Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Day of Silence

I am doing two things today in this post. First I am honoring the memory of all victims of violence where ever they are. I also honor the pain and suffering of all those families grieving for for the loss of someone held dear in their hearts. Senseless violence is just that; it makes no sense.

But remaining silent on the subject is just not right if we are going to find a solution to the problem. I don't have a solution to violence but we need our voices to be heard saying we have had enough and we want a start to actively finding workable solutions. We have somehow gotten desensitized to this problem. We read about it in the paper and watch it on TV and there is no longer any sense of outrage, anger or even a loud cry to do something about it.

It is time to end the silence.

I end this post today with a link to Carson Brackney who writes so much more eloquently about this than I do.

Favorite Post 2007 Meme

Jeremy Jacobs on his blog Corporate Presenter tagged me with a meme about my favorite post for 2007. There were a lot of good ones but my sense of humour wins out and I choose Comedy Plus and I leave you withthis teaser for you to follow up. But I am going to cheat a little here and include one more from Bee from Muffin53 who always gets me chuckling.

In keeping with memes if tagged provide a link to Jeremy as the originator and one back to the person that tagged you.

I tag:

Ed from The Pisstakers

Camille from Now

Comedy Plus

Bee from Muffin53

Random Magus

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Violence and Peace

Barely breathing with nerves on edge to hear the faintest sound and staring eyes trying to penetrate the darkness; my constant companion fear and I have but one goal, to be safe. Today I am 5 years old and my life was shattered when my parents were killed last week. I will do anything to feel safe again.

How did you feel after reading the last paragraph? Did you want to stop reading and change the dial? Did it reach you with a small glimpse of the impact violence has on our lives?

When fear is generated from a personal embrace with violence. It triggers our survival instincts at it's rawest. Then it truly becomes survival of the fittest; kill or be killed. Violence begets violence and it's biggest supporters are apathy and silence.

I wonder how the Law of Attraction handles this question. If we think about violence and truly understand its impact on everyone's lives are we going to attract it into our lives. I don't believe so. Action starts from seeing it and deciding to do something about it. The intention is everything.

I can hear it now. But I am only one person. What can I do?

I would tell you to say that to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Buddha, and Albert Einstein to name but a few. One person can make a difference and mankind has a rich history of proof.

I am going to talk about two people that are trying to make a difference and are people just like you and I.

First I will talk about Steli whom I have become friends with through his Supercool School blog. Steli after the Virginia Tech shootings created a site to honor the victims by having bloggers posting a banner on their site on April 30, 2007. It was like he had waved the red flag at the bull. He got a lot of flak as well as support for the idea. I will on the 30th put the banner on my site and it is to honor all victims of violence where ever they may be. If I get a lot of flak for that then I welcome it. At least it is not silence and apathy.

The second person I will talk about has taken a different approach. Her name is Mimi Lenox and has set up a Blogblast for Peace to be triggered on June 6, 2007 where all bloggers who wish to participate create their own peace globe as I have done in my sidebar and post on June 6,2007. A post on peace is optional but I will be making a post that day in support of the idea. Globes and banners can be obtained from her site.

It is up to each of us to recognize the problem and take action.

At first it was a single voice singing into the silence. Then from the shadows another voice joined to be a duet. Slowly voices joined one by one until it was heard  around the world. Not realistic you might say. Maybe so but I want to be one of the voices singing out to pierce the darkness of fear and violence.

How about you?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Key Factor for Change

A group of us were discussing the well known guru's of change and amongst them was Tony Robbins and in particular his book Awaken the Giant Within. Several of the group had varying degrees of success in following the program he advocates in his book and we were telling each other what we got out of it and why we felt it had not worked.

Some had a large list of reasons and take always and some said they got nothing out of it, it was just a waste of time. When it came to my turn I said I had got two things from the book.

  1. A great question: How can I use this?
  2. That change depended on my willingness to do something differently.

As to why it didn't work for me; I said that I was not Tony Robbins.

We can sometimes forget when embarking on a program of change that no program can specifically address our issues on managing change. We are unique in that no one else has exactly the same physical, mental, emotional and spiritual mix as we do.

It's like playing the game follow the leader as they walk through high snow drifts. No matter how hard we try; we end up with snow filled socks. Yet we expect that it will be different when are making changes in our lives.

Reading or listening to self-help programs just ask the questions how can we use this and how willing are we to do what they tell us. If it doesn't make sense to us then the willingness to try will at best be luke warm.

Remember the how is up to us.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Value of Unpleasant Feelings

For a long time I never used to see the value of having unpleasant feelings. They were something to get rid of even to the extent of ending relationships or changing activities. Yes, I had definitely bought into the feel good philosophy. Then I would wonder why I end up back in the same situation over and over again. 

