Saturday, May 31, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-31-14

"I don't believe in being
serious about anything. 
I think life is too serious 
to be taken seriously." 

-- Ray Bradbury 

What a great quote. The older I get and the wiser I become, I find that this quote resonates with me more. How much of my life have I taken so seriously, and how did that help me along my path? Based on my own reflection, it didn't. In fact, the opposite was more of the truth. We are all a bunch of serious people.

Richelle E Goodrich says to "take a step back. Draw in a deep breath. Now ask yourself, 'So what?' Then, after answering, ask yourself again, 'So what?' And a third time: 'So what?' Chances are you'll come to realize that the issue at hand is not as dire, detrimental, or important as you first thought."

Then, there is the contrary point of view by Oscar Wilde: "One must be serious about something if one wants to have any amusement in life." How many times has that proven to be the case in my life? Many, many times. Along with Mr. Wilde, Martin Rubin is in agreement with, "the only reason to take anything seriously is to make it more fun."

Today, I tell people that my only goal in life is simply to enjoy myself. A better way to say that might be to INjoy myself. I am rather curious about how often and how long I can be in joy so that works. And, the only way that I can enjoy and be in joy is by not taking anything very seriously. That is the opposite of the way I used to live and I am certain now which path is more fruitful.

Here's A Great Question I Have On My Wall: Is There Joy In This? Another Sign Says: Lighten Up! Have More Fun! I Need Reminders . . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--by being injoy.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-30-14

"Wherever you are, be there. 
If you can be fully present now, 
you'll know what it means to live." 

-- Steve Goodier 

Two days ago, I wrote about busy business people who find it difficult to actually pay attention and focus on one thing at a time. I suggested that if they would make an appointment with a person of value and gave focused attention, and the other party did the same, that is a powerful combination. It is presence. It is being present. When we are busy and flitting about, we are not present, but somewhere else.

Today I had some excellent communication with two people and it was excellent because we were all present. We were respecting each other and the ideas they may have to help, and much progress was made in a short time.

Then I came home, looked at my photographs of memories of my late wife, other family members on the wall and was thinking how thin and almost unimportant they are. Granted, I like them, and there were some wonderful moments captured, but they are a fraud in comparison with the actual interaction during the photograph and all the other moments during that time.

This caused me to think about presence and how many times we are interacting with people, even spouses and family, and yet we aren't fully there. We may be wanting to be somewhere else, especially if things are not going well for whatever reason. We may be thinking about other issues that are weighing heavily on our minds. In any case, whatever it is, it causes us to not be present in the way we would if we let go of the baggage and focused our attention.

I was talking with a guy who was for a time of five years, a stay-at-home Dad. How awesome that was to have done that and for those stay-at-home Mom's too. They get to be present in the most formative years of their children's lives. At least, I am thinking and hoping they were present. Woe be to have that opportunity and blow it by not being present!

Which brought me full circle to giving each other, in all our various interactions and communications, our full attention as best we can. Better to say, I can't right now, but how about this afternoon at 3pm, than to try to pay attention when you are preoccupied. Our attention to each other, learning and sharing with each other, working with each other, and playing with each other is so valuable that to me it seems like the only value. The photo is a pale image and not even worthy of saving in comparison. 

Wherever You Are, Be There To The Best Of Your Ability. It Will Make All The Difference. 

Spread Some Joy Today--When you feel joy, you cannot be anything but present.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-29-14

"Awareness encourages focus. 
As we focus, 
that is when we see 
what was not there." 

-- Albert K Strong 

Today, I was loving purple. Every shade of purple. Some were light and airy and some were bold and dark, and all of them were purple.

A couple of days ago, I was out for a walk, and I was loving green. Every shade of green, amazing myself with the sheer number of shades in only my small field of view.

Something got my attention and I became aware of purple in the waiting area at Kaiser-Permanente getting some standard tests done. So, I accepted the awareness and it was like opening a door and walking into a stadium filled with shades of purple. No, I'm not trippin'. I began to smile and I was really enjoying myself and eagerly anticipating the next shade of purple I would see and whether it is clothing or some other object. It was as if purple was the predominant color in the room. I saw purple all the way home. Then, I let purple go.

Our brain receives so much data that it automatically filters things that we may not need to see. Otherwise, we would be overwhelmed with information. It is the awareness of something--a person, an object, or even an idea, and that awareness encourages us to focus, to hone in on it. As we do, our brain now has filters changed to allow more to come through. Yet, it was there all the time.

All that purple I saw today, and the green a couple days ago was there. I just didn't see it. We can accurately say I wasn't paying attention to it. Something got my attention, I focused, and I was reeling from all the green.

Can we do this on purpose? Absolutely. Today was a bit of fun, and I think that the key to doing it on purpose is also to keep it fun. The other key, I think, is to focus on the positive aspect of it. With the fun of purple, there was no negative side, but if we think about money, there is money and the lack of it, and so often we might focus on the negative. It might even be automatic, or habitual. So, instead, just have some fun with it.

See how you can see money all around you when you focus. See others enjoying their adult toys, shopping, big malls and shopping centers to accept their money and exchange things for it. Enjoy the view, feel how good it feels. Focus on what you want and not what you lack or don't want and see it appear all around you. In this change of outlook, you release resistance. So often, we are the only ones keeping things from ourselves.

Having Fun Focusing On What I Want To See.

Spread Some Joy Today--Allow curiosity to expand your awareness. Focus on joy. Now you will see joy all around you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-28-14

"Busy is a drug 
that a lot of people 
are addicted to." 

-- Rob Bell 

I am periodically reminded about just how busy people are, or seem to be. So busy in fact, that there is no time to talk, regardless of how important it might be, nor is there any remaining capacity for making decisions because being busy is in and of itself a focal point. I'm surprised that people even bother to answer the phone in this condition.

I'm not honing in on anyone in particular because my business partner and I both see this so much that, though it shouldn't by now, it does seem to continually amaze us. Some are so busy they cannot answer the phone at any time of the day, yet they seem to be on the phone all day long. Many are so busy doing their work that they have no time or energy to do it well. Some are just downright rude, and also arrogant as if they were the only busy people doing such important things and they are the only ones who can do it.

Well, that's sort of where it comes into play, isn't it? I'm so busy because I'm the only one who can deal with this and I am in a position of authority and so I am required to deal with this and so on and on.

