Sunday, October 31, 2010

Keeping It Simple

"The very first step to building wealth
is to spend less than you make."

— Brian Koslow: Author and entrepreneur

Makes sense, right?  Really simple isn't it?  Well, it's really hard to do...or is it? 

We have a tendency to make things a lot more difficult than they have to be.  Need to lose weight?  Eat less and exercise more.  Need to get better at something?  Practice, practice, practice.  Want to stop smoking?  Stop buying cigarettes.

I know, I know, I'm over-simplifying things.  Or is it, that we make things more difficult than they have to be?  Whatever your thoughts, remember, you have the power and ability to make things turn out exactly how you've always imagined them.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We Always Get Through

Just got back from my local Firestone.  I had to get tires, brakes and a whole host of other things done on my car & was expecting a hefty bill.  Well, I was right - to the tune of $1,400!  Oh, the pain.

This doesn't come at a particularly good time for me and my family but it reminded me of a couple of things:  1) To always be thankful for what I do have, as opposed to what I don't; and 2)  Despite how difficult things may appear to be, I've always gotten through it.

Then it got me to thinking about my life as a whole and I suspect that this will ring true for you as well.  Regardless of what difficult situation I've been faced with, I've gotten through it.  Whether a health concern, somebody else being sick, financial, I'm through it and am right here today with an opportunity to change things for the better.  I'm not saying it's always been easy, but what I am saying is God has put me (you) where we are and has a wonderful, beautiful plan for us.

It's now up to us to execute it and we've be given the tools to do so.  If you're not sure how to use those tools, ask for help.  God is always listening.

Friday, October 29, 2010

For Clarity, Look Down

Like everybody, I've had experiences in my life where I've had to make a decision on matters that were very close to me.  They've been personal, they've been professional and oftentimes, have involved others.  Sometimes I've made very good decisions and other times when I've made a bad decision, the answer comes to me in crystal clear form...afterwards. 

I had a boss who was fond of using the expression, "when you have to make an important decision, look at it from 30,000 feet up in the air."  In other words, remove yourself from the decision and observe how you think things will look when if you do "this".  What will happen if I do "that"? 

It helps.  By taking out the personal attachment, I feel free from any pressure and am able to see things in a clearer way.  Try it out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life's Happening

We all have great designs on life.  On what we want to do, when we are going to do it, who we are going to do it with and how we are going to do it.  But things never seem to happen in the timely fashion that we believe it should. 

Is this reason enough to abandon our hopes, our dreams, our desires?  If something was a great idea and brought you great joy yesterday, why is it a bad idea today?

The truth is, I don't know why I, and others, feel this way at times.  I do know however, that as I've become more "seasoned", I've come to realize that with a belief in myself and my abilities, I will achieve my desires. 

I notice things happen for me most when I don't pay attention to what I want...when I don't think about it...when I don't look at every event as a sign.  Rather a true belief (and you can't fake it) in my abilities and then letting it go out to the Universe will allow it to happen. 

Do you feel the same way?  Differently?  I'd love to hear about your thoughts.


The word passion evokes different thoughts.  The first one that may come to mind is passion in a relationship, another may be a passion for a sports team.  Others may include passion for a cause, exercise or fruit (get it, passion fruit).

But wait, what if you don't have a passion in life?  I say find one.  Find out what makes you feel alive.  Think, meditate, talk to others but whatever your method, find your passion in life.  You'll find it is a very powerful and emotional sensation.

Now some people's passions fade very quickly and they move onto something else.  I think that's awesome!  I do the same thing in that sometimes I'm passionate about reading, for example, but after a while it fades.  I move on to sports or exercise or bird watching but during those times, I feel so alive.

Find yours!

Have a particular passion?  I'd love to learn about it (them) so feel free to comment below.  Thanks!

Make it a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Great Hire By The Mets

Since I set out to make this an inspirational blog, I thought I'd appeal to all the Mets fans out there and tell you that I am "inspired" by the New York Mets hiring of Sandy Alderson as their new General Manager.

