Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thoughts to Ponder this Afternoon

Exceed yourself
You’ve figured out how to get it done. Now figure out how to do it even better.
Expect the best of yourself. Then find a way to exceed those expectations.
Be pleased with what you’ve done, and satisfied with how far you’ve come. But don’t let it make you complacent.
No matter what you’ve done before, today is your opportunity to exceed yourself. Where you are is not a place to rest indefinitely, but rather a place from which to move forward.
Each achievement sets the stage for even greater achievement. Every fulfilling experience opens the door to even greater fulfillment.
Challenge yourself to exceed yourself. You deserve the best, and you deserve to keep making the best even better and better.
Ralph Marston
The relationship that brings Big rewards
by Jane Powell

“The easiest kind of relationship is with many; the hardest is with just one.”
Many of us feel less vulnerable when we’re with a group of people. No one’s looking at us closely and no one knows us intimately. It’s easy to hide our real nature along with our true feelings.
In truth, however, “easy” isn’t always best. When you open yourself up and share honest feelings one-on-one with someone, you stand to gain the rewards of a rich and lasting bond that could never be formed with a group.
Yes, one-on-one relationships are more work, but when you treasure these relationships and work to maintain them, the emotional rewards are priceless.
©Jane Powell
 People Matter
In their book The Big Book of Jewish Humor (HarperCollins, 1981), authors Novak and Waldoks tell of a woman from New York who, on her 80th birthday, decided to prepare her last will and testament. She went to her rabbi to make two final requests. First, she insisted on cremation.
“What is your second request?” the rabbi asked.
“I want my ashes scattered over the Bloomingdale’s store.”
“Why Bloomingdale’s?”
“Then I’ll be sure that my daughters visit me twice a week.”
I know we can't ensure others will show they care in the way we expect, though we all want to know that people do care. Maybe it's about being assured that we are not alone in this world. For that reason, we are drawn to those who make us feel as if we matter.
My grandmother was such a person. She was someone who made me feel important to her. She lived far away, so visits were special. When we got together she acted as if she truly missed me. Some days she would slip me little gifts – like chewing gum, a homemade cookie or money “so you can buy yourself a treat.” She once whispered that I was her favorite. (I now have evidence that she said the same thing to each of her grandchildren, which still causes me to chuckle.) She made the effort to be present at the important times in my life.
I felt valued by her. She took me seriously. At age eight or nine I complained one day that I had trouble breathing and I said that I thought my nasal passage was somehow blocked. She actually put her finger up my nose to feel for an obstruction. (Did I mention she was blind?) There was a blockage and because of her intervention with my family I eventually saw a doctor and had corrective surgery.
I don't remember her ever telling me how much she cared about me. It just wasn't her way. She wasn't gushy and she didn't often say those things to people. But she told me how she felt in a different way – she noticed me. She paid attention to me. I felt as if I were a piece in her life puzzle and she would notice if I were missing or didn't fit in just right. And my awareness of this made a huge difference.
Poet Maya Angelou writes:
“People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I wonder what would happen if I set out to make everyone in my presence feel as I felt around my grandmother – like they matter. How would that change the way I treat others and what difference might it make to them?
Who doesn't want to know that we notice them and value them? And who might respond to us better when they feel that they matter?
It probably cannot be overstated – it matters...that people matter.
Steve Goodier

Do what you must do
Achievement is a matter of putting your mind to it and focusing your actions on it. Anything is possible when you set your intention on making it happen.
There are always plenty of reasons why you can’t get it done. Yet you can choose to do it anyway.
You can find a way. If one approach doesn’t work, another one will.
Decide what you will do, and then do what you decide. Life is too precious, and too filled with great possibilities, to settle for anything less.
Do what you must do until the goal is achieved. You’re smart and motivated and capable, so make it count for something meaningful.
Achievement is yours to do. So choose today to get it done.
Ralph Marston

Leave the past where it belongs
Don’t stumble over something behind you. Don’t use the past as an excuse to miss out on today. You do not heal the wounds of the past by digging deeper into them.
Acceptance truly is the bitter pill you have to bravely swallow to move beyond yesterday’s sorrows. It’s a choice you must make. Because the truth of the matter is that history only dictates the future if you allow it. In other words, you only have to relive it if you choose to.
“What are you telling yourself?”
Positive self-talk is not about telling yourself that bad things in your life don’t exist or have not happened. It’s not about telling yourself life will be easy if you think the right thoughts. Self-talk is about self-awareness and recognizing how your thoughts affect how you feel and ultimately what you accomplish.
Your thoughts are your self-talk. And, they directly affect the way you feel. Since your feelings dictate your actions, it’s important to take notice of the chain of thoughts and events in your life.
This new found awareness holds the key to making the changes you crave come to pass.
©Jane Powell

