Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Giving I Connect with Others by Isabel Allende

I have lived with passion and in a hurry, trying to accomplish too many things. I never had time to think about my beliefs until my 28-year-old daughter Paula fell ill. She was in a coma for a year and I took care of her at home, until she died in my arms in December of 1992.

During that year of agony and the following year of my grieving, everything stopped for me. There was nothing to do — just cry and remember. However, that year also gave an opportunity to reflect upon my journey and the principles that hold me together. I discovered that there is consistency in my beliefs, my writing and the way I lead my life. I have not changed, I am still the same girl I was fifty years ago, and the same young woman I was in the seventies. I still lust for life, I am still ferociously independent, I still crave justice and I fall madly in love easily.
Paralyzed and silent in her bed, my daughter Paula taught me a lesson that is now my mantra: You only have what you give. It's by spending yourself that you become rich.
Paula led a life of service. She worked as a volunteer helping women and children, eight hours a day, six days a week. She never had any money, but she needed very little. When she died she had nothing and she needed nothing. During her illness I had to let go of everything: her laughter, her voice, her grace, her beauty, her company and finally her spirit. When she died I thought I had lost everything. But then I realized I still had the love I had given her. I don't even know if she was able to receive that love. She could not respond in any way, her eyes were somber pools that reflected no light. But I was full of love and that love keeps growing and multiplying and giving fruit.
The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential. Because of Paula, I don't cling to anything anymore. Now I like to give much more than to receive. I am happier when I love than when I am loved. I adore my husband, my son, my grandchildren, my mother, my dog, and frankly I don't know if they even like me. But who cares? Loving them is my joy.
Give, give, give — what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don't share it? I don't intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine.
It is in giving that I feel the spirit of my daughter inside me, like a soft presence.

An Ideal of Service to Our Fellow Man by Albert Einstein

This essay aired circa 1954.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty. I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, or who has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with the awareness of — and glimpse into — the marvelous construction of the existing world together with the steadfast determination to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature. This is the basics of cosmic religiosity, and it appears to me that the most important function of art and science is to awaken this feeling among the receptive and keep it alive.
I sense that it is not the State that has intrinsic value in the machinery of humankind, but rather the creative, feeling individual, the personality alone that creates the noble and sublime.
Man's ethical behavior should be effectively grounded on compassion, nurture and social bonds. What is moral is not the divine, but rather a purely human matter, albeit the most important of all human matters. In the course of history, the ideals pertaining to human beings' behavior towards each other and pertaining to the preferred organization of their communities have been espoused and taught by enlightened individuals. These ideals and convictions — results of historical experience, empathy and the need for beauty and harmony — have usually been willingly recognized by human beings, at least in theory.
The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us westerners in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition. It is a very high goal: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind.
The pursuit of recognition for their own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the quest for personal independence form the traditional themes of the Jewish people, of which I am a member.
But if one holds these high principles clearly before one's eyes and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it is glaringly apparent that mankind finds itself at present in grave danger. I see the nature of the current crises in the juxtaposition of the individual to society. The individual feels more than ever dependent on society, but he feels this dependence not in the positive sense — cradled, connected as part of an organic. He sees it as a threat to his natural rights and even his economic existence. His position in society, then, is such that that which drives his ego is encouraged and developed, and that which would drive him toward other men (a weak impulse to begin with) is left to atrophy.
It is my belief that there is only one way to eliminate these evils, namely, the establishment of a planned economy coupled with an education geared towards social goals. Alongside the development of individual abilities, the education of the individual aspires to revive an ideal that is geared towards the service of our fellow man, and that needs to take the place of the glorification of power and outer success.

motivation through animation.

a touching piece about Detroit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

together we shape the world around us.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. In the long run, we really do shape our own lives; and then together we shape the world around us. The process never ends until we die, and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
-Roald Dahl

That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.
-Emily Dickinson

Monday, September 20, 2010

and the least of all that goes."

"I make the most of all that comes, and the least of all that goes."
-Sara Teasdale

A new untruth

A new untruth is better than an old truth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

this moment...

"Begin doin what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand & melting like a snowflake." ~Marie Beynon Ray

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


16. If I had a second chance, I'd risk more. I've lived a safe, comfortable life. I have a safe, comfortable home in a safe, comfortable town. If I had a second chance, I'd go on that trip, take the job far away, run faster and try harder. -- Female, 29

Monday, September 13, 2010

Angela Ahrendt's (CEO Burberry) Commencement Speech.

