Category: Giving

You May Be Far More Successful Than You Think

“A handful of pine seed will cover mountains
with the green majesty of forests. I too will set
my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high.”
 
— Fiona MacLeod (William Sharp)
 
 
“There may be more to life than having everything.”
 
— Maurice Sendak
 
 
 
[Classic post from 4-6-11]
 
Success is such a broad concept and so much of the talk and writing about it revolves around accomplishment and money. Having everything, or more commonly stated, having it all, is like the ultimate accomplishment.
 
I have a friend that I’ve now known for over 20 years. He is somewhat younger and so I’ve had the delight to watch him go from his young twenties into his forties. I hired him as a salesman when we first met and he listened to most of what I tried to teach and so has done very well. He’s done well not because of me, but himself. All I did was encourage him basically. I had the easy part.
 
We worked together for some years and have not for many more and in his job he is in a similar place to where he was then. It is just that he’s been doing it longer and has had some experiences to put in his bag of gathered knowledge and skills. I would say he is and has been a success at his job and career, but it isn’t the kind of success that is talked about and written about where large growth happens or larger financial success.
 
Yet, the thing that I respect and admire about him the most is the part that he is a superstar success in and that is as a father to his children and a loving husband to his wife. His career has always taken a second seat to that–except when I first met him, he had no wife or children.
 
He has always had a demanding job–demanding his time and focus and the pressure of needing to perform, but he has always taken that with ease as if it was no big deal. It was easy for him and a good part of his success at work was that with this ease, he was able to do his job, perform, AND schedule time for his family. He created a flexible environment where most in that work position would have become workaholics.
 
He went to school events, coached baseball for many years, and had two of his sons playing as well. Two and two. Two wonderful boys and two beautiful girls. He found ways to be there and to be part and to participate in growing up with them. They are in their teens now and I know that would have been so different had he not participated throughout the earlier years.
 
He’s a people person and loves his family and extended family and is active and a part of each and every one. He loves his customers as well and anyone who doesn’t love him just doesn’t know him at all. I’m so proud to call him a friend and we rarely see each other living some miles apart. Yet, I think loving thoughts of him and his wonderful family all the time.
 
To me, he is the epitome of success. He’s never had all the answers, but he is thoughtful and concerned, and caring. He’s a lover. He just loves people–all the people he ever comes in contact with. I think he really does have it all.
 
 
You May Be Far More Successful Than You Think.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Become a lover today. Love everyone you see just for the fun of it. You might find it is worth doing every day.

Celebrate Your Personal Artistry

“Do not call any work menial
until you have watched a proud person do it.”

— Robert Brault

When I first read this quote, I thought of sweeping with a big broom in a large area at a gas station I used to work at when I was a teenager. I remember watching this person do sweeping and making it look like an art. All the time I was growing up, sweeping to me was distasteful work, and here he was making it look so interesting and almost effortless. I was immediately drawn into trying to sweep as he did and I have to say, that from then on, it became much more interesting and rather fun instead of work.

I watch others in what they do and I am always looking for that same expertise. It is rare to find it, but a joy each time.

I don't think there is any menial work. There is just work. Our own acceptance of it and our own attitude or view of it is all that is important. With an attitude of passion and love of the job, another artist is born.

Celebrate your personal artistry! As you are passionate about what you do, joy follows you as if it is a perfect shadow.

Finding Out Who You Have

 “Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress;
working together is success.”
 
— Henry Ford
 
 
 
[Classic post from 5-15-11]
 
I've seen this quote many times and then all of a sudden, today, it took on new meaning. I think it describes our relationships extremely well. I think it even describes an excellent marriage. I've seen so many that never get to the last part, but think the middle is the key. And, of course, everyone remembers the beginning!
 
It also describes business relationships and the successful ones, or lasting ones are always based on the working together part. The beginnings are all so easy, and staying together presents challenges and this is where most dabble and depart. The good news about that is finding out who your partners are and who they are not.
 
Any relationship that gets to the working together part is special and valuable. I know in my life, those are the ones that I value the most, whether I see them often or not.
 
