Month: September 2010

Daily Inspiration 9-30-10

Daily Inspiration 9-30-10

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”
— Sally Fields
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
— W. C. Fields
 
You know. . . I get these quotes and I agree with them whole-heartedly, but it ain’t always easy, is it? Just when you were expecting that you did good, someone pipes up to say otherwise. Just when you were hoping to get approval, you may find the tide turning against you. And so it can get to be real hard to hear those unkind words or gestures. I get that it is not easy.
But here’s the deal: it is necessary for us to be open to what others have to say about us or what we do or fail to do, but it is not necessary for us to believe them, and it is certainly not necessary to allow them to rule.
What is left is just hurt feelings. I say just, like it’s not that important–and it isn’t, but at the same time it is. It is not important in that this is only a response to a stimuli and we can decide to change that reaction any time we choose to do so. It may or may not take some time to make that change, but it can be changed. It is important, in that feeling that negative emotion is an indication that what has happened was not in your best interests. That is well worth paying attention to, for it can be a primer to a better way: to choose your response (so much better than a reaction) instead of having it chosen for you (reaction).
So, indeed, we do give people permission or not and we are the ultimate authority.
I Think I’m As Important As Any Other Practicing Human Being. I’m The Only Authority On Myself.
Spread Some Joy Today–Take charge of your own importance today. Not more important than anyone else, just as important. We’re all practicing.
Daily Inspiration 9-29-10

Daily Inspiration 9-29-10

“Opportunity is often difficult to recognize;
we usually expect it to beckon us with beepers and billboards.”
— William Arthur Ward
“Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there
more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.”
— Hugh Allen
He says, “Oh Lord, show me a sign!” and he’s looking all around at the shape of the clouds and the color of the sky and waiting for the big announcement. It doesn’t come, and he keeps praying and keeps looking. . .
. . . while he is tripping over all the opportunities that are so plentiful all around him. It’s just that they aren’t big. Maybe there’s no big change. Maybe they are just little changes leading to the same result.
How many times in our lives have we missed paying attention to what is going on in front of us while we’re waiting for the big sign?
What about the little signs? How about meeting someone new and sharing something that seems strangely important. Someone makes an offer, and it is passed off as not important. You’re invited to an event and there is a special person attending this event that you would meet, but you chose to pass on the event.
Those little signs are happening almost every day and they are all choices we make and those choice make a difference.
I think the best advice I’ve heard on this subject is having your objective, and paying attention to, and enjoying the journey. So many roads lead to the objective. Who knows what the next curve will hold?
I Am Open To Every Possibility. I’m A Possibilitarian.
Spread Some Joy Today–Smile. People will wonder what you’re up to.
Daily Inspiration 9-28-10

Daily Inspiration 9-28-10

Issue Number 365
Today marks the one year anniversary of the CTS Daily Inspirations: Issue Number 365, September 28th, 2010. The loving response to these daily passages has been most gratifying and wonderful. I began them to inspire a few discouraged sales people at one of our clients locations and it evolved from that to a far wider audience. I am grateful for every reader and all the input I have received. It is a joy to do these and the fact that anyone gains any benefit from them makes the effort worthwhile. Thank you for reading and thank you for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
For this issue, it seems appropriate to review one of my favorite quotes of all time by Ralph Waldo Emerson. To me, it is so inspiring because it indicates that I have power or control over my life. There are many who believe that circumstances and other outside influences rule their lives and that fate or luck or gods or devils use them as pawns in the big game. Those thoughts cause me to have no desire to live, no desire to grow, no desire to do anything, for I would be working against the odds of the have’s and the have not’s.
It also inspires me to know that no matter where I am in my life travels, looking at the past or even the future–no matter what I used to think or do or have or be–I can change. This thought gives me strength and enthusiasm and life.
As a child and teenager, I would think about fate and wonder how life is a blessing to some and a burden to others. I was taught to do my best, to do the right things and with some luck, I could have a good life and a good job. With some luck was the questionable phrase. I didn’t understand where luck came from. It was mysterious.
Now, so many years later, I’ve come to the realization that I have had the power, or the control to have the life I want within me all the time, but I never took conscious control of it. The only thing I can truly control in life is what I choose to think and that is control indeed. Circumstances do not have the effect they once did. Luck is not an issue. All the other outside influences have no control either. It is all inside me. It is what I choose to think.
That leads me to the final comment on this quote by Emerson: It is my responsibility, if I ever had one–to choose, to take control, to get at the wheel and accept responsibility for my own choices and to learn how to guide myself because I have the power within me and to look outside of me is to ignore it and have my thoughts be controlled by circumstance and others. In other words, to not live my own life.
I am so excited and pleased to have acquired this knowledge and to have accepted the responsibility, for it is to live my own life and to be of value. If it is to be. . . it is NOT up to them! It is up to me!
I Accept The Responsibility Of Creating My Own Unique Experience–My Own Life.
Spread Some Joy Today–Make a blame list. How many people, circumstances and events have you blamed for things that did not please you–or even those few that did please you. Now, accept responsibility for all that yourself. It will make an enlightening list, I assure you.
Daily Inspiration 9-27-10

