Monday, July 28, 2014

Take a break...

"To overextend yourself is to invite defeat."
G. William Domhoff

I determined long ago that the things that tire me most are those things that I've needed to do but just couldn't seem to find the time for because of my busy schedule!  You see, "doing" those things is not what tires me.  It's the idea of "NOT doing" them that really wears me down! 

When something seems important enough to be on the"to do" list, leaving it undone can cause anxiety and stress. Especially, if it's something that seems to be lingering on the list for a long time. It's a  really good feeling to know that something that's been left undone has finally been done!

A few years ago, I began to look at the overabundance of activity in my life and I was surprised to see that there were some things I spent valuable time on that were things that didn't improve quality of life for anyone, but still took up an incredible amount of time. It was during that time I decided to learn how to say, "No."

I made myself believe that I did not have to say "Yes" to every invitation to serve on a committee or work on a project that came along.  It was liberating to spend a few more evenings at home and I found I had more time to invest in things that were more important.

There are still times when I catch myself raising my own stress level by overextending myself and spending too much time on things I'm not convinced are vital. Therefore, my goal for the rest of this year is to take a good look at the "things" in my life, weigh their importance compared to the people in my life, and make adjustments where necessary!

You should do the same!



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Light the way....

"Sometimes our light goes out 
but is blown into flame by an encounter 
with another human being. 
Each of us owes the deepest thanks 
to those who have rekindled  this inner light." 
--Albert Schweitzer

You never know how dark the path taken by those around you.   You have no way of knowing what thoughts might be saturating their mind and you may never know the pain they feel.  That person may be living with fears that seem difficult for anyone  understand.  They may be living in a seemingly impossible situation where giving up appears to be the best plan or they may simply be in need of an encouraging word or a friendly smile.

I have been through some trying times in my life and I've experienced all those things to a certain degree. However, one difference between my coping abilities through those times as compared to someone who seems to be floundering in the same place for weeks, months or even years,  is I've been  blessed to have the  opportunity to share those times with friends who have been there to listen, offer support, and help me assess and reassess certain situations. My faith in God, my family and these very special friends make a difference in my life! 

If you're going through tough times, it is my prayer you have someone special to help you rekindle your inner fan the flames of self-confidence and remind you of the blessings in your life.  

If you're reading this and feel your inner light is burning brightly, that's awesome! I am happy for you!  I challenge you to find someone to encourage.  Someone who needs to hear something positive and encouraging...someone who needs to know they're not forgotten. You are probably already thinking of someone!  

Give that friend a call, send them a message or take time to pay them a visit!  You can be the friend who fans the flame of that inner light for another human being!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You have to stand for something...

Sit, walk, or run, but never wobble.
Zen Proverb

It's difficult at times to stand up for what's right and it's even more difficult at times to make a decision and move on without letting self-doubt or circumstances make you think you may have made a big mistake!

The important thing is to base your decisions on good information and weigh your options before making that final decision.  It almost seems like a cliche, but I still believe that making a list of pros and cons is very helpful when you need to make a decision that requires thoughtful reflection.

I've made some big decisions lately and before each one I've gathered relevant information from accurate sources, weighed the pros and cons, discussed my potential plans with trusted friends, and spent time thinking and praying about the decision.  Will taking these precautions guarantee that I've made the right decions? No. However, taking steps to ensure that I'm basing my decisions on good information greatly increases the odds!

What about those times when decisions must be made quickly?  I've found that people who are used to being careful with their decisions and choices, seem to develop an instinct....that "gut feeling" we hear about....that enables them to see the big picture quickly and focus on the need at hand.

My challenge to you is to be confident as you make important decisions.  Be diligent in gathering the information needed to make the decisions, then trust yourself enough to do it!



Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's about what you value....

"Philosophy is the sum total of all that you know 

and what you decide is valuable." 
-- Jim Rohn

One definition of the word philosophy found in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary is: "a set of ideas about how to do something or how to live." (  

While that's a very good definition of the word, I really like Jim Rohn's idea that it's not just what you know, or how to do exist. Your philosophy about virtually everything in your life is all that and more!

