Life Is What Happens While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

June 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

Today I’m thinking of John Lennon’s quote “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

I am in Rio de Janeiro visiting my parents and was ready to leave back to the US when a situation came up with my dad making me stay for another couple of days.  This time it was not his health, but his business.

So, here I was yesterday with my bags packed and people and things waiting for my return when it all had to change.  Again, I was reminded life has a mind of its own.

As I think about John Lennon and the web and flow of life, thoughts of hope and failure come up.

Sometimes, when I get really tired of all the obstacles I have had to overcome and still jump over, I feel sorry for myself.  Thoughts like “I deserve to receive more for all the effort I put out in my life” dance around in my brain and I feel bad for myself.

Of course, if we think of life as a scale, then one should get out as much as one puts in.  And so should I.

It is then – while I’m throwing my own pity party – that I remember that the act of trying, the act of getting up every time I’m down, is what makes life interesting and creative.  It isn’t so much the results – which make us feel great for a moment – that create an energized life; it is the process.  It is how we find the strength and hope to create and recreate the life we want to live every single time.  This never ending process is what keeps us in the game.  Not so much the results.

So, when you feel yourself disheartened, think for a moment how your life would be if you didn’t keep going after your dreams.  Think about how it would be if you just went through the motions and you will realize – like I do – that life is really what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Please read on.

How To Begin To Cultivate Hope After Failing

By Carolyn Rubenstein

The scariest part of failure is being seen when you’re most vulnerable and least perfect. It is far safer (and easier) to hide behind dreams and schemes. It is even fun to dream and scheme — to think “what if,” and to create our own fairy tales — you know, something to look forward to, one day when you just know that it’s the right time…Continued

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Ben Breedlove – A portrait in Courage Part I

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

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Learn To Enjoy Your Successes

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

We all need to work towards something.  That something can be just about anything; a house, a job, fitness, relationship.   It just needs to be something we can gather our energy and work towards.

These goals are important because they lay out our paths and help us focus.  It is in their pursuit that we will make our choices and gain knowledge.

Having goals is an end into itself.  Succeeding is a whole other ball game; nice but not necessary.

If my dream is to be a writer then as I write, create, and try to get to the next level, I fulfill my dream.  I strategize, I learn, I share. f my goal is to be successful and nothing else, then I don’t get to appreciate the process and most likely will feel like a loser if I don’t achieve a level of success that I find acceptable.

We don’t have control over outcomes.  We only have control of process. Attaching a sense of happiness and fulfillment to an outcome is a recipe for sadness.

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Energize Your Life

September 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Photo By Angie Rubin

What are your dreams? What do you want to achieve? What’s important to you?

Having something to work towards, to channel our energies, to dream about is the gas that keeps life’s engine running.  Achieving our exact goals in the manner in which we have dreamed is not as important as having something to work towards that excites us.  These goals don’t have to be lofty.  They can go from buying a house to simply and profoundly living fully in the present.

Without something to “fight” about our lives can easily turn into a merry-go-round of task after task. Life then becomes something we must do instead of an opportunity to learn about ourselves, to grow, and to fully engage.

When we are children we dream about being dancers, firefighters or presidents.  As young adults we imagine how we are going to be successful in business and/or in love.

Unfortunately as the obstacles start to mount – as they often do – many of us simply give up on what we first dreamed about without replacing the empty spots with something else.

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How To Stop Being Self-Destructive

June 25, 2010 by  
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heart on the beach

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Why are we so self-destructive?  Often the answer is fear. Somehow we are afraid of both succeeding and failing in the things we consider important and we turn to aggression and self-destruction as a way of keeping us from truly going after what we desire.

This life dynamics starts early in our development.  Think back to when we were kids and we liked the girl in pigtails or the boy with the banged up knees.  Most of us pulled the girls’ hair or ignored the boy instead of demonstrating how much we like them for fear of being exposed and rejected.

While that behavior can be cute when we are ten years-old it is destructive when we are adults.

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Thoughts On Self-Confidence

April 28, 2010 by  
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Love

Love

Sometimes we are afraid of taking certain actions.  The reasons can be: 1 – We think we couldn’t possible to X, or  2 – We are afraid if we fail what others will think of us or 3 – What do others think of us in general?  Are we good enough?

