Monday, May 31, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-31-10

"If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right.
Men will believe what they see."

-- Henry David Thoreau

I remember when I was a child, my mother being upset and yelling, "don't do as I do, do as I say!" Of course there were instances to back that up, such as telling me not to smoke cigarettes as they both had cigarettes burning in the ashtray. I didn't listen to them, but followed their example. This, of course, was true for many things that I ended up doing that I "shouldn't."

Then, later in life as a manager, I would sometimes find myself saying one thing and doing another. It is a serious challenge to lead by example, but it is the thing that leads the best.

One last thing about this: be easy on yourself. I keep trying to do my best to lead by example and celebrate the successes. Enjoying the journey is far more important.

What I Do Speaks Louder Than What I Say.

Spread Some Joy Today--If your goal is always joy, leading by example is easy.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-30-10

"Friends. . . they cherish one another's hopes.
They are kind to one another's dreams."

-- Henry David Thoreau

Friends. We say we have many, but in reality, it may only be a few. One of the tests of a real friend I think is what Henry Thoreau says: they support and encourage rather than discourage or cajole. I think that if a friend is raining on your parade, that is a very clear indication they are not really a friend. Of course, that gate swings both ways.

Real Friends Just Love You The Way You Are.

Spread Some Joy Today--To have more real friends is easy: be one.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-29-10

"We sing because we're happy and happy because we sing."

-- Denis Waitley

Today was a spectacular day!

Everything about it was superb and a joy to experience it. I know, I used to hate people that talked that way (although, now that I think about it, I didn't really know any, just heard about them or saw them in a movie or something. . .). Yesterday I couldn't spell it and today I are one. Oh well, deal with it!

The day started off by my partner forgetting our appointment with a prospect, so I went myself and ended up making a sale early in the morning. It was a very quick presentation and sale. I was in and out in twenty five minutes with a check in hand. But that wasn't it. Then, I went to another meeting and I was 40 minutes early so I sipped a latte, ate a blueberry oat bar and looked at stuff in my computer at Starbuck's (such a luxury. . . I love it). Then the meeting with an associate I haven't seen in a while. I really like him and we just had a great time telling each other what we're doing now and getting excited about what we're doing, how we are helping clients in many ways and it was a great deal of fun. But that wasn't it.

Mid-day I packaged and shipped some products, caught up on email and saw my business partner. But that wasn't it. Then I had another meeting this afternoon and that went very well and was a great idea to have that meeting and make that commitment, but that wasn't it. Then I went to a client's wine tasting event and met a vineyard owner who really needs a good website and I delighted in meeting and talking with him and enjoying his unique wines and I felt strongly about wanting to help them with their marketing since they are trying to do it all themselves. I enjoyed interacting with all the people at the event too. And that wasn't it, either.

So I came home and watched a movie (It's Complicated with Meryl Streep) with my family and parts of it were so funny, I couldn't catch my breath, but that wasn't it. Now, I sit and write about this awesome day and that isn't even it.

No, these wonderful events weren't what made me so happy and joyous today, they were the benefits of my happiness and joy which started when I got up this morning. And, the very satisfying and interesting thing about that is that my day got more and more joyous as the day went on until coming home after the wine tasting event, I felt overwhelmed almost with joy driving home--the kind of joy where you just want to shout it from the mountain top so everyone can hear it. And, the smile is on my face yet at the end of this glorious day.

Do we sing because we are happy? Or, are we happy because we sing?

You know. . . I think it works both ways. One of the very few things that does.

"Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spread Some Joy Today--Have a good time whatever you are doing. We all make big hairy deals about way too many things. Don't worry. Be happy. There's only one person who can give me happiness. Me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-28-10

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."

-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor didn't pull punches, she said it like she saw it and with flair and gusto! I love this quote because it is so true and for many of us, one of the harder things to learn. I would even take it a few steps further and say that, nobody can make you feel anything without your permission. Our thoughts and feelings are just a result of what we choose to think about a stimulus. If we feel hurt, rejected, angry, sad, happy, whatever, it is because of how we think about whatever stimulus is upon us, whether it is a person, circumstance, or event.

I walk outside in the morning an look at the sky and what I think about the weather today causes some sort of feeling depending on how I think about the weather I see today. It's the weather and line ten people up and ten people will have a slightly different thought about that event. Some people see clouds and potential rain and they are immediately bummed out and prepare to have a lousy day. Others are excited about the change and love the feel of the cooler humidified air with all the negative ions giving them pleasure. Others go back inside and get their umbrella with very little reaction. To each person, there would be a unique reaction to the event based on how they've responded in the past, their training, their friends and other influences..

Someone says something to me that I take offense to and others would take no offense and maybe laugh at it. Someone could put me down and I might feel small and rejected, but in reality, they did nothing except create an event--a stimulus--and I am the one who gave that a certain meaning and resultant feeling. It's my choice, and though I may have trained myself to respond a certain way automatically without conscious thought, it is a choice of thought about the stimulus at any rate.

Knowing this provides infinite freedom because it gives us the power to choose--on purpose and with purpose. That is very empowering. It reinforces the great news that we all get to choose how we feel at any time, regardless of circumstances or events.

I Give Permission To Myself Alone On How I Feel.

Spread Some Joy Today--You've reacted to things automatically for a long time. Now, today is a good day to try a new approach. Choose your reaction or response deliberately today. You may still feel some of that old stuff because you've been doing it for so long. You'll see how fast all that turns around, and you will be feeling pretty darn good about most things. Who needs to feel bad? Not you!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-27-10

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just
to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."

-- Benjamin Disraeli

In all of my life, there is nothing that is so sweet, that requires no recognition from others, is so energizing, uplifting and satisfying, and the potential longevity of forever, as helping someone else see more in themselves than they now see. In other words, uplifting people. The benefit to them is so obvious when I see it; however, most of my influence would most likely not be seen by me. Here's how Mother Teresa said that: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

The ripple effect. I was watching a light rain shower the other day as the drops were hitting the water in our swimming pool. Each drop immediately caused a number of circular waves to expand outward from the drop. What was really interesting to watch was how the ripples touched each other and the other and the other and the other. It was a symphony of ripples that were all having a ripple effect on each other. I could see the movie of it and the music playing as the ripples moved about nonstop, yet it was a light enough shower with no wind, so I could see every ripple clearly. It was a common event that I saw in a totally different way. It was sort of magical.