Of course, the truth is something else. It may actually be they are addicted to busyness. I think I know some like that. Then, many are managers and yet they aren't really managers so much because good managers know how to delegate. Managing is getting work done through and with others, not by ourselves.

Most of it is really ego I think. We like being busy. It makes us feel needed, important, in charge, it creates some juice and it feels good even if it feels stressful at the same time. There is a definite reward in it.

Yet, we need to respect each other and each other's time. I do this because I understand busy people pretty much. I like to make appointments so that we can discuss something worthy of attention and try to make decisions, movement, get answers, create synergy and more. Appointments are a form of respect as long as we are not wasting their time on things not important to them.

So, it comes down to this. To you busy people--I appreciate how busy can take so much attention. If I'm a vendor or partner or valued party, then give me an appointment when you have time and I will do the same. At this time, let us give each other our attention with none or minimal interruption. Let's keep it no longer than it need be because we know that more busyness awaits. Thank you for your time, and more than this, for your attention.

Quality Attention Is So Valuable, And Often Very Rare. Let Us Create More Space For It In Our Busy Lives. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Stick a little stone in your pocket and every time you touch it, find something to be thankful for. It is a gratitude rock. Heck, put one in each pocket, or carry it around in your hand.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-27-14

"Do we have to stare death in the face 
to make us stand up and confront Resistance?" 

-- Steven Pressfield 

Steven Pressfield wrote a book all about Resistance (he uses the capital 'R') titled, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles. I have read it, and there is much that I agree with and that resonates with me about what Resistance is and how it can feel like a power. Another way to express Resistance is in defining the ego--or, is that Ego?

The premise is to recognize the Resistance and to power through it because Resistance is holding you back and where you really want to be is over there, so bust through and get over there.

He also recognizes that Resistance is purely an internal struggle to stay safe, secure, unchangeable. Yet the Resistance is disguising what we really want as too much work, unattainable, unpredictable, by guiding us back to our comfort zone where life is uncomplicated and familiar. In other words, it is fear.

Powering through is one way to get it done, and it is a popular notion throughout literature and stories, fighting the good fight over evil and all of that stuff. Yet that way through is only for the truly brave and courageous. There may be a way for the rest of us.

This is just my opinion, but if you think about the whole idea of resistance, the opposite of that is not bravery or courage or power. It is acceptance. Another way to say that is to release. We might sometimes think of acceptance is 'taking up,' and that to release is 'letting go of,' yet acceptance to me is really letting go of resistance, so release and acceptance are the same, or that release is the idea, and acceptance is the action of release. By accepting, we release the resistance while recognizing its only power is in the struggle against it.

Try it for yourself. As you go through your day and you encounter resistance in its many forms and names, try recognizing it as resistance, accepting it as resistance, and thereby release any struggle against it. Allow it to be what it is and that it has no more power over you than you are willing to give it by your struggle. No struggle, no power. And, it didn't require a bit of courage, bravery or strength.

The Weakest Among Us Has As Much Power As Is Needed. Hint: It Doesn't Require Power. It Only Requires Perspective. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Let go, let God, ENJOY the journey.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-26-14

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; 
it empties today of its strength." 

-- Corrie Ten Boom 

As much as we think that worrying about something will protect us from the future, or help us in the future, it merely, and most effectively, saps us of the present. It takes whatever power we have in the present and portions it to another time-space that is yet to come, and may never come. Worry is a waste of our today in hopes of some redeeming value at another time. It is a lie.

If we really think about worry, we will find that it is merely a fear about something that might happen in the future, but the reality is that it is extremely rare that it comes to pass, so it is not helpful but most unhelpful instead. Anything that drains us of our peace, presence, effectiveness, and joy in the present for anything potential in the future is harmful at best.

Worry is always in the future and often based upon the past or some fantasy about either. Just let go. It only has power as you give it power.

What If Everything Worked Out Perfectly? What If All My Hopes Are Realized?

Spread Some Joy Today--What if you had some joy today? What if you shared it? How would that feel?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-25-14

"Practice appreciating 
for the first fifteen minutes 
you are awake every day." 

-- Doc Childre 

This is as excellent a strategy for joyful days as I have ever seen. Doc Childre goes on to say, "Appreciation first thing in the morning is one of the most valuable efforts you can make to create more heart coherence in your system and release you from old attitudes that no longer serve you."

I have found that the best way to do this is to stay in bed as I'm awakening, and then purposefully, let my mind play with things to appreciate, such as the way the covers and my body relate in the morning. When I get into bed versus at the time to get up, the bed feels so much more a part of me and I love that feeling. I think about the sun coming up and spreading its wings of life-giving light and warmth. The glass in the window that allows me to see and yet protects me from rain and wind.

Then there's the bathroom. What a wonderful invention. Try to compare what you have now to what Abraham Lincoln had for a bathroom when he was a boy. Then, take it a bit further to the sink and the magic faucet that when turned not only brings clean, drinkable water immediately that we did nothing to achieve except turn the faucet, but it brings the magic of hot water for our pleasure! Think of the floor, whether it is tile, linoleum, wood products, or cement. It isn't dirt! It still is dirt in a large part of the world today. As well, Abraham Lincoln's childhood bathroom (an outhouse many feet away from the house) would still be a luxury in certain parts of the world today.

The list of things to be thankful for and to appreciate in America today is pretty much endless. So, fifteen minutes could go by pretty quickly; however, I don't think it requires even that much time. Even if it were five minutes, there would be so much to gain from starting your day with this point of view. It is likely to help the rest of your day follow along.

Just Imagine Every Day Beginning This Way. . . It Might Will Dramatically Change Your Life! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by constantly seeking joy. Spreading it requires no effort.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-24-14

"Practice is as valuable as the sale. 
The sale will make you a living; 
the skill will make you a fortune." 

-- Jim Rohn 

I rarely use quotes more than once, but this one is so perfect, I just have to use it again. In my personal experience, few businesses and few salespeople realize how important practice is. In fact, this idea goes way beyond business and is at the heart of how I have developed more patience in my life--through consistent and purposeful practice.

Jim Rohn became one of my primary mentors back in about 1980. Over the years, I've bought and read his books, listened to his tape sets, and generally followed his philosophy of business and life. His philosophy is so simple and home-grown that anyone can get it and it can make all the difference to those who decide to practice it.

