Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-31-18

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

-- Tyne Daly 

[Classic post from 5-19-14]

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 Tuesday, and it is a grand day. Spread that joy.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-30-18

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

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 5-18-14]

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.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-29-18

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

-- Carmen Schleiger 

[Classic post from 5-17-14]

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.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-28-18

"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 

[Classic post from 5-16-14]

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.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-27-18

"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 

[Classic post from 5-15-14]

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.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-26-18

"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 

[Classic post from 5-14-14]

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. . .

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-25-18

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

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 5-13-14]

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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-24-18

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

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 5-12-14]

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?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-23-18

"Life is full of obstacle illusions." 

-- Grant Frazier 

[Classic post from 5-10-14]

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!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-22-18

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

-- Albert Schweitzer

[Classic post from 5-8-14]

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.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-21-18

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

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 5-7-14]

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?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-20-18

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

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 5-6-14]

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 I was experiencing 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 my 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!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-19-18

"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 

[Classic post from 5-5-14]

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.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-18-18

"Anything worth doing 
is worth doing poorly 
until you learn to do it well." 

 -- Zig Ziglar 

[Classic post from 4-29-14]

If it weren't for this appropriate quote, I would still be back in grade school. I have an extremely long list of things I was willing to try and willing to do poorly at until I could learn to do them better.

I've started businesses that I knew very little about. I've started new positions at jobs that I had no experience and little knowledge of. In fact, almost all of them were this way. Guess what? I got better. I succeeded. Or, I changed something to make it work. It's just the way it is.

Thank goodness.

"Life Is A Helluva Lot More Fun If You Say Yes Rather Than No." -- Richard Branson 

Spread Some Joy Today--Break the rules. Have a great time all day long today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-17-18

"Be at peace
with all your choices. 
They all serve you." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 4-26-14]

I love this quote because I have found it to be so true. A good part of my life I was so concerned about making the "right" choice and not making the "wrong" choice. The truth for me now is that it is simply a choice. Every choice will have results of some kind and every result will have an effect. Labeling them right or wrong or otherwise doesn't help at all. In fact, doing that is counterproductive.

About 25 years ago, I wrote a piece called Choices. It was about 150 pages of choices I had made in my life and the results of each choice. Along with that was a lot of detail about how I felt about each choice and each result. It was fascinating to write it in order to understand this idea of choices and results. Back then, I was still labeling and lamenting certain choices. Today, I find that to be not only a waste of valuable time but taking me off the path.

My Choices Are Perfect For Me Now.

Spread Some Joy Today--Choose joy today. Start by releasing any interest in worry.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-16-18

"Your people are a direct reflection of you. 
They watch you. They follow you. 
 They measure you. They listen to you. 
If you want them to be dedicated to you, 
you have to be dedicated to them." 

 -- Jeffrey Gitomer 

[Classic post from 4-25-14]

This is just one tidbit from a wealth of insight by Jeffrey Gitomer in his wonderful book, Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Book of Leadership - The 12.5 Strengths of responsible, reliable, remarkable leaders that create results, rewards, and resilience. It is a perfect book that is easy to read, easy to review, and easy to share. Here are a few more tidbits you might enjoy:

"Manage yourself. . . Lead Others." There is a definite difference between a manager and a leader and it is also true that a leader can be a manager, but mentally it is best to choose one. I choose leader.

"It's not morale; it's attitude. Many leaders look at it backward. They say, "We have a morale problem." Morale is not a problem. Morale is a symptom."

"Are you a leader or a coach? YES!"

"To be a great leader of people--inspire them to follow you, not your rules."

I have had management positions most of my life, but my goal has always been to be a good leader. I feel that I have done that for the most part, and yet I am always learning more.

"Not All Readers Are Leaders, But All Leaders Are Readers." -- Harry S Truman

Spread Some Joy Today--by knowing how to create joy in yourself, do it on purpose, and do it as often as possible.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-15-18

"I can't imagine anything worse 
than being required to have fun." 

-- Scott Westerfeld 

[Classic post from 4-23-14]

Yes. Just imagine being required to have fun. What a heavy load to bear. Can you imagine going to work and being required to have fun? It's ridiculous, don't you think?


I tell you this. I am having so much more fun now in what I do than I've ever experienced before. It's been building and building and I have no idea when it will taper off. In fact, I don't really expect that any time soon.

