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Archive for the ‘perception’ Tag

Traveling   Leave a comment

I’m still traveling between my home and Washington State. I’ll be there on vacation for the week. But even on vacation I still want to take some time out to share.

I woke up early this morning to the realization I was about to spend the better part of my day going from Nashville to Bellingham. Including a five and a half hour layover in Portland I was dreading. The whole trip seemed daunting and probably draining.

On the way to Nashville I received notification that I had won a giveaway I entered on Instagram. I hadn’t even made it to the flight and things were looking good.

I got to Nashville and in under twenty minutes I had checked in and made it through security to my gate in an airport I’ve never flown out of before. While waiting I met a nice woman in the gate area and we chatted until boarding.

I got on the plane for the flight from Nashville to Dallas and out of habit asked for a seat belt extension. You see the last time I flew was well before my keto journey began. The flight attendant, looked at my waist, smiled and said, “I don’t think you’ll need one, sir, but if you get to your seat and do ring the bell and I’ll bring one”. I got to my seat and she of course was right. I didn’t need it. I’ve lost enough the belt fit fine.

When I boarded in Dallas for the flight to Portland the flight was packed, except the seat between me and the nice young lady in the aisle seat. We had a nice comfortable ride and chatted most of the way. Made the flight a pleasure.

Now I’m here in Portland at the beginning of my five and a half hour layover and you know what, I’m happy. I’m not dreading it anymore. The amount of time hasn’t changed from this morning when I dreaded it, my mindset has. I’ve had a wonderful day of travel and this will be part of it. It’s all about perspective. You can choose to view things positively or negatively. I’m just glad my day today has shown me that positively is the better way. Take care.

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Momentum   Leave a comment

So I’ve been waiting until I get home at night to try and post and there’s one drawback to it. I keep nodding off before I post. My momentum has stopped because I’m sitting in bed doing nothing that requires energy. It wouldn’t take a lot to fix this, just a little movement. That would create enough momentum to keep me going.

How big can a little momentum be? I’ll answer that question with one of my favorite trick questions. I can give you $1 million right now or I’ll give you a magic penny that doubles in value every day that you can’t spend for the next 30 days. Which do you choose? Most people would give me a quizzical look and say “the million bucks, obviously”.

Here’s the reason it’s a trick question. While the penny is literally as close to nothing as you can get in US currency it does have value. Double that value every day for 30 days and that lowly penny becomes over $5 million dollars. If you take the million today you’re getting less then 20% of the money you could have if you were patient and waited for the momentum to build.

How does this relate to life? Well a lot of us will avoid doing small things based on the faulty premise that because the “penny” doesn’t have much value why bother. But even a penny doubled over time can have amazing outcomes. I’m not saying if you can do .01 push-ups today you’ll be doing over 5 million by the end of the month. I’m saying that if all you can do today is a penny’s worth of work do it and try to build on it tomorrow with the momentum you’ve created. Who knows how far that will take you? I do know if you do nothing you’ll stay where you are. Take care.

Making adjustments   Leave a comment

Last post I talked about Hannibal Smith’s famous line “I love it when a plan comes together.”  I used to love tuning in every week to the A-Team just for that line.  But that’s a tv show, and this is real life.  At the end of every episode there was closure on that particular plan/event.  Occasionally it might take 2 episodes to wrap it all up.  But in short order the story goes from start to the plan coming together.  In life, having the plan come together generally isn’t so quick or efficient.

No matter how well you plan, or how good a plan it is, there’s always going to be something or things you just can’t account for in advance.  Even if it’s a great plan that gets you close to where you want to be, it’s likely there will be room for improvement.

That’s why you need to be agreeable to making adjustments.  It’s easy to get so caught up in your original plan that you don’t see that it isn’t working for you.  Or feeling that you should finish what you started.  It’s why a lot of people will keep reading a book they don’t really like.  Not finishing it is quitting, and you don’t want to be a quitter.

But is making an adjustment quitting?  Not really.  It’s learning to spend your time in a more efficient and beneficial manner.  If you stop reading a book you aren’t getting anything out of you have time to read a different book you may glean something from.  You’re still reading, it’s just more useful material.  Same with your plan.  Making an adjustment might take you off the original path, but you’re still moving towards your goal.  You’re just on a better route.  Maybe a faster one, maybe a more efficient one.

It’s only quitting when you stop trying.  It’s only quitting when you completely give up on your plan because you aren’t seeing the results that you want. Making adjustments is just smart.  Pilots do it all the time to get from location to the next.   So keep an eye on your goal off on the horizon. And if you need to, adjust the rudder a little bit to keep heading in the right direction.  Don’t be so married to your plan that you miss the goal entirely.

