Your Energy Options

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-By Jaime Willis

Matt and I are very excited to let you know that we are both now certified to administer and debrief the Energy Leadership Index Assessment (ELI). If you are interested in taking an ELI and want more information about pricing, please email us.

The ELI Assessment isn’t like other corporate assessments (Myers-Briggs, DISC, Kolbe), in that it is an attitudinal assessment, not a personality one. When you get your Myers-Briggs, DISC, or Kolbe results, those results are yours for life, and your job is learn to work with your personality instead of against it to get what you want out of your life.

By measuring your attitude, energy, and level of consciousness, the ELI really allows you to understand your leadership potential, your personal satisfaction, and your awareness at the time you take the test. When you get your results back, Matt & I provide you with a full debrief of where your energy is currently. If you’d like to improve that energy, we can help you do that too.

Someone was asking me the other day to explain the levels of energy in more detail, so I came up with this analogy. Imagine you are going through your day, and your energy level is equivalent to the amount of light you have available to you. Let’s look at how much light you’d have at each level of energy.

If you are operating with level one energy, your flashlight would be so dim, it would be hard to see anything, even things that were directly in front of you. As you go through your day, everything would seem harder – you would struggle to just make your way through the tasks required of you. You may see other people’s flashlights shine brighter and be sad that you got stuck with such a dim flashlight – bad things like this always seem to happen to you. You may blame yourself for getting such a crappy flashlight.

If you are operating with level two energy, your flashlight would be slightly brighter, but would occasionally blink on and off and may fluctuate between really dim and slightly brighter. Trying to get anything done with your flashlight would be infuriating, as you never felt like you could count on your flashlight to produce light when you most needed it. If you saw someone else with a bright flashlight, you’d be angry, wondering why they got a better working flashlight than yours. You may wonder who has it in for you, giving you such a crappy flashlight.

If you are operating with level three energy, your flashlight would be bright enough to light your path a few feet in front of you. You’d be happy to have a working flashlight, and go through your tasks with relative ease. But you might wonder what your life would be like if you could see even further with your flashlight. You may feel like you are just settling for what’s right in front of you instead of exploring the whole world around you.

If you are operating with level four energy, your light is a lantern – you can light up an entire room with your energy. You use your lantern to help light up the room for those you care about – you may provide light at your office and light up a common room in your house for your coworkers and family. Sometimes, you may wish that you could turn off your light and get some sleep, but you want to make sure that everyone who needs to use the light can, so you stay up until everyone else is done using your lantern. You feel great about being able to help light people’s way every day.

If you are operating with level five energy, your light is a huge spotlight. You can see the path in front of you for miles, and you are excited about traveling towards your destiny. You can see challenges in the path ahead, but your light gives you the opportunity to make the best of the difficult path. You are happy to help others and providing them light, so long as it doesn’t distract from your path in life. Lots of people begin following you, as your spotlight makes you a natural leader on your journey.

If you are operating with level six energy, your light is powered by a solar panel array. You can synthesize light from all different sources and use that to power your flashlight. If the day is cloudy, and you aren’t getting much light from your flashlight, you just appreciate the experience of living life in dim light. When your light is fully charged and bright, you appreciate the experience of living in complete brightness. You enjoy whoever and whatever comes your way, and are completely happy with the ups and downs of your flashlight’s light.

If you are operating with level seven energy, your light is as bright as a sun. Your light is literally exploding with creation as your sunlight lights the entire world around you. You are able to enjoy every single person and experience that is awash in your light, but may find it difficult to connect to individuals on a personal level, as your light is almost too bright for one person alone to experience.

In reality, you are going to fluctuate between each of these levels all day long. The idea is that if you would be happier operating at a higher energy level, what things in your life and more specifically, in your attitude and awareness can you change to make operating at a higher energy level easier for you?

