Sunday, October 13, 2013
In life, many of us spend our days assisting others. Our days are filled with getting through the day expending our energies on our job, our kids, our spouse, our household chores, our parents, our friends and the list goes on and on.......
But do we spend enough time on our self?
There are so many diseases (both physical and mental) that show up in our population due to stress, unhappiness and low self esteem that creates a very strong argument to work into our daily lives specific things we do for...guess who?
It's proven that if we do things that make us feel good-- laughing, pampering, exercising and other things we garner enjoyment from (gardening, reading a good book,a mid-day nap, a hot soaking bath, enjoying a good wine, concerts, the beach) it's actually healthy for our well being.
The body and mind react.....
Sense of self and confidence rises, blood pressure drops, the mind is cleansed and more alert, there is an euphoric feeling, a feeling of peace with our self and the burdens we all carry in our path through this life. Above all, there is balance and serenity.
We all have limited time on our journey, so we need to make every minute count. There is something to be said about creating a bucket list at any age. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so make your list today and start planning for setting aside blocks of time...minutes, hours, days or weeks....to start doing those things that are specifically designed to take you to your special place, an unknown land, a better body, a fear conquered, pampering realized.......to give you those moments you absolutely deserve that define happiness and a life well lived!
You owe it to yourself.
We all know the ending, but as I stated in an earlier post about our life's novel, it is up to us to create the chapters leading up to the epilogue.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Positive People get Positive Results
Ever meet people that the first time you meet them just WOW you?
I have. They walk into a room, and everyone that meets them wants to "latch on" to the power and energy that this person exudes, wanting to shake that person's hand in the hope that some of whatever it is that has blessed this individual will somehow be transferred to them during the handshake.
I know a person just like this...his name is Jack. From the very first time I met Jack, his smile and demeanor were infectious. I was very impressed, because I could tell is was not an act---it was genuine!
Needless to say, several years later, Jack had gone from being a manager for a regional company to starting an incredibly successful business with multiple locations that ranks amongst the top in his industry in California.
I was not surprised. Who would not want to have the opportunity to do business with a person like Jack? He is sincere, friendly, has integrity, is extremely likeable and as honest as they come. He is not afraid of hard work, is extremely smart and he gives back to his community, those less fortunate and his church unselfishly.
Jack understands and embraces the universal truism: You Give --- You Get!
Jack possesses excellent business acumen; he understands the bottom line, does not shy away from tough decisions and he knows the importance of consistently taking excellent care of his customers and his employees. And by all accounts, he does all of the above quite well!
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because, my friends, there is a bit of Jack in each of us! We just need to recognize our unique gifts, and use them to make a difference in our life and the lives of others. That's what being positive and believing in yourself and your unique contribution is all about!
You can't fake happiness, passion, integrity, sincerity or empathy...people see right through it. That is why the persona of people like Jack is so powerful, like electricity...we just don't know many "Jacks" because they are truly a rare breed, so they stand out and therefore they are memorable to us.
Regardless of your background, education, age or sex, it's up to each of us to figure out how we can contribute to the service and needs of others, and to give them what they want with a smile, passion and integrity.
Commit to searching internally for what it is you can offer up to the world regarding talents and strengths, then commit to a plan to set into motion your chosen destiny.
Commit to being the optimist, with passion, energy, and an unfaltering desire to succeed... and above all, commit to believing in yourself and your dreams.
Your reward will be not only be true happiness because of what you have become and accomplished, but prosperity as well!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
"We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present." ~Marianne Williamson
Tragedy.....from the 14th century Greeks-- to Shakespeare -- to the present, countless books, plays and movies have used it to tell a tragic story, perhaps in the hope the audience can understand and learn from it.
Unfortunately tragedies happen in real life, and we have all had our share if we have been on this earth long enough.
Many people carry some baggage from countless possible scenarios that may have happened to us in our life...a ruined relationship, a death of a loved one, an abusive parent or partner, a traumatic experience such as an accident, a friendship betrayed...whatever it is, it is very hard sometimes to address the feelings and emotions that emanate internally from the experience.
I'll be the first to admit that sometimes is very hard to shake off whatever in our life caused the pain or trauma, and move on without our thoughts, actions or reactions chiming in on a regular basis in our present days over the experience.
