Remember When All Was Possible? It Still Is! – The Affirmation Spot for Friday May 29, 2009

Today’s affirmation is:

“I am a visionary. I see and respond to trends well ahead of the pack.” (click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

What a world we live in! Posting this from the airport in Minneapolis. Today I’m featuring a brilliant video I found on YouTube. It’aimed specifically at entrepreneurs, but really applicable to any of us who have an idea, a dream, a vision!

Stay inspired!

Ray

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Affirmationspot

Attitude of Gratitude – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday May 26, 2009

Today’s affirmation is:

“I have an absolute attitude of gratitude for everything and everyone in my life.” (click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

Few things allow us to experience greater happiness than feeling gratitude for what we have. Many of us are pursuing big dreams and that is awesome. This video reminds to appreciate what we along the way.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

Memorial Day Holds Double Responsibility – The Affirmation Spot for Monday

Thought of the Day
“You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the nation’s destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds. The Long Gray Line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.This does not mean that you are war mongers. On the contrary, the soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

~ General Douglas MacArthur – Duty, Honor, Country speech

Memorial Day. In The United States, it is the day we set aside to honor those who lost their lives previous wars and to honor those risking their lives today. This is as it should be. When people are willing to put themselves on the line for the good of others – in military service or other endeavors – we have an obligation to respect that.

To all veterans, THANK YOU for your service!

I hope all Americans will spend a few moments today contemplating the very real sacrifices these people have made for all of us.

However, in a free country we have a second responsibility that is equally important and relevent on this day. Frankly, in the current conflicts we have failed in this responsibility.

We have a solemn duty and responsibility to ensure that there are fewer people to memorialize in the future. Peace, when possible, is always preferable to war.

MacArthur makes an important point here. He is speaking to West Point cadets. He reminds them that they must be ready when called to defend the country. However, he places a caveat on that. He declares that soldiers above all are not war mongers and pray for peace.

The first few lines to the preamble of the Constitution read:

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

WE THE PEOPLE and the Constitution are very important to the calculations of war and peace.

While there are times, when war is unfortunately unavoidable at the current level of human development, it is necessary far less often than it is proposed as “the only solution” by our leaders. The honest truth is that most wars can be avoided if WE THE PEOPLE hold leaders accountable to us and to the Constitution before, during, and after the decision to fight them.

The soldiers of the past that we remember and the soldiers of the present who we cannot forget rely on us – you and me – to make sure that when they are sent into battle it is truly to defend our country. You see, they are bound to follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief. They count on us to be a check and a balance to that person’s judgment that war is necessary. WE THE PEOPLE are responsible for holding our leaders in check FOR our troops.

Remember the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces not WE THE PEOPLE. The President is our servant not our boss.

I’ve heard so many journalists, especially before the current war, say something to the effect that “We must support our Commander-in-Chief.”

The Founding Fathers would have scoffed at such nonsense. They endowed WE THE PEOPLE and the people’s representatives in Congress with all kinds of tools to prevent this “Commander-in-Chief” syndrome from taking root or thriving.

Examples include Congressional Funding of wars, states raising troops, Congressional declaration of war, impeachment, regular elections. WE THE PEOPLE and the Congress, have unwisely and unconstitutionally ceded these powers to the Commander-in-Chief.

When this power rests in the hands of one person who may not be questioned we might as well call the president Caesar because that is a title worthy of such unwarranted power.

War, it turns out, often benefits the elite who start them, but only rarely benefits the average citizen who must fight them. Leaders make a name for themselves by engaging in war.

Let’s do a little test. Grover Cleveland, Chester Arthur, or Howard Taft. How many Americans don’t even know the names? How many who do know the names could tell you anything about their presidencies?

Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower; most Americans readily recognize their names. They were either war presidents or came to prominence through their participation in a war.

War makes presidents historically noteworthy. They say the first thing lost in war is the truth. That’s because many wars are started by mistruths that play on the fears, greed, or prejudices of the population. WE THE PEOPLE must become more wise and less easily manipulated. WE THE PEOPLE must demand better evidence before our troops go into harm’s way.

For it is our sons, our daughters, our brothers, and fathers, and mothers who will be memorialized on future Memorial Days. Let us make sure that we only permit that sacrifice for the right reasons.