This is essentially how we can affect each other--even those whom we have never met, or may never meet directly. Or you might meet someone at a place far from home to find you've had an influence. A few months ago, I was in Dallas, Texas at a GM meeting and there were people from all over the country. I live in California. I sat down at a table to eat and introduced myself and stated my company Commercial Truck Success and someone I didn't know and have never met, said how much they enjoyed our bi-monthly IdeaLetter and they appreciated receiving it. I thought, wow, isn't that interesting. You just never know how what you do can have an affect on others.

The main way you have an effect is by being the person that you are. As you put more love in your heart, more gratitude and more joy, that has a great effect on those with whom you come in contact. The other way is in how you reach out to others and uplift them. This can be done in a thousand ways, from just being kind and saying hello to having the Nobel foundation.

Consider the ripple effect that you have on the pool. It is guaranteed that you have an effect. The question is what kind of effect? Just in case it is not the effect you would like, it is easy enough to change. Be a positive effect! Uplift others.

I'll Have A Ripple, Please--Effect, That Is. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--When you have a joyful thought, all you have to do is enjoy it and others will feel it from many miles away. Appreciation is the kindest ripple of all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-26-10

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come
as a result of getting something we don't have,
but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."

-- Frederick Koeing

"Happiness is a function of accepting what is."

-- Werner Erhard

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."

-- Margaret Lee Runbeck

"If you want to be happy, be."

-- Leo Tolstoy

I can find thousands of quotes about happiness and they vary widely. I picked these four as following my experience--especially the last one by Leo Tolstoy. It has been my experience in many, many years of the pursuit of happiness, that I found it when I just decided to be happy. Seriously.

Part of that decision relates to Margaret's quote and it is the journey, not the destination, and Werner's accepting what is like the serenity prayer. But, Mr. Koeing's quote is particularly appropriate because most I know as I did myself will have a strong tendency to look outside of themselves to circumstances, events and other people to bring happiness. My experience is that if that could cause happiness, it would have to be short lived.

Permanent happiness is a daily decision.

The other thing--and this is the most important thing--about Mr. Koeing's quote is this: 'recognizing and appreciating what we do have.' Appreciation is key. Appreciate everything and recognize that it is all good. In the past, you may have interpreted that differently, but now you see a much larger picture of how one thing can affect another and so on. Some of the biggest so-called problems have become the greatest of successes.

The challenge lies only with our decision of how we want to feel and how we choose to look at things.

It's All Good!

Spread Some Joy Today--There is nothing so easy to affect others than a happy person. Be that today and watch the world change around you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-25-10

"Age is something that doesn't matter unless you are cheese."

-- Billie Burke

"And the day came when the risk it took
to remain tight inside the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

-- Anais Nin

Age is just one of those excuses that we think is perfectly acceptable as a legitimate excuse accepted widely as valid and understandable. There are so many references to age as a factor.

It used to be stated that a woman was over the hill when she turned 30, no more the young chicken and now the old bird. Hogwash. For men, it was the big 40--or heaven forbid, the big 50. Most courts say 14 is the 'age of reason,' whatever that means, and other decisions can only be made when one is at least 18 or 21 or 25. Then, there's the retirement thing: 62 for the early escapers, 65 for the masses, and 70 for those laggers that want the big bucks from Social Security. It's all made up anyway.

Age is a state of mind. You get to choose your state of mind.

As excuses go, that someday may come where 'the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.' That day is celebrated throughout the heavens as a new birth!

We are what we decide to allow ourselves to be, do and have.

I Choose To Blossom Over And Over Again.

Spread Some Joy Today--Release yourself from any chains that hold you where you are. Blossom! The joy that you receive will be so great that the excess joy will just fall off and land on everyone you come in contact with.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-24-10

"There's no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love.
There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen."

-- Wayne Dyer

Of the things that I hear people talk about often, it is that they do not like their job, or they wish they had enough money so they could quit, or they long for a job that they would love, but _______. There is almost always something after the but. And, of course, their but is their problem. It's like saying, 'I love you, but _________. That doesn't work for either party, does it? How about, 'you look nice, but _______.' Or, I would love my job, but _________. These are all immediate contradictions, aren't they?

They are also all deciding to not decide and therein by default, the decision is made to maintain the status quo.

What is interesting to me is that this thing about doing what you love (or anything else for that matter) is as easy as deciding that you want it and that you will have it. The part that you must let go of is how that will happen. 'What is my job, how is God's job,' or so the sign on my wall reads. It is so, so true. Why?

Think about what you control and what you don't control. When you try to control things that you don't control, frustration is the result. Yet, if you focus on what you can control and let go of the rest of it and trust that it will all work out, it will happen.

I had always wanted to work from home and create my own schedule. That was never going to happen in the job I was in, and I know I wanted it, but I was clueless about how it could happen, so it was just a dream. Then an opportunity happened abruptly. I got fired and it was the happiest day of my life because it was such a relief after months of frustration at work. So, I decided to decide this time. Instead of just going right out and getting another job, I took some time off and let go of all the how, when, where, and who. It wasn't long, then the job came to me that would allow me to work out of my home and create my own schedule making more than I was making before--and best of all--loving it.

For me, it was the abrupt end of something I had done for 25 years, that shook me with an opportunity to change. It need not be abrupt like that because all it really takes is deciding to decide on what you want, then focusing on the what and the why and forgetting the how, when, where and who. My sign reminds me of who's job is who's: 'What is MY job. How is God's job.'

It's always easier than we think, isn't it?

