November 14, 2013

Therapy Thursday…An attitude of gratitude

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:09 am

ALL ABOARD!!!

Passengers!  I’m so excited that you hopped aboard today.  I have somethig very  important to share.  I hope you will share it as needed.  But first, our music to accompany the article, KICK IT!

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Recently I was talking to a very dear friend.  She is a very accomplished woman, tt1beautiful, educated and she loves God.  However, our conversation centered around the fact that she felt that a recent string of failures was affecting her self esteem and bringing about a measure of shall we say “Da Blues”.  She was questioning the sum total of her life’s meaning.  Of course I reminded her that God makes no mistakes and that “this to shall pass”.  Well, as luck would have it I stumbled across the perfect story (see below).  So I think I will post it and call her up and direct her to the Train.  Let me know what you think, leave a comment.  Here goes, All aboard:

It was a Friday. I was about 10 minutes late for work. Before I could
put my lunch in the refrigerator, Wally & Fred called me into Wally’s
office.

Something did not feel right.

“Perry, we’re going to have to let you go. Things just aren’t working
ttout and it’s time to cut you loose.”

We’d had the pleading conversation about giving me one more chance 2-3
times already. That discussion just wasn’t gonna happen again.

2 years before when they’d hired me, Wally said, “Perry is a sales guy
just waiting to happen.” Now Perry was *still* a sales guy ‘just waiting
to happen’ and they had waited long enough.

I drove the long commute back home. When I walked in the back door at
9:30 in the morning, it only took Laura about one second to figure outttt
what happened. (It was about the 5th or 6th job I’d been fired from, and
she was starting to get accustomed to this.)

Firing me was the l-a-s-t thing Wally and Fred wanted to do. Other than
the long string of failed sales contracts, we all liked each other just
fine. They all had families; terminating a young guy with an 18 month
old baby girl who’d been born just after he started wasn’t exactly their
idea of a fun team-building exercise.

But it didn’t really matter how much “I love you / you love me / we’re a
happy family” we all had together, business is business and sales is
sales. If you can’t bring home the bacon, you don’t get breakfast.

In moments like that, you make decisions, vows, inner resolutions.

tt4I made a decision to prove to those guys that Wally had been right at
the very beginning and I really *was* a sales guy waiting to happen.
“Someday. . . . I’ll show those guys. . . .” I swore under my breath.

Part of me was tempted to want ‘revenge’ but I held that emotion in
check. They were just doing what they had to do after all.

But even more than that, I made a decision that somehow or another I was
going to find *something* that worked. Everything I’d tried to sell for
the previous 7 years had failed.

It’s a horrible feeling when you’re X years old [however old that
happens to be] and hardly anything you’ve ever done has been successful.

That was 12 years ago.

Well guess what happened the other day? Fred called me out of the blue.

He asked me if I could help him with his company’s marketing. I hadn’t
seen him since the day I got fired. Shortly after we parted, he started
a new firm.

Last week we had lunch on the patio of an Italian restaurant.

This time, he drove the long commute from the Northwest Suburbs to come
see me.

He brought his operations manager. I was telling the guy how my time
with Fred was just one of those seasons of life where nothing was
working. Fred chimes in: “Well it wasn’t from lack of effort. Perry
tried EVERYTHING.”

I nod. Yep that’s right, I tried just about everything.

Fred asks me, “Any regrets?”

I shake my head vigorously. “No regrets. Not one. Things happen for a
reason and there are just certain things you have to learn. Sometimes
the lessons are hard. That job didn’t work out but it prepared mett7
superbly for the next job, which worked splendidly.”

As we’re talking I think back and am truly thankful for all the tools I
put on my tool belt during that horribly painful time. Not a week goes
by that I don’t draw from something I learned during those 2 years.

And I’m reminded how powerful it is to have an attitude of gratitude
even when, in the moment, it doesn’t really feel like you have anything
to be thankful for at all.

I can promise you, it didn’t *feel* like I had much to be thankful for
then. But that just wasn’t true. There wasn’t much fat to go around, but
I was building LOTS of muscle.

And you know what. . . it’s been the same story in *every* department of
my life. All the various times of relationship conflicts, problems with
tt5kids, therapy sessions, financial struggles, evil bosses, botched deals,
deadbeat co-workers . . . all were seasons of building muscles, building
muscles, building muscles.

During that time years ago I was desperate and I did LOTS of soul
searching. Fred asked me what finally made my career start to click.

I said, “I was an ‘OK’ salesman back then and I was getting killed by
the ‘good’ salesmen. But when I went from selling something where techie
skills were *helpful* to selling something where techie skills were
*mandatory*, everything started to take off.”

That made complete sense to him. The geek department is my #1 strength
and everything I’ve done since then has taken full advantage of my geek
background.

In hindsight, all the tweaking and wrangling in the world wouldn’t have
made that job work well. Yes there are a lot of things we could have
done better, failed projects we could have saved. Most of the key
ingredients were there, but at the end of the day I was trying to pound
a square peg into a round hole. The job was at war with my inner geek.

