Month: April 2010

Daily Inspiration 4-30-10

Daily Inspiration 4-30-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week
“I am a cynical optimist. Big opening weekends are like cotton candy. The films you will remember over time are the films that stick in the consciousness of the audience in a good way.”
— Robert Redford
“Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism.”
— Arnold Bennett
Have you ever met someone who speaks positive words and does the opposite? Ever met someone who speaks like an optimist but is often depressed and pessimistic? I have. At one point, it was me, and I see in some others, that me that I used to be. Arnold Bennett’s quote is just that way. Pessimism can be very agreeable once you get used to it. For many it is the way it is. It is reality.
I was like the ‘cotton candy’ in the Robert Redford quote, but somehow after a lot of years of trial and error, I started believing the positive messages I used to say but not live. I started acting on them and living in them, and my life changed over time. Then, there was a catalyst–something that made a dramatic change almost overnight, that took me to a whole new level of optimism and even higher to joy. That, for me, was The Secret audiobook by Rhonda Byrne. That audio gave me some answers that were so dang obvious that I was amazed and instantly transformed.
It wasn’t anything I didn’t already know. Many of the things in the audiobook were things I had spoken of for years and that I had heard so many others say in my study of positive principles. You probably know what I’m talking about in that you have knowledge of something and then you hear it said a certain way, and then all of a sudden, you get it. All of a sudden you know it like the back of your hand, and you might even laugh knowing that you knew it all along, yet you didn’t quite understand it. That’s how it was.
It changed my life as nothing ever has. Now, I saw with clarity and looked forward with enthusiasm and became a joy seeker and much more. Since listening to The Secret, I have read probably a hundred books that have clarified many things to the point that I now know it. I am so grateful for that seed and for this knowledge because it has brought more joy into my life in the last few years than all the years prior combined. That is so powerful and and so wonderful. No more cotton candy.
I wish for you a tenth as much joy.
My Optimism Is My Joy. My Joy Is My Optimism.
Spread Some Joy Today–Let something be a catalyst to your skyrocketing joy! You might try The Secret. I recommend the audiobook highly. The DVD version is good, but the audiobook is much better I think. Or, send me an email and I’ll give you a suggested list. Or, go to the bookstore or library and look for yourself. One will surely lead to another if you’re open to it.
Daily Inspiration 4-28-10

Daily Inspiration 4-28-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week
“Optimism is the foundation of courage.”
— Nicholas Murray Butler
“The obstacles you face are. . . mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach.”
— Clarence Blasier
“Reality is something you rise above.”
— Liza Minnelli
Can you even imagine having courage without optimism? Laughable.
Almost all of our obstacles or problems are self-created, and self-perpetuated. This is also what many call ‘reality.’
I’ve read where people who have had a near death experience say they came out of their body and were floating above the scene and they were watching with detached interest of all that was going on. ‘Reality’ was back down there with the body. So Liza Minnelli’s quote is particularly accurate here.
We need the courage to rise above our ‘reality;’ our problems; our obstacles. These are not mountains with courage and optimism, they are barely molehills. It is never what happens to us that really matters, but what we choose to think about it instead. That’s our optimism–realizing that whatever happens is working for our good, no matter what it looks like to others.
The fastest way to rise above reality is to become thankful for everything in and around your life. That is also the fastest, most reliable way to optimism. With gratitude, nothing is a roadblock. And, last, the way to make that effective is through daily practice.
Rise above your reality!
My ‘Reality Show’ Is Not A Bunch Of Stupid Problems Making Me Act Foolish. It Is A Joy-Fest!
Spread Some Joy Today–What’s real about reality?
Daily Inspiration 4-28-10

