Tag Archives: competition

The Secret to Long Term Success: Fall Down 7 Times, Stand Up 8

paddleboard

By Robin Benincasa

I was at a big stand up paddling race with my friend Bill, watching the pros battle it out for the big bucks in the sprint race. I was amazed at how deftly they could maneuver at high speed around the 8 cones on the course, zipping through 180-degree turns while simultaneously surfing 4-foot tall waves.

I was scared to death of waves and equally afraid of the turns, so I always stayed away from races that had a lot of either. As the race leaders rounded the cone closest to the beach, I asked Bill why the pros were so much better than we were, and without hesitation he said, “they’re not afraid to fall in”. Continue reading

Thursday Morning Melody: A Case of You (James Wolpert version)

We have posted before how much we like a good cover, especially when it re-does the original. Recently on NBC’s The Voice (the best reality show on television by the way, take that as you will) James Wolpert did a show stopping rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You.”

Now we know that trying to cover Joni is trying to walk on hallowed ground. Many have tried and failed to recapture the beauty and gritty of Joni’s bravado, but James actually slowed the song down even more and his smooth crooning grounded this acoustic version into something really beautiful. Take a look at this and tell us you don’t get chills during his last go at the chorus.

It turns out that amazing vocal power runs in the family. James Wolpert is the cousin of famous Broadway performer and Glee-guest star Jonathan Groff! James was eliminated from The Voice in the semi-finals this week but we think with vocals like this we’ll definitely be hearing from him soon (and look forward to it!)

This song has been on repeat for days in the Intent office though and we hope that you enjoy this beautiful and moving rendition of a classic.

What do you think of James’ version of “Case of You”? Did he nail it or is the original better? Let us know in the comments below!

Envy as a Catalyst for Change (Part 2)

139378542_825107ffa3Click here to read Part 1!

Once you recognize envy for what it is, use it as a catalyst for change. Figure out exactly what it is you envy your friend for that you lack. Maybe it’s as simple as needing a little excitement in your life or maybe it’s the beginning of acknowledging the need for a real, substantive change that makes the day into night. It’s up to you to process, fertilize and transform your envy into the fuel that propels positive change or the blissful acceptance and appreciation that demonstrate that you are truly becoming the person you admire most.

Jealousy is a bit harder to use for your own enlightenment but perhaps that much more important for you to understand and take control of turning the tables. It’s not always going to work: Your bestie’s engagement ring is going to be hard to stomach if the love of your life just broke up with you any way you look at it. But it can be a useful exercise in figuring out exactly why you are so soured. Start by asking yourself some tough questions.

If you are feeling jealous it’s because you lost something. But what exactly did you lose? Each instance of jealousy is merely a stimulus for you to examine your life, and while Plato’s words suggested the unexamined life is not worth living, the over-examined life may not be the way you want to live either. Assuming your friend isn’t marrying your ex, you’re not really losing anything tangible.

The truth is what you have lost is an idea – about yourself, be it about your own desirability or your (perhaps totally unrealistic) previous vision of your future. Whatever it is, go ahead and figure out how you can regain what you actually lost…not the man but the love you felt. Chances are if you and Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful broke up before you could go the distance down the aisle it’s because those things weren’t really on offer in the first place. So maybe you didn’t actually lose anything, and the jealousy and envy provided an opportunity for a productive new future… one in which you actually know what you need and want.

Jealousy is often a reaction to what cognitive behavioral therapists refer to as projecting the future. You see your friend happy and you predict –irrationally, that you will never be that happy. Remind yourself that you are not, in fact, clairvoyant, and your friend’s happiness can actually add to your own, and that your thought pattern can use a readjustment to see potential, not pain.

Of course, not all envy can be turned on its head but the truth is, not all envy is painful or even negative. In some cases, you can not only use your envy but also enjoy it. Think about it. Is there anyone you hate more than Gwyneth Paltrow, with her Vegenaise and her handmade this and that and her smug and perfect skinny, blond, rich everything?

Still, the majority of what you hate is not hate at all. It’s envy but the fun kind, the kind you and your friends can giggle about and yet still, in the back of your subconscious mind, recognize that there’s a decent quinoa recipe on her Web site you could probably pull off, and you could go to the gym or prioritize what the jealousy and envy brought so clearly to your mind. So thank you, Gwyneth. We may hate you – or really, just envy you – but you are making us better despite yourself.

