- Taking time to “feel” internally how I am being affected by events.
- Back off and distance myself from the heat of the event [even if it is only on a mental-emotional level]
- Determine a method to slow or stop the progression of the negativity [even if is only on a mental-emotional level]
- Playback mental “Rolodex” to ascertain what similar events occurred in the past asking: What worked in that situation? What did I miss (flags) in the early stages of current situation? How am I different at this moment then in past moments?
- Determine the level of importance [e.g. Do I even care?, Is it really a battle that needs attention? What does doing nothing look like? etc.etc.]
- Develop the strategy
- Put strategy into action
- Monitor strategy’s effectiveness and adjust if necessary
Once the stress has lifted and the end of event is in sight or have successfully passed “through,” conduct a project management technique of reviewing every step/decision to determine lessons learned. Lessons learned involves [at least for me]:
- What “flags” were missed and how were they missed
- What weaknesses or flaws within myself [views/traits] were brought out – what behaviors or worldviews will I adjust
- How have I matured or grown from the experience
- Going forward how can I prevent, avoid, circumvent, and/or lessen the impact or occurrence of future situations of a similar nature
- Reflect on the depth of change/growth in self-awareness, self-concept, self-confidence, and self-efficacy
- What if anything out of the situation can/could be of comfort to someone else. Is there information in the experience I can share? Is there another layer of understanding/empathy toward others that experience similar events that can make me a light at the right time to assist others?
It is really amazing how we all ‘know‘ certain things that we should be or could be doing and are not doing. But, when we finally get around to doing them we can’t understand why we took so long to get started or get it done. Case in point. I have slowly been rearranging and organizing my house. I went through all paper work took seven 13-gallon bags of paper to the local shredding company and disposed of it. As I left the lot I felt like I’d lost 50 pounds. Next I throw away, gave away, or donated three medium boxes of shoes, five 30 gallon bags of clothing, and 4 boxes of what-knots and when I passed a full length mirror I was shocked that my outward appearance was not the 115 pounds I felt like. What a marvelous sensation of freedom and surge of energy.
*picture Brain Chutney.com
Okay, sometimes we get caught up in the business of life and get a tad distracted from our previous path. That is okay! The main thing is to make sure to enjoy the moments, the people, and the relationships we have. Once we realize we have gotten off track with our goals and pursuits we have the unique opportunity to examine how to incorporate the moments, the people and the relationships into our path of pursuit in order to do both. It’s okay if doing that slows our forward movement some. After all the world has been geared toward the quick, pronto, now, instant gratifications of our wants. Wow! As I think of that last sentence I cannot help but to think of the many marketing campaigns of industry and attempt to find one that doesn’t want the consumer to “buy now,” “get instant results,” “hurry in, or “don’t miss out on savings.” I was browsing the advertising mailers at work and really paying attention to the ‘regular price’ and the ‘sale price.’ Many ‘slashed’ prices were $10 (USD) to $30 (USD) lower. Some times there were good savings of over $100 (USD) but not that many. If ‘now’ is not really advantages to our financial position then is a few dollars off really worth putting yourself into a bit of a pinch?
I guess the real message is get there at your own pace, in your own time, in a manner that allows you to enjoy, appreciate, and grow in self-awareness as you travel along your journey toward your life vision!
Okay, so you’re good at what you do and have been for a number of years, yet you don’t get the recognition you know you deserve. Job after job your higher-ups suck the knowledge out of you and yet promote others over you.
You rack your brain, analyze your work ethic, take self-awareness tests, and even seek out counseling to figure out where you are weak and attempt to make change for the better. And still the same things happen.
Funny thing is everyone you meet tells you over and over again what a blessing you are and many tell you what you already know about your personality, talents, skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
The natural thing is to feel demoralized each time you are turned down or passed up or bullied out of advancement.
However, this is the point where you become mediocre or brilliant. You can do what is natural or you can reach deep down and become beyond ordinary!
Reader, did I just hear you say, “How! When I’m living among those who will never appreciate me!”
Well my dearest, by appreciating yourself. By knowing that you are amazing and thinking on how you’ve impacted so many people that have crossed your life-path over the years. Think about how each of those people
will (as they walk their life-path) do and say the things that they gave you the credit for teaching, training, explaining, and advising them of. And then each of the people they share with will go forward doing likewise.
