“What is This Here To Teach Me?”

In life we expect to encounter our share of failures, whether it is as trivial as not being selected for the softball team or having a business deal fall through. No matter the magnitude of failure, they all exist to teach us something as long as we are open enough to listen to the message. The most successful people in the world have all risen from failures of the past, and have adopted them as contributors to their story, not a tarnish.

It is easy to give up after failures, not wanting to face family at holiday parties and admit to the lack of tangible accomplishments. It is easier for us to give the whole thing up and just stop feeling the pressure of others expecting something from us, right? Well, that feeling of embarrassment exists to do just that, to have you give up in order to protect us. Our minds, which were once wired for protection from predator threat in the wild, are still wired for protection but protection from negative emotions. Now that we no longer have to fear the attack of a wild animal, our minds have evolved to protect us from mostly social fears. It is the protective mind that will tell you that you should stop if you don’t want to feel that embarrassment or rejection again. It will stop you if you let it.

Knowing that each failure exists to teach us something is the most powerful thing to get us through the debilitating fears the mind as produced, and have us continue our journey to be great (whatever that may look like for you). Next time you are faced with a failure, ask yourself,

“What is this here to teach me?”

In my own life, I have found that the lesson to cultivate the persistence to continue pursuit after failure, alone has been enough to continue my journey. There are times when I do get discouraged and think things would be easier if I just gave up and throw up the white flag to all of the people who have never understood what I have been moving towards.

Who you are meant to be evolves from where you are right now. So, learning to appreciate your lessons, mistakes and setbacks as stepping stones to the future are clear signs you are moving in the right direction.

~ Oprah Winfrey, What I Know For Sure (2012)

Oftentimes these failures can feel like taking steps backwards, but the fact is that simply taking that action was progress enough because those who never took action could have never failed and learned, or won anyway.

Perhaps the answers are just you need to better equip you for the step in your journey. Keep going!

“Why Reinvent the Wheel?”

This popular phrase came up two times this week, and it got me actually thinking about its meaning. “Why reinvent the wheel?” is such a common vernacular that it can be easy to ignore its actual relevance. Both in work—regular work and real estate work—it came up in regards to “innovation,” though, this phrase sounds almost counter intuitive to innovation at first glance. The wheel was invented as a round, simple rolling object, a design we still utilize today. If this simple object has had such a lasting impact on the world for centuries, why feel the need to fix it or recreate it when it already works?

Innovation is about creating new ideas, products, even leads but think about the greatest “inventions.” Many of them were really more of improvements to already existing innovations from years or decades earlier. Take the IPhone, for example, perhaps deemed one of the greatest innovations of our generation. Though there has been a new generation to come out every other year, the consumer sees each product as its own innovation. However! What Apple is really doing is not reinventing their wheel, just sharpening it, tweaking it, giving it a good oiling. At the end of the day, it is still the wheel.

Two main tasks I have been working on have been creating a logo for a project at work and also generating leads for my real estate endeavor. This phrase rung true in both instances. I remember a time when I would try to think way outside of the box, to try a method no one else had ever used to see if it might score me a competitive advantage. Let me tell you… It often does not. People will instead tell you to steal from the pros, do what they are doing because it is proof that it is already working.

When it comes to my task in creating this new logo design, I had this phrase in mind. I knew we wanted something with our company emblem on the design and also the name of our new program. “Why reinvent the wheel?” I said. “We already have a company emblem, so why not use it.” My final product had been a spin-off of our already-existing company logo, erasing some of the old wording and inserting some color and the name of our project. My team loved it! I made 12 different variations of this, which all came from essentially and already existing design.

Next is my real estate endeavors. Overtime I had learned my lesson about marketing and generating leads, which had been a direct derivative of this phrase. Many people rely on fancy marketing and social media to hopefully obtain leads, having little control over who and how many people will see it and, if they are lucky, reach out. But, I know the one method that has worked timelessly… Cold calling. As uncomfortable as it may be for everyone, if this is a method that every sales book, mentor, coach, etc. has suggested WORKS, why try anything different? That is just my own opinion on the matter.

This week I was able to really exercise the meaning and actions this phrase prompts in my own life, intentionally. We will see if this logo goes over well with upper management and if I will get any more listing appointment prospects from my cold calling method.

You can grease it, but don’t reinvent the wheel.

Creativity in 30 Seconds ~Poem-Not a Poem

Pen to paper is my favorite form of dear expression,

No real care for quality, but still a masterpiece in essence.

Judgment is the only thing to ever folly the craft.

A care for opinions, critics, and cynical responses, in fact.

Beyond the worry and care are these creative flows,

One suppressed in so many as the story often goes.

