“The single biggest problem in communication is
the illusion that it has taken place.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Positive changes that open the doors to abundant living happen when we improve our listening skills enhanced by open communication. It amazes me to see families texting and talking constantly on their phones, living with the illusion that they are really communicating with one another.
In our early years of marriage we enjoyed married life so much we never realized we did not know how to communicate, especially when we experienced challenging situations. The first two crises that hit us hard were becoming parents and my dissatisfaction with my job.
Fortunately at that time we experienced a Marriage Encounter weekend which was actually an intense communications course. That experience changed our lives by offering us tools to use to improve our communication skills. We also left that weekend realizing more fully that any issue of consequence, a job issue, the birth of a new baby or a health issue, affects both in that relationship. These major events affect the couple, the children and the extended family. Whenever a crisis comes up us we have renewed gratitude for that weekend and the tools it gave us to draw strength from one another in facing any issue.
Since it is easier for me to express myself by writing that is how I personally begin the process. Once I have it in writing I use my writing as a tool for verbal communication. Find what works for you and use that tool as soon as the issue surfaces.
Some families deal with family crises by trying to resolve them individually and do not involve the entire family. Unfortunately there are no secrets because what is not verbalized is internalized by the energy that is transmitted to all members of the family.
When good communication does not happen children will have bad dreams, some will want to escape and others will just stuff it and years later they will have to deal with the affect it had on their lives.
I know this from my own experience growing up in a family that did not communicate. They always worried about what other people may think if they knew what was happening in their lives. There were no open discussions. Regardless of their assumption that they were sparing me I internalized their fear and worry. Since I had no means of communicating it started to surface with fearful dreams. Later in life it required years of therapy to get to the root cause of my fears.
A life of abundance is not only financial freedom it is the freedom to be the best person that I can be to change my world. That starts with creating positive changes in my own life. That is followed up with practicing better communication skills with others.
You may want to write in your notebook what areas of your life need improvement in your communication skills. On the next page write down what tools you plan to use to achieve this goal.
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening”.
In today’s society we can obtain answers immediately to almost any question we may have. Research that once took me tedious hours in the library is now done in minutes through a Google search or by asking Siri on the IPhone. The down side to this digital age is that so much time is now spent on electronic communication that our verbal communication and listening skills have been compromised to some degree.
Growing up I felt good about myself when I came home from school and sat outside talking to my grandfather about my day. He was a great listener. I do not remember him giving me much advice but I seemed to get the answers for myself as he listened to me. Some of life’s biggest lessons are learned outside of the structured educational system. My grandfather was a simple uneducated man but what he taught me by being a good listener helped me in my sales career.
When I visited with a customer I always tried to listen to what was being said beneath the surface talk. I learned very quickly that it mattered little how much I contributed to the talk of the winning football teams, golf games, etc., the things I didn’t know much about. I just listened, nodded, and eventually the conversation gravitated to their concerns in their businesses. Then I knew I could offer a positive solution. A particular example comes to mind. In the course of our typically casual conversation one customer casually mentioned that he was worried that he would lose many of his lifetime truck drivers. He said they were excellent drivers but now they would have to pass a test and get certified. I left that meeting, did some research and learned there was a video training program to help drivers pass the written test. I convinced my company to purchase the videos. I offered this customer my time and resources to show these videos to their drivers over a three-week period. When the program was finished I gave each driver a certificate acknowledging the completion of the training. This gave them a sense of pride and confidence and the majority passed the test. I was able to implement this service with many other customers.
Just as I appreciated being listened to and learned from my grandfather I feel the same way when our grandchildren listen to me about all the tools I use from my toolbox that help me live life to the fullest.
Several years ago I was telling my grandson Sam about my story when I was a little boy his age. Sam is a sensitive caring young boy who is a fantastic listener. I love telling him my stories because I always sense he hears what I am saying. I told him we did not have television but we listened to the radio. I said we did not have air-conditioning but we did have an attic fan and slept with the windows open. He sat and listened without saying a word and when I finished he asked, “Pops did you have a real house to live in and a real bed to sleep in?” Passing our story along to our grandchildren is a priceless gift, a blessing.
Not everyone has grandchildren but listening is a developed skill that is valuable to everyone regardless of age. This week you may want to make a conscious effort of not thinking about what you want to say in conversations but ask questions to the person you are talking to so that you can listen and learn from their story. This may offer an opportunity to follow up with a book, CD or other material on that subject that would be beneficial to them.
The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision
the fact that you can do something, you can do it,
as long as you really believe 100 percent.
