Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Did He Mean?

A teacher of mine passed this along to me a few years ago:

"Through the process of elimination, we create a process of illumination."

What do you think?

What does this mean to you?

How can this help you through your personal challenges?

I look forward to hearing your interpretation.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let Me Ask You Why?

Mike, my tennis student, was consistently missing his forehand into the net under pressure situations, and kept insisting he knew what the problem was...

"My racquet head is too closed during contact, my wrist isn't snapping enough, I keep decelerating, and my follow-through isn't big enough."

First of all... WAY TOO MUCH INFO! Unfortunately, though, all that information he gave was exactly right. He was missing his shots because, mechanically, those parts of his forehand weren't working properly. I say unfortunately because knowing these reasons for the errors are why he can't fix them under pressure. He continuously falls into the trap of trying to fix his mistakes by looking at his mechanics first, rather than viewing them as a direct result of something else. I call this the "band aid treatment." It's often only a temporary fix, quenching his thirst for a short time, but making him miss the bigger picture... the true fix, and the real question he should be asking:

"Why do I consistently make those same errors under pressure?"

When he learns to ask that question... and only then, will he truly conquer those specific mistakes. The answer will always come~ but after we ask the question. In this case... why! Mike's mechanics were breaking down because he viewed those pressure situations as moments "not to fail." In other words, he was afraid to stay aggressive during the most pressure filled parts of his matches, which naturally made him passive and hesitant, resulting in missed opportunities. In his mind, though, he instinctively wanted to remedy the physical mistakes he knew were happening, instead of examining the mental and emotional aspects of his play that triggered the physical errors.

We don't have to be athletes for this concept to take shape in our lives. What is it that we need to ask why about more often? Is there a solution in our relationships, business and other personal aspects of our lives that could be remedied simply by seeing the why?

Do we hide from the why in order to ignore the real challenges... knowing that if we asked why, we'd find the true answers~ maybe answers we don't want to find? Or is it simply that we didn't even know to ask why, as in Mike's case?

I believe we've been trained to look for the easiest answer~ the answer that's right in front of our face. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the correct solutions... but very often, we need to look deeper~ work backwards from the why, trusting those scary backwards steps will lead us to our truest, most sincere answers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Not Done!

I was born with something~ something that made me... umm... well... me... I'm not done.

I quickly learned when I was 16 months old that I loved to play with any kind of ball~ tennis, basket, base, soccer, and golf... I'm not done.

When I was in 3rd grade, I came to realize that I loved cheering for, and helping the underdog. I hated when others made fun of him... I'm not done.

Later that same year, it was made quite clear (by the kid who was picking on me) that I hated fighting.... I'm not done.

My teacher once told me that I wouldn't ever be good in math because I "wasn't given that gift." It made me sad and killed my confidence, but my dad always helped me... He's not done.

I've always competed at EVERYTHING with extreme passion, never quitting~ will never understand those who do quit... I'm not done.

I love to teach, but love to learn from those I teach even more.... I'm not done.

I've had the pleasure of battling self-consciousness and fear ~ and winning... I'm not done.

Ego has introduced himself, befriended and made me believe he's my master. I'm learning to laugh in his face, one day at a time... I'm not done.

Taking risks haven't been the priority in the past, but is slowly becoming one... I'm not done.

Quietly listening to those I disagree with has been a weakness, but is something that will be my strength... I'm not done.

My sleeves are covered in emotions that love to be shown off to the world. Sometimes, though, I shouldn't show the world... I'm not done.

Lately, I've been seen talking with Peace, Calm, and Rest... I'm not done.

Becoming successful has always been important, but defining that word has taken on a life of it's own... I'm not done.

My #1 goal of all time: Being the best husband and daddy I know how to be. Liane and Logan are who I wake up for in the morning...

I'll never be done!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's Your Definition Of "It"

I've been home sick for the last few days, which gave me a lot of time to think about... uhh... errr... every-freakin-thing imaginable! Don't get me wrong, I like a lazy day on the couch as much as the next person, but three days ~ H.E.L.P! 

I couldn't help but think about how much waffling I've been doing lately. I think I've gotten a little complacent, making me relax, resulting in ... NOTHING! I hate that word. "Nothing" bothers me more than "negative somethings." Nothing means I'm not accomplishing anything, which means I'm wasting, resulting in... yep ~ Nothing! So I got to some more thinking about what to do about this nothing I've been doing so well. 

