The Final Day of A Better Way To Live~Day 17

Woman-by-Ralph-Lauren-perfume

My hope is you get this faster than I did. It took me over half my life to find this truth.

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

I have had a lot of levels of success, and all the material objects that brings. None of that brought me happiness. If it did it was a fleeting moment like driving the car off the showroom floor. It was temporary like the new car smell.

I finally realized if I was happy on the inside, I was successful. Success doesn’t bring happiness; happiness brings success in every area of my life. Giving of myself to others bring even more happiness. A friend once told me, “You can’t give away what you don’t have, but you must give away what you want to keep.”

Let the goodness inside of you flow onto others. It will come back to you in such abundance, you’ll never be able to give it all away.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino. To view all 17 days of this series, click here.

A Better Way To Live~Day 16

I have made my share of mistakes on this earth. The good news is, I have learned to take my mistakes as life’s little lessons, and not forget them. Not by dwelling on the past by no means, but pausing to reflect before making a decision. Have I been here before? How did it turn out? If it didn’t work the first time, don’t do it again. Learn.

Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintop. So you will learn things in adversity that you would have never discovered without trouble. There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.

 

I love the way God never gives up on me. I know I’ve disappointed Him and myself, but you can’t stay there my friend. He picks me up, brushes off the dirt, and helps me stand upright to try again.

Make good choices. I usually pray and ponder for at least 24 hours if it’s a big decision. Sometimes I take days. I don’t talk to many people, and get bombarded with opinions. If I let time pass and continue to ponder, usually something will occur that let’s me know if I’m on the right path or not.

It’s how we learn. Just like a toddler learning to walk. They have to tumble and fall to know what that feels like. They soon learn it feels better to walk and not fall, so they get better at walking.

God allows me to make a mistake, just so I can see how good He truly is. Something good always come out of it.

A Better Way To Live~Day 15

I am so blessed that God prompted me to do this series through the holiday’s. Running into any Grinch’s?

Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up a fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealousy, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.

daisy

My daughter reads all my Blog’s and got her feelings hurt a little over the flower comment at the end. Who doesn’t enjoy plucking the petals from a daisy? So, we’re omitting ‘foolish child’, and replacing it with ‘anyone.’

Don’t allow anyone to rain on your parade. We are around a lot of family this time of year and there’s always someone negative, or non enthusiastic over our accomplishments. Don’t let them rub off on you! They have to live with themselves everyday and your time with them is temporary. They can only affect your mood if you allow them. You cannot change them. They have to want to change, so pray for change.

Pick and choose your circle carefully, because they are the ones that will influence your life the most. Surround yourself with positive people who love, appreciate, inspire, motivate and encourage you! Give back to them freely all the goodness you receive. Your life will manifest into full bloom and so will theirs. Merry Christmas.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

A Better Way To Live~Day 14

This is the time of year we reflect on our accomplishments for the year. Have you accomplished what you wanted?

You will achieve your grand dream, a day at a time, so set goals for each day-not long and difficult projects, but actions that will take you, step by step, toward your dream. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow. Remember that you cannot build your dream in 24 hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal-to do the best you can, enjoy this day, and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished.

 

I’m sitting with my daughter, and we’re making a list of goals for 2015. She is at the age to take them seriously, and I’ll get to watch her take the stepping-stones God lays out toward her dreams. She’s young enough where she’s just getting started on life, and I’m mature enough where I’ve done a lot of life, including helping others achieve their goals.

I’m at the age now where I’m ready to step out and do a couple of things I’ve always wanted to do. Stained glass has always intrigued me because I love light and color. I’m going to try my hand at making stained glass.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?

dreams

Let me encourage you today to choose one and add it to your goals for 2015. In the past I have allowed so much of life to run me, but no more. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and accomplish a dream.

A Better Way To Live~Day 13

I’m grateful to wake up sober each morning. After 16 years, I still recall that sick, hung over feeling of my drinking days. Yes, just to wake up and be sober is a great start to my day.

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.

My morning sets the tone for the day.

Thanking God for my day is how I begin. Each day we are given, is a fresh start, a new beginning. We have the opportunity to finish a project started the day before, like painting a room, but we don’t bring that day with us.

Everything that happened yesterday, is in the past. It’s gone, so let it go. Focus on today, and the ‘right now’, and allow the gift of the present to flow into your life. We cannot see what’s in front of us, if we’re looking behind us. Let it go, and make room for what God has in store for you today. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. It’s your job to open it.

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

A Better Way To Live~Day 12

Years ago, I was looking out my patio door at the swimming pool in the backyard. The water had a hint of green to it, which was not a good thing. Looking back on it now, there were a series of little things going on that made me notice the big thing.

