It reminded me of a day a few years ago, when I was in a job that occassionally took me downstate, to Concord, NH, to the headquarters of the project I was working on was hosting a meeting.
For some reason, when I left my home about 2 hours north of Concord, I decided to find things that I was grateful for, and keep focusing on things I was grateful for as long as I could.
By the time I reached Plymouth, NH (which was about an hour and a half away), I was still listing things.
I noticed something else rather peculiar that day. For some reason I found myself in an almost spiritual place – nothing was bothering me, every thought I had was overflowing with a vague feeling of joy.
It was downright odd.
As I was writing in my newseltter, while it seems easy to find things to be thankful for on a sunny day when everything is going our way, it also sometimes seems difficult to find something to be thankful for if something has gone wrong.
It is when something is awry that it’s even MORE important to find things to be grateful for. It may be difficult for a moment or two, but once we find one or two small things that we can honestly be thankful for, it gets easier and easier.
And then, as I pointed out in the newsletter, it seems as though our circumstances begin to lighten up as well!
Here is an example of a fairly extraordinary thing that I heard someone be grateful for (I talked about this in the newsletter) – a homeless woman needed a safe place for the night, and was exceedingly grateful to come upon an outhouse that had a lock on the inside of the door. Just enough to make her feel safe, she stayed in there the whole night, truly giving thanks.
So, if someone can be thankful for that, can’t we ALL find something – no matter how seemingly insignificant or small – to be grateful for?
Here are a few “small” things to start the ball rolling. These are all things within my current and immediate reach, as I sit here typing:
I am thankful:
- that I have a car that runs and is paid for
- for my home – it is easy to heat, and doesn’t take much oil
- for the fact that glasses were invented so that I can still see and function without much help
- that I can smell the lilacs in front of my house
- that I can hear the hummingbirds zipping around the feeders right now
- that the water I’m drinking is clean
- that I can stand up and stretch or exercise my legs right this moment without someone telling me I can’t
- for a sense of humor, and that I can laugh like an idiot at a video of a cat licking a hamster (ahem… when I should be working. But I digress…)
- that I can look at mountains out my window while I type this entry…
So, if we take this a step further and look at the Elbert Hubbard quote, above, the more we ponder the wonder in our lives, it will be easier to “never forget the things that made you glad.”
Try the experiment for yourself, and see if you don’t find your day going better if you begin it with some time contemplating the many things that you can be thankful for in your lives.
It definitely works for me.
If you read my earlier post a couple of months ago about how I got a copy of the book “The Procrastination Cure – 7 Steps to Stop Putting Life Off” (by Jeffery Combs), you’ll know that this is a VERY important – if not somewhat touchy topic for me.
WHY do I have to spill out my guts every time I sit down to write? I honestly do not know.
It just happens. I cannot seem to help it, and I cannot seem to stop it.
This stuff touches quite a nerve with me, because (as you’ll see when you read my review), procrastination and I have a long relationship. Oh yeah, we go waaaay back.
For example – and this just came to me: WHY did I fail at being a Girl Scout? It wasn’t that I didn’t WANT to earn badges. But, I kept putting off doing the work. So, I never got the girl scout badges, and my Girl Scout career ended on a less-than-satisfactory note by 4th grade.
(It’s actually quite the story… More of a confession, actually: Suffice it to say I forged some initials on Girl Scout Badge Pages in the Handbook, and then blamed my little sister for it. The scout leader somehow knew I lied, and my sister was off the hook. Sadly, I was not. That was my last day at Girl Scouts. See what procrastination can do for you?)
There are some things that I put off because I’m afraid to do them. Afraid or not – it’s still procrastination.
There are other things that I put off because I’m still mired in emotions about them. “Should I? Shouldn’t I? Will it be GOOD? Will it be BAD?” Yikes… what a chocolate mess cowtowing to procrastination can caucse!
The worst type of procrastination – I think – is something that you’ll read about in my article – which started out primarily as a review about Jeff Combs’ book “The Procrastination Cure…”
The worst type is when you put something off for so long that there comes a day when it’s actually just too late. You couldn’t complete the activity if you ate your Wheaties, drove a Ferrari to the site, or even if you were handed a million dollars on the spot to do it.
