Change is Inevitable. Progress is Optional

Change Is Inevitable – Progress Is Optional
Labrador Retrievers – yellow, black & chocolate

It is human nature to dislike and resist change.

We hang onto that old comfy pair of jeans even though they are falling apart at the seams.

We ignore the warning signs that we need to change our spending habits. So what if those habits have created incredible debt!

We maintain daily routines when we no longer remember why we started in the first place. Always brushing our teeth bottom right to left and top right to left. Putting the left shoe on before the right. Trying to do things in a different order leaves us feeling discombobulated.

We freak out when our employer brings in a new piece of equipment we have to learn to use. The old way was working just fine!

We always sleep on the same side of the bed even though we have the entire bed to ourselves.

We dislike change. In some cases, we even fear change. We often pretend it isn’t going to happen and isn’t happening. We are the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. Keep that attitude and change will bite you in the butt!

Change is inevitable no matter how much we try to avoid or ignore it. It is natural. It happens whether or not we want it. Sometimes change happens to us and sometimes it happens because of us. Change can be evolutionary, happening over time. Sometimes it is acute, happening without warning.

Now, progress is another story. Progress isn’t inevitable. Progress is definitely optional. It comes about because we intentionally create it out of impending or desired change.

Embrace the inevitability of change. We would do well to pay attention to what is going on around us so we recognize the signs of or need for change. Prepare. Intentionally direct change.

Don’t be an old fuddy-duddy whining about change and lamenting the good old days. Deliberately, intentionally create progress out of change.

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Geez!! Where is that smell coming from??!!!

A farmer was spreading manure on his fields one day. He didn’t realize he had some manure on his finger when he picked his nose. When he made it home to his family, he complained “This house smells like crap.” He went over to the neighborhood bar for a beer and commented to his friends that the bar smelled like crap. The problem wasn’t where he was. He was the problem carrying the crap with him ever where he went.

I first heard this story from author Christopher James Brady.

If you keep running into the same problems – poor relationships, bad luck, no one at work likes you, can’t get a promotion, always broke – you might want to check for some crap on your finger. Take responsibility for your life. No one else can or will.

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Living on “Don’t Wants”

People tell me they don’t have time to improve their situations be it through reading, taking a class, joining a gym, going back to school, etc. And, yet, they have plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl, watch television, play on the local bowling league, party, etc. What they are really saying is that changing the situation isn’t a priority. They are comfortable in their misery. Even the princess finally got off the mattress with the pea! Why not you?

Most people live on “don’t wants” rather than doing what needs to be done to succeed.

I don’t want to go to the gym.

I don’t want to attend seminars.

I don’t want to lose weight.

I don’t want to give up T.V.

Don’t be “most people.”

Here are some thoughts that have helped me:

No one has reached a point where they don’t need to grow anymore. No one.

You choose whether or not you succeed. No one else. Your greatest asset is yourself. By the same token, your greatest challenge is yourself.

If the information in your brain is accurate, you can make better decisions. Seems to me it is pretty important to know what information you have stored in your brain.

Those who understand people, care about people, and communicate well with people make great contributions in their chosen field or endeavor.

Make a decision and then manage the decision.

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you get good at it.

Success creates options.

It may appear easier to fit in with the crowd, but then you have a lifetime of average. Nothing wrong with average, but you are meant for greater things.

We have tons of inputs every day, positive and negative. The trick is to increase the positive and eliminate the negative.

You might also want to make sure you are a source of negative.

Every thought you have does not need to come out your mouth.

Change what you need to change to get where you want to go.

If you want to succeed, you must focus on the goal and what it takes to get there. Focus on solutions not circumstances.

Accept responsibility.

Plan your work and work your plan.

Outwork everybody.

No one has ever been successful completely on their own. It always takes the help of others. There will be others along the way that will play a role in your success – just as you hope to play a role in the success of others.img_0903

Little Things Can Make the Biggest Difference

What can we truly count on to improve our lives without breaking down or requiring anti-virus software?

Here are some of the things I can count on 100% of the time to improve my life.

A spectacular sunset.
The sound of the ocean.
The smell of a baby’s hair.
The first daffodil of the season.
Roses blooming in my yard.
Watching puppies play.
The sight of my grandsons peacefully sleeping.
Watching my husband walk across the farm.
Time around the dinner table with my entire family.
The smell of our cypress trees after the first rainfall.
Watching a cat sleep in the sun.
Red tail hawks gliding overhead.

What are some of the things you can count on to improve your life?

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People are funny

Tell them they are smart, beautiful, great parents, brilliant professional …… and they doubt your word or firmly disagree.

Imply they are over weight, mediocre, homely, ….. and they believe every word.magenta poppy 2

Persistence is not the entire answer.

There is a Flicker pounding on a hunk of metal on our house. I don’t have the heart to tell him that he isn’t going to dig his way through. This is a time when persistence isn’t going to pay off. Remember this the next time you are persistent in the pursuit of something. You might need to make a change before you can win. May I recommend a jack hammer or moving 6″ to the right where there is wood rather than metal? Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.21.45 AM