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Dream chasing and Life changing year


2013 has been a turning point year for my health, and 2014 will be a turning point for my Life!
I wrote about my 2013 health changes in “Goal setting, planning, action, and results!“. I think that my weight loss was only a setting for future things to come.
Getting my heath back impacted directly on my self-confidence, but 2013 was also a time for me to organize my thoughts and make some decisions.
I was usually training alone in the basement or outside, thinking about what should come next in my near future.

Honestly, I was not satisfied at all with my life as an employee consultant in computer support.
My wife and I are part of a Leadership and self-development organization and we came to a conclusion that we were going nowhere with my IT career and her being an accountant.
Let say this straight; “Our jobs are not fulfilling our need to improve our life at all.”
Our job is only a basic tool to earn money so we can pay our bills.

decision-makingDuring 2013, I thought about several scenarios. I even started building a website for my future new business in web and graphic design.
The result of long, long, long thinking was always guiding me toward the same answer… I have to do something else; working in IT is no longer what’s driving me, at the contrary, I’m sinking in a negative environment that I don’t want to be part anymore.

I knew something was out there, something great, something worthy of me and my talents.
The thing is, whether it is for a business or any great endeavor, it takes guts, risks, efforts and dedication. Being a child of a labor society, I have been used to doing just what it takes to do a good job and earn a good salary so I can have some life comfort.
Until now, I’ve lived a comfortable life… I’m tired of living a comfortable life. I want to live a great life.
I want to live a life of risks and constant efforts, but with outstanding results that nobody aiming for comfort could ever reach.

Several things in my wife life and mine brought us toward a drastic decision.
My wife job is always degrading for several years now.
My job went from bad to worst in the beginning of 2014 when I decided to change Firm thinking it would be better… WRONG!!!!
It’s a real nightmare since January.

So, what is this “drastic” decision?
Some of you will say that it’s not a big deal, but the majority will think we are nuts.

We want to get rid of the stress that is corrupting our life for years now.

 

  • Get out of the city.
  • Stop been stuck in traffic every morning and evening.
  • Stop been forced to go to work on stormy days or whenever I don’t want to go to work.
  • Stop wasting the best part of the day at a job, when the sun is shining, when you can go to the grocery or any store and there’s almost nobody there.
  • Get rid of the alarm clock shouting every morning at 5:30.
  • Stop been the slave of a boss.

dream-job-sign (Mobile)

So that’s it! We are moving on. On a path many people are uncomfortable with. Moving toward the life we’ve always wanted by doing what’s necessary, no matter what.
We are burning the bridges behind us.

For some strategic reasons, I can’t write all the details of our plan right now, but I will soon.

All I can say for now is that I took great notice of Einstein’s quote on insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
…I’m done being insane!!

Seriously, go find what you really want in your Life, no matter your job, your color, your health or your age, and begin your journey.
We have only one life to live on this earth, and there’s so much we can do… Stop wasting it !

 

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The Boiling Frog

 

frog

The boiling frog story is an old anecdote describing a frog slowly being boiled alive.
The idea is that if a frog is placed in already boiling water, it will jump out instantly, but if it is placed in cold water that is really slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually.

“If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.”  – Daniel Quinn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog

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Goal setting, planning, action, and results!

goal-settingIt’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything, but I had some good reasons. I had a great goal to achieve before the end of 2013.

I decided back in March 2013 it was the end of my unhealthy life, so I began to plan a strategy to regain the health I had abandoned twenty years ago.
Back in March, my weight was around 260 pounds… And with good reasons, I had awful eating habits. With my 5’10”, I certainly was in the obese family.
I’ve never tried any diets, but I have done some changes along the way; in late 2010 I stopped drinking cola, and I was drinking that poison like water. It helped me lose around 30 pounds in 4 months without changing any other habits. Then in February 2011 I quit smoking but and it did not make me gain weight, my life was probably too busy at the time for me to eat more.
Then in 2012, I’ve had some lows in my business life that pushed me to eat more crap, more often. It wasn’t too long before I got back to 260-265 pounds.
By the end of 2012 and 2013 first months, my mind was full with all sort of stuff; ups and lows with my business, ups and lows in my personal life, my mother’s health going down with severe type 1 diabetes and my weight back to its highest level. This is when a light finally turned on in my head and “I DECIDED” to make the changes necessary to regain a physical and mental balance in my life.

I happened to have a great book written by an expert on nutrition and I decided to start reading it completely. The book was not based on any diets, at the contrary; it’s an “anti-diets” program!
I only had to read about the third of the book to learn how I was doing all the wrong thing with my health. The book explain how our body works with what we eat and how we live in general. It doesn’t just tell what to eat, it teach us the why and the how.

Set-GoalsIn March 2013, I began doing some adjustments to my eating habits and started to do some workout. And then, by the end of March, I carved in an Excel sheet the date range from April 1st 2013 to January 1st 2014… I had to lose 60 pounds in that time range (enough to break the 200 lbs barrier).
April 1st, I started to implement more seriously the nutrition and workout program I’ve learned, and after a couple of months, my progress was so great I decided to adjust my end of the year goal of reaching 199 lbs. Now I was confident I could reach my final weight of 180 lbs.

Let just say I had a lot of ups and downs along those 9 months. Excitement, discouragement, fatigue, lack of motivation, food temptations, etc. My wife followed me with the nutritional changes, but she wasn’t too disciplined with the workouts, and some evenings I was tempted to just relax, but I kicked myself and did my workout anyway.
There was the summer week-ends at the lake with all the extra eating from my brother-in-law, and the barbecues… OMG… Barbecue !!!
But it was recommended in the nutrition plan to have an “off-plan” meal once a week. OK, I had some “extended off-plan” meals on some week-ends, and yes, I had some weeks with a little weight gain. But I was adjusting my eating and workout the following week to go back on the right track right away.

On the long run I stayed on my average goal settings every month.

The last two months of 2013 were a bit harder to lose the weight, but I was very near the shape and health I wanted.
My goal was reached with a weight of 185 pounds. This is 80 lbs gone from my higher “known” weight of 265 pounds!!
Let me tell you. The end results of losing weight to be healthy again is much more than just reaching your correct weight, it changes everything mentally too. Also, doing this with the resolution that it will be a lifetime commitment, not just a diet with several months of restriction and privation, gives a level of discipline that helps with everything in life.

Today I’m between 182 and 184 pounds and feeling absolutely great.
This change is for the rest of my life; for an excellent life.
Remember, nobody can attend perfection. I choose to achieve excellence.
When goals are reached and you feel great about yourself, you see all the hard work with a new perspective, it do not seem that hard anymore, it’s just the right thing to do to live a life of excellence.

pdca

I’ve seen for myself on this life changing journey that when you trace a line in the sand and decide to do something; plan what to do, start doing it, check your progression, and adjust whenever necessary (PDCA)… Nothing’s impossible!

Thanks for reading, God Bless,
Patric J. Dufficy

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): Self Made Negativity :(

negativity1It’s been a while since I wrote something.
I guess I’m the kind of person who is motivated to write when things are fine, but when black clouds appear and storms pass one after another, the motivation goes down the drain.
Some will be prone to write all their bad stuff; we see it every day all over the Internet. People like to complain about anything and everything.
Is it better to let out the negative instead of keeping it all inside? I don’t think so. Spreading negativity all over the place only feeds other bad thoughts.
I think the best course of action is to redirect the energy we would normally use to complain and redirect it to analyze why in the first place, we are in this dark place and how can I get out of there.

So now you should have a hint why I had not written anything for almost five months.
Yes, I was in a rut, a really deep hole.
I fell into such a negative mode; everything was so black it was consuming any glimpse of light.
I have to deal with some people in my business, and they were doing things I wasn’t considering as correct and it drove me crazy.
At a point, I was so focused on the bad things, it brought me to the point of completely hating them. It made me sick just to think I had to be in the same room for a meeting.

I passed by a hair to quit a great business because I DECIDED to focus only on the negative things.

There is good and bad in everything and everyone around us, only we, can choose to prioritize on the positive or the negative.
Of course, the negative thinking is like weeds… they naturally grow everywhere. We have to clean the garden on a regular basis, or it will soon become invaded by that unwanted stuff.

It sounds so obvious and logical, “Of course, there are negative things everywhere! – I know I have to think positive; it’s basic! – everybody knows that! – Bla bla bla!!”
However, nearly everybody let the weeds spread freely.

I have been caught in this so deep; my garden was virtually destroyed by weeds.

And again, it’s a choice, and it was MY CHOICE to see only the negative in people and situations, and because it was my choice, I was correct and they were wrong.
Are you beginning to see what kind of poison this can turn into?
I wasn’t aware that my thinking was wrong; at the contrary, I was right, and I didn’t understand why nobody could see what I was seeing.
This was driving me even angrier. A real vicious cycle.

The solution to this is a strong will to change, almost like give up smoking or gambling.

In my case, it was something more abstract. I cannot explain it myself, but in late October 2012 at a business trip, something special happened. I will not explain the details here, maybe another time. What is important is that it has awakened me and from that moment, I’ve made the decision to control my thoughts.

Another special challenge:
This thing took place about two months ago.
My wife and I were searching for a piece of land near a lake to build ourselves a new home. Smaller than the one we own right now because we have made some bad decisions over the past and one of them was to build a house too big and expensive for us.
I found a nice lot near a lake, but it wasn’t directly on the lake; it was around 500 feet from it. The lot is cheap, but it is near the main road. The house could be built 200 feet away from the road, but it would still be noisy.

My dream to live near the water is so strong, I was ready to endure the negative things, but my wife was secretly not enthusiastic at all about this plan.

One evening, a woman came to see us for some insurance renewal and we talked about where she lives and about our lake project. She told us about a nice lake we didn’t know about.
This was strange, we were regularly checking for house or lot for sale around this place she told us about, but we never noticed it.
After that, I’ve almost forgot about it until a couple of days later when my wife asked me to check if there was some houses for sale around that lake the insurance lady told us about.
I typed the name of the lake on Google and the first result was a house for sale.
We looked at the pictures with our mouths wide open and automatically fell in love. We read the description and we fell even more in love.
Everything was almost perfect however the price was a bit higher than the price we were ready to pay.

The couple bought the house three years ago and they have made some light changes but nothing really expensive.
Both are doctors with three or four houses across Quebec and Florida, the lady admitted her husband likes real estate.
When we met with her husband and gave him our offer, he literally answered that his price is not negotiable and that it was a deal for a house like that.
My heart just cracked open right there!!!

I had visualized myself in that house for two weeks. I was sure to the deepest point of my soul that house was there for us. In my mind, it was done; it was ours, and it was our destiny to be in that house.

I however, did not lose my mind like I would have done in the past.
I force myself to think this is happening for a reason.
Maybe we will find a better house. Maybe we just have to wait and practice some long term gratification. Maybe it is too soon, because we have a lot of things to take care of before we can move out. We have to get rid of a lot of things we don’t need any more, and we need to get some real estate guys estimate how much we can ask for our present house.
Bottom line is, I could have fallen into another depression after this, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am very disappointed but what can I do really?
There’s no science behind this, I can go ahead and pay what the seller asks, and I’ll have the house, but that would make me cheat on myself and trashed my financial goals. I can search for a better deal or I can just wait and see if he lowers his price.
Getting mad or whining will not help me to have this house.

I really think I came back stronger from my dark journey.
Every time we fall down, there is something to learn, and we should get up tougher than before.

no-negativity-586x236It’s not easy, there is always struggle, but that’s just life, right?
I honestly think that if we keep fighting for what’s good, good things will happen!
It sounds cliché, but it isn’t. We must fight negativity at all cost because it’s a cancer.
And no, the fight never stops until we die, but living for excellence is worth the fight.

I remember reading an note which said that an entire mass of water the size of the Pacific Ocean can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. In the same way, all the negativity in the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside your head.
People who are able to discern the positive points in negative situations are the ones who prosper in the long run.

Thanks for reading, God Bless,
Patric J. Dufficy

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Do you ever dream of…?

dreamHi folks.

This is probably an extremely widely spread subject, but everyone have different dreams and we take different ways to build and reach them. That’s why I’d like to tell you a little about mine.
You know, just the process of writing this is a dream building method.

My Dream
hampton-beach-house

My ultimate dream is to live on the ocean coast. Preferably directly on the beach where I can get out of the house, walk a hundred feet before getting my feet in the sand. Of course this option have some downside, one of them is hurricanes. Option two is to have our house up a little cliff offering a striking view on the ocean and almost no flooding risk.

What’s funny, is that millions of people already live like I want and for them it never will be a dream, it is only normal for them.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”
– James Dean

How living on the beach became my dream?
First, I lived the first half of my life in Montreal. From the age of 4, my parents took me every year on summer vacation at the beach in Maine. It developed in me an attraction for the ocean. I don’t know if the love of water was already encoded in me since my birth, or simply that it developed after time.

