Tuesday, December 31, 2013

[Stay Strong] Happy New Year - Clean up and Action time!!

"People excel, thrive, and are ultimately happier when they have a higher standard to look to and strive for.

I have NEVER encountered a situation in which a goal didn't flood my spirit with Hope, fill my mind with Determination, and generally bring out the best in me!"
    
         - Matthew Kelly

2014!!!   

Wake up time!!!!!

> No more talking about it! 

> No more excuses!

>We all know that "New Years" is the quintessential time to make new goals, declare resolutions, and to fully wash off all of the negativity and mistakes of the past year!

It doesn't matter how severe or mild the setback was - failed marriage, lost job, loss of a loved one, missed opportunities,  financial woes, health issues, family feuds, etc - we MUST stop lamenting about it, stop letting these things rule our lives -and put them far behind us NOW!

If we have learned anything in our lives it is that life is too darn short and that if we don't take action NOW we will never take action!

One of my favorite quotes sums it up nicely:

"Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

How true!!

Here is my challenge to all of you today!!

> There must be something, one thing, one goal that you have had bouncing around in your head for some time now that has been derailed for a multitude of reasons! 
>
Excuses are very easy to accommodate as we grow older and that is why TODAY we are going to identify that one goal we have always wanted to pursue and we are going to COMMIT to pursuing and achieving it!!! 

No excuses....put it down in writing!!!

Make it THE most important thing to do in your life right now!

Understand, This is a crucial crossroads for us right now!!!  

It is not so much the actual achieving of the goal that matters - but the fact that we are going to ACCOMPLISH it, whatever that goal may be!!

What are you going to commit to pursuing today?

> Do it - add that special goal and pursuit to your daily life and it will quickly add energy, fire, enthusiasm and purpose to your days!

Trust me..a life without purpose and a goal to achieve is stagnation and as growth-seeking beings, we cannot afford NOT to do this RIGHT NOW!!

> What is it that is going to change your life today???

Write it down..put it next to your bed so it stares at you every day and night, and go out and nail it!!

You can do it!!!  This year is different!

Thank you all for your notes and words of encouragement all throughout the year. I appreciate it very much! I am glad they can be of help to some.

Stay Strong and may God Bless us all with Health, Peace, Joy, Prosperity, and Renewed Strength of Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit in 2014 and for the rest of our lives!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Savage Words of Wisdom!

"I've walked through the valley, and I'll tell you this:

If I look back over my life, at the days and years I've spent worrying, most of them were a waste of time.

Worry brought me nothing.

Thinking about your problems is good, but not worrying.

Neither does going around feeling bad.

Do you really think other people are saying, "Oh, look, he's feeling bad. Let's give him what he wants?"

It doesn't work like that. The only person who suffers is you.

As I look back on my life, I can see that every step of the way, the hand of God was guiding my feet.

So in that regard, I think I've found my faith all over again.

For a while I didn't believe in anything, but suddenly that's changed."

  - Michael Savage

Thank you for this Nicky!

Great advice!

Stay Strong!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Saturday

"If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they actually possess, they would stop worrying."
   - Dale Carnegie

"What worries you, masters you."
  - John Locke

Training our minds is a difficult task but it is not an unattainable one.

Like everything else in this life, the more we work at something the better we get at it, and the more we believe we can achieve it the easier it becomes to achieve.

This applies to work, sports, fitness, academics, spiritual growth, and anything we can put our minds to thinking about.

Therefore if we can successfully train our minds to focus on our blessings and gifts, as opposed to always highlighting and focusing on our worry, fear and anxieties,  think about how much easier and more enjoyable life would be.

In the end what it all comes down to is our willingness and persistence in training our minds to look for the positives in every single circumstance and to consistently shrug off our failures, worries, and doubts.

It will take faith and hard work but if you really think about it isn't it worth all of the effort to find that elusive peace and happiness we all seek?

Endeavor to begin your training today!
Stay Strong!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bah Humbug.....

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal.Live this day as if it were your last.The past is over and gone.The future is not guaranteed."

   - Wayne Dyer

Life is such a gift and a fleeting gift at that!

Every one of us is guilty of taking for granted the mere fact that we should be Incredibly grateful to be able to even get out of bed in the morning - period! 

After that blessing, the rest is gravy and we are blessed beyond our wildest dreams!!

But we as humans do not know what we have until it is gone and then it is too late to take action.  We only really count our blessings when we see for ourselves how much life could be WORSE!

I had the recent opportunity to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol" with my son as he was reading it for school.

There is no greater reminder of the metaphors and the powerful moral of that story as it relates to all of our lives and to our actions! 

I recommend you read or re-read it today. There is no better timing for it than this season!

Scrooge got lucky.  He was warned that his actions and his attitude and the way he treated people on a daily basis had consequences!!!

Scrooge was blessed to have the opportunity to make amends and fix his mistakes before it was too late!!

For many people, by the time they realize their mistakes it is too late to do anything about it!

So take action today!! 

You control your today!  

Appreciate the opportunities you have at your disposal TODAY and let's stop lamenting and ruminating on our tough breaks,  our failures, and our disappointments!

Leave the past where it belongs! 

Today begins a new you, a new focus, a new approach and a new outlook on what we want our lives to be TODAY!

Get on it now as it is later than we think - but NEVER to late to change our attitude and our perspective!

And in the words of Tiny Tim; God bless us - one and all!

Stay Strong!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Delegate your Fears

"Can you imagine a life with no fear?
What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats?"

- Max Lucado

I am sure we have all been in a situation that causes us worry, anxiety and fear at some point in our lives. 

Some of us struggle with this on a daily basis and it can be really debilitating.

In business many times there are situations whereby we must worry and are nervous or anxious about something that must be taken care of or there will be major problems.

Often there is a person or a team who will approach us and say:  "Don't worry. We got this."

And depending on who makes that statement we either doubt it or we TRUST it immediately.

If it is a person we trust, who has come to the rescue in the past, who we know is a person of their word and has a track record of past successes in similar situations,  then we can very easily and confidently allow them to relieve us of those worries, the problem,  and the stress that we were undergoing before they stepped in!

Wouldn't it be amazing if we all had that type of "go to" person - available 24/7,  who could do that for us regardless of our problem, situation,  cares, worries or stresses???

Well guess what! 

I believe we already do have that person and if we have the Trust and the Faith to hand Him all of our worries, fears, stresses and anxieties, He will run with them indeed!!!

It is a tremendous Leap of Faith to accomplish this and to really Trust, but it is worth a shot!

Try it today with whatever issue you have on your plate!  Let Him take it from you as He promises he will.

Just like that person or team that we rely on to finish a project or solve a problem at work - list them and delegate them to God.

It has been proven to me.

It will be proven to you as well!

And boy is it an amazing feeling to know everything will be taken care of and to have that weight lifted from our backs every single time we need it!

The ball is in our court!

Stay Strong!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happiness made simple

"Everybody really knows what to do to have their life filled with joy.

What is it?

