Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kicking The Fag

OK! So after almost 25 years of smoking cigarettes I have DECIDED it's time to quit. I should have decided to a long time ago but whatever, the time is now! I thought by blogging about it and publicly declaring it for everyone to see, it would help me tough it out. It's only been like one day but the first day had to happen sometime.

How am I going to do it? I asked myself that question several times already. It's not like I haven't "TRIED" before. Well there is the first difference. I am going to implement and abide by the same philosophies I have learned, and today teach, in business. So philosophy number one is..."To TRY is to fail with honor" or as the Master Yoda from Star Wars would say..."Do or do not, there is no try". So this time I am not going to "TRY" to stop smoking, I WILL NOT SMOKE ANYMORE!

To accomplish anything, you need a plan. I understand that the plan you start with is not the plan that will get you there but you have to have a plan to start. So, what's my plan? Well, it's Cold Turkey. I have seen lots of people go gradual and I have seen some just stop. I choose to just stop. I realize this will probably be harder in the beginning but I think it will pass quicker than dragging it out gradually. I also, have equipped myself with "THE GUM", lol. I feel like this is going to be a battle and in any battle, you better have some weapons if you plan to win or even just survive. I am treating my gum like heavy artillery. It's there just in case but I am not going to use it unless it is absolutely necessary. I am also using affirmations. Affirming to myself how much better off I am and everyone around me is with cigarettes no longer being a part of my life. These affirmations are tricky to because, I have to be sure to focus on what I want and not what I don't want. For example, If I say..."I am a non smoker", that still focuses on smoking, so I have to say something like..."I only allow fresh and clean air in to my body". Lastly, I am looking for something to occupy my habit of having something in my hands. I think for me, and maybe others as well, the habit of having that cigarette in your hand is as big a part of the problem as the nicotine its self. I haven't quite figured out what I am going to do to replace that activity but I am testing several theories and paying close attention to what seems to work best. I will let you know what I end up doing as this objective comes to fruition.

Well, there you have it. The Decision is made, the Philosophies to support that Decision are in place and the Plan is put together and the Execution of that plan has begun. I am in control of myself. I am in control of what I do and I am responsible for my own actions. Bring on the cravings and addictions and let me show you who the real boss is.

Stay Focused & Feel Good!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Success Is In 3D

That's right, 3D it is. But this is not the kind of 3D that you need some silly glasses for. This is the 3D's I am talking about...Desire...Decision...Determination. Just like the 3D that uses the silly glasses to make things seem closer to you and more defined and ultimately more REAL, these 3D's (Desire, Decision and Determination) will do exactly the same thing, only for your business or venture.

One thing that all successful people (not just in business but in anything that someone has accomplished) have in common is they didn't "TRY" to do it. They had a DESIRE to do it, they DECIDED to get it done and they were DETERMINED to complete it at any cost. The amazing thing about having really acquired these 3D's is once they are instilled in you, nothing can stop you. I was once told a story by an acquaintance of how he was in jail in Texas and for some reason they released him on short and unannounced notice. He told me he needed to get to NC but he had no one to call, no money and he didn't even have any shoes. Surprisingly he got there. How does somebody with no money, no shoes and no one to call on make it 1000 miles across the country? DESIRE,
DECISION and DETERMINATION. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the "Scottish Himalayan Expedition" and in it is says...

"that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favour all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamt
would come his way."

This is a lesson that changed my life forever. I have seen it over and over and over again. When someone "TRIES" to do something, very seldom does it ever pan out. But when someone DESIRES to do something., they DECIDE to do something and they are DETERMINED to do something, it almost ALWAYS comes to be true. I can't tell you how to get to that point of no return. That point where there are no other options. Actually it's been my experience that it is usually some unforeseen turn of events that happens in someone's life that usually puts them there. Some day of disgust where they have just had enough and BOOM! you are off to the races focused only on the finish line and knocking everything and anybody that may deter you out of the way.

So if you are not happy doing what you are doing or if there is something out there in the world that you want to conquer, you really have two choices. You can choose to instill the 3D's in you now and go for it (you can't "TRY" it) or you can wait until something happens to instill them for you. Either way, your going to end up getting it done once you have obtained the DESIRE, DECISION and DETERMINATION because that's what it takes to have true success.

Stay Focused and Feel Good!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away. Really?

Well it's another rainy day here in NC. We have really been getting it this year. I feel like I moved to Seattle. lol. On days like this, it's easy to wish for more sunshine and warmer temperatures. I see people posting things like that in their Status Updates and making those kind of comments at the grocery store, but is that what we really want? I know rain may put a DAMPER on things we all have planned but plans change all the time.

On days like today, I can't help but think of a poem I wrote nearly two years ago. It's probably the first and only poem I have ever written. I am no poet by any means, but this one came out pretty good and it's helped me through a lot of "RAINY DAYS" in my life, so I thought I would share it with all of you. I titled it "THE STORM" Enjoy!

