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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What Makes a Good Leader?

What Makes a Good Leader?

As populations increase and cultures and people become more diverse, more issues and problems face us more than ever before. Many people assume these problems and important issues will be taken care of by government but this assumption is becoming less and less of a reality. Many of the critical issues and problems are the kind government is least equipped to handle. And some of the issues and problems are caused by government itself.

This is why the world needs strong, competent leaders now more than ever before. Progress can only happen when someone assumes a leadership role – when someone tackles these problems and takes action to solve the problem and correct the injustice.

There are plenty of managers out there but what propels someone to leadership status? What is it that a leader has that a manager or an authority person doesn’t have?

We tend to admire people who can lead-people who can capture our imaginations, turn us on to important ideas, and recruit our energies for great and noble purposes. Progress happens when someone decides that a better way exists and influences others to find that better way.

What is it that these great leaders had while many others try and fail?
There are leaders who are followed because they have authority, they have a formal title or rank and command respect and attention like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and George S Patton.  People follow them because they are the boss.  On the other spectrum there are people who are leaders who have earned their leaderships status without a title. They are respected and followed for what they stand for like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi.
In all cases, these leaders were individuals who knew how to influence others. They understood people and they knew how to use the tools of authority. Of course the ideal way to influence is to have both formal authority and earned authority. Interestingly, it is common for a person with no formal authority and high earned authority to have greater influence over others than someone who has high formal authority but little or no earned authority. Just look at what MLK, Mother Teresa and Gandhi accomplished. They earned the respect, trust and allegiance of those who followed them. In retrospect, can you say the same thing about the bosses you’ve had, your government officials or even the Presidents of the U. S.?

Today leaders are being asked to provide a new kid of authority; service leadership. This viewpoint suggests that the role of a leader, no matter what type of authority is involved, is to lead by helping or enabling others, not by forcing them. It requires the capacity to lead both with a focus on service to those benefiting from the end result, and to those who do the work achieving the objectives. Such leadership requires working with a spirit and set of values that emphasize worthwhile contributions. Service leaders see their role as enabling or empowering others to accomplish something worthy. They are willing to place empowerment above personal power; contribution above their own ego satisfaction; and the needs of the team above their own needs for credit and acclaim.

With that said, how many people do you know who qualify as a leader? Are you a leader?

Source: Toastmaster International –High Performance Leadership

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – ENOUGH already!

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – ENOUGH already!

Excuses keep you small. They keep you from having a fulfilling life, reaching your goals and ultimately achieving the happiness you so desperately deserve and crave.

Every excuse keeps you from becoming all you can be. It’s fear rearing its ugly head and stopping you in your tracks. It casts self-doubt in your abilities and knowledge. It really serves no purpose but to keep you staying small and comfortable in your current position.

Why! It’s easier to find an excuse than do what’s necessary to achieve your dreams. The problem is by not facing your excuse, thus fear, it can have a snowball effect.

If you don’t do your taxes on time because you know you might owe money you’ll end up owing even more money because you didn’t pay your taxes on time.

There is also a physical and emotional by product of making excuses. Deep down you know you should take action but the very prolonged in-action can cause anxiety, restlessness, depression and unexplained outbursts because you’re holding the disappointment of yourself inside. Fear exhibits itself in procrastination and indecision.

The best course of action is to confront the excuse and take action on it. Be it a job, weight, project or a relationship problem confront it by making a decision and taking action on it.

Another way to think about it is how would you feel if everything you’ve been meaning to do and be came true? How would that make you feel? How would you show up in the world?

Would you feel relaxed, free, like the weight of the world had been lifted off your shoulders? When you blame others as your excuse it gives them power over you. You’ve just given them the power to dictate your outcome whether you’re aware of it or not. You’re essentially saying that this agency, group of people, history and society is the cause of you not achieving your goals.  It keeps you from taking responsibility for your life and keeps you small.

