Here is a fun and creative idea I just came up with. Sometimes it works that way. For those of you who don’t know, I love to cook I find it to be very cleansing for the soul and being able to see and taste something you create always fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Except for the one late December evening when half asleep I tried to bake cookies and mixed up the salt and the sugar. Even then they still looked nice. Back to my brilliant idea. Ok, in my mind it is brilliant, but trust me my mind is one place we need not go. I was creating a casserole tonight from a cookbook my grandmother left me when she passed away. Perhaps it was her inspiration that put this idea in my head, but either way I encourage all of you to try it. If you do and it works out remember my birthday is July 29th and feel free to send me a copy of your creation. If it doesn’t work out, feel free to just send cookies.
Back to being serious, which is rare for me. The cookbook I was using was one of those with the spiral binding. As I flipped through the pages an idea came to me. What if I could create a ‘motivational/inspirational cookbook’! On each page could be a different idea for staying motivated and creating the amazing life we all deserve! It gets better. I know all of my ideas, you know all of your ideas, but we do not know each other’s ideas. So get your self a blank set of recipe cards and hand them out to your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers or anyone else you can think of. Explain you are making a special cookbook and could they give you their secret recipe for staying happy/motivated/inspired whatever word you wish to use. You may even give them a self-addressed stamped envelope so they can take their time and mail it back to you when they are done. You might want to skip that kind of odd crazy friend you have though. Ok, you can include him, but just put that recipe on the back page. When you are done you will not only have created an amazing list of new ways to improve the quality of you life, but you will also have gained an insight into what makes your friends happy. That can come in handy on special holidays like…I don’t know birthdays that fall on July 29th. Ok, my friends, let’s get cooking!
There seems to be a statement that is brought to my attention frequently and it may be in the back of your mind as well. So today we are going to bring it up front and address it. Honestly before embarking on a life-long journey to live a life as full of passion and meaning as possible this very question plagued me as well. Ok, I know stop stalling and let us get to the question. The question I get is this. “Motivational and inspirational things are great, but they never last and they are never there when I need them most” Although I often feel the same about rum it had me thinking. Well to answer this I am going to quote the famous motivational speaker and author the late Zig Ziglar who said,
“Motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That is why we need to do it every day”
Following this blog is a great first step into having a motivational pick me up delivered right to your inbox, so be sure to click the link on how to follow this page to make it as easy for you as possible. I also suggest picking up some Motivational cds to listen to when in the car or if you have a free moment at home. A book or two would be great as well. Motivational movies like “The Secret” are good to have around when you just feel like you lose your direction or are just having a bad day. Feel free to print out your favorite posts from this blog to review when you need. Remember you are never going to agree with 100% of what anyone says, nor should you. Each of us has our own unique life and circumstances. Which is why it is so important to gather as many positive points of view as you can. Surround yourself with people who are positive motivated people who just might have slightly different way of going about the world. Keep your mind open to what everyone has to offer.
If we drink a cup of coffee a day (or diet coke or whatever works for you) to keep our bodies going. We should at the very least expose ourselves to something motivational or inspirational to keep our souls and spirits going.
Ok, I know what must be going through your head. “Isn’t the point of an amazing life to reduce the pain and increase the pleasure?” Normally I would agree, however we are talking about using pain to your advantage. That is one of the tricks of living a more productive and positive life. We can’t always control every situation in our life, but we can use it to our advantage. Let me give you an example. Just a few days ago I learned my current position at the post office will end in the first week of September. Now in the past my reaction would have ranged from anger to frustration and even a little worry and sadness. Well my reaction this time surprised even me. When the lady informed me of this situation I greeted it at first with a sense of indifference. I was just collecting information and not taking it personally. Then I thought to myself “ok, I have no control over this situation so what can I find that is good in it?” All this happened in my head without any conscious effort on my part. Ok, so I must confess the next thought was “Holy s#$t this stuff I am preaching works!” Which gave me one good point there. It provided me with proof in my own beliefs.
