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May 22

May 22, 2019 – JOLT – How do you betreat yourself?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”  – Albert Camus

To step away from the machine…

is sometimes the most challenging move we can make.

There is ALWAYS another…
…call that could/should/would be made.
…project or follow-up that ought to be handled.
…hole in the dike or problem that should be managed.
…next-level vision or dream that needs to be implemented.
…and so on, and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

We can become so hypnotized by the back-and-forth pocket watch of our work, business, routine, and schedule that the mere idea of retreating for sanity’s sake is quickly rationalized away as impossible.

But what’s possible inside a machine except more of the same? More of the same is never about possibility.

Think of it: a toaster’s job is to make toast. There’s no meaning involved for the toaster. It just makes toast.

Ideally, the difference between us and machines is that we can comprehend, appreciate, and be inspired by meaning.

A personal escape now and again — whether it be a 3-day silent retreat, a ski trip or hiking trek into the mountains, a regular walk on the beach every evening, or a simple 10-minute fresh-air flight from the cubicle — can reintroduce meaning to the machine.

Far better than a RE-treat, however, which implies going back, giving yourself a BE-treat makes you available for a less predictable future…because you’re more present.

How can you betreat yourself into the present today?

Wrangling the machine got you in a Matrix? Schedule a complimentary 15min chat, or go here for a menu of everything from career to business to life-purpose services.

Got betreatment?

“He who retreats lives longer.” – Michael Scott

May 16

May 15, 2019 – JOLT – Personal roadwork ahead?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“You are pre-paving your future experiences constantly by what you think and feel and say.” – Abraham-Hicks

To pave a road…

is to make it smooth, easy to travel, on stable, durable substance vs shifting sand and gravel.

The investment in paved roads pays off in multiple ways, with us getting to where we want to be quicker with less strain on the vehicle.

If we take a few minutes (or even an instant) to apply this principle to our day, an upcoming meeting, or even swallowing a big pill, we can similarly get where we want to be quicker with less strain on our mental, emotional, and physical vehicle.

On the pill front, I sometimes take valerian root at night to ensure good, restful sleep. It seems to only come in a big capsule form, and often gets stuck when I attempt to swallow one.

However, upon applying the simple principle of pre-paving only a moment before, visualizing the pill going down easily, feeling the feeling (ahead of time) of being already relaxed as it travels down my throat, I found that the big pill didn’t pose a problem anymore.

It’s a simple idea, but ask yourself, “Do I take the time to pre-pave before…

–I get out of bed in the morning, envisioning an awesome day of unique surprises?”

–I speak to my partner, child, parent, sibling, coworker, prospect, client, etc., feeling the feeling (ahead of time) of harmonious communication?”

–going into my doctor’s office, ex’s home to drop off the kids, or sales team meeting, already embodying good vibrations and anticipating good news?”

–the necessary interactions I’m required to have with that ‘big pill’ of a boss, landlord, opposing counsel or in-law, playfully imagining a completely unexpected moment of real connection?”

Look, we can all take life as it happens, or we can have an ever so slight (or heavy) hand in directing it.

To twist a Robert Frost poem, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less [rough], And that has made all the difference.”

Invest in your personal roadways today. It can make all the difference.

Need support smoothing out a rocky path? Schedule a complimentary 15min chat, or go here for a menu of everything from career to business to life-purpose services.

Got personal roadwork ahead?

“Five or ten minutes in advance of pre-paving is a lot easier than 24 hours of trying to get your train back on track after it is derailed.” – Abraham-Hicks

May 08

May 8, 2019 – JOLT – Think boxing is tough? Try ex-boxing!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.” – Tim Ferriss

It’s an easily thrown around phrase…

to “get outside the box” in one’s thinking and actions.

It’s touted by forward-thinking individuals intent to disrupt the status quo…and, for sure, there’s not a person on the planet who couldn’t stand a new approach in one or more areas of life.

Yet, easy to say, harder to do. Just think of where that box came from:

1) a bottom constructed on early-life experiences that had us make self-limiting decisions that went straight into our subconscious because we had no fully-formed prefrontal cortex

2) side panels built upon the wisdom and critiques downloaded onto us by those who “knew”

3) a top established by patterns of self-reinforcing beliefs and even chemical addictions within the body keeping the same thoughts and feelings about ourselves in place

4) many sharp corners from ingrained habits and even defensiveness arising from all of these parts coming together.

