You would have thought that having achieved the fancy house and all the money would make you the happiest person in the world. However, it was not so for Laura DiBenedetto. Laura had everything she could ever want, but getting to the finish line wasn’t any better than an ordinary Wednesday, leaving her feeling like something is missing. On a quest to figure out what the happiest people have in common, she developed the six habits to creating the life of your dreams. Join Laura and Jen Du Plessis in this episode of Success to Significance.
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The Six Habits To Creating The Life Of Your Dreams With Laura DiBenedetto
I have a fun episode planned for us. I’m sure it’s going to go in that way because I had this wonderful pleasure of meeting our next guest, Laura DiBenedetto. I don’t remember how we met, but I have had this wonderful pleasure meeting her and like that we have had so much fun together. She’s already proven herself to be someone I can lean on in times of difficulty. I am delighted to have Laura with us. Laura, welcome to the show.
Thank you. I’m so pumped to spend this time with you. This is going to be great.
We’re going to have some fun. Let me tell you a little bit about Laura so we can get into the good stuff. She helps successful people to realize their dreams and find lasting happiness. She believes that the solution always starts in the same way and this is one of the things that we’re going to dig into by addressing the relationship we have with ourselves. She is a TEDx speaker and number one bestselling author of The Six Habits, which we’re going to talk about, and a life mastery coach, which is so cool, because everything I do is lifestyle and business mastery.
Laura teaches how to create the life of your dreams without sacrificing what we love. As the Founder and CEO of Vision Advertising, a company that she built at age nineteen, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build and grow profitable enterprises entirely on their terms. I’m sure she’s going to be humbled to say it, but she has sold the company for a gob of money and she now lives in Hawaii. She’s originally from the wicked northeast of everything’s wicked and I used to live there for almost a year. I was like, “That’s wickedly great. It’s wicked.” I get it, but she’s got an unbelievable story. To be able to retire at the age of 37 is pretty awesome.
Read on because we’re going to talk about these six habits, but what we’re specifically going to talk about is how these habits and the relationship that you have with yourself might prevent you from making transitions and breaking through ceilings, all these ceilings that we talked about on this show. Laura, I am excited for us to dig in, but I want you to start with what was a tipping point for you that had you start thinking about why do I need to create these six habits? What kept popping up all the time and you said, “I’ve got to get this message out because we know sometimes our mess is our message.” What happened in your life that sparked all of this?
It was achieving the goal and getting to the finish line with all the toys, the fancy house, and the money. It felt no better than an ordinary Wednesday and I was “Something’s deeply wrong here. What is going on?” Being the tough person that always likes to beat myself up and whatever. I was like, “What did I do wrong?” I wanted to feel better so I went on this quest to figure out what did the happiest people have in common, because clearly, I’m not one of them.
I’ve got all the stuff. I’ve got the resume, money and all the things that society and culture tell you. Something’s not adding up. I was pretty pissed off about it and also remarkably burnt out. Being tired, grumpy, bleeding internally, and having your new marriage already in the toilet. Those are all recipes for, “You need to do a quick pivot here. You’re going to die.” I was concerned about my whole life falling apart and being in flames. I didn’t create the six habits. The six habits are true as old as time. It took me going through the seventh circle of hell and enough curiosity to figure out and look for them. I’m happy to tell you about how I figured out where they are and assembled these things. I’d love to take credit for inventing the six habits but I only wrote the book.
It’s important because it’s your story and your perspective on how to apply these to get massive success. Right now, at the time of COVID, we have a lot of people that are in this quondam and some meandering around, “I don’t know where to go.” It reminds me of how they always show those pictures of people coming off the Titanic. They come off the Titanic and they’re going, “I don’t know where I am? Am I here? Am I in this life? Am I not in this life?” There’s a lot of that going around. Even in people’s eyes, I can see and I’m a big reader of people’s faces.
Everybody’s lost now and it starts with themselves because it’s that self-talk that’s happening with them, “I’m not going to be good enough to make this transition. I don’t like my job. I hate my job and living in this misery or I don’t like the way that my entrepreneurship is going. I don’t want to go back and work for the man. Could I go back and work for the man given this environment?” What are some things that we can start with? We can start with the six habits and I want to go over some of them. What is the “snap out of it” advice that you could give to people to clear the slate? It’s like an Etch A Sketch. Let’s shake the Etch a Sketch and get it back to clearing it. We can draw something new. What are some things that knee-jerked you out or disrupted you to get you out so you could then see clearly?Our mess is our message. Click To Tweet
Any transformation no matter what it is always begins with an epiphany. Epiphany is a great realization of truth. You may have always known that the sky is blue, but one day occurs to you, “That is so blue.” At one point, it hits you in the face, and in order to manufacture epiphanies. You can manufacture them. You have to start asking questions. It was no different for me. It was like, “What are the happiest people among us have in common?” Once I started realizing, “I don’t have those. That sucks.”
