Friday, November 14, 2008

Life Choices and Living with them – “problem seekers” Vs. “Solutions makers”

You’ve probably heard before that life is all about the choices we make and that “the best way to make God laugh is to tell him about your plans”. Judging from my own experience…. God must laugh a whole lot!

So, when life doesn’t really go according to your plans…. What do you do? Are you a problem seeker or a solution maker? The difference between the two types is pretty simple!

Are you a problem maker?
- Are you worried a lot?
- Do you usually look at the negative aspect of things?
- Do you always foresee problems that might arise if you do this or that?
- Do you find yourself looking for someone / something to blame when things don’t go according to plan?
- Do you often find yourself in the position of a victim? Feeling like the world’s against you? Thinking that someone/something ruined your life?
- Do you often find yourself without a “plan B”?
- Do you panic easily when your plans fail/change?
- Do you tend to depend on other people?
- Do you get mad at these other people when they don’t work according to your plans and/or expectations?
- Do you get discouraged and paralyzed by fear/anger/panic when plans change/fail?

If you see yourself in the above questions, chances are you are a problem seeker…. That's the “bad news”. The good news is that you’re very normal! In fact you’re like most people in this world!
The “really good news” is that you can learn how to become a “solution maker”!

So what is the key to shifting your view and focus in life from “problems” to “solutions”? Very simply put: RESPONSIBILITY!

Now, you might be thinking “That’s a heavy word!” but it shouldn’t be. All it means is that you have to take the responsibility for the choices you make. You have to be ABLE TO RESPOND (Response Ability) to whatever life puts on your plate. That’s all. And believe me – it’s NOT as hard as it seems, but it does take a little practice.

That said let’s go over the keys to “solution making”:
- Be prepared! Have a plan B.
- Don’t depend on other people – other people have their own life choices to make and they do not owe you anything! If you depend on them and their choices don’t match your plans – don’t be surprised!
- If you have to depend on other people – have a plan B! and a C and a D if possible!
- Be prepared to pay the price and make the necessary trade-offs! Some times the solution is very simple and at hand if you are only willing to make a trade-off. Yes, it might not be the ideal solution but nevertheless it IS a solution and will allow you to move on, rather than be stuck in a negative mood with a problem on your hands!
- Respond to challenges rather than React. Reactions are emotional, they will usually make you panic, get mad, frustrated and therefore unable think clearly and act.
- ACT! Don’t sit still and cry over spilled milk! Don’t wallow in your misery and don’t be a victim! Act, change your plans as needed!
- Be Flexible! We live in a dynamic world. Reality is not a fixed thing. The true meaning of “create your own reality” is actually “be flexible, change yourself and your plans as needed and be responsible!”
- Keep it simple! Life doesn’t have to be complicated! It sure isn’t if you don’t make it so!

Remember: True freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility. When you respond to challenges, when you make your own choices without depending on others, when you act upon your choices and take responsibility for them rather than blaming others for your failures – then you are truly free! If you continue to behave like a victim, if you continue to look for who or what to blame, if you continue to be stagnant and soak in your own misery – you will forever be trapped in the emotional prison of negativity.

If you continue to seek the problems – they will continue to find you!

Instead – Make your own solutions and treat every change as a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow!

Good luck!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Clearing the clutter, making the space...

This post is inspired by 2 things:
1. A certain process I am going through now (I am deliberately not specifying now).
2. a great post entitled: "Space...The final frontier?" by Richard Derwent Cooke, a great writer, coach and a friend of mine on Ecademy.

I went through something that was less than pleasant yesterday (emotionally) but it had to be done and experienced and I am glad I heard some things. Later in the afternoon I came across Richard's post on Ecademy. I almost started crying (I'm known for having "loose taps in my eyes" lol). The line that struck me most was: I would urge you to be ruthless in creating a little space, be it mental, temporal or physical, in your life and let yourself breathe a little and gain a fresh perspective on what is important.

