Got Challenge?

 

526328_42611934After viewing the movie years ago, “The Secret,” I was left with the impression that all I had to do was use intention and life would suddenly be easy, flowing, fulfilling and harmonious.  It doesn’t seem to work that way.  Nor should it.

Let me explain.  We must look at the purpose of life.  If you believe that life is meant to be easy and happy, then this discussion will be of little value.  If you think life is meant for growth, then we can talk.  After all, what is the purpose of coming into existence for 80 or so years, doing nothing, not aspiring, not changing, not learning – then go away?  I’m not trying to convince you, rather point out that if we are not accomplishing something, why bother?

I believe life is here to teach us – to be more, to aspire, to reach, to become.  And these things do not occur without something happening.  A friend of mine once said, “people wish that life was smooth, rather than filled with mountains to cross.”  She had been referring to an experience in which she had climbed a large hill, with great effort, and was exhilarated when she reached the top.  You can’t have peak experiences without the valleys and the peaks.

Our Karmic Footprint – the sum total of our energy signature – is like a diamond.  It is formed by pressure over time.  It is forged in experience.  You can think of the adult/child analogy.  The child is relatively innocent and has a purer energy field, but has no experience or wherewithal to make an impact.  The adult is more challenged in the energy field.  It has been knocked about by life – sorrow, hurt, disappointment and joy as well; but it has grown by experience and has some real information and insights to share.  It is actually more of a challenge for the adult to upgrade his or her energy field, but then has more experience and capability to transcend it, too.

It is only by challenge are we forced to move.  We reach for help within or without.  It doesn’t matter.  Everything is transformed by pressure – ore into steel, food by cooking, people by challenge.

So I implore you.  Live life to the fullest.  Don’t avoid problems, embrace them.  They are there to teach and to make us better.  When something is overcome, we build authority.  Do you want to listen to someone who has done it or someone who has read about it?

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny.”  Get your copy at Amazon.

When will you be ready?

   “Sometimes we have the dream but we are not
ourselves ready for the dream.  We have to grow to meet it.”
Louis L’Amour

276567_wake_upWhen I first put together Your Karmic Footprint, I found myself in a dilemma. While I believed every word written, I was intimidated.

My line of thinking went like this – if I put this out, then I have to do more than say it, I need to live it. A philosophy is easy to say, but a challenge to live. Not that Your Karmic Footprint is anything tremendously new or earthshaking. The fact is, it contains ideas represented many times in different formats. But it does take a unique angle that, I hope, has value for some.

But still I was uncomfortable. Ideas and words are one thing. Acting is bringing them through into reality. And isn’t this ever the case. What we say has little meaning until we act accordingly. To do otherwise is hypocrisy. The obvious example today are our politicians, who often say one thing to get elected, then not always walk the talk. But this issue is for another day.

Our greatest challenge is to live and act on our dreams, aspirations and goals. The world seems to conspire against us. What if Gandhi or Martin Luther King succumbed to violence. All would have been lost, but the violence perpetrated on them and their followers was a great temptation to respond in kind. Many others don’t like it when you walk the talk. I suppose because it shines a mirror on them.

Then, the next step is to rise to the occasion. To actually be who you profess to be. We may not feel ready to do this. But, I ask, when will you? If we wait on it, it won’t happen. Progress is a process of pushing boundaries, no matter how small. Look at children, they are constantly exploring, much to their parent’s chagrin. Then look at the elderly. They, for the most part, have settled. They are in decline, both physically and mentally. No new boundaries to seek here. So I ask you, are you still growing and pushing? The flower by instinct pushes against the earth to rise up and eventually bloom. It is the way of nature to push against obstacles. And the human spirit is even more capable.

So if you feel you are not ready, then you are aware enough to be ready to take the next step. After all, why not?

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny.” Get your copy at Amazon.

Speak yourself Better

884146_smile_It was a number of years ago. I was working at a business. As usual several people throughout the day would casually say, “How are you?”, or words to that effect. At the time I would come back in several ways, “Doing alright,” or “Getting’ along,” or some other meaningless response, followed by “How about you?” as a courtesy.

