This Is The Most Wonderful And Difficult Time Of The Year

This is the most wonderful and yet difficult time of the year.   We are celebrating new births, anniversaries, family, friendships while others are grieving the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a home and are living in the midst of depression.   If you are at a good place in life and experiencing joy and happiness today, you are truly blessed and have much to be grateful for.   If you are trying to survive each day or if you are fighting to cope with loss of any kind or you can’t raise your head above water, I have nothing but compassion for your pain and you have my prayers.   So, as you are busy buying gifts for your family and friends, don’t forget to remember those going through a difficult time in their lives.

Christmas is not so much about opening presents as it is opening our hearts.  An open heart will propel you to think of others. An open heart will cause you to be kind.  A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.  An open heart will allow you to be patient in every circumstance and stop you from judging others based on their outward appearance.  An open heart will force you to go out of your way to help another person.  After all, we don’t remember days – we remember moments.  We will remember the moment someone noticed that you had a need and they did something about it.  The best Christmas gifts are not material things but gifts of listening, of showing kindness, of remembering, of visiting, of forgiving and giving of your time.  A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.  You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.  The happiest people are not those getting more, but those who give more.

As we give presents at Christmas, we need to recognize that sharing our time and ourselves is such an important part of giving.  Money can be given but people need you to love them.  So spread your love everywhere you go. Mother Teresa said “it’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”  Give this Christmas without a thought of getting something in return.  Enjoy the happiness you will see on the faces of people who receive a gift from you.  This is the true Christmas spirit.  Christmas is a time for forgetting about self and finding time for others.  When you give of yourself, that’s when you will feel the true spirit of Christmas.  Don’t wait for other people to be loving, giving, compassionate, grateful, forgiving, generous, or friendly – you lead the way.   This Christmas be the best giver you can be and make this world a better place than it was before.  May you receive all the love and happiness you deserve and may your future be filled with joy, peace and love.

Merry Christmas

 

What Are You Focused On?

Do you want to be happy?  Let go of what’s gone and be grateful for what remains. Look forward to what lies ahead.  Many people live in the past and ignore the important people, places and things that are right in front of them.  It’s like they are walking forward but their head is looking backward.  Their focus is all wrong.  They are looking in the past and are not open to new experiences and opportunities. To be happy learn to focus on where you are going instead of where you have been. Focus on what you have and not what you don’t have.  Focus on what’s right in the world instead of what’s wrong. Remember, whatever you focus upon, increases. When you focus on the things you need, you’ll find those needs increasing.  If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don’t have, you will soon be concentrating on other things that you had forgotten you don’t have and feel worse.  If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose but a grateful attitude brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but building the new.  Stay focused on your goals, your peace and your happiness.  Don’t waste your time on anything that doesn’t contribute to your growth. Stop worrying about what you have to lose and start focusing on what you have to gain. Be happy with the little you have.  There are some people with nothing who still manage to smile.  Every second you spend thinking about what you don’t have in your life is keeping you from focusing on what you do have.  Every hour you spend thinking about the past is an hour stolen from seeing the possibilities that your future does hold.  So, ask yourself, “do I want more of THAT” before you give it any of your attention.

You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.   Do not let your past rob you of your future.  Each new day is a chance to make a new beginning.  Whatever you focus on only grows stronger. If you want to change anything, focus on what needs to be done to change things for the better.  Don’t focus on what is not working in your life.  When you focus on problems you will have more problems.  When you focus on possibilities you will have more opportunities.  Don’t think about what could happen in a month or in a year.  Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you, and do what you can to get where you want to be.  Even if the path is a little blurry, keep walking until your goal is visible once again.  Just never quit and never stop walking.  Focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.  Results happen over time not overnight.  Work hard, stay consistent and be patient.   Stay focused on what lies ahead and not on what lies behind.

How Patient Are You?

Have you ever had an experience where things didn’t turn out as you had expected?  We want to make things work as per our plans but life is not always the way you expected it to be.  No one knows what is going to happen in the future.  We wish for only good to happen but we all know that isn’t reality and it will take patience to get us through everything that does and doesn’t happen according to our plans.  As virtues go, patience is a quiet one.  It’s often displayed behind closed doors, not on a public stage. In public, it’s the impatient ones who grab all of our attention: drivers honking in traffic, grumbling customers in slow-moving lines.  Having patience means being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity. So, anywhere there is frustration or adversity, and that is nearly everywhere, we have the opportunity to practice patience. Patience isn’t always easy and that’s why it must be practiced.

