Start

 

 

 

 

 

It is so easy for us to just delay in starting something new by waiting until the time is right. If we take that approach, we often will never get started at all. In my experience I have found that getting started is often the hardest part because I normally like to have the full picture in a nice laid out project plan. Well, life doesn’t work that way. Now if something inspires me, I get started right way.

I actually have about 4 books that are from 60-85% complete. I would get an idea and just run with it. If I took time to think it through and complete a full plan on it, I would not have started and wouldn’t have several books close to being completed.

I believe it is always best to plan so don’t get me wrong there. I am talking about inspiration. Early on in my  life I would be inspired to do something, start something, create something only to not get started because I couldn’t see the full picture. Not any more.

“All Glory comes from daring to begin.” Eugine F. Ware – from Daily Positive Points 1/9/15

With peace and gratitude,
Bill

 

At any single moment, our lives can change and we are put directly on the high-speed freeway to success. Any day, any moment. How about today? – Daily Positive Points 1/8/15

NewBeginnings

NelsonMandela2Give the gift of literacy and reading this year… one book at a time we can change the world.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Nelson Mandela.  Let’s continue Mandela’s vision.

Our world is a better place because of Nelson Mandela.  Forgiveness. Hope. Acceptance. Peace. Community. Empowerment. Literacy. A few of the many global changes that Nelson Mandela inspired.

Literacy is not just about the ability to read and write.  It is also about having the skills to understand what you read, communicate with others and engage fully and confidently in life’s activities and opportunities – at work, at home and in the community. (ABC Life Literacy).

Please consider donating your old books to charities that can benefit from them. Especially children’s books. For middle class kids, they have on average 12 age appropriate books. However, for the underprivileged kids, they have 1 age appropriate book for every 300 kids! WHOA! We have to do something to address that.

If you are interested to see how you can help with this, please send me a direct message. Maybe we can collaborate to make a huge difference this year in children’s lives.

With peace and gratitude,
Bill

LetgoI started working on building a powerful and unbelievable 2015 at the start of the year.  On my previous blog post, I listed some things I would work on for this year.  I have been keeping a nightly journal of three distinct areas: 1) What have I learned? 2) What successes I had that day & 3) What did I do to serve others?

As I was thinking about these things today, I realized that I need to also work on keeping my ego in check.  I regularly try to remind myself of this but I am sure I forget way too often.  So this year I am making it my intention to “Let go of my ego!”

I pledge this year to not take things too personally as well as becoming aware when my ego shows up.  It certainly sounds easy but I believe through awareness I can make a major positive shift in my life this year.  I believe that we should always be working on ourselves but also not to overdo it.

If you ask these three questions each night to yourself and journal it, amazing things will happen in your life:

  1. What have I learned today?
  2. What successes have I achieved today? (sometimes just getting out of bed is an achievement!)
  3. What did I do to server others today?

Let me know what you think and if you start asking yourself these questions.  Here’s to a breakthrough in 2015!
Love and gratitude,
Bill

 

2014 is finally over and it got me thinking. What would 2015 be for me? Do I have a choice in what I experience? Of course I do and you do too!

For the past week I have been thinking about resolutions and what new things I want to experience in 2015. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” That quote has been on my mind for the past week. It got me thinking about what am I planning for 2015.

 

Here are a few ideas I came up with:

  1. Create a “Success & Knowledge Journal” – This is a journal that I will have by my bedside and I will journal each night something that I learned that day. At the end of each month, I will review the items on the list and pick out the top 3 items. From that list, who knows what I will do but I thought it would be fun to make sure to learn something new each day.
  2. Acknowledge my Successes – Each night, I plan to list at least one success of the day. Acknowledging our successes allows us to experience more successes because we are constantly focusing on what we have achieved.
  3. Create a “One Word 2015 Summary” – I have decided to pick one word that will summarize my 2015 year. The word for me is “Breakthrough.”
  4. Practice Visualization Daily – With my One Word 2015 Summary, I am creating an electronic vision board. This vision board will be titled “Breakthrough” I will leave one section of it open so I can put the top 3 successes of the month. A new vision board will be created each month as a result.
  5. Spend more time with family – It is easy for us to get so focused on our goals and sometimes, it can control us. I plan a year of balance and success.

