Category: Appreciation

Spread Some Joy Today > Appreciation

The Need Is Not The Seed

“The soil says, Don’t bring me your need,
bring me your seed.”
— Jim Rohn
“God has the tough end of the deal.
What if instead of planting the seed,
you had to make the tree?
That would keep you up late at night,
trying to figure that one out.”
— Jim Rohn
[Classic post from 1-27-11]
One thing that has become extremely clear to me about life is that it is not need that drives, it is desire–and even more than desire, it is expectation, which is the foregone conclusion of desire. Sometimes that is called faith or belief.
I love how Jim Rohn puts it about the soil not caring at all about the need, yet is ready, willing, and able to deal with the seed. Indeed, the second quote about God having the tough end of the deal (as if anything is tough for God. . .) puts our physical abilities in perspective by asking us to make the tree. All we know is the seed that becomes the tree, but we don’t have anything to do except plant it. The rest is not our domain.
I’ve shared this before, but I have a sign I printed out on my wall so that I can see it every day that says: “What is MY job! How is GOD’S job!” I need to remind myself very often that I control desire and what I want to do or have or be, yet I DO NOT need to know how to do that. Exactly like the tree and the seed. I plant the seed, which is my job, but the building of the tree is not my job.
I’ve recognized many times in my life past where I have tried to help build the tree. I get in there and try to change circumstances and events to speed the process along, or to make it better somehow. It becomes clear in a relatively short time how poorly I am equipped and skilled to get that job done. I somehow think that it is my actions that will reap all the results when it is much more me aligning with my desire and focusing there, especially the end result as if it were already done, not knowing a thing about how, or needing to know. The more I stick to my job, the better things turn out.
To The Power That Builds Galaxies, My Desires Are Mere Child’s Play. Better In Those Hands Than Mine.
Spread Some Joy Today–let go of as much of the struggle as you can. It won’t help. Relax and concentrate on planting and enjoying the sunset, the breeze, and the wonderful shade of the tree.

Moving Into The Impossible

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible
is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
— Arthur Clarke
[Classic post from 1-30-11]
Let's look in the rearview mirror not very far back in history and look at just a few of the things that were impossible for hundreds and even thousands of years, and then they somehow not only became possible but became actual realities.
1. Bridging the Mississippi river.
2. To travel faster than a horse will run.
3. Hauling hundreds of tons of material smoothly and efficiently.
4. Breathing underwater.
5. Flying through the air in a machine.
6. Radio.
7. Television.
8. Computers.
9. The Internet.
10. Worldwide instant communication.
11. Cellular phones.
12. Automobiles.
13. Refrigeration.
14. Air Conditioning.
15. Washing machine.
16. Clothes dryer.
17. Space travel.
18. Landing a man on the moon.
19. Microwave cooking
20. Electric light and appliances.
21. Recorded music.
22. Electric Guitar
23. Rock and Roll
24. Instant Video Recorders.
25. Robotics.
This is such a shortlist of the seriously long list of things that were impossible for hundreds and thousands of years and then became possible and then became actual things in just the last 200 years. I did this off the top of my head and I'm sure I could come up with a couple hundred items and that list would be small compared with what really transpired.
Next time something seems impossible, pull out this list or make your own to remind you that nothing is impossible really. It is just a matter of time and more important than time is someone beginning to believe in the possibility rather than the impossibility. It is amazing what even one person who believes can do to change the world.
We Owe Our Entertainment, Transportation, Food Delivery Systems, And Creature Comforts To A Few Believers.
Spread Some Joy Today–become more of a possibilitarian. You don't have to know how–just know.

What We Pray For. What We May Receive.

“Let me ask you something.
If someone prays for patience,
do you think God gives them patience?
Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage,
does God give him courage,
or does He give him opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for the family to be closer,
do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings,
or does He give them opportunities to love each other?”
— God
as played by Morgan Freeman
in the movie, Evan Almighty
[Classic post from 1-31-11]
Do we just give our kids money, or do we show them ways to earn it and thereby have some respect for it and understand value more clearly? Do we allow our children, our sales staff, our employees to learn by allowing them to make mistakes so they can learn better ways? Or, do we step in and do it for them, so that we know it is done according to our own plan regardless of how little they learn that way?
Or, how about ourselves? Are we longing for the easy way, when we know full well that the other way will create a foundation to step up on? Are we looking for a savior?
If you were starting up a company from scratch and using your own capital or bootstrapping it, would you constantly long for enough money to pay people and be done with the struggle? Or might the struggle have some of the most valuable lessons of the whole journey?
I used to long for all those savior moments, wanting it to be over and someone else to do the work or make things happen. Then recently, something changed. All of a sudden, it became clear to me that these things weren’t struggles at all. It was just a challenge to be able to view it differently; more creatively. Then, it became even more clear that it was not even so much of a challenge as an advantage. Now, just look at that transition! Did it go from a struggle to a challenge to an advantage? Maybe I’m losing it!
Truly, I’m beginning to see some of the things that I go through in my business and my personal life as advantages instead of the struggles that once were. It is this change in thinking that I am so very excited about because it is showing me the value of travel that I would have never seen otherwise.
I now know for certain that it is all perfect.
I Now Have An Advantage: My New Perspective.
Spread Some Joy Today–Everything is really how you perceive it. We indeed create our own individual realities.