Daily Inspiration 9-27-10

“Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside the classroom. To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institution pyramid.”
— Tracy Kidder
“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring
the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.”
— Horace Mann
As I look back on my formal education in school, I can count on one hand (and probably a finger or two) the teachers that really made a difference compared to the many others who were either a bore or a chore. The ones that stood out for me created in me a desire to want to know more and I wanted to stay as long as I could and learn more compared to the others where I couldn’t wait to get on to the next class or the end of the day. I’m sure I’m not alone in this backward view.

Somehow we expect that teachers should be better. Of course, some are, but most don’t seem to be–yet I know we all have such a reservoir of ability, so I know they have it, though they don’t display it. Why do we think that? Just like we think that all cops should be good cops.

So, all electricians should be good electricians? All carpenters should be good carpenters? All car sales people should be honest and good? All politicians should be honest and good. No, we don’t expect that they will all be good, instead, we might think that it is hard to find a good one out of the clutter of poor prospects.

There is something primal about a teacher in that we need them to help us, yet at the same time, we don’t really appreciate them as we could. Some of them can make such a difference in our lives as did Edward James Olmos in the movie, Stand and Deliver.

In this, aren’t we all in that teacher role? I want my kids to be inspired to learn more and if I can have the smallest part in that, I am very satisfied and successful. At the job site and the interactions with others, I am a teacher and can have the same possibilities of effect.

So, where it all starts and ends is in ourselves. If we are looking outside of ourselves for someone else to make the difference, we are missing out on the real difference: our teaching; our influence; our enthusiasm; our love; our inspiration.

There is nothing more pleasing to me than to feel that I am an inspiration to someone else as I feel that same inspiration within me. It’s kind of like surfing a big one at Sunset Beach and after a sweet and long ride, landing on 20′ deep down comforter.
Cowabunga!
Spread Some Joy Today–Get excited about your own influence and how you might be able to inspire others to think more of themselves than they did before. You’ll get high!
Daily Inspiration 9-26-10

Daily Inspiration 9-26-10

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
— Don Marquis
“[Procrastination. . .] I’m so good at it, I could teach it.”
— Jim Rohn
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal
hanging on of an uncompleted task.”
— William James
Guilt is married to procrastination and they both flirt with frustration. What a family that is! I say, let’s divorce them all and move on. . . or maybe I should think about it just a little longer. . . I don’t want to be too harsh and to quick to judge, you know.
Of course we put things off. That is part of choosing every day. Choice is good, but guilt about that is bad. Whatever we don’t do that day regardless of the list we have, whether self-generated or other-generated, is what we didn’t do. So what?
I’ve started looking at this as just choices instead of procrastination. If I don’t participate in procrastination, I have no need for any guilt about it, or frustration either. I’m free to roam about the cabin.
I’m really beginning to like this power of choice thing. . . pretty cool.
It’s About Choices: Our Own Power To Choose.
Spread Some Joy Today–Let go and relax. It’s okay. It’s all a game. Don’t take it too seriously. You get to choose how you want to feel and what, if anything, you want to do. You got the power!
Daily Inspiration 9-25-10

Daily Inspiration 9-25-10

“You can’t push on a rope.”
— Persian Proverb
“If someone throws you the ball,
you don’t have to catch it.”
— Richard Carlson

This is another quote (pushing the rope) that I have grown so fond of. It indicates frustration or futility because as the visual image of the phrase suggests, you cannot push a rope as it is far too flexible; however, it can be pulled effectively.

