One of the Most Buzz-Worthy of All Buzz Words

Making a Timely Appearance on Self Help Daily....

Quote about Perseverance
January is a month filled with great energy. Everyone is hopeful for the year ahead and buzzing with electricity over new resolutions and goals. Unfortunately, these resolutions very often fall by the wayside by the time Cupid shows up on the scene mid-February, half-dressed with nothing but love in mind.

We have the energy, steam, and electricity for a few weeks but – after that – eh, it’s business as usual.

Sometimes the reason is simple – in fact, I’d wager that most of the time the reason is simple: We’d like to have this particular goal… but we don’t want it badly enough to work for it and we certainly don’t want it badly enough to inconvenience ourselves for it.

During January, we throw buzz words like determination, goals, mindset, will-power, success, and resolve around like peanuts in a Christmas parade.

Problem is, reaching goals and following through with resolutions takes a whole other buzz word: perseverance.

As they say, anything worth having is worth fighting for. This means it’s worth digging in your heels, throwing out our chin, clinching your fists, and full out going to battle for.  What makes this war of wills so difficult is the fact that we’re fighting the person in the mirror and they know all our tricks.

It takes perseverance and it takes determination.  Put together, they make a pretty darn good team.

I guess what I’m saying is this – whatever you’re reaching for, whatever you’re striving for… keep on keeping on until it’s your’s.  When the going gets tough, think of the humble little snail.  It was by perseverance that his ancestors EVER reached the ark.

Keep going!

~ Joi

A Few Favorite Quotes About Perseverance:

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. – Walter Elliott

Lord, give me the determination and tenacity of a weed. – Mrs. Leon R. Walters

Character consists on what you do on the third and fourth tries. – James Michener

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist but in the ability to start over. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

By perseverance, the snail reached the ark. – Charles Spurgeon

There’s only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that’s if we quit. – Unknown

More Perseverance Quotes

Help Make 2015 the Year of Kindness

The Kindness Challenge from Cleverpedia... I Love It!

Make 2015 the Year of Kindness
 

Ironically, after publishing the last post about Treating Others with Kindness, I logged into my e-mail for my morning check in.  When you get lots of daily e-mails, you have to have “check ins” throughout the day or you’ll drown in them.

Been there. Done that. Have the scars to prove it.

As soon as I glanced down through the e-mail subject lines, one in particular caught my eye. The subject line said, “Hi, Joi! I wanted to share a cute project..”

First of all, I love personal greetings. Second of all, I’m always in the mood to hear about cute projects… or cute anything for that matter.   I put my coffee cup down and jumped into the message.

Ironically, it (like the post I’d just written) had to do with kindness.

Cleverpedia.com has stirred up something very cool – kindness.  To be exact, they’re on a mission to Make 2015 the Year of Kindness.

I am so on board that ship you’d think I was one of the flags.

After a decidedly unkind 2014 (fighting, protesting, arguing, debating, judging, condemning….), I want to do everything within my power to help bring about more tolerance, forgiveness, and – most of all – kindness to 2015. It’s obvious the kindhearted people at Cleverpedia are riding a similar thought wave.

I hope you’ll personally take the 2015 Kindness Challenge too. Hopefully, we’ll all love the effects so much we’ll carry it on into 2016, 2017, and beyond.

Click through the image at the top or the following link and do your part to help Make 2015 the Year of Kindness.

Be sure to spread the word – if there’s one thing we all need to spread it’s kindness.

~ Joi

How You Treat Others is a Reflection…

But Just What is it a Reflection Of?

Quote About Treating Others with Kindness

When you think of a “hateful” person, what do you think of? Someone with a biting sarcasm and so much nastiness about them that they’re pretty much a human repellent? I’ve known a few people like that – so mean-spirited it’s a wonder they could stand themselves.

Then again, maybe they couldn’t and that’s why they’re so mean.

