March 26th, 2012

Is there success in your future? Most of us pursue success like the proverbial carrot in front of the horse. The story goes that if you put a carrot just out of reach in front of a horse he will pursue the carrot and just keep on trotting along. Is there some way that you can just stop and enjoy the carrot?

The answer is…drum roll please….. No, you cannot stop. Life has no off switch. A change switch but no off switch. Yes, you can still enjoy A carrot. Notice that I said A carrot and not THE carrot.

What success is for you will always be just that – YOUR idea of success. NEVER let someone else’s description of success be yours. If your description of success and theirs matches, great but let it be because you found yours and didn’t just blindly or lazily adopt theirs.

You needs will change with age and circumstance and so your carrot should change also and that is why I said A carrot and not THE carrot. A success may be closing a big deal. A success may be potty changing a child. A success may be completing a 5K. All of these can be carrots for one person. In other words, let your carrot change!

You are never a success because you found just one carrot to pursue and you got it. If all you have at the end of this life is one carrot, you’ve wasted your time. Go get the carrot of happiness and the carrot of love and the carrot of God and the carrot of laughter and the carrot of adventure and a whole bunch more.

You weren’t born with blinders on. The poor horse only sees one carrot in his pursuit. You can look around. You can find more carrots. Pursue as many paths as you want. The line from birth to death should not look like a straight line. It should look like a plate of spaghetti. Enjoy your life. There is no failure. There is only bunches and bunches of carrots for you to enjoy. Bon Appetit!

(C) 2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


Big Dreams?

March 19th, 2012

Everyone is always telling you to follow your dream, don’t give up on your dream, make your dream happen, plan the path to your dream. But…what if you don’t have a dream?

What if you just want to survive without pain and without creditors calling and you just want people to like you? Well, THAT’s your dream! Dreams do not have to be writing the great American novel or becoming a world class cello player or becoming a famous sports figure. Those dreams are fine but there is no hierarchy of dreams. One dream is not better than another dream. Dreams aren’t better just because they are bigger or more complex.

Your dream of someone to love you or your dream of sitting by a pool reading a good book or making a tasty dinner are GREAT dreams! None of us are in dream competition. What small thing would you like to accomplish? Eating spaghetti without getting any sauce on your clothes? A great dream! Make spaghetti as often as you can stand it and eat it as carefully as you can and when that day comes that you take the last bite and your clothes are still clean, pat yourself on the back and think up a new dream.

Yes, our nation had a dream about going to the moon and it was a very big dream but that big dream was made up of countless, small, doable dreams. Someone had the dream of a helmet and someone else had a dream of creating a great latch for the door and on and on.

Don’t wait for a gigantic dream. Don’t despair or think that somehow you are deficient because you don’t have a great big dream. Follow every small curiosity. Follow every hunch. Follow every interesting idea. Those are all dreams calling to you. Try everything you want to try and someday people will look back on your life and say ” Wow! That person was really happy!”.

(C) 2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


A White Shirt

March 12th, 2012

Do you ever feel stuck? Stuck in a relationship or lack of one or stuck in debt or dieting or fear or health issues? Sometimes it feels like quicksand, just slowly sinking and the more you try or struggle, the deeper you sink? If none of this applies, go straight to gratitude and ignore the following guidance.

I have been horribly stuck in an array of scenarios many times in my life. Sometimes I felt like Hans Solo in the old Star Wars when he gets put into that contraption that freezes him into an immovable state. Over and over this happened until I found the solution. One day I realized that it wasn’t Jabba the Hut that was causing my dilemma, it was me!

Sure, I wished for a way out but all and I do mean all of my thoughts were always about what a horrible, no answer predicament I was in. I was consumed by the problem, the problem, the problem. I couldn’t find a solution so obviously one didn’t exist. Of course it didn’t exist where I was looking! It was like looking for a white shirt in a coal mine. Do white shirts exist? Of course they do but not in coal mines!

If you want a solution to your problem you must learn to get out of the coal mine of complaining, griping, whining and blaming yourself or anyone else. You have to climb out of the darkness and negativity by fully realizing that the answer, like the white shirt, cannot be found down there.

The solution is that you have to get up, stand up, and look up. Next, state your problem, understand your problem, surrender your problem and imagine with a positive expectancy that a solution is on the way. Stay out of the coal mine and you’ll have that white shirt faster than you could imagine. It’s not the easiest thing in the world but I know you can do it.

(C) 2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


The Ride of Your Life

March 5th, 2012

Being on a train that goes around in the same circle would be maddening after a while and we would pay any price to leave and yet, a roller coaster with the same amount of track going in the same circle would be a constant source of excitement and we would pay any price to stay on.

We sit and we think, “Oh, If I didn’t have any problems, life would just be so wonderful.” Poppycock! It is the problems and the upsets and the quandaries that provide the excitement on our ride through life. “Oh, if I could just lay on a beach and do nothing, I’d be so happy.” Poppycock, Poppycock! You’d be mad as a hatter after a couple of months if you had nothing to excite you.

Embrace your problems! Love your upsets! Welcome your quandaries! Sure, they are the anxiety producing clank, clank, clank as the roller coaster struggles to climb but as you get to the top, suddenly you see clearly all around you and immediately the rush of excitement fills every cell in your body and the thrill is on!

Too soon the ride is over. You look at the other strangers as you exit and you nod and smile at the shared experience and your only thought is, can we do this again?

Life is a wonderful, exhilarating ride. At times, it’s scary and unnerving and filled with anxiety but really, you never leave the tracks and if you turn your focus away from the ride for just a moment you can see that there really is someone in the booth that’s handling all the controls and making sure that you are excited and safe and having the ride of your life. Enjoy!

(C) 2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride