Archive for September, 2013

Success and significance

September 24, 2013
Success does not preclude significance

Success does not preclude significance

There are so many demands on what we should do and who we should be that it’s easy to get lost.

Who are you?

I’m many things. What I am can change with circumstance, but not who I am.

Mostly I’m just me. I’m the person who has sole custody of my life.

Not just my life at work, life at home, life as a dad, brother, son, husband, friend or grandfather.

Not just the life of my mind, but of my soul.

Who am I?

Many of us get to a certain age and our focus shifts. We stop looking outward. We are who we are, and can be happy because that’s enough.

It’s easier to show what we have, than explain who we are. Yet obituaries describe who you were, not what you had.

Having is good. Being and having don’t have to be in conflict, despite what many would have you believe. Owning interesting things is a rewarding part of life. There’s no reason to feel guilty about enjoying them. Success and significance are not mutually exclusive. Balance is the key.

I love owning fine things; they make life’s journey rewarding, interesting and comfortable. Enjoy a nice car, wear fine clothes, live in a beautiful home, and travel the world in style. Love your family, enjoy your friends, find your purpose, feed your spirit and give back when you can. That’s the zest of life.

It’s not just about your bank account, but also your soul.

Take the time to stop and enjoy the moment. Which moment? Any will do. Find simplicity and peace as a pause in a hectic life. For a moment, allow time to stand still.
The best advice is very simple: get a life.

A life with people you love, and who love you. Be generous. Not only with money but with your time and talent; it’s fun to share. Many desire success. But without significance, it will never be enough.

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No turning back

September 10, 2013
No turning back from here ...

No turning back from here …

We’ve talked before about the power of focus and cultivating the ability to remain true to ourselves, our goals and our progress in life despite other’s attempts to discourage or hold us back. This can be conveniently masked by other people’s assertions that they’re helping us, even when it’s for their own selfish reasons.

However, we don’t operate independently in the world and must, in most cases, interact and rely on others to assist us on our journey. In one way or another we’re all being tested every day of our lives. How we handle it impacts the results we achieve.

Sometimes the test is simple and non-threatening; a traffic jam on the way to an important meeting, someone being rude to us in a store. How do we handle that moment? Do we become angry and impatient? That is the test.

How we handle small problems can determine our reaction to and the outcomes of more serious ones. Learning to cope with small things can preserve our well-being and contribute to our perseverance with goals.

Life’s a risk. So is operating outside of the box, where danger abounds. It takes courage to pursue our goals and to expect and accept that we will be tested.

Which brings us back to process and progress. We’re told to enjoy the journey; to live in the moment and not to defer happiness until we achieve success. Success is in the now. But the now is part of the journey, not an excuse to idle at the starting line. You can live in the moment with a plan for the future, as always it’s a game of balance.

We worship the outcome of things and, by doing so, miss the virtue of the process itself. There’s no guarantee that the future will arrive so all we have is what we’re doing right now. So we need to do it well.

There is nothing to turn back to. Make the most of today.

The intention convention

September 4, 2013
Best of intentions

Best of intentions

You may have heard that your past doesn’t define your future? That’s certainly true, but only when you’re prepared to make a conscious change.

Why conscious change?

People talk about change all the time; a plan to change, the need to change, setting goals for change and dreaming of change. Just about anything other than getting on and making change.

Dreams, plans and good intentions are fun but of little value in helping us to reach our goals. Sometimes we just have to make a start, even when all of the conditions aren’t right.

We aren’t what we say but what we do.

We ignore the fact, whether we like it or not, that our past behaviour is the most reliable predictor of future behaviour. We have programming created and reinforced over decades and not a reboot switch in sight.

Our past may define our future unconsciously. Or comfortably. It’s easy to stay right where we are. It’s safe. Unless we do something to break the pattern. And even if we do, for a time, it’s easy to slide back into our old ways.

We must really, really want to change. Most don’t. Many won’t ever try. If we don’t try, we can’t fail and our dreams remain intact. Is it enough? For some, yes. The dream feels good. It gives us hope.

Is to try and fail better than to have never tried at all? Perhaps that only works for love.

Good intentions are good.

Good actions are better. Do you pay more attention to what others promise or what they do? Are you surprised by the void between words and actions?

Are they liars, or did they mean it when they said it? Liar, that’s a harsh word. Did they mean that they would like to be able to do it, or perhaps that they would try?

Did they? Do we? How do we filter promise from propaganda?

So here we are again, back at good intentions. What happens now?