Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Voices You Hear Might Be Saying The Wrong Thing

As I've talked about before, we (our conscious minds) are bombarded by thousands of messages every second. And believe it or not, most of us never hear them.

Where do those messages come from and why can't we hear them? Well, because most of the time, they are doing very little more than simply re-enforcing the behavior that we so naturally live in our lives.

It's just like if I were to beat a drum at a rate of 2 beats per second really loudly, and you were able to sync up with my beat in another room, with a different drum, I wouldn't ever know you were even there.

We wake up when the messages tell us to.

We eat when the messages tell us to.

We do, all day long, what the messages tell us to do.

That is how the subconscious and conscious mind work. We think we are doing what we choose to do each and every minute of the day. But, 99% of the time, what we are doing is more driven out of habit and or life patterns, than of conscious choice.

Normally, when our lives are going the way they always have, this isn't a big deal. Because the messages are in-sync with our conscious thoughts and actions. But. . . when we decide to change something in our lives, or things in our lives are suddenly changed for us, things become a lot tougher.

Going back to the drum beat example, imagine if I were to change my tempo and you didn't. Yep, you guessed it, your presence would suddenly be known to me.

This change causes the messages from our subconscious and our conscious actions to begin to conflict with each other. And there are two results that can occur:

1. You ignore your subconscious pull to your past methods, knowing they don't apply any more. (I accept that our beats are out of sync and I begin to teach you . . . over time to follow my pattern).
2. You revert back to your old habits, ending the changes that you start to experience. (the consistency of your beat at a rate of 2 beats per second, overcomes my desire to be different and I start following your lead, to stop the noise).

Our Subconscious Mind Doesn't Care What We are Doing

The subconscious doesn't care what you are doing, that's not a concern of it. The present doesn't matter to it - nor does current reality. It wants you to do what you were doing - what it's trying to get you to do . . . is get you to do what you did yesterday.

Your subconscious likes repetition. It likes habits. And it hates change.

So every time your life begins to deviate slightly from its past patterns of behavior, you feel a conflict. And that conflict is tough to overcome.

Overcoming the Change . . . Or Not

The first couple days / weeks you are trying to change, your sheer will to make it happen often is enough to keep your subconscious mind from winning the battle. But as your focus dissipates (as it nearly always will over time), the pull of your habits becomes stronger and stronger.

Good news is that eventually, you can build new habit patterns - new ways of thinking and behaving in a given situation. But the bad news, is that the "old patterns" of thought never completely go away - although their influence does decrease over time.

The hardest part of creating change in your life is that the messages become "louder" (more obvious), the more out of sync with your old behavior you get. You can call it self-sabotage, or self-destruction, but the simple truth is that what your subconscious mind is trying to do is simply do what it's supposed to do - keep you safe and alive using the same patterns of thought that have gotten you this far.

It doesn't know if your new patterns are working or not - it just keeps trying to maintain the status quo.

It doesn't want to create failure in your life - it just wants to keep you moving forward the same way you got to where you are.

Breaking Through To The Other Side

You've seen it before in failed diets, attempts to turn over a new leaf, or stopping any behavior that you know is habitual, but is causing you serious harm in your life. Every time you start to make big headway, you hit a barrier that you can not break through - you hit a invisible wall.

The wall isn't really there, it just feels like it is, because the influence of your subconscious is so powerful.

In order to break through the personal barriers, you must keep you eyes on the horizon and your conscious mind on your goals. Don't let the voices (messages) dissuade you. Don't let them turn you around - they grow loudest just before they start to fade.

Stay focused and keep moving forward.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Your Outlook Will Define Your Day - Your Life

Sunrise on a Monday Morning

What is your day going to be like today? Have you decided?

I've never been a big fan of Mondays. In fact, my Mom used to tell me that I was allergic to Mondays, since I tried my hardest to avoid going to school after the weekend.

It's not to say, that in many ways that I wouldn't rather sleep in on Mondays (especially since I'm usually up by 4:30 am, to provide coaching to my clients), but actually, I look forward to Mondays now. Mostly because since I started coaching I look at the week as a new beginning, instead of "long time until the weekend again".

Outlook is everything.

How you face your day will have as much impact as the circumstances you face throughout the day. How you choose to look at life will, for the most part, determine the way life impacts you.

If you have a positive outlook, thankful for the opportunities you face (counting your blessings) you will most likely see everything as an opportunity and make wonderful things happen for yourself both today, and in the coming week.

