Monday, August 31, 2009

Passion Party #59 - Nobody

There is a popular maxim,
"Nobody ever said on his deathbed, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’”
So today I will do a short hike in the Santa Monica mountains, and plan to end the day watching the sun set over the Pacific ocean.
And I will squeeze in some "office" in the middle of the day.
That feels about right.
Life is good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Passion Party #58 - Unbury the Passion

Very often my Passion gets buried in the Process.
Every day the world sets up More Rules to Follow,
more Road Blocks.
I think of the idea I am most passionate about.
Then I think of the process to get there,
the list of actions and activities to make this
dream into a reality.
The list gets longer and more detailed
and in the end I begin to think - is it worth it?
The passionate idea has been beaten down
by the process of getting there.
The challenge is to keep the passion through the process.
To dig down and find the passion every day,
find the part that you love, that brought you here in the first place,
and just do that today.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Passion Party #57 - Make Your Own Rules

Part of unplugging
is that it helps you see what is important
and what is not.
I have always loved games and puzzles
and since my youth I have wanted to be
the person who created the puzzle for others to solve,
the game master
who creates the rules of the game.
I wanted to run the Funhouse, rather than get lost in it.

It is human nature to want to learn the rules
and then figure out how to break them, or get around them, or improve them.
But it takes a special person to make their own rules
and create a new game.
And if the rules work
you may find
many people want to play the game with you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Passion Party #56 - Don't Panic!

Some companies work on the basis of Crisis Management:
If it is not a crisis, we don't care.
Make it a crisis, and we'll get it done.
- Not my idea of a good time.
In my office, instead of a Panic Button, I need a
Don't Panic Button.
It will all work out - it always does, one way or another.
Don't worry
Don't Panic!
There's nothing going on but history.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Passion Party #55 - My Purpose

Passion is the fuel that keeps the fire burning
when it is attached to my purpose in life.

What is my purpose?
Serve others
Share my talents
Love others
Be an inspiration.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Passion Party #54 - The Pursuit of Passion

I would rather be in the pursuit of passion
than in the pursuit of happiness.
I would rather be passionate than happy.
Somewhere early in my life passion became one of the emotions I realized was a key
I would avoid jealousy and hatred
I would pursue passion and joy and love.
I have felt jealousy, and it is a gnawing, destructive emotion. It pulls you and those around you down. It comes from a sense of lack, of "not enough".
I have felt passion, and it is a powerful emotion:
Talent + experience + passion = unstoppable
Passion is the fuel that keeps the fire burning.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Passion Party #53 - Managing Expectations

The key to my happiness
is managing expectations,
being honest and forthright, not hiding my true self.
I let people know the worst case scenario,
That is what people want to hear
because that is the time we are living in -
"The worst recession since the Great Depression"
is what it said in the newspaper the other day.
When people know the 88 things that can go wrong
then it is easier to make it right.
If they expect difficulty
then I become a hero when I make it easy.

People like limits. They like to know the range of what may happen.
So I under-promise and over-deliver
and that leads to my health and happiness.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Passion Party #52 - Dance Like No One is Watching

There is a 100-year old philosophical riddle,
"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" The answer seems to be that the sound is attached to the observation of the action.

We went out last night and saw a belly dancing show.
A group of lovely ladies, all ages and sizes,
displaying traditional and fusion dances filled with isolation of movement.

I couldn't help but wonder, what if Merce Cunningham
had been a belly dancer?
What if the belly dancing troupe used Cunningham's chance techniques
to create a dance?
That would be something to see,
a complete melding of the highest and lowest chakras.
The dancers might reach spontaneous combustion...

This is a wonder of creation
that whether we had shown up last night or not
the dance would have gone on
the costumes would have been worn
the music would have played
and the dancers would dance.
The dance goes on
You don't need an audience
You just need the spirit and desire
to enter the dance
It has already begun
I can dance today
like no one is watching.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Passion Party #51 - Little Things

Today I will do the little things
That list of little things that all take time and somehow I never get to
Pick six of them
and do them
I will clean the grill
so that I can start fresh.
Getting little things done brings little triumphs.
That is all I need today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Passion Party #50 - In The Flow

Yesterday for the first time in months I came home and could honestly say that I had a great day at work.
I actually had fun at work.
What made it so great?
- I spent the day talking with people that respected my opinion and expertise.
- All my clients are great now. I have weeded out the fun but hopeless, the distrustful, the ones that use me for information.
- I got the printout for my next paycheck and I am hitting (and surpassing) my monthly financial goal - my "number".
- I have enough other activity in my life - music, concerts, short vacation trips - that I have recent pleasant memories and things to look forward to.
- I felt "in the flow".

And today I feel gratitude,
I feel grateful and alive.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Passion Party #49 - Money, Part 6

Being poor sucks.
I have been rich, and I have been poor,
and being rich is better.
The starving artist thing gets pretty old at a certain point.
I remember as a student spending summers working at my dad's office, a sheet metal factory in Queens, NY,
and hating it, counting the hours I worked there,
and doodling over and over again:
The Best Things in Life are Free!
And I still believe this to be true.
But I would rather spend a day at the beach with a $50 bill in my pocket than be worrying about how to buy my next meal or where I am going to sleep that night.

