Archive for February, 2010


A simple reminder for a Friday:

Live life fully while you’re here.

Experience everything.

Take care of yourself and your friends.

Have fun, be crazy, be weird.

Go out and screw up!
You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process.

Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes:
find the cause of your problem and eliminate it.

Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.

~Anthony Robbins

Whatever you are, enjoy the day!


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What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
~ Unknown

Think about that for a minute.  What would you really attempt?  And once attempted, imagine what you could you accomplish.

A while back I received a card that is displayed prominently on my bulletin board.  The text reads:

Imagine yourself doing what you love
and loving what you do.

Being happy from the inside out.

Experiencing your dreams wide awake.

Being creative.

Being unique.

Being you.

Changing things to the way you know they can be —
living the life you always imagined.

Imagine. Believe. Act. Could it really be that simple?

What if you were to live the life you always imagined?

What would be possible?

Just for today, why not act as if it were impossible to fail.

Take a breath.

Take the risk.

Whatever you are, be a good one!


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“A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity.”
Baltasar Gracian

In the days of old, or so I’m told, one could tell a liar by the fact that his pants were on fire.  Oh, that it were so easy to distinguish between honest men and scoundrels today!

Why do people lie? And why in the world do people lie on behalf of other people? Politicians, plagiarism, manipulation, cheating, lost in the mail, dog ate the homework, affairs, tax fraud, half-truths, out right deception — it’s all so ugly.

Now, I’m of the opinion that life would be more enjoyable if one’s pants were to spontaneously erupt in flames as a result of an untruth — and — there would be a good deal fewer false statements blowing around.

It doesn’t matter who says it, or what it looks like or sounds like, or what it’s wrapped up with, or how often it’s repeated, a lie is still a lie.

On the other hand,

Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it.
No ulterior motives.
No hidden meanings.
An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality.
As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives,
there will be no need to manipulate others.
~ Chuck Swindoll

Why not be truthful today? Break through the fear. Face the facts. Take honesty for a spin. Quit lying to yourself and others. Become a person of character. Stop playing fast and loose with the facts. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” [Albert Einstein].

Isn’t your integrity, character, and reputation more important than the perceived convenience and comfort of the untruth you are preparing to speak?

Whatever you are, I hope your pants are not on fire!


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If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve” [Anthony Robbins].

So, where are you headed today? Next week? Later this month?

You have a plan, right?

Your life is on the line. Do you have a plan?

Or are you just coasting along, looking to hop aboard your friend’s dream, stay in their wake, let them break through the barriers while you sneak in the back?  Wanting to be treated like an adult but waiting for others to solve your problems, answer your questions, chart your course?

In January issue of Success magazine, Darren Hardy writes that achievement requires work, discipline, commitment, maybe some heartache, and a stiffened spine.   He then goes on to give some “tough love” to his readers:

  • You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.
  • If you don’t like where your life is headed, it’s time for a change — you’ll never achieve lasting change until you change.
  • You will only have the level of success in any area of your life that equals your level of self-worth.
  • The first step to changing the trajectory of your life, as well as what you achieve and sustain, is to take complete responsibility for your circumstances today.

See?  That’s not so hard, is it? The changing yourself. Taking complete responsibility for your life. Going after your dreams — and I mean chasing them with the same fervor you would use to save a child playing in the road from an oncoming car.

No one else can dream your dream for you. Live your life. Put in the hours or take the risk. It’s all you, baby!

If you are weary of living a life far below what you deserve, the time for playing is over. Stop accepting your current circumstances as forever. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Skip recess. Put in the hours. Roll up your sleeves and get to work creating the life you have dreamed of, hoped for, deserve.

It will take discipline. Passion. Desire. Self-Confidence. You’ll be forced to confront the issues. Set the boundaries. Have the difficult conversations.

Easy? No. But nothing can compare with finding your passion, living your life, and following your calling.

It’s the hardest thing in the world — to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want” [Ayn Rand].

Whatever you are, be a good one!


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You cannot escape the results of your thoughts . . . whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, or rise with your thoughts, your vision, your idea.  You will become as small as your controlling idea, or as great as your dominant aspiration
[James Lane Allen].

The knowledge that you have the power to set the course of your life exhilarates some, causes extreme terror for others.

I was speaking with a woman a while back. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of those happy-go-lucky, have the world by the tail discussions. Quite the contrary.

Things aren’t going just as she has planned . . . or hoped. A string of disappointments have only served to reinforce the disillusionment that a fulfilling life will always remain beyond reach.

In reality, this woman has simply lost herself. She has forgotten how powerful and wonderful she is. How amazingly resourceful she can be. How important she is to those around her.