What is your One Word 2015 Summary? What do you plan on doing in 2015 to make it better than 2014? The key is to move forward and I look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

With gratitude and peace!
Bill

Help

One person takes their own life every 40 seconds, equating to 803,900 deaths across the world every year, according to the first World Health Organization report on suicide prevention released today. “Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative” calls for co-ordinated action to reduce suicide worldwide.  Click here to read the full article.

This piece came as a surprise to me, but a welcomed one. Awareness is so critical to start making changes. We can no longer stand on the sidelines ignoring this growing epidemic.  803,000 deaths a year, really? Sure we hear about the celebrities like Robin Williams committing suicide but what about all the others?

I highly encourage you to go to the Stand for the Silent website and check them out. Be sure to click on the “Our Story” link and read some of them. It is simply heartbreaking but at the same time, we must take a stand for love, forgiveness, empathy, and acceptance.

We all can and do make a difference in the world. Awareness is one of the keys but action is what sets things in motion. Take a stand. Stand for the silent. Please.

With gratitude and peace,
Bill

While the past can be a predictor of the future, it doesn’t have to be that way. The past will predict our future when we are not aware enough of our past experiences to learn from them.

I believe that the universe has a funny way of predicting the future. We are all given tests throughout our lives and if we fail those tests, we get to repeat them over and over again until we learn the lesson hidden inside. The good part of this is that we are given endless opportunities to make different choices.  The bad part is that we are given endless opportunities to make different choices. If you are stubborn like me, you get to repeat them lots of times.  However, that was before I started looking at every setback as an opportunity for growth. Almost immediately I started passing those tests and haven’t had to relive them again.

So, how do you not repeat the past? Here are a few tips to get you on the right track for creating a future filled with love, joy, peace, and happiness.

1) Inventory Your Past – Take a few minutes to identify as many setbacks as you can. After you make that list, look for the hidden message held within. Just writing the setbacks down can be liberating as it is acknowledging that there is an opportunity for a lesson to be learned. If you look at the situation long enough, you will see the opportunity.  If you are struggling with finding the opportunity, ask the following question to yourself, “What lesson is in this [situation] for me?”

2) Look for Repeats – After you make a list of the setbacks, take a few more moments to see if they are related to others on the list. I can almost guarantee that there will be. For me, I had a job when I was in college and had a lady there that was negative and challenging. I changed jobs and sure enough, the same person appeared, just a different face. After several years struggling with that relationship, I got a new job in a big city. Within a couple of months, sure enough, the same person appeared in my life. Although she had a different name and face, the traits were identical. I decided to do something different this time and as a result, that personality hasn’t shown up again since and it has been over 16+ years!

3) Change Your Beliefs – A lot of times I see that that the lessons to be learned involve our negative self-limiting beliefs. I wrote an entire blog post about that one and you can click here to go to that post for several ideas about how to change beliefs.

4) Practice Forgiveness – The main reason we are put on this earth is to practice forgiveness. If you think about it, there are many opportunities for forgiveness every single day. When you look at a struggle, offer forgiveness versus blame. When you offer forgiveness, remember to offer forgiveness to yourself. When you do, your life will open up in ways you never thought possible.

5) Take the Kindness Challenge – One way I have been able to change my future is to practice kindness regularly. I even schedule on my calendar! I also update the Kindness Challenge on my website so click here to check out the latest Kindness Challenge. You can log them into your very own kindness meter and are also offered over 200 kind deed suggestions when you register for a free account.

The key to a successful and happy future lies within our ability to acknowledge the past, look for repetition in setbacks, change our beliefs that hold us back while practicing forgiveness daily. Once you have those mastered, practicing kindness daily helps to keep you creating a new, powerful future filled with love and happiness.

With peace and gratitude,
Bill

Today I write about a deadly serious topic: FUN! Our society has gotten so caught up with itself that we have robbed our lives of one of the most important reasons to live! When the fun is gone from work, from our private lives, and from our relationships, we are left with a dry, barren, soulless existence.

