Time Isn't the Problem: Four Strategies to Transform Stress Into Success260
Time Isn't the Problem: Four Strategies to Transform Stress Into Success260
We all start out in life expecting to live the life we want. For many, if not most, those early hopes get dashed when the realities of rent payments, nasty bosses, indifferent spouses, unexpected illness, or uncontrollable events turn our dreams into disillusionment. Instead of thriving, life just becomes a march of survival and people grow older and bitter as they remember their early hopes as wistful memories. The more cynical will even mock their younger selves for believing they could ever have had what they see others achieving.
Yet there are countless examples of people who are living the life of their dreams. We see them on TV all the time—people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and George Clooney, to name a few. They manage to juggle work, family life, community life, and personal pursuits in seemingly effortless fashion, with a smile on their face, purpose in their walk, and passion in their attitude.
Anyone can achieve what they want, just like these people do. There’s nothing extraordinary about them. They have no elixirs. What they do have, however, are qualities that keep them performing at their highest level, qualities that anyone, including you, can have … if you know how to develop them.
Time Isn’t the Problem is the twenty-first century guidebook for everyone who feels stuck in their life and wants to change but doesn’t quite know where to begin. It’s a thorough, entertaining, informative, easy to understand yet challenging and action-inducing program that’s designed to get you to start living the life of your dreams right now.
Chad Cooper supports the House of Healing Mission Foundation, to learn more and donate to the projects, please visit houseofhealingmission.org
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|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
You know that feeling. Maybe for you it happened when you opened your alumni magazine and read about your old roommate's latest achievement. Perhaps it came when you saw your neighbor pull into his driveway with a brand new luxury car. Or maybe it was the phone call from your brother bragging about the new diamond necklace he bought for his wife. I'm talking about that strange unsettling emotion, a combination of happiness for their success mixed in with some degree of envy, along with that multi-million-dollar question: Why them?
I'm betting that you've picked up this book because that question has been lingering in your mind for quite some time. Why do some people seem to work less and still receive a greater share of the pie? How are they able to navigate through the immense amount of information overload and live a satisfying, balanced life, while you stay up at night stressing out over how you're going to pay for that new roof? Why are they on item 128 of their dream list, while you can barely get past item one?
Why indeed? That doesn't seem fair now, does it?
Every day we're bombarded with news about people around the world who are living extraordinary lives, from the Silicon Valley executive showing off his latest yacht to the adventurer climbing the five highest mountains in the world. The media would like to have you believe they are exceptional, lucky, and somehow smarter and better bred than you.
That's a bunch of hogwash.
People such as Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, George Clooney, and Oprah Winfrey have led extraordinary lives, to be sure, but there's nothing in their DNA that makes them exceptional human beings. Yes, they are all talented. However, it was not their talent alone that brought them their success. There are scores of equally talented people who never reach their levels of achievement, and it's not for lack of trying.
What's their secret? There are lots of factors that go into their success. Study any of them and you will find that the most important factor has been their mastery of one very important part of their livessomething that made all of their achievements possible. This something is common to all people, whether you're male, female, rich, poor, educated, street smart, tall, short and everything in between. I call this the great equalizer.
One hundred and sixty-eight hours.
One hundred and sixty-eight hours is the number of hours in one week. I don't care how much money you have; you can't buy 169 hours. Week in, week out, there are 168 hours, and once you use them they're gone forever. Yet if they're used wisely, anything's possible.
People who live lives that matter know how to use their 168 hours each week most effectively. They are able to do this by being very clear in their purpose and passionate about what they do. They set goals and act on them consistently.
If you can do this, great. You're living your intentions, getting things done, andunfortunately for meprobably don't need this book. However, if you can't do this, then yes, you've got a problem. A big problem.
All is not lost, though. Wherever there's a big problem, there's also a big solution.
How can youwith the same amount of hours per weekreplicate and produce the results that you want? How can you go from a life of working your tail off to a life of financial stability, freedom, and the happiness that comes from living life on your terms? How can you reignite your relationship with your significant other into something extraordinary?
Right now all of that might seem impossible, especially if you feel so overwhelmed with what life has handed you that you don't believe you have time for more personal development. In one sense that's true. You still only have those same 168 hours to work with. However, in these pages I will show you how to leverage those hours so that, with a few tweaks to your daily regimen, you can create a life that matters.
• More time to travel and vacation? Done!
• More quality time with a spouse or loved one? Done!
• More time to pursue hobbies or personal development? Done!
(You knew there had to be a catch here, right?)
If it were just a matter of managing those 168 hours, there would be no real need for this book. If you don't believe me, type in the words "time management" into the search bar on Amazon.com. You'll come up with over 126,000 books dealing with the subject and over 5,000 books with the words "time" or "management" in their titles. That's a lot of writing and a lot of advice on how to effectively use your time to your benefit. Most of it is valuable. I'm such a big proponent of time management that I devote the last section of this book to my formula for how to make the most of those precious hours in your weekly life. It's important and valuable information, yes, but time management alone doesn't address the most important factor in transforming stress into success.
