Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Your Morning Attitude Determines Your Daily Altitude

Two people were talking about the kind of day they expected to have.  One said, "I'm excited about today, it's going to be a great day."  The other frowned and said, "I have a feeling today's going to be a repeat of yesterday.  It's going to another bad one."  They were both right.  History tends to repeat itself.  Past performance predicts future performance.  Those who fly high in the sky understand the attitude factor.  Here's one of my favorite ideas about preparing my morning attitude before takeoff.  It's all about gratitude – I'm thankful for every encounter I'm about to have.  The happy people are going to cheer me up.  The angry ones are going to remind me what happens when I concentrate on all things miserable and fail to see abundant opportunity in every situation.  The pessimists are going to reveal how tough it is to fly when they can't see their own wings.  And the optimists are going to challenge me to reach to new heights.  I'm ready for takeoff.  I'm planning to soar.  How about you?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Know Thy Enemy

Sun Tzu, a high ranking military general, considered war a necessary evil that must be avoided whenever possible.  His writings about the art of war influenced Asia for over 2,000 years.  He wrote, anyone who excels in defeating his enemies triumphs before his enemy's threats become real.  He believed in quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions.  I'm stealing some pages from Tzu's playbook to win the war against a modern enemy – third party debt collectors.  Approximately 30% of the western world is under siege and most raise the white flag of surrender as soon as the first shot is fired.  Not me.  My flag is like the checkered flag you see when the racers finish the course.  This can only be accomplished if you know how to fight.  It begins with knowing your enemy.

Fighting a debt collector is similar to the Kobayashi Maru, a no-win scenario in the Star Trek universe.  It appears that no matter what action you take or avoid, you either end up dead or the people you fail to rescue are destroyed.  My hero, Captain Kirk, found a way to win by reprogramming the test the day before his exam.  It appears Kirk was a student of Sun Tzu.  He knew his enemy and he acted quickly.

My debt war is not over yet.  All I can tell you is I'm 100% committed to knowing thy enemy.  When I'm finished I'll write my own book based on my personal experiences.  Sun Tzu and Captain Kirk will both be proud. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Your Inner Voice Sound Check

How often do you tune in to your inner voice?  Do you have trouble finding your beat if you skip your morning sound check?  It's the quiet time before go live with the rest of the world on center stage.  I call this silent time my inner voice sound check.  If you're having trouble with your acoustics, here are some ideas I'm using in my life that may benefit you:
  1. Change your venue.  Your inner voice requires limited distractions in order to be properly heard.  Sometimes you need to go outside and take a hike.  The less man-made noise, the better.  Find a quiet space where you can allow your inner voice to be heard.
  2. Change your routine.  You need to make time for your sound checks before you interact with the world.  Try getting up fifteen minutes early so you can listen to your inner voice.  Keep in mind that too little sleep is counter-productive.  In order to wake up early, you need to go to bed early as well.  The last thing you want to do is sleep through your sound check.
  3. Change your act.  Does the world listen to you when you're on center stage?  Do you have a worthwhile message?  If the answer to these questions is no, figure out what's not working during your morning sound check.  Perhaps you need a new act.  If you don't like the sound of your voice when you're all alone, it's time to find some new material.
  4. Be original.  The world is full of copycats.  Your inner voice is like no other.  Harmonize with it.  Don't be afraid what others think.  Your inner voice is a gift.
  5. Let your inner voice be heard.  It starts with the sound check and carries over to your live performance.  Make sure your audience can hear what's inside of you.  Your gifts are meant to be shared.
I'm still making minor adjustments in my personal life to find the right balance.  The beat of the music is better and I'm happy with the results.  Moving forward, I'm committing to more time to hearing my inner voice and less time listening to all the noisy voices in the outside world.  If you have any ideas to contribute, please share in the comments section below.  Have a great day.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Do Your Detractors Need a Muffler?

I have the perfect solution for your detractors.  It's an invisible device that works like a car muffler.  Just pretend the muffler is attached to their mouth when you see them storming in to your quiet zone.  Their words spew like a leaky exhaust but you don't hear them.  Nod your head a couple of times.  Smile.  The muffler is doing its job.  If you notice your detractors asking a question to confirm you're paying attention, here's your reply:  "It's all good."  Immediately look at your watch and raise your eyebrows.  This is your signal that your quiet space is a no parking zone for loud or obnoxious vehicles.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

News Flash: My Mother Entered Cyberspace

No, pigs aren't flying and Hell didn't freeze over.  The one thing I never thought would happen just happened.  My mother entered cyberspace.  She didn't dip her toe in the water or confine herself to the shallow end of the internet.  She dove in.  I about fell over when her Facebook friend request popped up on my cell phone.  She sent me an email request for a link to my blog.  And she has a computer in her home.  I'm shocked.

I remember all those years trying to convince mom to be a part of social media.  She politely refused.  "People are forgetting how to write a letter or how to communicate face-to-face," she once told me.  Mom spent her whole life working on a computer.  Her home was always an internet free zone.  Everything changed when one of my sisters sent her a computer for her birthday a couple of days ago.

I will never forget all the lessons my Mom taught me about relationships.  She may have a computer in her home but I don't think she'll ever abandon her values.  The internet is a great tool but it should never replace face-to-face contact.  I wonder what's next for Mom.  A smart phone?  Sure – when pigs fly or Hell freezes over.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Live Your Life Your Way

What's holding you back from unleashing the hidden potential buried inside you?  Is it fear of what others will think when you let your true colors shine?  Take a good look at the people around you.  How many of them want what's best for you?  Are they okay with you when you challenge yourself to grow?  Today is a good day to begin living your life your way and stop living your life their way.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Birthday Wish for my Mother

Today is a special day for my mother.  She shows me what it's like to play in the fourth quarter in the game of life.  She reminds me of my favorite football team, the San Diego Chargers.  There were many consecutive seasons when the team finished with a dismal 6-10 record.  What's similar is that year after year neither my mother nor the Chargers ever give up.  They both make half-time adjustments.  They know the game is never over until the play clock expires.  I wish I could present my mother with some kind of trophy to honor all her years of perseverance. 

Mom may not play football; she prefers cheering for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in whatever sport or endeavor they may pursue.  She encourages me to stay in the game even when the other side throws eggs on my bus.  She's a big believer in the Hail Mary.  I will never forget how she rallied our team when our quarterback returned for a brief appearance.  No huddle was necessary.  We knew the play call when she looked into our dad's eyes for the last time.  It was in that precious moment I realized none of the previous seasons mattered.  All those 6-10 years were in the past.  Mom filled the stands with fans who welcomed dad home for his last play.  Against all odds, Dad found the end zone one last time.  Years of working on the Hail Mary paid off.  All was forgiven.  And the quiet woman behind the team who never stopped believing is responsible for the outcome.  Happy birthday, Mom.  Enjoy your special day.  May all your birthday wishes come true.