Accentuate The Positive – Day 237 of 365 Days to a Better You

Some 2500 years ago the Buddha, as recorded in the Dhammapada, is said to have articulated the following.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. (Verse 1)

Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm. Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one’s own well-directed mind. (Verses 42-43)

The Buddha’s meaning is quite clear. He was among the earliest to say something along the lines of, “You become what you think.” Then he goes further. He tells us that no outside force can do us as much harm or good as our own thoughts.

This begs the question, “Who controls your thoughts?”

That ought to be 100 percent of time Y-O-U.

The equation is simple from here. Badly as we might want to shift the blame to other people, God, or society; you control your thinking and your thinking dominates your life. I say dominates rather than controls because there are circumstantial exceptions, but not many.

So, what you’re feeling, what you’re attracting, where you’re stuck all follows a straight line back to your thinking. There’s just no way around it.

This isn’t a blame game. I’m not telling you this so you can feel worse about yourself or become defensive. I’m telling you this because your thinking has led you to where you are as surely as the earth follows the sun. If you want to change your circumstances, you will have to change your thinking.

It’s not a replacement for faith or a support system, but those can only help you when you’re thinking is leading the way forward.

Power hack: Accentuate the positive…eliminate the negative.

You may have heard the old 1940s sing titled Accentuate The Positive. The lyric goes, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative…” It’s simple, but profound advice.

When you feel down, depressed, beaten, you can get stuck in an eddy of negativity and there seems like no way out. One negative thought follows another and you start buying into all of it.

When you’re feeling that way, you’ve megadose the positive. Force feed it. Flush out the negative with the positive. Let the sunshine dissipate the clouds. Don’t complain about the clouds. Summon the sunshine.

Easy? No, it’s hard. It sometimes takes every ounce of strength and you may feel oddly attached to your wallowing, but I assure you you can pull yourself out of that ditch when you understand your thoughts don’t just happen.

My wife shared something funny and inspiring today. She follows Rachel Hollis and she now has a tattoo that reads, “Embrace the suck.”

Sometimes we have to do hard things and it sucks. Climbing back to your best self when it’s easier to stay down is hard. But, you are a one-in-a-trillion miracle and totally with that effort.

You’re all the best! Thanks for stopping by and spending your valuable time with me!

Ray

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It’s Never Too Late – Day 236 of 365 Days to a Better You

There are many mental traps you can fall into that can limit your pursuit of your dreams. One of the most common and believable is, “It’s too late.” My goal in the rest of this post is to convince you that’s not so!

25 It’s Never Too Late Quotes

    Who told you it was too late? And more importantly, why did you choose to believe them? ~Richelle Goodrich
    So long as you have courage and a sense of humor, it’s never too late to start life afresh. ~Freeman Dyson
    in the end you are the only one who can make yourself happy. More important, …it is never too late to find out how to do it. ~Ruth Reichl
    No star is ever lost we once have seen. We always may be what we might have been. ~Adelaide Ann Proctor
    As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good. ~Maya Angelou
    It’s never too late to give up what you are doing and start doing what you realize you love. ~Hans Rosling
    It’s never too late. Don’t focus on what was taken away. Find something to replace it and acknowledge the blessing you have. ~Drew Barrymore
    You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis
    It’s never too late to learn. ~Malcolm Forbes
    It’s never too late to mend your ways. ~American Proverb
    It’s never too late to be great. ~Jordan Burroughs
    Remember that it’s never too late and you’re never too old to get the body you were born to have. ~David Kirsch
    I just want to show the world it’s never too late to get your diploma, and show kids they should stay in school and not wait until you’re old to get it. ~Flavor Flav
    I’m living the dream! I just want to tell actors and writers it’s never too late, and it can happen when you least expect it. ~Geneva Carr
    It’s never too late to take your heart health seriously and make it a priority. ~Jennie Garth
    It’s never too late to reclaim your inner diva and reclaim your inner strength. ~Michelle Visage
    Sometimes too late is just in time. ~C.J. Carlyon
    It’s never too late to take another path. ~David Suzuki
    It’s never too late to give up your prejudices. ~Henry David Thoreau
    It’s never too late to drop your beliefs and let your wounds heal. ~Adam Scythe
    There is nothing better in life than being a late bloomer. Success can happen at any time and at any age. You can have a spiritual awakening and discover a new side of yourself. And best of all, love can happen at any age. ~Salma Hayek
    You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from the scratch once again. ~Bikram Choudhury
    Live your life and forget your age. ~Norman Vincent Peale
    Aging is a physical process, but age is a state of mind. ~Ted Smith
    It matters only that you manifest your genius; it doesn’t matter when. It’s never too late or too early. ~Mark Victor Hansen

