Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-31-10

"Every achiever that I have ever met says,
'My life turned around when I began to believe in me.'"

-- Dr Robert Schuller

"The history of free men is never wirtten by chance,
but by choice--their choice."

-- Vince Lombardi

I know a lot of people who claim belief in God and not in themselves. Isn't that an oxymoron? If we believe in God and know that God made us, by not believing in ourselves, we must mean that God makes poor specimens of human beings. What was that in Genesis about, 'it was good. . .?' Nah, you're really saying it was bad.

I got over it. I'm perfectly made and perfectly sound and am working diligently on perfect belief--in me. The way toward that wonderful place is the word, 'try.' I know Yoda said there is no try, but what I mean is to give it a shot and go do. Then, as you do, learn from the experience of it and make an effort to do it your best. Then, keep doing your best which gets better at every juncture, until you are the best at what you do--or, somewhere in there doing well, at the very least.

I used to love to watch my stepson, Guy. I met him when he was 12 years old and full of curiosity, as most kids are. But, Guy was different in that he would actually do things others might just think of. I'll give you an example of this kid's creative curiosity.

I had an electric air pump for many years. It was a small pump designed for spray painting small items, blowing up swimming pool rafts and the like. It was indestructible. Matter of fact, I bought it in 1972 and it still works today. Anyway, Guy takes the pump out by the pool and found a large plastic bowl shaped object, took some duct tape and hooked it all up so he could breathe underwater in the pool. I walked out there and saw him underwater with the plastic dome and the pump going and I just started cracking up. What fun! What creativity.

That was just one instance of many such things that Guy tried. He just followed what he wanted to do and did it. He believed in himself, his ability and his creativity to find a way, then he just acted on it. I don't think I have met anyone who had as much belief in himself as I saw in Guy. He's still acting it out now with a family of his own. They seem to be creatively curious as well and I wonder where they get it from. It must be contagious.

It is contagious. People who really believe in themselves and who find a way are generally people we look up to and admire. And, really, it is just a choice. A choice to believe in ourselves and our ability and our right to do, be and have. It's not waiting for the perfect time, but acting on it now with what is available right now. Guy didn't have scuba gear, he just had fun with what was available. We can do that in our personal lives and business too. Just make the best of what is available and believe we can do it and we will.

I Believe. I Believe. I Believe.

Spread Some Joy Today--Adopt more belief in yourself and make some decisions today and have some fun. Become a rock star!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-30-10

"We are always complaining that our days are few,
and acting as though there would be no end to them."

-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

"The man who insists upon seeing with perfect
clearness before he decides, never decides."

-- Henri-Frederic Amiel

Putting things off to a better time is the current mantra of small business. To that I have to say, there is no time like the present. Some may think it is a terrible time to invest in your business, but I think the opposite--that it is a perfect time to invest. There is no time like the present. In all reality, there is ONLY the present. Everything else is what's been or what might be.

Don't we do that in our personal lives as well. There is no better time than now because there is only now. Oh, I don't mean the Paris vacation when you have no money, but you certainly could have a 'Paris-theme' time for a week at home at very little expense. Play Parisian music, put up a patio umbrella over your kitchen table, get out the Julia Child cookbook and go for it. A little pretend time. How fun is that? Children do it all the time, why not us?

Retirement. It's an if-come-maybe at best, yet so many look so forward to its arrival so they can "relax and enjoy life." So, let's have some retirement time right here and right now this week. Go smell the flowers and walk through the woods, rent a motor home and go somewhere for a week, or go play card games with your friends or something. Who has to wait for anything unless they fail to make a decision to enjoy the moments that you have right now.

When I was 13, my father who was a California Highway Patrolman was killed on his way home from work on his motorcycle. He was 34 years old. My sister died when she was 21. What I learned from this is that life is precarious and brief. It doesn't matter how much money you have or how young or old you are, there is no reason to put off what you like and want unless, one, you can't make a decision about what you want, or two, you aren't flexible enough to be a child again and do some pretend play.

If you can do these two things, the world is yours. Everything you want is right here and right now, if only in your mind. What was that Jesus said about children and the kingdom of heaven? Don't wait for that either. The kingdom of heaven is here--or at least it can be if you're a child. . .

I Love Where I Am Right Now, This Minute, Every Day. I Enjoy My Life Very Much And Find Joy Daily.

Spread Some Joy Today--Take a little vacation right at home. Get your theme going and spend some time enjoying each other and the moments in which you live. There is no need to wait for anything--especially time and money. They are merely conveniences. Creative people make skateboards out of steel skates and two by fours. Remember those? Too young? Let go, and let your inner child lead the way.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-29-10

"Worry is the misuse of imagination."

-- Proverb

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."

-- Buddha

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."

-- Oprah Winfrey

"Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts."

-- Alan Cohen

Many times, I look for a quote that expresses how I feel, and sometimes that quote is very hard to find. Another thing I noticed was that as I was thinking about thankfulness and gratitude, I looked for quotes on that subject and they are very few in comparison with quotes on so many other topics. I find that interesting and telling.

Let me say this, and I say it with all the depth of sincerity that I can muster: I have found absolutely nothing in life so rewarding, so empowering and so wonderful as gratitude. As I say that, it just doesn't sound one tenth as strong as I feel about that. That's why I was looking for a really great quote to back me up. Didn't find it.

I even looked in the Bible and even though one of my favorite quotes from Paul is "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God. - I. Thessalonians 5.16-18. Even that, though powerful and good, leaves me unfulfilled. Although, I have to say that the word Rejoice! is awfully good.

No, I think gratitude and thankfulness is better than sex and better than any feeling I have ever had--ever. And the more I experience gratitude, the more gratitude I find and the more things I find to be thankful for. That's an amazing thing in itself. It costs nothing, doesn't even require any expense of energy--matter of fact, I think it actually is energizing! I have tears of joy that just flood through me and ecstatic, joyful feelings wash over me whenever I am truly grateful. I would have to say without a doubt that it is THE MOST POWERFUL AND FULFILLING feeling.

Now, here's the really good news. I have this feeling almost every day, and some days many, many times throughout the day, and they are constantly growing in depth and number as I experience each one. Perhaps I might get to the point where I feel nothing but gratitude. WOW! There's a thought worth thinking! To have the most powerful and fulfilling feeling all the time? My goodness, what could be better than that?

You might say, 'Terry, get you head out of that fantasy land and get back down here to reality. There's stuff to do and expectations to meet.' So, I say, no problem, but I'm bringing my private world of gratitude with me and no one can take that away, no matter what.

I'm thinking about having a permanent fully thankful smile on my face. . .
I'm ready, willing, able and most assuredly, grateful.

I Am Continually Ever More Grateful. Awesome.

