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One and Only – The Multi-Dimensional Me


Michael Cerkas High School Yearbook

When I was young, like many others, I was a dreamer.  A dreamer, not in the sense of fantasy, wild imagination or wishful thinking; a dreamer in the sense of bold empowering dreams, hallmarked with heroes, real people and jubilance.  I dreamed in terms of humanity, brotherhood, good will and magnificent outcomes… for the world and how I would be an integral part of it.  And these dreams began for me at six years old!

Now, many decades later, I still dream those dreams, concretely believing they will come to pass (in my lifetime), with the singular unknown being simply a matter of when those dreams will transform into reality and bring solace to a world so desperately in need and want of it.

Jesus Christ (Artists Rendition)

These dreams I speak of, originate deep within my mind and soul; striving to be, anxiously awaiting to morph into a living, breathing reality.  They are taking form, and truthfully, at times, scare the daylights out of me, inasmuch a biblical revelation must have equally jolted those whom lived during the Life of Jesus Christ, witnessing the miracle and salvational nature of his Life, first-hand in real time.

These dreams move me to describe myself in terms of multidimensional-being” in the hope of being better able to understand myself and likewise, better relate to other individuals.  And as much as I believe each of us are singularly unique children of God, on that same canvas being created with similar brushstrokes, we are similarly linked and defined by those dimensions.

Each of us exist in many dimensions of life and reality.  We are sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends, Christians, soldiers, leaders and students.  The development and self-recognition of these dimensions appear to accelerate as we grow and mature, and some serve to define our existence, perhaps even destiny, where others labor to mold us into our future selves, forging personality, durability, interest and temperament.

I am a son, a father, a husband and a brother, a student (of life), Christian, writer, manager, leader, analyst, neighbor and (hopefully) friend to many.  Each of these “Michaels” intertwine like a complex DNA strand to form the person that others recognize and know.  Each of the persons that have helped me to develop as a human being see or view me through the likewise unique filters that have formed as a result of each relationship and collective “museum” of interactions.  It’s almost as if the relationship itself is its own entity of life.

And then, further forging the spirit that is joyfully “me”, are the lifetime of experiences, actions, behaviors and acquired knowledge that serve as the trim on a car; indeed, quite a visual, yes?  Foremost, I seek to find the good in everyone I encounter, in the hope of encouragement, inspiration and personal development.  I am very mechanically inclined, logically oriented, mathematically gifted, enjoy sports and even more, appreciative of fine art, music, innovation and creative endeavors.  Oh yes, and my oh my, do I enjoy to write!

Perhaps the most crucial take-away from this conversation is the realization and acknowledgement that each of us as human beings are equally diverse, complex, gifted and unique.  Every single person on this planet that confines our physical being, possesses greatness across the fabric of our spirit, being and purpose.

That greatness is to be witnessed in awe, celebrated by all and pursued individually to grow, nurture and ultimately, leverage in this world to achieve outcomes characterized by ethical, moral and spiritual energy, commonly focused on the advancement and betterment of life for everyone, and paradoxically personal development and growth in wisdom.

So, the next time you encounter the opportunity to meet and/or converse with other people, regardless if they are friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or complete strangers; do so with the mindset of foremost appreciation, understanding, support, love and above all, compassion for each as the special Child of God and important, influencing human catalyst that they truly are.

As sophisticated as this world has become, there is certainly ample opportunity for distraction, obstacle and diversion to enter each of our lives.  The challenge and opportunity is to remain focused, disciplined and civil in the course of an increasingly complicated and at times, challenging world.

Be well and God bless.

The CHAlleNGE to Adapt


Photo © Darren Baker / Fotolia

Our sanity as human beings is challenged on a daily basis as we struggle to live a meaningful life. We are constantly bombarded with communication, behavior and challenges to change our views, preferences, behaviors, habits and lives.

It can be unsettling at times as we navigate the waters of our existence. Viewed from a personal development lens, however, we in fact, should embrace change as it provides alternative views of the world, issues and ideas.

What it also critically instills in us, when properly faced and addressed is an inner strength to be open-minded, consider opposing views, learn from others and it also questions and reinforces our core values.

In truth, change can be our friend if we consciously acknowledge its inevitability (and necessity), welcome it as a positive influence and leverage it to grow as a human being, positively impact the world around us and perhaps most importantly, sharpen our self-awareness to strive to meet our potential in life.

Let’s focus for a moment, however, on change itself. Specifically, let’s talk about lizards.

Whoever thought of asking a lizard for advice? Probably no one, however, observing a chameleon to study survival might not be all that far-fetched. Specifically, a chameleon has the ability to change its color to blend in or adapt to its environment. Call it the power to transition, transform, or transcend. According to Webster’s Dictionary, ‘trans’ means “beyond, through, to change or transfer”. Indeed, change is an everyday occurrence (at least for the chameleon).

The rising and setting of the sun portrays one of the most visible and dramatic illustrations of change. You would think that people would struggle with adapting to it. As a result of ‘practice’, though, we have come to understand, react, expect, and ultimately plan for it to happen. We have ‘adapted’ to the change. We have adapted so well, in fact, that most of us probably don’t even think of it as a change event; it just happens…. If only all change could be that easy. Indeed, to the degree that we master any change, it will be that easy.

