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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Your best with less than... 
Even when you have less than the best to work with, make the best of it that you can.

...........................

There are going to be times when we just don't have the best raw materials to work with. Now we can either sit around and complain about it, kind of just do it half-heartedly, or really go for it and make the best of it.

It seems for me lately that everywhere I've turned, I've had lesser quality 'stuff'... not bad stuff, just not the best stuff.

You ever notice how when you DO have the best stuff that everything seems easier, fresher, more alive? It's great when you can get it.

Yet we're always compromising because we don't want to pay the price, or we don't think we deserve it or just don't know where to find it. No matter what that case is, that doesn't mean that what we do have is meaningless. In fact, whatever we do have is GREAT... because it's better than nothing at all.

As an example, I'm working on this one video. It's alright; kind of square peggish in a round hole sort of way. All the parts don't fully mesh with each other... and so the progress is slow. I've been adding little bits of effects and graphics here and there.. and it's starting to come together. It kind of reminds me of my childhood, when the cake didn't really turn out so good, we just piled on the icing and hope no one noticed.

In another way, I've been helping out a few people who are also struggling with less-than-perfect resources. It's either about lack of money, lack of time or lack of support... and it's more like trudging, instead of flowing. Yet I tell them what I tell myself:

Go slowly... massage and shape it... through gentleness and love all goals will becomes warm, pliable... and can be shaped into whatever it is you desire.

It isn't about having the best, but rather about being the best... and making the best out of what's at hand.


9:20 PM


Monday, August 28, 2006
Reigning Cats and Dogs... 
Here comes the reign again...

.........................

The weekend has been filled with a lot more questions than answers, but the questions have been leading me in new and exciting directions.

My friend who is doing quite well in the animal world, with her show Critter Crusades, came with me to investigate a company that I've been shooting some video for. The more questions that were asked, the farther away the opportunities seem to be. Things just didn't fit.

Yet each alternate answer to these questions seemed to bring my friend and I closer to 'something'. Now we're already close Cosmic-Friends-For-Eternity, with intertwining lives for umpteen-plus years, but our common goals have never been as convergent as they are now. It's like slow growing fruit that's finally ripening on the vine.

What's important is that by seeing what does NOT fit, we've been getting a clearer picture of what DOES. That's the amazing thing about 'Failure' when you let it teach you how to succeed. It reminds me of Thomas Edison, who failed a thousand times with that darn light bulb.

Now, light bulbs are going off all over the place.

..............................

One of the things that my friend and I spoke about has become the topic for my next newsletter, sign up for it now, if you're not on the list already.


10:24 PM


Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Nudge 
Mountains do move... not just noticeably.

.........................

You can move mountains in many ways. One, you can use a lot of force, like an earthquake. That usually is quite dramatic. Secondly, you can wear it down, like a river; that requires A LOT of patience (just ask the Grand Canyon). Or, you can be very persistent and move it one rock at a time.

I watched a show tonight about how the Swiss are boring a tunnel under the Alps. They're building a 'short cut' which is expected to take 20 years to achieve. Talk about using force, patience AND persistence!

On a much, much smaller scale, it's kind of what these past two weeks have felt like for me. It hasn't been boring, but it's gotten tedious at times. Step... by... step... inch... by.... inch...

The thing is... all the stuff I do... all the stuff we all do... is like a mountain. It's the mountain of our lives. We can push and push, but it really doesn't move it all that much. Instead, each minute that we live is like a small rock that we pick up and move someplace else. It isn't until we've moved millions of these tiny moments, that we can see just how far we've moved.

While things have been coming along nicely lately, like the Alps, I still have tons of things to do. Hopefully I'll have tons of good news to report soon... but in the meantime, carry on!


10:42 PM


Saturday, August 19, 2006
Better than nothing 
Doing even a little bit better is better than doing nothing at all.

............................

The box sat in the middle of the room for a week; the unframed pictures stayed propped next to their frames for many weeks, give or take a few months. They were a constant reminder of plans left unfinished. Not that their neglect was any more important than other things around the house, but I just figured that today was a good day to give them some attention.

I thought about a phone seminar I listened to a couple of months back. One thing that stuck in my mind was the question 'what if everything you wanted done actually got done?' It was about not settling for anything less than what you want.

Hours after the new sofa table was assembled and the (almost) new pictures were framed... the blah-blah-blah and the yadda-yadda-yadda were out of the way, it felt great to just look around and feel like I was in a new space.

I was.

I was in a better space... that I built.