Has this ever happened to you?

The problem is that we can focus so much on getting rid of the unpleasant feelings in any way possible as we feel they serve no purpose that we develop habits of ignoring the feeling or trying to find pleasure  through excessive drinking, eating or other activities that usually end with feelings of guilt or remorse. The problem hasn't gone away; we have just buried it in a shallow grave.

Unpleasant feelings such as anxiety, fear, pain and discomfort are unsettling but essential to our living a quality life. They are a call to action we should heed because it signals a gap between who we think we are and how the world sees us. The result we got did not match our expectations. We then have an opportunity to learn from our results; if we choose to, and change our behavior and get better results.

Be thankful for your unpleasant feelings for they are your inner guide to a more fulfilling life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Goals and Self-Hypnosis

Several of my readers have expressed an interest in learning more about self-hypnosis. [disclosure I am a certified hypnotist] I will start with a caution. If you have a medical condition that you are seeing a doctor about you should read the following article Scientific American - The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis and discuss with your doctor.

Lets start with what hypnosis is. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and I like to use the phrase focused attention. The bottom line is a hypnotist cannot hypnotize anyone. If we could then I would become very rich by choosing 200+ people and sending them out to rob a bank, turn the money over to me and then having them forget about it. Instant Wealth.

A hypnotist is more like a coach who helps a person become hypnotized. The key ingredients are a pleasant voice, the ability to modulate pitch and inflection in their voice, the ability to form a bond of trust and rapport, and a practiced delivery. The rest is up to you. Some of us work better with a coach and others like to take care of it ourselves. That is simply a matter of choice.

Not everyone has the same ability to be hypnotized. Some people find it easy and in fact can enter it on their own easily by listening to music, reading, watching a movie or simply by relaxing while others find it difficult to get into a state of focused attention. It is an inherent ability and rarely changes with practice.

Self-hypnosis can be a great tool for aiding us in accomplishing goals by helping to stop our "yes, but" mind chatter and integrating our emotional and spiritual aspects with mental thinking about our goals. We can feel what it would be like for us as if the goal were already accomplished. That increases the likelihood of it actually happening and strengthening our persistence towards reaching the goal despite set backs.

I have been asked for a script for a self-hypnosis program to teach yourselves that skill. I should have it finished and a file with instructions on how to use it within the next week and I will let you know when I have it done with a link for downloading.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thinking on Cleverness vs Wisdom

When we are looking at programs of change we should be careful to distinguish between cleverness and wisdom.

Cleverness can be taught to anyone of reasonable mental abilities. For example most people can learn how to drive a car. A smaller group can learn how to drive a transport truck. Most people can learn basic math and English skills. There will be varying levels of cleverness between a high school student and a quantum physicist but the overall criteria is it can be learned; no experience required just practice.

Wisdom is the cognitive process of acquiring a skill or knowledge  qualified by experience. The qualifying factors are first watchfulness: the process of paying close and continuous attention and second the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience. This differs from cleverness in that it requires us to experience something, see the results, evaluate those results, and then modify our actions.

What does this have to do with programs of change?

When I was a practicing hypnotist and meeting a client the first time I would spend the first hour learning about the client, why they chose hypnosis, their expectations, what they had tried before with what results, determined how strongly they wanted the change to happen and most importantly uncovered and discussed any concerns or fears they had about hypnosis. In approximately 20% of the time I would tell them that continuing the program would be a waste of their time and money. I was clever enough to learn the technique of hypnosis but it was experience that taught me the wisdom of saying no when it was necessary.

There are a lot of programs for change offered on the web or in books. If the process does not evaluate your match with the program or include mentoring of some kind then it needs to be looked at carefully. Being fed a canned program will teach the techniques (cleverness) but only properly including evaluation of progress and the discussion and sharing of experiences will lead to wisdom and to an ongoing personal mastery of the change process.

Choose wisely.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blog Drive-Byes for Thinking

First my thanks to Carol from My View of It for nominating me for Best Health Blog. If you agree I would certainly appreciate your vote. Just click on the icon in the sidebar. Carol is up for the Best Political Blog and I am sure she would appreciate your vote.

My funny bone nearly broke today when I went to Comedy Plus blog. Take a look and I guarantee you will leave laughing. mmm I will have to see if I can have it blown up as a poster. Would be great on the wall. Also Comedy+ is up for Best Humor Blog. Please give her a vote.

[UPDATE] I forgot to post about another great humor site muffin53 who is also up for the the Best Humor Blog. I love her blonde jokes and I know you would too. Take a look and give her a vote.

Check out Cecilia, an experience architect at LEGO, on her Digital Digressions Blog. There is a good post on Success is a mindset.

Nelson Tan, an Internet Marketer and fellow MyBlogLog member, has a good analogy from Zig Ziglar about targets on his Mastery of Yourself Blog.

