Thursday, August 31, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-31-17

"Getting fit is a political act--
you are taking charge of your life."

-- Jane Fonda

[Classic post from 9-5-10]

What is the measure of our determination? It certainly is not a goal. I set goals all the time and reset them and ignore them and rationalize why I am deciding something different today, and the list continues.

It is not the decision. The decision is necessary to begin, but after the decision is made, there is many times this wishy-washy land of excuse and forgotten appointments and laziness and the whole general pleasure (something I want to do now) versus. . . what was that decision again? Oh yes, that one. . . well. . . you know it was 100 degrees today and. . .

The measure of our determination could be our commitment. That's a logical choice, but it won't hold up in court. Commitments change with decision and goals and however we happen to feel in the moment. We like to think of commitment as something really strong, but it only sounds that way.

So, what is the measure of our determination?

It is WHY.

Yes, it is just why. The bigger the why; the stronger the why; the more personal the why; the more why's in the why, the more determination is achieved.

I've been thinking. . . I need to lose 30 lbs. That thought will not help because I've been thinking that for years and I still have the 30 lbs., although it moves around a bit. What I need to have the 30 lbs. go away is strong enough why's. In the last two or three days, I think I have found them, and now, this will be a test of my determination, won't it? To see if my why's will get me to the goal.

So, I've made a decision. Yes, I will do it. I've made a goal. By Thanksgiving. I'm writing out all of my why's and I will keep them in front of me to remind me why I'm doing this when it would be so much better to be on the couch. I'll keep you posted. Today is September 5th. That is about 90 days in round numbers. Just a few ounces per day, right? Easy.

Of course, all of this applies to everything in our life and business. It's not the decision or the goal or the commitment--it's having enough strong why's.

I Have My Reasons, And The Stronger They Are, The More I Get What I Want.

Spread Some Joy Today--Got why's? Make a list and keep it close. You'll need it when the going gets a bit tough.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-30-17

"I'm big because 
I'm connected to the universe, 
and the universe 
is connected to me." 

-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson 

[Classic post from 8-14-16]

I'm in the middle of a great new book that was just published a few days ago. It is by a favorite author, Pam Grout, who wrote the huge best-seller E-Squared. Her next book was E-Cubed, and now this book, Thank and Grow Rich. Obviously, and correctly, it is all about gratitude, being thankful, appreciating ourselves and all that is around us, as we are a part of it all.

I wrote something on a notepad a few months ago: Living a life of significance--10 steps, 14 principles, 7 actions. It was an idea for an inspirational post making a spoof about the idea that there are steps, principles, and actions required to have a life of significance. Indeed, that seems to be much of what we're taught in our young lives and continues in our careers, and more. But, my thought was that every single person is living a life of significance because every single life is significant. We don't have to do anything, learn anything, be anything other than who we are. Significance is a given, not a getten.

Pam Grout's book says that same thing, in her words, of course, and that the simple, and yet so dynamically profound act of being thankful, grateful, appreciative of every single thing, every combined thing, all that is good and all that is labeled not good leads to infinite happiness. She says, being grateful for all things holds such value for a vastly improved experience, and that we don't really have to do anything at all to be perfect the way we are. That includes not having to be grateful if we don't feel like it. But, of course, we really do feel like it deep down because it is so much a part of our nature; in fact, we can't help it once we let go of the static.

I woke up a tad after 3 a.m. this morning, sitting up, with eyes closed, rocking back and forth, giving praise, being thankful. I focused on one person, a significant person, but not a close person to me. I've known this guy since 1980. He has a local business here in Fairfield CA, and I've bought many thousands of dollars of products from him over the years. It's been ten years since I've bought anything from him, as I'm not in need of his products anymore, but he pops into my head and I am thinking of all the transactions, his demeanor, his expertise, his fairness, and much more.

I was appreciating all of these things for quite some time. Then, at 4:30 a.m., I got up and went to my office and wrote him a 2-page typewritten thank you letter, addressed it, and put a stamp on it. I'll take it to the Post Office later, and he will get it tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest. It begins with Thank you! I Appreciate You! in big bold print, then goes on to give particulars. How do you think he will feel to receive this? I haven't got a clue, but I'm guessing, it will make his day. But, what is more important is how it causes me to feel. I felt great thinking about it, and even better writing it out.

It's nice to think grateful thoughts, loving thoughts, appreciative thoughts of people. A beautiful woman I had a bit of a fling with 30 years ago told me that she thought that whenever she was thinking of me, that I was thinking of her and vise versa. We never really compared notes, but that might be true. I do believe that just having positive, uplifting thoughts about others is of value to them somehow on some level.

But, there's nothing quite so special as saying it to their face, writing them a note, sending them flowers, or whatever other physical act that takes that mental appreciation and manifests it physically. Don't you think you would appreciate such thoughts and acts? Maybe you know someone or several someones to begin with today. How about one a week? One a day? We all have people we're grateful for, and maybe even someone we haven't seen in ten years.

Loving Thoughts Have Much Value, And Loving Actions Display Them. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing your joy with someone who would delight in knowing how you feel.

Daily Inspiration 8-29-17

"There ought to be a law!" 

-- a common misconception 

[Classic post from 10-27-16]

Consider this succinct insight from Abraham, Esther Hicks:

"Every law that you have on your books today, whether it's a religious or secular law, has come about because you're trying to get somebody else to do something that will make you feel better." 

We Should Be Feeling Really Good By Now. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by turning from the stone you're trying to move out of your way. Feels better already, don't you think?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-28-17

"Love makes no comparisons." 

-- A Course in Miracles 

[Classic post from 12-26-16]

Ever heard the phrase, "I love you more?" More than what? More than whom? Does that mean that everyone gets a different amount of love as if it were a commodity that is divided among the chosen ones?

Conditional love is full of comparisons, judgment, expectation. But real love which is unconditional love--we could say it is love with a big "L"--has zero expectations, judgment, or expectations. It compares none, for there is no comparison.

Another way to see this is full acceptance. There is no wish that the other be better in any way for they are loved as they are, and as they will be, and as they have been. It matters not anything about their choices, they are simply loved.

And here's another insight. When someone loves without condition, there is no thought of reciprocity. It is given. It requires nothing. It seeks nothing. It simply is.

How can you love someone who is so different from us or makes what we might call terrible choices, or lives a damaging lifestyle? There is only one way. We must let go of our conditions.