Angela Ahrendts' Commencement Address: 'From the Heart' (5/8/2010)
Thank you so much for inviting me back to celebrate with you today. Thank you President Gora, Professor Whitaker, who is retiring after 34 years of inspiring students at Ball State. Thank you faculty, staff, students, family and friends, I can honestly say that speaking with you today is one of the greatest honors of my life.

It has been 29 years since I last studied here. Yes, for those of you quickly doing the math, I will celebrate my 50th birthday next month, 50 (or as my teenage son likes to say, a half century). So, thank you also for providing the stimulus to truly stop, reflect, and take account of the great lessons of my blessed life so far. This speech-writing journey is the best 50th birthday present I could be given. Entitled ‘From the Heart', it's my gift back to you.

Our Web chat three weeks ago brought back many great memories and one of you reminded me of my college job at the Muncie Mall. One day you are studying and selling albums at Musicland and the next thing you know, 30 years have passed and you receive a beautiful letter from your university President asking you to summarize your life's journey in three simple thoughts for 14,000 people in 20 minutes! It has been quite a journey, (not just the last three decades), but the last few months since I agreed to speak.

Maybe our lives have been in parallel this final semester. I have been dreaming, thinking, praying, about what I could possibly say that would resonate with you, touch you, and perhaps make a difference in the next three decades of your life. I imagine your last few months have not been dissimilar as you finish exams, term papers, job search, and dream of your future. It's a bit unsettling. This speech writing process has been somewhat like writing my final term paper, and ironically, I've felt like the student and you're now the grading professor. So, go easy on me, and think of it more like American Idol, and I've already won, and am just back to entertain and inspire you today.


This speech-writing journey forced me to stop and reflect, in a way I haven't done in years. Was there a professional story I could recall that would broaden your perspective? Was there a compelling strategic secret I could share that might jump-start your path to success? Recognizing some of the pressures you face—the constraints of a soft economy and challenges of the digital revolution—I have not taken this assignment lightly and thinking about this question has required much time

So, I apologize to my husband and kids, as the process took too many precious weekends away from them, but their sacrifice allowed a great discovery. I realized that the most vital component of my life that has guided every aspect of my professional career is my Character, and its Midwestern "Core Values".

Do you realize you may already possess the foundation of your success? You might have the answer to the most important test question in life. What if you could answer it now and use it to your advantage versus mid-life? The game changing question is, do you truly know what your Core Purpose in life is, your fundamental reason for existence, and can you clearly articulate your Core Values, your guiding principles? I love the way management guru Jim Collins phrases it for business, he says a "Core Purpose is your reason for being, it captures your soul, with the primary role to guide and inspire. You cannot fulfil a Purpose, it is like a guiding star on the horizon—forever pursued, but never reached." Walt Disney's Core Purpose is simple: "to make people happy". Burberry's is more expansive: to Protect, Explore and Inspire. What is your Core Purpose, your "life book" profile?

Your Core Values are the soul mate of your Core Purpose and are your purest beliefs, your conscience and convictions. They rarely change throughout your life. "We live by what we believe, not by what we see." Identifying your Core Values early in life will help provide clarity into the type of organization you want to work for, the type of people you want to be with, and the type of leader you aspire to be.


Let's consider this from a less theoretical perspective. If you think your college years have flown by, just wait until someone is actually paying you to do what you love! I enjoy meeting with students as they have visited over the years in New York, and now London and interviewing recent graduates as they tell me all they have done during their university years, and how hard they have worked. I remind them that they were paying the school to learn and work that hard, and ask them if they will learn and work as hard if our company is paying them? I also remind them that their great education is what got them the interview, but it is who they truly are that will get them the job. Getting to understand a person's character—sometimes in less than an hour—is a critical part of making sure a candidate is culturally compatible.

When I think of my Core Values, I think of my parents. My father, who in my mind is one of this generation's greatest philosophers, used to constantly remind me that "you can teach people anything, but you can't teach them to care." Caring or compassion is a Key Value. Growing up I was always told to put myself in the other person's shoes, to be aware and sensitive of my impact on others.

