Bob Shenefelt

What Am I?

In the past, I would often wake up with a huge list of to-dos and/or meetings that I didn't really want to be a part of.  I would dread the day, and sure enough what I put out to the world is what I got back:  a boring, dreadful day.  In iMatter, we help people go from Am I, to I Am. As I started to realize who I am, there was a sense of peace. There was a sense that I was putting energy into the person I am.  A huge revelation came to me not too long ago, that I am a writer.  I used to think:  “who am I to say I'm a writer?  I can't write.  What do I have to write about?”  That's the chatter that was going on in my head. 

Perseverance

Life is tough.  Even when I have glimpses of what my soul is telling me to do, synchronicity is saying…”go this way, Bob.” It's amazing how often either people beat me down, don't understand my idea or don't support my idea…at least that's how I perceive it.  It’s incredible how often there is doubt out there, and how often I feel doubt inside.  As I have an idea or see an opportunity and I put it out there, I'm all excited.

It starts with me, and it's not all about me.

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

“It starts with me, and it's not all about me.”  

The theme, the motto, the rallying cry for character education lead by iMatter for Kids, is “it starts with me”. I can blame others, but it doesn't do me much good.  I can deflect the accountability and responsibility, I can push it off, I can judge.  I can't control those things; it's a waste of energy to put too much into those things outside of me.  What I can control is who I am, and how I choose to show up right now.  Yes, life brings about situations, frustrations, and it sure is easy to point the finger at someone else.  Real growth in myself, in this world, is about having the courage to make that choice, to take a stand, to show up, and to admit that maybe I had some role in that drama.  To take the responsibility, and the drive and commitment to declare “it starts with me”.  Taking ownership of that is scary.  What if I fall?  What if I fail?  What if I'm wrong?  That's life, man.  Simply making the choice that “it starts with me”, and have that mentality and that thought process, is a huge step in the growth of an individual, of a group, of a community, of our world.

The second part is, “it's not all about me”. There are times when I feel myself getting angry or judgmental, when someone I have a connection with is being vulnerable and on edge when they’re speaking to me.  It’s easy for me to get sucked into their drama.  If I can hold the space for them, to honor their trust in that moment, it can be a learning opportunity.  I can choose not to judge, or jump in and get emotionally involved. Take a deep breath, and realize that this is about them, man.  Be there for them.  Stand there, hold the space.  Honor the faith and the trust.  

Two keys to changing the world - It starts with me.  It's not all about me.

peace,

bob

The Weather

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

The Winter here in Michigan has been extremely cold, with lots of snow.  It can be very frustrating and yet, it is what it is.  I definitely like to attempt to see things in the positive, so here we go.

The extreme cold has helped me to appreciate not having to go anywhere or having to always be prepared.  It has allowed me to enjoy the beauty of the sun shining off the snow, and listening to the amazing sounds of cracking as I step on the ice that's all over my driveway and sidewalk.  It makes the approach of Spring that much more brilliant and magical and juicy.  It helps me appreciate the seasons. It makes us tougher and more courageous to go out and venture forth.  

If I can handle this cold, I can handle jumping in the cold ocean when I’m on vacation, and taking advantage of the opportunity to play with my family, and appreciate the salt going up my nose.

If it is that cold and that unbearable, then maybe it’s time to move out of state.  Yet our negative attitude is not going to make it warmer.  In fact, flipping it to a positive attitude does make it warmer. I find flipping it not only helps me to deal with things, it helps me to create a relationship with them and grow with them.  At the end of the day, I'm thrilled to be right where I'm at.  Yes, it's bitter outside, and that cold air blasting at my face will help me to realize I am alive and well today.

peace,

bob

Realizing My Lifestyle.

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

I've heard it many times being a business owner…”what is the purpose of your business?”  Is it to make a difference in the world?  Is it to make a lot of money?  Is it to flip it?  Is it a lifestyle business?   I used to think a “lifestyle” business was like opening a Surf Shop, because I like to surf, so I’d have a business around my lifestyle.  I've realized recently that a lifestyle business can simply support my chosen lifestyle.  As I think about it, and talk with many people about that concept, the question comes up…what is my lifestyle?

My lifestyle is how I live my life, and what I choose to do.  I have found great joy and fulfillment in realizing what matters most, clarifying who I am, and following my North Star.  It has helped me to understand and appreciate what I want my life to be like, the things that I want to be doing, the things that I want to have time to do.  And, to me, the meaning of success has become that I am living a life the way I want to, the way I thrive, the way it gives me energy, the way I can make the most difference in the world.  

For me, my lifestyle is being there for my kids, being there for my company when they need me.  It also means living in my unique ability, my great gift, as often as possible, and, doing the things that I'm great at, love, and that really make a difference.

My lifestyle includes taking care of myself and my health, taking time to check in, breathe and relax.  My lifestyle includes quality time with my wife, who I adore and love, just being together, having a lunch date or a date night – not just on the weekend.  My lifestyle includes playing with my kids, not just lecturing them on being on time and doing their homework.  My lifestyle includes teaching and learning. So it isn't all just play, it's growing as an individual, as a couple, as a family, as a community.  Through this, I have found one of the greatest joys and feelings of accomplishments.  The feeling of success is realizing I am living a lifestyle that represents and leverages who I am.

peace,

bob

Uniqueness

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

I believe a key to life is being unique, being authentic.  Dan Sullivan, a great teacher and mentor, teaches the thought of unique ability: to be in a state that gives me energy, and allows me to give energy when I'm in it.  I'm in the zone, I'm doing something that I am great at and that I love.  It almost seems effortless.  In the Will books, we talked about the great gift as something that I've brought into this world to learn, and to teach, and to share.  My great friend, John Anderson, has coined the term “unique contribution”.  I believe this blends the unique ability and the great gift.  So what is it that I am bringing to the world?  It's a meaningful legacy.  My unique ability, my great gift, helps me to create my legacy.  My unique contribution is living my legacy and making a huge difference in the world.  Thank you to all of the great teachers who have contributed so much to me. I have only just begun to understand the creativity, and the joy, and the purposefulness in being unique, and having the courage to learn it, and teach it and share it with others.

peace,

bob

Having a Great Day!

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

How do I have a great day today?   I feel blessed, because most of my days are REALLY good.  To trump that up, what about those days that are fantastic? What about the days that are 10 times what a good day is? How do I have more of those days?

The tool I use is called the 331.  I take 15 minutes in the morning in a safe space.  Call it a meditation, call it a questionnaire…I call it a check-in.  Where am I at right now?  Breathe into it.  Just connect.  What are the top 3 things that matter most to me right now?  What are the top 3 action items that if accomplished today, make it a great day?  These are important things.  Not necessarily the 10 to 20 to 50 urgent things that will pop up today.  If I stay focused on these top three action items, today will be a great day, a 10X day.  Then, what's the 1 thing, the one -- if it were up to me, I would do this, or I would change that?  When I take those 15 minutes to connect and breathe and check-in, and then have the courage to share my top 3 things that matter most, my top 3 actions items, and my 1, if it were up to me…my head, my heart, my community, and my team know where I'm at today. Today is a great day!

peace,

bob