Tag Archives: Success


23 Oct

As we go through our lives, there may be times when we feel strong, negative emotions toward someone else.  We may determine that those emotions are intense enough to be labeled hatred.  We decide we hate them.  We despise their very existence, and we wish they would disappear.  It takes a lot of emotion and a lot of energy to carry hatred, and we can carry it for as long as we like.  Hatred has caused a lot of problems and turmoil in the world, but it has never helped any situation or resolved any issues.  It is a negative emotion that can hold us back, and freeze us in place.  It’s hard to move forward when we’re consumed with hatred, and despite all the energy we give it, returns nothing back to us.  It pulls on our strength, controls our thoughts, and may negatively determine our actions.  If we let it consume us, it can destroy our lives.

When we determine to hate someone else, we may lose our direction.  Hatred is so powerful and caustic, if we embrace it, it can hold us in place.  In order to move forward in our lives, we need to focus on our goals and where we want to be.  If we are consumed with the presence of someone else it’s difficult to see the road we need to be on.  Hatred may become an obsession.  It may continually pre-occupy us and constantly intrude on our thoughts.  While we are embracing it, it’s very hard to think of little else.  If we are consumed in our hatred, the result may be that the very person we hate, because of the intensity of our focus on them, controls our lives.  If we let the hatred become our driving force it will take over.  We cannot move forward, we cannot improve, and we cannot evolve any further as long as we are held in its grip.

When we are hurt or seriously disappointed by someone, it’s natural to feel bad.  If those feelings are intense it’s hard to let them go.  But letting them go restores our power.  We can acknowledge the slight, we can understand what happened, and we can accept our feelings.  And then, if we are dedicated to our personal growth, we need to let it go.  That doesn’t mean we have to trust the other person again, or even interact with them if we don’t have to.  It means we value our progression and personal happiness more than we value the negative experience.  We are in charge of our lives and we can direct them.  When we feel very strongly about a situation it may be hard to let it go, but letting it go lets us move forward.  And moving forward is what brings us satisfaction, accomplishment, and happiness.

Today if you feel like you absolutely hate someone, don’t let it have authority over you or your actions.  Be in control of your life by understanding what happened and why you feel this way, and then let it go.  Don’t get tied up and stuck because of something someone else has done.  Rise above it and be the best you can be.  You can be an excellent example of success.  Let the hatred go, and embrace your life.  You have so much to offer.  Go forward.

At Odds

18 Oct

When we decide we want to do something, or change something in our lives, the decision often comes with the need to modify our behavior in some way. Making the decision to change may be easier than implementing the necessary adjustments to our behavior to make the change a reality. For instance if we want to get fit but don’t take the time to exercise, or want to be more educated but don’t want to study, we work against ourselves. We are at odds with what we want to do. If we ignore what is needed to implement the change, and instead simply complain about not being successful, we will fail. It’s good to define our goals, but without action to make them happen, we aren’t going anywhere.

Routines give us a sense of order. We know what to expect, we know how we’re going to spend our time, and we feel comfortable in the sameness they offer. When we decide we want to change, it often means we also have to change our routine. We have to vary things and re-order them to accommodate the new challenge. Things may be bumpy for a while as we adjust to the new schedule. We will have to plan instead of just go through the motions, and pay attention so we adhere to the new model. The transition may be uncomfortable but if we keep the goal in mind we’ll get through more easily. After we’ve kept to the new agenda for a while, it will replace our previous routine and we’ll go forward with more confidence.

Change requires effort. Adjusting our routine is important but it’s just one step. We must also adhere to the actions needed to facilitate the change we’re seeking. Once we’ve decided what we want to do we must devote the required time and activity to the goal to achieve it. A half attempt will result in a half success, which really isn’t success at all. If we want something, we are perfectly capable of getting it. But we have to take the time and effort needed to get it done. We can live an easy life and do the same things every day. Or we can determine to get the most out of our time, push ourselves, and dedicate our lives to excellence and success. A life lived fully, and without reserve, brings more happiness and joy than a life lived complacently. The choice is ours, and we need to be sure the choice we make is the one we want the most.

Today if you’ve been trying to make a change and haven’t been successful, review your routine and make a plan to include whatever is needed for you to move forward. You can make any change you want, and you can do it effectively. Plan your actions to find success. Achieving your goals will bring you great satisfaction and confidence. Take charge and do what is needed to get there. You can do this. Push forward and you’ll reach the finish line.

