Don't Play The All or Nothing GameWritten by Michael D. Pollock
A few nights ago, while surfing late-night television offerings, I found myself entranced by a rather astute looking, young man giving all he had as he delivered an incredibly passionate speech. The topic of his speech was civil rights, and it was being televised by C-SPAN.
In bottom, right-hand corner of television, name of speaker was displayed as "Jesse Jackson, Jr., Rep. Illinois." I quickly realized I was listening to 36 year-old son of civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson. It caught my attention because I didn't even know Rev. Jackson had a son, let alone that his son was a U.S. Congressman for state of Illinois.
The young Congressman Jackson spoke eloquently, authoritatively and passionately. With television camera focused only on him, I couldn't see his audience, but I imagined him to be speaking to hundreds or maybe thousands of people.
He spoke without notes, and his words flowed smoothly. His thoughts were clear, concise and respectful. He confidently addressed questions from press as passionately as he delivered his speech.
As Congressman Jackson completed his remarks, and host thanked him for his time, C-SPAN camera began to "pan out" and take in a wider view of room in which Mr. Jackson gave his speech.
Within seconds, camera showed entire room. As it turned out, audience I imagined to number in hundreds or thousands was actually about 4 people, as well as about a half dozen members of press.
A total of only 10 people sat before Congressman Jackson as he passionately poured out his heart and soul to them!
At first, I was amazed that Congressman Jackson could get himself so "in zone" for such a small audience. It made me think how discouraged I might feel if I were to give a speech and only 10 people showed up to hear me.
Then it hit me . . .
I was guilty . . .
Caught red-handed . . .
I caught myself playing "all or nothing" game. Maybe you know this game. It's when I tell myself there are only certain times I can put myself "out there" completely, passionately and authentically.
Usually, it's only when stakes are high and game is big. Or I can only be totally who I am in certain situations or with certain people. I'm a master at game. I know exactly where, when and with whom I can totally be who I really am and speak my truth with same passion, authority and eloquence as did Congressman Jackson.
You Can't Predict, You Can PrepareWritten by Kathy Gates
When opportunity knocks, can you open door? When misfortune strikes, can you make it through unscathed?
When you are faced with risk, uncertainty, and unpredictable, your ability to deal with it is directly tied to your ability to absorb consequences. Successful people know that in order to be "choosey" in life, in order to put themselves in a place of control over their lives, in order to make decisions on what they want instead of what they have to do, they must first have reserves. They know they cannot predict future, but they can prepare for it.
Reserves means: extra, a stockpile to draw on, more than you need, insurance, back-up plan, escape plan, Plan B, safety net. Call them whatever you want to - what it means is "It's not a problem".
Reserves exist in both practical and emotional levels of our lives, and consist of both material and nonmaterial things. You must have not only material things like money, furniture, house, cars, computers, or clothes. You must also have love, leisure, support, space, time, happiness, and opportunity. The emotional reserves in your life are every bit as important as physical ones.
With reserves in place, you are able to live your life looking forward instead of always digging yourself out of a hole. With reserves you remove fear of acting on what you want, because you are able to afford consequences. With reserves, you have enough support to make a mistake, you have enough money to get you through, you have time to work it out, you have enough self-love to learn instead of quit.
Without reserves, stress and fear are your motivators. Think of it on a small scale: Ever been caught with a dying printer cartridge? You have to make a special trip, usually at an inopportune time. With a reserve you have a back-up, stocked at your convenience, not when dictated by circumstance.
Think of it on a larger scale: Ever get hit with some unpredicted expenses? Without a reserve of money, you have to choose what bills to pay, and what becomes a backlog. Without a reserve of money, you become motivated to go to a job you hate by fear of not having that paycheck each week. Without a reserve of energy, stress, adrenaline, and possibly even caffeine, drugs, or alcohol are motivators to get you out of bed each morning.
Reserves take fear out of making a mistake. Reserves take pressure away. Without reserves you can't make mistakes or misjudgments - consequences are too high. You end up walking on eggshells. Without reserves you can't take advantage of short term opportunities - you simply don't have resources to spare.