Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-13-18

"Wrongs cannot be righted by punishment." 

-- Albert K Strong 




[Classic post from 10-6-14]

Whether we are trying to punish someone else for wronging us, or we are punishing ourselves for our failed attempts, it is all the same. We cannot right wrongs through the method of punishment as a tool or a strategy. It just doesn't work. It never has. It never will. Yet, often we persist in thinking that it does or that it will.

I think that punishing ourselves is something we do far more than punishing others. We hold an ideal and we miss the mark. Our disappointment glares at us and we find ways to punish ourselves for our failure to perform. It could be as simple as a diet that we began and then after day one or two had trouble maintaining.

Or maybe it was worse--a habit that we wanted to change. Trying to change a habitual pattern is our most punishable offense. Whether it is relative to a daily habit like eating certain things, or certain amounts, or smoking, or drinking or make a list. Everyone has their own list, I'm sure. Habits are automatic. That's why they call them habits. Failure is a given; however, success is only on the way.

Maybe it is about how you spend money. Maybe you have credit cards you don't want to use and you do anyway. You need that thing, whatever it is. Buying now and paying later is a very enticing habit. So, you charge it and then you lament about it.

Perhaps a friend said the wrong thing at the wrong time and you did not only take offense, you felt hurt and abandoned. This is worthy of punishment, right? So, you punish them by ignoring them, or blowing them off, or talking to others about them as they did about you.

You were passed up for promotion and you have not only been the most deserving, but the one with the utmost patience, but your patience is over and you're sick and tired of the ways things have been going.

Well, this list could go on to infinity, so I'll stop here. Punishment never works. Not for others and what they supposedly did to us, or in ourselves and how we didn't meet expectations of our own design.

Here's an idea. Let go of that rope. Lay it down. There is nothing--absolutely nothing to be gained from this struggle with whomever that opponent is. Just lay the rope down and refuse to engage in that activity. Instead, choose a better feeling thought. Choose one that lifts you up and lifts the other up. The President is doing the best he can with what he has to work with, or not. It doesn't matter. It's not in your control.

Consider this famous quote by Ronald Niebuhr: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." And, as we are using the courage to change the things we can, give us a sense of humor and peace in however that turns out.


Whatever It Is, If You're Not Feeling Good About It, You're Out Of Alignment. Let Go Of The Rope And Take A Break. You Deserve A Break Today. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of judgment of any kind. That act alone is one of joy.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-12-18

"The unthankful heart. . . 
discovers no mercies; 
but let the thankful heart 
sweep through the day and, 
as the magnet finds the iron, 
so it will find, in every hour, 
some heavenly blessings!" 

-- Henry Ward Beecher 




[Classic post from 10-5-14]

This quote came from the mid-1800s and yet it is one of the closest renditions of the Law of Attraction I've seen. Perfectly stated and both ways attract their like. It is such today as it always has been.


Sheer Perfection In Operation. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by attracting joy.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-11-18

"Try to be a rainbow 
in someone's cloud." 

-- Maya Angelou 




[Classic post from 10-4-14]

When you are looking at clear blue sunny skies and feeling good, it will change. No need to worry, it's normal and natural. In nature, blue sunny skies develop clouds and rain. It's a wonderful thing and personally, I look forward to the changes no matter what they are because it is changing.

Some people are feeling the clouds and maybe they are even dark clouds and rain is being threatened. In these situations, they often remember the clear blue skies of another time and how they wish they were there right now. And, even though they have the power not believing as they are at this moment, we can all be benefactors in being a rainbow in other people's clouds.

This doesn't mean that we join them in their cloud, but that we send the color of hope and better feelings with our intentions and our expressed love. We don't even have to be in the same city, state, or even the same country because thoughts and love are universal exchanges that travel light years in moments.

If you know someone is hurting a bit and though there may be great distances between you, close your eyes and think of them and lavish love and well being on them. No need to expect anything except that they somehow will receive it. That's it. It requires no more. Reach out and intend those loving thoughts on those who need them now.

