Monthly Archives: August 2012

break through

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

It is a day of possibility, new ideas, new dreams and new desires rest on your mind like a drop of dew, enough to make a presence and not enough to create a change.  What would cause those ideas to swell and break through the complacency?

Consider these questions:

1. What would you like to create?

2. Imagine that you are in a movie theater and they are playing the story of your life, what would you be watching?

3. What goals would make you a better person if you were to accomplish them?

4. What holds you back from having your own breakthrough?

Consider those questions, contemplate and feel free to send me a note outlining your dreams.   What do you really want to do?

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living on purpose

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you love the work you do?

Are you healthy?

Do you have great relationships with others?

Are you happy?

Are you doing what you love to do?

Do you look forward to each day?

Some people say “No” to each of those questions.   They wake up in the morning and drag themselves out of bed.   The think about exercise and say, “tomorrow”. The worry about  who they will see at work, “Will they like me today?”    “Will my boss yell at me again?”

There are many, many people who aren’t happy with their lives and they don’t know why.   

The hummingbird knows its purpose. They seem to be pretty happy when they are sipping nectar from flowers. The hummingbird knows its mission and vision with great clarity. So, why is it that we struggle to know our purpose?

Maybe you’re stuck in your life and have found that life feels more difficult or challenging than you want.  Maybe you’re looking for happiness (sustained positive feeling – contentment but more) and you haven’t found it yet.

Perhaps you’re thinking I’ll get to it later when I have time.    How do you know you’ll have time later?   So much happens so quickly in the world today that tomorrow may never be the right time to find out what you are really here to do.

Listen to one person who speaks about purpose with passion, Tony Robbins. Go ahead do it now!

What’s missing?

“I had my chance.’ He said it, retiring from a lifetime of wanting. ‘I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.”
Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

What is missing in your life?

You do have a plan on how you want your life to unfold. You have a list of things that you want to do and you have started accomplishing those things. You have a career that is exciting and vibrant. You have the friends you have always wanted to have close by. You are continuing to develop your skills and talents. Your relationships are working well. Your fitness and health are great.

What is missing then?

What did you learn today?

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer

Learners learn … learners learn that the world is continually taking on a new shape and want to be there to help shape the world.    Each day is a learning experience if reflected on, what did you learn today?

Take a look at this story by Leo Buscaglia,

Papa the Teacher, by Leo Buscaglia

“Papa had natural wisdom. He wasn’t educated in the formal sense. When he was growing up at the turn of the century in a very small village in rural northern Italy, education was for the rich. Papa was the son of a dirt-poor farmer. He used to tell us that he never remembered a single day of his life when he wasn’t working. The concept of doing nothing was never a part of his life. In fact, he couldn’t fathom it. How could one do nothing?

He was taken from school when he was in the fifth grade, over the protestations of his teacher and the village priest, both of whom saw him as a young person with great potential for formal learning. Papa went to work in a factory in a nearby village, the very same village where, years later, he met Mama.

For Papa, the world became his school. He was interested in everything. He read all the books, magazines, and newspapers he could lay his hands on. He loved to gather with people and listen to the town elders and learn about “the world beyond” this tiny, insular region that was home to generations of Buscaglias before him. Papa’s great respect for learning and his sense of wonder about the outside world were carried across the sea with him and later passed on to his family. He was determined that none of his children would be denied an education if he could help it.

Papa believed that the greatest sin of which we were capable was to go to bed at night as ignorant as we had been when we awakened that day. The credo was repeated so often that none of us could fail to be affected by it. “There is so much to learn,” he’d remind us. “Though we’re born stupid, only the stupid remain that way.” To ensure that none of his children ever fell into the trap of complacency, he insisted that we learn at least one new thing each day. He felt that there could be no fact too insignificant, that each bit of learning made us more of a person and insured us against boredom and stagnation.

So Papa devised a ritual. Since dinnertime was family time and everyone came to dinner unless they were dying of malaria, it seemed the perfect forum for sharing what new things we had learned that day. Of course, as children we thought this was perfectly crazy. There was no doubt, when we compared such paternal concerns with other children’s fathers, Papa was weird.

It would never have occurred to us to deny Papa a request. So when my brother and sisters and I congregated in the bathroom to clean up for dinner, the inevitable question was, “What did you learn today?” If the answer was “Nothing,” we didn’t dare sit at the table without first finding a fact in our much-used encyclopedia. “The population of Nepal is. . . ,” etc.

Now, thoroughly clean and armed with our fact for the day, we were ready for dinner. I can still see the table piled high with mountains of food. So large were the mounds of pasta that as a boy I was often unable to see my sister sitting across from me. (The pungent aromas were such that, over a half century later, even in memory, they cause me to salivate.)

Dinner was a noisy time of clattering dishes and endless activity. It was also a time to review the activities of the day. Our animated conversations were always conducted in Piedmontese dialect since Mama didn’t speak English. The events we recounted, no matter how insignificant, were never taken lightly. Mama and Papa always listened carefully and were ready with some comment, often profound and analytical, always right to the point.

“That was the smart thing to do.” “Stupido, how could you be so dumb?” “Cosi sia, you deserved it.” “E allora, no one is perfect.” “Testa dura (“hardhead”) you should have known better. Didn’t we teach you anything?” “Oh, that’s nice.” One dialogue ended and immediately another began. Silent moments were rare at our table.

