365 Days to a Better You – Day 82

You have to buy the ticket

You’ve probably heard the old joke about the guy who prayed to God to win the lottery. He prayed and he prayed, but he never won. He dies and goes to heaven and confronts God about the unanswered prayer.

God smiles and says, “I would have helped you win the lottery, but you have to meet me halfway and buy a ticket.”

Have you bought the ticket for your dreams? Are you hoping and praying and or are you taking action to make them come true? To buy your ticket, you must attract, act, and believe.

  1. Attract: The attract part  of the equation involves putting the intention out there in the Universe. Remember, “Ask and you shall receive.”? The Universe responds to our stated intentions not our secret hopes. It’s about creating the mental environment necessary to “manifest” your goal in your life. Affirmations, meditation, praying, or verbally sharing our dreams with others are all ways to achieve that part of the equation. The man in the story did that part.
  2. Act: The second part is equally important, though. You have to take action. Waiting on God or others to meet your needs while you sit passively by is not the act of buying the ticket. This the part many people leave out. They put the intention out there and they believe, but they fail to act. You must take proactive steps that give you the best chance for success. This is the part the man in the story failed to do.
  3. Believe: The third part of buying your ticket is belief or some might call it faith. This aspect is important because it enhances your actions by adding life and purpose to them. That all plays into a better result. This part is also important because often achieving requires patience and perseverance. Many a dream has been attracted and acted upon, but lost because the person gave up a moment too soon.

President Kennedy did the attracting part with his vision for the moon. He put the intention to go to the moon out into the Universe. Thousands of experts and geniuses acted to make it a reality. And, a nation – indeed a world – believed.

So my question for you today is are you buying your ticket? Are you doing all three parts of the equation to attract your best life? No ticket means no lottery.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

365 Days to a Better You – Day 80

Listen to people who have succeeded #1

People who achieve massive success in their own right don’t have it handed to them. They face many of the same doubts and challenges you face. It’s why we can find courage and inspiration in their stories.

Take this young boy growing up in a war-decimated Austria after World War II. He aspired to be a world-champion bodybuilder, a leading man in the movies, and an American citizen. The people around him told him he was crazy. Someone like him could never achieve things like that. That little boy’s name was Arnold Schwarzenegger and all of those dreams – and more – came true for him.

What was his road to success? He outlines his five rules for success in this video. They’re rules that we can all easily apply to what we’re trying to achieve.

  1. Find your vision
  2. Never ever think small
  3. Ignore the naysayers
  4. Work your ass off
  5. Don’t just take, give back

Let’s all commit to be our best and do our best!

Ray

365 Days to a Better You – Day 79

Let your creativity flow!

It is better to create than to be learned. Creating is the true essence of life.
~ Barthold Georg Niebuhr

Awhile back, I was in a meeting and someone presented 10 tips for maximum creativity. I thought these were worthy of sharing as part of this series. I’m certain some or all of these will help boost your creativity. They are directed at the workplace, but have relevance to our personal lives as well.

  1. No one is exempt – research shows that anyone with normal intelligence is capable of doing some degree of creative work.
  2. No guilt and give yourself permission to think – let go of the guilt and give yourself permission to sit, to think, to surf. And, give your peers the same permission. Don’t assume someone is not working if they are sitting idle.
  3. Make time for creative thought – find places and make time for uninterrupted and focused creative thought. People produce creative work when they are focused, not when they are scattered and interrupted. And, while time pressure can stifle creativity, research supports that it is not the deadline that stifles; it’s the distractions.
  4. Capture ideas – good ones often come before or after work—in the shower, in your car, before you go to bed, etc. Find ways to remember them without logging on or extending your work day.
  5. Collaborate – the most creative teams are those that have the confidence to share and debate ideas.
  6. Be agile – be patient and allow for several ideas, iterations, and drafts before picking one. The creative process is not “one and done.”
  7. Be tenacious – creativity depends on the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells. Manage your energy and find ways to renew.
  8. Be curious – explore, experiment, find a different venue. Experiment. Ask others how they do it.
  9. Get out of your comfort zone – stretch yourself. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “You’re brain is much better than you think.”
  10. Be happy – creativity is associated with happiness. In fact, research shows that people are more likely to have a breakthrough idea if they were happy the day before.

Other creativity articles, resources and blogs:

Finally, when you don’t know where to start take the advice of composer John Cage and “begin anywhere.”

Stay inspired and creative!

Ray

365 Days to a Better You – Day 78

Declare your goals to the world.

Most human creation myths describe the universe being spoken into being. According to these world  views, the power of the word goes clear back to the beginning. In fact, the word is the beginning.

John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Whether you agree with this perspective or not, there’s no arguing that there’s a power to declaring your goals to the world. Talking and thinking only get you so far. By declaring, you are aligning energy in support of your goal.

September 12, 1962 President Kennedy gave his famous moon speech at Rich University. He was making a national declaration – an affirmation for the whole nation – that we would land on the moon before the close of the 1960s.

Sadly, JFK did not live to see that day, but the mission was accomplished. That’s the power of declaration. That’s the power you can claim by confidently speaking your goals out loud.

Ray

365 Days to a Better You – Day 77

Living beyond other peoples’ opinions.

Today’s Thought

Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
~Plato

April and I were listening to Rachel Hollis this morning. She says something repeatedly throughout her work that I really like. It’s something to the effect that other people don’t get to choose the life you live.

As long as you can remember, you had to deal with other peoples’ of you, what you do, and who you are. The mistake you may have made early on is believing their opinions. Maybe they had a position of authority, they were your friend, your spouse, or someone you really admired.

The fact of the matter is there’s only one opinion, ultimately, that matters in your life. There’s only one opinion that propel you or stop you in your tracks. That’s your opinion.

