Sunday, February 28, 2010

Daily Inspirations 2-28-10

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Of course inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

-- Groucho Marx

"A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs--
jolted by every pebble in the road."

-- Henry Ward Beecher

"Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective:
an awareness that some things are really important, others not;
and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs."

-- Christopher Morley

There is absolutely nothing so grand as laughter. Some times I laugh so hard that I lose my breath. I want to laugh more like that. I try to find laughter in every day.

If you want to know the healing power of laughter, read Norman Cousin's famous book, Anatomy of an Illness. There are many who have used laughter to help them to wellness. It can be such a serious world. Taking it less seriously is healthy!

When I really want to laugh a lot and hard, I pick up my copy of Jay Leno's Headlines, Book I, II & III in one volume. You can buy it very inexpensively online. It is hilarious every time I read it. What's cool is that you can open it anywhere and start there. It is funny from start to finish. The ISBN number is 0-517-08238-1 to make it easy to find.

Usually I watch movies that I know are hilarious for me. Movies like Evan Almighty! with Steve Carell and Be Cool with John Travolta. I laugh out loud and quite often through both of them. I have a long list of movies that lift my spirits and cause laughter. Another is Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais. I highly recommend finding the ones that really crack you up and buying them so you can watch them whenever you feel a bit short on laughter.

Another place I go to often is YouTube and Stupid It never ceases to amaze me the crazy things people do and the fact that they do it in front of a movie camera and then post it for the world to see, and I thank them for it.

I remember watching the first VHS video I ever rented back when video rental stores didn't sell videos but only rented them. It was the movie Arthur with Dudley Moore. He was sitting in the back of his limo and he just started laughing aloud and said, "sometimes I just think funny thoughts!" Me too. I don't usually laugh aloud about that, but laugh inside anyway.

There is nothing so sweet and refreshing as laughter. Enjoy it daily!

I Laugh Often and Daily. The More, The Merrier.

Spread Some Joy Today--Check out some new things to make you laugh today. Try or YouTube, or watch a really funny movie tonight. It'll do you good.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-27-10

"What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway."

-- Mother Teresa

This popular quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson's reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible. In essence that chapter says that no matter what you might have, if you haven't got love, it is nothing. Of course, Ralph Waldo Emerson may have had something else in mind, but when I read it, 1 Corinthians 13 comes to my mind first.

Now reading Mother Teresa's quote makes me think about the same Bible chapter, but this quote even makes me feel stronger because of the simple way this is phrased.

I used to love people, but then if they were too much trouble, I would not love them. That was what I was taught through a childhood of two divorces and bickering relatives. Starting out on my own, I decided that you either love someone or you don't, that once you love them, you love them and that love is not something that goes away or it was not love to begin with. That was a very, very powerful conclusion for me and it has served me so well over the years. Love does not turn to hate. It is always love. Hate is something else entirely.

In my later years (feels strange to say that), I have grown to love people more unconditionally. They don't have to do or be anything or any particular way. I just love them no matter what. I don't love them less if they don't do what I would like them to do. I just love them. We may go our separate ways for a lot of reasons, but the love remains no matter what.

If there is anything in my whole life I can think of that I am really satisfied with, it is learning to love regardless and understanding that love doesn't have an on and off switch. It is so easy to be judgmental, but so much more heart-warming to be allowing and loving.

As Mother Teresa so aptly says, "Love them anyway."

My Love Only Has An On Switch. It Is Stuck In The On Position. I Don't Plan On Fixing It. It Isn't Broken.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think today about some of those "lost loves"--the people you have loved and are not in your life now. Doesn't that feel good to remember? Awesome! It can be your private moment.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-26-10

"When one door closes, another door opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us."

-- Alexander Graham Bell

"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities
and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties."

-- Harry Truman

Seeing doors open and close is too dang easy. I sure would like it to be that easy, but it hasn't been in my experience. A better, more "real" way of looking at this is to look at how we see problems. Ain't it the truth, problems are just part of living. They will always be around to mess with us. We can change them from problems to opportunities.

Though I've always tried to look at some problems as opportunities, a co-worker taught me to look at every problem as an opportunity. Matter of fact, he didn't even use the word problem, instead, he always used the word opportunity.

At first, I thought he was just showing off some positive thinking ideas and that it would wear off in no time. It was even hard to believe that he truly meant it as often as he referred to opportunities. As I soon learned, he was committed to this approach and it was just part of the way he dealt with things. Then, it became endearing and then exciting. He showed excitement when there was a problem because to him, that was truly an opportunity. It was an opportunity for the company to shine by how the problem was looked at and dealt with. It was an opportunity to solve an issue rather than perpetuate it. It was an opportunity to attract, rather than repel.

Ten years later, he responds in the same exact manner. He is an inspiration to me with his opportunistic attitude. It also must be contagious, because I find myself beginning to think the same way for much of the time. At the very least, now I find myself thinking of him when I have a problem and that helps me to put my rosy glasses on and look at the problem differently. And, it works.

I've always wanted to be an optimist. . .

I Optimize My Optimism Daily By Fine Tuning Problems.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let's go look for some problems to turn into opportunities today. Should be an easy challenge to find the problems. Just a tad harder to turn them into opportunities, but doable.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-25-10

"It's not the load that breaks you down,
it's the way you carry it."

-- Lena Horne

"The good or bad is not in the circumstance,
but only in the mind of him that encounters it."

-- James Allen

I love Lena Horne's quote above. Think of it this way:

As you are going through life daily, you have a bag over your shoulder and you are collecting things to put into your bag. Each thing that you see that you become grateful for, a helium balloon goes into your bag. Each thing that you complain about or are not pleased with, a lead sinker goes into your bag.

If by the end of the day, you have a serious pile of sinkers in your bag, it really can weigh you down and make you tired and sore. You just drag yourself home and can't wait to watch some TV and unwind from all the crap you had to deal with all day. You retire to sleep dreading the coming of tomorrow and having to do it all over again. You wonder how it is you got such a raw deal in life.

If by the end of the day, you have a serious number of helium balloons in your bag, you just float home and can't wait to share your experiences and love before you begin again renewed and refreshed. You arise rested and interested--no, fascinated with what wonderful things might happen today. Joy is your modus operandi.

The circumstances may be the same, but the loads are very different.

So, thinking about this scenario, who are we hurting by complaining, and talking about what is wrong? It is certainly not enlightening anyone. It is obviously, hurting only ourselves.

Who are we lifting up with praise and compliments? Sure, if we say them aloud, other people are influenced; however, it is ourselves that get the real benefit.

Do I want to be weighed down all day and come home and try and get high or do I want to be high all day and come home and share the joy?

Tough question. Let's see. . .

I Choose Helium! Makes Me Talk Funny Too. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Check your bag often today to see what is being collected. More helium, please. . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-24-10

"There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle."