At the same time, we can be a rainbow in our own clouds. No need to wait and hope someone will come and give us love. Alan Cohen offers a great phrase: "If you can't be with the one you love, be the one you love." Reminds me of a twist to a Crosby, Stills and Nash song from the 70s. Or was it the 60s?

How do you do that? Well, I have my ways and maybe they will help a little. First, I love movies, but when I feel clouds in my space, pretty much any movie by Nora Ephron will cheer me right up. I don't even have to be very down, but just feeling like I need a little pick-me-up. Tonight I watched My Blue Heaven one more time and laughed and smiled the whole way through. That put me right back where I'm feeling great again.

You can be the rainbow in other people's clouds and you can be the rainbow in your own cloud. All you have to do is care enough to offer up some loving thoughts for them and for yourself.


Embrace Your Opportunity To Be Of Service. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Keep a short list of things that make you laugh and make use of the list when you need it. Or, maybe you just want it. Either is good.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-10-18

"When you're so out there 
in the public eye, 
people are constantly criticizing 
every aspect about you." 

-- Gwyneth Paltrow 




[Classic post from 10-3-14]

I can't even imagine going wading through the volume of criticism that famous people do. They have to get really good at allowing others to have their opinion while they hold a different point of view about themselves or their work. Their joy and their sanity depend on it.

On a far less public level, each of us deals with a certain level of critical opinions of ourselves or our behavior or things that we do. Often these criticisms are not openly expressed, but they are there. It might be a spouse or close friend, relative, co-worker or others. Truth is, everyone has an opinion, and to that everyone is entitled.

There are two things that are important in my mind to deal with this once and for all time. The first is to love ourselves, praise ourselves, accept any so-called flaws and also accept our perfection. We are all a constant and never-ending work in progress. We grow, become more, change. A wonderful mantra is one I shared a few days ago from Dr. John F. Demartini: "No matter what I have done or not done, I am worthy of love."

The second thing is that we can choose to not reciprocate criticism on others. Every one of us has likes and dislikes. That is how we create. We know what we don't want, so that leads us to choose what we do want. But, we have no need in going around publicizing all the things we don't like. It is far better to spread a different and more positive message.

If we love others, we can uplift them in many ways. Who knows who was criticizing them in the last few weeks, or what they have been going through in their lives. That goes for all people including famous ones, and especially those we may have fundamental disagreements with. We don't need to agree or even like them, but loving them is allowing them to be who they are while we are who we are.

Next time someone criticizes you for anything, accept it as their opinion and it may even be true about you, but no matter what you have done or not done, you are worthy of love.

Next time you are thinking about being critical about someone else, accept it as your opinion and that it may even be true from your perspective, but no matter what they have done or not done, they are worthy of love.

As we learn to turn our critical thoughts into loving thoughts, our entire world changes right before our eyes.


It's A Brave New World. 

Spread Some Joy Today--When was the last time you complimented someone openly? Spread some joy today by doing it often.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-9-18

"Prosperity is not without 
many fears and distastes, 
and adversity is not without 
comforts and hopes." 

-- Francis Bacon 




[Classic post from 10-2-14]

Having been observant in business and many businesses without necessarily a specific notion in mind, I have noticed something about planning that caused me to write down this phrase the other day: What if it works?

Sometimes I have seen businesses planning for problems, creating fall-back positions and what they will do if it doesn't work out. Maybe they are venturing into something new, or at least something a little off the path. If they take these steps, can they cancel effectively and get back to safety? I've seen many businesses grow in this way because they actually did venture out. And, I've also seen how quickly some will turn and leave before the opportunity had a chance.

So, it seemed to me logical that it would only be fair to put at least as much energy into what if it works, then what if it doesn't. Do many plan for success? What issues will need to be dealt with when it is successful? How will expansion happen?

My favorite quote of all time reminds me of this. It is by William Shakespeare. "There is a tide in the affairs of men when taken at the flood leads on to fortune." Of course tides ebb, but they also flow. It seems rather smart to prepare for both.


