31 12, 2017

Misguided Resolutions

2018-01-05T09:26:54+00:00

The horizon in the distance looks as though bags of large and small marshmallows have been dumped out in piles, while being lit from the side by an orange-pink light. Shadows of purple, the absence of light, make up their underside. These soft, billowing clouds line the edge of the still, mirror-like ocean and make their way up to the sky, which shows a greenish-yellow glow, something only an artist truly notices. Silhouettes of palm trees pop up in the distance, and a couple of hundred mega yachts surround me in the marina that has been my home for the past 10 days during our Florida visit.

Trophies of Accomplishment

Amazingly, these trophies of accomplishment sit quietly at their docks, being attended to by their crews of one, two, or three, sometimes more. They are continually washed and polished in anticipation of an owner’s visit that rarely comes. They float there, waiting, in hopes that someone will put them to good use. Yet most sit and sit, never to be used, like a boneyard of status symbols.

Beating Myself Up

The old me might have walked though this marina telling myself “someday” I too will own one of these mega yachts. Then later in life, I’d beat myself up and go through the marina bitterly telling myself, “You haven’t done it yet, someday will never come, you’re simply never gonna make that happen. Face it.” Yet the new me has learned to manage my negative self-talk and has a whole new perspective on life.

Unrealized Dreams

I’m not sure how many positive self-help books I consumed as a young business guy and throughout decades of my life, hoping that someday I’d have the ability to write a check for the mega yacht, the jet, the giant house, the fancy cars. And I saw success, experienced some of those things in a small way, having built and sold a company at a young age. Foolishly I made, and spent, what seemed like a fortune at the time. No one ever told me it wouldn’t last. Then I spent a lot more years trying to make it happen again, but never quite got there. I finally had to make a difficult admission that I got what I had because of incredible luck, and because of the help I was given. I was not a wunderkind after all. Just lucky.

Designing a Life

Following my lucky period, I had to figure out how to create my own luck, how to design the life I really wanted and discover what I was really attracting. You see, the trappings are cool, but they are often merely monuments to oneself, and I came to the realization that I was not attracting them because they were not that important to me. I had the benefit of seeing, through the lives of others, what was required to get them, and most of those things were a turnoff to me.

My wife recently returned from a Tony Robbins event and said it was filled with people who had achieved great wealth and success and who were there to figure out how to get happy, because these things were not creating happiness. These people had toiled to get them, only to find out they didn’t make them any happier.

Lessons in Life?

Perspective, and just life, play wonderful roles in understanding what we do and don’t want, and what I’ve realized through the journey up to this point is that there are some important life lessons worth sharing, especially as we enter this new year.

I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions because they are all too often just party chatter and not serious goals. We come up with things we want without much thought, perhaps on the way to a party in case someone asks, but haven’t really given them a lot of thought. Yet our lives deserve deep thought and deep planning.

Define Life Exactly

In my first Art Marketing Boot Camp video, I worked to help others define their ideal life. To invent what they want it to look like — because we often set high goals and work toward those goals and are not satisfied when we get there. I see marketing as a tool to live the ideal dream life, but it has to be your dream, not simply objects we see in The Robb Report or other luxury publications that are supposed to define success.

What Billionaires Know

In my life I’ve encountered people who became billionaires. Some allowed the money to change who they are, but others never changed. One I know stayed in the same middle class house he bought 30 years before; he drives a 10-year-old Honda and never flaunts his money. Others have the jets and the big houses, but put them to good use by sharing them with friends and family and living joy-filled lives. One man I know has it all but became such a nasty person on his way to success that he cannot find people willing to spend time with him to share it all.

Money and the gifts money can buy may define success for some. For others, money is merely a tool. For instance, a private jet allows them to be home to tuck their kids into bed at night rather than having to catch a flight the next day. Because their business demands so much travel, it’s just a time-saver that reduces stress. Things like private flights may seem glamorous, but most of these people work incredibly hard to keep up their lifestyle.

Success is a personal thing, and only you can define what it is for you. But to get there, you have to spend some time truly understanding what is important.