-- Albert Einstein

This is such a powerful quote by Albert Einstein. So succinct and so nicely done.

To me this speaks of gratitude. No. It's much more than gratitude. Gratitude is the beginning of believing in miracles. It is awe!

When I began to be a truly grateful person about seven years ago, my path since has been so interesting. I find myself in awe a good deal of the time, just being amazed and enthralled with scenes I witness, people I interact with and circumstances that sometimes even take my breath away. My favorite word has become the word awesome, and I express feeling that daily.

At night just before I go to sleep, I thank the Lord (you can use Universe, All That Is, or whatever word or phrase you like of the thing that is not you and seems to be in control of the creation of all things. . .) for an awesome day and then I itemize a few things. Depending on how tired I am, I might itemize as long a list as I can think of. In the morning when I first awake, I begin thanking the Universe for the comfortable bed I just slept in and anything else I can find that I might commonly take for granted that I would appreciate if I weren't taking it for granted.

Of course, that is an awesome way to look at it, don't you think? When I take things for granted, because I see them every day or they are just commonplace, I am not grateful. When I am purposely grateful for the commonplace, I no longer take them for granted. Interesting.

Being grateful for those things that I might take for granted is living my life as if everything were a miracle. How awesome is that?

My Gratitude Increases My Awareness Of Miracles!

Spread Some Joy Today--I'll bet if you tried today, you could find several hundred things to be grateful for. So try. Make a list. Practice makes perfect!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-23-10

"Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security
only as he is moving forward. . . "

"We must have courage to bet on our ideas,
to take the calculated risk, and to act."

-- Maxwell Maltz

"Only the insecure strive for security."

-- Wayne Dyer

"If we can learn to make uncertainty our friend. . . ."

-- John Naisbitt

Insurance. It is an interesting thing and it is a modern idea. Many of us take it from granted now, because on some things it has become required and not an option, such as car insurance and home owners insurance. Insuring against risk is a common desire. Heck, there is insurance on virtually anything you can imagine, and Lloyd's of London will gladly consider your future imaginations.

Risk is another interesting word. I especially like the common phrase, calculated risk, because it indicates that we can accurately calculate risk and make it somehow more acceptable, and then insurance, just in case, will make it pretty much painless.

Written agreements are meant to limit risk. A prenuptial is meant to limit the risk of marriage, which everyone knows is a risk. With most of us, who knows what could happen? But with the prenuptial, everyone knows what will happen. And, so many times they are self-fulfilling prophecies.

Back to my favorite phrase of calculated risk. . . or as some turn the phrase into, counting the cost. How do you calculate risk? Is there a book of risk factors we can research and determine accurately the risk? What if circumstances change during the endeavor? Would we then re-calculate the risk? Does calculating the risk have anything to do with the potential completion of a task?

Man has always wanted to fly since time began. Man tried every imaginable way to take to the air. For a while. Then, it was believed that if man was meant to fly, God would have made him a bird, so he gave up. The risk was too great. Leaping off a tall building or from a tall tree was too great a risk. Several thousand years later, some idiot began again. Failure after failure ensued. Then, putting together the effective means, man took flight. Man has taken flight in hundreds of different ways since, and now it is so common, none of us even gives it a thought. We fly. We were meant to fly. Heck, we now even fly to other bodies in the sky and send automatic flying machines many millions of miles into the sky.

What is it that you want to do? Calculating the risk to me means that you are calculating how strong your desire is and how firm your commitment might be. After calculating that risk, you have only two choices. Do or do not do. I'm sorry, but there is no insurance. Do or do not do is all there is.

"There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.
-- Douglas MacArthur

Security Is All In My Head. So Is My Success.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think of something small that you have wanted to do and were afraid of the risk. Act on it and get your confidence back. Then work on bigger things.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-22-10

"Resentment is like drinking a poison,
and then hoping it will kill your enemies."

-- Nelson Mandella

Our fatigue is often caused not by work,
but by worry, frustration and resentment."

-- Dale Carnegie

Have you ever been around someone who is angry a lot and is often resentful of others actions? It is as if they have strict rules of every kind of behavior and almost no one reaches the bar, and consequently, there is much about the other person's behavior to spout about. And spout they do. It is as if this angry person is the only person in the world who knows how things should be done (rules). They don't use words like righteousness, but that is exactly what it is. They are right and everyone else is wrong.

With this attitude, you might watch them become upset over the smallest item because it is virtually impossible for everyone else to meet all these many rules to this person's satisfaction. They talk about other people being selfish, but there is nothing more selfish than righteous indignation. Indeed, much of the time there is a full scale pity party going on because all these other people (who also cause all the nasty circumstances), are constantly doing things that hold this person back from where they would like to be.

I say baloney to that. They are where they like to be and that is precisely why they are there being angry and resentful. You see, there is a payoff for them. There is no need to accept responsibility for anything when you have everyone and every thing external to blame. How nice, convenient, and self-righteous. It's like an endless circle. I see it more as being a pinball in pinball machine, getting bounced around from one event, person, circumstance to another.

I have never seen a quote that more matches this kind of behavior than the one attributed to Nelson Mandella: "Resentment is like drinking a poison, and then hoping it will kill your enemies." For sure. Another that is closely related that I love is this from Mark Twain: "Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." Though it may be unpleasant at times to be around this kind of person, remembering this quote may help comfort.

I now know and have known a few people who fit this description. One of them to a reasonable degree was me. I have found a way out and there are just a couple things that helped me do this. One, I began developing and growing an attitude of gratitude for what I had, ever expanding it to being truly grateful for everything--positive and negative. Two, I developed and grew a philosophy that there is no right or wrong way. In fact, there is no way. There is your way, my way and their way. They are all a way.

The thing that helped me with this aspect a great deal was learning to respond instead of react. My mother used to have a saying that I should count to ten before I speak when something is not the way I want it. I used to be an angry driver with all the stupid people on the road, so I started saying aloud, "that's an interesting way to do that. . I wouldn't have thought of that, but it is interesting!" along with other such responses. It was hard at first, but became fun quickly and really helped move that philosophy forward in me.

The good news is that people can change when they want to. I rejoice in this.

I Know How To Let Go Of Anger. Stop Being Right.

Spread Some Joy Today--Practice responding instead of reacting. Count to ten if you need to. Leave right and wrong to either side and take the middle road.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-21-10

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength."

-- Lori Nannery

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

-- The Bible, Matthew 6:27 NIV

I worry. I used to worry a great deal. Now I worry less every day. Now I catch myself in the act of worrying about something, and I remind myself that worrying about it solves absolutely nothing.

There are a lot of great quotes about worrying. I chose only these two this time because the first by Lori Nannery is so true--worrying really does NOT empty tomorrow of troubles, but it zaps your strength today in a big way. That quote alone should help; however, it is the second quote by Jesus that has really stuck with me for years.

