5 Steps to Achieve Inner Peace (Without Moving to an Ashram)

This week was not one of my best. One of my companies is going through some major growing pains. Cash flow is not flowing. New leadership is being tested. I just want to see results. And I don’t want to hear any stories or excuses. My frustration surfaced a few times earlier this week and I had to check myself before I wrecked myself. Cos I’m bad for your health, I come real stealth… (Who doesn’t like a little old-school gangsta rap when they’re pissed?) But the reality was, I couldn’t allow my mood to affect my staff or my ability to lead. I had to draw on my emotional fitness and my meditation practice in order to be the leader my company needs, now more than ever.

kilimajaroI’ve talked about mediation in previous blog posts, and it is a twice daily practice that is very important to my personal and professional development and spiritual growth. I look forward to taking a moment out of my day to get into meditation. And some days (like this week) I wish I could just stay there, free from the every day demands, challenges, and reality of the world around me. But as much as I enjoy those moments of quiet and peace and flow, I’m not about to pack up my family and abdicate my position as CEO and move to an ashram. I am passionate about building businesses, and I enjoy the fruits of those labors, like buying mountain bikes and hunting gear, getting massages, date nights at the movies, and a whole lot of other comforts, way too much.

But I do believe that we can all find that inner peace without separating ourselves completely from the fast-pace, high-octane, competitive world around us. They are not mutually exclusive. We do, however, need to work on finding that inner peace. It’s definitely not going to just show up and slap us in the face (I mean, gently tap us on the shoulder).

Here are 5 steps for finding inner peace that have worked for me:

  1. comparisonStop Comparing Yourself to Others
    Did you know that you typically compare yourself to people that you’ve know for 10 years or more and who are in the same demographic as you? Now, let me ask you this: I bet you don’t even aspire to do, be, or have what those people have. So why the hell are you comparing yourself to them? Usually it’s because you need to feel significant. And the easiest way to be the tallest building in the city is by tearing all the other ones down. Nothing good comes from judging and comparing yourself to others. You may feel significant momentarily, but you know subconsciously it’s just a false emotion. And I guarantee their life is not as beautiful as you see on social media or you have built up in your mind.

    I am by no means perfect at this and often find myself comparing – but I am able to recognize when I’m doing it and redirect quickly. Start becoming aware of when you are comparing yourself. Is it when you are questioning a choice you made? Or when you are feeling inadequate and seeking validation? Whatever it is, just stop and notice it. And then redirect that comparison into gratitude for what you do have. Then remember who it is you want to become. And then go take action!

  2. Practice Gratitude 
    One of the key components to inner peace is gratitude. It’s very difficult to compare yourself to others or stay frustrated when you feel gratitude. I write in my gratitude journal every day as a way to start my day grounding myself in all that I have to be thankful for. Gratitude is the antidote to worry, fear, and many other negative emotions. Practicing gratitude daily and drawing upon it when you are experiencing inner disturbance will quickly change your state and bring you peace.
  3. Become In Tune with Your Emotions
    How many times have you been in a funk, but not really been able to figure out why or what to do about it? That state of uncertainty is not a great place to be and definitely doesn’t bring inner peace. The more you can stop and look inward to become aware of what you are feeling, the faster you can do something about it – meditate, do handstands, get into gratitude, etc.  And the fastest way to change your emotions is to change your physiology. Remember, action = emotions.

  4. Practice Affirmations
    Here are some of my favorite affirmations.
    – I demand of my subconscious to give me the strength, courage, endurance, faith, and immediate healing power to create massive and pure energy within me NOW! (This became my mantra as I was climbing Kilimanjaro a couple years ago and was struggling to just breathe and put one foot in front of the other).
    – I am successful. I am building a legacy. I will not fail. I never rest. I will not be outworked. I never settle. I am proud. I will accomplish my mission. I will be humble. I am fueled by this and this alone.
    – And of course, I NEVER GIVE UP!

    I encourage you to work on developing your own series of affirmations. Want inner peace? Know who you are and who you want to become and actively work on becoming that person. Affirmations are a great way to align present actions with your future self.

  5. Stop Resisting Life’s Flow
    Life is happening FOR you, not TO you. We’ve all heard people in our life complain about their circumstances and curse the world for things that show up in their life (a bill they didn’t know about, a family member’s unexpected visit, traffic, etc.). But life’s events are just that, events. Think about it, people all over the world die every day. Death itself, doesn’t cause you any disturbance. Otherwise, we would all be perpetually paralyzed by grief. The disturbance within you is caused by the meaning you have attached to life’s events. Good or bad. The key is learning to surrender to life’s flow and understand that everything happens for a reason in the most effortless and perfect way, just as it is supposed to happen. The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer explains this concept amazingly well and his journey is incredible to read about. Surrendering to life’s flow is the ultimate way to inner peace.

