Month: November 2010

Daily Inspiration 11-30-10

Daily Inspiration 11-30-10

Regarding following an ineffective leader. . .
“Your job isn’t to fix the leader; it’s to add value.
If the leader won’t change, then change your
attitude or your work address.”
“No matter what our circumstances, our greatest
limitation isn’t the leader above us–
it’s the spirit within us.”
“Your leadership is as much disposition as position.”
— John C Maxwell, from The 360 Degree Leader
I’ve had several opportunities to be in the position of following an ineffective leader. In those positions, I used to complain every day, usually to my wife or some other poor unfortunate soul. I didn’t mince words either. How could the owner have hired such idiots in the first place? They were so inept and lame. It’s not that they were bad people, they were just bad at their jobs.
Of course, I was not in that league. I was good at my job. In fact, I knew their job better than they did and could probably do my job and theirs and have time left over–you know, me being perfect and all. . .
The more I complained, the more there was to complain about. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? Duh! Was I trying to make myself feel better? Yes. Was it working? No. Was I helping my situation at all by this complaining? No. Was I hurting myself by this activity? Yes. Another self-inflicted wound!
Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
Recently, I’ve been reading and studying The 360 Degree Leader by John C Maxwell. It’s a wonderful book about leadership and in particular leading from the middle of an organization. I absolutely love the first quote above: It’s not my job to fix the leader–it’s my job to ADD VALUE, then it goes on to say, if the leader won’t change (and you know they aren’t going to. . .), you have two choices: One, develop a new attitude, or a new way of looking at things, or two, get a different job.
Now, if I like my job, what I do and where I do it, I have only one choice: choose better thoughts, learn to appreciate my boss more, maybe get to know them more, seek their strengths and accentuate them–in other words, stop complaining and start praising.
You know what happens then? They seem to change almost overnight. They all of a sudden have skills you didn’t know they had, hobbies that are fascinating, they have knowledge you were unaware of, and a previously hidden but pleasant personality. What an amazing transformation! It’s a miracle! Who knew that people could change that quickly?
It’s an amazing thing. . .
Some Of The People I Have Come To Respect Highly Have Been Previous Bosses I Used To Complain About. . . Many After I Left. Better Late Than Never.
Spread Some Joy Today–Ever hear complaints about bosses come from your lips? How about other workers? Perhaps we all need to recheck our perfectness. . . It can only be from our own perfection that we see the flaws correctly. . .
Daily Inspiration 11-29-10

Daily Inspiration 11-29-10

“Problems?
I thrive on ’em!
I beg for ’em!
I wallow around in ’em
like a pig in slop!”
“I gotta percolate a little. . .”
(referring to a dilemma where there
appears no solution possible
that was pleasing to him.)
— Paul Newman, as Gov. Earl Long
from the 1989 movie, Blaze
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities–
brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
— John W Gardner
“The problems of the world cannot possibly
be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons
are limited by the obvious realities. We need
men who can dream of things that never were.”
— John F Kennedy
Tonight I watched a movie I don’t recall ever seeing before with Paul Newman, called ‘Blaze.’ I loved it. What a great actor and the story was quite interesting. One part of it just jumped out at me and I had to write it down. It is the first quote above. He said he thrived on problems, begged for them and liked to wallow around in them like a pig in slop. I had to laugh and it was a powerful lesson at the same time.
How many times have we problems and they just get us down and sometimes they even seem to be so hard to solve, or maybe even seem insoluble. I say, ‘we,’ but maybe it’s just me, so I’ll use first person: sometimes I’ve had a pile of problems all at once, some problems have been big, some small, and some that seemed so difficult, I felt like I needed a miracle. Sometimes I would ignore them and hope they would go away, other times, I’d be brave and face them and deal with them as best I could. And, all my life, though the specific nature of the problem may change, the problems yet persist and make themselves well known.
It’s enough to get a person depressed, cause to drink, fodder for anger and self-pity, and generally feel crappy about. Phrases like, “if it’s not one thing, it’s another,” have been said many times–in fact, I recall hearing my mother say that when I was small. As they are solved, and it seems they always finally get solved one way or the other, others take their place, and that ever present worry stirs the pot with vigor and delight.
Well, enough of that.
I’m embarking on a new journey: I am developing a love affair with problems! I want to get excited, stimulated, enlightened, and joyful about them! I want to see them for what they really are, to strip them bare and welcome them with open arms. I am learning to truly appreciate problems for what they truly are: contrast.
With my new attitude about problems, I see that which I don’t want and that is enlightening. The trick here is to appreciate the messenger, while turning away from the message and focusing on what I really want, which quickly enough becomes the solution.
Now the difference is this: I used to focus on the message, or the problem itself. I would stew about it, repeat it, tell others about it and generally spend a lot of time with it. Now, I appreciate it’s arrival, and turn to focus on what I want instead. I respect the contrast of the problem showing me what I don’t want, so that I can then choose what I do want and go focus on it.
It is making all the difference. In fact, one of my clients told me how calm and peaceful I looked today. Very interesting. . .
Without Problems, There Would Be No Anything.
Spread Some Joy Today–Get excited about some problems today! It’s just the thing that can fire you up if you will let it excite you in that way. The solutions come easily that way.
Daily Inspiration 11-28-10

