Thursday, December 31, 2009
Well here we are on the eve of a new year, a new decade, and another chance to make a change in our lives. The theme this year for the Times Square new years eve ball in let there be courage and I want to make that challenge to myself and to all of you as we move in to the new year.
Changing our selves takes courage, we must face the parts of our lives that cause us stress and emotional turmoil. When we face these parts of our lives and deal with them we put that turmoil to rest we can stand up straighter, proud in the knowledge that we have faced one of our demons and come out the victor. We can sleep better knowing that potential doom is not hanging over our head. We can sing louder knowing that our song is one that should be heard.
Does all this sound overly dramatic? Well maybe it is but the power of being courageous and looking in to the dark corners of our own minds is a dramatic proses. We all have issues we know we should deal with but we are afraid to look at. Let me share an example with you. When I was working as an insurance agent one of the products i was selling was long term care insurance. This is medical insurance to help cover the cost of having to be in a rest home when you get older. This is something that a lot of people worry about but not many take action on. We are scared to face the end of our lives and think about the time when we will need to rely on others to help us with even the most basic activities of daily living. Not facing that time when we are hail and healthy however will make it that much worse when we reach it unprepared. One thing I know for sure is when I would sit down and put a plan in place to protect my clients assets at the end of there lives they would rest much easier knowing it is taken care of. They would get this relife only because they had been courageous enough to look at what scared them and deal with it.
This is just one example of how facing our fears about our lives and about our selves can bring us peace in the present. So again I call out to you be courageous in the new year and know you are not alone in a commitment to courage I will be there to facing my demons, singing my songs and removing potential dooms from my life. Don't turn back because the path is hard, be courageous and press on. Be safe tonight and have a great day, and as always if you have any thoughts you would like to share with me on courage or any thing else for that matter feel free to drop me a comment.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
In the past we have talked about how we behave the way others expect us to behave. This is one reason we should only take on commitments that we know we can keep and that are in line with our values. Knowing that others have a good option of us gives us an idea of how much they value us which intern contributes to our own scents of self worth.
This Christmas I received a gift from my sister that defined exactly how she felt about me. This present was nothing more then a little red box but inside it I found a number of small papers with words she felt described me. The idea of the box is that others can add there thoughts to it as well and that way we allays know that we are valued and respected by others.
While i do not get to see my sister as often as I would like I now have a way to know ohw she feels about me any time I need it. This pushes me to be the person she sees me to be and keeps me moving forward even when i just want to stop and rest. This is one of the greatest gifts i have ever recived and i am making a list of people i want to share it with by giving them there own Box of Value.
So my question to you is there some one in your life that could use the gift of value. Some one who needs to know that others suport them and love them and find value in there very existance? If there is some one like that why not make them a Box of Value?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We spend a lot of time talking about creating the life we want, about setting goals to accomplish the things we want to do, and in general having things our way. Fulfilling all these desires does make us feel good but we need to temper our wants with wisdom. Let me share an example with you:
I have been sick for the last few days, nothing relay bad just a bit of a cold and sore throat, this morning a friend of mine asked if i would like to join him for a walk. We used to go walking often but since school started for him there has not been enough time. What I should have done is stayed home but I wanted to spend time with my friend so I bundled my sick self up and went walking. Now so far there have been no negative repercutions but I am wrighting this emediantly after returning home.
When we give in to our desires without weighing them against our values and wisdom we run the risk of falling in to hedonism and debauchery. Just because we want something does not make it right, and all things that feel good are not healthy for us. When we give in to desieres and temptations that we know do not benefit us in the long term we start to do things that make us happy. But this is not real happiness, is does not last after the stimulus leaves us, and it leaves us feeling hallow.
Real happiness comes from ourselves, it flows out of us as we accomplish the things in life we truly want, and live in accordance with our values, passions and dreams. So take the time to look at each and every desier you intened to gratify, look to see if it will move you to lasting happiness and if it does do it.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I hope that everyone had a good holiday week and now is ready to get back to the real world. I feel that I need to apologise to my readers for Fridays post. I felt the righting was substandared and the content was poor. I am going to chalk it up to sleep deprivation and the Holiday distraction. So if you will all let me have a do over please consider the post below a Replacement for fridays.
The Friends of personal growth part 5 Confidence
We have spent a good bit of time talking about things to avoid when trying to make changes in our lives, procrastination, distractions, and doubts just to name a few. Lets call these the enemies of personal development. With the holiday season directly on top of us now I thought it would be nice to shift from talking about personal growths enemies and start talking about its friends. We have met and chatted with Honesty, Dedication and The Plan and, Action. Now the final guest has arrived, Confidence, lets go take its coat and see what it has to say.
While Personal Growths other friends help to keep things going and get things started in the first place Confidence is there to clear the road blocks before they are even reached. When Confdence is around all the hard work looks easy or at least not insurmountable. Unfortunetly Confidence usualy shows up late to the the party but there are afew things we can do to get it there on time.
We have already covered how small victories can be used to build confidence. While this technique is one of the best it can be a bit slow and some times our confidence needs a quick fix. The problem with the quick fix is it usually does not last, however if the task at hand is accomplished then it can be the foundation for true confidence.
Accomplishment Inventory: When you need Confidence the best of the quick fixes is to look to your past and make a list of things you have done that were difficult. Look at the list and say to yourself "If I can do these things I can do what needs to be done now." I keep mine on the back of a business card in my wallet so if I need a quick reminder of how unstoppable I am it is right there.
Set the Mood: A lot of things can be done to make us feel confidence, the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, these things set our mood. Whether it is throwing on a favorite outfit or listing to a song that leaves us feeling like we can take on the world our mood, and the things that effect it, can give us confidence.
Knowledge: When we need confidence to past a test or confront some one about a problem having a strong understanding of the subject builds confidence.
Posture: people who are not confident or depressed tend to keep there eyes pointed downwards. By squaring your shoulders keeping your head up and walk like you know were you are going you make others think you have confidence and you create the feeling of confidence in your self. It is better to act how you want to feel rather then how you do feel, we create our own moods.
