Month: February 2010

Daily Inspirations 2-28-10

Daily Inspirations 2-28-10

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.
Of course inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

— Groucho Marx

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs–
jolted by every pebble in the road.”

— Henry Ward Beecher

“Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective:
an awareness that some things are really important, others not;
and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.”

— Christopher Morley

There is absolutely nothing so grand as laughter. Some times I laugh so hard that I lose my breath. I want to laugh more like that. I try to find laughter in every day.

If you want to know the healing power of laughter, read Norman Cousin’s famous book, Anatomy of an Illness. There are many who have used laughter to help them to wellness. It can be such a serious world. Taking it less seriously is healthy!

When I really want to laugh a lot and hard, I pick up my copy of Jay Leno’s Headlines, Book I, II & III in one volume. You can buy it very inexpensively online. It is hilarious every time I read it. What’s cool is that you can open it anywhere and start there. It is funny from start to finish. The ISBN number is 0-517-08238-1 to make it easy to find.

Usually I watch movies that I know are hilarious for me. Movies like Evan Almighty! with Steve Carell and Be Cool with John Travolta. I laugh out loud and quite often through both of them. I have a long list of movies that lift my spirits and cause laughter. Another is Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais. I highly recommend finding the ones that really crack you up and buying them so you can watch them whenever you feel a bit short on laughter.

Another place I go to often is YouTube and Stupid It never ceases to amaze me the crazy things people do and the fact that they do it in front of a movie camera and then post it for the world to see, and I thank them for it.

I remember watching the first VHS video I ever rented back when video rental stores didn’t sell videos but only rented them. It was the movie Arthur with Dudley Moore. He was sitting in the back of his limo and he just started laughing aloud and said, “sometimes I just think funny thoughts!” Me too. I don’t usually laugh aloud about that, but laugh inside anyway.

There is nothing so sweet and refreshing as laughter. Enjoy it daily!

I Laugh Often and Daily. The More, The Merrier.

Spread Some Joy Today–Check out some new things to make you laugh today. Try or YouTube, or watch a really funny movie tonight. It’ll do you good.

Daily Inspiration 2-27-10

Daily Inspiration 2-27-10

“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.”

— Mother Teresa

This popular quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible. In essence that chapter says that no matter what you might have, if you haven’t got love, it is nothing. Of course, Ralph Waldo Emerson may have had something else in mind, but when I read it, 1 Corinthians 13 comes to my mind first.

Now reading Mother Teresa’s quote makes me think about the same Bible chapter, but this quote even makes me feel stronger because of the simple way this is phrased.

I used to love people, but then if they were too much trouble, I would not love them. That was what I was taught through a childhood of two divorces and bickering relatives. Starting out on my own, I decided that you either love someone or you don’t, that once you love them, you love them and that love is not something that goes away or it was not love to begin with. That was a very, very powerful conclusion for me and it has served me so well over the years. Love does not turn to hate. It is always love. Hate is something else entirely.

In my later years (feels strange to say that), I have grown to love people more unconditionally. They don’t have to do or be anything or any particular way. I just love them no matter what. I don’t love them less if they don’t do what I would like them to do. I just love them. We may go our separate ways for a lot of reasons, but the love remains no matter what.

If there is anything in my whole life I can think of that I am really satisfied with, it is learning to love regardless and understanding that love doesn’t have an on and off switch. It is so easy to be judgmental, but so much more heart-warming to be allowing and loving.

As Mother Teresa so aptly says, “Love them anyway.”

My Love Only Has An On Switch. It Is Stuck In The On Position. I Don’t Plan On Fixing It. It Isn’t Broken.

Spread Some Joy Today–Think today about some of those “lost loves”–the people you have loved and are not in your life now. Doesn’t that feel good to remember? Awesome! It can be your private moment.

Daily Inspiration 2-26-10

Daily Inspiration 2-26-10

“When one door closes, another door opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

— Alexander Graham Bell

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities
and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”

— Harry Truman

Seeing doors open and close is too dang easy. I sure would like it to be that easy, but it hasn’t been in my experience. A better, more “real” way of looking at this is to look at how we see problems. Ain’t it the truth, problems are just part of living. They will always be around to mess with us. We can change them from problems to opportunities.

Though I’ve always tried to look at some problems as opportunities, a co-worker taught me to look at every problem as an opportunity. Matter of fact, he didn’t even use the word problem, instead, he always used the word opportunity.

