10 Power Pauses

The 10 Power Pauses will get you through anything and everything. They give definition to the different reasons to relax and they help to set the narrative for where you want to go. They are meant to direct, never to dictate. You may gravitate to one or all, or you may create your very own power pauses. Your personal RSG style will emerge, and that’s the point. The more RSG becomes your own, the better it will work for you. The better it works, the more you will prosper in every positive way possible.

Power Pause #1: The Stop the Madness Pause
Outcome: You’re sanity will be resurrected and restored

This pause is probably the most commonly needed and will likely be the most widely used of all the pauses. It is the fastest remedy for overload and crisis mode. It restores composure, instills harmony and puts things into proper perspective which is why it can also be described as the meditative pause. It has so many benefits and can center you even in the most critically off balance situation. If you have them, a few extra relax minutes will quadruple in value and may be needed to return to what you are doing with a clear and peaceful mindset. Remember that no matter how stressful the situation, no matter how tight the deadline, no matter how heavy the pressure, no matter how full the plate, you have the power to control the chaos and to never allow it control you. Even if it means letting go of some things, let them go. If it means compromising on others, then compromise. You can’t control everything but you can control how you see things and how you react to them. See them and react to them with positive energy and a great attitude and you will be amazed by how much you can actually manage on that very full and seemingly unmanageable plate.

Power Pause #2:  The Superpower Pause
Outcome: You’ll feel like Superman

The Superpower Pause (TSP) can change everything. It is a fear buster and an esteem builder that will take you from an “I can’t” to an “I will” attitude in an instant . . . and it will make you feel like you can do anything. There is enormous benefit to that. To start, you will see a huge difference in how you approach the world and you will feel totally empowered to go, go, go!TSP relies heavily on all of the Relax. Set. Go. rules to relish because you want to be in a heightened state during and after the pause. It will fuel a magnetic verve and confidence so powerful that you will be excited in the face of challenge and impenetrable to the threat of fear. This is not about reckless entitlement or manic delusion; it’s about believing in yourself and breaking down any and all self imposed barriers. Once you decide to bust through the walls, nothing will hold you back.

Triumph is in the power of your narrative, your energy, and the passionate belief that anything is possible and everything is in your reach. There can be no doubt. Doubt is simply a rationalization for negativity and fear. Destroy it and be steadfast in your mission. When you need to put on the superpower suit, put it on and leave the alter ego behind!
I started using TSP before everyday things like business meetings, sales presentations, dealing with difficult clients, or whenever I wanted a particular situation to go a certain way. I had such great results that even when things didn’t go exactly as I planned, I didn’t feel the dissatisfaction I had in the past. I was able to shrug it off and to move on, confident in my position and of my future success. With TSP, failure is not an option and negativity never wins.

Power Pause #3: The Active Pause
Outcome: They’ll want to know your secret

There will be times when you can’t stop everything but still need to relax and pause in order to set and go. A paradox, yes, impossible to do; not at all. As a matter of fact, one of the best times to pause is when you are by yourself but still in motion. You can also pause around other people without anyone even noticing (I‘ve done this in meetings, waiting in line, during a conversation; pretty much whenever necessary). For the most part, this can also be described as the partial pause, fully realized. It can even become your all purpose pause. I say this because the more you realize your pause potential, the easier it will be to restore calm, reboot your energy and get excited about where you are about to go.  Think of it as Relax. Set. Go. on the go.

Power Pause #4: The Passive Pause
Outcome: Doing nothing never felt so good

This is the pause that allows you to do nothing. Stop what you’re doing, shut down the noise in your mind, shut out the noise around you and don’t do anything. Don’t think about the narrative. Don’t think about the outcome. Don’t think about anything. Just relax and give yourself a break. You not only deserve it, you need it. If you can let everything go, then you have accomplished a lot without doing anything at all! That is irony to embrace. This can also be described as the aahhhh pause because relief is exactly what it promises and delivers. Indulge yourself in some guilt free downtime and by all means, take more than a minute for this one!

Power Pause #5:  The Push Yourself Pause
Outcome: You’ll get it done and feel great doing it.

Also known as the stamina or get-up-and-do-it pause, this pause is especially useful when you are exhausted, apathetic, or personally paralyzed for any reason. It’s a procrastination buster, energy booster and rationalization reverser. It will get you out of bed and into action; give you the energy to persist and the drive to do more; unlock the safety latch and get you out of your comfort zone; turn “intend to do” or “should do” into “must do,” and . . . give you a winner’s advantage that will see you through whatever you push yourself to accomplish. Get ready to Go because there is no opt out option once you put the push yourself pause in motion. Bottom line: If you have spent more time thinking about it then it would actually take to do it, then this pause is for you.

Since the push yourself pause is generally used to carry out a task that is right in front of you (the endless inbox) and even more often to tackle one or more of the monkeys on your back (projects, reports, filing taxes), strong visualization with very specific narrative gets the best result. You have to visualize yourself doing the task, very specifically and most importantly, completing the task. The narrative is what you make it but it should be meant to meet the goal with ease and enthusiasm. Once you do this, the burden will lift and so will any anxiety you have attached to the task. The push may not turn to pure pleasure but the accomplishment most certainly will.

Power Pause #6: The Put It In the Drawer Pause
Outcome: Your impulses will be proactive instead of reactive.

There may be times when you rush through an email and hit ‘send’ only to find a senseless mistake later on, or that you hit ‘reply to all’ when you meant to send to only one person. You may react to an emotionally charged situation in the heat of the moment only to regret it later or a bad decision will be made in order to close a discussion. The put it in the drawer pause is meant to give you time to think before you act and time to review your actions before there are no options. It can also be described as the patience pause because patience is precisely what it takes. So, take a deep breath and use this pause as a way to catch yourself from reacting impulsively or emotionally. The metaphor of putting it in the drawer is a useful one because you can use the imagery for just about anything. You put it on hold by putting it in the drawer. How long it stays there is up to you. It may be there for a few moments or a few days. In the end, you may not change a thing but the pause will ease the pressure of urgency and avoid potential headaches or back tracking in the long run.

Power Pause #7: The Imagination Restoration Pause
Outcome: You’ll exercise your creative muscles.

This can also be described as the open minded pause or the brilliant brainstorming pause. It is similar to a meditative pause because it’s more about relaxing and letting go than it is about setting the narrative. A constant barrage of deadlines and obligations can put anyone in a creative rut and keep them there. If you are stuck on a problem that needs an innovative solution or just want to feel the rush of new ideas, pause to clear your mind and send your intention out to the universe. The more open your mind, the more you will be able to let your imagination run wild. You may even be surprised by the original and inventive thoughts that start to dance in your head and you may even have a creative epiphany. One thing is for sure. Creativity is like a muscle that has to be exercised. The more you practice this pause, the more you will feed your imagination, inspire new ideas and get your creative juices flowing. Do this pause every day. Imagination adds wonder to life and life can be so fascinating when seen through a visionary’s eye.

Power Pause #8: The Willpower Pause
Outcome: You’ll crave the reward of saying No to temptation.

This can also be described as the self control or the moderation pause. It provides a useful way to manage unnecessary time busting soft addictions like watching too much TV, playing too many video games or endlessly surfing the internet. No one is happy when a beloved pastime turns into a perpetual pitfall or prolific procrastination (four-deck spider solitaire is my favored way to waste valuable time).

It’s true . . . everyone needs to exercise a little willpower now and then. An effective method is to give yourself firm deadlines and time limits but to also assess the consequence of choosing the immediate gratification of self indulgence over something that could be more productive and meaningful in the long run. While you pause, ask yourself if you really can’t live without playing that extra game, watching that TV show, or eating those cookies. What will you gain or lose? Or better yet, what will you lament over later?  What else could you do? Will regret ultimately tip the scale of reward? Will you feel better, worse or indifferent if you waste more time or give into self destructive urges? If you do give into your urges, be sure not give into the guilt by giving up completely. You have the choice to make it your downfall or to make it a moment. Make it a moment and move on. The willpower pause puts you in control of your self control and beats temptation.  It can be a game changer if you let it.  And if you let it, you’ll win every time.

Power Pause #9:  The Pity Party Pause
Outcome:  You’ll turn lemons into lemonade.

This can also be called the move on pause.  It gives you the time to wallow and the strength to shake it off.  For people who crave more time, a big regret is wasted time.  I’m not saying that there’s no value in self pity. Every emotion contributes to who we are, how we see things and to the lessons we learn about life.  However, these emotions can take over and that isn’t useful for anyone.  So, practice your Relax. Set. Go. rules to relish, all of them with this one, and set a time limit to feeling sorry for yourself.

So much of what seems monumental in the present becomes insignificant in the past.  The most important thing is that you don’t let yourself feel insignificant.  There are a thousand clichés to describe this . . .“don’t sweat the small stuff,” “hindsight is 20/20 vision,” “don’t make a mountain out of a molehill,” “every cloud has a silver lining,” “this too shall pass,“ “that which does not kill me only makes me stronger,” “it‘s my party and I‘ll cry if I want to . . .”  I could go on and on.  It is your party and cry if you want to but don‘t cry too long because if you do, rest assured you will be crying by yourself.

Self pity can be a complicated mix of episodic emotions; sadness, anger, frustration, desperation, doubt, loathing, heartache, loneliness and despair.  In the height of it, feeling the victim is common.  It’s also common to want to control the situation in order to restore happiness.  Let’s face it, self pity is usually about the things you can’t control (like the past).  Obsessing or as I call it, “spinning in place” over resolution, understanding or retribution is natural but unfortunately, it brings little consolation.

