Make the Most of Life: Don’t Take Today for Granted

23 06 2009

If we don’t penetrate the profane and common—the ordinary—we risk living only on the surface of life and miss out on the richness, dimension, and beauty it has to offer.

Too often, we miss promising moments because we do not recognize them until it’s too late.  We rush by so fast that we miss the beauty and texture of what life and the world has to offer. When we are able to appreciate the ‘little things’, it not only transforms the monotony of daily life, but takes our life to a whole new level. And, not to be morbid, but we never know how long we have. Just think of the people on the DC Metro rail train that crashed yesterday…I bet you most of those killed didn’t think when they woke-up that morning that they would not see tomorrow. We can’t take it for granted that tomorrow will be there for us…so let’s make the most of today.

Enjoy this little video I put together and posted on You Tube.


How to Awaken Your Greatest Self: Step Into the Unknown

22 06 2009

Most people spend the majority of their life in the place of the known.

Perhaps they are reluctant to follow their dreams or try something new because of fear of failure or from uncertainty about what might happen. They mask their true selves because they are afraid to stand out and want to fit in. They lack the immense hunger, drive, or desire needed to explore and venture out into unchartered territory. They do what others might expect them to do, follow the crowd, or construct their life based on what is normal and common.

Living in the land of the known is simply making a choice to stay imprisoned by fear—where a part of you slowly dies because you limit your ability to become more of who you were created to be.

Living in the known is one of biggest blocks to reaching your true potential.

It is in the unknown where new possibilities exist. It is a space that allows us to explore possibility, step-into into our gifts and talents, and use those gifts and talents to contribute something spectacular.

Life in the Land of the Known vs the Land of the Unknown

Think of a world where on one side is the Land of the Known and the other is the Land of the Unknown. The only thing separating these two lands is the Great Big Pond.

The Land of the Known is relatively safe; there is minimal risk and it is predictable, common, and ordinary. In fact, most of the people here tend to do the same ordinary things. This is where you will find a lot of people doing what they’ve always done, because that’s what they always do.  They think small. They don’t see what else is out there in the world. They settle for less than they can be. But overall, it’s a nice, ordinary place to live and there are a lot of satisfied and even some happy people there. The sad part is the people don’t know what they are missing because they’ve never left the comforts of their home.

The challenge is to get to the Land of the Unknown you have to cross the Great Big Pond.  While most people in the Known believe there is something better out there for their lives, they know that crossing the Pond takes a lot of effort and can be difficult at times. It takes courage, commitment, and a willingness to face some fears. Many never cross the Pond because they are fearful and afraid of all the challenges, obstacles, and uncertainties that might come up. Plus, they rationalize that life in the Known is pretty good after all.

However, once you cross the Great Big Pond you see that life in the Land of the Unknown is very different. It is more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. The people living here just seem so much more alive and vibrant—they are all very unique, yet extraordinary in their own ways. They each have their own unique  story about the risks and challenges they took to get here,  but they all share the benefit of living a life that they were destined to live. In the Unknown, they have been able to discover their true selves and have been able to largely contribute their gifts and talents to the world. In fact, all of the people that reach the Land of the Unknown say that they wish they had the courage to come over here much, much earlier because their life is better than they could ever have imagined.

It is on the other side of your fears that you will discover what you were meant to do and who you were made to be.

“Fear not the unknown for it is where your greatness resides.”

The motto in the Land of the Unknown:
May you shine so brightly that, at the end of your days, all will pause and say, “Ah, there was one who lived life fully and completely.”

Start Pruning Your Life: Cutting Back to Grow More

18 06 2009

It’s hard to argue that we are living in an over-stimulated society with an ever-increasing variety of distractions. It is these distractions, habits, and commitments that can detract from our growth, focus, and happiness, as well as sidetrack us from other opportunities. We need to be careful not to let things or people take time away from areas where we could better use our time, focus, and energy.

The Discipline of Pruning
Just as it is healthy to prune trees so that they may grow, we also need to prune our lives so that we can make way for new ideas, growth and opportunities. Pruning involves cutting off the superfluous branches in our lives. And pruning doesn’t just involve cutting off the dead branches—it involves cutting off some healthy branches as well.

Recently I was talking to the owner of a vineyard about pruning—he said that he often prunes the healthy vines from his trees because it allows for the other vines to grow even stronger and healthier—by having less branches, it allows for more minerals and nutrients to go to the grapes on the remaining branches, thus making better wine.

Not all the things in our lives that need to be pruned are obvious, or are even necessarily a bad thing. I have a friend who is involved in a variety of athletic activities that take up a lot of her time—one night it’s track practice, the next night it’s a kickball team, a few times a week it’s rowing practice. And while all these activities are ‘good’ activities—it takes time away from other areas of her life. She is spread so thin in many areas that she can’t concentrate on fully growing one single area.

Distractions aren’t always obvious. Many distractions are little things that don’t seem to take up to much time and may go unnoticed, but when we combine a lot of those little things over time it can make a huge difference in our lives.

Pruning gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate where we should be spending our time, and gives ourselves the space to open up to areas that can make a bigger and better difference in our lives. The Discipline of Pruning helps us cut back to grow more and create the results we most desire.

How to Prune
It is up to us to be aware of the distractions or obligations we schedule in our lives, and to decide which ones should be pruned.  Besides cutting out certain habits, activities, or obligations, one of the simplest ways to prune our lives is wisely using the words “yes” or “no.”

The book, The Power of a Positive No, says that if you learn how to say “no” skillfully and wisely, you can create what you want, protect what you value, and change what doesn’t work.

By saying “no” to competing demands for your time and energy, you can create the space for the people and activities that matter to you most.

What are you missing out on because of distractions in your life? What can you start pruning today? What could you say “no” to? How will these decisions change your life?

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Some Statistics about How Distractions Negatively Affect Us

  • 59% of Blackberry users check email the second it arrives, 83% check it while on vacation, and 53% even check it when they are in the bathroom.
  • A study at The British Institute of Psychiatry showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ in the moment 10 points. That is the equivalent of not sleeping for 36 hours—more than twice the impact of smoking marijuana.
  • Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that distractions are a contributing factor in 8 out of every 10 police-reported traffic crashes, or an estimated 4 million crashes per year.

Hidden Camera: My Dog Busted Eating & Hiding Pizza

1 05 2009

I love how the random, silly things in life can make me laugh! And dogs do some funny things to really make me laugh.

I set up two hidden video cameras in my house to see what my dog did when we left the house. I can’t believe what we caught her doing while we were gone!

As we were walking out of the house, I realized I had left a half pizza in a box in the middle of the kitchen table. I was getting ready to put it away because knowing my dog, chances were good it would be gone when I got home. She has done this three other times before. And it took me three times to finally learn my lesson to not leave it on the table unattended.

Anyway, I set up two video cameras and this is what we saw. We caught my dog, a 12lb Bichon, getting on the kitchen table (about 3 seconds after we were gone), opening the box of pizza, eating two slices of it, and then when she got full, she hid a slice of pizza and disguised it with a piece of paper in the corner of my couch. And all of this on camera!!

Here’s the Video I posted on You Tube:

Have you ever busted your pet on camera doing something while you were gone? Or caught them doing something while you were away, but don’t know how they did it? I’d love to hear about it!! Please share so we can all enjoy some laughs!!

Imagine It…

9 04 2009

Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  ~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

Imagination points to all that we might yet discover and create. All human progress has been born out of imagination-without imagination, we would be completely limited.

So it’s time to imagine out loud….whether it’s big or small, short or tall, serious or silly…nothing can limit our imagination.