Don’t Quit Till You Have Nothing Left
We can all do more than what we think we can do! Can we be our own coach and drive ourselves to the point that we have nothing left? Till we reach our desires? To continue working with our kids to help them reach adulthood with a good base to make it in our world; to learn and grow?
“All my decisions had brought me growth in one way or another. I learned that taking responsibility for the love, or the lack of love in my life, was the tool through which to create a different experience.”
“Where once I’d been dealing with guilt, I was finding growth; where once I’d been dealing with hate, I was finding compassion; where once I’d been feeling resentful, I was feeling autonomous.”
When I first picked up this book, my first thought was “uh oh”… I often shut down when I hear or see something I consider “religious”. This is something I am learning to be more open minded and tolerant of. Reading this book gives me even more evidence that I should be more open and and a push to be less judgmental! Had I missed out reading this book because of an initial judgment that it was religious I would have been the one that missed out.
As my aim is to do things Right From the Heart, her preface captured my full attention with the first sentence. Betsy Otter Thompson’s first words of the Preface are “The heart is a magical organ.” She goes on to describe how she feels our hearts work independent from our body system. This book is basically her conversation with Jesus made through her heart. She indicates that she “opens her heart, receives a feeling, and lets that feeling express.” Do not expect the book to be historically accurate as that is not the purpose. The book takes and discusses topics; twenty-three of them in total. At the end of each chapter there are a set of questions that deal with the topic just read often leading you to think through something about yourself. After these questions there are some more that lead you to evaluate yourself even more. And at the very end she ends with her own personal insight and what she learned working through the particular topic. This book takes you on an internal spiritual journey that provokes emotions, thoughts and an analysis of yourself.
The title: Walking Through Illusion; refers to the idea that all we have around us is an illusion. It is a life we are living; but we only experience things as we assign meaning to it and that’s it… by changing the meaning we assign the experience we can completely alter our lives. This makes whatever we are dealing with – only an illusion. As she (and Jesus) describe in her book, we are actors working through lessons that we chose to learn and work through prior to entering this specific life. “They were illusionary experiments to expand our hearts so that when we left these dramas, we had the needed emotion for the next performance taking our hearts even deeper.”
I loved all of the chapters, they were all thought provoking; however, I thought I would discuss at a high level a few of my favorites.
Obstacles: What obstacles stymie growth?
“Obstacles enter your life when you deprive others of what you think you deserve.”
This chapter deals with obstacles, whether that be illness or lacking – basically any dis-ease. The key is to realize that all obstacles, no matter what they are – are emotional. This gets back to the illusion again, they aren’t something “out there” they are “in here” and all obstacles offer some type of personal development. Everything offers some type of positive outcome in the end.
Opinions: Can we control our opinions?
Bottom line, this chapter says you respect other’s opinions when you respect your own. As one fault finds; this puts our focus on the thing that is negative and it hurts and it also will cause the mirror to reflect on ourselves what we are inflicting on others. If we find ourselves in judgment it is important to focus on finding who it is we ourselves are judging. This chapter also dealt with blaming; how we often blame our parents. We can’t change our past, but we can change our future thus it is important that we look and decide where we want our future to go. Even if those we are blaming change that will not change our problems, it will improve their life, not ours. We can only deal with us, our emotions and what we-ourselves are dealing with.
Advice: Whose advice is worthy?
“Trust that you are everything you need to be. Trust that life has meaning. Trust that goals have purpose, trust that ‘being’ is enough.”
Because I often get defensive when others try to give me advice (more so for those that are closer to me – like my husband!) this chapter hit home. This chapter points out that we are always mirroring our own behavior. Thus I was urged to look at my own life and understand how often I offer unsolicited advice. Understanding that if I focused on giving others support and only offering advice if asked that I would break through the illusion of having others offer their unsolicited advice. I now see a very interesting illusion in our family. Between my daughter and husband, they are both telling each other how and when and why to do things and I am left out of most of this interaction.
Hearts (of course!): What constitutes a big heart?
