Unstuck Living logo

Archive for Fortitude

Never Give Up

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

—Harriet Beecher Stowe

Duff photoDuff here. The more I considered this Truism, the more I agreed with it. I have had Situations in my Life where I was tempted to give up. Throw in the Towel. No more of This. But right after I had these thoughts, I would experience a Burst of Energy. I would make it to the Top of the Mountain. I would leap High in the air and Land on Mom’s Lap. The list of my Accomplishments is Endless. When I achieve those goals, I swell with Pride. That’s when I live unstuck.

Lately, Mom and I have been encouraging others to do their Best. And what Good Cheerleaders We are! The last few weeks have been hard on many, Myself included. But I am Intrepid and never Give Up. I turn to my Goal (in My case, perhaps a special Treat) and give it all I’ve Got. If I look Winning Enough, Mom may relent. She always smiles, and if she Turns My way, I know Favor is with me. I may be rewarded for Being the Good Boy I am.

Have you found this true for You, too? Found Yourself running into Walls of Discouragement? I say: Back up and give it One More Try. This Extra Effort may be all it takes to get to Your Goal. Happiness in the Journey is key, for the Stretching and Striving makes Life so worthwhile. That’s when We can all be Alive, Joy Filled and Free. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#nevergiveup

Life is Like . . .

Life is like a series of commas, not periods.

—Unknown

Duff photoDuff here. Have you felt so that Life is totally confusing? Circumstances overwhelming? Can’t see Your way out? I have done that a Time or Two. And it’s not Fun. Everywhere I looked, it was Dreary. At times, I thought it Was Forever. I thought it was a Period . . . when actually it was a Comma. I forgot to Live Unstuck.

But I Shake Bad Times like that off Quickly and Easily. Of course, They happen to all of us. (Sometimes, I Shake my Entire Body from my Nose to my Tail as I move Beyond them.) I’ll admit: these Wretched Times are not easy to move through. But I live Unstuck. I acknowledge Them, figure out their Learnings and Teachings, and keep on Going. Too many Delightful Adventures to explore to get Bogged Down in the past. I am one Persistent Puppy, bound for Higher Ground and the Cheerful Experiences Life has to offer.

Are You like Me? Do you Calculate your losses and let go to Move Ahead? Or do you get Mired in the Muck of What Could have Been? I recommend: Let go and live Unstuck. To do so is far more enjoyable, for life is short. Or so They say. #unstuckliving#lettinggo

Maintaining Interest

Are we alike? Sometimes I feel energetic and enthusiastic when trying out a new behavior (substitute exercise or change in eating habits) but lose steam after a while. How about getting involved with a project but abandoning it before it’s finished? Though I understand the importance of what I am doing, laziness or lack of willpower creep in to drain my enthusiasm. This makes me feel as if what I’m doing is a burden, and I am even less likely to complete the task or adhere to the new program.

Let me give you an example. I was out of town for a couple of weeks. Before that time, I was routinely at the gym three times a week, rain or snow, heat or cold. A 5:00 wake up was just fine. I rolled ut of bed, ready to go. Didn’t matter if it was dark outside or bright sunshine. I was up and ready to move.

Fast forward to my return from my trip. 5:00 a.m. came and went, and all I did was lift one eyelid and check the time. Didn’t even feel guilty about still being cozy in my bed. Sure, I got up to walk the dog around 6:00, but that didn’t help my lack of enthusiasm for a good workout.

Then, I began to remember all of the benefits of my workout. When the rowing machine was my friend, my back didn’t hurt when I was on the computer. I had more energy and felt better after going to the gym. I was also proud of myself for sticking to my schedule. And most of all, I remembered that if I got up early in the morning, my brain was still asleep. I could get to the gym, and by the time I finished my brain was just beginning to wake. (Works every time). I was back on track.

We all know that everything in life takes a bit of work, time and effort to complete. Short spurts of enthusiasm won’t see us through to the end. But what to do when interest and attention and focus wanes?

  • Set your intention. Decide that whatever you want to achieve is a top priority for you, that you will focus on its Make out a schedule that will work for you. In my case, it was getting to the gym before the day began. (No excuses).
  • Celebrate the little victories. There was a time when I was a couch potato. Cholesterol levels went through the roof and pants were very tight as I gained weight. The turning point was when my doctor recommended Lipitor. A quarter mile hill next to the house beckoned, and I began to walk. That first climb was a 60-minute struggle, with four long pauses as I went up the hill. And I decided that anything less than an hour was a victory. The next day, I celebrated 59 minutes. That was 11-12 years ago, and now the Duff and I take a morning constitutional of about 3 miles. I’m on a roll.
  • Once you decide on a goal, go with it. Even after you lose enthusiasm, keep your eye on the prize. Want to go on a 20-mile hike? Start small, then work up to it. Even if you don’t feel focused on a given day, the positive will carry you through until the end.
  • Remind yourself of the benefits. Decided to enjoy nature more? Reflect on how beautiful the scenery is as you revel in the changing seasons. Want to finish clearing out the storage unit before the snow flies? Keep the end result in mind, and you will continue to be enthused and motivated. Your goal will be accomplished in no time at all.

I’m curious: how do you awaken your enthusiasm? Leave your comments below.

The Only Way Out is Through

The only way out is through.

—Robert Frost

Duff here. The way out is through. What an interesting thought! When I was in the back yard of a friend of my mom’s, I was happy playing for a time. After a while, I wanted to go and find her. But there was no way out. The backyard fence was sturdy and strong. The gate, however, had a small space beneath it. You guessed it. I dug and I dug until I could worm my way out. I moved through that obstacle. I then adventured and made friends with the neighbors until I was recognized (not hard to do) and brought back. My mom arrived and all was well. But to me, the only way out is really through . . . the gate, the unlatched carrier, the open door. I live unstuck.

