False Evidence Appearing Real

 
yellow Labrador, 'Paddy', hiding under a blanket

What is that incessant background noise? A barely audible soft whining. It seems to be coming from the dark corner on the other side of the room. There is something sitting over there. I can’t tell what it is. When I look directly at it, it is invisible. If I look a little off to the side, it appears to be a small amorphous blob. Is that what is making such an irritating noise?

What is that thing? Is it dangerous? Maybe I will be able to see it better if I move a little closer. Just a step or two. It looks as if the body is pulsing in time with the whining. I can’t tell what it is yet. Maybe just a little closer.

I can barely hear the whine, it is so soft. Doesn’t sound dangerous, but I better be careful until I can see it more clearly. Does it have eyes? None that I can see. There doesn’t appear to be any ears either. Is it alive?

Wait! It’s moving. Turning toward me? Have I been looking at its back? Now it is facing me. Such a hideous creature! Puffy, black circles around the eyes. The mouth is lipless and stretches wide across the face. What is this thing? The whining is driving me crazy! I can barely concentrate.

I can’t resist walking toward it as if controlled by something. How could something so small have so much influence over me? What the hell is this thing?

OH MY GOD! It is FEAR! Amorphous, insidious, baseless fear. False Evidence AppearingReal! It is trying to control me. I can’t resist. My dreams, ambitions, goals and belief in myself are all fading from my mind. I can’t think. Must. Not. Give. In.

Wait a minute! That little snot is trying to control me? Me! I will kick the living $#@* out of it first! Going to use a few Jackie Chan moves backed up with good old street fighting techniques. Where is my baseball bat? False Evidence Appearing Real isn’t going to stop me from pursuing my dreams and goals.

You are going down, Fear!

 

Down Time

In any profession, it is very easy to work long, long days. There are many reasons we work longer days and increasingly more hours per year. Our employer requires the overtime. You feel guilty leaving on time when everyone else is still so busy. One more client just arrived and really needs YOU. The extra money is a necessity or would just be nice. I am sure you can think of many other reasons.

Give this some thought. While it is tempting or even required to work extra hours occasionally, those hours just might be stolen from your loved ones, from your health, or from your sanity. Those hours have to come from somewhere – and you can never get them back.

I am not suggesting you give up the second job or refuse to work overtime. However, I am suggesting you remember that job burnout, poor relationships, compassion fatigue and failing health are often the result of a life badly out of balance. Take better care of yourself by assuring you get proper “down time” and you, your relationships, and your career will all benefit.

When you are lying on your death bed, I seriously doubt you will say “I wish I had worked more”. Your greatest asset is time. Spend it wisely.

Beware Whom You Work For!

Not only does your job influence your lifestyle, but those you work with influence who you are.

Whom you associate with influences how you think and behave as well as what you believe. Remember when your mother told you not to hang around Jimmy down the street because he wasn’t a nice boy? Well, the same thing applies to your associations at work.

  • Hang around a boss with a short temperand you learn to keep a low profile.
  • Hang around an arrogant boss and you develop a lack of confidence.
  • Hang around a verbally abusive boss and your stress level will be extreme.
  • Hang around a boss with any serious negative attributes and you will burn out quickly.

I know you need an income, but you also need to be careful who you work for. The pay might be reasonable or even great, but over time the damage to your personality and emotional health isn’t worth any amount of money.

Who you work for can also affect you in positive ways.

  • Hang around a boss who appreciates the staff and the stress level drops away.
  • Hang around a boss with emotional intelligence and you learn emotional intelligence.
  • Hang around a boss who trusts and you learn to give and to earn trust.
  • Hang around a boss who loves the profession and you learn to have fun even on the busiest days.

Care enough about yourself to be choosy about whom you work for. If you are working for someone that doesn’t support, respect and encourage the staff, start looking for a new job right now.

You deserve better!

Such a Busy Day

It has been such a busy day. Every minute filled with something.

Time to stop.

Just stop for a minute and breath.

Let the knot in your belly loosen.

Let your shoulders droop and relax.

Feel your back become soft.

Breath.

Quiet your mind and focus on relaxing your body.

Just be quiet for a few minutes.

Everything else can wait.

Relax.

When was the last time you just sat and did nothing but relax? No book to read. No movie to watch. No one to talk to. Just sitting and relaxing. Listening to your own breathing. Staring without seeing. Calm.

Our lives are filled with busyness. Time flies and before we know it the day is done. Months have passed. Years speed by. And we are so busy that we forget to relax and restore ourselves.

Give yourself a few minutes every day to quiet your mind and body. Find yourself restored and ready to take on the rest of your day.

Practice relaxation and you will become an expert. Start with one minute at a time working up to at least ten minutes at a time several times a day. You have the time. Give yourself the time. The busier you are, the more important restoration becomes.