We have at least 3 MyBlogLog members that I have found that do Haiku. Princess Haiku, Rob at Image & Verse, and B.J. at savvyology Blog. They all have interesting Blogs.

Steli from Supercool School has an interesting interview on his Supercool School project.

RT from Untwisted Vortex has a good series on preparing his Blog for for making money from the Philippines and is close to breaking the Technorati 100 barrier. Take a read and help him out and RT was the inspiration for my Blog Drive-Byes so he has a lot of blogs he points to that are interesting reading.

As usual Digital Nomads has great information on living the digital lifestyle. The latest is on Free GizmoCall. Check it out. His Blog Sovereign Rights is up for Best Political Blog and he would appreciate the votes.

And last but not least my favorite tongue in cheek blogger Ed at The Pisstakers has a Sunday post every week featuring MyBlogLog members with prizes.( pound of gummi bears and review) Check out his list and get introduced to some of our fellow members. Remember to show up on Sunday.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Noise or Conversations

The funny thing about noise is that we get used to it. Ask anyone who lives by the railroad tracks, on a busy street or on the flyway of an airport. When you visit them and ask them how they can stand it and they say I don't even notice it any more.

Are our conversations just noise?

Have you noticed at a supermarket checkout or at work empty conversations that have no meaning. Have you asked or been asked how are you doing and get or give automatic responses like great, fine, and ok. That's when our conversation is just noise to be tuned out. We ask questions that are expected of us to be polite but don't really care about the answers. It's just form. We are wrapped up in our own thoughts and are not paying attention. 

We can use our creativity muscle to change this if we so chose.


One of my favorite tactics is to use an outrageous phrase that immediately gets attention and shows that I am paying attention.  When asked how are you today I sometimes respond with "Super peachy keen fine thank you for asking and how are you". Usually I get a great reaction of a smile, a chuckle and an answer and go on to have a conversation where I am not just noise. I have a number of different phrases that I use and enjoy the responses. Once engaged the conversation never slips back into just noise and I have met many interesting people and am always remembered when I meet them again.

We can make a difference by being engaged in all of our activities to the quality of our lives.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

When Stuck on a Problem

Let's look at an activity most of us have done at some time or other. Have you ever cleaned a car, bicycle, raked the lawn, washed the floor or cleaned almost anything. I can remember after washing my car and looking at it; feeling very pleased with how clean it looked. That was until I started walking around the car and all of a sudden streaks and missed spots jumped out at me.

What changed?

It was a combination of changing circumstances (walking) and changing perspective (how I viewed the car) that brought things (dirt) to light. We can use this same principle when we are stuck in our thinking on a problem. We need to find a way to change the circumstances and perspective.

How do we do that?

We could restate the problem in different ways. For example: instead of using I always...; we can think of specific different circumstances when the problem arises such as feeling disliked or angry. Then we need to work on changing our perspective by using our imagination such as looking at it from another persons viewpoint covered in a previous post.

We need to change both circumstances and perspective to be able to gain new insights and solutions.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Time Does Not Heal Wounds

There is an old saying that time heals all wounds. If that were true then we wouldn't hear stories about family members or friends that haven't spoken to each other for decades.

Initially there is a very personal hurt that occurs after which one of the parties decides to not speak to the other until they apologize. Each day the hurt and anger is revisited and reinforced and so it continues until it becomes etched in stone. The likelihood of reconciliation diminishes over time and and the possibility of taking the first step to resolve the issue becomes impossible should the other person die.

There are causes that end a relationship in which both parties understand the reason for it and it is the most appropriate action to take. But there are other situations where it is a misunderstanding at the root of the problem.

We need to first ask the question is the relationship something we want to keep. If that is true then we need to take the first step by explaining to the other person why we felt hurt by their actions or to ask them what we have done to cause the outburst. This may take the form of a letter, a call or a meeting depending on the circumstances.

If neither of us makes the first move; then, the relationship is lost.

To make the first move is an act of courage because we are afraid of being hurt even more. Just remember that it is not time but action that heals our relationships.

This is a lesson I wish I had learned long ago and before losing some relationships that I still regret today.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thinking Skills and Perspective - Assumptions

There is a common way of thinking that can generate a lot of problems for ourselves. Have we ever said after looking around at our acquaintances, casual friends, work group, or at any social gathering; Boy, they have got their stuff together?

We look at other people and assume they don't have the same kinds of problems that we have. That somehow, they have mastered the art of living well and we haven't by a long shot.

The difficulty with this kind of perspective is that we start to assume that I alone suffer and it is a misconception on our part about the basic human condition. From Buddha Net - The First Noble Truth we can read an excerpt that covers it well.