“An obsession with the picture to the exclusion of his heart created a mind out of sync with its purpose. A mind out of sync with its purpose created a body out of sync with its purpose. A body out of sync with its purpose had no reason for being.”
This chapter spoke to purpose and legacy, which, is at the top of my list of topics (am teaching it at CFU) so this chapter also resonated with me. It is important to look at the different legacies we want (and perhaps do not want) to leave. I took away from this chapter that it is important to appreciate life and that our bottom line purpose is to look for personal growth and development within our own lives.
Betrayal: Why is betrayal so painful?
“Betrayal is an act of doing in a way you’d hate to be done to.”
My notes from this chapter: If I am resenting others, I am resenting myself. If I resent myself others will resent me. If I resent myself resentment poisons the mind. If it poisons the mind it will poison the body. Basically outward actions reflect an inward action. Betsy’s personal notes captured much of what I felt as well. When you hear the word betrayal you picture something quite bad, but betrayal is basically doing things to others that you do not want done to you… thoughts, judgements, laughs, snickers and any other minor offense counts.
Bottom line – READ THIS BOOK!!!!
About the Author: A native Philadelphian with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for WFIL radio in Philadelphia, and from there went to radio stations WPEN and WFLN. After that, she became a commercial print model and acted in television commercials in New York and Philadelphia. For seventeen years, she worked in Los Angeles at the motion picture and television company Castle Rock Entertainment as the Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. In August ’99, she followed her boss to Warner Bros. as he took a new position there as President and COO, and became his Executive Assistant. She is now writing full time. Betsy’s writing began unexpectedly while going through an especially difficult time in her life. She believes that her books were the answer to her prayers.
I ran into this as I was reading comments from one of Darren Hardy’s video blogs. I thought it was great and wanted to share it with others!
I once asked an old man to say something wise,
and the words that unfolded – were a welcome surprise.
He started by saying, “Tell me, son – What is it you seek?”
“Success in hurry,” I blurted, “because my future looks bleak!”
“Times are tough.” I continued, with a little regret.
Because what he said next, I will never forget.
“If quick success is what you seek to find,
it’s already been found – and it’s a matter of time.
You say ‘times are tough’ – and now look at this clock.
There’s more to these hands than the tick and the tock.
You see only one hand in motion, but I can see all three.
It’s the way all things work, just take it from me.
The ‘Seconds’ hand moves fast, so it’s easy to spot;
Soon you’ll recognize it’s the seed, to plant in your plot.
Most see ‘small’ as insignificant, but I know it’s the start;
for your very life lives with the small beats of your heart.
If those never started, or continued – Then where would you be?
Nothing’s insignificant, you see – because seeds become trees.
Your seeds are the small actions that you must eagerly take;
the seconds sprout into minutes – the right time to cultivate.
Keep on moving here, because it takes time and vital care;
we all know who won the race of the Tortoise and Hare.
It wasn’t because the Tortoise was slow that he won the race,
he proved, ‘steady’ fares better than any back-breaking pace.
Minutes are the well-formed habits that add-up to become Hours,
just like seeds become buds, and then those become flowers.
This is a tough time for many – in fact, most will quit.
See, our culture has taught that good results must always come quick.
‘If you’re doing it right – you’ll see results right away.’
But, that’s not the way things work – I’m sorry to say.
Cultivation comes before the harvest – It has always been this way!
As the Seconds become Minutes, soon the Hours will begin to pass.
You’re on the track to success, just check your looking glass.
Your looking glass is in your mind’s eye – and only you can see it there,
Look there for your results, or else you’ll begin to look elsewhere.
Consistency with a purpose is what you are after,
and vision for outcomes is what you will master.
The fruit of the harvest, has arrived in your mind,
taste it, and feel it – it’s the best of it’s kind.
Hours and fruit, you’ll have all you need,
Minutes of nourishment, and Seconds of seed.
Although success can’t be hurried, it can be assured.
Don’t be like the others – who’s vision got blurred.
The key to getting started, is to start right away.
Don’t be like the rest – getting started ‘someday’.
Someday never comes, I can say without doubt.
See the tears in my eyes? My time has run out.
