Month: January 2017

Daily Inspiration 1-31-17

“There’s a world of difference
between truth and facts. 
Facts can obscure the truth.” 

— Maya Angelou 

“Truth is mighty and will prevail. 
There is nothing wrong with this, 
except that it ain’t so.” 

— Mark Twain 

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up 
as judge of Truth and Knowledge 
is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” 

— Albert Einstein 

The sales rate of George Orwell’s classic 1949 Big Brother novel, 1984, is still at number one in 5 categories on over a week after the “alternative facts” quote by Kellyanne Conway. It’s mysterious how sales can be affected and by what. And, it is curious how facts and truth can be in conflict, or even be diametrically opposed and both be accepted, but it happens all day every day in millions of different ways.

I’ve been associated in one form or another with the automobile business since I was a teenager. It began with my love of cars, then taking two years of Auto Shop in high school, to becoming a journeyman-level auto mechanic in the Air Force, to selling them when I got out, becoming a sales manager, to calling on dealers selling them their own product with a truck body now attached to it, to doing Internet work for dealers, writing a book about Commercial Trucks, and more. That is a lot of varied perspectives on the same basic subject.

That’s the theme of this post: How varied perspectives of facts often shadow the truth, and that truth and facts both are also none other than individual or mutually agreed upon perspectives.

I just finished the unabridged audiobook, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle For the Soul of American Business, by Bob Lutz, who at 84 is a lifetime car guy with a vast number of perspectives from the inside out.

I found this book absolutely fascinating. The main focus was on his experience of being hired out of retirement to be vice-chairman of General Motors in 2001 with the edict of turning around their product from a long slippery slope of product disappointments to making great cars again as they did in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He talked about his history to give perspective on his leadership and gave an insightful history of General Motors products with particular emphasis after 1950.

This historical perspective of GM’s product successes and mistakes was important to me in particular because I began selling Chevrolet products in late 1972 with the introduction only a couple weeks away for the 1973 models. I saw the decline in quality and had to do what we could to make up for it at the dealer level. Working at the dealer level from 1972 to early 1997, my eyes were wide open and in shock at some of the poorest quality cars (not all bad, of course), along with growing government product mandates, choking smog equipment, early computer technology, and the list goes on.

What I learned from this book was to remember that perspective is really what truth and facts are. It reminded me of several things. One was a game we used to play in grade school we called telephone. Several of us would sit on the ground in a circle and whisper something to the one next to us, then they would relay it to the next and the next until at the last person to hear it, the message was almost always something completely different than when it began.

Another is how if we gather in a circle around some object at the center of the circle, each person will have a unique perspective of what is before them because only they have that particular viewpoint. These are facts. They are truth. Yet they are different. They could be said to be alternative facts and alternative truths. We could even be adamant about our point of view as being the truth, or fact, or both, and yet receive many arguments to the contrary.

Last, wherever we go, whatever we do, and whatever we view, we bring our accumulated facts and truths with us. We bring our previous perspectives, both our individual and those we have collectively agreed upon wherever we go. We often make judgments based on all of this, and it is labeled by us as good or evil or some other proclamation. It’s comforting to have a mutual agreement in our judgment, and sometimes we may even enjoy the comfort of many to agree with though individually we disagree.

These are not alternative facts or alternative truths, they are perspectives and judgments. We each have them. So be it. The only reason I bring this up here is that realizing or being aware of this bigger picture of how we decide things, might give us just a little pause in our judgment for a more varied consideration, and open us up to the idea that other people’s perspectives are as valuable as our own, though quite varied they may be.

Enjoy Your Perspective While Respecting The Perspectives Of Others. All Perspectives Are Valuable. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by opening your perspective to a whole new world of joy.

Daily Inspiration 1-30-17

“Stress is not a negative emotion, 
it is a package of negative emotions.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

It’s funny how many think of stress as a thing, or as a treatable disease. It is certainly dis-ease, but not a disease. It is not a thing, but a response to stimuli. It is an emotion that we feel, but it is more than this. It is a package of emotions.

Consider frustration. How does frustration relate to stress? It is in that package we call stress. So is worry, disappointment, discouragement, anger, revenge, hatred, guilt, powerlessness, fear. In fact, it is all fear, and all of these cause a response we often call stress.

