March 16, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Things themselves don't hurt or hinder us. Things simply are what they are. How we view these things is another matter. People think what they will think; it is of no concern to us."
 
~ Epictetus

 

DON'T LISTEN!
 
Someone once said, "When I was in my twenties, I worried about what others thought of me. When I was in my forties, I didn't care what they thought of me, and when I was in my sixties, I realized they weren't thinking about me at all." Who hasn't had a parent or friend tell us "What will people think?"
 
How easy it is to let the influence of others govern our actions. By listening to others, then carrying out our lives to the tune they wish us to play, we are but puppets. One of "Aesop's Fables" addressed the same issue.
 
It told of an old man, a boy, and a donkey making their way down a hill. As the boy rode, while the old man led the donkey, they overheard a neighbor comment about the shame of making the old man walk. The next turn in the road saw both man and boy astride the donkey, and the next passer-by shook his head at the shame of putting such a load on the poor donkey. By the time the two reached the final turn in the road, they were seen carrying the donkey on a pole.
 
The message, of course, was that we should not live our lives to satisfy the expectations of others. It is up to us to set a clear direction for our own lives, and then follow that path to the exclusion of others.
 
It's really about choices, isn't it? We get to make our own choices in life. When we fail to do so, we have still made a choice - that being to let others make our choices for us. As the final days of winter approach, it's an excellent time to let your vision take hold, to set a bold new direction for your life in the coming Spring. Make some choices - no matter what "they" think!
Posted in Morning Coffee
Feb. 17, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping."
 
~ J.C. and A.W. Hare

 

GIVE SUCCESS A CHANCE!
 
Have you ever tried to accomplish something, but given up before your plan or actions have come to fruition? Maybe you're just trying to organize a huge stack of paperwork, or perhaps you're trying to build up your database of leads or increase your sales by a certain percentage within a certain amount of time.
 
Of course, you feel a degree of frustration if you don't achieve the results you were hoping for. Frustration points you in one of two directions: either you'll be defeated, or you'll be pushed to try even harder to succeed. The surest way to guarantee failure is to quit before you've given enough time or effort to get the job done.
 
Also consider by whose standards you are measuring your success. Are you trying to live up to someone else's unreasonable expectations or goals? Then it might be time to approach that boss or spouse or instructor and let them know that your progress is guaranteed, but perhaps not on the established schedule. Bill Cosby once said, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
 
Chances are that whatever goals you've set for yourself, you can achieve them, but setting reasonable goals in the first place will go a long way toward success. Maybe you should "pull in your horse" BEFORE he leaps if you feel he's not going to make it over the hurdle. Also remember that it's your effort to achieve that is ultimately the most important part of that success (kind of like the old adage about the journey vs. the destination). Don't forget the words of Lloyd Jones, who said, "The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed."
 
Success can be a relative term and depends upon the perspective of yourself and others. Do whatever you can to accomplish your goals or the goals that others set before you, but regardless of the outcome, you should ultimately be satisfied with the work you've done.
Posted in Morning Coffee
Jan. 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Strength of numbers is the delight of the timid. The Valiant in spirit glory in fighting alone."
 
~ Ghandi

 

COMMITTEE COMFORT!
 
It has been said that "a camel is a horse created by a committee." You've probably witnessed the process yourself. You put any twelve decision-makers in a room together, and they can't seem to make a decision at all. Worse yet, they create something that is comfortable to all members - a camel of their own making.
 
Ghandi says numbers are the "delight of the timid." At some time or another, we all want the comfort of being surrounded by others with interests common to us. Maybe it's on sales meeting day when the discussion turns into a gripe session. Maybe it's in the break room, around the proverbial "water cooler," or in a training class we've just taken. Wherever the group meets, the results are often the same - a lack of action backed up by all the reasons that justify the inaction.
 
Ghandi also says the glory is "in fighting alone." Look around. Do you see one or two individuals who spend little of their time with the group? Sometimes called "loners," these are usually also the over-achievers, the top producers in life and business. They know where they're going and they don't need your approval to do it. The committee says they aren't "team players."
 
Being human, it is certainly normal to seek the comfort of others. In the case of those few individuals described as "the Valiant in spirit," however, their strength comes from their accomplishments. In each of us, there is also that "Valiant" spirit - the part of us that wants to strike out on our own. You can do that by resigning from the committees of your life. Elect yourself President and Chairman of the Board of your own future - and make it unanimous!
Posted in Morning Coffee
Dec. 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
 
~ Goethe

 

BE ALL THAT THEY CAN BE?
 
On a recent A&E Biography segment, Oprah Winfrey was being interviewed. She was asked whether she considered all the competing talk shows to be a threat to her own daytime show. She answered with a personal story about running in a marathon.
 