God Gave Me The Power Of What and Why, And If I Really Want To, He Will Let Me Mess With How, When, Where And Who All I Want Until I Realize That I'm Trying So Hard To Do His Job. Whew! What A Relief That Realization Is!

Spread Some Joy Today--Let go and let God. He's in your corner.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-23-10

"We are told that talent creates its own opportunities.
But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates
not only its own opportunities, but its own talents."

-- Eric Hoffer

When I saw this quote, I laughed because it made me think of a scenario that matched this perfectly. I was in a worship band at church and I play rhythm guitar. We had a person playing bass on a keyboard and it was so, so not happening. Frankly, it sucked. There was no flavor, no oomph, it was drab and worse than that, many times the notes she played clashed with everyone else. Not good.

Well, I had a bass guitar at home and I had this inspiration as if God was saying to me, 'why don't you play the bass?' I thought He must be kidding. I owned one, and played around with it a bit, but I was not a bass player. Now, whenever I got that kind of inspiration, I had no choice but to act on it regardless of what I thought myself, so I made the suggestion to the team and brought the bass to a practice. It was pathetic. I never bothered to learn the notes on the fretboard since I played chords mostly, so now I had no choice but to learn it or I wouldn't be able to play.

But, playing bass is not just playing notes and matching tones, to me it was a mystery, but yet, I loved listening to a great bass player--even more so than a great guitar player. I didn't understand it, but I kept working at it. Each time got just a bit better. Then I bought a much better bass guitar and almost instantly, my playing skyrocketed. I started making up my own unique bass lines and getting so excited about playing. I couldn't wait to get to practice and try out some new stuff. It was awesome.

Now this is a perfect instance where my intense desire (or what became an intense desire through a bit of prodding), created its own talent. I had played guitar since I was sixteen and had a certain talent there, but prior to this experience, the bass just eluded me. As it turned out, it brought me a great wealth of knowledge, skill and passion. I think it is amazing to look back on it.

And it is still happening today in other ways. Desire is the engine that drives everything. Feed that desire some high octane fuel and you have a race car!

Talent Is Not Something I Am Born With. It Is Something That Is Created From My Desire.

Spread Some Joy Today--Tear down the walls that you've built about the things you think you aren't talented at. By developing a strong desire, the walls will evaporate before your eyes. You are smart enough, cool enough and wise enough. It's not about money, time, circumstance, or heredity. It's about your decision and your desire.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-22-10

"Ignore people who tell you 'you can't' or try to discourage you."

-- Jeffrey Gitomer

"Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel
that you, too, can become great."

-- Mark Twain

I totally agree with these two quotes. Some people just like raining on other people's parade. But, you know what? I'll take it several levels higher: you're perfect just the way you are. You don't need to be something you aren't. You're wonderful the way you are. You are deserving and worthy and you deserve the best.

This is all true and it is also true that this is hard for many to accept because they have bought someone else's idea of how they should be, what they should have, where they should be and when. But that need be no more. You are in charge of you and there is not one person on this entire planet that is qualified to be in charge of you except you.

If anyone tries to inject doubt or discourage you in any way, it is just the unknowledgeable speaking. For it is impossible that anyone else could have the answer for you because there is not one soul on the planet that is qualified. So, it must be an error. They are obviously mistaken. They apparently don't know who you are!

I recommend that it is far better to just let it fall away from you. Don't bother to point out their error. Let them have their fantasy if it helps them feel better about themselves. It is of no consequence because you rock!

I Am Uniquely Qualified To Guide My Own Life.

Spread Some Joy Today--How about if you do something today to really enjoy yourself. If you must combine work, find a way to make it seem like play--like making sales calls from a hot tub! That's pretty interesting. . . Be creative!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-21-10

"There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down--until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living."

-- George Sheehan

"I'm so good at procrastination, I could teach it."

-- Jim Rohn

There are many things that I have put off over my lifetime. So many of these were small things, but many of them were important and all of them were an opportunity. There was only one reason that is consistent throughout, and that is fear. Fear of what others might think, of making a fool of myself, of not knowing how to do something, of failure, of success (yes, many have a fear of success), of not being good enough, of being embarrassed, and the list goes on and on and on.

Much of the time, I just wanted to keep thinking about it, and try to figure it out--the best way, the best time, the best combination of things, etc. The deadline always loomed. At first, it might have been weeks or months away, and then it was hours, and minutes, and I kept on thinking about doing. Much of the time, I didn't. I failed to decide externally. I certainly decided internally and played those scenario's of how it would go over and over and in different ways. It may have even worked perfectly in my head, but without the external decision, or the commitment to action, it may have just been a day dream.

The reality is also that I have done a lot of things and put myself out there and gave it a shot and much of the time it was nothing but net--a success. Maybe I got lucky. More fear. Some of that fear came from things that happened when I was a young child. Those things can be devastating for a child. But, hey, we just gotta get over it and get on with it, right? Right.

So what would happen; what would a life be like without any procrastination? I wonder. Maybe, I can start with just a little less procrastination, and work down to very little, to none. What do I have to lose?

I'm Gettin' Over and Gettin' On With It.

Spread Some Joy Today--What small thing have you been putting off for a better time? How can you get started today even though you don't have everything you need? That's the idea!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-20-10

"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing,
while others judge us by what we have already done."

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What a great quote: "We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said that so, so well, and isn't it the truth?

All the more reason to pay so little attention to what others say about you, and pay much, much closer attention to your own thoughts about yourself.

There's no telling what you can do and be.

I Am My Own Best Council--My Own Self-Expert.

Spread Some Joy Today--If you've been listening to what others are saying and not liking it much, today is the day to stop and listen only to yourself for a while. Then, listen only to people who build you up. We all control our own senses.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-19-10

"It's not what you look at that matters,
it's what you see."

-- Henry David Thoreau

A glorious sight? Or an eyesore?

Everything IS As It Seems. . . To Each Of Us Alone.

Spread Some Joy Today--To see beauty in everything doesn't require an eye, but a heart.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-18-10

"The world at large does not judge us
by who we are and what we know;
it judges us by what we have."

