May 31, 2010

We become what we think about. Like attracts like- whether negative or positive. Habits form as a result of getting used to a particular system and then continually repeating those same series of actions over and over again until it become automatic.

As much as I want to, I find writing irresistible. It becomes my comfort, my shelter, my second home away from home. I feel I can put my thoughts down whenever I desire- morning, noon or midnight. I’ve learned through the years that writing in the fiction world appears harder for me than the real world. Although when it comes to what goes on in my real life, many would think I’m taking creative license to explain the environment and situations… sadly, it’s not make believe.

Today for instance I wrote about 2,000 words- spread out over my music reviews, a journal entry as well as this blog. When excited about music, I can easily type out a 300 word review, sometimes close to 400 words if I feel it strikes my head and heart. As far as my journal, I capture the ins and outs of my life, favorite quotes from books I’m reading- or ideas I want to hatch once they’ve had time to solidify.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Hopefully a great day, but I know that there are many things I can’t control and I have to pay attention to what I can control. What goes in my mind. How I react to my immediate environment. How I treat others around me. My attitude. My love. My compassion. Being grateful to be given the gift of life. Taking every opportunity that I’ve been given and see if I can give back more than I receive- because that’s just my nature.

I forgive those who have not come through on their promises, either past, present or in the future. I forgive myself for the times that I’ve let people down, given them less than my best, or acted quickly instead of listening to all the facts at hand. I know I still have plenty of room to grow as a person and that the best is yet to come in my life. I have countries I want to visit, people I want to meet, and languages that I need to learn and explore.

So never believe that you can’t accomplish anything you set your heart and mind to do. You may have to team up with someone far away, you may have to scale down other areas of your life, you may have to gain new skills, you may have to change a lot or very little about yourself- the point I’m making is the law of attraction can work on your behalf if you are willing to listen, take action and then course correct along the way.

You have to believe things will work themselves out. As much as I want to scream when it appears nothing is going right, I need to rely on what I can control to allow everything I can’t control to come into focus. Forces collide in space and time- I can either respect what comes or resist. We’ll see what takes place…


May Be Time For A Break

May 30, 2010

As much as I love writing consistently in this blog, and hope that I’ve helped many through my thoughts, I think it may be time for me to take a break from the daily posting. Circumstances have just taken a turn in another direction, something I never expected to have to face in my life or within my family. During those times, I feel it’s necessary to close ranks and be prepared for some serious decision making as to what will happen in the near future.

After the fact I may be able to unfold what’s been going on and how I feel about all of this. At this point, I have had to shut certain emotions down and just reside on a do what I have to do level of life. This may not be healthy in the long run, but short term I feel it’s best. I will still read, I will still write (especially in the music reviewing and interviewing realms), and I will still connect with people. I could change my mind hours from now and be inspired to write another long entry.

I just figured the readers deserve a heads up. It’s better to keep people in the loop than to fall off the edge of the earth and have people wonder whatever happened to him?

Happily my wife and I had another good visit with my youngest daughter over the weekend. She’s not pleased that we are only able to go out 4 hours at a time, but that’s one of the downfalls of having to live in a group home currently. We are hoping this will inspire her more to place a greater effort on making the best use of our time together- to repair our relationship and get home quicker as a result. I think she knows we love her, we just have to work on two way communication and understanding.

I’m going to sign off for now. Keep smiling, keep in touch when you can and be sure to develop some personal mantras that you say to yourself in a mirror daily. You need to know how important and special of a human being you are. Don’t let anyone take away the special qualities, talents, and abilities you possess. Read something positive for at least 30 minutes a day. Work on deep breathing and meditation/ visualization, I think you’ll be quite surprised at the increase of energy and productivity you’ll receive throughout the day.

Alter Your Course Slowly

May 29, 2010

When people are unhappy with their life, you sense that everyone just wants to make a huge shift in every area of their lives. Much like the changes from childhood to adulthood, you had to make slow, steady and incremental changes to be able to mature and grow without feeling overwhelmed and out of sorts.

I think back to the steps one takes when walking, when talking, when learning how to write first in letters than in words, then pulling things together for sentences, paragraphs and stories. People often make me laugh when they talk about how effortless I can make certain aspects of my life- without taking into account the years and years of practice, toil, reshaping and refining what I was doing.

Where am I coming from? I want people to understand that you can make changes in your life, you can venture out and become a new person- but you have to alter your course slowly and within your own pace. If you are willing to set new goals and stick to them, isn’t it better to focus on 2-3 areas rather than attempting to change 10 things all at once and getting frustrated because nothing seems to be moving in the right direction?

My wife has helped me through the years become more assertive when it comes to the types of service I should get when dealing with the public. Before if someone stated that something wasn’t possible, I would probably accept their word at face value and leave it at that. Now if I feel that I deserve something better, I will go to other people who can help me, or often ascend the chain of command to explain why I believe I deserve better service.