Think about it. What a great question. "Who of you by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?" Really. That question is so powerful that I keep it in my head to remind myself of the fallacy of worry. That whole chapter in the Bible is a lesson in letting go of concerns and worries. Yet to me this one line is all I need to remember.

Who of you by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?

I Cannot Add Even A Nanosecond To My Life By Worry. All My Time Spent In Worry Has Been Wasted Time.

Spread Some Joy Today--Realize that you need never worry about anything ever again. Practice makes perfect!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-20-10

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."

-- Albert Einstein

"Action is the real measure of intelligence."

-- Napoleon Hill

My first and most important advice to a young person is to get excited about learning and to become a life long student. There are so many rewards for this philosophy. Based on my own experience in school, I think that a lot of students come to dislike learning because of the way some things are taught and the limited environment. I found school in my later years to be boring and slow. Even college was mostly boring. Yet, there is so much excitement in learning available if one can find that avenue. That avenue is following what interests you and following it until it doesn't interest you anymore and then finding another or several others that do.

I totally agree with Einstein's quote above. Keep learning every day. And I love the comparison of Napoleon Hill's quote in that action is the real measure of intelligence. I think that is fascinating and I also believe it to be true. Knowledge is not gathered for the sake of knowledge, it is gathered to do something with it, otherwise it is kind of a waste of time and energy. To do or not to do (with what you learn), that is the question.

The best combination is to put to work what one learns right away. It ensures that the knowledge will have some staying power as well. More importantly, it ensures that progress is made--or at the very least--practice is experienced. Knowledge plus action equals results. Better knowledge, plus better action, equals better results.

I buy a lot of books and usually have several open at one time. If the book keeps me interested, I keep reading. If it doesn't keep me interested, it goes in the pile of "some other time." Sometimes a book doesn't interest me today, but a year and a half later, I'm very interested. The key for me and my advice is to keep finding new books to get excited about. I am amazed at what I learn every day.

Get excited about learning. Learn something new every day.

I Am A Life-Long Learner And I Act On What I Know.

Spread Some Joy Today--Stop at the bookstore today and buy something new and interesting to read. It will get the juices flowing again. Or, try an audiobook. I love audiobooks. Didn't you alway like it when Mom or Dad read to you? Same thing.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-19-10

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

-- John F Kennedy

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."

-- W. T. Purkiser

"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all."

-- William Faulkner

What they all say is to not give lip service to gratitude. The real gratitude is shown in the living with it in your heart and expressing it outwardly.

In years gone by, I've been grateful for many, many things. I got a really good used bike for my paper route when I was eleven. I was grateful for that. I've had many, many presents that I have been grateful for. Most of the things I used to be grateful for were external things.

In recent years, I have had a whole new way of looking at gratitude. I've talked about this before, but the book, Power In Praise by Merlin Carothers completely changed my take on gratitude. Since reading that book about seven years ago, I have been on a growing path of praise. Now I praise things, events, sights, feelings, large or small, good or not so good. Almost all of the time. Almost because I still have some growing to do. I'm not yet fully grown. Still working on it. But, I have crossed the threshold and I am in the house!

I can tell you without the slightest smidgen of doubt that this one thing has changed me in such a way as if I were another person to myself. I see life in a completely different way than I did not so long ago. I see other people in a different way than I did not so long ago and I see events in a different way than I did not so long ago. I'm more calm, more forgiving, more understanding, more patient, more kind, more thoughtful, more giving. Those are wonderful gifts to receive, wouldn't you agree?

Paul in the Bible said it so well: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances. . ." I find it amazing what happens when I am this way. The circumstances may not change; however, how I feel about and respond to the circumstances does. To me, that is power and it comes from gratitude. Amazing.

Live your life with gratitude on your lips and in your heart.

I Am Grateful For Everything All The Time. It Is Joyful.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let your lips express gratitude to others today. Find things to praise them for. You will change two lives today.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-18-10

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

-- Henry David Thoreau

"I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."

-- Jonathan Winters

"Plant the seed of desire in your mind and it forms a nucleus with power to attract to itself everything needed for its fulfillment."

-- Robert Collier

The difference between a passing fancy and an exciting reality is belief. Some of the strangest, most far-fetched ideas have become a reality through belief where almost everyone prior to the reality thought it was impossible or at best improbable.

Some of these things are:

  • Electricity
  • Refrigeration
  • Air Conditioners
  • Vacuum Cleaners
  • Automobiles
  • Power tools
  • Pre-fabricated Housing
  • Camping Trailers
  • Steel Reinforced Concrete
  • Computers
  • The Internet
  • The Typewriter
  • Adding Machines
  • Electronic Calculators
  • The Transistor
  • The Stereo
  • The Telephone
  • The Phonograph
  • CD's
  • DVD's
  • Blue-Ray
  • Plywood
  • Plastic
  • Nylon, Rayon & Other Man-Made Fabric
  • Modems
  • Movies
  • Video Games
  • Frozen Food
  • Soft Drinks
  • Tonka Toys
  • Bulldozers
  • LED
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Electric Guitars
  • Speakers
  • Treadmills
  • Electric Lights
  • All Manner Of Electric Appliances
  • Pickup Trucks
  • Balloon Tires
  • Vick's VapoRub
  • Aspirin
  • CAT Scans
  • Lasers

These are just what I could come up with in about 5 minutes, and I've barely scratched the surface. Can you imagine living in the 16th century telling someone about the CD player? Or even plywood? Bizarre. They might want to hurt you. Or how about even a short time ago, like say. . . 1969 when we landed a man on the moon to think of personal computers. They didn't even exist then. I bought my first computer in about 1984 and it was an Apple II+ with 64k memory. That is laughable now. But then, it was all the rage. Just to think of computers alone and how far they have come in less than 25 years is mind-boggling.

All of these things would have been severely criticized as being passing fancies at best and heresy at worst. Certainly, the vast majority of the world would have laughed at you for even mentioning such fancies.

The list goes to show that you can indeed build castles in the air and put foundations under them. It is not for the faint of heart. It is for the world of dreamers.

Are you a dreamer?

Thank you!

Dream On! It's A Popular Put Down, But A Great And Wonderful Challenge. Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These.

Spread Some Joy Today--Talk about some of your dreams. Better ways, better decisions, better results. If nothing else, write it out so you can see it yourself!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-17-10

"Take time to accept responsibility. Your life is exactly that--It's your life. It is created by you. You are constantly making choices, constantly creating new experiences. And although we can be affected by circumstances which can seem to be completely out of our control, essentially, we decide the direction in which we walk."

-- Nicolas Watkins

I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul."

-- William Ernest Henley

"You always do what you want to do. This is true with every act. You may say that you had to do something, or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do, you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for yourself."

-- W Clement Stone

There is such power in these quotes. To be the master of my fate and the captain of my soul is so empowering and offers me such freedom. Once I have accepted responsibility for my life, my life finally became mine.