Often, of course, it’s not that easy. Envy can eat at you. Jealousy can indeed become a monstrous force, a dark green cloud that throws a pall over moments that should by all rights add to your happiness, not slice a blade through it. The feeling that the grass is forever greener over the hill you can’t climb needs to be replaced with climbing lessons or gardening lessons so that you get what you want instead of nagging dissatisfaction.

But the truth is, the monster is not that ferocious. Just by recognizing it you have sapped its strength, turned it docile, made it into your pet, to be taught and tamed and ultimately to make yourself stronger by serving your needs and wants…now that you know what they are. The grass you fertilize may become the envy of the neighborhood. Then walk magnanimously over to the other side of the street …. and teach your neighbor how to do the same thing.

Envy as a Catalyst for Change

GoodnightFrom Othello to Cinderella, Toy Story to Snow White, envy and its kissing cousin jealousy have always gotten a bad rap. It is, in the words of the evil Iago, “the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

But the truth is, envy and to a lesser extent jealousy, can be useful, and even productive emotions that don’t always lead to poisoning one’s beautiful stepdaughter or murdering a beloved spouse. The eminent British mathematician and philosopher, Betrand Russell, said that while envy is one of the most potent causes of unhappiness, it’s also at the foundation of how democratic and egalitarian societies are developed.

How come so much contrast? His view counted on the genesis of the emotions and the ability to then work at altering the context. We are good at altering the context when we don’t like something, but what about when we want it? Now. Like an Oompa Loompa, give it to me!

In other words, the trick to generating happiness out of the despair and maliciousness created by envy and jealousy is in identifying where the feelings come from – what really generates them and in what you do next. Are you willing to do the work necessary to improve your life or will you be passive and wallow in self-pity? Stated simply, envy and jealousy can help you realize what it is you really need and want, but you still need to do the work to make the proverbial lemonade.

In some cases, the first step is determining whether what you feel is envy or jealousy. While the words tend to be used interchangeably, they do have subtle, crucially different meanings. By putting your emotional experience into either the envy or the jealousy bucket, you’re on the way to understanding and using it in a positive way.

Envy is about what you don’t have. It is a lack, a longing, a hole to fill. Envy is what you felt as a kid when your sister got the bigger bedroom and as an adult when your best friend added another boat to her collection, won the Pulitzer or scored a pair of Jimmy Choos on sale. It is the entire plot of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and the reason we sort of hate Sheryl Sandberg, though we appreciate the advice.

Jealousy is about the fear of loss…it is about what you want to keep – your boyfriend, your status as the best lawyer in the firm, being the go-to parent on the PTA or ranking doubles champion at the club. It is how you felt when your parents paid more attention to your sister or when your spouse paid more attention to, well, anything. Jealousy makes you crazy, while envy makes you unhappy. While both are personal, one makes you feel depressed and the other makes you wish other people were depressed. You can’t be jealous of Sheryl Sandberg, unless the job she leaned into happened to be yours.

Of course, neither feels good. It seems petty, often pathetic, a clear indication that we are not the people we want to be, and so, on top of the discomfort of envy we often add an unpleasant layer of guilt – anger at ourselves for having this tacky, weak emotion. If we deal with it at all it is only to try to talk ourselves out of it or bury it deep in our psyches and pretend it’s not there.

At best, when we are trying to handle envy or jealousy we catalog all the wonderful things we do have, our professional accomplishments and personal blessings in hopes that it will make us feel better about what we still want that seems just beyond our reach or about what we are constantly terrified is slipping away. That’s not a bad thing, but let’s be honest: How well does that work? Does Katy Perry reminding herself that she is an international superstar and one of few women in the world who can pull off a bustier as evening wear really ease the gut clenching she experiences when she sees Russell Brand with that blond?

Instead of trying to get rid of the guilt, refocus on the matter at hand: The envy or jealousy itself.

Sometimes it’s easy to recognize. Your best friend lost 30 pounds and is suddenly turning heads. Jealous? Why yes.

Other times, it’s hidden behind layers of denial. Let’s say that same friend tells you she is going to spend the next two years traveling the world and living in a collapsible yurt. Something hits you in the pit of your stomach. You assume it’s merely worry. What exactly is a yurt anyway? Is it safe?

