That Feeling

October 29th, 2012

(You are Getting Better!)

How do you get that feeling back again? You know the one where you feel like you’re listening to your favorite song on a perfect day after eating your favorite food. You know the one. How do you recreate that?

The answer is…you can’t. Just like you can never step into exactly the same river twice, you can’t duplicate any moment you have ever lived. When we try to recreate a perfect day, it always turns out different than we planned. Life is lived forward for a reason. If yesterdays could be lived again, we would never live a today or plan a tomorrow on the fear that it wouldn’t be as good as what we had.

Life isn’t about recreating. It is about creating and improving. Life is constantly unfolding beautifully in front of us but we spend so much time looking back with a sketch book in our hands trying to make a blueprint of our past happy moments that we miss the new ones. The secret is to remember the past good feelings but fall in love with the present moment.

Without exception, the happiest people are the ones that love the most. And the ones who love the most are the ones who have made the greatest amount of room for love in their lives. Like a playroom that no longer has any room to play in, we have to clear stuff out. We have to get rid of judgement both of our self and others. We have to put all complaining out with the trash. We have to bury old regrets and hurts. A fresh coat of forgiveness with a bright trim of positive expectations and we are ready to open the doors and windows of acceptance and invite in gratitude.

There are legions of brand new, better than ever, good feeling days ahead for you. They are coming. Have you made room for them?

(c)2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


Who Matters?

October 22nd, 2012

(You are Stronger!)

What do other people think of you? Does it matter? We like to imagine that other people’s opinions don’t matter but the reality is that they do. People can cheer us up with a smile or a wink or hurt us terribly with words that strike us like the crack of a whip. Sometimes the influence is subtle. For instance, you’re feeling absolutely fine and somebody comes up to you with a very concerned look on their face and they say gravely, “Are you okay?” and instantly you begin to wonder where before there was no doubt at all.

The fact is that we have gotten our cues on how to live from the actions or the words from those around us since the day we were born. So, the question isn’t really whether we are affected by others but more importantly, how do we minimize getting hurt by others.

My grandmother, God rest her soul, was unschooled but one of the wisest women I ever met. Her answer to this age old question was the best I ever heard and it shapes my life to this day. She said, “When faced with hurtful words being thrown at you, always consider the source. Is that person worthy of your admiration? If they are, there might be some truth in what they are saying. If they are not worthy of your admiration, then it’s about them not you.”

Look around, we all have toxic people somewhere in our lives. Some are coworkers or family or neighbors or “friends” or friends of friends. Do you admire them? Of course not. Then why do they matter? Because you make it about you and not about them. Listen to my Grandmother, “It’s not about you. It’s about them!!” Observe them, pity them, stonewall them, ignore them but for Heaven’s sake, don’t believe them. You’re better than that and you know it!

(c)2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride



October 15th, 2012

(You are Capable!)

We falsely believe that there are insurmountable obstacles between us and our dreams and yet, you know that in your life you have overcome obstacles that would make a Navy Seal shudder. You’ve gone through the ringer, beaten back the odds, overcome your own mistakes and those of others and you are still here. You couldn’t possibly believe that there is an obstacle that can stop you.

When you set your mind to do something, it is rare that any real obstacle stands in your way. Take for instance the high diving board. The high diving board isn’t an obstacle, it is just a high diving board. People aren’t dying left and right every time they jump or dive and yet something holds us back from trying. It’s not an obstacle, it’s fear.

Fear is not an obstacle! Fear is an imaginary picture of you being laughed at, of you disappointing someone, of you not accomplishing what you swore you could or would do. How could an imaginary picture ever be an obstacle? How could an imaginary picture of a composite of other times you “failed” or were laughed at be an obstacle? How? Because you look at it and say “That could happen and I’d feel bad and I don’t want to feel bad so I won’t do it.”.

Listen, if you don’t “fail”, if you don’t make many mistakes, if you don’t cry into your pillow, if you don’t get laughed at, if you don’t get red-faced and embarrassed, if you don’t stutter and say the wrong thing or no thing, if you don’t want to run and hide… YOU HAVEN’T REALLY LIVED! To live is to hurt sometimes. The payoff is that if you are willing to put up with a little discomfort from time to time, you can get the body you want, the bank account you want, the education you want and most importantly the courage you want.

Stop looking at the imaginary pictures and start doing what you do best, overcoming obstacles and really living.

(c)2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride



October 9th, 2012

Why are Mondays so different? Nature knows nothing of Mondays nor of any other day of the week. Nature knows seasons. People know days because people invented days. A bird, a blade of grass, a lion or a butterfly acts no differently on a Monday than on a Thursday. But we do. Why?

We have given magic to Mondays. It is a Monday when new jobs start. It is always a Monday when a diet starts or some bad habit stops. It is always a Monday when we decide to change for the better. Could we drop a bad habit on Thursday or start a diet on Friday? Are you crazy, we say. No one could be successful if they did that! Only a Monday start can guarantee success we say.

If Monday is so magical, why do we sigh at the very thought of its appearance? It is because we have forgotten the magic of Mondays. We have come to believe that a Monday signifies the start of another week just like any other week. There will be working hours and laundry to be done and bills to worry about and meals to make and appointments to keep. Where is the magic in all of that?

The magic of Monday is in your imagination and in your imagination are the seeds of everything that you will become. What if you imagined that Monday really was a start to not only the rest of the week but the rest of your life? What if you decided that every Monday would be a time not of sighs but of re-commitment to your success, your relationships, your health, your family, your spirituality and your dreams and plans? Wow! That would be one magical day every week, wouldn’t it? Now that could change a life. Yours maybe?

(c)2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


The Bridge

October 1st, 2012

(You are Optimistic!)

Why is change so difficult? You may want to lose weight, change jobs, change your relationships, exercise regularly or improve any area of your life and so you make a commitment to change because the “new” you will be so much better and happier. BUT, pretty soon, instead of feeling better you start feeling worse. What happened?

When we start to change, we hold a picture of future happiness and it is exactly that picture that pulls us out of where we are. This is a good thing. The problem is however that we don’t go without some amount of resistance! We don’t resist change because of future happiness. We all want that. We resist change because of the interim. The time that we are neither our old self nor our new self. This is called the bridge of transformation. You have to have the courage and patience to cross it or change just can’t happen.

No one is comfortable on the bridge. It’s scary and the winds of change are always blowing. Your old life is constantly yelling for you to turn around and come back to what is at least familiar. You will listen and you will slow your pace but don’t you dare look back! No matter how slow your pace, keep going! Many times the bridge is longer than it seemed but don’t let that stop you. Your old ways of doing things will keep calling but you just keep going. Let your mantra be: Patience and courage. Patience and courage. Patience and courage.

If you really want to make a change in your life, you have to hold a very clear picture of what the change will mean to you but you also have to understand that you are going to have to cross a bridge to get there. It will always be an uncomfortable trip but the key is to focus on just the next step. Every step will give you more strength. That’s the transformation. Whatever you want to do, be or have, it all starts with taking a step and you know what? It a great day to take one.

(c)2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride