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The Power of Internal Reflection

Self Reflection

At the start of the month, my family received the worse news anybody could expect; we lost a family member. It is devastating news and it’s been overwhelming for all of us. While each of us deals with death differently, there is an underlying commonality that brings us together. Death spurs internal reflection of our authentic selves and an appreciation for the lives we are blessed to have.

Our lives are the summation of our decisions up until this very moment. They define our integrity, the way we perceive the world, perceive our selves, and perceive others. We don’t spend enough time reflecting on our journeys because “we don’t want to live in the past.” But it’s the past that often times helps determine the futures we want to lead. Think of a time in which you shared a story about somebody who passed. Each great memory we share is because of a decision we made to be there at that exact moment. Use these stories to gain clarity about the decisions you’ll make in the future.

We do this because it’s a reminder that we often take life for granted. It’s not on purpose, not because we’re too busy, or even because we forget. It’s because we’re simply living our lives and lose sight of what’s important. We all do it and it’s at times like these, when somebody we love losses what we hold dear, that brings us solemnity and reflection. These are the times that we should take stock of our lives;  appreciate what we have, visualize what we want in our lives more than ever, and seize the days that we have! We only get one chance in this life and we have to maximize our time to fulfill our God-given potential.

The power of internal reflection comes with the candid realization that we are on the right or wrong paths, that we should be taking steps toward new goals, re-imagining old goals, and prioritizing certain aspects of our lives.

Grateful for today

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable

~Erich Fromm

What changes have you made since the loss of a loved one? Why did you make these changes? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Learn from Your Parents

Mom and Pop

We don’t give enough credit to our parents for who we are as individuals and who we hope to be in the future. I am more reflective and thankful today than I ever have been about what amazing parents I have been blessed to have in my life. It’s become more prevalent to me since I moved away from Reno to Denver to follow a path I envisioned for myself for the last four years and none of it would be possible without my parents.

I’ve been going through the recruitment process with a reputable company over the last several months and I recently had a sit-down meeting with the managing partner of the office here in Denver and he asked me two of the best questions I have ever been asked. They weren’t particularly deep questions but they were simple and I’d never thought about them before: (1) What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your mother? and (2) What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your father?

They’ve been married for 25 years, have 3 idiot sons (I’m the middle), and a soon-to-be grandchild and this post is for them:

Mom

Mom

It’s difficult for me to put exactly what I want into words when discussing my mom (and my dad too). She’s been through a lot in the last couple of years and she’s handled it with more conviction and humility than anybody I have ever met. Behind the conviction and perseverance that I see in her, is her unwavering integrity and poise. It’s these qualities that she has bestowed upon me that I hold dear. To be a source of strength and compassion to foster an inner integrity beyond myself. It’s because of my mom that I have begun my own journey to make the world a better place by being a better person for not only myself, but for those around me.

The most important things I’ve learned from my mom is perseverance, integrity and compassion.

Dad

Pop

My dad is a big kid at heart. Some of the funniest and most memorable stories are because of him. I owe my personality to him. Through all of the hilarious “Jorge” moments, I am the man who I am today because of the father that he was when I was a child and still is as I enter a new phase of life. The amount of self-assurance and personal value that I recognize in myself is because of the qualities I saw in him. His dedication to my mom and our family has inspired me to discover a new level integrity so that I can become a loving husband and father like him.

The most important thing I’ve learned from my dad is responsibility, self-reliance and dedication.

With every great journey, there is a companion and my parents have been on this journey for over 25 years. Throughout my life I have had the example for what I want for myself. Each day that I struggle I have the best two people in the world to call for advice, guidance, and inspiration. I love my parents.

What have you learned from your parents? From you Mom? From your dad? When was the last time you spoke to your parents? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 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.

awkward

 

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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Appreciate What You Have

Appreciation is never to be underestimated or undervalued. Like you, I have had my share of complaining, blaming, and straight-up whining. But it’s never gotten me anywhere, at least not to a place that I’ve wanted to be. It takes a simple step back to take stock of the things in life that you do have, not what you don’t have, want, or should have. We can play that game all day long. Focus on the blessings that are real here and now and recognize that you’re more fortunate to have them in your life than majority of people in the world.

Appreciation doesn’t need to be about the big things in life. It should be the things that add value to who you are as a person and what makes you happy. In fact, appreciation should start not with the things, but the people you surround yourself with: family and friends to start. I recently was on vacation in Lake Tahoe (my happy place) with my family and closest friends. This is the one week out of the entire year that I look forward to the most and would not miss for anything….and I mean anything. It’s for one simple reason: the people that appreciate more than anything in the world is my family.

When you begin to really, truly appreciate the people in your life, you’ll begin to see the value that you bring to their lives in return. The positive environment and energy that is created by mutual appreciation and love among people is the strongest emotion and force that you can experience. It’s an empowering experience to be the best that you can be because the people you rely on to reach for your dreams also rely on you  in achieving their respective dreams.

Appreciation also means you’ll never take a moment for granted. We’re only here for a limited time and you never, ever know when it will be over. We’re often separated by time and distance, but the ultimate separator is excuses. Part of taking control of your life is to eliminate the excuses and when you eliminate the excuses, you open yourself up to the possibilities you never allowed yourself.

Who do you appreciate and why? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Calvin and Hobbes

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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