I found this interesting video about witch hunts. I hope you learn something. I always do.
Until next time…
If you’ve ever experienced one of these, it is bad. It’s like you’re awake, yet not. It’s hard to explain. That’s why I thought Ami could explain it better. Watch this short video about a topic that may plague you. I have always found that the best way to face a fear is to understand it. Enjoy!
Until next time…
I have always been fascinated by outer space, astronauts, and the accomplishments we have made on Mars. Here’s a Ted talk by Megan McArthur on all the things that go into spaceflight. Enjoy!
Until next time…
Photo credit: Jay Godwin – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lbjlibrarynow/25434828916/in/album-72157665395632165/
I’ve been reading a lot of Bob Woodward’s works this year. I read both of his books on Trump, Fear and Rage. Now I am reading his book called Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987. These books were terrific. In honor of this writer, today’s 5 quotes are from him.
The central dilemma in journalism is that you don’t know what you don’t know.
When you see how the President makes political or policy decisions, you see who he is. The essence of the Presidency is decision-making.
Nixon’s grand mistake was his failure to understand that Americans are forgiving, and if he had admitted error early and apologized to the country, he would have escaped.
A reporter’s ability to keep the bond of confidentiality often enables him to learn the hidden or secret aspects of government.
I think journalism gets measured by the quality of information it presents, not the drama or the pyrotechnics associated with us.
Bob Woodward is most famous for his work as a journalist with the Washington Post on the Watergate scandal during the Nixon Presidency. For more information, check out his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Woodward
I will be hosting a 9-session book discussion on a series of books in ECKANKAR’s Wisdom Series. These will be hosted and run on ZOOM. If you would like to attend, join my Meetup. Here’s the link: https://www.meetup.com/the-path-of-spiritual-freedom-eckankar-port-huron/ I will be posting these events on my Meetup one at a time. Each event will require you to register, but do not cost any thing, other than the .99 cents the books cost on Amazon. Here’s a link to them: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08M38HNZ6?ref_=dbs_dp_rwt_sb_tkin&binding=kindle_edition
These events will be 100% online via ZOOM and are open to the public everywhere on the globe. The dates and topics are below:
Conquering Fear – Mar 18, 2021
Solving Problems – Apr 15, 2021
Health and Healing – May 20, 2021
Inner Guidance – Jun 17, 2021
Life After Death – Jul 15, 2021
Karma and Reincarnation – Aug 19, 2021
Dreams – Sep 16, 2021
Soul Travel – Oct 7, 2021
Spiritual Freedom – Oct 21, 2021
I wanted to make sure everyone of you knew about my upcoming book discussions. You’ll get to see and hear me live. You can connect via ZOOM or just call in. These will be posted on my Meetup, advertised on Facebook, and I will continue to notify all of you as the book discussion dates approach. I hope some of you can make it.
You do not have to be an ECKist to attend these events and there will be no solicitation whatsoever to join ECKANKAR. These books were written as a public service and offer real tools to help you in many areas of your life. If you are interested in any of these topics, I highly recommend coming. These books will offer you some real benefits, and provide you with some tools you can apply right away.
Hope to see some of you there!
Until next time…
Have you ever woke up in a funk? You know that feeling that today is going to be one of those days? Everything you do is wrong, not good enough, etc. Say hello to your inner critic.
There are many articles and books that discuss procrastination. One of the biggest contributors to procrastination is the inner critic. It’s that small voice inside your head that wants everything to be perfect before you start something. It says, “Whoa. Slow down. You don’t know enough yet. The stars aren’t aligned yet. You’re not good enough. You’ll embarrass yourself.” This was, by far, the largest contributor to my procrastination.
What I’ve found out:
I could go on and on with this list. The key point is that you will never be perfect. Getting something done is better than doing nothing and continuing to drive yourself crazy as you stare at your project day after day and doing nothing on it.
You’ll never be able to ignore your inner critic. You can quiet it down a bit. Just get to work. Even if it is just one little step in your project plan, you’ll feel great checking that off of the list. Over time, when you realize that you are making progress, that little critic will stop acting up. Doing something is better than doing nothing and thinking about it. Get it off your mind by doing something, anything to move your goals and projects forward. It is a great feeling when you can look at your to-do list at the end of the day and realize you’ve done a lot of work. And it all happens because you did the best you could, with what you had.