Daily Inspiration 4-28-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week
“Being an optimist after you’ve got everything you want doesn’t count.”
— Kin Hubbard
I suppose that a better way to say it than Kin Hubbard’s quote is, waiting to be optimistic until you have what you want is an oxymoron. Optimism, as with hope and vision and belief is all about the journey. Of course, once you really accept that idea and massage it a bit, it morphs into the concept that there really is no destination, there is only the journey and that the journey is always continuous and all we can do it slightly modify the direction of travel. Whew! That was heavy.
Heavy or not, I do believe that concept now. There is no place to arrive, for though a goal is a thing we strive toward, once we come to that place, it will have moved. Hence, enjoying the journey takes on a whole new meaning. It means enjoying life every moment in pursuit of what we think we want. The pursuit is valuable, and the enjoyment is valuable. The pursuit is movement, and there will always be movement for everything is moving somewhere. So we are all in pursuit. We are not all in enjoyment, and that is something that we all have 100% choice in.
Here’s the key: enjoying the journey is an optimist. Not enjoying the journey is a pessimist. That’s the only real difference. It doesn’t matter what you have or what you don’t have. It’s not about the destination, but the journey.
Working a job you hate just so you can keep the balls in the air? That’s a pessimist in action. All you have to do is listen to them for a while. Finding a job you love in order to enjoy your journey? That’s an optimist. They say very different things.
How’s your journey?
Optimism Is Enjoying The Journey. Period.
Spread Some Joy Today–Begin enjoying your journey today. Look across the road and see the trees swaying in the wind. Find some things to get excited about. Pull out your wallet and look on the photo of someone you love. Let the unimportant stuff all around you fall on the floor without any effort to catch it.
Daily Inspiration 4-27-10

Daily Inspiration 4-27-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week
“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
— Vaclav Havel
“Things turn out best for the people who
make the best of the way things turn out.”
— John Wooden
Optimism to me is much more powerful than hope in the way the word hope is generally used. The way hope is generally used is more like a wish, a desire, a ‘what I want’ thing. The word hope as used in religious context, means belief. This last definition of hope and the word optimism are much the same to me.
I love how Vaclav Havel says, ‘it is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” I think that is a brilliant view of life. And John Wooden is saying the same thing in a different way.
This reminds me of a sign I saw in an auto repair shop and I’ve never gotten it out of my head. The sign read like this:
1. If you’re going to be a bear, be a Grizzly.
2. Shit happens.
I think that is an optimistic and enthusiastic and realistic sign. It says to me to go for it and be bold and give it my best shot and do all I can do and be strong and brave and look on the horizon, not the ground. Then, whatever happens, go with it and you will find that it all works out just fine. Number one is the ‘certainty that something makes sense, and number two is ‘regardless of how it turns out.’
Go be a Grizzly!
No worries, mate!
Spread Some Joy Today–Look at Nature today. It will restore your optimism. Trees are very optimistic. Think about it.
Daily Inspiration 4-26-10

Daily Inspiration 4-26-10

The Best Is Yet To Come
Optimism Week
“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.”
— Mark Twain
“If you see yourself as prosperous, you will be. If you see yourself as continually hard up, that is exactly what you will be.”
— Robert Collier
“The barrier between. . . success is not something which exists in the real world: it is composed purely and simply of. . . doubts about. . . ability.”
— Mark Caine
Mark Twain’s quote above hits home with me. I see so many young people who are pessimistic about life and work and success. I see people struggling constantly to make ends meet, loaded down with circumstance and self-pity. Many of these that I know have virtually given up on life as it could be, having come to totally accept their lot in life as “what it is, is.”
These same people are also unwilling to study and really work at doing better, and prefer to do the minimum to get through the day in order to “get off work.” These are also the same people who began and continue to perpetuate the “thank god it’s Friday” mindset. All of this as if work was something to be avoided and partying was the goal.
Now all that sounds pretty harsh coming from an optimist, yet it is as Mark Twain so eloquently stated, “no sadder sight than a young pessimist.” To be beaten before life has really even had a chance to blossom is indeed sad. Many in their 30’s still lost and not knowing what they want to be when they grow up.
I want to save them all, but I cannot. They have to save themselves. The best I can do is my best at encouraging them to renew their spirit, chase their blues away with enthusiasm and kill their pessimism with optimism.
It’s easy to get discouraged. But, here’s the part that is more important: It is just as easy and far more rewarding to be excited and enthusiastic. They are just personal viewpoints.
I have chosen to mentor some young people because I believe in them and what they can accomplish. I influence many more through my positive attitude and enthusiasm and joy. I write about it so that others that either are there or know someone who is there will be encouraged and uplifted.
If you agree with Mark Twain, won’t you do what you can to mentor a few yourself? If we each take a couple, we can change the world!
Be a mentor to a person who needs a bit of encouragement. It will change your life.
In Nature, There Is Nothing But Optimism.
Spread Some Joy Today–If you’ve got success; if you’ve got joy; if you’ve got enthusiasm for life, you can’t help but share it with those around you. Maybe it is time to be really specific with someone who will challenge you. Be a mentor.
Daily Inspiration 4-25-10

