Here’s An Opportunity

Research has shown that people tend to go along with the majority view, even if that view is incorrect. A study targeting neurons in the brain shows that when people hold an opinion differing from others in their immediate group, their brains produce an error signal. The “group” could be a jury, a classroom, a board meeting, any meeting, or a party. In other words, in any human gathering a person with a “different” idea or perception will feel “wrong” or “too different.”

This study that I just read about on CNN brings to mind how amazing it is when someone like Harvey Milk – the movie is a must see – consistently goes against the flow of opinion. We can thank Harvey, Martin Luther King whose birthday we celebrate, Barney Frank and all the thousands of people historic and among us who change our lives everyday because they are able to override their feelings of needing to be with the pack.

Those independent thinkers and doers among us who blow the whistle, who stop an act of aggression, who see a need and step in are our most valued citizens.

There are independent thinkers, entrepreneurs, some we know in our lives and some we read about. People who make a difference, who have a focus of adding to the good in the world, who override their need to be quiet when they see injustice make a lasting impression. You can do that anywhere. No job or task is too insignificant to be a platform for just action. We can all participate.

I got a video e-mail from Michelle Obama this week asking all of us to participate in volunteering next Monday, doing something of benefit to others. Today is Martin’s actual birthday, January 15, but we celebrate the holiday next Monday.

For me to know that president-elect Obama and Michelle will be reaching out and focusing on problems other than their own is a long-dreamed of hope to have such effective role models in leadership.

May the Force be with each one of us as we step into our lives, our roles, our hopes and dreams. We can all be role models, we can start by looking up to ourselves.

Looking For Opportunity?

You Can Do It

Most likely you’ve been rewarded for standing in line quietly, eating what’s given and generally doing what you’re told. Then maybe you’ve been given instruction in how to stand out. How to make the fastest pitch or the best jump. Maybe you’ve been given instructions for acing something by stepping on someone else’s toes, or going behind their back.

Life is full of these contrasts and sometimes it’s hard to maneuver smoothly through the contradictions life throws your way.

Do you find yourself thinking you can’t do something you read about? When you see headlines about people getting thousands of dollars from an internet business does a voice inside you negate that possibility for you? Do you then get angry and think they must know something you don’t or they’ve got some unfair edge?

I’m hoping for you that you read information about success and think – yes, that’s me! But most of us need more help than that. Most of us need to get supportive and encouraging actions to be able to say, “I could do that if I learned how!”

Would you be willing to take a chance on yourself? Give yourself a chance to find out what you can really do, who you really are? Can you imagine yourself as a leader? An expert? Well, I can.

We are all individuals. If we’re both wearing the same clothes, we look different. We can take that difference and make it work for us. We can join a group and stand out in it. We can give ourselves the chance to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. But we won’t do it alone, we all need support.

Have you been influenced by others? The difference between you and them is that they spent some time looking at who they are and what their goals are. They focused on themselves and you got their message! You can do that too. Here are some initial steps:

1) Look around you. Are people you’re associating with happy and self-motivated? Do they have a positive mindset? You will get caught up in the mindset of your peers, so make good choices.

2) Do you know what you want (this is not as easy as it sounds)? Do you have a plan? If you are around people who don’t have a lot to do, you’ll waste time.

3) Do you know what you’re worth? You never make more money than you think you can.

When you can answer these questions, you’ll be on the path that will separate you from the herd. You’ll be on your way to your dreams and you can’t do anything without your dreams.

In These Changing Times We’re Steady

That should be a question. Are you as steady as you can be? Are you consistent? Do you make a plan and then stick to it? Can people count on you?

If you can answer yes to those questions – read no further. Congratulations, you are in the .0000001 percentile of  people who wake up in the morning.

Here are five ways to make yourself more reliable:

1. Look at yourself and what you do, have done and plan to do with the utmost respect and love. Tell yourself how valuable you are and that you couldn’t get anywhere without you.

2. Take the time to make a plan, a commitment to yourself  to do the stuff you say you will, be your own best friend. I don’t have to say it but then you’ll be everyone else’s too.

3. Be accountable. Check every day to see how you’ve done. Each night while you await sleep, take a moment to reflect on the day. It will set up the next day – but only if you are open and committed to non-judgement and a compassionate affection for yourself.

4. Do one thing at a time – yes, you can do something while waiting for something else. Do what you are doing and don’t do anything else while you are doing that.

5. Take a breath, a break. Every hour, make sure you notice your breath for 1 minute. Shift your position. Do something a different way. If you open letters with one hand, do it with the other. If you always lean to one side while waiting for something to boot up, lean the other way.

