Positive Thinking Myths – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 31, 2007

pumpkins.jpgHappy All Hallow’s Eve!

There are two destructive myths circulating around positive thinking today. Unfortunately, these myths are making it difficult for many people to buy into positive thinking as a tool and reap its benefits in their lives.

The first myth is the Kiss the Frog and it Becomes a Prince myth. Fueled by the popularity of a few books, this myth tells people that all they have to do is think happy thoughts and everything they want will manifest in their lives.

People know, instinctively, that this is not true. It leads many people to label all positive thinking as chicanery.

The second, and I find pervasive, myth is that somehow thinking negatively is more “realistic” than thinking positively. I don’t know where this idea comes from, but I wish I’d been there to stamp out the first few sparks before it became the mental forest fire it is today.

This myth claims that the world is an aweful place and thinking positively is unrealistic delusion bound to create heartache. For people who believe that, I have no doubt it is true.

The world is what it is. Thinking positively or negatively about the world does not change the world. It does, however, have a profound effect on a person’s experience of the world.

Positive thinking is not about changing the world it is about transforming ourselves into more capable, caring, compassionate, productive, and successful people. It is about becoming people better able to cope, adapt, and deal with life’s ups and downs. It grants us no immunity from trial or tribulation. Simply put, positive thinking gives us a fighting chance in a world that wants to tell us, “It can’t be done.”

There is a very real price to be paid when we think negatively. Our actions follow our thoughts and when our thoughts lack confidence, conviction, or positivity our interactions with the world will mirror that reality back to us.

All balance is lost and the problem magnified when someone follows this pattern over and over in his or her life. By projecting negative expectations onto the world and getting negative results repeatedly over years, the person’s experience of the world is all negative. The tendency is to think that negativity began “out there” and to react against it.

These people become known as unhappy, miserable, malcontented, criminals, or even terrorists. They believe their unhappiness comes from outside of themselves and so they create negative acts and spread negative energy in the world.

I suppose the debate over the significance of positive thinking will rage on regardless of what I say here. However, there is one truism and there is no escaping it.

Positive thinking is not a cure for all ills, but choosing to think positively will yield better and more consistent results in life than thinking negatively.

Thoughts are free, but the consequences cost. I can’t see any benefit to thinking negatively, though we all do it at times.

My conviction is that we can see the glass as half full without compromising reality.

May you have a peaceful and prosperous Wednesday!

Ray

Stress Strategies Part 1

Today’s Affirmation:

“I become aware of the little things that are stressing me out and develop strategies to deal with them effectively.”

Overworked business man.We often attribute the stress in our daily lives to what is happening on the outside. “My schedule is so busy” or “Work is a bear right now” are common reasons we give others and ourselves to explain the stress we feel.

No doubt, these things contribute to our stress. However, some of the extra “weight” we carry around is mental. It’s all the little unresolved problems and distractions flittering, as they do, at the edges of our awareness that create stress in our lives disproportionate to their actual importance.

Collectively, these little stressors create murky, undefined sense of dis-ease that can permeate our days and lessen our enjoyment of life.

Awareness

How do we deal with these minor hindrances? Well, the first we have to do is to become aware of them. Can we identify them and name them? It’s almost impossible to address them unless we know what they are.

One effective way for surfacing these issues is to spend a little quiet time alone at some point in the day. Just allow your thoughts to flow freely without evaluation and take note of the concerns, worries, or issues that arise.

These small issues are like children clamoring for attention. They will usually make themselves known when you listen.

Action

Once you identify an issue, you can:

  • Estimate its importance.
  • Take steps to resolve it.
  • Recognize its relative insignificance and let it go.

Perspective 

These pesky stressors are the puff fish in our lives. You may be familiar with this kind of fish. It has the ability to blow itself up to appear much larger than its actual size to intimidate would-be predators.

Especially when we have an emotional investment, these little issues can cast a longer shadow in our lives than is warranted by their actual importance.

The key to breaking their hold is perspective. Here are three strategies for getting that perspective.

  1. Deja-Vu – we have probably faced situations similar to the one we are stressing about now and it probably came out OK. Most of the things we stress ourselves about never happen or are not as bad as we imagined them to be. Think of two or three examples of times when similar things worked out fine and your worrying did not alter the outcome. Then let go.
  2. The 30-Day Test – ask yourself whether this issue will still have the significance you are giving it now in 30 days? In six months? A year? If not, it probably is not really as important as it seems right now. Do what you can about it and then let it go.
  3. The Quasar Comparison – this is the “big scheme of things” approach to releasing the issue. Our problems, as big as they seem to us sometimes, are mostly insignificant in the big picture. Quasars are very powerful and distant objects at the edge of the visible universe. They are billions of light years away and a reminder of our universe’s sheer scale. A picture of a quasar can easily be found online. I keep one nearby to remind me how small my problems really are compared to the vastness of space and time. When realize this may not be as life and death as we are making it out to be we can let it go.

