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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What Kind of Year Will 2020 Be? – Day 319 of 365 Days to a Better You

We did it! After much fanfare, we’ve entered a new year and a new decade. The natural question is what kind of year will 2020 be? We don’t need a crystal ball or big data to predict the coming year.

It’s predictable because of age-old measures that will determine where you and we will be one year from tonight. This year, like every other year, will be decided by your thinking, and your acting. It will be decided by stories you tell yourself about who you are and how the world is.

It will also be decided by the collective thoughts an actions of all humanity. Will we choose bright, unlimited horizons or will we choose to relive times of darkness and repression?

No one can stand against your determination to change your personal destiny. No power can stand against our universal aspirations, if only we remain determined and committed to making them our reality.

Yes! 2020 is not up to fate. It’s up to us. Let’s get started!

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

Ray

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It’s ALL OK – Day 314 of 365 Days to a Better You

Whatever you’re facing and wherever life has taken you, it’s ALL OK. I promise. You get going a thousand miles an hour and the stress grows and grows. You get caught up in these roles and the narrative of this one life lasting but a few decades.

Soon you forget who you are…who you really are. You are a timeless child of the universe as worthy and sacred as anyone or anything else in existence. You’re here accumulating lessons on a journey without beginning or end. You’re a part of a cosmic consciousness eager to explore this realty from every possible perspective. You’re a soul with purposes and missions sometimes lost to you in the confusion of time and space.

Yet, in the big picture, the whole journey makes perfect sense. I promise. The nicks and the scars, the joys and triumphs are choices…every one…meant to contribute to the perfect unfolding of the universe.

Whatever today brings, know there’s a meaning and a purpose and a plan that’s sometimes only visible to the whole and not the parts. Nonetheless, know you’re indispensable. The outcome of the entire universe depends on you being the best you possible.

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

Ray

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Beyond the Fear of Failure – Day 293 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Thought

“The fear of failure is the shortest route to it.”
~ Ray Davis

Success writer John C. Maxwell, in his book Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success (Amazon Link), says the following.

“Failure is an inside job. So is success. If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first. You can’t let the failure outside you get inside you.”

I was recently reading an article where they were comparing Japanese and American students’ approaches to learning. The writer pointed out that it is not uncommon to see a Japanese student fail numerous times on his or her way to learning something successfully. In Japan, there is no stigma to failing along the road to success. It is an expected and accepted part of the learning process.

In the United States, we attach a tremendous amount of stigma to failing. So much so that American students are generally not willing to go through the process of failing to learn. American students tend to focus their attention on subjects where they can be successful and shy away from subjects where failure might be involved.

So instead of going through the failure to learn process we often hear our children say things like, “I hate math.” They don’t really mean that they have something personal against math. What they are saying is, “I would have to fail too many times to get math and I’m not willing to do it.”

I’m not here to say that one nation’s approach to learning is superior. However, this fear of failing extends beyond school and impacts our adult life as well. Many people have big dreams or goals they would like to accomplish, but, again, they are still not willing feel the sting of failure to get there. Instead, they learn to play it safe just as their children do with the math.

That’s where my little aphorism at the top comes in. When fear failure so much that we are unwilling to try, unwilling to risk learning new things and failing a little; we cannot achieve our goals and dreams. All because of the stigma of failure.

Recondition yourself to overcome your fear of failure. In an outstanding article, Olimpio Zapanta offers five steps for overcoming the fear of failure.

  1. Divorce failure from your self-esteem.
  2. Failure is not all bad. It can be a great teacher.
  3. Failure and success are intimately linked – failure is often a prerequisite for success.
  4. Successful people fail constantly. That’s how they succeed.
  5. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect before you go for it.

With these five great steps and determination, don’t let the fear of failure sidetrack you from your destiny! Remember that “A Success” is what we call someone who had the courage to persist through failures.

Success and failure are not the result of circumstances. They are not the result of intelligence or luck. All of these things can contribute, but the overwhelming predictor of success is the refusal to give up. Your dreams await. They may be eleven steps away. Don’t called it a failure on step 9.

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

Ray

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Stop Missing Profound Truths – Day 286 of 365 Days to a Better You

Sir Winston Churchill once observed, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

The universe is constantly placing truths before you; flashing like the bright lights of Las Vegas.  They’re impossible to miss unless you’re caught up in this “rat race” mindset. At “rat race” speed, your mind is clouded with marching orders, burdens, and you’re always in a hurry. When you’re in that mode, profound truths could bite you on the nose and you’d miss them completely.

These truths are important. They could be telling you how to achieve your next goal or answering a question you asked the universe in frustration, but never waited for the answer.

What’s the solution?