Because it’s just too late. The person is no longer living, and it is a physical impossibility to now complete the activity that was put off for so long.
So. There you have it.
As I was writing my review of the book, I thought about WHERE on this website I should place it. Should I place it under “Personal Goals and Motivation?” Or perhaps “Life Strategies for Success?” Surely, the article can fit in either of those categories.
But for the moment, I have placed it under “Entrepreneurial Strategies” and here is why: I truly believe that procrastination has hindered my success in business in the past more than any other contributing factor. And that hinderance affects other parts of my life as well.
And I have a feeling – especially after reading the book – that procrastination is a toughie for other entrepreneurs as well. I explain this more in the full article. I’ll definitely link to the article from my other sections of the site, because I feel it is so incredibly important.
I would rather not see others feel the pain of not completing something that they really COULD have completed.
Enough is enough. Let us all succeed. I always talk about taking action. Let’s take some together.
So, let’s move on. I now invite you to read my review and discussion of…
This guy’s little 6-year old started the day with “You know what would be great?” And he proceeded to tell everyone how great it would be to all pile into the car and go to breakfast before school and work.
Before you knew it, this little guy had everyone practically tasting the pancakes… And the parents, who previously wouldn’t have given it even the most remote consideration to such an idea on a school or work morning pretty soon had the kids in the car. Off they went for a fun breakfast.
Now, that particular essay has absolutely nothing to do with MY essay today. But, it inspired it. It inspired it by having me ask myself, “You know what would be great??”
Then, I thought of the cool things that would be great.
Along came a few more ideas… and then some more.
Well, one thing led to another, and I traced some “You know what would be great” ideas back to a different source. That of taking action.
So once again, I find myself on this topic! I hope you’ll join me over at You Know What Would Be Great? Another Essay On Taking Action here at the Entrepreneurial Strategies section of the site.
Now, you do not have to be an entrepreneur to get something out of this. I think that the words are true for any situation.
I hope you enjoy my latest thoughts – and please add your own when you’re done reading!
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Isabel de los Rios (of “The Diet Solution Program” fame). Her common sense approach to nutrition and healthy eating just completely resonates with me (if you haven’t read a couple of my articles about her here at the site, you can do so HERE at the Healthy Living Tips section of the site.)
Anyway, I got an email from Mike Geary (of “The Truth About Abs” fame, and another highly respected expert in fitness and nutrition), and he announced that he cowrote an EBook with Catherine Ebeling (an RN) called “The Fat Burning Kitchen.” As part of the package, he is including a 6-part “Fat Burning Nutrition” course on video by Isabel de los Rios! (more…)
I don’t quite know where to start here when talking about Anita Moorjani and her near death experience…. It’s difficult when discussing something as seemingly intangible as an experience such as this – especially when it happened to someone else, and someone I have not had the pleasure or honor of meeting (yet!).
For the last couple of months I have been reading and listening to Anita Moorjani, a young woman who on February 2, 2006, was in the final stages of a cancer that had devastated her body. On the morning of February 2nd of that year, she was brought to the hospital, in a coma, and was expected to die within a day or so – at most.
Now, first of all, you might be wondering WHY on earth I would suddenly be totally fascinated – almost consumed, really – by a near death experience story of a woman I had never heard of. I’m not the type of person who talks much about death to begin with…
But let me say this: If you have NOT yet heard about this incredible woman and her story, you soon will. No doubt that this story is gonna go viral. It’s just far too powerful to NOT be spread around the world… (more…)
I just received the book “The Procrastination Cure” by Jeffery Combs. I was contacted by the folks over at Career Press, and they asked if I’d have a look at this new book, and since the topic of procrastination is something I’m sure my readers are well aware of, I decided to have a look. Also, the long-time career coach in me can’t resist this topic or this publisher!
Anyway, this is just a VERY quick post to let you know that I have received the book, and have just begun to read it.
Right at the get-go, in the first chapter, “An Overview of Procrastination,” something instantly caught my eye. Jeffery talks about something called the “electronic income reducer” – aka, television (you weren’t really surprised, were you?)
That short passage about the things that tend to encourage procrastination – or, should I really say, encourage putting off ACTIVITY that furthers our lives – made me think of a few other things in that category. Although Jeffery Combs doesn’t mention it directly in his “Overview…” I would add the following to his list of “income reducers.”
=> Liquid Income Reducers (drinking too much)
=> Emotional Income Reducers (worrying or incorrect thinking that paralyzes the ability to take action)
=>Physical Income Reducers (“getting ready to get ready” – sharpening pencils, tidying up the desk, cleaning the house on a sudden urge rather than take action…)
Of course this is very simplistic, but I wanted to mention it since reading the “Overview of Procrastination” jarred my mind on it.
And, I thought about writing about this “at some point…” but then I realized I was, in fact, procrastinating. Why not seize the day today?
And so I did… (*****UPDATE!!!!!!****** SEE BELOW!!!!!)
Until next time… 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR!
******UPDATE!!!!!!*******UPDATE!!!!!!****** News Flash!!!!! I FINALLY finished the book, AND I just wrote my guts out over my experiences with it… If you care to read the full story – Here it is: INTRODUCTION to my Review of “The Procrastination Cure – 7 Steps to Stop Putting Life Off (includes some background)……
Now, admittedly, I’m not much of a “phone person” in that I don’t spend hours or even 15 minutes on the phone with people. I don’t pick up the phone to “just say hi” to people. Not even my dad, sister or brother. It’s not that I don’t love them all and my friends dearly – I just don’t happen to be the type of person who talks much on the phone.
It’s really been that way for more years than I honestly can remember.
So, having gotten THAT out of the way, I do, nonetheless, find myself on the phone frequently for business and the standard variety of day-to-day requirements that pop up.
Sometimes I need to answer a call, and other times I need to make a call.
It was in the “I need to make a call” mode that brings me to the point of this post.
I happened to be in a particularly introspective mood when I made a few recent phone calls.
First, I needed to call our auto insurance company to change some coverage on one of our vehicles. The woman who answered was very pleasant – downright cheery! And here it was, only 9:00 in the morning! I could hear the smile in her voice – and frankly, she had ME smiling in return.
Contrast that with another phone call that I needed to make. I should also mention that I had been putting off making THIS particular call, because I’ve had to make it before, and it’s not a “phone destination” that I find at all pleasant.
But, I made the call anyway, because that’s my job. The person who answered sounded like she had been woken up after being asleep and having a really bad dream. Her voice was… and I’m not really sure how to describe it, precisely… but it was kind of dull. Listless.
When asked how she was doing, the response was, “Ok.” In a monotone, almost depressed tone. And she may well BE depressed. The conversation was almost alarming. No life. No zest. And, it was obvious to me that she was not smiling.
I couldn’t wait to conclude my business and get off the phone.
It was while I was in this introspective mood that I could feel my emotions shifting very visibly. The first person was someone I was required to give money to (that is, I needed to pay for some insurance) – and I was ready to whip out the checkbook gladly.
The second person was someone who had me rushing to open a window to breathe in some fresh air and discard some perceived toxins I felt had just invaded my entire being.
So what is the point of all this?
The point is, whether we are on a journey to improve the quality of our business, our health, or our lives in general, it is critical to be aware of what we are putting OUT into our surrounding environment and those people IN our environment.
Now, even though I am not a “phone person,” when my phone rings – and due to the nature of one of my business ventures it DOES ring – I automatically sit up a little straighter, put a smile on my face (After all, someone may be calling me to GIVE me money! So how great is that!), and answer the phone in a cheerful voice.
So, if you have not thought before about this seemingly simple activity that is part of our lives, I urge you to do so now.
After all, since the telephone is such a widespread method of communication, it just makes good sense to be as aware as possible of the type of energy we are putting out there.
Oh… one more thing – this goes for answering machine greetings as well! Rather than take up any more of your time in this already lengthy newsletter, I wrote an article about business voice mail greetings a few years ago called “When ‘Dude’ Isn’t Your Customer’s Name” – and if you are interested, I have reprinted it here at the blog:
In the meantime, thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!