At first, I thought he was just showing off some positive thinking ideas and that it would wear off in no time. It was even hard to believe that he truly meant it as often as he referred to opportunities. As I soon learned, he was committed to this approach and it was just part of the way he dealt with things. Then, it became endearing and then exciting. He showed excitement when there was a problem because to him, that was truly an opportunity. It was an opportunity for the company to shine by how the problem was looked at and dealt with. It was an opportunity to solve an issue rather than perpetuate it. It was an opportunity to attract, rather than repel.

Ten years later, he responds in the same exact manner. He is an inspiration to me with his opportunistic attitude. It also must be contagious, because I find myself beginning to think the same way for much of the time. At the very least, now I find myself thinking of him when I have a problem and that helps me to put my rosy glasses on and look at the problem differently. And, it works.

I’ve always wanted to be an optimist. . .

I Optimize My Optimism Daily By Fine Tuning Problems.

Spread Some Joy Today–Let’s go look for some problems to turn into opportunities today. Should be an easy challenge to find the problems. Just a tad harder to turn them into opportunities, but doable.

Daily Inspiration 2-25-10

Daily Inspiration 2-25-10

“It’s not the load that breaks you down,
it’s the way you carry it.”

— Lena Horne

“The good or bad is not in the circumstance,
but only in the mind of him that encounters it.”

— James Allen

I love Lena Horne’s quote above. Think of it this way:

As you are going through life daily, you have a bag over your shoulder and you are collecting things to put into your bag. Each thing that you see that you become grateful for, a helium balloon goes into your bag. Each thing that you complain about or are not pleased with, a lead sinker goes into your bag.

If by the end of the day, you have a serious pile of sinkers in your bag, it really can weigh you down and make you tired and sore. You just drag yourself home and can’t wait to watch some TV and unwind from all the crap you had to deal with all day. You retire to sleep dreading the coming of tomorrow and having to do it all over again. You wonder how it is you got such a raw deal in life.

If by the end of the day, you have a serious number of helium balloons in your bag, you just float home and can’t wait to share your experiences and love before you begin again renewed and refreshed. You arise rested and interested–no, fascinated with what wonderful things might happen today. Joy is your modus operandi.

The circumstances may be the same, but the loads are very different.

So, thinking about this scenario, who are we hurting by complaining, and talking about what is wrong? It is certainly not enlightening anyone. It is obviously, hurting only ourselves.

Who are we lifting up with praise and compliments? Sure, if we say them aloud, other people are influenced; however, it is ourselves that get the real benefit.

Do I want to be weighed down all day and come home and try and get high or do I want to be high all day and come home and share the joy?

Tough question. Let’s see. . .

I Choose Helium! Makes Me Talk Funny Too. . .

Spread Some Joy Today–Check your bag often today to see what is being collected. More helium, please. . .

Daily Inspiration 2-24-10

Daily Inspiration 2-24-10

“There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
— Albert Einstein

This is such a powerful quote by Albert Einstein. So succinct and so nicely done.

To me this speaks of gratitude. No. It’s much more than gratitude. Gratitude is the beginning of believing in miracles. It is awe!

When I began to be a truly grateful person about seven years ago, my path since has been so interesting. I find myself in awe a good deal of the time, just being amazed and enthralled with scenes I witness, people I interact with and circumstances that sometimes even take my breath away. My favorite word has become the word awesome, and I express feeling that daily.

At night just before I go to sleep, I thank the Lord (you can use Universe, All That Is, or whatever word or phrase you like of the thing that is not you and seems to be in control of the creation of all things. . .) for an awesome day and then I itemize a few things. Depending on how tired I am, I might itemize as long a list as I can think of. In the morning when I first awake, I begin thanking the Universe for the comfortable bed I just slept in and anything else I can find that I might commonly take for granted that I would appreciate if I weren’t taking it for granted.

Of course, that is an awesome way to look at it, don’t you think? When I take things for granted, because I see them every day or they are just commonplace, I am not grateful. When I am purposely grateful for the commonplace, I no longer take them for granted. Interesting.

Being grateful for those things that I might take for granted is living my life as if everything were a miracle. How awesome is that?

My Gratitude Increases My Awareness Of Miracles!

Spread Some Joy Today–I’ll bet if you tried today, you could find several hundred things to be grateful for. So try. Make a list. Practice makes perfect!

