Saturday, February 25, 2006

Are you a crab?

Hi guys!

I hope you're having a great day! because mine is just fabulous, and I need some other company who is having a great day! And if you're not having a great day right now? then stop... take a deep breath... exhale slowly... and start having a great day Raaaat Now! because today is too pretty to waste.

I gotta say something -- motivation is a many- splendored thing !

A couple of weeks ago... I committed to you -- among other things -- to do a Ramblings at least once each month instead of the sporadic frequency I've maintained over the past couple of years. The day I published that Ramblings and made that commitment, a friend of mine emailed me to say, "well, now that you've put that out there, let's see if you can keep up with it." Now, most people would have taken that as a negative comment, like, "Yeah, I've heard that before. Let's just see if you actually do it this time, bud..." and... that is exactly how I took it.

THE NERVE! I became quite -- and quickly -- annoyed! but in the midst of my (internal) ranting, I thought to myself... but, maybe that's the impression I'd given this person, up to now. Rather than just being a pain, maybe that comment reflected what I'd shown that person... up to now. Perhaps "not delivering" was the norm that I had established for myself in their eyes (remember, 80% of our problems, we cause ourselves, right?) so, rather than continue to be annoyed, I decided to use their comment as a motivator to make sure that I stayed committed to my commitment, and that they wouldn't be right.

For Christmas, a good friend bought me a stainless steel BUNN Coffee carafe. We'd gone to Montreal a few months earlier and apparently she had noticed that I was rather enthused -- or re- enthused -- about wanting to speak French, so she had a saying engraved in French. Well, though I do love French, that 10th grade French class was a LONG time ago, so when I received the carafe and noticed the engraving... now I had to figure out what it said! So, I lay there on my living room floor, staring at this carafe... trying to piece the words together, pulling up all the French I could remember from life and all those old Pepi Le Pue cartoons... and finally... I got it! We won't bother with the actual French, but what it said in English was..."The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." Accordingly. . . it gives me GREAT pleasure to bring you this installment of Ramblings...on time! and maybe a touch early. And to my other friend who said, "let's see if you can keep up with it..." trust me on this one... I'll keep up with it .

Now... this whole thing had nothing to do with what I originally sat down to write about this time, but that's the way things sometimes happen in life. Very often we set out to do something, and some well- meaning -- and sometimes not so well-meaning -- friend or associate will say something that takes the wind out of our sails, and tramples all over our dream -- and I'm even been guilty of it myself, on occasion, but hopefully no more.

A case in point... back in 1985 or 86, I decided to become a professional photographer, and I researched my options and the best fit for me at the time was to take the Professional Photography Course from the New York Institute of Photography It sounded great, but for those who don't know, NYI is a correspondence course, and correspondence courses tend to get a bad rap. I shared my plans with a couple of my (then) friends, and I got stuff like, "Yeah, right. How you gonna become a professional photographer by taking a correspondence course. Ha ha ha... Get real" and I almost let them talk me out of trying. Today, because of that correspondence course, I *am* a professional photographer; I am past president (two years) of the Professional Photographers' Society of Central New York, current treasurer and membership chair of the Professional Photographers' Society of New York State, and in 2008 I become president of the state society. What would I have been doing now, if I had allowed those people's comments to beat me out of my dream?

Linda Hamilton (of "Terminator" fame...) graduated from my high school in 1974, I believe, the year before my sister, Evelyn. I bet all through high school, the kids were teasing her, "yo girl, you ain't no actress... get outta here and get a job." Look where she is today!

We have to be tough! Most of us let people's negative comments give us an excuse or reason to give up. The real fighters use other people's negative comments as motivators and fuel to help them succeed! THEY DON'T KNOW YOUR DREAM! It's your dream, and MY dream...not theirs. They don't feel your desires, your motivations, they don't have your reasons! to do... or be... what it is that you want to do, or be. They have no vested interest in your success.

And sadly, a LOT of people don't necessarily want you to succeed, because if you get up, and get out and start accomplishing and doing, it might take away their excuses for not accomplishing something, and misery loves company.

My friend Zig Ziglar ** calls that the crab syndrome. He says, if you're ever around the docks where crabbers come in, you'll notice that these baskets or buckets full of crabs around, but there's usually never a cover on any of them, but the crabs don't escape. WHY IS THAT? Because, every time a crab starts to climb out, another crab will grab onto him and pull him back down ! A lot of times people are like that, too. Sometimes they don't mean to be, but... they are. (** Zig Ziglar is everybody's friend; we met briefly many years ago at one of his seminars, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember me...)

Another friend of mine, Sherry Gomez, wrote a book ( ) on a genetic condition called Velo-Cardio- Facial Syndrome. Sherry wasn't a writer; she was just a mom. I'm not going into her story right now -- that's a future issue -- but Sherry encountered all kinds of grief in writing her book -- who are you? you're no expert, you're not writer. She didn't think she was a writer either, and almost... gave up. But not only did she finish it, she self-published itbecause she didn't let people's negative comments beat her.

" No, son... don't get your hopes up too high, 'cause you probably won't make it..."
" What makes you think you're so good that YOU can be a doctor? you'll be lucky if you get out of high school "
" Business? You don't know the first thing about no business; what you think you gonna do?"
" You can't be no professional photographer. What you think you better than us?"

The words change, but the bucket of crabs is still there.

So you be careful our there! People's dreams are fragile -- YOUR dreams are fragile. In my Ramblings on Goal-Setting (see the back issues at, I suggested that you share your goals with people who were interested in your success! and now you know why. The people in your corner will say," Yeah? Great! You can do that!" and wish you well, and maybe even HELP you. By the same token, you need to make sure that you aren't the excuse that someone else needs ... to quit, and give up on their dream.

That's it for now! I guess you'll have to here about my trip to Italy in the next installment; I do have some stories to tell for that one too, and some lessons learned. installment? How to get your adrenalin up and lose 9 pounds in a week of vacationing to Italy. Subtitled: The train is where?

As usual, thank you for e-listening, & I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback, via email to or as posts here.

"It is for us to pray not for task equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks."
--Helen Keller

Have an awesome day, my friends.