|July 12, 2012||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
In the next 14 days i am going to attempt to document 3 things
(1) Daily Goals – top 6 list
(2) Daily Actions - time blocked
(3) Summary results - how did i do
This would seem like a rather simple exercise, but i can tell you that i have been trying to do this for the last 5 years. When i follow my rules, i do well. Most times i stink.
Ill start the post with my results from the previous day. Then i go into top 6 list followed by daily action time-line.
Here we go!
|December 5, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
I was a pleaser most of my life. A camellion of character and personality. I would do or say whatever I had to in order to make someone else like me or feel comfortable with me.
I also realized that I was allergic to confrontation. A fight scared me. I was a peacemaker. A Ghandi type. A lover not a fighter.
Armed with a pleasing personality and the inability to pick a fight a guy who is plain old luke warm. Nothing could be more inhibiting to a person. We as humans have a need to be expressive. My form when I was younger was painting, drawing, listening to music. I was more physically expressive. I have lost some of that physical creativity and now rely more on my mental creativity.
An argument, which is really the organized expression of thought, through words, towards a favorable convincing personal outcome can be creative expression. But if we don’t have the balls to pick a side and stick to it we become like leaves in the wind blowing in the direction of every one else’s words. Not only is it un-empowering to the self but it also gives those around us the feeling that this person has no internal compass so why should I respect them.
Pick a side, believe in it and fight for it until you’re grossly humiliated by the fact that you were wrong. People will have more respect for you and you will live more purposefully.
Give me a cold glass of water or a hot cup of tea, but don’t ever give me a luke warm glass of milk because ill spit it out!
Are you hot, cold or plain old lukewarm?
(1) Think about an important subject matter to you
(2) Pick a side
(3) Fight for it and don’t sway
|November 27, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
A passage from one of my all time favorite books. Enjoy!
A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.
However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.
The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.
With considerable patience, the Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.
He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time.
“However, I want to ask you a favor,” he added, handing the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill”.
The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.
“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”
Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”
Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.
“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.
Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.
“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages. “The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”
“The Alchemist”, by Paulo Coelho
|November 20, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
Over the last several posts we have read the stories of amazing people who seemed to have found their purpose in life and are living by it each and every day. Truly Amazing. When one finds their life’s purpose and lives by it you can see it in everything that they are and do. They seem to have this natural energy and laser like focus on what’s important to them.
Look at Steve Jobs for example. Now there’s an example of a guy who knew what his life purpose was and had such determination all the way up to the end. But it’s not unusual to hear people say: “I don’t know what my purpose is” and “I don’t know how to go about finding my purpose”.
Well the first thing that I would say to you is that you can make it your purpose- to find your purpose. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact what could be a more worthy cause than to take some time and figure out what the heck you are here on this earth to do.
In David Deida’s book: “The Way of the Superior Man”, he talks about how you must be willing to change everything in your life when necessary to find your life purpose and that it’s ok to enter the zone of complete unknowingness:
“A man must be prepared to give 100% to his purpose, fulfill his karma or dissolve it, and then let go of that specific form of living. He must be capable of not knowing what to do with his life, entering a period of unknowingness and waiting for a vision or a new form of purpose to emerge. These cycles of strong specific action followed by periods of not knowing what the hell is going on are natural for a man who is shedding layers of karma in his relaxation into truth.”
|November 18, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
For two young women, feeling imperfect has ignited a passion for redefining perfection. Website link: www.HelloPerfect.com
Hello Perfect was founded to spread the message that the challenge in life is not to become perfect, it’s accepting that you already are. Hello Perfect was founded in June 2011 by Alexa Carlin, 20, a junior at the University of Florida. She founded the company in order to combat the unrealistic pressures in society to be perfect, which leave millions of people feeling insufficient in their own skin. My name is Angela Ribbler and I am the Director of Public Relations for Hello Perfect. I joined Alexa in the company this August because of the passion I felt for this important movement to help change the way society views perfection.