Any world takes time and evolution to take shape. It’s better to think that you will lose 5-10 pounds in a month than believe that you can be as successful as contestants on The Biggest Loser who proclaim double digit weight losses weekly. Can you recreate those same conditions with those same trainers and spend 24/7 on your diet and exercise plan? Probably not- thus you need to adjust accordingly. If it takes 12 years to finish your normal school education, do you think you’ll become a master of a new subject in 12 weeks?

Develop patience and persistence- these dual aspects will make significant changes for your life. You have to understand there will be roadblocks and setbacks to handle- but you can push through them. If you know where you want to be in terms of the finish line, chart the course back through the study of others and be willing to repeat what they’ve done to achieve the same success.

It’s time for me to settle into bed. I have another weekend where I’ll journal, I’ll read, I’ll write some music reviews and I will keep in touch with my friends and family. I appreciate all of the prayers, the love, the support and the interaction I receive. It makes all the chaos and stressful times easier to handle. Spend your time engaging in some of your favorite activities- you deserve to treat yourself well.

Politeness and Image

May 28, 2010

In today’s society manners and how we present ourselves stick out in comparison to the past. A lot of times our children want so hard to fit in with what their peers are doing- but forget that in certain respectful or formal situations, it’s important to be at your very best.

I’m amazed that when people go to court for instance, you’ll see lawyers and judges in suits and formal dresses while the general public can run the gamut from business attire to shorts, flip flops and t-shirts. If you were going to defend yourself and you look like you really don’t care very much about your appearance, what is that really telling the judge? How are you going to improve to stay out of trouble with the law?

And never mind hearing teenagers back talking their attorneys or judges in the court room. I guess some people are failing to understand the principle of respect: it’s earned, it’s not a given birth right. So many times I’ve heard that people will give respect when they get respect. I think you gain respect by how you treat yourself, how you treat others and your understanding of your place within the world.

I grew up in a household where ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ went a long way. Where when someone thanked you, you replied ‘you’re welcome’. If there was a piece of trash in your way, it didn’t matter if you weren’t the culprit, you just picked it up out of kindness and wanting to keep your environment clean. If there was a big job that needed to be done, you didn’t wait to be asked to participate- you volunteered your effort and your time.

I don’t think it would be a bad thing to institute some sort of community service requirement for high school students before they graduate. It would help them understand that what they’ve been given often times for free from their parents and their school systems should also be paid forward to their community. Our world wasn’t built by one person alone- we all need each other to thrive and survive.

If someone’s having a bad day, throw a smile their way or pay them a compliment or give them something uplifting to think about. We spend too much time throwing more gasoline on an already lit fire when it comes to negativity. Help people realize that their inner kindness and beauty can also be shown to the outside society in their manners, their generosity and their natural gifts and talents.

It’s never too late to apologize for a wrong doing to someone. You’ll feel better and so will they. Even if you write it down and send it in the mail, pick up the phone and call or even see them face to face- the forgiveness within your heart will make a lot of illness and stress go away.

Know though that people do pay attention to politeness and image. The more you care about yourself and those around you, the better people feel and the better people will treat you in the long run. We can all use more happiness within our lives, more laughs and more exciting, great experiences.

Deal With Your Truth

May 27, 2010

When we don’t want to face reality, as humans we tend to run away from our problems. Either physically in terms of location or emotionally and mentally in terms of denial. We distance ourselves and then assign blame often times on outside circumstances or situations that we’ve caused to happen by our previous decision-making.

Right now I’m having to face some reality check situations in my own life that happen as a result of impulsive decisions I’ve made through the years. I could whine and complain about what happened- but where will that get me? All I can do is face the truth head on and learn from the experience so that I don’t put myself in a similar situation again.

Should I look at what I lack or should I focus more on what I desire? I find that a scarcity mentality tends not to be a healthy one. Negative emotions build out of feeling like you have to cut back or suppress what you want out of life. Now is the time to look at my skill sets and think about how I can use them to benefit others and possibly bring additional income into the household.

Too many people I know in the world seem to be very good at manipulating others into thinking their public persona is so different than their real persona. If you tell too many tall tales to other people, eventually reality will catch up to you. We did not come into this world as perfect human beings- and I think you would be surprised how forgiving many people will be if you own up to your troubles and get the right help that you need to go on the right path.

I’ve learned that dwelling on what’s over and done with as far as decision making is a no win situation. It’s better to face where you are at head on and make the right choices from here on out. Too many people want to tackle their problems and challenges on their own- and not take advantage of the strong network of family and friends and co-workers and teachers and therapists and health care providers around you who can make life a little bit easier for you.

If there’s been a significant issue you’ve been delaying to deal with because you think it will take care of itself, pull it back out and brainstorm about it. Go completely silly if you have to and come up with 20 different solutions to the problem. I learned this aspect from Brian Tracy, and you’ll be surprised that often the final solution or two is the one that will work out the best.

You aren’t going to get any better living in denial. If you have anger issues, get help. If you feel like you aren’t in the right career, get help and develop the skills necessary to move into the career you desire. Don’t succumb to victim mentality- you can always help yourself out of any situation as long as you put the mindset, the drive and the action into place.

