Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-31-12

"Service which is rendered without joy helps neither
the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures
and possessions pale into nothingness before
service which is rendered in a spirit of joy."

-- Mohandas Gandhi

 I have been blessed in my life to have served so many with the spirit of joy. There have been rare exceptions to this. I think the reason that I've been able to do this with a variety of employers including myself is that I have always endeavored to take ownership of what I was doing.

I know some who do just what is expected of them and no more; who get paid by the hour and act like it is their unjust due when with a mere change in their outlook of their state in the working world might have a more fitting reward.

I don't think that it is up to the employer to provide anything more than an opportunity to serve and be compensated for that service. The rest of it is completely up to the individual and the attitude they bring to the job and their own life.

I rejoice in the ability and willingness to serve with joy. It is truly its own reward and compensation doesn't really improve it.

To Serve, Or Not To Serve? That Is The Question.

Spread Some Joy Today--Find ways to be of more service to more people.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-30-12

"In theory there is no difference
between theory and practice.
In practice there is."

-- Yogi Berra

You've probably heard that you should have a complete written business plan with depth of detail, projections, cash flow examples, mission statements, operational concepts, and exit strategies. Some people make a living doing these. To them, there is no difference between theory and practice.

Then, there's the successful business builders ignoring the difference between theory and practice by practicing it.

Yogi Was Much Smarter Than He Sounded Like. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Do your thing. . . do what you wanta do. . . do your thing. Respect yoself!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-29-12

"Allowing yourself to smile
takes 99% of the effort."

-- Simon Travaglia

I love this quote because it seems to be true and also because it points to the immense value of letting go of resistance.
For someone to smile, it is merely a matter of letting go of the resistance to it, and that is 99% of the effort to smile. When we are not in resistance, a smile would be totally natural, effortless and plentiful. Yet, many times we have a resistance to it for a wide range of reasons and circumstances. In allowing it to be by letting go, we are whole.

This same strategy and understanding then makes it easier to do a number of things that perhaps we have been avoiding, missing or wanting. As we focus on the circumstances and surrounding resistance, we are holding ourselves at bay from our desires, but by letting go, the power is instantly engaged and allowed.

Getting Out Of Our Own Way Is The Prime Directive.
Spread Some Joy Today--Allow that smile to be felt and seen openly!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-28-12

"A journey of a thousand miles
must begin with a single step."

-- Lao Tzu

I've talked with a lot of people who were going to do something but put it off because they thought it was too big, too hard, or cost too much money, etc. The only way it moves past this roadblock is by making a decision to move. Procrastination and excessive fact-finding is not a decision. It can only be preparation for a potential decision.

That reminds me of a story Jim Rohn told once where he said there was a builder who was going to build a skyscraper, and he began bringing materials to the building site, and then he kept bringing materials, and kept bringing them, but never built anything.

We get hung up on the things we have to do--the list of excuses--and that is just procrastination or avoiding a decision when there is something that we want but are giving "socially acceptable reasons" why we cannot possibly. Denis Waitley says, "everything is something you decide to do, and there is nothing you have to do."

I love how Anthony Robbins says it: "Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant."

Whatever it is that you might have been wanting to do, have faith that it is but a decision away from the first step of moving toward it.

There Will Be Plenty Of Time To Look Back. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Pretend that you just took a joy pill that produces a chemical balance in your body and brain that causes you to feel really, really good and to be in awe of all around you, loving everything you see. Since its just a decision, you don't really need the pill, but props are fun sometimes. . .

Friday, January 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-27-12

"Sometimes, in a summer morning,
having taken my accustomed bath,
I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise
till noon, rapt in reverie."

-- Henry David Thoreau

When I read this quote, I read joy, and especially joy in the moment; drinking in the moments and enjoying oneself caught in a spirit of awe and wonder.

I think that the majority of my life I had almost none of these, and now I have them all the time; albeit, not necessarily from sunrise to noon. They last how ever long they last and I roll around in them with an effortless and joyful smile filling up my entire face. I feel full and overflowing, at peace with everything, loving every thing and every one. Maybe it lasts a minute, 5 minutes, or longer. It doesn't matter.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with weather, for it works at any time, in any condition. The amount of money or possessions I possess doesn't matter either.

What does matter, is that I pay attention!

And. . . Just ENJOY IT FULLY!

Spread Some Joy Today--What brings you to feeling joy? Make a list! Check it twice!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-26-12

"You cannot overestimate
the unimportance
of practically everything."

-- John C Maxwell

What I love about this quote is how true it is. This and yet we disbelieve its truth by considering so many unimportant things important.

One thing really good to learn is that importance is a flexible and relative term. A great question to ask is how important is it really? How about compared to life or death? How about having 24 hours to live?

Now, if we have six months to live, that would change the importance of things as when we are 16 and immortal. As well, having six months would be different than having 24 hours and I wonder what is left that is really important having 24 hours to live? A hug? A kiss? Kind words of love? Anger?

Something to consider. . .

