I’d laugh if I wasn’t too busy crying

June 5, 2019

From today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this quote – …“The world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel.”  (Horace Walpole)

The world has become much too scary a place recently to laugh at, especially right here in the United States. With the loss of civility in our country has come the return of the tragedy-and-comedyWild Wild West mentality that seeks to resolve issue with guns and mayhem. Unfortunately, as a nation we have a long history of bowing to corporate and other special interest groups until it is too late and people have died. We bought into the message through much of the 20th Century that Dupont and other chemical companies could bring us “Better living through chemistry”. We now know that they brought us almost indestructible cancer causing chemicals and pesticides.

Certainly the pharmaceutical industry, the automotive industry and many other industries have always put the interests of profit above our safety and have lobbied our politicians successfully to look the other way and ignore us, too. Perhaps no lobbying group has been more successful at preventing or delaying changes that would help make us safer that the gun lobby. Even in the face of multiple mass shootings year after year, the NRA has been successful in blocking any and almost all attempts to limit access to and ownership of weapons that have no purpose other than to wreak havoc. The thought of a hunter stalking a deer through the forest with his semi-automatic assault weapon, so that he can unload a full banana clip into the hapless animal is ridiculous; yet the NRA continues to defend the sporting nature of ownership of assault weapons.

I won’t even start on the circus that is going on in Washington. Both thinking and feeling people have to be crying at that mess. Fortunately, we have another opportunity in 2020 to correct some of that and perhaps return to at least a sane approach to the governing ofclown car our country. Until then, the nightly news will continue to be a litany of mass shootings and goofiness, prejudice and hatefulness from the clowns in Washington.

Until changes occur to return a semblance of sanity and civility to our country, there is a tendency to just hunker down and wait things out. That is not the right thing to do. There are many needs at local levels, from helping people recover from severe weather events to doing what you can to aid those in needs of food and shelter in your area. You may not be able to fix things at the national or world level, but you can reach out and touch those at your local level who need help. If enough people did that, things would start to change at the higher levels, too.

So, turn off the TV news. You know that it’s going to have stories about some mass shooting somewhere or some stupid thing that those in Washington just did. Instead, sewrving souppick up your local paper and see what groups are asking for volunteers to help distribute food or to provide shelter or perhaps to offer help and counseling to troubled youth. Find a role and a place to help someone else. You may still have a need to cry, when you see how big the need is; but, you’ll end up smiling at the end of the day that you helped fulfill that need.

Yes, the world is not a funny place; but it needn’t all be a tragedy either – you can make a difference in your little patch of the world. Just do it!



Let that child out to play again…

June 4, 2019

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this post –

“We speak of educating children.  Do we know that our children also educate us?”  (Lydia  Sigourney)  Jack went on to write – Yes, children can be teachers, too.  Sometimes we seem to forget what it’s like to be a child…how to be carefree, and not to worry so much about tomorrow…how to forgive and not hold grudges…how to be creative.

I’ve written here before about the inner child that is still there within us and the value of looking within and find that child again.

As we grow up our inner child is more and more confined and pushed down in our opinionatedminds by the rules that we are taught about how we are to act, if we want to be an adult; although I’m not sure why we ever thought that was such a great idea.

Slowly our carefree lifestyle is replaced by one of worries and responsibilities, many of bored2them imagined or self-imposed. The companionship and  camaraderie of play is replaced by the competition and stress of career advancement, making a living and getting ahead. Selfishness replaces sharing and anger and revenge displace forgiveness in our lives. Our imagination is replace by ambition and drive.

Yet, somewhere in the back of your mind, hiding perhaps in the little corners of your memory, that inner child still lurks, wishing that he/she could come out and play again.

Perhaps there is an apex in life where the drive to “act like an adult” peaks and we start back down the other side of the bell curve towards that innocence of childhood again. smell-the-rosesThe revelation that we don’t have to “act your age” can come at any time in life. It occurs when we stop taking everything so seriously and “stop to smell the roses” – to just enjoy being alive.

Faith can play a big role in getting back to an innocent, inner-child state of mind, because faith allows you to off-load those adult concerns and pressures to God by woman-prayingsaying “not my will, but thy will be done.” Once you have arrived at that point, the next step towards, “Let’s go play”, comes much easier, happiness comes much easier, listening toi music.pngcontentment comes much easier. God would much rather see us having fun and playing than being worried and serious all of the time.

So, get right with God and give him your worries and concerns; then, go find that inner child that is still within you and play again.  God will be smiling as He watches you play.

You must persist..

June 1, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog used this quote – “Press on.  Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”  (Ray Kroc)

I was recently asked, during the introduction to a talk that I was to give, what the secret to my success is. My answer was “patience and perseverance”. I suppose that this answer equates to persistence. It is all too easy in life just to give up on things; to get discouragednever give up and admit defeat. Having been in sales and marketing positions most of my adult life, I know a thing or two about rejection or someone saying “no”. There are tons of books on sales and how to deal with objections, and the one constant in all of them is the need to be persistent.