WE THE PEOPLE owe it to the troops in the field today, those who have sacrificed in the past, and those who will be asked to do so in the future to make our leaders accountable. Congress must re-establish its Constitutional authority in matters of war. The people must think logically and not allow themselves to become the victims of their own emotions.

Today politicians who currently hold high office and those seeking high office will offer solemn and respectful speeches for the fallen.

What WE THE PEOPLE need from our leaders is not speeches in front of white crosses or banks of flags.

What WE THE PEOPLE need, indeed demand, from our leaders is more than feigned soberness about putting young men and women on the battlefield.

What WE THE PEOPLE need from our leaders is not heroic speeches one day a year, but a commitment to taking care of veterans when they come home.

What WE THE PEOPLE need from our leaders is not stirring rhetoric, but leadership that owns up to the government’s responsibility for soldiers exposed to Agent Orange, the still unknown causes of Gulf War Syndrome, and this war’s version depleted uranium. Instead, we have been given 30+ years (starting with Agent Orange) of denial and calling the people who made these sacrifices the politicians give speeches about “crazy” for claiming that their exposure to a proven weapons grade pesticide might have impaired their bodies.

The unfortunate truth is that while politicians are giving speeches today, millions of veterans are forced to live with the memory of things they should never have seen at 19 or 20 years old and things they should never have done in places they should never have been.

An empowered WE THE PEOPLE must be prepared to question our leaders at every turn, demand answers at every opportunity, and punish leaders when they abuse their solemn duty to prevent war.

WE THE PEOPLE must not be cheerleaders for war, but guardians against its unwarranted use. War is a disease that humans have lived with throughout time. In fact, its longevity and it ubquitousness are used as excuses for not stopping it by many. You’ve heard it – the “We’ve always had war and we always will” mentality.

The suffering war causes the soldiers and the victims is horrific and inhumane in the most ideal of situations. WE THE PEOPLE should view war like a hideous plague among us. We worry about bird flu and other calamities that may never befall us and over which we have little control. While WE THE PEOPLE allow the scourge of war – something that is happening and over which we have ultimate control – to go on.

WE THE PEOPLE need to support and extoll the value of the peacemakers as well as the warriors. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Buddha added, “Few know that our purpose in this world is to live in harmony. Those who become aware of this cease their quarrels immediately.”

WE THE PEOPLE need to demand that our leaders be peacemakers first and warmakers a distant, distant second.

WE THE PEOPLE may have to celebrate a day in memory of the fallen for some time to come, but if we live up to our other responsibility, we can at least do so with a clearer conscience that we did all we could to prevent and minimize the need for our solidiers and their families to sacrifice so much.

WE THE PEOPLE need to take General MacArthur’s words into accout and be the defenders of our troops just as they are our defenders. For today is not only a time for memory of the fallen, but of how WE THE PEOPLE have failed them.

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

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  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 leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Teaching Happiness at UCLA – The Affirmation Spot for Friday May 22, 2009

Today I am posting an interesting video from YouTube about a course in happiness being taught at UCLA.

From YouTube page:

When Emily van Sonnenberg was in a wheelchair five years ago after surviving a fatal car crash, she was told she would never walk again. Then a friend gave her a book by Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, which she says changed her life. She adopted Seligman’s methods of positive thinking and miraculously was able to walk again.

Wanting to share the methods of positive psychology and achieving happiness with others, van Sonnenberg created the course “Happiness” at UCLA, part of the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program which allows students to teach other students a course not already offered at UCLA.

The course teaches and assigns practical applications of positive psychology such as keeping daily gratitude and intention journals.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AffirmationSpot

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

Positive Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking

pratiSometimes I think positive thinking takes a bad rap because people confuse it with wishful thinking. Positive thinking is a philosophy rooted in the idea that your thoughts are the basis for the actions you take in life and, therefore, the results you can expect.

When you begin with a foundation of positive thoughts (as opposed to negative) you increase your belief and increase activity towards a desired goal. These two factors impact achievement incrementally to dramatically depending on the situation.

Many people fail to realize that positive thinking is really about acting. It only recommends that acting from a place where your thoughts are supporting your actions yields better results than merely blind action.

Wishful thinking, with its endemic inaction, is what many people view as positive thinking. That perception devalues positive thinking in the minds of some who see themselves as “action people.”

Positive thinking has several key characteristics:

  • Positive thinking based – thinking positively about your skills, your talents, your capabilities, your options, and your potential results provides a strong foundation for success.
  • Confidence – positive thinkers have a strong belief in themselves and a sense of mission about their goals.
  • Proactive – Positive thinking is action or motion-based. It is the tremor that creates a tsunami of motion and activity towards achieving a desired outcome. Positive thinking is about making things happen through focused activity.
  • Realistic to idealistic – positive thinkers are immersed in reality, but don’t see themselves limited by it. They recognize that struggle and obstacles sometimes create better results. They acknowledge that there are obstacles (i.e. circumstances or the world are not always perfect) and work on ways around the obstacles. It begins with a realistic assessment of things and moves confidently towards achieving the ideal.
  • Deals with setbacks – recognizes that setbacks are a sign something is happening (activity). Rejection letters are a sign you are submitting your book idea. Customer no’s are a sign you are pitching your ideas. It seeks opportunities to convert setbacks into learning that can be used in achieving the ultimate goal.
  • Achieves – positive thinkers usually succeed – though not always at their original goal. Sometimes the goal evolves through the process of achievement. One way or the other, the positive thinker finds his or her way to the goal.

Wishful thinking is the empty version of positive thinking. It is the strategy of waiting and hoping good things will happen to you. It may have positive thoughts as a component, but that is where the similarities end.

Wishful thinking has several key characteristics:

  • Situation-based – wishful thinking starts out in the right place. There is an effort to create a positive thought foundation. However, that positive thinking is focused on creating the perfect environment for advancement. This approach deflects focus from the person and his or her capabilities towards trying to create the right situation for advancement.
  • Doubt – wishful thinkers have some serious doubts about their ability to reach their goals and so rely on circumstances.
  • Reactive – wishful thinking hopes that circumstances will become favorable for advancement. However, it is reactive because it waits for those circumstances to happen rather than making them happen.
  • Idealistic to realistic – the wishful thinker puts on the rose-colored glasses and hopes to achieve an idyllic state. Often, reality is something negative to be avoided. Hitting reality often sends the wishful thinker back to waiting mode – waiting for the ideal situation.
  • Setbacks sidetrack – wishful thinkers are often sidetracked by obstacles and setbacks because it undermines their “perfect situation” scenario. When obstacles enter into the picture, the wishful thinker gets stuck and gives up.
  • Waits – the wishful thinker has the same beautiful goals and dreams as the positive thinker. He or she wants to succeed just as badly, but because the philosophy is waiting on the perfect situation, it often never comes and goals go unrealized.

At times, we are all a mix of these two approaches. Few people can maintain the absolute belief and action of the positive thinker all day, every day. Many can unconsciously slip into wishful thinking in some situations. That said, they are two starkly different approaches that appear the same to many people.

Many wishful thinkers see themselves as positive thinkers. The main difference is hoping for something as opposed to acting on it. If you are a wishful thinker, you can change today by remembering to take action on your plans and realizing NOW is the only “perfect situation” there ever is in this life.

Many actual positive thinkers don’t see themselves as such because of the prevailing perception of positive thinking as weak or inactive. This causes them miss the incredible benefits of aligning the power of their minds with the power of their action. Don’t short change yourself. Take your drive for action and enhance it by training your thoughts to positively support your action.

So, what’s the difference between the two strategies in the real world? Take world peace. We all want it, right?

Wishful thinking strategy in a nutshell:

The wishful thinker says, “I want world peace. I believe it is possible, but we can’t have it now. Why start? Conditions are not favorable. Politicians are too corrupt, people too selfish, and the world is too unfair. We’ll work on it when these things change.”

Positive thought > conditions not perfect > act on it someday > goal never achieved

Positive thinking strategy in a nutshell:

The positive thinker says, “I want world peace and even if we can’t achieve it today we can begin. Conditions may not be favorable. Politicians are corrupt, people are selfish, and the world is an unfair place. However, we can take action to change those things as we work towards the goal.”

Positive thought > conditions not perfect > change conditions > achieve goal

Note that the initial impulse (positive thought) is the same in both strategies. The conclusion about circumstances is the same. It’s the decision based on the circumstances that makes all the difference.

Life gives no guarantees. Some positive thinkers never reach their ultimate goal. Some wishful thinkers get lucky.

However, becoming a positive thinker increases your chances of achieving your goals – and soon. It’s all about the decision – the decison to act or not to act.

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

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