Month: September 2014

Daily Inspiration 9-30-14

Daily Inspiration 9-30-14

“What difference does it make?” 

— A common phrase used by teenagers 
with their parents 

Where have I heard that before? Probably out of my own mouth a few times long ago, or maybe not too long ago. It’s hard to remember, you know? In fact, though this is a common phrase for teenagers, I think it is pretty popular with twenty and thirty-somethings, and plenty of middle-agers too.

It is often used in frustration not understanding the value of doing something or becoming something and is a sure sign of powerlessness. Often the parents and others may argue with the powerless one to no avail because I’ve heard a lot of those arguments and they aren’t very convincing.

And, here is about the only answer that makes any sense at all to me. My answer is that everything makes a difference. We all make a difference. Every single thing we do or say or write makes a difference. Our body language makes a difference. Our indifference makes a difference. The person we become makes a difference. Our so-called failures make a difference along with so-called successes. Every life, every animal, every breath, every bit of life makes a difference. We cannot help it, and we cannot stop it. We are doomed to make a difference.

Which leaves only one single, yet potentially important question: What kind of difference? There is no single answer, nor right or wrong, or good or bad, as there are as many answers as there are people who give them. So, leave all worries behind and find joy in your difference-making.

Let’s Celebrate That We Do Indeed All Make A Difference! 

Spread Some Joy Today–Next time you’re people-watching, pay attention to how many remind you of yourself at some point in your life.

Daily Inspiration 9-29-14

Daily Inspiration 9-29-14

“Forgiveness is not an end, 
nor is it resolve; however, 
 it is a worthy stepping stone 
on our own journey toward 
gratitude, acceptance, 
love, and appreciation.” 

— Albert K Strong 

As we have been born into and learned from our parents and others, listened and watched the media, discussed events with other people, it is clear that we live in a world filled with duality. This duality is often spoken of in terms of extremes of opposites, such as good and bad, right and wrong, life and death, health and illness. Often, we are taught to become judges and are encouraged to have strong feelings about these extreme choices one way or the other.

I was listening to an Esther Hicks short session the other day where a woman was talking about how she had been betrayed by their lover or spouse. She was quite upset by it, did not understand it, and the more she thought about it and talked about it, the angrier she became. How could she forgive him for hurting her so? But, forgiveness was not the answer.

When I was in my early twenties, I had a good job, but it was entry level and I was married and just getting by. A relative needed a loan and the only way the loan would be made was if someone cosigned. I agreed to help. Within just a few months, they defaulted on the loan and the bank turned to me. I accepted responsibility for the debt, but my thoughts were all about what a bad decision I made, how I should have known better, how they shouldn’t have done that to me, and so on.

I thought of something funny from Jim Rohn this morning as I was driving. On a tape, he was talking about a guy he knew who was all upset about this other guy lying to him and taking him for some money and how that was terrible, unforgivable, etc. Jim’s answer was this: “What did you expect? That’s what liars do–they lie! To think otherwise is naive.”

Here’s a great piece on forgiveness by Dr. John F. Demartini from his book, The Breakthrough Experience: “Forgiveness is a self-righteous illusion that makes someone bad or wrong and then presumes to judge and pardon. An apology is judging yourself, and both are guaranteed to perpetuate whatever you judge. The only thing that transcends this dynamic is love.”

He goes on to say, “If you can see that everything in your life serves you, that no matter what you’ve done or not done it’s moving you forward, you suddenly see your own perfection and your heart opens–to yourself.”

In addition, Dr. Demartini says, “There exists a hierarchy of emotional responses in life. Fear and guilt are at the bottom of the ladder; above them are faith, acceptance, and forgiveness; and at the top is the present truth of love, appreciation, and wisdom. Forgiveness is a stage on the path, but once you see that everything serves and there is nothing to forgive, it becomes another myth. The truth requires no forgiveness.”

Although on the surface, and from our lifetime of training, it seems illogical and incomprehensible to be thankful and to find gratitude in these kinds of events, this is the ultimate stepping stone to laying the rope down on that subject. With forgiveness, we are still holding the rope, but we have loosened our grip and are giving slack to the opposing force, yet we are ready in a moments notice to grip it again.

