Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Steve Jobs’

Being Authentic is the Key!

Leah Remini the successful actor from the T.V. series, King of Queens writes in her memoir ‘TroubleMaker’ the importance of being authentic. She stresses this after her 30 plus years in the Scientology religion. She experienced constant monitoring and redirection which ultimately resulted with the label of “Suppressive Person” because she raised questions about some of the church’s actions. In addition to the tremendous personal cost of belonging the material cost for membership in this religion (thousands for the ‘average joe’ or millions for celebrities) for the constant classes, auditing and redirection is shocking. The ultimate goal of ‘clearing the planet’ – reads like a scary science fiction novel.

Dictates, ultimatums and control are methods of brainwashing that happen over time when we lose our voice and allow someone – anyone – or organization – to act as judge and jury for our own personal lives. When we stop thinking and simply follow the loudest voice or most empassioned speech it reduces us to mere cogs in a wheel – devoid of the uniqueness that each of us were born to experience. Ultimately, we are rendered helpless waiting to be told rather than seeking our own truth.

No one walks in our shoes or on our exact path. It’s up to each of us to discover our own truth. It takes work to figure ourselves out – a lifetime really – I get it – but it may actually be easier that we think. When we listen to our inner voice – our intuition – and recognize what truly gives us peace, joy and happiness we have discovered our own golden nugget of authenticity.

As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Throughout the book the word hypocrisy screams at the reader. Formal education (past middle school), investigating topics on the Internet, or reading opposing viewpoints are all taboo according to church ‘policy.’ When we look around at other religions in our world with extreme views there seems to be a constant theme … ‘follow and don’t question.’ Really? It seems to me if something or someone is that all knowing they would want their beliefs to see the light of day. Not so. It reminded me of the crass saying about women in the 50’s, ‘keep ’em barefoot and pregnant’ in order to control them. We all know how well that worked out. Anytime we are lead to believe that there is only one way of doing, thinking and being it is time to run not walk to the closest exit.

We can learn from anyone – both what to do and not do – when we are courageous enough to think, feel and be our authentic self. As Remini concludes in her book, “what is true for you is true because you yourself have observed it to be true.”

The beauty of life is that we can take bits and pieces of our experiences and weave them together into a beautiful blanket of truth that feels right for us. There will be some threads of experiences that we may choose to discard – that’s okay. When we have the courage to ignore the personal judgments of others and break free of any artificial boundaries set up to contain us rather than celebrate us we begin to live an authentic life and it is beautiful.

Have a great few days!

Celebrate Your Authentic Self!

Those who have lived a long life and learned a great deal in the process have an important message for us… ‘live a life true to yourself and not simply one that others expect you to live’ – in other words to be your authentic self.

At a Commencement address at Stanford University Steve Jobs reiterated this thought when he said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice… have the courage to follow your heart and intuition …they somehow already know what you truly want to become…”

A famous line from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet says, ‘To thine own self be true…’

So there we have it, a few quotes from hundreds of different sources spanning in time from the 1600’s to the present yet with the same idea – to live authentically by knowing our own values, preferences and abilities and being strong enough to be our genuine self during our life’s journey.

Some people are afraid of being authentic or truly known because they worry that if others really knew them they might reject them. That’s possible for any of us but not likely. Besides those people who make it a habit of rejecting others are basically unhappy, stressed, uninspired and just stuck in their own life. Others do not listen to them because they are simply too exhausting to be around. So think about that for a moment…do you really need to care about being accepted by everyone? Ask yourself, what is the worst possible thing that could happen if someone rejected you… could you survive it? My guess is – absolutely! Why not relieve yourself of the pressure of trying to be perfect and just be who you were designed to be – your beautiful and unique – one of a kind self!

The Universe provides us the opportunity to learn our chosen life lessons. Could it be that one of those lessons is to learn to be true to ourselves? If so, how are you doing with that? Is it time to remove your mask and breathe deeply into your own truth? I assure you that you’ll be glad you did. After all, the Universal Energy doesn’t make mistakes and you are exactly who you are supposed to be – and that’s a wonderful thing!

The title of Mike Robbin’s book says it all… ‘Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken.’

Have a great few days!

Take 5 to Show You Care!

Empathy and self-reflection are two important human characteristics that we seem to spend a lifetime trying to develop. But what if there was something undermining this development without us even realizing it? Actually there is – and it’s partially due to the digital age of communication.

Let’s look at just one of the possibilities – our techie patterns of communication. Many of us seem wedded to the texting, Facebook, Instant Messaging, Twitter etc. craze in which we either send ‘words’ (I use the term loosely) in 1 or 2 phrases to communicate. The message is received but little else. In fact, I know of a lonely mother of 2 adult children who receives 95% of all communication from them this way!