Sometimes, no matter how much you want things to happen, all you can do is be patient and wait.  Good things come to those who wait. It might take a year, it might take a day but what’s meant to be will always find its way into your life.  Sometimes God will give you exactly what you wanted just to show you it’s not at all what you need.  Sometimes you just have to stop worrying and doubting.  Have faith that things will work out maybe not how you planned but how they were meant to be. You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are still thinking about yesterday.  Life is not about living in the future or in the past.  Life is about accepting the present moment. Sometimes what we want doesn’t happen when or how we want it to but that doesn’t mean the answer is ‘no’.  It just means ‘not right now’.  Be patient because the best things happen unexpectedly. Some things take time.  Stay patient and stay positive, things will get better.

Patience is a form of wisdom.  It demonstrates that you understand the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.  You will get there when you are meant to get there and not one moment sooner so be patient and wait.  When what you want doesn’t happen, learn to want what does happen.  Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you imagined.  You know great things are coming when everything seems to be going wrong.  Great faith is the product of great fights.  Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests.  Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.  The secret to being patient is focusing on the hope and not the doubt.  The longer you wait for something the more you appreciate it when you get it.  Everything worth having is definitely worth waiting for.

Two things define you – your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.  Patience is an important tool in overcoming frustration.  Patience allows us to suspend judgment long enough to make informed decisions, thus paving the path to a happy and peaceful life.  Practicing patience in everyday situations—like with our punctuality, our driving or just standing in line at the grocery store will not only make life more pleasant in the present, but might also help pave the way for a more satisfying and successful future.  Anger and stress are two things that are enough to ruin a person’s health and patience is the antidote to both these illnesses.  Being patient, you can overcome any challenging situation in a better way.  Remember, patience is more than having the ability to wait.  Patience is having a good attitude while you wait.  Purpose to practice patience daily especially during this time of the year. Patience – use it before you ‘lose’ it!

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

Some of us are afraid of flying.  Some of us are afraid of mice. Some of us are afraid of public speaking.  Many of us fear cancer or some other debilitating disease.  There’s also the fear of failure or insignificance.  On and on it goes, the list of fears and phobias like anxiety and worry, which tend to come from the inside and mostly never happen but they’re still fears, nonetheless.  Fear is one of the most basic problems we all have to face and overcome . The goal is to not allow fear to hold you back from experiencing life because the fears we don’t face become our limitations.

Don’t be afraid to dream, live or love.  Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.  Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  There will be times when everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  You may feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  Sometimes things have to go very wrong before you arrive at the life you were meant to live.  Therefore, you might have to go through your worst to get to your best you.  Opportunities wait for no one.  You must not be afraid to grab one as it passes by.  If you don’t take the risk, you will never know how great it could have been.

Don’t be afraid to change.  You will lose something but you just might gain something better.  See your life as a photo; touch up the edges, adjust your tone, blur out the background, cut out the people who no longer play a role in this season of your life.  Thank the people who walked into your life and made it better, and be thankful for those who walked out but played a part in making you wiser.  It’s ok to fail.  If you are not failing you are not trying.  You gain strength, courage and confidence by standing up to fear, looking it straight in the face and saying “I can do this!”

Courage doesn’t mean that you never get afraid.  Courage means that you don’t let fear stop you.  Don’t focus on what you are up against . Focus on your goals.  Every day is a new day and you will never find happiness if you refuse to move on.  Learn from the past but focus on the opportunities you have today.  How will you ever know if you made the right decision if you never make it?  Don’t try to understand everything.  Some things happen that you will never understand and are meant only to be accepted.  When was the last time you did something for the first time.  There is no substitute for experience.  To get it you must try it.  It doesn’t matter what others are doing.  It only matters what you are doing.