I remember so clearly one of his tape sets where he talked about people who are continually getting ready. He said something to the effect that, "if you were building a building and you bring building materials to the site, then you go get some more and keep bringing more to the site and yet never build anything, people are going to begin to wonder about you." I find in sales and in business endeavors as well as many in school who are continually bringing building materials to the site, yet they fail to build anything.

Maybe there's a missing piece, so they go back and find that, or there is some other skill that they've just got to have and they hold off until they've got that skill. It makes me think of a college student who never graduates. They can't decide on their final major, so they just keep learning. I'm very much into lifelong learning, but not that way.

This is true with "outside salespeople." Here's a wonderful quote from Jim Rohn on that subject: "Sometimes we don't ask for productivity right away. All we ask for at first is activity. Now, it's pretty easy to check activity. If someone joined the sales organization and he is supposed to make ten calls the first week, it's pretty simple on Friday to say, "John, how many calls did you make?" John says, "Well. . ." You say, "John, 'Well,' won't fit in my little box here." And John starts on a story. You say, "John, the reason why I made this box so small is so a story won't fit. I just need an activity number from one to ten."

"If the results on activity after the first week are not good, that has to be a signal. You might try another week. Ultimately, you've got to be the judge about how far you will go in putting a team together with somebodies lack of precise activity."

That awesome quote and story are so perfect to keep in mind for us as business owners, managers, and sales trainers. It also applies as well to our own children.

One last repeatable quote from the master, Jim Rohn: "Life asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time. That's why they make those fourth-grade chairs so small--so you won't fit in them at age twenty-five!"

Moving The Needle Can Be A Challenge. Or Not. It Depends On The Results We Expect Or Want. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Stick to your vision of having joy every day. It could happen on its own, but that could take a while. You can always take charge and ensure it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-23-14

"The essence of self-discipline 
is to do the important thing 
rather than the urgent thing." 

-- Barry Werner 

Wow! That is so well said in so few words, there isn't much that I could add that would help it any. Except maybe this: those urgent things we run to avoiding the important things sure seem important at the moment, yet in the end is mostly a distraction.

Been there. Done that. I still do if I'm being honest. Might as well be. . .

What Was That Important Thing Again? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Lighten up on yourself. What's really important is your joy. In fact, there is nothing more important than your joy. Within your joy are love, appreciation, peace, and prosperity.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-22-14

"No problem 
is so formidable 
that you can't walk away from it." 

-- Charles M Schulz 

Indeed. It seems like a great idea to walk away, run away, turn away from as many problems as one can. I mean, just the definition of problem tells the story: Any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty. Yeah, who needs any of that?

I've heard that many people go from problem to problem to problem. What's up with that? How about going from doubt to uncertainty to difficulty to more of the same? No thanks.

What if we simply change the word problem to contrast? Now those people who used to go from problem to problem to problem will now go from contrast to contrast to contrast. It's amazing how much lighter that feels just by changing the word!

Now contrast is beneficial, but the way we looked at problems, they were not. Contrast is beneficial because its existence creates a new desire and new desire is what keeps us alive. How much more beneficial could that be? It keeps us alive--and I don't mean living--I mean ALIVE as in full of life, optimistic, eager. . . It keeps us alive as in a life worth living because it renews our desire for something other, something more, something less, something changed. All of those are good. We all need regular doses of contrast, otherwise, life would not feel worth living. It would get boring, old, tired, listless, pointless, depressing. We need contrast. It is highly beneficial.

When we look at things this way instead of the more common way, rather than running away from problems, fretting about them, dissecting them, feeling that doubt, uncertainty, and difficulty with each one, we will embrace the contrast because the contrast creates new desire and new desire brings life to the living. Now, instead of running from them, we turn that all the way around and now may very well run to them. Celebrating contrast is a perfect thing to do.

The Magic Of One Word. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--As contrast shows itself today, get joyous! You're about to live deeper and find new joys.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-21-14

"You could always go on changing things 
but there comes a time 
 when you have to decide to stop." 

-- Peter Wright 

Since our Internet business, Upward Trend, is a business to business entity, in the last six years I've had the opportunity to know a little bit about a lot of businesses. When a client leaves us, it is often because they have had a major change, and many of those were decisions to quit the business, or the business was sold to someone else. So now, I've seen a good number that were viable and is no longer. I am sad to lose a client, but full of joy of their new possibilities because as much as I try to hang on to things on the surface, I know deeply that change is life-giving--it is creation!

Just in the last two months, there have been three clients who quit or sold their business. That's an amazing number in that short time span, but it's only amazing because as a kid, I seemed to think that businesses lasted a long, long time. There was Sears, Macy's, McDonald's, Ford, General Motors, J.C. Penney, and many more that appeared that they would last forever to me. Even these big names have changed dramatically. I mean, we would have laughed if someone said that GM was going to go bankrupt, and then it came to pass. Now they still sell Chevrolet and other vehicles, but they have changed to the core.

Why is it that we think things are supposed to last a long time, or a certain period of time, or forever? Maybe we get used to seeing the name, and as we change, that name is still there. All of the businesses I just mentioned were here when I was six years old and now that I'm 64, they are still here. But are they really? They are more than just name only; however, they are just similar. Yet, the names last because others picked up the banner to carry on the general idea after their predecessors have moved on, so companies can survive many lifetimes. Ford was there during the life of my great-grandparents, and is yet today, and so on.

We also may think of change as quitting. Of course, quitting is change. But, quitting has typically been something that provokes a negative thought. In reality, it is often just a path that achieves change. As I look back, I too have quit businesses, and for a variety of reasons, yet as I look at that and see the larger picture of where change has brought me, I see it all so positively today. Each of these changes has been a tool that has carved the sculpture of what and who I am now.

There comes a time to stop and begin again. As I see these changes in my own life and that of many others, I have the urge to celebrate.

Embracing Change? Absolutely! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by following your own heart--your own joy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-20-14

"The words of truth 
are always paradoxical." 

-- Lao Tzu 

I was talking with a friend today and I shared some personal detail about a relationship. There was no desire for any sympathy, it was strictly shared for clarity; however, I noticed one more time that sharing things that are not positive is not only not helpful, but it is counterproductive to what I want today.

Often we might be wronged in the past and there seems to be a general consensus that to talk about it will be helpful to us as if there is some kind of release in expressing it. But, I have found over and over again that this is not true. I must add that at least it is not true for me. It just doesn't help me to feel the slightest bit better. In fact, I think it brings ill feelings, or off-feelings back to the present when I left them in the past.

