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Lessons of Time and Choice

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losing track of timeAt this point in my life I truly realize that every day is a learning opportunity.  Sometimes I wish the lessons didn’t take so long to get here.

Yesterday I went to the wake of a dear friend’s mom.  We hadn’t physically seen each other in over 20 years.  I think the last time was at our 10 year high school reunion.  We had been the best of friends all through high school, and, if I remember correctly, junior high, too.  We had participated in countless sleepovers and events – and then she moved away to go to college and we lost touch.  Our only connection for these past years has been the holiday cards sent to each other.

Seeing her yesterday at the wake for those few moments made me truly wonder.  Of course, firstly, I wonder where in the world had the time gone???  How could it have been possible that so many years have passed?  Time does go by so fast, and of course every day is filled with priorities.  But, every day we are lucky to have we are also lucky enough to have a new opportunity.

The swift passing of time is not an unfamiliar realization.  I’ve certainly heard people express this same sentiment before.  It is so easy to lose track of time.  Personally, my days are filled to the brim with things that I “have” to do.  In my personal experience, one day just rolls into the next.  The week is gone, the month is gone, the year is gone… you get the idea.

I woke this morning thinking about this and asking myself how she and I could have lost touch and how we allowed so many years to pass in this manner.

So, there it is… the lessons of time and choice. 

With this being said, I think about the saying, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.  In my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I wrote how I marvel how someone, somewhere had said all these amazing quotes and sayings that have been passed down through the years.  They had “been there and done that”, and gave us all these secrets to have a better life.  There is so much wisdom from the past if we pay attention.

“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”:  What is something you have wanted to do and/or a person you have wanted to call?

Perhaps today is someday.

I’ve definitely been crossing things off my “bucket list” of things I want to do; but, what about all of those other things that I should do?  We will make time in our busy lives if we really want to make the time.

Truly the days go by so fast.  Don’t let another pass you by without touching someone you “should” call.

If you “should” do it, you probably should actually make it happen.  I know I “should” have.

What do you CHOOSE to do today?  How can you make those things a priority?  And, if your day, like mine, is filled with the what I “have” to do’s, it may be time to reevaluate the “have to” and figure out how to create a schedule that suits life and love and freedom to do those things that we “should” do.

I certainly plan to reevaluate things a little.

After all, it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play!

Love,

Doreen

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Gliding

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motorcycle

I’ve written about my experience riding my motorcycle before, but I felt compelled to write about my progress after riding today.

I acknowledge that certain things come easily for some people. I also will say that the skills to skillfully ride my motorcycle have not come easy to me. I’ve got to take a step back so you can understand why and how I took up this hobby at 49 years old…

In 1986 I told my husband (then boyfriend) that I wanted to get a motorcycle. At some point he purchased one, and I sat on the back, as a passenger, since… until last July. One of the members of our firefighter motorcycle club suddenly passed away at 48 years old. With that, I decided “today was someday”, and not only got my motorcycle license, but my very own motorcycle.

Even though I had wanted to ride for almost 30 years, and even though I wanted to be so “good at it”, I admit I was a little fearful. I made lots of excuses to others and to myself to justify my skill set. I pretty much even talked myself into believing that if I had gotten that motorcycle at 20 years old it would have been easier to learn the skills to ride.

Nevertheless, I kept at it even though sometimes it was frustrating. There were a few times I internally quit and didn’t ride for days.

Riding a motorcycle, even though you wouldn’t think it because the people who ride make it look so easy, takes great skill (at least in my opinion).

Last weekend, we went on a long ride with 30 other motorcycles. Over 120 miles later, on the ride back, I went around a turn in a manner that was stiff. So stiffly, that I actually was deciding that, if this was how I was going to ride, I should just go back to being a passenger. In my mind I was recounting the many miles we had traveled. In my mind I was “yelling” at how I could still “not be good at this”. Riding a curve stiffly is not a good way to ride a curve. I couldn’t imagine, at this point, after so many months later, how I could not yet have the skills I knew I needed.

Then, it clicked. I can’t exactly explain it. I started “gliding”.

Gliding is the best way I can explain it. I was no longer stiff going around the curves, but the motorcycle skillfully went around them, smoothly.

