Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-31-11

"You don't understand anything until
you learn it more than one way."

-- Marvin Minsky

Learning leads to understanding and I have found understanding is achieved much better and faster by learning things in multiple ways. When I really want to understand something, I immerse myself in it and find ways to teach it to aid in my own understanding. As I understand it, I can teach it well.

I'll never forget going to a new high school in Upland, CA for just a few months. We had moved to Northern California from Southern California and after a few years, my parents decided the grass was greener in the Southland, so we moved back. It didn't last long, but I learned a lot from the experience.

The school in Sonoma, CA the history class was stodgy and rather boring, but typical of many schools I had attended with outlines on the blackboard, huge textbook, memorizing dates, etc. When I went to the school in Upland (south of LA near Ontario), that history class was the most exciting and interesting history class I had ever attended. It wasn't the teacher, but the curriculum. In this case, they had an 8.5"x11" paper workbook with about a page to two pages of text on a subject, then there were many questions after each section. The questions asked about the subject from many different angles and really helped to understand it, make sense of it and engage with it. It was very interesting, well written and the questions made all the difference.

How terrible it was to go back to Sonoma and that old history class. It felt like the dark ages versus the 20th century. What's also interesting is that the kids in the Upland class were complaining about the class and I was rejoicing! Little did they know how good they had it.

There are many things that I've learned that I can repeat and even take a test on, but there are few that I have a deep understanding of. Whatever those are, came from the desire to know it, the learning from different angles and the teaching of it.

Learning Should Be Fun!

Spread Some Joy Today--When you get up and become awake, take a few moments and set some intentions for the day. Intend to have safe and efficient travel, excellent communications with all people, to enjoy the world around you while you work, and more. You won't believe what a difference it will make in your days.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-30-11

"For one human being to love another:
that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks,
the ultimate, the last test and proof,
the work for which all other work is but preparation."

-- Rainer Maria Rilke

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another."

-- John 13:35, The Bible

I was taught at a young age about promises that weren't kept, and how disappointing people can be. It was a very dysfunctional world to me. I learned to see people's flaws and to talk about them behind their back and such. In fact, most of my life was spent in pursuit of "better people." I was wise enough to realize that this included myself; however, it was also obvious that a lot of other people needed some serious help.

In 1996, I decided to seriously read the Bible. I wasn't going to church, but decided to have my own church so to speak and spent several weeks reading the Bible cover to cover with the help of cassette tapes to keep me moving at a certain pace and aid in getting the most retention in the process. I began with the New Testament in the Gospels. After reading about Jesus over and over, something unexpected happened and I found myself crying as if weeping and from then on, I tear up at the drop of a hat and especially about happy things. The word love began to take on a whole new meaning to me that I had never really experienced before. I was touched briefly with unconditional love and knew it instantly was perfection.

I spent the next ten years joining a church and becoming a church leader, worship leader and such, and then I walked away from it generally. I still go once in a while, but rarely now. I thought what I was looking for was there, but it was not enough.

Since then, I have been growing in unconditional love--working at it so to speak--except working is the wrong word. Allowing is a better word for it. Here's what I found. It is not something that is somewhere outside of me to find. It is inside me to allow. Once I began to see this, it became easier and then was just a matter of practicing allowing it. In many ways, I use Jesus as a role model for I have found no other that is better to emulate.

Now, as I meet people, learn about them, and deal with them in business and without, I practice allowing myself to love them without any expectation that they satisfy me. I practice it at home and with relatives alike. I don't have to agree with people or their philosophies, attitudes and such, but just love them the way they are. To see that they are perfect the way they are regardless of anything I see. I try to see the beauty in them.

And guess what? More than any other single thing, I believe that this has brought me more joy in the last 5 years than in the 56 years prior. And, guess what else? It gets better and easier and more joyous every day. I can truly say now that I can love every one. I feel it is certain that I will get to the point that I will. It's a most worthwhile journey.

"Love Is All You Need!" -- Lennon & McCartney

Spread Some Joy Today--Begin practicing on your coworkers. See their beauty and perfection, their uniqueness and sameness, their humanity and most of all their heart.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-29-11

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

-- Charles H Duell,
Director of the US Patent Office, 1899

"If we all worked on the assumption
that what is accepted as true is really true,
there could be little hope of advance."

-- Orville Wright, Flyer, Inventor

The older I get, the more I appreciate all the events I've experienced and the learning opportunities I've had. When I was reading this Orville Wright quote, I remembered an event, or rather a class I attended that has stayed with me all these years.

It was as I recall in early 1994. Oldsmobile was just beginning production on a "game changer" car for the company called the Aurora. GM had sales managers, dealers, service managers from all over the country come to Michigan to attend a multi-day training class to educate everyone on the unique features (a radical change in body strength, and more) of this new car and at the same time try to create a new paradigm with some unique training about thinking.

It was a marvelous class and experience. In most of these seminars or classes, they would have dealers and managers segregated, but in these classes everyone was thrown together purposely. We also had tours of the plant, and a huge meeting of all participants and upper level GM staff. In the 30 years I was in the car business, it is the only training class that stood out so far above all the rest, and there were some good ones in all those years.

What stood out the most was changing the way we thought about things in doing some exercises that tested our thinking process. For example, groups of us would stand in a circle and we were given a small ball and the idea was that each person in the group had to touch it and pass it to the next. The events were timed. So, the first one was sort of obvious and slow. Then we were challenged to do it considerably faster. So, we moved closer to each other and did it again. Faster time. Then again and again, and each time there were dramatic improvements which made the first time look silly.

