Posts Tagged: change


18
Mar 13

Lost in Cyberspace

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Wow… I had written about two thirds of my blog and somehow I lost it… it evaporated into cyberspace.

It was weird.  You would think that I could simply retype what I had just written, but Noooooo!

I couldn’t remember a thing.  Pretty sad huh?

Just so you know, you should be aggravated too because you missed out on some amazing insights.  Your life is a little less rich because of those little computer gremlins.

So here I am writing about the perils of modern technology.  If not careful I will start sounding like an old fart that spews criticism and annoyance over any new fangled contraption.

I have some years on me but I’m not that old (if you’re a tree).

As I said, I’m not that old, but I do remember…

  • the sound of a coin going through a pay phone
  • that typing classes were noisy
  • what “cc” on an email really means
  • stores were closed on Sunday
  • you dressed up to fly on a plane
  • what 45’s are (if you know what the picture is above then you know what 45’s are)
  • paying extra for Airmail
  • party lines
  • getting up to change the channel

Yep, time flies and the world changes.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t miss 45’s or party lines.  I of course have a nostalgic soft spot for these things but I don’t pine away for days gone by.

As you know, keeping up with change is tiring.  But it’s worth it.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were at a conference where the presenter asked that we identify our family values.  We both were able to identify them rather quickly but it was a good exercise to articulate them and capture them in black and white.

There’s something powerful in tangibly getting things out of your head and heart on to a piece of paper.  Seeing it in front of you seems to cut through the clutter.

Our values were as follows… but not in order of priority.

  • Adventure
  • Fun
  • Growth
  • Our Faith
  • Family / Relationships

It was pretty cool to quickly articulate and agree upon our values.

Since one of our values is growth it means that I can’t (must not) hang on to the things that were.  We must hold loosely to the events and things of yesterday and keep our eyes forward.

As one gets a few years under their belt it is an easy trap to begin facing backwards.  It’s logical and natural… but deadly.

What dies are our dreams and ambitions.

One might think that I am talking about someone at least sixty plus.  But I have see people in their forties become dulled by time.  They actually believe that their prime has peaked and the “what could have been” is lost.

How heartbreaking.

I am well past forty and it is an absolutely wonderful feeling to know that my best days are ahead.

How cool is that?

See you Thursday… hopefully.  I haven’t been too good at getting two entries per week written.

Ciao.


5
Jul 12

Truth or Consequences

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Guten tag… in case you are wondering it’s German for Good Day.

Don’t ask why I started the blog with a German greeting.  I’m not sure what hit me.

I just had this wild hair to say something in German.  Maybe my lederhosen are riding up a bit too tight or something.

Ewww… that’s not a pretty thought.  And no, I’m not German.

I think I had better stick to the task and type my blog.

If you have been reading my blog at all you know that I love a good quote.

You don’t have to necessarily agree with the quote but if it’s really good it should take your head to a different level of thinking and force you to consider the various meanings and applications for life.

I find the most intriguing quotes are those that tend to be short and simple.

The other day I ran across a quote from Gloria Steinem.  I don’t mean to insult any feminists out there but I have never really cared for Gloria.

The fact that I don’t care for her tells me that this is a good quote.

If a person is a genuine seeker of truth it doesn’t matter where truth comes from as long as it pierces the veil of status quo and moves us to a better place.

Gloria’s quote is short, saucy and holds a lot of truth… about truth.

I really believe both parts of her quote.  The truth will set you free and that it will also piss you off.

Wow… how true.  The truth really can be painful.

It’s my opinion that most people don’t really want the truth.  They want to hear things that match their thinking.  Sad, and so narrow.

But to grow and become better we need the truth.

Truth isn’t pleasant but it has the power to transform.  The person who is open is forever changed when they hear and take in truth, regardless of how painful.

I heard someone say that people are not growing because they never hear the truth presented in such a way as to invite discovery.
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“I never gave anyone hell.  I told the truth and they thought it was hell.”
– Harry Truman (33rd President of the United States)
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Truth is generally presented in one of two extremes.