Important Questions

What makes you smile? What makes you laugh? What in your life was the perfect moment when you said to yourself, “I’ve never been happier”? If you were taking your last breath, who would you want surrounding you holding your hand? What would your regrets be? What do you want to spend your time doing? When are you in your peak state of mind? If you had only three days left, what would you do with them?

What makes you sad, discouraged, miserable? A great starting point is to determine what you don’t want in your life. I talk about that here. If you design your life to avoid those things, you’ll start with a great foundation. Setting standards for what you’re unwilling to do is the first step to happiness.

Adversity Created Who I Am

In 1999 I went to Silicon Valley with a big idea, raised several million dollars, started a company, invented and perfected a form of Internet radio technology, and thought I was living my dream … and I was, kinda. After all, I love being creative, I love surrounding myself with the best minds and kindest people, I love things that change the world in their own little way.

Yet I was not fully happy because I had not thought about the strings that tied me to things I did not like doing, like the constant efforts to raise more money; answering to others, especially people who had a different vision than my own; and having pressure to succeed because I didn’t want to let others down. I loved the art of it, but I did not love all the aspects of business. That experience ended badly, but as a result of it I was able to design the next stage of my life, which has gone beautifully because I knew what I no longer wanted to do, and the things I loved.

The harsh reality is that there will always be aspects of our lives that we don’t love but still have to get done. I’ve managed to surround myself with incredible people who happen to love those aspects that I oversee but don’t enjoy doing. It’s taken me a lot of years to get to that point, but it’s helped me focus on doing what I love.

Advice for Artists

For my artist friends who want to just paint or sculpt and don’t want to be businesspeople, the goal is to find ways to either learn to love the business aspects by finding tools and guides to help you through, or eventually, to find others willing to play those roles for you. In my case, I had to do many things myself, and I got good at them by changing my attitude toward them, telling myself I was going to be the best. Once I got to a point where I could afford to have someone help take them on, I passed the torch, yet because I know the different functions well, I’m better at guiding the overall process.

I Was Stuck and Didn’t Know It

We also can’t look backward at the things that hurt and make them our story. We all tend to get stuck. I know I did. I had set out for Silicon Valley to make billions, and I failed. I repeated that story in my head for at least 10 years, rather than looking at it as a time that helped me define who I am, helped me learn important lessons about myself and others, and gave me tremendous experiences. I allowed myself to feel wounded, fall into a deep depression, and stop taking chances. As a result I probably burned 10 valuable years until I pulled myself out of the funk I did not realize I was in. I got stuck in my story. Finally, I had to decide what my new story would be and how I was going to rewrite it. That’s how you design a life.

How Will Your Story Change?

We get stuck in our stories. We blame others who wronged us — and often it’s some pretty awful stuff. We blame our parents, our exes, our teachers, our friends who betrayed us, and we keep blaming and living out the story. Often, though we don’t know it, we like having a story that provides us an excuse to not move forward. But why would we want that? Instead we need to brush the old story off and realize it helped mold us into who we are today. Then we need to move forward.

It took me a lot of years to realize I was stuck and not moving forward because I was afraid I’d have another failure. We’ve got to stop giving ourselves excuses, stop blaming others, stop telling ourselves others have what they have because they had some advantage.

Now Is the Best Time

It’s time, right now, tonight at the stroke of midnight, to plant your flag in the ground and declare that this is your time, that this is your year, and that nothing will get in the way of your living the ideal life. Not other people, not past wounds, not fear, not restrictions, not money. It took me a lot of years to understand that I always got what I wanted most, though often those things had been hidden deep in my subconscious.

Stop the Insanity

The most important thing I can share on this eve of a new year is that you have to manage what you put in your head, because what you put in is what you’ll get out. Stop listening to the negative spewing of others about things you can’t control. Stop telling yourself those things make it impossible for you to succeed. Stop making excuses about why success isn’t possible. Stop beating yourself up.

Instead, focus on what puts a smile on your face. Spend your time around people who lift you up and avoid those who bring you down.

Action Matters Most

Focus on believing you can accomplish your big dreams, and understand it starts with belief but happens because of a focused action plan, and doing something every day toward that goal. Positive thinking is nice, but without a plan, it’s folly. I have a friend whose dream is a cabin in the woods by a lake, and he keeps thinking positively about it happening. Thirty years has passed, and he is still dreaming.

