A HORSE THAT SWIMS!

Here are two things this author enjoys very much, swimming in tropical waters and learning new things. It is with this two things in mind I write this post. When you can combine things that you enjoy it gives you a whole new sense of enjoyment.

One of the things I look forward to seeing while I am either snorkeling or diving is the sea horse. The sea horse’s scientific name, hippocampus, comes from the Greek words meaning horse and sea monster. Anyone who has encountered these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat know that they are the furthest thing from sea monsters. To that end, I would like to include a few interesting facts about the sea horse.

They are technically fish, but have no scales. Instead they have skin stretched over boney plates. They swim upright and are not very good swimmers. The slowest swimming fish is the dwarf sea horse that swims at a speed of 5 feet an hour, or about the speed in which I move in the morning. They prefer to use they tails to hang out at spots of their choosing. The most amazing fact about sea horses for many is that the female deposits the eggs in the male who carries them around from 9 to 45 days until they emerge fully developed.

One of the things the sea horse does for me personally is shatter a lot of stereotypes. It is a fish, but has no scales. It swims, but does so upright. To, of course, the fact that the male carries the young.  Although the ladies out there reading this may feel it is unfair that finally a male has to carry the baby and it only has 45 days at the most instead of 9 months. Still, the sea horse can show us that we can never be too set in our opinions.

Reading this post again, it is worth note that is sounds better than most school papers I have ever written. If you want an example of how bad some were feel free to read the post we did two days ago on four letter words. This brings us to our next important point. Learning should not stop after school. When you find things that interest you as an adult it can be fun to learn more about them. With the internet, that research should take but a few minutes to accomplish. When you combine what you have learned with what you already know, say for example the life of a sea horse with self-improvement techniques, you can come up with a few new distinctions. As a added bonus, life-long learning keeps our minds sharp and helps us stave off age related mental illness.

I would invite you to share what you have recently learned and how you used that to come up with new distinctions in your own life. Feel free to share with us in the comments below.

THE 4 LETTER WORD THAT NO LONGER OFFENDS ME

For those of you afraid to open this post at work, or to show the children have no fear. As a bartender and DJ I must confess to having uttered my fair share of four-letter words in my day. As an author and motivational speaker I try to find more intelligent and creative ways to express myself today. This post is not, however, about those kinds of four letter words. This post is about a four-letter word that used to frighten me far more growing up.

What is this scary and offensive word? GOAL. When I was growing up and I am sad to admit through a good portion of my early adulthood this word is something I not only shied away from, I ran in the opposite direction! Why? In school goals are things we were graded on. Your goal was to get an A on the test. If you scored a B- you did not meet the goal. Your goal might have been to complete your paper or project in three weeks. If you were a student like myself, the day before at three o’clock in the morning you were up driving your mother crazy as she drove you crazy with such inspiring phrases such as, “You had three weeks to complete this paper. Why didn’t you start earlier!” I actually recall trying to write a paper on ‘Bucky-balls’ or spherical fullerene molecules named after Buckminster Fuller. Working with my good friend Russ, and only after completing his paper and being wired on espresso in the wee hours of the morning I turned in a paper that opened with the question, “Bucky-balls chemistry’s next big thing or kinky sex toy?” This sounded great between Russ and I the night before. The chemistry teacher, however, did not enjoy our humor. I did not do well on that goal.

As you can see my history with the word ‘goal’ has not been the best. Introduce Earl Nightingale. Even a passing reader of this site has heard me mention his name countless times. Earl was a motivational speaker and author among countless other occupations. I encourage you to listen to his great work The Strangest Secret In it, Earl informs us the difference between successful and not successful people is that those who succeed have goals. Naturally, this made me want to assume the fetal position in the corner, but I listened on. He explained goals in a way that helped me not only not be afraid of them, but understand how they can serve us.

Here is what he said, and please understand I am paraphrasing. Imagine a ship about to start a voyage. There is a captain at the helm. He has a destination all mapped out and knows exactly where he is going. In the event he gets off course, he can make corrections and get back on course. The odds are 9999 times out of 10,000 he will get there. Now imagine a ship without a captain at the helm. It has no crew or destination. We just start the engines and let it go. If it makes it out of the harbor at all it will crash or end up on some deserted shore a derelict.

The ironic thing is most of us begin our day like the second ship. We just start our engines and away we go. Imagine if we began our day more like the second ship. With our end goal for the day, week or year mapped out in front of us. If things happened to get off course we can make adjustments and get back on course. With this analogy I could see the power and benefit of goals. I now look forward to coming up with goals and working to achieve them.

I encourage you to do the same. Write down a goal and look at it as you start your day. Notice how you are doing. If you find you have gotten off course, that is ok, just make the necessary corrections and you will be on your way again in no time. If you get completely lost, feel free to utter another four-letter word of your choosing, and start out again.

17 SECONDS TO IMPROVE YOUR DAY

Let me tell you the idea behind this picture because it is not the easiest to read. One of the main challenges I hear when people are working on creating a more positive life and a more grateful attitude is the lack of time. Do I really have to spend 2 to 5 minutes writing in a gratitude journal? If you are serious about changing your life, the answer is yes. I am a firm believer that writing 3 to 5 things you are grateful for every day and reviewing them right upon waking and right before sleep will change your life quicker than anything else I know.