I’m actually not thinking about the word “hateful” in regards to how a person acts, though.  I’m not thinking of it as an action verb as much as a state of being verb. I’m actually thinking about the following definition of the word:

Hateful – full of or expressing hate; malignant

Sadly, there are a lot of people who are full of hate and this makes them, just as the definition says, malignant.

Malignant:

  1. disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately
  2. very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.

Ugly stuff, right? It’s especially ugly when you think of a truth we’ve all heard for years: How we treat others says more about US than it does THEM.

Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – T.H. Thompson

I can’t imagine that anyone would wake up in the morning and tell their cat, “I’d sure like to be malignant today! Yep, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to spread destruction, suffering, and hatred. If I get cracking, maybe I can contaminate a good 10 people or more before lunch.”

Nah. Maybe I’m naive, but I doubt there are any human Grinches walking around. More likely than not, having a sour disposition has crept up on them and they don’t even realize it. They’ve become a negative, cynical, pessimistic, and hateful person without even realizing it.

That’s how all bad habits take root in our lives. Over time, they slowly soak into us until they become one with us. If left to their own devices, they come to define us. Think for a minute about the people you know – most of them, when you think of their name, conjure up an attribute or characteristic. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than to be considered “hateful.”

The problem with being filled with hate (anger, resentment, bitterness – or any of its other cousins) is two-fold:

  1. hate makes its host miserable
  2. the host then takes it out on everyone else

Personally, I think some people treat others badly – not so much because of who the other person is – but because of the hateful seed deep within themselves.

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. – Winston Churchill

Here’s an example, without going into specifics:

Recently one of my favorite athletes shared a family Christmas photo. The shot included himself, his girlfriend, his mom, and his grandmother! Precious, right? Most of us who commented on the picture wished him and his family a wonderful Christmas. One person (it may or may not have been me) commented on how downright adorable his grandmother was.

But there were others who, disgustingly, left cruel comments about him and his family. Some hate-filled jackasses simply said, “Shut up.”

Seriously. There are people like this in the world.  When I saw these comments…. left on an individual’s family Christmas photo, mind you!.. I grew angrier by the minute. I ran away from Twitter and practically threw my iPad down. I’m not sure I could have been any angrier if this young man had been my own son!

As I sat there wondering what was wrong with humanity and how such vile humans could even exist, the anger slowly turned to sadness.

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. – Author Unknown

Let’s face it, for anyone to leave UGLY, HATE-LACED comments (which is literally speaking to someone) like this, they have to be filled with hate and ugliness, themselves.

When I pour myself a glass of sweet tea out of my favorite glass pitcher, sweet tea goes into my glass. Sweet tea is in the container. Sweet tea comes out.

Those of us (Thanks be to God we outnumbered the Nasty Nellies!) who wished this athlete’s family a wonderful Christmas and echoed his happiness with our own words were filled with happiness, kindness, and love for others.

Sweet tea’s in the container. Sweet tea’s in the glass.

The others were obviously filled with unhappiness, bitterness, ugliness… not just the cousins of hate – I think they were hosts for hate’s entire family.

And an ugly sight they make.

The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid. – Author Unknown

I was thinking earlier about some of my favorite people. I’ve always been particularly fond of people who are agreeable, funny, and kind-hearted. People who are so busy living their own lives and trying to perfect the person in the mirror that they haven’t time time to criticize and demean people around them.

They’re happy with their life. They’re happy with themselves. They don’t want to knock anyone down or spread toxicity because they’re too busy enjoying life.

Show me that sort of individual and I’ll walk to the ends of the world with them. I’m lucky to have a great number of people around me who fit that bill.

The next time you catch yourself even thinking something mean or hateful about another person, catch yourself and MAKE yourself think something positive about them instead. After a while you will have developed a newer, better habit and no one will benefit from it any more than you will.

What if any one of the individuals who lashed out with ugliness and toxicity had stopped themselves and typed in: “Beautiful family! Y’all have a wonderful Christmas!” instead.