The glowing of the sun
Warms us to the core
It provides the brightness
That allows all life to soar

The existing life we know
Of all the different types
Loves the days the sun can shine
Upon our stars and stripes

Then one day the clouds roll in
A dark and gloomy sky
Anticipations of the day
You stop and wonder...Why?

As the rains begin to fall
We see our plans must change
Some see the day as ruined
I see now that's just strange

The clouds provide protection
To much of anything is bad
Look to find the good in things
Even things that make us sad

The rains are a necessity
A must for all things living
Broaden our vision to receive
The gifts that life is giving

Guarantees? There are a few
One is there's an end
No matter how bad the storm


I hope this helps somebody look at things just a little different. I learned many years ago, that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change. Be thankful for everything life gives you. There is a reason for all of it.

Stay Focused and Feel Good!

Monday, February 8, 2010

ALL ABOARD!? Not Necessarily

In the book Good To Great they talk about making sure you have the right people "ON THE BUS" with you. That's easier said than done. Finding the RIGHT people, no matter what you are doing, is not an easy thing to do but ultimately your success, in any particular endeavor, depends on it. No one is successful by themselves. No matter what they say, there is ALWAYS someone or some people that contributed to that success.

So how do you get the RIGHT people "ON THE BUS" with you? That's the Million Dollar question. I think it starts with your immediate law of associations. Understanding that what you focus on expands, if your immediate group of friends, family and acquaintances (these are the people you spend the most time with, which means that these are the people you FOCUS on) are not the right people for your BUS, it is almost impossible to attract a different type of person to put on your bus. Even if you did happen to get one of the RIGHT people on your bus, they probably won't stay on there because they will feel out of place and uncomfortable. So I think the first step toward getting the RIGHT people on your bus is probably to unload the wrong people off of your bus first.

This may also be harder than it sounds because you may really like some of the people that are currently on your bus but how you feel about someone and how they are going to affect your end result are two totally different things. This is a very hard lesson to learn and an even harder lesson to teach. People easily become offended when you imply that they may need to evaluate who they are spending most of their time with. I have had many people just come right out and tell me..."I am not giving up my friends for this!". Well you don't have to, you just have to pay attention to who is getting your time and are those people a part of the "BUILDING CREW" or the "WRECKING CREW" when it comes to what you want to accomplish? Let's face it people, your "FRIENDS" have changed your whole life. You have different friends now than you had at your last JOB, in College, High School, Middle School and Grade School. I know that you may still have a few that are long time friends from Grade school but really, come on, for the most part, all new people over the years. So why in the world would anyone think that when you changed your focus to do something different that you could possibly do it without changing your influences? You can't and that is the simple bottom line answer. In "The 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player" it says when it comes to building a championship team and the people on that team, you will have to "TRAIN THEM OR TRADE FOR THEM". We see that and accept that everyday in professional sports. Doesn't it just make sense to apply that same PHILOSOPHY to the CHAMPIONSHIP team you are putting together to insure your success?

Although the wheels on the bus may go round and round, just because your moving doesn't mean you are getting any closer to you destination. Just like the wheels, you may also be going ROUND AND ROUND. It's like a multi-person row boat. If you have the RIGHT people on one side rowing and the WRONG people on the other side rowing and they are not in sync with each other, you will still be moving but not toward the finish line. I think this is an example that most people can understand.

So, take inventory of the people you currently have on your bus. Is there a Synergy among them? Do they feed off of each other and make each other better or do they pull against each other? I heard one time that the way to kill a snake is to cut off its head. Find the source of the issue you are encountering and remove it. Escort those people off of your bus and then begin to fill those seats with new, energetic, team oriented people and off in to the sunset you will go!

Stay Focused and Feel Good!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Want It Yesterday!

There is nothing like immediate gratification. To decide that you want something and for that to immediately come to fruition. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) for the greatest things in life, that typically is not the way it works and most of the time, if the truth be told, we really don't want it "NOW" anyways. I've always said..."Be Careful What You Wish For".

I think as a Society, we have really gotten spoiled with immediate gratification. Fast food is no longer fast enough. We stand in front of the microwave waiting for our food to hurry up and get done (the same food that would have taken 10 times as long to prepare before the microwave was invented) and a plethora of other things that we can IMMEDIATELY call on for ourselves. Now, I understand that anytime you can speed up a process and make it more efficient, there is a lot of opportunity there from a business point of view but really, haven't we created our own "RAT RACE" today. To many times, people don't slow down to realize what life has to offer until something tragic happens and makes them. Sad but true.

What happened to all the old values we were taught? "Patience is a virtue". "Good things come to those who wait". "Slow and steady wins the race". "Stop and smell the roses". Do they even apply anymore or are they just old news that have no value in today's Society? For what it's worth, I believe they carry a lot more weight than many of us want to admit.