I Have. . . I Choose Love AND Joy. . . And Laughter.

Spread Some Joy Today--Do you know people that commonly make you laugh? Frequent their care!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-25-12

"Your chances of success in any undertaking
can always be measured by your belief in yourself."

"You can do anything you think you can. This knowledge
is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve
every human problem. It should make you an
incurable optimist. It is the open door."

-- Robert Collier

It has been said so many wonderful ways that to believe in ourselves is one of life's greatest answers. Besides these great ones from Robert Collier, there is a famous one from Henry Ford, "if you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

Of course there were so many from the last century, often coined as the century of new thought, but this idea of believing in oneself is pretty much as old as time. It's just that we haven't seen those quotes as much maybe. So, I thought that since this idea is so important to everything we do, I would share a few more with you.
"Everything is possible for him who believes." - Mark 9:23, the Bible

There are many quotes on this subject in the Bible. My personal favorite is from Matthew 17:19-20: "Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.""

"They can. . .because they think they can." - Virgil

"A person under the firm persuasion that he can command resources virtually has them." -- Livy

"What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want and are fully determined not to quit until you get it." -- Alexander Graham Bell

"What The Mind Of Man Can Conceive And Believe, The Mind Of A Man Can Achieve." -- Napoleon Hill

Spread Some Joy Today--Give something away that you've been holding on to that you don't really need. There is joy is letting go.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-24-12

"In order to eliminate the negative influences,
simply ignore them."

-- Lao-tzu

It's funny to me, but I read this quote for the first time today and it is so perfect because that is exactly what I started doing and still do today to keep focused on the positive things I want to focus on and avoid getting tangled in the negative, needy things that are always clamoring for attention. I do it by not paying any attention to what the negativity or what is going on that I don't care to see. And, it is absolutely amazing how well this works right from day one.

Now, other people will try to persuade you to pay attention to the news and the problems, but it is not really that hard to say no, thanks. It also gets easier with practice to the point that I don't pay much attention to the distractions anymore.

Empowering Myself Is So Cool. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Stop the 'fine, how are you' routine to the common, 'how are you?' question. Practice some creative and joyful answers! How about, 'off the chart!' 'I don't think I've ever felt this good!' 'I think today is the best day of my life!' or 'I can't imagine the hottest rock star feeling quite this good.' What a difference, don't you think?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-23-12

"Deficiency motivation doesn't work. It will lead to a
life-long pursuit of try to fix me. Learn to appreciate
what you have and where and who you are."

-- Wayne Dyer

It took me a long time to understand this idea of appreciating where I was when I wanted something more. In addition, as a young manager, I was taught to teach deficiency thinking in order to supply sales candidates with "motivation." Wayne's so right, it doesn't work.

Part of the reason that it doesn't work and this is the something that it took me until lately to understand this is that it causes one to see themselves as lacking; as not complete; broken in need of repair. Even if a goal is hit then, it is so much less satisfying that we think and we may even begin thinking that we don't deserve it or we didn't earn it and so on. But the biggest reason to me is we are beginning from a position of imperfection or brokenness trying to move to a position of wholeness. It's not really a fun place to be.

On the other hand, when we appreciate who we are, where we are now and what we have now in pursuit of what we want, we are going from a position of wholeness, not needing, but wanting more in our lives, our work, to have more fun, and more enjoyment--to become more.

These are two very different places of beginning. I have learned to appreciate what I have and it is so much better. I now love my life now just the way it is rather than being unhappy with my life hoping to be happy someday. Nothing can compare.

We Were Perfect When We Were Born, But Slowly And Surely Lost Track Of That. It Is Never Too Late To Relearn Our Perfection.

Spread Some Joy Today--Practice loving yourself and appreciating what you have and where you are regardless of your circumstances in comparison with the rest of the world. The more you practice, the more joy you will have to share.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-22-12

"Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness,
we never really experience the universe directly we just
experience our consciousness of the universe, our perception
of it, so right, our only universe is perception."

-- Alan Moore

The world is flat is one perception of old. People held to it with all their strength. A few ventured to consider and experiment and develop a different perspective. So, now, in today's world, we think, how could they have believed the world is flat? It is because we now can see pictures of the earth from space that clearly show that the earth is not flat. We think it is crazy and uneducated to think it is flat when it is clearly not. Yet, this fact many not have changed a lot of people's perceptions in the flat world days.

It is easy to put those flat-worlders in the category of being wrong, whereas, we with all our knowledge and insight are truly in the right category. We're right, they're wrong. A classic argument. But, are they really?

Giving this somewhat more thought, I think they are neither right or wrong because each is viewing the world from their own perspective, and perspective isn't something that is right or wrong, but something that is fashioned out of the knowledge and prejudices we have--more like each looking through our own eyes seeing what we see and to each what we see is real to us.

