Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Story of True Courage - 4 Ways to overcome challenges in the boxing ring of life...

Good Morning,

I wanted to share a story with you today of true courage that I'm sure will resonate with many of you who have experienced challenges and adversity in your lives.  For the past ten years the woman in this photo has been battling a non-malignant brain tumor that has taken her to various providers, through many surgeries, bouts of treatment, and has taken part of her physically.  During these difficulties she has remained a picture of strength, showed kindness for others, and looked for ways to reach out to inspire people in their own personal battles.

This beautiful lady (my wife) has shown me how to be a true fighter, and to learn how to break through barriers in our lives.  This journey has been difficult, but has provided the opportunity to grow by clarifying what matters in life.  



4 ways that I've learned from her to break through the barriers in the boxing ring of  life

Be Agile - When life is throwing punches your direction you have to know how to bob and weave, duck, and move around the ring.  Having the ability to change with the various challenges is vital to surviving.  Throughout the years I've seen my wife deal gracefully with being treated poorly at times, staying positive when answers were no where to be found, and continue standing after being hit by a sucker punch that her tumor was back with a vengeance.  Agility is a key component of overcoming the challenges faced when you've stepped into life's boxing ring.

Be Positive - Obstacles will enter into our lives without warning, and we must look at the situation with a hopeful perspective.  It's not an easy task, but holding firm to thoughts that there is the possibility things can change for the better will prevent a defeatist attitude.  During tough times make a list of the positive things in your life, and reflect on how great it is to have these passions, people, and purposes in your life.  When you look through a positive prism it quickly diminishes the size of the obstacle your facing, and you can get off the stool in the corner of the ring and continue fighting.

Be Generous - Meeting the needs of others is an effective way to minimize the negative introspection that can occur when facing difficulties in life that seem overwhelming.  By looking for opportunities to brighten another's day you can gain more than you give.  Generosity will mitigate feelings of sadness, and help to build your confidence that you still have something meaningful to contribute others.  What you have to give may be your talents, a trinket, or your time can create that fan base necessary you need to be successful in the challenges faced in the boxing ring of life.  By putting these valuable resources to use for others you'll be able to go the distance in the prize fight of your life.

Be Victorious - It's the final round, and you must come out swinging to win the fight.  Thinking like a winner will provide the energy necessary to throw the blows needed to knock out the challenges you're facing.  Having the right mindset is essential for becoming a victor.  The next time you face that difficult opponent (challenge) in your life you have to remember the strengths you bring into the Ring of Life.  If someone asked you about yourself could you tell them what makes you special?  To be a victor you have to know with confidence that you're a special person with something to offer this world.  When you step into the ring and can duck when needed, remember the past fights you've won, and believe in the strength you possess then you'll overcome the challenges facing you in boxing ring of life.


“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 
― Christian D. LarsonYour Forces and How to Use Them

A Journey of Learning - The 5 P's You Need to Avoid Being the Next Failed Venture...


I wanted to re post this blog as a good reminder for me.  As you can see I took off a few months from writing to deal with some personal health challenges my family was facing.  During this time I also struggled with getting back on the horse.  Therefore, I thought it was good timing to remind myself about moving forward as I look to starting a new adventure tomorrow.  Have an amazing day, and I hope you can find something that is beneficial in this blog post.  Take care, Dave.



Have you ever been through an experience in life that stretched you to the point you wondered if you were a 70's icon toy like the "Slinky".  There are few journeys in life that have the ability to cause both rapid personal and professional growth like starting a business.  It's a self-discovery pathway that according to the current statistics has the high likelihood of ending in despair and failure. Why would anyone go down this path when there is so much negative data that supports the real possibility it may end in failure?   Reasons may vary, but for most it has something to do with solving a problem they've identified that can make a significant contribution to the world, provide more control over their life, or is just the best fit for their abilities and skills.

In order to avoid being that next failed venture there are 5 Keys to creating the possibility of success:

Plan - It seems like an obvious statement that you would want to plan if you were starting a business, but it's easy to get sidetracked and look at the shiny objects rather than sticking to the task at hand. Having a business plan built on market research is the first essential step if you have any chance of succeeding.  That means taking the time to ensure you have chosen a pathway that will solve someones pain or problem.  Once you have that in place you can begin the process of embarking on your journey of how you're going to ensure they know you have the answer to their problem.


