I’m not going to say this is the last post from the strawberry patch because tomorrow I go back to the farm for my CSA share; there may be gleanings we can gather from the field! 😉 If so, that’ll probably get me to thinking…just like it did last week….
Has anyone ever called an idea of yours—or you!—‘half baked’? They’ve probably said this with a sneer so you know it wasn’t meant as a compliment.
Instead of being rude in return, do something unexpected: thank them.
“Say what?! Are you nuts?” You may be thinking. “But they were nasty to me and I need to stick up for myself!”
This is very true. And by thanking them, you will be standing up for yourself. You’ll be using their put down as a pull up.
Instead of accepting that the term half baked implies something less than complimentary, think instead that it means half ripe, as in not quite ready.
Pause a moment and examine your idea. Perhaps it does need further study and tweaking. It might also require additional time to grow and ripen before it’s ready to go.
You can turn the Person of Hurt into a Person of Help by asking them what makes them say that the idea is half baked. You may get some valuable insights from your discussion.
And you may make a new ally, if not a new friend!
Your homework today is to not get all riled up if someone says something cutting or rude about your idea—or you. Look for the helpfulness and the truth in what they’ve said. Use it to improve your idea and yourself. Thank them for their honesty. Perhaps you’ve found someone who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth.
Then take the next step!
You can do it, I know you can!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
PS Feel free to forward this, or any other post, to a friend.
I know I promised that Part 4 would be the last bit of wisdom from The Strawberry Patch. We were still picking berries this past week and I couldn’t help but see the parallel between the berries and everyday life. So, my apologies but I think you’re going to like this post!
The strawberries were plentiful this past week. We CSA members were allowed to pick two quarts and purchase up to four quarts extra. I have a big freezer so I purchased the extra quarts for treats in the winter. Yay!
I didn’t have to work too hard for the berries because not only was it a cloudy day but there were berries galore on all the plants. I only had to go about 10 feet down the row to fill all six quarts!
As I was picking, I came across a plant that was full of misshapen berries (the picture of the berries is the one above). I marveled at how this could have happened because none of the other plants had berries shaped like these oddballs. I popped a ripe one in my mouth and found that it was just as sweet, just as juicy, and just as tasty as the regular shaped berries.
Since in previous posts I’d equated strawberries with ideas, this got me to thinking….
If you’re like me, you’ve probably had at least one oddball idea—more likely you’ve had many. Oftentimes we chuckle dismissively at our wild imaginings, much like a parent indulging a fanciful child.
Don’t do that!
Take a closer look at these ideas!
Even though your idea may be way, way out there—something that not even the best science fiction writers could come up with—take the time to think it through. Ponder it, let it simmer on the back burner of your mind. Think to yourself “What needs to happen—what supports are called for—to turn this idea into a doable one?” Then go about answering that question!
Read books and magazines on the subject, go to university libraries as well as surf the Internet for the latest research in this area, and talk to experts in the field. You just might find that the idea is a game-changer (think Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the founders of Apple Computer who revolutionized the computer field)!
It’s also true that your idea may be too fantastical and impractical—in other words, its time just hasn’t come yet (think of Jules Verne’s book From the Earth to the Moon that talked about the “crazy” notion of sending humans to the moon). Probably, though, there are parts of the far-out idea that could help you. For example, in carefully examining it from all angles, it might spark other ideas that help solve a problem with which you’ve been wrestling.
So, take a close look at those oddball ideas. They’re just as ripe, juicy, and flavorful as your other ones!
Your homework today is to respect your ideas—especially the oddball ones—by keeping a notebook handy, either one in your computer, or mobile device, or an actual pad of paper. The system doesn’t have to be elaborate; the simpler the better because you’ll be more apt to use it.
Your system can be a word document or a simple spreadsheet. You can use your cell phone to dictate an email to yourself and then have a folder in your email system specifically for ideas. You can use free apps such as Evernote, Google Docs, or Dropbox. Of course there’s always the throwback system of a pocket-sized notebook that you take with you everywhere you go and a folder in a filing cabinet to store all the filled notebooks.
Then, write down all your ideas, no matter how silly or frivolous and no matter how crazy or stupid they seem. Let them simmer on the back burner of your mind. Also, jot down ideas that these simmerings produce. Periodically, go through your list and take action on the ones whose time has come.
You can do it!
I am so proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
PS: Feel free to forward this post to your friends—or any other of the posts that you’ve liked. Thanks!
I have a friend who I’ve known for nearly ten years. She’s always talking about how unhappy she is in her job and that she isn’t really pleased with her life. Then she’ll go on to enumerate all the things she wants instead.