Talk about motivation and healthy living tips! Thanks to the new Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce, who lost more than 100 pounds the old fashioned way (i.e. by exercise and eating right – remember my post “Eat Less…Move More?” )
Whenever South Carolina makes the news, I tend to pay attention because I’ve spent three winters in the Myrtle Beach area of that beautiful and friendly state (Yes, indeed… Southern Hospitality is alive and well!).
And, of course my readers know that I’m into all things Self Development – whether it’s about Career, Spirituality, Motivation, Inspiration, or Healthy Living Tips that I love to learn from others and share.
So, when I saw a piece on the internet today about the new Miss South Carolina, Bree Boyce and her platform to promote healthy living, I knew I needed to read all about it. (NOTE: I had originally embedded the interview from MSN’s Today – but the embed code didn’t keep the story. After you read the highlights of this interview, scroll down and you’ll find another great interview I found on YouTube for you.)
What an inspiration! Not to mention courage to go out and tell the whole world (with pictures) about her journey from about 234 rather unhealthy pounds to about 124 pounds of fit and healthy happy human! “It’s not about a number on a scale or the size of your pants…It’s about being a size ‘Healthy’, and loving yourself, and having that self worth…”
In an interview on TV, the host asked Bree Boyce, “Part of (your) story is what turned the knob…what made you change into what you’ve become – a healthy, focused woman… What was the thought?”
Bree Boyce responds, “I had so many dreams and aspirations for myself…and I knew that being so unhealthy I could not accomplish any of those dreams. So by changing my lifestyle completely, I did a 180…and it has been completely amazing, and I’m just so excited…”
She explains that she works out 2-3 hours a day before a competition, and 30-60 minutes a day for a lifestyle. Her food choices have changed from fatty foods (she was a self confessed junk foodie), to nutritious foods including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats… She says she educated herself about what she was eating and how it was fueling her body. (For a nutritionist’s view on healthy eating, visit the new “Beyond Diet” book here where Isabel is adamant about a healthy lifestyle versus “dieting.”)
One thing that I find very inspiring about Bree Boyce is how she responds to the interviewer who discusses going out there in “pretty much a piece of Spandex” for the swim suit competition. Bree says she did not think of anyone else – only herself.
She thought only about how hard she had worked, and how many people she hoped to inspire as a result.
The interviewer asks Bree Boyce what she might say to others to offer some inspiration. Bree responds, “Whatever it is in life that you want to do, it takes hard work. There’s no secret…” She emphasizes again that it hard work…determination…perseverence.
If this sounds like nothing new or out of the ordinary, you’re right. It’s just one more person who has met with success by following a proven and successful blueprint. No “magic bullet.” No new rabbits being pulled out of any new type of fancy hat. What has worked for countless others in the past and today will also work for countless others in the future.
So, if you want a bit of inspiration for that “healthy living tips” section of your self development plan, have a look at Bree Boyce, a most inspirational Miss South Carolina, and understand that whatever challenges you or I might have, there’s something we can do about them. Also, if you are of a mind to do so, I suggest reading about “Beyond Diet”by Isabel De Los Rios – a nutritionist who honestly makes more sense than any “diet guru” possibly could. Actually, you can read an article I wrote about my own interesting experience with The Diet Solution that I started reading. You can see the article here => “My Take on The Diet Solution (now known as “Beyond Diet”)” by Isabel De Los Rios.
How much effort we put into our dreams and goals depends largely on how badly we want something. If you take a look at Bree’s journey and results, you’ll quickly see that she wanted to experience her dreams VERY intensely.
How badly do you want your own dreams to come true? If this doesn’t inspire you to go for your dreams, I don’t know what will! 🙂 Thanks for reading! Hope it helped motivate you…
I admit to ALWAYS seeking out self help and personal development books online. Now, first of all, I do NOT have a Kindle (yet) and so I tend to read my books the old-fashioned way (that is, by actually holding a BOOK).
I really love books. I love the feel of books. The smell of books.
My home is FULL of books (John & I lost count – I think we have several thousand though).
But I still look for self help and personal development books online. Sometimes I buy and download the PDF versions, and other times I just buy the books outright. The thing I think I like best about holding and reading a physical book – other than the fact that it’s a little easier on my eyes – is that I can outline and mark up my book.