Law of the Harvest

21 May

Every spring I pour over seed catalogs, and begin to plan my summer vegetable garden. I plant tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, zucchini, summer squash, watermelons, and the list goes on and on. I have a large garden plot, and find great pleasure in planning, planting, tending, and harvesting it. There is nothing quite like seeing seedlings first pop out of the soil, and watching them grow, knowing that soon all the wonderful things I’ve planted will be on my dinner plate.

When we plant our gardens we buy seeds for the fruits, and vegetables we want to harvest. If we’re planting a flower garden, we find seeds for the colors, and varieties of flowers we want to see growing there. The seed packets are always accurate – it they say the seeds are for summer squash, summer squash is what you’ll get. Never once have I purchased squash seeds and had daisies come up. What the package says, is what you’ll get.

Our lives are like gardens too. Every day we make choices that bring results. And those results are directly tied to the choices we make. For instance, if we are rude, and we sow seeds of disharmony, disharmony is what we’ll reap. If we are kind, and we sow seeds of caring, caring is what comes back. If we are mean, and we sow seeds of pain, in return pain is what we’ll find. The law of the harvest is immutable, and it is inescapable. We simply cannot sow seeds for carrots, and expect to harvest cucumbers. And so it is in our lives. If we want others to be kind to us, we must be kind to them. The harvest will return what we plant.

This principle applies to both our professional, and our personal lives. If we are contentious in our relationships, if we lie, or if we deceive, we will never be trusted, and our relationships will be turbulent. On the other hand, if we value our relationships, treat them with care and respect, they will be fulfilling and pleasurable. If we are lazy at work, if we spend our days wasting time instead of working diligently, we will not earn the respect of others, and we will never be successful. But if we work hard, honor our commitments, and keep our promises, we will be valued, and successful in return.

The law of the harvest applies to every facet of our lives. We understand it when we’re planting our gardens, and it’s important that we understand it in our lives. What we plant, we will surely reap. There is no escape. There is no cheating. There is no excuse. What we plant we will surely reap. Today as you go about your life, remember you are planting seeds. What you get in return depends on the seeds you choose. Be careful. In the end, nobody wants a garden full of weeds.

Rose Colored Glasses

8 May

I am an optimist by nature. I tend to look for the best in others, and generally give them the benefit of the doubt. I have always been this way, and when I was growing up my mother used to tell me that one day I would have to remove my “rose colored glasses,” and see the world as it really was. She felt that I gave people too much credit, and that the world didn’t work that way. Well, now that I am grown up, I understand that the world as it really is depends on my perception. Since I’m still the same girl I was years ago, and I’m still an optimist, I’m still wearing those glasses.

Some people see the world differently though. They focus on the negative, the problems, the complications, and the drama. There is certainly a lot of that, and if we want to we can focus on them. But there is also a lot of good in the world. There are people doing good things, there are happy families, there are noble organizations, there are people serving one another, and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, most of the good news never makes it to the daily broadcasts, or the news feeds on-line because it isn’t sensational enough. But what could be more sensational than doing good in a world so focused on the bad?

They say life is what you make it. We can’t prevent all the trouble that comes into our lives, and we certainly will have our share of challenges. But we will also have our share of blessings. If we have enough to eat, clothes to wear, shelter to rest in, and enough money to survive we are living well. Some people are never happy no matter what gifts they possess, and what they have is never enough. We can look at our lives that way, and we can complain every second of every day if we like. We can find fault, we can pick on those that don’t do things the way we would do them, we can criticize, and belittle all we want to. But in the end, our lives are what we make of them. If we do that all the time, our lives will be filled with criticism, complaints, and discontent. Nobody really wants a life like that.

However, if we look for the good in every situation, we will surely find something there. Even in the most difficult times, even dealing with the most annoying people, we will find something that’s good. If we look for the good in our lives instead of the negative and disappointing, our lives will be filled with peaceful feelings, confidence in others, and a positive outlook for the future. It’s all in how we decide to see it. In the summer we could complain because it’s hot outside, or we could see the gorgeous flowers and trees thriving in the hot sun. In the winter we could complain because it’s snowing again, or we could see the beauty and peace in a winter’s landscape. It’s the same situation both times, but our response to it changes our perception.