What would have happened? Well, think back to the Christmas classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”  Remember when his little bitty heart grew larger?

Yeah. Something like that.

Very often the way we treat others is the way we look at the world. It’s a reflection of how we feel about life, in general – especially as it relates to us.  Someone who is never content or happy with life – the one who thinks nothing is ever good enough – is often the one who treats others the worst.  Their discontentment with life makes them discontent with just about everyone in it.

Like most things in life, the choice is ours. We can improve the way we treat others by improving our outlook on life or we can become so toxic and negative that small children run from us.

Not much of a choice is there?

Here are a few Calls to Action (because nothing is ever of any  use until it’s put to use!):

  • Start being kinder than you have to be.  When you feel the temptation to say something negative to someone (whether it’s about their job, their weight, how they wear their hair..), say something nice instead. Not only will they feel wonderful (and possibly even surprised), something unexpected will happen – you’ll feel even better than you make them feel!
  • Do something unexpected and kind for someone. It doesn’t take much (time or money) to make someone smile.  If I haven’t said it recently (which I know I have), I’ll say it now – I’m the luckiest person in the world when it comes to family.  This colorful cast of characters that fill my life are wonderful about doing extra little “somethings” for one another. Whether it’s me grabbing a great looking color of nail polish for my girls simply because, my youngest daughter leaving unexpected gluten free treats on the kitchen counter for me, one of my other daughters (or sons-in-law) bringing me a favorite drink from Starbucks, or my husband ordering me something awesome off of Amazon just to make me smile – we are all always thinking about ways to bring smiles to one another’s faces.  What a wonderful world it’d be if everyone had the same mindset – about family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.
  • Remind yourself each day to be the kindest person you know!  New concepts, habits, and mindsets can quickly be tossed aside. After all, that’s why we have to make NEW New Year’s Resolutions each year.  If you’re striving to be a kinder person – to life, to yourself, and… by reflection.. to others – remind yourself each day that life is a wonderful gift! To behave differently is a slap in the face to God, himself. Stop dwelling on negatives and dwell, instead, on positives. Doing so will affect the way you feel inside and the way you make others feel outside. The way you make other people feel is a reflection on you more than it is on them.
  • Be careful what you THINK and how you TALK about others behind their back.  These thoughts and “private” words will come to the surface and do more damage than you have right to do.

If you improve just one thing this year, improve the way you treat others. You may be thinking, “That’s fine and good for them… but what’s in it for me?!”  Well, everything! If you treat others with kindness, you will be the biggest benefactor of all. Should that be your number one goal? Of course not, but it’s the truth.

Spread kindness. Spread happiness. There’s enough toxicity and negativity out there and the world doesn’t need any more of it.

~ Joi

See More Quotes About Kindness.

Quote About the Way You Treat Others

A Reminder to Slow Down and Appreciate the Beauty All Around Us

The Wonder of a Single Snowflake...

Quote about Snowflakes

The wonder of a single snowflake outweighs the wisdom of a million meteorologists. –Sir Francis Bacon, philosopher

I once heard someone say that we should “look at” everything in life as though we were seeing it for the first or last time. If you think about it, that’s a very profound – life-changing, even – approach.

It reminds me of the unspeakable joy I always got when my daughters were babies and would see anything for the first time – snow, Christmas lights, cats, airplanes, monkeys at the zoo, etc.   Things that we all saw for the first time at some point.  None of these things are any less spectacular or beautiful today than they were then.  The problem is we get “used” to so many of them and take them for granted.

The holidays are a perfect example – whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, we often get so busy buying, baking, wrapping, and complaining about money (come on… we’re all guilty!) that we allow one beautiful scene after the next to slip right past us.

