Friday, September 26

When it rains…it POURS!

It never seems to fail that there will be a time when things are going swimmingly for you…and then, as if from nowhere, you get dumped on and it’s one thing after another after another. So, how do YOU handle the inevitable landslide of crap that the world throws at you?

It seems that there are a few standard human responses to the, for lack of a more descriptive term, “Shitslide” that comes everyone’s way eventually. Some people get angry; some get depressed; some simply hunch their shoulders and try to weather it.

Believe it or not…all these responses are perfectly natural and normal responses. Just because someone gets angry when the shit flies, doesn’t mean that they are “wrong” or a bad person responding poorly. We are built to respond with Adrenaline. That’s simply a fact. And what once might have been a superior survival trait, now sometimes causes us problems. It’s a matter of finding that best way to deal with the world. And that ISN’T the same way for everyone.

So, what happens if you follow one of the standard responses to crap?

It’s been shown that these reactions all increase the stress level of the individual and at times impact the actual health of them as well. Sometimes it can even cause one of those massive health problems, like aneurysms, strokes, or heart attacks.

OK…so, the standard responses are out. What does that leave us with then?’ve got the “Little Kid Defense” – Count to 10…or maybe 50 depending and think or some place that you’d rather be and something else you’d rather be doing every time something happens.

Or maybe, there is the “Goosfrabaa” method. When you start to feel those old feelings of uncontrollableness coming on, close your eyes and repeat the word “Goosfrabaa” until the urge to choke someone to death goes away. :-)

OK…so, look at these two responses. What do they have in common? They both require you to focus on something other than what’s going on in the moment. They focus you on steady breathing, which will keep your heart rate down, and they give you a focal point outside you and the moment. Does that tell you anything about better ways to respond? It should.

The problem that we all seem to have is that when something happens in our life that we aren’t ready for, or that hurts, or is damaging to something, or whatever, we enter into that “fight-or-flight” mode where we are ready and itching for a fight or bolting away. Our bodies and minds get keyed up with all the right “Action” chemicals and when we don’t or can’t utilize them, our bodies suffer. The longer we stay in that state, the more damage we are doing to ourselves.

The BEST way that I’ve found to NOT respond in that way…is to have your core strong enough and your faith in yourself large enough that whatever comes in this life, you KNOW that you’ll be able to handle and come through. When you are that steady then there’s very little that you WON’T be able to handle and get through. Sure, you’ll take some bumps and bruises, maybe even some big thrashings, but that’s not going to topple you. You may get knocked down, but it’s not going to stop you from getting back up and smiling again.

I know that I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, probably until the day I die, it’s a matter of the heart. Build your personal courage, KNOW yourself and more importantly, believe in yourself, stand strong in what you believe, and live your life from your heart in line with your core.

And ALWAYS remember…my hand is always there to help you up. No shame in taking it. :-)

Thursday, September 25

He who dies with the most toys…

Is STILL dead dumbass!

Why is it that we have SUCH an incredible preoccupation with STUFF? And really…what IS it that matters in this life? By that I mean, what are you going to take with you when you leave here?

We seem to form almost obsessive attachments to the things that are in our lives. The house, the car, the boat, the job, the dog, the spouse, the kids…etc, ad nauseum, blah, blah, blah. :-)

One of the questions I have for you today is a simple why. Why do we grasp SO tightly to the THINGS that we surround ourselves with in this life? Granted…you may have the same mentality as the Pharaohs of old and you want to fill your tomb with all your junk to take to the afterlife. :-)

But c’mon…do you REALLY believe that it goes with you? Not if you’ve read anything about the tomb raiders that found the great Pharaohs’ tombs. But hey…if you DO believe this way…let me know and I’ll be sure to “visit” your tomb after you die. You might have some cool stuff I’d like. :-)

But seriously…why DO you attach so much significance to the THINGS you have or want? Why is it so important to get ?