Then came the grand finale to every meal, the moment we dreaded most – the time to share the day’s new learning. The mental imprint of those sessions still runs before me like a familiar film clip, vital and vivid.

Papa, at the head of the table, would push his chair back slightly, a gesture that signified the end of the eating and suggested that there would be a new activity. He would pour a small glass of red wine, light up a thin, potent Italian cigar, inhale deeply, exhale, then take stock of his family.

For some reason this always had a slightly unsettling effect on us as we stared back at Papa, waiting for him to say something. Every so often he would explain why he did this. He told us that if he didn’t take time to look at us, we would soon be grown and he would have missed us. So he’d stare at us, one after the other.

Finally, his attention would settle upon one of us. “Felice,” he would say to me, “tell me what you learned today.”

“I learned that the population of Nepal is. . . .”

Silence.

It always amazed me, and reinforced my belief that Papa was a little crazy, thatnothing I ever said was considered too trivial for him. First, he’d think about what was said as if the salvation of the world depended upon it.

“The population of Nepal. Hmmmmm. Well.”

He would then look down the table at Mama, who would be ritualistically fixing her favorite fruit in a bit of leftover wine. “Mama, did you know that?”

Mama’s responses were always astonishing, and seemed to lighten the otherwise reverential atmosphere. “Nepal,” she’d say. “Nepal? Not only don’t I know the population of Nepal, I don’t know where in God’s world it is!” Of course, this was only playing into Papa’s hands.

“Felice,” he’d say. “Get the atlas so we can show Mama where Nepal is.” And the search began. The whole family went on a search for Nepal. This same experience was repeated until each family member had a turn. No dinner at our house ever ended without our having been enlightened by at least a half dozen such facts.

As children, we thought very little about these educational wonders, and even less about how we were being enriched. We coudln’t have cared less. We were too impatient to have dinner end so we could join our less-educated friends in a rip-roaring game of kick the can.

In retrospect, after years of studying how people learn, I realize what a dynamic educational technique Papa was offering us, reinforcing the value of continual learning. Without being aware of it, our family was growing together, sharing experiences, and participating in one another’s education. Papa was, without knowing it, giving us an education in the most real sense.

By looking at us, listening to us, respecting our opinions, affirming our value, giving us a sense of dignity, he was unquestionably our most influential teacher.”

How are you learning on a daily basis?   What can you bring to the table?

 

ADHD … info you can use

“Stop allowing your outdated ideas to hinder your progress. How would your life be different if you became open to new information that can refine, improve, enhance your way of thinking, and empower your way of living?”
― Steve Maraboli

ADHD creates turbulence in the lives of those who experience the symptoms on a daily basis.

ADHD … increasing or just getting more attention.   In our fast paced society the symptoms of ADHD may show up in just about everyone at some point in time.   Losing focus, poor time management, low organization, or waiting and waiting to start something important.   At times everyone experiences some of the ADHD symptoms, but what about the person who really does have ADHD and lives with it day after day, what do they do?

Some people with ADHD hope it goes away and for some it does and for others it doesn’t go away, it follows them around and  impacts their careers, relationships, and their lives.    For some medication works, for some it doesn’t.   There are various treatments for ADHD, some work well and some don’t work so well.  What do you do?

Get information.   Find out if you do have ADHD and then find out how to manage it.   Don’t let ADHD manage you.    Go to a new ADHD information source and learn more about ADHD.   If you don’t have it chances are that you know someone that does, someone that could use some new information.

To find out more, click here.

Competence or confidence

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
― Paulo Coelho

Confidence or competence …

Getting the right job and staying in the right job requires two things, confidence and competence.   Confidence comes from practice and all too often people expect great things without practice.    Practice build competence and competence builds confidence when there is positive feedback, when there is success in the practice.

Take a look at the Olympic athletes they made the Olympic team after hours and hours, weeks and weeks of practice and competition.     Practice builds competence and then confidence follows when the practice is reviewed and evaluated.   Find out what you learned after each practice session.   Find out what worked well and what could be improved.

To build confidence and competence start out with an objective. What is it that you want to get better at? What would allow you to have a better career, a better relationship, a better image of yourself, a better financial situation or a better life. What is it that you are willing to work on so that you can start getting the results you want?

Objective. What will need to change? What new skills will you need? What improvements in the skills that you already have? Identify what it is and then figure out what it will take to move you to the level you desire to be at. If it is losing weight then look at the objective and decide what will get you to the desired weight. Is it eating less? Is it more exercise? Is it having someone hold you accountable to your goals? Or is it someone who is willing to share the experience with you, someone who will cheer you on?

Practice.  This is the doing part of the process. It is the hard work and it takes discipline and effort to get results.  Be patient and be consistent.

Feedback.   After you practice evaluate what you are learning.   Improve what you are practicing by honest fair feedback about the progress you are making.  What small changes can you make to improve the results of your practice.

Competence.  Over time you’ll notice that you are getting better that you are getting small but consistent improvements and moving towards your goal.  You are getting more and more competent.

Confidence.  With competence comes confidence.  Confidence gives a feeling of “I can”.   With more practice it the confidence is bigger than “I can” it is automatic.   It turns into unconscious competence.   You no longer have to think about what you are doing, it is automatic, it is part of your being, the unshakable knowledge that you can do it consistently.

Here’s a talk that helps you see that picture of confidence.  Take a look.