To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals. – Buddha

Sometimes You Have to Turn the Corner to See the Silver Lining

It's a View Worth Seeing and a Trip Worth Taking

Buttermilk Biscuits

My World Famous Buttermilk Biscuits – OK, “World Famous” is Pushing It

No way….  Are you kidding me?!…..  Talk about a kick in the pants….  SO out of left field… Nah, can’t be… This is a huge deal… My wold just got turned upside down… This might be the worst thing that has happened to me in a while… —-  Okay… Not that big a deal.. Talk about a wake-up call… Should have seen it coming… It is what it is.. This isn’t a huge deal… My world just got turned upside right… This might be the best thing that has happened to me in a while.

Looks, for all the world, like one bi-polar paragraph doesn’t it? It’s sort of a modge podge of my thoughts over the past 7 months, so – in a sense – I guess my emotions were kind of bi-polar for a while.

As I’ve often said on this particular blog as well as my other blogs, I don’t AT ALL like to talk about myself. I guess that’s odd for an only child, but I get nothing out of discussing moi.  Someone’s not doing this “only child” thing right. However, I figure that if anyone can ever be helped (in any way at all) by my personal experiences I won’t just talk about it, I’ll sing about it.

So here we go.

Around the end of the year (2013), my oldest daughter (Emily) began having some pretty frightening health issues. Earlier in the year she’d had gallbladder surgery and, as an over-protective mother, I guess I’d been watching her like a hawk anyway. She began to have insane allergic reactions – to the point of her throat swelling up sometimes when she was eating. This was all on top of stomach issues that were also bothering her, but somehow the upset stomach took a backseat to the feelings of chocking to death.

Like I said, scary stuff.

She and I both suspected she had a gluten intolerance/allergy and it was decided that she’d do an “elimination” diet for a few weeks to see if her symptoms cleared up. I decided to “go along” with her for a couple of weeks – to sort of “get her started on her way” and give her support. I was pretty sure this was a diet that she’d have to stick with for GOOD, so I wanted to walk along with her – at least the first part of the way – to help her find recipes, alternatives on restaurant menus, gluten free products on the market, etc.

Her allergy and digestive problems cleared up almost immediately. It’s actually what we both expected to happen, but we were relieved to know there was something she could do to get better. What no one expected was this: It was exactly two weeks into our gluten elimination that it hit me… I felt better than I had in a long time. I’m the proud (sarcasm emphasized) owner of a hiatal hernia and I have whackadoodle allergies and bronchial asthma…. all of which vastly improved during this two week time. I had more energy, less stomach aches, less gassiness, less bloating, less allergy attacks, fewer asthma episodes, less hunger, etc. Mouth sores healed and vanished, and other “little” things I’d somehow learned to kind of ignore disappeared.

But there’s more. I had experienced stomach and digestive issues for some time – issues that were slowly, but surely, getting worse. I always had an excuse for them, though. It’s the hiatal hernia, it’s my thyroid medicine, it’s all part of aging, etc….

I went back and re-read all the articles I’d read when researching Emily’s symptoms and realized that mine were also listed. But I  hadn’t been looking for them. When a mother hen is on a mission, she sees her chick and only her chick… in this case, a sick chick!

It became obvious to both of us that we had to stop eating gluten – which is, as it turns out, in A LOT of things! A. Lot. Of. Things.  Not only is gluten found in the usual suspect lineup – bread, cornbread, pizza, doughnuts (this one stings the most), fried chicken, fried everything, and anything breaded – it also turns up in soy sauce, a lot of salad dressings, every store-bought soup imaginable, taco seasoning, and 101 other places you wouldn’t even think to look for it… until it means the difference between having pain and not having pain. Then you learn to look everywhere.

Although the whole “going gluten free” thing didn’t shatter my world (by any means), it did feel like an annoying thorn in my finger.

I’ve been an avid cook, food blogger, cookbook collector, restaurant reviewer, Food Network addict, and lover of all things food for too many years to even count.  To add to the misery, guess what some of my favorite things to make have always been – homemade bread, buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, cakes, cupcakes, pies, and pastries.  Serious. You can’t make this stuff up. I was so cocky about my buttermilk biscuits that I only allowed real butter to EVER be served with them.  And then I told butter it was an honor it shouldn’t take lightly.

So… yeah…. having to change my entire way of eating and enjoying food disrupted my culinary world.  Kind of turned it on its head, if we’re being honest.

