Friends For Life

Everybody has a central issue that
negatively affects their life

Most don’t even know it.
Do you?

Is it credit seeking?
Is it self-esteem, value?
Is it fairness or justice?

These are things that likely are deep-seated from childhood in most cases. There are also inherent genetic or chemical issues that have been developed by your make up. Maybe you’ve been around a poor influence for a long period of time and you got lost in that way of thinking.

Finding this out gives you the ability to address it and understand where problems can come from and then how to deal with them effectively.

It’s the hardest part of the entire equation because you are forced to realize that you are in fact, not good at something that is holding you back. That is never fun to admit. We all have that thing to admit though. That’s a part of being human.

What you do after acknowledging that you need work should come from a more healthy place. There is a level of submission to something you don’t fully understand. It softens the hard exterior that other people couldn’t relate to you through. What people see as vulnerable and in need of protection is actually the very thing that allows another to relate honestly with a person. This is what relationships are really all about.

There are people you know right now that you could be much better friends with. Something is missing and you’re not sure what it is.

What does being a friend look like?

Among other things it means not trying so hard to convince other people that you have all the answers. Your opinion may, in fact, be correct but if it costs relationship by brow-beating someone with whom you are in a conversation, you’ve won nothing. They are not more impressed by you. Allow people their thoughts too. You may come away with a new perspective.
That’s also called growth.

Some won’t put in the effort and their results will show it.
There are, however, many waiting for those of us willing to be a friend – to any degree. That means liking someone enough to listen.
Even at the gas station or quickly at the grocery store. From that comes the parts of your life that are about to get better. Having good friends will affect you in a much bigger than expected way – even one or two more.

It is statistically shown to lengthen life and reduce things like high blood pressure and stress. These aren’t things you think about but the results are in – making this effort as clinical and real as anything your doctor could prescribe.
This is for the benefit of your life.
The true, deep, honest and meaningful benefit of your life.

If asked, everyone would say that they want a good life, and as long as possible. That end goal is why the effort is needed now.

It’s worth it to know.
It’s worth it to fight through.
We all have it but not everyone has overcome it.

Are you able to question the kind of friend you are?
The quality of your life dares you to try.

The World Has Been Reset


There is no greater mountain in pro sports than the one the Cubs have just climbed to the top. After more than a century without a Championship, they had to get past the one way to win that was different from all other teams. They had to win in their collective minds first.

They found the ability to stay on top of negative thinking. Fear from negative thoughts leads to feeling the weight of that thought, which leads to improper focus which leads to mistakes. All of which would otherwise not happen. That’s what the curse did – allowed negative thought to dominate and creep in at the slightest hint of a problem.

From Curse To Cures

Manager Joe Madden spoke post-game about preparing them for the moments in crunch situations when it would turn bad – to stay calm and ride that out, then come back when they had the chance. They practiced it all season long, leading to the best record in all of baseball. The Cubs stayed motivated throughout those dips. They had leaders speak up at the right times to fill the air with the proper energy needed for each player to feed from. Most notably in Game 7, the biggest game in any of their lives.

They first off did not beat themselves.
That’s where the misdirection of a curse comes from.
You hear people who tell you that bad luck follows them around or that this is typical for my life – “that figures,” they say.
This can be refuted now.
The same letters that make up curse also include cures.

The formula was always there.
It’s there for you now.
When something turns bad, how you react to it is everything.

Let the Cubs winning the World Series reset you into a new model of thought, replacing any old thoughts that hold you back.

Yes, it’s experience and talent that must be there. Don’t stop your quest for more in the field you love.
Even if you are the best, without the proper foundation and belief leading to the right motivation, especially when it’s needed the most, you will always have yet another obstacle in your way – YOU.

Believe in yourself through the work you put in.
Do the work, believe that it’s going to workout.
There is no use for obstacles created by a lack of this principle.
There is no obstacle that can’t find it’s answer.

Baseball fans see how the sport mirrors life.
Let this biggest of sports obstacles lead you into the new world where curses are the stuff of fairy tales. Positive, repeated belief in the work you are doing is the process.

When times get tough and it’s hard to see straight, the way to remember this already has it’s own catch phrase:

There’s A Bison In The Room

Yeah, elephants are bigger
but a Bison confuses me more

Looking at an Elephant, you’re sure they’re thinking about what’s going on around them. A Bison? More like a cow when you look at it. Not sure what’s really going on in there. Is it fine or will it charge you? It does have horns and is of formidable size.

The Bison replaces the elephant as the misunderstood problem obvious to all who choose to look. Big and full of unknowns. The underlying problem is that nobody is saying anything about it. Calling it is where the solution begins.

Acknowledge the Bison in your room

What’s going on inside your head shouldn’t be as big a mystery as it might appear.
Name it so you can deal with it later.