In closing, I am certainly not advocating avoidance of real problems in our lives. What I am saying is that our quality of life can improve when we find ways to jettison those annoying little stressors that hold us back.

I’d love to hear from some of you about strategies you use to reduce stress. I may feature them in a future blog. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.  He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leaders seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

A Japanese Proverb and a British Challenge – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday October 27, 2007

A wonderful Saturday to everyone!

Today I’d intended to share a Japanese affirmation about not giving up. While looking for the exact quote, I came across a Japanese proverb that ties in nicely with a YouTube challenge from a young man in England.

They complement each other so well that I decided to combine them and make today’s blog truly global. 

I found the Japanese proverb at Quotationspage.com.

It reads:

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”

This proverb is a testament to the fact that small things can make a big positive  difference in the world.

We sometimes get caught up in how much work is involved in changing the world and can become paralyzed by the size of the task. This proverb reminds us that we don’t have to change the whole world to make it better.

A simple word can brighten a day or even a whole winter. We only need look as far as our own experience to confirm this wisdom. We’ve all had someone do something very small for us, at one time or another, that really made our day.

We don’t always have to move the whole mountain. Simply removing the pebble from someone’s shoe is enough.

That brings me to our young friend in England. His YouTube handle is JohnnyDurham19. In March of 2007, he posted a fantastic challenge to people on YouTube, but you don’t have to be a YouTuber to follow his suggestion.

Watch the video.  Think about the Japanese proverb. Together we can all remove a few pebbles from the shoes of our fellow human beings today and make the world a brighter place for everyone.

Have a peaceful Saturday!

Ray The Affirmation Spot.com

New affirmations are available in the Sales, Personal Empowerment, Football, and Arts sections of the website.

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Those Magic Moments – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday October 24, 2007

 Today’s affirmation:

“I know what achieving my goal feels like. I know what it smells like and tastes like. I know what achieving my goal looks like and sounds like. I envision my life with my goal attained.”

Some of you are probably familiar with that old Drifters song This Magic Moment. If you are, you know it is one of those songs that starts you humming and probably gets stuck in your head all day.

Life is about Those Magic Moments. We move through the “average days” in our life longing for another Magic Moment, or, in many cases, really just to relive previous Magic Moments.

As is often the case, sports, this week, has provided a lesson on the chalkboard of life. This week two traditionally successful teams have taken opposite approaches to rekindling Those Magic Moments.

In the history of college football, only three teams have a higher winning percentage than the Nebraska Cornhuskers. During the mid 1990s, the Huskers finally overcame their long-time nemeses University of Miami, FL and Florida State to become college football’s premiere program.

Legendary coach Tom Osborne finished his career with three national championships in four years capping the most illustrious stretch in the history of an illustrious program.

People in Nebraska got used to Those Magic Moments. They almost felt entitled to them. When Osborne retired, Nebraska hired long-time assistant to the legend, Frank Solich. Solich only went 61-19 in six years as head coach – not good enough. There were no more national championships -no more Magic Moments.

He was fired in favor of NFL coach Bill Callahan. Callahan, now in his fifth year, has compiled a 26-21 record. Those Magic Moments feel further away than ever for Nebraska fans.

This week, in the midst of a particularly devastating losing streak, Nebraska fired its Athletic Director and hired the legendary Osborne as interim Athletic Director.

The New York Yankees are far and away the most successful team in the history of major league baseball. However, the team had fallen on a decade of hard times. In 1996, the team hired Joe Torre as its manager.

Torre led the Yankees to four world championships in five years between 1996 and 2001. In the years since, the Yankees have had baseball’s best record, but no more World Series wins. Owner George Steinbrenner and many in the Yankee nation grew impatient with not winning a World Series every other year.

This week the Yankees offered Torre a contract the team knew he would not accept effectively forcing him out. The team believes it can recapture Those Magic Moments with a new manager.

These two teams are following two strategies we often pursue when we are searching for Those Magic Moments. Nebraska looked backwards to past glory. The hope is that Tom Osborne, through his mere presence, can bring the Magic back.

The Yankees chose to look to the future in the hope that “new blood” might transform success into perfection. 

We, too, are always looking for Our Magic Moments. We look forward and we look back. We try to relive the past or we try to change everything in the hope that change itself will bring us the happiness we want.

The truth is that our happiness is hidden in the most conspicuous, but unlikely place….NOW.

The past is the past. When we try to recreate the past the best we can hope for is a meaningless replication. We don’t live there anymore. We live here and now. What worked in the past may not work today. Can Tom Osborne really return the Nebraska football program to 1997?

