Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-31-11

Choice Week

"It is almost impossible for anyone,
even the most ineffective among us,
to continue to choose misery after
becoming aware that it is a choice."

-- William Glasser

I was talking with a friend today about awareness and enlightenment and how once we become truly aware of a thing such as cause and effect, it is nearly impossible to unlearn it.

It's kind of like the flat earth theory. Once people became aware that the earth was actually round, they couldn't very well go back to thinking it was flat. Belief in one idea often removes belief from something else.

Now that I am fully aware that I create my own happiness in every second of every day, I cannot imagine going back to thinking that I need things or other people or the right circumstances to make me happy. I've learned that I am fully responsible and completely in charge of my happiness. No one can make me happy. I am the only one who can do that. I can't even imagine going back to that old powerlessness.

Being In Charge Is A Wonderful Feeling!

Spread Some Joy Today--Choose to be in charge of your joy!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-30-11

Choice Week

"When you have to make a choice and
don't make it, that is in itself a choice."

-- William James

How many times in my life have I drug my feet, procrastinated, and even flat refused to make a choice, and yet, that strangely enough is a choice. It's not the most effective one perhaps, but it is a choice. Indeed, sometimes it can actually be the 'right' choice, but I think that more often than not, failing to choose turns out poorly.

It doesn't seem logical that someone might choose to fail, but often that is actually the case and often within that context, it is the reluctance to choose that ends up the culprit. So failing to choose can certainly lead to choosing to fail.

A far better way might be to take control and make decisions, and practice.

Practice Makes Perfect. Perfect Takes Practice.

Spread Some Joy Today--Have some fun today. Smile at everyone with joy in your heart. See what happens. . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-29-11

Choice Week

"The self is not something ready-made, but something
in continuous formation through choice of action."

-- John Dewey

To the above quote, I would add, choice of thought or action. Thought is not always related to action, and besides, the thought comes prior to the action.

I thought I would have a theme for the week and choice is perfect. Everything starts with our choices: choices of thought, choices of reaction, choices as decision. In fact, each and every one of us are magnificent creators in that we are constantly creating our own lives, circumstances and events by choice we are either making now or have made in the past.

Today was a wonderful day. It was about 65 degrees with mostly sun, so there were some clouds. It was warm in the sun, so wearing a t-shirt was just fine if your were out and about. It was just warm enough to be comfortable and cool enough to not get hot. It was a glorious day. Later in the day, dark clouds came in and gave us a small amount of rain for a few hours. Not the kind of rain that would stop you from doing what you were already going to do. In fact, to me it felt great and I just let it drip on me and I had fun with it.

I went to the store and a guy was getting petitions signed, and I said, "isn't it a great day?" He said, "yeah, except for the rain." I kept going. I don't swim upstream. Let him have it his way. It's all good.

But, it gave me thought. You know, I used to say the same kind of thing; in fact, for most of my life I would have responded very similarly. And the thought I had is that it is purely 100% a choice that has made the difference in me. I simply decided to enjoy the weather no matter what the weather is--it is the weather. I stopped looking at or listening to forecasts, kept and umbrella in the car for downpours, and that was it.

Guess what happened then. . . the weather didn't change; it was still the weather, but I changed. The weather became enjoyable regardless of what it was. I began to see beauty and elegance in each and every day. Even if the weather caused traffic delays, I just enjoyed the moments, the clouds, the color of the sky, the breeze, every thing about it. Of course the result of this was that I became a happier person and had less reasons to be unhappy.

So, as I am out and about and hear people and their responses to the weather, I thought today that if someone wanted to be happier, making a decision about the weather would be a really good place to start. Then after mastering the weather, who knows what they could do?

Happiness Is Such A Simple Thing, And So Very Easy To Achieve. Anyone Can Do It.

Spread Some Joy Today--Being joyous is the easiest way to do that.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-28-11

"You can tell more about a person by what he says
about others than you can by what others say about him."

-- Leo Aikman

These kind of quotes are so special to me because they are gentle, yet firm reminders of the kind of person that I want to be.

Have you ever heard a friend, or who you thought was a friend, who was telling someone else things about you that weren't very uplifting? They didn't know you were within earshot, but it tells you a lot about that person, doesn't it? I've had that happen and I know that it felt crappy to say the least.

There's one thing for sure: I don't want to be that person I just described, yet I have succumbed to the gossip myself and I am certain that I have been that person from time to time. In fact, it was probably a good deal of the time further back. However, as I move forward in my life, I hope to be improving and allowing myself to become what I want instead of how I've seen other people act.

That's the best thing about making that decision to move forward, learn and grow--I get to experience more of the real me inside and that real me is full of love. As I allow that love to come from within and dominate my life, I find less desire or even situations where talking people down is an activity. At the very least, if I participated now, I find myself having negative emotion (feeling guilty, crappy, etc) and that is a clear indication I'm not in alignment with who I really am. At that moment, I can stop mid-sentence and get back on track.

When I was a child, the grandfatherly advice was, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." That's good, but it doesn't go far enough and it doesn't fix the problem, as it is more like masking the symptoms. A better thought might be, "find something nice about everyone you meet, and find ways to let them know."

Love Is Always The Right Choice.

Spread Some Joy Today--Find yourself loving all the people in your life from the bill collectors to the sacred child.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-27-11

"I have always believed, and I still believe,
that whatever good or bad fortune may come
our way we can always give it meaning and
transform it into something of value."

-- Hermann Hesse

"It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is the one who can smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that shines through the tears."

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Smiling Is The Foothills Of Joy.

Spread Some Joy Today--Start your morning smiling at yourself in the mirror. It's a good place to practice.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-26-11

"Do not judge lest you be judged.
For in the way you judge, you will be judged;
and by your standard of measure,
it will be measured to you."

-- Matthew 7:1-2, 
The Bible, NAS

In the past number of posts, I've been thinking and writing about things that I've learned over time, along with those that I have had to practice on to get good at and thereby make the message my own.