Daily Inspiration 4-25-10

“What is truth? Truth doesn’t really exist. Who is going to judge whether my experience of an incident is more valid than yours? No one can be trusted to be the judge of that.”
— Tracey Emin
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
— Mother Teresa
“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”
— Abraham Lincoln
Judgement is just our opinion of something as it relates to something else. It is not THE truth, but our own truth, and our truth is just our opinion of something as it relates to something else.
There are two ways to have the tallest building. One is to become known as a builder, and the other is to become known as a destroyer. Which is your truth?
I Must Get To Know Him Better. . . Powerful Advice!
Spread Some Joy Today–Judge not lest ye be judged. Seems like I read that somewhere. It is good advice, isn’t it? People who live in glass houses should not. . . Heard that one too I think. Also good advice.
Daily Inspiration 4-24-10

Daily Inspiration 4-24-10

“The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.”
— Edward Gibbon
“I don’t judge myself by what someone says.”
— Sydney Schanberg
“Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality. . . that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hall-mark of excellence.”
— Orison Swett Marden
It’s very nice when someone notices, and I get compliments when I do something well; or at least, it spoke to them in a meaningful way. I don’t even mind occasional criticism that I’ve missed the mark for someone, especially if they explain that. And although I would really like to please everyone and have what I do touch them in a meaningful way, I really don’t do it for them as much as I do it for myself.
When I please myself; when I hit the mark in my own mind; when I feel really good about producing something–that is the highpoint for me. I seek to do this every time, and as I continue to try and expand, I hit it more often, but I don’t hit it all the time. Know the feeling? You’re seeking to do your true best and sometimes you actually do it. That’s a great feeling, isn’t it? You’re not really doing it for someone else, they’re just along for the ride, right? That is good.
It is this drive; this motivation that creates excellence.
Here’s what I’ve learned about excellence: it is not a destination so much as a journey. One days excellence is another days mediocre. Excellence is something to strive toward continually. Stop at any point and the excellence stops too. At the same time, it is something that you achieve when you feel that you have done your level best effort at this space and time. There can be no more than your best, so your best will suffice as the definition of excellence.
When you define excellence in this way and take it out of the lofty clouds and bring it down here so we can touch it, now the whole world can have it and pursue it.
No more excuses. . . dang!
It Isn’t Worth Doing If I Don’t Give It My Best.
Spread Some Joy Today–Try giving more today than you get paid for. Just for the fun of it and just for the feeling of doing it. It will rub off on others!
Daily Inspiration 4-23-10

Daily Inspiration 4-23-10

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
— Jack London
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.”
Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
— Napoleon Hill
“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
— Pablo Picasso
I love these quotes because I have learned a thing or two about inspiration. One is that it is powerful and mysterious. It is often as if someone from outside the world I see, is speaking it through me. It’s the kind of thought that I instantly feel I must listen to, and it is a thought that has legs–it’s a catalyst to accomplishment or completion. It may not be the whole answer, but is enough to get me going.
The other thing I’ve learned about inspiration is that I don’t wait around for it, but seek it out. It is more like asking it to come and being open to its arrival, and the best way to have it come is to be already in action, not languishing and making assumptions. I love Napoleon Hill’s quote in that there is no perfect time; or rather, more appropriately, anytime is the perfect time, and none as perfect as this very moment.
A few years ago I was writing a a lot of songs and I found that my inspiration came when I decided I was going to do just that–set aside the time, find an appropriate environment and go to work. As I worked, the inspirations just flowed through me and I could hear the song in my head as I was writing out the words. There was something magical about it.
Sometimes now, when I’m working on a business idea, project or problem, I might go for a long walk or I frequently pace the room. Although pacing is normally referencing anxiety, and this is not the case when I pace, but it just kind of makes me more focused, yet relaxed. I think it’s the physical movement. I’ve heard people say when they are exercising that good ideas come to them.
You probably have those things you do that seem to bring out your inspirations. It is indeed a thing that is best done on purpose, rather than by accident. Whatever you find working for you is great. Or just start toward your goal even if it isn’t yet clear, the inspirations will catch you in due time.
Finding the inspirations is an active sport. They won’t stand for intimidation, so you can’t force them; however, they respond fully to expectation. Your inspriations will find you when you are ready. They are always ready.
I Find My Inspirations Find Me When I Seek Them.
Spread Some Joy Today–Isn’t it joyful when you’re inspired? Just think about how that spreads joy to those around you. If you feel that way, others will feel it through you! Purposely seek inspirations daily. Practice makes perfect. Plus, it’s a rush!
Daily Inspiration 4-22-10

