False Starts, Heavy Hearts

”Today will never happen again.  Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all.”                                                                Og Mandino

You might have heard the story about the great escape artist.   This man could not be confined.  He could extricate himself from any prison, any sealed enclosure within a very short amount of time.

This man wowed the crowds the world over with his unusual talent.

One day, he received a challenge from a small town sheriff: Try and flee from his jail. To make it more interesting, the lawman said the town would pay him one million dollars if he could free himself within 20 minutes.

But, there was a caveat.  If the breakout specialist was unable to flee his incarceration within the 20 minute period, the artiste would be forced to remit one million dollars to the town.

Needless to say, he was up to the challenge.  The offer was accepted readily by the performer.

Now, there was much angst, consternation and fear coming from the town’s people in this small, poor village. If the great escape artist freed himself within the allotted time, the municipality would be on the hook for one million dollars.  That would force the town into bankruptcy.  So the agreement by the community was far from unanimous and was ushered along with much uncertainty.

The great escape artist arrives in town.  He is greeted by the locals with much fanfare and hoopla accompanied by a high degree of underlying apprehension and concern.

Then, after brief welcoming remarks, the lawman, the escape artist and the assembled crowd, walk over to the sheriff’s office.  The performer is escorted to the holding cell by the officer who then slams the door tightly shut.

It is now Showtime!

The great escape artist gets to work.  For him, this is a “no brainer” payday.

Five minutes pass and the great artist is hard at work. He has freed himself from the most escape-proof institutions all over the world.

Ten minutes into the challenge, he is showing signs of concern.

Now with only five minutes left, he is laboring furiously.

With only one minute left, the great artist is sweating profusely and can’t understand why this particular jail door is so hard to unlock.

The twenty minutes have expired.  For the first time in his career, he has lost a challenge.  He is crestfallen and he is out one million dollars.

The town folk are both shocked and relieved.

He is totally frustrated. Still imprisoned behind bars, the great escape artist asks the lawman what made this particular jail cell so escape proof.

While waiting for a response from the lawman, he leans against the cell door and, suddenly the jail door opens.  The cell gate had never been locked in the first place.

The moral of this story is don’t allow yourself to be incapacitated by pre-conceived notions.

False Starts, Broken Hearts.

These are tough times.  That’s a given.  We are over the age of 50.  By this time in our lives, there’s been a bit of soul searching and reevaluating what is really important in life. Not only that but, along the way, we have even picked up some smarts bestowed upon each and every one of us, compliments of the gracious and peachy wisdom fairy.

But, even with all this going in our favor, most of us don’t take advantage of our talents and gifts.  Why?  I’m not sure but I’ll take a stab at it: It takes time and lots of introspection.

Here’s the kicker: Recent findings show that most of us would rather inflict pain upon ourselves than endure 15 minutes of peace and quiet.

Silence, meditation, prayer; call it what you will, it’s the means of opening wisdom’s door.  But, it’s not held under lock and key.  It is there for the taking; just open the door.

In the past, I have written about my formula:  Noise + Distraction and Resistance = Scattered Potential and a World of Stress.

We can’t stand the pain of failure we are experiencing, even when it lacerates the very essence of who and what we are.  The sad truth is it’s much easier to accept, endure and prolong current suffering than to hazard another course of action. It’s easier to deal with the devil you know than………………………………….

Perhaps, it’s the dread of facing fears and dealing with our own inner contagion.

This is not religion.  But, there must be some truth to the time tested old saws about the devil in details and the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

Dismissing these alerts creates a climate of prolonged and needless torment.

But, some people don’t want to be happy. They revel in the questionable delights of disenchantment and schadenfreude. They do not want help. They are not ready for assistance.  That’s not abandonment.  It is not “writing them off.”  It’s just the truth.  Helping people who don’t want help wastes precious time that should be devoted to helping ourselves.  It’s deflection of personal responsibility.

Let me go back to an old theory of mine, “People hear what they want to hear and only hear what they need to hear when they are ready to hear what they heard.”

And, it’s so much easier to get lost in pandemonium and diversion.  That is here and now. It’s an anodyne.

