Category: Thoughts

Your Fulfillment Is Not Up To Others

“The events you experience
are not imposed by an external,
impersonal, capricious source.

They are the logical culmination
of two crucial elements:

(1) The intentions you set forth at a soul level;
and (2) the thoughts you focus on…

…Even while our ideal partner
appears in people who show up outside of us,
ultimately that spirit lives within us.

It is us.

The universe will never
let your fulfillment depend
on someone or something
outside of you.”

— Alan Cohen
Soul and Destiny

Allowing Life To Teach Us

“You cannot judge 
an apparently faulty event
because you have not seen
the end result.
Vision based on judgment
is always near-sighted.

The soul, by contrast,
trusts that all events,
including flubs, gaffs,
and seemingly fatal blunders,
are leading to something better.”

— Alan Cohen
Soul and Destiny

Living The Dream

 “All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts,
only needing circumstances to evoke them.”
— Charles Dickens
“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
— William Shakespeare
“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Classic post from 4-14-11]
Today, I want to talk about confidence, worthiness, and the power within us, because I see a lot of people who seem so unsure of themselves.
A long time ago, and I can never forget it, my first wife told me that if I ever started really believing in myself there would be no stopping me. Back then, I wanted to believe in myself, but always felt like I was not good enough, not smart enough, didn't have a college degree, and the list was endless of the reasons I would state as to why I didn't do something or believe I could.
Oh, I wasn't stuck in neutral not doing anything, but I think there are one or more things that each of us can excel in and declare our specialness or uniqueness in. I just wasn't finding them, but I tried a number of things. And, at the same time, my low self-esteem kept me from trying things that required more courage.
One of the things that I always wanted from the time I was a child was to play a musical instrument, write songs, and sing. I dinked around with a garage band when I was in my teens, but we sucked and I never thought we were good enough to play in public. Later, I got into a career to earn money and the music took a seat in a different stadium.
When I was 30, I left the car business for a few years and opened a musical instrument store. I went to an open mike night to listen to a friend and he cajoled me into getting up and doing some songs. I was scared to death and did it anyway and it was fun–probably not very good, but fun. That was the 1979-80 time frame.
In the mid-80's I began writing songs and got into recording and getting better slowly, but still hiding in the studio behind closed doors for hours on end. I kept writing until around 1988.
Then in 1996, I started going to church and an opportunity came to play guitar and sing and lead worship with contemporary music. I laugh right now thinking of how bad I was, how nervous I was and how little confidence I had. But, I worked at it and got better, then began writing songs for the church and ended up doing that for 9 years, also expanding into musicianship by learning and even doing well at playing the bass guitar as well.
It was all a joyous experience, some of it required a courageous attitude, and I found that there is so much I learned and so many people were blessed by the songs and the style I developed and the blessings were then on me.
I fulfilled most of my dream of playing in a band, singing, and so on through this period and though I no longer do that, it was such a powerful boost to my confidence level.
So, I recommend trying and doing and allowing yourself to not have to be good from the beginning, but have a willingness to grow and become more. No matter where you are, you can always become more. There is no such thing as completion, it is just the journey. Want to be a speaker? Start talking to small groups and practice. Want to sing in a band? Get out there and allow yourself to not be perfect, to begin with.
This worthiness issue is all bunk. We are all worthy. I proclaim worthiness on you. Go and do and practice and improve and have fun. Whatever you do, have fun!
Dream Your Dreams. Now, Begin Living Them.
Spread Some Joy Today–There is nothing so fruitful as laughter at work. When you are laughing, you are loving.

Learning To Trust

“The only way to make a man
trustworthy is to trust him.”
— Henry L Stimson
“I think we may safely trust
a good deal more than we do.”
— Henry David Thoreau
[Classic post from 4-11-11]
I think it is hard to trust people when we don't trust life. . . or, is it the other way around? In either case, it is just fear. What was that very famous phrase. . . there is nothing to fear but fear itself or something like that. I know Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't mean it this way, but it seems to me that fearing fear is the ultimate fear! It doesn't get any more fearful than this. And, the opposite of fear, wouldn't that be trust?
Since I began in the working world in the mid-1960s, I've seen the fearful requirements for employment mount and expand. In reality, I'm not convinced any of them have moved the needle where the insurance companies wanted it moved to. I guess I was an exception to the rules, for I think I only ever filled in maybe two job applications prior to being hired, let alone have to deal with chemical testing and other issues. Now it seems that people take all of that for granted, well. . . except me.
Sure, I've encountered people that I trusted that turned out to not warrant that, but I have to admit that it is a small exception to the vast amount that was trustworthy. In addition, I found the quote by Stimson to be generally true, that the way to make a person trustworthy was to give them trust or trust them. I think they actually rise to the occasion even if they were inclined in another direction. Isn't that interesting?
Of course, this all comes back to the premise that we attract what we think about. Coming from a place of distrust would draw people to you that are distrustful and coming from a place of trust would draw those that were trustworthy. Hmm. I guess we really are more in control than we think we are…
“As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without.”
— The Emerald Tablet of Hermes
Spread Some Joy Today–trust! You'll be amazed at the joy that brings.

