Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Will Figure It Out as I Go

I am reading Jonathon Mead's ebook excerpt. It is profound and once again reminds me that nothing amazing is simple. He says three things at the end of Chapter 5.I have not quoted exactly but the ideas are his and they are profound.

Regularly push yourself out of your comfort zone. Always do what you are afraid to do. When you are working on a project and it seems like everything is difficult, keep going. If it was easy it would be ordinary not amazing.

Change your auto response. Instead of thinking "I don't know so I won't do that." Change your thinking to "I'll figure it out as I go." Just this small tweak to your inner conversation changes the way you look at things. It is true that everything that seemed hard looks easy in retrospect. If I look back at any daunting challenge of the past, the challenge seems trivial. It is because you grew to the challenge and Oliver Wendell Holmes says it best. "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."

Don't let not knowing keep you from taking action. Remember that paths are made by walking. Not knowing keeps me from acting. Kids act without knowing. They are spontaneous and interesting as a result. We admonish them for not weighing the consequences of their actions. But we can go too far in the weighing of consequences and never act. As adults we have learned to weigh the consequences and are trapped by it. Two extremes. Neither is optimal. Somewhere in the middle lies the path. Go look for it by acting.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Mysterious Ways

When your mind seems idle, it is then that we solve all our outstanding dilemmas. Out of nowhere, an answer to an issue that has defied all logical problem solving methods, springs forward with no warning. It requires the mind to be quiet and not stressed with workload. On my walk. Listening to music. Reading uncomplicated material. There it is. The solution flows quietly into my brain. No Eureka. Just there. I hardly recognize it for what is. It was too simple after working so hard to find the answer.

Have confidence that a subconscious problem solving mechanism lurks beneath the surface. If we can get to that peaceful place the answer will spring forward unannounced and complete. The busy mind usurps it's power and renders it useless.But it is there for us to use. You will only know it is working by the results. It is not by chance that these thoughts arrive but through digesting the problem with a peaceful mind. Sometimes it will arrive as you lie in bed thinking of nothing. Or the answer will be there when you awake. Your brain actually generates 25 Watts of Power while you are awake enough to illuminate a light bulb. There must be something going on in there. Try it when you need a solution.

Pixie Dust

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." I made a series of small steps and am once again on my path after a brief negative interlude. As I take these steps I am strangely successful beyond what I expect. Three times in the past day I have experienced results that exceeded my expectations. Low Expectations or Great Results? Nice feeling. I wonder what will be next! I have this feeling of everything temporarily falling into place on the project I am working on. Never has it felt so harmonious! Like it was meant to be. A phone call from a key person who should never have called. A handful of contacts who respond positively to my inquiries. A person who wishes to form a co-operative venture which will move my project forward. Strange swing from last post. Keep on stepping.

I am doing 5 things each day. It often becomes 10 things. Not just doing things, but doing the things that make a difference on the project. I am learning how to move forward no matter how I feel. It is an important distinction. I am at a growth point and I reject the urge to run back to my "easy" comfort zone.

I am rereading "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen. He says that we become what we think about be it positive or negative. Am I creating this reality?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mountains that Mold Me

Yesterday I was thinking big. Today I am thinking small. Walk away from the challenges. Maintain my status quo. A roller coaster. Probably because I am making a big step? A big financial step. One that will mitigate the incremental cash outlays that sum to a bigger number. But hard to give the go on the big outlay.

I spoke to a friend yesterday and she said if you stop now you will be dissatisfied and if you go now and it doesn't work out you will be dissatisfied. Interesting dilemma. The reality is that I am inspired by the new projects and when they are not there, I am less excited by life. I do need a constant injection of stimulating ideas to keep me whole.

Interesting that when things look difficult,when you actually do them, they seem rather simplistic in retrospect. The dichotomy of the difficulty of a stimulating task. From that task arise all kinds of negative states within me. I see parts of me that do not surface when everything is easy. Is this conquering my demons or awakening parts that are better off asleep?

I have no answers. It is an ongoing growth that when it is happening you cannot observe the result. It is only in retrospect that you realize that the mountain molded the person and that we are better for having climbed it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Mind Goes Out for a Walk

I started walking 2 miles a day for my body. I now walk 6 miles a day, everyday, for my mind.