Many people will denigrate idea like mine saying that I live in the best place on earth and they wouldn’t go live anywhere else… Often those guys never traveled too far from where they always lived. When you see, smell and taste other places in the world, it enlarge your vision.
Riviere des PrairiesWhen I was a teenager, I became more and more attracted toward the river not far from where I lived, but remember, it was in Montreal, there is no beach or swimming there… the water is too polluted.
I didn’t had the chance to have friends with lake houses or anything near the water. I was stuck in a city of concrete, asphalt and pools full of chlorine. No sand, no beaches, only a polluted river.
But I had my short two weeks in Maine to fuel my dream.

I even met the woman I love on vacation in Maine. She was from Quebec City, 160 miles closer to the Atlantic Ocean, but still more than 600 miles to go…

At 20 years old I decided to leave my parents house in Montreal to go live with my girlfriend in Quebec City. We then started the “rat race”. Working to built us a nice lifestyle and making more and more roots in the city.

Now, twenty years after I moved from my birth city, more than ten years have past since we put our feet in the sand of the ocean, but I haven’t forget the feeling, at the contrary, since one year, I took the resolution to live in a coastal town somewhere in the world, and not at 75 years old, but the sooner possible.

‎”A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.”
– Harvey Mackay

What attracts me to a coastal living?

ParadiseThe difference of living pace. Of course I’m not searching for a highly populated or tourist place, my vision is a small coastal town, with a little church, a market with fresh food, just no stress.
Even if I don’t have a great deal of experience in coastal living, I can see a difference in the mindset of people. Those living near the water seems to be more easygoing with less stress and a better attitude.

“All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for the many act out their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.”
-T. E. Lawrence

An example of dream building.
Last month my wife and I went to her brother new house on a lake for the weekend. We had so much fun boating, eating with a beautiful view on the lake, (not a view on the street or the neighbour) reading a good book with the lapping sound of the water, kayaking, etc.
red_yachtAfter Saturday diner, I noticed an interesting distinction between city and lake people.
Back home, after the evening diner we usually go for a walk with our dog Maggie on the streets and sometimes in the woods nearby. On occasions we encounter neighbors who are doing the same, but the large majority are in their living room like couch potatoes in front of their TV.
In contrast, at the lake, the great majority was outside chatting, reading, just having a good time or out for a last evening boat ride.
People living near water seems to have MORE LIFE IN THEIR LIVES. In comparison,  city people life appear so empty most of the times.

Last weekend reinforced my belief that I want and I will live near the water someday.
We spoke several times my wife and I that if it wasn’t for our jobs been in the city, we would start searching for a house at the lake her brother’s live. It would be a great first step toward our ultimate dream.
I know we could change jobs, but it would be near impossible to find something in our field in a small town. In addition lake houses are more expensive, so we can’t really downgrade out jobs.
… It’s only postponed… 🙂

“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears”
– Richard Wilkins

A vision of the dream well defined.
One thing I must specify; my dream place should be where there is no icy cold winter. Since I began my adult life, my interest for the cold season had degraded to the point that it is now a nightmare just to think about winter. I won’t elaborate on this, first because I’ve already released my frustrations in a previous post, and this post is about good dreams, not nightmares… 😉
Let just say that a frozen lake with a cover of snow is not very different from a snowy field. I like water in it’s liquid state!
image00I like seadoo, not skidoo, I like water skiing and wakeboard, kayak and stand-up paddleboard, and maybe a nice ride of AquaGlide Takeoff.®
One thing about the ocean is that it doesn’t freeze, but it won’t make me like winter more, I still hate to dress like an astronaut only to go take a walk outside.


How a typical dream day would be for me.
I’m getting up in the morning, dress myself with swimming shorts, pouring me a fruit juice, I get out on the back porch and contemplate the sea as I drink my juice.

I put my glass on the table and race down our backyard to the beach with my dog Maggie following me into the ocean for a short swim.

After a quick outdoor shower, I dress up and go by foot or with my bicycle to the local market to buy some fresh fruits and bagels or croissants.
Back home, I prepare a nice breakfast and bring it to my love in bed.
Once our breakfast finished, we leave for a long walk on the beach with Maggie, throwing her a ball as we walk.
When we return home, I grab my book and read for an hour or so, following by a little business work under the gazebo. My wife is watering the flowers and hanging some freshly cleaned cloths.
Later, we discuss about some business ideas and plans under the umbrella on the beach.

Line, Maggie and I are now going to the market place to buy some good fish for lunch, and while there we are picking up a couple of good thick steaks for dinner with some potatoes, and vegetables.

Back home, I start the BBQ to heat the cooking stone. Line already started chopping onions and fresh herbs, I crush some ice to make us fruits smoothies. After seasoning the tuna steaks, I place them on the stone and while they cook, I prepare a risotto.
Maggie always waits patiently for me to drop food on the floor. 🙂

gazeboLine prepare the table under the gazebo near the beach.
Once the fish and risotto are ready, I serve the dishes and join Line at the gazebo.
During our meal we discuss about what we will do this afternoon. The day is so nice and sunny, we decide to go on the water. Line wants to take the kayak, I’ll take the stand-up paddle-board with Maggie, she loves to surf with me.
We go to a little island less than two miles away and we take a well-deserve break in the shade of a palm tree on the beach of the island. Line had taken care to bring water bottles and a small dish for Maggie’s water.

After this beautiful three hours paddle trip, falling overboard from lost of balance or deliberately to refresh myself, we go back home and take a shower.
I pour myself a cup of wine and a juice or icy water for Line, she never really liked anything with alcohol and this is OK.

Beautiful-Outdoor-Kitchen-Design-IdeasThen I start one of the things I really love in life, cooking outside to the sound of waves with an eternal breeze from the sea

I dig in my outside spice cabinet to get my special blend for seasoning the steaks, I also get my herbs and spices for the vegetables Line is cutting.
I put the vegetables in a perforated pan on the charcoal grill over indirect heat. After 30 minutes I send Line’s steak on the 700°F grill.
The aroma emanating from the meat hitting the red grill is simply amazing.
After two minutes I turn the steak and grill it on the other side for an additional two minutes, then I turn and rotate 45 degrees and grill for again two minutes and finally, turn again for a last two minutes. This is the technique to get a nice diamond pattern of grill marks.
Do I look like I am passionate about BBQ? 🙂
Then, I place Line’s steak on indirect heat to continue the cooking while I do mine. For me, I like my steak very rare. I am a true carnivore, I like my meat almost alive … almost!
As usual, I do not have to worry about the table when I bring the plates, Line prepared everything while I was cooking. What a team!
We eat this time on the terrace near the house because the gulls are very annoying at this time of the day close to the beach.
After dinner, while we chat about everything and anything, I go to the small fridge in the outside kitchen and bring two beautiful fruit cups that I had prepared in secret while Line was dressing the table.

