Category: Thoughts

The Benefits Of Change

“Change brings opportunity.” 

— Nido Qubein 

[Classic post from 8-27-14]

I was thinking about change and how often we might feel that we don’t like change much unless of course, it is fully to our benefit and perfectly timed. Good luck with that.

What I was realizing is that without change, nothing moves, and nothing happens. Change is necessary. It is desired when we realize that we cannot live without it. Aristotle said, “Change in all things is sweet.” He had it down pat.

Sometimes we might think that we need to change for the better because of what is or has been being less than perfect. I don’t think that has anything to do with it, except that whatever decisions we make are always made in the hopes of feeling better.

It is more about expansion than anything. We are expanding beings, the Universe is expanding, and that is what we want: expansion. Some might call it growth, but I like the word expansion better. We cannot help but expand and change is the only way it can come about.

So many of the quotes I’ve reviewed about change put change in a positive light and that it is necessary and good. I agree. It’s when we are in a rut, or doing the same things over and over without even thinking about it that things get dull. That contrast leads to a desire for a change. We can only sleep so long and then we just have to get up and get going.

Movement is life. Change is movement. When I understand the value of a change in this way, I look forward to the change and the opportunities.

“Change Alone Is Eternal, Perpetual, Immortal.” — Arthur Schopenhauer 

Spread Some Joy Today–by building on your list of positive aspects daily. A great way to start is at the top of the page, write “I love. . .” and then fill in the blank lines. Call it a joy-builder and a life-enhancer.

The Ways

“It's not that some people
have willpower and some don't…
It's that some people are ready
to change and others are not.”

— James Gordon

[Classic post from 2-21-13]

I see it all around me–people that need to change. Sue Grafton said it in an interesting way: “You can't save others from themselves because those who make a perpetual muddle of their lives don't appreciate your interfering with the drama they've created. They want your poor-sweet-baby sympathy, but they don't want to change.” Then, there's that very old phrase I've used many times, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.”

No matter what I think, people will change when they decide they want or need to change. The best I can do is to attempt to inspire them, remind them, and even sometimes guide them, and the rest is totally up to them.

This is as it should be. As I live my life, I find things that work and incorporate them into my life, with that change, I may share my experience and others will do as they will with that. One of the things that I have to constantly remind myself of is that there are so many ways of doing a thing, and whatever I have chosen is a way. I remind myself as often as necessary that there is no way, there is your way, my way, and their way, and they are all ways.

As a result of reminding myself about the ways, I see Sue's comment, which I've agreed with many times, and I see in it that as we say “those who make a perpetual muddle of their lives,” is entirely judgmental and not in a positive way. It's true that “they don't appreciate your interfering with the drama they've created,” because those are their choices and the drama is their payoff probably. So be it. And, they often want sympathy. So be it. However, we can let them choose their way, and choose our own by walking away.

One last perspective. I so enjoy hearing others share their “way” and what they've learned. I especially love their passion when I hear it and see it.

There Is Plenty Of Room For Each And Every Way.

Spread Some Joy Today–If you can, take a break and find a place with people around and just watch them, see the different ways they act, clothes they wear, shapes of their bodies, voices, everything. It is so fascinating.

My Concerns Have Little Effect

“Such concerns had little effect.” 

— David McCullough
from The Wright Brothers book 

[Classic post from 12-30-15]

I'm nearly finished with my latest audiobook, The Wright Brothers by David McCullough, and what an absolutely fascinating story this is. What I learned in high school about The Wright Brothers and their flying machine is so sad compared to what I've learned 'reading' this book. And to hear that familiar voice of David McCullough reading his book to me personally is a delight to say it mildly.

It cracks me up how when reading or listening to a book how a phrase just leaps out at me. It also cracks me up what those phrases are. In the early portion of this book, the quote above totally got my attention: “Such concerns had little effect.” I had to stop and write it down and ponder it further: “Such concerns had little effect.”

In the book, David was talking about the new bicycle craze that hit the country in the early 1890s. The Wright brothers and their sister Katherine joined the craze and were taking long outings on their bicycles and having a wonderful time. David wrote that “the bicycle was proclaimed a boon to all mankind, a thing of beauty, good for the spirits, good for health and vitality, indeed one's whole outlook on life.”

