The most effective way to change

Love your self

They were right, you know

It’s always been right under our nose.

Specifically, under our rib cage.

But it takes courage to follow our heart

It’s not that easy.

But everyone has the strength.

It’s just sitting there waiting to be tapped

If you think you’re worth it.

 

 

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The safety of observing from afar

first row of coaster


 

(Less than 2 minutes to read)

I met people in my life who were full of fear. Fear that keeps them far away, up on their mountain top, earthbound. They stayed up there, like a baby bird who never jumped, but walked around in the branches of the tree, growing into an adult, never trying to leave, never trying to risk itself. And I was no better, so my trying to help these people was pretty futile.

But I’ve left the mountaintop refugee finally. I stopped telling myself stories, and although I haven’t jumped to experience the total experience of being liberated, I’m taking small leaps, restraining myself, finding outcroppings to rest on.  I couldn’t stand the suffocating thin air of that flat-topped prison any longer, complaining about things, but not willing, or courageous enough, to change them.

It’s so helpful to surround yourself with the people doing things you want to, but aren’t. The strong influence of your friends on you is shown in scientific research. But the catch-22 is, you need to be self-aware enough to find these people, or allow them into your life.

One of the most heartbreaking things to see are those with so much potential, but so little  heart, unwilling to step up to the edge and look down to see what they’re missing. So they stay in their refugee, with enough air to survive, but not to thrive.

It’s a lesson to those of us who have decided to leave our nest on that mountaintop: The lesson of letting people go who aren’t ready for change.  The lesson of the futility of trying to pry open a person who has closed themselves off, like a clam. And finally a lesson that helps you face sadness: the sadness of seeing love wasted, missing from the world, from those who are too overwhelmed to open themselves up and share it.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

If this is something you care about, then SHARE it. Less observation. More participation.

The best way to reach your goal

stairs

As you make a beeline towards your goal, watch the periphery for opportunities that may help you skip steps to that goal, or take you off to another goal that is even greater than the one you had in mind before.

There is no real path. Just an infinite number of possible points of opportunity connected together by a web of potential paths.

Failure in one leg of your journey is far from ending your journey.

You are the leader you’ve been looking for

Leaders don’t check their culture for approval. They have the awareness of what’s going on to determine the right direction and start a movement towards it. It’s lonely, but it begins with a trust in human nature. Not the group’s nature, but individual nature…your nature. The group will not like your idea to change, unless it’s a slamdunk positive gain for them. Otherwise, they may think you’re going in the wrong direction. Or, more likely, they’re afraid of the change or pessimistic that things will improve.

Leadership begin with self-awareness. It begins with having the courage of your convictions. But it is more than pointing out all the wrong things. Or blaming one group over another group. The leader needs to extend his courage to the group. We must have the courage to trust people. To trust their potential, to empower people to do the right thing.

This courage is particularly important today, when people see two political parties and no real difference. And yet we are scared to vote for anyone else, because we don’t have the courage in our fellow citizens that they will do the right thing. And so we continue to vote based on who is more likely to win, and not who is more likely to do the right thing once in office.

And so nothing changes.

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” -Ralph Nader

I agree with Ralph.

So be a leader.

Start a conversation about where you think things are headed and where you think the right direction lies. Listen, don’t lecture. Exchange ideas. If we don’t, then money will determine who wins elections, just as we feared.

And it will be our fault that it continues.

Who do you trust?

I was at the Nelsonville Music Festival this past weekend, at what may be the most underrated music festival in the whole of our United States of America. Under glorious clear skies, I walked around watching everyone sharing the campgrounds. There was no harassing, no thievery. You met others, shared what you had, and enjoyed yourself. There was a feeling of trust. A trust that is missing in many of the places we live.

Trust is powerful. It allows us to flourish. Trust builds friendship. It allows us to talk with others and expect to be respected. It gives us patience with life. But that’s just the start of it.

Trust makes you do the right thing

When you trust that others will do the right thing, then you will do the right thing regardless if that doesn’t do much to change the big picture, like if you choose to abstain from eating animals when most everyone else does not. Or being honest with the company expense account while others skim a little. Or moving your money out of Wall St banks when most other continue to use them. Or voting for a third party while most do not because they think it’s “throwing a vote away”. If everyone doesn’t trust others to do the right thing, then everyone will continue doing the wrong thing.

Trust brings about prosperity

When we work together, each with our expertise, we do great things. When we specialize in our areas of mastery, we can share the fruits of our labor equally in a collective society. Trust makes others know you will come through for them, just like they will come through for you. And the appreciation from others gives us a feeling of purpose. A reason to feel important in a world where it can be confusing to know what truly is important.

Matt Ridley makes a great observation of this in his book, The Rational Optimist: Self-sufficiency is associated with less wealth, while specialization with more wealth. And self-sufficiency takes a lot of time! The leisure time most of us have today is significant. And in a way, this leisure is more important than trust. This past weekend, it was this leisure time that allowed me to see trust demonstrated by interacting with others, by building a small community of respect and value.

How we use our leisure time is important, but it all starts with building confidence in our fellow human beings. Trust is having courage in the face of the unknown. It’s knowing that whatever happens, it’s going to be ok.

I felt that trust this weekend. I was reminded of how it made life better. It also reminded me that without it, we are likely lost.

TED Talk Tuesday: Larry Smith tells us why we dream and not do

Larry Smith is going to tell you how to live your dream, not your interests. He’s going to tell you how to propose to a girl. He’ll tell you how to have children. All this in 15 minutes? You bet. The answer, like most things in life, is so simple once we get past the excuses. Buckle up, my friends, because Larry is going to tell it to you like it is. And, honestly, I know what he means. Because I’m living it.

TED Talk Tuesday – Derek Sivers shows us how to start a movement



It’s hard being the first to step out of the group:

“Let’s declare our independence from the king.”
“Let’s free the slaves.”
“Let’s not eat animals.”
“I’m going to spin on my head while you scratch that record”

Sivers shows us that the importance of the leader is significant, but the first people who listen to him and do something are the key to driving a movement.

“If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow. And when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.”

We are social animals, but thankfully, our need to achieve and follow our individual desires drags us forward to a better future, kicking and screaming…or in this case, dancing.