Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't be an Old Dog in the New Year

Life is full of contradictions. As we get older, we're supposed to be getting wiser. Wisdom means learning new things, and yet we buy into the old excuse that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." Well, my dear puppies, I'm here to tell you that you can.

Being that the New Year is on its way; and resolutions are flying everywhere, there's no time like the present to learn.


Forget that you "can’t"
That’s the only thing really holds us back; that we believe we can’t do something. Whether it’s situational ("the job takes up all my time"), relational ("the kids! the kids!") or motivational ("I just don’t want to do that...") it all comes down to an excuse not to go after what we want. It seems easier not to do something now, but in the long run, it actually holds us back. Believing in "I can" is the first and most important step. The rest just becomes a matter of "how."

Forget everything you know now
The more set in our ways we become, the harder it is to learn. That' why children learn so much faster than us, because they're more open to everything that comes in. We mustn’t let what-we-know get in the way of what-we-can-become.

Don’t fight contradictions
There are multiple sides to everything in Life… and we only see it from one angle at a time. The opposite angle can really look like it negates the first angle. That's not true; both sides are true. It’s how we look at it that makes the difference. By being open to the fact that contradictions exist, we won’t get stuck on the narrow side.

Try it
Change happens by doing. We learn so much more by experiencing it first hand. Remember, we always have the option of not doing it again, or going back to our old way. Getting out of our comfort zone actually makes us stronger. Even if it's only a tiny toe out into the bigger world, stick your toe out!

But wait, there's more!
It took a long time for us to get the way we are. There was also a lot of other things that helped support our old tricks. Doing something new won't feel right, unless other things in our lives support them. Don't just try one new thing; try all the stuff that goes with it too. That’s the only real way to make a new life for yourself in the new year.

Guru-cise it!

DON'T make a resolution …

Resolutions are just empty promises with built in escape clauses in February. Stay away from the generalized commitments like "going to the gym" or "eating right" but rather focus on a specific TASK or ACTIVITY that you want to add into your life. "Learn to ski" fits right into "getting more exercise" without being "exercise."It has a fun factor built into it, which makes it more likely to happen. It's easier to reach a task that a resolution, so this year focus on the thing itself!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Balance and Harmony

The song of Life isn't just about an equal number of notes, it's about making sure they make beautiful music together.

..............................

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about balance... balancing time, energy, resources and motivation... balancing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements... and kind of ignoring a different aspect of Life... harmony.

Not that I wasn't pursuing it, mind you; I just wasn't finding a place to put it in my lil book. One of my good friends sent me a planner he uses and it just sort of reminded me about harmony. I think they were using harmony like balance, which is good for them.... but since I do see them as different aspect of life, I'm going to continue to search for the best way to get them BOTH down on paper.

Balance is about giving some equality to the different parts of our lives. Work Time and Play Time may not be the same amount of hours, but they ought to be given the same amount of consideration. The same with Rest Time. We really did learn everything we needed to know in Kindergarten, didn't we?

How harmony differs is that each of these times kind of needs to "fit" with each other. They don't have to be similar (we could have a desk job during the week and skydive during the weekend) but they should somehow compliment one another. By that I mean, they go with who we are. If we're a brainiac/weekend warrior, then the desk job/skydive thing is a perfect fit. Harmony happens when each part of who we are gets to resonate every once in a while. Harmony comes when we're wholly satisfied.

It's when we neglect some piece of ourselves that we eventually take notice. It's this little black hole that starts to tug at our attention. Our lives feel less fulfilled when we ignore it.

Remember that even one note unplayed is noticeable amongst a giant symphony. That's why it's important to not only make the time, but make the time count.

Leave no song unsung!

Friday, December 25, 2009

ROTFLMAO

The Modern Day Christmas Card...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Don't be futile


Out of the Box
Letting go is catching on.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stuck


Out of the Box
We're our own life support.>

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Life Without Judgment

It’s not an easy thing to do; especially when we’re taught to have strong beliefs about right and wrong. Everything around us stirs up some sort of opinion. Yet the most freeing thing we can do for ourselves - and others - is to live our lives without judgment.



We only see a little piece

The world is bigger than our senses… and there’s just so much more going on outside our range than we’ll ever encounter. The smaller the picture, the less likely our judgment will be fair and just. With that margin of error, judgment is not a very safe bet.



Disagreement is not judgment

Not judging doesn’t mean with have to agree with everything. We all see Life from a different angle. It’s okay to believe we have a right view of the world, just as long as it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be wrong.



Judgment hurts us more

When we judge, everything outside our ideal view becomes a threat. We build walls based on fear and insecurity. We become increasingly isolated; and that robs us of fully experience all the joys Life has to offer.



The strongest person doesn’t have a shell. They don’t need one.



A life without...

The absence of judgment allows us to help others easier, because our focus is on them and not us. It helps us to really know someone or something outside ourselves. We aren’t threatened by others and their opinions. We get to see Life as it is; not how we expect it to be.



Guru-cise it!



Stop talking and start asking...



The next time you find yourself passing judgment; don’t rush to say anything, even in your head. Instead cultivate the desire to ask questions; to get to know someone or something else as it is, not how you think it is. Make sure you don’t ask opinionated questions like “why are you doing that wrong?” but rather leave it open like “why do you do that?” or how about just “why?”



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Way to go!


Out of the Box
Distance is relative.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

This ain't it.

There are times in our lives that we look around at all we’ve got, and just sigh. We’re not sure how we got here, not sure where we’re going and not even sure what it is we even want… all we know is THIS AIN’T IT.



That kind of feeling can bring such a feeling of being lost. It devalues everything we have and just makes us want to quit and start over; if only we knew how.



Well, we don’t have to be that drastic, but we have to do SOMETHING before it’s too late.



Define It!

Childhood was filled with such wonder and possibilities. In the blink of an eye, we could be a movie star AND an astronaut. Nothing seemed impossible. Somehow we forgot that. So it’s time to get back to that wonderment. Even if it might be a bit late to become that astronaut, is it really that impossible to fly?

What’s that look like?

John’s a manager in a Fortune 500 company and miserable. He thinks he can’t leave because of mortgage, family, blah blah blah. He loves space and always dreamed of being an astronaut. He’s not going to move to join NASA any time soon. Suddenly a friend mentions that the local Air Force base is looking for a manager…



Is it exactly like his childhood? No… but it’s closer to flying than before.


Build It!

Life is full of good and bad stuff. Just thinking about the bad stuff makes us sad; and isn’t very productive. Paying more attention to the good stuff, however tiny it might be, helps us to nurture it. And there’s only so much time in the day, so the more we fill it up with good stuff, the less time we have for the other stuff to bring us down.



Stop It!

You know, if it really ain’t it, then it just ain’t it… so stop it. You’re not making it any better by keeping at it. If you’ve got the big house and the fancy car and you want the simpler life, go out and simplify your life. If you’re under-skilled and under-appreciated, go out and get those skills; then go where you can be appreciated.



Do it!

It’s not just about positive attitude, and cheerful dreams, it’s all about action; doing things that make a difference. It’s not magic, but the results can be magical.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Get up!


Out of the Box
On a clear day, you can rise forever

Monday, November 23, 2009

Keep your Promise

A promise is a contract… to someone else, to ourselves; to life itself. To take that lightly has serious consequences for everyone involved. Keeping our promises builds our relationships, our reputation; even our self-esteem. It’s setting goals, but with accountability and commitment built right in. A promise is the vehicle that drives us to our goal.



Only make promises I can keep.

We must be able to do what we say we can do. If we know we can't achieve it, we shouldn't promise it in the first place. Also, we shouldn't promise results if there's too many things out of our control (we can promise "I'll do my best to win the gold medal" but we can't really promise that we'll actually win it)



Only make promises for myself.

We can't control the will of others, so we also can't make promises for them. Either the other person is going to resent us for committing them; or if they fail to deliver, we'll be the one who looks bad. It's not a winning thing to do. It's better to get them to make their own promises if we need their help.



Don't make conflicting promises with another.

To be really true to the goal, we shouldn't make a promise to someone else that conflicts. One of them is sure to be deisappointed; maybe even both.



Follow through.

It's not about being able to make a promise that builds our character and our reputation. It's about us actually coming through on them. To become known as someone who follows through helps us as much as it helps them.



Follow up.

How will we ever really know if we "did good" unless we ask? Getting the feedback not only tells us whether we've succeeded or not, it helps to show we really, really care.



.................................



Guru-cize it



Start small. Think of the little promises we make during the course of the day."I'll pick up bread on the way home" or "I'll call you this afternoon" and write them down. Have a little "promise book" in your pocket; like a "to do" list but only of the things that have been committed to someone else.



Then make sure to check them off.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Go!


Out of the Box
When you gotta go, you know you know,

Friday, November 13, 2009

B.U.


Out of the Box
You are unique... just like everyone else!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Speed on the Learning Curve

Life is full of lessons, and those lessons take time to "get." Sometimes we're so distracted by everything else that we don't get it for quite some time. It's not really a problem, as long as we understand that. Unfortunately, it often comes with a lack of patience too. We've become such a Now Generation that we don't even enjoy learning; we just want to know it NOW.



Well, it doesn't work that way… and if we try to speed along the learning curve, we're setting ourselves up to fall off the edge.



Accept it

Acceptance is a huge way of lifting the burden. "It's going to take some time, ok!" That way we're more willing to take the time, because we know we need it.



Set smaller goals along the way

The trip of Life requires snacks and potty breaks. Let's not see it as one long road, but a series of short hops. It'll make the trip go by smoother and be a lot more enjoyable.



Get ready for more curves

The learning curve is not one long curve… it's a series of twists and turns all over the place. We can't see around the bend either, so it's best to just be prepared to turn.



Look for short cuts

That's how everyone else makes it look so easy; they know that there's easier ways to do everything. So we need to find our own short cuts. One we do that, the learning curve won't so look big and menacing after all.



Ask for directions

Other people have "been there, done that" before us; so asking them about their experiences will not only show us short cuts, it'll help us avoid the pitfalls. Don't let their experience go to waste.



Look back every once in a while

When all we do is look forward, it seems like we're never going to get there. Every once in a while, it helps to look back at the progress we've made. It's not only surprising, it can also be comforting.



Show others the way

The best way to learn is to teach. That's because we have to simplify it for someone without our experience. Simplifying it for them often simplifies it for us. So share knowledge and experience; give them directions. Hopefully, they'll take them.





.................................



Guru-cize it



Make a map of your learning curve...



• Pick something you're learning or want to learn

• Pick out "Progress Points" along the route

• Estimate the time line (be realistic)

• Seek out advisors (on the web, or organizations, etc.)

• Commit to do it, and stick to it, until you arrive

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Better Half


Out of the Box
The day's not over til you're over the top!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Challenges should not be Struggles

We all know that there is suffering in Life. We often use it as an excuse to stop trying, or to not believe in something bigger than ourselves. There used to be a popular saying "No Pain, No Gain" but if something really hurts, it's just not right.



Just because Life can be tough, that doesn't mean that everything we do has to be painful.



They look alike

Challenges and Struggles have a lot in common. It's often impossible to tell the difference when you're in the middle of it. There are differences though, and recognizing them early can save you a lot of frustration and pain.



The difference is in the goal

What often sets a challenge apart is a specific attainable goal. Struggling happens when you lose focus and your sense of direction and purpose.



The difference is attitude

A challenger doesn't give up hope, even when faced with impossible odds. A Struggler doubts.



The difference is in the progress

Progress is measured by how much closer we move towards our goal. It might be a lot of so little it's hard to tell. If we find ourselves going in all different directions, that's a good indication of a struggle.



The difference is in the results

Basically results tell it all. "The proof is in the pudding" as the saying goes. Does all this effort pay off with an enriching reward? It is fulfilling all by itself? Are we better for doing it? Then the challenge is worth it.





Guru-cize it



Choose something that you're going through now; anything that takes effort. Then ask yourself these questions:



• Is it rewarding?

• Is it lofty / noble?

• Is it attainable?

• Is it enriching to myself or to those I love?

• Is the reward ultimately larger than the effort?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Y'Think


Out of the Box
I have so many thoughts outside the box, I need a box to keep them in.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dealing With Unfinished Business

Leaving things undone, ignoring past messes or putting things off altogether does nothing to further our lives. In fact, it lingers over us like a rain cloud. It leaves us feeling as incomplete as the very thing we ignore. Facing the 'unfinished' head on and truly getting it done is the only real way for us to grow and move forward in Life.



What is unfinished?

We need to ask ourselves, 'What one thing would I really really regret if I left it undone?' We talk about living a life of no regret, but regrets happen anyway. So if we can't forget 'em, we might as well fix 'em.



Why is it unfinished?

Once we know what business we want to finish, it's important to look at why it's unfinished. Did we just give up? Did we lose interest? Did we say or do the wrong thing once, and became too proud to fix it? It's time to look for clues so we can turn it around to become our action plan.



What would it take to finish it?

Now let's get right down to the goals... what would it tale to finish it? Write it down. Step by little step. The focus here is on HOW we're going to get this thing done.



What does 'Finished' look like?

It's really important to know what 'Finished' looks like. Otherwise. how will we ever know we've arrived? Write it down as well; see it clearly. That's our end result. That's the whole reason for doing this.



Are other people involved?

Having other people involved means one of two things. Either it's going to take longer to finish or it'll happen much quicker than we ever imagined. It all depends on the desires and plans of those other people. If they want to finish it too, amazing things can happen.



What first step can I take to start the finishing process?

We're the ones who want to finish, so we have to be the one to start it. It's so easy to be prideful and either say 'they need to make the first move' or 'I can't do THAT!' Well, that foolishness needs to stop now. Finishing is more important than anything else we can dream of. And when it's all said and done, won't it feel even better to know that we started it?



If I can't finish it this time, am I willing to really let it go?

OK, let's face it. Sometimes no matter what we want, it's not going to happen. Can we face that 'reality' if it comes? If we're willing to accept that and let it go, in a way it IS finished, even if not in the way we wanted.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Motivate
You lift up when you get up

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Moment Too Late...

We've all had those moments. The train just left, the phone stops ringing before we pick it up, whatever. In any case, we've just missed some sort of opportunity, Is it over? Is it really too late? Or is there something we can do to still succeed after all?



Some things truly are once-in-a-lifetime opportuntities and when they're gone, they're gone. However, most things in Life have a funny way of coming back around again; although often disguised as something completely different.



Learn from it

We're here to learn lessons. That's why there isn't just one thing to learn, in one single way. Events and people come into our lives over and over again until we "get it" so why not help it along? Pay attention. Ask "what went wrong to make me miss the opportunity in the first place?"



Is there any salvage?

Is there anything we can get from the "wake" of the opportunity? Just cause it passed us by doesn't mean it's absolutely too late. Perhaps the opportunity is still close enough that we can "catch it" if we hurry. It's like hitting "redial" on the phone while the number is still fresh in memory.



Fix the flaws

Knowing why we were late still doesn't bring back the opportunity. If there's something we can do to better ourselves, we ought to do it. That way, the next time (if there is one) we'll be more ready.



Move forward

Once we've figured out what went wrong, it's time to stop dwelling on the past. That event IS gone, so let it be gone. Seriously, all that talk about "crying over spilled milk" is right, "The one that got away" isn't ours. Let's put your focus on catching the next one.



Give it all you got

Live passionately and with purpose; otherwise, it's just a life of regrets.



For me...

I know in my life, I've missed a number of opportunities. "Gurustu" came and went a couple of time because of them. It's why I'm so focused on it right now. If there are second and third chances out there, I'm ready to grab them!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shhh


Silence
Silence can be noisy

Friday, October 09, 2009

Time sure flies... do you?

I can't believe it's Friday already... I can't believe it's the weekend... can you believe it's already October?... can you believe it's almost the holidays?... The year's almost over, where'd the time go?

If you smiled and nodded at those statements, then you know how time flies. Sure seems to be moving faster than when we were kids, right?