Favorite restaurants had to be scratched off the list, certain cookbooks were handed off to other people, and I had to learn a whole new way of cooking and enjoying food.  I found that even something as simple as enjoying Food Network shows was affected. It’s not a gluten free network, after all, so the frustration of seeing so many things that meant zilch to me anymore became more than I was willing to deal with.  Oh, lovely, she’s making doughnuts today… Fantastic, he’s visiting another burger restaurant… And now he’s in a Pizza dive.. Of course he is.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Turning the Corner

As with just about anything that we’re up against, it finally got to the point where I realized it wasn’t SOMETHING that needed to change, but rather SOMEONE who needed to change.  Besides, I couldn’t change my body’s intolerance to gluten any more than I could change the fact that it’s in so many favorite foods to eat, bake, and cook.

I had a brief, but effective, talk with myself and decided that…. what do you know…. this isn’t the end of the world.  I decided that it really wasn’t the END of anything so much as it was the BEGINNING of something.

Put simply, I turned the corner.

I even decided to stop using “negatives” when I thought or spoke. Instead of saying, “I can’t bake my favorite sourdough bread anymore…” I changed my mindset to, “It’s time to come up with new recipes…. this’ll be fun.”

Instead of dwelling on foods I can’t eat, I’m focusing on the ones I can.  When it comes to traveling through life, Can is a much more pleasant companion than Can’t.

Can sees the rainbow where can’t only sees the storm.

Emily and I were even talking about our new way of eating one day and actually found ourselves being thankful for the change.

No kidding.

We both listed the unhealthy foods we’d recently had to give up, including the frequent fast food trips. Like most people, we’d both found ourselves going through drive-thrus more out of habit than hunger. No longer feasting on fast and fatty foods meant that we were actually eating healthier than ever before – while feeling better than ever before.

Win. Win.

Even more surprising is the fact that, not only was going gluten free a blessing for our health, it has proven to actually be a blessing for my cooking adventures.

I can’t tell you how many meals I’ve made that left my husband and I convinced that the food’s better than ever. From Salmon Patties to Belgian Waffles, I’ve worked with my “gluten free” versions to the point that they’re actually better than the ones I used to make.

Even my meals are better because this way of cooking/eating has opened up a whole new world of flavors and creativity.  It’s bringing out the best in me because it has challenged me.  If I’d just kind of moped around I would have never seen the silver lining.

It’s when I turned the corner that I could finally see it.  It had been there the whole time, but I HAD TO BUDGE to actually see it.

What’s more, when my daughter and I started talking about the benefits of eating gluten free, a benefit we both noticed was an unexpected one: We aren’t as hungry as we once were. I’m not sure if it’s tied in to gluten, itself, or or the intolerance of it, but cutting it out seems to also cut out a lot of hunger.

I’m pretty sure the odds are that you have no intolerance, whatsoever, to gluten. Chances are none of the gluten information is relevant to you in any way. However, I will say this: If you have any unexplained allergies, stomach issues (bloating, pain, frequent gas, a “gnawing” discomfort, etc), unexplained weight gain or loss, excessive tiredness, headaches, or mouth sores – give some serious thought to cutting gluten out of your diet entirely for two weeks. If the way you feel suddenly improves… well, welcome to the club!

If you don’t notice any improvement at all (not even a little), the culprit’s probably something else and a trip to the doctor is probably in order.

Either way, gluten (cursed little demon) isn’t really the main thing here. Silver linings are the star of the show.  Whether it’s in plain sight or you have to “turn a corner” in order to see it, once you see your silver lining, life will never be the same again.

No matter what life hands you, always look for the silver lining and never stop looking until you find it. More times than not, it’s a delicious surprise.

Pizza

 Pizza with a Gluten Free Crust… Boom!

Handling Adversity 101: Sometimes We Aren’t UP Against a Problem, We ARE the Problem

How to Make the Voices in Your Head Work For You

Bigger Dragons

I’m a pretty big advocate of self talk – or, to be more precise, positive self talk.  For one thing, I’m ALL about positive affirmations, positive reinforcement, and… well, positivity in general.

Another reason I’m a component of self talk is that I’m dang good at it. Seriously, I’m so good at talking to myself I could go pro.  I think I can speak for all only children when I say it’s a trait we learn early and master well.

We just try not to do it when anyone’s looking. People talk, you know.

Truth be told  we all talk to ourselves – we just don’t do it out loud. More times than not, the conversation takes place quietly in the mind… kind of behind the scenes. Yet, even there, self talk is as powerful as any superhero’s superpower.

