an old expression that even goes back to the days of oliver cromwell – meaning don’t jump into the fight until you are ready. this can also apply to everyday interactions with friends, family and in the workplace. so often we are defensive in our actions – we do not want our ideas challenged, especially ones that we have been voicing for years. but when another person says our ideas are wrong – we jump too quickly to defend sometimes – and when we do – we sound like a jack ass. others might take offence to our quick defensive remarks and see us in a negative light. this is not good and this quick reaction needs to be controlled. but how do we practice the control of these emotions in the middle of a discussion. we must try calming techniques. but we also must recognize that this is happening – we must identify this problem and we must try to adjust our personality a bit to be calm and don’t jump into the action until ready – and only jump in without defensive emotion. it also helps to know your audience before you get involved in a conversation – this will help guide your reactions.
every day your mind races across many things. this is life and this is normal. however, you can get overwhelmed with your thoughts and you can become indecisive. you might be confused as to the next steps on this topic or that topic. you sometimes don’t know what to say or how to say it. you need to focus your thoughts. you need clarity in your mind. one simple way to do it: exercise. if you can exercise in the middle of the day around lunch – do it. if you can’t exercise at that time – then go out of your office for a walk on your own. either way, get out for 20 mins at lunch – by yourself – and think about the main topics of the day – work and personal things. think about these things only. let your mind run through the issues during this time and you will have the answers when you finish the walk or the exercise. this simple process can change your life. it will provide time to think through the main issues of the day so that you can make the right choices. make this a part of your weekday daily life – it is a game changer.
here is a quick lesson. don’t punish kids like the old days. in the old days, we were grounded, cars taken away, complete isolation from our friends. this is not the way to go, especially when it comes to important events like homecoming or prom. so many times a parent reacts quickly and severely – if a kid does something wrong – we punish them by taking away or limiting one of these important events. don’t do this. it will only leave a bad memory for the rest of their lives. they will never forget the time you took it all away at one of their most important moments in their young lives. what you should do is let them go to the event 100% – no restrictions – do not interfere with this memory. and you talk to them calmly and let them know that you do not approve of what they did. you are not disappointed, but you do not approve. you need to let them think about what they have done and over time they will change to make smarter choices in the future. talking to them, reasoning with them is the way to go – rather than severe punishment that will alter their memories in a negative way. this is a new train of thought – try it out.
sometimes you take a pause in life. sometimes someone tells you to take a pause. a wise person told me once – “even a boxer needs to rest while in the ring”. this reminds me of something kahlil gibran might say – there is a balance across all things in life. even though we are in the middle of the action, we still need to balance that action with inaction. it is ok to pause in the middle of the action as it is part of the action itself. even though you are in a time of pause, you can still keep busy doing other things. you can still be productive. don’t let the pause affect your mindset. this type of pause is ok. everything is still moving. there is no need to panic. you must still prep for a possible imbalance after the pause. but be positive in the pause. get things done that have been on your list. use the pause to get ahead. use the pause to organize. use the pause to plan for the future. use the pause to think. use the pause to your advantage. a pause during action is rare, so take advantage of it. this is not the same as a permanent pause – which is retirement. this is a pause in the middle of the action phase (between college and retirement). this pause usually represents a time of transition from one job to the next or moving from one relationship to the next. but it can also be any type of pause. the key message – it is ok to pause, but prep for after the pause and be active during the pause – always be working on things. don’t pause in the pause.
it is so simple to make this statement. but it is not so simple to make this phrase ring true. we all want to be happy. it is really the ultimate goal in life. if we are happy, then we are ok. if we are happy, then life is good. if we are happy, then we can make others happy around us. being happy is what it is all about. but so many people are not happy. people worry all the time. people suffer all the time. people are sick all the time. people get in trouble all the time. people fail all the time. people never reach their goals all the time. people are jealous all the time. people are envious all the time. people want more all the time. people think too much all the time. and all of these things do not cause happiness – they cause the opposite – sadness, confusion, insecurity, loneliness. so how can all of these people just be happy? the answer is simple. just be happy. that’s it. just be happy. it doesn’t matter if these negative things are happening – you can still be happy. you can look at yourself and you can look in the mirror and you can tell yourself to just be happy – it is that easy. and you can be happy. think about why these negative things don’t make you happy – and then throw all those thoughts away. you are alive and none of these bad things will make any difference at the end of the day. but what can make a difference is that you try to be happy every day. if you fall down, get up and smile. if you lose your job, wake up the next day and smile. if your worry about everything or some things – STOP! – worrying is a waste of time, literally. even if you are sick and don’t feel well – you can still be happy. being happy is a state of mind and you set your state of mind. set it to be happy no matter what else is going on and you will be surprised how those negative things will change. just be happy because that is the easiest choice you will make in life.
