By Casey Grey
I love where life brings you if you allow it to flow.
Yesterday I found myself sitting beside my brother and across from two Monks. We were one of four contractors being interviewed for the new Dhamma Hall that the Monks will be building.
Although I was not nervous about the interview as I have no issues talking about construction and our experience, I did feel a little intimidated when I sat down. I know these people would be the last people to judge us but it was intimidating sitting across from these men.
It was interesting to witness myself in the situation. Intimidation is not something I would have ever associated with a Monk. But here I was feeling it...
So why the feeling? What was I afraid of? How did they intimidate me?
If I'm honest with myself, I believe I may have felt like a fraud. I felt as though they have figured out this thing called life and here I am still trying to figure it out. I just have to do what they do, right?
But there's no way I could do what they do. At least not right now. I love what I do. I love my wife. I love my son. I love the path I'm on. Why does it have to be their path?
It doesn't. We all have our own paths. They all start the same way and end the same way (birth and death) but what happens in between will always be different.
No two people will ever have the same path.
Some things are easy to measure and track.
If you have decided to begin playing the piano, it's easy to see your progress. If you play baseball, it's easy to follow your stats and see the areas that are changing. If you lift weights, it's easy to track if you are getting stronger. If you invest your money, you can see it go up and down.
But what about things like your emotional strength? Or your parenting skills? Or your character? Or your leadership skills? Or your relationship with your spouse.
Often, the things that are most important are the hardest to track and since we can't track them we don't give them the attention they need.
Tracking is important, especially in business, but it's not everything.
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending an event held by Steve Lowell with guest speaker Sunil Tulsiani. These two guys are phenomenal. They are out to serve and they absolutely deliver.
Most of my morning so far has been spent reviewing my notes and taking action on the things I noted from the event. It is amazing what one day of powerful and positive energy can do!
There are so many great things I could share but there is one thing that stuck with me the most. It is how we talk about money to others and to ourselves. Specifically what we say about its importance.
If we say money is not important, what are we telling our subconscious mind about money?
Imagine telling your wife that she's not important but you want her anyways... How would that work out? I suspect you would not have a wife...
So what happens if you say money is not important but you want it anyways?
Money is energy. Money is proof that you are delivering value to people. Money alone is not bad or good, it's a resource to help you. You get to choose what you want to do with it.
Money does not have to be everything but it is important.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.”
What you do is more important than what you say.
People are watching your feet, not your mouth.
However you want to put it, your actions will always speak louder than your words. It's a principle that strands true. It cannot change.
We've all been tricked by the slick fast talker (I'll admit that I have). Deep down we always knew we were being tricked but we let our head make the decision.
Although the words you use are important, what comes before and after those words will always be more important. The truth will always prevail.
How do you see the world?
Do you believe people are nice and that the world is a good place or do you see destruction and all the evil in the world?
Do you believe kids are the greatest joy in the world or a nuisance because they make too much noise and wreck your front lawn?
Do you see opportunities all around the world or problems that are too big to solve?
Do you travel through the world struggling at every turn or having fun like it's a game?
We don't see the world as it is. We see the world how we are.
If you want to change the world, change yourself.
How do you define success?
All of the above?
Is success something you get or something you feel?
If other people believe your are successful, does that make you successful?
The ONLY way you will ever FEEL successful is if you are fulfilled and the only way to be fulfilled is to do what you want to do.
Happy Monday! I hope you're doing what you love. If you're not, I hope you're putting a plan into place to make it happen. If you're not, that's on you...
I'm guilty of putting more on my plate than I can eat, figuratively speaking. I pack as much as possible into my days, weeks and months and inevitably most things do not get accomplished. But I do get A LOT accomplished and I definitely get the most IMPORTANT things accomplished.
As part of this habit (good or bad is TBD), I often leave things to the last minute and cram everything into a short period of time. This works in a lot of cases (like cramming before an exam) but it only works for "man-made" systems.
For things that follow natural law, it will NEVER work.
In re-reading the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I came across the following:
"Did you ever consider how ridiculous it would be to try to cram on a farm—to forget to plant in the spring, play all summer and then cram in the fall to bring in the harvest? The farm is a natural system. The price must be paid and the process followed. You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut."
For the most important things in life, the things that follow a natural process, there is no shortcut (or in today's words, there is no hack).
Instead of looking for the hack, learn and follow the process. If followed properly, it WILL work and it is much more fulfilling.
As a parent, I believe it's important for my son to learn how to lose.
Losing is not bad thing. A loss is not a failure.
A loss is an opportunity to learn.
In my experience of life, every loss I have had has taught me something. Whether it's a lesson about some "thing" or a lesson about who I am, a loss always makes me better.
My wins, on the other hand, do not always teach me something. Not because there's not a lesson, but because I feel as though I did everything right. What more is there to learn? This can be deceiving. That is why the losses are so important.
In sports, you could win because of a bad call. If you don't realize that, what could you be missing? Life is the same.
Perhaps what you thought was working, is no longer working. Or perhaps you got lazy. Or perhaps the game has changed.
The loss will help you realign.
If you are concerned about your kid "losing", don't be surprised if your kid becomes afraid of losing when he's older (and in turn, afraid to take the risks that are required for a fulfilled life).
You are what you think.
Or are you?
I have a lot of "thoughts" come through my mind but I'm NOT my thoughts.
Perhaps you are what you think about most.
That could be true. The more you think about something, the higher the chance of attracting it into your life.
If you often think about being sick, I bet you are sick quite often.
If you often think about having lots of money, I bet you have lots of money. On the flip side, if you often think about how you don't have money, I bet you don't have much money.
If you often think about being fit, I bet you're in pretty good shape.
Whatever it is that you think about most of the time is likely showing itself in your life. Partly because what you think about most, you start to believe.
That means you are what you think AND believe.
So, if you want to change your life, change what you think about most. Change your beliefs.
I should eat healthier.
I should go to the gym more.
I should watch less TV.
I should work less.
I should spend more time with my kids.
I should. I should. I should.
Stop guilt-tripping yourself! Stop "shoulding" all over yourself! It's not helping you.
Is it motivating you to change?
I would venture to say that it's not. I bet it's only making you feel like shit.
How about you compliment yourself instead? Acknowledge yourself for all the great you did.
It's a lot easier to build on a solid foundation than one that has been broken down over the years.
And if the foundation is broken down, it will take some time to repair it. The sooner you start, the better.
Would you talk to your child the way you talk to yourself in your mind? Deep down, we're all just kids looking to be acknowledged.
P.S. If you have young kids, you are building their foundation right now.