This is also true of the people we do like, that live a life we admire and respect, and that makes choices that are good in our opinion. Are we loving them without condition, or are we loving them until they change? When they are easy to love, they are easy to not love too. But, as we love them without condition, we open ourselves to the opportunity to love anyone as we choose.

Of course, adding people to a list is sort of conditional in its own way, but as we expand into accepting fully all human beings, and all of creation, we might have just an inkling of what the Love of God truly is.

Love Makes No Comparisons. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing all in the world choose as they will and find joy in that release.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-27-17

"Life is part positive and part negative. 
Suppose you went to hear a symphony orchestra
and all they played were the little, happy, high notes? 
Would you leave soon? 
Let me hear the rumble of the bass, 
the crash of the cymbals, and the minor keys."

-- Jim Rohn

[Classic post from 12-29-09]

I love this quote about the positive and the negative and using the orchestra to make the point that both are necessary and desired.

Many people call me Mr. Positive or some other less endearing names, and it might seem like a dichotomy to accept the idea of the negative mixing with the positive being a good thing. I absolutely focus on the positive whenever I can, yet what would positive be without the negative? What would solutions be without problems? What would success be without failure? I don't think it is possible to be one and completely exclude the other. I think excluding one would automatically exclude the other, then there would be nothing.

The deal is, where do I focus my attention? I focus on uplifting and exciting! I am well aware of downgrading and boring. I have no use for them except as a contrast to what I desire. Yet, without them, what would uplifting and exciting mean? It would mean nothing. If I were to focus my attention on downgrading and boring, I would achieve a different result. I suppose a good question then is which would you choose? How would you like to feel? Choosing to focus on one is not excluding the other, but acknowledging it.

Now, here's what I really get from this quote: My goal is to be neutral, centered. Think of it like stereophonic music where you hear different parts through the right and the left, yet you are centered and can experience them both and reap the rewards of the combination.

I absolutely love music to the degree that I can become absolutely lost in it as I experience different sounds. I can totally appreciate them together while at the same time hearing them as separate. I love a good sad song once in a while, but I find that happy, uplifting, powerfully expressed, moving beat music is my preference. The main reason is how I feel when I hear it. Or, better said, how I want to feel.

How do you want to feel? Choose your focus. Don't exclude anything, but choose your focus and then you get to feel how you want to feel. Isn't it so awesome that you get to choose all of that? So powerfully enabling!

I Love Music! I Love Joy! I Appreciate All!

Spread Some Joy Today--You know, there is no better way to show how you feel than a smile from knowing you are loved so deeply that it is the love of God. Smile that way today for others to see. It is incredibly powerful and yet so simple.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-26-17

Regarding following an ineffective leader. . .

"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."

"No matter what our circumstances, our greatest
limitation isn't the leader above us--
it's the spirit within us."

"Your leadership is as much disposition as position."

-- John C Maxwell,
from The 360 Degree Leader

[Classic post from 11-30-10]

I've had several opportunities to be in the position of following an ineffective leader. In those positions, I used to complain every day, usually to my wife or some other poor unfortunate soul. I didn't mince words either. How could the owner have hired such idiots in the first place? They were so inept and lame. It's not that they were bad people, they were just bad at their jobs.

Of course, I was not in that league. I was good at my job. In fact, I knew their job better than they did and could probably do my job and theirs and have time left over--you know, me being perfect and all. . .

The more I complained, the more there was to complain about. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? Duh! Was I trying to make myself feel better? Yes. Was it working? No. Was I helping my situation at all by this complaining? No. Was I hurting myself by this activity? Yes. Another self-inflicted wound!

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

Recently, I've been reading and studying The 360 Degree Leader by John C Maxwell. It's a wonderful book about leadership and in particular, leading from the middle of an organization. I absolutely love the first quote above: It's not my job to fix the leader--it's my job to ADD VALUE, then it goes on to say, if the leader won't change (and you know they aren't going to. . .), you have two choices: One, develop a new attitude, or a new way of looking at things, or two, get a different job.

Now, if I like my job, what I do and where I do it, I have only one choice: choose better thoughts, learn to appreciate my boss more, maybe get to know them more, seek their strengths and accentuate them--in other words, stop complaining and start praising.

You know what happens then? They seem to change almost overnight. They all of a sudden have skills you didn't know they had, hobbies that are fascinating, and they have a knowledge you were unaware of, and a previously hidden but pleasant personality. What an amazing transformation! It's a miracle! Who knew that people could change that quickly?

It's an amazing thing. . .

Some Of The People I Have Come To Respect Highly Have Been Previous Bosses I Used To Complain About. . . Many After I Left. Better Late Than Never.

Spread Some Joy Today--Ever hear complaints about bosses come from your lips? How about other workers? Perhaps we all need to recheck our perfectness. . . It can only be from our own perfection that we see the flaws correctly. . .

Friday, August 25, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-25-17

"Real generosity is 
generosity of the spirit." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 1-31-16]

Alan Cohen in his latest book, A Course in Miracles Made Easy, shares some thoughts about generosity and gifts. He mentions that in his life coaching work, he coaches people who want to help others but who feel that their lack of money is holding them back. He tells them that there are a number of ways to give without any money at all. Some of them include giving "time, talent, attention, listening, compassion, service, space, wisdom, or skill."

Then he compares gifts of the world with the gifts of God. He says, "You can distinguish between the gifts of the world and gifts of God by one simple test: When you give a gift of the world, you have less and someone else has more. When you give a gift of God, both giver, and receiver gain. The gifts of the world are physical commodities. The gifts of God are energetic experiences." 

He goes on to say, "When you give love, kindness, patience, or forgiveness, you gain the experience of the gift you are giving, in the moment you give it, so you are as blessed as the receiver." 

I love that line, "The gifts of God are energetic experiences." And, I especially love the method of telling if a gift is of the world or of God or of our Spirit, or our Source: "When you give a gift of the world, you have less and someone else has more." This is particularly true of money. "When you give a gift of God, both giver, and receiver gain." What a blessing it is to see that difference now so clearly from his brief explanation.

The Gift Of Energetic Experience. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy is not a result. It is a choice.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-24-17

“Men build too many walls 
and not enough bridges.” 

― Joseph Fort Newton

[New post]

The Golden Calf

I think that we all have golden calves in our lives, and this has come home to me with the most recent pushing and shoving in personal choices of whose golden calf is the good calf and which is the bad calf.

