Month: May 2014

Daily Inspiration 5-31-14

Daily Inspiration 5-31-14

“I don’t believe in being
serious about anything. 
I think life is too serious 
to be taken seriously.” 

— Ray Bradbury 

What a great quote. The older I get and the wiser I become, I find that this quote resonates with me more. How much of my life have I taken so seriously, and how did that help me along my path? Based on my own reflection, it didn’t. In fact, the opposite was more of the truth. We are all a bunch of serious people.

Richelle E Goodrich says to “take a step back. Draw in a deep breath. Now ask yourself, ‘So what?’ Then, after answering, ask yourself again, ‘So what?’ And a third time: ‘So what?’ Chances are you’ll come to realize that the issue at hand is not as dire, detrimental, or important as you first thought.”

Then, there is the contrary point of view by Oscar Wilde: “One must be serious about something if one wants to have any amusement in life.” How many times has that proven to be the case in my life? Many, many times. Along with Mr. Wilde, Martin Rubin is in agreement with, “the only reason to take anything seriously is to make it more fun.”

Today, I tell people that my only goal in life is simply to enjoy myself. A better way to say that might be to INjoy myself. I am rather curious about how often and how long I can be in joy so that works. And, the only way that I can enjoy and be in joy is by not taking anything very seriously. That is the opposite of the way I used to live and I am certain now which path is more fruitful.

Here’s A Great Question I Have On My Wall: Is There Joy In This? Another Sign Says: Lighten Up! Have More Fun! I Need Reminders . . . 

Spread Some Joy Today–by being injoy.

Daily Inspiration 5-30-14

Daily Inspiration 5-30-14

“Wherever you are, be there. 
If you can be fully present now, 
you’ll know what it means to live.” 

— Steve Goodier 

Two days ago, I wrote about busy business people who find it difficult to actually pay attention and focus on one thing at a time. I suggested that if they would make an appointment with a person of value and gave focused attention, and the other party did the same, that is a powerful combination. It is presence. It is being present. When we are busy and flitting about, we are not present, but somewhere else.

Today I had some excellent communication with two people and it was excellent because we were all present. We were respecting each other and the ideas they may have to help, and much progress was made in a short time.

Then I came home, looked at my photographs of memories of my late wife, other family members on the wall and was thinking how thin and almost unimportant they are. Granted, I like them, and there were some wonderful moments captured, but they are a fraud in comparison with the actual interaction during the photograph and all the other moments during that time.

This caused me to think about presence and how many times we are interacting with people, even spouses and family, and yet we aren’t fully there. We may be wanting to be somewhere else, especially if things are not going well for whatever reason. We may be thinking about other issues that are weighing heavily on our minds. In any case, whatever it is, it causes us to not be present in the way we would if we let go of the baggage and focused our attention.

I was talking with a guy who was for a time of five years, a stay-at-home Dad. How awesome that was to have done that and for those stay-at-home Mom’s too. They get to be present in the most formative years of their children’s lives. At least, I am thinking and hoping they were present. Woe be to have that opportunity and blow it by not being present!

Which brought me full circle to giving each other, in all our various interactions and communications, our full attention as best we can. Better to say, I can’t right now, but how about this afternoon at 3pm, than to try to pay attention when you are preoccupied. Our attention to each other, learning and sharing with each other, working with each other, and playing with each other is so valuable that to me it seems like the only value. The photo is a pale image and not even worthy of saving in comparison. 

Wherever You Are, Be There To The Best Of Your Ability. It Will Make All The Difference. 

Spread Some Joy Today–When you feel joy, you cannot be anything but present.

Daily Inspiration 5-29-14

Daily Inspiration 5-29-14

“Awareness encourages focus. 
As we focus, 
that is when we see 
what was not there.” 

— Albert K Strong 

Today, I was loving purple. Every shade of purple. Some were light and airy and some were bold and dark, and all of them were purple.

A couple of days ago, I was out for a walk, and I was loving green. Every shade of green, amazing myself with the sheer number of shades in only my small field of view.

Something got my attention and I became aware of purple in the waiting area at Kaiser-Permanente getting some standard tests done. So, I accepted the awareness and it was like opening a door and walking into a stadium filled with shades of purple. No, I’m not trippin’. I began to smile and I was really enjoying myself and eagerly anticipating the next shade of purple I would see and whether it is clothing or some other object. It was as if purple was the predominant color in the room. I saw purple all the way home. Then, I let purple go.