-- Dr. Joyce Brothers

"Never judge a book by its movie."

-- J W Eagan

"Don't judge a book by its thickness either."

-- Craig Bruce

"I judge people on how they smell, not how they look."

-- Jennifer Lopez

Our eyes can be so deceiving sometimes. The real problem is that our eyes are connected intricately to our brain and we process every nanosecond of a visual image and that information runs through our memories, values, beliefs and rules; our opinions, and our fears. Each visual image then is not what really is, but what we interpret it to be based on the filters we use.

Judging others appearance, behaviors, tone and language, perceived intelligence has become second nature to us. Even though, in the grander scheme of things, we know we should not judge others, as in the Bible where it is said to 'judge not, lest ye be judged. . .' we do it habitually and constantly.

Now think of the last judgement you made of the last person or behavior you saw. Did it feel good to make that judgement, or did it not feel good? You might find as I have that it doesn't feel good, no matter how 'righteous' we think we are. It isn't really satisfying. Of course, that being the case, therein is the key to change: If it feels good, do it and if it doesn't feel good, don't do it.

I kind of like Jennifer Lopez's quote in that she has to at least get close enough to make a decision. Of course, getting closer means getting to know a person and as we do that, we will naturally have less of a tendency to be critical of them, for the closer we get to a person, the more of ourselves we see.

I Am More Like My Brother Than I Think.

Spread Some Joy Today--Becoming aware of our daily, hourly, judgements of people, things and events is the first step to freedom. Begin with awareness and expand from there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-17-10

"Years ago my mother used to say to me; she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be," - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

-- Elwood P Dowd

"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor,
and I'm happy to state I've finally won out over it."

-- Elwood P Dowd

I love movies. It is my favorite sport. A few days ago, I watched Harvey with Jimmy Stewart again, and it is such a loveable movie. I pulled these two quotes above from Jimmy's character, Elwood P Dowd. And, I agree with Elwood totally. I recommend pleasant as well.

One of the most pleasant things that we can do for one another is to find things about the other to give compliments about. It need not be elaborate, just something that you notice that you are sincere about.

Just a few years ago, I began looking at every individual that comes into my view and thinking to myself about something that I liked about them. Maybe it was that they looked like they were in really good physical shape like they worked out regularly, and I would make a comment about that, or ask them a question such as, 'how do you get your stomach so flat?' This, of course, is a compliment in a question, and it gets them talking about that aspect of themselves and helps them feel really good about themselves. It is powerfully healing.

Maybe it is a blouse or shirt that looks great, their hair looks super or they have such a beautiful smile. Any of those things are wonderful to them. Maybe it is how sharply dressed someone is, or the shine on their shoes, the healthy glow of their skin, or the awesome car they are driving. You name it, there is something to find in everyone, every day that you could compliment them about.

As I began looking for things and also began stating those things aloud, even taking the chance of blowing it, each and every time, you can just watch that person light up. I even say it to my wife every day in some way. Whether she is dressed up or dressed down, I always find something to compliment her on.

All of this has created a change in me where I find that I like and appreciate virtually every person. Those that I may struggle with a bit because of my past judgmental attitudes, I now have a quote that I remember and play in my head often by Abe Lincoln: "I don't like that man. I'll have to get to know him better." I am finding this to be true--getting to know someone is the way to liking them.

If I could have just one power, it would not be to have all the money I want, it would be to have the eyes of Jesus of Nazareth and see the real people underneath the flesh and bones and attitudes--to see them as they really are inside. Not all the things they've done wrong, but the magic that is each of us in spirit and personality when unencumbered. I'm working on it, and dare I say, making just a bit of progress. What fun and what joy!

Pleasantville Is A Good Place To Be.

Spread Some Joy Today--Start today. Look at everyone you see today, but in a different way than usual. Don't compare yourself to them, but look for something that you like about them today. As you see that thing, make sure and tell them. Just walk right up and say it. The second one is easier, then easier, and then you will be changing lives daily with nothing but a little sincere praise. How awesome is that?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-16-10

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

-- Albert Einstein

"The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies,
can continue growing as we continue to live."

-- Mortimer Adler

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as
improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning."

-- Benjamin Franklin

I remember seeing a graph when in my twenties that showed had age across the bottom and two graph lines. One was the ability to learn and it was relatively flat from birth to death. The second was the desire to learn and it climbed until age 40, then dropped off dramatically. It was used then when given to me to indicate that hiring people over 40 would not be as productive as hiring younger people because of this "learning curve" chart.

Now, here I am somewhat past 40 and remembering this chart for the first time in a while, and here's what I have to say about that chart:

Bogus! Crap! Untrue! Ridiculous!

Frankly, in the last few years, I have been learning so much more and my desire is stronger than when I was 20. Now, I do realize that there are some people who already know it all, so they have lost their desire to learn anything, but I think they are very few in number, though they may perhaps move around a bit more than most. . .

Really, it is the desire to learn that really drives us to achieve, to grow. Without this desire, there is no real life. Life is growth and expansion.

So why do some choose less? I think it is as simple as some little things they say to themselves, such as, 'I'm not a reader," or 'I'm not that smart," or 'I don't like books,' or the classic, 'I'm so busy, that I just don't have time for that stuff.' And of course, I say to that:

Bogus! Crap! Untrue! Ridiculous!

It's just our personal choices of what we are learning and how we are growing and expanding. Every choice has an outcome.

What is your choice?

I Grow And Expand As I Learn. Today I Am More.

Spread Some Joy Today--Be more today and open your notions to learning something just a touch outside your comfort zone. Don't read, or like to read? Great! Buy an audiobook. Everyone likes to be read to.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-15-10

"The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice."

-- George Eliot

"Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

-- Dr Viktor E Frankl

It is always choice, though sometimes that is a bit hard to fathom. Viktor Frankl made some of the toughest choices known to man, and if you haven't read his book, Man's Search For Meaning, you may learn much about choices. It is a very powerful book and yet demonstrates some of the highest learning under some of the hardest conditions. His quote above is demonstration of the powerful conclusions and learning that he experienced.

To many of us, the space between the stimulus and the response is so small as to not even notice a space exists. Though it is indeed a response, the way we experience it is as a reaction. It has become automatic. We see, react; we hear, react. It is a trained response. We have learned various ways to respond to certain stimuli over the years, much of it learned under 10 years old by watching our parents and their friends and relatives.

If we decide to change our reactionary life to one with more control, the way to the change is through the space between the stimulus and the response. As we grow in this enlightenment, the space is widened to the point that we can choose a response instead of one being chosen automatically by our past training and experience.

There is great power in this change of widening the space between stimulus and response. It is empowering and our growth is clear and our freedom is strengthened and expanded.

This space is widened ever more by changing how we choose to think about a stimulus. React? Respond. React? Respond. It is always choice and it is always our own choice.

I Grow By The Space Between Stimulus & Response.

Spread Some Joy Today--If you choose to, begin today to think about how you react to various stimuli. Decide today that you will choose a response next time rather than a typical, stereotyped reaction. It will be a rush and you will want more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-14-10

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

-- John F Kennedy

Conformity is alive and thriving.

I look at the young men and boys with their pants strapped around their thighs and the 5 foot long t-shirt and how you're lucky to see any male kid not doing that. Walking down the street with one hand strategically holding their pants from falling around their ankles. I think they have a handle in there somewhere. . .

I laugh now, but I was about the same in a different time. When I was in junior high in southern California, (this will show my age) the 'surfer look' was all the rage. You had to have white Levi's (brand name Levi's), Converse tennis shoes (had to be the black cloth standard low cut brand name Converse or die) and a madras shirt. I think it was supposed to be like The Beach Boys look or something.

If you wore those specific things, you were 'potentially' cool. It's the same as now with the dropped drawers: you can be 'potentially' cool. I say potentially because one still has to be 'accepted' by whomever leads the 'group,' but without the method of dress, you're just outside the fence.

Later in high school, it was 'pegged-pants,' which we had to get on with a shoe horn to get our foot through the bottom as they were so tight. It was a short-lived fad in the mid-1960's. Then in my first career as a car salesman, it was leisure suits. That was a really short lived fad. Of course, you might remember or have seen photos of the white shoes, white belt and white tie fad for grown-ups. I think it was mostly car salesman and we still think of them that way, don't we?

The thing is that we try so hard to fit in and be accepted into the group. We do it through school, in our careers at our place of employment, in church, at the gym, you name it, it is in full force. We call those outside the fence 'nerds,' don't we? Like the geeks with the pen protector in their shirt pockets. The ugly side of life.

All of it is conformity and all of it gives up our freedom and is the enemy of growth as John F Kennedy said so well. As we learn to let go of that need to fit in, we can create a path that will lead to a much more interesting life. It's only for the bold ones among us, but it is there any time we choose to exercise it.

I Am The Unique Me Inside. Now I Let It Out.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let your real self out today at work and freak out your coworkers a bit. It's good for them--and you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-13-10

"People are like dirt.
They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person
or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die."

-- Plato

"A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love the quote by Plato above. Very interesting--especially considering it was written or spoken a couple thousand years ago. It hasn't changed a bit. It reminded me of Jim Rohn's input on this subject:

"You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?"

There's no question that just being around people on a regular basis has an influence on us. Ever notice how someone might use a certain phrase often, then one by one, the people around them begin saying the same thing? That's the lighter side of influence, but it is absolutely influence.

The worst is being around people who are talking negative, putting things and other people down all the day long and then us becoming like them--and we surely will, given time. The good news is that we have great control over who we associate with even when they are co-workers.

Far better to move up in friends and associates. Find some who are lifting you up and helping you grow. Ralph Waldo Emerson states that this is how you can see that a person is growing. I think that is very true.

I Get To Choose Who Influences Me.

Spread Some Joy Today--After thinking about how others influence you, try thinking about how you influence others, for you surely are. The question is in what way?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-12-10

"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."

-- Henry David Thoreau

"To see things in the seed, that is genius."

-- Lao-Tzu

It still goes on today though we don't hear of it as much as when the dot com era was on fire just a few years ago. There were all of these start-up companies that were being funded on the success of a few hot dot com's and a culture was born.

These companies were written up thousands of times for the unique and infinitely creative ways they built a mountain of an enterprise (or a cash-burning fiasco). They focused on creative idea development and encouraged employees to have fun and share ideas with each other and they worked in a non-worklike environment to encourage more free spirited thinking. It was a fun place; a place of joy and expansion where people were not only allowed to release their creative spirits, but expected to.

How many times have we thought more of this kind of thing should be going on where we worked? How many times have we felt strongly that we had some great solutions to some common problems and felt discouraged to even share them with anyone, let alone the 'boss.' These are sort of opposite environments and it is much like the 'grass is greener on the other side of the fence' thinking.

But, I think most of our reluctance comes down to our own fear, much more so than a 'super-ego' boss who wouldn't let any idea other than theirs in. Yes, our own fear of our own situation. Much of that comes down to fear of losing one's job--getting fired. But, think about what a life that is to live in constant fear of being fired. What a waste of a livelihood--and a life in general.

I think most companies would love to have the creative instincts and ideas that their employees might have to make the whole enterprise that much better. Even a 'super-ego' boss would relish a profitable suggestion under the right circumstances. Look at this quote:

"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go
if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
-- Ronald Reagan

A little less fear can move the needle dramatically.

Fear and Creativity Are Mutually Exclusive.

Spread Some Joy Today--First, as you get your great ideas, make sure and write them out until the idea is complete. Next, think of some creative ways to share those ideas. If you want some interesting ones, read "Switch" by Chip & Dan Heath.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-11-10

"For my own personal growth I had to set out on my own."

-- Frank Press

"All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward."