Still there are those who claim to be even too busy for that. In this world focused on material accusation and corporate success, often our minds find it difficult to remember to take that time for ourselves every day. Here is a practice that does not take any extra time in your day and can begin to ship you to a more happy and joyous feeling in 17 seconds!

Don’t worry, you won’t even have to take 17 seconds out of your day. This idea makes use of 17 seconds we generally waste, or even use somewhat destructively. Let me ask you this, what do you do at a red light? If you are like most people you have to stop and think about that. Chances are we do anything from thinking about the car in front of us, or worrying about how late we are already are to go to a job we are not thrilled to be going to anyway. This either causes us a moment of ‘zoning out’ or chips away at our positivity. My lady and I have started a tradition of kissing at red lights. It not only helps us feel loved, but in the off chance we may be disagreeing about something it helps reaffirm and maintain that love.

What about when you are in the car by yourself? Perhaps you have yet to find that special someone? Here is something so easy to do and it will begin to shift your outlook on life 17 seconds at a time. Whenever you stop at a red light, begin to think of what you are grateful for. By the time the light turns green you will begun to have brought a little more joy into your life. I am going to do this when I am on my way to work as well as right after I receive a kiss from my lovely lady!

I would really like to know how this works for everyone on here. Please let me know in the comments after you have tried it and let us all share our results.

FIRM IN YOUR GOALS, FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH 

Be firm in your goals, but flexible in your approach. That is a mantra i have heard many times! This morning while occupied at my day job a fine example of this occurred to me.

Before I share this example with you let me begin with a question. Have you ever heard somebody say “I’ve tried a million different things but it just won’t work!” It always amuses me to ask them to name the million things they have tried. After which they usually reply “well ok it has been hundreds.” When pressed to name them we usually discover the individual has tried a few things, usually things they have done in their past, and they didn’t work. This always makes me question the importance of the issue at hand. If it is a problem with their relationship you would think they would keep trying until they return to love.

When a baby is trying to walk they just keep at it. Why? Because walking is that important to them. Perhaps it is all the disappointment we experience as adults that lowers our level of persistence.

Here is another way to look at this. As I mentioned earlier, I was working at my day job when I started thinking how much I’d like to go to Fiji. My thinking is my lady and I would fly there first class and spend time relaxing and mixing with the local culture. What would happen if I was invited for a speaking engagement there? Maybe instead of flying I win a cruise? Perhaps Tony Robbins invites me to his resort to work on a project together? Would I say no because it was not exactly what I had envisioned? Of course not. The goal is to get to see Fiji, how it happens could vary.

My point here is you have to keep trying until you find something that works.  It may seem impossible at first, but so did walking as a baby. Just keep trying and you will succeed. Oh, and if you happen to have an extra ticket to Fiji…

IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE

Last post we looked at the practice of celebrating each other and turning our lives into one long party. Tomorrow we will look at how to never lose in life again (I recommend checking that out) so sandwiched in between is the secret to accomplishing these or any other goal you might be trying to reach.

So what is the secret to accomplishing goals? Think of the journey. What do I mean? Imagine your goal is to hypothetically travel from a cold northern climate to a warm and sunny tropical climate (Ok, this is really not hypothetical here) You cannot expect to take one step and go from your location to the one you desire. No, you have to cover the distance that lies between you are your destination. Just like you have to cover all the distance that lies between you and your goal. Now some means of travel are fast, like an airplane or  high speed train. Others are slower like a bicycle or walking. All of them get you closer to your goal if you keep going. Remember that most things take time. It is going to take you longer to make it to Jamaica than to the grocery store down the street. Unless of course you live in Jamaica and are going to the store down the street, in which case I would love to be your neighbor.

So my friends no that the journey is where the joy can be found. Knowing that no matter what pace you are going, each and every moment you are getting closer to your goal. Every day is a new adventure!

ON THE ROAD AGAIN…

image

I really love this picture.  Two signs you approach as you are heading down the freeway of life. The last two posts we discussed choosing the exit on the right, “new you”. Perhaps you have begun working on the new you as a lot of us do this time of year. Some of you may have begun to wonder if you took the wrong exit.  Feeling like you are slipping into the “old you” that’s why I like this picture.

What do I mean?  Like me explain how freeway exits work for those of you who do not drive and remind those of us who do.  When you see an exit sign and you dive towards it,  you are not immediately wherever the sign says.  Sometimes it is only a mile or so down the road. Sometimes however you can travel 100 miles or more before you reach your destination.  Sometimes it can a few days to reach your goal, sometimes it can even be twelve months. 

The point here is this, if you are traveling from New York to Los Angeles until you reach the Mississippi River you are still closer to the big Apple than you are to La La land.  It may seem like you are never going to get there even if you are moving in the right direction.  In fact,  you might not feel you have gotten close until you see the big Hollywood sign.

Life is much the same,  it is a journey and when you are trying to get from here to there there will be bumps and detours. Until you are halfway there you are still closer to where you came from than where you’re going. Is that a reason to give up and go back?  No, you have come all this way don’t make it for nothing.  If you have had to take a detour,  or even went back in the wrong direction a few times,  trust your journey and remember why you started.

Life is a journey,  enjoy the travels on your way to your final destination