When I asked about his plan, his answer was, “It will happen because I wish it to happen.” Though I applaud his focus on having a goal, there has to be action toward that goal. It might be saving, it might be changing his circumstances, it might be making a commitment, putting a down payment on it, and forcing himself to move ahead. I don’t think he really believes in it, because if he did, he would be taking action.

Opening the Floodgates

My life changed once I realized that I was on this earth to use the gifts I’ve been given to help others live their dreams. Once I focused on that every day, the floodgates opened. It was like a light switch … the light came on when I stopped making things about me and started making everything about others. Once I set my goal to change the world in my little way, once I started to realize that I needed to be more generous with others, I saw a change in my attitude and my performance.

My Wish for You

As we enter this new year together, I want you to know that I have a wish for you … and that is that you realize your big dreams. That you live a rich and full life, with a big smile on your face, and that you are able to avoid most of the things and people that bring you down. I know that you may be lost, may have pain, may have anger or fear, but I want you to know that there really is light at the end of the tunnel and that you can pull yourself through the most difficult things you face. But you need to understand that no one else will pull you through; it lies on your shoulders. You can do this, no matter how daunting it may seem. It may happen slowly, it may happen fast, but it happens when you’re willing to make up your mind to make a change. We’ve all heard Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is expecting different results without changing what you’re doing.

If you’re stuck, if you’re lost, find a mentor who has managed to get through their issue to succeed on the other side. You may have it on your shoulders, but you need not do it alone.

And if your story isn’t working for you, write a new story. Write your obituary — figure out the things that you want to have happen in your life from this point forward, so you know what you have to get done in the time you have left.

Last, don’t let society dictate what is and is not possible. If you’re older, don’t let anyone tell you that you should slow down or stop because of your age. If you’re younger, don’t let anyone tell you that what you want to do requires more wisdom or time. You can “beat the system” because there is no system.

Do what brings you joy.

In 2018 may you be blessed with miles of smiles, surrounded by people you love and want to be around, filled with realized dreams and the ability to help others change their lives and the joy of knowing you did it on your own.

 

Eric Rhoads

PS: Don’t forget to reward yourself. Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. If you’re all give, and not doing something special to recharge your own batteries, you can’t be as effective. You deserve rewards. I like to start my year looking forward to a trip or an event so I have something think about, to plan, and to get me through rough patches. You can find lots of excuses not to do it, but you don’t need an excuse to pamper yourself.

 

Misguided Resolutions 2018-01-05T09:26:54+00:00
24 12, 2017

The Christmas Truce

2018-01-05T09:26:54+00:00

A thin mist is in the morning air as fog hovers over the shimmering water. Distant pine trees are lined up perfectly like proud tin soldiers, though their usual green color appears as a muted bluish gray.

In the distance, beyond the trees, the sun is gradually peeking through over the Atlantic Ocean as its pink rays reach out in all directions, as though a chorus of “Hallelujah” is about to be played at the moment of sunrise this Christmas Eve morning.

There’s a subtle sound of water sloshing against the sides of the dock, and the pinging of rocking sailboat masts in the marina around me is singing out with the rhythm of the moving water.

I’m enjoying coffee, sunrise, and warm air from the shore overlooking a large bay, a distant island, and the ocean as we visit family in Florida for Christmas.

I have to admit something I’m not very proud of.

I was not really looking forward to spending the holidays with family. Though it should be a joy-filled time, and it is, it can also be filled with angst because of a few family issues that never seem to go away.

We all have family issues … they cannot be avoided.

The dynamics of different personalities, new family members imported and bringing different traditions and expectations, clashing styles, unhealed wounds, unrealized potential, frustrations, arguments, aging parents, health, and the tensions of Christmas are all part of that family dynamic.

Why, then, with all these issues, do families gather?

Why not just avoid all the drama, the people who don’t live up to our expectations, the people who annoy us? After all, in the rest of our lives, if there are people who behave badly or don’t live up to our ideals, we simply avoid them.