Finding Joy In The Middle Of Difficulty

 “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
— Albert Einstein
“Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.”
— M Kathleen Casey
[Classic post from 4-10-11]
It is a strange and wonderful thing. The older I get, the more calm I find myself in the middle of difficulty. I find a certain joy in that calmness that I call calm confidence. If something upsets me about a situation, it is rare, and even then it is very quickly changed into seeing the opportunities that exist that are perhaps initially hidden from view.
I was thinking today on the way to an appointment how perfectly things seem to be working out more regularly than I would have imagined. I am now beginning to look at a situation that is not to my liking or a sudden change of some kind, and instead of wondering why it happened, what caused it, and so on, I am opening up to looking for the blessings instead. What is interesting is that as I do this now, I begin seeing many blessings and then I begin praising the problem because of the blessings it brought that I may not have known of otherwise.
Something happened about a month and a half ago that seemed like a burden at first, but as I began working with it, blessing after blessing came out of it and I was able to not only improve our product but processes as well. I think it was almost a transformation of sorts. I think it was that profound. And, I am still finding blessings in it as we speak. As I thought about that situation today, I all of a sudden felt that everything was unfolding perfectly.
As I practice looking for all these blessings in events and circumstances that at first would seem to be under the heading of adversity, I find joy and calm confidence that is a wonderful experience. It is even becoming fun and I am looking forward to what opportunities will be coming next. What a difference!
“The Robbed That Smiles, Steals Something From The Thief.” — William Shakespeare
Spread Some Joy Today–Seek the blessings that are all around. They love to hide in quantity in problems.

Faith Is Tapping Into The Abundance Created For Us

 “Faith is raising the sail of our little boat
until it is 
caught up in the soft winds above
and picks up speed,
not from anything within itself,
but from the vast resources
of the universe around us.”
— W Ralph Ward
“Faith enables persons to be persons
because it lets God be God.”
— Carter Lindberg
[Classic post from 4-8-11]
I love both of these quotes because both of them acknowledge the limitless universe or the abundance rather than any lack. It seems that it is often the lack that we express with talk of the reality around us, and it is very short-sighted and focused in a direction opposite that of the true abundance all around us.
What is interesting is that we as humans have created this reality of lack and through its habitual focus, it is challenging to recall and redirect toward abundance. We just don’t recognize it. We’ve come to expect the worst, anticipate the problem, prepare for the problem, give classes on it, create organizations to combat it, create software to keep track of it, create security to protect it, and so on.
The most interesting part of the quotes above seems to me to be that faith is a focus on tapping into the abundance that has been created for our use. In other words, it is more a matter of letting go of the anxiety and relaxing in or trusting in the abundance that is God or the Universe.
I said something to someone last week who purports to not only be a believer but a leader about God and the Bible. I said that I thought they didn’t believe in God at all, and I said that based on the fact that there is no demonstration of any trust that God will take care of them, but they were complaining and moaning about all the things that were wrong and expressing a great deal of anger, worry and blaming.
It seems to me that we focus on lack and problems sometimes, forgetting the vastness of what God has made available, and even what He said He would do. Here’s a favorite quote from Matthew 25-27 that demonstrates this: “For this reason, I say to you, do not be anxious for your life… which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?” Indeed, anxiety and stress is commonly known as a life-shortener, not extender.
I’ll never forget watching Ruth Graham on Larry King Live many years ago where she was talking about trusting in God and one time her car swerved off an embankment and she had the sincere trust to let go and let God take care of her with joy in her heart as her car was going down the embankment. I’ve always thought that to have that kind of faith would move mountains. I think almost all of us would have clenched up and been frightened and worried, to say the least. She saw there was nothing for her to do and she just believed God would care for her. And He did.
Who turned on the daylight this morning? Certainly, not since I don’t know where the switch is. Who created all the air that we breathe? I certainly didn’t. Who makes the rain that feeds the soil and even covers hundreds and thousands of miles with rain at the same time? I cannot even fathom it, let alone do any of it. The abundance that is all around us is so vast that we may only see a trillionth of it, and we have the audacity to focus on lack and complain? This I try to remind myself of to keep my perspective.
I can choose the little boat and trust that the abundance that is God or the Universe will provide the necessary means to move it where it needs to go–even as the non-believers form clubs around me.
Relax–You’re Soaking In It… Or Can Be…
Spread Some Joy Today–Trust in the abundance all around you and the glow of confidence will be unmistaken.

