Let Us Strive Higher – Day 90 of 365 Days to a Better You

Let Us Strive Higher

You cannot separate a fish from the ocean. No matter how smart, brave, or tough the fish is, he cannot be healthier than the ocean where he lives. Neither, my friends, can we human beings.

If you look at human civilization in 2019, we still live in a world where the vast majority of people remain in great need of life’s necessities. People walk miles for dirty water to drink or live with little or no power. Even in The United States, the richest nation in the history of the planet, we are still fighting political battles over the basic needs such as healthcare and education for many.

Meanwhile, even the so-called middle class in advanced countries, largely struggles paycheck to paycheck. Sixty percent of Americans cannot afford a $1000 emergency. Maybe they can afford one vacation a year and a few amenities. Half of all Americans die broke.

Why? Why is this still the state of our planet in 2019? Some might point to the greed and corruption of the super wealthy and powerful and that view is not without merit. Others might say the resources of the planet are not divided equitably. They too have an argument.

I’d argue, though, that the number one reason is that we have been sold a bill of goods. We’ve been sold a belief that there is not enough to go around. Resources are scarce. We have been taught to fight like dogs over table scraps.

Generations of this have perpetuated a mindset of abject lack. Whole political and economic movements have grown up around this idea of fighting over scarce resources to the point that we now believe that getting every one up to a “minimum wage” or “basic healthcare” is a stretch goal.

This is utter falsehood sold to win votes and control minds. We live in an abundant world and an even more abundant universe. We have untapped ingenuity and genius that could launch our world and our species into whole new orbits of thought. Why are we aiming for minimums?

It’s a mindset. It’s a destructive mindset. Individually, when you reach for a goal, you’ve been taught to aim higher than your goal so you don’t fall short. To get great, you have to aim for greater.

It’s like the golfer who leaves the tournament-winning putt short. What could be more frustrating than not even getting to the hole and giving yourself a chance?

This is the way we’re thinking in our civilization. It’s the way our leaders and media think. Fundamentally, we believe there’s not enough. “I better get mine before someone else does.”

We live in fear and competition rather than peace and cooperation. We are told these lies and sold these lies over and over again by leaders who either don’t know better or are consciously pushing this narrative forward.

You might tell me, “Ray, my life is good. Yes. I wish things were better, but it doesn’t impact me.” I’d answer you by saying we are like the fish living in that ocean. The world that lives and acts with a mindset of lack and scarcity is an environment that threatens our civilization and its future to the core. It’s especially galling because it’s all so unnecessary.

We have the resources, the technology, and the ideas to make the lives of every human being on this planet better right now…today. That change could shift the lives of most of the 7.5 billion people inhabiting our planet. We can lift the barrios of Manila, the slums of Mumbai, and ghettos of Chicago.

Imagine for a moment the world that is possible when 7.5 billion people all live feeling they have a chance and their basic needs are met. How much wasted talent would we immediately glean to build the next level of our civilization?

Hard to do? Absolutely. There are very powerful forces who have no interest in such a world. Yet, what holds us back is just mindsets and mindsets and can be changed by a whole lotta fish working together for a better ocean.

Let us stop waging a battle for minimums and start creating a world of abundance. After all, it is our ocean.


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The Ultimate Mystery – Day 89 of 365 Days to a Better You

The ultimate mystery…

“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”
~Khalil Gibran

We cannot leave a week of seeking the unknown without addressing the most profound unknown in our experience. Though we’re in these bodies having these experiences for a mere 100 years or less, we become attached. Few people escape the fear of death.

We have many beliefs about death and I’m not asking you to change yours. One thing is clear. None of us absolutely 100 percent knows what comes when we die. Even the most fervent religious believer, if honest, must concede that speculation about death is a matter of faith.

So, what do you do with something so frightening yet so certain? I certainly don’t have definitive answers, but here are some thoughts that I hope will help you.

  1. Be here now and live it fully. There’s no substitute for and no promise beyond this moment. “Do not go gently into that good night…rage, rage against the dying of the light,” wrote Dylan Thomas.
  2. What you believe happens when you die plays a huge role in how you live. We constantly see in our world how beliefs about the afterlife control how people live both positively and negatively. Whatever belief you arrive at, find a way to use it to make a positive contribution while you’re here.
  3. Consider the Gibran quote above. Perhaps life and death are not the separate things you think they are. They may be part of an eternal process you’ve experienced many times. For some, it provides solace that you are an old-hand at this living and dying stuff.
  4. See death as the next great adventure. I’m one of those who loves to put my hands in the air on a roller coaster. That feeling of letting go and letting the ride happen is exhilarating. The life-death cycle could be viewed like that roller coaster. Once you’re buckled in, you’re going to finish the ride. You might as well enjoy it.
  5.  How do you want to be remembered? Live your life moment-by-moment, day-by-day, year-by-year in a way that has an impact on others and the world around you.
  6. “Don’t die,” Wayne Dyer used to say, “with your song still in you.” Do what you came here to do. Be who you came here to be. Then you can go into whatever comes next with a fearless confidence.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his 1933 Inauguration Speech:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Everyone who has ever lived has died. You are no exception, but it need not paralyze you. Let it catalyze you and make you the most amazing person you can be.

Stay inspired!


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Time in a Bottle – Day 88 of 365 Days to a Better You

If I could save time in a bottle…

I want to begin this blog by expressing my sincere gratitude for Laurie Buchanan. We are on Day 88 of this journey together. She has been kind enough to like every single of one of these posts. Please check out her blog Tuesday’s With Laurie.

The late Jim Croce opened his massive 1973 hit song with the words above. Since time immemorial, humans beings have had a desire to stop time, save time, reverse time. This turns into billion dollar industries to make us look and feel younger.