Are you more attuned to the little things, or the big things in life?

Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do. It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities. You are special. Act it. Never neglect the little things.

Maybe the water wasn’t circulating enough, or the salt was low and not able to produce enough chlorine. There was a checklist that I went through in my mind, but had to go out to the equipment to investigate.

There is usually a little thing not functioning at its highest potential, that causes a breakdown in the rest of the natural order of things. We see it everyday, and if ignored, will cause a domino effect and after time, a really big thing will be staring you in the face.

Like your vehicle telling you it’s time for an oil change. Someone said recently, “Oil is cheap. Parts are expensive.”

For me to be fulfilled it’s all the little things that fill me up. It’s not big, or expensive anymore, it’s just the little things in everyday life that bring me joy. I notice the little things, and hope today that you will too, because they are indeed the big ones.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

A Better Way To Live~Day 11

My daughter and I laugh all the time! We say some of the craziest things to one another. So much so….she keeps a record of it!

Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, and help you to put perspective on that seemingly terrible defeat of the moment. Banish tension, concern, and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.

I have learned not to take life or myself too seriously. If I am having a moment of seriousness, my daughter starts reading off a list of funny things I’ve said in the past. By the time the second one is out of her mouth, we’re both laughing so hard we can barely breathe!

By hearing what she is reading, I can recall the time and circumstance it manifested, and it brings back great memories. Once we’re finished laughing, which I usually have to ask her to stop reading, we feel so much better! Not just physically lighter, but mentally clear as well.

There is a solution to every obstacle. You may not see it immediately, but give it time. You will know how to handle everything this life throws at you. In the meantime, laugh! It truly is the best medicine and it’s free!

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

A Better Way To Live~Day 10

As you have probably noticed from previous Blogs…I love Steve Jobs. His life here on this earth was cut short, but oh what a legacy he left behind! Where would we be today without this guy? Probably not typing on this laptop.

Are you ready for Day 10? It’s a mind bender.

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care, kindness, understanding, and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

Recently, my daughter and I were at a local restaurant, and the waitress was a single Mom. She has three kids and is a little concerned about Christmas along with the power bill. She left our check laying on the table and our meal was $15. I paid for the meal, and my daughter leaves a $60 tip. We gathered up our belongings, hurried out the door and hopped into our truck before she could notice.

We do little things like that quite often, and enjoy helping others. Today’s rule challenges us to show action face to face, with no thought of any reward. To show a complete stranger all the goodness you can muster. This should make for a very interesting day!

I would love to hear how your life changed by changing someone else’s, and your thoughts around midnight.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

A Better Way To Live~Day 9

It’s heart wrenching to meet someone living in the past. Regrets while walking this earth. Not seeing what this day has in store because they’re looking behind them.

Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find “tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats, and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. All you have. Make it the best day of the year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, “If I had my life to do over again…” Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!

It’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around this day being my last. Even though, I hear stories daily of people younger than me leaving this world. I do know, this day will come to an end, so I need to make the most of it.

I tend to do small things continuously throughout the day. Instead of tackling something large, it’s a smoother journey to make a tweak here and there. Last year was my first Christmas as a single Mom. My daughter loves Christmas lights, but I could not get motivated to hang them. I bought two Christmas trees and decorated them, thinking that would work. Well….that was okay, but looking back, it didn’t fulfill either of us.

This weekend she was with her Dad, and I had some colorful icicle lights in a box from years ago. I had clips, so there were no excuses. It took me less than an hour to hang those colorful strands around the roof of the front porch. I’m no roof climber, and I wasn’t out to prove anything masterful. When she comes home Monday evening, the look on her face will be more than worth it.

So, if I wouldn’t have been given today, my daughter could have sat on the front porch and seen that Mama left her a world of light.

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

A Better Way to Live~Day 8

There was a time when I was so busy all the time that it seemed I had a full life. Then I learned the following lesson. There is a big difference between ‘full’, and ‘fulfilled’.

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time and space to grow.

 

On a  continual basis, I glance at my platter of life.

Does it look like it was overloaded at a recent buffet, or is everything evenly distributed? The goal is for everything to fit, but not run together. Some helpings may be a little larger than others, but it’s what my daily life consists of, and I want it to be balanced.

Sometimes things ease onto my plate and it starts getting overcrowded. With that, one of two things will happen. I look closely at my plate and make sure I like what I see. If something has been there a while and not appetizing anymore, it may be time to remove it and make room for something new.

It works best for me to remove something and pray about embracing the new, opposed to continually piling on. If I look at my plate and everything is balanced, working in sync and complimenting one another, then it’s time to say ‘No’ to adding anymore for now. One of the perks of adulthood, because it’s your life.

Savor every bite.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino