Keep On Running – Day 284 of 365 Days to a Better You

A diiferent form of this post originally appeared on this blog in March 2009.

Saturday was beautiful Spring-like day in the Kansas City area. I took my beautiful black lab Mia for a walk. We live next door the elementary school here and between the school and us is a baseball field.

There was a kickball game going on as we passed by. I paused to watch for a few minutes. It was a mix of adults, little kids, and littler kids – probably a family get-together of some kind.

As Mia and I stood there, one of the smallest kids stepped up the plate. The pitcher rolled the ball and the little boy kicked with all his might. The ball dribbled slowly toward tbe third base. The little boy was chugging down the to first base for all he was worth.

The third baseman fielded the ball and tried to hit the little boy with it to get him out. The ball missed and rolled behind first base.

At this point, chaos broke out. The little boy stopped at first momentarily and then people started yelling, “Run, run, run.” He took off for second. As he neared second, people started yelling, “Stop, stop, stop.”

Another fielder threw the ball trying to get the little boy out at second, but missed again. The ball rolled away from the fielder. Now people were yelling a mix of, “Run, run, run” and ”Stop, stop, stop.”

The comedy of fielding errors continued and the little boy, no longer listening to the mixed shouts coming from the crowd, forced the issue by rounding third and heading for home.

The ball arrived to the catcher too late and the little boy dove into home plate head first and scored.

I took this as a metaphor. The little boy, through all the chaos and the advice from the divided experts, just kept on running. He wasn’t really paying attention to what the fielders were doing with the ball. He seemed to be locked in on one idea – scoring that run. He kept on running!

How often, as you try to achieve your goals in life, do you have people telling you, “Do this” or “Don’t do that?” Do you let it stop you and knock you off course or do you keep on running? It’s easy to get stalled listening to the experts or worrying what “the fielders are doing with the ball.”

Take it from this little boy. Ignore the chaos and stay focused! Keep moving toward your dreams. I’m not saying experts can’t be helpful and I’m not saying ignore other aspects of your life. I am saying that when you have a goal or a dream your job is to keep on running.

If you do, you’ll be sliding into home plate with a big score as well!

In case no one else reminded you today, you’re AWESOME!

Ray

Ray
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Making the World a Better Place – Day 283 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation

My world is what I make of it and I choose to make it a compassionate place to be!

Has the world gone nuts? It seems so some days. Thankfully, you need not wait for change to occur in the world. You can start right now to create a more sane and compassionate world in the ways you touch it.

The simple things are still the recipe for greater happiness.

  • Treat others with kindness even when they don’t return the favor.
  • Only use what you need.
  • Maintain a measure of mindfulness with regard to your thoughts and activities.
  • Join with others who share your hope for a better, more evolved world and take the first steps today.
  • Smile, lighten up, have fun, and enjoy your life on this beautiful world and in this marvelous Universe.

Take the Ten Commandments, The Golden Rule, the Five Precepts of Buddhism, or other ageless tenets and try living by them. Not under the commandment of any God, religious organization, or out of fear of punishment, but out of a recognition that they make rational sense and create a better world.

The philosophy you hold – Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu – is not what is ultimately important. What is important is being the most ethical, compassionate Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist you can be and the world will be a better place for it.

During his 1989 visit to Los Angeles, The Dalai Lama said, “We don’t need temple, we don’t big Cathedral. We need warmth of heart. We, each of us, have a responsibility to shape the future of humanity. So let us try and contribute as much as we can.”

You have the power right now to do the good that you see needs doing in the world. Certainly, collective action by a group is important, but your actions or inactions in your life today affect the world around you in big ways. Never underestimate yourself and your power to influence things.

  • If someone cuts you off in traffic, don’t respond with anger that puts negative energy out into the universe. That helps.
  • Not giving in to your own prejudices and weaknesses that contribute the problems in the world. That helps.
  • Going out of your way to be friendly to a stranger just because. That helps.

There is no end to what you can do that will make the world a better place.

The problems we face in the world are a result of our interpersonal conflicts and our own internal conflicts projected out onto the world. If you do not address the anger and fear you feel in your own heart you will only be bandaging the problems of the world.

With just a little effort today, you can make all the difference!

In case no one else has told you today, you’re AWESOME!

Ray

Ray
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Take Your Own Wise Counsel – Day 282 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s affirmation: I am a vast source of wisdom. I am a wise counselor. I have the answers within me.

Here’s something to stick in your back pocket today. You know an amazingly wise and perceptive person who is always ready and able to provide you fantastic advice. Fortunately, you have access to that person 365/24/7. I’m talking about you, of course. You’re a wise old owl.

“Me?” you say. “I’ve got lots of challenges I can’t figure out. How can I help myself?”

Don’t be so quick to discount yourself. It’s all a matter of perspective. You need to step outside your challenges, put on your wise counselor’s hat, and analyze your situation like you are a friend or a family member coming to you for advice.

You’ve played that role many times in your life. With some detachment, you’re amazingly wise, stunning insightful, and brimming with compassion.

Give yourself the benefit of that sagely master within you. What would you tell a friend to do in your situation? What would you caution him or her about? How would you encourage your friend?

You’re much more critical and cynical when dealing with yourself. Lend the wisdom and compassion you’d show someone you care about. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by this powerful internal resource walking around in you all day long.

In case no one else has told you today, you ARE amazing!

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Ray

Ray
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Break Your Own Habits – Day 281 of 365 Days to a Better You

If you’re not careful, life can become one big habit. If you’re not careful, life can become one big habit. If you’re not careful, life can become one big habit.

To choose, is a sacred human right. Yet, scientists estimate that 95 percent of human thinking is unconscious. Why do you drive the same route to work each day? Why do you watch the same shows every week? Why do you always order the same thing every time you go to that restaurant?

You might answer because that’s the fastest way to work, I like those shows, and that’s my favorite dish at that restaurant. Maybe, but do you feel that easy groove you’re in? Do you feel how doing the same thing day after day becomes a habit you don’t even question?

Did you consciously decide to drive to work that way again today or did your body just get up and do it?

Sometimes there’s value in changing it up just for the sake of changing it up. Sometimes there’s value in watching a different show or ordering a different meal just to be consciously choosing instead of letting habit take over.

It prevents you from just living a life that you chose years ago and keep repeating and puts the power to choose your life now back in your hands.

If you always go right, try going left. Break the mold your life has gelled into and re-choose your life again.

The result will be not only a greater diversity of experience, but a greater feeling of ownership for right now.

In case no one has told you today, you ARE amazing!

Ray

Ray
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Make Money Serve You – Day 280 of 365 Days to a Better You

It’s been well-noted that our primary educational does a rather poor job of teaching people about money. This leads many people to reach adulthood and be very vulnerable to getting neck deep into credit card problems and failing to begin saving.

We are a spend, spend, spend culture. We’re taught that stuff can satisfy us. We’re often far down the road to debt before we realize it’s not true. Some never learn and continue to try to fill empty spaces in their hearts with more stuff.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-stuff or anti-abundance. I think the desired state of human civilization is a permanent state of mental, spiritual, and material abundance that finds balance with the earth. That should be the goal our civilization is working toward.

As usual, I believe the wisdom that’s needed to begin this shift in your life starts with thoughts and words. There’s plenty of professional money advice out there to help you actualize a shift in your relationship to money.

I’m going to share some #RayQuotes and affirmations that I hope will begin to shift your mindset and make you think more deeply about your relationship to money and stuff.

  1. Beware of the tyranny of stuff. Have stuff, but don’t let stuff have you.
  2. Money is my tool. I am NOT money’s tool. Money serves me. I don’t serve money.
  3. Refuse to live as a debt slave. Debt free is just plain free.
  4. I am smart with my money. I commit to my #budget and I stick to it. I set clear financial priorities and I stick to them. My financial health gets better every day.
  5. Today I am making peace with money. I know it’s a renewable resource. I know there is enough for me.
  6. My financial situation has a lot to do with choices I’ve made. Choice by choice I am gaining control of my finances.
  7. Money is just paper. Economies – global and personal – are built on mindsets not paper.
  8. I release my fear and anxiety about money. I know I can always get more.
  9. I refuse to be caught up in the consumer culture. I buy what I want and what I need. I’m unconcerned with keeping up with anyone else.
  10. I save first, spend next, borrow little.
  11. Maybe not right away, but your dreams can definitely pay the bills as well as a job. Throw yourself into them passion and persistence and you turn them into a money-making business. Put your soul into your goal and your outcomes can become incomes.
  12. Having multiple streams of income is the surest way to secure your financial future. Company’s diversify for this reason and so should you.
  13. My personal economy is robust and resilient!
  14. My talents and skills are UN demand. I am recession-proof!
  15. I am abundance always and everywhere.
  16. Money serves me. I don’t serve money.
  17. I am financially independent!
  18. I am heir to an abundant universe. Today I claim my inheritance.

