Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How to Prepare for Positive Incredible Change in 2013

In this article I'm going to discuss why it's so very important to embrace change in every aspect (the good, the bad, the ugly). There is a popular song titled: "Everything Must Change", which has been recorded by a number of artists. One of the recurring lyrics is: "Everything must change, nothing remains the same". Boy, ain’t that the truth!
Often times we hear individuals say that they wish they could return to "The good old days". My question is would they be willing to give up their cell phones, Internet access and all of the advances in science and medicine that have made their life more productive and healthy?  Me thinks not!
Change is a part of life of which we can always be certain. We’re going to have to embrace it if we’re ever going to be able to differentiate change, which is beneficial to us from that which is harmful. We can receive help in making this differentiation by learning to connect to our changeless spiritual nature. Let me see if I can explain.
In order for us to determine how change can potentially affect us, we have to acknowledge its existence and be in a position to evaluate it. We shouldn't bury our heads in the sand, hoping that it will pass us by and leave us unscathed.  We don’t even have to like it. The key is to have a solid set of values to which we can compare the effects of this proposed change.
This solid set of values is directly related to our relationship with our spiritual nature. If you remember in an earlier article I stated that the purpose of our spiritual nature is to provide us directions towards our highest goals and ultimate life's purpose. This part of us is changeless. The better we’re able to communicate with our spiritual nature, the more distinct we’ll be able to hear its voice and determine our direction.
There’s a really unique feature about preparing for the potential impact of change. It’s that we are in charge of determining how we respond to this change, or whether we respond to it at all. It's an example of applying the Law of Cause and Effect, which simply states: We choose how we experience life.
We can either allow change to control us so much so that we feel as if we're poor pitiful creatures to whom life shows no mercy. Or, we can respond to this change from a vantage point of power, dominion and fearlessness.    
When we choose to take charge of how we respond to change, we become victors and not victims of life. Dr. Steve Maroboli says:
 “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”
Let’s get ready for a 2013 of incredible change. I hope you've enjoyed this post and until next time here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless!

Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Plan for Success in 2013

First of all I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday season. Let me ask you a question, what are you going to do next year that will make you a better person than you were this year, last year or the year before? Are you going to improve your finances, your health, your relationship with God, or hopefully, all of the above? Will your goals help to make the world a better place and benefit those around you? If so, great! Now, what's your plan?
Do you have goals that will improve your performance in the various aspects of your life (i.e. as a parent, child, employee, boss, friend or a member of a church or community organization)? Have you identified and prioritized the steps you need to take in order to achieve these goals. Also, are your goals based upon your performance only and not relying upon external circumstances and situations beyond your control?  If so, good!
Have you written down a list of definitive, easily achievable and measurable objectives that will provide feedback on your progress towards reaching each goal? Have you attempted to identify the problems you will encounter on your journey towards success? I know that attaining goals in life can be a difficult and daunting task but who said life was easy?
However if you've done these things then you are well on your way to making that success real in 2013. The Greek philosopher Aristotle states: “Well begun is half done.”
Now that you’re ready to travel down the road to success here are a few extra tidbits of information I'd like to share with you. The first is to recognize that the past is gone and should be used for educational purposes only. Next, is that things will never go as smoothly as you think they should. You will make mistakes and encounter problems that seem insurmountable and may even make you want to quit. Don't, don’t do it!
Also, remember the value of forgiveness. It’s required for your benefit and not others. It is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. It will improve your life and your health by assisting you to stay focused on the goals you created.
There will be many times on our path to success where you will have to forgive others as well as yourself. This doesn’t mean you are soft! Let me share with you what forgiveness is not.
Forgiveness is not:
·      Forgetting,
·      Avoiding,
·      Excusing,
·      Neglecting justice
·      Reconciliation
·      A one-time event.
Finally, as you begin living your dream by implementing your goals during the New Year, remember to begin each day with an attitude of gratitude. As stated in my previous post, this attitude will keep you humble, grounded and in the present moment. It will prepare you for each day as well as for the successes and setbacks that come along with it.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time, here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Create an Attitude of Gratitude

What is an attitude of gratitude and why is it important? I know that many of us are going through rough periods in our lives. We may be concerned about our health (or that of a loved one), our relationships, our finances, our business and/or spiritual growth, or other factors that influence our response to life. It's important to understand that issues such as these will always be with us and that it’s important to create an attitude of gratitude as we shape our response to them.

