Another Great Quote…

If YOU will change, EVERYTHING will change for you…
– Jim Rohn

I love that quote.  First of all, it reminds me that I can’t sit and wait for the world around me to change first – I have to be the one to change my life.  I can’t wait for my friends, my family, my boss, the government, my doctor or anyone else to make it better – I have to do it.  If I want something different today than yesterday, I have to DO something differently…

I have to THINK differently.

I have to TALK differently.

I have to ACT differently.

I have to DECIDE differently.

If I don’t, then today will be much like yesterday…
This quote also reminds me that I have much more control over my life than I sometimes give credit.  Life is a gift (althought I know it’s hard sometimes).  I need to ask myself each morning, “What am I going to do with this gift today?”  Asking that question alone can change your life…

So, with that in mind, what are you going to do with your gift today?

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It Doesn’t Take Much…

I like to leave my sweet wife little notes in her office when she’s not looking.  She then finds them when she returns to the office after I’ve left.  They are usually little notes of encouragement and affection that take me about 30 seconds to write.  The last time I was in her office, I looked above her desk and was suprised to find that she’s kept all of those little notes.  I asked her why she has not thrown any of them away and she said she likes to have them to remind her how much she’s loved.  She said she would never dream of throwing them away.  I then thought to myself, “What if I didn’t take the time to write those little notes?”  What is just a little gesture on my part goes a long way.  I get a much bigger return in how those notes make her feel than my time invested in writing them.

What if we all did that?  What if you did little things each week for your family and close friends to let them know how much they mean to you?  How much stronger could those relationships be?   If a fundamental need for us as humans is to know we’re loved and appreciated (especially our kids), how can we fulfill that need for others?  For me, I was suprised to find out how little time and effort it takes to make a lasting impact.

So, over the next few days, try doing something small for someone special to let them know you’re thinking of them.  If you get a chance, let me know how it worked for you.   I think you’ll be glad you did…

From My Wife’s Blog…

The following post if from my lovely wife’s blog over at eveannunziato.wordpress.com.  I think it’s worth sharing…

“You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There’s an old saying; Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the Present.”
Oogway (The Tourist from the Movie Kung Fu Panda)

As promised, here are my honest uncensored thoughts on the above ancient and wise philosophies from the latest DreamWorks cartoon:

1.    About Yesterday – let it go already! I’ve made some stupid and pathetic decisions in my past. There are risks I’ve regretted and paths I should have never traveled. But I have news for ya, in the eyes of your merciful, all loving God of the universe, they’re over, they’re forgiven, they’re forgotten and buried on the ocean floor never to resurface. If our heavenly Father can, than why can’t we forgive ourselves? Recently, I’ve started to adapt this philosophy and sure enough, over this past year in particular, I worked hard to break this habit of tossing and turning over “Eve’s pathetic moves!” I’m glad I’m making strides and growing in this area; gaining more joy in my life and a lot more sleep!! Should I learn from my unwise choices? Certainly. Have a teachable spirit, acquire the knowledge, and then move on… After all, it’s history already!

2.   About Tomorrow – who knows? For example, my lovely and beautiful mother has cancer. There I said it. I despise even mentioning the dreaded “c” word. However, it’s a reality. We were once again saddened to find that it has resurfaced and reared its ugly head. Over the past few months, the bad cells have spread and she’s fighting hard as the pain has increased. Her next move is back to the dreaded chemotherapy treatments causing sickness, nausea, and many other negative side effects. Yes, Mom will prevail and I have complete faith will WIN the battle through Him. On my upcoming vacation, I will see mom and plan to love on her and tell her EVERY DAY that I value her, appreciate her and will fight with her. Yes, her pain breaks all of our hearts for no one wants to see our loving, thoughtful, caring, gracious, positive, uplifting, encouraging, friend go through an ounce of pain (I could spend all day listing her positive attributes to our family and the Kingdom!). This year we’ve traveled with Mom visiting great places like Disney World (at her request) and have seen her more over the last 12 months than in years past. We’ve decided to take her anywhere anytime and never take her for granted. Next, we’re thinking about a return to Europe. She loved Italy when we took her, and lately she’s mentioned Spain. When she is finished treatment, I imagine I’ll be booking that trip next! My point – what does the future look like exactly? I have no idea hence it’s indeed a mystery.  Should you plan for the future?  Yes.  Should you live in the future?  No. 

3.    About The Present – Our days are numbered and everyday is a Gift! So, go on and LIVE IN IT! Enough said.

Thanks, Eve, for a great post! I love the point. By the way, if you liked this post, you might like the book, The Present, by Spencer Johnson.  It’s available at most bookstores and online. 

So, what’s keeping you from living in the present moment? 

What Makes a Good Day for You?

It’s easy to fall into a daily routine that we don’t particularly like.  We end up doing the same thing over and over, day after day.  We get up after not getting enough sleep, hurry ourselves and our kids while getting ready for work and school, run out the door to a job which we may or may not enjoy all that much, get through a mundane work day, sit in traffic on the way back home, walk in the door exhausted from our crazy day, make and eat a dinner that probably could be more healthful, turn on the t.v. and watch a show we hope will take our minds off of real life for an hour, go back to bed a bit later than we should only to get up and do it all over again the next day.  Weekends seem like mini vacations compared to our hectic weeks.  We live for Saturdays and dread Mondays.  Are you familiar with this?