Then I made a discovery. If I changed my response to this casual remarks, I would feel different. So when asked, “How are you?”, I would respond with “terrific,” or “superb,” or “outstanding.” I found very quickly that I could give myself a pick-me-up by the way I responded. By answering in a very positive way, I would instantly feel better. I know, obvious, right?

So I have changed my ways. My answers are always positive, always upbeat – and not the same every time. Repetition tends to make things rote, and I don’t want that. I want to get the full charge out of my answer.

It’s a reminder of the power of the spoken word. Recall the beginning of the Book of John in the Bible: “In the beginning was Word, and Word with God, and the Word God.” This goes to the creative nature of sound. We speak thinks into existence. Listen to the word and speech content of others. Some are inherently negative and other positive. Who would you rather be around. And which are you?

Our speech defines us. We can magnetize or repel. We can be positive or negative. We can aspire or retreat. We have a choice of how we position ourselves in the world. Yes, I know you may have been brought up in a negative environment – but now is your chance to create your own environment. It is up to you. Always has been; always will be.

So what do you choose your verbal karmic footprint to be?

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

Does it really matter?

despairI have recently had some health incidents and found an interesting phenomenon. As my physical condition weakened, my consciousness took a dive, too. It was more difficult to be energetic and excited with a positive attitude.   I know that physical condition affects consciousness, but did not appreciate the depth of it, until recently.

Think about the implications. People in survival mode – either due to war, famine, poverty, etc. are not in a positon to aspire or achieve. They are mired in merely surviving. The same is true for gangs and other disadvantaged groups. You can’t use the thinking, aspirational part of your brain when you are in the reptilian fight or flight mode. So raising the consciousness of earth is not even an option for many.

It goes to the nature of the physical plane. Matter rules. That means that the physical has dominion over the consciousness – at least for now. The inertia of matter is especially distressing. Think of the elder who is failing as the body becomes more inactive. If they could only exercise more, they could drastically alter their lives, but the inertia of matter is too strong. That’s why it is so difficult to diet or to break strong habits – we have programmed in our bodies certain patterns of operation. The inertia of matter tends to rule unless you are able to gradually reprogram it. And this programming is not conscious – it is at subconscious levels, so more of a challenge to reach, let alone redo.

This is why a writer described life as “quiet desperation.” Let’s not accept this.

For those who read this, you are miles ahead of this statement. But you still need to work at overcoming the programming in our lives. Of course, first is awareness, which can grow daily as you put attention on it. Then is to make small changes. Change hands for various tasks – yes, awkward at first, but you are creating new channels in the brain.   Take another route to drive. The more we tend to do things, the less conscious we become doing them.

So the initial question, does it matter? In the end, it does only if you allow it.

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

What if its all false?

526328_42611934A thought struck the other day – everything we hear in the media is false, or misleading, to be kind. Then that thought went on to other subjects as well. What if the entire world is an illusion? I know, you already know that, but we don’t necessarily live that way.

Take Newtonian physics. It is certainly sufficient to create amazing things and results – for instance putting a man on the moon. But when you introduce the quantum level, all bets are off. Sub atomic particles don’t operate in a Newtonian way.

What about solid objects? We all know that is an illusion, for there is more space around the atoms that make up our bodies than there is real matter. I recall the Star Trek show from ages ago in which an advanced life-form called the humans, “bags of water.” A more apt description.

The point is we all have various beliefs and perspectives. They color our perceptions. Just go on Facebook and you see a polarization of political views so extreme and unwarranted – on both sides of any issue. People see things that may or may not be there, but, by God, it is there to them. Whatever happened to tolerance and acceptance. It we all agreed it would be a pretty dull place, but to be rigid and hostile about it is a bit much. Besides, the truth is not generally being revealed, if there is even a truth.

Now, without getting further into the tall grass, how do we make use of this perspective?   First of all, we need to reserve judgment about people and events. Take the Iran treaty. There are polarizing views on both sides. I find I cannot take what either side says at face value. I just don’t have enough information to properly assess it. So the truth is in the pudding, so they say. Going forward, will this help or hurt the world? Too soon to say.

The same goes for other people too. The fact is, we don’t know what a person is struggling with or through. Even if we had the facts in the matter, we still don’t know how an individual is responding to their circumstances. So, the best is to hold judgment. Everyone needs love and support, either overt or from behind the scenes. Why not give out love and kindness rather than opinion. The former are enduing, the latter is passing.