I love really great quotes where ever I find them and having read the Bible a couple of times completely myself, I have found a number of golden nuggets that continue to serve me and also act as reminders to my own frailties. Matthew 7 about judgment is one of them, and it is probably one of the most quoted Bible quotes in existence. However, what is not quoted very often is verses 3 through 5 that come after and it adds immensely to the fullness of verses 1 and 2. So, here is the whole of it verses 1 through 5:

"Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

As I look back on all that I have learned from the Bible, I know that this is easily one of the most important verse selections in my life. It is one that I remind myself of so much more even today than at any other time. I have realized just how powerfully magnificent it is and also how real and true it is and how it helps me to be a far better person than I might ever become.

To me, the lesson is not judgment but is about loving one another, which is the single most important lesson in the Bible for me (John 13:34). When I realize how silly it is for me to judge someone else (and this requires practice on my part), it allows and encourages me to see them as like me and to love them the way they are. It is true enough that what goes around, comes around. You never know how treating someone poorly or without respect will come back to you.

A long time ago, I was in a transition struggling with what exactly to do. I went to work for a small used car lot as a temporary idea, and I knew the manager--or at least I knew of him and his name, but little else. He treated me very poorly and I left. They tried to stiff me on minimum wage pay and it just was sad. Fast forward ten years give or take and I am the general sales manager at a dealership, and guess who comes in looking for a job? I don't think he even made the connection.

Judgment is the easiest thing in the world. It is also the easiest thing in the world to be wrong about. We are all deeper than we seem. We are all made of the same exact materials. We all come from the same source. We are far more connected than not. All the more reason for looking at ourselves with a critical eye before we look at others. Better yet--looking at ourselves with a loving eye, and then with that same loving eye toward others.

Who Am I To Judge? Even Moses Didn't Want The Job. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--The more we see each other as ourselves, the more love and joy we find. It is true.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-25-11

"Own your own feelings. Nobody else does
Accept that you don't own the other person's feelings."

-- Deepak Chopra

This quote is the single most profound personal help I ever learned. I learned it in my twenties back in the mid-1970s. I've never forgotten it and I have done my best to put it to good use in my life. However, there have been many, many times that after having this profound knowledge, decided to ignore it and blame others for my feelings while even being fully aware of that fact. I did it anyway.

Does that sound familiar? How many things that I learn that are so helpful that I also choose to ignore is interesting. And, here's the best answer to that I have ever found:

"Practice is nine-tenths." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I practice on purpose what I have learned, it has a better chance of having a positive impact and influence on me and my behavior. So, if there is any work to learning, it is the constant internal nudging to put it into practice and practice it until it is known; until it becomes me.

Never more in my entire life than in the last few years have I focused on the practice and the good news about that is that it is paying off in a grand way. For learning to become experience, practice is required.

I was watching some kids in the neighborhood working on their skateboard skills. They were having the board do flips and spins and jumps and all sorts of things it wasn't originally designed to do. They failed to achieve the objective so many times, yet they kept on because they have seen it done and they want to do it and it is fun to try. Then, they succeed, and they practice some more and have successes more often, until one day they hardly ever fail at doing the trick. They can do it in their sleep.

I can relate. That is essentially what I am doing every day. My skateboard is practical philosophy I suppose, but I am doing the same thing. I practice what I've learned, and fail to achieve the objective more often than not, and then I persist and get better and then I'm an expert and it is so natural that it is just the way I am.

Owning my own feelings is one of those skateboard tricks. It was one of the toughest ones because the world in general is adamant and persistent about working against that idea. That makes it so easy and legitimate to get off track--to fail at the trick. However, with my own brand of persistence and belief in a good idea, I succeed more often and now after these many years of practice, I feel I am at the expert level on this one trick. Whew! It was a tough trick! But, I made it!

The Devil Can't Make Me Do It Anymore, And No One Else Either. I Choose And Accept That Responsibility Alone.

Spread Some Joy Today--Feeling in control is a joyous experience. Grab hold of it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-24-11

"For the most part, people seem to think that
life is linear, that our capacities decline as we
grow older, and that opportunities we have missed
are gone forever. Many people have not found
their Element because they don't understand
their constant potential for renewal."

-- Ken Robinson, Ph.D., from the book, The Element

This quote is so clear when you start listening to people get older. I hear about the things that they can't do anymore, they're not as young as they used to be (well, duh!), there's not enough time to do that, that's for younger folks to worry about and so on. Well, boo-hoo!

I've studied all kinds of extremely successful people that started all over about the time that most think about retiring. I'm always thinking, "retiring to what? Sit on the porch and watch life go by?" The list is long of people who started late and lived a whole new life.

At 58, I decided to resurrect my dream of my own business and changed my life completely. As so many people say, you only life once, so if that were true, then you might as well go for it--at least that's my opinion.

Within a year of starting this business, we needed the help of a graphic designer to take us to another level. We found a woman who was a stay at home mom most of her life, then floundered in entry level jobs not finding any stability or success, who then decided to go back to school, get a degree and a new skill.

Shortly after graduating with a degree in graphic design, we were so lucky to be in the right place at the right time. So after all of those entry level frustrations, now she owns her own businesses. In fact, she owns two businesses and has taken our business to a whole new level and continues to grow in that, and us in our attachment to her expertise and partnership. She's in her 50's (I won't say any more. . .).

So there you have two stories that show these lives are not even considering sitting on the porch and have found continually growing potential seasoned by a little bit of time. Opportunities are seized that did not pass us by and, in fact, are grander than we might have previously recognized. We are renewed!

Don't let people tell you that you can't do something. If you can dream it, life has the capacity to have that dream come true. Forget about the people who made up such rules as retirement age and decline after 40 and all that crap. It is just nonsense. You have so much more capacity than you may realize--at any age--mental or physical. Grab it!

Forget About All Those Rules. Make Your Own.

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy is doing what you love doing--especially something you've wanted to do a long time and have listened to all those rules. Relight the fire now! That's joy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-23-11

"Everything that irritates us about others
can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."

-- Carl Jung

When I would see something in someone else that irritated me, I would think about it and go over the irritating part to bring attention to the wrongness of it and the stupidity of it and so on. I would sometimes spend time talking about it with others and seeking agreement that I was right in being irritated because having others agree gives my rightness credence and a certain authority. I would persecute the irritator as I played my game as the irritated victim.

