Friday, February 27, 2015

YES, You Will! (Saying "YES" to Life)

Thanks for staying with me for the duration of this series. I hope that you have been uplifted and encouraged and REMINDED of how capable you really are
As always, if you haven't had the chance to read the two, previous articles in this series, then please do so before you read this piece. YES, BEFORE you read this one.
Also, I want you to take the time to listen to the podcasts on this topic. Click on either of the two links at the bottom of this article to get connected to the podcasts and then, please SHARE both the podcast and the blog with as many people as possible. Friend, I'm on a mission and I'd like you to be a part of helping me spread the positive message that I know people need.
So, we've covered the fact that you ARE capable of accomplishing great things and, with that being true, we've also talked about the reality that you CAN accomplish those things.
BE SURE to copy and post the "7 Daily Affirmations" that I shared in the first article on this series (go back two articles, find it and print it out) and make it a habit to verbalize these DAILY!
Yes, it is THAT important!
In relation to this article, I want to call your attention to #7: I CAN! I WILL! I MUST!

I've already established the fact that you ARE capable and that you CAN, indeed, accomplish these things. Now then, TODAY you must take the next step and challenge yourself with a DECISION. You must proclaim loudly and boldly that you WILL take action and that you WILL accomplish these things!
But, as shared in that 7th affirmation, I want to challenge you to take it even one step further by deciding that this is an ABSOLUTE MUST for your life!
You need to make this a "do or die" proposition for yourself. I'm not joking.
If you don't do that then, friend, anything and everything will distract, discourage and devour you!
As the graphic below states: "You WILL if your "will" is strong enough!"

Stay with me, talk with me through the avenues listed below and I will do all that I can to help you KEEP YOUR FOCUS and RESOLVE but, as usual, there is one major fact that must be acknowledged:
Will you? No one can answer that question BUT you. "You will IF your 'will' is strong enough!"
Begin saying "YES" to life again and start doing that TODAY.
As you do so, always be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

YES, You Can! (Saying "YES" to Life)


Listen to me, now... if you haven't read and/or listened to the first part of this series, DO IT NOW! It is vitally important for YOU to understand, realize, accept and PROCLAIM that you ARE capable and able of accomplishing great things in and for YOUR life!

Be sure to go back to that last article and copy and print those 7 Daily Affirmations that I have for you there and begin to state them - OUT LOUD - each and every day so that you can begin to internalize the beliefs that you find stated there. 

You must first understand and CLAIM this very important fact: YES, YOU ARE!

You see, once we get to where we can begin to at least feel that, "You know what? I am beginning to feel that I actually AM capable of great things!", we can then begin to act more productively and more positively in everything that we do. We can then begin to understand, believe and PROCLAIM that, since I AM capable, then it is true that YES, I CAN actually accomplish these things in and for my life!

Listen, I love the story of the train that said, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" as much as the next guy but, can I be brutally blunt here? (Again, it's my blog so, yeah, I guess I can, right?) Although I understand the idea behind this "I think I can" statement, let me say that I think it is a bunch of WIMPY GARBAGE!

You are capable of far more than stating, "I THINK I can" with your fingers crossed!

Step out of the WIMPY SHADOW OF DOUBT (hey, I call it like I see it) and begin to proclaim, instead, the fact that... 
There is a BIG difference in "thinking" and "KNOWING" something to be true. Wouldn't you agree with that? Hey, listen, if you're not sure how to answer that, then think about this: Ask you husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or whatever your situation is the following question: "Do you think I'm the one for you?".Now, you tell me if you want to hear them say, "I THINK so" or "I KNOW so!"?

A leader that expresses, "I THINK this is the way we should go" as opposed to, "I KNOW this is the right way!", will not have as many people (if any) follow them with any confidence.

"I THINK I can" leaves too many opportunities for excuses. "I KNOW I can" leaves no room for doubt or the need for ANY excuse!

The questions really is this: Do you really WANT to?

Wow, when you really think about it, once we established the fact that you ARE capable and able to accomplish great things in your life, THAT ALONE removed any and all excuses.

That may scare you. That may cause you to tremble, because too many of us have grown to rely on and get really comfortable with those excuses!

So, you see...YOU ARE capable of those things, but WILL YOU TAKE ACTON to DO those things?

