Posted in Communication, Excitement, Inspiration, Positive Thinking

Quote Of The Day

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”

Allen Klein
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping by. Color your world today!

Posted in Excitement, Inspiration, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking

What Does It Mean To Be Authentic? What Choices Should You Make To Show Who You Are?

https://unsplash.com/photos/hbkWMj41Y0I

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Oscar Wilde

Are you authentic? We all have our moments, maybe more than we like to admit when we present ourselves differently depending on who we are interacting with at the time. We are almost like a shapeshifter.

We adapt to our environment. When we are unsure of ourselves and think we are not good enough, we may assume the persona we believe will be accepted.

An example might be a business meeting or dinner. Another example might be meeting a fiance’s family for the first time. We are going to present what we think they want to see.

It might be acceptable in some circumstances for a brief moment in time, but it is better to show the real you.

It is easy for people to realize that you are faking it, and it can be a turn-off. People like, and appreciate, someone who is authentic.

How can you be authentic and show your true self?

Realize and accept that you are not perfect. It is impossible, so do not try. Embrace who you are, even when it makes you feel unsure of yourself. Everyone is different and has value. You may feel vulnerable, but there is no need to be. When you accept yourself, others will accept you too. Be confident in who you are.

When you are interacting with someone, look for the things you have in common. Ask open-ended questions and then listen to their answers. You will be able to find an understanding of the other person and develop a connection to them. When asked a question, respond openly, and you will show your authentic self.

Observe yourself and recognize how you respond and interact when you are in an uncomfortable setting. You will learn to realize what situations make you uncomfortable and why you feel that way. Once you have that understanding, you can compensate by using some of your authentic skills.

Practice mindfulness. Always stay present in your interactions with others so that you respond appropriately. People recognize when you let your mind wander in a conversation by observing your body language and from your responses. The ability to stay present is the most effective way to be authentic.

Developing authenticity is a journey of self-awareness and growth. To be authentic, you have to understand what your beliefs are. Is there a difference between what you do and say and what you believe in? It is an opportunity to evaluate your self and to improve.

It is also an opportunity to face your fears. We all have them, and by being authentic, we need to look at all the aspects that make us who we are, good and bad. All of our experiences and all our emotions make us who we are.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let out true selves be seen.”

Brene Brown

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

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

Work Dynamics – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- The Webs We Weave

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Do you love your job? Do you get up ready to go to work and know you are going to enjoy the day? Do your peers interact well together and respect each other? Does your boss communicate well, show respect and encouragement and acknowledge individual contributions?

If you can answer yes to those questions be happy, very happy, because you are working in a good environment. Consider yourself lucky. That type of environment is not easily found.

There are companies that are toxic because of the webs woven by boss and employees. Once a culture is negative it can be extremely difficult to correct and takes the work and positive input of many, many people.

Most of us have probably worked for a company that was good but not great. It was good enough to be acceptable. Sometimes we end up in jobs that are barely tolerable. Unfortunately, we do not always have many options and we feel lucky just to have a job.

What can we do to improve the dynamics of the work place?

  • Use your communication skills. Communication is indeed a skill and quite often we overlook it’s importance. We think we are good communicators but are we? Communication is not just our use of language. It is also our ability to listen, ask questions, understand and observe body language.

One of the most frustrating experiences for anyone is to talk and not be given the respect of being heard and understood.

  • Be kind. Be friendly and smile. Say hello even when you do not like someone. You have to work with them and you may not truly understand them. Try to learn more about them. Ask questions and try to look at it from their perspective. If given the chance they may surprise you and you will probably surprise them.
  • Be positive and look for ways to incorporate that into the work culture. When working on projects and you have a new idea try to present it in such a way that others will be able to see the benefit as well. Show them how they will gain from your idea.
  • If someone is confrontational toward you, or others, try not to be defensive. Take a deep breathe, smile and ask them to clarify what is wrong. Listen and take the time to try to understand the way they are feeling. Ask more questions if appropriate and thank them for their input. Tell them you appreciate their concerns and will take them into consideration. Let them know you are willing to talk whenever they have a concern that affects the work dynamic and you would appreciate the same courtesy.
  • Recognize when you or someone else are stressed. Having someone stressed in the workplace can affect everyone. You can take steps to work off your stress with exercise, meditation, reading a book, watching a movie or taking a walk. Suggest the same activities to a co-worker. Ask them if they have watched a recent movie or read the newest book and encourage them to do so. Tell them how relaxing those activities are for you.

