Monthly Archives: September 2012

Don’t Be an Asshole

Being proud of our accomplishments and using that inner power to pursue our goals and dreams is essential to continuous self-improvement; but it doesn’t give us the right to be an asshole about it. Using the term asshole may be crass, but it’s accurate to what others will say if we don’t know where to draw the line. We alienate the people around us and spread our ill feelings about others to others. It may pay to be at the top, but not when we’re alone.

The first key to not being an asshole is to think before you speak. In everyday conversations with people, there are ample opportunities to correct, analyze, and even one-up what they said. In each instance, what we add to the conversation isn’t of real value, it just belittles the person we’re talking to. Often times we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But it’s easy to remember when somebody else did it to us. What was your response? Mine is typically “what an asshole.” The emotion that follows is what drives us to forget about that person and move on. It’s our right to do so and I support that right. But remember, others will do it to us just as quickly.

Being proud of our accomplishments means we don’t have to apologize for our successes. It also gives us greater responsibility for not becoming arrogant and egotistical. It’s about self-promotion not aggrandizement. It’s a subtle difference in the language we use, but it’s major. Think about the bonus you received at work. When you tell people “I got a bonus!” they typically have a positive, supportive response. Imagine the difference in response if you gave a specific amount: “They paid me $[insert amount]!” There are numerous other ways we can share our accomplishments, but it’s how we share that with others that matter. It should always be listed in our accomplishments/goals/dreams book.

Practicing not being an asshole also means not being around them. They can range from family and friends to co-workers and bosses. Bottom line is that they are everywhere! In our quest of never-ending self-improvement, we don’t have to put up with these types of people. I am not ashamed or afraid to just write that person out of my life because they are being an asshole. Not just once, but habitual assholes are the culprits. We all have our moments when we’ve been less than cordial; that’s the time to apologize. Dealing with asshole co-workers and bosses can be difficult, but remember there is always the option to quit or change departments. If you choose not to quit, then there needs to be as much space between you and the asshole. Don’t let him or her bring you down.

What assholes have you encountered? How did you deal with it? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Policy of Truth

We all tell the truth. Well, maybe half-truths. Okay, okay, so maybe telling the truth isn’t about the truth, but what we perceive to be the truth. Right? Good. No, it’s not good and justifying anything other than the truth is a lie fabricated to facilitate the means to an end.That end is to just get through it; whatever it is. But when we hedge on the truth, we bury ourselves in the lies, unresolved issues and tension, and never root ourselves in the reality that we really are in.

So here and now, I’m going to institute: a Policy of Truth. This is one of the most important agreements to make with yourself because it can be so difficult to commit to. The truth is uncomfortable, insulting, offensive, and vexing. It’s reality. The simple acknowledgement that you know you should tell the truth is inherent in all of us. It’s the practice of telling the truth is what eludes the best of us. Think of the truth as that insurmountable hill in front of us. We know in our core that the other side of the hill is our sanctuary. Where our authentic selves can shine. And yet, we hedge at the climb because staying on this side of the hill is apparently easier. But what really happens on this side of the hill is an internal conflict between the authentic you struggling to be free and losing to the doubter in you. The inner battle drains you of energy; the same energy that you could be directing toward your passion and relationships.

Instituting a Policy of Truth is the gateway of releasing that pent-up energy and allowing yourself to make room of the new vivacious energy you crave to pursue your dreams. It’s the perfect alignment with your authentic self that provides the guidance you need when telling the truth. You’ll want to consider what you say and how you say it when it comes time to tell the truth, but the time is now. Waiting for the “perfect” time is the best way to ensure being “too late.” In fact, when you tell the truth faster, you cut through the garbage that comes with silence and establish yourself as a trustworthy person will credibility so that when something happens in the future, people will know where you stand. They know they can count on you to speak your mind and mean it, you’re sincerity will begin speaking for itself.

Do you hedge on the truth? Why? When was a time you told the truth from the beginning and it paid off? Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Be in the Present

I was having lunch with my mom the other day and we both noticed something that struck us as odd. At the table next to ours, was a family of four and both of the kids were on mobile devices: phone, tablet, or video game hand-held. Neither was engaged in the conversation with each other or with their parents, nor were the parents talking to their children. Only the parents were speaking to each other. It occurred to me that this disconnect has become a regular occurrence. Granted, this may be an isolated incident, but our attachment to our electronics has made quite an acceptable excuse to neglect the people around us.

Not being in the present makes it difficult to appreciate the people in your life and to make sure they stick around. By distracting yourself with your latest Facebook update, Tweeting the latest happenings, and text messaging the person who’s not in front of you sends a very simple yet powerful message to the person who is with you: You’re not important to me at this point in time. And eventually at this point in time will translate into a dissolved relationship.

The next time you plan on going out for breakfast, dinner, lunch, or even coffee, leave your phone in your pocket. Give the person in front of you all of your attention. By knowingly disconnecting yourself from the tech-sphere, you can focus on the conversation and be sincere. Everything on Facebook and Twitter can wait. The person texting you can wait. Your emails can wait. They’ll be there when you return because the person you’re talking to may not be. If they do stick around, it’s certainly annoying when you’re checking your phone every thirty seconds.

The time you make for the people who are important to you in your life also allows for you to find out about how they’re doing. It’s about being sincere. They are in your life for a reason. They are the ones helping you on your journey because you are helping them. You could miss out on something great by not paying attention!

How do you handle your phone in a social settings? Does it bother you when Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!


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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Knowing When to Say Sorry

Saying sorry is important, but often times it’s unnecessary. We say it because it’s become synonymous with being sympathetic and not accepting the responsibility of an error. It also means that we shouldn’t apologize for who we are and where we are going with our lives. The goal is to be conscious of the fact that because we are unapologetic, we don’t want to be the cause of excess collateral damage.

Often times we apologize for our actions, both right and wrong. Apologizing for the wrong actions is always necessary. We apologize when we hurt other people (regardless of intention) and when the fault is yours. Knowing when to apologize is just as important as the apology itself. The sincerity of your apology not only builds your character, but it’s the essential step in realizing you may be off course.

Apologizing for the right actions is a disservice to yourself. It’s an automatic response to the feedback we receive from others to excuse our behavior even when we know it’s the best decision for us and our dreams. We haven’t failed anybody or ourselves, so there’s no need to apologize for doing what’s right. Remember, the decision that you have made is coming from within you, your authentic self. It’s the subconscious coming through to you to materialize the visualizations that you’ve created. Take a look at your log: does this decision or step take me closer to what I want? If it does, then the apology serves as a deviating step from what you want. A 1% deviation from your authentic self and purpose is not acceptable.

Tim Tebow is unapologetic about his actions because it would compromise who he is.

It’s also important to remember to say “Thank You” regardless of an apology. When we thank somebody when we do apologize, it’s for their feedback and accepting our apology. It’s equally important to thank somebody when you’re not sorry because while you may not agree with their feedback, they still took the time and effort to offer their thoughts. They care about you and that’s worth the appreciation. Take the time to explain to them why you are doing what you’re doing.

Being conscientious of the people around you shows that while you’re strong in your convictions about what you want in life, you won’t take the people around you for granted or take advantage of them. They may not agree with you on your path, but that doesn’t mean you should compromise who you are. Keep in mind that you are also not responsible for the personal responses people have about something that you did. The best response is to not apologize, but emphasize that you regret their response to your decision.

What apologies have you made that are unnecessary? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!


Puss in Boots


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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


Establishing Your Direction

The principles I’ve covered over the course of my posts is intended to help establishing your own personal direction. It’s to help answer the question Where am I going and Who do I want to be? They’re the tools that I use everyday to help me be the person I want to be today so that I can become who I want to be. I write things down that I want in my life and I spend time visualizing it. I include as many details as possible. I especially focus on what I am moving towards,not away from something.