I reminded her that if she doesn’t like what’s going on, if she wants to become someone different than the person she currently is, if she wants to turn her circumstances around, she can.  The choice is hers. She has to choose.  Simple as that.

She needs to make the decision to think differently, and then she needs to begin acting differently. That’s really all there is to it. And it works the same for each one of us.

“A man’s life is what his thoughts make it.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

What about you?  Tired of blaming your unhappiness, discouragement, disappointment on others?  Ready to take responsibility for your life?

It begins in your mind.

With the belief that you can make a difference — for yourself!

This life is yours.

Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well.

Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly.

Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature.

Take the power to control your own life.

No one else can do it for you.

Take the power to make your life happy.

~ Susan Polis Schutz

Whatever you are, take the power and live an amazing life!


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Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten” [G. K. Chesterton].

Think back to when you were a child and you had a favorite story book. Do you remember?

It was the one with the smudges, dogged pages, and worn cover.

It was the one you spent hours reading. You were amazed by the illustrations; delighted by the story; emboldened by the hero’s courage. You cheered as the enemies became victims of magical plans.

One of my favorites books was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with Mickey Mouse in the title role. I loved the story of a young character, home alone, misusing his power. Sure, it was great fun at first but, as my friend says, “Too much laughing leads to crying!” And before the young apprentice could wreak more havoc or create another army of servant brooms, the sorcerer returns and saves the day.

Once upon a time we believed that all things were possible. That dogs could talk and spiders could spell and a mouse named Mickey could cause brooms to come to life and cows could jump over the moon.

But somewhere along the way we stopped believing in things we couldn’t see. We came to believe that magic and fairy tales were for children. We outgrew the belief that dreams could come true.  And although we were still compelled to fight dragons (as adults we give them different names), we no longer expected to win the battles.

Life can be like that.

The truth is, you still have within yourself the power to storm castles, slay dragons, save the day, and change the course of your life. Magic still exists. The adult-version is called self-confidence and action, belief and positive attitude, determination and courage.

What story will you write today? One where you are banished to the tower in a distant castle? Downtrodden, held hostage by unfulfilled expectations and disappointments? Waiting for a mysterious stranger to come and save you?

Or, one where you grab life by the tail, fight your hardest, slay the dragons, and make dreams come true?

How could your life change if you had the courage to take one step toward your future, instead of putting things on hold, waiting for Prince Charming to arrive?

Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales
whose gates are guarded by dragons:
we must fight in order to conquer it.
~ Alexandre Dumas

Be willing to go after what you really want. Fight for it. Slay the dragons. Be determined! Realize “you may have to fight a battle more than once to win” [Margaret Thatcher]. That’s okay . . . keep fighting . . . victory will be worth it in the end.

Whatever you are, be a good one!


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Every second is of infinite value” [Goethe].

The Olympics has the power to remind us, like few other events outside of the passing of a loved one, how important it is to take advantage of every single second that life bestows.

Your life consists of this one second — right now, before being replaced with the next one. For a brief whisper of time, you have the power to influence, change, risk, love, hope, be, do . . . whatever, before the moment is lost. Swallowed up by another opportunity, never to return.

In the sporting events broadcast from Vancouver, athletes don’t even have an entire second.

The margin between a gold medal and no medal is often measured in the blink of an eye, and many times needs to be replayed in slow motion so we can actually see what occurred.

The thing which determines if the competitor wins it all or returns home as just another anonymous challenger is measured by the effort, skill, endurance, and courage played out in a hundredth of a second.

Think about that for a moment. You train and sacrifice and train and sacrifice for years to prove yourself in less time than it takes for your heart to beat.

One of my favorite quotes is by Tom Fleming, “Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.”  I think this is a good philosophy for life, not just for racing.  I once read that it’s not the will to win that makes the difference, but the will to prepare to win that’s critical.

Training for life is not much different than training for competition. Your character, your values, the intensity of your preparation is revealed in the split second you make the decision to act — when all of your preparation is put to the test.

What will history record about you today?  Hopefully, it will be your integrity, gratitude, and courage — your determination to give it all you’ve got in the final push.

“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by day, in all the thousand small, uncaring ways [Stephen Vincent Benet].

Train yourself to live decisively, to take full advantage of each opportunity and live life to your fullest potential.

Whatever you are, realize you can make the difference in the blink of an eye!


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Don’t be distracted by criticism.
Remember- the only taste of success some people have
is when they take a bite out of you” [Zig Ziglar].

I have never understood the incessant need some folks have to criticize.  It’s like the ability to find fault with others is hardwired into their DNA.  Or, perhaps it is a symptom of weak self-confidence.  I have to agree with Emmet Fox who said that criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.