But (and this is tough), if you wake up on a Monday, and have the attitude of 'gotta get through this day' or I wish this day was over, then you will most likely look upon everything that comes up as a challenge.

Things will come up today, and every day forward. You have seen that time and time again. You can look at each day as an opportunity or as a burden to get through. Your attitude won't change the circumstances, directly, but it will change how those circumstances impact your life.

If you choose to find the positive in situations, then you will find happiness and opportunity in every situation.

If you choose to find the negative in situations, then you will find bitterness and feel failure in every situation.

Choose what you want your day to be!

Choose how you are going to handle every situation that presents itself to you!

. . . And then make it happen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't Let Your Feelings Dictate Your Life

How are you feeling today?

Far too often we let our feelings drive our lives. We let how we feel dictate what we do and how we act. We feel good one day, and it becomes a good day. We feel bad the next, or not up to the task, and sure enough, it comes true.

Unfortunately, being beholden to your feelings, leaves you beholden to your past . . . and to your subconscious mind . . . not to your vision and your goals.

So instead of letting your feelings drive your actions, let your goals drive your actions. Rather than responding to how you feel, respond and drive yourself based on what you want.

What You Want Needs To Be The Driving Factor?

Ever start a diet because you "want" to loose weight, get trim, and feel better about yourself. - only to do good for three days, and quit, because you weren't feeling better about yourself.

Did you stop wanting to loose weight?

Did you stop wanting to get trim?

Did you stop wanting to feel better about yourself?

Usually not. Your goal didn't change. You just gave-in to the feelings of not wanting to do the work any more. Not wanting to work out. And certainly not wanting to feel hungry any more.

You Can't Count On Feelings

Feelings need to follow your actions, not lead them. But they take time - and are rarely predictable 100% of the time. Our feelings are rooted all too often in mixed messages and crossed wires in the memories of our past.

Our goals are rooted in the future.

Don't follow your feelings.
They will lead you in circles, often right back to where you started.

Feelings are confusing.

Often anger is confused with fear. Often hope and infatuation is confused with trust and love.

In the case of the diet above, you should not set a goal to feel better about yourself . . . because how you feel is often too easily impacted by many outside factors - things outside of our control.

And besides, feelings are not measurable and often very related more to how I felt 10 minutes or 10 hours ago, than any set standard. So it is often tough to tell how much better you feel from one week to the next - or from one year to the next.

Sure, you can set a goal of losing 10lbs or 2 inches from your waist, and you can say that you should feel better because of that, but there is no guarantee that you will.

In fact, you may feel that given all the work you did, you should feel better than you actually do, only to cause you to give up on any further efforts.

Let Your Goals Drive Your Actions

Bottom line, follow your vision and your goals . . . and they will lead you to where you want to be, even in the midst of tumultuous feelings.

And besides, and you've heard me say it 1000s of times - Let Your Goals Drive Your Actions.

Set your goals - make them what you want, not what you want to feel. The feelings will follow, if your goals are truly what you want.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kicking the Can Down the Road is Rarely the RIGHT Answer

What are you doing today that is a distraction from achieving your goals?

All too often, what we do to fill our day is little more than a distraction. We have a list of things we want or need to get done, but for whatever reason, we are avoiding doing them.

Maybe it's that you aren't sure how to do them.

Maybe you don't want to do them.

Or maybe you are afraid to do them because they "may" have results that you don't want.

Have you ever done this . . . avoided doing the really important things in your life, either at work or in your personal life, simply because avoidance is easier?

Well, let me share something with you. I often personally struggle with this and continue to learn both in my personal life and in helping others as a coach.

Avoidance is never the right answer.

It may feel good at the moment - it may feel like the right solution - but you know that there is no hiding from the truth - no hiding from your commitments. Sooner or later you have to face the things you are avoiding.

The problem with avoiding things is that the longer you avoid facing your challenges, the more they drain you - stealing away your happiness and your peace of mind. The longer you keep trying to "kick the can down the road", the more you end up having to clean up in the long run.

So what is the trick? What can you do to remedy this struggle? Is there an simple fix?

As usual, the fix is simple, but the implementation is often quite hard.

The truth is, when it comes to "tough things" to do, your current reward for avoiding is more desirable than not doing. So, what you need to do, is change that - any way you possibly can:
A few simple ways you can do to help this are:

- Define a reward that you REALLY want that you will give yourself when you make this happen. And with hold that reward until you have achieved your goals.
- Share with a friend, a family member, and /or an accountability partner (someone you can take criticism from) that you are avoiding something that you really want to get done. Ask them to "ride you hard", until you get it done - tell them to keep it objective, but to become your personal nag.
- Simply make TODAY the day you are going to get it done . . . whatever "it" is. And then just do it - no excuses, no distractions, no interruptions. NO MATTER WHAT!

