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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Potatoes, Eggs and Coffee

(This story has been told different ways but the message is still the same. It’s told much better through an example than I could do it.  Why mess with a good thing? Enjoy the wisdom in this simple story)

Once upon a time, a young woman was having breakfast with her father. As they ate, she complained, "Dad, my life is miserable! I don't know how I'm going to make it in life, and I'm tired of fighting and struggling all the time. Every time I feel like I've moved past one problem, another one comes along. I don't think I can take this much longer."

Her father, a retired chef, took her hand and led her to the kitchen. He then filled three pots with water, and placed each of them on a high fire. When the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in the first pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. Without saying a word, he stood there and let the contents of the three pots boil. The young woman waited impatiently, wondering what he was doing. "Maybe he is still hungry, and is cooking some more breakfast." she said to herself.

Finally, after half an hour of boiling, he turned the burners off. He first took out the potatoes from the first pot and placed them in a clean bowl. Then, he took the eggs out of the second pot and placed them in another bowl. Finally, he poured himself a fresh cup of coffee.  He laid these three items on the counter top and asked his daughter, "What do you see?"
"Potatoes, eggs, and coffee." she replied.

"Look closer," he said, “and touch the potatoes." She touched them and noticed that they were very soft. "Now take an egg and break it." he continued. She cracked the egg open and saw that the egg was hard-boiled all the way through. Finally, he said "Take a sip of this coffee." The rich aroma of the freshly brewed coffee brought a smile to her face.

"Dear, the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans all faced the same heat of the boiling water. However, each of the three reacted differently." he explained. "The potatoes went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but the boiling water made them soft and weak. The egg protected its fragile liquid interior with a thin hard shell, but the boiling water made the egg hard on the inside. Notice what happened when the coffee beans were placed in the boiling water – they changed the water into something aromatic and delicious.

"Which one are you?" he challenged his daughter, "When you go through the fire and heat in life, are you a potato, egg or coffee bean?"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Can I Get a Do Over?

Sure you can. You do it all the time.  It’s what you do with what you learned that counts.

Call me optimistic but I definitely like the, “Do Over” method of success.  A “Do Over” is when you get another chance to do what you initially attempted but this time you get a chance to do it correctly.

History is riddled with people who have had “Do Over’s”.  They didn’t succeed in their first, second or maybe even their third attempt but that didn’t stop them.  Each setback was an opportunity to evaluate what went wrong, make adjustments and then attempt it again.

What I like most about “Do Over’s” is that there is no such thing as failure.  It’s as if you’re getting a free pass-go to the school and collect more knowledge- now go back and try it again.    With each setback you’re able to evaluate and refocus your energy on the achieving the task at hand.

It is only when you give up on the “Do Over” that you have truly failed for succumbing to failure drains the life blood of creativity that runs through your veins.  You must create and be better than your former self.  You must move forward by creating and it’s only through the “Do over process” that you continue to learn a new and better way to achieve your desires.

Therefore my friend, there is no such thing as failure as long as you continue to believe in “Do Over’s”.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is Your Truth?

Engaging in behavior that you feel guilty or ashamed about erodes your self-esteem and self-confidence. Conversely, you can feel good about yourself by only doing that which you feel is right. Of course this is base on your own moral compass and no one else’s.

What is right and real of you?  You see, following your truth always makes you feel good about yourself.  Whenever you get the slightest emotional tug that something just isn’t right with what you’re saying or doing that’s you living outside of your truth. It’s your inner conscious gives you a wake-up call saying”This isn’t you.”  This emotional snap can happen in a nana second.  You may not even notice it or shrug it off as nothing, worse yet; you talk yourself into justifying your behavior.

Your inner “feel good emotion” is your barometer for you living your truth.  Simply put, when you feel good about yourself you’re living your truth.  When you don’t feel good about yourself they you aren’t.

Living your truth encompass every aspect of your life from the relationships you have to how you take care of yourself.  When you find yourself disappointed in yourself because you were silent on an issue you are very passionate about, then you aren’t living your truth.  Your words and actions have to match what you feel inside to live your truth.  It means being honest with yourself and honoring your integrity.

When it comes to speaking your truth no one can tell you what it is.  You have to discover it for yourself.  Your truth is not the same as anyone else’s.  Only you know what will make you feel good about yourself and what will not.  Your emotions are your barometer for maintaining your truth.

Now I ask you, “What is your truth”?

Monday, February 13, 2012

4 Keys to Creating Joy in Your Life

The 4 keys to create joy in your life are closer than you think.  It’s within you.  Yes, you can create the space for it to happen.  All you have to do is bring it out.  However, it’s easier said than done.

1)      First you must discover yourself.  By that I mean you need to become consciously aware of what makes you unique, what makes you stand out.  What gives you the most satisfaction?  What is it that you get a kick out of doing?  Could you do it all day long and not get bored? Do you get excited about it? Would you do it even if you didn’t get paid to do it?

2)      The next step is to believe you have what it takes to become who you are born to be.  No excuses.  No fear, just do it.  Accept your divine self for all your known and unknown attributes.  It’s being able to envision yourself doing what you love to do.  This is the hardest step.

3)      The third step is creating your desired goal.  It’s the nuts and bolts of the desired outcome.  It’s the “how”.  It’s bringing into fruition what you desire.