An attitude of gratitude is a state of mind or being that centers us on who we are and our real purpose for living. It is created when we take time to enumerate those things for which we are truly thankful. I like to start by being grateful to my Creator for life and breath. Next I am grateful for whatever creature comforts I may have (they may not be the best but they could be a lot worse).

Next I am grateful for all of those moments in my life that took my breath away. Such as my first kiss, my first love, being present at the birth of my children and for the ability to fall in love again after experiencing a broken heart that I truly believed would never mend.

I am also grateful for the fact that if I have the mental faculty to identify my challenges then conversely I also have the mental faculty to create a solution. This results in me being grateful for my challenges. Let me give you an example.

A number of years ago one of my daughters was diagnosed with cancer. This diagnosis was not expected and as you can guess caught me by complete surprise. However, prior to publicly responding to this issue I entered into a state of gratitude.

I thanked my creator for allowing me the time I had already spent with my daughter. I remembered the special feeling that all dads get when their daughters give them a kiss on the cheek. I was grateful for experiencing her mood swings as she grew from a young girl into a young woman. At the end of this period of gratitude I felt very calm and connected to my spiritual source. As a result I was ready to face any outcome with calm and equanimity.

I truly believe that my calmness in responding to this situation rubbed off on my daughter. Today my daughter is completely cured and the mother of my first grandchild.

In closing I'd like to share with you a quote by Parker J Palmer that I believe puts the concept attitude of gratitude in perspective.
How easily we get trapped in that which is not essential — in looking good, winning at competition, gathering power and wealth — when simply being alive is the gift beyond measure.
- Parker J. Palmer
I hope you enjoyed this post.  Until next time here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God Bless!

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Create Miracles in Your Life

Do you need a miracle in your life, business, health or relationships? In today's post I am going to discuss the connection between intention, attention and miracles. The point I’ll make is that each one of us has the ability to create miracles on a regular basis. We just need to learn how to go about it. 

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a miracle as: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs. Wikipedia describes divine intervention as a term for miracle perceived to be caused by a deity's active involvement in the human world. So, a miracle is an easily perceived extraordinary event caused by a relationship between man and God. 

The term attention is defined as applying our mind to something. The term intention is defined as resolve or a determination to act in a certain way. At this point I believe we have all the ingredients necessary to create our miracle. However, according to our definition, in order to do this we don't go outside of ourselves but within. 

We must first understand that in order for God to help us the desired outcome must be beneficial to everyone involved and not self-serving. Then we must meet God on His turf or in the spirit realm. Next, we focus our attention on the problem we need solved or the miracle we need to take place as we bring it into God's presence. 

This is where our resolve or intention comes into play. Since the miracle may take time to manifest itself in the physical world, we must act as if it has already been accomplished. We also must not try to orchestrate the steps necessary for the miracle to occur. That's God's job. We just have to trust in the end result. 

 In my book titled: ”The 3Rs of Spiritual Growth”, I discuss the fact that each and every one of us is a (little c) creator with God being the (capital C) creator. There is also a section where I discuss how to co-create our life with God. That’s when life really starts to be fun. 

The beauty of this approach is that it is not dependent upon external resources or people in order for the miracle to occur. We’ll find all things will be brought to us in proper order and on a timely basis as we watch the miracle unfold in our life. The only thing we need to begin this journey is faith in the process I’ve described and faith in our God. 

Don’t buy into “the worldly way” of thinking that we have to have this or we have to have that in order for things to get better for us. Our age doesn’t matter. The color of our skin doesn’t matter. Our health doesn’t matter. Faith is enough! Remember our earlier definition infers that all we need for a miracle to take place in our life is man and God. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. And until next time here’s hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thoughts on Attaining Inner Peace

In my last few posts I have shared thoughts on leadership, stress and the effects of analysis paralysis. My goal has been to drive home the point that we choose how we experience life. There is a quotation I’ve seen posted quite often on the Internet that says: “Life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how we respond to it.”

Life really is considerably simpler than we make it out to be. We just have to learn to take it one day and one step at a time. Given that information I would like to share with you a poem that I came across as a young man. It provided me with a wealth of information on daily living.