He brings a steady, long history of success in whatever capacity, including General Manager, he's worked in the world of baseball.  Plus, and more importantly for my beat down, downtrodden team, an air of class, sophistication and a no-nonsense attitude.

Way to go Mets!  Now Sandy, get to work and hire us a manager with a similar make-up and it'll be blue (and orange) skies ahead. 


Don't Let Frustration Get The Better Of You

"This is not where I want to be!"  "This is not the plan I have!"  Why is this happening?"  "Why are things not working out?"

I think we've all uttered the above statements and questions during our lives.  It's frustration setting in and we need to release it.  Totally understandable and in playing amateur psychologists for a moment, perfectly normal.  The question is, after getting frustrated, where do we go from there?

It is very easy to continue in a downward spiral and get down on yourself when our life isn't working out like we feel it should.  And right at that very moment is when we must re-commit ourselves.  Re-commit to working harder, smarter, doing more research, getting back to eating better, exercising, being a better spouse, mother, father or whatever our cause may be. 

It's fine if we get frustrated and have to blow off some steam from time-to-time.  The trick is letting it go and getting right back on the path we've set out for ourselves. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


What do you believe in?  What makes you believe it? 

I believe in, among other things, the power that I possess to make a life for myself that is beyond even my wildest of dreams.  And yes, that does include material things - though my material desires are minimal compared to what they used to - but I'm talking what's at the center of my deepest and most sacred of thoughts...being totally and undeniably happy with who I am.

Simple enough...not!

But that's OK because  I, like so many others, am a work in progress.  And that's also OK because nobody out there is a "perfect" person, whatever that means.  What I believe in though, is me.  I believe that there is nothing I can't be, not because I'm so special, but because we are all given a life of limitless possibilities.  I believe that you also possess that power of limitless possibilities but it's not enough if we don't believe in ourselves and in each other.

I believe in me.  I believe in you. 

Who do you believe in?  Hope you'll let me know.


Indonesia and Others Needing Help

I saw in today's edition of online that a volcano erupted after a strong earthquake triggered a tsunami in Indonesia.  So far the count is over 100 people regarding those who have been killed, with thousands of others currently seeking shelter.

Undoubtedly, Americans, as well as many other people from different nations, will rally around and show their true spirit in helping those in need.  That is fantastic!  It feels good to make a difference, even when it's not seen or known where, exactly, our donations go.

Don't let that deter you from helping.  But if it does, then consider helping those locally where you can see firsthand where your donations (of time, money, gifts, etc.) are going.  A couple of charities I am very fond of are in the Orlando, Florida area and in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. 

If you are looking for opportunities and you live in those areas, please consider those two charities.  If you are not in those areas, please consider places like a local food bank or any other charity that you may have a particular attachment to.

Make it a great day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Simple and Subtle. The Way To Begin

Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  Do you hear that?  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  It's not stopping!  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  Why does time keep moving so quickly? 

Well I've got some bad news...and some good news...then, some better news!  The bad news is that time will keep moving and if we don't shake things up, we may wind up living with some regrets.  The good news is that at any particular moment in our life, young, middle-aged or "old" (I don't like that word because it implies that people are unable to do things and I feel that is never the case), we have the abilitiy to make positive changes in our lives. 

Now for some better news.  We, collectively and individually, have the ability to create the lives we've all imagined for ourselves and as I've eluded to earlier, it is never too late.  Start your day, or at any point during the day, commit to yourself and others that this is the day that I begin making positive changes.  And then of course, take the necessary steps to make it so ("Make it so!"  One of my favorite quotes by Jean Luc Piccard from Star Trek:  Next Generation, but I digress).

It begins, I believe, with what may appear to be subtle shifts in your mindset.  If you find yourself saying, "No, I can't do that" then shift it to, "Yes, I can do that", then shift your thoughts to how great its going to feel when you actually accomplish that.  Even for one little episode like that, begin to notice how good it feels to think this way.  Then try it for any other negative thought that comes into your mind.  Suddenly, the more you do it, the more you'll realize that negative thoughts don't have a place in your mind and even if you have the stray one that sneeks in, no worries, you know how to turn it around.  Acknowledge the thought, then quickly realize that it is not going to be that way and move on.

Simple and subtle. 

You've got this!  Try it out and let me know.  If you've been doing this for a while, let our readers know how it works for you and "comment" below.

Make it a great day! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting Down? Look Around

It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind that life sometimes may seemingly bring to us.  Dealing with issues at work, with your kids, spouse, neighbors and of course, current events, can really be a downer.  So much so,that any type of a good mood you may have been in quickly vanishes.

So how does one get that good feeling back?

Look around.  Take the time to take stock in all that's around you.  You may shrug, "yeah, I see some people, a building, a few trees and some stores.  So what?"   It's at this point I'd ask you to look closer and ask some questions.  Aren't a lot of those people laughing?  Don't you notice some kindness being extended, even if it's something simple like holding a door open for somebody else?  What about those trees?  Isn't it amazing at how big and beautiful they are?  The stores?  Well, what about all the hard work that went into building them?  The sense of satisfaction and completion once they were ready to open the doors.  What about the fact that there are people out there with the means to build such beautiful buildings 

It comes down to perspective.  We can look outside a window and see what we see or we can look outside  a window and see a masterpiece painted by God.  I'm not here to tell you how you should feel but if you feel as if you are seeing nothing but frustration, anger and disappointment out there, maybe it's time to alter the way you are looking at things. 

The world really becomes a more beautiful place when you do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Great Reminder

I had an opportunity today to work a job fair and it served as a reminder to me of a very old, but no-less wise, expression...don't judge others!

What an interesting experience.  From the job perspective, I was able to meet a lot of qualified candidates that may make some nice additions for my clients.  From the, "I love watching people" perspective, I got to see a lot of looks that are so different from mine.

Like a lot of people, I do enjoy watching others.  Watching the way they move, the way they walk, the way they talk and how they interact with others.  Most of all, I get a kick out of noticing on one hand, just how different people look, but on the other hand, coming to the realization that most people really do want the same thing. 

I'd like to focus on some of the different looks.  To paint a visual for you, I saw some really tall people and some short ones.  I saw some young ones and a lot of older ones.  I saw people with a smile that would make any dentist proud and others that, well, let's just say that it doesn't take them very long to brush their tooth in the morning.  Others had some really nice haircuts, while the term "bedhead" for others, is being too kind.  Fat and skinny, well-groomed and sloppily dressed, pretty much cover the gamut of the different types of looks that presented themselves to me. 

Here's the thing though, despite the many differences in how they all looked, they were all the same.  They were all people interested in improving themselves, trying to improve on their life and the way they live it.  They were like you and I, yet probably look nothing like you and I.

The reasons I point this out are two-fold:  1. to remind you, though hopefully not needed, of how you must not judge people based on their appearance; and 2. to definitely remind me, to not judge people based on their appearance.

Make it a great day! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

F.O.G. In The World

When I am driving in my car during the work-week, I've noticed that at the top of the hour, I find myself at times, switching over to Fox News on my XM Satellite Radio to learn if anything major is going on in the world.  Each time I do, it seems like I'll listen just a little longer in the hopes of hearing something good.  Reality quickly sets in though and I am barraged with negative story after negative story.

This is no knock on Fox as CNN, MSNBC and any local news I've seen and heard over my lifetime all focus on negative and depressing stories.  "Negative sells!" is often the response I've heard people say when defending the story lines.  I have two things to say about that: 1) Maybe, but have you ever tried selling positive? and 2)  Can you not mix in some inspiring, motivational or "good" stories at the top of the hour rather than bury one that you may run in the 53rd minute?

Like I tell my staff at work. It's fine to point out a problem, however, before you point it out, also be prepared with a solution. 

Well, here's mine.