Our passion for spreading this company’s message started from within, as both Alexa and I struggled with poor self esteem and negative self image growing up. From body image issues, to feeling insufficient with our friends, to the constant pressures from the media featuring beautiful, skinny, “perfect,” people, we struggled to love ourselves the way everyone should. Now both juniors in college, we have overcome those internal hurdles and learned to not let negative influences affect our self concept. We hope that through this company we can continue to fuel our passion for inspiring others and make a difference by changing society’s perceptions of perfection.
Creating and running a company with just two people, who happen to both be college students, is no easy task. We constantly face obstacles that could potentially hinder our success with Hello Perfect. However, our passion for growing this movement, combined with the positive feedback we have received from people whose lives we’ve helped change, keeps us motivated to continue and succeed with our mission.
Our goal for Hello Perfect is to form a world-wide movement, which changes the way people view perfection, especially in the fashion and beauty industries. One of the ways we advocate our message is through our DreamCatcher of the Month program. Through this program we feature a young individual each month that is actively working toward accomplishing his or her dreams. We want to promote and encourage people who are working hard to achieve their goals as well as use them as inspiration for others to do the same.
Part of our mission with Hello Perfect is to not only help people view themselves as perfect, but also use that self-perfection to achieve everything they desire in life. Our passion for this company comes from living through our mission every day. Both Alexa and I have overcome internal struggles to feel confident enough in our abilities to proceed with this mission and we are now confident enough to help others realize their own perfection.
Alexa Carlin, 20, founded Hello Perfect in June 2011. Alexa is a junior business administration major at the University of Florida with minors in entrepreneurship and mass communications. Alexa lives by the quote, “Whether you make a difference in one person’s life, in your community or in the world, as long as you make a difference, you are perfect.” She founded Hello Perfect in order to make a difference in peoples’ lives by advocating the message that the challenge in life is not to become perfect, it’s accepting that you already are. Alexa struggled with her own self-confidence issues growing up and she envisions growing a worldwide movement to transform the way society portrays “perfection.”
Angela Ribbler, 20, is a junior public relations major at the University of Florida with a concentration in business. She joined Hello Perfect in August 2011 as the Director of Public Relations. Angela met Alexa their freshman year of college when they were randomly assigned as roommates. She joined the company because she shares Alexa’s vision for change and loves making a difference in others’ lives. Angela lives by the quote, “The only limits that exist in the world are those you put on yourself.”
|November 15, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
Debra Jarvis, Australia’s most popular Feng Shui personality found passion for life when she started asking ‘How …?’ Check out her youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/selfleadership1
Does your life seem ordinary? Are you frustrated, hearing about successful people who turned their life around when some ‘big’ thing happened? Would you like to take action and change the direction of your life without some traumatic incident to act as the catalyst?
15 years ago I was that person, I had a good job, a nice house, a decent husband, a new car and annual overseas holidays. Still I felt like something was missing in my life, I was acting a part, going through the motions. On the outside it looked like I had it all, while on the inside I was shriveled up. I was a pleaser, looking out for everyone else; I never stopped to ask what was right for Debra. My life wasn’t fulfilling. I was sick of predictability and craved excitement.
Growing up, the world was my oyster; I could be, do and have almost anything I wanted. The problem was I didn’t see that. I love to perform and in my family the arts were considered a dubious profession that attracted ‘the wrong crowd’. I was gently guided towards math’s and sciences which I did okay in. They just didn’t get my creative juices flowing, that non-feeling, non-involved, non-participation feeling became ‘normal’.
Fifteen years ago I read Baraba Sher’s “I could do anything, If Only I knew What It Was”. One strategy changed my life. I started to do things, to give them a go, whether I thought I was really interested in them in not. I learnt that because you start something, you don’t have to keep doing it.
This revolutionized my life! I began ‘dropping in’ on activities and along the way found some things that ignited the spark within me. I discovered that I’m really interested in people, what makes them tick, why they behave in different ways in a variety of situations. I also love logic and systems, and discovered Feng Shui, a system of arranging living and working places to enhance the lives of those that inhabit those spaces.
I recognized that inspiring and empowering people to fulfill their own special purpose and potential fascinates me and that by understanding how people process and interact with themselves, people in different situations and their environments I can help them make changes to both their environments and to their thinking that revolutionizes how they experience life.