-- Ellen Glasgow

I lived at home through high school and junior college and then joined the Air Force at age 21 and left home for good. From the point of leaving, I decided that no matter what, I was not coming back. Believe me that there were some times when it was very hard not to go back home, but in my mind, going back home was failing and I was determined to succeed. And, of course, I did.

Isn't it amazing what a strong decision and firm commitment will do for a person? Isn't it also amazing what we will allow ourselves to do without them?

Now, after working for other people for 40 years, I've gone out on my own. It is interesting that I have made the same exact decision and commitment. Believe me, it would have been so much easier many times to go back and pick up where I left off, but 'for my own personal growth, I had to set out on my own.' And, as with that early decision, I am determined to succeed and celebrate even the most minor of successes in that growth. It is indeed growth on several fronts and although it isn't for the faint of heart, it is worth it through all the possible tribulations because of that growth. It is also the growth that says that even if I did go back, it could never be what it was, for I have crossed over to another plane.


What's your growth story?

Growth Is The Joy Of Life. It IS Life!

Spread Some Joy Today--Pay attention to the decisions that allow you to grow, or stifle your growth.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-10-10

"Growth is the only evidence of life."

-- John Henry Newman

"You have to be willing to grow.
Growth is different from something that happens to you:
You produce it. You live it."

-- Bruce Mau

Sometimes growth is fairly obvious. The new parts stand out and indicate growth is happening before your eyes, or has taken place. When we grow, this is what some people see in us, and others are color blind.

Sometimes growth is less obvious. It is more a filling in; an expansion. It's sort of like being a parent and not noticing a child's physical growth so much unless their clothes are too small, whereas, when out of town relatives visit, they see nothing but change. It's still growth isn't it? More subtle, but no less growth.

Sometimes growth is so enthusiastic, full of joy, and so expansive that it is impossible to ignore. You see someone and you say, 'what happened to you? You're not even the same person anymore!' Or, they say it to you. It is growth that blossoms so fully, that everyone notices the change and they are drawn to you. How nice. . .

Everyone is different, yet in growth (assuming we are living. . .), we are all the same: expanding, becoming more, learning, growing physically, intellectually, spiritually, and all the other ways we grow in life. Each is beautiful and awesome and wonderful. None is superior except in the viewers thinking. All are varied expressions of the same energy.

We too are all varied expressions of the same energy.

Celebrate your expression everyday.

Celebrate Your Unique Expression Of Life!

Spread Some Joy Today--Growth is natural and is life. More growth equals more life. You are automatically spreading joy simply by growing. Growth is joy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-9-10

"If children grew up according to early indications,
we should have nothing but geniuses."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And. . . they are! The challenge to adults is to not only allow it, but encourage it and protect that genius by expanding it until it is strong and confident of its own.

The Goethe quote above reminded me of a Bible verse that I think about periodically to remind me to try to remember and encourage the child genius in me that I seem to forget while dealing with the daily issues of life:

"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them."
(Mark 10:13-16 ESV)

That genius child in all of us has a natural enthusiasm for life and and strong curiosity and natural optimism. It is easily brought to joy and loves laughter and fun. It is naturally flexible to change. It is creative and expressive, and social.

We are all genius children inside. What a world it would be if we would let it out and let it rule more often, at home, at work, in our businesses, in life!

I Am A Genius, As Are You! Let's Celebrate!

Spread Some Joy Today--Remind yourself today that you are that genius inside and by letting it out for a while today, you will spread joy wherever you are. Ain't it grand?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-8-10

"Inspire yourself and others will be inspired.
Motivate yourself and others will be motivated.
Develop yourself and others will start to develop themselves.
Be an example first and then the world changes around you."

-- Author Unknown

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

-- Mahatma Gandhi

You know the preflight routine when you get on a plane and they talk about the oxygen masks and how you put it on yourself first, then help someone else. You wouldn't be much good otherwise as you're passing out from lack of oxygen.

Well, the best way to inspire someone else is just like that--I have to inspire myself first, and then others can be inspired. Looking for people to become motivated requires that I be motivated myself first. Expecting others to get excited about personal development is ridiculous if I am not excited myself. And, in thinking about all this, isn't this so true in our lives in general. We get much further along when we lead by example.

I need to be the change in my company, my relationship with my family, my environment and the world. It's all wishing and hoping otherwise.

I Am The Agent Of Change.

Spread Some Joy Today--You've been elected the Agent of Change. You are now in charge of leading the way. Show 'em how it's done!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-7-10

"Someone's sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

-- Warren Buffett

"Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime.
And, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time."

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I've come to believe that the best thing to leave behind when I leave this earth is some things that will help people find themselves and live more fulfilled lives.

I've had relatives die and leave small amounts of money or things and that is nice, but has no lasting value. It is the books and tapes and knowledge that has been left behind that has been of the most benefit to me. They may have been doing it all for themselves and affecting others as a side note, but I got the huge benefit of what they left behind helping me to lead a better life in the present.

Now, after learning, gathering and testing in the first two thirds of my life, I am now sharing what I have learned in the last one third. My best hope is that some of it is beneficial to others now and in the future too. And, guess what? It's an absolute joy to do it too. Looks like I benefit, no matter what! Who knew?

I'm Basking In The Sunshine Of Someone Else's Leave Behind. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Spread Some Joy Today--Gratitude for the shade that others have provided is a really good place to start. Then, take it from there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-6-10

"What would you do, how would you change your life,
if you learned today that you only had six months to live?"

-- Brian Tracy

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

-- Walt Disney

I think the six month question is a really good one to ask ourselves from time to time to make sure that we are living our lives to the fullest, and doing what we really want to do.

It may be something very simple to someone else, but harder for you for some reason. A friend of mine is involved in a hospice group and helping to fulfill some people to do some things they've put off all their lives. I listened to a few of the stories and they seemed so simple to me and easy to achieve, yet they just kept putting them off. Now, when the end is near, they really want to do them. That's interesting, don't you think?