Daily Inspiration 11-28-10

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises
With our thoughts.
With our thoughts
We make our world.”
— Gautama Buddha
“It is the mind that maketh good or ill,
that maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.”
— Edmund Spenser
“A man is literally what he thinks.”
— James Allen
I used to read or hear quotes like this, and go, yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. All I have to do is to think positive and my world will change to be the way I want it. I remember learning about PMA, or a positive mental attitude in my twenties, and since I was in sales and sales management, I heard it presented in so many different ways. Indeed, I taught it myself, though truth be known, I didn’t really have a hold on it.
That reminds me of a couple young kids we were mentoring a long time ago. One was a cousin and he was a bit slow at learning because people just kept moving him forward even though he wasn’t getting it. What we found was that he could learn, memorize, and recall the information, but he didn’t really understand it. Looking back on myself during those years, I didn’t understand it either, but I was pretty good and learning it, memorizing it and recalling it, or teaching it.
Isn’t that just the way it is with a lot of things? How could I tell that I didn’t really understand it? If I did, the results would have been different.
What I understand now, and it’s even getting more clear each day, is that it is not about having a positive attitude. It isn’t about having positive thoughts. It’s about feeling good. It’s about feeling good when I think thoughts and it’s feeling good about the thoughts I think. But, more than these, it is just feeling good.
You see, before, I would have a positive attitude, I would do my best to think positive thoughts, and during that I would feel like crap. Sounds strange, but maybe you know what I mean. It was because it was forced, as if I were saying to myself, “I’m going to be positive and upbeat if it kills me!” It had nothing to do with feeling good back then, it was about making a show, and trying to manipulate people’s attitudes (something which cannot really be done) and their behavior to obtain certain results. It never did work the way it was supposed to. A few seemed to get it, and then I would overhear something that made it clear they didn’t–or worse–I would overhear myself and that made it clear that I didn’t get it.
Now, I know what kind of thoughts I am having solely by how I feel as I think them. If I am feeling any negative feelings, such as fear, overwhelment, frustration, or the like, I know that I am helping to create something I don’t want. If I feel good, hopeful, excited, love, and the like, I am on the right path toward something I really do want. In this, I can make changes quickly and thereby feel good almost all the time. That creates a world I want to live in, and a world that I adore.
It Is So Much Easier Now To See How I Create My Own World By My Thoughts.
Spread Some Joy Today–I don’t think there is anything more wonderful and joyous as realizing that we each have so much more control of our lives. It’s not about behavior, it is about how we feel.
Daily Inspiration 11-27-10

Daily Inspiration 11-27-10

“An obvious fact about negative feelings is often overlooked.
They are caused by us, not by exterior happenings.
An outside event presents the challenge, but we react to it.
So we must attend to the way we take things,
not to the things themselves.”
— Vernon Howard
Because it is so foreign with how I had been taught, it has been a real challenge for me to truly believe that I create my own reality based on what I choose to think, and the place that stands out still (although less each day now), is when someone says something that I don’t want to hear, or events that seem out of my control happen. In these situations, I have built up beliefs, and these comments or events then challenge those beliefs and I react. My reaction is typically defensive in nature. That’s what I was taught–that you defend yourself when attacked; you shore up under external circumstances and you react quickly.
Other times, my reaction may be one of embarrassment. This happens when something comes up that I don’t necessarily want known to the world. Again, these are beliefs that have evolved over time and have become quite strong.
A belief is just a thought we keep thinking, and I’ve recently learned how to change those beliefs. I do it by changing my thought about it and changing my reaction as a result. When beliefs are held so strongly, it may take some time to get the change made, but it is okay to just make progress. I don’t need to change them overnight, but just a steady movement toward is working just fine. This way, I am fully understanding the change as it is being made.
I even sometimes have a bit of fun with it. For example, if someone says something that would have previously caused and angry reaction, I might laugh instead, or maybe pretend I haven’t heard a word they’ve said. Just changing the reaction to a response is good, but not solving the issue. I need to fully understand what was causing my reaction before by understanding what thought brought it forth. There, I can deal with changing my thinking about it by telling a different story to myself about it and giving myself other ways to look at it so that the belief is effectively changed.
Here’s the real deal: My reaction doesn’t have anything to do with what other people think of me or what I do, or have done. It has to do with what I think about what other people think of me or what I do, or have done. It’s not them. It’s me. I don’t change them, I change me. I don’t get upset with them, I am upsetting myself. I am what I think, I respond how I think, I do what I think.
I Want To Change My Beliefs, And I Can Change Them. I Always Want To Choose. The Only Automatic Response I Would Like Would Be One Of Love.
Spread Some Joy Today–Think about your reactions to what people say or show they think about you. See if you want to change that reaction to having no need to respond in that way. There is powerful joy in the freedom from reaction.
Daily Inspiration 11-26-10