On the other hand, success and accomplishment have total disregard for immediate needs. These are the bitches of serendipity.

They come and go as they please, leave no posted time of arrival or departure and convulse with laughter at our frustration with their delays and cancellations.

Thus the certainty that accompanies the temporary reprieve takes precedence over the ambiguity of the unknown.

It can be compared to the quiet before the storm or the suspenseful scene leading up to the appearance of the monster or villain.

It’s like we have been trained to distrust silence. That upsets the apple cart and places an expiration notice on the acknowledged status quo.

Perhaps, it’s the worry and agitation. They come in tandem with the false assumption that doing nothing leads to nothing; and that’s considered a waste of time.  Or, it could be we are afraid to take the time to find answers and solutions in order to experience a more productive and meaningful life.

Half-hearted measures of the past have a way of magnifying in reflection thus impeding further discovery and resolution.

It is as if we become so addicted to the endurance of pain, that it is actually easier to continue with the burden and torment we know than surmount the uncertainty of the unknown; even if it renders a more positive result and outcome.

Yes, we are over 50.  We are wiser. But it’s the implementation of that wisdom that takes a while to kick-start into motion.

We have to rise above our inner demons.

All of us have the distinct ability to make our lives a living hell.

We also have the manifest capacity to rise above our immediate circumstance and achieve what it is and where we want to be.

Yes, life is hard.  But, what choice do we have.

We brand ourselves with failure when failures, flops and fiascos are only steps on the way to success.

The journey has not ended.  So, why stop now?  Take a break.  Get into silence, prayer, meditation.  They will guide you to answers.  Don’t deride it.  Don’t dismiss it.  Don’t give up.

You’ve tried everything else.

Don’t anticipate.  When you least expect things to happen, that’s when they always do. So turn attention to other things in life.

Let it happen.

Follow through by giving yourself a break. No more false starts and heavy hearts.  The future has its own disclosure process.  You have done all you can.

Life can be similar to a boxing match. There is no fighting in-between rounds.  That’s the time to rest and regain strength.

Excuse the mixed metaphors but you have been running so far, so fast and so long that it’s time to allow opportunity to catch up with you.

 

It’s a Rough and Bumpy Road on the Way to Easy Street

             What a childhood I had, why, when I took my first step, my old man tripped me!         Rodney Dangerfield

A recent article cites evidence that billionaires really are smarter than the most of us.

Ever wonder why?

Is it because they have more patience?  Is it because they are focused?  Do they work harder?  Do they work smarter than most of us?

I don’t know.  And, I’m certainly no billionaire.

Realistically, I want more out of life than where I am at this moment and I’m sure that same aspiration applies to you.

And, that leads to the point of this piece.

Do you ever have those times where everything turns to crap.  I’m sure you have.

On a 103 degree LA day, the car air conditioner goes out on my way to pick up my daughter and my 3 month old Grandson, the car wheels are shaking, the sensors are giving faulty readings showing that the car needs oil and the engine needs work.

Oh, and the brake lights don’t work.  And, to break up the monotony, I’m in the midst of 2 IRS audits, I need a new computer and the printer just stopped working and my stomach has been bothering me for 7 months and none of the specialists seem to know why.

I asked for a second opinion and the doctor said…yeah, and you’re ugly too!

On the belly issue, I don’t have gender identity issues, so I know I’m not pregnant,  but I always wore ‘hand-me-downs”…………………………but, my sister has such great taste!

I’m not going into lurid details about my set of woes, because, let’s face it, you’ve got your own set of challenges, so who cares.

It’s like, take care of it and deal with it.

I mention this to make a point:  Either bitch and moan about my string of “issues”, feel sorry for myself and rack up  points at the nearest meeting of the LSBA.

Ever hear of it?  It’s a very special club.  LSBA stands for  “The Life Sucks Benevolent Alliance.”   Like I said, it’s a very special club.

Sidebar-Unfortunately, these organizations don’t seem to last all that long.   Extensive research shows the top two reasons are:

1).  There’s always unexpected misfortunes and calamities stopping  members from ever showing up for meetings.

AND

2).  Because members of The Life Sucks Benevolent Alliance have so many
“issues”,  there’s never have enough money to cover the cost of dues.