We can all improve. We can all get better at what we work at. The key is getting started and moving forward regardless of whether the stars are aligned, you know exactly what you want to accomplish, or the finished product is exactly what you wanted. Paintings are a work in progress, books are a work in progress, anything you set out to do that is unknown to you is a work in progress. You can always repaint, rewrite, or redo whatever you start. That’s how all the greats do it. So can you.
So if you are just like I was a few years back and staring at a to-do list, paralyzed by inaction, you can begin moving forward today. Break those scary projects down into even smaller steps. Do it. Check it off the list. It really is that simple. If you make a mistake, who cares? You learned what not to do. Don’t do that again and continue forward.
I hope all of you are having a great day!
Until next time…
“The cycle of creative action begins with a concept we carry in our minds of what we wish to do. The next step is to outline on paper some plan of how to accomplish this. The final step is action in carrying out the plan.” – Harold Klemp – The Language of Soul
Stephen Covey discusses the first and second creation in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He discusses this while covering the second habit: Begin with the End in Mind. The first creation is what we visualize in our mind. It is the pictures, sounds, feelings, and smells of our end product. This end product could be a goal, a destination, or a situation. The second creation is when we breathe life into the first creation by taking all the actions necessary to make our vision a reality.
If you examine Harold Klemp’s process, it is simple. Visualize. Plan. Act. If this were so simple, why do so many people fail to accomplish their goals? My guess is that they can visualize a better life, but ignore the planning and acting parts of this equation.
What’s the reason? Why do people dream about things to do, achieve, or accomplish, yet fail to do anything about these dreams? FEAR.
We fear trying new things. We fear failing. We fear we aren’t good enough. We fear we lack the skills, time, or money. We fear what our social network will think. We are so fearful of these things we continue to dream and hunger for change, but just don’t get around to it. We are so comfortable with our current situations that we prefer this comfort zone, rather than those scary “wilds” outside that comfort zone. These wilds are so scary we just can’t step into them to pursue something that could transform our lives for the better.
How do we overcome this? First, your desire has to be stronger than the fear that is holding you back. When your desire is stronger than fear, you’ll act. Second, your current circumstances are no longer comfortable. Here, your discomfort outweighs the fear you have of the wilds.
You are the only person who can make a decision to act. You are the only person that can risk venturing into the wilds to find your personal pot of gold.
One thing you can do, if you are still hesitant is to take small steps into the wild. If you have a good visual of what you want, start with a brainstorming session. Don’t commit to anything, just begin exploring what you would have to do if you ever got around to doing something. This is the first step. Once you begin brainstorming and thinking about potential solutions, the wilds will be less intimidating. They will be less scary because your brainstorming session will begin to show you what actions you could take to get where you are going. In other words, the wilds become more familiar because you are starting to chart a map through the wilds to your vision or goal (plan).
Once you have brainstormed, you can begin to evaluate and organize these steps into an action plan. Then all you have to do is the act. This action is like sticking your toes in the cold water. Commit to taking one action on your list. Once you’ve done this, take another, and another. Before you know it, you’ll be closer to your goal and those scary wilds will be less intimidating. You are acting and getting closer to your destination.
Eliminate fear by taking small steps. Brainstorm, plan, take small actions. You will bring that dream into reality. The first time you explore the wilds, it will be uncomfortable, but the more you do it, even if they are small excursions, the more this discomfort will dissipate. The territory you thought was scary is not so bad. In fact, it is less dangerous than the predictable, boring, and complacent comfort zone you now occupy.
The people that attain their dreams are not better than you. They just took a leap of faith before you did. They have failed more than you have been comfortable with. They have failed so many times, failure no longer has a hold on them. They’ve figured out what everyone figures out. Failure is part of the growth process. You’ll never learn or do something new without screwing up. So enjoy failure. Enjoy the process. Every time you fail you learn something–you learn what doesn’t work.
I hope you have a terrific Wednesday!
Until next time…
“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
Fear hits me from time-to-time. sometimes I’m fearful that my writing won’t be good enough when I begin publishing my work. Sometimes I fear that I won’t learn to be a good programmer so I can create applications people will want to part with their money to own or use. Sometimes I fear that this blog will go nowhere. I’ll write here and no one will care one way or another.
Fear only takes hold when you are attached to something you want or desire. Eliminate that want or desire and fear dissipates. It’s hard, but it makes sense right? When I look at my writing or blogging fears, I only care about what others think of my writing when I desire or want others to like what I’ve done here. When I write for me, the fear disappears. The same thing happens when I remember that I am doing all the things I do for me and me alone. If someone likes my book, they’ll purchase it. If they don’t they won’t. I have no control over who will like or dislike my book. I have no control over who follows my blog or who elects not to. I have no control over anyone other than myself.
