Category: Giving

Loving Things In Our Own Special Way

“I still get wildly enthusiastic
about little things. . .
I play with leaves.
I skip down the street
and run against the wind.”
 
— Leo Buscaglia
 
 
 
 
 
[Classic post from 11-30-11]
 
I love this time of year. It’s just a bit chilly, highs in the low 60’s, lows around 40, a touch of fog in the morning, sun in the afternoon. Leaves are taking their sweet time turning colors other than green, then falling gently to the ground, and right about now they are coming down in the thousands as you can see by the sidewalk in the photo.
 
I took Charlie the little black dog out for a walk and he’s not nearly as fond of this time of year as me. I had to take a photo of some of the huge leaves that are as big as he is, and he is afraid of them when the wind moves them around, especially when the wind moves them toward him. If it is calm, he’s brave enough though, yet he would rather walk around them than over them whenever that option is available.
 
I read a Leo Buscaglia book way back in the 1970s about him having a class over at his house and his neighbor coming over to complain about the leaves on his lawn. So the lover that he is, invited guests to help rake the leaves into bags and he brought them into the house and spread them all over the living room floor. Everyone was happy then.
 
I’ve always remembered that story, although I cannot remember which book, nor can I find it. So, out and about a day or two ago, I took some shots on my camera phone of some of these leaves all over the walkway. I wanted to sweep them up and put them all over the living room floor at my house. Of course, that would never work unless I lived alone.
 
Yet, I love leaves. I love seeing them all over the patio and driveway and have no interest in blowing them away or raking them up. In fact, I am done with the lawn mowing and now all the leaves that are there will remain until spring. It’s winter food for the nightcrawlers and I love watching them gather them into piles and feast on them while I sleep.
 
Other people prefer clean walkways, clean patios and all that. I’m happy for them that they like those things, but I just don’t share that feeling. The leaves add character, color, and a comfortable, relaxing view, even enhancing the concrete as far as I’m concerned.
 
So, I thank Leo every year about now for sharing that wonderful and enduring story. Thanks, Leo! I love you!
 
 
We All Love Things In Our Own Special Way
 
Spread Some Joy Today–How are you doing on your love list? Remember? Write, ‘I love. . .’ at the top of the page and then write as many things as you can, then add a few each day or each week. It’s fun and expands your joy rather easily.

Finding Something To Praise In Everyone You Meet

 “You can tell more about a person by what he says
about others than you can by what others say about him.”
 
— Leo Aikman
 
 
 
[Classic post from 5-28-11]
 
These kinds of quotes are so special to me because they are gentle, yet firm reminders of the kind of person that I want to be.
 
Have you ever heard a friend, or who you thought was a friend, who was telling someone else things about you that weren't very uplifting? They didn't know you were within earshot, but it tells you a lot about that person, doesn't it? I've had that happen and I know that it felt crappy, to say the least.
 
There's one thing for sure: I don't want to be that person I just described, yet I have succumbed to the gossip myself and I am certain that I have been that person from time to time. In fact, it was probably a good deal of the time further back. However, as I move forward in my life, I hope to be improving and allowing myself to become what I want instead of how I've seen other people act.
 
That's the best thing about making that decision to move forward, learn and grow–I get to experience more of the real me inside and that real me is full of love. As I allow that love to come from within and dominate my life, I find less desire or even situations where talking people down is an activity. At the very least, if I participated now, I find myself having negative emotions (feeling guilty, crappy, etc) and that is a clear indication I'm not in alignment with who I really am. At that moment, I can stop mid-sentence and get back on track.
 
When I was a child, the grandfatherly advice was, “if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.” That's good, but it doesn't go far enough and it doesn't fix the problem, as it is more like masking the symptoms. A better thought might be, “find something nice about everyone you meet, and find ways to let them know.”
 
 
Love Is Always The Right Choice.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–Find yourself loving all the people in your life from the bill collectors to the sacred child.

A Spirit Of Approval

 
“I have yet to find a man, however, exalted his station,
who did not do better work and put forth greater effort
under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”
 
— Charles M Schwab
 
 
“There is more hunger for love and
appreciation in this world than for bread.”
 
