Happy Summertime!

June 6, 2011

I have some thoughts for today, from some of my very favorite quotes:

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” – – Martha Washington

“I am forever thankful for all of my blessings.” – – – John Di Lemme

“Loving your life is being willing to make changes, to let go of old ways and unhealthy habits so that you can be the best you can be.” – – Victoria Osteen

“I was worthless, until I decided to be worth more.”  – – – Kim Jeffery

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – – -Albert Einstein

I love these quotes! Be inspired today!

Pursuing The Dream…

May 31, 2011

My book is proceeding apace, cover and galleys approved, printing in process, the publisher’s site, Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com being updated with my book’s information. In my fantasy, I thought of this as “The End” of this book and time to move on to the next. However, that is not the case! I am sailing into uncharted territory and learning new skills, as I try to guide my “first born” into the world. As with any worthwhile project, it is not enough to bring forth the object, one must make it known to the world. Social media, a new blog, feeds, all are things requiring that I learn a new language and acquire the ability to use these tools.

Of course, this is going on while I have new ideas, new research and new writing projects to develop. All in all, to my surprise, I am finding this to be exciting and fun, as well as challenging. It is stressful, but so is anything new and different.

The important thing, I am learning AGAIN, is to keep moving forward, keep working on it, keep learning. Time is not static, and I can’t be, either!

Dreams DO Come True!

May 7, 2011

Recently, I have received undeniable proof that dreams really do come true! My first novel is in production. I have received the galleys for corrections and the cover proofs for comment. The finished product will be out this summer!!! This is something I’ve dreamed about since childhood, but never expected to see happen.

How DID it happen? Certainly, I have not acquired a fairy godmother, or an anonymous benefactor. I can only attribute it to changes in me that are a result of the personal development I have been doing. Reading, keeping a gratitude journal, listening to positive information, choosing to turn away from negative influences, all have helped me develop a new focus. A sequence of events occurred, each event leading into another, that literally propelled me into finishing my novel and getting it published.

Does this achievement mean that I’m finished? Do I write “The End” and stop? Absolutely not! This is only the beginning! The beauty of dreams is that they keep on coming. When we achieve one goal, one dream, that achievement spurs us on to the next. Out of the achievement grows a new dream, even bigger and brighter. Just as one step begins a journey of a thousand miles, one goal achieved begins the development of a bigger and better one.   I know that there will be hills to climb, and valleys to hike out of, new efforts and more work involved.  However, I have one thing I didn’t have before, and that is positive proof that dreams really can come true!

If you don’t have a dream, now is your time to look within. Do you like what you see? It all begins inside. Take time to get to know yourself. Acknowledge the good things, and start working on improving the character traits, habits or other issues that need work. Think about what you really want to do with your life, and start to make it happen!

As we go forward into the new year, I wanted to share with you an article, written by my mentor, John Di Lemme, that I found very helpful and meaningful in my planning.  I hope you like it, too!

> How to Make Successful New Year’s Resolutions
>by John Di Lemme

> As 2011 rolls around and we prepare for a new
> year, the habit of making New Year’s resolutions
> comes to the forefront. This past week, I asked
> my students to list what they believe to be
> the top three New Year resolutions for society
> in general.
>
> To no surprise, the top three were lose weight, make
> more money and work out more. While the intentions
> behind the resolutions are good, the likelihood that
> the Resolutions will be achieved is not so great.
>
> According to general statistics, approximately 45%
> of adult Americans make New Year resolutions every
> year. Unfortunately, about 97% of the resolutions
> are never completely fulfilled…
>
> Why? Most resolutions are unrealistic and there is
> no action behind the resolution. Someone can say
> that they want to make more money, but if they
> continue to go on shopping sprees, then it
> is not going to happen. Similarly, a person can say
> that they are going to lose weight, but if they don’t
> exercise and continue to eat junk, then no change
> will occur…
>
> The base word of Resolution is resolute, which
> means firmly resolved. So basically when you set
> New Year’s resolutions, you are saying that losing
> weight, making more money, etc. will be firmly resolved
> within the next twelve months. You aren’t saying how
> it will be fully resolved or what commitment you will
> make to fully resolve the issue. It’s like a building
> with no Foundation.
>
> It will eventually crumble, because there’s nothing
> holding it up. There’s no commitment or action
> behind the resolution. Furthermore, most of the
> things that you are saying will be fully resolved
> took you longer than twelve months to create so why
> limit yourself to fully resolving those things in a
> twelve month window.
>
> Instead of making resolutions that you will likely
> not achieve, set goals with a detailed list of action
> steps that will assist you in Successfully Achieving
> those goals.
>
> Here are some examples for you…
>
> Goal: Lose weight and exercise more
> Action Steps: Join gym, exercise 3x per
> week, eat more fruits/veggies, throw out all
> junk food in the house, drink a gallon of water
> each day
>
> Goal: Spend more time with family
> Action Steps: Make a date with your family
> every week and do something special.
> (special does not mean costly)
>
> Goal: Increase Personal Development time
> Action Steps: Schedule at least fifteen minutes
> per day for reading an inspirational book,
> listening to motivational CD/DVDs, etc.
> Increase the amount of time after committing
> to the fifteen minutes per day and making it one
> of your daily habits…
>
> Now, doesn’t that make more sense than simply
> making a New Year’s resolution and never
> achieving it? Someone once said, “A New Year’s
> resolution is something that goes in one year
> and out the other”
>
> Your goals and dreams are worth more than that,
> right? Stop treating them like a trend that in
> one day and out the next. Make a commitment to
> yourself and take the daily action needed to
> achieve your goals and dreams.
>
> Now, that’s a real reason to put on the party
> hats, blow the whistles and scream Happy New Year!
>
> Motivating Champions WorldWide for 10+ Years!
>
>
Article reprint from…