In the Bible in the book of Exodus, which is a hair-raising story to read when fully conscious, there is the story of the Ten Commandments and later the development of the golden calf because the people were tired of waiting on Moses and they craved a symbol to see and so with the help of Aaron, their gold earrings and other things were gathered together and melted into a golden calf for their appeasement. Moses, when he finally came down from the mountain again, was truly upset with them because of what they chose to worship.

It's an interesting story to read thousands of years later in the 21st century, and telling too. It really hasn’t changed much at all as I think about it. We are all still looking for things to worship and we are all choosing different things. Some are really important to us and others are semi-important until someone else takes a disliking to our choice, but in the end, we all have our golden calves and we are quite protective of them.

It doesn’t matter if it is a statue of a fallen General from the Civil War, the massive monument to the President who freed the slaves in dealing with that Civil War, a cross on the top of a church steeple, the flag of the United States of America or any other flag, the golden arches of commerce, the New York Times Bestseller List, the bull on Wall Street, and, well, this list is pretty much endless.

We have the so-called hate groups, and then we have the haters of the hate groups. How can we tell them apart? They are both in hating. They are separated by police in some cases and attacking police in another. We have the never-ending symbol of war, leading up to a war, fighting a war, cleaning up after a war. We have wars on people in other countries, and on drugs, the cartels, cancer, street-gangs, social climbers. We hold right as might and that evil needs to be eradicated. The righteous and the unrighteous. The worthy and the unworthy. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We have beauty, the standard of thin, the physically fit, then this and that and the other. It matters not whether it is positive or negative as these are only two ends of the same magnet. Two ends of the same stick. Two ends of the same discussion.

And, to keep this as short as I can, the point I want to make here is that it is the same magnet. It is the same stick. And, it is the same discussion. Both are valid. Both are okay. Both sides have something valuable to add to the wholeness of the whole.

Back to Moses. They made the golden calf because they felt the separation of each other. They wanted something to bring them together. Since all they have known was that this came from outside, so outside is where they built the golden calf. To say that these people were wrong because Moses thinks they are is not the best point. The larger issue is that Moses felt the separation and so he looked upon the Lord of the external in much the same way. Guide us, oh Lord. Lead us!

As we allow ourselves to think we are separate from our God, our Source, Source Energy, All-That-Is, we are in separation. We want so badly to be whole, yet all we can see is partialness. All we can see and feel is the separation because that is what we are looking at. We are looking at the ends of the stick instead of the stick itself. As we look at the negative, we see more negative. As we look toward the positive, we see more positive, and yet these are only partial views. We will find wholeness in impartiality as we realize that we are not standing on the stick looking to one side or the other, but we are the stick. As we see the negative, we see that it is us. As we see the positive, it is us.

In whatever way we choose separation, we see more separation. As we will have the courage and wisdom to know ourselves and all other living things as wholly, we see the oneness of the Divine. It’s not about religion, spirituality, or any other name. It is about tuning into what we truly are within and seeing all that we see as the same. We are all Divine. We are all of the same exact Source. We are all on this time-space adventure together. And, as individual creations, we all have the individual power of choice. It matters not so much what others do, but it matters 100% what we choose to see, feel, and sense.

We Are, Each And Everyone, The Chosen Ones. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by challenging yourself to see yourself in those you do not like. See that we are all worthy of love, and in fact, in our depth, that is all we are: Love.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-23-17

"After a time, you may find that 'having'
is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as 'wanting.'

It is not logical, but it is often true."

- Mr. Spock,
Star Trek

[Classic post from 10-31-09]

When I read this quote, I related to it immediately. It is often very true for me.

Some recent (last few years) examples: I wanted a very special and very rare electric guitar. I found one, bought it. Then I never played it and sold it. I wanted a treadmill, bought it and I have used it about 5 times in three years. Mostly it takes up space by owning it. I could probably list almost every possession I have and it would be that way, though most of them are just here or in storage, again not being used.

I've thought about this often and it feels kind of weird to want things, finally get them and then not care about them anymore. I think Spock is right: "It is not logical, but it is often true." Of course, I also have things I love and use and continue to take pleasure in.

The thing for me to reconcile is that it is natural and okay to want things. It is also okay to get them. And, if I no longer really want them, or they no longer hold that value I thought they would have, it is okay to let them go again. Sort of like catch and release fishing. It's that things are just not that important, but the desire is.

This made me think of advertising by P.G. & E., our local electric and gas provider. They advertise that they encourage people to conserve power as if that is critical. The government encourages the same and I'm sure that P.G. & E. does this mostly due to government encouragement. But conservation is not the answer.

I see a lot of ads by Shell Oil and Chevron about conservation, using less fuel and how good a thing this is for everyone. That's like a car dealer saying don't buy so many cars. It's so stupid to hear them say that when this is diametrically opposed to what they do as a business. Conservation is not the answer.

The answer is not conservation, it is desire and expansion. The energy solution is new types of energy, and especially cheaper and renewable energy, instead of doing the same things and expecting a different result (insanity). A desire for something new creates expansion until something new arrives.

The same is true for us. We are desire-driven creatures. Desire is good. Holding it down and beating it up is not good. Expansion is good. Believing that abundance exists is good. Creating shortages and promoting that concept is not good.

Play with your desires: I ran across this from Bob Proctor and others. It is big fun and quite rewarding. Take out a few sheets of paper or a notebook. Now, write everything you want until to have at least 101 things. Trips, places you want to go, things you want to do, people you want to meet, situations you want to happen, businesses you want, anything you want regardless of its size or cost. Pay no attention to any of the 'how' part, just focus on what pleases you when you think of it. Pay attention only to 'what' you want, as if the 'how' did not really matter at all.

This will be a powerful thing for you to read again and again and watch what gets crossed off. It is satisfying and fun and you will be amazed how many get crossed off in a relatively short period of time. We are desire-driven. You are in charge!

I Will Get My. . . Satisfaction. I Will Get My. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Call One Or Two Special People And Tell Them You Love Them. Out Of The Blue Is Cool.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-22-17

"Pity the man who inherits a million dollars 
and isn't a millionaire.
Here's what would be pitiful, 
if your income grew and you didn't."

"Unless you change how you are,
you will always have what you've got."

"Character isn't something you were born with
and can't change, like your fingerprints.
It's something you weren't born with
and must take responsibility for forming."

