Tag Archives: Ralph Waldo Emerson

When Will You Live Your Life?

26 Jun

We are always getting ready to live, but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s most interesting about the above quote is that it was written by Mr. Emerson approximately 150 years ago, when life in America was quite different than it is today. But it seems that nothing really has changed in those intervening years. People still sacrifice happiness today for some expectation of happiness in the future. The question is, Why?

Why do we put so much faith in tomorrow while we waste this most precious moment? Will tomorrow be better? We don’t know. We were created to be optimists willing to bet on the come. But, the best we can do is to hope and wish that tomorrow will be different; when joy, happiness, contentment and accomplishment will be our constant companions. But that really isn’t much of a strategy and very often leads to disappointment.

In my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life, I created Exercise #4 to deal with this very subject. It’s entitled, Today is Yesterday’s Someday. You see, my Dad was a Someday kind of guy. He used to pepper his speech with all the things he wanted to do, Someday. But when he died just short of his 77th birthday most of his Somedays were never realized. I was sad for him. What was he waiting for?

Somedays are often our dreams for ourselves. What we really want our lives to be about. But typically, they are predicated on some milestone or future event happening in our life. These things sound like, “I really want to learn to ________ as soon as the kids are old enough.” “By the time I’m forty I want to own my own business.” “I can’t even begin to think about that until our finances are a little better.” I want to pursue my passion for photography as soon as I have the time.” Does this sound like you?

This is your life on pause. But time cannot be paused. It continues to move forward without you and one day you wake up with little to show for all your years of sacrifice. You know that life is fragile. Just think about James Gandolfini, dead at 51. An incredible actor with so much more to give to future audiences. Why wait to begin living your life?  Life is precious and MUST be lived in the moment.

Here is what I want you to do NOW! Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your Somedays. Don’t judge what you wrote down. These are your dreams. Now prioritize them by which is most important to you. Then take your number one Someday and write a SMART goal for it. If you don’t know what a SMART goal is either buy my book, where I teach you, or look it up on the internet. Once you have your goal written – start living it, TODAY.

With Love,

Michael

I’m Sorry – I Can’t Hear You!

12 Apr

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think just about everyone knows someone who on Sunday asks God for forgiveness for their sins, and then on Monday begins to do once again the things that drove them to the confessional in the first place. Very often these are the people who wear their moral values on their sleeve, and want everyone else to live by them. That is, everyone but themselves.

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives is one such person. In his days as Speaker, Newt lead the impeachment process against former president Bill Clinton based upon his affair with Monica Lewinsky. To Newt this was the epitome of moral degradation.

Being morally indignant only works if there are no skeletons in your own closet. Otherwise it smacks of hypocrisy. Unfortunately for Newt this was the case.

While married to his first wife Newt was having an affair with his second wife. He divorced number one to marry number two. While he was leading the push for President Clinton’s impeachment for moral impropriety he was having an affair with Callista, who in 2000 became wife number three.

But then when he was running for president last year he changed his religion and found God. Because of my spiritual beliefs I will never question a man’s belief in a higher power. In fact, I suggest everyone strengthen their own relationship. No, the only thing that offends me is hypocrisy. And, old Newt has plenty of that.

Note to Callista; I’d be keeping a close eye on Newt. It’s about that time again.

With Love,

Michael

Are You Getting Ready to Get Ready?

1 Mar

We are always getting ready to live, but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My firm belief is that each of us was born to create. That the life force that dwells within us was placed there with the distinct purpose of moving our species forward, with each succeeding generation being smarter and more creative than the proceeding one. It’s as if each of us was born with a unique function, or what some would describe as a life’s purpose. But how many of us truly achieve their function?

Abba Eban, the great Israeli statesman, once said about PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, “that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” While he was alive, Mr. Arafat had countless opportunities to make peace with Israel and thus guarantee his legacy and a better life for the Palestinian people. But it seemed that every time he got close to achieving this goal he would do or say something that would cause the talks to breakdown and the process would go back to square one.

I believe that what stops most people short of the goal, is fear. And this fear I’m talking about is one many of us don’t even know we have, because we don’t feel it or recognize its presence like other fears. The fear I am talking about is Fear of Success.

Fear of Rejection we feel. Fear of Failure we feel. These fears and almost all others cause us intense discomfort; faster heartbeat and breathing, the movement of all the blood from our gut to our arms and legs, the sweating, the rush of adrenaline. But with fear of success – NOTHING.

I’ve always felt that buried deep within me is this fear. Although I have lived a successful life I always felt that I could have achieved more. That something within me, my drive and ambition, would get me to a certain point, and then bam, I’d hit a wall. Have you ever felt this way?

Before I recognized Fear of Success in other people what I would see was a person getting ready to get ready. And by that I mean someone who did all the research, got themselves educated to the point where they knew what to do, but never pulled the trigger. Never took the leap. And when asked why, they’d have to think, but could never come up with a logical answer.

I’ll admit, I’m still looking for that answer, and maybe you are too.

With Love,

Michael

We are Just Weeds – For Now!

20 Feb

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My wife came across this Emerson quote yesterday and forwarded it on to me, knowing that I’d enjoy it and see its enormous meaning. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Everything and everyone has a purpose. Nothing is waste. Every plant, every animal, every compound and mineral and certainly every human being has a reason for existing. We are all part of God’s plan for the world we live in, and God creates nothing that is less than perfect.

Have you ever watched the National Geographic Channel or read their magazine. What totally intrigues me is when you see an animal in its natural habitat and it is ingesting a weed or plant and the narrator says, “Here we see the animal eating a rare vegetation found nowhere else on earth. Scientists tell us that this plant is eaten by the animal when it is suffering from pain, similar to a human taking an aspirin.”

Everything that we need for a successful life has already been given us. We were each born perfect, although many would argue that point. Like the weed in Mr. Emerson’s quote, we have virtues ready to be discovered, by others and certainly by ourselves.

For a great many years I believed that I was born without any talents. I was never a good student and had this inner belief that I wasn’t very smart. Even when someone would complement me on something I did well, I would brush off their kind words and describe what I did as just a fluke. I have spoken about this numerous times, that what we believe about ourselves is what was told to us by others. And often what was told to us was a lie.

I didn’t understand my talent until I was in my fifties. I have been blessed with the ability to communicate with others, both written and verbally. I also have a talent for feeling empathy and compassion for others. I can easily put myself in another’s shoes and feel their suffering. And because I have struggled for so much of my life with the same worries and fears that others experience, I have discovered ways to overpower these negative emotions.

You are the weed in the above quote. You possess all the virtues necessary to achieve your Greatness. They have been embedded within you by a higher power. Just waiting to be discovered.

God is waiting, but more importantly, so is your fellow man.

Love you,

Michael