Getting Inspired

It’s been a hot summer–94 degrees here in Waianae yesterday, and it’s almost the end of September. Officially, it’s Autumn, but the weather hasn’t quite gotten caught up yet. Heat always makes me lazy, and I’ve been in the doldrums for awhile.

Then, I got an email from one of my mentors, and he shared a link to an amazing TED talk

by Carrie Green in Manchester, UK. What an inspiration! Oh, to have her energy and drive

Well, I do have that kind of energy and drive–part of the time. My challenge is to keep it all the time.

She has started an association for women, and I’m including the link to that, too.

Sorry, guys, it probably won’t appeal to you. I’ll have to hunt up a similar resource for you.

Enjoy the day. Stop and enjoy the beauty around you. I envy all of you who will be seeing autumn leaves soon. Share some pictures, okay?

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Leadership Styles

What is leadership? What makes a great leader? I’ve been interested in leadership for a long time. As the oldest of 5 children, I got lots of hands on experience as I grew up–often in how NOT to lead.
I just got done reading a great article by Robyn Benincasa called “6 Leadership Styles and When You Should Use Them.” You may find the article here.

I love her recipe for successful long-term leadership of any team!
2 cups Authoritative Leadership
1 cup each Democratic, Coaching, and Affiliative Leadership
dash Pacesetting and Coercive Leadership “to taste”

Of course, you’ll have to read her article to find out what each of these means. Have fun!

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Hello, Again

Aloha blogosphere–

After too long an hiatus, I am back on track. Looking forward to meeting some great people and having some super conversations.

It’s been a little hectic around here lately. I’m working really hard at getting some e-books posted here. A sample should be available next week. Also, my Mom is publishing a book.

I’ll be checking in more often with some short posts. More later….

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How Do Productive People Do It?

This is one tool I’ve found to be quite valuable. Simpleology. There’s no such thing, you say? Not so! Mark Joyner has turned his passion for productivity into an accessible system. I’ve been working with his system for over a year now. I won’t say that I have achieved his productivity goal yet, but I sure do a lot better than I did….or at least I know why I didn’t.

As his group nears the the 1,000,000 member mark, he is offering a great promotion. I encourage you take this opportunity to give his system a try….for FREE.

Set up your account before they break 1,000,000 and you’ll also get a free download – “The Top 5 Most Inspiring Video Clips of All Time”.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this marvelous tool.

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Living Large Without Spending Big

Everyone wants to live a full life, and I believe everyone can.  Some would say that to do so costs money.  It’s true that it takes some money to meet basic needs, but I feel that most people can do much more with the resources they currently have than they think they can.  I’d like to share a few ideas with you.  Of course, you will think of many more that will work for you–these will just set your mind in motion.

What is “Living Large”?

I’m glad you asked.  To me it means that you feel your life is full and has minimal restriction.  You feel satisfied with where you are spiritually, mentally, socially, and physically.  Does that mean that all attempts for self-improvement will cease?  Not likely.  There is always room to grow, and those who live large are constantly extending their borders.

We all have various aspects to our being.  For instance, we are spiritual beings.  To ignore that part of us is to live very small.  So, living large involves getting your spiritual life in tune–the most important aspect of our lives.  Our mental capacity is another aspect of our beings.  To live large, we must continually be learning new things and exercising our marvelous brains.  It is in this area that we most expand our horizons.  We learn new things, find new an better ways of doing what we already enjoy, and explore new ideas and concepts.

We are also social beings.  Living large in this arena means that relationships are exceedingly important.  Did you know that one of the primary reasons God states for making man was for companionship?

Another important aspect of our lives is physical.  To be happy and productive, it is vital that we take care of our bodies.  Eating well, drinking adequate amounts of pure water, exercising, and supplementing our diet where necessary are all ways we take care of the bodies we live in.  We are NOT our body, but we must have a body to indwell–and we only get one.  To explore more about that, check out my lens on the subject.

Finally, we have a financial life.  Truly, the way we use money is a reflection of what we feel is important and  affects all the other aspects of our lives.  You will notice that I said, “…use money…”  Money is merely a tool.  We can use whatever amount of money we have to live large in all the aspects of our lives.  For instance, traveling to the Holy Land would feed my spiritual being; however, an armchair excursion may be more in keeping with my financial reality.  Yet, they accomplish a similar goal:  connecting me to my spiritual source.  In the same way sharing a meal can be a wonderful way to enhance relationships; where the meal occurs, and what is eaten, is of little importance.

So, what are some ways that you can live large in your current financial reality? Let’s think about some ideas from each arena.