Many times we chatted about what she could do to help herself, improve her situation, and bring some of the things she wanted into her life. Instead of taking action, she usually had a reason why she couldn’t take the steps right now. She’d promise that next week or “when things calm down a bit” she’d do something. But she never did. Everything is still the same. And the years continue to go by….
She doesn’t seem to make the connection that she has to do things differently in order to have things change, i.e. nothing will ever change if she keeps doing things the same old way. If she doesn’t alter the way she does things—even just a little bit—then she has no hope of increasing her happiness and satisfaction in Life…and she can forget about achieving her dreams.
Your homework today is to take a look at where you are in your life and where you are on the path to your dreams. Are you doing the same old thing in the same old way and then wondering why things aren’t changing? Are you not making changes because either you don’t know what to do or because you’re afraid?
Commit to making at least one small change this week. Start tiny: brush your teeth using the other hand; if you usually have coffee in the morning, choose tea instead; if you listen to the radio as you commute to work, turn it off and listen to the silence.
Choosing small, insignificant change helps you get used to doing things differently. It also allows you to see your life from a slightly different angle. This then gives a little space for new thoughts, insights and ideas, and noticing opportunities. As you continue with small changes—doing little things differently—you build strength and gradually you’re able to handle more and more, and then you find yourself making significant changes.
The last part of your homework is to celebrate. I know you’ve taken steps on the path to your dreams and today’s the day to recognize these and applaud yourself. Remember, it doesn’t matter how large the step was; all that matters is that you took it. Yay you!
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done! You earned it; you deserve it!
Over the years I have observed that it isn’t always the most gifted or talented people that achieve success; it’s the ones who are the most determined.
Several years ago I took voice lessons. There were a range of students in the classes: those like me who were beginners, all the way to those who were preparing for their professional debut. Also, there was a range of talents. Most of us had to work to bring out our vocal qualities but there were a handful who were clearly gifted. Not only were their voices “touched by the gods” but they also possessed an innate sense of pacing, timing, and rhythm. When they sang, the rest us would get goosebumps. And when they came to the dramatic moments in the music, they were so naturally talented that it was guaranteed that the rest of us would feel ourselves levitating off our seats.
Two women in particular, who started about the same time as I did, stand out in my mind—both wanted professional singing careers. One was a decent singer, her voice was tuneful and pleasing, but the other woman had a voice with a shimmering, iridescent quality that marked hers as a divine gift.
Needless to say, Gifted Voice received all the attention and, at the end of each year when the school would have the voice students do sketches from Broadway musicals, Gifted Voice would get most of the choice songs. Decent Singer would also have a share of the choice songs but Gifted Voice was definitely featured.
I found it very interesting to observe these two women during the six years I took lessons. While each of them practiced and took private lessons along with group lessons, Gifted Voice was more casual about working at it and seemed to rely on her natural talents to give her the career she dreamed of.
Decent Singer, on the other hand, took a different route. She immersed herself in vocal training and, outside of class, would sing parts of songs over and over again working on the phrasing and nuances of the music and lyrics. She added acting lessons and diction classes; she took dance and movement instruction. While she never did have the Broadway Star singing career, now she makes a very nice living doing voice-over work, singing in commercials, and the occasional minor part in Broadway shows. Last I heard of Gifted Voice, she had become disillusioned and was no longer singing.
Please don’t get me wrong and think I’m saying that talented people are doomed or that they fritter away their gifts. You have only to look at the roles of Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award winners, Nobel Prize winners, Olympic athletes, professional athletes, scientists making significant breakthroughs in their fields, and the like, to see that talented people do indeed work very hard to hone their gifts and thus achieve the highest accolades
My point is, whether greatly or modestly endowed with gifts and talents, it’s determination that controls success. It’s getting up again and again after every fall; persevering and persisting no matter what others are saying or doing or thinking. And, no matter how bleak, unlikely, or impossible it seems, taking another shot at it.
Tell yourself that no matter what and no matter how long it takes, you WILL achieve your dream!
You homework today is to take the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that. Keep taking step after step. Break them down into small pieces, tiny parts, and teeny bits if you need to but keep moving forward!
Also, get out your mirror and repeat these phrases:
Sometimes, bad things, unfair things, and injustices happen to us, which can cause us to pause in this place. We want restitution for what we didn’t get and restoration of what we think we lost. We want vindication of our innocence and we definitely want vengeance on the people who hurt us.
We’ve heard that The Universe is keeping track and It’s balancing the scales. We look for it, but don’t see it; we wait patiently for it, but it doesn’t seem to ever happen.
We think we have to take matters into our own hands but we don’t know what to do. So we resort to playing the “if only” game, alternating that with fantasizing about our revenge. We spend a lot of time (years, sometimes!) moving back and forth between these two “entertainments”. We hope one or both of these will heal our wounds and mete out justice.
