This summer as we’ve been sheltering at home we attracted a male and female duck couple who started coming around to our deck. And of course we fed them. Not bread though, because we learned bread fails in nutritional value. Instead we created a mixture of dry oatmeal, tiny bits of organic rice cakes, and the ground peanut and sunflower mix that we fill the feeder for the doves, sparrows, bluejays and other birds who visit our trees.
Let me tell you. Word has gotten out about our food supply! The other ducks who hang out in our waterway have begun to stop by. The Canadian Geese who cruise by began to notice the ducks dining at our deck and now they are stopping by. Tonight they brought their young children.
It’s been fun observing the behavior of these birds and recognizing how similar they are to humans. The male will tend to make sure his female partner has had enough to eat before he goes at the food. There is a territorial nature where the birds nip at each other to fight for the ability of their loved ones to eat. They are social creatures who respond to the words of us humans who they are beginning to trust.
How Quickly Habits Can Form
What has fascinated me the most is how quickly and seemingly natural all of their initial visits have turned into habitual behavior. We see the birds once and then they return the next day and following days. They have discovered a ritual that feels good to them that they immediately make a new habit.
I relate this to new habits and beliefs that I have recently created in my own life. The most significant is how I can choose the thoughts and energy that I invite into my life.
I’ve recently developed the habit of getting on my spin bike first thing in the morning with an inspirational book on my iPad. Just like the ducks realizing how well this feeds me, it became a habit immediately formed. When I rise in the morning there’s no wavering. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 45 minutes, spinning with positive thoughts is how I think of myself of starting each day.
For me this has been a lot more then an exercise in workout discipline. It’s been a discovery of recognizing how good it feels to feed my soul and how easy it can be to make that a habit once I tell myself this is what I do.
The book that has been my morning spin companion this past week has been Change Your Thinking Change Your Life by Brian Tracy. One of my biggest takeaways is how important your choices are in how you spend your time as it relates to the goal of creating the life you want.
Every day is a new slate. Can you think of one new habit you’d like to make to take a step towards creating the life you want?
I spent this past weekend celebrating my fiancé’s belated birthday in San Francisco. Living within 10 miles of the city it’s not unusual for us to spend a night in town. Yet what was lusciously different for us this time was that we chose a completely different neighborhood in which to hang out. This time we stayed in Japantown.
I’m a native San Franciscan and have lived a majority of my life in the Bay Area, yet I’m embarrassed to say that I have never stepped foot in Japantown until this weekend. It reminded me of how getting out of my ruts always leads me to look at life with a fresh pair of eyes.
This weekend I realized how important it is to focus on what I have been able to create in my life instead of where I am lagging behind in where I want to be. It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that my business isn’t doing this or that while totally losing sight of how blessed I am to have a business that enables me to spend every day working with my fiance and very best friend. My instincts tell me this will be far more important as I reflect back on my life at its end than my client list and annual revenues.
Thoughts Taking Form
Be careful what you ask for. I went to Maui for the first time in the summer of 2002 for a retreat with best-selling inspirational author Alan Cohen. One of the memorable exercises for me was describing to a partner what an ideal day would look like. I found myself sharing something that I’d never given deep thought to yet it felt right at the time. I shared that I’d love to have a business that my significant other was a part of. I was single at the time working in a corporate job and partnership had eluded me for several years. So this idea seemed like a pipe-dream that I never expected would come to fruition.
I met Dean five years later and when his business came to a fork I seized the opportunity to ask him to join me in mine.
This weekend I was reminded of how powerful it is to be aware of desires that you have that may not be a part of your daily consciousness. You have to be in touch with what you want before you can reach out to claim what you want when the opportunities present themselves.
I didn’t expect the 4-mile hill run I took the other day to be anything more than a standard workout. But as I got about 10 minutes into the run and started to climb with the hilly grade, I receive another life lesson reminder. I became aware of how much my beliefs and habits play a role in what I am able to accomplish. As I tuned into what was going on in my mind, I was able to get beyond what I had let become obstacles and achieve a higher performance.
Here are the obstacles I got in touch with and lessons learned:
Obstacle: I realized that I had established certain points in this routine run where I told myself that the grade was too steep and I allowed my pace to transition from run to walk.
Lesson: I had come to let the points in the road dictate my pace without even considering what may be possible. Over the course of time, I had developed the habit to stop at certain points without pushing myself. I let myself believe it was too hard without even trying.
Obstacle:When I became aware of how I was holding myself back, I made an effort to get in tune with what thoughts were attached. I realized that I had a slight fear about driving my heart and breathing rate.
Lesson: I made the assumption that if I was huffing and puffing deeply at the lower part of the hill, that it would be too much for my lungs to handle as I made my way towards the top. It wasn’t until I pushed myself that I was able to discover that I could manage my breathing as I focused on it. The assumption that I had let hold me back had turned out to be totally false.
The fresh New Year is just around the corner. Maybe you, like me, are thinking about goals. As you take a look at what you’d like to create in your life, what obstacles might be holding you back? Might you discover like I did some thoughts that are pure false?
Last January I discovered Dr. Joe Dispenza‘s theory about how to consciously create your day, a result of my viewing the film, What the Bleep. It was one of those pieces of wisdom that stayed with me, yet I have to admit that I haven’t been able to grasp exactly how to put it to use in a practical way. This morning I think I got it.
How to consciously create your day:
Start by getting a clear vision of what you want to experience or accomplish for the day
Identify the steps necessary to achieve that vision
Follow through on those steps
Throughout the day bring your consciousness back to your vision, acknowledging that you are in the process of creating it
Recognize that your consciousness and external actions are coming together to create your vision
My current task of coming up with a logo for my new personal development firm, inner architect has brought me to probe a number of questions that I don’t often think about. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spends more time thinking about what I am going to wear than reflecting on these questions that address life at the very core. I wanted to toss them out to give you something to chew on:
How do you want to be remembered?
What ideals do you represent?
What image would you pick to represent who you are?
Do your choices and actions align with that image?
I delivered the pdf file for my upcoming book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live, to the printer this past Thursday. On Friday afternoon something incredible hit me. I am in the process of bringing life to my dream! Holy cow. Why did it take me so long to see clearly what is right in front of me? What was I thinking to expect that one single event would bring my dream to life? It really is all about baby steps.
Three years ago this month, I walked away from a successful 20-year career in the corporate world to follow a dream. It hasn’t been an easy journey, that’s for sure, and I’ve got a ways to go. But I can see now that I am on my way.
Your way to your dream can be found in these steps:
Recognize that you have the choice to create a different life.
Believe that it is possible to successfully build your dream.
Define the obstacles that are holding you back.
Replace your obstacles with ideas that support you.
Give credibility to the desires of your heart and learn to trust it.
Outline your training and development needs.
Crystallize your vision.
Identify your major goals.
Define the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
Stay committed to doing the necessary work.
Support your external work with thoughts that help to build it.
See yourself now in the beginning stages of your new life.