LIVE RICH, LIVE WELL
With Epic Share’s co-hosts having been out of town, they’ve returned hoping to remind everyone to appreciate cultural differences. Sammy and Kosta have traveled the world and had the opportunity to adapt to environments and cultures very different from their own. Traveling is a chance to step back and evaluate world values while learning to understand others. This is what living rich and living well is all about.
Living rich is about appreciating people and cultures, and reminding yourself not to take things for granted. Living well is about allowing yourself to understand another person and their culture from their point of view so you can live a simpler life.
As discussed in Thomas Friedman’s book, “The World is Flat,” globalization has made it easy to pack your bags and relocate to a new country; however, to truly benefit from traveling to other countries, one must learn to appreciate the cultures of the world.
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE
When Sammy first moved from Africa to North America, she did not speak any English. She chose to learn English because she knew North America would soon become her new home. If she wanted to be able to communicate with others in this new country, she had to adapt to the culture and the language.
Kosta, too, moved here 30 years ago with little to no English-speaking skills. Though it was an up-hill battle, he decided he had to learn the language and culture if he wanted to put food on the table.
LEARNING THE CULTURE
The first thing Kosta did when he moved to South Korea in 2003 was read about the country. He spent weeks researching online and reading everything he could about the culture, behaviors, societal expectations, and even business etiquette. Every detail matters, from how to say “hello” to business communication styles. Every factor will contribute to your success.
Kosta and Sammy believe what’s missing in North American society is a lack of education about how the rest of the world lives. When Sammy was in China, she witnessed Chinese society learning about the world’s culture and history. Living in Africa was the same: they wanted to learn about the world. Unfortunately, from Kosta and Sammy’s experience, North America seems to not be as conscious as other countries. Instead, they’re focused on their own culture and way of living.
If Kosta were to move to Mexico tomorrow, the first thing he would do is research the culture and learn the language. By setting foot in their country, he’s being welcomed by them. So, rather than sticking to his own language and customs, he would adapt to their lifestyle.
ADAPTING TO THE CULTURE
When traveling, you need to value the culture or you will not enjoy the time you spend there because you will be coming from a place of judgment. Sammy is often asked how she could enjoy teaching in China, but it’s because she shifted her perception to love the country.
Kosta has had the opportunity to shift his perception many times, as he’s traveled around the globe three times and been to every corner of Earth. When he moved to South Korea, he realized he needed to adapt to their way of living. It will not always be an easy task; many cultures are very different from the rest. Singapore, Australia, Japan… No matter where Kosta moved, he always adapted to the culture. This was the only way to be successful, to be happy, and to live a prosperous life.
Sammy’s first year in China was her most difficult because she remained in her box. She tried living life in China the way she lived at home. However, when she opened her mind and tried to understand the culture, things made sense. For example, in North America, a common habit is to kindly accept gifts or food you do not like, but having this habit in China was not easy. Instead, everyone continued to bring her more of the food she didn’t like. If she had been honest, this would not have happened. Today, she has adapted to Chinese culture and is very honest with everyone when she visits the country. By adapting to their culture, it has made her travels easier and stress-free.
Kosta constantly reminds himself that he was welcomed to this country as a guest and an immigrant. Today, it is his home, but before, he had to adapt to the culture, laws, and policies to learn how to communicate with others, understand behaviors, and be grateful. It’s no different than welcoming someone into your house and having them follow the rules. It’s your job as the guest to learn the language, learn the customs, and adapt to the way of living. If Kosta was asked what his top three keys to success are as someone who came to North America with only $75 and became a multimillionaire, he would say, “Adapting to the culture, adapting to the environment, and adjusting.”
Just be open-minded when visiting other countries. If you’re not traveling in the next six months, allow yourself to be curious. Go online and research different cultures. Cultural representation on TV is not necessarily accurate, so experience it for yourself. You have to understand cultures if you want to understand why people behave certain ways. If you don’t embrace other cultures or try to understand others, your life will not be as rich or as well as it could be. Stop living in judgement! Live a life of love.
- Published in Coaching, Epic Share, Life, Relationship, Success
Setting and respecting boundaries
Many of us don’t like to discuss boundaries, yet it’s one of the most important parts of being human. Everyone should consider their own and other’s boundaries so your relationships are surrounded by respect. You can apply these rules of boundaries to every aspect in your life: friends, family, kids, coworkers, and even animals.