It seems Oprah had always had a dream of running in a marathon. She trained for two years to get ready, and she ran her marathon. Oprah explained that, to her, competition was like that marathon. As long as she was hitting her stride with her goal of winning in clear focus, there was no time to consider the competition. She added that just turning her head backward to see how close competing runners were to her position was enough to rob her of energy needed to win the race.
 
Oprah's view of the competition brought to mind the U.S. Army recruiting slogan: "Be all that you can be!" Note that it doesn't say, "Be all that THEY can be!" Even when your competition has a recognizable face, why would you want to be them? If you want to improve yourself, speed up your achievements, or earn more money, why not just better your own time? Comparing yourself to others is a waste of precious time and energy.
 
Realizing your dreams requires a roadmap. First, you decide on a destination - your dream. Next, you choose a route. For Oprah, that involved hiring a personal trainer, improving her aerobic capacity, and adding strength training to her daily regimen. It also helps to identify some stops or landmarks along the way to help you measure your progress. Finally, you apply all your energy to running the race - and achieving your dream.
 
Oprah's dream was to run a marathon. What's yours?
Posted in Morning Coffee
Nov. 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim."
 
~ Graham Greene

 

THE TORTOISE OR THE HARE?
 
This weekly column often encourages you to reach high and focus your energy towards achieving your dreams. What happens when the dream eludes you, or you feel that you're not measuring up against the standards of your peers?
 
Sometimes we do set our sights too high, or expect to reach them in an unreasonably short period of time. Just as important as establishing a goal is to map out an intelligent route. It's not usually all Super Highway between where we are and where we want to go. There are often plenty of other roads leading to and from that freeway, and you shouldn't drive 70 mph on a narrow two-lane country road!
 
But... what better place to slow down and enjoy the scenery? It's these paths that define the greatest part of our experience, and we shouldn't overlook them because we're so focused on the ultimate objective. Strangely enough, the things we see and experience along the way often lead us to change our path - or even our destination.
 
Ignore the worry-warts and over-achievers who want to know why it's taking you so darn long to get there. There is no time limit on success. You'll get there when you get there, and you won't be too old for it when you do. Success is sweet at any age, but it tastes best washing down a lifetime of experience, pleasure, and pride in one's work.
 
Achievement is a certificate that never expires, and there's no "due date." With the right attitude, you'll find small successes every day to keep your outlook positive and your life moving forward - at your own pace. When you make it clear that you are in the driver's seat and enjoying the trip, others will find themselves wanting to get on board. Happy motoring!
 
Posted in Morning Coffee
Oct. 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"When people are highly motivated, it's easy to accomplish the impossible. And when they're not, it's impossible to accomplish the easy."
 
~ Bob Collings (Cited in BITS & PIECES)

 

ASK "WHY?"
 
Beginning in the late '60s, a revolution of sorts began in this country. It was a revolution that was irreverent at times, almost always anti-establishment, and it turned many traditional social customs upside-down.
 
How did it begin? The young, many of college-student age, began to ask WHY? They challenged everything by asking a simple question - WHY? Why must it be so? Why is this or that the "right" way? Why can't I try a new approach? Everything that had been taken for granted by the establishment up to that time was up for grabs.
 
Voila! The country changed and will never be the same. Was the change all for the good? Hardly. Families suffered. The security blanket of social customs was yanked away. Collectively, we had to find a new direction, new meaning, for our lives. Was it worth two decades of turmoil? So it would seem.
 
Today's young families seem to be returning to principle-centered living. They are more sophisticated. They understand and adopt good personal money-management philosophies, and they still ask "why?"
 
The "why" of today, however, is more constructive. It has led to astounding advances in technology. When you ask a "why" today, you can locate the answer in minutes via the Internet. Audio books, motivational tapes, and "online" educational courses make it possible to become enlightened without the need for social revolution.
 
What about you? Are you asking "WHY?" often enough? Today, the world is yours if you know how to ask the right questions! The "ask why" generation's gift to all of us was the freedom to question and learn, guilt-free. Want to grow as a person? Start asking "WHY?"!
Posted in Morning Coffee
Sept. 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"If you want to learn something new, concentrate on getting that 'right feeling' that is true to yourself. Take the risk of letting go the precious little control you've struggled to gain, letting go enough to immerse yourself in what you are doing. Then - do it!"
 
~ Drs. Tom Rusk & Randy Read

 

THE SEARCH IS OVER!
 
Have you ever read Shel Silverstein's wonderful book, "The Missing Piece and the Big O"? It's a whimsical fable that has touched readers of all ages. It chronicles the search most of us have undertaken at one time or another in our lives to find the one person who can make us whole.
 
As the "Missing Piece" searches, it encounters other "parts." Some of them fit, but cannot roll. Others have too many pieces missing - while still others have too many pieces. The missing piece continues the futile search until one day it meets the "Big O" - a whole (not a part) with no pieces missing.
 