How about you? Do you take matters in your own hands (or paws, so to speak) and tunnel your way through an issue to a solution? Or do you sit and wait for the problem to be resolved? I say: it depends on the situation. If you think it will work itself out, wait and see what happens. Sometimes that’s the best course of action. No muss, no fuss. But if a response is best, then get in gear and start moving. I have found you’ll feel better for it. I’ll celebrate your success. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

How Do You Recoup?

After AFC and NFC playoffs last weekend, two teams advance to the Super Bowl. Huge headlines, celebration in locker rooms, jubilation among the fan base. But to have that happen, two other teams also had to lose. Gloom and doom. Dark Skies. A dreary outlook.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a fairy tale season. Blake Bortles stepped into the breech and did his best to lead the team to a victory. The team played well together and coaching was superb. But when up against the New England Patriots, the best in the league, it was a challenge to come out on top. Not this year.

The Minnesota Vikings played their hearts out. The week before they made playoff history by becoming the first-ever team to win in a walk-in fourth-quarter “Minnesota Miracle” touchdown pass. Some said the reveling after that game took the wind out of the Viking’s sails when they faced the Eagles last Sunday. Just not up to par.

After having the best season in this century, Coach Marrone of the Jaguars told how this loss was right under a death of someone who is close to you. It takes a while to settle down, unwind from the frenzy of competition and take stock of the situation. But grief is also Mother Nature’s finest motivator. Like a reboot of a computer, it’s time to begin the practice of moving toward a win again. But not until the healing is complete.

Are you like me? You have had opportunities come your way. You have worked hard to achieve that goal, but somehow it eluded you. Or you were courting a lady, hoping for the best. But it didn’t work out. Or you were dreaming of a vacation. But your husband fell ill and you didn’t go. The remedy for recovering? Take time out and step back from what’s happening. Do something different. Enroll in a class. Perhaps even take a short weekend getaway. A breather is good. And when that new perspective comes your way, you’ll be ready to take life on. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

Leap and the net will appear.

—John Burroughs

Perseverance Pays Off Big Time

“I had been through life when I was the laughingstock in whatever business I was in, auto parts or what have you. You have to stay in it and success comes. It’s a story of perseverance.” Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, knows what he’s talking about. The first five years of his seasons as an owner, the team was 17 wins with 67 losses, including 2-14 in his inaugural season. The team was stuck.

Khan knew about hard times but also knew about getting unstuck. He was born in Lahore, Pakistan to a family involved in construction. With $500 in his pocket, he moved to the United States in 1967 at age 16 to get his college education. On arrival, he spent his first night at a $2/night room at the University Y-YMCA, and his first job was washing dishes for $1.20 an hour.

While attending school, he worked at Flex-N-Gate, an automotive manufacturing company. In 1978, Shahid started Bumper Works, which made car bumpers and customized pickup trucks and body shop repairs. In 1980, he bought Flex-N-Gate from his former employer and grew the company so it eventually supplied bumpers to the Big Three Automakers. The company has grown in sales from $17 million to an estimated $10 billion in 2010.

He is living unstuck. And so have the Jaguars. His team won in the playoffs and has a good chance of ending up in the Super Bowl this February. When the team won their game, he said, “What a feeling. It’s unbelievable . . . To win it and win it the way we did today [is] mind-blowing.” Yes, it’s been a long time coming. But well worth the perseverance it took. It paid off big time.

I’m taking his example to heart. As a hypnotherapist and small business owner, I work at improving my practice every day. New techniques continually pop up and new ways to help my clients unfold. And I’m having fun! Just as Shahid Khan is enjoying the fruits of his hard work, he continues to expand his horizons. I want to follow in his footsteps and live unstuck. You too? #Unstuck Living

In order to succeed, we must first believe we can.

—Nikos Kazantzakis

A Coach With Fortitude

White haired Jimmy Johnson is well known as a FOX NFL Sunday football analyst, working alongside Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Michael Strahan. But his story didn’t begin there. Jimmy began as an assistant coach in college football in 1965, eventually becoming a head coach at Oklahoma State University in 1970. While there, he was noted for his successful rebuild of an inconsistent program. And did well.

Jimmy could have stayed there but would have been stuck. He continued his career as head coach of the Miami Florida Hurricanes in 1984. After a fitful start, Johnson developed the team into a program that came to be known as “the Decade of Dominance.” He created a freewheeling atmosphere where he encouraged his team to show-boat and run up the score. He lived unstuck. In his 5 years there, he compiled a 52-9 record, and after an undefeated season, won a national championship in 1987.

In 1989, Johnson accepted the offer to be head coach of the NFL Dallas Cowboys. He replaced the legendary Tom Landry, who had coached the team since its beginning in 1960. Following in the steps of such a well-known man, Jimmy had his work cut out for him. But he had the ability to find talent in the draft, make savvy player trades and sign quality competitors as free agents. He had an uncanny knack to look at his options and make the right choice. He flourished and was one of only 6 men in the NFL to coach and win consecutive back-to-back Super Bowls.

When a former quarterback was interviewed about Jimmy, he described a coach that was tough on his team. “Yeah, he threw people under the bus. But with him, he needed an 18-wheeler.” This coach had fortitude. He had an unstuck attitude.

I want to have the drive and fortitude it takes to have a winning team. Maybe not an 18-wheeler type of approach but an ability to see into the future and make the right choices. To work hard and engage with life. To challenge myself and live unstuck. How about you? #Unstuck Living

If you fell down yesterday, get up today.

—H.G. Wells