Ready for a Change and Want to Aspire Higher? The Smaller the Steps You Take, the Bigger the Payoff, Says Author and Career Coach Ken Lindner
So often the seemingly smallest choices have the most profound impact. To smile at a stranger. To sip green tea over coffee. To show grace in the face of anger. These decisions hold infinite power to catapult us toward the life we want to live.
Just ask Ken Lindner. The lauded author, career coach, and founder of Positive Life Choice Psychology, a movement and way of thinking to encourage people to live their highest lives, believes we all hold the power to elevate ourselves and others—and the key is starting with making empowering life choices that then have a positive echo effect. This simple yet life-changing concept is the basis of Lindner’s new book, Aspire Higher: How to Find the Love, Positivity, and Purpose to Elevate Your Life and the World.
Aspire Higher comes at a time of significant need, which is why Lindner was called to write it. “We are subjected to all of this negativity: The shootings and the smash and grabs and the racism and the devastating effects of COVID and all the rest,” he tells us. “So many people are demoralized. They feel psychologically and emotionally stuck.”
What we all need, continues Lindner, is peace, love, unity, and mutual respect. But a tangible guide to bringing this into our lives is lacking. “Nobody came up with the steps to help us get from where we are to where we want to go,” he says.
Enter this book. With clarity and ease, Lindner offers readers actionable steps to living with greater purpose, authenticity, and truth. We spoke with Lindner about the passion behind his pages and why this simple concept is the answer our country needs. The good news, he says, is that the work is simple and free. “You can do it starting today. You can start making small, positive life choices and get yourself on a far better, spirit-elevating, and fulfilling track.”
A Conversation with Ken Lindner
You say that “We can’t just be happy, rather we need to have foundation”—and this starts with the profound power of our life choices. Will you walk us through this?
The key is that I don’t believe that being happy alone will win the day—it’s not enough. We can be happy, but when something cuts us to the core, when something pushes our buttons, when we go back to our old scripts and that negative talk comes into our head, we fall like a house of cards, spiral down, and become enveloped in toxic emotions. We are then prone to make impulsive, poor choices which lead to undesirable results and feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. So, you must build a rock-solid inner foundation. It’s like a home: You don’t want the wind to blow it away, which is why you need that solid foundation. Your solid foundation is built upon making positive life choices that reflect your highest self, your highest goals, and your highest values, so that you develop the unshakable core confidence that you can improve and elevate your life with each-and-every life choice that you make. By doing this you begin to elevate your feelings self-esteem and self-worth along with your self-image. By having these empowering positive feelings filling your heart and psyche, you can successfully withstand any onslaught of toxic emotions, as well as any setback, detour, or negative event. You are equipped, enabled, and empowered to meet any moment and make the very most of it!
What is an example or two of a positive life choice that builds this foundation?
The key is you want mastery. You want confidence. Core confidence is going to keep you strong and keep you going.
One example is a dietary choice. Let’s say you know that you have high cholesterol, and you are offered fried foods. You say, “No, thank you,” and that “my health and being around for my wife for many years to come, as well as attending my children’s graduations and weddings are far more important than the momentary pleasure of eating the fried food, that might well put that all in jeopardy” By doing this, you’ve made a great positive life choice.
Another is not allowing yourself to be hijacked by negative emotions. Instead of expressing something negative to a spouse, a parent, or a friend because they pushed your buttons, you stay calm. Or instead of sending a vitriolic email to somebody who upset you, you hold off on pushing send. Instead, you cool down and then act in a way which reflects and allows you to attain your highest, most coveted goals. Once again, you’ve made a highly positive and empowering choice. You gain empowering confidence from these small steps and from knowing that you can own your decisions and that you can take control of your life.
You believe that these actions have a “continuum” effect—that they can lead to more good things and they can benefit those around us. How so?
The continuum is when you start to make positive life choices and you see the great results. You then start to develop feelings of rock-solid confidence and high self-esteem and self-worth. You see that you can truly affect positive change in your life. You love the results, and then when you continue to make positive life choices, you start to feel like you are worthy of the life you’re building for yourself. At some point, you start to feel worthy and deserving of self-love—and this is the very most important element in the continuum. Self-love is the key! It isn’t selfish. It’s an authentic valuing and a treasuring of your life, your health, your relationships, your career, and your potential.
When you love yourself and you love the track that your life is on, it only makes sense that you are going to continue to make positive life choices throughout your life…because you feel that you and your life are worth it and you now want to enjoy the best life possible! Then the next step on the continuum is that because your heart is filled with love and positive feelings, you are far more likely to bestow love, kindness, civility, and respect unto others. This is the ‘Aspire Higher’ triple bonus.
Talk to us about the “Triple Bonus” and its larger impact.
The triple bonus occurs when you make positive life choices that instill the all-powerful feelings of high-self-esteem and self-worth, unshakable confidence, and self-love in your heart and psyche. The wonderful results are: 1. Your spirits, optimism, and life are elevated; 2. You’re organically motivated to elevate others; and 3. As a result, everyone together elevates our country. This is the formula that can bring all of us the civility, the unity, the mutual respect, the collaboration, the kindness, and the peace that we all crave in our country. It is a clear set of steps that we all can take. Put succinctly, when we elevate ourselves, we can then elevate others and our great country! If you have love in your heart, you can love others. So elevating yourself first through your empowering choices, and thereby filling your heart with self-love is our golden path to a peaceful and unified country!
Your formula in your book transcends boundaries, political affiliations, race, gender—everything. And it is available to everyone…
Yes! The thing is, these days, so many people don’t see a way up or way out. They don’t see a light at the end of this tunnel. It just keeps going. We need to be our own light. We need to shine our own radiant light—and the light is in our hearts, our minds, and our souls…and it’s kindled by our positive, constructive, and socially responsible choices.
I love the concept of being a “solutionary”, which for those who aspire higher, means that when we’re faced with a challenge, a life-detour, or a setback, we not only find a highly constructive solution or course of action that benefits us, but we also find one which benefits, elevates, or at the very least doesn’t harm others. This requires putting ourselves in the individual’s shoes who may be impacted by our choices and authentically caring about their wellbeing. Always remember, when we feel good/great about ourselves, we will shine; but when we support, have compassion and empathy for others, and are kind, respectful, and civil to them, we all shine our very brightest! Can you imagine how much better our country would be if we all practiced the art of being a solutionary. It would be truly game-changing!
The power of making positive life choices and the impact that they can have on our self-esteem and self-worth has been a giant theme in your career as an author, talent representative, and career coach, or as you call it, a “career choreographer.” How does this play into your writing Aspire Higher?
I am a firm believer that there is a logical set of steps that anyone can take to put the percentages in their favor, that they can attain their goals and live their dreams. You just have to figure out what those steps are and make choices that are consistent with your highest goals. This is what “Career Choreography” is all about.
It is my calling to see “what can be” in individuals and to empower them to make the positive and highly beneficial choices to attain their highest goals and live their dreams. Throughout the last 38 years, I have been counseling individuals to make constructive, wise, highly beneficial choices that enable and empower them to self-actualize and attain their greatest potentials. Then when COVID hit and we became exposed to all this negativity, I felt like this was my opportunity to make a real difference because we didn’t have a solution to our challenges. And I feel like the way for everyone to elevate their lives, their spirits, and their potentials is beginning today, to say: ‘I’m ready to start making small choices that reflect my highest self, my highest values, and my highest goals.’ That’s where the title Aspire Higher comes from. Aspire to your highest goals and your highest dreams, because then you have something to shoot for, and you’re much more willing to be disciplined and to forgo your immediate gratification so that you can attain the things you most want and act in a manner that will make you truly proud of who you are and how you choose to live your life.
The author of six books, Ken Lindner has spent nearly 40 years helping individuals strategically build and advance their careers. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he focused on the effects of decision-making on one’s feelings of self-esteem and self-worth, and Cornell Law School. Lindner credits his training as an attorney for teaching him how to identify issues that are at the root of problems and to think in a logical fashion as a means to find the most constructive and beneficial solutions. Along with founding Positive Life Choice Psychology, Lindner owns one of the most successful and well-respected broadcast journalist representation firms in the country, Ken Lindner & Associates, where he represents some of the most acclaimed and well-known national and local newscasters and program hosts. He is also known for his “Career Choreography” formula for strategically developing hugely successful and fulfilling careers. For more information on Lindner, visit www.positivelifechoicepsychology.com and follow him on Instagram here. You can order your copy of Aspire Higher here.