My wife and her trophies
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison
Hello, folks! Happy Monday!
I found this quote and felt it was exactly in alignment with what I wanted to talk about today–persistence. Persistence is what gets you through anything. It helps you when you doubt what you are doing. It helps when the obstacles to your progress pile up. It is supported by faith. The faith that you do have what it takes to succeed. We all have this capability. We just have to stick with what we are doing to get to where we want to go.
I try to keep my life simple. Read daily, write daily, learn daily, exercise daily, and spiritual exercises daily. This is it. Where I have fallen down this year is in the exercise arena. I go, then I don’t go, I start this program and then I stop this program. Today, I’m revamping my exercise routine and starting again. Exercise is important to me and once in a while I’ll lose track of that key point. I’m not into exercising for aesthetic purposes. I don’t care about posting an infinite amount of selfies showing off this or that. For me, it is just about feeling good, sleeping well, and taking care of myself.
For a few weeks, I was going through some horrific insomnia. I couldn’t sleep. One of the primary causes for this insomnia was my lack of consistent exercise. You see, I have always been hyperactive. If I don’t get rid of some energy doing yard work, exercise, and some actual brain work every day, I am not tired at all when I go to bed. I just lay there tossing and turning. I realize some folks suffer a form of insomnia because of worry. I do not fall into this category. My life is pretty calm, without too much drama. I feel for you if you cannot sleep because of excessive worry. This is a horrible place to be.
Ok. This week, we’ll be hitting it hard in the gym (check my workouts on my Workout Routine posts). I’ll be doing some work on my book, continue to post here, and work through an NLP course I signed up for on Udemy. I’ve also got my daily yard work to do, pending the weather. I hope each of you has a terrific week!
Until next time…
Today’s workout was interval training. I chose the stair-stepper for this routine’s cardio source.
20 minutes of interval training. 1 minute intense, 2 minutes slow. Great workout and a good sweat!!
See you at the finish line!!
Quote courtesy of http://www.briantracy.com
Failure. We all fear it. It’s interesting when you think about how our brains work. The brain doesn’t like change. It doesn’t like trying new things. It doesn’t like this because change is fearful to that part of our brain that warns us about danger.
Why? Well, our ancestors needed to be warned about everything by their primitive brains because mistakes could be deadly, particularly when there were creatures all around that wanted a meal. The brain’s warning system worked pretty good. We are still here after all.
How do you counteract this part of your brain to try new things? Our brains are much different from our ancestors’ brains. Our brains are much larger and have evolved to a point that we can override this prehistoric brain. We can choose to make changes despite our brain’s warnings.
Our ability to direct ourselves to do things that are unknown or challenging is a gift. We still have to deal with the fear of failure and all the rest, but now we have the ability to reason with ourselves. We can evaluate an action and deem it safe, despite the risks for failure and move forward. This is challenging, but possible. It merely requires us to be persistent and push forward with our goals.
All of us are unique. Some of us see a threat while others see an opportunity. What I have found to ease my angst is to get out there and learn from other people. I learn from books, online courses, and YouTube videos. If you see someone else doing something you want to do, the fear dissipates somewhat. I say to myself, “If they can do it, so can I.”
Then there’s practice. It’s hard to learn something new without getting your hands dirty. You can read about a topic, learn about a topic, and even watch someone else does something, but it is so much different when you do it. You will make mistakes. You will mess up. Each time you mess up, you learn. You learn that this is not the way. Then, if you are paying attention, you’ll avoid that mistake in the future and go on to the next step.
Fail. There is nothing wrong with it. Learn from it. Start again. Persist. You can’t lose if you don’t quit.
This week is a busy one. I’ve got a few books to finish, a chapter to write in my book, workouts to do, and of course, posting to this blog. It’ll be a great week!
Until next time…
“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” – Jacob M. Braude
I have had to learn this lesson many times throughout my life. I run across a friend. I see them struggling with a challenge, neglecting their health, or giving up on life, and I want to jump right in and try to show them the error of their ways. Then, after a few weeks or months, realize that they are not going to do anything about their situation. Have you ever run into this?
