Sep 23, 2010

An Important Lesson Learned

Enthusiasm must come from you. Enthusiasm that is inspired by some outside factor, some stimulus like a girlfriend, boyfriend, place, parent, manager, or special thing is conditional.

Conditional enthusiasm will block you from doing what you dream.


For the past two weeks, I’ve been locked up inside my head. My enthusiasm has dried up, I said to myself. I need “this”, I need “that”, I need “it” as a reason for doing my work, my writing, my preparation. Without out these things, I refuse to work. I can’t work. I’m helpless. …or so I thought.

I was wrong!


Waiting for something to inspire me, to give me a reason is a form of hyper-dependency.

Actually, it’s a form of slavery.

If no one comes, if nothing happens, I do nothing. I’m like a puppet waiting for instruction. I’m like a fool waiting for the wind to blow me somewhere.


Waiting for someone or something is a waste of your god-given talent. Refusing to work without the inspiration is a form of immaturity of the highest calibre.

Work is a choice. It is an act of love. Love is a choice. It must be motivated by you! Generated by you!


Love and work feel easier when the inspiration seems inspired by someone or something. The look of a pretty girl’s eye, the promise of her hand; the hope of a promotion, of getting a job…these are inspirational.

They are the things that may make you get out of bed in the morning. But what happens when they lose their meaning? What happens when they disappear? What then?


Death?

Oh you big baby!

Instead, you must realize that the meaning is within you. You must do your work! You must not wait for inspiration, for enthusiasm before putting pen to paper, before loving, before doing what you know you want to do and must do. You must stop being a slave to emotion.

You must work, create, give, love, dig and do EVEN WHEN IT MAKES NO SENSE!
Why?

Because choosing to do nothing, choosing to wait, is a waste of your time. Even if what you produce isn’t worth much, it does not matter. Do! Do! Do! Do, and then enthusiasm may come.

Act first, feel later.


This is a lesson I learned. And in honor of our shared humanity, I choose to share it with you…whether it means much or not.

Aug 25, 2010

One Reason People Can Accomplish More When They Are Already Busy

Ever notice that busy people seem to accomplish more?

There's many great sayings about this concept. One that comes to mind is the famous, "You want something to get done, give it to someone who's busy. You want something to take a long time to be completed, give it to someone who's not."

I agree fully!

Recently, I've been super busy and stressed. When I knew I was going into the stress, I warned those around me that I would be unable to do certain things. I would have to postpone blogging, for one.

Yet, somehow this busy-ness has allowed me the ability to concentrate my efforts and accomplish a lot more than I expected. Including a record amount of blog entries in a record amount of time. ...for me.

So why? Why am I able to do more when I have more to do? If you have an answer, I would love to hear about it. As for me, my answer is simply this. Busy people have momentum on their side. They have certain time constraints. The tightening of time allows them to concentrate in such a way that enables more action than is usual. That action resembles a ball rolling down hill. Once the ball is set in motion--through the original requirement and reason for the busy-ness--it begins to gather speed. That speed goes above and beyond what is necessary for the ball to get down hill.

Much the same, a busy person goes above and beyond what is necessary for the requirements of the busy-ness. The result: more gets accomplished.

So, what can we learn from this? It's simple. If you want to accomplish much in life, get busy doing other things. That busy-ness will enable you to do both what you need and want done.

Aug 24, 2010

Here's Something Everyone Needs to Know About Trust

Are you quick to trust someone? Does it come natural for you?

If you are anything like me, then you are too trusting too soon. For whatever reason, I’m quick to trust people. Is it a bad thing? No. I generally think people are good. But, too fast to trust syndrome—as I’m calling it—can cause a lot of pain. I’m sure many of you already know this.


I suppose I am naive.

I guess then a recent episode where a person continued to break my trust, while I continued to give the person the benefit of the doubt, is a growing up. I actually honestly believed that most people would have my interest at heart, much like I have theirs at heart. But, the truth is, they don’t. Most do not, and never will. I believe I’ve been woken up.