The word “fun” comes from the same word that means “fool” today. We have to release our inflated egos and make room for a little tomfoolery on a regular basis. Otherwise, we risk serious physiological and psychological health issues!

If you need a little help thinking of ways you can inoculate yourself against such risks, read on, friend!

  1. Don’t believe the propaganda.

Good healthy fun isn’t just for the young and doesn’t involve a reckless party. Put aside all thoughts that you are too old, or too ANYTHING for that matter, to have fun. Take it easy on yourself. We actually do redefine fun as we mature, so no excuses!

  1. Infuse your life with little moments of joy.

Subscribe to a joke of the day email, wink at your significant other from across the room, make a funny face for a kid when no one is looking, pinch your partner’s posterior when washing dishes, etc… The whole idea is to make ordinary things special, such as adding candles to a weeknight dinner, blasting your favorite tunes and singing in the shower, etc… You get the idea! These little habits of lightening our lives add up and create a happy life.

  1. Get creative!

By that I mean create something, anything. You don’t have to be a master woodworker for this. Just lighten up and make something. You can write, finger paint, cook, make sock puppets, draw faces on all the oranges in the fruit bowl, etc… Don’t make it anything that makes you feel pressure to perform. Just explore your own personal desires and have a great time!

  1. Hang out with kids!

There’s nothing more fun than “borrowing” youth for a while! Get over yourself and get in touch with your inner child every now and again. I recently spent some great times with my nieces and nephews just watching some hilarious videos! The kids cracked me up as they belly-laughed their way through them. (Check out the videos here.)

  1. Play with your pet!

There is nothing in my life that makes me laugh on a more consistent basis than my dog. She is so hilarious and is filled with such personality that I just can’t help but stop what I’m doing and play with her. If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting one. If circumstances won’t allow you to have your own, you can become a part-time pet owner! (Read more here.)

  1. Play with other people.

Plan a game night with friends, challenge your spouse to a game of Scrabble, get some neighbors together for a card night, play Grand Theft Auto with your brother, etc… Don’t make it a big ordeal, or it’s not fun anymore. Just get together with some chips and dip and let the games begin!

  1. Learn a little.

It doesn’t take long to learn a little something. Spend time learning something new by taking an interesting community ed class at the recreation center, watch a TED Talk while waiting for the bus, or feed your mind in 5 minutes while standing in line at the store. This form of fun can take you wherever your want it to go!

  1. Plan a family fun day.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to plan a great time for your family. Many cities have lots of information online about free stuff to do, and you can create your own adventure too! Try letterboxing, or make your own scavenger hunt. You can pick your own produce, put on a play, make homemade pizza and rent a movie, pack a picnic, camp in the backyard, plan a holiday celebration, plant a garden, etc… The possibilities are endless! And don’t forget to involve the kids when you’re deciding what to do. They’ll have super ideas!

  1. Join a local club.

My wife would really enjoy being in a book club, but I would have more fun joining a photography group. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s FUN and, again, adds no pressure to your life!

  1. Change up your workout routine.

Instead of endless hours on the elliptical machine indoors at the fitness club, mix up your routine by throwing on the headphones and enjoying nature at a nice clip. Instead of lifting weights in a sterile gym, do some indoor rock climbing. Any way to make working out more fun is a bonus in my book!

bonus4smile
The benefits to relaxing and taking a break are mind boggling. Research has shown that regularly taking a break and enjoying the moment has amazing health benefits when practiced regularly. Some of the benefits include strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure, lowering fatigue, lowering your heart rates, eliminating stress and so much more. With the July 4th holiday coming up this week in the USA and Canada day on July 1st, I wanted to offer some ideas on relaxing that you could incorporate into your lives this week.