The night before Episode 5 aired, Sammy had trouble sleeping; she didn’t mind though, since whenever she can’t sleep, it’s because she needs to meditate. She meditated on the topic she would be discussing on camera and wondered how to share boundaries without making anyone uncomfortable. She needed to find a gentle way to explain the importance of boundaries. Then she realized, boundaries are all about communication. If you can communicate from a leadership approach, then you’ll be able to set and respect boundaries without any problems.
Whether you have a cat or a dog, it’s important to set boundaries with your pet. Sammy herself is a cat-person, and although she knows how to set boundaries now, she wasn’t confident in her skills in the past. Before, she felt she had no boundaries between her pets; she would cater to their wants on their time. When you do this, you don’t realize they’re the ones making the decisions. This is why trainers are so helpful; they teach your pets boundaries so they can stay focused and respect you. This is something you can do on your own as well.
When sitting down with your children or grandchildren, it’s important to be able to teach them boundaries at a young age so they learn every cause has an effect. If you do good things, good things happen; if you do bad things, bad experiences will come your way. They must understand this early on so they can decide what experiences they want to create for themselves.
When children become teenagers, the boundaries they have shift. As a parent, one should respect their teenager’s privacy. This is something many parents forget to do; instead, they invade their children’s boundaries. This creates conflict which leads to arguments. Ultimately, respect between parent and child is lost due to a disrespect of boundaries.
No matter who you’re in a romantic relationship with, space is something everyone needs. Sammy learned how and when to give her husband space; Kosta also knows when his wife needs space. They give each other space because they honor the request without question. Having boundaries teaches you to step back sometimes, and to let others know you respect them enough to allow them time to themselves.
Likes and dislikes can also be respectable boundaries. Sammy’s friends know what she likes; they also know what she doesn’t like. Your friends should know your personality and what you feel comfortable doing. Sammy’s friends know what kind of events to invite her to, and they respect whether or not she will accept the invitation. When you have this connection with friends, you can mutually respect each other’s boundaries.
When visiting family, it’s easy to invade each other’s space. The trick is to adapt to the other person’s schedule to respect their boundaries while setting your own. When Sammy visits her mother out of town, she recognizes her mother likes to sleep in late. Sammy makes sure not to complain or expect her mother to wake up early because this is where her mother is comfortable. Instead, she allows her mother to stick to her usual schedule and Sammy works around it.
Many of the relationships discussed today are found in the office too; whether you work with your spouse, you’re friends with your coworker, or your boss brings her dog to the office, the same rules apply. Though boundaries are occasionally not needed, when a boundary must be set, you need to come from a loving place. Explain your boundaries in a kind manner so your coworkers can respect your comfort zones. You need to take a leadership approach and come to them with confidence when discussing what works for you.
LIVING THE TRUTH
Sammy once had a friend who shared with her something he was teaching his children: “I’ve been telling them smoking is bad for them,” he said. Sammy, however, realized her friend was still smoking in front of his children. If you want to teach your children right from wrong, you must lead by example. Whether it’s your children or your spouse or your friend, you can be the example they follow.
At the end of the day, Kosta can tell if Sammy walks the walk and talks the talk. He will know if she’s not living what she preaches. When you say something, mean it. This is the easiest way to let others know who you are and what you expect from others. Communicate from a loving place so your boundaries are clearly understood.
Often, people are uncomfortable setting boundaries with others. This is because society views boundaries as a negative topic. Boundaries, however, aren’t negative. They’re positive. Everyone can benefit from setting and respecting boundaries. It strengthens your relationships! Using a loving, kind approach is most beneficial for both sides. Boundaries are all about communication. If you speak with confidence, your boundaries will be respected because you are not attacking or accusing others.
Analyze your life and consider how boundaries–healthy and broken–have impacted you, your loved ones, friends, family, and even pets. If you care enough about those relationships, what are you willing to do today to change? Do you want others to hear you? To talk to you? To listen to your true self? Then communicate. Communicate with confidence and love about the true person that you are, your needs, and your desires. If you come from a loving place, everyone will understand.
- Published in Epic Share, Knowledge, Life, Relationship, Success
Creating Mutual Gain and Win-Win
A lot of what people do in society revolves around themselves. Oftentimes, people forget arguments and discussions can be solved with a win-win. It’s part of human DNA to behave this way. Humans have adapted over the years and over generations to think about themselves first, but today, Epic Share is going to discuss how you can come up with win-win solutions with good intentions. Win-win solutions can be applied to all sorts of aspects in your left; however, most can be applied to two categories of your life: relationships and communication.