“Frame your thoughts with awareness.”
It’s no secret that we have the ability to program ourselves to believe and act in negative ways. The good news is that we’re also blessed with the ability to program ourselves to believe and act in positive ways.
The starting point is awareness.
You must first become familiar with how your thoughts make you feel and act. Ask yourself, what thoughts make me feel happy, sad, jealous, mad, etc.? How do I react to my feelings? Once you have the answers to these questions, consider yourself aware.
When you’re in touch with your feelings you’re consciously able to program yourself for positive action. Next time you catch yourself in a thought that doesn’t feel good, stop, and consciously choose to react in another way. When you re-frame your thinking, everything changes.
©Jane Powell
"I am ready to move on with my life, and I am ready to put behind me the things that belong there."
Forgiveness allows us to move on with our lives, leaving the mistakes of the past where they belong--in our pasts rather than in our present. I wish you the ability to see clearly when it's important for you to ask forgiveness for the hurts that you might have caused others. Often, we don't clearly see the results of our own actions, and others suffer needlessly, wondering why we've done what we've done. We often can clear the air and clear our lives and ease our minds with a simple apology, but we need to know when such an apology is necessary, and when one will be helpful.
I wish you the graciousness and the grace to accept apologies when they are offered sincerely. Such forgiveness is important both for yourself and the person who is apologizing; refusal to accept an apology affects you more than it affects the person who is apologizing. Accepting apologies is another way of saying "I am ready to move on with my life, and I am ready to put behind me the things that belong there." Forgiveness is one of the strongest healing forces in the world, and it must not be asked for or accepted lightly or without sincerity; it must also not be rejected when offered sincerely.
 What truly matters
If the distractions are too compelling, then your goal is too small. To strengthen your focus, raise your ambitions.
Make your purpose ten times more appealing than anything that could distract you. Make your goal so meaningful and compelling that nothing can compete with it for your time and attention.
You absolutely have the power to do great things. Yet in order for that power to be effective, it must be applied consistently and persistently.
Decide to make good and significant use of your great abilities. Focus yourself, in the biggest way you can imagine, on what is genuinely important.
Give yourself the joy of fulfillment by giving yourself a big, bold challenge that’s worthy of your efforts. Set your sights high, and make your moments count for something truly outstanding.
The world is overflowing with meaningless distractions, and yet they do not have to steal your life away. You can choose to focus your life on a magnificent expression of what truly matters.
Ralph Marston
How to Get Things Done
by Jane Powell
“Stop running to answer every request.”
Does a ringing telephone, a doorbell, or the sudden demand of an impatient co-worker make you immediately stop what you are doing? Do you feel your tasks take second place to the requests of others?
Every time you “drop everything,” your stress level rises and your productivity sinks. So, make sure these interruptions are vital. Demands on your life are often not as important as you think. What’s important is “you,” and what you need to accomplish.
It’s time to get your priorities in-check and make a conscious effort to separate what’s “important” from what’s merely “urgent.” Ask yourself, “Is this really important, or could it be done later?” Give your attention to the things that really count. You’ll find harmony when you do.
Letting go without giving up
''Your serenity is based on taking responsibility without taking blame, and letting go without giving up.''
I wish you the ability to let go, the ability to allow yourself to allow life to do its thing without you attempting to control the outcomes of everything that goes on around you. I hope that you always will be able to recognize the situations over which you truly have no control, and try to let them be, accepting the outcomes as they are, and not judging them based on what you wanted them to be.
I wish you the ability to see when attempts to control are appropriate, and when things are best left alone. I wish you the ability to allow things to occur without your input; sometimes our most important contribution is simply to observe. We can support and love without telling others what to do, without trying to help them in every facet of their lives; we must let others learn in their own ways and make their own mistakes . Just as we don't accompany our children to every single class in school that they attend, we don't need to be there to guide them through every one of life's lessons.

Live beyond it
Don’t live with the disappointment. Live beyond it.
You cannot stop what has already happened. However, you can let it make you stronger and more determined.
Instead of dwelling on the pain or injustice of what has happened, imagine the best possible outcome. Then get busy moving yourself steadily and passionately toward that outcome.
Life has the power to disappoint. Yet you have the power of life, and the power to move on to bigger and better things.
When you have been disappointed, it means you truly care, and that’s a very positive thing. Zero in on what you care about, and put your energy into advancing those things in your life.
Look ahead, and look at all the good and valuable things you can do. Look ahead, and step confidently forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.
Ralph Marston

“Work is a reward, not a punishment.”
If you enjoy your work, you also enjoy what comes with it, such as peace of mind, enjoyment and fulfillment. If you don’t enjoy your work, then days are tedious and each one drags by.
The truth is, you’ll never achieve pure happiness unless you like what you do. Your fulfillment is in direct proportion to the amount of pleasure you derive from daily tasks.
If you truly despise your job, stop punishing yourself and do something about it. The rewards you feel from doing what you want to do are priceless. You only live once and there is no reason I can think of not to enjoy it!
 ©Jane Powell
The more time you spend feeling sorry for yourself, the more
Things you'll have to be sorry about. If you insist on
Seeing yourself as a victim, you'll end up experiencing your
Life as a victim.
It doesn't have to be that way. Because you can choose right
Now, and every day, to see yourself in a positive,
Empowering light.
The way you see yourself is up to you. It doesn't have
Anything to do with the circumstances you happen to be
See yourself as the unique, beautiful, creative and
Effective person you know you are. See yourself as a bundle
Of positive, inspiring and meaningful possibilities that are
Well on their way to being fulfilled.
See that you are able to successfully handle whatever life
Sends your way. See that you are able to thrive and grow and
Make positive meaning out of the world in which you live.
See yourself as constantly moving forward through it all,
With love and joy and purpose. And what you see, you will be .

Imagine and make it be
Imagine a life that is good, fruitful, joyous and fulfilling. Imagine your particular place in that life.
Imagine doing what you love to do, and making a real positive difference in many lives through your efforts. Imagine living precisely the way you choose to live, and in accordance with your most treasured values.
See yourself living without doubt or limitation. See a life in which fear is always overwhelmed by love.
Where you choose to go most often and most vividly in your imagination, is where you enable your real life to go. The person you most intensely and most passionately imagine yourself to be, is who you become.
You can imagine whatever you choose. And you can live the beautiful reality of whatever you imagine.
A magnificent life is already within you. Imagine it, truly see yourself living it, and make it be.
Ralph Marston


excerpts from
" Morning Coffee"
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