30 Quotes For a 30th Birthday!

 

It is generally understood among bloggers that an all-quote posting is a “cheat” as it is the easiest of writings. Now that I’ve made that acknowledgement, here is MY all-quote posting!

 

Last month my niece Mary celebrated her 30th birthday. I was flummoxed as to how to celebrate her milestone. Back in June my goddaughter Clare, who is friends with Mary, celebrated her 30th birthday and for her celebration I offered a listing of the “30 Things I Know For Certain.” In the span of two months, I haven’t learned an additional 30 new things for certain and so I’ve turned to quotes.

 

Mary is a collector of quotes – one of the things we have in common. I decided to gift her with the 30 quotes that I am guided by as I navigate life. So, yes, I know these 30 quotes to be true for certain, though you may not know that based on some of the decisions I’ve made and continue to make!

 

But here’s what I do know – embrace these flashes of truth and the next 30 years will be glorious – which is my wish for Mary and for all of you who read this posting!

 

  1. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain

And finding that “why” may take more than 30 years!

 

  1. Don’t ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.Howard Thurman

There is a world of difference between “living” and “coming alive.”

 

  1. 20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Mark Twain

That’s not to say you won’t have some disappointment by what you did – but – Twain is right on this.

 

  1. You must not ever give anyone else the responsibility for your life.       Mary Oliver

Including your parents.

 

  1. And you ask, “What if I fall?” Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?       Erin Hanson

Now there’s a scary thought – what if you succeed?

 

  1. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.          Steve Jobs

Imagine all that would not have been if he had!

 

  1. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.           George Bernard Shaw

There’s a difference between being a professional and an artist.

 

  1. If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.    Maya Angelou

You want to be amazing, yes?

 

  1. When we die and we go to Heaven, and we meet our Maker, our Maker is not going to say to us, “Why didn’t you become a messiah? Why didn’t you discover the cure for such and such?”  The only thing we’re going to be asked is, “Why didn’t you become YOU?”                                           Eli Wiesel

Becoming YOU – that’s what it means to become amazing.

 

  1. Whenever someone comes to me for help, I listen very hard and ask myself, “What does this person really want— and what will they do to keep from getting it?”                   William Perry

Ponder that.

 

  1. He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love In The Time Of Cholera

A life-giving life, indeed!

 

  1. Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.              Brian Tracy

We live in a time when talk is cheap – but words have magic.

 

  1. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.                   Philo of Alexandria

I’ve yet to meet the person who isn’t fighting some battle.

 

  1. If you want to impress people, talk about your successes. But if you want to impact people, talk about your failures.                                                   John Maxwell

Real vulnerability comes from strength and creates connection.

 

  1. Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality; we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way.    Alice Waters

Or as they say in Yap, “Hosachigachig!”

 

  1. A student asked Soen Nakagawa during a meditation retreat, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Soen replied, “Encourage others.”                       from Essential Zen

Perhaps the easiest of human acts.

 

  1. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.Maya Angelou

Why do so many forget this?

 

  1. Every single job I got in Hollywood was based on knowing someone. Here’s a piece of advice: Don’t try finding people who can help you. Find people you can help.             Lewis Teague – Cujo / director

From a horror film comes hearty truth.

 

  1. All real living is meeting.                     Martin Buber

And so, there is no need to be afraid.

 

  1. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be something great for someone.        Arielle Jackson

Sigh a sigh of relief!

 

 

  1. The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.Henry Miller

Which is why Anais Nin loved him.

 

  1. I can’t go back to yesterday — because I was a different person then.           Lewis Carroll

Happy present! Happy future!

 

  1. Am I a success or a failure?” is not a very useful question. It is better to ask “what am I learning?”  Bob Sutton

A great question from the man who wrote the book, “The No Asshole Rule.”

 

  1. Comparison is the thief of joy. Theodore Roosevelt

Easy to rob yourself blind.