Not really. Time's been moving at the same speed since it started... it just seems to be going faster. Why? because now we have so much more STUFF to do. The more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to do to keep the stuff... or get more stuff... or newer stuff... we're just stuffed!!

But if time feels like it's flying away from you, that means that you're not doing the right stuff.

Now there's two types of time flights... one where you're so busy engulfed by something you love that you don't notice the time (that's the good stuff)... and then there's the "other stuff" that just takes up time but doesn't quite leave you fulfilled when it's over (that's bad stuff).

So what to do... what to do?

Take a moment to think about it...

Take all the time you need...

Oh, right, I got it...

Do more good stuff!!

Spend the time doing what you love, with the people you love, for the world that you love.

Time's still going to fly by... but then again, so will you.

Keep the light on!

GuruStu

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sanitize for Sanity

Clutter messes up our lives. We can't find anything when we need it. We stub our toes on stuff. Our thinking gets as muddled as the space around us. The tangled web we weave often traps us the most.



It's time to "clean up."





Clean up your space, literally

It's not just 'cause it looks nice; it's so that you can get to the stuff you need to get to. You will save time and a lot of frustration. Follow the rules of file-forward-or-forget-it. Start at one end of your space and move to the other. Everything you see, ask yourself, "do I need to keep this?" (file it in a place you can find next time) or "would this be better off if I gave it to someone else?" (donate it to charity or gift it to a friend) or "does anyone really need this? (trash it). Have a legitimate reason for each and stick to it. By the time you reach the other side, you're whole world will be changed.



Clean up your thoughts

This isn't a message to "get your head out of the gutter." It's about organizing them; make lists of to do's (don't forget to do the file-forward-forget to each task as well). Keep a journal. Having to organize your thoughts on paper (or computer) can help clarify an awful lot of stuff.



Dream

Don't forget to do that. They're your thoughts and hopes played out. Write them down to and get them organized. Organized dreams turn into goals.



Clean up your actions

You act as you think, whether you think you do or not. Actions can give you very powerful insight into your thoughts (cluttered actions come from cluttered minds); and actions can also have a profound way of affecting thoughts.



Although changing your thought will change you actions, you don't always have to change the thought first. You can actually go "against" your thoughts and do actions of the way you'd like to be. With enough practice, your thoughts may change to "fit" better.



Just remember to be true to yourself

Removing clutter is meant to uncover the real you; not strip away all the qualities that make you special.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tempting


I forgot
It helps to have clear intentions

Monday, September 28, 2009

Deal with the Dark Side

Life isn't all light and fluffy. There's no guaranteed Hollywood ending and no one ever promised that it's going to be fair. There are going to be times when darkness surrounds us and is within us. To deny the darkness' existence is as dangerous as wallowing within it.



The dark doesn't matter; what matters is whether or not you choose to turn on the light.



Filter what comes in

Life just is. It can be as big or as small as you want. It can be all rosy, or all despair. You're not obligated to let it all in. Turn off the TV, select what you read. Life will go on outside you, even without you tuning in to find out what's next after the commercial break. Only let in what you want. It won't change the world one bit, but it will change your world in ways unimaginable.



Deal with what comes in

Stuff is gonna get in, no matter how hard we try... so we need to know what to do with it. Our strength is actually in what we do with what gets in.



Edit what goes out

Sure misery loves company, but just 'cause bad moods happen, we don't have to ruin everyone else's day. That will only come back to haunt us. It's better to let the light in, rather than let the dark out. Find things to brighten your day.



Do something light

Listen to music you like, go for a walk... anything that doesn't put more pressure on you.



Get rid of the Dark Makers

If there is a definite cause for all the darkness around you, work on getting rid of the source. Just doing that can save you most of the hassles.



Help someone else out of the darkness

We can't see our own problems, cause we're too close. Helping someone else out of their darkness can sometimes have amazing results for us. The advice you give to others is often the one you need to take the most.



Don't wait for someone else to light your fire

Waiting for someone else to do it is disempowering for yourself, and too much to ask from anyone else. You are the light; so shine.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

What were we talking about?


I forgot
All my memories have been recalled

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Get off your excuses

It's easy to fail... just do nothing. Better yet, make up an excuse. You know, there's always a million reasons why it can't be done, so pick one. Then you can just settle down to an unfulfilling life.



Of course, if you want something better than that, you're going to have to give up something to get something. Your excuses.



Want success

We actually have to want success. Seems pretty simple, but it's amazing just how many people are afraid of success. Will I be good enough? Will they expect too much? Will they see me as a fraud? Don't be one of those people. You have to want it to get it.



Take responsibility

Responsibility is the first step in empowerment. It's ownership. It's not taking the blame; it's taking charge of the situation and your own life. Looking for someone or something to blame is just a waste of time and energy. Time that could be spent working on getting it right.



Look for solutions

People often think they have to get to the root of the problem before they can solve it. That's not always the case. Some things don't need to be understood; they just need to be fixed, then forgotten. Focusing on solutions is also a more positive approach than searching for the problem.



Look forward

The past is over, we've heard that a million times; but we still look there. Maybe it's because we know the past, not the future; but where are you going to spend the rest of your life, hmm? Right, the future… so look there.



Learn from it

It's really only failure if we don't get anything out of it. Any lesson learned is valuable. So instead of using the past to explain away our mistakes, let's use it as our teacher. After all, that's why we're here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Humble Beginnings

"Even the mighty ram bows its head before the blow."



One of the strongest positions we can take as we begin something new is humility. 'Humble' not in a way of thinking less of yourself, but rather from the sincerest form of pride.





Be thankful

All too often, if it's something we already have, we don't seem to think very much of it. We don't appreciate it until it's gone. Other times, we can become boastful because we think it makes us better than everyone else. In all cases, we're blind. Taking just a moment to say "thank you" opens our eyes to the gift called Life.



Be honest with yourself

You may actually be the best in the world at something; or you might actually be the worst. After all, someone has to be, right? More than likely, though, it isn’t you. You're somewhere in the middle in the world scale… but that should never stop you from becoming the best that you can be. You're the only one in the world who can do THAT.



See the greatness in yourself

Don't you see it? I mean, look deep inside. Get away from all your opinions and the opinions of others. Look at that spark inside you. That's greatness. Look!!!



See the greatness in others

I always say that true humility doesn't come with seeing yourself as less than others, but rather seeing how great everyone else is AS WELL as you.



Namaste

"Namaste" means "the spirit in me recognizes the spirit within you." There is no greater gift than to wholeheartedly acknowledge the existence of another.



Agape

Okay, maybe there is ONE thing that is greater than acknowledging another… it's LOVING them… unconditionally, without expectations or opinions.



The spirit in me loves the spirit in you. Nice.



Balance yourself out with greatness and you will have pride in what you do and who you are, without ego going off in a wrong direction.



It truly is a humbling experience.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Get in there


Get in there!
You gotta be in it to win it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How to succeed by being lazy

#1How many times have you said "if I only had the time…"? Don't you just feel like a slacker? You don't? You feel tired, burned out and frantic all at once? You just feel too busy to be lazy, right? So why aren't you succeeding?



'Cause you're not lazy, that's why... At least, not in ways that matter…





Don't do more than you have to

If you're painting a picture and you just keep adding color after color after color, you know what? It turns muddy. It loses its value. There comes a time to stop.



There's got to be an easier way

Ask yourself, "Can I still get what I want in some easier way?" Sometimes the road you're on is just too long, and there are shortcuts everywhere. Find them.



Get more for less

A string of smaller successes can really add up over time, and take you farther than bigger success. If you do one "something" to get back three things, you'll have more than five "somethings" only getting you back ten.



Do I really need it?

Yeah, do you? Sure you may want it badly… but for how long? Take a closer look at it. Do without it for just a bit longer. If you don't really miss it, you can save time by not pursuing it.



Don't do all that "stuff"

We really have so much time on our hands, we really do. We just fill it in with so much "stuff" It actually takes a lot of work to be lazy enough to come up with solutions, but in the end, it gives you back enough time to get the really important stuff done.



Just get there

Results matter; not how much it took to get there. The one who comes in last can do just as much work as the one who comes in first. Success has a lot of other factors besides how much effort you put into it.



Now I'm not implying that you should cheat. Lazy people shouldn't cheat. That's just more "stuff" you don't need. What I'm saying is that you don't have to work so hard at getting success; you have to become lazy enough to let it happen.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Many Reasons for a One Track Mind

It's what I call "wide success" because there's nothing particularly wrong with that. It's just success that goes "sideways."



If you want "far success" however, you'll need to stay on a single track, if you want to go the distance. For that, you need a "one track mind."



It gives you focus

Not only is there a lot going on inside you, there's even more stuff going on outside. It can all be such a blur at times, but if you have a single purpose, you can pick out only what you need to.



It gives you a sense of definition

It also helps to define who you are. How you finish a sentence that starts with "I am..." is very powerful. "I am a writer" ... "I am a construction worker" ... "I am a mother/father" ... "I am rich" or "I am poor."



It gives you a sense of purpose

When you do a little bit of everything, you might get this sense that you don't really make much of a difference. With a one track mind, at least you feel like you're onto something.



You can map it out

When you know what you want, it makes it easier to get there. It's still not necessarily easier to get, but it easier to head in the direction of your desire.



You can see how far you've come

When you're on one track for some time, you can look back and see just hwo far you've travelled. It can be very encouraging to see your past successes lined up. It helps you want to go on.



You can say "no"

There's always going to be distractions along the way. Like small towns alongside the railroad, some will draw your attention. It's OK to take a break and rest a while, but if you have a one track mind, you must get back on it... no settling in and no switching tracks.



What happens when you get there?

There isn't really a destination. You may say I want to achieve this and you actually do, but that doesn't mean you're done with your journey. Could it be that you just didn't see that there are more tracks on the other side of your goal?



The journey continues!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Neg Blocker

neg blockersThere's all this popular talk about blocking out carb-fat-calories-radiation these days. Wouldn't it be nice if we had something to block out the negativity that surrounds our lives?



Well, we do.



It just doesn't come in pill form.





Recognize the negativity

You may just be having a sense that something is wrong, but not actually know what it is. Go find out. Do some investigation; whether it's searching inside yourself or asking trusted people you know. Become aware of just what the negativity is, what it looks like and especially what it's doing to you.



See if you can stop it at its source

Once you can recognize the negativity, see if you can get rid of the cause. It could be a person, or an activity, or an old habit. Whatever it is, see if you can make it go away.



Fight fire with fire

In lieu of removing the source, you can always control its effect on you. Literally fight negativity with negativity… Say "NO" ... if not to the source, at least to yourself. You may not want to get too loud if you're in the library or on a crowded street, since people might look at you funny, but whenever you feel the negativity creeping in, say it. "NO!!!" can have a powerful way of stopping it from sinking in further.



Fill 'er up with the good stuff

If you're filled up with positivity… good thoughts, well wishes… it will be tougher for negativity to make room. After you say "NO"… immediately picture what you DO want (whatever that is, even if it's seemingly unrelated to the situation) Say "YES." For example, you might have an argument with a coworker or spouse and you picture a vacation home in southern France. Seems off-the-wall, but it shifts you towards a better state of being.



Stay true

All too often, we get into a revenge mode, or a "well, everyone else is doing it" mentality… and we let that justify our slip into a darker place. Don't do it. Just don't. If you truly want the world to be a better place, then you have to be the better person. Don't make "Everybody does it" a true statement… as long as you don't do it, the world is automatically a better place.



See how important you are?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

How to be a Happy Pessimist


:-/A Pessimist is not a Downer, just as an Optimist is not a Dreamer. Both just see the world differently. They expect different outcomes. The Pessimists like to fancy themselves "Realists" because they think they see the world as it really is, but actually they're only seeing half the picture.



Prepare, but don't expect

The really good thing about Pessimists is that they don't ignore the possibility of failure. That gives them a chance to explore the possibilities and have alternate plans ready. It's just really important not to EXPECT the worse to happen, because you may actually do subtle actions to ruin your chances of success.



Expect nothing, gain everything.





Enjoy the good times while they last

You believe that the good times won't last, right? But what are you doing while they're here? There's no law that says you can't enjoy the wonderful moments that life has to offer. So stop worrying that the worse is yet to come, and get to enjoying what's here now.





Don't make things worse

You create your own reality by every choice you make. If you believe that something is going to be bad, and you stop trying to make it better, it might actually get worse. You'll feel vindicated in that you expected it, but being in a worse situation won't make you feel any better, now will it? Be aware that you might be making the bad times happen.





You don't need to suffer

Yes, there is suffering in the world, and you should do something about it; just don't feel bad and believe you have to suffer yourself. Starving yourself is not going to feed a hungry child in a Third World Country (unless you mail them your sandwich). Feeling badly about a homeless person is not going to get them off the street any time soon. Don't feel guilty for having more than someone else, or just for having a good day.



By taking care of yourself, the world has one less person who's in pain.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life's Play


Comedy and TragedyWilliam Shakespeare once wrote "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." There are going to be times in your life when those players come and those players go. It's up to you to direct the show, known as your life, if you ever expect to see a happy ending.





What's the story?

Like every play, your life has its own story. You don't really know how it's going to end, or even what's coming up next. The best thing you can do is keep up with what's going on and steer it in the direction you would like it to go. The rest will play out as it will.



Beginnings

Everything has its beginning. For it to be a good beginning, whatever came before had to prepare for that beginning. It may have been some other beginning, or it may have been some ending that started this beginning. Be prepared.



Beginnings usually take up more energy than something in the middle. It's the "ramp up" time… the "0 to 60" that gets you pushed in your direction. If you are beginning something, it's important to remember that, so you don't think it's always going to be tough or unfamiliar. It gets better as you get going.



Endings

What begins also has to end. It's part of the cycle of Life. If you can become accepting of this, and non-fearful of it, you'll have a chance to be braver during the lifespan of whatever it is you're doing. Don't live for the ending, but don't avoid it either.



Entrances

There are going to be people and things that come into the story of your Life. You need to make room for them, if you want them to be a part of your life. That means time and space. If you shift the direction of your life for another, it shows you care (and they should shift for you, or else it sets everything off balance, which is a bad thing).



Exits

Exits are the endings of others. People and things go away. You need to adjust to that as well, or else you just leave an empty space where they were. The adjustment is a form of grieving, and it's all natural. Think of it as filling up with new possibilities.



Final Bow

This is the big ending. The one that "caps" your life… puts the period at the end of your sentence. So what do you want that sentence to say?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Breaking the Downward Spiral


Break the Downward SpiralSometimes you get into this downward spiral that you start to lose all control of your life. The only way seems to be down... and if you don't do anything it will be. It's time for drastic measures if you're going to prevent a crash. You have to regain control, if you ever want to fly again.





Realize the downward cycle

The first thing to do is realize that you're actually in a downward spiral. Everything is spinning out of control, so it's confusing. Recognizing that it's happening is the first part of gaining control. Gather up as much information as you can about your downward spiral. Where are you heading? How fast are you going? How close are you to disaster?



"I am in control"

You actually have to tell yourself that, or else you'll end up panicking and that'll only make matters worse. You CAN control it; you CAN get out of it. Once a downward spiral has actually started, there are a bunch of other factors now taking over. That can make you feel like you're helpless. You really aren't, but you rally aren't in control either. Now is the time to TAKE control.



Control the symptoms

Once you're in the downward spiral, the cause is irrelevant. Much like treating a runny nose and aching head of a cold, go after the symptoms and control it from there. In an every day life that's out-of-control, it could look like no time for yourself, a messy house, tons of arguments with those around you. You can clean up, get organized and stop trying to be "right" all the time… that will solve most of your downward problems right away.



Stop it!!

