Words Along the Way – #1

Quote

“Knowing that there is a creative principle that reacts to that which I entertain in thought, I now establish in my thinking an attitude of expectancy of good things. I let go of the limitations of the past and live with an enthusiastic expectancy of the good that will encounter today.” ~ excerpt from Creative Ideas by Ernest Holmes

Use this as a daily affirmation. Try it for a week and see how it changes your outlook on things. When negative and limiting thoughts come, remind yourself of this excerpt and realize that those thoughts are not worth entertaining. If your thoughts have a creative force behind them, then do you really want to create more negativity?

Take that first step no matter the challenge

Looking up the InclineMy wife and I climbed the Incline last week for the first time this spring. For those of you not aware, the Incline is located in Manitou Springs just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. The climb is only a mile long, but it gains 2000 feet of vertical to about 8,600 feet above sea level. Most of the climb is at a 40% grade and the steepest is at a 68% grade. The steps up the incline are old railroad ties left over from when it was the roadbed for the former Mount Manitou Scenic Incline Railway.

Suffice to say it is a strenuous, lung burning and heart pounding hike. In addition to being a steep climb, it sits on the mountain side facing east, so the sun pummels the steps for the majority of the day. As if the climb is not severe enough, the sun bakes whatever endurance you have left right out of you. I have seen people loosing their lunch on the side of the trail and several people have suffered heart attacks on this climb. Recently there was even a person coming back down that fell and tumbled down the railroad ties and had to be airlifted out.

Still people come from all around in droves to conquer this climb. My wife and I have done it many times and even my kids have climbed it at the ages of 10 and 6.

This last time as I stood at the bottom and looked up I was reminded of a quote.

Source: blog.madsweat.com via Madsweat on Pinterest

Standing at the bottom, you cannot even see the top. All you can see if a false summit that is about 3/4 of the way up. You take those first steps in faith not knowing if the top is reachable or if you have the stamina to make it.

I was stricken by how many people were out there in all shapes, sizes and ages attempting this climb. As I looked around at the people climbing, I wondered how many of these people hold back in other aspects of their lives because they cannot see the end of those paths. Yet here they are out here climbing this hill; something that is probably more demanding than most challenges that they back away from in their lives.

As I contemplated this, I reasoned that there are four types of people in this world.

  1. Those that hold back in life due to physical challenges that they are to fearful to take on. They have a fear of heights, small spaces, or other phobia that stops them from certain activities. Or they fear the humiliation or exertion of taking on a physically demanding challenge.
  2. Those that hold back in life due to mental challenges that generate too much fear, anxiety and doubt. These challenges might test their intellectual muscle or belief system or may be a fear inducing challenge like public speaking or social interaction.
  3. Those that are paralyzed by both.
  4. Those are able to rise above any challenge be it mental or physical. They don’t always win, but they at least go for it despite the doubt or fear.

Looking down the Incline

These categories are not exclusive. You could fall into one category one day and fall into a different one another day. For me personally I have often let fear and anxiety hold me back from the mental challenges. I.E. speaking in front of an audience or speaking my opinion on a tough subject. But other days I am able to take these on with ease. For me the physically challenges are not so hard. I have completed a marathon, numerous triathlons, adventure races, a 24 hour relay race across the mountains, long road and mountain bike rides. I have been skydiving, white water rafting, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, para-sailing, kayaking, and have taken on the most extreme amusement park rides that I have come across. Some of these are nerve racking and difficult to push through, but for some reason they are easier to me than the mental challenges that I come across. So I tend to fluctuate between the 2nd and 4th categories.

The first step to overcoming anything is always to identify it. So If you identify which group you fall into and recognize situations where you are holding back because of this, you can move to the next step…identifying why you are holding back in theses situations.

Which category do you fall into?

Don’t ease into it; push through with all you’ve got

Source: weheartit.com via Sherry on Pinterest

During my after work run the other day I was confronted with three hills towards the end of the run. Each hill was bigger than the previous and the last one was long and steep.