It didn't take all that much, nor all that long. In fact, putting it off took a lot longer... so it's just got to make you think...

What are you putting off?


11:46 PM


Friday, August 18, 2006
Ride the wave 
When the wave comes, catch it!

........................

Life is full of ups and downs. During the down times, it's important to batten down the hatches and ride it through. When the times are good, it's even more important to ride; but this time on top of the wave.

This has been an amazing week for me; busy, but amazing. I did my best work ever on a video because I've gone beyond the learning curve; and am now in that place where creativity can flow freely. Everyone is very pleased with the results; especially me (not bad that the upper management likes it too).

Add to this, the President of the company contacted me directly for a project... and when he was with me he committed to doing a video every month. I asked him, "you want me to bug you every month with a reminder?" and he replied, "without a doubt." Now this has been something that my boss has been trying to get him to do for quite some time... and with him coming to me with that suggestion, well... kudos and kongratulations!

This moment may not last forever, but then again, it's not supposed to... it's just a springboard for the next one. When moments like these occur, it's important to manifest all possibilities; to strike while the iron is hot and forge a future made of dreams.


10:15 PM


Sunday, August 13, 2006
Happiness 
Happiness is what lies between freedom and responsibility.

.....................

When we have the freedom to be ourselves and take the responsibility for doing what we do best, the chances for happiness increases to infinity.

This weekend was filled with moments of joy (not just mine, which is even better).

Saturday's event was all about interviewing members of the National Speakers Association (something I'm getting back into) and trying to get the speakers to sign up to be a part of BigMediaUSA, an internet broadcasting company (something I'm getting back into). I even met a woman who may become my co-host on a show (since she had the good 'sense' to come up and talk to me ;-)

This would be a big change for me... taking everything I do now to a higher level. It would be like a mighty oak in relations to an acorn. Different, but integrally the same. It will take breaking out of a few old habits, to become more of myself.

Being truly oneself is a joy; it is as freeing as it in responsible. I saw that on the face of my 'niece' Saturday night. I'm not really her 'uncle' but rather that close family friend who's been around her whole life. She's 18 now, living on her own... and finally free from a bad household. She brought along a friend to dinner, and I could see the love, the excitement and the trepidation of forging a new identity. Her happiness is like the air after a rainstorm; so fresh and full of life. I hope it brings forth a lot of amazing growth... she deserves at least that.

It is amazing to watch young people come out the other side of chaos as adults. Several of my friends can't wait to see it happen to their own kids. That's why some people don't want their kids to grow up, while others want to rush it.. cause those middle years are worse than turbulence.

Somehow we all make it through; with the occasional scar along the way, but we do make it.

The trick is to not settle once the storm is over... to keep blowing the dust off... and keep going for our dreams. As long as we take the responsibility for our own future, and give ourselves the permission to be free... then a lifetime of happiness is just around the corner.


11:15 PM


Friday, August 11, 2006
Focus 
It's easier to see the target when you focus.

....................

I just decided to do a little overtime to finish up this video I'm working on. I knew that if I left it for Monday, my weekend-head would wipe so many of the details clean.

It's been such a fun project to work on because I'm throwing away all the stops and just giving it all the creativity I got. Of course I'll have to temper it back a bit when I fine-tune it, because much like painting a picture, if you just keep adding paint to it, eventually it all just turns a muddy brown. So after I'm finished playing, I'll go back and make sure everything actually makes some sense.

I'm looking forward to this weekend. It's a busy one, but promises to be exciting and fun too. A little side gig's come up for Saturday... not sure all it entails, but it's all about meeting new people and making some good connections. I also hope to see a 'niece' on Sunday, whom I missed meeting up with when I was in Kauai.

I won't be getting much time to do my writing, but that's ok too. Life is for the living; we can write about it later.

Same goes for you. Go out and live a little... I'll see you back here soon.


7:57 PM


Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Live... 
Live your life worthy of a legacy.

...........................

What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. Looking around at a standing room only memorial, I came to see what I suspected... that this spirit that has gone on, managed to touch so many lives along the way. Every teary-eyed person came with a heart felt story deeper than the one before. We laughed, we cried, we learned.

He learned to read at 2, worked for special forces in the military, woke up his kids with a bugle call and a water gun and made a home for anyone who needed a meal to eat and a place to lie their head. Although he had his hands filled with three kids of his own, he adopted children based on the color of their dreams, not their skin. He made sure that even though they may not have all the answer, they'd know where to look. He didn't just raise children, he brought some amazing adults into this world.