I know these ideas seem like common sense, but as I have said many times in the past, "common sense is not common practice".

Stop thinking that things will get better, just because you want them to. Take action and make them happen. You will feel better about yourself when you finally get to the other side.
you are obviously not doing a very good job of holding yourself accountable.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sometimes You Have To Throw Away Something Valuable To Get What You Really Want

Have you ever heard of Steve Montforo? Maybe . . . maybe not.

Before Tuesday night, unless you were his friend or a family member, odds are you had never heard of him. But since Tuesday, he has been in the Top 10 ESPN plays of the day, talked about by newscasters all over the country, is one of two stars on one of the hottest online videos in quite some time, and even made it on NBC's Today Show this morning.

Who is he? In my opinion, he's an inspiration to us all.

So what did Steve Montforo do on Tuesday Night that made him famous? That made him an inspiration. He put the love of his family - specifically his daughter - ahead of his own feelings.

Take a look: Watch the video.

Steve has been a life long Phillies fan - going to games since he was a little kid. And although he had been to hundreds of games, he had never caught a foul ball. That is until this past Tuesday Night.

Ever since he was a little boy, it had always a dream of Steve's to catch a foul ball at a Phillies game, and he finally did it. What made it even cooler, was that he made a spectacular catch to do so and the crowd responded with cheers.

He was so proud, he, without hesitation, handed the ball to his 3-year old daughter, Emily, so she could basque in his glory with him.

But, as you can see from the video, his daughter, thinking she was doing the right thing, immediately threw the ball back over the railing and into the crowd below them. Instantly, the crowd, changed their cheers, into "oooooooo's".

Steve Montforo, again without hesitation, and sensing that the crowd's response was going to scare his daughter, immediately embraced her and reassured her that what she had just done, was perfectly OK. And in an interview later, he was quoted as saying, "I think she was a little startled by the reaction," he explained. "I just wanted her to know it was OK."

In a short moment, one of his childhood dreams came true. And he watched his daughter throw it away. But the gift that he has received since then, has changed his life and given both he and his daughter more than they could have ever dreamed of having - and much more valuable than any old baseball.

And he (and the rest of us) learned the lesson that. . . Sometimes, you have to be willing to give up what often "feels" very important to find the real gifts in life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Leaders Start By Leading Themselves . . . First

Leaders Set Standards and Goals First For Themselves

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
Ray Kroc

We are all leaders - leaders of our businesses, leaders of our families and yes . . . even leaders of our own lives. And before its possible to lead anyone else, you must first learn how to lead your own life and follow your own guidelines and standards. Because if you don't believe in and follow the ideals that you espouse, then no one else will either.

I know that may sound funny - following yourself, but it is something that happens more than you think - or it doesn't.

Your subconscious mind will follow your conscious lead. It will believe and follow you to the ends of the earth, if you truly believe and act on your words - and not just say them. But this requires integrity - consistency of action and deed - "Walking your Talk".

You have to live with integrity, be consistent and focus on the standards (and goals) within your life or your subconscious will not follow. Because when it comes right down to it, you, of all people, know when you are telling the truth and when you aren't. And you can pretend to lie to yourself, but your subconscious doesn't always follow your words - it follows your deeds.

What are the standards you set for yourself?

Do you have daily expectations that you hold yourself accountable to?

Do you have weekly, monthly, or even yearly goals that you review and ensure that you are fulfilling - again doing so with accountability in your life?

Or do you simply go about life, living willy-nilly - just doing a cursory review every year on how things went on New Year's Eve and on your milestone Birthdays.

When you say you are going to do something, do you deliver on your promise to others? To yourself?

These are all tough questions . . . intended to challenge you and get you to look at yourself differently. Most people I talk to want to change their surroundings but don't, but rarely follow their own lead.

So if you want to lead "Change" in this world, start first by leading yourself . . . and following your own advice and words. Or you should expect that no one else will either.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Difference Between Instinct and Intelligence

It Started With Finding A Spider

The other day, my kids and I got a chance to watch the spider to the right weave her egg sac. It was an absolutely amazing sight to see . . . and I hate spiders.

The conversation that followed was a lot of fun.

My daughter, Garret, 9 years old, thought it was amazing that this little spider knew how to weave such an amazing web and egg sac, without her parents around to help her. "How could she do that?", she wondered about the 4-inch Garden Spider hanging next to her barn.