You see, people are who they are. Deep down, all of us know our weaknesses. Some people ignore them. Others have tried to make a change and realized that they are too weak to change ingrained habits. They have settled with these weaknesses and literally given up. The pain of change is too great a price for these folks to pay.
If you have a friend or colleague that has glaring weaknesses that are ruining their life, you have two choices: Remain their friend or colleague and accept these weaknesses in their character or cut them loose. They will not change because you want them to. They will not change because it is in their best interest. They will only change when the weakness they possess becomes so painful that they must change themselves.
Regardless of your opinion, people are happy with the lives they have chosen to live. You may think to yourself, “God, how do you live like that?”, but this isn’t your life—it’s theirs. Happiness is defined by each of us. What makes you happy will not necessarily make your friend or colleague happy.
You also have to examine whether the person you are dealing with is empowered or disempowered. Empowered people believe they are in charge of themselves. Disempowered people believe they are ruled by outside influences and circumstances. The empowered person is the champion who conquers adversity and overcomes their weaknesses. The disempowered person is the victim who gives up and lives with their weaknesses. See the difference?
If you are empowered, you will have very little in common with people who are disempowered. In fact, disempowered people will frustrate you to no end. Empowered people learn, apply the learning to their current circumstances, and alter themselves to improve their performance, their career, and their productivity. Disempowered people have given up; they are convinced that outside circumstances and other people our “out to get them” and blame their failure on these outside elements. Disempowered people have given up on taking action or trying to change—they have made quitting a habit. Empowered people keep trying out new ideas, new options, and look for solutions—they persist, because they know they will win if they keep trying.
Change is hard. It is hard because the habits we have built for ourselves are hard-wired in our brains. To make changes, you have to learn how to unravel these knots in your brain and create new wiring; wiring that will serve you better now and in the future. To do that, you need to know how to exploit the same processes in your brain that created the bad habits in the first place. You also need to be self-aware enough to identify which of these hard-wired scripts no longer serve you.
One of the best books I’ve ever read on making changes is Mini-Habits by Steven Guise. The Mini-Habit is simply a habit that is so small that you would have to be on your deathbed in order to fail to do it. Steven’s first mini-habit was a single push-up every day. After he had managed to master this habit, he added writing 50 words a day and reading 2 pages a day in a book he chose to tackle. The genius behind the mini-habit is that it is so small, you can easily accomplish this habit without too much thought, stress, or willpower. In fact, this is the reason Stephen is such an advocate of the process. He researched willpower and motivation and found that both aspects of our makeup are too weak to overcome the hard-wired habits in our brain, especially when you consider all the other stressors in your life and how they eat away at your willpower and motivation to begin with. There is one warning he provides, however. Mini-habits, even though they are small, must be meaningful. One push up a day is meaningful towards improving your health. Writing 50 words a day is meaningful toward writing an essay, a blog post, or even a book. Reading 2 pages a day will help you finish that book in a shorter period than not reading a book at all or reading a bunch of pages one day and then failing to touch that book for a month before reading it again.
The real benefit of mini-habits is the ability to get started on something. Once you get started on a mini-habit, you will build momentum. Once you build momentum, you will be motivated to do more than one push-up, write 50 words, or read 2 pages. You’ll likely do more exercises, write 100 words or more, and read an entire chapter of your book. This momentum will build and build, particularly if you add rewards at critical milestones.
I’ve used mini-habits since I read his book a few years ago. In fact, I’m such a huge fan, I re-read this book each year in December as I build out my goals for the next year. If you want to make changes in your life and you just haven’t been able to find anything that will help you build a new habit or make these changes, give Mini-Habits a try, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s a link to Mini-Habits on Amazon: Mini-Habits by Stephen Guise (I am not an affiliate for Mr. Guise, his book, or Amazon).
To conclude this article, I’d like to remind you that changing yourself is hard, but not impossible. You have to be persistent, utilize a strategy that will work, and monitor your progress. Don’t worry about your spouse, your friends, or your relatives. If they want to make a change, they will. If they don’t, no level of complaining, arguing, or harassment will make them change; in fact, they may stick to their guns even harder when pushed. Believe me, I’ve been down this road with a few of my friends and you won’t win. People will only make a change in their lives when they are ready. They will not change because you want them to. Take care of yourself and make the changes you decide to make in your life. It will be difficult, but you’ll get there. I wish you well on your journey.
