Are You Following the Winds of Fortune?

MoneyWindMillLast Sunday I stood on a bluff in Santa Monica overlooking the ocean.  A dozen sailboats spread across the horizon, enjoying a beautiful Southern California day.

Although it’s been years since I sailed, it’s something you don’t forget.  Each sailing trip is unique.  One time I floated along, almost dozing, as the boat lapped through the water.  Another trip, I negotiated 20 foot waves for hours to keep the boat upright.  Even when you check the weather in advance there are no guarantees for smooth sailing.

Life is like that too.  Unpredictable.   Buffeted by the changing winds of circumstance, we are all captains of our own ship.  I offer a few things I have learned from sailing as ways to cross your own outrageous sea.

You set the course, no matter which way the wind blows.  Sailing is an art – feeling the pulse of the wind, setting the sails to capture the gusts and move the boat forward.  It is your determination and direction that takes you forward.  The very force of the wind against you drives you to your goal.  Navigating  your business plan may be no less challenging.  Successful people feel the pull of their heart and the whispers of intuition.

You set your own course.

It’s rare that you move in a straight line.  Be willing to change course frequently.  Life is just like that – port and then starboard, and back again.   Keep a taut sail, but be willing to change direction.  Be aware of the horizon and your goals at all times.  Otherwise the changing winds and tides can confuse you.

Expect change and adjust.

Be careful of the lull.  As you tack from one side to another there is a momentary place where the sails flap, noisy and seemingly out of control.  It can be a frightening moment of indecision and doubt.  In that moment you decide the next turn.  It may be the moment you decide whether to leave a marriage, or start a new business, or move to a new community. There is no right answer.

The only danger is stopping in the middle.  You must move forward and fill your sails.  The lull of self-doubt is natural.  Welcome it as a sign that you are changing.  Welcome it as the progress that it truly demonstrates.  And move on.

Self-doubt happens when you are changing, keep moving.

If you persist you’ll get there.  The timing isn’t up to you.  Winds and waves have their own rhythm.  You can steer and set the sails.  Then be patient and enjoy the ride.   Keep your eye on the compass and move toward your goal.

You will reach your goals, at exactly the right time for you.

When the wind is pushing you forward, enjoy.  Then, to sail beyond your wildest imagination – make the extra effort to put up your spinnaker.

When you have been grinding hard to move upwind, it is natural to take it easy and relax when the wind is behind you.  It takes a little extra effort to pull out the spinnaker.  Yet it you have ever seen a boat being pulled along by the half balloon at its bow, you can understand the sheer exuberance of a winner.  Take the extra step.

Celebrate at the top of your game, rejoice and dance through the waves, spinnaker flying.

Step back from the daily grind and feel the wind in your face.  Look up and keep your goals in sight.  You are the captain of your ship.  Glad to come aboard and share the journey!

Sailor’s Truth – A Secret to Simple Success in Business and Life

seaRecently, I was thinking about the time I spent sailing. Many images came to mind – the times I was challenged almost to breaking against 20-foot waves, and times the gentle rocking combined with a glowing sunset were more joy than my heart could hold. But are we all adrift at sea?

How do we find our true path in life while buffeted by circumstance, tossed by emotions like anger, joy, frustration, ecstasy? As I opened my imagination, I realized that there is much to be learned through the process of sailing. It requires a bit of adventure. You have to leave the safe confines of the shore, the predictability of the earth beneath your feet. Even in California, it doesn’t move often! The sea is moody, changing from placid to rolling to violent at will.

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How to Help a Friend Heal

healpower1When it comes to healing, science and spiritual belief agree.  What you believe and how you view your place in this world impact your health in both positive and negative ways.   You have a big role in healing yourself and in supporting your friends or family with serious illness.  Here are some ideas to shift you out of “victim mode” so you can participate fully in the healing process.

Succumbing to victim mode robs you of personal value in two ways:

  1. You may not recognize the underlying lesson, or you may overlook the possibility that this event serves a greater purpose in your life.
  2. You give up your immense personal power to heal yourself. You rely upon pills, surgeries and the opinions of doctors.

A MORE POWERFUL WAY TO RESPOND is to connect with your inner healing power. This power comes from the personal belief that you are healing even now. Rather than being a victim of circumstance, you accept the role of co-creator. You recognize that your beliefs, feelings and responses have a profound impact upon your health.

Every healing is individual, but there are common elements:

  • The patient has a profound belief that they are already healed. This goes beyond words. It is a feeling, visualization, full body awareness that everything is already perfect.
  • Gratitude is central to their thoughts. Simple appreciation for beauty, people, nature and all of life expands their thoughts far beyond themselves.
  • They experience connection to a higher power that works within them. Many call it prayer. Yet they never think of prayer as a series of words or incantations. Their prayer is an unspoken feeling of unity with higher power, inner wisdom and God. It can feel like a good vibration.
  • Laughter and fun help create the positive energy.

HEALING HAPPENS INSIDE FIRST. Experienced doctors are the first to agree that healing begins with positive expectation of success. While medicine may assist healing, it is the body that heals itself. Maintaining a positive energy can be the most important aspect to health.

