Category Archives: meaning

My Story, Chapter 8

(This is a quick overview “MY STORY” of my life, mostly to highlight the victories, challenges, and roller coasters we all ride in life. I offer some lessons that I learned at some points, and hopefully my perspective and experiences can help at least one person. Plus, some of you have just simply asked to learn more about me…)

….in Chapter 7, I mentioned how I was finally focusing on the right things and doing well. That’s when I got a call out of the blue to try something new and different, and to leave the world of self-employment. It was a little risky, too, because I entered the world of banking and SBA lending for the first time and I knew nothing about it….

Before I jump into new info, I wanted to reflect on what I consider to be guidance by our inner Self, or the Source, or God or the Universe – whatever you want to call it. To me, it is much the same. I believe we’re connected, so if you’re true to your Self and in the right state of mind and heart, your Self should equal = God.

Anyhow, I find it interesting, now looking back, at the ways I have guided myself, or been guided, along the way in life. While I was in the moments, it wasn’t much fun and wasn’t “interesting”. It was just plain rough. Now looking back, I’m glad and sort of relieved things didn’t always work out like I hoped. I think that I was being led by my ego during many of those moments into a job I thought I wanted, a job that paid a lot or looked cool, or both. Luckily my Self led me another way.

I can think of a few times where I wanted a job, even Needed a job. I applied for a position and did everything right. Then I got to the interview and blew it or just didn’t get a position that I felt I was definitely qualified for…..while I was in the MBA program I made contacts that got me an interview with Arthur Andersen Consulting. At that time, Arthur Andersen was doing very well nationwide and locally. They were in the news in good ways often. I had 4 interviews with them and they seemed to all go well. I loved the culture, the age groups, the compensation packages, etc. I wanted the job!

I was scheduled for a 5th interview. I was pretty happy that things were moving along well. Then I heard Arthur Andersen’s name in the news again. It seemed this time Negative! They were identified closely with ENRON and some of the ‘creative accounting’ there. Soon all new hires were put on hold. Soon after that a few people started to leave the local Arthur Andersen office. Soon after that more things came out and things got worse for them.

I had worked for the federal government, as I mentioned, and in one case later in my life, I tried to go back into the government and get re-hired by the same agency. The economy was shaky and I thought the government would offer some security while I got back on my feet. I had applied and many people and old friends thought it would be a slam dunk hire. Then, I got a form letter that I was declined. I had accidentally filled out the form wrong in one spot, I erroneously put a wrong grade number for the application and they denied my application. Even after I called and explained I was told that they could not modify an application and I’d have to wait until next year. It really was depressing and disappointing. However, not long after, it was announced that this agency was going to close. 300 people, many of my friends, would now need to look for new jobs. Had I been accepted, I would have been there only a short time and then required to go out and look anew. It would have been worse.

I’ve had many other instances when I wanted to work for a company, been passed over in some way, and then found out that there was an issue, it closed, or the job was not a good one. In some way or another I was lucky and it seemed like someone was watching out for me. What appeared to be bad luck seemed like good luck.

More recently I considered a career move and was again denied. I took it to heart and felt pretty down for a while. Then I recalled these past experiences in my life…I’m still “too close” to see big picture so far but I tell myself that this too shall pass and that something better is coming, this opportunity wasn’t right for my path and some Intelligence is helping me…..

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…I think that it helps to have a Vision where or what you want. Have a clear idea, picture, thought, feelings – where you want to go, how you want it to be, and why. Don’t worry about the How. You need to stay focused on that vision – what you can do today, how you can take action – and avoid focusing on what doesn’t work, avoid focusing on the negative. Setting goals is great. Having faith in yourself and faith in others, and faith in the world helps a lot. Giving, being open-minded, being happy, and being persistent are other lessons that I’d have to pass along too…..

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…..to jump back into my Chapter 8 timeline and get back to the story – I was going to start telling you about how I was hired to a large bank for the first time and how well things went for some time……had I not had the previous denials, challenges and even failures, I would not have had this new job at the bank. Those doors that were closed may or may not have been good for me, we will never know, but certainly when I started this new job at the bank, I was very happy to be there……to be continued.

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The Wizard Within….

outreach

I am reading a book by Deepak Chopra called “Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want”

It is quite good.

It is something that I have written about on occasion and sometimes try to put into practice in my own life, but often do not.

The Wizard can represent a number of things or beings – it could be our own Spirit, the Universe, the Source, God, the Universal Intelligence, the Higher Self….or whatever you might refer to the power, love, force, and spirit that runs through us all. The Wizard is a metaphor….