Estranged Family

I know there are families who do not gather because of their wounds. I know of families estranged. I have friends who have lost communication with one of their sons because an overly protective, domineering spouse decided they are evil people. The parents see things differently, and only the actors in this play know the real story. Yet hearts are breaking because the child they raised, and a new grandchild they’ve never met, are no longer in their lives.

I’d like to say this could never happen to me with my own children, but only time will tell, I suppose. We’re still dealing with high school and have a lot of life ahead of us, God willing. Yet I’ve seen it in my own life in other ways because people cling to the past, to a moment when we’ve said or done something, perhaps out of love, maybe out of anger, maybe with good intentions, maybe not. So avoidance is the best medicine, or so we think. Yet unresolved issues are begging to be resolved, and hearts continue to break. It’s so insane.

Holiday Magic

The magic of Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving, or Easter, or whatever moments our families gather, is that we are reunited, we reconnect, we break bread together, and we hope to put our issues aside for a few moments to honor the good memories of the past. It’s a time of miracles.

A Brief Moment of Sanity

On Christmas Eve 1914, during the First World War, German and British soldiers who were hunkered down in the frozen mud of the trenches put their differences aside and walked out between the battle lines, and played football — in honor of Christmas, the one thing they held in common. Though they didn’t share a common language, they laughed, shared food and drink, and then, when the time came, returned to their role of killing one another.

Though it seems odd that they could find a brief spot of joy in the midst of horrific devastation, they called a truce in honor of Christmas. None of them were there because they wanted to be; they were there because of differences between leaders they would never meet and countries in which they had no say in decisions about war.

At Christmas, families should call a truce.

Though disagreements and uncomfortable moments will happen, we can create a truce in honor of the institution of family. A bond bigger than our problems. A chance to enjoy the dynamic of the whole, not the individual.

Christmas is a chance to heal. The mere existence of Christmas is rooted in the birth of a Savior who taught forgiveness. Whether or not that’s your take on the holiday, forgiveness is never a bad thing (after the discomfort of making it happen).

Anticipation and Angst

So here I am in Florida, about to spend a few days surrounded by people I love, some I like very much, and some I tolerate or who tolerate me. We can choose our friends, but our family was chosen for us. Sometimes I have to work hard to keep my mouth shut, to be non-judgmental, to be civil, because I’m as imperfect as those around me.

Some, I know, say this is a time to resolve the issues of the past, when the family is all together. Though all things need resolution and opportunities to do so should be taken, there is also magic in just putting issues to the side and trying to have a good time first. From those good times, perhaps healing can begin as we realize maybe this or that person isn’t so bad after all. Not every moment together has to be a battle to resolve old wounds.

Envision Christmas as It Should Be

My friend Lee Milteer, who trains people in life and business, reminds us that we get what we visualize. I have found it to be true. If I am headed to a meeting and I rehearse positive outcomes and exact details in my mind first, things tend to turn out the way I envisioned them.

So why not envision Christmas as a time when wounds are healed, when bygones are truly bygones, when joy overcomes all issues?

I’m often tempted to expect the worst, but tonight, as my family gathers, I’m walking in fully prepared to expect the best.

Stop Judging, Start Listening

My job isn’t to judge others. Everyone has their reasons for their issues, and rather than judging and responding, my way of honoring Christmas is to open my arms, receive people as they are, be open, and listen. And if any decide to dip into their anger about the past, I’m not going to fight back or get sucked in, I’m simply going to be there and accept the joy of being with those I love. Remember my motto: no drama.

What about you? What is your expectation?

Maybe if you expect the best, the best will happen.

Merry Christmas.

Eric

PS: I need to take a moment to say a few words of gratitude to some people. First, my wife, who tolerates the worst of me, which no one else ever sees. Second, to my triplet teenagers, who offer unconditional love between hormonal rages. Third, to my supportive family members and parents; I’m blessed to have all of you in my life. Next, to my team at Streamline, who work so unbelievably hard so we can make people’s lives better by helping them discover the many products, magazines, newsletters, and training we offer. And, last but not least, to my friends who read this blog, and who attend our events and consume our magazines and videos. Thank you. Just this week, thanks to Fine Art Studio Online, we’ve added 41,000 additional readers. That was very generous of them to offer. And PleinAir remains the #1 selling art magazine in America (Barnes & Noble), for which I’m grateful. And the Plein Air Podcast, I just learned, is up to 158,000 listens after just a year, with about 18,000 per episode. Though my head wants to swell, I’m totally humbled.

