Thursday, May 31, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-31-12

"Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance.
Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.
Expect the best of yourself,
and then do what is necessary to make it a reality."

-- Ralph Marston

I'm always challenging myself to improve; to do well; better; the best I can given the parameters, and I feel that way about everything that I do. However, I am certainly not a perfectionist, as I do have a tendency to say, "okay, that's good for now."

I've known many who beat it to death trying to excel. I don't think it need be that hard. I love Teddy Roosevelt's famous phrase to "do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Tomorrow is another day and I'll go and do what I can with what I have, where I am then too. And that will be good enough. . . for now.

What's interesting is how everything constantly gets improvement with that attitude.

I was talking yesterday to some people and considering how we operated and what we did four short years ago compared to today. It is an amazing transformation. It will also be the same kind of comparison four years from now because there is constant growth.

One of my favorite sayings comes from one of my mentors, Tony Robbins. He calls it CANi, which stands for Constant and Never-Ending Improvement. There are so many ways to improve, to see what can be done, to explore creativity and innovation on a regular basis.

I hear some business people talk about when the times get better, they will be better. When times are good, they will be happy. When business improves, life will be good again. I have a hard time with that. I think that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. More business doesn't create happiness.

The other thing I hear a lot is that when times get better, they will grow their business again. There are so many ways to grow a business that don't have anything to do with more business. It comes back to CANi and doing what you can with what you have, where you are NOW.

Let go of all the "if come maybe" stuff. There is so much to do right now. There is no future in reality. Everything is right now.
Happiness Is Not Pursued. It Is Allowed.
Spread Some Joy Today--Allow yourself. Grant yourself permission to be happy today. It's always been as simple as your choice. Choose it now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-30-12

"I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill."

-- Edward Appleton

Enthusiasm is a interesting word--no, not just interesting, but fascinating! I used to think it was like jumping up and down with energy, sort of like when you've rested your body really well and had something you wanted to do and you bound out of bed and bound down the road and exude joy in your movement. It can be that, and I've felt that, but it isn't very reliable. In fact, it is hard to come by.

Looking enthusiasm up in the dictionary provides some of the fascination to the word. It's origin is approximately 1570-80 according to and means essentially equivalent to God within or inspired by God. It also means absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest. And, to be enthusiastic is to be full of or characterized by enthusiasm.

That's a bit complicated, but I get the concept. To make it easier, I think it means to be in love with what you do, regardless of what that is; to live alive and on purpose; and to feel the presence of God or the God force or whatever you may choose to call that connection that we all know is within us. Esther Hicks would call it an alignment with all that we have become and who we really are. Eckhart Tolle would call it the power of NOW, or being present now. The great management master, John C Maxwell might call it being injoy. And they would all be right. That wasn't really making it easier, was it?

Okay, here's easy: Loving Life This Moment and Loving Your Life This Moment. I like to string moments together and so it can last for days. It has lasted all day today, and yesterday. I might as well keep going. Yet, it's not about making it last longer, it is just enjoying, or rather, injoying it this moment. Injoying the moment. In the moment.

So, how is that done reliably? By being willing to let go and let God within, by letting go of what was and what may be and only considering what is. Where ever you find yourself, be there. In every single instance that I do this, I am enthusiastic.
Enthusiasm Is An Outward Expression Of InJoy.
Spread Some Joy Today--Injoy your day. You'll know it when it happens.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-29-12

"Intuition is a spiritual faculty
and does not explain,
but simply points the way."

-- Florence Scovel Shinn

Yesterday my post touched a chord with several people who responded to it. Thank you for your comments. Today, I am going to talk a bit about my Memorial Day as a follow through.

First, I will begin with the fact that I have been an avid student of the Law of Attraction and other natural laws for several years and I am constantly learning to let go and let God, so to speak in my travels. As I let go, I receive intuition, and that has always been the case, but in the past I rarely acted on it. For the last several years, I've truly challenged myself to go with it and see what comes.