You can remain small in your excuses or you can take control by taking responsibility for your own outcome. Only then will you truly be free. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mistakes, Missteps, Regrets – They’re Memories Made

Mistakes, Missteps, Regrets – They’re Memories Made

There is something out the ordinary about experiencing major setbacks and disappointments in your life. It’s as if when you’re not paying attention the Universe will put something directly in your path that you can’t avoid.  You must deal with it
There are no coincidences so it must have been put there for a reason.  Some of the most time-consuming, annoying, and inconvenient setbacks have also been the most memorable because I learned something from them or because it allowed me to explore something new.

One of my most memorable setbacks was when I took a trip to California with my girlfriend. Our plan was to spend a week in San Francisco, hit the wine country, and on one of our last days to drive through Yosemite National Park on our way to Reno, spend a day there and then fly out the following day. It didn’t go as planned.

The drive into the heart of Yosemite takes two hours. When we got there we were just in awe of its beauty. The combination of trees, fresh water creeks and rock formations was breathtaking. It was then that I decided if I could live anywhere in the world, this would be it.

We walked and drove around the area but then needed to be on our way as the drive out of Yosemite also takes two hours and we had to make it to our hotel in Reno. I always did the planning of our trips and since we wanted to see as much as possible in two weeks our time frames were pretty tight. Part way out of Yosemite our rental car stalled on the mountain side. It took hours before anyone actually stopped to ask why two young women were parked along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Sure vehicles went by but they were far and few between. By the time were heard them through the dense forest they had already gone by. Usually it was when a vehicle honked that we were aware there was another motorist on the road. Eventually someone going into the park stopped. They said they’d let someone know about us. A few hours later a tow truck came to bring us back to the main area.

We now had two problems. It was almost 10 PM when we arrived back at the main area and they wouldn’t be able to work on our vehicle until the next day. The second problem is we were stuck there and had no place to stay. The driver found us a cabin with community restroom facilities to use. Whew!
Since we hadn’t eaten since lunch we were starving so the driver took us to a grocery store. We had ten minutes to find what we wanted before it closed.
In a cabin with two beds and two dressers we had the time of our lives. In our haste to acquire food we neglected to get some utensils. There we were with a fully cooked chicken and no way to eat it but with our hands. We had chips, chicken and a cocktail to drown our mishap. We DID remember cups for the alcohol. We sat on our respective beds while trying to eat bare handed and laughing at how barbaric we must appear. We reminiscing and laughed like crazy. Eventually we decided to find the community restroom in total darkness. That was a challenge and a whole other story.

The next day our vehicle was fixed by noon and the tow truck driver asked how our night was. We told him we had so much fun. He then asked if we went to a certain lodge. “There’s a lodge with music!” No, we didn’t go there. Well then he figured we must have gone to another lodge. We were a bit embarrassed to say we didn’t know any of those places he mentioned and that we instead had a blast hanging out together in our cabin. He was a bit shocked.
We never got to see Reno. When I look back I don’t think Reno would have been as much fun as the time we just had.

In the end it taught me to slow down and enjoy the ride. The vacation wasn’t just about getting from one tourist attraction to another but to enjoy the scenery and the company I was with. Mission accomplished.

This is just one story I have about inconvenient setbacks that I’ve experienced. The one thing that stands out in all of them is that they may have been annoying and inconvenient but I always gained something out of it.

How about you? Are your setbacks really a mask for something else to happen in your life?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Love Equals Caring as much as Caring Equals Love

Love Equals Caring as much as Caring Equals Love

Let’s make a distinction about love. There’s the romantic love that is felt between two people, the love of your children, family and friends. But caring encompasses a broader sense of love in that it’s the love of all that is. It’s the love of life and everything we experience in it.

We show kindness and caring to one another through the simple act of opening a door for someone, asking how someone is doing and actually listening to their response, even cleaning up after yourself so that others won’t have to deal with your mess.  These are but a few of the everyday acts of caring that we demonstrate to one another. The capacity to care and be cared for is a human strength. It’s what connects us to one another.

When you don’t demonstrate care to others consistently, life loses its color and connection. You may end up feeling less engaged with those around you. If you’re not making a point to be caring of others in your life, the people around you don’t feel cared for, love, appreciated, respected or engaged by you at the heart level. When this happens they may contact you less frequently, trust you less, buy from you less, and leave you more. It’s an easy formula to figure out: care more, connect more.

