The fight for freedom comes in many forms. It comes from our brave soliders who serve our country here and abroad, from an author who publishes their book regardless of what people say, from the woman that will not sit at the back of the bus, from the kid that gets beat up because of his orientation, from a woman who gets persecuted because of the way she believe…from that kid in the back of the classroom who is different…from a preacher who has a dream. That’s the great thing about this country…we have the freedom to say, worship, and be equally human. Many, many people of all creeds, careers, colors, and persuasions have died to keep that freedom alive. Don’t ever forget it and don’t ever stop fighting for it.
– Michael W. Posey, 2012
Happy New Year!!! Welcome to 2012 everyone! Well this year should be interesting right? It’s a new year and if you believe the popular culture and myth surrounding the year 2012, it’s the last year we all have here on Earth! Yikes!! Wow…that came quickly. I haven’t even finished the front yard landscaping!
Actually, I’m not here to debate whether or not the world will, in fact, meet it’s demise, nor do I want to get started down that path. But the fact that it is 2012 and we are now inundated with so many prophecies, movies, songs, images, etc… about 2012 being the end, caused me to think…
…what IF this were my last year on Earth and I knew it? What if? Would I do anything differently? Would I act differently? What kinds of experiences would I seek out? Would I be open to new ideas and experiences? In other words, how would I live my last days? I could get specific here and list all of the things I would want to do, but I don’t want to bore you so suffice it to say that I would definitely LIVE! In fact, I would do those things that I’ve always wanted to do but have been putting off. I would be the person I always wanted to be. I wouldn’t be fearful of some things and/or waste time on others.
Ok…so this got me thinking further… why would I do those things that I mentioned above only if I knew this would be my last year? Why aren’t I doing those things anyway?? Why aren’t I pursuing my dreams, my passions, and being the person that I truly want to be? Why aren’t I doing it NOW? What am I waiting for?
So what does this all mean to you? It simply means that you should enjoy the moment…be IN the moment and let it take you…define you…be part of you. What you experience today you should embrace, take in as much as possible and be the person you truly want to be using what you experience. Don’t be afraid to learn new and, perhaps different view-points and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to seek out new and, perhaps heretofore, unthinkable experiences. Take what you want/need from those differing opinions and experiences and mold them into something that uniquely serves you. That is uniquely yours. It’s important in life to be both living in the moment and planning for one’s future…to do one or the other will not completely serve you. To do both will help you live a happy and prosperous life. Regardless of what others tell us, we truly don’t know when the end will be. When our own, individual end will be. Because life is a crap shoot, we must live life to the fullest…suck everything you can out of life and enjoy it…be it…consume it…contribute to it…and in the words of the famous Nike slogan – just do it!!! What are you waiting for? Live!!!
Like I’ve talked about in previous posts, in life we all have mosaics to build…build yours any way you want to using what you have learned and experienced. Who knows when the world will end but until then, you might as well live!
My best for the new year,
I’m a big music buff. I love music of all genres and as a pop-culture & communication professor, I know that music is a very personal thing. The listener hears what they want to hear…they take what they want to take from it and make it their own. Internalize it. Use it. People, in a sense, “own” the song. One person’s favorite song might be another person’s white noise but what matters is that everyone’s interpretation is unique.
The other day I was driving down the road and heard a Craig Morgan song entitled “This Ain’t Nothing” (Songwriters: Kerry Kurt Phillips and Chris DuBois). I immediately took to the song and as I listened I got goose-bumps because something deep inside me related to the words. The song is about a man who just had a tornado tear down his home. He’s asked by a reporter what he’s going to do and the old man says “This ain’t nothing” and begins to recount how he’s lost everyone that was dear to him. Father, brother, wife, etc… and how a stupid tornado wasn’t anything compared to the loss he’s suffered throughout his many years.
One way to interpret this song is to think that this old man is jaded. That he’s ready to give up and throw in the towel and that he’s cynical having lost every person that is dear to him. You could interpret this as a “who-cares-I’m-bitter-and-giving-up kind of attitude.” This would be a sad way of looking at things though wouldn’t it?
The way that I evidently internalized the song (as seemingly indicated by my goosebumps) was one of – “some things just aren’t worth getting upset about.” What I heard was the old man saying, in effect, that there are more important things in life. I heard him saying “It’s the people…the humanity…your loved ones” that are what matter. This got me thinking that perhaps in this song filled with tales of loss and woe, there is a motivational message.
The simple words tell the message…
“He said I learned at an early age,
There’s things that matter and there’s things that don’t
So if you’re waiting here for me to cry,
I hate to disappoint you boy, but I won’t”
Put another way- life is short, bad things will happen, we will lose at times, we do bad things sometimes, and people do bad things to us sometimes. But no matter what we move forward. The man in the song is old. The song wouldn’t work with a young guy telling the story because unfortunately many of us don’t realize these lessons until we are older. Experience takes time and by the time that we realize that “This ain’t nothing” we have spent way too much time worrying that “this is something.”