"The devil made me do it." That is a great line from Flip Wilson back in the '80's. Of course, it was really only a justification for making a choice that someone else might find fault in. Blaming it on the devil is the ultimate excuse.

The reality is that we make choices. That is the ultimate power of life: to be able to make choices. We don't always make the best choice, perhaps, but it is a choice nonetheless. Accepting responsibility for my life is accepting responsibility for my choices and my choices determine my experience.

That is as simple as it gets. It is simply cause and effect. We make a choice (the cause) and we get an effect (the experience). It doesn't matter whether it is our personal life or our business life, or even the government. Make a choice, reap an experience, or result.

Of all the things that I have learned in the last few years, this is something I rejoice in every minute of every day. I have the power to change by changing my thinking, which changes my choices, which changes my experience. No more does anyone, or anything, or any dogma rule me. I rule me exclusively by the choices I make.

Having come to this simple conclusion, I can no longer blame anything or anyone for what happens in my life. Not the government, taxes, interest rates, recessions, who's in office, the weather. None of it. I tell you that the effect of this realization is so life-changing and empowering. It also means that if I am experiencing something I don't want, I can change it, by making different or better choices.

Free at last! Free at last. Thank God almighty, I'm free at last!
(I borrowed this from Martin Luther King, Jr., because it seemed so appropriate!)

I Am Master Of My Fate And Captain Of My Soul!

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about the power in this today. You need not doing anything else. Others will see it in you and feel it too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-16-10

"If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator."

-- W Beran Wolfe

"Happiness is not in having or being; it is in doing."

-- Lilian Eichler Watson

W Beran Wolfe's quote is excellent. When I am doing the things I absolutely love to do, I lose track of time completely.

In the late 1980's, I spent thousands of hours recording music. I would start when I got off work, and go until I couldn't keep my eyes open. On the weekends, it would be non-stop. It was a magnificent obsession. Something else came to take its place, but I can say that I have loved almost everything I've done with rare exceptions. It sure does make the time slide by quickly.

Now my magnificent obsession is writing and building my businesses. It's always something. Thank goodness. It is in the doing that my life has meaning to me. I get into the thing and out of myself when I do something I love. It is awesome!

There is something that might help. Some call it the "bucket list," but write out 101 things you want to do before you die. Then start doing them, crossing off as many as possible. Be outrageous and don't limit yourself. If you can imagine it, it can be done.

Beverly Sills used to say, "I.A.D.T." which stands for "I already did that." She was very much into new experiences and trying things. She knew she didn't need to make a career out of each one, just to do it until she didn't want or need to anymore.

I've got my list and am working on it. I have a long way to go. You don't even need to tell anyone else about it, just make the list and start crossing them off.

Here's some I've crossed off in recent years: Learn to fly and get a pilot's license, write songs, perform my songs in public, collaborate with other songwriters, learn to record music, go to Hawaii, go to Australia, become a consultant, own multiple businesses, learn to sell on eBay, become a published writer, quit smoking, fly in a helicopter, live in one house more than 20 years, learn to build websites, learn to blog, read 50 books in a year, own the world's largest collection of something, go on a cruise. That's just a few and the list is constantly being extended as I go through life. All of these things gave me happiness as I did them and even now as I look back on them. Quitting smoking is the one I continue to rejoice in daily.

What are some of your magnificent obsessions--those things you really want to do someday? Make a list and have some fun with it. Put some on there that you've already done that you feel good about and get some crossed off right away. It's okay. It's your list. It may change your whole life!

I Am, Therefore I Do, Because It Just Feels So Right!

Spread Some Joy Today--Do something today that you have been wanting to do. It could be something very simple. Just do it. The way you will feel then, will be so powerfully contagious that everyone around you will feel it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-15-10

"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else."

-- Chinese Proverb

"What we gave, we have;
What we spent, we had;
What we left, we lost."

-- Inscription on tomb of Edward (The Good)

"Look around for a place to sow a few seeds. . . ."

-- Henry Van Dyke

Isn't it the truth in life, that the things we do for ourselves don't have anything at all like the satisfaction and thrill of helping others? It's true in my life; although . . . I am partial to naps when I have the chance, and inheriting a fortune is definitely on my list of things I would love to have very soon. I'm not much for fishing, but I do love to watch people play music and could do that all day long.

I own so many things. Thousands of things. There are so many things in drawers and in offsite storage that I haven't even looked at in years, yet I still own them. Why? Tens of thousands of dollars was spent to get them over time and I don't even much care about them. Most have no real value to me anymore, though in my mind they have a dollar value since I bought them. This fact causes me to hold on to them so that I might recoup some of that expense by selling it someday. Someday. Strange? I wouldn't be surprised if this is the way almost everyone feels, if they might admit it.

Truly when I think about it, it is the things that I no longer own that I have given away, that I really value. That gives me pleasure every time I think about it and I feel happy about that and the fact that I gave it away.

I learned from Jack Canfield on a CD set called Maximum Confidence, to go through and take some of those material things I've been owning and give them to someone I think could make use of them. I've done a little of that and I need to do it a lot more. Now, I can think of those things that used to just sit there and I can envision them being used and enjoyed by someone else. If for no other reason than to have that feeling, it is a great thing to give the items away.

It's a considerable better feeling than thinking about them languishing in the storage shed, knowing in fact that they are not being used, rotting away. Jack Canfield says the key to this is never to sell the items at a garage sale or on eBay, but to give them freely. It really helps me feel more abundance in my life when I just give these things away--especially knowing that I could sell them and have some cash (though it would be much more in my mind most likely than in reality. . .).

Of course, it doesn't need to be just material things. The help I've offered someone, the knowledge I've shared, the skills I've trained are all good things I've given away and the memories of that is very satisfying. The thing that I give away the most is a simple thing called love through kindness, cheerfulness, a smile, opening the door for someone, and a hundred other ways. The way of giving love that gives me the most satisfaction is through encouragement of others, including so many people I've never even met. I think we all need encouragement. In this I am a happy and wealthy man.

What do you own that you haven't even touched in several years that others could benefit from? If you want to really get the juices flowing, start with things that you think have higher dollar value. That will get your inner conflict going a bit, and when you let that thing go, it will be a powerful change in you.

What do you value highly that is non-material that you can give away? What is it that you would most like to have more of? Give that away. Look around for a few places to sow some seeds. You'll be amazed and blessed at the way that helps you to feel.

I Find My Happiness Is In What I Give, Not What I Get. Strike That. I Find Happiness In What I Give AND What I Get. A Double Bonus! Two For One!

Spread Some Joy Today--Sow some seeds today with people you interact with. Sow a smile, some laughter, some encouragement, some light-heartedness, some love. It'll do you both good.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-14-10

"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and
can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and
surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

But where there are prophecies, they will cease;
where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophecy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

-- The Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 NIV

"Love is something eternal."

