The Change Guidebook: How to Align Your Heart, Truths, and Energy to Find Success in All Areas of Your Life
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Many of us know we need a change, an overhaul of the way we “do” life. We feel the need to move forward but we aren’t sure where to place our feet to take those first steps. There are countless manuals for bettering our lives, but we crave something that will truly help us to change for the better once and for all. The Change Guidebook ends the search for self-help that works, serving as a life-long companion guide and resource to complement your life. It offers ten points for making a change or adapting to unforeseen circumstances and allows you to become a change master by using the provided solutions to change, grow, and become your bravest and boldest self. These points are a process that you can engage in and turn to in times of need, crisis, or to alter your life’s course. Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, the founder of The Best Ever You Network, has created a framework for crafting a new way to move through the world and inhabit our lives. By using the tools provided within this book, you will experience the joy of living life as someone firmly grounded in values, anchored by a consistent moment-to-moment practice of gratitude. These principles have been widely used to achieve goals from changing careers to weight loss, becoming a college athlete, and more, and have been proven to change many lives. The Change Guidebook is for anyone who is seeking change and wants to align to their highest purpose. Learn how to unlock the light within. Change is possible and the power is in your hands.
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is the founder of The Best Ever You Network and co-founder of Compliance4. Through these companies, she has helped individuals and organizations around the world be their best and achieve world-class excellence with gratitude-based behavior and belief systems. She is one of America’s foremost personal and corporate development consultants specializing in mindset, strategy, leadership, and taking action. Elizabeth is also the author of the award-winning personal development book PERCOLATE – Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House) and multiple children’s books as a contributor and author. Elizabeth and her husband live in Maine with their four sons and three rescued cats.
In our eighth point, we gather and give back. In this point, we start to find community and like-minded folks. This is a huge part of change, as surrounding ourselves with the proper people fosters peace and puts everything we want to change in motion. If we can’t surround ourselves ideally, then we need to have the tools to separate ourselves based on our values, goals, beliefs, and behavior and to recognize naysayers.
I’m starting this chapter out with one of my favorite success tips.
SUCCESS TIP #28: Instead of Asking, “What’s in It for
Me?” Ask, “What’s in It for Us?”
Together we create the energy needed for change. Your positive energy fuels humanity, and we can create waves of peace. Also, each person you meet teaches you something, and you will also teach them something. You create change. We create change, and how you treat people tells all. Each day is filled with more moments to love one another and opportunities to pay closer attention to one another. We all need one another.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear humanity crying for compassion.
SUCCESS TIP #29: People Remember How You Made Them Feel More Than What You Said
I know you can’t control how you make people feel, but they will remember how they feel from interacting with you. I just had this happen to me with four people who were so busy they couldn’t make time for me. Well, we all know how that feels. It makes you feel, if you allow it to, less important or of no significance to the other person. People make time for what is important to them. You do it, too, so also be aware of how you make others feel when you don’t make time for them properly or don’t have a compassionate response as to why you are unable to do whatever it is.
Remember that most people are going about their daily life with at least one major concern playing in the background, usually related to health or illness, monetary stress, bad relationships, grief, and sometimes all of them. Often we meet others who have been so demoralized that they question our attempts at giving them positive energy. Many live their lives feeling like they are schoolchildren alone at the lunch table. They feel excluded, alone, neglected, unheard, isolated, mistreated, misunderstood, and more.
SUCCESS TIP #30: It’s Up to All of Us to Pay Closer Attention to One Another
Paying much closer attention is the start and a step forward to being present, accepting, inclusive, and loving others. How are your relationships with other people? If you encounter negativity, apply more love and more positive energy.
SUCCESS TIP #31: Treat Another Person’s Heart as if It Is Your Own
In our eighth point, we find community and like-minded folks who perhaps have had the same experiences or have put on enough mileage to have some thoughts, advice, ideas, or direction for us. Maybe this is you engaging others. This is a huge part of change, as surrounding ourselves with the proper people fosters peace and puts in motion everything we want to change. If we surround ourselves ideally, then we have the tools to separate ourselves based on our values, goals, beliefs, and behavior and recognize naysayers. We find leadership, even if that leadership is internal to us and how we guide ourselves in our own moments. You go where you place your energy. Search for peace. Do more of what makes you peaceful. Find your joy. Find your peace and the people who surround those findings.