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

What is a year?

276567_wake_upI sat in a cold Army barracks in Uijonbu, South Korea. It was the winter of 1967. I was not exactly happy where I was, but knew it was far better duty than the fields of Vietnam.

As the new year approached I penned a poem. The only words I remember were the important ones.

“What is a year? A chance to grow, a chance to sow, and something so much more than to passively endure.”

I don’t claim eloquence, but I do claim meaning, at least for me. I knew the coming year would be dull, lifeless and full of Army stuff. But I made a commitment to myself to be more than a rider on the bus. I was going to drive the damn bus.

Well, you can’t exactly drive the bus in the Army, what with the chain of command and all, but I was addressing my attitude in a situation beyond my control and choosing. Or was it? If I had not achieved greatly in my advanced training (cartography), I would have been sent to Nam, along with the 16 of 18 of us in the training. If I had not achieved in my work, I would not have been made an “acting jack,” short for premature rank of E-5, Sergeant (I had not been in long enough to qualify for full status, hence acting). This definitely made life better, to be a non-com. So, I did have multiple ways of improving my existing circumstances. Also, while many opted to take R&R in the states, some friends and I went to Japan, a bucket list sort of trip.

I tell you this story because some of you may not be in the place (mentally, physically, financially, etc.) you want to be. But the only thing holding you back is your attitude and determination to do something about it. One of the greatest tragedies of our times are those down-trodden, poverty-stricken people who are so caught-up in their circumstances that they are trapped. Some surely are, others may have a few options, but they are not easy or elegant.

So, I say to you. Do not blame your circumstances. They are temporary and, sad to say, what you have created or accepted for yourself. I know the economy sucks for many and the opportunities are limited unless you know how to code. I get it.

But, as Zig Ziglar used to say, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Here’s to your best year ever.

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

No More Resolutions

609394_76532588Here we are at the end of another yearly cycle. It is both poignant and hopeful. An interesting psychology.

But suffice to say, we all have a sense of new beginnings. Hence, the dreaded new year’s resolutions. It’s commonly know that most resolutions don’t take – we fall off the wagon within several weeks. So here is another approach. No more resolutions.

Let’s talk about strategies for the new year. These we control and they don’t have to require self-will – it’s okay that they do, but they are not dependent. Let’s look at our personal strategies in terms of outcomes. Rather than the traditional resolution of go to the gym 4 times a week, let’s adopt a strategy of improving health and fitness. You can even attach some goals if you wish; the idea being to know when you have hit the mile-stones or inch-pebbles for some of us.

Now health and fitness can be achieved by a variety of strategies, which include exercise and diet. So don’t lock yourself into a strict regimen, but a series of relatively easy tactics that achieve the overall strategy.

So, let’s take money. Rather than earn a certain amount – that’s chasing dollars, and they will elude you. So your strategy is to create massive value to others. The result can take the form of money, but it can also take the form of reputation and authority, which in turn can lead to more money. You could also add additional lines of income by choosing alternative value creation to your present job or income.

I think you get the idea.

Now, here are some items on my list, in addition to the above. I am going to put them on my daily to-do list. Not everyone uses lists, but for me they work to keep me organized, set priorities and just plain remember things. At the top of my list are:

  • Gratitude: What one thing can I be grateful for today.
  • Appreciation: Who can I appreciate to their face today.
  • Kindness: What is one thing I can do for another today – can be personal or business.

You see, by formalizing it becomes routine and when it is routine, it tends to happen more frequently. I’m likely to fine-tune these items, but this is a start. For my overall strategy is to be more positive and impactful this year, which is in line with the ideas in Your Karmic Footprint.

Jump in.

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

Say no more

The USA is well on its way to being a secular nation. The mere mention of religion and its trappings is condemned. And the movement is growing in strength. It seems that we are in a state of rule by the lowest common denominator. A small majority controls the agenda, regardless of the wishes of the majority. That’s political correctness.

Now, this is not to praise religion – we all know the evil deeds done in its name. But what is being lost in all of this is the meaning behind religion. Most of it is worthwhile and worthy of praise. Grace, love, sharing, kindness, do unto others, peace, non-violence, tolerance and so on. Pick your religion, for the most part, and you find these principles behind the human organization. Yes, they do peek through, but still get lost occasionally in the day-to-day actions of adherents.

