Living Life

Category Archives — Living Life

Overcoming $12k of Credit Card Debt

This day marks a massive milestone in our family’s life. It’s the day where I conclude the effects of so much suffering. Since I was blessed to obtain employment after 2 years of financial hardship, God provided the path to free our family from $12k of credit card debt in 1.25 years.

I wish to indulge in sharing 3 of the most important learning I received from this experience with you instead of telling you how to get out of debt because I’m not qualified to do so. 

The first important principle that brought me to this new found freedom is humility. Pride prevents any opportunity to change a person’s circumstance. When I was at the height of the credit card debt, I had to accept that success as a self-employed person is not going to happen. I had to give up my expectations of what life was supposed to be like and face reality. Until that moment I didn’t want to face the fact that I had to change. I didn’t want to be an employee, I wanted to be successful as a business owner. The reality is I’m not. It was very clear watching my finances head in the opposite direction, emotionally however, I believed that a business owner is the only way. 

Sometimes our beliefs need to adapt to an ever-changing world. If a current set of beliefs are not generating the desired results that you’re used to experiencing, chances are you need to look at changing them. By humbling myself and recognizing that my outdated belief system resulted in our financially-poor reality led to a desire to identify what I really wanted to experience.

I used my journal to write down how I wanted to feel about my finances. One of the major themes was that I wanted to feel secure financially. The next step was to describe what secure meant to me. As I wrote down that description, I was able to think about what milestones I needed to accomplish to feel secure.

Some of those things was the need to secure steady income asap. That meant, quitting self-employment and securing a job. When I achieved a steady income then I would focus on achieving a $0 balance on my credit card (I didn’t want to use the words debt-free because the focus and energy would be on debt).

Other activities such as insurance, additional income, KiwiSaver, savings, etc. were listed as milestones for me to accomplish that connected directly to feeling secure. These activities are accomplished one at a time and are done in phases. Phases 1 is to achieve a $0 balance. Phase 2 is to add insurance, KiwiSaver and savings. Phase 3 to begin growing a portfolio to build assets. By having a goal and a definition, I was able to align specific activities that would achieve that goal.

The other learning was creating a monthly financial forecast and tracking system. It is key to know exactly what I was doing with my money. It started on paper to confirm what info I wanted to track and then I used an app called Spendee to track my spending along with Google Sheets. By knowing exactly what was happening, I felt very confident about the future and was able to make very good decisions ahead of time.

Last, and the most important learning was to rely upon the Lord for help. When you experience a very low point in your life, your humility and willingness to look upward increases. I came to the realization that trying to accomplish this mammoth task was far beyond my own capacity. I need divine help. The Lord was in the details and provided the opportunities to pay off the debt, the strength to do it and the guidance to navigate through the journey.

As we celebrated this day, my heart is deeply grateful for the mercy and direction of the Lord. He truly strengthen our family that we didn’t feel the burden upon our backs and we were able to cheerfully overcome our challenge. Thanks be to God for His help in accomplishing what was at the time a near impossible task to overcome.

The Mental Drain of Being a (Temp) Solo Parent

Disclaimer: This is not a whinge, sob story or sharing how hard my life is blog post. This is a personal observation and appreciation of what parents (especially mothers) feel when looking after their children on their own 24/7 with little or no help.

It’s school holidays with 4 days to go. I’m happy to say I have good kids, my wife raised them well and I think I can take at least 20% credit somewhere. Tash is in Las Vegas for 3 weeks and I’m here managing the house, the kids and trying to work (out how to get some business flowing). Managing multiple responsibilities is challenging at the moment to say the least.

Just before I started writing this blog post, I sat with my kids and felt mentally drained. Although I could do it, I didn’t really want to exercise, the executive function of my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders and I feel rather like I have no mind of my own. I starting thinking how my energy picks up when they go to bed, how between their bedtime til morning is the time I look forward to the most. Like I said, I’ve got good kids, but for some reason I feel I’m “on” when they’re conscious and I can’t turn “off” until they go to sleep.