I'm hoping it can help you to find inner peace, as it did me. Its concepts are biblical in nature and applicable to any place and time. It’s titled Desiderata and was written in the 1920s by Mr. Max Ehrmann.

Desiderata - by Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Until next time here’s hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you had to make a change and do it soon? This change is necessary and overdue because you’re fed up with the way things are and way past the point of being sick and tired. You've researched and analyzed your predicament and through the Internet and the ability to “Google” your subject, have found literally millions of solutions to your query.

However, with so many solutions available, it’s easy to be stricken by a certain condition called, analysis paralysis. This refers to over analyzing (or over thinking) a situation so that a decision, or action, is never taken. In this post I’ll discuss the causes of analysis paralysis as well as provide a simple solution.

As you know, Google places the most popular responses to our queries at the top of each page making it fairly easy to pick a course of action. Once we have chosen our course of action we typically delay a while and engage our brain to map out a timeline and the exact path we can follow. This is normally the spot in our action plan where a full-blown case of analysis paralysis sets in.

Our paralysis typically begins when we delay taking action in order to research a particular detail in more depth. As we drill deeper into that detail we normally come across others to which we don't have answers. This causes more delay, which, because of our fear of the unknown, eventually leads to our complete paralysis. If this is you, let me give you a hint. “You don’t have to have solutions to all potential problems prior to embarking on your course of action”.

We get paralyzed because our ego, thinking it’s protecting us, doesn’t want to give up control of our actions for even one moment. Our ego isn’t evil, but merely confused and limited. It relies upon human emotion and intellect in order to make decisions.

We can counteract the ego by staying focused on our solution and not being preoccupied by the potential steps we may take. Connecting with our spiritual nature and staying in the moment accomplishes this important step.

It's the job of our spiritual nature to guide and comfort us as we move towards our goals and life's purpose. Also trust me when I say we don’t always want to know what we’ll have to go through. This is because sometimes the steps will be painful but the outcome will more than outweigh the setbacks.
It's kind of like going to the dentist in order to get rid of a toothache. We hate sitting in the chair, but are thankful for the outcome.

Finally, the simple cure for analysis paralysis is to: immediately begin the course of action you have chosen and trust in your spiritual nature to console and guide you to your final destination. I hope you enjoyed this post and until next time: “Here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose.” Thank you and God bless!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From Chaos to Calm

In this post I'll discuss how to respond, not to the effects of stress, but to the stressful situations themselves. I'm talking about how to respond when we’re in the heat of battle and life continues to throw us curveball after curveball. How to respond when we’re feeling overwhelmed and don't know which way to turn for relief.  How to respond in a manner that gets us from chaos to calm!
In order to do so I’ll use the framework provided by my 3R concept. If you remember the 3R's stand for Recognize, Reconcile and Reconnect. The first step is to recognize the impartial forces, factors and issues that are currently working in our life. By their very nature impartial events do not ask permission to be present in our lives. They will occur whether we like it or not.
Examples of impartial events are: natural disasters, failed personal relationships (have you ever tried to continue a relationship with someone who has made up their mind to leave?), bankruptcy, sickness, disease and death. We must recognize that these events are going to occur anyway and it's our emotional attachment to them that causes most of our stress. We must also recognize that our core beliefs as well as the Law of Cause and Effect also contribute to our stress levels.
Next we must learn to reconcile (re-create a close working relationship with) all of this stress in our life and our desire to remain connected to our inner being, which is that part that allows us to experience stress in a manner that keeps us calm, confident and creative. However, in order to do this, we must (like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz) face our fears.
As difficult as it may seem, the first step in facing our fears is to accept responsibility for our part in creating the stressful situations that currently exist. You see, if we created them then we can change them. The next step in reconciling our life is to immediately create a vision that will allow us to handle the stress in a manner that keeps us connected to our inner being.
Finally, we must take this vision that we've created and reconnect back into our lives. Let me give you an example. A number of years ago I was having a very difficult time with my oldest son. Every time we got together the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I could feel my stress increasing prior to each meeting. Then one day I took responsibility and decided to create a vision that helped me experience our encounters in a manner that kept me connected to my inner being.

It was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. After a few months all of the tension surrounding these meetings was gone. We even got to the point where we hugged each other at the conclusion of our meetings. Today, I'm proud to say he is one of my best friends.
I hope this post is able to help you get from chaos to calm. Here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose.  Thank you and God bless.