Friday, May 31, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-31-13

"The more we look without,
the more we go without."
-- Albert K Strong

This one is interesting, and seems so true in my own life. The more we look without; that is, outside of ourselves, the more we go without because it is those things that we accept and rejoice in that are real. Everything else is potential.

The other thing is that by looking outside of ourselves, we are essentially claiming lack. We are saying, 'this is missing from my life and I want it and I want to find it, and it is out there. Either they have it, or God has it, or I'm destined to find it someday, or I wish I had it. And, it doesn't matter what 'it' is. It could be love, a partner, a child, a job, a home, money, fame, or a million and one other things.

I think we have to look within, not without. To find strength, we need to look within. It was here all the time, we just misplaced it. To find love, that is all around inside us just waiting to be acknowledged and shared. To find God, we won't find Him by looking in church or anywhere else outside. He is inside and always available every nanosecond of every millennium.

Even if something is not fully manifested and visualized by our human eyes, if we cannot find it within us, it cannot be found outside of us.

Here's a few great words from a favorite author and teacher, Alan Cohen: "You just need to know the truth about your power. Belief is the vehicle through which power manifests. The word "believe" comes form two original words: "leave be." What we are willing to leave be, or let be, becomes real. We do not have to create good in our life, for all our good has already been created, and it is waiting for us to claim it."

"The Easiest Goal To Attain Is To Claim What You Already Are" -- Alan Cohen

Spread Some Joy Today--Celebrate all that you are and all that you have today.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-30-13

"On teaching people a lesson:
You're actually not teaching them a lesson,
because the people who most need to
learn a lesson, haven't, and won't.
What you're actually doing is diverting yourself
from your path as well as ruining your day
in a quixotic quest for fairness,
fairness you're unlikely to find."
-- Seth Godin

I was thinking about holding grudges and knowing some people who hold some with companies and people for a variety of reasons. They boycott the companies or do something else that is bent on teaching them a lesson, and it is a colossal waste of time and energy.

Like the quote above says: "what you're actually doing is diverting YOURSELF from YOUR path as well as ruining YOUR day." Not much revenge or justice there. And, it is so true that as we are angry, hold grudges (angry, resentful thoughts), we really do a disservice to ourselves more than anything.

Love Is Allowing Others To Be What They Choose For Themselves (Or Choose To Do) Without Any Insistence They Satisfy Us.

Spread Some Joy Today--Love them anyway. It's all good. And, love yourself in the process.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-29-13

"Sometimes letting things go
is an act of far greater power
than defending or hanging on."
-- Eckhart Tolle

Perseverance can be an important tool to help us get through some tough spots and help us get through to a successful conclusion. It can also be a great stumbling block and keep us on a path that is likely not to succeed no matter how much we want it to.

A friend knows I read a lot and suggested a book that he found interesting and helpful. The title is Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud. I read a good part of it and it reinforced much of what I have learned in my own life. Like the song, The Gambler made popular by Kenny Rogers said, "you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em," Henry Cloud makes a case about the possibility that not giving into perseverance is a good strategy from time to time.

We're so often taught that sticktoitivness is a virtue, that perseverance is a virtue and that only the strong survive and many other popular ideas of overcoming is the best thing we can do and that when we fail to do these things, we risk being "three feet from the gold" in failure. This is such a strong thing that is taught us that we are repelled by the idea that to give in can be a good thing.

I know in my life that there are times when I have persevered and it paid off and I also know there were times when I let it go before it was done and it was the right thing to do. We are the only judge of that. It doesn't matter what others say (and remember they are probably enamored with the perseverance and hero ideals) about what we do. We need to make our own choices, have the courage to make them and then act in faith that we are our own best judge.

Quitting Is Not Necessarily A Bad Thing After All.

Spread Some Joy Today--Good on you for the choices you make. Keep making them!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-28-13

"You block your dream when you allow
your fear to grow bigger than your faith."
-- Mary Manin Morrissey

Fear may be an indication that we are on a path that is not in our best interests; however, our ego loves fear and loves to feed fear and fear can easily grow from a concern to a ten-foot-thick brick wall.

Here's a good question: How much energy are we giving this fearful thinking? Where are we letting it take us? Are we really fantasizing the future in a negative way?

Faith will abide if we let it. Faith will help us survive the trauma of fear if we let it. I think the best thing is to at first acknowledge that there is this fear thought, take a quick look at its character, and I am confident that as we move our attention and all of our focus to the successful accomplishment regardless of how far away it may seem, that the fear will take its proper place in the rear.

The Best Alternative Word For Faith Is TRUST.

