#RayQuote – Freedom and Happiness

Happiness and freedom are never attained by running away from something. They are possible only when you run whole-heartedly towards your dreams. They are not a change in place, but rather a change in heart.

Today you know you can find happiness and freedom. There is no secret. You already have the answers. Look to your heart, listen closely to its words and wisdom, and then run straight towards what it’s telling you.

Have a great day everyone. Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you ARE awesome!

Ray

Challenge YOUR Status Quo

Challenge YOUR Status Quo

It’s funny what a difference a word or two can make in meaning. Most of you have heard the quote, “practice makes perfect.” It’s a Vince Lombardi quote, but the popular version isn’t the whole quote. The actual quote is, “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Small word change, but a huge difference in meaning. The first version tells me that if I practice my flawed golf swing, over and over and over, I’ll magically have a better golf swing. The latter coaches that I need to get my golf swing to a good place and then practice the right way over and over to achieve excellence.

It’s a pithy piece of advice to tell someone to “challenge THE status quo.” I’ve written a number of articles over the years on that topic myself.

It sounds very rebellious. Many people are willing to try it. There’s little to no risk in it. Here’s why.

Challenging THE status quo is a nebulous endeavor. What does it even mean? Is it driving a practical car when all, your friends drive sports cars? Does it mean growing your hair longer or wearing out-of-style clothes? Does it mean saying yes when society as a whole says no or vice versa?

These type of behaviors aren’t challenging anything meaningful. They’re non-conformity for non-conformity’s sake. What is that but a new kind of conformity?

No, you must challenge YOUR status quo. You must put your most cherished beliefs to the test once in a while. Take them out to the woodshed and kick the crap out of them. Poke holes in them like a prosecutor would. Evaluate your beliefs the way you would your ideological opponent’s.

Until you do that, what are they but someone else’s theories and talking points adopted by you?

Do they stand up to that kind of scrutiny? Yes. Wonderful, you’ve got principles that are keepers. No or not sure? Maybe these are things you should reconsider or at least be more flexible and less dogmatic about.

Just like perfect practice makes perfect. Challenging YOUR status quo is the only way separate the wheat from the chaff in your belief system.

Have an amazing 4th!

Ray

No Matter What Affirmations

Happy Friday, everyone! Regardless of what today brings, these “No Matter What” affirmations will keep you on track and on purpose.

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you are a one-in-a-trillion miracle.

Ray

Reach For The Stars!

REACH FOR THE STARS!

Hey, everyone

GOOD morning!

Hard as it may be to believe looking around you right now, all of this craziness is presenting us with OPPORTUNITIES for a FAR better world and a FAR more compassionate civilization that serves the needs of ordinary people.

Like all things in life, it’s a choice. We can seize these opportunities or we can be seized by a million possible dystopias that fill our minds.

When we do the latter, who wins? Not us.

I’m a FIRM believer that despite the human past and even the human present, we are a good species at heart. We have enormous potential. We are meant to reach for the stars literally, but first we must raise our faces out of the dirt and toward the sun.

We have 10,000 years of conditioning that mostly divides us, mostly makes us afraid to trust, compels us to hold on to our dogmas in ways that don’t even serve us.

We are better than that. You are better than that. I am better than that.

The inertia of our thinking pulls back into our divisions, back into our fears, back into our tribes.

Just like a rocket headed for space, we have to achieve escape velocity, if we are going to escape the gravity of the past.

It’s hard work. It’s easier just to fade back into “Us” and “Them” thinking. It’s easier to say I’ll do it tomorrow or next week or next year.

It’s tough to say it begins right here and with me.

People often say, “I’ve tried positive thinking and it doesn’t always work.”

It’s true positive thinking doesn’t always work, but it GREATLY increases your chances for happiness and success.

Sadly, negative thinking does nearly always work. No one who ever thought they couldn’t did. No one who ever doubted humanity contributed to its advancement.

In two days here in The United States, we are going to celebrate these words…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That’s still the dream we ALL have. We all seek life. We all seek liberty. We all seek the freedom to pursue happiness.

We’ve all fallen short. You have. I have. Our “adversaries” have. The man who penned those words did.

Yet the principles embodied in that statement transcend all our failures to live up to it. Those words brought a change in law. It’s time for us, 244 years later, to finally make it a change in hearts.

We come into this world naked and crying. We all leave the same way. It’s the difference we make in between that matters. I know you came here to achieve something great. We all did.

Let’s get to it. If we all focused more on what we’re here to do and less on the hurdles. amazing things can and will happen.

Everyone stay safe. Everyone stay well. Everyone reach for a star today.

Ray

The Water, the Rock, and the Maginot Line

After World War I, France built a massive line of fixed fortified concrete bunkers and walls. It was called the Maginot Line and it’s gone down as one of history’s great blunders. The goal was to prevent future invasions by Germany like the one in 1914.

The problem was the French were fighting the previous war and the Germans were preparing themselves to fight the next one. In a World War I framework, an adversary would have been crazy to conduct a frontal assault against the Maginot Line.

By 1940, when the Germans quickly overran France, the Germans simply flew their planes over it and drove their tanks around it. The massive fortification did nothing to defend France and their reliance upon it caused them not to otherwise prepare.

The stark imagery of this example has gone down in history as a metaphor of stolid, dogmatic thinking in the face of change.

Wisdom is adaptation to the moment. Fixed thinking, like the Maginot Line, is not up to facing new challenges.

A similar metaphor is that of the a rock and water. A rock is solid, strong, immovable. Water is soft and pliant. It goes over and around the rock. Watched for a day or a week, the rock appears to be winning the battle. It’s holding its ground and standing firm. However, come back in a year or five or fifty. Over time, the water will wear the rock into nothing.

New challenges require us to be agile and adaptive. We live in a world, especially now, that is not only experiencing massive change in this moment, but is nearing the birth of a very different world where many old paradigms are going to be tested.

If we don’t adapt, we can look forward to the fate of the rock and the Maginot Line.

If we work to understand the difference between immutable principles and merely habitual thinking, a very important distinction, we will find ways to navigate and thrive in this new world.

Better days are ahead for humanity, if we’re smart, flexible, and principled.

My grandmother lived from 1904 to 1988. When she was five, her family got into a horse-drawn wagon and rode outside of town to observe the 1910 passing of Halley’s Comet. When she was 64, she witnessed a man walking on the moon.

Wagon thinking would never have gotten us to the moon in six decades. New thinking was required.

It’s very likely that in two or three decades our world will be more advanced and changed relative to today than 1969 was to 1910.

That kind of change holds both peril and opportunity. Who will we be? Will our technology run us or will we use our technology to benefit humanity in ways never before imagined? Will power and wealth be held in fewer a fewer hands or will we finally create an egalitarian society where our genius meets our basic needs and we have the freedom to explore our highest aspirations?

I don’t and I won’t let this moment get me down. We’re going through the growing pains of massive transformation. Whether it is to the benefit or detriment of most human beings is being decided, as tomorrow always is, by our thoughts, words, and actions today.

Stay safe. Stay well. Amazing things are on the way! Oh, and by the way, just in case no one else has reminded you today, you are awesome!


Ray