Daily Inspiration 11-26-10

“He is a wise man who does not grieve
for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.”
— Epictetus
“Be thankful for what you have;
you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.”
— Oprah Winfrey
There is abundance in all things and there is no need to compete with anyone for something, for there is plenty for everyone. Everything that we want is attainable.
There is only a limited amount of things; only so much to go around, and we must compete for our fair share. It is a world of have and have not’s.
There is abundance or lack of abundance as we choose to think of it. Whether how we think of it is learned from our parents in childhood, or learned from those we have associated with growing up, it makes all the difference which we believe.
We can change our beliefs. . .
When We Focus On Lack, We Attract More Lack. The Opposite Is Also True. In Any Case, It Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Spread Some Joy Today–Watch as your gratitude changes you and those around you. Complainers will move to new ground for they do not like gratitude and will begin avoiding you from now on. Of course, gratitude has not much use for complainers either. . . We could think of complainers as lack of gratitude. . .
Daily Inspiration 11-25-10

Daily Inspiration 11-25-10

“Lord, ’tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land,
And giv’st me for my bushel sowne
Twice ten for one.
All this, and better, Thous dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart.”
— Robert Herrick
“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”
— Johannes A Gaertner
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order,
confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace
for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
— Melody Beattie
Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank You For Reading And Sharing Back.
Spread Some Joy Today–Nothing will bring you more joy than a thankful heart. Enjoy!
Daily Inspiration 11-24-10

Daily Inspiration 11-24-10

“Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, –a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.”
— George Herbert
“He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.”
— J. A. Shedd
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them.”
— John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Becoming a grateful person requires practice and it also requires letting go of anger, complaining and the like; however, it is something that doesn’t require a complete and immediate turnaround, as it is just fine with the little-at-a-time method of accomplishment.
As I’ve found in my life that the more I am grateful, the less I find to be unhappy about. It is an accumulating process that overshadows, or rather, weeds out the need or desire to complain or be angry or unhappy. Even as some of those negative things pop up from time to time later on, they are so easily dealt with by finding what in them there is to be grateful for.
At first it may seem strange that something that is making you angry could have something in it that there is to be thankful for, but I assure you that it is in there. Indeed, it may not even be “it,” as you may find many things to be thankful for in this that now appears to cause your anger.
As you turn to look at the things to be thankful for, the cause for anger becomes a cause for celebration (although at first, it may only be a bit larger than a pity party. . .). I really think that this was what Paul in the Bible was referring to when he said to be thankful in all things. All experiences can be seen as for the good of us if we only look at them with new eyes and learn to respond instead of react.
My mother told us when we were very young to count to ten before responding when something makes you mad. Not bad advice, really, but even better is to look for the benefit in all events and then it becomes much easier to be thankful in all things. Once we start looking at every situation as a benefit regardless of how it causes us to feel at the moment, progress is made certain. I absolutely believe there is a benefit to me in every event or situation. Indeed, I now think that the things that tick me off have even more benefit once I shake that off and start looking.
This is how we can practice thanksgiving every day.
I Think I’ll Change My Judgement From Good And Bad To Good And Gooder.
Spread Some Joy Today–When you don’t react the way people expect you to react, it amazes them. I’ve experimented with that for a long time and it is absolutely true. Be an outcast. It’s a heck of a lot more fun.
Daily Inspiration 11-23-10