Spread Some Joy Today--Trust in yourself. Trust in your ability. Trust in your worthiness. Trust in your actions.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-27-13

"Too many people overvalue
what they are not
and undervalue
what they are."
-- Malcolm Forbes

I loved this quote, and I think a better way of saying it might be that many people overvalue what they do not have, while undervaluing that which they already have.

Thoughts To Consider, Yes?

Spread Some Joy Today--Focus on what you already have and rejoice while you joyfully anticipate more.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-26-13

"The beginning is always today."
-- Mary Wollstonecraf

I used to begin things on the first of the month, the first day of the week, the middle of the month like the 15th, or even the 20th. It was always in the future somewhere though often not very far in the future. I guess you could say that it was always tomorrow. A clean break. A change. A fresh start.

The trouble with this is that tomorrow became today and then my plans were extended to another tomorrow, another week, another month, another year. Yet I always knew inside that tomorrow never really comes. It is always tomorrow.

There is only today and only this very minute. If I am to get anything going, it must be right now this very minute.

If I am going to get my marketing plan in order, that will have to be done today. Leave the cell phone, go to a neutral location and get it down on paper and get it started. Call the people who need to be called and get on with it.

Whatever it is that needs to be done, begs to be done, needs the priority of right now this minute and a commitment to the action of beginning it.

I Only Know This From My Vast Experience As A Planner.

Spread Some Joy Today--Create a perfect day!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-25-13

"Beauty without expression is boring."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty is. Beauty is not. It only exists in the mind of the beholder through the eyes of the receiver. In fact, two people can look upon the same thing and one would call it beautiful and the other would call it something else--maybe even ugly.

Eyes can learn, the mind can learn to see and think differently. What once may have been seen as ugly, plain, uninteresting, bad, can become beautiful, elaborate, fascinating, and delightful by looking with clearer eyes and thinking with a more open mind. It is expressed as it is observed.

Awareness Is Everything. Literally.

Spread Some Joy Today--Seek beauty around you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-24-13

"It's deja vu all over again."
-- Yogi Berra

Did you ever go to a house that used to be yours and it hasn't been for some time and now you see it again? Maybe even go inside? It's weird. It's deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra said.

In late 1986 and through 1987, I and two partners owned a recording studio in an old bank building in Suisun City CA built in the 1920s that was and is owned by a local businessman that I knew. I worked at the Chevy dealership in town as a day job and the music when I could.

In the building, it still had the old counter and inside the counter area where desks would have been for the bank manager and other services, we built a rectangular building which became the sound room. You could crank up a guitar amp in there and barely hear anything outside the room.

There were two big bank vaults with huge thick doors and inside one of them, we made a drum booth with wires going up through the ceiling into the recording console area upstairs. The drummers I'm sure felt strange when we closed the door to do a recording session.

We left there in late 1987 and moved to a different location, and we turned the building back the way it was when we left. It later became a dance studio and probably other things.

Fast forward to 2011. I'm following a hair stylist from one place she worked to another and she told me she was in a new place a couple blocks away. I couldn't believe it when I saw that old bank building again transformed very nicely into a hair salon called the Knotty Hair Salon. Now inside the vaults is where you get your hair washed, and the whole place has been redone very nicely. It was deja vu all over again to see the place, have my hair cut there, my hair washed in the vault and more. It was almost hard to believe.

Within a few months the owner became a client and we built their website (, their blog, manage their social media and more and they've been a client since then and I still go there every two weeks. I can't help but have memories pop up here and there as I'm in that building. Some things come and never go away. They just change appearance.

All The More Reason To Never Burn Bridges. You Never Know When You'll Be Going Back Over It.

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy your journey wherever it takes you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-23-13

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
-- All too common job interview question

Sometimes I just think of strange things. Today I was thinking about job interviews. Since I've been a sales manager since 1975, I've hired a lot of people, and I've employed a lot of different tactics and questions in the interview process. Some were just total experimentation, others testing expert theories.

Then I began thinking of the job seeker and how so often they don't know what they are getting into and many times the odds are against them in various ways. I know this from personal experience of working for employers, and by observation watching others go in and out of a position more quickly than would have been imagined at the beginning. I'm talking about well qualified people who know how to perform, are skilled in what they do and still they are in and out all too quickly.

That idea took me back to the questions at the interview and the fact that the job seeker asks such lame questions because they don't want to jeopardize getting the position, and they want to put their best image forward. This caused me to think that this idea is not such a great strategy. Indeed, it may be a recipe for failure.

