Remember the only thing we truly have the power to change is ourselves. If you don’t like your circumstances, work to change your role in them. If you can’t, change the way you look at them. By changing ourselves and focusing on what we can do is the only way in which we have absolute control over our world.
Month: April 2016
What can apple seeds teach us about personal transformation? Let me share this story with you. I heard this story perhaps a week ago and it really helped put into focus a point I often try to relate to others.
A young man was having lunch with his father when they cut open an apple. The father asked his son what was inside the apple. Thinking his father might be suffering from a moment of memory loss the son politely answered “they are just apple seeds dad”. The father informed him he was only partly right. Seeing the son’s confused look he went on to explain. “They are only apple seeds right now. They are actually apple trees waiting to happen”.
Stop and read that last line again. Inside every apple are several apple trees that can create hundreds of more apples for years to come. The same holds true with us. All too often we look at our current situation and view that as reality. What we forget is each one of us is like an apple seed. We have the potential to become a tree and give blossom to many great ideas and inspire many for years to come.
So why do we not all become ‘trees’? The same reason all seeds do not. We need to plant our ideas, to water grow and care for them. We need to do all of this in an environment that allows us to grow.
So look at your current environment. Is it conducive to allowing our seeds of greatness to grow? When you feel frustrated with your current situation remember sometimes a seed has to be buried and grow underground long before it breaks ground. Keep working and next time you eat and apple, take time to notice the seeds and reflect on this lesson.
Feel free to share this post and inspire everyone you know!
Watch “PREPARE TO DIE!” on YouTube
Watch “THE RICHEST PLACE IN THE WORLD (and why you don’t want to end up there)” on YouTube
Latest YouTube video shot on location in a cemetery
This weekend take time to go easy on yourself. Take time to recharge your batteries. I was speaking with Travis Jones who writes bringitivity.net last weekend. He took some bold steps to take some time away from the entertainment he does to focus on other more important aspects of his life. The result? A refreshed spirit,done great new blog posts and energy going into the future.
Even if you are doing what you love, what you are passionate about and it hardly seems like work at all, you still need to focus on you from time to time. My favorite way to explain this, especially to the givers out there, is that you cannot fill a glass from an empty pitcher. If you keep giving and giving eventually the pitcher will be empty and no cups will be filled.
Another thing this does is give you fortitude. Life is sure to present some challenges to you at the most inopportune time. If those challenges find your energy and inspiration close to empty you may get knocked down. If they come up against a fresh and energetic spirit, they don’t stand a chance.
So do something for you this weekend. Find something that inspires you or recharges your batteries. If you feel guilty about that, remember that you must have a full pitcher if you hope to fill someone else’s cup. So take care of yourself so we can all take care of each other!
Feel free to share this post as well as your ideas for recharging your batteries in the comments below.
3 SIMPLE THINGS
These 3 simple things can change your world and everyone involved in it. The first one compliment people is very important. Our lives are full of people trying to criticize or even sometimes just waiting to prove what’s wrong. By being the person who always looks what’s right in a person you will be the one everyone looks forward to seeing. You will not only make them feel good but you will feel good about how enthusiastic everyone greets you. The second one magnify their strengths is equally as important. People love to hear what it is that they do well. Which is why the third one not their weaknesses is important. Truly when there is something wrong with those we care about we do like to let them know but trust me there are plenty of people and sometimes even the mirror to let them know what they have to improve on. Plus when we build people up they will also want to improve every area of their lives. So try these three things today and see how the lives of those around you and your life as well improve
SECRET FORMULA FOR A POSITIVE LIFE.
I posted this on my Facebook page 4 years ago. It showed up in my memories and I was interested to note although I agree with this statement, my approach is almost opposite. While it is true if you fill your days with attention to negative people and situations there leaves little time to focus on what is good. This will leave you feeling at the very best uninspired at the end of the day. Do this over a prolonged period of time and you will feel tired, worn out and depressed.