Answer: IT! 

What's this "It" thing, and why is this our answer? It's anything and everything we want It to be at the time we want It to be. It will make Nothing disappear... all we have to do is make a choice, live by that choice, and make It happen. Decide to do It right now, no hesitations, no excuses. Commit and execute It like never before. Make It our top priority, even if It means we get laughed at, scrutinized, or told It's impossible. It doesn't have to make the Earth stop spinning... It just has to make us feel as if we're accomplishing, helping, or giving. 

It makes us do~ will never allow us to sit. What is It again? It's that thing we've been wanting to do since we were kids, but have always put off for the "perfect time." "It's never been the right time."  It could be the business we've always wanted to start, but were to afraid due to the potential failure. It could simply be to tell our husband, wife and kids that we love them more often.

What's your definition of It?

Is It the weight you've always wanted to lose, but have been reluctant because of the lifestyle change that would take place? To those reading, who've already taken on this personal challenge: I commend and respect you more than words will ever say. You're a true inspiration! To those reading, wishing this could be you: Do It. Do It now! Why not? Don't let Nothing take control... kick it in it's negative arse!

For me, It's always about branching out... creating more, helping more, learning more. Unfortunately It met Nothing for a brief time, which made It hang back for awhile. Thank goodness I got sick, allowing me to see It was waiting for me to get rid of this damn Nothing. 

A few years ago It was shaving my hair down to a stubble, because since I was a kid, I'd been in a fist fight with Self-Conscious. My hair was thick and wavy, which gave those cruel boys and girls something to make fun of. As I grew older, I found myself spending more time in the bathroom than any girl I ever knew ~ this had to stop... I had to stop caring what others thought, and It needed to happen now! When It was finished with that electric razor, I had never felt more free! It took almost 28 years, but It finally beat the crap out of Self-Conscious!

When we look back, will we say we did more of It?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Energy + Energy = More Energy!

I wasn't planning on writing anything this morning, but felt I had to share. I just got off the phone w/ a "new friend" of mine who was talking about the pain he's going through. The details of his challenges are unimportant, but the emotion of the conversation is what I wanted to write about. 

The energy he conveyed, even though it was a negative, painful energy was inspiring. I know "inspiring" is usually saved for positive experiences, but positive is relative and comes in many different shades. The fact that he found enough confidence to make the phone call and expose himself inspired me and made me feel incredible energy. Energy is the one thing we all share with everyone and everything on the planet~ everything, when you break it down to it's raw form, is pure energy. The emotion he was exuding had become contagious, making me want to help him... or at the very least, just listen and validate. 

His energy made me feel energetic, wanting to share it with you... hopefully the cycle will continue. I think it's important for us to be aware of the energy we're giving off to others, negative or positive because it definitely has it's affects. My wife, for example, is extremely sensitive to people's energy and emotions, making her experience what they're feeling. It's actually something she can't control, which is a wonderful gift, but can be a challenge too. If she doesn't attempt to put a "wall" around herself sometimes, it can be overwhelming. Imagine having the ability to consume other's energy, emotions and feelings, internally experiencing their pain or joy... 

Actually, you DO have this power.

We all have this ability, yet some are just more in tune with the process... just as we all have the ability to give off our energy to others. Energy begets energy, which is why we should always try to make others feel our most positive and creative emotions. We rarely focus on how our feelings affect other people, which very often makes us react without thinking of the possible consequences. 

Here's a lesson I learned from a teacher of mine, regarding "linking." Linking is is what happens to us unconsciously when we experience something enough times over and over.

A man comes home from work in a great mood... but when he walks in the house, his wife greets him and explains what a horrible, frustrating day she had. They talk, and eventually move on.

The next two days, the same man comes home in great moods once again... but his wife had more horrible, frustrating days and explains the details to him the minute he walks in the door. Three days in a row: Good mood man sees bad mood woman first thing.

The fourth day, same man walks in the door after having a wonderful day... sees his wife, and before she can say a word, he immediately turns into a grump. He begins complaining about this and that, and all the things that have been bothering him. His wife didn't say a thing before he began ranting~ actually, she was about to explain to him about the incredible day she had. It didn't matter though, because all he felt was negative emotion when looking at her.

