Archive for the ‘Persistence’ Category
This is another awesome cartoon from Gavin Than at ZenPencils.com. Check out his site, it is awesome!
Tags: attitude, Critic, Criticism, Fear
This morning I read this wonderful post from a man named Russ Hill. If you haven’t read any of his stuff, it is very well-written. His blog is here: www.russhillmedia.com.
We all have critics. Especially when we set lofty goals or dare to try something new. Even if you are just trying to express your feelings, there are people who are waiting to pounce and discredit everything you feel. I really enjoy the thoughts in the following letter:
An Open Letter to My Critics
by Russ Hill on March 25, 2013
The truth is you’ve existed as long as I have.
I didn’t realize you were there until my early teenage years. It was then I began to hear your whisperings.
You’ve followed me wherever I’ve lived, studied, worked, worshiped, or played.
I’ve decided that for a brief moment I will quit ignoring you. And speak directly to you.
Let me begin by saying two words: Thank you.
Thank you for helping me realize there are Critics and Creators. And that I choose to Create.
I’ve struggled over the years to understand your objectives. But the more I’ve heard your whisperings the more I’ve come to grasp why you do what you do.
And that leads me to the second thing I’d like to say to you: I’m sorry.
I wish so badly you could see things more positively. Your world would be so much brighter. So much more colorful. So much happier.
I know you think you’re doing me a favor by pointing out my flaws or telling others about my weaknesses.
But there are so many problems with your approach.
Your work will never be done. Because I have many flaws. And I gave up faking perfection a long time ago.
Every time you speak I become more motivated. You help me realize I’m making a difference. That I’m connecting with someone or accomplishing something.
You’re silent only when I’m idle.
Watching you, I’ve come to understand that guessing the motives or intent of another is a fool’s game.
Your pointed words suggest you’ve never walked this path or worn these shoes.
Maybe you’re preoccupied with fairness. Perhaps you’re worried my happiness and success mean I have escaped struggle, failure, and sadness. When can we chat?
You have denounced my decisions for our team. But have never asked about my sleepless nights of deliberation or considered how much I have to lose if I’m wrong.
When I show courage you see arrogance.
When I am simply sharing you accuse me of declaring.
When I have meant the best you have suspected the worst.
When it has been my responsibility to be decisive you have told others I’m divisive.
I’m grateful there aren’t many of you.
I realize that you mean me no harm. Most of the time.
I wish you no harm. Most of the time.
I forgive you because the truth I have discovered is: Many times I am you.
My own worst Critic.
I hope you are not aware I have children. But then I realize if they are to accomplish anything in this life they must endure you. I am already working hard to teach them how to ignore you.
The reality is your words and actions have had an impact. I will admit you have caused me to second guess and retreat at times in my life.
But then I have examined your motives.
And my heart.
And decided to keep Creating.
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Tags: death, grieving, mental-health
Last week a reader named Mike mentioned that he was having a hard time dealing with the sudden passing of his father. I was very humbled by the responses from our other readers who gave advice on how to deal with the grieving process. The comments were so wonderful and heartfelt that I thought they would be nice to share with everyone. So here they are. I have edited a few of them just to add detail or bring consistency to the overall post.
Thank you so much for making Successify! such an incredible online community.
1. Embrace the sorrow. Sorrow is not the opposite of happiness. Sorrow can be called the “beautiful sadness” when the feeling comes from a mixture of great appreciation and extreme longing for the loved one who has passed. It takes a human being a while to adjust to major changes in the world, such as the disappearance of a major pillar of our lives. – YB
2. Do something positive in your father’s name. You could start a charity or a scholarship fund. Make a donation. Plant a tree or something else that you can watch grow. This can help to ease the sadness back into joy. – Joy W.
