Saturday, July 21, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-21-18

"Feelings are like icebergs. 
There is so much more below the surface." 

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 5-7-14]

I was talking with someone about feelings and perceptions today, and then I realized how much more there is that we don't share in the depth of a feeling or feelings. We don't share it for a host of reasons, and when it really comes down to it, I'm not convinced knowing the full depth would add any significant clarity or resolve. It is interesting though how that works.

I think that some of why this is may be because we so often will talk aloud to each other rather than write our feelings down. There is something about putting your thoughts on paper that changes what is produced and the clarity is obvious to me.

My wife and I went to a couple of marriage retreats. One of them was intense and specific in the instruction of how to communicate with each other and address unresolved issues. That instruction was to write it out, then read it aloud. Although there was often not sufficient time to do that well, I learned a great deal from the process.

Later, I wrote a couple of significant and lengthy letters to Nancy describing my thoughts and feelings and trying to add clarity to the situation. After she passed last August, I spent a few months going through her two desks and in the process, found those two letters. After reading them, I was amazed at the clarity expressed and the grasp of the situation. This was especially true of one written in 2010.

What is also very interesting, and something that sort of surprised me, was how much more those letters helped me than as a communication with her. The act of writing it all out, taking the time to think it through was powerful for me. I became more clear.

The idea that the communication, whether verbal or in writing, should have the objective of the other party having full acceptance is a wasted thought. The more important aspect of sharing such things is in the actual sharing or doing of it and the one doing the sharing will always have the greatest benefit I think. That is okay. It is helpful and worthy of the time and effort.

This evening I watched a DVD that had me think about these kinds of communication issues in an even more effective way. I'll share that tomorrow.

Here's A Good Question To Ask: "How Do I Feel? Or How Do I Feel About ______?" Write It Out. 

Spread Some Joy Today--How many things or people can you find to appreciate today?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-20-18

"I used to be depressed, 
then I thought differently." 

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 5-6-14]

Having lived through a lot of depression in years past, I have a certain perspective on it. I love how Lao Tse puts depression into perspective. He said, "If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present." That is certainly worth more than a casual reading, but even in that, it is impossible to miss.

Anthony Robbins taught me a lot about depression and antidotes to such a state. In fact, he calls this a state, which is a mindset, but it is also a physical state or position. Change the state, change the thought or mindset. In other words, you can chase away depression by changing your bodily position. When I learned this and then observed my own habitual positions when I was experiencing that emotion, it showed me the correlation.

Esther Hicks and Abraham, along with others, taught me the other antidote, which is to simply think a different thought. To a depressed person, that simple solution brings anger, but that certainly doesn't change the truth of it.

From the many teachers I've had that changed my outlook about depression, it has come down to this. Depression is an emotion. It is a response to thought. Doctors cannot change my thinking, pills cannot change my thinking. Only I can do that. Only I can choose that. I can be encouraged by others, but only I can make the change from thinking one way to another.

I can create a discipline of change by also changing my physical habitual patterns. I was often most depressed with a drink and a pack of cigarettes sitting outside by myself feeling sorry for myself, all my perceived failures, missed opportunities, should have's and could have's and didn'ts. Change those things and I'm halfway there.

I had to realize that there was a payoff for me being depressed. I realized that one day, and it was the day that I began to change. If anyone ever consoled me while in that emotion, I would soak it up like a sponge, but it did nothing but enhance the state. In other words, it didn't change me for the better, I just got more of a payoff than when I was alone feeling sorry for my miserable self. Thoughts of suicide were common as well. After all, wouldn't the world and my family be better off without such an anchor as me?

Lao Tse was so wise to say that if I was depressed, I was living in the past. Absolutely. That's exactly where all my missed opportunities were, and my failures, and all the things I could have done and didn't. What I really wanted was to change the past, but that cannot be done. Once I began to allow the past to be what it was and that it has no power over me unless I give it such power, it became so much easier to choose better thoughts.

Do I still have depressed thoughts today? Once in a while. It's sort of like quitting smoking (11 years now), and every once in a while I think about having a cigarette. Then I change the thought by thinking of something else, especially something to appreciate.