When you can’t control the situation (even if you are somewhat culpable), then comfort will only come when you find a way to cope and begin to move on.  Self pity is mostly a one-sided relationship (that’s why they call it “self” pity).  No matter how much you might want things to be different, the best thing to change is the focus of your own emotional state.  So have your pity party (you do deserve it) but always make sure you can get out of the trenches.  So much of life is about relationships.  What relationship are you going to have with your emotional pain?  Are you going to let it hold you captive while life passes you by or are you going to confront and conquer?

They say “the best way out of the tunnel is through.”  I also like the cliché, “the best revenge is a good life.“  Take revenge on your dark emotions, not on what you think has caused them.  You’ll emerge the victor;  a better and happier you.  Karma and the universe will take care of the rest.

Power Pause #10:  The Love Pause
Outcome: Your love really will conquer all.

This is the greatest pause of all. It can also be described as the appreciation pause and can be used for just about any reason. It is physical, spiritual and emotional. It will make you feel lucky. It will show you beauty in even the smallest things. It will turn a bad day to good. It will fill your life with light and gratitude. It will heal your soul. It will lead you and nurture others. It will keep you in love and loving life.

Whether it’s with a person, a purpose, anyone or anything, sometimes love really is all you need. Everyone should pause at least once a day for love. Love your friends. Love your family. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Love yourself. Love your life. Relax. Set. LOVE. When you pause, take your thoughts wherever you need to go in order to feel it. When you do, wrap yourself in it and blanket your world with your very own love vibe. You’ll build a life force of positive energy and good spiritual karma. Things won’t just seem better, they’ll be better.

Pause to feel the love everyday and pause to show it. It is the best and most powerful energy boomerang you can throw out there and it can be so simple. Our friend Vincent, a high level NYPD detective who has worked homicide and seen the worst evil you can imagine, likes to send my very loving husband text messages that say little things like: answer your phone and hug your wife today. I love Vincent for that and I especially love those random hugs. They feel really good, for everyone.

When we got married, the priest told us the secret to a successful marriage is to say “I Love You,” every day. “Don’t just to say it“ he said, “mean it. Remind yourself where that love comes from and it will be real.” A Fortune 500 company CEO told me that a key to his 50 year marriage was holding hands with his wife. A friend who is an early elementary school head master told me that when kids fight, she breaks the pattern by making them say something nice about each other before they are allowed to do their tattling. She’s promoting the love pause and teaching kids tolerance and compassion in the midst of anger and frustration. This would probably serve adults even better. Og Mandino* (one of my favorite motivational coaches) knows that. He taught me and millions of others that the simple words and belief “I will greet this day with love in my heart” can change everything. It’s all about the energy and the narrative you create.

Whenever you take the time to Relax. Set. Go. interject the love pause. Your positive energy will be even stronger when it’s enhanced by your love vibe. If you set your mind to it, that vibe will last all day and be felt by the people around you. With time, the love vibe will become your essential energy and your overall energy essence. That’s a good thing because it not only makes life better, it makes life easier. You might find yourself saying good morning to a stranger you pass on the street, smiling a lot more or walking with a lighter step. You will definitely find yourself less stressed and less bothered by any negativity you encounter. When you approach life with a love vibe, people feel your warmth and genuine interest. It shows that you care about yourself and others and that you will never let hate dominate.

And when negativity does threaten your good nature, use the love pause to deflect it. Whether you’re in a confrontation or trying to fend off frustration, just pause and turn all of your energy into the love vibe. During your pause, silently tell yourself, “I have only love to give and will respond to love in return. Negativity has no place here and no power over me. It will not get the best of me, even when I’m at the mercy of people who throw it at me like confetti.” If you are dealing with a demeaning boss or difficult client, silently greet them with love and understanding. If you find yourself frustrated by overseas customer service or an encounter with a belligerent taxi driver, just pause and send them your love vibe. Say it to yourself about anyone and anything. “I love you and you will love me.” It may not always work to your full advantage, but more often than not, your love and the energy you project will disarm your opponent and improve the outcome.

Love is pure and good, and good does prevail, even if it isn’t on your desired timetable. Life isn’t always fair and fair isn’t always pleasant. This is why a loving attitude is all the more important. Love will guide the way and get you through situational and emotional hardship. Even when you lose, you win because the love pause teaches you to love without condition and to walk away from the negative without becoming negative yourself. No matter how painful the present, love will give you confidence in a better future. A better future is what each of the 10 Power Pauses brings to you. Each wondrous result adds to the remarkably magnificent snowball effect of Relax.Set.Go. You will feel the lasting transformation to living life in the positive and will be able to snap into that energy even when you falter. The power is yours. The future is yours and you really can change it in an instant. You will be astonished over and over again, by what you can accomplish when you simply allow yourself to Relax. Set. Go.

* Og Mandino’s book, The Greatest Salesman In the World set me on course for my own personal transformation nearly 13 years ago. It’s a must read and a must do for anyone looking to change their outlook and their life.