In the next paragraph, he stated that “Voices were raised in protest. Bicycles were proclaimed morally hazardous. Until now children and youth were unable to stray very far from home on foot. Now, one magazine warned, fifteen minutes could put them miles away.” He went on with other reported concerns about this new bicycle craze with warnings attempting to scare people away from owning or riding bicycles.

Then he writes, “Such concerns had little effect. Everybody was riding bicycles, men, women, all ages and from all walks of life.” And, it was in the spring of 1893 that Wilbur and Orville Wright opened their own small bicycle business and in a short time began designing and manufacturing bicycles as the Wright Cycle Company.

As I pondered that phrase, “such concerns had little effect,” I thought of how many times in history in general, and in our own history in particular, that we have had concerns about something going on somewhere outside, or even within our lives that we have unfounded concerns about. In fact, a very high percentage of the news in a newspaper and even a higher percentage of the news online and on the television expresses concerns about events and especially potential events. It seems that the controversy is what drives the ratings.

The most popular blogs are popular because of their choices in controversial subjects. Everyone is seemingly concerned about all manner of things that may happen, especially those that are based on current events, whether accurately portrayed or not, and as in all of history based on my own learning, they are so often portrayed inaccurately.

To think that all of our own concerns and those of millions of others might have little effect is to give hope to all. It seems that we worry and concern ourselves with so many things that never come to be. Isn't that true with worry in general? Being concerned about something that might happen is a complete waste of time and energy, yet it is a popular activity.

Today, when you feel worried or concerned about something, say this phrase aloud or to yourself: “Such concerns will have little effect. Almost all of my concerns will have little effect. I choose to let this go now. I choose to trust instead.”

In All Of My Life, All Of My Concerns Have Had Little Effect. I Am Dropping The Rope. Now. 

Spread Some Joy Today–There is no joy in concerns and worry. Yet, as we let go of them, we instantly rise to a better emotional place.

Words Do Not Teach. Experience Does.

“It is one thing to hear a concept
and feel the resonance of it when you hear it,
and it's another thing altogether
to practice it until you own it, to be it.”

— Abraham, Esther Hicks 

[Classic post from 4-19-18]

It is so easy and goes down so smoothly to read or hear about unconditional love and feel good about the idea of that, and yet, it is a whole other thing to actually practice it in our lives. We get it. The idea of it resonates with us because it is truly in alignment with our inner knowing, our God within. Actually living that is another thing altogether.

This is true with a lot of learning perhaps even the majority of the things that we learn in concept, speak of, write of. So many things we can discuss in a lot of detail, but when it comes to actually living it, well, we become forgetful.

Abraham, Esther Hicks is famous for saying, “words do not teach. It is experience that teaches.” Of course, that is true. And so, I continue to choose to engage in practice so that it becomes my experience. Victor Hugo is famous for saying, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” And, as powerful as that is, it is anemic in comparison to executing that idea through action and thereby becoming experience. We learn by doing more than we learn by thinking or receiving information.

Anyone who has read these Daily Inspirations for any length of time knows that I write about love more than anything else and though I write of it that often, I am more famous for practicing it. I learn about love by loving. I learn about unconditional love by loving without condition. I don't simply share platitudes, but ideas and thoughts that when they become active in our lives change our lives for the better.

This is where practice comes in. With our historical perspective, and seeing popular movies, video games, television shows, and watching people in real life around us, it is easy to see the need for practice and it is easy to see that there isn't much going on in the way of practice but a continuing repetition of the past, adjusted perhaps, but not really different. Jim Rohn is famous for saying, “for things to change, you must change.” I prefer to put that in the first person and say, for things to change, I must change, and change will require practice, especially considering my habitual patterns from history and viewing the history in action that I see all around me.

It is said that practice makes perfect and that is a great truism, yet practice is simply turning an idea into action. As we look around, we can see the manifestation of ideas turned into action and much of that action is based on ideas that were meant to control us and not serve us. The idea of right and wrong, good and bad, sinful and saintly, falling in and out of love, and more. It can be quite a challenge to find a movie that is not about killing or falling in and out of love, broken relationships, greed, revenge, etc. Uplifting movies is not the norm, but what if they were? Loving without condition is not even seen in movies generally, but what if it was?