Natalie Goldberg said, “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” 

Emergencies are rare, but when we make them a part of our daily life, it becomes stress. We are moving so fast sometimes, and we think things are so important, and that we must be a part of it that we find ourselves in stress perhaps all day long.

Viggo Mortensen shares these words of wisdom: “One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.” 

Stress may have become a daily enemy. Consider these beautiful words by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” 

And last but not least, Karen Salmanshohn’s advise is worthy of your consideration: “Give yourself a hug. Right now. Really. Stop what you’re doing. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself. Tightly. Appreciate all that you’re doing and all who you love and all which you have!”

Slow Down. Cut Yourself Some Slack. Life Is Good. Love Is Always The Right Answer. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by looking for more and more ways to feel good. What is right about this? What could be right? Where is the joy in this? It’s in there somewhere.

Daily Inspiration 1-29-17

“The phrase, 
‘to each their own,’ 
expresses more truth about life 
than we may realize.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

I was reading some movie reviews yesterday about a movie I was considering renting. There were so many that hated it, turned it off a short way into it, expressed other disappointments with it. At the same time, although in a minority of the reviews I saw, some loved it. Who’s to know? It would only be us.

I usually don’t pay much attention to the reviews because I have found some of the best and most memorable movies I’ve ever seen had a lot of poor reviews. Also, the opposite has been true in that many of the ones I rented that had great reviews, I found less than desirable, and not worth my time. To each their own. So, I take movie reviews lightly.

Isn’t this true of so many things in life? We learn by experiencing for ourselves. Sometimes others can serve us with their opinions, but ultimately, they are just that–opinions, and though they may see this as fact for them, it is certainly not the fact for all.

As things go on in the world, in our employment, in our homes, and in our relationships, we run up against a lot of opinions. They might even be stated as having more authority than an opinion, such as in laws, rules, regulations, edicts, pronouncements, predictions, and more. Yet, they are not necessarily fact for us. I like how Abraham, Esther Hicks talks about other people’s opinions and how to deal with that:

“Because others cannot vibrate in your experience, they cannot affect the outcome of your experience. They can hold their opinions, but unless their opinion affects your opinion, their opinion matters not at all. A million people could be pushing against you, and it would not negatively affect you unless you push back. They are affecting what happens in their experience. They are affecting their point of attraction–but it does not affect you unless you push against them.” 

So, it’s informative to listen to or read other people’s opinions, but the only one that matters is our own, and especially as this relates to our opinion of ourselves. At the same time, allowing those opinions to be valid for them, without giving them any of our energy unless we find resonance with them, we can move through our lives with much more peace and joy.

Let It Flow, Let It Go. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by enjoying your opinions without insisting that others need to respond. Be injoy without messing with the joy of others. To each their own joy.

Daily Inspiration 1-28-17

“What if you could see the invisible, 
such as energy and vibration?” 

— Albert K. Strong 

It is a scientific given that at the most basic level, everything is energy, and that energy is vibration. The things we see are these, and the things that we don’t see that are invisible to our eyes are these too. The vast amounts of space in between material objects, including planets, solar systems, galaxies, or the space in the room I’m in is also this. The difference is only in the level or speed of the vibration of that energy.

Without getting any more technical than this, I wanted to share some ideas that relate to what we do not see and yet have an effect on our lives and the lives of others near and far.

Thoughts are vibration. They have a certain frequency, which is essentially the speed of the vibration. We may think that our thoughts are contained within our head, but they cannot be contained. Think of radio waves, television, cellular transmissions and such. We don’t see any of that, yet it is there and it is moving away from the source of the transmission. It is in vibration at certain frequencies. One radio station broadcasts, or transmits at one frequency, let’s say 101.5 FM, and another at 88.7 FM and they are received by a receiver that is tuned to those frequencies. It would be crazy to receive all of those transmissions at once. Let’s call them individualized frequency transmissions.

Our thoughts including our incessant self-talk are being transmitted as we think them. They affect us as the transmitter and also because we are also a receiver, and yet we may think that we are in full control of where these thought transmissions go. We are not in control of that.

As we are communicating in person with another human, we are having an internal dialogue of thoughts. We may be expressing our thoughts about that person, what they look like, how their voice sounds, what they are wearing, and an infinite list of other details so fast that we couldn’t keep up with it if we tried. What we don’t think about is that our thoughts are being transmitted over distances far greater than our heads. Our thoughts are vibration and those vibrations are going out in ever-widening circles beyond ourselves.

