September 11, 2014 – Closure

September 11 will forever be a day of remembrance. A day when open wounds resurface and we come together for an opportunity to express our sorrows once more. Relive the horrors of what we’ve seen and/or experienced. Whether directly or indirectly, we’ve all been impacted by the turn of events. We have stories of our own to share. As for open wounds, how can they close?

The world is filled with tragedies after tragedies. None of it makes sense or can be justified. I don’t know which is worse to experience, a sudden or prolonged death. Is there truly a better scenario? If it’s sudden, you experience initial shock and anger follows. If it’s prolonged, you experience the pain and agony of watching the minutes tick and a void settles in afterwards. In the end, there isn’t any scenario that makes it easy. When it’s all said and done, you are left with how to deal with the closure aspect.

Closure enables us to heal. It provides an end to a chapter horribly written. We can spend our lives in mourning, in self-defeat, in agony. Or you can fight your way out and climb again. Our losses are filled with void from a presence perspective; however, it’s their strength that continues to live within us. It provides comfort knowing they are never truly far away.

Finding closure enables you to celebrate the life, not mourn the loss. On a day like this, we find ourselves reflecting back not just looking for answers, but trying to relive certain memories. Sometimes it’s a wonder whether we live out certain memories because we continue to mourn or if we are afraid of losing them entirely. The sooner you begin to accept life for what it is, the easier it is to heal. Instead of seeking the answers to rhetorical questions of life, embrace what you have and all the experiences that go with it.

Find your closure and “keep those feet moving.”

September 5, 2014 – Right or left hand

Everyday are opportunities to make decisions. Some are simple, others may be complex. While we tend to agonize over the more complex decisions, surprisingly these types of decisions are not our biggest challenge.

In reality, the toughest decisions are the ones you don’t make. Indecisiveness as it’s called. Even upon the simplest decisions, we struggle. Why? Is it because we don’t have enough information; is it that we are afraid of making an incorrect choice? Or perhaps it’s the repercussions that follow that present the greater challenge?

I often compare decision making to the strength of our arm dominance. Most of us predominantly are either right or left handed. Everything we do is based upon our dominant hand. What happens when you are forced to use your opposite hand? Not only do you struggle with strength, you struggle with confidence because you are now outside your comfort zone. In decision making, it’s the same thing. Certain decisions you’ll prevail and others you simply struggle to decide.  So the question becomes is how do you strengthen those skills?

The more you use your opposite hand, the stronger you become. The more decisions you make, the more confidence you gain knowing you’ve made the correct choice. Never shy away from those opportunities because you may be surprised of the outcome.

In life, decisions surround us everywhere we go. Whether we are exposed to crises related to medical, financial, career, or anything else, always obtain the facts first. Then decide. Once you decide, never look back. After all, you’ve done the best you could at that precise moment.

As for the repercussions that follow your decision, que sera sera…

Continue making decisions and “keep those feet moving.”

August 29, 2014 – 60 day challenge

What’s it going to take to make a change? What are you going to do differently from your previous attempts? How can you effectively measure your own success?

It’s common knowledge that when crises arise or you are stuck in second gear with certain life aspects, something’s got to give. Whatever it is that you are doing simply isn’t working.  You can spend your time instituting the same change management over and over again without success or you can modify your approach and game plan.

The interesting aspect is that on previous attempts, all the accountability was on yourself. If you succeeded, fantastic. If not, you truthfully shrugged it off and moved on awaiting for the next opportunity to try once again. But what if this time the accountability wasn’t on yourself, but on a community as a whole. How will that change your approach and commitment level?

As I ponder further about unsuccessful attempts of the past and listen to others vent about their frustrations upon making changes in their lives, I’ve come to the conclusion, it’s all about accountability. Sometimes we blame ourselves for our current position or missed opportunities. But we can’t do that anymore. We have an opportunity to make a difference. Make a positive impact on our lives.

By invoking a 60 day challenge, it provides us all an opportunity to make necessary changes to achieve greater success, achieve more personal satisfaction in life, and to challenge ourselves to reach new heights. It’s an opportunity to make a difference within yourself and having the support of this community behind you.

Determine your 60 day challenge and “keep those feet moving.”

August 15, 2014 – Baby steps

It doesn’t matter how it all began. When crisis came into light. All those replays in your mind are meaningless. You can agonize every day for the remainder of your life, but what will that accomplish? The most important aspect is not the beginning, but how you finish strong, how you overcome obstacles presented.

Think about how you want to spend your energy? It is better served in the beginning or the end? Where do focus your strength? Valid questions, yet many struggle with putting the first step forward. They remain fixated on the why aspect instead of creating action to enable that first step.

You got to take baby steps before you can walk, leap, jump, and run. The same thought process can be applied to overcoming crises. If you truly break it down, crises have their own categories connected by roller coasters. There will always be high and low points, yet the key is finding the middle ground for stabilization purposes. Once stabilized, you can begin taking baby steps forward.

In life we are inspired and motivated by success stories so why not create our own success story? A story that is so inspirational that can be used as a springboard to motivate others. Or more importantly, achieve success yourself.

There are certain crises that are inevitable. It was meant to occur, often without pure justification. But that is now in the past, you control the outcome going forward. The question now becomes is how are you going to finish strong?