Yesterday I mentioned a quote from the Paul Selig books that we are not independent of our environment. What that means to me is that whatever environment that I want, I must choose it. I must practice it. If I want to see more unconditional love in the world, then I must learn to practice loving without condition. Mahatma Gandhi is famous for saying, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Again, to put it in the first person and accept the idea, I must be the change I wish to see in the world. Accepting the idea is fine, but for the change to come about, I must practice being the change.

I Am Not Independent Of My Environment. I Am My Environment.

Spread Some Joy Today–by deciding to practice what you want to see in the world.

Releasing The Ties To History

“Those who cannot remember the past
are condemned to repeat it.” 

— George Santayana 

[Classic post from 4-18-18]

Along with some of the biggest changes in my life, in the last year, I have been studying every day five texts by Paul Selig. I've gone through them about six times because I wanted to really not only understand the wisdom contained in the texts but to adapt it in my life. Even with a year of these posts I could not share all that I have learned, but some subjects stand apart from the rest, and the one I want to share this morning is about our history, or more accurately, our habitual historical perspective which rules our lives so much, and we are not really aware of it being that way.

Let's take the quote above, which is often misquoted as, “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” The truth is that we repeat it all the time. It has become what we do without any effort or realization that this is the case.

But, before I go on, I must refute the part about being condemned (or doomed, if you prefer) to repeat it. This is ALWAYS our choice, though we claim to want change. It does not happen to us, it is chosen by us in many, many ways that on the surface do not seem like a choice at all.

The one most powerful thing that I have learned from these five texts is that we are always choosing and more often than not, we are choosing the past.

I was in the grocery store the other day and saw a magazine in the rack by the checkout that showed a robotic man-like figure in protective gear holding a rifle that looked like some kind of laser weapon and as I recall the title was war in 2030, or it might have been the weapons of war in 2030. In either case, this is pure history. It is a historical perspective. And many, if not most of us, buy into the idea that war will always be happening somewhere in this crazy world and that we need to stay ahead in the technological expansion of the tools of war. It is complete and utter silliness to me, and so I laughed at the magazine cover as I went about my day.

In these texts, this idea of history and living in a historical perspective and continuing to choose based on our history is the most discussed thing. The first couple of times through the material I was tired of hearing about it, but then I started to truly realize that this was so important for me to get that any repetition only reinforced the idea that I wasn't yet accepting it. My eyes have been opened and I can now see how this is happening in my own life and that of others and the world we live in.

Can we change? Absolutely. Will we change is a better question. But, before we can change, we must understand what and how we are choosing along with the fact that we are always choosing, and have always chosen.

One of the best quotes from these texts is something I've shared before and will again because it is so powerful: “You are not independent of your environment.” But, we think we are. We think that the world rules and that our goal is to comply and adjust as necessary to get what we want, and we are often thwarted at that by circumstance or by what we consider to be other people's decisions, heredity, class stature, etc. This is not true. We certainly can operate this way and I have for most of my life, but that is not the truth, it is merely an interpretation that I make from a historical perspective.

I will continue more tomorrow and beyond, but I want to end this post with a wonderful quote by Benjamin Franklin from his autobiography: “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”

Here's A Perfect Historical Perspective To (Re-)Consider: “Peace Is The Only Battle Worth Waging.” — Albert Camus

Spread Some Joy Today–as you see that you are not independent of your environment and that you are in charge of it.

Accepting Personal Responsibility

“Accepting personal responsibility
is completely foreign to the ego.”

— Albert K. Strong

[Classic post from 8-13-15]

Does what we think and say to ourselves and to others matter? Do we have no control over our own lives physically and emotionally? According to the ego, that answer would be no. To the ego, we are always a potential victim of the indiscriminate actions of other people and uncontrollable circumstances. When life is good, the ego wants all the credit, and when life is going downhill, the ego has a long list of external things and people to blame. So, accepting personal responsibility would be completely foreign to the ego. The ego could not even consider such a concept, let alone a reality.

