Yesterday, for those of you who are subscribed to my blog, you got a bizarre little post that read “test podcast, test, test.”
You see, there was a problem with the blog, some of the funtionality and there was drama “in the code.”. It’s a scary proposition when the authors of the template you are using tell you that their mind is “boggled” by your problem. It just goes to show you how fragile our electronic lifestyle can be. I also realize how much I rely on my computer, websites, audio-and video player and all that stuff to simply… work. When it doesn’t… well… it is a new form of stress that our ancestors didn’t have to deal with… micro-digito-compu-screwupo-lose-yourdata-o stress. (I think I will submit that term to the DSM-IV people at the American Psychological association!)
I know, I know… when things don’t work you have the opportunity to learn about them… it’s not an exact science, it’s an art… blah blah blah… but it still sends a stab right down to my gut and I became obsessed. I am relieved now… but I was totally obsessed. (I am sure there is a brilliant coaching lesson here that I am totally missing… but I am too tired to think!
So, bottom line this post is about saying, “sorry for the funky post yesterday” and celebrating the fact that I learned a little bit more about technology. It took about 36 hours… and I still really don’t know what the problem was… but, all in all, my podcast is back up and running and I am back in business.
Look for more posts coming soon and have a great weekend.
Beginning March 2…
I will be introducing 2 new Vlogs to my blog — “Ask The Life Coach” and “Ask The Small Business Marketing Coach.” These will be real life, real people questions from a down and dirty, person on the street interview format.
I have created a short 1 minute Vlog — with my new FLIP Mino Video Camera — to give a quick explanation. For those of you who Vlog, check out the Flip. It is literally smaller than my iPhone so I will carry it in my pocket all the time!
Check it out!
My husband left for work early this morning. About five minutes after he left, I got a text from him. He said, “guess what, the same taxi driver who picked me up yesterday morning, just pick me up today.” I texted back a “wow, that’s amazing” response and continued to watch the early morning news. What he texted me after that was what piqued my interest and gave rise to this blog post.
Apparently the taxi driver had posted his business resume in his taxi cab. It had his full name, his work history, the fact that he went to North Carolina A. and T. University for undergrad and got his MBA from LaSalle.
He is currently driving a taxi cab in New York City and my guess is, given the fact that he has posted his resume, it is not a job that he sees himself doing for ever.
As someone who finds himself worrying about things that “might” happen, this got me thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I have no knowledge of exactly what happened to this gentleman and everything I’m about to tell you I am completely making up in my head. However, it made me think.
Clearly, this man at some point lost his job or was downsized or… who knows what and he found the need to find alternate work — survival work, you know. Probably his worst fear was realized. I imagine he went looking for another business job but to no avail. He came to a point where he simply needed to make a living so he started driving a cab. Believe me — it is a tough job to drive a taxi in NYC. You deal with all kinds of people and by law you have to take them. It ain’t easy and I admire those who do it.
What I love about this story is the optimism. I’m guessing the gentleman didn’t worry and wring his hands in fear over what might happen. Instead, he simply did what he needed to do. The creativity here is what stuns me. He examined the situation and instead of falling into victimhood and turning bitter, I imagine that he asked himself “what is the opportunity here in this situation?” The answer: A lot of people sit in the back of my car. Many of them are executives and business people. Some of them might be looking to hire someone. Why don’t I let them know I’m looking for a position and show them how creative I can be in the process.
There are two takeaways for me in this:
- When when stuff happens in life you have 2 choices: a) be a victim and become resentful or b) simply do what you need to do to take care of the situation the best way you can and realize situations can change.
- Never lose your optimism. If you look at the situation you are currently in creatively, you will find opportunity in the strangest of places.
I wish I knew someone who was hiring or someone in a major news organization. I would do a story about this man in the hopes that it would inspire other people to think creatively no matter what situation they are in.
So if business is bad or something is going on in your life that just totally sucks, when you can, step outside of yourself and look at the situation from a creative, dispassionate observer position. Ask yourself this question: “what is my opportunity here and how can I make the most of it?” Who knows what you might discover. A creative idea just might springboard you in a new direction.
I have to admit… I love the Holidays. I love the weather. I love the decorations. It is a part of my history.
This past weekend, my partner and I sat and watched the History and the National Geographic Channels all day as show after show debated the “actual birthplace of Christ” and “was there a star and did it actually settle over Bethlehem…” and on and on. It was an amazingly fun day and I felt closer to my particular spirituality through the process of critical analysis.
You see for me, it isn’t about the details and the specifics. It is about the spirit and getting in touch with that part of myself that connects with all people.
What came out of all of that television watching, was a recognition of connection and ritual.
I think that we as a people find meaning in our lives through a connection with something that is greater than each one of us individually. For some that is a “Higher Power” and for others it is a sense of connection to other human beings and humanity at large. Then, whether we know it or not, we ritualize it… we create a tradition.
So even if Christmas isn’t your tradition… as I’m often reminded by my friend Stephanie who sings the South Park song to me, “I’M JUST A LONELY JEW AT CHRISTMAS…” reconnect with whatever your ritual is that makes you feel connected to your history. (For Stephanie, it’s Chinese food and a movie on Christmas day.) Whatever yours might be, consciously hook in. Connect with what has brought you to this place here and now– your history! Celebrate what is gotten you to where you are. Good or bad, you are here and tomorrow is a new day so believe in the power of a hope for a better tomorrow! Then start to create it.
If you don’t have a tradition that stands out, create one. Find some special something that you can celebrate no matter what your current situation. The simple act of looking for that will help you hook in and I promise you will find a connection. There is something in the air at this time of the year and I think it goes way beyond the holiday.
I realize this post is a bit “stream of consciousness.” I felt compelled to put it down on “web paper” even though it wasn’t fully formed. My Blog – My Way!! <g> If it is helpful in any way, I am thrilled. If, however, you take nothing else away, take this: May you find peace when you look for it, joy where you choose to create it and connection with all of us in a hope for a better tomorrow.
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.