Today when you face difficult situations, annoying people, or complex challenges, try to look for what is good about the situation. There will be something there. It’s always there if we look for it. It may be very small at times, but something will shine through. If we learn to do this in every situation we will become happier, and more content in our lives. We can wear rose colored glasses and still see the world as it is. There will always be problems, there will always be trouble, but there will always be joy as well. Look for it – it’s there.

Are you for real?

6 Apr

One day I went out to sit on my patio and enjoy the afternoon air. I looked across the yard and saw the most amazing tiny birds flying in and out of my honeysuckle. We have a lot of hummingbirds where I live, but these didn’t look like those. I had no idea what they were. They were beautiful – all black and white, and there were dozens of them. I watched in amazement for a little while, and then decided to go inside and get my binoculars so I could see them up close without disturbing them. I got the binoculars and sat back down, ready to look at the incredible tiny birds in my garden, and you can imagine my surprise when upon seeing them up close I realized they weren’t tiny birds at all. They were moths. Moths. Big, black and white moths. Suddenly I was no longer impressed and they were no longer amazing, because in my mind, they had morphed from something unique to something common. I mean, really, who is impressed by moths? Did it change they way they looked – no. Did it change the way they flew around – no. The only thing that changed was me. In our lives we can sometimes mistake “moths” for something beautiful and rare. Sometimes we make those mistakes with the people we interact with. We meet someone new, and for some reason they captivate us, draw us in, and we think they’re amazing. But sometimes that initial attraction fades as we get to know them and see them for who they really are. It’s impossible to know someone well when they are new to us. When we meet new people, most of us put our best foot forward. We want to make a good impression, especially if the person we are meeting has the ability to positively affect our lives. Maybe it’s a new boss, a new date, a friend’s family member, our new in-laws, a physician or even a new co-worker. We want them to like us so we’re careful, and we try hard to look good. There is nothing wrong with that. But over time it’s impossible to keep trying so hard to be perfect and eventually who we really are – flaws and all – will shine through. We are all moths in our own ways, BUT we are all also beautiful birds in our own ways. When we feel drawn to someone new, we may only be seeing their “bird” side and not the other. Eventually we’ll see them as they really are. Nobody is perfect and it’s important that we live in the real world. So learning who someone really is moves us forward in our relationship with them. It’s important to see them for real. And it’s important for them to see us for real. I really wish I was taller, I wish I was younger, I wish I was better looking, and I wish I was more perfect. But who I am now is enough. I am the best I can be right now. Tomorrow I might do better or I might falter. But day by day, being genuinely who we are, is where we need to be. Be yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself. Nothing is more attractive than that.

There is only one reason.

3 Apr

I have an acquaintance who knows all about business. She’s knows how to start one, how to market it, how to sell it, and how to be a success at it. She reads dozens of business magazines and books on success. She knows all the buzzwords, all the famous people, all the best jobs and all the names of the companies that are moving up and making names for themselves. She’s like a business guru. She books herself in small venues to give speeches about business – how to get started, what to do when problems come up, how to be successful, and she’s filled with advice for everyone. But she has never DONE anything in business herself. She talks all the time about the companies she’s going to start, and all the success she’s going to have, the millions of dollars she’s going to make, and how she’s going to change the business world. But she never does anything. All she does is read constantly about these things, talk continually about them, and try her hardest to convince everyone around her that she is a success.

When asked why she hasn’t yet done anything to get her business plans going, she has a lot of excuses – all of which sound pretty good. “The market isn’t right for this model at this time. I am working on getting the start up capital. I am looking for investors,” and my personal favorite, “I’m still fine tuning what I want to deliver.” Okay. Well all these excuses might sound good, but years have gone by, she has no money, she struggles every month to pay her rent, she’s always scrounging around for some place to give a speech about success, and she’s really talking the talk. But that’s all it is – talk. She never steps up and starts.

There are innumerable reasons not to do things. Innumerable! If you aren’t ready or don’t really want to do something, the reasons you can come up with never end. There is an old story of a man who asked his neighbor if he could borrow his axe. The neighbor said no. He didn’t seem to be using the axe so the man asked him why he couldn’t borrow it. The neighbor said, he was sorry but he was making soup. What does soup have to do with me borrowing your axe inquired the man. Well, said the neighbor, if I don’t want to lend you my axe one excuse is as good as another. And it is.

