Digging Shallow Wells – Day 337 of 365 Days to a Better You

The average water well is 100 to 500 feet deep. As you walk around on the earth’s surface, you can’t see the well water. You could dig 100 thirty-foot holes and not reach one drop of water.

This might frustrate you because digging 100 such holes without return is a lot of work for nothing.

Are you digging shallow wells in your life? Are you spreading yourself so thin that you can’t give any one “well” the time and effort required to get your “well water?”

Whatever your goals, ample time and effort spent on one or a few goals is like digging the well until you hit water. Having too many goals or responsibilities leaves your life pock marked with half dug wells. You might be frustrated because you’re putting in a ton of effort and not getting results.

Power hack:

  1. Try to limit yourself to one to three big goals at a time. How many depends on the goals and how much time you have to devote to them.
  2. Always be reassessing your goals to make sure you’re working on what’s most important. It’s OK to abandon half-dug wells to make room for more important priorities.
  3. When you commit to a goal, dig it all the way until you hit the “well water.”

If the goal’s worth achieving, it’s worth going all the way.

Ray

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You Might Have to Be Gullible to Be Great – Day 333 of 365 Days to a Better You

There are times, when you’re seeking to achieve great things, that you must suspend disbelief. You must go out on a limb, on a whim, and follow the dream wherever it takes you.

Many people simply lack the fortitude to be that vulnerable. They’re petrified of being seen as gullible. So, they swallow their dreams and push back against their potential and their possibility. They abandon hope for a better life or a better world all to satisfy their “play-it-safe” mentality.

They’ve given up dreaming because dreaming risks disappointment, the embarrassment of failure, or exposing them as a gullible dreamer unaware of the many perils involved in trying to improve things.

So, people play their normative games, maintain their normative mindsets, and make their normative excuses to justify keeping themselves and the world just as it is.

That’s not me. It’s never been me. I hope it’s not you either. The world needs a few more people willing to be gullible enough to believe that things don’t have to stay as they are just to keep small thinkers happy.

Ordinary thinking will not lead to your greatest self. Greatness comes to those gullible enough to believe better is possible.

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

Ray

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Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams – Day 331 of 365 Days to a Better You

Have you ever been on an absolute mission to get something done? You’re on a deadline at work or you’ve got errands that need to be done before you can play? It’s amazing how much faster you move, how much more focused you are when you’re on a mission, isn’t it?

Obstacles don’t seem like obstacles because you’re determined to push through to the end. Distractions fade into the background because all you see is the goal.

The great Henry David Thoreau wrote the following in his seminal work, Walden.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

He was describing this state, this zone you get into when you go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Joseph Campbell summarized this idea, “Follow your bliss and doors will open where before there were only walls and where there would not be a door for anyone else.”

Thoreau promises, when you get into this zone, that you will meet with success “unexpected in common hours.”

To me, his reference to common hours here is a reference to ordinary consciousness or our ordinary thinking. He’s describing a state where you’re transcendent, on fire for your purpose.

When you’re in your normal thinking, all you can often see is the reasons WHY NOT about your goals in dreams. When you move into this uncommon state, your dreams appear right there for you. You experience that Saturday morning push to get the chores done, but sustained and in steroids. You’re on a mission and it shows.

One last word about this altered state for success. It’s not a stress-filled Type-A mindset. It’s the opposite. Thoreau discovered this state while living in solitude and simplicity. Stress is the ego talking. “Move out of the way,” it proclaims, “I’ll do it.”

You give up that need for control. You become a vessel for the process. This is the Tao that does nothing g, but leaves nothing undone. This is the message in the Bhagavad Gita to detach yourself from outcomes and just purely and simply act.

You’re not writing a book. There’s a book that wants to be written and it’s using your mind and your time to achieve its end. It’s a subtle but powerful shift in consciousness.

When you let the universe unfold in you in this way, you will go confidently in the direction of your dreams and achieve what you could never have imagined.

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

Ray

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The Roller Coaster of Life and Death – Day 329 of 365 Days to a Better You

It feels like death is all around lately. We lost my father-in-law in December. We lost our beloved family dog a couple weeks ago. Today the whole world witnessed the loss of Kobe Bryant. In this same time period millions of people and animals have died.

The thought of death is a constant for the living. We try hard to put it out of our thoughts, but when it strikes close to us, we are reminded of the mortality that affects all living things.

I find that roller coasters are a good metaphor for life and death. I love a good roller coaster. As a kid, though, when I’d ride one that scare me a little, I’d have this thought as we left the station and began climbing the first hill.

“There’s no turning back now. Even if I decide I don’t want to do this, they’re not going to stop the ride and let me off. I’m on it for the duration. Whatever drops and spins and turns and flips are on this track, I’m going to experience them. I might as well buckle in and enjoy them to the fullest because in a few minutes, one way or another, the ride will be over.”

That’s life. It’s a ride we’re in and we can’t really get off. We’re here to ride it to the end, whatever that is for us. Sometimes it seems big and scary. Sometimes it lifts you out of your seat and throws you for a loop.

We can either hold on white-knuckled with our eyes forced shut or we can laugh our head off, feel the sensations, and enjoy every moment until the ride stops.

When, where, and how our ride stops may be in the stars and beyond our control. So, let’s put our arms in the air, belly laugh constantly, and ride our ride our way.

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

Ray

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Align with Your True Power – Day 328 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:

Today and every day, life happens THROUGH me not TO me!

Are you aligned with your true power? Many people believe that life and the world happen TO them. This is a very common and a very disempowering belief. To believe that you are acted upon by forces absolutely beyond your control, leaves you with no recourse but submission. Over time, you feel frustrated and increasingly helpless. You come to believe in luck more than action as force that governs good fortune in life.

Today’s affirmation is message to you. Hear it loudly and clearly . Some of your minds will immediately begin looking for the reasons why it isn’t true. I would encourage you look for the reasons why it is profound truth. What’s at stake? Nothing less than your ability to direct your life and achieve your dreams. Pretty big stakes to leave to fate.

Ray

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Conquering the “What Ifs” – Day 327 of 365 Days to a Better You

“What if” can be a very powerful mindset when it comes to creativity or looking to the future. However, the same mindset directed at the past can be highly destructive and paralyzing.

“What if I’d done this or said that?” “what if I’d avoided this or encouraged that?”

These questions, beyond the benefit of learning for next time, are rabbit holes keeping you stuck in scenarios that you can’t change. They waste time and mind space that are better spent dealing with now and manifesting the future.

Here are a few ways to shake the chronic “what ifs.”

  1. Shift from what if to what is and what can be.
  2. Understand that nothing is lost. The what ifs often show up when we think we’ve missed something or lost something. It’s a powerful spiritual principle to understand that everything changes in our multiverse, but nothing is ever lost.
  3. Believe something better is up ahead. Whatever you believe you missed or lost back there, know that something even better lies ahead, if you’ll only keep working.
  4. See the futility. Go down the what if road a few more times. Be conscious of how you feel and how unproductive it is. Get clear that there’s nothing there for you in persisting with that mindset.

Finally, don’t beat yourself up. We all do “what if” sometimes. The only way to make it worse is to pile on by being mad for going there. Accept that it happens and consciously move away from it as soon as you can.

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

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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