Harsh truth can be painful. But it is also a wonderful teacher. This recent episode of broken trust taught me several things.
  1. It taught me the importance of trust.
  2. It taught me about the importance of integrity. Or, better said, the art of keeping promises, keeping your word, doing what you say you will when you say you will.
  3. It taught me to honor my debts immediately, no matter the personal cost to myself. For if I do not, the result is painful to the person I deprive.
  4. It taught me that our trust toward other people should not be automatic. That they should have to earn our trust, and we theirs.
This last point really intrigues me. Trust should be earned. It should not be automatic. Most of you probably already know this. But, I never really thought like that. I have just naturally assumed that most people are good. I also never really thought of myself as being a person worthy of waiting for someone to earn my trust before trusting them. I just thought I better jump out and trust, otherwise they might leave. …and anyone who knows me know that I hate being left.

But, the truth is, I deserve to be someone who is catered to in terms of trust. What I mean is, I am someone worthy of you doing the work to gain my trust. And so are you from me.


I have often felt strange when people don’t trust me right away. I know my character, I know that I am harmless. Yet, I forget that others do not. I forget that others cannot know what I know about myself. I also forget that I am not as angelic as I like to try and get others to believe. (But that’s another topic for another time!) I realize today that when others don't trust me immediately, it's natural, normal, and healthy.


The bottom line is that I and you both deserve to wait for someone to work to earn our trust. Instant liking is not good. That doesn’t mean we should be stuffy and scared and stuck in a corner waiting for someone to make us their friend without our trying. But it does mean that we take our time, wait, and really watch the people we come to know. Some of them, most often those that you may think are going to be "sure thing" honest, turn out to be nothing more than slime ball lizards hidden inside human skin, waiting to turn us into meat for their dinner. I hate lizards!


Those of you who are the lizards….you know who you are...know this....I'm through being Mr. Nice Guy! Time for you to work to get my respect and trust. Anything less is my own self-abuse.

For Information On Building A Culture of Trust, check out this site.

Aug 21, 2010

The 3 Best Ways for Enduring the Stress of Moving

Moving houses, apartments, boxes from underneath the bridge is a terrible thing! It ranks on the “sucks to do this” scale at a 9.5 out of 10. Death, of course, being 10. The stress of moving is enough to create four extra wrinkles in all our faces.

So how do we get through the stress?
There are 3 ways.

First, you could get drunk. It's an option. You can drink and drink and drink some more. This way won’t work for all of us, and it’s only a temporary solution that will actually only make matters worse, but it’s an option.

Sometimes temporary bliss is better than that ugly feeling of putting up with movers, putting shit into boxes, lifting heavy crap up stairs, navigating refrigerators around awkward corners and through narrow doors. So keep this option in mind.


Second, yell at a lot of people. This one works wonders! It makes you feel good for that one or two moments that you’re in the middle of a tirade against someone you don’t know at all. SHUT UP! EAT ME! I’LL KILL YOU!
Anger is a great way to blow off the steam of stress. Unfortunately, you’ve got to deal with the consequences.

So, I recommend that if you’re going to blow of steam, you find someone else's kid, and take it out on them. They’re the least harmful. If you make them cry, it doesn’t matter. You can run away and pretend that it never happened. If someone questions you about it, just deny it. No one believes kids anyhow. And, if you permanently scar the little kid, it’s okay, because you don’t have to live with the reminder of the effect of your crap attitude as it grows into a neurotic little adult.

This is awesome!

If you yell at your own kid, or at someone big like you…you have to live with the consequences, and that is simply unacceptable.


The final tip is to do the mature thing and write stuff down. Make a list of all that needs to be done.

Slowly, one by one, tick off the items as you complete them. Writing them down helps eliminate the stress of carrying the shit in your head, and thinking all the time that you won’t forget anything.

Constant memory holding is like weight lifting for the brain, only it effects your stomach, your liver, your nerves, in fact, it effects most all your internal organs and skin. Negatively.
So don’t do that.