I worked as a sales manager at a car dealership for several years and one of my previous salesmen has been on my mind several times in the last couple of weeks. I don't know why, and I'm learning to not be concerned about that anymore. I stopped being an employee of that car dealership in 1997, and I know this salesman died right around 2008.

Back to the present, I had this desire to go to the closest National Cemetery for Memorial Day, as I saw a blurb about it and thought it would be good to go since I have never done that. So, I went with it. It was a great event, a beautiful cemetery that first began in 2007. After the event, I decided to walk part of the grounds. Even though it is a relatively new National cemetery, there are well over 10,000 soldiers buried there. So, you know it's coming, right? I walked three or four rows reading their names in my head acknowledging them, and I found this:

I wasn't expecting it and I didn't know where he was buried or even if he was. So, I was thinking about his guy I hadn't seen in years and has been dead since 2008 and I am led to his tombstone. Out of over 10,000, I went right over to his. Wow. That's incredible.

Jerry Block was a very special guy. I met him long before I hired him at the car dealership. He used to own two men's stores, one in Fairfield and the other in Napa. He was what they now call morbid obese back then, When I hired him at the dealership, he was about one third his previous size. He found that he had diabetes and he became an advocate of a healthy lifestyle. He walked everywhere. He was kind and generous and fun to be around. He took what he did seriously and was most serious about giving excellent service. He lost toes and other portions of his feet to the disease, but he just bought special shoes and kept walking.

He mentored others about diabetes and gave talks and was especially focused on youth and obesity and what that can lead to since he knew from experience. He was selfless in desire to serve others and help them avoid his pain and suffering. I loved Jerry Block. He had such a large heart, and besides that, he was a great employee.

So, I saw Jerry today, and I thought, this was why I came here today even though I enjoyed myself and was touched by the moving ceremony, much as the man whose back I thought said it well surrounded by many hundreds of people:

After a couple of hours at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, I drove on to the State Capitol at Sacramento. Right across the street from the front of the Capitol is the Fallen Peace Officer Memorial under a huge oak tree. Here are a couple shots of it and my dad's name on one of the plates.

Ralph Minion was my dad and he worked with another officer above his name, William D Huckaby. A few years ago, I arranged to go to the Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento, CA and got to see where my dad trained. They have a big quad area with a fountain in the middle and fallen CHP officers names are on small brass plates around the top of the fountain and recruits are supposed to polish those names periodically to remember that what they do is a dangerous job. I also got to see the graduation plaques for my dad and my uncle Durward in the CHP dayroom.

Last, we went to Mare Island which used to be a major shipyard building submarines and many other types of ships. They have a very old cemetery there though it is very small in comparison. All in all, a wonderful day of rememberence and enjoyment at the same time.

Let Your Intuition Be The Guide It Is Meant To Be.
Spread Some Joy Today--Have a good time today. There just is not much more important that feeling good. Enjoy yourself and those around you, including traffic!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-28-12

"Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today is a day of remembrance of those fallen while serving the United States Armed Forces. There are so many. It helps to remember someone or a few that we may have known, and I am thinking of them today while I do something I've never done before: attending a Memorial Day event at a National Cemetery.

This holiday began as Decoration Day right after the Civil War. For all of my life it has meant very little. I almost always worked during it because of the Memorial Day Saleobrations. Now I choose to celebrate what I will and when.

I've served in the military too and my father, Ralph Minion, is a fallen hero to me. He served in the US Army Air Corps before it was called the Air Force during the end of World War II. He survived the war, and got married and had a family with three children. I was the eldest, a baby-boomer born in 1949.

He joined another uniformed service organization in 1955 called the California Highway Patrol, following his brother who joined in 1948. He rode Harley-Davidson's in places like East Los Angeles. In January of 1964, he was killed on that motorcycle while on duty.

