Monthly Archives: March 2010

Desire, Knowledge And Action

31 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

If you want to make lasting changes in your life, you’re using the first of 3 pillars of change.

Just by acknowledging you want to make certain changes is a start: You want means you desire something — to reach a goal, for example, or for an event to happen, and that desire is the first step.

The next step is knowledge, the third is action. All three build on and support each other; if one is missing or unclear, the results won’t be as good as you would hope for. Now here’s how we can break these things down into usable applications:


  • Clear vision – What do you want? “I want to be a success!” isn’t clear enough. A success at what? Taffy-pulling? Song-writing? Marketing? The more specific you are about the object of your desire, the more you can formulate a strong plan to go after it.
  • Clear goals – How will you know when and if you got what you wanted? By breaking down your goal of being a success into measurable, meaningful and concrete objectives. In doing so you’re accomplishing 3 things: a) you’re working out an achievable plan to succeed and b) you have a check-list to help you keep track — of what you’ve done and how far you’ve come and c) you’ve defined your meaning of success.
  • Clear intentions – why do you want what you want? For what purpose does this desire serve you? Is it to prove your worth to yourself, or show it to other people? Are you doing this for yourself or is that desire a response to what someone important wants for you, or from you? Is it just because it’s there? When you’re clear about why you want a particular thing, this clarity of intention can serve as a powerful source of support and energy.

Continue reading Desire, Knowledge And Action

The Value Of Limits

30 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Decades of Western thinking have influenced our belief that “the sky’s the limit.” Nothing’s impossible if you work at it hard enough, long enough, and you don’t give up.

For the most part, amazing feats of engineering and scientific breakthroughs seemed to prove this belief true…

Until time revealed the cracks in the facade: unexpected and tragic side-effects, damaging environmental consequences, and a host of long-term issues no one could have foreseen.

On a more personal level, we still have a stubborn tendency to cling to this belief. Limits are for other people, the one’s not willing to do what it took to succeed. Limits were for losers.

Here’s the thing: Limits can free us.

The belief that limits were made to be pushed, broken, and conquered breaks things down into an either-or equation: you either push your limits or you don’t. Either it’s good or bad, black or white, loser or winner.

Life is never that cut-and-dried. This kind of simplistic thinking can only go so far in helping us deal with everything that life throws at us.
Continue reading The Value Of Limits

Taking A Break

26 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Hello. We interrupt our regular programming to share this important message: Kindly step away from that grindstone, rest your brain, lower your stress levels, and take a breather.

  • If you just want to recharge, check out these power-napping tips from Lifehacker, and also read our article, “Naptime for The Stressed.” The first gives tips on how to best schedule your naps, as well as explaining the need for short naps, not sleep. The second resource shares sites with free soundtrack downloads for optimal power-napping.
  • If you’re the type to miss old-school video games from your childhood — as in really old-school, DOS versions — why not check out these recommendations? Also parse through the reader’s comments for more site recommendations. If you want, you can also visit this post to learn how to play the arcade games of your youth on your PC, and find out where to get these games on-line.
  • On the other hand, if you get inspired by reading, and you want to start on simplifying your life, visit for short-yet-inspiring insightful mini-articles that share a clear, happy perspective on focusing on what really matters to you. And yes, it’s by the same man who writes for Zen Habits, Leo Babauta.
  • If you can’t stop because you’re just waiting for some important project to come to a head, check out Trent’s post on cultivating patience @ The Simple Dollar.
  • Simply take a walk. Get your legs and arms pumping, your blood moving, and your lungs breathing deep. Clear your head.

Continue reading Taking A Break

How To Build Your Skills

24 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

A skill is the ” capacity to do something well; (a) technique, ability. Skills are usually acquired or learned, as opposed to abilities, which are often thought of as innate.”

Think of all the stuff you learned to do since you were a kid: learning to sit up, walking, feeding yourself. Tying your shoes, reading and writing, and learning to play well with others. And you added on new skills as you grew older. How to throw a curve-ball, maybe, and summarize a story, or set a budget for the grocery and household bills, or lead a meeting. You have a lot of skills, you just take them for granted.

How many skills do you need to acquire to build the life you want? Where do you even start looking to get them? Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
Continue reading How To Build Your Skills

The Value of Checking In

19 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

” How’re you doin’ ?” – Joey Tribbiani, as played by Matt LeBlanc on Friends (TV)

Daily, consistent check-ins are a valuable tool in helping you deal with the pressures of running a business. Taking a few moments to step back from and assess a situation — and more importantly, examine our relationship to that situation — gives us many benefits in our lives, not just in our jobs or our business.

You can check in by taking a minute to assess a situation and asking yourself Joey’s question. It doesn’t have to be a stressful situation at all (although it’s certainly useful in those) . You can be working at your desk, or being quite on the commute.

Checking in is getting in touch with yourself : your current view of the world, your emotional state, your goals for the day…looking at the small stuff that makes up our lives.


Here are just a few ways that checking in can help you:

Checking in helps center you.
In a tense situation — maybe you’re driven by a sudden deadline, or one of the higher-ups had a Very Bad Day and that displeasure has filtered down to your level — checking in asks you to do 2 things: Continue reading The Value of Checking In

Perception and Maslow’s Hammer 2

17 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

Coming in from part one:

How you deal with your goals and problems shows how you see things. It’s like the cake or icing question. Do you tend to want the sweet stuff first and the hard stuff later, or do it the other way ’round, or do you mix the two?

And if you want to change this, can you do it for the long-term?

Try things from a different angle of approach. You can accomplish stuff using any one of these approaches singly –at least other than what you normally do– or mix and match.

The combinations and permutations are fascinating — in terms of requiring your attention, and helping you think differently– and if you embrace the new insights the process can give you, ultimately life-changing.

Of course, it would be difficult at first when you adjust your well-worn reactions to problem solving, but that’s just it.

If you’ve gotten used to solving problems using one approach — hammering them down, so to speak — you might think you’re getting into the groove. Hitting the sweet spot. Getting into the rhythm.
Continue reading Perception and Maslow’s Hammer 2

Perception and Maslow’s Hammer

15 March 2010, by A. Cedilla

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail…”
Abraham Maslow

Today we’ll be using this old saying as a jump-off point for this 2-part article on changing your perspective. I hope after you’ve read the article that follows, you can come away with different tools — other than a hammer — with which you can use in making your life better. Ready?

How we deal with things (goals, problems and issues, to be more specific) are usually decided after we file them under one of the following general classifications: Things You Do Not Want (DNW)and What You Do Want (WYDW). We tend to avoid one, and welcome the other.

Do you have an idea of what your current DNW’s and WYDW’s are?

Get 2 different colored pens and a blank sheet of paper, a big one.

Set your timer for a minute and a half. Free associate, doodle, scribble, jot, whatever, just capture your DNW’s first, using one color of ink.

  • You don’t need to make an orderly list-list, you’re not going to the supermarket — you can write all over the page, just leave space between every item.
  • You don’t have to censor yourself, nobody’s watching. And ignore the hecklers in the back of your head.
  • You have 90 seconds to catch your DNW’s, big or small. Go.

Continue reading Perception and Maslow’s Hammer