Spread Some Joy Today--Risk a little today. Take pause and stare out the window for a few minutes. Smile at what you see. Give thanks for all you see. Give thanks for the fact that you see. Give thanks that you can even give thanks. There is zero worry in gratitude. It is a safe, comfortable, and healing place to be--as often as you can.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-28-10

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

-- Alan Kay

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."

-- Albert Einstein

"Vision. . . .
It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception
of what can be. Imagination gives you the picture.
Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own."

-- Robert Collier

Contrary to popular opinion, I pay close attention to reality. After all, it is what is, right? What it is, it is. Face reality. I do. Matter of fact, if it weren't for reality, being in my face, I wouldn't have the desire to create my own reality. Based on that alone, I thank God for reality.

So, I'm looking at what's real and not liking it very much, so that causes me to desire a different reality--one that is somewhat more pleasing to my senses, my heart and my soul. So, I change it. That's right. I just change it. Now I have a different reality and it feels so much better.

Like Einstein says, 'If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.' I love that line, and I think I might change it a bit to, If the facts don't fit the theory, change your thinking about the facts. It's just a fact, you know. A fact is nothing more than our own individual interpretation of something. So, accepting the facts, or the 'what is' will limit us dramatically from what could possibly be.

This is where vision comes in. My interpretation of the word vision in this context is to be able to see beyond what is to a better reality. Think of the visionaries that you might be aware of and how they looked at current reality and saw something completely different, then moved toward it, rather than accepting the current reality as real. Whew. That's heavy. But, it is so true, isn't it?

The absolute best thing that I can do about the present reality is be sincerely grateful for it and to appreciate it for what it is. That would be the extent of it, unless it was exactly what I wanted, then I would roll around in it like a dog scratching it's own back on the living room floor wiggling all around upside down. Come to think of it, I'm doing that much of the time with the current reality as it is a perfect way of showing my gratitude, don't you know. After all, I created this reality too. It's just that my thinking is always changing and moving toward another vision.

It's all good then, isn't it? How in the world can you miss, when you think of it like this? It reminds me of that Crosby, Still & Nash song. . . love the one you're with. . .love the one you're with. . .

Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds Ya. Cause It's You!

Spread Some Joy Today--Make a sincere effort today. Find joy. Do whatever you need to do today to find joy. It's really, really easy. Choose it now. Be grateful. Give thanks. Share your love. It costs nothing at all. It doesn't even requre bodily energy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-27-10

"There are two ways of spreading light:
to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it."

-- Edith Wharton

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

-- Mahatma Gandhi

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."

-- Christopher Reeve

What would be the point of joining the group Anarchist's International? How about People against walls? Humans Opposed To Getting Stoned? Of course, I just made these groups up in my head (maybe I should check and see if they actually exist?), but there is a list that will probably cover the distance between New York and Los Angeles of groups against or opposed to something or another. I go to the grocery store and I'm hunted by the petitioners for yet another state proposition to ban something or stop something.

One thing that I have learned very clearly is that whatever we give our attention to increases. It doesn't matter that we fight against it or don't want it. The more we give energy to it, the more it persists. It would certainly be so much more effective to be for than against anyway. Being against something takes your positive energy and gives it to a negative cause. Better to use your positive energy to do something positive. But, that's not quite normal is it? It seems like there might be something wrong with someone who wants to fight for something rather than against something, doesn't it? However, that is the best way. As Gandhi says, "be the change you want to see in the world."

You don't like what is going on at work? Think the boss is an idiot? Don't like the way they do things? You be the change. Do more without complaining. Be the way you think people should be. You want a positive organization? Then be the change and be positive. Be the light that shines the way--or at least follow those who are. There is plenty to do to change things for the better and spending any time at all on what is wrong won't help much. Matter of fact, it is likely that it won't help at all, but to increase the number and depth of the things that are wrong.

Think the city is being run poorly? Volunteer to help. Think health care reform is the curse of the country? Jump in there and show a better way. Fighting against it will do absolutely nothing for your cause except give you something to do and something to be angry about. Swimming upstream requires a lot of energy.

Instead, be the light; be the change. Choose your method carefully. What is it you really want rather than what you don't want? Focus on the want and be the light. It will be energy better spent and make you a leader worth following.

I Am The Light; I Am The Change. I Lead By Example. I Am A Builder, Not A Destroyer.

Spread Some Joy Today--Stop swimming upstream with people and problems. Pause. Put the oars in the boat. Now, let go and let the boat float. Trust. Ahhhhhh. That feels so much better, doesn't it? Rest, recuperate and rejoice.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-26-10

"The secret is not to give up hope. It's very hard not to because if you're really doing something worthwhile I think you will be pushed to the brink of hopelessness before you come through the other side."

"You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead."

-- George Lucas

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

-- Calvin Coolidge

"Never, never, never, never, give up."

-- Winston Churchill

The question is not whether or not I can succeed. It is, how far will I go? Where will I draw the line that says, this far and no further? It is, what am I willing to give for it? It is what will I think about it along the way. Some may go this far and no further, others a bit further, and others further still. Each chooses and the choice is everything.

Benjamin Disraeli said it so well: "Nothing can withstand the power of the human will if it is willing to stake its very existence to the extent of its purpose."

That just leaves whether a line is drawn and where it may be drawn.

I May Choose My Own Success, Or Not. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Have there been times in your life where you've drawn a line and would not go further? Looking back, would it have made a difference to have kept going a bit more?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-25-10

"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another
as to remain cool and unruffled under all circumstances."

-- Thomas Jefferson

"Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience."

-- Benjamin Franklin

Cool and unruffled under all circumstances. . . what a dream that is! However, I like that dream very much and I absolutely agree that it is one of the most powerful positions to hold and maintain. I would go so far as to say that it is even mastery. To have such charge of your own mind as to be able to control your feelings so well that under extremely challenging situations you remain cool, calm and collected is an awesome objective.

I especially like this quote from Thomas Jefferson and what I like about it is that the movie, John Adams that stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, shows Thomas Jefferson, played by Stephen Dillane in exactly this way--cool and calm under intense pressure. It is a joy to watch him and how influential he really was.

Much of that comes from a partnership with patience. Allowing a situation to unfold prior to reacting in anticipation of how it might be can be so helpful. It may even turn out the way you want it without any effort of your own.

Today, having made the decision several years ago to seek to be cool and unruffled under all circumstances, I find great progress. I am therefore an avid student of Thomas Jefferson and seek to emulate him in his coolness. I've a ways to go. . . but the horizon is in sight. A wonderful sight at that. Consider the virtue of joining me. It is a worthy journey with great reward.

I Am Cool and Calm and Collected More Every Day.

Spread Some Joy Today--How's your coolness under fire? Your calmness under pressure? Your patience in the face of fear and worry? What would you like it to be?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-24-10

"To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform."

