Friday, February 27, 2009

The Answer to the Riddle

The answer I was looking for was, Your Future.” The interesting thing was to see what answers people would give. Take a look at how different all the answers given are:

1. God
2. The Heart
3. The Soul
4. Death
5. The Past
6. The Mind
7. The Future
How can we have so many different answers, for the same description? In comparison answer the following riddle:
I am a companion
I cannot speak
I am part of your family but not blood related
I come in many shapes and sizes
My love is unconditional

By now most of you have answered a dog, or possibly a cat. Notice that although the hints were just as vague as in the original riddle, the possible answers to this riddle should be the same. Most people would say a dog but in the case were you said a cat, ask yourself, are they not for the most part, very similar? So does this mean the first riddle produces answers that are not similar? No, what it means is, the answers in the original riddle must be more similar than they first appear. It means that Dog is to Cat, as Past is to Future. Although different in some superficial ways, they are the same in life. It means, God, Heart, Soul, Death and the Mind are all the same. The thought of this may tie your mind in knots but only because you look at these things as superficially as you look at cat and dog. Study the answers given and come up with your own ways you find them to relate to each other.

My favorite is the fact that you cannot have any one of these without the other. They are all one in the same.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Riddle

You have heard a great deal about me but do not know me.

Though you do not know me, at times you fear me..

I am not fast but you will never catch me.

You look to me for daily guidance but I cannot give you definite answers.

Others claim to see me but I am not present.

Without me, you cease to exist.

What am I?
(Post your guesses in the comment section and I will answer it this afternoon.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Will I Be?

My eldest daughter is going away to college this year and we sat down to talk about where she was planning on going and what she was planning on doing. She told me that she had some ideas as to where she wanted to go but no idea as to what she wanted to be. She asked, “How did you know what you wanted to be, when you were my age?” I answered her honestly, "I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” She laughed and then I went on to tell her that very few people know what they want to be, at such a young age. Many people spend their lives waiting for divine intervention. They wake up every morning with the hope that suddenly it will just become abundantly clear, what it is that they were meant to do. Sadly, this never happens. We continued talking and I posed this question to her. “If you were training a puppy that by nature was incredibly curious and had a keen sense of smell, would you put her in attack school or drug detection?” Her obvious answer was drug detection. I went on to ask, “If the same puppy was a to be a big, strong dog that was good with people, would you leave him in drug detection or move him to search and rescue?” She thought a bit and answered, “search and rescue.” Then I asked, “What if after all the training, the dog didn't turn out to be a good search and rescue dog. What if the dog didn’t like walking on uneven ground or was frightened by large crowds and noises? What if the dog would have been a better drug detection dog and everything done, had been a waste of time?” She paused and then answered, “those are all things you will never know until you try. Some of those things you will figure out as you train the dog and you could change the training along the way. You can’t really worry about things that haven’t happened, you just have to go with the best decision you can make, based on the information you have now.”I smiled and responded, “Exactly, now think of yourself as that puppy. Look at the things that you are good at and you like to do. Head your studies in that direction and let the rest happen on it’s own.”

By now you should have figured out that this relates to all that we do in life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

We are all born differently for a reason. Imagine a world where we all looked the same, talked the same and had the same ideas. How boring would that be? We spend too much of our time trying to fit in and be “normal”. Instead, we should be exploring our individuality. Our individuality comes to us a lot more naturally and more importantly, it’s what makes "you" stand out as "you". Stop and think of the real difference makers in the world. Were they "normal" or did they march to their own beat?

Here is a list of some famous “Freak Flag Flyers” (in no particular order)

Albert Einstein
Martin Luther King
George Washington
Ernest Hemingway
Jimmy Buffet
Donald Trump
Steve Irwin
Jim Carey
Jonny Depp

To be normal by definition is - conforming to the usual standard. Since the usual standard is forever changing, being normal is an unobtainable goal and therefore an act of futility. On the other hand, being yourself is very easily obtained. It can be scary when your ideas don’t conform to those around you and it will take some courage but do yourself a favor, be free of conformity and “Let your Freak Flag Fly”