With Mother's Day tomorrow, it is only fitting to acknowledge what a powerful force my mother has been. Whenever I would ask her if something were okay, or fine, she would consistently reply, "I didn't raise you to be fine." I'm sure Jim Collins was inspired by my mom when, in his book, "Good to Great," he says, "good is the enemy of great", and that "few people attain great lives, in large part because it is so easy to settle for a good life". Being the best I could be was a Core Value she instilled in me from a young age. Along with this, she would constantly remind me that "God helps those who help themselves," and the importance of faith.

Another Core value is Humility. My dad would always say, "When you look at a photo do you see yourself last?" and then would remind me of a line from Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "If". "…or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch..." Funny, I always thought this extreme improbable, but about six months ago I was honored to sit next to Prince Charles, the future king of England, during a formal dinner at Buckingham Palace. After talking with him throughout the evening, and then returning to my daily work routine the following morning, this life lesson became real.

So, with the focus on your left brain, or your education, the last few years, you may not have given much thought to right brain Core Values. But with the world moving and changing so fast, they are your foundation. They offer confidence and peace and their significance and influence should never be compromised in anything anyone sees from you off or on line. The fact that the Core Values which were developed many years prior to actually being on my own at Ball State, are still the guiding force in my life today was an epiphany that only took me 20 years of youth, 30 years of experience, and five months of reflecting to discover for you today. These could be your most important assets, your differentiator in this digital age. If you can clearly articulate the answer to this question early in life, it could be your best shortcut to success.

While Core Values are your foundation there are many other emotional facets such as dreams and passion, fear and insecurity, underpinned by heart and faith that provide additional guidance and inspiration as your career commences.


This speech-writing journey also serves to amplify a few of these emotional drivers. Again, take when I received President Gora's letter asking me to speak. After recovering from the initial shock—I mean, I'm not David Letterman—I quickly fell into what I call the Dream phase. Megan, if you are still with me, this section will hopefully answer your web chat question.

The Dream phase is that wow moment that lets your imagination see everything so positively. It's a state of euphoria, cloud nine, the infatuation stage of a new relationship. You know the feeling. This dream state is a little surreal; you are not thinking, or purely feeling, both are fused creating an energy that fuels your imagination. Dreams are your most exciting thoughts, your future life in 3D, and by envisioning in your mind you are creating your life roadmap. "Whatever we focus on, we become". At Burberry, our catwalk shows are Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey's seasonal dreams. They inspire both art and commerce, and help us see beyond our self-imposed boundaries. These shows also demonstrate for dreams to become reality, they must be backed by passion and persistence, be channelled and largely immune to external opinions and obstacles. As author Napoleon Hill says, "This changed world requires practical dreamers who can and will put their dreams into action."

The Dream phase can also include the occasional nightmare. That insecure state when some part of your mind conveniently reminds you of everything you don't know, exposing with brutal clarity the full reality of the situation. Again, take this speech, why did the letter have to say live, to 14,000 people, that it is the University's greatest tradition, and the most memorable day of your life!

I have learned over the years that just as the dream phase is critical, the intermittent nightmare is perfectly normal. Hill also stated almost 100 years ago "that if you take inventory of mental assets and liabilities you will discover that our greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence," and "the subconscious mind will translate into reality a thought driven by fear just as readily as it will translate into reality a thought driven by courage or faith." It is how well you manage your fear that determines the outcome of your dream.

In this insecure phase I become a curious student again. So what to do with the commencement speech? Of course I turned to Google and spent the next few weeks reading everyone's from Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs, politicians, academics and artists. I also read the experts' advice: what's appropriate, what's not, how to organize, how long, who to thank, and the fact that the majority of you will not remember most of what I've said once the graduation song begins. Fear is simply a state of mind that, managed proactively, makes you more aware, and in time much more astute to subtle shifts going on around you. Fear of failure has been a frequent motivator, and helped keep me passionate, objective, and focused on achieving the desired result.

So, having confused yourself with the facts, you passed the nightmare phase. Your mind is sufficiently sharp. Your confidence is back, and you begin to systematically think through the solution. With the rational options in front of me, my mind at peace, I've learned at this stage to turn off my head and turn on my heart.