Instead, write down a list. That way, you’re brain is free to do other stuff. Like figure out ways to yell at other people’s kids and not get caught.


There’s actually one other way to deal with the stress of moving, but saying it seems rather silly. The bottom line is that you really don’t have to move at all. You can stay in your current house, apartment or box next to the river. If it’s good enough where you are now, why do risk getting drunk, yelling at strangers children, or doing the work of writing things down, when you can stay comfortably in the pleasant normalcy you’ve created for yourself.
But…that’s just a suggestion.

To conclude, do yourself a favor: pick one of the things mentioned here, and try your best to endure the second most shittiest thing to dying.


All for now,


Michael

Aug 4, 2010

One Possible Way To Find Happiness

Kill them! Just do it! Just pull out your knife and kill! Stab them through the heart. You don’t need them where you are going! All they do is tear you down, hold you back, and keep you from the destiny that is pulling at you deep in your heart!

Dear reader, the expectations that others have placed upon you are a huge barrier to your happiness. Killing the expectations others have of us is a surefire way to find a little more happiness in your own life.

Just what do I mean?

People are expectation making machines. It’s a habit. You naturally form expectations of people, of places, of things. When you were young, you probably learned to expect dinner at a certain time. When you got older, you could expect that you would get in trouble if you arrived at school late. In professional life, you have probably come to expect a paycheck at the end of every month for the work you’ve done.

For the most part, expectations are good. When you enter into a contract, you expect certain promises to be kept. When you work, you expect to be paid. When you buy a book , you expect that book will have words written on the page. Expectations like these are fairly normal and rather good.

Some expectations, however, are enough to drive us crazy. The expectations you should be most concerned with are the expectations other people have for you. For example, your mom and your dad probably want you to get married by a certain age. They probably want you to marry the right person, get the right job, live nearby, do a bunch of things that are essential for making them happy. When you were born, these expectations were "placed" on you by your parents. They were handed to you. You did not have a choice in the matter.

It is these expectations that make us really really unhappy.

Actually, they seem rather unfair. You did not have a choice, but are expected to comply. Is this freedom? No. You are made to feel responsible for your parents feelings. Is this freedom? No.

The expectations your parents have on you are their expectations, not yours for yourself. One of the biggest toughest decisions a human being can make, therefore, is choosing to either live for other people's expectations—which usually means living an unhappy life—or to choose to break free of other people's expectations and instead find a great life of their own.

Finding a life of your own is the better option.

Why?

You were meant to live a specific life. Your own. You were designed in a unique way. That means that you are like fingerprints. That means that your soul is unique and special. That means that you should honor it. Quite frankly, when your parents try to make you live according to their expectations, or when you choose to live according to other peoples expections--like our wives or husbands--you are denying our uniqueness. Which is basically the same as pretending that your fingerprints are not yours. It’s like hearing your parents say, "your fringer print lines should look like mine. They don’t. That’s bad. So, you should work to change your fingerprints into the exact shape that I want."

You have a unique and authentic self that needs to be lived. To bring it out requires us to be brave enough to kill the expectations of others. To break out of the shell that people have put around us. Doing so will lead you to a happier life. It will lead you to your real life. The life you and your unique DNA structure, your unique soul need you to be and do.

You have a unique service to offer this world. If you are busy being a doctor when you should be a professional radio host, then you are cheating life of your real talent. And that is a bigger shame than the shame that we feel when we go against our parents. ...but we have chosen to ignore this. (I believe because of fear).

Your parents made you, but they didn’t create you. They didn’t determine the exact DNA structure that decided on the day of your conception to connect and become. Something larger did. Even if that larger was Coincidence, the fact remains. You belong to yourself. You do not belong to the expectations of others.


So find what makes you happy. Stop trying to live by some other persons time line orn idea of the perfect life. Their thoughts and plans for you are their disappointments and regrets. Give them back to them. One person is responsible for only their own life. You are responsible for your own life. That means you are responsible for making your own self happy, and not responsible trying to please the incongruous desires another has for you.

