Category: Courage

Choosing Freedom By Cutting The Rope

 “Faced with the choice between changing one's
mind and proving that there is no need to do so,
almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
 
— John Kenneth Galbraith
 
 
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.
Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
 
— Thich Nhat Hanh
 
 
 
[Classic post from 8-23-11]
 
Tie a rope 10' long to your leg, fasten the other end to a post in the ground, and no matter which direction you choose to travel, you can not get more than 10' from the post. Now, cut yourself some slack and tie a 30' rope to your leg, and fasten the other end to a post in the ground. Now no matter what direction you decide to go, you cannot go further than 30' feet. But it might feel better. You might feel more freedom, more flexibility, maybe even more joy.
 
Then, when some person comes along with a crazy notion to cut the rope entirely and says that you can now travel as far as you desire in any direction, we may find ourselves so comfortable with where we have been that the idea of not having a rope attached to our leg and the pole is ludicrous.
 
Most often, things must build up until there develops a strong desire to change before new information will get through, or before the rope is lengthened, released from its tether, or even removed completely. I say hallelujah to that day! It is a day of decision and releasing fear (or ignoring it) to see things from a different perspective. You've grown and felt the excitement of that growth and in those new-fangled ideas and thoughts. You're eager for more and becoming ever more grateful for the opportunities that initial decision has allowed you.
 
Things are different now. You're a different person. Not so different that people won't recognize you, but you feel so far removed from where you were inside, that you project that confidence and growth on the outside, and people notice it. They may not understand it or agree with your decision, but they notice it. It is unmistakable.
 
Okay, now go back to the 10' rope, put it back on your leg and the post. Heck, bypass the 10' one and go straight to the 30' rope that used to feel good enough to you. Now it feels as if life as you now know it is over, doesn't it? You can't go back. You refuse to go back. It is virtually impossible to go back. And, the good news is that there will never be a good enough reason to ever go back.
 
 
Go Onward From Here. There Are More Ropes To Cut.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–It's always a good idea to check your comfort zone. Experiencing some expansion is how growth happens. Untie your rope just for today and see how that feels.

Choosing To Live In Fear Or Love

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel
as you might when a drowning man holds on to you.
You want to save him, but you know he will
strangle you with his panic.”
 
— Anais Nin
 
 
 
[Classic post from 6-9-11]
 
When people give me an argument, I do my best to answer it with common sense or learned knowledge, and if they persist, I may swim upstream with them a stroke or two, then I will suddenly let go and float away downstream relaxing in my peace and calm.
 
I was talking with a prospect the other day who is the owner of a small business. He expressed some fear of the Internet, in particular, social media and specifically, Facebook. He told me a short story, then another. I tried sense. He told another. Finally, I turned to him and said matter-of-factly, “if you are afraid of the Internet, then I suggest that you avoid the Internet and keep doing what you are doing now.” Then he started another fearful story, and I said, “whatever is on the Internet is not private, so if you are fearful of what goes on in the Internet world, stay out of it; however, I suggest the alternative of getting over it so you can use the medium to grow your business effectively.”
 
I could see he had some more stories ready for me, but I wasn’t having any of it. I said goodbye politely and left. If people don’t want to swim or don’t know how they should stay out of the water. The alternative is getting in or taking lessons and getting on with life.
 
I absolutely love the Internet. I think it is tantamount to the greatest invention of all time–certainly, it is in terms of information being widely and freely available to all. So, to me, it is extremely beneficial and valuable. To some, it is something to fear and tell stories about, but then again, I feel they have a propensity to do that without the influence of the Internet. How we think about things affects and creates our own world.
 
 
Live In Fear, Or Live In Love. We All Get To Choose.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Listen to the stories you tell others. If it’s not uplifting, tell a new story. If you don’t know one, make one up.

Happily Ignorant and Blissfully Confident

 “All you need in this life is ignorance and
confidence, and then success is sure.”
 
— Mark Twain
 
 
 
[Classic post from 6-13-11]
 
A formidable combination, don't you think? You don't know that it can't be done, and yet have confidence that you can do it. It's magical.
 
Yesterday, I talked about secrets of success and how many there are and shared one of my top ten. This is also in my top ten, and I can assure you that may not believe it to be true, but the sentiment and advice in this quote by Mark Twain is spot on. I've used it numerous times to achieve results.
 
Sometimes, the best and most productive thing you can do is to tune out the rest of the world in pursuit of what you believe in or what you want. There are plenty who will gladly give advice in the form of warnings and what if's and a list of the logical reasons why something won't work or cannot succeed, and how much better it will be for you to wait until. . .and of course, there is a list there as well.
 
Friends and relatives and other well-meaning people have helped discourage a serious number of potential entrepreneurs. It is generally the ones who don't listen to that advice that are able to be successful by making great use of their ignorance and confidence together. It's the one, two punch!
 