You can surely recognize a critic by their . . .

. . . mock horror — “You paid how much?!”

. . . inability to give a kiss without a slap: “That’s nice, but what are you doing to ramp up seating?  (Insert any other ridiculous question you’ve been asked recently by someone who doesn’t have a clue about what is going on but feels compelled to comment.)

. . . play-by-play commentary on your life. (As if they are being paid by the syllable.)

Passive/aggressive attacks, fake disappointment, ridicule, irritation, unhappiness, unpleasant disposition all in an attempt to . . . to what, exactly?

What is it that they are hoping to accomplish?

I often wonder if they are simply trying to spread their unhappiness around, hoping that by shifting the rain to your parade, the sun will shine on them. (Right, because that makes all the sense in the world!)

Here’s what I’m saying: quit listening to the haters, the small-minded thinkers, the bullies, those who don’t want to follow their dreams, so they criticize yours.

It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,
who strives valiantly,

who errs and comes short again and again,
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
and spends himself in a worthy cause,

who at best knows achievement
and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat.
~ Theodore Roosevelt

I’m just saying . . . whatever you are, be a good one!  (And quit listening to the critics!)


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Be careful how you interpret the world; it is like that.
~ Erich Heller

The other day I was looking through Greg’s Car and Driver magazine, when I came across a feature entitled, “How To: Avoid Blind Spots.”  This article gave detailed instructions on how to position your vehicle’s mirrors to completely eliminate the need to glance over your shoulder to safely change lanes.  (See the complete text — including photos — here.) Because the problem is, as we all know, what you don’t see can be disastrous.

The trick, according to an Automotive Engineer’s 1995 published paper, is to adjust your mirrors so that you are unable to see your own car in the side mirrors and, instead, are looking directly behind your vehicle.

Although the information sounded enticing, I was not convinced.  I don’t need something new, I thought.  I’ve been driving accident free for more than 20 years. Nonetheless, I continued reading.

The last comment by the author, Tony Quiroga, caught my attention:  ” . . . some drivers can’t adjust to using their mirrors this way and miss being able to see their own car in the side mirrors. To them we say, ‘Have fun filling out those accident reports.’

Suddenly, I was engaged.  Who is this Mr. Quiroga to issue a challenge like that with a snide comment about accident reports?  “Well,” I said as I threw the magazine down in a huff. “Game ON!”

Before I left my garage the next day I readjusted my mirrors until I could no longer see my own vehicle.  Yes, it took some getting used to, but I now understand the benefit and am a fan!

It’s amazing the things you can see when you stop looking at yourself.

The entire experience started me thinking about how many blind spots we have in our own lives simply because we spend too much time looking at ourselves in life’s mirror, and not enough time looking at what is going on around us.

Author John Maxwell defines a blind spot as an area in the lives of people in which they continually do not see themselves or their situation realistically. This unawareness often causes great damage to the people and those around them.

Whether you are suffering from blind spots while operating your vehicle or your life, why not spend some time this week making adjustments, seeking advice, or taking action — doing whatever it takes to eliminate these hazard from your journey.

Look up from what you’re doing and take a look around.  Not only will you be more likely to miss the potholes and minimize the blind spots, perhaps you’ll also notice a few worthwhile opportunities.

If you only look at yourself, you’ll be like the person who understands the limits of his own field of vision as the limits of the world [Arthur Schopenhauer].

Whatever you are, it might be time to make some adjustments!


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Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
William James

Did you have the chance to catch any of the Olympics over the weekend?  The opening ceremony, with its grandeur and assembly of representatives the world over, always takes my breath away. To see so many hopes and dreams in one location is awe-inspiring.

When I looked over the sea of individuals who rise early, put in long hours, and work late into the night perfecting techniques and strengthening their resolve, I was inspired.

Late last night I watched the first American receive the first gold medal of the competition.  As Hannah Kearney took her place on the top step to receive the medal for placing first in freestyle skiing, as the United States Flag flew and the national anthem played, I was so proud.

And I was reminded at how often the things we do on a regular basis are bigger than ourselves.

As we chase our dreams and slaughter the giants, we inspire confidence in others.

As we break through the brick walls, and leap over the barriers, we are proving that it can be done.

People are watching as you display resilience and courage, ingenuity, and perseverance. When you laugh in the face of adversity, accept the risk, and blaze your own trail, you become a part of something bigger than yourself — a community that says the work and sacrifice are worth it.

Don’t treat this responsibility lightly. Your life matters — no man is an island. Your success might just be the catalyst that starts a chain reaction of belief that winning a gold medal is possible.

The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all” [Leo Rosten].

Whatever you are, realize what you do matters!


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