Along the way I’ve learned to say ‘Yes’ to my needs and wants. I’ve distanced myself from people who attempt to use guilt and obligation to manipulate or who simply couldn’t understand. I avoid most forms of mass media (unless I’m featured) and am selective about where and with whom I invest time.
This is not to say my life is ‘perfect’ I have more challenges, I’ve had experiences that others might see as ‘bad’. My journey and the destination is continually evolving.
I don’t have it all in the material sense, I do have everything that’s important to me and I love each day of my life. I can laugh at stuff as it happens and I have tools in my toolkit to keep me on my path and out of the wilderness.
Even on the occasions that I lose my way, life is vastly improved to when I was dancing to everyone else’s tune and couldn’t even conceive that I had music in me that only I could play.
|November 13, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
Over the next week I’m going to highlight extraordinary people who have not only found their purpose in life but are also living it daily. I’m going to do a series of guest posts touching this matter and finish it with my own post on how I found my purpose. First up is:
Di Westaway, founder of Wild Women On Top, has turned her passion for mountain climbing and empowering women into her life, her business and her career. Check out her blog: http://www.wildwomenontop.com/culture/blog
Ten years ago I found myself at 20,000 feet on the edge of the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, struggling for breath, and wondering what the hell I was doing. I realised that I was ill prepared for this World Class Trekking peak of Mt Aconcagua, Argentina, 6,962m.
When I set out for this trip, I’d never climbed anything before. I had never even been in a tent. But, the idea of summiting the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere captured my imagination and it changed my life. I really needed a challenging goal to motivate me to stay fit and healthy, and this was it!
I had thought I had found a new passion for climbing mountains. When I returned, I knew I was wrong. My new passion was empowering teams of women to be fit enough to safely experience awesome wilderness challenges.
I began Wild Women On Top, and my passion became my life, my career and my business.
Confucius said ‘Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’.
I have done this.
Throughout the last ten years, Wild Women On Top has grown exponentially, now training around 150 women around Sydney to achieve amazing adventure fitness goals. I have the opportunity to do ‘interesting things with interesting people while adding value’, travel internationally, have amazing adventures, and fulfil my philanthropic interests through the Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek, a 50-100km team challenge which has raised nearly a million dollars for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Eight years after our failure on Mt Aconcagua, we finally achieved success. Wild Women on Top motivated and trained a team of women for this World Class Trek using Trek Training. We chose an itinerary guided by World Expeditions and this time we were prepared. It took eight years of hard work, passion, commitment and lessons learned to build up the skills to earn this summit. On January 12, 2008, our team of Wild Women on Top finally stood on top of the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, Mt Aconcagua, nearly 7,000m high!
In the words of Sir Edmund Hillary: “It is not the mountain we conquer, it is ourselves.”
Through our passion and preparation, we conquered ourselves.
My passion has become about empowering women to achieve extraordinary goals, and Wild Women On Top does exactly that. It gives women the opportunity to connect with other, like-minded individuals and achieve dreams they never thought possible.
And through training them, I have empowered myself.
|November 10, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
After my usual 2 slices of pizza and 3 espresso’s on Sunday afternoon I decided enough is enough. Time to take back my health in a Big way. So what did I do.. I fasted, Monday – a juice fast.
According to Wikipedia:“Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substance.”
I decided to do a juice fast which meant that I could only drink whole foods that were juiced. I juiced two different juices in my (which is a fantastic juicer). One pitcher of fruit juice and one vegetable juice- and it was enough for the whole day and some. Here is what I made:
(1) Kale, Cucumber, Carrot, Beet, Celery Juice
(2) Apple, Pear, Carrot Juice
Now there are several reasons why people do fasts and here are a couple of big ones:
(1) Religious/Spiritual purpose
(2) Cleansing or Detoxing the body
(3) As a form of protest
(4) As a way to lose weight
For me personally I would fall into category 1,2 and 3. Fasting is a way for me to find my way back into my body and self. It helps me detach from the worldly part of my being and what it wants and desires. It reminds me of how valuable our food is in our life and how we take it for granted. It convinces me every time that I eat much more food than I need to. So it was about time I did something about it!
