Archive for August, 2011

What are you willing to give and give up in order to get what you say you want?

What are you willing to give and give up in order to get what you say you want?  This is a question that I asked myself this morning.  I’ve always known that in order to get something that you don’t have that you will have to give and give up something in order to get it, but it really hit me this morning as I started my work day from home this morning that achieving any goal is similar to any successful relationship, there’s a balance of give and take and you have to put your all into it if you really want to get something meaningful and lasting out of it.  But what happens when you give your all and it feels like your getting taken in return?  Or you feel like you’re doing all that you can to achieve your goals but don’t see any progress for your efforts?

This is the time in which you will either give up or you will press forward to find a solution.  If you are the press forward type, then your solution should start with evaluating, in the most objective manner possible, why you are where you are and look at what you need to do to move forward.  Your goals are worth pursuing for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most important and overlooked reason is because your goals tend to be an extension of your self-expression as well as vision of your contribution to this world.  A contribution that is needed.  It is very unfortunate that we have missed out on so much good because so many people have decided to give up on their dreams and goals.  I’ve said this quote before and I’ll say it again, “The wealthiest place in any town or city is a cemetery as that is the one place with more unfulfilled dreams and untapped potential then anywhere.”

So I’ll end this post with the same question that started it, “What are you willing to give and give up in order to get what you say you want?”


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Be Happy

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”  This is a quote from a colleague of mine named Paulinea Knight.  It’s very simplistic and straight to the point with its meaning and is the subject of this post, being happy.  On of my son’s favorite cartoons to watch these days is a show called Wow Wow Wubzzy.  At the end of every episode there’s a song that’s being sung that always gets my son up to dance and sing.  One of those songs is titled Be Happy.  More often than not if my son thinks that either my wife or myself is sad he’ll come over to us and start singing this song to try and cheer us up.  But the one thing that comes to my mind when I think about this is what does it mean to be happy?  The answer, well, it’s subjective and different for every person.

What makes me happy may or may not make you happy.  Even still it would be a worthwhile endeavor for you to find out what truly makes you happy.  One thing that I have learned about being happy is that it’s not a lifestyle, but a state of mind.  There is a big difference.  Because it’s a state of mind there is always a possibility that a person can try and pursue being happy so much that it becomes dangerous for them and for people around them.  Case in point is a drug addict, the first few highs may make you feel good but once you become dependent on these highs, they stop making you happy and instead make you miserable.   I’m a big advocate for being happy and living a fulfilling life, but I’m also a big advocate for balance.

So discover what it means for you to be happy and keep balance in mind during your pursuits of happiness so that you don’t get yourself in a position where you’ll do anything to maintain that happy high.

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Your Progress is Hidden In Plain Sight.

Ever feel lost?  Ever feel like the very thing(s) that you want and have been seeking for so long are always out of reach?  Ever wish that everything would just magically work out the way you want them to?  If so, then you are not alone.  So now the question is are you going to continue to feel lost and have everything continue to feel out of reach to you?  I was taught a proverb a long time ago that I constantly refer to and it says, “If you want to hide something precious hide it in plain sight where no one will look for it.”  The more and more that I live and grow in this journey we call life, the more and more that I see that most of the things that we say we are striving for, trying to figure out, or looking to achieve that seem to be hidden from us are truly hidden in plain sight.  I wrote a post back in March called Habit: The Obvious Secret for Change, your habits are one of the things that are in plain sight that will be able to keep you from feeling like everything is so far from you that you’ll never achieve anything.

Another thing is the people that you choose to invest in/allow to invest in you.  If you have people that are going no where and doing nothing as your support then it is very probable that this “support system” won’t be happy to see you doing the very things that they “wish” that they could do because they don’t realize that they can do it themselves. But the thing that I find most unique that’s hidden in plain sight is your investment in yourself.  If you are not investing in your own self-improvement how can you help others be the best that they can be as well as becoming that which you want to be yourself?  In the process of investing in your own self-improvement don’t get so carried away with it that you become self-centered and egotistical about it.

Bottom line, if you want to improve your life, career, or general outlook more often than not the way to do so isn’t as complicated as it may seem, just take a look at what’s right in plain sight.

