Archive for Lessons For Life – Page 2

Worry

confidence-589037_640“When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.”  ~ Joyce Meyer ~

What do you do when worry gets to you?  Do you crawl into your comfort hole and hibernate?  Do you escape by going and doing unproductive things like shopping only to have to come back to the issue later? Do you eat your way through it?  Do you alter your perception with alcohol or drugs?  Do you get on the phone and tell anyone who will listen all about your concerns or get together and have a pity party?

Worry is thinking about all of the things that could possibly go wrong or what people will think.  It is taking “what if” in directions that may not be rational and keep you from your goals.  Worriers have a hard time with plane flights.  Planes crash, weather or technology can alter the flight, there could be a crying baby next to me, I could miss my connecting flight, my luggage may be lost, the air is bad on planes and what if we get hijacked?

Now that I have made you worry about how you worry, let’s do something about it.  Most worry is a waste of time and robs you of the energy you need to overcome the cause.  First you need to get the emotion out. Emotion takes you out of the realm of probability and productivity.  Meditation, Yoga, slow deep breathing and exercise are all ways to calm the mind.  I prefer to burn it out on a bicycle. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” was a Billy Ocean song, but it is attributed to Joseph Kennedy the father of JFK. He got things done and his sons took on Russia and got us to the moon.  Nothing to worry about, right?

Finally, about what other people will think.  It is better for you to define what other people will think by becoming what and who you want to be.  As Dr. Kevin Elko said in his Cup of Inspiration this morning, “Keep your peace rather than give it away.” Worry is giving away your peace.

Mike Ferrier

Trade-Off

businesswoman-617127_640 (1)“Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.”  ~ Lou Holtz ~

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

I am writing this at 7:45 AM on Sunday morning in Riverside, CA at a Lions Clubs Council of Governors Meeting.  My morning workout was done at 5:50, emails are done, paperwork for the day’s meeting is done, I am showered and dressed, my suitcase is packed and ready.

This week’s topic comes from John C Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  His concept in the Chapter, The Law of Trade-offs, is…for every decision you make you are deciding not to do everything else. The challenge is making the right decision, at the right time and for the right reason.

If you always do what you have always done, you will always be who you already are.  If you are not willing to give up what you have, you will not get what you want. The way to become who you want to be is to change.  In order to gain the benefit though, you have to give something up first.  You will feel the discomfort of the loss before you feel the benefit of the improvement.  Sometimes there will be days, weeks or years before the desired effect is realized.  If you decide to start a new and strenuous exercise regimen, the first week is going to be hard and painful and you will not be stronger right away.  You will have to stick with it for weeks before you realize the benefit and months before the effort becomes a habit.

People ask me what I think of them starting a business.  One of my first questions to them is, “What are you willing to give up in time, money, effort and relationships to make the business a success?”  Nobody goes into a business venture with the goal of not being successful, but many go into a venture without committing all of the assets needed to make it work.

So what did you do with your Sunday morning?  All of you are reading this because I am committed to having this to you each Monday and set aside the time during a very busy weekend to fulfill my commitment to you and myself.  I will be driving the 650 miles back to Redding Monday morning so I will be sending this to youtonight.  What trade-offs are already making and are you willing to make?

Mike Ferrier

Treasure

tutankhamun-146488_640“To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not.”  ~ Akhenaton ~

 

The man that wrote the above quote was a pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. He was born as Amenhotep IV. Modern interest in Akhenaten and his queen, Nefertiti, comes partly from his connection with his son, Tutankhamun. Akhenaten was so dedicated to simplification that he decreed the elimination of all gods except Aten who he likened to the Sun as opposed to other gods being stars.

Trying to “keep it simple” in a complicated and materialistic world is very difficult.  King Tut’s excesses may be rebellion to his father’s search for the treasures of the mind and soul.

What is your treasure?  What do you hold as having the highest value, something you put great effort toward? Do you live for things, emotions, expression, relationships, religion, adventures or experiences, several of these or something else?  The options are limitless and the value each holds can only be determined within yourself.

Were you able to answer the above questions?  If not, I am sorry, for you have not designed your life.  It means you are living at the base of the pyramid and are part of the foundation of other people’s treasure. You are living day-to-day on what life brings you rather than by the self-design of your life.

I argue that the greatest treasure that you have is yourself.  Until you have developed the balance, discipline, consistency and eventually habit of treating yourself right you will not find your real treasure or be able to hold onto it.  Ask yourself periodically through the day, week, month and years, “Is this what I should be doing?”  Not what you want to be doing, but what you should be doing to get to your treasure. If the answer is No…stop.  This concept comes from Paul Blease, the Director of the CEO Advisor Institute.  He helps already successful people to find their treasure.  He holds that you have to build physical strength, emotional and spiritual stability, family and relationship commitment and professional success. All are important and giving too much value to one detracts from the others.

Life is full of attractive distractions that hold value in the moment, but keep you from your goals. Some of us are highly distractible individuals who want to experience everything, even though we cannot.  I have people that help me stay on task.  When they see me distracted, they remind me to get back on the path.  I have asked them to do this and as much as I despise that they are right, I stop and redirect back to the predesigned course.  I also provide this same service to others who will accept the admonition in the proper light.

