Obla dee Obla dah! Life Goes On!

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.  ~Elwyn Brooks White

Gosh, with so many things to tend to in life, it can be difficult to get priorities straight at times!  Through the years, priorities tend to change!  Whilst young, having fun tends to take on front-center stage and if there is anything that is not fun, well it just isn’t worth the time of day!  That is what made it so tough to sit still in school and pay any attention to all the clamber to “get good grades” and do your homework!  My thoughts on history as a lad was just that..”it’s history, it already happened so there is nothing that I can do about it so why study it!?”

So much changes as you go through the years, mainly your perspective and what becomes important to you through time.  All of the sudden the things that mom and dad and adults were emphasizing start making more sense and you some to realize that they were not so dumb after all!  Did you ever notice how the “nerds” in school that were not so “cool” all of a sudden become cool in your adult years, and the “cool kids” from school may be sort of left behind?  The roles tend to reverse entirely! Obla-dee Obla-dah!

I like what Elwyn White said in the quote above!  I would just like to ask, why not have it all?  Why not change the world and enjoy doing it along the way. Really, in everything you do, you can have a ball doing it!  If making your world a better place is what you want, than, as you strive or work towards doing it, you can have a great time!  Work doesn’t always have to be a “four-letter-word” , it can be tremendous fun and it usually brings a greater income if that is what you make of it!

So have a blast along the way!  Don’t allow your life to become “blah”.  Make it obla-dee obla-dah exciting!  Life does go on, just don’t allow it to go on without you enjoying the ride!

Have a wonderful day!

Mistakes, Blunders and Boo Boos

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.–Mary Pickford

I love Mary’s quote as it is so true!  Who on earth has never made a mistake?  No one, but the biggest mistake anyone really can ever make is to not take the opportunity to learn for their mistake, get back up, dust themselves off and try again! You can plan things out as well as you possible, but inevitably, somewhere along the way, things will not go according to plan!  But instead of seeing this is a “mistake”, try to see if your new reality is better than the original plan.

I spent four years of my life working on a project with a long-term goal in mind, this project was going to be what I would be submerging my life and efforts into pretty much for the rest of my life!  It was a project that took all of my concentration, strength and thought power for what was four long years!  The project was a bit fragile to begin with as it was contingent on the cooperation of a family who owned a rather large piece of property that I was working on to turn into a youth training center.  Well, things did change, this family withdrew their offer after a lot of work and money had been put into the project.  I thought, “how stupid I was to even get started on this and to have not drawn up legal binding papers to hold them to the deal…why did I trust in them?”.

Yes it was a mistake, yes I “wasted” four years of my life.  However, through this “mistake”, I was able to come out with a totally new opportunity that, had I not been involved in the later project, most likely I would never have seen or recognized what was in store for my life!  As I now look back at where I came from and what I thought I was going to be doing for the rest of my life, not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for closing that one door and opening this new window of opportunity!  Was that mistake so bad? No, at the end of the day, it was really no mistake at all, it was part of a larger plan!

Have your “boo-boos”  helped you to move on to something new and exciting!  Just make sure to get back up!  All is NOT lost!

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

“Love is the immortal flow of energy that nourishes, extends and preserves. Its eternal goal is life.” Smiley Blanton

It takes a lot of will power and strength to be able to get yourself up and out of bed each and everyday to go to work or to study, but this is something that we all know needs to be done.  That is if we want to be able to make it through this arduous journey called life!  If you are one who has a job that you love, and you are passionate about it, the effort is a little easier to make, but none-the-less to do anything day-in and day-out is a struggle!

We make sacrifices throughout our lives because we have a reason to this madness.  We are either doing it to reach a self-set goal, or because we have a family to take care of, either way there has to be a good reason to get us to make a move.  Of course we are also creatures of habit and can get into a routine that we follow just because that is was we are expected to do each and everyday.  This later state is less effective and usually does not lead us into anything extraordinary.  To achieve something spectacular in life, you have to be passionate about it in one way or the other.