It was an awakening. When you have that awakening because you’re seeing what’s written on the wall, that’s your invitation. For me, I had a succession of epiphanies. One, something’s horribly wrong. I retired and I don’t care. I should have been proud of myself and high fiving myself all day long. I wasn’t. I didn’t care. I was like, “Screw the world. I want to go to sleep.” That was a big trigger of that’s not okay and trying to find out what happiness is and realizing that it’s not this whole high chasing cycle that we put ourselves in that consumeristic America likes to reinforce, which is chase, acquire, feel the high, feel the low and repeat.
That hamster wheel is not happiness. It’s chasing highs. It’s no different than being a drug addict so that was a huge revelation and then realizing where I stood and had a real raw moment with myself of, “This is where I am. That’s the goal and I can bridge that gap. It probably won’t be that easy but I can do this.” I’m sufficiently upset enough to do it. Have you ever heard that that phrase, “When the pain of staying put outweighs the pain of action that’s when you’ll finally do something?” That’s what it was. That’s what we all need.
That is why I asked the question the way I did. There’s this meandering and this lostness that doesn’t address pain. You know that you’re not in the place and there’s got to be a disruptor to kick you out of it so you do want yet so you do want to have some type of change. It doesn’t have to be a 180. It can be a few degrees that down the road has a huge impact on what you’re doing. Let me tell everybody what the six habits are. They’re kindness, acceptance, gratitude, presence, that’s a big one for me, goodness and intention. Of those six habits, what is your favorite habit? What is the habit that you always seem to go back to and say, “This is the habit that was the kicker for me?”
The favorite one and the kicker were two different ones. The favorite one is the one that has brought the most joy to my life and the one that has been the most arguably difficult for me to master, but the most useful is entirely different. Which one do you want?
The first one that you’re talking about is gratitude.
No. I didn’t accept myself. That was the one that made the most difference in my life and helped me to change as a person. I learned to love myself. I gave myself permission to not have as much money as my friends. I gave myself permission to be ten pounds overweight and have cellulite and dimples on my butt. It is what it is. We laugh about it because we’re all here in this crazy rock hurtling through space. Can we all have a sense of humor about it? Being able to accept myself, which is unconditional love for me from me, the humor was brought back in. I stopped taking things so seriously. I stopped comparing myself.
I learned to truly love me and stop falling victim to the, “I need to be this weight. I need to have this much money. I need to do this.” The cycle I described a few minutes ago was the habit that kicked me out of that cycle forever. I don’t have a fancy car. I don’t need one because I’m great without it. That’s it. I don’t even live in a huge house. I don’t need to. I don’t want to clean it. Accepting myself gave me the liberty to choose my definition of joy and happiness not go along with what culture and my dear mommy put in my head.
I get that because all of us fall victim to that. There’s not a single person who’s even reading this who can say, “I’ve never felt that way. I’ve always felt good about myself.” We all have things. For me, personally, I compare a lot. I compare myself a lot to people. I usually compare myself from a success standpoint and a money standpoint. I don’t compare myself to a house. I’ve had two new cars in my entire life. We’ve always bought used cars.
They always have hundreds of thousands of miles on them. I’m driving one now that has 240,000 miles. I’m blessed that my husband was a mechanic and he’s a semi-pro drag racer so he can fix all these things. You would never know they have those miles. Those materialistic things weren’t important. What was what has always been important is achieving success and this comes from childhood for me, but achieving success and having money because I was comparing myself to my uncles who had millions and millions of dollars. They told me I couldn’t have millions and millions. They told me I was Jenny who’s going to be without a penny. I would be like my dad.
That’s evil. Why would I say that to a kid?
It’s a gift. That gift propelled me to prove otherwise. I got to the point where I said, “I have to stop proving and I have to start living.” My mom had said something. She said, “Jenny,” she’s the only one who could call me that, “You have such a great quality of life.” I said, “That’s keeping up with the Joneses. What I want is a life of quality.”
That’s exactly the point. Who cares what it looks like to other people? The reason why we chase other people’s approval and have fancy things is so they can see them. Either the house, the fancy resume or all the money and I’ve had all of it. We want those things and we want that approval from other people because we don’t approve of ourselves.
How does that affect someone’s ability to take that first step? We all know about the imposter syndrome. We all have those days where I don’t think I am as good as I think I am. The next day you’re like, “Yes, I am this good.” At least where we’re at now, what I’m seeing from entrepreneurs is a fear of taking that first step. There’s so much doubt in themselves. We call it inner and outer space that’s happening and there’s such a fear of taking that next step.
