emotional attachment to certain foods, maybe you’re not. But food choice is just one of the ways we are controlled by our emotions.

To understand why, let’s look at how the brain works.

Whenever you experience something with any of your five senses, that signal travels through your nervous system to your brain. It enters you brain at the back and travels across the brain to the front, where rational thinking takes place. But before it reaches the front of your brain it travels through the limbic system. This is the emotional center of the brain.

If these details don’t interest you, then pay attention to this:

Every experience you have goes through the emotional center of your brain before it gets to the rational center!

This has two stunning implications:

  1. Every experience has an emotional component whether you’re conscious of it or not.
  2. If your emotional reaction is strong enough, it will determine your response before you even have a single rational thought about the experience.

As logical as you think you are (I know some of you think you’re Spock, but you’re not) you are first and foremost an emotional creature. To be successful in life — whether it’s food or business or relationships — you must learn how to manage your emotions. The extent to which you can manage your emotions is referred to as Emotional Intelligence (EQ for short).

In order to make a lifestyle change like changing your eating habits, you must have a high level of personal EQ. Without it, your actions and reactions become emotional compulsions instead of rational choices.

Personal EQ consists of two parts:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management

Self-awareness of your emotions is increased simply by asking yourself throughout the day, “What am I feeling right now? Why am I feeling this way?”

Self-management of your emotions is increased by asking yourself the additional question, “What am I going to do with this emotion right now?”

If you ask yourself these questions, you might still choose to eat a piece of chocolate to cheer yourself up. But the key difference is that you’ll do it consciously.

At the very least, by being conscious of your choice you’ll end up eating less chocolate. With each bite you can repeat the questions: “Okay, now what am I feeling? And what do I choose to do with this emotion?” You won’t get lost in unconscious binging.

And over time, you’ll find yourself making different choices in similar situations.

Increasing your self-awareness has a snowball effect (it gets easier the more you do it), and it leads very naturally to increased self-management. Make it a daily practice to ask those questions and you’ll soon feel like an expert.

For training in a simple and effective 6-step process for gaining control of your eating choices, buy the CD Control Your Eating & Achieve Your Ideal Weight.

©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt


Hope & Fear (2/5): Keep Your Job & Prosper

November 16, 2008

Life has always been potentially stressful for the busy professional — juggling a career, family, personal relationships, health, hobbies (“yeah right!”). But this uncertain economy adds a brand new wrinkle. You might be worried about job. So let’s break this down into what’s within your control and what isn’t.

The fate of the company you work for is in the hands of the decision-makers at the top executive level. They are the ones who made the choices in the past and will make the choices in the future that determine whether or not the company survives this economy. What they choose to do — whether they layoff employees or cut bonuses or scale back work hours or close the branch you work for — is not within your control. So stop focusing on what they may or may not do. Focus instead on what’s in your control.

So what IS in your control? Just two things: What you choose to do and how you choose to feel about it. Let’s take them one by one…

What You Choose to Do

There are two parts to “what you choose to do”: what you focus on doing, and how well you do it. And the name for how you measure your success at these two things is productivity. In other words, your productivity is within your control. And to maximize your productivity, you want to focus on the most important things first and then do them as efficiently as possible.

Time for a reality check: Are you as productive in your job as you could be? Be honest…

So how much more productive could you be? To answer that question, try this: Think of a specific time when you were being your most productive. Call this your “kick butt” level of productivity, and give it a number from 1 to 10.

Now think about your “average” level of productivity. Those normal days where you maybe surf the internet a little, or chat with co-workers, or get sucked into meetings that go on longer than necessary, or get distracted by less important tasks, or just simply procrastinate. Give that a number from 1 to 10.

Compare that “average” level of productivity with that “kick butt” level of productivity. How far does it fall short?

In that distance between those two levels of productivity lives your opportunity to keep your job and prosper.

Most people perform so far below their peak level of productivity that in just weeks they can double or even triple their output. How much more valuable would you be to your employer if you doubled or tripled your output? In bad economic times, the demand for productive employees becomes even higher than usual. And as demand increases, price increases. So it’s even possible to get a raise in this economy if you increase your productivity.

And if layoffs do happen, the LEAST productive employees go first, right?

How You Choose to Feel

How productive are you when you’re worried? You may be busy when you’re worried and think you’re productive, buy how much important stuff do you really get done, and what’s the quality? Not a lot and very low. How productive are you when you’re happy and peaceful? When you’re happy and peaceful, there’s something called FLOW, where productivity seems almost effortless. Some call it “being in the zone.”

Whether you’re happy or worried, stressed or peaceful, you are CHOOSING to feel that way. And you can choose to create feelings of peace and happiness, even in an economy like this one. So in good times, your productivity sky-rockets from that state of peace and flow. And in bad times, you don’t let worry or stress cloud your decision-making or decrease your productivity.

When you’re peaceful and productive, you’ll have a calming effect on your co-workers and your employer. You’ll be part of the solution, not part of the problem. You’ll be one of the most valuable, level-headed members of the team. And even if you were to get laid off from your job, you’ll make better decisions about what to do next if you are peaceful inside.

Increase Your Productivity & Peace of Mind

Productivity is a learnable skill. Peace of mind is a learnable skill. When times are good, you can get by in your job pretty well without being very skilled at either. But when times are challenging, the employees who prosper are the ones WITH those skills. The employees who get hit hardest during times of uncertainty are the ones who are less skilled at productivity and peace of mind.

