The Greatest Job in the World

If you are a parent, you have undertaken to do the most important, challenging, and rewarding job anyone can ever have.  It is likely that you have had days when you wondered what in the world you got yourself into.  Have you ever thought that you weren’t going to make it as a parent or that you weren’t doing a good job?  Did you ever wonder how your children would turn out considering the mistakes you thought you made?

If you are a typical parent, chances are there have been times when you wondered whether you were really cut out for that job and if your kids would be okay.    What I believe is that you have done a good job, and if your kids are still at home, you continue to do the best you can at all times.  Chances are that you have actually done a pretty darn good job.

Even though there isn’t an instruction manual for raising children, and even though we swore we wouldn’t make the same mistakes our parents made with us, we have instilled certain character in our children that, though they may not always exhibit it, will serve them well as they grow into adulthood.

A teacher of mine who practiced Family Counseling for decades shared with me that when parents came to her with a “problem child,” she would meet with them all, then the child, but she would spend more time with the parents in counseling sessions.  In business we know that culture is a top-down phenomenon.  The same holds true for families.  The most important part of our job as parents is to allow our children to be who they are (not to mold them into some facsimile of ourselves or to be their friends) and to teach them to be caring and responsible adults.

You have in you everything you need to make good decisions, and it is most likely that, especially related to your children, your decisions have been, overall, good ones.  In doing “the right thing” by your children, they will grow up to be good adults.  When your children accomplish something that brings them great joy and you beam with pride, remember that you really did do a great job.  How cool is that?

Change is Natural

You need not be wrong or bad in order to make a change. When you first come from loving acceptance (of what is), then the positive changes you desire come more easily. Change, after all, is natural. I adapted the previous from something Louise Hay wrote, and I wanted to share this with you because, in my own experience, both professionally and personally, I realize the power of this concept.

Many people view change as difficult, and sometimes, even unnecessary. Have you heard the expression, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it?” That may not be exactly the way you heard it, but you get the meaning. Certainly we understand the notion that if something is working perfectly well, why change it. We can’t really fix something if it isn’t broken, right? My mother used to tell me to, “Leave well enough alone.” As a recovering perfectionist, I understand that, now. I also understand another perspective, one the Japanese call Kaizen. This philosophy is based on and also known as, “Continuous Improvement,” and W. Edwards Deming helped bring it to industry in Japan and later, around the world, by developing a system and processes based on statistical analysis.

Much of what causes people difficulty with change, is not only the belief, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but also the belief that change is difficult and painful. Actually, the change we find most difficult or painful is change we are forced to make, not change we initiate. So how can we use this knowledge to support our own, Kaizen, our own continuous improvement? How might we view change positively so that we can continue to evolve and live the best life, the life we deserve?

As important as it is to review our past mistakes and to do better, what I have learned is that if we concentrate on our mistakes, we will tend to repeat them. We will remain in the negative state associated with our “failings.” When we continue to focus on what is wrong, we end up getting more of what we don’t want. So, a more productive process is to look at what you’ve done well, on what has worked, on what you want more of. When you concentrate on what you want, and look to make small, incremental changes that get you closer to where you want to be, then the change you make is easy as well as positive. And the best part is, you don’t even have to think of there being anything wrong with you to make those positive changes. You can simply decide to be even better, every day. How cool is that?

You Can Change Your Mind

Have you ever made a decision that didn’t turn out the way you hoped? Perhaps you felt as if you had failed, yet again. Were you repeating a pattern of behavior and perhaps sabotaging yourself because of a limiting belief? Were you making a decision based on your feelings and intuition or based on what others were saying?

One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) is, “There is no failure, only feedback.” As a recovering perfectionist, I really like that saying. I had allowed myself to get to a point where I hesitated to do anything out of fear of making a mistake. There are some other reasons for my having gotten that way, but suffice it to say, that was how I was. More than 20 years ago, when studying NLP, I began to realize more about why I was behaving the way I was and about my limiting beliefs and their impact on my life. I realized that I could change by changing what I believed about myself. There is new science to back this all up in a big way, but at the time, I just had a sense (call it an intuition) that I really could change myself and my life by changing my thoughts and beliefs.

I was right, and my life changed for the better as my beliefs about myself changed. Along the way, I still made some choices based on old, restricting beliefs, and as I looked back at those decisions, I realized that none of them were based on my true feelings and intuitions. They were based on “shoulds” and fears. I wasn’t quite at the point I could simply shrug off those decisions and go on, because I still felt as if I had failed, somehow. But the great thing was, I did realize that I could make new decisions based on what I knew to be right for me (based on my intuition, my heart) rather than staying stuck in the consequences of the former decisions. I began to realize that I could change my mind and my decisions to ones that would support what I really wanted.