John Di Lemme
International Motivational Speaker
http://www.ChampionsLiveFree.com

Rest

November 29, 2010

Why do we feel so guilty about resting when we are tired? Most of us get too little sleep. We pride ourselves on getting by with “only” five or six hours of sleep. Medical science says the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep. Physical trainers talk about the importance of getting plenty of rest to help muscles heal. Remember when we were young enough to have mandatory naps? Small children get cranky and misbehave when they are tired, and are put down for a nap. Why do adults have such difficulty in admitting the need for rest?

I think the answer is actually simple: wasted time, and guilt. These are two branches of the same tree. So often, time is spent doing meaningless tasks or in mindless entertainment. One more hand of solitaire or ten more minutes of “Grand Theft Auto” on the compute, another hour of TV. Suddenly the day is gone, we’ve already been up twelve hours, and we find ourselves trying to rush through tasks we should have done earlier when we should be going to bed. Why? Because we feel guilty about wasting so much time. This is a never-ending cycle. What do we do about it?

First, we have to recognize the need for rest, and GET SOME! No matter what else we may (or may not) have accomplished during the day, there is nothing to be gained by trying to play catch up. We just dig deeper into the pit. Take control of the situation and go to bed! The next day, start fresh and really think about what needs to be done, then do it. After you have rested, you will find yourself making better decisions. “A tired mind equals tired results. You must rest your mind and your spirit to achieve greatness.” John Di Lemme (Quote #171)

After we have had our rest, we need to examine our time. Really analyze where our day goes. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time goes on non-productive activity in the course of my day. Write it down; keep a pad and pencil by you and jot down your activities. This is like keeping a food journal when starting a diet, and is a sure-fire way to focus on your time management (or lack thereof!). When you know what you are doing, you have a much better idea of changes and improvements you can make. 

In order to implement necessary changes to get better control of your time, a planner of some kind is essential.  I like a paper planner I can carry with me, and access everywhere.  It’s possible to write down appointments as scheduled, make note of necessary tasks for certain days, reminders of when library books or projects are due, or whatever is needed.  A paper planner will never crash, or be unavailable due to a system failure, unavailable signal or system update.  However, the important thing is to use a planner of some kind to set a frame work for your day.  You may not get everything done every day, but I promise you will get more done, especially the important things.  Then, when you lie down for that nap, or get into bed at night, you can relax and get the rest you need, and feel good about it.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 25, 2010

We look forward to Thanksgiving every year because it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and enjoy wonderful food. As I look around, I realize how much I have to be thankful for, not just today but every day. I live in the United States, where I have the freedom to voice my own opinions without being arrested, I have clean water, a comfortable home, family and friends I cherish, and plenty to eat. I am truly rich! We shouldn’t need a special day to realize how blessed we are, but it is a wonderful thing to have a day where everyone is united in appreciation.

Here are some thoughts for today:
“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections.” (Unknown)

“I ask not for more riches, but for more wisdom with which to use the riches I have already been given.” — Napoleon Hill

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” – – Martha Washington

And finally,
“Live each day as if it is a precious gift, because it is.” – – John Di Lemme (Quote #9)

Some thoughts for today…

November 6, 2010

“The faster we run, the more conflicted we become.” – – Sarah Ban Breathnach

“If you stay in faith, what was meant to stop you will not be a stumbling block but rather a stepping-stone taking you to a higher level.” – – Joel Osteen

“What you see is what you can be.” – – John Maxwell

“Expect miracles and see them take place. Hold ever before you the thought of properity and abundance and know that doing so sets in motion forces that will bring it into being.” – – Eileen Cady

“Your success will be determined by your ability to prepare.” – – Rudy Giuliani

and, finally,
“Daily consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.” – – John Di Lemme

Ambition

September 30, 2010

It is so easy to think of ambition as a negative characteristic, to think of greed or a lust for power. In reality, ambition can be a positive attribute. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines ambition as an “ardent desire for rank, fame or power” or “a desire to achieve a particular end”. It shows “aspiration” as a synonym. Clearly, ambition has the potential to be a power for good!