Although you may not see the results in a monetary way you can rest assured you have created a legacy that will continue on. And you never know what greatness that will lead to. Can you imagine the emotions of
teachers or coaches or whomever when they hear a successful actor, actress, business tycoon, athlete, doctor, scientist, etc. give the credit to them (either on national television or in a book) as being that one
extraordinary extra special someone that made the difference in their life providing them the confidence and catalyst to know they can be whatever they put their mind to.
So, know that you know that you are amazing. Know that you are okay. Know that you are amazing. You keep finding appreciation with yourself. Know that the very fact that your greatness causes many to feel their own weaknesses so strongly that they will find ways to not promote you on the job is proof of just how great you are. Know that in all things there is a blessing. Perhaps, the universe is aware and has a plan for you and you need to be able to take or make the opportunity when it arises.
For example, how many times have we heard of persons that were out of a job due to downsizing or company going out of business and they could not find work for months and months. Then out of despair and the need to take care of their families they use all their greatness and find the under-served groups of consumers carving out a multi-million dollar niche.
So, while the days come and go, you see things to appreciate (like always), you keep plugging along, you keep doing you, you keep your mind-body-spirit-soul walking tall, happy, and satisfied.
Remember, you are loved by many, looked up to by many. You are making a difference right now and your rewards are and will be great.
Taylor and Madison
I like names that can take on either gender. As you read the following whatever gender you wish to make Taylor and Madison is completely your choice.
Taylor enjoyed the water from an infant onward. This love grew to oceans, boats, sailing and travel. Taylor soaked up any topic or field that had to do with these subjects. Everything from oceanography, engineering, ship building, ocean cultures, you name it. Taylor grew to have a dream of being one with the sea and one day sailing alone across the sea. At times, Taylor shared the dream with family, friends, and acquaintances. In high school, kids would joke behind Taylor’s back – “Taylor is really cool, but don’t mention anything about water, oceans or boats!” At times even family and friends felt the same. Taylor’s loved ones secretly hoped the dream would never be able to come to fruition.
However, through self-discipline, determination, planning, studying, and preparation Taylor did make the dream a reality.
Taylor set sail on the journey of a life time due to return in six weeks. As with any such trek Taylor knew there would be areas of difficulty and danger. Risk assessment was one of the topics Taylor took seriously and made that part of preparation and planning. Such a risk occurred. Taylor came through with flying colors, even though shipwrecked on a small stretch of land most of Taylor’s provisions were saved. This particular track of land was located where every seven days an ocean liner would pass close enough it could be signaled and a rescue could take place. Taylor had enough fresh water to last eight days and a few food rations survived for three days worth of provisions. Taylor said, “I just have to hold out and be smart seven days.”
The first day was not too bad, Taylor felt proud and prepared. However, it wasn’t long before one hour felt like several hours, and one day felt like forever. In time, Taylor’s words became a never-ending mantra, “I just have to hold on. I just have to hold on.”
Day seven arrives, yet for Taylor, physically, mentally, and emotionally it has been as seventeen days. Taylor has been in a heightened state of vigilance. Ears, eyes, and body strained to the hilt in an attempt to hear, see, and even feel the vibrations of the cruise liner. There it is — Loaded with happy passengers, gleaming in the distance! There it goes!
In the dark of night, Taylor’s heart explodes into the throat, eyes shoot open like a Fourth of July Grand Finale, and from prone to upright in a nanosecond. Taylor realizes the stress had caused the body to sleep so soundly the opportunity for rescue had come and gone. As quickly and as powerfully the realization came on it left. Taylor’s life would end within a few more hours.
Madison grew up in a rural town of less than 4000 people. As a child watching television, Madison yearned to live in a metropolis and experience different cultures and activities. Madison soaked up anything having to do with industrialization, theatre, arts, peoples, language, history, you name it. Madison decided on New York City, New York. Madison planned, studied, worked hard through school, sought out mentors to assist with career paths, and gained acceptance to the first choice of universities. During this time Madison took up summer intern positions and continued to gain favor among staff at each company. Madison landed the perfect stepping-stone job after college that led to the dreams fulfillment.
For 20 years Madison worked and loved every minute of New York City. One evening while sitting at a favorite bistro with friends, Madison began to reflect back on that rural upbringing: The slower pace, the wide-open spaces, and a simpler life. Madison did some soul-searching and found a bit of burnout and fatigue had slipped in causing the desire for a time long passed. With the same thoughtfulness, self-discipline and determination that led to the fulfilment of the dream, Madison began to research self-awareness, self-renewal, and rejuvenation. Friends born and raised in big cities and metropolis were skeptical and critical of Madison. Many warned Madison of all sorts of dangers and problems with the idea. Some joked, “Madison has lost it, becoming some New Age freak.” Some secretly hoped Madison would try it, fail, come back early, all so they could say, “I told you so!”