But, here’s the essential part. Other people are transmitters and receivers just as we are, and so there is a lot of different frequencies of energy all around us all the time. This begs attention to what we may be transmitting, and that more so, than what we are receiving. We generally think nothing of this aspect of our communications.

As we are talking with another, what are we saying that is not coming out verbally? Is it kind? Egotistical? Lustful? Down-putting? Encouraging? Appreciating? Uplifting? In other words, what are we saying to them or about them that we are not saying with our mouth?

When we are talking with a prospect, customer, or any other, what are we saying internally that we are not speaking aloud? If we said what we are saying internally with our speech, would that uplift the other, or cause them ill?

Recently, I’ve given lots of attention to what I am saying that I am not articulating with my vocal chords. I find that this causes me to look for things to consider that are lifting the other up, offering them loving thoughts, appreciating their presence in this world by realizing that we are all one at the source and that all deserve love, respect, kindness, upliftment, empowerment, joy.

My Unspoken Communication Is Being Transmitted, And More Importantly, Received. Am I Good With What I Am Communicating? 

Spread Some Joy Today–by actually spreading joy, instead of that other stuff. The difference is easy to spot.

Daily Inspiration 1-27-17

“When you become 
 your own greatest lover, 
you will have lots of competition 
 for the position.” 

— Alan Cohen 

As I have grown in my own learning, expansion, and connection with the Universe and All-That-Is, my life as I have known it has changed and can no longer revert to the ignorance of what was. This is a good thing.

Now as I read things in the news, on Facebook, in the media, or spoken by others, I see through many of the statements to that which lies hidden under the words.

Here’s an example of what I mean from my local newspaper. The headline caught my attention and caused me to laugh. It read, “A ‘loser’ broke my heart and I just can’t get over the pain.” I laughed because I was asking, “well, if you can’t, then you are doomed to lifelong pain.” This is a person who has relinquished control to all that is outside of her. Even her daughter suggested that she shouldn’t give that man so much power over her, but she cannot let it go. But, here’s the real deal: she doesn’t want to let it go. She is being rewarded by her pain. Of course, this is only because she has allowed her ego to rule her life.

First things first. She is feeling a loss. It is fear. She sees a shortage. Something has been taken from her and she wants it back. Abraham, Esther Hicks, can respond to this. “There is no shortage. And any attention to shortage of something wanted will always produce negative emotion within you because your guidance is letting you know that you have strayed from your broader basic understanding of abundance and Well-Being.” 

Next is that it is our thoughts that create and not the other way around. We are attracting to ourselves by our thoughts, and accepting responsibility for that is key. At the most basic level, if we turn off the lady’s thinking capacity, the problem immediately vanishes. It does not exist. Of course, nothing else does either since everything relates to our thoughts.

Last, understanding that we are feeling negative emotion, which tells us we are out of alignment with our own inner knowing or we could say inner being, and that our thoughts are creating our environment, the solution to any problem of thinking is our focus. What are we focused on? What are we giving attention to? In this case, she is giving attention to her fear of shortage and her ego is helping her find more pain to satisfy its desire to be right at all times. No matter the circumstance, we always have the power of focus at our beckon call.

Relating to the quote at the beginning, when we begin to love ourselves, we will find so many people loving us where we previously did not. Like attracts like. As we think, so it shall be.

I’ll end this with this wonderful Abraham H. Maslow quote: “Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy.” 

We Can Be This, Or Not, As We Choose. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Does pain ever satisfy? The answer to that is yes. However, I personally prefer joy over pain. Not everyone does, and yet we may each choose as we will.

Daily Inspiration 1-26-17

“As I express my gratitude, 
I become more deeply aware of it. 
And the greater my awareness, 
the greater my need to express it.” 

— Br. David Steindl-Rast 

Perhaps the best questions that one could ever ask: What do I want? Would I prefer to feel good, or not that? Do I have any control of my life, really?

The answer to the last one is, absolutely. No one else does. Though we sometimes think we can’t control our life, this isn’t true, and only because no one else can think our thoughts for us. There is no doubt that many may try to influence or even manipulate, but we are the final authority and the final security in whether that is accepted or rejected.