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Wish We Were Closer

While speaking with someone today, they expressed to me their desire to be closer to someone they had never been very close to. In fact, they went as far as to somewhat blame the other person for them not having a stronger relationship. We can’t blame others for our relationships or lack thereof. We need to take responsibility for the relationships we create in our lives. Relationships are mostly based on time. In particular the quality and quantity of the time you spend with the other person. This is not to say that there isn’t a sprinkle of chemistry to get the relationship started, but keeping an eye on the fire, that's what keeps things cooking. Look at the relationships you had with a grandparent uncle or aunt, didn’t the amount of time you spent with them, usually represent the quality of the relationship you had. When you go through the good and the bad with people, it creates a bond. Like all rules, this one will also have its exceptions but for the most part, what you put in is what you will get out.
If there is really someone out there that you wish you were closer to, scoot over, put your arm around them and most importantly spend as much time with them as you possibly can. Time will create and or strengthen the bond.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remember When

The ability to be empathetic, in part comes as a result of looking back and remembering your own past experiences. You may not be in high school anymore but hopefully you can remember the tremendous amount of pressure you experienced in wanting to be accepted by your peers, without letting down the ones you love. You don’t have to be in love for the first time, to understand the desperate feeling of always wanting to be with that first love. You don’t need to have your first child again, to understand the quarantine that a first time parent puts their newborn in, to protect them from a world of germs. You don’t need to have a 1st grader, to understand the paparazzi at a 1st grade, thanksgiving production. You don’t have to experience your first born leaving to college, to understand the joy and sorrow of the parent who sends them. You don’t have to plan your child’s wedding, to understand the time, effort, joy and sorrow that comes with planning one.
The only thing you have to do is “remember when” and if you have not lived it than live “what if”.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Helping Hand

Why is it that many times, we are hesitant to ask for help? For some of us, it may be that asking is a sign of weakness. For others, it may be an issue of owing someone something. Whatever the case may be, we have to recognize the importance of asking for help. We must realize that unknowingly, we ask for help everyday of our lives.
The next time you need to fill up your gas tank, go get your own gas. Or maybe the next time you’re hungry, go out and hunt down a meal. I can only assume that you don’t feel humbled when asking for gas at a station or a steak at a restaurant. Are you not accepting help in these cases? In these cases, are you not benefiting from someone else’s knowledge and or experience to help yourself? Of course you are!
We accept help from others every day. The only difference is that we receive most of our help without being conscious of the help we are receiving. If you need help, ask for it, that’s what all of us are here for. Lastly, here’s a little secret. People like to help. Helping makes them feel good and important too. So if nothing else, when you ask for help, you can feel like you’re the one who is actually helping, helping someone else feel good and important.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Real Test

Please take this test. Answer in the shortest time possible but be careful to answer and or perform the task given, correctly. (You are competing among our friends)

1. Touch all of the teeth in your mouth with your tongue, starting at one point and never retracing over an area you have already done. (Should be snake like in shape)
2. Close your eyes. Place one hand in front of your face. Can you see the difference between when your hand is there and not there. (without peeking)
3. Take the number of days in a week and subtract them from the number of weeks in a year. Now take that number and subtract them from the number of days in a year. Is the number left over less than 300?(do this quickly)
4. If a unicycle has one wheel and a tricycle has three wheels, what has two wheels?
5. Clap your hands together 3 times then turn your hands and clap the back sides together 3 times. Do this quickly for a total of three times each side. What was the total amount of times clapped?(Softly)

6. (Tell those you care about that you love them and then prove it.)

I could go on forever but I won’t. The answer is you all passed answers 1-5. The interesting questions are the following:
1. Why did you take this test? (Just bored, Trying to prove something etc.?)
2. What was your mood while taking the test? (Happy, focused etc.?)
3. How did you feel after correctly answering each item (smart, accomplished etc.?)
4. What were you wanting to get out of it, in the end (to win, to feel something, etc..?)

I think there is a lot to learn from an exercise like this. We like to feel smart, coordinated and good about ourselves. Even when the questions seem easy and or the task seems silly, we keep going forward, in an effort to feel good about ourselves. When you add language like “compete among your friends” we are more concentrated and enthused because we compare ourselves to others. Sometimes, we may even base our own self worth on these comparisons. Although this exercise may not have worked perfectly, I hope the point was made. Most importantly and on a bigger scale, that life is this exercise.

(Compare to the original questions proposed)

1. We do a lot sillier things than rolling our tongues around our teeth, in an effort to prove things to others that really don’t matter.
2. We spend our lives with our eyes wide open, and still can‘t see what is right in front of our faces
3. We spend our lives figuring out and regurgitating unimportant statistics, in the hopes of impressing.
4. We take for granted what we spend the most time with, while focusing on learning the less common.
5. We follow without a sense of real purpose, not examining motive, only to belong
6. We strain to see what sounds boring and can feel like a burden, even though it is what truly matters

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Who Cut Me Off?

We have all had the unfortunate experience of someone cutting us off in traffic. So the question is, who cut us off? The answer is nobody. For someone to cut you off, they would have to know who you are. They let themselves in, more than they cut you off. We unfortunately see everything from our perspective and don’t take the time to realize that quite frankly, that person doesn’t even know or care, who you are. When we realize this, we don’t take it personal and it becomes easier to live with. In addition you don’t know who the person is that cut you off or what they maybe going through, at that moment in time. Maybe, they just got fired or heard bad news about a family member. Maybe, just like most of us, they are in a rush to get somewhere on time, to avoid what they believe to be an adverse reaction to their potential tardiness. Whatever the reason is, I can guarantee that it is not about proving that they somehow beat you, at some perverse car game, created in your mind. As you probably already know, this is true about all that happens to us on a daily basis. Although we would like to believe that everything that happens is associated with us, it's not. Stop taking things so personal, stop looking for reasons to be offended, and instead, realize nobody is doing anything to you, as much as they are doing things for themselves.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Setting Out To Do Something

Sometimes, we set out to do things with one idea in mind and yet a totally different outcome occurs. In the end we are still happy with the results, even though they were not what we intended. Or were they? How is it possible that we could be happy if the outcome was completely different than what we originally intended? The answer is that we get lost in the details of how things should happen, rather than what we really wanted to happen. You may be looking for love in all the wrong places and upset as all of these encounters fail, yet in the end when you finally find the right person, you are happy. The point is not about being patient for love but understanding what it is that you are looking for and letting it occur, rather than forcing it. It’s not to say for example, that you can just stand around waiting to become wealthy but you could lose all your money, trying to continuously push the wrong idea.
Regroup, look at the big picture, take a deep breath and let it happen. Don’t force it.

Columbus set sail to find a quicker route to India and discovered America

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crazy Like a Bat

I got a lot of request for another poem, so I wrote this one just for fun:

I'm crazy as all get out
I'm crazy as a bat
I think my families crazy too
Can you imagine that
I told my sister she was nuts
She answered not like you
And then I called my brother
Oh, no not him too

I'm glad though cause I realized , that crazy can be good
It makes me do some crazy things, that I think people should
It’s funny how the normal ones all call me for my thoughts
I bring them all their clarity, while my mind stays in knots

So when the day is done, my crazy thoughts subside
My mind can rest and craziness can go away hide

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fear of the Unknown?

Remember the first girl or boy you liked? I bet you still know their name.
Remember the first time you told someone you liked them? I bet you can remember the nervousness that paralyzed you as you approached them
Remember the first time you went to hold hands? I bet you can feel their hand joining yours and the exhilaration that pumped from your hand to your heart in that very grasp.
Remember the first time you kissed? I bet you can still feel the incredible rush that overwhelmed you as you nervously tried to be the world’s greatest kisser.
All those things were unknown and scary to us at one time. Now, you look back and realize how great they were. You can only dream of feeling the way you did, the first time. Life is full of first times. Embrace them and realize that one day, today’s unknowns will be tomorrows found memories.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Misery Loves Company