Reliving it over and over and over again......
Allowing it to steal our present, and future life moments.
Allowing it to be a roadblock for peace and happiness in our life.
Allowing it to prevent us from seizing present and future opportunities.
How do we deal with the issue of our past tragedies and trauma?
We let go, that's how!
The past can't hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.”
A few months ago I wrote a blog article on forgiveness, and in that blog, I suggested that one must truly forgive (but not forget) in order to release the internal anger and hurt that affects their present state of mind.
The same applies here....we need to rid ourselves of all internal anger, hurt, mistrust, grief, sadness and depressing thoughts...... and commit to living in the Present, because the Present will dictate our Future.
Remember this---living in the past is a curse! Once the past has been truly let go, expect to feel better mentally and physically...... and I assure you --you will be much happier living in the present!
"Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.”
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Let me ask you something.
If you could go back to determinate points in your life, points defined by a decision you made, what would you do differently knowing now what you didn't know then?
Personally, I can think of many things I would do differently if given the chance. But the reality is none of us can go back to change whatever circumstances brought us to this point in our life....we simply have the present and the future as to how our "Personal Novel" plays out from here.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
What will you do to fill the remaining pages of your Personal Novel until the epilogue?
Who will you do it with?
What decisions will you make from this moment forward that impact your health, your career, your financial security, your family and friends and your life experiences?
Where will you travel?
“The future depends on what you do today.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
You are the author of your own personal novel --no one else.
Day by day, chapter by chapter, your life will play out and your novel will be written. Will it be filled with mundane and meaningless pages, our will it be filled with excitement, adventure, romance, love, travel and great memories?
It's up to you.
You control the chapters, and ultimately, the conclusion.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Before you can break out of prison, you must realize you are locked up.” — Author Unknown
We all seek out happiness and harmony in our life.
Yet sometimes there is a void that we seek to fill.... something appears to be missing.
Instead of attempting to understand or comprehend why we feel the way we do..... and look for answers and solutions within ourselves, some of us attempt to fill our voids in other ways.
"External Solutions" are those things we desire and latch on to because we believe we need them to make us feel better about ourselves and our life. We believe that the activity or the material item will make us happier and fill the void we have.
Some people seek out activities that are gratifying, invigorating, exciting and even dangerous in order to fill their void -- drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, eating and smoking are a few examples ........
Things that, for the moment, serve to bring us to a happier place and make us forget and feel better about our self. Don't get me wrong--we all indulge in things we like on occasion, but a good rule of thumb is every thing in moderation, right?
Everything from food, alcohol, shopping, drugs, sex, gambling, cigarettes and other "not so healthy" activities are all examples of External Solutions that, if allowed to spiral out of control, can harm us, both physically and mentally.
Consumer marketing feeds off of our perceived need for External Solutions. The nicer car, the bigger house, the newest gadget are all External Solutions that we believe will make us happier (and it may work for a while) but the reality is that happiness is simply an internal state of mind.
Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast. Norman Vincent Peale
Bad habits or addictions over time can affect the way we look, our finances, our relationships and our professional life. Some people are able to deal with External Solution issues themselves, while others may need assistance to kick their bad habits or addiction.
Either way, if you have a bad habit or an addiction, step one is to recognize that you have it---step two is to devise a plan to address it.
Never forget ----true happiness comes from within ----and YOU are in control of the vehicle!
the choices we make,
the habits we keep and
the disciplines we have.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Difficult people, unreasonable people, mean people.
We all know them -- they may be friends, family members, co-workers, customers or total strangers... It doesn't matter. We have the ongoing challenge of having to deal with them in our daily lives.
Since we have deal with these types of people, then we have to learn and employ methods that will assist us in our dealings with these types of people. So what can we do to make our interactions more bearable, less belittling and more productive?
Before I answer that question, I want to delve into just what happens to many of these individuals in their lives that makes them so bitter, cruel and in some cases, just plain mean, difficult and a pain to be around.
I have a theory--and that is these types of people are the way they are because of (I) narcissism and (2)past environment / past experiences. In many cases these people appear outwardly tough, but in actuality many are fragile inside due to lack of confidence in themselves, mistrust in others and emotional trauma.