How many times have we encountered situations like this, where we decided something was just too hard or “impossible”, and quit… If I had quit, it would have been just before I “got it”.

My reflection today is really just this. Coming to terms with the little voices within that tell us we “can’t”, or that, perhaps, we’re “not good enough” to accomplish something.

You know that if you really want to accomplish something, it is possible. We can be taught, but we have to “get it” on our terms and when it’s time for us to trust.

Don’t believe that you’ll never “get it”. Don’t give up on getting the skills you need. Keep at it.

Want to speak in public? Practice. Want to roller blade? Practice. Want to ride a motorcycle? Practice. Want to play the cello? Practice. Want to do ballroom dancing? Practice. Want to do gymnastics, play a sport…. ________________ (fill in the blank). You get the idea.

Knowing that most of us are not born with the skills to do those things that we admire, or things we think we could never do, I truly believe that those who put in the time and the practice do get there. Maybe it takes some people – like me – longer than others. That’s ok! If you keep at it, you will get there. I promise.

If it is something you truly want to do, take that first step and start. Don’t wait to have regrets that you didn’t give it a try. Just go and start.

I promise that, with some time and some practice, you’ll be gliding, too.

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life. It is time to play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Get Happy

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get happyI saw this on Facebook the other day. It is a quick visual that really puts things into perspective, and maybe will encourage a positive action to change our lives.

So many times, I believe, we get “stuck” doing the same old thing. Sometimes whatever it is we are doing in our day becomes drudgery, where we are dreading getting up to go to, or to do, whatever it may be. But, yet, out of habit or obligation we just keep doing or going.

My son is a prime example. He had a job he hated. It pretty much sucked the life-blood out of him, but he went. He dreaded going there, hated being there, and felt devalued as a person after he left. It made for an incredibly unhappy existence, as his whole world pretty much revolved around the distress of his job. To add to the despair, the salary he received was meager, and it was difficult for him to pay his bills. He stayed on with this for over a year, feeling like he was trapped and had no other choices.

And complaining.  He did a lot of complaining.

But, no matter what we told him, or how we encouraged him, or with any suggestions we gave to him, HE decided he was trapped and had no other choices.

One day he happened to go to a place that was hiring. Coincidence or not, he was able to change jobs and his whole demeanor shifted to enable him to better enjoy life. He was no longer a “prisoner” in a situation he facilitated, but had experienced a year of his life unhappy, frustrated and stressed out.

Is this something that you find yourself experiencing?

I have learned through working on the Time to Play project that our emotions are a guide. If we feel upset, uptight, frustrated, unhappy (you get the idea) in a situation or while doing or participating in something, that might just be a trigger that you need to change something.

Even though, as you read this, you might be thinking that it sounds easy but that is not possible to change your situation, you might be able to, at least, begin with a small change that can lead up to a larger change towards your better quality of life.

If nothing else, the exercise on the graphic is pretty easy.

Get out that piece of paper. Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. To “adjust accordingly”, make another column with options to begin the process to make the change towards those things. Pick something that is possible for you to begin with to make your change happen.

Just keep in mind that a list is just a list unless you actually cross something off.

Then it is a reality.

Life is short.

Maybe you can take out that piece of paper and make that list today…

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Gotta Start Somewhere

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Don't Give UpA few weeks ago I was feeling sluggish. I sit most of the day at work. My legs felt particularly achy, and the best way I can describe the feeling in my back was “crunchy”. Those of you who are 50-ish can probably relate to that description!

I decided to start a walking group in our community and posted it on Facebook. The first day we met, one of my neighbors said he always wanted to run the Tunnel to Towers 5K. This is an annual fundraiser in memory of Firefighter Stephen Siller who lost his life on September 11. (For more information about Tunnel to Towers: http://tunnel2towers.org/stephens-story)

I told him, “Hey, let’s do it!” At this point in my life, and through my experience with the Time to Play project, I will work to make anyone’s vision a reality if it is in my power to do so.

So… here’s the thing. Running is not easy for me. The last time I “ran” was in 2004 when I successfully completed a 5K in close to 31 minutes (long story on how I got involved in that!).  And, I do use the word “run” very loosely. I know there are diehard runners, and that’s truly not my skill level. That said, we started meeting every other day to train with a program called From Couch to 5K except for when our schedules did not permit. A few other neighbors also join us at the track periodically.