We often have to go out after dinner for business meetings and stuff, but tonight, nothing on the agenda. We grab this occasion to go to the marina and take our yacht for a tour at sunset. Our boat rides are always shorter than expected because of all the chitchats with the people at the marina.
We love to watch the sunset on our yacht.

Cohasset-Beach-House-Design-by-Johnston-Architects-2Once returned home, I start a pit fire and we sit comfortably for a little reading before going to bed.

On warmer evenings, I like to take a final dive into the sea, rinse off under the outdoor shower and go to bed immediately, all freshened up. Tonight the temperature is more comfortable, so we go right to bed after our reading.
It’s really not difficult to fall asleep after a full day outside with a gentle breeze coming in through the bedroom windows and with the sound of the sea.

At this exact moment, just before falling asleep, I often think of the years when we used to sleep with the sound of the sea in speakers to develop our dream. Now I no longer need to think about pressing PLAY before going to bed… The music plays continuously, the CD never stops.

So here are the key points of my dream future:
1. Water: Preferably the ocean.
2. Green: No winter, no dead season, I want green vegetation all year long.
3. Small town: Less stress and different mindset.
4. Pure air and better climate: Less allergies, arthritis, etc…

It’s sad to think that a great deal of people loses their dreams as they grow up.
They got caught in the rat race of life and don’t really have time to dream anymore. Often they reanimate their dreams while fantasising on winning the lottery, or, each year or so they create a small sample of living the life they always wanted when going on vacation for a week or two.

The last thing I want is to find myself on my deathbed regretting I never had enough courage to pursue my dreams.

“Most people are dreaming while sleeping.
Our dreams are keeping us awake at night!
We are the daydreamers.”
– Patric J. Dufficy

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How do we reply to people comments

The road to success can not be achieve without the art of dealing with people comments toward you.
Learning how to properly respond to them could greatly improve your life.

Here are the three main type of comments:
  1. Positive comments.
  2. Negative, but constructive comments.
  3. Negative, and destructive comments.

How to deal with positive comments

You must accept positive comments like you accept a personal gift.
The weird thing is that many people rejects positive comments.
Look at those situations, you most likely already heard them.

“You look wonderful today”
– “Come on, I look as always”

“You did a great job”
– “Oh, It’s nothing”

“Your new wrist watch is really nice”
– “Yeah, but it’s not real gold”

Responding like this is the same as putting away a gift from someone without looking at it.
A right way to respond to a positive comment is so simple… You just have to say, “Thank you” with a smile.

How to deal with negative, but constructive comments
Negative, but constructive comments will help you get better. A lot of people get defensive when facing someone who make a negative-constructive comment.
You should be thankful when someone gives you a negative-constructive comment, it’s for your best interest. A person with no interest in you, will simply shut-up on things you may doing wrong, and let you repeat them over and over.

Like with positive comments, the proper answer is a simple “Thank you for your feedback”.

Just take the feedback from people, deeply think about it before going into a defensive mode too quickly and use it to correct yourself. This is a must to become a better person.
This is also helpful in work places and in business, take every colleagues or clients feedback in an effort to improve your work or business.

How to deal with negative and destructive comments
Negative-destructive comments are intended to cause pain and not to help improvement.
Often, the problem isn’t with you at all, but with the person itself who probably struggle with many problems of his own.

The best thing to do when confronted with negative-destructive comments is just to let it flow like water on a rhinoceros carapace or like someone I know like to say, “like a spit on a war tank”.

We are forced to realise that many people are doing all the opposite of what we are suppose to do in response to those three comments. We dismiss positive comments, we fight negative-constructive ones, and we swallow the ones that are negative-destructive.

Learn to identify the difference between these three comments and force yourself to respond with the right attitude.
Say “Thank you” with a genuine smile to a positive comment.
Say “Thanks for the feedback” when confronted to a negative, but constructive comment, and use it to better yourself.
And just let the negative-destructive comment flow down your back, and remember that it’s usually a problem with the other person’s attitude.

Thanks for reading, Patric J. Dufficy

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Overcoming Procrastination

I’ve come across a great article on procastination. It’s short, simple, and clear.
Here’s the article from Dr. Anthony Fernando’s site Dare To Dream

______________________________

When you face a difficult task, it can sometimes feel like you’re trying to move a mountain.

Mountain

The longer you stare up at the mountain, the more overwhelming your task seems. In this situation, it’s very easy to start procrastinating by finding other things to do.

Procrastination is one of the major obstacles that you need to overcome in order to make your dreams a reality.

The secret to overcoming procrastination is to stop looking up at the mountain and start looking down at your wheel barrow.

Let me explain…

When you look at a complex task in its entirety, it is very easy to become paralysed by the sheer amount of work that you need to do. Your mind starts telling you that ‘it’s impossible’ and you spiral downward into a sea of negativity.

Mountain1

The way to overcome this paralysis is to change your focus and stop thinking about the overall task you need to complete. Instead, just concentrate on something you know you can achieve.

Mountain2

Let’s look at an example to see how this works in the real world.

Peter is facing the ‘mountain’ of writing a PhD thesis. When he thinks about writing a 500 page document, it just seems too overwhelming and so day-after-day he procrastinates and avoids getting started.

Each morning, Peter asks himself, “Can I write a 500 page document?” and his internal answer is “NO WAY!” so he procrastinates and looks around for other things to do – He takes his kids to school, goes to the gym, does the shopping. Anything to avoid the mountain that is sitting in his study.

Finally, Peter realises that the best way to overcome procrastination is to stop looking up at the mountain and start looking down at his wheelbarrow.

Instead of asking himself, “Can I write a 500 page document?” he begins his day by asking, “Can I work on my PhD without being distracted for 1 hour?” – his internal answer to this question is “Yes – I can easily do 1 hour”

Peter blocks out all distractions and works on his PhD for 1 hour. At the end of the hour he feels like he has made a small amount of progress. He asks himself again, “Can I work on my PhD without being distracted for 1 hour?” – Since he has already done this, he knows the answer is ‘Yes’ so he does it again.

By the end of the day, Peter has completed four hours of effective work on his PhD. He is tempted to look up at the mountain but he knows it is much better if he just focuses on moving his wheelbarrow one hour at a time.

After a month of following this routine, Peter takes a look at his mountain and sees that his 1 hour blocks of action have made a dramatic impact. This gives him even more confidence and momentum to keep moving forward.

Step-by-step, one hour at a time, Peter moves his mountain.

If you are currently trying to move a mountain in your life, here are the steps you need to take in order to overcome procrastination and get the job done!

This Weeks Action Steps

(1) Stop thinking about the overall task you need to complete.

(2) Instead, focus on a small component of the task that you know you can achieve.

(3) Ask yourself, “Can I work on this task without being distracted for 1 hour?”