It’s comforting when I realize that all I do is for me and me alone. If, by chance, another person enjoys my writing, my blog, or my future applications, awesome! If not, who cares?
I realize I am in a unique position. I am retired and financially secure. It’s easy for me to take this attitude when my livelihood isn’t at risk. For others, this may not be as easy as it is for me. I get that. However, you can still achieve the same thing for yourself. When you develop an attitude of detachment, you do the best you can with what you have, and leave it there. You’ll discover how great it is to stop worrying about your critics. The key is to do things for yourself.
If you have a job, you need to please your boss and do the best you can to keep your job. But if you are pursuing things on the side like writing, online teaching, writing a mobile app, or whatever, this is the time you give yourself a break. Do it for the love of doing it. I enjoy writing. I enjoy learning. I enjoy reading and learning. I enjoy keeping myself healthy. I enjoy spiritual pursuits. I only do what I love to do. You can do the same, outside your day job.
You may not have as much time as I do, but you can still get a lot done with the limited time you have.
One of the biggest discoveries I have made since retirement is the benefit of completing small actions toward my goals every day. For example, I set a goal of reading 48 books this year (4 books a month on average). I read one chapter a day. Sometimes, if I have more time than usual, I read more than one chapter. Currently, I am at 61 books so far this year. Just by consistently reading one chapter each day without fail. This compounding is powerful. You can do the same thing.
When I write, I goal myself to write 500 words a day in my book. I started in January and I’ll finish the first draft by the end of this year. Again, 500 words a day, which amounts to about 15 minutes of work. I also write articles for my blog every day, journal every day in the AM and PM, and write discussion board responses for the online course I am taking. None of these feels like work because I absolutely love everything I am doing. It is a joy to get up in the morning and begin my work.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can stop you in your tracks or talk you into believing that any effort you make is a waste of time. It will tell you that your work is not good enough. It will paralyze you. Let fear go by letting go of any expectation of outside applause or approval. Do the work or side hustle you’ve committed to for the love of it. If you don’t love it–STOP. This is your time, not your boss’ time. This is what you choose to do when you are not on the clock. Love what you do, lose your need for approval. The folks who love what they do will always do better than those who do not love what they do.
I’ll stop here. I hope all of you have a terrific Wednesday!
Until next time…
Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination—William Longgood
It is so easy to get bogged down with the trivial in life. We binge-watch television, we explore the postings in social media, or we gossip with our friends. The trivial things in life create nothing, contribute nothing, and accomplish nothing.
If you could accomplish anything you wanted in life, with no possibility of failing, what would you pursue? Keep this in mind while you list 100 things you’d like to do before your life ends. What did you write down? Did it involve traveling? Learning? Building a skill? Starting a business? Getting in shape? Seriously, use your imagination and dream a little. Whatever is on that list you can accomplish it. Dream big!
Once you have a list, go through it. Find that one thing on your list you can get to work on right now. Got your item picked? Good. Now look at what that finished task or goal looks like when you’ve achieved it. Do you have a good picture in your mind? Can you feel how good it will be when you’ve accomplished it? Who in your family is celebrating with you? Where are you when you complete this task? What colors are prevalent in your picture? What smells? How do you feel? Now, go backward from that moment and begin writing down all the things that need to happen to accomplish it. Now go through that list and make sure your tasks/milestones are in place. Is the time you’ve allotted between milestones realistic? Did you make sure your tasks are in order? In other words, are there any tasks that must go before another can be started?
Now commit. Commit to begin working on your dream task tomorrow. Begin working toward your first milestone daily until you hit it. Then look at the next milestone and begin working toward that. Stuck? Look at the milestone and your list of tasks, you may need to break these milestones down into even smaller tasks to get the job done. Do that. Get these milestones broke into small chunks that can be completed in 25-minute chunks. Now schedule these 25-minutes each day. Is it on your calendar? Good.
Does this seem easy? It is. The problem most people have when trying to accomplish something is they fail to take themselves or their dreams seriously. They dream about doing something and it stays in the dream state. The dream stays where it is and we get bogged down with our chores, our day job, or something else. These day-to-day commitments become a ball and chain that prevents us from pursuing what we’d really like to do. We let the mundane become more important than what we dream about. As the years roll by, we are still dreaming and not any closer to achieving the dream.