So, I took it upon myself to create a list of appropriate questions to ask potential employers--especially those with whom you are excited to potentially work with. Feel free to add more of your own. Here they are:

1. How will my performance be measured specifically?
2. Will I have control over each measured parameter?
3. If so, what kind of control?
4. How will the company support and encourage my successful performance?
5. In what ways is company growth analyzed and measured?
6. In what ways will my growth within the company be analyzed and measured?
7. When I have any problems or issues (within the company), how can I expect them to be addressed?

I didn't want to make it too long, but I think that these questions are extremely important. Some times I have been expected to perform and be measured by that performance without any control to speak of over how to achieve that. There have been many times where question 7 would have helped a great deal to know up front. I've been under the bus plenty and I know others have as well.

Some companies measure everything surrounding growth in number of sales and/or dollars of income as if the reality of life would always and forever have that on an upward trend. In down times, and they do come as we all know, how can we grow in other ways and have it accepted as growth?

Regardless of my experiences, these questions may be of benefit as long as there is not a desperate need for the job. Better to have one with serious potential for success than one that was not questioned.

How Old Are You? Oh, Sorry, I Can't Ask That Can I?

Spread Some Joy Today--Turn the tables. Now, you're in charge!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-22-13

"It makes no sense to worry
about things you have no control over
because there's nothing you can do about them,
and why worry about things you do control?
The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized."
-- Wayne Dyer

Worry is taught in school, at home, at the office, on the television, radio, and the Internet. It is everywhere. We are thoroughly trained in worry even without classes called Worry 1 or Worry 2.0. Worry is so pervasive that it is impossible to avoid hearing it, reading it, even thinking it. Yet, we all should know by now that all of that is just a lie.

Here's some sentiments about worry to consider:

"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere." -- Glenn Turner

"Worry is the only insupportable misfortune of life." -- Henry Saint John

"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." -- Henry Ward Beecher

"I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." -- Mark Twain

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom

"Drag your thoughts away from your troubles. . . by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it." -- Mark Twain

Worry is sinister and is like a wolf in sheep's clothing. The solution is always simple, yet not always easy. There are two parts to the solution.

The first is being aware that you are worrying. It is like being outside yourself observing yourself being worried. Look at how uptight you are, how immobilized you are, how you have an extended length movie going on in your head about all the different scenarios that "could be." It's just like watching CNN all day long. So often, we don't pay attention to ourselves and especially from that perspective.

The second part is incredibly simple: think a more pleasing thought. Then keep doing that. It matters little what the thought is or on what subject. One thing is certain, you have to get it off your troubles. Sometimes, I think of being on the beach in Maui in a beach chair close to the sand with my hand and forearm in the sand and I'm filling my hand and emptying it. I have a Mai Tai ice cold. The breeze is so pleasant. The water is lapping on the beach near me. I can hear music playing a little way down the beach. I'm looking at Lanai and Molokai, feeling the warmth of the sun and drinking all of these things in. My troubles have vanished. I have no troubles. I am on the beach in paradise. . .

Try It. You'll Like It.

Spread Some Joy Today--Worry will make your life blurry. Don't worry. Be happy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-21-13

"If we are to find
some kind of peace and solace
we are going to have to hearken
to the voice of an inner guide
rather than the dictate of the masses.
More peace is yours for the taking. . .and giving."
-- Alan Cohen

We pray, Lord, give me peace, give me patience. We see the lack of it and want it and not finding it nearby, we pray to God or seek from some other outside source. In my experience, it is in none of these places, nor controlled anywhere outside of yourself.

The truth that I have found is that it comes from within only and there are only two simple requirements to have it flowing. First is awareness. This should be easy. You may already see that it is lacking. Become aware that peace or patience (the same thing to me) is desired or needed. Second is to practice it. Practice being patient. Practice having peace. Practice having kindness. Practice. Practice. Practice.

I'll never forget a very funny movie that I own and have enjoyed many times called, Evan Almighty. Morgan Freeman, playing the part of God, said this and I immediately took it to heart:

"Let me ask you something.
If someone prays for patience,
you think God gives them patience?
Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage,
does God give him courage,
or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for the family to be closer,
do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings,
or does he give them opportunities to love each other?"

In the last year or so, I've really honed in on this practicing of attributes like patience. It seems so natural to react and in reaction, we have no patience. So once I am aware of the need or desire for patience, I begin to purposely practice it. Now, granted, sometimes there are opportunities that require more effort than others, but I've always been a believer in the old phrase, practice makes perfect. I have also found this to be true. Although, I am not where I would call perfect. I do have reactions. I do blurt things I later would rather not have blurted; however, I am improving so much that I am thrilled with the whole idea of practicing patience and other virtues.

