Posted in Communication, Friendship, Inspiration, Joy, Motivation, Positive Thinking

Quote Of The Day

Hearts that beat to the tune of kindness can change the rhythm of the world.”

C.J. Peterson
reneebigelow @pixabay

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a nice day!

Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Life, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential

Choices We Make And Why They Are Important – How They Affect Our Life

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Life throws choices at us each day; day in and day out. Sometimes we pay attention, and sometimes we do not. We make many choices with little thought or action; small happenings which we automatically discard or accept.

Many choices are made early on in life, and we take them for granted. We have grown from a small child into adulthood and more than likely; we adopted the thoughts and actions of our parents. We may never change, but that is a choice. We chose to accept them.

Life experiences should and probably will change the way you look at everything. As we are exposed to different people, different cultures, different viewpoints, we will have the opportunity to make new choices. They may be a blend of what you believe now, and what you just were exposed to and decided to accept, or they could be new and different.

When I was a small child, life was simple, and the world did not ever seem to change. Then all of a sudden life went into overdrive, full speed ahead, take a deep breath, and hang on. That’s when you start making choices, and you better be paying attention. You are the one in charge and you make the decisions. Choose wisely.

I believe the quote by Roy T. Bennett includes many of the essential choices we will make in life. Attitude, Respect, Optimism, Happiness, Kindness, and Giving.

Your attitude is everything, and it is all about choice. Every morning when you wake up, you have the opportunity to make choices, and they will affect what you do and how you do it. Every decision you make will affect each day, each week, each month and the rest of your life. Are you going to be positive today or are you going to be a Negative Nancy?

Respect is a choice and an important one. So many people appear not to understand the meaning of being respectful. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions, and we should respect their choices. Our opinions are our own and have nothing to do with anyone else’s. It is crucial to respect yourself and to respect others. The sting of disrespect is potent and can harm another person.

Choosing to be optimistic is so important. We are living through a time filled with negative thoughts and actions. It can be mind-numbing. I think it is crucial to be optimistic. Being optimistic is having hope in the future. It is the ability to believe that you can be successful even when it appears impossible. Optimism makes us confident and able to visualize ourselves accomplishing goals. You may not be naturally optimistic, but it is something you can practice. Right now, I am being optimistic about writing, one small step at a time.

Kindness is something that should be automatic. There should not be a thought process required, yet there is. It is a choice every one should make every day. What a better world it would be. I know many people do choose kindness effortlessly, probably more than we will ever know. Unfortunately, we hear more about the negative events in the news and our social media feeds. Talk and write about positive events in your life as often as possible. We can make a difference for ourselves and others by doing that.

I think Kindness and Giving are two sides of the same coin. When we are kind, we are giving something of ourselves to someone else. A smile, a touch of our hand, a kind gesture like buying someone a cup of coffee, or just having a conversation with a stranger. So simple.

Happiness. Are you happy right now? What about the rest of your day? How are you going to spend your day, and will it make you happy? It is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There are days, or whole slices of our life, that are miserable and sad. Life can be shit sometimes. The unexpected event that knocks you down can bring you to your knees. It will not be easy to visualize being happy, but it is there, hidden. You will get past the bad times, and happiness will come. It will come from the kindness of a friend or a stranger, a shared smile, a small gesture made. When that happens, smile. The times when all is right with the world, we still have a choice every day to be happy. Smile, be happy, and spread it around. Please.

There are other choices that we can make. We have to recognize that we need to change continually. We have to be open to change, accept it, and use it to improve ourselves continuously. Not accepting change is like a self-imposed curse. Being stagnant should not be an option, but it is a choice, a decision, we all can make. No matter how young, or how old you are, you need to welcome change into your life. That is why I am writing. I made a choice to do something different and energize myself, and it is working.

The people we spend time with or listen to will strongly influence our choices. There always seems to be someone you know who is that Negative Nancy, and who finds something each day to complain about, or make fun of someone. Their viewpoint does not match yours and causes you stress. They are difficult to ignore, and sometimes you find yourself influenced by a statement they made. It can be so frustrating, and in some cases, depressing. You do not want to hurt them, but by continuing to be around them, you are hurting yourself—decision time. You need to distance yourself from them or end the relationship. You want to spend your time with people who will support your beliefs, make you stronger, better.

Know yourself, have confidence, and listen to your inner voice. I have written about this before and believe in this innate ability we have within us. Call it intuition. It is like a hunch we feel inwardly that warns us about something we are contemplating doing. It is a little niggling sensation that tells you not to do something, or it may be telling you to go ahead; it’s okay.

When you are making a decision, and you have an uncomfortable feeling, stop, there is a reason you have that feeling. Give yourself some time to contemplate why before you say yes or no. Recently I thought I should not do something but did it anyway; not once, but twice. It was a mistake both times.

Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.”

—Graham Brown

Life is all about the choices we make. Our choices form us. They make us happy or sad, successful, or not. We will not always make the right choices, but if we choose to learn from them, we will continue to grow as a person. We will become better. No one said it would be easy, but this is the only life we have. Make it a good one.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Choose to be happy; smile!

Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Quote Of The Day

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

– Ernest Hemmingway
Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping by. Show someone compassion today.

day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Looking For The Best You? Clear Your Mind And Push Hard To Open The Door To A Better You

Photo by Mohit Sharma on Unsplash

Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.

Unknown

Did you think it would be easy? Welcome to reality. Life is wonderful. It’s also hard. It takes work. Sometimes the work is easy and sometimes it is mind numbing hard.

We do not pop into this world all set and ready to go. We have to learn to do everything. Doing anything new always requires work of some kind. The great thing is we can learn. We just have to be willing to put in the effort.

Sometimes we are scared to try something new. What if we fail? The answer to that is just keep trying. Good things are well worth the effort required.

What about the door? There will be many doors we believe are closed but are they really? We think they are and in our mind we have decided they would be really hard to open. It is up to each of us to open ourselves to change so we become stronger and start to believe we can push the doors open.

When we attempt to learn something new and we really suck at it we automatically want to give up. We look for an easy way out. We don’t want to put in the work required and sometimes we are just comfortable with the way things are. Why change?

If we just take some time to understand our reaction we would realize that we are making excuses. We learn new things all the time and don’t think about it until we are faced with something that is a challenge.

Remember when you were a kid and you quickly learned so many things? We did not even think about it, we just went for it. Why? Because we weren’t scared to do new things. We had not learned to be cautious or scared. We thought we could do anything.

What happened to that positive attitude? Life happened. We may have tried something and were hurt. Our parents or friends told us not to do something. Someone said it was scary. We tried something and it did not work or we did something in front of someone and became embarrassed. We are influenced by others.

We need to stop being so easily influenced by the negativity of others. We should not listen to others or to the voices in our head that tell us we can’t. Try it anyway. We’re adults now right? So we can make you own decisions.

It’s time to be open minded. It is time to try new things. We should be excited to try something new. Sometimes we are, but most of the time not so much.

What do we have to do to embrace new experiences? How do we become open to trying?

  • Accept the fact that there may be a better way to do things. Recognize that you do not have the answer for everything and that you may not always be correct. Sometimes you are just too comfortable with where you are. You have done well at your job or in relationships, You’re great at doing multiple things like playing a great game of basketball or writing and presenting projects at work.

The question is can you be better. The answer is more than likely, yes, you can. You can be better in what you already do and you can be better doing something new and different as well. You will be expanding your life.

  • To make changes to the way you think it is necessary to make yourself vulnerable. You have opened yourself up to the possibility of change and possible failure. There is risk involved. Scary, isn’t it.
  • When you become more open minded and are trying new things you will probably makes mistakes. Mistakes are part of learning. You have probably heard the saying, “Fail Forward”. It is a proven fact that we learn the most when we fail.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”

– Morihei Ueshiba
  • You become stronger by opening up yourself to change. When you do something that is new, something that scares you, it can be life changing. If you are successful that is certainly a win. If you try and fail and pick yourself up and try again that is an even bigger win. Each attempt you make you learn and become a stronger person. You are better for it.
  • You become more confident. It is a great feeling to be open minded and open doors to new ideas, new people and new experiences. Your life is richer. It may not necessarily affect you monetarily. Your life will be richer because you are experiencing so much. You feel good about yourself.
  • It may not be easy to learn to think differently but it is so important. Look for new ideas and new ways to do things. Read, but read something different. Listen to other people, but not the same people. How about joining a discussion group. Watch something different instead of the same old stuff on TV. How about webinars, like TED talks. Open Your Mind. Expose yourself to the wonderful diversity of life.
  • The most important part of being open minded is knowing what is important. How you conduct your life will help determine how successful you are opening doors. Are you friendly and are you sincere? There is a t-shirt I really like which states, “In a world where you can be anything…Be Kind”. Are you kind? Do you help people or are you in it for yourself? The way you approach life and how you conduct yourself has a big impact on how easy it is to open doors. Opening a door for someone else may lead to you having a door opened for you as well.
Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

As always, Thank You for reading my blog. What good will you do today?

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Gratitude-How Does It Help You In Life And Work? Simple Steps You Can Take

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nutures the soul”  Rabbi Harold Kushner

Gratitude. Everyone knows what it is right? Do you understand and practice gratitude? Do you think about it or do you take it for granted?

According to the dictionary, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

There are many more detailed descriptions of gratitude. Harvard Medical School writes that gratitude is “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals–whether to other people, nature, or a higher power” 

So what are the benefits of practicing gratitude? It can be beneficial in every aspect of your life. For it to be beneficial for you at work you have to look at how it benefits you personally. You cannot truly practice gratitude in one and not the other. You can’t fake gratitude.

Think about yourself and your life. What aspects of your life are you grateful for? Do you have good health, a family, a job? Are your parents still alive? Do you have children or a pet you love? Do you have a job and an income? Do you love books, gardening, hiking in nature? Are you able to do all these things?

We take so many things for granted. My parents are gone and I wish they were still here. I have good health and so many people do not. Going outside and listening and seeing nature around me. Hearing the sound of my grandson learning to talk.

I am grateful for all those things and they all make me happy. We are happier when we are grateful for the things we have.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here are just a few of the benefits we receive from practicing gratitude:

  • Gratitude causes happiness. We are happier and have a more optimistic outlook. When we are happy everything else becomes so much easier.
  • We think less about ourselves and more about others. We look for ways to show gratitude to others for what they do and to help others in return.
  • We have more self-esteem and we are less envious/jealous towards others.
  • We feel better. We are more relaxed and we sleep better. Because of this our overall health improves and our energy levels increase.
  • We are more friendly and open towards others which in turn promotes better relationships both personally and professionally.
  • When we have gratitude we are more helpful and show more understanding toward others. We are more empathetic.
  • We listen better and are more respectful. People will want to form a friendship or a better relationship with us because we are more pleasant to be around. People trust us and value our opinion because they know they will be treated with respect.
  • Our outlook improves and we are more helpful towards others which in turn may lead to better work relationships and better results in networking.

Being grateful and showing gratitude to others may be something you do not think about. You understand the concept but take it for granted that you do practice gratitude. But do you?

Some people are certainly better at it than others to the point that you might say they were born that way. I attempt to be grateful but I know I could be better. I always greet people, tell them to have a good day and say thank you.

I really believe that most of us, including me, just take things for granted. We are busy, we may overlook it and then say you will say thanks the next time. Then we forget. Have you ever held the door for someone and they walk right through and do not look at you? They do not smile or say thank you.

Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more commonplace. I am a woman and I have held a door for men before and they do not even acknowledge me. Pretty rude wouldn’t you say? It won’t keep me from doing it again though.

Sometimes such a simple act can make all the difference in a person’s life. It makes me feel better by doing it, it makes me smile. Most of the time someone smiles back.

As a society, I sometimes feel we are disconnected. What kind of life will it be if we all become unaware of each other because we are so lost in our own thoughts or activities?

Gratitude is important. Individual people, families, the people we work with and society as a whole all benefit from the practice of gratitude.

Make a practice of thinking about what you are grateful for. Acknowledge someone who has done something for you.

Do simple things like saying hello, smiling and offering to help. Buy someone a coffee. Write someone a thank you card or send an email saying how much you appreciate them. Hug someone. Take flowers to someone. Be quiet and listen and acknowledge what is being said. Be kind. If you have not seen your neighbor lately, particularly if they are older or not in good health, knock on their door and ask if there is anything you can do. 

I am grateful for being able to share my blog with you today. What are you grateful for?

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

The Dimensions of Beauty

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” – Ashley Smith

What do you consider beauty and what dimensions do you think it adds to your life ?

I see beauty everywhere. Certainly you see beauty in a child’s face. I see the beautiful light and grace in the face of a child and the wonderful possibility of life.

There is also beauty in the face of the aged; their endurance showing in the lines of their face, the shape of their hands and the bend in their back.

Walk outside and breath in the smell of rain and damp earth. See the bright yellow daffodils and the flowering trees, Hear the birds waking in the early morning and the peepers filling the air with their sound by the pond in the evening.

Watch the cat and dog, such good friends, bound outside together and follow each other through the yard.

Hear the sound of the little voice of your grandson and listen to your teenage granddaughter as she talks about her new interests and share her talents with you.

Listen to your favorite music. Music adds so much to your life. It is a wondrous thing. Calming and exciting. soothing and motivating. Beautiful.

Each morning welcome that first cup of coffee. Bend and flex, stand up straight and enjoy the movement. Relishing that you are alive and dream about what you will do today.

These are all beautiful to me. What do you find beautiful ?

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” – Mark Twain

People are beautiful. I think all people have beauty in them. Some will be physically beautiful and some will be emotionally beautiful. We may not be aware of each person’s beauty or we may not accept that they are.

If you smile at someone and they smile back I truly believe you have just experienced beauty. A smile lights someone’s face, their eyes and their spirit. Part of the beauty is that you both have shared a little piece of yourself.

When you go online and look at photos of people, and I mean all people, you will see all forms of beauty. I like the fact that we are all different. The shape of someone’s face, their beautiful eyes, the color of their skin and the way it all fits together. There is a piece of beauty in all of us. All we have to do is look.

“Flawed, we’re truly interesting, truly memorable, and yes, truly beautiful.” ― Justina Chen Headley

Beauty exists in what we do. We have a choice each day to decide what we will do with our time. I wish all of us could make one, just one, effort each day to help someone else. The smallest thing can be powerful. What a beautiful world it would be if we did.

Of course, the wonderful smile, the sincere hello, making eye contact even if you wonder if you should. Asking someone if they need help, buying someone a cup of coffee.

Volunteering at a hospice center, a pet rescue, a pre-school or library.

Paying it forward….what can you do. I always donate money at the checkout for families in need, contributing to food drives, the United Way. I can’t afford much but I always give what I can. I often think I hope someone would do the same if I were in the same situation.

Offering to shovel snow or mow someones lawn, taking someone to a doctor’s appointment. Taking a plate of cookies or a whole meal to someone who is in need. Small things but they will make you, and them, feel better. A simple act of kindness is beautiful.

So what are you going to do today ? Make it beautiful !

“Beauty can be consoling, disturbing, sacred, profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, chilling. It can affect us in an unlimited variety of ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference: beauty demands to be noticed; it speaks to us directly like the voice of an intimate friend. If there are people who are indifferent to beauty, then it is surely because they do not perceive it.” – Roger Scruton, Beauty

As always, like you for reading my blog. Have a beautiful day !

Posted in Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Compassion

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” The Dalai Lama

What is compassion ?

 The definition of compassion according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is

“The sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”.

Many people confuse compassion with empathy.  Compassion has the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another.  From <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/200804/what-is-compassion-and-how-can-it-improve-my-life

Empathy is “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”  Definition from the Oxford Dictionary. It does not include the desire to alleviate distress; to take steps to help the person in distress.

So are you compassionate ?  Before writing this if someone had asked me if I were compassionate I would have said yes.  After reading and researching I am not sure I truly am.  I think I have empathy and I do think I am compassionate but not as much as I could, or should, be.  Compassion indicates that you have to have the desire to alleviate another person’s distress.  I may have the desire but what does it take to really follow through and act on that desire.  I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I think most people are similar to me.   We have empathy,  but we do not practice true compassion.

Thankfully I know there are many truly compassionate people and they are indeed special.

When you watch the nightly news or information on the internet, the feed on face book, what is your reaction ? I quite often cringe at people’s cruelty and the pain that people are going through.  I make the right sounds of anguish, say the right things but do I actually do anything.  I might make a contribution when I am able but do I actually take what would be considered true action ? No.  I think most people would also say no.

I also understand that to be compassionate it does not have to be a grand gesture or action.  Most of us do not have the ability to do so.  We do not have the financial means or the ability to go to a disaster area to help. 

How do we practice being compassionate ? How can we be compassionate toward others ?

I think we have to be open minded and try to understand what other people are going through on a day to day basis.  We do not know what their life is like or what their day has been like.  So do not be judgmental or too quick to jump to a conclusion.  The best and easiest way to be compassionate is to smile.  I love it when someone smiles at me.  How can you not smile back ?  So smile often, at many people, every chance you get.

“Compassion, tenderness, patience, responsibility, kindness, and honesty are actions that elicit similar responses from others.”  — Jane Smiley, Harper’s, June 2000

I believe that each aspect of the above quote are all part of compassion; have patience, show tenderness and kindness and be honest.

To show, or practice, compassion we need to not only be aware of others but ourselves as well.  If we are having a bad day, if we are over tired or stressed, then it will be difficult to be open and aware of other people and their problems. So be kind to yourself first and you will be better equipped to be kind to someone else.

Ironically, we tend to not always be aware of those we are closest to, in particular our families.  How easy is it to take them for granted or to be easily critical.  They love us right so they will understand. No, that is just wrong, but I know I do it.  I hope I am wrong but I think most people do it too.

So become aware of the interactions with your family and your friends and treat them with compassion.  Be Kind to them and also to your self and then do the same to everyone else as well.

A smile or kind gesture done each day should be a habit we each maintain.  It should be easy right ?  It should also be honest and sincere.  If you ask someone how they are and if there is anything you can do to help, mean it.  Don’t just ask the question and then not follow through.  If you know you can’t, or won’t, follow through then don’t offer the help.  A kind word and a smile will always be beneficial.

Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we were all more open minded and aware and that we all showed compassion toward each other ?

“There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy and a grace in forgiveness.”  Unknown