Our brain receives so much data that it automatically filters things that we may not need to see. Otherwise, we would be overwhelmed with information. It is the awareness of something–a person, an object, or even an idea, and that awareness encourages us to focus, to hone in on it. As we do, our brain now has filters changed to allow more to come through. Yet, it was there all the time.

All that purple I saw today, and the green a couple days ago was there. I just didn’t see it. We can accurately say I wasn’t paying attention to it. Something got my attention, I focused, and I was reeling from all the green.

Can we do this on purpose? Absolutely. Today was a bit of fun, and I think that the key to doing it on purpose is also to keep it fun. The other key, I think, is to focus on the positive aspect of it. With the fun of purple, there was no negative side, but if we think about money, there is money and the lack of it, and so often we might focus on the negative. It might even be automatic, or habitual. So, instead, just have some fun with it.

See how you can see money all around you when you focus. See others enjoying their adult toys, shopping, big malls and shopping centers to accept their money and exchange things for it. Enjoy the view, feel how good it feels. Focus on what you want and not what you lack or don’t want and see it appear all around you. In this change of outlook, you release resistance. So often, we are the only ones keeping things from ourselves.

Having Fun Focusing On What I Want To See.

Spread Some Joy Today–Allow curiosity to expand your awareness. Focus on joy. Now you will see joy all around you.

Daily Inspiration 5-28-14

Daily Inspiration 5-28-14

“Busy is a drug 
that a lot of people 
are addicted to.” 

— Rob Bell 

I am periodically reminded about just how busy people are, or seem to be. So busy in fact, that there is no time to talk, regardless of how important it might be, nor is there any remaining capacity for making decisions because being busy is in and of itself a focal point. I’m surprised that people even bother to answer the phone in this condition.

I’m not honing in on anyone in particular because my business partner and I both see this so much that, though it shouldn’t by now, it does seem to continually amaze us. Some are so busy they cannot answer the phone at any time of the day, yet they seem to be on the phone all day long. Many are so busy doing their work that they have no time or energy to do it well. Some are just downright rude, and also arrogant as if they were the only busy people doing such important things and they are the only ones who can do it.

Well, that’s sort of where it comes into play, isn’t it? I’m so busy because I’m the only one who can deal with this and I am in a position of authority and so I am required to deal with this and so on and on.

Of course, the truth is something else. It may actually be they are addicted to busyness. I think I know some like that. Then, many are managers and yet they aren’t really managers so much because good managers know how to delegate. Managing is getting work done through and with others, not by ourselves.

Most of it is really ego I think. We like being busy. It makes us feel needed, important, in charge, it creates some juice and it feels good even if it feels stressful at the same time. There is a definite reward in it.

Yet, we need to respect each other and each other’s time. I do this because I understand busy people pretty much. I like to make appointments so that we can discuss something worthy of attention and try to make decisions, movement, get answers, create synergy and more. Appointments are a form of respect as long as we are not wasting their time on things not important to them.

So, it comes down to this. To you busy people–I appreciate how busy can take so much attention. If I’m a vendor or partner or valued party, then give me an appointment when you have time and I will do the same. At this time, let us give each other our attention with none or minimal interruption. Let’s keep it no longer than it need be because we know that more busyness awaits. Thank you for your time, and more than this, for your attention.

Quality Attention Is So Valuable, And Often Very Rare. Let Us Create More Space For It In Our Busy Lives. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Stick a little stone in your pocket and every time you touch it, find something to be thankful for. It is a gratitude rock. Heck, put one in each pocket, or carry it around in your hand.

Daily Inspiration 5-27-14

Daily Inspiration 5-27-14

“Do we have to stare death in the face 
to make us stand up and confront Resistance?” 

— Steven Pressfield 

Steven Pressfield wrote a book all about Resistance (he uses the capital ‘R’) titled, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles. I have read it, and there is much that I agree with and that resonates with me about what Resistance is and how it can feel like a power. Another way to express Resistance is in defining the ego–or, is that Ego?

The premise is to recognize the Resistance and to power through it because Resistance is holding you back and where you really want to be is over there, so bust through and get over there.

He also recognizes that Resistance is purely an internal struggle to stay safe, secure, unchangeable. Yet the Resistance is disguising what we really want as too much work, unattainable, unpredictable, by guiding us back to our comfort zone where life is uncomplicated and familiar. In other words, it is fear.