I wish I could answer that for you. Well, actually, I DON'T wish I could answer that for you. I don't even WANT to do that for you. It has to come from WITHIN you and it has to be YOUR thought and decision. NO ONE ELSE can do it for you...not now, not ever...YOU.

Be sure to listen to the podcast. I recorded it two days before the time that I'm sitting down and writing this article and, from what I can remember, it's a whole different thought expressed (to a large extent) than what I'm putting down in this article. That's why I always encourage you to read AND listen! It's on the same topic but it's "additional material" since they are  done at  different times and I don't have a script that I use.

GET THOSE DAILY AFFIRMATIONS OUT AND MAKE THEM A PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE!!! I can't express enough how important this is for you in this process. 

Know that you ARE able to accomplish great things and then KNOW that you CAN do these things as long as you decide that you really DO want to achieve more than you have. If not, stop talking about it and stop pretending. 

Harsh? Perhaps.

True? Absolutely.

We'll finish up this series in the next article (and podcast) with the "call to action" entitled, "Yes, You Will!"

Until then, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Monday, February 23, 2015

YES, You Are! (Saying YES to Life)

This week, in this new series on  how to "Learn to Answer Life With 'YES!'" we will be discussing the following three, specific topics:

Think back for a moment to when you were a young child. Sure, you may have been told "no" about many things (often for your safety and to help you learn important things) but, at the same time, you may have also been encouraged with words of "yes" about what you could accomplish.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Astronaut? Fire fighter? Cowboy? Professional athlete? I understand that what I'm about to say is not true in all situations, but it is true in many. You may have been encouraged in these "dreams for the future" with words such as, "You can do ANYTHING you want to do and BE anything you want to be!"
Awesome! There were no limits and we were free to dream and imagine!
Yet, somewhere along the way, those powerful and positive words of encouragement became tempered with words such as, "be realistic" and "more logical".  We were told that those "dreams" were alright for dreams but we had to start thinking about "the real world".
And, our "yes" became "no".
And, as you think back on this, you may also remember or realize that the word "no" seemed to become more and more prevalent in our lives as we grew up. It seems that we began to hear the word "no" more than we heard the word "yes".
You may have had big and exciting plans for what you would do once you graduated High School (which may or may not have included going to college) and - either way (college or not) - you either became discouraged or, again, got told "no" by hearing again and again that your "plans" were not "realistic".
After a while you just feel like giving up, don't you?
Perhaps, even as an adult, you have had some big and exciting goals for yourself that you've wanted to achieve. And, as is often the case, it is possible that those dreams and goals were "shot down" by others around you by, once again, telling you that it was not "logical" or "realistic".
And, specifically, this first article is REALLY for you! It's time - it's actually PAST time - to start answering life with "YES" once again!
Understand that you - yes, YOU - ARE capable of doing and achieving great things in and for your life! As a matter of fact, I want you to take a look at this next graphic that I put together several years ago. I've shared them before but, you may not have seen them when I did so, so I wanted to share them with you again, ESPECIALLY in connection with this topic.
I want you to make a copy of this graphic and post it somewhere that you will see it EVERY day. I also want you to read each one of these "daily affirmations" (daily means exactly that...DAILY) out loud before you get going on your day. Yes, you may feel a little "strange" doing so when you first begin but, friend, stick with it and you will soon find yourself saying these loudly and with great belief in what you are saying!

YES, YOU ARE! Notice the emphasis on the words, "I AM ABLE..." Right from the start you find the statement about yourself that you need to begin to believe - I mean REALLY believe: "I am somebody SPECIAL!" And, that being so, you ARE able to accomplish GREAT things just as is stated in step #2. And, in the process, you will also accomplish what you find in #3: I AM ABLE to TOUCH and CHANGE many lives for the better!
These are POWERFUL and, as the heading for these indicate, they are also LIFE-CHANGING and LIFE-DIRECTING.
We'll discuss more in detail in the next segment about what you actually CAN get done but, friend, let me go ahead and say this now: STOP MAKING UP EXCUSES and STOP BELIEVING these excuses that tell you that you CAN'T!
You ARE able and capable...YES, YOU ARE!
You MUST instill this believe into your life...into your subconscious so that, even when you don't "feel" that is true, you will still KNOW - deep down - that, indeed, it IS true.
I'm excited about this series and I hope that you are as well. DO NOT MISS THIS ALL-IMPORTANT STEP of posting these "7 Daily Affirmations" and making them a vital part of your DAILY activities.
You ARE capable but will YOU do "small things" such as this that will actually make a difference? You will IF you really ARE determined to achieve what it is you have set out for yourself and for your life.
Join me for the next article on, "YES, You Can!" and, until then, whatever you do, always be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Friday, February 20, 2015

