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.
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!
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!
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.
Ok everyone! You know that I want to put my money where my mouth is… I gave you a real life example of following my own advice when it comes to setting goals and objectives in my blog post about “Setting Goals and Objectives using the Mantis Rototiller as an Example” last week.
****Well, I wanted to give you an update.****
You saw that I did not hit my target on my 5th objective, which was:” Build a Squidoo Lens about small garden tillers and add Amazon links to it. Target Completion Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that I have completed that objective
No, not on February 24th – I completed it on Saturday, February 27, 2011.
Yes, I realize that I did not hit the target date – but you know what? That objective was staring me in the face, and I need to account not only to you, my readers, but to MYSELF.
Having that objective WRITTEN and IN FRONT of me pushed me forward.
And I have to tell you, I had an absolute BLAST writing that Squidoo lens. Actually, if you want to read it, you’ll see that I had a little TOO much fun with it since now we have weiner dogs (aka dachshunds) and videos of “The Garden Song” in the mix.
So, I invite you to see the results of my ACTION that I took on that objective. I hope it puts a smile on your face as well. Enjoy it here => Mantis Rototillers, Weiner Dogs, AND The Garden Song.
I hope you can see that setting goals and objectives – and taking action on them – doesn’t need to be a brutal or painful process. After all, if we’re making progress, we should be feeling good about it, right? Something to think about. 🙂
Again, please pop on over to the Squidoo lens and I hope it makes you smile => Mantis Rototillers, Weiner Dogs, and The Garden Song
See you all soon! Thanks for reading.
I was inspired to talk a little about the concept of Giving and Receiving after reviewing Part 4 of The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel.
I really love to give gifts. For some reason, I love the whole action of thinking of what someone might enjoy, and then going through the process of procuring the gift.
And the gifts I give aren’t always of monetary or material value – sometimes they involve food. 🙂 For example, when I was growing up, every Christmas season I would don a little red & green plaid pinafore that I used as an apron, and start baking chocolate chip cookies.
I made DOZENS of these chocolate chip cookies. Then, I would carefully arrange them on paper plates, and walked over to various neighbors’ houses and give them all away (well… ok, I kept a FEW for our own family).
I had so much fun doing this. I never did it with any expectation of receiving anything back. The warm feeling I had inside my heart always seemed to be enough.
Even though I’m not a kid anymore, I still do this! Even down in South Carolina where I am wintering as I write this post, I did it. I am staying in a condominium complex where there aren’t a lot of residents, I have gotten to know the staff here. So I baked for all of them!
Anyway, I wrote a little bit on the topic of giving and receiving. Please click here to read my article => On Giving and Receiving as Inspired by Charles F Haanel and The Master Key System I hope you enjoy the article!
Do you every feel like you need help overcoming procrastination? If so, you are DEFINITELY not alone!
Please believe me when I tell you that this particular little demon has been one that I have extensive personal experience with. 🙂 My dad has also admitted to me that he procrastinates. Sometimes we joke around about it, “Never put off today what you can put off tomorrow,” or, “Seize the day, tomorrow.”
I love the tagline at www.Procrastinators.org – “Productivity is Overrated.”
But while overcoming procrastination may not be a serious issue for some – it is practically crippling for others.
Especially for those who need to produce results on deadlines, for anyone who has to reach sales or productivity quotas, for students who need to finish their homework, for the parent who promised to bake cookies for the school event, for those who are self employed … you get the idea. It can be an obstacle for just about anyone.
Sometimes, it doesn’t really seem like procrastination is all that harmful (especially when people joke about it so much…).
But consider, for a moment, being the parents who put off baking the cookies for their kids’ school event. What kind of message are the parents sending the kids?
Or, how about the self-employed entrepreneur? If you happen to be self-employed – whether it’s in a bricks and mortar business or in an internet based marketing business – you may have heard the old saying:
“The great thing about being self-employed is that no one tells you what to do. The bad thing about being self-employed is that no one tells you what to do.”
So, as it turns out, overcoming procrastination is actually rather important, isn’t it?
Again, I’m not saying that the occasional bout is anything to worry about – but if it starts getting in the way of seeing positive results in your life, guess what? Then it’s a problem or obstacle that needs to be addressed.