 

  1. Just because you’ve gotten accustomed to behaving in a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right way. Maybe it’s time to get unstuck.                         Twyla Tharp

Wisdom from a goddess.

  1. The business of life is the acquisition of memories. Carson / Downton Abbey

And cherishing them.

 

  1. There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.             Einstein

He really was a genius.

 

  1. There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.                Alexander Woollcott

Although many days I might want to argue with this truth.

 

  1. The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love. Henry Miller

And in the end – as in the beginning – love is all there is. . .

 

  1. Why not? Why not you? Why not now? Aslan / “The Chronicles of Narnia

What’s your answer?

 

 

I thank you God for this most amazing day,

for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,

and for the blue dream of sky

and for everything which is natural,

which is infinite,

which is yes.

e.e. cummings

Too Afraid to Want What You Want!

 

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.

George Bernard Shaw

 

Todd hired me because he wanted guidance as he searched for a new job. The financial situation at his company is such that he doesn’t see room for either advancement or a raise and he doesn’t want to be stuck on a Titanic.

 

He works in the entertainment industry as a technical manager at an editing production house. He’s been at it long enough that his knowledge and expertise put him in a valued position.

 

For several months he’s been going through a series of interviews at a major Studio.  After each one, he’s been encouraged that “the job” is going to be offered to him.

 

However, in an odd twist, his fifth interview was with an executive who admitted he didn’t know what job he was interviewing Todd for!

 

At the end, the guy assured Todd that he seemed like a perfect fit – even though he couldn’t say for certain what the job was.

 

He told Todd that someone from HR would contact him shortly.

 

Todd realized that with each successive interview, he was becoming more confused as to the job he was a “shoe-in” for.

 

Ten days went by without a word. So, he called his contact and explained that he’s going on vacation and would like to know what’s up before heading out of town.

 

His contact asked him to call when he got back because for sure he’ll have good news then.

 

Todd told me that he’s not going to call; he’s fed up and if they want him, they’ll call.

 

But there’s more.

 

Todd admitted he doesn’t want them to offer him a job – whatever the job might be!

 

Intellectually, he wants “the” job, but emotionally he doesn’t.

 

He likes his job, he likes the power and influence he has and he’s afraid to lose it, but because the company’s in a financial mess he feels he should move on.

 

If the Studio says, “No,” then he’ll be happy because he can reassure himself that he tried.

 

If the Studio says, “Yes,” then he’ll go to his boss and hope he’ll counter-offer, though he doubts he can.

 

Todd admits he doesn’t want to take power in the situation because then he’ll have to live with the consequences of his decisions.

 

He’s hoping that what “should” happen, will happen.

 

Crazy?  Sure.

 

But most of us do some version of what Todd is doing.

 

Change is scary.

 

Taking responsibility for our decisions is scary.

 

Leaving it up to the “gods” to decide our fate seems less risky.

Playing mind games is more fun than mapping out a strategy.

 

But, if we don’t create our own life, then who will?

 

Do you want to break through the fear that is preventing you from being influential and heard? 

To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115

Are You Superstitious?

 

The man who says he can and the man who says he can’t are both correct.

Confucious

 

 

When Chandler Massey won his first daytime Emmy for his role as Will on Days Of Our Lives he was the odds-on favorite in his category, though he didn’t take the predictions seriously.

 

In fact, he didn’t even bother to write an acceptance speech.

 

He revealed to reporters that he hadn’t prepared a speech because he didn’t want to “jinx it.”

 

He later regretted not writing one because he forgot to thank various special people, including his grandparents.

 

I was amused reading this (yes, of course, I was in a doctor’s waiting room!)  because how often have I refrained from doing or saying something because I didn’t want to “jinx” it – whatever “it” is!

 

So many of us engage in this primitive practice of superstition.

 

My father used to say, “Don’t get your hopes up because you don’t want to be disappointed.”

 

I followed his advice for years – and never got disappointed – or super excited.