Though this day is traditionally for fallen service people, after visiting the National Cemetery Ceremony and paying respects to the hundreds of thousands, I am remembering my personal fallen hero today by visiting a memorial at the State Capitol in Sacramento with his name and a lot of other fallen heroes all around the state.
Honor Your Fallen Heroes Today--Better Yet, Honor Your LIVE Heroes Today!
Spread Some Joy Today--Pay attention to people who matter in your life.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-27-12

"For everything you want to sell,
there is someone out there
who wants to buy it.
For everything you want to buy,
there is someone
who needs to sell it.
The universe functions
in perfect balance and timing."

-- Alan Cohen

I've seen many things that I thought might just be unsalable. And, I was wrong. Everything is saleable, and you may not know where the buyer will come from, but there is a buyer out there who will pay the price and be happy with the purchase.

Battleships are really pricey, but you couldn't sell me one for ten cents. I could care less, and even though the scrap would be worth major dollars, I would have no interest in even dealing with it. Yet, put a battleship up for sale and there will be plenty of buyers.

I have an eBay store and had a very rare item--so rare in fact that I couldn't find anything quite like it online anywhere in the world. It was two small binders with individual data sheets on tanks around the world. I paid $2 for it, had it listed for about two and a half years and it finally sold to someone in Spain for $750 plus shipping which was my asking price. I had several offers, but I knew someone was out there somewhere who would understand that $750 was a bargain deal.

Having been in the auto business for a long time, I heard all kinds of people, including many in the auto business tell me that certain things were sale proof. There is no such thing. I even challenged a dealer one time on a dealer trade where they wanted something I had to give me the morphodite vehicle on their lot--that unit that was sale proof and that they couldn't get rid of. He took me up on it. He was right, it was odd; however, I challenged my staff and it was sold in two weeks at a nice profit. And, I had a lot of fun doing that.

I've also seen things that I thought would never sell and I found myself very wrong. Now, I try to remember that beauty, value and worth are all in the eyes, mind and heart of each individual, and for every thing there is someone who wants to sell and someone who wants to buy.
Just Realize How Many Hundreds Of Millions Of Things Are Bought And Sold Daily In This World.
Spread Some Joy Today--When you support another's cause, you support them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-26-12

"Why struggle to convince someone
of something they're not ready to hear?"

-- Alan Cohen

After starting in sales in 1972 and becoming a sales manager in 1975 and working in those capacities in one way or another all this time, I've learned that salespeople in general are always looking for ways to close sales. That's what they always seem to want to know more about--at least on the surface.

I learned a lot of different sales closes, such as the Ben Franklin close, the feel, felt, found method, when you ask a closing question, SHUT UP!, and many more. I even tried most of them on one or more occasions. The best one is when you ask a closing question, shut up, but that leads me away from the point.

What's the point? None of them work when someone is not ready to hear it, or buy it. They aren't magic and they just don't do what the promoters say they will. If you find the rare prospect that is just trying to blow you off because they have a hard time making decisions, some of these might work, but still a relatively small percentage of the time.

I'm also a consumer and so I know that none of these closes would work on me either if I wasn't ready to hear it, or buy it.

Now, questions is a whole different animal. Questions are good. If a prospect is asking questions, they are interested to some degree and closes are not necessary, just answer their questions or concerns. This really isn't rocket science. Take the time to understand their concerns. Try to put yourself in their position. Some people are just afraid. They're afraid to make a mistake, to make a bad choice, or that they don't know what they're doing and have little confidence in themselves. Those are all things we as salespeople can do something with.

But, someone who isn't ready to hear? Until they are ready to hear, there isn't much point.

We close a pretty high percentage of the people we do a presentation to in our business; however, it is pretty easy to see which ones aren't ready to hear. We can tell by the statements they make, and the LACK of questions they ask. It comes out in how they compare us to other vendors. We might swim a stroke or two with them, but we've learned to stop swimming very quickly and excuse ourselves for another day.