-- Jim Rohn

[Classic post from 12-30-09]

You've read about it and maybe seen some examples on television where someone won a huge lottery and within a short time, they were broke. "Pity the man who inherits a million dollars and isn't a millionaire." Many of us have always thought it was about money, but it isn't really.

I've also heard the thought that if the country's wealth was gathered and divided equally, it would be back in the same places in a very short period of time. Again, because it is the thinking, not the money that creates the accumulation or the spending.

Personal development is too soft a phrase to use here. A better one is growing as a person as in expansion, enlightenment and character building. Jim used to like to say, "watch what you become in pursuit of what you want." Or he might say, "It's not becoming a millionaire that matters as much as what you become in order to get the million." It was expressed sort of as a warning but really was an encouragement.

I've been in sales management in one capacity or another for about 35 years and I've seen a lot of people who wanted to be the sales manager--to be in charge. Almost none of them would do what it took to get there. Those that got there without the willingness to become what you must become to do well as a sales manager, were obviously poor at it. I found as Jim said that it is more important what I became as a result of the job.

You've probably heard the three bricklayer story. One is laying one brick on top of the other with mortar in between. The other is building a wall so long and so high. The last is building a school where children will learn and play. You could use the word attitude. That word has taken a beating over the last 20 years or so, but it is true. Attitude is so important because it makes such a difference in what you become in pursuit of what you want.

Of course, the way of all of this is that in order to change, we have to change. Seems like such an obvious thing, but how hard it is to get to that final decision point and then move beyond it to the actual change. The really good news is that we all can do it and have the power. All we really need is the desire.

It seems like I have always been in a state of becoming. I have grown to love that state. It is a powerful thing to become, don't you think? We'll just keep going down the path of becoming together. I have realized as you may have that it is not a destination, but a journey. There's actually a lot of peace and comfort in that. I hope you feel that as well.

I'm On A Journey Of Becoming!

Spread Some Joy Today--Pretend that you have a million dollars in the bank today. Feel as you would feel. Is there a smile permanently etched into your face? A joy welling up inside? Or just a calm, confidence that others can feel? Share it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-21-17

"If it's never our fault, 
we can't take responsibility for it.
If we can't take responsibility for it, 
we'll always be its victim."

-- Richard Bach

[Classic post from 11-27-09]

When many of us were young, we learned very well that being at fault meant punishment of some kind, and that caused the pain of one kind or another. So, it became foolish to accept responsibility for something even when we were asked directly about it. It became acceptable, and may I even say, desirable to lie about it regardless of how we felt inside or whether we thought they believed us or not. It was like a basic survival learning experience of the law of cause and effect. We knew what the effect as if we were the cause.

Somehow we missed learning the real law of cause and effect and so many of us have carried this basic survival learning into adulthood; albeit, less blatantly. Blame is still easier and safer we think. But is it?

A long time ago I learned about a psychological game that makes this basic survival experience so clear to me. I see it so easily in others and then I also have learned to see it in myself and then stop and get a better handle on my thinking and actions. Here is the game:

Draw a triangle and at one point write the word Persecutor, at the next point (either one), write the word Victim, and at the last point, write the word Rescuer. Now, once you get a handle on this game, you may see it being played by a number of people including relatives. It's pretty logical. First, someone is playing the Victim portion of the game. They need a Persecutor to blame for their problems for it would be impossible in this game to accept responsibility for any of their actions. Then, there is someone who is playing the Rescuer part. They are trying to point out things that can be done to alleviate the problem, move forward, etc., but the Victim will never, ever listen seriously to a Rescuer; however, they really need them in this game. If the other two are not always in the game, there is nothing for the Victim, or the Persecutor, or the Rescuer.

For much of my life, I was a Rescuer. I call it 'swimming upstream.' It is never effective in the game because no one really wants to be rescued. Logic would dictate they want to be rescued, but really, they love playing the part. They've grown accustomed to it. It has its rewards in sympathy and the attention that comes from that.

There's only one way out. Step away from the game. There's only one way to step away from the game: Begin accepting responsibility for your thinking and your actions. People will still be playing the Persecutor with you, but you won't be jumping in playing the Victim or Rescuer, so you're on the outside looking in. When you are there, it is pretty clear that it's a game. Otherwise, you will always be the game's Victim. (Here's a link to see more about the Karpman Drama Triangle.)

Here's to accepting responsibility!

I Create My Own Reality!

Spread Some Joy Today--See if you see anyone playing the triangle game. . . Smile that you know the way out.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-20-17

"Feelings are much like waves.
We can't stop them from coming,
but we can choose which ones to surf."

-- Jonatan Martensson

[Classic post from 12-2-09]

In the early 1970s, I studied T/A (Transactional Analysis), a self-help method of understanding psychology. It hit the public with the launch of a book, Games People Play, by Eric Berne, MD and was followed by another very popular book titled, I'm OK, You're OK, by Thomas A Harris, MD. The first one was copyrighted in 1964 and the second book in 1967. It is interesting that these books are still available new today on and elsewhere. I was certainly not alone in finding them extremely helpful and instructional, as I still believe they are equally today.

One of the things I learned that has never left me is to "own my own feelings." The premise is that no one can 'make' you feel anything, but that you 'make' yourself feel. There is a great deal of truth in this. I have used this for myself for almost 40 years, and I use it all the time. Whenever I feel something, I pretty much automatically now think that I need to own that feeling and not blame it on someone else. This helps me to understand what is really going on instead of reacting to others. I'm not a robot, it is a constant work in progress, and I get better at it all the time.

So, here's the deal: I can 'feel' the emotion, but I don't have to 'feel' the pain if that makes sense. This is why I love this quote above so much because I can feel the feeling so that I'm not like a stone, but I can choose which feelings I want to 'surf,' or plug into or explore.

In other words, I don't have to agree with someone who may be saying something to me. I can choose a different thought about that. Sally Field said it this way: "It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes." Taking charge of which emotions to surf is critical in an entertainers life for sure but just as important on our own.

People only have the power that you elect to give them based on what you think of yourself. Frankly, it is a wonderful thing to realize this and take charge of it and control it myself. Even if something someone says that I don't like rubs off on me and I feel little crappy for a while, it will be a very short while until I realize what I've done and then turn it back around and be back in charge of my own emotions. Believing in yourself, your value, your worth is awesome and you will be rewarded with an uncrushable self-image.

That kind of self-image is unstoppable!

