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Living Well

30 Jul

We all live in ways that are unique to our personal desires and goals.  We make our own decisions and the lives we end up with are the lives we choose.  Some people are very successful and inventive, and do things that impact the world or change the way it works.  Some discover cures for diseases, or create things that alter the way we live, or serve in grand ways that embellish thousands and change the world for the better.  It’s amazing and wonderful to have such greatness among us, but we don’t have to do incredible or grandiose things to live well.  The world is blessed by things that amplify goodness and make it work more easily but we also bless it when we choose well in small ways.  By being kind, serving others, and showing charity to those around us, we change the world for the better and augment the environment around us.  We have far more influence over those we interact with than we may realize.  When we reach out to comfort sadness, or extend our hands to help lift a heavy burden, when we listen with compassion or offer a kind word when someone is down, we change the world for the better.  Like ripples in the water after a pebble is tossed in, our influence can move forward indefinitely.  When we choose well we bring glory to the world around us.  That glory brings light into darkness and joy where sorrow once prevailed.  We have the power to change the world.  By choosing well, and living in ways that serve not just ourselves but those around us we turn everything toward light and bring joy and comfort.  We are powerful and good, and our choices reflect who we most want to be.

No life is perfect and there will be days when clouds roll in and the skies of trouble darken.  We may face serious trials and difficult challenges as we push forward and there may be times when we feel doubt and fear over what will happen next.  Misery may overwhelm us and we may be uncertain about how to proceed.  When we’re struggling we can allow others to reach out to us and offer help and support.  We don’t have to do everything alone.  Allowing others to comfort us will bring light and lift us as we continue forward.  Letting others help us when we are overcome helps us live well.  When things settle again and we’re back on a more even keel we can reach out to others and share the gift we received.

The world is filled with billions of people but we are all important and valuable.  Reaching out in kindness, even in small ways, can change everything for someone who is struggling.  Cheering a crying child, helping lift a grocery sack, opening a door, or simply listening when others speak are simple and effective ways to serve.  We can turn sadness into peace, sorrow into comfort and grief into hope.  We are more powerful and influential than we realize.  The whole world is blessed because we are here and we can share that blessing every day.

Today if you feel like your life is small and inconsequential and don’t think you’re important, remember your influence is greater than you know.  You are amazing and powerful and we all want to share our lives with you.  The whole world is better because you are here.  Be joyful.  Your light brings happiness to us all.

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Adjusting the Compass

17 Jul

We share the world with billions of other people.  There are often people around us and their influence is continually present.  We hear what they say, we see what they do and each interaction, no matter how benign, will impact us in some way.  We all have ideas about what is right and wrong and how we want to live our lives.  If we are surrounded by others whose ideas are far different from ours, as we engage with them we may find we begin to adopt their behaviors and practices.  We are always changing and everything we see and do alters our patterns in some way.  Our personal compass points where we direct it.  We decide what kind of people we will be, where we’ll go, and what we’ll do.  If we keep our compass pointed in the direction we most want to proceed we will find satisfaction in reaching our goals.  However, the influence of others and things that happen around us may bump the needle toward something we didn’t plan on and if we simply follow along we may find we end up somewhere we never intended to go.  We are always in control of our lives and if we find we’re walking away from the road we desire most we can turn around and change direction.  There is a lot of noise in the world, but if we pay attention to what we’re doing and watch where we’re going we will stay true to the course we want to travel.  With diligence and preparation success is always possible.  We can accomplish anything we desire by adjusting our compass when needed and continuing forward with confidence.

Charismatic people are very influential.  It’s easy to get caught up and lose our direction when they want something from us.  They may try to persuade us to follow them and it may be hard to turn them down.  If we go forward with them we may be pulled away from the path that takes us to the personal goals we’ve set.  Our compass may be modified or stop working altogether.  Following someone else will take us places but they will always be places others have chosen.  If we want to achieve the things we want the most we must choose the road specific to our dreams.  We can do anything and by directing our lives we will reach every goal we desire.

