Hi Leader,

How are you? How is this year unfolding for you? What energizes you and propels you to new growth? How are you renewing and refocusing your efforts?

For us, the year started with tremendous intensity. I have never been engaged with more projects. This intensity has tested me. In one way, the trajectory of my personal growth over the last several years has been about establishing a terrain of options. Explaining what I mean may help your growth and development.

Five Ideas for Your Reboot

Listen Here: Episode 36 - Five Ideas for Your Reboot

Early in my adult life I repeatedly created scenarios in which I felt my back was to the wall, facing what appeared to me as only one option that propelled me forward forcefully. Although this approach unleashed tremendous creativity and led to breakthrough results, it was exhausting and costly. In my 40s, I recognized that I must change my operating system. I began pivoting from the one option, to multiple options, to an abundance of options from which I could choose. This insight enabled mindset changes, such as those from scarcity to abundance, from worrying to relaxing (still learning that), and from the anxiety of no options born out of my war zone experience to the peace of mind and generosity enabled by an abundance of choices.

These changes emerged from a twofold awareness. First, I realized that, like most people, I tended to recreate the same patterns. For example, I kept creating scenarios that I experienced as narrow passages from bondage to freedom. They would force me to act with absolute urgency and desperation to overcome impossible odds to achieve the desired breakout results. I deliberately say "I created" this dysfunctional pattern, though at the time I did not understand that I was causing it myself. That was the point of realization: I am responsible for the patterns of my life; I cannot blame them on circumstances or other people.

The second part of the realization was that families tend to transmit and adopt behavioral (karmic) patterns-both positive and negative behaviors pass on from generation to generation. For example, I unconsciously adopted my father's war-related survival patterns. During WWII, his parents and three of his brothers and sisters were murdered in Auschwitz. He was able to escape a Nazi labor camp, then make his way out of Europe to Israel. Time and again he was nearly caught and appeared to have reached a dead end, only to save himself by calling upon his extraordinary resourcefulness to discover a narrow escape passage to freedom.

As I approached age 50, I recognized that personal growth requires me to take full 100% responsibility for my actions and decisions. I had to break out of this family transfer by erasing from my unconscious mind the karmic pattern of overcoming impossible odds by finding the narrow escape passage. If I failed to do so, I reasoned, I would become increasingly brittle. To catalyze the transformation, I turned the pattern against itself to help me discover and build the resilience and versatility of abundance.

As I approach age 60 and reflect on my transformative journey, my tally suggests that a) I am making good progress on the abundance vector, and b) changing and releasing deep internal patterns can be a confusing effort that requires both horizontal development (building new capabilities, resources and financial freedom) and vertical development (cultivating new levels of awareness and downloading a new operating system). I discovered that working with and helping smart executive teams in some of the most successful companies in the world is a fantastic testing ground for my own personal development and growth. The executives I coach and consult with bring to table issues that trigger the development lessons and insights I, too, need.

Here are five learnings that I distilled from the intensity of the last few months for your own deliberation and application:

  1. Upgrade through challenge. By saying yes to more than I have ever done before, I forced myself to elevate my operational process, support systems, and delivery method. It is only when we meet the edge of our operational capacity that we are challenged to upgrade the way we work and provide value.

    Reflect: How do you catalyze your transformative upgrades? What opportunities are available for you to elevate your capabilities and value delivery?
  2. Simplify, digitize, automate, and delegate. To help me focus on what I do best, I ruthlessly remove non-value adding activities by digitizing, routinizing, automating and delegating them whenever possible. We make our greatest contributions when we bring forward our talents, presence and creative gifts.

    Reflect: What can you simplify, routinize, digitize, and automate in your work processes? What aspects of your life can you delegate to free up precious space, time and energy to focus on your contribution?
  3. Ride the opportunity waves. Near Jupiter, Florida, where we spend the winter months, I learn so much by watching how the surfers ride back into the waves time and again. A similar pattern appears in business and in life. When a wave shows up, it creates a momentous dynamic of energy and opportunities that can be harnessed by riding with and into it.

    Reflect: What opportunity waves are you seeing right now in front of you? How can you expand your energy, creativity and progress by taking advantage of these opportunities? For example, what strategic partnerships can you build as you move forward?
  4. Schedule your most important and creative work during your peak performance zone. To produce your best work, you must be attuned to your energy cycles. I do my writing and creative work early in the morning and in the evening. These are the two windows in which I generate the best focus and flow. To build mastery in any area, and become the author of our destinies, we must design our lives and our environments to help us unleash our peak creativity and performance.

    Reflect: What are the best times and environments for you to create your most important work? How will you design your week so that you are able to engage in what matters most inside your peak performance zone?
  5. Listen to intuition deeply. In our strategy and innovation workshops with leadership teams, I have learned to play jazz with the process and to embrace with confidence not knowing what will come next. I trust my preparation, the emergent wisdom of the team, and my intuitive ability to identify and respond to opportunities as they emerge. We express our natural genius when we learn to be comfortable with the ambiguity and uncertainty of what comes next and to listen to our intuition when opportunities present themselves.

    Reflect: In what aspects of your life can you make the leap to listen deeply to your intuition and play jazz? How will you build practice opportunities for you to bring more of your creative and artistic talents to your work?
  6. Now it's your turn. Turn the key. Upgrade your process and system through challenge. Simplify, digitize, automate, and delegate what you can. Ride the opportunity waves. Schedule your most important and creative work to your peak performance zone. Be present, express your natural genius, and share your gifts by listening deeply to your intuition.

    Finding Personal Freedom and Confidence with Damion Lupo

    Listen Here: Episode 35 - Finding Personal Freedom and Confidence with Damion Lupo

    "You win or you learn and if you're always winning you're not really learning."

    Episode Summary

    Damion Lupo is an American Sensei and the founder of Yokido Martial Arts, a fusion of the practices of Yoga and Aikido. He is also the author of Reinvented Life and leads three global companies with one unified mission: to free a million people from financial bondage.

    By bringing the principles of Yokido, which means Lethal Kindness, and the presence and generosity of the martial arts to entrepreneurship, finance and business, Damion is helping countless people find their personal freedom and confidence so money doesn't continue to control their lives.

    In this episode, you will learn how Damion got involved in the martial arts, how he teaches people to be present and grounded, how financial freedom is different from financial security as well as so much more.

© Aviv Shahar