Whether it’s a relationship between a couple or between friends, communication needs to take place. Unfortunately, what most people do is sweep conflicts under the rug when it isn’t convenient to discuss it. This is something Sammy experienced first-hand in a previous relationship. It affected her multiple times. When her then-partner wanted to discuss something, she would communicate with him. However, if it was a concern she wanted to discuss, he would avoid communicating and excuse himself by saying, “It doesn’t bring me peace to talk about it.” This habit often leads to a weak relationship. This is because not being able to communicate your concerns creates resentment. Sadly, resentment exists in many relationships.
WIN-WIN WITH BUSINESS PARTNERS
This necessity to communicate can also be applied in the business world. Kosta has had to discuss concerns with his colleagues and negotiate with his business partners countless times. He’s confident every deal he’s ever made has started with a win-win mentality. The trick is not to think about how you can win and the other person can lose, but rather to think of it as 50/50. If someone isn’t winning, there will be resentment.
You can take this philosophy and apply it to any relationship in the office: with your coworkers, with your employers, etc. In fact, Kosta uses this philosophy with his employees. He always presents them with a win-win. Win for you, win for the company. When win-wins are used in the office, everybody is happy. Employees are going to outperform and put their heart and soul into their work.
Sammy has experienced times when she did not feel at peace about a business decision; the best thing to do was communicate with Kosta. They have kept this habit of communication so well that Kosta now knows to ask, “Why don’t you feel at peace?” before Sammy even says anything. They’re able to come up with new plans together to ensure every situation ends in a win-win where both of them benefit.
WIN-WIN WITH FAMILY
Whether it’s a business partner or a loved one, everyone should be treated equally. This includes children and grandchildren, too. Just because a child is young does not mean they don’t deserve the opportunity to communicate.
When negotiating with their grandson, Kosta and Sammy made sure to properly communicate with him so both sides could benefit. Once, when he was six years old, Kosta and Sammy wanted their grandson to read more often. So, they sat him down and negotiated a win-win: “Win for you because you get toy dinosaurs. Win for us because we want you to read every day.” Kosta and his grandson even shook hands at the end of the deal.
It’s important to tell your children and grandchildren the purpose behind actions. Sammy found she was guilty of occasionally not explaining things to her child in the past. If she was asked, “Why can’t I do this?” Sammy would say, “Because I said so.” Today, she believes explaining the purpose to children can help them learn and grow. Tell them why you want them to read more. Tell them why they can’t cross the road without an adult by their side. It provides them with the opportunity to understand the impact of cause and effect.
You can apply these fundamentals to every component and aspect in your life. Kosta even uses these tips when negotiating with his extended family, like when deciding how often to visit or how often to invite visitors over. The key is to make it so everyone wins every time.
WIN-WIN WITH COUPLES
A very common point of contention between couples is house-hunting. Once again, the key is to communicate so both sides experience a benefit or win-win.
Once, when Kosta and Sammy were house-hunting, they experienced the struggle to agree on a perfect home. The first house, Kosta liked but Sammy didn’t; the second house, Sammy liked but Kosta didn’t. So, they discussed what it was about both houses they liked and didn’t like in order to better understand what both sides needed to “win.” They communicated their honest feelings and negotiated effectively until they knew exactly what was necessary.
One of the features they knew the house needed was multiple closets. Kosta has a colorful, fashionable collection of clothing that Sammy jokes he needs his own closet for. She was willing to have a tiny box as her closet so he could have his own space; however, they knew this would ultimately create conflict. Instead, they decided to be patient and wait until a house with two closets came by.
Kosta now jokes he learned after many nights of sleeping on the couch to always end with a win-win. “Maybe 51/49 instead of 50/50,” he adds. They use win-wins in every large transaction they make: furniture, cars, houses, etc. Any purchase that can mutually benefit them is negotiated first. Because they were patient and did not rush into buying a house, they found the perfect home together: one they both like, a true win-win.
NEGOTIATING THROUGH COMMUNICATION
If you master communication, you’ll master negotiation. This is one of the many aspects of Sammy’s relationship with Kosta that she appreciates. When you truly, openly communicate, it brings to light a new aspect of negotiation. You allow the other party to share their perspective so you can understand the reasoning behind their concerns; in turn, you explain your own reasons for wanting to address the situation. Being an effective, honest listener will help you communicate with others. Sadly, more often than not, people do most of the talking and little listening. But as Kosta says, “You have two ears and one mouth. Listen more, talk less.”