I came up with a couple of ideas about overcoming procrastination, and I have posted the article right here on my blog!
This is a technique I have used myself (Remember… I have needed to really work on overcoming procrastination myself !)
Have a look here => Overcoming Procrastination – An Important Key to Your Success
As always, I would love to hear YOUR ideas!
When I was a kid, my Dad gave me a lot of encouragement, and he read lots of motivational poems to me. One of them was “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar A. Guest. The poem was in a book called “The Best Loved Poems of the American People” – which I still have (see the photo) and which is now in a very tattered state!
I owe a LOT to my Dad. He was – and still is – one of my greatest pillars of support. I learned more from him than I think I have ever learned from anyone else in my life. Actually, I think I’ll need to share more about my Dad in some future posts – but suffice it to say that if everyone had a Dad as amazing as mine has been, it would be a more wonderful world than it already it.
(By the way – this is not to dismiss the amazing gifts I also received from my Mom, who unfortunately left this earth far too soon in 1987 after a long illness… I miss her very much, and I’m guessing I’ll write about her as well!)
Anyway, I became inspired to make a quick video for you about this poem, which I share with you now (I link to the print version below the video)
(Oh… If you decide you enjoyed my debut video – yes… this is my FIRST video on this blog – Please click the FaceBook “Like” button here – you won’t leave the page. Thank you SO MUCH!)
Anyway, I would like to share my favorite “It Couldn’t Be Done” story with you now – which you can read here at my article – CLICK HERE => A Motivational Poem – It Couldn’t Be Done.
I sometimes think we acquire certain personal development skills and habits in such subtle ways that we don’t always remember WHEN we began using them – WHERE we learned them, and HOW we knew that they were important to our personal growth to begin with!
The idea of writing about personal development skills and habits we have acquired came to me this morning as I found myself thinking about a daily ritual I have.
Well, actually, I have a LOT of daily rituals – but this one always stands out, because it is one of the very first things I do every morning without fail.
When I rise, I go to the kitchen, cut open a lemon and ream the whole thing – juice AND pulp – and add a full glass of water. Drinking that full 10 – 12 ounce glass of lemon water (unsweetened) is the first thing that I do every day.
I began thinking about this activity, and why I do it:
- It is fresh citrus – so that’s a nice refreshing addition to the diet right there.
- It makes me feel like I’ve done something good for me straight away, before any other activities of the day crowd my plate.
But first, I have to say that I cannot think of one single area of my own life where I am not consciously working on improvement.
And I realize that this is part of my life’s work which will continue until the time comes when I leave this earth.
That’s because it is a task that can never be completed. If I’m not acquiring actual personal development skills – then I’m certainly working on creating good habits and routines that lead to further self growth!
Some of the practices and activities that I introduced into my own life have become wonderful habits and routines as a result!
…habits and routines that I just KNOW contribute to my overall well-being.
Getting back to my daily morning lemon water:
I can honestly count on one hand the number of days over the last 12 – 15 years where I have NOT begun my day with this drink!
Somewhere along the line (but I cannot remember when or where), I read that this was good for the body. I then discovered that it felt wonderful to have this first thing in the morning. So, I continued it and still do – to this day.
Sometimes we’ll add orange to the mix, but we ALWAYS have the lemon!
I don’t even think about it any more (except when we’re running low on lemons and we have to go buy another bag…)
Another thing that I do every single day is meditate/pray and review certain affirmations. It was a learned skill – and now I do it without thinking.
That’s just the start. The many things that I do each day were NOT the result of one single “ah ha” moment – or some drastic decision or action on my part.
I do know that I am continually looking for additional good habits to further improve my life.
I want to hear from YOU!
What I would like to know now is what YOU began to do as part of your own path that has since become a happy and healthy habit. Would you be willing to share your thoughts and experiences?
I hope so! Please leave your ideas and thoughts below so we can compare notes and learn from one another!
PPS: I’ll be adding articles pertaining to personal development skills and habits as I continue to build the site – and will post articles here at my Healthy Living Tips page, as well as at my Life Strategies for Success page (among other pages that I think up as I go along!) 🙂 Thanks for reading!