You are capable of far more than you know. Don’t be afraid to unleash your greatness.
There comes a time when the desire for transformation demands action. Never let your fears be the deciding factor, of taking that action.
Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.
– Albert Einstein
This is so important when you are looking at the big dream, because 99% of people will tell you all the reasons why it can’t be done. What Albert Einstein was really saying, is that the big dreams lay outside of the box of rules on how things are done.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.
We shared a story about a pilot who was born without arms and flies with her feet at the controls. Another story featured a woman born without legs who surfs and skateboards competitively. These two women have big dreams and accomplish them because they believe they can find a way to make it work. They defy the odds. They don’t let missing arms or legs be a limiting factor to their dreams.
More recently on America’s Got Talent there is the wonderful story of a young woman who lost her hearing as a teenager, who writes her own music, plays ukulele and sings beautifully. She spent a few years raging against the world for taking away her dream to be a singer and then figured out a way to do it anyway.
Janine Shepherd is a public speaker and author of several books including “Defiant: A Memoir”. Shepherd had been an aspiring Olympic cross-country skier. She was nearly killed when she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. Paralyzed and immobile for six months, she was given a grim picture for recovery. Not only did she teach herself to walk again — she learned to fly — becoming an aerobatics pilot. Her TED Talk is: Janine Shepherd: How Can We Redefine Ourselves After A Tragedy? Her story is amazing because she took her story and reformed it to continue to push the edges of her potential, not settling for the Janine Shepherd, disabled story.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company . . . a church . . . a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you . . . we are in charge of our Attitudes.
– Charles R. Swindell
So what are some tools you can use to lasso those big dreams into the barn? One suggestion is to have either a half day or full day block of time to write and brainstorm about the ideas on how to accomplish your dreams.
Another suggestion I read recently was to have what they called “implementation intentions”. We have all heard of intentions being set to bring something into your sphere of influence to assist you with a goal in your life. This is setting an intention with steps to implement the intention into reality. I have done this in my life without realizing what I was doing.
Dreams become reality when intentions turn into actions.
Years ago one of my sons got engaged in the month of February. The wedding date was set for August and my goal was to save enough money to be able to pay for their honeymoon for them. I had it budgeted out and while it was a little tight I knew that I could stretch and make it happen. Then in March they decided to move the wedding to the end of May. I looked at the numbers and I had no idea how I was going to be able to pay for it in less than 60 days.
I sat down and starting writing out how happy I was that I had come up with a way to pay for their honeymoon. I wrote about how wonderful the wedding was and how much they enjoyed their honeymoon. I put ever ounce of energy into the writing, with the words emoting all five senses as I wrote out how they loved Mexico – the sound of the surf, the smell of the flowers, the tastes of the spicy food. I expressed thankfulness and gratitude with every sentence.
After I finished the letter, I still didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I had my intentions pulling in all possibilities. About a week later I received a phone call out of the blue about a property that we have in Upstate New York. We owned a 10 acre parcel next door to our second home free and clear and the neighbors across the street wanted to purchase it for $17,000 and do a fast cash closing. With that money and what I had in savings, the honeymoon was paid for.
Set your intentions, be open to miracles, let go and let God take guided action. Let your dreams unfold like a beautiful flower.
– Anna Taylor
That was a big dream that scared me, because I had no idea when the date changed that I could make it happen. I still am amazed at the timing of how it all worked out. I think that this is how all of the really big dreams happen. We start out with the idea, which becomes a goal, which becomes an implemented intention. We get really specific in our minds as to what happened and leave the hows to the universe, while at the same time, using all of our tools to bring our dreams into reality.
Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.
There is a Native American saying, “give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” So dream so big that everyone thinks your crazy. Don’t let yourself or anyone else limit you. The time is now to follow your passions. Lasso that dream and bring in home. The goal is to die with memories, not just dreams of what could have been.
Have you ever been so lost in a relationship trying to be who they wanted, that you lost yourself?
Have you ever been in a job, where you were constantly biting your tongue so that you didn’t lash out at a coworker or your boss who was bullying you?
Did you spend your childhood trying so hard to be the perfect child, that you pushed and pushed all of your rebellious self into a tight box and nailed that lid shut?
We are only as blind as we want to be.
– Maya Angelou
I think that most of us could answer yes to at least one of those, if not all three. I spent my entire childhood trying to be the perfect daughter with my mom, because my experience of her was that if you made her mad, she would divorce you (she was married five times).
