Christmas Spirit – – If You Can’t See It, Does It Really Exist??


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It is again that time of year, when hopefully during the Christmas holidays we are full of thankfulness and goodwill toward men.
There are those among us who see no real use for not only the Christmas holiday, but this spirit of gratitude and helping others. Their argument would be that they had no reason to celebrate, either the religious holiday or any reason to be more grateful and considerate of others at this time a year than any other.
I have generally found that those who make this argument display neither goodwill nor gratitude at any other time of year either.

In my opinion these folks lead lives that could best be described as” quiet desperation”. Something has hardened their hearts in their life, and they are not about to let any of us change that. They have generally become so accustomed to their inner torment and misery that should Santa Claus himself appear at midnight in front of their fireplace they would probably chased him off with a baseball bat.

However, for the rest of us Christmas represents a time of year to look upon others with compassion, friendship, and goodwill. We become reflective concerning the really important” gifts” life has given us, family, faith, freedom, food, shelter, and true friendships. These things will not appear in neatly wrapped packages under your Christmas tree, but they are the single most important” GIFTS” you will ever receive any time.

The plain and simple truth of the matter, if you want to be happier and more successful all year round, is to carry gratitude for these true gifts with you the other 11 months of the year.
Have a Merry, Merry Christmas, and may God bless your house and all who dwell within.

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Why Having More is Not Always Happiness..


blessed

Often today I meet some people who seem to be very unhappy with their lives. They feel they have not accomplished enough, have not advanced in their careers to where they think they should be, and often feel that their income or finances are not what they should be.
I always ask the same question,” If you are not happy now with what you have, what makes you think you will be happier with more?”. Many of these people have blessings that others only dream about but they continue to feel unfulfilled and unhappy with their life situation. If the purpose of your life is only to acquire material and monetary things, and the lack of these things makes you unhappy on a consistent basis, as Zig Ziglar used to say” I’m pretty sure you need a check up from the neck up”.
” Happiness” is something that each and every one of us determines for ourselves. Unfortunately our society today is based on comparing what we have with what others have. The problem here is many, many times the people we are comparing ourselves to are  more unhappy, even with all they have, then we pretend to be for not having it.
Being grateful, or as I like to call it” The Attitude of Gratitude”, can instantly make life seem more fulfilling. There are many things that position, power, and money can’t buy, and here is a list of just a small portion of these things;
Good Health, True Friends, Respect for who you are as a PERSON, a clear conscience, a good nights sleep, a loving spouse and family, peace of mind, good memories, the satisfaction of helping others, the beauty of the world that surrounds us, true life-sustaining faith,  a life legacy based on the gratitude others feel for you, not from the power or money you obtained; but rather leaving others lives better than you found them, freedom, good manners, true joy in accomplishment, and last but not least true emotional love.
Perhaps if we all learned to start our day, and sustain our day, with constant intermittent thoughts of these blessings, and the many more I did not list, no matter what our station or situation in life, I think we would all be instantly much happier.

God bless your house, and all who dwell within.

 

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Forgiveness vs. Redemption


sorry

We all make mistakes, to be honest, I can spend the rest of my life blogging about the ones I have made, it is inevitable and a part of life. We make mistakes in our careers, at our jobs, and we make small ones several times a day everyday.
Concerning our jobs and careers, let me make this very clear, there is a difference between an honest mistake and outright incompetency. Persistent and prolonged incompetency usually comes from either arrogance or a sense of entitlement. There is no cure for it until the underlying causes are removed, which in the case of arrogance rarely ever happens.
The most important mistakes we made concern our relationships, both with friends and family. We will make them, again it’s just a part of life. Some will be inconsequential while others can be devastating to ourselves and others.
The path followed by most is” I’m sorry, please forgive me.” For some people this becomes a mantra, a crutch, and excuse to keep making the same mistake over and over. Eventually, the listener becomes immune to this and will either break off the relationship or become heartbroken and depressed or in some cases irate and furious.” I’m sorry, please forgive me” has little or no meaning after being repeated over a long period of time.
I believe in these situations, this” excuse” is used due to a weakened or lack of character and integrity. If you are truly” sorry” the next thing that should be said is” how can I make it up to you, what can I do to make things right?”.
This is the first step in seeking not forgiveness, but redemption, but it will mean little or nothing if not followed by actions to regain trust and respect from the person or persons we had wronged.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of stories of people who have made mistakes and redeemed themselves. Being human, we all love these stories because we know in our hearts that we too will eventually make serious bad decisions that lead to some form of serious mistake. We love the stories of redemption simply because we hope we will have the character and integrity to redeem ourselves when it happens to us.
God Bless your house and all who dwell within. Thanks for reading…