-- Vincent Van Gogh

"Love, love, love. Love is all you need."

-- John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Be my valentine! Happy Valentine's Day.

I Love Everyone! We Are All Connected.

Spread Some Joy Today--Be your own valentine, then share it with everyone today. What better day to show it?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-13-10

"Someday may never come. So live each day better than the last. That way you'll wake up with so much excitement and anticipation you'll jump out of bed and shout 'I can't wait!'"

-- Bob Perks

"I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun."

-- Thomas A Edison

"The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do what you love and love what you do is great idealistic advice, but completely and totally unrealistic. Or is it? I think making a living is overrated--at least, now I do. It does seem to be unrealistic to think that each and every one of us could do something we love to do and make a living at the same time. We know there are a lot who do, but we don't think it can be us. We're not gifted, or we don't have the opportunities that others have. Maybe. Maybe not.

I think that many times we accept a rationale that our parents or teachers or some other authority figure gave us and we just go along with that. Many times, we choose the safe life or career or job instead of the one we really wanted. Perhaps we even justify it in a number of ways, like not wanting to be a starving artist, musician, actor, entrepreneur, etc. Or, like not wanting to be poor. Or, wanting lots of things like houses, cars and other things. All good reasons I'm sure.

That thing that you would love to do is now hidden deep inside covered up with reality and responsibilities and keeping all the balls in the air. I can relate. But, it's probably still there . . . down in the deep abyss. . . waiting. . .

So, you've left it behind and given up on that dream. It was unrealistic, you know. Yes, I know. . . BUT, I know it's far too late for you because you have all those responsibilities now, yet you can teach and help your children (or someone else's children) to find what they really love and help them do that instead of that old Doctor, Lawyer, Senator stuff. Yes? No?

It is worth the thought. . . it can be done. . .

Well, at least you can learn to love what you do now, right? Or not.

I Love My Life And I Love What I Do. Yes.

Spread Some Joy Today--Okay, don't be all talk. Go show the world that you love what you do and how much you love it. Glow. You'll be helping your fellow achiever.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-12-10

"If you don't like something, change it.
If you can't change it, change your attitude."

-- Maya Angelou

"Like the waves of the sea are the
ways of fate as we voyage thru life.
'Tis the set of the soul which decides
its goal and not the calm or the strife."

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What happened to the good old days? Where have all the flowers gone? Who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong? Who moved my cheese?

"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."

-- The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

I love the Serenity Prayer because it says so much in a short space. There are things that we can't seem to change, as much as we might want to or need to. It's hard to accept that, and it's okay to accept that. . . IF. . . we have the courage to change the things that we can change--and we all know truly that there is much that we can change--and this prayer is asking for that courage.

The last line that strikes home with me: the wisdom to know the difference. That is such a powerful line because many times we don't know the difference. The lines are blurred, we sometimes feel powerless to even change the things that we know we have the power to change--or at least others can see that. Sometimes we're just too close to an issue to know the difference. That's where the first line comes in: "God, grant me the serenity . . ." There is more than we are here. Whatever we might want to call it. Some call it the Universe. I'm okay with that. Some call it our Higher Power, and a hundred more different names. The name is not important, it's the idea--the reaching out part--the asking for help part that is so powerful and so healing too.

I don't really mean this inspirational message to be about religion. It's not. It's about knowing that we didn't create this place, we just live here. Someone, or something else created it. There is more than we are. That something more is all powerful. Asking the all powerful for some guidance is in itself a very powerful thing. And answers come. And serenity is granted. The act of the request is powerful.

This recession, or whatever name you want to give it, is taking its toll on millions of people. Some feel it much more than others, and I don't think anyone is completely exempt. And, sometimes, though we try so hard to put on our happy face, it gets to us. Maybe it even hits hard. That is a great time to reach out.

It happened to me yesterday. I was sitting in my truck and I remembered a song I wrote for church that was very personal. I hadn't even thought of the song in a couple of years, since I left the worship team at church, but yesterday it came and I sat there singing it inside and reaching out and I was instantly soothed and ready to keep going again. You might relate to the words in this song, so I include them here:

May I Come Into Your Peace

May I come into your peace and rest my soul?
For the world around me sometimes takes its toll
Lord, I need your sheltered comfort more this day
May I come into your loving peace today?

The world is spinning 'round; can't let it get me down
So, let the world keep spinning, while I seek your peace
Raise me to my knees and let me feel your ease
Lord, you're always there to save me when I call your name


1. Keep the positive thoughts and input coming all the time. Keeping reaching for inspiration. 2. Be ever thankful for everything. Yes, everything. 3. Act on your inspiration. Keep moving and doing. 4. Stuff happens. Reach out when you need to. Your serenity is waiting.

I Am Open And Reach Out To Guidance And Inspiration.

Spread Some Joy Today--Be of good cheer to all around you today. There is entirely too much seriousness everywhere we turn. Fun is good. Cheerful is encouraging.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-11-10

"Leadership is not magnetic personality that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not 'making friends and influencing people' that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations."

-- Peter Drucker

"If there is anything I would like to be remembered for it is that I helped people understand that leadership is helping other people grow and succeed. To repeat myself, leadership is not just about you. It's about them."

-- Jack Welch

"To become a leader, then, you must become yourself,
become the maker of your own life."

-- Warren G Bennis

I used to think the leader was at the top--that there is only one leader in a group--like the CEO of the company is the leader and everyone else is a follower. How limiting my thinking was at that time.

Can we have a world full of leaders? I say, absolutely! I recommend that leadership skills be taught in kindergarten and beyond. Everyone would benefit from the John C Maxwell School of Leadership! His career has been a magnificent lesson in leadership. He's written so many leadership books that they could take you all the way through High School. Throw in a little Rudy Giuliani, a little Max DePree, President Lincoln, and Warren Bennis and that will insure some tasty variety in college. It might even be good to dabble in a bit of Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt. What a great education!

Yes, we all can be leaders and I highly recommend the pursuit. Leaders are readers is the saying and I am sure that saying is correct. I do recommend all the authors I just mentioned and a long list of others. There is much to learn about leadership, for sure. For me, it has become and will continue to be a life-long study. As I learn, I grow and become more and that helps me to become a better leader. Wisdom is important. There is no doubt about that. We want all leaders to have wisdom. However, we cannot wait on wisdom to lead. Much wisdom comes from the act of doing.

A desire to lead is important. I really think that we all have the desire, although, many of us have shoved that desire way down in the darkness somewhere. Get your flashlight out and find it as it will come in handy.

The most important thing that I have learned about leadership is this: practice. Go lead. Go do. Don't pay attention to whether people follow or not. Just lead. Make mistakes. You get lots of do-overs. Keep doing the do-overs. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep trying. Keep moving. There is nothing that will take the place of practice when it comes to leadership (or any other thing worth doing!).