The spiral happens because the outside forces are now stronger than the inside forces. You literally have to apply the brakes to the outside. What that looks like in your personal life is saying "stop it" regardless of anyone outside hears it. You have to say it to stop the effect it has on you. Saying "NO" allows you to reach the "YES" that's inside you. It empowers you because you refuse to let yourself be controlled by outside.



Gently... Gently...

You can't just push in the opposite direction. That can make it worse. Being gentle, however odd that might feel at first is the only way to ease out of the problem.



Point away

When things star to ease up, you actually have to start moving away from the downward spiral. Once this happens though, you gain the control back, and can fly again.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

When "Good Enough" Really is Good Enough

perfect blah blah blahWe are bombarded on a daily basis with perfection. "Get the perrrr-fect career, the perrrr-fect car, the perrrr-fect body"… to the point of paralysis. We get it into our heads that since we'll never be good enough, why should we even try?



Yet think of it this way... if everyone ELSE is thinking this and doing NOTHING, then you just have to do SOMETHING to move ahead. To do that, you just have to realize that good enough really is good enough.



Good enough isn't perfect

General George S. Patton once said "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." Tomorrow doesn't come and tomorrow will never contain the future we want if we do nothing about it today. And what if we actually DO get the perfect plan, only to discover it's a day late? Success is in the action, after all… so stick to what works today.



Good enough isn't "settling"

You're actually not compromising quality just because you don't make it "perfect." It's satisfaction with what good you do have. I can talk in clich├ęs all day, but "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" seems very fitting right now. What you have with you does matter.



Good enough isn't mediocre

Notice the word "good" in there. "Good" is better than "nothing," "good" is better than "ok;" "good" is actually something worthy of having.



Good enough gets results

Imagine you're in a row boat, and you want the result of getting to shore. You put the oars in the water, you push… it's good. It's good enough to get you a little bit closer to shore, now isn't?



Repeatable "good" is the secret to success

OK, so you're not at the shore yet, are you? Nope… because "good enough" by itself is useless staying in the past. Putting the oars back into the waters, and pushing again… being "good enough" again, and again; gets you to the shore.



"Success comes from doing successful things repeatedly."

~ gurustu


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Living lean



Living leaner can help you live larger.



I'm not talking about the latest diet craze and I don't claim to be a fitness guru. I'm talking about trimming all the extra "stuff" that weighs you down in life.



It's time to trim.





First figure out what NOT to trim

Basically, what is the "meat" of your life? People only NEED a few things, like food and water, air, some form of shelter to keep them from harm… but beyond that, what makes your life undeniably yours? Relationships, home, job, family… This is the area you DON'T need to trim; because it defines who you are.



Then…



Trim the meaningless

This is the obvious fat. Stuff that means nothing to you, whether it's physical clutter or some activity that you do… it just brings no sense of fulfillment to your life. Simply put - get rid of it! If it's "junk" then literally donate it to charity. If its some sort of activity that you don't need or want to do, let someone do it.



Trim the "cling-ons"

These are the things that are around because THEY feel it's important. Now this is not advice on being selfish, but it is a lesson in how to be self-caring. Carefully evaluate why something is hanging on to your life. If it's not mutually beneficial, then perhaps it's time to change it.



Trim the time wasters

There are some things that are meaningful to you, but just take more than they give. It could be a long-winded conversation with a loved one, or some other activity that just always takes longer than it should. For this, you just have to learn short cuts and ways to politely know when to end things. Once the value is gone from the time spent, it's time to spend that time someplace else.



Add more "meat"

Fortunately time is finite in every day; so you have to choose wisely what to do with it. If you just trim the "fat" you'll be left with pockets that can just get filled up with different "fat." By adding more meaningful stuff to those moments, you won't have any more time to waste.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ask right...




Despite our own popular opinion, we don’t know it all. There are times we need to seek out the advice of others.



Knowing how to ask for help is the smartest thing you can do.



Know what to ask

Reduce your need to a sentence or two. Keep the questions simple, so the solution can be simple too.



Know who to ask

The person you ask needs to have YOUR best interests at heart, not theirs. This is about forwarding your life, not the manipulations of someone else’s selfish agenda.



Speak in questions

You are ASKING for advice, not looking for someone to rant to. Instead of saying something like “they don’t listen to me” you could ask “what would you do if someone else doesn’t listen to you?” That gives them another opportunity to give you an opinion.



Don’t box them in

It’s the details that bog you down. Don’t share too many details with your advisor unless they ask for them. Perhaps their freedom from details will bring about suggestions that can free you up too.



Listen openly

Don’t filter their advice against your details either. Don’t immediately jump to “it won’t work because…” That’s just setting you up to repeat failure. Take in their advice fully; then move on to making plans.



Follow through

Be willing to give the advice a chance. After all, you came here for advice; it’s no good unless you do something with it.



Follow up

Make an appointment to follow up with your advisor at a later date. That turns the advice into goals, and the follow through into a contract.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Glass Just is...

The glass just is… the liquid in it, just is. You can see it as half-full or half-empty all you want; it’s still just a glass with some stuff in it. It is both… and neither.



The closer you can come to that ‘truth’ the more direct an experience you will have. No judgment, only experience.



Getting to that place is “half” the journey…



Recognize your Point of View

All too often we just assume we’re seeing things as they are. We don’t realize just how much we read into what we see… our past experiences, our current mood, the angle of our view… they all color the “truth.” First thing, acknowledge that this is just the way you see it. That will get you to separate your view from what you are viewing.



See the Value of the Other Half

It really isn’t an either-or situation. Just because a perspective is different than yours, doesn’t make it automatically wrong. Consider that there’re lessons to be learned by seeing the “opposite” point of view. A pessimist isn’t always a “downer’ and an optimist isn’t always a “dreamer.”



Seeing the other side will help you to…



Get to Neutral

“Neutral” is Balance. It isn’t “nothing” … but rather having both sides equal to one another. It is all about being centered between the duality known as “Life.”



Neutral isn’t Passive

You know that birds can fly best when they’re balanced. They can fly longer and farther, and with a lot less stress being in that “neutral” state. The same ought to be with you. When you get balanced, don’t just sit there like a lump… go do something!



Direct Experience

How about going one step beyond neutral? How about experiencing something as it is? Got a glass with some water in it? Drink up. Then you’ll get it…



...........................................

(And then the glass will be empty and you’ll be full. Funny how that works, eh?)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Balance Your Act

Everyone's talking about balance these days. Balance your diet with these supplements and that juicer. Balance your time with this timeshare or the latest electronic gizmo. If you use this abdominizer, that rubber stretcher or this electric shock heating pad, you'll balance your body in no time flat!



Balance doesn't come in a bottle or a box. It comes with Time and what you do with each moment.



Balance is the ultimate state of being. It's a completeness that can generate health and longevity. You see it mentioned in eastern philosophies where the yin and the yang have to be in harmony.



But you don't have to sit in silence for hours on end to achieve balance. In fact, the person who "works hard and plays hard" might actually be in more balance than anyone else.



So how do you get balanced? It's actually fairly easy in concept... and just a bit more difficult in practice.



Just add the other stuff...



It really is about ADDING, not SUBTRACTING. That might seem scary, considering all the stuff you already do; but if you realize that Time is finite, adding what you really want will help to push away the stuff that's putting you off balance.



It's also important not to subtract first. That creates a void? and anything can fill up the void, including the thing you just stopped. An example of that would be like a diet where you cut out sweets, but don't eat anything else? only to end up hitting the cookie jar at night. Adding gives you the control to have what you want.



Take time to play, if you work too hard.

Work, if all you do is play.



If you sit all day, go for a walk at night.

If it's too noisy, sneak away to a place for a moment of silence.



Eat some healthy food.

Exercise.



Do something, however little, for yourself every day.


It doesn't have to be equal time for each thing. Five minutes of quiet can balance eight hours of noise. A moment of play can counter tons of work. It's about HAVING this stuff in your life, more so than how long you have it.



It's your time, your life, your choice.



Add accordingly.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Being Present



Get the whole article

The greatest gift you can give to someone is being Present

There is a special magic that happens when you acknowledge another person's existence. It doesn't have to be much… a smile, a kind word… just something to yes "hi, I know you're here."