Well maybe you really are just concerned for her future, but maybe, just maybe, what you are really concerned about is your own. Perhaps that gut punch is envy. She is spending her life as she wills it…not at the mercy of her husband, boyfriend, children, boss or parents. She is living her own life. Wow…wouldn’t that make anyone envious?

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Peace Matters: A Mother Responds to the Call for Action Against Syria

War and PeaceAs I pull my truck up to the local harbor beach, loaded with sunscreened kids, oversized striped towels and inner tubes, John Kerry’s voice breaks in over my radio, tuned into NHPR. “This crime against conscience, this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community, against the norm of the international community, this matters to us, and it matters to who we are.”

“It Matters” is an eloquently written persuasive argument in favor of punitive action in Syria for their obvious use of chemical weapons against their own people. And as Kerry pontificates on the necessity of action, I’m mothering my way through the last bits of summer vacation.

Kids tumble out of the truck, doors slam, happy screams pierce, sun shines, and I grip the wheel. How does a peace-seeking person like me feel about this?

I hate war. I hate it. I hate that women who lovingly grow tiny seeds into human beings have to watch as their sons and daughters are sent overseas because the overwhelming majority of men on this planet value power, money and ego over life, love and collaboration.

While I hate war, I do not hate the men who declare it. In fact, the opposite. I love men as much as I love anyone, and I want to see men live long, healthy and productive lives. But as the world turns, I see what men do and what men make and I’m tired of dealing with the consequences of greed, power and competition.

For thousands of years we’ve been deserted by fathers, raped by prom dates, suppressed by regimes, penetrated by uncles, underestimated by brothers, underpaid by bosses, beaten by husbands and ignored by society. For thousands of years we’ve had to stand by while men make decisions about our fate and the fate of our planet. If during these thousands of years, men have not found a way to create a peaceful planet through leadership, it makes me wonder if men truly desire peace. Or are men addicted to conflict and combat? Are they afraid that the end of war will mean the end of their manly value?

Every one of us is hard wired with drive, with the desire to be the best at something, with the need to control our environment. It’s always been this way. But just because this is the way it’s always been doesn’t mean it’s right. History is doomed to repeat itself because we human beings aren’t brave enough to choose collaboration over competition – on a personal level, on a professional level, on a local level, on a global level, on a 1st grade recess level, on a college application level, on an I-got-the-job-now-what level. We’re all at war with one another. All of us. Heck, most of us are at war with ourselves.

We are never happy the way we are, which makes it impossible to accept others the way they are. This seems so mundane, so small. But this is life. This is people. War is people, too. War is one man with a severe sociopathic condition and a powerful following. But the problem of war isn’t THEM. The problem isn’t WHY. The problem is US. You and me. US.

There is so much work to do. And the work doesn’t start in Congress. It starts with you and me. It starts in bed at night when your mind is focused on office politics and peer manipulation. It starts in the kitchen when I stare down a bag of Newman’s Ginger O’s that will only add to my increasingly unmanageable lower belly. It starts on the playground when one sad, confused, pained little boy is labeled a bully because he hasn’t mastered impulse control or feels unlovable and unworthy of kindness. This is where war begins.  With the tiny seed of you and me.

This brings me back to the front seat of my parked Ford truck, simmering in the driver’s seat, white knuckling the wheel, “It matters,” Kerry asserts, “if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens.”

Yes, it does matter, Secretary Kerry. It matters. But peace matters, too. We belong to the most creative human society to tromp the earth. We send rocket ships to Mars, we Skype with our sisters living in Hong Kong, we collect energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. We are innovators. Let’s use this innovation and creativity to inspire peace. There is a way. There is always a way. Peace matters.

No boots on the ground, yes I know. Just a drone strike. But is it ever that simple? Strikes have consequences and I don’t believe for a minute that three-four-shut-the-door will be the result of Obama’s proposed swift and concise action.

More lives, more anger, more more more. How about a little less less less? Doesn’t that sound nice? A little less breaking news? A little less testosterone? A little less shrouded children? A little less worry? A little less tossing and turning? As unlikely as it may seem, peace matters. Peace now.

Guess what – I’m human!

Smoke This!I think people have a fear of being found out.