The last thing I want to share about leadership is to be as much yourself as you can. Let your personality fly like a flag. If everyone doesn't like you, it's okay. Be the best you that you can be. Don't try to be someone else. Learn the lessons that others teach, and then go make them your own. Don't memorize what you learn, understand it, and then personalize it to fit you. Don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong. You will know by how you feel. Be bold. Be yourself, that unique you.

The world is always crying for more and better leaders. Accept the challenge and lead where you are. It is a worthy endeavor and the rewards are plenty!

I Am A Leader. I Lead Myself First!

Spread Some Joy Today--Phrases like, "that's not my job," don't come from the lips of a leader. Leaders lead themselves first, then others. Lead yourself like a master today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-10-10

"What you leave in your children,
is more important than what you leave to them."

-- Denis Waitley

"We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear."

-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I absolutely love Denis Waitley's statement: "What you leave in your children, is more important than what you leave to them." That statement begs the question, what are we leaving in our children?

In my childhood and almost all of my adulthood, the teachers and the world have been trying to teach me to fear. Whether it is fearing having bad breath, or getting a raw deal at a retail chain, or whether Social Security will be around, it's all fear based. In school it was more about memorizing and passing the quiz, getting a passing grade, moving to the next grade, and more. If I don't go to college, I will never get a good job was the claim. More and more fear based material.

Where's the love? Where's the love based teaching? Where's the building up of self-esteem? Where's the teaching that your thinking will rule your life and that the benefits of positive thinking are so strong that it is virtually impossible to ignore? Where's the teaching of trusting, believing in things happening for the best rather than the worst? Worst case scenario. That's a phrase I learned in school. Where's the best case scenario?

How about visualizing the end result the way you want it? Where's that class? What about Gratitude 101? or Praise 1 and 2? or Thankfulness 102? What about Belief 101? Or Encouragement of Others 1? Or Affirmations That Change Lives 100? Or How To Give Love and Influence People? Now these classes produce real results in the real world and change lives for the better every day. This is worthy of teaching our children. This will make a difference.

I am so thankful that I have finally found a new life with new thought (really, it's ancient, not new). It took me so long to learn it and it is so wonderful and joyful, that I cannot even imagine ever going back to the way it was. That kind of enlightenment is worthy of sharing with everyone--and especially young people. What a powerful difference it will make in their lives.

Wisdom need not take so long. . . yet, any time is a great time to start.

I Leave Love Everywhere I Go And My Love Continually Grows.

Spread Some Joy Today--You can never have enough love. There is no shortage except in some people's thinking, so give extra where ever you go today. Be lavish with it. You will be amazed how much more you find without trying to find it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-9-10

"You can never do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is always your next move."

-- Napoleon Hill

Life is short. It's much shorter than we think. Do your kind acts now, not later. Don't wait for a better time. There isn't one. Now is the time. Now is always the best time. Now is all there really is.

Something that you have been meaning to say, but don't, is a missed opportunity. They could be dead tomorrow. Or you could be. Sieze the moment. Now.

I Give My Love Wherever I Am, Every day.

Spread Some Joy Today--Nothing spreads joy like giving your love away freely. Let it flow to all around you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-8-10

"I am -- the two most powerful words in the world,
for whatever we put after them becomes our reality."

-- Susan Howson

"Your real self--the "I am I" -- is master of this land,
the ruler of this empire. . . you rightfully have power and dominion over it, all its inhabitants, and all contained in its realm."

-- Robert Collier

"Whatever you believe yourself to be, you are."

-- Claude M Bristol

I am is an incredibly powerful statement. As Susan Howson says above, what comes after the words, I am, becomes our reality.

Think about what people say around you. Maybe you say some of these yourself. Maybe they are saying it quietly to themselves. Here's some examples: I'm not good enough. I'm not feeling good. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I'm not smart enough. I'm not getting what I deserve. I'm tired. I'm tired of being treated this way. I am sick and tired of this. I'm done with this crap. I am hoping that things change soon. I am thinking I might have made a mistake. I'm looking for something better. I'm tired of this neighborhood. I'm not feeling it.

The I am statement is so powerful, that it would benefit everyone to use it to build up rather than state temporary facts or feelings. See how different these are: I am smart. I am wealthy. I am rich. I am loving every day. I'm excited. I'm ready. I'm going for it. I'm so grateful. I'm thinking today is going to be a special day. I'm so thankful. I am blessed. I am loved. I am focused. I am successful. I am loving life.

It is so rare to hear the second set of comments in the workplace, or even at home. This is an easy thing to change, and only requires a decision to do so. With practice, it gets easier and easier. Pretty soon you are really meaning it instead of just saying it. That's when it gets really powerful.

Change your circumstances? First change the things you think and say, and the circumstances must change. You may not get the million dollars in the next five minutes; however, you can absolutely feel better in the next five minutes and feeling better is the path that will lead to your new life.

I am __________.

Find as many awesome things to follow that phrase as you can. It will be great practice and will move you to a much improved life.

I Am Happy Just Because It Feels So Dang Good!

Spread Some Joy Today--Now that you got your 'I am' going on, try a little 'you are' with people around you. Uplifting others is a powerful benefit to them and you.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-7-10

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance."

-- Bruce Barton

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly,
but the bumblebee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyway."

-- Mary Kay Ash

We create our own circumstances, but they do not rule us. Truly, they serve us if we are aware that we create them. Then, when we see them, we know that they were created from past thinking and that current thinking may have nothing to do with the current circumstances. I have learned this to be true and I find it very powerful and enlightening, and more than this--empowering.

It is empowering because I know now that I can change my circumstances with my thinking. It is also empowering because I used to believe that circumstances caused my thinking. In that I am more like a pinball in a pinball machine, bouncing from one circumstance to another, getting slapped around. Knowing that I can change my circumstances by changing my thinking about things means control and power to change; to improve; to grow.

Dare to believe that you control circumstance and that excuses don't hold value in explaining them. You know the phrase, "everything happens for a reason." Now it might make more sense. It does. You created it. From what you thought in the past. Change the thinking now, and change the future circumstances. Think of circumstances more like tools now instead of problems. They are. They can be most helpful for you.

Believe you have power. Power to think, decide and act. Power to change, improve and grow. Power to excel and succeed.

I Got The Power. . .I Got The Power. . .I Got The Power!

Spread Some Joy Today--Strut your powerful self about today. Leave the arrogance at home, but celebrate and display your joy that you got the power!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-6-10

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."

-- Michael Jordan

"Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours."

-- Richard Bach

Yes, but. . .

I read something some time ago which stated that "yes, but. . ." is problematic because the word 'but' diminishes the sentence before it. Their advice was to use the word, 'and' instead. I'm working on it; succeeding much of the time, but some habits are hard to break. Oops. . . correction, And, some habits are hard to break. That's better. I rather like the idea and agree with the concept of it, and I think it is most helpful to begin at once to utilize its creative powers.