What If It Works? What Then? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by finding joy in your commute to and from work, or while going from one errand to the other. People do the strangest things while behind the wheel of a car. I'm smiling and laughing a good deal of the time--especially around town.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-8-18

"Self-talk reflects your innermost feelings." 

-- Dr. Asa Don Brown 




[Classic post from 10-1-14]

A couple of days ago, I quoted Dr. John F. Demartini from his book, The Breakthrough Experience. I've read most of his books and have enjoyed each. And though I've read a lot of books in general, it is often going back to them again for whatever motivation causes me to reopen it, and therein I find another diamond, another blessing, another enthusiastic morsel that inspires me in some way. That happened again today.

Since taking quotes out of this book, I still had it out and decided to read bits here and there near where I borrowed the quotes. Here I found a short section titled, I Am Worthy of Love. He tells a story of an AIDS patient who was given a couple of weeks to live and Dr. Demartini held his hands and told him over and over this phrase: "No matter what you have done or not done, you are worthy of love." He got the patient saying it over and over until his heart opened and he began loving himself.

So, this morning I went for a walk with Charlie and all along the walk I repeated in my head, "No matter what I have done or not done, I am worthy of love." I must have said it a couple hundred times at least. Then, as someone else was walking by, I would say in my mind to them, "No matter what you have done or not done, you are worthy of love," repeating it several times, then returning to the first person and myself.

This was a gem of a bit from this book for me and I know that I am not alone in that I've had some things in my life that I would rather not share, that I haven't felt good about and have long ago buried them hoping to never think of them again. This simple little phrase has such power in it and it is the perfect thing to repeat in my self-talk and I am going to have fun with it for a long time to come.

Try saying it to yourself: "No matter what I have done or not done, I am worthy of love. No matter what I have done or not done, I am worthy of love. No matter what I have done or not done, I am worthy of love."

Then, practice saying it to special people who have passed on. I found myself saying it to my late wife, my mother, and father, sister, people I've worked for in the past, and more. I said, "No matter what you have done or not done, you are worthy of love. No matter what you have done or not done, you are worthy of love." Now I believe they are in a place of total love and so they don't really need this from me, but I felt a need to say it to them to release any tidbit I was not letting go of.

As well, say it to those you come into contact with everyday--strangers, co-workers, bosses, vendors, relatives, you name it. Say, "No matter what you have done or not done, you are worthy of love." You know, a side benefit is that while you are doing this, there is little or no room left in your mind for negative self-talk. How cool is that?

There is a certain peace in actually doing this. No one needs to know you're doing it, and that is perfect. It creates a warmth and peace in your communications with them, and expands your love for yourself at the same time.


It's Such A Simple Thing To Do With Huge Benefits. 

Spread Some Joy Today--and by doing any of this above, joy will be spread.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-7-18

"What difference does it make?" 

-- A common phrase used by teenagers 
with their parents 




[Classic post from 9-30-14]

Where have I heard that before? Probably out of my own mouth a few times long ago, or maybe not too long ago. It's hard to remember, you know? In fact, though this is a common phrase for teenagers, I think it is pretty popular with twenty and thirty-somethings, and plenty of middle-agers too.

It is often used in frustration not understanding the value of doing something or becoming something and is a sure sign of powerlessness. Often the parents and others may argue with the powerless one to no avail because I've heard a lot of those arguments and they aren't very convincing.

And, here is about the only answer that makes any sense at all to me. My answer is that everything makes a difference. We all make a difference. Every single thing we do or say or write makes a difference. Our body language makes a difference. Our indifference makes a difference. The person we become makes a difference. Our so-called failures make a difference along with so-called successes. Every life, every animal, every breath, every bit of life makes a difference. We cannot help it, and we cannot stop it. We are doomed to make a difference.

Which leaves only one single, yet potentially important question: What kind of difference? There is no single answer, nor right or wrong, or good or bad, as there are as many answers as there are people who give them. So, leave all worries behind and find joy in your difference-making.


Let's Celebrate That We Do Indeed All Make A Difference! 