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There is a quote in the movie Under Siege 2 that truly captures the subject of this post, “Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.” One of my pet peeves if you will are people that assume they know everything about me and are always wrong in what “they know” I’m thinking. I had this experience last night where someone had an attitude with me because of what they “knew” I was thinking that they were wrong about. Even when they were told that they were wrong, this person continued to believe they were right about me.

These are the people that I tend to avoid or cut off from my life because these are the people from my experience that tend to be the most selfish, arrogant and unwilling to fave the truth about themselves. And because of that they believe they are always right about everyone else even when they are proven wrong. But what happens when a person like this is someone close to you? Someone like your parents, siblings, uncle, aunt, best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, or even your spouse? What do you do then?

I could give you a cliche for an answer but I won’t because the reality of this is that this is a hard question to answer and the answer will vary depending on the person looking for the answer. I can tell you that for me, I would have to evaluate how much the relationship in question means to me, ask very direct questions so that I can make a decision based on facts and not be a hypocrite who made a decision on assumptions.

For most people there’s a great divide between assumption and fact. But there are a few people who are so deceived and so selfish that the line between assumption and reality is so thin that is often blurred to the point that there is no distinction. Make sure you’re not one of those persons.

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Who Are You Today/Identity Crisis

The more that I go out in public be it to perform or socialize the more that I’m convinced that most people don’t know who try really are andare content to pick up the mask of the day rather than unmasking and showing their true selves. I guess this comes down to some people willing to do anything to get noticed or accepted; others because they are too drunk and filled with liquid courage to be themselves; and others still because they just want to feel like they belong. Whatever the reason is, it’s causing a serious identity crisis that us causing us to lose new ideas, creative works, inventions, etc because these things are tied to who a person really is, not who they feel they have to be in order to fit in.

I wrote I. A previous post that people need to learn to be themselves. I said that because some people are too busy trying to be someone else, I should know as I used to be one of those people.

It’s not enough to know who you are today, you have to know who you are always so that you don’t get lost amongst the masses of people trapped in an identity crisis.

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Another Random Thought

Every now and then you have to find something that will recharge and revitalize not just your faith, but your hope for the better.  This morning, my 3 year old son was watching me practice my trumpet and decided that he wanted to try to play by telling me that it was his turn, so I put another mouthpiece on my trumpet put it to my son’s face, and what do you know, he played his first 3 notes on my trumpet today.  This may be a little thing to most  people, but to me it truly made my day.  I told this story to say that there are times in your life in which you need to remember “the little things” in life that truly make a big difference to you, those things that bring you hope to continue to move forward when you thought there was no hope to be had.

Today, my son played 3 notes on my trumpet that really made me feel really good and truly renewed my focus for the better.  I encourage you all to find those “little things” that can help you to continue to press forward when you don’t feel like it anymore as you never know when you’ll need them.

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Evil for Evil?

“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” 1Peter 3:9 (New Living Translation) Can I tell you that trying to follow this scripture can be one of the hardest things in the world to do at times.  Especially when you feel like you’ve taken all that you can take.  Believe me, I know.  But the bottom line is that returning evil for evil may feel good at the time but it really isn’t good for you overall.  In fact, the more you get comfortable doing it, the more that you begin to become the very thing that you once tried not to be.  I am mentioning this today because yesterday I had a conversation with a friend of mine and I was angry.  I told this friend that I was tired of doing the right thing for someone and they constantly do the wrong thing in return.

General society may say that you should return to people that which they give to you, but I want to challenge you to rethink that.  If you take a look at where we are as a society in the United States, we went from being a large community that always helped each other to a competitive landscape for the rich to get richer and the middle class to become poor, and the poor to become impoverished.  We went from confronting the “evil” that we saw in society to condoning it (be it by permission or omission) because it has become profitable.  Here’s the truth, returning evil for evil may bring a short term profit or pick me up for your emotions, but it will do more long term damage then it will ever do good.  Making a habit of returning evil for evil is like a cigarette habit; you know it’s bad for you and you don’t mind doing it until you get lung cancer and then are looking for a cure for something you could’ve prevented in the first place by simply not engaging in the habit.

So as hard as it may be, do your best to not return evil for evil, hatred for hatred, and disrespect for disrespect.  It’s best to return good for evil, but just because it’s the best thing to do doesn’t mean it will be the easiest thing to do, at least not at first.

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