These are important. If you really do them you will see a change in yourself and if you see a change other people will too. One of the reasons you’ll change is that you will trust yourself more. You won’t be in so much resistence to what you are doing, what you’ve planned. You’ll be a better partner for yourself. And do I have to repeat that if you are there for you, you’ll be there for me and everyone else. Most of us reading this work by ourselves. We don’t have a lot of measurements or grades to see how we’re doing, how much we fit in or don’t. It’s important to know that we’ll be there for ourselves, that we won’t be expecting endless hours of work, there will be breaks, there’s an acknowledgement that we’re human. One of my mentors says the most important object on her desk is her timer. It tells her when to take a break. Be a good employer, give yourself a break. You’ll work better and smarter, the world will look cheery from where you sit.

When Will You Know?

Are you on the right track? Will you ever get what you want? Will your dreams come true? Will your boss/spouse/child/friend ever get it? Will people ever get how great/cool/smart/hard-working you are? Will you ever be known for who you are? Your best self? Will people ever see the real you? The caring, helpful, smart you?

Are you trying to control everything? If any of the above referenced thoughts have ever come into your head or passed your lips, you are. Maybe you are not controlling everything – maybe you think you can’t. Which is a good thought because you can’t anyway and the sooner you get used to that the better.

Do you think I’m saying “give up?” Not at all. If you think about it, you will know that you only seek to control others when you feel out of control yourself. If you are feeling good with who you are, if you look at yourself with compassion and feel at ease, you will do the same with everyone else. If you feel you have done something wrong, or didn’t do something right, you will want to control others. And if you are shaking your head and saying, “not me,” I would never do that, I only help others then you should know the flip side of being helpful and in charge is control.

There’s a lot of talk about goals and focus because if we are looking to someone else for our goals, if we are following another’s plan, we are doomed to create a nightmare of misaligned focus for ourselves. The only one we can control is ourselves and the only control that is really effective is that of our mind. With our mind at ease we are the person we want to be, the person we want to be with, the person others want to be with.

Our happiness is not affected by those around us. It is the thoughts in our head that lead to happiness or unhappiness. It sure looks like our surroundings are the culprit sometimes, maybe all the time, but it’s what we make of it that counts. Otherwise we would all have the same reaction to the same things and agree more of the time.

You can be happy without things, people, events or places. You need nothing to be happy. Beliefs are thoughts you’ve had over and over, they are trained conventions in your head. You can’t trust them because they were either put there by someone else or you formed them out of fear or a need for security. They perpetuate whatever state you are in; if you are thinking compassionate thoughts, compassion will be your now, ruminating over what’s happened against you, you will feel bad in the now. What the mind thinks about grows stronger. “Use it or lose it” is a good saying here – you can actually lose your anxiety, your fear if you don’t feed it with your thoughts. If you are living in the moment, you don’t need a script because your emotions direct you minute by minute. If now is the only time for you, you are not telling yourself stories. My meditation teacher always said, “the mind is constantly explaining itself to itself.” This is a distraction, a defense, an aversive reaction to keep the now under control. But we only feel the need for the now to be in control when we are out of control, and we are only out of control when we are not in the now.

We will know when in every moment we can feel our intuition and respond.

Liberation 2 (This Is For You)


“To thine own self be true….” And then Shakespeare goes on to say that, with that truth in place, you cannot be false to anyone. Thousands of words have been written by thousands of people over thousands of years saying that very same thing. You are here reading what so many people have thought and written about no one can count them or tell you how many times they go around the world

But I can tell you your world will be brighter, an easier place to inhabit, if you follow the advice. The kicker is, you have to be doing that today, tomorrow, always. Every minute and hour, every molecule of the day all your days being the compassionate fellow being that is the truth of you. Not the doing that you think brings rewards.

First make your promise to be this way. Then take whatever means necessary to carry it out. Does that mean you don’t get the phone while you are eating? That would be a true act of compassion. It would also keep the person on the other end from having to apologize for having interrupted you. Imagine that! Every time you called someone you would know you were not interrupting them, they were available. What a relief! Now, if you are worried about emergencies – just ring three times in a row, that usually does it.

The Buddha said, “To straighten the crooked, you must do a harder thing – straighten yourself.” If you happen to fly in a commercial airplane and if you happen to listen to what they say about oxygen masks you’ll remember that it always advised to put yours on before helping anyone else.

Have you ever been “helped” by a waitperson who is stressed out, spilling coffee, forgetting orders? Often we are that waitperson in our families if we are parents there are big holes to fall in. How do we keep our children happy when we are about to lose our job, when our boss has just insulted us for the forty-seventh time today? We have to be “saints” to keep our equilibrium. Actually that’s a bit of an exaggeration: we have to take care of our word, we have to not take things personally, and we have to make no assumptions as we strive to do the best we can.

I know that sounds impossible but it isn’t. In order for it to be our reality we need to believe in our own essential goodness, that we are whole by ourselves, that we are loved, that, as my meditation teacher says, we are perfect, we only need a little help.