Daily Inspiration 2-23-10

Daily Inspiration 2-23-10

“Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security
only as he is moving forward. . . ”
“We must have courage to bet on our ideas,
to take the calculated risk, and to act.”
— Maxwell Maltz
“Only the insecure strive for security.”
— Wayne Dyer
“If we can learn to make uncertainty our friend. . . .”
— John Naisbitt
Insurance. It is an interesting thing and it is a modern idea. Many of us take it from granted now, because on some things it has become required and not an option, such as car insurance and home owners insurance. Insuring against risk is a common desire. Heck, there is insurance on virtually anything you can imagine, and Lloyd’s of London will gladly consider your future imaginations.
Risk is another interesting word. I especially like the common phrase, calculated risk, because it indicates that we can accurately calculate risk and make it somehow more acceptable, and then insurance, just in case, will make it pretty much painless.
Written agreements are meant to limit risk. A prenuptial is meant to limit the risk of marriage, which everyone knows is a risk. With most of us, who knows what could happen? But with the prenuptial, everyone knows what will happen. And, so many times they are self-fulfilling prophecies.
Back to my favorite phrase of calculated risk. . . or as some turn the phrase into, counting the cost. How do you calculate risk? Is there a book of risk factors we can research and determine accurately the risk? What if circumstances change during the endeavor? Would we then re-calculate the risk? Does calculating the risk have anything to do with the potential completion of a task?
Man has always wanted to fly since time began. Man tried every imaginable way to take to the air. For a while. Then, it was believed that if man was meant to fly, God would have made him a bird, so he gave up. The risk was too great. Leaping off a tall building or from a tall tree was too great a risk. Several thousand years later, some idiot began again. Failure after failure ensued. Then, putting together the effective means, man took flight. Man has taken flight in hundreds of different ways since, and now it is so common, none of us even gives it a thought. We fly. We were meant to fly. Heck, we now even fly to other bodies in the sky and send automatic flying machines many millions of miles into the sky.
What is it that you want to do? Calculating the risk to me means that you are calculating how strong your desire is and how firm your commitment might be. After calculating that risk, you have only two choices. Do or do not do. I’m sorry, but there is no insurance. Do or do not do is all there is.
“There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.
— Douglas MacArthur
Security Is All In My Head. So Is My Success.
Spread Some Joy Today–Think of something small that you have wanted to do and were afraid of the risk. Act on it and get your confidence back. Then work on bigger things.
Daily Inspiration 2-22-10

Daily Inspiration 2-22-10

“Resentment is like drinking a poison,
and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

— Nelson Mandella

Our fatigue is often caused not by work,
but by worry, frustration and resentment.”

— Dale Carnegie

Have you ever been around someone who is angry a lot and is often resentful of others actions? It is as if they have strict rules of every kind of behavior and almost no one reaches the bar, and consequently, there is much about the other person’s behavior to spout about. And spout they do. It is as if this angry person is the only person in the world who knows how things should be done (rules). They don’t use words like righteousness, but that is exactly what it is. They are right and everyone else is wrong.

With this attitude, you might watch them become upset over the smallest item because it is virtually impossible for everyone else to meet all these many rules to this person’s satisfaction. They talk about other people being selfish, but there is nothing more selfish than righteous indignation. Indeed, much of the time there is a full scale pity party going on because all these other people (who also cause all the nasty circumstances), are constantly doing things that hold this person back from where they would like to be.

I say baloney to that. They are where they like to be and that is precisely why they are there being angry and resentful. You see, there is a payoff for them. There is no need to accept responsibility for anything when you have everyone and every thing external to blame. How nice, convenient, and self-righteous. It’s like an endless circle. I see it more as being a pinball in pinball machine, getting bounced around from one event, person, circumstance to another.

I have never seen a quote that more matches this kind of behavior than the one attributed to Nelson Mandella: “Resentment is like drinking a poison, and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” For sure. Another that is closely related that I love is this from Mark Twain: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Though it may be unpleasant at times to be around this kind of person, remembering this quote may help comfort.

I now know and have known a few people who fit this description. One of them to a reasonable degree was me. I have found a way out and there are just a couple things that helped me do this. One, I began developing and growing an attitude of gratitude for what I had, ever expanding it to being truly grateful for everything–positive and negative. Two, I developed and grew a philosophy that there is no right or wrong way. In fact, there is no way. There is your way, my way and their way. They are all a way.

The thing that helped me with this aspect a great deal was learning to respond instead of react. My mother used to have a saying that I should count to ten before I speak when something is not the way I want it. I used to be an angry driver with all the stupid people on the road, so I started saying aloud, “that’s an interesting way to do that. . I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it is interesting!” along with other such responses. It was hard at first, but became fun quickly and really helped move that philosophy forward in me.

The good news is that people can change when they want to. I rejoice in this.

I Know How To Let Go Of Anger. Stop Being Right.

Spread Some Joy Today–Practice responding instead of reacting. Count to ten if you need to. Leave right and wrong to either side and take the middle road.