I can certainly see why chocolate becomes your best friend!

As I was feeling drained, I started observing if this is a glimpse into what solo parents or mothers with young children are feeling day in and day out. They’re using a lot of mental energy to keep life moving as smoothly as possible. They have to be multi-skilled individuals for as long as it’s required that day. I started to consider my feelings and thought just how strong and resilient these parents are and tried to fill up my cup of empathy for them.

In this state, I don’t really aspire to achieve much but get through the day. Althought I’m physically there, I’m not there. I can feel and see the challenge to feel motivated to achieve your potential. I know from the stress, and fatigue it’s turning off my prefrontal cortex. That part of the brain is responsible being actively engaged.

In order to feel alive again it requires a change of environment and time away from the workload. There’s no other way around it. The mind, body and spirit needs time to recharge and whatever that looks to you and whatever support you have to make it happen, take time out to recharge.

When my kids go back to school, I’ll have all day to myself and all is well. I’ll get quiet time to work, exercise (which I’ve done once) and run errands without lugging 3 extra passengers around. For those parents who don’t have that luxury yet, I have a deepened respect for the effort you give each day. So like I said in the disclaimer, I’m not complaining but learning to observe and try and feel at some level how those who do this day in and day out feel.

I concluded that in order to find as much satisfaction and joy in this experience, I’ve decided to live by these guidelines.

  1. Do the best you can today and be okay with it being less than what you believe you’re capable of doing.
  2. Only do the most important tasks today.
  3. Pray often and give thanks for what you have.
  4. Make the best out of the resources you have available.
  5. Take care of your personal health as best as you can, especially mental/emotional health.
  6. Strive to keep your mind centred in the moment. Too much wasted energy thinking about the past and future.
  7. Don’t bother trying to be a hero, try to be human. There’s less pressure to live up to extremely high expectations.
  8. Tell yourself you’re doing better than you think. So hold your head up when you’re feeling weary.

I’m going to enjoy my quiet time now, but I want you to know that you are amazing and that I’m grateful to have a strong wife to raised our kids and did it so well. Keep going and keep doing the best you can.

Are You Getting in the Way of Your Own Progress?

Are you too afraid to take action because you’re afraid of what others may think? Do you talk yourself out of doing something that’s important to you because you think about all of the negative things that could happen?

If that’s you then this episode is here to give you the courage to overcome your fear!

That’s an interesting question to ask yourself, “Am I getting in the way of my own progress?” My guest Fraser Cameron dives into that question and how the majority are living with too much fear.

Fraser who is a Transformation Coach in Auckland, NZ shares in this episode how we’re held back by fear and how a person can feel fear and act in spite of it.

He shares 3 key tips that have helped his clients overcome fear, gain momentum in their life and feel confident to achieve things they thought were impossible.

You can check out Fraser’s website www.changingstride.co.nz or find him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

How to Deal with Your Inner “Becky” w/ Tiffany Matthews

“Becky” has been causing a lot of trouble in Tiffany’s world. Becky is the name my guest Tiffany Matthews (@healthywealthywonderful) has given to her inner-critic. Whenever we’re striving to achieve our goals, Becky will try and stop you from making it happen. If you’re struggling to get Becky to shut up, then this episode is for you!

I had the great privilege of speaking to entrepreneur and health coach Tiffany Matthews. We spoke of a number of different topics and these are the top 3 that stood out for me (to get the details, you’ll have to listen to the podcast, which you can download the app on your phone or subscribe via iTunes if you want to listen on the go).

Is Your Plate Too Full?

Tiffany’s personal experience of doing too much captures similar feelings for most individuals. She said to me “the more I pile on my plate, the less space I have.” That simple description enlightened me. Think of the difference between a quality restaraunt and you local smorgasbord/takeaway. It’s quality vs. quantity. The more you do the less quality you can give, the more you wear yourself out and end up stressed and sick.

