Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “leadership”

Circumstance does not matter – it matters what you are made of


Circumstance does not matter – it matters what you are made of 

Circumstance impacts our decision-making. It impacts our future. It can even impact who we are and what we are called to become. The quirky thing though is that circumstance does not carry that much weight. Much like boiling water will soften the potato will also harden the egg. It matters more what you are made of – not the circumstance.

At one time of my life I really thought that having endured living with alcoholic parents would forever typecast me. During my teen years I often thought that my life would take a course for the worse. With so much baggage how could other people ever see that I was not like my father? Sometimes I was tempted to use my troubled family’s past as an excuse for the mistakes I made.

Fortunately, due to the influence of my mom and grandparents, I learned that none of that mattered. What mattered was my choice in the moment. It is ALWAYS my choice how to react in any situation. There may not be a right or wrong, but there is always a better or worse choice.

So what are you made of? Circumstance will challenge you to the core. Will you take the time to step back from your instinctual reactions? That is what it is all about. It’s taking the time making a better choice. At least actively choose and don’t just react to whatever happens to you.

Ralf

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A better way dealing with emotional scars


A better way dealing with emotional scars 

It is inevitable: we sustain plenty of mental and physical scars throughout our lives. In one way or another they will always be visible. Since they are blemishes we attempt hiding them as best as possible. It’s tough enough that we know that they are there; let’s not alert others to them. Why hide it though?

Your scars were payment for some invaluable experience. They managed to change you. Would you ever do whatever you did (or didn’t do) that way again? You will not be able fooling people for long before they find out anyway. Deal with what caused them and then learn from your hard earned experience. Wear your scars with a sense of pride. Not embracing them is foolish.

Ralf

1 simple strategy helping make life changing decisions


1 simple strategy helping make life changing decisions 

How do I make the best out of the present? Sometimes we get our brains tied into a pretzel: We get mentally stuck and therefore frustrated because we are not making any progress. There are two extremes that we keep thinking about that cause this issue. Many times we are totally focused on either what should happen in the future, or what has happened in the past. What we forget to do is being present in the present.

Projecting the future based on the past is a total waste of precious time and nerves. We should be learning from the mistakes we have made in the past, but trying to glean what the future holds in store for us is a rather futile thing to do. On the other side is dreaming away at imagining what should happen, or even worse would be asking yourself what-would-happen-if? There are an infinite number of things that your brain will be able to come up with.

A way out of this brain churn and burn is simply trying to be in the moment and then to make a decision right away rather than waiting for a better moment to come along. One of those moments was making a decision whether or not moving to the U.S.A. and working here would be a good step to take for me. This was over 25 years ago. If I had paid too much attention on my historic and epic bad luck I probably would not have gone forward with it. The same can be said for looking at the many unknown things that did scare me, and in hindsight they should have scared me witless. Even though I clearly had not known much about what would and could happen to me, I did make a timely and ultimately really good decision to go forward with it after all. “All” I had to do was to look at what my heart, head, and instinct told me to do. It did turn out to be the best thing in my life thus far.

Take a leap of faith and trust your decision as long as it is not stuck in the past or the future.

Ralf

Learn about how to take control of your quality of life


Learn about how to take control of your quality of life 

When your life suddenly changes because you have just found out you have a challenging medical condition you can either keep feeling sorry for yourself, or you can already see the new path and plan that goes along with it. Some folks just get stuck in the anger, grieving, and resistance mode: “Why did this happen to me?”, “I just do not believe this!” It can lead to a state of utter confusion and self-pity. Another major issue is being overweight. Do you expect your doctor to do something about this, or is this not up to you to ponder and figure out? It is time to take action yourself!

Feeling sorry for yourself however wastes time and lets your brain go on a down spiraling path to severe depression. Neither is helpful if time is of the essence. I will never forget the incident where my mom was sharing a hospital room with a woman who was exactly in this state of mind. Her illness was severe and her outlook on how long she was to live did not look great at all. When nurses and doctors asked her what she wanted to do she constantly changed direction. When she was alone with my mom or visitors she was constantly complaining about the medical staff, her condition – nothing seemed to work out right for her. It was painful to watch, especially when she snuck out the room to go downstairs for a quick smoke in order to “calm her nerves down”. Calm your nerves down, but stress your body even more with the effects of smoking? The woman went in a circle of self-destruction – she got really busy dying.

Compare this with my mom who had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer 9 months prior. At the beginning of her journey of the long goodbye that is cancer, she had been given a few weeks to live. Not our mom, nope, she would have none of it. Hope and faith let her go through the anger, grief, and resistance time period really quickly. Plans were made to see specialists, treatments, and she even got new glasses to be able to see and read better. She had not gotten new ones in decades.

In the end cancer finally claimed her life 10 months after diagnosis. At the time the above mentioned story happened things were already not looking good at all, but my mom found the time helping the woman with advice, thoughts and prayers. The irony puzzles me to this day. Bottom line though was that mom was always busy living.

When things look bleak it may be easier succumbing to self-pity. Two processes are at work here. One is how a sudden major change goes through a U shaped process (explained here in more detail) and what you are going through is normal: Resistance, anger, grief, etc. That is the downward side of the U on the left. There comes a time when you hit the bottom of the U (figuratively speaking). You can either swing back up to anger etc, or start looking at the upside to the right leg of the U. It is the onset of careful optimism, hope, and exploration of opportunities. The other main process is that you have a choice. Are you choosing to get busy dying, or are you choosing to get busy living? What will be your choice?

Ralf

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