Category Archives: memories

Frey Freyday – Memories

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff..)

Memories are thoughts that arise. They’re not realities. Only when you believe that they are real, then they have the power over you. But when you realize it’s just another thought arising about the past, then you can have a spacious relationship with that thought. The thought no longer has you in its grip.-Eckhart Tolle

The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods.-Bill Cosby

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.-Bob Dylan

You shouldn’t wait for other people to make special things happen. You have to create your own memories.-Heidi Klum

To reminisce with my old friends, a chance to share some memories, and play our songs again.-Ricky Nelson

Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.-Corrie Ten Boom

Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: Deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.-Mariska Hargitay

It’s great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later.-George Foreman

Memories of my girls are pretty precious. – Jim Frey

Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.-Steven Wright

I think it would be interesting if old people got anti-Alzheimer’s disease where they slowly began to recover other people’s lost memories.-George Carlin

20 Spiritual Lessons

I mentioned in another post that I am reading Deepak Chopra’s book “Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want”

It is about what Chopra calls “The Wizard” in all of us – another name for the Source, Universe, God, our Self, whatever we call that ‘magical’ strength, wisdom, and power inside of us all…….The Wizard is eternal, it is essentially our Spirit that is connected to all…..

I said that I’d pass along good lessons and ideas….

…here are a few more…

“The Return of the magical can only happen with the return of innocence…..

…The essence of the wizard is transformation.”

Think about when you were young – the dreams and things you thought of as a child…..

…you could get excited and super focused about “IT” and you could spend lots of time on it – and not even know how fast time flew by….

your thoughts, actions, intentions, feelings….they were pure, right? They seemed to be true to the real you.

There was an innocence about you  wasn’t there – you didn’t worry about all of the things that could go wrong – you didn’t worry about it at all, right? You just dreamed it! You just wanted to go make it happen.

As we get well into adult life, we forget and even try to abandon our child, our innocence. Often it gets away from us and we all lose touch.

We get into our everyday lives and worry and forget about living in the moment, about our dreams, our innocence.

But it only takes a moment to relax, live in the moment, look for things to enjoy, and look for something to celebrate.

Meditate, focus, relax, get centered, and remember what you love. Take time for you. Go into nature,

Take time to find the innocence, the magic inside…

.

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Keep swinging or Throw in the towel?

Did you ever have a day when you were just down, depressed, and discouraged? We all do to one extent or another…..

Maybe there were lots of things that happened during the day to make it so, maybe it was just the accumulation of things over time.

Not long ago, my wife and I were facing some tough financial times. She quit a job to start another business, we had some expenses that came up unexpectedly, and her business startup was delayed, the cost of startup ended up being three times our expectation due to one cost, and things were slowing down with cashflow there, and things were so tight!

For so long before that point, things had already been tight. I was not happy with my career, at that time, and I had other concerns about the future.

I was really concerned. I remember that it was a Friday, my wife and I would be alone for a change (our kids were on a trip) and we could relax. Instead of living in the moment, enjoying our time and relaxing, I allowed myself to get all freaked out about things and I ruined the day we had. I didn’t yell or scream or go bezerk but I was “out of it” and certainly not fun to be with…just kind of ‘zoned out’. I recall that I was exhausted from being stressed, I think I had an ulcer, and I was feeling ill. I was totally in a bad mood and unhappy. My wife did try to make the day better but it was a very rare time for me that I couldn’t recover.

Recently I was looking through some old things and this day came flashing from the past and was now fresh in my mind. I suddenly felt that desperation and bad feelings from long ago.

Did you ever have a time when you just wanted to give up?

You just wanted to throw in the towel and say, ‘take the house, my car, I’ll go live in the woods or something.’ For a moment I thought about just running away and working on a boat in Alaska or something. I remember feeling that desperation.

We do have a choice, we can give up, but why? What would you gain by giving up? You’d gain some guilt, embarrassment, lack of achievement, more unhappiness, and a bunch more negative feelings than you feel already….

