Find A Way!

I love creative thinking. I hear about a situation or problem or opportunity and I immediately want to take some time and think about it in different ways. Many call this thinking outside the box. I not only love creative thinking, I am good at it.

I don’t particularly love being dutiful or even being very thorough in the doing of things. To me, this is keeping me from doing what I love to do. Now don’t get me wrong. I am very good at doing these things – I just don’t like it as much. Even though that is the case, I DO THESE THINGS ANYWAY! And I do them as well as I can.

There is a great life lesson here. If you choose/have to do something, do it to the very best of your own ability. Not the best in the world (unless that is your goal) but the best YOU can do. Just compare yourself to yourself and do your own best. Then you need to find/make time to do what you really love to do.

I want to shift gears just a bit now. We often have a hard time knowing what the right things are for us to find time to do. All I can tell you is that it has to come from inside. You will know because you will feel “right”. How about a few tips that have helped me?

Remember that you are always a role model whether you are aware of it or not. So take a bit of time and think about what you would like to hear as the eulogy at your own funeral many, many years in the future. What would you like to hear from your family? Friends? Work colleagues? Bosses? Your life partner? And so on. Then think honestly about what you imagine they would actually say/think today. Now you have a list of things to work on. :-)

Most of what gets us into diss-equalibrium revolves around the respect or lack of respect we have for others. I have learned that I am not always right so I try very hard to be open to learning from others (who are also not always right). So stay respectful. They just may be right if they are so insistent on their viewpoint. If you KNOW they are wrong and they do not seem open to hearing another point of view – let it go. They don’t have to tell you that you are right. Keep in mind that you just want peace and happiness. You do not need to tear down others and their ideas to stand tall. Just always be open to learn new stuff.

I have said this before. Everything is a choice. Does the choice you are about to make reconcile with your own values? Will it bring peace, joy and happiness? Or will it bring conflict, contempt and anger? All those things your Mom or Dad told you was very valuable advice. “Think before you act.” “Look before you leap.” “Take a breath and count to 10 before reacting.” “You can’t unsay anything so think about what you are about to say.”

All of the advice has to do with taking some time before doing or saying things. Why is that? I think it has to do with the reality that negative emotions are much quicker to rise to the surface. It is probably related to the flight or fight response that allowed for survival in earlier times. But if we just take a moment to let our analytical mind work we can usually see a “better” action. You will recognize a true flight or fight moment, trust me. Most of the time these days we are not faced with true flight or fight moments.

Find a way to do what you love. Find a way to choose better actions and reactions. Find a way to be the best role model you can be.

 

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I know you can, but will you?

I know you can be happy anyway, but will you? I know you can give love, but will you? I know you can help that person, but will you? I know you can forgive that, but will you?

Yes, it really is all about choices we make. It is not just the circumstances around us that lead to happiness or not. It really is about how we choose to look at things and to act. I am always reminded of the whole concept of reaping what we sow. Becoming what we think about. Receiving what we give out. Whenever we are faced with a decision on how we are going to react to something, we are getting one more chance to choose happiness. What is the outcome we want from the choice we are facing? Really, really, really, really want?

It might be easy to say that we want that person to know how angry we are with him/her. We want the person to feel the pain that action caused. We want to teach that person a lesson. Those are all superficial and are not what we really want in our life. We want happiness, joy and love. Look further than the moment. Break free from our programming and choose peace, love, understanding and happiness.

I have just read that in the average home the ratio of negative to positive messages is 14 to 1! For every positive comment we make to a person in the family, we make almost 14 critical comments. A similar study apparently showed that in long-term happy marriages there was a ratio of 7 to 1 positive communications. Which model are you following? It is a choice and is solely in your hands to choose. I know you can choose the latter, but will you?

The cashier at the checkout is not the one who entered the price wrong in the computer, yet they are the ones that take the brunt of the blame and anger. Slow down. What is really important in the big picture of our life? That we chastised someone or that we accepted that an error was made and is being corrected? What you are putting out into the universe is rebounding back to you, usually 7-fold. Put out good vibes.

I have taught for years that we should always start out a venture with the end in mind. In other words, start taking action with the outcome that you desire in mind. That is important in life. The earlier we understand this and take a couple of steps, the earlier we can be walking the path of happiness. Picture yourself at age 80. People are gathering around for your birthday party. Now do two different exercises.