  • I always get a kick out of mall “Santas” – well, not them as much as the little ones in line and on lap.  Their expressions are precious and their excitement is contagious. If you need a little extra Christmas cheer, trust me, find a mall Santa and the company he keeps.
  • Christmas lights always put on a dazzling show.
  • Maybe it’s because I’m a foodie, but I think there’s a great deal of beauty in all the candies, cookies, pies, hams, and casseroles!
  • Candles – especially the ones that smell as beautiful as they look.
  • Nativity scenes are also extra beautiful and meaningful.
  • Christmas music – driving around town while bellowing out loud with songs on the radio? Priceless.
  • Tinsel, bows, wrapping paper, ribbons, bags… they’re works of art in and of themselves.
  • Christmas trees – a beautifully decorated Christmas tree is gorgeous  – but so is a small, humble “Charlie Brown” tree. No such thing as an ugly Christmas tree as far as I’m concerned.
  • Last… but certainly not least… there isn’t anything more beautiful than families gathering together – around the tree, around the table, and around the tv – this is the stuff memories AND LIFE are made of.

Like snowflakes, there are wonders all around us. I hope that this Christmas season – and all the seasons thereafter – you’ll slow down and allow yourself to be awestruck by the beauty and the wonders that surround you.

~ Joi

Change??? Difficult?? Not According to the Man in Red

In Fact, Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other... Soon You'll be Walking Across the Floor..

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Quote about Change
THE WINTER WARLOCK: It’s so difficult to really change.

KRIS KRINGLE aka SANTA CLAUS: Difficult? (hearty laugh) Why… look here… changing from bad to good’s as easy as taking your first step… Put one foot in front of the other…

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Quote about Change

 

Who knew you could get a motivational self help kick in the keister from an animated Christmas episode from 1970?!  Okay, besides Kris Kringle… who else would have known?

There are cookies to bake, ribbons to be perfected, and shopping to be done, so I won’t be my normal long-winded self today (Santa’s listening, so don’t go sayin’ anything ornery!)

I’ll just leave you and your thoughts with a few graphics, quotes, and  a video – all straight from a favorite scene in Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Whatever change or changes you’re mulling over for 2015… get up on your feet!

~ Joi

P.S. Filing this one under “Vintage Self Help Daily” because if making animated graphics and turning Santa’s words into a motivational speech isn’t vintage me, absolutely nothing is.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Quote about Change

Top 10 Mood Lifters

Snap Yourself Out of a Bad Mood FAST!

How to Snap Out of a Bad Mood
Ever feel draggy? That’s my word for that feeling you get when you’re not physically sick, not exactly sad, and not remotely mad… you’re just kind of out of sorts. Like your normal, upbeat mood has BEEN beaten with a crowbar.

Bad moods happen to all of us every now and again – and usually we can’t put one single mopey finger on WHAT got us here, WHO did this to us, WHEN we’re going to feel normal again, HOW to snap out of it, or WHERE we can hide in the meantime.  All we know for sure is that, if our mood had a color, it’d be gray.

One of my daughters put her own spin on it once as she came through the kitchen.  I asked her how she was doing and she said, “I think my face has forgotten how to smile today.”  Draggy.

Whenever your face has forgotten how to smile, try one of the Ten Mood Lifters below.  These are 10 sure-fire ways to snap out of your bad mood fast. You’ll get an instant lift and – heck if you do them often enough, your face might just forget how to frown.

