Monday, October 22, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-22-18

"You can only mentor somebody 
if they want to be." 

-- Phil Ramone 

[Classic post from 9-11-14]

Donovan Bailey says that "every kid needs a mentor. Everybody needs a mentor." Based on all I know from living my life, I agree with this entirely. It has also been an observation of mine that I have met a lot of people who fail to take the lead in being mentored. It is the mentee, or the person desiring or needing mentoring--it is their responsibility to reach out to a potential mentor. Sometimes, there might be a situation where a third party brings them together, and whereas this can be a beginning, it will go nowhere fast without the action of the mentee. A mentor is not the one that reaches out beyond once if that. It is the wrong sequence.

There are so many people who have certain skills, knowledge, ideas that can and will be mentors to those who are bold enough to reach out. Even famous people, who on first glance, we might think they wouldn't be interested at all or too busy, are open to it. Clint Eastwood is quoted as saying, "I'm a mentor to anybody who's interested." That pretty plain. Some even go out of their way to help, as with this quote from the singer, actress, entrepreneur, Paula Abdul, who said, "I love doing what I do. I'm a born mentor. I've launched so many people's careers. I worked hard." And Jessica Simpson said, "To be a mentor for up-and-coming artists is right up my alley."

Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life are ready and willing, but as the old and very wise saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. In addition, that is when the learning is most effective too.

One last thing about mentoring. as the quote by Donovan Baily says above. . . everybody needs a mentor. This would apply to all ages. I need a mentor and I reach out and find them and they don't even have to be alive in today's world for me to get the mentoring that I need and want. I'm always ready to be mentored. As well, I am always ready to be a mentor.

"It's An Intangible Thing, This Thing We Call Talent, Especially If We're In A Position To Teach And Mentor Others." -- Alan Zweibel 

Spread Some Joy Today--because it's Monday. That should be a good enough reason!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-21-18

"Man is timid and apologetic; 
he is no longer upright; 
he dares not say "I think," "I am," 
but quotes some saint or sage. 
He is ashamed before the blade of grass
  or the blowing rose. 
These roses under my window 
make no reference to former roses or to better ones; 
they are for what they are; 
 they exist with God today. 
There is no time for them. 
There is simply the rose; 
it is perfect in every moment of its existence. 
Before a leaf-bud has burst, 
its whole life acts; 
in the full-blown flower there is no more; 
in the leafless root, there is no less. 
Its nature is satisfied, 
and it satisfies nature, 
in all moments alike. 
But man postpones or remembers; 
he does not live in the present, 
but with reverted eye laments the past, 
or, heedless of the riches that surround him, 
stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. 
He cannot be happy and strong 
until he too lives with nature 
in the present, above time." 

 -- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 9-10-14]

Standing on tiptoes to foresee the future. . . my reverted eye laments the past, both often heedless of the riches that surround me. This would make me think that the present is not where I want to be because of whatever it is in the present that I do not want; however, being present has nothing whatsoever to do with that. It is more an acknowledgment that there is no such thing as the past or the future, and that all there ever is would be right now. All of our actions can only be done now. Our decisions can only be now. All of life is right now. To miss the awe of that moment is to not be present.

"Live In The Sunshine, Swim In The Sea, Drink The Wild Air." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Spread Some Joy Today--as it is impossible not to do so when you are in joy.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-20-18

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. 
All life is an experiment. 
The more experiments you make the better." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 9-9-14]

Sometimes there is a tendency to tarry long in hopes of making the right decision when, in fact, any decision might get you there.

I'll bet you can think back on decisions you've made that could have turned out poorly and yet they turned out to be excellent choices. It may not have been the most direct way to the target, but it arrived in excellent fashion regardless.

I'll also bet that you can think back on decisions you've made where you were sure you wanted a certain objective to be attained and found instead that the decision you made caused a series of events and circumstances to lead you to something you had not considered, and perhaps didn't even think was possible, and was more spot on what you wanted at the same time.

The best thing about decisions is the action they create. It is the movement. Some might say that deciding not to decide is a decision, and I call that procrastination, which is a lack of decision. Though I have at times been an expert in procrastination, I do know the thrill and sheer power of a decision. Even if it may appear to be the so-called wrong decision, I've made enough of them to know that I'm in good company in simply making one.

Right Or Wrong Doesn't Matter. Movement Or Not Does. Movement IS Life. 

Spread Some Joy Today--when you realize your mind is on a tangent of a complaint and observing what you do not want or like, that is good. Now step by step, move toward joy. The easiest way is to begin to appreciate something, anything. Then another and another. If you cannot find anything, ask yourself, 'If I could appreciate something, what might it be right now?'

Friday, October 19, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-19-18

"What we see 
depends mainly 
on what we look for." 

-- John Lubbock 

[Classic post from 9-6-14]

Since my wife, Nancy died a year ago, I've gone through hundreds, maybe even into the thousands of photographs, most of which I had never seen. I pulled out probably around a hundred that spoke to me and I have them on display to appreciate what they say to me.

There is one that I call perspectives that I will share today.

This photo was taken by Nancy about 20 years ago, and it may be even slightly older than that. Most of the backyard was a 36' long swimming pool plus a deck on three sides.

When I look at this I have my own perspectives, but I wonder what hers were. I can only speculate knowing Nancy, but I wonder what she was looking at.

Was she seeing the electric pole and the wires that appear to be foreign to the rest of that environment? Was she looking at the bushes and trees? Maybe it was the table and chairs with the umbrella, maybe wishing they were different than they are. Or, maybe it was the tile which never quite sparkled? Maybe she was critical of her legs, or feet, or the lounge chair she was reclining on?

I know what I hoped would be her perspective. I'll speak it in the first person as if I were Nancy.

I have great legs. They are shapely and long and perfect. I love my feet and red is such a great color next to my skin color. It is so wonderful to lay here in the sun, basking in the warmth on this truly beautiful day. I love watching the water shimmer as the sunlight plays with it, and I love the blue color as it reflects the color of the sky. What an awesome place this is just outside the back door where I can kick back, catch some rays, unwind, relax, and truly let go and simply enjoy myself. I feel like I'm on vacation and so I am at this moment. I have such gratitude for all of this that surrounds me and I feel so full of joy right now. It is a magnificent day!

Now, I know what I see when I look at this photo. I see those gorgeous legs, the red nail polish, and I want to be laying there next to her holding her other hand than the one taking the photo.

What do you see? What is your perspective?

"The Bluebird Carries The Sky On His Back." -- Henry David Thoreau 

Spread Some Joy Today--by changing your self-talk to speak highly of yourself and everything around you.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-18-18

"If you knew who walked beside you at all times, 
on the path that you have chosen, 
you could never experience fear or doubt again." 

-- Wayne W Dyer 

[Classic post from 9-5-14]

No matter how much I have learned, or how enlightened I have become, there are those times that I beat up on myself about the silliest things. The good news is that where this used to happen virtually every day, it now happens rarely. The other part of the good news is that I now understand my emotional guidance system so much better and can realize soon that in my feeling crappy about myself or actions I have taken, or not taken (more likely), I know that is not where I want to be and remember that what I really want is to feel good.

To put things into perspective, I love another quote by Wayne Dyer where he says that, "conflict cannot survive without your participation." I know that this applies to conflict on the inside of us as much as conflict outside.

This brought me to something I shared several days ago from an online class I took with Anita Moorjani where she suggests we ask the question in several different ways, "If I loved myself. . . what would I be doing? Thinking? How would I be treating myself? How would I want to feel? How would I choose to live my life?" And, this morning when I got up, feeling crappy about myself, I began asking that question and as I answered each one, I began feeling better and better and better.

I don't think I will ever get to the point where I don't think poorly of myself from time to time. It is just part of the way life works; however, I do know what to do about it. I do know how to recognize that it is happening. I do know that if I turn and look at anything that I can appreciate that I will find another and another. I do know that when I am appreciating things and people that I feel wonderful inside. I do know that I can find things to appreciate about myself. I do know that I have all of the power of the solution and can recognize and even appreciate the problem for it leads me to become more, to expand, to love. And, now that I feel good, I can thrive!

There Is Power In Contrast Once We Realize That It Is There To Help Us, Not Hurt Us. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by joining with me today in letting go of the rope.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-17-18

"How one can live without 
being able to judge oneself, 
criticize what one has accomplished,
 and still, enjoy what one does, 
is unimaginable to me." 

 -- Anna Freud 

[Classic post from 9-4-14]

Well. . . I sure can! I cannot remember when judging myself ever helped me to become more, or better. I cannot remember when criticizing what I did or did not accomplish ever helped me to excel or grow, or love. I know this from many years of practice at trying to make those things work. They don't work on our behalf. They do; however, work to make us small, reduce our value, hide our love.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said it so much better and very succinctly when he said, "Correction does much, but encouragement does more."