When my running partner left for a week of vacation, I went out by myself to continue the training program. I found it harder to follow the program without the camaraderie, and did not get as far as when we were at the track together… but, that’s o.k.!

I’m taking “baby steps” and I am still going.

The term “baby steps” may pertain to many things we attempt to do in our lives. Think about it. We sometimes have to take “baby steps” in relationships, job searches, diet changes, learning, or achieving a desire.

BUT, I believe that it is better to take a “baby step”, and to keep at it, then to not take any step at all.

Sometimes we may have to go out of our comfort zone when we’re starting something new. I believe it is rare when we do or try something one time and become an “expert”. There are many sayings that we can utilize here to emphasize this point, for example one I heard since I was little: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.

Starting is never easy. But the key is to start.  Here’s a link to some more quotes that might drive you to keep going.

With that in mind, what is something you’ve always wanted to do? What is something in your life that you plan to do “someday”?

Well, maybe “someday” can be today.

What’s that first “baby step” you can take?

With the Couch to 5K app we downloaded, we don’t have to do much planning in order to complete the 5K in September. The 8 week program does all the planning work for us, and all we need to do to build our endurance incrementally to run the 3.1 miles is to push a button and following the program.

Maybe what you desire to accomplish requires a little more planning or a little more work to get from “point a” to “point b”.

Take out a pen and paper and start a list to achieve.

Again, the key word is “START”.

It’s time to enjoy life. It’s time to play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

No Baggage

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No BaggageEvery morning I read a bunch of emails from different sources that fill my mind with thought provoking, inspirational and positive ideas.

Today there was an email with a concept I had to share. It gave me a visual “aha” that anyone can use.

This article is going to be much shorter than others I have written, as the message is simple, clear and something we can all understand. It’s a “key” that can be easy to remember any time we might need it, and might just be the spark to shift a person towards a happier life.

The message: “No Baggage”.

What exactly does that mean?

How many people take “baggage” with them on a daily basis, reliving something that happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year… how many people blame someone for something in their lives? Do you?

I believe it’s the “Baggage” that keeps us trapped and unhappy. It’s the “Baggage” that may cause us to find fault, give us doubts, or prevent us from loving ourselves.

We cannot change the past. There’s nothing we can do. BUT, when we keep taking “Baggage” with us, we continue to live the same cycle.

Think about how reliving the past keeps us feeling poorly. We can’t change it. Maybe it’s time to take a second to STOP, realize we’re doing this, and let it go. Maybe we can forgive the person who wronged us or the situation where we felt embarrassed that continues to paralyze us.

When we bring “Baggage” to the workplace, we may create a sense of tension. When we bring “Baggage into a relationship, we create an opportunity of displeasure. How many times have you heard a relationship failed because they “brought their old baggage” with them”?

We realize we and others do these things, but continue to let history repeat itself. Perhaps it’s time to break the cycle. Perhaps it’s time to focus on what’s good happening in our lives right now and stop bringing the “Baggage” forward to today and to tomorrow.

I believe the concept is an easy one.

“It’s not that simple”, perhaps you are thinking… maybe it doesn’t FEEL that simple, but I believe that, sometimes, we make things harder for ourselves and for others.

Keep the vision of the suitcase with you as a reminder if that helps.  And, please reach out to us if there is a way we can help you “unpack”.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Expectation

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Expectation“This is going to be hard”

“This is going to ‘suck’ “

“I’m going to have a terrible time”

“I’m dreading going to work”

 

Sound familiar?

When we approach something with drudgery, what happens?

Our expectations never fail us, do they?

I think, many times, we create these scenarios by accident or based on previous experiences. And, worse yet, we may even impose our beliefs on how things will go or turn out on others or our kids.

I don’t believe our actions are really our fault.

We just need to be aware we’re doing this, and it’s a really hard thing to do. I believe we’ve become conditioned to “expect” what will or might happen, and our energy put into that expectation can certainly make it so.

Our society runs on expectations. We expect the weather to be a certain way, a person to be sick or well or act a certain way, to get (or not get) a job, or a divorce, or that we can or cannot achieve something, or that you won’t get that call, or _________________________ — you fill in the blank.