One thing every one in sales needs to learn is to ALWAYS keep moving. There are plenty who ARE interested. There are PLENTY who will. Accept the ones that aren't ready to hear and keep your sanity and confidence in tact.

Focus On The Plenty Who Will Rather Than The Few Who Won't.
Spread Some Joy Today--How often do you thank people for anything? Good question.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-25-12

"The moment you have in your heart
this extraordinary thing called love
and feel the depth, the delight,
the ecstacy of it, you will discover
that for you the world is transformed."

-- J Krishnamurti

I have come to just love people. Customers, strangers, pretty much every one that I see. I don't even have to talk with them, actually meet them even. Those that I have some kind of relationship, whether it is a client, associate or friend, I love even more because I can interact with them, share thoughts, ideas, feelings.

Some people are harder to love if there is such a thing as it being harder to love. I think the only reason is that they resist, don't know how to relax and let others in. They have walls up and it is only a small circle that may get through the walls.

Those that are open to returning the love that I put out, is a spectacular thing, and such a pleasure to experience that my eyes well up and I have a joyous outpouring of energy and love. And, it goes both ways and that is the value of letting go of resistance and having doorways through the walls.

I also find it better to let them talk about two to one to me. So, to help that along, I ask questions, and then let them answer.

I experienced a lot of that today and it was glorious. Had such a great time!
Relax And Let Yourself Out Of The Cage!
Spread Some Joy Today--Fear says: They more they know about me, the more fear I have because I am an open target. Love says: They more they know about me, the more opportunity they have to love me, and visa versa.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-24-12

"EVERYTHING is always and completely
subject to personal interpretation."

-- Albert K Strong

I was looking at some quotes under the heading of Achievement. At the beginning, it states this: "We achieve to the degree that we overcome the negative. Achievers are willing to pay the price of achievement. They sacrifice, struggle, work on, perhaps alone, weary, and discouraged, and yet at each step overcome the negative. Overcoming the negative is the price of achievement--the price of greatness."

So here are a few of the quotes on the next couple of pages:

"There are no gains without pains." -- Benjamin Franklin

"There is no success without hardship." -- Sophocles

"No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown."
-- William Penn

"The world is so constructed, that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures, you must also endure its pains. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have one without the other."
-- Swami Brahmananda

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." -- Jean Baptiste Moliere

"The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honour. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved."
-- Samuel Smiles

Heck, even the Bible has it going on:

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. -- Revelation 3:21

Now, here's my quote:

"As you believe, so it will be unto you." I'm sure I robbed that from someone smart and sophisticated. Heck, that's in the Bible too. And all these quotes and hundreds more like them I've heard all my life, and it's no dang wonder that people are timid about going for it, as they have so much pain, anxiety, struggle, endurance, and more. It's all uphill to get to the downhill. Based on that, the downhill better be pretty darn good!

BUT! I stopped believing that stuff and guess what? It isn't a struggle except in your own mind. It isn't uphill except in your own mind. There are no thorns except in your own mind. No gall or cross either. There is no honor in the struggle or the overcomement except in your own mind. There is no pain or hardship except in your own mind.

All of these things are subject to your own interpretation just as all of these quotes were their interpretation (or maybe they didn't want you to know how easy it was so they didn't have to share. . .).

Ever heard one of those really famous songwriters say, "hey, I wrote that song in 5 minutes and it was the easiest song I ever wrote and look at it now!" There are millions of quotes just like that because they believe it is easy. They are having fun with it instead of taking it SO DAMN SERIOUS!

You know what else?

You get to choose. . .
Where Did I Put That Easy Button. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Give someone some encouragement. In fact, give them a bunch of it. Lavish it on them, like hot maple syrup on a stack of fresh buttermilk pancakes. Let it drizzle over the sides. Lift up the cakes and pour some in there too. Who's counting calories?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-23-12

"I just do not hang around anybody that
I don't want to be with. Period. For me, that's
been a blessing, and I can stay positive.
I hang around people who are happy,
who are growing, who want to learn,
who don't mind saying sorry or thank you. . .
and having a fun time."