Consider the following thoughts. On a regular basis, we deliberately and consciously look for signs that read “20 Minute Oil Change”. For many of us, we change the time twice a year. We can’t even make up our minds which way to go; once forward, then once back. We purchase barometers and thermometers that help us ‘measure’ change.   A navigator changes course to adapt to winds and currents. Product manufacturers have it (and us) figured out. They created change ‘machines’ to help us change our bills for coins so we can purchase more of their product. A baby’s birth, the death of an elderly man, the butterfly’s emergence or transformation.

Time changes every second!  Change is life. Life means change.

One of the best books I’ve ever found on Managing Change was quite by chance.  I was rummaging through books on a table in the employee lounge of a company where I had worked.  They periodically “cleaned house” in the corporate library and would free up space by removing “old” books by offering them for free to employees.  I ran across a book entitled: “Managing Transitions – Making the Most of Change” by William Bridges.  It was written and published in 1991, yet as many things are in life, I learned it to be a timeless work of exceptionalism and truth.  I highly recommend it as a trusted and superior reference in dealing with change not only in a business environment, but also equally effectively in your personal life.

Embracing Change can be a Beautiful Thing

In a nutshell, the more we embrace and learn how to deal with change, the better we will be able to manage

it; the better we will be able to adapt to our ever-changing world.  Without change, life ceases to exist.

We Must All Become Neil Armstrong in Our Own Lives


Pushing the envelope of physical limitations, NASA and the space program have proven anything is possible if we “reach for the stars”.  So, why should our personal lives be any different?  The world is filled with obstacles, stumbling blocks and perceived limitations that may force us into an unfulfilled life… but only if we allow it to occur.

As much as Neil Armstrong became an American Hero by speaking that profound statement, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, each of us must follow Armstrong’s lead by living our lives in the same manner, with the same fervor, sharing the same goals, achieving the same personal growth and results.  Indeed, leaving our “mark” for the rest of the world to see.

And as much power, support and capability as NASA provided to the Apollo Space Program and Neil Armstrong, each of us has an even greater force within us to help us reach our personal potential as a human being, sacred spirit and eternal energy force.

Once unleashed, empowered and nurtured, the human spirit is an unstoppable force in the universe.  Our imagination, enthusiasm and self-imposed limits are the only boundaries confining and denying us from reaching our potential.

I have four words to share with you now: “Reach for the stars!”

Re-live that incredible feat by Neil Armstrong on the 20th of July, 1969, when the world held its collective breath and witnessed something never before achieved in the history of mankind:

Live long and prosper Neil Armstrong.  May you rest in peace as you made that final “giant leap” into eternity.

(1930 – 2012)

Is today the day before Saturday or the day after Thursday?


Yes, I’m talking about the “P” word.  You know, the one that goes hand in hand with attitude.  You guessed it!  I’m referring to Perspective.

How we look at the world is as unique as we are from each other.  How we interpret what we see, hear, feel touch and taste every moment in our lives is different than another person placed in an identical situation.  The reason is that our pasts our different and we subsequently have conditioned our brains to think differently.  This reality is both a blessing and a curse; obviously based on how we choose to view it.

Below is what I call a great mind-expander in that it provokes thought.  It is entitled “The Pink Bat”.  Please watch it and then internalize it to see how you can personally grow as a result.

Now, how do you answer the question in the Headline above?  Is today Friday or the day after Thursday or the day before Saturday?  Be well.

 

Inspire to Motivate


A C E G H N – Six letters that will Transform your Life


There are many allusions to the dangers of remaining static, i.e., being still.  And as much as life is about creating, maintaining and benefiting from balance, life is fundamentally… about change.  Our thoughts, actions, interactions, goals, interests and growth; are all about change.

Don’t get me wrong, there is change that is harmful, just as there is stress that is harmful.  Changing lanes while driving without looking  to see if it is safe, eating different foods may cause illness or allergies, choosing an alternative decision could prove disastrous in business.  Mostly, however, change is what keeps us moving forward and growing as human beings.

Change exists in many forms, on many levels, however there are three basic types, Developmental, Transitional and Transformational.  Obviously, the last, transformational, has the potential for the largest impact.

From a personal perspective, behavior travels through four stages or quadrants while undergoing change; Denial, Resistance, Acceptance, Commitment.  The most important thing to remember is that you must travel all four stages to reach Commitment.

Interestingly, there is no change without resistance to it.  And, as Pablo Picasso so eloquently stated, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction”.  In life, in art, in business and in personal growth, change is paradoxically an ending and a beginning.  The essential point is that “letting go” is a prerequisite to embracing something new.  We all need to learn how to let go of things that either don’t serve us well or stand in the way of us growing as a human being.

If you’re not changing, you’re not growing.  And, if you’re not growing, you are as good as dead.  We can all benefit and learn something about life from the butterfly.  And, if you are simply interested in self-empowerment, heed the words of Anwar Sadat, “In the power to change yourself is the power to change the world around you”.

Amazingly, change comes from within.  It’s all about perspective, baby!

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