Maybe it’s our own vain attempt to buy happiness for our lives. After all, for most people there is a moment of happiness that is attached to the buy and the acquisition. So, maybe, like an addict, we keep chasing that momentary high by trying to get more stuff.

Maybe you just like the feeling of status that comes with owning lots of stuff, or just REALLY nice stuff. It’s a “keeping up with the Jones’” kind of thing.

“Ever notice how someone’s THINGS always become another’s CRAP?”

So, whatever your reason for being OCD about your crap, do you really think it’s the best use of your time and money to simply acquire?

So what DO you think goes with you when you shuffle off the ol’ mortal coil? Think you’ll take any of the STUFF you work so hard for?

In a word…nope.

What do you take? You take your heart…and the things that you are able to store up there. You take your love from yourself, your friends, your family, and any experiences that you have the blessings to have. That’s it! No more…no less.

Why do you think that some of your happiest memories are those that involve other people that you love? Somewhere, deep down in your heart, you know that this is a moment that you’ll take and keep with you forever. Kodak moment my ass…it’s a heart moment and THOSE are the most important things.

But…we spend SO much of our precious time fixated on the belief that we need to be able to DISPLAY what we have. We don’t seem to realize that no one is going to remember your stuff, but they WILL remember the heart moments.

So what are you waiting for? Go! Call an old friend that you haven’t spoken to in forever and more importantly…go SEE them. You never know how much time you really have left in the tank. So put off the STUFF and make the heart moments your priority for your time and money. Trust me…they are WORTH every penny and more.

So let’s change the saying…

“He who dies with the fullest Heart…he’s surely a winner!”

Tuesday, September 23

Running on empty…

We have an interesting trend in our world today. We are ALWAYS trying to do more with either the same…or even less. And sadly, it seems that we are simply intent on seeing how far we can actually wear ourselves down.

We stay up too late…sleep too little…get up too early. All in the name of doing more “stuff”. For a lot of people the day starts at 5 AM and doesn’t end until 11PM. And we try to cram as much into each and every minute as we possibly can.

With what result?

Chronic stress and hypertension are at all time highs. Suicide rates are up all over. Divorce is outpacing marriage. We have prescription medication that treats every symptom that you could ever possibly manifest. Alcoholism has gone through the roof and we’ve even created NEW ailments for our generation such as “Road Rage”.

In a quick comment…WHAT THE HELL???

It almost seems like we have a distinct inability to manage ourselves and we’re spiraling completely out of control. Looking from the outside in…it’s only a matter of time before we, as a people, go BOOM and implode…or explode. You pick.

So why is it that we seem to be SO drive to driving ourselves straight into the ground? And…are we unable to stop, step back, enjoy the ride, and find that bit of happiness that is ours?

I believe that it’s a matter of focus. We all want to succeed and most of us have been raised to believe that the only path to success is simply more and more hard work. So we fall into this bear trap that causes us to load as much work as possible onto our shoulders and then continue looking around for a bit more. “No” had become an almost unknown word. Especially in the business world. It seems that everyone has a fair amount of fear or losing the job or not getting the promotion or bonus or whatever. So we keep accepting more and more and more.

If you have a family, maybe that’s where you shoulder all the work you can bear and then some. We all want the absolute best for our family and most of us are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in that. Again, sometimes “no” becomes a foreign word.

So, since we all know what happens when we run like that for too long…why do we keep doing it?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

So what CAN we do? This one is a bit difficult. You have to have a paradigm shift in the way you view things. You have to be able and willing to let go of fear and be willing to live out of a sense of peace from your heart.

Let go of fear…whoa. Everyone wants to do that, right? I don’t think so. I think that sometimes we get SO inured to our fear that letting them go is almost like losing a good friend. We are more comfortable in fear than not.

I want you to have a paradigm shift concerning what you THINK you NEED to do to keep what you already have and gain what you want. The problem is…I can’t just give you a paradigm shift. It’s something that just has to click for you. But I can tell you a few things that might help.

