Why YOUR Happiness Matters

Wise words from one of my favorites, Danielle LaPorte

16427538_2224144471143976_7919249568650429510_nWhile I was writing my book “The Make It Happen Blueprint” (releases March 21, 2017) I was re-listening to a radio interview I had with Danielle LaPorte about her insightful book, “The Desire Map”. I remembered something she had said about happiness and wanted to include it in my book. What she said knocked me off my feet so I did a little quick transcription to capture and share with more people who may need these works.

She shared how feelings really are the “start and the heart of the matter”.

She went on to say something incredibly powerful, “You being happy and in a state of joy is the best way you can be of service to the rest of us. When you vibrate in that way, when your frequency is about joy, you are kinder, your brain is firing ‘mo better’, you’re more fun to be around, you’re infinitely more productive and you’re going to be more helpful and generous. So get happy and you will serve humanity.”

Powerful. THAT to me sounds like rising above whatever challenges that have been holding you back from being happy. THAT sounds like peak performance.

In that same interview, I asked Danielle, “What would you say to those people who say, ‘I can’t possibly be happy right now, you have no idea what I’m going through’?”

Her response was poignant and deep. Danielle said, “I feel for you. I get it. Maybe you can’t be happy right now, but the thing you can do right now is that you can start to believe that your happiness is worth it and valuable. That it’s actually a priority. That you deserve it. Then you can start to consider how you want to feel. You may be feeling taxed and overburdened and there are rough things happening and finances, parents, kids, illness… How would you rather feel? Don’t worry about getting out of your circumstances, don’t worry about solving it. Just get in the state where you can say, “I would prefer to feel energetic.” “I would prefer to feel calm.” And then what is one thing you can do tomorrow to feel that way?”

I love it. Don’t like your current happiness level? Change it. Think about how you would rather feel, and do something that will help you feel that way.

Make It Happen! – Michelle

(If you missed this show and want to hear the other nuggets she shared, listen here.)

This post originally “aired” on my new Facebook page “The HappyIST” follow the conversation and “like” the page for joy and happiness to show up in your news feed.

Four Ways to Help Friends Reach Their Goals

Success Series Segment #4 - Fox 13 TV

Success coach Michelle McCullough shares how you can help your friends stay on track and be successful.

    1. Ask the right questions up front.
    2. Follow up at their approved intervals.
    3. Help them get a strong reason to stay committed.
    4. Encourage and Enforce. Be an awesome cheerleader when they fall off the wagon to help them get back up, but enforce consequences and rewards for greatest results.

Four Ways to Help Friends Reach Their Goals

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People are Currency

IMG_1121It’s interesting to me how this comes up over and over again for my clients. While it takes a certain amount of confidence to accomplish your goals, cockiness will always come back to bite you. You can’t be selective with your kindness. You can’t be nice to your family and terrible to cashiers or the wait staff. You can’t be nice to your boss and look down on a stranger begging on the street. Success won’t happen if you stack rank yourself among the people around you.
Success happens when you not only realize that everyone can make or break your future because sometimes it takes a stranger to knock you out of your funk so you can become who you were meant to be. Be kinder, look people in the eye, give them the benefit of the doubt, be someone else’s chance to expect more. Then you’ll remember all the people in your past that made it possible for you to achieve today. We’re all in this together, folks, and you’ll never succeed by sacrificing a soul and leaving them in your wake

Book Review: Year of Yes

Year of YesAuthor: Shonda Rhimes (writer of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice & How to Get Away With Murder)
Medium: Listened on Audible (which I highly recommend. It’s read by the author. And I listened on 1.5 speed and got through in a Jif!)
Recommended by (and then lovingly pestered by): Tiffany Peterson

Thoughts: This is the first book I have actually started and finished in 2 weeks in a long time. I have about 40 half consumed books on my nightstand, in my kindle app and on my audible. But I finished this one. While MY problem is that I should probably say “NO” more, what is magical about this book is the way she tells stories. I think all of my speaker friends should read this book (listening to this book is actually better) so you can see how she craft stories, uses track backs, and invites you in a very, very real way. Also, in full disclosure there is language in this book.

What I liked is that she’s real. She’s vulnerable and unlike other “Year of” books, she doesn’t go in chronological order, she just shares the things she learned. I liked that approach.

