Rock Chalk, Jayhawk. KU! – The Affirmation Spot for Friday January 4, 2008

Today’s affirmation is:

“My ability to believe is the only limit on my success.”

mangino_orange_bowl.jpgIn one of the great rags to riches sports stories of the year, the Kansas Jayhawk football team completed a storybook 12-1 season last night with a 24-21 “upset” over perennial power Virginia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

 The story is truly inspirational. It about a group of under-recruited players who came together as a team and created something greater than the sum of its parts.

As a proud KU grad, I normally have to wait for basketball season to have something to cheer about. Not since 1969 had KU even played a football game in January or in a major bowl. Never  in 100+ years of football had the school won 11 games in a season. Never had a KU team made it to a BCS bowl game.

2007 was different. The Jayhawks began the season with big blowouts over lesser opponents. Many criticized the non-conference schedule as soft and it took the poll voters time to believe in this team. I understand because it took me until last night to really finally believe in them.

Surely, many thought, they will start losing when they reach Big 12 play. Only the Jayhawks kept rolling along. Piling up win after win against teams used to counting KU as a sure victory on their schedule. “Well,” the non-believers argued, “they didn’t have to play Oklahoma, Texas, or Texas Tech.” True enough. The KU schedule benefited from not having to play these teams.

The problem with all this naysaying is that many KU fans can remember when there were no sure wins on the football schedule. They played “lesser” opponents and struggled or lost to them. A game against KU was an opportunity to pad the statistics for the Nebraskas, K-States, Oklahomas, and Texas’ of the world.

This year the Jayhawks beat K-State for the third time in four years after 11 straight losses. They pummeled Nebraska 73-39 in a game that surely sealed the fate of Nebraska coach Bill Callahan.

Sixth year coach Mark Mangino was simply following the game plan of mentor and former Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. Play the games your scheduled to play and win them. Beginning in 1989, Snyder created another Kansas football miracle when he took the lowliest football program in college football history – K-State – and turned them into perennial contenders for Big 8, Big 12, and even national titles.

And now the student has achieved something similar down the road in Lawrence. There is another Kansas college football miracle in the making.

One word characterizes this year’s KU team – BELIEF. They believed in themselves and each other when no one else did. The pollsters did not believe. The media did not believe. Even many KU fans, myself included, were slow to believe.

But Coach Mangino, his coaches, and the players never stopped believing in themselves. That is the key to every success we ever have in life. Every great endeavor attracts a chorus of naysayers telling us it cannot be done. If you undertake an endeavor, you can count on it. As long as WE BELIEVE, anything is possible.

Afterall, people told the Wright Brothers they would never fly. People said TV was a fad. People said we could never go to the moon. People said KU could not beat a team like Virginia Tech. People are often wrong, but our belief that we can acheive some goal is never wrong.

As you begin to pursue your goals in 2008, you may encounter the naysayers. When you do remember the KU football team and keep believing.

Be peaceful Be prosperous.

Ray

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Iowa, New Hampshire: Paul and Kucinich – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday January 3, 2008

Today’s affirmation is:

“I simply will not settle for less than truthful, honorable leadership ready to make positive change in the world.” 

kp.gifWhen you look at most positive thinking blogs around the Internet, you find that they tend to focus only on the glowingly positive. We do a lot of that here on this blog as well. It is important to see the positive and focus on manifesting more of it.

However, there is nothing more positive or empowering than the truth. Ugly as it may be sometimes, no real growth can happen in our lives or in the world until we build it on that foundation.

As the 2008 election cycle approaches, America is facing some daunting challenges. While health care, the war, and the economy are all key issues, the biggest issue facing Americans is a corrupt establishment in serious need of reform. This establishment – long deaf to the needs and will of the American people – needs a serious wake up call.

This establishment crosses party lines. To deal with it, we must move beyond the belief that George W. Bush is the antidote to Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton is the answer to George W. Bush. As long as that paradigm ensnares us, we are caught.