That key is YOU.
Yeah, I know. That stings. You want to believe it's something elseyour boss, your co-worker, your spouse, your kid, the government, or the weatherthat's keeping you from really getting what you want out of life. You want to believe you're giving your all. You want to believe there's another, easier solution than having to confront your weaknesses.
Here's something to consider. Go to the gym and take a look at that guy with those rock hard abs. He didn't get them from waving a magic wand over himself. He worked at building those muscles, something that took him time and effort. Success in life works the same way. Success just doesn't happen. The amount of success you achieve is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into knowing yourself and how to use that knowledge effectively.
Let's get back to those reactions you may have had on seeing the achievements of others: That twinge of envy, that shock of surprise, or even outright bewilderment at how others succeeded where you haven't been able to up to this point. You may not have realized you harbor these not-so-nice feelings, and you may even be feeling a little ashamed, embarrassed, or upset that you do.
But before you throw this book across the room and give up in despair, take heart. You've done your best up to this point. You have the best of intentions and are frustrated by your inability to make things better and more productive for yourself. You just don't know how to transform your stress into success.
That's what this book is for. Consider this your how-to manual on to how make the rest of your life the best years of your life. Thisbook is my way of offering you proven strategies that I've learned and tested so that you don't have to make the same mistakes I did.
I will teach you that you have the ability to be your own solution. I will show you the "how", to enable you to see that you are extraordinary and your dreams can become real again and again. But more importantly, I will also show you the "why", the impact that effects little changes in your routine will have on you, your loved ones, and your community.
HAVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS
In my time on the planet, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to be one of Tony Robbins' top tier Platinum and Master Coaches. I've taken my family on trips all over the United States, Caribbean, Central America, and Europe. Not only did I do the Ironman race, but I was sponsored by nine major companies, one which gave me a $13,000 bike, and I got to tour across the nation as a result.
More importantly, I've been able to be of service by being a leader to others. I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of serving on thirteen different charitable boards, and been an elected official for our city of 8,000 people. I've also had the honor of being named Regimental Marine of the Year, one of the highest honors a Marine can receive. I’ve led missionary trips outside the United States, and brought children from the Chernobyl nuclear fallout zone into our home to help deplete the radiation from their bodies and bring nutrition and color back to their skin.
Most recently, I've led twenty other extraordinary people across the Grand Canyon and back in two days (46 miles) to raise awareness and funds for cancer and traumatic injury survivors.
I don't say this to impress you, but to press upon you that what I'm about to share with you works! These methods work every time and for everyone who applies them.
I've gotten to this point because I took the advice I give my own clients and told myself to be open to all possibilities and see how I could make them my own. I didn't let limitations get in the way just because other people said there were limitations. Ultimately, I came to see that my life is driven by one important rule: to put more into the world than I take out. That's what drives me when I wake up in the morning.
Even though I can say that my life today is extraordinary, I wasn’t always surrounded by sunshine and rainbows. I'm not special. I wasn't born into privilege. I'm the product of divorce. My intellect is average. Sometimes my wife accuses me of doing some really dumb things.
That's the point. I'm no different from anyone else. I'm no different from you. I truly believe that anyone is capable of achieving what I have, if they, too, have passion and the right tools.
While I say you're the problem, that doesn't mean that I think you're dumb. In fact, I believe you're smart. In fact, after working with hundreds and thousands of people, I know we all have significantly more power, and ability then we are using. After all, you took the time to buy this book, and I want to make sure you'll come to see it as the wisest decision you've made this year. You have everything you need to transform stress into success, right here in your hands.
LIFE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE HARD
When I was a young kid, I did a lot of things that held me back. Sometimes, when things didn't go the way I wanted, I felt like a train wreck. If I had not changed course, I would have been in the same boat as a lot of peopleliving a life of survival, instead of a life of unlimited possibilities.
I kept making mistakes that prevented me from achieving anything great. But I didn't question anything, because in many ways I was fairly comfortable. I had a job, a car, a place to live, friends, and a loving family. I was certainly in okay shape, especially compared to a lot of people, and for a long time that was fine for me.
However, when life is so-so or even okay, the tendency is to believe life will always be that way. The idea of becoming extraordinary was way, way off my radar.
In many ways, I was really just limping along. Like a lot of people, I limited myself to simple thoughts. My vocabulary for expressing emotions? Happy, sad, angry or pissed off. There was a lot of black and white and not much shading in between.
I had no grand scheme for my life. I wasn’t really doing any planning. I was living a life of reaction. I was in a situation where I was working ninety hours a week and saw no way out. I was in an unhappy marriage, and for a long time saw no way out of that either. My life was all about getting through the day, paying the bills, having some fun on the weekend, and that was that.
