So, when the going does get tough, author G. Brian Benson suggests practicing some of these habits: Laugh, Go for a Walk, Clear Out and Clean Up, Be of Service. Be Kind, Be Vulnerable, Happily Expect the Unexpected, Attitude of Gratitude, and, Hang in There!
Bensonis an Award-Winning and #1 best-selling author, coach, inspirational TEDx speaker, radio personality, filmmaker, 4x ironman triathlete, and also a neighborhood friend of mine. His most recent book, Habits for Success - Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar.
Now, you may be thinking, as I often do, that for all their good intentions, self-help books are often written in a sort of vacuum. Eastern gurus espouse their meditative nuggets while “sitting on a corn flake.” Name speakers stand under the big lights onstage getting their enraptured audiences charged up while offering tips about authenticity and a winning attitude. What they’re not often talking about is the elephant in the room: that there’s a real world out there, complete with rejection, hardship, death and failure.
Down-to-earth Benson, who’s suffered his own share of personal challenges, says , “It’s okay to fail, that we learn so much by failure, and it builds character.”
Consequently, in his new book, whimsical Benson has outlined 46 practical, informative and hopefully life changing habits to bring about “successful change” in one’s life. For instance, when we are beset by life’s numerous challenges, take some baby steps: “Go for a walk, go to the gym or ride your bike. Take in a movie. Visit some place you’ve never been before. Explore, see something with new eyes. Just get up and move.”
Seems like a positive and achievable way to approach it. Indeed, his book is full of doable habits to weave into one’s life.
After he left his lucrative family business to strike out on his own, he says one thing became a way of life: “To happily expect the unexpected has become a mantra, as I didn’t expect to be doing what I’m doing — writing, speaking, performing — it was really all just unexpected. But my intention has always been to reach and empower people. While we’re here to learn and grow, ultimately, I think that our task is to love and accept ourselves. By sharing positive content, sharing things we all have in common — the challenges and successes — by putting some inspiring, entertainment out into the world, that hopefully enables people to accept themselves a little more.”
I picked out some of Benson’s practical habits that rang true with my sensibility, starting with laughing as I’ve personally come to realize that you’ve got to laugh sometimes or you’d have to cry. You can really dig into those 46 habits in his new book but these are some brief nuggets that Benson offers:
“Laughing raises your vibration. Gets you out of your head, a nice escape from over-thinking. Smiling at someone else is a great way to immediately bond.”
“It allows me to re-set, and whenever I’m out in Nature, I also feel I can get out of my head, like laughing. Everything seems right in my world when I can get out and just kind of walk. A great form of exercise, and a great way to give yourself a break and to really find some balance.”
“When you come home and have stuff laying around, messy or disorganized, it feels like a weight that we carry. So, it’s important to try to stay on top of that stuff, as it allows us to flow cleaner, easier and smoother. And it allows us to travel lighter.
“When we can give, it makes everything so much more fulfilling and makes life more enjoyable and worthy. We get out of our often narrow world of competing, and it makes us feel good to connect with others. We’re all connected ultimately, and it’s such an important part of living a fulfilled life.”
“When we compete and scratch and claw, we put ourselves in a separate container, and may not be happy. So, it does our souls good to reach out and connect, to be kind and say hello to someone. Even if it’s just a brief moment of connection. Dr. Wayne Dyer has a great quote saying, ‘When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.’”
“Most people try to be the most authentic versions of themselves, but it can be difficult for lots of reasons, like the fear of being rejected, so it’s tough to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. However, when we do that, it also takes a weight off. It takes a lot of energy and work trying to be perfect. But by being vulnerable, and facing our fears, mistakes and doubts, it clears our path and loosens our load. More importantly, it gives others permission to be vulnerable as well.”
“There are so many things that we can give thanks for that maybe aren’t on our radar. Our wonderful computer or phone, the comfy bed we sleep in, So many basic things to be thankful for and it’s good to be cognizant of them and give gratitude, as it raises our vibration, makes us more pleasant to be around. It also connects us to other like-minded and happy, grateful people. Plus, it’s an affirmation that you are open to receive more. There are so many ways that abundance can flow into our lives, not just financial.”
“Let’s face it, that’s not always easy. I’ve been on a roller coaster since I left my family business and headed down this path. It’s easy to say this mantra, but when things are tight financially, and you’re not exactly sure how things are going to pan out, it can get scary. So it’s so important to hold to your vision.. Failure sometimes presents a new and better way to do things. Or, it forces us to choose a little different path, which ends up being beneficial to ourselves. So, when things are tough, hold the faith, keep moving forward and the momentum going, if it’s something you really enjoy and believe in.”
Ashley is an award-winning journalist/author/blogger who has written for Playboy, Toronto Star, Movie Entertainment, Sports Illustrated, Maclean's and others. He's interviewed various "leaders" in their fields, including: Oscar winners (Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence, Alicia Vikander, Jane Fonda, Mira Sorvino, Geena Davis, Anthony Hopkins); Grammy winners (Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ice Cube, Pete Townshend); MVPs in sports (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Kobe Bryant); and, business leaders (Amazon's Jeff Bezos). He has an upcoming novel, REJEX, coming out on Pulp Hero Press. And he has written several episodic TV shows, appeared on CNN, and blogged for Mademan, Medium, GritDaily and HuffPost.