As you know, I’m a huge advocate of meditation and I know meditation will help you fast track your journey to inner peace. Meditation allows you to quiet your thoughts and helps you to stop comparing, to be grateful, to tune into your emotions, and to surrender to the flow of life. Achieving inner peace is not something that happens overnight, it requires commitment and practice. But I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a hell of a lot easier being a bad ass when you also have inner peace.


Screw Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat – Just Remember What You Were Like as a Kid

Last week as I was flying back from a meeting to launch a new Keller Williams Realty Market Center in Maryland, I was thinking about what I was like as a kid – what did I always dream about being and doing when I grew up? Did I have any idea I would be flying around the country several times a month to train, mastermind, or launch businesses?

adam and mom

My awesome mom – Rachell.

So with that question in mind, I did what any grown man would do and I called my mom. My mom keeps everything. This is actually quite helpful, and I’m banking on the fact that 10 years from now when I’m famous (infamous?), I can sell my old football trophies, Valentine’s Day cards, and wallet chain for tons of cash on Ebay. But I digress… I called my mom and she knew exactly what I had wanted to be when I grew up and even had the paperwork to prove it!

My mom had all of my dreams saved:

Kindergarten – Army
1st Grade – Work at IBM with my Dad
2nd Grade – Police Officer
3rd Grade – Lawyer
4th Grade – Baseball Player

And the last entry was in 6th grade – Business Owner!

Even in 6th grade, I was not going to be boxed into limited thinking. According to this form, my career choices were Astronaut, Model, Fireman, Cowboy, Nurse… (Don’t even get me started on the limiting beliefs that our educational system subjected us to when we were growing up! That is a topic for another day.) But I do want to point out that even at age 12, I knew I wanted more. I would also like to note that I somehow leveraged my mom to fill out this form for me, though I did sign my name!  Thanks Mom!

Think about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Have your dreams changed? Are you living the life you always imagined? If you’re not, I would encourage you to ask yourself, why not? 

The same goes for the activities you enjoyed as a kid. The things you did just for fun and for the pure joy of it (no external rewards like allowance). When was the last time you just played and had fun without expecting anything in return?

I loved fishing, hunting, mountain biking, sports, and doing anything outside as a kid. For many years, I suppressed my love for these activities in an effort to be what I thought a successful person should look like – I bought fast cars, fancy suits, and stayed out late drinking. But the more I worked on my personal development and tapped into who I really was at the core, I naturally started going back to doing those things I loved to do as a kid – hiking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, etc.

Not sure what career path is right for you? What did you want to do or be as a kid? 

Want to add more fun and interesting hobbies to your life? What did you love doing as a kid? 

You already have the answers inside you – you just have to go back a few years (okay, maybe several decades) and remember what got you excited, what made you jump out of bed on a Saturday morning, what you did without any one even asking.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

The juice of life was first served in a sippy cup. Those childhood dreams? Go live them.


Guest Blogger Kathy Holmes: Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People for Business & Personal Success

kathy holmesI feel both honored and privileged to be asked to contribute to the Herg Life blog. To put into mere words what this means to me, is a challenge in and of itself.

But that is one huge aspect of what the Herg Life is… to challenge yourself on a daily basis – whether it’s running up and down three flights of stairs to be in better shape, rather than take the elevator, or it’s still jumping fences on my horse when I’m in my 60’s.

I joined Adam Hergenrother’s world almost three years ago when I moved my real estate business to Keller Williams Vermont and I am still amazed by what it feels like to be surrounded by and supported by a group of like-minded thinkers and doers, people who “walk the talk” and set examples for the rest of us. Individuals who actually believe that I can do whatever I set my mind to. They challenge me to challenge myself and take the harder route or set a bigger goal. It is not always easy (usually it is not), but it is where I experience the most personal growth.

Why I Love the Herg Life:

  1. I am in a space where the people around me understand that your business and personal life are intertwined and not separate worlds. They understand that to be the best you can be in business, means you have to be at your best physically and mentally as well.
  2. I know that when I say things that the “main stream” thinks are weird, like, “Whatever you think you create,” or “Whatever you put your attention on expands,” I will be completely understood, supported, and encouraged.
  3. I am encouraged to take time out of the work day to meditate, not once, but twice, because it will make me mentally sharper and physically in a better space to handle the daily stresses that come from business.
  4. kathyI am challenged to ask myself the question, “What more can I do or give?” -whether it be to my fellow agents, the community or friends and family. Because of that, I recently began a conversation with the Boys and Girls Club to volunteer to read to young children – something that is very  much beyond my comfort zone, because I have to allocate time and travel to do this, but I know I would get more out of the giving of my time and myself.

I am so glad that Adam brought Keller Williams to our little state of Vermont and that it came at a time in my life when most people my age are winding down. The culture and environment at Keller Williams Vermont gives me the tools to create what I need for what’s next in my life… for a better quality of life than I ever dreamed possible.