What I have found that works is releasing those thoughts. I cannot change what happened, but I don't need to relive any of it, and just letting it be something that happened and now it's over is good.

The other thing that I have found that really works is finding the positive aspects of people or situations that have affected me. When I am praising, finding appreciation, and gaining understanding, I am free of any previous negativity. When I can stay there, the past has not only no power, but is no longer like the past at all, and more like the present. This is true because I am not reliving, but renewing.

The Only Thing I Have Complete Control Over Is My Thoughts This Moment. I Get To Choose How I Want To Feel By Those Thoughts. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Make peace with the past by focusing on the joy of right now, this moment.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-19-14

"A critic is someone who 
never actually goes to the battle, 
yet who afterward
comes out shooting the wounded." 

-- Tyne Daly 

It so easy to be critical. Often those critics are using some arbitrary standard to measure something, someone, or perhaps us by in comparison, and this causes so many of them to look for what is wrong, or what is not right or as good as the standard. Unless the standard is very low, this is an uphill battle at best.

Joseph Addison said it well: "A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation." I like the first part, but not the latter.

Jean-Michel Basquiat said, "I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is."

How many movies have you watched that you loved that the critics trashed? What is interesting to me about art, movies, music and much more, is that sometimes I get it and get excited about something on the first attempt. Other times, if I am willing to look again after first not getting it, I often get it even better. It's sort of how left-overs often taste better the next day.

Then there is the fact that I see more than I saw the first time. I watched the first year of the TV show, Longmire sometime back, and thought I would watch again. Each episode is so much better than I remembered them, and back then I thought they were good. I know a lot of movies that are that way with me. One is Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks. It was good the first time, and now that I have enjoyed it several times, I find so many more attributes. Based on the reviews I've seen of that movie, they must have missed all that I've found.

Then, there is that falling in love at first sight thing. It happens, but I think it happens more often by finding attractive qualities over a bit of time and see something with more depth at the same time. None of us needs a critic. Nor do the movies, music, whatever.

There will always be the personal choices we make, things that resonate with us and those that don't, and these are just choices--as long as that is where we leave it be.

My Choices Are Not Critique, But Preferences. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Today is Monday, and it is a grand day. Spread that joy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-18-14

"Live in the sunshine, 
swim in the sea, 
drink the wild air." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Henry David Thoreau said it his way: "You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment." I might have left out the word 'must' since it is purely a choice. . .

I am in love with the practicality and helpful direction from Abraham and Esther Hicks:

"Milk every moment for all the pleasure you can get from it. When you say, "It is my dominant intent to look for things that feel good today. No matter where I'm going, no matter what I'm doing, no matter who I'm doing it with, it is my dominant intent to look for what I'm wanting to see, to look for things that feel good," and the more you develop the habit of that kind of vibration--the more the Universe understands that that's who you are! And so, the more you have access only to those kinds of things."

When I combine that quote with this bit of clarification, it falls into place: "Mining the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savor, something to take in, that's what your moments are about."

Mining the moment. . . what a wonderful way to put that. I might be standing in line, maybe even a long line as I was just the other day, and find things all around me to appreciate, to feel good about, to be thankful for. That's really what it comes down to in all our lives I think. When we are going through our daily lives, doing our daily things, with various people around us, driving on the freeway, stopped in traffic, dealing with phone calls, working on computers, learning how to do or use things, and millions of other moments we live every single day, if we remember to mine the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savor, and something to take in, we then are actually living in the moment and my life changes for the better in each of those moments.

As I Do This More Often, I Live More Fully And Joyfully. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by focusing on things and people to appreciate, savor, enjoy.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-17-14

"Love is like a snail. 
It comes and it goes 
and it leaves a silvery trail." 

-- Carmen Schleiger 

The quote above was in a beautiful letter to me toward the end of my first romantic love relationship. I was about 18 as I recall. I can remember others with whom I loved, many of them didn't know it, but that didn't change the feeling.

In grade school, it was Laurie Dempsey. She only lived 3 blocks away too. But, what does a boy in 4th grade know about love? It matters not, as I still love her today when I think about her, although I cannot even remember what she looks like. It doesn't change the feeling.

In high school, there were a few that I can recall with similar feelings, and I even took the privilege to dance with one at my 20th reunion. She became a Park Ranger and I thought that was fascinating.

Then at 21, I got married to Alice, and for 16 years we had a strange and interesting relationship. I fell in love with her the very first time I saw her. She lived next door. We sort of helped each other grow up, and as happens with any two people, we grew apart wanting different things, something more. I love her as much as I ever did, maybe more.

At last, bringing me to the present, I had an answer to prayer as obvious as any can be in the chance, or rather, not-so-chance meeting of Nancy in Hawaii while on a trip. It was April 30th, 1987 and on June 13th we were together as a family. For 26 years, we loved and lived and helped each other grow up. Nancy passed in August of last year and I love her as much as I ever did, and even more.

I was thinking about grief today. Maria Snyder said this on the subject: "Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days, I don't notice it, but, out of the blue, it'll flare to life." I think this is true enough. At first, I thought the sentence about it never disappearing was harsh, but as I thought about that, I saw how this has been true throughout my life.

Another quote from Khalil Gibran spoke a bit more true to me when he said, "When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain."

As people have left my daily life in however that has come about, I find no sadness, and only greater love, respect, and joy. My love is expanded in seeing the silvery trail as clarity is allowed by the absence. My respect is enhanced in seeing more of the real purpose and how others are touched. My joy is increased by the realization of how lucky I was to be a part, for whatever length of time, and at whatever level I could have been involved with such a beautiful and wonderful person as they. I am also quite thankful to have grown to a place I never was before.

At the same time, I know they are not gone, and yet remain in a different form. They can never be gone, for they are in me, being part of me, and making me more.

My Grief Has Turned To Joy. I Am Blessed. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by counting your many blessings and using that grand foundation to touch someone else.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-16-14

"If you have an apple
and I have an apple
and we exchange these apples
then you and I will still each have one apple. 
But, if you have an idea 
and I have an idea 
and we exchange these ideas, 
then each of us will have two ideas." 

-- George Bernard Shaw 

This is the whole idea of the value of information. The Internet has changed the access of virtually anyone to information, and at the same time, allows virtually anyone to share information. It is the perfect meaning of giving and take.