Success is not a secret: You have all you need!
It’s your time to get started: Now you are my seed!
You’ve asked for success, and now have the keys in mind,
it’s not about talent, luck, or even hard work – you’ll find;
Success is just a series of simple small steps, repeated in time.”
~ By Tobias Sedillos
This is really great!!
The words to this song is something we should all keep in mind and remember. I love that this is something going out to the kids!
If what I am is what you need then Ill stay strong that’s who I’ll be and I will always be the best me that I can be
There’s only one me I admit have a dream I ‘ll follow it I admit it’s up to me to try
Oh, Im gonna keep my head up high keep on reaching high never gonna quit Ill keep getting stronger And nothing’s gonna bring me down never gonna stop gotta go because I know I’ll keep on getting stronger
And what I am is … thoughtful, musical, smart, eight, helpful, special
There is nothing I can’t achieve because in myself I believe in gonna keep our heads up high keep on reaching high never going to quit Just keep getting stronger and nothing is gonna bring us down never giving up gotta go because I know Ill keep getting stronger
What I am is…. Super, Proud, friendly, grouchy,
What you are is….magical, special
There is nothing I can’t achieve, cause in myself I believe. Going to hold my head up high, keep on reaching high Im never going to stop I’ll keep on getting stronger; Nothings going to bring me down; never give it up gotta go Ill keep getting stronger
I do love Thanksgiving – it is cool to see everyone giving gratitude for things in their life. I know it is important for us all to do this everyday and I do, every morning I spend 5 minutes giving gratitude for the awesomeness that is my life, but I still love the extra love in the air around this holiday. If just FEELS good.
We have found a very comfortable routine for the holidays. A routine on where we go, who comes over here and what we do on each of the holidays around my divorced parents. We are fortunate that we have only these two local family obligations. And it doesn’t feel like an obligation. At least until one particular “newer” family member – gets angry that we aren’t doing something they want us to do.
I don’t want to feel guilty. I refuse to feel guilty. My life is different today. I do things that I love, things that make me comfortable, things that make me happy. Our lives are busy, it is important that we ensure that we arent doing things out of obligation but because it makes us happy. I want to be me, I want to be around others that I am comfortable with during the special times of the holiday. I do not want to be crazy busy only to make everyone happy. Our holidays should be filled with love, with beauty and with enjoyment.
How do we tell those that we love that we don’t want to be with them? How do you make someone understand that just because you don’t want to do what they want you to do, that you care deeply about them?
My answer, show the love. Ensure you do what you need to do for you and show others that you love them. To spite their anger, show them you love them. Be strong, Be you, Be happy – and do it in love. If we act Right From The Heart, it can’t be wrong!!
This last week has been a great week. I keep learning more and more and the things that I am learning seem to be fitting together like pieces of a puzzle. Last post talked about ways to work on the limiting beliefs we have. I met with a new friend and she talked about how the affirmation and subliminal stuff is something that she never got into. I really respect that, her life has been amazing, she has lived in other countries, gotten awesome jobs that she might not have; all without the tools that I work with. For some, the techniques of having a vision, and knowing it will evolve, come naturally and easy. For others, the feelings of inadequacy and impatience often get in our way.
There are some other things that I want to share with you on how to change our limiting beliefs and the habits we have created. This idea moves away from creating new pathways in your brain however I am using it with these tools and techniques. (If you haven’t read this post, you can find it here.)
This particular tool deals with our pain and pleasure. We all operate in our lives by looking for pleasure and avoiding pain. The problem is, we strive for the pleasure or avoidance of pain in the short term results rather than the long term. We will tend to do something that gives us short term pleasure and get pain in the long run. For instance, I have been having difficulty getting myself out of bed early in the morning. Why? Because the short term pleasure (staying in a warm bed) is more important than the long term pain of all the things that don’t get done because I am choosing to go for the short time pleasure. The following are the steps to take to work through changing a habit that you have.
- Ask: what is the pain associated with this action that keeps me from taking it?
- Ask: what are all the pleasures received by not following through?