It could be as simple as going to a certain place, taking guitar or piano lessons, attending a rock concert, saying something to someone you've always wanted to say, taking a helicopter ride, flying in a Lear jet, taking race car driving lessons, standing on the pitching mound at Dodger's stadium, visiting Hawaii for the first time, or the last time, playing craps in Vegas, going to the top of the Eiffel tower in Paris, taking a paddleboat cruise on the Mississippi, driving through the Delta in Northern California in a convertible with the top down, saying 'I love you' to that one you've always wanted to say it to but didn't, and the list is as long as infinity.

Or, for some, who get the idea and concept of the question, but have much longer to live, it might be starting that business you've always thought about, or moving to that place that you love so much, or working for the love of it rather than the income of it. Those are bigger things, and though we put them off, they can be brought back to life and put on today's agenda.

I think that the best place to get to is when the six month question is asked, I say that I wouldn't change, add or subtract anything; that life is perfect as it is for me. I am happy and content and fulfilled. I am thankful and blessed.

What would you do if you had only six months to live?

I Want To Live My Life Fully Every Day In Every Way.

Spread Some Joy Today--What is your list of things you've been putting off, storing in the attic, buried in the backyard, stuffed under the mattress? How about doing one of them now? Start with the easiest one first.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-5-10

"If you believe in what you are doing,
then let nothing hold you up in your work.
Much of the best work of the world has been
done against seeming impossibilities.
The thing is to get the work done."

-- Dale Carnegie

"Often the difference between a successful man
and a failure is not one's better abilities or ideas,
but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas,
to take a calculated risk, and to act."

-- Dr. Maxwell Maltz

"Whatever you can do or dream, begin it."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Geoethe

I've heard some people state that they had a dream to do a certain thing, that they love doing it and wish they could do it for a living, but. . . I've heard someone who does hair and is good at it and she loves to do it say that she would love to have her own shop, and I say why the heck not? And, she says, but. . . I've heard a young man who just graduated college say that he wants to be a teacher in this certain subject where there is a need, and I suggest then that he open his opportunities dramatically by expanding geographically, and I gave him a list of ideas, and he says, but. . .

The fact is that I have talked with a good number of folks who give me a list of excuses, reasons, rebuttals, and challenges against THEIR OWN DREAM. Isn't that interesting?

I understand what it is. We want, but we don't believe we deserve it, or we don't believe we are smart enough, or we don't have enough money, or we don't know this or that or the other, or we aren't skilled enough, and this list goes on and on and on and on. Excuses for not acting--all of them. It is simply fear. They are afraid they don't know enough, will fail, will be laughed at, or whatever. It is just fear.

Know what changes fear? Facing it, and acting on what you are afraid of in spite of the fear. You knew I was going to say that, didn't you? You see, I know this because I have been these people who make excuses and have fear and failed to act.

The good news is that this can change. Before you face the fear and act in spite of it, the thing that will make this easy is expanding your desire and belief. When you want something really bad, you will find a way to get it. It is a given. You learned it as a baby. Persistence comes from strong desire.

Next is belief. Believing in yourself is a key ingredient and after building a strong desire, affirmations about yourself can be extremely helpful. Say, 'I deserve this, I want this, and I will have this!' Say, 'I am strong. I face my fear and it runs away like a scared little critter!' Say, 'My confidence in my abilities is unmistakable and contagious!' Then make up your own. Carry them with you and say them many times during the day, and over time, they will become you.

I think it's time you become the genius rock star you really are! Whip up your desire to a peak, build your self-esteem and belief by taking charge of your mind, and then ACT. Like they say in the movies, 'Ready, Set, ACTION!'

I Accept Responsibility For My Own Dreams.

Spread Some Joy Today--Facing my fears and building my own self-worth and acting on my desires and dreams is so contagious and empowering to others! What a great way to spread some joy today!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-4-10

"Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs."

-- Dr Maxwell Maltz

"I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours nor amount of labor nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me."

-- Col. Harland Sanders

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

-- C. S. Lewis

"The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave."

-- Ronald Reagan

Yesterday, I heard someone say, 'I'm 57 and I will never be able to. . .'

That's a bunch of crap.

When people say things like this, or they can't do something because of how old they are, it is all a learned attitude. Think about it. Social Security. It was instituted in 1935. The whole concept of retirement at age 65 was a drummed up thing. It is amazing to me the national goal of retirement. I totally get enjoying life, what I don't get is waiting to retire to do it, or even that retiring will enhance it. What a waste of time--literally!

I love Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He didn't become what most call successful until after age 64. This list of people like that goes on and on. Age is not the issue, attitude and beliefs are. A 57 year old has just as much a chance as a 25 year old in business or achieving 'success.' The venues may be slightly different, but it is all in what you think.

I'm 60 today. I started a completely new career and went into business for myself about two and a half years ago. Most people would call me crazy, I suppose. They say that I'm supposed to be getting ready to kick back and take it easy and travel a lot in my motorhome and all that mumbo jumbo. Instead, here I am enjoying life as I never have enjoyed it before, having more joy in it, more thrill in it, more life in it, and much, much more satisfaction in it. I mean truly enjoying every single day, regardless of the circumstances, the weather or what other people might think.

So, they talk about risk. . . that I'm risking too much or that I'm risking it all. There's more risk of falling getting out of the shower every day. There's more risk in getting on the freeway every day. Again, it's all in your point of view, what you think is the way things should be (all learned ideas), how you think about age, how young or old you feel (I have felt 35 since I was 35 and it hasn't changed a bit), how you view success. None of it has to do with age really, it all has to do with what you think about age.

When people talk about the lack of opportunities, I feel the same way: baloney! It's another facet of the age thing. There are opportunities abound, and once you realize this is true, you see ever more opportunities that you don't even have time to think about.

When is the best time? It is whenever! You are never too old, or too anything. It has nothing to do with how much money you have or don't have. It has nothing to do with what sex you are. It has nothing to do with nothing except your desire and drive to see it happen in your mind, then in reality. There are so many ways to do a thing and all limitations are self-imposed.

