Archive | October, 2015

Fingerprints

31 Oct

Most of us have watched some sort of crime movie and seen investigators look at the evidence available at a crime scene and brush for fingerprints. Because we all have unique prints, if we’ve been somewhere and touched anything, we leave behind proof we were there. Every whirl and curve on our fingertips is ours alone, just like every thought, every action, and every expression we share. When we think of the billions of people on the planet and understand that we are the only ones exactly like us, it’s astounding. Even if someone looks like us, they can never be our exact replica. While we may share similarities, there is nobody anywhere identical to us. Even identical twins aren’t completely identical. We are it – the one and only.

Because we are unique, our life experiences are unique as well. We have the power to impact others in ways only we can. The impact we make can’t be made by anyone else. There is something divine about that. Wherever we step, whatever we say, and whatever we do can never be duplicated exactly by anyone else. As we navigate our lives, we will touch many others and if that contact is positive our impact will be beneficial. However, if we are negative, if we are rude and unkind, if we are uncaring and mean, that impact will be felt as well. This is our time to make a mark. The type of mark we leave is up to us. Nobody can live our lives for us. We are the ones who will decide.

We all make mistakes, and sometimes we have regrets about something we’ve done. There is no blueprint for our lives or instruction manual that tells us to watch out for certain events or warn us about certain people. We learn as we go. Each day we get more information. What we do with that is up to us. Sometimes we choose well, and sometimes we falter. But over the course of time we learn what works and what doesn’t, and if we’re wise we concentrate on the things that bring hope and happiness to us and those around us. This life is a one-time shot. We get the chance every day to make a difference. If we make those differences positive, our mark will be impressive. We have the power to be an influence for good. We can change the world one action at a time. Remembering that power is important, but whether we remember it or not, it’s always there. We can choose the higher way, we can choose to be noble, and we will find peace and happiness if we do.

Today, choose to make the best mark you can. Be kind, be caring, and be thoughtful. Your gift to the world is yours alone. Make it count. You have the power to change the world one day at a time. Make decisions that bring happiness to you and those around you. Be wise and you’ll never regret your choices.

In a Panic

30 Oct

Most of us have fears of some sort.  Some are tangible – maybe we’re afraid of spiders, elevators, heights or other things.  And some are unseen such as the fear of speaking up or being the center of attention.  Whatever are fears are, they are very real to us even if they are irrational.  For instance, everyone knows they are far larger than any bug on the earth, and they are easily destroyed, but there are some who are terrified of them.  Although our fears may be illogical, they can still be crippling and difficult to manage.  If they are holding us back and preventing us from moving forward in a way that’s important to us, we need to look at them and take action to overcome them.  If they keep us from advancing in our careers, or building healthy relationships that bring us happiness, we need to find a way around them so we can be happy, successful and confident.

Sometimes in our jobs, we are asked to do things that are uncomfortable for us.  If we have a fear of speaking in front of others, being assigned that task may be almost crippling.  We may try to find someone else to do it for us, or plead with our superiors to be excused from the assignment.  However, when we’re asked to do something that frightens us, the best thing to do is face it.  We will never break through our fears unless we confront them head on.  It isn’t easy to do things that terrify us, but oftentimes when we do, we discover they aren’t as difficult or scary as we thought they would be.  The first time is hard, and we may stumble, but we don’t have to stop.  If we push through the experience once, we can push through it again.  After we’ve faced the issue a few times the fear will lesson, and if we keep at it, disappear altogether.

If we are afraid of commitment but really want a permanent relationship, we can make the changes needed to move forward.  If we need professional counseling we can get it.  If we’re unsure and worried about rejection, we can begin by facing that.  No matter what issue is keeping us from going forward, or whatever worries us, we can face them one at a time.  We can begin to extend ourselves a little at first until things become comfortable, and then we can extend ourselves a little further.  In time, we’ll be successful in breaking through the fear and leaving it behind.  Our lives are valuable and each day we have the opportunity to change anything that is holding us in place.  We can move closer to where we want to be, and if we do, nothing will stop us from getting to our goal.  We deserve to be happy, and have everything we dream of.  There isn’t anything that will stop us if we are determined.