When we use the word 'but,' we are generally arguing for our limitations I think. Oh, you've heard it from your friends, spouse, and family when you've asked them something and they give you the 'but' part. And you know full well, they are not even considering it, and are arguing for their self-imposed limitations. Of course, when one argues for their limitations, there is no argument as Richard Bach states. I hear people argue for them a great deal. It kills potential by smothering it in sameness and familiarity.

I just love Michael Jordan's very simple, yet powerful statement: "You have to expect things of yourself. . ." I think it even deserves a little shouting! YOU HAVE TO EXPECT THINGS OF YOURSELF! That's better. I say, Amen! to that. Underlying the expectation is the belief that it can be done--belief in the possibility or possibilities, AND after the philosophical connection, there comes a need and a desire to move into action, and this is the expectation. You say, 'I believe it is possible, and I am moving toward it.'

So. . . that is a 'yes, and. . .' moment. It is so different from a 'yes, but. . .' moment. Don't you agree? There is a very powerful difference. There is such power in the 'yes, and' statement. Yes, I believe, and yes, I expect. Rather than, Yes, I want to believe, but no, I don't really think I do.

So, are you a 'yes, but' person, or a 'yes, and' person?

We can stop arguing for our limitations any time we choose, and there's no buts about it. Go for it. Argue for your success, for your abundance.

All Of My So-Called Limitations Are Figments Of My Imagination. I Am Limited Only By My Own Thinking.

Spread Some Joy Today--Tomorrow, get out of bed on the opposite side as normal. Hum a song at work. Walk backward down the hallway. Eat with your fork in the opposite hand. Do some things differently today. Just for the fun of it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-5-10

"The past doesn't equal the future. All great leaders, all the people who have achieved in any area of life, know the power of continuously pursuing their vision, even if all the details of how to achieve it aren't yet available."

-- Tony Robbins

"Successful people believe in the validity of their own dreams and goals, even if dreams are all they have to go on."

-- Denis Waitley

As we grow older, we have the opportunity to become more enlightened; to have more wisdom (enlightenment). One of the things that speeds this process along smoothly is constantly challenging your beliefs and values. One of the ways to do this is by redefining the meaning of words in our life--words like failure, success, education, wisdom, and many more.

If we are open, we can learn that the past does not equal the future, although we may have believed that it did much of our life. How easily we forget that the first time we tried to eat food it went all over our face, and the first time we tried to walk, we fell, and then again, and again, and again. Truly, we fail our way through life if we think about it. So remembering this will help to redefine what it means to fail.

In business, failing and failure are serious words that are looked at generally as what not to do in order to keep a job. Yet, not all think that. Thomas J Watson, who founded IBM, thought much differently about that. He said, "The way to succeed is to double your error rate." Most other businesses would say the opposite. Thomas Watson knew that failure equals success. Famed Hockey star, Wayne Gretzky said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Thomas J Watson and Wayne Gretzky are saying the same thing.

If this is true, why then do so many of us quit when the going gets tough, or stop believing in our own dreams? Why do many of us try a little then come to the conclusion that it doesn't work? We do consulting with small businesses and it is our job to come up with ideas and different ways of doing things. We will ask business owners, have you tried this? Have you tried that? What about this? What about that? Many times we hear this kind of answer: "We tried that, but that doesn't work, or we tried that, but it didn't produce any results." Then we 'swim upstream' a bit more and ask, how many times did you try it? What did you change about it the next time? Well, you probably get the idea. Some people try so little, it would be a wonder if it did work.

As Anthony Robbins says, ". . . the power of continuously pursuing their vision. . ." That would be called commitment; staying the course; finding a way; trying new things; trying them again and again. The past does not equal the future unless we allow it to. The greatest benefit that we have in life is our ability to change. We can change location, change our thinking, change our actions. How glorious to be able to change any time we decide to do so. What power resides in this ability.

Continue to believe in your dreams and in yourself as a creator. You have far more power than you can now imagine and it awaits your command. More than this, it awaits your belief. Just think if Superman didn't believe he had the power. You really do have it. We all do. Think of your power as if it were a jet engine off of a 747 jet, mounted in a Toyota Corolla. That's what I'm talkin' about!

Toyota 7563-November, Ready For Take-off . . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Go into the phone booth and change into your super person outfit with the cape and all. You know what your powers are and that gives you the ultimate confidence. Now wherever you go today, let people see that confidence.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-4-10

"I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism."

-- Charles M Schwab

"Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen,
well-timed, sincere words of praise.
They're absolutely free and worth a fortune."

-- Sam Walton

Yes! This is one of my favorite inspirational messages, because it is so powerful and so true--and so personal.

In my life I have achieved things that I started out to do, but none so well, so easily and so eagerly as those where I received encouraging words. It makes me want to double my efforts and hear some more encouragement until I get to be really, really good at it.

Sometimes we might be in a place where we have a lot of experience at doing a thing and then someone under us is missing the mark and we feel that we must point that out. It just irks me when I have to do that and I avoid it like the plague. I would rather find things to compliment and ways to encourage because I know full well that those acts will not only feel great to them, but spur them on as never before. Criticism in any form is like taking Cod Liver Oil without holding your nose. Yuck! And, yes, that even means constructive criticism, as if there could be such a thing.

I will never forget how I became a songwriter. It was only through the encouragement of one person. And, the songs and recordings were not very good. Matter of fact, they were terrible, but I got better with practice, then better some more. That only happened because of the encouragement. I couldn't wait to get home, write and record another song, then play it for that person. It was a thrill. Later on, I was strong enough to encourage myself through the process, along with positive feedback from others.

To me, having someone to help you with encouragement is how you get better at something. Like work. Want a salesperson to excel? Encourage them to the hilt. Compliment them often and lavishly. Find things they are doing to reward them for. Look for what is right, not what is wrong. That goes for any employee or coworker.

Try this: For a week, look for ways to compliment coworkers or employees and encourage them in what they do. Tell them how important what they do is and how much it is appreciated. Tell them how nice they look, or other exterior compliments. Watch what happens.

I predict you will be duly impressed with your skills.

Where Always Is Heard, An Encouraging Word. . .
Oh, What A World That Would Be. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Know that you have the power to positively influence every single person you touch. Ain't it grand!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-3-10

"Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it."

-- William James

"You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him find it within himself."

-- Galileo

William James says it so well, and I have found it in just the last few years on a consistent basis, yet the strangest thing is that it seems as if I have taken a tablespoon out of the ocean. The abundance that exists in this place is beyond measure. In the past as I look back, I can clearly see now those spots when I felt most deeply and vitally alive and heard the inner voice. They were few and far between then.