It's fairly easy to determine what you know. There are tests and measures of skill levels for nearly every area of life. But, when you really think about your philosophy regarding your family...your faith...your career...and your life, in general, you must consider what is valuable to you!

My challenge to you is simple. Think about your philosophy regarding the way you live and all you do. Write down your philosophy based on the things you know and the things you consider valuable in your life. Do you need an action plan to align what you're actually doing with your philosophy of life?

Let me know how it goes!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Life is good....

So long as the memory of
certain beloved friends lives in my heart,
 I shall say that life is good.
Helen Keller

Everyone goes through tough times.  Everyone has bad days. Everyone has moments of feeling insecure, or troubled.  However, not everyone has someone to help them through the tough times, to cheer them up on a bad day or to reassure them when they feel incapable of going on.
I am blessed with a great family and I am thankful to say I am also blessed with some of the greatest friends in the world! I've faced some tough times recently and I have to say those tough times are bearable because of my faith in God and the fact I have friends and family to help carry the load.  Very simply, I am thankful for the many blessings of family and friends in my life and I hope I can be a blessing for others who are facing tough times.   

But, what about those who silently face troubles and hard times alone? Do you know someone who is dealing with difficult circumstances and might feel alone or hopeless?  

Are you that person who is facing your problems alone? 

Either way, my challenge is to reach out to others. Reach out to help others and, if need be, reach out to get help from others.  Only God knows the hurts we silently keep in our hearts. We're in this together for a reason! Make a memory today and remember that life is good!



Monday, January 6, 2014

A leader is....

He who thinketh he leadeth 
and hath no one following him 
is only taking a walk.

It's fairly easy for most of us to list the qualities of a good leader.  When you read the words "good leader" you probably thought of at least one person you consider a good leader.  Let me ask you this question: What is the very first word that comes to mind to describe that person?

Is that person you're thinking of right now honest? Intelligent? Confident? Passionate? Kind? Do you try to emulate that person?  

I've worked with many different people I consider to be great leaders over the years and I've come to the conclusion that while all the qualities listed above are certainly valuable,  the most important quality of a leader is the ability to inspire others to follow!

There are professed leaders who can talk about leadership and seem to know all the right answers when asked about team building, strategic planning building a vision for the future, yet they never seem to see their ideas come to fruition. They may have read all the right books and they may be able to quote another leader's ideas verbatim, but they can't seem to get those who are supposed to be following to fully embrace the vision.

The successful leader is one who can "lead" others to embrace a vision and set a course for true progress.

The successful leader leads by inspiration, not intimidation. 

The successful leader has enough confidence to know it's important to train other leaders in an organization to become a leader worthy of a following!

Do you know someone who displays these leadership qualities?  What other qualities must a leader posses? I would love to know what you think about leadership!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Goals for 2014

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. 
The tragedy in life lies in having no goal to reach.
Benjamin E. Mays

I find myself, once again, writing a blog post and wondering how it could have been so long since I last posted something here!  It's a little disappointing to know I've let a busy lifestyle and dealing with life in general get in the way of doing something I really enjoy!  Maybe it's because I never really set a goal for how many posts I would write in a year's time.

Benjamin E. Mays believed the real tragedy comes when one has no goal set, so I am going to set a goal for blogging in 2014!  But, let's make this about 36 posts for 2014?  That's 3 posts per month, an improvement on 2013!

I've thought about goals for the upcoming year and other than writing 36 blog posts, my overarching goal is to focus on one word in 2014. That word is  peace.  There are many tasks and projects I need to finish and a certain level of productivity and equanimity I am hoping to achieve.  Finishing those tasks and projects and increasing my ability to feel a better sense of stability and composure will go a long way towards helping me feel peaceful.  Undone tasks have a way of zapping my energy levels!

What are your goals for 2014? What if you set some new kinds of goals this year?  Goals for relationships with family and friends? Goals for improving your spiritual well-being? Goals for improving your health?  What if, like me, you set a goal to strive for peace in your life this year?What will have to happen to achieve your life of peace?