First of all, what would you like people to be saying about you? Your immediate family, your extended family, your friends, your work colleagues, your staff, your bosses, others in your life that you came across (the homeless person on the street years ago, the student, the person who was lost and broke). Remember, this is what you want them to be able to say about you. Be honest. Don’t write what you think others might think you would want. This is for you and your eyes only.

Next, write down what each of those people would actually say about you today. Again, be brutally honest. What would they say that you might not want the to say but is probably true from their perspective?

Now, look at the gaps. Choose to work on closing the gaps so that folks can be saying what you really want them to be able to say about you earlier.

I know you can, but will you? :)

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Enjoy a Reasonable Confidence in Your Powers

Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”        — Norman Vincent Peale

An interesting quote. The first thing you need is an awareness of your own powers. What does that mean? Quite simply, what are you good at? What do you like to do more than anything else? What makes you feel happy when you are doing it? We often wonder what it is that we should be doing. Fortunately, life is well designed to help us along the way if we just pay attention.

This is not the time to be humble. Think and be honest with yourself. What are you good at? Make a list. Brag to yourself!! Now make another list with the activities that make you feel happy. This list might be a bit short at first because we do not often think this way. Stick with it. What makes you feel happy.

Now, put the lists together and see which activities are on both. Those are your real powers and are where you should be focusing your attention in doing. You can make a great contribution to the world if you focus on those activities.

I said that life is well designed to help us know what to do in most situations. If we feel good, we are doing the “right” thing. If we are not, then examine what you are doing and change. Feeling good is the signal we need to be watching for all the time. We are not feeling good when we are berating a cashier for something. Rather, switch and figure out what you are really looking for. As a minimum, understand that you are venting at the wrong person and usually for the wrong thing. As your Mom said, take a deep breath, count to 10 and move on! Mom was always right.

So, have a realistic confidence in your own powers and “You Can be Happy Anyway”. :)

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For every fall there is a spring in our step

 

Every once in a while you come across something that is just right. This is one of those. Dan says it so well that I have just taken his post and copied it here. For more great words of inspiration and wisdom, go visit his blog.

 BY 

 

I hope the sun’s rays are delightfully breezing across the soft pigment of your face on this fine Fall day and that you pause — just for a fleeting moment — to reflect on the beauty that is the changing of the guard on our treasured Canadian arbors.

‘Tis a season that smacks of irony; how can something so lovely simply fall to the ground. Ah, but it is life, no? We must fall in order to spring again. How are we to stand tall — like the arbors — if we don’t at times fall?

And that rise — like that of the sun — is powerful. It reminds us not to harbor ill-will or a concentrated chagrin. It encourages us to be tall. For every fall there is a spring in our step. And the sun will once again delightfully breeze across your face.

 

A tree right outside my front window ... inspired me to write the prose above.A tree right outside my front window … inspired me to write the prose above.

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Does the wake push you around?

Does it push or does it trail?

Consider this just for a minute or two. When you are out in a boat enjoying a pleasant ride what do you see around you? Water of course, but if you look behind you, you will see the wake of the boat. If you are going in  a straight line it will be quite long and straight out behind you. If you are curving around like in this picture, the wake will curve as well. We all know this.

Now, consider this. If you look back and see the wake trailing behind you, do you ever get the feeling that it is pushing you? Do you get the impression that it can push you in a different direction if it wanted to? WAIT! Don’t stop reading just yet. I really do have a point.

So many of us think that our past is what is steering us. Our past is what is trapping us in our today. I want to challenge that once and for all. Our past is just that, past. It is in fact our wake; the trail that is left behind on our journey. It marks out exactly how we got to where we are today. But it does not determine where we will go in the next minute, day week or year. As you look around, you can set a new course direction. It cannot push you!

To beat this analogy into the ground, you may find yourself in very bad waters and where you want to be may look almost unattainable. However, if you can see at least a direction, you can turn the boat of your life towards that direction and evaluate how you are doing a bit later in the journey. Then keep making the steering adjustments that will take you to where you want to be.

As I have said many times before, it is all about choices. Stop blaming your past for your troubles. Just acknowledge the past and choose to move forward. You really can be happy anyway. :)

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