 
I'm Happily Ignorant and Blissfully Confident!
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Tell someone you love them today. Here's a cool way that works for me: I say, “have I told you I love you lately?” It's magical.

Owning My Own Feelings

“Own your own feelings. Nobody else does
Accept that you don't own the other person's feelings.”
 
— Deepak Chopra
 
 
 
[Classic post from 5-25-11]
 
This quote is the single most profound personal help I ever learned. I learned it in my twenties back in the mid-1970s. I've never forgotten it and I have done my best to put it to good use in my life. However, there have been many, many times that after having this profound knowledge, decided to ignore it and blame others for my feelings while even being fully aware of that fact. I did it anyway.
 
Does that sound familiar? How many things that I learn that are so helpful that I also choose to ignore is interesting. And, here's the best answer to that I have ever found:
 
“Practice is nine-tenths.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
As I practice on purpose what I have learned, it has a better chance of having a positive impact and influence on me and my behavior. So, if there is any work to learning, it is the constant internal nudging to put it into practice and practice it until it is known; until it becomes me.
 
Nevermore in my entire life than in the last few years have I focused on the practice and the good news about that is that it is paying off in a grand way. For learning to become experience, practice is required.
 
I was watching some kids in the neighborhood working on their skateboard skills. They were having the board do flips and spins and jumps and all sorts of things it wasn't originally designed to do. They failed to achieve the objective so many times, yet they kept on because they have seen it done and they want to do it and it is fun to try. Then, they succeed, and they practice some more and have successes more often, until one day they hardly ever fail at doing the trick. They can do it in their sleep.
 
I can relate. That is essentially what I am doing every day. My skateboard is practical philosophy I suppose, but I am doing the same thing. I practice what I've learned, and fail to achieve the objective more often than not, and then I persist and get better and then I'm an expert and it is so natural that it is just the way I am.
 
Owning my own feelings is one of those skateboard tricks. It was one of the toughest ones because the world in general is adamant and persistent about working against that idea. That makes it so easy and legitimate to get off track–to fail at the trick. However, with my own brand of persistence and belief in a good idea, I succeed more often and now after these many years of practice, I feel I am at the expert level on this one trick. Whew! It was a tough trick! But, I made it!
 
 
The Devil Can't Make Me Do It Anymore, And No One Else Either. I Choose And Accept That Responsibility Alone.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Feeling in control is a joyous experience. Grab hold of it!

The Heart Of Creativity: Innovation

“The ability to innovate is at the heart of creativity–
a vital component in success. University of Houston
professor Jack Matson recognized that fact and
developed a course that his students came to call
“Failure 101.” In it, Matson assigns students to build
mock-ups of products that no one would ever buy.
His goal is to get students to equate failure
with innovation instead of defeat.”
 
— John C Maxwell, Failing Forward
 
 
 
[Classic post from 1-26-11]
 
Innovation and the concept of being the best we can be is at the heart of my there's-no-such-thing-as-competition philosophy. Who has time to look around at what others are doing when you're so busy doing yourself? And innovation is always looking at things in different ways, backward, forward, inside out, upside down, up close, and off in the distance. Consider this quote by R. Buckminster Fuller about innovation: “Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value.” I think that is a fascinating thought.
 
I love that quote by Mr. Fuller because it is like a Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs way of looking at innovation: people love doing the strangest, but most necessary things that most of us choose to never think about. Pollution is certainly one of those things, and learning to love pollution is a way to find a solution that creates value from something previously with a minus value. Innovation will never occur by ignoring the problem, but by looking at it completely differently.
 
The worst thing to hear is some version of, “that's the way we've always done it.” There are lots of versions on that theme. Innovation requires two things: one, a letting go of previously held truths, and two, an opening of the mind to perhaps radically different ideas. Of course, the ideas need not necessarily be radically different in order to be innovative, but many certainly will be, such as the case with pollution becoming of value.
 
 
There's Always Another Way, And Some Of Them May Change The Game Completely.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Laugh often and much.

The Need Is Not The Seed

 
“The soil says, Don’t bring me your need,
bring me your seed.”
 
— Jim Rohn
 
 
“God has the tough end of the deal.
What if instead of planting the seed,
you had to make the tree?
That would keep you up late at night,
trying to figure that one out.”
 
— Jim Rohn
 
 
 
[Classic post from 1-27-11]
 
One thing that has become extremely clear to me about life is that it is not need that drives, it is desire–and even more than desire, it is expectation, which is the foregone conclusion of desire. Sometimes that is called faith or belief.
 