The Wizard is that force or spirit that we all have, the true self that never really changes, the person that remains the same as we grow, as we face challenges, as we worry about materialistic things – the Wizard knows what is really important, the Wizard helps us stay on the course when we’re worried, concerned, or chasing the “Joneses”.

The Wizard is that voice inside that helps you make a decision, that helps you stay on track, and that provides you a foundation of strength, serenity, and guidance. The Wizard in us sees the real world, the real person in others – not the beautiful or ugly skins and bones, but the spirit inside.

  • There are some great lessons in this book; some new and fresh, some are things we all probably already know but are definitely good to be reminded of…..
  • Spend time pondering not what you see but why you see it.
  • The Wizard exists in all of us. This wizard sees and knows everything.
  • The Wizard is beyond opposites of light and dark, good and evil, pleasure and pain.
  • Everything the wizard sees has its roots in the unseen world.
  • Nature reflects the moods of the wizard.
  • The body and mind may sleep but the wizard is always awake.

For someone like me who has a difficulty making time for meditation, I found the quote “Without silence, there is no room for the wizard.” very helpful and meaningful…”without silence ther cannot be any real appreciation of life, which is as delicate in its inner fabrics as a closed rosebud.”

…also, Wizards don’t live in fear…when asked “How do you manage this peace of mind?”, the Wizard says, “Look within where there is only peace.”

Lastly, Chopra writes this….”The mind may succeed in making you intelligent, but it is poorly equipped to make you happy, fulfilled, at peace with yourself.”….”the Wizard is inside you and only wants one thing: to be born.”

…..I’ll share more good thoughts from the book as I come across them….

Best wishes for some magic from your inner Wizard today…

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ūüôā

Words To Live By : Giving – part 2

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

In the part one of this Giving, I talked about Giving in a different light than most people think of, perhaps. I spoke about in business and in life,¬†that we should consider¬†giving more value upfront without an expectation of receiving. I talked about how a business person can give all sorts of value up front before a client ‘buys’. Many new online, and established offline businesses do this with success. In relationships, sometimes we hold back and wait for the other person to give or open up. I profess that we should give, be open and reach out first. (We may get hurt but there is a much better chance we’ll connect)

In this post, I wish to address the main thoughts about giving – and the benefits…..

….¬†Giving Back is Good For You

Being altruistic, or reaching out to help others, not only benefits the person being helped, but practicing altruism also has many benefits for the person doing the helping. (university studies also show that if someone observes the act of giving between two others, they receive some of the same chemical and emotion benefits)

Altruism is an unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It is a generous way of expressing gratitude for all that you have been given.

Reaching out a hand to lift someone else up is one of the greatest gifts for the heart. The gifts that one receives from giving back and from reaching out to help others are immense and priceless.

There was an online article from OPRAH Magazine that says, “We have become very strange in this country about giving away our money. We only¬† seem to be able to do it unconsciously. Dropping the loose change into the¬† charity jar at the convenience store. Telling someone to keep the change because¬† the untoward jingling in your pocket may disrupt the afternoon staff meeting. As¬† soon as we start thinking about making a donation, we start thinking of reasons¬† not to do it. Money’s too tight at home. The person to whom we’ll give it will¬† spend it unwisely. The buck in the envelope is just a drop in the bucket. Oh,¬† Lord, the problem’s so big and my wallet is so small. The modern reflex seems to¬† be that the worst thing we can do for a problem is to “throw money at it,” even¬† though very few problems ever get solved for free. ”

Talking to friends and clients, and being aware of my own thoughts, I admit that this is true in many ways.

I read about an interesting event….¬†Over¬†a recent¬†holiday season, a¬† management group in Rhode Island gave its employees money on the express¬† condition that the employees then give it away to someone else in need. The¬† company then asked their employees to share the stories of their charity at a¬† company meeting.¬† There is a spark of the collective consciousness in that, which heartens¬† not only those people involved in the transaction but those who hear the story¬† and pass it along. There is something like art there.

Another article suggests, “When giving away¬† your money, it helps to think of it as more than bits of paper and scraps of¬† metal. That’s not a $20 bill you’re slipping into the envelope there. It’s a¬† bagful of flour. It’s soup or a blanket or a bottle of medicine. That handful of¬† quarters is a handful of rice.”