I Choose My Emotions. I Do Not Allow Others To Choose Them For Me. I Am In Charge Of Me.

Spread Some Joy Today--Today I Want You To Choose Happy Thoughts About Yourself All Day. Have A Lot Of Them On Purpose. Smile As They Pass By. Feel The Joy Inside. You Are Awesome! You Are Exceptional! You Are Wonderful!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-19-17

"Your organization will never get better 
unless you are willing to admit 
that there is something wrong with it."

-- Norman Schwarzkopf

"Your organization will never get better 
unless you are willing to focus on 
and constantly expand on what's right about it!"

-- Terry Minion

[Classic post from 12-03-09]

Sorry Norman, I know you mean well and you have far more education than I; however, I have to disagree completely with this quote. Frankly, it is a piece of cake to admit there are things wrong with a company, or a person, or a situation, or life, or the world, or whatever. It takes no brains at all to do that. Line 10 employees up and ask them what is wrong and you will get a serious earful. If they feel free to talk, that is. And if they do, look out! Here comes the judge. . .

What is really needed to move a company forward (or a person, situation, life, the world, or whatever), is focusing on what is right and constantly expanding on that. Who cares what is wrong? Focus on what you do well and expand on that.

I tell you this from long experience: naysayers are a dime a dozen. You can find them anywhere anytime, and any quantity. And, I'll tell you this from experience: they don't do anything to help anything. They are anchors and sinkers and balloon poppers. My best advice is to move quickly away.

Here's a great question to ask all the employees: What are we doing well? Then, some follow-up questions, like, How can we do more of that? How can we expand that? What do you hear our customers say that is good about us? Can we give better service? How? How can we give such great service that our customers will rave about us? How can we lower prices and still provide more value? How can our company be a better participant in the community? How can our company have employees to rave about working here?

What's even better than this is to ask your customers and prospects: What is your experience like with us? What do you like about what we do? What do you think we could add to make it better? For you to tell all your friends about this company, what would we need to be doing to have you that excited about doing business with us?

Focus on successes, not failures. Leave the failures for history to sort out. Get the enthusiasm rolling and the excitement arcing and the fun laughing. Turn it on and watch it glow. It just needs a spark and some insight and ideas. Let's rock it out!


Let's Get Started!

I Focus On What I Am Good At And Get Better.

Spread Some Joy Today--There is almost nothing better than giving someone else some encouragement. Find something to encourage someone else and don't keep it to yourself--TELL THEM--NOW! To their face is okay. . .

Friday, August 18, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-18-17

"In the measurement world,
we set a goal and strive to achieve it.
In the universe of possibility,
we set the context and let life unfold."

-- B. Zander

"There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently
that which should not be done at all."

-- Peter Drucker

"None of our men are "experts."
We have most, unfortunately, found it necessary
to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert
because no one ever considers himself an expert
if he really knows his job.
A man who knows a job
sees so much more to be done than he has done,
that he is always pressing forward
and never gives up an instant of thought
to how good and how efficient he is.
Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, 
brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible.
The moment one gets into the "expert" state of mind,
a great number of things become impossible."

-- Henry Ford

[Classic post from 11-18-10]

Today is the final piece from the talk several days ago. Yesterday I discussed goals and how I've changed my thinking about goals dramatically. Today, I promised to expand on that and how to work with this new type of "goal."

First off, I don't think much of goals anymore. I don't think they are motivators and I know that so many people think they are. It's okay to disagree. As I said, I've set hundreds, maybe thousands of goals over the years for myself and teams I've worked with. I've met a lot of goals, even exceeded some, and missed a much larger percentage of them.

Missing the goal is always a downer--and the closer you get to a goal and miss it, the worse that feels. I'll never forget not winning a wonderful trip to Japan by missing the sale of two trucks. The goal was 50, and our team hit 48. Of course, 48 was a stupendous achievement considering our previous sales numbers, and that the factory wouldn't give us enough inventory, but it didn't help much. This is what I mean about goals not helping. The next time they come up, people are less interested, not more interested.

They've gone from a picture on the horizon to an expectation of achievement and a methodology of sorting the herd. I could go on and on with what I've studied and learned and experimented about goals, but suffice to say, I am not longer a fan of typical goals and especially numeric goals.

One of the world's most celebrated management experts, W. Edwards Deming published his 14 points. It was designed for manufacturing and he was instrumental in helping Japan become a world economic power, but I think they make sense for sales teams, and any business really. In point number 10, he states, "Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce." Point number 11 states, "Eliminate numerical quotas."

What you say? Eliminate numerical quotas in manufacturing? Yes. If they can be eliminated there to the benefit of the production, they can easily be eliminated in most other places. Besides, in my own experience, they are not helpful to say it mildly.

So, what to do? I said yesterday that I have now only one goal: to feel good. I am a joy-seeker. What brings me joy? A sense of purpose is one, excellence is another, innovation gets me giddy, laughter softens the sharp edges, effective leadership inspires me, mutual respect is a delight, I am ecstatic with encouragement, excited in enthusiasm, and serving the customer is my mantra.

All of these things are joy creators and all of these things will move the needle whereas numeric goals will not. In fact, numerical quotas are a joke compared to these other qualities, which are business builders. Henry Ford said it well twice: "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business." and "A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large."

Deming suggested a few other ways in his points to help this change to success happen: Point number 1: "Create constancy of purpose for the improvement of product and service. and Point number 3: "Cease dependence on mass inspection." and Point number 5: "Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service." and Point number 7: "Institute leadership." and Point number 8: "Drive out fear." along with Point number 9: "Breakdown barriers between staff areas." and the last one I want to mention here, point number 12: "Remove barriers to pride of workmanship." This last one speaks strongly to feeling good, as do the others.

As people feel good about what they do, where they do it, how they do it, the results of what they do cannot do anything but improve. That, after all, is the whole idea behind goals, isn't it? But, we cannot wait for our bosses, supervisors, spouses or whoever is on the outside of us to get around to learning this, so we do have the power to create all of this ourselves until they finally get it. We need to find ways to feel good ourselves first. The rest will come, or not, and it won't matter for we will have already made it.

Suffering Is Way Overrated And Totally Unnecessary.

