BE THE CHANGE

Who doesn’t want to change the world? Who wouldn’t want the world to be a better place for everyone? Tall order right? How can we convince political rivals not to resort to bloodshed to solve their differences? How can we convince those whose hearts are filled with hate to replace it with love? In short, we can’t.

Not very inspiring I know. It is the truth. We cannot change the minds and hearts of others. That is up to them. This blog is focused on things we CAN do though. So what can we do? How do we reach those souls who need it most? How can we change the world? It is actually easier than you think. The only way we can truly touch and reach each other is through love and compassion. The woman who is credited with the quote above, Mother Teresa, changed the world on a grand scale using both love and compassion.

The good news is you do not have to surrender your life and help those people in a third world country like she did. All we have to do is show love to those around us. This is not always easy, but it will pay rewards far beyond what we can imagine. Being a shining example of love and compassion to our family will provide them with a framework to do the same. My good friend Bart recently had his first child. Both he and his wife and very caring and compassionate people who genuinely care about the world around them. It does my soul good to know such parents are raising a member of the future generation who will bring the same to the world.

So what about those who do not have the luxury of having such parents? That is why it is important to be the best example we can for everyone we encounter. Let us do our best to remember in the coming year that a lot of people do not have the benefit of a loving and compassionate example to draw from. Perhaps they have not learned how to deal with anger, or how to understand those who are different from them. They might have even been raised and taught to be full of hate and judgment. In the face of such people we need to serve them and the world around us by being that example. That is not an easy task, especially when that anger or judgment is directed at us. By fighting our temptation to reflect the same emotions back, and by ‘killing’ their judgment and anger with our love, compassion and understanding we are indeed changing the world.

BE THE TEMPTATION 

Many of the questions I encounter in my work have to do with relationships and the stress that goes with them. Add to the fact that in addition to being a self-improvement author and motivational speaker I also have a very public and loving relationship people are inclined to ask me advice.

The picture above is obviously geared toward men, but would work the same way for either gender. Most of us focus on finding the right person. In reality if we are focusing on others we run the danger of losing ourselves. When you are becoming the best person you can be, the right person will naturally be attracted to you. If you are a person who enjoys reading or who would even like to, you may find your perfect match if you spend quality time in a bookstore or library. Wanting to get fit? Your soul mate may not be at an all you can eat buffet.

Here is another aspect of working on yourself. A quote I love and do my best to live by is one from the author and speaker Eric Thomas “You must be ready for the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity”. That opportunity may be the person of your dreams. If you are still dealing with your own issues, that person may not find it desirable to be with you. How many times have we found ourselves saying “I wish I would have not done/said that”. I think all of us, myself included have uttered that phrase a million times. If we are dealing with anger management problems, or emotional baggage from a past relationship it can make it very difficult, if not impossible to enter into a new, healthy relationship. I can safely say the success of my current relationship has as much to do with both parties working on bettering themselves as it does both parties working on the relationship.

Take being a better listener, problem solver, communicator or any other relationship skill. If you learn how to do these effectively your relationship whether the one you are currently in, or the one you will enter into in the future, stands a far more likely chance of being loving and successful. Even if only one partner has skills in any of these, it is easier to demonstrate them to the other. Both Margie and I have shared things with each other that we have learned trying to better ourselves. Those very things have went on to better the other as well as the relationship.

The good and the bad news? The bad news is working on ourselves is a never ending project. There will always be areas in which we can improve. The good news about that is it means our relationships, as well as our life will continue to get better as we continue to better ourselves. So if you want a better relationship, or a better life. The answer lies as close as the bathroom mirror. Ask yourself the empowering question “How can I become more?”

HURRY UP AND FAIL!

In the category of things that never made sense to me, but now have really changed the way I look at the world, I give you failure. Growing up with the guidance of well meaning people around me failure was a word that should attempt to be avoided. You didn’t want to fail because that meant you were no good. It meant you were not a success. As an adult I continued to look at failure in this light. It actually grew to be something I began to fear. I would do everything in my power to make sure I didn’t fail. That sadly included not trying things that were likely to end up in failure, at least at first.

If we look at our lives there are certain things we are naturally good at. I can usually get up and speak or give a toast with little or no problem. If you see me on the dance floor however, something would appear seriously wrong.

We naturally tend to pursue things that we have some basic skill in. For me writing and speaking are two of my more natural skills so I tend to do things that use those skills. Bartending and DJing use my speaking and relating skills. This website and my books use my writing skills (Notice I did not say grammar or editing skills). The reason we do this is our chance of failure is less likely and we naturally excel at them. This gives us a feeling of self confidence and accomplishment. That is great and I believe pursuing things you are passionate about will lead to great success.

That being said, do not let fear of failure stand in your way from exploring new things. Once you learn a new skill as we showed above in can translate into several other options. Realizing this can make enduring the initial failure can be a little easier. Failure is not an end,  but part of the journey. The quicker we do so, the quicker we can move on to developing our skills and becoming more proficient. Here is another little trick I find that works. If you can somehow use a skill you already have to learn a new skill it can make learning a lot less painful and a lot more fun. When I was learning how to become a DJ and my wonderful teacher, who happened to be the patient love of my life, was showing me all of the technical aspects (most of which I am still learning) I leaned heavily on the speaking part of the job because that is what I am naturally good at. It gave me a feeling of competence and a hope that I could one day be a great DJ like she is.