The other quote indicates that we are each in control of what we choose to do and to whom and what we choose to respond to, or not respond to. I have used these in my life in several ways to help me make sense of things and to help change the way I feel. Where I used to feel guilty about not wanting to do something, now I don’t feel that way. I don’t have to catch the ball. I can choose to or not and the call is mine alone.

Where the rope is concerned, it has helped me to help others not swim upstream with me. For example, when I was a teenager, I took Judo lessons and in Judo, you learn how to dissipate your opponents energy by going with it a short way, but at the same time giving it guidance to keep you from harm. It’s about balance and energy flow. So, back to the point, if someone is trying to blame me for something, rather than argue my point of view, I accept their assessment–I accept blame. It really doesn’t matter to me that I am blamed or not blamed, what matters is diffusing the energy so I can still feel good instead of fighting and feeling bad.

It is amazing how often I have used this technique about the rope. People can only have power over you if you allow it to be so. When you become a rope, they cannot push you, their energy is diffused and they have little or no power to harm you. Now, I am pleased to discuss an issue and share points of view, but arguments incite bad feelings and good conclusions are an extremely rare thing. Refuse to participate in the argument and progress can be made if both parties desire to progress.

You might want to try this approach. It has been extremely effective for me. Next time someone–a spouse, parent, boss, supervisor, whatever wants an argument, become a rope and see what happens. Use your mental Judo and diffuse their energy. It’s really kind of fun. I enjoy it immensely!

I Am As Flexible As A Rope And A Willing Dissenter.

Spread Some Joy Today–When someone is yelling at you, there is no requirement that you feel bad. Feel as good as you want to feel. You are not the one out of control. Be a rope.

Daily Inspiration 9-24-10

Daily Inspiration 9-24-10

“It is amazing what you can accomplish
if you do not care who gets the credit.”
— H. S. Truman
“Do you prefer to be right,
or that you be happy?”
— A Course In Miracles
Being right and getting credit for something are not goals for me anymore. There was a time when I would “swim upstream” (one of my favorite topics) with people to convince them I was right or to demonstrate what I have done or accomplished. I guess you could say that I was a self-righteous do-gooder. I had always looked on recognition for accomplishment as critical to the success of the fact that I bothered to do a thing. If no one notices, what’s the point? So, I would make a point of bringing up what I had done. Since they didn’t notice and make a deal about it, they must have missed it, so I now have to resort to telling them. How sad.
Then, at the same time (and these go together like bread and butter), I was always trying to prove that I was right about anything and everything. It was a vain attempt to bolster my importance to others and myself. It was all about recognition that I was smart, or knew what I was doing, or whatever. Of course, I never was smart enough or recognized enough, so I kept up this process for years. It didn’t get me anything at all.
Then I learned that key phrase that I’ve shared a few times before that was critical to me learning a better way: “there is no way. There is your way, my way and their way.” This phrase really and truly helped me get a grasp on my self-righteousness and put me on a level playing field with everyone else in the world.
Truth is, we are all smart and we all deserve recognition and we all have something special to contribute. We all have a bounty of love. We can all choose to not have to be right, and to be open to others ideas, and suggestions. We can all give others credit in moving forward a project to move it along more swiftly and effectively if that will help us.
I now try my best to be real and to be loving and to care very much about other people and what they think and what they do and how they do it. And, of course, you know the moral of this story already. . . it makes a huge difference in me and brings me such satisfaction to be this way than the way I was for so many years. That alone, makes it worth the effort and any temporary sacrifice.
What do you think?
It’s Not Who’s Responsible or Who’s Right That Matters So Much, But How You Choose To Feel.
Spread Some Joy Today–Let go of your need to be right or to get recognition. Better to have more fun and less stress, don’t you think? What does being right really get you in the end?
Daily Inspiration 9-23-10