When you begin to live the life you were meant to live, at first it will feel painful. You will have to fight against the training in your mind, and you will have to fight against the yelling of your folks or others who have their expectations set on you.

The yelling in your mind and around you will tempt you to go back. To be the good little doggie and obey. The voices in your mind will say “This new path is foolish. It’s stupid. It’s not you! It’s not your destiny.” That voice is bullshit. The truth, dear reader, is in your hearts. Listen to that. Find and follow the real you. Act in the direction of your higher self, and life will surround and care for you!

Now, of course this does not mean ignore people. It does not mean ignore your children. It does not mean parents should stop having rules in the house, boundaries, etc. It does not mean you as a parent should stop caring for your child in EVERY POSSIBLE way. It means that you let go. You let go of the life they are going to live. It means you trust that they will be alright. That your DNA is smart enough to ensure their survival too. And, it means you start taking care of yourself.

Children have a right to have certain expectations of their parents. Care, food, shelter, warmth, encouragement. These are good and right and proper to expect.

Parents don’t have the right to expect their children will take care of them when they are old. Parents have no right to expect their children should return the favor of sacrifice that they as parents chose to do. The old generation should give to the new, and should take care of itself. If the new generation wants to help, okay. But not through duty.

This does not mean we should not keep our commitments. If you enter into a contract, then someone has an expectation of you. This kind of expectation is normal and good. Good faith. Without this, society would be in trouble. You should honor your commitments and contracts.

Find the balance between expectations. Search for what are reasonable expectations and what are unreasonable. When it comes to hand-me-down expectations, all are unreasonable.

You happiness is vitally important. It’s important, because if you are happy, then you love yourself. If you love yourself, then you can give of yourself. If you give of yourself, people’s needs will get met, and in turn, your own needs will get met.

If you are unhappy, your needs get harder and harder to have met. Struggle ensues.

Therefore, becoming happy is very important.

So, just kill them! Go ahead and stab them! Kill them now! Killing the those wrong expectations that others have placed upon you is a great step in the direction of happiness.


Jul 31, 2010

How To Stop Blocking Yourself

There is a great quote by famous surgeon Maxwell Maltz. In his book, “Thought To Live By” he says that so many of us are hypnotized by false beliefs about ourselves.

Upon reading this, I started to wonder.

First, if you are completely unfamiliar with the work of Dr. Maltz, I’ll fill you in on some basics.

Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon. In fact, he was a very famous plastic surgeon. In his profession, he again and again came across people who were convinced that their major problem in life was something physical about themselves. Whenever he performed the surgery to improve what his patients believed needed improving, he discovered that soon their new found confidence wained, and they were back again looking to find something else about their bodies that should be fixed.

Over time, Dr. Maltz realized that the problem most of these people were having was an issue of self-concept. He began to notice that they simply viewed themselves in a way that never let them stop judging themselves, criticising themselves, harming themselves from the inside. So, he decided that something needed to be done about this.

To combat what he saw as a terrible problem, he wrote several books with tips about how to find your way back from a self-concept that views oneself as a seriously problematic person with tonnes of flaws and imperfections to a self-concept of unconditional love and acceptance.


His work is really brilliant, and very helpful. I won’t say his tips are easy to do. They sound easy, but they are ANYTHING BUT EASY. Still, writing them and giving them to people was a wonderful gift he gave. His work has helped many people over-come their limiting beliefs. They've helped people quit pooping on themselves with negative self-talk, and thereby begin giving themselves more constructive thoughts. Those positive thoughts have helped people to achieve more than they ever believed possible. Including me.

So today, I’d like to give a tip I have used to help you overcome some of the false beliefs you have about yourself. Why? Because I really want you to stop blocking yourself from doing what you really want, I want you to stop holding yourself back, and to stop pooing on yourself.


