Category Archives: Inspiration

The Blessings in Our Life

Reflect on your present blessings ? of which every man has many ? not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. – Charles Dickens

We really have more blessings than we typically realize. The small things, the small blessings go unnoticed in our lives, but they are still there. An important start to your day would be to acknowledge some of those blessings. Here are some of mine:

  1. I’m alive for another day.
  2. I have a very comfortable bed.
  3. I’m in a wonderful relationship.
  4. I have a great set of friends.
  5. I’m able to enjoy a wonderful morning cup of coffee every morning.
  6. Today the air is crisp and cool. I love that.
  7. I love that I can play the guitar.
  8. I have the best daughter.
  9. My life is going just where I want it to go.
  10. I love my job.

What are some of your blessings?

Have a great day!

Michael

Forget What the World Thinks of You

Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, work your best works, looking to your own conscience for approval. – Susan B. Anthony

Forget what people think about you. Forget what the world thinks about you. Just focus on being who you are at any given moment.

The ultimate approval should come from you. You determine if you are being who you want to be. Only you can judge that. No one else. But, don’t take the word judge to mean heavy criticism, or that you have done something wrong. I mean it solely from the aspect of evaluating if you are where you want to be and are doing what you want to do in life. If you’re not, then you always have the choice of changing. If you are then fantastic!

A lot of people feel bad or guilty or ashamed or afraid of being themselves. Too often we look to others to determine what we should be. I say stop the madness. No one knows better than you.

So, just relax. Don’t compromise yourself because of what others say. That’s the only way to be.

Michael

1000th Post

Today’s post is the 1000th post since I started this blog almost three years ago. This is a major milestone for me. It only seems like yesterday when I started writing on a daily basis. But, 1000 days later, here I am.

It’s hard to tell if many people read what I have to say. I know of some, but most I don’t. That’s okay, because I had two goals for this blog project. The first was to journal what I was thinking, feeling or experiencing on any given day especially on the topic of living a happier life. The second was that I wanted to share that writing with at least one other person, hopefully more. I’ve met both of those goals.

I have to say that I have had a multitude of emotions over the last 1000 days while writing down my thoughts. At times it has been easy while other days extremely difficult. I’ve had insights that I’ve enjoyed while other days I couldn’t seem to think myself out of an open box. I’ve felt exhilaration and I’ve felt frustration. The common thread has been perseverance and dedication.

Bottom line, I’ve enjoyed this project. That’s my only reason for doing anything nowadays. I don’t have the time or the inclination for anything else. I want to extract the most out of my life. Doing things that make me miserable is not my idea of a fulfilling life. So, I look for ways to be happier and many times I’ve chronicled those techniques here. Not all will work for you, but many will. We all have to find our own way. That’s okay, but we can all help each other just a little.

The number 1000 is a great number to me. It feels like the completion of something; not the end of something, more like a chapter closing.

I look forward to what the next chapter brings. I’ll be sharing some of that right here.

Michael

Smile a Lot

Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad. – Christina Rossetti, “Remember”

There are no language barriers when you are smiling. – Allen Klein

Smiles are like medicine for the soul. Just the act of smiling, even for no reason, can lift your spirits. It seems that in almost every culture a smile means the same thing. That is amazing to me.

I smile a lot; sometimes alone, but many times with other people. I smile at strangers. Some smile back. Some don’t. I smile at friends. Some smile back. Some don’t.

I smile when I’m alone. I smile for no reason at all. I smile at the small things. I smile at the big things in life. I really don’t need a huge reason to smile. It comes naturally, but I got to this point consciously and with focused effort.

There is very little effort now. For me, smiles come easy and spontaneously. If I find myself around some grumpy, non smiling people, I seem to go into overdrive to compensate for the lack of smiles.

Contrary to current beliefs, we’re supposed to have fun. So, I take my smiles very seriously. :-)

Have a great day!

Michael

Insatiable Curiosity

Fascination is one step beyond interest. Interested people want to know if it works. Fascinated people want to learn how it works. – Jim Rohn

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind. – Samuel Johnson

I am extremely curious about a wealth of things, people, places and etc. I continually find “stuff” that intrigues me and I immediately start asking dozens of questions, sometimes to the dismay of those around me.  :-)

I find the world fascinating and I’m never at a loss to learn something new. I take inspiration for my general obsession about things from children. They are the ultimate curious humans. The world is fresh and new to them. They are intensely amazed at everything around them and can’t seem to get enough information. I love their passion for exploration and desire to experience everything.

Children can teach adults a lot about living, about passion, about living in the moment, about the beauty of the world around us and about getting inspiration from the simple things in life.

I’ll never apologize for my curiosity. I’m thankful I’m that way.

Michael

Following Your Dreams

When a dream takes hold of you, what can you do? You can run with it, let it run your life, or let it go and think for the rest of your life about what might have been. – Patch Adams

Follow your dreams, for as you dream you shall become. – Anonymous

I’m in New York City this weekend to watch my niece perform in a dance recital. For the third year, she has auditioned and won a place in the summer Joffrey Ballet summer workshop. For the last two weeks she has been dancing many hours a day with around 150 other people to prepare for this afternoon’s performance. I don’t want to talk about how good she is and how well she did in the performance. Instead, I want to highlight a person who is fully following her dream.

My niece has wanted to be a dancer since she could walk. It’s been amazing to watch her grow up and never take her eye off what she loves to do. It seems that her dream of dancing has been with her almost from birth.

As you watch her dance, you can easily tell how much she loves to dance. Every move, every turn and every jump seems effortless. It’s very inspirational to watch.

We should all follow our dreams, our passions and our interests. This is the stuff that makes our lives worth living and extremely fulfilling. We all have this capability. It’s our birthright.

Thanks to my niece for being a great example of following your dream. It makes me smile.

Michael

Get Interested in Something

You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored and therefore tired of doing nothing. Get interested in something! Get absolutely enthralled in something! Get out of yourself! Be somebody! Do something! The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. – Norman Vincent Peale

What gets you excited? What drives your curiosity? What makes you feel excited and alive? What interests you?

It’s important to keep the mind active. Boredom can have a huge negative effect on your state of mind, attitude and your emotional level.

Participating in fun activities that keep your mind involved is a great way to increase your energy level also. Sitting around all day doing nothing, watching TV, staring at the ceiling or moping around is not the best use of your time. You’ll feel tired, your attitude will be terrible and your life will not be interesting.

Find something you love to do or better yet several things that keep your interest. Find your passion. Don’t worry if you aren’t good at it. That’s not the point. Having fun and keep your mind active is the way to go.

Michael

Talking to Yourself

95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself. – Brian Tracy

This is so true and the implications of this statement are enormous. It means that by using our mind; i.e. changing our internal dialogue, we can dramatically change the emotions we are experiencing.

In fact, we can use our emotional state to determine what our self-talk is actually telling us. In other words, if we are feeling negative emotion, then 95 out of 100 times it’s something we are telling ourselves. Obviously, this works for positive emotional states also. We don’t typically want to change those, unless of course we would like to either enhance those positive feelings or learn what we are telling ourselves so that we can repeat.

Next time you are feeling down or just not as happy as you can be, listen to what you are telling yourself. Listening is an important step and all change will happen from that point. Once you know how you talk to yourself, than you can start to slowly change what you are saying. Overtime your attitude and average emotional state will improve.

Michael

Happiness from Simple Things

This morning, while walking to my plane, I noticed in the pre-sunrise sky a perfect crescent moon. It seemed to float effortlessly in the salmon colored sky. Above and slightly to the right was brilliant Venus blazing brightly.

The scene seemed to be right out of a novel. I paused for a few moments to take it all in. It seemed so perfect. This is what it’s all about I thought; little tidbits of beauty strewn about our day, giving inspiration and making some of us smile.

The first question is whether we notice them? The second question is do we stop and observe? The third question is do we allow ourselves to be inspired by the simple beauty of our universe? The final question is do we allow these events to brighten our day and give us a small reason to smile if only for a moment?

I always answer yes to all four questions. Thinking back many hours later, the scene still makes me smile though it is only part of my memory now.

Michael

Don't Stand Still

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. – Chinese Proverb

To me, standing still means stagnation, no change, no fun, a sort of death. I have to keep moving, growing, becoming, experiencing and enjoying things for me to feel alive. I don’t like to sit and not grow. Life is about movement, about changing positions and experiencing new things.

I’m a very curious person so I’m never at a loss for something interesting to explore or learn. I ask so many questions that many years ago my nickname for a period of time was “Question Mark.” I took it as a compliment because I was learning at lightning speed while everyone else was sitting around in utter stagnation.

The great thing about life is that you can continue learning, expanding, and experiencing new things until you die. There aren’t really any limits because no matter what your situation, something can always help you be a little bit more.

Life can be just as exciting as we want to make it or it can be stale and distasteful.

I choose exciting.

Michael