Kathy Holmes, licensed since 1982, is CEO of The Holmes Team at KW Vermont. To learn more about her journey or her real estate business, please email holmz4homz@aol.com




How I Learned to Dance with Fear and the 3 Things That Still Scare Me

Five years ago, I would have told you that nothing scared me. I was invincible and hubris. I had completely bought into the myth that entrepreneurs were fearless and I was going to fully embrace that identity. (I won’t even tell you how fast I drove my Porsche because I know my mom reads this blog.)

But let’s just get this out of the way – that’s a bunch of BS. It’s just that – a myth. Entrepreneurs are scared on a daily basis. Entrepreneurs are not fearless or fearful; but they are fear-savvy.

“Life is found in the dance between your deepest desire and your greatest fear.” -Tony Robbins

There are two types of fear:

  1. The “Oh shit I’m being chased by a tiger!” fear (Primal Fear)
  2. The “Oh shit I’m about to be judged by my peers while I give this presentation.” fear (Psychological Fear)

Both fears live inside you and can’t be eliminated. Some fear is good, like the fear that compels you to to play dead when confronted with a bear attack (You’ve all seen The Revenant, right?). Primal fear is always with you and can cause you to take life-saving actions. Many of us will only experience primal fear a few times in our life.

A much more familiar type of fear is psychological fear. That fear you feel before you propose to your girlfriend or tell your parents you’re taking an unconventional career path. You will not physically get hurt, but your ego may get bruised. You’re afraid of failure or judgement or not being loved. These fears will show up again and again and again and try to paralyze you.

These fears (and we each have different ones) will keep you from living a big life unless you learn how to dance with them. Acknowledge the fear, take it’s hand, and dance. One step forward, one step back, one step to the side, one step forward… but keep moving alongside and through the fear. Do not let it hold you back! You are not your thoughts or your fears. You are the one who is just watching the fear bubble up to the surface. So sit back and let fear do it’s thing. You can’t stop it, so just dance with it.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

Richard Branson is one of the world’s most famous “fearless” entrepreneurs. From buying an island, to going on a rescue mission to Baghdad, to flying a hot air balloon around the world, to running the London Marathon in butterfly wings, Branson has done it all. But Branson is not fearless.

“I’m still struck by nerves when I speak in public, and I have been doing it for the best part of 50 years. I went onstage recently to speak to some of our staff, completely forgot what I was going to say, and ended up talking about public speaking being my biggest fear instead!”- Richard Branson (Excerpt from Virgin’s October 2015 blog)

Once I began my journey of personal growth and development five years ago, I began to peel back the layers of my ego (I even traded in my Porsche for a used truck) and realized there was nothing wrong with being vulnerable and sharing my fears with the world. I became fear-savvy. I was aware of my fears and began to understand where they came from, which allowed me to confront them and move through them when they came up. When you can learn to dance with your fears, they show up just like rain (sometimes it’s a drizzle and sometimes it’s a torrential downpour), but all you need to do is pull out an umbrella to protect yourself.

So, if Richard Branson can admit his fears, so can I. My 3 biggest fears are:

  1. Fear of Failure – Every time I step out of my comfort zone, fear of failure jumps up and says hello. This fear manifests when I take a risk with money, with a business, or putting myself in a situation where I risk embarrassment.
    Dance Steps – When the fear of failure rises up, I stop and ask myself, “Will I regret NOT doing this?” If the answer, is yes, I go for it. I have a huge red sign in my office that says, “No Limits. No Regrets,” as a constant reminder to live life without limits.
  2. Fear of Mediocrity – For the first 15 years of my life I lived someone’s else life – a life I was told was how it was supposed to be. I have a burning desire to never go back to that level of consciousness and never want to put limits on my life.
    Dance Steps – If you are not growing, you’re dying. Every day I strive to have as many experiences as possible. I don’t have to be the best at everything, but I have to know that I have done my best. Each day I journal and reflect on whether or not I could do better in all areas of my life.
  3. Fear of Losing Talent – I fear everyone just walking out of my organization.
    Dance Steps – I work on my leadership and personal development daily so I can be the best leader possible and stay one step ahead of my team and organization. I always push to find ways to train, excite, challenge, and grow the people in my organization. If I am providing as much value to them as humanly possible, they will never want to leave.

Think about some of your biggest fears and when you had courage and were able to push through the fear. You may even get uncomfortable remembering the moment. But I bet you did not regret it, no matter how scared you were. In fact, whatever moment or fear you’re thinking of, it just might be one of your greatest moments yet.

When you allow fear to turn into courage, you GROW!

And that victorious moment will spiral into more courage and more growth, which in turn creates a virtuous cycle. It does not mean the fear disappears, it just means you are becoming fear-savvy!

No wall-flowers here – get on the dance floor! Are you fear-savvy enough to share your fears?