I even do silly things, just to experience it. I make my office into a vacation resort area. Whatever. It's all just a whole bunch of fun. I have fun driving to visit clients, going for a leisurely walk. It really doesn't matter what I'm doing anymore. I find a way to thoroughly enjoy myself.

One of history's richest men, Andrew Carnegie said this: "There is little success where there is little laughter." I have to agree.

Life Is Short. Have Some Fun. You Get To Choose. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by raising someone's spirits. There's nothing so wonderful.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-14-18

"What is powerful 
is when what you say 
is just the tip of the iceberg 
of what you know." 

-- Jim Rohn 

[Classic post from 4-22-14]

In preparation for a training consulting job and another of speaking to some teenagers who are just beginning to consider careers and jobs, I've had a lot of things that I've learned running through my brain. As a sales manager in one form or another since 1975 and my observation of people in sales positions wherever I've traveled, that gets mixed into all that I know on the subject of influence and sales.

Of all that I have learned and taught for so long, I can bring down to one short sentence my entire philosophy of doing well in sales, management, or any other endeavor. Here it is:

Be the best you can be.

I didn't say THE best. I said the best YOU can be. Not the best anyone could be, but only and exclusively the best that you can be. Whatever that is.

I deal with and have dealt with a lot with auto & truck salespeople. One thing that I noticed that is common with far too many is their lack of sincere interest in wanting to be the best they could be. They just want to get through it without too much effort from them. Many of them didn't survive long with that philosophy.

When it comes to learning a job or career, the very first thing on my list of expectations and instruction is to know what you're selling. And, I mean know it so well that you seem like an expert on the product or service. This is the foundation of doing well. I see 20+ year veterans who can't give a walkaround presentation on a vehicle. That amazes me. But, there was an old phrase I learned long ago that says, "he had 20 years of experience--one year, repeated twenty times."

Jim Rohn said on a set of tapes once that you don't need to talk about but 5 or 6 things to sell a car. And, he's right. The more you talk about in numbers of things, the more the prospect can be confused. However, you have to know which 5 or 6 things to talk about from the 250 things you know. If you don't know the 250 things, you are very limited in your influence.

I recommend to every person doing any job, and especially in sales, to know your product and service as an expert in it. When you know all that about your product and service, what you say will be the tip of the iceberg of what you know, and just as with an iceberg, you can only see about 10% of what it really is in size, people will get that feeling from you, and have confidence in you, sensing the depth of your knowledge.

"Lack Of Homework Shows Up In The Marketplace As Well As In The Classroom." -- Jim Rohn

Spread Some Joy Today--"Sometimes I just think funny thoughts!" -- from the movie, Arthur. It is a great philosophy.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-13-18

"Prosperity is 
very simply, 
and most pleasantly, 
a state of mind." 

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 4-19-14]

Yesterday I realized just how much of an attitude prosperity is. It was one of those a-ha moments that Oprah talks about. I looked up the definition of prosperity, which said it was the state of being prosperous, and the definition of that said that it was a derivative of the Latin word prosperus, which means doing well. And, just as happiness is purely a choice and a state of mind, prosperity is exactly the same.

Though most often, people think of being prosperous as being well off financially. After all, money is just an idea. As well, to one person rich would be to another poor, and the relativity of that alone speaks to attitude, perspective or point of view, and choice of individual meaning.

So, if you want to be more prosperous, the first thing to do is decide to feel that way. What makes you feel that way? Feeling good is a great start. The best way to feel good, is to become grateful, thankful, and to appreciate that which is outside of you and at the same time, and perhaps more importantly, that which is inside you. As you feel more prosperous, you are.

It All Comes Down To How I Want And Choose To Feel. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing to feel joyous!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-12-18

"We are kept from our goal 
not by obstacles 
but by a clear path 
to a lesser goal." 

 -- Robert Brault 

[Classic post from 4-18-14]

I love this quote. We make a decision. It's a firm decision. I'm going to do this, I am going to do that, I will stop doing this and so on. Intentions are wonderful, and strong intentions seem logically more powerful than lesser intentions. So it seems, but stronger intentions, more important goals don't operate in a vacuum. Decisions, firm or otherwise do not create completion on their own. Although, it may be that we sincerely hope this is true, time proves otherwise often enough.