In the end, win-wins are always the way to go. Lose-lose doesn’t work, and win-lose leaves one side with resentment. Mutual gain is all about treating people like humans, with respect; honor their feelings before you make a decision. This allows you to feel good about the decisions you make, and it gives your relationships the opportunity to thrive without resentment.
- Published in Coaching, Epic Share, Knowledge, Life, Relationship, Success
Balancing the Heart and Mind
“The greatest distance in the world is just 14 inches: from the mind to the heart.” – Unknown
The heart and the mind don’t always agree; in fact, they usually disagree. Consider how your heart and mind would react to a store having the following promotion: free shipping on sales over $75. Your heart would say, “Free shipping! Let’s do it!” Meanwhile, your mind would say, “No way! We are not spending that much for free shipping!” This is why balance between the two is important.
Sammy comes 100% from her heart when communicating and making decisions; however, being in a relationship was an eye-opener for her. She came to a realization: you need your mind to make decisions and you need your heart to love. Kosta, on the other hand, makes most of his decisions from his mind, not his heart. He considers himself to be on the business side of decision-making. This is why they’re known as a yin-yang couple. They are reverse versions of each other, but there is a balance between them. When it comes to business and common sense, Kosta is the master; when it comes to intuition and emotional understanding, Sammy is queen. She brings heart into his business, just as he brings realism into her dreams. This doesn’t mean one or the other is right or wrong. A balance is what’s needed.
Learning how to balance the heart and mind is a difficult, but important skill to have. Balancing your heart and mind will help you internally, in your relationships, and when you’re making decisions.
BALANCE ISN’T 50/50; IT’S ABOUT BEING WHOLE
Sometimes Sammy needs Kosta’s advice to make a decision. She comes from the heart and is able to stay in the heart vibration because she knows Kosta is there to protect her with his mind; it’s guaranteed his common sense will help her. Additionally, when doing events and seminars, Sammy looks to Kosta for his assistance behind the scenes. Her reliable advice from Kosta is why she says, “Follow your heart, but don’t forget to take your brain with you.” Balance is about helping each other. It’s a give and take.
TRAIN YOURSELF TO WORK FROM GOODNESS
Your heart and mind should work from a position of goodness. It’s helpful to have someone you can discuss your heart and mind’s goals with. When Sammy has a heart-centered decision she wants to make, Kosta brings his mind and advises her through communication. He asks, “What is your intention?” This is because when you make a decision from the heart, you must make sure the outcome is something you want. Many times, when you come from the heart, an outcome might not make sense. Epic Share breaks it down into three situations:
- If it feels right and it makes sense, move forward.
- If it feels wrong but it makes sense, pause and investigate.
- If it feels right but it doesn’t make sense, ask your mind to trust your heart.
Whether you are the heart or the mind in a partnership, you can trust your intuition and gut feeling. You just need to train your mind to believe in your heart.
DISCUSS THOUGHTS/FEELINGS WITH YOUR PARTNER
When you have an idea and it comes from the heart—whether it’s saving the world or starting a business—approach your mind. You need realistic advice, facts, and purpose. Otherwise, you’ll have no direction. You can’t save the world if you can’t save yourself first.
LEARN WHERE AND WHY YOUR WEAKNESSES ARE
Understanding what your weaknesses are and why you have them can shed light on the direction you must take to improve the balance between your heart and mind. Communication is a weakness many people have, for example. If you feel you don’t understand others very well, remember you have two ears and one mouth, so focus more on listening than talking. The heart and mind have different functions, but they need each other. Don’t think to yourself, “I am the mind. That’s all I have.” You need your heart and your heart needs your mind. Keep an eye on your emotions so you don’t over or under express.
Another common weakness is jumping into situations without thinking or feeling first. In this case, remember to put your heart and mind to work! Don’t be afraid to ask each other for help. At the beginning of their relationship, Sammy was afraid to ask for help because she thought Kosta’s personality was too strong for her heart-centered self. However, when they got to know each other, they realized they were together for a reason. You can learn from your partner. Sammy and Kosta are not the only yin-yang couple in the world. Many couples are opposites. You just have to learn how to adapt to each other, how to work together, and how to interlace your skills. Couples aren’t the only ones who can balance each other though; friendships, family bonds, business colleagues all have different personalities that complete each other. If you’re a master at something, look for the opposite master and ask for advice.