We THINK that this is the way it HAS to be.  It was the way we grew up.  It’s the way all of our friends do it.  It’s the way everyone with whom we work does it.  But, that’s not true.  If you’re not happy with your routine, it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can change it.  It can be different.  It can be better.  But, it takes effort.  It takes effort to analyze your day to discover what you can cut out to make more quality time with your family.  It takes effort to look at how you can use your time at work more effectively so that you’re able to actually get your work done and leave the office on time.  It takes effort to get to bed a little earlier so that you get more sleep and feel better the next day.  It takes effort to talk to your kids about what’s going on in their lives.   It takes effort to find quiet time to renew your mind, listen to your thoughts and pray.  It takes effort to tune out the noise and find true voices of value that add to your life experience.   After you expend a little effort to begin doing these things, you gain momentum and change comes more naturally.  It gets easier.  The hardest part about starting something new is just starting.  Once you’ve spent a few days trying new things, finding a routine that you like better, examining your life to find what brings you true joy, it becomes something you’ll want to do.  It’s a great feeling to experience change for the better.  It’s great realizing that life can be different from the same old routine.  People are changing every day.  They’re finding a new path that takes them where they want to go.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve done it.  It’s fun.  And a great way to start your life change is to simply ask this question:  What makes a good day for me?  Once you answer that, your goal should be to do what you can each day to make that happen.  A little effort, a change here and there, some thought, some planning, some action and before you know it, you’ve created a life in which your good days happen more and more.  You CAN do it.  Just give it a try… 

 

The Storms of Life…

This morning, I’m watching big storms roll through the midwest.  There are waves of severe weather affecting areas like St. Louis, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.   It’s 5:51 in the morning and there are already three tornado watches that stretch from the midwest to the east coast.  Here’s a storm report from the National Weather Service after a storm passed through Rush County, Indiana, during the early moring hours…

SEVERAL HOMES HEAVILY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED AROUND THE TOWN OF MOSCOW. POLICE REPORT UNKNOWN NUMBER OF INJURIES AND NUMEROUS PEOPLE MISSING.

These are the kind of reports we hate to read.  Now, people will be left to pick up the pieces and recover from damaging storms.  Ask anyone who has been through it, recovering from tornadoes and severe weather is not a fun process…

Here’s a map of the severe weather reports from yesterday (June 3rd)…

Severe Weather Reports, June 3, 2008

Each dot is a report of severe weather.  The blue dots are wind reports, green = hail and red = tornadoes (there were 16 reports of twisters yesterday).  Needless to say, the weather has been very active… 

So, what’s causing all of the active weather in the midwest?  The answer – the controlling pattern is imbalanced.  The weather is the most severe where the imbalance is the worst.   It’s just the way the weather works. The atmosphere naturally wants to be in a state of balance and when it’s not, it tries (sometimes violently) to find a balanced state.  Take a look at this video takes from a security camera as a house across the street takes a hit from an EF-5 tornado in Parkersburg, Iowa, last month…

This video shows the atmosphere trying as hard as it can to return to a balanced state.  The more imblance, the more turbulence… 

Let these scenes be a reminder to you that the storms of life grow larger when you live without balance in your own life.  Here’s something else to think about:  If you have a spouse and kids, your imbalance doesn’t just affect you, it affects them.  When you’re going through a life storm, those around you often feel the fury, too.

So today, take some time and think about your life.  How can you work to create more balance and peace?  How can you change your schedule to spend more time at home?  What can you do to make sure your kids know how much they’re loved?  What can you add (or take away) from your diet to make it healthful?  What can you do today to make your life better tomorrow?  If you feel stessed, out of control and highly imbalanced, please don’t wait until your storm of life is big enough to blow apart your home.   Work on creating balance now.  Sometimes, it takes less energy than you think to make your life much better… 

 

 

You’re Worried About What???

There was a day I used to stress and worry about much more than I do now.  It took a
lot of life experience to teach me that not everything in life deserves the same
amount of my attention and energy.  We only have so many hours in a day – we all
know that.  But what we sometimes forget is that when we waste our thoughts, time
and energy on something insignificant, it means we’re not spending that time on the
things that REALLY matter in life.

Author John R. Noe, among others, wrote that out of everthing we worry about, only
eight percent is real and legitimate.  The rest either won’t happen, happened in the
past or is out of our control.  That means 92 percent of our time spent worrying is
wasted.  Considering that most of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day are repeats
from the day before, that’s a tremendous amout of time we just throw away.  Almost
shocking…

So, the next time you catch yourself worrying about something, ask yourself, “Does
this really deserve all of this attention from me?”  Because we can only have one
thought at a time, redirect your mind to something positive and constructive.
Become a master crafter when it comes to using your time.  Think more about your
goals and passions, how to serve your spouse, kids, family and community and about
all you have for which to be thankful.

Just remember, God gives us a limited amount of time here on earth and you have a choice each day about how you spend your time.  Make it count…