Tag: #Trust30 (Page 1 of 3)

Trusting 30

The past 30 posts have been nothing short of incredible. I’m so glad that I signed up for the #Trust30 challenge because without it, I wouldn’t have had to courage to do some of the things I’ve done in the past month.

Here were some of my favorites:

Which ones did you enjoy reading most? I’d like to hear a different perspective. Which story was your favorite?

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#Trust30 Prompt 30: 10 Year Text

Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?

(Author: Tia Singh)

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@mandyboyle: You will do great things.

Hearing this, from myself, would give me the confidence I needed to do great things. I may have the potential already inside me, but it takes our own recognition to ignite that spark.

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#Trust30: Fault and Change

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?

(Author: Carlos Miceli)

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In most 12-step programs, there’s a part where one takes a “fearless moral inventory” of one’s self and then admits to the nature of those wrongs. I tend to think that this exercise is a lot like that.

It’s scary to admit our true flaws. There are flaws that we can accept, like the ones that make us colorful. Things like our clumsiness or our inability to laugh without making an obnoxiously loud noise. Then there are the flaws that give us pain to acknowledge.  Like selfishness. Indifference. Jealousy. Rage. It’s difficult to admit that you are faulted. Just say it out loud: “It’s my fault.”

But after the sinking feeling in your heart passes, and you recognize that you are flawed and faulted, it’s time to stand up. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, its that you have to accept yourself, even the parts that you don’t like. All of it. It’s all you. Fighting it will only hurt you more. Accept that it’s your fault. And then, move forward.  Do not dwell on what’s past. Apologize. Admit you were wrong. Make amends. Cherish what you knew you took for granted.

I can remember a friend saying, “Acceptance is the key to everything.” When it comes to our faults, the ugliness that all of us have a little bit of, acceptance is the only way to heal. When we acknowledge and accept, we take a step back from the edge and forward towards humanity.

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#Trust30 Prompt 29: Overcoming Uncertainty

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down a major life goal you have yet to achieve or even begin to take action on. For each goal, write down three uncertainties (read: fears) you have relating to each goal. Break it down further, and write down three reasons for each uncertainty. When you have three reasons for your fear, you’ll be able to start processing the change because you know where the fear stems from. Now you’ll be able to make a smaller changes that push you towards your larger goal. So begins the process of “trusting yourself.”

(Author: Sean Ogle)

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I want to write something truly great; something I can feel proud of whenever I see my byline.

Fear #1: I won’t be good enough.

  1. Reason: I doubt myself. There are no other reasons.

Fear #2: No one will see it.

  1. Reason: It hasn’t been written yet.
  2. Reason: I haven’t tried to make it appear anywhere.
  3. Reason: I’ll hide it because I’m afraid.

Fear #3: What if no one appreciates it?

  1. Reason: It’s not reaching the right people.
  2. Reason: I’m not listening.
  3. Reason: I’m trying to please everyone when I should really be looking to please myself.
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#Trust30 Prompt 28: Alive-est

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.

(Author: Sam Davidson)

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Feeling alive is something I’ve been very familiar with, but seemed to have lost touch with recently. Stress gets in the way, a million excuses get made, and all the while, living gets neglected. It’s ironic that we put so much energy into avoiding living. But that’s a story for another day.

I felt really alive while I was in Vermont on vacation last week. The afternoon of July 4th, to be exact.  I didn’t have my phone with me (it was locked in the trunk of the car). I wasn’t thinking about work or things I needed to do. I was just enjoying the scenery and a walk to Thundering Falls with Brent and his family. It was nice, not having to think about anything for awhile. A much needed break. I think those, for me, are the moments when I feel most alive. You know, those times when you’re not thinking. You’re just being. You’re enjoying the pleasure of doing whatever you’re doing and for once, you’re not thinking about moving on to the next thing. Totally in the moment. For a little while, that’s where I was.

Thundering Falls wasn’t what I was expecting. When I heard about a waterfall in Vermont, I wasn’t really sure what to expect exactly. I wasn’t thinking about the gorgeous walk across the marsh boardwalk. I didn’t imagine seeing a beaver dam and flowers that grew upside down. It never crossed my mind that I would be able to smell the water and a field and a marsh blending together in the summer heat. It was nice, just for a few moments, to appreciate where I was.