Emotional Impact (Conclusion)

Emotions. We all have them. They are a part of being human.
Yet, at the same time, though we all have them, not all of us handle them in the same way. Wouldn't you agree?
There's nothing wrong with expressing our emotions - it's a part of being human, remember? We can be overcome with grief, happiness, anger and fear. We may even act "out of control" during those times. But, even at those times it is important to remember to have control over our "out of control" emotions.
Make sense?
Some "go wild" and do all kinds of things and then use the excuse, "I was overcome with emotion!". Do you remember 1 of the "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid"? It was, "It's Not My Fault".
It's important for us to be sure to control our emotions and not allow our emotions to control us. Easier said than done? Absolutely, at times.
This series has not been intended to have us go through like "emotionless"...that's not being "real" and it's not being "human". It also proves nothing and sets no positive example for those around us.
Don't be (refuse to be) a thermometer when it comes to emotions. In other words, don't just reflect what the emotions are of those around you. Don't be "one of the crowd" that is controlled or influenced by someone else when it is YOUR responsiblity to maintain a positive attitude and a positive direction for your emotions.
I've seen so many people that are grumpy and in a bad mood because of the emotions/attitudes of others around them.
YOU be the THERMOSTAT and help "set" the mood...."set" the emotion..."control" the envirmonment (temperature). YOU be the one that helps turn things around to a more positive attitude, mindset and emotion.
YOU be the one that, when others leave your presense they don't just "feel" better, they ARE better because of you and your positive attitude, influence and emotion!
Be sure to listen to the podcast (see links below) to get the full impact of my thoughts on this and to hear more. And, please, share both the podcast AND the blog with as many as possible.
Until next time, friend, whatever you do, be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Emotional Impact - Part II

Proverbs 13:20 - "Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble." (Holy Bible. New Living Translation)
Today, instead of talking about who YOU hang around with, I thought I'd change things up a bit and focus on THIS question: WHO HANGS AROUND YOU?
And, on top of that, "How do they benefit from doing so?"
The people that hang around you...what do they get out of it? Are they BETTER by doing so? Are they STRONGER emotionally by doing so? Is their attitude better and more positive by hanging around you? What have they learned about how to handle and improve the EMOTIONAL IMPACT of their emotions in their lives by hanging around you?
I'm not saying that you have to be PERFECT...that, my friend, is impossible! I'm not saying that you have to put pressure on yourself to be something that you are not and that you could never be (perfect).
YOU decide - NOW - to "set the pace" with those around you. YOU decide to be the one that "turns the negative into the positive" whenever you can. YOU decide to share your positive attitude and your ability to NOT let "emotions" get the best of you (and to use that as an excuse for your actions) with those around you as a way to build a "better" and "stronger" work place.
Let me throw this out to you...chances are that you are ALREADY doing these things.
That's right. If this is not an "act" or if this is a part of who you REALLY are then, guess what? You are already having that kind of positive impact on those around you.
And, if not, stop being shy about it and let "it" (positive power) come out!
Do so and watch what happens.
Remember, this is how we "change our world" person at a time.
And, friend, YOUR TIME IS NOW!
Be sure to join me for the conclusion in the next article and also be sure to check out the podcasts that go along with the articles by clicking on one of the podcast links below.
Until then, whatever you do, always be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Monday, February 16, 2015

Emotional Impact

Here we are at the start of another new series...this time I'll be talking about EMOTIONS and how they impact (effect) us as well as those around us.

Let me give you a little background as to how these thoughts came about for this series. A couple of weeks ago, while at church on a Sunday morning, the preacher said something along the lines of, "Your emotions tend to reflect the emotions of those you spend time with".

That was a little different than things I have heard in the past concerning "those you spend time with". I've shared with you several times about how I've heard that your financial situation will be the average of the 5 (or 10) people that you spend the most time with.