- Ask: what is the cost of not taking the steps; in the next 2-5 years?
- Ask: what will be gained by taking the action right now?
So, using my problem of getting up:
- The pain associated with getting up is the getting out of a warm bed, feeling tired and finding the pain of waking keeping me hitting the snooze.
- The pleasure is that I get to stay in bed all warm and cuddly and I get more sleep which feels so great!
- The cost is that I am not getting in to work when I want to, I am often not getting the walks in that I love, I am not getting in my reading time, or my journaling time, or my meditation. I am not getting the action steps done that I know I must do in order to have the successful business I want.
- If I woke up early (when I set my alarm) I would get my walks and meditation done which give me more energy for the day, I would get some of my self improvement things done (reading, journaling) which are helping propel me down the path I am determined to walk down and I would get the things done for my business which will take me closer to my dreams.
So, looking at it like this, my goodness, it is totally obvious what I really want to do, what I must do. Even if this seems to convince you, there is another step. The next thing to do is get very solid on why it is you want to make the change. Write 10 reasons why you want to change the habit, or take the action. Get very solid and clear.
By getting clear in our minds why we want to do it and then combine it with some of the tools and techniques talked about in a previous blog, the changed habit will occur soon because you know it must.
As usual I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!
In my last blog I talked about changing habits. As I read Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani it became crystal clear that I have become quite the expert at some habits. Some habits that people have are obvious; like over eating or smoking; but there are other habits that we all have that are impacting our lives. In general, many of these are things that if we never changed, we could live a fairly reasonable life for the rest of our lives. If we continue to talk meanly to ourselves about how we should be doing this or should be doing that, we will still live reasonable, secure lives. However, if we want to achieve our dreams, if we want to take a step further towards improved lives; better financially, increased level of happiness and joy – then we could do this by taking a look at ourselves and some of these habits that are keeping us in our comfort zones.
How does a habit become a habit?
It might help to explain the brain a bit. There are two parts of your brain the conscious and nonconscious. I first heard the term nonconscious reading a book by John Assaraf and Murray Smith called The Answer. The term nonconscious is being used only to differentiate itself from the Freudian term unconscious. Basically Freud believed that the unconscious brain had some external force causing it to do something and so to make sure that there was no confusion the cognitive theorists used nonconscious to ensure that it was not confused with Freud’s. Today, the word unconscious is used for both. Our nonconscious or unconscious brain is much more powerful and busy than our conscious. The nonconscious brain controls 96-98% of perception and behavior. 96-98%! No wonder I have had such a difficult time working to improve myself and some things around me.
Our physical and mental habits reside in our nonconscious brains; this is where accomplishments and achievements take root. Habits are things that we have created by repeatedly doing something over and over. Thinking something over and over again becomes a habit of thought. Constantly looking in a mirror and talking to your self about how “bad” you or something is becomes a habit. This habit becomes an attitude or belief over time. And then beliefs become self-fulfilling. A belief is very powerful and we do a lot of protecting our beliefs. As we look in a mirror and the self talk chatter starts, as time moves forward and this happens every time we look into a mirror, eventually the talk that takes place is not actually heard any longer. Suddenly you are believing you are less than perfect or unattractive, Once this is a belief, our self care isn’t as good, our body language changes – our shoulders come forward, we don’t smile as much and generally create some truth out of what started out as very false self talk.
Wow! So this is how things that we are working to break through and overcome have become so entrenched in ourselves that they are things that occur without our thinking about and seem so very difficult to get to. Very difficult to see and to solve. That – and we are working to solve the problem witho our conscious brain. Our conscious brain is not good at modifying our habits – only at stating a goal or desire to do so. Since habits live in our nonconscous that is where they need to be changed.
In order to become successful in our lives and in our attempts to reach dreams and goals we need to work on ourselves. Personal development and personal growth are important to maximizing happiness. The better people we become, the better the world can become. Learning that we need to work at changing the habits and self limiting beliefs in order to move forward has been great information. I do believe my work is cut out for me!