Those who let the first rejection or failure stop them will never be successful. It is important to stop and analyze what just happened to lead to that rejection and to learn from it and make changes for the next attempt. Nothing is more of a waste of time than doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. That is not persistence; that is the definition of insanity.

As a Realtor, I have had many opportunities to demonstrate persistence. I had one listing for three years before it sold. I had to be persistent in both my efforts to sell it and my efforts to get the owner to reduce the price to a reasonable level. I’ve also had buyer clients for multiple years. Often I would get buyers who had expectations about what they wanted that did not match their ability to pay. In those cases being persistent in both the search and in my efforts to educate them on what they could and should expect to buy eventually paid off in a sale. I’ve also had many cases where the clients were not as persistent or as patient as I and they usually ended up leaving and going with some other Realtor. Many of those impatient clients later told me that they ended up doing what I was advising them to do while they were with me.

We must all persist and press on in life. The alternative is a one-way trip down a dead-end street. Persistence is not about continuing to try to solve the unsolvable problem; it comfort-zoneis about rethinking the problem and moving around it or putting it behind you. Go under, over or around it; but, don’t let that seemingly unsolvable problem stop you. Most of the time the problem exists mainly in our heads, due to our inability to accept something that has happened (a failure , a death the end to a relationship) and move on. Dwelling on something is not persistence, it is resistance. That resistance results in stress; stress born out of anger and futility. Allowing that stress in your life results in many health issues, both physical and mental.

So, resolve today to persist in life without wasting your time resisting against that, which let-go-1has already happened. Learn from yesterday and then let it go. Press on! Take a goo look at the picture and that eh advice that is embedded therein.

Focus upon what you can control…

May 7, 2019

At my Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce referral network meeting this morning our norma-nickolosonspeaker was Norma Nicholson, author, motivational speaker and owner of Wise Owl Enterprises, a life coaching business. Norma helps people deal with what life throws at them and live a better life. If I boil down what Norma talked about in her advice it is this – “Focus upon what you can control.”

Norma uses several examples of things that have happened in her life and in the lives of others that she has helped, to set the stage for how she helped herself and now helps others. Her examples are all things that happen to many people – the loss of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job. These are things, most of which are totally out of our control, that just happen to us. What Norma focuses people to look at is how they react to those things and how to take control of those reactions.

I’ve posted here several times about letting go of things and realizing that we cannot control all of the events in life that happen, no matter how hard we try or would like toabusived wife believe that we are in control. What we can control is how we react to those events. Almost all of life’s big events cause an initial, sometimes overwhelming, emotional reaction. There is nothing that we can do to avoid the fear or sadness or sense of loss that washes over us at the moment of impact of such an event; however, we can, and should, try to recover and regain control of ourselves as soon as we can. Why? Because we are also often called upon to make quick decisions and to answer the immediate question – What now?

If we just surrendered to the grief, anger, or remorse that initially overtook us, we might slip into depression, lash out in response, or otherwise react foolishly. We would be letting the event control us, instead of controlling our response. The beginning of facing the wall 2regaining control of the situation is the admission to ourselves that we cannot or could not have controlled the event. For some that is difficult. They tend to spend time in self-recrimination, searching their minds for something that they could have done differently to prevent the event from occurring. What a waste that is. It did occur and there is no going back, no do-overs. There is only, “What now?”

So maybe you’d benefit from buying and reading one of Norma’s books. You might also benefit from going back to re-read some of what I’ve posted here about dealing with life’s challenges, such as this post on letting go.  Maybe reading about being in control of your life instead of life-s event would help. There are other posts about how to deal with life by dealing with the issue of control. The point of most of them is coming to grips with the fact that you are not in control of anything except how you choose to react to what is happening around you and to you. That is up to you.

Many people find that turning to prayer in difficult situations helps. Perhaps it is that momentary need to refocus upon God that gives them the peace that they needed to start woman-prayingto think clearly again. Whatever, the cause, the effect of turning to prayer can be immediate and dramatic. Most importantly, when you turn to God you have to let go of control of the situation and admit that there was nothing that you could do to change it, it happened. Then you can move on to the question of – now what? Your most effective prayer might be, “Lord, give me the strength and wisdom to get through this situation.”

Whether you turn to prayer or not, the advice that both Norma and I provide is to focus upon what you can control – your attitude and reaction to the situation. Don’t allow yourself to become self-defeating, but rather be self-empowering, through a positive attitude. A saying from a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words Blog comes to mind – “If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.  If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.”  (Unknown)

There will be a tomorrow. Focus upon what you can control.

Take the first step today

May 6, 2019

Let’s start the week with a quote from my favorite source for inspiration, the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.  The time will pass anyway.”  (Earl Nightingale)

Whether you call it a dream or a goal, sometimes when we think it up and then think about it, our dreams seem too big to get done or we think that it will take too long to bootsaccomplish. Sometimes we defeat ourselves before we even start with those kinds of thoughts. I’ve posted here many time about breaking seemingly impossibly large problems or tasks into smaller pieces and accomplishing them one at a time. Making steady progress, even in small steps is important, as is rewarding yourself along the way for having accomplished whatever small step you were focusing upon.