So, it would also make sense that those same people would influence your emotions as well, does it not?

Hey, let's get down to it here: WE ARE LIKE THOSE WE HANG AROUND!

Side note: How much influence do YOU have on THEM as opposed to THEM on YOU?

On that particular Sunday the preacher also shared the following scripture from Proverbs 13:20 - "Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble." (Holy Bible. New Living Translation)

Hey, isn't that just common sense? Think about it and, again, examine your close associates/friends. It really should cause us all to think carefully about that group of people!

At the same time, it's important for us to also consider the following question: "What "emotions" do YOU put/send out?" Hey listen, we all know that emotions have an impact on others...YOU'VE experienced it from others and you have also HAD THAT IMPACT on others.

We'll be discussing these things in more detail in the last two parts of this series, but I also want to leave you with one more thought to consider: "Do your emotions 'control or direct' your attitude OR does your attitude 'control or direct' your emotions?"

Whatever you do, don't use the excuse, "I'm an emotional person" to allow you to act in ways that are not productive or helpful that CAN be corrected and/or improved. That's too easy and it's also too easy to allow that to become an actual "belief" in our lives.'

HOMEWORK: Between now and the next installment, pay close attention to the emotions of those that you spend the most time with and then compare them to your own emotions. Notice how these people "react" to situations and then, again, compare to your own reactions.

You may be surprised at what you find.

Thanks for your time and I hope to see you here for the next part of this series. Until then, whatever you do, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Friday, February 13, 2015

3rd of "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid"

As always, if you haven't done so already, be sure to read the previous two articles to get the full impact of this series. Now, on to the concluding article...

As the old saying goes, "Never say 'Never'".
Even as you consider the thoughts of this series, it's easy to examine the first two myths ("It's Not My Fault" and "It's Not My Job") and say to yourself (and even to anyone that will listen), "That kind of attitude will NEVER be a part of MY mindset! It will never happen to me!".
Believe me, friend, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with determining that certain things will not take place in your life. However, it's important to realize that there is a BIG difference in saying, "I'm determined for that to NEVER be a part of my life" and, "That will NEVER happen to me or be a part of my life".
I understand the determination even in the second example but, the difference between the two is a "stated determination" in the first. In other words, we must always understand (and acknowledge) that many times, in spite of our best efforts, we may still fall to that which we would prefer to avoid.
Make sense?
Although this may not be true 100% of the time, I would suggest that, ANY time a person states, "It will never happen to me!" that, in all likelihood, it WILL, indeed, happen to them sooner or later.
It just seems to work that way in life.
Yes, identify traits, character flaws and habits that you wish to avoid. Identify them and work hard to rid your life of them. But, friend, do NOT grow lazy in your work to keep this determination at the forefront of your actions because, if you do, the very thing which you wish to avoid will find a way into your mindset and your life.
Pay attention to these "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid" and do not take them lightly! Go to the fan page on FaceBook (, find one of the graphics (or several) that you really like and post/share them in different avenues with others in order to help spread this important message that so many need to see.
Perhaps use one of those graphics as your "background" on your computer and/or phone so that you can be reminded of this on a daily basis.
You will also find a video by Dave Ramsey on that fan page that actually began my thoughts on this particular myth of the three. Particularly notice the comments that seem to express the thought of, "It Will Never Happen to Me".
I'd love to get your feedback and comments and, again, the best place to do that is through this fan page. You can also do so on the main website (, at the end of this article, through e-mail and also through Twitter.
Whatever you do, and as you do it, be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2nd of "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid"

As always, if you've not had a chance to read the first blog article in this series (and/or listen to the 1st episode of the podcast in the series), be sure to take a few minutes to do so.

These are "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid" that are a "disease" to any person, community, organization and yes, even to a society.

The first of these was covered in that last article - "It's Not My Fault", and now, let's continue on with my thoughts on the 2nd of these DANGEROUS myths:

If you want to hear my passion on this particular "dangerous myth", then you definitely need to listen to the podcast! I'm here to tell you, there are few things that get me "worked up" as quickly as the verbalization of this attitude, or in other words, TO HEAR SOMEONE ACTUALLY SAY THIS.