Spread Some Joy Today--Next time you're people-watching, pay attention to how many remind you of yourself at some point in your life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-6-18

"Forgiveness is not an end, 
nor is it resolve; however, 
 it is a worthy stepping stone 
on our own journey toward 
gratitude, acceptance, 
love, and appreciation." 

-- Albert K Strong 




[Classic post from 9-29-14]

As we have been born into and learned from our parents and others, listened and watched the media, discussed events with other people, it is clear that we live in a world filled with duality. This duality is often spoken of in terms of extremes of opposites, such as good and bad, right and wrong, life and death, health and illness. Often, we are taught to become judges and are encouraged to have strong feelings about these extreme choices one way or the other.

I was listening to an Esther Hicks short session the other day where a woman was talking about how she had been betrayed by their lover or spouse. She was quite upset by it, did not understand it, and the more she thought about it and talked about it, the angrier she became. How could she forgive him for hurting her so? But, forgiveness was not the answer.

When I was in my early twenties, I had a good job, but it was entry level and I was married and just getting by. A relative needed a loan and the only way the loan would be made was if someone cosigned. I agreed to help. Within just a few months, they defaulted on the loan and the bank turned to me. I accepted responsibility for the debt, but my thoughts were all about what a bad decision I made, how I should have known better, how they shouldn't have done that to me, and so on.

I thought of something funny from Jim Rohn this morning as I was driving. On a tape, he was talking about a guy he knew who was all upset about this other guy lying to him and taking him for some money and how that was terrible, unforgivable, etc. Jim's answer was this: "What did you expect? That's what liars do--they lie! To think otherwise is naive."

Here's a great piece on forgiveness by Dr. John F. Demartini from his book, The Breakthrough Experience: "Forgiveness is a self-righteous illusion that makes someone bad or wrong and then presumes to judge and pardon. An apology is judging yourself, and both are guaranteed to perpetuate whatever you judge. The only thing that transcends this dynamic is love."

He goes on to say, "If you can see that everything in your life serves you, that no matter what you've done or not done it's moving you forward, you suddenly see your own perfection and your heart opens--to yourself."

In addition, Dr. Demartini says, "There exists a hierarchy of emotional responses in life. Fear and guilt are at the bottom of the ladder; above them are faith, acceptance, and forgiveness; and at the top is the present truth of love, appreciation, and wisdom. Forgiveness is a stage on the path, but once you see that everything serves and there is nothing to forgive, it becomes another myth. The truth requires no forgiveness."

Although on the surface, and from our lifetime of training, it seems illogical and incomprehensible to be thankful and to find gratitude in these kinds of events, this is the ultimate stepping stone to laying the rope down on that subject. With forgiveness, we are still holding the rope, but we have loosened our grip and are giving slack to the opposing force, yet we are ready in a moments notice to grip it again.


It Is Not About The Other No Matter What They Are Doing Or Not Doing. It Is Always About Us And Our Own Alignment, Which Is Another Way To Say, The Ultimate Answer Is Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by finding several things and situations to be grateful for. This will be especially joyous on those subjects that were previously associated with pain or regret.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-5-18

"We never know which lives we influence, 
or when, or why." 

-- Stephen King 




[Classic post from 9-28-14]

I had breakfast this morning with a dear friend and devoted reader of these Daily Inspirations. He said that I could have no idea how many people have been or will be touched by these messages.

He was talking about how he has shared them with others, but even more than this, it was the positive changes in himself that affected everyone that he came in contact with throughout his day.

Stephen King has it well said in that we never know who or how many we influence, or even when, or why. As well, there are negative influences that are shared with others, so it has less to do with the tone being positive or negative, and more to do with someone being inspired enough to share or to live in a way that reflects that change or sharing.

What I am trying to get to is that we all influence each other, and in turn, those who are influenced become influencers too, and it grows exponentially. The numbers may even look small on the surface, and run deep as it spreads. A really good question might be, what kind of influence am I? As I realize that I influence others, and I pretty much cannot help that, I might want to consider the type of influence I am and see if that is okay with me.

