“Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” ~Unknown
I was fired via email as my plane touched down at LAX.
I am not the kind of person who gets fired, who gets dismissed, who is asked to leave and is not welcomed back.
This was not my track record, no. What was happening?
I had seen the ad on Craigslist, and it looked perfect. An educational theater program for kids was seeking instructors and administrators to help revitalize the company. They needed someone with current experience in the entertainment industry who was an educator, and also had …
“There are no failures. Just experiences and your reactions to them.” ~Tom Krause
Ever found yourself working for a bad boss? I was shocked to learn recently that three out of every four people report that their boss is the most stressful part of their job and that it takes most of us up to twenty-two months to free ourselves of them.
I thought it was just me!
A few years ago I joined a large accounting firm to help them manage their employees. Though they were nice enough people outside of work, at the office, their professional pride …
“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
In my youth, I strived to be “nice.” I tolerated a lot from others. I forgave easily and learned to “turn the other cheek.”
I made myself constantly available to other people and asked nothing in return. I remained loyal even if people mistreated me. I helped friends even when my need for help was greater. When friends started calling me their “angel,” I was proud at first.
But soon I became resentful of what that implied.
If my purpose was solely to help them, then who would help me?…
“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan
It took me a second to realize what was happening.
I was hanging onto a rope and headed straight for the sky.
I must have been around 100 feet in the air. I was looking at the ground and it kept getting smaller and smaller. I couldn’t take it anymore and closed my eyes.
When I opened them again I was lying in my bed.
But this was no ordinary dream. I was actually aware of what was happening, as it happened. I was “awake” inside my …
“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” ~Elbert Hubbard
My self-awareness grows while watching an eight-year-old boy navigate Sudoku.
He wants to be good at the game, but he doesn’t want to do the work. He wants to know the next right answer without having to think.
His approach to the puzzle is one box at a time, filling in a number at random. He doesn’t realize each little mistake right away; he may get through a row or column, but eventually it catches up with him.
He then tries to backtrack, which …
“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” ~Cicero
At one point or another, we all question whether or not we are doing enough, making enough money, or if we are going to be “successful” enough. I know this firsthand, as I’ve spent long periods of my young adult life in a persistent state of fear and self-doubt.
When I graduated from college, I worked sixty, seventy, even eighty hours a week in a corporate setting climbing the proverbial ladder. In my mind, I thought that was success, even though it wasn’t what I truly wanted for myself.
“The journey is the reward.” ~Chinese Proverb
When you set goals, you naturally focus on the result. If you pay attention to the desired achievement, you will discover the path to get there. However, the value you gain from achieving the goal isn’t just about the reward of accomplishment.
Once you achieve a significant goal, you will not be the same person you were when you set out on the journey. The process of achieving your goal and the experience you have gained will have changed you. This is why the journey is the reward.
If you set the goal …
“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” ~Deepak Chopra
We live in an eternally pregnant present, full of possibilities for a bright future. I believe it has always been that way throughout the history of the world. That’s just how the universe works. Unfortunately, we haven’t always experienced our lives the way the universe intended, especially right now.
Humanity seems to be forever in a time of chaos, marked by violence against one another, and most of us do not know how we got that way or when it will end.
I admit that sometimes I long for the good …
“Suffering is not caused by pain but by resisting pain.”~Unknown
Prior to my twenty-second birthday I was spiraling down a self-destructive path, partying at all hours of the morning and drinking excessively to numb my pain. I was a rebel with a cause, as the lure of the nightlife kept me away from my dysfunctional home.
I was searching for love and happiness in all of the wrong places, but the universe stopped me dead in my tracks, both literally and figuratively, when my brother committed suicide.
Devastated by the loss of his presence in my life and the close …
“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” ~Lao Tzu
Long before health experts were telling us “You are what you eat,” some time after Buddha spoke his wisdom “What we think we become,” ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu mused that we only need to change our way of thinking for our lives to fall into place.
Sounds so easy, right? Easier, at least, than always eating our greens, let alone somehow imagining ourselves into the NASA space program or up on stage on Broadway!