Tiffany’s solution is to set your important priorities and match incoming request to these priorities. Learning to say no is one of the most important things you can do. Saying no doesn’t make you less of a person. Set your 3 important tasks for the day and anything you get done after that is a bonus.

Who is Becky?

Becky is the label/name Tiffany has given to her inner-critic. We all have an inner-critic that loves to tell us all the reasons why we can’t do something. Tiffany noticed the pattern that people say they can’t do X because they’re Y. An example was a mum who wants to play at the beach in her togs with her kids, but can’t because she’s not at her ideal weight yet.

An actionable solution is an affirmation that mixes both a postive statement and a current “flaw”. “I am a succesful entrepreneur and I have a messy car.” Too me, it allows you to confirm that you are a success and it’s okay that you might have a thing that makes you uncomfortable going on at the same time. It shows optimism and vision with it being a mere fantasy that you’re completely perfect and that success equals zero flaws.

Going on an Information Detox

The last insight that was expressed was unfollowing anyone or anything that triggers your inner-critic. This is especially true if you’re striving to achieve a physique that you’d feel confident in. Following people or channels that make you feel insecure, doubtful and negative will only feed your inner-critic. The best detox is freeing yourself from those kinds of toxins.

 

What insights stood out to you in this week’s episode? I’d love to know so please leave a comment. You can connect with Tiffany on Instagram and Facebook with the handle @healthywealthywonderful and gain more insights into becoming the best version of YOU you can become.

 

4 Important Attitudes You Need to Master to Change Your Body

Media and marketing have made their message clear that if you want to change your body, you need to do physical things like exercise, eat healthily and sleep (recover). However all those physical activities are driven by our internal world first before they are manifest physically, and if these 4 attributes are not thriving within you, it doesn’t matter what you do physically.

It’s all part of the Personal Creation Sequence that I’ve created to help my clients understand how their inner-environment creates their physical reality. I’ve found from personal experience that creating a positive physical change in your body requires you to have mastered these 4 attitudes.

Patience

I’ll start with the hardest one first. Growth and change require time. Period! I’ve shared that you can’t plant a seed in the ground and rip it up one week later demanding fruit. The world has shaped us to believe that success is fast and easy. Sorry, I won’t get a lot of likes for this, but it takes time and work. There is a divine timing in all things that grow and you can’t demand it to speed up or slow down.

The two things I really suggest is that you forget time or deadlines in improving your physique and focus on the work that needs to be done. Change is a byproduct of work and since you can’t change time, there is no point focusing on trying to achieve something in the shortest amount of time possible.

If your value is invested in looking good by a certain time then you’re really going to be frustrated for most of your journey… if you last. Invest your energy in being patient with yourself and with the process and let the work naturally move you along.

Optimism

Your actions are a reflection of your attitude and beliefs. Optimism isn’t a shallow happiness/positivity outlook, it’s the surety that you can achieve what you envision and from that confidence, you act to bring it about. Whenever you doubt, become pessimistic or lack the certainty that your vision is going to be a reality, you will stop doing the work. And if you stop and start all the time, is there any wonder why you haven’t been successful?

Decide to be certain with your vision, if you beginning to doubt, stop and consciously decide to remain committed and faithful to the end.

Patience and optimism go together. You must be certain that it will happen and patient to allow the process to take you there.

Focus

Improving your physique requires you to focus on the work that needs to be done today. The thing about the word work is that it can be associated with long, dreadful activities but it’s not. To work means that when you’re engaged in any activity, do it with your absolute best effort that you can give in that moment. It’s to remove your mind from the past and the future and center it in the present moment.

Whatever you do, do it with your best effort and be satisfied with it. Some days you’ll have real positive outcomes and some days you’ll be flat. That’s just the way it is, so don’t worry about it. Just do your best in the moment and you can be assured that it will all work out in the end.