4)      The last step is living your dream.  Sometimes when people achieve their dream they can’t believe they deserve it and end up sabotaging their own efforts.  They go back to step two and start over again from there.  It means step two wasn’t fully completed.  They didn’t truly believe it was possible so that is where they go back to.  When you embrace the last step you are living your true authentic self.  Isn’t that what you want?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Want a President Needs to Lead

What are you looking for in a President? First you need to decide what makes a good leader because that is what the President does, lead.  Some people are natural leaders. You see them at work, fund raisers or your family reunion.  They step up to the plate to take on a project. However you’ll notice something else too.  Some are natural leaders while others are doing it for the recognition or power.  What’s the difference?  The natural leader is the person people will follow even if they don’t have the title or have been given the responsibility.  They naturally know what to do.  They exude confidence, clarity and conviction. Oh and another thing, they make decisions that aren’t always popular but are followed because the people respect the person’s decision.

A good leader is a person who has the strength and courage to undertake large projects.  It’s the ability to weave universal principles with everyday life.  This person has the gift of power.  Yes the gift.  As much as power has a negative connotation it also has just as much a positive connotation.

The world needs the CEO, general, and the person of authority.  A leader claims and utilizes his gift of power for the overall goal of the enterprise he’s tasked with directing.  A true leader uses this personal power without dominance or intimidation.  He doesn’t necessarily make popular decisions because he’s making them with a higher purpose in mind. He leads because that’s his natural strength and people follow because they recognize and understand the clear direction they are to take to reach the desired outcome. He gets results.  For him not to lead would be like asking you or me not to breathe.  It’s what he does.

Along with the gift of being a natural leader there are also challenges to it which make the person go from being in the gift of it to being in the challenge of it.  When a person is consumed by the acquisition of wealth, order others around, is intimidating or dominating people then he is in the challenge of it and needs to get back into the gift of it.

So what does a leader look like?  Some of the most recent leaders that have exhibited both the gift and challenge of being in the gift of leadership are General George Patton, Donald Trump, Lee Iacocca and Margaret Thatcher.  If you study the history of how they became leaders and how they conducted themselves you’ll see the gift and challenge of being a great leader.   Each of them gained the experience with each new leadership role they encountered.  Each will go down in history as making a difference in their field.  And one other interesting note, they haven’t always been the most liked or popular at times but were/are respected.

You also have the gift of leadership and when you need it remember to claim it from a place of personal power and not through dominance or intimidation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Want to Change the World?

Before you go out promoting change in areas you think need fixing, you need to take a good look at yourself.  The first step to making change isn’t “out there” it’s in the mirror that is where real change begins and also what becomes the model for others to emulate. It’s just like what Michael Jackson sang about in, “Man in the Mirror.”
I’m looking at the man in the mirror.
I’m asking if he’ll change his ways. 
And no message could have been any clearer.
If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change.

The lyrics say what’s been said my times before but in a different way. It’s similar to the phrases; “What comes around goes around” and “You reap what you sow” They’re said in different ways to capture the attention of different audiences.  Obviously the song Man in the Mirror captures the attention of our time while the others resonate with everyday life and those who are familiar with the Bible.  I guess we need to keep being reminded of it.

The fact of the matter is you can only control your reaction to whatever is happening around you.  Therefore, you have the power to create peace, kindness, love, hate, rudeness or war.  It’s your choice.  Choose your words and actions wisely for they have more power than you realize. They create your future.

Power is good when it’s used for a good intention. To be super powerful it has to come from a place of love.  History has proven that power from a place of fear like Dictatorship and Monarchy doesn’t last. In contrast, look at how effective Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King were in their peaceful methods for change. They came from a heart centered place to illicit change.  They were so powerful in their peaceful movements that others saw them as a threat.  They had the power of the people behind them and that made those in power fearful, so much so that they were assassinated and imprisoned.
What it comes down to is if you want peace, be peace.
If you want to see more kindness, be kind.
If you want more love in the world, show your love.
Look at the man/women in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see make the change.

Embrace the power you have to change the world.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Make the Most of What You Have

Making the most of what you have is exactly what Michael Oher the NFL player did. Who would have thought that scoring within the 98 percentile for protective instincts would lead to an NFL career?  That 98% instinct is what gave him the ability to protect the quarterback’s blind side.

Of course his journey didn’t come easy. He certainly didn’t start out life on easy street, on the contrary. It takes a lot of discipline and morals not to succumb to the pressure of the streets. It takes a lot of self perseverance to continue to move on with your life when you have no family to financially and emotionally support you. What kind of driving force does a person like that have to keep moving forward?  If those obstacles weren’t enough, he still have to overcome his lack of education before he could even think about playing any kind of sport but with the help of the Tuohy family and some key educators he became more than what he thought he could be.  So many people could see the heart behind the man that they took it upon themselves to help him out. 

Football didn’t come naturally to him because he didn’t understand the game and what was required of his position.  Once he tapped into what he needed to do he was able to activate the key ingredient that makes him stand out, natural protective instincts.

Protective instincts are one of his greatest talents and he’s found a way to capitalize on it.  What’s your natural talent and how can you tap into it to shine like Michael Oher has on the football field?