When Sammy and Kosta ask each other for advice, they listen 100%, but sometimes they don’t take the advice they were given. This doesn’t mean the advice they shared wasn’t helpful. It means they were able to consider a different perspective before making a decision with their heart and mind. Perhaps the next time you are struggling to balance your heart and mind, you just need to hear all sides of the situation. Be open to other ideas and remember to always keep your heart and mind in harmony.
- Published in Coaching, Epic Share, Knowledge, Life, Relationship
Relationships and the Laws of Love
This week was a special episode because it aired at 11 AM, for 11 minutes, on July 11th. Repetitive numbers, such as 11:11, are a call to action. If you suddenly see this or any repeated number, take the time to make a wish or think about your next manifestation.
The first concept being covered on Epic Share is the laws of love, but it isn’t just for romantic relationships with your partner. Relationships are also about yourself, your friends, your family, your children, your coworkers… If you know the laws of love and you apply them to your relationships, your life will flow peacefully and effortlessly. Kosta and Sammy have collected these tips over time to assist you in excelling at your relationships and continuing to perfect your connections.
Your relationships, whether romantic, friendly, or professional, need the following qualities:
If you don’t have these qualities in your current relationships, your relationships will struggle. You’d have to work harder to have a successful relationship than someone who utilizes these qualities daily. Don’t worry! Today, Epic Share is all about these laws of love.
There isn’t a template for kindness and it isn’t a quality that can be taught easily, but there is one rule that’s easy to follow: being kind is about treating others the way you would want to be treated. Simply treat others as the humans they are. You know in your heart what kindness is because it makes you feel good to give and receive.
This is a quality that takes time to build, and only seconds to destroy. Building loyalty doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are able to accomplish this, you can build trust in your relationships.
Show the people around you you’re grateful to be with them. Whether it’s your friend, your children, your partner, or your coworker, show your appreciation. You can express your appreciation verbally, in writing, or as a gesture. Just saying you’re grateful for something is different than taking the extra step to show you’re grateful.
Many people say they’re shy about communicating, but you don’t have to speak; you can write. There are many ways to express gratitude. Sammy is known for her long thank you cards, which she writes from her heart. However, for Kosta, his gratitude for Sammy, his staff, and his friends is shown in other ways. He is known to go out of his way to express his appreciation for the relationships he values. Anyone can show their gratitude for others in a multitude of ways. For example, someone who isn’t inclined to write their feelings can show appreciation through simply signing a card or gifting flowers. No excuse should stop you from telling someone you are thankful for them.
If you want to build trust in a relationship or manifest a desire, be a person of your word. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. There’s value in being consistent every day; it creates a routine to success.
Known as a global citizen, Kosta has traveled the world: he’s visited 200+ cities, 60+ countries, and lived in nine countries. Overtime, he has accumulated knowledge about differing cultures. One of the most consistent cultures, in his experience, is that of Japan. Kosta considers the Japanese to be people who stick to their word; they keep their promises.
Consistency is truly valuable in achieving your desires. Sammy believes Kosta’s success is attributed to his consistency. He was never the kind to come to work for a day and disappear for another three days; Kosta was consistent and came to work every day. This value is also applied to Kosta and Sammy’s personal life. Whether it’s with your family members, your coworkers, or your friends, you need to maintain consistency. Make sure whatever promises you make, you keep.
Integrity and consistency come hand-in-hand when you are a person of your word. If you say something, mean it. If you aren’t sure, don’t say it. When you say something, you put those words out in the world. Words are difficult to take back. At the end of the day, when you strip away your credentials, your money, your accessories, what you’re left with is your integrity and how people will remember you.
If you make a promise and then change your mind, or something came up and you can’t fulfill those expectations, communicate. Just because you promise something doesn’t mean you can’t take it back. If an emergency arises or you simply change your mind, that’s okay! Everyone is guilty of overpromising and underdelivering at times, but by communicating, you can stay a person of your word.
All over the world, relationships are maintained every day: in the office, at home, and in the community. However, no matter what kind of relationship it is, everyone requires the same qualities. So, whether you’re being kind to a friend, being loyal to a partner, or showing appreciation to your employees, utilize the laws of love to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
- Published in Coaching, Epic Share, Life, Relationship