I wanted more and I wanted someone to show me, but as Galileo so aptly stated, "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." All of the study I have engaged in has taught me what I already knew deep down, after I allowed it. It is as though what I hear from my 'teachers,' is uncovering my true self as if a blanket were removed from a bed.

I think we are all so much more wise and knowledgeable than we think we are. I know in my own teaching of others that I have felt as if I were just helping them find it within themselves too. I see teaching as more encouragement than anything--encouragement to allow, rather than to absorb knowledge.

This probably sounds mystical and mysterious. It is a challenge to describe it. Yet, when I read the William James quote above, I just totally understood it to the core immediately. I think for much of my life, I kind of let stuff get in the way. You know, the daily grind stuff, the complaining stuff, and the mixed emotional stuff. You might know it as reality.

I've learned that reality is not a physical thing, but an attitude thing. There is no such thing as The Reality, but there is my reality, your reality and their reality. The blanket is the reality. Allowing the teaching to uncover the blanket of reality can expose the real person we all are. It's like the movie Cocoon, where the friendly aliens wore human suits, and when they took them off, there they were in all their glory.

As the blankets come off, the real person will come to dominate. That, my friends, is bliss in greater and greater abundance. Joy is the expression of it. How awesome!

Where's My Blanky? I'm Feeling So Exposed! Yeah Baby!

Spread Some Joy Today--When you get to work today, please remember to take off your blanky and let the real you lead the way. Expose your coworkers to some of your joy! It may very well be an enlightening experience.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-2-10

"The greater danger for most of us
is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it.

-- Michelangelo

"Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible."

-- Claude T Bissell

If you really think hard about it, this entire world runs on desire. Desire to be better, to have more, to be more, to share with more, to own more, to reach beyond what they now know and experience to something else. They say about mountain climbers that they only do it because the mountain is there. Really it is because they want to be up there--they have a desire to achieve that objective; to experience the thrill of it. It's desire.

We all dream. Most of us dream at night as we have let go of the day and go off to that strange land of our dreams. Some of us dream in the daylight of some desire that may be near, or it may be far off in the distance. Children are dreamers. They see what is not and want it to be what is. They have no trouble whatsoever fantasizing. We might even encourage children, but when we are adults, you are more likely to hear, "You're a dreamer. You need to face reality. You live in a dream world. Get your head out of the sky and come back to earth." Now, you're being told that you can't aim that high. You have to aim lower. Don't step out of your rightful place. Stay there with the same folks doing the same things the way their fathers and grandmothers and great-great grandfolks did it. Stay the course. Keep your head on straight.

I'll give you some free advice: BS. Crap. If you listen to that, you've resigned to live the life of those you see around you. No desire. No challenge. Stay the course.

If that is where you want to be, that is wonderful. High five on that. If . . . that's your desire. Or did you trade your desire for security and comfort? Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks said this: "If you want to achieve widespread impact and lasting value, be bold."

The problem is that dreamers are alone much of the time with their dreams until they achieve them, then they have friends they don't even know. Sometimes it is best to keep the dreams to yourself as long as you can because there are so many people who may not want you to succeed and change. It makes them uncomfortable to say the least.

Obviously, Michelangelo was a dreamer and he challenged the status quo. To achieve the kind of things he achieved requires boldness and risk. There is probably no other way. And, look at the reward. Oh, sure, he could have failed to perform, but like he said, better to aim too high and miss it, than aim to low and achieve it.

I especially liked Claude Bissell's advice:

"Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible."

Yes, and Amen!

"All Dreams Can Come True--If We Have The Courage To Pursue Them." -- Walt Disney

Spread Some Joy Today--Got any dreams you put in the closet out of sight? Any of them worth revisiting? Maybe you have some new ones. There is nothing quite like a strong desire to energize your life!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Daily Inspiration 2-1-10

"The sad part about life is we tend to comment only on those who do it wrong and neglect to balance it with praise for those who do it right."

-- Keith Ready

Common conversation at work and at home much of the time amounts to discussing those people and systems (groups of people) that do it wrong and if they would just take a few minutes and pay attention, we could set them on the straight and narrow path to doing it well. Then we could praise them--after the probation period, of course.

I must say that I have been doing this for so many years that I feel like I have an advanced degree in the field of complaining how poorly some people do things. It's amazing they grew up to be adults. Sometimes, I might have spent several hours in a day doing this at work with selected associates and then going home and telling my wife about all the stupid decisions and irrational behaviors I experience from other people all day that day. Of course, I knew so much better and even stated how it should have been and how much better that would be for everyone involved.

We all have 20/20 hindsight, don't we? Being critical of what other people say and do is one of the easiest career choices. It doesn't pay very well for most, but many, as I did, made a career out of it.

Of course, hearing criticism of what I was doing would put me into wartime defense mode. I would even prepare long defensive plans in my head on the pretense that I would someday need to utilize them. That's commonly called justification. I could have won awards in that career field. I graduated from advanced justification just short of indignant righteousness. I was about to start my own faultfinding firm called Shuda Engineering . . . and then it happened. . .

I read a book and it helped open my mind to a different way; a way that would not only have better results, but help me to feel better, because the other way, though I was certainly justified, I always felt crappy and even depressed about a lot of things. Okay, well. . . it was most things. The world after all was sooooooo screwed up, you know.

The book? It was called Power In Praise by Merlin Carothers. At the time, I was going to church and I had read the Bible twice and I wasn't really into it all. I heard a lot of Shuda Engineering sermons and frankly I was dismayed, confused and affected negatively. Then I read the book and it had me looking at things completely differently. I did a 180 as they say. That book led me to several other books in time that would take me to another level where I think about and participate so very little in Shuda Engineering.

Now I look at someone doing something and I say to myself, "Wow. That's interesting! I never would have thought of doing it that way, but you know, it is certainly a way. Heckfire, it might even produce desired results. I'm always on the lookout for better ways." Well. . . there might be just a shade of sarcasm there, but the Shuda Engineering contract has expired, so I'm in recovery. Doing well too!

Now, I'm doing some graduate work at Prazen U. Things are looking pretty good there. It is a whole different outlook. More and more enlightened people are attending. The campus is busting with joyseekers. I've never heard more encouragement in my entire life as I've heard in my short time at Prazen U. I find myself noticing and speaking about all the right instead of the left. It is such a party changing experience. I can't recommend this course enough. One of the books I have enjoyed much here at Prazen U is, The Gratitude Effect by Dr. John Demartini. He has taught much of the faculty at Prazen U and is a guest lecturer from time to time.

I'm into Prazen U!
Prazen U feels Great!

Honey or Vinegar? Let's see. . . I Think. . . Honey!

Spread Some Joy Today--Praise, according to Webster's dictionary, means to extol, laud, honor, acclaim, express approval. To praise, then, is to give positive affirmation, expressing our approval of something or someone. Go extol, laud, honor, acclaim, and express approval today. I guarantee a joyful experience for both of you.