Daily Inspiration 11-23-10

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another
human being. We should all be thankful for those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.”
— Albert Schweitzer
I love this quote above and I am so very thankful for those in my life that have rekindled my inner spirit and cause my smoldering fire to burst again into flame. Some of these instances have been in a book, or audio program, where all of a sudden, the flame shoots up as if it was a gas fireplace and I just turned up the gas. I will forever be grateful for these people, many of whom I have never met, and may never meet.
One never knows when the next person you meet, book you read, video you watch will rekindle your drive and get you going faster, more confident and in a better, more effective direction. Sometimes, it might just be a quote that does that for me. My all time favorite quote reminds me all the time. It is from William Shakespeare: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, when taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” I first heard or read that quote in the 1970’s and have continued to love it until now. It spells hope to me, and it is so very encouraging for me to grow and become more.
What better thing could there be to be thankful for? Having someone reignite your passion, rekindle you spirit, renew your enthusiasm, or just get you moving again and on track for what you really want deep inside–that is the best. It is the best because when we are afire with life, we can then be a lamp lighter ourselves.
Seek To Get Fired Up! The Opportunities Are There.
Spread Some Joy Today–When you are really alive, excited, enthusiastic, in love, joyous, it is impossible not to spread that joy. Even if you try to keep it to yourself, it shows so clearly in the smile on your face, the sparkle in your eye, the swagger in your step, and the general calm, confidence in your demeanor.
Daily Inspiration 11-22-10

Daily Inspiration 11-22-10

“Be thankful we’re not getting all
the government we’re paying for.”
— Will Rogers
“I’m thankful for laughter,
except when milk comes out of my nose.”
— Woody Allen
I’m so thankful for laughter. One of the best places to create laughter is YouTube. I don’t go there every day, but certainly every week. People send me snipits from YouTube of funny things like the best clips from the TV show Home Improvements, and other truly funny things. It is a joy to watch them, and in that couple of minutes, I completely forget about anything in my life that is not going exactly how I would want it to go. I forget about everything except the funny video in front of me. Then, I want to watch a few more, and so laugh all the more.
I love being around people who make me laugh. It takes away any potential stress from the moment and it is a universal joy. Bob Newhart says, “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.” What great advice. Sometimes I get too serious and there is only one cure: laughter.
“Laughter Is An Instant Vacation.” – Milton Berle
Spread Some Joy Today–What could be more joyous than helping others to laugh? It’s a great way to spread some joy today.
Daily Inspiration 11-21-10

Daily Inspiration 11-21-10

“The world basically and fundamentally is
constituted on the basis of harmony. Everything
works in co-operation with something else.”
— Preston Bradley
“No employer today is independent of those about him.
He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great
his ability or capital. Business today is more than
ever a question of cooperation.”
— Orison Swett Marden
When I say I have my own business, that’s not very accurate. It would better be said that I am part of my own business, because by myself, it wouldn’t be a business. It would be a job. But, what I really mean to say is that it requires other people, their influences, their opinions, their energy, their drive, their vision, their character, and the list goes very long of the things that other people bring to make it more than it could ever be on its own. In that, I am blessed to have great people around me that carry the ball when I don’t, come through for our customers, and offer ideas and solutions that help grow the business and also make it more efficient and more fun too.
My favorite part of the business so far is having meetings with team members. I just love sitting down with them and talking about what is going on, how to solve problems, seek better ways of doing a thing, and just loving them for who they are and how they add value to our organization and to me personally. Each person that comes with us, brings something more to our organization and to each of us personally. It is constantly expanding and evolving, and that is incredible.
My second favorite part of the business is meeting with clients in person and/or potential clients in person. I’m not much of a phone person, but I do love to sit down with people and discuss ideas, their business goals, and how we might be able to assist their growth via our services. I love the different personalities of each person. I love the different views on business that each one has and how they came to do what they do and what they love about what they do. Each client adds to our company–not just in revenue, but challenges in having us do better each time, expand our services to meet their needs. Each one makes us more than we were before, and that is awesome.
It is harmony that we seek, and sometimes a bit of disharmony helps us get that faster and better, yet no matter what, it is the interaction and partnership that makes it all work. It works for all of us in various ways, but it is all of us.
I am very excited at watching our company unfold and change, along with each relationship with clients, potential clients, and vendors too, while at the same time experiencing it moment by moment. It is sheer joy for me, and it is the others that contribute much in that. Thank you all!
If I Only Had One Choice Available To Me, I Would Continue To Choose Joy. I Had No Idea That It Would Be This Delightful. . .
Spread Some Joy Today–You spread it by experiencing it and then it is a natural thing to share it. It costs nothing and it doesn’t care what your financial condition is because it is free to all. Share it daily, hourly, as often as you can. No one will benefit more than you. I guarantee it.
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