How I Raise My Vibe

positive-couple.jpgI was unexpectedly tagged to play the Hi Vibe Game, a game/challenge for prolific and/or popular personal development bloggers. (I have been tagged by Cardin Lilly Routh of OptimimistLab.com http://www.optimistlab.com.)

In the grand spirit of the game, I’m going to tell you five of my secret “tricks” for Raising My Vibe. In no particular order, here they are:

  1. I read

And I read some more. High quality, wise personal development and spiritual material is a necessity for my life spirit. If I skip my daily allowance for too long, my appreciation for life and my wonder of life starts to decline. You never really learn something and then have it set in stone. You change and the meaning of the message changes somewhat. You forget … and then you rediscover it. You think you know most of what you need to know about a teaching/a lesson … and then life (or a new reading) presents it to you in a whole new light.

2. I take in various forms of creativity

I derive pure pleasure from partaking of the creativity of other writers and artists. For example, movies have moved (in my mind) from being a guilty pleasure to an art form that I require for my being. There are certain things you can do and say in a movie that cannot be communicated in any other way. And so I finally realized that movies – and other artistic food – are not guilty luxuries; they are truly food for my soul that I require in order to keep growing and evolving … to become a better, much more nuanced person.

3. I meditate

Because I tend towards impatience in learning, the trick for me was to purchase CDs that facilitate the meditation process. The CDs that I have take me to a much more profound level of meditation than I managed to achieve on my own. As an added bonus, I fall into such a deep state of relaxation that I re-enter the world refreshed.

 

4. I laugh

I admit it. I love to laugh, but even more so I enjoy making other people laugh. I literally sometimes do short stand-up routines for my fiancé. I don’t plan on becoming a professional comedian, but interacting with friends and cracking them up brings me true pleasure.

And when I really need a boost, I find a comedy special on HBO or On Demand (or a funny movie) and make myself watch it. Within five minutes my whole mood has changed. Amazing.

 

5. I drink a lot of water

Water is the wellspring of life, to my mind. I am astonished how little water most people drink. I didn’t drink much water for most of my life, but once I started drinking water in abundance, I couldn’t go back. It is obvious to me that most people are dehydrated, and this seems to affect our energy level as well as our overall health. The more water I drink, the better I feel.

Here are five other blogs/bloggers which I think will benefit you, as part of the Raising the Vibe Challenge.

  1. Guy Kawasaki, The Nine Biggest Myths of the Workplace, http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/05/the_nine_bigges.html, in his blog How to Change the World http://blog.guykawasaki.com/
  2. Christine Kane, Doubt is a Drag Queen

http://christinekane.com/blog/doubt-is-a-drag-queen/

3. The Positivity Blog, http://www.positivityblog.com/, Why Some People Are Almost Always Successful, http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/03/21/why-some-people-almost-always-are-successful/

4. LifeHack, http://www.lifehack.org/, Interview with Tim Ferris of the Four-Hour Workweek, http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/interview-with-tim-ferriss-of-the-4-hour-workweek-part-2.html

5. Seth Godin’s Blog on his book The Dip, http://sethgodin.typepad.com/the_dip/

That’s it for now. This challenge was great fun. I hope you enjoyed this post and the multitude of blog entries recommended by this post and other posts via the Hi Vibe game.

June 1, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 6 comments.

Luck is self-created

thomas_jefferson.jpg Most of us — including me — were taught to believe in luck. We believe that certain people have achieved certain successes or have experienced “good fortune” at least partially because of luck. Of course, we acknowledge that hard work and perseverance were involved to some extent, but we believe that “luck” is the critical factor in most people’s successes.

How many times have you heard someone say something to the effect of, “If you want to accomplish X, you’ll need more than hard work and credentials. You’ll also need to a lot of luck. It’s a hard business to break into (or succeed in, or rise to the top of, etc.).”

We nod our heads, subconsciously slipping into the trap of allowing ourselves the excuse of lack of luck whenever we fail to achieve something that we want . . . but which we secretly believed was out of our range anyway.  It’s like when you approach that gorgeous person hopefully … and just know that she or he won’t be interested because s/he will look at you and decide you aren’t quite up to par.

That kind of thinking is poison … and it will manifest for you everything that you didn’t want to manifest!

Here’s the lesson: luck is self-created.

As Thomas Jefferson said:

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

“Lucky” people put themselves in the right place at the right time, they contact the people that they need to meet to get ahead or stay connected, they work hard and consistently to make sure that when an opportunity arises, their name and reputation are known — and they are ready to meet the challenge.