Spread Some Joy Today--Make as long a list as you can of things that help you to feel good. It might be as simple as enjoying a Grande Breve Latte at Starbucks as a treat, or inspirational quotes, or excellent service to a customer. Whatever it is, do it often.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-17-17

"This is my "depressed stance." 
When you're depressed,
it makes a lot of difference how you stand. 
The worst thing you can do is straighten up
and hold your head high
because then you'll start to feel better. 
If you're going to get any
joy out of being depressed, 
you've got to stand like this."

-- Charlie Brown

"When you are feeling good, 
you must be thinking good thoughts. 
So you are on track 
and you are emitting a powerful frequency 
that is attracting back to you more good things
that will make you feel good."

-- Rhonda Byrne

"When work is a pleasure, 
life is a joy!
When work is a duty, 
life is slavery."

-- Maxim Gorky

[Classic post from 11-17-10]

This is part three of a talk I gave several days ago, distilling into a few key points over 40 years of study about doing well.

Part one was accepting responsibility for our own success by realizing that our success is not reliant on anyone else and that we need to stop blaming and looking at what is wrong, and instead look toward what we want.

Part two was all about decisions, the need for them and a few basic decision points.

Part three is about goals, which is a subject most people I know don't think much of, let alone do anything about. I now understand more where that comes from and why it is that goals scare a lot of people. It's fear, of course, but it goes deeper than this simple explanation.

I've known many people that didn't try because they didn't want to fail. Read that a few times and see how it makes so little sense, but making sense has so little to do with our emotions. It's just the way we feel, but the good news is that we have the power to change that, and in turn, change our entire experience in life.

I've set hundreds and hundreds of goals for myself and for my sales teams, and others. I've experimented with all kinds of goals and how high to put the standard, etc. Much of the time the goals were numeric--a certain number of sales, prospects, presentations, gross dollar amounts, average profits, and many others. I've written articles about goals and have spoken often about goals. I've promoted goals and I've watched them be helpful and I've also watched them be just as unhelpful. In business, goals, and goal achievement percentages have a lot of significance--not very much thought about why or how it affects different people, but the goal setting lumbers on in American business today.

So, in all my experience in goals, goal setting, and how goals affect people, plus how well they work to achieve the stated objectives (more goals), I've come to a dramatic conclusion. Most of them are a waste of time, and certainly, group goals are more a waste of time than individual goals, discussed only individually. Sure, no one is listening to me on this, and I understand that I am perhaps in left field as a result (why do they say that? Left field was always a good place to be when I was playing baseball. . .), but I'm used to it, so it's okay. I'll be more in left field when I tell you what I think about goals today. . .

I recommend that we set one and only one goal: To feel good. That's it. To Feel Good!

Regardless of what the task is, people do a better job of it when they feel good. Regardless of the task, everyone at every level can achieve this perfectly. I don't think now that there is a better goal to have for any sales organization, any team, any business, any family, any anything than to feel good. Seek joy. If there is anything that will turn a lethargic organization around, it is people with joy in their lives. So, it behooves every organization to learn how to help their people feel good. Start Feel Good Training. Have Feel Good Retreats. Focus on feeling good--everyone feeling good.

No one need ever be confused about goals any longer. I've simplified it.

How can we do this? I'll talk about that briefly tomorrow. . .

Nothing Is More Important Than We Feel Good. Nothing. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Start out by giving yourself a break. Stop putting yourself down in any way, shape or form. In fact, reverse this to build yourself up at every chance. Find ways to feel good. There is no benefit to feeling bad other than letting you know you are going the wrong direction.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-16-17

"A real decision is measured by
the fact that you've taken a new action. 
If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."

-- Anthony Robbins

"Nothing can resist the human will that will
even stake its existence on its stated purpose."

-- Benjamin Disraeli

"Words form the thread 
on which we string our experiences."

-- Aldous Huxley

[Classic post from 11-16-10]

This is part two, continuing from yesterdays Daily Inspiration about a talk I gave a few days ago distilling 40 years of study into a few main points.

Yesterday, I went over accepting responsibility for our own success by understanding that our success or doing well has nothing at all to do with anyone else and that making a decision about what we want instead of what we don't want is critical. This was the beginning of a decision. Today, I want to go into more detail on the decision aspect.

In one of my all-time favorite books, Anthony Robbins states in Awaken The Giant Within, that decisions are the pathway to power. He also states that three decisions control our destiny and they are: 1. Decisions about what to focus on. 2. Decisions about what things mean to us. and 3. Decisions about what to do. He wants us to know that it's our decisions, and not our conditions, that determine our destiny.

Decisions about what to focus on. This one is a continuation of yesterday's foundation. We can choose to focus on what we don't want, or what we do want. Most of us spend most of our lives seeing and experiencing what we don't want. The more we think about all the problems in the world, the more there seems to be. It's almost funny the way that works so consistently. However, at the same time, if we reverse that focus to focus on what we do want instead, we seem to get more of that. And, here's how simple this whole thing is: It is strictly the power of making a decision to focus on what we do want rather than what we don't want that will get the ball rolling solidly toward our success. Just a decision about what we will focus upon. Very, very simple.

Decisions about what things mean to us. How we interpret things is heard clearly in the words and phrases we use. Many of those were probably picked up and copied from parents, and other people and we have used them regularly not realizing how powerful words can be in helping or in hindering us. Want to know more? Read chapter 9 in Tony's book, titled, The Vocabulary of Ultimate Success. Ever hear people say things like, "that's just my luck! Those things just seem to keep happening to me." We say those things but expect something different and it will never work. We must change the way we talk to ourselves and to others, and even more important is our definitions of what things mean.

Decisions about what to do. For most of my life, I just kept doing the same things over and over again. My belief told me that this is what I knew and so I should just stick with it. Finally, I broke that state in my life and tried something different and it paid off nicely. I no longer feel stuck and that is important. Deciding what to do is so important. A lot of times, we just think about it, wish it, plan it and forget to make a decision about what to do. In order to do, we must decide to do. In other words, if you like what you do for a living, and yet are not doing so well, decide to be successful at it. Make a decision to excel at it regardless of the current situation. It is surprising how simple and yet effective this decision will be. Not making it, keeps many of us back for so long. As you decide, heaven and earth will move circumstances and things to line up for you. Try it and you'll see.

Tomorrow is part three. . .

"Concerning All Acts Of Initiative And Creation, There Is One Elementary Truth--That The Moment One Definitely Commits Oneself, Then Providence Moves, Too." -- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Spread Some Joy Today--Make some decisions today. Practice makes perfect!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-15-17

"Life is what happens 
while you are busy making other plans."