You see, if your dreams are your road map, your heart is your true guide. The intuitive, feeling heart will never mislead you, in work, a relationship, or with family. In this digital age we are seemingly hardwired to over-think our way through life, and, almost instinctively to look outside for heartfelt answers instead of within ourselves. We are bombarded with information 24/7 and spend too much time responding to others rather than listening inward. Technology has given us access to the world and its sea of content, allowing us to never speak to another person if we don't want to. Computers and smart devices are among the greatest intellectual gifts ever created for man, but if not balanced with human contact, may offer little to develop ones heart. Don't get me wrong, I am mesmerized by this Digital Tsunami, but Google doesn't have all the answers and are all those people on Facebook truly your friends? With Twitter and texting you can share sound bites, as I have with many of you the last few weeks, but they offer no substitute for real human interaction. In my many years of travel around this amazing planet, I have found that the heart is the one global language we all instinctively possess allowing us to communicate across genders, generations and cultures – at times only with our eyes, by a simple gesture or touch.

So with the world at your fingertips, have you learned to listen to your heart, your intuition and your instincts? Have you learned to feel what others will feel before you say a word? Do you understand the lasting impact of a smile, or a simple thank you? Do you truly "do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" Your heart is your guiding force, teach yourself to listen to it, nurture it, and let it guide as you start this next exciting chapter of life.

This reflecting has brought back my early chapters vividly. I grew up about an hour from here in the small town of New Palestine, Indiana where I lived vicariously through fashion magazines. My dream at an early age was to be in the fashion industry. I dreamed day and night, night and day, so much so my father would tell me to take off my "rose coloured glasses". I was dreaming, then began praying, and soon began believing I could make it, but how?

My belief was encouraged by small things, coincidences, and signs all around me. The first was in the form of a little book called "As A Man Thinketh," which fell into my teen lap. To this day I have no idea why I began reading it, but it taught me early on the power of positive thinking, and that the inner thoughts you choose and encourage weave both your inner character and your outer circumstances. Then, larger signs appeared, like the ones I ran into on an early campus visit with my older, smarter sister, who had chosen to attend Ball State. They described upcoming merchandising and marketing program(s). As a student in that program the following year, I don't believe it was a coincidence that I attended the summer fashion [course] in New York. Where, for the first time, I had a behind-the-scenes view of all the things I'd been dreaming about all those years. With that visit, I fell in love. There was no looking back.

After three and a half fast and fulfilling years, in 1981 I left college for New York City, or, as Alicia Keys so brilliantly sings, "The concrete jungle where dreams are made of". Classes ended and I flew out the next day, with nothing but my Core Values, dreams, heart and faith— combined with a great education. I was scared, trust me, but knew I was not alone and kept repeating to myself "I will not live my life saying I wish I would have". At the airport that day, my dad was trying desperately not to cry, and my mom just kept asking when I would be coming home. Finally, as I was boarding the plane, I turned, and blurted out my lifelong dream. I said "After I become the President of Donna Karan, I'll be home". So of course as realistic moms do, she prepared for a long absence. About 10 years later, I was sitting in my new office on Seventh Avenue when the phone rang. Who else, but mom? She said, "Congratulations, you are now President of Donna Karan, when are you coming home"? That's when I realized dreams have no boundaries if you learn to read the signs of life.

A more recent story begins four years ago when Christopher Bailey, then head designer, and I sat in New York sharing our thoughts of what we would do if I moved to London to be the CEO of Burberry. We talked about creating a great company, the kind of company we both always dreamed of working for, and creating the greatest democratic luxury brand in the world, with the most innovative merchandising and digital marketing strategies. We dreamed of establishing the Burberry Foundation so we could help less fortunate young people realize their creative dreams. [During the conversation, Christopher and I also recognized the similarity of our Core Values.] On our first Christmas card we proudly printed Winston Churchill's famous quote: "You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give".

Burberry's annual reports describe the key strategies underlying the company's strong financial results during the first 2.5 years. But the deeper secret to our early success was that 6,000 associates worldwide were dreaming the same dream. Then again, as life would have it, in 2008 the world was rocked by this extensive economic disruption. This could have deeply shaken the team, our company. But with our core values as the foundation, our dream so clear, our hearts so connected, it is not a coincidence that Burberry recovered quickly, and more united than before the crisis.


I know I have made it sound easy—if you dream it, it will come— but I have learned that there is sunshine and rain (and in London, sleet). Without the dark clouds you don't truly appreciate the bright day. Every graduating class is confronted with its particular tests. In my case, I left Ball State in 1981 at the start of the worst post-war recession, prior to this one. This was also an era in which women contended for equal status in a male-dominant workplace. You face a difficult economic environment and onset of the digital revolution with all its advantages and challenges. Remember, individual opportunities are always present if you have a dream, truly know yourself and focus on the things you can control. Back to Kipling's famous poem, "… if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same".