Take a moment to reflect on this. What do YOU expect?

Are you sometimes disappointed because you were “right”?

Perhaps it is time to break the cycle. There’s only so much time in our lives to expect the worse case scenario to materialize.

How about if we expect a POSITIVE outcome? Expectation can be a very powerful thing.

Maybe it’s time for that call to come or that “thing” to work out. How about if you begin expecting that this will be: “The best trip ever”, or “The best day at work”, or “The best time with my kids”, or “The best time with my spouse”.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

WITH vs. FOR

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WITHI’ve had an “AHA” moment which caused me to discover why I’ve had a disconnect throughout most of my life.

I don’t believe in “FOR”.  I’ve lived my life with the vision and expectation of “WITH”.  I’ll explain.

When I work with people, I never consider them working “FOR” me, or me working “FOR” them, but “WITH” me as part of a team.  I now understand why I’ve been met, time and again, with disappointment or frustration.

I’ve gone through life pretty much with this expectation – that no one does things (or should do things) “FOR” me, but “WITH” me. Even with my kids, the “WITH” has always remained prevalent. I believe that they should (or could) recognize things we needed to accomplish as a family unit.

I don’t really think the team mentality is always prevalent in our society.  With my “AHA” moment, I started to think further and realize that, perhaps, it’s hard to change the philosophy of people when we’re in a society that emphasizes “US” against “THEM” instead of “WITH”.

I believe the transition is hard, but not impossible.

I work “WITH” people.  I look for opportunities for “US”.  A way we can ALL benefit.

I believe that should be the goal, in the end, for all of us — whether it is in our jobs, our communities, or our relationships, families, to work WITH each other.  This simple concept can truly end hostilities and unrealistic expectations so prevalent in many families, relationships, organizations and communities.

“WITH” is really not a difficult concept, but more of an awareness of how our actions affect others.

As part of a collaborative effort, things will move farther, faster, while creating a much more peaceful, loving atmosphere for us to share.  So we can ALL enjoy life.

We can look further into this idea with the evaluation of the intention behind the action of another, as well.  What are we trying to attract?  What are we trying to create:  Love or hatred?  Camaraderie or separation?

We see examples of this in our everyday lives:  In companies who create insecurity and fear in even their most loyal employees where one day their positions are “poof”, just gone.  In our youth who create separation and hard feelings through bullying.  In our political arena where partisan politics divide our elected officials, and our society, and resolutions to issues are not reached.  In a scenario where there is “dog eat dog” competition or blame.

“WITH” is such a simple concept.

What is the best option for us all if we work WITH each other?  What can YOU do, TOGETHER, with others?

Think of the possibilities if you just could ask someone their opinion and find a peaceful and common ground?

It’s time for us ALL to enjoy life.  It’s Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

 

Mother's Day

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Make Someone SmileSo, today I reflect on Mother’s Day, an annual day of recognition and celebration.

First, I’ve got to note that I am a mom of three wonderful children, now all young adults.  I fully recognize that being a mom is probably one of the most important responsibilities and functions in our society.  I certainly can’t say life wasn’t hard or challenging when they were younger, especially during a time when my husband and I worked opposite shifts in order to care for them when they were younger. Certainly there were days I could not even imagine how I could accomplish everything that needed to be done, but somehow we made it through.

Being a mom has been a most rewarding experience, and I am so proud how all three of my babies have grown up to be the most amazing, caring, responsible and civic-minded individuals.  I could not have hoped for anything better and am absolutely so grateful.

Something does trouble me as I reflect on Mother’s Day.  I did read about the origination of Mother’s Day by a woman named Anna Jarvis.  She began her work to make Mother’s Day an official National holiday in 1905 after her mother died, and it took until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation to make the 2nd Sunday in May the national holiday.  You are welcome to read more about her, but it had been noted that she was very upset about the day being exploited by organizations to make profit, and even brought lawsuits to try to end the commercialization.

So, here’s the part that might make people angry at me.  I don’t believe anyone has to buy me a gift because I’m a mom.  I believe that people should appreciate each other every day.  I believe we should recognize and thank our loved ones, friends and family every day, not just once a year.  Every day should be a people appreciation day.  What a better world this would be if we thanked everyone we came into contact with, appreciated their service, time, assistance, or love.  Celebrating once a year is just not enough.

