No PAIN, No GAIN

August 29, 2010

“Wherever you see a successful business, someone
once made a courageous decision.”
-Peter Drucker

 One potential negative consequence of a prolonged economic downturn is a shift toward conservative decision-making. Experiencing loss can make us tentative, less willing to take chances. We tend to avoid risks that may result in additional losses. The problem with this reaction can be found on the walls of just about any weight-lifting gym in America:

No Pain, No Gain.

More elegantly stated:

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.”
Samuel Smiles

If we act only when success is assured, we lose one of our best sources of growth and knowledge – failure. As Henry Ford said:

“One who fears failure limits his activities.
Failure is only the opportunity to more
intelligently begin again.”

Those who turn adversity into success will be those who are willing to accept the possibility of failure and take those actions they believe will lead them to their chosen goals.

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.”
Washington Irving

Dare to be GREAT!!!!!!!!


He that Knows Not is a Pupil

April 7, 2010

“The only path to learning is to know that you don’t know.”   by I don’t know: some spiritual guy. 

OK, but if you know that you don’t know then …you know, so how is that not-knowing? Cause if you know… I’d need Abbott and Costello to work this one out. Spirituality can be complicated. 

What I do know (or not) is that, when communicating with another human, not knowing is critical to understanding.

The challenge arises because we each have a unique interpretation of the world around us, the relationships between this and that. For example, you may think that purple is the new black. I may think that it is satanic and anyone who wears it should be forced to eat garlic ice cream and live in Bakersfield (my apologies if you live in or are from Bakersfield). Or, you may feel that you are complimenting me by saying that I’m looking much better. I may hear “you look like hell most of the time.”

What you say clearly communicates your meaning—as registered by your personal interpretation. Problem is: I don’t hear through your interpretations, I hear through mine. What to do? Two words: Awareness – Patience – Persistence. OK, three words.

Awareness: To communicate effectively you must first be aware of the fact that everyone interprets words through their own unique perception. So, when you hear a statement from another, don’t assume that you understand.

Patience: Take the time to check out your initial understanding. “So when you say you are going to buy a purple dress, are you saying that you worship Satan and wish to move to Bakersfield?” At which point you can correct my misinterpretation and say, “Why no, I don’t.”

Persistence: Question until you understand the speaker’s meaning. “So, if you don’t worship Satan and are not moving to Bakersfield, why do you want to buy a purple dress?” “Because,” you answer, “I read in Cosmo that purple is the new black.”

Ah, now we are communicating.


Expand your “Fear Zone”

March 21, 2010

“Comfort Zone” is a dreadfully inaccurate term, the product of a mind in denial.

“Fear Zone” is far more evocative of the self-imposed prisons in which most people choose to hide. 

 

You tell me: is it comfortable to live within boundaries fashion by fear and self-doubt? 

All but a small number of fully enlightened humans live without a fear zone. Within the zone are all of the experiences you are willing to incorporate into your life. Perhaps you are willing to swim in a fresh water pool but would never swim in the ocean (you know, sharks, jelly fish). You may be comfortable calling friends but become anxious and physically ill at the thought of calling strangers. Swimming in the ocean and calling strangers are activities that many people do in complete comfort but they are simply outside your fear zone. 

Every fear zone is different, molded by complex combinations of beliefs we’ve accumulated since birth. These beliefs are neither right nor wrong. They are simply decisions we have made about what we can and cannot do. 

There is good news: Once we understand how we constructed our fear zones, we have the power to adjust them, to expand our boundaries to incorporate activities, relationships, experiences that we previously considered unimaginable. 

Transformation of what is possible begins by knowing that you can change. Once you have that down, create a blueprint of what you want your life to become—set goals. Then, using tools such as affirmations, visualization, meditation, whatever works for you, convince yourself that you are transforming into the new you. When you reach the point of knowing that the process is irrevocable, it will happen. Your new, expanded beliefs will allow you to participate more fully in the world. As a consequence of completing this process, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your self-esteem. Recognizing and moving beyond fear is one definition of bravery. And, man, does it feel good.


The Adventure

October 25, 2009

“The adventure you are ready for is the one you get!”
–Joseph Campbell (Mythologist and Story Teller)

This quote came from Jeff Probst when he won the Emmy for best reality show host. My ears perk up any time I hear Joseph Campbell’s name. By studying a wide variety of cultures he came to understand what is true about human beings no matter when or where they lived on the planet. This universal truth is particularly significant for commission sales people and reminds me of the Bobby Unser quote:

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”

Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500 three times.

We all love stories where a boy opens a magic book and is transported into an adventure of a lifetime. In the real world, the adventure we get is based on our degree of preparation, our goals, our experience, knowledge and skills. Another ancillary quote is the old Buddhist proverb:

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

Everything we need to lead the life we dream will become available when we are ready. What an amazing promise, one that comes with conditions. We must be willing to do what it takes to lead the life of our dreams.

  • We must be clear and focused on the adventure we want.
  • We must believe to our core that we will succeed.
  • We must, however, be willing to fail along the way.
  • We must act in the face of fear.
  • We must recognize and honor our incremental successes.
  • We must be open and vigilant to everything and everyone who can help us.
  • We must ACT!

Risk – The Greatest Security

November 10, 2008

Quote of the Week

 

“The greatest security is to plan and act, and take the risk that will ultimately ensure your personal freedom and independence.” -Denis Waitley

 

 

This is what great quotes do: they encompass profound, complex, often life-altering concepts or processes into succinct, one line instruction manuals for living.

 

Here we have the nearly universal human goal of freedom and independence, the prerequisite of a willingness to take risks, and the essential two step procedure – plan, then act. And each component of this procedure is absolutely indispensable to success.

 

Assuming the goal of freedom and independence, planning is a useless exercise without the willingness to take risks. Implicit to the achievement of any life-altering goal is the requirement to take new actions, to stretch beyond previous boundaries. Since new actions will likely create new, unfamiliar results, it is natural to experience a certain amount of trepidation. This is where willingness enters the equation.

 

You must be willing to step into the unknown and trust that you will survive. Do that and you’ll be amazed by how well you adapt. Looking back, you will say to yourself: “How could I have been so concerned about that. I did great!” “I wish I had tried that sooner.” “What was I afraid of?”

 

In the end, doubt is the greatest boundary to success. Suspend doubt, be willing to enter the unknown and freedom and independence are within your grasp.