  1. Go outside.  A little fresh air, combined with natural sunlight is a sure-fire Pick-Me-Up.  Even if it’s smack in the middle of winter, bundle up and walk around your yard for about 10 minutes.  There’s something invigorating about the outdoors and it’s a quick cure for the droops.
  2. Take a stretching break. Stand up and stretch your hands toward the ceiling, then bend over and touch the floor.  Next, stretch slowly from side to side.  Repeat the entire cycle several times – breathing deeply the entire time.  It’ll refresh your mind and mood. Just be sure to take deep breaths – a lot of the feel-good power in stretching lies  in the breathing.
  3. Spend some time with a pet. There’s something profoundly peaceful and fun about petting a furry loved one. The love you give comes back and, let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to do anything but smile when you’re looking into an animal’s loving eyes.
  4. If possible, elevate your heart with a little exercise.  Aerobic activity is one of the best ways to slap a good mood on your psyche.  Take a walk, pick up sticks in your yard, or clean your house with gusto.  Get mooving and grooving.  If you do it with some really upbeat music, the effects will be even better. My favorite music to listen to when at times like this are 80’s and Motown – you just can’t stay draggy when Smokey Robinson’s Cruisn’. No way, no how.
  5. Recall a time when you couldn’t stop laughing.  It was probably a time when laughter was unacceptable, right?!  That usually seems to be the case.  In high school, my best friend, Randy, and I would break out into fits of laughter all the time.  Sometimes we’d be on the phone and there’d be no sound at all except laughter for 5 minutes.  When we thought we had it under control, one of us would fall victim to the giggles again, then the other would crack up.  I can still hear the sound of his laugh in my head and it still makes me smile. He’d love to make me laugh at the most ridiculous times – in the middle of class was his favorite opportunity.  He got me so bad once during a college lecture that I thought I’d pass out.  Actually, passing out would have been less embarrassing. My youngest daughter, Stephany, may have gotten my ticklebox at THE most inappropriate time, ever, though. When she was around 2, we were listening to a sermon… a long, long sermon mind you… at a church we didn’t normally visit.  She fell asleep halfway through the sermon. After about 30 minutes she sat up, and IN A FRIGHTFULLY quiet auditorium said, “He’s not through yet?!!”  One of her sisters (Brittany) fought giggles off with me – and about 40 other people –  but her other sister (Emily) looked more mortified than anyone has ever looked! When I need a good laugh, I think back to each of their three adorable faces at that moment.
  6.  Watch a favorite sitcom, stand-up routine or movie.  Laughter really is the best medicine, especially when it’s your mood that needs a remedy.  If you can’t get to a television, don’t underestimate YouTube.  Enter the name of a favorite old sitcom, comedian, or bloopers to a favorite show.
  7. Change things up!  If you’re able to, change what you’re wearing.  Brush your hair, brush your teeth, and even wash your face.  Your mind “gets” that you’re trying to start fresh and it welcomes the idea.  If you’re at work, straighten up your desk, readjust your clothes – maybe even untie and tie (or unbuckle and buckle) your shoes.  You know how you “refresh” a webpage if it hasn’t “loaded” properly?  Same premise.  Refresh and try again.
  8. Talk to someone who lifts your spirits.  All of us have at least one person who seems to make our life a better place just by being around. They always seem to know what to say and what not to say. Their attitude and humor act as a tonic.  If you’re feeling low, search them out – take them to lunch or out for coffee. Let them work their magic on you.
  9. Do something special for yourself. Whether it’s a trip to Starbucks or a bouquet of flowers (some days call for both), do something that’ll bring a smile to your face.
  10. Do something special for someone else.  I saved the best for last. When you bring a smile to someone else’s face, it’s impossible to feel anything but joy and happiness.  By the same token, making your cat purr or your dog wag its tail will also bring about great contentment.  When you create happiness for others, you create it for yourself as well.

~ Joi

Be of good cheer. Do not think of to-day’s failures, but of success that may come to-morrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will have a joy in overcoming obstacles–a delight in climbing rugged paths which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometimes slip backward, if the road were always smooth and pleasant. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. -Helen Keller.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.  – Harvey Fierstein

Zeal: It takes Courage to Be Considered, at Times, too Zealous

What Do Charles Barkley, Dick Vitale, and Jillian Michaels Have in Common?

Quote About Zeal

“I takes courage to be considered at times as a little too zealous.” - F.D. Van Amburgh, The Mental Spark Plug, 1923

Years ago, my favorite NBA player was Charles Barkley.  I never missed a Phoenix Suns game when he played for them.  On court and off court, the man never failed to entertain me.  .  Sometimes he’d leave me shaking my head, sometimes he’d leave me nodding my head…. sometimes Sir Charles would leave me holding my head.  But make no mistake about it, Charles Barkley always left an impression.

