Monthly Archives: September 2009

5000 yr old post it notes ???

There is a prayer found in the Old Testament called the Veyahavta (sp?).
It states that you should ‘love the Lord with all of your heart, might and soul, teach this to your children, think of this when you lay down to sleep and when you wake up’… and that you should keep this idea in front of you at all times; that you should write it on your hand and post it as a sign upon your doorpost.

The profound message that I have taken away from this: CREATE POST IT NOTES WITH YOUR GOALS, VALUES, VISION (and sometimes dry cleaner pickup reminders) POSTED SO THAT YOU CAN SEE THEM OFTEN.

The point is to keep these things in line of sight so that you can keep them in line with your mind. We’ve all heard, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ so this prayer has stayed with me since the day I heard it in english. (it had been read aloud in Hebrew when I was a kid but they missed the mark with me because I had no idea what it meant back then. wish i did.)

Could this be referring to Vision Boards? Affirmations? Grocery Lists? Post it notes on the bathroom mirror? In Jewish households you might notice a small item on the right side of their doorpost. That’s called a Mezuzah and it contains a prayer and is there as a ‘reminder’. It’s the 5000yr old tradition that stems from the Veyahavta prayer.

Whatever your technique, form, placement, or message, my point here is to POST IT BEFORE YOUR EYES so that it stays more available to your conscious and unconscious mind.

Many of us have scanners in our office. They’re great tools to capture images for future reference. Our eyes are the best scanners of all and our brains are the greatest computer ever developed. So, keeping these ‘postings’ around for us to ‘scan’ makes good sense and gets great results.

My friend John Assarafs and his vision board was featured in the mega popular movie and book, The Secret. John has an awesome vision board ‘kit’ that I’ve procured and used as a ‘sign upon my wall’. (get it online). When I visit John, I see his current vision board on the wall and, though it’s not MY vision board, it reminds me of aspects and aspirations of John that rekindles my thoughts and feelings. Another friend, Greg Reid, has his vision board posted in his office and, again, while it’s not MY vision board, it reestablishes in my mind and heart many of the qualities that I admire about him and gives me food for thought about my own aspirations.

In my next blog I will discuss how we utilize this concept to determine how and where to ACCENTUATE the Positive and ILLUMINATE the Negative with these 5000 year old post it notes….how to maximize your effectiveness, productivity and subsequent happiness and peace of mind.

UNTIL THEN, GET POSTING!

People are worse off than you… so what?

Things have been mounting up for me lately. (can you relate?)
I’ve been faced with many of the big things in life… all at once; the death of my beloved father in law, illness in the family, friends in financial distress, other friends with life and love issues and, on top of that, many business projects, including the release of my latest book last month, are all calling for my attention. It’s really been a test of energy, conviction and value choices.
That said, this morning while I was at my usual coffeehouse, my phone was buzzing with an incoming call and simultaneously a new text message- both urgent, both related to the issues above and both unwelcome before my first coffee. No choice, they both had to be dealt with immediately. Got the picture?
Something interesting happened and it packed a great lesson for me… and maybe for you.
I thought to myself, ‘well, there are people out there much worse off then I, so quit the pity party’. And, yes, while that is true, ‘what does that have to do with me?’
Out there is out there. I’m in here. I’m the one who needs to process all of this information, my feelings and (here’s the point) if I stay focused ‘out there’ then it’s just another form of avoidance, not facing it.
So, I thought to myself, that while, indeed, there are people much worse off than I, I must not use that as an avoidance from facing my own stuff. If I focus on the fact that there are people worse off than I out there then I am just ‘hiding out’ and not addressing the 1000 lb elephants in the room.

THE MORE I DO THE WORK ON MYSELF AND TRULY FACE, FOLLOW AND FIX THE CHALLENGES WITH COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE, THEN THE MORE VALUE I AM TO MYSELF AND THOSE ‘OUT THERE’.
Hmmmmmmm.