How do I ‘live large’ in my Spiritual Life?

One of my favorite things to do in the evening is to watch the sun set.  Can you think of a more spectacular display of natural beauty?  Some are pastel, quiet, and invite reflection.  Others are wild with color, vivid, and exciting!  I hope you have a place from which you can watch sunsets–or sunrises, if that is more to your taste.  I am blessed to live close to the ocean, and I love to sit on the beach and bask in the sunset.  If you are not so fortunate, there are many breathtaking sunsets that have been captured in photographs and paintings.  Many are available online.  In fact, my current desktop is a brilliant sunset over a pine-rimmed lake.

Meditating, going to church, listening to our favorite music, watching uplifting movies, or reading spiritual books are other ways to feed our spirits.  Most cost little or nothing.

Here are some of my favorite uplifting movies:  Field of Dreams, Chariots of Fire, Meet the Robinsons, Remember the Titans, The Sound of Music, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Hoosiers, October Sky, Top Gun, Stand and Deliver, Apollo 13, Lean on Me, National Treasure, The Pianist, Driving Miss Daisy, and Dave.  There are many others, and you probably have a list of your own–movies that feed your soul and spirit.  Movies that encourage you and give you hope.

In addition to the Bible, I love to read J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, the Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

How do I ‘live large’ socially?

Sharing a meal with friends is one of the best ways to build relationships–even anthropologists agree on this.  Have you ever participated in a Progressive Dinner?  This usually involves several people and their homes.  The entire group has hor d’oeurves at one home, salad at another, a main course at a third, and dessert at still another.  Other courses can be added, of course, to suit your needs/desires.  One home can be provided for babysitting young children.  Another might be a place for games.  This is so much fun!

You need not be so elaborate, however.  Sharing a warm bowl of soup and homemade bread with your family or a best friend can be just as valuable.  I have a monthly “lunch date” with a dear friend.  Sometimes we eat out, but we more often eat a simple meal at her house.  The conversation that comes with lunch is what really counts, after all.

Other activities to enjoy with others might include visiting a museum, bookstore, or other mutually interesting place with a good friend, hosting a game night for friends (my daughter does this regularly), or working a puzzle together.  My husband and I often go to local fast food restaurant and work on word puzzles together–while enjoying ice cream. A favorite New Year’s Eve activity for our family is working a jigsaw puzzle together.

What ideas can I try to ‘live large’ mentally?

You can’t truly appreciate living large without continually learning new things–at least in my opinion.  Learning keeps a person young.  It prevents stagnation.  It rejeuvenates us.  Growth in this area can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you want it to be.

You could work on a degree through a university (that would cost money, for sure!), or you could take a class at your local Community School for Adults (much cheaper).  An alternate would be to find someone who participates in the activity you’re interested in learning, and just be friends with them–hanging around and working with a master is the time-proved way to learn new skills.

Staying sharp is also rewarding.  Reading good books, working puzzles of various kinds, solving mathmatical problems, or pursuing a challenging hobby are all ways to stay sharp–and maintain a feeling of living large.   In addition to self-help books like Think and Grow RichPsycho-cybernetics, and The Magic of Thinking Big, I also enjoy reading history and biography.

What about ‘living large’ physically?  Any ideas?

In the physical realm, living large, at least to me, involves being healthy.  That means eating correctly.  Did you know that you actually spend less money when you buy fresh than when you buy prepared foods?  That’s right, by purchasing fresh ingredients and preparing your own food, you will actually save money.  For instance, greens, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and celery for at least a dozen salads can be purchased for less than $15.  As a bonus, there will be lettuce for sandwiches and celery and carrots for veggie stix.  Buying just the salad mix for those salads would cost at least $15 and wouldn’t contain celery, tomatoes, or bell peppers.

Being healthy also means exercising regularly.  However, it does not mean you have to buy a gym membership.  Walking is actually one of the best all-around exercises and costs nothing–except for a comfortable pair of walking shoes.  Swimming is another great exercise that costs little or nothing.  Other low-cost examples:  gardening, doing housework, using the stairs instead of the elevator for fewer than 4 floors, or participating in community sports teams.

Now it’s your turn.

Living large is a choice you have to make for yourself.  I hope these ideas will be a springboard to a new, more abundant life for you.  I will continue to blog about more ideas for large living.  Check back often.  In addition, watch for my book that will be coming out soon.  Till next time….live well.

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Do you Respond or React?

