Friday, January 31, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-31-14

"In daily life we must see 
that it is not happiness 
that makes us grateful, 
but gratefulness 
that makes us happy." 

 -- David Steindl-Rast 

This is the third post on the subject of thankfulness and gratitude in a string of posts.

I was having lunch with a friend today and something came out of my mouth aloud and caught my attention. It sounds weird, but much of the value of speaking aloud, in my opinion, is to clarify our own thoughts. It isn't until it is spoken aloud that we think we have it solved. There might have been years of thinking ahead of this too.

What I said was that I had no more regrets. I knew I was headed in this direction, I just didn't know I had arrived until it exited my lips. When it came out, it was so distinct and matter of fact. My friend was surprised and questioned my conclusion. How could it be that you have no regrets. Everyone has regrets.

I used to carry quite a load of regrets and have carried and added to the burden for many years--even most all of my life. I could have been more this and less that. I should have made this decision instead of that. I didn't finish that. I could have been a contender. . . If I had a do-over, I would do it differently. That's another form of regret.

I explained that I have become a very grateful man. In this transition, I have accepted and became grateful for every decision I've made, every choice I've made, every circumstance I found myself in and more. If one becomes grateful for every step of the way to where we are now, there can be no regret.

Regret is like an anchor tied to our leg. Every regret adds another anchor. Over time, we gather quite a collection of these anchors. Or we could think of it as baggage or luggage. The more we add, the greater the load we must carry around all day long. But, what is more important a perspective, I think, is that a regret is a negative link to the past and as we hold on to these negative links in the past, we take away opportunities to live in the present.

Some people might say, "put your regrets behind you." But, really, regrets are things of the past so they are always behind you. It doesn't work to try to put them behind you or overcome them. You dissolve them with gratitude and they are gone.

My favorite way to describe this is the tug-o-war rope. We hold on tight to the rope and pull against a force that will not allow us to win. It will sometimes let us make movement, but it is only playing with us. The only way to stop the regret is to "let go of the rope." It is precisely that simple. Just let go. Once we have let go, we can find the gratitude in the event rather than the ill that fostered regret.

The Key Is Always Gratitude And Appreciation. It Is Love In Action. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of a rope a day. That's good. Just let go. If that's too much right now, let go of one rope a week. It isn't a race.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-30-14

"Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, 
for it acknowledges the presence of good 
wherever you shine the light 
of your thankful thoughts." 

 -- Alan Cohen 

This is the second of many posts about gratitude and thankfulness.

We've often heard that there is value in being thankful and even making a list of things to be grateful for. Sometimes we may begin such a list and then we may pause for another time because we have run out of things to be thankful for. What would probably be more true, if we would allow this thought, is that when we are grateful, it would be more challenging to find things to not be thankful for. Based on CNN, Fox and all other news programs and channels, one might think that the latter is normal behavior. They would be wrong. 

I recently pulled out a trunk of saved items. Yesterday's letter was in there, and I found a list that I have done many times over the years. It is called, I Love. . .

This particular typewritten list was produced in about 1991 and it contains 12 pages and approximately 300 line items of things that I love. It is an exercise in finding things--especially common, normally taken-for-granted things, and writing them down to help remember to remember them and show my gratitude for them. I've made many such lists over a long period of time, but I thought since this one is more than 20 years old it would be interesting to see what has fallen from the list. For sure, newer lists have newer items, but have any faded over the years?

Here's a sampling of items on this list:

I love. . .

a full tank of gas and a fun car and somewhere to drive.
a warm spring day.
the smell of a good perfume.
mashed potatoes and gravy.
flying low to the ground.
the smell of wet concrete on a hot day.
the fact that I learned how to type.
movies that make me cry.
comedians that make me laugh so hard I can't get my breath.
clean laundry.
laughing children.
swimming underwater.
golf carts.
a woman's touch.
seeing dogs wag their tail.
screen doors.
being wise.
watching it rain hard while standing under a carport.
going out to dinner in a fine restaurant.
someone cooking for me.
sharing ideas.
boats that don't go too fast.
romantic get-a-ways.
a closet full of shirts that are pressed.
walking on the beach.
the smell of skin.
the smell of sawn wood and lumber yards.

Of course this list goes on for another 250 items. The point is that there are so many things all around us, preferences that we have, things that please us and excite us, arouse us and encourage us, that are worthy of our attention and gratitude. If you wanted to stay in gratitude all day long, keeping lists like this near by can be very helpful reminders that we have so much to be thankful for.

I Have SO MUCH To Be Thankful For. How About You? 

Spread Some Joy Today--When you have that look of pure joy on your face and in your demeanor, it cannot be denied or ignored.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-29-14

"No one who achieves success 
does so without the help of others. 
The wise and confident 
acknowledge this help with gratitude." 

 -- Alfred North Whitehead 

This will be the first of many posts on the subject of gratitude and thankfulness. This one will be longer than normal. I want to share a letter I wrote to my sales staff I just found in a drawer. It was dated April 24th, 1991. I was the Commercial Truck Manager at Biddulph Chevrolet in Santa Rosa CA where in April 1989 I began that department. I think it is important to tell people in various ways how much they are appreciated. It may be unusual for a sales manager to write such a letter to his sales staff, but it isn't for me. Pardon the length, and I hope you appreciate the depth of the message. I will even use the real names for they are all readers of this Daily Inspirations.

To: Greg Martin, Ron Reinhold and Peter Halpin

I was just working on a request from Barry Biddulph to write out a business plan for the balance of 1991. In the process of writing my thoughts out regarding personnel, I felt that I needed to write some of my thoughts and feelings out to you. So, it's official and in writing. (Put $.50 with that and you may be able to get a cup of decent coffee. . .)