When I met my husband, I spent the first few years trying to be the perfect wife to him, and the perfect mother to our children. I put unrealistic expectations on myself. I exhausted myself and the not so funny thing about it, is that my husband never voiced or indicated in any way that this was something that he wanted. I have had jobs where Sunday night I got stomach pains or headaches just thinking about going into work on Monday and having to deal with that toxic environment.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we allow these kinds of situations to develop? Are we actually setting them up in the first place? Why do we stay in them way too long?
You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.
What I discovered in myself, was a pattern of behavior on my own part. I was taking subconsciously that pattern of behavior with my mother “being the perfect child so you are liked and loved” and I transferred it to my husband and children. I even transferred it to work, thinking that if I just worked harder, smarter, faster, they would like me and treat me better.
You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually your life experience.
– Abraham Hicks
The first step to change is to recognize your patterns. We all have them. They are a part of our human nature. They begin in childhood. Most of us had that one parent that we wanted and worked at getting to love us. We wanted their attention. We did whatever we had to in order to get it. Sometimes it was being the perfect child. For others it might have been being rebellious, because being the perfect child didn’t get you any attention. You had to be the squeaky wheel. Maybe you were the family clown, to make everyone laugh and defuse your environment in some way. What is the pattern of behavior that you had with that parent? Now look at your life now. How is that pattern of behavior showing up for you?
Once you see the pattern, how it shifts and changes in every aspect of your life, you can begin to shift it. I called my pattern Cami – because she is so good at camouflage. I might think that I have rooted her out, but she still shows up. The thing about patterns is that they have become masters at disguise. So I am always finding her same old pattern dressed up in different clothes. When I find her, then I can scoot her out the door, and work on changing the situation that she has created in my life. It has become a kind of game. I don’t fail at shifting my pattern. She just keeps camouflaging how she shows up, and I get to play detective and find her.
Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.
– Iain Thomas
Now that I know and recognize the patterns, I see how I have set things up in the past to repeat the pattern of behavior. It was what I was comfortable with. I know how to act and react within it. I find that now I recognize it before it sets itself up. I can sidestep most of it, because I now know what to look for.
The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if you want anything in life to Change.
– via Curianocom
I recognize that “the everything that has changed” is me. I changed my own self destructive behavior by recognizing the signs before I activated it. When you know what to look for, it is surprising how clearly you can see it. My husband used to clean carpets for a living. Everywhere we went, he would look at the carpets and comment on them. It was automatic behavior. We all have it, and making very small incremental changes to that automatic behavior shifts it into new and different patterns. Slowly over time after he no longer had that job, he just stopped noticing whether a buildings carpets were clean or not. It was no longer a focus of his behavior.
One of the happiest moments in your life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.
So when you look at your own daily routine, what is holding your patterns of behavior in place? What small incremental changes can you make in your life? Do you have the courage to let go of the “safety net” your patterns are holding for you? Do you have the courage to do something different? Do you have the courage to release the chains of patterns of behavior that are anchoring you in place? Great changes in our lives don’t come from remaining in our comfort zone, and it takes courage to walk away from the certainty of our lives, for the unknown that beckons to us.
At some point in your life you’re going to have to start demanding what you deserve and be willing to walk away if what you require can’t be provided.
It really is as simple as looking at your life. You know what you don’t want, even if the knowing what you do want part is not totally clear. You know what you have done to create what you now have. You also know that getting something different is just as simple as asking and then implementing actions to achieve it. You might have a harder time accepting that you deserve the best things in life. But you do. So stop settling for less. If you still have parts of you buried, dig them up. Get to know who you are at the most basic parts of you.
Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely.
– Elite Daily
Be courageous enough to live the life that you have always dreamed about. It might not happen overnight, but step by step, accepting what you deserve and working at the small changes, you will progress to living the life of your dreams.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dream of meeting your heart’s destiny.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Orian Mountain Dreamer is one of my favorite writers. I invite you to read her books, they are small but mighty. The Invitation is what this quote is from. The poem is a wonderful deep dive into important questions that probe who we are and why.
If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.