The story that touched me the most was a friend of his son. He told of being allowed to stay overnight while he went to college. After he graduated, he returned to housekey he had for years. The next day, he was called in to a 'family meeting' where he was given a lecture about the house rules. He asked why he was being told this, and my friend replied, "because that's what family does in my house" and slid the key back.

It was that same heart that welcomed me in the first place. It might not beat anymore, but it shines on.

...........................

See the official memorial.


10:33 PM


Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Beyond 
Beyond the learning curve lies an open road.

...........................

When we don't know how to do something, the struggle is high and the results very low. It can be frustrating, discouraging, exhausting. Yet the more we do it, the struggle starts to give way to creation. It becomes less about the doing and more about the becoming.

I'm starting to feel that way with this software at work. It does all these fancy green screen effects; very Hollywood-esque and although I took to it easily, I'm just now starting to push it to see how far I can go.

For the last two days I have been putting videos on top of videos, zooming around, doing things in the digital world that would take days instead of minutes if I actually had to go somewhere and shoot this thing. Watching my creation unfold has been giving me a great sense of accomplishment. This might be the best thing I've made so far... and that feels amazing. "Being on top of my game" is not just about control over some THING, but also over MYSELF. Much like it says in "Zen and the Art of Archery" the creator, the creating and the creation all become one.

And beyond that, it's not just about mastery of self... but also about growing self through challenge. The reward is sweeter because the struggle makes us earn it.

Think about something that's really important to you, but you haven't quite gotten the grasp of yet... whether it be a skill, a new language or making pottery... take the challenge to keep at it, to keep experimenting until it feels more 'right', more you... and watch as it becomes a part of you; and you become a part of it.

Beyond that learning curve is where you meet your destiny.. where you go from there is up to you.


10:48 PM


Friday, August 04, 2006
Spring unto me... 
You can Spring forward... even in Summer.

.......................

Slowly, things are starting to emerge, like flowers in the Spring. Tedious yet necessary, I worked my way through config-this and setup-that... and my new Wireless-N network sprang to life yesterday. Once one piece was 'right', everything else just fell into place.

Last week, everything I touched seemed to break... Laptop, DVD Burner, External Hard Drive; even a floor lamp. This week, one-by-one, they all came back to life (thanks to a number of very resourceful guys with tools).

It's amazing how much I've shaped my life around these things. Having them again is like coming back to me. I've got some catching up to do.

I've also been looking at all my plans for the rest of the year.

With the recent loss of my friend, there's an added sense of urgency to focus on what's most important.

Although this'll mean more to those that knew him, I'm glad I took the time to make a tribute to him. For me, that was very important.


10:00 PM


Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Return to Me 
Life is a series of trips, that lead us back to home.

.....................

I finally feel like I have my life back. Having to make several presentations at work meant that I had to put everything else on hold for the last two weeks. It was grueling, exasperating... but they went along just fine; and I'm glad they're gone.

It's a reminder of how precious our time is. It's so easy to let it slip away, doing trivial things, or all the 'other stuff' that doesn't really matter to the core of our being.

I'm going to take a deep breath and get back to me.

Life is too precious for dreams. This place gives us a chance to make them real. Dreams are for the people who just watch American Idol instead of getting up on that stage (wherever it is) and going after them.

I had a friend weighing heavily on my mind yesterday. He wouldn't give me details, but always said he had plans in the works. I was looking forward to the day when all his well-deserved happiness came his way.

He influenced me in so many ways. His laughter was infectious. His persistence has impressive; his creativity inspirational.

He introduced me to some software that would lead me to the better, amazingly creative job I have today. Armed with only a web cam, a $200 piece of software and a head full of ideas, we set about proving that visions really can become reality.

We tried so hard to spread that further, but other people, with their narrower views, never saw it that way.

I was one of the few who saw what a special, beautiful light he was. I wanted so much to give him a better life. Had I been his boss, instead of a side-lined coworker I would've done just that. I'd have said 'yes' to his vision; even if we stumbled... even if it wouldn't come out right... because I knew that if given that chance, something amazing would've come about.

But like a well-built sandcastle, it's all returned to the sea.

I think he was heart-broken in more ways than one. When I saw him last month there was a heaviness that weighed on him. He smiled, but the corners of his mouth seemed heavy; making it a chore to put on a good face.

But he never shared those details.

His heart finally gave out over the weekend and despite having the best team of doctors trying to bring him back, it was his time to return Home.

I will truly miss him... and honor him.

And before returning Home myself, I will take a deep breath... and get back to me.

Fly free my friend!


8:27 AM


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