It seems that we have always either waited for them or hoped someone would give them to us, and the reality is that they were here all along waiting to be recognized and utilized. With practice, my base of patience and peace grows and grows. I can even see somewhere down the path of practice that I will no longer even think about it, but just act immediately.

I Have Plenty Of Opportunities To Practice, And I Accept The Opportunities As They Come. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Your own practice will spread plenty of joy..

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-20-13

"Some people do not want help,
they want sympathy.
Be careful of this."
-- Terry Minion

I was thinking of something for the CTS Daily Inspirations and I thought of something in my first book written 23 years ago in 1990. As I looked through the digital copy, I found something else to share instead. The quote above is part of a chapter in the book about dealing with customers. The book is titled, Accepting the Sales Challenge. (Just in case you might want the punishment, it is available here free:

The quote above was the end of a paragraph. The beginning was this: "Empathize, but don't sympathize. There is a great difference between the two. . . When you sympathize, you are crippled. . . When you empathize, you understand how they feel and are not crippled and thereby can be of service to them."

I went on about dealing with unhappy customers. "I've had a few irate customers--just a handful. With a couple of them, I listened to their problem and the way they were stating it and each time I tried to solve their solvable problem, I had to listen again to their complaining. When this would happen, I would forcefully tell them that if they truly wanted their problem solved, I would be more than happy to assist them in any way that was possible, but if all they wanted to do was complain about it, I had other things to do. This shocked them. At this point they either had to admit that they wanted it solved, or that they wanted to complain. I made it clear that either way was okay for them, but that I would only participate in one of them: the possible solution."

I added this: "It seems silly to even mention this kind of thing, but it is true that there are people who just like to complain. Just don't let yourself get sucked into joining with them and sympathizing with their complaining. Sometimes it is best to walk away. Remember to be courteous, sincere, and interested in helping them. . ."

This applied at the car dealerships I worked at, every other business I worked at and in my own businesses today. I am not into hearing the problem repeated as if it were important enough to be on CNN. Let's find a solution and get on with it, otherwise, you're on your own.

Of course, this also applies, and perhaps even more so to personal relationships. . .

Value Your Self, Your Time And Your Spirit. You Always Have Control Unless You Give It Away.

Spread Some Joy Today--There is joy in problem solving!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-19-13

"In my walks, every man I meet
is my superior in some way,
and in that I learn from him."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a dear friend named Joe. We don't see each other very often since we live about 750 miles apart. In late February we had an opportunity to have lunch in Sacramento and he told me of a little quiz he wanted us to share with one another. It is a commitment because it is done each evening and it was called Evening Questions.

At the end of this week, it will have been three months since we began. With just a very few exceptions, we have completed the questions daily. Sometimes we forget in the evening, but get them done in the morning.

In the process of doing this, we have learned more about one another, shared each others joys and challenges, and generally have become even closer friends. That's a pretty awesome accomplishment, don't you think?

Just in case anyone else may benefit from this process, here are the questions that we answer to each other each day:

1. What went well today?
2. What could be better?
3. Intentions for tomorrow?
4. Spiritual principles to practice?
5. Prayer?

So, I retype the questions each time and he doesn't, but whatever you do, I think you will find some interesting things. One is that the first question is first for good reason. Focus on what is working. Question two, I found, is hard to answer after question one. Of course things can be better. If you're in gratitude, it is more challenging to get out of it, but it is a worthy question to see where and what we want now. Number three is all about doing something. Make your list of intentions for tomorrow. It is helpful to do this and realize there is always something you can do.

Number four is often repetitive for me. I almost always need to practice patience and kindness. They go hand in hand. And, number five. Give it up to God for the things that you don't know how to do. Like my sign on my wall says, "What is MY job. How is GODS job." The prayer is acknowledging God in however you see that and acknowledging that you don't know how and will lay down the rope to allow help to come in.

I have very much enjoyed this process and I have no idea how long we will do it, but it might become a group thing. It is interesting, enlightening and if we are honest with each other, it can also be intimate.

Intimacy Is Love By Sharing Love.

Spread Some Joy Today--Share your joys and challenges with a loving friend.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-18-13

"Desire doesn't require need.
In fact, need is often counterproductive.
Need is such a relative term."
-- Albert K Strong

We often may say that we need something, when in fact, we do not need it. A better and more effective way to look at getting it is to simply desire it. Have fun with it. When we go down the path of need, we are often distracted by that reckless baggage handler called the ego.

Need is serious. Need is demanding. Need is whiny. Need is relative. We need? Relative to what? Are we sure it is a need? On a scale of one to ten, how bad is the need? Indeed, we may use the word bad as I just did. That doesn't sound too good. Pun intended.