I love how Jim Rohn puts it about the soil not caring at all about the need, yet is ready, willing, and able to deal with the seed. Indeed, the second quote about God having the tough end of the deal (as if anything is tough for God. . .) puts our physical abilities in perspective by asking us to make the tree. All we know is the seed that becomes the tree, but we don’t have anything to do except plant it. The rest is not our domain.
 
I’ve shared this before, but I have a sign I printed out on my wall so that I can see it every day that says: “What is MY job! How is GOD’S job!” I need to remind myself very often that I control desire and what I want to do or have or be, yet I DO NOT need to know how to do that. Exactly like the tree and the seed. I plant the seed, which is my job, but the building of the tree is not my job.
 
I’ve recognized many times in my life past where I have tried to help build the tree. I get in there and try to change circumstances and events to speed the process along, or to make it better somehow. It becomes clear in a relatively short time how poorly I am equipped and skilled to get that job done. I somehow think that it is my actions that will reap all the results when it is much more me aligning with my desire and focusing there, especially the end result as if it were already done, not knowing a thing about how, or needing to know. The more I stick to my job, the better things turn out.
 
 
To The Power That Builds Galaxies, My Desires Are Mere Child’s Play. Better In Those Hands Than Mine.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–let go of as much of the struggle as you can. It won’t help. Relax and concentrate on planting and enjoying the sunset, the breeze, and the wonderful shade of the tree.

Kind Words Don’t Cost Yet Are So Valuable

“Kind words do not cost much…
Yet they accomplish.”
 
— Blaise Pascal
 
 
 
[Classic post from 12-23-11]
 
On a long driving trip, we stopped at a chain burger place and placed our order. The order came out a bit slower than it might normally and there were other people in line, yet this young man who took the order was unfazed, calm, cool, and collected.
 
After we enjoyed our food, I decided to walk over and get that employee's attention and say something to him. What I said was this, “I just wanted to let you know that when we were in line and you took our order, I felt there was an aura about you that spoke calm confidence, and I can tell you that that is one super quality for managers. Keep up the good work.”
 
He wasn't a manager. . . yet, but I was impressed in such a short few moments. So how did he take it? He was beaming as if I just made his day and he thanked me.
 
The reason I tell this little story is that you probably have done as I have and have had people impress us in one way or another and then in our busyness, we move along and do nothing. Maybe we thought about saying something, but doing it is way more interesting than just thinking about it.
 
I've begun doing this quite often with almost identical results, and it is so rewarding to the one I tell and to me as well. Yet, I don't do it for me. It's fun. Try it. Next time someone impresses you, or there is just something that you feel is special about them, let them know. See what happens.
 
 
Reach Out And Touch Someone!
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Always keep a keen eye for any opportunity at any kind of appreciation, however insignificant it may seem on first thought. Then appreciate liberally.

Becoming The Rightful Master

“Man is buffeted by circumstances
so long as he believes himself
to be the creature of outside conditions,

but when he realizes that he is a creative power,
and that he may command the hidden soil
and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow;

he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”

— James Allen,
As A Man Thinketh

Freedom Is A Lack Of Resistance

Our freedom is in our ability to decide, to do, or to act. As we consider the fear of decision’s ramifications, and/or the unknown aspects of doing something we may have never done before, we attach training wheels to our life. It feels crappy but safer, and yet, it isn’t safe at all. We can feel inside that it doesn’t feel right. We can feel the resistance and the restraint involved. We have imprisoned ourselves, lost our freedom.

Because we so strongly want freedom, we rebel against self-created resistance and restraint, and with the ego’s complete cooperation, we begin blaming others, external forces, and more. And yet, our freedom is always fully in our control if we will only become aware of that power. Training wheels will not help us learn to use this power, we must simply exercise it, trust it will all be okay, and move.

Freedom is also our willingness and ability to fail and to learn from those failures. The label, fail or failure is made up. Truly there are only results, and we can then make adjustments if the results are not as desired. 

Reason Isn’t The Reason

“Everything happens as a result…”

To me, it is so fatalistic to think everything happens for a reason as if we are here to learn a bunch of lessons, and hopefully, we’re all paying attention and good students to boot. Not. It smacks of something outside of us that is directing us in learning these lessons by giving us these “opportunities” to learn, quite often the hard way so that the lesson then is supposed to be more valuable or something.

Heck, I used that phrase a lot too trying to make sense of things. But now, I am certain (at least for myself) that we are creators and that we create things, events, situations. Everything happens as a result. . . of our thinking, our attitudes, our beliefs, our moods, our actions, our choices. We choose things from the plethora of things to choose from and what happens is a result of any or all of those things. There might be reason involved and maybe not, but reason isn’t the reason.

Accepting responsibility for my own thinking, actions and emotions have brought me a great deal of joy. There is joy in accepting ourselves as creators rather than blaming or excuse finding.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira © 2020 Terry R. Minion
Mesa, AZ