It Is Not About The Other No Matter What They Are Doing Or Not Doing. It Is Always About Us And Our Own Alignment, Which Is Another Way To Say, The Ultimate Answer Is Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by finding several things and situations to be grateful for. This will be especially joyous on those subjects that were previously associated with pain or regret.

Daily Inspiration 9-28-14

Daily Inspiration 9-28-14

“We never know which lives we influence, 
or when, or why.” 

— Stephen King 

I had breakfast this morning with a dear friend and devoted reader of these Daily Inspirations. He said that I could have no idea how many people have been or will be touched by these messages.

He was talking about how he has shared them with others, but even more than this, it was the positive changes in himself that affected everyone that he came in contact with throughout his day.

Stephen King has it well said in that we never know who or how many we influence, or even when, or why. As well, there are negative influences that are shared with others, so it has less to do with the tone being positive or negative, and more to do with someone being inspired enough to share or to live in a way that reflects that change or sharing.

What I am trying to get to is that we all influence each other, and in turn, those who are influenced become influencers too, and it grows exponentially. The numbers may even look small on the surface, and run deep as it spreads. A really good question might be, what kind of influence am I? As I realize that I influence others, and I pretty much cannot help that, I might want to consider the type of influence I am and see if that is okay with me.

As a Christian or a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, and many others, we might ask ourselves if we are influencing others in a way that brings respect and dignity or are we saying one thing and doing another? Religions are just different rooms in the same inn, or so it might seem; however, I think it is far more basic than this. Are we loving others or promoting fear instead?

It really does come down to how we influence others and exactly what kind of influence we want to be. And, that is either a conscious or unconscious choice. We are aware and choose on purpose, or a choice is made by default, and in the end is a choice regardless. There have probably been times in my life when I made choices unconsciously, but predominantly, my choice is to be a positive, uplifting influence. To succeed at this is an awesome feeling for me.

Love Is My Greatest Influence. How About You? 

Spread Some Joy Today–by opening your heart, and then your eyes.

Today marks the 1,825th post and completes five years of the CTS Daily Inspirations. Thank you for the opportunity to share thoughts with you all this time.

Daily Inspiration 9-27-14

Daily Inspiration 9-27-14

There’s nothing quite like. . . 

. . . a warm rain and the way the air smells and feels afterward while clouds linger blocking parts of the sun, yet letting much of its light without the direct heat of the sun.

. . . an afternoon thunderstorm with some heavy rain, maybe even a bit of hail, a temporary stiff breeze and then the calm languishing of the afterward.

. . . the way a garden glistens and wallows after a delicious rain.

. . . swimming in the pool, then laying on the sunny concrete deck smelling the unmistakable scent of wet concrete on a warm day.

. . . the look on a friend or lovers face when you know they are loving you perfectly as you are, and you are feeling exactly the same.

. . . a full tank of gas, whether you decide to go anywhere or not. It is the comfort of knowing that you are ready at a moments notice.

. . . not needing to ask anyone permission for anything.

. . . doing anything your heart desires, including nothing at all.

. . . a personal physical pampering session that lingers for hours, perhaps even days.

. . . lots of leaves in the courtyard and loving how that looks and feels.

 . . . a perfectly tuned quality wind chime with the perfect volume dancing and singing.

. . . watching birds take a bath in the birdbath. Sometimes it is a group event.

. . . spending time with the Golden Gate Bridge from the Battery Spencer ridge just outside of the gate where you can see the whole of the San Francisco Bay Area.

. . . the road to Hana on Maui in a convertible, or any road on any island in Hawaii in a convertible for that matter. . .

There’s Nothing Quite Like The Feeling Of Love And Appreciation In The Millions Of Ways It Is Available. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Make your list!

Daily Inspiration 9-26-14

Daily Inspiration 9-26-14

“You can do the most remarkable things, 
no matter what happens.” 

— Jim Rohn 

Jim Rohn was a mentor for me that I was introduced to via cassette tape in December of 1980. I will never forget the first tape I heard him on. He was so inspiring to me at that time in my life. Later I would learn more about him and buy a number of his tape sets and listen over and over. He would tell it like it is because he had been there, yet he did so as a skilled wordsmith.