Thinking it had, at last, found its whole, the Missing Piece exclaims, "I think you are the one I have been waiting for - maybe I am your missing piece . . . I was hoping that I could roll with you." The Big O replied, "But I am not missing a piece . . . perhaps you could roll by yourself."
 
How often have we all felt that we needed someone else to be whole (or to roll) - not realizing that we are all in fact already the "Big O." We are already self-contained, have the ability to roll in any direction we like, and need nothing else to achieve every dream we've ever had. Then, unexpectedly, we find that there are others who are also "Big O's," with whom we can share our own "wholeness."
 
If I've lost you with this mysterious tale, go by the library or pick up a copy of this unusual story. Trust me - you'll understand. It's the type of book you can give to a loved one who may be feeling like a "Missing Piece."
Posted in Morning Coffee
Aug. 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"I always wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific."
 
~ Lily Tomlin (from her "One Woman Show")

 

AGE DOESN'T MATTER!
 
Whether you're 23, 43 or 73, ask yourself this wonderfully refreshing question: "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Regardless of our age, it's so easy to lose sight of the specific "somebody" we always wanted to be. What's more, the "somebody" we had in mind in our 20's may be someone different in our 50's.
 
Worse yet, maybe we grew up to be the "somebody" someone else had in mind - like our mother or father. The influence of those around us often prevents us from even asking the question "What do I want to be . . . ?" We try so hard to be their somebody that we don't allow ourselves to grow up at all.
 
So . . . going back to the matter of age, it doesn't matter WHEN we decide who we want to be so much as that we DO decide. It is at that moment that a catharsis takes place, and we rid ourselves of everyone else's determination of our identity. We are free . . . free to become the person of our dreams.
 
Is it easy to develop and maintain our new identity? No. Our day-to-day activities will still attempt to distract us from our new persona. Nevertheless, as artist D. Morgan points out in one of her paintings, "The impossible dream - isn't!" Take a quiet moment today, just for yourself, and ask, "Am I the somebody I wanted to be?"
Posted in Morning Coffee
July 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome trying to succeed."
 
~ Booker T. Washington

 

ON-THE-JOB STRAINING?
 
Ever get that “burned out” feeling? You’re operating at maximum capacity and doing a darn good job of it, but the inspiration and the motivation start to wane. Don’t feel badly about it – after all, you can only really hit a slump when you’ve been experiencing a streak of success! Slumps do not happen to “losers,” because frankly, they’re always in a perpetual slump!
 
So what can be done when you hit a bump in the road? Dr. Robert H. Schuller once observed that “when you can’t solve the problem, manage it.” Maybe you can’t control whatever outside forces are weighing down on your ability to move forward. You can, however, take a break and take a step back to look at things you actually can control.
 
If you’re banging your head against a wall, please stop and walk away! If success lies beyond that wall, you’ll have a much better chance of getting there by going around your obstacles and not through them. Walls are not doorways – you need to refresh your perspective and find passage back to your previously winning ways.
 
Perhaps you’ve just gotten so good at what you do that you’ve forgotten “the basics” of your activities. It’s like you’re operating on “auto-pilot,” and there are a thousand little details that you don’t even think about anymore as you carry on your routine. Take some time to “re-train” yourself. Start by pretending it’s your first day on the job and everything is new.
 
New employees who have to learn the ropes often bring a fresh perspective that exposes ways to do things more efficiently. Look through your “apprentice” eyes for new ways of working, and it’s a good bet that your performance will improve, and you’ll find yourself operating with renewed enthusiasm. Now, give yourself a bonus!
Posted in Morning Coffee
June 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"It is a simple procedure to calculate the number of seeds in an apple. But, who among us can say how many apples there are in a seed?"
 
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

WANT ABUNDANCE IN YOUR LIFE?
 
Who among us would answer "NO" to that question? Yet abundance often seems beyond our reach. We see it in others, but do not believe it is in us. We see ourselves as the apple (limited), rather than the seed (limitless).
 
So, what's the first step on the road to abundance? Wayne Dyer thinks it is giving thanks - for what you already have. That might include good health, a new baby on the way, loving parents, a career you enjoy, or money in the bank. You do have a few things going for you - right?
 
Just as the potential of the seed in the apple is limitless, so is your ability to attract abundance. By focusing on what you already have, you begin to deny what you don't. Your attention is drawn away from the scarcity in your life - and towards the abundance that already exists in your world.
 
You may be thinking that when you achieve abundance, you will finally be complete. Therein lies the surprise - that you are already complete. You are never going to get it all, because you have it all already. That's right. If you are not currently thankful for the good in your life, having more of it will make no difference.
 
The secret to abundance then lies within you. Place your thoughts squarely on what you already have, be grateful, and it will expand beyond your wildest dreams. Believe you have nothing until you get more, and you will spiral endlessly downward in despair at how unjustly the world is treating you.
 
Want abundance in your life? Think about it!
Posted in Morning Coffee