Staying Inspired

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“Nothing GREAT was ever achieved without ENTHUSIASM.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Jaime Willis

Photo Credit: My adorable nephew, Tate, by Jamie Geysbeek
Some days, we just aren’t feeling it. That was me on Saturday morning. I got to bed later than I wanted to Friday night, and the morning came way too early for me. Matt and I were meeting at 7:45am to prepare for our third goal-setting workshop — where I was supposed to spend five hours encouraging others to find their passion and make it happen.
I knew I needed an attitude adjustment, but my normal priming just wasn’t working. I decided to dress up (typically, Matt and I teach in jeans) in the hopes that looking nice would impact my attitude. Matt noticed right away that I was low energy and we both just hoped that I would pop out of it before the course began.
When we got our course site, I was still not feeling ready to inspire. My mood was further darkened by an overzealous security guard who insisted on arguing with me, even though we agreed! (“Good morning! I came up to sign in, as your colleague requested.” “WHAT? You have to sign in!!” “Ok, that’s fine. I am here to sign in.” “Well, you have to. How did you get in without signing in??” and so on…)
I went to Starbucks to pick up our coffee and tea travelers for the morning breakfast spread, and, in a flash, I got inspired! Starbucks has innovated their cardboard coffee travelers by adding these awesome ‘saddle bags’ to help customers carry all the accessories that come with a gallon of coffee. Seeing that neat little innovation made me smile and turned my mood around. I tipped the staff (another great way to improve your mood–do something nice for someone else) and walked back to our classroom in a much lighter mood.
Our class this weekend was the best one we’ve ever had. All the participants were engaged, Matt and I brought our “A” game, and the course itself was well-designed after several big tweaks based on our previous courses’ feedback. I’d hate to think how the course would have gone if I had not been able to get into a positive frame of mind.
Sometimes, it takes such a little thing to get inspired. To stay positive. To turn that frown upside down. If you find yourself needing a little inspiration, here are a few places to go to get your own mood back on track:
Tess Marshall writes a great blog, The Bold Life, that I discovered when her daughters, my high school classmates, linked to it on their facebook page. She has lots of great content, so if you liked that post, consider subscribing to her RSS feed to get a regular dose of the Bold Life.
TED started as a “Technology, Entertainment, and Design” conference, but has since spread to cover any and all interesting topics in 20 minute (or less) presentations. Search for a specific topic or just click on a random talk–you won’t be disappointed.
Seriously, try to be in a bad mood while scrolling through this photo set.
Just like the Starbucks saddle bag, this site is full of really neat stuff that could serve as a jumping off point for your new, amazing invention. Or, you could just buy a squishy gel magnet because it’s cool.
5. Set the Mood!
Open these three links in separate tabs, turn up your speakers, and just chill. A perfect way to relax at the end of a stressful day, or to start your day on a calming note. (HT to
6. Inspiring True Stories
Read about the amazing accomplishments of others here or just browse through our TGIF posts.
Have a great day!

Bad Days

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-by Matt Leedham

I have to be honest. I’m a little surprised you’re even reading this post right now because I could barely get out of bed to write it. Yesterday I developed a fever that spiked at 102.5 degrees and after hardly moving all day, I popped some Nyquil before going to bed at 9pm. I woke up this morning, still battling a fever, but feeling a little bit better and am willing myself to write this.

What do you do with bad days? Like yesterday, sometimes they knock you on your butt. Other days aren’t quite as bad. Sometimes you are ill. Sometimes you are blue. Sometimes you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes you receive news that isn’t so great, and sometimes people do things that aren’t so great. And sometimes your motivation meter is registering low.

Speaking from experience, one bad day can snowball into multiple days, a week, and sometimes get you completely off track. When you have big plans to achieve big goals, these disruptions can be devastating.

Here are some tips to get back on track:

  1. Be honest with yourself. Recognize and acknowledge what is happening. Many times, this alone will end the vicious cycle.
  2. Make a plan for tomorrow. Jot down your ideal day for what tomorrow will look like. Review it before you go to bed and prime yourself to succeed when you wake up.
  3. Talk to someone. I find that just being honest with someone else about how you feel reduces the perceived size and importance of what’s holding you back.
  4. Re-center yourself. Whether you meditate, pray, exercise, or do yoga, spend some time bringing yourself back to center. For me, a simple 5-minute breathing exercise is enough to ground me and bring clarity to the day.
  5. Write and write often. If you don’t already have an outlet for writing, consider journaling or blogging. This can be done in many ways. For example, I have committed to keeping a gratitude journal in 2011. I plan to jot down 3-5 things I am thankful for each day. If you’re just getting started, start with one thing a day and go from there.