I was quiet on the walk. I spent most of my time just enjoying what I was seeing. The waterfall, the rocks, the green…Vermont is very green. Much greener than Pennsylvania. That’s the one thing that comes to mind when I think about Vermont. It has beautiful shades of green.

Brent’s family decided to forge on ahead and climb up to the top of the falls. I decided to stay behind. Chuck Taylors aren’t the best footwear for hiking on slippery slopes. Brent stayed behind with me. We sat with each other on a rock, breathing in the mist from the falls and just enjoying the quiet. We talked a little bit. We exchanged smiles back and forth. Comfortable silence.

I wasn’t doing anything amazing and I wasn’t forging a trail ahead. I chose to spend my most recent moment of alive-est just watching, sitting, and being in front of a waterfall in the middle of the woods.

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#Trust30 Prompt 26: Call to Arms

Manifesto 13/09 (8)

Image by Angelo Dias via Flickr

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What if today, right now, no jokes at all, you were actually in charge, the boss, the Head Honcho. Write the “call to arms” note you’re sending to everyone (staff, customers, suppliers, Board) charting the path ahead for the next 12 months and the next 5 years. Now take this manifesto, print it out somewhere you can see, preferably in big letters you can read from your chair.

You’re just written your own job description. You know what you have to do. Go!

(bonus: send it to the CEO with the title “The things we absolutely have to get right – nothing else matters.”)

(Author: Sasha Dichter)

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We will do the work and do it well the first time.

We will emphasize quality over quantity. Good work takes time and we recognize that – and will accomodate for it.

Conscience is still important in business; we will not compromise ethics for the sake of a dollar bill.

We will deliver exceptional service, expertise, quality of work, and attention to detail. That’s what people are paying us for.

We will not stop at the bare minimum. We will push ourselves to do our best and when we fail, we’ll keep trying.

We will recognize that we are human. We will make mistakes – but we can learn from them.

We will not be satisfied with being mediocre. We will always look for ways to improve and get better at what we do.

We will think independently and support the good ideas of others. Our culture will be a culture of ideas.

We will encourage and inspire others to do their best work.

We will understand that the end does not always justify the means.

We will question and examine. We will test and experiment.

We will encourage creativity.

We will be a place where people will want to work. Where YOU will want to work.

We will share success with everyone.

We will stay committed to our mission.

We will recognize change and be responsive to it.

We will be proactive instead of reactive, like most companies seem to be.

We will distribute workload fairly. We will encourage growth, but not in a way that stifles creativity and quality.

We will treat each other well.

We will respect each other.

We will be part of the same team.

We will admit when we are wrong and do what it takes to make things right.

We will not limit ourselves by resigning to meet only the minimum standards.

We will emphasize intelligence, reasoning, and strong decision-making.

We will welcome unique thought and new perspectives.

We will be accepting and responsive of feedback.

We will not be imprisoned by shareholders.

We will do great things – together.

We will support the achievement of dreams.

We will lead change.

We will do good in the world.

We will help people.

We will help ourselves.

And most of all, we will be who we are.

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#Trust30 Prompt 25: Most Ordinary

Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are our most potent at our most ordinary. And yet most of us discount our “ordinary” because it is, well, ordinary. Or so we believe. But my ordinary is not yours. Three things block us from putting down our clever and picking up our ordinary: false comparisons with others (I’m not as good a writer as _____), false expectations of ourselves (I should be on the NYTimes best seller list or not write at all), and false investments in a story (it’s all been written before, I shouldn’t bother). What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? List them. Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world. Put down your clever, and pick up your ordinary.

