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Meditation May

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s May.  Springtime or Autumn, depending on your GPS.
Either way, it’s May.

This May let’s Meditate.

I just moved from a big city to a small town. From cement and smog to fresh air, trees, lakes and a volcano. I just moved to Pucón, Chile.

Meditation May Pucón Chile Quick Me Ups Instagram QMU

My girlfriend and I at Lago Villarrica, Pucón, Chile. From QMU Instagram

That lake is literally a 5 minute walk from where I’m currently living.

I did it to change everything. I did it to get back to myself. I feel like the longer I spent in a city without much contact with nature, the farther away I got from my true self… from my “inner me”.

“If it’s not working, change everything.” Zak Reid

So I decided to make a big life change. Simplify my life and work to better myself. I thought – what better way than start with daily meditations?

Then I thought about you…
Have you ever meditated before?
Have you practiced consistently?
Have you done it enough to see the benefits?

Meditation is powerful.

We Get One Life. [QMU]

Posted by Zak Reid

Have you ever played a video game?

Normally you get a few lives, say 3, maybe 10… but at some point, unless you beat the game, you end up on your last life. There’s always this sense of urgency…. I can’t die again, I’m on my last life! Because, as we all know, when you die on your last life, it’s GAME OVER.

That’s the weird thing about being a human, we’re born on our last life.

You may ask yourself, how is that reminder a Quick Me Up? Maybe that sounds more like a quick me down… but the thing is, the better and faster that we realize we only get one chance, the better we can live this one chance.

We Get One Life.

Taj Mahal, We have one life, Quick Me Ups

If your dream is to visit the Taj Mahal…. then go! Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

I’m guilty. I let time pass by. I get into a rhythm, into a rut, and I just stay there. Maybe I make small changes or adjustments, but I don’t treat each day like the individual gift it is.

This life is an amazing, unique, powerful GIFT that you were given.

Are you ready to fully enjoy this gift?
This life is meant to be lived fully. The idea isn’t to make it to the end and say, “well at least I got a lot of sleep and was very safe, nothing crazy happened!”….

It reminds me of a great quote:

Happy Half Year!

Posted by Zak Reid

Well folks, we’ve survived the first half of 2014!

Happy Half Year!

Happy Half Year, Fireworks, Celebration

Photo: colink

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Well then… we’ve just started the second chapter.

We’re at the halfway point of the year and smack-dab in the middle of summer or winter, depending on your hemispherical coordinates.

Here in Santiago it’s wintertime which means snow in the Andes Mountains, and arriving home from work in the dark. It means more people are sick and bundled up, but it also means occasional rains which clear out the smog and make this city absolutely beautiful.

Did you make any 2014 New Year’s Resolutions? Do you still remember them?

I’ve read a number of articles commenting that a year is too long for general goals, and that we should break them up into 3 month, or at most 6 months goals. I think there’s some merit in that line of thought, so as we look ahead to the 2nd half of 2014, what are some things you’d like to accomplish?

At the beginning of the year I said I wanted to go the whole year without getting sick. I’ve made it this far but the next two months are when almost everybody will get sick, so I’ll have to stay vigilant. My other goal was related to this site and the goal to keep posting consistently, so we’re still on track there.

Now for the 2nd half of 2014 I have a few goals: visit family in the US, migrate blog to new server, and publish my first kindle e-book.

How about you? How has your year gone up until now? What ambitions do you have for the 2nd half of 2014?

Happy Half Year!

Reevaluate & Realize.

Posted by Zak Reid

A while ago we discussed 4 Steps to Reevaluate Your Path. Today I want to take my own advice as it pertains to this site, and make a change or two.  Let’s go!

Reevaluate & Realize.

Reevaluate your course and realize your best path motivation quickmeups

Reevaluate the route, and realize necessary changes. Photo: jaypee

Regarding Quick Me Ups:

1. Evaluate your position – Where are you now?

I’ve been consistently writing three times a week as was originally planned. I have played with different types of articles and formats including: length of article, topic, formats such as: news compilations, poetry, etc.

It has gone fairly well overall, but with an increasingly busy schedule, I haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to online networking and marketing to drive new readers to the site. I’m doing Ok generating content and sub-Ok in promoting said content.

2. Evaluate your final goal – What does achieving your goal look like?

Continued, inspired writing, with 1,000 email subscribers, and a good number of comments on each article, at the one year mark. Still have a long ways to go!

