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Friday, August 30, 2013

Master the Possibilities: Why A Mastermind Group Can Change Your Life

The power of many minds
I have them at my gym and you do too. They’re content doing the same machines, maybe thumbing through a few magazines on the treadmill, or just half-heartedly slogging though a workout. They look fine. Yet you’ve seen them at the gym for years and they don’t make progress.

You’ve also got those folks who push themselves harder. They challenge themselves with new workouts. They have demanding trainers who push their level of excellence.
They get out of their comfort zone. Slowly, steadily, they become more muscular and confident.

This blog isn’t about fitness. But that same determination to get out of your own way and excel can take your business, relationship, or anything else you find stagnating to a new level of greatness.

Expanding and Sustaining Your Vision

You probably know that feeling when you come home from a big conference or event: a pumped-up, rah-rah determination to revamp your business, your relationship, or maybe your financial situation.

That feeling lasts about two days, but you can’t sustain it. Eventually your ordinary routine trumps your dreams and aspirations so that exuberant feeling becomes a distant memory.

My Mastermind experience last weekend was nothing like that. Every person there supports, challenges, and inspires each other to take their professional (and by extension, personal) life to that next level. For instance, we create 90-day goals and hold each other accountable.

You’re probably asking what the hell a Mastermind is and why you should care. In a nutshell, a Mastermind gathers intelligent, successful A-list people in their field and – through a series of exercises and group interaction – helps them take their venture to that next level.

If you’ve ever felt stuck about something and need expert insight and maybe a good (figurative) kick in the ass, a Mastermind could be your ticket.

If you’re like me, you feel like you’ve got something bigger within you. Like those folks at the gym who stagnate with the same workouts, you can settle for the pretty-good life you’ve got now.

But then you would be shortchanging yourself, your family, your friends, and on a much grander scale, the world.

Marianne Williamson once said nobody achieves anything by thinking small. Visionaries dream big, take big risks, sometimes fail big, but ultimately learn more about themselves when they overcome obstacles and turn struggles into opportunities.

That’s my proposal for you today. Do you want to stay where you are (and keep in mind, doing so is perfectly acceptable) or do you feel something bigger burning within you?

Dig deep with that question. Spend some time and effort determining what you could improve. In the meantime, I want to share three a ha! moments I discovered over the weekend that helped me think bigger and take things to that next level:

Lesson 1: Get Out of Your Own Head

Surely you’ve read Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich. (No? Go to Amazon and download immediately!) When two or more minds congregate to fix a problem or create and support an idea or concept, they create a powerful synergy impossible to achieve alone. 

A Mastermind group provides a powerful brainstorming session to get “unstuck” out of your own head, see how others perceive your situation, and gain valuable insight.

A palpable energy permeated the room at JJ Virgin’s Mastermind. We all congregated to help each other, because what we give, we get back in spades. When I provided constructive criticism or suggestions for my colleagues, I also gained valuable insight into my own goals.

When JJ shared her story about her son Grant, there wasn’t a dry face in the room. (And trust me: I rarely cry.)

If you don’t know the story, a hit-and-run driver left him for dead last September and doctors told JJ to let him die. JJ didn’t succumb. Instead, she pulled together her rock star team and we all contributed in any way we could. Today, Grant is alive and doing well.

Everyone can harness that same come-together energy with a Mastermind group. Get out of your head, ask for help, give back, and watch what doors open in your life.

Lesson 2: People Need Solutions to Problems

Everyone possesses a gift that others need. I help women become stronger through fitness. You might have the gift to listen, repair cars, or create the perfect chocolate tort. (If you possess that last skill, kindly contact me because I want to be your new best friend!)

When you don’t honor that gift, you disservice yourself. Worse, you are doing others a disservice: people need your gift to better themselves.

Listen, I know there enough charlatans or whack jobs selling their “services.” You can spot these folks a mile away, with their fake smiles and insincere interest in your life when their true message is I want you to buy my crap! Trust me, I live in LA: I meet these people all the time.

That said, just because someone is selling something doesn’t mean you don’t need it. For years, I thought that way about palm readers. I remember once passing by one with my friend and commenting what a phony she was.

Then one day, for pure fun, I visited one. Okay, she didn’t exactly change my life, but she at least got me thinking about some things. She listened and provided a different perspective. She provided a service that helped enrich my life.

My Mastermind group last weekend were caring, authentic people who deeply want to serve others. They also maintain a balance between serving others while also living comfortably.

Put another way: they have a solution to someone’s problem and they make their living providing that solution. Hey, nothing wrong with that.

Ask yourself: what problem do I have a solution for? And then get out of your own head and come to a Mastermind to explore the possibilities!

Lesson 3: We Need a New Paradigm for Wellness

I promise not to get on my soapbox here, but our healthcare system has created vast suffering and nearly crashed our financial system. If you don’t believe me, look at the ever-growing obesity problem and its repercussions, from diabetes to heart disease to overall diminished quality of life.

I appreciate Western medicine for many things. If God forbid I’m in a car crash, I want the best surgeons and drugs I can get. But for all its victories (and I’m not denying these), Western medicine has done a lousy job preventing disease.

If I eat a crappy diet and don’t exercise, chances are I will eventually develop diabetes. My insurance company could care less about helping me buy supplements and whole foods, but watch them come to my rescue once I get diagnosed with heart disease! Can you see the problem here?

Prevention is its own reward. No, you won’t get much insurance reimbursement, but you’ll feel better, look better, age better, and even have better sex. That’s worth the price of admission!

We need a new model for wellness, and Western medicine can’t provide that model. We need true health care, not disease care, and we create that with clean eating, managing stress, deep sleep, intense exercise, as well as relaxation and joy.

Do those things and put positive energy into the world, give something back (if you don’t have money, give time), and watch your possibilities explode.

I’d love to hear what goals you have in my comments section. Don’t be modest: bigger is better. Reach for the stars. I have a wonderful community to support and hold you to your goals.

One more thing: I want to call out some of the fabulous people at JJ’s Mastermind this past weekend. These are cutting-edge, intelligent, top-of-their game folks who truly care about others. Most of them have web pages (click their names to see theirs) and Facebook fan pages. I can’t recommend them enough:

.           Dr. Alan Christianson
.        Dr. Josh Axe
·       Dr. Jen Landa
·       Dr. Sara Gottfried
·       JJ Virgin
·       Robin Nielson

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Fitness expert and strength coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!  Take Jini's "Are you Ready?" Quiz at © 2011 Jinifit, Inc.

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