Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” Oprah Winfrey

You become what you believe… it makes the possibilities endless and puts you in the driver seat. Your beliefs aren’t random, they come to life and take shape based on what you’re feeding your mind. The thoughts and influences of your life become these beliefs that dictate your direction. YOU are the boss of every thought you allow into your head – how long it stays, the impact it has, the actions it inspires.

Are you careful and protective of what you let it? If what you hear becomes what you think, and that becomes what you believe, which in turn becomes who you are, are YOU being deliberate about what you’re allowing in?

I love the Jim Rohn quote, You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with but I’ll take it a step further to say it’s not necessarily just five and it’s not just people you know in real life. We have access to so much, through technology, social media and the endless options on TV and streaming networks. While we used to be confined to the people we could physically share space with, we’re now susceptible to the energy, attitudes and mindset of anyone we seek out or allow in. Obviously books have been around forever, but the access to so many different types of books – and the awareness of their existence – has dramatically increased with technology. Add to that kindle and audio versions, and new books are available on a nearly instantaneous manner. Not to mention podcasts that are an ongoing plethora of information. Thanks to the internet, apps and endless devices, your five people don’t need to be alive, don’t need to be accessible and don’t even need to know who you are, and they can still be hugely influential in your life.

Recognizing that the voices I filled my head with would become the words that fill the quiet space in my mind, I feel obliged to be deliberate and proactive. These words would become thoughts when my brain switches to autopilot; they become the ideas and themes that make up my subconscious and I owe it to myself to create the best soundtrack possible.

As much as I love the Real Housewives (of EVERYWHERE), I am keenly aware that manufactured drama, hot tempers and narcissistic outbursts, don’t create a playlist that corresponds to the life I’m trying to live. Aside from some occasional fashion or vacation inspiration, those storylines and the emotions they conjure up, add no value or substance to the life I’m creating. So, for the most part 😉 I’ve replaced these ladies with men and women who WILL help me be, do and create more.

I personally LOVE an audio book – I can listen in 20 minute snippets on my way to and from work, or while shuffling kids around… I love hearing the words spoken to me. If you see me sitting in my car at my office or in my driveway, chances are I’m at a good part of my book and not quite ready to give it up… I prefer author-read audio books, there’s something so powerful about having the author of these words speak them directly to me. I also love to collect physical books, so if I listen to a book and love it, I buy it twice… the words exist in my head and also on my book shelf.

These words become the playlist of your life. Just like we create playlists of music, the compilation of the books we read, podcasts we listen to and content we take in, become the tracks on the playlist that loops on repeat without us even knowing.

You get to dictate the narrative that will play in your head, you get to pick and choose what you let in and you get to decide which tracks you’ll skip past.

If something doesn’t speak to me, I stop and move on (skip that track on the playlist)… If a book is not taking you where you need to go, put it down and find one that’s better suited. Your time is valuable, don’t waste it on something that doesn’t serve you. I use a notebook at home and the notes section of my phone to write down key phrases or points that speak to me – the things I want to stand out on my playlist. I spend time thinking about and processing the words, deciding what role they’ll play in my life. A dear friend of mine often says “Inspiration without action is merely entertainment” [thank you, Heather Quisel]… which means that the time I spend reading and listening needs to turn into something or it’s wasted. It’s not what you take in, it’s what you do with it!! Just like eating, you can’t stuff yourself with junk and then expect to go run a marathon… You can’t take in crappy words and expect to build a meaningful life. That being said, you don’t need to create an entirely new life and new systems and new beliefs at the close of each book you read. You need to do SOMETHING, but not EVERYTHING! Some things may reaffirm what you’re already doing, some might inspire slight adjustments, some might add a new element to your goal board. Whatever you get from each new piece of content, write it down, process it and then PUT IT INTO ACTION!

Information is abundant. It’s not all meant for you, but it’s all available to you. Figure out what you need in each season of your life, make it your own and put it into action!

PAY IT FORWARD… Your playlist creates your attitude, it can dictate your mood and the energy you put out into the world. Be aware that what you put out could be the playlist in someone else’s mind. This is definitely true if you’re a parent or play any kind of influential role in the lives of children. I’m quite aware that everything I do and say, my actions and words, are hugely influential in the words that play out in my kids’ heads. It’s not a responsibility I take lightly. Aside from that, I also know that the smile or scowl on my face, my kind word or obnoxious eye roll, the body language and energy I put out throughout the day, is being absorbed by those around me. I’m fortunate to have the space and resources to create a positive and productive playlist, but I’m not just going to file it all away on a book shelf, I’m going to live it. I’m going to pay it forward, share it and hope that someone else will do the same!

Here are just a few favorites that have helped build my playlist –
Crushing It by Gary V – I love the audio version of this because he goes off script a lot with great info (be warned, he drops the F-bomb like a toddler drops cheerios)
The Slight Edge
Essentialism
Rewired
The 5 Second Rule
Wolfpack
Necessary Endings
The Goal Digger Podcast
Entrepreneurs on Fire Podcast