What has changed is that I am now a dedicated joy seeker. If there is any one thing that I can say has helped me to leave depression behind it is becoming a grateful person, seeking joy, finding things and people to appreciate every single day, even all day long.

Depression Is A Reaction To Thought. So Is Joy. Only I Get To Choose Which.

Spread Some Joy Today--Recklessly, and with total abandon!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-19-18

"You may believe that
you are responsible for what you do, 
but not for what you think. 

The truth is that you are responsible for what you think
because it is only at this level
that you can exercise choice. 
What you do comes from what you think." 

-- Marianne Williamson 

[Classic post from 5-5-14]

Henry Ford had a famous quote about thinking. He said, "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it." For a long time, I thought he was referring to lazy people--those who don't want much so don't have to give it much thought. I see it so differently now.

Thomas Edison quipped that "Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think, and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think." Both this and the Henry Ford quote seem to speak about people exercising creativity, genius, or at least purpose-driven action as a result of clear thinking. In other words, figuring things out, or brainpower.

Then there is another point of view entirely spoken by master Lao Tzu, where he said, "Stop thinking and end your problems." Eckhart Tolle would most likely agree.

Now, I can tie these divergent views together and have it make sense to me. It is this: So often when I am thinking, I am considering what is as it relates to how it might turn out with multiple scenarios playing through my brain. Many of them are often negative, and then I begin thinking of how to justify things, to the point of even having conversations in my head predicting what the other party may or may not say. This ends with confusion at best and is tiring to consider at all.

I so often want to take charge by trying to figure out how something will change. I think, "what can I do to change this?" or "I need this to change. It isn't working as planned. I need answers now. Let me make a list of things I can do or might do to help make it work better." The trouble with these is that I'm not really in charge of the how part as much as I am in charge of the what part. This is exactly where the thinking comes to bear.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and many others have explained that so many of us don't think, and now I know that they meant something different. We don't visualize, or create a mental image and consider with a sense of certainty that we can actually choose what we want. The truth is that we can; however, we most often do not, and rather than think in this way, we engage in a whole lot of mindless thinking that leads us nowhere.

Of all the things that I have considered in life, actually deciding exactly what I really want is the most challenging. The second most challenging aspect is to believe I can have this and persist in seeing it completed in my mind's eye long before it actually becomes reality. These are the thinking aspects of manifestation; of performance; of accomplishment; of greatness.

Lao Tzu hit it on the head in that we so often are thinking of our problems or potential problems, and most of our perceived problems never actually happen, yet they take up much energy and focus. Remaining present, focusing on the moment, while knowing what we would like to have, believing it is possible, and then allowing the infinite power of God or the Universe to bring it about is the thinking that will move mountains.

I know where I need to focus my thinking: Choosing what I want every single day, believing I can have what I want, seeing it already accomplished, enjoying the present fully, and allowing God or the Universe to deal with all the rest.

"Magic Is The Art Of Thinking, Not Strength Or Language." -- Christopher Paolini 

Spread Some Joy Today--Consider the possibilities as if it were absolutely impossible to fail and you have all the assistance you could ever need or want.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-18-18

"Anything worth doing 
is worth doing poorly 
until you learn to do it well." 

 -- Zig Ziglar 

[Classic post from 4-29-14]

If it weren't for this appropriate quote, I would still be back in grade school. I have an extremely long list of things I was willing to try and willing to do poorly at until I could learn to do them better.

I've started businesses that I knew very little about. I've started new positions at jobs that I had no experience and little knowledge of. In fact, almost all of them were this way. Guess what? I got better. I succeeded. Or, I changed something to make it work. It's just the way it is.

Thank goodness.

"Life Is A Helluva Lot More Fun If You Say Yes Rather Than No." -- Richard Branson 

Spread Some Joy Today--Break the rules. Have a great time all day long today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-17-18

"Be at peace
with all your choices. 
They all serve you." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 4-26-14]

I love this quote because I have found it to be so true. A good part of my life I was so concerned about making the "right" choice and not making the "wrong" choice. The truth for me now is that it is simply a choice. Every choice will have results of some kind and every result will have an effect. Labeling them right or wrong or otherwise doesn't help at all. In fact, doing that is counterproductive.