I am proud and pleased to work with the likes of you three gentlemen. I don't see your faults when I look at you, but your assets. And they are many.

I appreciate how you take responsibility to follow through on tasks and promises. That is so important and often taken for granted, but I do appreciate it.

Your skill and knowledge are superior. You don't go around giving out misinformation, but take the time to look it up if necessary to make sure it is accurate--even if it means losing a sale based on the information. That too is extremely important.

Your word is as good as any signature or collateral is concerned with me. You don't know how much I value this virtue. It is worth everything as far as I'm concerned.

You negotiate and close your own deals. How else would we run this kind of business and get anything done? I've been chastised for this, but so what? I think it is the way it should be done and I'm proud of how well you do it and how you improve the process.

You deal with people in a very straightforward, pleasant manner. What else could you want in a professional? And, your customers appreciate it too though they probably won't say so generally. You know they do.

You care about your customers. Some care for the commission far more than the customer. You've seen it, but you don't act it. Your frustrations have been with others not feeling the same and I understand that. And, I appreciate the fact that you care.

You help each other. If one of you has a question or a problem, you listen to them and help them. What more could one ask of a "team?" It's teamwork in action at the Giant Biddulph Chevrolet Commercial Accounts Department and I appreciate it.

You give me good feedback. I don't have all the answers. Sometimes I don't have any, but you offer your assistance freely and it does not go unnoticed.

Sometimes I feel unneeded. I feel that you guys run this department and all I do is go along for the ride. Well, I put something in, but I know that you could make it happen without me being here. I like that. That is what I wanted to set up. (Although, it may cost me sometime. . .)

Little things. The cars are opened daily without the slightest hesitation or a word ever from me. The lot is arranged well and periodically changed.

You don't hesitate to go the extra mile to serve your customers well. Picking up units at their business and bringing them into the service department, outside deliveries and whatever hours or days the customer may request. You deliver promptly and take good care to insure that the paperwork is done right and monies collected. What else would someone want of a professional?

You're creative enough to think of switching bodies, changing suppliers, all toward getting the job done well and as promptly as possible.

Your deliveries are thorough and done well. You definitely go the extra mile as far as I'm concerned.

You've thought forward enough to invest in a computer, [side note: dealers didn't supply computers back then. It was extremely rare for a salesman to invest in one] answering machine, etc. You don't hesitate to buy lunch for a customer or each other--or me. When going out to the store, you ask if there is anything you can get for the others. You share easily and seem to completely respect each other (as much as car salesmen can. . . just kidding)

Bottom line, upper line, middle line, whatever line I look at, you guys come through as far as I'm concerned and upon thinking about it (although I appreciate it more than I say), I felt a need to put this down for the record. Thank you for all of your help; your support; your encouragement; your professionalism; your skill; your dedication and follow through; and lastly, your friendship. I appreciate all of you.


 Terry R Minion

The Greatest Benefit From Gratitude Expressed To Others Is The Feeling Within Yourself In The Doing. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Tell someone, or your team how much you appreciate them.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-28-14

"There's a difference between 
 interest and commitment. 
When you're interested in doing something, 
you do it only when it's convenient. 
When you're committed to something, 
you accept no excuses--only results." 

 -- Kenneth H Blanchard 

I had a meeting this evening and I briefly talked about the need for a regular and consistent commitment to getting a certain marketing job being done. As I gave them my experience on the subject as a marketer, I related to how this Daily Inspiration is accomplished and it is only accomplished via a commitment to do the work every single day. In the case I was discussing with them, we were talking about a once-a-month, yet on a specific time each month. Logically, that would be so easy, but it hasn't been for them.

It's so easy to get busy. Busy, busy, busy. Got stuff to do. The quote above nails it. There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. It is only interest when we miss the deadline. There are so many things to do. But, it isn't so many things to do, is it? It is lack of commitment.

Commitment means I am going to do this. I have set aside time. I have the resources arranged. I am willing to fail, but I am going anyway. Today is the day and I'm on it.

This Daily Inspiration which began in September, 2009 has taught me a number of things, and it has especially taught me about commitment. Someday I will just stop, but until then, I'm committed to the task. Another thing I have learned is that it is all on me (or you). If it doesn't get done, I can only look in the mirror for the culprit. I also learned that excuses don't fly. Nor does being tired, going on vacation, or any other kind of events need to stop me. I just work around them, or through them.

Having an interest in doing something is good. I have a list of those myself, but if a thing is going to actually get done, it will require a higher level. It will require a commitment.

If You Want It Done, Develop A Commitment To It. 

Spread Some Joy Today--I am committed to spreading joy everywhere I go. I am committed to loving people all around me all the time. I am committed to loving myself. I am committed to enjoying myself every single day, all day. I used to just have interest in doing these things. . .

Monday, January 27, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-27-14

"Once we're thrown off our habitual paths, 
we think all is lost, but it's only here 
that the new and the good begins." 

 -- Leo Tolstoy 

Getting us off our habitual paths can come in a wide variety of methods. It might be losing a job, a loved one, an expected promotion, or other loss. It might come from a decision to change. Perhaps it might even be being sick and tired of something or some situation, or maybe even as some have said, sick and tired of being sick and tired. In all of these cases and thousands more, one thing is universal, and that is that a change has taken place. It might be a change of attitude, or an emotional response, or something physical. In all cases, there seems to be a decision and change, even when those things seem to have been done for us.