“Change requires action, not reflection; motivation, not passivity; desire, not apathy; and a willingnes to see the truth rather than fiction. But most important, change requires that you recognize that no one and nothing is going to change you- except you.” –Joseph J. Luciani
I am writing this on a plane… on the way to Atlanta on a business trip. I actually love airplane flights, they give me time to read or often, time to just think. Thinking is something that happens all the time, but on a plane, it can be directed thinking. I just finished reading Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani. As I have been working through my part in the problems in my life I continue to work on how I can move beyond some of the self sabatoging things I do.
As I am working through how to personally grow and work towards a life where I am working in the personal development industry I know that working and growing myself will always be something I concentrate on. I have been doing this type of work for almost 20 years. I liked Self Coaching – I liked the book because I know that for me what so many things boil down to, is my thinking and my self talk. Much of my thinking is unconscious; however as I have focused in on my self, I seem to be getting to a place where I am starting to become much more conscious of my thinking. I know that as I grow and think about helping others do the same I believe one key is to start hearing and knowing the throughts that are going through my head. I am often really hard on myself and haven’t recognized it. Now that I am recognizing it, it hurts. I have felt sadness over this and some anger – anger at circumstances that helped form this; but then there is realization that I have control. I have full control to change myself and my thinking so that I can get to the place I am trying to reach. Circumstances and things in my life are just that; I can choose to accept them and learn to realize that I don’t have to continue reacting the same way to them. I choose to step out and make the necessary changes to myself that will allow me take my life where I want to go.
One thing that this book said that I resonated with is that negative self talk, thinking and self sabatage is a habit. It is something I started doing very young and have really learned to do very well. I am an expert at it; so expert, that it has become natural. This book has taught me that I need to break these habits. There are habits of guilt that arise from thinking that I should do this and that I should do that. There are habits of not supporting myself; feeling deep down that I can not succeed at something that I really love; or that I may not be worthy of the success.
It isn’t that I haven’t had success – I have been very successful at many things in my life; however – as I strive to achieve the goal of working my passion I seem to stop before I try; I keep changing directions and having too many things to do and not taking enough action.
To me, Self Coaching suggests to first recognize that the struggling of life is due to the habits that we have formed as we have tried to control life. It suggests working on identifying the faulty thoughts that we think about things and to separate fact from fiction. The next step is to realize that you can choose to flip a switch and change the faulty thinking and turn the self talk to truths and see and believe the positive side of things. Then, it suggests to let go. Just let the thoughts that are sabatoging our life float away, like a balloon caught in the air drifing away. Then you need to ensure that you are working to believe the positive aspects of your life, having positive thoughts alone will not work, there needs to be a point where you BELIEVE the positive aspects of life. As this happens and successful challenges can be met, you will gain some energy that will allow you to keep up with the new way of doing things so that over time, the old habits of faulty thinking will be changed to a new habit of thinking and seeing the reality of life. That there is always a way to work your way out of any hole. You can do it.
Luciani pointed out that there are three truths:
- Let Life Unfold, there are no dead ends; only obstacles.
- Trust that your instincts and intuition will serve you
- Know that every problem has a solution although it may not immediately appear.
“Motivation isn’t mysterious. It’s the energy you feel when you are willing to risk believing that you can change your life.” – Joseph J. Luciani
I am willing to risk this belief, anyone with me?
Being Right – Is it THAT Important??
I am dealing with something this week that I can’t seem to let go, so I thought I would write about it – that always seems to help me get my mind in order.
Dealing with someone that always has to be right can potentially lead you to believe that you are not accepted for who you are. Part of my work right now is working to know that I am worth it – that I matter. So running into people like this for me, are challenging me and making me think harder about this issue.
My thoughts this week have been centered on why is it that there some people that press things and have to be right? I have a couple people that have crossed my path this week that are in my life on a regular basis but for some reason this week, that are hitting my frustration button. Maybe it is because one of them challenged my 7 year old daughter, who was actually right. My daughter can often press that SHE is right about something that I clearly know she is wrong about. But this situation was different, she was right. (OK, so now I am sounding like I have to be right! Hmmmm??) There are different things that happen, there are some times when someone insists that they are right and you know, like you know you are alive, that they are wrong, then there are times when it is clearly opinion and is something that everyone argues about all the time (religion, politics, abortion, etc) I am normally able to just let it go. I thought that if I reviewed the reasons why letting go is good, it would help me this week!