Whew!! Now that poses a bit more substance to be addressed when seeking to “get outside the box,” doesn’t it?

Look, it’s not ominous or impossible. Of course not. Society and our world progresses on the heels of ex-boxers.

Yet, it’s worthwhile to acknowledge the true, underlying dismantling and reconstruction work going on behind the scenes of ourselves when we take on such a mantle.

Who’s your favorite ex-boxer? What bottom, side, top or corner of your own box could you explore/dismantle to become more like them today?

Have a career, business or life situation boxing you in? Schedule a complimentary 15min chat, or go here for a menu of everything from career to business to life-purpose services.

Got ex-boxer tendencies?

“Being able to ‘think outside the box’ presupposes you were able to think in it.” – Bob Lutz

May 01

May 1, 2019 – JOLT – Time to open a renew door?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Around here we don’t look backwards for very long… we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiously keeps leading us down new paths. ” – Walt Disney

May 1 has historically been celebrated…

to honor life and fertility returning to the world – the entrance of spring after the long, cold winter.

So, today is traditionally about newness, moving forward, expansion, prosperity and renewal.

Did you have anything better in mind to do today??

What one area of your life will you consciously choose to approach or regard newly today?

Will you revitalize your plan of utmost contribution to your employer or business, and/or is it finally time for being curious about other options?

Will you re-engage the spice and passion in your relationship, and/or are finding new ways to accomplish that long overdue?

Will you reinstate or elevate your health and fitness goals, and/or explore avenues for even a more optimized body and mind?

Will you review and recommit to the financial plan that gives you peace of mind, and/or find entirely new levels of prosperity to blow up that plan?

Look, today is just a day, like any other day, to open a new door and chart a new path.

Nothing says you have to engage in a new initiative.

But, if you’re still reading this JOLT Note, and you’ve already put time and attention into it, why not have something to show for it in the next 5 minutes?

Keep it simple. Pick something! One thing. Infuse new life and curiosity into it. Open a renew door or chapter…not because it’s May 1, but because you’re simply right now choosing to do so.

I just opened the door. We’re walking, we’re walking, we’re walking…

Want to discuss an area of renewal? Schedule a complimentary 15min chat, or go here for a menu of everything from career to business to life-purpose support services. 

Got renew door?

“Old ways don’t open up new doors.” – Unknown

Apr 24

April 24, 2019 – JOLT – Why pay…when you can grease it forward?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

An old Fram oil filter commercial…

had a mechanic speaking into the camera saying “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” They were encouraging regular oil changes to avoid major engine damage.

It highlights the fact that we’re all going, going, going…and it’s the squeaky wheels that get the grease. Unless they aren’t audibly squeaking, until they fall off.

Look, we’re all doing our best, for sure. And, managing the tide of squeaky wheels in life is enough of a chore itself. The already known issues to be resolved can fill our calendar.

And, at the same time, it pays to put a little effort toward detecting inaudible squeaks before they eat away the axle and leave us stranded by the side of the road.

Is your relationship in good shape? Whether yes or no, what do you have to gain but perhaps more mileage by doing an earnest and open check-in with your significant other?

Is your health vibrant? Whether yes or no, what do you have lose by getting that next-level checkup, fitness schedule or eating plan set up?

Is your career on track? Whether yes or no, how could it hurt you to grab a private one-to-one with your boss and show interest in how you’re performing? Much less, how smart might it be to ready yourself for a career shift right now even if you don’t see any writing on the wall?

In the career aspect of life, I always encourage people to, for sure, give 100% to whatever you’re doing now, wherever you’re doing it. Yet, somehow and somewhere, find another 10% to put toward managing your career beyond whatever you’re doing now, wherever you’re doing it.

Similarly, though you may have 100% of your troubleshooting in life focused on the squeaky wheels, it pays to find another 10% to put toward uncovering the silent one that’s ready to crack…and grease it forward.

Which life wheel does it pay to grease forward today, whether you think it needs it or not? 

LAST CALL FOR EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNT! ALL ABOARD!
If the career wheel needs immediate or pro-active grease, take advantage of the early-bird discount (ending this week) for The 2-Day Career Relaunch Workshop happening May 10-11 in Irvine, CA. Whether it’s a career change or new business strategy, what might you gain from a good lube job?

Got grease it forward?