The Christmas Truce 2018-01-05T09:26:54+00:00
10 12, 2017

Wag More, Bark Less

2017-12-07T09:45:12+00:00

Fog has softened the sage-colored live oaks in the backyard to a slight purplish tone as they fade into the distance, where the view of the mountain is nothing more than a white cloud.

Toasty reddish-brown is the color of the field of weeds, which is blending into the foggy purple background, while the trunks of the trees are barely visible.

A pattern of sound, “dat dat dat dat dat dat dat dat dat,” quietly sets the mood as the sprinkles strike the tin roof of the porch, which is about 120 feet long and 12 feet wide. The entire front and back of the house is a giant covered porch.

My Dream House

I can remember being about 15 when I started working on my dream house plans in my mind. One day, I thought, it would be cool to have a big wide porch that wraps around the entire house, with a tin roof, so I can sit safe and dry during rainstorms.

As children we would play in our two-car garage and open the door during storms to see the rain coming down, watch the lightning, and hear the rumbling thunder — we used to say, “God is bowling again.” A smile comes to my face as I think about that time — some memorable moments in that little brown house at 5311 Indiana Avenue in Fort Wayne. We moved there when I was about 2 and stayed there until I was a junior in high school.

My Own Personal Zoo

That little garage raised chickens for a science fair project my brother did, we raised a mountain lion cub there until we had to donate it to the local zoo, and it was home to my dog Pepper, who I got from a litter at my grandmother’s sister’s house in Tennessee. When we first got Pepper he wasn’t allowed in the house, so he lived in the garage at night and would howl endlessly. My dad, who’d insisted Pepper was to live in the garage and that it would be warm enough, was the one to let him in the house on the first cold night. “Just for tonight,” he said, but Pepper owned the house from that point forward, and all slippers and couches became his chew toys.

As I write this, my eyes tear up because I’ve squashed the feelings of losing my first dog, my first best friend. One day we were all playing basketball in the driveway. Pepper was jumping to get the ball as my brothers and I passed it, but he had one bad habit we were unable to break. He loved to chase cars.

The Roar of a Sports Car

As we played, a sports car with a loud muffler went by, and as I flash back, I think he slowed as he passed our driveway, and then zoomed off with Pepper chasing and barking. Then he slammed on his brakes so Pepper was in front of him, swerved over, and ran him down.

Pepper picked himself off the pavement, staggered painfully over to us, and died in our arms.

I cried for months and remember being in school and trying to hold back the tears, much as I’m doing now.

MURDER

This was premeditated murder. My brother hopped in his car, chased the car down, and saw it was a neighbor boy who lived way down at the end of the street. He just laughed and said he was tired of the dog chasing his car, so he decided to teach him a lesson. This boy’s parents owned a local cemetery, and I always wondered how someone could intentionally take the life of an animal like that, then laugh about it.

Maybe he’d become desensitized, or it was a basic lack of respect for life, or maybe he was just a spoiled brat who had a lot of issues. In any case, none of us were ever really the same after that day. A harsh reality of life was brought to light by this kid’s evil deed.

That was our last family dog. We simply could not endure the pain of losing another. And it was not until many years later, when Laurie and I got married, that I had a dog in my household, when we got two, Pooter and Leo. We’ve not replaced them, again because the pain of losing them is too great. I remember crawling inside a smelly cage at the vet and holding Leo for his final hours, and lying with Pooter, who lived to be 17, when he finally passed.

Comforting the Pain

Those who don’t have or never had pets often don’t realize how attached we get. When I see notices of passing pets on Facebook, I always try to reach out to comfort people because I’ve lived the same pain.

The kids have been pushing for another dog, something they want desperately. I wrote about it once before. But with college looming in two years, and the promise of more travel as the birds fly the nest, we’ve been resisting.