Quit hating people; start loving them.
Quit being mad at people;  start liking them.
Quit doing wrong.
Quit being filled with fear.
Quit thinking about yourself and go out and do something for other people.

Everyone knows what you have to do to be happy.

But the wisdom of the test lies in the final words:

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

-  Norman Vincent Peale

Stay Strong!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

[Stay Strong] Storms

"The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger,but for deliverance from fear.
>
> It is the storm within which endangers him, not the storm without."
     - Ralph Waldo Emerson
>
> Life is full of storms.  Some are quick mild storms, while others appear to be huge Category 5 hurricanes.
>
> Avoiding storms should be a goal for all of us but it certainly is not possible to avoid them all.
>
> Many of us are battling our own personal storms as we speak!
>
> If we can accept and fully expect to be hit with a storm at any time, and prepare ourselves mentally for anything that may be thrown at us, WE CAN WEATHER ANY STORM IMAGINABLE!!
>
> As Emerson so eloquently put it, it is not so much what life throws at us, it is how we react internally that matters. 
>
> Pray for the removal of that wasted, dreaded, potential limiting FEAR, not that we avoid the storms of life altogether!!
>
> Facing storms and surviving them only serves to strengthen us!!!
>
> Bring them on...embrace them as the seas get rough and the sky grows dark and the wind starts whipping!! 
>
> You will sail through it unscathed if you banish the fear and have the faith that this storm shall pass!!
>
> and ALL storms do pass!!!!
>
> If we can master that internally and prepare in advance for the rough seas, nothing can impede out progress or stop our march toward peace and joy!!!
>
> Nothing!!
>
> We control only that .... And can start this very moment if we choose!!!
>
> Stay Strong!!
>

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thoughts and Happy Friday!

"Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts.

If you don't control what you think, you can't control what you do.

Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward."

- Napoleon Hill

Pleaae try to soldier through this post if possible... :)

How did your day start today?

For some of us it began by  jumping out of bed and running off to tackle all of our massive "to do" list - with enthusiasm and sense of purpose.

For others of us it began by hitting the snooze button 11 times and rolling back over and under the covers, dreading what the day had in store for us!

We all have each of these days when we awaken and sometimes it is a smattering of both!

It is natural to sometimes awaken and feel apprehensive about the day ahead - but if that is EVERY DAY we really need to make a change!

Just as athletes do before a big game, it might be worth it to us to take that same approach as we lay in bed each morning and prepare to go out into the fray!

How we prepare mentally each morning is CRITICAL to how our day will be and how we will perform in certain challenging situations during the course of the day's interactions.

Just as every athlete has a different pre-game routine they go through, so should we identify what exactly works for us and make it part of our daily discipline.

Could you imagine Lebron James of the Miami Heat sitting in his locker before a game saying to himself "Man are we going to get crushed tonight.  I probably won't score a single point against these guys. Boy are we in trouble! "

No - it would never happen! That is self-sabotage we would all agree!

How do you think he would play that night if he made that speech part of his belief system??

So then why do we allow ourselves to lay in bed and do exactly that every morning?   Self-sabotage!!!

What we allow ourselves to THINK WILL translate into our daily performance and WILL dictate the type of day we will experience!

As I said everyone has different ways to prepare themselves for battle.

Find yours today!

For me -to be honest -  I begin each day wanting to roll over and stay home with my family - every single day!! :)

But since I have not figured out a way to make that a reality yet I prepare myself for battle each morning this way:

1. I give THANKS to God for all our blessings - beginning with this brand new day of opportunity.  I even list them out a bit and specifically point out my gratitude for these amazing blessings.

2. I ask for continued blessings,  for more opportunities and the strength to improve myself and those in need, and for the health, prosperity, peace and protection of my family friends and loved ones.

3. I ask for certain wishes of healing, peace, strength,  guidance,  and health for certain loved ones in need of these things.

4. I give thanks one more time for the opportunity to rise and try to make a difference in this life.

I then will pull out my "Lebron" psyche up routine - it is a wonderful piece that my brother in law Tim recited to me by heart almost 9 years ago and it still gets me in the proper mindset daily -  and it constantly reminds me what my day should entail.

I have shared it here before but I cannot stress what it does to me each morning in order to strap on my armor and dive into the unknown that is our daily lives!!

Enjoy it - use it if it moves you the way it moves me - and Stay Strong!!!

"Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost;  drink in the sunshine;

Greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp.

Do not fear being misunderstood & DO NOT waste a minute thinking about your enemies.

Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal.

Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfilment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs.

Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into the particular individual…

Thought is supreme!!!!

Preserve a right mental attitude — the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer.

To Think RIGHT is to create.

All things come through desire and EVERY sincere prayer is answered.

We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.

Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high.

We are gods in the chrysalis."

— Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One Day at a Time - a Bedtime Thought....

"Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This day is all that is good and fair. 

It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations,  to waste a moment on yesterdays"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never Forsaken

"God is the hardest taskmaster I have known on this earth, and He tries you through and through. 

And when you find that your Faith is failing you or your body is failing you, and you are sinking,  He comes to your assistance somehow or other and proves to you that you MUST NOT lose your Faith and that he is ALWAYS at your beck and call, but on His terms - not on your terms.

So I have found, I cannot really recall a single instance when, at the eleventh hour, He has forsaken me."

- Mahatma Gandhi

Whatever your current challenge, the single most important factor in keeping your peace and coming through it is your persistent, unwavering adherence to your Faith that there is a grander plan and that all will be ok!

It is not easy to do at times. As Gandhi points out above, we WILL be tested and we WILL be tried in this life!

The ones who do not lose hope, faith or heart will be the ones who can soldier on forward and gain from this life what is intended.

However, we have to truly believe and put our trust into this concept for it to matter.

Therefore, stay the course - and recall what Longfellow once famously proclaimed;

"The lowest ebb is the turn of the
tide."

Stay Strong!

Photo courtesy of Bobby OT.. TY!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Safekeeping

"Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look at them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them.

He is your keeper.

He has kept you hitherto.

Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. 

Our Father will either shield you from suffering,  or He will give you strength to bear it."

- St Francis De Sales

If we believe this and take it as truth - or better yet, even if we are skeptical and not all the way there yet but willing to give it a try - how can any one of us have an ounce of fear, worry, anxiety or a lack of Peace about anything in our lives?

It is akin to a "Guarantee". 

If you were "guaranteed" that in the end of all our struggles, troubles, and daily strifes that it would all be ok and everything would work out for the best, would that change what you think of and spend your time thinking about?

Would that make a difference in how you wake up or go to bed, in your peace, your joy, or your attitude? Or how you approach problems and deal with setbacks, live your life, and interact with people?

How great and easier would life be with this type of guarantee??

What would your mind and thoughts consist of when all the worry, uncertainty and fear vanish in an instant?

Well, that guarantee exists today.

It is not in writing in a contract anywhere and we really don't have a "Trip Advisor" review site to check it's legitimacy.

However, it does exist and it is real and all we need do is take that Leap of Faith and BELIEVE it for it to take hold!