  • If we can make it through those moments of desperation, that’s when we grow the most.
  • If we can change the meaning why things are happening to us, we can improve.
  • If we change the questions which we ask ourselves, change is again easier.

“Behind your greatest fear, lies your greatest gift.” –  The Universe, Mike Dooley, www.tut.com

If we focus on what it working in life, and what we can do to take action towards a goal today, that works much, much better than focusing on what we lack or what is wrong with life. THIS IS the primary reason we all get in a desperate state of mind form time to time. We’re desperate, sad, angry, bitter, whatever because we’re focusing on the wrong thing and asking the wrong questions

I’m not here to preach, we all do it,  I’m just offering thoughts from my own experience.

Focus on what works, focus on what you can do now towards what you want. Ask better questions. Take action and get some exercise.

Sure, the facts may still be the same but you’ll feel a lot different about them.

And when you’re in a better state of mind, the facts will begin to change for the better, slowly at first then faster and faster.

I wish you the best, keep swinging!

 

🙂

www.onewebstrategy.com

Thinking about Imagination

Imagination was so much fun for me when I was a kid. I recall growing up in the 1970’s and very early 1980’s and pretending to be superheroes like Spiderman and Batman. I imagined that I was Luke Skywalker or Han Solo from Star Wars. I even pretended to be a guy called Ultraman – Ultraman was a TV show on cable – it was from Japan and often the dialogue was dubbed. Ultraman sometimes fought Godzilla, so that may draw a picture for you what the show was like.

I’ve never really liked to go to sleep. Even today I don’t want to go to bed, many nights. I’d rather do something else. When I was young, I of course had to go to bed at a certain time. So I would lay in bed and pretend to be one of the above superheroes. I’d go through scenarios while laying in bed, probably for hours. I recall my dad walking in on me once and I must have been pretending to be fighting a villain while saving the world. He wasn’t too upset but said it was late.

I also used to imagine myself as a pilot and business man. I wanted to be a fighter pilot for so many years – long before “TOP GUN” came around. I went to airshows, read books and magazines about planes and talked to pilots. I actually later soloed in a plane before I had my driver’s license. I had about 40 hours in flight when it came time to go get a flight physical so I could proceed toward a private pilot’s license. I found out that my severe color-blindness and astigmatism was pretty bad, according to the flight doctor, and even though I could easily get a private pilot license, it would be very unlikely that I could be a fighter pilot, corporate pilot, or even a commercial pilot. I was pretty devastated. I took a few more lessons but decided that I was just wasting money and gave up on that dream.

So I focused more on business – working in an office, running a business, being my own boss, much like my father. I imagined traveling and talking to people, helping them, making money. Later in life some of my imaginations came true. I really believe that I set up these ideas in my mind and looked for them as life went on……

As I have gotten older, I have imagined other things – a career, things about my marriage, things about my daughters and our relationship, my golf game, remodeling homes, etc. We had a totally unfinished upstairs at our first house – my wife and I used to imagine how we’d finish it. Finally we drew some sketches and then went ahead and did it. Like so many people, we visualized the outcome long before it was done.

….Imagination is so powerful. It is pretty fun too. Just think about it – basically everything in our world; homes, buildings, books, movies, amusement parks, hospitals, songs, art – everything happening in some way or another in someone’s imagination first….then it became real. Think about Disney World and that great empire….even if you aren’t a fan of going there it is a wonder of achievement and making dreams happen.

Imagination can be our friend or foe. Worrying is a form of negative imagination. If you sit around and worry, you are imagining bad things. Just as you can create an idea about remodeling, then make it happen, you can create a situation that involves stress, anxiety, fear, anger – and it too can happen.

Imagination; paired with the right emotions and a strategy, can help you achieve anything! When was the last time you had some fun and imagined a bit. Take a moment and imagine – almost like you were a kid. Maybe you want to think about your golf game, a relationship, your career, or just something crazy and fun. Take time and do it.

Below is from Wayne Dyer at www.waynedyer.com. He shares his thoughts about imagination…….

Your imagination is your own fertile field for growing any seedlings that you choose to plant for a future harvest.