The saying should be “Misery loves comforting.” First take a look at what it is, that a particular person is miserable about. Most of the time, you will find that our misery comes from a feeling of experiencing something alone. Typically something we are not proud of. We feel that we are different from everyone else in our state of misery. We may view the situations of others as being normal and ours as being abnormal. In a subconscious effort to feel more normal, we look for company. We look for someone or some group, to share our feelings with. It’s not that we want others to be miserable with us but that seeing others in the same position makes us feel accompanied and in turn comforted. What we need to realize is that the company, only brings temporary relief. Our own compass tells us whether or not we are satisfied with what we are doing. Until our behavior reflects what we know to be right, being surrounded by all the people in the world will not help us feel better. Remember, ultimately we must be able to live with ourselves and our decisions.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doubt creates a flat world

Doubt creates fear and fear can be paralyzing. So how can we control doubt? We can’t. All we can do, is to try to minimize the fear our doubt creates. Take a look at the following example:
If you were to set out sailing a boat away from shore, how overwhelmed with fear would you become about falling off of the earth? You might say none because the world is round. This assumption is not based on your own personal experience. It’s not based on something you have tasted, touched or seen with your own eyes. It is only based on what you have been told or shown. In fact, if you lived back in the time before it was common knowledge that the earth was round, you would have been overwhelmed with fear, to sail the same journey. Most of what we take for granted every day, we don’t understand. Microwaves, TV’s, Computers, Ipod’s etc… , who really knows how any of this stuff works. Yet we use them every day, without fully understanding how it all works. Doubt is not even part of the formula. You could say we have faith in the fact that all these things will work. We don’t need explanations or even concrete evidence. Our faith in these things, we know little or nothing about, allow us to keep moving forward, assuming it will all be ok. Faith is a doubt killer. Have faith in yourself, have faith in your life and most importantly have faith in God. Not only will faith kill doubt but in doing so, it conquers all our fear.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Take it with a smile on your face

When you hear this expression, you are most likely to associate this with being happy. Actually it’s more about being smart. Things are going to happen to you, good and bad. You are going to have to do things in your life, some whether you want to or not. So the question is, how do you want to take and or do these things? If you have to do them regardless, why not smile while you’re doing them. Arguing, whining and complaining about them, don’t make them any easier. In fact, they make them much harder. You also make them much harder on everyone around you. The plain and simple truth is, that you might as well tell yourself you want to do it. Along the way, you will find out that most of it was a lot harder to think about doing, than it was to actually do. The pity party is a one man fiesta. Doing what you have to do while feeling sorry for yourself, makes the task at hand, that much more difficult. Mentally prepare yourself, get the momentum going and then take it with a smile on your face. Once it’s done, it will feel a lot better. Most importantly, you’ll feel a lot better about the way you got it done.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fight Your Nature

We all have things we like and dislike, about ourselves. Obviously, the things we dislike about ourselves, are the things we want to change. But what do we do to change those things? Typically, we might ask for advice from others and or make promises to ourselves, on how we plan on doing things differently. What we don’t do, is fight our nature. Imagine that you’re playing the card game solitaire and the strategy you are using to win, is not correct. You may spend the rest of your life trying to defeat the game, with no success. The more you play, the more you embed the strategies originally given and the more frustrated you become with your lack of success. Now imagine that the correct strategy was applied. After so many years of playing, it would be difficult to apply these new concepts. Every time you would come close to winning, you would go back to what you were comfortable with, in the hopes of success. You would use what you believed in. Unfortunately, it would be a belief system that is based on little or no results.
When wanting to change the things in our lives that we do not like about ourselves, we have to fight our old tendencies and strategies. For example: The idea of getting up and dancing at a party, is torturous for someone who is not particularly social. That same person would probably like to be more social and a maybe even, a better dancer. To change the outcome of the game, they must fight their very nature and get up to dance. By doing so, they overcome their fear, they socialize and undoubtedly improve their dancing skills. Which in turn, builds on itself and later becomes easier to do? To do this, they must first go against their very nature and create a new belief or be it, strategy. Most importantly, afterwards they will need to assess the results of their efforts. Did it work? Was I more social? Ultimately, did he or she like the results of their efforts?
Nobody said it would be easy but if you plan on changing, you are going to have to take on the toughest opponent you know, you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do you see what I see?