According to Bob Proctor, the real trick in life is learning to respond to what happens around us instead of reacting. That isn’t always easy; it takes practice. For some of us, it takes a LOT of practice.
I’ve always had a quick temper. It’s a flash-in-the-pan kind of thing. I get angry easily, react, then cool off before most people know what happened. That’s reacting.
Of course, this isn’t the first time I heard someone talk about responding. I’ve been working on this one habit for years. And yes! it is a habit, which means I can change it. In a recent talk, Bob told about a 15-year-old in one of his seminars who, when asked about the difference between responding a reacting, remarked, “Reacting is a habit; to respond, you must think.” How true. That really spoke to me. This is one habit that I must change.
I am currently facilitating a Bible Study in the Book of James. James also speaks to this. He says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” There is that gap of time for thinking…the “slow to speak” gap. Zig Ziglar wrote a wonderful column about anger, which he says is part of danger.
This is not encouragement to remain silent. Instead, it is encouragement to think before we speak. Someone said we need to engage our brains before putting our mouths in motion. That’s good advice. It helps prevent Foot-in-Mouth Disease!
Bob shared three other quotes that speak so well to this topic. I can relate to all of them.
“Those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them back; and then, you destroy yourself.” Isn’t that good? This was spoken by a former President of the United States, who did some great things during his presidency. Then, he became mired in a scandal that forced him from office. His name was Richard Nixon. I don’t know when he wrote this, but I wonder if it wasn’t after he had left the White House and was working on putting his life back together.
Elizabeth Kenning (I believe that’s who Bob Proctor said it was) said, “He who angers you, conquors you.” Wow! That speaks to the little girl inside me who was not well-accepted in school. I grew up a minority and endured a lot of teasing. I hated to be conquored, and I seldom showed my anger at school–at least not in a way that was recognizable. I wish someone had told me this rather than just the standard, “sticks and stones” ditty.
Finally, one of my all-time heroes, Booker T. Washington, remarked, “I will allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate them.” He set a marvelous example as one of the most pro-active and caring men of his day. He worked tirelessly to assure that even the least advantaged men and women could receive a good, post-secondary education. His quote is an inspiration to me. A black man, he lived during a time when men of color were looked down on and belittled. Yet, he responded with love and positive action.
Finally, Bob repeated what I have told my own kids, and I have heard many times from others: “You don’t have to like them; you just have to love them.” Jesus told us the same thing. It’s all about loving our fellow man. By loving, we send out positive energy. It’s hard to not feel good when you are busy loving those around you and doing what is best for them.
I have determined that is will be my touchstone for the rest of December: Respond, don’t react. Will you? Try it, and let’s share our results.

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What is a Mindset–and How to Make Yours Work for You

There are two basic mindsets. One is Scarcity; the other is Abundance.
Those with a scarcity mindset believe there is a finite amount of everything in our Universe and that the only way to have enough is to conserve. This can lead to stinginess and fear that there won’t be enough to go around.
Those with an abundance mindset believe there is always enough–and a surplus–of everything. So, if there is a finite amount, it is such a large amount that it is unlikely to be exhausted. This leads to generosity, freedom, and security in knowing there will always be enough for everyone.
You may not be aware of which mindset you have. Unless you’ve heard about this before, you probably aren’t, but it affects you anyway. It influences how you perceive the world and make decisions.
To gain insight into your mindset, ask youself the following questions, and take note of the possible statements you heard growing up–or that you use with your family.
1. What I get paid, what do I think of first? a) Paying bills; b) Putting money into savings; c) Giving to Charity or your Church; d) Why are the taxes so high?
2. What did my parents say to me? (choose all that apply) a) Money doesn’t grow on trees. b) How could you earn the money to buy (whatever you just asked for)? c) A child in Africa/China would be grateful for what you have on your plate. Eat it. d) We can’t afford that! e) Do you think I”m made of money? f) Could you save your allowance/gift money for that? g) Maybe you should just wait and see what you get for Christmas/birthday/etc. h) Don’t worry about money.
3. Which of these statements or questions have you thought of or said to your children?
4. Do you ever give money to a beggar or buy them a meal? YES NO
5. Are you worried about the current economy? YES NO
6. Do you have a savings account that you regularly put money into? YES NO
7. Do you have any investment accounts? YES NO
8. Do you have a retirement account, like and IRA or 401(k), to which you personally make
regular contributions? YES NO
9. do you regularly give to charities or to your church? YES NO
10. When do you make charitable gifts? a) It’s the first check I write after I get paid, and it’s a set amount or percentage. b) After the bills are paid, I give what I can. c) Whenever I think about it or get an appeal letter or request, I give what I can afford. d) I always put change into those donation boxes you see.
Let’s look at what you found out. (If you haven’t answered the questions yet, don’t read any further until you do.)