 
Friendship. Love. Working Together.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Make sure those relationships you value know it.

Practicing Owning My Own Feelings

“Own your own feelings. Nobody else does.
Accept that you don’t own the other person’s feelings.”

— Deepak Chopra

This quote is the single most profound personal help I ever learned. I learned it in my twenties back in the mid-1970s. I’ve never forgotten it and I have done my best to put it to good use in my life. However, there have been many, many times that after having this profound knowledge, decided to ignore it and blame others for my feelings while even being fully aware of that fact. I did it anyway.

Does that sound familiar? How many things that I learn that are so helpful that I also choose to ignore is interesting. And, here’s the best answer to that I have ever found:

“Practice is nine-tenths.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I practice on purpose what I have learned, it has a better chance of having a positive impact and influence on me and my behavior. So, if there is any work to learning, it is the constant internal nudging to put it into practice and practice it until it is known; until it becomes me.

The Flowering Of The Heart

“As the little daisy opens its heart to the sun
and is thereby made into a flower of beauty…
do I likewise open my heart to God
and thereby made into
God's image of love?

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

A Prayer Of Thankful Love

“Thank you Lord,
for the inner loneliness
that led me to your quiet Presence.
For the drab despair of colorless life
that urged me toward inner Joy.
For illness
that inspired a desire for health.
For toxic anger
that forced me to find the
peace of forgiveness.
For the hurting love of many,
that set me on a search
for your transforming Love.
Thank you, Lord,
for teaching me
that Love is the purpose of life and
that as I attune my will to yours
my inner splendor grows.”

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflection 172
Reflections of the Heart

Love Is Always The Better Way

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season;
the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church;
the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue;
the atheists went to parties and drank.
People passing each other on the street would say,
'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!'
or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'”
 
— Dave Barry
 
 
 
 
[Classic post from 12-24-10)
 
I saw this quote a week or so ago and thought it was very funny. . . look out for the wall. . . that's funny stuff. So, I never thought seriously about using it until tonight.
 
I was at a local event where people gathered and many of the same people come to this event. I was there early, and greeted people coming in, and said 'Merry Christmas!' to all that I greeted. A gentleman who is a regular, after my greeting, said something odd that I cannot remember, but it was curious. I just had the impression that he was not interested in Christmas because it is a religious holiday. But, I didn't think much of it as I like this gentleman and I was glad to see him.
 
A few minutes later, it was getting full in the area we were in and a woman came in with two friends and they were joyous and greeting some of the other people they know and this woman greeted this man, and said 'Merry Christmas,' and I didn't hear it directly, but later found out that he said, 'why don't you leave Christ out of it!' Well, this lady loudly called him an a**hole, which got everyone's attention. He seemed a bit embarrassed, but she was obviously mad. Then her friend was mad and fuming about his remark and so on.
 
What do you think of that scenario? I think it is interesting. Her comments certainly are an argument, but is that a strange way to defend Christ or Christianity? I think it is strange and also extremely ineffective. I guess the quote with Dave Barry is another way, and although way funnier, may still be a strange way.
 
Maybe this is a better way:
 
“May you have the gladness of Christmas,
 which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas,
which is peace;
The heart of Christmas,
which is love.”
 
— Ada V Hendricks
 
 
 

“But Now Abide Faith, Hope, Love,
These Three;
But The Greatest Of These
Is Love.”

— 1 Corinthians 13:13,
The Bible

 
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Love is always the better way.

Taking Charge!

 “It is almost impossible for anyone,
even the most ineffective among us,
to continue to choose misery after
becoming aware that it is a choice.”
 
— William Glasser
 
 
 
[Classic post from 5-31-11]
 
I was talking with a friend today about awareness and enlightenment and how once we become truly aware of a thing such as cause and effect, it is nearly impossible to unlearn it.
 
It’s kind of like the flat earth theory. Once people became aware that the earth was actually round, they couldn’t very well go back to thinking it was flat. Belief in one idea often removes belief from something else.
 