Then one day, I decided to stop struggling with that and stop fighting with it and just let it go as if I was playing the game of tug-o-war and then just let go of the rope. What happened then was that first, I was feeling less irritated, and second I started seeing some human frailty, or fear. I began to question why I was feeling that way about that.

In that process, I began to see my need to be right and how I might even have my own issues with being irritable to others, and so developed just a tinge of compassion. But a really interesting thing happened that I still enjoy about this, and that is that I began loving that person. What was even more interesting was that their habit of irritating me dissolved and though I didn't change their personality or habit, I no longer reacted to it. Indeed, I just began seeing through it and just loving them as a person regardless.

Even today, I look back at those people and still feel that love and appreciation of them as a person, and what used to irritate me, I did not like, but it served to show me how to understand myself better and to see beyond the surface in them and in me. For that, I am very grateful.

Ooops. . . My Humanity Is Showing. Yours Too?

Spread Some Joy Today--Loving them will make living with them easier and that love will wear down the most hardened of critics.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daily Inspirations 5-22-11

"The most revolutionary act one can
commit in our world is to be happy."

-- Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams

Yesterday, I went to an outdoor BBQ event in another city to pay my respects to the people putting it on. It was an absolutely beautiful picture perfect 75 degree California day. There was music playing, Tri-tip, hot dogs, chips and drinks along with tables and chairs to take a load of and enjoy the food. It was a free event and most of the people that came were workers. There were raffles with prizes and I even won the first one: a baseball style cap. There were vendors showing off some trucks and I got to see some people I haven't seen in a while. I spent a leisurely hour and a half and had a good time.

As I was eating my food a couple of guys sat down, and I mentioned what a perfect day it was for this event. The first thing out of one guy was, "so much better than the rainy weather yesterday, and I wish it were warmer--it's still kind of chilly for this time of year." And his friend says, "yeah, you'll be happy for a rainy day when it's 105 degrees!" I didn't say anything vocally, but it made me think how humans just love--I mean LOVE to complain about just about everything.

Next time you're out and about, listen to some of the conversations going on around you, or say something very positive and upbeat about and then listen. It will be interesting and full of complaints I predict.

I was enjoying the beauty of an area and mentioned all the beauty around us and a person with me says, "why is that branch over there cut off like that?" I said, "why in the world, with all this beauty all around, would your eyes go to that way over there to focus on?" They said, "because it's not beautiful, it would be beautiful if that weren't there." I said nothing further.

The more I get into this happier person that I have become and am becoming more of, I see what Patch Adams meant. It truly is a revolutionary act to choose to be happy on purpose. Of course, that is also the key: choosing to be happy rather than having things make us happy. John Mayer says that so well in his song, Waiting On the World To Change. Many people I talk with are doing just that. When the world changes they will be happy. Of course, it never does, so complaints just become a part of our frustrating, disappointing experience.

However, we can change that anytime we like--in a moment it can change. We change it only by changing our thinking about it and making a decision to be happy and to look for the beauty instead of the flaws. That is why I see beauty each and every day now because I have just decided to see beauty where ever it is and the more of it I see, the more of it I see until I see it all the time virtually everywhere I go. It's just a decision, a very simple, yet so monumentally powerful decision.

We All Have So Much More Control and Power Than We Ever Thought Possible.

Spread Some Joy Today--Choose to be happy, just for today. Then, do it again tomorrow. Then again. It's habit forming!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-21-11

"If there was no praise or criticism in the world,
then who would you be?"

-- Quoted in It's Not About the Coffee by Howard Behar

I think we all want praise, and though we all get criticism, generally that is not something we want, yet both have value and can help us to know something more about what we are trying to do. Trouble is, much of the time it is taken so personally that rather than helping us, we shut down. If we don't quit very shortly after the criticism, we certainly are not operating anywhere near capacity. It's as if an anchor has been attached to us now.

So, it is fascinating to me to look at this quote and really give it some thought.

And, guess what? I think I'm doing it right now. I wouldn't have said that five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago or even forty years ago, but I feel confident in saying it now.

I'm not doing any part of what I'm doing now for praise. I'm doing it because I'm driven to do it. I want to do it and I'm happy to do it. I also no longer plug into criticism about my choice. They may think as they like, but they won't dissuade me by criticism and I won't be enamored and hooked on any praise either.

This is the difference now in what I do than has ever been in my life.

There is a similar question that I've heard many times, "What would you do if you had all the money you needed or wanted?" You may not want to believe me, but I would do what I'm doing now, just in a bigger, more expanded way. I feel like I'm doing what I was meant to do, and having stepped out there just a few years back, a certain confidence in the right decision became clear.

And, last it's not about what I do, it's about who I have become and am becoming and I like that part the best. I'm very pleased with who I've become and how that is unfolding.

It's Never Too Late To Be The Person You've Always Wanted To Be . . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy requires no effort, only a releasing of struggle. It is rather like letting go of the rope completely. What's the best thing that could happen?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-20-11

"When I hear somebody sigh,
'Life is hard,'
I am always tempted to ask,
'Compared to what?'"

-- Sydney J Harris

You know it's going to be a bad day when. . .

•You turn on the morning news and it's showing emergency routes out of town.
•The sun comes up in the west.
•Your boss tells you not to bother taking off your coat.
•You jump out of bed and you miss the floor.
•The bird singing outside your bedroom window is a buzzard.
•You wake up and your dentures are locked together.
•Your car's horn gets stuck while you're following a group of Hell's Angels.
•You put both contact lenses in the same eye.
•You walk to work on a sunny morning and discover the back of your skirt is stuck in your panty hose.
•You call to pick up your messsages and are told it's none of your business.
•Your tax return check bounces.
•You put your bra on backwards and it fits better.
•You step on the scale and it says "tilt."
•You call suicide prevention, and they put you on hold.

So, How Bad Is It?

Spread Some Joy Today--If you're going to complain, make it sound so silly that it makes people laugh instead of run away.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-19-11

"The greatest weapon against stress
is our ability to choose
one thought over another."