No. I think desire is so much more effective. It is better to be lighthearted instead of the needy heavyheartedness. It is better to have fun than to be dead serious. It is better to want for any reason whatsoever than to need for any reason. It is far more likely that we will get what we want and thereby take care of any need by focusing on desire and allowing ourselves to want.

It is okay to want more. It is okay to want things--even those who some may judge that we have no business wanting them. Tell them to go to their room and shut up! They have no business telling us what we should or should not want.

Dreams are desires. Dreams are fun. It's okay to fantasize about our lives being different, better, more fun, more prosperous, more alive. I recommend it as often as possible. In fact, that will be the way it comes anyway, so dream on.

"What Could You Need When You Already Have It All?" -- Alan Cohen.

Spread Some Joy Today--Words to live by!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-17-13

"To be what we were born to be,
and to become what we are capable of becoming,
is the only end in life."
-- Baruch Spinoza

This is bunk as far as I'm concerned. This quote embodies the problem that continues to ever be the problem except for those rare individuals who find that needle in a haystack called "what I was meant to be." This is the kind of thing that is taught in many areas and it is such a waste of time and energy, and it is so ineffective in general results. In fact, it easily creates more stress and unhappiness in a lot of people who just can't seem to "find their way."

So here's a what if to consider. What if, rather than having our emotions drive us, we paid more attention to our emotions as our inner guide? What if, when we feel good, that is telling us we are on the right track, and when we feel bad, that it is telling us that this is something that is not in our best interests? What if we learned to get excited about our emotions rather than giving in to them? And, this is a big what if: What if this was taught us from day one instead of all that other junk?

What if, instead of accomplishment, the size and value of our things, the amount of money we make, the brand and model car we drive, and where we are on the scale of the pursuit of happiness we are, we found just one worthy goal that will lead us to everything that we want?

I think that goal is simply joy. Fortunately, joy comes in a zillion flavors and nuances, and yet each and every layer is joy. Not only that, where ever we travel there is always joy available in all the quantity that we could possible desire. And, best of all, it is purely and simply a choice that we make in any given moment in time, in any place on the planet we are. There is no mystery to it, no secrets to be found, nor can anyone else in any capacity help us have it. It is not given. It is not found. It is simply created within.

Doesn't That Seem To Work So Much Better?

Spread Some Joy Today--by being joyful. Only you can spread it from you to others.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-16-13

"Most of us need to be pushed
to the wall to make decisions."
-- Jim Rohn

How many times have I come to a point of decision--especially a life-changing decision--and paced back and forth, forth and back, gave it a lot of conflicting thought via my emotions, and then stayed the course I was on. I'm sure it doesn't happen to you. I'm sure I'm the only one who has a hard time changing direction, giving up what and where I'm at for the potential of something better. The key word there is, of course, potential.

I'm at that fork in the road again. One more time. It's a health decision I need to make and today I have made it. I've been pacing back and forth for a long time and reluctant to give up what I think brings me pleasure, when it is in reality only my ego feeding me chocolate covered lies one more time.

So, I was re-reading a short piece from one of my all time favorite teachers, mentors and guides: Jim Rohn. The piece is called The Four Emotions That Can Lead to Life Change. I've made this a clickable link in case you want to read it.

I like how he says, "Whatever you do, don't camp at the fork in the road. Decide. It's far better to make a wrong decision than to not make one at all." Great advice. I haven't just camped here. I built a house here. Time to let go and leave all that behind.

I am sure, as I have noted in the past, that once I get some momentum going down this new road, I will find that I won't miss anything about the part I left behind. In fact, it is true, and I think you'll all agree, that it is the forward focus on the desire that changes our lives more than being concerned about what was left behind that we often mistakenly call loss.

I've Already Made Some Calls And I'm On My Way Keeping My Eyes On The Goal.

Spread Some Joy Today--There is nothing so joyful as making a decision on something you've been putting off. The past doesn't matter. It is the decision and activity now that directs everything. Rock ON!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-15-13

"One must be an inventor to read well.
There is then creative reading
as well as creative writing."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Emerson said it a different way: "What can we see, read, acquire, but ourselves? Take the book, my friend, and read your eyes out, you will never find there what I find."

As a practicing writer, I've often thought of that phrase, creative writing. However, I have never thought of creative reading. Yet, Ralph Waldo Emerson opens the whole idea to me that it matters so much less what we write or how well we write it. What matters more is how actively, and interestingly the reader reads that which was written.

How many times have you been so excited about a book and shared it with one or more friends only to find out that they either couldn't get into it, or they found it less than satisfying? Interesting, don't you think?

What we bring to the book, is at minimum, at least as important as what the book brings to us.