3. Reevaluate your course – What’s the best way to get there?

I think a few things that would help me get there are:

  • Redesign the site with more emphasis on a landing page / email subscription.
  • More time marketing / promotion of the site.
  • More networking with other blogs.
  • More external / internal links.
  • Observation: I notice that I spend more time on a site when I get intrigued and click other articles after I finish reading the first one – can improve that here.

4. Decide your next step(s) and Go! – There’s no time for standing around; Let’s Go!!

First things first, in order to continue to generate inspired content while increasing promotion / networking, I will start cutting back to an average of two articles a week as of next week. There may be weeks where I still post 3, but by cutting down to 2, this will allow me more time and energy to grow the readership.

In July I will be changing the format of the site to help make your stay more interesting!

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

I had previously made the goal to get to 1,000 email subscribers in 1 year,  so the goal is not changing, but the method to get there is changing. The previous method was working too slowly, so after a reevaluation and some reflecting, I’ve decided to try a new approach!

Reevaluate & Realize.

Don't Sink with the Ship.

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s often said that when the captain should go down with his sinking ship. But what about the first mate, the deck hands, the cooks? As much as you may love the ship, the idea of the ship, or even just how the ship looks, allowing yourself to go down with the boat doesn’t help anybody.. especially not yourself. If you start taking on water, I encourage you to try as hard as you can to bail water and get it floating again, but once you reach the point of no return, it’s our job to recognize it and abandon ship. Don’t Sink with the Ship.

Don't Sink with the Ship Save Yourself

Abandon Ship Before it Does This. Photo: Andrew Betting

First we must decide – Is the ship truly sinking? If every time a large wave broke over the hull of a boat, the men abandoned ship, the Americas would probably still be “undiscovered”. We’re discussing a very fine line here folks: too early and you abandon a ship that was going to survive, but leave the ship too late and you may end up going down with the boat.

Steps to Take:

  • Honestly evaluate the situation (your job, relationship, living situation, etc.) – the positives and negatives.
  • Decide what a “sunken ship” means to you – it can be a job in which you never get promoted, a relationship that is stuck and not advancing, or living in a situation which is uncomfortable and unhealthy.
  • Now that we know where we are, and what our sunken ship looks like, where’s the point of no return – that event or moment when you know it’s gone beyond repair.
  • Some examples of the point of no return could be – working years in your job with no raise or promotion, your significant other refusing to meet your family or take things seriously, or your roommate failing to pay their part of the rent.

If something isn’t working and it won’t work, it’s Ok to move on. Our culture teaches us that quitting is bad, and it certainly isn’t ideal, but sometimes it can lead us to healthy, new alternatives, like a new job, a new relationship (or some healthy single time), a new place to live, or new friends.

What Not to Do:

  • Quit just because things get tough.
  • Give up on what was once a dream because it’s taking longer than expected.
  • Leave a situation in which you were growing, because it was forcing you into new, uncomfortable situations.
  • Most importantly, don’t stay on the sinking ship and drown because you were comfortable and didn’t want to abandon the ill-fated boat.

Unfortunately most of us will be on a few sinking ships during our lives. This post is not to encourage people to become jumpy, leaping off their boats at the 1st sign of choppy waters, but to remind us to be conscious of our current situations, and make the necessary adjustments as we float along.

I’m currently on a ship and it’s taking on water. A lot of water. I’ve been frantically bailing buckets of the stuff, but it’s starting to look like there’s just too much, so I’m eyeing the life rafts. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Here’s to hoping that all of the ships you’re aboard sail off into the horizon. But if not, if they start taking on water, and they pass the point of no return, look inside, summon up your strength, grab your friends and family and make for the nearest life raft.

Don’t Sink with the Ship.

Accept and Embrace Change.

Posted by Zak Reid

There is one item that is consistent in all of our lives that is also consistently difficult and often intimidating: Change. There are small and large changes; there are short-term and long-term changes; there are temporary and permanent changes. Change has been and always will be. There are many situations in which we can’t stop it, the Change will come to be. The best we can hope to do is Accept and Embrace Change.

Accept and Embrace Change Rebirth Growth New Path New Goals

Forest Fires, a Healthy Change & Rebirth for the Forest. Photo: Takeaway

We’ve talked about the beauty and advantages of Making a Change. It’s amazing when you can re-invent yourself through Change to become a better you. But now we’re not talking about self-change, we’re talking about external change.