That is exactly where I stand now - at the point where I have to be ruthless and make my space, or rather - reclaim it. But it is not just the space that needs to be reclaimed. Sure enough, there is emotional clutter in my life (and physical clutter in my house - you know how these two always go together) but even if I de-clutter my life and reclaim my space, it will be an empty one. What I really need to do in addition to de-cluttering is to "hunt myself' and reclaim all the little bits and pieces of energy I had left behind in other places and people. Reclaim my power.

It is easier said than done. The part where one has to be "ruthless" is the hard part. Ruthless is NOT cruel. You can be a good hearted person, a helping and loving person and still be ruthless. In many ways this is the only way to survive, and the only way to really give to others and help them. Only by being ruthless can you really teach others lessons they need so much to learn.

I am asked sometimes - how come you can help so many people, coach them, guide them, mentor them, counsel them....and yet you yourself have problems, you're suffering.... well folks, that next part might sound like a sales promotion but that is exactly why you need help. That is exactly why you need a coach, or a therapist, or a good clever friend, or a wise mother, or a grandmother or someone like Richard that writes just the right thing in the right time.... because we tend to tell ourselves stories, we all tend to choose the easy ways out of efforts and responsibilities... we need someone to show us where we go wrong and light up the path ahead so that we can select our next move wisely and from a place of knowledge.

So I wish to thank Richard in this post for lighting up my path and helping me make the decision that needed to be made, as painful as it may be for me right now. Because if I do not put myself back in the first place in my priorities, if I do not reclaim my space and my power.... I will not be able to survive. I will be so drained and so worn out that I will simply disappear.

If you feel that any of these words strikes a chord with you, I suggest you do the same and think about how you can reclaim your space right now.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Feelings, chapter 3 - Partnertship

Partnership is not a feeling - it's a word.... a noun.... but it involves and generates a large array of feelings.

Ask yourself this: what does "partnership" really mean to you?

To me the first thing that pops up is the word "Part". A partner takes part in something with me. There are silent partners and non silent partners, there are business partners and life partners and so on but, what characterizes all of them is that that they are all part of something with someone else.

However, there is a huge difference between being part of something and taking part in something.

For me a true partner is one who takes an active part in what we are supposed to be doing together. I realized, throughout my life, that most people don't pay much attention to this difference. Many people believe that you can also be an inactive partner, perhaps contributing a minor effort (if any) to a project, putting your name on it and voila! you are a "partner". This is why, even as a child at school I always avoided doing projects in a "team". I always ended up being the one that does the work while the others got the grades...

This difference of "being" a part and "taking" part is the difference between a helper and an annex, between active and passive, it is what makes a team really work well together and a project really succeed.

I believe it is important to comprehend and remember it because whether the project is finishing a task at work or family life with your spouse this is exactly what will make it succeed or fail in the long run - are you taking part in your own life? Are you fully and actively participating in your own life?

Next time you feel frustrated, unhappy, scared... try to think of the situation you are in and see if you are taking an active part in it, or perhaps there are other people involved who are not pitching in, not taking an active part....

To be continuted...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cat memories and loving

Many people think cats do not "show love as dogs" or that they are "not loyal"
They also think cats (or animals at all for that matter) do not have a good memory or at least "memory" in the sense we, humans, refer to it....

take a look at this and then... go to the nearest shelter and adopt a kitty :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feelings - the sequal (or: "Today I'm Feeling....")

I was going to write about my feelings yesterday but never had the chance. Mainly I as confused, but that's passed and now I am ok.

Today, however, I am feeling: disappointed. Now, I bet you thought I was going to start my whole "getting back in synch with my feelings" thing with ...Love. It would be the natrual, common, conventional choice, wouldn't it? that one little feeling (or big, depending on how you look at it and what you feel right now) that gives us all a great deal of trouble! But unconventional me is going to talk about my disappointment.

Disappointment can often be misleading. You can be disappointed but think you're sad, or angry, or despaired... you can be disappointed with yourself but project it on others. It is not at all a simple feeling to have or deal with.

Yesterday, as I said, I felt confused. I thought I was angry with a specific person, someone from my past. Truth is I am not angry with that person and never was - I was disappointed in him. I expected more and different things from him and he failed to deliver.