The Fine Art of Dogs

Maybe dogs are on my mind because this week artist Joanne Mangi stayed with us in the world famous artists’ cabin, where artists stay when they visit to shoot videos. She painted an amazing fine art portrait of my assistant Ali’s dog, Sam, for an upcoming pet portrait video. Joanne has six dogs, something I envy. What I love about her dog portraits is that they are fine paintings, like a fine portrait, that you would be willing to hang in your home. Nothing cheesy (no dogs playing cards).

Focus on the Good Times

It would be better to focus on all the times I laughed as a kid as I played with my dog, as he walked with me through the park, waiting for me to throw the ball. Though avoiding pain is a good reason to not get another, the joys of life with a canine friend can outweigh the tough moments when we have to say goodbye. Our pets lift our souls, stay at our side, rely on us to care for them, and show they’re happy to see us when others don’t.

What is that saying you see on bumper stickers? Wag more, bark less?

Wouldn’t it be great if you and I could be more like our dogs? Always happy to see others and expressing it. Enduring loyalty no matter how they are treated and complete, unconditional love.

That’s my mission for today. I’m going to wag more, bark less, encourage more, play more, and let those around me know that I’m endlessly loyal. What about you?

Wag More, Bark Less 2017-12-07T09:45:12+00:00
3 12, 2017

Something’s Knocking at My Brain

2017-12-07T09:40:45+00:00

A tattered and worn sweatshirt that should have been thrown away years ago is warming me on this crisp morning. Though there are newer and nicer sweatshirts in the closet, there is extra cozy comfort in something old, worn, and tied to a memory. I can’t remember ever being so cold as I was that morning painting at Asilomar Beach in Monterey, California, where I bought the sweatshirt. It warmed me then as it does today.

Out on the porch this morning, it was simply too chilly, so I made my way to my little brown art studio in the woods behind my house. Decaying leaves and fallen acorns crunched under my feet as I walked through the yard, where I stopped briefly to look at the old swing my son Brady hung from a high oak branch. I flashed back to the joy on his face when he first built it and stood swinging for the first time.

A Yellow Glow

Brilliant, glowing yellow sunlight bleaches the wall and the wooden pillars holding up the old tin roof of the porch attached to my clapboard-covered studio. The red hammock next to the fireplace glows a reddish orange while it sways slightly in the breeze.

Entering my studio, I see the old 1930s Deco chair with rounded wooden arms and green and red fabric, where our models normally sit to be painted on Wednesday nights. My imaginary throne where I contemplate life and painting is about two feet off the floor.

Sounds of Silence

Silence fills the room, broken only by a “tock tock tock” that I rarely notice unless the room is this quiet. It’s an old quarter-sawn square clock, with a round face. Roman numerals share the face with the words “Standard Electric Time Company Springfield, Mass.” This old railroad station timekeeper has held up my wall for decades.

The Concept of Time

Back in the ’60s we used to ponder time, as though our young minds really understood anything about it. In that same era, a young man just four years older than me became a pop icon. And this past week on his deathbed, David Cassidy’s final words to his daughter Katie were “So much wasted time.”

The Most Profound Thing David Cassidy Said

In spite of his stardom, his recordings and concerts and fame, his last words may have been the most profound thing David Cassidy ever offered the world. We knew of him because we sang along to his songs, and it made us pay attention when we heard those succinct last words.

Far too many reminders of this temporary blip we call life have crossed my path in the past year, with too many good friends and acquaintances lost too soon. Though I never met this teen idol, he influenced the lives of millions of us when his songs became the soundtrack of our lives.

Not a Moment to Waste

In spite of the control I like to think I have by managing my mindset, my health, my diet and exercise, I’m reminded that all you and I have is this exact moment in time, and it must not be wasted.

The Cassidy quote hit me unusually hard. Rather than “I wasted so much time,” I want my final words to be, “I made valuable use of every remaining moment I was given.”

Cassidy’s daughter stated, “This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love … as to never waste another minute.”