Find balance in your life.  Work hard but don’t let work over take you.  Know that you are worthy to having your dreams.  Don’t be afraid to dream.  You may not know what will happen, when it will happen or how but it will never come to pass if you don’t first believe.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  You are unique and here for a purpose.  You are irreplaceable.  Embrace change.  Embrace life.  Happiness is achieved when you stopped waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are now in.  Don’t be afraid to fail. Instead be afraid of not trying.  There is even some good in failure because the feedback you get will help you to succeed the next time. Your new life is going to cost you your old one! It doesn’t matter how many times you don’t succeed.  Listen to that small voice inside of you that says ‘you are not done yet; get back up and try again,’

Be Thankful Every Day For Everything

The day before Thanksgiving, a guy in Phoenix calls his son in New York and tells him, “Son, I’m really sorry but I have to tell you that your mother and I are splitting up. We can’t live with each other anymore.”  The son is distraught and shouts at his father, “Pop, what are you talking about?”  The father replies, “It’s just that we can’t stand the sight of each other anymore and I’m sick of talking about this, so will you call your sister in Chicago and tell her?”

The father than hangs up, and the son frantically calls his sister, who’s equally distraught and exclaims, “Like heck they’re getting divorced! Leave it to me. I’ll take care of this.”  So she calls her father and shouts at him, “You are NOT getting divorced! Don’t you dare to do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t you dare do a thing about this. Do you hear me?”  She then hangs up, at which point the father hangs up his phone, turns to his wife and says, “Okay dear, they’re both coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.”

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Don’t forget what Thanksgiving is all about. Reflect and be thankful for all that you have in your life. Today you didn’t wake up cold and hungry but someone else did. Never forget that no matter how hard your life is it’s still harder for someone else out there. Be thankful for the things you do have instead of complaining about the things you don’t have. Life is a gift. Wake up every day and realize it. Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all of the time. Happiness is about loving what you have and being grateful for it.

Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday. Every morning you wake up is the first day of the rest of your life. Be grateful for whatever your circumstances might be. What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday? Life is a series of tiny miracles. Notice them. Choose to be grateful. Even the worst day is better than no day at all. Don’t get so busy adding up your troubles that you forget to count your blessings. Don’t be negative when you have so much to be positive about. It’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s the thankful people who are happy.

Your life may not be perfect but be thankful for everything you do have. You have too many blessings to be ungrateful. Never let the things you want make you forget the things you already have. Appreciate the people in your life. Tell them why you adore them and how grateful you are for what they add to your life. The best way to keep amazing people in your life is to show them your gratitude and let them know that they are appreciated. Don’t assume that they know. Tell them.  Appreciate those who love you. Help those who need you and forgive those who have hurt you.

Be thankful for what you are now and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow. Be thankful for your struggles. It is because of them that you stumbled into the wisdom and strength that you now possess. Gratitude is one of the most important human virtues but it is not developed without practice. You have a choice every single day to be grateful. Be thankful for those protecting your freedom who have given up their freedom and will miss being with their families this holiday season. You may not know them but you benefit from their sacrifices.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don’t know something for it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be grateful for the difficult times for it is in those times that you grow. Be thankful for your limitations because they give you opportunities to improve. Be thankful for your mistakes because they will teach you valuable life lessons. Be thankful for your troubles because sometimes they have a way of becoming amazing blessings. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present but not giving it to the one it is for. Gratitude is a shortcut to finding peace of mind. No matter what is going on in our lives there is always something to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are You Motivated?

The road to your dreams will not be easy.  Progress isn’t always a result of a straight line nor is it a smooth path.  The road to success is filled with mountains to climb, obstacles to overcome and such hard times that it will make you feel like quitting.  Success is a slow process but quitting won’t speed it up.  Just remember that anything worth having doesn’t come easily.  There is no elevator to success – you have to take the stairs.  Persist.  You will not feel motivated every day so you must learn to be disciplined.  If you want to be successful, the fire inside of you must burn brighter than the fire around you.  Babe Ruth said ‘it’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. ’ Every accomplishment starts with the decision to never give up.  If you already know what giving up feels like, begin again and see what it feels like to not give up.

The best project you will ever work on is yourself. You must push yourself because no one else will.  Stop saying ‘tomorrow.’ Tomorrow won’t make any difference if you are not motivated today.  You future is created by what you do today.  Do you have a vision?  If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t motivate you.  Seek to inspire people and then get ready for the day when someone tells you “because of you I didn’t give up!”  Every “pro” was once an amateur.  Every ‘expert’ was once a beginner. It takes a dream to get started, a desire to keep going, and determination to finish.  Don’t be left regretting the chances you didn’t take.

Great things never come from comfort zones.  Doing your best is more important than being the best.  The greatest fear we have is the opinion of others.  Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless.  You are far too smart to let you be the only thing standing in your way.  Losers quit when they fail.  Winners keep failing until they succeed.  Don’t stop just because you are tired.  Stop only when you have succeeded.  The one who falls and gets back up is stronger than the one who never fell.