Compassion

The last attitude you need to have wrapped like a blanket is compassion. Don’t be hard on yourself, be kind to any mistakes that you make. I’d always tell my clients that every slip-up or mistake that you make is educational and should be treated as such. The health and fitness industry has put it into our minds that we must be perfect every day. What a stupid message. You run your own unique race, no one has your body, your life experience and spiritual DNA.

When you’re hard on yourself, do you think it will make you any better? No, no, no, no! If you go off the rails for a week or didn’t stick to your plan for a meal, your whole journey isn’t over nor has that activity shut you out of “physique heaven”. Just carry on. There are days ahead remember!

What attitude do you feel you need more of on your journey and which attitude have you mastered? Leave your comment below and if you liked this post please share it.

The Mindset You Need to Change Your Body w/ Alee Baytan

If you’re trying to figure out how to stop comparing yourself to others during your weight loss journey and stay focused, this post is for you.

I had the priviledge of interviewing Entreprenuer, Beachbody Master Trainer, Social Media Dynamite, Mother of 2 (currently 31 weeks with her second child), Alee Baytan (@domoredaily). She’s been through the challenges that come from dealing with her body image in a fitness environment.

She shares how personal development is the key to her transformation. Reading or listening to people who kept her focused on her goals, changed the way she thought about her limiting beliefs and pushed her to grow was the difference between success and failure.

Alee share a lot of insights like “every woman should embrace their OWN journey”, celebrating all the small victories through to her mental preparation to keep the focus on what she needs to stay on track. I love two of her instagram post and had a chance to have her explain it in more detail. “Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself” and “We won’t be distracted by comparison if we’re captivated by purpose”.

I’m not going to giveaway all of what she’s shared, listen/download the podcast and listen. I’d love to know what stood out to you during my interview with Alee? Share your thoughts below in the comment section.

Have a great day!

Aaron.

5 Major Questions That Can Change Your Life Now!


Is life taking a funny turn and you feel you’re on the wrong path? Or do you wake up one day and wonder how did I get here? These 5 questions will help you get back on track!

Life can really take us on a ride. Well, I suppose we often choose the paths that lead us towards things we want or don’t want in life. However, most daily decisions are small and may seem insignificant. The thing to consider is that small decisions can compound and without realising it, you could be stranded on a road that’s not where you want to be.

These turn off’s apply to every aspect of our life and these 5 questions can help you get those areas back in alignment again.

1. What will I embrace?

We’re constantly surrounded by information that is indirectly and directly influencing our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. From the amount of time you spend on social media, the friends you associate with, to the music you listen to, it will have a positive or negative influence on the way you live your life.

This question will help you consider what kind of influence and information do you want to absorb and surround yourself with? Is it uplifting, inspiring, wholesome or negative, destructive, cynical? It’s a great question to ask because it can help you assess whether you have any influences that need to get in or out of your life.

2. What will I believe?

As you know, our beliefs drive our actions. If the results your experiencing of late aren’t what you want, there will be a created belief that’s driving that outcome. This questions is your opportunity to define what it is that you what to happen so you can focus your energies into making it into a belief.

3. What will I say?

Self-talk has a major effect on what we believe, how we view ourselves and our life experience. Do you catch yourself saying negative things about yourself? If you drop something, have you said out loud “Stupid idiot!”? We’ve all done it from time to time. The more we speak in that manner about ourselves, the more we make it come true. This question will help you consider if the way you speak to yourself or to others is how you wish to be remembered, treated and influenced.

4. What will I let go?

We all have events in our lives or habits that are holding us back from really experiencing joy and happiness. Yet, we tend to hold on to these experiences and drag it where ever we go. As difficult as it maybe, to let go of things that keep you unhappy shows that you’re no longer give that experience permission to exercise power over you. Your ability to let go shows strength in your character and you’re retaking that power back.

Whatever needs to change, let go, forgive or made amends to anything that weighs you down is worth the effort to secure a future of freedom and joy.

