Visual Complexity
Creative Commons License photo credit: misterbisson

“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Note:  Please help me welcome Eduard Ezeanu, from People Skills Decoded, here today, as our guest writer.

We all want to progress, although some more than others. I believe that the attitudes and perceptions we have about progress determine to a large degree how effective we are in making progress and how much we enjoy it.

Here is one perception which a lot of us have engrained and it sabotages our lives: the perception that progress is linear. This means that consciously or not, we see progress like a straight road, which goes directly and smoothly to our destination.

So we expect to constantly make progress, and to make progress in the same degree in equal periods of time. In a way, applying this perception, we see a 10 year old person as twice what a 5 year old is and a 20 year old as twice what a 10 year old is.

I think this is a very stiff and unrealistic view of progress. Not even a tree grows like that, in a linear way. Why should we expect a human being to do so? If we want to truly embrace progress and have fun with it, we need to realize that progress is not linear. Progress is organic.

This mean that we may go through long periods with little progress, followed by periods of lighting fast progress, or periods when we regress, in order to create a context which allows even bigger progress than the previous one.

Here is one example I meet often in my coaching practice: people who advance in a certain professional field, until they reach a point when they no longer feel fulfilled in that field. Often, what they need to do is find a field which would be even more fulfilling for them, get in that field and grow in it.

The thing is, moving from a professional field in which you are at a very high level to a field which is new for you represents initially a form of regression. But it is this regression which allows you to make afterwards progress in this new field and reach heights you couldn’t have reached in the previous one.

In other words, you need to regress before you can progress again and maximize the use of your potential. It still amazes me how few people understand this at a deep level and are willing to do it.

Our linear views of progress often keep us stuck in a fear of regress, fear of change which in the end sabotages our progress instead of helping us. We try to grow constantly and smoothly, but we end up getting stuck and feeling sorry for ourselves. Unfortunately, this is the story of many people in this world.

I believe it’s fundamental for us to have a more plastic and realistic view of progress. To understand that it’s a tangled road rather than a straight one; that we sometimes need to distance ourselves from our destination before we can get even closer to it.

It is only with this kind of a view that we can learn to walk the tangled road of life, get to where we want and enjoy the journey as well.


Eduard Ezeanu is a communication coach with an attitude-based approach. He helps others to improve people skills they find relevant and get top notch results. He also writes on his blog, People Skills Decoded, and you can follow him on Twitter at @EduardSays.

Your life.  How are you living that? 

Today I have life coach Laura Neff with us.  Laura is the heart and soul behind "More In You" Life Leadership Coaching.  In this past year, I've had the wonderful opportunity of getting to know Laura.  In that time, I've come to really see the beauty of her soul shine through.  She comes from a place very much filled with abundance – abundance in life, in living, and in the potential in everyone. 

To get a real sense of Laura, check out a recent article she wrote on starting a bliss revolution.  That sounds pretty great, if you ask me!

Laura also has done a wonderful job of creating video to support her message,  and one I found very enlightening was her discussion around how we sometimes minimize ourselves by using the word "little"

It is an honor to have Laura here, as she shares her thoughts on how defined boundaries in certain areas of our life can really help take us to new heights in others aspects of the life we are creating.  Please join me in reading…

Choosing Boundaries For Life Success

 

Closed for the Season
Creative Commons License photo credit: akahodag

"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." ~ Brendan Francis

Greetings, readers of The Jungle of Life!

First off, can we all just stop and raise a glass/pom pom/pumping fist to Lance? I never, and I mean never, leave his blog without inspiration, and I’d be surprised if the same isn’t true for you. Lance, my friend, you are one of the brightest lights in our sky!

If you’re a devoted follower of the Jungle of Life, then I know you didn’t miss Lance’s recent guest post called Life Is Art, at the Evolving Beings blog. In this creative, spunky, and thought-provoking post, he challenged all of us to think of our lives as an ever-evolving work of art, created by the myriad of choices we make each and every moment of each and every day. As a Life Leadership coach, I have to admit to a fist-pumping, “Yeaaaah!” moment as I read his words. In short, I wildly concur, as that message is very much akin to the foundation of this work that I do in the world each day, helping people more powerfully lead their lives toward both who they want to be and what they want to create by the choices they’re making.

