Knowing When to Quit

Knowing when to quit can be easy. It can also be the biggest mistake we can make. If we quit too early, then we didn’t try hard enough; if we quit too late, then we’ve wasted energy and time.Most people hate quitting out of fear of being labelled at “quitter.” But that’s not always the case. We’re only “quitters” if we haven’t tried our hardest in our efforts or given them enough time to lead to something better.

Knowing when to quit means we have to be paying attention. As we go through our lives, often times success leaves clues that let us know we’re headed on the right path. Look back your success book/log. How many of those success we’re because of a chance encounter that happened because you persevered that much more? The hard part is that we can also point to just as many failures where we can think “I should have quit when I had the chance!” The key is to identify the point in those endeavors and be able to recognize them in the future. As always, it’s easier said than done. Somebody once told me that these clues are everywhere, but I was looking in the wrong places.

When it is time to quit, do so gracefully and completely. Remember, just because it doesn’t mean anything for us anymore, it may matter to somebody else. We expect the same respect when others don’t believe in our goals. It’s also important to tie up the loose ends when we do decide to quit. There is nothing wrong with knowing that something isn’t for us. But by completing these loose ends, we allow ourselves the closure we need for our subconscious to let it go (you never know, that breakthrough that never seemed to happen may come when we decide to pack it in!). By letting it go, we allow ourselves to focus our energy on something new with our subconscious diversions back to our uncompleted pieces.

By not quitting when it’s time, it becomes a disservice to ourselves and those around us. We waste our time and efforts that could be better served by following our passions. We also waste the time and efforts of the people around us because they continue to work toward a goal that we don’t want to pursue. We don’t appreciate people wasting our time when we’re pursuing our goals, so don’t waste theirs.

When have you quit or let something go? Was it worth it? Did you finish your incompletes? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Reject Rejection

Rejecting rejections is a facet of knowing that it is not about us, but about the person rejecting us. It can be that we asked at the wrong time; remember, we reserve the right to say “no” and so do other people. The key to rejection is knowing that it’s an internal response that we feel when our hopes aren’t met. We can hope for hundreds of things and when they don’t come to fruition, it’s rejection. In order to continue on our paths to success, we have to learn to reject rejection.

Rejecting rejection is going to be easier said than done. The feeling of rejection is personal, even if it isn’t. Jack Canfield likens rejection to a myth. I think of it the same way as when I ask somebody a question. If the answer is yes, well then I am better off for asking. But, if I get a “no” (a rejection), then it becomes a matter of perspective. I wasn’t better off before asking the question, therefore I can’t be worse off after asking the question. I stayed in the same state. We can look at several examples:

  • Ask somebody to a dinner date. You weren’t going to dinner with anybody before, so you’re not any worse off.
  • Applies to grad school at Yale. You weren’t attending Yale before you applied and you’re not afterward.

When it’s time to move on from the rejection, remember the acronym SW.SW.SW.SW. Remind ourselves that Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, Someone’s Waiting. The  internal dialogue we need to tell ourselves is “Next!” While I was working briefly for a call center, it was common to be rejected on the message that I was trying to share with people. I knew intrinsically that people’s outright rejection of my calls wasn’t personal to me. In fact, the sign on the wall reminded us that for every 5,000 people we called, we can only expect 5-10% “yes” responses. If that’s not rejecting rejection in action, I’m not sure what is.

Rejection is going to be most common when it comes to relationships. These rejections are different from the ones we will encounter on our path to our goals and dreams because they have a significant personal effect. It’s easier to not take something personally when it comes to tangible results or experiences like a job application or request. When it’s a personal rejection, it’s that much more important to remember everything we’ve covered throughout my posts. Sometimes the people we are closest to don’t always fit into the journey we are on and vice versa. It’s never easy, but with time and understanding, it can be a healthy form of acceptance.

When we’re you rejected? How did you feel? How did you move on to the next question? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Adapt for Self-Improvement

There are going to be times when we do achieve a goal or dream and it won’t be what we expected or wanted. It’s like that time when we were young and wanted to be a fireman, a police officer, truck driver, super hero, or be able to fly. When we actually get there, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. This isn’t a failure; yet it doesn’t quite feel like an achievement. It can be a difficult pill to swallow because of the time and effort we’ve put into getting there. It’s time for reflection.

So when we feel that lackluster moment when our goal has come to fruition, remember that it’s not the end of the road. We have to be honest in that moment that what we have been doing hasn’t been working for one reason or another. We’ve paid attention to all the feedback along the way, we were passionate about our path, and we were committed, but somehow we’re not satisfied with where we are. There are two paths to take at this point: Oh well, that was a waste of time or Now what? I’ve learned something for the future. The latter approach is on the continued path of never-ending self-improvement.

Adapting to change is what keeps us growing and moving toward the next goal. Take every piece and apply it to the next big goal or dream. If we’ve paid attention, put in the time and commitment for an authentic dream that doesn’t pan out they way we visualized then maybe it’s not the biggest goal we can reach. It wasn’t a waste of time. It’s like that old saying from our second grade classroom: Aim for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. It’s corny, but applicable. If Neil Armstrong wasn’t satisfied with the moon, it’s because he was meant to go much further.

When we need to adapt, it’s important to remember what we just did accomplish; even if it doesn’t feel like it. There are experiences and lessons that we have learned despite the fact that our goal isn’t what we expected. One of those experiences or lessons may be that piece that we need to realign our passions and energy. At this point, we can only fail by not doing anything and giving up because it seems hopeless. Go back through your goal/dream journal. Remember what you’ve learned and write them down. Even write down your lackluster goal, you never know when it will come back full circle.

Make this your crossroads when it’s time to adapt

What goal or dream have you had that didn’t come as true as you had visualized? Why? What next step did you take? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Have a Heart to Heart

We’re used to having to hold our feelings in, or least feel like we should. This shouldn’t be the case. In fact, it’s a necessary facet of life to release the uneasy feelings we try to keep inside. By holding onto those feelings, we’re not making room for new ones. It also inhibits our ability to move on and toward the next step in accomplishing our goals and dreams.

Typically, we have various key people in our lives that we will open up to in one way or another. Family is usually the first resource I go to when I need somebody I talk to, but I also have a close group of friends that I can confidently confide in and know that they will give me honest input. Part of the relationship that we have created means that the sharing is always a two-way street. I count on them as much as they know they can count on me. These conversations can range from sharing personal anxieties, failures, and even about the standing of the relationship between us. They key is to actively listen to our friends and family. You never know when you will need them or when they may not be there.

When we engage in any heart to heart conversation, regardless of who we’re talking to, we have to remember the end goal: to strengthen the relationship by reaching new understandings. No matter how personal it may become or uncomfortable, there’s no progress if true, authentic feelings aren’t expressed. I have had several of these conversations and they can be very uncomfortable, but I was better for it because I knew intrinsically what it meant for my growth as a person. Not all of them went well, but I was confident in myself because what I said was the truth and in alignment with my integrity.



After we’ve released the pent-up feelings and emotions, it’s can be a huge relief. It can also be equally painful because we’ve said something to end (or damage) the relationship or vice versa (depending who we’re talking to). No matter the outcome, remember that that is the time to persevere. True friends will stick by you no matter what! Keep trying your hardest toward your goal; you never know, that person may come back into your life at some point to show you their true colors. Hopefully as a true friend.

When was your last heart to heart? How did it turn out? Were you completely honest with the other? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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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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