Some Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts running through my mind this morning.

  • The clock is ticking for you and I, just like it is for the cancer patient. Make the most of your opportunities.
  • Words we think are as powerful as the words we speak.
  • I think it’s important to consider the trade-offs every decision will bring.
  • Who says the fairy tales/epic tales aren’t true? Where’s the proof? The population must believe they are. Look at some of the highest grossing films of all time.
  • Elitism is dying, but won’t go down without a fight. Are you in the fight.
  • God gives gifts, so we can give them away to others.
  • The leadership vacuum is being filled with arrogance, lies, greed and fear. Maybe it’s not too late to turn around.
  • Be careful of the dogmas you embrace. They will go right to your soul.

Making Relationships Last

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In the personal and business realm, we all seek to make our relationships last. It makes perfect sense. The good relationships we protect, the bad relationships we seek to discard. Reality is found in how challenging it is to manage the in-between.

This past week I was referred to an individual who I hadn’t seen or talked to in over ten years. When I was given his name I didn’t fully remember him. When we finally spoke on the phone it came rushing back. The first and only meeting was brief, and hadn’t shown anything that appeared to be lasting. Fast forward to now, he went out of his way to help me on a number of fronts. He really helped me.

So what’s the point?

Some relationships, like marriage or a client, can be in your daily/weekly. Other relationships come and go. The key to remember is you and I have been given a powerful cement. This cement is given to build and solidify our relationships. Sadly, many don’t realize they have it and many don’t see it as important. The cost of ignorance and stupidity is high. The cement requires action on our part to be effective. It is an on purpose pattern.

I don’t if the gentleman I mentioned above did what he did because I applied the right amount of cement to our brief time together so long ago. One thing is certain, I made the attempt. My gut tells me it made a difference.

The moral of the story is never take any relationship for granted.

Don’t Trust The Beast

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A re-post from 2010.

You coexist with your business.  It should not be your friend.  It is a beast and not meant to be trusted.  It demands much, but as it is with a circus lion, a chair and whip are in order.  To think of that animal in any other light only invites ruin.

Sadly, many entrepreneurs, corporate slaves and others have wrapped their identities around the beast.  It is a sad love affair.  Just like the lover who swears this is the last one of many, a broken heart sits in waiting.  By the way, you can know how tightly you’re wrapped by how much you think about the beast.  The more you think, the tighter the wrap.

This post is not meant to talk you out of your business pursuits.  As a matter of fact, it can be a fantastic tool for growth.  The issue is one of ownership, not should I or shouldn’t I pursue a business idea/career.

Here are some solutions to the problem(s):

  1. Buy yourself a chair and whip.  It might be in the form of cutting back on your hours or developing a fitness/exercise program.  If you’re wondering what those two have to do with managing your business, look at the statistics around those who work long hours and don’t pay attention to their health.
  2. Look failure in the face and don’t back down.
  3. Start working smarter and stop trying to do everything.  Rugged individualism may sound great in a speech, but it’s highly overrated.
  4. Re-evaluate your needs.  In America two-thirds of the economy is based on consumption.  Nothing wrong with consumption, but do you really need…
  5. Prepare for battle.  The beast will not like you taking back control.  This one is important.  If you’re not careful you might give up, but don’t.

Working Through the Insecurities

This is a re-post from earlier this year. It was timely for me, maybe for you too.

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If you’re a man or woman who sees vulnerability as a weakness, this post might not be for you. I still hope you’ll stick around as we work through the insecurities.

Insecurities are like demons or monsters that play the role of human disrupters. These creatures are always lurking in the shadows waiting for just the right moment to remind you and I of:

  • How we failed
  • How our work is not that great
  • How much smarter the guy or gal next to us is
  • How we’ll never be picked to play a major role
  • How we are not worth the love we long for

Now remember, this is a You and I post. We’re traveling together on this war-torn road. Scars and such are a given here.

In the arena of life, insecurities have most in an iron grip. They cast you in iron and demand you become a slave. Some are by design, some by accident. You don’t need to look any further than how medicated western culture is, and the eastern culture is heading there as well. Our relationships suffer and we can’t seem to sustain connection.We use what is found under the sun to distract us from looking at ourselves soberly. It’s an evil thing, our insecurities. I hate to admit it, you hate to admit it, but we are our own worst enemy.

I’m someone who has identified and dealt with most of my insecurities. I didn’t do this alone. I’ve had multiple advisors over the years to help. I’m blessed by their willingness to stick with me through my insecurities. Whether it was my bravado hiding my fear of what people thought of me, or my doubts regarding the quality of my work. They stayed beside me, despite the ugliness. This is love. My friends, most don’t stay. It can be messy, it can be hard work, and it can be embarrassing. Do you have people who will stick with you?