We have a lot of reasons why we aren’t doing something we’ve been thinking we want to do. We can have as many reasons not to do things as we like. We could just say our hair is growing today or we have a bone in our arm. Really, any excuse will do. But if we want to do something there really is only one reason to do it – because we want to. That’s all. It’s simple. We want to do it and so we do it. If we don’t want to do it, we can stall. We can wait as long as we like until we’re ready to face the truth. And the real truth generally is that we’re not doing it because we don’t want to do it enough to take the steps to start.

One reason. That’s all it takes to do anything we want. One reason. Because we want to. Nothing else really matters. Think about it. One reason. And then decide.

With all my heart.

2 Apr

This is a heartbreaking story – literally. A young man from Georgia a couple of years ago needed a heart transplant. He was only 15. The transplant committee was hesitant to put him on the transplant list because he had a troubled past, and they were not sure he would comply with the directions after the transplant to ensure that it was effective. Hearts for transplant are not readily available and come at the highest cost. So determining who gets one is a very serious business. The boy’s mother appealed to the press who immediately took up her cause and he got the transplant. He was grateful and happy at the time saying the transplant would help him, “So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do,” he said. It was a happy outcome for him and for his family who loved him.

Fast forward two years. This week that same boy died in a car chase with police after an attempted robbery and in a stolen car. He was 17. It’s horribly sad on several levels. First of all, he was given two years of life he would not have had without the death of his donor, and being allowed to receive his new heart. Secondly, he obviously did not value that gift enough to change his life, and really do those things he said he wanted to do. Unless, of course, what he wanted to do was die in a car chase with police, which is doubtful.

The heart – we give it a lot of attention, and rightly so. Of course, besides the brain, it’s the organ that keeps us alive. We need it unconditionally. But what about the other “heart?” The one we refer to when we love someone, the one we talk about when someone is kind, the one we attribute to our charity and sensitivity. “She wears her heart on her sleeve. He has such a good heart. My heart hurts when I see such pain.” When we talk about our heart in that way, we refer to our human-ness. Our capacity to love and care. It’s a powerful thing, our heart, and all the emotions we attribute to it.

But the heart should not outweigh the brain. The brain is what tells us what is real, where our reasoning is, and helps us figure things out. Who among us hasn’t fallen in love with someone or something with our hearts, but realized with our brains that it would never fly? We need to reason even when there is emotion. We need to think even when we’re captivated. Sometimes that may take a little time until all the facts uncover themselves, and sometimes we know right away it’s not a good idea to follow our “hearts.” We need both our brains and our hearts to make decisions and if we’re careful, and take a little time, those decisions will be made well. Not always, of course, but if we think, we’ll be more successful than if we don’t.

Once I bought the most amazing jacket – I just loved it from the moment I saw it and it was on sale, so I bought it. It was expensive but I was completely crazy about it. So I followed my heart, pulled out my credit card and bought it. I was ecstatic all the way home with my new find. I couldn’t wait to wear it. But when I got home and pulled it out of the bag I noticed a problem with one of the sleeves I had not seen in the store. There was a big pull in the fabric and no matter how I twisted it and tried to fix it, there was no hope. And then when I looked at the color in the light of day, instead of the light in the store, it didn’t look so great. In fact it was ugly. Ugh. I could not return it – no sale returns clearly posted in the store, and now I was stuck with an expensive jacket I would never wear. I kept it in my closet for over a year as a reminder to me to THINK before I jumped when my heart told me to.

Making a bad purchase is a small thing in the scope of our lives, but the reminder to think before following our hearts is an important lesson. The boy with the heart transplant had been given a second chance at life. He had been given an extraordinary gift and in the end, he squandered it. He could have done amazing things with his life. He could have chosen to be noble. He could have helped others. He could have been the example for good. But he followed his other “heart” – his base desires and did not use his brain. And now he is gone. We should do better. We can use our hearts for all the great and tantalizing moments in our lives, but we can also engage our brains to think before we act. Be kind, be loving, be compassionate, be careful, AND be wise. Use your heart for good, and use your brain to help you achieve that good.