There was a story this weekend in the local paper about a man who walked out of the rehabilitation facility that he has been in for the last three years while he fought his way back from a horrific automobile accident. The accident initially left him paralyzed and there were probably those who thought that he might never walk again. Apparently, he was not one of the naysayers. It took him three years of hard work to learn how to walk again.

What dreams do you have that seem too daunting, too far out in the future? Have you thought about the steps, no matter how small, that you need to take to get to your dream? Which ones can you accomplish today, this week, this month? Remember the advice of Lau Tzo – “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”walking man

Take your first step today.

Look within first…

April 25, 2019

Do you know someone who is always seeking your approval or the approval of others? Maybe that describes you.

There are many things in life that require someone’s approval before we proceed; but just being yourself is not one of them. Yet, far too many people are so unsure of themselves that they constantly seek the input and approval of others. They need constant reassurance that they are OK; that they look OK (maybe beautiful); that what they are doing is OK (maybe trendy). This insecurity and constant need for approval is a sure sign of low self-esteem.

Perhaps parents or siblings who constantly tore them down as children – telling them that they were ugly or dumb or bad –  causing their low opinion of themselves. Maybe cruel people at school made fun or you or shunned you. Maybe you were bullied at bully.pngschool or at work. Maybe you have fallen into an abusive relationship where control is achieve by constantly tearing you down. Maybe some or all of that has happened to you.

No matter what the root cause, the path to a better, more productive and satisfying life starts by first looking within and becoming comfortable with what you see. You must accept yourself and love yourself, before you interact with others. A key to that self-acceptance is to understand that God accepts you and loves you as you are. God does not judge you. You are beautiful in God’s jesus-as-lighteyes. He forgives you whatever sins you may have committed and opens His arms to welcome you.

Once you accept God onto your life and understand that He accepts you just as you are, you will find that your need for acceptance and approval by others is gone. Once you realize that God loves you, you can love yourself and that is the bedrock of self-confidence. The approval of others is no longer required and the control of you by others is no longer possible, once you embrace God and learn to love yourself.

Some who lack self-esteem may fall into the pit of depression. It is important to realizedepression3 that no matter how dark it may seem or how deep the hole is that you find yourself in; you are not alone. God is there with you and He is always ready to help, if you will only let Him in. The way to do that is simple – surrender yourself to Him. I have written here many times about the simple, short prayer that I’ve used in times when I needed God’s help – “Not my will, but thy will be done.” The results can be immediate and dramatic.

You do not need the constant approval and reassurances of others. You only need the peace that comes with your acceptance by God. Who else really matters? What else really matters? Start by realizing that God loves you and then you will find that you can love this-is-meyourself and that is the ultimate in self-esteem.

Start your day by looking within and liking what you see. If you don’t see it, ask God to had you a new mirror. There’s a you in His mirror that you’re really going to love.

Have a great and confident day. You are OK.

Use your powers today…

April 24, 2019

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this quote – “Kindness is within our power even when fondness is not.”  (Henry James)

As I thought about that quote, and contemplated writing something about it; other, similar thoughts came to mind –

Compassion is within our power even when sharing is not

Forgiving is within our power even when forgetting is not

Believing is within our power even when understanding is not

The point of all of this is that we have it within our power to deal with the events and circumstances that life presents even if we cannot change them. The key is being able to accept that we cannot change them and moving on by dealing with life as it is and not as we would like it to be.

I’ve posted here in the past about the amazing stories that have come out of some of the most terrible hate crimes of recent times. I recall one in particular which involved a mass killing in a church. Sometime later, several survivors of that atrocity were interviewed and shared that they had forgiven the shooter and were now praying for his forgivesoul. They will never forget, but they had forgiven.

Perhaps the issue for most of us is focusing too much on the part that comes after the “even when” in those sentences. It takes a conscious effort to be kind to someone that we may not “like” or of whom we may not be fond. Having compassion for the plight of someone is possible, even if we cannot imagine or share their situation. It is especially hard to move on to forgiving someone who has wronged us in some way when we cannot get the act out of our minds and forget it.

For many, the final saying above is the hardest because they cannot let go of the need to understand everything and just believe. Yet, at the very core of faith is believing. It is the surrender of the need to understand that frees us to accept God and have faith. Thatwoman-praying need to understand is man’s ego coming out and the need to try to control things. Faith is admitting that we are not in control and putting our trust in the one who is – God. Faith starts with the little prayer “Not my will, but thy will be done.”

Start by believing even when you don’t understand. I think you’ll find that the rest of those things that are within your power – kindness, compassion, forgiveness and more – will come more naturally. Use your powers today.

believeIt’s going to be a great day.