The main reason that we may often feel as if our life is not controlled by us is that we are allowing our ego to rule. Though the ego is a wonderful tool as a helper in selected situations, it is an extremely poor manager. It reminds me of good salespeople promoted to manager and failing miserably. They aren’t the same job only higher up, they are completely different kinds of jobs. The ego, if allowed to rule, will lead us astray and then justify that in every conceivable way.

The other reason is that we are on auto-pilot. We let our self-talk and thoughts just ramble without any awareness of what is really going on. In this we are open to almost any input and so we go here and there and all over the map reacting to all manner of things that go on around us in person and in the media.

So, answering the first questions, what do I want? and would I prefer to feel good, or not that? is critical. Once the decision is made, the direction is clearer. If the choice is that it doesn’t matter if I feel good or not, then life is whatever it is and though ultimately I do control it, I am not accepting that and so it is on auto-pilot. What comes, comes.

Choosing that I want to feel good is the point of change to feel better, and better, and better. Once we have this awareness, we see the world around us differently. Instead of bad guys lurking in the shadows, we see light, beauty, strength, calm, joy. We immediately begin appreciating, and as we appreciate, we cannot help but be grateful, and that point of attraction, brings us more to appreciate and be grateful for.

It’s as simple as this to change our lives for the better. I decide that I want to feel good and so I look for things that help me to feel good. As I am feeling good, I am attracting more things, people, circumstances to feel good about.

One would think that I could go back to auto-pilot anytime I want–back to the “normal” way of life. Yet, I cannot. Once I have opened my eyes and have seen, I have seen, and I cannot un-see. I can stay where I have grown to, but I cannot go back to what I was.

Appreciation And Gratitude Leads Me To A Higher Place. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by opening the door to your awareness of all of the joy that is within and all around you. This is what it is to be in joy.

Daily Inspiration 1-25-17

“Those who forget the past 
are doomed to repeat it.” 

— Sara Shepard 

Well. . . I’ve heard this kind of statement so many times in my life. Winston Churchill was famous for saying a quote that is similar and also attributed to George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” There are many others about learning from history as in one by Jesse Ventura: “Learn from history, or you’re doomed to repeat it.” 

These were all very interesting until I found this quote from Abraham, Esther Hicks that made me laugh with joy when I read it:

“If you examine your history, you cannot help but repeat it! Law of Attraction says it is so: “Whatever I am looking at, I am including in my vibration.” 

We can “remember the Alamo,” and an extensive list of tragic things, and maybe some will find solace in that, but I doubt it. Better to remember the butter I helped make in third-grade that I spoke of yesterday. That memory brings me joy almost every time I look at butter. It’s either Mrs. White and third-grade or Julia Child’s love of butter. They are both good.

What is the value of remembering the pain and re-experiencing it in the now?

What is the value of remembering the joy, appreciation of someone or something, a spectacular achievement that delighted you, and re-experiencing it in the now?

Whatever I am looking at from the past I am re-membering to me now. If I’m going to look, why not look at something that uplifts, inspires, brings me joy? I’m not really very fond of pain, and emotional pain can seem worse than physical pain many times. Perhaps it may be better to forget the Alamo, so to speak. Instead, remember walking up and getting that high school or college diploma. Or, that first kiss. How about the day you hit a home run with the bases loaded, or the ‘A’ on that test that we studied so hard for. Maybe it was making love on the beach one night. Or as exquisite as what it felt like to be hugged and shown love by a caring parent.

I’ll never forget sitting on the couch with my father who died when I was only 13 and who divorced my mother when I was 5. We would visit his home in Long Beach CA for a week in the summer. What I remember about those few minutes is glorious. He was hugging me, and I could feel his end of the day whiskers on my face. I enjoy that thought and feeling from time to time, and it always feels marvelous. As well those kind of moments were very rare, and it is the perfect way to remember him.

Whatever I am giving my attention to I am including in my vibration. So are you. What that is for me and you is fully and completely our own choice of focus.

Every Moment Of Every Day Is A Choice Of Focus. We Are The Choosers. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by remembering all the joy and love in your life. Re-experience it freely as you create more of it anew.

Daily Inspiration 1-24-17

“We must find time 
to stop and thank the people 
who make a difference in our lives.” 

