Category: Respect

Light From A Distant Galaxy

“Astronomers always work in the past;
because light takes time to move from one place to another,
they see things as they were, not as they are.”
— Neale E Howard
[Classic post from 5-9-11]
I took astronomy in college and I learned that the light that we see in certain stars may have left there 10,000 years ago, so the star may not even be there anymore and we wouldn't even know about it until much later. Indeed, even nearer items in the galaxy would be longer than our lifetime to see a change. I always thought that was strange and very interesting.
As I've looked at human behavior–especially my own–I've noticed a similar perspective. My actions of today and my attitudes of today, along with my results of today are merely images of my previous thinking. In other words, my previous thoughts and beliefs, have led me here. It was not created today.
If I am liking where I am today, then my thinking and beliefs are serving me well–a happy camper, so to speak. If I am not liking where I am today, then my thinking and beliefs are not serving me well and the only thing that can be changed is that thinking and those beliefs. And, it also will not happen today, but be shown sometime in the near future.
My best guidance of where I am is how I feel about where I am at any given time. That information will then aid me in making a decision to stay on course, or make a different choice.
A lot of my life was being unhappy with what was and not changing the thinking and beliefs that brought me there. I didn't even make that correlation. Instead, I would just try to use willpower to make it happen, set a new goal and go for it. Little did I know, that it doesn't require effort, but does require knowing the cause and how to correct it. Just like a rocket ship to the moon is constantly making minor course corrections, I am learning how to do that myself to achieve a life I am pleased with.
It Is Easier Than We Knew. We Just Feel Our Way.
Spread Some Joy Today–You've heard the phrase if it feels good, do it, right? It's better advice than we thought.

A Stop And Go Perspective

 “A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket
and rejoices that the system works.”
— Bill Vaughan
[Classic post from 5-13-11]
There are all kinds of ways to look at a thing and Bill Vaughan makes a very interesting point in how we normally look at something and how it can look so different from another perspective.
A few weeks ago, I was heading toward the freeway and got bogged down in bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic. It was very unusual. As I got up to where I could see the bottleneck, a key traffic light was out and was flashing red so that each and every car had to stop in all four directions.
That got me thinking about how ineffective this situation was. There was a crew working on the light and no one directing traffic. It was almost ridiculous to watch. But, the thing that struck me was that stop lights are not really stoplights but go lights. In viewing this traffic jam and how slow it moved, it was obvious as can be how valuable traffic lights are to actually move traffic along.
Many times we might see what appears to be a problem, a slowdown, a bottleneck, a roadblock, only to find out that by seeing it from a different perspective, it is actually a benefit and something that helps things move more effectively.
As I mentally step back and watch our business grow, I see a number of things that would be very easy to think of as a problem, but from that perspective of stepping back and looking at it from the outside, it is all so perfect. Now I am practicing seeing the perfection of it all rather than the bottlenecks and roadblocks.
To say that this gives me a better attitude is an understatement.
How Many Go-Lights Do You See In Your Life?
Spread Some Joy Today–Step back and take another look. You might see something so different that it creates joy instead of concern.

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.

Our Constant Potential For Renewal

“For the most part,
people seem to think that life is linear,
that our capacities decline as we grow older,
and that opportunities we have missed
are gone forever.
Many people have not found their Element
because they don't understand
their constant potential for renewal.”

— Ken Robinson, Ph.D.,
from the book, The Element

Opportunities For Encouragement

Throughout the day, we have opportunities to encourage people. Many of them we miss. Instead, we may participate in the tearing down of someone, perhaps even behind their back.

I learned from Jim Rohn that there are two ways to have the tallest building.

One is to concentrate on building your building, the other is to tear everyone else's down so that yours then becomes the tallest.

How much better it is to become known as builders, architects, or construction engineers than demolitions experts.

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.

Words Of Encouragement

 “You have it easily in your power
to increase the sum total 
of this world's happiness now.
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!