We Are Leading Even When We Are Following. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--The day is over. I'm late today. But, a smile is always welcome.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-14-13

"Affirm sufficiency."
-- Alan Cohen

As I read this short phrase over and over again, I see so clearly that this is the place to always start from. It is not lack that drives us for more effectively, but wholeness and a desire for something more or different.

Start From The Beginning. Affirm Sufficiency.

Spread Some Joy Today--Learn to enjoy weather, whatever it may be at any given time. Love every day.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-13-13

"It is one of the beautiful compensations of life
that no man can sincerely try to help another
without helping himself."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The more I help others, the more I learn and thereby help myself. I am finding this out most recently in services I would not have anticipated. It is indeed a learning experience and through the service, I have grown and become more. That is more than a fair trade. It is a bargain.

It's Probably Worked That Way All Along And I Wasn't Paying Attention.

Spread Some Joy Today--There's nothing quite like giving without any expectation of return.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-12-13

"I am not here to change the world.
I am changing the world because I am here."
-- Lisa Wilson

The above quote and a selection of others for Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers past, now and in the future.

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." -- Rajneesh

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Most mothers are instinctive philosophers." -- Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible." -- Marion C Garretty

Happy Mother's Day!

Spread Some Joy Today--You already are.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-11-13

"The only person you are destined to become
is the person you decide to be."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday, I walked into a business I used to be associated with, saw someone whom I know and he knows me and instantly he said to me, "wow! It looks like you swallowed a watermelon." Some people are exceedingly honest in their response to my image and he has known me to be somewhat thinner. I laughed, and I knew, of course, that he was right.

Someone else told me today, "you're a really good man." I accepted the comment and I felt as if he was right. In this case and the case above, I made those choices. I didn't want to look like someone who swallowed a watermelon, but I made the choices of what to eat and how often. I also made the choice to be a good man, a kind person, an encourager when I can.

Early in my life I thought about my "destiny." What did God bring me here to do? Why am I here? These were questions that I wanted answers for, but I ignored my choices and the results of the choices as my destiny. I thought maybe it was something I was supposed to find.

I guess you could say I found it, though it was too obvious: I get to choose, and to choose I cannot avoid. The next thing was to become comfortable with my choices.

Alan Cohen, a favorite author says it differently, and yet so appropriately:

Your Whole Life Changes When You Realize You Are Enough.

Spread Some Joy Today--Accept your choices as if they were on purpose. In reality, they are.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-10-13

"Faith is the direct realization of power."

-- Eckhart Tolle

I was a late bloomer to learn of Eckhart Tolle, and have since read several books, rented all of his available DVD's and listened to several hours of audio programs. At first I thought he was an acquired taste due to his very subdued presence, but I grew to love that aspect, and have enjoyed getting to know his messages and continue to do so, only not so heavily as in the last couple of years.

Tonight I ran across this video on YouTube and was so fond of the message that I wanted to share it in the CTS Daily Inspirations.

In this video, he spells out the difference between belief and faith so well that I cannot recall ever hearing anything that made more sense to me. Here's part of what he said that hit home with me:

"There is a huge difference between belief and faith. Faith is an inner--a better word for it would be trust--an inner deep trust in life, God, Universal Intelligence, whatever you want to call it. It is a sense of deep trust that can only be there when you're connected with that which is beyond the mind, because it is the mind where belief operates. So you have to go deeper than belief to find faith. Faith is the direct realization of power."

If you listen to the whole 3 minute piece, there is more, but the gist of it is what I just quoted. In that, my greatest take-away is that it is a deep trust in something outside of the mind and that which is All that is not the mind. Sounds like double talk, but it's so clear now to me how big of a difference there is between belief and faith.


Wonderful Insights. Thank you! Eckhart Tolle

Spread Some Joy Today--Find your direct realization of power. It probably means not hunting, but instead, letting go. . .

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-9-13

"We'll never be ready.
So I guess that means
we're as ready as we'll ever be."
-- Neal Shusterman

I know better, but I procrastinate so much. There are things I want to do and yet I think to myself that I don't know how to do it, I don't have the money, I don't have the talent, and the list drones on. I say I know better because so many of the things that I have begun were started on a whim, or an idea and without a grand plan.

I love this quote by Robert Brault which helps me: "Never act until you have clearly answered the question, What happens if I do nothing? What a wonderful question to answer when you're in the middle of procrastination. Then, there is a quote by Nicolas de Chamfort, which says, "Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live." Wise words, indeed.

I find that I have several projects that I want to do and keep putting them off. I'm too busy. I have so much going on already. You know the drill. Truth is, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Every time I think I am busy, I think of President John Adams as told by David McCullough in the famous book, John Adams. When I read about him, I think I am a lazy person!