And wow, in that vein, are we off to an amazing start for the new year! Somehow, something has opened up a bit in our collective breath with the turning of the new year. The emotional/ financial/spiritual/fear-based gridlock of 2009 is beginning to loosen up, like an ice flow in the early spring when the first warm breezes start blowing through. Given the power, tenacity, and fierceness of the human spirit, all we need is a tiny crack to appear, and POW! We push our way out of what’s been holding us back, eagerly searching for what’s next and what’s possible. That’s what the beginning of 2010 feels like to me as I listen, watch, and experience this fresh start. We have much work to do, and it’s the good work of becoming more of who we truly, deeply are. Many of my clients and friends are excitedly choosing their word of the year (mine’s “Vitality!”), creating goals, setting intentions, and in the past three weeks have started exploring how their choices this year will help them experience those things as real in their lives.

Aaaaand that’s where things tend to get stuck/stalled/stagnated!

Being at choice + craving change = choosing something different to create the “Life is Art” masterpiece you can see in your mind and feel in your heart. It means saying YES, PLEASE! to what will get you closer to that vision and NO, THANK YOU! to what takes you further away. Simply put, each and every choice we make…and I mean the eeeensiest choices all the way to the huge ones…is either moving us toward or further from the selves and lives that we crave. 

So there’s a vital leap to be made from choosing the word/goals/resolutions/intentions to then really choosing differently, moment to moment, in order to see those things to fruition…choice by choice, step by step.

One way I’ve been playing with that this new year is by harnessing the power of saying “yes” and “no” by way of boundaries. I’ve noticed that unless I create boundaries within myself, for myself first, then not much happens differently on the outside in my life. Here’s an example:

Like many of you, 2009 was the year I dove into social media. Facebook and Twitter literally seem like a party that never ends, and both my business and my personal life have flourished in ways I couldn’t ever have imagined because of the time I spent there in recent months. (I’m writing this blog post because of meeting Lance on Twitter last year!) Work and play blur into a sparkly gray area in Social Medialand for me, and it’s been both a blast and a boon.

But, I’m also a solopreneur. And I have a laptop. The good news? I can take my work anywhere! The bad news? I can take my work anywhere! In 2009, I found myself doing things like cooking dinner, laptop on the kitchen counter, recipe website up, but then checking Facebook and Twitter while the onions were sautéing. I’d take my laptop upstairs and while my husband read or surfed the net on his own computer, I’d don my pajamas, hop into bed to chat with friends, connect with colleagues, and while I was at it, hop on over and check my email. ‘Cause I could. At 11:00 p.m.

Bottom line? I was becoming a bit addicted to being on the computer but could rationalize it to myself because “it was helping my business.” And, it was too much. My boundaries were non-existent, and work was bleeding into everything.

When “Vitality” became my keyword for 2010, I knew I had to create boundaries–by myself, for myself–around my time online. To do that, I’m experimenting in four different ways…creating time boundaries about when and how long I’m online, putting a temporary boundary up around Twitter, creating boundaries on the fly through “vitality checks” during the day, seeing if what I’m doing is creating or depleting my vitality and shifting my choices as a result, and finally putting a boundary up around my laptop itself, deciding that its primary residence is my office, and it only comes to visit my home on occasion..

You might notice that each of these boundaries are self-imposed. That’s the thing about boundaries…most often, no one’s going to set them for us. It’s up to us to harness the power of them for good, and I’m working toward with the example above.

Is it working perfectly? Not yet. But is it getting me closer to where I want to be? Slowly but surely, moment by moment, choice by choice, step by step.

So as you move more fully into this new year of ours, I encourage you to think about not only what you intend to create for yourself and in yourself in 2010, but how the choices you’re making are moving you closer to or further from those intentions. Where might you benefit from creating boundaries of your own? How will they serve the masterpiece-in-progress that is your life?

Keep up with Laura by subscribing to her blog, and following her on Twitter and Facebook.

It's an honor today to share an article written by John Anyasor, from HiLife2B.  John is a regular visitor here, and authors his own blog while also attending college full-time.  He has a real desire to help others, and much of what he writes focuses on personal growth.  A recent example of his work include Should I or Should I Not? The Curse of Indecision

John's words will make you think more deeply, and lead you down your own road of self discovery.  You can follow along with him by subscribing to his blog, and by following him on Twitter

We can all make a difference, and today John shares:

How to Make a Difference Without a Whole Lot of Money

 

Stand Out.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Shot_by_Cam

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~ Anne Frank

Have you got the itch? The itch for change? It's that feeling you get when it seems like time is moving at no more than a snail's pace. You've settled into the routine of simply living. As usual, there's a war going on that nobody really wants to fight. Or there's some disease that threatens our way of life. Same old, same old.