Our words have power. When we hide how we feel, what we think, we are trying to live our life using someone else’s light. We can’t find our way home that way. There is always some truth behind the words that are followed by “just kidding”. When we say “I don’t know”, there is always some knowledge that we judge as being incomplete and so we say we don’t know – when in fact we do know something about it. When we say, “I don’t care” we are not being truthful. We think if we put our emotions in a cage and don’t let them out we can’t be hurt. The reality is that we are hurting ourselves. When we tell others that we are “ok” when we aren’t, we rob them of the opportunity to help us.
May you always be guided by the light that shines forth from within you.
Life is always about the meaning that we give to it. If you take a lamp as the analogy, our soul is the light inside the lamp. The things that happen to us are the glass that surrounds the light. That glass doesn’t matter, it is the heart and soul – the light that matters.
We tell ourselves stories about the events in our life, to give us some meaning to what is happening. Some of us are writing horror stories, or stories that leave us drained from fears and worries. Others of us, write stories about the gifts we received as we travel through life. From the wonderful things that happen to us, as well as the tragic things. The best way to count your blessings is to look at life through a variety of lenses. To bring things into and out of focus. To look into the depths of our souls to see what the storms dredged up for us to look at. When we sift through it all, we can let go of everything that doesn’t serve us, realize the lessons we have been taught, and grow into who we came here to be.
Harness the power of today! Seize the blessings of today! Make something happen, enhance your life, make someone laugh, help a friend. Love, love, love.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli.
There is a big difference between making something happen and forcing something to happen. Forcing something to happen isn’t natural. It is like forcing yourself into something that doesn’t fit. Have you ever laid on the bed to force your stomach to be flat so you can get your jeans buttoned and zipped up? Or forced your foot into a shoe that you loved, but doesn’t really fit? You might be able to get the jeans fastened, but it hurts your stomach when you try to sit. You might be able to walk in those shoes for a little while, but eventually you have to take off the shoes because they hurt your feet so badly. What you will left with is blisters to prove vanity isn’t a good idea to live your life by.
And I know how broken you are, how heavy you feel, but still, you have to find the light in you. You have to hold on to it with care and never let it go, even if it drags you to the end of the world.
– r.m. drake
But making something happen is all about taking small steps to bring into reality what you are dreaming of. It is catching the light of your soul and holding it up into the darkness, so that you can see where to go. It is taking the voice or dancing lessons because you want to be in theater. It is taking leaps of faith when you don’t know how to do something. It is going for the brass ring as the merry go round flies around and around. It is learning a foreign language for a trip of a lifetime to a foreign land. It is taking big, medium and small actions, not just dreaming about it, You don’t just sit there doing nothing to make it happen.
Whenever you hear or read anything of a spiritual nature that moves your soul you are not learning something . . , you are remembering what you have always known. It is a gentle awakening.
Have you ever went somewhere new and experienced deja vu? That feeling that what is happening at this moment, has happened before? Have you ever learned something new and it was just so natural and easy that you didn’t even need instructions to do it? For me, it feels like something that I have dreamed about, is now happening in real life. That my mind already knows and sees the connections, like it was programmed into being. I think that when this happens, we need to pay attention. That we are in that moment doing something that is important, even if our minds do not understand it.
The Words I Speak Are All In Languages I Do Not Speak
And yet, when you get here, you are not given instructions. There are no diagrams about how you are meant to live each day or directions on how to assemble some semblance of happiness. You are not even told what colors to paint your feelings or given a purpose and a reason for your life. You have to make all of it up. You have to make all of it up yourself.
– Iain S. Thomas, from “I Wrote This For You”
No matter if we are in the first month or the last month of the year, take the time to reflect on what the year so far has been for you. To see the places where life has been a blessing. To see the places where you let your dreams fall by the wayside. Pick them back up. Dust them off. Find within them the things that you are looking for. Go beyond your means to make them come true for you. Draw down deep within the story of them and bring it into reality. Transform the pain and regrets of this year and past years into the blessings and joy of a new year.
Years end is neither an end nor a new beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
– Hal Borland.
The journey of life teaches us that growth happens when the dream is bigger and brighter than you ever thought it could be. In the pursuit of that dream, it will illuminate your heart, capture your mind, and free your soul from the small box that you held it in. You will discover that there are hidden maps within your soul. That there are clues and invitations to walk through doors that will open your mind up to things you never dreamed could be true. But you can only make those kind of discoveries when you listen to your heart.