I have had so many of these situations over the years and some were rather traumatic, to say the least, but one thing has changed most recently in me about these, and that is that I do my best to remember to welcome them. I don't always remember right away. Sometimes it might take me a short bit of time to remember, but I am remembering and accepting these events as if I chose them on purpose.

I can state that this attitude is much preferred in how I feel about change. I now try to assume that everything is working out perfectly even when it doesn't appear that I chose it on purpose.

Sometimes things seem to happen to us, but I have come to believe that this is just the way it is packaged. And, it really doesn't matter how it comes to us, it only matters how we respond to it. We ultimately have all the choice in this aspect.

Habit is comforting, and change is often unsettling, yet change is inevitable. Better to welcome it with open arms as if it is the flow of good to you than to struggle and question it. Learning to go with the flow is a process that carries huge benefit.

I May Not Always Be Ready (Or So It Seems), But, Now I Am Willing. It Is Infinitely More Fun Too. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Try to connect with someone you've been thinking of.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-26-14

"The problem with self-improvement 
is knowing when to quit." 

 -- David Lee Roth 

This quote is only for those who think there could ever be an end to such a thing as self-improvement. Personally, I cannot imagine such a thing. Nor would I want to. 

I Think Today I'll Stop Growing? NOT! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by learning something new every single day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-25-14

"Good leaders rarely think in terms of boundaries;
instead, they think in terms of opportunities. 
They are initiators." 

 "An organization takes on the personality of the leader." 

 -- John C Maxwell, The 360 degree Leader 

I talk to dealers and managers at auto dealerships about their commercial truck department or the potential of a commercial truck department. Many times I'm talking to the person who wants the department to exist and succeed, but hasn't the power to just take charge of the resources within the dealership to get the job done well and in a timely manner. In fact, often, they complain about the dealer not giving the support, theoretical and real, to the task they have in their mind. I've written a book on this whole subject so I've thought this through pretty well.

As I reflect on two separate very successful commercial truck departments that I have started, along with others whom I've taught to do the same, one thing is common. None of the dealers or general managers gave the support needed in the early stages. In fact, they had to be convinced of the viability of it almost on a daily basis so they wouldn't throw in the towel.

The other thing that is common is that the success of this kind of endeavor without the unanimous, enthusiastic and liberal support of the dealer and/or general manager, requires a person who is a leader. I cannot see it happening without this aspect and quality. Yet, so many that I have talked with are afraid and/or unwilling to lead.

I do believe that the best and brightest example of a successful commercial truck department would be one in which the leadership toward that success came from the top down; however, since this is rare, the one who has the desire must become the leader within the organization. John C Maxwell's wonderful book, The 360 Degree Leader is all about accepting the challenge of leading from whatever level you find yourself in an organization, and he has numerous examples of how that acceptance and execution has created otherwise unknown success.

This requires courage, tenacity and vision. And, it requires accepting responsibility for the creation and execution of getting the job done and doing it well. They cannot live in the fear of losing their job. They are and must be risk takers. There are leaders within organizations that accept these terms and thereby change the world--or at least, their part of it.

Let me leave with two more quotes from John C Maxwell: "The role of leaders in the middle of an organization in nearly every circumstance is to add value to the organization and to the leader." And this important addition: "Your job isn't to fix the leader; it's to add value. If the leader won't change, then change your attitude, or your work address."

Become The Leader That You Know You Can Be. It Is A Life Well-Lived. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Realize you have the power. That will bring joy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-24-14

"No man is crushed by misfortune 
unless he has first been deceived by prosperity." 

 -- Seneca 

It would not have been long ago that this quote by Seneca would not have even registered with me at all. Now it does. I find that very interesting.

I see being deceived by prosperity as putting prosperity upon a large pedestal. In this place it is more than a goal or desire, it is an ideal. It is likened to the Holy Grail. It is where (or so we think) everyone who is anyone strives to be. And, one more thing--it is hard. It isn't easy. You have to work your ass off to get to that place and though many try, only some achieve.

From this vantage point, misfortune is devastating. It is also a place where losers gather and commiserate with each other. It is more than an event or a place one gets to. It is a state of mind. Many even begin thinking they deserve no more for this is their lot in life. Indeed, they often travel from one land of misfortune to another.

Those focused on the grail of prosperity are so fearful of misfortune. Those focused on the depth of misfortune cannot seem to find a way beyond. And, the trouble with both is that they take it all so seriously. They make it far more important than it is. In either place they often feel poorly in the pursuit, or under the threat.

Far more satisfying and life-giving is to not be so concerned about either. It is best to judge not. Either of these places is outside of the present. Both are filled with fear. Desire is wonderful and it should feel wonderful. Let that flow over you along with the peace of now. Laugh. Enjoy. Relax. Enjoy. Allow.

Be Cool. Enjoy Your Travels. Enjoy Your Moments All. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by enjoying yourself and your surroundings as much as possible.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-23-14

"Complacency accepts what's 
 not working as a fact of life. 
Contentment accepts what is 
working as your natural condition." 

 -- Alan Cohen 

Alan has a great way to compare and explain complacency and the alternative of contentment. I had never thought about it quite like this, but I just love how he states that "complacency accepts what's not working as a fact of life." I had always thought about complacency as not giving a damn, giving up on it, resigning the effort and so on, but acceptance was not a word I would have thought of. Yet, this is a perfect way to see what complacency is and how insidious it can be.

At the same time, I love how he reflects on "contentment accepts what IS working as your natural condition." I've always thought of contentment as in being with peace, accepting what is as being good, even considering I might have thought otherwise in a different time and space. Yet, accepting what is working is a wonderful way to see contentment, and to accept it as a natural condition of my life is peace in and of itself.