-- Theodore White

"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth.
Growth must be chosen again and again;
fear must be overcome again and again."

-- Abraham Maslow

It has been said by many that you cannot succeed by yourself. I agree with this and agree even more now than ever that success is a shared activity. At the same time, making the decision to be successful is a lonely task, for it is you and you alone that make that call. And, sometimes that is the hardest call of all. Why? Because you may have to 'go against the dominant thinking of your friends,' risking potential and real criticism from many.

Why? In order to grow and change, you have to expand your area of comfort--your comfort zone and the dominant thinking of the group will find this challenging to say the least. Some will encourage you, many will not. Why? They are comfortable with things the way they are. In that comfortable group there is likely little or no growth, but it is comfortable.

Deciding on growth has risks. It also has rewards and my findings have been that the rewards outstrip the risks many times to one. Getting out of bed in the morning has risks, so all of life entails risk. Will Rogers was famous for saying, "You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is." So it is.

To grow, you've got to face fear. The biggest one to face is the first one to come along: fear of failing, looking bad, not succeeding. Get over it--the fear, I mean. That is just worry and it is a misuse of imagination. Plan on failing instead. Heck, you can fail your way all the way to success. If you aren't failing, there is a serious problem. Failing is not a problem, it is a learning experience. It is your guidance system in action.

Of course you'll face fear--and often. So what? The more you laugh at it to its face, the less it likes being around you. Fear has no courage. Fear has no substance. It is only imagination. You control your imagination, not anything or anyone else unless you specifically allow it.

So go on. Live. Try. Do. Be. Enjoy. Build. Speculate. Share. Create.
The joy of this is beyond compare. Create your own dominate thinking.

I Am A Growth-Oriented, Creative Person. I Can't Help Myself--Nor Should I. It's What I Live For.

Spread Some Joy Today--What's the difference between doing what you really love to do, so that time is insignificant, and doing what you feel you have to because you're supposed to? Life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-23-10

"You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights."

-- Maya Angelou

"If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire,
then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience."

-- Robert Fulghum

"How can something bother you if you won't let it?"

-- Terri Guillemets

We all deal with inconveniences daily. Some people react to them and get upset, even to the point of frustration and anger. It is as if the event was a trigger and they were the gun being fired. When I was really young, my father was like that whenever we were in the car driving somewhere. He would get visibly upset and curse at a lot of drivers in other cars. Like that helped anything. . .

Other people respond. There is such a great difference, like night and day, between the responses of reacting or responding. To respond means to consider prior to showing a response, such as, 'is this really a big deal?' Tangled Christmas lights is one of those less than exciting things, but getting upset could never help them become untangled. If lost luggage is lost, how would anger be of any use whatsoever? And, rainy days can be glorious!

If you want to be upset over something, at least make it something important like your house being on fire, or having nothing to eat, or breaking your neck. At least wait for the really bad things to feel crappy about and get angry over. That way you can be justified in knowing that no one would disallow you of your scorn in such circumstances as these. There are plenty who will even sympathize with you. Pity loves a party.

Nonetheless, it still doesn't help, does it? It is impossible for the anger to change the circumstance for it is merely a reaction to it. However, it does have a tendency to encourage more situations to be angry about. The Law of Attraction is in force all the time. Anger will attract more anger, patience more patience, love more love, joy more joy. That is worth paying attention to more closely.

You have seen it for yourself. You know a few really angry people and you also know that they find plenty to be angry about and as time goes on, it seems that they find more to be angry about, don't they? They really are attracting more of it to them and they associate with people who act similarly and sympathize with them.

You may have also seen the opposite. A few people who are always happy and they find more things to be happy about and consequently more things come to them for them to be happy about. Good things keep coming and the other kind of things don't faze them. They respond rather than react.

We all get to choose. Respond? React? Respond? React?
There is a world of difference and the difference is everything.

I Choose My Responses. I Am In Charge, Not The Events Or Other People Around Me. What Joy!

Spread Some Joy Today--Pay attention to how you respond or react today. Is that what you want? You get to choose.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-22-10

"I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.
I have lost almost 300 games.
On 26 occasions I have been entrusted
to take the game winning shot. . .and missed.
I have failed over and over again in my life. . .
that that is why. . .I succeed."

-- Michael Jordan

"If you're doing your very best,
you won't have any time to worry about failure."

-- H Jackson Brown, Jr.

I love these two quotes together and in this sequence. Michael Jordan is being humble and instructing wannabes and H Jackson Brown's comment speaks of Michael Jordan, doesn't it? I think we would all agree that it seems to us that Michael Jordan always gave his best; albeit sometimes his best wasn't good enough--as is our own--but it's okay. It's all good.

I remember like phantom voices my grandmother and others saying to me to do my best. I haven't always done that. I believe in doing my best and promote it and I do my best often. And, I also know there have been plenty of times when good enough was on my mind rather than my best.

Therein lies the difference I think. How often do we do our best? 25%? 50%? Doing our best doesn't guarantee success, but I think it guarantees that we will succeed more often, as we all know Michael Jordan did.

I Want To Do My Best 100% Of The Time. This Will Give Me Nothing To Lose And Everything To Gain!

Spread Some Joy Today--Do your best all day today, then turn and look back and see the difference your day made.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-21-10

"The best helping hand that you will ever receive. . .
is the one at the end of your own arm."

-- Fred Dehner

"How much time he gains who does not look
to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks,
but only what he does himself, to make it just and holy."

-- Marcus Aurelius

"Champions take responsibility.
When the ball is coming over the net,
you can be sure I want the ball."

-- Billie Jean King

Self-reliance is a challenge and yet it is a necessity to succeed. We need to learn to depend on ourselves, believe in ourselves and accept ourselves for who and what we are and who and what we can become. People don't come to our front door and say, "We chose you to be a success today, so come with us and let's get you some of those rewards." That would be nice. I would like it, but it is an unlikely event.

The reality is we can only truly depend on ourselves. Taking responsibility for that reality is key as Billie Jean King says. When the ball is coming over the fence, it really doesn't matter what the neighbors think, the fans in the stadium, her parents and relatives, coaches, teachers. It's just Billy Jean and the ball. One on one. Total control of that moment--the CEO of the ball's next move. There is a certain amount of peace and comfort in that realization. The time for input from others has passed.

"Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity,
and movements and changes in the world about him;
then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp
to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. . .
Everyone has it within his power to say,
this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow."

-- Louis L'Amour

I Am The Ultimate Decision Maker In My Own Life.