Each decision that we make results in some information to analyze. We don’t really need to do much analysis to assess certain outcomes. It isn’t like a scientific experiment or an engineering project or mechanical process when we have to measure outcomes with sophisticated equipment and do statistical analysis and calculate standard deviations. Many decisions, likely most decisions, can be assessed rather quickly and easily with how we feel, how much joy we have in our lives after the results are in. Few if any good decisions will result in our feeling miserable or being unhappy. This is not to make light of making certain tough, life altering decisions. It is simply to say that we have the ability to make decisions based on what is best for us and others (for the highest good of all), and the results can be assessed rather easily by paying attention to our bodies and by listening to our hearts.

It is not a failure when we make decisions that don’t turn out exactly the way we would want. Doing so allows us to learn, to grow, to become more of who we are. It allows us to learn to pay more attention to our selves – to our hearts, our intuitions, and to that which brings us joy. So when you make a decision and it doesn’t bring the joy you thought it would, make another decision. You can change your mind.

All the best, always,

Karl
comments@talktokarl.com

Above the Clouds

I am one of the most positive people I know, someone who has a reputation for being “Zen,” quite good at being in the “Now” and not worrying about what may or may not happen. I am a firm believer that it isn’t what happens to us but in how we deal with what happens to us that determines the life we live and our joy. The Serenity Prayer (see March 8, 2009 post) has been one of my guiding principles for many years, and I am proud of myself for all that I have accomplished, for the way I treat others, and for what I have endured.

With that said, I am also confused. I am in the midst of a struggle – a struggle to understand what it is I am meant to learn by going through this particular time of my life. Why would I create such pain in my life except to learn a lesson that will serve me, and perhaps others? My job is to help others, which I do every day. My clients have benefited greatly from working with me, and I positively affect many others, some of whom don’t even know that I have helped them. I love what I do, and I look forward to helping many more people in different ways, not only through my work as a hypnotist, but also as a speaker and writer. It seems that what I am going through, now, is a “Cobblers’ children have no shoes” kind of situation. “Healer, heal thyself.” Am I too close to see the answers, and might I even be too close to know what questions to ask? And then….

Helene Rothschild, a wonderful teacher and mentor, has taught me that when things seem really tough, when you don’t know what to do, go up! So I choose to go up, to rise above the clouds, where it is always clearer and brighter. Above the clouds, above the pain, above the despair, the answers to all of my questions (and yours) will be found. Above the clouds, where it is clearer and brighter, there is hope. Above the clouds, where all the forces of the Universe come to your aid, to guide you, to hold you, to remind you of how wonderful and beautiful you are. Above the clouds, where the songs in your heart are not distorted by outside influences or fear. Above the clouds, where unconditional love lives forever and always.

So I choose to go up, to rise above the clouds, to find the answers to all my questions. I choose to create the life that I deserve, knowing that I am good enough; I deserve to have the life of my dreams. Is “amazing” ever not good enough? Never! Amazing is always good enough. Is “amazing” too good to be true? Nope! We all deserve to be happy, and when you realize that you deserve to have exactly the life you dream of, that life will unfold before you. It is unfolding right now. If you don’t believe you deserve it, you may push it away, and you may not even realize what you are losing. What a tragedy if you push away the life you have dreamt of because you don’t believe you deserve it.

Join me above the clouds. Join me in knowing that you are good enough no matter what. Join me in knowing that you deserve to have the life you may have only dared to dream about. Helene Rothschild says, “Close your eyes and see clearly.” Go ahead and close your eyes, and see clearly the life you would love to have. It is waiting for you, right here, right now.

All the best, always,

Karl

comments@talktokarl.com

Quick Note Awaiting a Rant

It is hard to believe I haven’t posted anything for a few months, but then I look at the last entry and realize how long it has been. When new content is lacking, traffic goes elsewhere, so no surprise you have been away about as long as I have.

Sometimes I have things to say and find other ways to express them – to different audiences. I’m not really one to rant, but I just might have some things in the works to rant about. I guess you’ll only know if you keep coming back, checking in periodically even when there seems to be no new content. You know that sometimes things are happening even when we can’t see things happening. Think of the bamboo or the large oak tree – above the surface, things seem to be progressing very slowly, but then….

So please keep checking back, sending me your comments and requests, visiting my various web sites, following me on Twitter, finding me on Facebook, and remembering that no matter what, you are important and loved.

All the best,

Karl