Next time we try to move someone from their solid-grounded perspective to try to have them adopt our own, we might consider other alternatives. We could allow them to continue to own their perspective and appreciate their unique view as okay and even perfect for them at this moment in time. There are all sorts of people who do not have ears to hear or eyes to see except this that they know now. We can choose to respect that perspective. Rather than try to change them, we just honor them and allow them to be who they are and where they are as we can do also with ourselves.

Doesn't This Apply In So Many Ways In So Many Situations With Communications With Others?

Spread Some Joy Today--by relaxing in criticism today. Allow others to be what they are, especially those who do or say things you may not have previously liked. Allow them to be them and you to be you and everyone is okay today. If need be, you can pick up your prickly stick tomorrow. It is always available.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-21-12

"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep
down below the surface of the average conscience a still,
small voice says to us, something is out of tune."

-- Carl Jung

"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are
often used synonymously. A person may be proud without
being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves;
vanity, to what we would have others think of us."

-- Jane Austen

I ran across a wonderful quote by Jane Austen above. The quote above it is more typical of how I've heard about pride--as if it is always a negative; such as being boastful, etc. But when I read Jane's quote, I instantly loved it because it explained it so well and it just felt good. Yes, it just felt right.

One of the things that I never used to pay much attention to is how I feel inside about something, and now I have learned to go with that feeling as if it is the ultimate guidance about everything in my life. So, when I read the Jane Austen quote, I instantly felt good about it and when I read Carl Jung's quote, I instantly felt bad about it, so I will choose to ignore Carl and embrace Jane.

I'm learning that life is much easier than I thought it was by paying attention to how I feel about things. Not from a conscience point of view, but just how I feel when I think about it. It is proving to be the most perfect guidance.

I Knew That Feeling Good Had Value, But So Does Feeling Bad. . . Move Toward. . . Move Away. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--I'll tell you something I find joyful: whatever the weather is at any given time, enjoy it! Never complain about it. Leave that to others. Instead, enjoy it, appreciate it, marvel in it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-20-12

"In a controversy, the instant we feel anger
we have already ceased striving for the truth,
and have begun striving for ourselves."

-- Buddha

This is a great way to tell when I'm going down the wrong path. I think we naturally via our ego want to protect our position rather than consider an alternative, no matter how good it may be. Feeling anger is a result and I think that should be looked at as a reason to immediately stop and let go of our position if we can encourage ourselves to do that and allow a different thought to enter.

This applies as equally to any argument of a personal or business nature. The moment we feel anger, we need to be aware and change direction, or release the argument. To continue will not be beneficial.

There Is Much Value In Considering Anothers Perspective Along With Our Own.

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy the scenery today, even if it is from your office window.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-19-12

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one
advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary;
new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish
themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded,
and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will
live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion
as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less
complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty,
nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them."

-- Henry David Thoreau

Today I was thinking about encouraging words. I love that old song, Home On The Range and my favorite line, "where never is heard, a discouraging word." As I was thinking about it, I thought I would share with you three quotes that are in my top ten of encouraging quotes.

I've heard the Thoreau quote hundreds of times, but rarely in the fullness of the way it was written in Walden, so I thought I would share it the way it was written.

Here is number two about living fully. I remember recording this quote in a booklet over 30 years ago that contained a number of quotes and I called it my inspirational book. Here it is from one of my favorite authors, Jack London:

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

And the third quote below is at the top of quotes that have moved me in my life, and it is just as powerful now as it was when I first read it. Here it is:

"There Is A Tide In The Affairs Of Men, When Taken At The Flood, Leads On To Fortune." -- William Shakespeare

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy your day as if you only had a handful left. . .

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-18-12

"Happiness is not a thing.
It is not something to be pursued.
It is not even something we attract.
It is always an attitude;
a perspective that we choose."

-- Albert Strong

Many people choose an unhappiness response to some event. They choose to grieve. The key word is choose. Many do so because that's what they were trained to do under certain conditions, or it is what is expected of them--the right thing to do. Some even assign specific periods of time where this is expected and falling short of the full expected time frame wouldn't look good to others in the community.

There are all sorts of spoken and unspoken cultural expectations of behavior. Of course, to go along means you're part of the culture and in the group, and to choose another way is what we call the outsider.

It's not even going against the crowd. Although, I've found that the crowd isn't all that insightful. It is merely choosing one's own way and if in so doing, it requires walking away from the crowd, so be it.

I've often chosen the crowd in years past. I've chosen unhappiness, depression, outrage, anger and more. Now as I look back, I find it interesting how people will choose those things over happiness, joy, well being. I know that I did, and yet I cannot exactly explain why except that it was expected or that I got some egotistical value from it, such as, sympathy, seeming support, and more. Whatever the benefit that came never seemed to be worth the effort that it took to endure the symptoms.

So, finally, as I found mentors that convinced me it was a choice and deep inside, I also knew it to be true, I now choose happiness and joy even as others choose opposites. I no longer care much about being in the group because it isn't any fun and once you get that you have the power, you just can't go back, and there isn't any reason to do so.

Take Courage: Choose Happiness.