I figure I owe you the ugly side now. We’re a mess, and all of the pop-humanist thought isn’t going to change that. Billions on education, health, leadership, technology, and we’re still slipping away. So many hiding places, so little time. These places provide an escape from our insecurities. Take the man or woman who thinks a promotion or a relationship will fix what is haunting inside. There’s always another rung to climb, a person to possess. Eventually, we only have so many escapes before we get caught. Living under the sun is a rather subtle addiction. You just kind of do it.

So who’s going to clean up the mess?

I’m in this for the few (however many that may be) who decided not to ignore. If you count yourself in that group today, listen in and reach out to me. 

5 Questions with Master DDnard, Author of The Compass of Now

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I’m so pleased today to share my conversation with Master DDnard, author of The Compass of Now. Her insights into keeping yourself in the moment truly inspired. Master DDnard will help you to remember that life is well lived in the moment.

 

What do you think is the greatest block to personal happiness?

Too much searching and not knowing how and when to stop. When your mind is reaching out, you can’t be happy. You can only try to find something or someone with the hope that they will make you happy. Happiness is very shy, it manifests when you stop searching and start feeling. Joy is always there whenever you want, just smile to yourself and be happy anytime, anywhere.

Many are running their lives at break-neck speed. What advice would you give to those who have a longing to be in the now?

Be in the now while running. Since you are good at multi-tasking and being a high achiever, no matter how fast you run, just set the compass in your mind to always come back to your body and mind whenever you can remember. Start now while you are reading this, and smile to yourself. Now you are in the here and now.

It helps to remember to come back to your breathing and body movement as an anchor for your mindfulness.

What inspired you to write The Compass of Now?

When my husband passed away while my son was only eleven months old and left us with $3 million USD not in cash but in debt, I was taken out of grief and fear by just a few words of someone I hardly knew. I knew since then that when everything seems so dark, words can lighten up our days. So I wrote The Compass of Now for everyone who knows how important it is to have a positive spirit because our circumstances are the reflection of our inner states.

In the book you state that parents can teach their children through good deeds. Is this a case of influencing through how we act, versus only what we say?

Both what we say and act matters. Words are very powerful, especially with children. You can’t just be a good provider and a hard-working parent without expressing your love, care and understanding if you want your child to be happy growing up.

We show our children how we react to things, what we say and do, how we contribute, how we do business, and it sinks into our children’s minds.

Is it ever okay to be unhappy?

Yes, but not for too long. You may get the habit of it. So allow yourself to be unhappy for a short time and then say to yourself: “Time’s up- it’s time to be happy and enjoy the best life brings.” Also, don’t forget to look for the good things in disguise.

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Master DDnard is a renowned spiritual teacher and best-selling author of the Compass book series, including The Compass of Now.

DDNard also conducts her charitable Compass Meditation Retreats four times a year at a mountain resort in Thailand, where hundreds of participants come to meditate and everything is paid for by her special charity fund. She also conducts free Happiness Compass Seminars four times a year.

Today she leads a quiet life on the beautiful river bank of Bangpakong, Thailand, meditating, gardening and playing with her son.has been invited to give her insights on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and organizations.

 

Old Leaders, Old Ideas

Decided to take a look back and found this post from June of 2005. Ever experienced old leaders and their old ideas? Maybe you’ve approached your life this way. It’s a dangerous place, either way.

 

Isn’t it tragic how old leaders bring old ideas?  Here are some reasons for this dysfunction:

  •     Old leaders look through the lens of the past.  A place that “once was”
  •     Old leaders believe (foolishly) that what worked in the past will work again
  •     Old leaders grow old gradually…over time, and die before they are buried
  •     Old leaders are insecure and need an organization that will grow old with them
  •     Old leaders think change applies to others

I was at a holiday get-together this past weekend.  One individual gave me some interesting insights.  She worked for a company where many of the key leaders had moved onto another competitor.  This was the result of a management shake-up some years ago.  These leaders were now trying to implement a structure like the one they had some ten years ago.  She hauntingly noted; “it didn’t work at our place ten years ago, and it won’t work at their new place.”

One of the common mistakes of management is the dysfunction of justifying the old by glorying in the “moments in the sun.”  They experienced the success, and believed that is was a one-way ticket to everlasting success.  Again, old leaders with old ideas.

What’s In Your Cup?

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What’s in your cup matters. So, as in life, whatever you choose to drink better be what you want. Your legacy will see its reflection in the contents.

As time unfurls, you’re often told to conform to some norm. Marketing and well intentioned (some not) people tell you what you must be. The lies are mixed with half-truths, and before you know it 10 years flies by. 10 years.