Daily Inspiration 2-21-10

Daily Inspiration 2-21-10

“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.”

— Lori Nannery

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

— The Bible, Matthew 6:27 NIV

I worry. I used to worry a great deal. Now I worry less every day. Now I catch myself in the act of worrying about something, and I remind myself that worrying about it solves absolutely nothing.

There are a lot of great quotes about worrying. I chose only these two this time because the first by Lori Nannery is so true–worrying really does NOT empty tomorrow of troubles, but it zaps your strength today in a big way. That quote alone should help; however, it is the second quote by Jesus that has really stuck with me for years.

Think about it. What a great question. “Who of you by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?” Really. That question is so powerful that I keep it in my head to remind myself of the fallacy of worry. That whole chapter in the Bible is a lesson in letting go of concerns and worries. Yet to me this one line is all I need to remember.

Who of you by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?

I Cannot Add Even A Nanosecond To My Life By Worry. All My Time Spent In Worry Has Been Wasted Time.

Spread Some Joy Today–Realize that you need never worry about anything ever again. Practice makes perfect!

Daily Inspiration 2-20-10

Daily Inspiration 2-20-10

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

— Albert Einstein

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.”

— Napoleon Hill

My first and most important advice to a young person is to get excited about learning and to become a life long student. There are so many rewards for this philosophy. Based on my own experience in school, I think that a lot of students come to dislike learning because of the way some things are taught and the limited environment. I found school in my later years to be boring and slow. Even college was mostly boring. Yet, there is so much excitement in learning available if one can find that avenue. That avenue is following what interests you and following it until it doesn’t interest you anymore and then finding another or several others that do.

I totally agree with Einstein’s quote above. Keep learning every day. And I love the comparison of Napoleon Hill’s quote in that action is the real measure of intelligence. I think that is fascinating and I also believe it to be true. Knowledge is not gathered for the sake of knowledge, it is gathered to do something with it, otherwise it is kind of a waste of time and energy. To do or not to do (with what you learn), that is the question.

The best combination is to put to work what one learns right away. It ensures that the knowledge will have some staying power as well. More importantly, it ensures that progress is made–or at the very least–practice is experienced. Knowledge plus action equals results. Better knowledge, plus better action, equals better results.

I buy a lot of books and usually have several open at one time. If the book keeps me interested, I keep reading. If it doesn’t keep me interested, it goes in the pile of “some other time.” Sometimes a book doesn’t interest me today, but a year and a half later, I’m very interested. The key for me and my advice is to keep finding new books to get excited about. I am amazed at what I learn every day.

Get excited about learning. Learn something new every day.

I Am A Life-Long Learner And I Act On What I Know.

Spread Some Joy Today–Stop at the bookstore today and buy something new and interesting to read. It will get the juices flowing again. Or, try an audiobook. I love audiobooks. Didn’t you alway like it when Mom or Dad read to you? Same thing.

Daily Inspiration 2-19-10

Daily Inspiration 2-19-10

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

— John F Kennedy

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

— W. T. Purkiser

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

— William Faulkner

What they all say is to not give lip service to gratitude. The real gratitude is shown in the living with it in your heart and expressing it outwardly.

In years gone by, I’ve been grateful for many, many things. I got a really good used bike for my paper route when I was eleven. I was grateful for that. I’ve had many, many presents that I have been grateful for. Most of the things I used to be grateful for were external things.

In recent years, I have had a whole new way of looking at gratitude. I’ve talked about this before, but the book, Power In Praise by Merlin Carothers completely changed my take on gratitude. Since reading that book about seven years ago, I have been on a growing path of praise. Now I praise things, events, sights, feelings, large or small, good or not so good. Almost all of the time. Almost because I still have some growing to do. I’m not yet fully grown. Still working on it. But, I have crossed the threshold and I am in the house!

I can tell you without the slightest smidgen of doubt that this one thing has changed me in such a way as if I were another person to myself. I see life in a completely different way than I did not so long ago. I see other people in a different way than I did not so long ago and I see events in a different way than I did not so long ago. I’m more calm, more forgiving, more understanding, more patient, more kind, more thoughtful, more giving. Those are wonderful gifts to receive, wouldn’t you agree?

Paul in the Bible said it so well: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances. . .” I find it amazing what happens when I am this way. The circumstances may not change; however, how I feel about and respond to the circumstances does. To me, that is power and it comes from gratitude. Amazing.

Live your life with gratitude on your lips and in your heart.

I Am Grateful For Everything All The Time. It Is Joyful.

Spread Some Joy Today–Let your lips express gratitude to others today. Find things to praise them for. You will change two lives today.

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