I know this because I once had this same fear. This fear of being caught with my hand in the non-organic, sugar laden, big corporation labeled cookie jar instead of a raw, homemade dessert with DIY edible decorations. I have feared the wrath of my peers at not having read that book or been to that seminar, and having instead chosen to spend my weekend watching reruns of Hannah Montana with my kids, taking a trip to McDonald’s to eat a dead cow (I hope it’s a cow, whatever!), and letting them frolic in the play area while I perused the latest issue of my favorite gossip magazine (because sometimes you gotta know who cheated on who, right?). And I admit it: right now as I write this, I am enjoying a cup of Folgers coffee and smoking a cigarette.

I used to be afraid of being seen as flawed, as not “spiritual” enough. I was afraid people would see the missing eye on my blissed out bunny slippers or hear me snore during that last 15 minutes of yoga class, when what I should have doing was meditating.

So, like many of my friends, I scoffed at those around me who accidentally let their humanness slip out. I judged and sighed knowingly and gazed upon that lost soul with that look – you know, that look you get from someone who has decided they are somehow better than you, that they have tasted the elixir of enlightenment and you just don’t have the right stuff to play in their galaxy or dimension, that they are taking their unicorn and going home. But with each sigh, with each judging gaze of my blinded by light and bliss eyes, deep down inside I wished I, too, could just take off my crystals and that itchy hemp shirt and just wear my Walmart shorts and eat a Nestle ice cream and be okay with that, too.

I looked around me and saw that so many were struggling to keep up with the Jones, or I should say the Chopra’s (wink wink). This being spiritual thing is exhausting. It seemed ironic that the idea of living a spiritual life was supposed to mean living without judgment, but let’s be honest here, there seems to be a lot of judgment around what it means to be spiritual.

So what’s a girl to do who just wants to have some peace in her life, be happy and find joy, love and be loved, feel good about the world, who sometimes has wild experiences in what seems to be other dimensions, but could just be she had a little to much wine and well, you know, she can’t really explain it but it was really mind blowing, who sometimes feels deeply connected to all things known in this dimension and others, but sometimes wants to eat crappy food and shop at a discount store?

Do it. Do it and enjoy it. Seriously, go right now and do anything you want. If it brings you joy, do it because that is LIVING. We ARE human; we are all a work in progress and we are all here in this reality to live in it, learn from it, to expand within it and out of it at our own pace. There is no spiritual handbook with points next to each enlightened feat accomplished. Deepak and Eckhart are not somewhere up there keeping score.

Being human is in fact normal, and when I let go of trying to be anything other than human, suddenly I find myself spending more time doing the things that brought me the peace and joy and enlightenment I had been searching for. Funny how that happens: when I stopped chasing, it stopped running.

Why Real Life Will Always Be Better Than Social Media

CBR003159A recent study by the Public Library of Science shows that the more somebody uses Facebook, the more their satisfaction of life decreases. Apparently, many frequent Facebookers are scrolling through their newsfeeds feeling bad because they don’t think their own lives stack up to the fabulous accomplishments, vacations, and photo-shopped and filtered images they see plastered on their computer screens.

I love social media just as much as the next person, with the ability to easily stay in touch with long distance friends and family and to reach a broader audience with my blog posts. However, the dark side is it can cause some to experience negative feelings which can morph into criticism, judgement and competition with others or even depression and lowered feelings of self.

The deeper concern here is looking inward, not outward, for peace and adopting an “I am enough” mentality. We will never be happy when comparing ourselves to others. But, before taking that deep dive, it is important to scratch the surface and for people need to realize that social media is not even the real deal. It is simply a snapshot of a life — the very best moments that we all choose to share with our audience.

If I take a closer look at my own life and the lives of those in my social circle, there are many of us modern day ‘super-women’ types out there. We use our powers to do cool things like create beautiful babies, build a kick-ass career, leap tall hobbies and ambitions in a single bound, make the world a better place, and look darn good doing it all! Some run their households like a tight ship carting the kids to school and various extracurricular activities with ease, whipping up healthy & Pinterest-worthy meals without breaking a sweat, and a keeping spotless house.

While juggling such full plates with style and grace and making a difference in the world is certainly commendable, don’t you often wonder what is really going on behind the scenes?