Hope you’ve had a great day and see you in the next post.

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together   Leave a comment

These were the words Hannibal Smith would utter at the end of most missions for the A-Team.  He’d usually have a big smile on his face and light up a cigar as the rest of the team looked on with incredulity. That’s because after all the planning they did, the plan would usually fall apart, and the team would have to rally to pull off the victory.  So the plan never really did come together, the team did.

What if you had a team like that?  A team that managed to triumph no matter how far off the rails the plan goes.  Well you can.  We’ll call the members of your team skills, habits, and mindset. And everyone can train these team members to allow them to rally against the worst case scenarios that appear in your life.

Skills are tools you can place in your “tool bag” to call upon as needed.  They can be physical traits (running fast, lifting heavy objects) or mental traits (the ability to strategize on the fly, seeing patterns, identifying potential outcomes or variations on current events).  So when you find yourself stuck at home and can’t get to the gym, no problem.  Using your skills you identify different workouts you can do with the supplies at hand at your house, develop a routine on the fly, and get the exercise in that you intended at the gym.  The plan fell apart, but it came together at the end.

Habits are patterns of repeated behavior.  Your mind and body actually miss them when they don’t occur.  People who feel bad when they don’t get to the gym do so because it is their habit to go there.  Their minds and bodies miss the stimulus a habit provides. The trick is to create positive habits, because your mind and body miss the stimulus whether it’s good or bad for you.  Being in the habit of reading broadens your knowledge.  Being in the habit of going to the gym strengthens your body.  Being in the habit of eating well does so as well.  When you’re in the habit of doing things that benefit you, this builds resiliency.  No matter what bad things befall you to take the plan out, you’ll find a way for it to come together.

And the final team member, mindset, is like your own Hannibal Smith.  A well schooled and creative leader.  If your mindset is positive and always tries to see the good in situations, hiccups in the plan don’t turn into bad feelings, they’re opportunities to try something different.

Did you know that the physiological responses of fear and emotion are the same?  What separates them is mindset.  If you view it as negative it’s fear, if you view it as positive it’s excitement.  Seems to me that excitement is the better mindset.  And that’s why it’s important to develop a positive mindset.  How you look at things shapes how you react to things which shapes which actions you take.  Do you want to be positive mindset Hannibal Smith who loves it when a plan comes together?  Or do you want to be Colonel Decker, the negative mindset that’s always flustered by how the A-Team always gets away?

These are your team members.  And just like on the show, these guys didn’t just become the A-Team the day they showed up.  They became the A-Team because they worked at it and trained to be the best.  To be the team that can take on any obstacle. So starting today spend time meditating on the skills, habits, and mindset you need.  Begin training your team.  Don’t wait until the plan falls apart.  It’s too late then.  Work your mind and your body.  Create productive and healthy habits.  Reinforce the positive in your thinking.  Spend time each day developing your team.  The team that can have a plan fall apart and still have it come together in the end.

Law of Attraction   Leave a comment

So I was talking recently with a coworker and the Law of Attraction came up.  Specifically, they wanted to know if I believed in it or not.

My response was that I did, but I view it like I do my Prius.  I understand the basic concept of how my Prius works.  I push one pedal and the car goes faster.  I push another and the car slows down.  It’s pretty simple.  Ask me to be a little more specific and I can tell you that when I push the gas pedal down electricity flows from the batteries to the motor which is then transferred to the wheels and the car moves.  Ask me to give you a detailed diagram of my car’s electrical systems and you’re going to come up disappointed.  I understand the basic principles, sure, but not the specific means by which the Prius works.

The best part is I don’t really need to know.  Despite my being unable to give detailed information on how my car performs, I’m still able to use the Prius to get from point A to point B.  And I’m guessing it’s the same for most car owners across America.

So translate that to the Law of Attraction.  The idea is you focus on what you want.  Be it better health, money, a new car, it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you’re focused on it.  Seeing a life where you already have it.

A famous anecdote about the Law of Attraction was shared by Jim Carrey during an interview conducted by Oprah.  Carrey stated that long before he hit it big, long before he had a reason to believe he’d be a big star, he wrote himself a check for $10 million for acting services rendered.  That was how much he got paid for doing Dumb and Dumber.

Now I don’t know if it was the Force, an energy field of abundance, Santa’s magic elves, or just the power of positive thinking.  And really it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that Carrey visualized with absolute certainty that he would earn $10 million for his acting, and it came to be.