That is my wish for all of you today. That you listen to your heart; that you hear the whisper of your soul and find the dream that is so big, that you too can grow beyond who you are today and enrich the universe.
There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work, than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you
– Sir Richard Branson
This photo speaks to me about how I offer the fire of my heart, my passion, to help wake up others. Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of “you” into everything that you do.
Life without a purpose is a languid, drifting; every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves, “This day let me make a sound beginning”.
– Thomas Kempis
The Latin root of passion means “to suffer or endure suffering or ridicule from others”. The root word for purpose means “an aim or a goal one wishes to achieve”. It is like the two words are married to each other, two parts of one whole. The only way to do great work, which is purpose, is to find the thing that sets you on fire igniting your passion.
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.
This is the thing that keeps you up late at night and wakes you up when it is still dark with excitement to get up and get going. It is what makes you come alive. Jeff Bezos reflected that “you don’t choose your passions, your passions choose you.” If you pursue your life from this space, then at the end of your life you can say “I have no regrets”. It is your legacy you leave behind, because you lived life being who you really are and doing what you really loved.
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.
Passion is living uncomfortably on purpose. To me this doesn’t mean that your passion doesn’t fit well with your soul. Rather it is what makes you the round peg in the square hole. It is what makes you take the path that is less traveled. It is your “why” for living this life. It is the link or connection to your personal genius.
Dig deep and you’ll find that a person who lacks motivation is a person who lacks purpose.
In a thousand ways you can turn any so called “limitation” into a beautiful gift that you can offer to the world. When you live your life from this perspective (with passion) it is what enables you to walk through the valley of shadows and death with serene peace that you are being guided on your journey. You know from the bottom of your heart and soul, that this experience can be turned in solid gold, into a passionate life that enriches both your and others.
Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best
– David O. McKay
The suffering comes from the fact that this fire of passion reduces you to ashes. There are some things as you follow a passionate purpose driven life that must be left behind because they no longer serve you. Our character is sifted through the fire as it reveals both the light and shadows of who we are. Even though many of life experiences feel like we are being abandoned and we suffer the loss of what we had, we are also gaining so much more than we lose. Look forward, look at the gifts you now have. Like the Phoenix you rise again from the ashes, remade.
The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning
– Mitch Albom
Fear is what creates suffering and the pushing through the fear is part of the preparation. Pushing through the fear creates the gateway to accomplish your purpose – the purpose you came here to do, and which only you can fulfill. If you are not remade, then the gateway can not appear. Every door that you miss comes back around. Every opportunity to create the life of your dreams keeps appearing until you recognize it. So when you look back on what happened today, this week, or this month – know that those misses will come back – be awake and keep looking for them.
You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion.
When you feel lost and alone, you have become disconnected to your passion and purpose. You bought into letting the opinions of others tell who you should be and act like. You have lost yourself. Or maybe you rejected who you are, because you felt somehow you were less than capable of being that person. That you were somehow wrong for having those dreams, or that what you wanted in life was not good enough (you need to be a doctor or lawyer, not a gardener or musician). Do not let anyone including your inner talk inside your head deflect you from your passion, your purpose.
Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart
– Gordon B Hinkley
Every day our hair grows. We cut it and shorten yet, yet the next day it begins growing again. In life things will cut us, hurt us, damage us. But remember that our body regenerates our skin, our hair, our nails – no matter what they continue to grow.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Be like that. Never stop growing. Whatever got you off track, off purpose doesn’t matter. You can still be positive and know that at every moment the dream that you have for your life is coming into focus. At unexpected moments and in ways you weren’t expecting it to happen, you find your passion and purpose again. You start back on your path.
At the end of life, what really matters is not what we have bought, but what we built.
Not what we got, but what we shared.
Not our competence, but our character.
Not our success, but our significance.
Live a life that matters.
Live a life of love.
When we are clear in heart and mind . . , only then shall we find courage to surmount the fear which haunts our world.
– Albert Einstein
I tend to get an idea of something I need to work on/with. Then it percolates in my brain and I start attracting thoughts and ideas. The things I read in books or emails, from dreams, and the conversations I have with others. Then one day the brain has gathered enough material to put together a post.
Recently I was reading an email from “Tanya – Sistership Circle” on being a Warrioress (Wonder Woman) Archetype. She talked about how the word Warrioress is given an incorrect meaning for most of us, in that we think of a warrior as being in battle in a war. Not necessarily so.