If you have ever met a narcissist, you know its always about them...what they want, what they think is right, wrong, best, important, etc....they are not concerned about what it is you need or want, or the team, family, company needs or wants, they are concerned about what they need and want, and will not hesitate stepping on or around others to get it. Many of these types of people are extremely intelligent, and that is why after a discussion with one of these people we sometimes feel belittled, unimportant and upset, since personal attacks are one tool these people use to get what they want.
Regarding the past environment of these types of people, it would not be surprising to learn that they may have been verbally abused at some point in their life by parents and family, classmates or coworkers. Or, it could be an entitlement thing, where they were waited on hand and foot growing up and were handed everything they wanted and as a result answer to no one....except themselves. Or, it could be that their focus and standards are so high for themselves that they don't realize that everyone else is different than they are, so they come across as intimidating.
Regardless of the reason some people choose to be difficult or mean, many times the affront we see before us is a carefully designed and calculated image these people want to project to others in order to protect them from future harm. In a sense, their difficult personality is really their "force field" that keeps others from harming them.
So the big question is -- how do we deal with these types of people?
Listed below are five methods that may help in interacting with difficult people ---these methods are designed to enable us to manage our actions (and our responses) and to quell the frustration so common with these interactions.
1) Prepare yourself. As I stated above, these types of people can be very smart, and you can bet they do their homework to back up their agenda --so do yours and approach communications with matter-of fact assurance, especially against these types.
2) Communications. Use the subject in discussion, not first person. For example instead of saying "You were supposed to have that report to me last week", say "The report was due last week". See the difference? It is not perceived as a personal attack by the recipient, although everyone involved knows who is responsible.
3) Be tough. If someone has crossed a line with you, belittled you or made you look bad in front of others when they should have pulled you aside to discuss something one-on-one, confront them about it. Let them know their behavior is unacceptable to you and that you do not appreciate it. This does not always work, but most will think twice the next time...and at the very least they will secretly respect you for standing up to them.
4) Show empathy and understanding. No-- I'm not joking...this is extremely hard to do, especially if you do not like the person, but many of these difficult personalities may have experience, ideas or knowledge that you lack. So realize that if you can achieve a mindset not to take things they say or do personal, and as a result are able to tap into their knowledge or ideas, your reward will be self-enrichment.
5) Avoidance. Sometimes nothing works.... after trying everything you can think of, either just walk away or aim for total avoidance.
Remember to always Be Yourself --never, never, E V E R go down to their level. Employ patience and logic, humility, understanding and try not to accuse and remember that it is up to each of us to assure that any interactions or communications we are involved in with anyone are reasonable and calm, not emotionally-charged shouting matches.
Please email me with any comments or suggestions regarding my blog - Gregg.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, May 26, 2013
The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
Challenges in life...we all have them, and yet we deal with them in different ways..... some of us get wrapped around the axle, stressed out and not sure how to proceed with the obstacle or issue at hand, while others seems to tackle obstacles and issues head on with focus and what seems to be an ease of effort.
Just what are those individuals doing when faced with challenges in their life that allow them to readily acknowledge, address and conquer obstacles when they arise?
The answer is they act upon whatever obstacles arise with thoughtful review, planning and execution. They make a conscious decision to proceed with their plan based upon their understanding of the issue and then...... they do it.
Regardless of age, experience or knowledge, there are things we can all do when faced with a challenge or obstacle that will allow us to gather resources, create a plan of attack and resolve it with more focus and ease.
1. Acknowledge its Existence: Write the issue or obstacle down, and acknowledge its existence.
2. Worst Case Scenario: Write down what you believe will happen if you do not address the issue. Will there be a loss to you that really matters in your life, such as loss of a job or promotion, loss of integrity or respect, loss of a relationship, financial loss or loss of something physical, like a house or a car? Or after reviewing the worst case, is it not a serious issue...a loss you either do not care about or you consider it minor enough not to respond == Remember the book series "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff"?
3. Create a Response Plan: Write down what you think it will take to resolve the issue, and if there is more than one way, list all possible alternatives that you can think of (including doing nothing).
