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I am always in the right place at the right time successfully engaged in the right activity whether I know it or not. -Leonard Orr

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Discuss things that matter

Talking openly about what's on your mind may seem like a huge risk.  You may be afraid of what others would think.  Would they reject you?  Would they laugh? Would they oppose you? Would their reactions matter to you at all?  The prospect of conflict or competition can be a huge deterrent.  Yet, isolating yourself and keeping quiet isn't typically a fulfilling choice.  Which steps could you take to learn to cope and finally get to the crux of what matters?

You could begin by learning to understand the reasons why approval may be important to you.  If you do not receive a kind of approval from certain people, how does it affect your confidence?  It's time to liberate yourself from narrow forms of expression that could play into your fears.  By changing your inner attitudes, you can learn to overcome fear and realize it compromises your pursuits.

In the Tibetan Art of Serenity, Christopher Hansard offers 7 relevant steps for achievement:

1) Learn how to make decisions that are free from fear, so that your progress shall be clear.

2) Choose pursuits that you love and give them the best that is in you.

3) Seize opportunities based on a clear and serene mind.

4) Learn to live in perfect comfort with your higher levels of power.

5) Know that there are mental and spiritual energies dormant in you that will only wake when there is a need.

6) Be willing to go beyond your limits.

7) Be prepared to fail greatly so that you can achieve greatly.


Appearance versus reality

How we experience life and what we show the world can be very different.  You may have faced potentially dangerous situations in the street or in personal emergencies, because you or others assume that you can handle any situation.   Putting up a brave front may be like refusing to face your own vulnerability. 

Remind yourself feeling discomfort simply reminds you that you're human.  You're not expected to know everything.  Feelings of uneasiness don't compromise your strengths and abilities.  Discomfort is actually an invitation to learn reasons for your feelings, to develop courage, to reach out and ask for advice.  Open-mindedness can enable you to grow.  Consider these points for reflection:

1) What you don't know can harm you: this isn't simply a question of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Many accidents aren't predictable, but learning how to adapt and better understand human interactions is very useful.  No matter what the situation, you can make efforts to raise your awareness about what's going on within you.  By asking when you don't understand or don't know what to do, you'll make more effective and rewarding choices in many areas of your life.

2) When image is everything, esteem suffers: if you decide its crucial to portray yourself as emotionally or physically strong, even when you're not, you may end up playing limited roles in relationships and depriving yourself of warmth and compassion that would enable you to thrive.  The risk of sharing your inner self may be scary, yet if you don't do it, your relationship may not have the strength to last.

3)  If you don't feel heard, speak up: when people around you seem more articulate and aware of what's going on, they may not know as much as you think.  Don't expect them to read your mind.  You may feel disconnected or challenged.  Treat this as an opportunity to get-to-know yourself better and to enable other people to get-to-know the real you.  Express what's on your mind.


Karma & success

Karma is a sum of all that you have done, all you are currently doing and will ever do.  You project your own ideas of heaven, hell and purgatories.  These mental images sharpen based on your feelings.  You can always decide to learn, to gain things from all your experiences.

You also create your vision of success and imagine what you need to experience in order to achieve it.  In order to know success, you must first evolve to determine your true desires.  This begins with you.  Evolution inside yourself results from the fulfillment of your desires. 

It has been suggested that each of us develops skills and lives as long as we're able to learn from our karma.  Success, in a spiritual sense, may then result from working through and separating yourself from Earthly attachments.  This differs from material success which is often measued in terms of acquired possessions.  It remains a mystery whether karma is infinite and constantly being renewed or whether it only exists for souls to better understand ego and physical desires.


Now or never

You may get to a stage where you feel like you need a new course of action.  The life you're leading isn't motivating you the way you want it to, or taking you where you wish to go.  What next?  You think about it.  You may forget about it and go back to doing what you did before.  Then, there are those people who simply act and surprise you perhaps as much as themselves.

One woman I know simply packed her bags rather impulsively and moved to the other side of her own country.  She initially sought a change of scenery and a new job.  By requesting a transfer to a new office, she found faith in her intuition grew and led her to move in rewarding directions. 

A guy I know began an aspiring pilot.  He obtained his license while working odd jobs and then, he was more than broke. Yet, he got into his old car with a map and a list of prospective employers.  He set out to drive through Canadian provinces and territories to approach small flight companies in person.  During this journey, he often slept in his car.  He developed a connection to his inner guidance.  Trusting his gut enabled him to take control of his life.  He's since flown to places as far away as Antarctica that he hadn't initially dreamed of.

A young woman I met did marketing for a call centre.  She loved science in highschool and had decided to take night classes to become a lab technician. She knew someone who had worked in a lab and that same path seemed logical.  Yet, the more this woman detailed her plan, the more she seemed to be trying to convince herself.  When I queried her deepest interest, she confided she spent all her free time on fashion design, but was at a loss of how to pursue it.  She had been trained to believe we must struggle to achieve predictable goals.  Upon reflection, she decided to listen more to her intuition which was giving her a greater awaress of her worthiest passions. 

A university friend of mine is quite a go-getter.  She works for a butcher and also does environmental emergency projects for the government. Juggling her interests in work to pay the bills didn't seem to enable her to experience fulfillment.  I encouraged her to explore her creative side, so she chose to take night classes in interior design.  This sideline interest is evolving to the point where she envisions her own consultancy.  She has developed a clearer perspective on her abilities and she has become the true architect of her new, stimulating life.


Check your back pocket

When you feel as though you're in a bit of trouble, what is your reaction? Some people instinctively run away to escape the source of anxiety.  Other people struggle to face the trouble with tools they seem to have at their disposal. Still other people freeze in their tracks.

Consider the dream of a girl who felt she was being chased by a crocodile. She froze briefly on a boulder beside a body of calm water.  When she realized she stood beside a wooden ladder, her reflex was to turn and climb.  She ascended the ladder all the way to a  platform and was shocked to look back and see a huge crocodile following her. It inflated to the size of the croc who swallowed the watch and Captain Hook's hand in Peter Pan. Just when the girl wondered if she could grow wings and fly, a voice whispered in her ear to check her pocket.  As a vegetarian, she was surprised to find a juicy steak which she instinctively threw the croc. He happily went on his way.

We all have hidden instincts that we may fear because we don't take time to get-to-know them.  Yet, tapping into these instincts and abilities within ourselves is key to creating our own success.  Problems we perceive or create for ourselves will not simply disappear if we try to ignore them.  You may know someone who blow problems  'out-of-proportion' or makes situations seem worse than they actually are.  Remind yourself that problems, like illness, may escalate to get your attention. They are often a symptom of an underlying issue such as your attitude, habits, lifestyle or emotions.  If a nagging situation is bogging you down, tell yourself that you are very capable of dealing with it.  You likely underestimate your options.  You have what you need, that is, the will and resourcefulness to reach out and do what you need to do to get over the hurdles.