Spread Some Joy Today--choose to be joyful. Just for the heck of it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-17-12

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

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Isn't it the truth, Henry. All the more reason that we are the best judges of ourselves and not to listen except with a mild interest what others have to say about us and what we have done, are doing, or intend to do.

Heck, if we really listened to others opinions, we would be bound to their expectations, limitations and prejudices. I reckon that the better we get at not paying much of any attention to outside opinions, the smarter we will be.

It's okay to ask for opinions, or advice (opinions), or counsel (opinions), and it is perfectly okay to reject all of them! I believe that the real value of asking opinions is to clarify our own thinking.

Here's the best thing I've ever learned: pay attention to how you feel when deciding to do or not to do something, or when listening to sage advice. If it feels good, it is, and if it feels bad, it is. This is why you and I can be the only real judge, because it is only we who experience the feeling and thereby the perfect solution.

Be Bold. Believe In Your Own Power Of Thought.

Spread Some Joy Today--When you see someone and they have that look of confidence, peace and joy, pay attention to their expressions and body language. Now duplicate it. That's the backdoor version of joy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-16-12

"We have all a better guide in ourselves,
if we would attend to it,
than any other person can be."

-- Jane Austen

Believing in ourselves, and in our own wisdom to guide our own lives, even ignoring or discounting what others tell us makes all the difference in how we flow through life and in our work. As a sales manager for over 40 years, it is personal confidence that has always set the good sales person from the mediocre regardless of other factors in my own experience. As a result, it is the quality that I tried my best to instill in others for their own benefit and ultimately everyone else's.

I love how Jane says it so well. Swami Vivekananda takes it a step or two further in saying, "If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished." Another author, e. e. cummings fills in some color by saying, "Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."

I've seen firsthand what that calm, confidence looks and acts like, and it is rather like even forgetting oneself because the confidence level is such that there is no need to focus there; almost as if it is a given. Joseph Campbell captured that thought this way: "When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness."

This is where I've been heading all my life and I am beginning to feel that as an experience. I have found that it is not a destination, but a journey and the journey IS the destination.

I'll leave this post with one of my favorite quotes on this subject:

"If We Did All The Things We Are Capable Of, We Would Literally Astound Ourselves." -- Thomas A Edison

Spread Some Joy Today--by being YOU!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-15-12

"If there is anything that we wish to change in the child,
we should first examine it and see whether it is not
something that could better be changed in ourselves."

-- Carl Jung

I love this quote, and I especially love it when you change the word child, like this: "If there is anything that we wish to change in another, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves."

As I contemplate this, it speaks such power of control in our own lives; of how we can choose how we will look at a situation, and thereby how we will respond, react, and feel about it, and the other person who we at first think needs changing.

If there is something that we don't like about another person that we think they should change, by immediately changing from looking at them to looking at ourselves and what we can do is telling and helpful. Though we continue to challenge ourselves to think there is someway that we can change others, we cannot. We only have that power toward ourselves in how we look at people and situations.

It is so easy to see the faults in others and to like people that are more like we are. It is when people are different that we have a grand opportunity to grow and love. Maybe we need more patience, a more open mind, a change in the way we view right and wrong, whether we even live the ideals that we claim to uphold so fiercely.

This is an acquired skill. I know it is worth the practice and determination of acquisition, and that it will benefit us like nothing else. We can even learn to appreciate those differences and celebrate them.

What We See In Others Is In Ourselves. What Do You WANT To See?

Spread Some Joy Today--Relax all your prejudices today. The easy way to do that is to look at each person around you today and find things to appreciate. Focus on those things and prejudice melts away.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-14-12

"You have to allow a certain amount of time
in which you are doing nothing in order to have
things occur to you, to let your mind think."

-- Mortimer Adler

Have you ever taken a break from work by doing something that requires almost no thought, or just relaxing, or lightly napping, and a problem you were working on or a situation that you needed an answer for was suddenly solved?

It seems that the harder I try to figure something out, it is in the letting go of it, relaxing away from any thought of it, that the the easy solution comes through without any effort on my part. I have practiced letting this happen and find it so valuable.

Next time you have issues that are bugging you, practice letting go of the issue and just relax, read a book, watch a movie, work in the garden or take a nap. With just a small amount of practice, I think you will find as I have that this special time is very productive no matter how it may appear to others.

No Need To Play Tug o' War, Just Drop The Rope.

Spread Some Joy Today--Have some fun. Enjoy yourself!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-13-12

Today, I want to share a little longer piece that I dearly love:

The Spirit of Opulence
by Thomas Troward

"It is quite a mistake to suppose that we must restrict and stint ourselves in order to develop greater power or usefulness. This is to form the conception of the Divine Power as so limited that the best use we can make of it is by a policy of self-starvation, whether material or mental. Of course, if we believe that some form of self-starvation is necessary to our producing good work, then so long as we entertain this belief the fact actually is so for us. “Whatsoever is not of faith”—that is, not in accordance with our honest belief—“is sin”; and by acting contrary to what we really believe we bring in a suggestion of opposition to the Divine Spirit, which must necessarily paralyze our efforts, and surround us with a murky atmosphere of distrust and want of joy.

