Posts tagged determination

INTERNAL POWER BEGINS WITH A POSITIVE MIND-SET!


I find that when we seek to improve upon our sense of self…we often turn automatically to the external tools of making us feel better…getting our hair done at the beauty salon, going to lift weights at the gym, taking that cool Harley out for a ride, buying/cooking/eating delicious and satisfying foods, and sometimes in my case…going shopping. Hey…she who dies with the most shoes, wins! Right? Aghh! (buzzer sound). Wrong!

Now if only my ‘natural’ instinct was to work from the ‘inside-out,’ life would become much easier. My life would be filled with much more peace, power and happiness. But then, I’m the Chinese ‘Ox.’ I often put my shoulder into that ‘yoke,’ and choose to do things the hard way. Fortunately, since I am aware of my shortcoming…I now to work at changing my life-long pattern of behaviors so that I can achieve higher levels of love, satisfaction, and sense of ‘self.’

It’s my personal experience and feeling, that everything we want and desire is out there in the universe waiting for us to tap it on the shoulder and say, ‘Come here.’ It’s my personal belief, that ‘God’ wants all the best for us. So then…why do we not walk on that bed of roses, if what we want is so very possible? I believe it’s a negative behavior pattern learned from years and years of using ‘external’ power to try and satisfy our internal needs. Question is….how can we change this and tap into the riches of the world that awaits us?

I have discovered that a positive mind-set is the first step we can take to help ourselves.

“Nothing will ever change without movement!” I’m sure you’ve heard that quote. And it’s so true. Believe me I know. Because I did NOTHING the first 25 years of my life to change that which I needed to change! I ran from anger, confrontation, sorrow, and rejection. Heck…I even ran from opportunity because I was afraid I might fail! I refused to ‘step-up’ and take my place in this world, because I was too afraid to take a risk…too afraid to accept a challenge. I was too afraid to even hope. It wasn’t until I reached an emotional crises in life, that I finally began to realize that ‘this’ was no way to live! And so it was…that I discovered that ‘change’ begins with the power of the mind.

In High School, I was pretty much considered a ‘loner.’ I was tall and thin to the point of bony. I was extremely introverted and spent the majority of my free time in the library with my nose buried in a book. And on the special holidays that many kids would get carnations or cards in their lockers…I would often send myself a couple, just to make it look like I had some friends too.

I imagine that things would’ve remained pretty bleak for me throughout High School, if I hadn’t of discovered, that I had a real talent and opportunity to be successful in the track and field event of the high jump. Discovering that I was actually ‘good’ at something began to transform my soul…and with the emotional support of my new Foster parents, I began to train and compete. It didn’t take long before my self-esteem and self-confidence began to grow. Soon I was interacting with other students and participating in after-school activities. I had found a tiny star within myself and I was learning how to make it shine.

By my senior year in high school, I was a different woman. I had fallen in love, and had a fiancé. I had a good job, and I had started dressing nice and taking care of myself. Because of the high jump, I had received a scholarship offer and a training sponsorship with a top Stanford University coach. By the time I graduated High School, I moved out to live with my fiancé, and started taking college prep classes at the local Jr. College. I felt ready to take on the world.

But then, everything turned upside down once again as I was suddenly hit with the emotional whip-lash of being pulled into interacting with my mother (who was recovering from yet another suicide attempt…which she had done in the effort to pull me back into her life), and then I was hit with the news that my grandfather had just hung himself.

To try and keep my sanity, I shut myself off from my emotions, and retreated into the safety of my day-dreams and the sanctuary of hard training. And as I trained with that top coach, I began to day-dream of what it would be like to go to the Olympics and win an Olympic Gold medal. Deep down inside…I just knew that if I could win an Olympic Gold Medal, then I would really ‘BE’ someone. Then I would truly be happy. But just as the going got tough, I let my old fear of failure get the best of me. I couldn’t bear the thought of what would happen if I tried my best, and discovered that, once again, I wasn’t good enough.