I believe that it is our false beliefs about ourselves that really do keep us from achieving more in life. If I believe I am a failure, I will do things to ensure that belief about myself is maintained. Usually I will blame my failure on other people, but that is often too a trick my brain plays to ensure my self-belief is maintained.

(Why do we defend our self-belief? It’s quite complicated. I think we do it, because it’s all we have. If we open ourself, we realize how fragile we are. If we do that, we cringe in fear of oblivion. Humans tend to not enjoy thoughts of oblivion, unless it’s self-induced through drugs or drink….but that’s another story).

Our beliefs about ourselves are born out of our early experience. Perhaps we become convinced that we cannot draw well. That belief leads to the action of NOT drawing. Since we believe we cannot draw, we do not draw. That choice to believe in our inability perpetuates itself. It becomes an ingrained habit of inaction. We don’t do, we believe, we believe we don’t do. The brain hardens. And…we prove ourselves right. We cannot draw. (Maybe one day we even try. But the feeling of trying is so excrutiating that we put the pencil down and once again conclude that DAMMIT, I CANT DRAW).

Please understand, I’m not saying everyone is a Picasso. But, I am saying that people have a lot more talents than they believe themselves to have. Our biggest mistake is in thinking that a talent is only a talent if it gets us in a history book or on TV. Everything else but a fame making talent is a waste of time and effort…or so many people’s reasoning goes. (Which is BS, by the way!)

So how do we dehypnotize ourselves? How do we unlock the belief in our lameness?

First, we have to be willing to act in the new way. We have to be willing to go through the growing pains of doing the new thing. Trust me, learning something as an adult sucks! But, to break through the bullcrap limitation we believe about ourselves, we must push into the uncomfortable place of change.

We must do what we fear. We must be patient with the process. Change in REAL LIFE is not a microwave change. In movies a hero goes from lonely dork to cool guy in two hours. Movies are movies. They are a story designed to entertain, not depict reality. Don’t forget that.

We must push and push and do and do and push and do and do and push and pus past the limiting voices of belief. We must realize that the beliefs we have are NOT necessarily truth! They feel like truth, but they are only subjective agreements we have made about the way things are on earth, and in our lives. Usually people have helped us reinforce those beliefs, but that is not the issue in this article. What is, is your pushing and doing something different despite the ugly crappy pain.

I really like one technique, and I use it all the time. I have a habit of putting myself down. I often say something rather negative to myself both while I am alone with my thoughts, and while I am in the company of other people. Well, let me tell you, putting yourself down is a terribly silly horrible bad….ooops….I mean, putting yourself down is not the most constructive habit. To combat the effect of the self-putdown, I usually retort myself with three positive statements about myself. For example, “Ewww…my eyes have too many wrinkles…..but, I’ve got a full head of hair, my teeth are all mine, and I’m cute. “ Three positives to every negative. More positives if needed.

This is a great thing to do if you are Korean. I often hear people say, “I’m not good at English.” This sentence pisses me off. It makes me angry because a) they are saying it in English, and b) it’s false humility. You are good at English. No you are not native. So what! Get over the self-deprecating crap attitude and behavior. You speak well. As well as someone in your position who has studied as much as you have, at least. So give yourself a break. Next time you become aware of saying I’m not good at English, remember to say three or more positives.

Unless you like thinking you are the worst of the worst, because you get some kind of perverse pride out of it. In which case, keep pooping on yourself. And, if you would like, give me a call. I’ll come over and poop on you too.

YUCK!

Jul 23, 2010

What To Do When You’re Feeling Really Really Sad


Losing something that is important to you really sucks! It especially sucks when that something that was important to you was a big part of your dreams, plans and hopes for the future. When you lose that thing, it feels like someone stepping into your mind and stomping out all those happy plans you had stored. I hate losing stuff. I really do.

Perhaps you’ve recently lost something important? Perhaps you’re feeling sad about that? What do you do? How do you deal with grief in a healthy way? Just what do you do when you’re feeling really realy sad?