Provisions - Sadly you're not going to get very far on your journey without that figurative gas in your tank (provisions).  When starting a business it's challenging to know all the financial obstacles that you need to plan for to be successful, but if you don't take the time to list out all your needs then the car isn't even going to start.  Therefore, enlist the help of a mentor, business coach, or financial analyst that can help you forecast your financial needs to both run the business, and survive yourself. Without both needs being met your journey will be extremely short.  This should be embedded into your business plan in as much detail as possible.  It also provides the ability to be more appealing to possible investors or qualify for lending for your start-up.


Promotion -  I had a very wise business woman recently tell me, "You can have the greatest product or solution in the world, but if no one knows about it then it doesn't matter".  Marketing and promotion is crucial to getting off the ground, so many new entrepreneurs try to do DIY (do it yourself) marketing, and often fail because they may not have the complete understanding of how to effectively reach their customer.  When starting out it's crucial to your success to hire a marketing consultant or firm that create a plan for your business.  Ensure that their plan encompasses all the pathways that are needed to promote your product to the masses.  One way you can save money is to try to find someone who can give you a package deal, and has the background to function in various aspects of marketing your product.  If you have other small business owners in your network, ask them for a referral to someone who is legitimate and trustworthy.


Patronage - I think one of the biggest challenges new business owners may agree upon is that a start up can be a lonely gig.  When you decide to go down this road you'll need to ensure that you have a supportive network that can provide both feedback and support.  It doesn't necessarily have to be your family and friends because realistically they are often the one's who want you to go back to punching the clock.  In most cities there are great chambers or small business networking groups that can provide this support, and completely understand your journey.  It is an important way to have access to great advice, and also keep your tank fueled when you feel like you're on empty.


Perseverance - Feeling like you're on empty happens to every new business owner.  The passion may fade as you struggle to get things moving, or you realize your finances are quickly drying up.  The road is a challenge, and therefore requires that you continually keep your head in the game so you can persevere.  It's easy to work all hours of the day, and be focused only on the business when you're first starting out.  Somehow you have to manage your schedule, so you have time to care for your body and mind.  If you don't get enough rest, exercise, or interaction with the important people in your life you may fall prey to the possibility of burnout, apathy, and ultimately becoming the next statistic in an annual economic report.

These 5 P's are my take on what is needed to help you with creating the possibility of succeeding in the first year of business when many others will go down in flames.  If you find that you've become one of the statistics take some time to complete a post-mortem investigation on your dead business. Don't forget that numerous successful people have already been done this road, but didn't let the failure be the end of their dream.  Therefore, do what you can to be vigilant and smart, and learn from the experience so you can have a successful venture the next time out.  I wish you all the best as you strive to make a life for yourself by meeting an unmet need the world wants to solve, and where you can control the flexibility and choice in your life.  Take care, and best wishes for much success.

Dave

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thoughts for the Day - Leaving a Legacy...



 Quotes by Winston Churchill
 

       "We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give."
 
 

         
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."
 
 
 

"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about."
 
 


 "Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
 
 


"Never, never, never give up."

​Good Morning,

I put these quotes up by Winston Churchill because he is a person that has forever left his mark on this world by leaving behind a legacy.  I think we all have an idea of what that means, but are we acting and doing things in our lives to actually make that happen?

To leave a legacy means living your life with a sense of purpose.  Attempting to be part of the bigger picture, but I understand that is not the desire for all of us.  I just had that conversation with someone yesterday, and we have very different views on making an impact.  Neither of us is wrong, we just have different perspectives and dreams.

What is important is that you’re cultivating a legacy for yourself.  It could/should be with your kids, co-workers, friends, and other people you may influence.  It is about people thinking of you as a giver, a mentor, someone that showed kindness when no one was looking.  It's about being the best people we can be.

I encourage you today to look at the ways in your life you're leaving a legacy.  Each of us is unique in our own way.  Let the world get to know, and see what amazing things you have to offer.  Take care.

Dave

Thoughts for the Day - Be a Positive Change Today...

Good Afternoon,

What's going to happen today in your life?  How are you going to be the impact others by creating a positive difference?  I encourage you today to look for the opportunity to be the "Game Changer".  Have a great day being the change.  Take care.

Dave

 


Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King Jr


“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi


“The future depends on what you do today.”
Mahatma Gandhi


“You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.”
C.G. Jung


“You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Henry Ford

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Live Happy - The 4 W's to make it happen in your life...




"Happineszs a state of well-being, contentment, a satisfying experience, and good fortune"(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happiness)

Think about your life right now in this moment.  Are you truly happy?  Are you pursuing the things in life that add to your happiness?  Have you thought about the importance of happiness to our existence as human beings?  Finally, does happiness really matter?  I'd like to share the 4 W's that I believe are important to Living Happy.

Why Happiness?
Being happy is truly a mind, body, and spirit experience that has lasting benefits in our lives.  It has been supported by scientific research for many decades.  More recently scientific research is diving into the topic more with the changes in health care reform and the rise of disease.  What's evident  if you read any health or psychology articles is that being a happy person has a positive effect on our entire being.

Some of the research has shown significance in how happiness can create the following benefits:

  • Becoming a genius - Being happy may not get you to be a card carrying member of Mensa, but studies have shown clearly that happiness has some significant benefits to our cognition.  Some of these benefits include:
    • Improved problem solving skills
    • Greater imagination and thought production
    • Increased ability to assimilate new information - I was smiling and that's why I used those big words - wow it really works - Awesome!!! :)
  • Becoming an Adonis - Sorry to disappoint, but being happy won't make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger's identical twin, but it has been proven to have these helpful effects on the body:
    • Decreases the workload of the heart by lowering BP and HR
    • Decreases Cortisol (a hormone that exists to help manage our body's response to stress, but high levels of it are detrimental and cause decreased immunity, increased belly fat, decreased muscle, and decreased thyroid)
    • Decrease the risk of heart disease by limiting bad blood plasma like cholesterol
  • Becoming the Life of the Party - This could actually happen by being a happy person.  Studies show that people with the following traits are able to be more successful at creating meaningful relationships.  Those traits are:
    • Enthusiasm - nobody wants to be around Debbie Downer (except us SNL fans)
    • Gratefulness - understanding and appreciating the many good things in our lives.
    • Optimism - that glass is half -full I tell you - the ability to see beyond the negative
Listed below are some links to some good information about the benefits of happiness on our bodies, minds, and spirits.  




What Happiness looks like in action
In order to enjoy these benefits we must take action in our lives to "Be Happy - don't worry" - good song.  Seriously, it is important to understand some practices we can implement in our lives to promote the happiness that leads to our holistic improvement.

Here are the 3 G's of Happiness:
  •  Gratitude - Gratitude means thanks and appreciation.  It's the warm feeling you get when you remember the person who told you to drop your 1980's hairstyle and get with the new millennium already.  It also opens ourselves to new opportunities and possibilities.

  • Giving - Another way this could be said is being generous with your time, your emotions, and your finances.  When you give to another person it fills a special place in our hearts.  How did it feel when you gave an unexpected person something from your heart?  They smiled, and you had this warm fuzzy feeling in your heart.  That may not be the scientific wording for that reaction, but you know what I mean.

  • Greatness - Not being a pompous jerk, but pursuing excellence in your own life that can positively impact others.  Having that drive to make a difference in this world.  This means taking action to look for these opportunities in your life, and knowing...


When Happiness starts to make a difference
Happiness will only occur when you decide to actually take action.  Then happiness can start to invade lives in a way that creates positive change.  When you walk down the street or through the office, do look for the opportunity to make another person's day?  How much effort does it take to say thank you or give a smile?  When you take the time in that moment it can make all the difference to both the giver and receiver.  So when should you start looking to make a difference?  Yesterday.  If I've learned anything from the privilege of helping hospice patients and their families, don't wait for tomorrow.  Therefore, just like any goal, we have to put a plan into action for success.  Here are some practical things you can do to start making a difference:

Three ways to put happiness into action:

  • Give your Mind - This means in all your interactions you need to be present.  Whether it's in your relationship or your friendship you need to give your attention.  This promotes happiness because you've just validated the other person's importance to you, and made them feel valued. Working on being a better communicator and listener in our everyday interactions can promote happiness.
  • Give Your Heart - Look for ways to put your caring for others into action without making sign that says, "See what I did".  When you look for opportunities to make others feel better it can create increased happiness and fulfillment in our lives.  Look for opportunities with your family, your friends, the person on the corner, or an official organization where you can give to others.  Do you remember what happened to the Grinch when he gave to the Who's?  Let your heart grow today as you give some of it away to others in need.
  • Give Your Hand - Scientific research supports the effects of human affection from the time we're babies in the nursery.  Without the touch of another human our growth and development become stagnate.  Therefore, having touch in our lives is important to building happiness.  As a staff nurse I always would get down to eye level with my patients, and gently touch there shoulder to let them know I would be there to meet their needs.  Each of us can do this each day with those we love, know, and meet.

Where Happiness can Grow

Being happy in life takes understanding why it's important, knowing what actions can produce the happiness we seek, how to generate happiness in our interactions with others, and finally we have to have a place where we can let happiness grow.