There are still those that think that their value is in controlling the information. This is competitive thinking in that I have it and they do not, so I have the power and they do not. This also applies to the products they control. I have it and they do not. I like to call it the "If-you-build-it-they-will-come" theory from the movie, Field of Dreams. And an even better way to see it visually is that they are trying with this control to gain a larger slice of the existing pie or gain a larger market share, or more sales from the ever so limited marketplace. Or so it seems.

A far better way that the Internet has proven so well is to create a bigger pie and then everyone can have more. You do that by sharing information, product, services, ideas. What if everyone improved? What if everyone benefited? What if the market got bigger instead of being static? All of this is true by adopting the non-competitive idea of sharing or partnering with others.

The real value is in doing something with the information. The information only gives us an opportunity, and in seizing that opportunity by acting on it, making use of it, even so in sharing it with others, our own value is enhanced and at the same time, others receive value and can do the same as we and increase their value.

I've proven this over and over again in the sharing of unique inventory in commercial trucks, guitars, and many other products. Rather than see the store in the next town as a competitor, share information, and create a partnership instead. The first way is the static pie that we try to get a larger share of, and the second is creating a larger pie. In fact, in our Internet marketing business, we have a unique service, and we freely share everything that we do and so you could do the same thing, but the real value for us is in the doing. The real value for our clients is in our doing it for them and with them.

This idea that I am sharing applies to so many things in business and without. The more we help each other, the better we all are.

We All Learn More In The Sharing Of Knowledge And Skill. YouTube Is A Perfect Example. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Increase your own value and that of others by the act of doing (creating joy for yourself), and sharing that with others.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-15-14

"If her past were your past, 
her pain your pain, 
her level of consciousness 
your level of consciousness, 
you would think and act exactly as she does. 

With this realization 
comes forgiveness, 
compassion, and peace." 

 -- Eckhart Tolle 

It is so easy for us to think that we would be different when we see someone, even a friend in pain and despair. That is what divides us all. It is only a game to claim compassion for someone at this level. It is fake and insincere.

Even if it were an opponent, where practicing forgiveness could bring us together, the facade of false forgiveness keeps us apart and stranded in our own view from our own perspective. We cannot understand how they could be this way precisely because we are not.

Yet as Eckhart Tolle so accurately explains, IF, and that is a big IF. If their past were our past, and IF their pain were our pain, and IF their level of consciousness were our own, how in the world could we not think and act as they do? We would be exactly as they are now.

However, if we can empathize with them; that is, try to put ourselves in their shoes for a bit, try to feel what they may be feeling, try to understand where they've been and how they are now, we might assemble an image of ourselves in that place and recognize our own desire for compassion, empathy, and care. As we realize this place, we are empowered by such to feel for them with compassion, help them and ourselves with forgiveness, and create a peace within both of us.

We All Have Times And Issues Where A Little Bit Of Compassion, Forgiveness, and Peace Would Be Of Great Benefit. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by teaching it to others.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-14-14

"Living in a way that reflects one's values 
is not just about what you do,
it is also about how you do things." 

-- Deborah Day 

I'm sure you've heard it said to "take time to reflect." The idea is to reflect, or look at the past and try to gain some wisdom or insight from it. I used to do that often--in fact, too often I think. There is something to be gained from this perhaps, but I've found something better.

I wanted to take charge of my reflection. Pay attention to what I reflect, for what I reflect onto others, to the world outside, is pretty much what is inside. I like how Wayne Dyer said, "What comes out of your when you are squeezed is what is inside of you." Often it is during testing times that we see the real people exposed.

As I pay attention to my reflection, I am aware that I must make my concentration on the inside so that what shows on the outside, or what comes out in my speech and action is what I want. Whatever is inside will be matched in the reflection, even if we try to cover some things, or try to be someone we are not.

What Is Your Reflection Saying, Doing, Being? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Simply decide to have joy. Say, 'I will experience joy today.' Of course, you need not wait. Say, 'I will experience joy right now!' Then, if that feels good, do it again, and again, and again. . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-13-14

"Let me never fall 
into the vulgar mistake 
of dreaming that I am persecuted 
whenever I am contradicted." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Being contradicted may often feel that we are less than we thought we were; less smart, less wise; less enlightened. I think that if we feel strongly about our point of view, or better said, that it resonates with us, there is no reason for us to change where we are and how we see things. At the same time, it is creative and certainly open-minded to hear that contradiction and see if any of it resonates with us. There is always something to learn, and perhaps what someone else is offering as a contradiction can turn out to add to our resonance creating even more of a bond.

Often, we may initially realize that we are mounting a defense to a perceived attack on us. It seems sort of logical or rational to become defensive. In this reaction, we might imagine a counter-offensive to convince the other party in the virtues of our point of view. This is the ego in control and does not allow us to learn anything from the exchange.

Why would we think that we must convince another to our point of view? Expressing our view is one thing, trying to defend it against contradiction is another. If we were really paying attention to the exchange and our feelings, we might realize that our position doesn't really resonate with us at all.

If where we stand resonates, it is beyond the ego and requires no defense. It just is. Allowing others to have alternative positions and celebrate them at the same time, is love and respect.

That's A Good Place To Be And Why It Feels Good. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Being that which resonates within you is pure joy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-12-14

"Do the thing 
and you will have the power."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Decisions are nice and necessary. Thinking is the foundation of change. Yet, change indicates movement. Call it action, or movement, or whatever, but that energy is a power in and of itself. And, the better news about that is that this power is fueled and increased substantially in the movement.

Lao Tzu said it so well in this very popular quote: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." It is also the most important step of the journey. Without it, there would be no others.

I remember back in late 2007 when I built my first website. For a few years previously, I had entertained the thought of having a website to help me achieve more. I longed for someone magically do it for me, for surely I, knowing not a thing about websites, felt that it was almost impossible, and certainly improbable for me to do it, so I prayed for a savior. What came was not a savior, but probably even more powerful than that. What came was the end of my frustration that this was not getting done just thinking about it, and one day out of the blue, I just got on the computer, did some searching and learning and in no time at all, there it was my first website. You would have thought I gave birth. Such joy and triumph.

That first step led to the next and with each step came more power, more creativity, more tools, more options, more expertise, and while I still know how, I now have people who do this far better than I thereby completing the original idea of having someone doing it for me. That's a lot of power from one single idea and thought.

I find that almost everything I do is just like a thousand mile journey and as long as I get to the moving part and at the very least, begin, the power comes and grows in the process giving me everything I need to not only complete the task, but it often comes out far better than I could have imagined at the beginning.