The take home is that if you focus (visualize) intently enough on a specific goal you want to happen it can, and often does happen.  Maybe not exactly as you visualized.  In fact it could differ quite a bit from how you saw it in your mind.  But focus on a goal long enough and it will happen.  If you want to believe it’ll happen by magic, that’s cool.  If you want to believe that it’s simply a self fulfilling prophecy, that’s cool too.  Just as long as you spend the time focusing on your dream until your dream becomes a reality.

Why are you doing this?   Leave a comment

Probably the most important question you can ask yourself.  I’ve done a couple of posts about acting with purpose.  Living your life not on auto pilot, but with definite intention.  When making the decisions that will move you forward along your path you should do so willfully.  This brings up the question, why are you doing this?  After all, how do you know which path to take if you haven’t figured out where you’re going?

The way to find that path is to know your why.  And the obvious way to find your why is to ask yourself why.  Unfortunately this isn’t a Google maps search.  You can’t just type a destination into the search window and be given a clear cut path to your goal.  Instead it’ll take time and meditation on the questions of why.  And that’s because to get to your why you need to keep whittling things down.

We all tend to create broad goals for ourselves.  Why are you exercising?  To get in better shape.  But that’s a broad idea.  A sprinter and a marathon runner are both in athletic shape but both have to train completely differently to reach success in their endeavor.  So you whittle it down.  Why do I want to get in better shape?  To be able to do more with my time.  Why do you want to do more with your time?  Because I feel I waste time.  Why do you feel you waste time?  Because I don’t think my actions have a real impact.  And you keep going and going until there isn’t a new why to ask.

This might be because your answers have become circular.  This is where the answer to why goes back to a previous answer.  So see what’s in that circle.  Like above you might ask the next why as “why do you feel your actions don’t have real impact?”  The answer to that could be because you keep repeating steps.  And you ask why do you repeat steps?  The answer is because they don’t have any real impact.  So the answer to why are you doing this is to have an impact.

Another reason you might not have a new why to ask is you’ve whittled the why down as far as you need to go.  There is no next step, you’ve figured out your why.  Again, going off the original series of why questions your next question may be “why do you want to have an impact?”  And the answer may be that you want to live your life to benefit others, not yourself.  And that answer resonates with you.  You’ve reached your why.  You wish to be of service to others.

And finally you may not be far enough along on your journey to fully understand your ultimate why.  Maybe you only get as far as you wish to be of service to others and that works for you for a while.  And then one day a why pops into your head.  Why do you want to be of service to others?  You’ve spent enough time serving others that you’ve become better.  More self aware.  And now you need more answers.  So you start asking why again.

And that’s how you keep walking down the right path.  You keep asking why.  Maybe one day you reach your destination.  Maybe you spend a lifetime looking.  Either way you’re living your life acting with purpose.  And that’s a good life.

Benefits of Acting with Purpose   Leave a comment

A few posts back I talked about acting with purpose.  This is all about keeping your focus on the here and now.  We go through a lot of life on auto pilot, doing the same thing over and over again, simply because it’s the habit we’ve developed.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  You couldn’t possibly live your life if you had to make a decision on every thing you do.  But when you let it get to the point where you just let your life happen by the patterns you’ve already formed you’ll get the results you’ve always been getting.

The biggest benefit of acting with purpose is it teaches you to evaluate your actions.  Why are you doing what you’re doing?  What benefit are you getting out of it?  What could you be doing differently right now that would make things better?  You can’t change things you aren’t aware you’re doing in the first place.  Again, this doesn’t mean every little thing you do, just being more mindful of the things you do that have an impact on how you feel about yourself.

Another benefit from acting with purpose is a sense of control.  Right or wrong, good or bad, you know you’re making the decisions.  You stop feeling like you’re at the mercy of the tides.  And that can reduce the overall stress you feel.  While a small amount of stress is necessary, and even beneficial for you, being constantly stressed out is not.  When you reduce your overall stress levels your body performs better.  It can focus more energy on healing.  Your mood will improve.  And you’ll feel more relaxed.

And finally, acting with purpose teaches us to become more and more comfortable with making decisions.  One of the hardest parts of the journey to a better you is just getting started.  With all the possible decisions and all the variable and all the possible outcomes, each with a different set of variables and decisions attached to them, it can make the decision making process scary.  And fear is the biggest obstacle we have to overcome to get started down the path to a better you.  How do we overcome that fear?  Just make a decision.  Take one small step in any direction.  Right or wrong you’ve just demonstrated to yourself that you can make a decision and still be here to make another one.  If the decision turned out to be right, keep making decisions to stay on that path.  If the decision turned out to be wrong, decide on a different path.  Every time you make a decision it’s a reassurance to yourself that it’s ok to make mistakes. It’s also a reminder that you can’t get better if you don’t move from where you are toward where you want to be.

That’s it for today’s post.  Hope you all had a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.