Now is the moment to be smarter with your money. Now is the moment to invite abundance into your life. Now is the moment live the life you deserve.

In case no one else tells you today, you ARE amazing! Have a great day, my friends.

Ray

Ray
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One Strike Zone or Having a Moral Compass – Day 279 of 365 Days to a Better You

Whether you believe in astrology or not, I am the very embodiment of my sun sign. Being a Libra, I’m cursed with the perpetual need for balance, justice, and fairness. I mean, heck, our symbol is the scales, right?

My brand of justice is not harsh or judgmental. It is, however, fair to a fault. I call it having one strike zone. Others might call it having a consistent moral compass.

In the games of baseball and softball, there’s something call a strike zone. It’s the rule-defined area above home plate and between the knees and shoulders of each batter where a strike will be called on the batter whether he swings or not. It’s the same for each, batter based on his or her height.

I use a similar principle when I evaluate ideas, political positions, or moral actions. My strike zone for your words and actions is the same whether I like you or agree with you or not. My strike zone isn’t expanded for people I like and contracted for people I don’t. My view is that would be gross hypocrisy on my part.

Experience, though tells me not every operates that way. For many people, it’s hard to separate their personal feelings about a person or idea from the person or idea. Further, they tend to give those they like a massive ethical strike zone, while granting opponents a tiny or even non-existent strike zone.

You know these people. Their religion has all the truth. Their political party is always right and virtuous and the opposition party wrong and evil; even when we’re talking about actions that are precisely the same. The call that goes against their sports team is always wrong and the one that worked in their favor is always right.

You must know that for we Libras, this is practically human malpractice. LOL. Beyond my personal distaste for the inability to be objective, in keeping with my Libra credo, it’s very damaging to our society and out individual lives.

This mindset allows:

  1. “Our” corruption to persist, while “Their” corruption is pursued to the bitter end.
  2. People to be harsh, cold, and uncaring about people not in their circle of agreement.
  3. Us to miss good ideas and adopt bad ones because of WHO proposed it.
  4. Division in a way that makes dialogue, compromise, and resolving big issues nearly impossible.

Sound like any society you know? All of this occurs in an environment when people see only sides and feel a need to defend their side even to the point of absurdity, while attacking the other side to the same extreme degree.

My goal is not to point fingered in this post. If you’re a Libra or Libra-like in this way, you’re probably not contributing to this. However, if you see yourself, your social media interactions, or personal interactions in what I’m saying, I’d humbly ask you to reassess.

It doesn’t mean you have to lose your passion. I’m one of the most passionate people I know. I simply refuse to allow my passion to stop me from seeing the other sides in a debate, giving them their point while taking mine, and working toward harmony and solutions instead of just another partisan argument where tired old talking points are trotted out in lieu of working toward an answer.

One strike zone…it’s where justice, integrity, and ethical consistency hang out. If you’re not quite there now, it’s a very worthy aspiration.

In case no one told you today, you ARE amazing!

Ray

Ray
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You Do You – Day 278 of 365 Days to a Better You

Oscar Wilde was a 19th century social commentator known for his sharp wit and keen insights. He rivals Will Rogers in the number of approachable pieces of wisdom.

Among my favorite Wilde quotes is, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

BAM! Please, please, please don’t spend your life trying to please others. You’re not made of rubber. Don’t twist yourself into unnatural shapes trying to fit in. Never spend days, hours, or a lifetime wishing you were someone else – taller, smarter, richer, or better looking.

You’re a once-in-a-universe miracle. I think that makes you pretty damn special and worth being yourself.

Here are some original quotes and affirmations I’ve coined over the years to help inspire you to simply be you.

QUOTES

  • It costs nothing to believe in yourself and everything not to.
  • Be yourself! You bring unique gifts and perspectives to the table necessary for the very functioning of the Universe.
  • Fame? Anyone can become famous. Now, greatness – there is an aspiration!
  • Your greatness is revealed not by the lights that shine upon you, but by the light that shines within you.
  • In a world that works so hard to churn out conformity, the courage to be yourself is revolutionary.
  • See your greatness and help those around you to see theirs too.
  • Let your greatness not your doubts have the last word.
  • Lean into your greatness today.

AFFIRMATIONS

  • Right here, right now, I make a stand for who I am.
  • I may not be perfect, but I am always awesome.
  • Today I am absolutely committed to being the person I came to this planet to be!

Shine on, my friends, shine on!

Ray

Ray
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