The best is yet to come!

I'll leave you today with one of my most favorite quotes from an admired author and life adventurer, Jack London. I like to read it often to keep me inspired about living today waiting for nothing.

"I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time."

-- Jack London

I'm Living My Life In Full Now. I'm Putting My Retirement At Risk. Thank Goodness!

Spread Some Joy Today--Analyze how you think about getting older and how that relates to the opportunities of life. What do you see? Any concept you want to discard? Spread some joy today: Start with YOU.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-3-10

"You must learn to discipline your disappointment."

-- Jim Rohn

"If we will be quiet and ready enough,
we shall find compensation in every disappointment."

-- Henry David Thoreau

Recently, I was part of an event that I thought was going to be very good and worthwhile. The day finally came and after a very short time at the event, the planning and execution seemed to be lacking a number of obvious things--at least obvious to me. I mentioned some of it to my partner, and we were both very curious. And, we could have gone on and complained the whole afternoon away and played the 'ain't it awful' game, but we have learned to discipline our disappointment and find other ways to make the time worthwhile.

Considering there weren't very many prospects coming in, we worked the room instead, meeting other vendors and passing out cards and literature. We ended up buying some of their wares and that made them happy too. Then, about midway through the event, we could see it wasn't going to get any better, so we started working on some of our clients products and discussing how we could improve them. Since my computer was there, we just got in and made things happen.

Now, what's interesting is that if I looked at the face value of the event, including the cost in time and money, I would have to say that it was a bust at best, but that's not how I see it. Instead, I see it as a huge success--not the event itself, but the fact that we attended--because, as it turned out, we found a grand benefit in a new product while we were working on a clients product. This was huge! I was so excited that we found this because it is pretty much a game changer!

You've heard of the silver lining in the cloud and I love John Wooden's famous quote, "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." And John is right on the money and so is Jim Rohn. After I learned how to discipline my disappointment, it is a natural event for me then, to have things turn out best because I have learned to make the best of the way things turn out.

Next time you find yourself not enjoying something, ask yourself what you can do to enjoy yourself in spite of your circumstances or location or situation. Discipline your disappointment by making the best of the way things turn out. You might even find, as we did, that it is far better than you could have imagined.

It's Only A Problem If We Focus On The Problem.

Spread Some Joy Today--Just think of all the situations you've been in where you were disappointed and discouraged. Think how different that will be now that you will discipline your disappointment!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-2-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week

"I don't think you lead by pessimism and cynicism.
I think you lead by optimism and enthusiasm and energy."

-- Patricia Ireland

"Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push.
A smile. A world of optimism and hope.
A "you can do it" when things are tough."

-- Richard M DeVos

Perhaps you've had a boss or supervisor who was always finding what you were doing incorrectly and pointing it out to you. Feels crappy, doesn't it? There is no way you could do everything wrong, and you would respond favorably to being told the things you did well, right? I think we all respond to that approach.

Think of a leader who is pessimistic about the future, who thinks and talks about what is wrong and never mentions what is right and good. The world is going to the dogs. . . the government is taking over. . . the sky is falling. . . Who wants to be around that leader? Who wants to follow that leader? Yet, many of us might talk that way ourselves.

The American Presidents who really stand out were ones who saw something great and good about our country and where we are headed. They built confidence through ideal and positive examination. There were others, for sure and they are not remembered in the same way. Their names are pretty much forgotten.

So it is with all leaders. You lift people up by focusing on what is good and grand and right and finding more of that in people and things. It is optimism that is the most important aspect of leadership in my mind. What about you?

We Are All Leaders In One Way Or Another. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Make it a point to give out at least 5 compliments to people today. Make it a point to see what is good and right today. Make a list. Seek joy. It is there to be found and requires nothing but choosing it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Daily Inspiration 5-1-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week

"Optimism - the doctrine or belief that everything
is beautiful, including what is ugly."

-- Ambrose Bierce

"Weeds are flowers too--once you get to know them."

-- A. A. Milne

"To the artist, there is never anything ugly in nature."

--Auguste Rodin

Just as optimism is a point of view, so is what is ugly. Some of my favorite plants are what most call 'weeds.' One man's junk is another man's treasure. Look on the horizon, or look at the cracks in the sidewalk. What you see is what you get. It's all just your particular point of view. And, it's not right or wrong, it is how you CHOOSE to see it. Yes, choose. It isn't there because it's there, it's there because you choose to see it there. That's another way of saying we create our own reality. We absolutely do.

The pessimists of the world are always looking at what is wrong, what is broken, what is ugly, what is incorrect. They are looking at the cracks in the sidewalk. They say two things: one, that they want to focus there because those things need attention so that more people will see the problem, so hopefully, everyone will see the problem, and two, they say they want it changed for the better, and the way to do that is to give more attention to the problem so that more people will become involved and want to solve the problem also. Groups and foundations are created to perpetuate the problem and make sure that more and more people know about the problem and have more people want to fix the problem, and the way to fix the problem is to. . . Whew! It is a circle of influence, isn't it!? Or, maybe a circle of friends of the _________.

It's all in what you want to focus on and what you want to pay attention to, and it is pretty easy to see that pessimists focus on problems. They may talk about solutions, but only to perpetuate the problem.

Optimists, on the other hand, focus on what is good, and what feels right to them. They look at what brings joy and love. They see what is right about a situation or thing and seek to expand their joy through finding more things of value and benefit and share that with others, in hopes that they too will find value and benefit from their own point of view.

How can two people look at the same exact thing and see something so different--even the exact opposite? Choice. It is just choice.

I choose joy. I choose optimism. I choose to feel good. I choose to see what works. I choose to give love. I choose to spread that point of view.

One Thing Is Certain: I Always Get To Choose.

Spread Some Joy Today--Take some time today and analyze your point of view. Make a list of what is wrong in the world, in your life and see how long that list is. Then, make a list of what is right and good in the world and in your life. How long is that list? Want to change your point of view?