Aristotle said it this way: "All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire." I have no idea how he rated the power of these seven attributes or opportunities, but I would choose desire at the head of the table, with passion and habit as their powerful partners.

As Robert Brault so clearly points out that it isn't so much the obstacles, adversity, disappointment, or any such blockage that takes us off the hunt, but an easy, pleasant, and convenient side trip. What makes me laugh at this a bit is that we end up getting somewhere, though we may have missed our intended target.

What is true for me is that if (and it is a big "if". . .) my desire is strong enough, I will absolutely find a way. A decision doesn't do that. I make all kinds of decisions that I don't follow through on. I've already admitted to being an artist at procrastination. If I don't follow through, I know it is my desire. It is weak and more related to something I feel I should do for a variety of reasons (one of the seven!).

I am beginning to realize this difference and stop beating myself up about making decisions and then not meeting the goal. I need to focus on my desire, and with my strong enough desire and my partners, passion, and habit, I cannot fail. Without sufficient desire, it is another story to tell.

Cranking Up The Desire! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by enjoying yourself. Life is short. Have a great time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-11-18

"It is an interesting question 
how far men would retain their relative rank 
if they were divested of their clothes." 

-- Henry David Thoreau 

[Classic post from 4-17-14]

Our relative position in life is so often based on a comparison of others and/or what others may have, be, or appear. This is virtually always the ego wanting desperately to be in charge, and most often, this approach is not self-serving.

The quote above may help put our place in better perspective. Yet, here is something better:

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." -- William James

Yet one better. . . by changing this last quote ever so slightly, yet it becomes so much more:

Act as if who you are makes a difference. It does.

Perspective is about learning I think, and R Buckminster Fuller said that so well when he said, "you can never learn less, you can only learn more."

The healthiest perspective is to accept ourselves as fully worthy and not in need of anyone else to verify us. By virtue of the fact that we are here, we are worthy. If someone wanted to bring God into this, it would remain that by virtue of the fact that we are here, we are worthy.

Allow Yourself To Love Yourself. You Are Enough.

Spread Some Joy Today--by realizing and celebrating that as a goal of life, that to experience, enjoy, and spread joy is as worthy a goal as I can imagine. Everything else is superfluous.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-10-18

"Peace of mind comes from 
not wanting to change others." 

 -- Gerald G Jampolsky, 
from his book, Love Is Letting Go of Fear 

[Classic post from 4-16-14]

Following up with yesterday's post with the video of Oprah and her guest on a show, Gerald Jampolsky, I looked at some of his quotes. The one above jumped off the page at me.

As with yesterday's quote, this one resonates so well with me too. However, I would like to change one word in it so that it resonates even more. Here is the change:

Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change anything. That would include things, circumstances, events, and of course, others, and it would also very blatantly, include ourselves.

Yesterday was about forgiveness, but forgiveness in all its potential glory is a pale shadow to peace of mind. Forgiveness certainly moves us in the direction of peace of mind, and that might help us to see that we not only need to forgive ourselves but to release our desire to change anything. Or, as Eckhart Tolle might say it, to release the past and future and live only in the present.

It's funny, but until tonight, reading this quote by Gerald, it never made more sense that peace of mind would be not having a desire to change anything at all. All that has been was, all that will be will, but all there is that we can have any effect on would only be in this moment.

It's Not Even About Having No Regrets. It Is Much More Of A Release Than That. It's More Like Allowing Fully. 

Spread Some Joy Today--I just did. I hope you feel it!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-9-18

"Forgiveness is 
giving up the hope
that the past 
could be any different." 

-- Oprah Winfrey 

[Classic post from 4-15-14]

I saw a YouTube video today put on one of our clients' blogs by our head blogger, and I had to share it here. It is powerfully true.

Part of the video is from 1990 when the author of Love Is Letting Go Of Fear, Gerald Jampolsky, was explaining to Oprah's audience what he thought forgiveness was. In the quote above, Oprah distilled his explanation into a perfect package, and she talks about how it totally changed her life. Here was his response in the video regarding his definition of forgiveness:

"It really means letting go of the past. It really means letting go of our perception that we need to hold a grievance the rest of our lives. If we really want to hold onto grievances, we'll never really be happy. It's really a willingness to see the person in the light of love rather than in the action that happened. So it's really changing perception, and it really means letting go of the past we thought we wanted, and we can't really change that past, so it means really releasing the negative perception of it and coming back to the present."