Everywhere we go, there are images of pain, fear, and hatred spread across some advertisement in bold letters.  These images seem to ask us, "Is this the world you want to live in? Help these people fight the good fight! Help us find a cure! Help us make a difference! Do something!"

As a result, we say to ourselves, "Enough waiting around. It's time for change. It's time to make a difference."

Okay, now you're pumped and ready to make your mark on the world. First, maybe to begin your world-changing efforts, you make a commitment to donate to charity (the ones that give to poor third-world countries) at least once a month. That sounds reasonable, right?

Alright, it's been a month, and to your surprise, on the news you hear of kids still starving in third world countries. You're taken aback. "I thought people were donating money to this cause. And I thought I was giving enough. What's going on?" you think to yourself.

Then, a great idea strikes you. "Maybe instead of being passive and paying money to some charity every week, I'll hit it where it hurts. I'll go to those starving countries and fix them myself!"

Fast forward a month later:

You realize you don't have any money. You may or may not have kids to feed. You might be a little biased towards riding on planes, thanks to the media (you know how the terrorists hijack planes, don't you?). You believe that it'll take forever to save someone else's plight, especially when they're halfway around the world!

You also have a job that is under the control of your ever-so-grateful boss. You can go save the world on your own time.

With all of these things working against you, you finally resign to just paying your monthly charity check and hope things turn out for the best.

Just so you know, the person in the above scenario isn't making a difference.

Now before we get to the meat of this article, this scenario is based on what I think usually happens. I'm not saying this is you. I'm just saying this is typically the scenario that plays out amongst the general population.

Society keeps telling you to change the world, and yet it forces you into jobs which rob you of the time needed to become skilled enough to do so. Society wants you to pay to save third world countries from hunger. Society wants you to keep living the way you are, while making you envious of a celebrities wealth at the same time.

Have you noticed something? (Because I sure have!) Society is training us to obsess over money.

Reality tv, gossip magazines, jobs, and internships: they all provide the carrot on the end of the stick – money. We're supposed to have money, but God forbid we're supposed to accrue enough to actually do anything with it!

We're supposed to spend it trying to survive so that we can work more. We have to spend it paying off mortgages on houses we know we can't afford.

Well, I for one am here to solve this problem.

There's only one solution to this dilemma and there's only one way to make a difference: we must give up our obsession with money.

Here's the deal with money – use it or lose it

From now on, all the things you do now will be in preparation for the future. Put money into the things that have the most value. When you want to make a difference, there's no purpose in investing in things that only give you instant gratification.  Skip that fancy little red dress you'll get bored of in two weeks, and use it to pay the phone bill. That big screen you've had your eye on can wait; spend the money on maintenance to prevent your car from breaking down (or better yet, save more money and take the bus!).

Work for yourself

Let's face facts – you can't make a difference by sitting in your office doing your boss's work. You can use what you make to fund an online venture, but you can't keep your job and run a profitable online business at the same time. Something has to give. My advice – as soon as it becomes more profitable to work for yourself than to work for your boss…quit.

Start an online venture

You don't need thousands of dollars to start something that'll make a difference. Gone are the days when you had to buy land and built a store to sell things. These days, making the switch to online is better, more accessible, and faster than offline ventures. Start a blog to get the word out of your attempt to make a difference. Sell merchandise or services – maybe both. If you have a Ma and Pop store, make the switch to MaandPop.com.

Manifest goodness within others by helping them

At this point, you've reclaimed your time and are earning your own living. Now you are ready to save those millions hoping and hurting across the world. But don't make the same mistake twice by just donating money – actually go to those countries. Witness their plight. Experience the pain. And when you can't take it anymore, find a solution. Actually teach people to improve their lives. Don't depend on their country's government to save them, but teach them to save themselves.

You can't do this alone, of course. But with your newly acquired resources, you can gather like-minded individuals who'll gladly help them on your quest.

There are people today who've already made the decision to save the world. Tim Ferriss is seeking to built schools in Vietnam. Steve Pavlina is empowering the masses by providing workshops to help people reach their full potential. Even Lance here is spreading awareness about breast cancer and motivating as many people as he can.

Think you can't do it?

So did they once. They once thought they had no chance in making a difference. But that didn't stop them from trying. And once they saw results, they tried again, and again, and again until…

Well you know the rest.