These are just a handful of tips and tricks for faking confidence when we need it I am sure there are some I missed If you have some to share with me let me know in the coments beloow. and have a great day.
Friday, December 25, 2009
The 99% ran an interview with MK Guth on art and the creative proses that has a lot of information that can also be applied to personal growth.
Here is a nice sotry and reminder of what is realy inportant from The Naked Soul
The last guest to arrive at the party is Vision. Vision is the quiet intellectual friend who hangs out and quietly watches every one else. He sits patiently looking at what every one else in the group is doing but only gives his advice when asked four.
Vision is our guide on our journey of personnel growth, it allows us to see were we are going and were we wish to be. Vision let us see our selves as we wish to be and begin to lay the ground work for us to become the person we wish to be. The most powerful use of vision is to help us adjust our coarse as we travel.
When we make our plans and deiced were we wish to be we often set our hart on a path and refuse to deviate from it. often when we are working to change other aspects of pour personality and attitude shift, so that when we arrive at the goals we have set for ourselves they no longer fulfill our needs. The solution to this is turn our sight inward and look at were we are and at the same time look to were we want to be. As we take sight of these two points we can keep shifting the destination to suit the person on the journey.
Keep your goals fluid, keep your eyes open for how you are changing and the changes in your dreams. Enjoy the party, talk with personal growth and it's friends and make them your friends as well. Have a great holiday and a beautiful day.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Action is the member of Personal Growths circle of friends who gets everyone moving. The plan knows whats going on sure, but Action is the one who gets everyone on board and moving in the right direction.
When we decide that we are going to change our lives we can dream, we set goals, and we can plan all we want but if we do not put our selves out there and actually do the things we say we are going to then we will never see results. The Plan is only as powerful as our ablity to make it happen. But waht can we do to maintain action and keep our selves moving.
So here is your call to action, if your plans for personal growth have slowed or stagnated or if you have things you have been meeting to change. Do it stand up and get started right now. Make this the present you give yourself this holiday season: look at your plans and do what you have said you will. Quit worrying about what will happen if you fail because you will never relies your dreams if you do not start making them happen.
With out action we are all talk, stuffed shirts and holow men. If we are not putting effort and action in to creating the lives we wish to live then we are betraying our selves and refusing happiness when it is there for the taking. Take action, take happiness and take control of your life.
here comes the plan to steel Action away from us. They are probably off to figure out were the after party is going to be. There is still one more guest at Personal Growths holiday party that we need to talk to, lets go over and say hi.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Personally I do not think this is true. no matter what regrets or traumas we have in our history if we take control of our lives and desired we want to change we can. The important aspect of this is wanting to chance and putting in the effort make this change happen.
While it is true we will always bear the scares of our past it is our choice weather we let them cripple and shape our future we can accept them as part of our past and move on. We can either let our past shape our future or instead consciously take control and shape our future. We have to let our past go save the good memories from our past and learn our lessons from all we experience then use that knowledge to help us transform our lives in to what we want them to be.
We have spent a good bit of time talking about things to avoid when trying to make changes in our lives, procrastination, distractions, and doubts just to name a few. Lets call these the enemies of personal development. With the holiday season directly on top of us now I thought it would be nice to shift from talking about personal growths enemies and start talking about its friends. So far we have met Honesty and Dedication.
The next friend of Personal Growth to show up is the hipster of the click, it likes to call it's self The Plan. The plan shows up to the part and everyone at the party flocks to it wanting to know what is going on, what happens next and how we are all getting there.
After we have been honest with ourselves and dedicated ourselves to the goals of personal growth, we need a plan to make the change happen. Planing is the proses of turning our dreams in to goals. The plan has to be fluid and flexible while still setting out the road markers that help us find the way to were we want to be. There are to aspects to this kind of planing the long view and the short view for the plan to be effective.
The long view
When we talk about long view planing we are not always talking about were we want to be in five years or ten years. We are talking about the big changes we want to see in our lives weather they happen in a few months or in a few years. The long view covers the things we have to change if we want our life to better and represents the place we want to be in our lives. The long view can be as concrete or as abstract as you like in the beginning but as you move towards realizing it you must allow it to crystallize in to a precise concept and goal other wise there will be no clear steps to take to reach it.
For example when I started working on this blog a few months ago my long term plan was to "I want a creative job. I want to work from home.I want to take control of my finances.I want to own my own home. In four years I want to be in a position to bring a son or daughter in to my family." Since then my goals have solidified a bit and I have decided I want a job in journalism as I see this as a creative outlet that can help generate the stable income I want to realize the other goals on my list.
The short view
The short view planing is all about how do i make it to the long view. These are the day to day goals set specifically with reaching the long view in mind. If the long view is our destination then the short view plan is the turn by turn directions on how to get there. Again fluidity is important here, the ability to adjust and adapt are plans to the situations and opportunities that we encounter along our journey. We have to be prepared to take detours and stop at the rest stops along the way. When we try to control our journey to much we loose sight of the real purpose behind personnel growth: Being happy.
When we put the long term and short term aspects of The Plan in place and satay Dedicated to the path we have chosen form our own Honest self analysis we set our selves on the the path to truly being happy. So wtith these thoughts in mind we will leave The Plan to talk to it's fans and move back over to the door to be introduced to Personal Growths next friend.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We have spent a good bit of time talking about things to avoid when trying to make changes in our lives, procrastination, distractions, and doubts just to name a few. Lets call these the enemies of personal development. With the holiday season directly on top of us now I thought it would be nice to shift from talking about personal growths enemies and start talking about its friends. While we have been hanging out with honesty over at the punch bowel a new guest has arrive. Lets go and say hello to Dedication.
Of all of Personal Growths friends Dedication is the most reliable, it is there when ever Personal Growth is feeling down and needs some one to help shoulder the load. When Honesty has said to much Dedication is there to sit quietly and hold personnel growths hand saying we can do this, we can change this.
Once we have decided to make a change in our lives dedication is the strongest tool we have to make that change become real. What does dedication mean? It means we put our selves wholey in to our goal, giving our selves up to the proses of change with a willingness to see the proses to it's end. If you are not willing to dedicate your self to personal growth then don;t even bother starting. All you will do is waste your time and energy to wind up were you started, if you are lucky, if you aren't lucky you will have reinforced your weaknesses and be even more unhappy then when you started. But if you are willing to put in the effoert and make a dedicated effort to change then you can not fail as failure is just the result of giving up.
So what steps can we take to increase our dedication and bolster it when we are feeling weak?
1 Self assessment. Taking the time each morning to review your goals and the time each night to review what you have done to accomplish them. Dedication does not demand that you hit the mark every day but that you try to hit the mark every day.
2 Don't stop. Dedication is not about quick successes it is about the power of slow constant effort.
3. Form habits. When we make a habit of doing anything it stops being something we concouisly focus on doing and becomes a part of our lives. By turning the behaviors we want to see in our lives in to habits we begin to do them with out thinking about it.
4. Start early. Build the practice of dedication into your efforts to change from the beginning, or as close to the beginning as you can. Knowing you committed to change and unwilling to give up at the beginning of a project creates a condition of expected success.
When times get rough, it becomes easy to slack off on our goals, to get boged down in the ires of hardship. However if we have cultivated an attitude of dedication to our goals we will be more inclined to keep on keeping on when we need it. The practice of dedication can become a source of peace from the turmoil of daily life.
When we choose to work on some aspect of our lives or any task we deem important we must dedicate our selves to it. Put all our effort in to the task and see it through to the end. As for Dedication we will show it over to a nice chair by the fire were it can watch Personal Growths holiday party while it waits to help clean up the dishes afterward.
Monday, December 21, 2009
*Learn something new I have started working on learning css so I can put together my own template for the blog. There is a lot to learn here but I think it will be worth while in the long run.
*Start adjusting my self to school schedule If by adjusting myself to my new school schedule I meant staying up to late and taking naps this went well. But since I meant getting up on time and going to bed at a reasonable hour this goal sort of failed.
*Start a writers group This is going well I have talked to a few friends of mine who write and we have decided this is something we want to do. It looks like it will have to wait until after the holidays for everyone schedules to sink up.
*Fine tune the look of Up from the ashes Working on it still but making progress
This week I'm taking a break from setting any new goals and just going to focus on enjoying the holidays.
We have spent a good bit of time talking about things to avoid when trying to make changes in our lives, procrastination, distractions, and doubts just to name a few. Lets call these the enemies of personal development. With the holiday season directly on top of us now I thought it would be nice to shift from talking about personal growths enemies and start talking about its friends. So lets get started I would like to introduce you to the first friend of personal growth, Honesty.
Honesty may be the closest friend the personnel growth has. This is the friend that is willing to call growth on the mistakes it makes and on the areas were it needs more work. If we do not look at our lives with honesty and decrement we will never even acknowledge the real problems in our lives. If we never acknowledge the problem we will never work on it and all our change will be for nothing.
We all have truths in our lives that we do not want to face, things we do not want to talk about even in the privacy of our own head. These are the things we have done that bring us shame or the impulses we do not want to control even though we know they are bad for us. To avoid these subjects we tell our self lies and either ignore the problem or adress a symtom rather then look for a cure.
An example: Maintaining a healthy diet is something i strive to do but do not have all that much luck with most of the time. As some of you may remember I have had successes giving up soda but this is not the real problem but just a symptom. The core of the problem is composed of two factors: I want food which is quick and easy and I have a horrible sweet tooth. To correct my bad eating behaviors (a package of Oreos is not dinner) I have to be honest with my self about the source of the problem and only then can I start to correct it.
Being on honest with our selves is the place to start whenever we look at our lives whether we want to change or not. Chance are however if we do take the time to make an honest assessment of were we are today we will see some areas were we want to grow or change. Honesty loves to talk but things that few people ever listen to what it has to say. So lets take Honesty's coat and hat and show it over to the punch bole and ask for it's opinion while we wait for some of personnel developments other friends to arrive.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Here are a list of some more on topic articles that i have read over the week that I think you should take a look at as well. By on topic I mean other peoples thoughts on personnel growth and development.
1) Soul Hiker hart driven success
2)Musings of the Chatty Dm Chasing the dream
3)The wake up cloud 121 ways to improve your life and be more awesome (honestly if you only click one link in this post make it this one)
I don't like telling people how they should feel but if you are anything like me this link will both impress and enrage you. It show that gender bias is still alive and well in the world to day.
Here is an amazing bit of art by way of self help daily. This is just something that needs to bee seen to be believed.
Being the gamer nerd we all know I am, I had to point you folks to this article about how MC Frontalot is quitting smoking with D&D.
Yesterday I told you how my cat jumped in my lap while I was trying to wright and that got me thinking about distractions and how to avoid them. However sometimes when the cat plops down in our laps we decide to make time for him, rather then avoiding the distractions it is sometimes better to embrace them. By this I do not mean the tendency to avoid working on the things that we need to work on in favor of doing something else. Some times we find our selves overwhelmed by all that is going on around us; at times like this it is nice to step back and let our selves be distracted. Other times Distractions can lead to wonderfull life enriching experience. How do we know when to cout our selves some slack and when to keep slogging away on the task at hand.
The only real key we have for this situation is our intuition and knowledge of our selves. We know when our stress levels get to high and we need that moment of rest or to hear that conferting voice on the other end of the phone line. If we do not allow our selves these mometns of peace we let even the things we are doing for our selves become toil. Being able to spend time with our loved ones or set things aside for a half hour to have coffee with a friend is at the hart of the entire purpose for creating the lives we want. If we can not control our schedules to include time for joy and friendship then we are right back were we started.
The other type of positive distraction is the one that leads us to opportunity for life changing experience and creating great memories. If we close our selves out to everything that is going on around us and only focus on the things we are working on we miss out. How do we know when an opportunity is going to become something more? We don't other then to trust our gut, fallow our intuition, and fallow our hart.
The true key to all this is knowing what you want and what you need and knowing how to tell the two apart. Knowing when to indulge and when to be strict with our selves. In the comments to yesterdays post Patty of why not start now fame left this thougth wich gets cuts right through this decision making proses.
Things like a purring cat, a phone conversation with my husband, a beautiful song on the radio - I want to stop for a few moments and relish those because they are meaningful to me. That makes it easier to get back on track. But a lot of the other stuff, like games or internet surfing, yeah, those are a huge time suck. And there's an addictive quality to them. So sometimes I can get back on track by asking myself, "what do I truly need right now?" Usually it's not the distraction I truly need.So when the cat of distraction jumps in your lap how do you deal with it. Do you give it a few scratches behind the ear and send it on it's way or do you get out the cat toys and enjoy some quality time with it? I advise you to do some of both. Doing to much of one and to little of the other will not lead to a balanced happy life.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
As I was sitting down writing yesterdays post my cat sunny jumped in my lap and refused to leave me alone until he got some attention. He was given a few quick pets and then politely shown the door since I was on a schedule yesterday but it got me thinking. How do we deal with the distractions that creep up in our daily lives?
There are relay only two different kinds of distractions: the ones we expect and the ones that come out of know where. The ones we expect are easy to deal with we make time for them or we develop statageys to avoid them all together. TV shows, video games, and emails are just some examples of these distractions.
But what about the unexpected distraction, the cat in the lap, the phone ringing while you are working, seeing something wired out of the corner of your eye while taking to some one. How do you deal with these distractions and not let them interfere with our progress? It is actually a trick question: we don't deal with them we need to think in terms of recovering from them.
The moment something becomes a distraction to us it has already had it's impact. What is important is how quickly you are able to refocus yourself on the task at hand.
The same is true when we look at the things that distract us from our personal growth. For example I have been working to limit the number of online games I play. These are a huge time wast for me and in a way a defense mechanism for not dealing with the things that need to be dealt with. While this has been going well for me lately every once in a while a good game will pop up and I will put more time in to playing it then I really should. When I catch this happening I set a time of day were I am aloud to play the game and then try to refocus on the work I am doing. This works as long as I am aware of the distraction and act quickly to recover from it.
Distractions are going to happen to us every day, when we expect them and when we don't. We need to focus on how we recover from the distraction rather then the distraction itself. When you are faced with distractions what strategies do you employ for getting back on track?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Ah yes the pros and cons of responsibility. As we grow and change in our personnel life we are often seen as becoming more competent and reliable. As this happens others begin to turn to us for help and just like that we have new responsibilities, how do we deal with this, how do we choose which ones to take on and which ones to set aside?
The key is to take on the challenges that fit the life we want, just because some one hopes we will help them do something or fill some roll for them we are not obligated to. With each new responsibility comes added stress and less time to work on the things that are important to us. By being selective of the commitments we make we allow our selves the time to do the things we want and the things we are agreeing to do with effort and energy they deserve.
If you have to say no to some one be honest and upfront, do not hedge and say maybe or i don't know. These people who come to us looking for help assistance and support need to know if we will help them or be able to go and look for that help else were.
As i have said before the important thing to remember is that once we desied to take on a responsbility we no longer have the right to complain aobut it. We are doing what we are doing by our choice.
We have all been hurt, rejected, and mistreated by others and ourselves. These incidents leave scrapes, scares, and bruises on our emotional self that can cripple us on our journey to our happy little valley. We say to our selves that we could get over it if only so an so would apologize or take us back or whatever but the truth of the mater is the only one who can heal these wounds is ourselves.
The way we do this is truly forgiving those that wrong us, weather it is ourselves or another person. Just telling them that we forgive them is not enough we must understand in our harts that we are over the hurt. Easier said then done right? Here are some ideas on how to make forgivnes real.
The past is the past. No matter how much we might wish to be able to change things that have happened in our lives we can't. What is done is done and we can either agonize about the outcome of a situation or we can move on with our lives. If you are dwelling on things that can't change you are doing the mental equivalent of trying to knock down the Parthenon with one hand. You can push all day but in the end nothing will have changed except you will be tired hungry and defeated. It is better to look at the situation pull what lessons you can from it and walk away. Your effort is better spent on the things that can be changed and the lessons we gain from our injuries help us to avoid the same situations in the future.
Let it all out. Some times we hold on to painful memories because we have never talked about them. The burden of emotional pain is sometimes greater then what we can bear on our own but we try because we don't want to be perceived as winy, week or bitchy. Sometimes the best thing to do is sit down with the person who has wronged you and let them know. Do not attack them but just quietly tell them how what they did made you feel. Make them understand that this discussion is not about them it is about you and your feelings on the matter. And then offer them forgiveness for what they have done.
Forgive your self. The ability to forgive ourselves is one of the most important tools we have. We make mistakes, we don't reach the goals we want to, we hesitate and fail to take an opportunity that life present us. If we dwell on the times we have betrayed ourselves we will find ourselves curled up in the fetal position rocking in a corner crying. We must stop pulling out all our old failures and abusing our selves with them when ever we have a dark moment. The only trick I have found that works for this is to apologize to my self and make the commitment to do better in the future. The I accept the apology and move on from there.
The bottom line is that we must focus on what we can change in our lives and not dwell on the things we can not. We must learn from our actions and the actions of others and use this knowledge to create the life we want to live. Let the hurt go, let the emotional strains of the past relax and move on. Turn your face to the sunrise and press on towards that happy little valley.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Why is it jerks always seem to get what they want? Is it because they are rude, arrogant and loud? Maybe but most likely the answer is simpler than that and fortunately something we can apply to our lives without being a jerk our selves. Simply put jerks are not afraid to tell us what they want and don't take no for an answer. Where the jerks of the world go too far is that they do not except compromise without a fight, and when they do they do it sullenly.
So what can we do to emulate the jerk without being one?
It starts with knowing what you want. By knowing what we want when someone asks we appear decisive and in control. This means taking the time to be in touch with yourself and listen to the little voice in your head that says a burger would be nice right now or I would look good in a new pair of jeans.
Be vocal about what you want. This does not mean we should be wining about what we want all the time. Instead we need to be willing to state our opinions and desires when asked for them. For example at the office when a coworker asks "what do you want for lunch?" be ready to tell them "a hamburger sounds good" rather the "I don't know what sounds good to you"
Don't give in unless you chose to give in. It is important to not back down the second someone else makes a suggestion on a course of action. If you think your idea or desire is better for the group be willing to fight for it. If the other idea is better go with it, but do it because you chose to change your mind not because someone else is forcing you to. When we have made a concession to the wants of others we must not sulk about it because we have chosen to let them have what they want.
Why should we even try to get what we want? Getting what we want builds confidence. I think that we can all agree approaching life with confidence is one of the keys to succeeding in any endeavor. The lack of confidence can cause our doubts to overwhelm our excitement and motivation. The lack of confidence can affect how others see us and relate to us. Most impotently a lack of confidence builds on its self making the problem harder to overcome with each passing day. Fortunately the flip side is true as well and confidence creates confidence. So go out there be decisive, be strong and have a great day.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Lat week was a pretty good week for goals, I got to work on most of them.
*Find a place to volunteer Still working on this :)
*Develop a set schedule for myself I have worked this our pretty well I have my scheduled worked out for my classes now i just need to stick with it.
*Get my class schedule organized and register for classes class registered for at 12:01 this morning
*Work on new writing project Not yet but fiction writing is a proses and hard for me to force.
*Add a new feature to the blog The new feature is up and running, it is called Random sources of inspiration. The idea of it is I run into interesting quotes in stories movies and TV shows and share them with you along with my thoughts on it.
This weeks goals
*Learn something new
*Start adjusting my self to school schedule
*Start a writers group
*Fine tune the look of Up from the ashes
Last night at 12:01 am I took the next step forward with the search for the life I want. I registered for my classes at the junior college. Doing this has made the going back to school idea that much more real for me and I am starting to get nervous and excited about the semester ahead. These are feeling we all deal with every time we start a new project or commit to any big decision in our lives. How we deal with these emotions can play a big part in how well the project turns out in the end.
There are two different emotions and mental states that we need to deal with in this situation: Nervousness and Excitement. The two often go hand in hand but must be dealt with in diffident ways to increase our opportunities for successes.
Let’s start by looking at nervousness. We get nervous when we worry about failing or when we think something will be too hard. It is not enough to just push the nagging worrisome thoughts out of our head and ignore them. Instead we must look at each worry and weigh it on the basses of its rationality. How do we know if a worry is rational or irrational? By knowing ourselves and being aware of our strengthens and our weaknesses. By knowing your self you will know the areas that could become stumbling blocks for you and when the voice of worry is preaching on the same topic then it is time to do something about it. By creating a plan ahead of time to deal with a possible negative situation if it does arise you will not be caught flat footed. Instead of being knocked to the ground and having to pick yourself back up you will be able to side step the problem and keep moving forward to your goal. The other important thing to remember is what I will call Quinn's first rule: "We only fail when we stop trying."
Now to deal with excitement: The excitement of a new endeavor is what takes us from standing on the brink of doing something great in to the actual action of doing it. The downside of excitement is that it where off a few weeks in when everything starts to become work. We need to nurture our excitement and keep rekindling it. Before you start your new project take a moment look at how you feel and capture that moment and feeling in your mind. Then when the hard work starts to bog you down pull out that mental snapshot and embrace that sens of excitement. By keeping your goals tide to your passion relighting the fire of excitement becomes easy. Remember we are doing what we are doing to achieve something we want, something that excites us.
When we are standing on the brink of a large life changing event it is natural to feel exhilarated by what is coming while still being apprehensive. We worry about if things will work out and if we will be able to achieve the things that we have set out to do. We look forward to getting started and making progress. By nurturing the excitement and addressing the worries we greatly increase our ability to succeed.
As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Here are some interesting art images. It is amazing what can be done with paint water and a camera.
When I am stuck in a car or working on a project that does not take a lot of thought i like to try to imagine how other directors would treat major movies. This all started with the new star wars trilogy and trying to picture attack of the clones would be like if directed by Ang Lee. That said i am intrigued by this video of david lynch explaining why he turned down directing Retuern of the Jedi.
We talk a lot about accomplishing our goals here, so I thought I would share this story of some one chasing a dream with you. Christoph Rehage set out to walk from China to Germany and blog about his travels as often as possible. he did not make it as far as he wanted to but learned a lot about himself along the way. Here is a video he put together documenting some of the physical changes he went through.
And one more link that I just cam across courtesy of D20 Source and will only be interesting to my fellow gamers out there. Here is a list of all the edtions of Dungeons and Dragons with a bit of history on each.
Any way have a great weekend and I will be back Monday to share more thoughts about how to get your life to were you want it to be and rising up from the ashes of our defeats. If you have something you think i should be staring at leave me a link in the comments below.
It seems I have been talking a lot this week about not giving up, but I am not the only one. Over at wise bread I was reading an article by Sarah Winfrey on just that topic and it got me thinking about how we so often shoulder the troubles in our life alone. I know this especially true for me, I do not so much suffer from a fear of failing as a fear of other people seeing me fail. When things get rough in my life I don't let on and try to just keep the surface calm so no one will see the turbulence bellow.
This is not the right way to deal with hardships and troubles. The energy and effort we put in to looking like everything is fine just drains the energy we have to actual fix the problem. When we keep our problems to our selves, no matter how good we are at it our close friends and family will see that something is wrong. By not sharing our burdens with them we shut them out and cause them pain even if they are not aware of it on a conscious level.
When trouble comes calling we need to realize that we do have a support network in place. There are people who care about us and will most likely help us in any way they can. When a friend of ours listens to our problem and tells us they know we can handle it or that we will get through this together we become stronger. The knowledge that someone else has faith in us even when we doubt ourselves can be enough to keep us going and not to give up hope.
So how do we develop the network of support in our lives?
The most powerful way is to be there for others. Is there someone you care about that is going through some hard times? Let them know you are willing to listen. When we show we are there to listen and help we create a stronger bond with those around us and they will naturally become more concerned with our own well being.
Don't be afraid to show the pain. We are confronted every day with the question how are you? We get it at the grocery store, we get it from friends: we here all the time. So often we just respond without thinking and say fine, doing good, or OK. sometimes we need to be honest about how we feel, now I am not saying you should heap your problems on the waiter when you go out for dinner tonight but when a friends asks how are you doing give them an honest answer, and expect one in return. I used to work with a young lady who took this idea very seriously. When people came to work she would always ask them "how are you doing?" She would watch as they answered and if she did not believe there fine or OK, she would ask again "how are you really doing?" She got a lot of people to open up and I suspect that many shifts ran smother because of that one question.
The other important element of a network of support is to share the good times as well. When we have a victory in our lives and we want to celebrate it. This is the time to bring along those people you love and care about. When all we talk about is the hardship we are going through that weakens the bonds of friendship as much as only sharing a glossy, superficial version of our lives with them. We have to do more than just bring our baggage when we talk to our friends, we need to take them on the cruise with us as well.
So remember you are not going through your troubles alone. There are people out there who care about you and want the best for you. Help when you can and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. As always I welcome your thoughts in the comments section and if you know someone who needs to hear what I am saying send them a link. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
As I stated on Monday one of my goals for this week is to add a new feature to the blog and here it is. One thing you may not know about me is that I really like my media, I love movies and books. TV shows are good too but until recently I have not been able to make the commitment to stick with an entire season of a show. That has changed thanks to DVDs but any way I get away from the real point of all this. With all the media I take in I often come across thoughts or ideas that get me to think about personnel growth and how we change. In this new feature I will take the time to talk about the quotes that I find inspiring or thought provoking. If you have book or movie references that make you think feel free to share them with me in the comments.
So let’s get started!
"Locked doors and dead ends; that's where half my investigations lead. But with the right kind of persuasion, almost any lock can be convinced to open." - Harry Dresden
I love this line from the Dresden Files TV show. When we are feeling down and defeated it is impotent to remember that there are always other things to try. With the right effort the right technique we can accomplish anything that we set our minds too. If we do not give up on a goal we will not lose. So next time you are faced with a dead end or a locked door remember there is always a way around it. Don't give up and do not surrender.
This time of year we are reminded to be more compassionate. We are reminded in these times of celebration to think of those who do not have food and shelter. We are encouraged to give money and food to help those around us. Some of us even go out and help deliver the food to those in need. While this is all well and good maintaining a practice of service throughout the year can have far reaching benefits.
Not only will those we work with benefit from our time and energy but we will be able to reap rewards for our self. As Dr. Thomas Plante points out at Psychology Today
After complex statistical analysis, we find that not only are students who help others more compassionate once they return from an immersion service trip and also at follow up, but they also have higher well being and stress management scores too!
The idea that service to others can lower our stress levels and increase our sense of well being is a powerful one. By giving of our selves we help to create a connection with our community and surround ourselves with other people who are working towards the benefit of others. This connection to people who are struggling for change in their lives and the lives of others can even become a source of strength for us.
So the question becomes how do we get started?
The first step is figuring out what you are willing to do. Feeding the homeless is not for everyone but there are plenty of other opportunities to volunteer in our communities.
Once you know what your boundaries are start looking for a cause that is in line with your values and passions. Are you concerned with literacy in your community? There are programs out there teaching people to read. Do you worry about the elderly being lonely? Then help with a visitation program.
The next step is finding a specific organization that you want to work with. There may be a group in your life which you are already a part of that needs help. If that is not the case you can look for your local volunteer center and they can help you find an organization that will be a good fit with you. Another resource is http://www.volunteermatch.org/ a web sight recruiting service for nonprofit organizations.
Once you have chosen and contacted the organization you will be working with the final step is to show up to do the work you have agreed to. It is unfortunate reality of the nonprofit sector that volunteers do not always follow through on their commitments. This happens because they become too distracted with the problems in their own lives and begin to see the commitment they have made to their community as something that can be put on the back burner. When we do this we are thinking of our volunteering as a chore and not an opportunity to share.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Self improvement, personnel growth or finding your place in the world whatever you call it there are some hard truths we must face when we strive to make conscious changes in our lives. These hard truths force us to question our goals and to push aside the things we want for ourselves. They make us stop and question if the effort is worth it and can cause us to never begin the processes of change in the first place. In our journey to who we want to be these are the fallen trees in out path. By being aware of the obstacles in our way we can make a plan for dealing with them.
Hard truth #1: Change takes time. This is a simple thing to say but easy to forget. We are so encultured to want things to happen now and receive instant gratification. Because of this when our efforts do not show immediate results it is easy to discard the work we have done. We say to ourselves that what we are doing is not working and start trying something else. After trying three or four different things without results we give up feeling that we can't change and that we will always be the way we are.
When you feel this way remember, instant gratification is for candy bars and one night stands. These small bursts of instant pleasure come with consequence that far outweigh the moment of passion. Personnel growth is hard work and hard work takes time. There is no way around it so we must acknowledge the fact and make the effort to change.
Hard truth #2: We fear failing. It is often the threat of failure that stops us from even beginning to change. We may want to, we may need to but if we fear failure more then we value success we will not start. When we fail it reinforces the negative aspects of our own self image. Failure will happen to us all at one point or another important thing is to let it be a stumble rather than a fatal fall. Over at studdy hackes Cal Newport has some thoughts about keeping an exercise routine going but his ideas can be put to any area of self improvement.
But when we mess up and miss some days — which is inevitable — things snowball. Our short-term self argues with our long-term self that because we’ve messed up a little bit, it’s game over, and we can now default to eating poorly and stop exercising altogether.
Hard truth #3: We doubt ourselves. We wonder if the goals we have set for ourselves are relay the life we want. We worry that we will not be able to handle the success we are trying to achieve. The only way to overcome this doubt is to be honest with our selves. Have we chosen a path that is true to our values, dreams, commitments and passions? If we have then we will be happy when we arrive at the end of our journey. If we do the hard work of personnel growth with open eyes and an honest look at our own faults and weakness we will be able to handle the success we are striving for.
These hard truths cannot be ignored if we want to succeed in our search for self improvement. When you are confronted with a difficult situation how do you react? What are the hard truths you face in your quest for personnel growth?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
One of my goals last week was to stop putting things off. Procrastination has been a bad habit for me for a long time. While it took some effort it was interesting and fruitful to spend a week focusing on it. The liberation I felt when I stopped saying I will do that latter was immense. Why did this have such a big impact on me? First we need to look at what causes procrastination and the effect it can have on your life.
I personally procrastinate for two reasons laziness and fear. I do not want to stop doing something that I am enjoying to work on a chore, and I can always find something I want to do to fill my time. The other aspect, fear comes in to play when I am entering a situation where I am looking for an answer and know that when I find it I will not like it.
Even though procrastination is prompted by two different stimuli the results are the same. I find excuses not to do something that needs to be done. If procrastination only meant things did not get accomplished it would still be a problem but the situation is even worse than that. By putting something off we create a negative thought process associated with that task making it that much harder for us to do it the next time we think of it. Most of the time we put something off the problem we are avoiding gets worse. For example let’s say you decide to leave the dinner dishes until the morning to clean then you wake up have breakfast and have more dishes to clean. The problem grows. This is still not the full impact of procrastination. Knowing you have to accomplish something is tiring in and of its self.
When we set aside our tendency to put things off we accomplish more, we attach small projects when they come up and do not let them grow in to larger problems. Most importantly we do not sit around thinking about all we have to do. When the time comes to relax we are not burdened thinking of chores we have to do latter, instead we can truly enjoy our free time without distractions.
So how do you beat procrastination? Here are some suggestions:
1) Look for your stall phrases. I know when I am asked to do something I often hear myself say "I will do it in a moment." Which used to mean: I will do it when you remind me a few more times. Now when I hear those words come out of my mouth I try to pull myself away from what is going on and get to work.
2) Be honest with yourself The problem with procrastination is that we make excuses to ourselves to justify it. We tell ourselves little lies that reinforce the reality we want to be true and disregard the reality that is. When this happiness the only way to deal with it is to call ourselves out for being dishonest and look at the situation as realistically as we can.
3) Face up to your fears When you know bad news is coming avoiding it will only make it worse. Unpaid bills just get bigger and the emotional pain we may cause others just gets harder to forgive. When you are afraid to face a situation and you avoid it not only do you live with the dread of facing it every day but you make the chance of a negative outcome greater.
One other benefit to putting aside procrastination is the feeling of accomplishment that completing projects brings. We have talked about small victories in the past and how they help prepare the way for larger victories. If you want to fill your day with these small wins then stop procrastinating. Every time you do something now instead of latter it is small victory and will help teach you how to be successful.
When you find yourself mired in a swamp of procrastination what do you do to pull yourself free?
Monday, December 7, 2009
Last weeks goals
* No soda for another Done and done
* Prepare to get myself on a schedule. This one is a bit of a stall because I am scared of failing at the schedule. I did not do much work on this but will put more effort into it this week
* Stop procrastinating even on little things. This was my big successes for the week and a real life changing attitude to have.
* Find a place to volunteer. this is another one that did not get met.
* Develop a work flow pattern for when school starts. This is one of the goals that got pushed to the side. I still have a month before classes start and won't have my schedule until next week.
This weeks goals.
*Find a place to volunteer
*Develop a set schedule for myself
*Get my class schedule organized and register for classes
*Work on new writing project
*Add a new feature to the blog
*No soda for a month
In all our lives we have suffered failures that have left our self image laying limp and lifeless on the muddy battlefield. Sometimes the scars of these battles have become the seeds of low self confidences or shyness or another defeatist attitude. No matter what the attitude is it will hamper our growth and stops us from living the life we want. Today we are going to talk about going back and gaining victories on that battlefield, taking back what has been taken from us and using that energy to reclaim the life we want.
Before we go any farther I want to make it clear this is not a fix for every problem and every failure in your life. As tools go this one is more of a hammer then it a multi tool. It will do one thing and do it well so it is up to you to know when to use it.
As I announced last week I am going back to school. I have decided to start my course work at my local junior college for a few reasons, it is convenient to where I live, it is cheap to go there (comparatively) and it is a good school. While all those were factors in my decision they were not the main reason I have chosen to return to the JC. This school is one of the places where I feel I have been defeated in the past and I want to get a victory there in order to help build my scholastic confidences.
When I did my first few trips to collage I was there for the wrong reasons: It was what you did after high school, my parents wanted me to go to school and it was better than working full time. However I went in with no real idea of what I wanted to get out of the processes so instead of getting an education I sat in the student lounge and learned to play bridge. Because of this I never left the junior college for a four year school and I have spent my life drifting from jobs that require more training then education. These jobs have left me feeling unsatisfied and rather unworthy of many of the things I want in life.
Now I am going back to school and I am starting were I have faltered before to prove to myself I can win on this battlefield. This time I am coming armored in purpose, armed with a set of goals I wish to achieve and with my life map and personal compass ready to consult should I find myself drifting off course. When I win this battle I know that I will be able to use the momentum I gain from it to bring me to the end of my studies and out the other side to a job I want and can take pride in.
So how can we generalize this tactic? This idea is simple but the execution can be hard or downright scary. Think of a situation that went badly solely based on your action. Now try to recreate that situation and relive it in a positive way. Use the self understanding and growth you have undergone since your defeat to not only take the field again but to win. Part of this process is knowing when to pick the fight, do it on your terms and your own time.
This advice may seem general at first and it is each battle we face will require different tactics but at the same time if we do not choose to refight our old battles then we are left with the defeat. Taking up arms and challenging the events in our lives that have created our negative attitudes will help us create a new positive mind set. If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear them in the comments below. Be valiant, be brave and have a great day
Friday, December 4, 2009
Here is a tool I use whenever I am stuck on a writing project and need a kick in the head to get me started. It gives you a character in a situation and a second character with a job and an action the rest is up to you.
