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!