Now that I am fully aware that I create my own happiness every second of every day, I cannot imagine going back to thinking that I need things or other people or the right circumstances to make me happy. I’ve learned that I am fully responsible and completely in charge of my happiness. No one can make me happy. I am the only one who can do that. I can’t even imagine going back to that old powerlessness.
 
 
Being In Charge Is A Wonderful Feeling!
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Choose to be in charge of your joy!

Words Of Encouragement

 “You have it easily in your power
to increase the sum total 
of this world's happiness now.
How?
By giving a few words 
of sincere appreciation
to someone who is lonely or discouraged.
Perhaps you will forget tomorrow
the kind words you say today,
but the recipient may cherish them
over a lifetime.”
 
— Dale Carnegie
 
 
 
 
[Classic post from 3-23-11]
 
Unless it was a lot of money, I don't remember who gave me money for birthdays or other such occasions. I only remember a small number of the physical gifts that I've received over the many years. I think I might count them on one hand, and they had nothing to do with price, just how they matched my desires. I've forgotten almost every bit of advice I've received, and I have received a good deal of it.
 
Yes, all of those things hold little meaning to me, and probably to a great many people, but what I do remember and will always remember is those who really encouraged me to do, or to be better, or to keep going, or to keep writing, or whatever it may be. I find that I cherish those above all else. And, I also find it interesting that these encouragements are not all that plentiful that I could even begin to take them for granted.
 
This is one reason that I call myself a “professional encourager.” I'm not sure that means anything other than I try to encourage people where ever I find them and especially if they are looking like they could use a boost. Just to watch their eyes light up and a smile comes to their face is reward enough. Yet, the main reason that I have become such an encourager is that I know what it is like to get it and how it makes me feel, how it spurs me onward and how long it lasts. I want to give that same gift to everyone on the planet.
 
You know, there is enough negativity going on all around us, plus the pressures of survival in a fast-paced world. If you want to do something that people will remember, or that will matter, then give them some encouragement. It may just change a life, and yours in the bargain.
 
 
Sincere Encouragement Is A Pure Form Of Love.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Now that you know how much a bit of encouragement can bring joy, make it a regular event! Become a joy spreader!

Joy Is A Decision And A Practice

“The most unknown, unused, and unrecognized
tool of the human mind is the recognition that
attitude is always a choice.”
 
— Mark Horton
 
 
“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves
to recognize how good things really are.”
 
— Marianne Williamson
 
 
 
 
[Classic post from 3-17-11]
 
I get to talk to a lot of business people, such as managers, owners, and other employees and vendors. I see a number of people whose disposition indicates they are under stress, that the workload is high, or there are problems surrounding them, and more.
 
I would love to have a magic wand and touch them and take all the load off and let them be free. Truth is that we all have that magic wand, and we can only use it on ourselves. It doesn't work on others. So, all I can really do is touch myself with the wand and have a nice day myself and maybe, just maybe, they will see my joy and want some of that for themselves.
 
In the Declaration of Independence, there is a phrase, “pursuit of Happiness.” That's what I used to do as so many do: try to pursue happiness; seek it; chase it; long for it; do things that cause it, and so on. It's just that it never seemed to work like it was indicated that it would; i.e., that it can actually be caught.
 
The reality that I have found is that it isn't something outside ourselves, so it cannot be pursued. Instead, it is just a choice of choosing a joyous thought, then choosing some more and more again, and joy can be chosen any time and under any circumstances, as we desire once we realize that we have that power within us.
 
Workloads are workloads. They are not big and small except that we think that. There are no problems except that we think that.
 
Sometimes workloads may seem to overwhelm us. There are ways to find relief from that stress, and how choosing to view that positively is the only sure way toward relief. Other ways may be an escape, vacation, or other movements away, but they are always short-lived, and ultimately ineffective and unsuccessful.
 
A great way to begin is to find things to be grateful for right now. Make a list of the positive aspects of your life and the people in it. Choose a different view and it will have a different result, feeling, and experience. Then, practice it regularly.
 
 
It's Amazing How Good We Can Feel Under Trying Circumstances When We Choose To.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Begin today to practice joy. First for a moment, then a minute, and so on. Pretty soon, people will wonder what happened.
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