Did you know that one year = 365 opportunities!  If you want to be happy attach yourself to a goal and not to people or things.  Never think that you are insignificant.  This world needs what only you have to offer.  Get ready to start living your best life ever. The story of your best life starts now no matter what your circumstance are in life.  You’re in the right place at the right time to start living your most amazing life. Where there is a will there is a way.  Don’t put
off until tomorrow what you can do today.  There will never be a perfect time nor will things ever be just right.  Start where you are and do what you can.  Get up every morning and tell yourself “I can do this!”  You can’t change yesterday but you can change today.

It takes 21 days to break or form a new habit.   If you don’t go after what you want you will never have it.  If you never take the next step forward you will always remain where you are today.  The secret to success is to put your energy into creating your dream and letting go of the past.  Some may ask why you are doing what you are doing but with after perseverance they will ask you how you did it.  Imagine yourself standing on top of the hardest mountain you have had to climb.  The view doesn’t get any better than that!

Overcoming Adversity

Adversity is a normal part of life; it cannot be avoided. In adversity there is opportunity.  No one who has done something worthwhile managed to avoid adversity.  Challenges make life interesting. Overcoming challenges is what makes our life meaningful. Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.  Strength comes from doing those things that you once thought you could never do.  Your struggles develop your strength.  When you go through adversity and decide not to give up that is strength.  Smooth sailing will never develop the skills necessary for a captain to run a ship properly.  He and his crew must know what to do when they encounter rough waters.  The same is true in life.  Adversity is the best teacher to instill in you the ability to fight situations that will surely come your way.

Overcoming adversity will allow you to learn valuable lessons and transform you into a stronger and wiser person.  Struggles will develop your self confidence and help you to move forward in life. When you face challenges, resolve to keep moving. There is something inside of you that is greater than your struggles. Character cannot be developed without adversity. You must have experience in trials to achieve real success.  Anyone can win if things always go their way.  It’s the man who overcomes his struggles that becomes a champion.  You have no idea what you can do until you are forced to do it!  When your back is up against a wall, you can either beat your head against it or you can use your head to create a plan to keep moving forward despite the wall.  A dead end street is just a place to turn around.  Choose whether you will turn around and begin again or simply stop and give up.  Don’t let a situation stop you. Go around it or work through it but don’t stop.  Fire is used to test gold. Struggles test the character of a man.

One of the strongest attitudes to have in the face of adversity is the ability to keep your focus on the goals you want to achieve.  If you lose focus, then your struggles will seem larger than life and solutions impossible.  Great leaders understand that it is difficult to press through hardships alone.  They ask for help when needed.  One of your most powerful assets is understanding that no one achieves success alone.  Success is an accumulation of skills and the support of people who want nothing more than for you to achieve your goals. The people who have known their share of struggles, defeat and loss but found a way out have an obligation to share their experiences with others.  They know what does and does not work. Seek them out.  Glean from their wisdom and then you pass it on as well. Remember, the things that go wrong for you have a way of becoming a part of the gift within you that you can share to help others.  No one grows from living an easy life.  We grow only when we face a challenge head on and work through it until we have success.  If life throws you to the wolves, come back leading the pack!

 

It Will Turn Our Right

It’s impossible to live without failing at something unless you are the type of person who never leaves their comfort zone to try anything new or different. If that is you, you have actually failed in life by default.  Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life.  Keep the faith because things usually work out right in the end.  If they don’t, that just means you haven’t come to the end yet. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned but how it’s meant to be.  All of your days have already been written in God’s book.  When you go through a disappointment don’t stop on that page.  Hold steady. Keep believing. You may be discouraged, frustrated and a little bit tired but don’t give up on your future. Sometimes it might not make sense to let go of something you have had for a long time, but it also doesn’t make sense to hold onto something that no longer serves a purpose in your life.

Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you are going to live through it.  It’s your job to turn your mess into a message and never regret a day of your life. Every day up to this point has contributed to who you are today. Don’t waste your time mourning over what you thought your life was going to be like.  Let it go.  Don’t look backwards for very long. Keep moving forward opening up new doors and doing new things because you never know what opportunities these new things will create in your life.  Learn to get back on track.  When things go wrong, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have failed.  You will have days when you make mistakes but that’s okay.  Your strength lies in your ability to forgive yourself, and no matter how far you have gone in the wrong direction, you always have the chance to turn things around.