Our drive for caring, in a broad sense, makes us feel that we are safe, worthy, and loved, through our own actions and the actions of others, we are cared for.  Caring is something you do and receive.

Of all the human drives, caring seems to get the least attention. Instead, caring’s sexier sister, Love, gets all the attention, despite the fact that it’s probably impossible to feel or demonstrate love without caring.  Plus you likely wouldn’t be kind if you didn’t care. Kindness, caring, love - as you can see they’re all connected.  

We’re all hardwired to demonstrate care for others. Our brains are remarkably well equipped biologically to relate to and care for others’ emotions and experiences. What that means is our brains are built to mimic that which we see and feel in others. It’s why when you walk into a room you pick up the energy of the room and your brain starts to mimic it whether it’s a sad or happy occasion. The more we experience that state and behavior the more we start to mimic it. So if we constantly see others behaving a certain way our brains will likely tell us to mimic that behavior. It’s a key reason why kids smoke when others smoke, why infants smile when their moms smile, and why so many of us yawn or feel impatient when someone else does. We feel what we see.

Caring is more than just a nice action. It’s the basis for our human existence and experience and the foundation that makes love possible. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Top 5 Ways to Know You are being True to Your Self

The Top 5 Ways to Know You are being True to Your Self

Do you sometimes feel irritable, angry, off, frustrated, agitated or out-of-sorts and have no explanation for it? Perhaps it’s because you’ve lost sight of what makes you come alive and are living someone else’s expectations of you instead of following your own voice.

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” ~ Janis Joplin

To live in consistent alignment with whom you are, how you want to be perceived and what you want to become takes courage and self respect to stand grounded in your own space.

So how do you know if you’re being true to yourself? What does it look like? What does it feel like?

Here are the top 5 from my perspective.
1.   You stand and walk more confidently.
2.   Your are filled with positive energy
3.   You seem to have a skip in your step and a song in your heart
4.   Your thoughts and words are in sync with who you are. No disconnect
5.   You feel good about yourself as if you are finally whole and complete

If you are not in being true to yourself here are some suggestions on how to get there.

-Think more of yourself and demand that your actions be congruent with the best of who you know you can be.
-Act each day in congruence with your self-defined image so that you feel authentic, proud, complete, fulfilled and trustworthy to show up in every situation as the unique, gifted true you.

Remember your self-image is and always has been chosen by no one other than you.

Create the vision for which you can be and actually be that vision.

The power plant doesn’t have energy, it generate energy. Choose the color of your own sky.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Shining Light on the Lies and Deceit

Shining Light on the Lies and Deceit

Sai Baba was an Avatar in India and was worth over a billion US dollars when he left his body on Easter Sunday, April 24th 2011. He almost never gave interviews, so this is very special.
This extract is from a conversation between a report and the Social and Spiritual Reformer of India, Sathya Sai Baba.
I usually write my own material but I thought this was worth passing along. It’s rather long but you need to read it in its entirety in order to get the full picture of what he’s saying. It’s a different way of thinking and one I think we as a human race are embarking on. The things that he says have also been verified by other sources to be true. We as a human race need to listen to it.
Sai Baba: The truth is that the planet has been changing its vibratory state, and this change has intensified since the year 1989 where the magnetic poles have moved the last 20 years more than the past 2000. Well, in one way there are several prophecies that signal this date like a term or important conclusion in the history of humanity, but the most significant is the end of the Mayan calendar, which prophecy has been interpreted in different ways. The most negative ones think that during this year the world will end, but it will not be like that, it is known that during that year a new era will start, the Age of Aquarius.

This has to do with the rotation of the whole solar system (solar cycle) that goes passing through the different eras each one of them lasts 5125 years. The era in which we now are, called the Age of Pisces, started on the year 3113 B.C. and ends on 2012. If there is a change on the earth's magnetism, there is a change on the consciousness and also an adaptation at the physical level for this new vibration. The changes are not only on our planet, but also affect the whole universe, and today's science can verify that.

Inform yourself about the changes on the solar storms (that are magnetic storms) and you will see that scientists are up to date with these things, or ask about the movement of the magnetic poles during the last years, and airports having to modify their instruments.