Maybe this quote just caught me on a strange day, or maybe you may have had similar thoughts to mine and now are changed as I am.

There Are So Many Ways To Say A Thing, And Sometimes It Jumps Out And Sometimes I'm Asleep. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by seeking things to appreciate all around you. There are so many--too many to number.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-22-14

"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 

Here's another quote to go along nicely with this great quote from Wayne Dyer by Esther Hicks and Abraham: "Hard work is not the path to Well-Being. Feeling good is the path to Well-Being. You don't create through action; you create through vibration. And then, your vibration calls action from you."

I think that many times we worry because we feel that we should be doing something and though we cannot actually do something at the moment, we worry about it which indicates we are giving it importance and that helps us to feel as if we actually are doing something about the problem. But the reality is often that we only perpetuate the problem and/or increase the size or importance of it in our lives.

In considering this topic, I have gone backward in time to many of the times I was worrying--even worrying with great stress, and I cannot think of one single time where the act of worrying did anything at all to improve the situation.

The hard work of worrying (and we all must know it is hard work), is not the path to Well-Being or the solution even. Feeling good is the path. From that vantage point, any action we are inspired to take will work perfectly.

By Choosing Good Feeling Thoughts, We Clear The Path To Our Well-Being. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Let go of the rope. Love yourself enough to do so.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-21-14

"It always seems easier 
to need someone else to change." 

 -- Alan Cohen 

This quote indicates a common thread of thought that keeps the world in drama for all eternity. Maybe we are lazy about the need to change, or maybe we just don't want to, but clearly, often, our best solution is that someone else needs to change, not us.

It doesn't matter if it is a spouse, expectations of how customers should act, whether or not people listen to us clearly, and much more, and in all of these, we so often look to relinquish responsibility to others for the change we seek.

Here's a good question: How's that workin' for ya? Or, how is that working for me? I would expect not well.

I had this song in my head today. . . you know how that works, right? Can't seem to get it out, but this one was talking to me. It was Ricky Nelson singing Garden Party. The chorus is so familiar: "But it's. . . all right now. I've learned my lesson well. You see, you can please everyone, so you've got to please yourself." This is so well said. Trying to please others, let alone everyone is a total waste of time. However, when you please yourself, others can benefit from that alignment.

It's like having joy. Or, deciding to enjoy yourself every moment of every day that you can. These are things you can only do for yourself. Just imagine waiting around for others to come through on these tasks. It ain't gonna happen. But, when you decide to accept the responsibility that only you have to create these things for yourself, anyone and everyone around you benefits from your countenance. Isn't that interesting? One way is a guaranteed failure and the other a guaranteed success. It's amazing and true. Try it for yourself and you will see that it is as much true for you as it is for me.

"You Can't Please Everyone, So You've Got To Please Yourself." -- Rick Nelson 

Spread Some Joy Today--by focusing on your own well being. Experience joy as often as you can throughout the day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-20-14

"Our emotions
don't tell us what to think. 
Our emotions
 tell us what we are thinking." 

 -- Albert K Strong 

I was getting my hair cut on Saturday, and the young receptionist was having a hard time. She was heartbroken because she and her boyfriend broke up. She's 18. She was crying in the other room and someone else was trying to console her. Of course, they all knew that she would get over it relatively soon because they've been there and experienced this and so know that another boyfriend will come along even better suited to her. Her life isn't really over, it is just beginning. I've been there many times myself even into adulthood.

There are many places in our lives where our emotions seem to take control of our thinking. I can make a long list of times in my life whether it was dealing with idiot bosses, evil associates, the sight of my paycheck, losing something deemed important, circumstances beyond my control, and more, where I experienced emotions running me ragged, sapping my energy, consuming my thoughts.

After studying with Tony Robbins for a time, I considered all this emotion and I felt like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing off bumper after bumper being controlled by outside influences and helpless to change them, which added to the negative emotions. I was angry. I was hurt. I was sad. I was tired.

I appreciated what Tony taught me and then found one of my all-time-favorite books, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald G Jampolsky. He likened what was happening to me as being a robot and other people and circumstances pushing my buttons causing me to feel a certain way.

All of these helped me begin the process of change. Eventually through James Allen, and a long list of others, I began to see that emotions don't cause our thinking, but it is the other way around--our thinking causes our emotions. As enlightening as that was, it wasn't until the book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and reading all the authors she brought together, and particularly Esther and Jerry Hicks and the teachings of Abraham, and Echart Tolle, that it all came together for me. What came together is simply that my emotions are a perfect indicator of my thoughts, and rather than my emotions causing me to think certain things, I have total control always about what I choose to think and thereby change my emotions which indicate the change has been made.

In any and all circumstances, we have control over at least one thing. That is what we choose to think. If you're feeling bad, uptight, sad, and don't really want to feel that way, all that you need to do is the same for me: to choose a better feeling thought, then another and another until step by step we feel good again. It's not working through the problem, it is knowing that we alone ultimately have the solution.

"A Person Is Limited Only By The Thoughts That He Chooses." -- James Allen 

Spread Some Joy Today--for yourself. You absolutely have the power to do so. Choose thoughts that feel good and produce the emotion of joy.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-19-14

"We spend January walking through our lives,
room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, 
cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, 
we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives. . . 
not looking for flaws, but for potential." 

 -- Ellen Goodman 

Whatever it is, the first of the week, month, year, we assign a time we are going to survey and see what's what and what should be done. As the quotes says, it seems so often we are looking for what is wrong and needs to be fixed. Don't do this anymore, don't do that, change this, change that.