There were many such exercises, not all timed and others tested our thinking in different ways. By the time the classes were over, everyone was expanded and enlightened to test the status quo and think of creative ways to solve issues or just see things in new ways.

I realized after this class that there are an infinite number of ways in which things can be improved and that we are the only roadblock toward that improvement. It has helped me to look at many things since in different ways and to consider infinite possibility. My gratitude remains to GM for putting this event on and for the dealer who took me along.

"The Difficulty Lies Not So Much In Developing New Ideas As In Escaping From The Old Ones."

--John Maynard Keynes

Spread Some Joy Today--What would happen if you did things backward today? Or upside down? What if you told all the people you work with that you liked them or loved them? What if everything went perfectly today?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-28-11

"No matter what the level of your ability, you have more
potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime."

-- James T McCay

I have come to believe that I have barely scratched the surface of my potential and that I am constantly expanding. The good news about that is that it seems to not only have no end, but no maximum.

All That Is Left Is The Decisions. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Find someone to compliment today and make it great! Try a couple more!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-27-11

"Perfection is achieved,
not when there is nothing more to add,
but when there is nothing left to take away."

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I've been looking for a quote that describes how I now feel about the idea of perfection, and I've found it in this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

What I used to believe about perfection is that it pretty much was unattainable, that people strive toward it but that it is always this elusive thing that refuses to be attained. It was the ideal.

As a result of that belief, there were a lot of problems about the idea of we humans being so less than perfect that we are permanently flawed and that perfection is a hopeless and fruitless endeavor. I never liked perfection very much. It seemed so elitist to me.

Through looking at other things in a different way, I've come to believe something more useful about perfection, and it is that we are already perfect and that it is not something to strive toward, but to allow. It is not something outside of ourselves, but within. In addition, we see it in others when we allow it. It is far more about non-judgment than it is about judgement.

I've also come to believe that things are also perfect and that perfection is at work all of the time creating wonderful events and circumstances to add to that perfection, and it is constantly changing and alive.

It is not about being tolerant, but it is very much about love. And, it is fascinating how this change in thinking about perfection is changing my entire outlook.

Allow The Perfection That Is You, Because You Are.

Spread Some Joy Today--Laugh! Do it often and much today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-26-11

"The past is never dead,
it is not even past."

-- William Faulkner

This quote jumped off the page at me and I thought, well. . . that is so true, isn't it? We carry our experiences with us at all times whether old or new and we are constantly sifting through memories as part of the process of living and making decisions today.

That old phrase, it is dead and gone is not true then. How could it be anything other than having a bit of time of not needing that memory as a buffer to the memory.

When people say they've made peace with their past, that must mean that they've accepted it as an experience as opposed to making use of denial.

Of course, once we get through all of that, it is just a memory that is part of the whole of us and without that part wouldn't be us anymore. . .

Past, Present and Future Is Like Mind, Body and Spirit. They are all one.

Spread Some Joy Today--Do an act of random kindness for someone today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-25-11

"We must accept life for what it actually is--a challenge
to our quality without which we should never know
of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature."

-- I.A.R. Wylie

I've always believed that we are either growing or dying and I've believed that businesses are the same--either they are growing or they are dying. Some are fairly obvious to me, and some it is hard to tell, but one thing is sure: nothing remains the same.

Of course many people, including some bosses I've had believe that growth is always related to number of sales, dollar value of sales and such. Those are absolutely important, but not so important as to overshadow all other forms of growth.

Relate to a tree, where pruning is growth. It is in the pruning that new growth is possible where it would be stagnated before. Replanting can be growth as well. New, more fertile soil, fresh perspectives. Reorganization can be very helpful. Education as well. Renewing or changing focus can be helpful to growth. Changing or realigning products and services can be a huge benefit. Preparation can be another help.

In any case, there are so many ways we can grow and become more than we were, and in this I see no difference between business and our personal lives.

"It Is Not Necessary To Change. Survival Is Not Mandatory." -- W Edwards Deming

Spread Some Joy Today--Do something strange and fun today. Maybe even play hookie for at least part of the day. It will be there when you get back.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-24-11

"You must give to get.
You must sow the seed,
before you can reap the harvest."

-- Scott Reed

I love how this quote puts giving and sowing a seed in the same short statement. We think we know all about the sowing of the seed and interpret that as effort invested in order to reap the benefit, as in prospecting for a sale where you have to go talk to someone before any sale can be made. But. when I think about it the way this quote frames it, I think it is as much thought or intention as anything related to physical effort.

We sow seeds with our attitude. That's thought. Like attracts like. We sow seeds with our intentions, which I relate more to our vision of our desire turned into an affirmation. We sow seeds with our giving and our joy and we get like in return. And, it all starts with the giving of the seed. . . Yes. I like how that is phrased--the giving of the seed, as opposed to the sowing of the seed without the giving being involved.

So what are we giving out in the way of seeds? If we give out corn, we will get corn in return, often multiplied. We don't give out corn seeds and grow tomatoes.

Very Interesting. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--when someone offers to pay, say thank you. Let them experience the joy and allow yourself to do the same. Go with the flow. . .

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-23-11

"The pursuit of knowledge is a fallacy.
All you wish to know you already know.
If you wish to learn--teach!
This is the spirituality of knowledge."

-- Vincent Roazzi

I love this quote from Vincent Roazzi from his bestselling book, The Spirituality of Success, which I highly recommend reading. I like the quote because I have found it to be absolutely true in my own life. That which I have wanted to learn, I have found a way to teach and I learn it.