Here’s a peek into my own life. Just last week, I was thanking my lucky stars for a busy day at the office as my tech company was finally picking up a little steam, after a very lackluster 2012. I was happily bouncing from customer call to PO processing to, oh crap! I was running late (again) in leaving to get my 5 year old daughter to dance class. Little twang of mommy-guilt ensues. Later, I was playing outside with my girls, when I realized “oh crap” (again), as it just dawned on me that I forgot to reply to an important client email that I had promised to deliver. Ugggh. Time to whip out the iPhone and sneak in a quickie one-handed email while bouncing the baby on one hip and pushing the five year old in the swing. People seem to get the impression that I totally have my sh*t together, but honestly it’s a never-ending quest for balance! I have to work really hard on it and often come up short.

And, sure, if I invite you over for dinner, my house is going to be squeaky clean, smelling divine, and I will be fresh-faced and greet you with a big smile, ready to be your hostess with the mostest. But, if you show up at my house unannounced, expect to find me in yoga pants, no makeup, possibly un-showered, frazzled, with kids and animals running around, toys strewn all about, and a possibly a mystery smell in the air. It could be the cat box, dirty diapers, garbage that needs to go out, or a smelly dog. Hopefully, it’s not me!

What is my point with all this? I’m just keeping it real. It gets messy behind the scenes. People usually post the happy and photogenic moments to share with their virtual followings, and I’m not going to judge that. I mostly do the same. Frankly, nobody wants to see photos of me un-showered, in my yoga pants and with regurgitated baby food stains on my shirt. Nor do I want to share every gut-wrenching decision I have to make or twang of mommy guilt that comes my way. And, I cringe anytime I see people post all their dirty laundry on social media. (I’m so not going there!) But, that doesn’t mean there is not a deeper story going on. The same applies to everyone online.

Think about an iceberg and how the majority of it is underwater and out of site to the naked eye. What people choose to share on social is just the tip of their iceberg. While social media can be a great way to keep in touch, it is no substitute for in-person interaction and you have to realize that you are only getting a small glimpse into people’s lives – usually the highlights reel.

To have your social media and your happiness too, the lessons to take from this are:

  1. Limit your social media browsing. Study after study continues to bring its dark side to light. Like all good things, moderation is key. If you are slightly obsessed (and, yes, it can be highly addicting), try setting time limits or even take a little time off. Enjoy your new-found happiness!

  2. Spend time doing what you love. What are you super passionate about? What works in your life for you and your family? If you invest all of your time and energy diving deeply into whatever passion burns inside of you, then you will simply not have the time or energy to aimlessly peruse the internet all day. Fall in love with you and chase your dreams. You are amazing and have much to offer the world.

  3. Remember all that glitters is not gold. Behind every shiny and polished exterior, there is most definitely a deeper story sure to include some struggle and sacrifice that has gone on behind-the-scenes. Remind yourself that what you are seeing is only one snapshot of reality. Don’t do the comparison thing! Just don’t. You are enough.

  4. Take notice & log off. If you notice yourself feeling a little down or upset when browsing Facebook, then that is a major sign its time to log off for a bit. There was life before social media – remember? Sometimes less is more. Get yourself out into the real world and live it up! And no need to post all about it, either. Spend that time actually enjoying and savoring each moment.

  5. Spend more time face-to-face. This same study associated spending more time interacting with real people with an increase in life satisfaction. Go figure. You get much more of the real enchilada in-the-flesh than on the computer screen, anyway. Spending more time being “real” social makes for both healthier relationships and better self-image. Get some friends together and leave your iPhone off. (Just for an hour or two. The world won’t end – I promise!)

  6. Don’t hate, elevate! Remember, the life you are currently living is a by-product of the thoughts and choices you have made along the way. If you are feeling a little down or even a little envious, don’t beat yourself up about it. It is just a gentle nudge for you to look deeper inside and figure out what direction you want or need to go with your own life. So, choose wisely how you react. Don’t let those feelings turn toxic. Instead, bless and congratulate others. Then take that positive energy and use it towards working on elevating your own existence. You have infinite potential!

Hopefully we can all learn to take social media for what it is and not allow it to become a negative component in our lives. In the meantime, maybe we can all start a ‘keep it real’ movement where we start posting “real life “pictures, like  when we first roll out of bed, pre-coffee (or green juice) and make-up. And, no editing or filters! Go ahead … you go first. 😉

What about you? Are you addicted to social? Are you one to “put it all out there” or just the highlights like most people? Have you witnessed or experienced a correlation with too much social and a decline in happiness? Sound off in the comments below!

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For more from Dawn Gluskin, join her inspiring Facebook community & sign up for her weekly love letters and receive a complimentary digital copy of her new ebook, “Make it Happen! Guide to Manifesting”.