But it doesn’t work.
On top of that, we’re stuck! Fairly deeply, as it turns out, because we have so much time and energy invested in this!
We aren’t getting the relief! The event is over and done with so we can’t go back for a re-do, and, meanwhile, the people involved have moved on and seem quite happy and content in their lives (argh!!).
Then we start a new cycle: This is so unfair! The Universe is supposed to balance things! We want vengeance and vindication (add and image of us stomping our feet)! We want restitution and restoration (add an image of us threatening to hold our breath until we die)!
All this does is entrench us even deeper!
The only way things can be fixed and the scales balanced is by moving forward into the future.
Your homework today is to start the justice and restoration process by moving toward your bright future. Refuse to stay stuck one more moment. Then take the next step on your journey to your dreams. Keep on stepping into the future. Little bit by little bit the balance of your scales will be restored.
You can do it! I believe in you!
I’m so proud of you for getting up out of the muck, shaking it off, and stepping into your exciting future. I knew you could do it!
Let go of your past, no matter what did or did not happen, because it has no bearing on the present moment or on any of the moments yet to come.
We’ve all heard variations of the saying “It isn’t how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.” We agree with it and know this is true. We’ve heard about, and perhaps even know, people who have had very difficult experiences who have gone on to lives of achievement, happiness, and peace.
If we say we believe the statement to be true and we have even observed other people proving the truth of it, why don’t we accept and act on it as the truth for ourselves?
By not accepting and acting on this as truth for ourselves, it’s like saying that because we were once a baby and couldn’t walk, read, write, and talk, then we now are not allowed to read a book or go on a hike with our friends or phone a loved one or compose a letter of protest to our senators regarding an unjust bill that Congress may be considering.
It’s also like saying we don’t have the capacity for pro-active learning—for scanning the marketplace, and life in general, and either going to school or devising a program of self-study that will prepare us for the future. It’s like saying that we don’t have the ability to learn from experiences—figure out how to increase the good and decrease the bad. It’s like saying we lack the capacity for self-evaluation and don’t have the wherewithal to decide to change and become a better person.
This is so not true!!
We can learn. We can self-evaluate and improve based upon what we discover. We can grow and develop and gain new skills, new abilities, new insights, and deepen our wisdom. This is what we’re doing as we’re living our lives moment-to-moment and day-to-day.
Even if other people have told you that you can never overcome your past and even if you have accepted that as truth and repeated it to yourself for years, those are only words and thoughts. You can CHOOSE to think uplifting thoughts and CHOOSE to listen to encouraging words. You can CHOOSE to press the delete button on the limiting, diminishing thoughts and CHOOSE to take out your trusty erasure and get rid of the discouraging words!
Just like being a baby at one point in your life has not defined or limited you, you are not—and never will be—defined or limited by anything that happened—or didn’t happen—in your past!
Your homework today is to let go of your past because it doesn’t matter. You don’t need it; it isn’t part of your destiny.
When we’re working toward our dreams and imagining the road ahead, oftentimes we think of it as a steep incline, perhaps even a sheer rock face, that we have to scale in order to reach our dreams. We automatically assume we have no choice but to traverse this treacherous path in order to reach our dreams that are sparkling and gleaming in the sunlight at the top of the mountain.
Why does our journey have to be a struggle? Why does it have to be perilous, terrifying us at nearly every turn?
How about if we turn that image on its head?
Why not imagine ourselves basking in the warm sun at the top of a mountain enjoying the fantastic views as our dreams are steadily gliding toward us on a gondola?
That isn’t to say that we don’t have work to do: We hold a positive and expectant mindset, knowing the gondola with our dreams on board is on its way; we keep our eye on the steady progress of the gondola and search for our dreams inside; as we’re waiting, we prepare ourselves for our dreams—including preparing for the celebration when they arrive! When the gondola reaches the mountaintop, we run with excitement, enthusiasm, and open arms to greet and welcome our dreams into our lives.
Your homework today is to revamp the vision you have of your journey to your dreams. Get rid of the arduous path that you’re picturing. Instead, visualize joy, enthusiasm, a wide and straight avenue, people cheering you on, and bright sunlight bathing the scene.
There’s something about the “…lazy, hazy days of summer…” that encourages a slower pace and getting in some relaxation. It’s a time for full breaths, and sighing with relief as tensions release and slip away. It’s the perfect time of the year for daydreaming!
Your homework is to revisit your hopes and dreams, recapturing the excitement and fascination you felt. Then daydream about where your hopes and dreams are taking you—the exciting places, people, and ideas you’ll experience. With grateful enthusiasm, welcome the new dreams that will pop into your mind.