Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Americans!

Bliss Mission: The Silverware Drawer

Bliss Mission: The Silverware Drawer

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Most of you are aware of my whole “change your perspective, change your life” theory. I’m also big on gratitude. I’ll tell you what, it’s working for me.

So here’s the deal.

Several years ago, I had a light bulb moment. I was cooking dinner (spaghetti and meatballs, yum) for my family. As I bustled around the kitchen, pulling ingredients from the fridge and pantry, tools from the drawers and cabinets, and other sundry items from various places, it occurred to me.

There are people in the world who don’t have tools with which to cook.

There are people in the world who don’t have food to cook, or safe water to drink, or even a kitchen from which to feed their families.

As I opened the silverware drawer and pulled out a clean spoon to stir the sauce, I said a quiet thank you. As I served my family dinner, I said a quiet thank you. Looking around the table at their beautiful faces, another quiet thank you.

So, even though I had to stop working on an article (which was due by midnight that night) in order to cook dinner, even though my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic about putting my work on hold to cook dinner, even though I would have rather put my head down and cranked out the work–I found reasons for gratitude in the smallest things. And guess what?

It changed my mood and my feelings about the evening completely. I still met my deadline, but I also spent time with my kids and husband with a smile on my face, rather than wishing away the time. I remembered how very lucky I am to have my family and how grateful I am to be able to spend time with them.

So here’s my bottom line folks–stuff happens. Instead of getting upset when life decides that you’re going to have to cook dinner when you’re trying to meet a deadline (or say, you get a phone call during your favorite show…or anytime things don’t seem to go the way you expect them to go), try changing your perspective.

Instead of being annoyed with the interruptions life offers, consider the other side of the coin. Remember that there’s always something for which to be grateful–there’s always a silver lining.

Bliss Mission: Use your silverware drawer to remind you to be grateful!

The next time you go and open your silverware drawer, full of clean and usable tools, take a moment to be grateful.

Even though you might feel silly at first, I promise you that finding reasons to be grateful in your daily hum-drum activities will help you to change your perspective–and your life. Finding happiness and joy isn’t as hard as we think.

Today I challenge you to notice those little blessings in your life and to be grateful for them. Try this little technique for today, and note your state of mind when you go to sleep tonight. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Bliss Mission: The Silverware Drawer

Bliss Mission: Hope for the Best

Humans are unique from other creatures in that we have the ability to reason, and the ability to HOPE. Hope is what keeps us going and moving toward the future.

It’s the ability to believe in the good things in the world. It’s the ability to know that you will prevail over adversity.

Every one of us has found ourselves lacking hope at some time in our lives. And in some of the most difficult conditions, who could blame us?

Even so, the gift of reason tells us that a person without hope is a person without life.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

With this in mind, how can we cope when we find ourselves feeling hopeless? It’s simply not possible to create personal change in our lives while remaining in this state.

It’s Not Rocket Science, But It Takes Practice

Creating personal change that leads to your own personal bliss can actually be pretty painless. As it turns out, when you take the road that makes you feel good, you’re more likely to be happy and to succeed in your goals.

And don’t forget these important tips.

  • Creating hope in your life can begin with simple affirmations. You can try adding one to your daily routine, something like “All good things are coming to me today” or “I see beauty around me and within me” or “The order of every day is happiness.”
  • Another way to change your outlook is to get some exercise. Play the Wii with your kids or go for an after dinner walk. Dance with the baby or your husband. Move your body and have fun with it.
  • Be aware of your body. If you’re not eating right or sleeping enough, depression can set in.
  • It’s all about your perspective. If you consistently beat yourself up with negativity, you will lose hope. If you focus on positive things and change your perspective, you will find hope seeping into every area of your life.

Give these things a try. Even one small change can bring you one step closer to creating the personal change you desire in your life.

I leave you with one final thought from Winston Churchill.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

 

Daily Focus: Tips for Life Success from the Late, Great Steve Jobs

Daily Focus: Tips for Life Success from the Late, Great Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs with red shaw

The late Steve Jobs inspired many people during his life. In addition to showing the world that a college dropout wasn’t necessarily doomed to failure, Jobs freely shared his secrets to success with the world.

Even though I’m currently a PC and Android kind of girl, I have a great respect for Jobs, not only for his extraordinary success, but also for his apparent understanding of the world around him and his ability to inspire others.

That’s why today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite quotes from Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech from June 2005. See him delivering the speech below.

Just a few of my favorite quotes from the speech:

  • “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
  • “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
  • “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

What points stood out most for you in Jobs’ speech? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

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