And as much as you think people are constantly judging your every move in every moment- they really aren’t. They are more worried about you doing the same thing to them than they are about you. You have only one life to live- why not make it the most productive and uplifting you can, instead of consistently saying to yourself “I wish I had done this, I wish I had done that, there’s no time to accomplish this…”.

One Hour A Day

May 26, 2010

If you were able to take one hour a day away from your normal everyday routine and put it into developing a new skill, you would probably achieve expertise in that field within 4-7 years. Imagine what you could do to your life, your family, your finances, your personal well-being with that skill.

Imagine if you rose one hour earlier to spend 60 minutes a day learning a new computer skill or learning a new language. What if we took that one hour and we were able to implement a new exercise and strength training routine? How about cultivating a new hobby or interest you’ve always wanted to throw yourself into, but didn’t know how you were going to carve out the time to do so?

We all have 24 hours in a day. If we spend a third of our day sleeping, we need to make the other 16 hours special. Think about the amount of time you spend unwinding in front of the television. Do you think you can take away one 60 minute program in prime time to impact your overall future?

I’ve found that during the afternoon and evening time with my family, we often leave the television off and just engage in board games, conversations, and so forth. Both my daughters love playing bingo, so we spent some time over the weekend engaging in that game. It brings out a sense of healthy competition, and we develop special prizes as a reward to each winner of the game. I’ll spend time reading aloud to them, challenging them with how or what or why questions to engage their brains and really make them think.

Brian Tracy talks about in one of his DVD’s that if you want to learn a European language enough to become fluent in it, you need to invest 1,000 hours of study. Learning happens in small steps, so you need to chunk out 1-2 hour blocks per session for language learning. For Brian Tracy to become fluent in German it took him 10 years. As a result of this, he received 5-10 times more in income than he had before he learned this language- he received better book deals in the country and also won an award for the best German speaker- even though he was not a native speaker!

I agree that living in America we need to become at the very least bi-lingual language skills. So I’ve been carving out the time to ‘go back to school’ within my own studies and re-acclimate my Spanish speaking and writing skills. I feel it betters my chances of impacting more people with my talents and abilities. I can also pass on these skills to my family.

I think back to areas of my life where I developed more than a good level of ability, and it all had to do with carving out more time to do those activities. So get on with it. We have only one life to live. Don’t say you are too old to accomplish something. We know people in their 60’s and 70’s who’ve taken themselves from dirt poor to riches, acquiring new language skills, earning college degrees, and climbing the tallest mountain peaks of the world. If they can do it, you can do it. Study what they study, use the same learning methods and chart out the blocks of time necessary and take that first step.

Trust me, you’ll be very happy in the end for taking the steady progress to achieve greatness. Have a wonderful day and keep up the excellent work.

Current Reading and Thoughts

May 25, 2010

Well, I decided it’s important to revisit some of the books I’ve purchased so far in 2010. Just as much as I like visiting the library and keeping up with books that are hard to find, I love going to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore and picking up some of the latest offerings. I’m currently jumping around between these three books.

The Unemployed Millionaire- Matt Morris
Instant Wealth- Wake Up Rich- Christopher Howard
Trust Agents- Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

The latter book discusses how to build up trust and credibility through your communication and interaction on the web. There are some excellent tools in place that both authors mention, as well as brief case studies on how other successful people have built their trust on the web.

The first two books work on personal development and achievement strategies. I enjoy reading about how individuals have to fall and fail sometimes in order to pick themselves back up and make better choices for a more successful life in the long run. I’m aware that it isn’t easy to have a great career, a great family and a great personal life. I do think it’s important though if I want to learn and grow in all areas of my life, I think I need to make a continuous learning path of the best minds in our lifetime now as well as of past generations.

Which means in the coming months I’m going to take some risks in order to establish a wider presence in my world. I’ve thought about my years and years of acquiring knowledge and how to be able to pass thoughts and insights on a variety of topics in a different way. I’ve watched the ascension of the video blog medium and think it may be time for me to venture into that realm.

It would probably be related to one of my favorite interests: music. I feel like I have a lot of opinions about music, about where it’s going and what we need to do about it to keep the spirit and productivity alive and flourishing. I feel that I could have special guests who would also give their opinions about certain aspect that they have more expertise about, and I may be able to combine my love of reviewing and talking about music at the same time.

There’s no better time than the present to establish credibility and trust. I want to help people discover their passions, their hopes, their dreams. We can’t be afraid as human beings to take the first step. So what if the first few times on camera may seem awkward- you study what you’ve done and you learn from those experiences. We’ve heard from Shakespeare that all the world’s a stage, and I don’t want to go through life anymore thinking everything is a rehearsal. You have to prepare I agree- but better preparation means playing to set up a win-win situation for yourself and for your audience.

Now it’s time for me to leave for now. Keep smiling, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call that long lost friend you haven’t spoken to in a few months. Maybe it will be the right time in their lives to hear from you and let them know how important they are to you.