Today is a good day to believe in ourself.  Today is a good day to take responsibility for our actions, words, thoughts. Today we take our first step as we do every day. My mantra is, “This is good because things always work out for me.”

When you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama. Eckhart Tolle

Are You Liberated?

Do you even know what that means? Not the word, but the feeling.Do you have moments of just Being? Can you take a leap of faith? Can you bring a new idea to your mind without restructuring its contents to fit what you think will work or what you think someone won’t laugh at? What I’m getting at is can you let yourself dream and brainstorm – literally wind whipping in, through, and around the passages in your mind – without judging anything. Could you put it in writing? Do you keep a notebook that you can access anytime? If you do, you’re set. Congratulations!

For the rest of us – and I include myself in this learning curve – or circle sometimes I think it feels like that – matters of freedom, the importance of nurturing our own thoughts, the light that we alone bring to the world needs to be allowed breathing room in all the rush to judgement that is our daily life.

How often are you with your peers, your coworkers, your family and you let one of your helpful thoughts go by? Or how often do you cast it in a different light, one that you feel will have more weight in your world? Are you cranky and willful when you want to say something else? Are you easy-going and will do whatever everyone else wants? How often do you just state your truth and listen? You’ve been trained like the rest of us to go along, to compromise, to restrain yourself. My father used to tell me all the time how much easier it was when he was the only one making the decisions. He was right, of course, it was easier, although it ruled out (and ruled!) the lives of quite a few people!

When you’re young, you need to go along and do what adults say but as we become our own adults our needs must be met. We must love and respect ourselves, give ourselves the benefit of a doubt, not look in the mirror with the scorn that may be a past story. It may seem antithetical to say the more we love and respect ourselves, the more loveable and respectable we are, but it is true.  Look in the mirror and you will see the only person who can really support and protect you. Love and support that person and you will have peace within yourself. Treat that person badly and you will never know love.

When you let others’ lives and truths and words take yours over, you are living a very complicated life, fooling yourself that you actually know them or they are really telling you the truth themselves. The build up is exponential and it starts the minute you don’t give yourself space to breath and know yourself. Mostly we say words to control or for our own security – will they love me etc. It takes courage to know who you are, to accept and love who you are, to show yourself without being overbearing, whiny or giving up.

The steps to liberation are not easy but they are simple. Meditation, acceptance and compassion when focused on yourself and those around you – everyone, no exceptions! – will take you a long way toward your liberation. From there your job, your spouse, your children, grandchildren, teachers and coworkers all look better. Even the person behind the counter telling you you can’t do what you want – get on the flight, see the movie, rent the car – will seem to have a job to do, just a job. They are human just like you, you might even be them and be the one in a position to tell them they can’t do something, have something.

Be the person you want to be with. You’ll have the time of your life!

Dating Service Or Marketing?

The other day after having a pretty good altercation with my spouse, I was on the phone with my marketing coach when my daughter came in and sat down to read the last of her summer reading books for school. I was talking about the kind of person I’d like to attract but my daughter didn’t know whom I was talking to. She thought I was talking to a dating service! I thought, wow, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I mean really, that’s what we’re all trying to do is get clear on what kind of people we want to attract and who we’re attractive to.

John, Bobby and Teddy Kennedy’s grandfather on their mother’s side was a well-known womanizer in his day. He always picked the woman who was attracted to him. It’s a great system but maybe it doesn’t give you all the flexibility in the world. You’re limiting yourself to who’s already out there and in your circles. You are not going to attract the ones who aren’t there yet, those who aren’t in your circle, those who for one reason or another just aren’t in the room with you.

My paternal grandfather practically went from door to door in search of a woman, a mate. He was dogged and steadfast but not very exciting. He was the cold calling, mail out the flyers kind of guy. My maternal grandfather saw the woman he wanted to marry, asked a friend to borrow his house, invited my grandmother to a party there and wooed her. Some smoke and mirrors there, we’re all used to that. I don’t know if it was before or after they were married that she found out he wasn’t so wealthy as he showed her!

So what’s the best method? Or is there one? My grandfathers were looking for a mate, Honey-Fitz, the Kennedy grandfather, was looking for a mistress. That’s a big difference.

When we are casting our nets, working them as it were, are we looking for mates or mistresses? This is going to be a really important distinction and the awful truth is you probably want a little of both. The glory of a mistress with the steadiness of a mate. But when you’re taking the first cast, looking for leads to convert, you’ll want to cast as wide as you can. There might be a really good catch way out there. You might be way out there, and you’ll need to keep your steadiness for the long-haul cast. You don’t see too many casting from a boat. They have to know how to balance and they can convert the weight of their throw through their stability into the pitch. That takes time and effort. No body gets there on the first try.