You may have been told that you have always been a dreamer, as if this were a fault. I can speak here from experience. Family, friends, teachers, and even advisors frequently disparaged ideas that burned brightly in my imagination. I often heard comments such as, “Wayne, you’re such a dreamer. Get real. You are never going to make it as a writer, or a television performer, or a movie personality. Be realistic—we know what’s best for you.”

When I was being discharged from the Navy at the age of 22, my superiors warned me that starting college at my “advanced age” was loaded with uncertainty, particularly since I had no higher education experience, and I would be competing with younger recent high school graduates. Since I already had a skill as a cryptographer in the Navy, they advised me to pursue what they felt was best for me. But I had a dream—an imagination filled with the idea of teaching, writing, and speaking to large audiences. I saw myself onstage. I saw myself as a prominent author. And this vision could not and would not be sabotaged by someone else’s vision of what I should or could become.

As a young boy in a foster home, I almost always ignored other people’s ideas about what I should be thinking or doing—I simply was indifferent to their opinions regarding what I could imagine for myself. I have carried this kind of inner discipline regarding my own imagination with clarity, refusing to allow external opinions to cancel or diminish what for me was hallowed ground.

Not long ago, others advised me that acting in a movie was not sensible for me as a 68-year-old man with no acting experience. I once again remembered to hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign at the entrance to my imagination, and proceeded to take acting lessons and adopt the self-enforced regimen that allowed me to create a movie. It is a product that fills me with pride today—all because I have diligently practiced the following rule:

Never, and I mean never, allow anyone else’s ideas of who you can or can’t become sully your dream or pollute your imagination. This is your territory, and a KEEP OUT sign is a great thing to erect at all entrances to your imagination.

Stay in a state of grace and gratitude for this resplendent gift that is always yours to do with as you choose.

My Story, Chapter 5

Continued….

…Fast forward a few years…..After our firm lost 90% of our income from the one factory going direct nationwide, I struggled a few years finding what the next step was and despite the fact that I was working full time I didn’t take any salary the first year after we lost the big chunk of income. I was working and acting on faith. I had saved and invested for the past few years and I’m glad that I did because I was able to live off that while I rebuilt the business. My father had retired and I was running the business full time.

I had to search and find companies and products that I could represent and sell that would start to replace that income. It was a scary and exciting time. It was easier perhaps, because I had few responsibilities. There were some ups and downs in the business and in the economy but life was good for a single guy.

I had a great group of friends from college with which I still hung out. We called ourselves the Dudes. Now, after college, life and work sometimes got in the way. However, we still found time for roadtrips, parties, and other fun things. I have lots of good memories of laughs, practical jokes, talking, hanging out, traveling.

So one summer, our next fun thing was the Jimmy Buffett concert. I didn’t even like Jimmy Buffett but it was a chance to hang out with my friends and to have some fun in the sun……in a parking lot somewhere outside of Pittsburgh. So we packed into my white mini-van and drove. We sat in the parking lot and tail-gated. Frankly I don’t think that I even went in to watch the concert……

So we were partying, having fun…. Just as you do when you tailgate, we were walking around, mingling, and others were coming around to our spot. There I saw Jill again. (Jill was a friend from college who was always nice to talk with … I knew some of the people she dated and she knew some of the people I dated during college)..For the past 2 years, Jill was away at graduate school in North Carolina. Now back in town, she was with her sisters at the concert.

The concert came and went. A few weeks later my buddy from Maryland asked the Dudes to a hotel in Pennsylvania while they were in town for a wedding. For whatever reason, I faxed Jill to let her know we were going there and she was welcome to meet us. (before texting and email, faxing was an easy way to communicate-AOL was still in the early stages) At that point I still thought of Jill as a friend and I wanted to include her with my other close friends.

Jill came and we all had a good time. The next day everyone went their separate ways. Jill and I decided to go have lunch at Wendy’s. I don’t know what was in the Frosty that day but we laughed and had a good time. I made dumb jokes and she laughed. Something had clicked from the evening before. Somewhere in there we decided that we were fond of each and we began to date.