When we’ve been pursuing a destination for a while and have had to overcome many obstacles to continue forward, it’s natural to get tired.  Sometimes the shine of the goal fades in the struggle to push forward.  There is no rush to reach our objectives.  We can rest and regroup at any time.  If we need refreshment we can take it.  Our dreams will always be there for us and when we’re ready to start again, the road will be waiting.  We can do anything we desire.  No achievement is too difficult or too far to reach.  By adjusting our compass and staying true to the way forward we can go anywhere.

Today if you’ve gotten caught up in something that’s taken you off course, step back and focus on what you want the most.  You know the way forward.  Turn your course toward the dreams you desire and start again.  Every goal is possible and you will prevail.  The road is waiting for you and you will succeed.

Covering

9 Jul

We are all responsible for our own lives and what we accomplish.  There may be times when we interact with someone who has a fluid idea of what their responsibility means.  They may let things slide they aren’t interested in or may manage their time in ways that prevent them from being as effective as they could be.  If we depend on them to complete something that impacts what we’re doing and they drop the ball it may stop our progress.  If the issue is important or time sensitive and hasn’t been done, we may jump in and do the job in an effort to keep things moving forward.  It’s good to be helpful but if we find we’re always covering for someone else and picking up the slack because they don’t follow through, we may create more problems for ourselves in the end.  If others begin to rely on us to cover for them there will be no reason to change their behavior.  Why should they do something they don’t want to do if we’ll come in and do it for them?  It can be hard to let something slide because someone didn’t do their part when the task is important to us, but letting others own their responsibilities and be accountable for them is appropriate.  If we stop cleaning up other people’s messes they will remain for them to address.  If something doesn’t get done we can always re-route our way forward.  There are plenty of alternatives for every situation.  We don’t have to wait indefinitely for anyone to do their part.  Instead, we can go right around them.  Our lives are ours and we can do anything we want to do.  It’s great to get cooperation from those around us, but if that’s not available, we can find the way on our own.

Helping others accomplish their tasks opens the door to learning new skills.  Each time we do something new we learn a skill to take forward with us.  It’s great to have a broad scope of understanding in the areas important to us or in arenas we enjoy.  We can offer to help when needed without taking on the full responsibility of the task.  Sharing the load can move things forward more quickly but sharing is only taking on part of the work.  We don’t have to take over the entire project simply because we want to help.  We can allow the others involved to do their part and work together to find success.

Some people don’t like to teach others about their responsibilities.  They may feel if they are the only one who knows how to do a task they will always have a place in the project.  There is security in being the only one who knows how to do something but being willing to show others how to accomplish the task will open new doors for us going forward.  We are all valuable and important and we can be open to working as a team to get things done.  All options are possible and working together will help us achieve every goal we desire.

Today if you’ve been covering for someone again and again, step back and look at your responsibilities clearly.  Do your part and let those around you do theirs.  If they don’t move forward, move around them.  You can do anything and nothing is strong enough to hold you in place.  Choose the best way forward and you will find success.

Pernicious Anger

25 Jun

Pernicious – Causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; or hurtful.

There are ups and downs in all our lives.  Things go right, they go wrong, disappointments happen, people let us down and there are endless other outcomes.  Anger is a normal part of life.  If someone does something that affects us negatively or our experience is far from what we want or expect we may get angry.  There is nothing wrong with feeling anger but how we express it can affect what happens next.  If we lash out at others and say or do things that are beyond what the relationship can bear, we may damage it beyond repair or lose it altogether.  Pernicious anger may ruin our connections going forward.  We are always in control of our lives and if we allow angry emotions to determine how we act we may end up somewhere we don’t want to be.  If we feel ourselves getting carried away in a wave of disappointment or anger, instead of acting out we can step back and allow ourselves to calm down before we react.  The fight or flight reflex is very strong and powerful but generally we neither need to fight nor run away to find resolution.  We can take a breath, stop and think and give ourselves a moment to see everything before we respond.  Learning to act on disappointment instead of react to it will help us find a positive outcome.  No problem is improved by adding intensity and anger to it.  We can control our actions and responses even in times of duress and navigate anger effectively.  There is always a possible positive outcome and if we take our time we’ll find it.