Positive Personal Development thru Embarassment

It was 1964 in Flushing Meadows, New York. I was 12 yrs old (old?) and we snuck away, took the train to the New York World’s Fair and it was heaven. New sights, sounds, smells, ideas; it was sensation overload in a good way. Anyway, Charlie and I went to the Hollywood Pavilion where they had sets from famous movies. Like any young kids on their own, we pushed our way to the front of the crowd to get a good look at the sets from some of the most famous movies of the time.
The beautiful young woman who was the guide was speaking into a microphone that didnt even have a wire attached to it. I mean it was the high tech future right before our eyes and there we were, up front, close and personal.
And then it happened. That gorgeous Hollywood guide said, “… and over there is the set from Ben Hur… and there is the set from Gone with the Wind.. and, (pointing at me)…young man, your fly is open!” People looked, some chuckled.
SHE TOLD THE WORLD THAT MY FLY WAS OPEN. My reaction was immediate and intense:
IM RUINED, FOREVER.
My life was over as I knew it.
People stared, my friend was too red faced to make fun of me.. he knew a disaster when he saw one. Game over. Life will never be the same.
Then, in that fit of despair, I looked around. Everyone was focused on her next topic and presentation. They had no interest in me or my open fly. My life, which was totally destroyed just minutes ago, was, in reality, not changed at all. What seemed like the worst situation in my life passed into nothingness, insignificance, nada.
As a pre-teen, I went about my day at the Worlds Fair in pretty much the same way that I would have if the ‘open fly caper’ never happened. It was a great day. We went on rides, saw the DuPont pavillion on chemistry, the Kodak pavilion, the GE World of the Future show which included some amazing developments like dish washing machines, instant cooking ovens and more.
On the train home, as I reflected on the day and the ’emotionally traumatic experience’ and came to a HUGE realization that has been a valuable lesson ever since.
IT’S NEVER AS BAD AS IT SEEMS.
Things get tough. Life gets tough. We sometimes feel like we’re in a real bad spot… and sometimes we are. This experience taught me that, while the experience had all of the potential of being devastating, leaving a negative imprint on my psyche for the rest of my life……IT WAS UP TO ME.
I was young. Happily, I was in a space that was distracting, breaking the pattern of negativity so that I was able to later face it as it was, follow it and reflect upon it and then fix it in my mind that it need not be carried any further. Drop that load by the side of the road and walk on unencumbered of distractions, be more present and open to living a BIG LIFE.

Survival of the Fittest….NOT!!!

Whoever taught us that it was ‘survival of the fittest’ probably lied to us about something else too.
Maybe that was true some time ago but I doubt it.
Dinosaurs were fit..big teeth, etc… but they haven’t been spotted in a while.
Today, we have more and more proof that the statement, when modified to the following is true:
Its ‘SURVIVAL OF THE MOST FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE’.
Adapt or perish.
Typewriter company execs, people relying on vinyl record sales, vhs or cassette sales arent exacty thriving- nor are those employees of Montgomery Ward or the Sears Catalog.
Talking about the Sears Catalogue, I had lunch with Art Martinez, former chairman of Sears and asked him how he had the ‘audacity’ to pull the plug on the Sears Catalog. After all, the catalog was a mainstay in the US; people would use the catalog to research what advancements were made in areas of eyewear, clothing and fashion, furniture, elixers and even transportation.
“Why, did you close down the Sears Catalog Mr. Martinez?”
His answer had me baffled at first. He said, “Because we were too successful.”
Ohhhhkayy, I thought, as the Grasshopper ready to question the Master.
He followed up quickly saying, “We were so successful that we became overly confident and stopped listening to our customers.”
“You mean, like when you wouldn’t accept any charge card other than your own little brown Sears Card? I remember that you didnt allow customers to have the convenience of paying with Visa or Mastercard.” “You got it” he remarked.

In what areas are you not changing and adapting?
I ask so that I can stay awake to the areas that we stay ‘stuck’ and not fall into that pattern.

Here are some areas that I’ve been somewhat resistant :
Learning and using Facebook, Twitter and Blogging.
Cutting back on simple carbs.
Not eating after 9pm.
Taking time to meditate and reflect.
Arrange my schedule to edit my next book, BrandSlaughter.
As I’ve written and said so often in my adult life, ‘We are either Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting’. aka Adapt, change and grow as though your life depends on it……’cause it does!

Obscure Ted Kennedy Quote

With the passing of Sen. Kennedy, I am reminded of a quote that he said many years back. It was this: “I don’t know why that guy is screwing me over, I was not even nice to him”. What? Why would someone screw us over if we’ve helped them?
Pretty funny line. I love the irony.
Pretty sad line. It’s too often true… and really painful.
How many times have we been disrespected or screwed over by someone who we were so nice and helpful to? My answer- too many.
The easy response to this observation is ‘Fine! I’m done helping people’… and whom among us hasn’t been of that mind before?
Sadly, that cynicism and protectionism is used by so many people to hide behind, stay safe and justify apathy. The mind obscures the heart.
I know that this is sort of preachy but I strongly believe that these experiences of being dissed by people that we’ve helped are there to test our conviction toward helping, mentoring and contributing.
Please, if you are confronted with this painful situation, stay aware of and awake to your thoughts and feelings… and resolve to continue helping, contributing, mentoring and adding to others the value of your caring energy and gifts. Remember:
THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE IS NOT HATE: IT’S APATHY AND CYNICISM.
Great quote Teddy. RIP.