Nov. 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy."
 
~ Eric Hoffer
 
ARE YOU A BARGAIN HUNTER?
 
When’s the last time you went to shop at a store because they were advertising a big sale? Or pulled over to check out the offerings at a weekend yard sale? Or spent an hour browsing through listings on eBay?
 
We all love to get a bargain when we shop, but remember that value is determined not by what you pay but by what you get. Even if it’s a bargain, how ultimately satisfying is your purchase?
 
It seems to have become second nature to accumulate stuff – call it collecting, if you will. How many “treasured pieces” do you have stored away in your attic, basement or boxes in your closet? Sometimes what we can’t seem to live without ends up becoming “treasure” for the next bargain-hunter who comes to OUR yard sale!
 
In our acts of acquisition, is it possible that we’re actually looking for something more meaningful, more precious? Are we overlooking gifts of much greater value? Albert Camus once wrote, “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” Happiness will find you if you simply stop trying to find (or buy) it.
 
Those who always want more (of anything) will never have enough of it. There is no end in sight once the search begins, until finally the search turns inward and we realize that we can be happy with what we’ve already got. With so many people who are so much less fortunate than we, how could we possibly want more for ourselves, unless it is to help others?
 
The next time you reach for that irresistible bargain, reconsider its value in The Big Picture and the satisfaction it will offer over time. Maybe something of even greater value is already within your reach...
Posted in Morning Coffee
Oct. 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke "Somebody's boring me; I think it's me." 
 
~ Dylan Thomas
 
NOT BED-TIME READING!
 
There’s been a lot of heated discussion regarding the embellishment of facts in order to make an otherwise “true story” more interesting. You may recall that a "memoir" published within the last couple of years was scrutinized like a journalistic piece, and its author publicly shamed for previously claiming as fact many of the now acknowledged fabricated details in the book.
 
So why would someone feel compelled to make up details about their life? If you began writing your autobiography today, would it consist of bestseller material, or do you think your life might not be exciting enough to inspire others? Jot down a possible Table of Contents. Look boring? What’s the solution? Live a more exciting life!
 
Begin to imagine and act every day as though you knew you would be recounting the details and events later on. If you keep a journal or a diary, you’re already familiar with the idea, although you might not expect others to read it. A journal helps you to identify and solidify ideas for success, while a memoir puts your actions in front of the world to see.
 
Boring job? Find the beauty in it, revel in the good you really do for others, or begin planning today your climb up the ladder or up an entirely different ladder. Boring relationships? Find new things to do, visit new places to do them, or start nurturing new associations with those whom you most admire. Boring personality? Expand your horizons with travel, exercise your mind with reading, and make a commitment to caring for and helping others.
 
Start living the life you would be confident to share, and before you know it, your autobiography will go from “bargain bin” to “best seller”!
Posted in Morning Coffee
Sept. 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Ideas come from space. This may seem astonishing and impossible to believe, but it is true. Ideas come from out of space."
 
~ Thomas Edison
 
STRIKE IT RICH!
 
From the "Commercial and Financial Chronicle" (December 10, 1932) comes this quote from an article entitled "El Dorado." 
"El Dorado, a country rich beyond all precedent in gold and jewels, lies at every man's door. Your bonanza lies under your feet. Your luck is ready at hand. All is within; nothing is without, though it often appears that men and peoples by dumb luck or avarice or force or overreaching strike upon the sea of prosperity. Man individually and collectively is entitled to life in all abundance. What do you seek? Pay the price and take it away. There is no limit to the supply. By a full and powerful imagination anything can be brought into concrete form."
 
Thomas Edison was a man of 10,000 ideas - a virtually endless supply. Grasping those ideas that he attributed as coming "from space," he created a long string of life-changing inventions. By his "full and powerful imagination" he brought the light bulb into its tangible form.
 
Inside each of us lies that same power - to see the future through our own imagination, and then cause it to happen by taking actions consistent with its manifestation. As author Wayne Dyer said in his book by the same name, "You'll see it when you believe it." By understanding the power of your own imagination, you are capable of creating your own "El Dorado," both in the physical and the spiritual plane.
Posted in Morning Coffee
Aug. 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity."
~ from the Tao Te Ching by Lao-tsu
 
Take Five!
Today we’re pressured to do more, want more, get more. But really, it all leads to having less time, less energy, and less money. Putting more into work leaves less for private pursuits. Acquiring more valued possessions creates more debt and yet more work.
 
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.” You don’t have to have it all and have it right now. Allow some room for development; give yourself space to grow. Don’t assume you’re accomplished because your bowl is already full.
 
“Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.” Don’t overwork yourself. Focusing too hard and too long on any one thing dulls your senses and wears you out. If you’re at the top of your game, why would you need to do better?
 
“Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.” Anyone obsessed with wealth probably doesn’t offer compassion or service to others. Those who always seek safety always fear risk. Do what you love, accept risks, and the rest will follow.
 
“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” Do you work to satisfy yourself or others? Can you ever find happiness if your only concern is pleasing everyone else? Take pride in a job well done, then let it go. Your enthusiasm about your work will show, and anyone who doesn’t like it isn’t worth worrying about.
 
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” It’s easier to see where you’ve been than where you’re going. The journey to happiness begins by stepping back and releasing your endeavors. Let them go and free your mind for other pursuits. Good or bad, put it all behind you and look forward.
 
Shun the fear of not having enough and not doing enough. Concentrate on one of these lines each day this week, and then have a fantastic weekend!
Posted in Morning Coffee
July 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"A single thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning."
 
~ Unknown
 

 

THESE SHOES ARE MADE FOR WALKING!!
 