In writing this speech, I have looked backward to guide you forward. Today, you have heard a little of my journey, along with the wisdom of poets, philosophers, proselytizers and my parents. Many of them wrote early in the last century (not you, Dad). I find their perspectives insightful and invaluable and often missing from today's headlines.

As you leave the comforts of campus and enter the real world, learn to share your values, dreams and heart with others. College is an individual endeavour, where the broader world is a team sport. The more honest and open you are about yourself, the faster you will connect and cut through the competitive clutter. School has sharpened your IQ and rewarded you with a degree today; life will require you to master your EQ, which will reward you with success in its many expressions.


Thank you again for the opportunity to speak today. As a commencement speech was never in my wildest dreams, I have been diligently working alongside you this final quarter. Our web chat, your Tweets, the focus on today's message have helped bring me more in tune. Encouraging you has inspired me at this stage of life's journey and resulted in the greatest 50th birthday gift I could receive.

Thank you, and in turn, I hope you feel my heart's gift to celebrate your amazing achievement and that you dream even larger (this is your life's roadmap), conquer your greatest fears (they are simply a state of mind), and listen with an amplifier to your heart and faith (as these are your greatest guides). And never forget your Core Values. They can be your greatest asset, along with a brilliant Ball State education.
Congratulations graduates. You are now global citizens. So remember, the universal language is not texted, emailed or spoken. It is felt. Good luck, as you continue life's amazing adventure and I look so forward to reading your commencement speech someday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shout out to my readers in Taiwan!!! =)

Wise advice from Ralph Waldo Emerson

1) Thoughts become things
"a man is what he thinks about all day long"
2) The compensation principle
"it is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
3) Actions trumps theorizing
"an ounce of action is worth a ton of theory"
4) Build something better
"build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door"
5) Keep good friends
"it is one of the blessings of old friends that you cna afford to be stupid with them"
6) Raise the bar
"unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow"
7) Start small
"the creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn"

exerpts from dumblittleman by mr. self develpment

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

money makes you more of what you are -jake kozul


Today is Labor Day. All across America, millions of people are discovering that the best way to celebrate Labor Day is by not working.

Do you live to work, or do you work to live?

If you are married, look at your wedding album: Are there any pictures in there of you at work?

And on your tombstone, do you want it to say, "I wish that I could have spent more time at work"?

Here is what Robert Kennedy had to say about this, 42 years ago:

Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product... if we should judge America by that -- counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

When Kennedy said these words, the unemployment rate in America was 3.7%. Today, it is almost three times as high. Too many of our working brothers and sisters are out of work, thanks to more than a decade of economic mismanagement. 10% of us are unemployed, and the other 90% work like dogs to try to avoid joining them. Which is just what the bosses want.

But it doesn't have to be that way. I look forward to a Labor Day where every worker has a job, every worker has a pension, every worker has paid vacations, and every worker has the health care to enjoy life.

My opponents call that France. I call it America, an America that is Number One.

Not #1 in wasted military expenditures.

Not #1 in number of foreign countries occupied.

Number One in jobs. Number One in health. Number One in education. Number One in happiness.

As Robert Kennedy famously said, "I dream of things that never were, and ask, 'Why not?'" Why not? Let's make it happen.

And then all of us who are Americans, including the ones today who are jobless, homeless, sick and suffering, we all can then say, "I am proud to be an American."

Are you with me?


Alan Grayson

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Without vision the people perish"

The Biblical quotation, "Without vision the people perish" is a good reminder for leaders in any field to stay ahead of the norm. A leader should maintain the status quo, but also have an eye on growth and development. Leaders who are stagnant do not maintain equilibrium in the organization, but begin a downward spiral. Leaders who are in motion, utilize the energy of the flow to empower themselves and their organization to new heights.

As in life, when you're green you grow, when you're ripe you rot. There can be no status quo leadership. By definition, a leader must think intelligently and take action. Nothing less is acceptable.

Be Your Very Best Always,

Judy Williamson


We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.

The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen, and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.

The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that appear
As we to higher levels rise.

