gurustu's muse the daily thoughts of an every day guru
Daily Guru Thoughts
Tuesday, May 30, 2006 Nothing... Nothing's wrong... til you want to do something.
Had a great three day weekend, filled with fun in sun (beach, bikes and bbq). I also had time to be productive too (boxes and boxes in need of consolidation).
I experienced the kindness of strangers after the key broke off in my bike lock. A young man, who was practicing for his fire-dancing act, actually had a pair of bolt cutters in his car. Why I even asked him if he had a pair, I'll never know, but he did!
I also met some wonderful new people yesterday, which I hope turns into a good friendship.
Now, the day back to work, I kind of wish I had that same sense of progress. Meeting, meetings and a few more meetings left me with many more notes than anything notable. Sure there's always tomorrow, but for Now, there's not much to show.
So I've got my little list ready to go for the morning... not too much... just something that's better than nothing.
Friday, May 26, 2006 Celebrate Celebrate what got you here!
I've been wrapping up a few projects lately, since everyone is hurrying to get to the next-great-thing... and I've been quietly mentioning it to anyone who would listen:
"We really don't celebrate enough."
I get a lot of nodding heads, but not sure the point is getting through.
That last-great-thing didn't get much notice. "They" (read: Upper Management) noticed that no one noticed. So naturally, it's coming down to me to do something to get it noticed.
I explained a long time ago, to rather deafened ears, that "celebration" is not so much about us loving ourselves... but rather publicly acknowledging our accomplishments. "Showing off" if you will. There's a method to that madness... not to get some present, or some big budgeted hoopla... but rather "look at what we did... we're really proud of it... check it out!"
Back when I managed a team of designers/developers/etc I used to send out an email praising the team for a job well done. It wasn't a "look at me" or even a "look at us" .. it was a "look at what a great team can accomplish." Not only did it get our work noticed, it inspired everyone on the team to work even better next time.
In my current environment, that doesn't happen. It's been more like "that's-great-but-what-about-the-things-we-haven't-done?" That forces everyone to neglect the crucial part of marketing and team building... and it doesn't get noticed until it becomes something we didn't do.
That negative mentality is a very powerful thing. It perpetuates itself. Someone today labeled it "toxic." I think he noticed.
Right now, with a three day weekend heading my way, my focus is on celebrating my own accomplishments... but when I return to the land-o-not, I'll be suggesting that email to someone who's forgotten the power of celebration.
If it works, we'll have another reason to celebrate.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 To the future... Never underestimate the power of a child, for they are the link to the future.
It started off as a simple conversation about moving on, but as I'm oft to do, I worked in a bit of lightened witticisms. A co-worker came to talk about his three-week notice and how he'll miss everyone and how, ironically, he's going to work for a company that I did several years ago.
Then we just sort of work onto the topic of children, since marriage and little ones are part of his plan. I told him the sentence I wrote above... "Never underestimate the power of a child, for they are the link to the future."
Even if you think that you are leading an ordinary life, when you can affect the life of a child, you have within your grasp the power to change the world.
Think of Pauline Koch... a woman of ordinary means, who lead a rather ordinary life. Her biggest accomplishment I would imagine was the love for her children. Her son didn't speak until he was three, so she gave him special attention... and forced him to play the violin despite his hatred for it. It wasn't until he took to Math, that Albert went on to lead a very extraordinary life... relatively speaking, of course.
If you don't have your own children, but you have access to them (be they nieces, nephews or students) you have so much more power than you realize. By creating a world of love and peace for them, you're building a chance for love and peace to spread throughout the world.
Yesterday I said that "you are not what you do"... today I add the rest of that sentence - "but you do what you are."
A friend of mine asked me if I always write during my lunch hour, and I gave him this simple answer:
A writer writes.
He hemmed and hawed a little, saying that he ought to get back to it.:
If you want to call yourself a Writer, then yeah.
So often we identify ourselves with one thing or another, then never actual go about DOING the thing that the Doer does.
That's one thing that I've been very happy with. Most of the articles you read here are first drafts. They ain't perfect... for a reason. They're me, talking to you. I know the rules of proper grammar are bent a little.
And I like it that way :-)
A writer writes, a talker talks, a teacher teaches...
A Guru gurus.
What matters to me the most is that I do what I do because I belief I can (enough to finish the sentence "I am...")
And whether you call yourself a student, a fellow guru or a reader doesn't matter either... as long as you get it.
Monday, May 22, 2006 I am... What follows "I am..." is your destiny.
Several of my latest emails have had a common theme. The message seems important enough to let it stand for itself. I have stripped out personal information, to bring to these words of wisdom...
We can never judge how mighty an oak will be by looking at the acorn... only time can tell. And no matter how mighty or tiny that oak may become, it does not lessen the importance of the acorn itself.
As with our own lives, we cannot look at where we want to be and see ourselves as less because we're not there.
"Growth" is not a size, but a state of being. Sure, the oak is bigger than an acorn... but the sun is smaller than the gas cloud that formed it.