When we change everything hoping to come up with something better, we usually wind up with a rootless life that does not live up to our expectations. Will the new Yankee manager be able top Torre’s 95+ win per year average and win enough World Series’ to keep George and the Yankee faithful satisfied?

The past is our teacher. The future is our dream. Neither provides a foothold for us to climb and build and grow. The only foothold on the entire mountain of life is right now.

Now may not seem like Magic. It may not be all we want it to be, but it is really the only clay from which we can sculpt the rest of our lives.

Afterall no Magic Moment that ever was or ever will be is inherently Magic. What makes Moments Magic is not the moment. It is us. It is us being fully who we are in that moment, dealing with its realities, and making the most of them.

We already soaked all the Magic there was from yesterday. We cannot begin drawing on tomorrow’s Magic. Let’s stay focused on finding all the Magic that exists today and be content with it.

Peace…

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

I’d like to personally invite you to come by The Affirmation Spot today and try a couple of our free affirmations or download affirmations in a category of interest to you. We are constantly growing and expanding with the goal of offering affirmations for your specific life needs.

New affirmations are available in the Wealth and Prosperity, Personal Empowerment, and Sales sections of the website.

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“On The Pulse of Morning” – The Affirmation Spot for Monday October 22, 2007

maya_angelou1.jpgThis morning I am sharing what is, in my humble opinion, among the greatest poems ever written. It was written for and read by the poet Maya Angelou for President Clinton’s first inaurgural on January 20, 1993. If this doesn’t get you inspired for the day, nothing will.

“On the Pulse of Morning”

by Maya Angelou

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers–desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours–your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

As beautiful as it is to read, it is more wonderful to hear to watch the poet recite it. This will be the best 6:21 of your day.

 Video of Maya Angelou deliverying the poem in 1993.

You may be struck by how innocent that time seems compared to now, but if we heed the words of this poem there is hope for a still-more innocent future.

Peace…

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

I’d like to personally invite you to come by The Affirmation Spot today and try a couple of our free affirmations or download affirmations in a category of interest to you. We are constantly growing and expanding with the goal of offering affirmations for your specific life needs.

New affirmations are available in the Wealth and Prosperity, Personal Empowerment, and Sales sections of the website.

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Things I Learned from My Dog Part 1 – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 19, 2007

mia_snow.jpg

Today is the first in what will become a recurring series on things I learn from my dog. We humans may have the opposable thumb and a larger brain, but animals can actually serve as very good teachers for us.

 

I’ve always been a dog lover and I especially love Labrador Retrievers. They just seem to be the ultimate optimists in the dog world. They are fun, playful, and affectionate.

 

Take our three-year old black Lab – Mia. The whole world – me included – can be against me on a bad day, but Mia is still for me. When we need to feel better about ourselves or other people it always helps to take a dog’s point of view. Dogs teach by example and then there are those things we can learn by observation.

 

One humorous thing about Mia, though, is that she is a ferocious Squirrel Warrior. In fact, I’d have to say she is a little neurotic about squirrels. We are very fortunate to have a house with a significant number of windows. Mia – when she’s not sleeping – can usually be found patrolling the windows…waiting…watching for movement in the yard or a gray bushy tail in the grass that might indicate the presence of a squirrel.

 

She takes this very seriously and she can drive herself crazy over the squirrels. Some of the older, wily squirrels will do things to really annoy her like sit on the deck rail or the patio (in full view) and munch on a nut. While inside Mia is having a conniption fit, the squirrel is calmly watching.

 

They also seem to have a very good idea of exactly how far her chain will reach in the back yard and they love to sit just beyond it. Sometimes when we let her out she will sit up by the door for half an hour or more waiting for one to wander too close and then she is OFF. Chasing the squirrel for all she’s worth and almost catching it, but not quite. She is the Wylie Coyote of the neighborhood. Another brilliant trap foiled.

 

Much of Mia’s day is consumed with the pursuit of squirrels she’s probably never going to catch. She just cannot relax as long as there are squirrels around. They torment her and she lets them.

 

You know, we all have our squirrels. We all have things that drive us up the wall and refuse to let us have peace. It might be a habit of your spouse, e-mail spam, traffic jams, the project at work, or, well, you fill in the blank.

 

Even the language we use to describe our “squirrels” is backwards. We often say, “That traffic really annoyed me.” Did it? The traffic was just sitting on deck rail munching a nut. You were the one in the car losing your sense of peace.

 

There was a story I remember reading once about a young man who had decided to take up meditation. He was working with a teacher. The man lived in a big city apartment. He was explaining to his teacher that he could not meditate in the apartment because there was a bus stop right outside his apartment.

 

“The constant noise,” he complained, “will not allow me to meditate. It’s too distracting.”

 

The teacher leaned forward and smiled, “Ah yes, but is the bus coming into the apartment and bothering you or are you going outside and bothering the bus?”