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

Success from "The Ladder of Saint Augustine" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life -Mark Harrison

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life -Mark Harrison
Our life is what our thoughts make it. Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil. ~Marcus Aurelius

A belief is something you consider to be true. You cannot decide to believe one thing this week and another, opposing thing, next week. You might think you can, but it really doesn’t work like that. I read recently that baby circus elephants are tied to a strong metal post with a heavy chain because they will try to escape and expend a lot of energy on pulling at their tether. After some time, they accept that they will not be able to escape and so stop pulling. The adult elephants are tethered to a wooden stake with a light rope: they could easily escape, but they believe they are unable to do so, and so the light tethering works as a kind of symbol of their bondage. It is clear that whether your beliefs are true or not is irrelevant. What matters is what you regard to be true. It seems to me that this is a good definition of ‘belief.’

People believe all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. Some beliefs are trivial and others are very important, but two things are certain:

Our underlying beliefs operate at a deep, subconscious level, and
These underlying beliefs affect what we experience in life, including our level of success or failure in any endeavor.
Where do these beliefs come from?

Philip Larkin said ‘They f**k you up, your mum and dad.’ Which might seem a bit cruel, but then he did admit that ‘they do not mean to, but they do.’ What he’s saying, of course, is that we learn our worldview from our parents, and if our parents think that life is a struggle and that money and success don’t come easily, then this will be our ‘defaults mode,’ too. We spend many years being ‘drip fed’ these beliefs and they get embedded deep in our subconscious. It’s fine to say ‘just change your beliefs,’ but it’s not always so easy. We have picked up many limiting beliefs from parents, teachers, friends, religion (dare I say?) and society in general. Some of these beliefs are holding us back, so doesn’t it make sense that we should want to shed them?

Do we really want to get rid of these beliefs?

Actually, it’s not that simple. We can get a tremendous payback from some apparently harmful and limiting beliefs. I’m sure we all know people who seem to identify themselves as a victim, believing that they are helpless and needing someone to look after them or ‘save’ them. These people get a feeling of security (they don’t have to try to be better or take any risks because they know it’s pointless and they will fail), and they get people running around after them, looking after them.

We need to look at our beliefs and examine what kind of payback we are getting from them and so why we might not want to let go of them. Some examples of limiting beliefs might be:

Everyone is selfish
People are always trying to rip you off
There isn’t enough to go around so you have to grab what you can
You can be struck down by circumstances (illness, accident) at any time
It’s not my fault that my life is like this
All of these beliefs do something for us; they give us some validation or some comfort. But they are simply beliefs. Deeply engrained, to be sure, but only beliefs and so susceptible to change. Shedding these beliefs may cause some pain, but growth is often accompanied by pain, and I am confident that they pain of growth is a small price for the loss of a lifetime of limitation.

Change your beliefs and change your life

And so that brings us to the good news – you CAN change your beliefs. I suggest three steps for doing this:

Identify a limiting belief (eg Things just happen. I’m not in control of my life)
Cast the belief in a different way (I am in control and I consciously orchestrate my experience)
Look around for evidence of this new belief. You WILL find it! After a while, this will sink in and you will start to think the new belief is ‘true.’
In a sense, I’m suggesting that you brainwash yourself. This may sound negative, but remember that you’ve already been brainwashed into negative thinking, so some reprogramming won’t hurt. Perhaps ‘condition yourself’ is a better phrase than ‘brainwash.’ It takes time, but you can do it if you really want to.

Beliefs to live by
I believe the following to be true and I see evidence of these statements around me all the time.

I orchestrate my own experience of life
Life is naturally abundant. There is enough for everyone
Life, when lived properly, is easy and happy
I don’t have to improve myself – I am already as valuable and worthwhile as anyone else
I can do anything if I apply myself in the right way
Circumstances arrange themselves and opportunities are presented for my greatest good
The tragedy of much adult life is that our vision is so limited. Like the elephant, we can walk away from our tether any time, but we often don’t because we are shackled by our false and limiting beliefs.

I want to end with a wonderful fable from Anthony de Mello, a man who really seemed to understand the human condition.

An eagle lays an egg but somehow the egg finds its way into a chicken coup. A chicken incubates the egg with all her others and when it hatches, she rears the eaglet as if it were one of her own chicks. It learns to peck the dust for food, to flap its wings and to strut around the farmyard. One day, an eagle flies by overhead. The little eagle looks up and sees this, and says to himself, ‘I wish I were an eagle – how majestic, how free, how beautiful to be like that and have such a life.’ The eagle lived like a chicken and died like a chicken, because that’s hat he thought he was.


and apparently the link was taken down. where will i get my fans from?

but don't worry, i totally redeemed myself