Category Archives: News

Ensure that there is a need and purpose for the things you buy.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~ Will Rogers …

Today’s society loves to bombard us with the notion that we can somehow buy our own happiness. Advertisement and marketing companies are remarkably adept at inventing new ways to convince us that we need things that we really do not–things that we would never have even wanted had we not saw or heard the ad.

But how we spend our money, and what we choose to buy, is our decision… and it is an important one. That is why it is essential for us to develop a sense of clarity–to understand what things we truly need, and what things we simply want but would require us to live beyond our means. After all, impressing others has nothing to do with living out our authentic purpose in life–we are here to grow, to develop, to love, and to share our lives with those around us.

In my experience, most people who spend more than they have earned become extremely stressed-out and depressed. The consequences of not being able to pay bills are serious, as are the consequences of spending everything you earn each month to pay bills. They drag us into a perpetual cycle of misery that tends to diminish the happiness and joy available to us in life. Yet seldom do these individuals ever take the time to consider that perhaps most of their worries and troubles were created by their own poor choices.

Before you spend your money, take a moment to ask yourself the following: “How will this affect my budget?,” and “Is this something that I really need right now?” The answers to these questions should provide some helpful insight that can help you to make wise decisions that will keep your life free from unnecessary financial stress and worries.

Ensure that there is a need and purpose for the things you buy.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the most important things you consider when deciding whether to make a major purchase? What about a minor one?

How can you learn to deal with the effects of marketing and advertising in ways that allow you to remain in control of your happiness in life?

Do you feel that the influence of marketers and advertisers has grown stronger over the years? Why might this be?

For further thought:

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” ~ James W. Frick

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Be more aware of the attitudes you are robed in.

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.” ~ Earl Nightingale …

Having a great attitude certainly does make our world a brighter place. But above all, it sets us up for our best chance of success and gives us the best opportunity to live our lives to the fullest. As the saying goes, “attitude is everything.” Perhaps one of the most important steps we can take towards reaching our greatest potential in life is to embrace an awareness of our attitudes–how they are affecting others and the world around us. Each day we decide what attitude we are going to present to the world. Similarly to getting dressed each day, we have to choose from a wide assortment of attitudes–some good, some not so good. The thing to make mention of, though, is that when we wear our best attitude, just as when we dress for success, we are most likely to encounter much of the same great attitudes, and be connected with “all sorts of serendipitous opportunities.”

How often do we see things in our lives that we feel are beyond our reach–that no matter how bad we desire them, and no matter how hard we try to achieve or attain them, we will never succeed. Earl is telling us that this fatalistic approach to life is perhaps the very thing that is keeping us from achieving or attaining those things. Instead of letting our attitudes be the barrier we must overcome for success, why not make them the foundation upon which our success is built? All it takes is saying to ourselves, “That is what I want; and now I am going to do whatever it takes to make it a reality.” This very attitude will allow us to open doors that were once locked, discover new rooms, that otherwise, we could never have imagined, and come all the more closer to those dreams we hold within our hearts.

Either your life is a house of limitations–of locked doors and no opportunity–or it is a house of possibilities. Do not let the locked doors keep you from reaching all the opportunity and happiness that lies beyond them. Embrace a great attitude; see with the eyes of possibility.

Be more aware of the attitudes you are robed in.

Questions to consider:

In what ways do we limit ourselves through our attitudes?

What are some of the things you might accomplish if you allow yourself to attempt them with a “great attitude?”

Are challenges bad or good for us? Why?

For further thought:

“Throughout the years of your life you will face many challenges; remember that you can climb the highest mountain, drive through the roughest storm, soar across the bluest sky, or even sail across the roughest waters. It is only destined by your attitude where you will end up in life. The most important thing is don’t let yourself get lost in the crowd.” ~ Angela Duvall

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Build up your self-respect and never sacrifice your dignity.

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered.” ~ Michael J. Fox …

Whether we keep our dignity, or surrender it, can only be done on our own terms–no one can take it away from us without our consent. If you think about it… there really is nothing in life that anyone can take from us if we do not allow them.

When Nelson Mandela was thrown into prison for leading protests against the South African government’s segregation policies in 1962, he kept his dignity and he held onto hope. Rather than expressing anger or allowing his unjust imprisonment to derail his inner balance, he held on to his beliefs that his time in prison served a greater purpose.

And when Thoreau was jailed for not paying his poll tax, he was amazed that they thought they had taken away his freedom. He wrote, “I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.” If he had allowed himself to feel as if they had taken his freedom, then it would be so–he would have lost it. Yet since he refused to surrender his freedom, he still held on to it even while locked away in a jail.

