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
May 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"If you're gonna go, go like hell.
If your mind's not made up,
don't use your spurs."
 
~ "Don't Squat With Your Spurs On!" ("A Cowboy's Guide to Life" by Texas Bix Bender)

 

LIVE WITH PASSION!
 
When you're ready to ride, don't wear your Nikes. Put on your boots and spurs, and let your horse know you mean to ride hard. Then - ride with passion.
 
How many times have you thought of achieving a dream - only to spend more time in the dreaming and planning than in the doing? No problem - we all do it from time to time. The old nemesis - fear of failure and the unknown - haunts all of us occasionally, keeping us from reaching our objective.
 
Think back to the last time you took action with a burning passion! Were you competing for a gold medal, fighting for your life under adverse circumstances, or vying for the heart of your beloved? Something was motivating you to the limit, and you refused to quit.
 
So, what's your passion right now - today? Maybe it's an education, a new career, getting in shape, having more freedom, money & status, or closer family ties. Whatever your desired direction in life, put on your spurs, mount your horse, and hit the trail! There's no greater joy in life than putting everything you've got into an achievement - and then realizing you've overcome all the obstacles.
 
Ride hard, buckaroo!
Posted in Morning Coffee
April 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Cheshire-Puss," . . . said Alice, "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where - " said Alice
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
" - so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
 
~ from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 

KNOW WHICH DIRECTION TO TAKE?
 
Alice had no destination in mind when she began walking - no goal or objective to be achieved. She just wanted to "get somewhere." Might there be a parallel to that simple lesson in the business of everyday living?
 
In the average 168-hour week, chances are good that each of us will sleep for approximately 56 hours. That leaves about 112 hours for work and play. Whether or not we know which direction to take each week, we still have that same 112 hours.
 
If we choose a destination for the week - in the form of some personal or business goal - then set out in that direction, chances are good we will arrive. We will have -0- hours left at the end of the week, and will have achieved our objective.
 
The reverse is also true. When we allow the week to happen to us, vaguely hoping to "get somewhere," yet having no destination in mind, we still end the week with -0- hours remaining. The difference, of course, is that we accomplish no worthwhile objective.
 
How often have we been reminded of the importance of having goals and writing them down? With clearly defined goals, we can build a roadmap to our greatest achievements. Without them, we are like a ship without a rudder, unlikely to even get out of the harbor without ending up aground on the beach.
 
Choosing a worthy destination for our lives is a simple task. We get to choose any direction that excites and fulfills us. Then, once chosen, we need only construct our own "yellow brick road" to take us there.
Posted in Morning Coffee
March 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"We stand at the crossroads each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we've selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make."
~ Benjamin Franklin

 

ENJOY PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP!
 
Remember the day you made the decision to go to college? What about the day you decided to buy that sporty red car? Surely you remember the day you decided you would get married. What about your present career path? Did you purposely decide it's what you want to do? Do you remember making a conscious decision to have three children?
 
Some decisions are relatively simple. You decide to buy a TV, go to the store, write a check - and it's yours. You own it! Other decisions are also easy to make, i.e. the red sports car, but carry a higher price. The decision comes quickly, but entails both a down payment and a commitment to make payments on time for several years. Again, you make the decision to buy and the car is yours - you own it!
 
At some point in life come decisions that shouldn't have been made, but were, as well as those you should have withheld. In high school, a day of classes skipped may have resulted in grades lower than acceptable to your choice of colleges. Later, a poor choice of friends may have resulted in a blemish on your "permanent" record. As an adult, poor decision-making not only may reduce the quality of your life, but of those you love.
 
Regardless, each decision made is yours to keep - you own it! You also own the responsibilities created by the decision, i.e. following a healthy lifestyle to stay trim, working two jobs to keep your commitment to the mortgage company, giving up poorly chosen friends and activities to provide your children with a happy, nurturing home life.
 
Every decision made can turn positive or negative, depending on the actions taken once the decision has been made. Either way - making the decision is followed by ownership of the results. Does "pride of ownership" appeal to you? Buy it, own it, love it!
Posted in Morning Coffee
Feb. 15, 2019

Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
 
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

STUCK IN PORT?
 
Imagine the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941 going unanswered . . . Many of our ships found at anchor by attacking planes went down, never to leave the harbor again. Imagine the economy floundering with interest rates at 12%, and learning that the head of "the fed" has taken a six-month, non-working vacation to Tahiti. Imagine how you would have felt on September 12, 2001 if our president had appeared on TV to tell us how sorry he was about the attacks without announcing action to protect us in the future.
 
We expect our nation's leaders to act in times of crisis, don't we? But - what do we expect of ourselves when a family crisis arises, our sales flounder, or we notice the numbers on our scale beginning to creep upward to uncomfortable levels? Do we set sail, or lie at anchor hoping "someone" will do "something?"
 
Babe Ruth sailed against the wind more often than with it. He is remembered for his home runs - 714 of them - yet he struck out 1,330 times in his career. Best of all, he set sail and got out of the harbor (took his bat to the plate) 8,399 times. Had he stayed safely in the dugout, he could have avoided all those strikeouts.
 
So - what about you? Having difficulty setting sail lately? Perhaps it's time to give your engine a little maintenance, or take out a needle and thread to repair torn sails. You may also want to pull out your map to redefine the direction you'll be taking in coming months.
 
If you've been spending too much time at the "Captain's Table" and not enough time on the bridge with the wheel in your hand, perhaps some planning now will send you full speed ahead out of the harbor and with some exotic port of call in sight. Bon Voyage!
Posted in Morning Coffee