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

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

What A Difference a Day Makes

We have a beautiful Spring day here in northeast Kansas today. Yesterday we had howling winds and sideways rain. Today we have the gentle healing of blue skies, puffy clouds, and a persistent sun. The video below provides a visual of this start and definitive change. The same three appears in both parts of the video.

Our lives are very much like the weather. I know that’s novel insight, but it’s stark how quickly weather shifts and how quickly the fortunes of our lives do too.

Two months ago life was cruising along as normal. We weren’t forced to think beyond our mundane routine and often we didn’t. Then the Coronavirus and COVID-19 and now the threat of economic challenge have forced out of that comfort zone and into new paradigms that will linger for years or decades.

It all seems very dark at the moment – don’t buy all the dystopia. We do have choices in the matter. The skies have seemed dark for many these past two months, but I’m here to promise you the sun will come out again because our lives; they are very much like the weather.

One day you can experience a hellish storm and the next day blessings of a new life and new hope carried on the wind. That sunny day is coming for all of us again. Stay focused on what you can do and what you can control.

As the late great Wayne Dyer once explained, “There is ain’t no use in worrying. There’s no use in worrying about things you can’t control because you have no control over them. There’s no use worrying about things you can control because you will take care of them.”

Everything happening right now will get handled. Life will return to something like the normal we knew before, only with profound new opportunities to remake the world into our highest vision of what it can be and of what we can be.

Stay strong. Stay safe. Stay inspired.

Just in case no one has told you today, you ARE awesome!

Ray

Old Dog, New Tricks – Day 339 of 365 Days to a Better You

You’ve heard the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” What if you’re the old dog? As slip into the back end of my 50s, I’ll admit it. Despite my reasonably cheery outlook on life and youthful impulses, I sometimes feel like that old dog.

We live in a world moving faster, so far as we know, than any other period of human history. Whereas 20 years used to constitute old, today 20 hours often does. Technology is changing by the moment. We drink information through a firehose without the ability to critically analyze it. In short, there’s always a new trick for us old dogs.

How do we cope?

We must commit ourselves to becoming one with the change. We must commit ourselves to learning new lessons, drawing new conclusions, and releasing cherished paradigms that simply don’t work anymore. All things we old dogs are loathe to do.

I’m not suggesting you relinquish timeless principles. In fact, we need to add a few more of those back into the mix. There’s been some throwing the baby out with the bathwater there.

I am suggesting that you need to adjust to doing old things in new ways. You need to be willing test new ideas, seek new approaches, and always be growing and getting better.

It would nice, for us old dogs, to think that the world is going to slow down and go back to how it used to be when we were young, comfortable, and uniquely confident. The truth is, barring an asteroid, this is the new reality, old dog. If you want to stay in the game, you’ve got to be willing to learn new tricks.

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you ARE amazing!

Ray

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Let Idealism Be Your Realism – Day 325 of 365 Days to a Better You

Did you used to be young and idealistic? Are you right now? If you’re part of the first group, when and where did you lose it? If you’re part of the second group, please, please never lose it.

“Realism” is too often used as an excuse for dashing hope, giving new things a try, or seeing a better world or a better you is even possible.

“That’s just not realistic,” says your inner voice, the naysayers, the media , and current structure of the world. Sometimes it appears in the form of a command, “Be realistic!” Sometimes in the form of an excuse to yourself, “I’m just being realistic.”

Have you ever noticed that being realistic is never aimed in positive direction? No one ever says they’re being realistic by expecting good things to happen or the world to become a better place.

No, realism, in it’s most common use, is a wet blanket, a limiter, a euphemism for closet negativity.

If being realistic was the standard, what great thing ever would have been tried much less achieved?

So, I don’t buy it. When I hear someone pull out the realism card, I just hear someone ceding to the status quo, giving up without trying, and hoping they can convince others to remain hopeless and mediocre along with them.

I say to you. Let idealism be your realism. Never become such an “adult” that you stop seeing and striving for big possibilities. The truth is the realistic status quo we live in just isn’t good enough. It just doesn’t ensure the freedom, security, and basic needs of enough people on this planet. It doesn’t point us to the stars or to higher spiritual achievement.

Let’s choose to become totally unrealistic. Let’s bust the ceilings, break the barriers, and open the doors to a new day for human beings and all living creatures on our planet. Sure, there’ll be naysayers. So what? So what?

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you’re awesome!

Ray

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