And she looked at me, saying that she wanted to understand know how such a little creature could make such an incredible wonder, without any help from her parents.

As you might imagine, I couldn't help but take a couple minutes with my maturing daughter to talk a bit about instinct and intelligence - the biggest difference between Man and the rest of the Animal Kingdom.

The spider I told her, had instincts on how to do many, many things, from what creatures were dangerous her to how to make a web - from how to catch and kill a spider to how to make an egg sac for her millions of little eggs and soon to be baby spiders. These ideas were ingrained in her mind from her genetic code. And she could neither avoid doing them any more than you and I could avoid breathing - it was simply built into who she was, and she had no real choice in it.

Intelligence, the one thing that separated her from this little spider, meant that although you did have some instinct in you to respond to certain situations, based on your genetic code, you could over ride it with lessons you've learned. And we started to lay down the basis for her understanding that life . . . HER LIFE . . . was her choice, not something that just happened to her.

Life is a Choice

I believe one of the keys to success in any endeavor is finding ways to change your situation, by changing your response to your circumstance. In life, we, as Human Beings, have a choice - we are intelligent, not instinctual like the rest of the Animal Kingdom. We don't have to respond the same way to circumstances every time we face them.

Sure, we can be slaves to the world around us - to our position in life and the luck that comes our way - living instinctively, day-to-day. Or we can break from the bondage of "circumstance" and create our own lives - taking advantage of the real gift that we have been given.

Unhappy, unsuccessful people allow the world to define them and always want something else.

Happy, successful people look at every situation as an opportunity to become more. To grow one step closer to their vision.

Here is a very interesting video about a young boy who chooses his own path, even in the act of slavery / bondage / control. He could have let his rebellious instincts define him, but instead he thought about finding a different solution to redefine the outcome. And takes control of the situation himself.
Where in your life do you feel bound - feel restricted, feel controlled or manipulated. It might be a monetary issue. It might be a relationship issue. It might be with your customers, your suppliers and / or your employees. Look at the situation differently. Go The Second Mile - the way you choose to go, because you want to change the situation. It may take more than one effort, but you will "redefine" the situation. You will break from your instincts and start applying the intelligence that you have gained in life.

And more importantly, YOU will begin to see the results you want, instead of the results that the world is trying to impose upon you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is the Economic Crisis Behind Us - Or Just In Remission?

According to Wikipedia, remission is "the state of absence of disease activity in patients with a chronic illness, with the possibility of return of disease activity."

That's right, it's not a cure - it's just a period where the symptoms of a disease are gone or subsided.

Like chemotherapy or radiation treatment with cancer, throwing money at a chronic economic problem, doesn't fix the problem, it only masks the symptoms. Sure, you see short term growth and you begin to feel better about things. But the nature of the system - the cause of the crisis - in the first place hasn't been fixed.

This is true both on a macroeconomic level, like the Global or National Economy and a microeconomic level, like your business and / or personal economic conditions.

If you were on the verge of bankruptcy, because you couldn't pay your debts on time and sales were down with your business and were able to convince a bank or creditor to loan you money (or even give you some), it would give you a stay of execution, but unless you figure out why your sales are down, why your expenses are exceeding your income, and of course do something about it (if you even can), you will be back to near bankruptcy soon enough . . . except this time with more debt and more pressure of inevitable collapse.

You know this to be true about your own household and business, so why would you think it would be any different for the government - be it Federal, State, or Local. The truth is, the same natural laws apply. You can make symptoms go away for a short period, but if you don't fix the underlying problem, the underlying disease, it will come back . . . stronger than ever.

We've seen it happen twice in the last decade. The first was the Dot-Com Bubble bursting. But since we really didn't fix the underlying social and economic reasons for the rise and collapse of the bubble, the next bubble was inevitable. The only question is what would it be.

Sure enough, next came the Housing / Credit bubble. And this one hit even harder and was the initial "cause" (and I use that term very loosely) of the economic situation we are currently in.

And unfortunately, since we really didn't let the crash take it's own course and find the bottom - bailing out the system and businesses that were struggling, we really haven't fixed the problem, only treated the symptoms.

So I ask YOU, as small business owners and others reading this blog, is the Economic Crisis behind us, or just in remission, ready to come back stronger than ever and crushing our (and the global) economy even more that we saw this past go around?

And in the case of your own business . . . have you done the work, are you doing the work that is necessary to cure your financial woes, or are you just waiting out the tough times, and setting yourself up for the next wave of good fortune . . . for remission of your chronic issues?

