I was out the other day with my lady and we came across this sign. I must confess I cannot recall where. I may have to all her after I finish writing this post. I remember looking over to the love of my life and saying “I need to take a picture of this”. At the time I just knew I really liked the sign, but the more I think of it, the more it speaks to me. Last post we talked about the importance of what we focus on. We also discussed that we need to acknowledge problems only enough to create and begin working on a solution.
Here is another way I choose to look at challenges in my life, as opportunities. If you were suddenly granted all of our heart’s desires after a while life would become boring. You wouldn’t want the future to come because you know it would all be downhill from there. challenges (I’ve stopped calling them problems years ago) show us areas that life can get better in. If you don’t feel you are where you want to be financially, that’s great! Why because in addition to all you have to be grateful for now, there will be a time when it will be even better! Haven’t found the relationship you want? Great! That means as you work on becoming the best you that you can be there will be a time in the future you will have the perfect partner to share it with. This is why when people who feel they have hit rock bottom and everything in their life is no good (I believe there is always something to be grateful for and someone who always has it worse) they are at the perfect position for a breakthrough because everything can only go up!
So remember, just because your life is not perfect, does not mean it is not wonderful. As you focus on what you have to be grateful for and celebrate in your life, remember to embrace the challenges as they show you where life can be improved and only get better. Share this with all your friends to show them how wonderful life truly is!
When I first saw this picture I thought “that is kind of redundant”. Actually it is quite profound. Seeing the best in the world, or the ‘glass half full’ is a good part of what keeps me happy. Does that mean denying the half of your glass that is empty? Not at all. It is merely focusing on the part that is full.
In my own life there have been countless situations that could certainly look terrible. If you need an example please see the previous post about the pigeon. I know that in life whatever you look for you will find. Stop and read that last line again, maybe even a third time. Let it sink in. This is really the key to both happiness and success in your life. If you are focused on what is working in your life and what there is to enjoy and be happy about you will find it. Truth is that it is there all along just waiting to be noticed.
My law of attraction friends will tell you that whatever you focus on expands. I believe that, but I also believe this: the more you focus on something the better you get at finding it. It may seem like more of what you are focusing on is appearing, but I also think you are also noticing more of what is already there.
Why is this so important? Let’s recap. What you focus on both expands and you tend to notice that thing easier and more often. That means you get to choose what your life will be filled with! Want joy and prosperity? Start to look for all the opportunities for both joy and prosperity in your life. Now, before you say “Neil, I try but there are still problems” that is true, we need to focus on them only enough to develop and begin working on a solution. After that, switch to what you have to be grateful for.
If you are anything like me, you may still have some lingering doubts. That’s good, do not accept what I am saying without proving it to yourself. I have a little experiment for you. Try this for at least 3 days, more if you like. Pick a color you enjoy. Mine would be blue, but pick whatever color you like. As often as you can for the next couple of days try to notice all the things of that color when you enter a room. By about the end of the third day you should notice something. Things of your determined color seem to jump out at you. They seem to be all over the place. This experiment works easier because there is no emotion attached. Changing to a positive focus takes a little more work, but you can see how it will happen using this little activity. Do it with a friend. Compare your results and discuss them with each other. Share this post with others and get them involved as well. Remember you create your own life.
Many times in my life I find myself in situations where I do not come out on top. Almost always those situations leave me with a great lesson or at the very least a great story. This is just such a story.
During high school I had a friend named Matt. We are still friends, this just happens to take place when we were both in high school. Often we strolled home together and discussed life,love and our philosophy about them both. During one such conversation when I remarked what an amazing day I was having a pigeon, in what was surely an attempt to keep me humble or prove how good his aim was, decided to use me as his personal bathroom. After my companion had a chuckle at my expense we began to do our best to remove the memory of the bird.
Fast forward a few days later, the next time the two of us found ourselves walking the same path. As we passed a local historical society I saw…a pigeon. I calmly and politely asked Matt for a rock and informed him I was going to have pigeon for dinner.
