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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Stop Skipping Self-Care – Day 256 of 365 Days to a Better You

You’re busy. You’re tough. You’ll just make it through the day on grit. You’ll put your family’s needs, your friends needs, your company’s needs before yours.

All of these are noble and needed sometimes. Sacrifice of your selfish ends for the greater good makes you the special person you are.

Here’s the rub. When you do that day after day, month after month, year after year; you lose perspective on the unequivocal fact that you’re only as good to others as you are to you.

You’ve got to stop skipping self-care and you’ve got to do it for yourself and for all those other people who rely on you. Some of these, honestly, I need to get better at too.

Here are some things you should take the time or make the time to do every morning to ready yourself for the day, for the service you render to others, for your goals and dreams.

  1. Gratitude– Wake up and say, “Thank you. Thank you for another day and another chance.” The late great Wayne Dyer commented many times on how he made this his first order of business each day. Begin in gratitude.
  2. Conscious showers – have e er taken a shower and gotten out only to realize you didn’t feel the drops because your mind had skipped ahead to your to-do list, your worries, or reliving the past? Your shower is one of your most personal and sacred times each day to be there for you or as Ram Das said, “Be here now.” Be conscious, feel each drop, relish in the experience. Be thankful that you have warm running water. Make it a few moments of your day you look forward to.
  3. Ready the body – take a walk, do some light exercise, stretch and prepare your body for the day.
  4. Ready the mind – pray, meditate, or say your affirmations. Set the mental tone for your day before your day sets it for you. You choose how you begin.
  5. Concretize it – journal your goals for the day or your goals for your life, blog, or make a video. Get your thoughts out of your head and put into the world. It’s the first step in realizing them.
  6. Feed the body – have a good breakfast. Take your vitamins. Take your meds. Give the body the fuel and nutrition it needs to get started and (yes, this means you, Ray) don’t skip meds, if you require them.
  7. Personal care – even if you’re not meeting the world right away, do your personal care routine just for you.
  8. Feed the mind– Listen to music or radio that inspires or fires you up. Watch a video. Read a blog or a book. Learn something. Take in some new information. Keep your mind expanding.
  9. Set the mood – whether you drive for a living, drive to an office or a worksite, or you work at home, do all you can to set a comfortable and inspiring environment for yourself. Place things that inspire you where you can see them.

It might seem like all of this will take too much time. By making the time for you a priority, you actually create a You with more to give than ever before.

Do you! Everyone else, as Oscar Wilde said, is taken.

Ray

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Your Ever-Ready Survival Pack – Day 255 of 365 Days to a Better You

Life, I think you’d agree, is not a straight line from here to there, from poverty to riches, from ignorance to enlightenment. It’s a gnarly, windy road that can lead you astray, if you let it. Being human, we often let it.

One of my all-tine favorite quotes is a simple piece of profound wisdom that can instantly act as a survival pack on that road you and I are walking. When all has gone off track, this quote gives you all you need to get restarted.

As with most useful quotes, it’s often changed and misattributed. It’s normally attributed to President Teddy Roosevelt or tennis great Arthur Ashe. The Roosevelt attribution is a little closer as the quote comes from his 1913 autobiography. However, he uses it quoting Squire Billy Widener.

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.

Eleven words of sheer genius.

    It begins with do what you can. You don’t have pull off a miracle or make up 20 points on one play or change the world in an instant. Just do what you can.
    Next do it with what you’ve got. You don’t need obtain a Master’s degree or someone else’s approval or have more money in the bank to begin. You can begin with what you’ve got.
    Finally, do it where you are. You don’t need to wait for the perfect moment. You don’t need to undo what’s been done. You don’t need to move to a new city. You can start right where you are.

It all seems very simple, but how often do you and I place all kinds of conditions on beginning a change? We’re always looking for a better time, a better place, a better situation. Those are myths. They don’t exist or, if they do, you’ll wait your life away in the hope they might one day arrive.

You don’t need them. You have your ever-ready survival pack in this quote – Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are. You have permission to use it without orders from headquarters.

The journey of a thousand miles does begin with the first step, but the first step begins by beginning.

In case no one else has told you today, YOU are amazing! Rock on!

Ray

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12 Pieces of Unwise Conventional Wisdom – Day 222 of 365 Days to a Better You

Axioms, idioms, proverbs, aphorisms; whatever you call them these tiny tidbits of “wisdom” permeate the popular consciousness. Many are very useful. Others, such as those below, offer abysmal and disempowering life advice.