Staying focused, knowing who you are and what you want. Knowing what appeals to you and what you are good at are the immediate necessities of the marketer. How you do it isn’t as important as your overall consistency. Consistency is the hallmark of the long distance marketer. Know your goals. Do something every day to support them. Don’t leave your best efforts to dangle in the “when I get to it” room.  Give them as much of your energy as you would a first date.

Who is your best friend?

Everyday I get hundreds of e-mails about saving something, making something better, calling someone to support some cause somewhere. Books. I have books about giving, books about serving somewhere, something, somehow. I have books and tapes, magazines and flyers, videos and cd’s. They are all good. Every single one of them is necessary and provides great value to our collective life on this planet.

Don’t get me wrong, these are good things. I ask for them. I take the opportunity to do a lot of the good deeds offered to me.

But, here’s the rub. Do I include myself? I better because if I don’t I’m not going to be able to do too many more good deeds. That’s a fact. Without applying the principles of the deed throwers to myself, my ability to do the good stuff I want to do diminishes with time. Am I exhausting myself? Good question.

OK Now, apply all that stuff to you. I didn’t want to start off with that because I didn’t want to scare you. BUT, if you aren’t replenishing yourself as you go along in your day, you are taking from all the causes you want to support.

So, get with the program. Get started on yourself. Love yourself. Live with yourself. Be yourself. Which means you need to believe in yourself. Take a break, a walk, study a course, watch a bird, a squirrel, a horse. What are they doing? What are you doing? What’s the difference between you? Ask yourself how you feel right now. Where are you going, what are you doing? Is it necessary? Is what you’re doing supporting what you’re doing? No, that’s not a typo. Rule #1: “Do what you’re doing. Don’t do what you’re not doing.” (Thank you Hale Dwoskin)

Buy Low Sell High

Did that grab you once? Me too. I used to do that. It was great to watch trends, read the newspapers, keep myself tuned to the market, watch some companies come up through the ranks. See where the shifts were going on, who was looking at what and where were the new jobs going to come from. There were some faces to watch and names to pay attention to it felt exciting to be part of what was working.
Back then (hey! It wasn’t that long ago!) you could see trends, job sectors growing, products being made. Then outsourcing was something to complain about but most didn’t struggle against it because the clothes were cheap and the shoes still fit and who looked at labels when the price was right?
Do you know where the jobs are brewing? Yeah, I know where they went, but there is opportunity and some of it is in the near future and some of it is now. There’s a huge loss of traditional jobs and therefore a huge need for people to know what they are doing. Getting educated in the ways of business is available to anyone who seeks it. There is more transparency than ever and more help to be had for free and/or for very reasonable cost. No longer do we have to rely on those who went to business school to learn how to become marketers.
Entrepreneurs are what we all need to be whether we like it or not. The days of being supported in a life-long job are gone. The days of selling smart are here, and it’s not all buy high. The investment you make in yourself is where it’s at. You’re the expert you’ve always dreamed of and the time is great to find your way in the world of internet marketing.
When I bought stocks did I buy them all low? Mostly yes, and yes, I sold most of them high. Can I do that today? I can sure buy low. But the sell high part is a ways off. So, what to do in the meantime? There’s money to be made, business to be done, deals to be set. You can be part of the new gold rush, you can live your dream. Don’t let anyone take that away from you! Believe in yourself, be your own best friend, go to    and get the help you need to find your next opportunity.

What Do You See?

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.
Anais Nin

Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you because that will dictate how you are seen as well as how you see.
If you’re coming from a position of being unloving toward yourself, if you are not feeling physically well, if you struggle with your weight, your anger, your depression, you won’t be able to see very well. Opportunities will avoid you – you won’t be able to see them.
If you are not in tune with yourself mentally it will color your physical world. If you have a strong belief system expressing itself inside you, it will express on the outside too.
There are studies showing that mental states – and you may not know you have them – can change your body. One woman grew her breast size and shrank her stomach when she discovered she had many beliefs about those parts of her body and their meaning in her life.
She had grown up with the idea that having children would cause her belly to expand and her breasts to shrink. After having two children her mindset began to realize itself in her body. She also suffered from post-partum depression, and had a nervous breakdown.
In her case she learned EFT, which you should look into. It is an incredibly useful tool. Go on Gary Craig’s website and you can get a lot of free information on how to work it into your life.
There is a lot of information about how to conquer this and that on the web, how to dominate an aspect of a search engine, how to attract more leads and have people buy whatever it is you are selling but if you don’t take care of yourself, find out who you are and what makes you tick, eventually it will all come down on your head and you will be an empty bag of proficiency!
Whatever business you are in – or out of – whatever you might want to make or sell, from home or office, farm stand or flea market, e-Bay or Whatever List, you need to find yourself first, then your world will find you. And when it does, you’ll be ready.
Business opportunities abound; will you be able to see them when they’re in front of you?