But then I started wondering: has he really "failed"? Is it not possible that I projected unto this person expectations that stem from some ideal picture or fantasy I weaved in the darkest corners of my mind, and simply expected himt o know what I wanted from him?

Yes, of course it is possible. Not only that, but it is also probable. I tend to be somewhat of a dreamer and fantasize and wish for things that cannot happen in reality, or at least in my given reality. In that sense that person hasn't failed. He was simply being himself, and i am the one who failed to see him as he truly was and to accept him as he truly was.

It is now time to be disappointed in myself for my poor handling of some situations with this particular person. So the feeling hasn't changed, it just shifted focus.

I'm still processing this one. It gets mixed with other forms and focal points of disappointment that I am experiencing today about myself and some of the people around me in the present.

Right now it is a very burning sensation that makes my mood swing from being very combatant and fisety one moment to being paralyzed and depressed the next (and no I am not bi-polar. One doesn't have to be bi-polar to experience such mood swings and/or feelings).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Feelings - are you in synch with yours?

Ok... I admit this sounds like a total cliché (yes I laughed too when I first thought about "getting back in touch with my feelings") but bear with me for a moment while I try to explain what I am doing here.
This post is the result of a conversation I had with my coach, Michal, yesterday.
The issue is this: I am a very sensitive person (water sign - cancer - what did you expect? :-p) and yet I keep my feelings and thoughts towards others bottled up inside. Many of us do. How many times have you been angry with someone or disappointed but never said a word? I am guessing most of the readers would at this point smile to themselves and nod.... yes, it's happened to all of us, hasn't it?
We're soooooo good at holding complete arguments in our minds, we say to the other person everything we want to and how they make us feel and what we are experiencing...and we are soooo good at imagining and guessing what the other person would then answer us and we prepare our counter answer in advance. Oh yes, we're the world's best debaters/talker/conversationalists.... in the safety of our minds.
But when it comes to going out there and actually vocalizing what we feel, what we think, we avoid that like a fire. Usually we are afraid of the conflict that might arise, or afraid of rejection, or of the way we will be perceived by others.... but what happens then is that this feeling stays bottled up inside us and no - the inner talk does not resolve it, does not "process" it. If anything it "over processes" it - we keep running the scenarios over and over in our minds, we repeat the argument or speech so many times we know it by heart, we start dreaming about it (even if we don't remember it) and soon enough, we are relating to the other person, in our actions and daily interactions, as we would in the argument, often without the other person even realizing he or she have upset us in some way. This can also happen with "good" feelings such as love and passion and not just with the "bad" ones (anger, sadness etc.). Sometimes we love someone and we're afraid to tell them....
You know what happens next, don't you? We erupt at some point, just like a big old volcano. We blow up so hard - spewing out everything we've bottled up inside and burning and burying everything and everyone in our path of destruction.
Can you imagine how many such "over processed" feelings you are carrying inside you at any given moment? Can you count the number of people you feel them towards (just imagine current and past lovers, friends you've lost touch with, past colleagues...)? Can you even begin to realize how much energetic "garbage" you are holding inside you?
So when my coach and I spoke about getting in touch with my feelings again, befriending them, I at first thought "oh no.... that old cliché" but then I started thinking about it and the first thing that came to my mind is - write! write about those feelings, write TO those feelings... I bet Michal didn't expect me to do it on a public blog though :-D
So I shall try to befriend my emotions and feelings, see what they're about, try to remind myself why they showed up and why I never let them out and who knows, I might even come up with a technique to ventilate them once a while without my volcano erupting :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Something a little different - Cheap hosting and free domain name

Free websites are great but the problem will always be that your site can be deleted at any time. In addition it is hard to make a backup of those free sites and then restore them. I have seen many sites and hard work go down the drain because people wanted to save out on paying a few dollar.
Believe me, it is a good investment to have your own domain. Some let you pay through paypal so you do not need a creditcard. If you start advertising on your website, like google ads you may even get some extra income or play even on your website costs.
Here are 2 hosting companies we recommend:

StartLogic - Great host, good service and good deals - cheap hosting, free domain name