Sometimes people are not straightforward enough.  It is lost amid a wash of verbal timidity.  The power of truth is diluted with hints and innuendoes.

Then you have the other extreme.  Truth is callously jammed down someones throat

What’s really sad is that the greatest Truth of all is lost because some people feel it is their call to beat another person to death verbally, all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know about you but I want Truth.  I invite people to be direct and honest with their input… don’t hint… tell me what I need to hear.

But on the other hand, it’s hard to be open if I am getting beat over the head.

Writing this challenges me to examine how I present truth.

Humm… something to think about.

See you Monday.


19
Apr 12

The BIG Decision

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Howdy.  I’m glad you decided to pop in today.

I have to do something I haven’t been able to do in any of my blogs… write and post the entry in less than an hour.

Some of you that are regulars are probably amused that it takes me more than an hour to write these little discourses on life and the world.  Like I said from the beginning, I am not a writer nor am I the most colorful crayon in the box.

In the last three blogs I have written about the constants in our world that impact every aspect of our lives.

If we don’t understand them, or embrace them, our lives sadly occupy space toward the bottom of the pond where the debris and yucky stuff settle.  We can never fully enjoy the fresher, brighter waters toward the top.

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Side Note: Please, don’t ask me where these metaphors come from.  I have no idea.

They just seem to seep out as I type.  And yes, it frightens me too.

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The first two constants were Change (everything around us is constantly changing and moving), and Changelessness (the Universal Laws of nature and life that never change).

If you want a deeper understanding please go back and read them.  Remember, I only have less than an hour to pull this blog thing off.

Please don’t miss this next point.  The first two constants exist and we have NO control over them.  They are constants whether we like it or believe it.

They were in existence long before we popped out of our mother’s womb and will be in existence long after we have returned to dust.

The third constant is totally different.  This constant is completely within our control and exists only as long as we exist.

The constant is CHOICE.

It is our ability to choose and make decisions in respect to the other two constants.  We choose what we do and how we interface with the constants that impact our lives.

My wife and I recently watched an average romantic comedy called The Prince and Me.  It was cute but it would never win any awards.

But in the movie there was a statement made by one of the characters that just jumped off the TV screen to me.

The Prince was talking to his ailing father (the King) about the commoner he wanted to marry.  The King told his son:

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“It’s at the end of a man’s life when he realizes how important his decisions (choices) were at the beginning of his life.”

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How true!

Everyone one of us can look back and see choices that were good and… not so good.

We celebrate the good ones and try to forget the bad ones.

We are constantly making choices in regards to life and the two constants that swirl around us.  So we need to get it as right as we can.

I want to spend some time over the next couple of blogs to talk about Choice.

I hope you hang out with me as I poke at this topic a bit.

See you Monday.

P.S.  For those who are interested, I did finish in time.


16
Apr 12

Staying Afloat

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Hi, welcome back.

At the end of the last blog entry I made a fairly bold statement.  I said that in today’s entry I will talk about a constant that if taken to heart will fundamentally transform your life.

Yikes!  I’ve got a lot to live up to.  But I will give it a shot.

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Side Note: If you didn’t read the last entry I suggest that you take some time and scroll down the page and take a look.  I think you will get more out today’s entry if you do.

Don’t worry, you won’t go to hell if you don’t but it’s just a suggestion.

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As you know I have started talking about three Universal constants that impact our lives.  The first constant, change, has been our focus.

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Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

- Arthur Schopenhauer
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I’m sure Arthur is a smart guy… but he’s wrong.  I think that if he removed the word “alone” from his statement he will be closer to the truth.

Today we will talk about a constant that sounds totally contradictory to Change.  The second constant is Changelessness.

Yes, things are constantly in motion, but… there are some things that NEVER change.  They are changeless.

There are Universal laws and principles that are constant.  And thank goodness they are.  We would not survive the constant change without the constant changelessness.

You can come up with your own list but there are laws of physics, math, science, etc.