Man with OCD Breaks Hearts in Viral Poem

Neil Hilborn has to make sure he locked the door 18 times before goes to bed. He organizes his food by color before he can eat it. Neil Hilborn has OCD.

He has also been in love and his poem about falling for someone while battling obsessive compulsive ticks is powerful, hauntingly honest, and we’re willing to bet the most touching thing you’ll watch today. You may have already seen this video circulating your Facebook feed (in which case, you already know it is worth watching again), but if this is the first you’ve heard of Neil make a few minutes to watch.

The video made it to the top of Reddit last week, helping to propel Neil to internet stardom. He even popped into the thread to reveal the poem was written two years ago, and yes the girl in question has seen it. Despite them not being able to make it work, Neil’s testimony in the poem has been breaking hearts around the internet. While those with OCD have more obvious physical and mental boundaries that make it more difficult to build lasting relationships, everyone can relate to the terrifying feeling of finding someone that makes us feel safe and the devastating loss of losing them.

If you’re interested in more of Neil’s work you can check out his poem “The Mating Habits of North American Hipsters” below. It was the only poem at the 2013 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam Invitation in Minneapolis to receive a perfect score. It is also a good pick me up after “OCD.”

 

What did you think of Neil’s poem? Share your thoughts in comments!

Why Competition is an Old Model of Living

UnityCompetition is an outdated model of living. There is a strong calling for us all to begin recognizing our unity and working together, instead. Easier said then done, I know. We have all been taught from birth that we are separate from each other with every man or woman fighting for themselves in this so-called ‘dog eat dog’ world. We compete to get into the best schools and then to get the best jobs so we can buy the best things and everybody will think we are cool. But, is that really why we are here? So that other people think we are cool?? Prettiest, smartest, funniest? You get the point. Surely, there has to be something more! So much more.

While it is true that, as individuals, we need to create our own destiny, putting others down or feeling bad about ourselves in the process should never be a part of the equation. But, those are the exact things that manifest when we feel separate and the need to compete or prove ourselves. With everything going on in the world today, we really need to ban together. The power of collective consciousness is the only way to trump many of the serious challenges that we are facing and will continue to face. We need to respect each other and work together.

Competition is rooted in fear – fear that you are not good enough, smart enough, special enough or unique enough. This is the ego’s way of keeping us separate and small. It’s also a huge distraction from our life’s mission — to spreading all the goodness we can possibly spread. When you are taken over by feelings of jealousy, anger, animosity, and lack on one end of the spectrum, or vanity, superiority and self-righteousness on the other end, then how can you possibly be at your best performance to help the world?

And, believe me, I know. I am far from perfect and have to continually work as I grow along my own spiritual path. For instance, it used to really bother me when somebody would come to me and say, “I think so and so is copying you. Didn’t you just post something similar or doesn’t this sound way too familiar?” It has happened in both my business and personal life. It used to really bug me, as my ego desperately tried to cling to my perceived specialness and uniqueness. It was my own immaturity and insecurities coming out that made me feel like I needed to get the credit or the pat on the back. It has taken much work and shining the light on this weakness of mine, but I’ve learned to just be happy to see how far the ripple effect can go. Ideas and inspiration are supposed to be shared (as long as actual copyright or intellectual property is not being trampled on in the process), and we’re all so much better off when they are shared.. Who am I (or anyone else) to try to hoard them?

We’re all unique, like snowflakes. While we may have some similarities, there is nobody else in this entire world that is just like you or me. We all have our own very unique journey, life experiences, and perceptions. And, the world needs more of the special gift that each of us has inside. We should all feel encouraged and free to put our own unique spin on similar ideas and offer them to the world. There is plenty of space for all of us to do so! Instead of concerning yourself with what others are doing and how you compare, focus on what you love and what lights you up. Everything else will naturally fall into place!

Take me, for example. Sure, there are a million other self-help blogs, life coaches, and female entrepreneurs out there, but that doesn’t stop me from spreading my own perspective on common ideas. People need to hear these same concepts in many different ways! We each have our own unique light to shine and impact to make. I don’t spend my time worrying about how I compare to others because I don’t give my heart and soul for the pats on the back and recognition. I do it out of love and to hopefully make a difference to someone. It’s all about intention. When intent is rooted in pure love, you dreams will grown and manifest faster than you could ever imagine.

