*Are you happy at the moment?
Yes, with a caveat. To me, being at peace is the goal. Happiness comes and goes (as does sadness and many other emotions). After going through a very challenging 2013 (which will be detailed in an upcoming book of mine) I realized that understanding how you are wired and maximizing how to live within that wiring will bring you peace, prosperity and happiness.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Wow, what wouldn’t I say? I don’t think there is enough time or space to list out everything (smile). The biggest piece of advice I would give my 16year-old self would be to make sure you always remember who you are and never lose sight of how you are wired. While my 16-year-old self may not completely understand this (or may think that he does and confuse it for being right all of this time), I would take the time to explain that it’s not always about being right. I would also explain that other people do know better than you sometimes. However, if you find your core beliefs and how you are wired and do what it takes to work within your wiring, things in life will be much easier. Also, by understating how you are wired, you will be able to surround yourself with people who enhance you and you’ll be able to avoid people who drain you.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
Having the right conversations with the people closest to you is the #1 thing you must do if you want to keep them close to you. People who are on an intentional growth plan and an intentional plan to find out how they are wired, most likely will appear to change to people around them. I say appear to change because I don’t believe that the person is changing at all. I believe they are uncovering their true-self. This true-self has been masked or pasted-over by years of the world telling them how they should and shouldn’t be without any regard to how they actually are. Unfortunately, when making friends, starting relationships and getting married, the people that come into our lives like us or fall in love with us for who they think we are or the person that they see now. It’s the rare person that looks deeper and finds out who a person actually is (or was) and not who a person is.
I could go much deeper here and explain why you should also use your past as a guide post and not a hitching post – but that is a much longer answer that I could cover in a later article. We are all wired a certain way and we show that wiring over the first 5 – 7 years of our life, before the world starts to paste over who we are, before our parents start having us live up to their expectations and desires without truly understating who we are and celebrating our uniqueness. Parents need to ensure the safety and security of their children and need to ensure they grow-up to be outstanding people and citizens. However, this does not conflict with treating children as individuals and understanding that each child may be wired a bit different. In fact, once parents understand how their child is wired and understand the best way to teach and help their child, all the things the parents hope for are much more likely to come true.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Positively impact the lives of 10,000,000 people. To kick-start this effort, I launched The Wired to Thrive Project. The people impacted through this project can quickly begin to multiply because of the ripple-effect. By understating how they are wired, those people can touch the lives of hundreds more who can touch the lives of hundreds more and so on.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Understanding how I am wired and living in forgiveness. While I will get into living in forgiveness in the next section (what keeps me grounded), here I will dig a bit deeper into why understanding my wiring is key to my peace and ultimately my happiness. Understanding my wiring allows me to surround myself with people who energize me and avoid people who drain me. It allows me to take on tasks that energize me and delegate tasks that drain me. It provides a GPS for my growth and development. It allows me to focus on my strengths and delegate my weaknesses. It allows me to build a team around me who can make up for my weaknesses. It allows me to better explain myself to people. It allows other people to better understand me. All of these things wrapped-up lead to peace and happiness.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
My daily mantra of living in forgiveness keeps me grounded. People get too caught up in anger and in judging themselves and other people. Living in forgiveness (forgiving yourself and others) is a happier and more peaceful way to live. Waking up every morning and repeating the following affirmations will help put you in the right state of mind.
I am able to forgive myself.
I am able to forgive others.
I am able to forgive life.
I am able to forgive God.
I am one who lives in forgiveness.
*What’s your biggest regret?
In large part, I regret not staying true to myself throughout my life and understanding earlier how I was wired. On the positive side, my diversions and detours have led to learning a great many things over my life. However, these detours have also led to a lot of pain, heartache and trouble. This runs the gamut from being homeless, to losing a business, to having business ideas stolen from me to not living up to my full potential in a number of areas. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that, had I stayed true to myself and my wiring, I would not have experienced most of these things. However, I do take solace in the fact that it must have been written in the book of life for things to happen this way and that I ended up where I was supposed to end up.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
The most important lesson I believe I’ve taught to the children I’ve mentored is that, through understanding how you are wired and working hard, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
While the majority of the time I am successful in living in forgiveness, it still bugs me when people don’t stop at stop signs. It got to the point where it’s almost habit for me to get a bit miffed when people run a stop sign. While running a top sign isn’t smart, it shouldn’t be something that I habitually get miffed over. The good news is that, since I started living in forgiveness, it’s becoming less habitual to get miffed.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
The thing I am most proud of happens when I can positively impact people’s lives. I remember a time when someone came up to me after a show. This person shook my hand and told me I changed their life. They said by listening to my presentation, they finally understood why certain things were happening in their life and what they could do about it.
*When were you happiest?
I am the happiest whenever I am on stage. I am wired to be a sharer and a performer. I am wired to give my audiences everything I have and act as a reflector when they give it back. The energy this creates is something that is difficult to describe in words. You just have to feel it.
*What ten words best describe you?
Inspire, Empower, Transform, Hope, Sharing, Teacher, Positive, Sensitive, Caring, Energy
Chris is the International Transformation and Empowerment Ambassador, best-selling author and creator of The Wired to Thrive Project. He is a pioneer in the study of how people are wired whose purpose in life is to inspire and empower people to understand how they are wired and transform their life. In short, once you understand how you are wired, you will be able to eliminate many frustrations and transform your life and business. Chris is also a thought leader and accomplished professional speaker delivering a message of transformation and hope for the future. He speaks to audiences from 10 to over 10,000 and empowers people to transform their future by transforming their thoughts using an open, honest, straight-forward approach to change. Chris can also be reached at ChrisMSprague.com.