Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Friday, my friends.
Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking responsibility . . . .

One of the saddest epitaphs for many who choose to lead mediocre lives will be that when they die it will be as though they never lived. But what's sadder yet is that when the sweat of their death bed wakes them up to the fact that they've missed their life, they'll be haunted by the classic lament of life's biggest underachievers: "I could have, I should have, if only I would have."

Stop complaining that life isn't fair and begin taking responsibility for your own life. Focus on the things you CAN control, which are your decisions. Understand that one of the best days of your life is the day that you renounce excuses, grow up, and become a man or woman of responsibility and accountability. 

Get clearer about what you want and then resolve to pay the price to achieve it; deciding up front that you'll ditch the excuses and hold yourself accountable for results. Each day you have two choices: performance or excuses. Choose well, it becomes your legacy.

-Dave Anderson

"You are not responsible for 
the programming you picked up in childhood.
However, as an adult, 
you are one hundred percent responsible 
for fixing it. 
-Ken Keyes, Jr. 

Graphic by

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's your best time of day? . . . .

Are you most productive in the morning, then begin to fade in the afternoon, or does your best energy kick in later in the day? We all have a more productive time of day. If we know when that is, we need to take advantage of that! When faced with your biggest challenge of the day, make sure you schedule to get it done during your most productive time. It may not always be feasible, but if possible, don't procrastinate during the time of day when you are at your best. Use that time to your advantage! We all have what is considered our best time of day, mentally & physically.....know when that is! Then use it! Get your biggest challenge out of the way when you are at your best!

"It's so hard when contemplated in advance, 
and so easy when you do it."
-Robert Pirsig

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Controlling your anger . . . .

We've all been there, right? We've all felt anger either as an annoyance or a full-fledged rage. It's completely normal, and it can be a good thing! It can give you a way to express negative feelings, for example, or motivate you to find solutions to problems. However, the sad irony with anger is that it's always expressed in an attempt to correct or rectify a situation, yet it often ends up doing the exact opposite. Excessive anger can worsen the situation. It can get out of control and turn destructive! It's always a good idea to remember to direct your anger towards the problem, not the people, and to focus your energy on reaching an agreement. 

Remember, you can't eliminate anger - and it wouldn't be a good idea if you could. In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will cause you anger; and sometimes it will most certainly be justifiable. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can't change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even more unhappy in the long run. If you hold on to resentments, anger will never disappear. Learn to let go of resentment, and watch how you begin to ease into a more peaceful state. 

"Speak when you are angry,
and you'll make the best speech
you'll ever regret."
-Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Children want limits . . . .

"You don't have to be the world's strongest man 
to earn the respect of a child or a teenager, 
but you have to be strong enough 
to stand your ground against an onslaught of resistance."

-S. Truett Cathy

Children all around us are growing up without strong positive guidance from their parents, who are busy, distracted, absent, or choose to be buddies instead of parents to their children. You see them in your neighborhood, your classroom, your troop, your team, or your family.

These children cannot build themselves into responsible adults. They cannot teach themselves respect, trust, generosity, or common sense. They need for you to teach them. They need for you to reach out to them in love - to love them into a sense of belonging. They need for you to be available to talk - to be a friend. They need your firm instruction. They need honest encouragement and to be reminded of their strengths and opportunities. 

How many families have you seen that are ruled by the child? By age five, some children already dictate to their parents what they will do. They know their parents would rather give in to their demands than deal with a tantrum. I've seen dozens of children through the years who never understood respect for authority. Their parents rarely enforced discipline at home until the children were completely out of control. Their inconsistent message only amplified the problem. Be so consistent with your discipline that you're boring! 

"Children want limits,
and they want to be able
to respect the adults
who set those limits."

From the book
It's Better To Build Boys Than Mend Men
-by S. Truett Cathy

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sweeping issues under the rug . . . .

I don't know about you, but I am one who doesn't do well by avoiding issues, conflict and problems. I need to confront issues as soon as possible for my own well being. Are you perfectly happy sweeping them under the rug, pretending they don't exist? Honestly, I can't deal with the dust it leaves behind. The more you avoid problems, the more dust collects, and I don't like dust. That dust causes anxiety and tension, and it's unhealthy. Dealing with issues as soon as possible will allow you to move on. To me, it is SO worth the discomfort to be able to put them behind you. 

If you're having to confront an issue today, make a choice to deliberately start your sentence with "I" instead of "You". Keep the blame game and the aggression out of it. You'll only regret that later. State your case without attacking the other person, then be prepared to listen. It's only fair. This doesn't guarantee that you'll have a painless confrontation, because unfortunately, there will always be times when an issue can't be resolved. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. But more often than not, you'll find that it was a more positive experience than you may have expected. Chances are you may even enhance your relationship by developing a deeper connection. 

"You can sweep all your problems under the rug, 
but sooner or later
someone is gonna pick up the rug and shake it."

-Susan Gale

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh, the difference you can make . . . .

