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 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 6

This took a long time to learn.

Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress. The next time you are tempted to boast, just place your fist in a full pail of water, and when you remove it, the hole remaining will give you a correct measure of your importance.

 

I’ve made a lot of promises throughout my life. After a trail of broken promises, words ring empty. Leading with the best intentions, until life get’s in the way. Nike has been saying it for years, “Just Do It”. It was time to stop saying and just do.

Instead of saying what I was going to do, if it’s within my power, I would just do it. When the person I did it for sees it’s been done, they are pleasantly surprised. Sometimes they don’t recall asking, it’s just something I remembered they wanted. It’s much better to do a task silently, and be thanked, than making empty promises.

I’ve also learned not to take credit for anything. All the glory goes to God, and trust me, that was a painful lesson. If something fabulous manifests through me, then it’s God working His will. I am only a vessel. Just do the next right thing, and God will do the rest. Lesson learned.

A Better Way To Live~Day 5

We are what we think we are.

What we think about most, usually comes to fruition. The type day we have is seen through our perception. You wanna have a bad day? Think negative thoughts. You wanna have a great day? Wake up grateful, and think pleasant thoughts. Expect a great outcome, and consider the active role we have in choosing our thoughts and what we experience.

Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider defeat again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life’s blueprint. Smile!

What we dwell on becomes magnified in our lives. 

Like a garden, our lives will bear the fruit that we attend.  The garden, our lives, is going to produce something.  Poor choices, or no active choices made at all, and the unattended garden will yield weeds.  Tended, cultivated and paid attention to the garden that is our life will produce in abundance.

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

A Better Way To Live~Day 2

You are valuable. You were designed by the Creator of the Universe and everything He makes is good. The book I’m using for this series, A Better Way to Live, by Og Mandino, was published in August 2009. The next suggestion for a better way to live reveals a drastic change in our society from then up to now.

Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable. Exercise your privilege to go the extra mile, and enjoy all the rewards you receive. You deserve them! 

My favorite part of this rule is, ‘Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable.”

Greatness starts from within. Over the years, experiences, memories and actions accumulate and store up inside of us. It takes a process of Letting Go of all that, to have a clean slate to work with. By letting go of choices we made that brought us to where we are, we can clearly see where we are, and move forward from there.

You can create yourself to become indispensable.

One of the greatest fears in people’s lives is losing their job. There would be no fear if they knew they were irreplaceable.

I encourage you today to start building greatness within. Being the very best you can be in every aspect of your life will give you a fulfilled life. You cannot take care of anyone else effectively, until you take good care of yourself. Grow yourself and bloom exactly where you’re planted. Something beautiful doesn’t ask for attention, but always gets noticed.

 

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