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T.G.I.F.?

“So it only makes sense to see weekends and vacations as the highlight of your working year, right? Actually, no: If you feel you endure the workweek just to get to the payoff of the weekend, you’re in the wrong business. Find work you enjoy; then you won’t see time off as a chance to finally do something fun but as a chance to do something else fun. While you’ll never love everything you do in your professional life, you should enjoy the majority of it. Otherwise you’re not living–you’re just working.” -Jeff Haden, “5 Things to Un-Learn from School”

T.G.I.F.?

Let’s turn that into “Thank God It’s Fulfilling!”

When we follow our bliss, We don’t have to wait until Friday to start having fun.

For the dreamer, passion is an everyday affair.

That’s today’s two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Two kinds of certainty

“I had enormous doubts early in my career. It was nothing but one large doubt whether this would really work. It wasn’t that I was able to persevere. I was unable to stop! I just couldn’t give it up. It was too important. It just never entered the realm of possibility. But I never was sure, really sure that it was going to work out and I would ever really be an astronomer” -Vera Rubin, Second female recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society

There are two kinds of certainty:

First, there’s the certainty of knowing that everything will be fine if one remains true to herself.

Then, there’s the the certainty of knowing that one’s existence will be a living hell if they compromise their inner guidance.

If you’re sitting on the fence waiting for evidence that everything will turn out okay, here’s my two cents:

You don’t have to be sure of your future in order to be certain.

If you can’t believe in your dreams, believe in your dependence on them.

Believe that you were born to try your hand at changing things, whether you actually succeed at changing them or not.

Believe that creative challenges, even the ones that seem to kick your %[email protected],  are more essential to your well-being than having answers and being comfortable.

I happen to believe that life responds cooperatively to those who follow their heart’s calling, BUT such a belief is NOT required for creative action.

Successful creators doubt themselves daily, but they keep working because they’re certain of the following:

When creating stops, life stops.

At least that’s the way I see it.

What are YOUR thoughts?

T.K. Coleman

Read this before you talk to your friends about your problems

Here’s a little experiment in the power of positive focusing: The next time someone makes a “stupid” comment, an antagonizing remark, or does anything that irritates you in the slightest way, don’t respond to it and don’t tell anyone about the experience for 48 hours.

If you’re still bothered by the experience after the 48 hour waiting period, then you can go ahead and respond to that person or tell a friend, or whatever.

But the point is to wait, first.

During this 48 hour interim, you can journal about the problem, pray about it, meditate, or even talk to yourself, but you’re not allowed to even hint at it to another soul.

Your ability to complain represents only a tiny fraction of your personal power

While venting can be a helpful way of releasing our frustrations, it can also cause us to become dependent on others to help us process our emotions.

Using a 48 hour waiting period as an occasional (not necessarily permanent) practice, gives you the chance to see what your emotional experiences are like when you don’t immediately release them in reactive ways.

I discovered this practice by mistake. I have a close friend who is absolutely amazing at providing positive perspectives on life’s problems. Whenever I faced a difficulty of any kind, I called him and he cleared my issue right up with some awesome analogy or empowering spiritual insight. One week, however, he couldn’t be there for me when I really needed his help. I was forced by circumstance to sit alone in the quiet and find some other means of calming my spirit. It was a tortuous process for two days, but I soon stumbled upon a very interesting space inside of my mind that I never knew existed. There was a voice that was clearly my own, but which seemed to possess a confidence and authority different from what I was previously accustomed to experiencing. It showed me a way out of my anxieties and pointed me down a path of peace that I’ve been walking on ever since.

I can’t promise you the same kind of experience, but there’s something to be said about learning to listen for the voice within.

Running to others for sympathy and support, at the first sign of trouble, can be addicting in a way that distracts us from the growth that occurs when we give our own inner light the time it needs to shine its wisdom our way.

Creatively express, but DO NOT suppress, your emotions

As someone who has benefitted from therapy in the past and who currently has a life coach, I do not advocate the practice of suppressing one’s feelings of sadness or frustration. You should always talk to someone right away if the alternative is doing something unhealthy or harmful to yourself.

BUT…

Try to be honest with yourself.

Are you talking about the problem right away because you truly must do that or because you’re afraid to be alone with yourself?