Powering through is one way to get it done, and it is a popular notion throughout literature and stories, fighting the good fight over evil and all of that stuff. Yet that way through is only for the truly brave and courageous. There may be a way for the rest of us.

This is just my opinion, but if you think about the whole idea of resistance, the opposite of that is not bravery or courage or power. It is acceptance. Another way to say that is to release. We might sometimes think of acceptance is ‘taking up,’ and that to release is ‘letting go of,’ yet acceptance to me is really letting go of resistance, so release and acceptance are the same, or that release is the idea, and acceptance is the action of release. By accepting, we release the resistance while recognizing its only power is in the struggle against it.

Try it for yourself. As you go through your day and you encounter resistance in its many forms and names, try recognizing it as resistance, accepting it as resistance, and thereby release any struggle against it. Allow it to be what it is and that it has no more power over you than you are willing to give it by your struggle. No struggle, no power. And, it didn’t require a bit of courage, bravery or strength.

The Weakest Among Us Has As Much Power As Is Needed. Hint: It Doesn’t Require Power. It Only Requires Perspective. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Let go, let God, ENJOY the journey.

Daily Inspiration 5-26-14

Daily Inspiration 5-26-14

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; 
it empties today of its strength.” 

— Corrie Ten Boom 

As much as we think that worrying about something will protect us from the future, or help us in the future, it merely, and most effectively, saps us of the present. It takes whatever power we have in the present and portions it to another time-space that is yet to come, and may never come. Worry is a waste of our today in hopes of some redeeming value at another time. It is a lie.

If we really think about worry, we will find that it is merely a fear about something that might happen in the future, but the reality is that it is extremely rare that it comes to pass, so it is not helpful but most unhelpful instead. Anything that drains us of our peace, presence, effectiveness, and joy in the present for anything potential in the future is harmful at best.

Worry is always in the future and often based upon the past or some fantasy about either. Just let go. It only has power as you give it power.

What If Everything Worked Out Perfectly? What If All My Hopes Are Realized?

Spread Some Joy Today–What if you had some joy today? What if you shared it? How would that feel?

Daily Inspiration 5-25-14

Daily Inspiration 5-25-14

“Practice appreciating 
for the first fifteen minutes 
you are awake every day.” 

— Doc Childre 

This is as excellent a strategy for joyful days as I have ever seen. Doc Childre goes on to say, “Appreciation first thing in the morning is one of the most valuable efforts you can make to create more heart coherence in your system and release you from old attitudes that no longer serve you.”

I have found that the best way to do this is to stay in bed as I’m awakening, and then purposefully, let my mind play with things to appreciate, such as the way the covers and my body relate in the morning. When I get into bed versus at the time to get up, the bed feels so much more a part of me and I love that feeling. I think about the sun coming up and spreading its wings of life-giving light and warmth. The glass in the window that allows me to see and yet protects me from rain and wind.

Then there’s the bathroom. What a wonderful invention. Try to compare what you have now to what Abraham Lincoln had for a bathroom when he was a boy. Then, take it a bit further to the sink and the magic faucet that when turned not only brings clean, drinkable water immediately that we did nothing to achieve except turn the faucet, but it brings the magic of hot water for our pleasure! Think of the floor, whether it is tile, linoleum, wood products, or cement. It isn’t dirt! It still is dirt in a large part of the world today. As well, Abraham Lincoln’s childhood bathroom (an outhouse many feet away from the house) would still be a luxury in certain parts of the world today.

The list of things to be thankful for and to appreciate in America today is pretty much endless. So, fifteen minutes could go by pretty quickly; however, I don’t think it requires even that much time. Even if it were five minutes, there would be so much to gain from starting your day with this point of view. It is likely to help the rest of your day follow along.

Just Imagine Every Day Beginning This Way. . . It Might Will Dramatically Change Your Life! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by constantly seeking joy. Spreading it requires no effort.

Daily Inspiration 5-24-14

Daily Inspiration 5-24-14

“Practice is as valuable as the sale. 
The sale will make you a living; 
the skill will make you a fortune.” 

— Jim Rohn 

I rarely use quotes more than once, but this one is so perfect, I just have to use it again. In my personal experience, few businesses and few salespeople realize how important practice is. In fact, this idea goes way beyond business and is at the heart of how I have developed more patience in my life–through consistent and purposeful practice.