The path in front of you may not be easy.  At times your journey may be long and winding filled with dips and turns around every corner. The climb may be steeper than you expected and your dreams might have to be put on hold but there is one thing I know for sure.  If you stay on course, believe in yourself and have good friends who support you, you will survive the trip and be happy in the end. Everything will work out in the end. You don’t have to know how. You just have to trust that it will. Stop worrying, wondering, and doubting yourself. You will know when and if it is time to start something new.  If you need to start over, have the courage to start and be thankful for the opportunity of a new beginning.  You will never find what’s right for you if you continue to chase the things that are all wrong for you.

You are strong today because yesterday you had to be.  You have wisdom today because of the mistakes you made in the past.  You are happier today because of the pain you have already endured. You are much wiser because you have learned that wisdom and happiness come with a price tag of hard work and not giving up after failures.  Purpose in your heart to live the life that makes you happy. Care less about what other people think of you.  The people who criticize your life have no idea of the price you had to pay to get there.  Pay attention to the people who love and support you.  They have a purpose in your life. There will always be a reason why you meet people.  Either you need to change your life, or you’re the one that will change theirs.  Enjoy your life and believe that your best days are ahead and may you have amazing experiences that you haven’t even imagined yet.

 

 

Fight For What You Want

Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight.  You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to.  If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.  Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life.  There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.  You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.’  Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.  Helen Keller said “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.  Success is no accident.  It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.  Live a life of action.  Don’t wait for it to happen.  Make it happen.  Make your future the future you truly desire.  Obstacles are there to see if you are willing to fight for what you want.  If you don’t fight for what you want, then what you don’t want will automatically happen.  Life is not great because there are little or no problems.  Life becomes great when people do whatever it takes to overcome the problems they face.  If you can’t change your situation, then change the way you deal with it.

Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it could also be difficult.  Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.  The past is your lesson.  The present is a gift and the future should be your motivation.  Cling to what is good in your life.  Love the people who love you.  In this life everything is temporary; that is why when good things happen to you cherish them before they are gone.  Don’t waste your time being in competition with anyone.  A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.  It just blooms.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love who you really are.  Be selective and pick your battles carefully for sometimes peace is better than being right.  Life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. It’s about collecting the scars to prove you showed up for it.  Don’t watch the clock; do what it does – keep going.

 

What’s Really Important?

It’s so easy to forget what’s important in life. One day you will realize that the most important things in life are not things! What’s important is to be content in life, not with things. Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize what’s important in your life – what you can live with and more importantly what you can’t live without. It’s not the material things we have accummulated that will define us when we are gone. What people will remember is how you treated them.

Sometimes it really hard to focus on what’s important in our lives. We tend to let the petty, every day nonsense blue the view of what’s important at the moment. Don’t lose the passion for your dreams by letting doubt creep. Don’t compromise the future that you really want for what’s easy and available to you today. When everything around us changes, we find out who we really are. You don’t need to lose everything before you realize what really matters in life. You really don’t have to announce what’s important to you. How you spend your time says it all.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t turn out the way you wanted, don’t give up – just try again. Be thankful for the bad things you have experienced in life. The bad things in life opened your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before. Remember that material things can be replaced but important people can’t. Spend time with the people who are important to you. “Too busy” is a myth. People will always make time for the things that are important to them.  Become a person that other people want to be around. Be known for the way you love, for your honesty and integrity. These qualities are important for all of us to strive for.

Life is short. Focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t. None of us remember the headliners of yesterday. One day the applause will die and someone else will come along and exceed the previous achievements. Realize that the people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. With these things in mind, I think it is important to try and find balance in our life. It is important to take time from all of our achievement-oriented tasks to focus on those things that will add so much more to our lives. Tell those who mean so much to you how much you care and love them. Do little things to make your family and friends recognize how much you appreciate them. Recognize that life is about sharing and not about what others can do for you.

As you get older you find out that true happiness is not in how much you make or how many degrees you have or how big your house is. It’s finding peace and joy and contentment in your life that matters most. When you focus on what’s really important everything else will fall into place. The two most important things to remember is:
1) Use things – not people
2) Love people – not things

Ask yourself the question ‘what’s important to me’ and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.