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

Archive for the tag “choice”

9 items that help define what success means to you


9 items that help define what success means to you 

Success. There are so many questionable definitions and ideals about it bombarding us every day from early childhood on. Very often it is being portrayed as something that has to do only with status, number and type of friends, vacations, appearance, money, happiness, education, family size, heritage, size of home, expensive hobbies, type and number of cars, etc. The more, the better. Right? Well, perhaps.

Good news is that each one of us can and should define success on an individual basis. Tough part of this is deciding what success means to you. Here are 9 ways of looking at it and I invite you to ponder this list in peace and quiet. Yes, this means that you will need to spend some time to do this, but it allows for you getting closer to living on purpose – your specific purpose.

Ponder the following 9 questions. Reflect upon which one(s) light you up the most. How is your current life aligned with your answer? You are getting closer to defining your purpose.

  • The Mind: When you are done here on Earth do you want for more truth, knowledge and wisdom to exist because you were here? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the mind.
  • The Body: When you are done here on Earth do you want there to be more fitness, wholeness, a better way to feed and clothe the hungry and poor? Do you want to build the strength and vitality of the body? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the body.
  • The Senses: When you are done here on Earth do you want there to be more beauty? Do you want to create something for all the senses to enjoy a sense of beauty and sustainability? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the senses.
  • The Will and Conscience: When you are done here on Earth do you want here to be more justice, morality, honesty, righteousness? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the will and your conscience.
  • The Spirit: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be more spirituality, compassion, empathy, wholeness of family, forgiveness, and faith in the world? How about a better and deeper connection with God? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the spirit.
  • Entertainment: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be more laughter, joy, perspective, lightening of people’s hearts and spirit? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of entertainment.
  • Possessions: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be a better way of sustaining ourselves here, a better handling of our possessions, a clearer picture of what is enough versus more is better? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of possessions.
  • The Earth: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be a more sustainable way to live on our planet, more exploration (not exploitation) of our Earth and Universe? Do you want to find a better way to deal with finding future sources of energy, clean water, clean air, land for everyone to enjoy? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the Earth.

Which topic excites you the most? How does your heart, mind, and instinct respond to each point? What challenge within that topic would you want to tackle? Which invokes the most passionate response within you? Which one are you drawn to the most?

I leave you with my favorite poem trying to define success:

What is success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by

a healthy child, a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed

easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

Bessie Anderson Stanley (traditionally attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Remember that the simple things in life are typically the best, and they are the toughest to discern as they typically reside right before our eyes and we can often not see them. Happy pondering!

If you want to explore this further there is a terrific resource for that in the book “What color is your parachute?” by Richard N Bolles.

Ralf

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2018 is the year that needs to bring people together – Here is one way how you can help


2018 is the year that needs to bring people together – Here is one way how you can help 

We have a lot going on and there are a lot of moments where we are more divided than unified on so many levels. People are on the edge and we get upset at each other seemingly faster than ever before. When people get under your skin because they really loathe you and what you do, the best you can do here is to close your eyes, say a prayer, and whole heartedly forgive them. They hate this even more, but you feel better.

Traffic, work, neighbors, family, school, and so many other places are rich with friends, and also really nasty people. This kind of nastiness can drain you of all your energy and anything you do and even think about, can soon be consume your thoughts and feelings. “All” it takes is engaging your power of choice: choose love and inclusion instead of hatred. This will free your spirit and all but automatically remove the power other people have over you.

Feel brave? One more way to kick things up a notch is to approach the people who hate you openly. Manage to remain friendly, but have the candor of asking them what you can do to make things better. More often than not their anger only resides in their heads because their brains had had a monologue instead of an actual dialog with you.

When that happens their thoughts can spiral out of control and the negativity – sometimes all of it – is a purely homemade issue and you are only a cheap pawn in this blame game. Worse yet, since you were never invited to a dialog you do not even know what their grudge may be all about. That is something you can do something about by opening up and approaching them.

Hatred is tiresome and draining. Most of all it is not long term sustainable without causing other issues. This can change overnight if you are willing to make the greatest change of all: Changing yourself. Choose love and forgiveness and the world and people will open up to you. Most of all, choose how you want to react rather than letting instincts take over your life. May 2018 help get us to stand united again.

Ralf

Turning crisis into opportunities


Turning crisis into opportunities 

Photo: The engine that started it

I am sure you are intimately familiar with days where nothing seems to work in your favor. Such a day happened to me during apprenticeship way back when in Germany. It was a late afternoon fall day and I had just finished with work and I was on my way home. The engine suddenly sputtered and hesitated like crazy and I barely made it home. This was just what I needed – not! How would I get to work the next day without the car? This was going to be an expensive repair. Would I even be able to afford the fix?

That same evening I went to the local gas station in the village and the owner agreed to take a quick look. He did that and told me that he had no time to fix it until later in the week. Well now, that was not going to work. Just as I tried leaving the gas station I saw a relatively new Audi with out of state plates on it pull in. The nicely dressed owner got out and started to talk to the gas station owner. He also had had car troubles and need to get it looked at right away. I stopped in my tracks as I observed the car getting pulled into the shop bay and getting worked on right away. I was totally shell shocked and mad as a hornet. For one I learned that being neatly dressed, driving a nice car, and money get people’s attention and help getting problems fixed. The more important lesson I picked up was that I could choose turning a disaster into a great opportunity. That was the day I turned this trouble into a passion of mine: Fixing cars, bicycles, and motor cycles.

Still mad at the gas station owner for not helping me, I bought myself a repair manual the next day and also a few special tools and parts. I used my old moped to get to and from work allowing me to work on the car engine. I went in my garage to address the problem. It turned out to be a blown head gasket that did not take long to fix at all. I had a lot of fun doing the work and was quite happy with the result and myself. Not only did I get this fixed a lot sooner than any shop would have been able to fit me into their schedule, but I also saved a lot of money. Almost overnight I had turned a moment of being disappointed and mad at a situation into a lifelong love for fixing things on wheels and otherwise.

The defining moment of change was realizing whether or not I wanted to do something about this problem myself was nobody’s choice but mine. Once I chose that this problem was also an opportunity things turned for the better. I even received unexpected help from my uncle and granddad who both were very handy people. When life hands you lemons, you can choose to make lemonade out of it.

Ralf

Somewhere between two viewpoints lies the Truth or a solution


Somewhere between two viewpoints lies the Truth or a solution 

The reality and truth you see starts out with an illusion: That we can all perceive it the same way. Just take your mirror image. The one on the left is how YOU see ME. The one on the left is how I see MYSELF. Pay attention to the facial features. How I see myself is not at all what you see when you look at me. Do you also know people that stress out about their outward appearance? They are coifing up someone that only they can see that particular way.

My point is that between the reality you see and the one I see there is a difference in perception. The mirror image example was relatively simple, but just think of so many other topics where we will most likely never be able to come to an agreement about what the ultimate truth is. Between two viewpoints there is what I call the delta point; it lies somewhere between the two. It can almost never be the same just the same as our life journeys are unique to us. Committing to finding this common ground is what the two opposing parties need to be able to do. Agree to disagree and if you cannot do that think about the mirror view example and let it be. Share this example and perhaps this can be another great day where ignorance can be overcome.

Ralf

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