That brought me to thinking about other holidays like Veteran’s Day.  Personally, I thank our veterans every day.  If I see a veteran, I always thank them for their service.  I know my life would be quite different right now if these brave men and women did not sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms.

So, happy people day.  I appreciate all of you who contribute to our society and to the lives of others. I salute our soldiers and veterans, our teachers, our police officers, our healthcare workers, our civil service workers, and the rest who make contributions to our daily lives and making our lives the best possible.

As a mom, I am proud of you.  As a person who has a mom, I am thankful that she gave me the opportunity to be here to make a difference, the best way I can, in the lives of anyone I can.

Today I celebrate you and hope to make you smile.

Pass it on.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Are You Ready to Change?

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change

change

Something I’ve identified in my lifetime doing quality improvement and providing education to different groups of people regarding life situations (for example, I recently have been lecturing on diabetes prevention) is the concept of forever counseling.  I’ll even go so far as to call it a cycle of failure.

Although I truly hate the word failure, and I’ll discuss that concept a little bit later in this article, I felt it would be the best word to use to convey the concept I’m trying to describe here.  I believe many industries in our economy bank on our failure – the failure to successfully diet, failure to exercise, failure to have money.  Just look at companies that offer weight loss programs, or the pharmaceutical companies, or gyms.  They hope you fail so you keep coming back and spending your money.  As a matter of fact, the self help industry has grown to be an $11 billion industry.  I’m thinking success is not really the ultimate goal.

With 28 years in healthcare seeing the “sick and sad”, I decided there had to be a better way.  I developed the Time to Play Philosophy with the hope to trigger people to “take their life back”, to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.  My goal since I’ve started this project, and now through the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit with the mission to inspire everyone to enjoy life, was to “plant a seed”.  What does that mean?  I figured we could have wonderful people (the whole project is built on a “people helping people” idea) with experience in each of these areas (happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance) who could educate others with SIMPLE tips or thoughts that anyone can easily implement into their lives so they could have a better life.

I’ve learned that you can write, talk, tell people and spread all the good ideas or suggestions you want, but unless someone is ready to change, it will not matter.  I’ve seen people go to programs, counselors, courses… they are “in” for the time when they are there, and then fall back into the same routine when they leave.

People close to me even speak about hating their job, not having enough money, or being displeased with a life situation; but still they remain in the same day to day (not mentioning any names here – but, hint, hint — Gregory).

Why?  It’s easier.  Jim, my husband, and I have spoken about this numerous times and he always reminds me about the concept of the path of least resistance.  Think about that for a moment.  Everything in our world does take the path of least resistance. Even water flowing down a hill will go around an obstruction first.

That got me thinking about the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results”.  Think about that for a moment, as well.  I had written about that same concept in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” (www.ifIKnewThenBook.com) stating that history will repeat itself if we let it.

So, with that being said, I believe that, no matter what program, coach, seminar, book, class, or anything else you sign up for, nothing will change UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE.  Even in the diabetes prevention class I recently taught, I would watch the participants come.  Week after week they had excuses why their weight did not change.  They would say they had a hard week, had an event, had no time to exercise, or didn’t have time to follow the program. Week after week they would have no results and become discouraged.  Week after week they did the same thing, expecting different results, but there were no different results.

There are no different results until you decide that it’s time for that to happen – that it’s time for a change.

This article was not intended to insult anyone or to make anyone feel bad or angry, but to spark a thought to consider what we each need to do to make our lives better.  Each of us, even if we live in the same community or even in the same house or family, needs something different in our own lives to enjoy life.  We are all living our own, different, experience, and we all have different needs.

BUT, I believe it is necessary, every once in a while, for us to take a moment to STOP and evaluate what’s going on in our day-to-day lives.  I believe we are put on this earth to love life and not be a “tortured soul” (explained in chapter 2 of my book).

Let’s expand on this concept of life evaluation.  I believe that we get so wrapped up in the day to day that, every once in a while, it becomes necessary for us to take a moment and look around.  Kind of like a performance review on our own lives by the most important person in the world to us (ourselves).