All the changing that occurs still has to take into consideration or accommodate the things that never change.

Although aviation has changed dramatically and continues to change, the engineers still have to deal with the Laws of Physics.

You’re probably sitting there quickly scanning this blog and wondering, what’s the big whoop-de-do about this B.G.O. (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious).

And to top it off you’re wondering how this meets the lofty standard I placed on this when I mentioned that if we really grasp this it will transform our life.

Fair question… just keep your head open and keep reading.  There are a couple of insights that I believe will elevate the constant of changelessness.

As mentioned, there are obviously the physical laws of nature.  Although these laws are abstract they are manifested in very tangible and measureable terms.

But we need to understand that there are other changeless laws that are just as real but not easily measured and quantified.

These are the changeless laws of relationships, heart and spirit.  They are just as real as the physical laws and must be a part of our consideration as we encounter and deal with change.

Allow me to give you a perfect example.  I mentioned that there are changeless laws of relationships.  The reality is, you cannot have a meaningful deep relationship with anyone without TRUST.

Trust is just as real to the law of relationships as gravity is to the law of physics.  It is a constant.

I do not have a list of all the laws of relationships, heart and spirit.  It is for us to discover.  I am sure you have discovered some on your own.  Share them if you would like.

Here are a couple from different people.

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Truth, though it has many disadvantages, is at least changeless. You can always find it where you left it.
- Phyllis Bottome

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Eternal principles that govern happiness apply equally to all.
- Russell M. Nelson
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I have one extremely important closing point.  I alluded to it earlier.

We talked about the turmoil and challenge we face as we navigate the teeming sea of change in which we live.

The way we successfully deal with the rough seas of change… is with changelessness.

These changeless principles are not anchors that keep us from changing but serve as ballast that keeps us upright and afloat.

That’s why it’s so important to know and understand the changeless principles of life.

Whew… this is a lot to take in and absorb.

But the next entry will tackle the greatest constant of all.

See you Thursday.


12
Apr 12

Go with the flow!

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Yep… me again.

In the last blog entry I started digging into the power of constancy.

On the surface it may sound boring but the implications for our life and the fulfillment we can experience in our life is profound.  Seriously, really, really profound.

Stick with me and I’ll prove it.

According to the dictionary constancy is invariable, uniform, continually occurring or recurring.  It is marked by steadfast resolution or faithfulness.

Okay, enough with the academic.  What does this mean for us in the real world?

I mentioned that there are three things that are Universal constants.  They are – Change, Changelessness and Choice.

In the last blog I poked at the issue of Change.  It is constant, never ceasing, relentless.

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“You never step into the same river twice.”

- Chinese Proverb

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The first time I read the proverb I tilted my head and had this puzzled look in my mind.  I didn’t immediately understand it at first.  Yes… you’re probably a brighter bulb than I am.  So don’t scoff.

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“He who laughs last, thinks slowest.”

- Unknown

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It took me a moment because I told myself that I have been in the same river many times.  But in reality, it wasn’t the same river.  The river is in constant motion and constantly changing.  It was always a different river.

Once again, life is in constant motion and we must continue to adjust and shift or change will force us to move.

Let me speak from experience, getting to the point where you are forced to change or move is not pleasant.  And it is never a gentle process.

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The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
- Charles Kettering
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Our attitude toward change dictates our success in navigating the shifting landscape.  If not careful we can waste an inordinate amount of energy and life fighting the inevitable.

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It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change.
- Mignon McLaughlin

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The most fulfilled and successful at navigating these waters are those who accept change and work to be on the front edge.  This allows them to help channel the current in productive directions.

Wow… sorry if I have hammered this change thing too much.  But it is critical that we understand and accept this life dynamic.

I am probably like most of you in that it’s pretty easy to understand but accepting is pretty tough.

In good conscious in need to ask a couple of pretty pointed questions.

  1. What is something in the past you have hung on too for much too long?
  2. What were the consequences?
  3. Is there something now that you know in your heart that you need to release and shift with the change?