Without ambition, nothing gets done. Without a strong desire, no one would pursue a dream or a goal. Ambition is the power that pushes us to get started.  In order to control and focus ambition correctly, it is imperative that we develop strong principles, based on solid values. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.”

With a dream, the ambition to achieve it, the principles to guide us, and the persistence to keep going, anything truly is possible!

What do you choose?

August 27, 2010

“It is not, and never will be, about how you feel. It will ALWAYS be about what you choose.” Dr. Zonnya

So often, I think to myself, or hear someone else say, “I have no choice.” or “What choice do I have?” Every day, we are faced with decisions that involve unpleasant choices, choices with unknown or undesired consequences, or choices that we just plain don’t want to make. This is a very stressful and frustrating situation, and one that happens over and over again.

While it is true that we will find ourselves forced to make a decision, does it necessarily follow that we “have no choice”? Even though we may feel like we don’t have a choice, chances are what we really mean is that we are in a position where we don’t like our options. Sometimes, it helps to think about what we CAN choose.

We can choose to be happy. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” We can choose how we perceive a situation, and how we are going to react. So often, we think of happiness as the end result of becoming successful, and wait for something from outside to “make me happy.” In reality, happiness is something to search for on the journey to success, and that can only be found inside ourselves. We can choose to see only the down side, to remember only the painful part of the lessons we learn, or we can change direction by thinking positively and looking for things to be happy about. No one and nothing can make us miserable unless we choose to let it.

We can choose our companions. It’s hard to be happy when we are surrounded by negative people. This is a harder choice because it means that we may have to give up a friendship, or limit our contact with a family member. Toxic people, people who are constantly choosing to be negative about their own journey in life, can overwhelm others with their dark, unhappy thinking. Negative attitudes are contagious, and the only remedy may be to quarantine the source. We can choose to be around people who help us think positively by being positive themselves. We can choose to give the “gift of goodbye” to the dream stealers and negative thinkers around us.

We can choose to be grateful. In times of stress or uncertainty, I forget about the many blessings I have. I am learning to redirect my thoughts from unhappy or negative emotions to things I already have to be grateful for. It’s hard to maintain a sulk or being unhappy when you are thinking about the good things already in your life!  “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Cicero. If we find things to be grateful for, and thank people who help us, this gives us the opportunity to sow positive seeds in others’ lives as well.

Sometimes things happen to us that we just don’t like. “I don’t have to take that!” is frequently the beginning of an argument or a confrontation. Sometimes it may be triggered by a criticism, a negative review at work, or a snide remark by one of those negative people mentioned earlier. Sometimes it can be the negative consequence of a choice or an action we made ourselves. The key is to decide how to deal with the situation. I CAN refuse to “take it” and try to fight my way out of it, convince someone else that I’m right, or just hold my hurt feelings in my heart and feel bad. Although I am guilty of all of these reactions, I am learning to apply a more practical approach. William James said, “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” I can choose to accept the criticism or the consequence, refuse to get angry or hurt, and examine the situation for the meaning of it. If I can see a reason for the consequence or the criticism, this gives me the opportunity to improve and learn from it. If there is no merit, I can let it go and move on.

Choice can be a scary thing. It means taking responsibility for ourselves, our actions, and our happiness. It removes the ability to blame other people or circumstances for what is going on in our lives. The other side of this issue  is the fact that it gives us the freedom to change things, to choose how we will react, and how we look at things, and to choose the people with whom we will spend our time.  It actually gives us the power to make our journey on our own terms.

“There is no obstacle that true grit and Amazing Grace cannot overcome.” from SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach

This quote inspires me so much. “Grit” as a term for determination is so appropriate because it embodies hard work, getting down to business (the “nitty gritty”), and really digging in. Amazing Grace is the gift that comes from outside ourselves to lift us over the top, just when we think we can’t go one more step. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to keep on keeping on. We work so hard to keep going. So often, we try to take our daily journeys alone and don’t even think of asking for help. While it is true that there is a lot of work, a lot of study, and a lot of effort that we must do individually, it is not true that we have to take the journey alone. Sharing with a friend, being accountable to a mentor or accountability partner, developing a spiritual life, all can contribute to both sides of this hard work/gift of grace equation. Discussing the difficulties and ideas for solving them can help clarify the thought process. Listening to someone else can bring us the idea we hadn’t had or show us where we are on the wrong track. Looking beyond ourselves into the spiritual can bring us a peace and a clarity and open us to receiving the support and encouragement we need, not only from others but from God as well. As Lyndon Johnson said, “There aer no problems we cannot solve together, and very few we can solve by ourselves.” Sharing the journey, with its difficulties, can keep our supply of determination, true grit, up to the maximum needed. Exploring the spiritual opens us to receiving the gift of Amazing Grace, keeping our spirits positive and our outlooks hopeful. With this combination, those difficulties and road blocks are not so intimidating, no longer insurmountable obstacles.

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