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We Have Stopped Talking TO Each other


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I was thinking today, over my first cup of coffee this morning, that one of the great problems we ALL face today is the simple fact that we had stopped talking TO each other and have begun talking AT each other.
This has become a problem not only in our personal and professional conversations, but also in our national dialogue in everything from politics, science, religion, etc. etc. Today, when someone expresses an opposing view we seem to want to reply not with the facts supporting our position, but rather with innuendo, sarcasm, and in some cases just out right vile and vitriolic commentary.
As Voltaire once said, “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” We need to stop the name-calling, idiotic sarcasm and start listening to each other with the intent to understand rather than the intent to reply with sarcasm and the vitriol.
I do not remember anywhere in history where a conflict of ideas arose where it was settled with sarcasm and incivility. No solutions can ever be reached in this kind of atmosphere. Vile and highly sarcastic language only leads to hatred and others taking an even harder stance against those with opposing views.
In my opinion, while I believe this country was founded on freedom of speech, I do not believe it was founded on freedom of sarcasm and incivility.
” God bless your house and all who dwell within”.

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SENIOR LIFE LESSONS


Color Pro PixHere are 10 lessons that I have learned over the years. Some of these were hard to learn, they came from failures, and some come from just plain common sense.

1. Nobody can” make” you happy except yourself. You can decide to be happy or miserable, the choice is yours not anyone else’s.

2. Integrity and personal responsibility will never go out of style, contrary to what we see on television and the news every day, people who have integrity and take responsibility for their lives instead of blaming everything and everybody else for their failures will always be successful.

3. NO is not always the wrong answer. One of the greatest things I have learned is that no is a suitable answer when you are unable to do something or it goes against your ethics and morals. If you learn to say no under these conditions you will be a much happier and contented person. In most personal situations there is no explanation needed after using this word.

4. Gratitude equals happiness. To put it very simply, if you are not satisfied with what you have now, what makes you think you will be satisfied with more?

5. Life is not easy. Anyone who tells you it is, is lying. Life is also not fair, the best advice I can give here is get used to it.

6. Your priorities and will in general determine your happiness and success. What you think is important when you are young will not seem so with age. At a certain age you realize relationships and memories are far more important than careers and money.

7.People are never against you, they are simply FOR themselves. Most people want what you want, but they wanted for themselves. To be successful you must convince them to your way of thinking either through greed, responsibility, duty, or passion.

8. Listening with the intent of understanding will get you farther than speaking without thinking. Most people listen with the intent to respond rather than the intent to understand.

9. No one constantly wants to hear your problems. To be frank, 80% of the people you tell your problems to don’t care and the other 20% are glad you have them.

10. Finally, the most important lesson of them all. The sum total of your life will not be measured by your bank account, your fame, or your power. You will be remembered for those you loved, and those whose lives you touched and made them better. It really is that simple.

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Points To Ponder For Millennials And Others


Time gone by

I was reflecting this morning that I am truly getting older, and hopefully somewhat wiser. I know this because;

I can remember a time when politics was not all about money and power, sometimes opposing parties got together just to pass legislation because it was the right thing to do,re: Medicare, Social Security, Civil Rights, Domestic Abuse laws, etc. etc..

I remember a time when politicians of opposing parties referred to each other as my” Honorable Opponent(s)”, not as Republicans or Democrats. I remember a time when Presidents of the United States reached across the aisle for cooperation from their opponents instead of holding press conferences to downgrade and demean them.(Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson). There was a time when, even though all politics is partisan, politicians of both parties would come to the realization that in the end that finding a solution to problems was much more important than constantly blaming their opponents.

There was a time when supporting our young military servicemen and women was considered a duty of citizenship, not an option. Military service was considered a revered occupation, and those that served, whether short-term or chose military service as an occupation, were looked up to as heroes and were to be repaid generously for this service.

There was also a time when divorce was not the first, easy, most convenient option whenever troubles and problems of any kind appeared in a marriage. Troubles and problems in marriages were attempted to be fixed, not terminated. Material things were not thrown away because they were broken, the first and foremost option was to have been fixed if possible. I wonder sometimes in today’s world if we will ever get to the point that when a car has a flat tire, instead of fixing it, we just go buy a new car.