This change on the magnetism translates or it's perceived as an increment of light, or an increase on the planet's vibration. For you to understand it easily you must know that this vibration is affected and intensified due to the consciousness of all human beings. Each thought, each emotion, each new awakening of a human being towards the consciousness of God elevates the vibration of the planet. This might seem a paradox, due to the fact that the majority sees around themselves more hatred and misery, but this is not so.

There are many, even if I would like them to be more, that are trying to get out of darkness to grow and become a better Son of God. I have been saying this on previous messages, each one chooses where to focus the view, and those who only see the darkness are focused on the drama, the pain and the injustice. If you don't see the spiritual advancement that humanity has made it is because you haven't focused on it, but if you do the right work and liberate your mind of the negative you will open a space where you will be able to manifest your divine essence that will put on the focus of what is really happening with humanity and the planet.

Q: "Humanity is elevating its consciousness as never before."But how…Can’t you see the darkness?"

Yes, I see it, but I don't identify myself with it, I'm not afraid of it...How can I fear darkness if I see such clear light? Of course I understand those who fear, because I have also been standing where I could only see the evil. This is why now I feel love for all of that. Darkness it's not a force contrary to the light, it is absence of light. You cannot invade the light with darkness, that is not how the principle of light works. Fear, drama, injustice, hate and sadness only exist in states of darkness, because you can't see the global context in which your life develops, and the only way to see from the light when you are there is through faith. Once you have increased your vibration and frequency (state of consciousness) you will be able to see towards darkness and understand what you have lived.

Q: "But...How can you say this if there is more evil in the world every day?"

There is not more evil...there is "more light", and that is what I'm talking about on this message. Imagine that you have a room or warehouse where for years you have been storing your things and is lit by a 40 w. bulb. Change the bulb to a 100 w. and you will see what happens. You will see the mess and the dust you didn't think existed. The dirt will be clearer. This is what is happening, and this makes possible that a lot of people are reading this without thinking of it as foolish, like it could have been some years ago.

Have you noticed that today lies and deceit come to the surface faster than before? Well, to access God's understanding and life's functioning is also faster than before. This new vibration of the planet is what is making everyone nervous, depressed or sick, because to be able to receive more light and to rise to that vibrational level, people have to change physically as well as mentally, they have to change the way they think and feel, and delete or eradicate from their lives such beliefs or parameters that generally differ from reality or that take them towards the negative side of things.

You must put your warehouses in order, because each day you are receiving more light on your consciousness and even if you want to avoid it, you should start putting your hands on the project and start the cleaning or decide to live in the middle of the dirt.

This change creates physical discomforts, pains on the body, on the skeleton system and most of the time; the medical tests can't find the reason or illness that provokes it. Generally they relate it with stress or nervous states; nothing farther from the truth, because these discomforts are provoked due to negative emotions accumulated during our lives, fears and anxieties that you have carried with you always and that now have the opportunity to transcend and transmute. It's about that dust accumulated for years that you are now seeing, for it to be cleaned.

There will be nights when you will wake up and stay up for a few hours...don't alter yourself, read a book, watch TV, meditate, don't fight thinking there is something wrong with you, it's the new vibration of the planet that you're assimilating, you will go back to sleep and the next day you will not feel a need to sleep more.

If you don't flow with this process properly, the pains will be more intense and you will be diagnosed fibromyalgia, which is a name that medicine has given to these pains that have no visible cause and for which they offer no treatment with concrete results, they only give you a prescription for antidepressants and this makes you escape the opportunity to change your life.

One more time you chose which reality you want to live, only this time the drama will be more intense and of course will be the love. If the Light is increased, also is the lack of need for it, this explains why there is so much irrational violence during the last years.

We are living the best time that humanity has ever lived, we will be witnesses and actors of the biggest transformation of consciousness that you have ever imagined.

Inform yourself; wake up your unrest for these subjects. Science knows that something is happening; you know that something is happening; we all know that many changes are happening in many levels. Be a conscious actor of these changes and don't let them take you by surprise because you don't know what is happening.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Confessions are Good for the Soul.

Confessions are Good for the Soul.

