Month: December 2010

Daily Inspiration 12-31-10

Daily Inspiration 12-31-10

“Time has no divisions to mark its passage,
there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets
to announce the beginning of a new month or year.
Even when a new century begins, it is only
we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”
— Thomas Mann
“The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Since we as people love to focus on beginnings and endings, I’m making a change to how this is done for our business. We’re having a breakfast meeting with the company owners and spend a couple hours celebrating our successes this year. We’re going to celebrate our personal success, overcoming challenges, what we’ve learned and how we learned it, what we’ve improved in our lives and business and how those improvements came through.
We’re going to look in every nook and cranny for every tidbit of positive movement regardless of outward significance. We’re going to write them down and celebrate them together as partners and friends. We’re going to take the time to celebrate this year.
Don’t forget to celebrate the things that didn’t work so well. There are celebrations to be had in every event. Some of my biggest failures have been huge successes once I saw how that was true. It is all in the point of view. You get to see what you choose to see and that is our reality. Some say that reality is reality and looking at it differently is foolish and unrealistic. I say bunk to that. You see what you choose to see. I choose to see growth, improvement, fun, love, friendship, helping others and the list goes on. I choose to celebrate all of that, and not just at this time, but throughout the year. In this case, we will gather and celebrate together since we are all on this journey together.
Many people might take this time or this coming weekend to plan out next year. We’ve done that months ago, so there is no start or finish line, and there is no big change, or new agenda. Better right now to celebrate our efforts and reinforce our success for the coming year by that celebration. As Oprah so wonderfully says, “the more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Happy New Year. Let’s celebrate!
“Celebrate What You Want To See More Of.”
— Tom Peters
Spread Some Joy Today–Celebrate something each and every day. You might even have a day-long celebration every day. What joy!
Daily Inspiration 12-30-10

Daily Inspiration 12-30-10

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives,
room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done,
cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance
the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives. . .
not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
— Ellen Goodman
It must be a learned response that we learn very young. I have a hard time believing it is human nature; however, it seems that many, if not most of us, have a tendency to look at what is wrong; what is broken, or to pick out flaws, than to see what is good, or what is right, or what is working. It is a curious thing.
We lean more toward the problems than the virtues. We see what employee’s do wrong, or poorly, rather than bolster up what they do well. We might reward good behavior, yet spend three times as much time and energy in the same meeting covering the failures, the misses, the work that is left to be done and so on. This often serves to negate the rewards, or at least it decreases their effect.
We look at a paint job on a car and if there is a flaw, we go right to it. It’s really that way when we look in the mirror. We go right up against the mirror so our breath fogs it up and look at those flaws in great detail, fussing over them and cursing their existence. Thank goodness people don’t get that close to us, right?
Well, where ever it came from, why ever it is functioning that way, I think that we all should make a pact to remember to remember to praise, praise, praise and praise some more. Let’s remember to seek that which works, reward that which works and ignore that which does not.
Let’s remember to compliment one another as often as humanly possible, even if it is a very simple thing. Let’s remember to look at each other looking for the best points, the things we like about that person, or even if we think we don’t, look for the things we think we could like if we wanted to like them–just in case.
Let’s remember to give love and preferably not expect anything in return. Let’s uncondition our love and imagine that we have a supply so deep and wide that it would be impossible to reach in your love bag and not find any to give away. It is constantly and never-endingly full as if it were the size of the Pacific Ocean in your bag. If there are any of those cold pricklies left in there, let’s throw them on the fire and turn them into gas and blow them away.
There are so many little ways to show each other some love. A smile is a really good place to start. You can just feel the love from a smile, can’t you? I know I can, and I cannot resist to show one back.
Let’s remember to be more gentle and more slow to anger. Take deep breaths and count your bountiful blessings, for they are many no matter who you are. Wake up in the morning and count them first thing, last thing before z-land, count them again. Count them during the day. Write about them. Blog about them. Facebook about them.
Be a builder-upper instead of a tearer-downer. We in America are always on the hunt for who we can blame about whatever we don’t like. It’s a national obsession. It’s time to do a 180 degree turn on that and America will be on the hunt for what ever is cool, good, refreshing, encouraging, and loving. We will find who to praise instead of who to blame.
All of this is simple to do. We begin with us, not caring if anyone joins us or not. We do it because we feel that way and we share because we have that joy that requires us to share. And the world is a wonderful place at our place first, then one more joins, then another, then the whole place will be rockin’.
Get your party hats on! It’s party time!
If It Is To Be, It Must Start With Me. I Create A Better World Everyday In Some Meaningful Way.
Spread Some Joy Today–By practicing on purpose.
Daily Inspiration 12-29-10