There’s so much joy on the other side if you pursue it. There’s no such thing as failure. It’s all about lessons. The more lessons you can have in life, the more you’re going to be able to get ahead of life. Help us understand. I want to go back to that question. If you are someone reading this, you’re not you and you’ve already experienced it, know that you can do it again. They’re second-guessing themselves on, “Is it possible for me to be successful in a new endeavor, whether that’s a career change, going into entrepreneurship or retiring and going into philanthropy?” What would you be saying to those people or to yourself to snap yourself out of it and say, “You’ve got to move forward?”
You read the book and there’s a powerful point in there that I’m so excited to reiterate here and now. You don’t need to be special to do this. I am quite the opposite of special and for some reason, I found happiness, joy, and all the material success I could want. As people we all do this, we think, “Look at that person with all their money and all their career accomplishments. They started a charity. I could never do that.” Except they were born with the same toolbox as you were. It doesn’t matter if you have money or you don’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or you’re not or healthy or not healthy.
It all comes down to what’s inside of you. To throw myself under the bus and throw some tire tracks on my back, I have attention deficit disorder, learning is difficult for me. It always has been. Focusing is difficult. It complicates the heck out of everything. I was not a good student. I did my best. Starting a business at nineteen is not because I’m so great. It’s because I couldn’t hold down a job. I had to make one I couldn’t get fired from. That’s an important distinction.
That is something to share with somebody too. Sometimes you fall into success. It’s not always on purpose. That’s pretty cool to admit.
There’s a lot of different things. I declared bankruptcy. I’m also a domestic abuse survivor and I also went through a lot of bullying and all this other stuff. Here’s the thing, you can achieve success if you totally hate yourself. You can do it. I know because that was my journey.Kindness is usually associated with how we treat others, but it’s actually how we treat ourselves. Click To Tweet
You can achieve success if you totally hate yourself.
You can but it’s going to burn yourself down in the process.
I get it. That’s pretty powerful because that is like the floodgates opening and saying, “I can step through because I don’t even have to even like myself at all and I can sit through it.”
I don’t recommend it.
There’s no barrier.
This is what I found. The woman I am at 39 is different from the woman at nineteen. Those twenty years have been important in proving a couple of things. You can achieve a great deal of success if you hate yourself. You will succeed for the wrong reasons, the successes will not be as sweet, and it will never be enough so you will constantly be on a cycle of self-destruction and you will be trading your health, sanity, and everything that could potentially smell like joy for material stuff that doesn’t matter. This is what I figured out.
When you decide that’s no longer good enough and this would be what you asked me. We need to have this moment where we’re like, “Better is possible for me and the journey will be messy, but I deserve to be on it.” Give yourself permission to start the journey. If you hate yourself, start it anyway. You’re going to suck. It’s okay to suck. Nobody ever says this to us in school. In school, it’s like, “You better get an A-plus.” No, life doesn’t work that way. You can get an F and still come out on top. I’m a college dropout. It’s like, “I needed that degree.” Society wants to encourage us to basically set ourselves on fire so we could fit that stupid little mold.
We’re all going to be like these little robots. Go to school, get a degree, get a job, save in a 401(k), retire, and have all the great things that you have. We’re all trying to measure to that one scale constantly instead of being individuals.
Our parents love us and they want the best for us. They are buying into the idea of the American dream and all that other stuff. They put this into our heads. My parents, I routinely throw them under the bus. My poor parents, I love them. They’re my parents. They wanted the best for me so they’re like, “You’ve got to go to college. You’ve got to get a degree. You’ve got to get a good job.” No, your daughter is not built for that. Your daughter is built to be the boss and she needs entrepreneurial training. What she needs is to not be condemned for not fitting into boxes.
What she needs is education on how to build the boxes. I didn’t get it. I had to give it to myself and it was a rotten journey inside. This is the thing that I’m writing in my TED Talk, which is still going through 85 revisions. It’s this crazy thing where you go on this journey, you do all these things because you think they’re going to make you happy. You try to live in this idealized version, except at some point, something breaks and you realize there’s a cycle here. I’m chasing highs. I’m not happy. I have so many designer handbags. Guess how happy they make me? Zero. It was awesome for fifteen minutes. That’s it.
I’ve gotten to a point in my life when I was talking to my neighbor about this as well. I’m on 21 acres so my neighbor is 35 acres away from me. We were talking about her fetishes shoes and for me were handbags. I have all these handbags. A black one for this and that and all the blacks that we own. We have this size, that size, gold, silver and it’s all matching.