10 People Who Proved It’s Never Too Late

  1. Satchel Paige – denied his right to be among the elite pitchers in MLB history by the color barrier, Paige threw his first MLB pitch at age 42 and his last at 59.
  2. Laura Ingalls Wilder – the world-famous author of the “Little House” books didn’t have her first book published until she was 65.
  3. Gladys Burrill – competed in her first marathon at 86 and her last at 92.
  4. Susan Boyle – was 47 when she shocked the world on Britain’s Got Talent to become a global singing star.
  5. Peter Mark Roget – retired at 61 and always enjoyed making lists. At age 73, he published one of the most read books in the English language – Roget’s Thesaurus.
  6. Anna Mary Robertson – took up painting at 67 after her husband’s death. When she was 78, an art collector bought all her paintings. They were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She became known to the world as “Grandma Moses.”
  7. Ronald Reagan – while today we think little of a candidate running for president in their 70s, Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 at the age of 69; considered ancient at the time. He’d run for president twice before and failed. He remains the oldest elected president at 73 Years 249 days and oldest serving president at 77 years 349 days.
  8. Colonel Harland Sanders – at 65, a penniless retired small-time restaurant owner took his “secret recipe” chicken on the the road looking for franchisees. The story goes he was rejected by more than 1000 restaurant owners before he found one in Salt Lake City. Within 10 years, Kentucky Fried Chicken became the world’s largest chicken restaurant chain.
  9. Ray Kroc – worked as a cup and milkshake machine salesman. One of his customers – the McDonald brothers – ran a hamburger joint that impressed him. At 59, he bought the company and turned into the world’s largest franchise before his death.
  10. Harry Bernstein – wrote more than 20 unpublished novels. At the age of 97, his autobiographical novel – The Invisible Wall – was published to critical acclaim. He followed that with two more books.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m fresh out of reasons why it’s too late to pursue my dreams. Let’s get to it!

Keep believing in a Better You and a better world, my friends.

Ray

Five Steps to Constant Motivation – Day 234 of 365 Days to a Better You

You often hear sportscasters talk about a team getting “Big Mo” on their side. In that context, they’re referring to momentum. I’m talking about the other “Big Mo” – motivation. If you have the latter, I can practically guarantee you’ll have the the former.

What is Motivation?

It’s an internalized drive that pulls your powers of heart, mind, and body in a purposeful direction. It pushes you toward action and achievement and away from stagnation and procrastination. It’s something within that lights your fire, drives ambition, gives you a zest for life, and provides a reason for getting up in the morning.

Where Does It Come From?

Inspiration. Many use motivation and inspiration interchangeably. They’re similar concepts, but their source is different. While motivation is the internal fire, inspiration is the external spark that lights it. Ate you looking for motivation? The good news is its inspiration can come from a million places – a movie, a book, an experience, a sudden insight, a conversation with a friend. There’s no end to the constant sparks around you ready, as soon as you’re willing, to light that fire inside.

How to Make Motivation Work for You

Great! Now you know what motivation is and where you can dip your candle to get the flame going. How do you use it and keep it burning?

  1. Purpose – undirected motivation is a fire that soon flickers out. You must have a compelling goal that keeps feeding the fire.
  2. Action – stationary motivation quickly fizzles. Once you have a purpose, start moving toward it. Don’t wait. Procrastination is water on your fire.
  3. Goals – your purpose is a big, all encompassing target. Have small, achievable goals along the way towards it. Nothing feeds the fire like success.
  4. Celebrate – celebrate those little successes along the way. This adds incentive to keep acting in the direction of your goals and purpose.
  5. Dream – dream big, colorful dreams that employ as many of your senses as possible. The more senses that are involved the more real the dream. While goals are the intellectual objectives, dreaming is the emotional engine that keeps the whole train moving down the track. It sucks in the inspiration from all around you and keeps pushing you to act.

If you do these five things, rinse, and repeat, you’ll never be unmotivated in your life again.

Have a beautiful and MOTIVATED day!

Ray

Self-Healing Universe – Day 226 of 365 Days to a Better You

We live in a self-healing universe. What do I mean by that? I mean we live in a universe that’s ready to heal whenever you are ready to heal. It’s ready to forgive when you’re ready to forgive. It’s ready to be forgiven when you’re ready to be forgiven. It’s ready release baggage when you’re ready to let it go. It’s ready to change whenever you’re ready to change.