Daily Inspiration 12-29-10

“Life be not so short but that
there is always time for courtesy.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The test of good manners
is to be patient with bad ones.”
— Solomon ibn Gabirol
“We should give as we would receive,
cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation;
for there is no grace in a benefit
that sticks to the fingers.”
— Seneca
I learn lessons every day that I pay attention, which is most days. Today we were stood up on an appointment with a client. It’s not the first time; in fact, it has happened many times, but this time I didn’t expect it, because the appointment was just verified in person about 4 days before. So, we show up, each  driving distances to get there and the owner is not there, no message, no nothing. We call him and he isn’t even in town.
Okay, this is a business reality. I’m not a green-pea, but it is oh so tiring. Some people have so little respect for others that they don’t give it another thought that they are being rude. I find this obvious tidbit of business reality to be disgusting. I also find that it happens quite often in business and that is equally disappointing. I accept it as an undesirable reality that I want to avoid.
Still, this evening, I was pissed. I held my breath and left the premises, but I wasn’t any too happy about it. There are other reasons surrounding this particular deal that added to that, but I was angry and I noticed that I was angry. So, my partner and I decide to have a meeting of our own, and we drive to a location a couple miles away. In the meantime, I’m analyzing my reaction, and I’m curious why I’m upset. It would be so easy to be angry for most people under the circumstances, but I really disliked responding that way, so I controlled it totally, but wanted to get deeper to the why part.
What I came up with is that I was upset because this person didn’t appreciate us and what we’ve done for him for several years, and especially the last year. Then I thought about how everyone sees something different when they look at a picture. Everyone will interpret things differently–even those that seem to be the same are all unique in their view. This business owner is no different. Though I think he was rude and ungrateful, he may very well feel something so different, and may not even express it except to himself.
But, back to the investigation. . . it wasn’t about how he feels, or even what he did or didn’t do, or whether he appreciated us or not–no, it is about me and these were my feelings of anger, not his. I am creating my own anger based on my view of the picture, or my interpretation of the event. I got over the anger part very quickly, and it changed into a curiosity of why I felt the way I did.
Here’s what I ended up with after several hours of back of the mind reflection: I wasn’t giving freely. I was hanging on to my gift. We had given this client a gift, and I know that the best and right thing to do when you give a gift is to let go of the package, and let go of the outcome. If they like it, fine, and if they don’t like it, fine. I give it and it is no longer mine, it is out there. If they want to then throw it in the trash, it is of no concern of mine since it is now theirs to do with as they please. But, that isn’t what I did. I was expecting a grateful response. I was expecting appreciation. I was expecting a change. My bad. I learned a very long time ago to own my own feelings, and I was claiming blame on the client for mine.
The thing I must remember is to do what I feel is right, give heartily and FREELY, and let it be what it will be. In this I can be true to myself and my philosophy, and at the same time let go of any expectation in that. I am so glad this happened tonight. I am grateful to be reminded of this. Thank you.
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You. Even In Business. In Other Words, Give Without Any Expectation Except The Love In Your Heart.
Spread Some Joy Today–Love is ALWAYS a better way, and it will bring so much joy to all that it touches–especially the giver.
Daily Inspiration 12-28-10

Daily Inspiration 12-28-10

“He talks positive but speaks negative.”
— Terry Minion
“How many legs does a dog have
if you call the tail a leg? Four.
Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
— Abraham Lincoln
Today I was thinking of some people I know who talk positive and speak negative. That phrase just came to me this morning, and I thought it was an interesting play on ideas, and at the same time, says it the way it seems to be with a number of people.
These are people who claim to have a positive outlook, and claim to see a brighter future ahead, yet who are so stained by the reality what is going on right now or in the recent past that they say one thing and really believe another. It’s not quite a complete contradiction, but more an optimistic pessimism–or, perhaps a more common way to say it, they’ll believe it when they actually see it. Of course, what they are seeing is what they are really believing and that is not the brighter future, but the current reality. So, to not seem like a negative person, because everyone knows that person is a loser, they talk positive things when they can muster the energy. In politics, they call it the spin.
But, I love what Abraham Lincoln says, “calling it a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.”
Now, to be fair, this person has been myself and I may still demonstrate a bit of that outlook from time to time, but now it is so little and so easily recognized, and I think that is the real key to relaxing the contradiction. I need to recognize quickly when it is happening and then to get back on track to stay in the positive realm. Learning to really hear and pay attention to what is coming out of my mouth, or even in my self-talk so that I can recognize the shift and make the adjustment has helped me immensely.
For most of my life, I talked positive and spoke negative and some people even thought I was positive, but underneath I was an angry, negative person. It is thankfully true that an old dog can and has learned new tricks.
If We Didn’t Learn From Our Own Mistakes, We Would Continually Repeat Them. The Same Goes With Our Thinking.
Spread Some Joy Today–Guess what!? You can change any time you decide to. Maybe today is a good day for a bit of change. Here’s a good start: buy the book, (or download for free online), As A Man Thinketh.
Daily Inspiration 12-27-10