Jim Rohn became one of my primary mentors back in about 1980. Over the years, I’ve bought and read his books, listened to his tape sets, and generally followed his philosophy of business and life. His philosophy is so simple and home-grown that anyone can get it and it can make all the difference to those who decide to practice it.

I remember so clearly one of his tape sets where he talked about people who are continually getting ready. He said something to the effect that, “if you were building a building and you bring building materials to the site, then you go get some more and keep bringing more to the site and yet never build anything, people are going to begin to wonder about you.” I find in sales and in business endeavors as well as many in school who are continually bringing building materials to the site, yet they fail to build anything.

Maybe there’s a missing piece, so they go back and find that, or there is some other skill that they’ve just got to have and they hold off until they’ve got that skill. It makes me think of a college student who never graduates. They can’t decide on their final major, so they just keep learning. I’m very much into lifelong learning, but not that way.

This is true with “outside salespeople.” Here’s a wonderful quote from Jim Rohn on that subject: “Sometimes we don’t ask for productivity right away. All we ask for at first is activity. Now, it’s pretty easy to check activity. If someone joined the sales organization and he is supposed to make ten calls the first week, it’s pretty simple on Friday to say, “John, how many calls did you make?” John says, “Well. . .” You say, “John, ‘Well,’ won’t fit in my little box here.” And John starts on a story. You say, “John, the reason why I made this box so small is so a story won’t fit. I just need an activity number from one to ten.”

“If the results on activity after the first week are not good, that has to be a signal. You might try another week. Ultimately, you’ve got to be the judge about how far you will go in putting a team together with somebodies lack of precise activity.”

That awesome quote and story are so perfect to keep in mind for us as business owners, managers, and sales trainers. It also applies as well to our own children.

One last repeatable quote from the master, Jim Rohn: “Life asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time. That’s why they make those fourth-grade chairs so small–so you won’t fit in them at age twenty-five!”

Moving The Needle Can Be A Challenge. Or Not. It Depends On The Results We Expect Or Want. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Stick to your vision of having joy every day. It could happen on its own, but that could take a while. You can always take charge and ensure it.

Daily Inspiration 5-23-14

Daily Inspiration 5-23-14

“The essence of self-discipline 
is to do the important thing 
rather than the urgent thing.” 

— Barry Werner 

Wow! That is so well said in so few words, there isn’t much that I could add that would help it any. Except maybe this: those urgent things we run to avoiding the important things sure seem important at the moment, yet in the end is mostly a distraction.

Been there. Done that. I still do if I’m being honest. Might as well be. . .

What Was That Important Thing Again? 

Spread Some Joy Today–Lighten up on yourself. What’s really important is your joy. In fact, there is nothing more important than your joy. Within your joy are love, appreciation, peace, and prosperity.

Daily Inspiration 5-22-14

Daily Inspiration 5-22-14

“No problem 
is so formidable 
that you can’t walk away from it.” 

— Charles M Schulz 

Indeed. It seems like a great idea to walk away, run away, turn away from as many problems as one can. I mean, just the definition of problem tells the story: Any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty. Yeah, who needs any of that?

I’ve heard that many people go from problem to problem to problem. What’s up with that? How about going from doubt to uncertainty to difficulty to more of the same? No thanks.

What if we simply change the word problem to contrast? Now those people who used to go from problem to problem to problem will now go from contrast to contrast to contrast. It’s amazing how much lighter that feels just by changing the word!

Now contrast is beneficial, but the way we looked at problems, they were not. Contrast is beneficial because its existence creates a new desire and new desire is what keeps us alive. How much more beneficial could that be? It keeps us alive–and I don’t mean living–I mean ALIVE as in full of life, optimistic, eager. . . It keeps us alive as in a life worth living because it renews our desire for something other, something more, something less, something changed. All of those are good. We all need regular doses of contrast, otherwise, life would not feel worth living. It would get boring, old, tired, listless, pointless, depressing. We need contrast. It is highly beneficial.

When we look at things this way instead of the more common way, rather than running away from problems, fretting about them, dissecting them, feeling that doubt, uncertainty, and difficulty with each one, we will embrace the contrast because the contrast creates new desire and new desire brings life to the living. Now, instead of running from them, we turn that all the way around and now may very well run to them. Celebrating contrast is a perfect thing to do.

The Magic Of One Word. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today–As contrast shows itself today, get joyous! You’re about to live deeper and find new joys.

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