As Ellen Goodman states, why not look for potential, as in what could be. It is more a what if game to see possibilities and this activity would most likely have a far greater and deeper reaching benefit than finding fault.

But, I'm going to take Ellen's statement even further. Instead of finding fault, or seeking potential, how about if we focus on what is right, what is good, what is working, what we love, how much joy we have, how much abundance we have, how much love we experience and how much of an unending supply of love exists for the taking, giving, sharing? How about celebrating every little thing? How about telling each other that we care and love and appreciate them? How about if we love our neighbors and our bosses and coworkers and everyone we meet? How about one single goal of seeking and experiencing joy?

I guarantee that this will change your entire year, and the rest of your life.

What If? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Alan Cohen wrote a wonderful book called, Joy Is My Compass. What a wonderful strategy for life!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-18-14

"Your present circumstances 
don't determine where you can go; 
they merely determine 
where you start." 

 -- Nido Qubein 

I recently rewatched the movie, The Ultimate Gift. I enjoyed the movie and the lessons that one of my all time favorite actors, James Garner, gave out to enlighten the young grandson played by Drew Fuller. In one lesson, he was talking to his grandson about money and how he had been broke several times and he said that being broke is as good a place as any to start.

In fact, as Nido points out, where ever we may find ourselves, in whatever circumstances, that is also as good a place as any to start. Indeed, it is the only place to start, isn't it? Yet, somehow we don't normally think of it that way.

Another way to put it might be this: Today is first day of the rest of my life and I will rejoice in it and make the best use of it, and all the while, find enjoyment as I do. It doesn't matter if we are at the beginning, in the middle, or near the end. Wherever it is will work out perfectly. . . if we will but relax in the confidence that we have the power and the ability to choose.

Today Is A New Day. Now Is A New Moment. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Whatever you can do to create the feeling of joy in your life, in your moment, will be perfect. The spreading of it requires zero effort.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-17-14

"Don't judge each day 
by the harvest you reap,
 but by the seeds 
that you plant."

 -- Robert Louis Stevenson 

OK. It's January 17th already. How's that weight loss thing going? Been on the scale each day checking out the current reality? Your current harvest? Here's a better idea: Stay off the scale entirely. Pay no attention to it at all. Instead, pay attention to how you will feel when you get where you want to be. You will know when you get there, so there really isn't any need to remind yourself that you're not yet there, or that you forgot to leave the station.

I love this quote by Steve Maraboli so much that I have it taped to my wall. He says, "The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That's it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don't give the scale more power than it has earned." I just love how he states this what should be obvious fact. Yet, we often read so much into the numerical relationship with gravity and then give the scale a lot of power.

Of course, the same holds true with our job, business, school, family, government, and more. Whatever it is that is demonstrating some harvest, or manifestation, concentrate instead on the seeds that you plant, or better said, the thoughts that you choose to think on. Don't give so-called reality more power than it has earned. Those new seeds will make the changes visible in time.

What? Me Worry? Nah! I'm Good. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Have you ever sent a special thank you or note of appreciation with a bill you're paying? How about a happy face on the check? It's the little things. . .

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-16-14

"If the only prayer you said 
in your whole life was
"thank you," 
that would suffice." 

 -- Meister Eckhart 

This is the best way to start my day. It is the best way to keep my day in joy. It is the best way to end the day. Becoming a person filled with gratitude and finding ever more of it as a result has changed me entirely. Most importantly, it has changed the way my life feels every single day.

There is no such thing anymore of having a bad day. It doesn't happen. I used to get two or three colds, flu, and sore throats a year, every year. I haven't had any in over six years. I think it is gratitude because that is the most significant change.

It's A Game Changer.

Spread Some Joy Today--Take a poll. How many times do you silently or aloud say, 'Thank you?'

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-15-14

"It wasn't until late in life 
that I discovered how easy it is 
to say 'I don't know'." 

 -- W Somerset Maugham 

As a sales manager for well over 40 years, I can't help but notice salespeople in a wide variety of industries that try to answer questions or make factual statements about products when they really don't have the information. They think they should and so they say things that are not true hoping to sound like an authority, yet for anyone on the receiving end that does know, they look the fool. Their only saving grace is having someone on the receiving end that doesn't know and so may take their statements as fact, when often they are fantasy.

How often do we do this in conversations with each other about things that aren't important? We may try to sound like we know what we're talking about when in fact, we know so little about a subject, yet want to appear knowledgeable. I guess they call that the art of B.S.. What's really interesting is to watch a conversation like this and know the real facts as you listen to the B.S.

What is easier is to not only be willing, but be prepared to state that we don't know. Even when it is in your field and you think you should know the answer, there is no shame in stating that you don't know the answer, but you will be happy to find out. That adds class to the act.

Is It That Important That I know Everything? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing your love of life with someone else.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-14-14

"There is only the understanding of the thing 
that needs to be taught to every child on the planet, 
and that is the knowledge that every single individual 
on this planet is already powerful as he or she needs
to be to create any reality desired, 
without having to hurt yourself, or anyone else to get it. 
That's how powerful you are." 

 -- Bashar 

Yes. And, what a time to teach it--as a child. I often think what my life might be like had I learned at a young age what I have learned in the last six years. None of what I have recently learned was ever taught in any school or church I went to. It was not in college either. Bits of it were in some of the psychology books I read in my twenties. It wasn't taught in any business class or business seminar I attended. I was unaware of its existence then as I see it in its present form. Yet the learning that I did accept and reach for was valuable enough.

