The Seeds of Success by Og Mandino

God, I thank you for this day. I know I have not accomplished as yet all you expect of me, and if that is your reason for bathing me in the fresh dew of another dawn, I am most grateful. I am prepared at last, to make you proud of me. I will forget yesterday, […]

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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

Room For Great

It amazes me the people we allow to come into our lives. They influence our behavior more than we are willing to admit. I enjoy teaching people how to let go of unhealthy relationships. We all have relationships on many levels, but are they healthy for you? Are you feeling the three R’s? Refreshed, Renewed and Revitalized by these people in your life? If not, it’s time to let go and give ’em up!

Over the years, I’ve trained myself to ‘Never Give Up’. That is my screen saver on my laptop, so I’m reminded every time I glance at it, which is throughout the day. I have learned, if you want a great life, you have to give up what looks good to you. What looks good to me is a far cry to what looks good to God, and His plan for me. God is always showing off and out doing me! This prompts me to continually raise my standards and not get too comfortable with what I have. There is always better.

The power of Letting Go is a beautiful thing! I wrote down three affirmations daily for weeks. There is something about letting the words flow through you, onto paper that extinguishes the power of the situation. That along with a gratitude list is what caused a major shift in my life from good to great!

Lions

Every eagle has a nest. I’m very careful who I allow to enter my nest. It’s not a large nest, so no more than a handful of people fit comfortably.

I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog, but here is my criteria for nest dwellers. Look at the people closest to you. These are the people who influence your life the most, and ask yourself these questions about each one.

Does this person: Love you? Motivate you? Encourage you? Inspire you? Enhance you? Bring you happiness?

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of these, it’s time to look deeper. Let’s let go of good, so we have room for great.

Miss Her Mind

I grew up in a negative environment. My mother was a product of her Mother, but I chose to break that cycle as soon as possible. Mom took good care of us. She worked hard to provide what we needed, she loved us dearly, but she always had a little negative tilt. Sitting in Grandmother’s kitchen as a child, I watched her worry about things that hadn’t even happened yet.

person

Once I was on my own, people were placed in my path that spoke differently. They believed in positive outcomes and didn’t seem to worry unless there was something of concern. Happy people, that were on the road to success. If something negative came out of my mouth, someone would turn it around with something positive. They introduced me to tapes by Jim Rohn, Anthony Robbins, and books by Zig Ziglar.

By my mid twenties, my life and words had changed for the better. No longer did negative comments come from me. It literally made me cringe if I heard someone say something negative, and I found myself giving back what I had received. To this day, if someone says something negative, I will smile, and turn it around with a positive, to complete strangers.

Visiting my home state of North Carolina this week, brought this Blog into fruition. My daughter just turned 15, and has not had anything negative said to her in her lifetime. She has watched me encourage others, and has learned to do the same. If I can’t say something good, I don’t say anything at all.

Mom

We stayed at my Mother’s Condo last night. This framed cross stitch piece hangs in the hall bath. I took a picture to share with you, because my Mother doesn’t enjoy her Condo anymore. Three years ago she was diagnosed with Dementia. She lives in an assisted living home, and has no idea why, but I do.

I stood inside her closet this morning and looked through her clothes. Shoes were placed underneath to match every outfit. The white clothes were covered in plastic to keep them from dust. I miss my Mother…and I miss her mind.

No Regrets

Just because we have them, doesn’t mean we have to keep them. The dictionary describes it as: Regret is a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often expressed by the term “sorry.” That is encouraging to me because it reveals itself as consciousness and emotion, which we have control over. It also places it in the past, which we can choose not to live in anymore.

Some of you know, I spent a third of my life drowning in alcoholism. Early in my sobriety, I told a friend that I regretted all the years I lost to drinking, and wish I had them back. She quickly told me, “God was with you that whole time. Watching over you, protecting you, and allowing that experience to form you into the person you are today.” It’s true, and I wouldn’t have met her. One of my most treasured friends.

lesson

The most important thing to know is….We’re not alone. There are people out there who have done the same stupid things we did, if not worse, and are alive to tell about it. If you want to hear some, go sit in an AA meeting with a lot of newcomers. This is called a ‘Beginners’ meeting, and they usually have just a few hours sober. They are full of regret, and share snippets of things they did drunk, and are trying to accept sober. What’s interesting is almost everyone in the room will be nodding their head in agreement as their story unfolds. We can relate to their pain because we did something similar, if not the exact same thing!

I saw a quote this week that grieved me. “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”

Do you know who said it? The late, great Robin Williams. How can a man who brought so much joy to millions of people, live in darkness? I’m guessing he kept it hidden from the world, and it took his life. For me, that would be the ultimate Regret.

Genie…You are now free.