In the next blog I will talk about a constant that will sound exactly the opposite of what I have been saying.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I have NEVER said anything like what I am about to say.

The next blog entry will literally transform our life if we take it to heart.

See you Monday.

Ciao.


9
Apr 12

Motion Sickness

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Hello again.

I don’t know about you but it seems like the world is moving faster and faster.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to push the pause button on life, catch my breath, get my bearings and press start again.

But… we can’t.

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“The only problem with life is that it’s so constant.”

- Unknown

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That’s the thing about something that is constant. It’s relentless.  It never stops.  There is no end.

You cannot fight something that’s constant… well… on second thought you can fight it… but you’ll lose.

Over time we either are worn down, worn out or we learn how to take the thing that is constant and use it to our favor.

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Constant dripping hollows out a stone.
- Lucretius
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I heard someone say onetime that there are three Universal constants – Change, Changelessness and Choice.

I think these three things are worth poking at for a while because they impact virtually every aspect of our lives.

In fact, I will make a pretty bold statement.

To the degree we understand them, accept them, and know how best to interface with these constants determines our level of happiness, fulfillment and success.

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CHANGE

Let’s face it… we live in a constant state of change.

As much as we want things to remain the same, change is inevitable.

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“It’s hard for me to get use to these changing times.  I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.”

- George Burns

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Those of you who are parents can relate to what I am about to say.  There are times when you are with your child and you wish you could stop time and capture the moment.

But the reality is, moments are fleeting.

Those special times evaporate quickly and what remains are a few mementos and the memories.

It’s sort of like a ring in the bathtub.  We know that something was there, something happened and all we have is the residue.

The interesting thing about memories is that we don’t tend to remember the details, we remember the emotions… the way we felt.

Life, our bodies, our families, our work, everything is in a continual state of motion.  Yes, the speed of motion will vary but motion none-the-less.

We can fight change… but change wins.

Yes, change is tiring.  It’s relentless and we all suffer from change fatigue.

The key to dealing with change is to be on the front end of change, not the back end.

Being on the front end of change allows you to help guide it to your benefit.  I see this in companies all the time.

A company will fight an industry or societal change and before you know it… you’re irrelevant.

Kodak is a perfect example.  They led the field of photography but ended up on the back end of change in a digital world.

The same is true for us personally.  We either flow with change and grow, or we fight it and get the crap beat out of us.

Humm… I don’t know about you but I’ll take the first option.

Over the next couple of blogs I plan to unpack the other two constants… that is… unless something changes.

See you Thursday.


5
Apr 12

Jump Off or Hang On?

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Howdy, it’s nice to have you visit.

Well… if you read the last blog you know that I am taking a sharp turn to the left.

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Side Note: In case you are wondering, this is a metaphorical turn to the left not  political.

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In the last blog I waxed eloquent on the difference between Effectiveness and Efficiency.  And toward the end of the blog I mentioned that I thought it was worthy of a couple of more blog entries.

Wow!  What was I thinking?

As I was typing away I almost fell asleep.  Man was it boring.

I don’t know where my head was to believe a discourse on efficiency was going to be interesting enough for someone to read.

So instead I will use the opportunity to make a different “life point”.

At first when I considered scrapping the topic (which I had already announced) it crossed my mind that I was running from something.  Something hard or difficult.

I never want to be one who runs from difficulty.  And I especially don’t want to leave something that I had made a commitment too.

So when confronted with a problem in life we have one of two productive alternatives.  First, push through the difficulty and press on; or have enough sense to know it isn’t a good decision and make a change early.

Historically I probably hang on too long.  That tends to be a flat spot for me.  Other people’s flat spot may be that they jump ship too soon.

Both have their consequences if carried too far.  And both have amazing reward if executed correctly.

I could have continued the topic out of obligation and commitment and the results would have been an unsatisfied writer and a very bored and disinterested reader.

The remarkable thing is that it takes courage and strength to go against your tendency and do the right thing… and just as importantly, at the right time.