Maybe it was as Alan Cohen states: "Worldly success is achieved by doing. Spiritual success is achieved by undoing." As I consider this, it resonates with me. I think much of what I have done in the last six years has been undoing, or a strategic letting go. As I let go, what remains becomes more clear. It takes it from life being a struggle to life being an adventurous journey. That would be worth teaching at a young age.

Children and adults need to know and would benefit from the knowledge that they have all the power they need within them and better ways to make use of it for their enduring enjoyment. To know they have the power to choose in any and all circumstances would create within them a blameless environment. Whereas, I spent most of my life blaming anything I could, all of which were outside of me, and this was taught by my parents own examples. I had the power and didn't even know it.

I Know It Now. What An Improvement. A New Life. The Power Is Mine To Use As I See Fit. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing your thoughts. A good choice now and everyday is thoughts that create a feeling of joy. You have the power in any and all circumstances.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-13-14

"Your mind will answer most questions 
if you learn to relax 
and wait for the answer." 

 -- William S Burroughs 

From my experience, the trick isn't relaxing and waiting, it is letting go of it. . .

Or, Is It Just Me? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by being grateful and appreciative and interested.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-12-14

"Wherever you are, is just fine. . . 
You can get to wherever you want to be
from wherever you are. . . 
It's time to stop measuring where you are
in relationship to where anybody else is. 
The only factor that has anything to do with you 
is where you are in relationship
with where you want to be." 

 -- Abraham, Esther Hicks 

After I read this again today, it struck me that I have arrived at being okay with where I am and who I am. In looking back, I can see that I was always not enough. I didn't measure up to the people I put on pedestals. Oh, I was successful enough I guess, but never made it the way I wanted to--or thought I wanted to. It was always going to be better tomorrow somehow. It was in the future.

Now in reading this again, it is some of the best advice I can think of. Fully accepting where we are and realizing that wherever we want to go we can get there from here is profound and peaceful. It is not giving up on goals or desires. Frankly, it has been my own personal experience that in lightening up, the desires show themselves more clearly and I can achieve them with far less stress than I used to put myself and my family through.

Another way to say it is to make peace with where we are. Allow it to be. Allow ourselves to taste it right now, and feel the presence of that peace that comes from a certain contentment, however temporary.

One of the best ways to say it is that we are enough. We have enough. We are enough. Having more is okay. Yet, right now it's all good.

The Horizon Is Much Brighter From Here. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Love yourself, what you have, and where you are in your life travels.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-11-14

"There are two ways to find contentment: 
1. Do what you believe will make you content, and 
2. Choose contentment right where you stand. 
The latter is quicker and lasts longer." 

 -- Alan Cohen 

Having studied all kinds of things about life and living from a myriad of authors, I have always believed and have also found that truth is very simple and very old. It is not complicated. True enough, there are lots of directions from which to view it, but it is the same regardless of the viewing direction. When someone says there are 10 things, that is too many. It isn't that hard. It is easy and it is supposed to be easy so anyone who chooses to can get it, understand it and make use of it.

How do you find contentment? Choose it now. No long list of ways. No 300-page book on the subject. Just choose it. Where ever you find yourself, in whatever circumstance you are in, you still ultimately have the choices in your court. Just choose it.

This applies to happiness. It applies to peace and peace of mind. Whatever it is you want, just choose it. Now.

It Will Look Good On You! 

Spread Some Joy Today--It is always and always has been your choice. Want to spread joy? Choose it now. Choose to be joyful and the spreading of it will happen automatically.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-10-14

"Doing nothing
 is a higher form of mastery 
than doing everything."

 -- Alan Cohen 

Since my wife's passing in August, I've been learning to live a new life. Much of this time I have been alone, but I am not practicing to be a hermit. Instead, I am practicing solitude. Solitude is always something I have enjoyed as much as I enjoy being with other people. For me, it takes some practice to be good at it.

One real advantage of solitude is that I can sometimes do nothing. But, I have found that doing nothing is often a challenge. I'm not very good at doing nothing. I've got to pace and think, seek ideas, think about what to write, do some actual work in my business, do some chores, and much more. Those I can do well. But doing nothing, such as spending time meditating is not easy for me. However, I am determined to learn and also determined to enjoy it.

It's pretty quiet here lately, and I remember much younger days when the music was always going, things were happening, the kids needed attention, there was always something going on from waking up to going to bed in the evening, and often those evenings were late. I think I have looked forward to a time when I could experience what I am right now, so I don't want to run away or fight it. I want to enjoy it as much as I have now learned to enjoy each and every day in many ways every day. Of course, that is a great strategy even when you're in the fast lane. I just didn't know it then.

I Could Be Master Of Nothing. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy yourself. Treat yourself. Love yourself. Picture yourself perfect in your own eyes. Others will want a piece of that action too.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-9-14

"Do not get angry because others 
question what you believe, 
be calm and loving, 
for anger is the root 
of a faulty belief." 

 -- Leon Brown 

I am certain that questioning what we believe is the single largest source of anger. In fact, this idea alone is responsible for virtually every war ever fought. This is especially true when it comes to religion, and it hasn't settled down after thousands of years.

It would seem that we like to gather into groups of like-believers, and then try our best to expand that group, overcome opposing groups and try to get people through causes, laws, and opinion to all agree on one single thing or one way. This is simply not possible. Diversity rules, not uniformity. This is obvious by simply paying attention; however, there are so many that ignore the obvious in pursuit of the impossible in uniformity. 

Imagine a world where everyone believed the same things. In a short time, it would turn to complacency and then despair. It is the diversity that makes it alive.

Based on this, instead of the typical anger response to others believing what they will that is not our own, it would be more appropriate to celebrate it and accept the idea of diversity. It is called allowing. By allowing others to live the life that they choose, we can allow ourselves to live the life that we choose.