“The squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the grease. Sometimes it gets replaced.” – Unknown

Apr 17

April 17, 2019 – JOLT – Conscious renewal vs bag of bricks. Choose!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

Renewal often evokes…

a love/hate relationship.

On the one hand, we’re all inspired by the idea of rejuvenation and new possibilities.

On the other hand, renewal requires that something be given up and/or (literally or metaphorically) destroyed.

Consciously and proactively giving up the old (i.e., comfortable, known, routine, standard, regular, customary, accustomed, normal, usual, ordinary, established, typical…you get the point) for the new is not always easy.

It requires action, vs simply waiting for something to change.

Alas, and regardless, things will change on their own if not proactively steered, because we all know that shift happens.

But that kind of “renewal” is not always as pretty and inspiring as we’d like.

When out on major layoff assignments during The Great Recession of 2008-2009, I’d meet with employees just after they’d been riffed (reduction in force). Some would be highly distraught and even in tears.

I’d ask, “Did you ever think of something beyond this place in terms of your career?”

Too often they’d say “Sure, I’ve been wanting out of here for years”…even as they took another tissue from the box.

So, shift happened, and caught them broadside, instead of being in the driver’s seat.

Even though they’d been inspired to change for a while, it took circumstances to force that change. So, instead of a carefully planned and consciously designed renewal, it was messy and void of any direction.

Apply this to whatever area in which the shoe fits, but ask yourself: “If I don’t consciously renew in [X] area, what’s it going to look like in 6 months? Is that the picture I want? Does that inspire me?”

If the answers are “Not good” “No” and “No”…why not use this traditional season of revival and awakening to point a conscious renewal in that direction?

Wishing you all the best in this time of high renewal holidays.

If the career or business area is one in which a renewal is ripe, take advantage of the limited-time early-bird discount for The 2-Day Career Relaunch Workshop happening May 10-11 in Irvine, CA. Whether it’s a career change or new business strategy, a conscious renewal beats a bag of bricks any day.

Got conscious renewal?

“There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.”- Franz Kafka


Apr 10

April 10, 2019 – JOLT – What’s brand got to do with it?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“You too are a brand. Whether you know it or not. Whether you like it or not.” – Marc Ecko

The idea of branding…

is mostly associated with the world of trade and commerce.

Obviously, having a well-recognized and respected brand among competitors is worth a fortune…while a soiled brand can be rendered worthless.

Folks in the career space and “thought leadership” learned a while ago that, just as companies nurture brands which have them stand out, having a personal “brand” is a key differentiator.

Being able to distinguish, in a key phrase or title, what it is that distinguishes YOU (your talent, your abilities, your special sauce) from others can make the difference between getting the call or referral or remaining in the pool of unnoticed.

But, if we go even more basic than career and thought leadership, no matter who you are or what you do, as the quote says above, you are a brand…whether you like it or not.

People talk. And they talk about others. How they will talk about you is your brand.

On the one hand, it’s always good to remember, as the title of a book by Terry Cole-Whittaker states, “What You Think of Me is None of My Business.”

However, IF, in fact, you’re going to do business — the business of business, the business of relationships, the business of love, the business of community, etc. — then it may pay to be aware of and/or impact the drift of your brand.  

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it (and are able to handle it gratefully and gracefully): ask a few people to be really straight with you about their impression of your “brand.” In other words, find out what it is that is said when you’re not in the room.

A challenge not for the faint of heart, but ripe for painting a new start.

Your personal brand is capturable and refinable. Want to discover it? Take advantage of the limited-time early-bird discount for The 2-Day Career Relaunch Workshop happening May 10-11 in Irvine, CA. Whether it’s a career change or new business strategy, your brand is worth making memorable.

Got brandedness?

“Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos



Apr 03

April 3, 2019 – JOLT – Proactive aspiration: a powerful force

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Got’sta make hay when the sun is shinin’
  Can’t waste time when it comes time to dance.”- The Heart, Needtobreathe

Sometimes having it good…

creates its own thermostatic stopping point.

You know, like the thermostat on your air conditioner or heater sets a bottom or high point beyond which it won’t keep cooling or heating.

Often, we don’t have things as much as we’d like them, so we strive to get to that next level (in career, life, etc) out of a position of weakness and want.

Yet, when we get to (or close to) that desire, it can sometimes turn into a stopping point on the high end.

For example, when it comes to, say, your career, you may have some goal and you strive to achieve it. If you’re smart, once you do, you set higher goal, vs sitting comfortably in that now old goal.