It is about being courageous enough to welcome failure on the trail of success.
It is about having the strength to blaze the trail, instead of following behind others.
It is about living a life of conviction and,
being able to bounce back with resilience when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted.
It is about cleaning up our vision so that we have clarity, instead of chaos..
It is about taking action and breaking down the patterns of self sabotage,
that keep you from your brilliant potential.
It is about being humble in the truest sense of the word
(that does not mean disparaging your gifts/talents).
It is about living a life of P’s – Purpose, Passion, Persistence,
and Persevering even when the road gets rough.
It is about being independent, AND living with community,
because it takes a village to raise us up (even when we are adults).
There are actual studies that prove when you stand with your feet spread out and your hands on the hips (Wonder Woman Pose) that it actually makes you confident. In June 2012 Amy Cuddy gave one of the most watched Ted talks of all time, “Your body language may shape who you are” in which she states that simply holding this pose for one minute causes your body chemistry and your behavior to change.
May my heart be kind, my mind fierce, and my spirit brave.
– Kate Forsyth
Now there is some controversy over her study, but I am of the belief that I can make statistics say whatever I want them to. How many times have you seen studies which contradict each other? Such as bacon (or any other food) is bad for and then another that states it is good for you? There is no accounting for the belief of the mind healing the body of diseases. So think positive and get up and stand like a super hero!
Do not wait to find courage, it will find you when you take your first steps forward.
– Mari Huertas
Confidence helps us to break out of the fears that are holding us back. Every single person reading this post is telling someone something that they want to accomplish. Speaking for myself, I have had a goal that I have been working towards now for a few years. I keep telling myself that I am not yet ready to do it. There is something else I have to learn how to do.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
It is like building a bridge across a chasm. You need supports to come up from the bottom of the valley, or from the sides of the ravines. You need wood or stone materials to build with. You need a way to nail, screw or cement the structure together. You might need plans from an engineer. Then people to help you build it. All of this comes together before you even start the structure. Then there is the financial components that need to be in place to pay for the land you are building on, the materials and the labor to do it. Now with all of these moving parts it can be overwhelming as fear sets in. Fear of failure or success. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of starting and not being able to complete the structure because of lack of money, materials, or manpower. So many fears creep into you, that you keep making lists and looking for what else you might need.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
– Lao Tzu
Have you ever noticed that if you look at something more than a second when you are driving down the road, that your vehicle starts to go in that direction? If what you are looking at in life, is not what you want in your life, you need to change direction. You will end up where you are putting your focus. This is how fear becomes the self fulfilling prophecy. We are attracting the bad we don’t want to happen, because it is what is filling up our thoughts.
You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.
Part of being human is that we are imperfect, we all have flaws, we all have dysfunction. We need to take responsibility to do better and be better. We do better when we accept our failures and work on changing those dysfunctions. We all have rough edges in our personalities. We can rub others the wrong way. It is our responsibility to determine if we have rough edges that need to be sanded down, and to make those changes. It isn’t our responsibility to help someone else sand down their own rough edges.
May your heart be brave and your soul have courage, while you travel your path to greatness
– Amara Honeck
If we have a door that sticks for example we can do several things: We can push and shove it open and closed and fight with it. We can let it warp, bend the hinges, damage the door handle and just let it get worse until it no longer functions or falls apart. Or we can fix it. Maybe it just needs a little planning on the top, bottom or sides where it is rubbing. Maybe it needs the door handle or the hinges replaced, or installed in a new area of the door. Maybe we just need to repair the frame itself. We can fix it or let it get worse.
Selfless service alone gives the needed strength and courage to awaken the sleeping humanity in one’s heart.
– Sai Baba
Whenever we think that we are in fear, then it is time to awaken our heart. Whenever we think that we are all alone, it is time to awaken our heart. When we are in the space of love, it widens out our awareness of life around us. Love helps us to connect every aspect of our life with our purpose. Love awakens and kindles anew our passion for life and why we are here. Acting out of love in any situation takes our intentions to the highest heights. We discover in that space peace and acceptance of what is, and we see the way clearly to act upon our good intentions. Love roots out fear. Living with a heart, soul, spirit of love we can fully encompass our highest potential.
You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you.
