One of the reasons I’ve never been a big fan of labels is that they limit you. They close down the potential of possibilities.

You are many things. You’re a sinner and a saint; a murderer and a monk. The entire world that you experience happens inside your head. Nothing exists outside of your mind. That’s a powerful concept worth grasping.

 


Udemy

“Remember to proceed with self-love and self-acceptance at all times, as this is the only path to real and lasting change” – Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes to achieve your ambitions?, asks Danielle LaPorte. Great question and one I ask myself at least several times a day as I strive to carve out my place in the world. Full disclosure here: sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel and just becoming a Homer Simpson – work at a job I hate, eat jelly donuts, and then come home and sit on the couch and watch mindless TV and drink Duff beer.

But I believe in dreams. I believe we have the capacity to make our dreams come true if we have the Will, and If we have the Will, we’ll find a way.  I studied Military History at West Point. One of my favourite generals was Hannibal.  He is considered to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Well during the Second Punic Wars, his commanders were giving him stick and telling him that it would be impossible to cross the Alps with elephants.  His reply to these naysayers:

“I will either find a way, or make one.”

On tomorrow’s Havana Cafe Sessions podcast, Sarah and I will be talking about some of the books that have shaped our lives.  Here’s a list of 21 books that could get you started. What books would you include on your list?

What’s in between life and death besides going to school, getting a job, a spouse, a house, a car etc and then rinse and repeating each day as you go along until you die? Here are a few things you may have forgotten about life. I’d also add, don’t forget the inner journey. As Henry Miller said: “For there is only one great adventure and that is inward toward the self, and for that, time nor space nor even deeds matter.”

And as my main man Socrates said according to Plato: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

So you want to make a change. Change is hard, or can be hard. On the other hand, as Tony Robbins is fond of saying, change can happen in an instant. But one thing I have found is that sometimes one of the biggest obstacles to making change happen is the people around you, especially those close to you. Not because they don’t like you or want to see you fail, but because they are afraid they’ll have to change too. Without wanting to seem negative, they’ll subtly introduce reasons why you shouldn’t change or how what you want to change is too risky or not the right time. If you want to make lasting change, you’ll have to break through these barriers of negativity.

What is it with our relationship with food?

“One third of the US population is obese, even as 50 million Americans often struggle to find enough to eat. And all that in a country where 40 percent of the food made and purchased each year is thrown away, and in which food needs are expected to more than double over the next few decades.”

They say it takes on average 21 days to create a new habit. I’ve used a few habit trackers like TracknShare, but I like the cleaner interface of HabitMaster. You might find this useful in helping you track the new habits you’re wanting to install in 2017.

I know I said this once already this week, but in case you missed it, I’ll say it again, you are already enough. Any fulfilment you are seeking is right inside of you and always has been. Your job is to reacquaint yourself with yourself. I’ve been doing some of that through mindful meditation and more recently learning about Ken Wilber’s Integral Meditation in which he teaches mindfulness as a path to grow up, wake up, and show up in your life.

And finally,

What’s love got to do with it?

WATCH: The Scientific Reason the ‘Honeymoon Phase’ Goes Away

A little spark of motivation for your day,

Clay

I’ll leave you with this tune:

We’re closing down on the first full week of 2017. Most people have returned back to work. We’re all working on a new set of goals or New Year’s resolutions (hopefully). And already some of you might be finding yourself slipping. In fact, statics say that by the end of next week 46% of us will have given up on our New Year’s resolutions. And come 2018 (I know that seems an age away) only 8% of will have actually achieved what we set out to do. In this video, I offer some tips that might help you stay the course.

Hey, let’s kick this Friday off with a motivational song. Here’s a little history first:

“Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, commonly known by the title “Wear Sunscreen”, is an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich, originally published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.”

The essay, gives various pieces of advice on how to live a happier life and avoid common frustrations.

Baz Luhrmann turned it into a spoken word piece that was released in 1999 with the title Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).

There’s great advice in the song, however, like the quote says above, it’s probably wasted on the young, but man does it make sense now to me as youth has passed, especially the part about the knees ;-).

Enjoy.


If you buy into the premise that you are the sum total of all the decisions you’ve made in the past, so every decision you’ve made in the past has led you to where you are standing or sitting reading this note right now.

With that in mind, the decisions that you make from this moment forward are going to affect your future self 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. So with your future self in mind, make decisions to make life easier for your future self. Be compassionate toward the you of the future.

Alright, so what are you going to do different today to set your future self up for success?

 

Are you looking for the path to success?

The I-Ching tells us that “it is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusions, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognised.”

The thing is though, many of us spend our energy entangled in our self-sealed comfort bubble that re-enforces our limiting beliefs. Beliefs that keep us safe, or at least gives us the illusion of safety. Inside our bubble we’re not forced to act, we only need to maintain our status quo. Change requires effort, effort that we tell ourselves we don’t have time for at the moment. We’ll wait ’till after the holidays, begin fresh with the New Year! I’m sure you recognise this pattern. The things is, you and I know there will never be a ‘right’ time. Something always comes up that helps us justify delaying taking any action. You’ll start next week right?

If you really want to make a change, you have to give yourself permission to act now. You don’t need anybody else to give you permission, that power reside with you. Your journey of a lifetime will begin with a single step.

The time is now.

Your path awaits you. Do you have the courage to walk it?

As I sit here having my morning cup of coffee, my mind slips back into the past.

I remember when I showed up for my first day as a manufacturing engineer at the General Electric plant in Philadelphia. There was this crusty old guy named Bubba. He took me under his wing. He had taken a liking to me because I was ex-military and so was he.

He had a multitude of colourful sayings like, “Don’t be running around here like a blue-assed fly!” But the one that has stuck with me the most is when he said:

“If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”

It was his way of telling me that if I wanted to be successful at G.E. I couldn’t sit back and watch, that I had to put myself out there and not just follow the pack, but lead it.

How about you, are you staying on the porch or are ready to get out there and start running with the big dogs?

If you’re putting off doing something because you fear you might be criticised, then don’t put it off any longer, because, you know what, people are going to criticise you anyway – especially small-minded people.

Look, you can’t control what other people are going to think, so don’t let what other people think control you.

I know we all want to feel liked and accepted by everyone – especially by those close to us like our family and friends and peers, but you and I both know, that it’s highly unlikely that EVERYONE will like your ideas, or like what you’re doing. Or even like you!That’s part of the game of being human.

Besides, if someone criticises you, it’s probably more about them then it is about you. They criticise you because you’re not doing what THEY want, or you’re not doing it the way THEY would do it. In the nicest possible way, so what?!

Do what you want to do and let other people sort themselves out. Why hold yourself back for fear of someone criticising you. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel is right, for you’ll be criticised anyway.”

Ok, so what are you going to do today that you’ve been putting off doing out fear of being criticised?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but our dreams take constant work. What I mean by that is you have to work on your dreams daily, otherwise they remain forever in the future, in that mystical place known as Someday.

Unless you take some action toward your dream every day, you’ll never get there.

If you find yourself getting stuck in the how, look up and follow your dreams, they know the way.

What small step are going to take today toward your dream?