ARE REAL FRIENDS FOUND HERE?

Today’s post is going to look at one of the more hotly debated places to make friends. In fact, this is not actually a geographical location at all. The place we are talking about is online. I have heard people say that online friends are not real friends. Perhaps this stems from the fact that people can be less than truthful about who they are. Profile pictures can photo shopped, facts can be embellished, even names can be changed. I can understand all of these concerns. Even in the ‘real world’ people can be dishonest and deceiving.

With over 7 billion people on the planet I feel it would be doing ourselves a great disservice to only count those among our physical location as friends. There are people who live halfway across the world that might hold the information we need. The person that could relate to your situation the best and offer you some insight and encouragement may not only be outside your city, but might be outside your country. Personally, I work with an amazing publisher in Los Angeles, Aura, who has helped my writing to grow. I speak with an author in Romania, Andrada, who is going to interview me in the future and who understands the struggles of being a hard-working author.

This website you are now reading has allowed me to interact with people on 6 different continents and over 100 different countries. By remaining open to learning and becoming friends with these wonderful souls my life has improved by leaps and bounds! I look forward to traveling to Fiji in the near future and have already made some connections there through my writing. I have learned about different cultures, food, music and holidays. Being a self-improvement author and speaker, I have also seen how much we all have in common. Everyone has the desire to feel important. Whether you are a farmer in Greenland or a prince in the UAE, we all wish to be loved.

Today, the love of my life reminded me of something even better than all you can receive by being friends with those halfway around the world. That is being able to give. While having dinner with Margie and my mother, my love stated that I have no idea how many lives I have touched without even knowing it. My mother brought up the ripple effect. How every life we touch can end up touching another. Through this giving we can improve the lives of an entire community clear across the world. Seldom does it matter where an inspiring word comes from if sent with love and good intentions.

Are online friends real friends? I say absolutely. Some of my greatest advice and most wonderful inspiration has come from afar. We must remember to maintain a sense of balance with friends online and friends in the physical world. I encourage you to reach out to people in different countries and cultures. Join online communities dedicated to your interests.

SECRET TO A HEALTHY COMMUNITY

The man on the far right, with the megaphone, is the mayor of my fine city. Every year he holds a 30-day challenge to have members of the community be active for 30 minutes a day. This year the challenge was kicked off with a one mile walk that the mayor led. In politics there is too often examples of “Do as I say, not as I do.” It is refreshing to see a leader who leads by example.

Not only was this an example of a leader walking the walk, but of one who truly cares about the city he leads. Wanting the people who live in the city to be both healthy and happy is an extra step that most officials would not take. The position of mayor is filled with lots of obligations and responsibilities. Arranging both a walk and a 30-day fitness challenge creates a lot of extra work. Including, but not limited to, setting up police presence to make sure the course is safe. Working with sponsors and allocating prizes to be given away, t-shirts printed and what is sure to be countless other details I am forgetting.

Sure, setting up such an event can help you during reelection, but so could just being a great mayor. Why take all of the extra steps? That answer was made clear as we walked along. The mayor did not discuss politics, or as some national politicians are wanting to do, discuss how great of a mayor he was. No, today as we walked along he discussed his son’s love for sports, his family’s like for vacations in northern Wisconsin and an eventful trip they had made to Disney world. Most importantly, the mayor listened. Another sign of a great leader. He listened patiently as people voiced their concerns about aspects of the city, but also when they shared stories of their families as well.

After the walk had concluded, there was a small gathering where water, yogurt and prizes were handed out. Sadly, I did not win any of the State Fair tickets that were up for grabs. I did win, however, by being part of this great community.

I had the great pleasure of talking to wonderful neighbors like Jon and Robin who are also working diligently to foster a sense of community. Even though she wasn’t able to attend, there were plenty of discussions about my amazing neighbor Linda and what a caring neighbor she is. To make the day even better I was able to finally meet several neighbors I had only previously interacted with online including Denise and her fabulous husband. I look forward to chatting more with all of them as we work together to foster a greater sense of togetherness in West Allis Wisconsin.

If your community offers programs such as this I encourage you to join. If they do not, work with leaders to begin some. They not only do a great deal to reduce crime and increase a sense of community, but bring people together for positive and healthy reasons. Leaders, take mayor Dan Devine’s example. Caring about your constituents runs deeper than success at the polls and does not go unnoticed.

NEW AVENUES TO EXPLORE…

Sometimes a path seems so obvious that you cannot believe you have not wandered down it before. Such is a new Facebook page dedicated to this very blog. In a never-ending search to reach more souls dedicated to and searching for ways to live life to the fullest and bring as much joy to their lives as well as the lives of others, I forgot the ever popular social media giant. So for those of you who may be looking for additional motivational and inspirational ideas, or just feel more comfortable reading a Facebook page I invite you to join our new page. It is simply Secret2anamazinglife. There you can interact by posting your own comments, pictures or inspirational stories. You can also view other followers advice on living the most joyful and positive life you can.

After accomplishing this it caused me to pause and ponder, which I must confess to doing quite often. I began to ask myself some very interesting questions. Unlike the ones I ask when I have had too much rum, these you may also want to ask yourself as well. I began to wonder what other paths have been presented to me that I may have overlooked. New places to meet friends? New places to donate my time and ideas? New places to help? So this week I am going to try to step out of the box and see what I might be missing. I encourage you to do the same. Much like our new online avenue to bring joy to others, where can we do the same offline? Take a look in your own life. Where/what/who would benefit from having a little more of you around. If you have any suggestions for us to share, feel free to leave them in the comments here or on our new page and thank you for all of your support!

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING YOU…

In a world where you can be anything, be yourself

this was a random quote I saw on Facebook. It is a great reminder that while people pull us in a million different directions it is vital we stay true to ourselves and our core values and beliefs. We will examine in greater detail how to do this and why it is important later in the week. For today let us just ponder this amazing thought.

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.

INSPIRATION AND ABUNDANCE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR MAILBOX!

I know it takes a little effort to be on the lookout for positivity on a daily basis (it can be a really great habit once you get used to it) so why not have it delivered right to you?  As a postal worker I see that almost every cause, hobby and interest has a magazine to go with it.  So imagine my excitement when walking through the bookstore I discovered a new publication dedicated to living a more rewarding life! I could not wait to sit down and share it with my readers interested in loving their lives more.  The magazine is simply titled “Law of Attraction” and it is filled with ways to feel younger, happier and healthier.  As well as tips to increase the amount of Love, prosperity and gratitude in your life.  So check out both their website and Facebook page listed here.  I am always happy to share any new discovery of things that can increase the quality of our lives and ask you to feel free to do the same!

http://www.LawOfAttractionMag.com

http://www.facebook.com/LawOfAttractionMagazine

Please feel free to let me know what you thought.