Not long ago, I was up against something (work-related) that seemed uncommonly large. I felt like a fly in the shadow of the Empire State Building. My initial thoughts were, “Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away…” What are the chances of that, though? How many times do we have a task in front of us that suddenly magically disappears, as though a magic wand had been waved in its direction?

Maybe I’ve watched too many fairy tales over the years.

The problem wasn’t the big task, even though he was a beaut. I wasn’t facing a problem, I was the problem.  More to the point, my attitude (or my “self talk”) was the problem.  Without even realizing it, I kept the following conversations on repeat in my brain:

  • I freaking can’t do this!
  • This is too much for one person…
  • What the what, dude?!?!
  • Why can’t this just disappear?

Round and round went the negative thoughts and on and on went the negative self talk. And since nothing positive ever springs from a pool of  negative, I never made a bit of progress.

Then it hit me, right in my laundry room. I’d stepped away from my computer to answer the dryer’s relentless buzz. While folding towels, I heard a familiar voice in my mind (the reasonable side of me that I hadn’t heard from in a while) and the words were clear, distinctive, and empowering:  “You’ve slayed bigger dragons than this.”

Clearly I have watched too many fairy tales over the years.

While finishing up the laundry, I thought of the dragons I’d slain over the years. While the dragons had employed different means of attack ( illnesses, loss of loved ones, professional challenges, staggering disappointments..) –  they all had one thing in common: They were smoked.  Put in their place. Laid out.

In fact, when I thought back on some of this dragon’s predecessors, he seemed more like a gecko.

When I returned to my computer, the big fire-breathing dragon that had been sitting on my desk was nowhere to be found. I went about the task at hand and everything fell right into place. Nothing tangible had changed – I hadn’t been granted more talent, the task had not diminished…  Everything was the same while, at the same time, nothing was the same.  The only thing that had changed was my attitude and my self talk.

The good thing is… that’s the only thing that needed to change.

The next time you’re up against your own dragon, think back to the dragons you’ve laid out… then tell him he’s next.  Don’t get in your own way with a pattern of negative thoughts or waste time throwing up wishes that the dragon would just disappear.

You’re the only one that can make that happen, slayer.

Quote of the Day: Feelings Come. Feelings Go.

Feelings, by themselves, do not create problems...

Quote About Thought by Mooji

 

Feelings, by themselves, do not create problems. It is rather the tendency to interpret and analyze them. When out of habit you believe those interpretations, it is there that the suffering begins.” – Mooji

Stinkin’ Thinkin.’ - Joi

Mooji’s description of the whole process is a lot more elegant than my own, but when all’s said and done, “stinkin’ thinkin’” gets the job done, too.

We all know people who would be a lot happier (and, let’s face it, funner to be around) if they stopped allowing their minds to be breeding grounds for worrisome, negative, destructive, and ugly thoughts. Stinkin’ thinkin‘.  As Mooji points out, the feelings we have about other people or situations don’t always create the problems – we do by dwelling on them.

The hundreds of feelings we have throughout the day are just that… feelings.  Like visitors, they come and go. How we deal with them, while in their presence, strongly affects our mindset, and in turn, our happiness.

Thoughts can either be our best companions or our worst – depending entirely upon which ones we entertain.  We should be as mindful of our thoughts as we are the company we keep.  Just as we would never hang around with anyone who did nothing but complain, criticize, and condemn all the time, we should refuse to hang out with thoughts that do so. Because if we aren’t careful, these thoughts will turn us into those people.

 

3 Simple Things You Can Do Today to Feel Better Tomorrow

Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Butterfly
 

Dr. Frank King is a chiropractor and doctor of naturopathy specializing in homeopathic remedies. He has added author to his bio with an exciting new book, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally.

Imagine you’re a spider with just one leg,” says Dr. King. “You put forth immense effort to try to haul yourself around and not only does it wear you out, it’s frustrating and you don’t get farIt gets a bit easier with two legs and easier still with four legs. But it’s not till you have all eight legs that you can really dance!

Dr. King explains that the eight legs represent Eight Essentials we need for optimum mental, physical and spiritual health:

  1. Empowering your human spirit
  2. Water
  3. Nutrition
  4. Fitness
  5. Sleep
  6. Nature
  7. Relationships
  8. Hands On Techniques (touch).