About 25 years ago, I wrote a piece called Choices. It was about 150 pages of choices I had made in my life and the results of each choice. Along with that was a lot of detail about how I felt about each choice and each result. It was fascinating to write it in order to understand this idea of choices and results. Back then, I was still labeling and lamenting certain choices. Today, I find that to be not only a waste of valuable time but taking me off the path.

My Choices Are Perfect For Me Now.

Spread Some Joy Today--Choose joy today. Start by releasing any interest in worry.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-16-18

"Your people are a direct reflection of you. 
They watch you. They follow you. 
 They measure you. They listen to you. 
If you want them to be dedicated to you, 
you have to be dedicated to them." 

 -- Jeffrey Gitomer 

[Classic post from 4-25-14]

This is just one tidbit from a wealth of insight by Jeffrey Gitomer in his wonderful book, Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Book of Leadership - The 12.5 Strengths of responsible, reliable, remarkable leaders that create results, rewards, and resilience. It is a perfect book that is easy to read, easy to review, and easy to share. Here are a few more tidbits you might enjoy:

"Manage yourself. . . Lead Others." There is a definite difference between a manager and a leader and it is also true that a leader can be a manager, but mentally it is best to choose one. I choose leader.

"It's not morale; it's attitude. Many leaders look at it backward. They say, "We have a morale problem." Morale is not a problem. Morale is a symptom."

"Are you a leader or a coach? YES!"

"To be a great leader of people--inspire them to follow you, not your rules."

I have had management positions most of my life, but my goal has always been to be a good leader. I feel that I have done that for the most part, and yet I am always learning more.

"Not All Readers Are Leaders, But All Leaders Are Readers." -- Harry S Truman

Spread Some Joy Today--by knowing how to create joy in yourself, do it on purpose, and do it as often as possible.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-15-18

"I can't imagine anything worse 
than being required to have fun." 

-- Scott Westerfeld 

[Classic post from 4-23-14]

Yes. Just imagine being required to have fun. What a heavy load to bear. Can you imagine going to work and being required to have fun? It's ridiculous, don't you think?


I tell you this. I am having so much more fun now in what I do than I've ever experienced before. It's been building and building and I have no idea when it will taper off. In fact, I don't really expect that any time soon.

I even do silly things, just to experience it. I make my office into a vacation resort area. Whatever. It's all just a whole bunch of fun. I have fun driving to visit clients, going for a leisurely walk. It really doesn't matter what I'm doing anymore. I find a way to thoroughly enjoy myself.

One of history's richest men, Andrew Carnegie said this: "There is little success where there is little laughter." I have to agree.

Life Is Short. Have Some Fun. You Get To Choose. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by raising someone's spirits. There's nothing so wonderful.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-14-18

"What is powerful 
is when what you say 
is just the tip of the iceberg 
of what you know." 

-- Jim Rohn 

[Classic post from 4-22-14]

In preparation for a training consulting job and another of speaking to some teenagers who are just beginning to consider careers and jobs, I've had a lot of things that I've learned running through my brain. As a sales manager in one form or another since 1975 and my observation of people in sales positions wherever I've traveled, that gets mixed into all that I know on the subject of influence and sales.

Of all that I have learned and taught for so long, I can bring down to one short sentence my entire philosophy of doing well in sales, management, or any other endeavor. Here it is:

Be the best you can be.

I didn't say THE best. I said the best YOU can be. Not the best anyone could be, but only and exclusively the best that you can be. Whatever that is.

I deal with and have dealt with a lot with auto & truck salespeople. One thing that I noticed that is common with far too many is their lack of sincere interest in wanting to be the best they could be. They just want to get through it without too much effort from them. Many of them didn't survive long with that philosophy.

When it comes to learning a job or career, the very first thing on my list of expectations and instruction is to know what you're selling. And, I mean know it so well that you seem like an expert on the product or service. This is the foundation of doing well. I see 20+ year veterans who can't give a walkaround presentation on a vehicle. That amazes me. But, there was an old phrase I learned long ago that says, "he had 20 years of experience--one year, repeated twenty times."