What about the pain? Great question. Obviously no body likes to feel bad, be it anger, sadness, fear or any negative emotion. In this case I looked at the situation and had to realize in the next two and a half months my future is very uncertain. So what to do with those feelings of uncertainty. Surely that is not something you would want to feel in an amazing life. Hold on, not so fast. In this case I realized perhaps this uncertainty was just a reminder to finish my book I have been falling behind on. Perhaps there is someone out there who could really use it and without the motivation of losing my position I would have not completed it on time? Pain of any nature is a warning symbol. When we touch something hot the pain tells us to move away so we don’t become further injured. The point here is to ask yourself “what is this painful experience trying to tell me and how can I use that to my advantage” This may sound a bit far-fetched for some of you, but trust me it works. What does the anger and hurt you feel after arguing with someone you care about tell you? First it tells you that you do care or it wouldn’t hurt so bad. Also there was some hurt that developed between you two and you have to learn what it is and how to prevent it in the future. It also presents you with a chance to increase your connection with this person by how you address and solve this problem. How about the sadness of the loss of a loved one? In 2010 I had unfortunately had to attend 5 funerals. Four of which were for people under the age of 40. What good can you possibly take away from situations like that? How about the fact that you should let people know you love them while they are here. That you really can question yourself on what is worth being upset about and what legacy you want to leave behind before it is too late. It has been said that in the pain of every failure lies the seed to our greatest opportunity. So next time a painful situation arises in your life, or if you are in the middle of one right now. Ask yourself these two important questions. What is this pain trying to tell me and how can I make it work for me? Have an amazing day filled with passion my friends!!!
A while back I write a post about worry and how out tires you out, but you don’t get anywhere. It its kind of like a rocking chair.
I always thought that was one of the best ways to describe worry until recently I read something a friend posted that said “worry OS like praying for what you don’t want to happen”. Either way the point here is that worry serves no real propose and can cause physical and emotional harm. If you have an issue that concerns you, by all means take note and prepare as much as you can. The important post is to let out go after that. Use your energy to focus on what you want to happen.
I’ve been asked various forms of the following question several times over the years, “How can I go around being happy when there are so many things in the world to be unhappy about?”. People ask me this about the economy, famine, war, genocide, and all of the other fine issues the evening news likes to highlight. It makes sense, how can we be happy when there are people starving on the other side of town? How can we walk around feeling great when we read about all of the jobs that are being lost? The answer really is in the question itself. When we are focused on the problems of the world and see fit to discuss them at length we are only adding our energy to them. It would be far better to send our sick friend in the hospital loving and healing thoughts while picturing them as whole and in perfect health. Then it would be to feel bad for them and say “isn’t it terrible how ill they are”. It is almost a force of habit to be involved in “isn’t it awful” type conversations. Quite often we start them up as a lack of anything else to talk about. “Isn’t that price of gas terrible?” “I sure hope the economy turns around quickly”. I must confess I find myself being involved in and sometimes starting such conversations. By doing so I am not only adding my focus and energy and focus to the very thing I am lamenting, but I am also dragging the other persons focus and energy into the same direction! How different would the world be if we placed our focus and energy on what we have to be grateful for and solutions rather than what we lack and the problems we have? Next time you find yourself engaged in a negatively oriented conversation begin to think of how you can turn that conversation around. Think of it as a game. Make it a fun challenge. Even if you fall short you at least have your energy and focus on turning a negative into a positive.
Sometimes we may wonder if all our efforts are worth it. After all, what difference can one person make? How important is one voice? Here is a little something I read off of one of my friends facebook pages. Which is yet another advantage of having groups of friends all trying to lead more inspired, passionate lives.
one tree can start a forest;
one smile can begin a friendship;
one hand can lift a soul;
one word can frame the goal;
one candle can wipe out the darkness;
one laugh can conquer gloom;
one hope can raise your spirits;
one touch can show you care;
one life can make a difference,
BE the ONE TODAY!
