30-30: UPDATE

It is almost the halfway point of my 30 – 30 initiative, and I am happy to report that the project has been not only been a great success, but a great learning experience and really much much more.  To refresh your memory, I have embarked on an effort to offer my services (whatever they may be) to 30 people in 30 days.  

What I have found thus far is that I have not only been able to share my services with others in ways that I would have never imagined but also have received back in ways that I would not have imaged either.  For example, I not only was able to offer my photography services but in doing so was able to attend a magnificent non-profit event that was a great service to the community.   I have also had the opportunity to assist several people with writing assignments that assisted them professionally.  And, I was able to help a few others through hypnosis.    

Many of those who responded asked how much they owe me for a particular service? While I truly honor monetary payment there are also other means of exchange.   In this particular exercise, I simply wanted to help out others simply for the sake of helping without anything in return.   In doing so, I opened myself to amazing situations and such wonderful learning opportunities.

Someone not too long ago asked what I have been doing recently. I responded by saying that I have been so busy non-stop all day, every day.  He looked at me with a rather odd look in his eye and asked almost disbelieving, “How can you be so busy when you aren’t working?”

Work is not my life.  Life is my work.   While the 30-30 initiative does not consume my entire day, I find other ways to indulge.   Whether it is taking a new class, reading a new book, or simply learning something new I have always wanted to learn, I have been filling my days with every possible way to invest in myself.

The more involved I get in passionate activities, the more fulfilled I am.  The more fulfilled I am, the more I yearn for more passionate activities.  By passionate I mean anything that is of interest and is in line with my purpose.

While focused on my intention, I have been attracting like minded people.  Others have contacted me completely unaware of of my 30-30 initiative and have inquired about something quite similar.  I even have others who have gotten involved too like a neighbor that said the initiative sounds a lot like “Pay It Forward”.  He asks me routinely how it is progressing and offers to help me any chance he gets saying he is “paying it forward.”

Looking forward there is still time left, and who knows what tomorrow may bring or what someone may need.   Where ever the water may lead am sure that the stream will be tranquil and though there may be rocks they will not get in the way.  Rather, will simply flow with the current and be delighted by where it takes me.

Morikami rocks closeups

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“He was pretty cool”

What are your expectations in terms of customer service?  Are there particular companies where the customer service is perceived to be so lacking that you have little or no expectations about getting good quality customer service?

I have to admit that there are companies that I find myself hesitant when needing to call their customer service representatives, because of past experiences of poor customer service.

My philosophy as a whole though is that people are people.  Companies are a product of not only goods and services but also the people behind those goods and services.  When it comes to customer service it is the individual representative who dictates where the experience is positive or negative.  Too often, the representatives are just as frustrated as the customers who are calling trying to resolve their issues.  This often leads to more frustration and frustration for both parties.  And, we have all experienced times when we have called customer service when it was certainly no party.

For me, this morning, I woke up as I normally do ready to start the day.  Wanting to get an early jump on things, I started if off with a healthy dose of fertilizer.  (No, the fertilizer is not a joke in relation to customer service, or the perceived lack thereof).  Instead, I started my day by providing a little nutrients for my lawn.

As I went outside into the backyard I noticed that there were two young gentleman working for a tree company cutting down the limbs on the large spacious tree in my neighbor’s yard behind me.  Both of them appeared to not notice me walking towards them.   What caught my eye was the tire tracks from their machine leading to my cable box in the ground.  Beside it was what was left of the TV cable.   My intuition was to ask aloud if anyone had noticed who cut my cable, but for whatever reason, I said nothing and went about my business of fertilizing the lawn.

The cable box is in the commons area shared by not only my next door neighbor and I but also where and independent companies mows.   When they installed the cable initially I told the representative that it was imperative for them to bring someone else out quickly to bury the cable, because it will easily be ran over by someone who is cutting the grass not knowing it is there.

In fact, I was going to call the cable company and ask them when they were scheduled to come out and bury the cable or if they had forgotten about it because it had been several weeks since the installation.  Obviously now that the cable was cut it was too late for that, but I needed to call customer service and report the situation.