Suffering or dukkha is the common bond we all share. Everybody everywhere suffers. Human beings suffered in the past, in ancient India; they suffer in modern Britain; and in the future, human beings will also suffer. What do we have in common with Queen Elizabeth? - we suffer. With a tramp in Charing Cross, what do we have in common? - suffering. It includes all levels from the most privileged human beings to the most desperate and underprivileged ones, and all ranges in between. Everybody everywhere suffers. It is a bond we have with each other, something we all understand.

When we narrow our perspective and exclude others from that viewpoint then we can far too easily assume it is a problem with us alone. Somehow we have not measured up. Keeping this thought in our minds can lead to a life narrowing obsession based on a false assumption.

We need to challenge our thinking when we start thinking like this and ask questions to determine why we think like this and does it have any basis in reality.

If it does; then, we have a call to take action. If not; then it is time to remind ourselves that we all suffer in different ways. After all, we are all human.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When Not to Use Hypnosis for Goals

Hypnosis just doesn't work if you need convincing.

If you are going to a hypnotist to have them give you an answer; I would tell you that you would have more success doing some searching and reading and picking an answer out of the air.

Hypnosis works when you have a clear goal in mind but are having conflicting emotions about going for it. Working with a hypnotist will bring out the conflicts and provide some help for relieving some of the stress the conflict is causing. A good hypnotist will lead you through a process for reinforcing the positive emotions and diminishing the intensity of negative emotions that will aid you in accomplishing your goal. The key is that you must want  that goal. This is why trying to have someone else convince you will rarely work. Read previous posts on purpose and knowledge

Hypnosis is also very good for creating a set of tools to help you change your focus when dealing with issues of pain or lessening the intensity of emotions when dealing with painful thoughts from past events. Depending on the severity the hypnotist could be part of a medical team working under their guidance.

Hypnosis then is best used as an additional tool for you to use in accomplishing your chosen goals rather than a means to create your goals.

[Disclosure] I am a certified hypnotist through the National Guild of Hypnotists


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One Day of Silence

From One Day of Blog Silence

Silence can say more then a thousand words.

This day shall unite us all about this unbelievable painful & shocking event and show some respect and love to those who lost their loved ones.

On April 30th 2007, the Blogosphere will hold a One-Day Blog Silence in honor towards the victims of Virginia. 33 died at the US college massacre.

The Blogosphere is in deep mourning.

All you have to do is spread the word about it and post the graphic on your blog on 30th April 2007. No words and no comments. Just respect and empathy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Who Do You Write For

On my sidebar I have put the Thinking blog badge that Comedy Plus and Camille awarded me. It comes with the right to brag about your blog but when I was thinking about it; I found it was not the award that tickled me pink; but, the thought of the friends that I have found through this blog. It is like I just got a warm hug. No words but I have that feeling.

I often drive-bye their blogs keeping myself up to date with what's happening, to share some laughter, quiet enjoyment or contemplation that their posts generate. I realized that when I started writing I was wanting to share some thoughts in the hope that it would be of some benefit. But I wasn't writing to anyone in particular and my writing showed it.

Then as I slowly got involved through comments and reading I find it has changed my writing in a very positive way. Now when I write a post I think about my friends and start a mental conversation with one or sometimes all my friends as if they are in the room with me. I don't write it for them but with them.

So instead of bragging about my blog; I want to say thank you to my friends and friends to be for stopping by for coffee and conversation. Without you; all you would find would be the words but not the meaning, the heart, and the viewpoints that you share and enrich my life with.

So who do I write for?

I simply write our conversations.

The award is available to anyone who is caused to think. To put it on your blog all you have to do is a post on what makes you think. That's it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Necessary Skills Blog Drive-Byes

Was over visiting Camille at her blog Now and saw a great shot on Being Organized and immediately thought how it represents our mind; at least mine and all it was missing was the cobwebs. I can always count on Camille for interesting finds.

As usual found some informative information at Google Tutor and for anyone interested in adsense he has a link for adsense policy lectures.

I was following links around to find new interesting blogs and I ran across a post written by Mike Crowl from New Zealand titled You learn something every day, but sometimes it doesn't much help which struck my funny bone.

[UPDATE] In rereading my introduction to Mike Crowl it may appear that I find his post funny which would not be true. I found it humorous because I often do the same thing myself. Pursue information which in the end I end up scratching my head and saying to myself - well that was interesting but....

Bee from Muffin53 is back from her trip and sharing her jokes again do drop by.

And speaking of comedy my perennial favorite Comedy Plus has a great video of a very smart dog. You got to see it to believe it.

Ilker at The Thinking Blog has a good post on Blog promotion.