There needs to be a real motivation behind this sometimes difficult journey of life, there needs to be a passion, there needs to be love! Love is an emotion that leads us into something great! I am not saying that you necessarily have to love your job or studies, but it sure helps! But you need to love those you care about, your own goals, your own ambitions enough to make it worth your time!  So if you ask me the question, “what’s love got to do with it”, I would have to answer…everything! It doesn’t have to be “love at first sight” either!  It can be a love that you grow into, and you will see that, if you do have a love for something, great things can happen!

How does love motivate you?

The Discipline Controversy

Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child. Discipline is guidance. If there is love, there is no such thing as being too tough with a child.-Bette Davis

You may or may not have seen the video that has since gone viral on YouTube of the father who reads a letter that his daughter had placed on Facebook to him and her mother writhe with disrespect and profanity.  She had really no intention of having her parents read the letter, but having placed it on Facebook for all of her friends to see, come on, we all know that sooner or latter it will get around.  After reading her letter on the video, a form of discipline that he chose was to shoot a round of bullets into her computer and letting her know that she will have to get her own computer and pay a dollar for every bullet he had shot. (see YouTube video)

Needless to say, this has caused a great deal of controversy and went on to occupy a spot on HLN, not to mention a visit by the Child Protection Agency, and the police.  When asked what he might have done differently on his public disciplinary act he simply stated that he would have most likely not have been holding a cigarette and may have dressed better!  Interestingly enough the number of “likes”  of his disciplinary action way out number the “dislikes”.

I wanted to weigh in here from my perspective having raised 6 children of my own, I am a believer in discipline as long as, as Bette Davis is quoted as saying, “if there is love”.  In today’s society, mom and dad are for the most part pretty tied up at work to be able to stay a float as a family.  Some struggle to make ends meet, but then there are also those who are out to be “well off” and place an emphasis on having material goods and the way that they show their “love” is by buying a lot of “things” for their children.  While I believe it is nice to provide children with, not only their needs but some of their wants as well, I believe that this can never be replaced with the time that you spend with your child.

I have, and have always had, a wonderful rapport with all of my children.  We made it a point to spend days out together, do fun and exciting things together, even if it were simply a day at a park without having to shell out a wad of money, but the point was to be together.  Having been blessed with a good line of communication, when it came time (And it ALWAYS does!) to have to discipline them for something that they may have said or done that needed to be addressed, for the most part it was received with respect. (Not always immediately).  The point here being, IF you love your child, and reassure this through genuine actions of being there when it counts, your discipline will bring about positive fruit.  If not, you can expect further rebellion.

Now, all this said, I don’t know the gentlemen in this video personally.  I can’t say that he has had a great rapport with his daughter.  I am not sure if this will bring about the fruit that he is hoping, but I do believe that, despite the way his discipline was delivered, he needed to step in to discipline her and that is why he has received more “likes” than “dislikes”.  Unfortunately, we have lost a good balance to discipline, much thanks to those who have abused the practice by being too harsh and even cruel towards their children.  But as is the case in practically everything in life, a proper balance will most likely bring about the desired results.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

Love Is In The Air!

The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.–Henry Miller

It is that time of the year again..it is Valentine’s day! The day of love, in which everyone is scrambling to do something special for that  special someone in their lives!  Hopefully something different, something extraordinary that will make the love of your life feel just a bit more special.   Perhaps flowers, a special dinner out, a night together at a hotel away from distractions, or just simply a time for some undivided attention that breaks away from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It is difficult to measure love, and I believe that a lot of the love that is shown on a day-to-day basis can tend to get overlooked.  I have not been Mr. Romantic with flowers in my hand, or an outstanding poem or song written for my wife.  Unfortunately for me, I am sort of more the “simple guy” who shows my love by being there on a day-to-day basis attempting to do those many needed tasks or errands to render life at least a wee bit easier for her.

When you have been married or together with someone for so very many years, this demonstration of love can appear to be neglect.  It is not seen so “extraordinary” or “special” anymore since you can grow accustomed to it and lose appreciation for the one who is and has been there for you through thick and thin.  That is why for so many, they feel as though they have “lost” that love and are no longer able to see it for what it really is.  But in today’s world, it means a great deal!  All too often people run away in search of that “Hollywood romance” dream life, leaving behind them what was actually real love all along!

You can never give too much love, that is true…but you will most likely never feel as though you had too much.  It is in the little things day by day that love needs to be manifested, received, appreciated in order to recognize that you have never ever lost what you need and desire, you just need to look at it in the right perspective.

Happy Valentine’s day!  Do something extraordinary for that special someone! Can you see the love?

Talent, Beauty, Wealth, Fame Not Enough

A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all.–Clive James

It is sad and shocking news that the beautiful and talented Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton yesterday.   I had always enjoyed listening to Whitney’s beautiful voice and was saddened when for a long period of time she had not been so public with her music.  Like many a famed personality, she too was caught up in the world of substance abuse which pretty much became her demise.

We tend to think that being famous, beautiful or handsome, having lots of money and tremendous talent would solve all of our problems, we would be happy and in need of nothing.  As we can see here, and in so many cases with those who have “made it” in the world, it can lead to even greater depression and even loneliness and despair.  Life goes on and we are all susceptible to the very same feelings, illnesses, choices and decisions.

I feel sorry in fact for celebrities who find themselves caught up in the lime light and are unable to have normal moments of peace and tranquility without being harassed by the media and fans.  If not handled properly, too much adoration can lead to depression as well.  Celebrities are also human, they need to feel loved and cared for, the world that they find themselves in often is  very superficial and it can be even more hurtful to not have a feeling of sincere love and care.  More often than not, this “love” that they get is more due to their success and is rather fickle, “here today and gone tomorrow” when the money and success runs low.

As Lord Byron wrote, “I have quaffed every drop of pleasure, I have drunk every drop of fame..and yet I die of thirst!”

The material world cannot satisfy the real need in our lives of love and being loved.  Having things, being well-known, and being attractive are nice, but they will never ever feed the true yearning of the soul.  My prayers go out to Whitney’s daughter and family, may she now have true peace.

The Minefield Of The Mind

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.–Buddha

I was thinking..(now that is a good start to a post on the mind!) anyway, I did think about how easy it is for the mind to wander.  Our minds are always at work, night and day, and we can be totally on to something one moment, and if we are not able to discipline our mind, we can lose whatever it was in an instant!  It really is like a muscle that needs to be worked on a regular basis in order to keep it  fine tuned and in shape.

The other night I couldn’t sleep as I was getting all inspired about something I wanted to write about.  I was practically wide awake but somehow I convinced myself that I could just “hold that thought” and I surely would remember it the next morning. Well, the next morning I did remember the subject matter, but one I had put it on paper it didn’t sound so “wow” is it had the night before. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak, and unfortunately the flesh won the battle over the spirit!

I’m sure it happens to all of us, but I have been a victim of my lack of  mind discipline.  I will think of something that I need to do in another  room, reach the room and I have already totally forgotten what it was that I had gone there to do!  Our minds will just keep on working away, thinking of so many things during the course of the day, that if we are not disciplined we can get lost along the way.

It is as though there is a mine field of distractions that are set there to keep us form getting anywhere, and unless we work towards getting rid of these distractions, we can do all kinds of great things, but miss out on getting the exceptional done!  This is just an innocent problem we encounter on a daily basis.  But it can get worse of what we expose our mind to a constant flood of useless or even negative muck!  We have to be on guard so as not to allow this mine field to get there in the first place.