Here's the good news. The ego has its place. It is a minor place. It has usefulness at certain times, but by and large, it is mostly talk. And, more important than this is that the real person that we are is far larger and far smarter than the ego ever could be. It's just that we as the smarter, larger entity need to take personal responsibility in owning up to our power and to keeping that ego in its rightful place.

We keep the ego in its place by paying attention to what we are saying silently and aloud, and the best way to do that is by simply paying attention to how we feel. If it doesn't feel good, it isn't good for us. As we hold on to negative thoughts, self-talk, images, past hurts, we create within our natural well-being a discord or dis-ease. To the degree that we hold those thoughts and feelings, the dis-ease grows.

I have always remembered and loved a quote from Wayne Dyer from his earliest book. He said, “Anxiety doesn't attack.” Of course, it is the ego who is thinking of having an anxiety attack, and it is totally open to that because it comes from the outside, but Wayne knew differently.

Let me share some very wise and important information from Abraham, Esther Hicks on this subject:

“The first indication that you are disallowing your physical well-being comes to you in the form of negative emotion. You will not see a breakdown of your physical body at the first sign of negative emotion, but focusing upon subjects that cause a prolonged feeling of negative emotion will eventually cause dis-ease.

If you are unaware that negative emotion indicates the vibrational disharmony that is hindering the level of Well-Being that you are asking for, you may be, like most people, accepting a certain level of negative emotion and feeling no need to do something about it. Most people, even when they feel alarm at the level of negative emotion or stress they are feeling, do not know what to do about it because they believe they are reacting to conditions or circumstances that are outside of their control. And so, since they cannot control those unpleasant conditions, they feel powerless to change the way they feel.

We want you to understand that your emotions come in response to your focus, and under all conditions, you have the power to find thoughts that feel slightly better or slightly worse–and when you consistently choose slightly better, the Law of Attraction will bring steady improvement to your experience. The key to achieving and maintaining a physical state of well-being is to notice the indicators of discord in the early stages. It is much easier to refocus your thoughts in the early, subtle stages than after the Law of Attraction has responded to chronic negative thoughts, bringing bigger negative results.

If you could make a decision to never allow negative emotion to linger within you–and at the same time acknowledge that it is your work alone to refocus your attention in order to feel better rather than asking someone else to do something different or for some circumstance to change to make you feel better–you will not only be a very healthy person, but you will be a joyful person. Joy, appreciation, love, and health are all synonymous. Resentment, jealousy, depression, anger, and sickness are all synonymous.”

How Are You Feeling? What Stories Are Going On Inside Of You?

Spread Some Joy Today–by just mentally letting go of all of your cares and issues. Just let them drift away like putting them in a boat in a fast-moving stream, pushing it into the stream and watching it float quickly away downriver.

Forgiveness Is A Stepping Stone

“Forgiveness is not an end,
nor is it resolve; however, 
 it is a worthy stepping stone
on our own journey toward
gratitude, acceptance,
love, and appreciation.” 

— Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 9-29-14]

As we have been born into and learned from our parents and others, listened and watched the media, discussed events with other people, it is clear that we live in a world filled with duality. This duality is often spoken of in terms of extremes of opposites, such as good and bad, right and wrong, life and death, health and illness. Often, we are taught to become judges and are encouraged to have strong feelings about these extreme choices one way or the other.

I was listening to an Esther Hicks short session the other day where a woman was talking about how she had been betrayed by their lover or spouse. She was quite upset by it, did not understand it, and the more she thought about it and talked about it, the angrier she became. How could she forgive him for hurting her so? But, forgiveness was not the answer.

When I was in my early twenties, I had a good job, but it was entry-level and I was married and just getting by. A relative needed a loan and the only way it would be made was if someone cosigned the loan. I agreed to help. Within just a few months, they defaulted on the loan and the bank turned to me. I accepted responsibility for the debt, but my thoughts were all about what a bad decision I made, how I should have known better, how they shouldn't have done that to me, and so on.

I thought of something funny from Jim Rohn this morning as I was driving. On a tape, he was talking about a guy he knew who was all upset about this other guy lying to him and taking him for some money and how that was terrible, unforgivable, etc. Jim's answer was this: “What did you expect? That's what liars do–they lie! To think otherwise is naive.”