You can practice creating luck on a daily basis. Your opportunity may be just around the corner — but you have to prepare for it. Think of all the ways that you can create luck in your own life.

Perhaps that means sending out resumes on a daily basis.  Perhaps it means calling five more contacts per day, being friendly to everyone that you meet, starting to write a business plan, writing that magazine article or query, or sending out a press release. Perhaps it means stretching your comfort zone just a little bit more every day.

Bottom line: The creation of luck entails different things for different people. Figure out what it entails for you, and practice the creation of luck every day.

Expect to be lucky, prepare to be lucky, act like you are lucky, and you will create your own luck.

May 15, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 2 comments.

Become a Warrior

warrior.gifEvery book by a self-reliant, defiant, and successful person that I have read has taught me several life lessons that you can ignore only at your peril.

1. Dump the act of acting small.

It simply belittles you and your life, and it does the world no favors.

You are much more valuable to the world once you begin acting like the strong soul that you know you are.

2. Put yourself in a position where you stand out.

If you are highly intelligent and well-educated, it makes little sense to go into a profession in which everyone is just as smart as you. Look, if you really, really want to be a doctor or a lawyer, great … the world needs more people who love what they do. Otherwise, strike out on your own in a field in which your smarts and know-how are rare. You don’t want to find yourself fighting over the juiciest meat among a pack of the best lions, do you?

3. Forget everything they told you when you were a child.

Most of us were taught to get a great education and then get the best job possible. What a scam. For people who are talented, being an employee is really a high-risk endeavor. Employ yourself whenever possible.

May 9, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development. 9 comments.

Quote by Buckminster Fuller

buckminster-fuller.jpg “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something build a new model that
makes the existing model obsolete.”

Buckminster Fuller

May 7, 2007. life, Passion, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Deconstructing “The Science of Getting Rich”, by Wallace Wattles

wattles.jpgIf you are interested in Wallace Wattles and his work, The Science of Getting Rich, Debra Moorhead has a great seven-part commentary on applying the science.

Her first blog on the topic is available here.

March 29, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Michael Beckwith on the Materialistic Aspects of The Secret

michael-beckwith.jpg Michael Beckwith, one of the “teachers” in The Secret DVD, is incredibly charismatic – and intelligent.  BTW, I realized as I watched this video that he reminds me of a close family member in my life who is also ridiculously charismatic and intelligent.

At any rate, here is Michael’s reaction to the materialistic aspects of The Secret:

“People kind of gather around how to get things fast in their life. That is not the real message [of The Secret]. The real message is that as you begin to change internally, your life begins to reflect that change. And that does include prosperity, it does include health, it does include life relations, it does include ideal employment. It includes using the Law to stabilize your structures in Life. Health, your mental and emotional health, finances. You stabilize the structures so that ultimately you can be a beneficial presence on the planet.”

All I can say is that Michael’s words are wonderful, but be careful about becoming so identified with a guru that you stop thinking for yourself. Read more about this in my post, Be Your Own Guru.

View the CBS video here; I mentioned the video in an earlier post but didn’t comment on it. It’s fairly good … but take what you need and leave the rest.

March 24, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development. Leave a comment.

Is Your Life Working For You?

path.jpg Our life is either working for us or it is not.

Either way, we know.

In fact, I think for most people life is not working. And that’s O.K. The problem is that they don’t do anything about it.

Worse, the people who think they are doing something about changing their lives tend to be really into personal development. So they’ve bought the tapes and read the books and been to the seminars.

And yet, nothing has changed for them. They essentially keep doing the same things, with a few patches here and there from the latest guru.

I recently had a startling moment of clarity. I realized that if you really want to change your life, you have to ask yourself a basic question: is what I am doing working for me?

I don’t simply mean your job … or your TV habits … or your drinking habits … or your work ethic.

What I mean is something much bigger: is your way of thinking and being in the world working for you?

If the answer is no, then you cannot keep subscribing to your current worldview. You have to adopt a new worldview that works for you.

For example, for most of my life my worldview of achievement and winning worked well. Competition and “life awards” were the way I kept score. And I always won.
But as my life passed into a new phase, that mode of being no longer worked. And the harder I pushed my old way, the worse things got.

So I realized that I needed an entirely different way of living. I will write about this in the future, but I basically realized that what I was doing was not working … and yet everything I was doing was what I had been taught. So I needed to come up with new ways of thinking and doing — and I mean entirely new ways — if I wanted to enter a new realm of life.

As I said, I kept doing what I always did and for a while I kept getting what I always got … which was very good stuff. But after awhile, this competition mindset no longer worked for me and the universe pushed back. Hard.