Seems worth a shot.

Afterall, what do we have to lose by taking that Leap?

Stay Strong!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Switch

Life does not consist mainly,or even largely, of facts or happenings.

It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one's head."

- Mark Twain

If Mr. Twain is indeed correct in his assertion above, what powerful and valuable information this should be to all of us.

If we try to control what life throws our way, or lament and worry about it, we are surely setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment! 

We really have zero control of any of the circumstances, trials, and tribulations that we field from life's twist and turns on a daily basis.

The best we can do is prepare for them, be ready for them, and accept their inevitability - for they will come to all of us!

The true key is our response to them!

Our mind is the central switching station that is in charge of directing these thoughts that pull into the station.

If we have prepared our mind well, these thoughts will be directed properly to the right track and we will deal with them with a positive attitude,  focusing on the solution and always keeping proper perception on the real issue.

However,  if we fall asleep at the switch and these benign thoughts are allowed into the wrong area, the floodgates will open and before long we will be at their mercy, at their control, and we can be overcome with anxiety and negativity.

We must avoid the latter at all costs!

Be vigilant and when you are feeling fearful, anxious, depressed or negative at any point, know that you have fallen asleep at the switch!

These feelings - these negative emotions - are the critical alarm system and need to be rectified once we feel any of these creeping into us!

Constantly beat back the negative thoughts by replacing them with a solution,  with an action plan, with a realization that nothing is ever as bad as it initially seems!

Remember you are never alone in your battles and you WILL come out of any storm safe and stronger for having been blessed with the opportunity to endure it!

Stay Strong!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

[Stay Strong] Storms...

And there arose a great storm
> (Mark 4:37).
>
> Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. Some come slowly. They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man's hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.
>
> Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest.
>
> When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm.
>
> The history of manhood is always rough and rugged.

No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer:
>
> "O God, take me, break me, make me."
>
> This too shall pass....

Do not Quit!

Do not Despair!

Do not Lose Faith!

The dawn is near and the seas will grow calm and peaceful. 

Just hold on through this temporary storm!

Stay Strong!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Strength and Choice

"Weak men are the slaves of what happens.

Strong men are masters of what happens.

Weak men are victims of their environment.

Strong men are victors in any environment.

Strong men may not change the circumstances, but they will use them, compel them to serve, and bend them to their purposes.

They may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but somehow they will coerce the wind to fill their sails while they drive the tiller over to keep their course."

-  George Craig Stewart

We all have this choice and amazing opportunity on a minute by minute basis!

We cannot always dictate our circumstances, but as sure as the day is long we all have immense and irrevocable power to make the choice of surrender, passivity, or STRENGTH as our response!

So many of us are in the very midst of a tempest - a tempest of worry,  anxiety,  fear, despair, hopelessness, and a loss of Faith!

At times it seems the waves may overcome our ships and that very moment is when we can exercise the only real power or control we have over anything in our lives - the choice to quit, surrender or to persevere,  forge ahead with faith and sense of purpose and strength of will and soul!!

Make the choice for strength, the choice for Hope and for Faith that everything will work out and be ok!

Because guess what - IT ALWAYS DOES!!

Ask for help - ask for guidance - ask for the renewal of your faith and always know that you are NEVER alone or isolated in your battles, your challenges and trials! 

If you can take this leap of faith and BELIEVE in this - I can assure you that your life will take on new meaning,  new purpose, and new vigor!

It will change in the very second you consciously CHOOSE to accept Strength over weakness.

Choose Strength!   You may think you don't have it in you - but YOU DO - we ALL do and we need only to make up our minds and summon it - RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!

Stay Strong!!

Banish our worst enemies - Not only today but this very moment!!

The more we really shine the spotlight on the true source of what drains our energy, what holds us back from our full potential, what robs us of our joy, our happiness, and our peace, the sillier and more fired up I get!

As we have discussed at length, we need to keep persistent vigilance and focus on the two largest bandits and inhibitors of our very happiness and fulfillment - Fear and Worry!!

Regardless of our responsibilities, current situation, station in life, daily challenges, goals, or state of mind, Fear and Worry don't ever take a vacation and are continually vying for our attention - and control of our thoughts!

These two ugly cousins persistently creep into our heads at every turn and if we are not aware of their mission and their pervasive attacks - and are not prepared to stand stronf and do battle with them - we can unwittingly let them run and ruin our lives!

Most people know and may have read Dale Carnegie's amazing book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", but Mr. Carnegie also wrote a terrific book called "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living."

To summarize his overall point and his sure-fire formula for eliminating worry in our lives for good:

Step One -

Analyze the situation that is causing your worry - fearlessly and honestly - and figure out what is the WORST that could possibly happen as a result of this failure!

Step Two

After figuring out the worst that could possibly happen, reconcile yourself to accepting it if necessary!  

Chances are that once we reconcile ourselves to accepting the very worst that could happen to us in the worrisome situation,  we will immediately relax and feel a sense of Peace and Control.

Step Three

From the time of acceptance,  calmy devote your time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which you have already accepted mentally.

Worry, more than anything else, prohibits us from thinking clearly.  It has us jumping all over the place and alllows fear to creep in to our heads!

Once we eliminate that worry and accept the very worst that could happen we can focus calmly and clearly on a solution!

Try this formula with any worry that you may have on your plate today and see what happens yourself!

Stay Strong!

Friday, December 6, 2013

[Stay Strong] Choices! What are yours?

"The really positive people wake up each morning deciding to love the world, even as they are fully conscious of their own and other people's sufferings"
> --- Mark Van Valkenburg
>
>
> "Bill Genovese is one of those, who despite his own troubles, chose a courageous and constructive life.
>
> As a teen. He coped with the devastating and senseless murder of his older sister. In 1964, 28 year old Kitty Genovese was sexually assaulted and repeatedly stabbed by a man in her Queens, NY neighborhood. While she was being brutally attacked neighbors, who heard the screams but either did not understand the gravity of the situation or did not want to get involved, did nothing.
>
> Bill Genovese struggled with his anger. Two years later he joined the Army and went to Vietnam. There both his legs were destroyed by an explosion and had to be amputated.
>
> He was 19 years old.
>
> Bill had a choice to make at that point and he could have understandably given into his anger and resentment and despair. Who would have faulted him given all he had experienced in his 19 short years on this earth?
>
> Bill determined "not to sit on the sidelines of life".
>
> He chose to love and live and forgive!
>
> "He is grateful for the Blessings God gave him like meeting and marrying his wife Dale, a nurse, having three children, a home, a job, his Faith and eventually grandchildren."
>
> He chose to love.
>
> How different from Bill's are your circumstances today? Your challenges? Your struggles? Your first thoughts as you awake to take on the day?
>
> We have a choice - and not just daily- hour to hour - minute to minute - to change our minds and CHOOSE happiness - CHOOSE joy - CHOOSE peace, CHOOSE to love and live and help and forgive!
>
> No formal applications are needed - just accept it in your heart and minds and it will set you (us) on a path to joy and peace!
>
> Stay Strong - and take time today to really reflect and remember all of your blessings as they often become buried in our perceived daily struggles!!
>
> "I thank my stars every day of my life that I learned it is not money that makes you happy, but rather what kind of life you live. Real richness comes not from dollars, but with "sense".
> - Eartha Kitt
>
> (Story partially adapted from the Christopher News Letter)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Promise Yourself today.....

10. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger,  too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble.

9. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

8. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and GIVE EVERY LIVING CREATURE YOU MEET A SMILE.

7. To FORGET THE MISTAKES of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

6. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

5. To think only the BEST, to work only for the BEST, and to expect only the BEST.

4. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

3. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

2. To talk Health, Happiness,  and Prosperity to every person you meet.

1. To be so STRONG that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

  - Optimist International

Stay Strong!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why Worry?

Why worry? It is very simple and scientific;

40% will never happen, for anxiety is the result of a tired mind.

30% concerns old decisions which cannot be altered.

12% centers in criticism,  mostly untrue, made by people who feel inferior.

10% is related to my health which worsens while I worry,

and only 8% is "legitimate", showing that life does have real problems and challenges which may be met head on and conquered when I have eliminated senseless worries."

Stay Strong!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brendan O'Toole. Two year Anniversary. Painfully missed - Never Forgotten. We love you, Uncle B!

There is No Death

"In one sense there is no death. 

The life of a soul in earth lasts eternally beyond his departure. 

You will always feel that life touching yours, that voice speaking to you,  that spirit looking out of other eyes, talking to you in the familiar things he touched,  worked with, loved as familiar friends.

He lives on in your life and in the lives of all others that knew him."

  -Angelo Patri

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Three for Tuesday....

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.
It is what you think about."
- Dale Carnegie

"Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, cause your mind to dwell on peace and joy." - Ernest Holmes

"Let Go, Let God."- Anonymous

Three terrific quotes to begin and guide our day today!

There is no denying or rebutting the fact that all we need to do is identify "what we let" our minds think, reflect upon, and dwell upon to understand what defines our moods and consequently defines the amount of stress,  worry and fear we  deal with on a daily basis.

"Thought is Supreme" is an understatement! 

If you feel crappy, fearful,  anxious, depressed,  lost, helpless, hopeless,  or fearful,  you can bet that you are allowing that creep of negativity - negative thoughts - seep into your head and it is running roughshod all over the place!

The second you feel these emotions,  stop yourself and identify what you are dwelling on immediately!

Work to replace these negative thoughts with a prepared, handy, positive thought or concept.

Ask yourself what is the worst that can come of this situation!

Put it all in perspective and realize that no matter your concern or worry, it will not matter 1, 10, 30, 100 years from now!!!

So why are you beating yourself up over it now? 

Why are you letting it run your life and ruin your peace??

You know it will pass as everything does and you know you will be stronger as a result of riding it out - confidently and in Faith!!

Take back control now!

You hold all the power necessary to do so!

I will close with one of my favorite pieces that my bro in law Tim showed me years ago - I recommend you keep it handy and make it a daily read and mantra! 

It certainly can shape and frame your day - it shapes mine every morning!

God Bless and Stay Strong!

"Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost;  drink in the sunshine;

Greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp.

Do not fear being misunderstood & DO NOT waste a minute thinking about your enemies.

Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal.

Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfilment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs.

Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into the particular individual…

Thought is supreme!!!!

Preserve a right mental attitude — the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer.

To Think RIGHT is to create.

All things come through desire and EVERY sincere prayer is answered.

We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.

Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high.

We are gods in the chrysalis."

— Elbert Hubbard

Friday, November 15, 2013

Let go....

"Life is a riddle.
We cannot expect to understand life's twists and turns as they occur each day,
and we greatly frustrate ourselves in the futile attempt.
Be content to appreciate that there is an overarching purpose,
though that purpose be known only to God, and to history.
Choose service.
Choose joy.
Accept the unknowing."
  - Anonymous

One thing we can count on besides death and taxes in this life is that we will all experience our share of twists and turns!

Every second of our day holds the promise of some type of situation, some change, some challenge or some opportunity!

That is the double edge beauty of life!!

Life is short and things can turn on a dime at any moment - for better or worse!

The secret to peace and joy is to let go of this illusion that WE fully control our own paths!

We constantly plan, scheme, lament, and map out and drive ourselves nuts trying to control and dictate the way our lives will unfold!

Planning is fine and a good idea. I recommend it and it certainly helps keep life in some order.

However,  if we believe for a second that our planning will allow us to control the circumstances and twists that life throws at us, we are going to go mad in our futile efforts!

Accept that storms are imminent,  that not every day or season will be sunshine and roses, and embrace the difficult challenges that arise to test us, to mold us, to make us into stronger and greater souls while here on earth!

We can be happy, peaceful and content despite any trials and bumps we hit on the road if we BELIEVE that there is a greater plan for all of US and BELIEVE that we are all on the exact path we are meant to be on!

What a relief it is to let go of the need to control every single aspect of our lives.  Not only is that prospect impossible, but it only serves to frustrate us and waste our fleeting time here in this life!

Relax and believe that all will be well because IT ALWAYS WILL!

Stay Strong, let go a bit, and enjoy the weekend!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

[Stay Strong] Shame on us..

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and your strength.

Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself."

- Tecumseh

Such a true quote!

We all have such abundance and blessings compared to the rest of the world.

It is staggering and criminal what we take for granted every single day! 

If we but reflect for a moment on what other human beings in other countries, and even in our own backyard, lack and can only dream about we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for taking these precious gifts for granted!

Therefore, endeavor to give thanks for all we have and thank the Lord we live where we do, in the time that we do, and with all the opportunities that we have!

Please offer prayers to those less fortunate than all of us who face unimaginable, daunting challenges of staggering proportions every minute of every day!!

Regardless of our current trials, worries and challenges, we have no idea just how truly blessed we are!

Remember this fact the next time you find yourself lamenting over some minor issue that we deem a huge "problem".

Stay Strong!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Seeds

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds that you plant."
  - Robert Louis Stevenson

What a perfect quote for this beautiful autumn season!

All too often we tend to judge ourselves, our progress on this earth, our development as humans, in fact our entire lives by the results we yield!

On the Harvest!

We tend to use the most prevalent means available to judge and evaluate our value and our meaning here on earth - which are money, wealth, possessions, social status, career, etc.

This is the world in which we live and the preliminary test of our value often falls into these monetary and materialistic categories.

These materialistic things - while necessary in our world and always in our faces - are the "harvest" cited in the quote above.

If we pin all of our value as human beings on having the greatest amount of harvest, boy are we missing the point of our purpose on this planet!

It is the planting of the seeds, the daily actions and interactions that we take that truly matter!

If we were to judge quality of life and true value based solely on material possessions, we would have to eliminate so many amazing and impactful lives from this "list".

Last I checked, Mother Theresa, all of the Saints, and a carpenter from Galilee never obtained a spot on the Forbes 500 Wealthiest People edition.
There is nothing wrong with striving for a comfortable life and working hard in your vocation. This is not the point I am trying to make.