 

Being Present

The closer they are to you though, the more of "you" they need, in order to feel that sense of commitment. It's very simple in its principles, not always as easy as it looks, yet farther reaching than you can ever imagine.

To make yourself "present" to someone, you have to bring yourself into the present moment fully, and remove all distractions so you can focus on being with that other person. Here're some hints to help you get there:

Maintain eye contact
When someone is talking to you, they can see where your focus is in your eyes. Looking away means your mind is there too. Looking them in the eye connects you.**

Listen
Don't pay any attention to that voice that's competing inside your head. Be silent, and really take in what they other person is saying.

Acknowledge what they said
"Uh huh... Yeah… Uh huh," is not acknowledgement. Make sure you let them know that you don't just hear what they say, you understand it too. Even paraphrase it in your own words and say it back, or ask them a question that furthers the conversation along.

Add to their conversation not your own
Your experience can be invaluable to them, but not if it's going off in some self-centered tangent. Make sure what you have to say is relevant, or else (again) they'll realize you weren't really paying attention.

Don't judge their viewpoint
This can be a tough one, because in order for you to understand them, you have to filter it through your own set of beliefs. You just have to keep your values to yourself, and not prejudge what you're hearing.


Forget your past
The mind is a funny thing most of the time. They'll say one thing and you'll be catapulted back to High School or Summer Camp and completely leave the present behind. If you get into those moments, get back to the Present. You'll get there by looking at the person with you and listening,

Don't anticipate your future
We also like to race ahead, way too often. Even if our intention is to hurry up and get to the answer, racing too far ahead will leave the solution behind. Besides, the person you're with might veer off at any moment, leaving you once again, not paying attention.

Give them your time
Don't rush things. Time is your life. The other person knows you value your time, so when you give of your time, you give of yourself. They get your present when you give a whole bunch of your present moments.


** Be aware that eye contact varies in different cultures… and the connection that comes from it might be construed as disrespect. Stay within the boundaries of comfort here, or else you'll miss all other points.



Daily Thoughts via Twitter


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Love, Love, Love



The Beatles sang "All you need is Love." Although two slices of bread and Love won't make a sandwich, they definitely were on to something. Love, when applied properly can make the difference between an ordinary existence and a fulfilling Life.

To get your life in line with love takes a three step approach…

Do what you love, love what you do and share it with those you love.

Hearts

Do What You Love
Whether it's your job, or your family or just a hobby, if there's something you really enjoy doing, do it. There's no point putting up with a lot of "stuff" that you don't enjoy waiting for something better to come along. Even if you have to start small, don't put it off for another time.

Love What You Do
When you're doing something, do you take the time to take it in? Do you use that time to express yourself through it? Not everything is black and white, and it's not all gray either. There're a million colors out there to experience. So even if you're doing something that isn't completely fulfilling, bringing in even the tiniest bits of love can change your whole experience of the moment.

Share It With Those You Love.
Fulfilling moments last for the time they happen. Sharing the experience with those you care about elongates the moments… it changes them, enhances them and enriches them. And enriched moments make for a more fulfilling life…

…and to get there, all you need is Love.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't Pursue Do!

I was at a "Meet and Greet" networking party a little while back. I met a lot of "Planners" there, with their dreams and schemes; something that they always wanted to pursue. The only problem was… no one was actually DOING anything.



Too often we talk in "some days." "Some day I'm going to sit down and write…", "I'm going to learn how to paint…", "…going to Europe…" There's never any date set, or plans to get there… only "I want to's" and "one of these days."

To get what you want out of Life, you have to put your Life into what you want.



That means you need to set up your goal, with a date and a plan to get there. And every day, yes EVERY day, you have to be moving in the direction of that goal, along your plan.



This web site is a perfect example of getting things done. Every day I checked my list and made sure I did SOMETHING… even if I didn't have a lot of time, I made sure the smaller things got done. And now that the site is here, I still have my tasks:

  • Every day, I type an entry into my "blog"
  • Every week, I add an article or letter.
  • Every other week, my newsletter goes out.
  • Every month, I add some entries in the personal side of my site - Guru Who?
  • At least every quarter, I review the site itself, and improve the navigation, features, etc. to make overall improvements
That may seem like A LOT, especially if you look at it BEFORE you do it… but when you see that it really doesn't take as much as you think, you will see how far you can go.

An hour a day… or maybe only half an hour a day… but something… one step at a time. To get somewhere, you have to GO somewhere. So get going!



.............................................

Come visit Gurustu.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Right Brain's Guide to the Law of Attraction

A little while ago, I wrote “The Left Brain’s Guide to the Law of Attraction” for all my brainy friends who need to see the logic behind The Secret and the Law of Attraction. Well, for all you people in your right minds, I FEEL the urgency to tell the other side of the story.


Can you SEE it?
The right brain is the more visual, ‘creative’ side of the brain. It understands patterns, sees connections that don’t make any sense to the left, more ‘logical’, side. People who are more right-dominant tend to be artists, poets, dreamers… and experts at creating vision boards.


(In fact, they tell or their friends about vision boards and even hold vision board parties! But that’s another story, so let’s move on…)


Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Feelings
Right-brainers are also more in ‘tune’ with their feelings, so as far as visualization goes, they’ve also got this one down. They know what it’s like to drive that car, to take that vacation, to wake up beside the one that they love.


Because emotions are energy-in-motion, the Law of Attraction often kicks in quicker for them. Right-brainers have great stories of how things manifested in 10 minutes and will brag about all the good parking spots.


Practically speaking
On the other hand, if logic is thrown out the window, the mind can become distracted by other shiny things. The Dreamer then becomes disappointed and wonders what they’re doing wrong (“I’ve got all my boards done and I visualize every day, why don’t I have it yet?”)


Results come from balancing the dream with the doing. In order to go from Dreams to Results you must take ACTION.


The Law of Attraction will bring it to you, but to GET it, you have to GRAB it.


Can you feel it?



........................


Learn the secret behind The Secret


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Left Brain's Guide to the Law of Attraction

I've heard people say that the Law of Attraction doesn't make sense. That The Secret makes it look too easy – just think and it shall come. While I have my own magical moments thanks to this "Law" I can understand how any "logical" person can dispute these mystical claims.

Well, I've got half a mind to tell you what I think.

So here's my left brain explaining some of the 'secrets' behind this power.

What Power of Positive Thinking?
Studies have shown that a positive outlook on life actually prolongs it. But even if it doesn't who cares? Do you really want to be grumpy all day?

The truth is, when you're depressed you don't want to do much of anything besides mope. Well, maybe eat a pint of ice cream too, but mostly mope. When you do nothing, you get nothing. Success isn't going to show up if you're not even going to get off your couch to answer the door.

Positive thinking puts you in a frame of mind to take ACTION… and action is what counts when you want to get anything done.

Like Attracts What?
Like attracts like. That's not magic, that's psychology talking. People tend to huddle in groups with people they feel safe with, whether it’s because they have similar characteristics or they know each other. Remember the saying "misery loves company"? That's grouchy people seeking out other grouchy people to out-complain each other. They hate happy people; and go the other way whenever a "Pollyanna" comes around. The same is true of happy people. They don't want the "Grinches" to spoil their mood, so they seek out other happy people.

Unsuccessful people hang out with other unsuccessful people, just as much as successful people hang out with others like themselves.

So if you want to hang out with successful, happy people, how are you going to have to be?

When will I see it?
You'll see it when you believe it. That's a Wayne Dyer-ish… and it's so true.

Opportunity happens all around us, all day long. We just don't see it. Growing up, we're inundated with input, so we learn to tune things out. Unfortunately, that also teaches us to not see opportunity even when it's staring us in the face.

Have you ever thought of buying a particular car only to then begin to notice it EVERYWHERE? It's not that there are more of that type of car out there, it's just you now have a reason to notice. It's called Reticular Activation; basically, "an aware brain."

So...

When we believe that there are opportunities everywhere, when we believe that we deserve them and when we are willing to jump in and do something about them, then we'll actually start to notice them more and more.