I started as a way to work up to running again. I would run one walk one. Then on days where I did not feel like running I would go for additional distance. I worked up to six miles sometimes seven depending on how the mood strikes me. I had done interval training and weights for 2 years at the gym and then lost interest. So this was my next phase. Walking distance. It is all exercise and whatever that looks like doesn't matter. It is only that it gets done. If exercise is pleasure, I continue to do it everyday. If it is work, I avoid it. Simple as that.

When I walk/run, I sometimes listen to my IPOD and sometimes I just let the stream of consciousness take over. I carry a pad of sticky notes and a pen to capture follow up and ideas that occur to me in that fertile mental time. This time is fantastic for generating ideas and feeling a positive vibe. No matter how I feel when I start, I end up feeling pumped and optimistic.

If I listen to my IPOD I listen to motivational recordings. Powerful stuff if you make the right choices. Despite their focus on money there are two in particular that I listen to repeatedly. They are about creating your life as much as about creating wealth. If you get past the wealth thing, you gain valuable hints for recreating your life. Napolean Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" and T. Harvey Eker's "Secrets of a Millionaire Mind". They are both about elevating your game more than making money although they apply to both. I borrow them from the library, load them to ITUNES, then drop them onto my IPOD.

Exercise contributes to my mental and physical well being and that is a great return on investment.

Perfect Collision

I received a birthday card from a friend and it said "Do You Remember when you were a Kid and You Wanted to Grow Up to be Something Special?" I watch my own teenagers now and they have incredible aspirations of what they will become! I love that. When I was a kid life happened to me. I did not make it happen or so it would seem in retrospect. My kids entertain possibilities that make my eyes widen at their chutzpah. Instead of showing my amazement, I take it in stride and help them to develop the first steps of the plan to get there. I encourage them to think big. To choose their destiny. If they shoot for the stars they will at least touch the moon.

I am creating my second childhood. I grew up in a time where you took what you could jobwise. There were just too many baby boomers. And then it proceeded from there. It wasn't bad. But it is at this point that I am defining my dreams and reaching for them. A delayed childhood. How fun that is. I am settled financially, my kids are ready to go out on their own, my health is good and I am defining my dreams. A perfect collision of circumstances. An endless list of possibilities!

Places to see and experience. Business to start. Books to read. Wine to drink. People to share. Races to run. Skills to learn. This is what I want to do with my time now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reality Undefined

Nice house. Nice car. Nice kids. Nice husband. Good job. An uneasy feeling of having lapsed into mediocrity. Bought into the status quo. Lost my edge. Lost my sense of adventure. I fell into achieving on the standards of those that surrounded me. I lost my own barometer of satisfaction. Rewind. I hopped on a train and went out West with no job and no place to stay and one new friend who was willing to take the leap with me. The experience of a lifetime. I packed a knapsack and went biking from Vancouver to California then on to Hawaii with another adventurous friend. Amazing. I packed up the family when they were young and went to England to live for two years. Another injection of adrenaline. These are examples from a long list of highlights. I need to review that list and let it inspire me again. I need to change it up a little. I have bought into achievement as defined outside of me. I am not unhappy. In fact I am quite happy. Just restless. I am no longer clear on what my definition of achievement is. I just know that uneasy sense of living in someone else's reality. The right life. It is all a journey.

The art in todays blog is from Julie Carter. Check out her stuff.

Robin Sharma's Wisdom

Robin Sharma wrote about 62 Ways to Make 2010 Your Best Year Yet There were some gems in that post. Here are my favorites from that list and my thoughts on each.

1. Take an intelligent risk every 24 hours. It made me make a call that I was procrastinating on and it provided a small breakthrough. And when I made the call that I was afraid to make there were no adverse consequences! Amazing.

2. Know Your Big 5: The five things that need to happen by the end of this year for you to feel it was your very best year yet. Good thought to identify that in advance. How many years go by one after another with a sameness that comes as a result of our quest for safety. I tried to list my Big 5 and ended up with a Big 7.

3. Be the Most Positive Person in every room you are in. When you work from your strengths you can be a positive influence in a room. When you compare yourself to others in a room and come up short (as you always will when you do that so don't do that)you work from a position of weakness and negativity. To be the positive influence, think of the things you bring to the room, get interested in other people's strengths and watch what happens.