The shock and awe of the above reality should shake you to the core.

I’ve lost many so-called friends over the years. Typically, it occurred when I noticed a pattern of conditions. Unconditional love and friendship is rare. I would even test my theory by purposely going the opposite way. A fascinating thing occurred when I decided to do this. My calls were not returned. Hmmm, right? In my case, many just watched (and said nothing) as I took the poison pills.

You need to weed these sort of folks out of your life. They’re blocking the entrance for people who matter.

I can;’t stress the danger enough. So many people are living under the pressure of a world gone mad. It’s the type of pressure that can be habit-forming. It’s taken me almost 8 years to fully shed the skin of living someone else’s life. That’s the problem of doing something over and over again.

Do you know what’s in your cup?

What Millennials Want

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Gave a talk yesterday to a group of mostly millennials. One thing was clear in our interactive experience, what millennials want is:

  • Clarity
  • Balance
  • Epic

I’m sure there’s more to add to my list, but those 3 leaped out to me. I’ve read the data around what millennials want, versus what their parents wanted. It’s rare to see it upfront and close.

On the clarity front, it looks like many are overwhelmed by the pace and choices that make up existence. With so much screaming for attention, it’s not surprising. Keeping in mind that much of what screams is a complete waste of time. We know this in our gut, all the while the tracer bullets continue to fly.

You have to learn the art of saying no.

Balance goes hand in hand with clarity. With many employers demanding more and more, millennials (all of us) are fighting to not lose their lives, as they build a career. There’s a question mark hanging out there. Many are wondering can a career, as defined by the employer, live at peace with a great life.

Choosing a great life is the only way to find balance.

My talk yesterday was about leading an epic life. Some are disturbed by this because they want it and they know in their core it is the way we were meant to be, yet they find mediocrity all around. America has descended into a swamp filled with it. Others want it and are willing to do the work of finding an epic life. I know you see the difference. The choice between the two has always been in hand.

Your epic life was deposited into you in the beginning.

 

You’re Crazy, Eric

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Many times over the last ten years I’ve been called crazy. What exactly does that mean? I mean, “you’re crazy, Eric.” I believe it was code for “what if you fail?”

I’ve made it a point to learn how to read communication of the non-verbal variety. It has helped me cut through the fog and certainly the BS. By the way, you can apply this to yourself personally. I’ve created a lot of fog and BS in my own head before. Whenever I’ve been called crazy, it often has spurred me on. Almost like treasure map with clues. Imagine, “when you hear this, do that.”

Not every bet pays off. We all would do well to remember that the “house” is called the house for a reason. Even so, a little craziness, a little chaos is essential to moving to a life worth living. In my experience, I would never have taken the risks I’ve taken without those twins. I would have hidden behind my citadel and played it safe. Craziness and chaos forced me into a path that hurt, and created in me an Epic Life. A strange dichotomy, I know.

On those nights when I’d awaken at 2 AM, and wonder if I really had lost my mind, there was always his voice saying keep going…just keep going. This is important. You are going to encounter a dismantling during your steps, it is inevitable. Don’t believe the crowd or your own doubts when you wonder if you have lost your mind. Finding life over the sun might be the most challenging pursuit you’ll ever undertake.

Here are some reasons why I advocate the beauty of crazy:

  1. Those who are not ” target=”_blank”>crazy are typically medicated and just wanting relief from a life that has no meaning at all
  2. If you walk away from your craziness, you’ll find no one willing to follow
  3. Maybe you’ve seen this ” target=”_blank”>clip? It strikes a good chord here
  4. If you haven’t gotten into the habit of taking risks, time will rob you of that desire, and time doesn’t give refunds. Start small and start now
  5. No one has truly lost by being crazy. People who live their lives to hide are the losers

I am thankful for the craziness.

10 Reasons I Practice Yoga

Yoga. There are so many benefits in practicing yoga, I could stop here and let you do your own research. But I won’t do that because I want to give you some insight into my experiences with yoga. Here are some random thoughts:

  • Yoga has improved my blood pressure
  • Yoga has help center me
  • Yoga has sharpened my focus on the personhood of God
  • Yoga has built my strength and flexibility
  • Yoga has quieted my obsessive mind
  • Yoga has helped my overall wellbeing
  • Yoga has played a major role in my epic living
  • Yoga has challenged me mentally, physically and spiritually
  • Yoga has helped me see the importance of nutrition
  • Yoga has become a habit

I am no where close to being a master of this art. I am, however evidence of the power that comes from practicing yoga. Talk to your doctor about the risks and rewards, then start slow.