I can fully relate.
You totally can and I know women can. I know men who are reading this can relate that their women have done it, but now when I see them, I get anxiety. Why did I spend so much money on something that means so little? What a waste.
When you look at those things and you survey them, it’s a bit of a mirror and it’s you seeing yourself and your insecurity on full display. When I moved to Hawaii, I happened to be listening to Marie Kondo’s book, whatever the method is. I don’t remember the title of it but I was going through it like, “Does this give me joy?” Nope. Out you go. I’m not proud of this but I’m going to tell you this anyway because it’s interesting. I had two large full walk-in closets full of nothing but my clothes, shoes, and accessories. I had somewhere in the neighborhood of like 35 handbags.
I probably had well over 200 pairs of heels and whatever. I remember watching Paris Hilton one time and being like, “I never been photographed in the same thing twice.” I’m like, “I’m going to be her.” That was such a bad idea. I had every season, every color every this every that. When I was going through all this stuff, I was like, “Was I an insecure woman.” Look at all of the physical proof of how much I didn’t love me. Also, I hate these pants. I only wore them so people in the boardroom would take me seriously. I hate them. It made my butt look flat.
That is hilarious but it’s so true. I know we’re talking about women here but men have the same thing. It’s a collection of cars, hats, cigars, golf clubs, suits, or watches. It’s all the same thing. We have to take the time to sit back and think about who we are. We’re not going to beat up that we’re going to continue to beat that up. The bottom line here is, “Love you. Love you for who you are and if you don’t love yourself now, screw it and go through the door and get started on a path that you can.” Let’s talk about the six habits of the relationship with yourself and then finding happiness. Let’s see if we can’t go through them pretty quickly and get through all six of them. Let’s talk about kindness. Tell us about your thoughts behind kindness. Is it kindness for me? Is it a kindness to other people? Is it reflecting back on me? Be kind to people so they’ll be kind to me? What is kindness?
Kindness is how we treat ourselves. It’s simple. Kindness is usually associated with how we treat others. No, it’s how we treat ourselves. It’s so simple. I’m going to break it down for you. When you think of two people that are important to you when you are five. The one that’s good important and bad important both live in your head. Kindness is the nurturing parent, the mommy, the daddy, that little voice that’s like, “I believe in you.” “You’re so smart.” They treat you with kindness. On the other side of it is that little jerk on the playground that keeps pushing you down and be like, “You’re stupid. I don’t like you. You can’t do anything.”
I’m using the example of the five-year-old because it is so important. We don’t think that we are not kind to ourselves. We’re like, “No, I treat myself fine.” No, you don’t. We have unfortunately become masters at treating ourselves like absolute garbage. We’ve got that bully running around in our heads being like, “You’re not going to make that sale.” “Who do you think you are asking for that price tag?” “Don’t you dare. Lower your price now.” “You don’t get to say no to this. Absolutely not. You have to say yes or they won’t like you.” This is important that we master kindness. We screw this up so much.
I have two questions about that. Here’s the other part of it. I always feel like that person running around, but I do want clarification on this, that person running around in your head is your 7 or 9-year-old because we know that’s when the tattoo of who you are going to be is created. That person is the one who’s saying and that’s why it’s so childish. That’s why the thoughts are so mundane and they’re elementary. I wonder if new thoughts come in because of experiences you’ve had throughout your life and new thoughts come in that are older self-talk, but they’re still childish in nature. That’s the question, but the second part of that is, how do you kick that out of your headspace?The truth about gratitude is it's like the lens through which you view your life, including your problems. Click To Tweet
We get new thoughts, but they’re essential if you strip away the new vernacular and fancy terms, you’re going to suck in the boardroom. No nine-year-old is going to say that to you, they’re going to be like, “You’re going to suck.” You could distill it and take the adult paint off of it. It’s still the inner child being afraid and trying to protect you from pain and they’re afraid of failure. There’s a lot of stuff going on. I’m struggling to remember the second part of your question.
How do we get how we stop that? What is a trigger? If that child is talking to me, how do I recognize it more frequently to change that vernacular to create the habit of kindness to myself?
It begins with awareness. All of these habits are going to have the same answer. You have to know you’re doing it so you were reading the book. I don’t know if you notice all fifteen invitations to go online and download all the free workbooks that go with it but in the workbooks. It’s an inventory of how you speak to yourself, how you perceive the world, how you allow toxicity into your life, etc. It all begins with awareness. You can’t fix anything if you’re not aware of it. It’s the first step. You have to admit you have a problem.
Alcoholism, there you go.