Take those baby steps and “keep those feet moving.”

August 8, 2014 – Without pain, there is no gain

We set goals in life, standards that we abide by. Our perceptions dictate whether we succeed or not. Strength comes from within and toughness becomes an important attribute.

Too often toughness is associated as a physical attribute. But in reality, it’s more mental. Once you get into a zone, it’s not the physical aspect that propels you; it’s the motivation, focus, and commitment. Most fail not because they lack strength, but mental capacity to compete.

Every individual needs motivation to some capacity. Whether it’s overcoming an illness, crisis, or simply a sports related competition, there must be an initial triggering moment. We search for alternatives that inspire, motivate, or fire us up. It’s about finding your zone and once you achieve it, there is nothing stopping you.

Life does throw curves to change the momentum. Ever notice just when everything seems to fall into place; career, relationships, financial, health, and suddenly without warning, a crisis surfaces? That’s the curve. While many consider curves negative attributes, perhaps look at it as a form of motivation. Without pain, there is no gain.

Shift your focus and concentrate on your goals. All realistic goals are attainable, set your sights high. Each day work towards it and climb a little higher. Filter out any white noise surrounding you, maintain your focus on what you truly want to achieve in life. Keep your eyes centered and find your zone.

Commitment enables you stay motivated and focused. Any obstacles you face along your journey are overshadowed by your determination. Your instincts will tell you when to push harder, move faster, and climb higher. Failure, quitting are not options known, you got to strive further and stay committed to your goals. Pain is no match for you.

You will succeed. Erase any lingering doubts or perceptions by others. None of that matters. The most important aspect is you and your ability to overcome despite any growing odds. You can walk around in fear, in sorrow, or in self-pity. Or you can walk around with your head held high, confident and determined. The choice is yours.

The sun does shine. Even in our darkest moments, eventually the sun will shine. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it’ll shine. Remember, without pain, there is no gain.

Aim high and “keep those feet moving.”

August 1, 2014 – Dreams

Our dreams are symbolic. They represent various aspects of crises we face today. Even while we sleep, we strive to solve unfavorable outcomes by conducting little test runs of idea generations in hopes that successful resolutions will suddenly appear.

A recent dream represented several attributes of my recent personal challenges. Within the dream, there were several different breeds of critters living in my basement. From kittens to squirrels to mice, each presented a representation of the attributes that needed to be addressed. The size of these critters represented the weight of the attributes. The fact that my basement was involved represents my head and all these critters are stuck in my head. I sought alternative approaches to remove the critters but have been unsuccessful. Despite best efforts, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s my responsibility to remove the critters one by one. It’s certainly a challenge to chase each one down, but essential. Some of them were in plain sight, others were deeply hidden. Much like our own crises. How do we recognize and how do we overcome?

Interesting enough, our dreams do not solve crises; they merely add layers of dimensions. They can typically point us to the right direction, or provide us another avenue of representation. Some believe our dreams can be controlled in a way that we have the ability to choose various outcomes. Maybe so. However, our dreams represent greater neurological theories than controlled outcomes. Without going into true scientific details, let’s just take the position that dreams are essential aspects of our sleep.

Each night we dream, we look for answers. Guidance to place us back on our pathways of our journey. The answers may be easily identifiable, however, there may be barriers surrounding it. In that case, determine alternative approaches to reach it. The most difficult aspect is actually creating motion to go after what you want. It’s too easy to be lazy and wait it out. But in reality, lingering around waiting doesn’t provide any added benefit. Sometimes the most difficult decisions are the ones we don’t make and we pay the consequences down the road.

Perhaps we over analyze our dreams in thinking that there is really more than there is to the subject matter. Perhaps there is some logic behind that claim. However, the more I ponder about my recent dream; it’s become clear as to what I need to do to rise back to the top. To establish new goals and push myself to greater extremes. Knock down barriers ahead. While the critters in my recent dream may have provided solid representation of personal challenges, the true meaning of the dream has motivated me to make necessary adjustments so I can soar higher. Either that or I just needed a good night’s rest.

To a good night’s rest and “keep those feet moving.”

July 25, 2014 – Take a stand

Too often we accept what’s been given to us. Reluctant to challenge unfavorable outcomes, medical diagnoses, and authority. Instead we tend to exhibit passive behaviors, struggling to move forward.

You could create an argument that much of it is out of our control and that there isn’t anything that can be done about it. But I challenge you think otherwise. You have options. You decide whether you want to act upon those options. In any situation, there are two outcomes. Favorable or unfavorable. No grey areas, simply straight forward.

Regardless of the situation or outcome, take a stand for what you will accept.

Didn’t get the promotion or job? Change your approach and create your next opportunity.

Medical exam met with mixed results? Take a moment to reflect and then focus on the upcoming one.

Can’t get anywhere with customer service? Take a step back, re-evaluate, and then negotiate better alternatives that align to what you want.

What many fail to realize that we have more power and control than we think. Unfavorable outcomes present opportunities for us to rise above all and move mountains. It starts with perception. Once you set your sights to soar, nothing can stop you. Don’t accept what’s been given, shrug it off and determine your own acceptance. Never settle for less. There are always better alternatives. The first offer may not always the best. But it’s a starting point. You can only improve your prospects going forward.

Take a stand and “keep those feet moving.”