And, as I talk about on the podcast,  I did have a man (an older man, at that) say that to me during a situation when we were supposed to be working together on a particular "project"just the other day. The "task" that he didn't want to do because "it's not my job", was not much of a task at all. As a matter of fact, my hands were already full and I had already done a LOT of things and it would have been a BIG help - with very little effort on his part - for him to do this one small thing. But, when I asked him if he had done that, he actually said, "No, it's not my job."

I wish I could tell you that I handled that well, but I did not. I pretty much "unloaded" on him letting him know what a HORRIBLE attitude that I thought he had and that I really felt it was pretty pathetic for him to use that line in this situation.  Yeah, he had no doubt how I felt about his choice.


Friend, let me just caution you in this way: When you find yourself even THINKING this thought, you are headed for trouble. Sure, this is my personal opinion, but look again and you'll also see that it's my blog. See how that works? But, more than that, I have observed and studied people and situations for years and I really DO know what I am talking about.

This attitude is lazy and selfish and does NOTHING to help support and/or build any sort of team. 

Apply that to yourself as an individual and you will find that you will never really contribute to ANY team situation in any real way. In other words, you won't be of value and you can be - and will be - easily replaced.

I was going to suggest that you then apply this to a group of people but, in fact, you won't have to apply this thought to a group because it is CONTAGIOUS. (Remember me calling this a "disease" earlier?) This is a CONTAGIOUS DISEASE that will spread it's deadly poison throughout any organization and, again, even society.

I'll share with you the same advice that I gave to all three of my sons when they were still living at home and applying for summer jobs..."Always do MORE than what is expected of you!"

I would tell them that, by doing so, they would always have a job and always have a list of good references. Guess what? It's true.

Oh, I know that the idea of "doing more than what is expected" just really sounds strange to some people. These are the people that have been groomed in the "It's Not My Job" mentality and mindset but, friend, THIS DOES NOT NEED TO BE YOU.

Please be sure to take a few minutes to listen to the podcast to hear my thoughts on this more in depth. I know you'll be glad that you did.

Get rid of this dangerous - and poisonous - myth in your life and help spread this message to as many as possible by sharing this blog article as well as the podcast. OUR WORLD NEEDS THIS MESSAGE NOW!

Join me in the last article of this series as we discuss the final of the "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid"
"It Will Never Happen to Me"

Whatever you do, each and every day, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Monday, February 9, 2015

1st of "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid"

Today I will begin a discussion on "3 Dangerous Myths to Avoid" that I hope you will consider very seriously. These are three things that I've put together myself that is based on several tendencies that I have observed over the past several years.

I have seen an increase in the "belief" and "practice" of each of these and, friend, such is a POISON and a DISEASE for any person and/or society. 

Let's begin with the 1st of these dangerous myths:

Let me start off with this disclaimer, just as I do on the podcast on today's topic. I am NOT talking about situations where a child or adult has been in an abusive situation and/or relationship. Many times, the offender will do all that they can to make the victim believe that this was their fault. Many have problems believing this lie for many years. Again, know this up front - this is NOT what I'm referring to in this article. 

What I AM talking about is the increased occurrence of this attitude that has become prevalent in our society.  I see this evident in our political system, our schools, managers, all the way down to individuals.

It's called an AVOIDANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY.  It's also called "Playing the BLAME GAME".

You'll hear it all around you if you will but open your ears and really listen.The words usually begin with something like, "Well, I would have done it, but..." or "That's what I was about to do next..." or "I wasn't really trained how to do that" or any number of other things that could be labeled as an EXCUSE.

What about you? Have YOU been sipping on this poison?

Here's a quick way to find out: If the first words out of your mouth tend to be some sort of "explanation" (better known as an EXCUSE) as to why you didn't get something done, then, friend, you just exhibited the idea of "It's Not My Fault".

No one is perfect. No one will ever do everything right all of the time. There are times that things do take place that prevents us from completing a task. DO YOU VERY BEST and, if things fall short, stand up and accept the responsibility as well as any consequences that may follow.

If you have children, what are they learning from you in this area? Are they learning - from YOU - how to accept responsibility or how to make excuses?

Rid your life and your vocabulary of this phrase. Remember, you may not verbalize these exact words but, while making excuses, you still state the same thing - "It's Not My Fault!".

It's time that we expected such from those in public office but, friend, we should also expect the same thing from ourselves.

Wouldn't you agree?