-- William James

I was talking with a friend and associate this morning and she mentioned that she teaches and advises people to do something in a certain way, and then sometimes finds herself not following her own advice. I could instantly relate to that because I do it myself from time to time. But, I told her that the difference to me now is that I have awareness and having awareness serves to have me recognize when I am off the path, so I can get back on quickly, whereas in the past, I may not have even noticed I was off the path.

Now the quote by William James is so powerful and true in my own life. I know this. And yet, I sometimes fail to have it operate on auto pilot as I would like, find myself over in the weeds feeling stressed. This is where my learning and study kicks in and makes me aware that I am off in the weeds. This then allows and encourages me to get back on track with the truth in my life and change my thoughts.

It is human to run old tapes and get off track. It is the learning that brings me awareness that helps me grow beyond and overwrite the old tapes. That is how learning empowers me. The path to enlightenment is through awareness.

Though what William James says is true for me from my awareness, on a practical side it is a challenge because of past training and interaction with other people and societal norms. Here's some things I've learned to help me overcome those practical obstacles.

1. Release all rules. Realize that so many of my thoughts are from past training and other people's rules. Rules are just ideas that someone had and others accepted. Many of those rules were turned into legalisms called laws. To think for oneself, especially if the world in general is not in step, requires ignoring a lot of rules; e.g., you should do this, you should do that, everyone does this, everyone does that and so on.

2. Suspend judgement. Right and wrong are judgements. I need to suspend as many judgements as possible--all if I can. Judgements like I should feel this or I should feel that for whatever reason or whomever said it can just as easily be looked at with suspicion. Some of those judgements might say that you should feel sad about this and not feel joy about that. Can if you want, but I am choosing to feel how I want to feel, and I choose joy as often as I find it possible to do so, under a wide variety of circumstances and customs.

3. Choose to feel better. I want to choose a better feeling thought in every case and there is no end to feeling better. Feeling bad, even slightly will now awaken my awareness and then I can consciously remind myself that I choose to feel better, and then do so by changing my thought. Without the rules and judgement, I have more power to change the thoughts and more power to feel better.

Stress is just a view and it is a fearful view. It is 100% thought. Without judgement to encourage the fear or rules to expand it, changing my thoughts to release all stress is practical and effective.

I Choose To Feel Better By Choosing A Better Feeling Thought Any Time I Want. I Want To Do So Often.

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy is alive and full of life and optimism. Joy is real. Joy is contagious.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-18-11

"How much pain they have cost us,
the evils which have never happened."

-- Thomas Jefferson

"Every evening I turn my worries over to God.
He's going to be up all night anyway."

-- Mary C Crowley

It's funny now. The real troubles that I have are no match to the power and persistence of my imagination.

What's really funny is that today I am absolutely certain that I have a minimum of twice as many problems as I have ever had in my life, and my imagination can still runs circles around all of them.

What's even funnier still, is that not thinking about my real problems, regardless of how many there are, or who thinks they are so damn important, makes them so much smaller than they have ever been in my entire life.

And the last funny thing is that I am in full control of my imagination, although, I think most of my life, I didn't realize that was possible.

I am eager and excited in anticipation of the place where there are no problems at all--where life is bliss and joy reigns supreme. As imaginary places go, that is as good a one as I can dream up; however, I am not convinced that it is a real place.

But, as my experience is teaching me now, having problems is not a problem unless I choose to make it, or them, one. My view is so different now. So little stress in comparison to how it used to be when I didn't really have hardly any problems.

Maybe That's What They Mean About Heaven On Earth. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--By seeking joy today. It really is that easy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-17-11

"Work expands so as to fill the time
available for its completion."

-- C Northcote Parkinson

When I watch those movies where the world is saved from extinction at the last minute available, I think of all the tasks I have to do and how much time I allow for them and end up right at the last minute trying to get it done. Heck, if I didn't have some kind of deadline, it may never get done!

It does seem clear that work actually does expand to fill the available time, and I would like to be more organized and efficient, so I am learning to allot a specific amount of time for some projects and to set deadlines with clients as well as my team and myself. I am compartmentalizing tasks in an effort to help them flow more smoothly.

Procrastination is always a predator and I am easily swayed by projects that I like better than others, and I am finding that by shortening the available time, I still can get it done and end up being more efficient at the same time.

We'll see how this goes and I'll report back on the progress. It looks promising. . .

I'm So Busy Is Such A Pathetic Excuse. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Getting it done should help everyone feel better.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-16-11

"When I started, I knew I was no actor and I went to work on this Wayne thing.
It was as deliberate a projection as you'll ever see.
I figured I needed a gimmick, so I dreamed up the drawl,
the squint and a way of moving that meant to suggest I wasn't looking for trouble,
but would just as soon throw a bottle at your head as not.
I practiced in front of a mirror."

-- John Wayne

"I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could
hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest
and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of The Look."

-- Lauren Bacall

It is easy to idolize famous people, especially when you've watched just about every movie they've ever made, or every song they've ever sang and so on. We see all the success of their trade usually without the knowledge of the beginning part, or the times they missed the mark.

I love reading the quote above by John Wayne because he just invented his persona out of thin air and then rehearsed it so often that it became him. He also said, "I play John Wayne in every part regardless of the character." That gave him a lot of practice.

Trying something new and unknown can be a fearful adventure or an interesting challenge. It is clear that for John Wayne and Lauren Bacall, it appears to have been both.

Often we might think that other people just get all the breaks and success, while we struggle for whatever we get. When we look a little deeper though, we find that they put their pants on one leg at a time, just being human like us.

If we sort of forget about the way things are supposed to be, or be who we think we ought to be, and instead, think about the way we want to be and let that come out, we will be so much better off. We can reinvent ourselves anytime we choose to.

People Do It All The Time . . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Is it time to reinvent a bit of yourself? What fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-15-11

"Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress;
working together is success."

-- Henry Ford

I've seen this quote many times and then all of a sudden, today, it took on new meaning. I think it describes our relationships extremely well. I think it even describes an excellent marriage. I've seen so many that never get to the last part, but think the middle is the key. And, of course, everyone remembers the beginning!

It also describes business relationships and the successful ones, or lasting ones are always based on the working together part. The beginnings are all so easy, and the staying together presents challenges and this is where most dabble and depart. The good news about that is finding out who your partners are and who they are not.