You confess all the time to your friends, siblings, parents, coworkers and even strangers.  Any time you do something you feel guilty about or to right a wrong your conscious says “I must tell someone”. It could be that you took some supplies from your work or that you said something bad about someone. For some reason you feel compelled to tell a trusted friend. Why? It makes you feel better about yourself when you can clear your conscious.

You don’t need to go to a Pastor, Priest or Rabbi to confess so you can feel better, you can do it yourself. It’s not about receiving forgiveness from someone else but about forgiving yourself. For some, confessing to a spiritual leader is part of their religious practice. What the spiritual leader does is give you a formal format and suggestions to help you allow you to forgive yourself.

Forgiveness is about allowing you to love yourself again. It’s about erasing any labels you may have put upon yourself and being nonjudgmental about your thoughts and actions. 

Sin isn’t a very good word. It has such a negative emotion attached to it as if it’s eternal. It promotes fear and primarily stops you from loving yourself. And for some it controls them. That’s not a very good way to live.

I always wondered way criminals would eventually have to tell someone what they did or give themselves up. When you look at confessing from this mind set it makes sense. They need to confess to clear their conscious so that they can feel better about themselves so they can love again. It’s a pretty messed up way to love but spiritually they need to do it.   

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Who Told You Life was Supposed to be Fair?

Who Told You Life was Supposed to be Fair?

I don’t ever recall being told that and I don’t know where it came from. Realistically, is it even possible?

It’s not possible and I’ll tell you why. Everyone has their own version of what is fair.  The bulk of society could agree on what is the fair and equitable distribution of wealth, education and taxes but there will ALWAYS be the rest of the group who disagree.

Fairness is in the eye of the beholder.

Think for a moment if everything were fair. Everyone made the same amount of money regardless of the hours or value they contributed, received the same amount and type of education even though their talent and ambition were elsewhere, could only get a certain type of house with limited amenities and drove the same quality of vehicle. How boring life would be.

How hard would you work and strive for your goals knowing your increased effort would receive the same results as someone who didn’t put in any effort? How fair would that be? What would happen to a person’s drive and ambition? I don’t know. Maybe you could ask someone who’s from a communist country and ask them. I have. My 92 year old mother-in-law remembers it well and still curses that kind of life.

Life is unfair for a reason. It gives you something to strive for. It challenges you to become more than what you ever thought you could be. It makes you learn patience, humility, empathy, respect, hope, and love to name a few. It makes you grow as a race, religion, gender – as a person- and ultimately spiritually. That’s what being unfair is all about, growth.

Unfairness is disguised as a learning experience, take it for what it is and identify the challenge where you need to grow. It could be to learn how to stand up for yourself, how to accept others or even how to face your own beliefs.  Yep. Fairness isn’t necessarily out there but inside.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Karma Works Like a Boomerang

Your Actions are like a Boomerang

It’s been said many times in different ways but it basically means the same thing.

·         Karma.
·         You reap what you sow
·         What comes around goes around.
·         The Law of Attraction. 

It all means the same thing and it bears repeating because people aren’t getting it.  You get back what you give

For example there’s the women who is upset when she’s not respected, chances are she’s not respecting herself because she’d allowing someone to treat her badly. She needs to respect herself enough to do whatever it takes to get address it or get away from that person or situation.

Or, the guy who vents that the world is racist yet doesn’t see that he’s racist against another group. He doesn’t get that if he wants the world to change, it starts with him. He must become what he wants the world to be.

Morgan Freeman gets it, “If you want to stop racism stop talking about it”.
How about the person who is always asking for a hand out but never takes the initiative to help others? Why should anyone care about you when you don’t care enough about yourself to improve your situation?

See a pattern here?

What goes around comes around. It’s the Law of Attraction at work.  You get back what you think about most.  If you believe you’re frequently disrespected than that’s what you’ll see through your lens, disrespect. Your view will be steered to the times you’re disrespected instead of remembering how many times you were respected. The same goes for anything else.

Call it what you will but life has a way of balancing itself out. It may appear that life is unfair but I’ve found that eventually the person or company who treated me badly, cut me off in traffic, discriminated against me etc. gets what they deserve. It may take a few years but they do reap what they sow.

Remember the boomerang is designed to return to you.