3. Remember what your father taught you. You can ease the grieving process by remembering what your Father meant to you when he was here, what he taught you and how much he loved you. Time will do the rest. One day you will just remember his good years and be grateful. I lost mine too tragically and needlessly. Now I remember how much he loved and was pleased with me. Talk about him. Even talk TO him. – Miranda
4. Accept the pain. You can accept the pain and give yourself time to heal, mentally and physically, and understand you need time. We all get upset and lose people we love in ways that were unexpected. It’s ok to be angry and hurt. Validating that your feelings are ok and giving yourself the time to deal with it is key. Some people try to put on a face so others don’t see their pain. That just drags on the pain. Acknowledge it, face it, deal with it and then you can move on. Focus on all of the happy times you had with your dad. Celebrate his life after you mourn his death. – Christina
5. Don’t put a timer on the pain. Mike, that is a hard one to bear. I am sorry for your loss. Losing a parent tragically and suddenly throws you for a loop. I lost my mother unexpectedly. One day she was here, the next gone. My father lived almost 20 years without, when he suddenly took a turn and was rushed to the hospital and died within hours. Just last year, my brother died of cancer. I feel robbed. I can only tell you that you must deal with your grief first and don’t put a timer on it. Some of us spring back easier than others. Eventually, you’ll allow yourself to smile again, laugh and remember sweet, happier times with you father. The cutting-to-the-heart sadness will always be there, but it will soften over time. – Becki
6. Grow from the Pain. Mike, first I’m sorry to hear of your profound loss. With an event like that, just staying with those difficult feelings when you can and taking time out for self-care and family support is a huge achievement. Courageously experiencing our felt sense of grief is an enormously powerful growth experience, although we wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. Kahlil Gibran wrote “Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding” and I have come to feel the truth of that. I think a better word than “happy” for a truly centered and healthy person is “joyful” – we can be in contact with the joy and mystery of life even when we aren’t happy, even when grief and loss take center stage in our personal experience. Being present with our experience as much as we can reminds us of our larger belonging, our timeless self. – Chris
7. Focus on the good things. Accept that your father is in the best place and for you to focus on things good in your life no matter how small. Focusing on the things you can change will put you in a better state of mind. – Samantha
8. Connect meaningfully with others. Mike, very sorry about your loss. No happy successful person is happy all the time – otherwise, he is a phony. Finding the right approach to deal with tragedy is a very personal thing… You will find yours, I am sure. Pain in the short run is unavoidable, and that’s ok. The goal is to not let the pain break you in the long run. For me (and that’s the personal part which may not work for you), what worked was an intense focus on the present day, and attempting to connect with others meaningfully – also to find outlets to express my frustration and anger – also to spend time in nature – and finally to forget all the silly talk about how every experience can be positive and instead realize that life is a school for the spirit, and not every lesson is pleasant… Take care, and kudos for your journey. – Stan
9. Believe that someone is in control. Any loss like this is not easy…I lost my Dad about 7 years ago. But contentment/happiness is not the same as no trouble come your way. Perhaps most important is a belief that God is in control, no matter what. – Christoph
10. Keep the memories. It’s very difficult to do. Over time you have to let go of the loss and keep the memories of the time together. I’ve lost both of my parents, and though their loss makes me sad, the memories of the times we did have together remain and make me happy. I am able to share the memories of my parents with my children, and that in its self brings me happiness too. You will find it, it just takes time. – Dave
11. One day at a time. You have to handle it the same way sad and broke people do, one day at a time. Only time will heal the wound. – Rich
12. Pain is proportional to the amount you loved. Dear Mike, I don’t know you but I’m sorry for your loss – I struggle with bereavements and accepting the loss of anyone close to me. Always remember that your pain is only ever equal to how much you loved – this is a gift in life, and something to be cherished. Good luck and I hope this thought brings you some comfort. – CF
13. Believe that everything happens for a reason. I, too, lost my Dad tragically. It wasn’t sudden… he diminished over 10 years with Alzheimer’s, and it was excruciating to watch my friend and mentor waste away to oblivion. The loss is always with me, but I believe the process of grief has strengthened my resolve to live my life fully and to take things “one day at a time,” I believe that prayer is answered when we welcome everything, even the crap that life throws our way. Be strong, be happy, and be aware that everything really does happen for a reason. – Tanya
I just want to add that everyone grieves differently and no one can fully understand all aspects of an individuals suffering. At some point we do have to find a place for our sorrow. If it stays at the front of our thoughts it will start to define us. It will direct all of our actions and eventually consume us. When the time feels right, do not get rid of the sorrow. Put it in a special place in your heart so that you can always remember the good times, the love, and the appreciation you have for them and the life they lived.
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There is not an excuse you could ever come up with that someone else hasn’t overcome and turned into an incredible success. Do not excuse yourself from the table of success because the first three courses were adversity, hard work, and self-discipline. The final course in that meal includes happiness, accomplishment, and purpose. So stick around for dessert!
