Archive for August, 2008

Going for Gold

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

8/100th’s of a second was the difference between the US swim team freestyle relay and that of France last week at the Beijing Olympics.  Jason Lezak coming from behind, out touched Alain Bernard of France, the world record holder in the 100 meters freestyle.  How was that possible?  It seemed like the race was over for the US squad, after all, Bernard had the lead and the best time in the world!

It was amazing to watch Lezak’s drive and determination at work.  He never gave up, went all out and won the race by 8/100th’s of a second.  He said afterward that, for a split second after the turn he thought: “There is no way I can get him!”  However, immediately after this thought, his mind went back to the possibility of winning, to the other possible result that was just as likely to happen – “There is no way I can lose this!”.  He chose the second thought and gave it all he had.  The result is what we all know now – the US squad won gold.

There are many lessons here for us to apply to our personal life.  The one I want to focus on is the CHOOSING POSSIBILITIES instead of settling for defeat.  If we choose to believe that it’s over, then that’s what we get. 

What we choose to focus our attention on grows stronger in our lives.  We simply need to choose to change our thinking pattern.  At first we need to be aware of what false beliefs and false ideas we are cultivating.  The second step is to create new beliefs and new habits, which will reinforce them.  It’s important to become aware of the old beliefs so that we can create new ones and change the outcome of our lives.  

It all starts with being very clear about what our passions are.  Then we will begin to believe in ourselves, to live an ideal life and to choose to see the possibilities.  More to come about passions in my next entries.  For now, let’s take sometime to contemplate what it means to follow our passions.  We have a clear example fresh in our minds:  Jason Lesak showed us what can happen when one chooses in favor of his passion!

With energy and passion,

Ana  

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Semantics – What’s in a Word?

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Consider the definition Webster’s presents for the word “But”:  Without, lacking, with the exception of, barring, only, merely, outside. 

Now, let’s consider the definition of the word “And”:  Used as a function word to indicate CONNECTION or ADDITION.

The use of these two simple words can completely (almost magically) change the meaning of our sentences, our relationships and the way we listen to others. 

When we choose to use “But”, we imediately invalidate the previous affirmation that came up in the conversation.  A classic example is when we start sentences with “yes, but…” – which only negates everything the person just told us.  When they were talking, we were planning our comeback and not active listening to what they were really saying.  

When we choose to say “yes, and…” we connect what the person is saying with our opinion making room for an open conversation where the opinions of both parties have an equal importance. 

The key here is CONNECTION.  Humans seek connection; with one another, with the Divine Essence, with other creatures (think a cute kitten, or a puppy), with nature; only to name some of the most important ones.  Making connections is our natural state of being.  In the case in point, one word naturally connects while the other separates.  There is certainly room for a few “buts” in our lives, however, the “ands” can be used more often than we think and yield extremely powerful results.  

Try this week to introduce a few more “ands” to your interactions.  The formula is simple; instead of a “but” say an “and” during the course of a conversation.  Pay attention to the way people respond to you and the direction the conversation takes.  Notice how the drama is suddenly removed from the dialogue and how your listening skills improve.  

I would love to hear your impressions!  Feel free to report them back to me!

With energy,

Ana