Speaking of world-class energy, as we engage others or others engage us, you’ll notice that you just can’t quite put your finger on some things, like that certain something that demonstrates excellence. It’s a way people carry themselves or a quality that can’t be measured. Yet the best of the best also pay attention to those things that matter most. How you treat people most likely will be how you are remembered more than any action, award, or event.
In working with people, I’ve developed the Five Intangibles. People operating with the Five Intangibles have five distinct ways they go about life naturally; often they are just this way.
THE FIVE INTANGIBLES
Drive: Belief in discovering the power of motivation, competition, growth, goals, will, and purpose.
Trust: Belief in character, behavior, values, beliefs, choices, awareness, reliability, and integrity, all combining to allow others to place their trust in you and you in them.
Adaptability: Belief that anything is possible based on your ability to maneuver and your mind-set being open, particularly to change and new ideas. This involves listening to suggestions and other people often, as well as trusting yourself and taking risks.
Perseverance: Belief in the incredible power of healing, adaptability, strength, growth, purpose, and forgiveness.
Leadership: Belief that you are always following, leading, and learning. Careful consideration to body language, character, perseverance, trust, drive, adaptability, wisdom, humor, connectedness, purpose, and community are present in leadership.
When a person with one or more of these intangibles engages you, you know you are around excellence. It is a vibe and a way they conduct themselves without arrogance. They do not make you feel small or less than, but rather they make you feel on top of the world and included.
I was recently on a Zoom call with Dr. Ivan Misner who is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (Business Network International). BNI is a multimillion-dollar company with hundreds of thousands of members globally. BNI is the world’s leading business referral organization, with over 280,000 members in more than 10,000 BNI chapters worldwide. In 2020 alone, BNI members shared over 11.5 million valuable new client referrals and generated over $16.2 billion in revenue.
As we were chatting, he was talking about an article he needed to send me for BestEverYou.com, and as kind and humble as he is, he went into his own e-mail and on the spot sent it to me. It’s July 2021’s post on the site. He then went on to add, “I love writing for your website.” How kind and sweet is he? He has plenty of assistants and employees who could be sending me his articles for the website, and yet each month they come directly from Ivan.
So as Ivan encounters all he meets with his world-class energy of kindness, incredible presence, and follow-through, his example is an important reminder to celebrate, accept, and always be mindful and conscious of what makes you become your Best Ever You, as when you engage others it will be with that sense of peace and those intangibles.
This is an important moment to think about how you are engaging others. What is your outward energy to other people? What are you like? If you met you in the grocery store, on the baseball field, or in a yoga class, a hospital, a classroom, and so forth, what type of person would you like to meet? Would we like to engage you? What are your leadership skills like, even if you aren’t leading? Is your energy happy? Sad? Mopey? Fun? What is it like to be around you? What are your moods like? Are you constantly cracking jokes and being sarcastic? What is it like when you are mad? I know that’s a lot to think about, but really, what are you like? The inner you: Who is that?
Every now and then I run into people I find pretty much impossible for me to engage. Here is a story about Joel. Joel came to me many years back after his first heart attack, asking for my help. I knew instantly that I needed to refer Joel to a therapist as Joel wasn’t wanting to move forward. He was stuck in the past and not ready or willing to accept his present situation. He couldn’t accept who he had become. Joel had gained over 120 pounds and was formerly an incredible athlete. Through an injury and now a heart attack, Joel couldn’t find peace in the physical changes. Joel said to me, “Well, I used to be able to run ten miles with ease and now I can barely walk up the street.” To add to this, Joel was festering mad. He was so angry that I knew I couldn’t work with him. He rocked my peace to the core. I often wonder about Joel, but here is my point. You don’t have to fully engage with every person you meet, and you aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea and they aren’t going to be yours. People pleasers, beware.
It was in Joel’s best interest and mine to move along. However, I did treat Joel with kindness and respect, and gave him a beautiful referral.