It was a different feeling, it was an attraction, sure, but it was also a head and heart sort of thing. I recall saying to myself, “She’s pretty, smart, funny. We’re good friends, I respect her, I have a great time with her, we can talk about things, we have great families.” I hadn’t seen it before that moment but we were a great fit. We liked spending time with each other and trusted one another. We could talk about anything. There were feelings there. From what started as an immature relationship as friends in college grew to that of young adults taking on life together.

I never looked back after that point. In my younger years I had been fickle and immature with some relationships. But when I thought about dating Jill, I thought, “Yes, this works, this makes sense, this feels right.” The relationship hit all cylinders; my mind, heart and body. I no longer considered dating others and no longer became distracted.

I continued to work in the business and tried to find the right fit for a company to represent. I found another company with a great product but it turned out the owner was taking all the profits and buying boats, etc. and didn’t bother to pay the bills. It’s tough for a manufacturing company to run when you don’t pay for the machinery. That company closed and I again had to start over. I found another company with really good people but their product line was limited and they started having quality issues. Soon because of customer feedback and quality issues, I split with them. It all started to work away at my credibility, since I was switching product lines.

I learned a lot about people, perserverance and life during that time. Many people stuck with me because of my dad, some because of me, some because of the product and / or service. Others took off in a heartbeat after years of working together and after giving them lots of free consulting and help.

I confess that I took some of these things personally, and my ego was bigger then, so it was tough. Plus I suddenly was earning much less despite working long hours, traveling many miles, and driving a white minivan. (A mini-van wasn’t great for a single guy in his mid-twenties!)

Cool, neat, little things happened to us when we were together….for instance one time we got bumped from a flight while we were flying to Florida. We got free first class tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. So we picked the farthest point that sounded great – San Diego. We traveled to San Diego and experienced lots of great things – with trips to L.A. and Mexico. We again had cool experiences together there. San Diego grew on us.

Jill and I dated for a while but we didn’t want to wait too long to be married. We also didn’t really want all the big ‘fuss’ for our wedding. You see, the year we decided to get married, there were 15 other weddings…..we were invited to all 15. Jill and I were in about 7 of them, including her two sisters. It was crazy! Just think, we spent at least $50 (usually more) for a wedding, plus hotel and travel. That was an expensive year! Most of those weddings were crammed into September-December.

At first we were going to elope to the Outer Banks and come home married. But we decided not to do so, our families might have had hurt feelings, etc. So we decided to have a much smaller and elegant wedding. We wanted to pay for it all ourselves. I got a second job selling alarm systems. One large project paid for some of the reception, another paid for most of the honeymoon. Jill worked a second job and saved money for the wedding and other things. Our parents still wanted to help, so my parents helped by adding and upgrading the food. Jill’s parents helped with the wedding dress and photography.

Still, it felt good to pay for most of it ourselves. I was self-employed and I had decided to start attending the evening MBA program at Pitt. I enjoyed it but the classes after work were a bit tough, as were the payments. I did take out a loan for some of it and I tried to pay for some as I went.

After about a year, my new wife and I saved some money, used a small gift from my parents, and built a small Cape Cod. It was nice and simple. The upstairs and basement were left unfinished to save on dough. We were happy.

The thing about all of it was this- we were tight financially for some time. I actually had to ‘lean’ on my wife for 1-2 years as I rebuild the business, she often made more during the volatile time for me. Then I kept growing it.. She believed in me and I in her. Jill and her sisters were running a large child care center that eventually would have 80+kids.

(At this point I began to think about something that I’d see observe and feel for the rest of my life – it seemed that I was reaching out for a job, an opportunity, something that I was definitely capable of doing well – but I was pushed back. I think in some way I was being pushed or pulled back to where I was supposed to go. Maybe something inside of me or part of me was guiding me. Maybe it was God or something else. But so many times we all experience it – ‘that job would be great and I can do it ‘ then you apply and get smacked back royally. Maybe there’s a reason….almost like we’re being guided back onto the right path….)