Uppers And Downers

“There is nothing more galling to angry people
than the coolness of those on whom
they wish to vent their spleen.”
— Alexandre Dumas
[Classic post from 3-12-11]
People complain, don't ya know, and many of them complain most all the time. Having been in that group for such a long time, I do know it well, and Mr. Dumas' quote above is so perfect and so, so true.
In recent years, I find a bit of fun with it. Airports and airplanes are good places to find lots of complainers. It's the weather or the missed flight, the bag problem, charging for the bags, just peanuts, and crackers, de-icing the plane, delays, the lousy food at the airport, the price of the food at the airport, and oh my goodness, the list goes on. What's really fun is while someone is complaining about one of those scenarios, just be so calm and cool and collected and how those kinds of things just roll off you, because they are trivial in comparison to real problems, and so on. Even better than this is to state positive things about your airport and plane experiences and how they just keep getting better. They stop complaining pretty quickly.
What's really weird is to start conversations with people by telling them how grateful you are that things are going so well, that many good things always seem to happen, how interesting the changes have made the trip, how much better things seem to get, and so on. Pretty soon, you hear the sound of no one listening. Not so many like a praiser, but complainers they like better.
It's a funny world in this…
Uppers and Downers. Hmm. I Choose Upper. 
Spread Some Joy Today–find something good to say about everyone you come in contact with today. Do you want to really be bold? Tell them.

The Pursuit Of Happiness? Good Luck With That!

“Most people would rather be certain they're
miserable, than risk being happy.”
— Robert Anthony
“Happiness is a conscious choice,
not an automatic response.”
— Mildred Barthel
[Classic post from 3-6-11]
Someone said to me that they have very little joy in their life. I said that the good news about that is that you can start right now having joy. Then, I heard the BUT list, and after several buts, I decided to continue on my journey away from them.
And it is true, you know, that joy is ready, willing, and able to be a part of our lives any time we decide we want it. That sounds easy, and I know for some this would be too simple, so I'll share some ideas that have worked extremely well for me. In the past, I rarely had joy and now I experience it many times every single day–and I have found so many different levels of joy as well.
First and foremost is deciding I want joy. Some people say they want it, and they don't really mean that. Decide to have joy and lots of it.
Second. The fastest way to joy is to suspend judgment about all the things that I don't like. Do it at least for a short time as a test.
Third. Once judgment is suspended, then the trick is to focus on what helps me feel better. It really doesn't matter what it is, or who it is. It can be a thought from my past, the view out my window of the trees swaying, a dog wagging its tail. Just focus on things that encourage us to feel better, however temporary.
Fourth. Practice it constantly. If it works for 30 seconds, it can work for 5 minutes, and then 30 minutes, two hours, and so on. If you practice it enough, there won't ever be any problems that create unhappiness again. It will just be a temporary bump that is navigated more and more easily as time goes on.
That's it. It's just a matter of deciding to feel good and finding ways to do so and also avoiding things that don't feel good. It really is that easy.
Happiness is an inside job. It is not something someone else can give us, it is something we choose to give ourselves. If our happiness depends on external circumstances, events, or other people, we are doomed to an unhappy life. Once that is a habit, the BUT list gets longer and longer.
It is okay to feel good regardless of what is going on. Who's in charge, anyway?
There Is No Pursuit Of Happiness. It Is Just A Choice.
Spread Some Joy Today–decide to be happy today. Find things that help you feel good. Pull out some photos, think of someone you really love, dream about something that feels great. It's all good.

We Are Each Fully Deserving

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone
who is more deserving of your love and affection than you
are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere.
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire
universe deserve your love and affection.”
— Buddha
[Classic post from 3-4-11]
You are probably not like me, but the way I’ve talked to myself most of my life, you would think that I was a nothing and a nobody–a loser. Not outwardly so much, for I’ve learned to put on the show pretty well, but inwardly, I have carried on a battle of questioning my own authority to make decisions, so much of the time thinking that what others said or thought about me was more important than what I thought and so on. I’ve certainly wanted to be friends with myself, and I do have to say that progress has been significant, especially in recent years.
It is so much more than just being friends with myself, or respecting my own authority, it is the loving and affection for myself that I strive for now because I know how that makes all the difference in how I affect others and my capacity to love others.
Here’s the key to this in my mind: It is developing, or rather practicing, the art of unconditional love, meaning that I love without any need of a reason to do so, or the slightest desire to have anything in return. Of course, this is not very normal. We always seem to have some kind of agenda if we think about it clearly. And, who better to practice on than the one I spend the most time with: me.
I’m not there. It isn’t a success. . . yet. However, it is a now conscious endeavor now and I am paying attention and reversing much of that old self-talk to something more generous and even kind. It is working and it will be a work in progress from here out. It doesn’t matter that it took me this long. It only matters that I learned it and made a decision.
Who Knew? It Would Be Nice To Teach This Stuff Early.
Spread Some Joy Today–start with yourself. Give yourself some joy! You deserve it.
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