A thanks to Pam from Writing, Work and Weasels and Beth & Rod from A Hero a Day for their reviews of my Blog.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Get Out of Jail Card

When I was growing up one of the popular board games was Monopoly. It is a Real Estate game where you bought properties and charged rent when other players landed on your property. A certain square would land you in Jail and you were stuck there out of play until you rolled a double, paid a fine or had a get out of jail card.

Many of us stick ourselves in a mental Jail because of something that happened in our past. The problem is that we are stuck there until we release ourselves from our jail; out of action and letting life roll by as we stare out between the bars. No one else can release us from our jail because we feel that we belong there. We carry it around with us and look longingly through the bars and ask when will I be free to be me. If people only knew what I had done in my past I know they wouldn't look at me the same way. If I stay in my jail then they don't have to know.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Everyone has events in their past they don't want to see the light of day. As I was reminded recently, mistakes are part of being human. The real question is did we learn from it and take the necessary steps to avoid repeating it again. If people don't want to accept the fact that I made a mistake then they are people I really don't want to associate with. They have their own jail cell and I want to escape the prison population.

Our past is done and over with and cannot be changed. It is what it is. Today I exist in potentiality. My decisions and actions today will create my future. I can be free to be me; warts, wrinkles, and imperfections.

So today I offer a free get out of jail card we can use to start living fully in our potentiality.

Print it out and put it on our vision board; we have done our time.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Challenge Your Limits

A favorite quote of mine is by a famous science fiction writer.

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke

It is so easy to just accept limits to what we can accomplish. The difference we could make in our lives or someone else's life. We can say to ourselves when I am established, when I am rich, when I ______, and we never start. But it does allow us to convince ourselves that we will when X happens. I don't know about you but I have found that today never works out to be what I imagined yesterday it would be.

Every Friday I do a limit check. This is the day I set a hour aside to remind myself how different my expectations were from what actual happened for the last week. How I handled the unexpected; did I do OK, did I blow it (lesson to be learned), did I just coast through the days; did I limit myself in some way from doing my best? Did I do anything towards my goals and why I did or did not?

It is an exercise I have found invaluable to me for challenging my own beliefs and limits. I find it also lessens my fears (False Evidence Appearing Real) by seeing first hand how true that statement is. We anticipate events or actions based on our assumptions of what will happen and the consequences. If our assumptions are at best a guess of what could happen and the result is bad for us and we believe that 100%; then, we will decide today not to risk it. If we understand that it is only one of the many possibilities and guesstimate a likelihood of it occurring as only 25% then we might attempt it and push our limits out. Now there are events that do have a 100% guaranteed result. Jumping in front of a moving Mack truck will get you hurt.

The trick is to build up our limit busting muscles starting with small nudges and as we get more confident to push a little harder and grow our ability to break out of our sandbox and live without some of our limits we have placed unnecessarily on ourselves.

How much better our lives would be and for anyone else who comes into contact with us.

When will you start your hour of power.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Obsessive Thoughts and Thinking Skills

 I will start with a definition of the word obsession. It is having persistent, repetitive, and unwanted thoughts that we cannot eliminate by logic or reasoning. Such as I'll NEVER amount to anything. NOBODY likes me. I am UNLUCKY. It's FATE. I'm FAT. I'm UGLY. We can all make a large list so I will stop there.

The first key is the word unwanted and the second key is that it is a belief. A belief does not have to have any supporting evidence or rationale. It is just true for us. Therefore, dealing with obsessive behavior and thoughts is all about managing our beliefs. If we are having obsessive thoughts then it is a loud alarm bell telling us we need to stop and deal with it for our own mental, emotional and often physical health. The long term consequences of carrying these beliefs will definitely diminish the quality of our lives. Sometimes the beliefs are so ingrained that we need to seek professionals to help us.

I used to have a lot of negative obsessive thoughts that I can certainly say diminished the quality of my life. The solution for me was to question my beliefs and determine if there was any validity to the statement or is it there simply because I never challenged it. I touched on this in a previous post.

This post was in response to a tag by Mark Robinson with a meme on obsessive thoughts. A meme is a question or list of questions that you saw somewhere else or were asked and you decided to answer.

So now I will answer it.

No, I do not have any obsessive thoughts any more. Remember one of the keys is unwanted thoughts. There are, however, thoughts that I have daily.

  1. Remembering to be grateful for what I have.
  2. Envisioning my future goals.
  3. Remembering to be present and enjoy my life as it unfolds.
  4. Contributing to my community of friends that I have fortunately  attracted into my life. Which includes those I have met through this blog.
  5. Ensuring that Cleo my cat and Mistress of the house gets fed.

True to the theme of meme's I will tag the following who have the choice to participate or not.

Digital Nomad




Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Secret of Secrets

It is sad to report that conspiracies do exist. There are so many places offering the insider track to the "SECRET". We can get the secret to real estate, relationships, affiliate marketing, making MONEY, communicating to aliens, or any one of 106,000,000 other secrets.