I found some stability with my own business and really started to enjoy the MBA program. Many cool things were happening in our lives. Small things like the fact we got upgraded to a Penthouse suite with 3 bathrooms, a dining room with 10 chairs, full kitchen, den, living room, and skyline veranda in Toronto…..Big things like getting pregnant – we were expecting our first child!

Then I had a chance to move onto a totally different career. I got a job as an intelligence analyst. I felt like Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy’s series. I started working for the U.S. Department of Justice and I liked it for a while.

Leaving a cushy job – a good idea or bad idea?……..

My Story, Chapter 4

inspire

Continued…..

….so that fall I returned to college a new person….really I felt like a man for the first time ever. As I mentioned, people treated me differently. I had a new confidence and self-respect. I can tell you that my relationships, grades, and life were affected.

I went to the fitness center 4 or 5 times a week. I ate better. I worked in the office and carried a 90% load of schoolwork. My grades improved greatly. My professors noticed my change. I began to think differently.

My parents now went to Florida from January to April. They bought a small place there and had a great time – they deserved it. My dad played volleyball 4 or 5 days a week and softball once or twice a week. My mother and father rode there bikes around the park most of the day and they socialized. They looked and acted years younger.

Besides some basic challenges, the year went on well. My father had a minor set back the next year but recovered quickly. I continued to run the business mostly on my own, using my dad as a valuable consultant. I would bounce ideas and situations off of him and we’d work together. My father and I did travel together to some larger clients, some tradeshows and other business. I got to spend time with him as a boss, partner and for the first time friend. It was a great time and I am forever grateful for that time. As time went on, I began to inject more of my own ideas and personality into the business. I had much to learn.

The next year of college came and I continued to maintain the balance of work, school, and social life. I began to enjoy the bit of extra money that I started to gather. Life was good.

I began to really taste independence. When I say that, I mean it in a few ways….I tasted what it was like to earn money, to save money, and to invest it. I saw my money grow in my investments, so I understood the passive nature of investing.

By the nature of our business, we set up dealers, home centers, and distributors. They sold our products. We earned commission. That was pretty cool. We earned money whether we were golfing, driving, sleeping or whatever. Sure we had to offer support, service and coordinate deliveries….and yes set up new dealers, but it was cool when I understood that there was a recurring revenue of sorts happening there.

The other part of independence was that we were living one about 30 acres – about 10 acres of fields in front of the home and office, and the balance behind us in beautiful woods. There was a small hillside on the on side of the property so that we were in a nice little valley. Not far in the woods, we had a creek. You could sit in the office in mid-summer and open the windows to a great cool breeze. You could hear birds sing, hear the bubbling creek, and look out and see deer.

If you wanted to take a walk, go fishing, it was all possible. There was an independence so that we were not tied to a city building, hampered by a commute and traffic. We weren’t tied to one employer. We had the freedom of recurring income. The independence that all people experience when they first reach a certain level of income was there. Life was good.

Later in my life I got away from many of these things. I worked in the city and had a very long commute. I worked for controlling employers. I would spend years longing to get back to that independence – the feeling that I controlled my own life. I lost the recurring revenue and the almost passive nature of the income.  For many years, sometimes on purpose, sometimes because of circumstances around me, I lost independence. I can tell you this, it is much better, in so many ways, to be as independent as possible. I’ve had it and in some ways, I lost it.

As with any life event, I learned lessons. Among others, I learned the WORDS TO LIVE BY: Independence. Being free to act on your own, free to live where you want. I encourage you, define what independence means to you and what types of it are important to you.

—-

I really grew over a few years. I learned a lot. I took some risks. I made some mistakes. I had successes.

One of the companies was about 90% of our income. We were independent but when you looked at the finances of our business, we were very dependent on one company. It wasn’t by design but because that company had such a diverse nature of products and because of how the territory simply developed, we were tied to them.

One spring we got news that this company hired a new set of sales managers. We got the call that one was coming to our area and we had to set up some visits. We approached it with a great attitude but he was pretty tough to deal with. Even though he knew nothing of the industry, he came across as egotistical, typically interrupted people, and was not a pleasant guy to spend the guy with…..