Any relationship that gets to the working together part is special and valuable. I know in my life, those are the ones that I value the most, whether I see them often or not.

Friendship. Love. Working Together.

Spread Some Joy Today--Make sure those relationships you value know it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-14-11

Perspective Week

"If the only tool you have is a hammer,
you tend to see every problem as a nail."

-- Abraham Maslow

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking
new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

-- Marcel Proust

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

-- John Lubbock

"Advice to children crossing the street:
Damn the lights. Watch the cars.
The lights ain't never killed nobody."

-- Moms Mabley

Times are tough, or so they say (whoever they are), and they remain tough until we no longer think they are tough. It's easy to say, and harder to believe.

I know a few people who lost their positions and some were in that position a long time. It's easy to sympathize with them and commiserate with them about their unfortunate loss. Many might think me strange, but I just don't do that anymore. Instead, I rejoice in their loss. I'll explain.

If you think just about that act: commiserate with them or rejoice in their loss, which do you think helps them more? Which helps me more? I know for a fact that it isn't commiserate because that just keeps them where they are wallowing in self-pity or re-experiencing the loss again and again looking for sympathy and understanding.

As I look back on my life of 61 years, I can clearly see at this vantage point that each and every change in my life led me to a better place with more joy, not less. Even when I see how horrible it seemed like at the time and how much I wanted to wallow and even did many times. Still--each and every time--it was for the best. Many times, it was even so much better that I couldn't have imagined it to be such.

So now, I've learned that everything that happens is good in some way and so I celebrate. I get excited. I tell them how excited I am for them. You know why? Because I am! I know how so many of those so-called bummer events turned out to be spectacular successes, so I know it will be for them too. They just need a nudge to break loose.

I put the Moms Mabley quote in there because we just get hung up on the rules sometimes. We lose track of what to do without the signs. And, we need new eyes when something like losing a position comes along. Heck, I think we need eyes that see a picture of going and thanking the person that fired you and pouring blessings on them! Because the next thing is going to be so damn awesome that it will be a blessing! Damn the rules. Make your own game!

Moving on to something else after doing something for a long time is a challenge. I know. It's happened to me and I can relate to how it feels. The main thing I found was that I had to take a break and allow myself to have a different thought. After 30 years in the car business, I got fired. I've said that it was the happiest day of my life, and I think it still is, but after doing something like that for almost all my adult life up to that point, I just couldn't wrap my mind around anything else but going back to another dealership and doing the familiar thing somewhere else. I hated that idea of being stuck like that, so I took a break and just chilled. Then, I began to entertain other ideas and I began picturing myself doing something else and not only doing it, but being very good at it and so on. It worked like a magic potion.

Like the quote says, what we see has everything to do with what we look for or at. Sometimes we're just so hung up on what's happened that we can't seem to get past it and that just holds us to it like an anchor.

Ever watched trapeze artists? When they flip one person to the other person, they have to let go of them before they can be picked up. Letting go of what was can be a challenge, but it will be the only way of being able to grasp the new. Embrace the change. Change is natural, needed, and beneficial. It will not just be okay, it will be exciting, new and most excellent.

Renewal Is A Wonderful Time Of Life . . .

Spread Some Joy Today--I think Renewal comes after Spring, or is it after Summer? Well, where ever it is, it brings joy to you and there will be plenty to share.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-13-11

Perspective Week

"A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket
and rejoices that the system works."

-- Bill Vaughan

There is all kinds of ways to look at a thing and Bill Vaughan makes a very interesting point in how we normally look at something and how it can look so different from another perspective.

A few weeks ago, I was heading toward the freeway and got bogged down in bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic. It was very unusual. As I got up to where I could see the bottleneck, a key traffic light was out and was flashing red so that each and every car had to stop in all four directions.

That got me thinking about how ineffective this situation was. There was a crew working on the light and no one directing traffic. It was almost ridiculous to watch. But, the thing that struck me was that stop lights aren't really stop lights, but go lights. In viewing this traffic jam and how slow it moved, it was obvious as can be how valuable traffic lights are to actually move traffic along.

Many times we might see what appears to be a problem, a slow down, a bottleneck, a road block, only to find out that by seeing it from a different perspective, it is actually a benefit and something that helps things move more effectively.

As I mentally step back and watch our business growing, I see a number of things that would be very easy to think of as a problem, but from that perspective of stepping back and looking at it from the outside, it is all so perfect. Now I am practicing seeing the perfection of it all rather than the bottlenecks and road blocks.

To say that this gives me a better attitude is an understatement.

How Many Go-Lights Do You See In Your Life?

Spread Some Joy Today--Step back and take another look. You might see something so different that it creates joy instead of concern.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-12-11

Perspective Week

"Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold."

-- Latin Proverb

I've said in the past (and I ripped it from someone a long time ago), that you couldn't sell me a battleship for ten cents. I have no use for a battleship, nor any desire to own one. Even thinking about the scrap value, I haven't the time or energy to deal with it though it may be worth a million dollars.

As a dedicated student of management and psychology, I've used this idea in trying to move the needle in the sales department by appealing to the personalized interests of each of the people on the team. It's always been an interesting challenge to do that effectively, and at the same time is far more interesting and fun than the typical top dog routine. Those bore me to tears and I think they are also extremely ineffective.

Truth is, money doesn't motivate everyone, nor does any one thing. Each of us is unique in what lights our fire. Having someone find what that is and play to it, is an excellent strategy for success. And, we're not forthcoming with it on our own generally.

This applies in many ways. Gary Chapman's popular book, The Five Love Languages, demonstrates how different personal relationships can be when we find what motivates each of us and his theory is there are five languages to learn to speak. It's an excellent book.

Then there's the old 'one man's junk is another man's treasure.' I think that this is the easiest one to understand. Yeah. I have no interest in Elvis memorabilia, or Disney either, but I could very easily own 50 guitars or more. If nothing else, I just love looking at them. There's a guitar store in Vegas that has 5,000 of them in one place! A kid in a candy store. . .

To Each His Own. Just Like It Was Meant To Be!

Spread Some Joy Today--It's okay to be unique. It's also more interesting for others.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-11-11

Perspective Week

"Do not call any work menial
until you have watched a proud person do it."

