Archive for January, 2010

Lean in to the Fear!

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: |

  What do you fear?  Ask yourself this question.     Life is all about perception.  You often think things are one way and they really turn out to be something different than you thought.  How many times has this happened to you?  Fear is over rated!  How many times have you feared something just to find out that what you feared never came to pass and all that negative emotion was misplaced?

Fear takes on basically two forms:

Real Fear: the kind that is born from reality.  The kind of trouble we could get into by crossing the street without looking both ways.  The kind of fear if we didn’t pay our bills we would lose our credit or home.  Keeping an eye on our children so that they are safe from harm. 

Imagined Fear:  This is 95 percent of all fears.  These little demons are pre-programmed in your mind that keep telling you that you can’t succeed or that it’s not time to do that project now, or that you will do it later.  It is a paralyzing force that keeps you in your present state. 

  I remember being in Iloilo City Philippines last time, we were about to leave for Manila the next day when we tried to get some Pesos for our trip back.  You see you need to live by one concrete precept when travelling in the third world.  A.B.C.   That little acronym is vitally important!  A.B.C. stands for always bring CASH!!!.  So there we were, standing in line at the A.T.M. waiting not so patiently for our beloved turn in line.   This has to be experienced to be believed!  The pace of life in the big P.I. , well, sometimes a snail has a sporting chance to win the race!   We arrived at the magic money machine only to find that our card information was “not valid”.   Our card was fine but this is where the fear part comes in.  Our card didn’t work so we had to try to go into the bank, insert here Mr. military man with loaded automatic weapon at the door!   The line at the A.T.M. paled in comparison to the sea of exasperated would be patrons of the Banco de Oro.   We languished for approximately 35 minutes in line once again  only to find that if we didn’t have an acct. with them they could not help us!   OK!  Back in line again in the futile hope that our card would magically appear to be in working order this time!  

What if we couldn’t get the money?  We have no accts in the Philippines!  We don’t know anyone with enough money to lend us here!  If the card doesn’t work this time what will we do?  We had approx. 10 hours to get cash or miss our flight to Manila to catch another one to go home to the land of milk and honey (America)!   Yes, Americans, we do have it pretty cake here!  The tension was palpable, the panic was building!  Frustration was the rule of the hour!  The long lines will hasten for no man.   We decided to try a different A.T.M. this time so we crowded into this 40 ft. line that not so happily was adjacent at the end of a hallway next to the crowded women’s C.R. (Bathroom).   In the big P.I. they refer to bathrooms as “Comfort Rooms”.   Another 30 minutes of aching feet and fragrant air later we were determined to take full advantage of our turn at the roulette wheel that is the Filipino cash machine!  All my midwestern polite upbringing was tabled because you see we were at an impasse!  We had to get cash or become illegal citizens of this country that I have come to love.   Our turn came only to find that once again we were turned down.  We dug for cards and tried to remember obscure pin numbers until at last one last attempt was made.   It was like the pressure you feel when you have applied for your first home loan!  Push the enter button and wait for that seemingly endless moment of time between when you hit enter and the dreaded/blessed moment arrives when you see your results!  Yes, I am writing this from the comfort of my home in America on my fabulous Toshiba laptop in the lap of luxury I enjoy everyday here.   So obviously we got the cash!

Was this a real or imagined fear?  It could have went either way.   We would have made it somehow even if the machine had not worked.  Believe me, the names and phone numbers of some expats I had recently met living in the Philippines were coming up as a possible resource to my dilemma!  

Lean into the fear!  When you feel inadequate or merely apathetic Lean into the fear!  What do I mean? 

Ask yourself this question:

What is keeping me from achieving all my dreams?

I bet if you really analyzed it you will find that fear is at the root of your paralysis.   Did you ever see the long ski jump competition when the athlete takes off and is suspended in the air?  His or her head is almost touching the front of the skis!   Imagine yourself there looking down.  Who knows how high you are!  Are you going to land correctly or wind up in the hospital?  He/she is leaning into fear knowing they have prepared themselves for the outcome!   In life we face daily challenges both large and small. 

     I have found that progress and victory only appear coming out of the struggle!   We must grapple with life.  Life appears to be unwilling to grant us wishes like a good Fairy God Mother!  So my friends we must put our hand to the plow, shake off our fears and steer straight ahead.  Life may not be like that Fairy God Mother but you can attest to victories in your life when you accomplished something.   Why did this happen?  Think of those times now!  Stop and remember  two or three.  Remember the process you went through?  Remember the fear?  Remember the struggle?  This is your own key to success!   Take the process you went through and repeat!  Maybe refine the method a little but get another goal and repeat!

Please leave a comment at the bottom and share some things that you have been through.  I don’t want you to do that just to have comments on my blog, I want you to do that so you can see what a great person you are and when you put it down in writing you make it more real to yourself.  You don’t know how your story might inspire someone else!  Don’t be selfish with your story, please share to inspire others!  Thanks!

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Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: lifestyle | Tags: |

This is a new post to my recent wordpress blog.  I haven’t posted since before Christmas.  I really don’t know what I am going to do with this WordPress Blog yet.  I love to travel to the Philippines and it seems like the thoughts of the time I have spent there in the past have consumed all my future thoughts and dreams.  If you never travelled there it is a land that is awake with reality!  What do I mean by that? 

Whenever I leave the U.S. and land in the Philippines I am swept away with a sense of being home again for the very first time.    The smell hits you along with the humidity when you prepare to get a taxi in Manila.  You know you are in a different world when you land there. 

You will get homesick if you ever visit there.  When you board the plane after being there for a while you will be glad your back in the air conditioning but soon your memories of what transpired over your trip will haunt your mind until you are beckoned back to the place of your new homeland.  Sorry if you felt at home in the Western World but your hopes and passion will experience a shift towards the east when you have truly experienced the land of 7000 islands.  It may not be the scenery, or the warm weather, but I believe it is the people of this country that keeps me coming back.  It is called the land of a thousand smiles!  People take time to live their lives at a slow pace.  This may be a struggle for the average westerner but once you fall in sinc with the rest of the land a strange peace comes over you and you will never be the same again!

More to come! 

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Live like the Third World and Earn in the First!

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: lifestyle | Tags: |

What if we could live like the third world and earn money in the first? Do you realize that most of the worlds families are poor by our standards but in other ways they have some tremendous advantages!

  1. First they as a rule have almost no debt! Wrap your mind around that concept! If they have no money then they are “broke”. If they earn a little money then they actually have a net worth! Most Americans don’t have a positive net worth.
  2. Second they spend more time with their families! They are not always in a mad rush to go here and to get there! They may be poor but I know for a fact that they enjoy life more than the average westerner.
  3. They live in reality: When it is cold outside, they feel it. When it is hot they experience it. If it rains for three to five months they have to deal with it. My experience in the third world is mainly from visiting the Philippines. Every time I go I am always home sick to go back. Since the 60’s and 70’s we have “progressed” to the point that we no longer feel things like hunger, the elements.

If we could cut our lifestyle and expenses back so that we were not financing everything we have we would be much less stressed. If you have a house in the Philippines, you own it. People around the world believe we are rich because we live in large houses and drive nice cars. If they only knew the load of debt that the average American carries they would pass out!

I’m just saying that we could live a completely different life if we chose to! Can you imagine living without debt and your paycheck was your own? What a liberating feeling that would be! If you owned everything you possessed and had been collecting paychecks for even a short time and then suffered a job loss, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal!

I have been pondering this possibility for several months now and am coming up with a plan to implement it in my personal life. I will let you know of my progress.

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