This all applies to the smallest of incidents or situations as it does to the very large categories such as religion, nations, etc. On a smaller scale, we call it disagreements, or even minor disagreements. In all of these smaller scale scenarios, if we allow others to believe what they will, while allowing ourselves the same privilege, there would be no more need of anger.

Now. . . Consider A World Without Anger. . . Maybe It Would Be Boring. . . Maybe Anger Is Part Of The Diversity. . . Hmmm 

Spread Some Joy Today--Celebrate your ability to create joy at a moments desire. Talk about life changing. . .

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-8-14

recognizing resistance quickly 
and letting go 
in order to realize and benefit from 
the natural flow." 

 -- Albert K Strong 

As an avid student, I am always learning about business and life. Often, one mirrors the other, or it just feels as if it is all the same thing.

One of my favorite authors, Alan Cohen wrote a short piece called, "Work with the willing." I received this almost a year ago, but it has stuck in my mind and I have observed and felt how it is to work with some clients who are not willing and notice the difference with those who are. Those who we may struggle with through poor communication, lack of interest, planning, and more, is like working with the unwilling. It becomes frustrating for us, and it also produces less of a valuable product or service for them.

Often, we continue to try to work with the unwilling and it saps our energy the more of these we entertain. After observing this for many months now, I see that this is unnatural. The natural thing would be to flow, focus on the flow, remove resistance to the flow and instead, we often spend much time and energy dealing with the resistance itself which impedes the flow.

Alan says that to work with the willing is one of the most valuable principles he uses in his work, and that he applies it almost daily in his work, relationships, prosperity and health."

In the piece, Alan spelled out four ways he works with the willing. One is "work with people who are willing to do what they say they will do." We all say things that we intend to do and don't always follow through, I'm sure. To some though, it seems a habitual way of life. It is hard to work through this. It is often better to let them be.

Number two is to "work with the willing part of your mind and heart." This is wonderful. By letting our own willingness guide us rather than than trying to force things is a perfect strategy.

Number three is to "work with the part of others that is willing." This is not a contradiction, it is insight. We need to realize that everyone wants and is good at something and try to bring that more energy. Putting people where they will shine is a great example of this rather than wherever we may need them. This will create more long term and mutually beneficial success.

Last, but not least, he covers this by saying to "work with what the universe is willing to do." He says, "there is a flow to life, or, as Lao Tzu called it, "The Tao." There is a stream of well being that is forcefully yet gracefully moving life to greater good."

It is now my project and goal to release the resistance this year and thereby create more flow. I will do that in my business and I have been working for the last several months in my personal life as well. I see even more joy on the horizon.

Going With The Flow Has Much More Meaning Now. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by "dropping the rope" of your resistance and let your own joy flow freely.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-7-14

"Why would anger at yourself 
be more valid 
than anger at someone else?" 

 -- Alan Cohen 

This is an interesting quote. It jumped off the page at me when I saw it. How many times I have made peace with others and not myself. How many times have I beat myself up for making stupid decisions or used poor judgement? How many times have I felt bad about mistakes, wished I could have do-over, wished I would have thought it through. In fact, often when I might have been angry at someone else, I found myself even more angry at me for being so upset about them. Now, that makes no sense, and most anger doesn't make much sense either.

Somehow we might think it is okay to be down on ourselves. Many have said that self-depreciation is a good thing. I have found otherwise. Everything is simply experience. If we can leave it that simple and admire it for what it is, we need no remorse or anger either one.

I've made some silly decisions and I still carry baggage from some of that, but I don't fret about it as I used to. In fact, I think it is all just a big game. My father was killed when I was 13. His birthday is today, and he died now 50 years ago. That is amazing to consider for me. He would be 84 now, but the reason I bring that up at all is that life is short enough and some times it is shorter still, so worrying about anything is so nearly a waste of time and energy that it is hardly worth mentioning.

I've become a joy seeker. Even more than this, I have become a joy finder and a joy creator. I find and experience joy every single day without exception. I find things to appreciate all around me. I have changed the way I make judgments. I rarely make any now. Peace of mind is a powerful thing in my life and my anger with myself regardless of what I've done, or failed to do, is almost nil. Hallelujah!

It Is What It Is: Experience. 

Spread Some Joy Today--2, 4, 6, 8, what can you appreciate? Make a list!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-6-14

"Don't worry about what the world needs. 
Ask what makes you come alive and do that, 
because what the world needs 
is people who have come alive." 

 -- Howard Thurman 

I find such interesting talks and sharing going on at and once in a while one stands out enough that I share it in the Daily Inspirations. This is an inspiring video to say the least and has so much to consider in its short timeframe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

"I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time," Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it's hilarious.) "I'm like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali." With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

It's Always Interesting To See How Others Shine. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Be yourself.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-5-14

"No man is rich enough 
to buy back his past." 

 -- Oscar Wilde 

I hear some people talk about past hurts and unfairnesses. Even though it is long over and gone, it is dragged back into the present moment to ponder, discuss, lament, laugh, remind us again. Often, people try to make sense of it and say they've forgiven so and so and that they've let go and such, but the reality of continuing to drag it back into the present speaks more to the truth that there really is not forgiveness, nor letting go, nor understanding even. It's just that the more time that has passed, the less powerful it is. Yet, that is an illusion, because it is very powerful. I have had all these experiences myself. I decided that I didn't ever want them again. It's a work in progress, but I'm ahead of the curve.