So how can you eliminate the negative from your life? Here is a very painless and easy formula I share at my seminars. If you are anything like me telling your negative friend “I can’t hang out with you because you just bring me down and complain all of the time” is not that easy. So how can you eliminate negative things in your life? Here is the formula. The best way to limit and get rid of the negative is by adding the positive.
How does this work? Well I heard people say that they don’t like looking at their Facebook pages because it is to negative and drama filled. I tell them to get rid of those people or at the very least hide their newsfeeds. I hear a million and one reasons why this can’t happen. “It’s my uncle though” or “I have to work with this person everyday”. Ok, well then add positive pages and people. At least that way when you log on between the politics and drama you may find some motivation and inspiration. Same works for negative people that want your time. Find some positive people and pursuits and commit your time to them. Then when the negative Nancys come calling you can honestly say “I’m sorry I am busy that night” Even if you feel obligated to spend some time with these folks if you also add positive people and experiences they can certainly be a little easier to take.
Feel free to share this blog post and formula with all of those you care about. Thank you.
RELISH THE NOW
Here is something great about being older, you know how to appreciate and live in the moment. Have you ever noticed how in reflecting upon some of your greatest moments you often find yourself thinking “I wish I would have paid more attention to that”. Maybe it is just me. Take vacation for example. My last trip to the tropics was one day more than forever ago. I find myself forgetting what the ocean air smells like. The accent of the local people, the taste of the food. At the time you can become so involved with enjoying the experience that you forget to look around and soak it all in. As I’ve grown older though I not only look forward to more things I try to appreciate them not only after the fact, but while they are happening as well.
My latest example happened just the other night. After a long week apart and a morning helping her daughter purchase her first car, which we enjoyed being a part of. We were starting to really miss each other. Even though we DJ together Thursday through Sunday and I bartend while she is the DJ on Monday, the time is usually spent talking with our friends and singers, or looking up songs and addressing computer issues. What this means is by Tuesday we are really longing for time together. This particular Tuesday We began the day excited to go to the car dealership with her daughter and pick out just the right car. The whole experience was quite fun, but lasted all morning and then I had to leave them to go to work. I work until 6pm, by then I was really eager to go home to bed. Still my lady had been busy herself. After her daughter had taken home her new dream car, my lady Margie had met with some ladies to discuss details of a specialty cake she was going to create for them. She was also quite worn out by the time I got off of work, but asked me if I could stop off for a cup of coffee before coming home as she was working on a surprise for me. I was really tired and may have even heard a whisper from my pillow asking where I was, but seeing how she was taking the time and effort to do something nice for me after a long day herself I was more than happy to relax at the local coffee shop.
Here is where it gets good. As I walked through the door I noticed she had made the house clean and it smelled of candles and incense. She lead me by the hand into the kitchen before telling me “Wait the surprise is not in here” This was followed in the same manner in my office, and a few other rooms. Finally stopping in our hallway she said “ok, here it is”. She opened the bathroom door and showed me where her effort had been. After cleaning the entire bathroom, she had filled the bathtub with Epsom salts scented with eucalyptus and mint, lit candles and poured a cold glass of wine. “Take your time, there is more” she said as she left me there.
As I lowered myself into this amazing world I must confess the writer in me was the first to kick in. “I have to blog about this!” was my very first thought. Then something great happened. While I was figuring out what exactly to say I began to focus on every detail of the experience. First was the scent. The eucalyptus and mint had a calming yet invigorating effect on my brain. Then the feel of both the salts and hot water on my body. It was both calming and healing all at once. Aches and pains that had been there for a week straight began to melt. Then I looked at the tropical colors and decorations all lit by the candles and thought how much it all resembled the finest spa. Then the taste of the wine, cool in contrast to the hot water. As I lowered myself into the bath the world was still and quite, silenced by the water covering my ears. That is something you do not get in the daily world of quick showers before work. I forgot how much I enjoyed the simple pleasure of being under water. as I looked up I saw clouds of steam floating over my eyes. I watched as they danced around each other before disappearing as they cooled. Something I had probably witnessed but never noticed until that very second. Then the feeling of gratitude for the amazing efforts of the lady that put this all together.