On the video posted on YouTube, it states, "After 25 years and more than 30,000 guests, it was one man's definition of forgiveness that changed Oprah's life. Watch Oprah's Aha! moment and listen to her reflect on what it truly means to forgive." Enjoy.

Letting Go Is The Road To Peace. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Do something nice and unexpected for someone today.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-8-18

"Inside my empty bottle 
I was constructing a lighthouse 
while all the others 
were making ships." 

-- Charles Simic 

[Classic post from 4-13-14]

A lighthouse in a bottle. Interesting. It is amazing the variety of thoughts, ideas, and accomplishments all around us. While we're sowing, some are reaping, while others are irrigating, and the world is eating. Some are venturing out to sea, while others help guide them safely to shore, as others are in the supply chain helping make the voyages possible. Some are building trucks, sell them, while many drive them, work on them, build bodies for them, and in the grand scheme of things, who does not benefit from them?

There are so many perspectives. Try this one: "Won't you come into my garden? I would like my roses to see you." -- Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

We All Play Some Valuable Part In The Whole. 

Spread Some Joy Today--There's only really one way to do this: By being joyous.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-7-18

"Nature does not hurry, 
yet everything is accomplished." 

-- Lao Tzu 

[Classic post from 4-12-14]

I've been traveling all week here and there talking with clients and one thing has stood out very clearly in my travels. That is that there are a lot of impatient people on the road. It seems that regardless of how much over the speed limit I might be driving, there is someone on my tail, so I pull over in plenty of time to allow them the space they seek.

Does it really matter who gets there first? Or second? Or last? Often the differences are marked in seconds. 

I like how Soren Kierkegaard put this in perspective: "Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." I sure saw a lot of that this week.

I'm out of practice, but it was interesting to watch.

What's The Real Hurry? Enjoy The Travel And The Time With Your Thoughts. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Let everyone do as they will in whatever way they choose, while you may choose your own peace and joy.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-6-18

"To accuse others 
 for one's own misfortunes
is a sign of want of education. 

To accuse oneself
shows that one's education has begun. 

To accuse neither oneself nor others 
shows that one's education is complete." 

-- Epictetus, 55-135 AD 

[Classic post from 4-11-14]

It seems logical and appropriate to see external circumstances, happenstance, and unwelcome personal influence as a cause for our own condition. Somehow we think that it helps us to understand the world around and within us, and we may think that it will cause us to feel better about our place and person.

Instead, as is my own experience, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, a habitual ritual of denial and blame, and does nothing to help us understand or feel better.

The attempted solution has been used in reverse. If, on the other hand, we tune into the emotion as a guidance tool, and at the same time, have a desire to feel good, we can then find small ways to feel better, and better yet as a method of change and improvement.

This solution will naturally cause us to look at everything around us and within us differently.

I Have Only One Real Goal: Joy. In This Endeavor, I Am In Total Control. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by helping someone else along their way.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-5-18

"It's never too late 
to be what you might have been." 

 -- George Eliot 

[Classic post from 4-10-14]

Mahatma Gandhi said it so well when he said to make a decision, and take action, and "be the change that you wish to see in the world."

When I was a kid we used to say, "wishes are for fishes." I'm not clear where that came from, but I think I get the point that being busy isn't enough of an excuse. The real problem isn't the doing of the deed, but the desire to do the deed.

When people have a desire to achieve something, they just seem to find a way to make it happen. Everyone else either doesn't give it any attention, or they make a bunch of excuses that they think will sound good and important to someone else.

There are two decent options left. One is to realize that "it is never too late to be what you might have been," and get off the excuse-0-round by making a decision and making some moves. And, two, develop the desire to change by creating reasons and benefits that surround the change, helping it to become more of a priority.

Oops. There is one more. Forget all about it, refuse to participate or discuss it any further.

"Do, Or Do Not. There Is No Try." -- Yoda 

Spread Some Joy Today--Let go of the excuses, the overwhelm, and the guilt. Just say no. Or. . . just say yes! Whichever holds joy is the perfect decision!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-4-18

"Once you make a decision, 
the universe conspires 
to make it happen." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 4-8-14]

I have come to understand this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and believe it as well; however, I will need to add something to the quote for practical purposes. The philosophy is good, yet allowing the universe to complete the task is a challenge with so many of us.

