Welcome to 2019

Welcome to 2019

I wish each of you the best of times and good friends to share them with.

I hope you and yours find happiness and satisfaction that will make this year one to remember and treasure.

May God Bless each and every one of you, and those you hold dear, as I am blessed by the presence of each of you in my life.

No New Year’s Resolutions, I will just continue working on being a better version of me and giving more to the people I encounter than I take.

Happy New Year

May we all continue to learn and grow.

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” ― Brad Paisley

The Most Import Questions We Ask And Don’t Ask

There are questions that are hard to ask.

There are questions that are even harder to answer.

Where are you?

Where do you want to be?

What is stopping you from getting there?

What are you willing to do to close the gap?

Some people never look inside themselves.

Some people look but can’t accept the reality of what they find.

Successful people ask the questions, answer honestly, and do what they need to do to close the gap.

Before we can make a difference in the lives of others, we must first make a difference in ourselves.

When we find our answers, we find inner peace, purpose, and gratitude.

“Your real self may be hiding somewhere, look for it within, when you find yourself, you can freely be what you want to be.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

What Is Your Attitude About Gratitude?

Somethings we do annually like get a physical or pay taxes.

Somethings we do daily like eat and sleep because they replenish us.

Every year we focus on Thanksgiving Day and all we have been blessed with.

One day a year where we take time to appreciate all we have been given.

Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving is a great holiday, to great to be confined to one day a year.

What if we took time to recognize our blessings of everyday?

An attitude of gratitude results from intentionally looking for and recognizing the gifts we have been blessed with.

There have even been scientific studies that have shown a wild range of benefits from practicing gratitude frequently.

From lowering blood pressure to strengthening relationships, the simple act of being grateful and recognizing the gifts we have been given has proven to improve the lives of those who practice it.

People with an attitude of gratitude were also found to be more helpful, have stronger connections with others, and to be more compassionate than those who didn’t.

An attitude of gratitude is the result of:

1. Taking time each day to reflect on the blessings we have received during the course of the day.

2. Intentionally seeking opportunities to be a blessing to others.

A gift we give ourselves and a gift we give to others that costs nothing more than a few minutes of our time.

Replenish yourself daily with the gifts of gratitude and giving.

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” – Germany Kent

Would You Buy A Ticket to The Movie Of Your LIfe?

Great movies tell the story of a single event or a lifetime.

They provide an opportunity to learn about the characters.

What they did?

How they did it?

Why they did it?

And sometimes, they leave us with more questions than answers.

Imagine your life as a movie.

You are the director, producer, and star.

A movie is a major investment of resources, time, and energy.

You have much to gain, or lose, depending on how well you develop the storyline.

Remember this is your movie and you have the final say on what stays in or what gets cut.

If you don’t like the storyline, change it.

If some of the actors aren’t working out, replace them.

If your choices aren’t developing that storyline in the way you want them to, make different choices.

The movie of your life is not a mystery, it is the culmination of what you believe, what you value and what you did.

“Your life is a movie. You are the main character. You say your scripts and act to your lines. Of course you do your lines in each scene. There is a hidden camera and a director who you can ask for help anytime up above.” ― Happy Positivity

We Communicate More Than We Realize

The most powerful message we communicate is found in the way we live our lives.
It is delivered without technology.
There is no recall or redo button.
Anyone can receive it just by observing.
There is nothing new here.
The words from a children’s song warned us to be careful as we sang it in our youth.
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little mouth what you say
A simple lesson from childhood that is still relevant today.
Be Intentional about the messages you send.
“He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.” – Francis Bacon

What A Difference A Person Makes

We all need people to keep us grounded.

People to pray for us, love us, and forgive us.

These are the people who contribute much more to our lives than we may realize.

The relationships we develop, by choice or by chance, are among our most significant accomplishments.

People who are intentional in deciding how they will treat others enrich the lives of the people they meet as well as their own.

People come into our lives in many ways.

Some for a short time, some for a lifetime.

They each contribute to the “tapestry” of our lives and we contribute to theirs.

We don’t always realize the power of our words and choices.

Without a doubt, we have far more influence than we realize.

As for me, everyone I have known has contributed to the memories that I treasure and to the man I have become.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have met each and every one of you.

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence the Angel from It’s a Wonderful Life

Perspectives On A Life In Progress

Perspective determines reality.

Our reality determines what we believe and what we do.

It may or may not be correct but it does determine the choices we make.

My perspective is the result of everything and everyone I have interacted with.

I don’t put a value judgement on it but I do reflect on it daily.

Let me share my perspective on the value of each day with you.

Every day I wake up…
Every person I meet…
Every relationship I have the opportunity to build…
Every chance to serve beyond myself…
Every breath I take…
Are both a blessing and a gift that I am thankful for.
Each one another thread in the tapestry of my life.

It may sound like I am looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, trust me, I am not.

I see the negative aspects of our world but I don’t allow myself to be dominated by them.

I also see a world that needs people working to find solutions more than it needs people complaining.

We choose the filters that allow us to interpret and understand the world.

That choice determines the quality of our lives.

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense” – Tom Clancy

Fight Or Win

“Do you want to fight or do you want to win?”

A wise man asked me that long ago.

I have asked myself that many times since and it changed how I approached conflict.

I have learned to do neither until you separate the facts from the feelings.

We can’t get what we want unless we know what it that is.

When emotions take control, rational thinking is the first casualty.

The victims are relationships, sometimes damaged beyond repair.

There are words that once said, cannot be taken back and they are always said when emotions are in control of behavior.

Relationships are altered and distances to vast to cross are created.

If we:

Stop the action

Think about what we want to do or say before we do or say it.

Take action only when we have weighed the rewards and consequences of our choices.

Remember relationships and people are more valuable than determining who is right or wrong.

It all comes down to how we define winning and the value we place on our relationships.

There are a few things that I would fight for.

More often, I look for ways for everybody to win.

Might take a little more work but working for the win is also much more rewarding.

“One of the biggest things that I have learned is that I don’t always have to be right.” – Jeffrey Swartz

Accepting The Gift Of Forgiveness

The gift of forgiveness is one that many do not know how to accept.

We think being able to forgive is about someone else but it is actually about us.

Forgiveness frees us from the negative energy that destroys our ability to think, our relationships and our health.

I wasn’t always able to forgive.

I viewed that world far too often from my own perspective.

I failed to separate the person from the act or words that caused the problem.

When I learned the difference between forgiveness and forgetting, I learned how to forgive.

I also began to forgive myself.

Forgiving is not forgetting.

Forgiving is about releasing a burden you were never meant to carry.

Forgiving frees us to live in the present.

“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.” – Maya Angelou

How Do You Measure Success?

Have you every heard the “this Is what you have to do to be successful” lecture?

I have received advice or direct instruction on what I had to do if I wanted to be successful for as long as I can remember.

People shared the detailed plan I needed follow in great detail.

It was as if they were giving me a precise recipe to follow.

The best cooks do not follow the recipe exactly as it was given to them.

They use their own judgement and add a “pinch of this” or a “smidgen of that” to make it their own.

That was a lesson I learned from my grandmother, she was one great cook and one smart lady.

Over the years I have developed my own recipe for achieving and measuring success.

Success is not measured by what I have accomplished or what I own.

Success is being valued, respected and loved by people who know me.

How do you define success?

One thing is for sure, the best definitions are not in the dictionary, they are within us.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” ― Anne Sweeney