But all this exists in, and is produced by, our belief; and when we come to examine the grounds of this belief we shall find that it rests upon an entire misapprehension of the nature of our own power. If we clearly realize that the creative power in ourselves is unlimited, then there is no reason for limiting the extent to which we may enjoy what we can create by means of it. Where we are drawing from the infinite we need never be afraid of taking more than our share. That is not where the danger lies. The danger is in not sufficiently realizing our own richness, and in looking upon the externalized products of our creative power as being the true riches instead of the creative power of spirit itself.

If we avoid this error, there is no need to limit ourselves in taking what we will from the infinite storehouse: “All things are yours.” And the way to avoid this error is by realizing that the true wealth is in identifying ourselves with the spirit of opulence. We must be opulent in our thought. Do not “think money,” as such, for it is only one means of opulence; but think opulence, that is, largely, generously, liberally, and you will find that the means of realizing this thought will flow to you from all quarters, whether as money or as a hundred other things not to be reckoned in cash.

We must not make ourselves dependent on any particular form of wealth, or insist on its coming to us through some particular channel—that is at once to impose a limitation, and to shut out other forms of wealth and to close other channels; but we must enter into the spirit of it. Now the spirit is Life, and throughout the universe Life ultimately consists in circulation, whether within the physical body of the individual or on the scale of the entire solar system; and circulation means a continual flowing around, and the spirit of opulence is no exception to this universal law of all life.

When once this principle becomes clear to us we shall see that our attention should be directed rather to the giving than the receiving. We must look upon ourselves, not as misers’ chests to be kept locked for our own benefit, but as centers of distribution; and the better we fulfill our function as such centers the greater will be the corresponding inflow. If we choke the outlet the current must slacken, and a full and free flow can be obtained only by keeping it open. The spirit of opulence—the opulent mode of thought, that is—consists in cultivating the feeling that we possess all sorts of riches which we can bestow upon others, and which we can bestow liberally because by this very action we open the way for still greater supplies to flow in. But you say, “I am short of money, I hardly know how to pay for necessaries. What have I to give?”

The answer is that we must always start from the point where we are; and if your wealth at the present moment is not abundant on the material plane, you need not trouble to start on that plane. There are other sorts of wealth, still more valuable, on the spiritual and intellectual planes, which you can give; and you can start from this point and practice the spirit of opulence, even though your balance at the bank may be nil. And then the universal law of attraction will begin to assert itself. You will not only begin to experience an inflow on the spiritual and intellectual planes, but it will extend itself to the material plane also.

If you have realized the spirit of opulence you cannot help drawing to yourself material good, as well as that higher wealth which is not to be measured by a money standard; and because you truly understand the spirit of opulence you will neither affect to despise this form of good, nor will you attribute to it a value that does not belong to it; but you will co-ordinate it with your other more interior forms of wealth so as to make it the material instrument in smoothing the way for their more perfect expression. Used thus, with understanding of the relation which it bears to spiritual and intellectual wealth, material wealth become one with them, and is no more to be shunned and feared than it is to be sought for its own sake.

It is not money, but the love of money, that is the root of all evil; and the spirit of opulence is precisely the attitude of mind which is furthest removed from the love of money for its own sake. It does not believe in money. What it does believe in is the generous feeling which is the intuitive recognition of the great law of circulation, which does not in any undertaking make its first question, How much am I going to get by it? But, How much am I going to do by it? And making this the first question, the getting will flow in with a generous profusion, and with a spontaneousness and rightness of direction that are absent when our first thought is of receiving only.

We are not called upon to give what we have not yet got and to run into debt; but we are to give liberally of what we have, with the knowledge that by so doing we are setting the law of circulation to work, and as this law brings us greater and greater inflows of every kind of good, so our out-giving will increase, not by depriving ourselves of any expansion of our own life that we may desire, but by finding that every expansion makes us the more powerful instruments for expanding the life of others. “Live and let live” is the motto of the true opulence."

--Thomas Troward, from “Hidden Power and Other Papers Upon Mental Science”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-12-12

"The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread
and coming out with only a loaf of bread
are three billion to one."

-- Erma Bombeck

Murphy's Law-isms. They're pretty funny and at the same time insightful and interesting. Recently, I became aware of a new Murphy's Law that I call the Murphy's Law of Shopping Carts. It goes like this: Wherever you stop your cart to look at something several feet away, someone will immediately come along who needs something your cart is blocking.

I noticed this phenomenon about a year ago and since I do a lot of the grocery shopping, I have found it fascinating to watch this law take place in a very high majority of the times I park my cart, no matter how carefully I try to find a place that would be safe. It almost always takes place in a minute or less even when there is no one visible in the aisle when I park. Now it is really interesting and funny to watch it happen, and as I go back to the cart, I smile at them with quiet laughter inside at how they succeeded in making the law true.