Now, I’m not picking on people who have really had it rough.

In fact, those who have truly experienced tough times, really tough times, are usually more grateful than the rest of us.

I’m a big proponent of the Law of Attraction.  I really believe what the mind can conceive the mind can achieve.

On the other hand, the conceive/achieve formula can all turn out to be the exact opposite of our expectations. You see, what the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve but, it can also be….that the mind can deceive.

You’re only fooling yourself if you don’t really believe in what you’re doing, what you’re saying and how you’re acting.

You’re not fooling anyone especially yourself.  So, stop the nonsense.  This ain’t junior high and you’re over the age of 50.  Hello.

Most of us want a better life.  Life is rough and, as much as I’d like to ignore that, the truth is it’s getting rougher every day.

So, what do you do?  What can you do?

Recently I read where meditation actually increases brain function. Hey, we all want to take it easy.  Meditation sounds great.

And, I’m not being patronizing.  The problem is the amount of time it takes to relax, get into a meditative state and then actually let yourself go.  It seems the times you need it most are usually the times when we’re experiencing the highest amount of stress.

Unfortunately, in real life, there really are no time-outs or commercial breaks

Sure you need it. I need it. But, taking your eye off the prize can put you even further behind the 8 ball.

When you’re under the gun, it just doesn’t seem right to stop.  It breaks the rhythm of what you’re doing at that moment.

I’m not knocking meditation.  I know it works….when I’ve got the time to meditate.  That’s my bad.

Right now, I don’t do as much as I should and I know I need to meditate..

On the other hand, maybe this is the price of doing business.

Let me explain.  Earlier I talked about billionaires being smarter than the rest of us.  Is it because they put so much extra effort into what they’re doing?  Is it because they are better able to put aside life’s challenges and go right through the “incidental” things that stop and impede most of us from completing the things that are so essential to success?

Are they working with ease?  Meanwhile, we have our nose to the grindstone, always focused and goal oriented

I don’t know.

But, let me throw this out at you.  And, I’m really thinking about this:  We all want more.  We dream what it would be like with more of…whatever we want more of?

But, are we willing to pay the price for the prize of success and greater happiness?

Here’s what I’m talking about.  We all bitch and moan.  That’s part of life. But, let me run this by you.  If you can’t handle the problems, the troubles and the tribulations you’re facing right now, do you really think you’ll be able to handle even more pressure and problems that always seem to go together with each step up, as you’re on the way to greater fulfillment?

Now, you’re probably saying, “duh.”  OK.  Hey, we don’t all learn life’s lessons at the same time or the same way.

I admit it.  I’m Exhibit A.

Ever notice when you hit some “Motherlode of Success” that almost, out of nowhere, bills,  unexpected expenses, charges, payments, taxes and fees seem to appear out of nowhere. It’s like your good fortune comes with a down payment of additional negative incidentals.

And you say to yourself, “What the heck is all this?  Haven’t I paid enough dues”?

And, you’re right.  You really have.  But, let’s get real.

As you climb the success ladder, you have to pay an entry fee.  It’s like the government.  Sure, you’ve paid your taxes, but now you’ve got to pay “fees.”

If you’re not willing to pay those fees, then you’re not ready to take the next step to success.

We all think, if only.  If only what?  Success comes with a price.

If you’re not willing to pay those dues, fees, etc. then stay where you are.

And, here’s something else to consider-Gratitude.  Be grateful for what you have right now.Trust me on this.  No matter how bad things might be for you right now, if you can’t find anything to be grateful for, then you’re not ready to take the next steps up.

Life only gives you what you can handle.  And, if you can’t handle what you have right now, you’ll never get beyond where you are right now.

When you think of life that way, it’s enough to make you rethink your pathway to greater happiness and success.

So, let me ask you, what do you really want?  Is it money?  Is it happiness?  Is it achievement?  What is your goal?

Whatever it is, you have to be ready to step up and pay the price.

You can’t put aspirations on a debit or credit card.

Be grateful for what you have at this moment.  It makes it so much easier.  And, you might find out that the next steps up become so much easier.

And, let’s try some meditation.