 

Just Breathe

It’s a peaceful evening. Sitting at my desk overlooking the pond, and gazing at the graceful beauty of a large, white Egret. He visits quite often, and I love to watch him. My daughter and I call it ‘Stork’.

When we first moved here, I was walking out the door asking God if this is where He really wanted me? A ginormous grey-blue Egret swooped down and landed by the edge of the pond. He was so beautiful, and majestic, just standing there large and in charge.  I took it as a sign that I was right where I needed to be.

don't look back

Have you ever had the feeling that everything in your life is lining up and running smoothly? This doesn’t happen all the time, so when it happens, it’s noticed immediately.

My favorite type of exercise is Yoga. I heard of a Yoga studio a couple of towns over, and drove there to participate in a class. My daughter and I walked in and fell in love with the atmosphere immediately. It was dimly lit, with soothing music, candles that infused the entire space with smell goodness, and refreshingly cool.

A space like this awakens all your senses, and your body says, “Love!” The instructor was a young lady with the most soothing voice. Living in a small town, we drive 20 minutes just see civilization, so these classes are a good 45 minutes away. I must mention, the morning after the first class, my body jumped out of bed feeling alive! I didn’t lay there and count the sore muscles from the weight machines. No…My body threw me out of bed ready to embrace the day!

That is my heart’s desire. The Letting Go Workshops taught me breathing exercises that I utilize each week. I had forgotten how good it feels to add movement to the breathing. You may be shaking your head thinking I’m a little off to drive that far for a Yoga class. I have to drive into town anyway, so I schedule my errands to be done the same day as class. This pushes me to get my errands done, and the Yoga is my reward.

trysomething

I have gone to great lengths this past year to clear my mind and open my heart. Realizing that I only have one body, it takes me everywhere, so I need to take care of it.

How far will you go to feel great?

When mind, body and spirit are aligned, life is sweet.

Little Bit of Everything

Life happens. It’s what we choose to do with it that matters. We can continually deal with what it throws at us, take a side step and live in denial, or step up and make a shift. Ask yourself, “What are three options?”, toward every situation. Then take a step toward what’s best.

I’m a country girl, and love country music. Being young at heart, my fave artists are Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Chris Young and Keith Urban. These guys sing about love, having fun, enjoying a simple life and getting through the rough spots. These are not your, “Let’s get drunk push Mama off a train,” kinda guys. Their songs will make you smile. Keith Urban actually laughs during some of his songs! One song in particular by Keith opened my eyes to endless options of what we can receive from life. A Little Bit of Everything.

The beginning of the song, Keith mentions hanging a disco ball from an old oak tree. Having an old oak tree in my backyard this worked for me! Why not?

discoball

The song is about endless options.

Keith doesn’t focus on how to quickly fix his situation. He projects options and leaves the door wide open for ‘a little bit of everything’ to occur. It’s not about what we think we need, it’s about taking the limits off what could happen. He sings, “Well, I know that I don’t need a whole lot of anything…I just want a little bit of everything.”

Participating in a Letting Go Workshop, we learn to ‘Let Go’ of what is not serving us or anyone around us. I collected a lot of material and mental debris over the years. When it became obvious it was time to start downsizing my home, I would have never guessed it was going to take me where I am today. A lot of time, energy and money go into maintaining a large home full of stuff. What if that same time, energy and money was available again? What would that look like?

If my plate is full, or overcrowded, that doesn’t allow room for anything new! God has cleaned my plate many a time over the past 10 years, and there’s always change involved. I live in a house that is 5 times smaller than where I began.  The material items are minimal, but each one brings me joy! The same amount of time spent to clean one bathroom before, is spent cleaning my entire house today.

I have time and freedom which is precious.

NO

As I was going though The Letting Go process, I realized these methods would continue to serve me throughout everyday life. The downsizing of material things showed me there’s a huge difference between want and need. What brings you joy?

I hope it’s a little bit of everything.

Time For A Haircut

God has a plan. He promises it to be a good plan. If my life doesn’t reflect God’s goodness, then I’ve probably been working my plan, not His.  My reflection in the mirror revealed it was also time for a haircut.

I had the same hairstylist for years. She knew exactly how to cut my hair, how short to go, and how close to the edge she could step. Now that I’m an hour away, and enjoy my country life, I have started trying hair stylists that are local. I always say the same thing to them, “Have fun! I like short and edgy, but just make sure I can go out in public with it.” They have my permission to be creative.Change is all around us. We can embrace it, or resist it, but it’s a constant in our daily life. Sometimes a change will occur, and it will affect our circumstances. By then, we feel the need to ‘fix’ our problem instead of facing what caused it. Learning to self evaluate, and make changes prior to seeing the circumstance, is a better way to live. You get to be proactive in your life.

Pick your life…don’t let it pick you.