Self-control is a learned response.  Children express anger by crying, screaming or pouting but as we grow and mature if we want to be successful adults we must replace those instantaneous responses with something more thoughtful and successful.  There are few things more disagreeable than an adult who acts like a child.  We can learn the skills we need to be patient in disappointment and tolerant when things go wrong.  We are mature enough and wise enough to find the best way forward no matter the situation.

It’s impossible to listen to other perspectives if we’re concentrating on smashing the opposing point of view.  If we over react every time something goes wrong or someone disagrees with us we may end up burning bridges and ruining relationships.  We might win the current battle but lose the connection going forward.  We can align our priorities and address conflict in ways that protect our sincerest interests.  Maturity and wisdom come with practice and we can choose wisely in difficult times to help us become the people we most want to be and preserve the relationships we value.

Today if feel intensely angry over something, before you react take a moment to look at the situation objectively.  Determine what is most important before you move forward and then choose the path that will take you there.  You are wise and strong and what you want most is possible.  Every positive outcome is there for you and with patience and clarity you will find it.

Mission Control

4 Jun

Control is an illusion for anything outside ourselves.  We can’t control what other people do, how things happen or when something will occur.  There are a lot of variables in each moment and we have to be ready for the changes that will inevitably happen.  Although we don’t have any control over anything around us, we have complete control over ourselves.  We’re in charge or our behavior and the choices we make with each passing moment.  To say “I couldn’t help it” after making a poor choice is just an excuse.  Whether we admit it or not, we are responsible for every step we take, every action we display, and everything we say and do.  Nobody is perfect and when there is conflict or a lot going on there may be times when we do things we regret.  It’s perfectly normal to make mistakes but we must accept our ownership of them.  It’s inappropriate and dishonest to try to push a bad decision off onto others or blame the situation.  We always know what we’re doing.  When we’re upset and confused, there is no off-site mission control that will take over for us.  We’re in charge and must forge ahead no matter the circumstances.  Taking the time to see everything clearly before we jump into a quick decision will help us.  Every decision we make will take us somewhere.  We can remember the destination we are seeking and make the choices that will take us closer to it.  We have all the wisdom and intelligence we need to lead strong, successful lives.  We can be in control and move forward toward the goals we value most.

If we’re unsure about what we’re doing or don’t really know where we want to go, when it’s time to make a choice we may lean on others or follow someone else.  It’s easy to ride in the backseat.  If we aren’t driving we don’t have to know where we’re going, we don’t have to find the way forward, and we can simply relax and enjoy the ride.  But if we stay in the backseat we will only go places others have chosen.  Our lives cannot truly belong to us if we don’t direct our plans.  We have enough courage to step up front and decide where we want to go.  Every destination is possible and we can find our way step by step until we reach success.

It takes courage to live the lives we want the most.  We must be willing to try new things and face the possibility of failure.  We know where we are now, it’s comfortable in routine, and we know what to expect, but staying in the same place will never take us where we want to go.  Every option is available if we are willing to do what is needed to achieve it.  We have all the courage and strength we need to make our dreams come true.  We don’t need to rely on others to take us where we want to go.  We can drive our own train and reach any destination we desire.

Today if you’ve been unsure about the way ahead and are tempted to follow others instead of being in control, remember how strong and effective you are.  You know what you want.  Be courageous and step forward.  There isn’t anything you can’t do.  You are more powerful than you realize.  Every dream can come true.  Take control and push ahead.  Success is waiting for you and you will reach it.

Here and Now

29 May

Life is busy and there are often many things going on around us. We have responsibilities to address, details to attend to and an endless list of things we want to get done. We can be very effective and move forward efficiently and quickly but there are always a lot of distractions and it’s sometimes hard to stay tuned to the things we’re doing. Our thoughts determine how successful we are as we move along. If we’re in the moment and aware of what’s going on here and now we will see everything clearly and make the best decisions. If we’re distracted by something and looking in a direction away from where we want to go it will be harder to get to our destination. Our thoughts are fluid and continually moving from one topic to the next. One idea leads to another and if we’re not careful we might find we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about situations that have nothing to do with where we are right now. Being mindful of exactly where we are and what’s happening will help us move forward to where we want to go. We can manage whatever distractions are in our path and continue forward focused on our goal. Every destination is possible and when we’re thinking clearly and are determined to get there, nothing can keep us from success. We can control our thoughts and with discipline and determination get to any goal we seek.

We all have memories of things that have passed. Some will be good, some may be difficult and if we’ve been hurt and those memories are strong they may hold us back from what we want to do. Difficult memories may haunt us as we try to process what happened and wonder about why things went awry. We can’t go back in time and it’s impossible to live in the past and if we carry disappointments forward and hang onto them, they may prevent us from living in the present. All we have is what’s happening now. The past is gone and can never be recaptured. We can learn from what we’ve been through, let it go and move forward.

There is no way to know what will come to us. We can plan and proceed toward goals we want and we will achieve them but often we get there in ways we didn’t anticipate. Life is filled with unknowns and we only have control over ourselves. Nothing can prevent the future from arriving and worrying about what might happen or how we’ll handle what we don’t know is time wasted. We have all the skills we need to face anything that comes. We are strong, resilient and capable and nothing can hold us down. The future will come and we will manage whatever it brings with confidence.

Today if you’ve been spending time dissecting something that has past, or worrying about what might come in the future, focus on today. You only have this moment to live your life. The past is behind you and the future will come in its own time. Be the best you can be right now and every goal you’re seeking will become a reality. Your life is precious and valuable, and every decision you make will take you closer to the goals you desire. Be courageous and confident. You are amazing and every dream can come true. There is greatness ahead for you and you will reach it.

Whatever

24 May

Our lives are busy and we go through many different experiences every day. People may come to us with issues and problems and ask for help, we encounter our own personal complications and snags to work on, and we may juggle several things trying to stay on top of everything. There are times when it may be difficult to stay ahead of the curve as we navigate through all the tasks and issues before us. As a way of coping, we may become complacent and opt to stay on the outskirts instead of remaining involved. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we think and any choice going forward will be fine. We can step aside and let things simply roll out as they will. But if we want the outcomes most important to us we must address the situation clearly and purposefully decide which way to go. If we just look away and say “Whatever” when things get tough, we may find we end up far from where we intended to go. It’s always easy to back away from difficult challenges and let others manage them, but if we don’t have any input in resolving an issue, we have no input in where it will take us. We are responsible for our lives and every decision we make – even if we decide not be involved. Each result that comes will impact us in some way. Our input and ideas are important and we can remain engaged even if it’s uncomfortable. We can direct our lives and control the roads we travel. Every blessing is possible when we decide to make it ours. There isn’t anything too complex or difficult for us to manage and we can reach any goal we desire.

Life continues forward every moment of every day. There is no way to hold back time or keep the future from arriving. As each minute passes are lives are defined by the choices we make. If we allow others to decide for us and are controlled by situations and decisions we aren’t making, we will never have the lives we dream of. It may be easier to let things come as they will but without direction we will simply go to different places with no goal or objective in mind. It’s like deciding to take a road trip without deciding where we want to go. The scenery may be nice but we will never reach the goals we desire. We can choose what we want in our lives and move forward with intent. Only then will we reach the destinations we truly want.

Waiting for success without actively doing what is needed to achieve it will never bring it to us. We can wait for our lives to change before we begin forward but waiting is simply standing still hoping for a new situation. If we really want success, we can step forward and actively move toward it. There is no goal too far to reach and we can do anything we desire. Every destination is possible and with intent and focus we can reach it.

Today if you’ve been holding back and letting others determine what will happen next, remember you are important. Your dreams are precious and you can reach them. Take control and determine where you’ll go. You are powerful and capable and nothing is too difficult for you to overcome. Step forward. Every dream is possible.