Outstrip Yesterday by what you do Today

October 6, 2010

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves – to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”  – Stewart B. Johnson

 When I read this it seemed like an echo from the past – words appropriate to another time and place – weird. And sad. So many people have been beaten down by the length and depth of the recession that optimism has become increasingly difficult.

And therein lies our conundrum: the more we are beaten down, the more difficult it is to draw upon the very resources we need to bring us back up. Oh, we could wait for a serendipitous occurrence to turn life around – a big sale, a new relationship, a sudden, spontaneous improvement in the economy (right). But to do so puts our lives in the hands of chance. You certainly don’t want it in the hands of the government.

If you want your swagger back – NOW; if you want to feel good about life, optimistic, anxious for each day to begin, confident in your ability to achieve, it has to come from within. The question is: how do we reclaim our confidence when reality keeps slapping us in the face? I hate to quote Madison Avenue, but the short answer is: Just Do It!

Wayne Dyer uncovered a clever truth about the old saying “You’ll believe it when you see it.” Turns out that it is true in its original form and when you reverse the meaning, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” The difference is that the original version requires a serendipitous occurrence while the revised version requires only a change in beliefs.

Our power to choose and change our attitude comes from the simple truth taught by Emerson and many others, “You are what you think about all day long.” We don’t need to wait for life to turn around, we can take control, decide what we want and take the actions required to make it so. The key is in the simple quote above: what do you think about? If you focus on past failures, you pull them into your present and forward into the future. To break any destructive cycle, you must replace the old, destructive images with positive thoughts of achievement, prosperity, happiness, confidence, success. If you’re thinking that this is too difficult, stop thinking so much. Just do it, do it now. It might help to remember a time when you did feel powerful and confident. Focus on that time until you “get the feeling,” then hold on to it as much and as long as you can. Practice this every day and miraculous things will happen. Your external reality will evolve in the direction of your intentions, your belief in what you can accomplish, where you are going. Have a good trip.

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Unanticipated Success

September 9, 2010

“Every failure is really just an unanticipated Success.”   SD

 We begin with a vision of what we wish to accomplish. Then we visualize our desired result, plan, decide upon a course of action and execute our plan. So far: so good.

Then, after a while, we sit back and examine the results. If they match our initial vision, we label our efforts SUCCESS. If they fall short, we label them with the “F” word – FAILURE. Why do we do that to ourselves? Especially when we have seen over and over again that events we judge as failures almost always turn out to be valuable lessons or building blocks to a greater success.

So, I guess we can chalk it up to bad memory. Why should we care? What’s wrong with judging some of our results as failures and taking steps to rationalize our disappointment?

Well, a couple of things:

1. We don’t like to fail. So, the fear or expectation of failure can keep us from taking risks. And where there’s no risk, there’s no reward.

2. Judging our outcomes as failures tends to bum us out. And bummed out people rarely attract positive relations, new business, good juju into their lives.

Viewing outcomes as failures lowers self-esteem and who needs that? If you can’t feel good about yourself, who can?

In summary, be good to yourself. Love yourself. View all of your outcomes as building blocks, steps along the path you are walking and, therefore, successes.

Judge less

Be kind and compassionate – especially to yourself.


When all is failing, be optimistic!

August 24, 2010

Quote of the Week

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
–Helen Keller

 So, here is the million dollar question: How can you feel optimistic when you just lost 2 escrows and the one remaining is a short sale you’ve been nursing for 8 months? How can you feel confident when nothing seems to be working for you? (I know that was two questions) 

The answer is simple. Your level of optimism cannot be contingent upon how well “things are going.” Self-confidence cannot be contingent on whether you are currently successful. Huh? Yes, that is what I meant to say. Allowing your feelings to be contingent on past and present results is my definition of VICTIMHOOD. 

You have no control over your feelings when you allow them to be shaped by past or current results. They become like corks bouncing on the waves, controlled by the winds and the currents.  Is this how you want to live? Of course not. 

So, how do you break the relationship between what you see and what you believe? The same way you master anything—the same way you get to Carnegie Hall—practice, practice, practice. Detach your feelings from current events. Focus on your vision of the future. Visualize yourself as a happy, healthy, successful person and allow that image to mold your feelings. Yes you will feel better, but more than that—your positive, optimistic attitude will attract people into your life who can help you to succeed.

When you radiate self-confidence, others feel confident in your abilities.


Bathroom Mirror Quote

June 16, 2010

“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”
Doug Firebaugh
 

This is one that should be on everyone’s bathroom mirror – a reminder each morning to be true to who you are and who you are becoming. Why waste even one more day on the past. I mean, you were there, right? You did what you chose to do and life unfolded. Try as you might there is not a single thing you can do about it. (Well, unless you have a working time machine, in which case, call me.) 

Think about it. A life focused on the present and future is a life free of guilt (because we haven’t done anything yet to feel guilty about) – it’s a life full of possibilities, an endless feast of fun, fulfillment and prosperity. So, what’s stopping you? Oh, yeah, you haven’t let go of the past yet have you? Or, maybe you have, but you haven’t formed a clear vision of the future? Well, gee, what are you doing this afternoon?

 If you have a couple of hours, here’s what you can do (2 things guaranteed to transform your life.):

 1. Decide to let go of the past. Make a covenant with yourself that every time your mind tries to relive and redo past “mistakes,” say CANCEL! Bring your mind back to the present and focus on what you can do NOW to live a better life and move closer to your goals.

2. Create a clear vision of the life you want. Take a pen and paper and write it down. Sound silly? Why? If you wanted to buy a new car, wouldn’t you think about it all the time, cut out pictures and tape them on your steering wheel, focus on it until you figure out a way to make the purchase. Well, good news, all life is just like that.

You get what you focus on.

Or, as Emerson said:

“You are what you think about all day long.” 

If you get that, you get everything – and I mean everything.


Get out of your HEAD and into the ROOM

May 30, 2010

Just a quick note to remind you to experience more and analyze less.

When you get to the final day of this journey on Earth are you going to look into the eyes of a loved-one and say “Gee, I wish I’d spent more time worrying about all those things that never happened.?” Yeah, I don’t think so.

 Do you want your final epiphany to be regret over how much time you wasted bemoaning past “mistakes” and worrying about future outcomes? Wouldn’t that be tragically fitting. Your final precious moment spent in regret instead of soaking in the world one last time? I’m starting to sound like the Ghost of Christmas Past. So, let’s go with that. Like Scrooge, we all have the capacity to wake up and change our approach to life. Decide right now to spend more time observing and less time thinking. Be curious about the world. See life as it is and appreciate the perfection—even if it isn’t exactly the way your mind thinks it should be. Release the past and the future and enjoy the only time we ever truly have—NOW. So, as Tiny Tim would say…


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.


Be the Writer of Your Own Story

January 24, 2010

“Failures do what is tension relieving

While winners do what is goal achieving.”

Dennis Waitley

 

We are each born with our own clock. It begins ticking the day we are born and when we die, it stops. How many times the hands will circumnavigate the face, no one knows. But we are each given time on earth to use as we see fit. How we choose to fill our time will determine our degree of happiness and fulfillment. Choose well. Choose thoughtfully. But choose. Otherwise, your life will be filled with people who are happy to choose for you.

“We literally become what we think about, and we are all given the gift of being able to write our own story.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer