All Things are Created Twice

May 12, 2017

“All things are created twice,” is a quote by Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

cute-twin

The first creation is what Stephen Covey calls the vision we form of the thing we wish to create. The second creation is the physical manifestation of that vision. The second creation is a matter of choosing the behaviors, the actions that will lead to the manifestation of your vision. The true creation is the forming of your vision. This can be tricky. If we do not take responsibility and consciously create our first creation, we empower others to do it for us – parents, friends, teachers, or societal influences such as magazines, movies or T.V. commercials.

To truly fulfill your personal wants and needs, and to assure that your goals are congruent with your fundamental (core) values, it is critical that your vision is selected by you. History is filled with individuals who successfully manifested someone else’s dream at the expense of their personal values. Success in this circumstance is hollow, leading all too often to some form of self-destruction – drugs, alcohol or other risky behaviors – even suicide.

According to Covey, “Personal Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Personal Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” To assure that your ladder is in the right place, maintain an awareness of your fundamental values and make them the criteria by which you create your vision. That achieved, you can manage your second creation, choosing behaviors and actions that are congruent with your vision.


Expect the Unexpected

April 19, 2017

Banana

One of the traits I have observed in highly successful salespeople is their ability to anticipate change, adjust their work practices accordingly and continue to thrive. They do not waste time fighting change, wondering who is to blame, or feeling sorry for themselves that life seems to be battling against their goals.

If we can agree that the quick absorption of change is a positive, productive trait, what can we do to react in a more efficacious manner when things do not work out precisely as planned? It boils down to expectation. Change is difficult for those who expect reality to continuously match their vision. There is, I have found, a delicate balance between the power of visualization and the acceptance of results.

Visualizing what you want is an important step on the path to success. However, it is important to understand that our desired vision will not necessarily manifest exactly as we picture it in our mind’s eye. Acceptance comes when we realize that we are not alone on the planet. And, while some people may share our vision there are almost always those who do not. This mix of disparate desires and expectations act together to create a result – the result. Sometimes that result will be exactly what you wanted. At other times it may be a compromise version of your dreams or even the exact opposite of what you thought you wanted.

It is when results do not match expectations that successful people move ahead of the pack. They anticipate the unexpected, adapt quickly and continue to thrive in the new, changed environment, leaving those less skilled in the art of acceptance to struggle in confusion, anger and denial.

Please don’t see this as an indictment of visualization. It is your desires and expectations that drive your actions and move you “confidently in the direction of your dreams,” as Thoreau taught us. I am only suggesting that you adopt a more realistic expectation of results. See life as a process, not a destination. Enjoy when you take a step forward. But also expect to take some steps back, re-evaluate your strategies and then … take another step.


Dream a New Dream

December 29, 2013

Dream New

December is a great time to review what you accomplished during the current year and consider what you might accomplish in the year and years to come. Without this process, we tend to simply repeat history. That is, we continue with the same goals, the same actions and the same results.

Our discomfort with change can anesthetize us against thoughts of what we could accomplish if we just dreamt a new dream, set a new goal. We are all capable of amazing things, much more than we can possibly know while sufficiently anesthetized. So, the first step toward building an exciting, adventurous, prosperous and gratifying new life is to embrace change. But just talking about it is not enough. Becoming comfortable with change requires a plan. Don’t just wait for changes to happen and then remember to embrace them—make change a part of your daily life. Take a different route to the office each day, try foods you thought you’d never eat, change your wardrobe, your hair. Notice your unconscious habits and vary your actions. If you go to bed the same time each night, change it up. Shop at a new grocery store. Drive on the wrong side of the road (actually, forget that—bad idea). But you get the point. The more you begin to enjoy change the freer your mind will be to dream new dreams, to imagine a brighter, happier future. It is all within your grasp once you clear out the obstructions and open yourself to the world of possibilities.


Try Just One More Time

November 27, 2013

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  Thomas A. Edison

Here’s some tough love for you: Who ever told you that life would be easy, that it would unfold exactly as you think it should be? The truth is, that rarely happens. Understanding that  will set you free!

Here is how it really works (in my experience): You set a goal. That goal leads to a set of actions. You take those actions while focusing on the achievement of your goal. You don’t worry about whether or not your goal will be realized or how soon it will materialize. You let go with faith that you HAVE achieved it. Now, at the same time there are a few billion other people in the world with their own goals some of which, by the way, may be in conflict with your goal. There are environmental issues of which you may not be aware that will alter the final nature of your goal.

