Month: November 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-30-18

“Reaction — A boat 
 which is going against the current 
but which does not prevent 
the river from flowing on.” 
— Victor Hugo 

[Classic post from 11-1-14]

A friend told me about another friends reaction, or rather, overreaction to a small event and then promptly created a new policy that seemed unreasonable to all except this person.

I like Paul Coelho’s quote about reason where he says, “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up so easily.” Well, no matter what, reactions like that are all fear based and that usually not only doesn’t work out, it often works in the opposite direction.

It’s so easy for us on the receiving end of such a reactive outburst and immediate change in overall policy to have a reaction ourselves, and it is invariably in the opposite direction, or as Victor Hugo puts it, “a boat which is going against the current.” In this case, now everyone is. Reason is out the window in the face of reaction.

What a great opportunity this is to pause and consider. What has been going on in the life of that person who reacted so poorly to such a small thing? That person could very easily have all kinds of issues, emotions running around, feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts, maybe even having family issues. Now, if we all in our own reaction row upstream too, we are all in fear and distress. The only way out is downstream.

A long time ago my wife and I went to Marriage Encounters, which is an event where couples work out issues in new ways to help solidify their relationship. A big part of that is writing out feelings, then reading it aloud and the receiver is to listen without judgment. Couples are encouraged to continue to write to each other long after the event. It is quite effective in my opinion.

So I suggested to my friend that she write out her thoughts and how that reaction is creating problems now and in the future and express how she feels about it and do it with love and not fear. I hope she does because I know that this is a very powerful tool. Writing allows you to think through things without so much emotion and certainly without any reactive components from another as is experienced in all verbal confrontations.

Cooler heads will always prevail. Understanding and a loving approach will be the real power.

“It’s Not The Situation. . . It’s Your Reaction To The Situation.” — Robert Conklin 

Spread Some Joy Today–by finding the love in you to understand how others may be feeling and reacting.

Daily Inspiration 11-29-18

“Millions saw the apple fall, 
but Newton asked why.” 
— Bernard Baruch 

[Classic post from 10-31-14]

Sometimes people say that there are no silly questions. I wonder. . .

Here’s a thought I had recently. How much would the water level drop at the coast if all the ships in all the oceans were lifted out of the water? Every time a ship is built and put in the water, a good deal of water is displaced. In fact, that is how they often measure ship size by the weight of the water they would displace, or that would spill out of a completely filled container.

Here’s another question. How low was it before ships were ever put in the water? How about one more. If a ship is put into the Indian Ocean, would that have even the slightest effect on the Pacific ocean?

Sometimes a guy just wanders through the day with silly thoughts and silly questions.

“The Larger The Island Of Knowledge, The Longer The Shoreline Of Wonder.” — Ralph W. Sockman

Spread Some Joy Today–by just enjoying yourself today. Who knew it was that easy?

Daily Inspiration 11-28-18

“We often take for granted the very things 
that most deserve our gratitude.” 
— Cynthia Ozick 

[Classic post from 10-30-14]

Up until the last few years, I wasn’t grateful on a regular basis. There might be whole days or even strings of many days without the thought of gratitude for something. Sad, but true. But, I have turned that around completely now.

Each day now, I find myself grateful for more and more things in greater quantity. I now practice it all my waking hours to the point that now hardly an hour goes by without my having gratitude for something or someone. It is closer and closer to pure joy and awe.

I’ll give you some examples. Trash collection. The more I think about this service, the more gratitude I have for it. I take the trash out and put it in a receptacle and once a week the truck comes and takes it away. Can you imagine a month without trash collection? We would be buried.

Here’s another: running water. In terms of history, it was a nanosecond ago that we had to go down to the creek with buckets and carry it back to the house. If you wanted hot water, you had to heat it on the stove. Just think what it took in labor to have a hot bath. Now, I just get in the shower and turn it on (probably the other way around. . .) and there it is. It is effortless. Anytime I want a drink, I lift the handle and there it is clean cool water.