….he came into town a few times that summer and he’d typically tick off clients wherever he visited. We’d ask for help solving problems but he never solved one of them. He often was late for appointments and was disrespectful to me and my father. Then one day he asked us to meet him somewhere far. So we got up at 5am, drove to see this guy and we got fired.

That year, that company let go of any and every representative like us across the country and they went with some in-house salaried people. (Within 12 months that company also let go that sales manager!) Things change. You must adapt!.

So we drove all the way home on that beautiful summer day. I could tell that my dad was very upset that suddenly the business had lost 90% of its cashflow and the legacy he wanted to leave was not going to be the same. We tried to enjoy the day and we discussed the exit strategy….we also began to think about what the next step would be………

….continued….

Everybody loves a story….make sure it is a good story

You know, we often get caught up in stories.

Stories can be so very powerful. Think about your favorite movie….the story line is often the power. Even if you don’t like Star Wars, you have to admit that there is power of the story there. Despite all of the special effects and interesting aliens, technology, powers, and gadgets; without the story it would have been forgotten about by now. Star Wars continues to be popular because the story is powerful and connects us. We feel good and identify with the story. We see ourselves in parts of the story and want to see ourselves in other parts.

We connect with people, organizations, brands, cultures and TV shows because of the story. Have you ever had the experience of not knowing someone or some organization, then you hear their story, and you’re suddenly connected? We do have more of a connection if there are similarities in our own lives or stories, but even if not, when we hear a story, we understand, we paint a picture in our heads and we know.

Did you ever notice how some people have a story? Maybe they talk about an injury, about a person that hurt them, a job they lost, or something in their past? What’s your story? Our story often discuss who have helped us and who  hurt us. We get really attached to our own stories, don’t we? Sometimes we feel comfort in our stories. Stories connect us because they simply the complex, they highlight the emotions, they make experiences real, and they allow us to become part of the story. Stories can create metaphors.

However, I think that we all lose sight on how our stories can limit us, restrict us, and how they can basically become an excuse for why we are not doing better. Too many times, our stories essentially say, “This is how it is for me, this is my reality.” We get lost in the past too much and we then think that we’re caught in the past. I don’t think that we even realize that we are getting caught up in our stories.

“I was in a car wreck and…” or “I was in a divorce and…” or “I had this failure/loss and…” or “I lost this person from my life and…” We can hear other’s stories like this, right? We can hear our own stories too, right?

We all fail to realize that there are two sides to every story. We can easily change our story. We are not ‘telling it like it is’ — there is always another way to tell our story. Instead of telling the same old story, I bet that you can go back and highlight other parts of your life and experiences.

“We can not change anything until we first accept it.” Carl Jung

“You can not change your life until you accept responsibility for creating it.” Andy Dooley

A story can be empowering or it can be limiting. Unfortunately most of us unknowingly tell ourselves and people around us stories that do not empower us. Do your stories talk about “what happened to you” or what went well? Do your stories talk about what was right/what worked – or what went wrong?

We create our state of mind, our interpretation of the past, and we create our present and future by our stories.

Think about your story for a moment – you know the one that you tell a friend, a stranger, and especially the one that you tell yourself. Does it highlight how things happened to you and explains why you are “here” and not “there”?  Does the story talk about being overwhelmed? In some way does it highlight what didn’t work?

If you believe in creating your own vibrations in life, in the Law of Attraction, in anything like that, then you want your story to create the correct reality for you. Because whatever your story is – good / bad /happy/sad – that will be your reality. Your story is how you perceive life, it is what you focus on….so focus on what you want and focus on what feels good.

If you focus on what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with the world – you will be unhappy and if you believe in the Law of Attraction, you will create “that” reality.