So. . . was it the *wrong* job? Was it a mistake to work there in the
first place?

No.

Sometimes you pick up a LOT of skills during those seasons of pounding
square pegs into round holes. (To be completely honest, the pegs almost
NEVER fit perfectly anyway, do they??? They sure haven’t for me!)

Whatever life is throwing at you at the moment, you focus on the
positive, express gratitude, and believe that there is a bigger picture
that you truly are cracking the code on.tt2

And I’d like you to consider that if you happen to be in a situation
like my old job where lots of things are almost working but nothing is
actually working, it might be because all the little things are right
and there’s just one “BIG” thing that’s wrong.

Sometimes when you fix that one BIG thing, your fortunes reverse.

Meanwhile, thanks Fred. . . and Wally. . . and Nick and Ron and Gary and
Jim and Mike and all the other odd assorted characters I’ve moshed with
along the way.

My friend, I hope you can feel gratitude for whatever crazy things
you’ve gone through and whatever punches you’ve rolled with. There’s an
old proverb “faithful are the wounds of a friend” and it’s really true.
The laboratory of reality was saying “Time to move on” and Wally and
Fred did the right thing by listening to it.

And just remember . . . you never know when things may come full circle,
when you find that you’ve earned the respect you so desperately craved
in a prior season of life.

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You never know when someone you were useless to way back when, will
suddenly find you useful. And maybe even necessary.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!

November 13, 2013

Worship Wednesday brought to you by …

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:01 am

www.Praying4you.org – Praying 4 you ministries.

 

All Aboard!  Hey passengers each week we encourage you to ride with us to the online, telephonic Church brought to you by Praying4you Miniseries.  There is a Powerful hour of prayer each Wednesday from 12 noon eastern until 1:PM.  Later that evening from 7 until 8 we have a formal Bible study.  Join in or just call in and listen in by calling 605.475.4000 PIN# – 101176.

wed

www.Praying4you.org

November 7, 2013

What constitutes a true friend?

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:12 am

All Aboard!!!

An acquaintance has a little something in common with you and merely enjoys your company for a short time. A fair-weather friend flatters you when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. A true friend, on the other hand, has your very best interests at heart and would NEVER…

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1. Criticize you for being flawed.
As flawed as you might be, as out of place as you sometimes feel, and as lacking as you think you are, you don’t have to hide all the imperfect pieces of yourself from a true friend. They see your flaws as features that make you interesting and beautiful.t45

The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations. True friends love and appreciate each other just the way they are.

2. Walk away when times get tough.
True friendship and good character is all about how a person nurtures another person when they are vulnerable and can give very little in return. Thus, it’s not who’s standing beside you during good times, but the ones who stick by you through tough times that are your true friends.

So take note of who remains in your life when times get tough, especially the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their life to help you improve yours when you need it most. Seriously, when you come out the other side of a difficult period in your life, look around you. The people still standing beside you are your true friends.

3. Discourage you.
Unfortunately, some who seem like your friends will try to hold you back from your full potential. It may be difficult, but don’t let these negative imposters bring you down. Don’t ever let your so-called friends turn your sky into a ceiling. Beware of friends who try to belittle your ambitions. Small hearts and minds always do that. The greatest hearts and minds – the people you should spend time around – make you feel that you, too, can become great.

tth1Remember, encouraging things happen when you distance yourself from discouraging people. Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

4. Hold a grudge over your head.
Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved beyond them. They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you. Do not help them by acknowledging their begrudging behavior. Let go of their negativity, find peace, and liberate yourself!

A true friend never holds the unchangeable past against you; instead, they help your repair your present and future. If someone relentlessly judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to take matters into your own hands, and repair your present and future by leaving them behind.

5. Lie to you.
When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unfriendly to YOU.

If you know someone who avoids the truth by telling you only what you want to hear, they do so for their own benefit, not yours. They are not a true friend and they don’t deserve to be treated as such.

6. Pretend like they have all the answers.
If you think about the people who have had the greatest positive effect on your life – the ones who truly made a difference – you will likely realize that they aren’t the ones that tried to give you all the answers or solve all your problems. They’re the ones who sat silently with you when you needed a moment to think, who lent you a shoulder when you needed to cry, and who tolerated not having all the answers, but stood beside you anyway.

Don’t look for a friend who will solve all your problems; look for one who will face them with you.tf1

7. Take from you without giving back.
You deserve to be with friends who make you smile – friends who don’t take you for granted – friends who won’t leave you hanging. When you notice that a friend is always taking from you without giving back, you might need to distance yourself from them for a while. If they care, they’ll notice. If they don’t, you know where you stand.

You should want to give, but you shouldn’t be forced to always give more than you get. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, respect yourself enough to confront the situation. This doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends with those who you feel are at fault, but you need to evaluate your friendships and realize where to draw the line when you give yourself to certain people.