If you are the boss or the employee how you interact is so important to the overall dynamic. There is always a shift of actions and reactions within a group of people and it should be up to all involved to realize their impact on others. As a group you should be working toward the same goal. I believe it is something that should be talked about within any company, large or small. It should start at the top but it can start anywhere. Communication is the most important element.

Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Management System on Unsplash

The goal is to be happy. If you can work somewhere and be a positive influence everyone wins. Happiness is contagious and others will be encouraged by your attitude. Their attitude will change and you will become more supportive of each other. That is a win-win in any environment.

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change you forever.”

Amy Poulter

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Spend some time with someone who inspires you today.

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

The Pure Joy Of Reading Hard Cover Books-Why It Is Good For Us

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. – Confucius

Do you remember reading as a child. The wonder of it all. Getting lost in adventures. Such a wondrous experience, one I eagerly took part in and enjoy still today.

Books are everything. They offer adventure, escape, wonder, and excitement. We gain knowledge. Books teach us. While we are lost in enjoyment our brains are being filled with words, inspiration and knowledge.

As a child, books increase our vocabulary and make us inquisitive about the world around us. They make us eager to learn more, read more and open to learning as we grow. When we read as a child and as an adult it opens our minds and gives us the ability to analyze.

Envision Harry Potter and the effect it has had on so many children. They are wrapped up in all the situations playing out on the page and thinking about all the possibilities. Their imagination soaring.

At the same time they are evaluating and learning concepts. They are learning skills that they will use the rest of their lives.

I love the texture of a book in my hand and the pages as they slip through my fingers. The weight of the book, even it’s smell. The crisp clean smell of a new book first opened and the old musty smell of a book sitting on a library shelf. Reading is a tactile experience imprinted on your brain that stores memories and feelings.

When we read we can lose ourselves in the story. It is relaxing and invigorating all at the same time.

Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.

Annie Murphy Paul, March 17, 2012

Reading evokes empathy with the characters. We respond with emotion to the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows of their lives. We suffer and rejoice with the characters. In real life our perceptions and our responses to human interactions may become more empathetic as a result.

Neuroscience and the use of brain scans is showing the affect words have on different areas of our brain.

Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto (and a published novelist), has proposed that reading produces a vivid simulation of reality, one that “runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers.” Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. (Annie Murphy Paul, March 17, 2012)

We expand our knowledge and strengthen our brain by reading. We read for enjoyment and to learn.

The most important aspect of reading is overlooked, our brain, the health of our brain. We take it for granted. When you make the decision to exercise what are you thinking about ? The way our body looks, the definition of our muscles, the health of our heart. The most important muscle we have is our brain. Our brain with the help of our nervous system controls everything we do.

When we read we are exercising our brain. Just like muscles, the brain benefits from a good workout. And reading is more neurobiologically demanding than processing images or speech. As you’re absorbing a book or article, “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging,” says Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories, ( By Lauren Duzbow , June 2008)

Reading makes us smarter by increasing our general knowledge and our vocabulary. Our expanded ability to use words allows us to be better in all aspects of our lives. We become better, more interesting conversationalists. We become better writers, better teachers, better bosses, better parents.

When we read we stimulate our brain. We are exposed to new thoughts and ideas. Have you ever been reading and thought “Wow, I never thought of that!” or “I want to be more like that.”

Reading can give us a different perspective. When we are done reading a page, a chapter or a whole book we can sit and soak it all in. We reflect, we think and we are richer for it.

When we read we relax, lower our stress levels and sleep better. We relate better to the life and experiences of other people. We become better humans.

Pick up a hard cover book and relish in the experience. Feel the weight of it in your hand, feel the pages as they slip across your fingers and smell the wonderful aroma. Sink back in a chair and absorb. Lose yourself in the wondrous joy of reading.

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

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

Thankful – Tonight We Pray For What We Know Can Be.

Right now, at this time, in this crazy, out of kilter world, we are living in you may think there is less and less to be thankful for. It can certainly seem that way. There are certain aspects of this world that scares the bejeezus out of me.

Each day we are virtually bombarded with negativity. We see and hear on the news about people hurting one another, killing one another, for no rational reason. Families killing families. People losing their homes; living in their cars or on the street. People needing so much help. Immigrants suffering in their own countries looking for a new life and finding more suffering. There’s so much sorrow.

Politically we are constantly given negative information. Politicians lying to us and using misinformation. Our President encouraging the very activities that create fear and divisiveness between all of us. Why ? I don’t want that, do you ? Help us be better people, not worse. Do not divide us.

We hear about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin and the threat of nuclear weapons.

Constant discussion of trades wars with China and the effect on our economy. The position of the United States on the world stage; our attitude toward other countries, our allies and our enemies.

The news media bombarding us with a constant updates of everything happening at any given moment in time. We hear about our neighborhood, our town, city, county and state. We hear about the US, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, the Middle East. Wherever there is a crisis, or a tragedy, we hear about it.

The media is doing their job by informing us and, unfortunately for us, the things we hear about are the negative news because it is headline worthy and will gain the most attention. The media compete with each other for the biggest draw. I do not see it changing, although I wish it would. Is there anything we can do to change that ?

Maybe, I hope so, I think so. Because in spite of all the negatives I believe there is more good. I believe there are more great, inspirational, caring people than bad. I believe we all can make our lives better, our world better.

Yes, we all need to be informed, but please give us more of the “good” stuff that is happening. Tell us about all the wonderful things that people do for other people. I know most of the TV news channels end their programs with one of those stories but I would appreciate more. I need more.

So what do we do ? Everyone will have different opinions about the state of the world and that is to be understood. What bothers me may not be an issue for you. Some of us will have problems ourselves that seem insurmountable and need help ourselves. I guess the question for each of us to ask is what can I do; is there anything that each of us can do even when we think we can’t.

When we help someone, we are also helping ourselves. By helping someone feel better it changes our perspective too and we automatically feel better ourselves. When you see that person react to your kindness you will be moved by their smile. You will feel better and smile more throughout you day as will they.

From the lyrics of “Thankful”
“Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.”

It is so easy to focus on the negatives that we are bombarded with each and every day. We do forget to look around us and see the joy that surrounds us. We do take when we should give. Sometimes I think we are not mindful of what is really taking place. We do not truly observe, we do not comprehend what we are seeing. We just do not pay attention.

I will not say we do not care because I know we do. We each have our bad days, the days when something just drags us down and it overwhelms you. Do Not Let It.

If each of us would take the time to truly see and look at what is there right in front of us maybe we would react in a different way. We would be kinder and more compassionate.

Recently I have really been trying to take myself away from the negative mindset. Yes, I still listen to the evening news because I do want to know some of what is happening in our world but I listen selectively. I am avoiding the majority of my email feed and scan and delete and only read those that I truly feel will be beneficial.

I do the same with Twitter and Facebook. I skim over what I consider as negative and only read what is positive. I post positive thoughts and information. My blog reflects
positivity, or that is certainly my intension. I look for positive quotes almost every day and I share those with others and I truly think about them. They make me feel better.

Each day I try to wake up and immediately tell myself this is a good day, it’s a beautiful day full of possibilities. What am I going to do today to feel good about myself and my surroundings. I think that we have to start with ourselves. If we tend to be negative then we have to switch our mindset. We control that and if we can be more positive ourselves than we are more capable of spreading that out into the world.

Second verse from “Thankful”
“So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for. ”

Here is one “good” story I heard on the nightly news last night:
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/pilots-give-free-flights-to-diverse-kids-who-need-mentors/
As a means of being a positive role model for kids who face the same cultural difficulties as himself, Jerome Stanislaus gives free flights and mentorship to children – particularly kids of color.
Stanislaus’s labor of love first started last year when he began working with a nonprofit called Fly for the Culture.

And this story also from the evening news:
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/young-men-who-befriended-widower-vow-to-make-time-for-her/

They saw a woman eating by herself in a restaurant and decided to offer their company after thinking “My exact thoughts [were] ‘dang I’d hate to have to eat alone,’” Her response was that she believes God sent her to the restaurant that night so she could be reminded of the kindness of strangers.

While researching for this post I was happy to find a website called Positive News,
which since being established in July has become the world’s first crowdfunded global media cooperative. The paper is now owned by 1526 readers, journalists and supporters.

I also found other examples such as the Real Life Heroes series by KST TV on YouTube, along with sites including Good News NetworkJoy News NetworkDaily GoodHuffPost Good newsOh My GoodnessPositive NewsSunny Skyz and Gimundo.

These sites were part of this article:
https://theconversation.com/smiles-all-round-why-sharing-happy-news-is-good-for-you-and-everyone-you-know-49802

The bad news we are exposed to can affect us in such a way that it will change our view points in a negative way. I do not want that to happen. The more negative we all become the more negative everything around will be as well.

Decide to be positive and share that with everyone you come across. Smile at everyone, say hi, tell them it’s a great day even if it is raining or it’s cold and the sun is not shining. Make your smile and attitude as big, shiny and warm as the sun and keep passing it around. So easy to do but it can have a big effect.

Look for ways to help. It doesn’t have to be big. A simple gesture like holding the door for someone or asking them if they need help will make someone feel better. You see someone struggling, ask them if the they need help. Have you ever been in a parking lot and you see someone who looks like they can’t find their car ? or a young mother with a baby and a crying child too ? or someone who drops something and is limited in their mobility ? You guessed it, ask them if they need help.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen or a pet shelter. Drive someone to their doctors appointment or to buy groceries. Know someone who is taking care of a sick family member ? ask them if there is anything you can do to help. All simple things but they help so much and they make all the difference in the world to the person who needs the help.

Looking for more ideas on how to help use this site as a reference.
https://zenhabits.net/25-ways-to-help-a-fellow-human-being-today/

Third verse for the song, “Thankful”
Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdue

I do not want to believe that it is too late to make positive change in everyone’s life. I believe in hope and I believe in our ability to change. We can be compassionate. We can look beyond ourselves and know our own truth. Please be a positive force in this world. Smile and help someone today and every day going forward.

As always, Thank You for reading my blog. Have a “Thankful” day !

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

How Do You Create and Maintain A Positive Attitude ?

“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive, because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.”
Ghandi

Do you have a difficult time being positive ? or do you live or work with someone that tends to be negative ? Some people always seem upbeat and positive and are always smiling and happy. What makes them that way and can you do something to be that way too ?

Every morning when we wake up we have a choice to make. What will we do today and what will our attitude be. How will we choose ? Will we be happy or sad ? Will we be positive or negative ? The choice is there each and every day and, yes, we do have a choice.

There may be things in place we have to do like going to work, getting the kids up and ready for school, walking the dog, buying groceries. Sometimes we cannot change our schedules but we can change our outlook.

Everyone has days, weeks and sometimes months, if not years, when life isn’t the greatest. We have all been there in one form or another. Sometimes it is very difficult to change and some of us will need help coping. That is OK. Seek the help you need and move forward a step at a time.

We can make changes in our lives, simple changes, that will make us more positive. Take some quiet time and think about what you like to do that is relaxing. Write your thoughts down at the end of the day; what did you do today that made you smile or feel relaxed. Write down what makes you feel tense or irritable.

When you practice this and do it consistently you will probably see a pattern. You should make two columns on a sheet of paper, one marked with the things that made you feel good and one with the things that made you feel bad.

Look at the list and decide if there are things you can eliminate from the negative side either by just not doing them, or if that is not an option, finding someone else that can do them for you, either a member of your household or by hiring someone to do it.

If it is work related can you talk to your boss and see if that particular task can be changed in some way to make it easier to do or have it assigned to someone else. Explain why and ask if there is a trade off. Perhaps there is a different job you are more qualified to do and would prefer doing. Talk to your boss and see if they can move you into that position.

It is always a good idea to be able to perform all jobs within your area; it makes a more skilled and satisfied employee. If you like the company you work for talk to your boss about developing a course of action so that you can continue to grow and move forward within the company.

You will be more satisfied, less stressed and you can move the problems you had with your job from the con side to the pro side of your list.

When you look at the positive side of your list is there something that you can do more of? How can you incorporate those things both at work and at home. If you want to be more active perhaps you can walk on your lunch time. Walk around the block or if there is a park nearby eat your lunch there, listen to music and then walk back to your workplace.

At one of my work places I would get in my car and drive to a pier at a nearby lake, park the car, listen to music and watch the water while I enjoyed my lunch. It was very relaxing and a nice break from anything that might have been stressful that day. It changes your perspective in a good way.

I love being outside, taking my dog for a walk, doing some gardening. Listening to music always relaxes me. Each of us has something we like to do that makes us feel better. Perhaps reading a book or cooking/baking or doing something creative is your thing that you like to do and find relaxing.

Meditation is interesting to me but I have not actively pursued learning how to do it but just taking quiet time to relax has worked for me. I love showers but some people find the ritual of a bath with all the special soaps and lotions totally relaxing.

If you read the quote at the top of the page it really does break down the actions we should incorporate into our daily lives.

“Keep your thoughts positive because you thoughts become your words.” Sounds easy enough right ? I have mentioned several things we can do to feel more positive and improve our negative thoughts, our outlook. There are many things we can practice each day and make habits to improve our life.

“Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors.” Negative words, we hear them all the time. There always seems to be at least one person at work, in our group of friends and acquaintances, at the store and most events that is a negative person. If we watch and listen to them you will probably be able to detect an overall negative attitude. Something is always wrong, it is not their fault, why did it happen to them and so forth.

Sometimes that negative attitude is a learned behavior. Someone grows up in a household where a parent uses negative language. They feel like a victim when in reality their viewpoint is distorted. When you live with someone like that, or you develop a friendship with someone who is negative, it is very likely that you may mimic the behavior. But you do not have to and you can change.

As a child you may visit, and spend time with, other families and start to question how their lifestyle compares to that of your own family. You may observe happy people, who enjoy each other, who do not belittle each other and do not use foul or negative language. You realize you like being around them and you start changing your behavior to be more like them.

That can happen at any time in our life.

“Keep your behaviors positive, because your behaviors become your habits.”

What you do each day are your habits. In the scenario above a child lived in a negative household and was learning those same habits but he, or she, learned through a friendship that there was an alternative way to act. If they were to continue on that same path they were in the process of learning new habits which could be incorporated in their life going forward.

The same thing happens day in, day out, in different households around the world. We learn early on from the people we are exposed to, especially our families, but as we grow we learn from others that there is a different option for almost every aspect of our lives. At some point we make a choice as to which path we will follow. We can change and we can improve. Negative or positive, which do you want to be.

“Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.”

So we have decided to be positive. We realize it is the way you want to live your life. It is a habit to live that way and we work hard to maintain that same attitude by focusing on and adding positive value to our life each day.

Our habits have now become our values. Our values are what determine how we live our lives. Our values are the standards we use to determine what we do both at work and at home. We use our values to judge how we are doing; are we successful, are we leading a good life, are we where we want to be.

My values will not be the same as yours, nor should they be. We may have similar values but it is not important rather they are the same. Each person arrives at, and determines, their values from their own life experiences.

“Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.”

Our values are important because they will flavor everything you do, every decision you make, not only for you but for your family. Your values will be the image you project out into the world. People will judge you by your values. Where you decide to work and rather you are successful at work, and elsewhere, will be determined by your values.

Can you change your values ? Certainly, but it is not an easy thing to do. Your values are probably the same or very similar to your parents. That is usually what happens and then we may adjust them as we have new life experiences.

Depending on your age you will probably have been exposed to many different things than your parents were. It is a rapidly changing world, so it stands to reason that you may have a different way of looking at things then they did. Will that affect your values ? Possibly. If so, it may be a slow process and that may the best approach.

Whatever you do in life, what type of work you do, where you live, the activities you participate in and the amount of money you have and how you spend it, or don’t, all reflect your values. At the end of your life ,and you look back, how will you feel about your life ? That will be determined by your values.

Choose wisely because our values and how they guide our life are our destiny. Make it a good one.

As always, Thank you for reading my blog. “Wake Up and Live”.