Seek wisdom within…

February 12, 2019

Today may end up being another of those days when one ends up with time for introspection. It’s either that or go shovel the snow and ice; and I’m not ready to shovel, yet.

Perusing through some quotes about wisdom, I happened upon these two –

 “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”  ― Aristotle

There were also a number of quotes on wisdom that pointed to the same conclusion – namely, that realizing that you know nothing is the start of wisdom.

protestersI suspect that many of us when through a “change the world phase” in our lives, maybe more than one. It is only later in life that we realize that we were trying to make the world over into something of our own desires and not necessarily for the betterment of humankind. Of course, at the time we firmly believed that what we wanted was for the good of humankind. Hubris always seems to precede humility in life.

As one ages, there is more time spent on the topic of knowing yourself and hopefully on becoming comfortable with that self-knowledge. I’ve posted here a few times on the topic of knowing, accepting and loving yourself before you can love others – see I Like Me and Just be Yourself, both of which I wrote back in 2014.

Maybe you can turn this snow day into a know day. Spend some time just with yourself,bored with your thoughts and dreams and with your fears and fantasies. Get to know yourself and try to better understand how those inner feelings influence how you react to the people and things going on around you.

The more honest insight into yourself that you can achieve, the better equipped you will be to deal with the things that happen in life; and, the more that you selfie stickan come to love yourself, the more able you will be to love others. I posted “Take a Life Selfie” here back in 2017 and maybe it’s worth a re-read today, too. It’s certainly a day when you may have time for taking that life selfie and reflecting upon it.

Have a reflective day.

I hope you end up happy with what you see in your life selfie.

 


Have great day…it’s your choice

February 11, 2019

We tend to toss off the little phrase, “Have a great day”, without giving it much thought. When you stop and think about it; no matter what happens, it is up to each of us to make it a good day. That has as much to do with our initial attitude and our reaction to events, as it does with the things that might occur during the day. It’s your choice.

There is an old saying, “he/she must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning”. That saying is use to describe someone who starts their day is a bad or down mood. When you wake up in the morning, do you have some immediate reaction to the bored2day? Are you happy? Are you apprehensive? Are you still mad about something that happened yesterday? Are you sad about some loss? IF any of these or other negative moods describe how you woke up, it’s time to do an attitude reset before you face the day. Maybe you should take a moment to thank God that you woke up to another day. Whatever it was that put you in this mood, didn’t kill you; and that’s a good thing. So, thank God for being alive. It’s your choice.

The next step may be to stop and recognize that you are feeling sad/depressed/hurt/anxious – whatever, and ask yourself why. What is it that happened yesterday (before) that put you in this mood? Whatever it was, it is now behind you and continuing to dwell upon it is not doing you any good; so try to put it in perspective and move on. Yes, that loss was painful but you still have your happy memories of that crying-4person and they will live on forever. Sure that comment that someone made was hurtful, but it didn’t reflect the real you and how you feel about yourself, so let it go. They just need to get to know you better. Yes, that big presentation that you have to do today is important and your performance will be evaluated; but, you are ready and confident in yourself and you will get through it just fine. Maybe you did let yourself slip into the dungeon of depression for a while, but you are not trapped there, the door is open and the way out is right in front of you…it’s your choice.

So, take some time this morning and every morning to stop and consider that how the day turns out will be based upon your attitude when you start and your reaction to the man prayingevents of the day. You do not have to face the day with a victim’s mentality. Face it instead with the positive attitude of someone who is ready and able to make of the day what you want it to be. Perhaps you can begin with a little prayer – “Thank you God for letting me have another day. Let’s go out together and make this a great day.” With God at your side, I don’t think you can have a bad day…it’s your choice.

Have a great week ahead…it’s your choice!attitude-2


Try one more time…

February 8, 2019

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “When the world says, ‘Give up,’ hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’”   (Unknown)

One can draw inspiration to overcome adversity or chase away the blues from many different sources, but they all boil down to the same thing – to try one more time.

Perhaps you have exhausted yourself trying to accomplish a seemingly impossible task woman-prayingat home or at work. Maybe it looks like failure is the only path ahead. Perhaps you are ready to give up. If you take the time to pause and seek the help of God, that small whisper that you hear may be Him telling you that you are not alone and that you should try one more time.

Sometimes in that pause to seek help, you also conclude that you should try something different this time. That is the voice of wisdom breaking through. There is a definition of insanity that talks about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Great athletes who perfect a skill through repetitive practice will always be trying something different as they practice, because they are always trying to get a better result, not the same result. When they fail, they always try one more time.

