The word “Practice” jumped out at me from a book I was reading last week. It was used to explain that we need to “Practice” being Happy just as we need to practice anything else we want to be good at.

This made sense to me but I had never thought of it in this way before. I started wondering what do we need to Practice, that we have not thought about before.

First we have to assume that we Practice because we want to improve or get better at something.

Let’s discuss a couple of possibilities here.

Listening – Are we really paying attention or waiting to make our own comments?

Listening is a skill that can be improved if we are interested in doing so.

The “Practice” exercise here could be to Practice not thinking about other things while someone is talking to you. Staying present, not thinking about the past or future, is what we need to improve. Focus on their words, and then ask them a question about what they had just said, most people will be trilled. We are not used to being listened to.

Another is Speaking – Do others hear you? Do you articulate clearly without just rambling on and on? Is brushing up on your speaking skills something to do? This can be one on one or to a group –Practice what we say.

If we are standing, do we need Posture Practice and Image Practice?

There is more, but the idea for me here is to focus on areas that could use improvement and Practice imaging and doing it the way I would like to have it be.

I am wondering how many different areas of my life I could use Practice to Change and how do I become aware of them?

Practice makes perfect or at least improvement.

“Lonely is The Night”

“Lonely is The Night”
              Changing what you think is so.

How much of my life, of your life, is a habit or pattern?
My answer is quite a bit, often more than I am aware of.

The way it has been, during our life, is often the way we do it, think it or believe it.
A great deal of this we are not aware of and is a form of automatic pilot.

Questions to ask ourselves when we become aware of those repeating thoughts and beliefs.

  Are they real?    Are they true?    Or just what I am used to?

Here is an example story that happened to me.        There was the time, many years ago, when my son was about 12 years old and wanted to go to a concert featuring rock star Billy Squire. My story, at the time, was that I did not like his music, with his loud screeching guitars.  So my belief was I don’t like rock, or at least this type, at all.

He was too young to let go alone or with friends and he really wanted to go.
I had an idea and asked him to make me a cassette tape. Remember this was way before iphones were invented. He copied several Billy Squire songs and I listened to them twice a day for two weeks. I would go for a two-mile jog in the morning and again when I got home from work. I estimated I listed to about 7 hours of Mr. Squire during my daily runs.

I intentionally decided to work on my mind before I took him and his friend to the concert.  I had to find a way to not be aggravated by it all. Earplugs were also on my list of possibilities. It worked beyond my expectations;        I just needed to be open to possibilities.
Guess what?  I still enjoy Billy Squire to this day and that was 35 years ago.
“Lonely is the Night” still pops into my head now and then and I love it.

So what is the meaning of this story?

My belief was that I do not like this type of music. Even stronger I would of said, then, that it drives me nuts and is annoying.  I “changed my belief” because I had a reason big enough to have me figure out a way to enjoy it or at least tolerate it.

With “Lonely is The Night” as the theme it becomes a reminder that when we go to bed at night it is a perfect time to pay attention to what we are thinking. What is going on with our thoughts?  It is also a perfect time to practice thinking about, or visualizing what and how we would like things to be instead of how we don’t.

Change is possible and not as difficult as you would think.
Rock on Billy Squire.
“Learn How to Live” by Billy Squire
Year: 1982
Album: Emotions in Motion

“Very Useful” – The Most Important Part

“Very Useful”  –  The Most Important Part

“When talking with another friend this afternoon, I shared with her what you said about how the most important part of any interaction is the way you feel about yourself, and it was a very useful insight for her. I will definitely be reflecting on and drawing upon that for years to come.”

After we had a business conversation on the phone I received the above message from my friend, Alyce, the next day.
What I was drawn to was her wording “very useful”.
If someone had asked me what our conversation was about I would have answered that we talked about how important it is to feel good, or actually great, about yourself.  This is a very important piece of any communication or connection and thinking of it as “very useful” seems to add more clarity and even an “aha!” Yes not only is this a good idea, about knowing yourself and being aware of how you feel in the moment, but it is also “very useful”.
I can do something with this.
I started wondering about how many things we talk about each day that have little meaning and are not especially useful, let alone “very useful”.
Taking care of our self is important, not only for us but for everyone we come in contact with. Note: we exchange energies with each other.

Think about this, would you rather be in a room with a very happy, enthusiastic person or a nervous, angry or upset one? . . . and when you are, pay attention to how that has an affect on you and how you feel.

It is also interesting, and useful, to remember and know that we learn many things by repetition and the power of suggestion.
That is what I have done in the paragraph above (and below)
I have repeated that this is “very useful”, have drawn attention to it by bolding the wording and hopefully have gotten your attention as to what is “very useful” in this writing.

Now back to my friend Alyce’s comment on what was “very useful”. That is, knowing and understanding that an “important part of any interaction is the way you feel about yourself”.

We radiate energy by how we feel.

Think of the power here, if others can pick up and feel that energy.

Next step, pay attention to your conversations and notice if your chosen words had any real meaning. After you have a little insight on that then pay attention to how you are actually feeling about yourself. And then think about how your own thoughts, about yourself, are a part of how you feel. Not the whole thing but a piece to consider.

Are you feeling alert, confident, curious, interested, trusting?
Are you willing to pay attention or are you daydreaming and thinking of other things to talk about.
If this is the most important part of an interaction and is “very useful” to know, then our mission with any connection, besides being informed and prepared, is to feel balanced, alert, aware, and grateful to be with the person we are interacting with.

I have been taught that we need to hear or see something at least seven times to even remember it let alone have it be part of who we are.  In this writing I have repeated, that this is “very useful” information, eleven times, if I counted correctly.
If you have read this far then you have the idea and the rest is up to you.

Only Do The Things that . . .

. . .  Only You Can Do
I had the honor of giving the eulogy for a good friend last year. We have been friends for over 30 years so there are plenty of stories and that is what we talked about. I used 3 stories that had the most lasting effect on me.
Here is one and I will mention the others in future writing.
Last year, at a breakfast, he stopped my conversation and asked me to write down the following quote. Then he said for me to let him write it down as he wanted me to have it “exactly correct”.

The quote is “Only do the things that only you can do”

He wanted me to have the words written down “exactly” because he said I would probably remember it as “Only do the things that I am good at” and he wanted me to have it “exactly” this way. He watched me, over the years, spending much time in areas of my businesses
doing tasks that were not the most efficient use of my time.
I still struggle with that, not getting caught up in everyone else’s day-to-day situations. When I do I often think of my friend Lou and his story brings me back as a positive reminder. I know it probably should be credited to someone if I researched it enough but for here and for now I am going to credit my friend Lou
“Only Do The Things That Only You Can Do” Lou Cocilova 1944-2007 Rochester NY & West Palm Beach Florida
Thanks Lou, I’ll remember.