Archive for August 2008

The Miracle of Life

Rosie RoseAugust 30, 2008

For the second time in my life I had the profound, glorious, and wondrous experience of witnessing and participating in the miracle of life up close. Our second daughter, Annarose Benoit Robbins was born on Friday, August 22nd at 7:00 PM PDT. She is healthy, happy, and such a pure expression of love, joy, and spirit.

I am blown away by my feelings of love and connection with her, in awe of my wife Michelle for carrying her and giving birth (naturally), and in deep gratitude and appreciation for the miraculous nature of life. As I felt when Samantha, our two and half year old was born, it boggles my mind to think that we all come in this way and that most of us are fortunate enough to be healthy.

Anyone who has experienced the birth process up close like this knows what a remarkable feeling it is. And, even if you have not been in the room when a baby has come in – we all came in this way, and therefore have experienced it first hand.

It amazes me how easily we forget about the miracle of our own births and the births of every other person on the planet. We take so much for granted and don’t pay attention to the miracles that exist all around us all the time.

I’m so grateful for the birth of our little “Rosie” and look forward to the growth, learning, love, pain, adventure, challenge, and excitement of being her daddy. I’m also grateful that through her birth I am once again reminded of how sacred, important, and miraculous life is. Like most people, I often forget and get caught up in the day to day stuff of life.

Take a moment today and pay attention to the miracle of your own life, the lives of others, and of life itself. When we do this, it alters everything.

 Happy family

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Appreciate Greatness

August 22, 2008

I have been a bit obsessed with the Olympics. I love watching the passion, intensity, and seeing the greatness on display. These Olympics have been filled with incredible competitions, athletes, and some of the greatest performances in the history of the Olympics – Usain Bolt from Jamaica in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, Dara Torres in the pool at age 41, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor with their beach volleyball dominance, the Chinese divers, and of course Michael Phelps and his 8 golds and 7 world records in the pool (maybe the greatest performance in the history of sports, not just the Olympics).

As I have been awed and inspired by these athletes, I have also been reflecting upon “greatness” in general. While most of us cannot run, swim, or compete at the level of these Olympians, we all have greatness within us. Appreciating greatness in others is a way for us to get in touch with our own greatness.

This is not about us being arrogant, competing with others, or even “winning.” This is about being able to recognize, acknowledge, and be grateful for the natural gifts and abilities we have. Any person who is able to achieve anything of significance in life, and more importantly anyone who has a strong sense of themselves, is in touch with their own greatness at some level.

Of course we will have doubts, fears, and insecurities. And, at the same time we can take a step back and appreciate ourselves and the greatness within us. When we do this, we celebrate ourselves in a powerful, positive, and healthy way. And, when we’re able to fully appreciate the greatness within us, not only will it allow us to reach new levels of success and fulfillment in life, it also allows us to see and appreciate the greatness in others and in life itself.

 

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Go With the Flow

August 18, 2008

I like to pretend that I’m someone who’s totally laid back, easy-going, and able to go with the flow of life. However, sometimes I find it very difficult to let go and just trust the process. Can you relate?

My wife Michelle and I are learning this as we await the arrival of our second daughter any day now. Samantha, our first, came two and half years ago and was almost a month early, much to our surprise. Since that was our first and only experience – we assumed this second time would somewhat similar.

However, this has been quite different already. The due date is today, Monday, 8/18, but we assumed the baby would have already arrived a few weeks ago. We’ve had a few false alarm trips to the hospital and the mysterious ride of this process continues to excite us, baffle us, intrigue us, and humble us deeply. What a great opportunity for us to learn, grow, and GO WITH THE FLOW.

Being able to let go of our attachments, desire to control, and of making things be how we think they should be are all important elements of our growth, fulfillment, and peace in life. What if we were able to really let go, trust, and just allow things to be as they are? That would be cool, much less stressful, and a lot more fun, wouldn’t it?

The key to going with the flow in life is to be able to appreciate what’s happening, not resist it, and be honest about we’re feeling about. Instead of blaming the circumstances, expecting always to be in control, and having to have it all figured out – we can let go and enjoy the ride. This is easier said than done for most of us and in many situations, but when we do it – the peace, freedom, and power we experience are amazing.

See if you can let go and go with the flow in your life today. Have fun…and, think good thoughts for the safe, easy, and healthy arrival of baby Annarose! Thanks…stay tuned!

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The Power of One

August 13, 2008

We are each way more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. We have the ability to make a difference. This short video is a reminder of the power of one.

 

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Olympic Inspiration

August 8, 2008

The Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics are today and I’m fired up. I LOVE the Olympics and was fortunate enough to attend both the 1996 Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Games in Sydney – two of the most incredible experiences of my life.

The Olympics are always filled with so much passion, energy, and inspiration. One of the greatest moments in Olympic history, in my opinion, happened in 1992 in Barcelona. It wasn’t a gold medal, a world record, or even a great accomplishment – it was the courage of a man to get up and keep going, and the love and support of his father that was so remarkable.