-- Robert Brault

When I first read this quote, I thought of sweeping with a big broom a large area at a gas station I used to work at when I was a teenager. I remember watching this person do sweeping and made it look like an art. All the time I was growing up, sweeping to me was distasteful work, and here he was making it look so interesting and almost effortless. I was immediately drawn into trying to sweep like he did and I have to say, that from then on, it became much more interesting and rather fun instead of work.

I watch others in what they do and I am always looking for that same expertise. It is rare to find it, but a joy each time.

I love to watch shows where people play an instrument particularly well and how they make it almost effortless in their hands. What I think I love even more than this, is watching someone do something much more common and how they do it in a very similar manner to the musical artist. If you've ever seen the wonderful Australian movie, Kenny, you'll find someone who is a master at outhouses. He is passionate about something that most of us would be disgusted at. To watch someone who is an artist at weeding a flower bed, edging a lawn, cleaning a swimming pool, driving a dump truck, replacing a kitchen faucet, cleaning the carpet--these give me as much joy to watch an artist at work as any fancy profession.

I think that is one of the reasons I love that TV show with Mike Rowe called, Dirty Jobs. He finds people passionate about poop, committed to sewer maintenance, and just about every possible job that most people would hate to do. Then he gets in there with them to try it himself and sees just how good they are at it and he is usually amazed and in awe of their passion and commitment. Great show.

I don't think there is any menial work. There is just work. Our own acceptance of it and our own attitude or view of it is all that is important. With an attitude of passion and love of the job, another artist is born.

Celebrate Your Personal Artistry!

Spread Some Joy Today--As you are passionate about what you do, joy follows you as if it is a perfect shadow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-10-11

Perspective Week

"The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot.
The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius."

-- Sid Caesar

I love this quote by Sid Caesar because it is funny and it is so true at the same time. Sure, the guy that invented the wheel was not so helpful, but the one who invented a way to make use of it was. Same with the Internet. The Internet was around for a while before someone came along and had a different idea of how it could be utilized and then developed software so that we could browse the Internet and it all skyrocketed from there.

Think about what good a stereo is without speakers, or even a stereo with speakers and without recorded music. How about a computer without a keyboard? A car without an engine? Or a car without a road? Or a business without a customer? What came first, the chicken or the egg, or the frying pan?

One wheel is a challenge, but relatively easy in comparison to the other three, but the other three is where all the value is--it's where the payoff is. So you have this business and it is doing that one wheel thing, and you want to add the other three. How do you do that? You know it's a game-changer to do it, but how does it happen?

I think it is all about value. Think of the value of the end result, not what it will bring you, but what it will bring others. Take Facebook as an example. Well, that's a great example, but an extreme one, so let's take something smaller in comparison, but still as powerful in value: hotmail. When MSN created free email with hotmail via the Internet, it was a game-changer for them. How about something even smaller? McDonald's. A game-changer for McDonald's was taking something already a landmark for them and making it like a rocket to Mars: they added large fries to the menu.

Can people do this as a one person band? I say, absolutely! Again, it all comes down to finding a way to provide more value, maybe even extreme value. As you are providing value, you may find that you are giving things away that your could sell. That is true, but selling them could never bring the value or create the value that giving them could bring or create. It doesn't mean giving away the farm, but it does mean being more open and free.

The value of the Internet is information. It's free and it is so plentiful that it is growing exponentially and it is becoming ever more of value. What can we do with our business, our profession, our job, our lives that can expand value?

Excellent Question!

Spread Some Joy Today--Providing value is a joyous event!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-9-11

Perspective Week

"Astronomers always work in the past;
because light takes time to move from one place to another,
they see things as they were, not as they are."

-- Neale E Howard

I took astronomy in college and I learned that the light that we see in certain stars may have left there 10,000 years ago, so the star may not even be there any more and we wouldn't even know about it until much later. Indeed, even nearer items in the galaxy would be longer than our lifetime to see a change. I always thought that was strange and very interesting.

As I've looked at human behavior--especially my own--I've noticed a similar perspective. My actions of today and my attitudes of today, along with my results of today are merely images of my previous thinking. In other words, my previous thoughts and beliefs, have led me here. It was not created today.

If I am liking where I am today, then my thinking and beliefs are serving me well--a happy camper, so to speak. If I am not liking where I am today, then my thinking and beliefs are not serving me well and the only thing that can be changed is that thinking and those beliefs. And, it also will not happen today, but be shown sometime in the near future.

My best guidance of where I am is how I feel about where I am at any given time. That information will then aid me in making a decision to stay on course, or make a different choice.

A lot of my life was being unhappy with what was and not changing the thinking and beliefs that brought me there. I didn't even make that correlation. Instead, I would just try to use will power to make it happen, set a new goal and go for it. Little did I know, that it doesn't require effort, but does require knowing the cause and how to correct it. Just like a rocket ship to the moon is constantly making minor course corrections, I am learning how to do that myself to achieve a life I am pleased with.

It Is Easier Than We Knew. We Just Feel Our Way.

Spread Some Joy Today--You've heard the phrase, if it feels good, do it, right? It's better advice than we thought.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-8-11

Perpective Week

"We don't see things as they are,
we see them as we are."

-- Anais Nin

I was talking with a friend about being what we call overweight. Somehow Oprah came in to the conversation and the latest shot of her on her O magazine and how she is apologetic to her audience about talking about health and weight issues and yet she struggles with it so. Overweight issues is a top of mind issue, and to look around us, it is obvious that a majority of people struggle with that too. And, I too have had that as a top of mind issue, but I just got a new perspective that I believe will make a huge difference.

If you're overweight, maybe this will sound familiar: you go to the bathroom to take a shower and you undress and see yourself in the mirror and think that you've just got to lose this weight. You think it looks terrible. You hardly recognize yourself. You weigh yourself every day and pride yourself on losing a half of a pound and chastise yourself for gaining an ounce, with vows to exercise, eat less, eat less fatty foods, and a very long list of should's and ought-to's and because's.

It's perfectly normal to look in that mirror and pick out all your physical faults--your lines, your sags, your spots, your hair, your posture, whatever. I used to do it every day, even many times a day as I would look in a mirror. No more.