It’s the same thing. You have to see it and we talked about this. It’s the epiphany and that impetus to change has to come from seeing the writing on the wall and having this moment with yourself of reckoning. From there, you need to attune yourself to hear it all the time and lovingly redirect yourself, “No, we’re not going to talk to ourselves that way. Nope. No. We love ourselves.” Some of it is telling the truth in advance but the thing about a habit is an automatic behavior. We need to love ourselves. It’s easier said than done. It’s not a decision. It is a thing that happens through repetition and sucking at it in the beginning.
We’ve talked about acceptance a little bit, which is the second habit so I’m going to go past that unless there’s anything you want to talk about there.
We’ve covered it.
Let’s go to gratitude. This is a buzzword that’s out there in the world now. Write three gratitudes, journal gratitudes, find happiness, and go on a gratitude walk every day that is around. Someone calls it the G-word instead of the G spot. It’s like the G-word. They have a book like it. It’s a whole life of gratitude. I’ve worked on being grateful throughout the entire day when something happens good to me instead of moving past it and not recognizing it. It’s stopping for a second and saying thank you to God for me. Thank you so much for that.
It’s remembering that gratitude, breathing outside and taking an extra second to take in Mother Earth and walk on my grass with my bare feet. I love doing that. I’m already planted here so it’s not a problem. When I travel, I do that too. All of that gratitude, how do we get more gratitude in our lives? There’s so much negativity in the news and everything else. How can you be great and I’m being facetious in this? I’m an ungrateful person, but how can you be grateful for anything when all this stuff is going on?
I’m glad you’re being facetious about it because that’s how people feel. The world is on fire, screw this. I’ll see you in 2021. Who’s feeling grateful? The best way to look at this and we all have different levels of mastery already within each of the six habits. It sounds like you’re already doing a great job with gratitude because you’re doing more than writing down ten things at night that went for you. You’re stopping throughout the day.
The truth about gratitude is it’s like the lens through which you view your life including your problems. This COVID business and the political mockery is precisely zero percent fun. It’s crappy but it doesn’t mean that there’s no blessings within it and good things that are emerging as a byproduct. The trick with gratitude, at least the way I like to explain this to people is, “I’m grateful.” Are you? Ask yourself and do the inventory. Are you grateful for your problems and the lessons they give you? Are you grateful for the world being on fire and it’s how it’s changing people for the better? Can you look at a problem and pull yourself out of an emotional tailspin because you have a different perspective?
I find that most people that have a generally dismal point of view in life, and that don’t make things happen, feel like life sucks poo-hoo. I’m a victim. It’s so easy to feel that way with how toxic everything can be around us. If we start living this gratitude lifestyle and viewing everything through the lens of appreciation, even the sucky stuff, even the stuff we take for granted, it changes us. We become better, kinder, sweeter, more thoughtful people that others enjoy the hell out of.
That’s an attraction mechanism or a magnet to your success because people want to have that magnet. We were talking in the green room about what my father or what my uncle called me and told me that I was going to be worth nothing and all that good stuff that I even said, but it’s a blessing because it made me who I am now. Even with my back throwing my back out in two places, and I definitely had a down moment but the backside of that was the gratitude of knowing that I’m not going to go someplace.
I’m going to save some money and divert that money into getting something else done that I want to get done in my business. I’m thankful for that because it slowed me down enough to say, “This is where I should be spending my money now in my practice.” I’ve got to tell you with me, and I’m going to give this advice to everybody reading, when it first started for gratitude, I am an author but I’m not great at journaling. I’m not great at writing forever. I can’t read my handwriting, but I’m great at dictating. I’m great at dictating my thoughts.
I was like, “I’m working too many hours. There’s no way I could do any of that.” I gamify everything I possibly can, even now with COVID, I tell myself, I can’t have my cup of tea in the morning until I do fifteen pushups on the counter. I have bad shoulders so I can’t do it on the floor. I have this little game that I played myself. The way I started with gratitude was when I got home at night because that’s that transition. You’ve got your day and your like, “Ugh,” all day long.
You get home, you get out of the car and you can’t wait to get into the house because you want to get away from work. You can’t stand the thought, “My dog, my husband, and my kids want me to cook.” There’s no transition started by keeping a journal in my car and when I got into my garage, that’s when I took out my journal and wrote down three gratitudes in a bullet. I’m grateful for the sky. I’m grateful for the weather. I’m grateful that I have a car. It was the stupidest stuff but it was a place to start and it became more profound for me.
Be okay with not being awesome at it in the beginning. Just start. I have mastered the fine art of talking to myself like a crazy person while I’m driving and I’m fine with that.
At least everyone next to you thinks you’re singing instead of talking to yourself.