-- John Lennon

[Classic post from 11-15-10]

Three days ago, I held a commercial truck training class and as I was preparing for it, I stumbled across some writings I've carried around for many years in a binder. As I read some of the entries, I had a strong feeling to ask the GM at the dealership if I could come the next day and do a little motivational talk.

There wasn't much time to prepare, but I did the best I could in the time I had and I got off my notes a couple times and perhaps some of it was a bit disjointed, but I think I said the main things I meant to say and expressed the feelings I wanted to express. With more practice, it would have been exceptional. As it was, it was okay. It wasn't the kind of rah-rah pump up talk, but a thought-provoking talk. Maybe it will hit the target as some time passes. . . Nonetheless, I thought I would share some of it here in at least three pieces to keep it short.

These are things that I have distilled from 40 years of study, reading hundreds of business books and biographies, and my own practice. It has to do with doing well, which we generally all say we want, yet most say they cannot seem to find. I know that well, for I searched for the Holy Grail of Purpose and Prosperity most of my life and it eluded me all the more. The reasons are on a short list and how to change it is even shorter. Making things simple is something I am passionate about because that way, I understand it!

At the start of this talk, I read a two-page letter I wrote in 1992 about the perfect auto dealer and what that would look and feel like in much detail. I used to think about that all the time. I focused on what was not right or what was not right now. I focused on how the dealers, managers, and others failed or missed the mark of excellence. Partly I learned this from the book, In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters. I used excellence as a benchmark; a gauge; a standard against them. Let me repeat: against them. Now I look back on this letter as total bunk. Not because I wouldn't like to see those idyllic things, because I would, but for a different reason and that reason is this:

My success, or doing well has nothing at all to do with anyone else. If it did, I could never succeed, or do well, unless they allowed me to by being what I need them to be to achieve this. So, the letter is bunk. It doesn't matter. It keeps me from doing well because I am focusing on the wrong thing: What other people do or don't do. Where should the focus really be? On me and only me. My success, or doing well has nothing at all to do with anyone else. Period.

Now that is sort of part 1a. The rest of part one is how I get the focus right and how I can learn to do well. Yes, I must accept responsibility. That is a given. Realizing that my success has only to do with me is accepting responsibility. The rest of part one is similar to the John Lennon quote above (or, at least the way I feel this quote), "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." That is what happens when there isn't a decision. Making plans is rather like hoping until a decision is made. Without a decision, there is nothing but empty plans.

People go to work to make money, to pay the rent, to buy a car, to live. So many take what they will and learn to make do. They don't decide to do well, they are just hoping to do well. The difference is everything. I deal with a lot of businesses and I see it in so many of them. They want to grow their business, but. . . they want more sales, but. . . they want to hire some people to help, but. . . and then there are salespeople who want more sales, but. . . want more money, but. . . wish there was more traffic, but. . . want more respect, but. . . I think they are all "butting successes."

Whenever the word but is used after a statement, a decision isn't made, is it? There are no more but's when a decision is made. I have to inject what my definition of decision is here: It is turning a corner and going a different direction. It means commitment. And, this is where the rubber meets the road, the wimps take a hike and the bold take the lead. This is part 1b about creating success, or doing well: make a decision about what you want.

So, part one of this talk is to realize once and for all and to stop making excuses by understanding that our success has nothing at all to do with anyone else and that in order to open the gates, we must make a decision about what we want.

Part two tomorrow. . .

If It Weren't For ____, I Could/Would ______ . . . Or Not.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about any excuses you are making for not being where you think you should be but aren't. Think about how that minimizes you. Now, accept responsibility instead, accept that it is what it is for the moment, and make some new decisions.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-14-17

A Native American grandfather
was talking to his grandson about how he felt.
He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is a vengeful, angry violent one.
The other world is the loving, compassionate one."
The grandson asked him,
"which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"
The grandfather answered,
"The one I feed."

-- From HeartQuotes

[Classic post from 10-5-10]

This little story is so true. We have the power within us all to be angry, vengeful, and violent. We also have the power to be loving, kind and compassionate. We have the power to complain, cajole and harass and we have the power to praise, compliment and encourage. They both always exist within us and the one that we feed will be the dominant one. Which is your dominant path? The glass half empty or half full? Essentially, that is the only difference.

One of the ways in which we feed either side of us is by making judgments and justifications from those judgments. This leads to a negative comment, but it's really a positive comment because it is based in reality and it is justified by judgment. In other words, it's right.

Unfortunately, that is a place from which it is very hard to escape. Once there, the tendency is to remain there and continually search for more and more judgment and justification for which to back up the negative thoughts and comments.

The good news is that by releasing one single thing, it will change everything in your life. Stop judging. Feed the love and stop judging.

I feel the love and I feed the love! Yes, and Amen!

The Less I Judge, The More I Can Love.

Spread Some Joy Today--Make your choice. Perhaps it has been habitual in the past, but it is easy to change. Make your choice.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-13-17

"Try not to become a man of success,
but rather a man of value."

-- Albert Einstein

"Friendship is unnecessary,
like philosophy, like art. . .
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things
that give value to survival."

-- C. S. Lewis

"The promises of this world are,
for the most part, vain phantoms;
and to confide in one's self,
and become something of worth and value
is the best and safest course."

-- Michelangelo

"The value of a man should be seen in what he gives
and not in what he is able to receive."

-- Albert Einstein

[Classic post from 3-5-10]

Contrary to my previous thinking, to become a person of value by becoming a person in service of others, and a giving person, is not to sacrifice my life for the others, but to enhance and expand my life.

The problem I used to have with this concept was the sacrificing part. I thought if I lived my life for others forsaking my own, what kind of life is that? What changed was the wording of the concept from living my life for others, forsaking my own, to living my life in service to others by being a person of value. Isn't there a whole universe of difference between those two? The first one is not being of value at all. It is more of a pity party or what I have to do. Being of service is not excluding self, but expanding self to have excess to give.

Let's forget about the small values like kindness, friendship, encouragement for the moment. Let's look at some of the rich people who have also become philanthropists. They set up foundations and give an initial amount to begin the fund and that fund is held at interest. As donations come from other people and organizations it grows, then amounts are released in such an amount that the fund continues forever. It becomes a giving machine, giving more value every year to more people. Think about the value of forever versus them giving their entire fortune away in one fell swoop. The value is in the foundation because it also has lasting value for generations to come.