When I dialed the phone, I realized by the voice recording that there was an outage in our area.   Then, when I spoke to a customer service representative he told me that someone had in fact “finally come by and had buried the cable.”   He said that my lack of service was due to the overall outage in the area and not the cable being cut.

Maybe I had not looked closely enough at the ground and possibly overlooked the buried cable so took him by his word and went about my day.   This evening though when I returned back home my TV was still not in service, so I walked outside to look at the cable once again.  When I did it became quite clear that the cable had not been buried.  There were no evidence of there being any digging in that area.  The cable itself was almost non-existent from the box to the house.  Instead, it appeared that someone had mistakenly (I’m sure) cut the cable and then realized it and panicked.   Then, they pulled the cable completely out of the outlet to the house and discarded the rest of the cable to hide the evidence.

Whether or not it was the two gentleman cutting trees or someone else is irrelevant.  It really makes no difference, and really they were probably more worried about it than I was.  In reality, whomever did it, if they would have simply came to me and explained that they had accidentally cut it I would have been completely fine with it.  That is why they call it an accident.

Back in the house, I again called the cable company’s customer service phone number.   Again, the recording stated that my area was still experiencing technical difficulties and our TV was not in service.  When I finally reached a representative, I found him to be a little  rough around the edges.   He was short with me, and I sensed that he was not in the best of moods.

I responded by saying nothing.  Rather I took a breath and waited a beat.  Then, I asked him, “How is your day today?”

“You really don’t want to know.”  He responded as he continued to type in my information.

My intention shifted from trying to resolve my menial issue with my television to changing the energy of this particular conversation.  I joked to him that it was Friday so it cannot all be bad, to which he responded that “it is only Friday for those who do not have to work tomorrow”.

“I tried”, I said smiling. Continuing to try and be gracious with the situation.

I also joked that if the worst thing that happened to me today was that I lost my TV for the evening, then I must be doing ok because it could most certainly be worse.

He not only agreed but went on to tell me that he was dealing with not one but two deaths in his family this week.   Both of which were in the state where I live, and “I can’t get there”.  He expressed almost total exasperation as he said it.

Most customers when they call are upset.   It’s all about them, so I wanted to change that in this scenario.  By asking him how his day was it opened up a whole new conversation, a whole new understanding of each other, and not to mention it opened up a whole new line of communication.

He shared that there were no notes from my call earlier in the day, and he did not know why someone would inform me that the cable was buried, because there was nothing in the history showing that to be the case.  Furthermore, my issue was not going to be as easily remedied as one would think because of the outage in the area.   That meant they cannot request someone come out and replace the cable because the outage takes precedent and overrides the system.  In lament terms, my cable television was going to be out of service for a few days.

The customer service representative continued to share that along with the deaths in his family but his girlfriend was at the hospital visiting her family member.    He also could not attend either the funerals, because he had to work.

By allowing him the opportunity to vent completely altered the entire dynamics to the point where he said if he was near my neighborhood he would come out and run the cable himself.  He also expressed his gratitude for me being both polite and patient.  It was something he took sincerely, because more often than not customers react in exactly the opposite way.

“You do not know how much I appreciate your being polite and patient with me when I was short with you.”  He said and continued.  “If there is someone like you I will do everything in my power and more to resolve your situation.”

He apologized for the fact that he could not do more in this situation, but he was going to have another representative monitor my account asking them to notify me when service was restored so the scheduling of the new cable could be expedited.

We finished the call, although I did not completely hang up the phone.  The last thing I heard out of his mouth was, “”He was pretty cool.”

The lessons in all of this for me are numerous including:

  •  We never know what is going on in someone else’s head.
  • Often times we do not have all the information.  When there are gaps we tend to assume as well as make judgments.
  • We do not know what someone else is going through, and likewise, no one or nothing is responsible for our level of happiness or sadness.
  • Just because someone else is having a bad day does not we have to have a bad day.
  • Lastly, this particular conversation reminded me of another conversation I had although this was with a Buddhist Monk.  He explained to me that “it doesn’t matter if you become Buddhist.  It does not matter what you practice as long as you practice kindness.  All that really matters is that you practice kindness.”

What do you do?

It just occurred to me. Just now.

Ever hear this question, “What do you do?”

