WHEN LIFE IS A PILE OF…

This is an emoji of… well… a pile of poo. This is insanely popular for some reason. Margie has even received several orders for cupcakes in this design. I am using it for when our life feels just like a pile of poo. Your car breaks down, a relationship ends, you lose your job or even worse, you lose someone you love. Sometimes the poo really adds up in a hurry. At this point, life really starts to stink, both literally and figuratively.

We all have these periods. Even though it may not seem like anybody is having a worse time than we are, there are people out there who have it worse. Certainly not what we want to hear when the poo hits the fan in our life, or even worse, when we feel like the fan. However, a change in perspective can give us pause to think. So, your car broke down? There are people who cannot even afford a car, much less repairs. There are people, lots of them in fact, who have to walk miles every day for clean drinking water. It was Gandhi who said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” No matter how dire our situation, there is always something to be grateful for. Your relationship ended or someone you loved passed away? Remember they say It is better to have lost in love, than never to have loved at all. There are people who never find that special someone to love. There are people who never have their parents in their lives. Be grateful for every day you experience love. Even if that love changes it does not mean it has to stop. Try finding just one thing to be grateful for. It will lead you to find another and then another.

Even if you are having trouble finding something to be grateful for, you can still use the poo in your life. How on earth do you use poo in life? Here we are obviously speaking in metaphors, but using a literal comparison can help. We are talking about poo situations in our life as we discussed above, but we can use the same logic as we do for the organic matter itself. I do not recall if it was Meijer, Walmart or somewhere completely different, but I found myself strolling through the garden center fantasizing that I had the ability to grow things when what did I see? Poo! bags and bags of the stuff. Ok, here it was called manure and did not have an emoji on it, but the contents was the same.

That is when the light bulb went on. If we literally use poo to grow stuff in our gardens, why do we not use it for growth in our lives as well? Just like our last post when we discussed failure, if we just dwell on the poo in our lives it would be like sitting in that manure. Just try and picture sitting in a pile of manure and complaining how awful it is. If you were to plant a few seeds in that manure instead of just complaining about it what may happen? You would grow new and wonderful things! Things that would smell far better than the poo itself.

What does that all have to do with our lives when they seem…well..in the toilet? Plenty! If a relationship fails, you can use what went wrong to improve your future relationships. If you did something that brought about the end of the relationship, do not do that thing again. Maybe you were just connected to the wrong person. Going forward be aware that you may wish to start a relationship with someone more aligned with your goals and values.

Did you lose your job? Use that to brush up on your interviewing skills. Perhaps you should consider going back to school? Maybe taking that time to finish the book you have always wanted to write? When you start looking for a new job, apply in a field you enjoy and not the one that just pays the most. In that way the loss of a job can serve as the growth of a new and more rewarding career!

Did you lose someone you love? That is always hard and very painful. If you find yourself sad a great deal of the time, remember that is ok. If your heart feels broken, that just meant it has loved. Be grateful for all of the moments you shared with that person. I have an article coming out next month on this very subject. I can tell you one of the best ways to ease burden of loss is to try and replace some of the light that person brought to the world. Did your grandmother always make people feel welcome? Then you should do that. Did your brother have a great sense of humor? Then focus on bringing laughter into the lives of others. Another emotion that comes up when we lose someone we care deeply for, and I speak from experience, is regret. We find ourselves uttering the all too common phrases “I would’ve/I should’ve/I could’ve” Use this to motivate yourself to live in the moment and put all your love and effort into the relationships you have now. That person may be gone, but they can certainly help you make the most of those you love that are still with you.

Use the poo in your life my friends. Just like the manure in the garden center, use the poo situations in your life as fertilizer to grow new and wonderful things. Pain and challenge can be one of the best catalysts for growth.

WHAT I LIVE BY

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This is, by far, my favorite quote. It is a lesson I find we should all live by. There are two ways I enjoy looking at this quote. The first one is about ‘walking the walk’. One of the worst things we can see is someone who professes one thing, but then does another. If you want your life to be filled with less drama, but you spend your afternoon writing on social media about how filled with drama everyone else is, you are only adding to that. If you want the world to have less drama, start with yourself. There is only one person that we can have complete control over in this world and that is ourselves.

That brings me to the second way in which I enjoy this quote, as sense of hope. This is why I am writing what I do today. For those of you unfamiliar with my story, it was at the depths of darkest despair that my journey of positivity started. I was facing many negative situations in my personal life and was desperately seeking a solution from outside of myself. Everywhere I looked it seemed as if I saw one negative thing after another. The newspaper was full of negative news meant to sell and shock. The evening news on television was more of the same. I saw posts on social media that were certainly less than inspiring.