The point is that if we use the standard worldly measure of a person's true value here on earth, and we allow that measure to drive our throughts, emotions, and our happiness and peace, then 99% of us are setting ourselves up for failure!

It is not the "harvest" alone that makes us the special people we are - it is the planting of the seeds - our kindness, our compassion,  our willingness to help others and to insure other people find peace and joy - that truly matter!!!

Lighten up on yourself and adjust your parameters!

Choose and guard closely your measuring stick and judgement criteria because this will drive your happiness and joy!!

Keep planting these seeds daily, continue to tend to your daily work with the right focus, and I assure you there is zero doubt you will experience an immeasurable and irreplaceable HARVEST in your life!!

Stay Strong!

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Sometimes Life will hit you with a brick..."

"When you find yourself on a path, you must not be afraid.
You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes.
Disappointment, defeat, and despair are
the tools God uses to show us the way."
- Paulo Coelho

Courage.  Faith. Strength to make mistakes! 

Regardless of the path you find yourself on today, you must know that it is the true and correct path and there is a plan for all of us! 

Venture out, cast off the lines and set sail with the Faith that you are never alone and that you will reach your destination. - EVEN if you aren't even yet aware of the destination!

Keep your heart and mind open to positive influences and you will be ok!

"Trust that all of the seemingly meaningless dots today will eventually connect!" 

It is not too late!!

Many of us have probably seen and heard one of the most valuable and powerful commencement speeches of all time, but I am unable to stop listening to it once I begin regardless of the umpteen times I have heard it!

I ask you to take a few minutes right now to listen to this speech below - either for the first time or the 20th time - as the three simple stories told and the lessons derived from them are truly invaluable and oh so true - they are not to be missed!!

Stay Strong!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stength to Endure

"When the conflict has ceased and Our Lord Jesus Christ had fully accepted the sacrifice,  He was perfectly self-possessed.

Let us too be calm, and united with God, and that will give us strength to endure that suffering we had dreaded and shrunk from.

To all outward appearances, our Lord's life was a failure; so will it often be with us. 

Yet it is just then we are most like Him, and in our very failure will lie our success in the sight of God.

Our Lord's agony was an anticipation of suffering; specially helpful in these days so full of subjective troubles.

"My soul is sorrowful even unto death" (Matthew xxvi. 38)

Jesus's soul, generally in such peace and calm, was taken possession of by suffering that was enough to take His life.

What was the cause?

The knowledge,  the anticipation of His Passion. 

"He began to fear and be heavy" (Mark xiv 33) - a sickness of heart - agony - fear!

Jesus was mortally sad.

This fact alone ought to be the greatest comfort and consolation to us.

To find a parallel to our sufferings in the Blessed Son of God is a lifelong asset of consolation that cannot be prized too highly."
    
       - Confidence in God

It is comforting indeed to know that even Jesus Christ Himself experienced the same fears, sadness,  anxiety and despair that all of us often experience in our earthly lives.

As we struggle and battle with our daily challenges and trials, let this fact be of consolation to us all.

This too shall pass is a fact of life and we need to have the Faith that we will be provided the necessary strength and endurance to ride out any bumps and obstacles in our lives!

Whatever your current challenge or battle,  remember that you are never alone in your fight and that nothing lasts!!

You are strong enough to sustain and eventually everything will be ok! 

Just resist the temptation to give into the onslaught of negative thoughts and continue to persevere in Faith and Hope - with your eye on the next step - NOT the current trial or past failures.

Ride it out! As you read above, afterall  are in good company! ;)

Stay Strong!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Master of Emotions

"If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be the master of my emotions."
   - Og Mandino

No matter what is bothering you this crisp autumn Monday morning,  you can overcome it quickly if you really want to!!

We all hold the solution to beating those melancholy blues whenever they rear their ugly head!

The key - as the amazing Og Mandino points out above - is to simply take your focus OFF the present state and shift it to WHAT YOU WANT!

Allow the Law of Attraction to take hold by putting all that has already occurred behind you and focusing like a laser beam on what you want from your life!

Stop the negative thought patterns in their tracks as soon as you become aware of them and ENVISION exactly what you WANT in your life.

Let the past go - it does not matter a smidge!!

Visualize a new job, new career, new relationship, new passion, new lifestyle, a NEW YOU!

The more we focus and envision what we want - as opposed to our current struggles and challenges - the quicker these things will become a reality! 

Keep the FAITH that you are exactly where you are meant to be on your path - and embrace the trials and obstacles with Hope and Strength!

Start today!!  YOU control your life and your emotions!  

Master them with the use of positive,  enthusiastic thoughts and helpful actions toward others!

Stay Strong! !!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Re: [Stay Strong] This too shall Pass!!!

As we deal with our daily battles and struggles, it is critical to put it all in the grand perspective of what it all truly means! 

No matter the trial or challenge we face on this earth, we MUST understand that nothing in this world is permanent and ALL we will leave behind is the good and kindness we do to others!  

That is the only - and the most critical - legacy we could ever dream of leaving behind!!

So lighten up - relax a bit and have some fun!!   Life is short and fleeting!

Please read the passage below in its entirety if you can - it is a good plan of action and I believe it will shape your day - and if remembered -perhaps your life!

Stay Strong!

"I will laugh at the World.

> No living creature can laugh except man.
>
> Trees may bleed when they are wounded, and beasts in the field will cry in pain and hunger, yet only WE have the GIFT of laughter and it is ours to use whenever we choose.
>
> Henceforth I will cultivate the habit of laughter.
>
> I will smile and my digestion will improve; I will chuckle and my burdens will be lightened; I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the Great Secret of long life and now it is OURS!!!
>
> I will laugh at the World!
>
> And most of all, I will laugh at myself for man is the most comical when he takes himself too seriously.
>
> Never will I fall into this trap of the mind.
>
> For though I be nature's greatest miracle AM I NOT STILL a mere grain tossed about by the winds of time?
>
> Do I truly know whence I came or whither I am bound?
>
> Will my concern for this day not seem foolish ten years hence?
>
> Why should I permit the petty happenings of today to disturb me in the least?
>
> What can take place before this sun sets which will not seem insignificant in the river of centuries?
>
> I will laugh at the World.
>
> Yet - HOW can I laugh when confronted with man or deed which offends me so as to bring forth my tears and my curses?
>
> FOUR WORDS I will train myself to say until they become a habit so strong that immediately they will appear in my mind whenever good humor threatens to depart from me.
>
> These words, passed down from the ancients, will carry ME - US - through every adversity and maintain my life in balance.
>
> These four words are:
>
> THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
>
> I will laugh at the world.
>
> For all worldly things shall indeed pass. When I am heavy in heartache and worry I shall console myself that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
>
> When I am strangled in poverty and despair I shall tell myself that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
>
> When I am puffed with success and burdened with wealth I shall warn myself that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
>
> Yea, verily, where is he who built the pyramids? Is he not buried within it's stone? And will the pyramid, one day, also not be buried under sand?
>
> If all things shall pass why should I be of concern for today?
>
> I will laugh at the world.
>
> I will paint this day with laughter.
>
> Never will I labor to be happy; rather will I remain too busy to be sad.
>
> I will enjoy today's happiness TODAY!
>
> It is not a grain to be stored in a Box. It is not a wine to be saved in a bottle.
>
> It cannot be saved for tomorrow. It must be sown and reaped on the same day and this I will do, henceforth!
>
> I will laugh at the world.
>
> And with my laughter all things will be reduced to their proper size. I will laugh at my failures and they will vanish in CLOUDS OF NEW DREAMS!
>
> I will laugh at my successes and they will shrink to their true value. I will laugh at evil and it will die untasted!
>
> I will laugh at goodness and it will thrive and abound.
>
> Each day will be triumphant ONLY when my smiles bring forth smiles from others!
>
> So long as I laugh I will never be poor. This then is one of nature's greatest gifts, and I will waste it no more.
>
> ONLY with laughter and happiness can I truly become a success.
>
> ONLY with laughter and happiness can I enjoy the fruits of my labor.
>
> Were it not so, far better would it be to fail, for happiness is the wine that sharpens the taste of the meal.
>
> To enjoy success I MUST HAVE HAPPINESS, and laughter will be the maiden who serves me!
>
> I WILL BE HAPPY!
>
> I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL!
>
> I will laugh at the World!"
>
>
> ---Og Mandino, "The Greatest Salesman in the World"

