Taking It All for Granted – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday September 29, 2009

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They say you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Maybe it’s just human nature to walk through our daily lives and take what we have for granted. It takes an act of conscious awareness to open our eyes to the people, situations, and miracles that populate our environment each and every day.

I’ve always loved this Kathy Mattea song. She strikes the chord of remembrance for all of us with “Standing Knee Deep in a River (Dying of Thirst). That’s what we’re doing when we fail to recognize what we have while we have it. Our lives can seem unhappy and unfulfilled when we already have everything and everyone we need in our lives to turn it all around.

Enjoy this beautiful song!

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

What Are Your Auto Destruct Stories? – The Affirmation Spot for Monday September 28, 2009

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auto-destructFor those of you familiar with Star Trek, you know that Federation starships are equipped with an auto-destruct feature. Auto-destruct is a decision of last resort to prevent the ship from falling into enemy hands. The feature is only used when all hope of another solution has been exhausted – basically when the captain and first officer have conceded defeat.

Many of us have personal auto-destruct buttons and we regularly use them to concede defeat in situations in our lives. These auto-destruct buttons are the stories that we tell ourselves to prevent us from success or happiness. We allow doubt to creep into our minds and then we begin to solidify the doubt by articulating it.

On Friday, I was observing a business sales new hire course at my company. I co-wrote the course and had not been in to visit for a while. The course is five days and on the final day there is a sales presentation.

Before class started I happened to hear one of the young sales reps out in the hall telling his partner that he was nervous because he had never been any good at stand up presentations. He proceeded to tell the story of something that happened in a presentation in the 6th grade. “Ever since then,” he said, “I’ve never been good at these presentations.”

When class started he recounted the story again in front of the instructors and the whole class. As the presentation began, it was clear he lacked confidence. This young sales rep – who otherwise seemed very talented – was struggling.

He obviously has a habit hitting his auto-destruct when placed in the situation of doing a stand up presentation. Rather than affirming messages of “I can do it”, he is sending the message to himself and everyone else that, “I am no good at this.”

He was done before he started his presentation.

Do you ever do this to yoursel? What are the situations when you hit your auto-destruct button and self-destruct? How do you address them? Here are four ideas.

  1. Awareness – the first step is to be aware of situations when you hit auto-destruct. You probably can create a list of them without too much trouble. Be observant and notice situations when you do it.
  2. Tell Different Stories – once you are aware of situations when you hit auto-destruct, you can take steps to tell yourself different stories about yourself and your abilities. Focus on “I can” messages. Lose the baggage of past situations when you have come up short and focus on the success of this next opportunity.
  3. Coaching or Training – take steps to improve your skills. When you are more confident in your skills you become more confident in your ability to perform.
  4. Believe – you have to believe that something better is possible for you in that situation. It costs nothing for you to believe in yourself and everything not to.

You don’t have to live according to old paradigms about yourself. You can change those paradigms, change the stories you tell yourself and others, and overcome those scenarios where you are prone to auto-destruct.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

Are Some People Just Luckier Than Others? – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday September 23, 2009

Earl Wilson once said, “Success is a matter of luck. Just ask any failure.” The concept of luck can be very disempowering for some people. To the casual observer, luck seems to grace the lives of some while leaving others out in the cold.

Wilson’s quote does describe the mindset of many unhappy, unsuccessful people. They look at those who have what they want – happiness or success – and attribute it to pure chance. Further, they conclude the Universe has chosen not to bless them with that luck. They walk through life feeling cheated and that life is somehow unjust.

Is this an accurate view of luck or is luck something that is predictable by how a person observes the events in his or her life?

Former Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz said,”I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It’s seeing what other people don’t see And pursuing that vision.”

In this brief video, Ben Sherwood offers an interesting perspective on luck and who becomes lucky.

Stay inspired!
Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

Being Authentically You – The Affirmation Spot for Monday September 21, 2009

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The venerable jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker once said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” He was speaking of authenticity. It’s an important quality for a musician and for someone – like you – seeking to get the most out of life.

So what is authenticity? The short answer is being yourself or being the person you came here to be. Now I’m not talking about any kind of predestination. I am a strong believer that being yourself is a highly individual and choices-based pursuit.

However, there are certain discoverable activities and life arenas that seem to call you and to which you are well-suited. The great mythologist Joseph Campbell referred to the process of finding and pursuing these activities as “following your bliss”.

The key to finding your bliss is to pay attention. Pay attention to those things in your life that both interest you and draw on your abilities. What do you do even when you’re tired? What would you do even if nobody paid you? Before you know it you’ll be living it and it will come out your horn.

Here’s an affirmation to get you going.

Bliss Affirmation: “Today I find my bliss in the sweet spot where my talents and my passion merge to create magic in my life.”

Enjoy a little of Mr. Parker letting it come out his horn along with some other jazz greats.

Be authentic! Be yourself! Follow your bliss!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”


CALL Your Negative Thoughts – The Affirmation Spot for Friday September 18, 2009

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woman_eyes_closed_sun_rs“Speak of the Devil and he appears,” goes the old aphorism. Some people in the positive thought movement seem to think the same thing about negative thoughts. They are something to be avoided at all costs. You must stamp them out like burning embers of a campfire to prevent their spread.

Obviously, the goal of positive thinking and affirmations is to diminish negative thoughts and counter them with positive thoughts. This is a worthy and highly beneficial goal that enahances your life. Negative thoughts, however, are a natural part of being human. We all have them and we will always have them.

To panic and spend a lot of time concerning yourself with them, only causes them to blossom and grow. Recognizing them, accepting them, and letting them go steals their power and allows them to vanish back into the void from where they came. Having a negative thought is not the problem. Allowing them to become your habitual way of seeing things is what you want to avoid.

Actually, our negative thoughts provide a natural benefit. They spread light on the parts of us that need work and attention. If you always have negative thoughts about your job, maybe that part of your life needs some attention. If you have negative thoughts about certain people, those may be relationships that need work.

It’s rather entertaining sometimes to simply “thought watch”. Our minds are interesting things. When we relax, close your eyes, and watch your thoughts for a while you notice how impermanent thoughts are. They appear and create feelings. The disappear and the feelings disappear with them.

If your thoughts are very destructive and involve hurting yourself or others, get professonal help.
Here are four things you can do to handle and live more harmoniously with common negative thoughts. They form the word CALL.
  1. Counter – counter your negative thoughts with tools like affirmations. Persistent negative thoughts can be countered and changed by offering a positive alternatives.
  2. Accept – accept that you will have negative thoughts and it’s OK. You’re human afterall. No beating yourself up.
  3. Listen – listen to your negative thoughts. They may provide insight into where you need to focus your self-improvement efforts.
  4. Laugh – some of your negative thoughts really are pretty funny when you get enough perspective. Lighten up and see the humor in the way your mind works.

I’m not saying don’t try to transform your negative thoughts into something positive. I’m just saying that when they want to come out and play, CALL allows you to say, “Bring it on!”

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”