Monday, June 29 2015
“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”
Michael John Bobak
Greetings, friends! I hope you are having a great start to your week already. Let’s see if we can keep it going.
If there is one place, one Brigadoon, one Atlantis, one Camelot that we all pray for it is to reach that point in life called the “comfort zone”. And boy do many of us spend all our lives looking for that magical, mystical place.
How about you? Have you ever imagined that the next job would put you on easy street? Did you ever hope that the next promotion would be the beginning of everything great? How about the next month or year? What about the next gadget? I guess that’s where the comfort zone is… at the end of the street called Next.
But what if your goal is to get better, improve, or succeed in some way? Does the comfort zone seem to be the best way to reach your goal? Seems to me to be incompatible. Better find a different road than Next; I’d suggest you take the road called Now.
What can you do on the road called Now? Now you can begin to make reasonable commitments that move you in the direction of success. Now you can take steps one and two down the road of success. Now you can move from being a planner to becoming a doer. Now you can do just about anything that helps success, things that will never get done on the road called Next.
So let someone else keep running that long road called Next towards the destination of Comfort Zone. They’ll probably never get there. You? You start headed down the road called Now, doing, making, becoming today all the way to a new destination: Success. Can you envision the success you want? The road that will get you there is called Now. Let’s get walking together, now, today. I can’t wait to meet you at the place called Success. Last one there is a rotten egg! Have a great week!
Sunday, June 21 2015
Is this article an encouragement to you? If you want to make certain you get these e-mails each week, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you directly to the list. I’d love to have you on the encouragement team! Please forward this encouragement to everyone you choose.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
Good morning friends, and for the men in the crowd I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day.
When I was nine years old my father taught me a card game called cribbage. We played literally thousands of times during the next seven years. One game takes twelve to fifteen minutes and a typical match is best of seven games. We played two or more matches every day for seven years. I know a lot about being dealt a hand of cards and having to play them. Sometimes you have a winner so great you smile and fidget. Sometimes the hand is so bad it shows on your face. But most of the time the hand is neither great nor pathetic; it’s just average.
Consistent winners in cribbage are able to consistently take average hands and get an extra, unexpected point or two out of them, which over the course of a game will increase the potential to win. I’m not sure how we define winning or losing in life; my own understanding of a winner or losing life is in flux, growing and changing me in the moment. Yet however you define winning and losing in life, how are you playing the hand you have been dealt?
Too often we think the hand we were dealt to begin life (wealthy family, poor family, happy, sad, difficult, urban, rural, many, few, etc.) defines us in a permanent sense. Perhaps it does flavor us, or color us to an extent, but no way does any circumstance of a moment define us. Our decisions define us in every moment.
Another lesson I learned playing cribbage with dad is that no single hand creates or inhibits victory. Good, bad and average hands were distributed in a random way, with average being the only constant. I could have a string of bad hands that lasted for games, and then a string of great hands for longer, but in the end things had a way of averaging out. My victories and defeats had less to do with the hands themselves and more with how I played them. Sounds like life.
How are you playing the hands dealt you these days? I understand if a bad hand gets you down, and then a good hand sends you over the moon, but don’t think you deserve either of those hands. Instead, play to win every hand you get, getting the most of out it, and keep working to win because another hand is coming and who knows what it will be. What matters is how you play it. Play to win, friends; get every extra point of two out of every situation, and give yourself the best chance to win. I have great faith in you! Have a wonderful week!
Monday, June 15 2015
“Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self evident.”
Good morning, friends! No sense talking about the weather; it is what it is. But what it is is hot, so stay safe this week, and drink lots of water.
Back in the day I was convinced people needed to hear my solutions. In particular, I had one relation I desperately wanted to help with answers, but I was always stymied at the first step, ridicule. I would give what I thought was a great idea, only to be rejected by some form of ridicule. For years I thought something was wrong with my object of help, naïve as I was, until I learned that we all protect ourselves with ridicule and opposition. Eventually I learned that if I planted my suggestions as seeds of thought, and weathered the rain of ridicule, and withstood the heat of opposition, I might see the fruit of successful self-evidence. Maybe.
Although I learned of the gist of this quote years ago, more recently I learned of the personal nature of the quote. What if you, and I, are the ridiculers and opposers? And worse yet, what if we are ridiculing and opposing the very ideas we generate for ourselves that are best for our health, success, and dreams? How can we do this to ourselves???
