YOUR MOST USEFUL ASSET

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What is your most useful asset? Are you smart? Are you physically attractive? Maybe you are strong? Perhaps you have a lot of wealth? Maybe you are a good conversationalist? The ironic thing about any of these traits, is that they are of little use unless they are put into the service of others. If you are strong, but do nothing with your muscles how useful are they? If you acquire a great deal of wealth, but never spend anything what good does that wealth amount to?

Each one of us has assets. Maybe it is a nice smile? Maybe a good deal of compassion? As the week draws to a close, let us spend the weekend taking stock of our unique skills and talents. After we do so, let us also find ways in which we can put them into the service of others. The picture above gives us three very good ideas. Let us make sure we approach others with our hearts full of love, our ears ready to listen to all they have to share and our hands ready to help them as they need.

In our modern world many people will do anything for a feeling of significance. What many of them fail to realize is that you do not need to make a video for YouTube of you doing something ridiculous or dangerous. You do not have to prove how important or better you are than anyone else. To be a truly useful, valuable and yes, important person, all you have to do is be of service to others. Who would not want to be around someone who is loving, listens to what we have to say and is always willing to help.

If you still want to make that crazy video for the internet, why not show off your talent in the service of others? Use that amazing smile to brighten the lives of others. Use that wealth to help those less fortunate. Maybe use your muscles to help your neighbor with a project they are working on. The more you help others, the more useful you become.

GIVE THEM A VOICE

Lately there has been a lot of attention to those who feel they have been suppressed or treated unfairly. With the #Metoo movement, protests of a political nature people are demanding equal treatment and pay for all. Personally, I am ok with this. It is my firm belief that regardless of what faith, political party, what the color of your skin is or whether you are a man or a woman you should be treated with equal dignity and respect.

I write this post not for any of the afore mentioned groups. This post is about those who cannot create a crafty hashtag slogan. They cannot come together to peacefully protest. They are not even allowed to vote and more often than not are too afraid to even speak up for themselves. Children. April is Child Abuse Prevention month. It is a cause I really wish to bring to light. Children are often not able to bring to light what is going on in their lives for fear of being punished for it. Sometimes the abuse comes from those very people who are supposed to be the ones protecting them.

The repercussions of child abuse can not only last, but continue to grow well into adulthood. I would implore you to take time to help protect a child so in the future we have less adults to heal. Child abuse can be hard to address and even harder to detect. I encourage us all to spend even a small amount of time this month educating ourselves on child abuse. There are plenty of resources available. Websites such as preventchildabuse.org and childhelp.org. There is also the national child abuse hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) On these sites there is plenty of information and additional resources.

There are also plenty of groups you could either donate to or become involved in. One of my favorites is Guardians of the Children(GOC) The mission of this group is to help educate on child abuse as well as assist the victims of child abuse and their families in crisis by providing strength and stability in a variety of different ways. I encourage you to consider joining or donating to their group. You can learn more about them and how you can help at their website http://www.guardiansofthechildren.com

This is only merely scratching the surface of what we can do. Look for local groups in your area to help, or even just Google ‘child abuse prevention’ to learn more. We may overlook a group that cannot post on social media or run to the news. It is for this very reason I encourage every one of us to help. By helping a child and giving them hope you will also be helping them become a successful and healed adult. Please do your part not only this month, but all year long.

THE JOY OF TECHNOLOGY

This is an interesting post for me. On days I view technology as a necessary evil. We are all aware of the problems technology causes. Distracted drivers, people losing the ability or desire for personal contact. The inability to remain present. I am as guilty as anyone. Checking my Facebook or LinkedIn instead of striking up conversations with people in the waiting room. The thought of a day at the beach or in the woods with no cell phone, just nature is one I relish.