Focus on (what's) good (F.O.G.) in the world.  And I'm not making a personal plea to network and cable television and radio.  I'm talking to you.  If you are like me in this manner, and a number of you have expressed to me that you are also frustrated with all the bad stories being reported, then focus your life on what's good.  One of my favorite quotes I heard Wayne Dyer say with regard to news and news reports is, "Be informed, but don't be inundated". 

In other words, stay abreast of what's happening around you but don't allow yourself to become consumed with what you see and hear.  Focus on something a family member has said or done, focus on a positive change you may be making in your life, focus on the feeling you'll have after you complete a difficult task at work or home, or focus on how you can make a difference in somebody else's life. 

Whatever, or whoever, makes you feel good is what you'll want to focus your mind and energy on.  It will not only change your little corner of the world, but if enough people try this, it will have a dramatic change on life as we know it. 

Give it a shot.  You may come to realize that F.O.G. is actually a good thing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Falling Into Great Thoughts

I don't know what it is about fall.  When you consider that things are dying all around us, i.e. grass, plants, flowers, etc. it is still my favorite time of year.

There is something about a cool, crisp fall evening that turns my thoughts optimistic and full of positive thoughts and feelings.  Perhaps its the crystal clear night skies that help purify my mind.  Maybe it's the fact that baseball season is in its playoffs with the World Series soon to follow.  I'm not exactly positive as to why, but I find my mind turns to thinking about how things can be.

This is not a complaint in any way about my life as it is now.  It is fantastic and I am blessed on sooooo many different levels.  However, I know that there is more in me, I'm going to discover what it is and this time of year brings me to thoughts on how to improve my already, wonderful life.

What does it for you?  I'd be curious to find out.   

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chile Today, Happy TimesTomale

I've been following the rescue efforts of those trapped in the mines of Chile and am just so happy for the safe rescue efforts going on (at the time of this post, 16 of the 33 workers have been brought safely back up to ground level), the families of those affected and for the countless hours put in by those responsible for getting these men back safely.

God bless them all and may the rest of the workers be safe and healthy.

It's A New Day

Everyday when I wake up, the first thing I always try to do is to say thank you to God for this day. Throughout the rest of the morning, in quiet times, I'll give thanks for all that I have in my life with my family at the top of that list.

In thinking about what it means to have this day, I realize that there are possibilities forthcoming.  It means that today brings the chance to be a better person, to do something nice for somebody, to love my wife and kids more, to reach out to an old friend, to make a positive change in my life...and on and on I can go.  Possibilities excite me and having the chance to execute those possibilities is even more exciting. 

Everyday is a gift my friends and perhaps a way for us to show appreciation for that gift is to give something back.  Our gift could be a donation to a charity or building a home for Habitat For Humanity.  However, it could also be something as simple as taking an extra few moments to have a conversation with somebody, cleaning up a messy part of your neighborhood or to really simplify things, taking a couple of extra seconds to hold a door open for a stranger and telling him/her to have a better day.

Whatever you may decide to do, remember, no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day filled with possibilities.  What will you do with this new day? 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Say What?!?

What can't I be?  The simple answer is that there is nothing you or I can't be.

But wait.  It's not that simple really, is it?

You can say that I can't be seven feet tall.  You can say that I can't be 20 again.  You can say that I'll never be a professional singer (though for those who have heard me sing, you may have a point).  You can say I can't, I won't or that something is impossible all you want but the fact of the matter is, I believe you're wrong.

Physically, I won't be a seven footer, but I can walk around like I am.  I can exude the confidence in myself that makes me seem 10 feet tall.  If it's basketball you're talking about, I can play like I'm a seven footer though I'd need one hell of a pair of lifts in my Nike's to measure out to be.

Twenty?  You're way past that, you may say.  Maybe chronologically, but I can regain that cocky, bullet-proof feeling we all have when we're that age.  I can set the world on fire and (using my best Barry White voice), "oh baby, you're the first, the last, my ever-y-thing" I'm 20.

The singer in me?  Well let's just say that while Justin Timberlake, or from back in the day, Frank Sinatra, have nothing to worry about, I can belt out a tune that makes me feel like I'm entertaining 20,000 people...and their actually enjoying it.

So what's the point.  The point is I am this way because I think I'm this way.  I act like it.  I live it.  I breathe it.  And you can too.  Don't ever let anybody tell you that you cannot accomplish something.  Don't ever let anybody talk down to you.  And don't ever let anybody get away with trying to make you believe you can't.

I'm here to tell you that you can.  You can achieve all of your dreams, all of your ambitions and all that you've ever imagined for yourself, you can have!  Beginning right now, beginning this very moment, all you've ever wanted is yours.  All you have to do is believe in the one person who has the power to make it all happen...YOU.

Make it a great day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Changing Your Thoughts To Get Ahead

I came across a great quote in the book, "The 4-Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss.  It is by Ralph Charrell and he says, "Do your own thinking independently.  Be the chess player, not the chess piece."

What a great thought. 

In my interpretation it says that in order for you and I to get ahead, we must be the ones controlling the game( chess player) and not the ones being moved (chess piece).  I think about that when it comes to my job, and really any job where I am performing an act based on somebody else's game and rules.  And while I am fortunate to have a job and earn a paycheck that helps me to take care of my family, I feel I am destined to do something better, something "bigger" and something that will have a greater impact on others than what I am doing now.  

I love it when people work hard to motivate others and I'm here to tell you that if you have a thought or an idea for a business, despite what others may tell you or that horrible, mean, negative voice in your head says, you can achieve all that you have in your heart and mind. 

The next step is to put it into action...and now is the time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Not What You Don't Have...

I'd love to be able to vacation in some exotic location 5 times a year, have a bigger home, a couple of Mercedes and have my family set up financially for generations to come.  I don't have those things though...yet.

I've often times found myself getting caught up in things I don't have and as you may know, that thought process can drive you crazy, make you feel bad about yourself and have a negative impact about the way you live your life.  And while I can't say I still don't have those thoughts from time-to-time, I can say to you that I've come to have a deeper appreciation and enhanced gratitude to God for all that I do have.  And when I focus on those things that I do have, I begin to realize that I am a richer person than most people on this beautiful earth. 

At some point today, take just a few moments to realize all that you do have in your life.  Write a list, say it out loud or use any method that will allow you to appreciate what you have.  I guarantee you, you'll come to realize you have so much more than you realize.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So What Numbers Were Missing?

The simple and most logical answer is of course, 3,6 and 9 as all three numbers were not included in what was laid out.  But who wants to be simple and logical?

The answer I was looking for is that there are no numbers missing.  There were simply numbers listed and you (and I, when I first did this) made an assumption that something was missing.  Think about it, while the question asked was what numbers were missing, who said that anything was "missing" in the first place?  And if it were those three numbers, who said to stop there?  What about the infinite amount of numbers after 10?

The point being, like we may automatically do with other aspects of our lives, we sometimes will make assumptions that things will be a certain way.  We "figure things out" long before they've had the chance to play out and take for granted that we know, for example, what somebody else is going to say, what they're thinking and/or how they're going to treat us.

Have you ever had a situation when you need to have something done at work by a certain time?  And as that deadline draws closer and closer, you have other things come up that warrants your time and attention.  So being the good employee you are, you take care of those other things only to realize afterwards that you now have only 10-minutes to finish your project.  What do you do?  You start playing out scenarios in your head about how you will need to defend yourself, "knowing" your boss is going to say this, think that and yell at you.  But, low and behold, when you tell him/her that you don't have your project completed, the response is something totally different and not really bad at all.  No questions, no snide remarks, no threatening of your job - nothing at all like what you were expecting.

What did you accomplish by all the worrying and "knowing" aside from an increased heart and blood pressure rate?  We can drive ourselves crazy with all the thoughts and scenarios in a given situation that may happen.  But try implementing a process that doesn't put you through all of this.  You may just find yourself living a more peaceful and happy life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's Missing?