Friday, September 11, 2009

2 Questions: Where were you? How has it changed your life?

I know this article has been written a thousand times - and most likely by more eloquent writers. But since it's my blog, and I have a story to tell that I think can relate to many, I want to share where I was 8 years ago today.

We all have moments in our lives when you can remember exactly where you were on a specific day, when a specific event occurred. For nearly every American (and many others around the world) September 11th, 2001 was one of those days.

So where were you?

Like most Americans, I was at work. But unlike most other Americans, my work was on board an Aircraft Carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, in the middle of the Arabian Sea. And on day that our homeland was being cowardly attacked, just two weeks after my youngest son, Turner (whom I had only seen in photos) was born, I felt the emotions that everyone else back home felt:

- vulnerability and that I would never feel secure in my own country again
- fear that it was only the beginning and that there was more to come
- worry for my lovely wife who was home alone on our farm in Minnesota with our 18 month daughter and 2 week old son
- awe and trepidation of the power behind the evil that exists in the world
- sadness over the senseless loss of life
- pride over the reaction of the first responders in New York, Washington, and in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
- humbled by the smallness one can't help but feel in the face of something bigger than oneself
- and love for my wife and kids, my parents, my brothers and their families, my friends, and my fellow Americans

However, where I was, isn't nearly as important as how that fateful day has affected my life . . . How it has changed my life and how I look at my life today differently.

Like many, my life changed on September 11th, 2001.

Being in the military, you always know deep down that you could be called upon to sacrifice your life. But until that fateful day, I never thought that the lives of my family or friends were ever really threatened or held at risk by our Country's enemies. I never thought I would think I was safer on a US Warship at sea than my family on a farm in the Midwest . . . but it happened.

Never before did I honestly believe that I wouldn't be going home and seeing my family again, but on that day forward. I did . . . until I held them all in my arms again.

Life is precious.

We don't know what can happen that will change things forever in our lives.

So, it's incumbent for each of us to live each day as if it were the first day of the rest of your life .. . . as if it were September 12th. And live our lives with the memory that it could be the last . . . without any notice.

And finally, we shouldn't just do it today in honor of those who lost their lives on this day eight years ago. But we should live every day in honor of every man, woman and child who have and ever will give their lives in the name of our freedom or the freedom of any other human.

Bless you all, who have taken the time to stop and remember what today means. . . what it represents . . . and how it affected your life, FOREVER.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Four Steps to Turning A Bad Situation Around

How's your business doing?

How is your financial situation?

If you are like most people in America (and around the world for that matter), things aren't as good as you would like them to be.

Sure, in your mind, you might be blaming the economy and things that are out of your control for your current condition - which is not the healthiest thing to do on its own. But I don't believe that's why you haven't done anything about it.

So the question is . . . Why aren't you doing anything about it?

Why haven't you made the changes that you knew you were going to need to make sooner?

Why haven't you change your spending habits? Why haven't you have a garage sale to clean the junk you have all over the place to generate a little more cash? Or why haven't you posted them on eBay or Craig's List? And why haven't you called the credit card company and asked for a lower interest rate?

Or, even harder, why haven't you asked your friends and family for help?

The answers to these questions for most people might surprise you to read . . . although I think you know it already - deep down in your heart, whether you are feeling it now or have felt it in the past. The answer is, you feel shameful.

Ironically, in spite of the causes, many people that find themselves in "tough times" aren't locked into those positions because they don't know what to do. Instead most get stuck in ruts and difficult situations because of Shame - because of the painful emotion caused by a conscious (or even unconscious) awareness of their guilt or personal shortcoming that caused them to be where they are. And taking the steps necessary to fix the situation requires them to admit both privately and publicly that they did have a hand in the situation. And we all struggle with forgive ourselves of our own shortcomings.

The First Step - Face the Truth

Before you can do much else in repairing your situation, you have to face the truth. I don't care who you are, and what your situation is, you have to believe that you control your destiny, if you want to change your life for the better. Now that doesn't mean that bad things don't happen to good people - there is no doubt about that. But no matter the situation, you get to choose your response and eventually how the situation will turn out for you.

Accept responsibility for your choices that led to the situation. And then look inside yourself and decide whether or not you are stuck because someone or something is holding you back . . . Or if you are stifled in your position because you are holding yourself back, and why?

The Second Step - Release the Guilt and the Shame

Now that you have faced the truth of your situation, if not publicly, at least privately, it's time to take what is often the most difficult step to take in any change effort. And that is forgive yourself for the choices you have made to this point . . . both the good and bad choices.