Everything in our lives become one big distraction, one more reason to delay, one more excuse waiting to happen. After a while we become like the circus elephant trained to believe that the small rope spiked to the ground is impossible for us to break. We learn how to be helpless. We create our own prisons. We give up the dreams that could be ours and replace them with the mundane. Instead of working on our book for 30 minutes a night, we get caught up in a television series about zombies. Instead of taking that trip to Iceland, we waste our money on junk food or material things we don’t need. Instead of pursuing that business idea we play video games. You get the point.
You don’t have to join the crowd. You can begin today and start living your life. Pursue that dream you have in your head. Plan it out as if you could not fail. Begin taking steps to accomplish it. You will be floored when you achieve it one day and the journey you take to get there will be something you will always cherish for the rest of your life.
You’ll wake up one day and look at yourself in the mirror with a pride you’ve never experienced before. You did it. Hell, you may even tear up because you’re so proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Your family and friends will be proud. At the end of that glorious day, while you lay in bed, you’ll begin thinking about the next thing you’d like to do. And you know what? The next day you’ll begin planning and setting up your calendar to pursue your next dream.
Think about Edison, Ford, Lincoln, Washington, Einstein, Disney, Gates, Buffet, and Musk. Think about Keller, Curie, Earhart, Roosevelt, Thatcher, Rowling, Beyonce, and Oprah. The stories are alike. They started from nothing, with huge obstacles to overcome and naysayers in the background. They all had a dream and pursued it. Was it easy? No. Did they suffer at times? Yes. Did they experience failure and shortfall and doubt? You bet. The difference between you and them? They went for it. While their friends were diddling around with the mundane, they pursued their dreams. They stuck with it. When they failed, the got up, dusted themselves off, and started again.
It’s Wednesday, the 24th of April 2019. Over the next few days, put together your 100 list. Pick one thing you’d like to pursue. Get your plans set to begin execution on May 1st. You can do it. I believe in you. You have nothing to lose but the opportunity to learn more about yourself and gain the satisfaction that comes from starting your journey.
I wish you well.
Until next time…
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”―Frank Herbert,Dune
Fear. It causes us to pause, to procrastinate, to react to all those hidden demons our minds create. Fear warns us that we are not good enough. Fear predicts our total ruin. Fear predicts the destruction of our reputation. Fear is an enemy to be dealt with if you are going to do anything meaningful with your life.
We all deal with fear in one way or another. Fear can come in many guises. We can be fearful of a confrontation with a colleague or a loved one. We can be fearful of failure. We can be fearful of standing up for ourselves. We can be fearful of moving forward with a project we really want to accomplish.
I have found that the best way to conquer fear is to eliminate the ego. How many wars or arguments could have been avoided if both parties put their egos to the side. The ego is something you’ll never get rid of, but it can be put to the side. When you are creating something new, you will make mistakes. Embrace mistakes. Embrace failure. These are two things you have to get through if you are going to achieve anything. If you avoid assigning failures and mistakes to yourself personally, you will feel bad, upset, angry, etc. Instead, play a game. Laugh at yourself. Realize what you’ve learned. Look at the failure or mistake and dissect it. How did it happen? What did I miss? More importantly, how can I avoid this mistake in the future?
Set your goals, establish a plan to achieve the goals you have set, and stake out actions to move you through your road map. Make your daily contributions so minuscule that you’ll do them without resistance. You’ll make mistakes. You will discover your plan has problems and needs to be adjusted. Failure occurs only when you fail to act or give up on your goals and dreams. Keep this in the forefront of your mind—failure occurs when you quit. You avoid failure if you keep moving forward.
I had a heck of a time yesterday with my Dad watching the Superbowl. We were a little disappointed in the game. The commercials were OK, but not barn burners. The game was exciting toward the end, but the first half was boring. In the end, however, it was nice watching the game with my Dad.
Tomorrow is the State of the Union and I’ll be engaged with that most of the day. This week I’ll continue my reading, writing, exercise, meditation, and learning schedule. I interact with a lot of authors online and discovered a great writing tool. It’s called Scrivener. I just downloaded it today and will be working through tutorials and such for most of the week. Once I’ve got a good idea of how to use the tool, I’ll begin moving my book to it. I discovered that using a word document straight up is probably not the most efficient way of putting together a book, particularly now that I am in the re-write phase of the operation.
That’s it for today folks. Have a great week!
Until next time…