Spread Some Joy Today--Before you go to work today, take a good look in the mirror (or the bathroom at work if you are already there. . .) and put on that look of total confidence--the 'I can do anything' look. Admire it for a few brief moments because you may not have seen it in a while. Now, go back to work wearing it for the rest of the day. See how people respond to you for the rest of the day. I'll bet it makes a huge difference.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-20-10

"Perhaps the most important vision of all is to develop a sense of self, a sense of your own destiny, a sense of your unique mission and role in life, a sense of purpose and meaning."

-- Stephen Covey

"I was once asked if a big business man ever reached his objective.
I replied that if a man ever reached his objective,
he was not a big business man."

-- Charles M Schwab

At first glance, these two quotes don't seem to go together, yet to me they are so powerfully on the same track.

I've been called an idealist from time to time and from time to time I've been an idealist. What I like about an idealist is how big their dream is. It is right on the edge of impossible. Of course, that's why we so sarcastically call them idealists, isn't it? For only realists believe in reality and only fools believe in the ideal, right? Get your head out of the clouds and get back down here with the rest of us we might think or say.

Charles M Schwab was a big thinker and he acted on a thought and gave that thought some legs at a speaking engagement and turned that thought into what was then the largest corporation in the world: United States Steel Corporation. Idealist thinking turned into reality. Charles is a fascinating person and if you ever want to read about Andrew Carnegie's right hand man, read, Steel Titan.

When I first got into the auto business at age 22 in 1972, what I saw and learned caused me to want to change the car business for the better and that became my idealistic endeavor. Here it is 2010, and I have barely even made the slightest dent in my objective; however, I have made huge strides in the individual operations of which I was involved. We could call that spillage, I suppose.

My point (I know I have one. . .) is that a grand objective is a very powerful thing though the rest of the world may call you an idealist or other names. It is powerful because it gives a person something to move toward, however small the steps and it is grand enough to evoke emotion and commitment and this makes all the difference. In short, it is so much larger than you or I and when we get out of ourselves and into a grand objective, powerful things happen.

My most recent evolution of grand objectives was announced in the CTS Daily Inspiration on Monday, March 15th: "I want my actions to inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more." This is my new life mission and it is powerfully large and powerfully exciting at the same time. Now, everything I do has more meaning, more excitement, more intrigue, more joy.

This objective is impossible to achieve, right? Maybe, but that is part of the charm. If I really grab hold of this (and I am), then I will affect everyone I touch. That might be a small number, but then they touch two and they touch two and they touch two. . . and pretty soon, the world has been touched!

It could happen. . .

Grab hold of a grand ideal and adopt it. It will change your life!

A Mission Is So Much More Important Than A Goal.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about what you would like as a life mission. It may change periodically, but absolutely worth the effort. Try it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-19-10

"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand. . .
as in what direction we are moving."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

-- Henry David Thoreau

There is entirely too much emphasis on arriving and not nearly enough on the journey. We live in a world wanting instant gratification, instant success, instant service.

I used to be very goal-oriented. I set goals for everything and kept track of my progress all the while focused on the destination. I used to see that quote about 'smelling the flowers along the way' and pretend I was, but wasn't and didn't. I studied how to set goals to improve reaching them and to reach them so I could set some more. I taught goal setting. It was all about achievement and all about the destination.

Today, I haven't given up on goals, but just changed how I look at what I am doing and where I am going. Now I make decisions about what I want and act on my intuition and inspiration. I keep what I want in mind, yet not to the exclusion of enjoying all that is around me. What is around me is wonderful; that is, full of wonder to the point that the destination is less important than experiencing right now and enjoying what I like about what is in my life right now rather than focusing on what I want that I do not now have.

Nothing happens without desire and you could easily call that a goal. As I would have a desire for something it was usually a result of something I didn't desire. There was too much of a tendency to focus on what I didn't like rather than on what I wanted--but more important than this was not seeing the things I did like mixed in with what I didn't like.

The biggest change in me in the last few years is seeing what I do like about right now and focusing on that and ignoring as much as humanly possible of what I do not like right now. I appreciate what is good in my life right now while I desire to have more, do more or be more. That might sound like a small, insignificant difference to you right now, but I tell you that it is a monumental difference. I would even go so far as to say it is all the difference.

What do you really appreciate and enjoy right now this moment? Being grateful for it is huge. I find myself giving thanks all day long, including first thing when I awake and last thing before I nod off to sleep.

Though I want more, if I never arrive at my desired destination, it is no loss.

That destination is truly worth arriving at.

I Am On The Road And I Feel The Road Beneath Me, The Air Around Me, The Sights And Smells, And The Glory That Is Right Here And Now. I Am Grateful For Every Second Of It.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about what you enjoy in your day. That thinking will change you and others will notice the change. What a great way to spread joy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-18-10

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."

-- Gerry Spence

"I believe in the imagination. . .
what I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see."

-- Duane Michals

I absolutely love Gerry Spence's quote, 'I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.'

When I think about wonder, all I have to do is open my eyes and look at almost anything. Right now, I'm looking out my window at the trees in my neighbors yard. What wonder is in trees and all of nature. Then I see the sky. What wonder I see in the sky. It is all around me every second of every day, and I don't even have to open my eyes, for I can hear. That is a wonder all its own. Music. I love music and I just love listening to the sounds of the neighborhood like the lawn being mowed, power tools in operation, talking. Then there is the smell. Someone is barbecuing something tasty. I can smell it from hundreds of feet away. Wonderful smell. Or how it smells after a rain, or the smell of wet concrete on a hot day.

I could go on for the rest of my life talking about all the wonder around me that I see, hear, taste, touch and smell.

But then. . . wonder of wonders is the Imagination! Thought and thought pictures and thought feelings create an entirely unique world of delight. No need to wait for a premonition, you can create an alternate reality in your mind. How glorious is that?

Whenever I think of the word Imagination (capitalized on purpose!), I think of Walt Disney. To me as a child growing up, he was the guru of the world of Imagination--and what a delight it was and still is.

There are a great number of things that I know. . . and a zillion that I do not know. Wonder means that I don't need to know, but just to gaze at them in awe and in wonder of the creation as I see it daily. I rejoice in this private land of joy and I have shared just a small corner of it in hopes that you can experience some of it with me.

Open your mind to the wonder all around you!

I See Wonder All Around Me Whether It Is 'Reality' Or Not. Who Needs Belief When There Is Wonder?

Spread Some Joy Today--Pretend for the next hour that all of your needs are met fully--financial, personal, all of it. Now, take this hour to open your eyes to all that is around you in every moment that you have previously ignored or complained about. Since all your needs are met, you can now for the next hour turn your attention to what you've been missing! Ain't it grand?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-17-10

"It's always worthwhile to make others aware of their worth."

-- Malcolm Forbes

"Throw your heart over the bars. . . and your body will follow."

-- Veteran Trapeze Performer

If you know someone of value, and it is of value to you, then you owe it to yourself and others to let them know it. When it comes to the heart, we are all in about the same place--hungry for love and encouragement and hungry to share that with others.

