Tag Archives: risk

defining personal success factors

Where are the keys?

What is success?

What is personal success?  What does it mean?   How do you get it?   Where do you find it?

How long does it take to get there?

You have a key in your hand.  Behind one of many doors is your future, a future that is filled with the things your heart desires.   What your heart desires.   The key fits the lock that matches the desires of your heart. 

Finding the desire of the heart is the goal.  

Find the who in you.

Are you one that:

            Acts boldly
            Takes risks
            Acts implusively
            Seeks adventure
            Assertive and to the point
            Physical

OR

 

 

            Enjoys task and structure
            has a serious attitude
            is a helper
            Cares for body and health
            is Direct but cautious
            follows rules
            respects authority

OR

 

 

            Questions and explores ideas
            considers the ideas of other’s
            highly independent
            lives in imagination
            desires competency
            expectations are set high

OR

            Thanks others
            Integrity matters
            likes to make things better
            likes to brighten the day of others
            a team player
            clam – peacemaker – harmony

 

 

Which category fits you best?  Are you living at your best?

The doldrums


“All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The doldrums is a region in between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans where the winds can be calm or non-existent for extended periods of time.

Imagine a small sailboat sitting in the silent calm waters of the doldrums with just one person on board, you. The boat is going nowhere but at the moment you are happy just where you are. There is enough food, its calm, its warm, its peaceful and relaxing. At night the air is warm and the sky is filled with the pin pricks of bright light. An occasional flash of intense colors blasts across the sky and it all seems so good. There is no tension right now.

The days pass by and still there seems to be enough for now. The idea of movement and the thought of storms and waves are just but a distant memory.

The problem with the picture is just that there is no tension to move forward.

Diane Ackerman writes, “I don’t want to come to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

What would get you out of the doldrums?

Keep the hope


“Hope is not the closing of your eyes
to the difficulty, the risk,
or the failure.

It is a trust that –
if I fail now –
I shall not fail forever;
and if I am hurt,
I shall be healed.

It is a trust that
life is good,
love is powerful,
and the future is full of promise.”

Anonymous

It is our eyes that need to be opened. It is our eyes that need to see clearly.

What do you see before you? Do you see challenges that can be overcome?

Imagine climbing a mountain and turning back before your first footprint hits the trail because there was a thought that it was too difficult, too challenging or too risky. Take the first step. Take the second step after each step evaluate and consider – can another step be taken? Take it one step at a time.

Being Transparent

Like a looking glass into our soul. Often it is something that isn’t done. It is a way to keep our true self from being seen by others. Being transparent and showing your inner light to others is not something everyone does.

Hiding self from others for fear of rejection, or because of a lack of self-confidence, or because there are deep scars, or because there is a smoldering wound, or because there is a broken heart, or because there is an unfilled void is not the path towards greater happiness. Living a transparent life is a choice that must be made. Living behind a veil will in many cases diminish the fullness of life.

How does being transparent help bring about a better life? When there are no secrets, no deep voids, no fear then power that was coming from others comes from within. Power from within is continuous, it is free, it is brighter and of better quality.

Transparency gives power away. Initially it takes power, courage and confidence to release the darkness that prevents being transparent. It takes time to test it … does it really release power or does it consume power?

Think about it from the perspective of a leader. Which leader has more power, the one that shows what is inside or the one who shrouds things in mystery? The transparent leader will acknowledge the faults, the foibles, the failures they have experienced. They will admit their shortcomings. What happens when a person reveals their inner-self to others? Do they become genuine and authentic? Do they become real people just like everyone else? Do they have the ability to relate to others?

If you want to find out what a big obstacle the ego really is, try to come together with other people in genuine transparency. Transparency means radical authenticity, free from ego defenses and impure motives. It’s the ultimate challenge to the ego. You could sit on a meditation cushion until you dropped dead and never have your capacity for radical transparency tested. The real test, for all of us, is in relationship. Come together. When there’s radical transparency and the ego steps aside, each single individual in that extraordinary collective context has access to the power and depth and clarity of the enlightened mind. And that’s when enlightenment really starts to take on new meaning and significance for us all.”

Andrew Cohen
London, March 2004

Transparency is sliding aside the curtains of the soul revealing its character. It is not easy or quick to do if there have been many years, many scars, many fears that stand in the way. The opaque window will neither let in light nor let light out.

Dostoyevsky wrote, “Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself in secret. But there are other things which man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”

Transparency reveals the character of a person. Transparency informs others of the integrity of a person. Information that threatens the self threatens self-esteem. Threats create anxiety and the anxiety transforms our character. The reason it damages the character is due to the nature of the internal self-talk that takes place – generally negative. Transparency will remove the need to hide from the issues which generate anxiety. The lack of anxiety will naturally result in self-talk that is positive – the self will not be talking down the self but rather acknowledging the self in a positive form.

The idea that the truth will set us free is an outcome of transparency. Working towards transparency might be better done with someone that can be trusted. Exposing the darkness will require a trusted relationship so that the surfacing of the negatives can be done safely and without repercussions.

Transparency allows one to shift from hiding behind pretense to genuine living.

In a journal write down those things that prevent you from living transparently?

What can you do to become more transparent?

What risks are you willing to take?

What benefits do you think you would obtain by living transparently?

Inspired change

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling June 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech

I like to think about the hero’s journey in other terms. I like to think about a little boy who is being encouraged to leave a safe, known and desirable place to journey to a place that he has only been told about. I like to think of those blue-collar laborer who, after an agonizing deliberation, decides to risk the job rather than follow an unethical behavior. I like to think about the hero’s journey in terms of you and me and our continual search for meaning and definition in life. “ R. E. Quinn “Deep Change”

Inspiration, risk and failure and come together when we decide we need to change. Fear inhibits us from being all that we can be. Inspiration informs of us of what we could be. Risk is the step we must take to become all that we can be.

How often do we operate in pretense? We have to know who we are and what we can do and that can be frightening if we hold doubt in our hands and let it overtake what we know and want to be true. It is so easy to talk ourselves out of change. It is so easy to quit the race.

When we set the goals, create the plan and begin to execute the plan we should have someone who is willing to hold us to those goals.

Read these words by Kierkegaard, “If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.”

Seek the passion of the plan. Seek the passion of the goals. Seek the passion of realizing a dream. Begin now!

Smile brightly

Paul Loeb wrote this about Rosa Parks journey “suggests that change is the product of deliberate, incremental action, whereby we join together to try to shape a better world. Sometimes our struggles will fail, as did many earlier efforts of Parks, her peers, and her predecessors. Other times they may bear modest fruits. And at times they will trigger a miraculous outpouring of courage and heart – as happened with Park’s arrest and all that followed. For only when we act despite all our uncertainties and doubts do we have the chance to change.” From the real Rosa Parks, http://paulloeb.org/articles/rosaparks.htm

It takes courage to change. It takes a willingness to step out where you have never stepped before. The reminder is “what is the worst that could happen?” The worst thing that would happen is we would learn something. Even when the results are not what we expected that doesn’t mean that there was a failure, all it means is that the learning we gained was different than we predicted. We must take risks and change. We grow when we take risks and we grow when we change our thoughts, our actions and our opinions.

Take the time to change. Be rewarded by the experience. Smile brightly – smile brightly.

Seek beauty

“Imagine living your life without being afraid to take a risk and to explore life. You are not afraid to lose anything. You are not afraid to be alive in the world, and you are not afraid to die.” Don Miguel Ruiz