Madison planned out a seven day self-quest of hiking, journaling, rejuvenation of body, mind, and soul while fasting on water in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. The first couple of days pass slowly gradually speeding up until before long the seven days are over. Sitting on a hillside as the dawns light builds to a gentle warming, Madison sets to words in the journal the glorious power and rebirth of self-renewal. Once complete, Madison packs up and makes the hike out to the rented vehicle parked at the visitor’s center to make the drive back to New York City.
Pulling up the driver side door handle, Madison turns back and looks up toward what had been ‘home’ for seven days, takes in an enormous deep breathe and slowly exhales. As that breathe is exhaled a wide, deep smile takes over from ear-to-ear and from head-to-toe, both inside and out.
Two individuals, two different perspectives of what constitutes prosperity, success, two groups of naysayers made up of family and friends, two totally different outcomes. What makes the difference?
Can you imagine Taylor on that stretch of land transforming from self-assurance to self-doubt. Beginning with I’m okay, I’ve taken the necessary steps, and I have the necessary provisions. That giving way to reflection on all the words and sentiments of naysayers; finally to become the sentiments of Taylor’s own worst enemy – self.
Can you imagine when Taylor’s six week return comes and goes; the search teams sent out by family call it quits. When Taylor’s life pursuit comes up in conversation – those family, friends, and acquaintances will say with even more vigor and vim how fool-hearted and ridiculous Taylor’s dream was. Those who held Taylor most dear will attempt to find comfort with the thought that at least Taylor was doing what Taylor loved.
Conversely, can you imagine Madison on the morning hike back to the rented vehicle feeling physically devoid of toxins, mentally in control with a refreshed sense of purpose and self-discipline, and emotionally grounded in tranquility, harmony, and inner peace; feeling stronger than ever before in life and completely self-confident and sure-footed. Oh, I’m sure there was probably a couple of moments Madison thought of the naysayers – couple of fleeting moments – nanoseconds – that passed out of mind in an instant. Because with each passing tic-tic for Madison the goal of the trek was being reached – success was growing. Hence, the entire event from conception, to execution, to completion was so grand that it doesn’t matter if the quest is shared with a single solitary soul, because the experience was for Madison and Madison alone.
What do Madison’s friends and family think? I don’t know. Does it really matter?
The hardest thing for me so far has been to keep doing what I am doing while I plug along to get where I really want to be. Everything is instant gratification. Want it now, get it now, Or you LOSE! Teaching myself to fight the hype is in the same league as trying to overcome some addiction.
For example, I wanted to show a friend a really kool car someone that works at the dollar store owns. As I was headed there my friend says, “Why show me one that someone already has? Let’s go see one on the lot.” I don’t have to tell you my heart rate started racing and that glint was in my eyes. I looked at my friend who was holding the phone book I keep in my car and before I could put the kybosh on the idea she says, “Can’t hurt from sitting in it, you at least should know if you can even get in and out of it okay.”
Long story short – We test drove the car; I left with the salespersons card, brochure, and a tentative commit to come back in October. Well, here we are three weeks later and I finally got my control back. It is just not time yet. I had to re-group and re-visit my dream of my financial future. I also had to look at my current situation and recall the past. I realized that two pivotal financial mistakes I made were directly the result of getting a new vehicle. Also, I had to remember that after both of those debacles I said I would never do that again. And here we are at a point where things can keep getting better or I can put myself back in the corner. Well, not this time.
This time I will let the lessons of life win out and curb the beast of impulsiveness. Wow! It is so empowering when you’ve got your control back.
Make a plan – I want to be able to walk into the dealership of my choice and tell them what vehicle I want, what color scheme inside and outside.
Strategy – Each payday put funds into a Christmas account (no withdrawals allowed). Let it roll over when the one withdrawal period comes up.
Stay the Course – Do not give in to any sales pitches, well-meaning others, and more importantly my own impulses. It may not be a 2014 or even a 2015 model, shucks by 2016 there may be another vehicle that comes out that I like even better.
I took this on my phone right after the test drive. I now use this picture to remind me
I want to walk into the dealership with the color scheme and features I would like
rather than what the dealerships say I can afford.