These two things are commonly taken for granted, yet other than a roof over my head and clothes on my body, they are at the top of the list of things that affect my life. There is a long list of these kinds of things that we can focus on and be truly grateful for every day. Like the computer, I’m typing on and the Internet I’m connected to. It is all so awesome to contemplate.

How about the weather? I look forward every day to experiencing the weather. Frankly, I could care less now what the weather will be like, but that I enjoy every moment of it. Yesterday we had 30-50 mph winds all day. It was glorious. Cloudy, overcast, sunny, cold, warm, rainy, dry, they are all so perfect and all so very interesting. I used to complain about the weather. I NEVER complain about the weather now. Each day is like a snowflake–all different in some way and each unique.

These are just a few examples of how I find gratitude in every single hour of every day. It is a whole new world for me in my later life. You might say, I have been reborn. I can now find joy anytime I decide to open myself up to experience it. There are no limits to how much gratitude I can have. The more I find, the more I find.

This change has been gradual and has really moved quickly in the last few years. There is a book I read that really had a large influence on getting me started on this path. It is Power In Praise by Merlin R Carothers. Books that I read later kicked it into high gear. Some of these books are, The Gratitude Effect by Dr. John Demartini, The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks, The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne W Dyer, and many others. Their influence of directing me toward gratitude for everything has been life-changing.

You will find, as I have, that becoming a gratitude finder will be the best thing that will ever happen in your life. Ever.

I Am Thankful Every Waking Hour! 

Spread Some Joy Today–Feel the joy that comes from being thankful every hour. It’s okay to smile outwardly. Inside your ecstatic! Way cool.

Daily Inspiration 11-27-18

“If you judge, 
— Seneca 

[Classic post from 10-28-14]

Maybe you’ve heard someone say, or maybe you’ve said to someone, “they have a bad marriage,” or “that was a bad business decision,” or “their behavior is so bad,” or “he has a bad temper,” or “that was a bad move,” or “what a bad choice that was,” or “business is so bad,” and hundreds more.

Questions: Was it really bad? Was it all bad? What specifically was bad about it?

I had a thought the other day and wrote it down. It was this: What is good about bad? What is right about wrong? What was fantastic in the terrible?

In yesterday’s sharing, I mentioned learning from Anthony Robbins and his book, Awaken the Giant Within. I know this is where my idea the other day came from. It comes from page 201 in the hardcover volume that he calls The Problem-Solving Questions. There are five of them, but I only want to focus on number one right now. That question is, “What is great about this problem?” This led me to ask, “what is good about bad?”

So, what is good about bad? It is impossible that anything is all bad, or all good for that matter, so there have to be things that are good about bad. The life-changing key to asking these kinds of questions is a renewed and more whole perspective of life in general.

Let’s try a few. Let’s say you’re broke and you’re barely getting by and all you can think of is how little you have and how much you want some more money. I’ve been there and know that feeling. It sucks. Big time. So, what is good about this? You might scream, “nothing is good about that.” But, that isn’t true, so let me ask, “if there could be something good about it, what might it be?”

Some possibilities: you always wanted to know what it was like to be broke and now you’re experiencing it for real. Or, now that you are here, there is only better from this point.” Or, look how much I have learned about what not to do about money, so I am going to make a list of better choices so that I need not experience this again. Or, I’m seeing now how my lack-mentality or lack-thoughts have brought me to this place. Now I can change those thoughts to prosperous thoughts and draw more from the world of abundance. There are a long list of positive aspects that can be seen if one only takes the chance to open up and look.

Whatever the problem is, whatever is perceived as bad, or wrong, find the wherewithal to ask Anthony’s question number one: What is great about this problem. Or what is good about this bad? Everything is perception and perception is one of the most malleable things in our life. It is as easily changed as we allow it to be.

“Questions Change The Resources Available To Us.” — Anthony Robbins 

Spread Some Joy Today–by asking good questions. What is great about today? How does that make me feel?

Daily Inspiration 11-26-18

“It’s not what happens to you, 
but how you react that matters.” 
— Epictetus 

[Classic post from 10-27-14]

As I grow and become a more calm and joyous person, I still have what feels like automatic reactions to things. It might be a statement someone made, a criticism directed toward me or something I was a part of. I know it is my ego and my ego is the one reacting, but I am ultimately in control of that aspect of me as much as any other, so by virtue of the idea of practice, I improve the results over time.