So now I realize that as my soul is transitioning to a higher level, my consciousness and ways of thought have to change.

Otherwise, I would remain stuck.

Actually, I would move backward because my consciousness was operating at a higher level than my habitual ways of thought.

Finally I feel as though I am experiencing forward movement again, like a ship slowly going back out to sea. But I consciously have to operate from my entirely new mindsets everyday. If I don’t, I have a “stuck” day.

I realized I could keep living under the fog of life that I was brought up to believe would produce happiness and success … or, once my soul started reaching for higher levels of consciousness, I could set out to find my own way(s).

In exploring my new ways of being, I am excited every day to discover that life is so much richer than I ever imagined.

March 23, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development. 6 comments.

Finding Your Purpose

path-in-boboli-gardens.jpg Paul Graham has one of the best articles I’ve read, How to Do What You Love, on finding your passion.

Some of the best passages:

Why is it conventional to pretend to like what you do? … If you have to like something to do it well, then the most successful people will all like what they do. That’s where the upper-middle class tradition comes from … [C]onventional attitudes about work are, without the owners even knowing it, nth-degree imitations of the attitudes of people who’ve done great things.

His thoughts on prestige:

Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.

That’s what leads people to try to write novels, for example. They like reading novels. They notice that people who write them win Nobel prizes. What could be more wonderful, they think, than to be a novelist? But liking the idea of being a novelist is not enough; you have to like the actual work of novel-writing if you’re going to be good at it; you have to like making up elaborate lies.

And perhaps my favorite observation:

Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.

I do disagree with him on one point. He says that in finding what you love to do, you shouldn’t worry about the opinions of anyone beyond your friends. I’d go even further: don’t worry about what your friends think. This is your life to live, so choose accordingly.

Read the full post here.

March 15, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Steve Olson’s Response to Criticism of Oprah and The Secret

the-secret-wax-seal.jpg  For those of you interested in the recent critiques on Oprah’s recommendation of The Secret, please read this thoughtful and dead-on response from Steve Olson.

I am more than thrilled that an intelligent person shot back with a very smart response. I am not linking to the infamous criticisms because they are linked to in the article that I recommend; more importantly, I prefer not to link to vitriol.

Happy reading and contemplating!

March 13, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 5 comments.

The Secret on Oprah: The Aftershow

oprah.jpg  For those of you who enjoyed the original Oprah show on The Secret (DVD), here is a link to the aftershow (provided by Whatanicewebsite.com).

It is also a good show. Once again, one of my favorite quotes came from Michael Beckwith (this is a quote to say to yourself in the mirror):

“I am available to more good than I have ever experienced, realized or imagined before in my life.”

March 12, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development. 1 comment.

Be Your Own Guru

20060514u-myselfonthecarneddmoelsiabodsummittrigpoint.jpgAs someone deeply devoted to personal development, I voraciously devour books, films, and podcasts on personal development and spirituality.

This focus, which has been fairly intense the last two years or so, has had a profoundly positive effect on my life.

But there is an aspect to the whole P.D. industry that worries me. There are certain people (O.K., a lot of people) who flock to so-called “gurus” in order to learn how to live their lives … step-by-step, if possible.

I’ll give you a brief example. I rarely attend live presentations, but when I do they have been very good (I am extremely selective). Last year I attended a two-hour talk by Wayne Dyer. He was very, very good. I brought my reluctant fiancée along, and he also very much enjoyed the talk. We even bought two plastic bracelets (I think they cost $2.00 total) to support a cause Dyer was advocating.

But that was it. I left feeling great and focusing on remembering a few points from the talk that were helpful to me.

I did not — as so many did — rush up to the stage during intermission, desperate to touch the hand of this man who might solve all my life problems. I did not stare in wonder at him as he paced the stage. I did not leave with a feeling of, “I need more Wayne Dyer, more!”

But so many people do seem to need Wayne Dyer. Or Deepak Chopra. Or Tony Robbins. Or Marianne Williamson.

Worse, they tend to gravitate toward one individual so that their need is focused on one “guru” in particular. In sum, they mistake the messenger for the message.

Look, I love many of the P.D. gurus. These people deserve every penny they earn for the changes they have made in peoples’ lives. But some of their devotees seriously need to learn to “take what you need and leave the rest.”

Another example: there is a very popular P.D. guy who blogs online. Most of you probably know of whom I speak but I won’t name him because this isn’t about him … it is about his followers. Most of his articles are great and many of his thoughts make me think critically in a way that I had not before.