What is the difference between a professional or an amateur, and what does that have to do with change? Many things, but the first thing that comes to mind is this: An amateur stops with the initial change, while a professional understands that the first change is just the beginning and that many more will follow.
So an amateur might be the caterpillar that builds the chrysalis and thinks he is done. He has changed his life. While the professional takes a much longer viewpoint and realizes that he not only needs to build the chrysalis, but that there will be changes within the chrysalis and that at some point, which those transformations have been fully completed, he will need an exit strategy. Then he will need to emerge into a new world, and that this world will expect more changes and transformations out of him. Just like the butterfly, there is a new life to be fully explored. The chrysalis was just the beginning.
Life is not always fair. Sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow.
We must live a multidimensional, multifaceted life. The first viewpoint is just that – a first. There are so many angles to view life from. Part of that process of becoming a professional, is realizing that feedback or coaching shouldn’t be viewed as negative. It shouldn’t be viewed as a personal attack, even if it is delivered like one. I remember years ago reading something that really changed my life. If someone is telling you that you did something wrong, and you didn’t do it – you should still listen to what is being said. The very fact that it is being said means that somewhere in the garbage being unloaded on you, is a gold nugget. Instead of getting mad, hurt, angry and yelling at the world for being unfair – look for the gold nugget. We all have weak spots – things that we don’t see or recognize about ourselves. Finding out what those are and working to bring them into our circle of competence is what will make us successful in any endeavor.
You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
Professionals accept failure as a learning tool. In sports such as baseball or basketball you learn that you can’t hit a homerun or have the basketball shoot through the hoop every single time you try. But you can analyze your process and use the failure as a tool towards growth and mastery of the sport. In the same way, the more consistent we are with our process of change, of transforming our lives through the failures, the better our outcomes will be.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
Knowledge is power, because we know what to do. But the application of that knowledge is what is really important. It is the correct application of knowledge that brings true wisdom to the fore. It is this – the knowledge of why the rule is there, tells us when it should be followed and when it should be broken. It is the understanding of bringing humanity into our decisions. Of understanding when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or when the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many – both can be true. It is the focus of both long term and short term results that tell you which way is the right way. It is understanding second level thinking.
Old ways won’t open new doors.
When we first meet someone, we make a judgment about the person. Based on what they look like, how they present themselves, how they talk and move – we make a superficial judgment about who they are. If you were to meet me on the street, because I dress very casually, and love to shop second hand stores and don’t live in an upscale neighborhood you might make a certain kind of judgment about me. If you heard about how poor our family was when I was growing up and that I left school my senior year and didn’t get a college degree you might make another kind of judgment about me. If you heard that I am a Director at one of the top five banks in the world, you might make another kind of judgment about me.
Don’t judge my choices if you don’t understand my reasons.
All of those would be superficial and not take into account a million things that are also true about me. Second level thinking goes beyond the superficial where most of us live our lives. Second level thinking is deep, complex, and convoluted. It is the kind of thinking required to play chess well. It looks at all of the moves that can be made on both sides of the board, and levels that up to all possible plays with each new move. It looks at each piece of knowledge; at where the decision paths converge and at when they then separate. It creates a consensus of all of the data and of all of the probabilities, then it comes to the best decision based on everything that is known and can be guessed.
One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.
It is the realization that the first answer we think of, the first thing we think is the right way to go is rarely so. It is knowing that absolutes are almost never the right answer or the right way to think. That black and white thinking keeps us in first level thinking and keeps us in the large amateur crowd. We need to be curious and consider all of the probabilities and possibilities. We need to understand that true reality is not what we want to see, but what’s true. Get curiouser and curiouser. Take the time to deep dive into exploration; into letting our minds run, and look for the inspiration to do and be different.
We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.
So it all comes down to being curious. To up-level our thinking to the second or even third level. To looking at reality – not from what we want it to be, but what it is. From making big and little changes, even micro changes – but always making new transformations in our lives.
Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.
Everything you see in your life at this moment, is the result of choices you have made. The door in the photo is clearly open, but you can’t really see the steps through it or what lies beyond it. Some of the choices we have made in life, lead us in directions that we didn’t even know were there.
Sometimes behind the waterfall, there is a path into a valley that no one has discovered.
Sometimes we fall through a hole in the ground, and discover a buried city.
Sometimes we have a flat tire on a desert road, with no spare tire to change it – and we find a dusty path that leads to a hidden cache of gold.
