Tug of War for Your Dreams – Day 257 of 365 Days to a Better You

Do you remember when you were a kid picking teams for a game in gym class? Imagine the game is tug of war. You’ve been selected as one of the captains. It’s 10 kids to a team, but you have 30 kids in your class. The other captain and you each pick your team of 10 and 10 kids are left out.

You line, grab the rope, and begin pulling. After a few seconds, the gym teacher tells two of the kids sitting out to join the other team. With the added help, they begin to pull your team toward defeat, but your team is tough and you manage to regain your footing and hold your ground.

The gym teacher tells two more kids to join the other team. Now, the other team is pulling you more rapidly toward defeat. Finally, the gym teacher has the rest of the kids join the other team. Your team collapses immediately and is dragged helplessly to defeat.

You jump up and scream, “That wasn’t fair!” You would, right? I mean 20 versus 10 is going to end only one way. If you’re the 10, it’s not good for you.

Now I want you to think about your life and your dreams. You are the captain of two tug of war teams – Team Dream and Team Doubt. These teams aren’t made of people. They’re comprised of your thoughts and feelings. They’re locked in an eternal struggle for the outcome of your dreams.

You begin the match with belief, confidence, action, determination, and vision on Team Dream. You start pulling and you’re starting to win, but it’s not happening as fast as you imagined. You start to feel the doubt creeping in and add a couple of new members to Team Doubt – “What if I’m not good enough?” “This is how things always go for me.”

You start to lose ground and you add a couple more members to Team Doubt. “Why can’t I win just this once?” “This isn’t fair.”

This process continues until your doubts drag your dream mercilessly through the mud. You’d like to jump up and scream, “That wasn’t fair,” but you did it to yourself.

This metaphor is a process the teacher Abraham Hicks calls Contrast. You have your thoughts, feelings, and actions aligned for success, but they’re met by an equal or superior force of countering thoughts, feelings, and actions pulling the other way. You wind up failing or at best in a stalemate.

Powerhack: Logic tells you there’s two ways to change the situation. You either have to provide more force behind your positive thoughts and feelings…which is not very efficient considering you probably were already pushing as much as you could. It’s more effective to clear the doubts and negative thoughts and feelings.

Some of the biggest doubts are what I’d term the journalist questions – who, what, where, when, and why, and how. It’s normal to wonder these things, but because you don’t have ready answers they all produce doubt.

You know you want to be a rock star, but you don’t have an answer to all the journalist questions. How do you proceed? STAY GENERAL and AVOID SPECIFICS. I know this sounds counterintuitive to your western-trained mind. Specifics become blockers and doubts. You get caught up in who, what, where, when, why, and how and you lose sight of and energy toward the goal.

Instead, simply hold the vision of the goal, line up the empowering thoughts, feelings, and actions and let God or the Universe handle the details. As you move along with this positive force toward your goal, the people, places, and situations you need will appear. Trust and allow. You don’t have to release every last bit of doubt. That wouldn’t be human. You simply need to give your positive energy the advantage in the tug of war.

As you release the energy of doubt and resistance, it’s like dropping weights from a hot air balloon, you’ll begin to rise. The more resistance you drop, the faster you’ll ascend.

When it comes to the tug of war for your dreams, simply stop putting members on Team Doubt.

Thank you all for reading and for the amazing support you’ve shown this blog this year. I’m grateful that you spend valuable time from your day here.

Ray

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The Power of L.O.S.S. – Day 220 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:
I accept my losses and learn from them! Defeat is simply opportunity disguised as setback.

Many people see losing or a loss as a very negative thing. Like anything else, losing is all in how you look at it. A well-studied loss can be every bit as valuable in our journey as a victory. I’m not saying that losing is more fun than winning or that winning isn’t valuable. Clearly, we all want to win.

The truth is that most winners had to experience losing before they ever succeeded. So what if you chose to look at your losses in a slightly different light? A loss might be seen as Lessons and Obstacles on your way to Stunning Successes.