4. Rely on Good Resources: Tap into resources you will need to address the issue (i.e. money, research, people with knowledge).
5. Choose a Response and ACT: Select the alternative that makes the most sense to you, aligns with your values and that you can execute given your particular set of circumstances.
6. Maintain Control of your Response Plan: Review throughout the process to see whether your chosen response is working and adjust if needed. Did the plan work? Trust me -- not all will, but the failures will teach us and make us better --that's called experience.
“Challenges in life can either enrich you or poison you.
You are the one who decides.”
Simply put, it's all about us controlling the issue/obstacle versus allowing it to control us.
Action is the key.... your ability in dealing with life's obstacles will improve and your reactions will be calmer if you tackle the challenges with understanding and a well devised response plan.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
About a month ago, I went to a family reunion for my mother's side of the family, held in a little lake town outside of Austin Texas. We flew to Houston from Sacramento, drove to Austin, and I was excited with anticipation in getting to see aunts, uncles and cousins - many of whom I had not seen since childhood.
Why am I writing about this? Because the trip was a reminder about why I am who I am.... a large determinant of who we are is where we came from our roots --and being around family again reminded me that my environment while growing up in many ways had an influence on who I am today.
The event was fun and somewhat emotional at the same time-- I really connected with several of our relatives-- Besides the typical hugs, stories, meeting the families, reminiscing, we also talked about and remembered our Grandfather, the common denominator to us all, and those family members no longer with us --including 2 of my mothers siblings and my younger brother, who passed away way too young from cancer.
My biggest takeaways from the reunion, after being around my family after all these years were:
1). Leave your ego and critical eye at the door....family is a "safe haven"-- around our relatives we all get to be our self, without having the need to promote how successful we are, what we have, what we do, etc....most family members accept you for who you are and love you unconditionally without the need to promote your life's successes. Conversely, you don't get to choose your family, so try to accept all in your family circle for who they are without a critical eye.
2). Traits....we all have personalities and as well idiosyncrasies about us that we cannot explain. After the reunion we spent 4 days with my half-brother in Houston (same dad, different mom) and my wife was continually laughing about traits that he and I share even though (excepting a few years when we were very young) we never grew up together.
3) Commonality...our ancestors are the common ground that links us. Having been born in Texas, and seeing that most of my relatives on both sides of my family still live there (and that most have never lived anywhere else) it is interesting to note that even without the influence after age 9 of growing up in Texas that I fit right in with the local culture -- with the exception of drink preferences...not a big fan of sweet tea - I prefer mine unsweetened, and they just do not know how to make a proper martini in Mexican restaurants in Houston!
4) Connect and stay connected....at the end of the reunion, we all promised to stay in touch and to schedule the next one, and visit each other when possible. Facebook, Facetime, Skype and cell phones/texting make it easier than ever to stay in touch. One thing we all discussed is how time seems to fly by so quickly, and that it is so easy to get caught up in life and lose contact with those in your family circle.
It's a sad thing that some people don't make the effort to reach out to their family, both immediate or extended, as often as they could or should. Some relatives in my family are like that and I just don't understand why.....
Family is personal; family is safety and security; family is love; family is understanding and support.
Who wouldn't want that in their life?
Also remember even though this article is based upon my recent encounter with blood relatives, that "family" is not always defined as a relative.
Commit to reach out to your "family" today, and regularly if you don't already.......could be a phone call, or an invite on Facebook or to a Bar-B-Que if they are local.... a single commitment to act will enrich your life!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Integrity has no need of rules.”
― Albert Camus
Integrity takes a lifetime to build .........and a moment to lose.
It is defined by Wikipedia as "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness and moral character."
Integrity is one of those "key" core personal values I hold deep in my own heart and fiercely strive to protect whenever it seems threatened.
We are all usually moving pretty fast both professionally and in our personal lives, and along our life path situations continuously pop up that test our moral character. It could be that we are selling something, including ourselves, or it could be that we are placed in a position of having to make a decision that will have an impact on the outcome of a situation that will affect us or others around us.
I believe integrity is something all people of strong character do not sacrifice for any one or any thing --for it defines who they are and what they stand for.
“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity”
Please email me with any comments or suggestions regarding my blog.