Jim Rohn said on a set of tapes once that you don't need to talk about but 5 or 6 things to sell a car. And, he's right. The more you talk about in numbers of things, the more the prospect can be confused. However, you have to know which 5 or 6 things to talk about from the 250 things you know. If you don't know the 250 things, you are very limited in your influence.

I recommend to every person doing any job, and especially in sales, to know your product and service as an expert in it. When you know all that about your product and service, what you say will be the tip of the iceberg of what you know, and just as with an iceberg, you can only see about 10% of what it really is in size, people will get that feeling from you, and have confidence in you, sensing the depth of your knowledge.

"Lack Of Homework Shows Up In The Marketplace As Well As In The Classroom." -- Jim Rohn

Spread Some Joy Today--"Sometimes I just think funny thoughts!" -- from the movie, Arthur. It is a great philosophy.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-13-18

"Prosperity is 
very simply, 
and most pleasantly, 
a state of mind." 

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 4-19-14]

Yesterday I realized just how much of an attitude prosperity is. It was one of those a-ha moments that Oprah talks about. I looked up the definition of prosperity, which said it was the state of being prosperous, and the definition of that said that it was a derivative of the Latin word prosperus, which means doing well. And, just as happiness is purely a choice and a state of mind, prosperity is exactly the same.

Though most often, people think of being prosperous as being well off financially. After all, money is just an idea. As well, to one person rich would be to another poor, and the relativity of that alone speaks to attitude, perspective or point of view, and choice of individual meaning.

So, if you want to be more prosperous, the first thing to do is decide to feel that way. What makes you feel that way? Feeling good is a great start. The best way to feel good, is to become grateful, thankful, and to appreciate that which is outside of you and at the same time, and perhaps more importantly, that which is inside you. As you feel more prosperous, you are.

It All Comes Down To How I Want And Choose To Feel. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing to feel joyous!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-12-18

"We are kept from our goal 
not by obstacles 
but by a clear path 
to a lesser goal." 

 -- Robert Brault 

[Classic post from 4-18-14]

I love this quote. We make a decision. It's a firm decision. I'm going to do this, I am going to do that, I will stop doing this and so on. Intentions are wonderful, and strong intentions seem logically more powerful than lesser intentions. So it seems, but stronger intentions, more important goals don't operate in a vacuum. Decisions, firm or otherwise do not create completion on their own. Although, it may be that we sincerely hope this is true, time proves otherwise often enough.

Aristotle said it this way: "All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire." I have no idea how he rated the power of these seven attributes or opportunities, but I would choose desire at the head of the table, with passion and habit as their powerful partners.

As Robert Brault so clearly points out that it isn't so much the obstacles, adversity, disappointment, or any such blockage that takes us off the hunt, but an easy, pleasant, and convenient side trip. What makes me laugh at this a bit is that we end up getting somewhere, though we may have missed our intended target.

What is true for me is that if (and it is a big "if". . .) my desire is strong enough, I will absolutely find a way. A decision doesn't do that. I make all kinds of decisions that I don't follow through on. I've already admitted to being an artist at procrastination. If I don't follow through, I know it is my desire. It is weak and more related to something I feel I should do for a variety of reasons (one of the seven!).

I am beginning to realize this difference and stop beating myself up about making decisions and then not meeting the goal. I need to focus on my desire, and with my strong enough desire and my partners, passion, and habit, I cannot fail. Without sufficient desire, it is another story to tell.

Cranking Up The Desire! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by enjoying yourself. Life is short. Have a great time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-11-18

"It is an interesting question 
how far men would retain their relative rank 
if they were divested of their clothes." 

-- Henry David Thoreau 

[Classic post from 4-17-14]

Our relative position in life is so often based on a comparison of others and/or what others may have, be, or appear. This is virtually always the ego wanting desperately to be in charge, and most often, this approach is not self-serving.