Linking energy and emotion is real, and very powerful. The first thing he saw and listened to when he walked in the door for three days in a row was her negativity, so he was unknowingly being linked to her negative emotions. When he walked in the door on the fourth day, just looking at her turned him into a complaining machine. He didn't do this on purpose to "get back at her." This was totally an unconscious decision~ he was linked to her negativity. This happens all the time with couples, but very often goes unnoticed~ continuing a cycle of crap! 

If negativity can be linked, then positivity can definitely be passed along too. How different would our world be if we made it our top priority to link positive emotions to our neighbors?


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

They're Everywhere...

... Glimpses of what could be if we let down, become lazy, get cocky or arrogant, and think "it'll" never happen to us. Reminders are always there... reminding us!

"Hi, my name is Divorce, and I'm just around the corner if you settle for less than you deserve."

"What's up? You've seen me here and there~ I'm Poor Health, both physical and emotional."

"Remember me? I haven't been around for awhile, but I'm coming back because you've ignored my big brother, Selfless. Yep, it's me... Mr. Selfish! Good to see you again."

"My master, Poor Health wanted me to stop by real quick and shake your hand. Just wanted you to know I'm always there if you need me. Cigarette is what I go by."

"I've noticed you've lost your smile lately~ thank goodness... I've always hated that dude! Feel free to stop by and say hi to Anger, Grudge, Hate, Jealousy, and our biggest success... Fear."

"Don't listen to those guys~ Fear is definitely popular, but I'm the biggest winner against confidence and true happiness. A lot has been written about me, and how to defeat me, yet most still fail to recognize their power against me. Ego's my name, and controlling human decisions and mindsets is my game!"

I think it's safe to say we've all met these villains many times in our lives... some of us live every day, feeling dominated by their perceived powers, while others are attempting to release their grip from our wrists... looking for reminders strong enough to snap their tight hold~ they exist everywhere, and come in all shapes, sizes and colors! I was recently reminded how good my "bad" really is by two homeless people and a teenager who was holding his hand out in desperation. 

These reminders are all around us, but unfortunately often wear disguises, reminding us how easy it would be to fall back into old habits that once kept us from achieving. They knock on our doors, dress nicely, smile big and promise to make dreams come true. Our dilemma  will always be trying to differentiate  between the reminders that want to destroy us, and those that truly hope to help.

It could be the older woman in the grocery store who's asking for help, or maybe the husband and wife with their brand new baby boy, walking past us on the street. It might be the couple who just can't get along, fighting about nothing... yet fighting about everything. It's irrelevant what it is that reminds us to stay on "our path"~ It should be about keeping our eyes open for those hints.

In conclusion, let me remind myself to remind you to look for those reminders that will remind you to stay discipline!


Say again...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's All About The Quotation Marks...

I was taking my little Logan for a walk Saturday morning, when I began thinking about the "bad" week I've had. I put bad in quotations because it's just another way of saying,

"Hey nimrod~ you live in beautiful Southern California, married to a gorgeous and brilliant woman, have an angelic daughter, love your first two babies (Tango and Smudge kitties), have an awesome job, and are allowed to help a lot of wonderful people. What's so bad about that... nimrod?"

Wow, when I put it like that to myself, it really does put things into perspective.

I took that walk at 10am, and was able to put those quotes around bad at 11:30am ~ as I walked by a homeless man who was talking to himself, witnessed a homeless woman digging through the trash, and saw a teenager with his underfed dog on a street corner, begging for change. 

Did I seriously say I had a "bad" week? Really? I should be ashamed of myself! It's so easy to get wrapped up in the things that we don't have, forgetting everything we DO have. It doesn't matter who we are, where we live, how much money we do/don't have, or any of our specific circumstances... someone is always worse-off! Someone, somewhere would give anything to have our "bad" days, weeks, months and years. 

After walking for awhile, I finally had to stop, pull Logan over to the side, take her out of her stroller and give her a huge kiss. I reminded her to always remember how good we have it and how blessed we are! 

"Look around, sweetie," I said. No, she doesn't speak yet, but she definitely understands me. "You have it made! You have a big roof over your head, clothes to keep you warm, a mommy who adores you, and the most handsome, thoughtful, kind, handsome, selfless, handsome daddy EVER!"

Sure, our lives won't be perfect~ we'll have our ups and downs, laugh a lot, cry a little... but I'll take these "bad" weeks for the rest of my life!!!