April 18, 2014

I Don’t Have Failures…I Have Lessons…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 7:28 pm

And the key is understanding and learning from the “Lessons”.

All Aboard!  KICK IT!  (The musical accompaniment to this post)

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Hey passengers did you know that most of the best lessons we learn in life we learn during failures not successes.

So today I thought I would share a few of the lessons my failures have unveiled.

1. Details matter. When we gloss over the details we risk not succeeding. We should always pay attention to every detail of our work because the difference between success and failure is in the details. We have to see what is happening around us but also pay attention to what is happening. Never lose sight of the details.

2. Comfort is our enemy. Comfort makes us soft and seduces our attention away from what matters. We have to always stay. If we are not hungry someone else will be and that is when we start to slip. When we stop being hungry, we can begin to compromise intensity.  Intensity directs our attention.  When we are not paying attention things don’t grow, but where we place our attention will create momentum. Staying hungry forces you to push yourself to continue to survive, grow, and evolve.

3. Never fall for the shortcut – Do your work. Show up every day. Never compromise your expectations or sell them short.  Shortcuts rarely work and often cost us more than they could ever be worth.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Artists to often allow insecurity to keep them from asking for help, or maybe even too prideful, but asking for help provides other people the chance to be involved and allows our work to be better.  Help forces conversations and other opinions that could just create our best work.

5. Choose your team wisely – Whom you surround yourself with will impact what you do, the attitude and culture you create, and how successful you will be. Avoid negativity. There is a belief that we are the most average of the five people we associate with most. Who are your five? Does that excite you or scare you?

6. Keep it simple – Simple matters. Don’t be afraid to edit or work to make it simpler. It really is just that simple.

7. Shake the haters – Haters hate by nature. Don’t listen. At the same time, don’t focus on the cheerleaders. Balance praise and criticism but more importantly focus on your work. You control how you respond or react. Haters, and lovers for that matter, create sideways energy. You have a plan or a mission, stay focused and keep moving.

8. Look for more “NOs” – If you don’t hear no a lot you are not pushing hard enough. No means you are breaking status quo. Always be on the hunt for a no.

9. What can only you do? – Do that. Give the rest away. I know you don’t have a team or a staff. There are people around you who really want to be involved. Include them, delegate to them, and share your work. There are things that only you can do…do those things and give the rest away. Side note: most artists get scared of delegation because they feel out of control. Good. It makes you better.  And on that note I want to thank everyone who assists me with the production of the LiFeTrain, including Carol Adams, Carmen Powell, Robin Peppers and my other co-conductors. And the scoundrel who mans the caboose, Ms. Gerri.

10. Never Give Up – It’s the ultimate conclusion. As long as you are willing to show up and fight you are not finished. Keep showing up, every day, and be willing to do whatever it takes. Good or bad days are both going



to come but giving up is the only way you end up out of the game.

It’s like this, if your plane crashed in the water and everybody died; would you drown on purpose or try to survive?  NEVER GIVE UP!

I would love to know what a few of the things you have learned might be as you have created your best art.

CLICK to watch the video…

ALL ABOARD!  The LifeTrain!

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April 4, 2014

What’s The High Road…And Why I Take It…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 6:42 pm

ALL ABOARD!  Welcome back  aboard the LifeTrain!  Time for the end of week…weekend ride…Kick it!

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For the last couple of weeks I’ve encountered some difficult and strained times where I’ve really had to dig deep, man up and “Take the High Road”.  So much so that I decided to pull out a letter I wrote to myself long ago. I wrote this letter to myself to help me stay in control of my emotions and realize that, to quote Ghandi:

 “An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.”

I hope my letter, to myself might be of some help to you someday.  It goes like this:

Dear Mr. Conductor,

Across the world people struggle in difficult conversations, times of upset, painful discoveries etc.  When people become upset or angry they often want to lash out, seek revenge, shut down or explode.  Staying calm, cool and collected as the saying goes, is often the last thing humans want to do when hurt or upset.Eye with Earth as its cornea symbolizing caring for our planet (perspective)

Sometimes people lash out for the sole purpose of causing the other person pain so they “get” what it feels like to be hurt.  Other times the lashing out is simply a knee-jerk reaction.  Regardless, though, of why human beings lash out when hurt, I’m sure all of us can understand the pull to want to do so.  After all, who can’t understand the desire to yell, scream and rage at your wife for having an affair with your best [girl] friend, a woman no less…but, I digress and I am defeating myself here! …LOL… Go figure…so, I totally understand wanting to do that and more!  Been there, done that…and to this day I still need to read this letter to myself periodically..


…And, I also know—that freaking out on a spouse because of an affair, or on a friend in response to them saying mean things, or to a co-worker for putting your job in jeopardy—is not going to serve you.  The last thing you want to do is make life harder for yourself by reacting in the extremes.

Yall hearing me?

fffWhen you’re able to respond to life’s most difficult circumstances with grace, calm and strength, you will feel better and heal faster.  The bottom-line when it comes to handling life’s most difficult moments is to always remember to take the high road—even when those around you are behaving atrociously.

I’m very passionate about this and sharing this with you.  I have been in some situations where the average person truly would’ve killed the gnat…with a cannon.  And because I didn’t…oftentimes, I got the victory later down the road…which in some cases was just a simple healing, clarity and peace.  All glory to God!  And the Comforter, The Holy Spirit!

Below are my five reasons I try to always take the high road:

1.     When you respond to hurtful behavior by acting like a crazy person–people will see you as a crazy person.  When you respond with integrity—others begin to look at the other person as though they are the unhealthy one.
2.    When you freak out in response to someone else’s freak out—that person ignores your message and simply thinks, “You think I’m crazy—look at you.”   [MORE LAUGHTER] Your poor behavior gets in the way of them seeing their own poor behavior.
3.    When you’re able to act with calm and integrity in the face of someone else’s hurtful behavior, it feels empowering, healthy and internally strong.  
4.    When you can stay calm in the most difficult of moments, you avoid the “reactivity hangover”.  There’s no shame, self-hatred, regret or embarrassment about what you did.  You can hold your head high and feel good about you.
5.    When you stoop to the other person’s level you are off your A game and unable to make rational responses and decisions.  Take the high road knowing that the poor behavior of others is NOT a green light for your own poor behavior.

Taking the high road means to act with integrity at all times—not just the good times, happy times or respectful times.  Harming another physically, spiritually or emotionally is out of proper integrity—even in response to an f2affair, lies or manipulations.  Don’t stoop to some else’s level and claim your behavior is okay.  Stay respectful, set limits, take care of yourself and then decide how you’re going to intervene in such a way that you’re respectful of yourself and the humanity of the other person.  Avoid the awful feeling of “reactivity hangover” and remember that although seeking revenge or going off on the person may feel great in the moment—that feeling seldom lasts forever.

A LifeTrain Challenge:  If you’re struggling with someone else’s hurtful behavior, pull back, breathe, calm your heart rate down and dare to take the high road.  Refuse to act like an out of control raging person.  Settle yourself and respond with calm, strength and grace.  You will feel better for it and can hold your head high under the most difficult of circumstances.

In the gospels, Jesus taught and role-modeled high road living on a daily basis.  That’s good enough for me.

See you on the high road!

ALL ABOARD!!!  THE LifeTrain!!!

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