My challenge to you is to heed the old man’s advice in this song now and realize that most of the things we fret over in life “aren’t nothing.” Embrace those that you love and hold them dear because they are what matter and those relationships are what’s important. You don’t know when, for whatever reason, they will go away. Enjoy life and live life to the fullest and make your life and the lives around you SOMETHING!
Waa waaa waaa…yea yea I know what you’ll say – “But I hate doing that…I’ll do it later” Well the truth is that when you have something that you really don’t want to do – it’s best if you do what Nike preaches and JUST DO IT!
In every-day life there are those things that, for whatever reason, we absolutely hate to do and we will do anything not to have to do them. There are no magic bullets for making crappy things less crappy but I can tell you that if you scope out the crappy things (those things you hate doing) and you know what you are up against you can make a plan to tackle them early on. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan but you should at least target those things during the day that you hate and resolve yourself to do them first! Do not put them off!
“But if I do them at the start of the day then my day will be crappy”
Well this doesn’t have to be the case. It’s all in how you look at it. Think of it this way…if you do the crappy things first then they are done. Kaput. Over. Finished! The rest of your day can be spent doing things that you don’t hate. Perhaps the rest of the day can be spent doing things that you actually enjoy! Imagine that! See…the problem with most of us, including me, is that we tend to put those things that we hate off until the end of the day or for another time and then the time from “now until then” is not as good. We don’t enjoy it. In fact, it makes our day worse knowing that we are going to have to do something we hate later. We worry or fret or constantly think about that one thing that we hate that we know we are going to have to do.
If, instead, we “get er done” at the start of our day we are free to live a day without worry or fret and without being constantly reminded that we have to trudge through something we hate at the end. The freedom that comes from dealing with the hard stuff…the hated stuff at the start instead of the end is amazing. Try it sometime and see what happens. You’ll be surprised that you will want to tackle the crap at the start of the day rather than at the end. It’s habit forming…trust me!
Lately people have been asking me if I have my quotes written down anywhere. Well I usually post them on Twitter when I think of them but I’ve decided to post them on a new page here on the site – “Dr. Mike’s Quick Mojo” Find it in the “Pages” column to the right of the screen. Enjoy!
Today’s Quick Tip to Motivate Yourself…
(1) Write Down Your Goal
(2) Build Check Points
(3) Give Yourself A Reward At The End!
The past 200 years in this country have been filled with a deep, rich history. January 20th, 2009 will go down in the history books as one of those defining moments in time. One of those defining moments in humanity. I ask you for a moment to suspend your political views and instead think as a human being. Think for a moment as being one of a HUMAN party and not a political party.
President Obama… what is the meaning…why are people acting this way? As I watched the events unfold on Jan 20th, I was struck by the awesome humanity of the whole event. The awesome scope of what this man’s election means to humanity. I know the news media had for months leading up to this day been sappy and plum crazy over Obama…that was obvious…I know that a large portion of U.S. citizens (by some counts almost 80%) were wishing him well and had hope that he would be good for our nation. I know that a large portion of the world were hoping that he would help America to be more compassionate and not be such a bully. All of these things were obvious as you watched the reporters and read the news.
I am sure I am not alone in all of this when I kept asking myself “why?” Why is everyone reacting to Obama this way? He’s one man. He’s one human being. Like my grandma used to say “He puts his pants on like anyone else” or her more flowery way of speaking… “He takes a $#!% like everyone else don’t he?” Sans his power and status and all that stuff… he’s no more a man or a human than anyone else. So why is half the world it seems so wild and crazy over this man?
Think about it. DOH! It’s simple. While President Obama is, by my estimation a very kind, thoughtful man with a loving family who has worked his butt off to get where he is…who has stories just like every one of us…he is a symbol. He represents. I’m obviously not the only person to think this as the media is saturated with articles talking about the symbolism of this Presidency but I thought I’d just “brain dump” on what I think that symbol is and how it relates to keeping one’s mojo motivated and happy.
President Obama represents the hope that humanity needs to survive. Not that he himself is “the hope.” I think he’d be the first to admit that he is but one man…but the fact that a people…a group of humanity has come together to rally behind a man who by traditional standards, should not have been elected, represents the goodness of humans. It represents the one thing that is inherent in all of humanity…the ability to hope, to dream, and to change one’s mind. Much has been written about the fact that a nation started in slavery has elected an African-American president. I won’t belabor that point, but what I will ask of you…regardless of your views…is this question:
Doesn’t the election make you realize that ANYthing is possible in this world? Regardless of your views you have to…I would think, if you are truly human and truly are honest in your heart, realize that this one event is an example that you (or in this case the collective “we”) can change and do anything?