What changed for me is expressed nicely this quote from Alan Cohen: "Nobody shows up in your world except by your invitation." I have accepted the idea that I am the creator of my own reality, that good and bad are purely my own judgments or opinions, and that by acting as if I created everything and every situation on purpose, I can accept responsibility for my life, my actions, and my experiences.

At first it was challenging to seriously consider this idea, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. And the tools I used most often to create the change in me have been gratitude and appreciation. Consider this quote by Henri Nouwen: "Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint." I love how he says that "gratitude is a discipline." Choosing gratitude when things and circumstances encourage us to use different emotions is a tool to change the circumstances and things in time.

The second tool was appreciation. I have gotten into such a habit of appreciation now that everywhere I go, I am mentally finding something in every person, event, and situation to appreciate. I talk to myself mentally all the time when I'm out and about. Now, the truth is that I have always talked to myself about others when out and about, but for most of my life, it was rarely appreciation. I was usually finding fault, seeing what I didn't like, thinking I wouldn't do that or dress that way or whatever. I began practicing appreciating and it has paid off in a dramatic change in me. And it feels so good too.

So, by taking the tools of gratitude and appreciation to the past hurts and unfairnesses, puts them back on our own creation rather than being victimized by others. This is truly the only way to have control of our lives.

No One Else Can Hurt Me. I Am The Only One Who Can Hurt Me. But, I Choose Not Hurt. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Take charge of your joy. Use the two tools of gratitude and appreciation.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-4-14

"Whatever the present moment contains, 
accept it as if you had chosen it. 
Always work with it, not against it." 

 -- Eckhart Tolle 

I didn't know it was possible, but it has come true. I used to say that I've gotten so good at almost automatically going to plan B when plan A isn't happening the way I imagined it.

What has come true is accepting things as if I created them on purpose. I see things happening a certain way in my imagination, and lately, none of them have happened quite that way, but I don't miss a lick going to the acceptance of the way it is part and making the best of the situation that is before me.

Just in the last two days, I have had two projects go differently and yet come out perfectly anyway. It is still amazing to realize this and accept it. I have learned to go for it, but lighten up.

Practicing Is So Effective To Learn To Live A Different Way. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Free yourself from self-inflicted burdens. Joy is in the release.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-3-14

"Our listening 
creates a sanctuary 
for the homeless parts 
within another person." 

 -- Rachel Naomi Remen 

My partner gives many more presentations about our Internet business package of services than I do. That's his job and he does it well. But, sometimes I get to do it and stay in practice. So, a client and friend arranged a meetup with a potential customer whom I've never met, nor knew anything about. It was a very friend-oriented meeting.

This meeting lasted almost three hours. That's unheard of. If it goes over an hour that is generally not good. However, often we are doing a lot of the talking probably. In this case, since I knew nothing, I wanted to know about him. I learned a lot about him as his business and him as a person, along with some ideas about him in the future.

As it was, I ended up talking about 20 minutes out of almost 3 hours. The power of sincere listening is unmistakable and also on the most desired list. So few take the time to just listen. It is an amazing way to learn. I could have been doing something else, but probably nothing nearly so important.

I loved this quote above about creating a sanctuary by listening. It is so true. When we give that space; that opportunity; that privilege of humanity, we are giving love in a special way. I know you know what I'm talking about because you have felt it when someone gives you that kind of sanctuary for your homeless parts. It may not happen often, or often enough, but you know the feeling, so it is a powerful reminder to give openly to those who are craving it.

I'm Not Convinced I Had To Talk At All. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Give the gift of attention. Listen. Be a joy-giver.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-2-14

"Pay less attention to resolutions 
and more attention to evolution." 

 -- Alan Cohen 

The best time for a resolution is the end of the month so that the resolution activity begins at the beginning of the month. Think about it. It all lines up and it is so hard to resist the beginning. The first day of the month is day one. The second day is day two and so on throughout the month. It's perfect. It is easy to count.

The only problem is missing a day. What do we do then? Start all over? Nah. Better to just keep going and ignore it. Maybe even pretend it didn't happen. It's easy. But, then the next problem is missing another day. What then? Can't start all over, and it's not so easy to hide two mistakes as one. Heck, might as well wait until the end of the month and go for it again.

This assumes we remember what we were planning on doing. It's always changing you know. And, that's the story of what is probably the majority of resolutions.

But, consider evolution. This is realizing that all there is, and all there will ever be is this very moment. There is now. Then it is now. Then now. Then now. There is no tomorrow or the end or the beginning or the middle. There is now. Then now. Then now. That's all there is.

Of course, it is as simple as it can be to change. Do it now. Then now. Then now. It doesn't matter how many now's you use up, it will still be now.

That Should Make It Easier. . . Or, At The Very Least, More Effective. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Do it now. There is only now.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Daily Inspiration 1-1-14

"A good heart is better than 
all the heads in the world." 

 -- Edward Bulwer-Lytton 

I've heard men in business say about another, "oh, he wears his heart on his sleeve." I take this to mean from their statement and demeanor that this guy is too sensitive and lets his heart overrule his head, and more.

It's too bad that people think this way about people full of heart. In fact, I think the heart should lead the head and I also think it makes a far better organization. Money should not be the driving force in business. Though it is absolutely important, the heart is love and where there is love there is peace and joy. Those are great things to have in business.

Think about running a business with this question in mind: "What would love do now?" And, keep asking, "what would love do now?" It makes so much more sense than "what would fear do now?" Don't you agree?
People would say about me that I wear my heart on my sleeve. It's true. And, I think I am all the better for it.

What Would Love Do Now? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Begin by listening to the other person. Maybe for a good while. It is amazing how it makes another feel.