I have been blessed with my life with my family, friends, and opportunities. I have read many books and stories about great struggles in people’s’ lives and I am fortunate to say that I have never had to experience some of the things others have endured. When given the option, people avoid pain and seek pleasure. This behavior causes people to run from their problems to solve them rather than to face the truth to begin moving toward something better. By continually avoiding the negative things in your life, you’re subconsciously giving them power to lead and direct you in a way that is not your choosing.

Jon Kabat-Zinn said “Wherever you go, there you are.” No matter how far you go to get away from the issues you’re running from, they will follow you. This is because they are not external forces that influence you, but internal ones. We misperceive the direction that we are going because it’s not our authentic selves providing it. Instead, we need to acknowledge the truth about what we’re running from in order to establish our direction of where we’re going from here. Plant a stake in the ground, and know where you want to go. Imagine the difference between Neil Armstrong running from Earth rather than going toward the moon.

The first step is doing what I do: write them down. Giving purpose to what you want and where you want to go gives your authentic self the power and the passion to make it happen. By moving toward something of value, we strive for continuous self-improvement; but when we run, we do just enough to avoid the pain and plateau. Keep this list next to your accomplishments to remind yourself that you have successfully moved toward things of value before.

What pains have you avoided? Are they still dictating your direction? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Create Value: Start with Yourself

Self-esteem is essential and we all deal with it. It starts with the internal dialogue that tells you “You Can’t Do This.” It grows exponentially into “Here’s Why” and you begin to list all the ways why you can’t do something. You allow yourself to fail without ever even having tried. These thoughts derive themselves from a withdrawn authentic self. Recognizing that you are worth it and that you can and will do it is the foundation for everything.

You have no reason to be ashamed for who you are. You have an innate way of viewing the world that nobody can or ever will repeat and the sooner you understand that, the better self-awareness you will have. Think of a time when you told yourself “I can’t do this,” and when you listened to that voice, chances are you failed or didn’t even try. Now think of a time when you thought “This is going to be tough, but I can get through it,” and when you listened to that voice, chances are you fought through it and you accomplished it. If you look at the self-power difference in the statements you made to yourself, there’s a stark contrast between the emotions you felt. One emotion drains while the other fuels the passion to ensure your success.

We’ve all heard people who have said “I removed can’t from my vocabulary!” That’s one approach to getting over the initial insecurity of any obstacle, but it doesn’t get you very far. Let’s start by acknowledging that there are things in this world that you and I cannot do. We could list off some of them right now; write them down. The key to what we can and cannot do it the why. Write down why. What people don’t recognize is that the why is the first step in determining how we can change can’t into can. One thing on my list is: I can’t fly a plane. My why’s are the qualifications and certifications necessary. There’s no reasons why I can’t do those things. The image of me flying a plane is not so impossible now.

There’s an exercise that I learned from Jack Canfield to help eliminate the negative self-image and to assess the can’ts we find within ourselves. It starts by not removing “can’t”, but replacing it with “choose not to.”

I can’t fly a plane       to         I choose not to fly a plane

It’s a subtle change, but it puts the whys into perspective by requiring you to take responsibility. The next step of the exercise is to talk to yourself and reinforce the positive thoughts we should remember about ourselves. By transcending our limiting beliefs, we give power to the emotions we desire to define our self value. It opens the doors for our withdrawn authentic selves to step into our purpose. The best way to begin is to physically stand in front of your mirror and talk to yourself. You’ll feel ridiculous at first (I did), but when you move past it, the boost you experience is remarkable. Use these thought to visualize yourself standing in your purpose, overcoming the can’ts, and moving toward your ultimate dream.

What are your limiting thoughts? How do you deal with them? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!



Jeff Goldblum

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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