A Belief Is Just A Thought We Keep Thinking

“Man is what he believes.”

— Anton Chekhov

I need to think about what I want instead of what I don’t want. It is so easy to get caught up in the reality of what is going on at the moment. It wants my attention, but that won’t serve me at all. The thing that does serve me is to focus on the solutions instead of the problems, where we’re going, not what issues may be raising their heads at the moment and so on. That serves me, and I can see how this will serve me in pretty much any situation.

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.

Not Knowing How Is What Requires Faith

 “All you have to do is know where you're going.
The answers will come to you of their own accord.”
— Earl Nightingale
“When we are sure that we are on the right road
there is not need to plan our journey too far ahead;
no need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears
as to the obstacles that may bar our progress.
We cannot take more than one step at a time.”
— Orison Swett Marden
[Classic post from 4-5-11]
Mike Dooley, a favorite author who just published a great book called, Manifesting Change, calls it the “curs-ed how's” when we get involved in how to do things. We start analyzing and trying to figure things out and much of the time, we don't know how a thing will be done and so not knowing how causes so many to stop until they do. But the thing they miss is that the how's are not very important in the scheme of things. It is more the desire, the vision, and the inspiration to move toward them that really makes all the difference. It is amazing how we can learn as we go and the how's become clearer as we move forward.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say that if we know how to do a thing, it isn't much worth doing. It certainly wouldn't be inspiring, and probably not much fun or very interesting either. Maybe it's the “f” word, faith. Surely it could never be faith if we knew how, so it can only be faith when we don't know how.
Another interesting thing about the how's, is that as we pursue a vision, act on our inspired thoughts, we will find ways to get things done that would have never occurred to us. We may even exceed the vision that we could see at the beginning. I've certainly heard that from so many ultra-successful people, where they say they've achieved things beyond their wildest expectations and such.
So, next time you find yourself having a strong desire to do something, or a vision of the way you would like to see things, I suggest you avoid getting very intimate with the how's and focus on the desire and the vision, act on your inspired thoughts and you may very well be amazed at the outcome.
Life Is Such A Wonderful Adventure! Go For It!
Spread Some Joy Today–Relax in the confidence that you are totally in control of your life. You get to choose everything. There is sheer joy in that realization.

The Playhouse Of Our Mind

 “This is where you will win the battle–
in the playhouse of your mind.”
— Maxwell Maltz
“All the significant battles are waged within the self.”
— Sheldon Kopp
[Classic post from 4-3-11]
You know, most of what I share in these Daily Inspirations is what I have recently learned from study and life, along with what I find myself going through on the way toward a more self-directed life. I always say that I am practicing, for I don't want to make it seem as if I'm any more an expert than you are, but I do want to share some important things I'm learning that is making a tremendous difference in how I feel, and how I feel is joyful more every day and I'm honored by the comments I receive from some very loyal readers. Thank you for allowing me to share insights, philosophy, and my travels with you.
Today's quotes hit squarely on what is the most significant key to change and improvement: our own thinking. From a practical sense, that means how I feel about things, how I react to circumstances and events, how I talk to myself and whether I am building myself up or semi-consciously tearing myself down. I say semi-consciously because I wasn't aware I was doing it, and certainly unknowledgeable about the accumulated effects, and at the same time, I could hear myself saying it. I'm thinking you might know what I am trying to say about that.
So, here's to awareness. It's like opening the door and looking in and actually seeing what is inside and getting a good idea of what is going on in there. I've awakened. No, certainly not “there” yet, and not sure I will ever completely arrive; however, I now firmly know because I've tested it pretty thoroughly, that I can make a dramatic difference in my own happiness, or how I feel, by paying attention to my own thoughts and changing them to better suit what I want. I pay attention to them mainly by paying attention to how I am feeling. When I feel good about something, I get excited and when I feel lousy or off about something, I instantly realize that I need to step in and take charge of the direction my thoughts are taking me.
And, it is working by practice. Every day I get a little bit better at it, and the bottom line is I am a far happier person as a result.
Practice Makes Perfect. Or At Least Much Better.
Spread Some Joy Today–Practice feeling good today. No point in letting anything get you down. It's really good to learn that we are all in charge of that. What power!
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