(4) Forget about everything else other than working hard for 1 hour.

(5) At the end of the hour, ask yourself the same question again.

(6) Move your mountain one hour at a time.

(7) Enjoy the amazing sense of achievement that comes from completing a difficult task.

Until next time,

Dare to dream!

Anthony
______________________________

Let’s go move mountains!
Thanks for reading, Patric J. Dufficy

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An Inspiring True Story – 30 hours in the water of Gulf of Mexico

source: www.dailymail.co.uk

‘Kiss them babies for me’: The last words beloved father said to his best friend after their fishing boat sank and the friend left him alone in the water to swim for help.

For hours after their boat sank, Ken Henderson and Ed Coen treaded water in the Gulf of Mexico, talking about life and death while struggling to survive. For more than 30 hours, it worked.

Then Henderson was forced to make a decision that would save his life, but not his best friend’s.

‘This is the last-ditch effort, but I’m going to go for help or you’re not going to make it,’ Henderson told Coen, just before cutting the strap that connected them in the deep, cold waters off the Texas coast.

‘I understand,’ Coen responded, giving Henderson a last set of instructions. ‘Kiss them babies for me.’

Gulf Boating Accident

Alive: 30 hours after his boat took on water, Ken Henderson cut the string connecting his life jacket to that of his best friend’s. Henderson swam for help and called his wife and the Coast Guard from a natural gas rig.

 

It was Friday around 4 p.m. when they parted.

On Tuesday, days after the fishing trip ended in tragedy, Henderson recounted the harrowing tale for The Associated Press, alternating between sorrow, guilt and laughter as he recalled the last 30 hours of a man who had been his best friend for 25 years.

The saga began Thursday around noon. They had been fishing for a few hours when Coen noticed the 30-foot Scarab was filling with water. Henderson started four bilge pumps. Water sprayed everywhere.

Coen quickly unhooked the boat from one of the many oil and gas rigs in area where they had been fishing. Henderson revved an engine, but the saltwater that had leaked in killed it.

‘Mayday, mayday, mayday Marine 16,’ Henderson called over his Marine radio. He got no response.

He dialed 9-1-1 on his cellphone. There was no signal.

Suddenly, the bow went up. Henderson flew back. Coen jumped to the right, his sunglasses and cap flying off. Already wearing life jackets, the two ex-Marines grabbed extra life jackets and other floating items.

‘The water was so cold it took your breath away,’ Henderson said.

Tragic: Ed Coen's body was floating in the water a short time later. His last words to his best friend Ken was a message of love for his family.

Tragic: Ed Coen’s body was floating in the water a short time later. His last words to his best friend Ken was a message of love for his family.

Coen, a slim man, immediately began to shiver.

After failing to swim to a gas well nearby, the pair prepared for a long wait.

And they talked.

‘We talked about stuff that I’ll never talk about. We discussed things and discussed life. We discussed families. We just tried to keep ourselves occupied,’ Henderson said.

As night fell, they took turns laying on each other’s chests, conserving body heat. They tied their life jackets together to ensure they wouldn’t drift apart in the dark.

They dozed. Coen started hallucinating. Henderson tried to keep Coen’s arms and legs moving. He called him a sissy to get him angry. But as morning came, Coen’s situation worsened. It took time to wake up. He tried to light a cigarette that wasn’t in his mouth.

‘I came to the realization that one of us may not make it or that both of us may not make it,’ Henderson said. ‘I just felt helpless sitting there with him.’

About 3 p.m., the pair drifted toward a manned rig. Henderson realized his friend wasn’t keeping his head above water.

Henderson told Coen to kick to the rig. He pulled him as he swam, but Coen was sideways. Henderson told him to kick. Coen thought he was.

Ed Coen, who also loved to motorcycle, was found deceased and floating a few hours later. Henderson said his big hearted best friend was also thin, and Coen was shivering and weak from hypothermia in the water.

Ed Coen, who also loved to motorcycle, was found deceased and floating a few hours later. Henderson said his big hearted best friend was also thin, and Coen was shivering and weak from hypothermia in the water.

And so Henderson decided to cut the strap.

He swam for two hours, but lost his sense of direction. He was tired. Frustrated. Depressed. He rolled on his back and floated. It was after 7 p.m. when he woke up.

He saw another rig in the distance, and prayed for strength.

He swam, seeing ice and crystal trees in the water. He reminded himself constantly there were no trees. He made it past a blinking light, a milestone that pushed him on toward the rig.

It was 2 a.m.

On legs so weak he could barely lift them, Henderson slowly pulled himself up the rig’s barnacle-covered ladder.

‘I’m here. I’m on a derrick,’ Henderson said out loud.

He found a galley with food, water and a phone. He called his wife, and told her to call the Coast Guard. He said he was on rig 633A.

‘It was over 50 miles from where we went in the water,’ Henderson said.

All he could think of, though, was Coen. Convinced his friend would survive, he told the Coast Guard where they had parted.

Two hours later, Henderson was ashore in the Coast Guard dispatch room when haunting words came across the radio. A fisherman had found a body in a life jacket.

Later, in the hospital, Henderson saw his friend. He apologized and asked for forgiveness. He promised to fulfill his wishes, make him proud and look after his girls.

‘I felt like a part of me had died out there,’ Henderson said. ‘We had been best friends for 25 years,’

‘All of his kids call me Mr. Ken. We were as close as two guys could be.’

Coen’s daughter, Ashley, said the family is trying to take comfort knowing he died doing what he loved most, fishing with Henderson. Minutes before he left for the fishing trip, she brought him his cellphone charger.

‘Once again, I told him, “I love you,”‘ Ashley Coen told the Conroe Courier. ‘I’m glad those were the last words we said.’

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Free to be Brainwashed

Since several weeks there are students protests that began with the raise of school cost, but now it has degenerate and they manifest about everything and anything, only to bring anarchy and chaos in some cities of the Province of Quebec.
So, what do the medias talk about every time we turn the radio or TV on or open a newspaper or go on the local news internet sites? 3 things mainly.

One of those 3 things is polluting the news all year long here… Hockey!
Ok, lets get things strait, I don’t like hockey… Let me rephrase this… I HATE HOCKEY!!
All my life I saw men, my dad included, lobotomised by hockey on TV and always talking about it when they were not in front off their TV.
I was strongly encourage to play hockey when I was young, but I hated it. I would have loved to play baseball or football, but no… All they have in mind always was hockey !!

Now, to add more pain to my agony, Quebec City mayor decided to build a new arena to encourage NHL with their decision to put back a team in Quebec City.