Here are 3 locations where you can let your happiness grow:

  • Place full of purpose - We each need to have a sense that what we do in our life makes a difference.  Being happy won't occur if you don't have a location for your happiness to grow. Is it the smile of my little 3 year old when Daddy comes home at night?  Is is your visit to a sick relative that provides them comfort as you sit with them in that strange place?  Or is on the corner in your car at the traffic light as you hand a dollar out your window to another person in need?  Only you know where that place should be for you, but to be happy you have to find that location for your purpose.
  • Place where you can grow - Each and every one of us need to and hopefully want to become better people.  To be happy in our lives we need to have a place that promotes our personal growth.  A small group, a friendship, and non-profit organization.  Or it could be your own routine of reading, meditating, or exercising.  All these actions provide the environment for you to grow and increase your happiness.  Look at your life today, and find that place you can grow.
  • Place where you can share - It is amazing to me that with so many people on the face of this earth not one of us is the same.  That's great news because we are all special individuals with unique gifts and talents that can be used to improve our life, and the lives of others.  Do you have a place where you share your gift?  Do you know what your gift is?  Most often your gift is that thing or things you do that come naturally to you that you enjoy, and can impact others positively.  Are you a great artist?  Do you have talent baking?  Are you a compassionate person that knows how to make others feel better?  Or are you talented at inspiring others to be their best?  There are a bunch of great books out there that can help with the process, and then you need to find a place to unleash your greatness on the world.
So are you ready to Live Happy, and make it a part of your everyday life?  Would you like to know of a place that might possibly be your opportunity to change your life and others?  If so, reach out to me about a great opportunity to make a difference... here's a sneak peek


           A Place to Make a Difference

Thoughts for the Day - Sometimes You Just Have to Jump


Hello and good evening,

What a picture.  I spent some time in the military, but never got the opportunity to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.  Life is like the back of the plane door going down because without that action the things outside don't come into view.  It is also that way for each of us because we can't make our lives extraordinary unless were willing to jump like the warriors.

I say warriors because these individuals have to be willing to sacrifice their safety, have a purpose our a goal they're pursuing, and finally use their courage to take that jump into an amazing life-changing experience.  Are you ready to make the jump tonight?  Are you scared about leaving the "airplane cabin" to explore new possibilities?  That's okay to be nervous and a scared, but don't let that stop you.  Even if the jump takes you off course to a new destination you made progress.  Good things won't happen in our lives if we're not willing to move forward and sometimes fall.  Just get back up.

"Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  
They make mistakes, but they don't quit."

Come on, grab my hand.  Lets jump out the back into a new beginning.  If you're interested in an amazing opportunity the create your new beginning connect with me tonight 






“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, 
you can't practice any other virtue consistently.” 
― Maya Angelou


“It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.” 
― Lou Holtz


“What you do makes a difference, 
and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” 
― Jane Goodall


“It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.” 
― Babe Ruth


“Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” 
― Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Focus is the key to success - Don't look down just hold on...


  
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

 “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight Eisenhower

”Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” 
 Alan Lakein


“One reason so few of us achieves what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Tony Robbins


“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” 

Zig Ziglar

A look at our needs - Maslow's interpretation...

A look at our needs



Hello,

I have a few questions for you:

What do you want to achieve in life? big question I know
How do you plan to achieve your goals or get to that desired destination?

The reason I ask is because I want to review Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, and how using some personal motivation that resides in each of us can help us achieve our goals and destiny.

The Pyramid of Needs


  • Physiological Needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sleep, and intimacy
  • Safety Needs - protection from the elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, freedom from fear
  • Social Needs - belonging, affection and love - from co-workers, family, friends, and lovers
  • Self Esteem Needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect
  • Self-Actualization - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experience.What is the importance of

The Pyramid in understanding how to reach our potential? 
Maslow believed that when needs are unmet people are motivated to achieve those needs first, and then seek to fulfill the higher needs - (ex. - starving people will do anything to satisfy that basic need because if they don't they won't survive) I would hope that each of you reading this are meeting your basic needs, but this example creates a good focus for us and further justifies the thinking of Maslow. The pyramid is just that - A pathway of moving to a higher level of personal growth where we meet needs that either are central to our survival or will greatly enhance our human experience.