8. Bully you.
It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but just as much to stand up to your friends. Sometimes bullying comes from the most unlikely places. Be cognizant of how your friends treat you, and look out for the subtle jabs they throw. When necessary, confront them or distance yourself from them – whatever it takes to give yourself the opportunity to grow into who you really are.

Life’s too short to be hanging around people who try to control and manipulate you. Anyone who does so is not a true friend. Gain your independence by taking off the shackles and freeing yourself from these bullies. (Read The Mastery of Love.)

9. Make you feel like you’re burdening them.
True friendship is never burdened with stressful promises and obligations. What true friends do for each other should be done because they care and because they want to do them. Period.

So don’t chase people. They don’t need to be chased. If someone is a true friend and wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever force yourself on someone who continuously overlooks your worth.

Afterthoughts
A true friend who understands your tears and troubles is far more valuable than a hundred friends who only show up for your smiles and joys. Because a true friend accepts who you truly are, and also helps you become who you are capable of being.

Friendships like this require more than just finding the right person, they also require you to be the right person. When someone believes in you enough to lift you up, try not to let them down. True friendship is a sweet responsibility to be nurtured, not an opportunity to be exploited.

Your turn…
What would you add to the list? What’s one thing a true friend would never do? Leave a comment below and let me know…

ALL ABOARD!  THE LIFETRAIN!!!

November 5, 2013

Tuesday’s Tip….Start with you, Love …YOU!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 1:17 pm

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard

KICK IT:

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Why did that affect me so? What was I feeling? Sheer Anger! Total disgust with myself. Hatred and disappointment in my life that stained my thoughts. Why? Because in my ego’s opinion, I should already be who I was meant to be, and I was not there! Not by a mile.

I feal so much disgust. My fears and resentment had grown into hatred and pain. I was at a loss for who I never became. I felt that I was wasting my life—or so I perceived it that way.tt1ban

It is hard to accept this. I am so sorry that I have failed so frequently at empowering myself. Seriously, what extremes must I take to wake up and say, “I am finally okay with myself; I am here, warts and all”?

Instead, life has molded me, shaped me, and created me where I am right now.

Sometimes full of regret you could see it in my eyes. Why pursue so many times my desire to make something of myself? What am I making anyway?

What did I expect to have happened already? Who did I think I was supposed to be? Fear, disappointment, and sadness shadow me as I have moved on.

Now I am asking myself, “What would someone who loves themselves do?”

It struck me, what if I decided to define what I believe I failed at? As I looked at my life, what I perceived as success and failure started to unravel.

I was learning how I defined each of these two words. This was a monumental moment for me.

Because I experienced my power at a young age of believing I could do anything, believing that I could make anything happen, I concluded in my late twenties, as one dead end led to another, that I couldn’t maintain, sustain, or become successful at what I really wanted.  The dual NFL/NBA career was just not going to happen.  Barak beat me to the White House and Law School is fast becoming a fleeting thought

Attempts to open and sustain a tech business failed as customers came and went. My joy and passion as the next Bill Gates failed at so many corners, it drove me crazy.

When I reflect back on my life, I can see that if I had succeeded in these endeavors, I never would have worked on my own healing and opened up to my own gifts as a healer, A LIFETRAIN Conductor! Fate or destiny had another plan for me.

My definition of failure became clear to me.

tt2One day I sat down and made a bullet list showing all the failures on one side and all the successes on the other side. All of a sudden I had a light bulb moment where it was clear that I had more successes than I ever thought.

I began seeing my strengths. Looking at my failures and successes this way has changed the charge I have on it. I’m not afraid of ideas, or starting something and making something out of nothing. This is not failure!

As I continued looking and decoding my thoughts, I could see that I connected my self-worth and self-esteem with money and earnings in my definition. That is not success. That is all about old beliefs and being stuck in them.

I have changed in twenty years. And now, I can see how different I am. My past is not my future. My worth is not based on money, talents, or what I have proven to myself or the world. Success is not a destination; it is how we choose to live our life on a daily basis.

I can only now see this. At a young age, there was no way I could see it..

Life needs to create “failures” so we have two viewpoints to reference from.

I’ve recognized that I am quite successful at many things. As I looked at my successes on my bullet list, I realized that I need to market my strengths and hire someone for the things I’m not great at. Maybe even get a coach. As my excitement bubbled up, for the first time in my adult life, I felt I was becoming myself.

By redefining this word “failure,” I learned that I am able to move forward and embrace who I am becoming. The guilt, the anger, the wishes and desires that shadow my past can fade away.tt3

The illusions of who I was and who I am can fade as my authentic self emerges and rises above. I get to create success now through my choices. I can rejoice that I have made it thus far. For me, that is magical. I feel I am enough.

That is how someone who loves themselves gets to decide what failure means.

Get the hint?  Love yourself..no one is a better you…than you!

All Aboard…”The LifeTrain!