Daily Inspiration 4-22-10

“People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have.”
— Richard Carlson
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
— Willie Nelson
“You won’t be happy with more until you’re happy with what you’ve got.”
— Viki King
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
— Epictetus
I want more. It’s really a natural thing. It has been said in training I’ve received in the past that in order to move forward, or get more, you have to become dissatisfied with what you have and where you’re currently at and that this provides the motivation to move toward that something that you want that you don’t now have.
That philosophy is like having a child and then deciding to be unhappy with them because they aren’t yet what you want them to be. This then should give you the motivation to get that done, right? Yeah, sure. Unhappy parent and an unhappy kid. Terrible philosophy.
I’ve unlearned that stuff. Where it is at, is being grateful for what you have while desiring something more. There’s no more motivation in being unhappy than being happy. Motivation is just a decision of what you want and a desire to have it.
So, now back to the parent and child. You’re happy and you’re thrilled that your child is where they are and you also know they are going to grow and change and become more and want more and you are full of encouragement to enjoy the process and you’re so complimentary as it unfolds. Happy parent, happy child, lovely life.
This I know for sure and from long experience: being happy is so much better. Encouragement is a grand gift. Don’t you agree? So there’s no point in being upset about anything that is happening right now, is there? Happy parent, equals happy child.
Be thankful for what you have, who you are and where you are. It’s the best way to enjoy life and your pursuit of more happiness.
I Am Thankful For All That I Have This Moment. It Serves Me As I See More Than I Want.
Spread Some Joy Today–Share the joy of being happy with what you have with someone who needs a friend. You’ll make two.
Daily Inspiration 4-21-10

Daily Inspiration 4-21-10

“Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.”
— Jim Ryun
“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
— Jules Renard
“Yet habit–strange thing! What cannot habit accomplish?”
— Herman Melville
This probably never happens to you: I get in my vehicle and drive off to my destination. I’m thinking of things I need to do, ideas, other thoughts. About a mile away from home, I suddenly realize that I am not going where I intended, but somewhere I go often instead. This scenario does seem to happen more as I age.
Well, it’s worse than this I’m afraid. There have been a few times where I was about 40 miles from home realizing I’ve gone the wrong direction toward the wrong destination. And even more ridiculous than this, ofttimes, I go to the refrigerator forgetting why I went there.
I have to laugh each time this happens, and of course we all know that the reason it does is twofold: One, it is a habit pattern to do a certain thing, go a certain direction, and two, our thinking of thoughts has taken us on a very enjoyable, yet distracting journey as we allowed our habit to guide us on its own. Oh, lovely thoughts. . . Wake up!! Pay attention!! You’re doing it again!!
It’s just me, isn’t it? I was afraid of that. . .
Habit is an amazing thing that can help or hurt, yet we create them both. I’m motivated and really want to change, yet my habits keep me procrastinating and restarting when I feel I should be further down the road. I never thought of it as laziness because I work very hard and long, until after I read the Jules Renard quote: “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Oh. . . my oh my what a powerful, insightful and truly amazing quote this is. It explains so much about why I don’t accomplish more.
It does seem hard to tighten up the body if I am unwilling to work up a sweat. Not that effort is everything–frankly, I think thought is more powerful. Yet it is the willingness and even desire to rest before I get tired that slows my progress. Isn’t that an interesting observation?
Of course, I am only talking about me. . . it doesn’t happen to you. . . does it?
Habits Serve Me. Or Not. I Like It When They Do.
Spread Some Joy Today–Check your habit portfolio and see if there are some that need a little sprucing up. A habit is just something we repeatedly do. We are certainly machines in that respect–but with a brain that controls when we choose it.
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