Our voice is energy. Real conversation is an exchange that involves two parties with both an intended message and feelings involved. When we actually talk to someone it causes our brains to process their humanness and helps us develop greater empathy. Interestingly, a recent psychological study of students from the smartphone generation has found a steep decline in empathy. Not just a decline – but a steep decline. That’s big. Is it time to reevaluate our incessant 3-5 truncated ‘word’ response to someone and take an additional 5 minutes to actually talk to them – hear their voice – and listen as we check up on how they are doing? Don’t have a lot of time? No problem. Just start the conversation with, ‘ I only have 5 minutes but wanted to talk with you.’ You set the stage for them to give you their undivided attention.

The smart phones are an incredible tool for both efficiency and effectiveness. I am not discounting the importance of being able to send off a quick response to a colleague or friend in need of a response regarding a time or date. That just makes sense. But rather it is the other type of communication I am talking about which cannot replace the positive effect of a heart to heart talk regardless of how many emoji symbols such as 😏 ☕️ 💁 you use. Something is just left flat and feels a bit missing in this later type of communication.

Steve Jobs, the man who said he wanted to make a dent in the Universe (and did so) by creating the smart phone realized this as well. Even given the incredible way he was able to reshape communication in our world he still forbade tablets and smartphones at the dinner table and encouraged real conversation to take place instead. He recognized the value of human connection.

When we see people unable to function without checking their phones repeatedly we are really witnessing lonely people in search of connection. It is as if they are saying ‘I’m here…include me too,’ as they scroll the latest social media site in search of a bit of news from family or friends. Sad. Unfortunately, this type of connection does not help to develop empathy or self-esteem. In fact, it may even erode them further since there is no personal depth or meaningful exchange between people.

Maybe we can’t find the time to send a Hallmark greeting card (yes … they still exist and are beautiful things to send and receive) but when we choose to stop merely ‘thumbing’ our way through communication and occasionally pick up the phone and call we are saying ‘ I care enough about you to stop and touch base.’ Greater empathy and self-esteem will result on everyone’s part in the long run. That’s a beautiful thing.

Have a great few days!

Ordinary or Extraordinary?

Making a living is important. My parents worked hard from the 30’s through the 60’s raising a family, buying a house, cars, furniture and were grateful to be able to afford a one week camping vacation each year at the same Michigan state park the third week of June. Dad would go fishing while Mom would cook and try to dry out the blankets on a makeshift line during the day. That was before air mattresses and other camping gear was either available or affordable. Yet, that was how they lived year after year and they were grateful that they could pay their bills and take that one week vacation. How times have changed!

Working and taking care of our families enhances our self esteem. My parents taught me the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little bit more that you are willing to do without being asked. Dad used to say, ‘give your employer $1.50 back in effort for every $1.00 you make and you will never be out of a job. It was good advice that I followed.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to making a difference. Some may be able to discover new scientific methods and answers that will benefit the world. We are all recipients of medical and engineering breakthroughs. Steve Jobs said he wanted to make a dent in the Universe and he consequently changed they way the world communicates. More often than not, these breakthroughs only happened when the person did more than was expected.

We all have the opportunity to make a difference in our own unique way if we choose to do so. The question is will we rise to the occasion or take the easier path. Something to think about when we are wishing, hoping and longing for an easier road in life.

Anthony Bourdain, the world traveler who discovers exotic foods and author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly wrote, “No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.”

My favorite, George Bernard Shaw said, ” My life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is a privilege to do for it whatsoever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

Something to think about! Have a good few days!

Achieving Greater Happiness

When people are surveyed and asked what’s the one thing they want in life their response is ‘to be happy.’ Without question, if we could all achieve a sense of peace and happiness in our lives we would raise our own vibrational level and the entire universe would breathe a huge sigh of relief. Have you ever thought deeply about what it would take for you to be totally happy?

Try making a list of everything you think you need or want that would create greater happiness. Doing so is important for many reasons. By reviewing the items on your list you can begin to prioritize those of greatest importance. What are the one or two ‘must haves’ for your own sense of greater well being and happiness? The time you spend thinking about the meaning of each word on your list is time well spent. It helps gain perspective on what you presently have to be grateful for and how you may choose to use your time from this point forward to achieve greater happiness. It causes you to look at the future rather than the past.

To achieve happiness, Steve Jobs said he wanted to “make a dent in the Universe” and he achieved his goal. Decades earlier, the Reverend Martin Luther King and President Lyndon Johnson achieved a sense of happiness by designing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Just think about the thousands of individuals who have made our world a better place, one action, one person at a time.

Although we may not be world leaders, we can all become happier and make a positive impact on the world in our own unique way. Achieving greater happiness in our lives begins when we decide to make today a better day than yesterday for ourselves and others. By reviewing what we have and determining what we want to achieve next in our lives we become happier, more energized and confident human beings.

Have a great few days!