Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Mental Thermostat

A mentor of mine once described to me an idea that I found extremely valuable. He called it The Mental Thermostat. The thermostat has a high and a low, a maximum and minimum, and our thermostat dictates every aspect of our lives. Here’s an example: My mental perception of being “on time” is no later that 5-20 minutes early. Typically, I won’t be showing up much earlier than 20 minutes (maximum), but I’ll never be any later than 5 minutes early (minimum). That is where my thermostat is “set” when I’m making sure I’m “on time” for an appointment.

Take a moment to see where you can apply the thermostat in your life. A few more examples might be:

  • I like to shower everyday, but I typically don’t skip more than two.
  • I try to watch my favorite tv show once a week, but not more than twice. 
  • I don’t usually have dairy in my diet, but on “special occasions” like birthdays and weddings, I allow myself a treat. 
  • I like to have a few thousand dollars in my savings account, but I don’t mind putting one high priced  item, on credit, at a time.

The idea is to adjust the range of our thermostats in areas that would benefits us. There are typically two ways this can happen:

  1. Creating new habits. If being “on time” means walking in the door five minutes late, a person can reset their thermostat by leaving ten minutes early, changing their clocks, waking up early, etc… Whatever it takes to create a new habit. Over time the thermostat will increase or change in their favor.
  2. An extreme emotional experience. A good example of this would be: a smoker who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day has tried to quit on and off for 5 years. One day he is hospitalized for a heart attack and the doctor informed him if he did not quit smoking, he would risk losing his life should he have another heart attack. The smoker never smoked a single cigarette from that day forward.

While I’m not saying go out there and do something extremely traumatizing, the common trend between these two approaches is just perception. Ultimately, you can just make a choice and change, or even let go of the mental thermostat altogether.

What areas of your life can you improve by choosing a new perception and adjusting your thermostat? Your health, your finances, your patience..? I hope you may find value and success in these thoughts, as I have.




Overcoming Boredom

When I feel bored its a sure sign that something is off with my perception. I am usually resisting or avoiding the present and looking for something “better” to occupy my time. No matter what boredom feels like, it’s always out of the present and when I don’t put some effort into being aware of my boredom, I usually end up wasting time on something pointless, ie. surfing the web, playing iPad games or twiddling my thumbs.

Here are some things that help me from falling into the trap of a lazy day and help me find a little more self-serving productivity so I can actually feel good about taking it easy later on…

1. Refocus on what’s important in life: my family, my health, this pregnancy, etc.
2. Do some things that serve those values: look up new health recipes to make for the family or take some time to meditate, etc.
3. Be present to those tasks. Often I don’t do them because I feel so lazy, I just don’t think I’ll want to. But I find if I just try and stay extremely present to my experience, it feels really good.


Loving is not being a Pushover

Today was a little bit of a challenge for me. We had loaned some money to a company who’s debt is way overdue and its not fun when push comes to shove and things get to terms of legal action. Through this all, I am trying to find the lesson in it… I don’t think it’s: “Never trust people again.” And I certainly believe that all things serve the purpose of love.

With that notion, I thought of two things:
1. Being loving doesn’t mean, be a push over.
2. You can still be unconditionally loving and understanding even though you have to set conditions for certain situations.

It is really easy for my ego to withhold love when I feel someone is either undeserving or has done me injustice. I think we all can feel that way sometimes. It’s hard to want to love or understand someone when it feels like they’re taking advantage of your kindness and compassion. But putting the blame on someone, regardless of how unjust their actions are, is just a form of self victimization and victimization is neither freeing nor empowering.

I can truly say, while I despise the actions and the situation involving the owner of this company, I have no feelings of hate or dislike towards them. Once I take responsibility for my actions and feelings, it is easy to see how their actions and feelings don’t serve them any justice. I can actually see why they may be acting out the way that they are.

This doesn’t mean I don’t expect them to hold to the contract and pay us back. It just means with my understanding and forgiveness I free myself from resisting who that person is or how they are acting. I don’t have to stress about how inconsiderate, unfair, or dishonest they are being. The situation is where it is and now I am free to use my energy to do what I can to make it right.


Doing Yourself an Injustice?

If there is one thing that can truly hinder our ability to live happily and unlimitedly, its fear. But today I want to talk about something equally hindering that we often overlook and that is: self victimization.

It’s funny how we embrace and welcome all the “good things” that come into our life, but when something goes slightly off or unexpected, it can really throw us for a loop. The reality of life is that the good comes with the bad. That’s just how it is, you can’t have one without the other. When the bad comes around the most debilitating thing we can do is find someone or something else to blame as if we’ve been served an injustice or as if we aren’t responsible for feeling the negativity that we experience.

The reason pointing a finger at something else or feeling bad for ourselves is seriously paralyzing is because:
A. It doesn’t attack the problem, there’s no solution when there’s only blame.
B. It takes the power to do something out of your hands and gives power to the person or thing you’re blaming.

The only thing self victimization does is trap us into shitty feelings about a shitty situation.

Some of the things I try to remember when I’m feeling attacked by life situations are:
1. Life is life. Stuff happens. Accept it.
2. It happened, now what? What can I do to address the situation or solve the problem?
3. Take action.