Let’s think for a moment about “we think we couldn’t possibly do X”.  The truth is we don’t know. And if we never try we will always be stuck exactly where we are.  Why not shift the focus of our thinking from fear of failure to exhilaration?  Instead of being afraid let’s be curious about what will happen if we do succeed.  By turning a negative into a positive we can overcome our fears and move on. And once we do, let’s make sure not to forget to look back and rejoice in what we have just achieved.

How about fear of what others will think of us if we fail?  That questions points to a different issue.  It points to a fragile ego.  If we realize that life is a journey, full of excitements, wins and losses, we know that the only way to move forward is by having self-confidence and taking risks.  Loss is part of life and so is winning. So let’s not care about what others think of us.

And lastly “are we good enough?”  If we think we are; then we are.  It is truly up to us because 1 – there is no such a thing as good enough  2 – If we are on a journey to live a happy and rich life, we know where we are headed and we don’t need anybody’s approval to keep moving forward.

Being self-confident makes life feel more free and easy.  All the worrying feels like a ton of bricks on our backs, and who needs that?  The time of slavery is over.

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Failure, A Path To Success

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Failure is an event, never a person.  ~William D. Brown, Welcome Stress!

This is what Wikipedia says about what the criteria for failure is: “The criteria for failure are heavily dependent on context of use, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system.”

If you spend your life comparing yourself to others and beating yourself down when you failed it is not the world that is against you; it is you who is against yourself.

We so often compare ourselves to others and try to measure up our accomplishments to theirs without any regard for the fact that no two people are alike.  No two people have the same set of upbringing, experiences, or ways to process the world.  So how can we compare our successes and failures to other people?  It would be like comparing an apple to an orange :)

Failure is part of success as much as night is part of day.  Through failure we learn and hone our knowledge and ability so we can eventually succeed at whatever we have set our minds and energy to accomplish.

The difference between people who become successful and the ones that don’t is; the successful people have taken their fall as a way to stand up stronger.   The people that fail take their fall as a way to make sure they will always stay down.

So don’t waste your time chastising yourself.  Learn the lessons as you fail and enjoy the process, which is often more rewarding than the successes themselves.

The only time you don’t fail is the last time you try anything – and it works.  ~William Strong

Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure… it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.  ~Robert Schuller

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Are We Set Up To Fail?

August 31, 2009 by  
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The world sets us up for failure.  Open any page of Elle or Vogue or Vanity Fair and you’ll see what I’m talking about. We can’t win.  What is the percentage of the world that can afford the things these magazines advertise?  And what about the models?  Yes, there is a lot photoshopping going on but still?  And what about the homes?  The glamour? The political power?

Life to most of us becomes a constant fight not to succumb to the despair caused by what is thrown on our faces on a daily basis and which we don’t have and probably never will.

My fourteen year old niece asked me a couple of days ago what life was about?  She asked: “Tia (aunt in Portuguese), what are we supposed to do in life?”  There is no simple answer, I had to confess to her.  It’s complicated.” 

Why is that the magazines don’t advertise things that most mortals can actually afford?  Why is that the people selling this stuff to us don’t look like most of us?  Why do both the women and the men all look like teasers?  Look at me but don’t touch and hear me loud and clear “you’ll never have me.”

I want to go to Tahiti and stay at the Four Seasons Hotel and eat pineapple on the beach and then get a massage on the sand.  I want to buy the D&G bag I see in their ad.  I would look amazing with the new leather jacket from Jean Paul Gaultier.   

No wonder so many of us walk around frustrate, we just can’t compete. We just don’t have a chance.  Maybe our society is set up as a political and social subversive machine.  I go back to, how many of us can live the lives described in the magazines, ads, films and television programming? 5%? 1%?  That’s a minimal amount of people on top of the world.  What if kindness, service, actual happiness became the “it” thing?  

I don’t know but the way the world is set up right now most of us are enslaved to the want and need machine and to most of us that will be a life time journey without ever achieving the goal. 

I think the solution is to change our focus and stand steady on what really matters in life.

Think about it.

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