Employment rates are at an all-time high. If you’re currently settled, rather than sit back in a role or goal of the past, this could be the best time to “trade up” by either finding a better opportunity in the same career or finally making that long-pondered switch to a different career…and possibly better work-life balance.

If your business is booming, it may be the best time to use that upward thrust to develop methods and systems to go to an even higher level…vs simply try to stem the tide. 

It’s easy to get others (or ourselves) to make changes when they’re necessary.

It’s a whole other thing to get others (or ourselves) to make changes aspiration-proactively.

Yet, operating from strength is a vastly different experience than operating from weakness.

What in your life, right now, is about the best you could ever imagine it being? Now, how can you take it up a level?

Want to take a good career and make it better? Or a stalled career and have it re-launch? Take advantage of the limited-time early-bird discount for The Career Captain Relaunch Program taking place on May 10-11 in Irvine, CA. Whether it’s career change or a business boost, there’s a next level waiting for you.

Got proactive aspirations?

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” – Jack Dixon

Mar 27

March 27, 2019 – JOLT – Are you prepared for just when you least expect it?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Some of the best things in life happen when you least expect them.”- Unknown

It truly pays to prepare in achieving our goals…

and, yet, it’s also baffling when that preparation meets unexpected opportunity.

Once, on a much needed vacation, while sunning in a cabana on a beach in Mexico, a random stranger in swim trunks walked by. We started to chat, about nothing initially. And we casually chatted more later in the hot tub.

That person turned out to be one of the top corporate coaches in the world, the person who the CEOs of big name companies turn to.

He’s now in my phone and will answer any time I call…which I do sparingly.

That time of simply chilling, when I would least expect to make a connection, moved my career and relationships forward.

Guess what? Spring is in the air, and summer is coming. Who knows who will be sitting beside you in an outdoor cafe, or strolling by in swim trunks. Just when you least expect it, you could have an opportunity to connect in a way that moves your career and life forward.

If you’re prepared.

Learning the power of connectedness, the energy of intentions, and how relationships make everything move is good preparation.

Today might be a good time to remember that you’re not alone…and that you never know who is behind you in line for coffee, working out beside you at the gym, or sitting beside you at lunch.

Because, just when you least expect it… 

If you want to make the most of spring in the air and the upcoming summer months to move your career and life forward, take advantage of the limited-time early-bird discount for The Career Captain Relaunch Program taking place on May 10-11 in Irvine, CA. Whether it’s a career change or a business boost, there’s a lot of opportunity to be seized…if you’re prepared.

Got least expect its?

“The best kind of relationships begin unexpectedly. When you get the astonished feeling and everything happens so suddenly…It comes to you just at the right time; the time you never thought it would have.” – Unknown

Mar 20

March 20, 2019 – JOLT – No result is unintended

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.” – Wayne Dyer

The power of intention is often discussed…

as if it’s something you’re either operating by or not.

When someone says they’re being “intentional,” it sounds as if they are…
-really applying themselves
-putting major focus on what they want
-becoming clear and pointed in creating a result

The only thing missing from that explanation is that being “intentional” is actually happening ALL the time, not just when we’re conscious of a desire.

A great mind once said “If you want to know what you’re committed to, look at what you’ve got.”

That’s a sobering thought. What it means is that we’re ALWAYS operating out of an intention, whether it be a conscious one (e.g., a result-focused desire) or an unconscious one. And, regardless of whether that intention is conscious or not, there is a specific result that reflects back on that overt or (more often) hidden intention.

To consider that you’re always creating something, proactively or by default, has you think twice about not thinking, doesn’t it?

The good news is, if you don’t like a result you’re currently experiencing, you can always dig underneath to find the sourcing intention of that undesired result.

Perhaps easier than it sounds…but definitely doable

The playful exercise for today is to simply become aware of when you think you’re being intentional and when you seem to not be. In those place where you are, what are you getting? In those places where you seem to not be, what are you getting?

Conscious power of intention: if you’re reading this, it must be a game you’re intending to play.

Got a result that doesn’t look aligned with what you really want? Schedule a complimentary 15min chat, or go here for a menu of everything from career to business to life-purpose support services. Definitely come with an intention to see the real intention.

Got nothing unintended?

“Intention is one with cause and effect. Intention determines outcome.” –Oprah Winfrey

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