Of course, this place is one of those places that I teach and thereby learn. I also do it in my business. I've found that teaching people about the value of what we do, I gain greater knowledge of what I do. That probably sounds strange, as if I should already know what I do, but it expands by the teaching of it. For example, we do Internet Marketing, but that is a vague, overused phrase that means nothing to most people. I can tell them what I do, or how I do it and that isn't very helpful either, but when I teach what the benefits are to them of the Internet, social media and so on, that then makes the difference. So, I end up teaching them about the Internet, rather than our business. As a result, I learn a great deal about the Internet!

Everything that I have wanted to know well, I have found an outlet for teaching, and some of them I've taught for a very long time, such as sales, management, philosophy, and more. I find that I not only have the desire to teach it to learn it better, but the need to teach it. Another thing I find about teaching these things is that I need to understand them better in order to be effective at teaching them. Hmmmm. Interesting. . .

There's No Such Thing As Graduation As A Teacher.

Spread Some Joy Today--When you're adding the tip at lunch or dinner, always choose the higher amount. It makes all the difference to the server. . . and you.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-22-11

"Resistance is thought transformed into feeling. . .
Change the thought that creates the resistance,
and there is no more resistance."

-- Bob Conklin

"Everything depends upon the way we look at things."

-- Orison Swett Marden

Is the glass half full or half empty? Is it getting better or getting worse? Is there hope, or is there despair? Although these are opposites, it doesn't matter the difference between two views as much as what we see and how we feel about it. Therein lies our individual reality, or what we believe to be true--and our individual choice.

Hope is a good place to get to. When I can get to hope, I can go higher on my journey to joy. Just because people around me choose to accept or believe something that causes their despair, is not a good enough reason for me to do so. In fact, it seems that the more something is discussed with each other, on the news, in the paper, on the Internet, the more easily it is accepted as THE reality, when it is truly only A reality.

When I allow myself to feel down at all because of some THE reality thinking, I have the choice of remaining there, or moving away. To move away is to get into hope. Hope is the anticipation of something better--and acceptance of the real possibility. It's not about positive thinking, but just finding a way to feel better instead of feeling worse. And, it is this finding a way to feel just a little better, then a little better, and a little better that allows me to move toward something I want rather than something I do not want. When I move up to hope, I know I can get higher.

Sometimes stuff happens. How it got here is not the issue at the moment, but how I feel right now is. Feeling badly is going in the wrong direction, so I need to forget about everything else except for one thing: find a better feeling thought. I need to be thankful for something; anything. I need to appreciate something; anything; anyone. If I find one thought that way, however pathetic it may be at the start, I can move higher with another thought like it.

Maybe I can't change the circumstances right now, but one thing is certain that I can change and that is how I think about it and consequently, how I feel.

Feeling Good Is The Most Important Thing I Can Do, And It Is Something I Have Full Domain Over.

Spread Some Joy Today--Quietly consider how powerful you really are at controlling your own experience. Once realized, this knowledge will guide you well the rest of your life. If that doesn't bring joy, I'm not sure what would.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-21-11

"Experience is an asset of which
no worker can be cheated,
no matter how selfish or greedy
his immediate employer may be."

-- Napoleon Hill

I think that sometimes we think of working for an employer as if we are selling our experience to them, or renting our experience, expertise to them for a fee. In other words, that we come to the table with skills and experience that we trade for dollars, thereby benefiting the employer and receiving a reward for our efforts.

When I'm paying attention, I am always thinking of working for an employer as gaining in valuable and long-term experience and getting paid to get it.

I've often thought of each place I've worked as if I'm loading up a bag filling with experience and knowledge, that whenever I end up leaving, I get to take that bag of accumulated and enhanced experience with me. I've had the privilege of doing all kinds of different things and have been in the position of spending of millions of dollars on behalf of an employer as well as generating millions of dollars in income. Each of these experiences has added to the next and created a larger, more knowledgeable and more functional self. At the end of that particular journey, I was then able to take all of that with me, having been paid to learn and grow and do.

Each of the worthy positions I've accepted, I've spent extra curricular activity learning more about the job and how to be good at it. That too, has been a huge benefit and carried in my bag of knowledge and experience. It wasn't unpaid time spent, but valuable time invested, which not only enhanced my performance on the job, but expanded me and has made me more valuable at the same time.

I am seriously grateful as I look back on each and every employer who gave me the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge and gave me money and benefits at the same time. Where ever I may have disagreed, my gratitude for the opportunity makes that insignificant in the journey. And, I have found out later that even the disagreements created gains.

And, it is now my clients who allow me to learn and grow and become and practice, using all I have brought with me and adding more at the same time. I am grateful to each and every client for whatever term they remain for the opportunity to serve and get this growing massive benefit called experience.

Thank You To All My Benefactors In Business!

Spread Some Joy Today--How we look at things has everything to do with what we see and how we feel. Choose joy today. Start with a thankful heart and let it flow out of you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-20-11

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else.
It will spread into your work and into your life.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus,
and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."

-- Bruce Lee

I was thinking about limits and abundance and how many of us put arbitrary limits on abundance, which is funny, because abundance means no limits, yet we do it anyway. We talk about the abundance of things in the United States and at the same time talk of the limits of those things, and we do this in numerous ways.