I have mentioned before that I love the TV show the Prisoner now the good folks at amc have all the episodes available to watch online. If you aren't familiar with the show go give it a try, it is an interesting look at what it means to be an individual and an adversary of conformity.
Mental floss had some interesting items this week as well. The story of Red Adir firefighter to the world was quite interesting. The time lapse graffiti art project was stunning to see and rather metaphysical to think about at least for me.
Here is something that always helps me when I am feeling down. The sneezing panda video. I probably should have listed it as item number 5 in my list of techniques for not dwelling but here it is now.
And lastly here is an interesting little problem solving game I have been playing. What sets The Company of Myself apart from a lot of games is the story and is worth playing through to the end on that basses alone. The game play is fun and at times challenging, enjoy.
I hope you have a great weekend and if you think there is anything i should be staring at next week let me know in the comments.
Attitude can change everything. I know I am not saying anything earth shaking or sharing a startling new revelation with any of you but it is something we forget all too often. The way we look at the world leads us to see exactly what we expect from it reinforcing our notions and beliefs. The same is true with our moods when we look at some one we filter their actions not by what they feel but how we are feeling at the moment and then react to them based on that.
Let me share something with you. As I have mentioned before I am a nerd who plays role playing games. One of these games is called Amber deciles RPG, and one of the concepts in the game is good stuff and bad stuff. When you make a character you get points which you can spend on your abilities and powers. What if you have points left over or if you spend too much, that becomes your stuff if you have extra points you have good stuff meaning your character is lucky; if you spend too much and go in debt you have a character with bad stuff that will be unlucky. The type of stuff you have also affects how you see the world.
Here is an example:
You walk in to a hotel and step up to the front desk. The young woman behind the counter is reading a magazine and takes a moment to notice you are there. She helps you quickly and efficiently and then goes back to her reading.
How a good stuff character would see it: You walk up to the counter a young woman is excitedly reading an article in her magazine, she is so cought up in it that it is not until you ring the bell on the desk that she looks up at you. A quick blush of embarrassment tinges her cheeks as she smiles and helps you check in to your room.
Now the bad stuff character: The young woman behind the counter sits reading a magazine ignoring you until you ring the bell. She forces a smile as she rushes through the processes of checking you in to your room returning to her magazine before you can even step away from the counter.
It is the same situation but since we are looking at it with a different lens we see things differently. If we are not aware of how we see the world we will always be reacting to our perceptions of people rather than reacting to the person they really are. Now it may never be possible to separate ourselves from how we perceive people when we make decisions, and none of us have a flawless lens but we can know the flaws and use that knowledge to change our interaction with others.
So my question for you to ponder this weekend is this: are you a good stuff character or a bad stuff character? As always your thoughts and comments are welcome and have a great day.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
So I was poking around a few of my favorite web sites this week and have noticed an interesting trend. Tuesday we talked about how dreams can guide us to becoming the person we want to be. Latter the same day Jeffery at The art of great things asked” where do dreams come from?” Then this evening Patty at why not start now? tackled the question as well. Our dreams are an impotent part of our identity and one we often dismiss. So take some time read what these folks have to say about dreams and start trying to live some of yours, or if you don’t have any at the moment start dreaming again.
What is it that motivates us to want to be different from what we are today? This is a question that has been running around in my head like a five year old at a birthday party for several days now. Despite all this thinking I still don't have a good answer. I know that in my life I have needed to change for a while and at the urging of others have tried to change and grow but until recently it was not motivated from inside and so it never stuck.
With out the strong personnel desire to become a better person our efforts will not succeed. That is to say if we do not want to change we won't. So how do we create the desire to change? Is it watching something or someone slip through our fingers as a result of our stubbornness? Is it the inability to help those around us who need it? Is it realizing that we could be so much more if we just tried harder?
I think all of these elements play a role and there are probably as many reasons as there are people. However at the same time it all boils down to that moment of realization that we are not perfect; that our identity and capabilities are always a work in progress. I also believe that most of us who struggle for personnel growth realize at some point that we change every day even if we are not trying to. With that realization comes the understanding that we need to control that change or become someone we do not want to be.
Personnel change is just that personnel, without wanting it for ourselves we will not change. Our friends and family telling us how good we are and all the great things we could do will not motivate us to become the person they see in us. It is one when we see our own potential and take responsibility for realizing it that we will actually have the power to change.
What are your motivations for personnel growth? Let us know in the comments and have a great day.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
In the past I have advocated analyzing our mistakes and failures so as not to repeat them. There is a flip side to this as well: it is important not to dwell on our defeats. When things start to go bad it is easy to keep saying to one’s self I wish this was not happening to me. When we do this we create a negative mood, a feeling of defeat. This feeling can cause us to fall in to a whirlpool that will drag us away from the solution to our problem. Dwelling on the negative aspects of a situation we create the breeding ground for self defeat. So how do we stop dwelling on the negative?
1. Take stock of what you do have. Focus your thoughts on the tools you have available to change your situation. By doing this you not only start thinking about solutions but you shift your inner gaze from the negative aspects of the situation.
2. Focus on past accomplishments. If you tend to dwell on the negative when you have a quiet moment or when you can't sleep start making a mental list of achievements. When you find yourself starting to dwell on the negative run through your list and find a positive to dwell on. When you do this don't make excuses for your successes. It does not matter if you had help doing something or if the success was the result of another person’s idea it is still your success as well.
3. Look for the opportunity. When plans fall apart and we find ourselves at loose ends it is time to look for the open doors. Life is full of opportunity to change our path but we so often disregard them. When you are dwelling on how bad a situation is look for what it opens up to rather then staring longingly at the things that you are now cut off from.
4. Give despair its moment but no more. Sometimes we have to give in to the regret and negativity. This can be the only way to process it. When this is the case give yourself the time you need to feel down take ten minutes and wallow in self pity but when those ten minutes are up you are done! Now it is time to refocus and make change.
While it is important to look at our past actions to teach ourselves better ways of acting in the future we must not let the past become an anchor for our present. When you catch yourself dwelling on the negative how do you get back on track? Let us know in the comments and have a great day!n the negative how do you get back on track? Let us know in the comments and have a great day!