Daily Inspiration 12-27-10

“Men are not great or small because of their
material possessions. They are great or
small because of what they are.”
— James Cash Penney
“I conceive that the great part of the miseries
of mankind are brought upon them by false
estimates they have made of the value of things.”
— Benjamin Franklin
I have a serious pile of possessions and it is funny to me how little value the vast majority of them have to me now. I learned to value possessions from my mother and TV. I always tried to buy things that were quality because I always considered them as assets that could be turned back into cash. Of course, you know by reading this that this philosophy is seriously flawed. An extremely small number of things go up in value in one lifetime and only few more things even remain close to the same. The reality is that they depreciate dramatically, so they couldn’t be considered an asset in the right thinking world.
As I look around my room and see a lot of things, lately I ask myself this question: “If I were to just get up and leave and never come back, leaving all there is here, what is it that I would really and truly miss?” My answer is very few things. Very, very few.
It is a materialistic world; or a consumer society. We buy things, bring them home, we may even use them for a while, then they go into storage. The off-site storage business is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. Just looking at how many are in my city is amazing. I’ve been renting one for a lot of years and storing it with things that can almost all be replaced by money, and yet spend more than they could be replaced for to pay the storage for a year. This is silliness, but the storage places are full, so I’m not alone. We love our things.
I’ve probably bought over 1,000 music CD’s, hundreds of cassettes, music albums, and 8-track tapes. Of course, I love music, so I got a lot of enjoyment out of them over the years. Once I’ve listened to them once, maybe twice, there they sit for years.
I’ve spent more money on one thing than any other: books and audio books. I’m sure I’ve spent in the tens of thousands over the years and still have a library of about 3,000 books. Learning is something that is so important to me, that I feel totally comfortable with every cent I’ve ever spent on books. Of course, once I’ve read them, they hold little value, but the value I received by reading them is priceless.
I’ve had lots of cars, all kinds of furniture and every other kind of thing that we all own, and the things that are being used are important now, but the hanging on to them is a questionable practice.
As my mother demonstrated to me, her value was in things, how many she had and the quality of them, and so she has such a hard time letting any of them go. I inherited some of that and probably more than I will admit; however, I have learned the most important thing: my value is not in anything that I own outwardly, it is what I am, and who I have become. I know that I can walk away from every possession I have ever owned and be comfortable with me. Regardless of the things and their current or future value, I celebrate that lesson and am absolutely grateful for it.
My Value Is In Me And It Is Constantly And Continually Rising In Value.
Spread Some Joy Today–Consider your increase in value as you grow, learn and become. Celebrate from time to time to mark the improvement in your value.
Daily Inspiration 12-26-10

Daily Inspiration 12-26-10

“I am simple, complex, generous, selfish,
unattractive, beautiful, lazy and driven.”
— Barbra Steisand
That about says it for all of us, I think. . .
We Are All So Much More Than We Show, Including Contradictions And Mystery.
Spread Some Joy Today–Relax. You’re good. You’re covered. You are loved . . . As You Are.

Daily Inspiration 12-25-10

“Christmas is forever, not for just a day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself. . .”
— Norman Wesley Brooks
“Your most precious, valued possessions and your
greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one
can take them. You, and you alone, can give them.
You will receive abundance for your giving.”
— W. Clement Stone
Merry Christmas!
All The Best To You And Your Families.
Spread Some Joy Today–Have the Christmas spirit all year long.
Daily Inspiration 12-24-10

Daily Inspiration 12-24-10

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season;
the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church;
the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue;
the atheists went to parties and drank.
People passing each other on the street would say,
‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’
or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!'”
— Dave Barry
I saw this quote a week or so ago and thought it was very funny. . . look out for the wall. . . that’s funny stuff. So, I never thought seriously about using it until tonight.
I was at a local event where people gathered and many of the same people come to this event. I was there early, and greeted people coming in and said ‘Merry Christmas!’ to all that I greeted. A gentleman who is a regular, after my greeting, said something odd that I cannot remember, but it was curious. I just had the impression that he was not interested in Christmas because it is a religious holiday. But, I didn’t think much of it as I like this gentleman and I was glad to see him.
A few minutes later, it was getting full in the area we were in and a woman came in with two friends and they were joyous and greeting some of the other people they know and this woman greeted this man, and said ‘Merry Christmas,’ and I didn’t hear it directly, but later found out that he said, ‘why don’t you leave Christ out of it!’ Well, this lady loudly called him an a**hole, which got everyone’s attention. He seemed a bit embarrassed, but she was obviously mad. Then her friend was mad and fuming about his remark and so on.
What do you think of that scenario? I think it is interesting. Her comments certainly are an argument, but is that a strange way to defend Christ or Christianity? I think it is strange and also extremely ineffective. I guess the quote with Dave Barry is another way, and although way funnier, may still be a strange way.
Maybe this is a better way:
“May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.”
— Ada V Hendricks
“But Now Abide Faith, Hope, Love, These Three; But The Greatest Of These Is Love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13, The Bible
Spread Some Joy Today–Love is always the better way.
Daily Inspiration 12-23-10