The quote above may help put our place in better perspective. Yet, here is something better:

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." -- William James

Yet one better. . . by changing this last quote ever so slightly, yet it becomes so much more:

Act as if who you are makes a difference. It does.

Perspective is about learning I think, and R Buckminster Fuller said that so well when he said, "you can never learn less, you can only learn more."

The healthiest perspective is to accept ourselves as fully worthy and not in need of anyone else to verify us. By virtue of the fact that we are here, we are worthy. If someone wanted to bring God into this, it would remain that by virtue of the fact that we are here, we are worthy.

Allow Yourself To Love Yourself. You Are Enough.

Spread Some Joy Today--by realizing and celebrating that as a goal of life, that to experience, enjoy, and spread joy is as worthy a goal as I can imagine. Everything else is superfluous.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-10-18

"Peace of mind comes from 
not wanting to change others." 

 -- Gerald G Jampolsky, 
from his book, Love Is Letting Go of Fear 

[Classic post from 4-16-14]

Following up with yesterday's post with the video of Oprah and her guest on a show, Gerald Jampolsky, I looked at some of his quotes. The one above jumped off the page at me.

As with yesterday's quote, this one resonates so well with me too. However, I would like to change one word in it so that it resonates even more. Here is the change:

Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change anything. That would include things, circumstances, events, and of course, others, and it would also very blatantly, include ourselves.

Yesterday was about forgiveness, but forgiveness in all its potential glory is a pale shadow to peace of mind. Forgiveness certainly moves us in the direction of peace of mind, and that might help us to see that we not only need to forgive ourselves but to release our desire to change anything. Or, as Eckhart Tolle might say it, to release the past and future and live only in the present.

It's funny, but until tonight, reading this quote by Gerald, it never made more sense that peace of mind would be not having a desire to change anything at all. All that has been was, all that will be will, but all there is that we can have any effect on would only be in this moment.

It's Not Even About Having No Regrets. It Is Much More Of A Release Than That. It's More Like Allowing Fully. 

Spread Some Joy Today--I just did. I hope you feel it!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-9-18

"Forgiveness is 
giving up the hope
that the past 
could be any different." 

-- Oprah Winfrey 

[Classic post from 4-15-14]

I saw a YouTube video today put on one of our clients' blogs by our head blogger, and I had to share it here. It is powerfully true.

Part of the video is from 1990 when the author of Love Is Letting Go Of Fear, Gerald Jampolsky, was explaining to Oprah's audience what he thought forgiveness was. In the quote above, Oprah distilled his explanation into a perfect package, and she talks about how it totally changed her life. Here was his response in the video regarding his definition of forgiveness:

"It really means letting go of the past. It really means letting go of our perception that we need to hold a grievance the rest of our lives. If we really want to hold onto grievances, we'll never really be happy. It's really a willingness to see the person in the light of love rather than in the action that happened. So it's really changing perception, and it really means letting go of the past we thought we wanted, and we can't really change that past, so it means really releasing the negative perception of it and coming back to the present."

On the video posted on YouTube, it states, "After 25 years and more than 30,000 guests, it was one man's definition of forgiveness that changed Oprah's life. Watch Oprah's Aha! moment and listen to her reflect on what it truly means to forgive." Enjoy.

Letting Go Is The Road To Peace. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Do something nice and unexpected for someone today.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-8-18

"Inside my empty bottle 
I was constructing a lighthouse 
while all the others 
were making ships." 

-- Charles Simic 

[Classic post from 4-13-14]

A lighthouse in a bottle. Interesting. It is amazing the variety of thoughts, ideas, and accomplishments all around us. While we're sowing, some are reaping, while others are irrigating, and the world is eating. Some are venturing out to sea, while others help guide them safely to shore, as others are in the supply chain helping make the voyages possible. Some are building trucks, sell them, while many drive them, work on them, build bodies for them, and in the grand scheme of things, who does not benefit from them?

There are so many perspectives. Try this one: "Won't you come into my garden? I would like my roses to see you." -- Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

We All Play Some Valuable Part In The Whole. 

Spread Some Joy Today--There's only really one way to do this: By being joyous.