It's not about accomplishing things and seeing how many I can get done either. It is just passion for a certain thing and my not knowing exactly how to go about it perhaps, but I have to remind myself that the best way to begin is to begin. Otherwise, it will never get started.

So, I am beginning a new project without all the answers. In fact, I have very few answers, but I want to do it nonetheless. So I begin.

I Begin Right Now. I've Made Some Calls And I Am Moving Forward.

Spread Some Joy Today--How many things have you put off? Is today a good time to reconsider and begin anew?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-8-13

"We'll never be good at things
we have to try to be good at."
-- Danielle Laporte

I don't know if I agree totally with Danielle's statement, but I agree that we are all good at some things and at others we struggle. Sometimes in that struggle, we keep on struggling because we think we should be good at it or we think with enough effort we could be good at it and so on.

What I think is more important is whether we are satisfied and fulfilled by what we are doing. That tells more of the story when we add that to the results, whatever they may be.

I've hired a lot of salespeople over the years. One sticks out in my mind as having the basics, a stellar attitude, able to communicate with others. The trouble was that he just couldn't close sales. Well, to be fair, he was very poor at it.

Closing the sale is not something that comes at the end of a session with a prospect, it begins at the beginning. So, by the time this gentleman (and that he was and is) sat the folks down at the end, I couldn't come in and make enough difference most of the time because of what had gone before.

It was a sad day, but I finally had to let him go. The problem was that he was killing sales for the company, not just missing opportunities for himself. At the time I was sad about it, but after a short while, I realized it was the best thing possible for him because it set him free. He was free to find something that he could be good at.

I also know that he was good at what he previously did which was totally unrelated to sales. In this case, he was looking for a job and found one, and while thinking he could do it, he tried and it didn't work out.

Often we look at getting fired as a devastating event, but if we were to look at it with fresh eyes, I think we will find that it was instead a momentous occasion leading us closer to doing something we are really good at.

Failing IS An Option. It Tell Us Much Worth Paying Full Attention To.

Spread Some Joy Today--Do you feel really good about what you do? Are you really good at it?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-7-13

"Love me when I least deserve it,
because that's when I really need it."
-- Swedish Proverb

  I realize now in a sort of "ah-ha" moment, that I am always and constantly being challenged. Sometimes I'm challenged to perform, others to develop and expand skills or attributes. Sometimes I'm challenged to change, adapt, grow and improve. Other times I am challenged to love when it isn't easy, have patience when you naturally feel anger instead.

I never thought much about the word challenge until my dear friend Warren, who took over my position at a previous company started using that word. I used to allow frustration to have its way with me all too often, and he called them challenges instead. The difference was clear in how to view the situation. His view was very positive and a healthy response, whereas often, mine was not so good and a reaction rather than a response. You see, he inspired me!

He inspired me to step back and look at a wider view; to be less concerned about the specific situation, and more concerned with not reacting to it, but taking it at its face value--at least for now--and then, responding intelligently and calmly with a confidence that can only be developed by surveying the situation with an impartial unconnected view.

Warren inspired me to detach myself from the so-called problem, allow it to be what it is for the moment, and view it more as a stranger than a participant. It's sort of like being an outside consultant within your own company. Of course, this is the greatest value of an outside consultant. They have the opportunity (and responsibility) to view something that is personal to others as something very impersonal. They can see a different view of the same thing we see.

Lately, I am challenged in ways I would not have imagined. It is as if I am being tested to see what I'm made of. I am challenged to love when it isn't easy. I am challenged to have patience when I want to scream. I am challenged to do things I never ever thought I would do. I am challenged to deal with a massive number of interruptions, and I am challenged to enjoy life in the process. Mostly, as Warren taught me so well, I am challenged to view each situation a bit impersonally in the grander view, while being fully functional and attached personally via my emotions of love, patience, kindness, endurance, and service.

I Am Practicing And Becoming Grateful For The Challenges Because They Cause Growth In Many Ways, And Growth Is, After All, Life.

Spread Some Joy Today--Rise to your challenges today!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-6-13

"All paths are the same; they lead nowhere. . .
In my own life I could say I have traversed long,
long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor's
question has meaning now. Doe this path have a heart?
If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use.
Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't.
One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it,
you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life.
One makes you strong; the other weakens you."
-- from the teachings of Don Juan,
by Carlos Castaneda

Today was a unique day. I was home and going through some things and came across some old diaries and writings of mine. I skimmed because there were reams of typewritten paper. It sounded as if I was wading through a swamp of depressed thoughts and frustrating experiences. But, my overall outlook was positive--on paper, anyway.

