In the past 3 months, a few friends and acquaintances of mine have died. All 3 died got ill and died within a year or less.
Besides the pain and sadness of them passing, I’ve been reflecting more than usual on how important it is for me to seize the day and go for it in life. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Who knows when the end is? Could be tomorrow, could be 50 years from now. I better go for it TODAY!
2) Now that I have kids (3) – I think each day about setting an example for them. Not through my words, but via my actions. It’s easy to think the “right thing” – it takes more determination to “do the right thing”. I’ve read a lifetimes worth of business and personal development books so I can talk like Oprah or the latest Guru. Since these 3 came around, I’m holding myself to a higher standard. Walk the talk.
LOUIE: Hi everybody. I feel like I’m at a revival. This is great.
It’s great to be back in my old stomping grounds of San Francisco. When I graduated UCLA I moved to Northern California and I lived in a little town called Elk on the Mendocino Coast. And I didn’t have a phone or TV but I had US mail. And, life was good back then if you could remember it. I’d go to the general store for a cup of coffee and a brownie, and I’d ship my film to San Francisco and lo and behold two days later it would end up on my front door, which was way better than having to fight the traffic of Hollywood. I didn’t have much money, but I had time and a sense of wonder so I started shooting time-lapse photography. It would take me a month to shoot a four-minute roll of film because that’s all I could afford.
I’ve been shooting time-lapse flowers continuously non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 30 years and to see them move is a dance I’ll never get tired of. Their beauty immerses us with color, taste and touch. It also provides a third of the food we eat.
Beauty and seduction are natures tools for survival because we protect what we fall in love with. It opens our hearts and makes us realize we are a part of nature and we’re not separate from it. When we see ourselves in nature it also connects us to everyone of us because it’s clear that it’s all connected and one. When people see my images a lot of times they’ll say “Oh My God.” Have you ever wondered what that meant? The “Oh” means it caught your attention – it makes you present, it makes you mindful. The “My” means it connects with something deep inside your soul. It creates a gateway for your inner-voice to rise-up and be heard. And “God” – “God” is that personal journey we all want to be on; to be inspired. To feel like we’re connected to a universe that celebrates life.
Did you know that 80% of the information we receive comes through our eyes, and if you compare light energy to musical scales it would only be one octave that the naked eye could see, which is right in the middle. And aren’t we grateful for our brains that can take this electrical impulse that comes from light energy to create images in order for us to explore our world. And aren’t we grateful that we have hearts that can feel these vibrations in order for us to allow ourselves to feel the pleasure and the beauty of nature. Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. So I have a gift I want to share with you today – a project I’m working on called “Happiness Revealed”, and it will give us a glimpse into that perspective from the point of view of a child and an elderly man of that world.
CHILD: When I watch TV, it’s just some shows that just are pretend. And when you explore, you get more imagination than you already had. And um, when you get more imagination it makes you want to go deeper in, so you can get more, and see beautifuller things, like if it’s a path it could lead you to a beach or something and it could be beautiful.
OLD MAN: You think this is just another day in your life – it’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life, and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.
Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, and even of the weather we don’t think of all the many nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day right now has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again. The formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same that it is right now. Open your eyes. Look at that.
Look at the faces of people whom you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never fully fathom, not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors. We all go back so far. And in this present moment on this day all the people you meet, all that life from generations and from so many places all over the world, flows together and meets you here like a life-giving water, if you only open your heart and drink.
Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us. You flip a switch and there is electric light. You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water — and drinkable water. It’s a gift that millions and millions in the world will never experience.
So these are just a few of an enormous number of gifts to which you can open your heart. And so I wish for you that you would open your heart to all these blessings and let them flow through you, that everyone whom you will meet on this day will be blessed by you; just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch — just by your presence. Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you, and then it will really be a good day.
I am excited for 2008. Looking forward to another year of personal and business growth. I asked a bunch of folks this past weekend, “How can I support you in 2008?”. Not sure if that is the right way to phrase it cuz I didn’t get many concrete answers. But I find, helping or supporting others that are helping themselves is a fun way to see others achieve their goals while you are striving for yours.
Question: What are the telltale signs of an over-inflated ego?
Answer: First, let’s be clear that most people—99% of us—don’t have over inflated egos all the time; just some of the time. When ego over inflates, there are four early warning signs:
1. Being defensive: defending ideas turns into being defensive.
2. Being comparative: being too competitive actually makes you less competitive.
3. Seeking acceptance: desiring respect and recognition interferes with success.
4. Showcasing brilliance: ideas can be overshadowed by your own intelligence and talent.
Let’s take just one that gets a lot of people in business, and usually triggers the other three warning signs, being comparative or too competitive. Here are some things you can watch for.
1. Seeing someone you work with as a rival and think about how to “beat” them.
2. Taking disagreement with your ideas personally.
3. Compulsively following a competitors “lead” so they’re not doing anything you’re not.
4. Criticizing competitor’s strategies and prematurely discard them as irrelevant.
5. Believing you don’t ever deserve to lose; a game, a conversation, a debate, a promotion, a raise, etc. and you’re not gracious in defeat.
6. Disagreeing with someone’s point just because they’re the one who said it.
7. Feeling worse about where you are when you see what others achieve.
I really enjoyed this interview about ego and humility and I think I relate to a lot of what he says about the balance that is needed between ego and humility. I would say I’ve been on both sides of being too humble and too egotistic at times in my life and probably still am trying to find that balance. Ask my friends and colleagues for the real answer. 🙂
I hear this victim like thinking in many circles. People blame all sorts of things on their plight in life. I’m sure some of it is true. Other times, folks are whiners. They think they are a victim in a movie and it sounds like they are playing the part – nothing they can do about a situation. Almost always, decisions they have made as adults have led them directly to where they are at that moment. Yes, there is luck involved, but it is not the only/overidding factor.
If you don’t like something, or feel like a victim in life. Get up, make a change, and stop whinging. Or if you whinge, do something about it.
If you are my friend/family, and I ever fall into this pattern, slap me and tell me to read this blog post.
"What he told us is that, in the end, only love matters. Success and fame and wealth and even health all fade in time, and in the end all you have is love. And love is what matters. I hope everyone in the world gets the chance to discover that in the way that I have. I love you, Alaina.
Just thinking about it for myself – I actually like to work – setting goal and working with folks to achieve it can be loads of fun and very fulfilling. If the only reason u work is for money – then this ratio becomes more important.