Living in the Discovery Channel…

April 17, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog had this quote – “Life is based on growth and finding new challenges to face and overcome, new contributions to make to society, and constantly coming to a better understanding of yourself and the universe in which you live.” –  Denis Waitley

Life is like binge watching the Discovery Channel, only better, because you get to be in the show. Life is the ultimate reality show. Waitley sums up a lot of things in that quote, most of which boil down to the constant discovery and learning that living a full life entails.

It is probable that none of us ends each day by reflecting on the challenges that we facedinsight and overcame or the things that we discovered about ourselves or about life in general. Yet it is that collection of insights that comprises what wisdom that we have accumulated in our lives. It is our ability to tap into that pool of wisdom that helps us get through life and face new challenges.

One way to turn life’s events into wisdom is to pause at the end of each day to reflect in prayer on how things turned out. Events may still be unfolding or perhaps you just didn’t have time to internalize what occurred during the day. We use phrases like “it didn’t hit me until later” or “I didn’t have time to think.” Pausing to pray can give you that time, as well as time to either thank God for helping you get through woman-prayingthe events or asking His help tomorrow when you must face them again. That pause also allows you evaluate how you are spending your life and may force you to re-evaluate your priorities in life.

I have posted here in the past about saying a little prayer in the morning to ask God for His help in making the right decisions during the day by praying, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Perhaps the little prayer at the end of the day is a check of how well you were able to implement that morning prayer during the day. If nothing else, maybe it will allow you to accept what happened during the day as God’s will and let go and move on with life.

So, as Waitley might have put it, tune in and turn on to life; experience it and learn from it; seek out new challenges and opportunities to learn; become more aware of yourself man prayingand those around you; be conscious of how you can contribute to society. However, in all of these things, be aware of your relationship to God and His role in our lives. God watches us all…we are His reality play. Don’t write yourself out of the play by forgetting to pray.

Advertisements

Are you happy with what you get?

April 15, 2019

“Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.”  (Dale Carnegie) – as seen in today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Sometimes I think back to the simpler times of my childhood – ancient times, before smartphones or the Internet or even television. Wow. That is ancient. Yet, we were happy female soccer playeras children running around the neighborhood playing cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers or just hide and go seek. We were happy with what we got and did not spend our time wanting things that we didn’t have. Perhaps ignorance was bliss, since we didn’t have the ubiquitous Internet and Google to show us all of the things that we didn’t have. We just had fun and that was enough for us. We couldn’t wait for the next day, so be able to get out and play again. Nobody sat around with their head down, staring at a tiny screen.

It is harder these days for kids to just be kids and have fun. Even babies are often parked in their Bubble seats in front of TV screens, which serve as electronic babysitters and provide visual distraction. Young children, sometimes not even old enough for pre-school, are handed electronic tablets with simple, cute games on them to occupy their selfie 2time and keep them quiet. It’s no wonder that by the time they are old enough to go to school they have become completely hooked on electronics for their entertainment and as their source of information. It’s somewhat sad to think that there are only 1-2 generations alive today that did not grow up in the electronic age and who remember what we did to entertain ourselves before all of the electronics came along.

Getting back to the quote of the day, are you constantly chasing the things that you think you want; or, are you happy with the things that you have? In his post today, Jack went on to write about Loretta Lynn’s title song in the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter, in which she sings “We were poor but we had love  That’s the one thing that daddy made sure of.” That song makes the point that it is in our relationships with others that we find true mother with childhappiness. After all, you can’t have a relationship with a thing that you might want. Hugging your new car will never satisfy like hugging your wife and kids – they hug back.

Perhaps, it is that insight into what is important in life that allows some to be happy with what they get. They focus upon the relationships in their life – the love that they receive from and give to others –rather than upon material things. The happiness that they can recall is usually centered around events and activities with others and not about the car that they were in or the house that they happened to own at the time. Good times are almost always about sharing things with others – activities, events, milestones or whatever.

So, one can be successful and attain lots of material things that they may have wanted; but to be happy usually has less to do with those things than with the people around us with whom we share life’s events. If you focus upon those people, instead of things; you will find that you are happy with what you get, because you had them there to share it with you.

Start by putting down that phone and looking to see who is around you. Instead of couple-looking-at-phonestexting “WYD?” to someone that you can’t see; start a conversation with someone that you can see. It may be hard at first, actually talking to someone; but you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll probably find it to be a lot more rewarding than staring at a screen and waiting for a reply to your text.  Who knows, maybe that person that you are talking to may become your new BFF.

You can be happy with what you get in life, if you are first happy with those around you when you get it.

Hello. How are you today? Did you have a good weekend? OMG, we’re talking!

 


Make things better…start with you

April 11, 2019

Today’s post t the Jack’s Winning Words blog uses this quote – “Improvement begins with I.”  (Arnold Glasow)

How often do you find yourself thinking or saying something about how someone elsebored could improve or maybe how something could be improved? Do you stop to think in those moments how you might improve? For some, it is never about them and always about others. Maybe they (you) could benefit from heeding Glasow’s advice.