There is always a choice of following a paved road with lots of signs, or walking down a dirt path. To stay safe on the paved road or taking on the risk of the unknown dirt path, and seeing for yourself the genius of the universal design for your life.
Of never trying to see what is behind the waterfall in the first place (it is dangerous and you might fall down and hurt yourself); to climb out of that hole you fell into (it’s probably full of spiders, snakes, and rats) and ignoring the possibilities of discovery all around you; to stay beside that car on the hot desert road and wait for someone to rescue you (so much more sensible than striking out on your own).
Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.
So stop being so worried about the million and one things that can go wrong. Start instead dreaming about, and getting excited about, what is around the next corner. Whatever we chose to be the next destination, we should always aim just a little higher. If we are aiming for the lower mountain, we won’t know if we could have climbed the higher one instead. Don’t put off the higher mountain as your goal, thinking that you need to be realistic, that you need to go in small definable steps. As the saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land on the stars”. Don’t be afraid to get lost. Even landing among the stars, changes you, your world, and maybe even the whole world.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
Friends, loved ones, mentors, teachers – they can all set us on what they think is the right path for us. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong, and sometimes they are “almost” right. It is up to us to decide what the correct life path is for us, at this point in our lives. No matter what path we take in life, no matter where we go or end up, we take a little bit of everyone we know with us. Haven’t you heard those voices in your head? Your parents, your favorite aunt or uncle, your grandparents, those special friends from school – those voices that make insane comments about what is taking place in front of you? Mine are these comedian’s talking commentary during a boring office meeting. My son Sam’s voice comes into play during movies when they are doing anything military or medical, telling me they are doing it wrong.
If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.
I believe that we have at least three careers in our life, and that they can be completely different. We shouldn’t confuse the path we are walking with the destination that we are going to. Once I have mastered something, I get bored. When I get bored, I know it is time to start exploring something new to learn, to have a new destination. I am still walking my life path, the path of learning more about the world, about me, and what new sights are on the horizon. There are times that the path can be a little blurry, because I haven’t yet discovered where the path is taking me. So I keep walking and I get curious. I know that when the path gets crystal clear, I have a new destination and new life experiences coming into focus.
You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.
This doesn’t mean that I am just sitting on the path waiting for it to define itself. When I sit, it is like stepping off the deep end of the river and just sinking to the bottom. If I sit, the world tries to define me. To make me fit someone else’s mold, to do the things that they want me to do and be. Then I lose myself, sitting submerged and wondering why I can’t breathe. I have to take the time, the effort and the work to define the path, so that each step brings the focus sharper and more defined. I have to swim back up to the surface of the river and determine which shoreline I want to step onto.
If you could have seen the end from the beginning, would you have chosen a different path?
Sometimes when we are walking down the path we have chosen everything goes wrong. A forest fire races through the valley and destroys all of the vegetation. The river overflows its banks and takes out the bridge we were walking across. A 40 car pile-up in the fog totals our car. Sometimes what seems like a life ending event, is actually the first step on a new path. We had developed expectations of where the path should be taking us, and so we were actually sleep walking down the side path. Because of our expectations, that path might have led us to the correct destination, but without the right experiences. Have you ever seen someone famous implode right after they achieved critical acclaim for their talents? Hollywood, Politics, Musicians – we’ve all seen them reach a pinnacle of success, then drugs, alcohol, sexual exploitation – and down they tumble into scandal.
Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.
Henry David Thoreau
This is due to not having strong enough roots to support their growth. Somewhere along the path to finding themselves, they didn’t get lost. They missed valuable life experiences that would have grounded their roots. That would have forced them to grow deeper and discover more about who they were. Because they didn’t have these valuable experiences, they allowed others even with the best intentions, to rescue them from falling on their face. They covered things up. They didn’t let them experience the results of bad choices when they were small failures. So they just kept being rescued and didn’t learn the life skills of what failure really means.
Remember when life’s path is steep, to keep your mind even.
