Friday One Minute of Excitement

What can you do today to expand your life?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

What’s Your Basic Assumption About People?

It’s unanimous! Everyone wants you to achieve your dreams! 

Do you believe the words in the line above? If not, how would your life be different if you deeply believed the above sentence?

I pose this question because for many years my basic assumption about people was that I needed to prove to them that I was somebody.  Armed with this assumption, I used to feel driven to debate with the strong intent of proving my point, or said in another way, I used to like to just plain argue with people.  I was a pro at getting in arguments with friends and family.  These arguments were mostly of the mild variety but arguments nevertheless.

What I gradually discovered was that I was automatically assuming that people would discount me.  And when I assumed people were going to automatically discount me, I would start to argue with them to PROVE myself to them.  And when I started arguing, they would often be motivated to defend their view and discount my opinion, thereby conveniently proving my assumption that people would discount me.  (Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

All my arguments really proved was that I was good at beginning arguments.

If my basic assumption about people had been, “It’s unanimous! Everyone wants you to achieve your dreams,” would I have started so many arguments?  Of course not!  Why argue with people who wanted me to achieve my dreams?  

When we make the assumption that others are rooting for us, we offer far more respect to ourselves and everyone else.  Also believing that everyone is on our side naturally inspires us to start acting in a more positive way towards others and to minimize our arguing.  These changes in our actions empower people to be as kind and supportive towards us.

I’ve found that people are often as kind and supportive towards us as we assume them to be.

(Our general assumption about people may be occasionally disproved in practice and should not displace common sense.  We will see in the course of our interactions with some people that they, for whatever reason, definitely do not have our best interest at heart.  Then we take steps appropriate to that situation.)

Our basic assumption about other people seems to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, kind of like how a boomerang comes right back to us.   If this is the case, I’m all for making really super-amazing assumptions about other people and about life.

Game of the Day

What is your basic assumption about how people will treat you?

Are you happy with your current assumption about how other people will treat you or do you want to experiment with making a different assumption?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

Are You Betting on Your Acorns?

Today as I write this blog, I can gaze out  the window of the computer room in my parent’s house and gaze at a huge burr oak tree.  The massive tree leads me to reflect on the power of acorns.  Yes, I’m home for the holidays and thinking about acorns.  (I doubt that this is common!)

If I didn’t understand the relationship of an acorn to an oak and someone told me if I stick an acorn in the ground, I could be sitting under the shade of a great tree someday, I might think they were pulling my leg.  (And pulling it hard.)

The actual substance of our dreams can sometimes seem as small as an acorn.  Then when we imagine our dream growing into a reality as substantial as an oak tree, we can feel like we are pulling our own leg.  (And pulling it hard.)

If you pick an acorn up and try to squeeze it, not much happens.  The shell on the seed that becomes an oak appears to be solid.  In the same way, the circumstances that could prevent our dreams from growing, can appear solid.

The purpose of the shell around the acorn is not to keep  it small forever.

Our present circumstances do not dictate that the substance of our dreams have to stay small.

The success and majesty of a stately oak is hidden within the hardness of the present circumstances surrounding an acorn.  That acorns can eventually turn into a forest of oaks defies imagination.

The potential of our acorns are truly amazing.

As we create our goals and vision for 2012, let’s bet on our acorns.

Game of the Day

1. Think about your dreams.

2. What present circumstances around your dreams appear like a shell that will prevent them from growing?

 3. Are you ready to bet on your acorns?

The Imperfect Blog Post

One day a few weeks ago, my friend Carlos M. Santiago pointed to his head and commented that, “Bad days are in here.”  I immediately wanted to write a blog about his wise words, for I know that at different points in my life, I have created a great deal of misery for myself centered around an abundance of repetitive fear-based thoughts.  You know the kind of thoughts that set the body tossing and turning in the middle of the night.

I even came up with a clever title for this blog, “Good Days Are An Inside Job.”

But right now I’m not feeling so clever.  I’m feeling like I have a ton of work to do in the next few days, work that at this point looks more like a limitation than an extraordinary result.

I reckon that right now I’m creating a bad day in my head.  How can this be?  I went to meditation and a yoga class this morning.  This condition is simply not a good fit for me, as I am The Limitations To Extraordinary Results Guy.  But alas it is how I feel at the moment.

