The Integrated Journey

We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment. – Marcus Aurelius

Author Archive

Tuesday

13

March 2012

0

COMMENTS

Focus on the Cause

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We always look for explanations as to why things are the way they are, hoping that by understanding the reasons we’ll be able to fix things to get them the way we think they should be.

Many times the things that we find are simply explanations we’ve made up to help us deal with the situation in a way most favourable to us:

“I’m out of shape because I was too busy building my career saving the world and taking care of my family to find time to workout”

However, often the real reason is much simpler than the one we come to admit to ourselves:

“I’m out of shape because I don’t workout regularly”

Note that the first statement immediately alleviates any guilt or pressure on yourself for your past or even current actions by explaining away the reason for the current situation.

The second statement is a fact. It doesn’t leave room for interpretation. It is what it is.

Spending time and energy looking for reasons can sometimes be a waste of time, as it is often simply a self-gratifying exercise. I mean, who doesn’t want to save the world and care for their family?  You pat yourself on the back while excusing your current situation of being out of shape.

Instead of looking for reasons, look for actions. Your current situation is brought on because you don’t workout regularly. Who cares why you don’t? The fact of the matter is the only thing that needs to change for you to improve your fitness in this instance is for you to start working out regularly.

Don’t complicate the decisions that need to be made by looking for reasons or explanations to make yourself feel better about taking the easy way out, look for the cause instead.

You’re out of shape because you don’t workout regularly.
You’re overweight because you eat like crap.
You’re in a job you hate because you refuse to quit.
You’re not close with people because you’re scared.
You’re not progressing your career because you don’t do work that matters.

Find the direct cause of your situation and fix it your feelings will follow later. Don’t worry about the reasons or explanations, they really don’t matter at all.

“Successful people do the things that others don’t feel like doing”

 

 

Thursday

8

March 2012

0

COMMENTS

Just One Thing

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Everyday make a point of doing just one thing that matters.

The key is to not make this one thing be something you have to to – like pay the bills, or take the trash out.

Make your one thing something that you need to take a chance on. Something you have to create. Something that didn’t exist before you made it.

We’re all artists and made to create, don’t let routine rob you of your right to create.

Just one thing.

Monday

5

March 2012

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COMMENTS

Look Harder

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It’s easy to take things at face value. To go with your impression or gut reaction.

Sometimes what you need is to look harder. Sometimes you gotta look inside yourself. Sometimes you have to look outside at others.

The answer is rarely clear, or easy. But the answer is almost always there.

Friday

2

March 2012

0

COMMENTS

Fear of Failure

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is the biggest reason many never reach their true potentials. It’s not about knowing the outcome. As is true with all things in life – the safer the bet the less rewarding the outcome.

Focusing on negatives is the easy way out. Taking a chance is the difficult way.

The only way to be truly fulfilled is to take a chance and see it out.

Don’t worry about the potential of failure. Take a chance.

Thursday

1

March 2012

0

COMMENTS

In a Moment…

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…everything can change.

Things that are out of your control interfere, a job is lost, an injury sustained.

OR

…you can change everything

You can save a life, capitalize on an opportunity, take a chance.

Wednesday

29

February 2012

0

COMMENTS

It’s Just One Choice…

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and another… and then another.

When things seem daunting don’t spend your time obsessing over how grave your situation seems at the time. It’s human nature to sincerely believe that whatever is happening to you is probably the worst instance the planet has ever known.

Your break up? Definitely the worst one in recorded history.

Job not fulfilling? Kids in a sweat shop must have it easier.

Don’t feel like doing it? Must mean something’s wrong.

We’ve been trained by the boob tube to believe that everything should be easy. If it’s hard or doesn’t work at first, screw that try try again crap, just give up and watch another episode of your favourite tv show instead.

Life’s not easy. But at the same time it’s not that hard. Just make the choice.

It’s just one choice… followed by another choice… followed by another choice.

As as Jason Statham says in the opening scene of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels “Left leg, right leg, and your body’ll follow. They call it walking.”


around 0:40 

Tuesday

28

February 2012

0

COMMENTS

Road Trip

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Life is like a road trip.

It’s not just about the destination. It’s about the journey.

Think about the longest road trip you’ve ever taken. If you’ve taken more than one think about the best and the worst ones. Odds are there will be a few things that stand out. Usually one of the biggest differentiators between an awesome road trip and a crappy one is who you decide to take along with you.

Don’t just take people along on your road trip because they want to join you. Take people with you because they make you better. Because they have something to offer. Because you have something to offer them.