Sometimes depression can creep into the lives of people with seemingly sunny dispositions. It may sneak in through the door of self-doubt or perhaps be thrust upon depression4you by an insensitive or hurtful comment from someone. Perhaps some physical event in your life has left you feeling different, maybe with less energy or even in constant pain. You might begin to think that you should just give up or give in to the feeling or the pain; but then something happens – perhaps a kind word or deed from a stranger or some small sign, like a rainbow after a storm appears– and you know at that moment that you’ve got to try one more time.

I recalled, while writing this, that post that I wrote back in  January of 2014 about the single candlestory of the four candles. In that story the candles represented peace, faith, love and hope and the story told how the first three may have been extinguished by circumstances in our lives; however, if hope was kept alive,  the others could once again burn in our lives – https://normsmilfordblog.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-hope-there-can-never-be-complete-darkness-2/ 

If you visit my blog do a search using the word “hope” as the key word and you will find that I have written many times about it, usually also linked to faith.  Try one more time.

So, don’t give up, don’t give in and don’t quit. Listen instead for that whisper from God, hold tight onto your hope, and try one more time.

 


Give the most precious gift of all – your time…

February 4, 2019

This little bit of wisdom comes from a recent post to the blog Jack’s Winning Words – “Waste of time is the most extravagant of all expenses.”  (Theophrastus)

It would follow then that the gift of your time to someone else would be the most extravagant gift that one could give.

It is not unusual for older people (especially dads) to look back over their lives and regretworking against time not having spent more time with their children when they were young and at home. Too many dads see in hindsight that the long hours at work that they put in, trying to earn more for their family, were also missed opportunities to spend time with the children when they were growing up.

Missed ball games, or dance recitals, or school plays were precious moments that cannot be made up later. Whatever the extra money bought is long gone, along with those opportunities to be there as they grew. It gets worse for two-earner families where both parents miss all of the events of childhood.

grandparentsMany adult children also have regrets about not visiting more often with parents, or other family members, before they were gone. You hear it all the time, “I wish I had the opportunity to tell him/her that I loved them before they passed.”  You did have that time, but you chose to spend it elsewhere.

So, consider those things before you waste that most precious of all commodities in your life – your time. Is there someone that you can give that time to by spending it with them? Is putting in that extra time at work really more important than seeing that ball game or attending that recital? Is working on your home projects to-do list more father-daughter danceimportant than stopping by to see how mom and dad are doing, or maybe just giving them a call to chat. And, is collapsing in your chair with that after work beer really as important as taking time to talk with your spouse about how their day was?

Memories in life are not filled with the recollections of possessions that you managed to accumulate; memories are made up of snippets of time, some happy, some sad; but all well spent and mostly spent on and with others.

family grroupThe bottom line is that all you really have is your time. Don’t waste it; but, rather, spend it wisely on and with those that you love. Be there for the game. Be there for the dance recital. Be there at the end of the day to talk with your spouse. Don’t just do it – just be there – give the gift of your time.

In his post, Jack referenced the famous Jim Croce song “Time in a Bottle”. Listen to it and consider this –

How will you spend your time today?

Really?


Get your reward…give joy to others

February 2, 2019

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”  (Gibran)

The newspapers and TV news organizations often cover stories about people volunteering to help others, whether it is at a homeless shelter , a soup kitchen or maybe just a phone bank where volunteers are answering calls about things like drug addiction. Whatever the story, there are always a few who show up on camera, sometimes they aresewrving soup interviewed and sometimes the camera just pans around and you see them. For some of those people, that is their joy. In fact, for some, that is their reason for being there – to be recognized and acknowledged for their work.

But, in most cases, there are many more people involved who do not make it into the picture or on the screen. They are busy working away in the background, doing the tasks that must be done in order to allow those on camera to do their part – cooking food, packing food, delivering food or other tasks that don’t make it on camera. . For them the joy is found in just doing for others, and it can be a much more profound joy, because it comes from within.

I’ve written here before about serving at our church’s annual Lenten Soup Supper. I bowl of soupalways try to volunteer to do the job that no one else seems to want, busing tables, washing dishes, collecting the trash, whatever. There are other jobs that seem to get more attention and praise, but none that gives the satisfying sense of joy that doing those unglamorous jobs that need to be done provides. Sure, a few people at the tables may say “Thank you” when I bus the table, but most of the joy for me comes from within – from doing a job that needed to be done and which added in some small way to their joy in the event.

There is an old saying that “It’s better to give than to receive”. It turns out that, by giving joy to others, you will also receive joy in return – from within. Therefore, the next time that you ask yourself how you could be happier in life; answer by deciding to give joycaring and happiness to others and your life will take care of itself. There are ton’s of opportunities in every community to volunteer to serve worthy causes and to help others – to bring joy into their lives. Guess what will also come into your life? Find your joy in service to others.

Have a joyful weekend – find a way to serve others.