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Five Reminders of Change

Change is in the air, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. ~ Steve Jobs

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
~ Jack Layton

When you blame others, you give up your power to change. ~ Robert Anthony

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it. ~ Flannery  O’Connor
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Commit

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

commit

The  last line gets all the press. Dream big – do it now. But without the first line the last isn’t possible. He (Goethe) didn’t couch the statement in weasel words. It doesn’t say ‘Perhaps if one is committed’ or ‘ there could be’ or ‘ maybe providence would move’.

I have seen this in my life and those around me. I am sure you have witnessed it in yours. Full commitment begins the path to miracles. It isn’t mysticism. It isn’t magic. It is a shift in vision. Once committed our eyes are opened differently, our scope is wider, our peripheral gets drawn in and our awareness becomes keener. Commitment without hesitancy – pick one thing today that you are ready to fully commit to. On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you? If it isn’t 10, then what will it take to get you to 10? Accountability helps ensure that we  live up to what we commit to. Leave a note here or a tweet @remarkablelives or email bob@remarkablepeople.ca and I will do a daily check in over the next week as an external accountability.

Make Today Remarkable, by fully committing,

B

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Turning a Deaf Ear

After yesterday’s post, I received 5 emails from readers who said ” I don’t have any art to make”. This was sad and telling.

I am told, by my beloved,  that I can exhibit ‘selective hearing’ – only being aware of what I want to hear. This can be rude and hurtful if done with other people but may be helpful if you can hone it for conversations you are having with yourself.

What if my heart was screaming “say something, do something, this isn’t right” and I tuned  out the voice? If the gift of fear was warning me to “stay away from this scheme” and I ignored it, the consequences might be serious. “You are remarkable” comes into my head and I deny it. ” Bob, try again” is the encouragement I ignore.

It is tricky business selecting which of my voices I should honor and trust and which are the voices of procrastination, dishonesty, anxiety. How do I know it is anticipation speaking and not naivete?

Lewis Smedes says “Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard.” It is hard  given the judgments of the world. Unless I can discern, I cannot be certain I am acting in the highest and best manner. “However, when I feel aware, expanded and full of love, I must be doing something right (and conversely, when I feel bored, impatient and regretful I am not listening to the highest voice).”~ Sal Rachelle

Discernment is an act of awareness, whereas judgment as an act of ego. Practicing discernment  is like everything else and contrary to the adage it doesn’t simply make it perfect. Practice only makes permanent, if there isn’t reflection and accountability. Doing this practice alone is possible but can be earned and learned more easily and more quickly with a coach. I know that I have been assisted by the wisdom, challenge and accountability of a formal coach and my clients have added remarkable value and insights  to their lives through feedback, accountability, courageous goals, tension  and some systems thinking.

As always, I am available and open to discussing how coaching might add value to your life. Contact bob@remarkablepeople.ca

Make Today Remarkable, by being aware rather than judgmental,

B

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Grow a Pair

I was going through some old articles and found Jessica Hagy post once again making some simple and interesting points in her Forbes article.  She suggests that there are 10 Simple Ways to Make Ourselves More Interesting. #9 is below with a short commentary. The link will open up page 2 but I am sure you can figure out what you need to do.

9. Grow a pair.

Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.

Take a moment and think about the three most interesting people that you personally know. Make a list.

What makes them interesting? Do they avoid important discussions? Do they allow others to take the lead on every project? When they express themselves, do they meekly, weakly make suggestions? or are they passionate, courageous, confident, and considerate?

On my list, all three know their values, speak their values, and live their values even when it isn’t easy, isn’t popular and may not even be an advantage to themselves. They are authentic and remarkable.

Would you like to be passionate and reasonable, outspoken and considerate, confident, courageous and reasonable? What would be the first step that you need to take? Don’t worry about the 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 127th steps, what would be the first step? Write it down.

Now take it. Take that step right now. Write a comment. Start a blog. Make a phone call. Send an email. Go for a run. Whatever came to your mind as the first step ` take it and tomorrow, evaluate and ask the same question. ” Today, what would be the first step, I need to take to be the remarkable person that I am.”

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Be the Author of Your Story

I have had times where I was being defined by others and accepting their depiction of who I was and what value I brought to my world. I didn’t like it. I didn’t even recognize it.

When I found myself in social, business or family situations that didn’t resonate with who I was, I began to understand that my story was being written by others. I don’t think any of the writers had malicious intent but they sure had a power. I began to wrestle back my story by interjecting edits, clarifications or retractions when a conversation or circumstance made me uneasy. This does take focus and courage. Rather than letting it slide, I needed to step up and own my story, state my case, and firmly hold my personal position.

I try to live my life holistically – in every situation, I am who you see and know. But pressure to conform to other’s expectations found me living in silos where my tone, persona, and choices were more a reflection of other’s than me. Worse if they saw me in a different silo, they might not recognize me.

Breaking out was/is a process of awareness of yourself, some form of articulation of yourself, public affirmation of yourself, and courage to resist the push/pull from peers and family. There are consequences, good and not so good. For me the good far outweighed the other.

Make Today Remarkable, by being the best you that you can be,

B