When our first grandchild was born my wife bought grandparent books in which each of us could expound upon our family of origin, our upcoming, our likes and dislikes as children, adolescents, our dating days, marriage, and many aspects of “the way it was” for us. Our histories would be a special gift to our grandchildren. I procrastinated in writing anything in my book. I just didn’t do it.
As I look back to my original intent in starting a blog, I wanted to tell my story to them in this way, through my blog postings. Too much structure stifles me. I felt boxed in answering the questions in the grandparent book. I am curious, creative and always thinking outside the box or norm. That's why my blog has become a comfortable way for me to tell them my story. I am grateful that many of you have also supported me by following my weekly blog postings.
We have been blessed with eight wonderful grandchildren and I am personally grateful to see them using some of the resources I share with my readers. When our oldest grandchild was a little toddle she would tell others that her Pops is full of commotion. She was right on target because 17 years later I am still full of commotion but now it is expressed in my writings about tools I use from my tool box. I am grateful that all of them have been open to listening to my endless stories. It is even more gratifying to see them drawing on my experiences to create their own success stories.
Ellie was so shy in preschool she could not sit in the circle of her classmates for Grandparents’ Day. She would break out in tears and had to be consoled by her teacher. When she went to dance school and had to get on stage for the revue I told her to keep repeating “I can do it.” She had amazing stage presence when she walked on that stage and performed her dance number. She came to me after with a beaming smile and said “I can do it Pops!” This week the concluding statement of her talk in running for class president was “I am small but I can do it all.” She called me yesterday to tell me she was elected Class President of her 7th Grade Class.
Introducing even the simplest things into our lives to help us achieve greatness seems to be difficult for many people. I can sympathize with them because I am a success driven person and I lose patience when I do not experience positive results.
Today my message from the symbol cards from the Guides is Camel. Camels are used for long journeys. Because they don't need regular nourishment they are able to live off their own resources for extended periods. The message on that card is “Keep the end in sight and push ahead. You will get there.” You can use the cards at no charge by going to Mary Jo McCabe’s website. Mary Jo is a spiritual intuitive and a very good friend of ours for over 25 years. maryjomccabe.com.
I now realize that this message was not just for me but also for my readers who are working on living a life of abundance for themselves, their family, and friends. Today you may want to introduce one practice to assist you in achieving the life of your dreams. Remember when introducing a new practice tell yourself “I can do it.” And Once you experience results from this practice you can help create a better life for others by sharing your successful practice with them.
Today’s message from Daily Word clarifies and supports my belief and recommendations on how to create Prosperity. The Daily Word is one of the tools I have in my resource tool box that I have read for many years.
I joyously anticipate new adventures in prosperous living.
Thursday, September 28, 2017In his book Spiritual Economics, Eric Butterworth explained, “The word prosperity comes from the Latin root which literally translates: ‘according to hope,’ or ‘to go forward hopefully.’ Thus it is not so much a condition in life as it is an attitude toward life.”
With this in mind, I focus my thinking on what I want to experience in this adventure called life. If I slip into thoughts of lack, I realign by centering myself again in the peace and assurance of God’s love and abundance.
Prosperity is a way of living, of expecting good outcomes, and answered prayers. It is a consciousness of believing in possibilities and going forward in hope. Anticipating new adventures in prosperous living, I give thanks for all I have and for the blessings yet to come.
For surely I know the plans I have for you.–Jeremiah 29:11
“Patience and diligence, like faith, removes mountains.”
Being a success-driven person one of the most challenging things for me is to be patient when an answer or result comes about more slowly than I anticipated. The challenge is amplified when the reality of failure is evident and I know I have to move in a different direction. This is true in all areas of life. It encompasses careers, finances, relationships, dream board goal setting, health and wellness, and the desire to make a positive difference in the world.
My greatest accomplishment in my career came by using several tools to help me build up my confidence and cultivate patience. The specific year to which I am referring was a year when the competition was intense and sales were down. To shift my thinking from possibility to reality I wrote down a few affirmations that soundly proclaimed “mission accomplished” or “done deal.” Here are those affirmations. “I am celebrating a 10% increase in my sales volume this year. I am excited to be the winner of the sales contest and will receive two first-class airline tickets to Canada.”
Even though I faithfully wrote and said these affirmations daily nothing positive was happening. Again this was a true test of my patience and my belief that a positive outcome was possible.
At the end of that year during the qualifying period a once in a lifetime bid came out from a company wanting to export bag cement to South Africa. I was the successful bidder. It was the largest bag sale in the history of our company and I increased my sales by 10% and I won the sales contest. My wife and I traveled first class to Canada and had a wonderful trip.