Just know that your chance to change the world hasn't left yet. You can take action right now to fight for what you believe in or spread a passion that you have for something.

Go out right now, and think about how you've made a difference. And then quadruple your efforts.

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference n this world: Those who are afraid to try themselves, and those who are afraid that you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth

  Strike Jump
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob Lee

 "Whoever is happy will make others happy, too." ~ Mark Twain

Mondays.

Tuesdays.

Wednesdays.

Well…you get the idea…all week long.

How does your week normally go?  You know, those times when you're "supposed" to be productive.  Maybe you work for yourself, and these times all start to cross fuzzy lines of time slots.  Maybe you work for "the establishment" and have some general Monday through Friday hours workin' for the man.  Maybe you're punching a clock and putting in your time.  Maybe you're looking for one of these, because the economic conditions of late have created lean times.  Or…maybe you're just filthy rich, and none of this matters.

Wherever you are in this spectrum, there are times when you're "job" is to be productive (in whatever manner you define that).

Have you ever had one of those days where you're headed out the door (or down the stairs if you work from home) and just think to yourself "Geez, I wish it wasn't Monday already!" (or insert whatever moment feels right in there for you).

I think we've all had these moments.  Moments when we just want to crawl back into bed.  "Ugh."  "This isn't going to be fun at all."

Having moments like this once in a while, that's okay.  We're human.  There will be moments that get to us. 

It's when these become more than moments, when they become regular and recurring patterns.   That's when it's time to stop and ask yourself if this job/career/position is really worth it.  And if it is, is there some way to make the moments happier ones.

Work Happy

We spend a large number of hours in our lifetime being productive, in whatever way our talents/skills/ambitions take us. Except sometimes we're not.  And we're not our best, and we're not doing all that is possible when we're not happy. 

The work we do, our vocation – plays a huge part in the course of our lives. 

How do you want to spend it?

How about if we could work happy?  Or maybe even just work happier?  

All part of the life we're each living.  Our time on earth, in these bodies we've been given – is finite.  How do you choose to "live" that remaining time you have?  Do you wake up in the morning and see the beauty in the day ahead?  Or do you see the drudgery of deadlines, the rudeness of customers, the obstacles to deal with? 

Take Action

Today – put a little extra pizzazz in your step.  Smile a bit more!  Greet coworkers with joy in your voice!  Listen more deeply.  Do something a little bit goofy.  Embrace your customers!

Find work you truly love and enjoy.  Use recruiting software.  Talk to friends.

Be the happiness you wish to see in this world!

Make Today Great!

Wherever today takes you, look at the happiness you can add to the day – for you, and for others!   Everyone wins!

Detours on the Path of Life

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Nicholas_T  “A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” ~ Anonymous Detours.  You know the routine.  “Road closed ahead.” “Local traffic only.” “Proceed with caution.” Maybe you could say they are signs of summer.  Road construction season.  Change in the name of progress.  On recent travels across […]

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Less Stuff, More Meaning

by Lance Ekum

 Today it is an honor and a privilege to have Sami, from Life, Laughs, & Lemmings here, sharing some of her wonderful knowledge, mixed with that fun and humorous side I’ve come to know and love.  Sami calls Australia “home”, so today we’re traveling “down under” as this bright young lady shares her wisdom here. […]

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Painting The Masterpiece of Our Life

by Lance Ekum

  “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.” ~ Danny Kaye Note:  This post is a collaborative effort between myself and Emily, from Remodeling This Life.  The photos, taken by Emily, were the inspiration for this article.  Emily’s contributions appear in the shaded boxes. Paint. […]

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Old Hat, New Hat

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Beau B “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~ Frederick Keonig “I need this.” My thoughts last week, as I looked for a new bike.  “I’m competing in two triathlons.  I want a […]

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The Sunset Of Our Soul

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Philipp Klinger “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore The sun going down.  Amongst a few clouds, the backdrop an array of colors. The sky afire with a golden glow. Breathtaking. In the right place.  […]

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As Close To Eden As You’ll Get

by Lance Ekum

Today, it is an honor to have Daphne as our guest writer.  Daphne is a wonderful friend, caring lady, and all-around ‘giver of joy’.  A talented writer, Daphne shares thought-provoking and uplifting  articles at Joyful Days – a blog with a real focus on finding happiness and abundance through personal development.  A recent example of […]

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