This was followed by a series of other wonderful events that continued to spoil me. I took the time to notice and appreciate every detail as much as I could. I also tried to employ as many of my senses as I could. Then when I recalled the event as I did while writing this blog, it seems as real and amazing as can be. Far too often I have had great moments only to fail to recall the details, just that they were fun, romantic or happy. By being present, not on my cell phone or thinking about what is for dinner the next day or a million other worries not only was the event so much more enjoyable, but so is the memory. By the way the evening concluded with watching one of my favorite movies I had been wanting to watch for weeks followed by some of the most blissful sleep I have had in ages.
So here is the takeaway on this one. Starting right this very moment do your best to be present. Enjoying and taking in whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Out to eat? Notice the decorations in the restaurant and the waiters personality. enjoy the aroma of the food as it arrives at the table. Feel grateful you do not have to do the dishes after. Enjoy the looks and conversation of the people who took the time to join you. Enjoy every second of every experience in life.
Feel free to share this post as well as your own memories you enjoy in the comments below. To conclude I want to again thank my beautiful lady for not only making this blog possible, but the evening and the memory as well.
MY OLD FRIEND MOE
I’m here to talk to you about a dear old friend we share. Our friend moe. Not this moe who happens to be the leader of the comedy group the 3 stooges. No I’m talking about a different moe, one who can and does have a great impact on our lives. This moe was brought to my attention in a conversation with my good friend Bret.
So who is this friend? This friend’s name is motivation. Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to get motivated some days? Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get things done when you are ‘on a roll’? Even if you experience challenges you seem to just find your way through our around them.
Here is some great news, you can to a large extent control your motivation. In fact, if you are not you may find yourself fall victim to our friend moe. Yes it’s true motivation can be negative. It can seem to turn against you. Perhaps you may have heard this in sports. The talk about teams losing motivation, or that the motivation has switched teams.
So how can we not only get motivated, but stay motivated? Again more fabulous news. In this day of modern technology it is all around us. Viewing motivational videos on YouTube is something I do daily. You can download or purchase these for your mp3 player as well. There are books on motivation as well. Don’t have time? They are even on audio book as well.
Still the best motivation doesn’t come from outside it comes from inside. How can we develop inner motivation? Some people refer to it as ‘drive’. Here are some quick ways to develop yours. First, learn your why. Knowing what has to be done is only part of the job. Knowing why you need to do it gives you motivation. Be it ‘negative’ motivation such as if I don’t get my job done at work my boss may fire me, or ‘positive’ motivation such as if I surprise my wife by doing the dishes she will be happy and more loving. Knowing why gets you moving. Second, find a reward for you in it. It’s great if you can get that externally such as my wife will give me more affection if I help her. More often than not, however the reward misty come from within. Whether it be the feeling of accomplishment you get, or something more tangible such as “I’ll treat myself to ice cream if I can make it to the gym 3 days this week”. Then you also meet moe’s friend discipline.
So put our old friend moe to work for you! Feel free to tell anyone you like about your old friend by sharing this post. Also feel free to share your secrets to getting and staying motivated in the comments below.
CAN YOU MAKE IT THROUGH?
Are you a passionate dreamer? Are you someone who has a clear vision of who you want to become? Do you have big dreams and great ambitions? If so this picture is for you. I was immediately drawn to it because it shows what we all must go through.
First, let me tell you this, if you are not pursuing a great passion in life, you are wasting your time. That is a pretty bold statement so let me offer you some reasons I am so passionate about it. What is your reason you wake up in the morning? Before you start saying things like “I have to go to work” or “I have to take care of the kids.”. Let me explain I did not ask what your obligations were, I asked what your reason was. 85% of people are going to jobs daily that do not give them a sense of fulfillment. So if your reason to get up in the morning is to go to work so you can pay the bills you are wasting your life.