— Mother Teresa
 
 
 
 
[Classic post from 1-22-11]
 
Having studied Andrew Carnegie for some time, it is impossible to miss getting to know his right-hand man, Charles M Schwab. In fact, there is a book very much worth reading about Mr. Schwab called Steel Titan. In getting to know Charles Schwab, it was clear that he was an artist at dealing with people and he was famous for getting people to do things well through a spirit of approval instead of a spirit of criticism.
 
Love and appreciation have to be at or nearest the top of what people really want in virtually every situation. That subject is the basis for one of the world's most helpful books, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is also a must-read that never will go out of style and is full of value to the reader.
 
When I saw these two quotes together, I thought about these three leaders, and I also thought about the need and desire for approval that we all have. I thought about it specifically about myself and my own desire for approval that was a driving force in my life. What I realized in looking at this is that most of my life I felt that I was lacking in enough or the proper approval and I used to find that frustrating. At some point in the very recent past, I've let go of the need for it. It's not that I don't appreciate it when it is given to me, it's just that I no longer crave it as I did before.
 
What's also interesting to realize is that the need for approval has dissipated since I decided to give it to others everywhere I go. It might be an approving glance, a thank you spoken aloud, saying I love you aloud, showing love by doing something courteous or nice or unexpected. I just sent notes to people out of the blue to tell them I was thinking of them and was appreciating them, and those are always very well received. I am always looking at what I can compliment someone on. Maybe they have a new hair style, have lost weight, look especially sharp that day, have a wonderful smile, exude confidence. I seem to always find something to compliment people on and they just love it.
 
And, guess what? Now that I'm not looking for it for myself and giving it away in droves, I find that I feel more love every day, so in effect, it is coming back to me in greater quantity. Who knew?
 
 
Focus On Others For Your Own Benefit.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–there is such joy in spreading it around you.

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.

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.

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.

Allowing Love To Enter A Larger Arena

 
“I think love has something to do with allowing
a person you claim to love to enter a larger
arena than the one you create for them.”
 
— Sting
 
 
[Classic post from 12-29-11]
 
Love is such a fascinating thing. I am continually amazed by the idea of love and its various aspects and values. It's like I'm observing and participating at the same exact time.
 
One aspect I've seen that is so interesting is that sometimes I can love someone from afar more than I could if they were near. I think it is as Sting is saying, it is allowing the loved one to be more than I might have them be. As Gerald Jampolsky said, “love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement.”
 
Do you ever just think of someone from the past, or someone whom you haven't seen in a long time and then experience a strong outpouring of love for them? Do you think they feel that? Somehow I think they do. Have you noticed how you feel about them when you do see them and how that same feeling and outpouring is only enhanced, yet still may be mostly internally shared? In other words, the external expression is too little to show how you feel?
 
I've also heard it said very poetically by Wayne Dyer, “love is the ability and willingness to allow others that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.” The only way this happens is without fear and allowing them to enter that larger arena than the one we create for them.
 
 
Sometimes Not Being There Can Be More Powerful And Loving. By Letting Go, We Gain So Much More.
 
Spread Some Joy Today–by loving everyone you can whether near or far.

The Gifts That Only You Can Give

W. Clement Stone was an early mentor of mine. He founded the Success Magazine at the beginning of the last century, was a self-starter and huge business success, and shared his positive beliefs with the world through books and in other ways. Here is a wonderful quote from him that is worthy of sharing:

“Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You and you alone can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving.”

May The Gifts That Only You Can Give Bring You The Abundance You Rightly Deserve.

Mocking The Meat It Feeds On

“O! Beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which
doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

— William Shakespeare, Othello

I grew up thinking that jealousy was a desirable emotion because it showed that you loved someone and that if one weren't jealous, one didn't care. I've since learned that this line of thinking was purely justification for being jealous.

Here's a beautiful quote about jealousy by Jennifer James:

“Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point–that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative: Self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it's a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.”

I have found that jealousy is always about the self and not about the other. Its only value that I see is that it is a step above a more destructive fearful emotion and can be used ever so briefly as a conscious stepping stone toward healthier feelings.

Like A Deer In The Headlights

Once we are in our awareness, we only need to remember. The trouble in recall is often how distracting the drama is. It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, minute-to-minute noise going on around us. Like a deer in the headlights, we are drawn to the light and noise of the drama in our lives. We always have and always have had the power to discern where we are and what is going on, but that need to remember initially requires conscious choice and some focus. Once practiced sufficiently we will more easily awaken and make corrections to keep our primary and secondary relationships as healthy as they can be.

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