Here's another tip
It's called the Tipping Point. It's when it goes from struggle-struggle-struggle to a life of its own, perpetuating its own motion.

You ever notice that a project or cause can have no one for the longest time, and then suddenly more and more people get involved? Like when a bank doesn't want to help with financing until you don't need them. That will also seem like the Law of Attraction (which it is) but that too is not a surprise.

You see, there are an awful lot of people who want to be successful, but don't want to do all the work. So they're busy scanning all horizons for someone/something to attach themselves too. If your neighbor is successful, these same people would attach themselves to the neighbor. If you're the one, then you can expect them to come around just as soon as you succeed.

So what's the point?
The point is that the Law of Attraction DOES exist. For some, it will be about love and light, but maybe for you it'll be about logic instead. That doesn't matter. What does matter is that it would be a real shame to miss out on opportunity because you think you can't think your way to success.

Well, think again.


........................

Here's opportunity staring you in the face... are you ready for action?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Hold em or Fold em...

In the movie The Gambler, Ken Rodgers has a song about knowing when to “hold ‘em” and when to “fold ‘em.” Basically understanding when it’s a good time to keep what you have, or when it’s better to just take your losses and move on.



Trusting your initial impression is good, but it’s not always the best choice. Some things are better kept keeping, even when the going gets rough… and some things are better giving away, even when they seem so good now. So how do you know when it’s right and when it’s not?



Here’s what we’re up against…



Everything in life has a level of pleasure and of pain.

Even if the measurement is zero, it’s still on the level and each of us has a different threshold of tolerance. That means that one set of rules for one person does not necessarily work for all people. However, as long as we look at generalities, we can at least set up some guidelines for us all to follow.



We all have our own ideas for resolution.

Some of us like to run away and hide from every little thing, while others always put up a fight.



We’re not always the best judge of our own moments

Our perspective is closer to each situation while we’re in it. We have our past experience that affects our reactions. Often times we second guess ourselves to the point of paralysis.



We don’t predict the future very well.

And even if we did, would we necessarily make better choices?



So whenever we’re faced with a situation where we have to choose, here’re some suggested questions to ask yourself:



How balanced am I?

How bad is the pain?

How close am I to my threshold?

If I’m past my threshold, is there a way to lower it or endure it by building up my tolerance?

Is the pleasure too much?

Am I seeking out the pleasure at the expense of other things?



Am I on the right path?

If I could go back in time and do something different, would I?

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Taking a closer look at it might reveal some clues to what we might be able to do in the future.



What are the consequences of my actions?

Will I or those I love be hurt by what I’m doing, or planning on doing? Or will everyone be better off?



If I move on, am I willing to live without what I leave behind?

“Folding ‘em” sometimes takes more commitment than staying. It’s a commitment to me and my future. Am I willing to risk the leap, and am I willing to let the past go?



Are there alternatives?

Are the alternatives really as good as they look from here? Or are they just better ‘cause the grass looks greener on the other side?



Are there alternatives to the alternatives?

I have more choices than I think. By opening myself up to finding new possibilities, I will discover options I’m not currently aware of.



Am I SURE?

Remember, I might not be the best judge of my moments, so I will get outside advice… from people I trust, but who don’t have a vested interest in the outcome. Remember that other people have their agendas as well, so make sure they care more about ME than themselves.



Once you’ve chosen, be ready to move forward with your choice wholeheartedly. Remember, you have more choices up ahead… and if the ones you make tomorrow aren’t much better than the ones you make today, you can go through this list again and plan for the day after tomorrow.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Do Less for More

Does it never seem like you have enough time to get stuff done? Are you one of those people who need lists just to keep track of your lists? Do you ever describe yourself as a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”?



Spreading ourselves too thin is a chronic illness that often starts from childhood. We either have trouble saying no, or we get into that mode of thinking where “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done.” Or we’re still chasing after our dreams, with no real idea where we’re going, so keep gambling, thinking that the “next thing” is gonna be IT.



The solution is not in doing one thing more… and you not going to get more time, no matter how much you wish for. What is going to get you MORE out of life, is actually in doing LESS.



To get the most benefit out of this, you’ll need either a notepad or a lot of paper to write on…



Taking Inventory



First thing to do before going on your Time Diet is to take inventory. Write down the THINGS you do. That’s stuff like “Work” or “Family.” You know, the big ticket items. Put them across the top of the page, since they’re your categories.



Next, under that write down your ACTIVITIES associated with those THINGS. Use as much paper as you need to. This is an inventory, after all. And no particular order, just however they come to mind… “soccer practice” … “write that report” … “feed the dog.” In fact, the activities might remind you of some other THINGS that didn’t come up before.



When you’ve done that, label it “Inventory” and set it aside.



Assessing your current situation



On your next set of pages, write down each of the THINGS one at a time, with two columns below that. One column is labeled “BENEFITS” and the other “COST.” Then really take you time with each one and think, “what do I get out of doing this?” (e.g. education, health, personal satisfaction) That’s your BENEFIT. “What do I have to give in order to have this?” (e.g. money, time, blood pressure) is your COST.



Looking forward

Do the same as your current situation, but instead do it for the things you would like to do. “Write a novel,” “learn to fly,” “spend more time with my family;” whatever it is. Just write those THINGS done and their BENEFITS and COSTS.



The Five R’s



Rate ‘em

Next set of pages, write down the list of THINGS as a list. Rate them with one of the following letters:



A- Must have in my life; brings me the most rewards

B- Must have in my life; but costs too much

C- Don’t need in my life.



At this phase just rate them. You don’t need to have so many A’s and so many C’s. Just rate them.



After that though, it’s time to number them, by order of importance to you. You cannot have ties. It’s A1, A2, A3… B1, B2… C1, C2, C3, etc. Each letter starts off with “1”



Remove ‘em

Here’s the quickest way to trim your life and get more time. Say goodbye to the C’s. If you needed them in your life, they wouldn’t have been rated a “C.” So you can just stop all the C’s at once, cold turkey… or if that seems too drastic for you, start at the lowest C (i.e. C10) and work your way up til you reach C1.



Reduce ‘em

Next look at the B list. You said it cost too much. Time to look at the BENEFITS of those B items and brainstorm ideas. Put these ideas on pages labeled “BRAINSTORMING”



Ask yourself “how can I get the same benefit for less cost?” Consider the local park as an alternative to the movies as a way to spend time with your family. The cost is definitely less, and the time will be more rewarding. Remember that you’re brainstorming, no idea is silly. You’re trying to find way to get the same benefits for less time and money and whatever else it costs you.



Things to note:

• You can rate each activity as well, not just the categories

• You can always reevaluate the A list at any time to see if they really are A’s



Recommit ‘em

You’re getting rid of C’s and B’s because of how important A’s are to you. Now is the time to recommit yourself to those A’s. The best way to prevent yourself from taking on more C’s is to spend most of your time doing A’s.



Replace ‘em

If you’ve cut out the C list and reduced the B list, you’re going to discover a big shift in your life. Not only will you will have more time for the A items, but you’ll also have time to do the things on your wish list. The only rule here is that you can only choose one of the A wish list items at a time. Bring it into your life, and go through this whole process of the five R’s again before doing even more.



The key is in doing less STUFF, and more of the things that enrich your life.



Rate, Remove, Reduce, Recommit and Replace, and you will be able to Regain your life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stay Tuned...

Your life is a song, played by an orchestra. You are the conductor. And like every great conductor, you have to make sure that everything is in tune, played together in harmony, with style and grace.



So what song is yours? And what does it take to get it all together?



All the things that make up a good orchestra can be compared to what makes up a good life. After all, music is an expression of our souls… so we have so much we can learn from those that make the music happen.



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Accuracy

Every individual piece -- in fact, every individual note -- needs to be correct in order for the whole to be pure.



Is everything in my life being true to itself?



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Consistency

Does the note before it go with this one? And the next one? Does it make sense over time?



Am I living truthfully from moment to moment?



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Harmony

All the notes happening at the same time must go together.



Are the different aspects of my life working well with each other?