If it brings you to a point where you can’t handle it then just absorb it. Let it be acknowledged and felt enough to encourage the change that will come later from dealing with it.
But do deal with it.

Dealing with it looks like this:
1. Know what IT is. Say it out loud to yourself.
2. Let it be and then come back to it, so it has some perspective without the irrationality of the emotion you bring in the moment.
3. Set it down at the feet of your beliefs – meaning put it out of your responsibility to handle for the time being. It’s bigger than you and so will the solve be.
Don’t worry about it’s solution just yet.
4. Get back to thinking through it when the answers start to emerge.

It’s likely that you could tell your friends what to do if this was their situation laid out in front of you. You have a knowledge inside of you of what’s best. You know a good path full of productive change when you’re in it. You do! Calling out the issue and letting it be removes the weight and pressure of making a decision under duress. Duress leads to bad decisions.

Name it, let it be, come back to it and repeat until it comes to you – it will. We’re such an immediate culture. Things take the time they take, so let them.

With a clear mind, taking the mud of emotion out, you see it with new resolve, with new solve.
There’s a strength in realizing that your best can come out when you aren’t getting in your own way. Give it up to get it back.

The best way through is to renew.

Negativity’s Running Mate

Negativity will show itself to be your fear.
Rather than building with encouragement, we see far too many examples where other peoples weakness is the topic.

We can ask – were we made stronger for exposing our fear of connection, our fear of being real?
It is not our best self.

So we should not engage with those operating in that manner other than to assist in stating another method of thought.
They are showing how afraid they are.

That is noticeable.
That helps little to nothing.

Let’s not be controlled by our fear.
Get busy doing what you love and fear subsides.

When you find out that you are afraid of something, an irrational fear, you owe it to yourself to face up to it.

Fear is a weight you feel and have to name before you can unload it.
Call it out to yourself and move forward.

The Melting Effects Of Realization


The good things in your life, the things you get really happy about, how did it get that way for you?


The things that are not working in your life, the things you sometimes feel powerless to change, are you able to realize why?


When you see something clearly, your choice, your path is obvious. Realization brings clarity, clarity brings direction.
All of a sudden the battles you used to have begin to melt away as you shift your focus towards the new realization. You will have found what needs your attention, what work gets your time.


How great is that?
That’s work worth doing.


Convincing Yourself To Change

I’ve heard it said that you have to
“be the change that you want to see.”

So how do you do that?
It takes all the resolve you can muster – plus the follow through when you’re tired, when you don’t feel like it, or when you’re not convinced you should.
But that is the way change will happen.

Self Talk

I found out that my self talk includes a little bit of complaining.
While I used to beat myself up about that, I’ve decided that maybe it helps. To change something is to be disgusted enough to do something about it.


The start of the process involves seeing things for what they currently are. Complaining serves to reinforce what change I want. It has to be turned however, or it takes root – and becomes a bitter root.


Moving from what is, to what I want it to be, is what I begin to tell myself repeatedly. When continued, this becomes what I believe and I can’t act on something I don’t believe. At least not repeatedly over time.


Sometimes it’s talking to myself out loud in my car and other times it’s just what I think about when I see things in my day. Things I don’t like stir me to acknowledge them and remind myself that I don’t want that in my life. By contrast, good examples I see are what I move towards in one way or another.


Within the last two years I have found that the more I envision it, the more I find myself – out of nowhere, almost as reflex – being up and actively doing something towards my pursuit. You subconsciously make choices that move in the direction of your stated goal.
In other words, I had to talk myself into it.


Change is hard.
When you’re able to convince yourself it’s possible, it turns into motion, then habit, then your every day.
Be aware of what you tell yourself –
it’s your life that’s being shaped.


Living In The First Draft

It seems to me that most people live in the world of the first draft.
While this is full of excitement and raw creativity, it is also the frustrating feeling of unfinished business.


We like to feel good about our completed projects. In the process however, our feelings of inadequacy get the better of us.
We measure our progress against other completed work.


But something amazing happens as you put more time in to it.
It gets better. And as it gets better you feel better about it. All of a sudden you’re back to the somebody you envisioned yourself as.


Most of living is the first draft

The things that you really put your attention to will make it to the edit phase, and continue on to your completed projects. Your completed projects take a lot of work and should be among your best representations of you.


Of course you know all that.
A question that’s harder to ask yourself is one like this:
Of all your works – whether a Facebook post, what you do for work, any art you create for fun, how you parent your kids, what you cook, all or any of the variations of creations in your world –
what attention is paid to them being a showcase of you for others to take in?


This is YOU! At least it is to all of us looking. If it’s not, it’s your own representation of yourself that needs more looking into.


Creativity is at play – enjoy it.
Build ever better first drafts.
They make for better completed works.
It’s the majority of the day that is the first draft.


