Written By: Lifebook Member Julia Z Over the past ten years, I have experimented with countless methods of extreme weight loss and dieting: triathlons, Bikram yoga challenges, marathons, eating raw, cleanses, veganism, vegetarianism, eating Paleo, eating alkaline- you name it! I would lose some, then gain some, then give up some. And start back all over again. You see, for ten years I was seeking fitness but didn't have a deep purpose as to WHY I wanted to be in shape. To be beautiful? Sure. To be happy? Of course! But even those things weren't enough of a WHY to keep me committed. What happened to me on January 12th wasn't extraordinary, it was what had become a normal Sunday: I was rather lethargic, whining about not wanting to do laundry and tempted to zone out in front of a T.V. show instead of engaging with my environment (which desperately needed my attention!). It occurred to me that I hadn't had energy to do much the month before, nor the month before that. Where had my energy and connection to life gone?

Written by: Lifebook Member John O. In health and wellness, I was inspired to begin meditation on a nightly basis. I have never meditated before. I have no training in meditation nor have I ever read about it. I simply closed my eyes, took deep breaths and cleared my mind. At the end of a 15-minute session, I had a vision. I was standing in front of a wall of locked doors. I had unlocked several but it was clearly taking me a long time to open each door. I looked up and saw that the wall extended on forever in all directions. I felt frustrated. I felt like I would never have enough time to get to all my doors. I then saw my group at Lifebook, all standing in front of the doors in their lives, some locked, some unlocked, and some opened. Some were unwilling to walk through and some had their doors wide open for us all to see. Each member had their keys in their hands. Some were banging their heads and hands on their doors. There was so much sadness, stress, frustration and uncertainty.

Written by Lifebook Member Joel Wade We know that character underlies our health and fitness – the self-discipline, commitment, and devotion that are needed to keep up a regimen of good diet and exercise are all qualities of character. But how do we grow our character? Practice. As a psychologist and a life coach, I’m always looking at the latest research on what’s effective, how we change and grow, and I’m always on the lookout for tangible, practical strategies to help people. That’s one of the reasons I’m so proud and excited to be part of Lifebook. I keep finding elements of this program that are supported by solid research in the field. Starting with health and fitness is one great example of this. Because exercise is such a concrete action – you either work out, or you don’t. How many push-ups did you do? How many laps did you swim? How hard did you work? How sore are you the next day? – This very concreteness makes it (relatively) easy to commit to, easy to measure, compared to some of the categories that may be more abstract or complex. What we know is that when we grow our capacity for self-discipline in one area, that capacity generalizes to other areas. So by mastering the discipline that it takes to create the health and fitness we want, we’re also growing the self-discipline that we can draw from for all the other categories as we go along.

The single greatest barrier standing between couples and a regularly scheduled, totally blissed out date night is the lack of a quality babysitter. Add to that the dread and stress that goes along with trying to find and keep a truly quality babysitter, and you’ve already got yourself a long list of reasons why date night probably just “isn’t worth the effort.” Sure, it’s easier to stay in, put the kids to sleep, and binge watch a Netflix series while eating some chocolate. Just throw on your favorite pair of baggy sweatpants and leap onto the old, familiar couch, and voila – date night here we come. But is comfort really what we’re trying to create more of in our love relationships? Are laziness, exhaustion, lack of ambition and untapped creativity really what we want to cultivate? On some nights - maybe. We’ve all been there, for sure. But it sure as heck doesn’t stir up any new energy, emotion or romance. These things require continual creativity and action. They require discipline and commitment. Easy doesn’t translate into extraordinary in any area of life - but this is especially true when it comes to acts of love. So what’s a family to do? Get CREATIVE.

Throughout my life I have mistakenly, or arrogantly, assumed that I had certain things figured out. Then life steps in and slaps me in the face and awakens me to the fact that I am not as aware as I had thought. Life has been a constant progression through levels of understanding balanced by humbling events that reveal my lack of understanding. Every peak turns out to be nothing more than a plateau on the way to the next peak. Then came the opportunity to participate in Lifebook's VIP Bootcamp in January. It has been exhilarating, and as I set February goals I felt that I finally understood the discipline that successful goal attainment demands. The last week of February was a mess, however. I had forgotten to account for an event that would demand about 20 hours of my time that week. Everything fell apart that week and once again I was left with the realization that I did not know as much as i thought i did.

It's been a long journey with a lot of hard lessons to get me to the point where I trust in myself and my abilities to do the right thing. Before Life Book, I was so focused on being a success in business and my career that I totally dismissed most of the other categories of living a fulfilling life. And, of course, I found myself not creating success in my career because I was ignoring my life! I spent many years searching for the "magic pill" that would change everything for my business. I hired and fired more coaches, mentors and gurus that it actually sickens me to think of all the time, energy and money I wasted looking for that magic bullet. Although, I can't dismiss this experience because this journey of falling on my face and getting back up is what brought me to my current state of reality.

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” -Christopher Reeve
What is the Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey is a cycle – a “there and back again” quest through the crucial events that make, or break, a hero. Mythological researcher Joseph Campbell coined the phrase, after studying myths from all over the world and publishing the book, “The Hero with A Thousand Faces.” So why is this important? Because it’s what all great accomplishments are made of. No matter who you are, where you come from, what you’re trying to create, or what you fear most – someone has done it before you. We all walk a similar path, and identifying the steps on that path can give you insight into where you’ve been, and what you have yet to face. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” -Joseph Campbell So ask yourself – where are you in the hero’s journey?

Lifebook’s MOST IMPROVED member in 2014 shares how he created the most fulfilling year of his life… Discover the power of purpose, accountability, and facing your fears head on to attract everything you want in life (sometimes all at once!) in this month’s interview with Lifebook...

All of history’s wisest teachers tell us that greatness is about consistency with the fundamentals. Have you been meaning to start a meditation practice, exercise more, eat better or otherwise optimize your life via great habits? If so, we think you’ll dig this special class hosted by Brian Johnson (author of our beloved Philosopher’s Notes), where you’ll look at the science (and art!) of creating habits that will change your life. This month, Brian has shared his 90-minute Habits 101 class recording for Lifebookers absolutely free, so you can absorb all the goodness into your own life and amp up your Character this April. (Keep scrolling down for the audio)
Here's the class overview: