Monthly Archives: September 2009

Time is Wonderful

Time has a wonderful way of weeding out the trivial. – Richard Ben Sapir0

Time. We love it. We hate it. It goes fast. It goes slow. But, one thing for sure is that it doesn’t stop marching forward.

Time can be our friend, though. It heals wounds. It helps us forget the pain of a difficult moments in our lives. It brings wisdom if we let it and as Mr. Sapiro states, time weeds out the trivial. I agree. We remember the most important moments in our lives. The rest seems to fade into the noise of the past.

My favorite thing is to have the experience when time seems to stand still. Have you experienced that? You typically don’t notice until the moment is over. I’ve found it to happen in pivotal life moments, periods of extreme joy and delight and those times when we seem to be closing chapters in our lives. In these moments, I find that my senses are on overload. Everything seems more distinct, more vital. Afterwards, I remember almost everything; exquisite detail, emotions, expressions and thoughts.

I treasure those moments “out of time.” They make my life richer.

Michael

Tackle Problems Now

It is a good rule to face difficulties at the time they arise and not allow them to increase unacknowledged. – Edward W. Ziegler

One’s objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over. You see, your problem won’t improve with age. – Warren Buffett

Are you one of those people who tend to not face problems? Do you hate having to deal with problems? Do problems scare you or make you feel like your life is out of your control?

The best advice is to tackle problems as they occur. Not facing them, refusing to make a decision concerning them or leaving them alone will cause problems to fester and grow bigger. A small problem can become a really big problem in a very short amount of time.

Three keys to dealing with problems are:

  1. Believe that you have the power to solve them.
  2. Know that all problems push us to grow in understanding about ourselves and others.
  3. Problems are just one side of the coin. The other side is the solution. There is never a problem without a solution.

If you believe you can’t solve a problem, then it will never happen. Many times just coming to the realization behind the three keys mentioned above will be enough to propel your mind into a different, more creative place. When your attitude about a problem shifts away from negative and turns towards positive, your mind is freer to do what it does best; i.e. solve problems. Humans have an infinite potential if our attitude and thought process are more aligned to positive things.

Next time you are facing a problem, take a step back, think about the three keys and figure out a way to calm down. This slight shift will turn you towards not only a solution but a better solution.

Michael

Destiny and Choice

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. – Jeremy Kitson

Some believe destiny comes from luck while others believe it comes from fate. Some think destiny is something given to us by things divine while others think that our destiny is determined by other people.

I think Jeremy Kitson has it right. Destiny is choice and choice comes from our thoughts. So, for me, it’s an easy jump to say that destiny is determined by what we think on a regular basis. In other words, our dominant thought patterns day in and day out determine our destiny.

Some people have convinced themselves that they do not have a choice in their life, so for them destiny is something perpetually out of their control. Working on what we think and how we think can help bring that control back to ourselves.

If we continually or consistently think “negative” thoughts about a variety of subjects, then we will have a belief that our destiny is less than desirable. We will think that our destiny is one of misery, despair and etc.

But, if we work on thinking about ourselves and the world around us in a more positive framework, then our destiny immediately becomes better. We’ll make choices that support our positive thoughts and beliefs. We’ll feel more in control. Actually you won’t just feel in control, you’ll actually be more in control.

Destiny starts with our thoughts. Thoughts that are regularly thought become beliefs. Beliefs influence our choices. Our choices determine our destiny.

Michael

Deciding to Forgive

Forgiveness is not an emotion, it’s a decision. – Randall Worley

Forgiving comes in two distinct flavors; forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others. I think, overall, we struggle more to forgive ourselves than we do to forgive others. Either way, forgiveness is vitally important for emotional health and general well-being.

Since forgiveness is a decision, we always have the choice to forgive regardless of the situation. The challenge lies in making that choice. When we are hurt, harbor feelings of guilt or feel strong emotions like anger or fear; it can be hard to even think about forgiveness.

When we don’t forgive, we tend to hold on to the past to the point of emotional constipation. We get backed up. Our emotional bucket is overflowing with past hurts, transgressions and etc. to the point of bursting. We can’t enjoy our lives as much because we have all this “baggage” that we have decided to hold on to. Not forgiving is a key factor in stopping or slowing emotional growth. We lean towards pessimism and other negative emotional states more than if we regularly forgive.

The choice to forgive, either ourselves or others, is a choice of living life to the fullest. It’s a choice of moving towards being happier. It’s a choice to experience the world with a sense of optimism and hope. It’s a choice to be responsible for our own feelings and take back our own power. It’s a choice to live in the present moment as opposed to the past.

Choice forgiveness and you will feel the freedom that choice brings.

Have a great day!

Michael

Good People in the World

Yesterday I was in the Chicago Airport standing in line at one of the food court vendors in terminal C. A man and his wife were walking behind me when all of a sudden another gentleman ran up to them and said to the man, “You dropped this back there.” The gentlemen proceeded to hand the other man a $10 bill that had presumably fallen out of his pocket when he got up from eating.

The man was at first startled that someone had run up behind him. But, then he was even more startled to have another person hand him a $10 bill. The look on the man’s face was one of confusion, surprise and thankfulness. His face showed that he probably either didn’t have a belief that someone would give back “found” money like that or he didn’t believe it would happen to him.

Either way, he thanked the gentleman who found it and walked away with a look of puzzlement.

I believe that this is just one example among millions of good deeds that happen every single day. We don’t hear much about them because most of the news seems to be focused on the bad stuff going on.

This incident is not an exception. It’s the norm. We just need to open our eyes a little bit to see more of them.

Have a great day!

Michael

85 Years

Erica’s mother turned 85 today. What a fantastic milestone. A huge party was thrown in her honor. People flew in from all corners of the country. It was quite the event!

I liked the fact that people cared so much about Marge that they not only took the time to come to Newport for the weekend but some flew hundreds and thousands of miles. Wow! That says a lot about her and the friendships she has made over her lifetime.

I find inspiration from Marge in the many countries that she has traveled. I looked at the list of places she has visited over her lifetime and was astounded. In some years she visited half a dozen countries and she traveled like this regularly for most of her life. I got the travel bug late in my life, but it bit hard and I can’t seem to get enough.

The other thing that inspires me about Marge is the time and money she gives to worthwhile charities and other important organizations. She is continually working to help improve the lives of others. She doesn’t talk about it. She just does it, day in and day out.

Finally, the third thing that I enjoy about Marge is her independence. It’s one of the first things I noticed about her after our initial introduction. It’s a great lesson and inspiration for all who meet her.

So, Marge, Happy 85th Birthday! I can’t wait to celebrate your 90th with you. It will definitely take that long to work off all the food we consumed for 8 or 9 hours today.

Michael

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

New Posting Schedule

I’ve decided to change the posting schedule for this blog. I’ll post regularly here on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week.

With my extra time, I will be working on three other writing projects:

  1. Working on the happiness book with Nat.
  2. Increasing posts on my travel blog, Where in the World?.
  3. Increasing posts on my imaging blog, Seeing is Believing.

Regular posts for the other blogs will begin around Sept. 25th though there is a lot of material there already. I hope you will visit those blogs also.

Michael

Know Yourself

You have to start knowing yourself so well that you begin to know other people. A piece of us is in every person we can ever meet. – Stephen King, Night Shift

Everyone we meet has characteristics of ourselves. The more we learn about ourselves, the better we will know others when we meet. Many times when we get angry at other people, it’s because we are seeing something about ourselves that we don’t like. It can be conscious or unconscious, but I find it is mostly unconscious. It’s almost like looking in a mirror and seeing things we don’t like about ourselves.

If we get angry at someone that is controlling, it typically means that we are a controlling person. If we react to someone being very picky, it usually means that we are picky ourselves. I find it a strange phenomenon, but most of the time I examine myself, I found that it to be true.

So, if we can hold back our reaction to people and look inside we might be surprised at what we find. Everyone can teach us something about ourselves. It requires non-reaction, self-reflection and openness to change.

The next time someone is bothering you or making you angry, ask yourself what can you learn from this person. What parts that you don’t enjoy about them can be found within you? You just might grow by leaps and bounds.

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