  • Just be more.
  • Feel more.
  • Stop, look, and listen more.
  • Go within more.
  • Breathe consciously more.
  • Love more.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt more.
  • Accept more.

Do these things and you’ll drop out of rat race mode and see the world more clearly. As you see the world more clearly, the truths trying to make themselves clear to you appear.

Those truths don’t respond to your hurry, worry, or your distraction. They only show up when you fully show up.

Just in case no one else has told you today, YOU ARE AWESOME!

Ray

Ray
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Getting Past Fear to Action – Day 285 of 365 Days to a Better You

There’s an old German proverb that says, “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

You want to build your side business, change jobs, or go back and get that degree, but something is stopping you. Sure, time, money, the ease of staying put are often the easy culprits. Are they really the reasons you haven’t taken action or is there a conscious or unconscious fear anchoring you in place?

Change is a wolf and our fears about it do make it look bigger than it is. Are you feeling a little fear about the change? It doesn’t mean you’re coward or weak, it just means your human and you’ve allowed the wolf of fear to swallow your dream.

Want to know a secret? Most of the time, that wolf is a shadow puppet on the walls of your mind. It’s only as big as you make it.

Powerhack: Here are some things you can do turn stagnant fear into action when you’re stuck.

  1. Just jump – do you remember, as a kid, the first time you jumped off a diving board? You had that same lump in your throat you have about this. You stared at the water, you counted, and you heard your self-talk talking you out of it. Finally, one of your friends yelled, “Just jump!” That was the solution. You shut down your mind and just acted. Before you knew it, you were hitting the refreshing water and rising back to the surface in joy. That worked out and so will this.
  2. Dream bigger – yeah, this one gets a bad rap because everyone says it, but it’s applicable here. Maybe you don’t have a dream big enough to overcome your fear of acting. Have you ever REALLY wanted something? I mean REALLY? You let nothing stand in your way. If this dream doesn’t have you that passionate, dream a bigger dream.
  3. Find examples – maybe you’re thinking, “Someone my age can’t do that” or “Someone in my situation can’t do that.” Wrong! I simply guarantee you’re wrong. There is someone out there who overcame none than you to get what you want. Find them and let their story inspire you.
  4. Past is prologue– you’ve done this before. At some point in your life, you faced a challenge, thought you couldn’t, but did anyway. Remember those examples and be inspired that you’ve done it before and you can do it again.

See, that wolf isn’t as big as he seems. In the face of your determination, he turns into a lovable pup.

Just in case no one else had reminded you today, you’re AWESOME!

Ray

A Greater Consciousness Arising – Day 263 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation
Life Affirmation: Today I contribute my unique and irreplaceable spark to the great bonfire of life.

Today’s entry is a multi-paragraph affirmation I wrote over 20 years ago. It captures the essence of a dream I had in 1997. I awoke in the dream to a world with eternal sunlight. Bigotry and want were no more. People pursued their highest potential rather than another dollar.

Utopia? Perhaps. I can tell you this. I was a dream I was a little sad to wake up from. That’s partly because I have had such a vision for humanity in the real world for many years. It’s almost like it’s right there through a thin, but impenetrable, veil. We are separated from that by our lowest impulses. I’ve often wondered what our world and our civilization could be, if a critical mass of people raised their vibrations. Could we pierce that veil?

Here’s the affirmation. It’s a reminder that the world we live in is a choice not a prison sentence. We can have a world rooted in peace and driven by the potential alive in each of us, if that is world we expect and demand.

If we continue accept less, then that is the reality we will continue to experience.

This affirmation calls on us to expect more of ourselves, each other, and our leaders. It reminds us that a new and better day is right here ready for us to awaken to it. Some have. Some are. Some will. Some are fighting to hold on to the old world. Which are you?

The sun is rising; the clouds have passed away. And in the minds of at least a few, a greater consciousness has arisen. Tradition is no more. There is only awareness: an awareness of radiant possibilities and transcendent hopes for a world about to be born.

A world in which our fondest dreams shall come to pass. Where the greatest potentiality of humanity is realized: that each member of the human family will awaken to the inner light that opens one’s heart and frees one’s mind to look across culture, race, gender, religion and vast distance and see oneself.

Be of good cheer, o patient ones, for this new day dawns; a day of wonder and hope. A day, when filled with joy, all people shall attain their full potential. Long has been the night of toil and pain. Too long have brothers and sisters lived according to their fear of each other rather than their love for each other. But no more, the blinders have come off.

Finally and forever the Human Race will stand in the radiance of the truths that have lived within each of us all along. Truths that can no longer be ignored or distorted. The truth of our UNITY and our place in this planet’s web of life and in the greater cosmos beyond.

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

Ray

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