The truth is that as I looked back at that time in the 80's, I saw a lot of learning and struggling to find a better way. My first thought was to burn the whole thing. Then I had another thought. Though there are some circumstances that are similar now as to then, there is a dramatic difference in how I feel about things.

When I read about how I felt in the early, mid and late 1980s, I noticed what is different now than then. In reality, the only real difference is that I consciously choose how I want to feel now. I choose joy more often. Back then, I was blaming circumstances, other people and events. I was working hard, and trying hard and things just didn't seem to change a whole lot. I was choosing how I felt then too, and it was more often unhappy and frustrated. I was directed by external things and events and now that is the opposite.

It was kind of hard to look at that stuff, even when skimming, but it enlightened me to the difference in my life now and how happy I am in comparison. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything more or less that I have now or then, and it is simply and only based on choosing how I feel based on my choice and not anything external.

The other thing that stands out now versus then is that now I focus on the present as much as possible and then I focused on the past and the future.

To me that is a massive success!

The Past Matters Little. It Just Was. What Really Matters Is My Choices Right NOW.

Spread Some Joy Today--Isn't is so empowering to know that we all have the same exact power to choose how we want to feel?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-5-13

"Our best thoughts come from others."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I read this quote, I had to agree. I know that for me, I learn from so many people, books they've written, audio programs, and I think I am a composite of all of that. I know the influences as I speak them, think them, and live them.

The More The Better . . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Love your learning self!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-4-13

"Write it on your heart
that every day
is the best day in the year."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let the "good old days" be gone. When every day is the best day of the year, the good days are all in the present. Anyone who has "good old days" has an anchor in the past. Make today the best day because in reality it is the only day.

"Though We Travel The World Over To Find The Beautiful, We Must Carry It With Us Or We Find It Not." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spread Some Joy Today--Make it a perfect day. Nothing is incorrect or wrong. It is all what it is: Perfect.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-3-13

"Always be willing to look
at both sides of the argument.
Understanding the other side is
the best way to strengthen your own."
-- Jim Rohn

This is such great advice for sales, and also applies to virtually any communication. It is so easy to be focused on what we want whether we are talking to a prospect for our product or services and not consider the person we are talking to. Oh sure, we like to think we are. We think they can use our product and/or service and we know for sure it will benefit them, but are we really understanding their side? Most often, probably not.

Another thing that really stood out for me in this quote is the very last part: it is the best way to strengthen our own argument, presentation, communication. Instead of thinking that sheer practice will help us with our argument or point of view, by doing whatever we can to understand the others position, we are strengthening our own. Isn't that interesting?

Perhaps you remember the famous and wonderful book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In that book, habit number five is Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood.

Great Advice From Two Masters.

Spread Some Joy Today--Ask more questions.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-2-13

"What difference does it make?"
-- Common frustrated response indicating powerlessness

I don't know why this phrase above popped into my head this afternoon, but it did. As I looked at it in print (generally, I only heard it from my own lips or those of others), I thought about it in another way that seemed interesting, so I thought I would share it.

What if we asked this question more often, but expected ourselves to answer it? For example, you might be thinking that you have to do something, but maybe you aren't thrilled about it, or you have a lot on your plate already. So, you think, 'I have to do this, but I'm dragging my feet. What difference will it make?' It would be good then to have a pen and paper nearby and start writing down the answers. You may find that the list is far longer than you would have imagined once you think about the potential difference your doing the thing would create. You might even be amazed at the difference you can make.

We could even take the question a step further: 'What difference can I make?' An excellent question to try to answer. The reality is that each of us makes a difference in a lot of ways we don't think about. Taking a few minutes to look at that and make a list can be a real game changer to how we might look at things that we get involved in or need to do. Can you make a difference? That would be answered, 'of course!'

Maybe next time you hear someone say, 'what's the difference?' you might begin a list aloud to them demonstrating how much of a difference they can make. This reminds me of that ad from long ago showing a plain old straight piece of wire and next to it a paper clip, with the caption, 'just a little twist makes all the difference,' or something to that effect. Yes. All the difference.

A Different Point Of View Can Have You See A Thing In A Whole Different Light.

Spread Some Joy Today--Go out and make a difference. You cannot help it in fact. Might as well do it on purpose then . . .

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daily Inspiration 5-1-13

"The ultimate maturity is kindness."
-- Alan Cohen

Words worth contemplating. I wouldn't have fully understood this except in the last few years. Wonderful message.

One Of The Ideals To Actively Move Toward.

Spread Some Joy Today--There's no time like the present to begin.