All the time, right?   For me the biggest question is simply how to answer it appropriately dependent on the situation, because for me, it can be answered in a myriad of different ways.

So what is this moment of inspiration? I’ve come to realize that I am an artist.   My medium?   Life.

By life being my canvas, it is my intention to fill this medium if you will with as much variety of vibrant and stimulating colors that are humanly possible every single day.  And by this being my artwork, when I die people are going to ask not “What did he do” but rather “what didn’t he do”.

Looking back over the course of my history, if you will, I have done so many different things vocationally and will continue to so.   I absolutely love life. I see so many opportunities and feel this is the most spectacular time to be alive?  Why?  Because of the availability to try new things is virtually limitless, and why not try all of them that we find intriguing?

I have so many passions that the question becomes what don’t I want to do?   One of those would be sleep as there is too much life to be lived to be sleeping.  It used to be not that long ago where I needed to sleep at least 8 to 10 hours a night.  I needed to go to bed at a certain time. I needed to eat at certain times, and if I didn’t follow this very rigid regiment I would get sick often with flu like symptoms.

That has all changed, though.   In fact, I remember the exact night when it happened.  I had just been hired on a new job for an international company.  My responsibilities included both here domestically as well as internationally especially concerning the communication piece.    With a 12-13 hour time difference, it comes with the job.

It was late, and I was getting ready for bed.   I made the conscious effort to tell myself that I was going to do whatever it takes to do this job.   I knew the commitment I was making.  I was all in with the intention of doing all that was asked and more.

As the night turned to day and the job kicked into full swing I went from going to bed early every night to having my sleep schedule cut in half.  My sleep patterns immediately were askew, and yet from that day until now I have really not been sick at all.  That is going on three years now.  Along with that, I feel that I am more productive as well as my energy level has increased. Now mind you I am a huge advocate of naps, and it’s really simple with me.  When I’m tired I lie down and take a nap. I do not go by a set time of the day but simply listen to my body.  The same is with eating. When I am hungry I eat.   When I am not hungry I don’t.

As a student of hypnosis, I would say that I hypnotized myself.   Furthermore, I also realized other things as well.  What are some of them?

  • Our thoughts create reality. What we think becomes who we are, and how we see the world.
  • Everybody is different.  That is one word and two (every body).  By listening to our own body it reveals to us what it needs, if we merely listen.
  • Fear is the opposite of love.  By not living in fear we are therefore living in love.

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…..Won The Lottery!

I feel like I’ve….won the lottery!

That was my feeling this afternoon and for the most mundane of reasons actually.  It was getting late but I needed to return the modem back to my internet service provider or more accurately the service provider I thought I was going to have until I realized there was a cancellation fee to terminate my service with my current provider.  From the number of cars in the parking lot, and the two people standingoutside smoking cigarettes, I was pretty certain of what it was going to look like inside.

As I was getting out of the car, there was a woman to the left of me who was doing the same. She also had equipment in her hand as she glanced over at me.  I could see her pace quicken with the hastiness and sense that she was going to race me to the door in order to get her name entered into the computer before I would thus being called ahead of me.  Anticipating this I quickened up my pace, and since she was older she was no match as I jumped up to the top of the steps as she gingerly took one step at at time looking down to ensure she did not miss one and end up falling to the ground hurting herself.  She did, I’m sure, hear me open the door as reached the top of the stairs.

To her surprise the door was still open as she looked up and saw me standing there holding the door open for her.  She nodded without saying a word and entered into the abyss as I followed behind.

Once inside there were a massive amount of butts in chairs scattered in three rows with a small row of chairs to the side with several weary eyed onlookers standing in the back at us two poor souls walking into purgatory.   The t-shirted man spilling over the sides of his seat sitting closest to the exit had a book in hand, glasses drooped down the end of his nose.  I noticed  he was near the end of the novel.  Wonder if he started when he got there?

“How long have you been here?” The frail woman who walked in front of me asked another younger woman who was sitting in a chair dislodged from the rest of the conformity of orderly aligned chairs.

The younger woman looked up pushing her glasses up on her face and looked at the clock shaking her head before before speaking.  Finally, she said with a sigh, “I don’t know maybe an hour. I lost track.”