It make me sick to my stomach to watch the city degrade like it is. 75% of the roads are worst than Beirut’s. The bridges aren’t better, but it is much more important to build a $400,000,000 arena.
400 millions is only the projected cost, but we all know by experience that the bill will be near the billion at the end of the project.
Stupid men can’t make nothing else but stupid decisions!

Another trash news is all the politic related news, because they never are constructive. It only complaining and no solutions.

And a world wide problem I think is the negativity of the medias.
Everyone who follow the news on a regular basis are submitted to fear campaigns and negative side of everything.

So every time I switch on the radio or find myself with news or stupid shows on TV at families or friends houses (don’t have TV feed at my house for more than a year now) or open a newspaper, I find myself with news about hockey, out of control students, bad politic or hockey again.

That’s why since 2 years my wife and I have decided to cut off public TV, radio and newspapers, to regain all the time we lost in front of a TV, and to begin to read good books written by world leaders and listen to leadership and self-development CD/MP3.

We learned how to improve our finances, the relationship between my wife and I and relationships with others, our attitude in front of LIFE obstacles, etc.

It’s like we took a different LIFE path from the majority of the population and even if we shout at them that they are on a path that goes strait into a abyss, only a handful of them will listen, the others just follow the herd, blindly into a life of mediocrity.

Let’s go back to hockey… My goal is not to say hockey lovers are idiots.
My goal is to underline the habit of wasting a huge part of LIFE like Homer Simpson in front of the TV watching sports, mainly for guys or shows and soaps for women.
We have so much time to do all sort of great things once we decide to cut the dependence to TV.

It’s spring and I take every minutes I have to go out with my wife and our dog.
It’s hockey series time right now and I think there are games every nights;
It makes me almost mad to see 9 houses out of 10 with TVs on and 8 of those 9 TVs are showing hockey.
Weather is beautiful, days are longer, but the streets are empty, almost a ghost town, in every houses, we see people brainwashed, almost with roots in their couches.
Dark living rooms with blue lightning thunderstorms.

It’s so ridiculous to think about people who would told us to be careful with our books and self-development CDs, because we could be brainwashed…
Poor idiot… They don’t even realise that I may be brainwashed, but it is with good stuff, I choose to read or listen, not by all sort of imposed media propaganda or people stupid opinions.

Remember… Leaders are readers.

Have an excellent day, God bless.
Patric.J.Dufficy

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Ready, BEGIN!

Ready-Begin-Practical-Strategies-for-Cultivating-Courage-9781425164782I just finished reading the book “Ready, BEGIN! – Practical Strategies for Cultivating Courage” by Lawrence M. Kryske and I thought it would be a great idea to post my notes here instead of keeping them for my eyes only.

So here are my notes on the book “Ready, BEGIN!“.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Courage; A word with a thousand faces.

“Be courageous! I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has come out stronger and more prosperous. Be as brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward.”
–       Thomas A. Edison

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”
–       Winston S. Churchill

  • Leaders respond to life’s challenges with vision, courage, and determination.
  • Courage is the most important leadership characteristic.
  • A person sources courage from the inside out.

COURAGE HAS MANY NAMES:

  • Boldness
  • Valour
  • Heroism
  • Daring
  • Intrepidness
  • Bravery
  • Audacity
  • Fearlessness
  • Fortitude
  • Mettle
  • Gallantry

COURAGE IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS HAVING:

  • · Guts
  • · Cheek
  • · Backbone
  • · Nerve
  • · Heart
  • · Face
  • · And some other anatomical parts!

THINGS COURAGE MAKES POSSIBLE:

  • Leading a team to victory
  • Public speaking
  • Devotion to duty
  • Standing up for the underdog
  • Asking for a first date
  • Asking for a sale
  • Telling your boss what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear
  • Going where no one has gone before
  • Taking an unpopular stand
  • Protecting the innocent from harm
  • Asking for a pay raise
  • Buying a first house
  • Answering a cry for help
  • Serving in the military, a police officer, a firefighter or paramedic
  • Looking for a solution to a difficult problem

“Courage is a moral quality; it is not a chance gift of nature like an aptitude for games. It is a cold choice between two alternatives, the fixed resolve not to quit; an act of renunciation which must be made not once but many times by the power of the will. Courage is will power.”
–       Lord Moran

“Standing up for what we think is right is not easy, but it may well get easier if we cultivate the habit of doing so.”
–       William Ian Miller

  • Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, risk, uncertainty and intimidation.
  • Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship or threat of death.
  • Moral courage is the courage to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal or discouragement.
  • Courage “is will power”.
  • Physical courage may “decay” after repeated exposure to life-and-death situations.
  • Moral courage may grow when a person is engage in actions concerning his moral stand.
  • Courage is the key ingredient in transforming both our lives and the world.
  • All people have the capacity to be courageous.

“To be courageous requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place, and circumstances. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all.”
–       John F. Kennedy

“If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as being a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on.”
–       General George S. Patton, Jr., U.S. Army

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
–       Harper Lee

“Courage and cowardice are antithetical. Courage is a inner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles and frightening situations; cowardice is a submissive surrender to circumstance. Courage breeds creative self-affirmation; cowardice produces destructive self-abnegation. Courage faces fear and thereby masters it; cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it. Courageous people never lose the zest for living even though their life situation is zestless; cowardice people, overwhelmed by the uncertainties of life, lose the will to live. We must constantly build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
–       Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”
–       Colonel David Hackworth, U.S. Army

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
–       Marcel Proust

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”
–       John Wayne

“To do the thing you think you cannot do; that’s courage.”
–       Eleanor Roosevelt

COURAGE IS NEEDED WHEN A PERSON:

  • Exposes himself or herself to physical danger.
  • Takes an unpopular stand.
  • Refuses to compromise one’s integrity, honour, values, principles, beliefs, etc.
  • Confronts fear by taking action.
  • Goes where no person has gone before.
  • Does something that he or she has never done before.
  • Genuine courage is easily discerned.
  • Courage need not always be a life-or-death struggle.
  • Moral courage often begets physical courage.
  • Courage is a fundamental quality of both leadership and character.

COURAGE IS COSTLY! SOME OF THE THINGS COURAGE MIGHT COST INCLUDE:

  • Our friends
  • Our money
  • Our job
  • Our time
  • Our contentment
  • Our influence
  • Our life

SOME OF THE THINGS WE MIGHT GAIN BY BEING COURAGEOUS ARE:

  • Confidence
  • Self-esteem
  • Peace of mind
  • Character
  • Success
  • Victory
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Honor
  • Freedom
  • Justice
  • Loyalty
  • Peace
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Wealth / Abundance

“Courage is generosity of the highest order.”
–       Charles Caleb Colton

  • The necessary conditions for courage to exist are the presence of fear and a cost for taking some action.
  • Courage is a tool, a means to an end.
  • There are many possible reasons why people are courageous, but love is one of the key factors.
  • Courage is an action sport not a passive endeavor. It takes place on the playing field of life, not from the safety of the couch watching the actions of others. There are no substitutes or alternatives. We must do something, take some action.