So where are you currently on this pyramid? Do you want to find out? Here's a quick quiz that will help:  http://helloquizzy.okcupid.com/tests/the-revised-maslow's-hierarchy-of-needs-test.  Did you complete the quiz? Does it seem like an accurate assessment of where you're currently in your life? If it is, but it's not where you want to be how are you going to change that starting today? I want to provide some help in the form of an article you can read that outlines a process for you to start moving up that pyramid toward the goal of self-actualization. Below is the link to the article. I will discuss the article and provide some practical strategies related to the article in my next blog post.http://hubpages.com/hub/Self-Affirmations


I hope this has been beneficial. Please let me know because my goal is to provide help to people in achieving their goals for personal development and health. Thank you for visiting, and have a wonderful day

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome... Going Beyond Life's Challenges



 


Good Morning,

Don't we all feel like were climbing a huge mountain sometimes.   I know I sure do when things don't seem to be going my way or unannounced challenges enter my life.  The big question for both you and me how should we respond during these times?

As some of you may have read on this site, I spent some time in the military with a good bunch of guys.  They were leathernecks, devil dogs, some may even call them jarheads, but they were resilient men who proudly held the title of United States Marines.  My experience with that organization formed much of my thinking about success and failure.  The Marine Corps had a motto that we lived by that was a commentary on how Marines are expected to deal with failure and challenges, "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome".

One of my many stories that illustrate this concept was when we hiked into the mountains of Northern California.  In a matter of three days we covered more than 15 miles, and ascended from 2,000 to more than 8,000 feet with a ton of gear on our backs.  It was a grueling hike that took its toll on many.  A friend of friend of mine became one of the many who emulated our motto on that trip.
It started a few weeks prior to this exercise when he had purchased some new boots.  Much like each of us who were with the infantry he tried to find a pair of boots that were comfortable and would hold up to the rigors of the field.  During those weeks prior to the trip he ran in the boots, bathed them in mud while on field ops, and generally did everything he could to ensure these boots would protect and sustain his feet.

Sadly, this wasn't the case on our winter wonderland hike.  His boots became cold, and lacked pliability.  His boots began to start creating little hot spots all over his feet that turned into horrible blisters.  When we were half-way through the hike he came and got me to check his feet because he was in a ton of pain.  We quickly pulled his boots off, and all I saw were blood soaked socks.  The entire bottoms of his feet were covered with open blisters.  I quickly dressed his wounds, and was going to put him in the hummer when he stood up and starting walking away.  This trip was a rite of passage for him, a chance to prove to himself he could overcome obstacles and deal with painful challenges.  It was his opportunity to live the Corp's motto and be successful.

I'm surely not condoning abusing our bodies, but making the point that in life you and I sometimes face seemingly unbearable challenges.  Like my friend, we too can "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome" when we believe in our cause and in ourselves.  Thank you for letting me share, and ramble a bit.

So, how are you going to "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome" in your life today?  Whatever it may be, you can do it by believing in yourself, and figuring out how to beat that challenge.
 
Here are a couple quotes for your day:

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”
Mahatma Gandhi
 
“if you set your goals ridiculously high and its a failure, you will fail above everyone else success”
James Cameron
Have a great Day!

Being Grateful - One of the Keys to Moving Forward in Life...





Gratitude - feeling or being grateful
How often do you stop throughout your day, and think about the good things in your life?  Completing that process is called being grateful.  One definition is “Having a sincere appreciation for both the people and possessions in your life”.  This feeling or emotion is often praised as the "father of all emotion".  I personally believe that most likely stems from the fact that every known major religion has an aspect of gratefulness in their practices.  Believers are exhorted to give thanks for the good in their lives, and in some faiths even in tough challenges.

Why does giving thanks matter?  That may seem like a silly question or not depending on your personal view of this emotion.  Either way, an attitude of gratitude has been proven to be a very beneficial component in the lives of people who remind themselves of the good in their lives.  There are a number of studies that support this concept, and have shown results that include improved health, mood, and better sleep all by saying thank you more often.

Wow!  So, how does someone start to increase the frequency of giving thanks?  I would imagine that each and every person reading this is thankful for many things in their lives, but may not verbalize that gratitude.  Taking the time to focus your mind, and really think about the good in your life is how outcomes improve according to these studies. ( http://www.socialemotions.org/page5/files/Bartlett.DeSteno.2006.pdf )

There are a couple of ways that you can experience the benefits of gratitude:
  • Every morning when you wake up say one thing you're grateful for in your life.
  • You can split up and say 5 things on one day as well.
  • When you return home at the end of the day write down how grateful you are for the events that occurred during you day.
Start small, and see how you feel.  Try doing it every day for one week.  Let me know how it goes.  The nice thing about gratitude or being thankful is it can be a two way street.  You can give and receive, and enjoy the benefits no matter what direction you’re traveling.  Take care.
Dave