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.


No PAIN, No GAIN

August 29, 2010

“Wherever you see a successful business, someone
once made a courageous decision.”
-Peter Drucker

 One potential negative consequence of a prolonged economic downturn is a shift toward conservative decision-making. Experiencing loss can make us tentative, less willing to take chances. We tend to avoid risks that may result in additional losses. The problem with this reaction can be found on the walls of just about any weight-lifting gym in America:

No Pain, No Gain.

More elegantly stated:

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.”
Samuel Smiles

If we act only when success is assured, we lose one of our best sources of growth and knowledge – failure. As Henry Ford said:

“One who fears failure limits his activities.
Failure is only the opportunity to more
intelligently begin again.”

Those who turn adversity into success will be those who are willing to accept the possibility of failure and take those actions they believe will lead them to their chosen goals.

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.”
Washington Irving

Dare to be GREAT!!!!!!!!


The Power of Winning

March 23, 2010

 

The Power of Winning

“Your talent determines what you can do. 

Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do.

Your attitude determines how well you do it!”

–Lou Holtz

 

The exciting news:   A lot is “happening”!  The challenge:  How do each of us participate in the activity? 

There is an amazing video:  Pearls Before Breakfast (from the Washington Post)…Watch It!!!

The story goes… 

“A youngish, nondescript, white man in jeans positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket at a metro station (subway) in Washington D.C. and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning, several years ago.  He played six classical pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

“In the 45 minutes the muscian played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for awhile.  About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.  He collected $32.00.  When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed.  No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. 

“The violinist was none other than Joshua Bell, currently one of the greatest muscians in the world (playing incognito).  He played one of the most intricate musical pieces ever written on his Gibson Stradivarius (valued at approximately 3.6 million dollars).  Two days before, he had played to a ‘sold out’ theater in Boston, with seats averaging $100.00 each.”

In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour:

               Do we perceive beauty/Do we stop to appreciate it/Do we recognize opportunities that are right before our eyes?

This amazing musician went unrecognized…unnoticed because his appearance was not expected, not anticipated. So it is with success in today’s marketplace. Those people who are still bemoaning the “bad economy” will only perceive that which validates their expectations.

Those who expect success will see the opportunities everywhere.

 So, the only question is:  Are you prepared and looking for opportunities…and taking advantage of them? Do you wake up every morning filled with anticipation, prepared to take advantage of the unlimited possibilities?

 Remember: Success doesn’t find You. You find Success.

 As we move further into 2010, I can’t help but remind myself that we not only live in best place in the world, but also that our communities offer some of the best real estate opportunities in the world!

 Take advantage…have a fantastic Week!


Expand your “Fear Zone”

March 21, 2010

“Comfort Zone” is a dreadfully inaccurate term, the product of a mind in denial.

“Fear Zone” is far more evocative of the self-imposed prisons in which most people choose to hide. 

 

You tell me: is it comfortable to live within boundaries fashion by fear and self-doubt? 

All but a small number of fully enlightened humans live without a fear zone. Within the zone are all of the experiences you are willing to incorporate into your life. Perhaps you are willing to swim in a fresh water pool but would never swim in the ocean (you know, sharks, jelly fish). You may be comfortable calling friends but become anxious and physically ill at the thought of calling strangers. Swimming in the ocean and calling strangers are activities that many people do in complete comfort but they are simply outside your fear zone. 

Every fear zone is different, molded by complex combinations of beliefs we’ve accumulated since birth. These beliefs are neither right nor wrong. They are simply decisions we have made about what we can and cannot do. 

There is good news: Once we understand how we constructed our fear zones, we have the power to adjust them, to expand our boundaries to incorporate activities, relationships, experiences that we previously considered unimaginable. 

Transformation of what is possible begins by knowing that you can change. Once you have that down, create a blueprint of what you want your life to become—set goals. Then, using tools such as affirmations, visualization, meditation, whatever works for you, convince yourself that you are transforming into the new you. When you reach the point of knowing that the process is irrevocable, it will happen. Your new, expanded beliefs will allow you to participate more fully in the world. As a consequence of completing this process, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your self-esteem. Recognizing and moving beyond fear is one definition of bravery. And, man, does it feel good.


Believe it when you See it

September 27, 2008

Quote of the Week

 

“Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences. There are no external ’causes.'”
            
David Hawkins: Internationally renowned psychiatrist, physician, researcher

 

This quote embodies the essence of the phrase “taking responsibility.” Notice I didn’t say “Blame.” There is enough blame in the world without us blaming ourselves for our experience of life. I am no David Hawkins, but here is how I believe the process works:

 

Upon entering the world, we each begin to accumulate a unique set of beliefs. These can be as basic as fire burns, or as complex as the prejudicial beliefs we tend to develop toward certain groups of people (the Irish drink whiskey, Germans drink beer, college students drink anything). Throughout our lives we add and refine these beliefs based on experience. Ex: A man being chased by a rival comes across an apple tree. He picks up a handful of apples from the ground and throws them at his pursuer. He makes a decision that apples are weapons. Attracted by the smell of crushed apples he takes a bite. His belief is now modified to apples can be weapons or applesauce.

 

This long list of beliefs is the basis of our perception, the complex filter through which we view the world. If there was one human perception, there’d be no conflict – but here we are. Since our perception is made up of our beliefs, we tend to see what we expect to see and filter out what we don’t. The old phrase “You’ll Believe it when You See it,” would be more appropriately stated, “You’ll See it when You Believe it.” In summary, the entire process flows like this:

 

1.     Beliefs form our unique perception.

2.     How we perceive the world directs our actions.

3.     Our actions create our experience of the world.

4.     Thus: “Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences.”

 

Viewed in this manner, we understand that it is our choice of beliefs that ultimately dictates our experience, not external causes. This understanding is helpful because it allows us to not only stop blaming others for our circumstances; it is the source of our power, what allows us to change our lives for the better.

By changing our underlying beliefs we alter our perception, modify our actions and, therefore,

transform our experience of the world.