Let’s pretend. Let’s imagine you need to re-evaluate your time commitments to create time for your health. And further, that you need to begin moving more effectively and consistently. And more still, that you know it’s not a quick fix but a long term need. Nobody’s telling you this truth but yourself. How many times have you told yourself some version of this story, or some other story of potential success, and left it laying in the dust with ridicule, or opposition? Most, I bet. It doesn’t matter where from the idea comes, if it’s new we protect ourselves.
Now try this: plant the idea in yourself as a seed and make a commitment to protect the seed of a good idea. Take your ridicule and move on. Deal with the opposition and keep going. Stick with the seed of that good idea until it becomes self-evident to you. What may have wilted under ridicule or opposition might actually be the success you have long awaited! Plant those seeds of successful ideas! Give them a chance beyond the first or second rejection. See them through to action and achievement! You’ll be amazed at what you can and will do! I have faith in you! Have a great week.
Monday, June 08 2015
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
Greetings, friends, and happy Monday to you! I hope that greeting is not an oxymoron, that today has begun wonderfully. Let’s keep it going!
Do you dream? I don’t mean nighttime dreams, like anxiety dreams or insecurity dreams. We all have those dreams. I mean the eyes wide open dreams, the ones we don’t tell anyone about because we are really afraid of what they might say or think about us for dreaming such dreams. These are the dreams of what we want to be. Do you have these dreams, the dream of achieving, doing, reaching, becoming? I’ll bet you do, or perhaps you did before something stopped you from having such dreams.
I smoke bbq, pork bbq, bbq that will make a vegetarian ask for seconds. Getting to this point was not easy. I ruined so many efforts I shudder to remember them all. Some efforts were not edible 10 years ago. What made the difference? Was it knowledge? Some. Was it ability? Some. What really made the difference was the determination to succeed. Too many times I could have sold my grills and smokers, thrown up my hands and called it quits, but my dream to be able to produce bbq of excellence drove me to success. I’ll bet you have experienced success that began with a dream partnered with determination. What would happen today if you brought a bit of determination to a current dream or two?
Take stock for a minute or two of the dreams you’ve recently experienced. What is the action on them today? Is one in particular moving forward with any confidence? Is it the one you chose to move on or the one circumstances dictated to you? Set aside thoughts of success for a moment and imagine a few strong steps you can take to move your chosen dream forward. Plenty of things will happen to make you question your dream, but will you have the determination to overcome the doubts?
Remember this: there are no guarantees of success in life but you can increase your chances of succeeding in your efforts by committing to determination. So what determination will you give to your dreams this week? You have only yourself to thank! And me to have faith in you. Have a great week.
Monday, June 01 2015
To be willing to accept failure, you have to have self-confidence, that you have to be accepting of the idea that failing doesn’t define who you are. Failing gets something out of the way that keeps you from finding the thing that you’re actually going to be good at.
Good morning, friends! Can you believe it’s already June??? I am struggling with it, but life goes on. I hope life is going well for you this morning.
Today’s quote is taken from a Freakanomics podcast I listened to last night while walking. The episode was “Failure is Your Friend”. Did you get that? Failure is your friend.
Certain topics scare us: death, giving and taxes, just to name a few. I think failure trumps all our scary topics. We are petrified of failure so much that we will go to extremes to hide it. Pointing out failures in other persons, as judgment, is simply another way to glorify self. We have become so adept at judging failure that we identify self by our successes and failures. No wonder we are petrified by failure.
What is failure except another step in life? We all fail, nearly constantly. It’s just a part of life. We try. We fail. We try again. We may fail again, or we may succeed. And then we’ll try again. It’s life. Don’t break out in hives, but think about how often you’ve failed just in the last month. It staggers the mind.
What you want to be, I know it, is a success, but I suggest no such thing exists. No one “is” a success, just as no one “is” a failure. We can succeed along many paths to success, but no path to success is without failure. Why not see your failures as a journey to success and celebrate it?! Every failure eliminates a bad step to success, and that is success, too! Celebrate it!
I know celebrating failure requires self-confidence, especially in a world that condemns failure, but the world isn’t your problem. Your journey to success is, and you’ll never get there petrified of failure. Face it. Take it. Deal with it. Get over it. And move on. And call the moving on a success, too!
What failure is holding you back today? What failure dominates you today? What success do you want that is worth a failure, or two, or ten? If you need someone to celebrate failures with you, then I’m your man! Just keep moving forward and you’ll know nothing but success, in all its forms. I guarantee it! Have a great week.