In the end, the essence of your goal is achieved even though it may take a very different form than what you originally pictured in your mind.  Example: You decide that you will sell 50 houses this year by holding 20 open houses. Your first 19 open houses result in one small sale. But even though your plan is not unfolding as you imagined you stay the course. While holding your 20th open house you meet a woman who owns 50 rental properties and asks you to help her sell them all. In the end your plan did not unfold as you envisioned but your one new contact results in the achievement of your financial goal.

So, if your plans don’t seem to working out; if your action plan does not appear to be bringing you any closer to your goals, don’t give up. As long as you have a passionate belief in the ultimate achievement of your dreams and refuse to give up, your goal will find you. If you give up, if you stop taking action, all is lost. Keep your nose to the grindstone and one eye on the prize. With your other eye, keep a lookout for shortcuts, helpers, new information. A quicker, better way to the finish line can be revealed at any moment!


Time to Act!

July 30, 2011

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
William B. Sprague

This is not the time to listen to the news and worry about whether the economy is in recovery or not. Turn off your TV sets! Set down your newspaper!

It is time to stop wondering, worrying, discussing, analyzing, listening.

It is time to take action! Who cares how “the market” is doing? You are not the market. You are the only you to ever walk the planet, an individual with unique talents, skills, motivations, desires, feelings, abilities. You are special!

 The only question you should ever ask is, “How am I doing?” And the answer can only be found in your actions. Today, act as if you have no doubts, as if success were hiding right around the corner, so close that you can smell it. Take a leap of faith – dare to risk being called an optimist. Someone will have to be prepared to loan money to the pessimists.


The University of Adversity

May 5, 2010

“There is no education like adversity.”
Benjamin Disraeli

Well, aren’t we feeling well educated? Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. But, of course, it is so true. If life always unfolded just as we expect and desire, we would parish the first time we fell off a bike or lost a client. Put another way:

Good fortune and bad are equally necessary to man to fit him to meet the contingencies of this life.
French Proverb

Sorry about the gender bias (the French) – I’m sure this is equally true for non-males.

Adversity is simply life moving in a direction that we did not expect.

It is not necessarily a worse direction, or a better direction, just different than what we had planned. There are two primary responses to adversity each presenting us with an opportunity for growth.

Ask yourself: 1. Is the situation counter-productive to my life plan. Does it inhibit my ability to grow in the direction I have selected, and 2. Is it within my ability to change it? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you can create a plan to bring the situation more in line with your goals.

If you cannot change the situation, you are handed the opportunity to learn acceptance. We simply cannot manipulate every aspect of life to match our vision of how the world should be. Attempting to do so will only bring frustration, disappointment and resentment. Learning to let go of our expectations is one of the keys to a happy life.

“God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Reinhold Niebuhr


He that Knows Not is a Pupil

April 7, 2010

“The only path to learning is to know that you don’t know.”   by I don’t know: some spiritual guy. 

OK, but if you know that you don’t know then …you know, so how is that not-knowing? Cause if you know… I’d need Abbott and Costello to work this one out. Spirituality can be complicated. 

What I do know (or not) is that, when communicating with another human, not knowing is critical to understanding.

The challenge arises because we each have a unique interpretation of the world around us, the relationships between this and that. For example, you may think that purple is the new black. I may think that it is satanic and anyone who wears it should be forced to eat garlic ice cream and live in Bakersfield (my apologies if you live in or are from Bakersfield). Or, you may feel that you are complimenting me by saying that I’m looking much better. I may hear “you look like hell most of the time.”

What you say clearly communicates your meaning—as registered by your personal interpretation. Problem is: I don’t hear through your interpretations, I hear through mine. What to do? Two words: Awareness – Patience – Persistence. OK, three words.

Awareness: To communicate effectively you must first be aware of the fact that everyone interprets words through their own unique perception. So, when you hear a statement from another, don’t assume that you understand.

Patience: Take the time to check out your initial understanding. “So when you say you are going to buy a purple dress, are you saying that you worship Satan and wish to move to Bakersfield?” At which point you can correct my misinterpretation and say, “Why no, I don’t.”

Persistence: Question until you understand the speaker’s meaning. “So, if you don’t worship Satan and are not moving to Bakersfield, why do you want to buy a purple dress?” “Because,” you answer, “I read in Cosmo that purple is the new black.”

Ah, now we are communicating.