So why do I write this on a motivational blog? Well it’s simple. In order to keep your mojo happy and healthy, you need to have hope. You need to have – somewhere deep down inside you – the hope that things will change. That things will get better (if they are bad) or that things will get even better (if they are good). This hope is inherent in all of us…it’s just that we have to bring it out and to muster it in times of sadness and depression. The adage that my mama always told me and that I live by to this very day is that “it’s never THAT bad. Things will always get better.” It’s true…even in the depths of despair, we know that humanity can change…we’ve seen it throughout history and we just witnessed it on Jan 20th too! Seriously…if humanity can change in big ways like that…don’t you think that you can change on a much smaller scale? In much smaller ways? Sure you can. Take stock of those things you want to change…have a “sit down” with yourself and find those things about you that you don’t like or that you think need changing and then plan your life and actions accordingly. Go for it and change those things that you can…that you want…and those things that can’t immediately change…accept them as they are in the moment and move toward changing them in due time.
The key is HOPE. Hope is what gives all of humanity its ability to change. Hope is that thing, inherent in all humans that has progressed us beyond the unimaginable to the unbeliveable! Keep hope within you…keep hope within others…embrace hope…use hope…and make hope work for you. You will be happier with hope…your actions will be more pronounced with hope…and your relationships will be stronger with hope.
“Never let life interfere with living!” – Michael W. Posey, 2008
This quote is vital for keeping your motivational mojo up. The old adage – “Life happens” is one that is so true and daily life will always be frought with both good and bad. Daily life will be frought with ups and downs and obstacles that take our minds away from what is important in life. The above quote is simple, yet it states something very, very deep.
As you go through life remember to let life happen, deal with it, but ALWAYS LIVE! Always experience and get the most out of your life. Never be afraid to wonder, to wander, to question, to experience, to enjoy, to experiement, and to just…”be” If you keep this simple quote in mind, you’re life will be forever enriched!
Lately it seems as if the world (or at least the financial markets) are crashing in. There is no doubt that the financial crisis we find ourselves in is serious and that all of us are going to hurt in one way or another from the fallout. Since the majority of us cannot do anything about it in terms of adjusting the economy, we are resigned to just sitting back and watching things happen.
There are many times in life where things are just out of our control. We seem helpless to do anything about it so we just sit back and watch it happen and fret, fret, fret about it until, like my granny used to say, “we’re worked up into a tizzy.” I have always talked about how we control everything we do, how we feel, and indeed our lives. This is true in many respects, however, there are things that in reality are out of our control no matter what. But, what we do have ultimate, 100% control over is how we REACT to things. How we Deal With It – D.W.I. How we deal with things that are presented to us is vital. It’s vital because, to a large extent, the way we deal with things moves our lives in certain directions. The choices that we make in terms of moods and behaviors based on experiences at any given time effect our future! They really do!
During this financial crisis we must remind ourselves that HOW WE REACT to the crisis will, to a large extend, determine the manner in which we ride it out and how we emerge from it in the end. We can sit around watching CNBC and the stock ticker and realize how bad things are and how much money we’re all losing or we can make rational, reasonable decisions – deal with the realities of the situation and then move on to let things play out as they will. Of course you don’t want to lose one cent of money you’ve worked for and you should take steps to minimize your loss in ways that you can, but what I’m talking about here is how you react to everything as it crashes down. You can sit back and let that negative mojo work into your psyche so that you become paralyzed by worry or fret, or you can DWI and move on with your life in a positive, productive manner.
Do NOT let worry and fret paralyze you!! It’s easy to get caught up in gloom and doom. The media and everything you see and hear speaks of impending gloom and doom. It’s difficult to escape it. Remember a positive attitude cures everything. Why is this so in these crazy times? Think about it…even if the worst case scenario happened and you lost everything and had to start over…would starting over with a negative attitude help you rebuild your life? No…it wouldn’t. Negative attitudes keep us from achieving positive results. However, starting over with a positive attitude would help motivate us to excel and move to effectively better our lives. Keeping a positive attitude may be cliche, but it works – plain and simple.
Another way to keep a positive attitude in crazy financial times is to keep focused on the things that truly matter – health, loved ones, and those things that you find comfort in. Like I’ve said many times before, it’s important to keep focused on those things and persons in your life that surround you with positives. Focus on the good things in life, not the bad things. Turn the TV from the gloomy news to the Cartoon Network and have a few laughs…or watch Little House on the Prairie to be reminded of the wholesomeness inherent in people…or watch the Three Stooges…or read your favorite book…play ball with your kids…make a birdhouse to hang in the back yard…WHATEVER it is that you DO to make you happy…DO IT EVEN MORE in times of long-protracted crisis. Remember, you must first deal with the crisis situation of course but once that is dealt with to the best of your ability then it’s up to you to put the positive things in your life to work for you to drown out the negative gloom and doom that will surely overtake you when you least expect it if you are not careful and proactive.
In essence, you don’t need pills, books, or 24 hours of TV news to weather this financial crisis. You simply need YOURSELF, your WITS, and the stealthy focus to stay positive. I’ve summarized a few tips below that will keep you on track.
(1) Positive thoughts bring positive results.
(2) P.A.C.E. Positive Attitude Cures Everything
(3) D.W.I. and move on toward positive thinking.
(4) Surround yourself with positives!
(5) This too shall pass.