Takeaway today is don’t fear failure, embrace it. Do so quickly, because as soon as you get it out of the way you will be one step closer to success. Now if I could just find a way to link speaking and writing with dancing….

DON’T CONFUSE THE TWO

This is a tough one. When we are emotionally hurt it can leave a scar worse than a physical scar. Sometimes we even have a habit of dating the same kind of people who treat us poorly. If you couple that with the intense emotional pain that we feel it is so wonder our brains can link things together and come up with some pretty strange conclusions! We can believe all relationships cause pain. Of course we can look around and see proof that is not true. You can get hurt in most relationships, but if two people truly care about each other it becomes an opportunity for growth and becoming closer. The abusive, painful relationships are not relationships at all. There is no relating or respect, but instead more of a using. When we get hurt it may be difficult to realize that, but realize it we must or we prevent ourselves from experiencing all the wonderful things a healthy relationship can offer.

Not only relationships can be affected by this way of thinking. For example, I was bitten by the same type of dog on several occasions. Most dogs rather enjoy my company and I must confess I enjoy their company far more than some humans I have come across. Still the link to the physical pain and the fact is was the same breed and I am not the biggest fan of those particular dogs. That is a link I formed in my head. I could have developed the belief that all dogs were bad, or even lost my love for animals. Luckily I had many fun and not painful experiences before that so those never came to be.

So let us look at our beliefs and see how we came to develop them and if they have any validity. Perhaps we have drawn the wrong conclusions. Maybe in my case I happened across some bad dog owners? Perhaps I need to learn to modify my behavior around those types of dogs or learn more about them?

If ever we have beliefs that are absolute such as “All men are bad” “All people of this belief are bad” we need to really take a look at them more closely. Very rarely do things in this world fit in absolutes. Even gravity is known to work a little sketchy in certain parts of the world. Please share this blog post and website with those you car for.

START A FUNDRAISER

I like this saying because it can be rather profound. Of course there is several meanings i see in this picture. 

First, if we view our work as a fundraiser for our lives it can change our perception of our work. When you realize what your money allows you to do, even if it is just paying the bills, you slowly shift how you feel. Even though work will remain frustrating at times there begins to enter a feeling of gratitude. Sure we would all like to earn more money, but the fact we are earning some allows us to love in a climate controlled house with clean water whenever we need. It allows us to eat everyday. Sure we might want steak instead of fast food more often, but we rarely go to bed hungry. This puts us so far ahead of most of the world that even if we don’t have the fancy car, exotic vacation or other things we might desire we still have a lot to be grateful for. 

Second, perhaps we need to add to the fundraising aspect. If we set up a special savings account, or even a coffee can we contribute to designated for a fun special purpose it can motivate us when work is challenging. 

So this week set up that account (or fun bank) pick a fun purpose and start saving what you can, even change. Then notice all the bills you are able to pay thanks to your job. It may not seem like fun, but try to imagine life without them. 

We all serve a great purpose

Today a lot of us celebrate Christmas. If you are anything like me you are running around last minute looking for the perfect gift. Do you go wine? Gift cards? Coffee? There are a million different options! Still there is one perfect gift for any holiday.

That gift is the gift of help. Being the light in someone’s darkness. The gift of time, understanding and just listening are something that you can’t buy even if you are Bill Gates. It also makes you one of the most valuable people to have in anyone’s life. How valuable is a good friend who listens to you? To me I love gifts that people make and put their heart and soul in, but even better is the gift of time. Those wonderful souls who bring light to my world and make me smile are the gifts I treasure all year long.

So you want to make someone’s holiday? Call them up and ask how they’re doing. Give them time to really tell you. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk. Give your time and money to your favorite charity. Be someone who always brings a smile to a room when you walk in, and to the souls of all you know. Share a smile. Share an encouraging word. Share love and respect with all this holiday season. Thank you and feel free to share this blog.

WAITING….

I am currently nominated for best author in Milwaukee. The reason I mention this is that I have been waiting to discover the results since the voting ended December 1st. They plan to announce the winners on January 17th at a big party.

This seems like an eternity for me, but gives me plenty of chances to reflect. One, on the gratitude I feel for being nominated. It is not an ego thing, but an honor that so many people value the work I put my heart and soul into creating with hope that I can leave the world a better place then when I arrived. It also has me thinking of why I would desire to achieve such accolades. I am normally not the kind of person who chases titles or recognition, so why do I find myself waiting with excitement? It is the reason I desire to win in the first place. Winning will allow me more exposure. Sounds funny for someone who doesn’t need a trophy, but it is what that exposure will allow me to do.

Having been recognized as the best author in the city I live in will allow me to bring my  message of hope and positivity to many more souls. Helping people who may not have been exposed to me if not for this award. Realizing all of this had me thinking about what I can do while I am waiting. I have begun to more actively search for new speaking engagements and how to promote myself better. All this should result in me realizing my life mission even more. That mission is to help people see the beauty in themselves, others and the world around them.

If you have any ideas to help spread this message please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Also feel free to share this website with friends and family that may enjoy a little motivation and inspiration.