Friday, March 05, 2010
Are you an imaginative person? Do you think creatively? When people talk about thinking “outside of the box” do you ask them what box?
Remember when we were children and a stick became a magic sword that helped fight fierce enemies and an empty cardboard box was turned into an impenetrable castle?
Where did such thinking go as we aged? What happened to our imaginations? Simply watching children play or color or draw or see wonderful shapes in overhead clouds will open our eyes to the vast universe of their young minds and open our minds to possibilities that, at first blush, might not have been obvious.
We often can not see a solution to our problems because our thinking is too stagnant.
Let’s test your insight for a moment. I caution that this example will sound really, really stupid at first. Heck, it’ll sound really stupid afterwards, too, but it will get your mental juices flowing.
Imagine being in a room with solid walls, floor and ceiling. There are no doors or windows only a mirror and a table. How do you get out?
The answer? Look in the mirror to see what you saw then take the saw and cut the table in half. We all know that two halves equal a whole, so you then crawl out of the hole.
Boo hiss. I warned you.
But doesn’t it get the creative mind working? Yes, it stretches the imagination to figure a way out, but, you know what? A truly imaginative thinker would have asked, “How did you get in there in the first place?”
Won’t you stretch the boundaries of your thinking today and let your imagination run wild, like it did when we were kids playing mighty pirates, slaying dinosaurs and traveling to new faraway worlds in our minds?
Let’s not become stodgy, set-in-our-ways grownups.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
I was listening to a gospel song this afternoon, "I'm Gonna Write a Song" and heard these lyrics:
“Folks sit around with their face in a frown and gripe about the way things are...
“Well, I’m so tired of complaining, so in my time remaining, I’m going to do my best to make the world a better place to live.”
The first line struck me as true of so many people today who indeed do wear a frown more often than a smile and who are overly generous with their complaints. Some people prefer to immerse themselves in negativity, like such an attitude is a cloak of honor they can wear proudly.
Why is this?
It seems to me that it takes more energy to be in and stay in a negative mood than to be in and stay in a positive one.
And, we do tend to attract that which we give off. Be negative and most people will not want to be near you. Oh, sure, the naysayers will flock around you like you were passing out free candy. But others will avoid you like the proverbial plague.
Be like the singer in the second line though: “Well, I’m so tired of complaining, so in my time remaining, I’m going to do my best to make the world a better place to live” and watch how other's reactions to you change for the better.
There is already far too much negativity in the world. We hear and read of it without ceasing. Let's stop any of our complaining and try to make the world a better place by virtue of our positive attitudes.
Regardless of your orientation, putting on a positive smile or a negative frown is up to you.
It's your choice.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Isn't people watching fun? At a mall, a library, the beach, in church, wherever people gather. It's interesting to note the various clothes they wear, the way they walk and talk and carry themselves, their hairstyles, their attitudes.
Imagine for a moment that you were asked to judge people's personalities by these type of factors. Could you do it?
An except from the upcoming book, "The Search for the Authentic Self" by Erica Boucher, has a particularly interesting excerpt that asks readers to watch people and notice the almost automatic tendency to make judgments about them.
She asks observers to feel how they have been trained to judge, to make others wrong somehow, or less important or even better than us in some way. We automatically categorize others in our minds.
But if we could peel away the outer layers to reveal the true person inside, who would we see? A person brought up in a caring, supportive environment who posses a healthy self-image or one who was neglected and never received positive reinforcement, leading to a lack of self-esteem ?
Those of us who are or were overweight know what it is like to be judged unfairly solely on our appearance, to hurt from the senseless comments and stares of other people. Oh, sure, many overweight people became famous -- Jackie Gleeson, Carol O'Connor (Archy Bunker), singer Kate Smith and others -- but what of the overweight people who are not celebrities?
For them, they are judged, not by their comedic abilities or singing voices, but by their lack of ability to fit within one tiny airplane seat (see TSABONIS's blog at: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2953060 or in a restaurant booth, or in a swim suit.
These superficial judgments do not penetrate the outer layers of a person's physical self to reveal their personality, their skills and abilities, passions, commitment to helping others, skill in writing or cooking or playing a musical instrument or compassion in caring for the wounded and infirm.
It's sad that the world is so quick to judge because of a person's appearance. But, as author Boucher suggests: Shine the light of compassion on people, energetically embracing them , seeing them as another innocent soul.
Do this with everyone who walks by regardless of size, shape, color, behavior, social status or attitude. Feel how loving others results in true joy as we let down our walls of separation and our defenses and as we stop judging others.
Judge not lest we be judged.
As true today as it was thousands of years ago.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
"99% of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." George Washington Carver
* * * * *
Much has been written about people’s fear of success, that invisible barrier that is so often so impenetrable. Simply put, many people can not visualize themselves as successful individuals. Consequently, their subconscious sabotages their efforts to change.
Regarding weight loss, this refers to the person who constantly laments that they have always been heavy, or that they are big-boned, or that they tried to lose weight in the past but were not successful or that their cousin tried a particular diet plan that didn’t work. There’s always an excuse.
Their image of themselves is so flawed that even if they were absolutely guaranteed to become the fit, healthy, weight-appropriate person they desire to be, they would find some reason not to make their efforts work.
Haven’t you encountered such people?
Perhaps you have even been in their place, making excuses and refusing to believe, truly believe that you CAN become the person you long to be.
So, how do we fight such negative attitudes?
First, I believe, is to have a healthy self-ego, a sense of personal pride that we are valuable people, despite our weight.
Second, we need to develop a belief system, one that constantly tells us that we WILL overcome our situations and that we CAN become a new person.
Third, we must fill our minds and hearts with positive affirmations that we see and say throughout every day. We need to continually tell ourselves that we are good people, invaluable in fact in God’s eyes, that we are bred for success and endowed with the elements we need to succeed.
Fourth, we must develop a never say die attitude and never, ever quit pursuing our dreams. It’s true that our day-to-day efforts are going to produce varied, sometimes up and down, results. We must not let these fluctuations deter us from our goal.
We have the tools of success within us. We simply must provide an attitude that allows us to be successful. Don’t allow fear of success to derail your efforts
NEVER, EVER QUIT!
NEVER GIVE UP!
Monday, March 01, 2010
If we were to grade our general happiness level on a scale of 0-100, what would yours be? -
Mine would likely rate 70-80 with occasional dips to 40 and surges to 90 or 95.
According to a World Values Survey by the University of Michigan Institute of Social research, between 1981 and 2007, happiness and general life satisfaction has risen substantially in 40 of 52 countries tracked.
Most notable countries for rising happiness and well-being are India, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea, with recent spikes in ex-communist countries as well as Nigeria and Turkey. The U.S. ranked 16th.
The happiest nation? Denmark.
This is all fine for countries as a whole but what if such a study was conducted on us individually? Where would we rank?
Sure, day-to-day financial and other problems take their toll on our moods. But do everyday events need to diminish our overall happiness? Haven't we all read of people in the direst of circumstances who were genuinely happy with their lot in life?
So, what about you? How would you rate your overall happiness? If you're not satisfied with your level of happiness, what can you do to improve it?
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