There is nothing more fulfilling than working toward something to accomplish it. Where is the sense of accomplishment in immediate gratification? It's convenient, yes, but fulfilling and I mean REALLY fulfilling? Not so much. There is no warm fuzzy feeling that comes over you when you hit a drive through and bring it home like there is when you prepare that meal for yourself or someone you love. You know the feeling. The one that says..."I DID THAT!". What's the lessons we are teaching our children with immediate gratification? Will they grow up without ever knowing the values of hard work and patience? Could you imagine what our world would be like if nobody worked hard or put in the time to accomplish something? What's the hurry anyways? None of us are getting out of this life alive. The day we were born started the clock ticking to the day we die. From start to finish, shouldn't we actually take some time to ACCOMPLISH something in the middle? I think so but I also think we are in such a rush, we lose track of time, purpose and the ultimate goal. Goal? What Goal? Hmmm? There's a slew of great questions. What is your Life Goal? Do you have one? Are the Life's Activities that you follow and commit to everyday in line with and reflect that ULTIMATE Goal? Those are deep questions we should all take a minute to ponder.

I understand that we will never get rid of, nor should we want to get rid of, the things that make our lives simpler. The fact is, these immediate gratifications can actually provide us more time to enjoy the things life does have to offer. All I am saying is, they should be a PART of our lives, not the WAY of our lives.

Figure out what you want to accomplish. Set it as your GOAL. Develop a PLAN to achieve that GOAL. Begin the execution of that PLAN and give yourself the TIME to complete it. Reward yourself with the feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT. We have all gotten some type of Trophy or Award in our life and we remember how that made us feel. Well, we don't have to wait for someone or somebody else to reward us, we can reward ourselves as many times and as often as we like by simply accomplishing in this life. And that's Noble on your part because the more you accomplish, the more hope, belief and confidence it gives someone else that they can accomplish to.

Stay Focused and Feel Good!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Poker Anyone?

You know I usually start my day drinking coffee and playing a little Texas Holem on FaceBook. Today was no different. I am not the worlds greatest Poker player (that's really an understatement. lol) but I do win some and I lose some. That's the way the game goes, right? I mean even the best players in the world don't win em all. The thrill of it is, that maybe, just maybe, you might win the NEXT hand. I think it's the NEXT hand that keeps us coming back. You just never know what's coming NEXT. What's the two cards your gonna be dealt and how will you manipulate those cards, whatever they may be, to your favor?

As I sat there playing this morning it dawned on me that life is really the same way. You win some and you lose some but the fact is, if you never play at all, you have no chance of winning at all. Just like the cards that get dealt to you in poker, life is constantly dealing to us. Sometimes it's situations that we are excited to play with and sometimes it's situations we aren't so sure how we are going to play with. There's even times we get dealt a hand that we are excited to play but it turns out to be a loser even though it looked like a winner from the start and visa versa. So where is the pattern? Is there a pattern? Is there some possible way we can win win win? NO NO NO! To win you have to play and as I was taught in Vegas, the very first time I ever went, you can't play with scared money. I think that's why most people never even try to go for it. They are scared they might lose. TIP: There is NOTHING wrong with losing! So rather than gamble they just don't play at all. To me, that seems like a pretty long and boring life. We are here for 50, 60, 70, 80 or even more years. That's a long time to play it safe. To just go through the motions until we die. Now, I am not saying you should go "ALL IN" all the time but sometimes you just gotta take a chance. You just gotta go for it! Even if you don't win, it's not the end of the world. When I was "GOING FOR IT" to become free from the rat race of a JOB, I remember saying to my wife..."Even if we lose the house and the cars and everything, will we survive?" and the answer was "YES". It might not have been my perfect scenario or what I wanted to have happen but the fact was that it wasn't going to kill us. That was enough to keep me pushing. To keep me in the game. It was what was coming NEXT that I saw, not what's happening now.

Take your finger and hold it out in front of you pointing at the ceiling. Look at it. When you look right at it, it's all you see. It's clear as a bell and you don't see anything but your finger. Now instead of looking AT you finger, look at the furthest point you can past your finger. What happens to your finger? It becomes translucent. You hardly see it at all. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you succeed. You look past the obvious right in front of you and see and stay focused on where you are going. Just like your finger, those things that we can usually only see right in front of us, that typically stop us from getting any further, become translucent and we are now able to pass those points to get to a further place in life.

Life is short. Don't worry about what others are doing, saying or thinking. Do what YOU want to do. Accomplish what YOU want to accomplish. Your going to lose some along the way but you will be better and stronger because of it. Why? Because you learn more by losing than you do by winning. Stay a student of life and you can enjoy the riches (not just financial) that life has to offer.