5. What will be my intention?

Our actions are driving by the power of our intention. Have you ever met someone who acts like you’re friends but you tell it’s all fake? The intention behind the behaviours gives it away right? However, when we do things in life, what power drives it? Love or hate? Fear or courage? Excitement or boredom? Each positive or negative intention will influence the outcome of your actions.

If you’re dieting out of fear or shame, how long do you think that’s going to last? If it’s driven because you love how you feel inside or you enjoy the extra energy, health benefits etc. You’ll stick to it for a longer period of time and hopefully for the rest of your life.

Conclusion

These questions are designed to help you assess where you are, where you want to go, and what you can change to head in the right direction. It’s a great self-assessment tool in moments of reflection to make sure you’re happy with the path you’re on. My recommendation is to answer these questions with compassion and patience. It’s not scolding session, it’s an insightful and revelatory experience. By asking the right questions, you’ll receive the right answers.

Question: Which question stood out to you and what was the first answer that came to you? Leave your comments below or email aaron@aaronosman.com 

What You Can Do When Life is Suffocating Your Happiness

If you’re having one of those moments where you feel the life is suffocating the happiness out of you, then you’ve come to the right place!

I had a conversation with a friend who expressed how stressed out life has been and sadly how changing it wasn’t an option. I shared from personal experience 3 principles, that helped me break free from my own personal dungeon. Without putting everything into context, I’m going to jump straight into it.

1. Get the Stress Out of Your Head

I asked my friend to try this simple exercise. Get a sheet of paper and draw a line in the middle of it. Write on the left column My problem(s), and on the right Possible Solutions. List what is going on in your life that is causing you to feel stressed or perplexed. On the right side consider any and all possible solutions that you can do to resolve the issue.

I wish to point out is that it doesn’t really matter what those answers are. They can be distant answers, as in, you’ll need to take multiple steps to get to that point or they could be, small answers like talk to person who bothers me at work. The process of it will help you shift your thinking from dwelling in stress to resolving it. When you’ve got your possible solutions down on your paper, do the next step.

2. Decide and Act

The key to exiting the suffocation of life is making decisions and acting. Nothing changes unless you change, and change doesn’t happen unless you decide to do something and follow through. The reason why I have you write down possible solutions is so you can decide to act. As you take small steps on a consistent basis, the more momentum you will gain.

Second, is that your consistent action will either attract opportunities to secure your desired outcome or through your action, you will create opportunities. The reason why decision-making and action is the key, is because we will spend all our energy thinking, reliving, expanding our stress in our head, never actually doing anything about it, just torturing ourselves with it. Action releases the choke hold that engulfed stress grasps.

3. Respect the Law of Gestation

What in the doo-dacky is that? Everything has a divine time appointed for its overall development. Trees, fruit, vegetables etc each have their own time frame for growth and outcome. You can’t mess with it. Yes you can add special sauce to the soil and provide the optimal environment. It will help a little but not remove that divine time line.

My point? Change takes time, results take time. You can’t plant a seed in the ground and rip it out one week later demanding fruit! I urge you to remove your timetable from the natural course of things. It will only make you frustrated. Keep moving and doing what you can to cause change to take place and in due time, you will see the fruit of your work.

Believe that you can change and that life can change for you. You are more than capable of beating life’s challenges.

I love to you what you think, please leave a comment below and share what decisions you’re going to make to change your life for the better.

 

My Experience in Learning to Love Myself

I’ve been exposed to an increase of people sharing their story or experience about learning to love themselves and their body. I think it’s great! And it’s great that influences of every kind are being open about it and people are resonating. I thought I’d share my thoughts and personal experience on the subject.

It’s a brief introduction into what I went through and I do this because I like to share the details in times where it’s appropriate or can strengthen, connect, or illustrate a principle that I’m striving to share with a group or individual.

For most of my childhood, I was always told “you’re too skinny! Eat more food! Gain more weight!” over and over I was fed this information which caused me to believe that in order to fit in and be valued by those around me, I had to eat a lot and gain a lot of weight. My value was invested in other people’s insecurities. Being told this over again had an effect on my self-esteem.