We have created a clinical world, especially the world of business where we say things a certain way, for fear of doing it incorrectly according to the rules and regulations of human interaction in the hierarchy of class and position. I can't stand that world and I refuse to be a part of it. The easiest way for me has been to have no fear of losing a job. It is the fear of losing a job that keeps people saying those 'inhuman' things. I'm sure if you haven't heard of those inhuman things, you can check with your Human Resources person. I'm sure they have many manuals on the subject.

It is amazing what you can say when you have no fear. It has made a powerful difference in my life and I am proud to have lived it this way, as I continue to do. My heart is part of who I am and it is that way whether it is at home, or at church or at work or some other event.

And, it doesn't matter if it is someone in a superior position or lesser position. I encourage them all with the same methods and the same passion. We are all driven by feelings and the better we feel, the better we perform! I just love people and want to see everyone get everything they want. Don't you? Come on, really. . . you do, right? Tell them! Let them know you care and that you notice. It will be amazing the difference you will make!

I Live On The Edge. The View Is Tremendous!

Spread Some Joy Today--Just walk up to a coworker today and tell them what you think of them. It will start a great relationship.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-16-10

"Effective communication is 20% what you know
and 80% how you feel about what you know."

-- Jim Rohn

"Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason."

-- Samuel Adams

Ever been to a training class that was taught by a "facilitator?" Compare that to a class of someone who either wrote the material, or worked the business. No comparison. I've been to a lot of classes that were done by the facilitator and though they were certainly good speakers and good at putting on a class and using various forms of presentation venues, I would take a plain old talk from the source hands down.

One reason is that the facilitator cannot muster the feeling about the subject that the source can, and there is little or nothing more powerful than that feeling.

Let's look at it from a different perspective. You sell a specific type of pots and pans, and you do a great job of speaking to the prospects about the uses and the product features and benefits. It's an all around good job except for one very, most important thing--you don't own them and use them yourself and you don't cook.

As a sales manager at auto dealerships for over 30 years, I was always encouraging my sales staff to buy new cars. A typical car salesman would not because they know about the depreciation once it leaves the lot the first time. Yet, there is absolutely nothing quite like a brand new car and you being the first owner putting the first miles on it. The ones who bought new cars sold more new cars. When you know from experience, it is the best sales pitch.

There's another way to look at this I've had experience with. I was coaching a young man once and having him learn some new words. He could repeat the learning to you and make it sound as if he knew it, but he didn't. It is the difference between memorizing it and knowing it.

It was that way with school much of the time for me. The teachers only cared about you memorizing the information to answer the questions correctly on the quiz. Pass or fail. It was only the teachers who had a passion for what they were doing and a passion for the subject they were teaching that really touched me. The rest of them were a waste of my time and theirs.

The difference between a facilitator and a teacher. The difference between memorization and knowing. The difference between effective and ineffective. Samuel Adams was right, 'Mankind is governed more by their feelings than by reason.' Thank goodness!

I Want To Know. I Have A Passion For Learning And A Passion For Life.

Spread Some Joy Today--Develop your passion. Skipping along the surface is nice, but there is no comparison to diving into it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-15-10

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
do more and become more, you are a leader."

-- John Quincy Adams

I have never seen a better quote about being a leader than the one by John Quincy Adams above.

I want my actions to inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more and become more.

This is my life mission.

Thank you for the opportunity!

It is more than a pleasure. It is my joy to serve you.

I Live To Serve Others As My Heart Directs Me.

Spread Some Joy Today--Yes. Go spread a little joy today. You know how.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-14-10

"Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours."

-- Tom Hopkins

"You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought,
'I release the need for this in my life'."

-- Dr Wayne W Dyer

"Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding."

-- Harvey Mackay

Unhappy and miserable is not a fun place to be and yet I see so many people who are in that state. I do what I can to encourage them otherwise, through word, deed, smiles, yet it isn't up to me, is it? If it were, I would have the entire planet in a state of constant joy.

Since I cannot do much to help someone else be happy or joyous, and no one else can, it is obvious that things and circumstances wouldn't change it either. That leaves only one solution: We each are 100% in charge of our own happiness.

Now, get hold of that because that is the most powerful idea on the planet to fully absorb. I'll say it again:

We each are 100% in charge of our own happiness!

Since I made the change, I have found that it is much easier than I first imagined. Here are my suggestions:

1. Decide you want to be happy.

2. Like Wayne Dyer says, use this phrase often: "I release the need for this in my life." Let go of things that have you feeling crappy. Who needs them?

3. Practice every hour of every day. Catch yourself going through your habitual pity parties and complaining. Then, STOP immediately, and think happy thoughts.

4. Associate yourself with positive people and messages. You become like those you hang around.

Once you do these simple things, there will be a whole new habit pattern that is full of joy instead of pain. It is really an easy thing to do. Now that you are totally clear there is no one or anything else responsible for how you feel, it is only you, this is so empowering.

We are each 100% in charge of how we choose to feel at any time.
I rejoice in this every day.

I Choose. I Am The Creator Of My Feelings.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let go of some baggage and lighten your load today. Walk out of the fog and into the sun. It is so wonderful!

Daily Inspiration 3-13-10

"Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity."

-- Thomas J Watson, Jr.

"Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination;
do not become the slave of your model."

-- Vincent Van Gogh

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."

-- John F Kennedy

It's been a very long time, but I watched the movie, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest a few nights ago. Great movie, and it is a particularly great movie to view conformity and nonconformity in all its glory. You can also see that nonconformists are definitely in the minority. Yet, in this movie, how could anyone really want to be a conformist? How gray and boring. It also reminded me of J.R.R. Tolkien's quote: "Not all those who wander are lost."

It all comes down to choices. What you choose to do or choose to refuse to do.

I think about neighborhoods and many in the last 25 years or so have committee's to insure conformity called Homeowner's Associations. That is their main purpose--to insure conformity. House paint colors must be in a very narrow range in color and shade, and the list goes on and on. No thank you.

Dealer 20 groups. These are stated to help improve operations and increase profitability. I've seen so many come back from these meetings with the goal of conformity--to do what everyone else is doing. Bland. Tasteless. Milktoast.

Franchises. They are the very definition of conformity. We love them and seek them out when we travel--even when there are so many unique, perhaps even 5-star rated independent businesses in each locale. We prefer predictability. We know that a Big Mac will taste just like a Big Mac if it is in Boston, or San Diego. It is also going to cost within pennies of the same amount. All so predictable and conforming.

Think about this quote by Mignon McLaughlin in The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960: "Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers." Interesting.