Allowing The World Within To Assert Itself

“There's no reality except the one contained within us.
That's why so many people live an unreal life.
They take images outside them for reality and
never allow the world within them to assert itself.”
— Hermann Hesse
[Classic post from 12-11-11]
I love this quote by one of my favorite authors, Hermann Hesse. On the surface, it seems heavy but is so simple and true. Today was a perfect example to me of how true it is.
Today, I had the most wonderful day. People that read the Daily Inspirations probably aren't impressed with that because I pretty much have a good day every day. Yet, today was dramatically better, and the thing that made it better is that I woke up this morning with a firm intent to fully enjoy myself and my day–to seek joy and to love life. And, so it came to be as I desired it to be. . . exactly.
You know, sometimes we eat food, even food we love in such a way that no one could know that this was true. At breakfast this morning I was enjoying some sourdough french bread and butter with the same relish as Bill Murray did in What About Bob? I stood there in the kitchen with the toast and some coffee and just had a love affair with it all. It was glorious.
The rest of the day went the same direction, and I enjoyed every second of it. It was magical. I felt rich today. I was far more generous than normal. I helped others in ways I normally wouldn't do and even enjoyed some work time at a leisurely pace.
For the last couple of years, I've been focused on finding ways to feel better on purpose as a strategy to have a more joyous life. I've practiced it generally, but nothing like today–or maybe now I'm just getting good at it from the practice. Today it made such a dramatic difference, so I will duplicate it tomorrow to prove it isn't a fluke.
Wouldn't It Be Nice To Have A Glorious Day Any Time You Choose?
Spread Some Joy Today–Choose to today. See what happens.

Wisdom: Learning What To Overlook

“Wisdom is learning what to overlook.”
— William James
[Classic post from 12-3-11]
I absolutely love this definition of wisdom by William James. I've always known it was discernment and that is easily expressed as a choice in my mind, and as well, learning what to overlook follows in that same way.
The main reason that I love this definition of wisdom is that I've come to believe that having wisdom is equal to love and where love is concerned, I think knowing what to overlook speaks perfectly to this subject.
Love And Wisdom Are Perfectly Aligned
Spread Some Joy Today–Find some ways to laugh a good deal today. Watch a funny video online, read something funny, or better yet, laugh at yourself. It softens everything else in your day.

Renewing Our Perspective

“Celebrity gives us delusion of self-importance.”
— Al Goldstein
[Classic post from 12-2-11]
The photo above is one of my favorites to help keep me in the proper perspective of the vastness of the world and beyond. There I am but a dinky speck above the huge Pacific Ocean–a small bit of it at least.
It’s easy to live in our own world, up close and personal, become engaged in reacting and responding to the stimuli around us. It is a very good thing to step outside of that comfort zone or war zone for just a few hours to realign with the grander scheme of things.
It also makes God so much more than we many times make Him out to be.
The World Knows I’m Much More Important To Myself
 Spread Some Joy Today–Get away for a bit and change your perspective for a few hours.

Why Should We Think Upon Things That Are Lovely?

“Why should we think upon things that are lovely?
Because thinking determines life.
It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment.
Environment modifies life but does not govern life.
The soul is stronger than its surroundings.”
— William James
[Classic post from 12-1-11]
Stuff happens. Sometimes even coming with physical feeling and mental trauma, yet continuing to placate those symptoms with like-minded thoughts will only prolong the effect and then it turns into an endurance run.
How can we think of something more pleasant when it is throbbing? Sometimes the situation is so close or so loud that the best thing to do is find any kind of relief. Take a nap, a bath, a day off, or something like that. From that new vantage point, you can begin working, or rather playing, by considering things that are lovely and other better feeling thoughts. Maybe it is a little at a time, moving to better thoughts and then better and so on.
If this is practiced with awareness of the need, it won’t be long before you find it a piece of cake to move from feeling bad to feeling great. Or, we can choose to remain where we are. There are really only two choices: to feel better or to feel worse. We always have the control box in our own hands.
We Are Far More Powerful Than We Realize.
Spread Some Joy Today–Decide today that there is nothing more important than that you feel good, and choose thoughts that cause that feeling.

Asking Better For More Pleasing Results

“Successful people
ask better questions,
and as a result,
they get better answers.” 

— Tony Robbins 

[New post]

This is a great quote and I would take it one step farther and say, they also get better results.

Here’s a bit of advice that I learned essentially from Tony Robbins in an around about way and it has to do with greater relationship harmony over time. How one person in the relationship asks the other a question is telling in the feeling and the results too. These questions often contain unspoken and predetermined expectations of the correct, or desired answer, and when not answered as expected or desired, can be quite dissatisfying. 