• You are not your work, any more than you are your successes or your failures. You are YOU. The rest are just awards
• No matter how MUCH you do today…there will still be more to do tomorrow.
• By not making YOURSELF a priority, you are hurting every other priority you may have.
• You must first effectively utilize the time that you have and the load you currently carry, before you can hope to effectively take on anything else.
• Sometimes…the best option is to get rid of something.
• Saying “No” is not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s the BEST thing for you to do.

And lastly…

• All that shit you’re trying to get done today…will be there tomorrow.

Just remember something…it’s not all about how much you get DONE with the time you have…but rather, how well you LIVE with the time you have.

So here…sit down…have some Rum…kick your shoes off…and let’s just enjoy BEING for a bit.

No one knows how many days they have left, so make the most of today, with what is most important. – Me :-)

Monday, September 22

Completely from the Heart…

I got a question for ya…can you detail for me what integrity is? Hhmmm…that’s what I thought. See, Integrity is one of those nebulous concepts and ideas that is very difficult to describe. It’s like nailing Jell-o to the wall. The little bugger just won’t stay still. :-)

So…since we can’t really give a good definition, let’s turn to dear old Mr. Webster and see what crap he’s trying to offer us today.

Integrity - firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values – He also lists a synonym as being Honesty.

Hmm…OK. I can buy part of that. But let’s make a definition that sounds a little bit more useful and workable in our own lives. Walk with me for a bit.

Integrity is the essence of everything successful. - R. Buckminster Fuller

So, what IS integrity? A code? Code of honor. Code of the Brethren Court. Code of conduct. Code Red. Red alert!!!! OK…I’m done. :-) A code just doesn’t seem right. It makes the idea of Integrity seem like a list of rules, or maybe, “more like guidelines…” But that’s not it at all. Integrity can’t be summed up as a 10 Commandments for your life. Rules stifle and take away and limit. Integrity frees a person and allows this world to become limitless for them.

Integrity is a way of life. It’s a union between the person you are and the way you choose to live. But even that isn’t complete. It’s about living a life that isn’t about compromise. A life where you are who you are and you do what you say you’ll do and lying simply isn’t an option.

If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing. - Henry Kravis

We keep seeing the words MORAL and ETHICAL in relation to Integrity. Can you have one without the other? I don’t think so. I guess that you could be moral without having Integrity, but then you’re probably not very consistent with your own morals. :-) Yes…being moral and ethical is a part of having Integrity, as is being honest. Integrity combines SO many ideas and values and character traits. Besides honesty, morality and ethics, you can find compassion, faith, love, courage, and a whole host of others interwoven together.

And yet…in spite of having such a breadth of character traits that it covers, Integrity is really a sharp point. It is either there or it is not, regardless of the other traits presence. It is the beautiful combination of all these other things into a complete whole that is undivided from the core being that embodies it all, that makes Integrity the powerful idea that it is.

Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will. - John D. MacDonald

So, look at what I just said. Simply HAVING those traits is not enough. You have to make those traits a part of who you are and then begin to live according to your core. You have to have the faith in yourself and the core that you’ve built to not bend or break in the face of…well…ANYTHING. It’s a day in and day out kind thing. Integrity is a lifestyle. It’s really one of the most beautiful lifestyles that you could choose to adopt. Yes…I said choose. Integrity is something that you can build…provided that you have a basic foundation to start from.

I bet you want to know what the foundation is…and how you can build some Integrity. Oh…you’re not…OK…Ima go get some lunch then. :-)

The foundation…you already know. Build you a foundation of the Heroic Traits. Those will give you the start of a foundation upon which to build your own Integrity. OK…you’re thinking now, I’ve already been working on the Heroic Traits…does that mean I have Integrity? Well…no. Integrity is actually applying those Traits in your life and everyone else’s life you touch. No matter how brief that touch is. You must also build a VERY strong sense of personal courage. You won’t be able to live a life of Integrity without living courageously.

Courageously…from your heart. I know you can do it. :-)

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. - W. Clement Stone