It's no wonder that the companies in In Search of Excellence, and Tom Peter's new book, just out this week, The Little Big Things - 163 Ways To Pursue Excellence, are so few relative to the business world. They excel and they do it by being UNIQUE! And interesting, profitable, forward thinking, trend setting and niche making.

I cringe when I hear this phrase: that's the way we've always done it. . . or that's just the way we do things around here. . .

Maybe it's about time that changed!

"Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge"
--Albert Einstein

Spread Some Joy Today--Every once in a while, it's just plain fun and good to change things up for no good reason. Try getting out of bed on the other side tomorrow, walking backward into the kitchen, skipping around the block. Do something (or several somethings) strangely today. Just for the heck of it. It will be good fun.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-12-10

"If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."

-- Katherine Hepburn

"There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation."

-- Henri Bergson

"One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work. But, speaking for myself, I can honestly say this is not so. . . I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success."

-- Thomas A Edison

These quotes are all about doing what you love to do regardless of the financial gain or even if there is any financial gain. Of course, with Thomas A Edison, there was plenty of financial gain, yet his heart was in the invention and the creation rather than how it could be marketed.

Just imagine what the business you work at would be like if the employees felt this way about what tasks they do. Do you suppose that the financial rewards might even be substantially greater as a result of employees loving what they do? Do you think that customers and prospects would respond differently? Of course they would. You would if you were a customer.

What if a company changed their focus completely from the bottom line to the front line? What if a company decided to double their service at no extra charge? What if a company forgot completely about JD Power ratings, and CSI ratings and just focused on wowing the customer? What if a company stopped trying to control employees and began encouraging them? What if a company made sure that a person answered the phone every time and they fired the automated system?

The people who do what they love to do excel. The companies that do what they love and focus on being the best excel. Seems like a really good place to be to me!

Loving What I Am Doing Has A Dramatic Effect On My Attitude Of Life. No Need To Guess--It's Obvious!

Spread Some Joy Today--Isn't it true that it is obvious who loves what they do and who doesn't? Which one are you? Are you okay with that?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-11-10

"Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction."

-- Al Bernstein

"Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in."

-- Bill Bradley

"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

-- Winston Churchill

From ambition to activity to failure to persistence to success. That is the way it is done according to hundreds of highly successful people. Failure is a necessary part of the equation. It is no more than a signal to change course. Many times it is a misstep that causes one to go in the direction that creates success. So many products were created by mistake. Successful partnerships were found by mistake. New ways of doing a thing were found by mistake.

Of course, I wouldn't call those mistakes, I would call them inspiration! Many companies and individuals have tried a thing believing in its merits fully and giving their all, only to find that it didn't work at all, but led them to something that did. Was that a mistake? A failure? Or was it success? It just depends on how you want to look at it.

I like Winston Churchill's quote, 'Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.' In a previous Daily Inspiration, I defined enthusiasm as inspiration. So, let us change the quote accordingly, 'Success is going from failure to failure without loss of inspiration.' Makes even more sense that way.

Whatever you want to do, it would be good to change how you define the word failure and mistake. Change the definition to successful attempt which changed direction. That's really what it is.

I Fail All The Time. How Cool Is That? I Am Not A Failure. I Succeed By Failing.

Spread Some Joy Today--Point of view is everything! Is your glass half full or half empty? Is it time to change your viewpoint?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-10-10

"Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.
If you can dream it, you can make it so."

-- Belva Davis

"The idea of an overnight delivery service isn't feasible."

-- Yale business professor (in 1966) referring to a thesis
submitted by Fred Smith, founder of FedEx.

I just love the phrase Belva Davis uses, 'the space between your dreams and reality.' What a great way to say that. Then, she takes it further with, 'Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.' That is truly where many of us get stuck.

A common phrase I have heard many times throughout my life is, 'you are a dreamer.' Of course, it's silly, because we are all dreamers. We dream every day--or at the very least, every night. In our dreams we can do anything. Some of the things I've done in my dreams are just off the chart in strange and unbelievable in terms of reality.

This alone, tells me what kind of awesome thing our mind is. To be able to do all those things that we do in our dreams and picture it vividly is pretty miraculous. Then, when we awake, we see 'reality' telling us, we were just dreaming. Just dreaming, indeed.

I think the key to success is to learn how to dream in the daytime and begin seeing the dreams as reality and reality as dreams. Fred Smith saw his dreams as reality and acted on it and we now know it as FedEx Corporation, a huge company touching millions of lives on a daily basis. The FedEx dream began in operation in 1971 just five years after the remark by the professor above. If you want more of that story, get the book, Changing How The World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey To Success by Roger Frock. It is a truly interesting journey and the company is still on the journey.

The space between your dreams and reality is a short or long as you allow it to be.

Fear Is Over-Valued And Under-Achieving. Is There Anything To Fear More Than Fear Itself?

Spread Some Joy Today--Shorten the space between a dream and reality through belief and commitment.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-9-10

"The only people with whom you should try to get even
are those who have helped you."

-- John E Southard

"There is no such thing as a self-made man.
You will reach your goals only with the help of others."

-- George Shinn

One of the best things would be to realize that success is not achieved alone. Businesses are grown through and with other people. I am finding in our little business that the more interested people that we can partner with, the better our business becomes. As a result of that, I am always on the lookout for interested potential partners.

We need each other and each others markets, contacts, ideas, designs. Through others, we become more, can offer more, and share more. It is challenging and exciting at the same time.

Here's a good question to ponder: Would you rather have 100% of a $100,000 business or 10% of a $1,000,000 business? Why? Think potential. Did that change your answer? Why?

I Am More With Others Than I Am By Myself

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about ways you can team up with others to become more than you are today.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-8-10

"It is a strange thing, you have said it thousands of times I am sure. . . you will never know what you can do until you try. However the sad truth is, that most people never try anything until they know they can do it."

-- Bob Proctor

"For all sad words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are these, 'It might have been'."

-- John Greenleaf Whittier

Both of these quotes in my opinion, speak of a comfort zone--a place where we are relatively comfortable and to go outside of this imaginary zone is to be uncomfortable which creates a fearful reaction.

Many times we feel that we need to know a thing in order to do it. Some might say, 'I need to take a class on that.' I'm all for increased knowledge, but many use the class as a way of avoiding doing. I could have taken years of classes on how to build a website, but I just jumped in and tried it. Each attempt got better and better, but I wasn't afraid to try once I made the decision to try. I also realize that I will always be learning how to do it better--while I am doing it.

Let's say you wanted to become a public speaker. Talk about out of most people's comfort zones. . . You could get plenty of books on the subject, take college courses, yet there is absolutely nothing that takes the place of actually doing it, feeling it and getting to know it as a participant. Toastmasters is a great place to start where you are all participants. Finding places and opportunities to speak would be the best. Most likely, the more you do it, the more you are comfortable with it.