As a Christian or a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, and many others, we might ask ourselves if we are influencing others in a way that brings respect and dignity or are we saying one thing and doing another? Religions are just different rooms in the same inn, or so it might seem; however, I think it is far more basic than this. Are we loving others or promoting fear instead?

It really does come down to how we influence others and exactly what kind of influence we want to be. And, that is either a conscious or unconscious choice. We are aware and choose on purpose, or a choice is made by default, and in the end is a choice regardless. There have probably been times in my life when I made choices unconsciously, but predominantly, my choice is to be a positive, uplifting influence. To succeed at this is an awesome feeling for me.


Love Is My Greatest Influence. How About You? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by opening your heart, and then your eyes.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-4-18

There's nothing quite like. . . 




[Classic post from 9-27-14]

. . . a warm rain and the way the air smells and feels afterward while clouds linger blocking parts of the sun, yet letting much of its light without the direct heat of the sun.

. . . an afternoon thunderstorm with some heavy rain, maybe even a bit of hail, a temporary stiff breeze and then the calm languishing of the afterward.

. . . the way a garden glistens and wallows after a delicious rain.

. . . swimming in the pool, then laying on the sunny concrete deck smelling the unmistakable scent of wet concrete on a warm day.

. . . the look on a friend or lovers face when you know they are loving you perfectly as you are, and you are feeling exactly the same.

. . . a full tank of gas, whether you decide to go anywhere or not. It is the comfort of knowing that you are ready at a moments notice.

. . . not needing to ask anyone permission for anything.

. . . doing anything your heart desires, including nothing at all.

. . . a personal physical pampering session that lingers for hours, perhaps even days.

. . . lots of leaves in the courtyard and loving how that looks and feels.

 . . . a perfectly tuned quality wind chime with the perfect volume dancing and singing.

. . . watching birds take a bath in the birdbath. Sometimes it is a group event.

. . . spending time with the Golden Gate Bridge from the Battery Spencer ridge just outside of the gate where you can see the whole of the San Francisco Bay Area.

. . . the road to Hana on Maui in a convertible, or any road on any island in Hawaii in a convertible for that matter. . .


There's Nothing Quite Like The Feeling Of Love And Appreciation In The Millions Of Ways It Is Available. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Make your list!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-3-18

"You can do the most remarkable things, 
no matter what happens." 

-- Jim Rohn 




[Classic post from 9-26-14]

Jim Rohn was a mentor for me that I was introduced to via cassette tape in December of 1980. I will never forget the first tape I heard him on. He was so inspiring to me at that time in my life. Later I would learn more about him and buy a number of his tape sets and listen over and over. He would tell it like it is because he had been there, yet he did so as a skilled wordsmith.

In a short piece called, Doing the Remarkable, he said that regardless of how negative things can be in your life from time to time, or whether you're walking through a desert of economic chaos, regardless of what is going on, we have the unique ability to change. He explains briefly how and why people can change:

"You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances."

He continues with my favorite part: "Here is why humans can do remarkable things: because they are remarkable."

Jim goes on to say, "Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune, and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable. Try reaching down inside yourself, you'll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They're there, waiting to be discovered and employed. With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change."

We were not created as puppets in life being manipulated by circumstance and the folly of others. We were created as creators. We have the remarkable ability to create our own reality--even in the face of a current reality that has not gone according to our desires. We begin that glorious journey by first realizing and accepting that challenge. We are creators. We do create. That also means accepting the responsibility of being a creator.


We Are Remarkable Because We Are Creators, And With That Gift, We Can Change Anything We Desire. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Next time you look in the mirror, look with renewed eyes. See the remarkable creator that you are. That is joy.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-2-18

"Creativity is a highfalutin word 
for the work I have to do 
between now and Tuesday." 

-- Ray Kroc 

 "Thought, not money, 
is the real business capital." 

-- Harvey Firestone 




[Classic post from 9-25-14]

I've worked hard, and often a lot of hours, and have committed myself to get the job done in most applications. I'm not a slacker. However, I learned a very valuable (to me) lesson about being a manager, which has been my job title in one way or another and one enterprise or another most of my life. That lesson is this: I understood very early into management that a good manager learns how to delegate and create space to be able to grow.