Be sure and join me in the next article as we discuss the 2nd of the 3 Dangerous Myths: "It's Not My Job".

Until then, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Friday, February 6, 2015

Are the Best Things in Life REALLY Free? (Part 3)

If you've not done so already, go back and read the 1st two articles of this series and also be sure to listen to the podcasts that go along with them. (See links below).

So far, I've covered all but the last three "items" from the graphic above. So, for the last three that remain, where do THEY fit in to all of this?


Let's go ahead and put these last three in with the rest of the group and take an "overall look" at the question of them being free or not...

"ITEM"                                            Is it FREE?                       Does it require an INVESTMENT?
hugs                                                      no                                                           Yes!
smiles                                                   no                                                            Yes!
friends                                                  no                                                            Yes!
kisses                                                   no                                                             Yes!
family                                                  no                                                             Yes!
sleep                                                    no                                                             Yes!
love                                                     no                                                             Yes!
laughter                                               no                                                             Yes!
good memories                                   no                                                             Yes!========================================================================

Every one of these things REQUIRES some sort of investment (be sure to read and listen to the previous articles and podcasts to get my full thoughts on this up to this point).
But here's one final "twist" I want to throw your way today...look at that very last one..."good memories".  Look at the rest of the list now and understand/realize that these things put together help create "good memories". Wouldn't you agree?

Listen, friend, I understand that you may have a lot of "bad" memories attached to your life. But, listen, the time MUST come when you decide that it is time to create some NEW and GOOD memories in and for your life. I also understand that, many times, when one has been "hurt" or disappointed by others, it is sometimes hard to "open up" and allow the "risk" of investment in and with others.
But, friend, life is worth LIVING and, sometimes, LIVING involves pain. When one makes an investment, they may gain or they may suffer loss. A smart investor knows that a good investment is one that "stands the test of time". So it is with your life. Allow yourself to invest in others and - at the same time - allow yourself to be "invested in" by others.
It's completely up to you to create those "good memories" and, the quicker you get started, the more of those memories you can create!
Bottom line: ENJOY each and every day and allow yourself to "open up" and to "be open" to all that life has to's a wonderful thing.
Until next time, continue to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Are the Best Things in Life REALLY Free? (Part 2)

If you have yet to do so, go back and read Part 1 of this current series so you can be "up to speed" on the emphasis and focus of this series.
Bottom line: As wonderful as the things listed in the graphic above really are - they are NOT free!
Each and every one of them require an INVESTMENT from you. It may involve an investment of time or an investment of emotion or risk or any number of things. And, quite often, it requires an investment of several - if not all - of the things that we could list. 

Yes, this applies even to something as what we may call "simple" like kisses. That's right, KISSES.
Let's start with adults and work our way back. If you are on a date and you try to give or get a kiss too soon, what will happen? Perhaps a slap across the face or, for sure, some sort of rejection. Why? THE INVESTMENT HAS NOT BEEN MADE! And, no, I'm not suggesting, "Hey baby, I bought you supper, you owe me a kiss!". I'm talking about an investment in interest and respect, for example.
If you are in a relationship (whether dating or married) then, for those kisses to actually MEAN something, there MUST be an investment as well. Too many lose that "spark" with those kisses over time because they have also ceased to make continued investment. Think about's true.
Kisses don't always have to be a form of foreplay for some sexual adventure, right? Sometimes a kiss - a kiss with investment - can be as simple as a little kiss on the forehead that says, "Hang in there, it's going to be alright".
And oh, then there are those kisses that we give to those babies...our own kids OR grandbabies (or nieces and nephews). Even though that little baby may not know about it, there has been investment made on YOUR part in all of it (especially if it is your child or grandbaby).  If you don't agree, try kissing some baby that you've never seen before and see what the reaction of the parent(s) is(are).
FAMILY - I'm sure you have no problem at all agreeing that FAMILY requires investment. Family is not always easy and, to be honest, it's not always pleasant. Sometimes family hurts and causes pain. However, family is forever. I know, you may feel anything about family BUT that you want it to be "forever". I get that, I really do. Maybe I should rephrase what I said and change it to, "Family SHOULD BE forever." If that is to be so, it definitely requires an investment of your time, patience, love and understanding.
As far as your own family (your spouse and your children), here's some advice: INVEST EARLY AND OFTEN! You'll be glad you did.
SLEEP - Sleep? What? How does one invest in sleep? There are several ways for this to be done but, for one, when you live each day to the best of your ability, you should be able to lay your head on your pillow at night and sleep well with that knowledge. Yes, even when things don't turn out just right or the way that you wish...if you've done your best, let it go and sleep easy, friend.
If you are a believer, trust your God, turn your worries over to Him and sleep easy. Invest in that relationship as well!
And yes, you can even invest by the way that you treat your body. There's two ways to look at this part of the equation: 1. A good night's sleep will help keep you healthy and, 2. Being healthy will help you get a good night's sleep. Take care of yourself, try to improve your health and sleep better. In turn, you will feel better and actually BE better.
I'm purposely not going into more detail on these items so that YOU may "dig" into these things for yourself and for your own situation. My hope is that just bringing these things up might create a "spark" in and for your life in one (or all) of these areas.
They are all part of the investment that you make in the world in which you live.
Invest, get involved, be involved and experience the true return from your investment...a joyous life.
Until next time, always be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Are the Best Things in Life REALLY Free?

