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    Be a human being rather than a human doing

    February 28th, 2010

    “Be a human being rather than a human doing.”

    When I first heard this, I thought it was a really wonderful saying. To me, this means when you get comfortable in your own skin, you’re able to feel good about yourself, regardless of your environment, your accomplishments, or your material wealth.

    This was very attractive to me because I had no accomplishments, no wealth and very few friends. My life wasn’t comfortable.

    And yet, in the back of my mind, there was something wrong with this and I found myself fighting this simple saying.

    As I progressed with my journey of self improvement, I realized it’s in doing things that I have accomplishments. As a result of accomplishments I get a sense of satisfaction.

    Accomplishments give me self-esteem and prove my self-efficacy.

    Also when I am doing things, I am getting out into the world meeting and interacting with the people around me. I like people.

    Since then my life has become a series of accomplishments. I’ve become a human doing rather than a human being.

    The only way to get what you want is to ask for it

    February 27th, 2010

    “The only way to get what you want is to ask for it.”

    I think this is best explained by giving you an example of when I didn’t speak up.

    Over the years my father and I traveled to train shows all over the country. On each trip we always made a point to go to a nice restaurant. The dinner was an important part of each trip.

    One year on a trip to California, we took someone else with us. We were trying to decide where to go for dinner, and the third person said, “Let’s just eat in the hotel.” He was tired and going somewhere else to eat was more than he wanted to do.

    We ate in the hotel because neither my father nor I spoke up and said, “No, we want to go to a nice restaurant.” During the mediocre meal both of us were miserable and acted poorly.

    If we had stood up and said, “No, I want to eat in a nice place,” we would have had a better time. The person with us would have had a better time too, because we would have been more pleasant. Or we would have left him at the hotel and he could have went to bed.

    This saying also brings to mind the idea of writing down and communicating our goals with others.

    This is important because goals change or get forgotten.

    By sharing our goals with others and writing them down, it’s easier for us to meet them. It’s a reminder of where we’re going and what we want to do.

    Once I started actually writing down my goals and communicating them with the few trusted people in my life, I started achieving my goals.

    Look for reasons why something will work not for reasons why it will fail

    February 26th, 2010

    “Look for reasons why something will work,
    not for reasons why it will fail.”

    I must have had a lot of problems with this because as I went through my box of sayings, I found dozens of cards expressing this idea. Here’s another one from the opposite angle:

    “If you look for reasons why you shouldn’t do things,
    you always will find them.”

    I’ve always enjoyed being creative. Looking for reasons why things won’t work allowed me to be creative without taking action. It’s a way to daydream without admitting it’s just a dream.

    Also, finding reasons why things wouldn’t work helped me feel in control while reaffirming my sense of being intelligent without risking anything.

    When I started looking for reasons to do things and allowing myself to fail, my life took off in new directions.

    Some of the biggest successes in my life came due to my failures, or rather they were a result of looking at my failures and learning from them.

    When I stopped looking for reasons why something wouldn’t work, there were plenty of people around me to help me find reasons. I’ll explain how I over came them in a later post.

    If you take care of yourself, the world will take care of itself

    February 25th, 2010

    “If you take care of yourself, the world will take care of itself.”

    This line actually comes from a story meant to illustrate the point. Here’s the story. . .

    One day while a man was watching TV, his young son came up and said, “Daddy! Daddy! Let’s go to the park and play!”

    The man looked at his son and said, “Go play with your coloring books for a while, and then we’ll go the park.”

    The boy ran off and the man went back to watching TV.

    Ten minutes later, the boy came back and said, “Daddy! Daddy! Let’s go play!”

    Because the TV show was still on, the father looked for something that would keep his child busy for a while.

    Spotting a magazine with a photo of the world on the back cover, the man tore the cover off the magazine and showed his son the picture with the question, “See this picture of the world?”

    The boy said, “Yes.”

    Then the father tore the cover into little pieces and handing he pieces to the boy and says, “When you get done putting the world together, we’ll go play.” Satisfied this would keep his son busy until the show is over, he leaned back to watch TV.

    About 3 minutes later, the son returned with the world put together. The father looked at the boy and asked, “How did you do that so quickly?”

    The boy said, “Oh, it was easy! With the world, it was very difficult for me to figure out where everything went. But when I turned the page over, on the other side there was just a picture of a man. When I put the picture of the man together, the world took care of itself.”

    I am the prophet come to walk the earth

    February 24th, 2010

    “I am the prophet come to walk the earth.”

    Being addicted to fantasies about my self importance this saying carries much weight. My flights of fantasy were direct result of my low self-esteem. My lack of accomplishment.

    The lower I went, the more I fantasized about being the prophet. Normal boyhood fantasies about being president or being in a relationship with a super model just weren’t good enough for me.

    Later I heard this saying as a counterpoint:

    “And in your dreams, you can see yourself as a prophet.”

    This second quote reminds me to be grounded. It reminds me I don’t need to be anything more than myself.

    It reminds me it’s just a dream running through my mind so I can avoid thinking about my daily life.

    It’s a reminder to just be me, and that I don’t need to set out to change the world. I just need to take care of myself.


    First quote from author Richard Bach in book: Illusions. Second quote from musician Frank Zappa in Son Of Orange County on album: Roxy & Elsewhere.