and it ain’t what it ain’t. this is an old expression that states the obvious, but it also makes everything so clear and so simple. it tells you what you already know – don’t fight reality, don’t fight your instinct, don’t fight your gut. you know deep down that whatever is happening is supposed to happen and there is nothing you can do about it. you must accept what is happening as reality and you must act based upon that acceptance. yes, you can still go on for awhile without facing the facts, perhaps waiting for people or things to change, but the odds are against changing reality. it is possible only if other elements of the equation change to create a new reality. other than that – it is what it is and you need to start accepting that fact – and you need to act on that fact instead of wasting time
limbo is ok. it is ok to be in limbo sometimes in life – in your job, with friends or family. it gives you time to reflect, to think, to plan for the next step. limbo is something that always happens in life to everyone at some stage. we keep going on a constant path, juggling all the things in life – our goal is to keep busy, to be productive, to strive for more, to gain more order in life, to understand more, to learn more, to experience more, to make mistakes, to learn from our mistakes, to be positive, to push harder, to have bad days, to have good days – and to be in limbo – long or short – we go into limbo in areas of our life. we get confused, we get out of sync, we get worried, we want to have routine back, we want to know what is next, we want to know what to expect each day, we don’t like limbo. but if you look at limbo as a good thing – as a thing to help us get through change, as a thing to help us understand who we are, as a thing to appreciate, as a time of reflection – then we can accept a state of limbo. but you must use limbo to prepare for the next organized phase. do not waste limbo. use limbo to your advantage to make the next stage better. limbo is good. embrace limbo like you should with all change. change will always come. limbo will sometimes come. embrace both and use them both to your advantage.
what is needed every day in life? you need food, water, shelter and encouragement. how about encouragement? what is encouragement? who needs encouragement? the answer – it is one of the most important things that you need in life on a continuing basis. how different is your life if someone gives you encouragement every day or every few days or even every week – all of these scenarios create a huge difference in someone’s life. it is not something that you think about all the time. it is not something tangible that you can hold or see. it is something that you can hear. we all have insecurities even if we don’t verbalize them all the time. our job is to push back these insecurities and move forward to make progress and reach our goals. many times you can just do it on your own because you start to have experience and you just push through based on what you have done in the past. but, when you tell someone about a problem that you are having or a doubt that you have about doing something – how wonderful it is when someone tells you back – “don’t worry, you can do it – you will be ok” you know that deep down you can probably do it without hearing these words, but when you do hear these words, especially when you are looking for encouragement – it is a game changer and it keeps you going and it keeps you pushing for what you need to make things happen and keep things on track in your life. so what you can do is find that person that you see or talk to all the time and you can ask them for encouragement. make sure that it is someone that is true and honest – someone that always tells you the truth. this is the person that will help get you through life – no matter how strong and organized we seem on the surface – we all need encouragement all the time. you can give encouragement back as well – you need to help others too. next time you need encouragement – ask for it and next time someone asks you for encouragement – give it.
as kids enter teens – you quickly start to see the attitude changes and the opportunity for parent/teen conflicts goes up 1000%. you are appalled by their behavior towards you – so you lash out at them – you yell more – you might even call them names without thinking. it happens fast and before you know it – you have acted rough towards them and you feel regretful immediately. you need to apologize to them quickly and keep telling them to care more for others, especially family. as you have heard forever – these are the trying times until they get older and start being nice again. you just need to take it slower – recognize that you are over-reacting – and be more patient. bite your tongue and don’t lash out as much – it will help avoid bad memories in the future.
when you see people that seem so cool and calm on the surface, you wonder – how can they do that? one theory is that they are actually insecure beneath it all and don’t feel they have the right to be arrogant or obnoxious. this is a good thing. the feeling of insecurity can act as a protective blanket against yourself and the world. you feel insecure and so you don’t go into the world like you own it – you are more humble and kind and cautious. you still have fun, you still get wild, you still express yourself – but you don’t do it in a bad way. yes, this can prevent you from reaching your fullest potential because in order to do that sometimes you need to be an ass – you need to think you are the shit – you need to walk without a care of others – you need to shed your insecurities to grab the brass ring. but on the whole – having insecure feelings can keep you grounded and guessing – and thus keep you as a calm, caring person on the outside. yes, this is an unkind way to present the good image – a negative force on the inside producing a positive effect on the outside – the interior mindset setting the stage for the exterior appearance. it proves that we all need something to fear to keep us on the right path. in this respect, insecurity is useful and good – it makes you a better person in the eyes of the world – but it doesn’t help your peace of mind. there is always a price. if you see a jack-ass coming down the street, then you know he needs to be more insecure to help create a balance – as the jack-ass attitude will get you in more trouble than an insecure mind. interesting dynamic.