So, it can't be both, can it? I think not. So, then, what we really mean is not abundance but plenty. Now, plenty is limited. It looks like a lot right now, but it isn't an unending supply, whereas abundance means an unending supply. I know it might seem like splitting hairs, but I do have a reason and point. . .

We do this same thing with love. We have plenty of love, but not really an abundance, for if it were an abundance, it would be pointless to limit our love. There would be unending possibilities and freedom.

It's also the same with joy. We think of joy as a temporary, even rare thing that comes from some sort of stimulus; e.g., something good happened, got a raise, a promotion, the baby was born, etc. But that's not joy but elation, which is limited. Joy isn't limited, though we think of it that way.

Now, try thinking about joy and love as being in unending abundance, as if there are no limitations to the amount of joy or love you can give or receive, express or feel. Think about a black belt in martial arts having 10 degrees. All are black belts, but all are not the same. Now think of love and joy having unlimited degrees. Just think of the levels of joy and love that you could possible attain and look what you have to look forward to. No matter how much joy you have now or have ever had in your life, there is so much more joy available to experience.

Once I realized this, I can and am joyous every day in one or a thousand ways. There is no need for it to end. It just changes. Maybe joy, level 11, then joy, level 34, then joy, level 1. Who knows what will happen when you get to level 100--or how about level 500?

It Seems That Limits Are Always Self-Imposed.

Spread Some Joy Today--How about spreading some level 14 today? That ought to shake things up a bit. . . pull out the stops and go for it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-19-11

"You can eliminate depression without making someone happy.
You can cure anxiety without teaching someone optimism."

-- Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage

"There is no way to happiness.
Happiness is the way."

-- Dr. Wayne Dyer

I've heard that some people are naturally optimistic. I wasn't one of them. I'm not sure that I've met one of those naturally optimistic people, but I am certain that I know some who are much more optimistic than others.

The quote above by Shawn Achor is very interesting. I've never quite thought of it that way, but it is certainly true. You can give someone a pill and mellow them out, but that isn't a cure, but a masking of symptoms. To take that even further and incorporate Dr Wayne Dyer's quote, eliminating depression isn't the way to happiness, happiness is the way to eliminating depression. Same with fear, anxiety and optimism.

I've tried so many things over the years and there is still only one thing that works: practicing different thoughts. Now, it isn't easy, but it is simple. The key is the word practice, and the more often the practice, the faster the progress. So, it is fair to say that I am not so much as a happy person, but a practicing happy person. I practice happiness every day now. On purpose.

To do this, I choose thoughts that help me be optimistic, enjoy the moment, see the value. The other thing that has helped immeasurably is learning to appreciate as many things as possible throughout the day. If I start with appreciation, optimism just flows without me thinking any more about it.

"An Optimist Is The Human Personification Of Spring."

-- Susan J Bissonette

Spread Some Joy Today--Yesterday, I said to pass up that close parking place and let someone else have it. I'm having loads of fun seeing close in spots and then giving them away to someone else. Joy is such a simple thing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-18-11

"Success is a state of mind.
If you want success,
start thinking of yourself
as a success."

-- Joyce Brothers

The two most powerful words in the world are, I Am. What follows them is meant to be.

I was listening to someone the other day talking about a book about the 8 secrets to success or some such, and the other person said, "I don't need to read that because I already know what it takes to succeed. I am already a success!" I thought, wow, right on! There is such power in the "I am," and what comes after it.

Sometimes people put unserving things after "I am," such as, "not smart enough, too old, not good enough, not rich," etc., and these statements are also meant to be. We get to choose what we think about ourselves, opportunities, relationships, environment, our lives. That, more than anything else, is the directive and blueprint by which our lives unfold.

When we recognize this fact, it makes such sense to begin talking out loud and to ourselves in a different, more serving way to create better results and a better life.

Some people think that success requires a certain amount of money, results or fame. If that is the case, then every one will judge that differently. And they do. So, the only real judgement that matters is our own and how strongly we feel about that. To say "I am a success!" is powerful and clear. Let those who may disagree, just disagree, but let no one mistake your own judgement!

Convincing Yourself Is The Most Important Endeavor.

Spread Some Joy Today--When you find a parking space up front, drive past and let someone else have it. It is really fun and rewarding. It is especially good when someone is right behind you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-17-11

"There is only one boss: The customer.
And he can fire everybody in the company
from the chairman on down,
simply by spending his money somewhere else."

-- Sam Walton

Those words by Sam Walton are so true and they are universally true for every business, from the largest to the smallest, and it happens all the time. Nobody needs to go to Wal-Mart, they choose to go to Wal-Mart, and it is those choices on a daily basis that keeps Wal-Mart or any other business in business.

Well, today I was buying a few things at the local Wal-Mart Super Store and in front of me in line at the register this guy was saying something about he budgeted $100 and spent $120 and this happens all the time and Sam Walton is getting richer. The clerk didn't know who he was talking about or the one next to her. I said to the guy, he's dead. And, he was very surprised. How long has he been dead? I said at least 15 years or so (1992). He said wow, I'm going to go home and Google him.

What I thought was interesting--not surprising, but interesting--was the two clerks didn't know who the founder of the company they work for is. It's not even that old of a company in the scheme of companies that have been around for a while. I realize these people are hired as minimum wage or slightly better clerks, but it seems a valuable thing to me to at least give them a couple of minutes of training about Sam Walton and how he built Wal-Mart into the icon it is today.

Do you know the history of the company you work for? Or, if you own the company, do your people know the history of the company? Who knows? It may help.

What Is History Good For?