In a short piece called, Doing the Remarkable, he said that regardless of how negative things can be in your life from time to time, or whether you’re walking through a desert of economic chaos, regardless of what is going on, we have the unique ability to change. He explains briefly how and why people can change:

“You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances.”

He continues with my favorite part: “Here is why humans can do remarkable things: because they are remarkable.”

Jim goes on to say, “Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune, and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable. Try reaching down inside yourself, you’ll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They’re there, waiting to be discovered and employed. With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change.”

We were not created as puppets in life being manipulated by circumstance and the folly of others. We were created as creators. We have the remarkable ability to create our own reality–even in the face of a current reality that has not gone according to our desires. We begin that glorious journey by first realizing and accepting that challenge. We are creators. We do create. That also means accepting the responsibility of being a creator.

We Are Remarkable Because We Are Creators, And With That Gift, We Can Change Anything We Desire. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Next time you look in the mirror, look with renewed eyes. See the remarkable creator that you are. That is joy.

Daily Inspiration 9-25-14

Daily Inspiration 9-25-14

“Creativity is a highfalutin word 
for the work I have to do 
between now and Tuesday.” 
— Ray Kroc 

 “Thought, not money, 
is the real business capital.” 
— Harvey Firestone 

I’ve worked hard, and often a lot of hours, and have committed myself to get the job done in most applications. I’m not a slacker. However, I learned a very valuable (to me) lesson about being a manager, which has been my job title in one way or another and one enterprise or another most of my life. That lesson is this: I understood very early into management that a good manager learns how to delegate and create space to be able to grow.

In The E Myth Revisited, Michael E Gerber demonstrates that it is at least as important for the manager to work on the business as in the business. So many managers work in the business and rarely on the business. How do you grow an organization that way?

It is often stated this way: “I’m too busy for any of that.” Or, “I’ve got too much to do and I’ll get to that when I can.” Maybe it is, “I need help!” Or, “I need a bigger team, or more hours in the day, more support from above me, and so on.” The list is long, but there must be time to think, to plan, to design, to expand.

I know some managers whom’s day is completely filled to capacity and beyond with emergencies. They are putting out fires here, helping the wounded there, doing the selling they cannot trust others to do, responding to the boss, cleaning up the debris, filling in for the outage, feeling indispensable and looking extremely important. Everything that is happening right now is so important that there can be no time for planning and preparation, solving issues that create the fires, and so much more than a manager was designed to accomplish.

When I started my first opportunity as a seasoned manager to take over a failing commercial sales department, they wanted me to do exactly as my predecessor did. They wanted me to manage the department AND be a selling manager. I refused. It doesn’t work. So they relented and it was a massive success on their part.

If you are a manager directing a department, or a key manager in a certain area, it is going to be to your benefit and that of the company tenfold to MAKE THE TIME–take the time–create the time to work on the business at least as much if not more than in the business. You need to make a case if they object, as I did in refusing to be a selling manager.

Or not. This is just my opinion of course, but I can assure you that it has made a huge difference to my own sanity and that of those I have served, and continue to serve.

Consider this as well: I think this philosophy is equally important for any salesperson.

“Capital Isn’t That Important In Business. Experience Isn’t That Important. You Can Get Both Of These Things. What Is Important Is Ideas.” — Harvey Firestone 

Spread Some Joy Today–You have the time. Take it. Create some joy for yourself and others. The easiest route is always finding things and people to appreciate.

Daily Inspiration 9-24-14

Daily Inspiration 9-24-14

“Failure is the foundation of success, 
and the means by which it is achieved.” 
— Lao Tzu 

This is one of the best definitions of success I’ve ever seen. For the moment, let’s assume that it is a true statement. This being the case, everyone is either already a success or on their way. If they are on their way, it is a given that they will eventually succeed. This would mean essentially that it is impossible to not succeed, thereby this makes everyone a success. Based on that, why wait to celebrate? Do it now while you’re on the way. There’s nothing like enjoying your travels.

Since You’re Already A Success, Congratulations Are In Order! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by choosing one single goal today to simply enjoy yourself.