I heard the following on a CD I own by Jack Canfield.  You may recognize the name as the author for the "Chicken Soup For The Soul" book series and from the book/DVD, "The Secret".

He simply said the following:

"1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10

What number are missing?"

The answer will astound you but I'd really like for YOU to tell me what you think so please reply!  I will post the answer tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Power of Conversation

I don't know about you, but when I have things on my mind, I find it such a relief to express those thoughts to a friend or family member.  That's not to say that I'm good at following that advice, but in those rare moments when I have clarity, I realize that it helps me greatly to speak with somebody else about things I'm thinking.

Of course the thought creeps in my mind that I'm crazy for feeling or thinking a certain way but for the most part, I'm not.  I come to find that what I'm thinking about a given situation, others out there are also going through the same thing, having similar thoughts and opinions.  It's like when you were in school and the teacher said, "If you have a question, don't be ashamed to ask because other students probably have the same one."  Same thing here.  Believe me, you are not alone. 

What's the point?  The point is that when you have things on your mind - good, bad or otherwise - talk with somebody about them.  It will make you feel better, will strengthen the relationship with the person you've confided in and help to clear your mind. 

Conversation is a beautiful thing.  Take the time to have one with somebody close to you today!

Wrestling With Life's Decisions

Ah, making decisions and answering life's question.  There are the ones that can alter your future... "Should I stay with my current job or begin searching for another?"  And there are the seemingly simple ones, "Would you like fries with that?"

Let's assume you go with the fries for a moment and focus on the other question.  There is so much to consider including the obvious like salary and benefits.  Then there are the thoughts that require a little more thought such as the required time commitment and is there opportunity to advance.  Lastly, it gets personal with questions such as, "How will this effect my family?"  "Can I maintain my level of integrity?"  "Will I be happy?"

That last one can be tricky because we must first figure out what "happy" is.  Is it more money?  Is it waking up everyday and loving what you do?  Is it have a flexible schedule?  Perhaps you are happy if you make a positive difference in somebody else's life?  Or maybe happy to you is simply having a job and being able to pay your bills.

Whatever it may be, searching within yourself will help you find the answer.  Taking the time to truly find what's missing will help you realize that it's been there all along.

By the way, you may want to substitute the fruit cup.  It's much better for you and helps you feel less guilty for ordering the quadruple (bypass) pattie burger. 

You Just Never Know

What kind of impact will I have on the lives of others?  How about you?  The truth is, aside from family and close friends, it's really hard to tell.  You hope and may even pray, that you're making a difference but you really do never know.

I believe the solution is to just be the best person you can be and not worry about it.  You can drive yourself insane by constantly wondering if you're doing the right thing, so I believe it best to act in a way that will make your mother, spouse and/or kids proud, and the rest will take care of itself.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Living Hell or Is This Heaven?

"My life's a living hell!"  "This is truly heaven on earth!"  Two powerful statements each having equal power.

Despite what we are bombarded with on television, radio and the internet, I'm a believer that the good outweighs the bad in life.  Don't get me wrong, I recognize that there are some terrible and horrific events that happen everyday and I pray for those affected by them.  However, I also know that the way I and others see my life, has everything to do with what I feel about it and how I act when living it.

I have a boss at work that says in response to, "good morning", asks the question, "what's so good about it?"  That same boss, when I ask him how he's doing, will respond, "havin a freakin Monday".  Realize when he says that, the day of the week is irrelevant.  The interesting thing about him is that in my brief face-to-face encounter with him, he seemed like a nice enough guy.  However, whenever I have to speak with him(always on the phone), I have to generate positive thoughts just to get through the call without feeling like I've just lost my best friend.  In his defense, he does have a difficult job and deals with some dishonest people during the day, but come on, I'm on his side so why give me the grief?

My point is, in dealing with people like him or somebody on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a choice.  A choice to go through our day mad at the world or to feel good about yourself and to try to help others.  Which way do you choose?