Spread Some Joy Today--Find something; anything to appreciate as many times as you can today. Watch what happens after a few days. . .

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-16-11

"The only limits are, as always, those of vision."

-- James Broughton

"Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces;
but rather than get paralyzed by their problems,
visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution."

-- Bill Hybels

I've seen and worked for a lot of people in charge. They were owners, managers, and other titles and I would have a hard time calling them visionaries; although I was always wanting to be associated with one like that. I was fortunate enough to have been associated with a couple of them.

On the other side of that, most of the rest of them I would call revisionaries. Start something, change it, change it again, blow it out, bring in a new one, change it, change it, blow it out and so on. Executive managers would come back from a seminar or business group meeting all fired up and insist this new, improved, magical system be immediately installed and successful in a few days. Then after everyone has flit about and screwed up the existing systems, to allow for the new one, a change order comes down. And so it keeps going. Revisionaries.

The main difference is that revisionaries don't have a vision because a vision doesn't change all the time. If I were headed to the moon, it would certainly be counterproductive to head to Saturn, then Venus, then Mars, the the moon, then whatever. Lots of activity, but no real growth.

It's so much better to have a vision of where you want to go, develop a basic plan however imperfect it may be, get going, then let your team help you make the minor course corrections toward the vision. But, the vision doesn't change. There is nothing but growth in this way.

Changing Direction Often Is Sure To Hinder Arrival.

Spread Some Joy Today--Remember something special about someone you know, and then tell them about it again. Tell them what it meant to you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-15-11

"If you want to believe in something,
then believe in it.

Just because something isn't true,
that's no reason you can't believe in it. . .

. . . Sometimes the things that may
or may not be true

are the things that a man needs
to believe in the most."

-- Robert Duvall's character
in Second Hand Lions

I just watched Second Hand Lions which I haven't seen since it came out around 2004. It is a delightful movie and I think almost any movie with Robert Duvall in it is worth owning, but to have Robert Duvall and Michael Caine, is really a special combination.

So, during the movie, this line I quoted above caught my sharp attention. I thought that the first part of this was so powerful. . . "If you want to believe in something, then believe in it. Just because something isn't true, that's no reason you can't believe it."

At some point, we all believe things that aren't true. We believed in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, superhero's, happy ever after, and so many more. Then we grew up or were forced to grow up (at least most of us grew up. . .) and the cat was out of the bag: they were good stories, but not real. Sad days were they! Enter the harsh and sometimes cruel and ever present reality.

But, the funny thing about this is that. . . the more I study, and the more enlightened I become, the more I find that the quote above is perfect in every way and is indeed one of the keys to greater satisfaction, joy, and success, and that is believing in the things that are not true--or I should say. . . not true yet!

What I have found is that paying homage and serving reality is not serving us, but is instead increasing the weight of that reality or those realities. The solution to excess reality is choosing to believe with all our hearts and minds that which is not true. . . yet. In this way, it will very soon become our new more childlike and joyous reality.

More Childlike Is A Beautiful Thing!

Spread Some Joy Today--Be more childlike yourself today. Just for the joy of it. It's contagious.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-14-11

"Coming together is a beginning;
Keeping together is progress;
Working together is success."

-- Henry Ford

"A good head and a good heart
are always a formidable combination."

-- Nelson Mandela

What a great evening. I'm so energized, loving life and joyful. What an awesome combination.

I don't mention names very often in these daily notes, but sometimes I just have to tell it all. Tonight I spent a great evening with my partner Ryan, and a friend and client, Warren Mason who is among other things, the Director of Sales & Marketing for Harbor Truck Bodies, Inc. We spent about three hours having dinner and discussing ideas, management, business philosophy, the Internet, and more. I cannot think of two people that I would love to discuss these things more with than these two, and it is a particular pleasure to spend time with Warren hearing him talk about issues, challenges and successes because we only see him a couple times a year, though we communicate via email and phone more often.

I have such awesome respect for Warren. I was involved in hiring him when I had his position at Harbor and there isn't anyone that could be more perfect in that position. He endearingly calls me "boss" though I've not worked there for several years. He is one of the smartest, coolest, persistent, and enthusiastic people I know. He teaches me something every time we meet. He taught me to love problems; to get excited about them and to enjoy how they create growth. Before Warren, I used to think that problems were a pain in the you know and only occasionally was I enlightened by them, and now I love problems too.

Warren reminds me of the Jim Rohn ant story, where ants do no matter what the obstacles are. They go toward their destination and if something gets in their way, they go around, over, under, way out of their way if they have to, but they find a way to their desired destination. They're industrious. They think winter all summer and summer all winter so that they are ready. Warren is someone I can bet the farm on succeeding at whatever he chooses to do. I may be off on the time frame, but not on the accomplishment of the objective.

I love Warren like a brother and love to spend some time talking and listening whenever I get the opportunity. He's one of those people that you learn from. Tonight he was making a point of something that excited him and Ryan and I both disagreed, but I loved the disagreement with Warren because it caused us to improve our argument. I don't think we won, but it was fun and interesting and I know we made a few good points too. By the time it was over, we didn't save the world, but maybe a minute piece of it.

So, all the way home on the 45 minute drive, I had a smile on my face, love in my heart and an overall feeling of joy. Then, I started thinking of other people I feel the same way about and that gave me even more joy.

Warren reads these Daily Inspirations so it is a joy to share with you what a special person he really is and in turn share that with him too. It is these kind of relationships that make life so much more joyful and meaningful. Thanks Warren.

I Thank God For Special Friends!