“Who cares what I say? What a silly way to be.”

“I’ll keep it to myself, locked away without a key!”

Now I see all that comes with such expression.

Sharing of art is just as joyous without attention!

No matter if I am the only one to ever view.

Creativity is exclusively yours, a way to be you.

6/4/18

Three Reasons Why I Am Already Successful:

  1. I realize being a good person is sufficient enough a contribution to society already
  2. I want what I already have
  3. I have become better at forgiving myself for folly and moving on

Embracing “Fluidity” and Feeling Connection

I’m not sure others share in this experience, but there are many times I have interactions with people and cannot help but observe them—the way they talk, listen and present their ideas. These intriguing people are who I can only best describe as having a sense of “fluidity” in the way they are. Some characteristics of people with this “fluidity” are open, attentive, curious, shameless, spontaneous, and non-judgmental, to name a few that come to mind. I observe these individuals from the perspective of a student, yearning to adapt this more fluid way of being in my everyday interactions.

All of us, myself included, can be guilty of having our minds drift during conversation with a colleague, worry about a friendship or family matter in the middle of an experience that should be wonderful, truly not listening to someone who is close to you because we are distracted, ashamed to voice a more raw version of an opinion because we feel humiliated in its potential inappropriateness…

These sort of actions are indicative of not living our life with fluidity, something that seems to come so naturally for some and not for others. I have learned overtime that much of this hindrance comes from insecurity and shame.

Insecurity and shame are the feelings that have us retract from our real and natural self to adapt to environments and social circles in fear of turning others off or not fitting in. On the other hand, people who present themselves in this fluid way appear, conversely, to be secure and shameless, free of worry or care for the thoughts and opinions of others. As a result, they often seem to experience connection more easily. Now, whether or not that is true of them, I am not sure, but the more I am exposed to people I at least perceive to be this way, the more I am inspired to work on letting go of my shame and insecurities to live a more fluid life, regardless.

The one thing that does give me hope that the fluidity in these individuals is genuine, is the look in their eyes. I don’t know exactly how to explain it but the look in their eye is that of a portal, as if I can see right through their pupil with no wall blocking our connection. All of us are guilty of unconsciously stunting connection at times with small actions such as holding back texts you want to send, letting the mind adrift during conversation or responding with what your audience wants to hear rather than your own opinion in an effort to feel more accepted. Ironically, acting in this less-fluid manner has us feel less connected, more insecure, more self-conscious, and in turn… Still not feeling accepted.

I encourage us all to embrace the actions of the “fluid” by truly listening to one another, be genuinely curious of one another, act on intuition, say what you want to say when you want to say it, don’t hold back opinions and be more courageous to disagree (one I personally must work on the most). We are only forced to be ourselves this way and we have no choice but to prompt more connection.

Can Any Form of Focus Be Considered Meditation?

As I lobbed the hackie sack back and forth between each hand, I felt focused. I had been focused on having the hackie sack land into each hand to ensure it did not drop. During this time people have been passing and conversations had been occurring in the distance, but I did not see or hear anything. All I saw was the focus of the ball and my two hands as if my eyes were a camera adjusting the aperture for a clear focus on the hackie sack and blurring the background imagery. My focus was not on time, for it was not on anything but the present moment.

After the conclusion of this brief 3-5 minute focus (some might call it a distraction. To each their own), I realize the feeling in my head and the focus that it ensued was no different than the feeling of focus traditional meditation provides. Meditation encourages all of us to recognize the present, for our minds not to wander. People may paint a generalized image of meditation of one sitting in a quiet room, legs crossed, and eyes closed as waterfall sounds play in the background. This is a perspection of traditional mediation practice of focus on the breath and single-focus.

So, am I suggesting this time of play, throwing a hackie sack diligently from palm to palm could be considered a form of meditation? Yes, I am.

I then began to think of all of the moments in my life when I have felt a similar focus. What I had concluded were moments when I am working out, studying, reading, or writing. The similarities between these activities is the discipline to have a single-focus. Most of the time, when we are truly engaged in such tasks, we do not notice time or distractions. When we are focusing on one current task, our mind IS single focused and is not wandering. We are present.

I often hear of people struggling to maintain the discipline of meditation (myself included), and I think this revelation for myself, at least, has relieved the pressure to find time to practice a 10 minute breathing exercise, and rather encourage me to find an opportunity to meditate in many different ways in my everyday life. By recognizing new forms of meditation, perhaps we can all do a better job in taking advantage of opportunities to be present.

So,

Indulge in that new book you bought

Write a blog post to share with your audience

Free write in your journal

Let’s get creative about meditation and find new ways to engross ourselves in the moment.