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Key..

"You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want."
- Zig Ziglar

"The purpose of human life is to serve,
and to show compassion and the will to help others."
- Albert Schweitzer

It is a fact that the longer we dwell or focus on anything,  the more it will consume our entire thoughts and lives.

We can all think of a time when this has occurred to us in our lives.

Whether it is a good dwelling or bad  (and most likely it tends to be the negative ones), the more we allow our minds to entertain and continuously process a thought or situation the more likely that other similar thoughts will join in on the fun!!

Some call it the Law of Attraction.

Now this is terrific IF these thoughts are positive,  growth oriented,  and helpful.  But if they are thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear - oh boy are we digging a hole!!!

Be cognizant of the types of thoughts you allow to get your attention during the day.

Since it is almost impossible to monitor every single thought that enters your mind, the easiest way to identify if you are letting too many in is to check HOW YOU FEEL!

If you feel crummy, fearful, depressed or worried,  you have been asleep at the wheel.

The floodgates have been opened and your mind is flooded woth negative thoughts!

This is easily corrected fortunately. 

The mental "sump pump" you can use is to identify this flooding, and immediately interrupt the cascading of negativity.

Shift focus onto a solution or next step of action to address the negative thought!!!

A foolproof way to keep on the positive track is to seek out ways to help others who may need your assistance!

We don't need to become Mother Theresa ( although that would be nice too) but instead just identify someone in need of a pick me up, a smile, a word of encouragement, a compliment,  a sounding board,  or a pep talk.

There are countless opportunities in the day to make a positive impact on someone's day who is in need of a lift!

By shifting focus to that endeavor,  you will automatically stop the flow of negative thoughts and at the very least interrupt the pattern!

It is impossible to help someone and NOT feel better about life in general!

Give it a try today.... it works and it can happen this very second!

Be vigilant with these negative thoughts and if they flood, pump them out immediately! !!

The best tool for this is always at your disposal! 

Make good use of it!!

Stay Strong! !

Thursday, October 24, 2013

[Stay Strong] Courage to Start Anew

As the Columbus Day Holiday in the US recently passed, I began thinking of the lessons to be learned from that courageous explorer.
>
> Imagine the prospect facing Columbus as he first embarked on his mission to find the New World way back in 1492.

Leaving behind all he knew and against the advice, warnings, and nay-sayers predictions of doom for him and his equally courageous crews, Columbus soldiered on with a drive and passion that made his life altering discovery possible!
>
> Imagine, not only were there the dangers and fears of the "unknown" world facing them, but many still believed the world was "still flat" and that the ships would simply drop off the cliff of the world into oblivion!
>
> Nonetheless, they undertook this mission and endured horrific and shockingly painful conditions, situations, and bleak, despair-filled visions of their future only to make, in hindsight, one of the greatest discoveries in the history of the World!
>
> How many times do you think they WANTED to turn back, quit, give up, concede defeat and turn heel to head back to the safety and comfort of the world they knew??
>
> How many days did they look over their bow and hope, pray, and sometimes actually think that they saw land???? Only to be severely and punishingly disappointed every time?
>
> Probably every day for many months - which is a severe trial on the mind and soul - and the fact that they persevered and succeeded in incredulous and inspirational!
>
> How many of us have been or are currently in that same exact predicament? Hoping and wanting and wishing for something to happen, only to have our spirits crushed and end up disappointed at each turn?

All of us has have had these moments and some of us are going through these feelings currently!
>
> Well - what are our choices in the face of our own "endless ocean" in front of us with no land in sight?
>
> That is easy - We have 2 choices!!
>
> 1. We simply quit!

We call it a day - "twas was a good effort, but life's victories are not for me - I do not have it in me to be successful - everyone else is better suited than me to be happy, successful, etc. I am going back in my hole and hope that things get better someday.' We roll over and weakly give into our fears and live our lives without passion or joy and in constant fear!!
>
> 2. We rely on our FAITH that by staying in the game, believing in a Higher Power who guides us, doing the right thing with other people's happiness in mind, WE WILL PREVAIL!!
>
> If you believe that others were put on this earth with better this, better that, etc than you than you are discounting your own worth and prospects! 

It is ludicrous!
>
> No one is going to do it for you - and you possess the POWER to change your life NOW!! TODAY!!!
>
> The Power of your Mind is limitless - the only challenge for you is BELIEVING it!!!
>
> So today remember Columbus - WE ALL possess the same vision, ambition, passion, courage, and PERSEVERANCE as he did back in 1492!!
>
> Now go, cast off the lines from the bow and "discover" the Joy and Happiness and Peace that are yours to enjoy!! 

That are simply WAITING for you to set sail aftef them!!

Only YOU can make it a reality and it all starts with BELIEVING! !
>
> Stay Strong!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ask and expect!!

These days there is a seemingly over-abundance of negative news swirling around our heads!!

EVERYWHERE you turn it seems more bad news, negative situations, and Gloom & Doom commentary is being bandied about to the point of really affecting even the most positive person in a negative way!

We must be very careful to avoid this trap in these troubling and challenging times!

It is far too easy to allow our minds to fall in line with this overwhelmingly negative sentiment that has us in it's grasp!

This is a classic example of the negative "thought compounding" trap we have been discussing all this time and it is imperative that we identify it and snuff it out ASAP!

It is an amazing feeling to know that no matter how bleak things look, no matter how dark and gloomy the present and future appears-- THERE is NOTHING TO FEAR!!!!