Daily Inspiration 12-23-10

“If all of our misfortunes were laid in one
common heap whence everyone must take
an equal portion, most people would be
contented to take their own and depart.”
— Socrates
We think our problems are so big and heavy and hard to solve. . . until we trade ours with someone else who may very well have problems that make our own look like child’s play. That would give us some perspective, wouldn’t it?
I have found, and perhaps others have too, that many of my problems are really problems because I have not made a decision to do anything, but rather, I rehash the problem over and over thinking that something needs to get done and that I need to make a decision and I want it to be the right one and then I run different scenarios through my brain and round and round it goes. Of course, maybe it’s just me. . .
Here’s some key things that I’ve recently learned. Start with the first part of the sentence at the beginning of this: “we think our problems are so big and heavy and hard to solve. . .” The key word is think. That is also the problem leading the problem. How about if we thought our problems were teeny and light and a piece of cake to solve? Would that change anything? So, that is one thing I’ve learned: I must–I repeat–I must change my thinking about this, as it is my thinking that is expanding it.
The other thing I learned is that it is most likely procrastination that is helping to not only prolong the problem but increase it’s size and weight due to the lack of decision. Instead of thinking (or trying to) of how to solve the problem, which is a long, drawn-out affair, I know that I must make a decision quickly and even risk making the wrong decision in order to move ahead. Invariably, the problem immediately decreases in size and weight and begins to be solved very quickly.
Of course the last way is to trade them out with someone else. That hasn’t ever worked out. It must be that when they learn about mine, they like theirs way better than they did before. Go figure.
We Just Think Up Our Problems . . . And, We Can Just As Easily Unthink Them, Or At Least, Think Lesser Of Them.
Spread Some Joy Today–Is it time to make a few decisions? That will immediately bring some joy from my own experience. Take charge today!
Daily Inspiration 12-22-10

Daily Inspiration 12-22-10

“It is the heart that makes a man rich.
He is rich according to what he is,
not according to what he has.”
— Henry Ward Beecher
The movie, It’s a Wonderful Life is a fine movie. It seems like I’ve seen it every year for most of my life, except I hadn’t seen it in the last 8 years or so, and so thought I would view it again–you know–for old times sake.
The whole premise is that George, the main character gets in a financial jam and thinks he is worth more dead than alive. Desperation is a powerful emotion.
George went through his whole life doing the right thing even when he really wanted badly to do his own thing. Yet, he continually gave up doing his own thing in order to do the right thing at every opportunity and those opportunities were plenty. So, he lived the struggle of the poor helping the poor while watching the mean old grinch of a man, Mr. Potter, the richest man around and the meanest, nastiest one too, buy things up to profit more from the poor than before, if you know what I mean. It’s a popular, but inaccurate theme that has been carried out throughout time: the rich being the mean, money-grubbing, poorer-making sleezeballs that any decent human would despise, while the poor, but genuinely good, hard-working, family-oriented townsfolk struggle to make a good life amid this lopsided and unfair system of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
I used to belief in and agree with that scenario and it skewed my thinking when it comes to money and having plenty of it. Now, I have changed my thinking and see that part of the movie for what it is, yet still enjoying the more positive aspects of this show. For example:
  • George is very, very good at being a leader, yet he doesn’t seem to realize he is a leader. He is a great communicator and learned how to grow the town by building a large housing project. Of course, he realizes it in the end with the help of the guardian angel.
  • George is a wonderful dreamer and he can certainly make excellent use of those dreams right where he is. This reminds me of the Acres of Diamonds story.
  • George finds real, true, soul-mate love, even though it had to hit him over the head with a frying pan to get him to pull his head out and get a clue! And, he ends up with a perfect family and family life.
  • This is a picture of small town life where people know each other and interact with each other and this is just as alive today as it ever was.
  • Doing the right thing is right. Thinking of others needs is good.
What he finally learns is that happiness is not something outside, but inside. He also learns he is the richest man in town when he counts the most important thing: Love. And, last, he came through for others so often, others got a golden opportunity to come through for him. People are basically good at heart and if we give them the benefit of believing that, they will show it to be true.
It Is A Wonderful Life! Believe It And It’s True!
Spread Some Joy Today–Get excited about your own value and your own personality and your own skills and talents and your boundless love. That will do it.
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Mesa, AZ