4. Be a problem solver versus a trouble maker. Which are you? Do you stir up drama so you can be the centre of the story being written in that moment? Become the person who can dissipate and not participate in drama that others create. Rise above the chaos without condescension.

5. Be Patient. Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Nothing good happens overnight. Things happen as a result of working hard and smart. As a result of increasing your knowledge and aptitude in the areas you choose to follow. Patience.

6. Be Willing to Fail. It's the price of greatness. Tough one. Our adult lives are geared to avoid failure. So we do the things we already know we can do. We take fewer risks. Our world gets smaller. More predictable. Brings us back to "take an intelligent risk every 24 hours".

7. Consider that behind every fear lives your next level of growth. The thing that you are afraid to do is the thing that you must do. I think I am paraphrasing someone. I am afraid to make the phone call that could move the business forward. I make the call. It wasn't so bad. It moved the business forward. Powerfully simple.

8. Remember that the more you go to your limits, the more your limits expand. Back to the idea of living in a coccoon. Once again in our quest for a safe environment, we box ourselves in with limitations. One small change each day widens our scope and shows us who we can be. Expanding our limits feels victorious. Try it once. You will become addicted to the action associated with the expanding your limits!

9. Be obsessed with learning and self development. New skills expand your world. Your abilities. The people you interact with. The places you go to. The fears you move past. All good.

I am trying new things at an escalating rate and internally moving forward. Externally moving forward in smaller ways. The big ones I have yet to tackle. A job that is a less than optimal way to spend my time. A house that gives me some sort of strange social concept of status but requires me to work at a job that is a less than optimal way to spend my time. If I have 31.5 years left on this earth how do I want to spend it. That number gives me clarity and makes me realize that the 'things' that I have worked to own, to achieve and to do may no longer matter as much.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Think Big!

I was out with a group of friends for dinner last week. One of the conversations stayed with me. I have a friend who just thinks big about everything he looks at. He does not have to make himself think big. He just does. He looked at the business I am working on and inflated it into something amazing. First of all he was very convinced that it was a good idea and secondly he expounded on ways to make it the next big thing. He even brought me over to his way of thinking big for that moment in time. Exciting.

I have since slipped back into my place where I think differently but safely. I loved the moment when I was there and thinking big. I could see all kinds of possibilities for the business even over and above the ones that he suggested. I felt enthusiasm to leave the restaurant and go make it happen! Priceless.

Now that I have been there, I seek to recapture the excitement of the conversation. By working on the ideas that came up that evening I can capture the essence of that moment. My heart races for a second when I can get to that place again. Potential just waiting for me to expand it.

I learned by being around this successful entrepreneur. I can be as big as I think I can be. I feel the brakes of self imposed limitations arise inside me when I have these expansive thoughts. I will learn to consciously release those brakes that I did not even realize were there. Thank you my friend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Get Off The Sidewalk

Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind used an amazing phrase that has changed my approach to the small choices I make every day. Those small choices form my large choices so they matter even if they are small. "Get Off The Sidewalk". I read but did not assimilate it until I was out doing my walk/run the next day. I was walking on the sidewalk and there was a path that veered off into the trees. I actually stopped moving to digest the significance and simplicity of the phrase. Guess what? I moved onto the path and ended up on a new route full of new things to experience!

Figuratively speaking, getting off the sidewalk is about living in new ways. it is about trying new things. Taking the less crowded path. The less predictable path. The less perfect and therefore less limiting path. Wow. Four little words to change your life.

I was alone on this beautiful path. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will see why this is so symbolic. Always hesitant to take a different path. Always rewarded by the decision to do so.

Now I get off the sidewalk in small ways every day. I choose the choice that I would not have chosen when I am on autopilot. It means that I meet new people, try new foods and go new places. It means I resist the urge to do as I have always done. Sometimes I would rather be back on the sidewalk but overall the rewards far outweigh those moments. Usually when I am wishing to be back on the sidewalk, it is because I am being 'forced' to experience something new. I feel like a little window has opened in my mind and that light is sifting into a place where it was dark. Happy New Year!
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