  • L – Lessons: Losing nearly always provides some lessons and some clues on how to improve. If you pay attention to the things that contributed to the loss, you can apply those lessons to future situations. Given time, you find the winning combination.
  • O – Obstacles – Losses are clearly obstacles. After all, your goal was to win or succeed. However, an obstacle might challenge you to improve or increase your determination to succeed. Used as mental and emotional leverage, a good obstacle can propel you to future victories.
  • S – Stunning – Losing can get you down and make you feel unworthy. In that dark moment of loss, remember to see what a stunning miracle you are. You are a diamond in the rough slowly being polished into something very special.
  • S – Successes – Success is that moment of break through when the journey of loss has been transformed into victory. The lessons, obstacles, and seeing how stunning you are kept you on track to enjoy the sweet taste of success.

So you see a loss is never loss. It’s an opportunity, an invitation to a journey of self-discovery, stretching yourself, and new achievement.

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!

Ray

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Waiting for Samadhi Isn’t a Life Strategy – Day 156 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:

I find my bliss in the chaos. I find my stillness in the dance.

When I was younger, I used to spend my time waiting for this perfect moment I imagined would come to take action. The right moment, I assumed, would arrive for me to ask out that girl. The sun would shine upon me, as in a movie, to tell me I was making the right choices. The Universe would suddenly sing in unison to show me the way.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of those moments in my life and perhaps you have too. However, they’re not reliable enough base your life strategy around.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell pointed out there were two spheres of thought in ancient Buddhism – Indian and Chinese. The former has this concept of Samadhi, while the latter is based more on the idea of the Tao.

Samadhi is a moment where the great enlightened being stills the world around him or her to a state of perfected bliss and union. Meanwhile, the Tao summons the idea that life is a chaotic balance always in movement around the great being and that enlightenment is found not in stilling the chaos, but in becoming one with the ebb and flow.

That younger me was constantly waiting for moments of Samadhi. Now I’m certain such a state is reachable by the most enlightened among us and for all of us in certain moments. It’s also reachable if you want to leave the world, as Buddha did, and spend your life on a mountain or in a forest in complete contemplation. For most of us ordinary human beings with a job and mortgage, though, we must be content with finding our bliss amid the chaos of a life that never stops and is always presenting new challenges.

That younger me thought life would stop and wait for me at some point; that I”d suddenly “get it” and all would fall beautifully into place. This older wiser me understands that the beauty and sometimes the terror is found in the constant chaos that is our lives. The beauty is not just in that magical stillness, but in the flow of the river that never ceases.

Power Hack: Stop waiting. There’s no perfect moment except this one. Your goals, your dreams, and your destiny are found on the run. Samadhi does exist and I’d welcome you to seek it, but it’s not the mechanism that will drive most of your happiness or success. For that, you must lose yourself in this moment of action and find your bliss amid the chaos.

Ask him out. Apply to Harvard. Write the book. Change the world. Do it now.

You are all amazing! Never forget it no matter what anyone says. Thank you so much for spending a few more minutes with me on the blog today.

Ray

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The Rules for Being Human – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday October 23, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“I am working consciously toward a greater opening of my heart and my mind.” (click to hear it now)

Some of you may have seen The Rules for Being Human before. For others, this may be new. This humorous and down-to-earth manual is very practical and full of wisdom when looked at deeply. As far as I know, this originated in the hard copy of The Spiritual sometime in the 1990s.

The Rules for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body – You may like or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons – You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes only lessons – Growth is a process of trial and error; experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
  4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned – A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end – There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here” – When your “there” has become “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better than “here”.
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you – You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you – You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

Read this several times and give it some thought. The wisdom is obvious, but what if you really chose to look at your life this way? How much more patient would you be with yourself and others knowing they are going through the same thing.

Stay inspired!

Ray