I realized just before writing this that the bad day I’m creating in my head stems from the desire to be perfect.  To perfectly plan out the rest of my Sunday, to write the perfect blog post, to have a perfectly perfect day.

How many times do you avoid going for your dreams because you fear that you won’t do something perfectly?

I had an amazing experience with imperfection earlier this week.  I went across town to donate blood.  While I was sitting waiting to donate, I remembered that I would be advised not to do any strenuous activities for the rest of the day.  The problem was that I was very excited about going to my regular hot yoga class later that evening.

 I was bummed until I figured out an imperfect solution.  I could still go to the yoga class and just sit or lay down and breathe deeply.

 A perfect solution?  Not by a long shot.  But this imperfect solution ended up being deeply rewarding.  I had an amazing opportunity to experience a yoga class in a whole new way.  I also learned that it feels better to be where the activity you want to participate in is going on than to be miles away feeling awful that you can’t participate fully.

So today, I am writing an imperfect blog post for you.

I give you this imperfect blog on a Monday because I want to encourage you to take action towards your dreams and not let desire to be perfect and fear of failure keep you from participating fully in your life.  The next time perfectionism starts to immobilize you and keep you from moving forward, just remember that imperfection is done with the project and on to the next, to the next one, while perfectionism has barely started on the first.  (This is a very imperfect saying and most likely not totally accurate, so feel free to choose another one to motivate you.)

Just figure out how to “Go for it!” (Note – I’m using a cliché at the end of my blog, very imperfect.)

The Imperfect Game of The Day

The next time you feel perfection stopping you in your tracks, follow this four-step process:

1.  Say, “Bad days are in here,” and point to your head.

2.  Say, “I create imperfect but good days, for good days are an inside job” and point again to your head.

3.  Say, “I’m going for it.”

4.  Go For It!

I’d Rather Be Fishing

I grew up in the country near Sioux Falls, SD.  Eastern South Dakota has a good number of lakes that many people fish. I have never been much of a fisherman. Baiting sharp hooks and then sitting on the shore or in a boat waiting from a big one to bite always seemed too slow-paced for my tastes.  Fishing just seemed like sitting, waiting and doing nothing.  I just didn’t trust that fish I could not see would notice my bait and choose to swim over and take it.

But this morning as I look out my apartment window in San Diego, CA, I suddenly appreciate the wisdom of all the people who fish the lakes back where I’m from.

To be an expert at catching fish, it seems one would need a good pole, and the ability to find the right bait.  Once you have all of these elements, you cast your pole and wait.  Practicing these steps amount to doing the work of fishing.

There is no use in chasing fish with a baited hook no matter how tasty the bait might be.  Fish find being chased the very opposite of attractive.

With goals and expectations, it is sometimes tempting to fall into the pattern of chasing fish in our lives.  We get especially attached to certain “big ones:” the big job, the right spouse, the right house, so we chase.  It is quite a game.  It gets our hearts racing.  It works up a sweat.  We experience running a rat race, or a fish race in this case.  Ultimately, it is exhausting to chase fish and it most often does not produce the results we desire.

But there is another option.  We each can use a metaphorical fishing pole.  The pole is our values, beliefs, self-confidence, magnificence and love for life.

Our bait is our goals and intentions.  Taking the time to properly bait our hook is important. If our goal were to get a job as a chef, we wouldn’t bait our hook by sending our resume to car dealerships.  We would bait our hook by sending our resume to restaurants.

Then the trick is to wait with joy and confidence for the fish to bite.  The fish we hook may well surprise us.  For example, we may be on our way to drop our resume at a restaurant when we meet a high school friend we had lost touch with long ago, a high school friend who happens to manage a world-class restaurant and wants to hire us.  We are in awe because this is a position beyond what we ever dreamed of.

The work of fishing can be a full-time job as we work each day to create bait that is attractive to the things we need and want in life.

We have the options to stop chasing our fish and instead each morning bait our hook and cast it in to the lake of our lives.  Then we wait for fish to swim towards us.  True we do not know exactly what fish are going to be attracted to our bait.  But we may well catch more and bigger fish than we ever imagined.

Game of the Day

What big fish are you chasing on a daily basis?  What would it look like to attract big fish to you by fishing for them instead of chasing them?