SOME OF THE MOST COMMON FEARS PEOPLE HAVE:

  • Failure
  • Success
  • Embarrassment
  • Ridicule
  • Loss
  • Rejection
  • Disgrace
  • Making a mistake
  • Public speaking
  • The dentist
  • Pain
  • Death
  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Losing control
  • Responsibility
  • Heights
  • Aging
  • Being fired
  • Bad news
  • Heart attack
  • Terrorism
  • Change
  • The unknown

“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”
–       Robert Louis Stevenson

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
–       Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
–       Georges Herman “Babe” Ruth

  • Humans are fearful creatures.
  • Each industry has an array of specific fears.
  • The presence of fear is the necessary ingredient in order for courage to be exhibited.
  • Freedom from fear means we have the freedom to exercise courage and act despite the presence of fear.
  • Every person’s perception of fear is real, but it is not necessarily reality.
  • Fear is a normal protective mechanism.
  • Human responses to fear are fight, flight, or freeze.

“Action is the fundamental key to all success.”
–       Pablo Picasso

“Fear is what you feel. Courage is what you do.”
–       Naomi Kryske

  • Courage is taking action despite fear.
  • The action must be appropriate for the situation.
  • Fear is something you feel. Courage is something you do.
  • Fear does not necessarily disappear when we get into action.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
–       Mark Twain

10 TECHNIQUES TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

  1. Do the things you fear and the fear goes away.
  2. Develop a tolerance to fear.
  3. Teams and team cohesion.
  4. Team rituals; huddles, songs, cheers, martial music, bagpipes, flags, uniforms, gestures, national anthems, and mutual encouragement.
  5. Training and cross training.
  6. Discipline.
  7. Humor.
  8. Comfort food.
  9. Self-encouragement, self-talk, visualization, affirmations.
  10. Prayer.
  • Courage-building strategies help us to act despite persistent fears.
  • Training and cross training may be the most effective courage building (and risk management) strategy for businesses.
  • Discipline, humor, self-talk, and prayer help people manage fears.
  • Since we learn by doing, we need to experience being courageous instead of just understanding intellectually its nature.

“Success cannot be guaranteed. There are no safe battles.”
–       Winston S. Churchill

  • Risks are inherent in life.
  • The only risk-free people are dead.
  • People must find appropriate ways to deal with risks.
  • Despite our best plans, there are always elements or situations that are not taken into consideration.

“Nothing is gained without some risk.”
–       Louis Lamour

“All life involves the management of risk, not its elimination.”
–       Walter Wriston

THINGS THAT CAN NEITHER BE CONTROLLED NOR INFLUENCED:

  • Most people’s reactions or behaviours.
  • The opinions and honesty of strangers.
  • World events.
  • The weather: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, ice storms, droughts, or heat waves.
  • Traffic congestion.
  • The price of gas.
  • The internet and its accessibility.
  • Airlines: When they will depart and whether your baggage will arrive with you.
  • The outcome of a sport event.
  • Government rules, regulations, and taxes.
  • The behaviour of the stock market.
  • The day you die.

THINGS THAT CAN BE INFLUENCED:

  • The opinions of family or co-workers.
  • On occasion, other people’s behaviour.
  • The safety of your children.
  • Some event in which you are involved.
  • Your working environment.
  • The time it takes to get certain tasks done.
  • Your pet.
  • Your personal success.

THINGS THAT CAN BE CONTROLLED:

  • Your discretionary time.
  • How hard you will work.
  • Your thoughts.
  • Your emotions.
  • Your attitude.
  • Your tongue.
  • Who will be your friends?
  • Who will be your heroes?
  • Your personal commitment.
  • Your professional and personal affiliations.
  • Your spiritual journey.
  • Your discretionary money.
  • Your worries.
  • Your response to situations, events, and people.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
–       Reinhold Niebuhr

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”
–       Winston S. Churchill

10 WAYS TO TAKE APPROPRIATE RISKS:

  1. Exercise restraint/don’t be impulsive.
  2. Learn from mistakes.
  3. Embrace excellence not perfection.
  4. Don’t attempt to control the uncontrollable.
  5. Be open to new ideas and actions.
  6. Be persistent and tenacious.
  7. Be ready to dance with changing circumstances; be resilient.
  8. Be nonjudgmental.
  9. Be innovative in problem solving.
  10. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
–       Vincent van Gogh

  • Balanced risk-reduction strategies can help us to respond appropriately.
  • It is a waste to spend energy and time on things over which we have no control or influence.
  • Since the first steps are always the hardest and most critical, get started, build momentum, and keep moving.
  • Procrastination is a thief that steals our time, our productivity, our dreams, our vitality, and our lives.
  • A sense of urgency is necessary to take back control of our lives.

10 PRACTICAL STRATEGIES TO HELP OVERCOME THE ADDICTION OF PROCRASTINATION:

  1. Commit to solve the problem.
  2. Consider the cost of procrastination.
  3. Take back control!
  4. Identify compelling reasons for not procrastinating.
  5. Develop a “Do it NOW!” attitude.
  6. Set deadlines/make public promises.
  7. Divide and conquer the problem.
  8. Delegate when possible.
  9. Encourage yourself with positive self-talk.
  10. Celebrate your successes.

THE 7-17-27 STAIRSTEP APPROACHTM

  1. Identify a project that causes you to procrastinate.
  2. Commit to working on the project for 7 minutes and then do so.
  3. Briefly stop, and then immediately recommit to work for 17 minutes and do so.
  4. Finally, briefly stop, and immediately recommit to work for 27 minutes and do so.
  5. Now stop and celebrate that you just spent 51 minutes at a task that you’d been putting off!
  6. Repeat the 7-17-27 process again and again. You’re now on your way toward getting the job done.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–       John Wooden

“Somebody should tell us right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. There are only so many tomorrows.”
–       Michael Landon

  • Leaders can only delegate authority, not responsibility.
  • The 7-17-27 Stairstep ApproachTM is a practical way to get started and keeping moving.
  • It’s possible that our procrastination in the past has created an unsolvable problem because we will run out of time.