Spread Some Joy Today--Why not tell someone you think highly of that you do.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-13-11

"A year from now, you're gonna weigh more
or less than what you do right now."

-- Phil McGraw

"The choice is yours. You hold the tiller.
You can steer the course you choose in the
direction of where you want to be--today,
tomorrow, or in a distant time to come."

-- W Clement Stone

Looking at some quotes by Dr. Phil McGraw, I ran across the one above and I thought, wow! what a great way to look at that. I think it's funny when something that is said is so plain and matter of fact, but the way it is said is so profound. I mean, really--of course we will weigh more or less than we do right now--except, of course, if we weighed the same, I suppose.

But, it's not about that fact at all is it? It's that we have the choice to do or not do as we choose. We can do something about the weight, or not depending on how we really feel about it. The choice is always our own, and what's also interesting about that quote is that a year from now I will arrive--the question is where? Of course, I can just wait and see. . . or make a different choice. . .

It's That Old Free Will Thing Again! What Ever Happened To Good Old Fate And My Destiny?

Spread Some Joy Today--Make a decision of something you've been wanting to do. Make it for a year from now. Then, break it up into pieces so it is so easy, anyone could do it. Start today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-12-11

"Forgiveness is letting go of the hope
that the past can be changed."

-- Oprah Winfrey

I was passing through a room today and overheard Oprah say this quote to a young woman and spoke of how when she learned this particular idea about forgiveness that it changed her life forever.

Having seen many quotes about forgiveness and read enough about the subject, I never found such a simple and yet profound way to think positively about this until I heard this quote today. It has certainly solidified it in my mind and is absolutely perfect as far as I'm concerned.

When you think about people who are holding on to a grudge or thoughts of past wrongs, etc., it really puts it into perspective that somehow they are hoping and wanting somehow that the past be changed. If only that other person would do amends, right the wrongs, admit their errors, we could maybe get past this place. But, we all seem to know that those things won't change the past and we even say it that way. Of course they can't change the past, but we certainly can change today, this moment, and one of the most effective ways to do that would be letting go of the hope that the past can be changed. Once we let go of that hope--even by seeing that this is a hope--we can perhaps just let it rest in peace and move back into the present.

Besides, dealing with all that past in the present just stops us from living. Think of a rope and the more it is tugged on, the more the tugging back. Now, drop the rope and walk away. There is peace right there. That is an act of peace.

Love Is Never Having To Say You're Sorry. . .
Forgiveness Is Never Having To Say, It's Your Fault!

Spread Some Joy Today--Forgive someone or something today. Let go of the rope. . .

Monday, July 11, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-11-11

"Anyone can count the seeds in an apple,
but only God can count the number of apples in a seed."

-- Robert H Schuller

There are some things we know and many thing that we don't know, we can find out, and then, there are things we may never know. Counting the seeds in the apple is an easy thing for us to know, along with much more about the apple that contains the seeds. How many apples are in the seed is one of those things we don't really need to know, but we do need to trust.

I've shared it before, but it is one of the most powerful quotes I've come across and I don't even know where it came from, but I think I put it together from a few different people I was studying--anyway, it is that "what is MY job, and how is GOD's job." In other words, I focus on my desire, what I want, my inspiration, and I let God take care of the things I don't know anything about such as making it come true. If I do my job and let God do His, things usually work out better for me.

It's Really Nice Knowing I Don't Have To Have All The Answers.

Spread Some Joy Today--You know those people in the driveways at the store with the sign about needing food? Try something new. Forget the spare change or using the other driveway, instead, drive right up, stop on purpose and give them a $20 dollar bill. It'll make their day and yours at the same time. It doesn't matter how they use it. What matters is you gave it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-10-11

"One is not idle because one is absorbed.
There is both visible and invisible labor.
To contemplate is to toil, to think is to do.
The crossed arms work, the clasped hands act.
The eyes upturned to Heaven are an act of creation."

-- Victor Hugo

It is amazing what one can get done when one doesn't look as if they may be doing anything of value. My best ideas and decisions have come out of relaxed contemplation. I might get onto a thought and just follow it where ever it may lead me. It doesn't always produce a life-changing conclusion, but it always seems to be of value in one way or another.

I know bosses that expect employees to look as if they're busy all the time so that they feel like they're getting their monies worth perhaps, but it isn't really productivity most of the time. Instead of business, it is busy-ness.

I recommend spending some time every day in invisible labor and creation. It has proven to me to be a huge time saver.

Thinking Works. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Today is Self-Appreciation Day! Do a lot of it. It's a requirement.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-9-11

"Striving for excellence motivates you;
striving for perfection is demoralizing."

-- Harriet Braiker

I absolutely love this quote because it is exactly how I feel and have felt for a long time. I strive for excellence with a CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement) attitude, but I could care less about perfection. In fact, I don't see that as the least bit valuable and even impossible to achieve, so is a waste of energy based on that alone.

I've worked with people and seen people who were looking for perfection and what I noticed is that they didn't do much in comparison with what they could do if they let go of the need for perfection. I think it is far better to get going and improve all the while rather than wait for circumstances, skill levels and other things to fall into place first.

I say that to clients all the time: let's get going and we will work through it and improve as we go. We do a lot of video now in our business and many clients are afraid they aren't _________ enough. The truth is that they are all _________ enough when they just relax and be willing to make mistakes, take retakes, try again. As I coax them, most relent and the videos come out just fine. In fact, I think they are better videos than if it were polished and professional. They are certainly more watchable and real. And, I find that the next time we get together to do a video, they are more relaxed and even better, so we improve as we go, but we get going from where we are at the moment.

