Thursday, December 13, 2012

I have noticed that a lot of readers are still coming to this blog.  The newer posts and the older posts are now at the following address http://

You will be redirected shortly.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy the new location.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Words That Will Inspire You to Try New Things

A great place to be.... really be.

Sometimes I gain quiet encouragement from the thoughts of those whom I admire. I wanted to share some of my favorites. I love where it says below that all life is an experiment.  Takes away some of the fear, to know I am just experimenting and not making crucial, life changing decisions.

In life, its rarely about getting a chance; its about taking a chance. You'll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won't work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
Markesa Yeager

The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new.
Leo Buscaglia quotes 

Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.
Frederick B Wilcox quotes

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.
Swami Vivekananda quotes 
Do one thing every day that scares you.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

The need to be right all the time is the biggest barrier to new ideas.
- Edward De Bono

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make our world. Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can learn to move into the unknown with the confidence that we have a guiding force within us that is showing us the way.
- Shakti Gawain

You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.
- David Viscott

Photo credit

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Holy Grail of Happy

Trying New Things has become like second nature to me now. I started out by deciding to try new things each day.  I planned in the morning what that new thing would be. And now, I do not have to plan anymore. Every day my mind searches for that new thing to spice up my day.  It is on auto pilot now.  I no longer have to think about it. 

But when I see the 'new' thing for the day, it makes me smile. I head into whatever it is, large or small with an optimism and yes....happiness.

Happiness is the holy grail these days.  We search for happiness.  Really?

Next time, when you are actually in a place where you feel immensely happy, make your mind go still and identify where that feeling of happiness is coming from.  If you are like me, that feeling is coming from inside of you. Maybe from the physical area associated with your heart. Coincidence that the icon of a heart and happiness are associated in the social consciousness. I think not.

So if the feeling of happy is coming from inside you, that means you have created it. Happiness is created, not found.  Found implies that it is out there, for your to seek and take. A limited supply. But it is actually a feeling that you can create and experience.  It is also, happily, ubiquitous. The source is deep and flowing. Your happiness does not subtract from the universal happiness.  In fact it adds to others ability to feel the same way.

We need not to search for happiness but instead to create it and experience it on our own terms.

In her column today, Barrie Davenport speaks of being uncool and how it lets us live a life on our own terms instead of one that was officially cool. She quotes Dr. Brene Brown who likens a life of cool, to a life lived constantly in Spanx. Looking good on the outside, but feeling squeezed and constricted on the inside. Cool is not cool when you get clear on what you need.

So trying new things let's us discover the things that make us feel our deepest core of happiness inside. It lets us redefine cool for ourselves and recreate the world on our own terms. Each new thing you do gets filed as life affirming in an uncool way, or non life affirming and therefore discarded. To be happy make your life interesting.

Your life won't suddenly be happy.  It won't always be happy. But you gradually emerge into that new place where there exists a ever present steady heartbeat of happiness, that is indestructible. Now that is cool....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let Your Real Strengths Shine Through

Finding Your Strengths

Marcus Buckingham wrote several excellent books on Finding and Living your strengths. The reason that his books are breakthrough though, is not just because they help you find yourself. (Were you lost?)

His books are breakthrough because of the main premise on which he builds his whole process.

A strength is not necessarily what you are good at but rather a strength is something that makes you feel strong.

When you first read it you may well be underwhelmed given the huge workup I gave it in the opening paragraph.  But go back and read it again.

The first time I read it, I did read it again because it seemed so much a non event.  But when you assimilate the meaning of a strength being what makes you feel strong versus what you are good at it makes you stop in your tracks.

Knowing this Can Change Your Life!

Or knowing this can let you change your life in a direction that honours who you are. 

When I think about my strengths, I think I am good at selling; I am pretty good at communicating with others; I am knowledgeable about nutrition and fitness; and I am good at supporting people when they experience a crisis.  There are probably more but I am really sounding less than modest at this point. 

Some of these are strengths in the typical sense of the word and some of them are things that make me feel good.

They are how I define myself.  Good at this; not so good at that. Like a frightening job interview. We form a fixed picture of what we are good at by the time we reach middle age.  As a child certain qualities get reinforced and others go unrecognized. Unfortunately related to people who probably had our best interests in mind.

In our childish search for approval some of our unrecognized strengths, as in the ones that make us feel good, get buried away even from our own view. Then at midlife those true strengths, the ones that make you feel strong, resurface and demand our attention.

The constant mellifluous murmur of our souls.

I am in Sales and I have been for my entire career in one way or another. I have been quite good at it, so I assumed it might be a strength.  But it is not something that made me feel good. And I do it everyday. So then, is it a strength? 

I remember when I took my first job in a restaurant, a friend said to my mother, "Great that will help her break out of her shyness". Not sure why that one stuck with me. This was the beginning of denying the self that was not acceptable to share with the world.  Was I shy or introverted? And BTW introverted is not a weakness.

I spent my lifetime learning how to work a room and now I am quite excellent at it.  But it is not a strength because it never feels good. 

Defining Your Strengths

So how do we define what our true strengths are? It is a tough one because we get all tangled up in the things that we do well but that do not make us feel good.

Look for the things that when you think of them they make you smile.

When you think of doing them you feel your body relax and breathe. 

That feeling of being free and untethered. You will feel your power when you think of a strength in the new definition of the word.

It just feels good.

And Peaceful.

And powerful in a nondestructive sense of the word.

And Easy.

Like a jazz saxaphone solo on high volume.

Nobody can really tell you what they are because true strengths make you feel strong when you are doing them but they are not identifiable from the outside.

I feel strong when I write, when I run, when I support someone in crisis. And I feel strong when I am alone. (Not all the time though)

Try a few on and listen to your heartsong. Thing about what you do for a living and ask if it makes you feel strong. (Or maybe we shouldn't look at this one too closely!)

And easy.

And power full.

And peaceful.

And add them to your life because feeling strong is what it's all about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Follow Your Passion. Really?

I have been reading a lot of different articles about following your passion and finding a job that makes your heart sing. Really? Is it possible to actually have a job that suits your passion. A job that is actually your passion?

 I think musicians find that their job is their passion and maybe artists too. I have a friend that is a super editor/copywriter and she started a business that is totally her passion. I know a twenty something man who is moving speedily upward in a funky SEO company and he loves his job. These people get paid to do what they are passionate about.

When you are in your twenties there are a lot of jobs that light us up. So what happens as we age. Do we get jaded? What does that really mean though? The same job that once made us happy no longer does. Is the secret to remaining passionate on a job then to change jobs frequently?

Barry Schwartz in his TED talk on happiness suggests that having too many choices makes happiness elusive. That the secret of happiness comes from fewer choices. His studies suggest that as choices multiply, so do our expectations. The secret to happiness, according to Schwartz is lower expectations. Hmmmm.... Lower expectations, fewer choices. If there are fewer choices we are indeed more easily satisfied with where we end up. When you have the whole world to choose from there will always be the road not taken.

As we age, we get increasingly altruistic, and more focused on the things that make us truly tick and are thus, we are unwilling to spend the majority of our day doing things that do not align with the person we are becoming. And our purpose that is becoming clearer.

This is where there sits a huge leap of faith.  There are those who make the leap and find new meaning and there are those who remain in their safe place with their safe income but not their passion.  It is a trade off for sure.  Those who go, often trade money for passion and settle with earning less in the beginning.

But there are ways through multiple streams of income to define multiple paths that make your heart sing and do a little bit of each.  The end result is that you are spending most of your time doing fulfilling work and your sum total income could possibly touch your income in your previous life of passionless work. Definitely worth a second look.
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