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The Facts Period

Monday, January 12, 2009
The Facts. Period.

“There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles. ”

Stephen Covey

It’s the third week of January and how many of us have already discarded our New Year’s resolutions? Obviously, I’m going to tell you that it’s due to the hard-wiring of our brains! But this year, there is even more pulling us away from becoming who we wish to be and our potential. Every day we’re bombarded with never-ending bad news about the economy. Reports on how many thousands have lost jobs, or fears expressed around the water cooler, or even chipper little articles on “Great Style in Lean Times!” Anxiety seems to be in the very air we breathe these days.

So I want to share a very simple, incredibly powerful exercise to help you stay in a place of choice – not a place of anxiety. I call it The Facts. Period.

Whenever you hear news or experience something that usually throws you into a whirlwind of anxiety, pause, restate the facts, and add a forceful “Period” to the end of it. For example, you hear your company has lost a big client. Don’t let your mind flip into your normal anxiety story: “So they’ll probably have to lay people off, and my boss has been cold to me lately so it will probably be me, and I’ll never find something in my line of work, and we might lose the house which will make my spouse resentful. . .” Instead, pause, take a deep breath and say, “Our company lost a big client. Period.”

Or take the example of faltering New Year’s resolutions. You realize that you haven’t been to the gym in over a week. “Here I go again, flaking out on getting fit. I have absolutely no willpower! Now I’ve wasted all that money on a gym membership and I’ll never. . .” No! Pause, take a deep breath, and state the facts neutral: “I didn’t go to the gym this week. Period.” Make sure that your “Period” is firm and non-negotiable!

Another example: Your spouse forgets to squeegee the shower door– again! Unplug from your normal mental chatter: “He always forgets to do this. It’s as if I’m the only who cares around here. He just takes it for granted that I’ll pick up the pieces and. . .” Pause, deep breath and “He didn’t squeegee the shower door. Period.”

The power in this simple practice is in experiencing it. By just stating the facts neutrally and not allowing your conditioned stories to rev up, you’ll find yourself in a place of choice. You can start looking for another job or come up with ideas for replacing the lost client. You can get yourself to the gym or find a way to exercise that is more fun for you. You can ask your spouse to squeegee the shower or do it yourself. (By the way, my friend who used The Facts. Period. with the squeegee issue chose to ask her husband– calmly and without recrimination– to squeegee the shower. His response? “I’m sorry, hon. I’m always forgetting to do that, aren’t I?” No fight, no resentment – and after years of forgetting, he actually started using the squeegee on the shower without prompting!)

Try this out for yourself: “The stock market is faltering. Period.” “He didn’t call. Period.” “I can’t afford to go out to eat. Period.” By creating a moment of choice, you’ll find yourself responding to life more creatively and positively. And you’ll feel better!
Exciting news!

Our public television show has be picked up by APT, one of the top distributors for public television! Snap Out of It Now! will air across the country throughout March. And our public television station here in Reno, Nevada (KNPB-TV, Channel 5) has chosen Snap Out of It Now! for their special January pledge drive. The program will be shown January 22nd at 7:30 PM and I’ll be there for live interviews. If you live in the area, please tune in. And let your family and friends in Reno know so they can be the first in the country to see the show!
Wishing you focus, fitness and flexibility in mind and body,

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