There are two aspects to our lives -- "who we are" and "what we do." Typically, we get caught up in the things we do and equate our lives with that "I am a parent" or "I am a child" or "I am a worker" for instance. How we finish the sentence "I am..." is very powerful. It shapes our destiny. So just imagine what happens when we say "I am nothing."
Our thoughts create our realities. It's magical, but it isn't magic.
What we think becomes our actions... our actions dictate what we do and how we react.. those actions create our events... and events return to us our experience. We may not like the experience, but that's the way it works every time.
There's no such thing as failure, only results we don't like.
And it all stems back to the thought that started it. So here's a better way to end the sentence "I am..."
"I am going to create something amazing... something that is exclusively, uniquely mine." That way, no one else could take credit and it reinforces our own uniqueness.
"I am going to make a difference today." Either for myself or for someone else, but my life, or their life, will be better after today.
"I am at Peace." That just reminded me to exhale, and relax, and let life be. Coming from that center always gives better results.
And my personal favorite answer when someone asks "tell me about yourself"...
Sunday, May 21, 2006 Play with Purpose... Playing is the fun part of a balanced life.
I just spent a weekend with friends, celebrating each other's company and life in general. Though cold by California standards, the weather held its rain off enough to enjoy being near the ocean and getting SOME sun (meaning I'm now a darker shaded of pale).
It comes at a great time too. I've put in a lot of hours at the office the last few weeks and have been putting in some extra effort to get people to buy my book. It was really nice to just let all of that go and just BE for a while.
And... it's also nice to be home now too... at a reasonable hour. That gives me a chance to REST (another one of the four elements of a balanced life - the other two being Work and Growth).
So with a shower and bed in my future, I bid you all a good night and an even better day tomorrow... and remember...
Thursday, May 18, 2006 Gratitude... Let Gratitude be your Attitude!
Like staring at the phone to ring, hoping your true love of the moment is going to call any minute, I kept checking the stats on the sale of my new book, "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life." I'm chapter 98, by the way, and there's only two chapters between Zig Ziglar and myself, thanks to my father's lineage and the lack of authors between R & Z.
I got an email from SelfGrowth.com, the publishers, saying how two books were selling every minute. Too bad us authors only get paid for the books we sell, and the books our affiliates sell... which is a really great deal, really, when everything is working in your favor.
I got some lovely emails congratulating me on my success... and one friend asked when is one of MY books coming out (meaning mine-mine-all-mine)... and, um, it was probably my imagination, but I can swear I heard crickets chirping each time I ran a report.
I had a lot to think about on my daily walk at lunch.
I thought about the top seller, who had reportedly sold 160 by mid-day. I wondered what they were doing differently (I'm very open to learning new stuff).
And yes, I admit I thought a few sad thoughts... but I didn't let them linger. I still had plenty to be thankful for.
Some people are waiting for my shipment to come in to get their signed copies. I'm thankful for that.
Some people are waiting for their free copy that they know I'm going to give to them no matter what... because over for the last 20 years they've collected my stuff and paid me in Love. I'm way thankful for that.
And others are just too busy being wildly successful pursuing their dreams, that they just don't need to improve their lives any more. I'm even thankful for that.
Mostly though, I'm just thankful to be in the book. Had it been 100 Great Ways, maybe I wouldn't be there... but I am in there. It's a personal accomplishment that I'm not going to overlook.
I'm also grateful that the books are selling. I mean, come on, thousands more people will get to know the Guru... that's gotta be good, right? :-)
So whatever happens will happen. I'm doing my part to keep the experience alive. I've been reading the book, and it's quite good. Of course I want you to buy a copy... or sell a whole bunch of copies... but for now, I'm just glad you're here.
Sunday, May 14, 2006 Give me an "M"! M.O.M. = Maker of Miracles
Today is Mother's Day and it's a great time to acknowledge and honor the women of the world... especially the one who helped get you here.
If you're fortunate to have your mom still around, and have a good relationship with her, now is the best time to not only show her how much you care, but just celebrate being together still after all these years.
If your relationship isn't so good, this is a pretty good time to break down the barriers and build something special going forward. As long as you BOTH believe there's a chance, there's a future.
However there are those people who don't have such a great relationship and don't even care to do anything about it. Sad as that may seem, we all have choices. No one says you have to like her. You can "honor thy mother" by either being a better mom to your kids, or marrying a good woman to have your kids... or being nurturing as a mother is archetypically known for (that goes for you guys as well.
When all else fails, you can always honor Gaia, our Mother Earth. She needs a lot of love these days. Do her the honor of respect, if nothing else.
And for those mothers who have long since gone, honor them too. Send them love and good thoughts, no matter what your relationship was back then. It not only sets them free, it frees you even more.
As for me, I spoke with my Mom this morning, as I do every Sunday. She's doing "foyn" (She's from Neuu Joysey) and teaching her friends Mahjong. Our relationship is good and after all these years, I'm still glad to know her :-)
Tuesday, May 09, 2006 Go back to where you came from! Sometimes you really do have to go back to where you came from.