Resolutions

Resolve [ri-zolv] noun:

  1. Firmness of purpose.
  2. A firm decision to do something.

Millions of people all over the world are think about resolutions. Think, but not actually committing. It would be more accurate to describe this as less about resolutions and more about fantasies. Resolutions are great things to brag about; fantastic intentions, but most people don’t treat them with resolve.

  • “I am going to lose weight.”
  • “I am going to get fit and work out at least three days per week.”
  • “I am going to give up smoking.”
  • “I am finally going to start my own business.”
  • “I am going to quit my dead end job and move up to something better.”
  • “I will be a better parent.”
  • “I will spend more time with my spouse.”

And, the list goes on. Those who will succeed in achieving their resolutions are those truly committed to the action necessary and the final results.

Identify one goal you know you are committed to achieving and write it in concrete. Develop a flexible game plan, a trusted team of supporters, and go for it!

Raise Your Standard of Living

No one is perfect. Each of us would benefit from raising our standard of living. I am not referring to income or material things. I am referring to how we live our lives – change from the inside out.

Raise your bar. Character, integrity, emotional intelligence, empathy, respect, compassion, communication, humility, attentiveness, listening…pick a spot and start working.

Increase your standard of living. And then, watch how others react. You just might be surprised by how much influence your standard of living has on those around you.

Feeding Your Elephant

There is a difference in power between your conscious and subconscious brain. The subconscious brain contains 4 billion neurons. This is where vision, creativity, intuition, emotion and imagination reside. The conscious brain only has 2000 neurons and houses logic in all its forms.

Most of us do not intentionally utilize the subconscious brain. What if we did?

Albert Einstein is one of the most brilliant men in history. He firmly believed in the power of the subconscious brain. He believed that his remarkable intelligence was due to his deliberate daily use of his subconscious brain.

“When I examined myself, and my methods of thought, I came to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

If someone as brilliant as Einstein encouraged us to deliberately utilize our subconscious mind, wouldn’t it be a good idea for us to begin to learn how? I recommend you start by reading Vince Poscente’s “The Ant and The Elephant”. This book will help explain the difference between the Ant (conscious mind) and the Elephant (subconscious mind). Very interesting reading. I need to feed my elephant better!

People Don’t Let Us Change

We all have the capacity to change and become the person we want to be. Improving our self is a worthy goal and certainly required if we are to pursue the life we have always wanted.

As challenging as personal growth can be, the people in our lives can represent an unexpected hurdle. Our family, friends and co-workers complicate our ability to change. They see us so clearly as we were, they can’t see us as we could be. They will not let us change. They subconsciously label us based on our past results and are unable or unwilling to see our effort to grow. Their preconceived idea of who and what we were is so ingrained that it represents another challenge as we strive for personal growth.

This can be frustrating and we may begin to feel “I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t” as we work on ourselves. Our efforts and results aren’t recognized or acknowledged. And, quite often our efforts are sabotaged.

If we are known for being insensitive or argumentative and we are deliberately cooperative and empathetic 100 days in a row, but blow it on the 101st day, guess what is acknowledged? That we are insensitive and argumentative.

If we are known for laziness, but are industrious for several months in a row and choose to take a break one afternoon, we are perceived as “always” lazy. There are many examples we could use, but the point has been made.

Wouldn’t you agree that it is tough for others to see us in a new light even when the evidence is right before their eyes? Given that most of us have experienced being labeled to one degree or another, wouldn’t it be a good idea if we made sure we aren’t doing the same thing to others?

We need to give ourselves permission to grow and change as well as do the same for others.

 

 

Open Mouth Insert Foot

There doesn’t seem to be a way to get through life without saying some pretty stupid things. This is part of being human. Open mouth; insert foot. Frequently, we don’t even realize we are doing it at the time.

Remember, you are human. You are going to slip sometimes and say something insensitive, uncalled for, rude, arrogant, self-righteous, ignorant or mean. You are going to criticize, condemn or judge. It is inevitable.

Others will do the same to you. We all screw up now and then. It is to your benefit to learn to be accepting of this flaw in others as you hope they will be with you. A little tolerance goes a long way toward maintaining healthy relationships and decreasing stress.

Lighten up! You don’t have to become defensive every time someone says something stupid. Be gracious. Over time, others will learn to do the same when you say something unkind or insensitive.

Learn to let the occasional unkind word slide by. And, learn to think before you speak!

Hold the bar high for yourself and soon others will follow your lead.

 

 

Impossible?

“Impossible?” Who says?!

“It can’t be done?” Really?

“Be realistic.” Whose reality?

“I just don’t want you to get hurt when you try.” Seriously, that is your biggest concern?

I say hooray to those of you doing the impossible and shaping reality your way!!

Living a life of mediocrity or living intentionally for excellence: your choice!