Saturday, June 23, 2012

Staying Positive on a Negative World.

I was reading this article this morning and thought it was a good reading for the begining of a new week and worth sharing with you...hope you do enjoy as well.

"We live in a world full of many negative and bad things.

Sometimes I am sure that you think that there can not be anything good happening! The media loves bad news! It reports on wars, crime, famine, recession, disease and disasters all the time. Such news they say sells. Yes there are many bad things happening and yes many of them will affect us at times.

What happens though when these things become all consuming?

Many people today are depressed, they drink and overeat to drown their misery which adds to their woes. What can we do to stay positive and get more out of life? For entrepreneurs it is vital to stay positive. How can you make your business grow and succeed if you are always worried about the next problem around the corner?

What is Real Positive Thinking?

Firstly let me be realistic about ‘positive thinking.’ Positive thinking will not give you some power to do what is not possible. This reminds me of the story of the man who said that positive thinking would allow him to jump off the top of a 30 story building and land without getting hurt. As he fell and passed a window on the fifteenth floor he was heard to say, “So far so good!”

How do we define real positive thinking? It is a realistic view of the world. There are many good things, many good people, many kind acts. When faced with problems there are usually solutions or methods to cope with them. A positive view helps a person to overcome or go around obstacles. To get to the other side of a mountain you do not need to go over it! You may walk or possible sail around it. There is often another way.

With positive thinking a problem is just a challenge. It will require a strategy and maybe help from someone to solve it or help you live with it.

My grandmother you used to say that there is no such word as ‘can’t’. I can’t do that or I can't do this? How do you know unless you try? Now a real positive thinker will know that there are some things you can’t do. At my age I will not win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 100 metres! This does not mean though that I can’t run and enjoy it! Be positive about what you can do and be prepared to try new things to see what your talents will allow you to do.

Being Positive in Business

The great thing about business is that you do not have to be able to do everything yourself. You can outsource work, get a business partner or employ someone. No such word as can’t! You can because you can get someone else to do the things you can’t do or do not have time to learn how to do them.

You need to look at every problem as a challenge. How can this be solved? Or how can you work around it? Use experts that can help if the problem is bigger than you can handle or you lack the knowledge to deal with it.

Learn to be realistic so that when you have a fantastic business you check it out before plunging into it. The positive thinking gurus will tell you that if you are positive any business idea will work. Rubbish! When many people tell you that your idea won’t work they may possibly be right. But ask the right people. Potential customers are your best option! Try and look at things in an objective way and do market research before risking your hard earned and cash and wasting time on projects that will not make you any money. However keep in mind that if what you are proposing is brand new it will meet resistance from investors, banks and others but if genuine market research (not your mum!) shows that there is sufficient demand then go for it!

Avoid Negativity

Whilst you need to be a realist, one thing that the positive thinking guru will encourage is to avoid being too connected with negative thinkers. That is probably good advice. Limit your time with the doom-mongers of this world. You know the ones. It’s too hot, then it’s too cold, and they are happiest when they are miserable! Most news channels on the TV show the same depressing news over and over again. By all means keep up to date but why watch or listen to the same story time after time? Read a good book instead or find something to do that will not only benefit you but will help others too.

Enjoy your life!

Take a pride and pleasure in what you do. Success is not to be measured against someone else’s wealth. There are many miserable millionaires in this world and money does not buy happiness. Surveys show that those most satisfied with their lives are people that work for little or nothing in the way of money as they spend their time helping others not as fortunate as themselves. In business there is a great deal of satisfaction from helping your customers to solve their problems or simply make them happy. Build your business around customer satisfaction.

That satisfaction will reflect in your enjoyment of your work and will give a you a positive feeling that no amount of positive thinking without such results will ever give.'

Monday, June 18, 2012

A magic moment!

I woke up this morning and between that little moment before the dream's memories goes away and the reality sets in, I hear birds chirping as the sun rises, the day gets brighter almost by the second. The sound of the ocean waves smoothly playing with the rocks and pebbles on the beach comes to me through my bedroom windows. The brine smell creeps in and reminds me of how blessed I am. The sweet perfume of wild roses swirling awakens my senses.
I throw my legs up in the air and push the covers away, just to feel the morning chill in the air in my still warm body...I pull them back quickly, all the way up to my neck and snuggle under it for a little bit more. I smile because that peaceful moment plays with my head, reminding me of days thata are long gone, giving an extra special meaning to this peaceful moment...I avoid putting my feet on the floor for as long I possibly can because once I do, this special time will be over, and all the daily routines must start. 

'You've got to get up every morning with determination, if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction' - the quote from Geoge Lorimer comes to my awaking mind, and I think: it's another wonderful day for the living and I am looking forward to all the wonderful promises and adventures this day has in store for me.

It's Monday, my friends, enjoy this day like no other. Make this a day to be remembered on the days to come. Have a magnificent day! 