Sidenote: This is where we’re going to get a little dramatic. Back in the mid 2000’s when personal blogging took the world by storm, I was a very late adopter. Busy with the career, then a baby I enjoyed reading other people’s but was nervous to do one of my own. I wanted it to be a little different, and so I wouldn’t start until I had a good idea. One night in 2008 while lying in bed after watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I realized that all the show titles were actually songs. One of the things I loved about the show was the soundtrack. That’s when I started blogging. With my first post called “Even The Nights Are Better” and I talked about having my baby boy and that I wouldn’t trade sleepless nights for anything. My blog was called “The Best of Times” and I subtitled it “Our Family Soundtrack”. Listening to this book and how she loves music and dancing reminded me that Shonda Rhimes got me blogging. So there’s a useless bit of trivia for you. Speaking of things my ears can’t handle, I stopped watching Grey’s about the same time Private Practice started. But I’ve always appreciated her craft and I keep up by reading show synopsis because Shonda really does “lay track” masterfully on the air and in print.

The 3 Questions Exercise – Goal Setting

Here’s a powerful activity that I did at the beginning of the year. My goals were feeling a little flat this week and needed to be ignited so I pulled this out and looked at it again and made some adjustments.
Whether your goals are rock solid or they could use a refresh, try this activity and see if you feel a new life in your purpose.
Join me? I love the 3 questions:
What worked?
What didn’t work?
What needs to change?
Here’s a simple way to do this for yourself. What’s on your KEEP list?
What’s on your LET GO list?
What’s on your MAKE IT HAPPEN list?
Let’s finish 2016 strong!
If you love tools like this, you’ll LOVE the Make It Happen Toolkit! Get it here (FREE): www.speakmichelle.com
The 3 Questions Exercise - Goal Setting

4 Steps to Becoming A Professional Power Napper

With Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution taking over the world (including JetBlue terminals, cards in Marriott Hotels, and countless appearances), I’ve been thinking a lot about my sleep routines, but I’ve also been thinking about Huffington’s hustle (perhaps that could be the title of her next book: Huffington’s Hustle).  This gal knows how to sell a book.  All the hard work paid off, of course, Huffington rightfully found her place on the New York Times Bestseller list (again).

This card was on my bed in a recent trip. Three quarters of me thinks this is a brilliant cross promotion tactic between Marriott Hotels & Arianna Huffington with her book The Sleep Revolution.  One quarter of me is jealous that it's not my book on the bed of every Marriott Hotel. ;)

This card was on my bed in a recent trip. Three quarters of me thinks this is a brilliant cross promotion tactic between Marriott Hotels & Arianna Huffington with her book The Sleep Revolution. One quarter of me is jealous that it’s not my book on the bed of every Marriott Hotel. ;)

For many years I have shared sleep to be one of my favorite success tips. My body is the vehicle to my dreams, and I need to fuel it and care for it. Many years I got by on 6 hours of sleep a night – I can’t do that anymore.  I crave 7-8, but my secret really isn’t a good night’s sleep.  My secret is power naps.

This all started back in 2005 when I was working for then Novell (now MicroFocus) in Provo, Utah.  It was my first big corporate job, I had only worked for small businesses up to this point.  It was also the first time there were beds in “quiet rooms”.  Surprised that my company welcomed the occasional nap (during breaks and lunches, of course), I decided to give it whirl. It took a bit to find comfort on disposable pillow cases, but I soon found my ideal power nap formula.

Michelle McCullough on Sleep

  1. 1. Hair Prep – To avoid flat hair, lift your hair up one inch below the crown. (This also works on airplanes, and taking a power nap in a chair or recliner.) I love being able to go back to my desk and my hair doesn’t share where I’ve been for 33 minutes.  (Gentlemen, count your lucky hairs that you can skip to number 2.)
  2. Set The Alarm – The magic number for a nap really is 30 minutes, so I would give myself 33 minutes.  3 minutes to fall asleep and 30 minutes to actually sleep.
  3. Dark – Sleep in a dark room.  If there is light pollution, find something to put on your eyes.  I don’t put eye masks over my hair (see number one), but a small washcloth or piece of fabric will do.  If you’re blessed to have a health room in your building, keep one in your desk.  At home, I use an old infant bib and it’s perfect!
  4. Listen To Your Body – Consider that if you need frequent naps, you may need to find out what else your body needs.  Do you need better nutrition?  Is your body trying to sleep off fast food or too much sugar?  Do you need more exercise? Even a 30 minute walk can be just as rejuvenating as a nap, and it helps brain function and energy. Don’t get me wrong, sleep for the win, but there are other things that you can and should do for optimal body health and vitality.

As an entrepreneur with a home office (and when I travel to speak, my office is an airplane, or a hotel room or a conference room…) naps are easier than even my corporate days. You can see some pictures snapped of me sleeping on planes, and even in the middle of an event.  In March of this year, I was part of the World Hopecast.  We broadcasted LIVE for 60 hours straight.  I has shifts in the middle of the night and during the day, and MULTIPLE power naps were needed during the day to keep me going.

This is how I survived the World Hopecast. Naps in my business clothes!

This is how I survived the World Hopecast. Naps in my business clothes!