With a sigh of her own, she strode up to the computer and began to enter the required information including her name and the reason for her visit.   Her typing skills matched her walking ability as I finished much quicker than she and found an empty seat in the front row facing the employees.

No familiar faces from the last time I was here, I thought.  Looking upwards I saw the screen, which reminded me of being in the airport terminal searching for the right before I missed my flight.  It flashed, I saw my name.  At the bottom.

There were six employees working, each behind a computer screen.  All but one were engaged in dialogue including the employee directly in front of me.  Her customer finished her business and walked to the exit leaving the employee tapping her fingers on her keyboard before looking out into the crowd.

“Who is returning equipment, and who is next?”  She yelled across the room.

No one appeared to move.  Odd.  Usually it is a mad dash to get their first and yet it was like everyone had been there so long they were all glued to their chairs.  Maybe they were.

I looked at her and shrugged my shoulders as glanced from side to side saying, “I have equipment to return, but I’m definitely not next.”

“Well, no one is stepping up so…”  She said, but before she could finish I was at her counter.

I had stepped up!

It did not take her but a moment to pull up my information, ask me the security questions, have me sign my signature, and wished me a great day.  That was it.

Almost as quickly as I had entered, I was exiting but not before I surveyed the damage I left behind.   I could just feel the eyes peering into my back. The dirty looks were being thrown like daggers across the room.  I just smiled and walked out the door and into the light feeling as if I had just won the lottery.

After leaving there, I had several errands to run including getting groceries.  For me, that is needing of winning the lottery.  How is that food costs so much?  Do I really need to eat?  I’m starting to wonder.

Going back home, I was happy with my winnings. Time is precious, and I was going to get home early so was really excited about the turn of events.  Then, I got onto the interstate.  Not a parking lot, but I could have got out of my car and ran faster than I was traveling. To make matters worse when I got off atmy exit, the left turn lane was blocked so I had no way of going in the direction I was headed.  Instead, I took a side road. Not exactly ingenious since everyone else seemed to be thinking the same thing, and must have been hurrying too because there was another accident on the side road.  Finally got to the next major through street and headed west to my final destination.  Everyone was going in the same direction but no one was going anywhere fast.  Of course, there were the sounds of periodic honking from those hoping the miraculous sound would somehow part the sea of cars allowing them to glide through like Moses.

Took me an hour to get home when it normally takes around 20 minutes, but where was my focus going to be?   I had a choice.  I could either focus my attention on the feeling of winning the lottery or I could focus my intention on the slow long road home.

Every day is broken down into slices of moments and within each of these moments we have choices.  They may be literal choices of whether we are to go left or right or they be less concrete like the choice of where we focus our attention.

30 – 30

Just finished feeling the warm breeze whisk by as I started the day with a bike ride around the neighborhood.  It seems, especially lately, that whenever I walk out the door I see something new.  Today was no different although that was partly because I took a virgin route going down a new set of roads.  Passing by house after house some would say they all look the same, but I see them as unique characters each with their own personalities.    There are those that appear almost happy while others sad with paint peeling and a months old flyer hanging on the door knob on one in particular.

Then as I parked my bike in my own house after the ride, I was just sitting down to turn on the computer when I received a text.  It was a direct twitter message saying if I wanted to wake up inspired then subscribe to their email distribution.  Intriguing was my thought.   What if I already woke up inspired?

I am going to subscribe, by the way, because I feel that there can never be enough inspiration in my life.  And, inspiration is such a beautiful word to me.  To be inspired is something to inspire to although how many of the billions of people on the planet not only don’t feel inspired but are feeling right now exactly the opposite?

So what inspires you?  And, what gets you up in the morning feeling alive?  Is it someone else?  That dearly beloved?  Or, does it take that kick start of a fresh cup of coffee to get your engines running?

Whatever it is, we are here now alive for yet another day.  For me, every day is an opportunity.  There are always lessons to be learned and new paths to be discovered. And, what I discovered most recently is that by simply following my own instincts and listening to my intuition I find my way.  Such was the case two days ago when an idea came to me as simply a whisper of inspiration if you will.    My intention is to offer my services to 30 people in 30 days.

So there you have it.  That was my idea, and while we all have ideas the question becomes how many of us act on and follow through with our ideas?   How many amazing ideas are out there right now laying dormant inside someone’s head?