5 Tips to Relaunch Relaxation in Your Life

  1. Breathe “Responsibly” – Sure, breathing is an unconscious act but breathing on purpose has huge benefits. Taking deep breaths help oxygenate your blood, relieves tension, helps to deal with pain, detoxifies and releases toxins and so much more. One way that I have found that helps me the most is to practice meditation daily. It helps me clear out the clutter in my mind and enjoy the moment. Plan to schedule time to breathe deeply or meditate daily.
  2. Visualize Often – Taking time to visualize what you desire is one of the key ingredients to success. It often provides me clarity when I am searching for an answer. I will visualize the end outcome I want and a lot of times I get a new, great idea that I can implement to make it happen. Take deep, slow breaths and enjoy the visualization knowing you are planting seeds of life’s coming attractions!
  3. Disconnect from the Grid – I learned this lesson when on a short vacation a couple of months ago. I did not bring my computer and chose to stay off my phone for several days. I can tell you that I haven’t been that relaxed in ages. If you feel it is necessary to keep up with social media, work emails, etc., just plan a set time to do this and walk away when you are done. Constantly checking your mobile device can actually cause tension and frustration. Turn off your phone, set it away from your hands reach or put it on silent and enjoy the moment. Take a few deep breaths and
  4. Naturally Nature – One of my favorite things to do is to go outside and enjoy nature. No plans, just observe. Sometimes I like to take my camera and take photos of the beauty around me and it always feels refreshing. Remember to breathe in the peace and tranquility of nature and exhale stress and negativity.
  5. Practice Kindness – I realize that this one might seem like a stretch for relaxation but what I am talking about here is to practice a random kind deed and immediately after, soak in the goodness of the moment. Breathe in kindness and exhale unkindness and negativity. You can even participate in the Give A Little Love Kindness Challenge going on right now!

Enjoy your day and your week. Practice at least 2 to 3 of the tips above and take note how well you feel after each one. Make it a daily routine and enjoy it. Don’t waste time making it a “to do” but rather enjoy the moment each time you practice the tips.

With peace and gratitude,
Bill

 

Isn’t it interesting that when your mind is focused on something you get to experience it almost immediately? Well, it sure happened to me this morning. Yesterday I issued the “Give A Little Love Kindness Challenge” so opportunities to offer kindness is my focus right now. I had a great opportunity to offer kindness and as I reflected on it, I realized there were some similarities.  Let me explain.

This morning I went to work out at the club at 6:00 AM. I finished up in time to catch my wife before she left for work but on the way home something changed that. On the opposite side of a red light, a lady in a truck was stalled. She got out of the truck, let people know behind her that the tuck wouldn’t start. When I got the green light to turn, I pull into a bank close by to see what I could do to help. As I approached her, I noticed that she had a toddler in a car seat and was worried with him being in the stalled car. I told her that I could try to push it to a side street to get it off the busy main 6 lane road.

She was very grateful someone stopped to help her but it got better. As I was standing there I saw a car pull over. 3 Hispanic guys came running over to help. With their help, we were able to push the car into the gas station and out of harms way. They drove off and we thanked them profusely. It didn’t stop there though. The lady did not have her purse with her so she did not have a phone. I let her borrow mine but didn’t connect with anyone. I then got her truck to start and offered to follow her home to make sure she and her child were safe if it stopped running again.  Then I noticed it was spraying transmission fluid. Smoke was pouring out but I also noticed it was running hot. I told her it was too much of a risk to try to drive it home.

I then offered to give her a ride home. She accepted so I went into the gas station to let them know that we were leaving it there but someone would check on it later. I could tell that the lady was about to lose it so I let her know that I had been in the same situation many times. I let her know that my wife’s car had broken down before and had to rely on strangers to help when I couldn’t get there. We talked all the way back and upon leaving, she said, “I cannot thank you enough. I don’t know what I would have done if you didn’t come along. I wish I had something to give you.” I immediately said that even if she had, I wouldn’t have accepted it anyway. I told her that maybe the truck needs a little TLC and would be up and running in no time.

What I find interesting is that another time when I issued a Kindness Challenge, I had a kindness opportunity involving a car.  It was a flat tire that time. (See that blog post by clicking here) The funny thing is that it was also auto related.  I now know where to go to practice “automotive” kindness and maybe you can go there too. It is at the Shell gas station on 2499 and Sagebrush. Maybe I will see you there!

Kindness_Opportunity

With peace and kindness,
Bill