I didn’t have a purpose. I was just trying to survive. Trying to thrive wasn't even an option.
In short, I was subscribing to society’s indoctrinated beliefs. Life is hard. Work for survival. If there's anything left over after the bills are paid, great, but don't necessarily count on any great rewards.
One day I woke up and realized that time was ticking by. I heard a voice inside me say, “It’s time to live!” Then a moment later, the voice added a phrase, "But how?"
I embarked on a decades-long journey predicated on my desire for growth and to "be better". I began the process by tiptoeing outside my comfort zone and getting educated. I studied writings from Carl Jung, Viktor Frankl, Napoleon Hill, Warren Buffet, Gary Chapman, Eckhart Tolle, Billy Graham, and David Deida. My education also included workshops and training with some of the masters in their fields: coaching giant Tony Robbins, financial guru Al Granum, and marketing genius Mike Koenigs, among others. I didn’t go into any of those workshops feeling like “this one will fix me or fulfill me”, but I trusted they would be a piece to the puzzle. That's why, along this journey I also engaged in much meditation and self-reflection work, trusting that the path I was on would bear fruit.
Like following breadcrumbs through a forest, I went from one inspired role model to the next, which eventually led me to discover my own system for success. I've taken pieces of these mentors' wisdom, and the insights I've gained in my years of coaching, to develop a strategy that, with commitment, practice, and persistence, can help you achieve everything you desire.
The system is based on my belief that there are four components of a totally fulfilled life.
• Time management
• Effective self-expression
• Operating from your highest self.
It's also based on the premise that you hold the key to your own success. By truly understanding yourself and how to break free of the limits you impose on yourself, you can transform your life and the quality of your experiences, and create a life that truly matters.
I can't make the promise that getting all this will be easy. But I can promise that if you follow my suggestions you will have fun. In fact, I can wholeheartedly promise that if you come with me on this journey, you will find it absolutely worthwhile.
At the heart of doing this successfully is to have you create a winning life. Winning isn’t a “sometime” thing, it’s an “all the time” thing…and winning is a habit.
To have a winning life, I suggest you look in the mirror and say:
• “I don’t care about what other people say...”
• "I am more than what other people say I am.”
• “It’s time to live a life that matters to ME!”
THE KEY TO GETTING RESULTS THAT MATTER
When I finally discovered my purpose, I started down the life path I'm on today. For instance, because I believed in the importance of giving back to my community, I followed in my grandfather's footsteps and ran for City Council of our small town. Since I’ve always wanted to mentor others, I've spent the past four years doing just that, with students at the University of Michigan. Discovering my purpose gave me the courage to live the life I love.
Being a father was important to me too. I desperately wanted to be a big influence in my son's life, but I came to the conclusion that being a great father was incompatible with my corporate job that kept me out of the house all day. I didn't want strangers to be his main caregivers. To be the type of father that I wanted to be I realized I needed to be his major male role model, which meant being around for him. To do that, I had to retire.
I did. At the ripe old age of thirty-five, I retired from the corporate world and the ninety-hour workweek.
Guess what? Not only did I get the time to be a quality parent for my child, I got the opportunity to do lots of other fun things, like take annual trips around the country and learn new hobbies.
Some of you reading this might stop here and think that it's easy for me to say all this, because I have the time and the money to make these things happen, while you're sitting there wondering if you'll ever take another vacation again. Stick with me, please. Be patient. I didn't get here overnight. It took work, and a lot of planning and disciplineand I’ll show you how you can do the same.
HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM THIS BOOK
“Are you an extra in someone else's movie script, or are you the lead author of your own blockbuster?” – Chad Cooper
Do you want to learn how to live a life that matters? I know that you recognize you need to learn new tools, new methods, and to unlearn old unproductive habits that aren't doing you any good. Why else would you pick up a book that says right on the cover that you're the problem?
You're smart enough to know you have limitations and smart enough to want to do something to change them. There's a lot of ground to cover here, and throughout this book I'm going to ask you to look within yourself for answers by asking you questions you may never before have considered. I believe you have the answers within you, and I'm going to help you discover how to find them.
I'll be spending a large part of this book emphasizing the role that language plays in our lives. Here's a preview. Take the word because. When you think because, think be at cause. Don't get into the mindset of "I can't do this because" of this thing or that thing. In other words, be the cause, not the effect, of everything that happens in your life. You take a stand to make it happen.
Most of us will follow and live in the effectthat is, accepting what we get. That may be an okay way to live if you're happy settling for the crumbs of whatever may fall your way. But the likelihood is that you've picked up this book because that isn't what you want out of life. You want the whole loaf, right? In a life that mattersa life that's free of stressyou're somebody who is the cause of the matter, not someone for whom life just happens. When you settle for other people’s actions or material things (these being “effects”) you end up on the short end of the rope wondering how you believed it would lead to fulfillment, but it doesn’t. However, when you are the cause, you shift the meaning and focus and your actions support your values.