Author Andy Dooley uses this as an analogy; think of a rocket ship. Picture it. Think of a rocket ship for each of your desires right now. See the rocket ship for each. Think of your emotions as rocket fuel.  The rocket doesn’t go anywhere with fuel – without the emotion…without the right emotion. That is why it is so important to create a good story going forward as if it has already happened – as if your goal/desire has already been accomplished. When you get a good story; it should talk about good things in the past and in the future. Add emotions and the rocket will blast off and fly far.

“Imagination and emotion are  the most concentrated forms of energy that you possess as a physical creature.” Jane Roberts

For a long time I was stuck in a less than empowering story. I lost my job, I lost both my parents, and experienced losses from investment properties – all within 6 months or less during 2009. All that is true, sure, but my story focused on those events alone. There were good things along the way that I ignored. The way I interpreted the past certainly didn’t help my future.

Honestly, I believe that part of those events came about because ‘my story’ before 2009 was incredibly negative. Before I lost my parents and my job and thousands of dollars, I was unhappy with many aspects of my life, a life that I really should have enjoyed and appreciated. I was unhappy with a great job that I had. I was unhappy with my wife and life in general.

I had some very nice income, a very nice home, a great job that I really wanted back (after I lost it) and a wonderful wife. But I focused on what wasn’t working.

Working from home, I complained about not interacting with others as much. (I actually was on the phone all the time and I went out and visited with people but that was my focus.  Plus, how many people would love to work at home and make a nice income?) My home was/is very nice but I focused on silly things that weren’t working instead of the beauty and nature of it. My wife and I had and have a great relationship, I was simply focusing on little things she did wrong – that any of us do – and ignored the many great things she did. I was unhappy with so many wonderful things…then I lost most of them or felt the threat of losing them.

For a few years I had been telling a story about my job that highlighted the bad parts. Then after I lost my job and my parents, I finally realized how much I really liked my job and my life before – yet I still told a story that didn’t empower me. My story was about how these things ‘hit me’ and how I felt like I was down for the count, how the wind was knocked out of me, how I was spun for a loop, how my head wasn’t on straight. I actually could picture myself sitting down, holding my head as if I had been hit or shaken. Not very empowering.

You see, in my story to others, I used those phrases and cliches. I recall feeling like I was in a prize fight and got knocked around and got knocked down- it was because that’s how I described the experiences to those around me. Do you think that someone in this state can make good decisions? No.

I made decisions like I was smacked around. My decisions were filled with panic, desparation as if I was under duress. My decisions worsened my situation in many cases and added to a weak story.

Also, my story was almost completely looking into the past only. I wasn’t looking forward. This isn’t healthy. Think when you graduated high school or college – or another time when you were young and excited. You were looking into the future. Your story was about tomorrow. My story – and many of us do this as we age – was locked in the past. We can’t create a future by looking into a dreary past.

During that time period, I had accomplishments, I had lucky things come my way, I had made some good relationships, I did some good stuff and good stuff happened to me – but my story rarely if ever spoke of it. How about your story?

It does take a lot of energy for a rocket to take off. It does take a lot for a dream/desire/goal to take off. But if you add emotion, imagination, and empowering thoughts, you can fuel the dream. If you allow fear, desparation, and negative emotions to fuel your rocket, it will take off in the wrong direction.

So – does your story make you feel good? When you tell it to yourself or someone, do you feel drained? Empowered? Abused? Victimized? Does the other person just feel sorry for you? I know with my story, I got lots of sympathy and shared sorrow. People did offer love and support and that was great but it was if I was like a wounded soldier in a hospital bed. People reached out and offered kindness but I wasn’t the guy that they came to to make things happen, I wasn’t a leader, I wasn’t confident, charismatic, happy, or anything good with the story I was telling.

I think the life of an actor can be good or bad – but one aspect would be really great – living the life of someone else. But guess what? We can create that ‘someone else’, at least create it in little ways in our own life.

Whether you know it or not, you are living your life according to your story. If you want to change your life, you must first accept your current situation, realize what story you’re using now – and then change it. Make your story powerful, empowering, happy, grateful – make it more about how you feel good, about good emotions – than about materialistic things. Create a story that builds you up, that brings things to you, that sends out good vibrations. Create a story that you want.

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