What is true now is that even though I may initially react and even open my mouth and speak back to the perceived attack, I catch myself in action and take back my control and sensibility. I might even stop mid-sentence, but stop I will. And, over the years of practice, these outbursts of emotion are less, and they are absolutely less intense and far shorter in duration. That is what I love about practice.

My goal is a calm consideration and if I am to react, I want to react with love. Life is way too short to go around being upset about trivial things–and believe me, in the scheme of life and death, all this stuff is trivial. Besides, when someone is attacking another for whatever reason, it really isn’t about the one they attack, it is always about themselves and how they feel and think. We create our own enemies inside ourselves. That’s still too deep for many, so I promote practicing calm consideration and love in all our reactive moments.

Anthony Robbins helped me with some vocabulary on this subject and others by simply changing a typically overused word or phrase to something different. For example, go from, “I’m so pissed at you!” to “I’m quite tinkled about you right now.” That changes everything. If it doesn’t get you laughing, we can dig deeper into Anthony’s word and phrase arsenal.

I quoted this from Mr. Robbins back in 2012 in the February 12th Daily Inspiration, and it is easily worth quoting again from his book, Awaken The Giant Within: “From Tinkled To Turbo-Charged — What would your life be like if you could take all the negative emotions you ever felt and lower their intensity so they didn’t impact you as powerfully, so you were always in charge? What would your life be like if you could take the most positive emotions and intensify them, thereby taking your life to a higher level? You can do both of these in a heartbeat.”

Go from being angry to disenchanted, anxious to expectant, disgusted to surprised, exhausted to a little droopy, frustrated to fascinated, overwhelmed to in demand, stressed to energized. Then go from being awake to raring to go, cool to outrageous, determined to unstoppable, energized to turbo-charged, good to vibrant, happy to totally blissed, strong to invincible.

These are the kind of word changes I have so much fun with when people ask mundane questions such as, “how are you today?” or “what’s new with you?”

Going From Pumped Up To Soaring! 

Spread Some Joy Today–It’s as easy as flipping a switch. You get to flip it.

Daily Inspiration 11-25-18

“Henry Ford, poor and uneducated,
dreamed of a horseless carriage,
went to work with what tools he possessed,
without waiting for an opportunity to favor him,
and now evidence of his dream belts the entire earth.
He has put more wheels into operation
than any other man who ever lived,
because he was not afraid to back his dreams.”

— Napoleon Hill,
Think and Grow Rich

[Classic post from 10-24-14]

I love Henry Ford. In my heart, I have always sort of been a Chevy guy, but I love Henry Ford. The quote above is a good part of it. He believed in himself and he had a strong desire. He had to have said to himself many times, “I’m going to get ‘er done, no matter what it takes.” Well maybe without the drawl. . . However, he has been known to say, “I want it and I’ll have it!” Now, that is a pure power right there. Pure power. Desire, commitment, determination, follow through. An amazing man.

Have you ever felt so strongly about anything you wanted? If you did, you must have received it. There is so much power in the decision. To say, “I’m going this way!” And, then confidently, going that way. Believing all the way.

Or, beginning on a project knowing full well you don’t have everything you need and doing it anyway, expecting it to all work out well. That, my friends, is courage!

I’ve heard people say, “you have to count the cost,” or, “wait until you’re ready, the time is not right,” or, “what do you know about ______?” A lot of dreams and ideas get washed away like a wave covering the sand on the beach with those comments.

Here’s an idea for you: Any of you have children? Did you have it all planned out up front before the moment of conception? All the issues were covered and consulted with experts? All financial preparations made prior to the need, like college, tutors, braces, etc.? How about all the emotional coverage? The spiritual stuff too?

How about marriage? Was all that planned out ahead of the need and the funds set aside for the home, furnishings, transportation, children, etc.? The emotional issues? The spiritual issues? The daily issues?

All good, right? Yeah, sure!