This is the new perspective: love myself, praise myself, see the me that is inside myself. It seems so simple. It came to me by thinking about being thankful. So, in my practice in seeing things to appreciate and be thankful for, I found myself looking in the mirror. It was easy to look at the trees and the sky and be thankful and appreciative, but not so easy to look in the mirror and do the same.

So, I thought about the fat hanging on my body and I started thinking about it being perfect. And, you know what? It is! The body is a work of perfection. You take in quantities of fuel (food) that is more than the body needs, and it becomes like a squirrel storing it up for the winter or another time when it may be needed. Its design stores that extra all over the body with emphasis in certain areas near the stomach and intestines where it can be readily used quickly when needed. It is not flawed--it is operating perfectly.

This new perspective filled me with new thoughts of praise. I began being thankful for the way I looked and how perfectly my body was taking care of the environment I gave it. I began thinking of myself as handsome and with great posture and such. I began loving myself. Now, it feels foreign at first because I was so used to the other routine, but each day now it gets easier and more real. I really am thankful for my body and it really is operating perfectly.

As I think of myself the way that I am inside, rather than focusing on what I have become on the outside, I see myself as thinner, healthier, more nimble, better looking and all. As a result of that, I even FEEL thinner, healthier, more nimble, and better looking. And, that is the perspective that I WANT to have because when I have that one, I feel GREAT! And when I have the old one, I feel terrible. Feeling terrible leads to not caring about hardly anything, and you know where all that goes: to the kitchen!

Now, I am so excited and convinced of this simple change of perspective, that I am going to love practicing it every day. As I do, I can already sense a change in my body, but more than this, I absolutely adore the change in the way I feel all day!

How I FEEL Is More Important Than What Is.

Spread Some Joy Today--Begin your day appreciating yourself and how perfect you are. That joy will rub off on everyone you encounter all day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-7-11

"You're only as good as the people you hire."

-- Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald's

This quote of Ray Kroc's has proven itself in every business environment I have ever been in and I see it in full operation in every business I visit or deal with. This aspect, far more than any current business climate, has everything to do with the success of the enterprise. Better people will always make a better enterprise.

Any success that I have had in any operation I've been involved in was successful as a direct result of the quality of the people that I was working with. And, here's the interesting part: My own quality improved as the quality of the talent around me improved and vise versa. All the more reason to surround yourself with the most talented and highest quality people you can find.

Quality Is Contagious.

Spread Some Joy Today--When you're in joy, there are no significant problems.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-6-11

"Don't listen to the chatter. Pay no attention
to those rambling, disjointed images and notions
that drift across the movie screen of your mind.
Those are not your thoughts. They are chatter."

-- Steven Pressfield

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

-- Helen Keller

I've written about gratitude and being thankful many times and I found yet another way that this is of benefit.

Have you ever been driving making habitual turns on familiar roads and then realize a few miles later that you intended to go the other way and that you were going to the bank not the grocery store? It's the chatter.

Since I can't get into your head, I can only refer to mine accurately, and I find that I talk almost non-stop in my head about a million different things, floating from thought to thought, this and that, going off on tangents, what if scenarios, etc. In the last few years though, I've been practicing on controlling my thoughts, particularly when they go astray into negative scenarios, or thoughts that just don't really serve me.

In doing this, I have noticed that it requires diligence. As I mentally step in and stop the negative thinking, turn it toward the positive and then step back out, by the time I'm back out, it's off on some other tangent. It can get tedious to say the least, and sometimes it's just a challenge.

So, today I found a strategy that works extremely well to keep the focus going in a good direction. I was on a 1.5 hour drive each direction early this morning and found my mind going through that chatter, so I decided to look for things to be thankful about. I just started focusing on something like the different shades of green in the grass, bushes, trees of the scenery. So many different subtle shades of green. Then I would see a bird and appreciate the bird and think what it might be like to fly. I saw one bird today flip a u-turn mid-air at considerable speed and was amazed how it could turn and go the other direction so quickly.

I saw people pull over so I could pass and expressed my gratitude. I saw the silhouette of the horizon and thought about the tall trees that are discernable and how they add shape to that silhouette. I looked at the highway and became thankful for the people who built it and the public who paid for it and how wonderful it was to drive on them and be able to go here and there on well-maintained roads.

I could go on since I did it almost all the way in both directions. And, here's the main point: as I did this, I had no chatter! No dribble. No negative tangents. No what if's. By looking for things to appreciate, and then appreciating them, I stayed completely positive. I had no idea that I could use this as such an effective tool. It was awesome.

There Are Many Quotes That Say Something To The Effect That We Become What We Think About All day Long. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Be an appreciator. Joy is a natural result.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-5-11

"If you follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has
been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought
to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be
afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."

-- Joseph Campbell

I got to watch a class this morning where the instructor said, "very few people have a job where they love what they do. I truly love what I do and I've done it now for over 20 years!"

I thought, isn't that interesting! You can hear the joy in her voice and see the joy on her face, and you instantly know that it is true. And, at the same time, I thought about my life and how much of it was lived where I did not love what I did. It was okay, but it was not love. However, now I am in her category and loving what I do is so much a part of me now that I find it hard to imagine accepting anything less anymore.

Much of the time, I think people choose money over doing what they love, or I should say quick money, because I believe that doing what you really love will not be a poor choice financially in the long term. It seems ridiculous to think that it wouldn't. And, it seems true that we all make the choices. After all, who makes them for us? Even if others influence us, it is always our own decision.

I think also that much of the time, people are afraid to choose something that they love because they fear that it wouldn't work out somehow. Or, it is the fear of the unknown versus the comfort and security of known. Fear is a potent adversary.

Mainly I think it is the comfort zone. People are just comfortable where they are even when it is doing something they dislike doing, or working for people that they hate working with and so on. They get into a habit pattern and just keep repeating it. It reminds me of that old joke, "Dr., when I do this, this happens!" and the Doctor says, "then stop doing that!" Think about that one. . . How many times would that be great advice when going to a doctor?

So what does all this do for us? A different decision is possible perhaps. Or not. . . Nonetheless, it is in each of us purely and totally our own choice.