Check out this clip and get some tissues (even if you’ve seen it before, as I have dozens of times).

Who we are, how we play the “game” of life, and being able to give and receive love – those are always more important than “winning the race.”

 

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Appreciating Challenges

August 5, 2008

Are you facing any challenges in your life or your business right now? These days, there are some real challenges facing many of us – slowing economy, high gas prices, housing market crash, lots of negativity and complaining around us (based on all of this stuff going on), and a myriad of personal issues related to family, health, money, relationships, and more that tend to show up in life.

The challenges themselves, even the most difficult ones, aren’t usually the real issue; it’s our relationship to them that causes us the most pain and difficulty. Think of what your life, your relationships, and your career would be like if you didn’t complain about or resist challenges when they showed up? For most of us, this would make things very different.

Resisting, complaining about, or even feeling sorry for ourselves about the “bad” things that are happening is totally normal and what we are often encouraged to do by people around us and our culture in general – whether we do it out loud with others or just in our minds. However, these things, while understandable, don’t address the real issues, the emotions we’re experiencing, or make things better for us.

I’m not advocating that we pretend everything is “fine” when it isn’t – that’s denial, which won’t help us either. However, the question in life and business isn’t whether or not we’ll face challenges, the question is what will we do and how will we respond in the face of the challenges that arise. Do we avoid really dealing with difficult things and learning from them by playing the role of the victim and not acknowledging our true feelings about them or do we face them directly, acknowledge our emotions, and choose to grow from the experience? It’s always up to us.

On our path of life, growth, and success, we all encounter difficulties. However, many of the most successful and fulfilled people who’ve ever walked the planet have faced incredible challenges. What if we actually appreciated our challenges? Remember, appreciating something doesn’t necessarily mean we like or enjoy it. Appreciation means that we recognize the value of something and are grateful for it.

Here is a list of some things we can appreciate when things get tough:

  • Challenges often give us important feedback about where and who we are
  • Challenges give us contrast and can help us appreciate things when they get easier
  • Challenges can allow us to wake up and notice all the good things that are happening that we weren’t paying attention to
  • Challenges are always a great opportunity for learning, growth, and improvement
  • Challenges give us an opportunity to get in touch with, take responsibility for, and express our real emotions

By learning to appreciate our challenges and see the opportunities in them, we take our power back from the situations and circumstances of our lives. Our ability to appreciate difficulties, learn from them, and use them to our advantage, gives us an important insight into who we really are and how to create success and fulfillment in a conscious and deliberate way.

Action: What You Can Do

Make a list of some of the biggest challenges in your life right now. What can you appreciate about each of these difficulties? What are you learning from them? What are you able to appreciate in yourself and your life because of these things? If you look for it, you’ll be able to find many things to appreciate about every one of your current challenges. Appreciating our challenges can allow us to accept them, learn from them, and ultimately take back our power from them. Doing this reminds us that we’re the authors of our lives – not the circumstances we’re facing.

 

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Dancing Around the World

August 4, 2008

My wife Michelle sent me this great video – it made me laugh and inspired me. The power of dance, joy, travel, community, and self expression all come through…check it out:

To find out more about this guy Matt, his project, his travels, and the story behind this video, check out his website at http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/?fbid=BOYzro

 

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What Really Matters

August 1, 2008

Death has a way of putting life into perspective, doesn’t it? While I did not know Professor Randy Pausch personally, his life, his message, and his death (just one week ago today) touched me deeply. Randy gave his famous “last lecture” to his students at Carnegie Mellon University last September and has inspired millions through that lecture (thanks to YouTube, Oprah, and people sharing his words of inspiration), as well as the bestselling book he wrote, The Last Lecture.

This week all three of my blog posts have centered around Randy and his incredible message and example. One of the most poinignet aspects of what he said and what I took away from his lecture, as well as every other experience I have ever had personally with the death of someone close to me, is that most of the stuff we focus on, worry about, and even do on a daily basis doesn’t matter that much. It is the people in our lives, the love we have, and the simple things that are the most important.

This week I am in the midst of finishing up the manuscript for my next book, BE YOURSELF, EVERYONE ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN – which I am excited about, but also has caused a great deal of stress, worry, and anxiety for me since the deadline is fast approaching and I have been behind schedule. As much as I try to remind myself that I will get it done and that it will all turn out, it is so easy for me to give away my life to the process and to my fears about it not getting done, being bad, etc.

As important as this new book is to me, in the scheme of things and when I ask myself what really matters, I realize that Randy’s reminder is so important. Incidentally, we are also expecting the birth of our new baby girl sometime soon as well. Now, that is something that really does matter.

What really matters to you? Are you spending as much time and energy as you can on the things that really matter to you…and letting go of the stress, worry, and anxiety that you allow to flow in the direction of the many things in your life that don’t really matter? If so, let’s all together see if we can remember what Randy taught us and focus on the truly important stuff.

 

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