I have witnessed an amazing come-back in my stepmother’s health.  She has been paralyzed from her waist down now for the past 5 years. Jut 2 years ago she was totally bedridden, she had a tremendous problem with negativity, entertained negative feeling and thought about others and was generally confused  most of the time.  (I believe that the medicine that she had been on played a role in her state of mind). Once she was taken off certain medicines (she was at that time on hospice) she began making an amazing turn for the better and the nursing home took her off of hospice and placed her on a physical therapy course.  Today, she is able to sit up in a wheel chair all day, spends most of her time reading and had regained a very positive attitude.

Just the fact that she is now able to train her thoughts and exercise her mind has given her a new lease on life and changed her overall condition!  She had to take the stand, make the effort, clear the mines and get her mind back under her subjection.  It takes a concerted effort,  just as it would have taken for me to get out of bed, write down my thoughts of inspiration the other night and not expect that my mind freeze and hold that thought!

Do you ever battle with your mind? What do you do to overcome?

We Are Masters Of Our Own Fate

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.–Franklin D. Roosevelt

So many people leave things up to “fate”, in other words they let things happen without coming to the realization that  they are the masters or designers of their own fate!  It bothers me when I hear people blame their situation on others in their lives! “well, I am this way because of my parents”, “I wouldn’t be in this situation if it weren’t for my husband/wife” etc..

Of course “life happens”, things do come about in our lives that cause us to make decisions and sometimes they are not easy decisions at that.  But usually the things that do “happen to us” are in direct response to decisions that we have made in the past.  It is important to realize that to every action there is a reaction and we will attract to ourselves the results that we ourselves have put into motion (or may not have put into motion).

It is all too convenient to blame others for the situations that we find ourselves in when all along we have a great deal to do with the predicament that we find ourselves in. We all want to be “right” or at least “righer” than the next guy and it helps us to convince ourselves that we are just a tad bit better than anyone else and of course we don’t deserve what we have gotten ourselves into.  But really, if you want things to get better, then it would be best to grab a hold of the helm and steer the ship in a different direction, or at least away from the rocks!

If you sit around and cry in your soup about your lot in life, well think about this.  Imagine you were raised in an abusive home, you are a black American in Tennessee and a female at that!  You could deduct that you are so unfortunate and that there simply is no hope for you and your “fate” is surely sealed and decided at birth, you will have a terrible life ahead of you! Well, I just described to you Oprah Winfrey!  One of  the most, if not the most successful women in America! She didn’t just sit back and accept her “fate” to decide for her, she took ahold of the helm and steered her ship into the deep and exciting waters where there are no limits to what she can do!

So don’t allow your mind to talk you into defeat! You were born to succeed regardless of your circumstances! It is up to you to steer your ship in the right direction, so take a hold of the helm!

 

Giving It All You’ve Got!

“Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it” –Maya Angelou

Well, here I am once again!  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take a recent trip and spend quality time with my dad, as well as visit with my family all over Texas and in Nevada.  As much as I had wanted to  stay on top of writing my blog, I failed pretty much miserably having found it difficult to maintain a balance during my travels.

I am one who tends to “jump in with both feet” regardless of what I am doing and in the case of my visit with my dad, who is turning 91 this year and in need of assistance and attention, it became difficult to spend much time on my computer to the neglect of spending more time with him.  I felt at the time that I needed to spend every moment that I could with him while I was there and not give him just a portion of my attention.

Now I have returned to my “normal” schedule and work home situation, in which, despite the many things I need to devote my attention to, I can get back into the “multitasking mode” without making anyone around me feel neglected or ignored.  My family knows of and respects my work obligations and therefore do not feel the least bit slighted if I momentarily give them my most divided attention.

I believe that, if you are going to commit to doing anything at all, it is important to give all you’ve got!  Doing anything half-heartedly your results will most likely come back with the same measure and with similar results!  If you want to get positive results out of anything, you have to put forth the effort that it takes.  And if your time is limited to share with people who you care about, make sure that you are there in soul, body and mind, because life is indeed short and they deserve our full attention!

So…give it all you’ve got!