I believe if we know what we want to achieve in life, have a positive plan of action and the patience to move forward regardless of setbacks the impossible becomes possible.
Life today is moving on such a fast track with the full plate most of us are juggling. I suppose that has always been somewhat true but social media has brought distractions to a much higher lever. Many people find it difficult to use the tools that I suggest to assist them in achieving their dreams in living a life of abundance.
You may want to just spend 10 minutes to write down one thing that you would like to happen in your life. Turn that desire into a one sentence affirmation that states it is happening. Be patient with yourself when introducing a new tool for your tool box. It may seem like it is taking forever to manifest your dream, but it is certainly worth the effort.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller, The Open Door
In my youth I was able to take a lot of risk to achieve my goals. I knew if I failed I had time on my side to recover from any mistakes I made. Regardless of how outlandish my dreams may have been I moved forward to achieve them with an inner trust knowing they were right for me. When I was a sophomore in high school my parents had limited income and were not in the position to give me extra spending money. I always had a passion to live life to the fullest so I got a part time job that provided me spending and some extra to save.
Once I started earning more money than I needed for entertainment I got the bright idea at the age of 16 that I wanted to purchase a piece a land for an investment. That Sunday in the real estate section of the newspaper I saw a full page add about undeveloped property for sale that would be developed in the future. The property was zoned to build doubles so I saw this as a great investment opportunity. I convinced my dad to consign the loan and I purchased the property.
Youth and success were on my side and I continued to take risks and achieve my goals. In this stage of the journey, being on a fixed income in retirement puts a different perspective on many aspects of our lives. It most definitely challenges my beliefs in taking risks. However my many years of approaching any challenge with a positive outlook is my saving grace.
Many people get paralyzed with fear when crises happen like the real estate market collapses, the stock market crashes, or the costs of raising and educating a family escalates. They totally shut down, are blind to any help, and certainly see any resolution as a risk. In many cases they connect with likeminded fear based people and lose the trust they had in themselves that anything is possible if you focus on a positive outcome and have a plan to make it happen.
That is when a renewed trust is much needed. Connecting with positive people, reading inspirational books and going to your personal tool box to draw on resources are all important. The risk is not necessarily financial. It can be a risk to make changes to be more positive so that you can be open to new and different solutions.
As I often mention, the tool I use daily is writing in my grateful journal. Following my writing I write one or two words to get guidance for the day. Yesterday my word was “trust.” Everything I picked up to read that day had something to do with trusting in yourself in making decisions and trusting in the advice received from friends. Needless to say I followed through with that message with a high level of confidence. It turned out to be a wonderful day. That sign renewed my inner spirit to trust in myself and to continue to take risks.
This week you may want to think about what positive changes you would like to make in yourself so that you can be a positive influence on those around you. Doing this is a major risk because it requires trust. Change always does. This can start with something simple like having a positive message on your voicemail for incoming missed calls. My message has caused people to call me and ask that I not answer the next call because they have people they want to hear the message. That is a tremendous sign that people want to hear more positive things in their lives.
Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can
become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.
I'm presently reading "What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self" by Richard Rohr and wanted to share this quote with you.
"SPIRITUALLY STARVING IN THE MIDST OF PLENTY”
“A wall-eyed pike is put into an aquarium. He is fed for some days with little minnows. Then, in the middle of the experiment, a glass partition is placed down the middle of the aquarium so that the pike is now confined to one side. Then the researchers drop the minnows on the other side. Immediately, the pike goes for the minnows, but he hits himself against the glass. He circles and hits it again. He tries a third time, but he is now hitting the glass a little less hard. After a few more times, he’s just sort of nosing up against the glass. He has a feeling he’s not going to get those minnows. Pretty soon, he just swims around in circles and ignores the minnows on the other side. At that point, those doing the experiment take out the glass. The minnows come right up against the gills of the pike and he doesn’t even try to eat them. The experiment ends when the wall-eyed pike starves to death. He’s convinced he’s not going to get those minnows, so there’s no point in wasting his time or hurting his nose again.
That is the best image of cultural blindness I have heard. I wanted to weep when I first heard it, but I realized that the experiment is about human beings, not about fish. That’s much of the human story.”
This story is very revealing for those of us who are working on living a life of abundance in all areas of our lives. One of the practices I was taught at a very young age in my first selling newspaper and magazine subscriptions was to never get discouraged when someone wasn’t interested in what you were trying to sell them. There were many more houses in the subdivision and the law of averages increased if you knocked on every one of them. It worked and I always had a great daily average of subscriptions sold.
