Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Put Your Dreams Into Action

Why is it we look at dreamers like good-for-nothing slackers, yet successful people as "Visionaries." Don't they both have dreams? So what's the big difference?

Simple... Visionaries actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Begin with a dream

Visionaries understand that the greatest actions in life begin with a dream. Afterall, a dream is a "vision;" it's a way of seeing something different. All the great visionaries of history looked at the same world everyone else did, and dreamed of something different.

Believe it can be done

As long as you see your dreams as something left to dreamers, then you will never attain them. They will be out of your reach because you won't give them the necessary energy and time needed to make them happen. You have to BELIEVE that it can be done, so that you're willing to do what it takes to get there.

Dreams + Devotion = Goals

Do it your way

There are billions of people on this planet, yet only one you. So do you choose to be 1/6000000000th of the world, or one in 6 billion?

Don't please everyone

Trying to be all things to all people averages you out to the middle. The best you will ever do is rise to the level mediocrity. Choose to reach the top, and let those that want to be down, stay down. Rise up to the highest level you can, despite what others might think.

Make no excuses

Nothing kills a dream better than an excuse. "I really couldn't" ... "I don't have the time" ... "If only I had this/didn't have that" ... There will always be a millions reasons why you failed, but only one if you succeed -- you didn't give up.

Break your goals down into managable chunks

Your goals might be much bigger than you are... at least right now; so instead of giving up, break it down. One of my favorite sayings:

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.*

Set deadlines

Reaching goals actually take time. So set some actual, realistic dates. The worked towards them. That's what breaking them down into the manageable chunks is all about.

Do something every day

Back to the fact that every goals takes time. What do you think you have during your day? Time. Use it. Even if it's only a little bit.

Every drop of rain makes the river stronger.

Be open to alternate routes to the same goals

Sometimes what you're trying to do doesn't work; so stop doing it that way. Learn from it, and move on to a better way of getting there.

A rock may change the river's course, but it does not change the river.

It's not about being in the right place at the right time

It's about being everywhere and knowing when to take advantage of the opportunities that are around you.

When in doubt, repeat

There will be down times and sad times and slow times. That's when you ought to take the time to go back and remind yourself of your original dream. They start down the path again.

* Disclaimer: To all my friends at PETA and other animal rights groups. I've never actually eaten an elephant. I never even wanted to eat an elephant. In fact, I don't even think they'd taste like chicken.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Second Chances...

Welcome to GuruMuse... MuruStu's... GuruStu's Muse!... There you go, I knew I'd get it right eventually.

That's what I want to talk about today... getting it right the SECOND time...

Why do we do things wrong the first time only to have to make up for it the next time?

You know that saying "You only get one chance to make a first impression" so why do we botch it up?! It's the strength of that belief that puts a lot of pressure on you to get it right... the more important you make that first meeting, the more pressure there is.

Now, how well do you handle pressure? If you perform well, then your first impression has a good chance of going well. If you crumble, so might your reputation.

I think first impressions are overrated...

Sure it's important to be at your best at important times, but if another person is going to continue to judge you because of that first impression, you don't need them.

Keep this in mind, whenever you give more importance to someone else's opinion of you then you give up your power to make a good impression. If you let someone else decide if you're good enough, you lose the control over your own self-esteem... and without your self-esteem, how can you expect to make a good impression?

Okay, let's look at those situations where someone decides your fate, like a job interview. True, someone else decides whether you're good enough. Yes, their opinion matters greatly and you only one chance to make a first impression. It's got all the conditions we're talking about... so it would seem that everything I just said should go out the window, right?

Wrong. Even though your job is dependent on their decision, even though your income and even your future livelihood is going to be affected... your self-esteem does not have to be destroyed by a possible rejection... the imposed pressure does not have to get you down.

When it comes to a job... you have to know, it's just a job. As the famous saying goes, no one ever said on their death bed that they wish they had spent more time at the office.

Haven't you had jobs you've hated? Jobs you felt weren't right for you? So what makes you think this next one will be all that much better?

Don't make such a big assumption about the importance of the employment. In english that means... don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

Your self-esteem is dependent on how you feel about yourself, not on how you think others feel about you... that's why it's called self-esteem and not other-esteem.

If you feel good about yourself, if you have confidence in what you do, if you don't let the pressure of other people's opinions affect you... then you can focus on being your best and not on someone else's first impression.

The first thing to help you get over first impression depression is to take away your fear... and you do that by not putting more importance on their opinion than on your own self-worth...

Don't undervalue yourself... and you won't overwhelm yourself...

Pressure is not an outside force, it's a response that comes from inside. We may have deadlines, we may try to do too much in a small amount of time or try to do something better than everybody else, but those are all circumstances. The pressure that you feel is all your own doing. Keeping yourself composed, working at your fastest pace and at the best of your ability is all you can expect of yourself. Striving to make yourself better is one thing... so is competing to be the best... but expecting too much can be downrigth exhausting and totally unproductive.

It's expectations that cause pressure... especially when things don't go as hoped for... especially if you've put a lot of faith into those expectations. If you've changed your life to accommodate your wishes and they don't come true, then your fall can be that much bigger.

But what if those expectations came from a promise? What if someone else made a vow to you, built up those hopes and dreams, strengthened those expectations, only to let you down? What good are second chances then?

Unfortunately though, not everyone gets that second chance... because some people are unforgiving of a mistake... and so neither one of them gets a chance to make it better... healing does not take place and the people involved carry the wounds through the rest of their lives.