What we discover from failure is that sometimes it is the best thing that ever happened to us. We see new ways to do something, which we would have never seen if everything went according to plan. We discover wonderful character traits that were only exposed because we felt we had no other choice than to force ourselves to up our game. My favorite movie scene is from “Facing The Giants” in the death crawl scene. The player goes all of the way down the entire length of the football field, thinking that he is only trying to make it to the 50 yard line. He couldn’t see where he was, and he was crawling with another player on his back. At first the coach is only trying to get him to the 50 yard line, then he realizes the player has more in him than either of them knew. We are all like that player, capable of so much more. It is the difficult parts of life that open up the possibilities of our tasting some of that greatness we have buried deep inside. So remember “to keep the mind even” – not letting doubts or over-confidence tilt us.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
Each day is a new adventure in walking our chosen life path. Each day we can walk it in wonder, looking to see what is going to cross our path today. We can be curious. We can slow down and actually see what is on our right side, our left side, and directly in front of us. Don’t miss the flowers that you’ve never seen in that color or shape before. Look for the squirrels, bunnies, little lizards laying on the warm rock and enjoying the heat of the day. Rest when you are tired. Walk in the moonlight or lay back and count the stars.
I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds for something extraordinary to happen to us.
This is your life path, your journey. The world is full of friends, lovers, and new brothers and sisters waiting to get to know us. The destinations are fun to get to, to master some aspect of your life. But really, life is lived on the path, during the step by step walking, dancing, singing, along the road to the newest destination. So don’t forget to enjoy it. The journey is – Your Happiness.
When I look at this picture, I see a little boy with big dreams. But when he looks out over the city in the moonlight, I think that he is overwhelmed by the vastness of the city. The moon is large and full and seems to be almost overpowering.
When you have these big dreams, it is easy to look out and see that we are just a small insignificant thing that will probably have little or no impact on the world. That is when doubt starts creeping in. Then it is joined in by those parts of us that try to protect us from harm, as well as friends and family that are trying to protect us.
Don’t let the devil put a question mark, where God has already put a period.
– Inspire Us Daily
The voices yammer inside our head that we will look foolish. We will be laughed at as failures. Who do we think we are? Do we really think so much of ourselves that we alone have the answer to even one of life’s problems? If this idea we had was valid they whisper, then someone would have done it a long time ago.
The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.
– Maya Angelou
I know that our parents want to protect us and sometimes in trying to do that they crush our dreams. Teachers may have told us that we were not smart enough or talented enough and so we give up on our dreams, because we think that they must know – they are older and know more than we do, we follow the advice and give up.
We may have bosses that belittled our idea once when we shared it, so we closed up like a clam shell, never to speak out an idea again. Or we may have spoke up regarding what we believe to be the answer to a challenge at work and we are ignored. Then we find out later that someone else stole that idea and how they are being given the credit for it – so we feel that no one will listen, so why even speak up or try.
Many times our ideas scare our friends into thinking that we will outgrow them and leave them behind, so they tell us to not even try – they tell us it is too hard, how you don’t have the money, influence or power to make a difference. Don’t speak up or you might get ostracized they whisper in our ears. We feel like our life is the “Whack a Mole” game and if we stick our necks out, we will get hit by a giant hammer.
We spend so much time asking God to cure us of our hardships. But we never stop to consider that our hardships are curing us.
– Yasmin Magahed
The voices inside/outside of us come from many directions at once, so we freeze and do nothing. I think that one of my favorite people who talked about dreams was Martin Luther King Jr. When he started I can’t imagine that he knew what a difference he was going to make in our world. He must have been overwhelmed many times by the enormity of what he wanted to do. He inspired many to stand beside him, and his legacy goes on today as we remember him and his work every year.
For what it’s worth: It’s never too later to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Dreams take on lives of their own when they are divinely inspired. They grow inside of us and spread out to everyone, to inspire them to join with us and help grow the dream. The dream didn’t start with us, and it will not end with us. We are like a runner in a relay baton race, getting passed the baton to continue onto the next person who will be inspired to continue running with the dream. The dream can’t be stopped, because it has a life of it’s own.
If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits.
– Don Ward
Our dreams live on, still free, still inspiring others to take up the baton in the race and be brave. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream still lives on. He wasn’t the first person to take that baton up and he wasn’t the last one.
It’s your life, not a show. Don’t sit back watching it drift away. Go out and fight with everything that holds you back. Remove your doubts. Kill your fears. Overcome the challenges of your life and most of all, fight with the pain you have inside.
– Shubhanshu Tiwari
Whatever dream lives inside of you, take up the baton and join in the divinely inspired race. And when it is time to pass on the baton, know that your dream will live on through those that you were able to inspire to take up the baton and continue the race.
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