If I bounce my head a little bit while I’m talking about stuff people think I’m slightly less crazy and whatever. I remember the beginning of this whole COVID crap. They were locking down the beaches and you couldn’t go to the beach. I have political thoughts about this that I’ll keep to myself but I remember being afraid of walking on a beach and not walking fast enough because I didn’t want to get a $5,000 citation. I remember being afraid of that and I was so upset. I was starting to hyperventilate.Intention is being clear on what you want, why you want it, and what you're going to do about it. Click To Tweet
The six habits do not mean that you’re never going to be unhappy again. You pull yourself out of the unhappy a hell of a lot faster. I immediately was like, “I need a gratitude bonanza.” I was speaking of my husband, I was like, “Come on, let’s do this.” I started like spitting off everything I could possibly think of that I had to be grateful for. I probably went through like 50 to 55 things. He listed off a whole bunch and at the end of it, I was like, “It’s like an elephant got his foot off my chest.” I’m still afraid of getting arrested but I feel okay if it happens.
It’s like that drunk monkey, “Get off me drunk monkey.” I get it. Gratitude is big so if you’re reading here, this is important information about gratitude to start with. Everything starts with baby steps. You can’t go in and become a dancer without taking baby steps. It’s a path and a lot of us forget about a path, a roadmap to get us to places we want it.
I’m sure it goes without saying for those reading that have not read the book, we’re doing like a super surface level skim on this. Within the book itself, that’s something you want to read. It’s loaded with actual practical action steps to figure out where you are, do something about it, and acquire the habits. It’s the whole thing. Awareness is nice. It’s an invitation. That’s all it is.
It’s an opportunity to look at it. Let’s talk about presence. Presence is a big thing for me. I’m looking at this list and there are quite a few things and there are quite a few things that I have stories behind. Presence is a big one for me. I had to learn the hard way. Tell us about your thoughts on presence.
As the proud owner of a hefty case of ADHD, presence is not exactly my default, “That’s a shiny thing.” It’s hard to be checked out, especially with scary headlines and people so angry with each other. You’re so worried and afraid of what’s going to happen. You’re like, “I wish things are the way that they used to be.” It’s so easy to get stuck in the past or the future. The thing about the presence that it takes practice, like everything else.
For me, I’ve mastered the habit and the result. For me, I hear the news and I’m like, “That sucks.” I’m thinking about the things that have happened to my companies and all this stuff. I feel it and I’m like, “Wow. I’m not going to live there.” I constantly remind myself and feel free to steal this, you guys, those moments might suck but this one’s pretty awesome. I’m healthy. I have wonderful love around me and blessings coming out of my nose. I don’t know what tomorrow brings and it technically doesn’t even exist. This moment is awesome and I’m going to enjoy it.
I’ve become a ninja at leaving my phone at home. Here’s a tiny story for it and you’ll appreciate this. I live in Hawaii. I remember living here for a month and that’s how fast I transformed myself because in the beginning, I was on the beach taking pictures of the sunset. A month later, I was watching the tourists take pictures and I sat there in full deep appreciation looking at the tourists with sadness because they were behind their phones trying to capture the perfect thing versus sitting there in blissful appreciation and being fully present with it. As a result, the tourists didn’t enjoy the moment. They missed the moment trying to capture and preserve it versus living it.
It went down and they went, “It’s over,” and walked away.
Meanwhile, I’m the person that will stay on the beach until I can barely find my way back to my car because there’s so much more there. The moments of stillness, peace and listening to the waves. With the world being on fire, we need to be present because there are a lot of things that are going right. If we don’t choose to opt into the things that are going well or sometimes even choosing the stuff that sucks if we choose that we can think about it more carefully and solutionize it better.
If we don’t opt into these moments, we’re missing them. We’re missing the beauty in the mundane. My husband and I were driving down the road one day and the hill was covered in grass. We didn’t have the music on. We were not talking or anything. We both appreciated the ride, how beautiful the hillside was, and watching like these waves of wind teasing the grass around. If we weren’t present, if we were listening to some music or this or that, we would have missed it. That was such a mundane, ordinary moment, but it was stunning.
It always reminds me of a pendulum swinging. The future, the past, the future, the past, and if you could let it stop and it never stops. It oozes in there like a hammock. It’s settling and it takes a little longer for it to stop. For me, that’s what presence is. It’s not a thing instantly present. It is sitting in it.
It’s being with whatever it is.