So…the haircut. The stylist I met with obviously knows the secret of change. She cut my hair in a specific way, the smallest sections at a time, to lay exactly as she intended. I usually leave a salon, go home to wash my hair, and get it back to my normal style. What looks normal to me anyway. No matter how hard I try to style it now, it lays in the fashion to which she cut it. Straight down and to the side, with a small spike at the crown. This frustrated me at first, but then I realized, I gave her permission to make a change.

Once you give yourself permission to change, things will fall into place. As long as I continue to style it the way she intended, it will look great! It’s when I start messing with it, and try reverting back the style I’m used to, it looks like a beaver that’s been electrocuted. Our lives have unlimited possibilities, and our God has no limits. It’s time to Let It Go to make space new. Quality of life you will enjoy the rest of your life.

The Seeds of Success by Og Mandino

God, I thank you for this day.

I know I have not accomplished as yet all you expect of me, and if that is your reason for bathing me in the fresh dew of another dawn, I am most grateful. I am prepared at last, to make you proud of me.

I will forget yesterday, with all it’s trial and tribulations, aggravations and setbacks, angers and frustrations. The past is already a dream from which I can neither retrieve a single word nor erase any foolish deeds.

I will resolve, however, that if I have injured anyone yesterday through my thoughtlessness, I will not let this day’s sun set before I make amends, and nothing I do today will be of greater importance.

I will not fret the future. My success and happiness does not depend on straining to see what lurks dimly on the horizon, but to do, this day, what lies clearly at hand.

I will treasure this day, for it is all I have. I know that’s it’s rushing hours cannot be accumulated or stored, like precious grain, for future use.

I will live as all good actors do when they are on stage-only in the moment. I cannot perform at my best today by regretting my previous act’s mistakes or worrying about the scene to come.

I will embrace today’s difficult tasks, take off my coat, and make dust in the world. I will remember that the busier I am, the less harm I am apt to suffer, the tastier will be my food, the sweeter my sleep, and the better satisfied I will be with my place in the world.

I will free myself today from slavery to the clock and calendar. Although I will plan this day in order to conserve my steps and energy, I will begin to measure my life in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not seasons; in feelings, not figures on a dial.

I will remain aware of how little it takes to make this a happy day. Never will I pursue happiness, because it is not a goal, just a by-product, and there is no happiness in having or in getting, only in giving.

I will run from no danger I might encounter today, because I am certain that nothing will happen to me that I am not equipped to handle with your help. Just as any gem is polished by friction, I am certain to become more valuable through this day’s adversities, and if you close one door, you always open another for me.

I will live this day as if it were Christmas. I will be a giver of gifts and deliver to my enemies the gift of forgiveness; my opponents, tolerance; my friends, a smile; my children, a good example, and every gift will be wrapped with unconditional love.

I will waste not even a precious second today in anger or hate or jealousy or selfishness. I know that the seeds I sow will harvest, because every action, good or bad, is always followed by an equal reaction. I will plant only good seeds this day.

I will treat today as a priceless violin. One may draw harmony from it an another, discord, yet no one will blame the instrument. Life is the same, and if I play it correctly, it will give forth beauty, but if I play it ignorantly, it will produce ugliness.

I will condition myself to look on every problem I encounter today as no more than a pebble in my shoe. I remember the pain, so harsh I could hardly walk, and recall my surprise when I removed my shoe and found only a grain of sand.

I will work convinced that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. To do anything today that is truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in the gusto and scramble through as well as I can.

I will face the world with goals set for this day, but they will be attainable ones, not the vague, impossible variety declared by those who make a career of failure. I realize that you always try me with a little first, to see what I would do with a lot.

I will never hide my talents. If I am silent, I am forgotten, if I do not advance, I will fall back. If I walk away from any challenge today, my self-esteem will be forever scarred, and if I cease to grow, even a little, I will become smaller. I reject the stationary position because it is always the beginning of the end.

I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today. I know that the world is a looking glass and gives back to me the reflection of my own soul. Now I understand the secret of correcting the attitude of others and that is to correct my own.

I will turn away from any temptation today that might cause me to break my word or lose my self-respect. I am positive that the only thing I possess more valuable than my life is my honor.

I will work this day with all my strength, content in the knowledge that life does not consist of wallowing in the past or peering anxiously at the future. It is appalling to contemplate the great number of painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. Whatever it offers, little or much, my life is now.

I will pause whenever I am feeling sorry for myself today, and remember that this is the only day I have and must play it to the fullest. What my part may signify in the great whole. I may not recognize, but I am here to play it and now is the time.

I will count this day a separate life.

I will remember that those who have fewest regrets are those who take each moment as it comes for all that it’s worth.

This is my day!

These are my seeds.

Thank you, God, for this precious garden of time.

©The Seeds of Success from Mission: Success! by Og Mandino