Otherwise, you might find out that it really is a rough and bumpy road on the way to Easy Street.

 

 

 

 

 


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Sellouts, Sycohphants and Shaddenfreude

                                  “Don’t give up.  Don’t lose hope.  Don’t sell out.”                                                                                          Christopher Reeve

Am I the only one seemingly imprisoned in some vile and eerie state of surrealism where Sellouts and Sycophants have ensnared, outmaneuvered and subjugated the custodians of common sense?

It’s a field day for eunuchs, quislings and the narcissistic.

Now, we all need financial relief and recognition for a job well done is greatly appreciated.  Plus, it’s getting cold.  So, there is immediate need for making provision for winter’s unrelenting disposition.  We do what we need to do.

But, what the hell is going on?   It seems what’s wrong is right and what’s right is meaningless.  It’s as if some ominous pathogen has quietly but deliberately infected our basic sensibilities and caused a seismic shift in what is considered basic Values.

We all know the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  Sure, that’s true.  But, volume is an imprecise assessment of substance.

This is not a political rant.  In fact, may a pox befall most elected officials.   Generally speaking they are Sellouts and Sycopchants beholden only to “others.”  Most times, the agenda of “others” is in sharp contrast with the concerns directly affecting you and me.

Politicians can be so megalomaniacal that it puts into question their mental soundness.

Perhaps I’m wrong but when it comes to most affairs of state, the only winner is the holder of the cards in a game of “3 card monty.”   And, guess what?  That ain’t us.

Enough said on that front, but it does shine the light on Sellouts and Sycophants.  They will do all they can for the sake of power and control.  It’s not just personal power.  It’s the capacity of lording over others.

It reminds me of the old Show Biz line, “Enough about me. Let’s talk about my show.”

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  So, it is imperative we make mid course corrections and then move on so we’re not left behind.  .

Unfortunately, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any definition of the word but life experience and a bit of research have shown me that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Shaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These are people who like to manipulate and inflict distress upon others.  Call it whatever you want, but it is sadistic in nature.

These people are ingrates.  They present themselves as better and smarter than most of humanity.  Privilege is due them. They are the “squeaky wheels” driven by an abundance of arrogance and a delusional sense of entitlement.

What they don’t realize is something once said by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”   Actions really do speak louder than words.

In reality, the crux of the matter is most of these people have very little self-regard.  In fact, they use their arrogance as a shield.  The shield pushes away others so their deceit is secure and their fraud remains undetected.

However, they live in fear of being “found out.” They can’t bear the thought of being discovered for whom they really are.  That’s why they are so thin skinned.  They can’t take criticism.

And, since they can’t control their own lives, they set out to control the lives of others.

That’s the real issue: Control.

Years ago, in my DJ days, there was a Radio Manager who was considered a programming genius but a total S.O.B.  He put the fear of god into those who worked for him.  He made life miserable for many people in Radio.

Jump cut 20 years later and I had the chance to meet him.  He turned out to be a really great guy and was very helpful to me.  In our time together, he was totally honest and explained why he took on that S.O.B persona.  The reason:  He didn’t want anyone knowing how little he thought he knew, so his safety net was total control.

Those of us over the age of 50 know a phony when we see one.  We still have to deal with them, especially in a professional work setting.  But, it doesn’t mean emulating their controlling demeanor.

People who have no control over their own lives have a tendency of wanting to dominate the lives of others.  Psychiatrists refer to it as Displacement.  Since they can’t control their lives, they look for a source outside themselves to control.

On the other hand, those who have self-control have little or no interest in dictating how others should live and breathe. They will guide and mentor.  In the work place, they can even be rough at times, but they will be fair.  They are confident enough in their own talents and abilities.  Domination is a classification so remote from any personal character analysis.  .

These are uncertain times and, in order to get ahead, it’s very easy to mimic the behavior of Sellouts and Sycophants.   We all want more.  And, many of us are panning for gold by exploring and considering the latest secrets to success.  Sometimes, it’s all too tempting to adapt behavior alien to our core values.

And, by doing so, we take on the characteristics of what we find so alien.  We assume the identity and behavior of a sellout and sycophant.  And, that’s crazy.  It’s not who we are.