How much will you really suffer by putting a 48 hour “no complaining” restraint on yourself?

Are you willing to temporarily forgo the comfort of being comforted for the sake of creating new patterns?

We all need to develop the ability to tap into our own vast inner resources for problem-solving and cognitive reframing.

Cultivating that skill requires a willingness to experiment.

The 48 hour technique has worked wonders for me and, every once in a while, I use it to challenge myself to grow further.

Now, I recommend it to you.

Will you experiment?

If so, please share your feedback in the comments section below.

Either way, that’s today’s two cents

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Thoughts on commitment and the belief in “impossibility”

“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” -Ecclesiastes 11:4

This weekend, my wife and I went to New Mexico to attend my brother’s wedding. I’m writing this post on my android as we sit in the hotel lobby preparing to embark on our 15 hour road trip back home.

What amazes me most about this trip is that it actually happened.

Given the nature of our work schedules, our traveling budget, and other external obligations, this trip was not supposed to be possible. We simply didn’t have the money or time to make it happen and, yet, it happened.

We experienced a bit of stress here and there, but we figured out a way to be there and we have no regrets at all. The wedding, the reception, the family time, and the road trip all combined to make one of the most meaningful and rich experiences we’ve all had in a very long time.

After some reflection on this weekend’s events and the creative maneuvering required to pull it all off, I now propose the following hypothesis:

There is never enough time, money, or opportunity to do the really important things in life. The people who do the things that are important to them, are simply the ones who decide that it’s not an option to leave them undone.

Important things don’t happen when we only do things on a “let’s see what happens” basis. Important things happen when we commit.

Impossible things get done all the time. Parents are proof of this; they perform dozens of tasks on a daily basis that they “knew” were impossible when they didn’t have children. Why? Because the voice that says “it has to be done” is louder than the voice that says “I have 100 reasons for why this is impossible.”

I met a woman at my college graduation who was a single mother with 5 kids and two jobs. She was there to receive her PhD. It took her 6 years. That’s the same amount of time it took me to finish undergraduate school.

She did what was important to her because her mind accepted those results as necessary.

When we say “it’s impossible” or “I can’t do it”, is that our way of saying “I don’t think it’s necessary” or “I’m not willing to commit”?

Are we selling ourselves short when we let a lack of time, money, or opportunity keep of us from seeing the people we love, doing the things we love, and pursuing the dreams we love?

Is it possible that there are resources, ideas, and options that only become apparent to us AFTER we’ve made firm decisions to go after the things that really matter to us?

What if the permission to live as we truly wish to live is the effect, not the cause, of commitment?

What are your thoughts?

Some days just suck

“Some days just suck. And if I stopped this business every time somebody said something mean to me, or I felt bad, or I felt like I was losing everything, I wouldn’t have been in business more than a month.” – Kelly Cutrone, Kell on Earth

C.S. Lewis defined faith as “the art of holding on to what one knows to be true in spite of shifting moods.”

In basketball, there is a move called “the crossover” where the person with the ball seems to be committed to moving in a certain direction and, suddenly, shifts  to the opposite direction, throwing the defender off guard.

Sometimes, our feelings seem to do a “crossover” on us; We feel as if we’re in control; we know exactly where things appear to be headed and our focus is “on the ball.”

But without warning–a swift change of events, a small shift in body chemistry, a ghost from the past, or a nasty thought that sucker punches us from our blind side–we end up in a place where we’re struggling to find our way again.

These are the moments when we have to dig deep and rely on what we know even though our feelings may tempt us to throw it all away.

Far from being a reason to quit, our so-called “negative” emotions are loving reminders for us to pull our thoughts out of the mud, love ourselves unconditionally, and re-direct our attention until it’s focused in a life-giving way.

“Some days just suck”, but that doesn’t mean our conversations, internally or externally, need to suck.

My belief has always been that “bad” things happen to good people because it is only the good person who can demonstrate the superiority of character over circumstance.

So, if life seems to be throwing you a crossover, keep the faith, hold on to what you know to be true, stay committed to your spiritual calling, and keep plowing ahead on your creative path. Because the world will never have enough examples of people who refuse to be stopped just because the day sucks.

That’s my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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