Remember one of the ancient sayings from your first-grade teacher? It went something like this: "We learn to do by doing."" So . . . from "Chicken Soup" comes this story by John Holt:
 
"Not many years ago I began playing the cello. Most people would say that what I am doing is learning to play the cello. But these words carry into our minds the strange idea that there exist two very different processes: 1) learning to play the cello; and 2) playing the cello. They imply that I will do the first until I have completed it, at which point I will stop the first process and begin the second. In short, I will go on learning to play until I have learned to play and then I will begin to play. Of course, this is nonsense. There are not two processes, but one. We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way."
 
How do we learn to swim? Do we get the basics in a classroom, taught to us on a chalkboard, and then hit the pool like Mark Spitz or Esther Williams? How about riding a bike? Do we study the laws of physics, the effects of gravitational pull, or other Einstein-like theories, and then launch ourselves into the top spot in the "Tour de France" No - we just fall down and scrape our knees a lot.
 
Want to add new direction to your life? Begin walking in that direction. Put one foot in front of the other. In other words, "Just do it!" It all begins with your imagination harnessing the power of your mind and the energy of your body. Once you choose a new role for your life, don't learn the part - act the part. One other thing - don't let that "single thorn of experience" deter you!
Posted in Morning Coffee
June 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
 
~ Lily Tomlin
 

 

 KEEPING (ON) TRACK!
 
You've heard it a million times, "Less is more!" If less really is better, then maybe it's time to start giving yourself, and even your family, an "allowance." This isn't about money, per se, but more about the other things that either drain our resources or over-complicate our lives.
 
This “allowance” idea got rolling in light of rising fuel prices. Instead of a monetary gas allowance for the family vehicle(s), consider enforcing a weekly "mileage" allowance. By combining trips and walking or biking whenever possible, there could be enough miles "left over" for the extra trip to the mall or concert hall.
 
This works with a host of activities, and improves life by simplifying it. How about a television budget? Are there really three hours of television worth viewing every night? One hour a night during the week would leave oodles of time to watch a favorite movie or sports event on the weekend. Or just hit the "Record" button, and watch when there's a better time.
 
The same could go for time spent surfing the net or sending funny emails. It's easy to convince ourselves that we're "working" when we're on the computer, but often we're just passing time that could be spent more industriously. Leave as much "real" computer work as possible at the office, and try to limit the time spent in front of the screen at home. There is such a thing as becoming too wired!
 
Likewise, if you're trying to lose weight, you've probably encountered the concept of the "food allowance," or calorie budget. Like everything else, you have to keep track of how much you're consuming, how much is left, and when to stop. Many of us are moving so fast these days that we neglect to tally our activities against our need for "down time." We don't realize that we've maxed out our time and need to stop.
 
Whether it's driving, watching tv, or net surfing, we could likely benefit from a reduction in any or all. We forget to put "Relax!" on our list of things to do. Work it into your "budget" by using less of your time "allowance" on other things. You don't have to stop completely; you just need to come into balance.
 
Enlighten yourself this week by keeping a journal of how much time you spend on all your various activities, and look for somewhere to make a cut. By next Monday, you'll be glad you did!
Posted in Morning Coffee
May 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
" Only the educated are free."
~ Epictetus"
 

 

READY TO BEGIN AGAIN?
Have a child or grandchild who graduated this month? Whether it's high school or college, commencement exercises mark the end of a full curriculum of education - or do they? In fact, why not ask the graduate?
After four or more years of study, homework, reports, science projects, and exams, many graduates would quickly answer that commencement marks the end of their education. In fact, you can often hear students reinforce that line of thinking in their lament, "I'll never pick up another book as long as I live!"
The definition of "commencement" leads, however, in another direction. It is the beginning, not the end, of a bright future. It is the beginning of a life-long quest for knowledge, not the slamming shut of the books that opened so many new doors.
If it's been a few years since you graduated, perhaps you might also benefit from a renewed commencement - by opening some new doors to your own life-long learning curve. When's the last time you attended a workshop, bought a taped educational series, or thought about taking college courses or embarking on a new degree track?
No longer are books the only on-ramp to education. Distance learning over the Internet, tapes, videos, workshops, seminars, and many other educational resources are yours for the taking. Why not let your graduating family member be the inspiration for your own commencement?
Posted in Morning Coffee
April 15, 2020

Morning Coffee

Good Morning!
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"To have a friend, you must first be a friend."
 
~ Unknown

 

ARE YOU RELATED?
 
In the long distant past, all generations of a family lived in the same town, if not just across the road or down the lane. Each member of the family knew all the good - and the bad - about every other member (as well as all the neighbors). They worked together, played, and prayed together.
 
Today, families are scattered throughout the country. What we call relationships now are often only acquaintances introduced through business situations or chance meetings. They may be casual and based only on a single shared interest, i.e. golf, fitness, children's school activities, etc. These relationships may lack depth and rarely go beyond that single shared interest.
 
Even with family relations more scattered and unavailable to us on a day-to-day basis, our human side still has a need and desire for deeper relationships. The good news is that they are not only possible but also available to us with just a little effort.
 
A single common interest through school-aged children may result in having lunch together. The lunch may reveal that both individuals appreciate the arts, with one being an amateur photographer and the other a proficient watercolor artist. Further conversation may find that both are caring for aging parents, have endured similar life challenges, or witnessed brilliant successes.
 
In short, deep relationships, akin to those shared by families in the past, are still possible. Yes, they must be cultivated. They don't just passively occur as in the daily activities of a family. The result is the same, however, as these relationships can provide a richness to life that is missing in their absence. Try to find some missing relations today!
Posted in Morning Coffee
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