 

I trained myself to focus on the negative and to downplay my talents, wishes and hopes.  I learned that hoping can only lead to disappointment.

 

I’ve met many people who are reluctant to prepare for the best because that could somehow increase the chances of “the best” not happening.

 

If you think about it, isn’t it amazing just how much power we think we have over the universe? Instead of, “build it and they will come” their mantra is more like, “don’t dream it and it will come about.”

 

Had Massey written an acceptance speech, he still would have won since the mere act of writing would not have had the power to make all those winning votes magically disappear!

 

He engaged in superstitious thinking and we all do it in some form or another:

 

Let’s not talk about bad jury duty experiences because then we’ll receive a summons the next day (hmm. . .I hope I didn’t just jinx myself!).

 

Let’s not talk about it raining on my special occasion because then it will rain.

 

Let’s not prepare since that would entail too much power on our part; but let’s acknowledge we do have power to shape things by simply speaking of them!

What’s wrong with being disappointed?

 

Okay, that’s such an obnoxious question because we all know being disappointed sucks.

 

However, had Massey written his speech and lost, he would have been disappointed AND he would have had that thank you written so he could have sent it to those he loved.

 

After all, he wasn’t thanking them for winning, he was thanking them for loving him and he didn’t need to wait to stand on stage with a trophy to do that!

 

What kind of superstitious thinking are you doing?

 

Is it stopping you from doing something you would enjoy?

 

Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard? 

To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115

What To Do With Habits that Refuse to Die

 

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

Shortly after his 90th birthday, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Six weeks later, he passed away.

 

Knowing that our father was dying, I resolved that I wouldn’t argue with my brother about anything relating to our dad’s care and burial. We had argued over so many details when our mother died that I was determined we would do it “right” this time. I felt confident – after all, I coach people in how to handle difficult, stress-filled situations.

 

I was going to coach Peter and myself through this ordeal. . .

Ah, but I’d forgotten that old habits die hard!

 

Within an hour of my landing back in New Jersey, Peter and I were pressing each other’s buttons with ease. That is, until we looked each other in the eye and said “no – not this time.”

 

More than anything, we wanted to work together so as to be together for our father in his last days.

 

When Peter and I were growing up, our father always told us to “keep your eye on the ball, kid.”

 

Given that Peter and I never played sports, his advice made little sense! Eventually, we figured out he was quoting some famous sports person (still don’t know who) and what he was trying to say was that if you stay focused on what you want, you can have it.

 

Sitting by our father’s side in the nursing home, Peter and I kept our “eye” on the ball, supporting our father and each other in all ways caring.

 

While old habits may never die, this time they did not take hold as in times past. What happened?  Peter & I were able to laugh at our own selves and at each other.

 

“You know you’re being controlling, don’t you?” 

“No, I’m not!” 

“Then, what do you call it?” 

Pause.

“Controlling!”

 

We didn’t allow old rituals to stranglehold us. We quickly (okay, “somewhat” quickly) caught ourselves when we fell into old patterns and moved on to a more honest, more engaging place.

Old habits may die hard or they may never die.

 

The real issue, though, is this – we can change our relationship with old habits of talking and relating.

 

Awareness + desire = change

Well, actually, awareness + desire + skill + practice = change.

 

Here are some questions to help you become more aware of the rituals that trip you up at work and in your personal life:

 

  • What is a recurring situation in which you respond in familiar, knee-jerk fashion?
  • What triggers are being pressed?
  • If the old ways of responding are not working for you, why do you persist in using those ways?
  • What would you like to see happen differently?
  • What would you have to do for that “different” to happen?
  • What’s holding you back from doing that “different”?
  • What can you start doing to make it easier for you to do what you want to do?

 

Remember

Old habits have only as much power and control as we give them!

 

Do you want to learn how to confidently break the old habits that keep tripping you up –

so as to develop and nurture successful professional relationships?

 

To explore how business skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence – and joy

please contact me

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115