The first thing that helps is to understand that feeling sad is normal. It’s a normal part of the grieving process. A big mistake many people make is that they fail to realize the normality of the process. They run from the pain. They jump into a new situation to try and replace the old, and they end up still sad. Or they drink or get wasted. (Rarely does this help!) So, if you understand that it’s normal to feel sad you’ll be able to accept that what you are feeling.

Acceptance is the answer to most all our problems. Accept the grief. Accept the loss. Accept and do the second thing, which is feel the pain. Feel the sadness. Don’t run from it. Don’t lose yourself in drugs and a relationship or something personally self-damaging. Just feel the damned pain, even though it feels terrible doing it. Running from the things that our emotional aspect is trying to deal with only complicates things.

You know, it’s funny. When we break our arm, we have no problem accepting the cast. It sucks to live with it on for a few weeks, but we deal. We know that the healing process takes time. We accept this. But with a broken heart or deep sadness, we don’t want to take the necessary time for our soul to heal. Emotions are tricky, and we really don’t like living with what’s uncomfortable. But, if you want to do something positive when you’re feeling really really bad, feel your emotions and don’t run.

Next, write. Writing is one of the best ways to process those grief feelings. It’s a way to be there for yourself, a way to talk to someone when all other people are tired of hearing you whine about your loss. Writing is a great way to work through and analyze what happened. Just be sure to not start beating yourself up for whatever loss you are dealing with. Loss happens to us all. The death of things, relationships, friendships, partnerships, family are all part of life. We cannot escape it. To beat yourself up over what happens to us all, is to spend time in Sillyland. And Sillyland sucks. The rides are terrible and there are too many people already there, so don’t waste your time or money.

Back to the topic, writing is a great way to work past the sad feelings you are having.

It’s also a really good idea to do something cool for someone else. I mean really put your heart into helping someone. Do something positive for a friend or family member. Or, do something great for someone you don’t know.

No, if you’re grieving the loss of your boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t make something for them. It’ll only confuse things.


Instead, pour your energy into writing a blog designed to help others, writing a story that you can tell to kids, building a company that helps people solve their problems, or painting a picture for your best friend. Concentrate all your energy on trying to solve someone else’s problem. Even if it feels hard, difficult, and bad doing it, do it anyway. It’s better than sitting around thinking about all that you’ve lost, and how crappy your life is going to be from here on out. Get busy helping someone.

You can try this too. Go to a really high floor in a city building, go to a window and look down at all the people. No, don’t jump. Instead, notice how small everyone is. Realize that if one of those persons were standing where you are and looking down at you walking past, they would see you as being really small. Try to realize how small we all are. Try to see that the problems and sadness we are feeling, though real and important, is only a small piece in this big puzzle called life. We are small, and our problems are really not that big. They feel huge, but their not. We’re alive and breathing, we have intelligence, we have worth, we are smart and able. We can do enough to have a happy and joy-filled, successful life. We have breath in our lungs! And that’s really a great place to start.

Lastly, write a gratitude list. Consider all the good things in your life that seem insignificant in comparison to the pain you are feeling. Consider the fact that you are breathing. Consider that you have two legs to walk on. Consider all the things that are right about you and your life right here and now. Yes the negatives will come and tell you that your rights are stupid and childish and not the same. But write anyhow. Write about how you are grateful that you have a full head of hair, or a little extra fat on your body which means you’re not starving. Find the things to be grateful for. There are always many things that each of us have to be so for.

Bottomline: loss sucks. Losing people and things is a really sad thing. But, we cannot avoid it. We are human, and humans lose things. It’s the way of the world. We can, however, choose how we react to it.

You can rest assured that spending too much time wallowing in the sadness is not helpful. Despite the loss, we all have a life that we need to keep living. It’s our responsibility. So, with that knowledge, and the tips I’ve written about, you’ll be able to make it through this painful time.

Remember the pain will pass. "This too shall pass". So keep going. Feel the pain, and allow the healing to occur. Be patient with yourself and with the process.


Until next time, ciao!

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