For more tips on overcoming material and emotional obstacles, join us for our special New Year’s Resolution Workshop on January 8, 2011. You can sign up here, and use the coupon code “GoalGift” to take 60% off the registration fee!

New Year, New You?

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– by Jaime Willis

“When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” – Benjamin Franklin

I was browsing through my facebook feed the other day and one of my friends had written this as her status update, “No New Year’s Resolutions for me – I like me just the way I am.”

First, I applaud my friend for her healthy self image – that’s a huge accomplishment that many of us struggle our whole lives with. But, I think she may have missed the point of New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions don’t have to be about dissatisfaction with your life, although a lot of common resolutions certainly are: losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.

Resolutions can also be goals that help you continue to grow and learn. In 2011, I am resolving to visit two countries and two U.S. States I’ve never been to before. That goal is not about any deficiency in my life, it’s about experiencing new things and seeing the world, one of my own personal core values.

The New Year is a great time to reflect on both what you don’t want in your life (extra weight) and where you do want to go in your life (e.g. travel, school, promotion, family, etc.)

I hope you take the time in the coming days to reflect on both! And, if you want help in creating or executing your goals, sign up for our New Year’s Resolution Workshop Extravaganza on January 8th in downtown DC for just $20. Sign up now!


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– by Matt Leedham

“Don’t worry, everything is going to be amazing.” –unknown

I posted the image to the right on our Facebook page yesterday and a few people let me know how much they liked it. It’s simple isn’t it? And powerful. To put a little twist on a fairly common expression.

Why do we put limitations on ourselves? Why do we hope for things to just “be okay?”

In our goal-setting workshop this past Saturday, Jaime asked a question you may have heard before, “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” In other words, if you removed all of the self-imposed limitations and all of the pre-conceived definitions of what you think you should or could be, what would you do? If you shed all the perceptions of obstacles and hurdles and reasons why you can’t, what’s that one special thing in the back of your mind that you would do?

Well, what is it? What would you do? I’m serious. Leave a response below.

Lighten Up!

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– by Matt Leedham

I told my wife the other day that I wanted to write on the topic of not taking yourself too seriously. Her response was, “ummmm.” You may not know my wife, but I know her quite well. That little sound she made, as cute as it was, clearly told me that I had no business writing on the topic. Good point! Which is precisely why I MUST write on the topic.

You see, our angle on this entire blog and even in our live courses, is to be as open and transparent as possible to, a) encourage you to do the same in your lives, and b) so that we can learn and grow from this experience as well. It does me no good to pretend that I’m someone that I’m not (foreshadow: my next post will be on authenticity). So, this is my way of being open and honest with you…and with myself.

I’ll admit it, sometimes I take myself too seriously. Sometimes I get too wound up when I want things to go just right. Sometimes I get caught up in the image of things and how I appear to other people. Sometimes I cover up my mistakes so that I save face. Sometimes, I’m just downright grumpy and moody. It’s all so ridiculous though. It causes me more stress and anxiety trying to be perfect than to just admit my faults and chuckle about my failures. In fact, it’s quite liberating to be honest with yourself and others regarding who you are and in what ways you’re not perfect. You should try it!

Don’t take yourself too seriously when setting personal goals. Have a sense of humor. It’s okay to admit previous failures. It’s ok to let your image go. What are you so worried about? Who is “your image” for? In fact, what is “your image” anyway? It’s just you – right here, right now. There is no image. Don’t let the fog of what other people think cloud your judgment or influence the direction of your life.

Live your life and enjoy the ride. Having said that, let me end on a light note with a powerful quote from a classic film:

“Life’s a garden. Dig it.” – Joe Dirt

Leave us silly thoughts or stories in the comment section below!