Today if you’ve been afraid of going forward in some area of your life, you can start by making one small change.  Do one thing that will move you closer to where you want to be.  Tomorrow, take one more step and continue each day until you get to your goal.  You are far braver than you think you are, and you can do anything.  Start today and before you know it, you’ll be where you want to be and happiness will be your companion.

Speak Up

29 Oct

There are people in our lives that we hold dear and love very much. They may be family members, friends or intimate relationships. We value them and want to support them and care for them, and sometimes because of our intense feelings for them, we may go along with their choices even when we know they aren’t wise. Maybe they are dishonest in their dealings with others but we don’t want to upset them so we say nothing. Maybe they lie about situations or intentions, and we know they aren’t going to follow through but we look the other way. And maybe they pretend to care about something or someone in order to move forward to a goal they are seeking, when in fact they only want the goal and don’t care what they have to say or do to get it. If we love them intensely, and are afraid of their response to criticism, we may remain silent and blindly go along with them. When we don’t speak up and tell the truth, if the situation is inappropriate or dishonest and we say nothing, we enable them to continue. And if we enable a situation that is dishonest or inappropriate to continue, and we say nothing, we own part of the pain or disharmony that results.

It’s very difficult to point out possible errors in behavior to those we love. It can be very hard if it’s our spouse, our lover, or our parent. It’s hard to tell them we can’t go along with them if they are dishonest or hurtful. We love them and don’t want to hurt them, and we don’t want to damage our relationship with them. But if we say nothing, and simply let them continue doing things that are wrong or destructive, if we let them hurt others and say nothing, we become part of the problem. Most of us know when we’re hurting those around us. We know when we’re being dishonest, and we generally know who near us is aware of what we’re doing. If we watch someone we love do these things and say nothing, it gives power to the behavior to continue. We can tell ourselves it’s not our problem, and we can pretend we aren’t involved. But the fact is, if we know it’s happening, and we want what’s best for those we love, we need to address it.

We own our decisions and everything we do. We get to choose what kind of people we are and what we want in our lives. We can be dishonest, we can cheat, we can be hurtful, and unkind, and we can play along when others act out. We can keep quiet, and watch from the sidelines and not get involved. Or we can step up and choose the nobler path. We can stand up for what’s right no matter who is involved. We can defend truth, and with love, express concern over situations that are inappropriate or incorrect. Whatever we choose to do makes us who we are. If we speak up and nothing changes, we did the best we could. But if things do change, and situations improve, we may do much to prevent the pain and suffering of others. It is noble and wise to set a good example. It is worthwhile to stand up and speak when things aren’t right. We know what to do and it’s important that we are strong, and brave enough to do what’s right, even with those we love.

Today if you’ve been watching someone close to you hurt others or make decisions that are detrimental or destructive, you can say something. You can show you love them by telling them what you see. They may take your words to heart or they may ignore you. But if you speak up, you will know you did your best. Doing our best is imperative in this life. It makes us who we are, and defines our priorities. Today, show you care by speaking up and helping those you love be their best as well.

Magic Words

28 Oct

As times change, societies evolve in different ways and people change the way they receive information and react to others.  Throughout the course of history different accepted models for behavior have changed as well, and our ideas about manners and the rules of engagement have shifted along with them.  During the Victorian Era, the rules for behavior were very formal and the level of etiquette for everyone was quite high.  Our society has changed dramatically since those times, but manners are still important and there is nothing more impressive than appropriate, polite interaction.  Just remembering to say “thank you” when someone does something for us is a way to show our appreciation and acceptance.  But sometimes in the busy lives we lead, and all the distractions we face, we may neglect to speak up and instead just push forward.  There really is no substitute for showing our appreciation and taking time to be polite and considerate in our dealings.  It generally makes our interactions more positive and can smooth over any rough edges.