How do you get started? One baby step at a time. To illustrate this, let's take the metaphor of the elephant. If somebody asked you to eat an elephant, you might look at the entire animal and go, “Why would I even bother? How could I ever begin to start?” The enormity of this beast might overwhelm you and make you want to give up right away. But if you concentrate on one little part, the whole doesn't seem very intimidating. Start with one item, one goal, one action, and move from there. Create a methodology and stick with it. In time, you will look up and realize you've devoured the whole thing.
Next, be easy on yourself. I don't believe in perfection. I don’t believe that you should feel like you have to give up if you make missteps along the way. Think of it this way. If people come to a movie theater to watch the story of your life, what would they see? Are you an extra in someone else's movie script, or are you the lead author of your own blockbuster? Would they see an epic blockbuster or a bomb? If your life script was playing up on a screen, would people be bored or would they be mesmerized, saying, “I want that too”?
You'll notice also, that I'll be asking you a lot of questions. Take the time to answer them. Really? Yes, really. Sure, it would be easy for me to spout off the wise suggestions for self-improvement you'll see here and leave it at that. But those nuggets of wisdom would be forgotten the day after you read them, without the reinforcement that comes from your spending the time to figure out how they relate to your life and your goals. It's my way of saying you need to have skin in your own game.
It's never too late to start living the life of your dreams. One thing that helps is to surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Immerse yourself among people you want to emulate. That will give you the ability and the encouragement to continue taking more bites out of that elephant.
But please remember this. We're not talking about reinventing the wheel here. I don't want you to feel as if I'm beating you over the head with a giant re-do list that's asking you to recreate your life from the ground up.
That’s not what this is. This is about making tweaks to the way you're already functioning, the way you’re already operating, and changing your language and sense of purpose over time. Eventually your actions will morph into habits. When that happens, you’re going to impact and influence your family. You’re going to influence your boss, your friends. You’re going to influence your community in the ways you’re involved. But mostly you're going to affect and influence the relationship you have with yourself.
That sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
Are you ready to take this out for a test drive? Read on to discover how to move beyond survival, beyond stability, and into a life that has meaning and purpose.
One more thing before you really get started; studies show repeatedly that if you just read something you will only retain between 3% - 9% of the knowledge. However, when you write down your answers to the questions below and throughout this book, your retention goes up to 45% - 58%. Even more powerful, is once you write down the answers and implement them in action; you will reach 80% - 90%! I want you to get more than your time and money’s worth, please take the time to write out your answers for each question in the book in ONE location, and then take action to become the solution and make your dreams reality
Time Isn't the Problem Takeaways:
1. Here’s a list of at least ten things I want to do or accomplish.
2. In lieu of writing out the entire movie script for my future life (because that would be ridiculous), here is my next scene…including setting, sounds, and feelings.
3. The Universe just told me I have one month left to live. I am okay with living it just like I am now? Not really, so I am changing these two things.
4. I am exceptionally good and passionate about these things that I do right now.
Table of Contents
Strategy 1 Language Matters 1
You Are What You Say 3
Pitfalls of the To-Do List 11
These Silly Phrases Make A Big Difference 19
Get Wired For Success 28
Strategy 2 Purpose 33
Why You Do What You Do 35
The Building Blocks of Life 46
Unlocking the Secret to Your Success 56
Rome Wasn't Built In A Day-Neither is Your Retirement Plan 62
Your Passion Is Your Own Damn Fault 71
Life Is Not A Hollywood Movie 78
Step Up To The Plate! 82
The Wheel of Life-Your Wheel of Fortune 87
The Secret Sauce For Love 91
You Are Who You Decide To Be 99
Life Is Unfair-Get Over It 106
This One Thing Can Make All The Difference 120
Living A Lire You Love 123
This Is The Chapter You're Afraid To Read 127
Lose This Nasty Habit 134
Fuel For The Soul 140
Strategy 3 Honor the Spiritual 143
You Are Divine 145
Strategy 4 Working With the Rule of 168 159
Where Did That Week Go? 161
Make Time Work For You 169
Use This To Transform Time 173
Your Biggest Time Waster 185
Good News For Those Who Have Stuck Around To This Point 189
Rome Wasn't Built In A Day-Neither Was Your Schedule 193
Padding-It's Not Just for Furniture 196
Wanna Live Happily Ever After? 200
Another Thing That's Wrong With The To Do List 203
What Rocks Have To Do With Your Success 206
More On Why You Do What You Do 210
Now You're Cooking 214
Conclusion: Are You Ready To Take On The World? 217
Appendix: Mind Maps 221