Murphy's Shopping Car Law. See how it works next time you're in the store. Park your cart on purpose and walk several feet away to look at something else. Just for the fun of it.

"A Bargain Is Something You Can't Use At A Price You Can't Resist." -- Franklin P Jones

Spread Some Joy Today--Make sure to keep humor close at hand and in large supply.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-11-12

"The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is
his success, his influence, his power for good.
Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom."

-- James Allen

I find myself fascinated more often as I realize that I am living and experiencing ideals that I have desired in my life, yet at earlier times seemed hard to attain. As soon as I realize that I am fulfilling one of my ideals, I have to pause for a moment and smile with joy. Many of these ideals may seem simple to many, and they really are, and at the same time so powerful. One of them is a calmness as described by James Allen.

It happened again today as my wife and I drove out to a favorite spot in the Suisun Marsh, just a couple miles from our house. We drive about three miles into the marsh and stop at a boat landing and watch boats come in and go out for a few minutes. We often stop on the way for a Starbuck's to sip on the way.

It's a very low traffic area, but sometimes people are in a hurry to get to the other side, so I had one such behind me, so I pulled aside momentarily and let him pass, then continued on. As I was driving I just realized how calm I was, how calm my driving was, how I was enjoying all of the scenery on the way out and on the way back. Time almost stood still. It was so peaceful and relaxing and wonderful. There was no hurry to get to the stopping point and no hurry to get back.

Another interesting thing I've noticed is that people say things about me always having a smile, not in a hurry, looking like I'm enjoying life, being very patient and so on. Many of these people are people who have seen me many times like store clerks and such. Each time I hear them say something like that it is a joy to hear that the outward me is showing off the inward me. It's also reinforcement that I am living those ideals of being calm, content, joyful.

I love how Lao Tzu expresses this idea by saying, "be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." That is really how it feels to me.

I Am Continually Grateful And Every Day Expanding My Joy All The More.

Spread Some Joy Today--Don't you know that joy is so contagious. Want to make a difference? Find joy in your life and others will think it is pixie dust and want it as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-10-12

"Cease trying to work everything out with your minds.
It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and
inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation."

-- Eileen Caddy

I love this quote by Eileen Caddy and deep inside I know it to be true, yet externally, I've had so much practice at trying to run things that it has become challenging to let go of command. And, letting go is a great way to look at it. Lao Tzu said it this way: "By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning."

Of course the biggest issue is that we are not taught to let it go, but to pick it up, run with it and make the touchdown without looking over our shoulder. I have found there is a certain amount of unlearning that goes with learning something new. Oops, there's that letting go thing again. . .

I do have to say that I am very much into practicing the idea and activity of putting the oars in the boat and relaxing in the inspiration of release, and even though sometimes it may be moment to moment, it is powerful when I allow it. I think that is also another key component: allowing it by letting go of resistance.

In any case, it is working bit by bit and I find joy in the successes.

The Stream And The Row Boat Is A Perfect Way To Visualize This Theme.

Spread Some Joy Today--by trying to determine when you're rowing upstream. Even though you may not know it is happening all the time, whenever you do, relax and let it go and you will have immediate joy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-9-12

"Imagination rules the world."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte

"Set your sights high, the higher the better.
Expect the most wonderful things to happen,
not in the future but right now.
Realize that nothing is too good.
Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you
or hold you up in any way."
-- Eileen Caddy

"Live The Life You've Dreamed." -- Henry David Thoreau

Spread Some Joy Today--by being your natural joyous self by releasing all fear.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-8-12

"The living moment is everything."

-- D. H. Lawrence

This has probably happened to you as well. I'll be reading something, watching a movie or video, listening to an audiobook, and the vast majority of the time, I find things of interest and learn from them. But, sometimes, something jumps out at me as if it is screaming for me to remember it. It might be part of a line, a quote, a line in a book, yet what makes it different is how it stands out.

This happened a few nights ago watching the movie, The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon. It's a pretty interesting movie, and at one point, David, the lead character played by Matt Damon said this phrase that jumped out at me: "All I have are the choices I make."

That is a great phrase to contemplate. That is what sets us apart, isn't it? It is what makes life worthwhile if you think about it a bit more deeply. It is also our history, our destiny and our present all in one answer as to how things are or have been, or will be.

Some years ago, I sat down and wrote a long piece about choices I had made in the earlier portions of my life and how those choices were consciously made and each one created, or had visible results. It was fascinating to do this because it made me so much more aware of the power of NOW. It is our now or the present that we make all of our choices.

If I look back and regret my choices, I can't do anything about what has been other than to think about it differently; however, I have the opportunity every moment of every day to consciously make a different, better, more appropriate choice, or just a new choice. And that is the hope that we all have no matter where we are. This is something we all share in common. We all have hope if we want it and that hope is formulated by the fact that we can choose a different thought, a different action each and every moment.