Recently, he posted a pet theory about something we’ll call –for the sake of amusement — The Law of Magnetism. His theory about this “Law of Magnetism” grouped 1% of people into the thoughtful camp who had decided to personally become a magnet — or not. Again, I’m using analogies here; this wasn’t the actual theory. The other common 99% of people, according to the theory, float helplessly along in life, having chosen neither to become a magnet nor to become a non-magnet.

The theory was thoughtful but, to my mind, whacked out in many respects. To me, that’s fine. The guy is smart and critical but …. he gets stuff wrong — just like the rest of us.

Nonetheless, thousands of people rushed to the forum boards wondering whether they were among those who had decided to become a “magnet” or not. How did they know which side to choose? And what did the guru mean when he said X … and how did it apply to their lives?

It was crazy. It was like someone proclaiming that 99% of us are drifters, and 1% of us are magicians — but we have to decide which kind of magician … and then everyone re-framing their life to decide whether they are a magician or not. And what kind of magician precisely?!?!

People, please resolve to be your own guru. Even if a modern day certified savior were to appear and set out certain life precepts, wouldn’t you want to question these precepts and — if you decided you agreed with them — determine how to structure your own life accordingly, by means of your own critical thinking? You would not (I hope) run to this modern day savior and ask him or her about every detail of how to live your life. You would understand that we must know our own selves, and that we are all part of a divine intelligence that has given us the tools to take the basics and construct our own abundant lives.

At least I hope so.

I am not dismissing the gurus here. Rather, I am critiquing the phenomena of people desperately attaching themselves to one guru, taking everything the guru says as the Word, and then figuring out how they should live their lives according to the guru and that guru’s Word.

This is why so many people consume ridiculous amounts of products and seminars from particular speakers. Buying some books and films from various sources is one thing; hungrily devouring everything produced by one human being is another.

Please learn to listen to yourself. Read the books and listen to the podcasts. But be a critical thinker and take only what you need.

In short, be your own guru.

March 10, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 9 comments.

A Round-up of Some of this Week’s Best Personal Development Posts

happy-baby.jpgThe Balanced Life Center included one of my recent articles, Seven Ways to Change Your Life Tomorrow, in its current carnival (a roundup of good blog posts on personal development).

There are some very interesting Personal Development articles included.

Examples:

Top Ten Things: Ten Old Ways to Learn Something New

The Art of Completion

You Teach People How to Treat You (one of my favorites)

There are many other great articles; these are just a few. Check out the other articles here.

March 7, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 2 comments.

Creating Your Life’s Vision Statement

positive-emotions-3.jpg  Recently, I posted about a wonderful YouTube video that shows off the benefits of creating a vision statement for your life on your computer.

Last week I learned that I can easily create a personal vision statement on my computer via Microsoft’s Photo Story 3 (it is a free download for anyone with Windows XP). The editing of the video is incredibly easy; I did have my slightly more tech-savvy S.O. help me with some issues such as cropping hard-to-lose black borders on my photos … but other than that the experience was amazingly easy.

I spent half of a weekend day on this … and it was well worth the time.

I now have my (first draft of) my personal Vision Statement.

Final step: deciding on the music. I have narrowed it down to two songs.

I get excited every time I watch it with either song.

Advice:

Be sure to find great photos to use, and spend some time picking just the right music. You want something upbeat and inspiring. For example, I rejected some music because even though the beat was up-tempo, the underlying message was not.

Don’t dwell on one photo or graphic for too long. Keep it moving. My longest graphic (other than the last shot) is five seconds. Most are 2-3 seconds.

Whatever images and music you choose, make sure the entire show is something you’ll be psyched to watch every morning and every night before turning in. This is powerful stuff!

March 5, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Inspirational Quote: “Decide to be Extraordinary”

success.jpg “From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do now.”

Epictetus

March 4, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development. Leave a comment.

Learning How to Live

ocean-swim.jpg Steve Jobs has said: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

It is so true. If you can fast forward in your mind to when you are dead and really contemplate that, a lot of the stuff that seems important now won’t seem important at all. Many of the potential actions that you may want to take that seem scary now won’t seem so scary. What feels scary, in such a mindset of anticipating your death, is living like you are now — if you are living at less than your potential. Most of us — even high achievers — could achieve so much more.

Any many of us are on the completely wrong path.

I like the way Oprah said it on one of her shows on the DVD The Secret. She mentioned that she sees people struggling all the time, struggling against the current. She said she just wants to tell them to turn around and flow with the current. Clearly, she is someone who has mastered the art of flowing with the current.

So if you are struggling against the current, stop. Think about what you believe you are here to manifest. Then turn around, and go with that flow.

March 2, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 19 comments.

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