Many people don’t seem to value politeness in this day and age.  There is a great focus on getting things done, moving fast, and doing what is important to us.  Sadly, there is no shortage of selfishness or callousness.  But a competitive spirit and the desire to accomplish much should never keep us from being kind and considerate to those around us.  Just saying “thank you” when someone hands us something and “you’re welcome” when we are thanked goes a long way in showing people we care.  Caring for one another let’s others know we are aware of them.  If we extend ourselves just a little by being polite and sharing ourselves as we go through our days, we can be a positive influence, and the world always needs more of that.

If we choose to, we can get what we want, and do everything we need to without considering anyone else but ourselves.  We can make our plans alone, and keep our eyes down as we walk along.  We don’t have to engage others if we don’t want to, and may remain silent when someone opens a door for us, or look the other way when someone says hello. We can keep to ourselves and be as isolated as we like.  But that will never bring us the joy and growth that being open to those around us can bring.  If we take a moment to say “thank you” when someone does something small for us, it opens a door, and we’ll feel more connected and closer to them as we pass.  Being polite and gracious means being there, in the moment, and acknowledging others.  It’s said that “please” and “thank you” are magic words, and they are.  When we say them, they open doors every time.

Today if you’ve been keeping a low profile, preferring to remain silent and isolated, think about looking up and engaging those around you.  Say “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome”.  You are a great influence and everyone wants to know you.  Be gracious, be polite, and let your actions welcome them in.

Spinning

27 Oct

There is a game children play that’s like baseball but before the “batter” can run, they must stand the bat on the ground, place their head on top of it and spin around it several times.  Then they stand up – as best they can – and try to run to the bases.  It’s very funny to watch the players try to proceed in a straight line when they’re dizzy from spinning.  If you’ve ever played this game, you know how difficult it is to find direction when you’re completely disoriented.  Sometimes it can feel like our lives are like that.  We know where we want to go, but somehow no matter how hard we try to advance in a straight line, we end up going in lots of different directions.  There are complications, misdirection, distractions, and endless influences that pull us off our course.

Getting from point “A” to point “B” seems like a simple idea.  We just need to look at them objectively, and plot a course from one to the other.  It sounds easy but when we’re dealing with other people whose decisions also come into play, it can get confusing.  Most of the things we do in this life involve others.  We have to find a way to cooperate and work with their ideas and visions, as well as our own.  Although we may be sure which way we need to go, and we have the plan already formulated in our minds, their ideas of how proceed may be quite different.  When we try to put them together and come up with a workable plan going forward, the path may get fuzzy, and if we aren’t careful we can lose our way.  It’s like spinning before we walk forward.  We know where we need to end up but trying to walk a straight line to get there eludes us.

Before we start any journey, we need to be clear in our objective and understand the mission we’re trying to accomplish.  It’s important to know exactly what we’re trying to do before we start out.  Sometimes that’s easy to discern, but other times it can be obscure.  We have an idea of what needs to be done, but really aren’t sure about the desired destination.  Before we even begin to formulate a plan, we need to clarify exactly where it is we want to end up.  Otherwise we may find that although we eventually get to a destination, and achieve something, it isn’t what we needed to accomplish.  Sometimes that happens because there is too much input, and sometimes it’s because there isn’t enough.  Either way, if we aren’t sure where we’re headed, when we start the journey it’s difficult to get our feet pointed in the right direction and in the end may end up far from where we want to be.

Today if you’re confused about which way you’re going, if you aren’t sure what the objective is, stop and determine exactly what you need to do.  Don’t waste time spinning.  Get clarification before you proceed.  Once you’re clear on where you’re headed, you can plot your course, and despite what stands in the way, will be able to get there successfully.  You have all the tools you need to get wherever you want to go.  Clear your head and make your plan.  You’re just steps away from arriving exactly at the right spot.