To make sure that you’re as valuable as you can be to your employer, and you’re able to prosper in these uncertain times no matter what happens, sign up for this week’s free teleseminar called “Productivity & Peace of Mind — You Don’t Have to Sacrifice One for the Other.” You’ll learn:

  • The 3 steps to increase your productivity
  • The 3 steps to greater peace of mind
  • The 2 paths to Peaceful Productivity
  • And lots more…

Focus on what you CAN control and you’ll give yourself the best chance for success and happiness. Learn more and sign up today:

http://www.PeacefulProductivityNow.com

©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt

This is the second in a daily series of five posts on how to respond to this mixture of hope and fear in the world today. Here’s the full list:

  1. Commit to Change
  2. Keep Your Job and Prosper (for busy professionals)
  3. Grow Your Business in a Bad Economy (for entrepreneurs)
  4. Avoid Layoffs and Down-sizing (for business owners & executives)
  5. Shape Your Child’s Future (for working parents)

Hope & Fear (1/5): Commit to Change

November 15, 2008

On November 4, 66 million people in the United States voted for change and hope when they elected Barack Obama as President. At the same time we are experiencing changes in our economy which leave many people afraid and uncertain.

It’s a strange mix, if you ask me. So much hope, so much fear. But whether you are hopeful or fearful (or bouncing between the two), one thing is certain: NOW is the time for action.

“This is our moment. This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth — that out of many, we are one.”
Barack Obama, from his victory speech

Do you want the world to be a better place? Do you want to see some positive changes? Okay, so how much are you willing to participate in that change?

“What can I do, Curtis? I’m just one person.”

To quote Gandhi, BE the change you wish to see in the world. Start with yourself. Start with your own goals. Start with your own happiness and peace of mind. What change do you want to make in YOUR life?

It’s my strong belief that each and every person can and will make their greatest positive impact on the world by becoming:

  1. More peaceful inside yourself
  2. More passionate for what you do
  3. More productive in how you do it

By making YOUR OWN life better, you make the world better. So if you could change something about your life in the next year, something that would bring you more peace or more happiness, what would you choose? Give yourself a 30 second time limit and make a list…

If you’re curious, here are my answers (in no particular order):

  • I’d grow my business to serve 100 times as many people as I do now
  • I’d create an amazing relationship with a woman I loved
  • I’d spend more quality time with my friends and family

What’s on your list? Seriously, before you continue reading, take 30 seconds to make a list of the changes you’d like to make in your life in the next year…

Look at your list. Is there any doubt in your mind that the world would be a better place if you achieved these things? Any doubt that if you were happier and more peaceful that you could make a bigger and better contribution to the people in your life?

You’re helping no one by being stressed or fearful. You’re helping no one by being unhappy or disillusioned. On the other hand when you feel happy, peaceful, passionate, and productive, you treat people more kindly, you’re more generous, you inspire others, and you solve problems and overcome challenges much more quickly.

At this moment in time, the world needs more people like THAT.

This coming week, I’m running a free teleseminar called “Productivity & Peace of Mind — You Don’t Have to Sacrifice One for the Other.”

You’ll learn the art of Peaceful Productivity — how to make the most effective and productive choices peacefully, especially in times of change and uncertainty. No matter how uncertain things are, you can feel peaceful inside. No matter how many obstacles you face, you can continue to make progress in your life.

Peaceful Productivity holds the key to both. Learn more and sign up:

http://www.PeacefulProductivityNow.com

©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt

This is the first in a daily series of five posts on how to respond to this mixture of hope and fear in the world today. Here’s the full list:

  1. Commit to Change
  2. Keep Your Job and Prosper (for busy professionals)
  3. Grow Your Business in a Bad Economy (for entrepreneurs)
  4. Avoid Layoffs and Down-sizing (for business owners & executives)
  5. Shape Your Child’s Future (for working parents)

Procrastination: 3 Different Types

September 16, 2008

Listen to a short podcast on the first of 3 different types of procrastination:

[ Or, download this podcast. ]

Procrastination: 3 Different Types

Procrastination is one of the most common productivity challenges. Some people struggle with it often across all areas of their lives, others infrequently in only particular areas of their lives. But most of us have experienced it at one time or another.

The word itself does little in the way of helping us identify a solution. It simply describes a phenomenon: The act of putting off something you could do now for later.

But there are several reasons why a person might do such a thing. And different solutions depending on the reason.

I’ve created 3 categories to help my clients understand procrastination and what to do about it:

  1. Chore procrastination
  2. Dream procrastination
  3. Type 3 procrastination (descriptive name, right?)

Chore procrastination is when a person puts off a task that holds little or no intrinsic appeal, but the outcome of the task is valued.

Dream procrastination is when a person puts off a task related to a big goal or dream.

Type 3 procrastination is a catch-all category for procrastination that doesn’t involve a dream or a chore. Typically, this type requires a closer look to understand what it’s really about.

These are generalizations. Often a person’s own brand of procrastination blends the three. But before you can overcome your procrastination, identify which type or types it is.

Is what you’re procrastinating simply a chore, or is it related to some big goal or dream you’re pursuing?

If it’s neither, or you’re not sure, look closer at what the result will be if you completed the task you were procrastinating. What will that result be (describe it in as much detail as you can)? Why is that result important? Is that result related to one of your big goals or dreams?

Your answers may lead you to the conclusion that the result is not important to you. In which case you need to ask yourself why this task is on your to-do list at all. (I’ve written more about this subject in a previous post.)

If you try to overcome your procrastination before you identify what type or types it is, you’re likely to fail and frustrate yourself. Once you know the type, you can get to the business of solving it.

©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt

Overcoming Procrastination

To learn more about identifying the 3 different types of procrastination and how exactly you can solve each, register for a powerful and fun teleclass at http://www.TurnOnToLife.com/teleclass/procrastination.html