Sometimes it takes something extreme in our life to wake up to the truth, and change. Fasting is something extreme and if you haven’t done it- I encourage you to give it a try. I can assure you that Monday was not an average day for me. In fact it was filled with an aching body, tremendous head and neckache, zero motivation, questioning, hot and cold sweats, confusion and dizziness. Yes, that’s right it was miserable. But I did it. And when I woke up on Tuesday I felt like I was reborn. I had more energy than a rabbit and felt cleaner and lighter than a cloud. You would think that I would have wanted to pig out the next day but truth is I was hardly hungry. I ate about a quarter of what I usually eat and didn’t have the same cravings for the usual crap. If you are interested in getting inspired to give juice fasting a try, check out the documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”. It’s sure to get you thinking.
|November 7, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
Did you ever wonder why your paintings as a kid always got 5 stars? Or why everyone gathers around you at parties? Ever wonder why you can’t figure out how to hang blinds on the windows even though you’ve tried it 25 times? Or why it took you 3 years to figure out that you could use a search box other than yahoo.
You have strengths, or better yet, assets, that others don’t. And just as you have strength’s you also have weakness’ that others don’t. I remember hearing as a kid “your only as good as your weakness”. That’s all bs! I believe you’re as great as your strengths. Or your God-given gifts that you are here on earth to use without limits. Your potential!
The trick: Understanding what your strengths are. Not only that but knowing what your weaknesses are at the same time. I read a fantastic book that helps the reader find their strengths and weaknessess and guide them on how to utilize this information, that book is Tom Rath’s, Strengths finder 2.0. I highly recommend picking up a copy and giving it a read. Tom explains in the book that those that are great in their field have figured out early in life what their strengths are and exploited those strengths by focusing and improving them every day.
Take Michael Jordan for example. The world’s greatest basketball player. He knew very early his strength was his athletic ability and it is said that no one worked harder than Michael Jordan practicing being great as an athlete. Just as important is to know your weakness. And that takes honesty. For me it’s easy. I stink at details. I’m not the most analytical guy in the world so don’t ever ask me to build a spaceship with you because it won’t leave the ground.
The key: Do what your great at and find someone else to do what your weak in. And if you can find a complimentary relationship which aligns strengths.. well, then you just might have the next world cup championship soccer team or the next google search box!
|November 4, 2011||Posted by Michael Hardy under Figs and Gold|
Last night was a lot of fun. As Maria and I were marching down Broadway towards Wall Street with the OCCUPY WALL STREET MOB who were waving signs and beating drums we came up with our own angry jingle. Here it goes:
Wall Street…! Wall Street…..! Stand up tall on your own two feet! Wall Street…! Wall Street…! Stand up tall on your own two feet!
I hadn’t really given the whole ( OWS ) Occupy Wall Street Movement much thought up until this point but considering how long i’ts been running and gaining attention I thought that it’s time to listen. According to the website www.occupywallstreet.org this is what they are trying to accomplish: “Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. This ows movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians to build a better society.”
What can I say.. I am guy who has a retirement account that invests in US companies, owns property, has a decent car, has a job that ultimately could provide me an income that would make me the 1%. Sidenote: that would be way, way, way down the road. It scares me to think that if I was the 1% people would view me as corrupt or greedy. I live in a country that teaches you from a very young age to do what you love and get great at it. If that service or product produces for you so much wealth that you become the 1%- well Merry Christmas!
I think that scratching at exterior society issues are going to do nothing more than ruin your nails. What’s done is done. Corrupt people aren’t going to be cured because a bunch of tree hugging, bean stocks from Brooklyn want to roast marshmallows and smoke pot on Wall Street. Change is internal. And it starts with each one of us. Rather than focusing on the external problems of our society lets think more about teaching our young ones how to live a more integrated life of spirit and moral strength. I admire folks that stand up for something that they believe in and I’m not suggesting that whatever greater good OWS has to offer the world it will not be had. What I am suggesting is that rather than spending all that time blowing horns and shouting at guys in suits drinking champagne in the sky, go home, sit by yourself and focus on your breathing.