Amen to that!

Carrot Or Stick? It IS Valuable To Know What You Don't Want Or Don't Want Anymore, Then Turn To Praise And Encouragement For What Was, What Is, And What May Come. 

Spread Some Joy Today--simply because it is your natural state when you allow it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-16-18

"I finally found the best state to live in.
It is the state of appreciation!"

-- Terry Minion

[Classic post from 9-3-14]

About four or five years ago, I started a five-subject notebook of Positive Aspects, recording things I have learned to appreciate, love, things I've learned and I did this in five areas. Then I lost the book. Today, I found it again, and it was fascinating to read some of the entries. So, I thought it might be fun to share just a few of them with you.

In the section titled, My Life, I made a list of things that I've learned or am learning. Here's a sampling:

  • I've expanded my capacity.
  • I've learned that it's okay to focus on what I want instead of what others want for me.
  • I can find joy every day.
  • It's OK to say NO.
  • It's OK to let go of things.
  • I am learning to be OK with me as I am.
  • I'm learning to share without the word should.

I had a list of notes of appreciation about my late wife, Nancy:

  • What attracted me to Nancy the evening we met, even before we actually met, is the same thing that attracts me today: Her eyes and her smile. When she smiles, it just lights up her face and she is adorable and beautiful and exciting.
  • Nancy is one of the most intelligent people I know. She has great ideas and can see a plan in detail.
  • Nancy is a very good conversationalist. I hear her on the phone with people, asking questions and getting them to talk. There is an art to doing that effectively.

It is great to make lists of appreciation about others, and it is equally, if not more important, to make lists of appreciation of things about ourselves. It's probably something we normally wouldn't do, but we must. So I started a list about myself:

  • I have the courage to try things; to step out and do. I decided to do a number of things and just did them. Some examples are that I decided that I could learn to write a song and did so, and have done so for a long time. I decided to learn to play guitar and bass, learn to fly an airplane, become a sales manager, write a book, own a business, go to Hawaii, learn to operate a computer, seek joy.
  • I love looking at how things are made, especially buildings. I have a large appreciation of architecture and design.
  • I love learning and I am open to learning from anyone that can teach me.
  • I love teaching what I know and what I want to know well. I think I am very good at this.
  • I love to write and speak my thoughts on paper. Writing the CTS Blog every day is a joy to me.
  • I love my hair.
  • I love being tall.
  • I love feeling so much younger than I am in years.
  • I think I have a great way of looking at things, especially globally.

You know, I think if you try this, you will also find your book of Positive Aspects to be a powerful tool in the expansion of your love and joy. Add to it daily and celebrate your life, your unique perspective, and the lives of those around you.

Move To The Best State: The State Of Appreciation!

Spread Some Joy Today--because you just can't help yourself. . .

Monday, October 15, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-15-18

"You are constantly invited
to be what you are."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Classic post from 9-2-14]

Yes, that may be true, and so often we may be so focused on what we are not yet.

This weekend, I took an online class from Anita Moorjani, who is the author of Dying To Be Me, which is easily one of the more powerful and interesting books I've ever read. Much of what she teaches is learning to just let go and be the real you rather than the 'adapted children', or 'critical parents' we have perhaps become. To her, it is all about unconditional love and especially practicing loving ourselves.

She had such an interesting question in lesson two. She said to ask ourselves this question in several ways: "If I loved myself, what would I be doing now?" She expands on that to ask, "If I loved myself, what would I be eating?, what kind of work would I be doing? Who would I be around?"

She says you have to start by accepting and loving yourself right where you are at this moment. She says, "this is who I am right now and it's okay. This is what I have right now, and it's okay." To make it even more emphatic, she says, "I love who I am right now!"

She said that some ask her what it means to love ourselves since we don't really have any training in that. We've often been brought up to focus on others and exclude ourselves. She gave her opinion of loving ourselves this way: "To love yourself means to value your life, feeling that your life has purpose, and trusting in the process by being grateful for everything that we have, all the people in our life, and everyone around us."

Sounds good to me. . .

"See The Gift Of Where You Are Right Now. Embrace Where You Are Right Now." -- Anita Moorjani

Spread Some Joy Today--by seeing your gift and sharing the gift of you.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-14-18

"Tact is the ability 
to describe others 
as they see themselves." 

-- Abraham Lincoln 

[Classic post from 9-1-14]

I think this is one of the most fascinating quotes I have ever read from tens of thousands I have reviewed over time. It comes from a master of brevity and an artful and skillful wordsmith.