It’s not going to be easy. There might be flat tires and break downs along the way. The road will get bumpy at times. There will be times you wonder if you picked the right buddies for the trip.

Life is a one way road trip. Don’t get stuck focusing so much on the destination that you miss out on the journey. Good buddies will help you keep a good balance between driving all night and stopping to see some sights along the way. They’ll help make sure you don’t lose sight of the destination and at the same time make sure you enjoy the little things along the way.

Who you take on your trip is just as important as where you’re going.

Monday

27

February 2012

2

COMMENTS

The Funk

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It happens to everyone, the reasons aren’t exactly clear to me. Sometimes it’s because things get challenging. Other times it’s because they’re not challenging enough. One thing is for sure though, it never happens all at once.

You get into the funk. The best way I have found to describe it is that it’s like eating the most delicious steak dinner, while you have the worst cold of your life and you can’t taste a thing. Things are fine, sometimes even great! But for some reason something isn’t there in its fullest.

The answer, however, lies within. It’s not all about feelings. Feelings come and go. It’s about a choice. The choice to be better. The choice to do what’s hard. The choice to make things work.

Television trains us to look after our feelings first, but it’s this very act that has people living with more debt than ever before or the obesity rates climbing higher and higher despite more health and fitness products on the market than ever before. We spend to soothe ourselves. We waste time watching tv and movies to soothe ourselves. When the answer isn’t to soothe, the answer is to make the tough choices when you don’t feeling like it.

Every morning when you wake up you have a choice. A choice to be lazy or productive. A choice to hate your job or to make the best of it. Hell you have a choice to quit the job you hate and go find something you love!

If you decide to disappear in full view and not make that choice, the choices will be made for you and I can promise you one thing. You won’t like where you end up.

I’ve learned my lessons the hard way. I’m committing to making the choice every morning. Regardless of feelings or circumstance. You should too. The alternative is to set the auto-pilot and pass out behind the wheel only wake up when it might be or is already too late. Surprised and disappointed by the situation you find yourself in sometimes this point is too late to make the choice.

Don’t wait till it’s too late. Make the choice to not get into the funk.

Saturday

11

June 2011

0

COMMENTS

7 – Dare to be Bold – #Trust30

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Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious. A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

Trust30 #7 – The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?

I can honestly say that over the past years, the one area of my life in which I think I’ve grown the most is in the ability to move between “being realistic” and “being bold”. This isn’t to say that I’ve arrived where I want to be, however over 3 years ago I did quit my job – which was completely against any rational or realistic thought in order to open my own business. It was the hardest, yet most rewarding decision I’ve ever made. After realizing that the worst case scenario, the thing that keeps people trapped in the “being realistic” world, isn’t so bad it becomes evident that it’s worth pursuing what you want full force.

It’s a whole new world once you realize being bold isn’t actually that difficult. The difference between people who talk about things versus people who accomplish things is that the people who have accomplished things DO more. I refuse to be someone who sits around and watch other people do things. I am just as capable of doing those same things, you are too. I’d challenge everyone to quit being ‘realistic’ and dream for a little. Then work to accomplish that dream. Once you’ve looked at the ‘worst case scenario’ you’ll usually realize it’s really not that bad. Working towards your dreams is an enterprise that is worth taking a chance on, unfortunately too many people would rather play it safe and watch others successes from the sidelines.

As I wrote in an earlier post ‘life is what happens when you’re trying to connect the dots’. What are you waiting for?

Wednesday

8

June 2011

2

COMMENTS

6 – Come Alive – #Trust30

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Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust30 #6 – If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

I can say with confidence that if I had one week left to live I would definitely still be doing what I’m doing now, and would keep the company of the same people I do currently.

Similar to the travel post, I learned a few years ago this very gem of wisdom – life is what happens while you’re trying to connect the dots. Things that don’t make me come alive are quickly culled from my repetoir and replaced with things that make me come alive instead.

I’ll admit there are still times that I fall victim to watching reruns of Criminal Minds or The First 48, but more often than not a conscious effort to improve myself and the lives of those around me while enjoying what I’m doing prevails.

Bonus - This is probably something I struggle with more than I’d like to admit. I have a hard time admitting that things are good the way they are and always try to make something better. Whether it be something else, someone else, or myself. I’m a self professed ‘fixer’ who always wants to fix things and many times that does more harm than good.

Applying the current goals I have set to myself to improve the present is something that will take some work, but remembering to not only live in the present but at the same time live for the present (within reason) will help keep me out of that spiral. Living for ‘always better’ is difficult once you realize that the grass is only greener on the other side because you’re not there.