There are those who claim to know “what would Jesus do” as they pitch their own agenda. Look, I have been on this soap box enough. I just wish that people would spend more time trying to practice the principles taught, rather than turning them into rules.

As we enter a period of intense religions meaning, both Hanukkah and Christmas, let’s try to find the beauty of our lives. Let us attempt to unconditionally love one another – yes, literally. Let us be tolerant. Let us give to the world what we want to see in the world. It that too much to ask?

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

Mine is Right & Better than yours

We are seeing a time in which religion is increasingly polarized. My religion is right – yours is not only wrong, it is bad.

474429_75894071handsThis is certainly not a reflection of many religions that presume to practice tolerance. I guess religion has always been a bone of contention based on belief, not facts. Now there is nothing special about facts either – they change with each new discovery. And I contend that facts and belief are not necessarily mutually exclusive – it’s all about how you define certain meanings, e.g. my prior missive about how we define a “day.”

Islamic extremism is on the rise, seeking to take us back a millennium to an old era and set of rules. Christianity is under attack, some of it deserved and some not. After all the Crusades was not its high point and lack of acceptance of anything today is also problematic. The secular’s in our society are just as intolerant of God, turning up their self-righteous noses at any mention.

I believe that most religions have common or similar core beliefs – most of which embrace a transcend deity of some kind. I tend to take the path of God Immanent rather than God Transcendent, but then what is important is what works for the individual. Does your belief system improve your existence? Does it make you a better, kinder, more loving person? Does it improve the condition of people and the planet? Does it embrace beauty and goodness? Does it elevate people and help them? These are my tests.

Yet, today many religions reflect a narrow, my way or the highway approach. You’re either with me or going to hell. People tend to identify with their religious system in such a way their self-identity is challenged by those who do not accept their beliefs. This can be a dangerous trap. When our beliefs are challenged it becomes a personal attack. Not a healthy response and nothing akin to turning the other cheek.

Let’s face it. Much of organized religion is based upon a spiritual impulse as interpreted and codified by humans. Therefore, it is subject to interpretation and misinterpretation. So let’s all take a deep breath and see the truth as we know it today. For if we apply it, the truth may become something more tomorrow. The goal of Your Karmic Footprint is to embrace the positive side of life and to the extent you find it in a religions system – fine. If not, that’s okay too. But the key is if your system of belief makes you a better person, a better citizen (of country and world) and leads you to positive action to improve everything within your sphere of influence. It is good works than count.

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.

What on Earth is going on?

man questionsIf you follow world events, then you know chaos abounds. Armed conflicts, terrorism and a global economy on the brink of collapse, according to some experts with unsustainable debt bringing us to the brink. Even here is the USA we are descending into turmoil. Drugs, gangs and violence is rampant. The protestors are protesting everything, with few solutions I can see. We are moving to the lowest common denominator in which the 1% or 3% of affected people are calling the shots. The middle class is disappearing, along with many jobs that are moving elsewhere.

Now some of this is very concerning and some of it is a rapid evolution in how the world is now working, especially the technology driven change. But, to me, there is one common theme. Civilization as we know it is collapsing. The structures of behavior, thinking and accomplishing are eroding. There seem to be few principles guiding actions and decision making.

This is not to say that all structures are good. Many limit and favor the elite few. But they have provided a level of stability.

Now the good news. Paraphrasing Einstein: Our problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them. In order for a new system or paradigm to come into being, the old must allow or be forced to let go.

The same is true of people. Look at those who have gone through a very tough experience, only to rise to new heights. Without the turmoil, the breakdown of the old, the new potentials cannot be released.

All I can say is to embrace the change – not any change, but the insecurity of seeing our world civilization seemingly crumble before our eyes. It is not pretty and can be painful to watch, but it is inevitable. It means the new world is coming. And for those of you who practice the principles in Your Karmic Footprint, you will remain positive, reach for the stars with your feet on the ground and be a point of stability in a world of chaos.

 

Steve Kellogg is the author of “Your Karmic Footprint – How Thoughts & Feelings Create Destiny” available at Amazon.