Here’s a warning:  Be careful.  Replicating fabricated identities, you do so at your own peril.

You see, living a lie means a lack of” Ease.”  And, when taken out of a position of ” Ease”, it creates an environment ripe for the incubation of Infection and Disease.

Now, let me take this one step further. We know when we are out of sorts.  We feel it when we see it.  The same holds true even in the most unexpected sources.

In the book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”, Author/Photographer Masaru Emoto took pictures of ice crystals.

So, what’s significant about that?

Well, through highly advanced micro-photography, Emoto captured amazing transformations.  He observed when someone with a positive disposition approached the ice crystals while being photographed, the configuration of the crystals turned totally white and beautifully shaped.

However, when someone troubled and negative came within proximity to the crystals, they turned ugly, shapeless and grey.  Check out those pictures in Emoto’s book.  They are amazing.

So, if something as minute as ice crystals can be affected by positive and negative energies, then you must consider how Sellouts and Sycophants influence you.  Their effect can be be nothing short of amazing or destructive.

What I’m saying is don’t allow yourself to be seduced and drawn into a vortex of ethical ambivalence.

Until proven otherwise, don’t jump to mirror the appearance of strength.  It might be hiding a host of inadequacies.

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  In life, we all make certain realignments but then move on.

But, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any measure of the word but life experience and a bit of research show that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Schaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These control freaks manipulate and inflict hardship on others.  Psychologists refer to it as a form of displacement. It is limiting, debilitating and sadistic in nature.

These are strange and unsettling times in which we live.  It’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to be true to our own moral and value compass.    Today, it’s our safety net in today’s 3 ring Circus that we call life.

We can start by not ceding Control of our lives to Sellouts and Sycophants.  If they can’t control their own lives, what the Hell are they doing trying to run ours.

I always return replies that are sent to dickheatherton@outlook.com

 

 

Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere

   “Our Greatest Glory is not in Never Failing, but in Rising Up Every Time We Fail.”         Ralph Waldo Emerson

All I’m really looking for is Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere.

Sounds like the title of a County song.  Today it’s the clarion call for so many of us over the age of 50.

Let’s get real.  Things just don’t seem right.  Today, we are fed a daily regimen of celebrity absurdity and a torrent of matters inconsequential, all designed for the purpose of diversion and distraction. It’s modern day Bread and Circuses.  But, delusion doesn’t pay the bills nor open many doors. We know in our heart of hearts, things just don’t seem right. The feeling is palpable.

But, we are Entrepreneurs.  We do what we need to do and do it on our own.  We are driven by vision, motivated by passion and guided by experience and intelligence.

It’s very rough out there, but it doesn’t matter.  While others remain on shore waiting for the tides to turn, we take advantage of the lack of competition.

Right now might not be the perfect season for career transition consideration, but that’s a personal decision.  Each of us answers to our own muse.  We understand we must commit to something focused, something concrete.  Wind chimes and marigolds reside in sonnets and do diddly squat in advancing the quest for success.

The same holds true when displaced by circumstance and assigned to the land of  “in-between success”.   Sitting all day in front of a computer hungering for scraps of “opportunity manna “is the personification of aspiration passivity.

Here’s a News Update:  The fortune fairy doesn’t deliver online anymore.

By any calculation, that means acceptance and recognition of the unexceptional and mundane.  That contradicts all aspirations of Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere.

So, turn off the computer, forsake another exciting game of solitaire and get out there and start mixing with humanity.  It is all in the dogged pursuit of reclaiming prosperity and the attendant peace of mind.  Tough times are not virtual. We know that. It’s displacing passive interface with energetic Interaction.  We know it.  We just need a reminder now and then.

At one time or another, most of us have traveled down similar paths and experienced comparable scenarios.

It’s rough out there.  That’s a given.  Being aged 50 Plus only adds to the challenge.

Perhaps this is a time where you find yourself licking wounds from previous ill-fated encounters.  You lose yourself momentarily in reflections of past but brilliant triumphs only to be jolted suddenly back to the cruel reality of life currently filled with unrelenting turn downs.   .

And, you are burned out on Almost, disheartened by Dead Ends and exhausted by the unconvincing Maybe.