WHEN YOU ARE CLOSE TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS HEALING it is important that you participate in creating a healing environment. Your thoughts, attitudes, words and feelings have an impact. Envision your friend as already healed. Imagine the energy and light of love and healing surrounding him. Feel the vibration of healing move through you and into her. The more you use your imagination to activate all of your senses, the more powerful this can be. A nice side effect is that it can create healing within you at the same time.

You might consider:

  • Sharing especially tasty meals (eliminate sugar, sodas, fatty foods and harmful substances) Have fun finding the biggest strawberry or taking time to marinate a special filet.
  • Go outside and spend time in nature. No matter where you live, you can share beauty and lessons from nature. Breathe deeply and appreciate the life force flowing through you.
  • Laugh lots. Think about fun times you have spent together. Watch funny movies. Notice how ridiculous it is when people are serious about everything.
  • Avoid the sympathy cards and any focus on the problem. Instead be part of the solution, which is life giving.

BE WILLING TO LISTEN to whatever your friend is feeling in the moment. If times of anger or sadness come up, allow them to express themselves and encourage them to fully move the energy through them. Suppressed emotion is inauthentic. Let them know they don’t need to put on a happy face because you can’t stand the truth. Be real. If your friend is angry, you might suggest that you both holler and howl like wolves. Be angry with them until it is so ridiculous that you can laugh about it.

A general but basic truth is that you can help your friend keep their energy moving. Keep doing new things, living fully and supporting the vision of their full health and vitality.

YOU DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Those who have friends and community heal much faster than those who isolate themselves. Call, visit, and be there for those you care about. Your attitude and support is vital. Keep up the good vibration!

Find the Gold in Gab – Business Communications that Count

Friendly ConsultationPeople do business with people they like.  Yet business is more than a popularity contest.  It is an opportunity to create human connection that generates creativity and growth.  Here are some simple basics!

1. Listen to other people. The most successful people let others talk more than they do.

– Use questions to expand the conversation beyond small talk.

– Ask probing questions to elicit a person’s dreams and passions.

– Uncover ways that you can contribute to others and take action immediately.

2. Compliment others often. Everyone likes to know they’re doing a good job. Be sure to be specific when offering words of encouragement.

– People like to be acknowledged in different ways. Pay attention to each person’s personality style and preferences

o Fast-paced and directed individuals like to be complimented for “taking control” and “achieving results”

o Chatty and personable people enjoy compliments about the “fun and enthusiasm” which they contribute.

o Individuals who look for group consensus and include everyone like to be told that they “create stability” and “help keep everyone on track”

o People that often check details and rules will beam when you tell them that they “maintain high quality standards” and that you appreciate their “attention to detail”.

3. Make a personal connection. Try to stray from using e-mail as a primary form of communication. It will give you a chance to stretch your legs and make a personal impact.

– Your talents, enthusiasm and passion are best communicated in person. Words are only 7% of communication. Communicate facts on paper and in email. To influence and persuade others, meet them in person.

– Personal connections provide feedback for your own growth. Notice when others take your leadership and when they resist. Observe your comfort level.

– Ask others for direct feedback when appropriate so that you can improve your communication!

Communication is more art than skill. To be great at it you have to pay attention and practice. The good news is that every conversation is a source of feedback. We are all human. Forgiving mistakes and showing gratitude and appreciation flow smoothly.

When Is That New Business Idea a Good One?

strangeidea

If you are a creative entrepreneur, you probably uncover new ideas on a regular basis.  i keep a notebook of good ideas which pop into my head.  My challenge is to sort the inspiration from the clutter.  My greatest marketing and product ideas often come in a flash.  My ezine is receiving raves and is becoming a book.  On the other hand, some pesky thoughts launch me into a mindless web-surfing episode.   Can you relate?  (I hope I’m not the only one bothered by distraction!)

So how do you decide what is valuable?  Ask yourself a few simple questions.

Does this idea move my business forward now? Does your newest brainstorm simplify what you are already doing?  Does it fit into the current model?  Will it leverage your current efforts?  Or will it slow you down?  Sometimes you have a great idea but it is not the right time for it.  I recommend getting an “Idea Book”  and jotting down every brainstorm.  Once you write it down, you know that it will be available for you later, so you can easily return to what is important now.   The side benefit is that you have a list of great ideas to tap on those days when you are feeling dull an uncreative.

What bucket does this fall in? I ask myself this question often.  A bucket is a category.  I have a leads bucket, a niche bucket, an online marketing bucket and a product bucket.  I also have a bucket for productivity ideas, although my productivity ideas are usually the first to be put into action.   By grouping ideas, it is easier to sort them by relevance.

What does my team think? Once I categorize my ideas, I take time to review them with my team. Every business needs a team.  If you are a solo-preneur then find a coach or mastermind to keep you from drowning yourself in your own creativity or failing to see the forest for the trees.  It is a good practice to gather ideas, group them, allow them to age and review them with others.

Want to be consistently brilliant?  Here is the simple formula.

  1. Brand your company and products! Branding is a process of creating clarity for your business.  It sends a clear message about your value. You exist to serve.  When you provide more service that falls within your core brand, you make it easy for people to accept.
  2. Know your target market and USP.
  3. Plan your work and work your plan.
  4. Delegate everything except your special brilliance.

Finally, enjoy life and keep it simple!