Well, you found a way anyway, didn’t you? You dealt with it as it was happening, right? You might have even enjoyed the process of the transitions from one place to another. You also made mistakes. Plenty of them. And, of course, you had many, many successes. You dealt with all of them in real time.

So, what’s the deal? If you can take two of life’s biggest challenges like marriage and children and figure it out, you can do the same with business, your career, the things you’ve always wanted to do and have put off year after year. If that doesn’t give you a bit of confidence, I don’t know what will.


Spread Some Joy Today–Give Someone Else Some Well Deserved Praise (Or Just-For-The-Heck-Of-It-Praise). The Practice Will Help You Praise Yourself!

Daily Inspiration 11-24-18

“Formal education 
will make you a living; 
will make you a fortune.” 
— Jim Rohn 

[Classic post from 10-21-14]

There’s a movie that just came out on DVD titled, The Ivory Tower. It is about how college in this country has become a serious problem in that there is well over a trillion dollars in student loan debt and what a burden it is on the students and also the country and how one used to be able to work part-time jobs and put themselves through college and now the costs have risen so high and so fast that it is nearly impossible today.

I have long thought that college can be wonderful if someone wants to be there and they are there to absorb all they can, and at the same time, it is equally responsible and acceptable to do something other than college.

Earlier in my life, people would state that you make so much more money with a college degree and yet I’ve known people with college degrees who are poor. It is said to open up opportunities not open to others, and I have found that to be a falsehood. It is true that it is pushed from the top down and the bottom up as the minimum requirement for success in the world, and that is bunk too.

I work a little in a disadvantaged youth program and in that program they are all also encouraged to go to college. Most will not.

Here’s a quote from the movie, The Ivory Tower by Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University: “Many intellectuals are saying that it would be better if some people don’t go to college at all. I think that’s an assault on democracy and it’s an attempt to keep people in their place and reinforce social inequality.” So, according to him, college is the ultimate equalizer, and of course, all colleges are equal as well, right? An assault on democracy? Really? . . . Interesting.

I’m not against college. That would be silly. I’m not against people being in debt. That is certainly their choice. They must have signed the papers at some point and spent the money. I’m not against the need for more education, or so-called higher education. I’m not against people who have college degrees and multiple degrees.

The movie tends to paint a picture of a national problem larger than health care and is expounding on the problems and how they came to be. I am with the movie on the point of the reality of where a college education is now, but I am not much of an advocate of focusing on problems.

I am for the idea that college can be a choice and not going to college can be an equally good choice. I am for the idea of education and including higher education, whatever that is. I am for the idea of life-long learning. I am for the idea of self-education. I am for the idea that all people are equal in their opportunity of education in this country, regardless of how disadvantaged they may think they are. Education is a choice. It is still a choice. We are all in full control of our own choices.

There has never been an opportunity for education as exists in today’s world. We still have free libraries. We have free Internet education sessions–even college-level courses online. These choices did not exist even 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago, or even 25 years ago. And. here’s the best news: They exist NOW.

If You Think About It, It Really Is A Brave New World. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by listening to your inner knowing. You already know the answer, just allow it to come forth.

Daily Inspiration 11-23-18

“After a time, you may find that ‘having’
is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as ‘wanting.’

It is not logical, but it is often true.”
– Mr. Spock, Star Trek

[Classic post from 10-23-14]

When I read this quote, I related to it immediately. It is often very true for me.

Some recent (last few years) examples: I wanted a very special and very rare electric guitar. I found one, bought it. Then I never played it and sold it. I wanted a treadmill, bought it and I have used it about 5 times in three years. Mostly it takes up space by owning it. I could probably list almost every possession I have and it would be that way, though most of them are just here or in storage, again not being used.

I’ve thought about this often and it feels kind of weird to want things, finally get them and then not care about them anymore. I think Spock is right: “It is not logical, but it is often true.” Of course, I also have things I love and use and continue to take pleasure in.

The thing for me to reconcile is that it is natural and okay to want things. It is also okay to get them. And, if I no longer really want them, or they no longer hold that value I thought they would have, it is okay to let them go again. Sort of like catch and release fishing. It’s that the things are just not that important, but the desire is.