(Author: Patti Digh)

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My False Notions

  • I’m not as good a writer as the people I enjoy reading.
  • Doing something that scares me isn’t a necessity.
  • I should always play it safe.
  • Being liked equates to being good at something.
  • In order to be a good writer, I have to be published somewhere big.
  • In order to be a good at anything, I need to be noticed.
  • It’s better to keep quiet than offend anyone.
  • I just ramble, so I shouldn’t write at all.
  • There’s nothing special about me.
  • I’ll just do it tomorrow.
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#Trust30 Prompt 21: You Know

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

(Author: Jen Louden)

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It’s difficult to feel confident in yourself sometimes, especially when there’s this constant awareness that there are people who know differently than you. Social media is wonderful for sharing and collaborating – but there is a darker side to it too; it’s a side that covets.

When I started my job, I knew that I was surrounded by professionals I could learn from. I absorbed. I listened. I took what they said to heart. It was easy to let others think for me at first, but as I grew and absorbed and experienced, I started to form my own ideas. I constructed my own opinions. Instead of regurgitating everything I had read, saw tweeted, or heard in a webinar, I started to interject my own flavor.

It wasn’t easy at first. My transition into thought independence was one that took a long time.

Silence.

It started with listening – and staying quiet. I read blog posts as gospel. I didn’t comment – I lurked. I followed self-proclaimed gurus and experts and started to explore the vast ocean of ideas that was put in front of me. Overwhelmed couldn’t begin to describe it.

Distance.

I started to slowly step away from the tide. I connected with one expert rather than another. I commented every once in awhile. Granted, they were vanilla comments, but they were comments nonetheless.  I formed preferences. I bookmarked a list of favorites.

Doubt.

I allowed myself to be disappointed. I edited my bookmarks. I saw holes in arguments. I questioned and became frustrated. Why couldn’t I create something this meaningful? Why couldn’t I write anything as valuable is this? Why isn’t my work up to this level?

Courage.

Dive headfirst into doing what they say to do. Trying concepts. Testing theories. Playing myth buster.  Constantly questioning whether what I’m doing is worthwhile or if it’s of any relevance or value.

Motivation.

They have more experience – but I can still create good work. I wrote more. I experimented more. I started to piece together opinions and ideas of what worked and what didn’t. More reading, more listening, more producing. Not as much interaction as I would like. Still, I was scared.

Encouragement.

My work gets noticed. There’s praise and sharing on Twitter. People leave comments. I respond. It all feels good.

Frustration.

Someone disagrees. What do they know? Do I suck this much? Why am I doing this in the first place?

Acceptance.

I can’t make everyone happy – and that’s OK. I’m producing work that I feel happy with most of the time. That’s OK, too. More of my own words. More of my own opinions. Reading some motivational/get-shit-done sort of blogs. Pick myself up. Dust myself off. Let’s start again.

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We all can’t be 100% thought independent. So much of ourselves is formed based on the ideas of others. And that’s totally OK. But it’s nice to be reminded that we don’t have to listen to that little voice in our heads recalling what someone else said or wrote. Sometimes, it’s good to just go with your gut and know that you know enough to say what you think.

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#Trust30 Prompt 20: Speak Less

Fortune Cookies as Teachers

Image by BenSpark via Flickr

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know I. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if you actually went for it and did it?

(Author: Laura Kimball)

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I’m going to come back to this prompt because I’m taking action on something I’ve been thinking about.

#Trust30 Prompt 19: Facing (and Fearing)

Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:

1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.

(Author: Dan Andrews)

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What are the costs of inaction?

Not acting means regret. Not acting means that you feel as if you’ve failed at something because you know you’ve never tried. Someone told me that the greatest evil in the world isn’t hatred – it’s indifference. I can believe that.

What kind of person do I want to be?

I want to be a person that I could be proud of. I want to be a person that I can respect. I want to do great things and experience all that life has to offer. I want to be a person who isn’t afraid to take chances when warranted. I also want to be a person that others can look up to. I have a five year old sister and having her in my life is a reminder, every day, that I need to be the person that I want to be. After all, she has to have someone to look up to.

In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?

Yes. When it comes to failure, I learn from it. I hate experiencing it, but I always take away some sort of truth. There is great meaning in our challenges and when we stop and take a look at the steps we’ve missed or the wrong turns we’ve taken, we can always come out knowing something more about the journey as well as ourselves.

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