Yesterday I caught myself in a spontaneous, joyous and light mood walking in midtown Manhattan at lunchtime - I didn't have a true, specific, identifiable reason to feel that way at that exact moment but the mood overtook me in spite of my current challenges, stresses, and everyday battles.

Now sure, I know I am blessed as you all are - with health, love, a great family and tremendous friends in my life -these things are a wonderful and powerful source of STRENGTH and JOY to me indeed!

However, there are many days that we simply fail to reflect on the adundance of all our blessings and allow ourselves to develop into a little rut and feel down, apprehensive, fearful, even depressed!

It happens to the best of us!

But remember it is only temporary and we can manage these emotions and overcome ANY OBSTACLE if we just confront it head on and focus on stemming the tide of negative thought!!

I know that my joyous and spontaneous mood yesterday stemmed from my morning prayer asking for strength and guidance to take on the day's trials! 

I know for a fact that if we simply ASK for it, it will be delivered to us!

EVERY TIME!!! Without a doubt!

Take 5 quiet minutes when you are stressed and do your best to ASK for Strength daily - ask for assistance and aid when in fear or doubt or trouble!

But most of all, KNOW that you will be OK - no matter the circumstance you face, the situation in which you find yourself embroiled, or the lack of light you perceive at the end of that dark tunnel!!

IT WILL PASS!!

ALL OF THIS darkness will pass!!

Happiness is inevitable and unstoppable if you ASK for it, Embrace it, and Accept it as your God Given Right - literally!

Because guess what - it is!!

Stay Strong!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Re: [Stay Strong] Choices

It sounds trite but when it all boils down to it, life is nothing more than a series of choices followed closely by the outcomes and effects of those choices on our lives.
>
> Pretty simple really. All we have to do is make the RIGHT choices every time we are faced with a decision point!
>
> How hard can that be?
>
> Impossible, of course, is the answer and no matter how much we analyze, study, prepare, investigate, and research our choices, inevitably - at some point- we are going to make what is perceived to be the WRONG choice!
>
> No one is immune to it!
>
> But think about HOW MANY choices we make in a day. Sure, some of them seem trivial in the grand scheme of life, but even trivial choices and decisions we make every single day (sometimes hundreds a day) can impact our lives in a major way!
>
> How often have you heard horror stories about someone making a seemingly small choice during their day only to have that choice be the difference between life and death? (Think Sept 11, 2001)
>
> Or how often have you heard of someone's choice saving or impacting someone else's life by what appears to be sheer happenstance? (Think September 11, 2001)
>
> If we break it down like that it can be overwhelming and downright frightening to think that "what time" I leave to catch my train can have lasting ramifications on my life and the lives of others!
>
> Overwhelming, scary, paralyzing, and also fascinating!
>
> Well, I have a way to avoid being overwhelmed, paralyzed, or scared by the cavalcade of decisions we face daily:

DO NOT WORRY and follow your heart!
>
> I can hear you now - "What does that garbage mean?". " That is a bunch of BS, etc....
>
However,  I truly believe we have a guidance system in all of us and that guidance system is operated by a higher Power!

Call it what you will! God, the Universe, Holy Spirit, Karma, etc.
>
> I believe that the choices WE SEEM to make, and decisions WE SEEM to choose are actually chosen for us!
>
> Sometimes however we do not listen to the right choice in our hearts.
>
> Sometimes we do not even know we CAN listen to the right choice and completely miss it!
>
> As Bono of U2 sings "How can you stand next to the Truth and not see it...."
>
> Well, that is often us and it is because we do not ask for the right choice to be shown to us!
>
> I will take it one step further too. I believe there are NO WRONG choices in light of what are lives are supposed to be!
>
> A dear friend of mine just made a life altering decision with her career. I happen to believe that she made the RIGHT decision, yet others when given the facts may disagree based on their own life situations, value systems, fears, and opinions.
>
> So was it the right choice to make?
>
> I say ANY decision made with a pure heart of love, Faith and Trust is the RIGHT choice to make!
>
> I believe that if you ask for the answer and you choose in Faith, you WILL NEVER make the wrong choice!
>
> Sure, it may seem wrong at times, but you must look at the big picture and elongate the results before you know if it is "right" or "wrong".
>
> We are led down paths - not by our own doings - but by a higher Power!

We MUST have faith, COURAGE, confidence and Trust that we will be led to where we belong!
>
> I KNOW my friend had been led there and I am proud of him!
>
> And I know he KNOWS it too...
>
> So choose with these qualities in your heart and NO amount of FEAR can ever lead you astray!
>
> Stay Strong and God Bless!
>

Monday, October 21, 2013

Strength of Spirit..... Happy Crisp October Monday!

"Every trouble is an opportunity to win the grace of strength.

Whatever else trouble is in the world for, it is here for this good purpose - to develop strength!

For a trouble is a moral and spiritual task. It is something that is hard to do.

And it is in the spiritual world as in the physical, strength is increased by encounter with the difficult.

A world without any trouble in it would be, to people of our kind, a place of spiritual enervation and moral laziness.

Fortunately, every single day is crowded with care.  Every day to every one of us brings it's questions, it's worries, and its tasks, brings its sufficiency of trouble.

Thus we get our daily spiritual exercise.

Every day we are blessed with new opportunities for the development of STRENGTH OF SOUL!"

  - George Hodges

Stay Strong!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Action time!! The Critical Importance of Goals!

"People excel, thrive, and are ultimately happier when they have a higher standard to look to and strive for.
>
> I have NEVER encountered a situation in which a goal didn't flood my spirit with Hope, fill my mind with Determination, and generally bring out the best in me!"
>
       - Matthew Kelly
>
> Wake up time!!!!!
>
> No more talking about it! 
>
> No more excuses!
>
> If we have learned anything in our lives it is that life is too darn short and that if we don't take action NOW we will never take action!
>
> Here is my challenge to all of you today!!
>
> There must be something, one thing, one goal that you have had bouncing around in your head for some time now that has been derailed for a multitude of reasons! 
>
> Excuses are very easy to accommodate as we grow older and that is why TODAY we are going to identify that one goal we have always wanted to pursue and we are going to COMMIT to pursuing and achieving it!!! 
>
> No excuses....put it down in writing!!!

Make it THE most important thing to do in your life right now!
>
> Understand, This is a crucial crossroads for us right now!!!  

It is not so much the actual achieving of the goal that matters - but the fact that we are going to ACCOMPLISH it, whatever that goal may be!!
>
What are you going to commit to pursuing today?
>
> Do it - add that special goal and pursuit to your daily life and it will quickly add energy, fire, enthusiasm and purpose to your days!
>
> Trust me..a life without purpose and a goal to achieve is stagnation and as growth-seeking beings, we cannot afford NOT to do this RIGHT NOW!!
>
> What is it that is going to change your life today???

Be sure to WRITE THE GOALS DOWN! There is something magical and formal to seeing the goals in writing! !

BELIEVE! 

WHATEVER YOU TRULY WANT CAN AND WILL  BE YOURS!
>
> Stay Strong!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

[Stay Strong] We shall see...