So some of you reading may be hanging on to something that needs to be released, or continuing something that needs to be stopped.

Cut your losses and move on.  Seriously… let it go and move on.

There are others reading this blog and your tendency is to jump off and run to something else when things get a bit tough or uncomfortable.

What a wuuse!   Yes,YOU.

I probably didn’t spell it right but you are still one regardless of how it’s spelled.

This is the beauty of life.  We are all different.

We are all trying to make our way in the world and trying to make a good life for ourselves and the people we love.

It is easier to stay with our tendency – hang on too long or jump off too soon.  If we are honest we can see these tendencies in different aspects of our life.

To grow and become better we have to push against our tendency.

I sure have a long way to go… a very long way.

But today I did not get trapped by my tendency and hang on to trying to make something work that needed to be dropped.

I feel better about today’s blog.  And let me assure you… if you read my other blog you would totally agree.

See you Monday.

Ciao.


23
Jan 12

Comfortable Tiny World

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It’s a very cold dreary day today and I am making sure I stay warm and toasty.

Call me silly, but I like to be comfortable… physically, emotionally… you name it, I like comfort.

I think wanting to be comfortable is very natural for the most part.  Comfort is NOT a bad thing whatsoever… unless.  Yes, there is an unless.

Although comfort is ok for the most part, there is a dark side.  In fact, there are some aspects of life where comfort is deadly.

You want to know the scary thing?  It’s not a death we see coming.

Comfort gone bad creates a matchbox life lined with cotton.

It’s a comfortable and safe, tiny world.  And it seems to protect us to the sting of the prickly things of life that come from change and real growth.

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What starts out as a natural attempt to make our lives happy, easily becomes a feather pillow for mediocrity.  And if left unchecked we become consumed with feeding our addiction of comfort for self.

Comfort sweetly and quietly lulls us to sleep and then slowly suffocates the person we can be.  And at that point our world has become a cozy little matchbox coffin of “what could have been”.

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In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

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If not aroused out of our cocoon stupor our fate is sealed.   We never realize the fullness life has to offer.

It is important to note that when I talk about fullness of life, I do not necessarily mean needing to experience or taste all that our world offers.  It is not traveling to exotic places and trying new things that make a life fulfilling.

A fulfilled life comes from growth, real vibrant growth.  And growth is not a life of ease nor comfort.   It’s a risky business, and frankly, painful at times.

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Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life, there may be no security, but only adventure.
-Rachel Naomi Remen

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There is bad pain, which I want to avoid, and good pain (a sign of life and growth) which I want to embrace.

God forbid that I choose comfort over growth, or ease over progress in my life.

I don’t know where I will end up… but oh the joy of the adventure of growing as a person… personally, emotionally, intellectually and especially Spiritually.

Well I want to restate a portion of the prior sentence.  I stated that I didn’t know where I would end up on this grand adventure.  That is very very true.  But I do know where I will not end up… in a match box coffin.

I say this a lot, and it cannot be said enough, we live so far below what God wants for His cherished children.

So over time I have learned to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

How cool is that?


2
Jan 12

I need a “Do Over”

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Hi, Happy New Year and welcome to the first blog entry of 2012.

Well… if you are reading this blog, it means you have successfully survived another year.  Congratulations!

In the last blog entry of 2011 I reflected on the past year and talked about the different ways we deal with memories… people tend to be a Filer or a Piler.  I then launched into an eloquent discourse (humm… somewhat debatable) on the benefits of being a memory piler.

If you are assuming that in this first blog of 2012 I will poke around the topic of looking at fresh starts for the New Year – you are correct.  Oh how I hate being predictable!

As much as I didn’t want to be predictable I felt compelled to explore some possible traps of the typical New Year fresh start.

Don’t get me wrong… I like fresh starts and we NEED fresh starts.

I remember when as a kid we would be playing a game and on occasion someone would say, “Do over.”  Then we would start over… or give the person another chance.

Yes, there was always someone who would try to use it to an unfair advantage.  That’s a different topic for a different time.