There is an episode from the old "Andy Griffith Show" in which Barney Fife takes his girl, Thelma Lou, out on a date. However, for the date, he didn't actually take her "out" anywhere. Instead, he picked her up and took her down by the lake for some "smooching" time. As they were sitting in the car, Thelma Lou made some comment about wishing they had gone to a movie or done something different, to which Barney replied, "Well Thelma Lou, don't you know that the best things in life are free?".  Apparently this "free" date didn't qualify as one of the "best" things in life for Thelma Lou.

You've heard that phrase yourself, right? 

Look at the graphic above and you'll see it again. And, you'll also see little images to demonstrate what types of things fit into this "free" category. But, are they really "free"?
Don't get me wrong...I understand the thought behind the phrase and I agree that, too many times we feel that MONEY has to be involved in order to bring happiness. That is usually NOT the case.
But, again, I want to focus on asking the question about these particular things: "Are they REALLY free?"
As we go through this series this week, understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch! In other words, NOTHING is actually FREE, friend. And, yes, that includes hugs, smiles and friends.
All of the things that you see on the first graphic (and that we will be discussing this week) require an INVESTMENT from you in one way or another. That's right - it ain't free, buddy!
Think about you really want a complete stranger coming up to you and giving you a hug out on the street? You might, but NOT ME! There has to be some sort of "connection" or relationship in order for me to give or receive a hug. Sure, it may be a joyous celebration at a sporting event that might cause such a thing to happen but, even at that, the excitement over that sporting event would be the "connecting" value.
You must INVEST YOURSELF in some sort of way in order for a hug to MEAN something and for it to be welcomed (on either side) for encouragement, solace or appreciation. Otherwise, they are just plain AWKWARD. You've experienced some of those, haven't you?
SMILES are a little different but, friend, they still require an investment from you. Sharing a smile is one of the easiest things that a person can do but, have you looked at the faces around you lately? There doesn't seem to be too many of them with a smile on their face!
You have to make an investment - a commitment - that you are going to share your positive attitude REGARDLESS of how many people ignore it because you just never know when you will come across someone that really NEEDS that smile on that day. Believe me (and I think you already know this), it DOES make a difference! Add to that smile a friendly (and genuine) greeting - especially at your workplace - and see what happens. I love doing that with the ladies in the office at my work. I love to smile and greet them with a genuine, "Good morning, ladies! How are you doing today?" and then watch their faces light up with smiles of their own as they respond in a very similar way.
And finally, FRIENDS. It doesn't take a genius to realize that having friends DEFINITELY takes an investment from all involved. Am I right?
Too many people whine and complain about not having any friends when they are not willing to invest in such a relationship. They want friends but don't care enough about others to reach outside of their own little world to allow others in. Or, many times, they just are too selfish to reach out and care about others.
Sure, some friends are closer than others. That's normal. That's expected. Those are likely the ones with which you have far more invested. Cherish those relationships!
So, you see, in reality, these things might be considered "free" but they ALL require an investment from YOU. But hey, that's what life is all about...each of us sharing our lives with those around us.
Aren't you glad?
Invest and fill your life with those hugs, smiles and friends and, until next time, whatever you do, be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"