I suspect what Lao Tzu mostly meant was to …
“Take that first step. Bravely overcoming one small fear gives you the courage to take on the next.” ~Daisaku Ikeda
When I was younger I loved to climb trees, but I was always too scared to get myself down. Somehow, when standing at the base of a massive Oak, I’d forget how terrified I’d feel at the top.
So I’d climb away, trying to prove to the neighborhood boys that I was fearless, and then stay up there, clutching the bark and crying, until someone helped me get safely to the ground.
I knew who I wanted to be—a daredevil …
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb
This morning, I sat through my third fall semester orientation in my graduate school career. While most of the time I sat begrudgingly listening to my professors, there were a few things that stood out to me. When I left the orientation, one thing was loud and clear:
I had not done nearly as much as my peers had done.
As I listened to my professors and peers talk about their research, their positions within the …
“He is able who thinks he is able.” ~Buddha
At any point of time, every person has:
- A set of things s/he wants to change but cannot (plans)
- A set of things s/he tried to change but could not (helplessness)
- A set of things s/he could have changed and did not (guilt)
- A fear of the unknown, anxiety about the future, and worry about decisions to be taken (fear)
- Too many plans and associated what-ifs (anxiety)
I have experienced all of the feelings listed above and have tried hard to ease myself from what I went through. Many times, I …
“Your actions are your only true belongings.” ~Allan Lokos
I’d bet I’m not the only one who browses through the quotes section of Tiny Buddha when its time for a pick-me-up or a little bit of a calming down.
As I’m writing this, the quote above is particularly pertinent. I found out an hour ago that someone has hit my car for the second time this year—in the same parking lot as the last accident.
I’m pretty upset, and between waiting to file the police report and being on hold with the insurance, a little bit of comfort reading made …
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” ~Lao-tzu
There seems to be a common perception in our culture that knowledge equals wisdom; however, I don’t believe this is true.
I would say that wisdom is what knowledge becomes when we have brought it into our hearts and experienced it as true.
Wisdom cannot be gained by passively accepting what we read or by believing what another person tells us. We must take an idea or thought and test it, truly investigate it, before it can become wisdom.
Wisdom requires awareness and a willingness to ask ourselves—and experience firsthand—what …
“Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want.” ~Geoffrey Abert
Nothing has the power to mess up my finances more than my own brain—or, more precisely, my ego.
According to Eckhart Tolle, the ego entails the habitual and compulsive thought processes that go through everybody’s mind continuously. Left unchecked, this constant ego monologue prevents us from focusing on the present moment. Instead, we get caught up in worrying about what happens next. Or, in my case, what I want to buy next.
My Ego Challenges
As a financial planner, you would think that I …
“We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.” ~Unknown
There is no question that we are living in a time of doubt, fear, uncertainty, and economic frustration. Only recently have I experienced this doubt on a gut level, the kind that can punch hard and make you sick.
I am writing because I want this to change, but also because I know other people are dealing with this same thing.
After spending nine years in school, four degrees later, I found myself unemployed and overqualified. My passion for social work and education loomed far in …
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.” ~Unknown
A year ago this week I was lying on a pile of laundry on my bathroom floor, sobbing, blowing my nose into a dirty t-shirt. I was in the last stages of packing up my apartment, selling my furniture, putting a few belongings into storage, and at 34 I was moving home to my parents’ house.
It was not a good month, in a less-than-stellar year.
It was a year filled with difficult circumstances. Two years earlier I’d given up a …
Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Lindsey Kasch
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” ~George Bernard Shaw
Excuses. We all make them.
We make them for everything all the time without even realizing it, pointing the finger at someone or something else, anything or anyone but ourselves.
I didn’t think I made excuses. Blaming people? Who me? No way!
“We choose our destiny in the way we treat others.” ~Wit
Growing up as a high-level swimmer, I used to be a very self-centered individual. Just about everything in my life revolved around becoming the best swimmer I could be.
I spent countless hours training, getting ready for workouts, and visualizing my future success. Helping others wasn’t on my radar. The idea of contribution was still foreign to me.
Fortunately, I was passionate about swimming and I had a purpose to my life, so I was happy.
But eventually my swimming career ended, and all of a sudden I started …