  1. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. This is one of those things a protective mother might tell you to keep you safe. It sounds like risk aversion advice, but it’s worse. It acknowledges that you’re dealing with a person or situation worthy of being called “the devil,” but encourages you stay put because taking a chance on change is supposedly more dangerous.
  2. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln said this one so it must be true, right? Well, it’s pithy and could be true in some situations. However, most people have a hard time finding their voices. They don’t speak up, make their contribution because of fear of appearing foolish. That’s what makes this bad advice. The team, the country, the world is better off when everyone feels empowered to contribute without fear.
  3. Curiosity killed the cat. This is another one that assumes the worst and culls one of our most important traits as humans – our curiosity. Celebrate and be inspired by curiosity. Don’t fear it,
  4. Do as I say not as I do. This one requires little commentary. Never use this in someone else and never let it be used in you.
  5. Do not upset the Apple cart. Um, look around at the world. We need more people willing to upset the apple cart not fewer.
  6. East is east, west is west, and never the twain shall meet. This one is a battlecry for dogma. What is is. There are absolutes that can’t be changed. So why try? Nonsense. Beyond birth and death little else is unchangeable.
  7. You can’t teach and old dog new tricks. This one claims that once you reach a certain age, it’s too late to learn or change or that people can never change. Neither is absolutely true. As long as there’s breath there’s hope. It’s never too late to be the person you came here to be.
  8. All’s fair in love and war. Here’s a mindset that’s simply justification for bad behavior. No wonder relationships are in such chaos in our culture. Love is not a competitive sport. It’s not an excuse to become cut-throat. Aspire to something higher in your relationships.
  9. Every man has his price. This assumes that all people are unprincipled if tempted enough. It also is saying that normalizes this idea.
  10. Fight fire with fire. Here’s the mantra of people content to be vengeful and get even. Consider putting fires out in the world rather than pouring oil on them.
  11. Great minds think alike. I get that this one is usually said in fun when two people have the same thought. In truth, though, great minds think for themselves.
  12. Ignorance is bliss. This is among the most commonly used on this list and among the worst advice. It promotes apathy, disempowerment, and dependency. A strong human being ought never live in more ignorance than his or her seeking to date has left undiscovered.

There are more of these and I may do a second post on this down the line. Just because you’ve heard something said you’re whole life like it’s wise, doesn’t mean it is.

You’re all amazing. Take that to the bank! Have a great Sunday.

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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Seven Ways to Lose the Drama in Your Life – Day 219 of 365 Days to a Better You

Drama is awesome in a movie, but taxing in our lives. How do you minimize the drama in your life? Based on feedback from readers, TinyBuddha.com compiled a list of seven things you can do to reduce the drama.

  1. Recognize when you’re the source of the drama. If you want to go on a drama diet, start with you. You’re the person you have the most control over. You might find, when considered beyond the heat of the moment, that you started or contributed to your last dramatic episode.
  2. Change your perspective. Is the situation going to matter in a year or even 10 minutes from now? Avoid making mountains out of molehills.
  3. Don’t feed into other people’s drama. So, you didn’t cause the drama, but did your pour oil on their fire of drama? Let them have their moment and move on.
  4. Reconsider unhealthy relationships. Are there people who bring nothing but drama to you? Harsh as it might sound, you may have to cut ties to cut the drama. This is, of course, a balance. If a person brings real value in your life but lots of drama too, you may try having a dispassionate conversation with them to see if you can come to an agreement to reduce drama.
  5. Be clear with other people. Sometimes drama is just miscommunication. Both people are reacting rather than responding to the situation. Go to your calm place and take the emotion out of it to get to clear communication.
  6. Be slow to label it drama. Sometimes it’s just a lack of patience or insight that causes us to call something drama. The other person might just really need you right now. Seen and understood in a different light the “drama” might just be a need for compassion.
  7. Learn from drama. This might be the most important one. Are you having the same drama over and over? Maybe the other person and you aren’t learning from past dramas. Get conscious. If you know something sets them off, do you really need to go there? Conversely, if you know your buttons are being pushed, get conscious and choose a different reaction or take some space.

Your life doesn’t have to be a constant soap opera, if you’ll take these steps to lose the drama.

You’re amazing! I just wanted to tell you that in case no one else reminds you today.

Ray

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Give Yourself Some Credit – Day 217 of 365 Days to a Better You

“We have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly.”

Thomas Paine
from “Common Sense”

Paine’s words reminds us how important it is to value our successes and the work it takes to achieve them.

We live in an instant gratification-obsessed world. We want the shortest, simpliest, most effortless route to victory. That’s not always a bad thing and I’m not suggesting that we purposely complicate our lives in some misguided attempt to build character.

However, when everything comes too easily for us, we fail to fully appreciate it. We lose sight of the sacrifice and effort that creates lasting success. We skip the lessons to be learned along the road to victory. We miss the fulfillment that comes from struggling, but still progressing.

Paine suggests that without the struggle we undervalue our accomplishments. He implies a natural human tendency to take for granted that which comes easily to us. You might call these easy accomplishments “blessings” or “luck” or “synchronicity” because they seem to fall into your lap.

Look closer. You see that you have worked hard for these “easy accomplishments” as well. It may be subtle changes in you or your attitude toward life that suddenly makes an impossibility possible. The work and the change originated within you.

So, what’s the take away? Appreciate every step of the journey not only for the learning, but the scars earned. Relish your successes. Most of all, remember to give yourself the credit you are due for your accomplishments.

Stay inspired, my friends and have a fantastic Tuesday!

Ray

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