Not all things are going to go as planned or as expected. Expect unexpected circumstances and handle it when it comes. We don’t plan on tripping over a crack on the sidewalk and most of us don’t avoid sidewalks altogether because we fear it either. But when we trip, in that moment, we handle it. Sometimes we fall and give ourselves a good one, other times we catch ourselves. Keep you head clear from debilitating emotions and your instincts/gut intuition are free to guide you.


Too Busy, Not Busy Enough

Why is it when you have a lot to do, it’s overwhelming and there is just never enough time? But when there is not enough to do, there’s a feeling of lack or boredom?  I fall hard into the trap of being too busy, or not busy enough. The truth is, I am usually neither.

There are some people who are truly extremely busy, I used to be one of them. Each moment from the time they wake up, until way past their bed time, is crammed with effective work and efficiency. For most of us, this is not the case. We have a tendency to pile up our to-do list to give ourselves purpose each day and there is still a feeling of “What now?” once we’ve completed all our tasks.

I like to call this, resistance to the present. In my experience, I tend to feel this way when I don’t want to deal with my present circumstances or feelings, ie. I feel absolutely  tired right now so I should get up and do something to distract that feeling. If I were present to that feeling, I’d probably get a nap. But taking care of myself first is something I resist because my ego feels more effective when I “get stuff done”. But the truth is, I cannot truly get anything done when I don’t have enough energy, so I fall into the trap of wanting to distract, yet feeling a lack of energy to do so. Hence, too busy, not busy enough.

So how to get out of the trap?

It’s easier said then done. Don’t resist the present. 
When we go with the flow of the present, everything seems to fall in place. I get my nap, I get stuff done efficiently, and I don’t feel physically unfit to continue to flow with whatever comes into my day. There is a sense of completeness.


Do What You Love for a Living

“Doing something for a living” has such a confusing, contradictory idea behind it… Like you have to make money to “do it for a living”. Want to live? Go out and LIVE! Most people don’t do that. They do something for money. There’s a large difference in my opinion. Today I am going to talk about doing what you love for a living.

If you want to do what you love and are inspired to do it… You will find time to do it and the possibilities or results don’t cling to any conditional circumstance because it’s your PASSION, it’s what you LOVE.
You don’t spend time with friends and family and expect to get paid for it. You do it because you enjoy it!

One of the most common questions we get asked is normally phrased as such, “How do you make a living off YouTube? Will you help me get started so I can make money?”

YouTube fell into our laps. Back in late 2011. I uploaded our birth and weekly videos of Love’s progression for Brett’s parents and my grandparents since they live so far away. After the birth video went viral, YouTube invited us to monetize and we agreed we would only if we stuck to the promise we have made in all our endeavors since…

“We will only participate in something if we feel passionate about doing it, never for the money and never out of obligation.”
(Please read my blog post about success if you want to further understand why we’ve made that agreement.)

Since then YouTube has continued to open up a world for us that we could have never imagined. A life at home together, a positive community, a creative outlet for sharing… some things we truly enjoy, all things that we were passionate about and already “doing for a living” far before YouTube came about.

Now in all honesty, YouTube is damn near impossible to make enough money to survive. We got lucky. And we somehow stay lucky everyday. I like to give the credit to passion.

Without our viral videos we would both have to have jobs. YouTube is unstable and unpredictable. We have seen it crash a handful of times on us already and even as we speak today our income stands in question. If not for our simple lives, lack of consumerism and debt, YouTube would not sustain our living.

I do not say this to deter any possibility, because I truly believe nothing is impossible! But I am telling you that statistically we generate millions and millions of views a month and it is not as glamorous and certainly not as stable as it may seem.

This is why I believe it is so truly important to follow your PASSION.
Because if you are passionate about making YouTube videos, it will be a blessing no matter what. And if you end up being able to support your lifestyle… EVEN BETTER!

The formula to my successes have always been as follows:
PASSION COMES FIRST… with that, success is inevitable.

I have never once had a successful endeavor without passion.


Successful Life

I’ve never made millions and I won’t say I’m an expert who can teach those who have. But in my short business career I can say that I have been successful in every business venture I’ve set forth. So what does Success mean to me? I think we can agree that a thriving business, financial abundance, and social recognition can all fall under the category of success, but what made me truly successful was the joy and passion I felt, doing what I was doing.
Everything else was just icing on the cake.

I wanted to share my personal recipe of success with you because success doesn’t necessarily have to apply to the business world. I found success in all areas of my life when I applied these principles to them.

The three principles that have molded the success I’ve experienced:

You get what you give. If you put in half the work, you only reap half the rewards. The same thing goes for success and abundance, give abundantly to those around you and help others succeed and you too shall be abundant and succeed.

Life works in Balance. Success in life doesn’t mean 100% focus and motivation towards financial wealth but negligence of physical health and relationships. Strive for balance in all areas of your life and you will find everything works together to maintain that balance.

Passion cannot fail. People do incredible things when they are passionate about what they do. Point out someone who has revolutionized the world or reached an immense level of success and you will find an explosive amount of passion driving their inspiration.

Can you think about someone or something successful in life and point out their use of these principles?