Tag Archive | Thought

Do You Want To Be Great?

I recently heard about the passing of a man to whom I was introduced to a few years ago. We met when I had just created the CYACYL brand and I was unsure about how I would proceed. He had media experience and professional contacts and offered advice and support. He even introduced me to a few people that later went on to become guests of the show.

I was not what one would consider to be a close friend of this man and our contact was limited to sporadic phone calls or periodic emails and Facebook messages, but when we were in communication, he always made me feel like I could accomplish anything. His words were so kind and reassuring and he had such a gentle nature about him that one couldn’t help but be drawn to him.

When I heard that he passed away, and at a young age, I was heartbroken. I couldn’t understand why his death had such a deep impact on me, after all, we weren’t particularly close. Then I realized that he approached life with love and kindness and an open heart. He would do anything he could to help another person, even an acquaintance. He looked for the upside of life and really seemed to savor the moment. He was grateful for what he had and treasured his family and friends. Even during his physical challenges and progressing illness, he was faithful to God. Every time I was around him, even briefly, I left a better person. He made me feel special. I would miss that.

Perhaps Maya Angelou summed it up best when she said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Often we touch others in ways we will never know. A smile, an extended hand, a kind word or gesture, support, an invitation. Simple things in life, that we take for granted, that can mean the world to someone else.

We all have tremendous power over one another. Our words and actions can reinforce the courage to press on or provide one more reason to give up. We can extinguish the flame of pain and suffering or be the one to add another log to the fire. We can offer light in a time of darkness or build another layer to a wall of isolation.

When your life comes to an end, how do you want to be remembered? Me? I want to be remembered as being GREAT because as Mark Twain said, “Really GREAT people make you feel that you, too, can become great.

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If You Have Nothing Nice To Say…

If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. Ah… a mother’s wisdom. I’m sure most of us have been told this many, many times. But, how many of us actually follow this sage advice?

Words are a powerful force and the powerful effects of negative words cannot be underestimated. Words are remembered long after they are spoken. They have the power to destroy one’s self-esteem and self-confidence, making someone feel less than adequate and fearful. Words leave invisible bruises that can last a lifetime.

Most of us understand that negative words hurt, and yet, how many of us actually stop and think BEFORE making a negative or disparaging comment? Do we ever think about the impact our message has on the recipient or is it so important for our opinion to be heard that the consequences are insignificant to  us?

And it is not only personal comments from others that can be damaging.  Being in the company of people who frequently complain or see the bad in everything can be just as emotionally detrimental.  Such people project a negative energy that soon infiltrates everything and everyone around them.

Case in point. My 18-year-old son recently completed a certification course at our local fire academy and is currently working toward becoming a fireman. This is his dream and he is taking the appropriate steps to that end. He is attending college to earn a degree. He has been a volunteer for two years. He strives to learn everything about his chosen profession. After he completed the certification test, I posted on my personal Facebook page about his status. Someone immediately commented that her son took the test a few years back and is number 5,000 waiting for a job. She went on to say that it is impossible to get a job and anyone who goes into the profession is crazy.

I’m not sure why she made that post. Perhaps she was trying to relay information. Maybe she is upset about the fact that her son has not been hired. Maybe she was having a bad day. I don’t know her motive, but I do know that a comment like that has the power to cast doubt in a young man’s mind, cause him to question his direction, and possibly even shatter his dream.  Once a statement like that gets planted in someone’s thoughts, it’s more difficult to stay on course. How often does this happen to you? How often are you the one making this type of comment or how often are you the recipient?

A new year is approaching and this is a time when many self reflect and try to enact positive change. I encourage you to become more cognizant of what you say. Stop and think BEFORE the words come out. You have the power to impact another positively or negatively. You have the power to be a mentor or cheerleader of a dream, or the destroyer. Remember that mother always knows best and if you have nothing nice to say, pray one of my favorite prayers: “Lord, put your arm on my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.”

Live It, Feel It, Believe It

Napoleon Hill once said, “We become what we think about.”

It’s that time of year again when we sit down, pen and paper in hand and make a list of all the things we resolve to change. When we create our list, we are motivated and sure that this will be the year that we will achieve our goals.

“This year I resolve to lose 20 lbs.” “I will stop smoking.” “I am going to exercise every day.” “I will eat healthy food.”

These are noble decisions and we start off with a bang. But sometimes life gets in the way, and our decisions become our burdens. We slip back into our old patterns and what we set out to accomplish gets pushed to the side. We then feel guilty for not being able to achieve our goals, and thoughts of failure set in.

The problem with our resolutions is that they are usually made in response to something negative, such as a bad habit, or poor physical condition, and it is difficult to change a negative into a positive without a strong commitment and determination. It is much easier to move toward something than away from something.

This year, instead of making your usual resolutions, why not try positive affirmations? An affirmation is a positive statement or declaration of the truth or existence of something. Affirmations psychologically condition through repetitive, consistent self-talk. By repeating a positive affirmation over and over, you train your subconscious mind to turn the thoughts into realities. Make affirmations about yourself that will reinforce your intentions and better prepare you to accomplish your goals.

For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be in the present tense, positive, personal and specific. “I am capable of accomplishing any goal I set for myself,”  “I am feeling more peaceful every day,”  “I am learning from my mistakes,” “I eat healthy, nutritious food every day,” are examples of positive affirmations.

Here are a some tips on how to make affirmations:

Determine what you want to improve. Be clear about your goals. Figure out what’s important to you and get to the heart of what you want to create in your life.

Create statements. Put your ideas into a few simple statements that reflect what you want to create. Phrase the statements as if they are already true, not that you would like them to be true. Tell your mind that your desire is actually already the reality. You are programming your subconscious to believe the statements; you’re not trying to want something, you’re trying to make it so.  If you use words like “I will” or “I am going to,” then what you are really doing is postponing the attainment of your goal.

Keep the affirmation focused and realistic. Don’t stretch the idea too far. If you make it too unrealistic your “inner judge” will step in and negate the affirmations.

Keep it positive. Say what you want, not what you don’t want.

Repeat affirmations daily. Say affirmations out loud, in front of a mirror. Write them down and refer to them often. Keep them in a visible place.

My challenge to you is to think about your new year resolution as positive affirmations throughout the year. If you want to lose weight, create affirmations that support weight loss.  If you want to lose 20 pounds and you now weigh 150 pounds, say “I weigh 130 pounds.”  Supplement with affirmations such as “I enjoy eating healthy foods,” “I can sense when I am full and I stop eating,” or “I enjoy walking two miles three times per week.”

In addition, visualize the positive thoughts as if they are already happening. How will you look and feel after losing 20 lbs?  Live it. Feel it. Believe it. You will be surprised how quickly you bring about true change in your life using the power of affirmations.

Happy New Year!