“When you want only love you will see nothing else” is a teaching from A course in Miracles. I find this very true in my own practice. Stay focused on offering your gifts and love to the world, in service, and any need to be “the best” or “the first” or “the coolest” will just fade away into the darkness, where it belongs. Instead, you will feel only love.  That’s what it’s about. Now, go out there and make your impact! Namaste.

To download a free copy of Dawn’s ebook “Make it Happen – Guide to Manifesting” – click here.  And, be sure to follow on Facebook as well for more inspiration & support!

3 Way To Make The World A Better Place

Wonderful TimeBy Jay Forte

At last count, there are just over 7 billion people on the planet. Even with that extreme number, no two of us are exactly alike in abilities, interests, strengths, talents or passions. Our differences are intentional – they enable each of us to invent lives that fit us – to find our own way in a world filled with people, and to bring to our world what we do best. We get to be who we are. This is at the essence of building a better world.

Though we each have this built in “great life” advantage of customizing our lives around our abilities and interests, few of the 7 billion on the planet do this. Because we were not each born with an owner’s manual that gives us some clarity about what we are good at, passionate about and what matters to us, we have to show up each day to our lives to discover this. And in this life, we are met with the loud voices in our faith, history, family, schools and society that tell us who we are to be, how we are to think and what we are to do. We abdicate our power to own and direct our lives when we use others’ rules to build our lives. These lives frequently are filled with regret – wrong job, wrong marriage, wrong faith, wrong town, wrong whatever. When this happens, we show up to our lives less than we could be. We shortchange our lives; we shortchange our world.

Creating a better world starts with clarity about who we are. Here are my three ways to make the world a better place:

  1. Know yourself. It is difficult to make the world a better place if we show up to areas in our lives that do not match our best abilities. We are each born with unique talents, strengths, and passion that not only prepare us to be great at some things, but give us the interest and desire to pursue those things. To make a profound difference in our world, we will first need to know what hardwired abilities came with us. Since we never got an owner’s manual for this information, we have to instead use each day to observe and assess our reactions, responses and abilities. We gradually learn what we are great at, passionate about and what matters to us. We are then challenged to do something with this information.

  1. Be yourself. Scan your world for applications to connect the best of you with the world. This way you show up to those areas that connect with you. You have both ability and interest in these areas. If we all loved and were good at the same thing, we would be in continual competition. Instead, our uniqueness creates opportunities for each of us. We get to show up to our lives exactly as we are – we show up to our world in a more significant way; our actions are stronger, our thinking is more profound, our commitment is more intense.

  1. Allow others to be themselves. Bullying, judgment, criticism are the hallmarks of humanity. Instead of supporting others to discover and be their best selves, we use much of our time finding fault with the approaches others have in how they live their lives. We judge their looks, work, hobbies, how they spend money, what they eat, who they marry, what they believe, etc. Knowing how difficult it is to discover our own abilities and gifts – and to openly and successfully live them, why would we add any complication to the process for others? Plato is credited with the comment, “Be kind, for everyone one is fighting a hard battle.” That battle is an authentic life. How can you end the judgments and allow others to show up who they are and how they are. How can you support others in their quest to bring their best to the world, particularly if it looks different than what your best looks like?

It is human nature to judge. I actually think it is part of our core brain hard-wiring – the part that looks to keep us safe. By judging, we are constantly assessing our world for challenges or concerns; it is innate. So, as with discovering our abilities, we will also need to work at dropping our guard and allowing people who look, act, think and dream differently than we do the room to be who they are. This only challenges how we think things should be and does not encourage how they could be. We let our stories, fears, concerns and traditions inhibit all that could be.

The world is built by those who are right here, right now. If those who are here are more concerned with telling others how they should live, instead of living fully themselves and allowing others to live fully, then we limit our lives and our world. We let our personal histories and belief systems interfere with who others are and how they should live. We spend our time trying to correct or judge others, instead of amplifying our personal impact in our greatest ability areas.

So, imagine the world we would create if we spent more time developing our gifts, and more time encouraging others to discover and live theirs. It starts with each of us. Today, it could be you and me. I’m in. How about you?

Know yourself. Be yourself. Allow others to be themselves. It isn’t complicated. It just challenges what we know. But a view of a better bolder life and world makes it completely worth the effort.

Photo credit: Robert Bejil

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