It’s like what I was saying about the morning with my cup of tea. I don’t think I told you, but I’m sitting out on my porch with my cup of tea. I’m listening to the birds starting to chirp and wake up and then some crow in the background there might hear a cow mooing or something and a big hawk comes across. Maybe a hoot owl hasn’t figured out its morning yet so he’s still hooting. It’s cool to listen to all the stuff that’s going on because we don’t have any cars or anything so there’s none of that. It’s not only, “Listen to that bird. That’s cool but I’ve got to go.” It’s sitting at that moment so I love that about presence so tell us about goodness.
Think of this one is simple math, good energy in. Bad energy out and I’m looking at you, news, and social media, you are toxic, and you’ve got to go. Please keep this in mind. If it’s free, you’re the product and you get the news for free and you get social media for free. Your attention and your wellbeing are being bought and sold. Are you okay with that? I’m not.
Russell Brunson said that you can be a consumer in social media or you can be a producer in social media. Therein lies that thing that you were talking about. The producer part of it isn’t all sell, the producer part of it is give.
Given how acidic everything seems to be with the political landscape and the fears that are around like either government overreach, civil liberties, the disease itself, financial ramifications, or whatever it is a person is afraid of, there’s fear present in every human now. When you’re giving into that stuff, you can’t possibly be happy. You can’t know. There have been studies that have shown that it erodes your wellbeing. Meanwhile, all these people are investing like crazy and finding ways to make it even more effective at destroying your joy. You have to realize, if it’s free, you’re the product and they don’t care about your wellbeing.
I’m going to tell my husband that because he calls the news crack. I’m going to go watch some crack tonight and I go, “There’s the problem.”
I’ve never seen a crack addict have a healthy outlook on life. You might want to point that out.
I know it drives me crazy. The last one is intention. This is a fun one for me because my entire practice is talking about working on purpose so you can go play with passion. Part of that purpose is having that intention and focus. How is that going to make us happy? How did you stumble upon intention as being something because that’s almost like presence? It’s intentionally being present. I’m thinking back to you running this big mega-corporation and saying, “I have intention everywhere and I know you didn’t have it at the time.” These are things you discovered later or maybe you had but you weren’t aware of. How does intention fit into happiness?Presence, by contrast, is being in the moment, despite the future and despite the past. Click To Tweet
Intention is being clear on what you want, why you want it, and what you’re going to do about it. That’s it. Also, action toward it even when you’re scared because the fear will always be there. People are like, “You’re so fearless.” No, I’m a gigantic cowering blob. I choose to take action while I quiver. Sometimes my action of moving my business forward if I’m having a bad ADD day is as simple as asking for help. I need to go to the post office and put this one thing in the mail and that’s it. Other times, it’s changed the world inside of five hours because that’s how ADHD brains work. Intention is the vehicle that’s going to get you where you want to go. If you don’t know what you want, you’re not going to get it. If you don’t know why you want it, you’re not going to do the work to make it happen and discover how you’re going to get there.
The habit of intention is constantly looking at what we want and bringing it to fruition no matter how slow and this is an important thing that I want to clarify for anybody reading. If you take twenty years to build the life of your dreams, but it fully felt good too, it was on your timeline and it honored your spirit and your needs, that’s okay. If it took you five days to do it, that’s okay too. There is no expediency required with intention. It’s simply being in the habit of being clear and doing something with that clarity. That’s it.
Presence, by contrast, is being in the moment, despite the future and despite the past. They work well together. All the habits work in concert together. One thing you asked me, is how I discovered all of these habits. At the beginning of this journey, I myself felt emotionally on fire. I was the unhappiest I’d ever been in my life and yet, theoretically, I had every reason not to be. I started the research and asked the questions but the big thing that surprised me was once I started doing data collection, I’m asking, “This person is happy because,” “The retreat says this,” “The book says this,” it was data collection. It was noticing patterns.
The world has a wealth of wisdom already. There’re so many wonderful books out there and I don’t discredit them but a lot of the things are like missing from these. The Six Habits puts it all together because people that, for example, visualize and they work on vision boards. What do you think that is? That’s the intention. A lot of the specifics that are out there fall in the six main buckets. I would love to teach you how to build a vision board but that’s not the point. If you build the mental muscle and build yourself, that habit of always being clear and moving forward or always being kind to yourself and those doodads specificities don’t matter. You can pick and choose from a huge menu of stuff.
It’s been wonderful talking with you, Laura. All of these things are so exciting to hear about. I like getting clarity myself. I always say it’s going from cloudy to clarity. I like hearing all this too because it gives me extra nuggets. This is one of the reasons I do podcasts is because I like to learn. I am such a life learner. I’m trying to improve professionally and personally all the time. I know the questions I have are the same questions other people who are reading are having as well. I like being vulnerable and letting everybody know that I go through problems, too. Nobody who’s on a podcast is perfect and if they say they are, that’s crazy. That’s why we have the podcast to get ourselves better.