I am confused. If it is a secret and it is shared with anyone; is it still a secret? What does having secrets to do with conspiracies? Well, we have to become an insider in order to be given the keys and there is definitely a vicarious pleasure to being an insider. We have to hold the secret close and not tell anyone outside the group.

So I have decided to give away a secret.

It has been passed down for generations and held in high regard by both Kings and Necromancers. It was the secret of their power and is as applicable today as it was in the past. Once you have this secret you will belong to an elite group of world changers such as Newton, Einstein, Buddha, and Gandhi to name a few.

The Secret: Information + Thought + Experience = Knowledge.

There are no free gifts. Information by itself that has been given to you is meaningless unless you think about it and apply it. It is the philosopher's stone to realizing your dreams. Action is required.

There; you have it. You are now an insider.

Start today and take action on creating your dream as a reality.

Note: This was inspired by a post from trizle

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shane Bernier World Record Wish

It is rare that we have the opportunity to change someone's world. I had posted about Shane earlier today but in thinking about I did not want to have it buried in a listing.

Shane is a 7 year old cancer patient and he has 1 wish for his birthday on May 30 2007. He wants to break the Guinness world record for the most number of birthday cards received.

What a change his world accomplishment it would be. I don't have a large readership of my blog but I do belong to a number of communities. I am hoping that others will pick up on this wish and either blog or pass it on to others.

The story is here.


Thanks to Mike at Ordinary Folk you can see a video of Shane.

Mental Pointers

The reason I occasionally post about different blogs is to emphasize the need sometimes to get out of our normal viewpoint of the world. The easiest way to do that is by listening to others; (read a post), that we wouldn't normally talk to unless someone pointed them out. Just remember to get out and take a look around as sometimes we need to freshen our senses. So here are some mental pointers.

For Humor:

esofthub's 5 minute management course

Comedy Plus

meloncutter musings

Win some Gummy Bears at The Pisstakers

Always a good read the wanderer living in the Philippines who taught me about blog drive-bys

For info on mobility on the road Digital Nomad

A very interesting concept in Ugo Trade about technology and reaching across the digital divide. Make sure you read the About page.

I am a sucker for pets not sure about weasels at Pam's blog but some interesting reading.

Making friends online from a budding lawyer Legal Andrew

Tammara on pirates and tall ships as I want to sail to Tahiti or maybe the Caribbean

Must Read:

This last one touched my heart from Carol at My View of It it's about a birthday wish for Shane Bernier, aged 7. Shane wants to set a world record for the most number of Birthday cards cards received! His Birthday is May 30th and he has A.L.L. (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Go read then pitch in and help.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Life's Preview

A hypnotist quite often will use a future view of ourselves being successful to aid us in firming up our commitment to making a desired change. The stage is set by going through a relaxation stage where we cut off the everyday concerns and our constant mind chatter and start to focus on a relaxed state of mind and body. Then the hypnotist takes us on a voyage to our future making sure to include as many senses as possible. For example; if we want to lose weight, we may be asked to imagine ourselves standing in front of a mirror wearing our new clothes and hearing the compliments and feeling the pride of accomplishment. The more successful the hypnotist is in generating that vision then the more likely it will cause us to take action to make it our reality.

For those of us that can't visualize easily then we have to put it into a form we can use such as a vision board. If for example we want a new car then we find a picture of the car we want and post on our board. Find out what it costs and cut out numbers and post it on our board. Go out and buy a spray can of new car smell and spray it on our vision board. Find anything you can to put on the board that reminds you of your goal. Take a picture of your vision board and carry it in your wallet and when ever you think of it; pull the picture out and look at it. Finally put the vision board in a place that will be the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you will see at night. Ideas do and can create our future.

I leave you with this quote from Albert Einstein.

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cultivate the Stillness Within

One of our best resources is ourselves. As covered in the last two posts a key element for staying on track for our goals, vision or purpose is checking our happiness quotient. We can only do this in moments of quiet reflection. One of the key benefits of a retreat, a pilgrimage, meditation, a walk in the woods, yoga or any similar activity is that it gives us time away from our everyday distractions. It is impossible to have quiet time if we are wired 24/7 or rushing constantly from task to task. All the great thinkers from Buddha to Albert Einstein made time for reflection. All great religions advocated the benefits of pilgrimages and retreats.


Free from the burdens of normal everyday living our mind can drop the need to act or respond immediately to outside activities. We can ask ourselves questions and in reflection let the answers unfold. It is in the quiet moments that we realign ourselves with our purpose, rediscover what makes us happy, find creative solutions to perplexing problems, find the things we are grateful for, and put problems into perspective. The mind like a muscle needs the relaxation to regroup, refresh and grow. 