Sound familiar?  But, we are survivors.  Sure, we bitch and moan but adjust to the changing marketplace.  Sometimes, it’s easy to do.  Other times, it is insufferable.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers but let me run a few suggestions by you:

1).  Go out there and FAIL.  Yes, fail!  But, fail on the way to success.  Let me explain:  From now on, apply for everything. Everything!  Not that you are going to accept just anything, but you need practice. Get your act down.  You are not failing.  You are Rehearsing.  This is known as “Show Prep.”  So, when the right scenario comes into focus, you are more than ready.  Be thankful that you have the ability to fail.  By failing, you are succeeding.  Plus mingling with humanity is an energizer.

2).  You are over the age of 50.  You have background.  Having accomplished as much as you have in life, you can paint verbal pictures based on past experience.  You  make these visions come alive because you have lived them.  Your frame of reference allows for the anecdotal, not just hypothetical.    You conjure up past undertakings.

You can relate an anecdote that has relevance with or is similar to the situation at hand. Now, compare this to someone younger than yourself. Lacking experience, their frame of reference is hypothetical and theoretical.  They lack experience and come across as a one trick pony.

One precautionary note: Don’t get too verbose.   Waxing nostalgia labels you as old and out of touch: That projects a retirement vision. Get to the anecdote that advances your response and then move on.

3).  Getting down on yourself when all doors appear shut and opportunity seems non-existent can place even the most optimistic individual’s trajectory into a downward spiral.  Why is it when things degenerate to such an extent, we seem to join the depredation chorus?

That is self-treachery.   It’s taking perverse joy in the celebration of our existing contraction status.   We hurt ourselves.  We isolate in desperation and cocoon in despair.

Believe this or not, research proves this is normal human behavior.  We actually get a temporary lift from masochist demeanor.

Nobody ever said human nature makes sense

In fact, it’s all part of Mazlow’s study on the Stages of Depression:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

As delusional as it sounds, this behavior is part and parcel of life.  Just don’t allow this fleeting but aberrant demeanor to permanently confiscate your normality.

4).  Isn’t it something!  When we want to escape from “funk”, we feel a strange, illogical deference to it.  It’s like over paying on allegiance to a sentence of self-ruin.  And, until  and until such time, we cannot free ourselves from this self-imposed confinement.

On the surface, this sounds like a load of BS to the 10th degree.  But, it’s not

It makes no sense, but what does making sense have to do with anything?  Now here’s the kicker. Any positive action undertaken to change this mindset is viewed with disdain and regarded as an inferior alternative to the current negative status..

Consider this: Imagine reverting back to toddle-hood right now, with your current intellectual capacity.  Do you realize you would probably convince yourself you couldn’t walk.  At a certain point, toddlers stand up instinctively.  They take a step or 2, fall down and cry.  They do this over and over again until they finally get it right.  They get frustrated but they don’t stop.  We do.

So, be a baby.  Again, fail and fall on your way to success.  Look upon this exercise as a rehearsal.

5).  Be grateful.  Unfortunately today, all too many people venerate victim-hood.  Even Entrepreneurs have been known at times to retreat into the throes of anguish and get caught up in the culpability game.

It is celebrating and reveling in despair. As a victim, none of what happens in life is ever due to personal resolve. It is all the fault of others.  No personal accountability whatsoever.  Now, at one time or another, we have all “done and been done in.”   That’s life.  We learn from all our experiences good and bad.  But, abdicating responsibility means relinquishing control of your life to others.

And that brings to mind the old Golden Rule:  He/She who has the Gold Rules.

So, be grateful. Don’t give up. Never cede your power. Don’t allow control of your life into the hands of others. Their interest in you is, at best, peripheral. Get out there and start failing on the way to Success. Remember, it’s a rehearsal.  Mingle with the masses and the Mighty.

This is no time for passivity.  Solitaire, Land Mines, TMZ and Miley Cyrus will just have to make do without you.

It’s all part of Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere..

Because of spam and viruses, it’s best to contact me at dickheatherton@outlook.com 

Momentum, Perfection, Charley Warner & Excellence.