Mark Twain quipped near the end of his life that, “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.”

The great Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon is said to have sailed the world seeking the fountain of youth. Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) stated firmly, “All composite things are prone to decay and pass away.”

Soap Opera aficionados will know this famous opening to the show Days of Our Lives that has been reminding them of the tick-tock of time in its opening for decades.

While quantum theory and other scientific speculation give us hope that time travel may one day be a possibility, time remains an intractable adversary for everything that lives and breathes.

Years ago, I had a fascinating dream. I occasionally have dreams where I’m being shown things and guided by a wise voice. In that dream, I was shown simultaneous images of clocks spinning rapidly into the future, seasons coming, going, and coming again, and a calendar showing years passing in rapid succession.

At some point, the clocks, the seasons, and the calendars began to move rapidly backwards. They passed the present and moved back into the past. I began seeing visions of historic events. The wise voice was telling me this is all an illusion, a facade, literally a stage with us playing roles as Shakespeare described it. The voice told me that time is meaningless beyond the veil of existence, but that it’s part of the game we have all agreed to play by coming here.

The voice informed me that a demonstration was in order. The dream ended with me looking at a panoramic view from a mountaintop. As I watched, reality broke apart like glass shattering into a billion pieces. The pieces rushed toward me in a swarm. I awaited the collision, but they passed right through me. I was left standing in an absolutely pristine white environment. The voice told me that what we call time and reality are all an illusion we create to have a playground for our souls.

Power hack: Ray, that’s all really cool, but what does this have to do with my personal development? Time and it’s drag on us is a universal experience. Its effects can steal our motivation by telling us we’re too young or we’re too old to accomplish something. As we do get older, we begin to lose people, capabilities, and experiences. Because we are attached, it saddens us.

What if you took the wise words of the voice in my dream to heart? What if you realized at a profound level that time and our reality are all a game we have chosen to play? Maybe it’s not all as serious and final as it seems. Maybe the cycle of life is a great teacher allowing you to experience things from different perspectives. Maybe, just maybe each period of our life has its opportunities and challenges that we have the choice to ignore or make the most of.

Although you cannot yet put time in a bottle or stop its flow, you can accept with grace the wisdom you gain as the years go.. You can’t break anything. So have fun!

Stay inspired!


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Thoughts Become Things – Day 87 of 365 Days to a Better You

Thoughts become things!

Though this idea that thoughts become things has been articulated many times, this particular formulation comes from Mike Dooley, best-selling author and founder of Notes from the Universe.

This seems like a simple enough fact. So, why am I posting it on a week when we’re delving into topics about the unknown?

First, let’s deal with the readily apparent but not often discussed fact that literally every THING around you began with a THOUGHT. Heck, most creation stories even say the universe was created with thoughts or words. Consider the implications. Thinking LITERALLY manifests the world around us. How profound is that?

Guess what? We’re all thinkers and we all have that power onboard. So, why didn’t school or Sunday school or the wider culture make you aware of that from an early age? Sadly and frankly, you are easier to control when you feel powerless and weak than if you know you have an innate ability to create the world around you.

So what’s the mystery? The mystery is HOW thoughts become things. This is important. I think you’ll agree that while thoughts do become things not ALL thoughts become things. What’s “The Secret?”

You live in a manifest world of structure and things. However, that can only rightly be said to emerge from a world of formlessness and thinglessness. How do thoughts cross that threshold and how do they become not only things but POWERFUL things?

Thoughts are energy, but they remain neutral energy until action occurs. Action is the mechanism that helps thoughts cross into the physical world. However, that’s not enough to make a big impact. Emotion is the magnifier. It takes the energy of a thought and sends it like a ripple out into the world. These ripples, sent out consistently and with purpose, solidify into things.

Do you remember that idea you had for a cool invention, but you never acted? Then sometime later you saw a commercial for your idea as a product? You had a thought. Maybe you even took some action. However, it was not consistent and sustained enough for it to become a thing. Meanwhile, someone else had that thought, put it into action, and pushed it forward with emotion until it emerged as a thing.

In very basic terms, this is how your thoughts become things. They can be “good” things, “bad” things, or neutral things. The key is they all begin with a thought, are put into motion by action, and are magnified with a powerful positive emotion like belief.

That is how thoughts become things. I’d love to hear your comments or experiences below.

Have an AWESOME day!


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Living in the Gray Areas – Day 86 of 365 Days to a Better You

Gray is the most vibrant color.

We continue talking about dealing with the unknown today by talking about our discomfort with it. Most of our political, religious, and economic systems produce dogmas that attempt to paint this universe as black and white. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As we’ve talked about the past couple of days, we inherently live in a realm of unknowns. Even most of our supposed “knowns” are built on a whole host of unverifiable assumptions. Yet, we persist in this desire to separate reality into black and white.

The gray area is not only our profound reality, if we’re honest. It’s also the most vibrant color available to us. Now I know we usually think of gray as a drab color. However, in terms of living in the divide between black and white dogmas, gray is where all the vibrancy of life lives. It’s where miracles happen and possibilities emerge that simply are not available to us in a black and white mindset.

Some may see the gray areas of life as a danger zone of immorality or a lack ethics. That’s how we often discuss gray areas in our popular discourse. It’s true. That’s a risk in the gray areas of life. Yet, all that is transformative lives there too.

Black and white thinking forever keeps us stuck in our same mindsets with our same problems and our same outcomes.

If you choose to make something better of yourself or your world, you’ll have to become comfortable living in the gray area and seeing it as the only field of pure potentiality available to you. You’ll have to lose your discomfort with it or live pinned to the limitations of black and white.

It may seem frightening to let go of your supposed black and white safety zone. Martin Luther King, Jr. offered some good advice.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Have a FANTASTIC day! Thank you so much for reading the blog!


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