Here's a great piece on forgiveness by Dr. John F. Demartini from his book, The Breakthrough Experience: “Forgiveness is a self-righteous illusion that makes someone bad or wrong and then presumes to judge and pardon. An apology is judging yourself, and both are guaranteed to perpetuate whatever you judge. The only thing that transcends this dynamic is love.”

He goes on to say, “If you can see that everything in your life serves you, that no matter what you've done or not done it's moving you forward, you suddenly see your own perfection and your heart opens–to yourself.”

In addition, Dr. Demartini says, “There exists a hierarchy of emotional responses in life. Fear and guilt are at the bottom of the ladder; above them are faith, acceptance, and forgiveness; and at the top is the present truth of love, appreciation, and wisdom. Forgiveness is a stage on the path, but once you see that everything serves and there is nothing to forgive, it becomes another myth. The truth requires no forgiveness.”

Although on the surface, and from our lifetime of training, it seems illogical and incomprehensible to be thankful and to find gratitude in these kinds of events, this is the ultimate stepping stone to laying the rope down on that subject. With forgiveness, we are still holding the rope, but we have loosened our grip and are giving slack to the opposing force, yet we are ready in a moment's notice to grip it again.

It Is Not About The Other No Matter What They Are Doing Or Not Doing. It Is Always About Us And Our Own Alignment, Which Is Another Way To Say, The Ultimate Answer Is Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by finding several things and situations to be grateful for. This will be especially joyous on those subjects that were previously associated with pain or regret.

Embracing Simplicity

“It is your work to clear away
the mass of encumbering material of thought,
so that you may bring into plain view
the precious thing at the center of the mass.”

— Robert Collier

“The ability to simplify
means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak.”

— Hans Hofmann

“Genius is the ability
to reduce the complicated
to the simple.”

— C. W. Ceram

[Classic post from 11-20-10]

Until I can find the simplicity in something, I struggle. In all of my learning, I seek to understand the simplicity of the subject so that I understand it well enough to teach it in its simplest way. There are many subjects I don’t get to that level of, but those that I do get to become so easy.

As an example, in my commercial truck training related to potential overloading problems, I relate a service body to closets we have in our homes. The reason is what we do with closets. We fill them up and they never get emptied until we move. Since a service body is just a bunch of closets, that is exactly what service body owners do. Therein lies the potential problem that everyone can now see clearly. The truck is always full and getting fuller. I use a number of these simplifications because they are easy to understand and easy to teach and fulfill the training goal.

I’ve studied so many things, and the single most studied has been psychology as it relates to sales, sales management, leadership, and motivation. When I was in college, I choked on psychology texts. They were so boring and dull and unnecessarily complicated. It’s not that complicated. So, I’ve studied alternative ways to understand this subject by delving into Transactional Analysis, popular psychology, and self-help psychology which simplifies so much of that subject. And, it has been of great benefit in my work and in my personal life.

Napoleon Hill stated, “All great truths are simple in the final analysis, and easily understood; if they are not, they are not great truths.” I also have found the most profound things I have learned have all been so incredibly simple and easy to understand–when I was willing and interested in the study rather than skimming.

“The Obvious Is That Which Is Never Seen Until Someone Expresses It Simply.” — Kahlil Gibran

Spread Some Joy Today–Learn something that excites you so you can teach it. Then teach it. There is great joy in this.

Thinking Makes It So

“There is nothing either good or bad
but thinking makes it so.” 

— William Shakespeare 

[Classic post from 8-27-16]

It is what we say it is. It is what we think it is. It is what we feel about what we think it is. It is what we believe it is by what we think, say, feel, and do. There is no such thing as the truth, but as many truths as there are those to think something about truth. In other words, we make it all up. We may choose to believe what someone else made up, but if not us, someone made it up somewhere along the line.

Everything is neutral until we make it something.

This lesson from William Shakespeare has always been one of my favorite quotes from my first reading of it. It caused me to consider what it was saying, and I have taken its message to heart, and in so doing, it has changed my life for the better.