SUCCESS TIP #32: Some People Aren’t for You, and You Aren’t for Them; Know and Use Your Boundaries
How often do you engage others in meaningful conversations? A moment with another person when you are listening and not talking so much can be so meaningful and pivotal. Are you a good listener? I had a moment with my mom that I’d like to share with you. I hope you’ll be a good listener as I tell you this because it’s a moment I’ll never forget, and I hope you find a moment like this with your loved ones.
After my dad passed away and a few weeks before her own surgery in 2019, my mom wanted to go to Walmart to get some things for surgery. Of all her children, I was the one who didn’t have little kids and could be by her side 24/7. So I left Maine and went to Minnesota. Now, whenever you return home, or at least when I do anyway, I feel like I go back to being a little kid. There are some things from home that are just home. This time, however, didn’t feel that way at all. I felt like an adult taking care of an adult. My mom needed help.
So there we were. We arrived at the Walmart parking lot and it began to rain. It was pouring. Absolutely pouring, so much so that it wasn’t that great driving back home either, so we decided to stay put. My mom and I decided to stay in the car and have a chat. I was talking about closing the Best Ever You Network. Well, I have two yellow notebooks of all her suggestions for the company. Trust me, she’s a brilliant businessperson, so she had some amazing ideas. We were on topics like change, jealousy, and anger.
Then we came to weight loss, probably our all-time favorite thing to chat about. I said, “You know, we wear in public what we eat in private.” She looked at me like I’d said something profound as if it was the weight loss cure-all and she said, “That needs to go in your next book.” (Done!) As the rain started to calm down, I said, “Let’s write down everything you need me to do for you, things you need to buy, and then anything else you are thinking of in case something happens with this surgery.”
We had a conversation about everything, and it comes to the part about if something terrible should happen.
She said, “I already have a will.”
And I said, “Okay, well then, let me ask you all sorts of stuff I’ve never asked you in case something really does happen.” She proceeded to tell me the what and where and why. I agreed; we had discussed doing a will before. I was reminded.
I said, “No, the important stuff, like stuff I didn’t ask about Dad and you. Tell me a story about something I don’t know about you.”
We were talking and it was all about how challenging it could be to take care of Dad and work while in your sixties and seventies. She talked about how expensive medication was and care and just the stress and worry with someone that ill for so long and how magnificent Dad was. It was a difficult situation to navigate, but she had no regrets and was very positive, just as my mom always is. She let me know she had his care and the expense in hand. Also that my brothers and sisters were there, and we all covered any shortfalls.
I began to talk about the move from one house to the second house, which was a beautiful and peaceful lakefront home.
I was recalling and telling her how neat I thought that house was, and she proceeded to tell me that the whole time they were living there they felt like they were secretly less than everyone else in the neighborhood. My mom said she was jealous of yards, flowers, clothes, barbecues, and whatever else you could be jealous of while living in a lakefront mansion with one income. That was, until one day a neighbor lady knocked on her door. She was bringing over something to give to my mom. My mom and the lady got to chatting and my mom said how stunning her yard was and how beautiful the house looked and was full of jealous compliments, but they were kind.
The neighbor did something my mom never, ever expected. She proceeded to break down and cry. My mom’s ears and heart and soul then heard all about how their perfect neighbors were actually in the final stages of divorce and foreclosure, and how they had fixed their house up with final money for their daughter’s wedding this weekend, which was completely for show before they let their four adult children know they were being foreclosed on. They had, in their minds, concluded with a stab at perfection: their youngest child’s fairytale, childhood marriage.
My mom said to me, “I had absolutely no idea all of this was going on with her and she had absolutely no idea anything was going on with Dad recovering from a stroke. We had everything and all appearances from the outside looking in, perfect. Scratch a bit below the surface, and you’ll find everything.” She confessed she had been watching my mother care for her flowers and dogs and longed for the days when her family all came for Sunday dinner and just dropped in.
It was a moment when my mom said she stopped being jealous of anyone ever again and it happened at age sixty-five and she learned to ask for help. They also downsized to match their new reality and upgraded to match their soul.
That was a moment I’ll never forget.
We both agreed that you absolutely can’t tell what is really happening in another person’s life, so treat all you encounter with a sense of grace, elegance, compassion, and collaboration, as we are all in this together.