Category: Building

Affirmations and Discipline

 “Affirmation without discipline
is the beginning of delusion.”
— Jim Rohn
[Classic post from 2-13-11]
I learned about affirmations in the early 1970s and have tried using them off and on most of my life–mostly off. I also remember in the early 1980’s hearing the above quote on a tape set by Jim Rohn. At the time he was talking about people thinking positive thoughts but never doing anything, but lately, I have a different take on this wonderful quote of Jim’s.
The way I learned affirmations was to state a goal as if it is already achieved, write them down on cards and go over them several times a day while trying to visualize the end result completed. I have used them with success but without much discipline. It is also hard to believe some goals as being achieved when you haven’t got a clue how it will happen. So, it is easy to give up on this kind of plan because if it hasn’t happened in a few weeks, discouragement sets in.
I’ve recently found a far better and easier way to achieve great results and it is something that all of us can do. I didn’t say all of us will do it, but all of us certainly can.
It starts with this most important premise: a belief is just a thought that we keep thinking. We think about it long enough and it is a belief.
Now that realization changed everything in my mind. All of a sudden when this thought sunk into my brain, I had a whole new understanding of the usefulness of affirmations. It is this: Before, I used to have these affirmations of grand results of achievement. Now I focus on something very easy to achieve and take the unbelievability out of the picture.
I’ll give you a perfect example. We talk to ourselves and we talk aloud to others and if we pay attention to what we are saying, the likelihood of much of that talk is about what is currently happening, especially negative things is very high. As an example, it is easy and common to talk about the economy being down. As we do this simple acknowledgment, we attract more of that in our lives. We hear about it more, more people refer to it in our presence, etc. So the challenge is to change that talk to something that makes more sense for where we want to go.
Here’s a perfect phrase: Everything always works out for me. It’s a simple phrase and oh, so powerful. Everything always works out for me. Everything always works out for me. Everything always works out for me.
Change those old, worn-out self-talk affirmations to some fresh, lively, and inspiring ones that are easier to believe than getting a million dollars by Friday. It will open a whole new world for you and me.
Everything always works out for me. Maybe it didn’t used to, but, no matter, now everything always works out for me. . .
There Are So Many Opportunities That I Get To Choose The Best Ones. Isn’t That Wonderful?
Spread Some Joy Today–Begin to see how everything always works out for you.

Something To Strive Toward

“People who say that life is not worthwhile
are really saying that they themselves
have no personal goals which are worthwhile.
Get yourself a goal worth working for.
Better still, get yourself a project. 
Always have something ahead of you
to look forward to–
to work for and hope for.”
— Maxwell Maltz
[Classic post from 2-9-11]
I love being busy and there are a number of reasons for this and one of them is so that I won't be bored. To me, being bored is so bad, so tiring, and so insulting to the Creator of life! I hope when the time comes that I die mid-stride, for I surely don't want to be watching TV.
Another reason for expanding my activities is to grow. I feel that when we are not growing, we are surely dying. I think that expansion is the main component of our lives and when we are expanding, we are being rewarded by becoming more than we were if no other reason.
Yet another reason is that I like trying new things, old things with a twist, I even like doing some repetitive things, and the more I am moving, the more alive I feel.
Another is that I love the joy of discovery, and of sharing with someone, especially sharing ideas and thoughts. I do this every day of my life.
I have a lot of projects and so many more I want to get to as I move through. It is exciting to have projects to look forward to while I enjoy the ones I am focused on right now.
Every time I think I am very busy and maybe even doing too much, I think of John Adams, the second president of the United States. Surely, if you read the book about him by David McCullough, you would know what I am referring to. He was a busy man.
Life Is Expansion. Live It To The Fullest.
Spread Some Joy Today–start a new project, a new goal. You will be amazed at how it creates more in you.