Now, you may have a low opinion of yourself in a given situation or endeavor. That’s content for another blog. Right now, we’re focused on all those other opinions that stream into your life, often without invitation. Who should you listen to and who should you ignore?

Let’s start with this. An opinion that limits you or squashes your potential, no matter how much you love or respect the person offering it, needs to be ejected from your life now. That opinion is not moving you forward.

I’m not talking about ignoring sound advice like don’t, “Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road.” I’m talking about opinions like:

  • “Oh, you don’t want to write a book. No one will ever buy it.”
  • “He’s the best you’ll ever do. You better hang on to him no matter how he treats you.”
  • “You can’t run a successful business. I never could.”
  • “Why do you need a Master’s Degree? I did fine without it.”

Power hack: When someone is audacious enough to tell you that you never can or never should follow your dream, I want you to apply this standard. Does that person have the life you want? Have they achieved what you dream of achieving?

You see, most people who spend their lives shooting down other peoples’ dreams and naysaying are bitter because they never had the courage to go after theirs. Or maybe they did, and it didn’t work out for them. That’s sad, but it’s no reason to squash your enthusiasm and determination for yours.

If your critic lacks the credentials to advise you or obviously is not coming from a supportive place, ignore the opinion. It’s of no value to you. Find those people who do support you and, damn it, support yourself! Every great achievement in human history happened, despite all the opinions about it not because of them.

You will never be free of opinions flowing into your life, but you can free yourself from their negative effect and get on with the business of following your bliss!

You – yeah you – you’re AWESOME!

Ray

365 Days to a Better You – Day 76

Are you an extraordinary thinker?

Today’s Quote

“You see yourself as average, ordinary. And there is nothing ordinary about you, Rachel.”
~Emily Griffin from her book Something Borrowed.

 

Do you see yourself as average, ordinary, middle-of-the-pack? A lot of people see themselves that way and are perfectly content with it. Just always know that it is a beliefnot a fact. You can shift from ordinary to extraordinary any time you choose.

You are extraordinary. It’s right there beneath that ordinary facade. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. You sense that there is something extraordinary within you and you are ready to unleash it in your life and, yet, you don’t.

Two very simple things separate extraordinary thinkers from the rest of us.

  1. They question reality rather just consuming it.
  2. The questions they ask are far BIGGER than the questions most people ask.

The great thing is anyone can transition from thinking ordinary thinker to an extraordinary thinker. No super-intelligence, elite education, or societal status is required. Here are some characteristics I compiled some years ago that define an extraordinary thinker.

  1. Ordinary thinkers are fear-driven. Extraordinary thinkers are love-driven.
  2. Ordinary thinkers believe they are victims of fate. Extraordinary thinkers know they are creators of destiny.
  3. Ordinary thinkers approve the status quo. Extraordinary thinkers improve the status quo.
  4. Ordinary thinkers strive to be cool. Extraordinary thinkers strive to be themselves.
  5. Ordinary thinkers are tenant farmers in the paradigms provided by others. Extraordinary thinkers are constantly planting new and exciting paradigms in their lives and in the world.
  6. Ordinary thinkers trust experts. Extraordinary thinkers listen to experts, but trust themselves.
  7. Faced with adversity, ordinary thinkers give up. Faced with adversity, extraordinary thinkers give more.
  8. Ordinary thinkers expect little and receive it. Extraordinary thinkers expect much and receive it.
  9. Ordinary thinkers employ labels. Extraordinary thinkers seek understanding.
  10. Ordinary thinkers believe in chances. Extraordinary thinkers believe in choices.
  11. Ordinary thinkers think life happens to them. Extraordinary thinkers know life happens through them.
  12. Ordinary thinkers allow their doubts to rule them. Extraordinary thinkers allow their dreams to rule them.
  13. Ordinary thinkers believe one setback can stop everything. Extraordinary thinkers know one great idea can change everything.
  14. Ordinary thinkers conceive the world as “Us” vs. “Them”. Extraordinary thinkers see only we.
  15. Ordinary thinkers are comforted by easy answers. Extraordinary thinkers dare hard questions.
  16. Ordinary thinkers conform to the tribe. Extraordinary thinkers transform the tribe.
  17. Ordinary thinkers consume mainstream narratives. Extraordinary thinkers see right through them and transcend them.

Your life and our civilization could be transformed by being a more extraordinary thinker moment-to-moment, day-to-day, year-to-year.

Now you know. Apply these 17 concepts to your thinking and soon you’ll be humming along at an extraordinary clip.

Be who you came here to be!

Ray

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365 Days to a Better You – Day 75

You create your future.

There’s a well-known quote that says, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Like most modern aphorisms, this one has morphed over time and come from numerous supposed sources.

This version goes back to an Antari Games ad run in Infoworld Magazine in 1982. However, the concept goes back to a quote from Dennis Gabor’s 1963 book “Inventing the Future.” Gabor wrote, “The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”

Either way, this quote should inspire us. We look to the future with a mix of emotions and many believe it is out of our control. This idea is based on the idea that the world is just something that happens to us from out there.

This quote reminds us, individually and collectively, that the future is something we can manifest. We are doing every moment of every day with every thought, every feeling, and every action.

The question for you today is not do you create your future? You do. The question for you today is what kind of future are you creating with every thought, feeling, word, and action.

Power hack: In every moment, your thoughts are transforming your world consciously or unconsciously. It might as well be consciously. You are unconsciously becoming your past, until you consciously choose a new future.

I’ve often used this formulation of an affirmation to help me with this.

My world is what I make it and today I choose to make it a _________ place to be.

The key, my friends, is to get conscious of our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions and then to adjust them to be perpetually creating the future you want.

Ray

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