"The Cave You Fear To Enter Holds The Treasure You Seek." -- Joseph Campbell

Spread Some Joy Today--Ask yourself two questions: 1. What am I really afraid of? and 2. What is the worst thing that could happen?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-4-11

"It's good to take a longer view and think,
What would I really like to do if I had no limitations whatsoever?"

-- Laurie Anderson

"There are no limitations to the mind
except those we acknowledge."

-- Napoleon Hill

When I was younger, I would call them fantasies or daydreams. They were fanciful and not reality--just a dream, you know. . .maybe not even the slightest possibility of becoming real. And, the more I saw it not being real, or almost no possibility of it ever becoming real, the less time I spent daydreaming.

Now, I want to practice it as often as I can because I now know how powerful it can be, and how affirming it can be. It's not anything you have to share with anyone if you don't want, and in the early less confident place, that is probably wise.

Daydreaming is a tool to open the possibilities. The key I've found is to forget about any limitations and just dream. In dreams you can be anything, anyone, achieve anything, do anything. It is a limitless universe. The more that this is sprinkled into our reality, the more our reality takes on some of those limitless ideas.

Reality demands to count the cost, know how it will happen, plan for it in every way and every possible problem. Bunch of crap. This strategy will surely keep our feet on the ground full of reasonable limitations.

Letting reality have a place, but not the whole place allows us to learn how to soar. Indeed, any limitations that we think we have are beliefs we have, and beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking. . .

There Is Far More To Life Than Reality.

Spread Some Joy Today--Smile. People will wonder what you are up to. Let them wonder.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-3-11

"As we let our light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence actually liberates others."

-- Marianne Williamson

As we grow, we allow and encourage others to do the same. As we experience and share our joy, we allow and encourage others to have joy. By the act of doing, we encourage others to do the same.

I heard through a friend that someone thought much of my writing in these Daily Inspirations is all about that "touchy-feely stuff." I take it that they are looking for more practical wisdom like if it ain't broke, don't fix it and similar. How macho the macho man can be, as if all of that which is not so practical is of the feminine side. I get that because I used to think that a long time ago.

Yet, I think we would all have to admit and agree that deep down, what we all want is to be loved, and it doesn't get more touchy-feely than love, does it?

But, it's all good. As we let our touchy-feely light shine, we consciously give other people permission to delve into and enjoy the realm of touchy-feely. It's a revolution of liberation!

Go shine your lights boldly!

We Lead By Example. Be One.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let your light shine at work! Rock on!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-2-11

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming
that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to."

-- W. C. Fields

When I saw this Emerson quote, I saw me for most of my life. Always very sensitive to criticism of any kind, and almost always taking it personally. I always wanted to please every one, and that was an impossibility to say the least.

The other thing that I saw when I looked at the Emerson quote, was that this is no longer me, and I don't think I really realized it until tonight. It has taken me a lifetime to learn to lay it down and walk away from it, but hallelujah! it is done.

That is not to say that I won't from time to time have an old tape play from habit, but I now know that I am in control of that and once aware it is playing, I know how to shut it off.

The change? I think it is several things. One is starting a business at 58. That was going out on a proverbial limb in most people's eyes. In the process, I have gained a great deal of strength and tenacity I didn't even know I had. You see, I owned a business when I was 30 and walked away from it after only a year and a half. I quit under pressure. With that knowledge in the background, this time, I vowed to never quit regardless of circumstances or events. That commitment has given me serious strength and courage.

Another thing is that in the last couple of years, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. I've sort of known it all along, but never quite adopted it as a fact. It is as Shakespeare says, "'Tis nothing good or bad that thinking makes it so." I've learned that I don't have to be right--indeed, that there is no right--but only your way, my way and their way and they are all a way. So, my idea may seem really good to me and not to another, and that doesn't make it bad or wrong, it is just mine. But the key is allowing others to have their way too. Not that I need to go their way, but respect and appreciate that they have a way and it is just as legitimate as mine--and theirs too.

So, it doesn't matter what others think about what I do or do not do. It is my own thinking about what I do or do not do that matters. If I approve of me, that is all that is needed. If others approve too, the more the merrier, and if they don't, that's okay too. I'll celebrate their way for them. It is so empowering and comforting to be an allower.

And, the last thing about the change that I think is significant is that I am trusting in God, or the Universe to help me. What I mean by that is that I have finally bought the sign I hung on my wall three years ago: What is MY job. How is GOD's job. My job is to figure out what I want--really want, then start moving toward it confidently. Then, God or the Universe will aid me with inspiration and doors opening that I could not open myself because I couldn't see the door knob.

I wonder what it would have been like to learn these things at age 30, but I focus only on how grand it is to learn them at all. I am so grateful and in awe of this process I've been going through. What a joyful journey it has become!

Everyone Is Right. What A Concept!

Spread Some Joy Today--Do something unexpected for someone today. Buy them a latte or some drink they like, put a small gift on their desk, or a heartfelt greeting card showing you like them. These are simple and very inexpensive joys.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Daily Inspiration 5-1-11

"If I had a formula for bypassing trouble,
I would not pass it round.
Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.
I don't embrace trouble;
that's as bad as treating it as an enemy.
But I do say meet it as a friend,
for you'll see a lot of it
and had better be on speaking terms with it."

-- Oliver Wendall Holmes

The more I practice calmness in the face of trouble, the more friendly I become with it. I think this is the case because trouble is purely our reaction to a stimulus. Even calling it a problem or trouble is indicative of how we think about it. Opportunity would be a healthier way to view trouble or problems, and indeed, that would be what they truly are.

As we begin with one time of relaxing and even rejoicing, each one after that becomes easier and more fruitful. I want to get to the point where I am like W Clement Stone reacting with enthusiasm and joy with every encounter with an issue. This causes more and grander opportunities to be seen that are otherwise hidden. Get excited about what may come next instead of anticipating an unhappy arrival.

I know that sounds too easy, and it is! The only thing that is required is two things: One, a decision to begin looking at problems this way, and two, practice often!

"There Is No Education Like Adversity." -- Disraeli

Spread Some Joy Today--Get excited about problems today. That will shake things up.