If nothing else, I’m glad that Huffington has started a conversation that I think every successful peak performer needs to remember: it’s not about who can go the longest on the least amount of sleep, and what you can get done before you crash into bed. It matters that you get the sleep that you need for your body and your brain to operate at it’s prime.

Whether you need a full Sleep Revolution or simply a sleep adjustment I hope that you’ll consider how new sleep habits and patterns will help you fuel your amazing body as a way to accomplish your goals and dreams.

Naps work on airplane's too!

Naps work on airplane’s too!

If you like this tip, I’m full of more! Check out the Make It Happen Toolkit here. www.speakmichelle.com

If you’d like to learn about booking me to speak at your next event go here: http://michelleontheair.com/book-michelle-to-speak/



Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way

Some days it’s easy to sit and catalogue all of my faults and all of my mistakes. If I allow my brain to go down the path, I can get myself in a dither. It happened last week. A rough day led to a pity party and a my weaknesses having a dance off in my head. It was so bad I couldn’t sleep.

Here’s what I believe. I believe we’re all human and making mistakes and having weaknesses is part of this human experience. They can teach us amazing things. And while I know they are a part of life, part of the journey is putting them in their place and not letting them hold you back. Learn and grow. Don’t dwell.

The very next day, after my long sleepless night I received this in the mail from my friend Melanie. One of the brilliant minds behind Hip to Home. How timely.

Our past can teach us, but we can’t move forward if we dwell there.

To the future.

Don't look back Hip To Home

Give Yourself Some Living Room

This is what The Living Room is all about.  It’s about looking at our lives and giving ourselves some room to grow and feel.  It’s about not beating ourselves up when we make mistakes and it’s about giving ourselves permission to succeed and to fail.
Grateful for the opportunity I had to share these thoughts on The Place last week.
My thought for your today is Give Yourself Some Living Room

Letting Go Of The Past For A Powerful Future

Like you, I’ve had circumstances in my life where I had to choose to hang on to bitterness or forgive and really be free.  My parents divorced when I was 7.  My dad died tragically of SARS when I was 22.  He never met my kids, and they didn’t get to meet him.  I was fired wrongfully from a position over a scheduling mix up, that a company wasn’t willing to resolve.  The list goes on, right?
I heard a woman say once, “You can be bitter or you can be better.”
It’s easier to be bitter, but we can only let go of the past if we let it go and truly choose the better path.
Here are three exercises I use to leave the past in the past:
1. DO SOMETHING: Pick an old situation that still festers in your heart and do something about it.  Apologize, right a wrong, do an act of service for someone who hurt you, or if nothing else – write a letter.  You may never get to send it, but write a letter sharing your thoughts so that you can get everything you’re feeling on paper.
2. WRITE A LEARNING PAGE: Take an experience and write 10 things that experience taught you.  Maybe you’ve learned how to respond better, or how NOT to do something.  Maybe you learned what’s in your control and “no control” column. Maybe you learned that no matter what people do to you, kindness back never hurts.  This can help you reframe the past and choose what you can learn from it to move on.
3. PRACTICE GRATITUDE EVERY DAY: When you find yourself stuck in a victim mindset, it can be easy to look for everything that’s going wrong.  Train your brain to look for everything that is going right.  When I was in the middle of a heart breaking divorce, I felt like I was justified to feel sad and wronged.  I carried this attitude about me for weeks.  After reading Sarah Breathnach’s book “Simple Abundance” I reluctantly took on her gratitude journal challenge.  I did it to almost prove her wrong. I wanted to prove to her and the world that sometimes you just can’t find things to be grateful for.  It took a couple of weeks of consistently writing down 5 things a day to start to really SEE things differently.  Instead of pointing out all that went wrong, I started to find all the ways God was preserving me through the trial.  An out-of the blue call from a friend, a kind package left on my step, birds chirping out my window, a test that went easier than I had planned, etc.  Gratitude didn’t change my circumstances, it changes me.
I am moved by the story of Viktor Frankl.  Sent to a Nazi concentration camp, he survived on positivity and forgiveness, when it would be so easy to hate.  His parents died, his wife died, his brother died.  Only his sister survived.
You could survive an experience like that by blame and becoming a victim or you can choose to rise above.
I had the opportunity to sign Viktor Frankl’s Book of Greats when I spoke at a TEDx event a few years ago.  There was such a powerful feeling when I signed it.
We’re human.  Life will throw us some curve balls.  Our greatest challenge is not avoiding these trials, but figuring out how to rise above them and move on.
To your future!
– Michelle
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Michelle's SheBiz Utah Video

It was an honor to get invited to be part of this fun video series with SheBiz Utah!  I love talking about how I make business and life work (and sometimes it doesn’t work)!
What would your answers be to this question?
Check out the other videos on the SheBiz Utah YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ6FY181WauUjvFlUZxVb_w