In The E Myth Revisited, Michael E Gerber demonstrates that it is at least as important for the manager to work on the business as in the business. So many managers work in the business and rarely on the business. How do you grow an organization that way?

It is often stated this way: "I'm too busy for any of that." Or, "I've got too much to do and I'll get to that when I can." Maybe it is, "I need help!" Or, "I need a bigger team, or more hours in the day, more support from above me, and so on." The list is long, but there must be time to think, to plan, to design, to expand.

I know some managers whom's day is completely filled to capacity and beyond with emergencies. They are putting out fires here, helping the wounded there, doing the selling they cannot trust others to do, responding to the boss, cleaning up the debris, filling in for the outage, feeling indispensable and looking extremely important. Everything that is happening right now is so important that there can be no time for planning and preparation, solving issues that create the fires, and so much more than a manager was designed to accomplish.

When I started my first opportunity as a seasoned manager to take over a failing commercial sales department, they wanted me to do exactly as my predecessor did. They wanted me to manage the department AND be a selling manager. I refused. It doesn't work. So they relented and it was a massive success on their part.

If you are a manager directing a department, or a key manager in a certain area, it is going to be to your benefit and that of the company tenfold to MAKE THE TIME--take the time--create the time to work on the business at least as much if not more than in the business. You need to make a case if they object, as I did in refusing to be a selling manager.

Or not. This is just my opinion of course, but I can assure you that it has made a huge difference to my own sanity and that of those I have served, and continue to serve.

Consider this as well: I think this philosophy is equally important for any salesperson.


"Capital Isn't That Important In Business. Experience Isn't That Important. You Can Get Both Of These Things. What Is Important Is Ideas." -- Harvey Firestone 

Spread Some Joy Today--You have the time. Take it. Create some joy for yourself and others. The easiest route is always finding things and people to appreciate.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-1-18

"Failure is the foundation of success, 
and the means by which it is achieved." 

-- Lao Tzu 




[Classic post from 9-24-14]

This is one of the best definitions of success I've ever seen. For the moment, let's assume that it is a true statement. This being the case, everyone is either already a success or on their way. If they are on their way, it is a given that they will eventually succeed. This would mean essentially that it is impossible to not succeed, thereby this makes everyone a success. Based on that, why wait to celebrate? Do it now while you're on the way. There's nothing like enjoying your travels.


Since You're Already A Success, Congratulations Are In Order! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing one single goal today to simply enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Daily Inspiration 10-31-18

"Everything happens for a reason. 
Sometimes the reason is 
that you're stupid 
and make bad decisions." 

-- Bill Murray 




[Classic post from 9-23-14]

From one of my all-time favorite comedic actors comes such hilarious and truthful words of wisdom and encouragement. How many times have I been brain-dead stupid and made bad decisions? I stopped counting years ago. It's embarrassing. But, it's only embarrassing when I think I should be some kind of financial wizard and selfless mutant. I laughed so hard when I read this quote because it is so true, for me anyway.

But, you know, it is being able to see this and laugh at myself and my own learning lessons that makes it okay to talk about. The list of mistakes, especially financial mistakes would be too long to list here, but I also know that none of that matters much when it comes to the end. It's all just stuff. It's all just decisions. It is all just results. Like the wonderful song sung by Kelly Clarkson, Whatever Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger! That is true as well. The lessons that I have learned. . .

There have been enough stupid decisions in my life to last several lifetimes, and there may still be more on the horizon; however, I no longer worry about that, focus on mistakes, or make excuses to others so that I might feel better. It's all good. Like yesterday's post, all those mistakes are just stepping stones to joy. In fact, I've learned to feel the joy on the way so that there is no regret, and no need to ask forgiveness. It's all good.


Reader's Digest Used To Have A Column Called, Laughter Is The Best Medicine. It Surely Is. It Realigns Us With Joy, Our Ultimate Goal.

Spread Some Joy Today--by laughing at ourselves, which is exactly the same as dropping the rope.