You can have a lot of money and still feel poor, and you can have a little money and feel rich.
So I guess to some extent
once you get past the bare necessities
being poor is a state of mind.

Money doesn't buy happiness
but I am certainly happier when I have money.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Passion Party #48 - Raise Your Frequency

There are some people you just want to be around.
They inspire you, excite you,
they open your mind to new opportunities,
they help pull you up.
I want to be one of those people.

It is not hard to change your mood,
but first you need to recognize where you are on that emotional scale.
Like turning a dial on an old radio,
it's not hard to move from country music to classic rock,
you just have to change the frequency,
move up the range of the dial and tune in
to the music that you want to hear.

So I can do that, too,
raise my frequency from depressed
up past anger and fear
to joyful, inspired and perhaps ecstatic.
The frequency I put out is
the energy I will attract.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Passion Party #47 - What If You Knew Your Days Were Numbered?

Last night I went to visit some friends
to say prayers and reminisce about their teenage son
who just died last week.
He died of leukemia after a
long hard battle with the disease.
As people shared stories about Steven, a common thread appeared.
It was one of a caring individual, empathic, funny and warm,
a person who strived to achieve a lot in his short life,
and reached a Christ-like purity by helping others even as his own life slipped away.

What would I do if my days were numbered?
If I knew I only had a few years to live,
what would I do now? Would I choose to do things differently?
What if I only had a year?
What if it were only weeks?
It is like a game in the abstract,
but this was no game, this was the reality that Steven and his family lived with.

Death is inevitable,
but if I try to vision how it will be when I die
the image is one of being vital and healthy until
one night I go to sleep and I don't wake up the next morning,
like how my Grandma Birdie died.
I don't envision the slow debilitating death that cancer brings.

My big wish is to
leave with no regrets
And to live my life in a way that,
if today were the last day,
I will be at peace with my life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Passion Party #46 - Acceptance

We are now at a point where the Great Financial Crisis will be two years old. We have had two years to walk through the grief, the sense of loss.
I have been through the shock, and the denial.
I have gotten angry.
I have tried bargaining.
I have been through depression
and now I am at acceptance.
Acceptance is the key.

Acceptance is the key
The rule book has changed
and will continue to change.
I must keep looking forward and not spend too much time in the other stages of grief.
I accept what is, and move forward.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Passion Party #45 - Unplugged, Part 2

I am happiest and most relaxed when I am surrounded by nature.
I don't need newspapers. They are fun as a mind stimulant, but are unnecessary.
I don't need 99% of the emails I receive. Odds are if I never looked at email again, I would still survive.
The internet is a fun diversion, best for planning vacations.
I don't need the MEDIA to tell me what to do.
I can be happiest
cooking my own dinner
sitting in my back yard.
Life will go on without me, and that is OK.
"Social Media" is over-rated.

Taking care of the people immediately around me
Having a clear small picture
Being with friends
This is what's important.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Passion Party #44 - Fear of Success

I spent so much of my life thinking I was afraid to fail,
afraid to put myself out there.
I thought my fear of failure stopped me from going out on my own, from taking risks.
Was it my own limitations, or my lack of focus?

"What happens when you fail?"
I get to try again.
I get to change direction and try something new.
I get to stay small.

"What happens when you succeed?"
People expect more of me.
People will be jealous of me
I end up with a different, more complicated set of problems.
People will expect me to repeat my success.
I have farther to fall.

Success is hard.
It is so much easier to fail.
So my fear of success often stops me from achieving greatness.
I have to change those old tapes about success, reverse the message that I learned so long ago. It is not my voice that I am hearing.
Now I can say
-People respect me when I succeed
-I will not get more success than I can handle
-Success is easy, it comes to me when I do the right things
-Success allows me to mentor others, and share my knowledge with the world
-I have nothing to fear from success or failure

Monday, August 10, 2009

Passion Party #43 - Unplugged

What if you totally unplugged for 5 days?
No radio
No newspapers
No magazines
No computer
No Internet
No cell phone
No phone at all
No work
What would you find?
What would you say?
What kind of conversations would arise between you and your family, friends or strangers?
When you reenter the world, as you know you must, how will your values have changed?
What would you say?
What's important, anyway?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Passion Party #42 - Recovery Time

It is great to unplug
to get away from the office
and the computer
spending time with family in a relaxed environment
each day a blank slate
to be filled with nature - swimming - playing cards
Simple pleasures.

I know some people this year have opted out of vacations,
thinking they cannot afford to take one.
I cannot afford NOT to take time off.
Let the nerve endings mend
So I can come back refreshed
to battle another day.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Passion Party #41 - Big Dreams

I love big dreams -
Traveling around the world
Visiting exotic places
Running my own company
Performing at concert halls in major cities
Having more money that I can ever spend in a lifetime

I hate big dreams -
They are an illusion, a distraction
They only lead to disappointment
because they don't get fulfilled and
I am left with a sense of failure.

If I don't dream big
I will never know my limits
I will not know which way to turn
I will not be able to see progress

If I have big dreams
I can take steps towards them
and if it is really about the journey
then there will be no regrets
as I am on the right path.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Passion Party #40 - Sometimes

Instead of knocking on the wall
Or banging on the wall
Or hitting your head against the wall
You just have to walk around the wall.