The amount of time we take does depend on our obligations but there will always be at least 15 minutes a day that we can take for ourselves. Just like we take care of the need to eat and sleep; we need to take the time for reflection.

Take the time to be present with ourselves daily and we will always be on track for our destination and enjoying our journey on the way.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happiness as a Purpose

I remember reading Edward De Bono's "The Happiness Purpose" years ago and later on the quote "The purpose of our lives is to be happy" by the Dalai Lama and thinking it can't be that simple and went on my way trying to find my purpose in life. I searched and read and searched again looking into every nook and cranny of my mind. Tried various programs, read the the gurus of finding your purpose, followed every avenue I could find, tried to the lose the selfish I, and finally came full circle back the Dalai Lamas' statement and found that it is true.


It is both I and we. It is I because the only person on this earth that can define happiness for me; is me. Selfish of me isn't it. Happiness is a feeling I have and I have complete control over it. I choose what I allow to affect it; no one else has that power unless I give it to them. It is we because it is the feelings I get when I am part of some one elses happiness whether as a cause or in the sharing. I have to pay attention and really get to know the other person and it is a natural extension of my happiness to seek ways that will aid in another's happiness. (Always remember that you cannot make someone else happy unless they want to be happy themselves.) It starts with the I and moves to the we and back to the I. A constantly revolving and evolving circle.

If you want to know your purpose in life. Don't look outside for someone else to provide it. You won't find it there. Look at what makes you happy. Are your relationships making you happy? If yes, pursue them, indulge in them. Is your career making you happy. If yes, then pursue and immerse yourself in it. Does working for or with charities make you happy? Then go for it. Is the balance between your activities making you unhappy? Then seek and find a balance that makes you happy. If you don't know what makes you happy then go seek it out.

Before you dismiss it like I did for so many years as being to simplistic and not practical; try it out, play with it, examine it and see if you don't end up treasuring it.

Make happiness your purpose.

Please comment and give your viewpoint.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Is it the Journey or the Destination that's Important

In hypnosis to explain what it is like we often use the example of a time when you drove to work or went somewhere and when you arrived you couldn't really recall the details of how you got there; you just arrived. What happened is that your mind was so busy thinking about an upcoming event, a bad situation, or anticipating something so intently that your subconscious mind (habits)took over the task of getting you there. Your subconscious mind if necessary would have interrupted your thinking if a situation had needed your attention.

Similarly some of us can get so focused on our future (vision, destination) that we leave the running of our life to our habits. The reverse of this is creating busy work. Taking on so many tasks that we cannot pay attention to where we are going. In either case we can suddenly wake up (a situation) not knowing how we got there but faced with a result that we didn't want. We all need destinations to provide directions in our life but we can't afford to do it on autopilot.

So what can we do?

We need to pay attention to both. It is like taking a scenic train ride such as the Alaska Rail & Cruise Tours. Our journey will have many sights that add to the richness of our life creating those fond moments we remember long after we have arrived at our destination. We may even stop and take side trips. Our destination can and will be enhanced by the journey. But we have to be present and paying attention and not lost in our habits.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Living an Engaged Life

When we think of courage we usually picture a firefighter entering a burning building, a soldier going to war, or some other action where people put their life at risk for others and I agree that this is COURAGE with a capital C.

There is however, another type of courage with a small c and we usually don't notice it; but, it occurs every day and is just as dramatic in its' own way. Did you know that most of us fear public speaking more than death itself. Similarly; we can have an overwhelming fear of any activity that would make us appear to someone else as silly, stupid, inadequate, or a loser, and so never try. And that is sad because it can prevent us from reaching for our dreams; to be passionately engaged with life and all that it holds.

To face our fears and despite them embark on a course of action when we do not know what the result will be is like crossing a fast flowing deep stream where the stepping stones are not visible but we know they are there just under the surface. Sometimes we will miss a step, get wet, but determined to cross, we go back to the last step and try again until we reach the other side. We need to be able to put ourselves at risk not necessarily in a physical way but certainly in a mental way to realize our dreams. If we don't; we will face a lifetime of gray mediocrity and carry our regrets to our grave.

Here's to the small c in all of us. Seize the opportunity and live an engaged life.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Necessary Skills: Conversations

One of the prized attributes of a blog is the ability to have conversations either through linked posts or through comments. I want to thank my commenter's for their participation.

In that light I want to continue the conversation started in yesterday's post about the Art of Questions. Camille talked about her technique for finding answers by putting the question out there and then looking for clues to the answer. A valuable observation. In this case the 'out there' is beyond your current sandbox which accomplishes the requirement of thinking outside the box. Comedy+ contributes the observation that it is something that will never end and I hope so because when it does we have stopped growing and being present in our lives. And to RT who thinks "outside the box" to test his own paradigms and has kicked down the sides of his sandbox to enjoy his current freedom. It is worthwhile for you to read the comments and the blogs are listed in my sidebar should you want to visit. The next post will be on courage as it applies to the ongoing conversation. So please join me tomorrow and add to the richness of the conversation by leaving your comments.

