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.”

July 18, 2014 – Baggage

We all have baggage. The question is who’s going to carry it, them or you?

Too often we look for others to carry our baggage. Whether it’s medical, financial, family, career, or relationship oriented, it all circulates back to the fact that we prefer to have others do the heavy lifting. We stress the need to lighten loads and mitigate risks associated. But at the end day despite unsuccessfully unloading our baggage, we are in the same exact position as we started the day. In other words, it’s our baggage. Giving it to others won’t get us anywhere; it’s ours to carry alone.

Some baggage may be difficult to detach from as memories fill space. Why is that we struggle to remember good memories, yet it’s much easier to remember the bad ones? The only conclusion is that you are simply not ready to let go. You are holding either as a lesson learned or the scarring tissue is still too deep.

Most baggage we carry, we created by making unfavorable choices earlier without any regards to the repercussions that follow. Not to place blame, but where’s our accountability? Understanding that certain baggage may result from unwanted circumstances, however, how can we climb mountains if we continue to carry excessive amounts of baggage? If we’ve learned anything, we succeed by taking control of situations and pushing ourselves to soar new heights.

Take a look at the baggage you carry. How did you obtain it, why do you continue to carry it, and what are going to do about it? And finally, what can you let go?

I won’t deny the fact that letting go is a challenge within itself. Unfortunately, some baggage can never be let go entirely due to certain extremes. However, you do have choices moving forward. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to carry and how high you want to climb. To achieve greatness, there are no limits, only obstacles.

Carry only what you need and “keep those feet moving.”

July 11, 2014 – Learning to ride

As a child, learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels is one of the most fearful, challenging moments. Trying to find balance while pedaling, fears of falling and scraping knees, to losing the will and motivation to continue because it’s too hard are all attributes to learning to ride. It’s no different than the challenges we face in life. But do we fear failure or are we simply unmotivated?

Teaching and watching my daughter learn to ride a bicycle without training wheels provides a sense of correlation to those that struggle to overcome personal challenges. You are eager to begin the process, excited about the endless opportunities ahead. However, after each unsuccessful attempt, momentum is quickly lost. Suddenly the idea of success is replaced with fear and the lack of motivation.

We often place more pressure on ourselves to succeed. We are driven by the need of personal achievements. Any bumps can send us to a downward spiral. As in learning to ride a bicycle, you continue to pedal, shift your balance, and steer toward the direction of travel. There may be crashes along the way as it is all part of the learning process. But no matter how many times you fall off, always get back on and try again. Success is not determined how many times it takes you to achieve, but how you respond to adversity.

Eventually my daughter will conquer her fear of falling off the bicycle and will ride. It takes time, patience, and understanding the task at hand. While we may be inpatient as our hopes dwindle on every attempt, it’s easy to forget that life is not a sprint, but a marathon. What doesn’t work today, may work tomorrow. In any event, always finish strong.

Get back on the bicycle and “keep those feet moving.”

July 4, 2014 – Competitive nature

Our competitive nature is alive and well within us. Whether we are competitive towards athletics, academics, family, relationships, or career advancement, it’s the degree of competitiveness that separates us all. Being competitive is not necessarily a negative trait; it just means there is desire.

I am competitive by nature, especially towards athletics and medical science. Academics can be directed based upon preparation and repetition. Family and relationships are about understanding the resistance points and how to redirect leverage. Regardless of the competitiveness, win or lose, you must accept the consequences to follow. Realistically, you can’t win every opportunity presented. It’s just not possible. However, it’s what you gain from defeat that adds to your competitiveness.

My competitiveness towards medical science in recent years has only escalated. Researching root causes for illnesses and how it can be prevented. Understanding why various clinical trials are more successful than others and whether a correlation exists between them. Learning about new medical advancements and how patients have been cured. Each day I read or hear about those that battling various illnesses. My first inclination is reach out and offer support. Ask questions trying to uncover a miraculous solution. But I’ve learned to be respectful and limit any medical science knowledge. Instead I tackle these illnesses from a support perspective. Offer those the opportunity to utilize their own strength to overcome their illness. I am not suggesting that I have the exact knowledge and resources to find a cure, however, my competitiveness will enable me to be an advocate, giving back to those that need it.

I truly believe our competitiveness determines whether we are successful in overcoming challenges. There are those that thrive under pressure, always looking to elevate to the next level. Taking on whatever comes their way. Never shy away, never give up. There will be moments that you fall behind. Your support will line up to cheer you on, but it’s your inner drive that enables you to catchup. And ultimately reach the finish line.

Beat your competition and “keep those feet moving.”