Forgive yourself and release the guilt and shame that is holding you back from becoming all that you can and truly want to be. Because if you don't release the guilt and the shame, you will self-sabotage your efforts.

Remember, you can't change the past. But you don't have to relive it every day for the rest of your life either.

Learn from it.

Put it behind you.

And move on to making the choices that will help you become the you that you truly want to be.

The Third Step - Build a Plan and Enlist Help

Now that you have faced the truth and released your negative feelings so that you can move forward, it's time to do the fun stuff - planning the way forward.

The third step in the process of turn around your business and personal struggles is building a plan - a way forward. Suffice it to say that I could write for hours on this subject, but let me KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) for you:

- Figure out the real truth of your current condition (where you are)
- Define your goals / vision (where you want to go)
- Break down all the steps along way that you will have to accomplish to achieve the goals (what you have to do - one step at a time)
- List the obstacles that are going to get in your way (including your own mindset, if applicable).
- Figure out who can help you and enlist their support (who do you need help from)
- Build into the plan, a method for staying on track - a form of accountability to keep you from falling backwards and / or help you recognize the hiccups that come up along the way. (what is your feedback loop to keep you moving in the right direction)

The Fourth and Final Step - Take One Step at a Time

If you have gotten this far, you are about 90% there. Now all you have to do is follow your plan.

Just remember, you wrote a plan for a reason . . . you can't do it all at one time. As the saying goes, "You can't eat an elephant in one bite".

Take things ONE STEP AT A TIME . . . Obstacle at a time . . . One day at a time . . . And before you know it, you will have reached your goal and put what ever was "in your past" in your past for good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Become Stirred By Your Vision

We are all stirred by our vision. We are driven to action by our goals.

As I stated yesterday, it's pretty easy to get caught up in your own life - caught up in the drama around you and let it start affecting where you are going and what you are willing to do about it.

When you are struggling with your life and not sure what to do, how to take action, where to go next, the one place (the words and images) that you can always count on for your guidance and direction is your Vision - whether it is the professional vision you have for your business or the personal vision you have for your life.

Periods of tranquility are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.
Alfred North Whitehead

So, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

"What do I want to be?"

"Who do I want to be?"

"What do I want my life to be about?"

If you have the answers to these questions. Then look for them to be the guide each and every day forward. In them lie your destination and the compass - all you need to do is find the map.

However, if you don't have the answers to these questions, then that is the first task at hand.
And don't just answer these questions in your mind. WRITE THEM DOWN!!

Face them!!!

Look at them every day, religiously.

Don't ever turn away from them.

Drink them into your spirit and embrace them.

Make them more than just words, make them your Personal and Professional Constitution.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We All Endure Tough Times

We all go through tough times. It doesn't matter if you are a professional athlete, a movie star, a business coach, a stay-at-home Mom or even the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

We give up on our dream . . . We fall out of love . . . We, or someone very close to us, gets diagnosed with an incurable disease . . . Or we simply lose our vision - the future we hope to have.

In spite of the immense struggle these life changing events can create for us, they do not define us. Nor do they define anyone else on this earth.


Viktor Frankl was not defined by his captivity in Nazi Germany.

However, his resiliency and ability to survive did define him.


Hellen Keller was not defined by the childhood disease that took away her sight, hearing, and ability to speak.

She was for the gifts and ideas
she has given the world
in spite of her disabilities.


Christopher Reeve was not defined by his tragic horse jumping accident.

He will be remembered for his will to survive and be a role model for thousands who suffered spinal injuries like his own.


A lesson that I have had to personally re-learn is:

No matter what difficulties you might face, no matter how hard things may seem, others have faced similar problems. Some choose to let the struggles dominate their lives and let those moments define the rest of their lives.

While others, those we call tend to call "Heroic" and "Inspirational", choose a different path. Rather than giving in to the circumstances which they faced, they stood up (sometimes even when they didn't have the strength to do so), and took the first step of the rest of their lives towards the dreams they have - towards the life they choose. Not the one that choose them.

Maybe, someday I'll be looked at as inspirational, but that's not why I choose to move forward. I choose to move forward because I choose to make my dreams come true - to be the person that I want to be, not the one that many others have thought I should be . . . or the one that life is / was steering me to become.

Thank you all who are reading this blog. I have been away for a month or so - lost in my own world. I hope that you find your way back to reading my ideas and thoughts again in the coming days, weeks and months.

Bless You.