Still does.

Even on a golf course, Charles Barkley cannot be ignored (it’s not pretty, but you can’t take your eyes off of his swing).

He has that something that I have always been drawn to – ZEAL.  Zealous people are people who live out loud.  They know what they want in and from life and they know what they’re passionate about.  They wear this passion on their sleeve and often wear a perplexed expression on their face – one that questions the rest of the world, “Why aren’t you getting this?!  Why aren’t you excited too?!?!

The quote at the top of the post is by a favorite author of mine from the Twenties (No, I wasn’t around then, wise guy!),  F.D. Van Amburgh.  When I came across the quote recently – while redoing the motivational quotes pages here on Self Help Daily, I couldn’t help wondering – what do you think Amburgh would have thought of Charles Barkley, Jillian Michaels, Oprah, Dick Vitale, Alton Brown, Lolo Jones, Toby Keith…. some of the most zealous people of our day?

I’ve read enough books by F.D. Van Amburgh to believe with all of my heart that he would have been just as drawn to them as I am.  I think he would have been completely smitten with the ladies.

The thing about zealous people is this: You will not always agree with them, but you’ll always know where they stand.  Zealous people wave zealous flags and they most certainly aren’t white flags.  When you just read the list of names, you probably reacted in one way or another to at least one of the names.  That’s because people with zeal stir emotions and sometimes anger.   I’m not condoning everything done or said in the name of zeal – far from it.

See, I think of zeal as a magic window into the heart of a person.  Through their zeal, the rest of the world gets to see exactly what makes them tick.  Zeal strips away facades, press spins, and photo-shopping.   The beauty of it is that zealous people is that… up to a point… they simply don’t care.  They have enough confidence and courage to ride the zeal train to the next station.

Whether or not I agree with everything they say or do, I give each one of them this:  They have guts – guts to be who they are and not conform to the person anyone else thinks they should be.  I also admire their passion.  Especially those who have passion for others:  Dick Vitale’s passion for young people touches me and I wish there were more like him.  Jillian Michael’s passion for people’s health and fitness is equally admirable.  I love that she cares so much that she is willing to yell, kick, and scream to get her point across.  I also thoroughly admire and appreciate Toby Keith’s dedication to our men and women serving overseas.  They’re willing to fight for our country and Toby’s willing to fight for them!  What’s not to love about that?

A lot of people don’t take a “live out loud” approach to life and that kind of makes me sad. Their own fears and doubts hold them back.  They think, “If only I were thinner…” or “If only I had more money…”  or “If only I were older….” or other ridiculous thoughts.  As our own zealous Charles Barkley once said, “If ifs were gifts, everyday would be Christmas!

Make no mistake about it, being zealous doesn’t mean you have to love or demand the center of the stage. The people I’ve highlighted in this post are definitely center stage individuals. If life were a play, they’d have lead roles and get 95 percent of the lines.   Zeal can come in somewhat quieter, more laid-back packages as well, you know.  Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, Billy Graham, Diane Sawyer – no lack of zeal in these individuals whatsoever.

They just go about their work on a somewhat quieter scale.

Zeal doesn’t always scream, but it does always command attention.  On the other side of the coin, as Thomas Henry Huxley once said, “Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.” If you’re going to be zealous, make sure you know what you’re talking about and that it’s even worth saying or doing in the first place.

Take a gut check today.   Do you believe in yourself and your dreams enough to fight for them?  Are you willing to stand up and stand out to live your life on your own terms?  Or are you afraid what others will say or think?  If that’s the case, I hope you’ll come out of the shell you’ve built around yourself and step out into a whole new life.

Be bold!  Be confident!  Be strong!  Be you!

~ Joi

Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. – David Ogilvy