I decided to act.  My implementation phase consisted of posting on facebook my intention.  Almost immediately I began getting email responses.  That was exciting and within the first 24 hours I received my first seven responses.  What surprised me the most was a very unexpected shift.

Simply by putting it out there that I am offering my services to 30 people in 30 days, I began to receive phone calls from people wanting to take me up on my offer.  The only catch is that they never saw the posting.  They were calling for the same thing that I was offering although doing it all on their own volition. I even mentioned in my post that writing is one of my services that I provide, and the next day someone I have not spoke to in probably half a year called asking if I could write her bio for her.

Absolutely.   I was happy to do so.  And, I did write it for her.   Then after I completed the writing I began to think about the reasoning of why this particular idea came into my head in the first place.

One of my most trusted advisors is my coach of some 10+ years.   Some would say she is a life, or business coach, but I simply call her my beloved coach.  Many ask me, “Why do you have (or need) a coach?”

“Why wouldn’t I have a coach” is typically my response.   I equate to having a coach to the same as an athlete who has a coach.   The athlete may be a great individual basketball player, for example, but it takes a coach to help develop and hone those skills while also developing the player into the frameworks of the team.   Great players do not always make great teammates, and likewise, great players do not always make great teams.

My beloved coach does the same with me.  She brings out the greatness in me, and how I can best integrate within the world that which works best for me.   So what did she say when I told her about my 30-30 idea?

She would have liked if I would have added an additional 30, and it would look something like this:  30-30-30.  The idea would then be to offer my services to 30 people in 30 days for 30 dollars.  I love it!!  And, her.

I also went with my intuition.  By not adding a dollar value to it, I feel that I am truly being altruistic.  That does not mean that I believe in the ideology that money is the root of all evil, as some suggest.  On the contrary, it is my philosophy that the more resources I have available at my disposal the more I can do to make the world a better place.  .

Another aspect that I want to mention is that I am completely focused on being grateful for all that I have instead of allowing my thoughts to become obsessed with a perceived lack.  That coupled with practicing living void of fear and instead acting in a love based mode, by being of service to others, it is a means of achieving my goals through focusing on my thought patterns.  

Have you heard someone ask you what you would do if you had no fear and the time and possibility to do anything you wanted to do?  Well, that is exactly what I am doing.   I may not be traveling the world, yet, or the myriad of other long-term goals that I have but what I am doing is living each and every day in intention.

Now that I have shared my intention for the next 30 days,  I can tell you that my past 30 days have been spent practicing extreme self care.   What is extreme self care?  It is taking care of myself, first and foremost body mind and soul.

So I bought myself a bicycle and started riding.  I went to my acupuncturist and received tuning fork vibration therapy.  I picked up a new book that I am in the middle of reading.   Found a few new favorite restaurants.   I researched taking some college courses, among other things.

In the process I have gained new insight and understanding.  Not with the world or anything external but merely new insight into myself and what I want to do to make the most of each and every moment.  What I have learned the most lately?

  • Fear is an aberration.  Truth is love.
  • Turn off Turn Down or Tune out the disconnect, and by disconnect I mean anything or anyone that does not resonate right here right now.    (I love the saying that people will either add to and multiply your life or they will  subtract and divide)
  • Listen more talk less.  Furthermore, the more I meditate the less I need people and/or things.   That does not necessarily mean that I do not want people and/or things but need and want are two totally separate distinctions.

“There’s no greater purpose than service to others.”  – Socrates (from Peaceful Warrior)

What I’ve Learned……

The Taoists believe that the wisest are those that are the youngest and those that are the oldest.

Not in our society although through various activities such as volunteering for hospice on one end and having children on the other, I often learn the most from the ones most would least expect.

Some of what I have learned lately….