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.  I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.  When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town.  I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. 
-Author Unknown

Can you imagine the HUGE difference we could all make in the world by starting with the one thing that we have the most control over? Ourselves. It's true, we have the most control over ourselves and what we pass on to others. We have the ability to think differently. To pay closer attention. To act differently. To care. There are huge numbers of people saying "I wonder why somebody didn't do something?" Do they realize THEY are "somebody?" If you think you can't make a difference, think again. Something as simple as a friendly greeting and a kind word can make a world of difference. Think of it as today's gift that you can easily give. The gift of acknowledging another human being just because you can.  And if you think there has to be something in it for you, change that thought. You can make a difference in the smallest ways, by paying closer attention to the needs of the people around you. And that's when there will be something in it for you! You'll receive more than you could ever imagine. You are healing yourself when you give to others. 

Once people realize that they can make a difference in this world by starting with themselves, the world will indeed become a better place. 

"Go the extra mile.
It's never crowded."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pssssst . . . .

What do you want? Something for yourself? More happy, shiny friends? Better health? A new career? More money? More time? Or are your burning desires along the lines of helping others? Giving unceasingly? Lending a hand? Making a difference?

Think. Think. Think.

Ah-ha! I knew it. A true spiritual maestro, you want it all. Bravo! Now, please remember, if you really want to make a difference in the world, you will be most effective if first you are selfish.

Selfishness doesn't mean you don't love others; it simply means that you love yourself, that you honor your dreams and preferences, and that you finally understand you can make no one happy until you first get happy. And thus the pursuit of your happiness is the worthiest of all.

Besides, you're not here to save the world. You're here to save yourself from boredom and limitations. And as you soar, the world will become a better place.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others."

-William Phelps

Happy Friday!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Remember when . . . . was REALLY FUN to catch raindrops on your tongue, walk under archways because they were there, and roll around in the sand at the beach? To go all the way to the store for a tiny treat, lie in the grass looking for God in the clouds, and make scary monster faces in the mirror? To watch the stars because they are winking at you, count the flowers in the garden by the doorstep, and put Cocoa Puffs up your nose?
-The Universe

Monday, March 5, 2012

Put forth your best . . . .

Happy Monday! It's a new work week, and for the most part, you probably have somewhat of a clear idea as to what is expected of you this week. How are you approaching it? Are you dreading it already? Are you scheming about ways to skirt your duties, or are you heading into your work week with determination, challenging yourself to put forth your best? I can tell you this.....if you're sporting a negative attitude already, you can count on it being more difficult than it needs to be, and I guarantee you, you're only hurting yourself. When you give your best,  people notice. When you don't, people notice. If you're showing up early, staying late, and doing it with enthusiasm, you make yourself irreplaceable. Competition is tough! But when you put forth the best of yourself, show a willingness to do what it takes, and work one more hour, 90% of your competition will drop out. Roll up your sleeves, and show 'em what you've got! Do it for YOU!

"When we do more than we are paid to do, 
eventually we will be paid more for what we do."

-Zig Ziglar

Friday, March 2, 2012

Make time to make it happen . . . .

Does this sound familiar? You say to a friend......"Can we do lunch on Tuesday?"  Your friend responds, "Tuesday won't work for me, how about Wednesday?" You reply, "Nope, I'm booked." It doesn't work out, then we don't see our friend for months. We all know by now that if we're not making an effort to schedule time to catch up with our friends, it just doesn't happen. It worked in the past, but it doesn't anymore. Our schedules are crammed! So if we're not being persistent with scheduling time together, we might as well say...."How about never? Will never work for you?" 

If you don't make time to make it happen, 
it won't happen.

Today, the rush and the gush threaten to diminish or even destroy our most important connections. Unless you consciously and deliberately preserve time for, say family dinner, or lunch with a friend, or Sunday dinner at Grandma's, or a weekend away with your spouse, or physical exercise, or playing the instrument you love, or keeping up with the team you have always followed, or taking your dog for a walk, or going to your son's or daughter's play or game, or weeding the garden you so adore, or working on your boat, or reading that stack of books by your bed -- unless you consciously and deliberately preserve time to connect with what matters most to you, your connection with whatever it is will erode. The waters of the rush and the gush will rust it out and sweep it away. You will find yourself less energetic, less optimistic, less hopeful, less confident, and less enthusiastic than before, and you won't know why. You'll ascribe it to being too busy or to growing older, or depression, or being too disorganized, or just to "life." That fact is, it's none of those things! It is that you have neglected what matters most to you. In this era, you must deliberately preserve and cultivate your most valuable connections to people, activities, and whatever else is most important to you. Anyone can cultivate these connections, but only if you plan to do so and insist on adhering to your plan.

Select the connections you care most about and cultivate just those. Realize that being deeply connected to what matters most to  you is the enlightened way of life. 

"When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another, and ourselves."
-Jack Kornfield

Partial text from the book
Crazy Busy
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . .

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . .
Follow your heart