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Balance

In an orchestra, you can't have one section take over the whole piece. There has to be a time for each area to express itself.



Am I giving equal time to everything in my life?



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Quality

The value of the sound is all important to an orchestra. Is it full, rich, deep? Or thin and lonely sounding?



How fulfilling is what I'm doing in my life?



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Timing

One beat off, and you immediately know that something is wrong with a song. The same goes for your life.



Am I doing everything WHEN I should?



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Style

Every orchestra makes the same music sound different. They add their own sense of rhythm, mood; a sense of character.



Am I expressing myself fully?



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If your life isn't playing out like you want it to, remember that you are the conductor. You have a huge saying in how it comes out. A good conductor observes all that is going on in the present, and has a good understanding of how to direct it into the future.

Take control of this orchestra known as your Life, and let the world hear your song.



Bravo!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not Yet Mended

Mended HeartDear Gurustu,



"Jason" and I broke up last Valentines Day after dating for three years. He really broke my heart. I started going out with "Kevin" a couple of times after we met at a Christmas party and this is our first Valentines Day together. I'm excited, but really scared. What do I do?



Signed,

Not Yet Mended, Not Yet Dead.



.............................................



Dear NYM/NYD,



Valentines can be a great time for people in love; it can also be a time of great sadness for those without love... or a time of great pressure to move the relationship to the next level. This relationship is fairly new, so take it slow.



Approach this date without expectations. It's not like last Valentine's Day and it won't be like your next one either. Kevin isn't Jason, so don't plan as if he is... and don't plan as if he isn't either. Just go and enjoy yourself.



Also, put him at ease. He might be just as scared and as pressured. That won't bring you two any closer. If you haven't said "I love you" yet, don't feel like you HAVE to. It's tricky, I know, cause you don't want to NOT say it, for fear that it will signal that you're not really willing to go in that direction. Just be honest with him. Open communication can bring you two closer together. And if he knows he doesn't have to say or do anything but be with you, it might be all you need to have a fully loving relationship by next Valentines.



Just be true.



Gurustu

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Resolutions Revisited

Last month sure was inspirational, huh? You had all those plans laid out... even knew exactly how you were going to achieve those goals. That's why they're called resolutions, right? …because you RESOLVED to change your life.



So how's it coming? Did you start? Did you achieve your goals? Are you still doing what you said you were?



The average resolution lasts for a couple of weeks. It usually dies because you really did plan on putting too much life into it in the first place. Your schedule went back to the old way, the cheese danish just looked too good to pass up, "you don't understand, it's not that easy!"



Well, no; most resolutions aren't easy. They don't happen overnight. But just because you may have slipped, or even given up by now, it's not too late to make NEW resolutions, instead of New YEARS resolutions.



First thing, whether you've been successful or not so far, take the time to review the past month. What have you been doing differently? What results have you seen?



Next, make adjustments to your plans. Plans, after all, are just guidelines. Tweaking them as they go along will suit your life better; and not force you into an all-or-nothing situation. Can't really get to the gym three times a week? How about a walking program one night a week after dinner?



And then just get back to it. If you've been sticking to it, congratulate yourself and just keep at it. If you've slipped a little (or a lot) just pretend the last month didn't happen, and start the resolutions THIS month.



Seriously, we're talking about your LIFE here… your WHOLE life.. and that's more time than the days between News Years and today… so revisit, review and revitalize those resolutions.



Happy Year!!



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bringing Bliss

Doing what you love will make you happy, but loving what you do will bring you Bliss.



Too often we postpone joy. We thank God it's Friday, we look at vacation brochures, we wait for the kids to grow. Happiness always seems to be something we have to "get to" rather than something we create for ourselves.



We judge our moments. We think that one is better than the other. And, yes, of course some things are really, really good and some things are really, really bad. Life is a cycle after all… but I'm not talking about the biggest moments in your life. I'm talking about where you spend most of your day… usually somewhere in the middle.



The big question to ask yourself is "am I enjoying what I'm doing at this very moment?" (since you're reading this article right now, I hope your answer is yes, but that's another story). So when this moment has passed, when you're in another moment, ask again.



If the answer is no, ask yourself why not. If it's neither a bad moment nor a good moment, are you judging it because you think you should be doing something more exciting… more fulfilling?



Did you know it will take more energy to go off and do something else than it would to simply let go of judgment and just experience it?



One of my favorite stories is of the monk and the Buddha. The monk asks "how can I get rid of my desire to eat and to sleep?" The Buddha replies, "eat, sleep."



The answer really is simple. It's not more complicated than eat, sleep, bathe, take out the trash, do laundry… so enjoy them!! Don't judge it. Don't wish you were somewhere else. Just do each moment with Love.



There are people who would love the luxury of a hot shower or a cold drink. Don't take what you have for granted. Experience your moments as if for the first time, or as if for the last time. Become present in the Present. Happiness isn't something we get OUT of life, it's something we put INTO it.



So enjoy this moment… and your next one too.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Invaded by Fear...

We don't just live in one world; we live in many; from the little world of our private moments, through the worlds of friend and family, all the way to the world at all. You would think that the further away the events, the less of an impact that they would have on your life. Yet since the advent of television, the World that's worlds away has found its way directly into your head.

Conductor

Right now, between the dishes and dirty laundry are images of death and disaster. The war is one the other side of the planet. For most people, for most of the time, there is no danger. Not directly, but tell that to your mind. Every explosion pounds in your head and fear invades every fiber of your being.

The problem is that fear is here for our survival, to help us fight or flee. When we can do nothing about it though, it just sits inside us and wears us down. When we let it inside us, deeper than the moments that are closer to us, we lose control.

It doesn't have to be that way.

  • Don't mega-dose on the images. You can stay informed without putting yourself through the experience over and over again. Get your news from the newspaper or the radio or the internet.
  • "Support" doesn't mean checking in every minute. You don't have to show you care by watching TV every moment of the day. Watch TV only in a small timeframe to catch up… then go do something else.
  • Remember, YOUR life is important too. Don't trivialize yourself, just because something big is happening elsewhere.
  • It isn't selfish to enjoy yourself. Your mood isn't going to change anything over there, but it will change EVERYTHING over here.
  • You can send light. Whether or not you believe in prayer, having good thoughts is so welcome in a world that generates the fear in your head.
  • Get plenty of rest, eat right and exercise. Take care of yourself. You're the closest and most influential person in your life.

 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Optimism = Option for Opportunity

A Pessimist walks into the barn, steps in manure and says "There goes a good pair of boots!"



An Optimist walks into the barn, steps in manure and says "Where's the pony?"



The same events happen to all people - good, bad and indifferent. People just don't realize how much they shape their own experience. Your attitude really does change everything. It not only tints your experience; it dictates the decisions you make next, that have a very direct impact on your future.



A perfect example is company "reorgs" - where lots of employees get shifted around from department to department. It's very uncertain; with people getting half the picture, if at all. They're left to fill in the blanks with their own imagination.



This is where I see the biggest difference between Pessimists and Optimists. The Pessimists paint the whole world with doom-and-gloom, and resign themselves to the "way it is." They say things like "we have no choice" and "it's only going to get worse."



Optimists, on the other hand, are seen as naive, hopeless and hapless... at least by the Pessimists (who by this point are labeling themselves the "Realists"). What the Pessimists often miss are the subtle differences between the Passive Optimists and the Active Optimists.



Passive Optimists are the "hope for the best crowd" that often prove the Pessimists right. The Active Optimists, on the other hand, are the ones that can really take advantage of change -- in the office and everywhere. Here's some qualities of the Active Optimist:



  • Not afraid of change


  • Sees opportunities in every move


  • Doesn't let negative events stop them


  • Doesn't sit by and wait to be victimized


  • If they don't see an opportunity, they seek one


  • They stay proactive, not reactive


  • Does what they can to keep the spirits up of those around them


  • Gets up one time more than they are knocked down




Opportunities don't often come to those that just sit there. By being Active, the Optimist takes actual steps that could lead to advancement. By staying positive, they also have an effect on others that the Pessimists don't. That alone can make all the difference in the world.