-- John Assaraf

We all probably know some of those people who complain about almost everything in their lives, along with the news about what is going on with others and so on. They are in that wicked game of playing victim, persecutor and rescuer, switching roles at will and depending on who they are talking with and whether or not they will participate by playing along with them.

Maybe one or more of those people are relatives, co-workers, even a boss or supervisor. Some may not be easy to escape from depending on who they are in your life; however, the key for our own survival, growth and well-being is to spend zero or as little time with these toxic folks as possible.

Jack Canfield says it well in this way: "Think about it. I'm sure you know people who only have to walk into the room to totally drain you of energy. I refer to these people as psychic vampires. They literally suck the life energy right out of you. Stop spending time with them." He says, "make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people--people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud you victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealists, and visionaries."

You know, it's funny. I have very few of these negative people in my life lately. If I meet one and they start their routine, I'm excusing myself and moving away quickly, even mid-sentence. It works. They find people who are willing to help them with their game, and I am on to more positive, uplifting people.
We Always Get To Choose What Influences Us.
Spread Some Joy Today--Think of someone and how special they are until you are feeling such a feeling of love, then let it go. They will know it, even at a great distance.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-22-12

"For things to change,
you've got to change."

-- Jim Rohn

I was talking with a friend a day or two ago. He used to suffer with severe back problems and he was overweight which only added to that issue. He tried so many external things and even surgery, then rather than seeking any more change from without, he made a firm decision to change within, and that changed everything for him.

He lost a lot of weight, worked out regularly and strengthened his core stomach and lower back. He stands differently now. He is fit. He is in shape. He has a flat stomach. He looks 10 years younger though he is 10 years older. It is an amazing transformation. He exudes confidence and strength and he is an inspiration for those who would like to consider taking charge of their bodies.

It has been over a year, maybe two since his change, and it is common for people to lose a lot of weight and then to gradually gain it back. I've done it, I've seen many do it. So, I asked him how he has continued to do it when so many others have gone back. His answer was telling. He said, "I remember what it was like before. I don't ever want to forget it." He went on to say that "I am only one Big Mac away from going back to the way it was." I told him that I totally related to that because I quit smoking 10 years ago in April and I'm still only one cigarette away from going back there. I also told him that I totally related to his first answer about remembering what it was like. I remember the coughing so it keeps me on the path.

I asked him how often he goes to the gym and he said that he went every day for a time, and now averages about 4 days a week. His routine of going to the gym is so much a part of his life now that it is his new life. Whereas before, maybe he was on the couch with the remote, and now he is at the gym.

He is the embodiment of Jim Rohn's message. For things to change, you are the one that needs to change. It isn't the thing or the circumstance or the environment or the situation. Those are all external indications of an inward thought pattern. The real change must be us. Once we change, all the rest will change along with it. He has a whole new lifestyle now, and it is a healthy style that radiates from him for all to see.
"As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without."
-- The Emerald Tablet, circa 3000 BC
Spread Some Joy Today--Send someone a thank you just because.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-21-12

"Man was created as a being who should
constantly keep improving, a being who on
reaching one goal sets a higher one."

-- Ralph Ransom

Since I used to teach goal setting in business, I had one understanding of the quote like this one of Ralph Ransom's, and now I have a different view. Today, I don't think I would use the word 'higher,' but substitute the word 'different' instead. Today, I would also change one other word. I would change the word 'improving' to 'changing.' Then, one last little change. take our 'was created as a being who should,' and substitute 'is a powerful creator who will.' So here's how my version of the quote would go the way I understand it now:

Man is a powerful creator who will constantly keep changing, who on reaching one goal and enjoying it fully, delightfully sets different one--just because he is a creator, and creators create!

