2022 August 30 Finding hidden opportunities in challenges

Aug 30, 2022

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website by, for, and about Baby Boomers. The topic for tonight is to expect the unexpected, and related to that, to recognize opportunity when it’s masquerading as a challenge.


Tonight started off with a great big thunderstorm coming through, and of course, we immediately lost the internet, and actually the electricity, on and off. What fun. One could be really annoyed about that, but it turns out that just a couple hours earlier, I was saying, Boy, I wish I could force myself to speak a little more extemporaneously.  So you’ve got to be careful what you ask for, because you never know how it might be given to you. 


So a reminder: if you enjoy what you're listening to, please hit the like button. If not, please drop me in line about what your favorite subject would be. 


So I had a lot of topics lined up for tonight, and I'm going to cover a couple different things. As I mentioned, I spent part of last week in Dallas, Texas at Podcast Movement 2022. It was an absolutely awesome show. I only made it there for two days. It actually ran for four days, but thanks to all the people and the sponsors that made it possible, it was really a very good time.


I met a lot of really great folks, and we'll be doing some podcast appearances and exchanges over the coming weeks. I'm super excited about all that. There were also a lot of excellent talks, and I'll be using some of the great things that I learned there to make our time together even better and more fun.


The overarching theme, which I mentioned before, and we have a Daily Minute Together videos that are just little short one to three minute Meditations as a Word or Thought for the Day. The overarching thought is trying to be aware of the good things around you, both big and small, and to try and notice and appreciate them.


So tonight, like I said, we lost the internet: a big thunderstorm, lightning is hitting nearby and everything else. We just got more rain here than we probably had in a month and a half, maybe two months. I can just about hear all the plants and trees giggling, and they're super excited. The trees are dropping leaves, and stuff has been desperately dry. We just got over an inch of rain. I actually have a measure out, because I wanted to see how much we got. In reality, that's a pretty small price to pay for having no internet. I could just as easily have been annoyed that I lost the internet, and annoyed that the power was going on and off, but I chose to look at all the good things that came along with it.


But back to Podcast Movement. I have so many more ideas for topics and courses, after being at Podcast Movement, that I'm really starting to wonder how I can even fit in any work at the day job, because all these wonderful things that I want to do, and they're really very exciting. I tend to have a lot of things come to my mind, and I want to do all of them. I had a real moment of clarity over this past week, and I dropped a series of courses I had just enrolled in. Not because they weren't worthwhile, not because it didn't look good, but rather I decided that I really wanted to focus on the core immediate needs of what we're doing here, and to really flesh this out and make it a lot more complete. 


I've been working on it for a couple years as anyone who's followed me knows. Certainly we've made some improvements to stuff, but there's a lot of other things that I want to get done. So I dropped this other course set. We'll come back to it at some point in the future, a lot of good material, but right now we're really focusing on this and our original intent, which of course was to go through mindset, goal setting, and envisionment of a future that you really want to live.


I'm really very pleased to have a new staff member joining our team, and is replacing another one of our team members who just got accepted into a Master's degree program. So congratulations to both of them. So some good news this week.


The one who's leaving did a lot of the work on social media for us. She did a wonderful job, and the person replacing her is someone I've known for a while. He also does excellent social media work. That'll be good all around. So there are a lot of good things going on here and everywhere.  But honestly, as we often talked about, there's still a lot of challenges going on as well. 


So things like mindfulness and envisionment, and envisioning the future, and all those techniques, don't make the world a perfect place. The world still has the Ukraine war, the famine in Africa, China's still threatening Taiwan. There's all these other challenges that were there last week, and they're still going on this week. No matter what we happen to think, what these focus and motivational techniques do have is they have the ability to help give you the strength and determination to continue to move forward and make your world and our world more like a place in which we want to live.


I know a lot of people are concerned with all the apparent unrest in the economy, all the political tensions, and health, and the list goes on and on. There's no limit as to what we can worry about. But I would suggest that rather than always focusing on the extreme events that the news programs use to keep the ratings up, that you might look both inward (in your own self, at your own lives), and then outward (towards others in their lives) and be aware of all the things that are important to you inside and to the other people around you. 


A very quick meditation that I just learned from one of Tim Ferris's books, Tools of Titans, is called the loving kindness meditation. It only takes about 10 seconds, and it comes from Chade-Meng Tan. It's really very simple. Find two people that you can see, or you can think of, if you don't have anybody handy right in front of you, and just wish for them to be happy. That's it. You don't say anything to them, you don't do anything. Just wish them happiness. In almost every case, you'll find that you feel better afterwards, and hopefully they'll receive some of your good thoughts, and they'll feel better as well. Tim Ferris writes in his book that he actually does it for three people, two people that he can see, and then one more for an old friend or someone that comes to mind. By thinking outside of yourself, and by bringing a positive thought to the front of your mind, you can focus beyond the challenges of daily life, and it helps you to see the good side of what is all around you.


Another meditation is to notice when something stops, such as when your headache goes away, or when the temperature gets more comfortable: like tonight, I realized that the thunderstorm had stopped. How neat is that? But then I went and checked, and after I reset everything the internet was back up. Yay. So it's a good thing.


So again, not only when things happen, but when things stop happening. It's an opportunity to recognize that something good has come into your life. Just some quick, simple ways to bring a little more joy into your life when everything seems like a challenge, and you're having difficult times and finding a reason to smile, maybe this will help you a little bit. It won't make life perfect, but it will make the day a little nicer for yourself and those around you.


So that's it for the evening. Thanks for stopping by. Stay healthy, Care for others, but remember to care for yourself so that you can always be at your best. 


Remember the war in Ukraine. It's still continuing in terrible ways. It may not be in the news as much as it was, but it's certainly in the front of the minds of everyone in Ukraine and all of Europe. It's still there. The donation site is URK7.com. It’s just a link to other sites that accept donations. One of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. If you can, and you're able, please check it out.


As always, be true to yourself and to your own feelings. One of those feelings, hopefully, is to take care of others, and I think that'll make you feel better in life, overall. So thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along. And if not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Please click the like button if you enjoyed what we covered and have a great week.


Thanks for visiting. Remember to live the life that you dreamed of, because that’s the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone, and see you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you.


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