— John F. Kennedy 

Yes, and as well thank those who have made a difference though it may be long ago.

Mrs. White. I don’t know her first name. She was my third-grade teacher at Lee School in Azusa CA. My memory tells me that she was always a nice person. I really enjoyed third-grade with her. Third grade is the only time I ever got straight A’s in one of the four quarters. The other three had a lot of A’s, but some B’s mixed in.

The thing that stands out to me today is butter. I love butter. Real butter. With salt. And quite often as I am buttering toast or something, I think of Mrs. White.

She took us on a field trip to a dairy that was a few miles away. We got a tour of how they get milk from the cows, and learned about cream and raw milk and pasteurized and homogenized milk. Mrs. White bought some cream to bring back to class. She got a butter churn and we all took turns churning the butter. This was all in learning and in preparation for an open house for the parents to come visit the class. The butter was served with crackers and we were all so proud that we helped make butter.

But, here’s the best part: That butter was the best I have ever tasted. I can still taste it in my mouth. It was so delicious, smooth, spreadable.

I am so grateful for such a positive and enjoyable memory that is now 60 years old and still as good as it ever has been. As well, I had that third-grade report card most of my life, and I probably still have it somewhere, although I used to know exactly where it was.

It’s interesting how we touch each other even far into the future and even after we may be long gone from this life. I wonder if any of the other kids in that class were similarly touched by Mrs. White. . .

Spend A Bit Of Your Time In Celebration Of Someone Who Inspired You. 

Spread Some Joy Today–As you are in delight, so are those who come into contact with you.

Daily Inspiration 1-23-17

“Things do not bring us any meaning. 
It is we who bring meaning to things.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

We see something, hear, touch, smell, sense something, and it means something to us. Often, we know exactly what it means to us, and other times we may be hard pressed to articulate what that meaning is, yet we feel that there is meaning within us.

Abstract paintings are like that. You could say that people either like one or do not like it, but it is even deeper. There is meaning to some and no meaning and no sense of anything at all to others.

The painting I show here by local artist, Marjorie Lutz, is one that I bought that spoke to me. What was it saying to me? It wasn’t saying anything, but rather, I was interpreting what I saw and I felt a connection to it. I cannot tell you exactly what that is because it is many things.

I love the colors and where they are on the canvas. I love the different textures including things added to the paint. From a distance of about 15 feet or so, I feel the movement within it, the harmony within it. I see palm trees and a beach, and a sailboat in rolling seas, snow capped mountains, and tropical forest. I see a brilliant sunrise after a good soaking rain, I feel music within it. I see and feel many things, all of which I bring to the painting, not the other way around.

Who knows? It could be that the artist just stood back and threw things at the canvas and this is what happened. But, it doesn’t matter to me whether it was the artist’s best work or worst. I was in a room surrounded by paintings from this artist and this is the one that once I saw it, I could not get it out of my mind. So, I bought it, and I am delighted that I did.

Other people may think it looks like crap, nor a real painting, and not worthy to adorn a wall, and that is fine. We all bring our own meaning to everything we see. I brought mine and it resonated with me. It is entirely possible it was painted specifically for me, and the Law of Attraction brought me to the out of the way place where it was displayed so that I could experience it. All of that can be true, and yet none of it matters. I saw it, it resonated with me, I was joyful looking at it and I am joyful every time I look at it even some years later. And, any time something bought continues to serve and/or bring one joy, that is indeed, a great purchase.

I’ll end this post with this quote by Alan Cohen:

“All things are neutral, without positive or negative value, or any meaning whatsoever, until we put them to use.” 

It Isn’t What It Is. It Is What You Say It Is. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by feeling for resonation. This is your constant source of joy.

Daily Inspiration 1-22-17

“A man who carries a cat by the tail 
learns something he can learn no other way.” 

— Mark Twain 

I am thinking that our new President is going to find out that way.

I think that perhaps sometimes we are all learning things that way. Once the lessons of this are learned though, we learn to turn our heads and hearts toward harmony, brotherhood, respect, and love.

Let us hope the same for our figurative leaders. We each, of course, are the only leaders that matter when it comes to our own lives.

Learning Is Such A Fascinating Journey. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by allowing people the space to figure out their own learning needs. We all have them.

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