“Crisis often creates clarity.”
–       Dr. Paul L. Escamilla

“Courage is the freedom to choose.”
–       Norman Cousins

“The test of character is not ‘hanging in’ when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty and persistence of example when you know no light is coming.”
–       Admiral Lames B. Stockdale, U.S. Navy

  • The clearer we are about what we value, the easier it will become to act with courage when the situation arises.
  • Moral courage is something you observe but cannot predict.
  • Moral courage hinges on the strengths of one’s convictions, values, and beliefs.
  • Clarity of purpose solidifies our courage.
  • The need to focus and concentrate on our challenges means we need to keep our eye on the ball.
  • Intense laser-like focus illuminates one’s values and helps to minimize peripheral distractions.
  • To avoid sapping one’s focus, maintain calm. Do not be impulsive or hasty.
  • Scientists, explorers, adventurers, and pioneers seek to fill in the gaps of human knowledge and understanding.
  • Curiosity can be a fuel that propels a person to act courageously.
  • Creative people possess a high degree of curiosity and tenacity. These attributes are needed to give birth to new ideas. This takes courage.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
–       Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • A person can cultivate courage by stepping out of the one’s physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual comfort zones.
  • Step by step is the key. Eat no more than you can chew. This allows self-imposed changes to become mastered and internalized.
  • Volunteering, mentoring, forgiving, and being flexible challenge our basic nature.
  • Listen with your eyes, see with your heart, and listen to the speaker’s words for content, emotion, and context.
  • Listening is an active sport, not a passive one. One must listen on purpose.
  • To be right means that someone must be wrong. Become more flexible, and suspend your point of view where appropriate.

“The courage to speak must be matched by the wisdom to listen.”
–       Anonymous

“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”
–       Alice M. Swaim

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
–       Mary Anne Radmacher

  • We can cultivate courage by changing our perspectives.
  • We can always choose how we react to circumstances. Choose an empowering perspective instead of a discouraging one.
  • Surviving a calamity means focusing on what you have, not what you have lost. Continue to look forward/move forward.
  • Leaders find ways to make change and stress work for them.
  • Courage is a catalyst for change.

“My heroes tend to be people who successfully accomplish things I could not dare even to contemplate.”
–       Paul Johnson

“Stories of the past offer hope and inspiration, but they cannot supply courage itself. For this, each person must look into his own soul.”
–       John F. Kennedy

  • Heroes act with personal courage regardless of the consequences to themselves.
  • Heroes and role models, use their varied achievements as a source of inspiration, not intimidation.
  • Courageous people exercise patience.
  • We can use best practices from other industries to solve problems and thus strengthen our courage muscle.
  • A victory log can help us prepare for future challenges by remembering past successes.
  • Everyone has the capacity to be a leader, to be creative, and to exercise courage.
  • Organizations often fail to tap into the talents, creativity, and energy of every worker.
  • No one can predict who will be courageous during crisis.

“It is not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It is because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”
–       Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
–       Robert Frost

“If you want to increase your success, double your failure rate.”
–       Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

  • Build boldness by accepting difficult assignments as well as by broadening one’s experience.
  • Develop sound judgment by adopting a discerning attitude. Ask the question ‘so what?’ and ‘now what?’ at every opportunity.
  • Critique individual and team battles with a plan-do-check-act method.

THE DESTROYERMEN’S APPROACHTM TO DECISION MAKING

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What are various options to solve the problem?
  3. What is the worst-case solution?
  4. What is the best-case highest-payoff solution?
  5. What is the most likely outcome for each solution?
  6. Are there any force multipliers in a solution?
  7. What is the most easily-executed solution?
  8. Based on the above, what is the best solution to the problem?

“A pearl is the outcome of a problem well managed.”
–       Dr. Paul L. Escamilla

“There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.”
–        Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. U.S. Navy

“Necessity does the work of courage.”
–       George Eliot

  • A few courageous trained men in each group can help other team members be courageous.
  • Necessity may compel people to be courageous.
  • Leaders motivate their followers with enthusiasm, encouragement, and generosity.
  • Leaders encourage, that is, give courage to their people.
  • Leaders should not be stingy whit their encouragement.
  • Effective praise will lubricate the wheels of leadership.
  • Vision without courage and determination leads to hopelessness; you see it, but you don’t believe you can get it!
  • Courage without vision and determination leads to tilting at windmills, taking on too many tasks and challenges that lead nowhere.
  • Determination without vision and courage makes us rigid, dogmatic, and more likely to place blame for our lack of progress on others.
  • To solve problems, leaders mobilize and motivate their people in person, not by memo.
  • Leadership which can be described as vision, courage, and determination can be further distilled to ‘follow me’.”
  • Leaders and followers, like matter and energy, are two forms of the same thing.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage.”
–       Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
–       Anaïs Nin

“Men don’t follow titles. They follow courage.”
–       William Wallace to Robert Bruce in Braveheart

“Great things are done more though courage than through wisdom.”
–       German proverb

  • To be courageous means recognizing that there is a sens of urgency to what we do.
  • Being forehanded helps prevent being surprised – a source of fear.
  • We do not need more information. We just need more courage!
  • One of the greatest legacy a person can leave is that of a leader of men and women.
  • We must rediscover the spirit of our childhood. We can lead courageous lives both at work and at home.
  • Face challenges head on and without delay. That’s courage!

THE FIVE CORNERSTONES OF COURAGETM

  1. Courage is taking action despite fear.
  2. Courage grows out of clarity of purpose.
  3. Courage is like a muscle. We can develop it by using it.
  4. Courage resides in everyone.
  5. Courage is contagious.

“What gives us courage is believing what we want is achievable.”
–       Naomi Kryske

“The difference between getting somewhere and nowhere is the courage to make an early start.”
–       Charles M. Schwab

“By our courage, our endurance, and our brains, we have made our way in the world to the lasting benefit of mankind. Let us not lose heart. Our future is one of high hope.”
–       Winston S. Churchill

“You ask: ‘What is our aim?’ I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”
–       Winston S. Churchill

THE CHURCHILL FACTORS

VISION
“If you can see it, you can paint it!”
What do I want to be, do, or have?

COURAGE
“Do it now, and don’t look back!”
What do I need to do to get started?

DETERMINATION
“Never give in!”
How do I achieve my outcome?

Some suggested movies about COURAGE.

Apollo 13 (1995)                                                 Bridges of Toko Ri (1955)
Zulu (1964)                                                        Glory (1989)
We Were Soldiers (2001)                                    Naked Prey (1966)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)                                 Braveheart (1995)
Band Of Brothers HBO series (2001)                   Das Boot (1981)
The Insider (1999)                                              Gandhi (1982)
United 93 (2006)                                                The Lost Battalion (2001)
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)                                Battle of Britain (1969)
Twelve Angry Men (1957)                                    The Alamo (2004)
Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)                              Backdraft (1991)
The Gathering Storm (2003)                                Mississippi Burning (1988)
The Great Escape (1963)

_____________________________
Thanks for reading, Patric J. Dufficy

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