All of this negativity everywhere was not only frustrating, but had me enraged at times. It may be how some of you feel. I felt angry at politicians and celebrities that seemed to have no regard for human decency. The media only reporting these stories caused more frustration. Seeing people treating each other with hate and prejudice made me so mad.

I wanted to change governments to be more responsible and caring towards the people they serve and less driven by profit. I wanted celebrities to use their fame and position for good. It would also be nice for more of them to respect the people that allowed them to achieve that status. I wanted more people to live in light and love and treat each other with respect and compassion.

Do I still want all of these things? Absolutely. The difference is I decided to be that change. I joined political causes I believe brought about unity and positive change. I made sure I did my best to be an example of treating people with respect and compassion. Daily I work to spread positive news and keep the negative things I hear to myself. I wished more men acted as gentleman, so I do my best to treat my lady as I want to see all men treat theirs. In every way I strive to lead by example. I realized the best thing I could do to reduce the amount of negative people in the world was not be one of them.

What change do you wish to see in the world? Ask yourself honestly, do you embody that change? It may seem like changing yourself is only a small change, but doing so has caused several big changes in my own life. First, by focusing on being positive and not adding to the negative, I have felt more positive myself. I have attracted into my life people who have the same goals and aspirations as I do. Changing yourself has a ripple effect that touches the lives of so many others. If every one of us focused solely on being the change we wished to see in the world, the world we see would change.

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING…

“People often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning”

-Mahatma Gandhi

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you are right”

-Henry Ford

When it comes to anything the most important aspect in regards to whether you will succeed or fail is your attitude about the subject. These two quotes above from two great leaders demonstrate that. It is amazing to me to hear lots of people speak to defeat their own dreams. I wish I would’veĀ painted for a living, but now it’s too late. Some people when they hear I am writing a book tell me they were always going to write a book but never did. My answer is always the same “The get out there and do it NOW!” Yes, I do say the last word rather loudly, but that is because these people have been talking themselves out of their own dreams for years. Listen, I am not telling you to abandon your job and family and head off to the beach to surf your life away, but if you have a dream start on it. If your dream is to be an artist explore that talent. Start drawing, painting, sculpting or writing before work, after work whenever you can find time. Trust me in the beginning it is hard, but once that part of you comes alive again energy comes out of nowhere, passion explodes. You are eager to take an hour less sleep because you are doing something for your soul, that could very well end up helping your pocketbook. here is some bad news, your first attempts, they just might suck. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the first couple posts of mine here. I am not saying that to put myself down, just to show you that you have been denying part of yourself for years and it takes a while to develop a passion. Even if your first attempts leave you saying you should be satisfied with just doing that current job you despise, keep on swinging. The world is always grateful to someone living their passion. It could be an engineer designing safer roads or cars, a composer bringing beautiful music for all of us to share. I personally am overwhelmed and it is the best part of my day when I can hear how much this blog has helped even one person in the smallest of ways. Why? Because that is my dream, that is my passion. To help others live a life of passion and to discover the true beauty inside them. Now when you are beginning and you are putting out a less than polished product, you run into people I have mentioned before, Dream killers. Why on earth people will rain on other people’s parades and put down their dreams I do not understand. If I could count how many people have cautioned me and discouraged me about writing my book I would reach a pretty high number indeed. They may tell you they are just trying to not let you get your ‘hopes up’ I tell you get your hopes up! When you fall down, keep them up! In fact, when you are down quite often hope and faith are the only friends you may have. So make your hopes and dreams and faith strong. Feed them daily. Chase your dreams this weekend! Just begin to start chasing that passion! I’ll see you all in the winners circle!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. How often do we find ourselves lamenting a certain situation, event or person. I used to be as guilty as anyone of complaining the news was always negative, or people just seemed not to be as friendly as they used to be. Although i truly believe these observations to be accurate, what purpose did they serve? Sometimes events can seem to big for any of us to control. After all, what chance do I have of changing the way the nation broadcasts the news? Can I hope to make everyone treat each other with kindness? Of course the answer to both of those is no, but that forced me to revisit this quote. Sometimes the best way to begin changing the world, is by changing our own world. Now when I meet someone I try to share the positive news I have. If nothing uplifting has happened that day I may make mention of something I am grateful for. I also have made it a point to be friendly and even smile at complete strangers. To be honest it irritates a few and confuses a great many, but 90% of the time I am greeted with a smile in return. The point of all this? The strangest thing has happened since I’ve started doing this, people now make it a point to share their good news with me, and I have made quite a few new friends through my innocent smiles. So by attempting to be the change I wished to see in the world, my world has slowly changed. So I challenge you all, next time you are upset about something try to figure out what you could do to bring the opposite into being.