N. Cardoso 06/18/2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Who is this person on my mirror, who stares right back at me?

Look into the mirror... NO, I am not kidding....seriously look into the mirror. Instead checking out your skin, face, shave, hair, clothes, etc.... look into the eyes that stare right back at you. Look deep into the person that stares right back at you. Then ask: 'Who are you?'

Have you ever done this exercise? Once in a while I do practice this and to be honest is not always a pleasant exercise, okay, all right, 99.9% of the times is actually an unpleasant experience, but it is an eye opening one. Sometimes I get the answers to my own questions, I must confess that usually I don't like what I hear. Respond to your own question with honesty and sincerity, be candid and brutally honesty, this is the only way this exercise can have any positive result. Sugar coating reality is not going to cut it.

The majority of us have the habit to think that we do our best on everything, then I ask you. Do we? Really? To say we never did anything to deserve this! - Seriously? That we have been treated unfairly? - Truly? That we are always nice to everybody else? - Honestly? That we don't understand why this happened to me? - Are we for real?

If we have the courage to face the person in the mirror and be honest and frank with the same effortless energy that we usually have to judge others we may find that the truth is a 'little tinny' different than the one we perceive.

I will share a personal experience with you - something happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I thought to myself  'I never did anything to deserve this...' this is what I have said and heard many times me and other people saying - 'I did nothing to deserve this....' then looking into the mirror, staring at my red crying tired eyes, looking for an answer inside myself.... it hit me like an eighteen wheeler on a high-speed highway coming down the mountain....

That was where I went wrong....the core of the problem was what I was using to justify myself.... 'I didn't do anything'....

Issues were boiling between me a loved one for a while, I had quiet my own instinct, I had hushed the little voice that urged me to an eye to eye discussion. I silenced myself and behaved like all was well, to avoid a confrontation I made myself believe that everything would all go away, that maybe was just a phase, that as long politeness and common courtesy existed all was fine - oh boy, I didn't see it coming and that was where things went wrong, my biggest mistake was 'to do nothing'.  

Due to my aphaty, my cowardice, my weakness to confront the little signs and situations with an honest conversation, the little problems became out of control and created a parallel life in itself and then it all came to an unexpected and uncontrollable point that all exploded.

There is a saying that I used to hear when little that comes to mind: "The worst blind is the one who refuses to see". I refused to open my eyes to see what was happening. Because it was comfortable, because I was afraid of the consequences, because I was afraid of the truth, I was afraid of loosing - now here I was, getting the truth direct from myself and that was not an easy thing to hear.

When our own shoes hurts it feels differently, the discomfort is bigger, the pain is more profound than when someone else's shoes hurt. We might just ask why don't they change the shoes??? Then again why don't we change ours when it hurts? Just because the response is usually not that simple.

It does amazes me how easy it is to look at others and say what their problems are, where they have made a mistake, how they didn't fight for themselves, etc...and then, when it comes to the person looking back in the mirror, we are so condescending, so flexible with the facts. Funny to learn how reality works in different measures. We are so ready to justify, usually blaming others for our own mistakes or just exonerating ourselves of anything and becoming martyrs.

We must learn how bad pain can be to really exercise true compassion towards others. We must realize that nobody can always be nice (unless they are afraid of showing who they really are and be rejected), that we are not always fair, that we do not always do our best, that even thought we don't want to listen we do, most of the times know and understand why things are happening to us.

Growing is a painful process, but it is also a rewarding one. Being today, better than we were yesterday and striving to be better yet tomorrow is the right and not always glorious path to a fulfilling life. Part of this growing process is not just forgiving others but most importantly... forgiving ourselves.

Being patient, loving, gentle and caring to ourselves while walking the road that will bring us to better understand our own flaws and weakness it will, in time, make us stronger and wiser to be more understanding, loving, caring and forgiving towards others. It is a daily exercise and many times we do make the same mistakes over and over until one day we finally get it, and then we practice to remove that habit from our list of habits. One habit at a time.

Once you finally figure who this person looking back at you is, with all its weaknesses and strenghts, go back once in a while and ask other questions 'What do you want from your life?' 'Are you happy where you are?' 'What can you do to improve and make a better version of yourself?' and so on.

The world can go on and there is very little we can do to change others. There is only one person you can change in the universe and that person is yourself. You can change you mind set, you can eliminate destructive habits, change behavior, re-program and make a 2.0 version of your old self with many enhanced optimizations and became much better than the person you were before. 

We don't, and will never have all the answers. If we can only figure the answer we need now, at this exact moment while looking to our own eyes in the mirror that alone is a huge step forward. We don't get it right all the time. It is humanly impossible. We fall here and there, we just need to be humble enough to stand up again, recognize our weaknesses, ask for, and give forgiveness. Learn how to get one thing right at a time. That alone is how we end up achieving Victory.

N. Cardoso 08/2010