I got Oprah-ed!
I had the opportunity to enjoy a weekend in Houston at the Toyota Center with Oprah Winfrey and her Trailblazers for her “Life You Want” tour. I feel like I am living the “Life I Want”, but it never hurts to do a check-in and receive a little directional boost. The weekend opened on a Friday night with a 90 minute welcome by Oprah, along with her humorous yet moving story and motivational tidbits. As she arose onto the stage during her grand entrance, the L.E.D. lights in our neon wrist bands glowed a beautiful yellow, then energizing red. Throughout the event they emitted different colors, depending on the speaker and the topic. Our Saturday was a mix of speakers such as Deepak Chopra leading a meditation exercise and Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, sharing an inspiring story on following your curiosity. She encouraged us with the comment that curiosity can be more inspiring and less frustrating than following your passion. Oprah invited us to work through exercises in our notebooks between speakers, similar to exercises I utilize with my coaching clients. They included creating a vision of the life we want around any or all of these areas - spirituality, health and fitness, family and friends, home and environment, hobbies, contribution to the world, significant other, career and money. Of course, the money section of Oprah’s vision had a billion happy faces emerging from it!
My girlfriend and I came away from the weekend energized, motivated and enlightened – ready to tackle the world. On the way home, I asked her what she was going to do with the information. She paused and thought about it, not sure how to proceed with the overwhelming mix of ideas, exercises, and resources to investigate. She decided to commit to working on her wheel of life and vision for her future in each of the areas within it.
But, would she be able to maintain the glow, like the lighted wristband, without the event to spark her energy every day? My wristband is sitting on the bar counter separating my living room from my kitchen. I discovered, while driving home from the weekend, that when it was tapped lightly it would light up again.
So how do we tap into that energy over and over again after attending a training class at work, viewing an inspiring Ted Talk on the internet, reading a book that makes us feel like “Wow, I could do that”, or immersing ourselves in an Oprah weekend?
Here are some ideas –
1 Start right away. Before you walk away from a training class, inspirational message or event, decide what the first step is that you will take with the new information you have absorbed. Make a commitment to yourself by telling a friend or writing the commitment into your planner or cell phone calendar. Promise yourself you will do it and imagine how your life will be if you make this change. Attach some emotion to the action. Connecting a feeling to the new habit will assure greater success. Don’t wait to decide – kickstart your action with this decision.
2 Create a visual of how you would like things to be after you make advice from the new information or ideas part of your routine. It can be a drawing, a collection of pictures posted on your wall or a poster board, a vision board using a computer application or simply a picture in your mind. Make a habit of looking at or thinking about the vision of where you want to be every day. Be open to ideas and people that come to you and help you along the way.
3 Make a list of all the things you don’t want to happen in reference to your goals. Then next to each of those write what you do want to happen as a result of the newly acquired event information. Think about the obstacles in your way that prevent you from taking action. Focus on removing the obstacles and only look at what you do want to happen every day – not the don’t want list. Concentrate on moving forward by staying focused on the positive.
4 Make a game or a competition for yourself or by competing with a friend to incorporate the new ideas into your life if this type of activity inspires you to action.
5 Place the notebook or binder you received in your training in a convenient place, one where you will see it every day and be reminded of your new insights. Don’t let it get covered up with clutter or placed on a shelf out of sight. The visual reminder will keep you thinking about and processing the new thoughts.
6 Share the information with another person. Teach them some of the exercises or highlights of what you took away from the event. Teaching another person is one of the best ways to deeply ingrain the information in your mind and ensure you will use it.
7 Hire a coach to work with you to develop and implement an action plan for your visions and work with you to remove any obstacles in your way, like fear, doubt or negative self-talk.
Now, every time I pass that wrist band sitting there unlit, opaque and lifeless, I tap it gently on the counter and a beautiful colored glow randomly chosen from the three within it lights up again for a short time. Some days when I need an extra boost I wear the band all day. I am renewed and energized and on track to the Life I Want. Are you? Don’t let the taps grow fewer and farther apart. Stay sizzling, not fizzling.