I need to periodically remind myself by looking at it again, or remembering that whatever I am looking at, I am deciding what that is by what I am thinking, and consequently feeling about it.

When I was very young, I was being taught right from wrong, often accompanied by punishment if I chose incorrectly. I didn’t much like pain, so I endeavored to learn the right and avoid the wrong, but sometimes I was just not paying attention and wandered off into the wrong territory. I also learned that this wasn’t really so much of a problem unless my parents found out.

It’s like today. Every time I get in my truck, I break the law. I don’t try to, but sometimes I’m just not paying close enough attention. Going 30 mph in a 25 mph area, going 70 or 75 mph on the freeway keeping up with all the other people doing at least that, and some much more, when the speed limit is 65 mph. Every single time I drive anywhere, I break the letter of the law somewhere along the way. I’m not alone by any stretch of the imagination, and luckily, it is rare to get caught in these errors.

There are a lot of things like this where choices are made that have a label of good or bad, legal or illegal, right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, and more. We make it all up–every bit of it. Someone just decided to set a speed limit at a certain level, and they made up what the punishment would be if they caught you exceeding it, and sometimes, or maybe often, by how much.

It’s all made up by someone. In fact, there are entire governments that are fashioned around all of this stuff, with courts, lawyers, judges, jails, and treasuries to handle the load of wrong-doers, law-breakers, and such. It’s an entire bureaucracy in action.

And thinking makes it so.

I get to choose too. I get to choose my thinking. I get to choose what I want to label something. I get to choose how I feel about something by what my thoughts are on the subject. Others may have their thoughts and feelings, and they may or may not match my own, so we all get to choose.

What a fantastic lesson this is to learn. I get to choose all of it. I make it so by what I choose to think about it. I create my own beliefs. I create good or bad. I create right or wrong. Others may choose as well. They may even try to get me to believe what they believe, to think what is true is what they say is true. So be it. Let them choose. We cannot really stop it anyway. And, the good news about that is that they cannot stop me either.

It Is What I Think, Say, And Believe It Is. I Alone Decide For Myself As I Allow That. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by making your own choices about joy or not joy, spreading it or not spreading it. Do as you wish. Consider it as you will.

Enthusiasm And Love

“Enthusiasm is the divine particle in our composition:
with it we are great, generous, and true;
without it, we are little, false, and mean.”

 — Letitia Landon

[Classic post from 10-11-13]

I think of the word enthusiasm as being the same as the word, loving. If you have enthusiasm for what you do, you are loving what you do. If you have enthusiasm for your life, you are loving your life. From the original Greek, it also means to be inspired, and with God, which is a good reason that we feel so good when we are enthused, inspired, and in the action of loving.

It is good and helpful to listen to our own talk sometimes in order to hear the tone in how we say what we say as well as the content. Sharing complaints with others is a sure sign of lack of enthusiasm. As Steve Jobs said, and I paraphrase slightly, “too many days of that and I need to reconsider what I am doing.”

I'll never forget hiring an experienced salesman when I was a young sales manager. He was somewhat older and had been in the business for a number of years. Within a couple of days, I could overhear him complaining about the dealership out on the showroom floor. I immediately called him into the office and fired him on the spot. The last thing I needed was someone bringing that mood and tone into my organization. He was shocked, but I'm sure it was temporary and I don't think it changed him, but I wasn't going to allow him to change us.

My grandmother used to tell me, “if you can't say anything nice, better to say nothing at all.” As good as that statement is, it is not the best answer. The best answer is to do what pleases you. If life is anything, it is to be enjoyed. What is the point of going to work in an industry you don't like, a job you don't want to do, and then complain about what your situation is? If you don't like a part of it, perhaps you can sell off that part, hire someone to do that part, renegotiate so you don't have to do that part anymore. If it can't be parted out (car talk), then something new is appropriate and in order.

Life is way too short to do what you have to. Do what you want to. Find a way. There is always a way when you make the decision to move toward what you love.

Be Enthusiastic. Enjoy Your Time On This Wonderful Planet. It May Not Seem This Way, But It Is Always Your Choice To Choose.

Spread Some Joy Today–Enthusiasm is so contagious.

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