I started into the first hill at a sluggish pace. As I slowly plodded my way up the hill, it felt as if the hill was pushing back against me as I attempted to climb it. I felt as if I was going to stop and catch my breath because I was running out of steam.

Instead of stopping, I felt something inside of me trigger and I turned it on pushing into a aggressive pace as I finished the climb and crested the first hill. That was the inspiration that I needed because I powered my way up the other two hills with purpose and ease.

Catching my breath as I ran out the flat section after the last hill my mind replayed what had just happened. I wondered what was the difference between the first part of the initial hill where I felt like I couldn’t go on and the feeling of easily powering my way up the other larger hills.

The difference was my mindset. When I felt tired, I was running without purpose. I was running a flat section with my mind somewhere else and when I hit the first hill, it felt as if the run had gotten harder than I was ready for.

Once I changed my mindset to the purpose of climbing those hills and not giving up, I found a renewed vigor and motivation.

This example can be equated to any challenge. If you ease into a challenge without a sense of purpose it will slowly wear you down, even if it is not that hard. But if you jump into it with purpose and conviction, you will amaze yourself at how easily you can take on even the toughest challenge.

So the next time that you are faced with a challenge, don’t ease into it aimlessly. Push though it with purpose and conviction and give it all you have.

Don’t let the bird poop ruin your view

Source: wallcoo.com via Lynn on Pinterest

It was a beautiful day today. The sky was blue, the air was warm and the sun was bright. Driving home from after yet another crappy workday, I was stopped at a traffic light. As I waited for the light to change and was tired of watching all the cars rushing around in a hurried attempt to get somewhere they desperately needed to be, I glanced up at the bright blue sky through my sunroof. I starred at the fluffy and wispy white clouds that looked like cotton strung across a blue background.

Sitting at the intersection starring at the sky seemed like an eternity and I didn’t want it to end. It was inviting and comforting. It was like the beauty of the universe smiling at me.

Just before the light turned green and my moment of euphoria was about to end I tilted my head back even further and my gaze swept towards the sky further behind me. As I did I noticed something on the glass of the sunroof towards the back.

The building where I work sits in an area that is notorious for geese. For some strange reason they hang out there all year long. While most birds fly south for the winter, these geese lazily stay in the same place throughout the seasons. They make nests in the window wells and planters. They begrudgingly lay in the middle of the roads and sidewalks. They complain to passers by. And they sit on top of cars parked in the parking lot as if they were placed there like couches in ones living room.

Of course with geese comes geese poop. I was enjoying the beautiful view of nature’s glory and there in the way was a slathering of geese poop between me and my view of the sky.

The light changed and the tragic started to desperately move again and as I drove away from the intersection I had a thought. That bird poop daringly clinging to the slick glass of my sunroof was like the negative thoughts that tend to plague me and ruin the view of my life.

“Don’t let the bird poop ruin your view on things”, I thought. I decided that the negative, defeating, and draining thoughts that tend to come into my mind would from now on be referred to as bird poop.

The beauty of the sky hadn’t changed. The bird poop has just gotten in the way of me seeing it. The beauty of life never changes either. It’s just the bird poop on my brain that gets in the way of me seeing it.

So when the negativity hits, I know that it is just bird poop in the way and once I remove it, a beautiful world is waiting behind.

My New Theme Song from Jesse Ruben

I heard this song by Jesse Ruben called “We Can” today on the Coffee House radio station on Direct TV. Love it. Listen to the lyrics carefully. It is a very moving song. I am going to adopt it as my theme song.

Basically what he is saying in the song is whatever I want to do, I can. Whatever you want to do, you can. Whatever we want to do, we can.

Unfortunately this is the best quality video of the song I could find and I haven’t seen it for purchase anywhere yet.

If you see a better video or come across somewhere that has the actual song available, please let me know.