You can even make this art out of raw¬† self-interest. Giving away money can be the most selfish thing you do. With a¬† father and four of his siblings dead from the same disease, I can look at the¬† check I send to the Alzheimer’s Association and see something that is every bit¬† as therapeutic as any new therapy that money may help create. I see new drug¬† trials, and respite care, and a light against enveloping darkness. (reference: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/The-Benefits-of-Giving-to-Charity#ixzz2S9C26DtP¬†)

Volunteering has always been viewed as good for your soul. Now it turns out that it’s also good for your health and your career. Recent research conducted by Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National & Community Service reveals that charitable work literally makes the heart grow stronger. Individuals with coronary artery disease who participate in volunteer activities after suffering a heart attack report a reduction in despair and depression, and that, in turn, rives down mortality and adds years to life. It’s also true that those who volunteer have fewer incidents of heart disease in the first place. (reference :Benefits of Giving Back, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, 12.22.09, http://www.forbes.com)

There is a children’s book that should be a must for all high school and college students to read and re-read. IT IS CALLED –¬†Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud

It speaks on the simplicity and greatness of giving and how it affects all those around us. I know that I constantly need to work on and improve my giving – both monetarily and volunteering.

At the very least !

Give someone a smile, a pleasant thought, prayer, blessing. If you see someone crabby, grouchy, rude, or whatever, instead of silently judging him or her, send some positive vibes, a prayer or a good wish their way. Give them a smile or a kind word.

ūüôā

Finding meaning in unpleasant jobs and situations

Have you ever been in a job or situation that was just unpleasant?

Maybe you were working with, or working for, someone that you didn’t like.

Maybe it was a boss that was imposing, micromanaging, etc. Maybe he couldn’t make a decision – or changed his mind a lot.

I look back to a position I got myself in….I was working for a guy who did have talents, yet he was not really a guy that you’d want to hang out with…..or work for….

It all started good. We both had plans and ideas. We came up with a strategy. But little by little I began to see him differently.

He didn’t make decisions – he always needed to think about it…but no amount of information or research on my part seemed to help him. When he did make a decision about something, he would soon change his mind. These changes not only wasted time, it wasted his own money, and soon began to erode morale.

He would walk around the office and huff a lot. He got upset by all sorts of things – little things. When we got a project he would get worried about it instead of getting excited by the possibilities. He often was short and rude with others.

At first I thought he was just a schmuck. Then I began to understand him. And I even began to feel for him. Most of his actions, or lack thereof, were based on fear. He was an older guy, he felt like he was unprepared for somethings, and he probably sometimes felt inferior.

He, like any of us, probably felt all sorts of emotions in business and life. But, unlike many of us, didn’t appear to have the tools or support network.

When you and I get scared, upset, anxious, we may vent or express some of it. But often we can deal with it. I believe he struggled with expressing his feelings. Without sounding disrespectful, he became a sad figure. I began to feel sorry for him. Once I disliked him and wished to be elsewhere. Then I began to notice his weaknesses and I saw that he didn’t have a choice to do much better.

Previously I had worked for him for a while and came to a point where I asked myself “Why am I here, what do I have to learn from this?”

Then¬†I realized ‘why I was there and what I had to learn.’…..I was at¬†home when¬†I caught myself – caught myself huffing, getting impatient, getting negative. I don’t think that I was as bad as my boss was but I was still like him. And I don’t think that I was acting like that because of him. I think that I had acted like this for a long while. I knew that I got impatient and in some ways, this anger or grouchiness was my “thing”.

Victor Frankl wrote the wonderful book “A Man’s Search For Meaning”. We can find almost any kind of meaning in our lives about big or small things. The meaning we assign to something can inspire us or discourage us. The choice is mostly up to us, we assign the meaning.

So back to my job РI suddenly realized that I had meaning here Рmeaning to in some way help my boss handle things differently Рor at least support him. I also realized that there was additional meaning Рthat I discovered more about me and that I needed РI wanted to change.

Suddenly a job that was sort of depressing, meaningless, and discouraging became better. I had skills, strategies and ideas that could help my boss. I had skills, strategies and ideas that could help me improve myself. I had the opportunity to see him, to see myself, and to realize that if I didn’t change, I might be like him someday.

Before, I wanted to get out of that job as fast as possible. I couldn’t wait and I was anxious about it. After I came to the above revelations, I no longer felt anxious about moving on. I still wanted to move on, and I knew I would in due time. But for that moment, I was there to learn, to improve myself, to improve my environment.¬† I was there to keep moving, not to wait for something better. I had patience.

I changed my focus and showed gratitude for a situation that I almost dreaded before. Things did improve. Things seemed easier. He was still huffy and impatient and indecisive but I tried to help. I think he noticed.
Guess what? It was the right thing to do. I think we both grew because of it. It was the loving thing to do. It wasn’t the easiest thing but I’m forever grateful for having that revelation. I have no regrets. I had faith, followed my heart, gave, and worked at doing what felt right.

Best wishes to you and your growth. Be aware of the meaning that you assign to events in your life.

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

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