But most of the time the Universal Rule of “Do Over” was requested by someone who just needed a fresh start.

If we are requesting a “Do Over” I want us to get the most out of our new beginning and not have it be sabotaged by our faulty thinking or the past.

It’s sad but true, our old thinking and baggage can and will undermine our efforts if we are not careful.

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“Don’t let the past corrupt your future.”

- Oswald Chambers

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Here are a few pointers that I hope will help.

# 1. – Give yourself permission for a “Do Over”.

We have all started things, and failed… more than once (in fact many times).  The more we have let ourselves down the harder it is to request a “Do Over”.

We’re weird like that.  Somehow we feel that we don’t deserve another chance.

Let me say as clearly and forcefully as possible – THAT IS A LIE!!!

Give yourself permission.

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# 2. – Make changes for yourself

Personal growth is… huh… personal.  If not careful you will get in the trap of trying to change for others.  That gets messy pronto.

It gets messy because of two extremes.  The first is, if you have a set back, you will disappoint them and you feel crappy cause you let them down.  Or secondly, you start to make changes and they try to force you back into the role or behavior they want you to be or is most comfortable for them.

Change affects change.  You change and it inadvertently changes the world of those around you… and some people prefer their comfort over your progress.

For real sustained change and growth we have to do it for ourselves because it’s the right thing to do.

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# 3. – Realize that the future is a clean slate

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I like that picture… and it’s true.

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# 4. – Think progress not perfection

With any bold step there are missteps along the way.  If you expect perfection you will get discouraged quickly.  And discouragement is the valley for quitting.

Understand from the beginning that there will be missteps… and accept that reality.

Our growth is a journey not a destination.

I have my share of “Do Over’s” for 2012 all lined up.

Do you want to hang out with me and journey together?  I hope you do.

I plan on making this journey with or without people being with me… but it’s a lot more fun having the company.

See you on Thursday.


21
Apr 11

Tilt-A-Whirl World

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Hello.  It’s good to have you pop in and visit for a while.

I don’t know about you but sometimes my head starts spinning with all the changes around me.  Whew. 

Sometimes it feels like I am on a societal tilt-a-whirl spinning round and round.  The only scary news is that this tilt-a-whirl doesn’t stop to let you get off.  Is it a constant spin with no end.  In fact, it is only speeding up.

Side Note:  One memory I would like to forget involves a tilt-a-whirl.  I was eighteen and took a girl on a first date to Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

As you can see I was a cool dude… uh… maybe dud would be a better descriptor. 

Yes, the story is pretty predictable.  Being the “live on the edge” kind of guy we took the tilt-a-whirl for a… spin (sorry I just had to say it).  Well as you can guess the spinning got to me and I threw up. 

Let us just say, it was not a pretty sight.  And yes, it was a short and only date.  As a tip for future reference… tacos and tilt-a-whirls don’t mix.

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Anyway, I digress.

The world is whirling and changing so fast it’s hard to keep up.  I barely get my bearings and things change again.

I know change is going to occur.  We’re assured of that.  It’s the velocity that gets to me. 

I ran across some quotes that I found quite interesting.

“A new factor, that of rapid change, has come into the world. We have not yet learned how to adjust ourselves to its economic and social consequences.”

“The world is too big for us. There is too much doing, too many crimes, casualties, violence, and excitements. Try as you will, you get behind the race despite yourself. It is an incessant strain to keep pace and still you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world witnesses new scenes so rapidly that you are out of breath trying to keep up with them.”

“All is flux, nothing stays still.”

As you can see, we are not the only ones that struggle with the constant, speeding change.  But there is something interesting about these insights that I quoted above.

The first comment was written in the page of Harvard Business Review by Wallace Donham in 1932. The second one comes from the Atlantic Journal in 1837. The last remark was made by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, five hundred years before the birth of Christ.

Humm, I guess this “change” thing has been a nuisance for a while. 

I think we need to hang on, enjoy the ride and try not to fight the current. 
See you Monday.