Listen More, Speak Less

  • Listening without feeling the need to respond is such a skill set.  Feeling secure in the silence  without needing to add to, respond to, or question such is rather difficult and why there is such a calling for psychologists coaches and the like whose job is in essence to listen without judgment.  
  • Starting at a very young age if someone is not allowed to have a voice, to be heard and to feel that they are being heard that person will develop certain defense mechanisms that can and often do manifest as issues later.
  • Even those that are at the eldest of ages still feel that they have spent a lifetime of not being heard, while others have never really listened and some will never have their story told.
Justice Sounds A Lot Like Revenge
  • What does justice look like, and what is the purpose, or more importantly, what is the higher purpose of each individual and all of society because if our purpose is to be happy, to find peace, and to be loved then so often justice is not served but rather it is revenge.  
  • Forgiveness is often equated as a weakness but takes one of the strongest wills of all.
  • True story – a woman’s husband was brutally murdered right beside her.  The man was later easily sought, found, convicted, and was awaiting the death penalty.  The woman  who had a terrible time with nightmares and such that is often the case with these events woke up in the middle of one night to the sound of the word “forgive” ringing in her ear.  The next morning she drove to the jail to meet face to face the man who brutally killed her husband.   He cussed her out, and told her never to come back. She did. And, he did the same.  That continued until one day he broke down and asked why she continued to come back.  Forgiveness.  Once he broke down, he told her about how he was always told he was nothing was worthless and so he became what everyone thought he would be.  From that day forward they became friends.  She asked the court to change their ruling. They voted to continue as scheduled. Just would be served.  She was there at his last day on Earth. 
  • The story is true, although my recounts of such is how I remember them so may not be entirely as it happened.
Silence equals Growth
 
  • Which way to turn may not be as simple as taking this left, or this right, as life is more like a labyrinth that we are supposed to navigate on a daily and minute to minute basis.  Sometimes, it can seem like we’re rats in a cage going around and around on a wheel but getting nowhere. Other times it seems so difficult trying to figure out what to do that we suffer analysis paralysis and end up doing nothing.  
  • The answers are a plenty.  Getting to the final destination is not the ultimate quest but rather to simply enjoy the journey.  
  • To feel completely scattered is natural and normal, from time to time, and whenever out of balance there are many means to regaining ones balance.  There are religious philosophies, spiritual paths, and friendly voices of friends and family.  There is also that quiet place in our mind’s eye that by simply stopping, staying silent and quieting the mind we can find quite miraculously things there that we never thought we could find.  
  • Sometimes the answer, other times the way. Sometimes they are both the same. 
 

Have a great day!!

 
Bryan Hayes
 Personal Philosophy: 

 Destiny:  To help create a more loving, hopeful and connected planet. 

Cause:    To have an authentic provocative global impact on the planet. 

Calling:  To speak from the heart; write from the soul; and to lead by inspiring myself, and others, to greatness.

Peace

I will share something that came to me last night – and I couldn’t sleep afterwards. But, I had this thought, feeling, revelation – whatever it may be, but the idea that came to me is that we should pray for peace at 9:11 tonight.

By peace it doesn’t mean peace for for our country, peace from wars, or peace on our planet. Rather, it is peace within.

It is my own ideology that nirvana, heaven, bliss or whatever that may look for someone can be summed up in one word “Peace“.

I believe that for everyone I know I don’t pray that they will get better, that their circumstances will improve or such but rather if they, and everyone around them can find peace, then everything else works out naturally.

If someone in our lives is suffering, we want so badly for them to feel better and to improve. That is natural, and in some ways selfish on our part, but I think though that if we simply ask for peace that is in of itself enough.

When speaking to people who know someone who is close to death, they often times become really peaceful beforehand. There was a woman I met in the keys who had a son who had died in a freak accident (lightning strike), and a husband who died a year later. She told me that with her son he was very much at peace right before the accident. Afterwards, they found a note from him that said in part that they needn’t worry he was in a better place and he had found peace. Now granted, I’ll repeat by saying that he died in a freak accident. There was no warning or anything, which makes the letter from him that much more freaky if you will.

The point of the story is basically that it matters not as much what one believes, or how they perceive the world to be but rather it is universal that everyone is trying to find one thing among many things, peace within.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s 9:11 as time is what it is. What the idea is though is a time, if you will, to focus on a greater sense of peace for ourselves and for others.

And, with that I will leave you with a mantra shared to me most recently that is Hawaiian in origin and goes along very well with this I think:

I love you; I am sorry; Please forgive me; Thank you.

I simply add one word to it after:

Peace.

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