Until next time…
“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” Unknown
Read more at: Brainy Quote
Every wonder why people live in the past? It is something I have recognized in the people I associate with and started wondering why people torture themselves over actions and events they can’t change? I recently learned during a course I am taking currently. It is because they are disempowered.
Disempowered people worry about things outside of their control. They worry about the weather, what other people are going to do or not do, they relive their past daily, particularly if that past event or action is traumatic. They just can’t let go of it. Subsequently, they gloss over the great things that are happening now or miss out on things that are great and working in their life. It is like they are wearing special sun glasses that taint everything that is wrong in the past and paint their present and future with the same filtered view. Why would anyone do that? It is because the brain has wired itself to be protective against a traumatic event that may occur now or again in the future. Instead of starting a new day and living fully in the present, they constantly worry that something bad will happen to them. This, in turn, becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Their lives do turn out the way their internal wiring dictates.
It is tough to leave the state of disempowerment. To some, being a victim is a profession. They can’t find the right job. Everyone is out to get them. They can’t find a lover. How could anyone love them like they are? They can’t set or achieve any goals. Why? I’ll fail anyway. This is a dismal way to live, wouldn’t you agree? Victimhood is their comfort zone. It is comfortable because if everything in their life is the fault of some outside entity; they are not responsible. Their life is one HUGE blame game. I can’t lose weight because everyone around me eats garbage. I can’t learn anything new because I sucked at school.
The opposite of a disempowered person is the person who is empowered. They take responsibility for their lives. They realized that they are in control. They are realistic, however. They do know that life will throw them curve balls. It is part of life, after all. Instead of being thwarted, they recognize it is something out of their control and learn ways to overcome the adversity. If they are out of shape, they learn about getting into shape. If they are lacking a skill, they learn how to gain that skill. If they are not finding the right people in their lives, they put themselves out there and meet new people. See the difference?
Choose a life of empowerment. Choose to take responsibility for your life. Choose to accept the things you cannot change and either live with these things or come up with solutions to overcome them. There is always a way—always. You just have to persist and keep trying. Simple, isn’t it?
This week I’ll continue working toward all my goals in writing, reading, learning, meditation, and exercise. I enjoy the daily routine of journaling, blogging, and working on my book. I enjoy the satisfaction of leaving a gym after a grueling workout. I enjoy reading and learning. I enjoy the solitude of getting quiet during meditation.
I hope all of you have a productive and terrific week! If any of you need any advice or help, feel free to reach out. I have some pretty awesome planning and execution hacks I’d love to share in all the areas I am pursuing. See you at the finish line!
Until next time…
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ― Seneca
I was reading something today about the “Dark night of Soul”. The dark night of soul is a time of despair. It is a time of emptiness, isolation, and depression. It is a time in our lives when we see no way out of our troubles. All of us experience this. Some never escape. Others come out of these times stronger. What a dark beginning to a blog posting right?
Without the dark times in our lives, we would not know what the good times are. We need opposites in our lives. Without the negative and positive aspects of life, our existence would be boring. When we experience a dark time in our lives, we appreciate the good times we experience even more. The fluctuation between good days and bad days keeps us on our toes. When we realize that both the good and bad times are necessary for our growth, we realize we can be grateful for both. During the bad times, we develop new coping skills. During the good times, we develop appreciation and gratitude.
Today, I am thankful for my new followers. My goal this year is to reach 1000 followers for Daily Ramblings. I hope that my content will attract new followers and keep them returning day after day. It is a tough order. There are so many other things for people to do. Blogging makes all of us better writers and more cognizant of what the readership wants to read about.
My book writing took a turn for the worse a week ago. I finished my rough draft in January and doubted my content. I did not know what to do next. Then I ran across another write on Facebook and got advice. They pointed me to a few writing tools. I purchased these tools and worked on my 2nd draft. I am grateful for this author’s advice. That advice and her words of encouragement got me back on track.