Next time we might be lamenting where we are compared with where we might rather have ended up, the best thing to do is this:

1. Realize that our own choices have brought us here regardless of circumstances that surround us. Realize or be aware of it and then accept responsibility for those choices. Others did not make them for us.

2. Get excited about the hope that we all share in by being able to make choices today, right here, and right now that have the power to change and shape what is. Whether it is a change in the way we view something, or an action that will cause a change makes no difference. They are both choices and our same hope.

"Nothing Is Worth More Than This Day" -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Spread Some Joy Today--Don't be concerned about other people's choices, only your own. Take joy in your own power!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-7-12

"At college age, you can tell who is best at taking tests and
going to school, but you can't tell who the best people are.
That worries the hell out of me."

-- Barnaby C Keeney

People have devised all sorts of tests, such as, I.Q. tests, personality tests and you name it to find out if someone is qualified or is to be a fit in a certain place. No matter what, they are limited in what they can tell us and yet we tend to give them far more value than they deserve. That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein: "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

I remember becoming a brand new sales manager at a car dealership at age 25 in 1975 and sometime during the next year, the general manager bought into a personality testing program to help determine the right candidates for positions in the store. So, I took the test to test the test. It came back that I was not recommended for the job of sales manager.

Have you ever known when you felt like you had a calling to do something and then did it? That was me in the sales manager position. I felt like I had a calling to it and I think I was pretty good at it, in spite of the personality test opinion. After that episode and a couple more for good measure, the test went bye-bye.

Over the next 25 years of doing that job, I've run across other tests and none of them were really very helpful. Part of the problem is that a large percentage of people seem to tense up on taking tests and it skews the results to say the least of it and can make it worthless in others. Frankly, I think throwing a wet noodle against a wall and seeing if it sticks is just about as accurate.

The best judge that I've found so far is if people like what they are doing. If they enjoy the work, they will want to learn more about it and improve their skills at doing it and then they will enjoy it all the more. Another judge is how they seem to fit in how they communicate, handle themselves and such. Another is how they respond to encouragement and guidance. Then again, some are seriously good at the interview and not so good at the position. All in all, it is as my mentor Jim Rohn has said: "the reason for training is to find out who you have."

Don't Need No Tests To Tell Me What I Can See With My Own Eyes, Hear With My Own Ears, And Feel With My Own Feelings.

Spread Some Joy Today--Feeling good and feeling good about yourself is the most important thing you can choose to do today and every single day of your life. It doesn't matter who says otherwise. You deserve it, so just do it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-6-12

"The world we see that seems so insane is the
result of a belief system that is not working.
To perceive the world differently, we must be
willing to change our belief system, let the
past slip away, expand our sense of now,
and dissolve the fear in our minds."

-- William James

I heard something today that I've heard and seen so many times in my business life and I immediately got tense, upset and wanted to blog about it and expose it and make mayhem with it, and. . . Well, I'm sure we've all felt that way from time to time. And, what good would come of that? Would the problem as I perceive it vanish in fear of my anger? Would my urge to write it out cause enlightenment on the situation or people involved? The answers would be none, no and no. In truth, about all I may get is someone else upset and then we could create a club, elect officers and create a mission for the betterment of _________, by eradicating ___________. Of course, we know how many thousands of those already exist saving mankind from mankind.

Then we get into the right and wrong. Albert Strong says that "right and wrong are just two perceptions of the same thing." Calling a thing right or wrong doesn't really help except to create some more clubs and fund raising opportunities. The worst deception is that I'm right, so surely they are wrong. That's a rather dangerous place to get to, if you know what I mean.

Our belief system is more a fluid state than we may realize. A belief is just a thought we keep thinking, so we can certainly choose to change it anytime we want. The key word there is 'can.' I understand the not wanting to part, but then the problem is still wagging the dog.

I can't change what other people think, let alone what they do. I've tried that for a lot of years in every way I can possibly think of and with extremely spotty and poor results. I didn't even consider much through that how it was that I even had the right to do so had it worked as I had hoped.

No. Since I've finally realized with clarity that I cannot change others, I learned that I can however, change me any time I want and as often as I want with almost perfect results. I call that my enlightenment.

So, now back to today when I was feeling that tense emotion, I only experienced it very briefly because now I know that it cannot possibly help, so I immediately turned to changing how I was perceiving the situation, or my thoughts about it, and then thinking about thoughts that caused me to feel better and I instantly felt better.

It is in my allowing of others to be whatever they choose to be and do for themselves that maintains my own well being. Besides bringing me more happiness and joy, it keeps me out of so many of those clubs.

Violence [mental or physical], Even Well Intentioned, Always Rebounds Upon Oneself." -- Lao Tzu

Spread Some Joy Today--Be cool. Chill. Let it go. Think about beautiful things, lovely things, and happier thoughts.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-5-12

"Owning is not nearly as interesting
or exciting as wanting to own."
-- Albert Strong

I was looking around at many of my possessions, most of which are small, but make up space in numbers. I was thinking that most of them I haven't even touched in years and would not really miss them if they were no longer here. That made me think of what is important in the things we own.