Burned by My Own Thoughts

Though none of us needs to be reminded that every moment is precious, I am reminded that I have burned far too many moments with worry, fear, anger, nervousness, wondering what others think, counting my mistakes, or absorbing negativity. Worse is spending time doing things I don’t love or things that don’t make others or myself better in some way.

Rarely do I regret a great story, movie, book, or conversation where I’ve learned something about someone else or myself.

The few regrets I do have are rooted in not listening, jumping to conclusions, reacting negatively, not approaching things with understanding or love, being critical, and just simply being selfish.

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves — regret for the past and fear for the future” — Fulton Oursler

Looking back with regret is of little value unless it acts as prevention for the future. I’ve squandered too many opportunities because I was frozen by fear or self-esteem issues. “What if they don’t like me? What are they inviting me for? What do they really want? They are just saying that — they couldn’t possibly really want me.”

Self-Sabotage

One day I realized that those thoughts were simply getting in my way, killing opportunity. Though they still pop into my brain every day, I try to push them out right away and simply tell myself, “That’s not me speaking, it’s my subconscious mind and my reptilian brain instincts just trying to protect me.”

Our brains, our self-esteem issues, our lack of belief in our own abilities are the roadblocks to taking advantage of every moment.

I believe the key to shedding our emotional baggage is understanding that it’s there, that it is not protecting you, it’s harming you, and that if you don’t shed it, you won’t live as fruitful a life as you deserve.

Failure Fears

For some the act of letting something stop you from doing these things is a protection mechanism because they fear failure. So, what if you do fail? Fail forward. All successful people will tell you that failure is the foundation of success. Embrace it.

Yes, you deserve to have every moment be as meaningful, wonderful, and memorable as possible. I know there are reasons you may think you are undeserving or incapable.

But if those thoughts are not serving you, it’s time to find thoughts that do serve you.

  • I waste too much time on Facebook, Instagram, and e-mail. I need to spend more time talking and listening with friends and family. 
  • I waste too much time watching the evil news. I need to spend more time reading and growing. 
  • I waste too much time being critical of others. I need to spend more time building them up. 
  • I need to spend more time seeking memories with those I will miss when they are gone. 
  • I need to remember that wounds heal and that I cannot let them control me, and accept that others are doing the best that they know to do. And even if their intent was to hurt me, I will not give them that power anymore. 
  • I need to break down walls and barriers to make my dreams come true, so I don’t look back wishing I had at least tried. 
  • I need to seize more moments. 
  • I need to throw myself more into life. 
  • I need to stop letting procrastination, excuses, and negativity rule me. 
  • I need to assume today is my last and that every moment needs to be my best.

Don’t waste time. It’s your biggest treasure. Maybe this is a good week to evaluate what you’re letting keep you from making every moment the life you want to live.

I leave you with the lyrics of a top David Cassidy song.

Eric

I’m sleeping
And right in the middle of a good dream
Like all at once I wake up
From something that keeps knockin’ at my brain.
Before I go insane
I hold my pillow to my head
And spring up in my bed
Screaming out the words I dread:
“I think I love you!”

This morning
I woke up with this feeling
I didn’t know how to deal with
And so I just decided to myself
I’d hide it to myself and never talk about it
And didn’t I go and shout it
When you walked into my room.

“I think I love you!”
I think I love you.
So what am I so afraid of?
I’m afraid that I’m not sure of
A love there is no cure for.

I think I love you.
Isn’t that what life is made of?
Though it worries me to say
I’ve never felt this way.

I don’t know what I’m up against.
I don’t know what it’s all about.
I got so much to think about.

Hey, I think I love you,
So what am I so afraid of?
I’m afraid that I’m not sure of
A love there is no cure for.
I think I love you.
Isn’t that what life is made of?
Though it worries me to say
I’ve never felt this way.

Believe me,
You really don’t have to worry.
I only want to make you happy
And if you say,
“Hey, go away,” I will
But I think better still,
I’d better stay around and love you.

Do you think I have a case?
Let me ask you to your face:
Do you think you love me?
I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.
Oh, I think I love you.

Composed by songwriter Tony Romeo in 1970.
I Think I Love You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Something’s Knocking at My Brain 2017-12-07T09:40:45+00:00