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Posts Tagged ‘courage’

I hate the month of March.
 

Here in the northeast United States, March is a schizophrenic month. One moment it is sunny, the next it is gray, cloudy and snowing. The month is cold and windy most of the time, but then gives us teases of spring warmth. The ground is always wet and muddy. The grass and vegetation is mostly brown or gray or some other dull color. The trees are bare and dead leaves litter the ground along with our man-made garbage, which is easily seen. In short, it is bleak, dismal and depressing.

 

March is a perfect depiction of what transitions in life can look like. Just as March is our transition month from winter to spring, transitions in life or business can look equally as bleak and messy, especially if we prolong the transition process and delay whatever it is we must do next.

 

Basic CMYKThere is a trick to successfully navigating through transitions. The more decisively we act, the less painful and depressing they are. It is only when we are uncertain and hesitant that transitions are less than beautiful or exciting. The secret to graceful transitions is clarity – clarity in knowing where you are, clarity in knowing where you want to go, clarity in knowing what you want. Once you have defined those elements, taking decisive action is the key.

 

You see, the truth is that March is an amazingly beautiful month. It is filled with hope and promise. For the first time in months you can hear songbirds announcing the coming Spring. The sun, while rarely making an appearance, is noticeably warmer when it falls upon your skin or filters through your window. The days grow longer. The air begins to smell fresh as the Spring winds breathe life into it. And the green sprouts of flowers and the buds on the trees announce the life that is about to burst forth.

 

That is the true beauty of March and transitions. They announce a new hope and promise that is about to burst forth in your life. It is exciting, exhilarating and something that should be welcomed with open arms and hearts. All you need to do is define the desired future and act decisively.

 
That which must be done eventually, must be done immediately.

– Unknown

 

Transitions are often hard for people. Whether they are afraid of leaving what they know to be comfortable or are afraid of the unknown that lies ahead, many people tend to delay what they know they must do. More times than not, this delay just leads to greater stress in their lives or business.

 

In the 15 years that I have been coaching, I cannot think of one example where someone regretted the changes they made in their life. What is it that you know you must do in this moment? Don’t delay your life any longer. Do it now.

 
Transitions are often the result of people trying to change their lives. They move, change the color of their hair, change their clothing style, they get a new job, a new boyfriend/girlfriend. But often, all these changes do not create the desired impact. That is because these superficial changes are like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. If you want the secret to real change in your life consider the video below, and start there.
 

 
Photo credit: transitionsglobal.com

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Here in the U.S., we all just suffered from another bout of lottery fever as the Powerball Lottery climbed to an astronomical prize of over half a billion dollars. If you are reading this, chances are you knew someone who bought a ticket. I certainly did, and I began to dream about what I would do with all that money.

 
lottery 3

Not surprisingly, I did not win. The odds of winning are 175,000,000 to 1. To put that in perspective, you literally have a better chance of being struck by lightning or being eaten by a shark than you do of winning the lottery.

 

I always believed that if I could just win the lottery, I would be able to do what I want in life. In fact, I think that is what powers lottery fever – the belief that money is the answer to our dreams, when in fact that is terribly wrong.

 

The truth is, I don’t need money to fulfill my dreams in life. And I bet that is true for most people.

 

The dreams and desires we have do not rely on money, but rather in a belief in ourselves and the courage to take that first step to do what we have always wanted, even if it goes against conventional wisdom.

 

That is the true secret of those we admire with successful, fulfilling lives. They took the risk, sometimes against great odds, and believed in themselves and their dream. They followed their belief, their heart and their passion.

 

And rarely do those people meet with failure. They either succeed in fulfilling their dream, or they feel satisfied that at least they tried. The worst thing we can do in life is go to our grave knowing we didn’t even try.

 

So if you really want to feel like you won the lottery in life, stop waiting for your numbers to come up and simply take that first step you need to take to fulfill the dream you have held in your heart all your life

 

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.

– Sydney Smith

 
Thankfully, life is not a lottery where all we can do is hope to win against great odds. Life is a culmination of our actions. It is a story that is inspired by our dreams and can be made real simply by believing the story we tell ourselves and having the courage to act upon it. Once that first step is taken the path reveals itself. And step by small step the life you desire miraculously appears.

 
This awesome video celebrates your courage, a belief in yourself and that magnificent first step!!
 

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If I had to measure my life of late, I would hardly say it registers on any scale of magnitude. To be honest, it has become quite stale and safe. Even I think it is boring. As a friend recently commented, I have become “a prisoner of my own mind” trapped in a routine of living and limiting beliefs that promises little in the way of an exciting future.

 

With this state of mind as a backdrop, I recently had the pleasure of being a tourist in my own backyard. I took a ferry across New York harbor, passed under the welcoming glow of Lady Liberty’s golden torch, and made my way to Ellis Island. From 1892 to 1954, 12 million immigrants passed through the halls of Ellis Island with little more than hope and a dream filling their pockets. Many of them confronted great amounts of fear, disease and uncertainty on their harrowing journeys from their homeland. At the end of their journey, they traversed an understated, but wonderfully significant area of Ellis Island that came to be known as the Stairs of Separation.

 

These worn black stairs are where most immigrants took their last steps as their “old self” before they left behind all they knew and stepped into the New World. To the left, and they were off to the thriving metropolis of New York City, with its skyscrapers reaching as high as their hopes. To the right, and they were off to the Wild West to chase a dream they carried with them across the seas. Down the center, and they sadly were detained or returned to the land from which they came. Thankfully, most did not travel the center stairs.

 

As I stood at the top of these stairs, staring out a window that perfectly framed the green Statue of Liberty, I thought about my grandparents, and so many others, who tearfully walked each step, with only an uncertain future and a belief in themselves pulling them forward.

 

Their courage is astonishing.

 

After some moments of reflection, I chose the right steps. My spirit headed west, yearning to be awakened from its slumber to once again feel alive and experience adventure.

 

Like the immigrants, I do not know what awaits me in my new world, but the uncertain future pulls me forward nonetheless.

 

Wherever you are in your journey, know that adventure still awaits you. The prison bars that surround us are most often imagined . . . yet they feel so real. But the same imagination that keeps us trapped can create the greatest prison break in history, freeing us to live that dream we so deeply desire.

 

What is it that I really want to do with the one wild, precious thing called my life? Don’t go back to sleep. The fires are always kindled. Don’t go back to sleep.

– Anais Nin

 

What journey or risk will you take this fall? Will you have the same courage the immigrants possessed to walk the Stairs of Separation and begin your journey, or will you live a safe life, never leaving the shores of the comfortable place you call home?

 

Here’s a little inspiration for you when you are standing at the doorway of adventure, uncertain as to whether or not to walk through. I say take that first step, and see what you find, for the journey awaiting you, unfolds one step at a time.
 
 

Photo Credit: Ed Karjala

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