If there were an emergency of some kind where we had to evacuate fairly quickly, what would be important enough to want to take? Of course it may be different with a certain amount of time, right? So play the game with me if you feel like it. . . To keep the focus on possessions, I'll say that the family is safe and away already, animals are out, and it is just you remaining. What would you take if you had an hour to get out of your house? What would you take if you had only 15 minutes? How about 5 minutes?

It seemed to me that the rest of it is rather insignificant.

I was thinking back to when I was 21 and just got married and lived off base in Delaware in the Air Force. We lived in a furnished 40' trailer in a trailer park and we ended up leaving there for California with only one piece of furniture that we owned and I still have it and use it today, but all of our possessions fit in a small U-Haul trailer towed behind my car. Most of that was accumulated while we lived there however minimal. We weren't really lacking anything important then, nor am I now, but there is a vast difference in the number of possessions.

I'm not thinking of getting rid of them and like many of them, but it is interesting to consider that they are not really very important after all. They just seemed important at the time.

How Did I Ever Live Without All This Stuff?

Spread Some Joy Today--Next time you watch a movie, watch all the credits and mentally thank each and every person listed for their efforts to bring you the joyful experience of seeing it. Realizing there are so many working to bring you joy is so cool.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-4-12

"My father taught me to always do more than you
get paid for as an investment in your future."

"We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace.
It takes time to bring value to the marketplace,
but we get paid for the value, not for the time."

-- Jim Rohn

We all need mentors and they are so much more easily found than people imagine. Jim Rohn, who died a short time ago, was and IS one of the most profound mentors I have and I can remember the first time I ever heard one of his tapes back in late 1980. The reason they are easy to find now is the magic of the recorded voice and books. Jim has done quite a few of both and I can recommend them to anyone without reservation and state without hesitation the value is hundreds or thousands of times the cost.

This idea above about providing value and doing more than you get paid to do is not a new idea, nor was it new when Jim Rohn said it, and I think that it always is worth repeating what I think are fundamentals such as this concept.

Many people think they make so much an hour and that they are selling their time, but it isn't the time they provide that means anything at all, it is the value. However, the idea I want to elaborate a bit on here is not just the value, but what the first quote about giving more than you get paid for speaks to. It is the very last few words: "an investment in your future."

Although I believe that to be valid and true, I think in a deeper sense that the greatest reason for doing more than you get paid to do is not for the employers' benefit, but our own. Not just about how you may grow from it and become more in the future, but focusing on the present, how you will feel about yourself by that act today, right now.

From my own experience, I adopted this idea very early and with rare exception have always provided more value; albeit, that more value often benefited me somewhat more than my employers.

I'll give you an example of what I mean. For 25 years of my life, I was in the car business and spent the first two and a half years as a salesman on the line. I was eager to do well, to improve myself, learn the craft. It was so common for the sales people to hang out and shoot the breeze, most often complaining about something or another. While they were moving the air around, I was studying the cars on the showroom, watching a movie about them, reading a brochure from cover to cover for the tenth time.

I wanted to learn how cars were ordered, so I watched and learned and then asked if I could do some, and very shortly ordered all the cars for the dealership and didn't ask for, nor receive a dime for it, but all of these things not only provided value to the dealership and my employer, but they gave me more experience, confidence and skill which made me the sales manager of the store at age 25, while the other sales people were still shooting the breeze and complaining.

This same fundamental is with me today, and now the only difference is that I am the employer. . .


Invest In Yourself For Your Own Benefit First As Others Will Benefit As A Matter Of Course.

Spread Some Joy Today--Love yourself today, just because.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-3-12

"The war was a mirror; it reflected man's every
virtue and every vice, and if you looked closely,
like an artist at his drawings,
it showed up both with unusual clarity."

-- George Grosz

Ever get in an argument with someone with accusations going back and forth, with the familiar, "you always (never) (should) (didn't) (etc.)______," or you this or you that? I know that I have. Then today, something told me to look at that differently. . .

Suppose as you were making those accusations, the person in front of you became a mirror and all you saw was yourself? Wouldn't it be interesting to say the same exact things but be saying them to yourself?

One thing is clear. We might not feel so strongly about it--what ever it is--and we may very well feel that what was said was really unnecessary and pointless.


Sometimes It Is Really Good To Talk To Ourselves. Maybe Even Prior To Talking To Someone Else. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Is there anything better to spread than joy?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-2-12

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path, we ust think over and over
the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."

-- Henry David Thoreau

Just a bit of encouragement for your resolves. . .

"Those Who Remain Unmoved By The Wind Of Joy Silently Follow The Path." -- Bodhidharma

Spread Some Joy Today--What you find joy in, you do.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Daily Inspiration 1-1-12

"One resolution I have made,
and always try to keep, is this:
To rise above the little things."

-- John Burroughs

Sounds like a good idea to me . . .

Happy New Year!

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy your holiday weekend!