I am always amazed at how differently we see ourselves than others. I would compare it to listening to your voice on a tape recorder. When you hear your voice played back, it never sounds like you, to you. Others will say it sounds exactly like you. So what’s the real answer? It’s all about perception. Our perception of ourselves is biased by our own insecurities and our need to be perceived a particular way by others. We work frantically to protect our self imagine and anything or anyone that tries to get in the way, is an immediate threat. The funny thing is, no matter how hard we work at it, other people will inevitably form their own opinions. Whenever I have had the good fortune of sitting down and talking to someone about this, an interesting thing occurs. Many of the things I was perceiving to be negative about myself, were not even in the other person’s radar. In addition, many of the things I perceived to be doing well, were not perceived the same by others. This has brought me to the following conclusions:
We can’t control what others will think about us.
Most of the time what we think others are thinking, is wrong.
Our perception will always be different than others, because our vantage point is from within.
Do what you know to be right and the rest will fall into place.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm a Wigwam I'm a Teepee

I remember an old joke where one guy was frantically saying, “I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee,“ and then his doctor leans back in his chair and declares, “your two tense (tents)”! I was reminded of this, when I heard people complaining about how cold it is today. These are the same people that usually are complaining about the heat. , It seems we are either too late, or too early, to hot or too cold, etc…. Is it ever just right? Think about the limitations you put on your requirements for “just right.” Are your expectations realistic or a recipe to never be satisfied? Enjoy things as they are, when they are. Sometimes the conditions will be more favorable than others but overall, things are good. How boring would life be, if the conditions were always the same? When it’s cold, chill out, using blankets. When it rains, soak in the sounds and when it’s hot get out and absorb the warmth. You can't control the conditions of your life because they will be forever changing, but you can control how you prepare and react to those changes, when they come.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nice Day for A White Wedding

Why did people get married in the old days? I’ll guess that it was because of some or all of the following reasons:
They loved each other
They wanted to raise a family together
They wanted to help each other make it through life
What was the purpose of the wedding? Once again, I will guess it was because some if not all of the following reasons:
They wanted to share the occasion with Family and friends
They wanted the support and approval of the family’s
The parents were proud to announce to the world the union of the two getting married
It was a celebration welcoming the two getting married as husband and wife rather than as individuals

Today I see people forgetting about the real meaning and focusing on what is not important. Today it’s about the size of the diamond not the meaning of the ring. It’s about the location and cost of the wedding not the vocation and celebration. The center piece is a flower arrangement instead of a bride and groom. I could go on and on but you get the point.
My nephew is getting married on Friday and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure he and his wife to be, enjoy their day of celebration. I want to make sure they don’t lose sight of the real purpose of their union. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and will take sacrifice on both of their behalf’s. If we start off a marriage clouded with the unimportant, we won’t have a chance of remembering why we got married in the first place.

Better Late than Never

Everyone has heard the saying, "Better Late Than Never." Most people associate it with a form of an excuse. Sometimes it's used to say, “at least you got it”. There's a lot more to it than that. There are times in our lives when we can’t get to do the things we want to, when we want to. As soon as the time schedule we had decided is interrupted, it creates an opportunity for fear, doubt and lack of follow through, to creep in. Yesterday, I was unable to write my daily dumbbell. By the time I was going to bed, I felt doubt and accompanying excuses, creeping in. They said things like, “what’s the point, nobody reads it anyway or nobody’s going to miss one day, I'll just start again tomorrow”. When I realized what was happening, I pushed those thoughts aside and reminded myself of my commitment. If I allowed those thoughts to take over, I would open up the door for excuses. It would start off with one day that I miss and before long, it would be two or three. By the end of a few months, It may stop completely. That’s not even the worst of it. As time passes, I will know that I failed to do something I set out to do and it will eat at me subconsciously. The only way I could prevent this from happening is to follow through with my original commitment. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me and I am sure it won't be the last. During these times, I have also stumbled across a very interesting consequence of forcing myself to follow through with my commitments. It has made me really consider, to what and for how long I will commit to something. Whatever it is that you are doing and or going to do, consider the commitment first and then keep it going. It doesn’t have to be perfect every time, it just has to be there, all the time. Don’t let fears and doubts win over your determination and confidence. Always remember it’s better late than never.

Note to my wife: Better late than never, does not mean doing laundry at 1:00AM