It would be overwhelming and self-defeating to look at all eight areas and think, ‘I have to make significant changes in every area immediately!” Dr. King says. “You don’t have to and who could? I know from my experience with countless patients and friends, and even in my own life, that you can see immediate results by making a few small changes at a time.”

Below, Dr. King describes three steps we can take today that we can actually benefit from tomorrow… if not sooner!

Drink half your body weight in ounces of spring or well water every day.

If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water (about 9 cups).

Many of us walk around dehydrated without realizing it and that can have a significant effect on our health and how we feel,” Dr. King says. Dehydrated bodies trap toxins and encourage water retention – a natural defense against the chronic “drought.”

Our bodies need the steady flow of pure, spring or well water. If you don’t like the taste, try mixing up to a teaspoon of sea salt into a quart of water,” he says.

A simple test for dehydration: Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for three seconds. When you release, if the ridge from the pinch remains for more than a second, you’re probably dehydrated.

Take at least a few minutes every day to connect with nature. Nature brings perpetual revitalization and ongoing renewal, especially when experienced through multiple senses: the smell of freshly turned earth or evergreens in the woods; the touch of cool stream water on your face or feet; the sight of birds on the wing and budding blooms.

These are not just pleasant little gifts to experience – we need them for restoration, renewal, revival and rehabilitation,” Dr. King says. “The more disconnected we become from the Earth, the more we inhibit our body’s natural ability to heal.”

Take a brisk, 10- to 20-minute walk every day. Walking is the simplest, most natural form of exercise. You might walk a nature trail, walk to the store instead of driving or take your pet for a stroll.

Three brisk 10-minute walks a day are as effective at lowering blood pressure as one 30-minute walk,” Dr. King says, citing an Arizona State University study. “Outdoor walking is preferable to walking on a treadmill or other machine, since the uneven surfaces and changing directions of natural walking will engage more muscles and tendons.”

Swing each arm in synchronization with the opposite foot to strengthen your cross-crawl functionality and mind-body balance.

About Dr. Frank King:

Dr. Frank King is a chiropractor, doctor of naturopathy, and founder and president of King Bio, an FDA-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing company dedicated to education, research, development, manufacture and distribution of safe and natural homeopathic medicines for people and pets. Dr. King is also the author of, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life Naturally! (www.kingbio.com). A fourth-generation farmer, Dr. King raises yak, camel, boar, wisent and American bison sold under the Carolina Bison brand. He is a member of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States.

 

Could This Be the Best Quote about Life?

Albert Einstein Quote That's a Personal Mantra

Quote About Life by Albert Einstein

 

Some people are so infatuated with quotes that they can pull one out of their hat for any given situation. How do I know?

Because I”m the guiltiest of the guilty.

Sure,  I often spout my favorite quotations to anyone who’ll listen, but I spout them off even more frequently to myself.

Some quotes resonate with me so thoroughly that I don’t just spout them off, I live them out.  This particular quote by one of the greatest minds we’ve ever known is one that pretty much defines me.  Along with, “All I’m after is a world full of laughter,” this quote about life flies over my own life like a flag.

“There are only two ways to live your lifeOne is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

What I love most about it is that it’s a reminder to stop. Look. Listen. We are surrounded by miracles every single moment of every single day.  Sadly (I think you could even say tragically), many people become apathetic at best, and cynical at worst.  They either fail to recognize or refuse to acknowledge the beauty and the miracles that surround them.

Boy are they missing out!

Don’t let cynicism or apathy rob you of living the sort of life we should all want: One filled with miracles everywhere we look.

Make no mistake about it, they are there.

Special Note: I got an e-mail recently from a sweetheart of a woman who wanted to know if she could share the pictures and quotes from Self Help Daily on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I told her, “Not only CAN you, I’ll love you for doing so!”  I figure that if one person asks about something, someone else may be wondering the same thing. Some websites frown upon you sharing their images, but I’m honestly honored when you do so. After all, I make the graphics TO BE SEEN, so I love to see them spread far and wide!

Perseverance 101: Drastic Results Call for Drastic Action

For a Werewolf, Not Just Any Bullet Will Do

Quote About Trying Harder

The word drastic is defined as “acting with force; violent” or “extremely severe or extensive.”

The definitions are nothing if not extreme themselves. Drastic even.

My own definition of drastic (straight from “Joi’s Southern Dictionary”) is this: A situation is drastic when nothing you throw at it sticks.