Is there anything that you've thought about more than once about doing and haven't yet done? Today is a great place to start--right here and right now. I've found two questions that have helped me greatly over the years: 1. What am I really afraid of? Maybe it's really not what you think. Think about what you are really afraid of. 2. What's the worst thing that could happen? People might laugh, or face criticism, or feel pain? Many times, the worst thing that could happen isn't all that bad.

Here's to all of you who are living your life and taking some chances based on your desires. It's okay to want what you want. Now go do what you want. Do it in pieces if necessary, but do it! What a ride it will be.

My Comfort Zone Is Continually Expanding Which Means I Am Continually Growing!

Spread Some Joy Today--Actually do something you've been meaning to do. Take a chance on you!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-7-10

"Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles."

-- Og Mandino

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements
of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is
something to be enthusiastic about."

-- Charles Kingsley

I've used the word enthusiasm for so many years and never really looked up the definition. I've always thought of being enthusiastic as being excited, energized, outgoing, with joy. I really first learned the word from Frank Bettger's book, How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling. In that book, in the first chapter, he talks about learning how to become enthusiastic and how to experience the real feeling of it by acting as if you already had it. His famous phrase is, to become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically.

That is the generally accepted modern definition, but it originally meant inspiration or to be inspired, to have the presence of God in you, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Isn't that interesting? I do especially love the inspiration part, yet by definition, they are almost the same. Webster says Inspiration is "a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation; the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.

I don't know if taking a look at the definitions of enthusiasm and inspiration help you at all, but it enlightens me. It helps me to understand how I feel how I do when I am enthusiastic and inspired. It's like opening a whole new door. . .

I love feeling enthusiastic and inspired. It is beyond joy. I hope you experience some today and every day. Just in case you're not feeling it, remember the phrase: to become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically. Sounds so different now. . .

I Love Being Enthusiastic. When I'm Not, I Pretend.

Spread Some Joy Today--One of the things that brings me inspiration and enthusiasm the quickest is to be genuinely grateful for __________, and _________, and _____.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-6-10

"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics
or cynics whose horizons are limited by obvious realities.
We need men and women who can dream of things that never were."

-- John F Kennedy

"You see things; and you say, "Why?"
But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

-- George Bernard Shaw

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible
is to go beyond them into the impossible."

-- Arthur C Clarke

Ever had anyone laugh at your ideas or thoughts? Anyone ever put them down and say what a dreamer you are, or how foolish you are to think that? Anyone ever remind you that you should focus on reality instead of playing around in a fantasy world? Anyone ever say you were crazy and couldn't possibly succeed at something? If so, then you can totally relate to JFK's quote about skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by obvious realities. I especially love the phrase obvious realities. If you are a realist, is there any other kind? Perhaps hidden realities, secret realities, unreal realities?

Anyone ask you why in the world you would want to do such a thing? George Bernard Shaw says a great question to ask back is why not? Who says you have to have a reason? That would be for the reality people. The unrealistic among us have no need for such trivial pursuits as reason, or even logic. Philosophy is helpful, but mathematics is not necessary. We can pull numbers right out of thin air. That is where they prefer to float, you know.

Then, our fictional scientist, Arthur C Clark claims that there is only one way to find the limits and that is to exceed them. Rules are meant to be broken? If you can go there in your mind, who needs a spaceship? The state of possible is just beyond the border of impossible, or was it the other way around?

One thing is for sure and certain, I have learned to ignore all of these commentaries from the critical mass of the skeptic and cynics whose horizons are limited by obvious realities. The land of impossible is in a galaxy far, far away. I think why is on third base, or was that when? A little aging humor.

Dream of things that never were. It's a great place to be. Ignore the obvious realities and say, why not? Why not? Why not you? Why not now?

You are cleared to move about the cabin. . .

It's Obvious To Me That We Can Do Anything We Can Think Up. Why Not?

Spread Some Joy Today--Go do something strange and fun this week. Take a long lunch and go see a movie in the middle of the day, or some other unusual thing. It will be fun and exciting and will give you such a boost. Go ahead. Take a chance.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-5-10

"Try not to become a man of success,
but rather a man of value."

-- Albert Einstein

"Friendship is unnecessary,
like philosophy, like art. . .
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things
that give value to survival."

-- C. S. Lewis

"The promises of this world are,
for the most part, vain phantoms;
and to confide in one's self,
and become something of worth and value
is the best and safest course."

-- Michelangelo

"The value of a man should be seen in what he gives
and not in what he is able to recieve."

-- Albert Einstein

Contrary to my previous thinking, to become a person of value by becoming a person in service of others, and a giving person, is not to sacrifice my life for the others, but to enhance and expand my life.

The problem I used to have with this concept was the sacrificing part. I thought, if I lived my life for others forsaking my own, what kind of life is that? What changed was the wording of the concept from living my life for others, forsaking my own, to living my life in service to others by being a person of value. Isn't there a whole universe of difference between those two? The first one is not being of value at all. It is more of a pity party or what I have to do. Being of service is not excluding self, but expanding self to have excess to give.

Let's forget about the small values like kindness, friendship, encouragement for the moment. Let's look at some of the rich people who have also become philanthropists. They set up foundations and give an initial amount to begin the fund and that fund is held at interest. As donations come from other people and organizations it grows, then amounts are released in such an amount that the fund continues forever. It becomes a giving machine, giving more value every year to more people. Think about the value of forever versus them giving their entire fortune away in one fell swoop. The value is in the foundation because it also has lasting value for generations to come.

Not long ago, I didn't really understand that. I thought they were just being cheap in their giving and giving a little of their vast fortune. In reality, and in my awakening awareness, they are actually being of far more value than they could otherwise be. They use their fame to gain other donations and other partnerships in the giving field of their interest. They use the money wisely and in a way that is consistent with the thinking that brought them wealth to begin with.

Now, let us go smaller again. How can we who don't have wealth think in these terms in order to provide more value than we would otherwise? One way is sharing your interests of what you are passionate about. Another is to form alliances and partnerships with other like-minded people toward similar objectives. It doesn't even need to be in terms of money. It could be of time, energy, interest, and much more.

Instead of thinking, "what can one person do?" Instead, think, "what can I do to multiply my efforts toward adding value to this?" Totally different thinking. One is almost an excuse to give up and the other is seeking more power.

Becoming a person of value has just expanded.

I Become More Valuable By Becoming Of Service To More People. I Am A Person Too.

Spread Some Joy Today--What can you do today to be of service to someone else? Now do it. Today.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-4-10

"The barriers are not erected which can say to
aspiring talents and industry, 'Thus far and no farther."

-- Ludwig van Beethoven

"Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations.
You are originally unlimited and perfect.
Later you take on limitations and become the mind."