Our willingness to put out our first websites such as they were with all their now apparent flaws and lacks, is what has moved us to the point that we now have the confidence to handle any client regardless of size or stature. It was only constant improvement that got us there and we will never stop that because we know where we've been.

We have a few clients who are very slow to make decisions because they are trying so hard for it to be perfect. Our advice is always to do the best you can today, but to do it. Then, as ideas or changes come into your mind, we will improve your site. In the meantime, you've got a site that can be of some value and help your business.

Is there something you've been waiting to get done? Let's get started and the rest will come in due time.

Starting Before You're Ready Is A Great Strategy.

Spread Some Joy Today--Encouraging someone is one of the finest and most helpful things we can do for each other.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-8-11

They are all around us. . .
There is power lying latent everywhere waiting
for the observant eye to discover it."

-- Orison Swett Marden

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

-- Richard Bach

I see some people I know that were or are out of work for a long period of time. I hear that old, worn-out phrase, "I can't find ________." There are many other phrases that say the same thing except with some kind of justification for the situation attached, as if why really matters. They are just arguments for our own limitations.

One thing I've learned in the later part of my life is that opportunity is always there, yet we may not see it, want to see it, want something else, and the list goes on, but it is still there waiting patiently.

People have so many different ideas of what work is and how work fits. This applies to the worker who works for someone else and also includes business owners too.

I see some businesses I know that are constantly struggling and I hear similar phrases of the out of work person, such as, "the economy is so bad, business is terrible, and such." Again, arguing for their own limitations, and sure enough, it is theirs.

Some times we are our own saboteur. Out of our mouth we speak how we feel and how we feel comes from how we think. It isn't the economy, or any other circumstance as much as it is how we think about those things.

In either case, opportunities are still there waiting patiently . . .

Sometimes We Need New Glasses. Preferably, At Least A Half Full One. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Tell someone you love them today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-7-11

"It is something to be able to paint a particular picture,
or to care a statue, and so make a few objects beautiful,
but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the
very atmosphere and medium through which we look.
To affect the quality of the day--that is the highest of the arts."

-- Henry David Thoreau

I don't know as two days together could be more different, but it is fascinating to say the least. Today was filled with joy most of the afternoon and here it is late in the evening and I yet have a smile thinking about it still.

I've heard that phrase, "joy beyond measure," and I think I'm beginning to appreciate what that means. Today I had such joy for a friend and client--actually two of them and what they are doing together as a team. It is an amazing thing to watch and a joyous experience to behold their success as this union begins to unfold. It's been such a short time so far, and if there's this much joy now, I eagerly anticipate being completely overwhelmed with it down the road.

I'm joyous about my little company Upward Trend and the awesome people that have chosen to come together here and do something special. I watched my main business partner today give a presentation and I was in awe of it. He acted like he owned the company (which he does) and the confidence and knowledge and skill he demonstrated was incredible in comparison with our beginning three and a half years ago. It is such a joy to see and I am just thrilled to have him be a significant part.

Then I was talking with our other main team member who is stuck in her office in front of a computer most of the time and what a fine job she is ALWAYS doing. Her skill and care stands out and I am in pure joy that we are fortunate enough to have her with us on this interesting journey.

It seemed like everywhere I turned today I was feeling joy, appreciation, experiencing wonder and awe, being relaxed and excited at the same time. It was like falling into a tub of love, a phrase borrowed from one of my favorite movies, Enchanted April. It is love. Everywhere I was today, I felt immersed in it equally sharing it and receiving it at the same time.

Of Course, You Know It's Contagious, Right?

Spread Some Joy Today--Seek things and people to appreciate today and feel the love.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-6-11

"It's not the situation. . .
It's your reaction to the situation."

-- Robert Conklin

The saving grace is that it has become very rare in me, but today I had a poor reaction to a situation and spouted off with some anger and frustration. I felt insulted after working very hard and a little list of such justifications for my position. And though I knew full well that I was over-reacting, I spent a good part of the day thinking about it and feeling poorly as a result.

I was quite amazed that I was reacting this way. It wasn't an earth-shaking event, the insults didn't draw blood, the roof is still on the house, and though it was 106 degrees today, the air conditioning didn't quit, so how bad could it be? I felt like I was slipping backward for a while, but finally put it all into perspective late in the day.

I realized that my reaction was not just to this situation. That was just the focal point for a while, but it was a reaction to feeling overwhelmed, overworked even, and those are not the least bit helpful places to languish for more than a few minutes. Of course, it really wasn't that either, but only my reaction to the idea of it--a perspective.

As with any seemingly negative situation, if we will allow ourselves to see what the silver lining might be in it, certain progress results. So, I made a decision to dedicate more time to myself for myself to put me into perspective with all that I've chosen to become involved in doing. That decision feels great and I am looking forward to July 6th as my first day. I'm dedicating a minimum of 2 hours a minimum of 5 days a week toward that end. In the priorities of my day, I now have a reasonable standing.

I Guess I'll Just Have To Be A Bit More Organized!

Spread Some Joy Today--If you're feeling poorly today, see if you can consider it's true source and then put it into perspective. Joy is always the way.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-5-11

"The difference between what we do and what
we are capable of doing would suffice to
solve most of the world's problem."

-- Mohandas Gandhi

"Never mistake activity for achievement."