The key is, after the decision, to stay with the decision, and allow it to unfold without mucking it up with input from all that is around us, people who challenge the incorrectness, or impossibility of our decision and so on. 

There are few things as powerful as a decision. It is freeing. It puts thoughts in motion. It attracts the most powerful forces known. If known, it can also attract critics.

It is best to stay with the decision and learn to think of it often, and most importantly, to ENJOY the unfolding of it like a child opening that box with the pretty ribbons under the Christmas tree.

There Is None As Wise As Your Own Counsel. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing yourself with others today. You are highly valued.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-3-18

"Have patience with all things, 
But, first of all with yourself." 

-- Saint Francis de Sales 

[Classic post from 4-6-14]

I was thinking about patience and how I've made such wonderful progress learning to have and practice patience with other people and events, and I often forget to do the same with myself.

As I thought briefly about that, I have made some progress, and I want to have more. On March 3, 2014, I added what I think is a great definition of patience. Here it is again: "Patience isn't tolerating, putting up with. It is allowing things, or situations, or people, to be as they are, without any insistence that they be anything else." This applies as much to me as it would to anything or anyone else.

Here are some questions. Do you accept yourself the way you are? Where you are in your life? What you have in your life? Where you're heading? Or, do you quietly pick at yourself for things that you "should" change, do, do over, do better? Ever make a so-called bad decision that continues to have effects on your today's and tomorrows? Ever eat that glorious fattening stuff and then beat yourself up for enjoying it? Choosing it? Failing to make a better, more healthy choice?

I think patience begins with accepting what is. I love how Eckhart Tolle puts it in perspective when he said, "The moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what it is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace."

Take A Deep Breath. Say, Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being." -- Eckhart Tolle

Monday, July 2, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-2-18

"If I had asked people what they wanted, 
they would have said, 
faster horses." 

 -- Henry Ford 

[Classic post from 3-9-14]

I watched a Ted Talk--this one is TedEd or Ted Education. I absolutely love Ted talks and our company shares a lot of them on our client's blogs and social media. When I first found out about Ted, I was amazed and now that it has morphed into TedX, TedED, TedMed, and others, and has expanded all around the world in many different languages, I am even more amazed at what the Ted Curator, Chris Anderson has done with this idea of having important talks on prime subjects. It used to be almost secret and now is a worldwide phenomenon.

Today, I want to share a short talk (most are 18 minutes, this one is just over 6), by a young man named Henry Lin. I think you might find it fascinating as I did, but what really caught my attention was a quote from him at the end. I thought it was appropriate enough for so many parts of our lives. I give it to you here:

"Innovation, ingenuity, inspiration. 
 These things come when 
we broaden our field of vision; 
when we step back; 
when we zoom out."

-- Henry Lin 

Zoom Out? Sounds Like A Great Idea! 

Spread Some Joy Today--Tell someone you love them today. Especially, someone, you don't normally say that to. Extra love is a good thing.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-1-18

"The root of joy is gratefulness. . . 
It is not joy that makes us grateful;
 it is gratitude that makes us joyful."

 -- David Steindl-Rast 

[Classic post from 3-5-14]

I try to be observant. I was in a favorite grocery store today pushing a cart around. I had a small number of things I wanted to get, but I just wasn't into it. Do you know what I mean? I parked and walked in, pushed the cart around the store, but nothing went in my cart. I was trying to think of something that would please me for dinner, but it just wasn't coming.

So, I looked at my empty cart, thought of several things I was truly grateful for and instantly I began to smile. Not just a smile, but one of those smiles that others can't help noticing. As I was taking the cart back to the front of the store where they are parked, a beautiful woman was pushing her cart toward me and then I glanced at her with that fully-grateful smile on my face and she lit up. It is amazing what the power of a sincere and grateful smile will have on another human.

As I noticed this, I continued to watch all the people in my path on the way to my car. It had the same effect on them. I thought, wow! how interesting this is. Just think if I was like that all the time!

How Hard Is Gratitude For You? My Goal Is To Be Joyful Every Single Day--For At Least A Portion Of The Day, However Brief It May Be. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Gratitude is the way. What are you thankful for?