So what am I suggesting you do? Quit your job and move to the islands to live a life of leisure? Not exactly, but then again I am not telling you to not do that either. I have been tempted to do such a thing myself on occasion. Here is what I AM telling you to do, live your dream. What do I mean by that? Find what drives you and pursue that. It doesn’t even mean quitting your job, or even changing your job. Start it as a hobby. Do it part time on the side. Whatever you do, live your dream. My dream is to be a best-selling author and motivational speaker changing people’s lives and making the world a better place for everyone. I do this all between working for the post office, bartending and being a DJ. Is your passion trains? Start a train newsletter on the side. Perhaps you could take yearly trips to different train museums. Maybe you could research and write a book about trains. You could build and display model trains. There are a million different ways to live whatever you are passionate for.
Now here is where the magic comes in and life changes its meaning. Did you know in the industrialized world statistically you are more likely to suffer a heart attack between 8-9am on Monday morning than any other time? It’s true. We go back to the fact that 85% of people are going to jobs they do not like. So if quitting your job and moving along is not the answer what is? Here is the magic, I share this with people at my seminars. The very best way to reduce the effect of stress and negativity in your life is by increasing the positivity. That sounds good on paper, but what does it actually mean? Think of how you are right before you are about to go on vacation. Something bad happens and you think, “that’s ok, I am almost on vacation”. Perhaps you are someone who works outside and you wake up to a cold and raining day. If you know in a few days you will be on a tropical beach and it will be 80 degrees it is a lot easier to make it through that day.
Still that only works the one or two times you are taking vacation. How can capture that feeling daily? Let us take the idea of a train newsletter. Say you are a postal worker whose passion is trains. You wake up to head to deliver mail, it is cold and raining and you know it will be a long day. Still you also know when you get home you can work on your train newsletter. As you drive to work through the rain and deliver mail as the water leaks through your weatherproof uniform you are thinking of what information you are going to share in your newsletter when you get home. Before you know it you are finishing delivering your mail route and it is almost time to go home. On the drive home as you listen to the same five songs on the radio you perfect how you are going to tell the world about the newest trains and how great they are. Normally coming home tired and wet you would just want a hot shower and to collapse, but today that shower will only provide more time to think about that article for your newsletter.
Does having a passion in life really work this way? I can tell you yes it most certainly does. So why doesn’t everybody pursue their passions at least part time. Here is the funny thing, when you choose to start chasing and more to the point, living your dream there are a million people telling you no. When I began to tell my customers that I was going to write a book and become an author I had no shortage of well-meaning people telling me things like “Do you realize how few authors succeed?” or one I will never forget “My cousin wrote a book, but only sold a couple of copies so don’t get your hopes up”. A lot of these people were just trying to protect me from hurt feelings or ‘wasting my time’. What they didn’t realize, and what you may not realize yet is that doing anything you are passionate about is never a waste of time. Even if you do not succeed at first, you will learn and be able to do it better the next time. If you are truly passionate nothing will keep you from your goal. Not to mention a very important thing, it will be fun. Life will regain that childhood wonder we seem to have sucked out of us. So decide on what you are passionate about and how you can incorporate that into your life. Even this doesn’t have to be perfect. You may very well start by writing a train newsletter and it turns into a book. Perhaps it turns into a newsletter about the train loving community. The important part is to get started. If you recall the statistics we cited earlier, 85% of people going to jobs they don’t like and being most likely to have a heart attack between 8 and 9am on Monday morning due to stress. Having something you are passionate about may just save your life.
Feel free to share this with anyone and everyone. A world full of people living their dreams would be an amazing world. Also feel free to share how you live your passion if you are doing so in the comments below. You just might inspire our other readers. Thank you.