Generally speaking, those with an Abundance Mindset will have the following answers: 1. b,c; 2. b,f,g,h; 3. b,f,g; 4. Yes; 5. No; 6. Yes; 7. Yes; 8. Yes; 9. Yes; 10. a, d

How To Begin to Develop a Mindset of Abundance
If you find your mindset leans more toward one of scarcity, you can begin to change this mindset with one simple exercise. Begin a Gratitude Journal. Each evening, before going to bed, write in journal. List 5 things you are grateful for at that moment. They may be basic and general (like, a great dinner or your health) or whatever comes to mind. Start your day by reviewing your entry from the night before. When you begin from an attitude of gratitude, your day will look different. Do this for a week, and then write about how you feel. Let me know, too. I’d love to walk a bit of your journey with you.

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TAPS–In Honor of Veterans

I recently received this in an email. I think it bears passing on. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the author is. If you read this on my blog, and you wrote it, please let me know. I want to give you the credit due you. It is an excellent article.

“We in the United States have all heard the the haunting song, “Taps….” It’s the song that give us teh lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.

“But, do you know the stroy behind the song? If not, I think you will be intersted to find out about its humble beginnings.

“Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia. The Cofenderate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.

“During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captian decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment….

“When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.

“The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out..Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

“The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.
The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

“The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.

“The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth’s uniform.

“The wish was granted. The haunting melody we now know as “Taps,” used at military funerals, was born.

“The words are:

Day is done. Gone the sun.
From the lakes, From the hills, From the sky.
All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.

Fading light Dims the sight.
And a star Gems the sky, Gleaming bright.
From afar. Drawing nigh. Falls the night.

Thanks and praise For our days
Neath the sun, Neath the stars, Neath the sky.
As we go, this we know: God is nigh.”

I thought this was appropriate as we remember on Veterans. If you are a Vet, thank-you for your service. If you know a Vet, please thank them. May we all remember those who were lost or harmed while in the service of our country.

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Anxiety — a Brain Drain

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” Arthur Somers Roche wrote this, but Bob Proctor shared it in his Six Minutes to Success series.  I spent some time thinking about it today.

Wow!  When I let anxiety take over, all other thoughts drain away.  I become totally immobilized.  That’s powerful–especially since I gave anxiety the power to do that to me.  I encouraged it, as Roche said.

Thankfully, there is an antidote to anxiety.  It’s gratitude.  Gratitude is the opposite of Anxiety. I won’t feel anxiety if I am busy feeling grateful.

In The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles writes, “The entire process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word–gratitude.”

This idea goes back at least as far as the 1st Century AD.  Paul wrote to his friends in Macedonia, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6, 7 NASB)  He wrote this from a Roman prison.  If anyone had a reason for anxiety, he did.  Yet, his writings are full of hope and gratitude.

This concept is also taught in many 12 Step groups.  Participants are encouraged to keep a  Gratitude Journal to remind themselves of the good things in their lives.  It’s a good idea for everyone.  Our minds just can’t hold two opposing thoughts at the same time.  We cannot be worrying and grateful simutaneously.

Our world is Beautiful

Give it a try and see.   Let me get you started….1) I am grateful that I know how to read; 2) I am grateful that I can take in breath and my eyes and brain are functioning; 3) I am grateful that I have access to a computer; 4) I am grateful for the beauty around me…

I guarantee that 10 minutes each evening spent in listing things you are grateful for will help you sleep better and awaken to a more positive outlook.
Repeat the exercise in the morning, and you will set yourself up for a wonderful day.  It sure works for me.
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South Shore Oahu, Hawaii

Sandy Beach, South Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

My son, who is in the Navy, was home on leave last week.  On his last day at home, we went around the south shore of Oahu.  I thought I’d share some pictures of our trek with you.

BTW, did you know that the last land that Amelia Earhart saw was this shoreline?  When you come and visit, you can see a marker that memorializes her heroic attempt.  What a pioneer for women she was!  I truly admire her spirit.

As a young adult, I enjoyed driving these curves–a challenge in a 4-speed.  I lived in town, so this was a great place to get away from it all–nearby, but seemingly in a different world.  And the scenery is unforgeable.

I’d look to see if Molokai or Maui islands were visible on the horizon.  I’d stop to see if the blow hole was active.  I drove the curvy road as if I were in a Grand Prix.  What fun!  A great way to relieve stress.

Where do you go to get away?  What do you do to relieve stress?  As an entrepreneur, your health is one of your assets.  It’s hard to be creative and focused when you feel rotten.  So, take care of your health.  Find something you enjoy doing to relieve stress.

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