In the not-too-distant past, there was also civility people displayed even toward those who disagreed with them. People respected those with differing viewpoints from their own, and in general the rule of the day was” mind your own business”. Young people were taught that there was a connection between money and labor. Money did not magically appear as a “generous allowance”, the principal that this younger generation was taught is that if you want money, labor of some kind was involved in acquiring it.

In this bygone era people took responsibility for their actions, both as individuals and parents. Parents did not blame the schools for the bad behavior of their children, they placed the responsibility for poor behavior both on themselves and their children. These children of this past era were taught principles of, respect for others, responsibility for themselves, and bad, unacceptable behavior comes with the consequences, sometimes dire consequences, if the behavior was considered dire enough. Young people were also taught the values of education, faith, love of country, and self-reliance, and in order to get ahead, and to become successful involved hard work, education, and self-responsibility, not reliance on the government, physical violence, or the use of a weapon.

I suppose the pity of this is that this bygone era that I speak of was really not that long ago. The societal evolution of which I speak has been within the last 30 to 40 years, maybe even within the last 20. But I will give this advice still to all the younger people who happen to see this post, the principles that I have outlined from the past are still the best way to succeed in all phases of your life. Don’t accept the societal trends that are being placed on you today, rather, take a few lessons from your not too distant society’s past, and turn these divisive, detrimental trends around.
God bless your house, and all who dwell within.

 

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The “Perfect” Job


Dream jobFirst of all let me state that I am not trying to dash anyone’s dream, nor put down the idea that it is good to work in a position that allows you to feel joy in your accomplishments.

I wish this post to be somewhat of a reality check for younger,(and I mean anyone under 50), who is been drinking the Kool-Aid of some of the new age gurus in the bookstores and on television. I know this will come as a shock to many of the twentysomething generation, but there is absolutely, positively no ” perfect” job.

If one were to listen to many of the new age gurus and authors one might think that there are these so-called perfect, dream jobs, and all that is required is perseverance to find them. Frankly, nothing could be further from the truth.

The next shock that I’m about to deliver is that the main purpose of work is to earn money, not to feel enthralled in ecstasy because you have a job that you feel is so self -satisfying you don’t care if you get paid or not. Things you will need over the course of your life will include a home, health insurance, probably an automobile,clothes,(unless you intend to run a nudist camp for a living), money for retirement, unless you intend to work till you drop, leisure money,etc. etc. and food.Should you be so inclined as to want a family, you can double or quadruple the money you will need to simply live life and raise your family.

I have been watching with growing interest in the statements and writings of some of these wonderful, new age, pundits and advice “experts” who seem to think that life is all about petting the unicorns, finding the leprechaun with a pot of gold, and going through life depending upon the presence of fairy dust to solve most of life’s problems..While it is a good thing to find satisfaction in your work, work exists simply to allow you to do the same.

All jobs and positions are simply an exchange of talent or skill, or time for a reward of money. The money, for most, will allow them to pursue the most important aspects of life which are the enjoyment of your family, and by this I mean spending time with them, pursuit of all different kinds of hobbies, and the satisfaction that life offers simply through these experiences.

I will hear the argument from many that money isn’t everything, and this is  true. The argument some will give is that” money is the root of all evil”, however what the Bible really says is that the love of money is the root of all evil, and this also is true. Another truism was stated many years ago by my friend Zig Ziglar, who stated” money isn’t everything in life, but when you really, really need it, it’s fairly close to oxygen.”

The final truism of life that I will relate to you is this, even if you find a job that you absolutely positively love and it pays more than enough for you to fulfill most of your basic life wants and needs, at some point you will have to deal with coworkers, or other people in this position and you will find them very, very difficult to love, or in some cases even tolerate.. The one thing that you can be sure of is that if something seems to be perfect, somebody, somewhere, sometime will find a way to either find fault with it, or paraphrasing what we used to say in the service, they will mess it up beyond all recognition.

While I’m not trying to burst the bubble of the younger generation, I really do think it’s time somebody started telling them the real purpose of a job or career in their lives. I don’t mean to give the impression that work cannot be satisfying, rewarding and downright pleasant most of the time. Perhaps the best way I can explain this is to always keep in mind that work is exchanging your time and talent in one way or another to receive enough money to pursue what is really important in life and that is family, faith, inspiring and helping others, and probably most important, the time to ponder and appreciate the true gift that the creator has given each of us – – – a chance.
God bless your house and all who dwell within.

 

 

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