It was just like that old saying…that the higher up the ladder you climb, the further you have to fall. And I had fallen so many times before, that I had become deathly afraid of the pain I would feel when I hit the ground. So one day, when I was frustrated and discouraged, I gave up. I just turned and walked away from my dream. I never even said good-by or thank you to my coach. I was too afraid to face his reaction.

Only something unusual happened that day. For the very first time, after spending years running away from any pressure or conflict, I realized what a coward I was being. Hey…I had the talent, and for the first time, I had someone supporting me. It was ‘possible’ that I would’ve been able to make my dream come true. But, now…I would never know. Because I had just given up without even trying! That thought settled in my brain and began to haunt my heart…as the rest of my world began to fall apart.

On the surface, I presented my survivalist ‘game-face’ that everything was just fine. But stressed out with inner turmoil, and emotionally shut-down, my relationship with my fiancé quickly deteriorated and fell apart. I was on my own once again.

To hide from my disappointment and anxiety, I quit college, buried myself in work and began training in the Martial Arts. To everyone else, my life seemed just fine. But deep inside, I was falling apart at the seams. I didn’t return phone calls, or follow through on things. I avoided any and all emotional connections. I didn’t even go to visit my grandmother whose health was failing…even though I knew it was the last chance to see her. I was going through life like a zombie…keeping myself busy, and trying not to think about anything, or feel anything. It felt like I was all alone in the ocean, slowly sinking in a rickety boat full of tiny little holes. I knew that I needed to rescue myself before it was too late…but I didn’t know how.

Just when I was about to capsize, my salvation arrived with my newly found talent in the full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo. I had been training in the Martial Arts for about five years at this time, and had just started competing in sparring matches. Placing second in my first National competition in 1986, I discovered that this sport was to be introduced in the upcoming ‘88’ Olympics in Seoul, Korea. The revelation, that here was my second chance to make my Olympic dream come true, hit me square between the eyes.

At that moment, it became startling clear to me that I could not just walk away again. I’d been given a second chance, and by God, I’d make the most of it! I was tired of running away from everything. I knew that I needed to draw the line and make a stand. So I swore to myself, that this time, no matter what, I would take this dream and make it come true. And if I failed…well at least I would know that it wasn’t because I didn’t give it 100% effort. I would know that, for once in my life, I did not let my fears get the best of me! Like a drowning person clinging to a life-raft, I made the determination to save myself by clinging to my long standing dream of Olympic Gold.

So at the age of 25, I took the little glimpse of hope that my newly found talent gave me…I told myself, “Be not afraid!” and I took one tiny step towards my dream.

(Dana’s Olympic gold medal win. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44gy17PKDnk )

Ok….so ‘that’ was quite a few years ago. Yet that one step changed my life, because it taught me that good things ARE possible. We just need to know this, so that we can begin to BELIEVE it to be possible. Well through the years, I have taken that one step with courage to make my dreams come true. First with the Olympics (in the full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo), then with my dream of becoming a top Stuntwoman in Hollywood, and now, with my dream of becoming a great motivational speaker. Sure, I know that I may never reach the heights I aim for. But I DO know that it IS possible. So when I stumble and fall, I pick myself up, brush off the dirt, re-set my mind, and reach out to claim my happiness from the universe.

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Increase Your Interactivity and Productivity by Holding Hands


Ok…my lesson from the past few days w/my good friend Doctor Mark Cheng is how I can multiply effective interactivity and productivity by ‘hand-holding.’ Sound strange? That’s what I thought at first!

First of all…I never really had anyone holding MY hand while growing up. So the concept is completely foreign to me! Yet…I can definitely see it’s value…especially as my goal is to reach out and help others achieve goals and happiness!
Can you imagine how great it would be to multiply YOUR results from YOUR interactions?

Hand-holding is a tool in interacting w/others. I have found that there are times as a Motivational Speaker, that I have not really ‘reached’ all of my audience members. So I’m constantly working on improving upon that. Dr. Cheng helped me understand an easy way to do this, simply by making sure to make that all important ‘connection’ w/each person in my audience by tying THIER personal experience and emotion into MY personal experience and emotion.