John doesn’t much like marking up books. But please understand that he’s been a rare and used book dealer for many years (shameless plug: You can see John’s very own website here at Buying and Selling to Make Money which we just got started a couple of months ago). So, when he sees me marking up a book, he says, “Remember, every time you write in the book you lower its resale value…”)
But, I have no intention of reselling them. Even if I bought my self help and personal development books online for next to nothing, I bought them as part of my own journey on the path of self development.
Which is why I have probably 100 of them!
Ok, I admit that recently (because we’re selling our house and we’re trying to lighten our “going into storage” load) I donated a big bag of some of my older self help books to the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. My problem will, of course, be to avoid RE-buying them next time I’m in there and see them on the shelf! 🙂
When I bagged up that bunch of books, I realized that there were some I just could not bare to part with. I confess to having a few favorites. These books have been a really big part of my life in recent years, and they continue to inspire and motivate me.
Wanna hear what some of them are?
Today, I’ll go over 3 of my favorite authors. There are many more, but for now let’s start with these classics!
ANYTHING by Ernest Holmes. Right now I am totally buried in the Science of Mind Textbook and Living the Science of Mind. I got turned on to Ernest Holmes purely by what some would call coincidence – another one of those yard sale finds! I happened to be at a yard sale in Myrtle Beach back in December, and came across Ernest Holmes’ Creative Mind and Success. It was a small book, and I poured over it and over it – re-reading passage after passage. I KNEW I needed more. So, off I trotted to Amazon, where I found both The Science of MindNew Thought Books) and Living the Science of Mind. So, that’s what I am really into right now.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a YogiBiographies & Memoirs of Religious Leaders).
I have adored Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings since 1997, when I came across his wonderful autobiography at a used book store in Portland, ME (Hah! You thought I was going to say “at a yard sale” didn’t you!) 🙂
I have read the book at least 3 or 4 times, and it goes almost everywhere with me (except on vacation where I travel MUCH lighter.)
I admit that when I first looked up The Master Key System by Charles Haanel, I was surprised to see that the information – written back in 1916 or so – was first offered as a mail-order course. Fascinating! Anyway, I found myself very intrigued by his work – and liked the way he presented the information (bullet points). It makes it very easy for me to go through. I was fortunate enough to get to know one of the Unites States’ foremost experts on Charles Haanel, Tony Michalski, whose website is an EXCEPTIONAL resource for “all things Charles Haanel” and MUCH more.
Not only can you get every one of Charle’s Haanel’s books there, you can also join Tony on live calls where he talks about the different chapters of The Master Key System and how to incorporate these strategies for success in life for TODAY’S life. In other words, Tony helps bring the words from 1916 into the 2000s and make it applicable for today’s world. Finally, Tony has additional authors he features on his site that you might find inspiring and motivational.
In a future post, I’ll go over where you can find a few OTHER of my favorite self help and personal development books online if you are interested in learning from some of these classics and masters. I know that they have helped me a great deal in my own life.
In the meantime, here are a few of the books I just mentioned, here at Amazon!
Boy, when I get inspired, I REALLY get inspired! People who know me are well aware of how fond I am of the spirituality behind the whole “As a man thinketh” idea. I absolutely love it!
Well, I came across a wonderful blog entry today (thanks to my friend David S. on Facebook in our “Positive Imperative” group). The article he brought to my attention was about “neuroplasticity” and our brain’s ability to create new pathways when others have been damaged. The article goes on to discuss the importance of making darned sure that our words are consistently positive.
It takes James Allen’s famous work “As a Man Thinketh” to a different level in light of more recent scientific discoveries than were likely known in Mr. Allen’s time. Of course, most of us have heard “Our thoughts become our words…our words become our actions…” etc.
In an article I just posted here at the site, I have given you the link to the article that David pointed out, and also offered a thought on how to encourage consistent practice in what the author (Barrie Davenport) recommends.
The topic is an important one, and I hope my readers will take it to heart. Please continue on to the page “As a Man Thinketh…With a Twist – the Power of the Spoken Word.” We all need to be vigilant not only about the thoughts we think, but what we say out loud.