Many things in life that may bother you, or which you may feel could use improvement, are things that aren’t really bad or broken; but, rather, just things that you are reacting to in a negative way. Maybe it is someone you’ve met who is dressed differently or who talks differently; maybe it is a situation at work that is not going as you had hoped it Perfectionwould; maybe it’s a relationship that has not progressed as you had imagined it. Any and all of those scenarios represent things/situations that you may feel could be improved; however, all of them also represent instances where your reaction may be the real problem.

If you start each day as Glasow’s quote suggests, with an attitude check and a quick reset to “positive”; you may find that there are fewer things that you feel need to be improved.  With the right frame of mind, you may become more accepting of differences in people and more flexible in situations at work. Starting with a good feeling about yourself will also help with relationships by removing the need for constant assurances and reinforcement of your position in the relationship – it helps you stop smothering the other person out of your own insecurity.

Perhaps you can really take the quote to heart by starting each day with a quick prayer, “Lord, help me make good decisions today and be a better person.” That might get youwoman-praying thinking about how to be a better person or about what improvements you can make to yourself today. Just becoming more self-aware will help. Maybe that will prevent you from blurting out some insensitive remark about someone else or maybe cause you to pause before you jump to some judgement about someone else, based solely on their appearance.

An interesting by-product of making yourself a better person is to be found in the reactions of others to the “new” you. As you become more pleasant to be around, you may find that more people gravitate to you and you become more popular. In general,this-is-me people prefer to be with other people who are upbeat and positive, rather than with a “negative Nellie”. That acceptance by others feeds upon itself to build your self-confidence and things just continue to get better.

So, the message is to focus on the “I” in the word Improvement and let the rest take care of itself. Make the conscious effort each day to be a better, more accepting and less judgmental person and see if things don’t improve in your life. Improve your life by starting with the “I” in it.


Stop faking it…get real

April 8, 2019

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog cones this bit of advice from Ice Cube – “I think, to me, reality is better than being fake.” 

At first I thought that the word “fake” might be a little too harsh when talking about people; but, then I considered that it really just means trying to be something that you aren’t. Who hasn’t tried that at some point on our lives? In my youth, we all tried to beJames Dean “cool”. In those ancient times, being cool was associated with the “beat generation” and role models in Hollywood included James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Being cool meant combing a duck-tail into your hair and wearing jeans and black leather. It was all just fake and we weren’t really cool; but, most of us tried anyway.

Today’s society in America is much less homogeneous than it was back then (and that’s a good thing), so the roles models that today’s kids are faking it to try to emulate are all over the place. Each generation adopts its own set of role models and goes through its own phase of faking it. It’s part of the journey through childhood. Eventually, almost everyone accepts the reality of who they are and makes the best of it.

It is a key to happiness in life that you stop faking it and accept and get comfortable with who you are – that you “get real” as Dr. Phil would say. I’ve posted here a few times about loving yourself before you can love others – see this post on starting your day off right.  A part of getting right with yourself is getting right with God. You can’t really fake it when talking with God. You know that He knows. So, instead of asking God to “let me woman-prayingbe like him (or her), ask instead that God help you accept yourself as you are and for His help to make the best of that – “help me be the best me that I can be”. That is the premise of the self-help advice in the 1967 book, “I’m OK, You’re OK”, by Thomas Harris. The gist of that book and the training that was built upon it is understanding and accepting where you are coming from and being comfortable with that when you interact with others.

So, instead of being fake today; be yourself and be OK with that. Accept yourself first and you will find that others accept you, too. Rather than waste your time and energy on trying to be something or someone that you aren’t; put that energy into being the bestthis-is-me you that you can be. You will be pleasantly surprised how many other people like that you, too.

Have a great and real day and week ahead.


Maybe you weren’t listening in the right way

April 4, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog had this little quote“If only God would give me some sign, Boris says, If he would just speak to me once.  Anything.  One sentence.  Two words.  If he would just cough.”  (From the 1975 movie, Love and Death)

I suspect that another quote that’s I’ve used here from Pinterest applies in this case –“ Make time for the quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud.”

Many of us (maybe most of us) tend to call on God during loud times, times of trouble or desperate need, times when the world is especially loud. Maybe you weren’t listening in the right way.

It is especially true during those times that we need take the time to make a quiet woman-prayingmoment for God. Just having the self-discipline to quiet yourself in moments of crisis, while all of those around you panic, will allow you to think clearly and to listen for the whisper of the voice of God in your life. Some may attribute it to their “conscience” speaking to them. Others may describe a calming feeling that came over them. No matter how one “hears” God’s whisper when we stop and ask for His help, it is there. Maybe you weren’t listening in the right way.