Far from finding a way to end a war the American people have clearly turned against, the establishment continues to seek excuses to expand that war. Those who thought electing establishment Democrats to replace establishment Republicans would address this issue have been sadly mistaken.

The establishment routinely skews inflation numbers (and other numbers). The government claims that inflation has been steady at  2-3% per year when every American who owns a home or a car, buys groceries, or pays a bill knows this is ridiculous.

That housing boom? Did we forget there were buyers on the opposite end of that “growth in housing prices”? That was inflation. Have your health care cost only risen 2-3% a year over the past 10 years? How about gas prices or food prices?

Why does this happen? Because Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, welfare benefits, and other obligations are tied to the “core inflation rate”. This ever-fungible number determines cost of living increases for these groups. However, the establishment plays fast and loose with these numbers to keep this rate down. The result is that some of the most vulnerable among us have seen their effective purchasing power plummet because of this fiction.

Not to mention the fact that wide admission of the real inflation rate and steady erosion of our dollar’s buying power actually might stir even the apathetic masses to action.

Then there are trade deals that send jobs overseas while establishment leaders tell us this is wonderful for us; as former Commerce Secretary Don Evans did in 2004. There are talks about unifying North America and, eventually, all of the Americas in an EU-style union. Is anyone asking you about that? Do you get to vote on it?

Most troubling, our establishment seems to view the Constitution as an obstacle to be navigated around rather than the chief law of the land and the abiding wisdom of our system.

Assuming you could even find an establishment journalist who would ask these questions, try asking Rudy, Hillary, Mitt, Barack, John E., John M., or Mike about these issues and you are likely to get hemming, hawing, and a rapid change of the subject. They will not look you in the eye and deny any of it. That would be foolish. They will just pretend it doesn’t exist and hope you will continue to do the same.

WE NEED POSITIVE, REAL CHANGE.

Iowa and New Hampshire offer the first opportunity to send the message loud and clear. I’m not talking about a protest vote. Protest votes are as meaningless as the pundits say. I’m talking about striking a blow for real change in this country.

Whatever you thought of Ross Perot he definitely shook the system. However, his revolution was built around a cult of personality and Mr. Perot’s wallet. The establishment absorbed that blow and moved on.

Fortunately, voters in both parties have candidates they can turn to in this election cycle. Men who understand that the way to deal with a corrupt establishment is not to bow to it, but to challenge it. Men who speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Ron Paul on the Republican side and Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic ballot are these two candidates. The establishment media regularly ignores, chides, and belittles both men. That should tell you something right there. They have both endured ridiculous Ad Hominem attacks designed to undermine their viability in the eyes of you – the voter.

Keep in mind that the establishment media is working overtime to craft your view of these men as crackpots with no chance of winning. That is a bold-faced attempt to steer your vote away from your conscience.

While their political philosophies differ significantly on the role of government, both recognize the key issue I am discussing today. They understand that The USA Patriot Act and the Bill of Rights are not on the same page. They understand, as George Washington warned in his farewell address, that foreign political entanglements are a dangerous business for a republic. They recognize that government is deciding what is best for the people rather than the people deciding what they want from government.

All positive thinking, empowered individuals must think long and hard before they cast their ballots in 2008. Do we elect another establishment candidate because they have a D or an R after their name? Do we listen to the promises before they are elected or look at the actions after? George W. Bush claimed he was against nation-building in 2000, but look what he has done. Hillary Clinton claims to be against this war and the domestic abuses, but has voted for every one of them.

Do we elect people simply because they would be the first from some group or gender to become president even if they are sure to continue these policies? Is that sound reasoning in these tumultuous times? 

Enough, I say. There is no positive way forward by continuing to elect people who put empire and their power ahead of the constitution and the will of the people.

Kucinich and Paul are not supermen. They are flawed human beings with flawed policies. They say stupid things sometimes, but they are saying and doing what we need leaders to say and do right now – they are telling the truth. As unpleasant as some of it may be, the truth is a necessary starting point for our road back to sanity.

Iowa and New Hampshire, you’re up. You get to set the tone for the rest of this primary season. Are you going to be the seed of hope and change or the enablers for establishment candidates committed to “steady as she goes”?

Live up to your reputations as the bedrock of American politics. Get out there and start the ballot box revolution. Vote for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

Be peaceful Be prosperous.

Ray

Making the Most of Each Day – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday January 2, 2008

Today’s affirmation is:

“I make each day a unique and special time in my life.”

solar_system2.jpgOur lives are about more than our jobs, our roles, our tasks, and our responsibilities. Each day of our existence has some unique place the tapestry that makes up our lives. If we’re not careful, we may just miss the meaning.

It’s easy for days to slip by in our lives without us taking notice. Giving each day a special meaning is one way to keep that from happening.

Over the years, I’ve used a number of strategies to add meaning to each day. My favorite is to assign a positive attribute to each day of the week. This is not necessarily a novel idea. In the western world, the days of the week are generally named for the known celestial bodies and the god associated with that object. 

In English Sunday is Sun-day. Monday is Moon-day. In French, Mardi (Tuesday) is Mars-day, Mercredi (Wednesday) is Mercury-day, and Jeudi (Thursday) is a translation of the Latin Jovis (Jupiter) or Jupiter-day. Saturday in English, obviously, is Saturn’s Day.

You can do something similar to add meaning to each day of your week. Try associating a positive emotion, attribute, or thought for each day. As the week’s cycle through, you will find that you look forward to focusing on the meaning of each day. The theme for each day becomes your own private meditation for the day.

You can associate anything you want with each day. The goal is to embody or focus on that attribute as you go through the day. The concepts should resonate with you and your life, but here is an example to give you some ideas.

  1. Sunday – theme your Sundays as “rebirth”. Since Sunday is generally viewed as the first day of the week it makes sense to use it to focus on something like rebirth. It is wonderful to have the opportunity start fresh every so often. Once a week is perfect.
  2. Monday – try theming Mondays as “happiness”. Monday is a depressing day for many people because it is the first day of the work week. Try countering the negative connotation by focusing on happiness all day.
  3. Tuesday – try theming Tuesdays as “peace.” Tuesday as the second day of the week.
  4. Wednesday – try theming Wednesdays as “overcoming”. Wednesday is often viewed as the middle of week – “hump day”. Capitalize on that idea by focusing on overcoming obstacles and challenges on Wednesday.
  5. Thursday – try theming Thursday as “faith” or “belief”. You may focus on your religious and spiritual beliefs or belief in your abilities or your future. Giving one day a week to this topic keeps you grounded in what is important to you.
  6. Friday – try theming Friday as “development”. We always need to be moving ahead in our lives. Having one day a week where we focus on our development can help.
  7. Saturday – try theming Saturday as “completion”. Since Saturday is the last day of the week it is ideal for highlighting the idea of finishing tasks or bringing aspects of our life to completion.

Other possible themes include hope, forgivness, relaxation, joy, frugality, learning, or love. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination.

Coincidentally, there are seven days of the week and seven colors in the rainbow. You might alos try associating a color with each day/positive emotion to create additional significance. 

Create calendars (regular or cyclical) that detail your themed days of the week. As the weeks pass, you begin to look forward to your “day of peace” on Sunday or your “day of take it slow” on Saturday. Try writing a more detailed descriptions of what each day means to you and how it contributes to your life.

Be creative and have fun with it. Maybe you make every Monday “laughing day”. You learn to laugh at yourself and others for taking life so seriously.

Most importantly, you will add significance to each grain of sand slipping through your 2008 hour glass. By the end of the year, you may find your life has more meaning.

Happy New Year. Thank you to each and every one of you who reads this blog, downloads affirmations, or takes a moment to write a kind word about what we are trying to accomplish at The Affirmation Spot.