Becoming Someone Instead Of Something

“Don't ask yourself what the world needs–
ask yourself what makes you come alive,
and then go do it.
Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.”
— Harold Thurman Whitman
[Classic post from 2-1-11]
I remember when I was a young kid, that we were expected to grow up and be something. It wasn't so much about being someone, but something–defined by what I would do for a living. As a child, I fantasized about what was at that time glamorous jobs like a fireman, policeman, doctor, lawyer, and such. It changed very often and I found myself entering junior college still not knowing what it was. It was still some thing, not some one.
My father was a carpenter, then when I was five, he became a cop with the California Highway Patrol, and my mother was a housewife. I always thought that was a funny word, but that's what they called raising a family and staying home back then. Then I had a stepfather and he was a TV repairman. I was encouraged to find a career and stay in school and be something. The question of what still remained.
Each thing that I became, I did for a time and then became something else. Each time hoping for and working hard to make it be something better and more fruitful. And so it goes. I've seen it hundreds of times in others and I'm sure it goes on yet today in homes and minds all across the world.
How much better to teach children to be somebody, to understand values and communication and interaction. To find their own innate talents and how to best express those and to expand them and to dream and try and do. Not just for the sake of art or just the sake of expression, but a way of sharing oneself with the world; to improve the world by virtue of the individual skills, ideas, thoughts, and attitudes that each of us carries that are our own. They are there begging to be shared.
In that sharing, there will be so many different ways that this will translate naturally and even possibly much earlier than typical into an income. What a better way of going about it than to go out and choose from the list. What a more fulfilling way to have a person become someone–someone of value, and purpose.
Be Someone Of Value . . . The Genius YOU!
Spread Some Joy Today–focus on being the best person that you can be and it is amazing how that brings out the best in others.

Teaching It Is Easy. Living It Is Not So Easy.

“It is easier to teach what I know
than it is to live what I know.”

— John C. Maxwell


[New post]

It continually amazes me how things come to me and strike a chord or say something is such a way as to help me express myself or ideas more easily. Today, I was doing a blog post for a client using a John C. Maxwell video and in this video near the beginning, John made the statement above and I instantly related to it.

I’ve been studying positive thinking, spirituality, and accumulated wisdom for over 40 years now. In addition, I’ve been writing these daily inspirational messages since 2009 and every once in a while I might be accused of not living up to what I write about. It’s true. And, it’s true because it is easier to teach it than to live it. Although, no one could ever be right thinking that I am not self-disciplined enough to practice what I preach so to speak. That is because I do practice every single day.

Sometimes I catch myself after I’ve said something stupid or out of alignment with my practice, and then I come into my awareness and realize that I truly want to be in alignment and not out of alignment. Then, I am back teaching and living it. My goal has always been to live it and to live it consciously and openly, yet I still have an ego that tries to exert control from time to time. Well, actually, it is all the time trying to be in charge, but as I’ve said before, me is not in control of I. I am in control of me. After I’ve seen the ego have its way for a time, I step in and take control back and this time frame has gotten shorter and shorter as I’ve practiced what I teach.

Frankly, one of the benefits of teaching is expanded learning and having the opportunity to line up with that teaching by living its values. I am constantly in practice now toward walking my talk and leading by virtue of my own example.

It Is Impossible To Fail At Life

“One of the best things
that I have learned about life
is that it is impossible to fail at it.
Whatever life we are living,
that is a successful living.”

— Terry Minion

Some live to be over 100, but not many in comparison. Some live very short lives in comparison, and most of us are somewhere in between. It doesn't matter. It's all living. Heredity, schlemedity, malady, melody, 220 or 221–whatever. What it is, it is. What it can be, it will be, as the choice to change in any direction is available to us all.

We get to feel good or not by our own design. We get to wallow in mud or ski barefoot across the glassy lake. We can give and we receive. We can share and we can hide. We can speak and we can listen. We can think and we can write. We can delight and we can scowl. We can hold grudges, and we can release resistance. We can accept responsibility or we can lay it elsewhere.

Whether we accept our choices and our own design, or whether we say that it is all happening to us from the outside without our permission, it is what it is. It is living. It is life. Whether we believe that we can change it at will, or remain a victim with no hope of parole, it is what it is, and it is living. It is life. It is our life. And, it is a successful life. We cannot fail. Even in death, we cannot fail. Is this all there is? We can believe this is or there is more. Either way, it is what it is. We can have one dimension or many dimensions. We can have one side or many sides. We can await a life in Heaven, or Heaven can live every day in us. And, it is all, and in all, successful.

Life is. I am. We are. It is what it is. We are powerful creators! 