We've been hearing that statement a lot lately... "go back to where you came from" ... of course, people have been saying it in a very negative way; against others that are just trying to create a better life for themselves.
Of course you know me, I'm not playing that game. I'm going to play a totally different game. I'm going to turn that saying into something much much lighter.
"Go back to where you came from!"
So often we get ourselves lost in the details. Everything swirls and blurs until we lose sight of our vision; leaving us with no idea where to go next.
"Go back to where you came from!"
Do you remember that very first moment, way back, that changed the course of your life forever? That day you decided to become an astronaut or a princess? That day you felt more love than fear and decided to do something about it?
You know that moment... that pivotal, magical moment.
That's where we came from.
So when we feel lost and confused by the everyday details... it's time to take pause... forget the blur... and focus on those moments that first inspired us.
Sunday, May 07, 2006 Stuff Sometimes you just gotta do stuff.
"Stuff" ... that's pretty much my answer to whenever anyone asked me what I did this weekend. Stuff, lots and lots of it. That's 'cause I've been ignoring a lot of stuff while I was busy doing other stuff.
So things were getting a bit stuffy.
So I took out my pen and paper and made a stuff to do list. Oh, sure, there was way too much stuff on my stuff list to actually get it all done. I kind of overstuffed the stuff list... but that's ok... some stuff is better than no stuff.
So I got a lot of stuff done.
Caulking more crown moulding. Really important stuff... being that it's almost a year since I bought the place.
Answering emails. Who's inbox isn't filled with stuff?
Shopping for more stuff. OK, I didn't really need more stuff to stuff into my place... but you never know when half priced stuff would look really nice stuffed into a corner.
I stuffed myself at the foodcourt, more than I bought stuff.
And basically tried to think up some clever stuff for May 17th, the day the book comes out. Still thinking about that stuff.
So that's about it... rather than stuff this post any more with miscellaneous stuff, I'll just go off and do some other stuff.
Friday, May 05, 2006 Shiny... When the clouds appear, make your own silver lining.
Like a Midwestern thunderstorm, the climate changed so quickly. One minute everything was bright and cheerful and full of hope; the next moment it all turned dark and dreary and full of dread.
A very very important project failed... well, not really failed-failed, if you look at it from a reasonable point of view. Let me say that again... IF you look at it from a reasonable point of view. If you don't, well, it was just the end-of-the-world.
A big-wig sent out a video announcement and a third of them got an error message to try back later. IF you look at it from a reasonable point of view, it's not the end of the world. If you get the message and you're that big-wig, well, it was just the end-of-the-world for everyone else involved.
I knew what went wrong, but I didn't know what I was talking about (just ask them)... and so I spent the last two days writing a basic dissertation, including consultations with 'experts' and technicians, to conclude one this... um, I knew what I was talking about.
The real problem had nothing to do with servers, corrupt files or lousy audio; it had to do with perception. People whose perceptions shape the decisions that shape my day. They 'displeasure' quickly turned into everyone else's 'distemper' ... and that lead to my 'distraction' ... that is only now starting to settle back down.
After sending out my report this afternoon I waited with bated breath for a reply. Barely two minutes before I left for the day, a reply came through...
"This is EXCELLENT... thanks for a very comprehensive report!"
I finally exhaled.
And yet, these days haven't been all dark.
The book I co-authored is nearly out and they've set up the affiliate program. If anyone is interested in selling this book, through your website or in person, you'll get $7.50 for each book you sell. All you have to do now is sign up, and the information on selling the book will come to you before the release of May 17th.
It's going to be a great book, I encourage everyone to get a copy, give a copy, sell a copy or two. It'll brighten up your day, and mine.... so give it a go!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006 When worlds collide We get used to seeing people in certain places; seeing them someplace else shatters our illusion of order.
It started with a familiar face in the 'wrong' place... then another... and another... kind of like a Twilight Zone.
There are two gyms near my house - the Big One, which I prefer and the Little One, which I go to when time is short. Each one has its share of characters, and rarely do the two meet... 'cept today. The Little Gym was closed and one by one they all started filing in.
'Shirt Guy' who wears the same black outfit and blue denim shirt tied around his waste, never brings a towel and always uses the sleeves to wipe his hands. Guess he's getting back at his mother for something.
Then in came 'Pinched Face' who if his mouth scowls any more it'll implode along with his nose. I saw his face scrunch even more once, when he argued with someone over 'his' machine.
Then 'ONG' came in. Not a very original name, but when you're old and naked and a guy, well... he likes to say hi to everyone and is always in the shower opposite...
'Shower Guy'... the biggest character of the little gym. He never works out, just takes a shower for 30 minutes every day... and he does wear a towel when not in the shower... on his head. The rest is left for everyone to ignore (except for ONG I suppose).
Now, there's nothing wrong with any of these people. They fill in the color of an otherwise black and white workout. It's just 'different' when they're not where you'd expect them to be. You know what I mean?
We are independent of where we go, even if we bring our little quirks along with us. Tying ourselves up with places and things only builds walls and expectations. So it's good to shake things up a little.