We’re now talking about embracing a Change that you don’t have control over. These external changes can sometimes be very difficult to adapt to, such as: you get laid off; a loved one passes away; your landlord kicks you out; your significant other breaks up with you.

Now obviously there are great external changes as well: you get a promotion; you win a contest; you meet a new, great person; you win an award. There are a million great things that can happen at any given moment, but we won’t focus on them here – I’m confident that you’re able to Accept and Embrace awesome, beautiful Change.

But how can we work to accept a ‘bad’ change, and why should we?

Let me first say that everything is impermanent. Nothing will stay as it currently is forever. The Earth’s tectonic plates shift, mountains erode, and even our sun will eventually burn out. Your life will experience many changes. That’s just the rule, it’s part of the plan, and it will be. So why would we waste energy trying to deny the inevitable?

Try as hard as you can to make sure that tomorrow never arrives. You can earnestly try and put all of your effort in, but tomorrow will show up, just as it’s planned to, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So instead of always wasting our energy denying or resenting these changes, we need to try to look at the positives.

Here in the southern hemisphere winter is arriving. Just this weekend we turned back the clocks and it is now dark when I arrive home. This is obviously less-than-ideal, but it’s also part of they cycle. Plants die, leaves fall, and it’s part of the process. Rather than resenting the change I’m more concerned with adapting to it as quickly as possible and becoming accustomed to this new season, that’s all I can do.

Also, today is a co-workers last day working with me. She is leaving to look for a new path, and while I’m sad to see her go, I’m more focused on rooting her on and wishing her the best.

These are small examples of change and are much easier to rationalize and accept than losing your home to a natural disaster, for example, but with every change comes the chance to reinvent yourself.

I recently read an interview with Brandy Mychals on Skip Prichard’s page. She was planning to work in communications when she was involved in a freak car accident, derailing her career plans. She then got involved in chiropractics and was doing well until another very serious auto accident happened. She lost the ability to read for seven years and had to essentially start her life from scratch.

She ended up persevering and wrote a successful, award winning book named “How to Read a Client from Across the Room”. She has done very well for herself and seems to have found her calling, which may not have occurred had her path never been changed for her by external forces. Certainly she’s more resilient than she would’ve been without these hardships in her life.

Sometimes the decision isn’t up to us, and when that’s the case, the only thing we can do is accept our new world as quickly as possible. All we can do is reevaluate, adapt and keep moving forward. When these things happen to us the best we can do is Accept and Embrace Change.

Just Jump.

Posted by Zak Reid

Before making a change, we like to have it all planned out. We like to know what to expect. No surprises please. As much as we wish it was, this isn’t the way it works. The unexpected will always appear, so stop planning and just do it. Just Jump.

There’s a popular quote going around that I’d like to share.
Please read and reflect…

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now.” – Hugh Laurie

So why not now? What’s holding you back?

Change can be scary. We want to make sure we are “ready”.  But what if we’re never ready?  Will we just wait forever?  There needs to come a moment where we say – ok, I’m just gonna go for it.  Then go for it.  Jump!

The known is comfortable. But the thing is, nobody ever made it to the top of the mountain by being comfortable. The comfortable guy sits in his recliner and tells stories about how he thought about climbing the mountain years ago.

The climber will have all kinds of stories about the journey to the top. Stories of hardship, difficulty and willpower. Stories of training, and working towards a goal. The top of the mountain is part of the story, but the effort and discipline it took to get there is the journey.

The climber took the jump. He/she decided to go for it. To fully commit and try. Risking failure. Risking getting half-way up the mountain and having to come back down. This happens. Many times these same people continue training, and return to try again, or find another mountain to summit.

You will probably fail at some point on your journey. The trick is forgetting the failure as quickly as possible, and getting on to the next goal.

When we try to plan everything out, we run the very real risk of over-analyzing. The popular business world phrase “Analysis Paralysis” refers to this very phenomenon. In trying to analyze a situation, we can become lost in the details, in the information, and because of this, fail to make a decision and move forward.

“Indecision is often worse than wrong action.” – Henry Ford

If you want to make a change, do it, and do it all at once. Even if you haven’t made the 100% correct choice, you can adjust as you go forward. As Hugh said, no time will be better than now. We’re never really ready anyways, so there’s no use in waiting anymore. Make a Major Change and make it now. Take a breath, count to three, and Go! Just Jump.