After teaching it for so long, I began to think something was wrong with constantly striving for the higher and greater and more. I thought, at what point is there satisfaction or contentment? I thought, how can the bar keep going up and up? Doesn't it have to adjust differently sometimes? If you are forecasting sales for your boss, you never want to turn in a downward estimate. It's unheard of. Or, at least that's the way it seemed so often. More, more more. When is enough enough?

In my new understanding I see us as creators that are constantly changing, trying, doing, seeking. Now, if that's all we did, I would have a problem with it, but I do believe that we can be accepting and loving of where we are as we move to another place. And, if it is done in such a way that we are not chasing happiness or expecting those kind of results when we get there, it all works perfectly.

In the past, I never really accepted where I was. It was always where I happened to be that I wasn't very pleased with in pursuit of what would create more happiness, fulfillment and comfort. Now, I'm coming to terms with how important it really is to be present and grateful and appreciative of where ever I may be in pursuit of whatever I think I might like next, realizing that my happiness, comfort and joy are in the moment with me where I am NOW.

At first it seemed like such a subtle difference in the way of looking at goals, but I know it to be a very great difference today.

Creators Create! It's A Wonderful Thing. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Create some love and spread it around.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-20-12

"We can gradually grow into any conditions
we desire, provided we first make ourselves
in habitual mental attitude the person
who corresponds to those conditions. . . ."

-- Thomas Troward

I'm beginning to see change differently and it is related to considering the now versus the future. This means that any change we want in the future, which is really only an illusion, the change must take place right now this second, this minute, this hour, this day and not another time.

This also means that it is not about thinking it into being, but being it into being. One way to look at it would be to act as if, but the acting must be with belief.

If you've been around young children, you can see them pretend to be someone else so easily. They can change their circumstances by changing the way they act, see themselves, see others in an instant. We adults, gave that up a long time ago, and yet, it is in this childlike state that a certain power lies that we may retake at will.

I don't mean dress up in costume and thereby be an attention-getter, distracting others and such. Yet, to become that person inside as if you already are that person; to feel those feelings and to enjoy the experience. To be in that place that you intend to be.

The mind is a powerful tool to focus when we choose to use it in this way and the power of Intention is a tool as well.

A key to this is also being fully appreciative of where you are now, what you have, and what you are currently doing.
Childlike Desire AND Belief Is Powerful Stuff.
Spread Some Joy Today--When was the last time you enjoyed yourself like a child at play? Maybe it's time to have recess. . .

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Daily Inspiration 5-19-12

"Have a dialogue between two opposing parts
and you will find. . .that they always start out
fighting each other. . .until we come to an. . .
appreciation of differences. . .a oneness and
integration of the two opposing forces. Then
the civil war is finished, and your energies
are ready for your struggle with the world."

-- Frederick Perls

The quote above I pondered for a time and the key phrase is appreciation of differences. It seems that we notice the differences between each other, and we often take and immediate like or dislike to others quickly based on their visible attributes and/or location, and/or association with others, such as people in groups.

It's interesting to consider why we feel the way we do in those instances. Our judgement takes over and makes decisions quickly; this is good, this is not good, and more. When if we lingered just a bit longer than normal, temporarily shut down our judicial system, we might be able to see something in the other that we can appreciate--and here's a key--even if that something is something we would not normally appreciate.

Anthony Robbins loves to ask questions, and so he might say, "what do you like about this person?" and you might say, "well, I can't see anything that I like." And, immediately he would say, "well, if you could like something about them, what might that be?" Then people always find something, then another and so on. It's really funny to me how that seemingly insignificant twist in words makes such a difference in getting to a better answer.

To me, the only benefit to opposition is bringing to my awareness that I am not appreciating or allowing differences to coexist. This awareness then gives me the opportunity once again to make a better, more loving choice.
"When We Seek To Discover The Best In Others, We Somehow Bring Out The Best In Ourselves."
-- William Arthur Ward
Spread Some Joy Today--You can never go wrong with a choice made in love.