The value of all of these conversations is the raw humanity that comes from you that comes from your guests. It’s personally reassuring people, “Nobody has it all together. We’re all on a journey and it’s okay. Here’s what I’ve learned. Let me help and pull you along.” It’s the whole lift as you climb concept.
Here’s the best part. The free gift you’re going to give to everybody is your eBook. I’m so excited about that because it’s pretty long. I remember making a comment to you about it, too. How many pages was it? It was pretty long. Here’s what I would recommend. First of all, I’m a speed reader so for me, it was easy to get through it. It’s easy. I would go section by section and master it before you take the next section. I would say to do it that way because it’s the first of the year. If you’re going to try to quit smoking, stop drinking, work out and show more love, you’re not going to do any of them. Take your time to learn what she’s teaching.
Reread it, read, listen to it and download the exercises and do the exercises. Put them away and then go back to them the next day and say, “I forgot this. Why did I say that?” That’s part of being able to do this. We say this, “You’re speeding up to slow down instead of slowing down to speed up.” Slow down a little bit so you can speed up and be able to create these habits much faster. I want to thank you for that because that is such a great gift to give to everybody. If someone wants to reach out to you what is the best way? I know we have all kinds of links and stuff so people can follow you and be with you and go hang out with you, but what is the best way for someone to reach out if they want to continue this conversation?
The best way to do any interaction with me is through TheSixHabits.com. If you go there, you can get the audiobook, which is not available anywhere else except my website, and an autographed copy of the physical book. I can’t do eBooks because my brain will not compute so that’s available. There’s also a 90 Day Habit Mastery Program. If you want to master these habits, you read the book and you’re like, “This is everything I’ve been looking for,” and you do the work that comes free with the book, the 90-day program will change your life and that’s where you can find out about it. You can follow and find my TED talk and all of it.
It’s so funny too, because people like, “It’s going to take me 90 days to do this.” If you try to do it on your own it might take you 90 years.
Amen. Lord Jesus, that was the best marketing I could ever have.
Being the CEO of a marketing company, I want to leave everybody with a parting thought. There is science at work here. Marketers love to tell you what you want to hear so you’ll buy stuff. Marketers want to tell you, “It’s 21 days to learn a habit or it’s 30 days,” because these are things you think you can handle. However, I don’t BS people. If you want the results, you need science. Science says that it’s 66 days. Since you’re a human I’m a human and you’re probably as stubborn as I am, if not more so 90 days has bumpers on it so you’ll get successful no matter what. No matter how stubborn you are. It’s always convenient.
No matter how difficult it is. You took out weekends so people could fluff away on the weekends.
It is what it is. I built this whole thing initially for me because I am the stubbornest human alive, in my humble opinion and I needed something that was fully Laura proof so I could get that result, no matter what and I could still be human, stubborn and me and make excuses like, “I don’t feel like doing this.” I’m glad I did.
Laura, it’s so fun talking to you and I know we’re going to continue to talk about all kinds of other things. For those of you that are reading about Laura, I’ve already talked to Laura about coming and speaking at one of my workshops. My next one will be in February 2021 so more information will be coming in on that as it comes about. I hope that she can come and speak to one of them. We’re crossing our fingers because you need to live at one of my workshops not virtual live at one of my workshops.
We’re going to get more and more of Laura’s time going on and I want to say thank you so much for coming and sharing this with me. I love how real and authentic you are. Hopefully, you made some people laugh. They had some a-ha moments and great breakthroughs so they can take the next steps to find their happiness and chase their dreams like you’ve done for yourself as well. Thank you again so much for being with us.
I am honored to spend time with you and it’s always a blast. I’m excited to do all kinds of great stuff with you. Thank you for having me.
Everybody, thank you again for reading. Please don’t forget to give us a great rating and write a review. Let us know what you loved about this podcast and if you ever have a topic that you want to discuss or if you know someone who has gone from success to significance or has experienced multiple glass ceiling breakthroughs in their lives, let me know. I’d love to bring them on the show and share their stories as well. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to spend it with us. We are eternally grateful. There’s a little gratitude there so we’ll catch you next time.
- Laura DiBenedetto
- The Six Habits
- Vision Advertising
- Russell Brunson
- 90 Day Habit Mastery Program
About Laura DiBenedetto
TEDx Speaker, #1 Bestselling author of The Six Habits and Life Mastery Coach, Laura teaches how to create the life of our dreams without sacrificing what we love.
As Founder and CEO of Vision Advertising, a company that she built aged 19, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build and grow profitable enterprises entirely on their terms.
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