This made me think of advertising by P.G. & E., our local electric and gas provider. They advertise that they encourage people to conserve power as if that is critical. The government encourages the same and I’m sure that P.G. & E. does this partly due to government encouragement. But conservation is not the answer.

I see a lot of ads by Shell Oil and Chevron about conservation, using less fuel and how good a thing this is for everyone. That’s like a car dealer saying don’t buy so many cars. It’s so stupid to hear them say that when this is diametrically opposed to what they do as a business. Conservation is not the answer.

The answer is not conservation, it is desire and expansion. The energy solution is new types of energy, and especially cheaper and renewable energy, instead of doing the same things and expecting a different result (insanity). The desire for something new creates expansion until something new arrives.

The same is true with us. We are desire-driven creatures. Desire is good. Holding it down and beating it up is not good. An expansion is a good thing. Believing that abundance exists is good. Creating shortages and promoting that concept is not good.

Play with your desires: I ran across this from Bob Proctor and others. It is big fun and quite rewarding. Take out a few sheets of paper or a notebook. Now, write everything you want until to have at least 101 things. Trips, places you want to go, things you want to do, people you want to meet, situations you want to happen, businesses you want, anything you want regardless of its size or cost. Pay no attention to any of the ‘how’ part, just focus on what pleases you when you think of it. Pay attention only to ‘what’ you want, as if the ‘how’ did not really matter at all.

This will be a powerful thing for you to read again and again and watch what gets crossed off. It is really fun and you will be amazed at how many get crossed off in a relatively short period of time. We are desire-driven. You are in charge!

I Will Get My. . . Satisfaction. I Will Get My. . .

Spread Some Joy Today–Call One Or Two Special People And Tell Them You Love Them. Out Of The Blue Is Cool.

Daily Inspiration 11-22-18

“I think of life itself now 
as a wonderful play 
that I’ve written for myself, 
and so my purpose 
is to have the utmost fun 
playing my part.” 
— Shirley MacLaine 

[Classic post from 10-20-14]

What a perfect attitude and philosophy for life. I create my own reality. I create my own circumstance. I am the creator of my life. I am responsible and I am fully in charge of it. Nothing external to me has more power than I myself control. I am.

I love how Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel says, “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”

Even the ancients decree as Euripides stated: “There is just one life for each of us: our own.”

“Wheresoever You Go, Go With All Your Heart.” — Kongzi 

Spread Some Joy Today–by simply and exquisitely being you.

Daily Inspiration 11-21-18

“Mistakes are the best teachers. 
One does not learn from success. 
It is desirable to learn vicariously 
from other people’s failures, 
but it gets much more firmly seared in 
when they are your own.” 
— Mohnish Pabrai 

[Classic post from 10-19-14]

Although I agree that mistakes are great teachers and that doing and missing the mark can have huge advantages to lead toward the ultimate objective. I also agree that it is great to learn from others and their mistakes so that we might avoid the necessity to make our own, and that probably it is our own mistakes that give us the most power of learning.

Yet, there is one statement in this quote that I completely disagree with. Mr. Pabrai says that “one does not learn from success.” Indeed, I think we learn as much from success or perhaps even more than from any mistakes. All you have to do is watch children when they are very young and one can see how much children learn from success.

From a willingness to do, there is the potential for success or failure. Although those words can be confusing, each of them indicates an outcome. It is not necessarily the final outcome because each outcome indicates some kind of movement along a path. You’ve heard the old phrase that two wrongs don’t make a right, so two failures don’t make success either. Potentially one can make mistake after mistake and never succeed I suppose, yet they can make success after success and grow stronger, wiser, and more fluent in success.

I think it is far more important to praise what is being done well or right, and so success is as much a learning tool as a failure in any endeavor.

The easier way to see this is that they are just actions and results, neither good nor bad, they just are. What we do with those results is the key, and we will typically grow much faster and more surely by stringing successes together.

Little Successes Lead To Larger Ones. Go Forth and Play With Success. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by giving yourself the gift of allowing yourself to enjoy your day fully.

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