Unfortunately drastic situations can (and often do) show up anywhere. And everywhere:

  • finances
  • weight
  • relationships
  • time management
  • household duties
  • chores
  • golf course
  • schoolwork
  • yard work
  • workplace
  • health
  • baseball field
  • etc…

The tougher the opponent (re-read drastic‘s definition to remind yourself of its toughness), the tougher YOU have to be. If your enemy is proving that it can stand the test of time, it may be time to switch up your approach.

Throw something tougher at it and see if it sticks.

A few examples (because who doesn’t like examples?):

Weight. If you struggle with your weight – or, more precisely, if the scale refuses to budge in the acceptable direction – it may be time to step up your efforts… maybe even WAY up.

  • Cut bread out entirely. No wheat bread, white bread, or rye bread. Zero, with no cheating. You’d be amazed how many calories bread unnecessarily sneaks into your body.  As a bonus, when you aren’t “allowed” bread, fast food is almost entirely cut out.
  • Add a 30 minute walk into your day – without fail. No excuses allowed.  If the weather says, “Oh, no you don’t,” drive to the mall and say, “Oh, yes I do.”
  • If it’s nearly impossible to work in 30 minutes of walking or exercising into your day, get up an hour earlier, and move that body for at least half of the 60 minutes.
  • If you’re already walking (or exercising) 30 minutes each day, crank it up to an hour.  Sometimes what WORKED stops WORKING and you have to WORK more.

Sports or Hobbies.  If your hobby, sport, or favorite pastime refuses to succumb to your best efforts, first of all, consider better equipment.  We can only be as good as the tools we use. I may be one of the only women in the world who encourages her golfing husband to buy better golf clubs. If you’re going to spend time on a hobby, you might as well do it right. If you aren’t doing as well as you’d like in your game (or hobby) of choice, maybe it’s because you aren’t setting yourself up for success.

Photography is another area where your results are directly related to your equipment.

If your equipment is about as good as it gets, ask yourself, “How much time am I putting into it?”  The answer may shock you. If you aren’t devoting time to honing your craft, how in the world is it supposed to get better?!

If your equipment is about as good as it gets and you’re putting in a respectable amount of time, you might be a golden candidate for a few lessons or classes. An expert (teacher, instructor, coach..) may hold your key to success.

These are, of course, just a few examples.  Irregardless of the situation, the approach is pretty much the same – if what you’re throwing isn’t sticking, change up your approach.

  1. Throw more.
  2. Throw harder.
  3. Catch it off guard.

If there’s something that makes the fight a little tougher for you (health issues, medicinal side-effects, financial restraints…), you’re going to have to grab a big shovel and dig deep.  Basically, you can either use an obstacle as a reason to try harder or as a reason to quit.

I once read about a woman with diabetes that very, very, very difficult to manage. Her moods, along with her sugar, would fly all over the place. She had to devise a system to control her emotions (and mouth!) before she drove everyone she loved away.

If you have extenuating circumstances, you will have to fight a little harder than the next person but it will, in the end, make you a little stronger than the next person.

Bottom Line: Other than acts of God, drastic situations only respond to one thing – Drastic actions.  They’re like werewolves that can only be killed with one bullet – a silver bullet. Think about your own personal werewolves and see how many silver bullets you can come up with.

“Drastic results call for drastic action!”

 

A Few Thoughts About Starting Over

A New Way to Look at "Fixing" Things

Quote about Starting Over

As humans we’re always trying to “fix” things, aren’t we? We look in the mirror and think, “I’m out of shape… I need to fix that.” or “I hate every piece of clothing I own.. I have to fix this.”

Then we go to buy new clothes and we discover that our bank account isn’t on the same page we are. While we’re thinking a couple of new outfits is a grand idea, our saving account whispers, “No. Actually, what you have is just fine.”

I guess we’re conditioned – and possibly even designed – to be fixers, and I”m not saying that’s a bad thing.

However, sometimes life isn’t so much about FIXING something that’s wrong as it is about STARTING something that’s better. The phrase “fresh start,” alone,  is just bursting with enthusiasm and promise and the thought of “starting over” lights a candle in even the darkest situations.

In a lot of ways, that’s exactly what I’m doing with Self Help Daily.

Here’s a gross understatement:  My brain tends to go all over the place, like some kind of ambitious explorer cranked up on espresso.  Come to think of it, my brain IS an ambitious explorer cranked up on espresso. In fact, if you could peer in at my brain, it probably looks like a giant coffee bean.