Step Out In Faith That You Will Succeed. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by asking the question often, is there joy in this?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-11-14

"What I need is someone 
 who will make me do what I can." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

And, isn't this what any caring mother would do? Sometimes people may encourage, but often, caring mothers demand. They want the best that is in us. They want to feel pride in our success and then share it with all her friends. With mothers like this, the world becomes a better place and those of us with the benefit of that kind of mother will attest to her being the origin of the voices in our heads driving us on to be the best that we can be. Not the best ever. The best that WE CAN BE, and loving us in the process.

Who Could Ask For Anything More? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Every day is a great day to be thankful for all the people in our lives who help us be the best we can be and have become.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-10-14

"Life is full of obstacle illusions." 

-- Grant Frazier 

I won't need to say much myself today, for I found a long quote that talks about obstacles so perfectly. Enjoy his perspective:

"When I was a Boy Scout, we played a game when new Scouts joined the troop. We lined up chairs in a pattern, creating an obstacle course through which the new Scouts, blindfolded, were supposed to maneuver. The Scoutmaster gave them a few moments to study the pattern before our adventure began. But as soon as the victims were blindfolded, the rest of us quietly removed the chairs.

I think life is like this game. Perhaps we spend our lives avoiding obstacles we have created for ourselves and in reality, exist only in our minds. We're afraid to apply for that job, take violin lessons, learn a foreign language, call an old friend, write our Congressman--whatever it is that we would really like to do but don't because of personal obstacles. Don't avoid any chairs until you run smack into one. And if you do, at least you'll have a place to sit down." -- Pierce Vincent Eckhart.

Isn't that a good story and perspective?

How Many Of Our Perceived Obstacles Are Real And How Many Are Purely Imaginary? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Dance like no one is watching and your favorite dance music is shaking the foundation!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-9-14


-- Computer term meaning 
What You See Is What You Get 

We are creators and what we see is what we get. It is also true that what we get is what we see. We may see good or bad and it is what we see that creates more of what we see.

Napoleon Hill said it well when he said, "Until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful nor happy." William James gave it more depth by saying, "Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings."

I have a lot of knowledge about my own power, but my habits are older. I have a tendency to get busy right away and then one day runs into another and I didn't spend much, or no time at all on my intentions, desires, visualizations--in other words, preparing to get the most of the day instead of just going through it.

Habits are strong. Changing them is not so easy sometimes, especially if they are deep seated. I know I need to change many of my habits. I want to change many of my habits, and yet, one of them is procrastination, of which I am an artist. So, you can see that having procrastination in there muddies the water.

The good news is that I have changed many habits over the years that didn't serve me, so I know I will prevail. I know I have the power.

Every New Minute Is A New Opportunity! 

Spread Some Joy Today--Start your day with an intention to be of good cheer and good cheer will be yours.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-8-14

"Example is not the main thing
in influencing others.
It is the only thing."

-- Albert Schweitzer

Yesterday I wrote about communications between people and how feelings are often not fully expressed. I also mentioned that by writing my feelings out that some additional clarity can be attained. Then at the end, I referred to a DVD that I watched that gave me another perspective on this idea of communication, dealing with feelings, and influence.

As I pondered all of this including the video, it seemed to me that so often when we are communicating to another in a relationship, whether it is a marriage, friendship, or even in business, influencing the other to our own desires is generally the goal. This seems particularly true when the other is not aligned with our thinking. As a result of this misalignment, we may experience hurt feelings, powerlessness, and even despair. This usually comes from the feelings unexpressed or held back. Hence, communicating them can lead to a more fluent relationship--at least on the surface.

In a marriage, and strangely enough, in all kinds of relationships, such as co-workers, salesperson and prospect, and more, we have expectations of what the other will think or do, and when those expectations are not met, we "feel" that misalignment. Then, we may try all kinds of things to try to influence them to be a certain way so that we can feel aligned. This is nothing new. It is going on all the time all around us and probably in our own relationships.

The problem for us or anyone is wanting or needing the other to align with us in order for us to feel a certain way. In other words, if you think this way and act this way, I'll be happy, and if you don't, I am not happy.

What I learned on the DVD is that our own alignment with our own intentions is the only thing that we can control. Trying, however creatively, to get others into alignment with us gives others power over us that leads to a wide variety of complications. In other words, if we have an intention of something being the way we want it to be, we need to hold to that intention rather than try to convince another to go along with us. Another way to say it is to concentrate on our own power and not try to get our power from the another.

Rather than trying to influence another to go along with us, our greatest influence will be in our own alignment with our own intentions. By focusing on the way we want things to be and feeling the power of that, and also the joy of that, regardless of the other person, is our greatest influence. We then become an example in such a way that others are influenced toward our intention.

By holding to our own intention as we allow another to be as they choose to be, loving them in whatever they choose, the relationship is enhanced in ways it could never have been before. In this way, we are loving the other in a more unconditional way as we love ourselves, aligned with our best intention and being a living example.

Stay True To Yourself. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by aligning with your own best intentions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-7-14

"Feelings are like icebergs. 
There is so much more below the surface." 

-- Albert K Strong 

I was talking with someone about feelings and perceptions today, and then I realized how much more there is that we don't share in the depth of a feeling or feelings. We don't share it for a host of reasons, and when it really comes down to it, I'm not convinced knowing the full depth would add any significant clarity or resolve. It is interesting though how that works.

I think that some of why this is may be because we so often will talk aloud to each other rather than write our feelings down. There is something about putting your thoughts on paper that changes what is produced and the clarity is obvious to me.

My wife and I went to a couple of marriage retreats. One of them was intense and specific in the instruction of how to communicate with each other and address unresolved issues. That instruction was to write it out, then read it aloud. Although there was often not sufficient time to do that well, I learned a great deal from the process.

Later, I wrote a couple of significant and lengthy letters to Nancy describing my thoughts and feelings and trying to add clarity to the situation. After she passed last August, I spent a few months going through her two desks and in the process, found those two letters. After reading them, I was amazed at the clarity expressed and the grasp of the situation. This was especially true of one written in 2010.

What is also very interesting, and something that sort of surprised me, was how much more those letters helped me than as a communication with her. The act of writing it all out, taking the time to think it through was powerful for me. I became more clear.