Letting it go – Why does it help you?
Time Management: By not having to be right – you gain a lot more time. In our busy lives there is a huge incentive to letting things go. Instead of spending time on hopping on the Internet to find why you are justified and right, putting together the email that shows how you are right and then reading whatever rebuttal is sent back, you have all that time to put towards something much more important. Why waste time trying to establish why you are right? Is it that big of a deal in the big scheme of life? Save yourself some time – Let it go!
Stress Management: Whenever we work on proving ourselves right; there is a level of conflict that arises. Sometimes this is anger and more often it is frustration. It has been proven in studies that stress impacts our health. If we can let things go and not have to prove we are right all the time our stress levels will reduce and we will be healthier.
Stronger Relationships – By always having to be right instead of letting things slide; one tends to have rockier relationships; at the very least they will be less authentic. Many times I will avoid people that need to be proving something all the time. It isn’t enjoyable to be around someone that needs to be right. And at other times, I avoid even offering my opinion because it isn’t worth it which means the other person doesn’t REALLY know me. We can improve our relationships by letting others have their opinion and knowing inside that we are right.
Ego Management – By letting things go and choosing not to argue about something; helps keep that “ego” part of ourselves in check. Keep in mind that there are MANY definitions of ego and here I mean that defensive part of ourselves, that seems to often be in a fight or flight mode. The more we exercise management of the defensive monkey brain turf thing, the stronger we become within ourselves.
It’s important to choose your battles! There are times that you should stand up! When someone is crossing your boundaries and wants you to do something, and you feel it is wrong, yes – you should stand up and ensure that you always do what feels right for you.
OK, that feels better – – anyone have any other ideas why letting go of needing to be right helps?
We have wants and desires and we want them now. We put pressure on ourselves and our desires. Right NOW! Our culture is full of over spending and debt due to a lack of self discipline and a need for instant gratification. It is full of people who work to start businesses but can’t get them going and then they blame others. We start moving towards our dreams and goals and because it doesn’t happen quickly enough we stop; we give up. We often stop dreaming or wishing for things to be different because the stress associated with our lack of patience drives us to start living life day to day without the dreams and wishes that can lead us down paths towards a better life.
“Impatience is only another form of resistance. It is resistance to learning and changing. When we demand that it be done right now, completed at once, then we don’t give ourselves time to learn the lesson involved with the problem we have created.” Louise Hay
I’d like to suggest that we look at everything we want like a vacation. We would not look forward to a vacation, have the first day get there, and then go to work that day. We would not look at a destination and then not take the steps, or the car, or the airplane to get to our destination. We must make the journey. We must get in the car, the airplane, or take the steps towards that destination.
Looking forward to vacation we get excited and anxious for the first day to arrive. We get more done on that last day before vacation than several days combined prior. Then the day arrives, WE ARE ON VACATION!! We head to an airport, or we pack the car or perhaps we just sleep in. Each day, each sight we drink in and savor and as it comes to an end we get mixed feelings. Some sadness that it’s ending but also some relief that we are getting back to our routine.
In the journey we need to savor the daily events, the things we see, the giggles and laughing and bird song that we hear, the people that we meet and the learning of new things we would not have learned or done had we not had to wait for that end desire.
“Do not judge the journey by the path you’re now on: Like driving cross country you can’t possibly know in advance if or where you may encounter detours, hairpin turns or passing cars with noses and whatnot pressed to the window; moreover little if any of the scenery you travel through will remotely resemble the destination you have in mind yet neither the constellations you see, nor the unexpected maneuvers you take will ever mean you aren’t headed exactly where you want to go as swiftly as possible getting closer every flippin day.” Mike Dooley
Yes, sometimes it DOES take a long time…but look at it this way… you get more opportunity for learning new things, doing new things and meeting new people all of which will help you have a better end result.