-- John Wooden

To say that I'm a very busy man is a big understatement, and yet as many others that I know, I fall short in effective achievement much of the time. I have so many things to do and yet, many of those that I could, do not get done, while, many things that were not even on my list and came up in my journey, get done quickly and efficiently. Why?

I was thinking about this the other day and it seemed to me that I was doing the things that interested me, excited me--in other words--the ones that I wanted to do versus the ones that I SHOULD do. I have grown to dislike that word should and that is why I capitalized it there. Should is such a funny word if you think about it. There is no accomplishment possible with should.

So, what would happen if all I did was flow with the things I really wanted to do and let the things that I need to do yet don't feel like doing go? Would my world fall apart? Would my business fall apart? Well. . . I know it wouldn't help anything.

I guess the only really good answer is to find a way to have the things that need to be done be exciting and interesting and create a desire to do them. It's an interesting challenge!

It Really IS How We Look At Things, Isn't It?

Spread Some Joy Today--Maybe today is a good day to pretend that everything you do is fun and interesting! People might wonder what's wrong with you. . .

Monday, July 4, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-4-11

"There is nothing wrong with America
that cannot be cured
by what is right with America."

-- William J Clinton

As America celebrates its 235th birthday of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, there is much that is wrong according to many and yet, I am agreeing fully with Bill Clinton in that what is wrong is cured by what is right. Ofttimes it is just a matter of what we choose to look at and then how we choose to interpret that view. We have a tendency to see things through the filter of our own philosophy and that has a determining factor in what is wrong and right. All of this applies equally to a government as it does to us individually.

Today is a day to celebrate what is right, or at least that a decision was made to change course. We can look at what has come since then and point out each failing step, or we can choose to see more of, or only the successful steps. It is that choice that acknowledges the freedom of the event of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was then, and it is now the same in that.

Make It As Much An Independent Celebration As A Corporate One!

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting your real self out to play today.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-3-11

"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."

-- William G McAdoo

I thought this quote was funny when I saw it, then I started thinking about it more and it is so true. I have this phrase I say often about "swimming upstream." That phrase is indicative of how I will spend only a very short amount of time in argument with people, and especially ignorant people. What's the point? It's not like it is possible to educate them in one sitting.

Sometimes it is what people think they know that helps them to finally know they know when someone presents a valid argument. Surely I wouldn't spend much time in helping them convince themselves of their position, so I just swim upstream a stroke or two and then let it go and float away back downstream where life is peaceful and calm. I let them keep their illusion and wish them well with it.

After all, what good is logic to the illogical? Or reason to the unreasonable? Better to find a person who is less focused on their own ignorance.

The Less Time We Spend Trying To Convince People Who Don't Want To Be Convinced, The Better.

Spread Some Joy Today--This is one path to joy: stop swimming upstream. Let it go. Put the oars in the boat and trust. With practice, it will be a natural high.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-2-11

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

-- Tom Hopkins

I was reminded about how easily some people become angry and then unhappy or disgruntled. I just happened to be walking past someone getting out of their car and seeing a few cigarette butts and then going on and on about it, how wrong it is, etc. until I was out of sound range. It was an absolutely gloriously beautiful day and the list of things to be thankful for was very long for me, but this lady had none. It's sad, and it is a personal choice. She gets something out of that, and frankly, she's welcome to it.

Then another person was going on about the rules some folks nearby were breaking--you know the ones, like not coming to a complete and dead stop at a stop sign in the middle of the night and 100% visibility and zero traffic in sight. Or, it could be equally over compensating responses to something someone else is doing that is upsetting this person. It's sad, and it is a personal choice. They get something out of that, and frankly, they can have all of it they want.

I chose to keep moving away from them so they could enjoy it on their own. They deserve to have it all for themselves. This has become my habit. I just smile and walk away. I'm just so grateful that isn't my voice anymore.

Now that I think about habit, my behavior of looking for things to appreciate where ever I am regardless of the circumstances has become such a habit that I just do it without really thinking about it anymore. That is so satisfying.


Spread Some Joy Today--Appreciation is the best, fastest, easiest way to joy. Just decide to and begin immediately to appreciate everything you can where ever you are.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Daily Inspiration 7-1-11

"We struggle with the complexities
and avoid the simplicities."

-- Norman Vincent Peale

What if no matter what it looks like at the moment, that everything is working out perfectly? If that were true, how would that change my thoughts and feelings about what is going on while it is going on?

I am just beginning to explore the possibility that everything is operating perfectly. It's not an easy thought because we seem to be trained to see outside events, situations, other people potentially influencing us in a way we may not like. Some call it the government, taxes, the boss, and more. But, what if all that was working perfectly?

As I said, I'm in the beginning stages of accepting this concept, but it sure is looking like things are working that way when I simply watch and accept that it is. I've been noticing that in many cases what looked like a problem, a setback, a curve ball, turns out to be just the thing that was needed in order to expose some other situation so that it gets solved so that forward movement can again resume. It's actually kind of exciting to think about it this way, and it also takes all the heat out of it. In other words, what is there to worry or be concerned about? This is all happening for a reason and that reason will be visible any minute now. . .

The value of this exercise is that I am beginning to look at problems differently and I am beginning to have even more confidence and assurance. It all becomes easier and even more fulfilling.

What if everything always worked out perfectly?

It's Great To Ask Questions! What If Is A Great One.

Spread Some Joy Today--What if you had to wait for someone to decide to give you some joy? What if it were all given out by the time you got to the giver? It would be a bummer. . . but, the good news is that we have 100% total control over our joy.