My profession is to, “Guide people to their desired future.”  They will never get there if they have not defined what they desire.  A guide leads you in the right direction to find the experiences and objects of your desire. Hopefully we keep you on the road to your treasure rather than living your life in a roadside diner.

 

Mike Ferrier

Snap!

archery-660626_640“If we are to learn to improve the quality of the decisions we make, we need to accept the mysterious

nature of our snap judgments.”  ~ Malcolm Gladwell ~

We give great import to and spend huge amounts of time on the big decisions of our lives.  We feel the weight and realize the consequences of deciding where we will live, who we will marry and which college we will attend.  In-between these monumental times of decision we are making snap judgments that will have as much or more import than the big ones.  This is where our morals, values  and goals come into play.

If you have decided to marry the right person, have the best job or attend Stanford, your snap decisions must and will fall in line with these major goals.  This eliminates having four girlfriends at the same time, partying until 2 every morning and telling your boss what you really think of him or her.  Your daily decisions need to fall in line with your aspirations or your goals are not truly goals.  They are more like day-dreams to which you have not given commitment.   The results of our lives are equal to the sum of all of the consequences of our decisions plus a little bit of fate, whether those decisions are contemplated or in the spur of the moment.

A big part of the decision process is confidently being able to tactfully say no.  It is appropriate to stick to your goals and not commit to something that will keep you from them.  Peer pressure will only affect those who do not have strength.  Pie-in-the-sky opportunities will hold no attraction to those who have committed to make their own pie.  Beauty alone will not sway the person who has determined that heart is the prize.  The woman who wins the hunk will lose interest if he is not someone who treats her like a queen.

If something is too easy or too good to be true be cautious and look for the ramifications.  Deciding too quickly may take you on a bad trip from which you will not see returns. The snap you hear will be you losing connection with your goals.

Mike Ferrier

Vanity

selfie-465560_640“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.”  ~ Jane Austen ~

In the lesson last week, I wrote about bragging and did a fair amount of it (Go Big).  Now it is time for a reality check.  Bragging can come out of vanity or pride.  Hopefully my bragging was seen as pride for my children and their accomplishments.

Vanity is seeking the worship of our own ego.  It is you making an idol of your own being, for yourself and others to pay homage.  Some create an idol of their appearance, others of their power and others of their affluence.  It is the absence of humility and generosity.  It is very hard to be giving if you are investing inordinate time in yourself and seeking what only others can give you.

As with all of the great sins, there is a matter of magnitude.  We all have some level of vanity.  The issue is what we do with it.  Do we amplify it or suppress it or just let it exist.  Vanity does not like to be ignored.

Whatever virtue you honor most will become either your greatest attribute or your worst fault.  Choose wisely.

Mike Ferrier

Bragging

sb100buckle“If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”  ~  Walt Whitman ~

Is it bragging to say you spent the weekend babysitting your kids?  What if the kids are grown and the one that is a nurse got the job of being the medical official at an epic sporting event. Oh, her lazy brother Chris only ran the Santa Barbara 100 Mile Ultra Marathon in under 30 hours.

In this event you start running at 6 PM on Friday in the Los Padres National Forest.  This is a trail run with only patches of pavement and 25,000 feet of combined climbing.  His best friend Deven was his Pacer, but only ran the 30 toughest miles. Lazy kids!

I was the Crew Chief of Team GO BIG. My son is 6 feet 8 inches and 200 pounds.  He looks more like Michael Phelps, the Olympic Swimmer, than a Kenyan marathoner. He consumed 8,400 calories and drank 6 gallons of fluid, most of it while he was running.  A normal stop was about three minutes.  I stuffed his pack with water, Cliff Bars, Fig Newtons, electrolyte capsules, strapped on a fresh heart rate monitor and fresh head light while he was drinking three bottles of Ensure, a flat Coke and a water bottle.

Nurse Courtney did a systems check and fixed any broken parts with the speed of a NASCAR pit crew. You do not finish this without hurting something.  Then you yell Go Big and send him off for another four hours alone in the night or the heat with the scorpions, tarantulas, ticks, poison oak, cactus, swarms of bees and one nice mountain lion.  The longest break was 25 minutes. That was after a 7.5 mile climb of 3500 feet in the heat of the day, with another 32 miles still ahead.  Strip to the skin, knock off the biggest chunks of whatever, get your blistered feet lanced and bandaged. Put on fresh clothes and shoes and Go Big. He was following a trail of 18 inch long orange streamers, with a small piece of reflective tape, hung on bushes and trees.  We would see him again four hours later for another few minutes.

Chris finished just before midnight on Saturday night after 29 hours and 46 minutes, nine hours after the first finisher.  He did the last 7 miles in 52 minutes with a fellow competitor to meet his goal of finishing within 30 hours. They tied for 10th place. He finished He had not slept for 42 hours.  For his efforts he got a big gold belt buckle and a big check………on his bucket list.  Next?

There were 52 people who paid for the honor of running.  21 made it 100 miles.

So…did you do anything to brag about this weekend?

 

Mike Ferrier