Writing a book is no easy task. It requires habitual attention and a process that helps the author move from one step of the writing to the next. Since this is my first book, there will be more situations like this. I will get stuck, I will find a solution, and then get moving again.
I am grateful for my persistence. I am grateful for my curiosity. I am grateful for my stubbornness. I am grateful for my desire to write. Like many things in my life, I fell into writing because of my love of writing earlier as a child. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed this work until I picked it up again in retirement.
I have always wanted to do something for the sheer enjoyment of doing it. Writing is like that for me. Writing allows me to express myself. Writing allows me to clarify my thinking. Writing allows me to empty my mind and organize these thoughts into something cogent. I worked on my book a few days ago and thought about the process an artist goes through when they create a drawing. They sketch something out and then flesh out their drawing into a final product. Writers do the same thing. We start with a rough draft, dumping everything in our minds onto paper. We then flesh out our writing into a final draft. I enjoy these moments of clarity when things come together like this.
Programming is another passion I have recently rediscovered. I dabbled with programming in my college years. It exposed me to some web development, database development, other technical topics. Recently, I got an inner nudge to pick it up again. I found a website called www.codecademy.com. Codecademy offers various development paths to people who want to learn how to code. I did not know this site existed until I asked around. One of my developer friends recommended it and I have been on this site ever since.
I hope all of you are having a terrific Thursday! Thank you to all new followers. I hope you find my content enjoyable and you return often.
Until next time…
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” Walter Elliot
Want to learn a secret? Here’s a secret that will change your life.
You will accomplish whatever you set out to do if you do not quit trying to accomplish it.
I don’t care if you are trying to lose weight, stop smoking, read more, write more, learn more. Say you want to learn a new language. Learning a new language is hard. Quitting a bad habit is hard. Learning how to do something you’ve never done before is hard.
Learn incrementally and continuously. Take a little bit of new information, study it, read it, do something with it in little bite-size chunks on a daily basis and before you know it you’ll own that new knowledge. You’ll build the skill. The challenge with this type of learning is consistency. You have to keep doing it over and over and over and never stop. You must really want the new knowledge or skill.
If you keep pushing forward, keep digging in consistently, keep pushing the envelope, you’ll see some dramatic results over time. Stick with it and you’ll achieve your goal over time. It’s really that simple.
Here’s what I’m up to this week:
Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope all of you are keep pushing forward with your goals.
Have a great week!
Until next time…
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.” – Charles Kettering
I’m finally over this bug and got back to the gym this morning! It felt good to get in there and get moving. Today was a full body workout with weights. We had some snow come in last night and it was nice looking at the white covering everything as I drove to the gym.
I’ve recently signed up to the Poetry Foundation. You can find this at: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/ It’s a great site and if you sign up (it’s free), they’ll send you a daily poem to read. I really enjoy the random poems they send because it exposes me to people I would have never found on my own. Try it out if you’re interested.
We’re in the part of the year when we reexamine our lives and look forward to the new year. Some of you may have already set your New Year’s resolutions, while others may still be looking at what you are going to accomplish this year. As today’s quote states, set your goals so that you pursue something meaningful. What do you want to do? What have you always wanted to do but decided not to pursue because you’ve convinced yourself you can’t do it? Take the can’t out of that sentence and go for it. It is really liberating to pursue something you might have to work really hard to achieve. Imagine how you will feel if you accomplish something you didn’t think you could?
Goals should stretch you. Why set up something you know you could accomplish? Is that really a goal? Failure? You can’t fail if you keep moving toward your goal, regardless if you crawl, walk, or run. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. Get at it!
My decision to learn how to write computer programs has been exhilarating. Yeah, there are times I get stuck and frustrated. That’s normal when you’re learning new things. Imagine how much impact this new skill would have on your ability to make money or just create useful programs for yourself and your family?
I wish all of you the best of luck this year! I hope all of you achieve what you have set out to do. Persist. Adapt. Continue. You’ll get where you want to if you keep walking.
Until next time…