Now on a lighter note some 'finds' from my travels on the web.

Rick Schwartz is known as the 'Domain King' has started a new blog The Rick Schwartz Domain and Traffic Blog and promises to tell "the skinny" on payouts. Looks like an interesting read for anyone seeking to make money on the Internet.

I love a good laugh and Mark Robinson Dot Ca has a good one. Check it out.

Under the zany category: Teachers seem to be taking hits these days from porn champions to being a witch. What next?

Thanks to for the tips to set up my recent comments feed in my sidebar.

You never know what goes on behind the scenes unless an it is brought to our attention. An excellent example of this can be found on Jimi Morrison's site about the ChaCha search engine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Necessary Skills: The Art of Questions

Thank you for the good comments on yesterdays post on beliefs and the interest in today's topic. I think the situation is familiar to all of us when we are trying to make a change. We start by asking the standbys; how, when, where, who and what that we learned from our educational system. But, they don't seem to have any juice. They rarely create any AHA moments.

Why not?

I came to an understanding of the problem in trying to answer that question and the comment Camille made on yesterdays post. The understanding I reached is that we ask our questions from within our sandbox, our frame of reference, coming from our experiences and our thinking. Talk about a conflict of interest. All of those factors built our sandbox and yet we want to them at the same time to break out of that same sandbox.

So how do we knock down a wall of our sandbox? We don't do it from within our sandbox and we are not ready to change or throw out any of our beliefs yet. Alright, I have defined the problem but no solution yet. We need to find a way out and we do that by searching for a better question.

It is a process that allows us to keep our current beliefs while searching for a better replacement. Now I didn't show arrows going from answers or evaluate to a new question to keep the diagram simple. At any point you can short circuit the process and seek a better question. The source of a new question could be anything you want as long as it is outside of your current experiences. A poem, a book, a post, a movie, or a question posed by anyone else. The seeking of a better question is the catalyst that will put you outside of your sandbox.

For example; I stated in my post on goals that I wanted to become a digital nomad. Well Micheal from digital nomad asked a better question. It was simple but effective. He simply asked "where do you want to live?" I don't have a clue so I will start by trying to answer that question.

So what is the Art of Questions?
Seek for better questions than you have been using if you want to pull down the walls of your sandbox.

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Monday, April 2, 2007

When is a Belief not a Belief

When you read how someone has made a success of their life; do you ever say "boy, they were lucky" or "it's who you know" or "what do you expect; they have ...". I know I have. I would give some kind of mystical aura to events that I wish would happen for me BUT there is always some explanation as why it can't happen for me; something beyond my control.

Yesterday I was reading digital nomads post and checked out Bill Vaughn's Wealth From Thin Air and something clicked on reading his first secret. It was a concept that I had been searching for without knowing what it was for years. Then today I was reading the post by Tony D. Clark from Success from the Nest on finding your purpose and from Guy Kawasaki's Blog - How to Change the World about fixed and growth mindset's and everything jelled.

I have read all kinds of self-help material and I am very aware of not applying negative statements to myself such as "I can't" and have been reasonably successful in eliminating them from my vocabulary. What I hadn't connected to was the fact that when I say statements like "boy, they were lucky"; it is also a statement of belief. Beliefs I had unknowingly accepted just by agreeing to what other people were saying without thinking.

How many beliefs do we have that we have unconsciously accepted that are forming a barrier to creating our wealth from within? So I have set for myself the task to become aware of any statements that I use that limits me in any way. Once discovered; I am going to research why I believe that and whether it is true. I believe I will find that it isn't and I will have knocked down another barrier to living my life to the fullest.

I will be posting about milestones on this journey under the category "Wealth from Within" and you are all invited to share in the comments your success stories and triumphs.

The answer to the question: Whenever a belief is unquestioned.

Isn't it time to own your beliefs?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Is Art more Valuable than Science?

Thank you to Jason from Love To Lead for the question. Art is considered by most of us to be the ultimate expression of creativity while Science is considered the realm of logical thinkers delving into the mystery's of the universe. I would argue that scientific exploration is an art form.

A scientist exploring new ground must use creative thinking to to postulate a new theory and then quite often create new tools to explore and communicate their theory no different than what an artist does. When an astronomer gazes at the explosion of stars in the night sky do they feel any different than a photographer or painter looking at the same sky. I think they all feel the same awe. 

If art appeals to our feelings; is there a difference?

I think not and so I would answer no to this question. Creativity is creativity no matter what form it takes.


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