His response is one I will never forget. He looked me dead in the eye and said “you can’t hate all pigeons because one pooped on your head. That’s like racism”. After giving him a look that most have looked like a mix of insanity and confusion, I stopped looking for a weapon, shrugged my shoulders and walked on.
Other than providing you with a bit of humor in your day, this story serves a purpose. When someone treats me harshly I am reminded to look further to what may be behind their actions. I also do not judge the group based on the actions of the select few.
So next time you see a pigeon remember this story and remember to not hate any person (or bird) based on the actions of one.
This has always been one if my favorite bumper stickers. Recently the tragic events in Orlando have sparked some interesting debates. I have heard people speak out against the LGBT community, I have heard certain people speak out against the Muslim community. There have been arguments on both side of the gun issue. There have been both praises and criticism of law enforcement and government. I even heard a republican broadcast mention the shooter was a registered democrat.
Whenever tragedy strikes people want to look for something to blame. It gives them comfort and a false sense that they can correct the ‘problem’ once they assign blame to what they think the problem may be. It is this kind of thinking that is the problem. Your sexual orientation does not make you kill people. Your ideology does not make you kill people. Certainly what political party you vote for does not make you more or less likely to commit violent acts. Yes, it would be easy (and very naïve) to say all members of this religion are bad, or if you vote in this political party you are to blame for all of the worlds ills. When I hear statements such as this it makes me think the person making them is not very well educated.
So what does cause people to harm others? To be filled with such hate that they resort to violence? It is the inability to coexist with others who are different from them. There are over 7 billion people on this planet and if we cannot get along with others who may do things that we would not every day will be a long day. I am not saying you have to be in agreement with everyone that would be ridiculous and very boring actually. Still, being able to afford others the right to believe the way they do even if we do not agree with it is a sign of a mature and cultured individual. I am not gay, but I have quite a few friends who are. To expect them to be straight because I am makes no more sense then if they were to ask me to be gay because they are. I am not Muslim so I do not celebrate Ramadan, but I certainly wouldn’t want to prevent my friends who do from doing so.
Ok, so what then is the answer to all of this senseless violence? I believe it is compassion and knowledge. For years I have encouraged people to explore other cultures and beliefs. If you do not agree with someone or something, get to know more about it. You may still not believe the same thing, but it will help you appreciate why they believe as they do. There have been several times when people I know who “hate” this group of people meet one of my friends who happen to fit into that group of people and tell me how nice they are. After they find out they belong to a group that the person believes is no good they end of feeling a little confused, silly and sometimes angry. I have even seen this with members of my own family. It is through this positive exposure that minds are slowly changed and beliefs questioned.
So what can we do? What is our part of the solution? First, learn all you can about the people you meet. Look for the good in them. Second, whatever you are, be a good one. If you are gay, be the nicest, most helpful gay person you can be. If you are a republican, be the most caring and compassionate republican you can. That is the only way you can truly change someone’s beliefs is through experience and education. Share all the positive aspects of who you are. If someone voices a strong dislike for it, try reaching them through education and compassion. If they persist in their hate all you can do is be shining example of how wrong they are and the only way to do that is by being an amazing human being.
Lastly, share this post. Let us educate everyone and let us all do our part to get along with those we may disagree with the most.
A speech I recently made at a friend’s wedding
I used to be a big fan of mighty mouse as a young child. His motto was “here I come to save the day”. I sent my lady this picture as I was on my way to pick her up from somewhere sure wasn’t thrilled to be. It was initially done to generate a smile from her and to be a joke.
Still as I look at this picture and think about it the picture gives us another lesson. When I picked up my lady I was saving her, albeit from stress and a bad day, but still I was saving her. I was, at that very moment, a hero. It made me feel good to be able to do. How many chances do you have in a day to be a hero? Can you do laundry so your spouse can get ready? Can you take out the garbage without being asked? Look for any opportunities to be a hero. As you are doing these things feel free to shout the mighty mouse motto as you do, “here I come to save the day!”.
Save someone else’s day and share this post with them.