I've seen that with friends and even members of my own family... they've been carrying the wounds of years ago, letting it tear them apart, both apart inside and apart from each other. I wonder, is anything really worth losing time?

If you find yourself having a hard time dealing with another's mistake, try your best to understand it... take a step back and look at it from a different perspective. Overcome your wounded pride and talk it out. Make it better before it makes you worse.

And if you've ever made a mistake in your life... and I sure every one of us has... then don't allow yourself to become so engrossed in your own embarrassment that you give up.

You never fail until you quit trying

Failure is Life's way of giving you a lesson. If you let it get to you, then you won't learn the lesson you need to...

Keep the light on!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Value your time

Taking the assertion E=MC2 and equating "E" to energy, being equal to "M", meaning minutes, multiplied by the square of "C", which stands for Cash, we can prove, unequivocally that Time does indeed equal Money.

You know, you can have more or less money than the next person... you can even have more or less money than you did just yesterday... but the thing we all have an equal amount of is time. We may not have equal number of days, but each of us has twenty four hours to each day we have... and each of us has the same amount in this day than we did yesterday.

Time, it doesn't matter how much of it you have... it matters how much you do with it.

There never seems to be enough time, to do the things you want to do, once you find them... why is that? What is Time, anyway?

Scientists, philosophers and, yes, even Gurus have pondered that question since the beginning of time. It's as if if we could just figure out what time is, then maybe we can do something more with it. People play with time all the time... they want to speed it up when they're young... slow it down when they're old... go back and change just a few things here and there.

One reason we don't change time like that is because we'd end up losing so much of Life's Little Lessons. Time is an experience of sequences. It gives us a chance to see different aspects of the same thing... watching the seasons change, for instance... or watching a puppy turn into a full grown dog... watching ourselves grow...

Do you really think that if we never saw ourselves change, we would really be motivated to change our lives? You know, a lot of the things we do are motivated by the fact that we see our bodies change, we see time as something we have less of... and so, we need that in order to get off our duffs and do something with our lives.

Time is here so we don't have to do everything at once. We can structure things. Our lives can be built on a cycle of growth and decay. It's so we can see our lives one piece at a time, moving around it so that we can get every possible angle in before we have to leave this world behind. Time is part of the experience. Life would never be the same without it.

And yet a sad part of all this is... how many people really do something with their time? What do you do with it?

Do you find yourself getting caught up in time, constantly worried about deadlines, rushing to get to work, speed-eating your lunch, rushing off to home... rush rush rush?

Or do you find yourself lagging behind, seemingly waiting for your life to begin?

The biggest question today is, are you happy with your life?

Are you at peace with Time?

You know the old adage, "No one has ever said on their death beds that they had wished to spend more time at the office." Are you taking the time out to enjoy the moment?

And if you're one of the slow pokes, are you waiting for your life to come bump you in the butt? Are you waiting for someone else to come live your life for you? What are you waiting for?

Here's one for you, are you one of those that find yourself always doing too much... always doing things for everyone else, but yourself... never able to say "no"... always feeling so good when you're helping someone else, but always feeling guilty when doing something for yourself? (Got you pegged, huh?)

Well, I've got the answer for all of you... for those that do too much, for those that don't do enough... for anyone who wants to be at peace with themselves and with Time. Here is the key to solving this problem:

When it comes to Time, Value Your Own. Period.

Seems simple, doesn't it? If you take a closer look though, you'll understand that it's far more comprehensive than that.

Now notice, I didn't tell you how to value your time. I didn't tell you to take a vacation, or to work extra hours, or get a new job or even a new life. I'm asking you to add just one more thing to your life... and that's value. believe me, the rest will take care of itself.

Let me show you how.

Say for instance you have a hard time saying "no" to people. "Can you take care of Little Billy for me this weekend?" "Can you stay an extra two hours to finish up this project?" "Can you give me... get me... buy me... blah blah blah."

Now, if you valued your time, you may still do these things. Of course you would love to stay with Billy or work longer, but this time, you'll be doing it because you want to and not because you'll be manipulated... And, if you would rather do something else besides "blah, blah, blah", then that choice, too, will be up to you. You will be valuing your time... making decisions based on what is good for you?

Now is there something wrong with that? Is a little voice going off beside your ear saying, "I could never turn them down, it would make me feel bad" or worse yet, "That would be selfish of me to do that!"

Would it? Would it actually be selfish if you took time for yourself? If you think you have to give up your weekend so that Billy's parents can go off and play then you are stating that they are better than you and you do not deserve to enjoy your life.

Again, we are not talking about denying help to others, we are making a declaration that our time is valuable... it is all we have... and we must make our choices with that in mind. How valuable is our time?

Valuing our time is a key to our self-esteem. Our lives are comprised of time... if we don't value our time, we don't value our lives... and if we don't value our lives, how can we possible value ourselves?

You see, we often think we have to value ourselves first, and then we will automatically value our time. Sure, that can be true, but it's not as easy to get a handle on. We can't control "Our Life"... there are too many factors involved... but we can value our time... it's singular... and it can be controlled in every moment. We don't have to wait until tomorrow to get control of it, because by then, a whole day would have slipped by... all we have to do is say, "this moment, this moment right here, is very value to me... and I'm going to do the most with it that I can."

Just changing that... that one, singular moment, can -- and will -- change the entire direction of all your tomorrows to come.

Every moment is precious... hold it while you can and make it golden.