I once watched my husband play a pinball game.  The ball left the starting point with a tremendous force. It then bounced wildly off of a million and one obstacles and seemed to change courses about a dozen times.

The only difference between the ball in action and my brain in action  is everyplace the ball “hit” lit up as bells rang.  My brain doesn’t cause such fanfare… although it’d be all kinds of cool if it did.

What does my overly-caffeinated brain have to do with Self Help Daily (SHD)? Only everything.  Like the pinball, my brain went off in too many different directions – taking SHD with it.  I took what started as a simple self help blog and tried to cure every disease and ill-fated condition known to man, woman, child, tree, and polar bear.

My favorite superhero is Hawkgirl and I, on occasion,  have been known to try to fly off and save the world – without the beak.

Well, I’m not wearing that thing.

I just looked over all the different “categories” I’d accumulated here on SHD over the years. I had to ask myself, “Was there anyone or anything you weren’t trying to save?”  I had a sarcastic answer, of course – Snails. I decided that I’d left them to fend for themselves.

Self Help Daily was originally about helping all of us get the best out of ourselves. Not about taking care of everything and everyone along the way. Rather, its intent was to always make the world a better place by making each one of us a better us.  My original focus was inspiration and motivation and these are the things that still drive me.

Somewhere along the way, SHD lost its way.  Each time I’d think about writing something, changing up the look, adding a quote or anything at all, I’d just get overwhelmed with a feeling of having to FIX everything that’d gotten off track.

Because I also have quite a few other websites, instead of devoting time to “FIXING” what I saw as “BROKEN,” I simply moved on to one of the websites that hadn’t gotten off track.

One that didn’t need “fixing.”

Yesterday, I grabbed a giant mug of coffee, rolled up my sleeves, and sat down at Self Help Daily with equal parts horror and determination.

When did all those comments pile up on me?

Why did I let its appearance go down the drain?

Why did I ever create a category for that?

And on and on and on…

Just when the “fight or flight” impulse hit (with a 85% swing toward flight), it occurred to me: Instead of spending all of my energy trying to find a way to STOP something bad, why not spend it trying to START something good?  Instead of focusing my attention on FIXING the old, I decided to focus my attention on BUILDING something better.

It made all of the difference in the world.

This type of mental tweak can work toward anything in life simply because yesterday isn’t where the story ends.  You still have today and you still have tomorrow – lots and lots of tomorrows! If there’s anything you’re unhappy with (money, weight, appearance, temper…), stop focusing on the negative. Don’t look at what needs to be fixed, look (instead) at what needs to be built.

Think of Spring. When Spring rolls around, it doesn’t fret over the barren trees and brown grass.  It focuses on what comes next.  It doesn’t try  to round up all the leaves that’d fallen in Autumn and try to “fix” them back on the branches.

It simply brings new leaves – focusing all of its energy on building a beautiful and colorful world. I guess that’s why I’ve always been so infatuated with spring, budding trees, robins, and everything that goes with this time of year. It’s a fresh start – vivid proof that starting over can be a healing and beautiful thing.

We could learn a lot from Spring.

And pinball machines.

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. – Groucho Marx

The Success of Others: Does it Irritate or Inspire You?

The following isn’t really a tip or a quote, so much, as it is a thought – just a random thought.  I have a lot of those.  Random thoughts in my mind are like snow in a Christmas snow globe.

Fortunately or unfortunately I don’t have to be turned up on my head to make them flow. Not always anyway.

Anyway, here’s the question on my mind: Why do so many people hate to see other people happy or successful?  Shouldn’t we all be motivated by the success of other’s?  Aren’t they proving that it’s possible?

If our circumstances aren’t lining up the way we’d like them to, shouldn’t we be motivated when we see circumstances falling into place for others? Shouldn’t we look at them and say, “Well it IS possible for things to work out after all!”

We can even take this whole self growth, self realization, and self improvement thing one step further (the next step is often where the good stuff is): Maybe we can even LEARN from someone else’s good fortune.

The next time something good happens to someone in your world,….

  1. Be genuinely happy for them.. and tell them so. You’ll instantly look 100 times cooler than over half the people they know.
  2. Realize that this is “their time” for a rainbow and yours may very well be around the corner – headed your way.
  3. Finally, ask yourself what things they did to invite success into their life.  What GOOD habits do they practice and what GOOD traits do they possess? Long story short, where’d they get their edge?

At the end of these three steps, you will have experienced self growth and gained priceless winner.  So, really, who is the biggest winner?