Not long ago, I didn't really understand that. I thought they were just being cheap in their giving and giving a little of their vast fortune. In reality, and in my awakening awareness, they are actually being of far more value than they could otherwise be. They use their fame to gain other donations and other partnerships in the giving field of their interest. They use the money wisely and in a way that is consistent with the thinking that brought them wealth, to begin with.

Now, let us go smaller again. How can we who don't have wealth think in these terms in order to provide more value than we would otherwise? One way is sharing your interests in what you are passionate about. Another is to form alliances and partnerships with other like-minded people toward similar objectives. It doesn't even need to be in terms of money. It could be of time, energy, interest, and much more.

Instead of thinking, "what can one person do?" Instead, think, "what can I do to multiply my efforts toward adding value to this?" Totally different thinking. One is almost an excuse to give up and the other is seeking more power.

Becoming a person of value has just expanded.

I Become More Valuable By Becoming Of Service To More People. I Am A Person Too.

Spread Some Joy Today--What can you do today to be of service to someone else? Now do it. Today.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-12-17

"Can you see the holiness
in those things you take for granted--
a paved road or a washing machine?
If you concentrate on finding
what is 'good' in every situation,
you will discover that your life
will suddenly be filled with gratitude,
a feeling that nurtures the soul."

-- Rabbi Harold Kushner

[Classic post from 2-19-12. As of today, 8-12-17, nothing on this list has changed]

I've become such a grateful person in the last five years or so and I never stop finding things that I can be grateful for instead of taking them for granted.

Trash day at my house is Tuesday morning. I am incredibly grateful for trash being pickup up at my house and they even supply the containers to put it in. What an amazing service. When I get the bill each month that is so stupid cheap for such a wonderful service, I just want to give them a huge tip! What a bargain and what a convenience. Think about what it might be like without that service.

  • I flip the light switch and the light lights the room.
  • I turn on the TV and can watch any one of a slew of channels of entertainment, movies, and variety.
  • My computer is not only a miracle and I can watch movies on it too, but it has afforded me the luxury of working from home since 1997.
  • My Polk Audio 10 speakers. I bought them in 1983 and they are still as good as then with sub-woofers and all before sub-woofers were even popular.
  • Recorded music. My how I love music and I can play thousands of hours worth any time I want--even some of my own songs recorded long ago.
  • Books. I love books and learning. So many interesting people whom I get to know a little bit about through books along with a vast array of other subjects.
  • I turn the faucet and clean drinkable water comes right out of the spout. I have faucets in several rooms and several outside too. What an amazing thing.
  • I love toast and I love my toaster and it works perfectly every time.
  • My microwave oven is so fast and easy and I can reheat a cup of coffee or cook a whole meal if I want. What an amazing device right there in the kitchen. They were only invented about 45 years ago.
  • Speaking of the kitchen. I open that refrigerator door many times during the day and my food is kept safe and long by the refrigeration. What an invention and it was only invented in the last century.
  • Flat screen monitors for computers and television. Remember those big old boxes?
  • Concrete. I don't have a dirt driveway or walkways but made of concrete.
  • Street lights. Trash cans. Cardboard boxes. Kleenex. Paper towels. Toilet paper.

I should stop for now, but you can see what a long list it is already and I've only just begun. Gratitude is a practice and there is no better place to practice than the commonplace things that we have come to know so well that we no longer think about them unless they are broken. With that practice, who knows what you could be grateful for!

Get Your List Going And You'll See What I Mean.

Spread Some Joy Today--Once you begin with gratitude, you may find that you can choose to be grateful for things that used to drive you crazy. That's a life-changing thing.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-11-17

"Quit trying to be a better person.
Love and accept yourself just as you are, 
and you will become better without any effort." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 11-26-16]

I love this quote by Alan Cohen. As I found this quote, I saw another on the subject of grace. And, even though Alan's latest book just published is titled, The Grace Factor - Opening the Door to Infinite Love, I thought I'd share something about grace from writer and theologian, Frederick Buechner:

"Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth." 

"A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is, the assertion that people are saved by grace. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do." 

He continues, "The grace of God means something like: "Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you." 

Of course, we get to choose to accept the gift or reject it or ignore it. I dearly love the last part: "Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us." To accept this grace is to accept unconditional love.

I think when we accept this gift, that is not an exclusively Christian gift, but a gift from the God that is God to all, our path is open to enjoy this life that has been given, for it was given us to enjoy. Beautiful and terrible things may happen, but we get to determine that and choose as we will, and I believe that as we accept this grace and this power, we will most often choose the beautiful.

Enjoy The Grace You Are Given As You Choose, For Grace Is In The Choosing. Paying It Forward Might Be Fun. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by injoying yourself, while enjoying all that is around you.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Daily Inspiration 8-10-17

"Treat those who are good with goodness,
and treat those who are not good with goodness.
Thus goodness is obtained.
Be honest to those who are honest,
and be also honest to those who are not honest.
Thus honesty is attained."

-- Lau Tzu

[Classic post from 12-31-11]

A philosophy such as in this Lau Tzu quote escaped my understanding until recently. I was taught, or learned rather, to respond in kind. And even though I then lose my place and position, it was the fair thing to do--an eye for an eye and all that sort of thing.

Now I realize that in so doing, I've given up the thing that I thought I valued, such as the goodness, or the honesty to fight the evil-doers and liars, only to become as they and ultimately show how little I valued the previously held ideals.

It makes perfect sense to me now that treating all with goodness maintains the value of goodness. It also means that I make the choice by choosing goodness.

How does this apply in real life? I've worked a few jobs where things my boss told me to say or do were against my values, yet because they were my employer, my source of income, my livelihood, I folded and did as was requested or instructed feeling crappy about it, yet doing it nonetheless. I could see how the client was looking at me and thinking about me, but I felt that I had no choice. I mean, it wasn't exactly like breaking the law or anything, it was just not right in my mind--more like a difference of opinion or outlook. Yet, no matter how I tried to justify it or whitewash it, it was still distasteful to me.

Today, I would respond differently and take the risk. This is probably one of the big reasons that I am in business for myself because I can make the decisions and feel good about them and do what I think is right. Now if something doesn't feel right to me, I am in total control of changing it until it does. Thus rightness or integrity is obtained.

"If You Don't Change Direction, You May End Up Where You Are Heading." -- Lao Tzu

Spread Some Joy Today--Love yourself first and foremost.