Still, technology does a lot for us. This was brought to my attention with an awesome person in my neighborhood. A wonderful lady who lives just a few blocks from me was telling me how she wishes for a time like I described above, just nature, those we love and our thoughts. This neighbor, Linda, has some of the most insightful thoughts on my blogs, and gives me great encouragement and motivation to keep working. She shares stories from her life that often parallel what my blog is about, or sometimes even contradict it. This is a great blessing because it causes me to approach the subject from a different angle. We have lots in common. We both like nature, coffee and have amazing people in our lives that love to cook for us. Here is the funny thing about Linda and I, we have never met.

Linda and I began to interact on a neighborhood app called ‘Next Door’. For two people who are fairly keen on taking breaks from technology, I am sure grateful it brought us together. In fact, recently I have had the pleasure of actually meeting some neighbors in person that I may have never met if they did not see my lovely Margie and myself on Next Door first. Andrew, it was great running into you at the grocery store, and Laura I look forward to running into you again at the Peanut and Jelly Deli next time Margie and I are there.

You see as I was thinking of how many amazing people I have met through these apps, and how I look forward to meeting them in person. Not to mention, ‘meeting’ each other online first increases the likely hood of a conversation when we run into each other in person. Something that may never happen without technology. To that end, technology has actually increased personal interaction. When I factor that in with the fact that these apps, along with others have allowed me to share my thoughts and positivity with many more people than I could on my own, I am indeed grateful. Therefore sites like Google +, Facebook, Word Press, Twitter and others all have their place. It is realizing that balance between interacting online and in person.

This week let us appreciate technology and focus on how it can bring us closer. Let us do this while still focusing on fostering our personal interactions. Not to mention when you are having a tough day, there is nothing better than a cute silly picture from the one you love. Trust me on this one. Margie has mastered the art of sending pictures that both melt my heart and bring a smile to my face!

FIND THE GOOD THING

Cell phones. Depending on your opinion they are valuable tools making life more convenient, or a terrible addiction that causes many people to drive worse than they already do. I find myself somewhere in the middle usually.

This is a bit of an odd post so please bear with me here. Just to prove how easy it is to find something to be grateful for, or some positive thing to look at, allow me to share my recent experience. For those of you who may be easily offended, now may be a good time to stop reading.

My lady and I were out to breakfast at a local restaurant when I had to use the restroom. Yes, inspiration can even strike there. As I closed the door to afford me the privacy so required at said moment, I noticed something a bit rare these days, graffiti. Now I am not sure who Jay and Amy are, but it would appear they had a very intense romantic relationship. It also appears sometime later that relationship seemed to end badly. There was even contact information for one of them available should I have had the desire to check my theory out. For the sake of time, and to keep the intrigue of this post going I chose to pass on that option.

Being that I had a few private moments to my own thoughts, my mind began to wander. What happened between Jay and Amy? Did Amy receive any calls thanks to the Jay kindly providing her number for all the men using this restroom? Who would really call a number they found in a restroom? Why would anyone feel the need to express their heartache on a stall door of the men’s room of a diner?

As my time in the stall drew to a close there were two things that occurred to me. One, I did not know they made toilet paper that was that skinny and two, how rare bathroom graffiti had become. Only a few years earlier one could have expected to see some in almost any restroom you used. The reason? The cell phone. In addition to cleaner facilities, we also have the added bonus of listening to the awkward loud talker who may be in the rest room with us.

Next time someone cuts you off in traffic while watching a cat video on YouTube, just remember all of the clean restrooms.

LIFE LONG LEARNER

I am a big advocate of life-long learning. What I like about this quote is that it reminds us of something very important. When someone tells you that you can’t do something it is time to be grateful. Doesn’t that sound very confusing? Why would you be grateful somebody is basically telling you that you are not enough?

This day and age if there is anything we have an abundance of it is information. It used to be that if you wanted to learn anything you could go to the library and with a little effort and some research you could find an answer, free of charge! Today it is even better. When you have a question you can just ask google, Suri or whatever online search tool you use and there is the answer! If words are not your thing you can even pop over to YouTube and watch a video of someone doing the very thing you are trying to learn.