Be peaceful Be prosperous.

Ray 

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Reflections on 2007 – The Affirmation Spot for Monday December 31, 2007

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Enjoy today’s post.   


Today’s affirmation is:

“I give up the old and gather its wisdom as I pursue the opportunity of the new.” 

newyear.jpg2007 is about to pass away and give way to 2008. The passing of one year into the next is another manifestation of the eternal symbology of death being the source of new life.

New Year’s Eve is a day to look forward to a new year. Everyone is excited and filled with hope for a fresh start. It is also a day for reflection. In the rush forward, you may forget to appreciate the blessings and lessons gained in the passing year. I hope you will take a few moments today to reflect on the wonderful things that happened for you in 2007.

Here are a 10 ideas for remembering the good, the positive, and hopeful from 2007.

  1. Growth – think how you have grown as a person in the past year. Consider all the new things you have learned about the world, about yourself, and about this crazy journey called life.
  2. Challenges – think of the challenges you faced and overcame this year. Remember how courageous and strong you are when you need to be. Use that strength to face new challenges.
  3. Dreams – think about the dreams you dreamed this year. Continue pursuing the ones you have begun to follow. Renew your commitment to pursue the ones that never got started.
  4. Lessons learned – think about the life lessons learned or relearned in 2007. Be grateful for the benefits these lessons bring to your life.
  5. Entering people – think about the new people who came into your life in 2007. Be thankful the gift of their friendship and for the possibilities opened for the future. 
  6. Exiting people – think about the people who left your life in 2007. For whatever reason, your time with them is at an end or at least a standstill. Remember the joy of your time together. Use what you learned from the relationship to be a stronger person.
  7. Career – think of all you accomplished on the job this year. Think how your career moved forward in 2007. Think about the opportunities now open to you as a result.
  8. Spirituality – think of the spiritual growth you enjoyed this year. Forgive yourself the faults and focus on how you have improved. 
  9. Worries – think about the things you were worried about this time last year. How many of them actually happened? How many can you actually even remember? Let this be a lesson for the worries you hold going into 2008. Worries seem bigger than they really are. Many melt away in the heat of the day.
  10. Connection – think of the times this past year when you felt connection – to other people, to nature, to ebb and flow that is life. Remember the peace, the quietude, the knowing you experienced in those moments. Make it a goal in 2008 to bring more of those moments into your life.  

For good or ill, 2007 is the most recent foundation for the rest of your life. It now has the greatest influence on the path your life is following.  If it has launched you into a future that enthralls you, bless it. If it was a difficult year, mine its gold today and move on.

We humans have this tendency to speak of “the good old days”. Stripped of the struggles and stresses of the present moment, the past always seems golden. 2007 is about to join the ranks of “the good old days”. Why not remember the good while it is still new?

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray 

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The Affirmation Survey Update

Saturday greetings –

 Just wanted to update you on the current results from our affirmation poll. I am conducting this poll as part of the research I am doing for a book I am writing about affirmations. The survey currently consists of 10 questions.

Here are some of the interesting results thus far. Click the link below to take The Affirmation Survey.

Take the survey right now.

 

If you use affirmations or other motivational products on a regular basis, which of the following best describe when and how you use them? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Before an activity (game, sales call, speech, etc.) 43%
Driving 21%
Evening 19%
Exercise 15%
Meditating 20%
Morning 64%
Praying 18%
Relaxing 27%
Working 6%

What format(s) do you usually use to get your affirmations or other motivation? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Audio – CD 23%
Audio – Download 21%
Books 39%
E-mail Messagelf 20%
Verbalize to Self 45%
Write and Read 16%

Which areas of your life have you used or would you consider using affirmations to improve? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Career 36%
Health and Well-Being 68%
Hobbies 17%
Learning/Education 9%
Personal Empowerment 51%
Relationships 19%
Religion/Spirituality 50%
Sales 34%
Sports 28%
Wealth and Prosperity 24%