Daily Inspiration 9-23-10

“There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude.
It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction
that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance.”
— Joseph Addison
I speak of gratitude often because it is the one thing that I can trace my own mental change back to. As I have utilized it and expanded it in my life, it has grown more and more important and joyous at the same time. And, it is the simplest thing in the world to do, and I think the single most rewarding thing in my life. Isn’t that an interesting statement: the single most rewarding thing in my life.
If I want to have joy in my life, I can have it in about 2-3 seconds any time I choose. All I need do is decide to be grateful for something. It can be anything. It can be the color of the sky, the hand at the end of my arm, the smell of the air, a smile on someone’s face or on my face, someone laughing, or a million and one other things.
I no longer need to wait for someone else, await the proper circumstances, have it be payday, or any other thing external to my mind. I just decide and it is done. Once you realize that we each have that same ability, it is so empowering and life building. Having that control over life is truly wonderful, and I make more use of it every day.
Once you start to be grateful on purpose and on your decision, you will find more and more things to be grateful for. When I first started, it seemed that there wasn’t a lot, but I found some things and began in earnest, later I found more, and I have and continually find more to the point that there pretty much isn’t anything that I cannot be grateful for. Isn’t that interesting! I wouldn’t have even thought that was possible just a few years ago. I guess practice does make perfect!
Here’s a good way to start. Take out a sheet of lined paper and at the top, write I Love. . ., then on the first line write something that you love. Then, continue down the page and add more pages. You will begin to find a lot of things that you love and that focus will automatically cause feelings of gratitude. Heck, I love the smell of wet concrete on a hot day. It is a distinct smell and reminds me of when I was a kid at the swimming pool (we called it the plunge) and I would get out of the pool and lay face down on the concrete and the sun would be trying to dry the concrete and the smell was very nice and so different. You see, you can be grateful for just about anything if you decide you can or you are. The I Love. . . list will really help get you going.
Enjoy your new gratitude list!
I Now Find I Am Grateful For The Most Common Things That I Used To Ignore Or Not Even See.
Spread Some Joy Today–Don’t worry be happy is a good thought. Make your I Love. . . list and watch the world around you change–for the better!
Daily Inspiration 9-22-10

Daily Inspiration 9-22-10

“I don’t feel old.
I don’t feel anything till noon.
That’s when it’s time for my nap.”
— Bob Hope
“I’m saving that rocker for the day
when I feel as old as I really am.”
— Dwight D Eisenhower
I think age is like any other circumstance or thing on which we place judgment.
I was in the bank yesterday making a deposit (I like deposits!) and an older lady came in and was walking slowly and uncomfortably. It wasn’t busy and she didn’t want to walk all the way around through the maze, and asked to come straight to the front and get behind me. I said, “sure. You can get in front of me if you like, I’m not in a hurry.” She said, “No, that’s okay, I’m just old and didn’t want to walk all the way around.” I said, “no problem.” Then she said, “I’m 71 years old and when you’re in your seventies, you have to expect to be tired and have problems.” I looked at her and with a smile, replied, “Why?” She looked a bit puzzled because most people I’m sure just agree with her when she says that. Then, she said, “well, I don’t know. . .” The conversation was over, but she wasn’t getting any of that old and tired stuff from me.
Of course, these common things that we say to others and also say to ourselves are really affirmations. You are as old and tired as you decide you’re going to be and that is it. Age has nothing to do with it. The mind doesn’t age.
I’m a month or so away from 61 years of age and truly I feel 35. I act 35 (only wiser and smarter!). I feel great and I know it is just a decision to feel that way. I just decided many years ago that I wouldn’t get any older than 35. I liked 35 and it was a sweet combination of maturity (some) and spunk. I just decided it was me and it still is today.
I remember asking an old man once how old he was in his head. He was 85 if I remember correctly, but he said that he felt 45. He decided the same thing and just chose a different time–and he looked and acted 45 with a few more wrinkles. I’ve now asked that question to old people many times and the responses are quite telling!
There is no rule that you must act your age, no matter what your mother used to tell you. Make up your own. Keep the one you like best and just live it!
I Am As Young Or Old As I Decide I Am.
Spread Some Joy Today–Start acting YOUR age. Choose the one you want. You can change it later, it’s okay. No rules. You’re in charge!
Daily Inspiration 9-21-10

Daily Inspiration 9-21-10

“He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.”
— Plato
Lighten up!
It’s supposed to be fun!
All Is Well.
Spread Some Joy Today–Find nothing but good feeling thoughts today. You can get back in the game tomorrow.
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