You’ve heard the story about the guy who was going through very hard times.  Things were sooo dreadful, the only luck he had was bad.

Nothing was working for him.

One day, while looking up to the heavens totally aggravated, annoyed and frustrated, he shrieks out, “Lord, why me”?

Suddenly, massive dark clouds appear, humongous bolts of lightening emerge, deafening, roaring sounds of thunder reverberate so powerfully, the concussive force knocks him to the ground.

Then, coming from above, a sonorous, commanding voice is heard saying,………………”because you piss me off.”

Let’s face it, there are times when no matter what you do, nothing seems to work  And, now that we’re over the age of 50, our personal  “luck ledger” appears to have migrated from assets to liabilities a lot more often.

Life is a game.  Yes, a game.  And, as in almost all games, there is momentum. It happens inexplicably.  Everything is going along perfectly.  And, then suddenly, things turn upside down.  They go sideways, up and around but definitely not heading in your direction.  There is no real reason for the course change.  It just happens.

Even Psychologists can’t figure out why.  It’s just part of the life experience.   It’s immutable.  It’s unexpected and, when it happens, IT HAPPENS!.

I remember when I first got into Retail Sales.  Now, I had done well in Radio as talent.  So, why would I have trouble in Sales?  Famous last words.  I was in for a very rude awakening.  I got  hit big time with a reality pie.  Starting off, I couldn’t make a sale or do one thing right.

One day, I called on a college in San Mateo, CA.  The meeting was with a man who had been the President of NBC Radio.  Needless to say, he was a very sharp guy. He took one look at me and said that I looked like some dead meat brought in by a stray dog.

And, I felt that way.  I had no hope.  That man’s name is Charley Warner.  And, I am so grateful to have had him come into my life at that time.  Thank you, Charley Warner.

Warner read me the riot act.  He told me to get off my butt, make a list of all good things I’d accomplished in life and come back in a week with the list.

At first, I could not think of even one good thing.  I was so down and out and feeling like there was no future..  That’s not the kind of attitude that attracts success especially when you’re you’re married with 2 kids and located 3000 miles away from your home base.  I was the furthest thing from perfection.

It took me a considerable amount of time to complete the assignment. Now, I was starting out in Sales and the goals I’d set for myself were perfection personified. Talk about delusion.  In retrospect,  the goals were impossible to achieve.  I had overlooked the obvious facts: learn to crawl before you walk, walk before you can run.  Most importantly, understand that previous skills and talents take time for integration into the new mix.

But, the more time spent working at Warner’s assignment, the more I accepted my good, I re-evaluated my worth and began realizing that life really is a game.  And, in games, there is momentum.

What I learned is that none of us is perfect and never will be.  Perfection is an unattainable goal.  So, stop striving for perfection and re-calculate for Excellence.

Striving for Perfection is demoralizing.  It leads to failure and depression.  It’s a waste of time and drags you down.  Take it from someone who knows.  I’m Exhibit A.

Excellence is motivating.  You and I are not perfect.  But, even now, I can beat myself up unmercifully, trying to reverse mistakes and seek perfection.  All I’m really doing is getting in my own way, interfering with the pendulum of  momentum and not necessarily in a positive direction.  The result: too much of a not so good a thing.  .

Life has it’s ups and downs but mindset affects duration.

Now,  Reflection is something we all need to do now and then.   But, too much is paralyzing.  It stops growth.  And, part of growth is making mistakes and learning from them.  That does not mean imposing a sentence of self-imposed servility and brow-beating.

Actually, too much reflection incubates an atmosphere of perfection. Self-absorption obstructs reality.  And, since no one can attain perfection which is not reality, we wind up in a virtual lotus position, accomplishing little and becoming more depressed.

Worst of all,  you become a theorist.  And, talking is no substitute for actually doing.

The next thing you know you’re aggravated, annoyed and shrieking to the heavens …………..…and, well,……………….…..  Don’t     go      there.

Life is a game and games have momentum.  They have ups and downs.  Attitude abbreviates or prolongs current momentum. Down times don’t last forever.  Accept the fact that there is no perfection.  So, be Excellent.   Know it, believe it, get off your butt and get going.

dickheatherton@gmail.com