As you can see each of these statements by themselves ring true. Taken as a whole it proves one can be a very powerful number indeed. Print this poem out, if you ever find yourself doubting your self-worth read it to yourself or better yet out loud. Remember how important one person can be, and then be that one person!
As the week draws to a close I am honored to share with you this inspiring story. A customer of mine at the post office has a son who had a stroke at the age of 48. As a result of his medical condition he lost his business, his home and his marriage fell apart as well. I know, not very inspiring, but it gets better. One of the first things doctors did was send him to a physical therapy unit. Based on the information they had, and the observations they made the first thing they said to this gentleman was “you will never walk again”. Now he is a very rational, practical man. His mother, not so much. She said to the doctors, “In this family we do not accept the word can’t and never”. Her son trying to calm her insisted these men were doctors, and they knew what they were talking about. He also told her he would learn to adjust. Well based on this diagnoses his therapy kind of evened out. This went on for the last four years. His mother kept saying “I see him walking I tell you”. Her son, either frustrated with his condition, or upset with seeing his mother’s false sense of hope, actually began to tell her to stop saying that. Well through a twist of fate, the hospital put out an article announcing they were starting a new physical therapy unit and were looking for volunteers. You can imagine the speed in which his mother signed up. In fact, she told me “he was patient number one”. Well with the new treatment came a new doctor. This physician reviewed his case and said “I see no reason your son cannot walk” he began by having him stand for 15 minutes a day. Then yesterday she came running in to tell me her son, who had been basically bed-ridden for the last 4 years, took his first 3 steps with a cane. His goal is now to walk into his old physical therapy unit to “show them his new cane”
While this story is very inspiring, there is also a valuable lesson to be learned. When I asked her why she thinks his condition changed so rapidly she replied “he just stopped believing he couldn’t walk”. Now this man had every right to have this belief. He was viewed by doctors, experts in the medical field. These men knew more than he did, yet they were wrong. Now do not misunderstand me, I am not by any means putting down those in the medical profession. They attend many years of schooling and their scope of knowledge is beyond what you or I can understand. One thing they can’t see is the power of belief. This man’s mind accepted his condition so his body did too. Do you have any beliefs that you have accepted about yourself or life as true? Maybe some that came from experts in that field? I’m not telling you to not take the advice of knowledgeable experts, just to keep an open mind. Do not only focus on a miracle, expect it! After all, as this story illustrates, miracles happen every day.
Working with the public both at the Post Office and at the bar I find myself mixed up in many different conversations. Most very intriguing and interesting, but some rather negative and not so pleasing. How many times have you found yourself telling someone about the job you applied for only to hear a 30 minute lesson on how bad the economy is? Now the reality of the financial state of things is interesting. Whenever we complain about something or just talk about ‘how bad it is’ not only do we leave feeling upset which does not help our personal situation, but we also give energy to the very situation we are lamenting. Perhaps you are wondering how can my opinion really effect change halfway around the world? The best analogy I have heard to explain this is place a drop of red ink in a glass of water. As hard as you may try it cannot stay separate. This is how our energy affects the world. The ink will certainly not make the whole glass red, but it will, without a doubt, change the chemical make up. Now imagine dropping three or four drops. Now maybe 10 or 20. You can see how a group of people standing around gossiping or complaining can really put a lot of negative energy out into the world. So what to do about it? Let’s face it at some point in time we are going to find ourselves wrapped up in one of these conversations. Here is 3 things we can do at that point. One, change the conversation to something more positive, or if that is unable to happen excuse yourself and walk away. Two, begin to develop ‘positive gossip sessions’ ask a group of friends or coworkers what their favorite place to go on vacation, or favorite childhood memory. Just keep the talk positive. Start throwing some good energy out there. Lastly, make a point to surround yourself with as many people who have positive attitudes as you can. I had lunch with my good friend Jamie the other day and even in discussing events that many would perceive as negative, she managed to find the positive side of them. These people are worth their weight in gold. Try to schedule as much time with them as you reasonably can. Better yet, try to be one of them yourself. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel and how much better your life and the world around you will seem!