There are, of course, some individuals, who out of their own insecurity, try to hurt others and to take away their dignity and self-respect. But what does that say about us if we let such a cruel and insecure person do so? Many individuals have kept their dignity when faced with grave financial loss, public humiliation, bodily harm, and even death, such as Anne Frank in the concentration camps of Germany, and Louis Zamperini in the prison camps of Japan during World War II. Shouldn’t we, too, hold on to ours?

Build up your self-respect and never sacrifice your dignity.

Questions to consider:

How do you define your sense of dignity? How do you describe your resolve to keep it?

Think of some individuals you have seen lose their dignity? What happened to make them lose it?

What might cause you to surrender your own dignity? How can you strengthen your ability not to do so?

For further thought:

“Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able to is courage. Walking away, with your head held high is dignity.” ~ Sallie Felton

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Living Or Existing?

“The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; one may live long yet live very little.” ~ Michel de Montaigne … 

It seems to me that society has become infatuated with living forever–or at least living extended lives. With the launch of Calico, even companies such as Google have jumped in to searching for ways to increase life expectancy and perhaps discover immortality. Yet when I see others trying to escape or avoid death, I immediately begin to wonder as to the reasons why. Is it fear or despair? Is it unhappiness or discontent? Do such individuals truly feel that living life completely, even for just a day, is perhaps not fulfilling enough? <!–more–> 

When I became a father, I started to think more about family and raising children–about where my life was going and about where I wanted it to be. I began to question how and where I was seeking purpose and fulfillment in my life; to ask myself, “Am I truly living my life… or simply existing?” The answers I found led me to make changes in those places of my life that were perhaps selfish or not exactly life giving. In addition, I came to the realization that the purpose of life is much greater than simply surviving the time I am alive… it is about happiness and contentment, accomplishment and legacy, compassion, love, and kindness, service and sacrifice, giving and receiving, growing and sharing. And when I think of the individuals I know who have the highest amount of discontent in their lives, they are the ones who have not made–or are not making–the decisions to do the things in their lives that they truly love–things that they deeply enjoy and that give them a strong feeling of accomplishment and purpose.

There is a song by Tim McGraw in which he sings about a man that says, “Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.” And although it ironic that one would consider “living” to be the process of “dying,” when we are faced with our own mortality, we often begin to live our lives more fully, more deeply, and with much more purpose and zeal, and that is the difference between living and simply existing.

Life is not all about accomplishment–many of my best days have yielded little to nothing at all. They have, however, helped me to rest and recuperate, to contemplate and meditate, to wonder and marvel, to experience gratitude and appreciation, to add new layers of paint to the multi-colored canvas of my life. Life is truly about using our days effectively. It is about making a living and carrying out the necessary duties of the day. It is about caring for those we are responsible for ensuring that they have everything they need to live their day to the fullest. It is about giving our all and performing to the best of our abilities–knowing that in doing so, we are making valuable contributions to the lives of others. As it has been said before, “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”

Invest in yourself by making full use of the day that lies before you.

Questions to consider:

What, to you, is the difference between “living” and “existing”?

How does it become so easy for us to start to coast through life without expecting ourselves to make decisions that will cause us to make more of each of the days that we live?

What does it mean to you to “live long yet live very little”?

For further thought:

“I have never given very deep thought to a philosophy of life, though I have a few ideas that I think are useful to me. One is that you do whatever comes your way as well as you can, and another is that you think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people and about things that are interesting. The third is that you get more joy out of giving joy to others and should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Merry Christmas!

xmas

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25 December 2015 · 1:31 am

Enjoy The Day

“Today, just take time to smell the roses, enjoy those little things about your life, your family, spouse, friends, job. Forget about the thorns–the pains and problems they cause you–and enjoy life.” ~ Bernard Kelvin Clive, Your Dreams Will Not Die …

How often do I stop to enjoy the day that is happening around me? Sure, there are tasks that need tending too and requirements of me for the day; and perhaps I am facing difficulties and pains today. But there really is no reason that I cannot experience the whole of today–the beauty, the good, the marvelous and glorious that surrounds me. Continue reading

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True Talents

“I believe a “talented” person is one who has learned how to effectively cultivate and polish any of the many desirable capabilities with which most of us are born but few of us nurture.” ~ Marilyn Vos Savant …

We are all have talents–some we are born with, some we have acquired. They can be personal skills or strengths–something we are exceptional at such as the skill to throw a curveball or to run several miles. They can be an ability–something we are capable of such as the ability to judge a person’s character. They can even be a quality in which we were born with–such as the quality of being a compassionate person or a good listener. The thing is, all our talents are wasted if we never cultivate, polish, and nurture them. Continue reading

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