Every now and then, we face situations in life where the choice between doing what it right or wrong is presented to us or forced upon us. It is in that instant, when you realizeright-and-wrong in the back of your mind that you have that choice to make,  that may be thought of as God coughing to remind us that He is still there and to help us make the right decision. Don’t hear it?  Maybe you weren’t listening in the right way.

man prayingSo, take the time in your life to make those quiet moments when you can speak to God and then listen for the whisper of His reply. Some find those moments in meditation, some take the time to quietly pray. Whatever you think will work for you, just do it. If you haven’t heard God’s whisper in your life until now, don’t give up…maybe you weren’t listening in the right way.


Be a breath of Spring to those around you…

April 1, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog used this quote – “An optimist is the personification of Spring.”  (Susan Bissonette)

Spring is the season most anticipated and waited for by most during the year (unless you are into winter sports), because it represents the reawakening of Nature’s beauty and is a harbinger of the warm days of summer.

flowers in the iceSpring is all about hope for the better days ahead. So it is with the optimist. Hope for, and anticipation of, better days to come are the central driving forces of optimism. Rather than linger in the darkness of winter or the depths of despair, the optimist is ever hopeful for the future and ever sure that it will bring relief from whatever is trying to drag you down.

There is no direct link ever mentioned between optimism and faith in God, but it is there nonetheless. How can one be optimistic about the future without having something in the back of their mind upon which to base those feelings? The optimist doesn’t usuallythis-is-me say, “I will make it a better day”; but rather expresses the belief that, “A better day is ahead.” That feeling, or belief, is based upon an unspoken faith that good will prevail (remove one “o” from that to see the root belief). In sharing that spirit of optimism they may actually make it a better day for others.

So, one may conclude from this that the person who is seen as an optimist personifies not only the spirit of Spring but the spirit of God in the world. God is not a pessimist. In the Bible, optimism is expressed most often as hope. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

People who are optimists are seldom shy about sharing their positive point of view. They animated-light-bulb-gif-22want people around them to join them in their happiness, so they share their optimism. There is a gospel song that expresses this need to share titled, “This little light of mine.” Needless to say, optimists let their little lights shine. Even the most hardened pessimist is in some small way influenced in a positive way upon encountering an optimist.

So, if you are optimistic about the future (even if you don’t call yourself an optimist), let your little light shine on others. Let the God who has given you the peace and happiness that fills your heart work through you to help others. Be the Spring in someone’s life today.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Change it, accept it or let it go and move on…

March 29, 2019

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this bit of advice – “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.”  (Denis Waitley)

Waitley is a famous and very successful motivational speaker and trainer. His advice echo’s the advice that I have posted here a few time; although I’m pretty sure that he didn’t get it from my posts. Actually his advice and my posts are really just about common sense applied to problems solving.

When life throws a challenge or setback your way, what else can you do? You try to quickly evaluate whether or not change is possible in the situation at hand. If it is, you formulate a plan to effect that change and set about working the plan. If change is not depression4possible, one can either accept things as they are, or rail against the unacceptable and beat your head against the wall.  All that accomplishes for most is that you give yourself a headache. For some the inability to accept the unchangeable results in anger and depression. They stay in place and wallow in self-pity or perhaps self-loathing. They can’t seem to get past whatever it is and move on.

That’s where people like Waitley provide help. There are tons of motivational web sites and people offering coaching and help to those who are stuck in some unchangeable Marlo Rutz head shotsituation that they can’t seem to move past. One such local site is the Laughter, Love and Light Facebook page hosted by Marlo Rutz. Marlo’s focus is upon empowering women and a big part of that empowerment is getting past the things that some women believe stops them. In most cases these are changeable things that they somehow have come to believe are unchangeable. For those that are truly unchangeable, she helps them move on in life by letting go or removing themselves from the unchangeable.

It is interesting that most of the people that I know who engage in various types of practices to help others deal with life have themselves gone through some type of cathartic event(s) in their lives.  Most have come to realize how they got through those times, either with help from someone or through self-examination and making a conscious decision to change direction. Whatever their own “A-HA” moment was, they now wish to share what they learned from that experience with others. They want to help. Each takes a different approach to sharing their experience. Some take a very personal, one-on-one approach like my friend and self-proclaimed “Happiness Coach”, John Hovich. Some. Like Marlo, reach out through social media to larger audiences. Marlo uses Facebook Live posts. Another person who does this type of norma-nickolosoncoaching/counseling whom I know, Norma Nickolson, has reached out by publishing 3 or 4 self-help books now; in addition to her one-on-one life-coaching practice.

I suspect that all of them would agree with the quote that I used today. They all focus on getting people unstuck from whatever bad places they may be in and helping them see how to get on with life and be happier doing it. I hope that in my own little way, with this blog, I do something similar. I’ve written often about problem solving and getting through things that come at you and getting on with life. I often turn to faith woman-prayingas a key to dealing with life’s challenges, perhaps because I found that to be what got me through the cathartic events  in my life. The power of faith and prayer to calm the situation and renew hope in the face of despair has been the most important thing in my life. It can be in your life, too; if you open yourself to God and let it happen.

The point that I and all of the people that I’ve talked about is well summed up in Waitley’s quote –  “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.” 

 Just get on with life. Move on.