The Exquisite Joy Of Gratitude

“There is nothing as free or freeing 
as the exquisite joy of gratitude.” 
— Terry Minion 

[Classic post from 5-15-16]

I like how Karl Barth expressed joy: “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” It is. I don't just believe this, I know it. I also know that there is no thing that has changed my life more for the better than becoming a grateful person, giving thanks all day, every day, and the more I do, the more joy appears in my life.

Happiness is cool, but joy is like happiness on steroids. Happiness is like a smile, and joy is like jumping up and down inside, rolling down the hill, skateboarding down the mountain, skydiving through billowing white clouds feeling the moisture and exhilaration. Joy cannot be contained completely. It must express itself. If nowhere else, then in our aura.

I've heard people say, or have seen it in writing that we can't go around being joyful all the time. Or, that joy is only meaningful compared to sorrow, or despair. Well, I certainly allow them their point of view; however, I do not share it. I do not need sadness to know the value of joy in my life. I've experienced sadness, sorrow, despair, and much more in times long gone, but they have only one thing to do with my joy today, and that is that I accept the responsibility and result of making choices of what I think and focus on.

Today, I see there is sadness, despair, and pain in the world, but I realize that this is their choice, not mine. They may choose as they will. We all have the power of choice. I choose otherwise now. I learned from trial and error that as I am grateful, or as I give thanks, to God, and to others, I experience joy. I have also learned that joy has many, many levels. Joy is a full-spectrum feeling. What started as a small amount of joy; albeit, oh so good, has become something I live in every single day now. And, I play around in it, finding ever more to be grateful for, to express my thanks for, and receiving ever more joy.

If I made a list of the things that I express gratitude for and find joy in, each day would fill a notebook.

This morning I walked out to get the Sunday paper and I heard what seemed like hundreds of birds singing. I saw birds chasing each other in the tree (it is still Spring!), feeling the cool air caressing my skin, enjoying the blue sky and the early sun rising, my favorite and delightfully tuned windchime tickling the notes with the softest touch. I walked and looked at my lawn, stared at the old tree in my front yard, walked to it and put my hand against the trunk feeling its strength, and in all giving thanks for this place and these plants and trees. Then I walked back into my office/library/music room/theater/main living area, giving thanks for everything here, for Charlie, my constant friend, and the list just keeps going all day long. That's only about 8 minutes of my morning. . .

I never tire of giving thanks. I never tire of receiving joy. I never tire of learning and enjoying. It really has become 'heaven on earth' to me. If there is such a place as heaven, I am in it now.

The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Within. 

Spread Some Joy Today–You can't help it when you have joy. It is impossible to hide. And, why would one want to?

Mistakes Are Only Stepping Stones Of Progress

“No matter how many mistakes you make 
or how slow you progress, 
you're still way ahead of everyone 
who isn't trying.” 
— Tony Robbins 

[Classic post from 1-26-16]

As Yoda said so perfectly, “Do or do not. There is no try,” whatever gets done, gets done by doing. And, what does it matter how long it takes. It's not a race unless that is the way you choose to imagine it. It is simply a journey–a journey of our own choosing, to a destination that is of our own creation, and our pace is not an issue unless we choose to make it so. Truly, it isn't even the destination either. It is simply the decision to do and the doing that matters in the end.

Even if we stop anywhere along that journey, choose something else and focus on it, the previous doing becomes a stepping stone on the much grander journey that we call life. There is no place or time that we need to be, only choices from desires of what we think we want. And, because that is in a constant state of flux, enjoying our life is tantamount to enjoying the doing. We call that living. 

Sometimes we get so hung up on where we think we should be, and the only reason we may think this is in comparison to another or others. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time and energy, and has a tendency to depersonalize the journey. Focusing on what we want is in our best interest. That is our journey and by that focus, it is the best it can be. As to the others, we thrive by blessing them where they are, inviting some to come along should they have a similar desire, and turn our remaining focus to enjoying the trip.

It's all good. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy your doing. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life.

Don't Forget To Breathe Deeply. You Might Put That On A Sticky Note As A Reminder. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving your life as it is on your way to wherever you may be going.

Trends For 2021 and Beyond

This is an article I wrote that was just published in the FordPros Magazine, of which I've had the honor to be a part of since 2007. Happy New Year!

I’ve got my tinfoil hat on and I’m feeling the energy transfer bringing me magnificent wisdom for the coming year. Here it is: We have to accept and acclimate to the New Normal. That statement should bring some giggles at least. I really don’t know what the New Normal is because I don’t even know what the Old Normal was or what Normal is. I think we just make this stuff up as we go along. There is no such thing because there is one thing that we can bet the farm on: Change is a given! Change is constant. If this is true, how could there be a normal? I’m betting on constant change and not on some version of normal.

So, the trends for next year and beyond is that people and companies will try to determine normal and the New Normal and miss every single time. Predicting change isn’t any easier; however, since change will be unavoidable, it seems to me that finding a way to embrace that is the key to dealing with it in a healthy way.

Here’s some ideas to ponder. Let us all as people and as companies learn how to express rather than to try to impress. Let’s leave our egos in the closet at home and allow our genuine expression to rule. Let us constantly remember that being of service to our customers, the market, our employees, and each other is one of our most important core values. This is another way to express rather than impress. Let us be more kind to everyone including ourselves. Let us learn to drop the rope of resistance. That rope is nothing but stress and a host of negative emotions. It is easier than we could imagine releasing that stress: open hands, let the rope fall to the ground. Next step: Don’t pick it back up! Let us build the best products while paying attention and caring for all who help to make that possible. Let us respect and admire our customers and potential customers by helping them receive the best value and service possible. Let us learn that love in business is not an oxymoron. Let us then bring our love to work and back home again renewed and expanded. Let us release the resistance of fear and fully accept the joy of love. Love will be our highest expression with no need whatsoever to impress anyone.

We can see the room after we’ve turned on the dark switch or we can see the room after we’ve turned on the light. It is always a choice. We are the choosers. We try to see normal where normal is a completely made-up idea, or we can learn to not only embrace change but get excited about it and how we can apply innovation and excellence to meet any and all challenges. Personally, I see a future so bright that it is blinding. I’ll get my sunglasses and join you in the light!

Creating A Grand Life

[Note: This is the ending excerpt from a 6-minute talk from 2015 that I gave to a group of high school teenagers about to go into the workforce or on to college. I think it might be good for any age or condition.]

Throughout my life, I encountered resistance, some from others, but much of it from myself. I used to call them problems. Sometimes it was called drama. As I grew, I began to call them challenges. And, now, I call it contrast. Still, the one thing that stands out is the fact that all of them were helpful though I may not have had eyes to see that immediately. The contrast has caused within me a desire for something else, something more, and I made new choices or course corrections which has led me quite perfectly to where I am today.

Here’s some of the best advice I can give from my own experience:

1. Be willing to try and fail. Take chances. Change the word work to play.
2. Never fear losing your job. Have confidence in your ability and abilities. Change is a given. Be the best you can be.
3. Always be looking ahead, while enjoying the present fully. Discovery is meaningful and valuable.
4. Invest and reinvest in yourself throughout your life. Become more every day.
5. Be a life-long learner. Educate yourself. Leaders are readers!
6. Do what you love, and love what you do. Follow your heart and passion. Be your own counsel.
7. Develop and expand constantly an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.
8. Learn to express yourself and your value. You are worthy and important.
9. Give willingly and openly. Become a generous person.
10. Enjoy yourself. Seek joy. Decide on purpose every single day.

Remember, the American Dream is not about money, things, and position. It is and always was, about freedom–freedom of choice, freedom to move, freedom of speech, freedom to grow. And, it has nothing to do with where you start because everyone starts somewhere. There is no way. There is your way, my way, and their way. Everyone has a way. You and you alone are in charge of your choices, decisions, and actions. You are worthy. You are loved, and you matter.

Building A Life

“Character isn’t something you were born with
and can’t change, like your fingerprints.
It’s something you weren’t born with
and must take responsibility for forming.”

— Jim Rohn

I have two favorite stories that I learned from an early mentor, Jim Rohn. They both have to do with buildings.

One. There are two ways to have the tallest building. One is to build the tallest building and the other is to tear the other tall buildings down. One is to become known as a builder and the other to be known as a destroyer.

Two. Someone decides they are going to build a tall building and they get the permits and do the excavation and then begin bringing building materials to the site. They keep bringing materials as if they are getting ready, but they never build anything. Activity is not a success in itself. Preparation is not a success in itself. Even preparation meeting opportunity is not a success in itself. When preparation meets opportunity there needs to be a commitment to build and to keep building until it is built.

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Mesa, AZ