I recently came across a terrific blog post claiming “The 15 Things To Give Up To Be Happy.” Although I agreed with most of them, some of them I didn’t. I don’t believe that those same 15 things will work for everyone. Nor do I believe that the 10 that I will share with you will work for everyone either.
I get asked on a daily basis how I am so happy despite my circumstances. How did I remain positive through all the changes that were taking place that surrounded my accident? Let me answer you this, I am happy in spite of my circumstances. Because of the things that I have learned on this journey, mostly the last 11 years of my life, that I would have never experienced otherwise. These experiences have shaped my life and made me who I have become today. There were times right after my accident that I am not proud of and I wish to not even recollect, but throughout that time and more recent times, these are the things that I have found truly work for me.
Quite the “nerve” and “straightforwardness” of a flight attendant!
I received a bouquet of flowers from a flight attendant on trip from Honolulu to Salt Lake City yesterday.
Was it an act of kindness? A gesture of love? Was it that “Christmas time of year” sort of giving? Was it someone that I knew or that knew me from the past? Was she making an advance (quite doubtably)? Or perhaps all of the above are true.
As I waited to board the last leg of my flight schedule this week, headed to Salt Lake City direct from Honolulu, a few of our flight crew boarded the plane first and were noticeably carrying beautiful arrangements of flowers. The flowers were exquisite, both in fashion and assortment. It was obvious that somebody put a lot of time into creating such a beautiful piece of art. “Surely those weren’t cheap,” was my first thought.
I have found out that belief in yourself is absolutely necessary if you want others to believe in you. If you don’t believe that you can do something, how can you expect others to? Where would David be if he hadn’t believed he could have defeated Goliath?
We all know the story – it’s one of my favorites and I feel it’s a good lesson for us all. It’s also a great example of belief in one’s self. He had faith in God as well, but so did the Israelite army. What gave David the courage to stand up and fight Goliath when others could not?
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you might always be thankful for your great family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh grateful moments. Get specific by writing “Today my significant other…..” or “My friend invited me to the movie so I didn’t have to spend the evening alone.” And be sure to stretch yourself beyond the great stuff right in front of you. Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice.
People aren’t hardwired to be grateful. And, like any skill worth having, gratitude requires practice.
We’ve all heard that saying: “Talk is Cheap.” When I hear that, I believe that should be followed by another famous proverb, “Action speaks louder than words.” In other words, we must make sure that our talk is not cheap. Whether in business or personal, we must communicate with each other if we are going to succeed.
I speak at many businesses and have found the one element essential for success is communication. Management must be able to talk with their employees, and employees must feel they can go and talk with their leaders. If there is something you feel needs to be addressed, yet feel uncomfortable going to your boss about, perhaps there is a suggestion box where you can state the problem anonymously.
I have been blessed in my life. From the time I was very young till now, I have been taught the value of working hard. We had a huge garden when I was growing up that required a lot of weeding and we had “chores” every day. When I turned 16, I had a job working part-time at a movie theater. I was taught how important it was to be on time, to give 100% while at work. It paid off.
We were involved with sports, so there wasn’t a lot of idle time. And 20 years ago, there certainly wasn’t any of the internet games, game boys, etc. And all our friends were in the same boat as we were. Our parents kept us involved during the entire year, whether it was sports or work.
We’ve all had events happen in our lives where we felt it wasn’t our fault. We think to ourselves: “Why did this happen to me?” It could be a trivial thing (not trivial at the moment!), where you couldn’t find your keys. You know exactly where you put them …. They aren’t there!! Or – and this has happened to us all in the work field, where we were over-looked for a promotion that we knew we deserved.
We then start to play The Blame Game. We tend to find reasons why they got promoted and we didn’t.
Most of us know what the above title means. And I’m hoping that we have all had the opportunity to do this. It is so simple to do that I think it would happen more often if we just thought about it.
I have a friend that works at a restaurant and he told me that every week, a widower comes in for dinner and, while there, he’ll look around for a family (usually a large family having dinner) and when he goes to pay his bill, he’ll ask the hostess if $75.00 will cover their bill. When she says yes, he leaves her enough to cover the tab and the tip. After he leaves, and has been gone for several minutes, she goes over and tells the family what had happened – that their bill has been taken care of. They are completely surprised! And so very grateful.
Have you ever had one of those days when you have so many thoughts running through your mind, that you can’t get them written down fast enough? If this happens during the day; that’s not so bad. But when it happens in the middle of the night, and you aren’t able to grab a pad and pen, it becomes a little more difficult. That’s when you depend on your memory for the next morning!
Thank goodness I have been blessed with a pretty good memory. I need to rely on it, as my memory is that which predicts what I am going to write about the next day. If I can make someone laugh, smile, or encourage them to “pay it forward” with a smile or an unexpected phone call to a friend or family member, then I have had a great day!!!
Each day of my rehabilitation, I gained confidence and ability. Having lost all strength in my stomach muscles, I found it nearly impossible to maintain my balance
if I leaned to one side or the other. Sitting on a mat with my legs straight in front of me, I would attempt to raise my hands, first one inch, then two.
Raising one arm ever so slightly was enough to topple me sideways. I hadn’t the strength to sit back up again on my own. I soon realized that my center was my trunk,
my chest. If I maintained balance there, I could incrementally work at raising my arms. Soon, understanding this concept, I could raise both arms shoulder level.
As I laid on my hotel bed late one night after a full day of meetings at the National Speakers Association Convention, I was scrolling through Instagram. I came across a post that caught my attention. It was that of a dear sweet family member. The post was a picture with a quote on it. ”You’re going into a season where you’re about to experience breakthrough after breakthrough because what you went through didn’t break you.” This caught my attention. I wondered what was going on, because as far as I knew, things in her life seemed “perfect” from the outside. I preceded to read the text that she posted with the quote. I preceded to read about how several months ago she was tired of dealing with her deep depression. This was something I knew nothing about.
We are sent here to this planet to make a difference – I always felt it. Now I know it. We are given essential tools and talents and it is our job to make something of what we have. And what do we have?
Eyes to see; ears to hear; a brain to think; arms and hands to work; legs to get us where we are meant to go. I was born and raised in an able-bodied world – and there I would excel. Or so I thought.
In my world, a man’s worth was measured by what he could do – especially physically. A real man got up early, worked hard all day, and went to bed tired but happy, because of all he accomplished. A real man was the provider and protector. A real man was ‘the man.’