Sorry for the length of this one but please try to get through it in its entirety - if you can!!  :)   

No matter how Strong we are, NONE of us are immune to periodic lulls in Joy, Pockets of doubt, moments of sadness and despair, or bouts with melancholy, despondency, or depression at some points in our existence.
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> The difference between those who Stay Strong and those who spiral deeper and deeper into the Darkness is really one of controlling your thoughts and focus!
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> Sounds simple - I know - but it takes real effort and it can mean the difference between rebounding back to the positive state of Joy - or sinking deeper into the sands of negativity, doubt, and despair!
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> It is truly a slippery slope!

We must understand that no matter what we encounter in our lives, no matter what life throws at us - NOTHING is permanent!
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> Nothing - both good or bad - that happens to us will stay in that same state for long!
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> Do not be too quick to judge life's events as they can, and often will, change very quickly and make you look at the past events differently!
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> So when times are tough, the tendency is to say - "Woe is me - this event is absolutely terrible and a horrible thing".
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> Hold on!

We do not know at that point WHAT the event means in our life!

Only the passing of time and subsequent events will truly teach us exactly what the event meant to us in the long journey of twists and turns that comprise our lives!
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> So do not despair after a break-up, a divorce, a loss of a loved one, a loss of a job, a setback or disappointment, etc!
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> It will pass and the next event will shed more light on why it occurred - and perhaps show it in a positive light in the grand scheme of things!!!
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> Do not get caught up in any single moment in time - but instead give the event time to pass and see what it really means!
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> Put your faith in the positive - believe and keep HOPE alive and close in your hearts and minds!
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> Avoid judging events as "terrible" as you never know what the next event to unfold will transform that past incident into!!
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> I will leave you with a wonderful story and nice illustration of this point.

Enjoy and remember this as it tends to assuage many heartaches and much pain!
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> Stay Strong!
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> We Will See......
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> Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn't have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field. 
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> This horse was his only tool and his source of income.
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> One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead.
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> Everyone in the village said, "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen."
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> The farmer said simply, "We'll see."

> He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift. 
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> Everyone's reaction now was, "What a lucky man."
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> And the farmer said, "We'll see." 
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> A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, "What a poor fellow!"
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> The farmer smiled and said, "We'll see."
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> Eventually, the horse found his way home with 7 other horses for the farmer!,
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> Everyone again said, "What a fortunate man."
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> The farmer said, "We'll see."
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> Later in the year,  the farmer's young boy who was responsible for breaking and training the horses went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg.
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> Everyone in the village said, "What a shame for the poor boy and the farmer. Without the young boy to break the horses, they will not be able to make any money on his farm."
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> The farmer said, "We'll see."
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> Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits for a war that was going on.
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> When they saw that the farmer's son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.
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> Everyone said, "What a fortunate man. We all lost our Son's to the Army but you still have yours"
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> The farmer smiled again -  and said
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> "We'll see."
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> Moral of the story: There's no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise.
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> And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from.
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> As Fra Giovanni once said:

"Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me... the gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence"
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- Anonymous Proverb

Stay Strong!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Give All to Get All....

None of us can do anything worthwhile alone!

Whether we recognize it or not, We all NEED each other to reach Peace and Joy!

We are all tied together as Brothers and Sisters and we cannot reach our Goal of Peace and Joy without helping our Brothers and Sisters get there as well!

So often we get so mired in our own little worlds, our own dramas and problems that we close ourselves off from the rest of the World!

We make our own trials and tribulations the centerpiece of our existence and remain so focused on these things that we miss the Big Picture!

Think about it - when our earthly bodies are dead and buried, or in those last few moments of our earthly lives before we pass to the Father's Kingdom - is there any real thought of a mortgage payment, a car payment, credit card bills, job, career or work worries?

No - of course not!

All these things that consume our daily thoughts and create endless worry, anxiety, and pain for us and everyone around us WILL PASS and to be blunt DO NOT MATTER IN THE END!!

They really do not matter in the Grand Scheme of things and even though I get that they are a fact of life, we cannot let these things overwhelm our lives!

"Give All to Get All" is a simple concept.

Shift all of your focus from your problems and ceaseless worry to HELPING someone else with THEIR problems and issues!

There is no more of a sure thing to jolt you out of worry and fear than to set your mind, heart and soul to HELP mode and reach out to a Brother or Sister in need of comfort, a laugh, a smile, an ear, or a shoulder to lean on as they fight their daily battles!!

Give ALL to get all!

It works wonders and puts things into perspective!!!

Try it today - and you will be amazed at how great you will feel - regardless of your curent state of mind!

Mr. Edgar Sanz... Rest in Peace. This man gave all and got all!

Stay Strong!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

[Stay Strong] Count those Blessings!! Daily Inspiration

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
> ~ Lao Tzu
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> Boy, if only this were easy to accomplish would all of us be joyous, happy, giddy and walking around with smiles from ear to ear!
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> Well, it may not be easy per se, but as my Dad often quoted to me, "Nothing easy is worth accomplishing anyway".
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> When we step back and take inventory of our lives, our current state and what we have going for us RIGHT NOW, it is truly amazing just how blessed we all are!!

Yet we all tend to skip this inventory in favor of harping on what we DON'T have!!
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> The problem we face in our society is that we tend to focus on what we LACK as opposed to all we HAVE in our lives today..even as we speak!!! 
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> We chase the almighty dollar and measure our success by the size of our bank accounts, cars, houses, careers, status symbols, etc.

None of us is immune to this status creep in our society - hard as we try not to be!
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> What a sad and futile effort and game we are in if these are the rules!!!
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> We should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing ourselves to get caught up in this WINLESS game!!
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> It is impossible to win that game because there will always be someone with more this and more that than us, no matter how much we have in material possessions or how high we climb in pointless stature.
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> Right now..this very second, in our lives riddled with fear, disappointments and worry, we have so many blessings and gifts that none of us should EVER allow a smile to leave our faces !!!
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> Yet we consciously CHOOSE to focus and measure ourselves and everybody else on the lack of things we perceive we OUGHT to possess!!
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> Take time right now,( and do not stop either), to assess and count your blessings as they say!!!! 

Truly count them and you will come to realize just how great and amazing our lives are right this moment!
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> Even at the height of my challenges and everyday worries, I am jolted back to reality and to my blessings when I kiss my son and daughter goodbye in the morning, or tuck them in at night!!  When I come home and see my wife, speak with my family and friends, witness a sunrise or sunset, give thanks for all of our health, have my dog be so excited to see me come home, etc.

These are all I will ever need and with that as a building block, how can anything bring me down?

You are no different!!
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> We all have blessings we overlook and discount on an hourly basis and we need to step up and re-assess them right now!
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> Focus on forgetting the "lack", all that matters is what we have today and where we are headed!! 
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> We are all wealthy beyond our means in that singularly most important category - and that my friends is the only TRUE WEALTH that really matters!
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>Stay Strong and God Bless !!
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