Tags: Dean Karnazes, Persistence, Struggle
Tags: Amnesia, Arizona Cardinals, bad game, bad grades, Mark Sanchez, mess ups, New York Jets, Quarterback, Thomas Edison
This morning on the radio I was listening to a sports talk show where they were discussing the quarterbacks Ryan Lindley of the Arizona Cardinals and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets. Both quarterbacks played horribly on Sunday, to the extent that Sanchez was benched and Lindley has been deemed the worst quarterback to play a game this year.
The analyst, Ron Jaworski, made the comment that all great quarterbacks have to have “amnesia“. He went on to explain that by “amnesia” he meant that when a great quarterback has a bad throw, an interception, or a bad game they have to forget about it and keep playing as if it had never happened. If they keep it in the back of their mind, they will tend to play more timidly on the next play and perform poorly. Then it spirals downward.
I believe that most of the highly successful people in life and in business are the ones who also suffer from “amnesia.” They don’t let their past mistakes keep them from going after their future goals. If you ask any entrepreneur how they became successful they will all tell you that it came through hard work and overcoming the mess-ups. They failed over and over along the way but they picked themselves up and went back to work without dwelling too long on the failure.
We all fail and make mistakes, that is inevitable. We get a bad grade in school, we make a bad investment, we yell at our kids, etc. But the danger is in letting the mistakes define us. Partially by other people but mostly from ourselves. It is easy to fall into the trap of saying, “I’m not that smart because I get bad grades.” or “I’m always bad with my money.” When we start talking to ourselves like that, we start to become what we don’t want to become. The way to avoid letting this happen is to look at your mistake or failure, learn from it, and then let it go. Just tell yourself, “Dang that was so stupid of me, I’m not letting that happen again.” and then move on and do better next time. Don’t let one mistake turn into a string of mistakes because you never learned from the first one. And don’t let a mistake stick with you because you can’t let it go.
Life is about learning, and learning is about failing. Sometimes it is about failing over and over again. But when you fail, you sure learn a lot. Thomas Edison perfected his light bulb after 10,000 tries. He didn’t magically discover how to do it on try number 10,000. First, he found 9,999 ways not to make a light bulb. And now he is known as the guy who invented the light bulb, not the guy who failed a bunch of times. He kept learning, taking notes, and moving forward. He suffered from failure amnesia.
The next time that you try at something but come up short, don’t beat yourself up over it. It isn’t worth it. Take a look at why you failed and then forget about it. Get up and try it again. This great joys in this life are reserved for those who dare greatly, who fail but pick themselves up, and keep moving forward.
Let’s all try to be amnesiacs a little more often. You are better than you think you are, don’t tell yourself otherwise!
P.S. – If you enjoyed this post, do me a favor and share it with your friends. I have fun writing them and I hope you enjoy reading them as well.
Tags: 4th quarter, Ability, action, goals, Persistence, work
Well have no fear, there is still time to do great things! Did you know that on average 40% of the points scored in an NFL game come in the 4th quarter? That doesn’t make sense does it? If every player is a professional and giving a 100% effort from the start to the finish of a game, the breakdown should be 25% of the points in each of the four quarters.
But something happens in those final minutes of the game. The players and coaches have something in reserve; an extra effort. Like an instinct that takes over where they are able to perform at a higher level than normal. The game just kicks into overdrive as the final minutes tick away.
Have you ever experienced that? I know I have. Usually it is because I procrastinated something until the last minute. When I am given a long list of tasks to accomplish in 2 weeks, it seems like I have just enough time to do it. But somehow if I’m given the same tasks with two days to do them, I’m always able to get it done as well. I remember a quote that says our capacity to complete a task increases as the amount of time we have to complete it decreases.
I wouldn’t say that we magically have an increase in ability at the last minute. I would say that we always have the ability to do it but our ability and intensity are magnified when time is short. In other words, we rise to the occasion.
I guess one of the secrets to success would be to find out how to go about every task or goal as if it were due tomorrow; as if it were the fourth quarter. Any energy we have left when the game ends is wasted.
This is the 4th quarter! The last chance to finish the year off with a bang. There is still time to renew your goals and accomplish great things in the final minutes of 2012. Finish strong an be victorious!
Tags: Edmund HIllary, goals, Motivation
I absolutely fell in love with the website www.zenpencils.com and the fusion of art and powerful quotes. I will be posting a bunch of these and hopefully giving all of the credit to Gavin Aung Than the artist. Check out his site!