The universe won’t do these things for you, but the very moment you’re ready to allow them, the universe is ready and able to offer a fresh start. You see, every moment has within it the power to change every moment that came before it. It’s just waiting for you to choose the moment to make it so.

Why not choose this one?

Thanks for spending a few of your valuable moments today reading this blog. You ARE awesome!

Ray

I have been adding a lot of new content on my YouTube channel. If you have a moment, please check it out.

12 Pieces of Unwise Conventional Wisdom – Day 222 of 365 Days to a Better You

Axioms, idioms, proverbs, aphorisms; whatever you call them these tiny tidbits of “wisdom” permeate the popular consciousness. Many are very useful. Others, such as those below, offer abysmal and disempowering life advice.

  1. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. This is one of those things a protective mother might tell you to keep you safe. It sounds like risk aversion advice, but it’s worse. It acknowledges that you’re dealing with a person or situation worthy of being called “the devil,” but encourages you stay put because taking a chance on change is supposedly more dangerous.
  2. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln said this one so it must be true, right? Well, it’s pithy and could be true in some situations. However, most people have a hard time finding their voices. They don’t speak up, make their contribution because of fear of appearing foolish. That’s what makes this bad advice. The team, the country, the world is better off when everyone feels empowered to contribute without fear.
  3. Curiosity killed the cat. This is another one that assumes the worst and culls one of our most important traits as humans – our curiosity. Celebrate and be inspired by curiosity. Don’t fear it,
  4. Do as I say not as I do. This one requires little commentary. Never use this in someone else and never let it be used in you.
  5. Do not upset the Apple cart. Um, look around at the world. We need more people willing to upset the apple cart not fewer.
  6. East is east, west is west, and never the twain shall meet. This one is a battlecry for dogma. What is is. There are absolutes that can’t be changed. So why try? Nonsense. Beyond birth and death little else is unchangeable.
  7. You can’t teach and old dog new tricks. This one claims that once you reach a certain age, it’s too late to learn or change or that people can never change. Neither is absolutely true. As long as there’s breath there’s hope. It’s never too late to be the person you came here to be.
  8. All’s fair in love and war. Here’s a mindset that’s simply justification for bad behavior. No wonder relationships are in such chaos in our culture. Love is not a competitive sport. It’s not an excuse to become cut-throat. Aspire to something higher in your relationships.
  9. Every man has his price. This assumes that all people are unprincipled if tempted enough. It also is saying that normalizes this idea.
  10. Fight fire with fire. Here’s the mantra of people content to be vengeful and get even. Consider putting fires out in the world rather than pouring oil on them.
  11. Great minds think alike. I get that this one is usually said in fun when two people have the same thought. In truth, though, great minds think for themselves.
  12. Ignorance is bliss. This is among the most commonly used on this list and among the worst advice. It promotes apathy, disempowerment, and dependency. A strong human being ought never live in more ignorance than his or her seeking to date has left undiscovered.

There are more of these and I may do a second post on this down the line. Just because you’ve heard something said you’re whole life like it’s wise, doesn’t mean it is.

You’re all amazing. Take that to the bank! Have a great Sunday.

Ray

The Power of L.O.S.S. – Day 220 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:
I accept my losses and learn from them! Defeat is simply opportunity disguised as setback.

Many people see losing or a loss as a very negative thing. Like anything else, losing is all in how you look at it. A well-studied loss can be every bit as valuable in our journey as a victory. I’m not saying that losing is more fun than winning or that winning isn’t valuable. Clearly, we all want to win.

The truth is that most winners had to experience losing before they ever succeeded. So what if you chose to look at your losses in a slightly different light? A loss might be seen as Lessons and Obstacles on your way to Stunning Successes.

  • L – Lessons: Losing nearly always provides some lessons and some clues on how to improve. If you pay attention to the things that contributed to the loss, you can apply those lessons to future situations. Given time, you find the winning combination.
  • O – Obstacles – Losses are clearly obstacles. After all, your goal was to win or succeed. However, an obstacle might challenge you to improve or increase your determination to succeed. Used as mental and emotional leverage, a good obstacle can propel you to future victories.
  • S – Stunning – Losing can get you down and make you feel unworthy. In that dark moment of loss, remember to see what a stunning miracle you are. You are a diamond in the rough slowly being polished into something very special.
  • S – Successes – Success is that moment of break through when the journey of loss has been transformed into victory. The lessons, obstacles, and seeing how stunning you are kept you on track to enjoy the sweet taste of success.

So you see a loss is never loss. It’s an opportunity, an invitation to a journey of self-discovery, stretching yourself, and new achievement.

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

Ray