It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I began to make some serious changes and I had to first resolve the self-esteem issues I had growing up. One of the exercises I did was to look in the mirror (when no one was around!) I say to myself “I love you.” I don’t really care how that sounds. At first, I couldn’t look myself in the eye and honestly say that. I had to teach myself that I am valuable, I am created by God, I am enough. Saying “I love you” was a three-word phrase that implied everything.

Over time I saw that I was defined by the insecurities of others and that I didn’t need to live by their expectations anymore. My body, value and purpose were mine to develop and that I did. After building the best physique I could ever dream of, it didn’t release me of those past insecurities, it was the byproduct. Because I loved, respected and choose to focus on building my value, my body, confidence and outlook changed.

After a stressful 2 years, I almost shrunk back to a skinny man. I had to release my past physique and expectations when I got back into exercise again. When I first started it was hard, I was thinking about what I was like 2 years ago. I knew that in order to progress I couldn’t relive 2 years ago. 2 years ago isn’t going to help me today. Yes, I relied on my knowledge (that’s useful). I had to accept my reality but not be defined by it. I accepted that I can’t lift what I used to but it doesn’t mean I’ll never do it again.

Self-love isn’t just about accepting yourself in your current state, it’s about looking at yourself square in the eye and saying “I love you, I’m valuable, I define my greatness.” Then act on your expectations, serve others and watch your value increase.

What’s your opinions, thoughts or experiences in learning to love yourself? Comment below I’d love to know your thoughts.

How Gratitude Changes Your Body

*If you’re a poddy and want to listen to the podcast version, please click here.

Many people don’t realise the relationship between gratitude and your body image. If we were to take a snapshot of your thoughts and feelings about your body, is it negative or positive? I hope is positive but probably has a varying degree of negativity.

You may be looking in the mirror and nitpick at all of the “bad” things you see. Perhaps you complain about your belly fat as you hold it and jiggle it around. Maybe you just stare at yourself and struggle to see anything good, as if it doesn’t exist.

The law of gratitude is an absolute law that does four things:

  1. It attracts positive opportunities to achieve what you want.
  2. It keeps you from dissatisfaction.
  3. It brings into nearer to the source of creative power.
  4. Your mind will be fixed on what is good and what you fixate on, you become.

A person who develops the attitude of gratitude for the body they have will change the way they look at their body AND cease to look for faults (which is the attitude that keeps your body in its current state).

Wallace Wattles wrote a chapter about the power of gratitude and I want to share some of his words.

If it is a new thought to you that gratitude brings your whole mind into closer harmony with the creative energies of the universe, consider it well, and you will see that it is true. Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come; and it will keep you in close harmony with creative thought and prevent you from falling into competitive thought.

There is a Law of Gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law, if you are to get the results you seek.

The law of gratitude is the natural principle that action and reaction are always equal, and in opposite directions.

The grateful outreaching of your mind in thankful praise to the Supreme is a liberation or expenditure of force; it cannot fail to reach that to which it addressed, and the reaction is an instantaneous movement towards you.

And if your gratitude is strong and constant, the reaction in Formless Substance will be strong and continuous; the movement of the things you want will be always toward you. You cannot exercise much power without gratitude; for it is gratitude that keeps you connected with Power.

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But the value of gratitude does not consist solely in getting you more blessings in the future. Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are.

The moment you permit your mind to dwell with dissatisfaction upon things as they are, you begin to lose ground. You fix attention upon the common, the ordinary, the poor, and the squalid and mean; and your mind takes the form of these things. Then you will transmit these forms or mental images to the Formless, and the common, the poor, the squalid, and mean will come to you.

 If you want your body to change focus on expressing gratitude for the body you have now. Express heartfelt gratitude as you hold on to the vision of the body you want. As your gratitude is strong and consistent, you move faster towards your goal.

I’d love to know your thoughts, questions and comments. Please share them below or email me aaron@aaronosman.com

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Aaron.