  • Ask yourself – are you truly happy, healthy, have money (at least enough to pay our bills so you’re not stressed out) and/or a work life balance?
  • Take a moment to evaluate your life situation and then take a moment to write down what things could make your day a little better.
  • Next make a list of possible things you can do (change / implement) to make those things happen.

You have to decide if you could commit to implementing the items on the list.  Sometimes the options are not realistic… I get it.  BUT, I believe that, if you do just one small thing to get from here to there, it could make all the difference.  Also, keep in mind that EVERY MOMENT of EVERY DAY is an opportunity for a “do over” in most cases.  So, take those “do over” opportunities.  Although I used the word failure when I began this article, I believe that, in reality, there is no actual failure, but just learning opportunities.  A learning opportunity that allows for that “do over”.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year”….

No matter what advertisement sounds good, or no matter who tells you that “you should do ___________“ (fill in the blank), in the end, it is up to each of us to decide if we are ready.

I have learned that there are no shortcuts or magic potions.  The answer is easy and lies within ourselves.

It is our own commitment TO ourselves.

So…. are you ready to make that change?  It’s time to enjoy life.

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life. – See more at: www.TimetoPlay.com

The Kid Who Taught Me Something!

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I have been off the grid for a little while now doing research for a new book I’m working on.  It had required me to take a step back from a lot of outside influence and really spend a good bit of time in deep thought and reflection.  It has been a very rewarding time and it has allowed me to really gather insight and a deeper understanding of what I have learned over the years.  I find it funny how as soon as I plug back in and go online to do some research, I stumble upon a boy genius with an extraordinary story and an amazing IQ.  I have to say that my time away from all the outside influences made me extra receptive to what this young teenager had to say.  

In my quest for new information and some deep subject resources I stumble upon this young man named Jacob Barnett.  He was diagnosed at a very young age with moderate to severe autism.  The doctors said he would never be able to function on his own let alone even be able to tie his shoes.  Jacob however defied the doctors predictions and after being removed from the special education programs, he went off and learned on his own and today he is regarded as the hottest upcoming scientist of our generation with expectations of rivaling Einstein, all at the age of 15.  What a far different prediction then the ones saying he would not be able to tie his shoes.  

My story with Jacob came from a youtube video that I found.  Jacob was speaking on TED TV.  I had came across some articles about Jacob in my research but had never heard him speak.  I was intrigued to here what he had to say and how he communicated with an IQ reported at 170 or above.  My interest was even greater after reading several articles from skeptics who questioned his ability.  This made me more interested to see for myself.  I can tell you that after watching this short video of him speaking, I came away with an enormous amount of information that opened my eyes to an wonderful idea.  Jacob simply blew me away.  Perhaps it was the fact that I avoided external info as much as possible over the last couple months or perhaps because my brain just was clicking, whatever it was I GOT IT!  A fresh concept!  A very new approach and I owe it all to a 15 year old young man who was told he would never do a thing.  Here is what I learned from Jacob.  

Learn, Think, Create!  Jacob spoke about the exact thing that I was doing over the last few months and he actually explained the validity of it.  Jacob said his story required him to STOP LEARNING and START THINKING.  That was exactly what I was doing.  I had stopped learning and absorbing the outside influences.  Jacob told his own story of being removed from school and that allowed him to finally stop learning and start thinking.  

Let me explain this as simple as I can.  The message was to move from LEARNING which is just memorizing existing information and into the realm of THINKING and then finally to the place of NEW CREATION.  His message reminded me off a saying that I heard in my younger years, “Forget what you know and remember what you don’t.”  That was kind of Jacob’s message.  Forget all the programming that we have been uploaded with and start THINKING AND CREATING ON OUR OWN.  Steve Jobs was legendary for this and so have all those who come before and challenge the status quo.  It was radical at first to here but it made so much sense and to be honest it was also exactly what I was doing.  Jacob had to unplug to actually begin to thrive.

Let me close this article for now.  I will however leave you with a challenge I took from him and I will give to you.   Move from LEARNING to THINKING to CREATING.  Below is the process!

1. THINK about the field you are passionate about!    THEN…….

2. Instead of THINKING about the field. BE THE FIELD……… This allows you to finally begin to…

3. CREATE – Creation is something that the Wright Brothers did with the AIRPLANE and what Einstein did with MATH!

Go get to it!!lightbulb