What this means is that we can choose to be an expert in just about anything. One important thing to remember is this – you can’t pay anyone to do your push-ups for you. That is a quote I took from Zig Ziglar. It means there is a certain amount of effort to be put into anything, but with today’s technology you have the best chance of succeeding and showing anyone that you can do anything!

Facebook

Here is a subject that nearly everyone knows about…facebook. I see lots of different things posted on the pages of friends. I also hear lots of people either complaining or remarking sarcastically “there is so much negativity on facebook” Or “I can’t believe all the political arguing on facebook” I listen with the thought of why these people chose that. Yes, it’s true it may not be them who are actually putting the material on facebook, but it is people they have followed or ‘friended’. When I hear people complain about how bad something is, I have to ask myself, “Why do they make it so?” I hear older people say the internet is bad as it has too much adult material on it. True, there is a lot of porn on the internet. I hope that statement didn’t shock to many of you, but there is also a lot of charities, hope, inspiration and this very blog you are reading right now. It is all what you choose to focus on. If you do not use the internet because there is a lot of material you object to on there, you are missing the whole point. Nothing, by itself is good or bad except the meaning and the use we give it. So if you find facebook or the internet a resting place for negativity or arguing or pointless drama, take a look at who you associate with. When I scan my page I see inspirational and motivation messages from a lot of different sources. Yes, a lot of it is who I choose to associate with, but you can choose as well. Take a look at not only your social media outlooks but other areas of your life. Are there other areas you have either knowingly or unknowingly let negative creep in? Keep a look out for everything you can control and then take control of it. fill your life with as much positivity as you can.

What language do you speak?

The voice in my head asked me a very interesting question the other day.  Which is amazing because usually it is mentioning something about rum or pizza.  Terrible vices aside, the question was “How many different languages are there in the world?”.  To skip you from having to leave this site and head to Google, the answer, though debated is in the neighborhood of 6500.  Why on earth is this relevant, and what does it have to do with living an amazing life?  That is another great question and one that leads us to my next point.   In the past how many things have we tried learning that just never ‘clicked’?  I know I have quite a few.  English language for one, which is ironic considering my book is almost complete.  Maybe playing a certain musical instrument? Cooking a certain dish? Math? Science? History? Some of us just find a way to get through the subject and hope we never have a call to use it later in life.  Imagine if we had applied this same logic when we were learning to walk, or to talk?  There are some people I may speculate did give up, but that is a topic for another day.  Truth is we just kept at it, often approaching the subject from every different angle.  I began to ponder how this related to learning how to transform your life.  Now before you think I am going to tell you to read a book on motivation written in Zulu when you live in Peru let us slow down for a minute.  Think of how many books you have seen or heard of on how to improve your life?  How many different life coaches are out there? We both know there are a lot in both categories. Why? If there is a magical secret do we need both “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”  as well as “Think and Grow Rich”?   If one person could teach us how to succeed in life to we need both the late Zig Ziglar as well as Tony Robbins?  The answer in short is ‘yes’.  To explain why, let me ask you another question.  Do they all agree?  To they all have the same plan and state it the same way?  You know the answer is no.  So who is right? They all are.  Then again, they all are wrong too.  Before you think I started listening to the rum voice in my head let me explain.  We all are unique creatures.  We all have had unique experiences.  That is why it is important to expose ourselves to as many different voices as we can.  I can think of no better field where this is so evident than self-improvement.  Haven’t you ever been having a conversation with a group of people and had to ask someone “What are they trying to say?” When your friend explains it, suddenly you discover that person was speaking a language you know and they are not crazy.  Ok, at least it should work that way most of the time.  The difference here is just the words being used. So remember to do yourself the service of exploring as many paths to motivation as you can and go with the one, or ones, that work for you.  I hope I will be one of them, but if not that is ok too. Just search and discover the voice that speaks to you!