Why giving up is a position of strength

When you see less of me you like me more

Less Is More?
That goes against the hype machine of advertising
and especially the newly found voices on the web.

Self-promotion is at an all time high.
In our personal lives however, self-promotion doesn’t really work.
It’s hollow. We so often treat those we are “used to” with the least amount of our manners.

Our ability to properly give up to a situation in the moment shows respect for the bigger picture of getting along.
Getting along with people is how you are heard.

State your position and let it be

When we’re not at our best are we practicing being real?
Not our best is not really us.
Practicing involves some fails.
Let’s hope we are afforded some leeway in the middle of that.
One thing is for sure – it involves effort to do this on purpose.

Giving up is a position of strength in this area.
It leads by the example of self-control.
Overstating or badgering lessens your ability to be heard,
and ultimately respected.

Being mindful of effective communication is forgotten in the moment its needed.
Effective communication is putting across the real information, as opposed to competing in a conversation.

The first step leads to many

Trying is a huge first step.
Being aware of our intentions leads to effort.
We get around to someone else’s idea in our own time, in our own way.

Beyond discussing to decide, or stating a perspective, arguing to the end doesn’t solidify the point. It wears the others down and costs relationship. It’s more work, actually inefficient to continue to promote your stance to the very end.

Speaking your mind and letting it be gives others a chance to consider it in their own mind based upon its merit.

The controlling argument and confrontation is what people rebel against. The personal distaste will not allow even the thought to consider what was being said. The chance was lost for them to talk to themselves by putting ourself in the way, it closes the logic window. It is standing in between the point and the person, acting as a roadblock.

Winning an argument is missing the point.
Arguments don’t convince.
Try saying less to be heard.

Someone has to give first.

The Awareness Cycle – Noticing without Judging

You can’t help but notice

You’re driving in traffic, then you stop at a stop light.
As cars going other directions pass by you, people actually turn their heads a bit to keep looking at you. I suppose we all do this.
I wonder about what I’ve seen in these split seconds seeing a face or a look. I glimpse into all these different people’s lives as they turn the pages for me in a drive-by.
There is information available about a person at first sight. It may be wrong or accurate, you don’t know, but it gives you a first thought.
You start with thoughts on them but quickly it turns to what you think. You get into your opinions and either reinforce or refute what went through your head.

I’m not saying to judge it

We look, we become aware of it. We think about it.
Noticing is not judging.
Bringing up an opinion you have for consideration is not judging either.
There is a distinction.
It’s open for information.
Judging is placing your opinion on someone else.
Having a closely held opinion or belief is a personal decision that you alone can mold, whereas judging is insisting that your values be in place in others lives – dangerous territory.
This is separate from laws under which we all maintain civility, mind you.
We take in what we see everywhere we go.
Noticing is step one, judging is step four.
Is this why people shop where they do – aligning with a particular store over a competitor, because “my kind of people” shop there?
The same with brands we use.
Are we making evaluations of our associations in the marketplace over other reasons?
I propose that we are more often than we think.
There are several factors but many will pay more to shop at one store simply because they want to be seen there and not seen at the other store.
Does this approach carry into other areas of relationships?
This creeps into judgement territory.
Fitting in is a double-edged sword that extends beyond high school.
Aside from the moral complications, it’s too much drama that’s allowed in.
I want to be active in the first three steps but I don’t want to live in step four.
I do the same thing at Wal-Mart that I do when the car passes me or when I’m stopped at an intersection – I look, I probably turn my head a little, sometimes I just say wow.
Saying wow is step three. If it becomes step four, its time to back up.
Step 1 – Notice
Step 2 – Process what information we have.
Step 3 – Consider your opinions, shape them into beliefs.
Step 4 – Judging
ooh, squirrel! – there’s something else to notice.

Success in increments

Everything big that we are wowed by,
is bound by its small connectors

It was started today, in the tiniest of ways, by a decision to be okay with all there was yet to know, being involved enough to grow.
If you start, you will have something.
If you do it again, You will find out just a little bit more to make it better. If you do it a third time, and a fourth, and fifth, each time you find tiny little ideas or fixes that make your work better. Pretty soon you’re in a completely different place than you were at the beginning – when you were fearful about all that you didn’t know or all that you thought you could not do.
Start with a smile
to get to gaining attention,
to get to hello,
to get to a conversation,
to get to a friendship.
We do all things in this way.
This incremental method.
Sure, begin with the end in mind.
The process is what we live.
We seem to think there are those having some unobtainable answer. They don’t. They have earned their method. We all get to what we know by doing it over and over, getting better each time. In work, in love and in life. Tiny, seemingly inconsequential bits at a time.
The right bond holds together everything of immense value.
Engage in and take some contentment, even joy from the smallest of increments. The small parts are always building something bigger.
Where are you laying that single brick today?
What are you building up?

Change For Productive Peace of Mind

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