-- Ramana Maharshi

"Stop thinking in terms of limitations
and start thinking in terms of possibilities."

-- Terry Josephson

It is so amazing what we can do when we allow ourselves to do something. I love the quote by Ramana Maharshi because that is easy to see this happening as time moves forward. We might be listening, watching, or reading a news report where something is being told that has you believing a certain thing, then find out later that it was not as it was described. We take on our beliefs. They are learned. If we are growing, they are constantly being challenged, accepted, adopted and discarded. There our limitations are born--and can be erased.

The quote I love even more is by Terry Josephson: "Stop thinking in terms of limitations, and start thinking in terms of possibilities." That quote gives me enthusiasm to pursue what I want. I've had enough of the learned limitations and the people who promote what I cannot do. Each time I break through these self-imposed barriers, I find huge bursts of joy. What power resides in a thought!

Here's a thought worth thinking about: There is a huge difference between "I can't" and "I don't know how." We could call that transition, step one toward possibility thinking. I don't know is a very flexible phrase, and what gives it power is that it allows help in, whereas, I can't closes all doors. This transition is how people finally get off drugs, or quit smoking, drinking or whatever unhelpful habit or situation.

There is also a huge difference between "I wish someone would do this for me," and "I think I can figure it out. I'll try it and see what happens." I wish someone would do this for me was how I felt about building a website until October of 2007, then I switched gears to I think I can figure it out--I'll give it a try. A few short months later, I am in business building websites. You could have never guessed it before.

There are many situations where I have faced a wall of lack of knowledge and experience and felt incapable of getting over it. As I have allowed myself to entertain the thought that I could learn it, I no longer needed to get over the wall, for the wall had evaporated. Completely disappeared! Very interesting, don't you think?

As I practice--and that is the key for me, at least, is to practice--I get better at being a possibility thinker and releasing my previous limitations.

Here's to the power we all have in equal quantity: The power to think what ever we choose. And, here's to choosing well!

I Control My Mind And My Thoughts. I Can Think Possibility Rather Than Limitation If I Want To. I Do.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about things that you have been afraid to learn, confused about and have fully excluded as not possible for you. Any change in thinking? You've got the power!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-3-10

"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you."

-- Arnold Palmer

"Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."

-- Swami Sivananda

"If a man is called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some people give so little because they are doing something they do not want to do. In this instance, the entire world would benefit from them quitting what they are doing and have them go do something else that they might like.

It is not strength to persevere through a job you hate just so you can pay the bills, it is torture to you and all those who work with you. It is really weakness. It is a weakness because each of us has the power and the opportunity to find something we like to do; that we are talented doing, and strength would be following that path, and weakness would be to fight against it. It is damaging to the individual spirit and the collective spirit.

It is just choice. Each of us has the power to choose. No one chooses for us.

If we created a lifestyle that requires a certain amount of money to maintain, and then we do something we hate to earn the money to maintain that, what good is that? Really. Think about it. I do what I hate to have what I want? Better to do what you love and love what you get.

Of course, the lifestyle may need to change, at least temporarily, but that isn't a big deal. Most say that we only live once. If that is true, why spend it doing what you hate doing? Are the things that you want that important that you sacrifice the rest of your life to have them?

One of the best things that will change a person's position is to do the absolute best you can do in the job you are doing right now while you contemplate and decide on what you really want to do. If you're selling cars, be the best car selling person you can possibly be while you are contemplating being an artist. By giving what you are currently doing the best that is within you, more courage, strength, and expansion is created within you. You become more whereas doing what you hate can't help but make you less.

There is enough opportunity in this world for every one of us to do what we love to do and we can love to do a great number of things. There is such joy doing what you love to do. It is worth it. You are worth it. The world will thank you.

Here's the formula: Love what you do to do what you love.

I Get To Choose. I Am Responsible For My Choices. Is That Awesome, Or What?

Spread Some Joy Today--Make a list of how others benefit from what you do right now. Learn to love what you do while you contemplate doing more of what you love.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-2-10

"Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large."

-- Mahatma Gandhi

"Leadership is action, not position."

-- Donald H McGannon

I cannot think of anything that is so fulfilling, satisfying, and uplifting as serving other people. There are a million ways to do it and it can be as simple as a kind gesture, smile, or a small uplifting comment.

I was at the grocery store tonight, and on my way out, there were two Redbox DVD machines. This couple was looking intently at the screen of one of them. I just casually said, "is that Redbox thing easy to use?" They were looking kind of cross at me until I finished my question, then they broke out in a huge smile and raved about how good it was and how much better than the video rental store and more. You should have seen the smile on their faces. I thanked them for their comment and went on out the door. They were obviously uplifted. How simple was that? It is so interesting how such a small thing can make someone smile and show some enthusiasm. Is that being of service? Absolutely.

As I look back on my day today, I can see that I was of service to quite a number of people in small ways. When I think about that, I feel great. Thinking about it also reminds me that I am being of service to the world; that I do make a difference; and that I matter. That feels good too. I'm sure we could all use that reminder at least once a day, don't you think?

I so love the quote by Gandhi because he suggests that we become deliberate about being of service to others. Not random acts of kindness, but purposeful service throughout the day.

What a concept!

I Don't Just Serve Occasionally, But Daily--On Purpose!

Spread Some Joy Today--Go be of service on purpose today. It will do you well.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Daily Inspiration 3-1-10

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength."

-- Arnold Schwarzenegger

"What convinces is the conviction. Believe in the argument you're advancing. If you don't, you're as good as dead. The other person will sense that something isn't there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you."

-- Lyndon B Johnson

Rags to riches. Don't you love those kinds of stories? It's not always hard work, though it certainly looks like it and maybe it even feels like it at the time. Whether it is hard or not is not the real issue, it's the commitment--the belief in your own ideas and dreams and plans. No one else will be convinced unless you are so you will need to work on yourself far more than everyone else.

Frankly, I think that is the good news because that is where all the power of your idea is born: in your developing belief. It is easy to think you believe when you think about it and even visualize it and perhaps carry it with you for a time, yet it is the testing of your belief in your own dreams that give you the strength you really need to succeed.

Isn't that interesting? I know it because I am going through this very thing and I am amazed and enlightened by the realization of what is really going on. Actually, this realization excites me and I am looking forward with keen interest at what will transpire during this year. It will no doubt be a critical year in my growth and the growth of our companies.

The more I see how this works, the more fascinated I become.

Do you have anything that is testing and strengthening you? If you become fascinated rather than frustrated, you can walk confidently through the valley of the shadow of strange times and do it with joy. How cool is that?

I Turn My Frustration Into Fascination! It Is So Much More Interesting And Rewarding.

Spread Some Joy Today--Whatever is testing you can be changed to joy. Fine tune your argument to strengthen your belief. Enjoy the process. It can be fun.