Archive for November, 2008
I am posting several videos lately because there is such an amazing power in the stories of people (and animals) doing what seems impossible. In this video, a man who can’t read or write creates art sculptures that can fit in the eye of a needle. You won’t believe it, it is amazing!! He says he does it to show others that they can make a difference and speak their message even though they go through great adversity.
Watch this video and ask yourself, what “impossible” challenge is keeping me small and keeping me from making the difference I know I am meant to make? Then ask yourself, “what strengths do I have that can get me to jump over, scoot around and/or SMASH thru the “impossible story” I’m telling myself.
What I love about this video is a) how the Beagle thinks it out; b) how it simply won’t quit; and c) what the other dogs in the pen do at the end. It is under 2 minutes and well worth the watch. Anything you are giving up on because it seems “impossible?”
Bea Fields is an amazing leadership coach…
…and a mentor of mine. I am a huge fan of her blogs and recently she posted 16… count ‘em… 16 strategies on avoiding procrastination. Her complete post can be found here from her blog for her fantastic book called EDGE!
6) Look closely at why you are procrastinating. Is it fear, doubt, overwhelm, lack of knowledge, or because you just don’t enjoy that activity? Once you have identified the cause of your procrastination, talk to a coach about what’s really going on, and design a solution to address the block.
7) For big tasks, break this down into smaller steps, and write out a calendar to get the smaller steps accomplished. With this approach, you will get much more done than if you decide to take on the entire project at once. If you are going to take on the entire project in one block, schedule the time on your calendar to work only on that project. If you are working on it while you are doing other things, you will add about 50% more time overall to the project.
8)Drop the perfectionism. You don’t have to have every task you take on be perfect. Get the job done, and then delegate out the “perfecting” stage to someone who can shine up the project.
9) Work on projects even when you feel like you are in a bad mood. The completion of a project can actually release endorphins that can lift your mood.
What I really love about these tips in particular is that they get at the “what’s underneath” of the avoidance. I have several comments about this that I will make in a future series of posts on this very important topic. In the meantime… Enjoy Bea’s blog.
Have a great day!
Gratitude gets a bad rap.
You hear the attraction and new age folk talk about how important gratitude is to getting what you want from the Universe. In the process, they make you feel guilty because you aren’t living in a state of gratitude all the time. You beat yourself up, ask why they can do it and you can’t and then resolve to “discipline” yourself into doing better next time.
The charities all remind us to be grateful for what we have and to give to those less fortunate. The blog posts start coming out saying, “okay folks, Thanksgiving is coming. Time to start counting your blessings.”
It seems like we have to be guilted into remembering to feel grateful. For me, guilt seems counterproductive here.
Gratitude is a much simpler thing — a perspective more than anything else. I think the most powerful sense of gratitude comes in a simple recognition of the things that make you go wow in your life. We are reminded when we simply look around us from a place of recognition and wow not from a place of guilt.
In the science of perception and the brain, they tell us that “we find what we look for.” So this holiday season I would propose a new kind of experiment. Instead of trying to remind ourselves fervently to be thankful for what we have, resolved to force thoughts into submission and discipline our way into gratitude, try a gentler way. Orient yourself and your thinking to look for all the wonder in your life, from simple to complex. Look for all the “wows” in your everyday and see if that doesn’t engender a natural gratitude that isn’t forced or manipulated.
Let’s all look for the “wows,” and we’ll find more than we could have imagined. I welcome all comments below.
I was grabbing a cappuccino at the 11th Street Café this morning and I heard another conversation while I was waiting for my half-caf grande skim something or other. Apparently this gentleman had just done something absentmindedly that made another lady laugh. He looked at her, and laughing at himself he said, “I was just thinking something that made me so happy…”. As I was leaving I turned back and looked at the gentleman and he was beaming from ear to ear, there was a lightness to his face and he was clearly blissed out.
This experience made me think and reinforced my belief at how easy it is to be happy anytime we want to be. The man was thinking a thought. That’s all, just a thought. In terms of his situation in the moment, he was simply buying a cup of coffee. His thoughts, however, had transported him beyond the cup of Joe that he had in front of him into a land of endorphins, good feelings and a comfort in his own skin.
Now many of you may be saying, “well, of course… something good probably happened to him and he was thinking about it, that’s all.” And, I’m sure you’re right, something probably had happened and he was thinking about it. But there’s something more here, something we lose sight of when we’re in the middle of negative emotions.