The idea that the communication, whether verbal or in writing, should have the objective of the other party having full acceptance is a wasted thought. The more important aspect of sharing such things is in the actual sharing or doing of it and the one doing the sharing will always have the greatest benefit I think. That is okay. It is helpful and worthy of the time and effort.

This evening I watched a DVD that had me think about these kinds of communication issues in an even more effective way. I'll share that tomorrow.

Here's A Good Question To Ask: "How Do I Feel? Or How Do I Feel About ______?" Write It Out. 

Spread Some Joy Today--How many things or people can you find to appreciate today?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-6-14

"I used to be depressed, 
then I thought differently." 

-- Albert K Strong 

Having lived through a lot of depression in years past, I have a certain perspective on it. I love how Lao Tse puts depression into perspective. He said, "If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present." That is certainly worth more than a casual reading, but even in that, it is impossible to miss.

Anthony Robbins taught me a lot about depression and antidotes to such a state. In fact, he calls this a state, which is a mindset, but it is also a physical state or position. Change the state, change the thought or mindset. In other words, you can chase away depression by changing your bodily position. When I learned this and then observed my own habitual positions when in that emotion, it showed me the correlation.

Esther Hicks and Abraham, along with others, taught me the other antidote, which is to simply think a different thought. To a depressed person, that simple solution brings anger, but that certainly doesn't change the truth of it.

From the many teachers I've had that changed my outlook about depression, it has come down to this. Depression is an emotion. It is a response to thought. Doctors cannot change my thinking, pills cannot change my thinking. Only I can do that. Only I can choose that. I can be encouraged by others, but only I can make the change from thinking one way to another.

I can create a discipline of change by also changing my physical habitual patterns. I was often most depressed with a drink and a pack of cigarettes sitting outside by myself feeling sorry for myself, all my perceived failures, missed opportunities, should have's and could have's and didn'ts. Change those things and I'm halfway there.

I had to realize that there was a payoff for me being depressed. I realized that one day, and it was the day that I began to change. If anyone ever consoled me while in that emotion, I would soak it up like a sponge, but it did nothing but enhance the state. In other words, it didn't change me for the better, I just got more of a payoff than when I was alone feeling sorry for miserable self. Thoughts of suicide were common as well. After all, wouldn't the world and my family be better off without such an anchor as me?

Lao Tse was so wise to say that if I was depressed, I was living in the past. Absolutely. That's exactly where all my missed opportunities were, and my failures, and all the things I could have done and didn't. What I really wanted was to change the past, but that cannot be done. Once I began to allow the past to be what it was and that it has no power over me unless I give it such power, it became so much easier to choose better thoughts.

Do I still have depressed thoughts today? Once in a while. It's sort of like quitting smoking (11 years now), and every once in a while I think about having a cigarette. Then I change the thought by thinking of something else, especially something to appreciate.

What has changed is that I am now a dedicated joy seeker. If there is any one thing that I can say has helped me to leave depression behind it is becoming a grateful person, seeking joy, finding things and people to appreciate every single day, even all day long.

Depression Is A Reaction To Thought. So Is Joy. Only I Get To Choose Which.

Spread Some Joy Today--Recklessly, and with total abandon!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-5-14

"You may believe that
you are responsible for what you do, 
but not for what you think. 

The truth is that you are responsible for what you think
because it is only at this level
that you can exercise choice. 
What you do comes from what you think." 

-- Marianne Williamson 

Henry Ford had a famous quote about thinking. He said, "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it." For a long time, I thought he was referring to lazy people--those who don't want much so don't have to give it much thought. I see it so differently now.

Thomas Edison quipped that "Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think, and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think." Both this and the Henry Ford quote seem to speak about people exercising creativity, genius, or at least purpose-driven action as a result of clear thinking. In other words, figuring things out, or brainpower.

Then there is another point of view entirely spoken by master Lao Tzu, where he said, "Stop thinking and end your problems." Eckhart Tolle would most likely agree.

Now, I can tie these divergent views together and have it make sense to me. It is this: So often when I am thinking, I am considering what is as it relates to how it might turn out with multiple scenarios playing through my brain. Many of them are often negative, and then I begin thinking of how to justify things, to the point of even having conversations in my head predicting what the other party may or may not say. This ends with confusion at best and is tiring to consider at all.

I so often want to take charge by trying to figure out how something will change. I think, "what can I do to change this?" or "I need this to change. It isn't working as planned. I need answers now. Let me make a list of things I can do or might do to help make it work better." The trouble with these is that I'm not really in charge of the how part as much as I am in charge of the what part. This is exactly where the thinking comes to bear.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and many others have explained that so many of us don't think, and now I know that they meant something different. We don't visualize, or create a mental image and consider with a sense of certainty that we can actually choose what we want. The truth is that we can; however, we most often do not, and rather than think in this way, we engage in a whole lot of mindless thinking that leads us nowhere.

Of all the things that I have considered in life, actually deciding exactly what I really want is the most challenging. The second most challenging aspect is to believe I can have this and persist in seeing it completed in my mind's eye long before it actually becomes reality. These are the thinking aspects of manifestation; of performance; of accomplishment; of greatness.

Lao Tzu hit it on the head in that we so often are thinking of our problems or potential problems, and most of our perceived problems never actually happen, yet they take up much energy and focus. Remaining present, focusing on the moment, while knowing what we would like to have, believing it is possible, and then allowing the infinite power of God or the Universe to bring it about is the thinking that will move mountains.

I know where I need to focus my thinking: Choosing what I want every single day, believing I can have what I want, seeing it already accomplished, enjoying the present fully, and allowing God or the Universe to deal with all the rest.

"Magic Is The Art Of Thinking, Not Strength Or Language." -- Christopher Paolini 

Spread Some Joy Today--Consider the possibilities as if it were absolutely impossible to fail and you have all the assistance you could ever need or want.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-4-14

"I consider my ability
to arouse enthusiasm among men
the greatest asset I possess. 
The way to develop 
the best that is in a man 
is by appreciation and encouragement." 

 -- Charles M. Schwab 

Enthusiasm is such an interesting experience. With it, a situation is created in which previously constricting barriers are broken and new, never before thought possible accomplishments are made with relative ease. One might look at it as rather than gaining or wielding a power, it may be more of a releasing of resistance, or developing a new or renewed state of mind.

In my study of the steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, I learned of Charles Schwab, who went from day laborer to becoming a partner with Carnegie, to arranging an extraordinary buyout of Carnegie, to the president of the largest steel company in the world, United States Steel. There is a rare and fascinating book about Charles Schwab by Robert Hessen, titled, Steel Titan.