Daily Inspiration 9-23-14

Daily Inspiration 9-23-14

“Everything happens for a reason. 
Sometimes the reason is 
that you’re stupid 
and make bad decisions.” 
— Bill Murray 

From one of my all-time favorite comedic actors comes such hilarious and truthful words of wisdom and encouragement. How many times have I been brain-dead stupid and made bad decisions? I stopped counting years ago. It’s embarrassing. But, it’s only embarrassing when I think I should be some kind of financial wizard and selfless mutant. I laughed so hard when I read this quote because it is so true, for me anyway.

But, you know, it is being able to see this and laugh at myself and my own learning lessons that makes it okay to talk about. The list of mistakes, especially financial mistakes would be too long to list here, but I also know that none of that matters much when it comes to the end. It’s all just stuff. It’s all just decisions. It is all just results. Like the wonderful song sung by Kelly Clarkson, Whatever Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger! That is true as well. The lessons that I have learned. . .

There have been enough stupid decisions in my life to last several lifetimes, and there may still be more on the horizon; however, I no longer worry about that, focus on mistakes, or make excuses to others so that I might feel better. It’s all good. Like yesterday’s post, all those mistakes are just stepping stones to joy. In fact, I’ve learned to feel the joy on the way so that there is no regret, and no need to ask forgiveness. It’s all good.

Reader’s Digest Used To Have A Column Called, Laughter Is The Best Medicine. It Surely Is. It Realigns Us With Joy, Our Ultimate Goal.

Spread Some Joy Today–by laughing at ourselves, which is exactly the same as dropping the rope.

Daily Inspiration 9-22-14

Daily Inspiration 9-22-14

“On some dimension or other, 
every event in life 
can be causing only one of two things: 
either it is good for you, 
or it is bringing up 
what you need to look at 
in order to create good for you. 
Evolution is win-win. . . 
life is self-correcting.” 
— Deepak Chopra 

There’s a very popular phrase in recent years: ‘It’s all good!” Can this be true? Well, obviously, it depends on how you look at it and what you’re paying attention to.

I love Deepak Chopra’s way of seeing that it’s all good. Based on this attitude and outlook, the Universe or God is conspiring always in our best interests. Interesting way of looking at it, don’t you think?

Now ask yourself this question: What would my life be like, or how might my life change if I adopted such an outlook on life? What if I believed that no matter what was going on at the moment, that it truly is all good? What if I believed that life really is win-win and not win-lose?

I’m thinking that unless you already had this attitude that your life would change dramatically. Therein lies the possibility of it being all good.

“You Are Not A Drop In The Ocean, But The Ocean In The Drop.” — Deepak Chopra 

Spread Some Joy Today–by looking in the mirror and loving what you see.

Daily Inspiration 9-21-14

Daily Inspiration 9-21-14

“You wander from room to room 
hunting for the diamond necklace 
that is already around your neck!” 
— Rumi 

I laughed when I read this quote because I remember frantically searching for my eyeglasses one day long ago and I searched for more than an hour in every place I could think of and then I found that I was wearing them. Although, I’m certain that Rumi meant by this quote that we have the answers within us. It’s like the Acres of Diamonds story by Russell Conwell that I was introduced to back in the early 70s, where a frustrated man sold his property and went on a trip to find his riches when all along his property was sitting on the richest cache of diamonds ever found. He had no idea what those rocks were.

I’ve come to believe that all of the answers we ever need are within us, yet often it is like the brain which stores everything, but recall is sometimes challenging. Learning from others, and gathering information may inspire us to come back to ourselves and trust in our own alignment with the God within. The best someone else can do for us is to redirect us to ourselves.

Not trusting ourselves in our own abilities and intelligence can be a roadblock, and this makes it all the more important to practice our knowing. We are far more than we seem. Each of us has a direct connection to God or the Universe or All-That-Is which we can tap into at will. As we go within and relax in our inner knowing, by practice, we become confident. Just by knowing that we have this connection and that all that we need is within, this narrows our search considerably.

Whether by prayer, meditation, relaxation, and others, it is a letting go of what is in our face and all around us for just a short time to make the inner connection. We just need to stop the flow of constant information long enough to find the truth for us.

“Do Not Feel Lonely, The Entire Universe Is Inside You.” — Rumi 

Spread Some Joy Today–by changing the tone of gossip, or walking away entirely. Either serve us.

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