Stay Focused and Feel Good!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Hopeless Case Of Optimism?

Today I want to share with you an experience I have been having over the past couple of days. As funny as this may sound, I have been in a somewhat heated debate with a young lady on a status comment thread on FaceBook. The real funny thing is, it wasn't even one of her status updates. As a matter of fact, it was her brothers status update that started the whole thing.

Her brother had posted something about how working hard and believing will take you far in life and how many people are not believers and he wrapped it up by saying..."I'M GONNA BELIEVE". I thought the post was exceptional. Especially coming from this young man. It actually excited me to see him stand up for what he believed and scream it from the mountain top for everyone on FaceBook to see. So much so that I was moved to comment on such a bold statement. So my comment said simply..."Anything you TRULY believe is truth. Ponder that for a minute. Go go go!". The purpose of the comment really was just to support his new found philosophy. To encourage him to continue thinking in a positive way. Little did I know, the Optimist vs. Pessimist war was about to begin. lol

The next comment on this thread came from his very own sister. She opened it with..."I remember when Bill (me) used to be cool" and went on to commend her brother for such a great post and she would "KEEP IT IN MIND". Needless to say, I was a little offended and I told her so on my next comment. I mean come on, what is uncool about supporting someone's belief? Hello! This is your brother! I didn't say all that. All I said was, I am offended and have a great day. Here is where things got fun.

She replied for me not to be offended but half of what I say doesn't even make sense. Her explanation to follow said that just because someone believed they could fly doesn't make it true. I find that to be fair. A good argument, if your a pessimist. Now don't get me wrong, I am in NO WAY saying that if you put on a cape (to steal from her example) and truly believe you can fly, that you should jump off of a building to see if that theory holds water or not. It most likely will not work out in your favor. But aren't are own personal truths, the things that we perceive as true, based on the things that we believe? Or is our beliefs based on the things the we perceive as true? Either way, they absolutely, positively coincide with one another. I mean, come on, have you ever told a little white lie about something you did or experienced and you told it so much and for so long, that in your life and your mind it was true? Have you ever been told by so many people that you couldn't do something but your belief was different and you did it in spite of their belief. I think Henry Ford said it best when he said..."A man that believes he can and a man that believes he can't are both right". Imagine what our world would be like if we were all pessimists and no one ever believed in the unbelievable. We wouldn't have electricity, airplanes, cars, televisions or the internet. These were all far fetched ideas in the beginning that most people (pessimists) objected to. But it was the believers, the optimists, that prevailed in the end. I'm just saying.

Sorry, got on a little bit of a rampage there. So on with the story. After defending my side with basically what I just stated above, she replied to inform me that she now understands but it still doesn't mean that someone with a cape can fly. She also informed me of her Psychology "Major" (I don't know if that meant she has a degree in it or not. lol) This next statement made me literally laugh out load. She said, and I quote..."You have a hopeless case of optimism". What does that mean? Is that a documented condition? Can I get a prescription for that or should I use an over the counter cream? WOW!

So anyway, the whole thing got me thinking. Optimist vs. Pessimist? Positive vs. Negative? I don't think either one is right or wrong. As a matter of fact, you can't have one without the other. It's the challenge that pessimists provide that creates success when optimists do it anyway. If nobody thought it was impossible, how would we know it was a great accomplishment? I appreciate the views and values and truths and beliefs of others but, just like everyone else, I have my own personal beliefs and truths. I choose to be a positive, optimistic person and I stand fast that we are only limited by our own thoughts. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life's Puzzle

Today is a dreary rainy day here in NC where I am and on days like today, you tend to be in more and in my house that means more time to think.

As I am sitting here, I have been able to reflect on my life over the last few years. There has been a lot of things that most people would call BAD that have happened in my life (as does in everyone's life). I, on the other hand, am not so sure. I am finding myself having a harder and harder time really defining what is GOOD or BAD anymore. Things use to be so cut and dry. At one point in my life, I thought I had it all figured out but then I began to learn many of life's lessons. Lessons that made me stop and look and think. Lessons that started me asking myself questions. Deep questions at that. Soul searching I guess you could say.

I don't know where I am really going with this except that It is my first blog EVER and it seemed like a good place to start. A lot of the lessons I have learned are amazing to me. Philosophies and thought processes that will never allow me to be the same again. The funny thing about learning is, once you have really learned something, you never forget it. It always applies. I think that's why I find myself searching for more knowledge each and every day. It has become a small addiction for me. Everyday I wake up and wonder...what will I learn today? I wonder if others have that same feeling?

Well I guess, for me, this is a start. I think I will take some time each day to blog about what I am learning, how it applies and where that knowledge will take me. I don't know that anyone could ever "FIGURE IT OUT" but I am sure going to enjoy the journey toward that destination because I think, in all actuality, the Journey IS the destination.