The definition I found of tact is an adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues (often one in the same). It is often associated with diplomacy, thoughtfulness, consideration, discretion, and subtlety to name a few. That would have been my understanding as well; however, when it is phrased as it came from Abraham Lincoln, he sheds a whole other perspective of the use of tact.

Certainly to be tactful is to be courteous, concerned, understanding, diplomatic, thoughtful, discrete and subtle. Any one of them works as do they all, yet to describe others as they see themselves offers shading that is not normally associated. The light has changed.

What better way to be courteous, understanding, or thoughtful than to step into someone else's shoes, to attempt to see and feel from their unique perspective, as to be able to describe to them how they see themselves through that perspective?

It Is Empathy, Compassion, And Love In One Act. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by learning to allow.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-13-18

"No matter what 
 accomplishments you achieve, 
somebody helps you." 

-- Althea Gibson 

[Classic post from 8-31-14]

Sometimes, I think we might have an illusion that we accomplish things on our own. Often, people are singled out, whether in history, or in current affairs, or big businesses such as Steve Jobs and Apple, so that many think they were the creators when in all actuality, they may have been very influential, but not one, including Abraham Lincoln, did it alone. They all had help, and many of them had a great deal of help, though naught may be recognized as providing such.

A better way is to understand this from the start and not only accept the assistance, but embrace it. Probably, with many, recognition alone is sufficient reward, to others appreciation. What an inexpensive way toward accomplishment.

Some may contribute in tiny ways, and others in grand fashion. In any case, it is well to acknowledge and appreciate all in the best ways suited to the volume and quality.

Being A Leader Is Not Nearly As Lonely A Job As It Might Seem.

Spread Some Joy Today--by dropping the rope of finding fault with yourself or your actions, or lack of them. Joy is in this direction.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-12-18

"Don't stop your vacation 
because you think 
you have to go back to work." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 8-30-14]

I live two miles from Interstate 80 in Fairfield, one of the busiest corridors in northern California between the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. Certain times of the day or week it gets very busy. This is especially true for typical Friday evenings after 3pm, but a holiday weekend like this Labor Day, the eastbound direction looks more like a 5-lane parking lot as it did yesterday and it began early in the day before noon and was still going strong after 6pm. Maybe I should have said creeping strong.

Anyway, as I drove over the freeway a couple of times yesterday and saw this spectacle, I wondered why someone wants to get into that flow. I thought, wouldn't it be better to create your own weekend and forget about all that traffic and stress? That's right, make your own Labor Day 3-day weekend next week, or the week after, or August or October. Heck, since you're choosing, it could be any time you like. How about spur-of-the-moment? There's nothing like a spontaneous 3-day getaway. Who says the government needs to agree with you as to when you get a 3-day weekend? Who's in charge, anyway?

Then I thought that if you like the feeling of being on a vacation, why not have that feeling more often? How about any time you dang well feel like it? How about every weekend? Better yet, how about all week long? That feeling, after all, is not a physical thing, but a mental thing. Rather than allowing the calendar to create the feeling, just decide to have that vacation feeling all the time.

A year ago, I became a Tommy Bahama guy. I've always loved Hawaiian style shirts and have owned a number of them, but never the quality of the Tommy Bahama. I wear them all year long. I now have quite a number of them and whether I am wearing nice slacks and good shoes, or shorts and flip-flops, they help me to be a little unique, and more important to me, they help me to feel as if I am on vacation even when I am working, helping clients, teaching classes, whatever. It's just fun for me. Now keep in mind that not all of these wonderful shirts are flowered, but they fit and feel the same so I can look more dressed up or down as my choice.

I love this quote by Deepak Chopra: "The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself." This is our life and we do get to create it any way we want.

When you get back to work after this holiday weekend, consider the words of Seth Godin: "If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we're going to do important work." And, I would add that it will feel more like a fun vacation too.

[Update 10-12-18. As I'm posting favorite posts from a few years ago that speak as much value and truth today as then, I thought I would add this little personal note. Considering the Hawaiian shirt reference and my ongoing preference for them, I have found myself living in Lahaina, Hawaii on the island of Maui. Who knew? I'm still enjoying my vacation which was then as it is now, my work life too! Aloha! All my blessings to you and your joy.]

Have A Great Vacation! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by deciding to feel good as often and as much as possible. Find better and better feeling thoughts until you find joy.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-11-18

"We must be willing 
to get rid of the life we've planned, 
so as to have 
the life that is waiting for us."