 

The teacher’s point, of course, is that it is not the things that bother us; it is our thoughts about them that create the stress.

 

Today, make a list of your “squirrels” – those things that really annoy you. Think about how each can be addressed. Is there something you can do to change the situation and make it better? Or, is this something you just have to accept and get better at dealing with it?

 

Don’t try to take them all on at once. Work on one or two at a time. Over the course of the next few weeks or months –depending on how many you have – you will have more peace by setting them down.

 

When you encounter something really annoying you remember Mia. If it’s a real problem that needs to be dealt with, deal with it. If not (and so many things we get worked up about are not), visualize yourself as Mia going crazy and the source of your annoyance as the squirrel calmly munching the nut and enjoying the show.

 

I promise a smile will come to your face and you will recognize how silly it is and let it go.

 

Have a peaceful and prosperous Friday!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

I’d like to personally invite you to come by The Affirmation Spot today and try a couple of our free affirmations or download affirmations in a category of interest to you. We are constantly growing and expanding with the goal of offering affirmations for your specific life needs.

New affirmations are available in the Wealth and Prosperity, Personal Empowerment, and Sales sections of the website.

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Positive Thinking Without the Rose-Colored Glasses

rose_colored_glassesToday’s blog may seem strange coming from someone who runs a website selling mp3 affirmations. However, this topic has been on my mind for sometime and an article I read today on Slate.com entitled Think Negative! seemed like the perfect opportunity to address it.

In the article, writer John Gravois takes Oprah Winfrey to task for her promotion (and darn near creation) of The Secret craze. Gravois argues that, if anything, we have our rose-colored glasses on too much in modern America. He blames “the positive thinking crowd” for this problem.

Gravois refers to a book by Rutgers University professor Karen Cerulo entitled Never Saw It Coming: Cultural Challenges to Envisioning the Worst. Cerulo apparently details Gravois’ point about how we Americans only see the good in things and do so to our peril. He calls on Oprah to use her powers of persuasion to reverse support for The Secret.

First, I want to say that Oprah has been a hugely positive force in our society for a long time. For many years, I didn’t “get” her show. I thought it was just another afternoon show for the shrinking ranks of stay-at-home moms. Once I realized what she is all about, I became a great admirer.

Her message, it seems to me, is a pretty simple one…”you can do it!” I think she and her staff work very hard to find tools and information that support that mission. The Secret certainly falls into that category.

I think what is needed in this discussion is balance and context. 

To an extent, Gravois has a point. There are some purveyors of The Secret that go overboard in their assertions. This does have the tendency to promise susceptible people things that probably are not possible. It also has fairly been criticized for promoting the a “blame the person” defense when the system fails to yield the desired results.

On the other hand, Gravois seems to be falling into the common trap that assumes that a negative view of the world is somehow more realistic than a positive view. While he recounts instances where positive thinking falls short, he fails to look at the fact that most of the negative things we worry about never come to pass.

Yet, those negative thoughts and worries have a very real impact on our lives and on how we interact with the world whether they ever come true or not.

We live in a world that has a lot of negativity. We have a government and a mainstream media that maintains control by spreading a great deal of fear, negativity, and divisiveness.

People, in my opinion, have a right – even a self-obligation – to fight back or they place their outlook, their confidence, and their very self-hood at risk.

Positive thinking is a tool. Like any tool it can be misused. Its benefits can be overstated. It also has very real, tangible, demonstrable benefits over being negative. Skills, mood, behaviors, and many other aspects our lives can be improved (if not perfected) through the power of the way we think about them.

It’s foolish to walk into a rattle snake den or fail to seek medical attention for a serious condition on the hope that your positive thoughts are going to protect you. It is equally foolish to go through life only seeing the gloomy; never experiencing the good; and allowing others to form and control your potential by controlling your thoughts.

Only you have that right, but you can certainly hand it to the government, the media, your mother, or your friends. You have to take the bull by the horns and manage your own thoughts.

That is why I created The Affirmation Spot. Affirmations are a spark that lights the flame of the positive thinking engine. I call them mind vitamins because they do something similar for your mind to what vitamins do for your body – maintain health and help battle stress and disease.

Use of affirmations cannot guarantee perfection, enlightenment, a worry-free life, or the big shot in your career. They can, however, help you improve incrementally and prepare your mindset to handle life’s stresses and maximize life’s opportunities.

May each of you have a peaceful and prosperous day!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.He’s spent the past 21 years in sales and sales training for major companies.

He is the author of the Anunnaki Awakening series (2015). Book 1 – Revelation – is now available in paperback and on Kindle. This trilogy takes Ancient Aliens out of the past and into the present. An interstellar, interdimensional journey ensues with humanity’s future hanging in the balance.