Emotions are always triggered by a thought. We think a thought and the emotions follow as a direct result of whatever we are thinking. The man was simply buying a cup of coffee but the thoughts he was thinking trigger to rush of good feelings.
Here’s the key. The brain cannot distinguish between what it remembers what it experiences. When we think of thought, the brain translates those thoughts and memories as if they were happening right there in front of us. The more vivid the memory, the more powerful the emotion and feeling. So the man with the coffee, as far as his brain was concerned, was having that great experience again… like, for real.
How often do we play some mental fantasy or relive some bad experience and send our self into the pit of despair, sadness, anger or whatever negative emotion fills our head. Because the emotions are so powerful, it feels like the emotions have a mind of their own and are in control of US… but they aren’t. They are triggered because we attach to thoughts that trigger them. We “relive” them and then the emotions follow.
So what’s the formula for happiness? It really is as simple as this:
- Ask yourself, “what feeling do I want to feel right now?”
- Replay a memory or think a thought that will transport you into that feeling state that you want.
- Really enter into the “movie” you play in your head. Make the colors brighter. Make the sounds warmer. See it through your own eyes as if you are in the situation.
- Stay there for a while and watch your emotions change.
Is it really that simple? Yes. Will you feel happy all the time? No. Can you choose to feel happy anytime you want to? Absolutely. To quote Dr. Richard Bandler, “thought isn’t a passive activity unless you think passively.”
Try it and see. I would love to know your comments and thoughts. Have a great day.
This video made me cry bigtime! I checked it out and it actually is true!
Makes you think… you can’t tell me animals don’t have some concept of love.
In my work as a Life Coach, I always end up talking to my clients about their perspective, beliefs and fears and how they influence their perception of reality. There was an amazing example of this on the Today Show yesterday in a Matt Lauer interview with Sarah Palin. Listen to this 3 minute podcast and take an important lesson on how we can change our reality and our results.
Please leave a comment if this speaks to you.
I predict that this is going to be the most posted opening line for all blogs today…
“So, I voted today…”
It was about 5:55 AM as I walked up to the polls. There were about seven different lines that you could join all based on a voting district. There was a very energetic woman, who 10 minutes into the voting process was already beginning to lose her voice, shouting orders, giving instructions, making conversation (a little too much conversation for “a voice” that needs to last It well into the evening) thanking people for their patience and remarking, “I know somebody’s gonna a curse me out before the end of the day.” By 6:15 AM there was easily 150 people standing in the different lines and entering the building in groups of five. Most “districts” only had one actual voting booth apiece so the line crawled along at a snails pace.
There’s a point to all of this so keep reading…
Fast-forward to me having just voted using using one of those old voting machines that New York City has used for 50+ years. Walk in, pull some levers, flips and switches, pull the lever the other way and you voted.
As I walked out of the polling place, I had this fascinating rush of energy. I felt powerful. I felt like I’d done a good thing. My focus was on something bigger than just me and my problems. When I got home, I cooked breakfast for Brad and myself with a renewed vigor and energy. I turned on the TV and listened to all the commentary and speculation and predictions with a renewed interest.
I was a part of something much bigger, much older and quite frankly, more important than my little issues. I sat down with inspiration and was able to do something I haven’t been able to get myself to do in ages… I wrote. I thought and then I wrote a little bit more. I became excited about other projects in my life as well. I started a business project that I’ve wanted to do for ages but had been avoiding for weeks.
Crap! I’m getting things done!
So, what does this all mean? I think the answer lies in being able to step out of myself and think about my life from a bigger place. When we get bogged down in the microcosm we call our own life and microscopically examining every fear, every fault, every trouble and stress, we make those negative things the most important things in our lives. But when we step into a bigger place, join a much larger community and recognize ourselves as integral members of those communities, all of a sudden it’s not just me battling uphill there’s someone behind me helping to shoulder the load. There’s a bigger perspective. We feel powerful.
Has anything in my current situation actually changed? Yes! I have! I’ve changed my perspective. I feel more powerful and able to do what I need to do. I feel grateful. I have a renewed awareness of my abilities.
I don’t have control over other people. I don’t have control over the economy. But I do have control over my perspective and how I want to show up in my own life. Suddenly, as a part of the bigger whole, any challenges or mistakes i fear I might make along the way seem much less significant.
So, I voted today. The surprise was I regained control of my perspective. In the election of November, 2008 the winner is… me!