In the book, there are numerous examples of Schwab's ability to arouse enthusiasm with others. Here's a quote from one of them:

". . . many of the veteran Bethlehem executives preferred the old, pre-Taylor and pre-Schwab way of doing things. They resented Schwab; he was an intruder. One man went so far as to say that Schwab was crazy and that his production goals were fantastic. Schwab singled out that man. He told him as Ward recalled, "If we can get our blast furnace operation to such and such a state of efficiency, I'll pay off the mortgage on your house." The skeptic fell into line, pushed himself and his subordinates to reach the goal which he has said was unattainable, and, in a matter of months, found himself with a mortgage-free house."

There are many examples of very similar challenges to the concept of what can and cannot be done by Henry Ford. One memorable example was his demand to design and build the very first V-8 engine, which all of his engineers said was impossible. We all know how that turned out.

Enthusiasm has a way of connecting us with powers we didn't realize that we had available to us. In fact, the origin of the word indicates a possession by a god, of having a god within, and later synonymous with states such as passion, eagerness, zeal, devotion. I love the deity reference because I think it is like aligning ourselves with God or accessing the ultimate power of the universe.

Frank Bettger, who wrote several books with his most famous one titled, How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling, coined the phrase, "to become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically." I could write a book about that phrase and all the related ideas that it entertains, but the key ingredient is that we need not wait around for enthusiasm to come to us. We have the power to create it, and Frank Bettger so eloquently and succinctly shared it with the world.

As a leader, Charles M. Schwab shared his number one asset as his ability to arouse enthusiasm in others. We all know leaders with this asset. He also showed, along with Frank Bettger and many others, how powerful enthusiasm can be to change our lives for the better.

I Wish Enthusiasm For You! It IS Being Divinely Inspired.

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing your inspirations.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-3-14

"Men are anxious 
to improve their circumstances, 
but are unwilling 
to improve themselves." 

-- James Allen 

I used to hear this phrase when I was young: "I buy you books, send you to school, and all you do is eat the covers." It's sarcasm of course, but as with most sarcasm, there is certain truth weaved in.

It's been a little while, but I am back to doing commercial truck success training and consulting to help some people see another point of view, and perhaps a more profitable and productive path to grow that type of business. I have such a passion for it and am energized to be back at it with renewed joy.

James Allen's comment above is so darn true. It's true for the new sales people that are in my training class, the managers, owners, and I cannot forget to mention myself. We all want things to change, to improve without much in the way of focus or effort on our part, whether that be time, money, or both.

In one of my classes, I give out books that I think are powerful. I don't spend much time on this, but I wonder if they get read. I understand this. I'm not convinced that I ever read a book cover to cover until I was out of school. At age 21, I began reading and amassing a library, and through the most recent years, I've been giving a lot of them away and buying more to give away. Call me Johnny Appleseed. If only one read one of the books, it could be a life changing event, as it has been with me.

For sales people, or doctors, lawyers, machinists, engineers, and many others to continue to grow, we must continue to learn. I said something a day or two ago about a twenty year veteran who had one year's experience repeated twenty times. This is often the case and the thing that would change this is a desire to continue learning. These people, along with newbies are more often caught in the idea of being anxious to improve circumstances, and yet unwilling to improve themselves.

If you're a parent, look at or remember your kids when they were very young and how excited they were to learn, and how eager they were to experience things. If not a parent, try to remember that feeling within you when you were young. Somehow as we grow older, this enthusiasm for learning and growth seems to wane, as if being grown up was the objective and now being over, we now get to use the cruise control.

I cannot imagine wanting to go to a doctor who stopped learning with their college degree, or internship. I want a doctor who is constantly learning and growing, improving their skills and talents. I'm guessing that others would like that too. Yet, often many of us would not apply the same standard to ourselves and our own careers.

Or, maybe you do. I celebrate that with you because I know it is a challenge, yet such a worthy and ever so satisfying one.

My Desire To Learn Is Fanned By My Passion To Teach And As A Teacher, I Become A More Enlightened And Enthusiastic Student. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing those things and ideas that you are passionate about.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-2-14

"When people go to work 
they shouldn't have to 
leave their hearts at home." 

 -- Betty Bender 

It's easy to get caught up in the idea that this isn't personal, it's just business. It's as if we can somehow get out of our human bodies and become this other entity called a business. That seems ridiculous to even think about.

I went to a big and informal classic car show this week taking some photos for my client who put on the show. I ran into a friend and previous business associate that I haven't seen in about 15 years. He was introducing me to his friend that I didn't know, and at first, he introduced me as, "this guy is truly an honest car guy." Of course, I like the distinction; however, he made it seem as if most are not and I was unique in the car business. I'm not--at least not in that respect.

Leadership master, John C Maxwell published a little book in 2003 with a very interesting title. The title is There's No Such Thing As Business Ethics. In the preface, he says, "There are no such things as business ethics--there's only ethics. People try to use one set of ethics for their professional life, another for their spiritual life, and still another at home with their family. That gets them into trouble. Ethics is ethics. If you desire to be ethical, you live it by one standard across the board."

In the second chapter, John Maxwell discusses one of the greatest guidance systems ever conceived: The Golden Rule. It is commonly stated as doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. I learned this rule at a very young age, and as I have remembered it and brought it freshly to my mind periodically, I see that it has served me as well as anything possibly could.

Following Your Heart And Living By The Golden Rule? Isn't That The Same Thing? 

Spread Some Joy Today--That is a perfect way to consider The Golden Rule. Spread joy unto others as you would have them spread joy to you. I love spreading joy, and I also love receiving it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-1-14

"Do what you want to do, 
not what other people want you to do." 

 -- Nyjah Huston 

This is sixteen minutes of pure joy:

"Dr. John Kitchin, respected psychiatrist and neurologist, drifted from initial spiritual intentions to primarily monetary gain. When he realized that his quality of life was going downhill, he took to the San Diego boardwalk, where he now skates most of the day and often into the night. If you would like a strong dose of inspiration to follow your heart and make your life more fun than labor, Slomo will show you how."

Courtesy of Alan Cohen newsletter.

A Life Of Pure Joy? Hmmmmmmmmmmm 

Spread Some Joy Today--by thinking loving thoughts of all the people you appreciate.