-- Joseph Campbell 

[Classic post from 8-29-14]

I've been considering this very thing for more than just a little while in recent time. It is intriguing, to say the least, and I am, after much thought, willing. That doesn't mean that I know yet what to do, but progress has been made in opening the realm of possibility. It remains to be seen, and I expect that I will have a front row seat.

"The Big Question Is Whether You Are (I Am) Going To Be Able To Say A Hearty Yes To Your (My) Adventure." -- Joseph Campbell 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go. Too many ropes to pick up and none of them are helpful. Just let go.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-10-18

"Change brings opportunity." 

-- Nido Qubein 

[Classic post from 8-27-14]

I was thinking about change and how often we might feel that we don't like change much unless of course, it is fully to our benefit and perfectly timed. Good luck with that.

What I was realizing is that without change, nothing moves, and nothing happens. Change is necessary. It is desired when we realize that we cannot live without it. Aristotle said, "Change in all things is sweet." He had it down pat.

Sometimes we might think that we need to change for the better because what is or has been being less than perfect. I don't think that has anything to do with it, except that whatever decisions we make are always made in the hopes of feeling better.

It is more about expansion than anything. We are expanding beings, the Universe is expanding, and that is what we want: expansion. Some might call it growth, but I like the word expansion better. We cannot help but expand and change is the only way it can come about.

So many of the quotes I've reviewed about change put change in a positive light and that it is necessary and good. I agree. It's when we are in a rut, or doing the same things over and over without even thinking about it that things get dull. That contrast leads to a desire for a change. We can only sleep so long and then we just have to get up and get going.

Movement is life. Change is movement. When I understand the value of a change in this way, I look forward to the change and the opportunities.

"Change Alone Is Eternal, Perpetual, Immortal." -- Arthur Schopenhauer 

Spread Some Joy Today--by building on your list of positive aspects daily. A great way to start is at the top of the page, write "I love. . ." and then fill in the blank lines. Call it a joy-builder and a life-enhancer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-9-18

"If you can't win by reason, 
go for volume." 

-- Bill Watterson 

[Classic post from 8-26-14]

The process of change is not as full of reason as we might like it to be. It is often full of righteous indignation, superior attitudes, and just plain ego and stress. The best way to deal with it then and not only survive, but thrive, is to do as they do in Judo and let the momentum of their actions fuel their realizations.

Let's say you're a manager in an organization and that you have a certain level-headed philosophy that is not only successful but healthy for all involved. Now, let's say that the upper management is used to doing things a certain way, and your way is not that way. This conflict can grind the whole thing to a stop, or if not that severe, create a great deal of frustration on all sides.

I just rented the movie Hoosiers again because it is such a great movie and this was the case with the new coach. The town menfolk gathered to tell the coach how they've always done it and wanted to make sure that he knew how it should be done, but he was having none of it. He made his own choices and almost lost the position as a result, but at the same time, he won the championship with the same exact decision and commitment.

To me, what this says is that it is best to be ourselves. However, in being ourselves, standing firm with our own philosophy, we have to remember that we are not alone. We need not bow to others, but it is to our mutual benefit that we take them into consideration, and see if we can develop as much cooperation as possible.

I've been in several of these scenarios and found that I could have my way as long as I could demonstrate that it worked. Of course, I knew it did and I got very creative about demonstrating how it worked and in what ways it was beneficial. Without this cooperative attitude, I would have never been able to succeed as I did.

It's not about the right way and the wrong way. That is so old-school. It's a lame argument. And, it has nothing to do with cooperation. It is the opposite of that.

Here are the best things I have found to do in these kinds of tumultuous situations. Focus on you and what you are doing and forget about what they are doing. Again, it isn't about who is right and who is wrong, there are too many ways for a thing to get done to deal with that. Stop thinking about what they are doing or not doing and just perform yourself or with your team. Next, find ways to demonstrate that performance in written ways that the other parties understand. Show them on paper and in reality. Keep good records.

As with the basketball team in the movie, winning games changed the support structure and attitude. It applies here too. Be the best you can be. Create the best team you can create. Don't spend any attention on what other people are doing or not doing or whether you get enough support or not. Do it anyway. Do it well. Do it like you were meant to do it.

Shine! Have Fun! Focus On What Feels Good Not What Feels Crappy.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let them see the shine in your eyes. Don't let others foul your own joy. Your spirit is yours.