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


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

Stay Strong!

Photo courtesy of Bobby OT.. TY!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


"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!!