Let’s take an example of say, a spouse wanting to go to an event of some kind. A common question would be, “do you want to go to the __________ (or want to go do…)? Now, here’s a clue: the questioner has no idea what mayhem is going on inside the other person’s head right now and so there is a definite expectation by the asker to get a positive answer, and then they will feel good. But, if there is a negative answer or wishy-washy answer, a list of reasons or excuses which may often be the case, those questioner expectations are dead on arrival. Next may or may not be the dance around the fire calling on the positive expectation gods hearing something like, “why not?” and other hopelessly defensive maneuvers all ending in lousy feelings and missed expectations. The respondent may realize they are in dangerous territory here and suddenly let go of their wishy-washy reasons and excuses and try to back up, regroup, and start over with an answer that may satisfy and all of them to escape the minefield they have co-created.

Questions to another expecting them to agree with our unspoken desires is always a challenge. Yet, if we learn, as I have, and yet am very much a practicing work in progress–if we learn to ask these kinds of questions in a way that calls for a much more beneficial response, it might go like this: “I want to go to the __________ on Thursday at 8 pm. I would love for you to go with me. Will you come?” It could also be more demonstrative and yet generous by saying, “I have decided to (or I am going to) go the _____________on Thursday at 8 pm. I love this event and would love it if you would come with me.”

The difference between the questions in the first of the two previous paragraphs and the second is similar and yet so far apart as to be on different planets. The first may and often does create issues, roadblocks, defensive behavior, and more. The second has an entirely different feeling and a far better result. It creates agreement, participation, good feelings, let alone the idea that the respondent is honored and allowed to make a decision in a much more fluid way.

Just imagine all the ways you have been asking the other, how that feels, and what kind of results are attained. Now try changing your method if you like and watch the difference. I predict you will be amazed.

Habitual Appreciation

“To say, “well done” to any bit of good work
is to take hold of the powers which have made the effort
and strengthen them beyond our knowledge!”
— Phillips Brooks
[Classic post from 12-21-11]
Some time back, I gave up on big changes, looking for epiphanies as life changers. Tonight I realized something profound in the smallest of changes that become a seriously powerful agent for positive change–appreciation and praise. Now, I’ve known this for some time, so it really isn’t new, but what I realized tonight was that I have begun doing it as a habit instead of consciously deciding to do it. I realized that I was doing it as I became conscious of my doing it. I can’t tell you how powerful that is–to be doing in unconsciously as a matter of course.
Those cartoons in the newspaper when I was young that had a chaotic situation going on with the caption, ‘What’s wrong with this picture?’ along with other things like that including teaching by parents, etc., created this idea to find things that were wrong or seemingly out of place and then focus on those. It is one of the least powerful things we can do and it creates a world that is full of flaws and always in need of repair.
A far better scenario is to find the things that are worthy of appreciation and praise and they would be in serious quantity with a bit of practice. Tonight I was just driving across town about 2 miles on my way home and I was appreciating and praising all the way home about how nice the new building looks where there was something not nearly so nice before, how this improved and that, how much I enjoyed the blue sky, the truck I was driving, the amazing transportation most of us have, how long some businesses have been around and still doing their thing and so much more. It was kind of amazing to catch myself in this rampage of appreciation.
How fun! How rewarding!
Isn’t That The Real Value Of Practice? To Get So That You Don’t Even Think Much About It Anymore?
Spread Some Joy Today–Begin practicing appreciation of things in your life today at work, while you’re out and about, at home, about the world in general. Do this often and watch the change in you!

Kind Words Don’t Cost Yet Are So Valuable

“Kind words do not cost much…
Yet they accomplish.”
— Blaise Pascal
[Classic post from 12-23-11]
On a long driving trip, we stopped at a chain burger place and placed our order. The order came out a bit slower than it might normally and there were other people in line, yet this young man who took the order was unfazed, calm, cool, and collected.
After we enjoyed our food, I decided to walk over and get that employee's attention and say something to him. What I said was this, “I just wanted to let you know that when we were in line and you took our order, I felt there was an aura about you that spoke calm confidence, and I can tell you that that is one super quality for managers. Keep up the good work.”
He wasn't a manager. . . yet, but I was impressed in such a short few moments. So how did he take it? He was beaming as if I just made his day and he thanked me.
The reason I tell this little story is that you probably have done as I have and have had people impress us in one way or another and then in our busyness, we move along and do nothing. Maybe we thought about saying something, but doing it is way more interesting than just thinking about it.
I've begun doing this quite often with almost identical results, and it is so rewarding to the one I tell and to me as well. Yet, I don't do it for me. It's fun. Try it. Next time someone impresses you, or there is just something that you feel is special about them, let them know. See what happens.
Reach Out And Touch Someone!
Spread Some Joy Today–Always keep a keen eye for any opportunity at any kind of appreciation, however insignificant it may seem on first thought. Then appreciate liberally.
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