By tying an individuals own experience in with mine, it makes it easier for each person to truly relate and connect with what I am saying. This way, it’s as if each person is holding my hand and walking with me as I share my journey and experience with them.

‘Hand-holding,’ is a step by step process in helping your associate, your customer, your client, your partner, your loved one get in touch with their own personal experience/feeling so that they can then relate to the power of your story, and/or the benefit of your product.

For example, I have found that it’s our hopes and dreams that can keep us going in the toughest of times.

Have you ever experienced a moment or several, where you felt ‘abandoned’ or ‘un-loved? Perhaps there was a time when you were a child, that your mom or dad was late in picking you up from school or practice? And with each passing moment, you got more anxious and embarrassed. Where, one by one, all of the other kids were picked up and went off smiling and laughing, while you just stood there waiting? And the longer you waited, the more your feeling of rejection, anger, hopelessness increased. Now of course, I’m sure you did eventually get picked up, or you walked home, and probably forgot all about it a few days later. But, what if that happened to you over and over again? What if you kept expecting for your parent to show up, but they never did? Wouldn’t you feel even more hurt?

Now, take that feeling that you experienced, multiply it by 100 and you might have an idea about how I felt, so many times back when I was in that Orphanage. Here’s one particular story from my childhood, after my mother abandoned myself and my two brothers when I was three, and we were placed in the Masonic Home for Children, where we stayed for the next nine long years…

“My mother did finally get back in touch with us, and would occasionally write or call, with promises that she would come visit or come and take us out of there to live with her. I remember the rare times when I would receive a letter during mail call, and I would gallop all around the dormitory, waving that letter high in the air.

And then there was the time that I actually got to talk with her on the telephone, and she said she’d be coming to get us the next day to go spend the summer with her. I was so excited, I couldn’t’ sleep all night long. The next morning I convinced my housemother to let me wait for her on the front steps.

So shortly after breakfast I sat down on the cold stone steps…waiting, watching, hoping. As each car entered the long circular driveway, my heart would beat a little faster, and I would shield my eyes from the glare of the sun and try and make out who it was. As each car left with their excited, laughing children…my heart would sink a little lower.

Finally the bell rang for lunch, and I pulled myself to my feet, and joined the small line heading to the cafeteria. “Perhaps later” I said to myself! After lunch, my Housemother pulled me aside and told me that no one would be coming to pick me up, and that I would remain at the home, once again, throughout the long summer vacation.

Late that afternoon, I sat in the deep grass and clover on the playground, beneath a huge sweet smelling Magnolia tree. The gentle sun was fading as I watched the few kids that were left, playing a game of jump rope.

As I thought about that morning, the familiar pain of abandonment wrapped its tight hold around my heart, and a feeling of hopelessness spread through my soul. Just then, the bell sounded for us to gather in our groups and head inside the building, so I automatically wiped my face and walked across the immense lawn towards the front entrance with it’s huge stone steps.

I walked up the steps with the other girls, then paused for a moment before entering the door. I turned around to take one last breath of the fresh sweet air before heading inside to the dark, musty smelling dormitories.

It was then that I noticed…there on the horizon in the gathering twilight of evening, just above the tree-line…one single star glittering brightly. Quickly, I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and whispered to myself…“Starlight, star-bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might…have the wish I wish tonight. And I made that wish…just before the hall monitor, smacked me on the backside with a ruler, and sent me inside.

It was a wish that I repeated, year after year. And it was a wish that gave me a glimmer of hope…even in my darkest hour…for as a child, I believed in the power of dreams, wishes and stars. And my wish was for loving family, a place to call home, and a happier tomorrow.”


Well, that wish upon a star, that ‘dream’ kept me going for many, many years! And that’s why I KNOW about how powerful our hopes and dreams are to our sense of well being. They are the light at the end of the tunnel. They are the candle in the darkness of night. They are our salvation when we have nothing else to turn to. So, please. Whatever you do, do not abandon your hopes and your dreams!

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