Once I have a clear vision of what I want to achieve and have established a plan of action to make it happen I never lose my focus on the goal. To achieve that success I use many of the tools that I have I have shared with you in my blog postings.
We just returned home from a three week dream trip to Europe to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. The cost of this trip far exceeded our typical yearly travel budget. I posted pictures of the trip on my Dream Board, worked out a plan in our Prosperity Budget. Yes I ran into several glass partitions as the pike did in the aquarium but the tools I had to fall back on got me to the other side and I was able to achieve my goal.
You may have faced many obstacles in achieving your dream of living a life of abundance and have given up because of obstacles that blocked your vision of success. Now is the time to once again establish a success plan and work with the tools that will support you in overcoming those obstacles.
"Here's the problem. Most people are thinking about what they don't want, and they're wondering why it shows up over and over again".
When the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne was published in 2006 it stirred interest around the world. It immediately became a best seller with 20 million copies sold in 50 languages. "As you learn The Secret, you will come to know how you can have, be, or do anything you want. You will come to know who you really are. You will come to know the true magnificence that awaits your life." -from the Introduction
Implementing the principles taught in this book is very simple:
Step 1. Ask
"What do you really want? Sit down and write it out on paper. Write it down in the present tense. I am happy and grateful now....and then explain how you want your life to be in every way." I am a visual person so I take this practice to the next level by posting pictures of what I want to bring into my life on my Dream Board. The most current manifestations were two major dreams coming true, a Marriage Celebration with 50 couples celebrating 2,393 years of marriage, and a second honeymoon to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in Europe for 21 days.
Step 2. Believe
"Believe that it's already yours. Have faith, what I love to call unwavering faith. Believe in the unseen." This practice has helped me fulfill my passion for traveling around the world. I once wrote “I plan on presenting a marketing idea to management at the corporate office in Switzerland.” That Fall I received a call with an invitation for my wife and I to travel First Class to Switzerland where I would present my idea at an International Marketing Conference. Another time I wrote “I would like to take a surprise trip to Europe and travel to Lourdes once again.” A person in our sharing group came over with an envelope as a gift with enough $100 bills to pay for the trip.
Step 3. Receive
"Begin to feel wonderful about it. Feel the way you will feel once it arrives. Feel it now." When I am landscaping my garden I visualize the plants I want to place in the gardens. I feel great about the beauty they will bring. Sometimes it may take a few months to get them in the ground but I enjoy thinking about how they will look. This spring when a friend who is a landscape architect came over and wanted to know who designed my gardens. I felt great to tell him I had done them myself.
The Secret has been in my tool box of resource books for years. I was drawn to go back and read it after reading from my book of daily meditations A Spring within Us by Father Richard Rohr. Today's topic is “Your Response Is Your Reality. What you see is what you get. ‘What you seek is also what you get’.” Matthew 7:7-8
Father Rohr goes on to say “We mend and renew the world by strengthening inside ourselves that which we seek outside ourselves, and not by demanding it of others or trying to force it on others. This truth may sound like the Law of Attraction that is so widely discussed today, and often called The Secret, but there is one major difference. Drawing good things toward you, such as love, a successful relationship, some kind of reward, is fine and good--as far as it goes. But it is all about you! The Secret seems to be saying that your mind fully creates reality, which is only partly true. You do create your response to reality, and that response, for all practical purpose, is your reality."
This insight is great for me because as I have said many times I am motivated by success. When I implement a new practice into my life to assist me in living a life of abundance I want to see results. It is the response I have that has to change to the often times reality that at this time in my life what I seek is not yet in my best interest. I find my response to disappointment has evolved by my daily journaling expressing gratitude for the day and all it may bring to me.
You may want to start practicing the principles of the Secret today.
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
I have spent three quarters of a century searching for answers to how to live a life of abundance. Throughout my younger years my motivation was to have financial success. In the retirement years now my ambition is to live a purpose driven life. Because I have spent so much time searching I have acquired wonderful resources in my tool box to share with others.
Success for me is not equated merely by reaching my personal goals. The crowning achievement is my success in providing resources that others can draw on to achieve their self-defined successes to achieve a life of abundance for themselves.
A friend told me recently that her son had called my financial planner to schedule an appointment to discuss their planning to create a life of abundance. I am a strong believer in seeking professional advice for assistance in achieving my goals. Anything I have accomplished has been done with a roadmap to get me to my destination.
Recently we were at the reception following the Mass of Celebration of Marriage that my wife Jeanne and I planned with a team of couples. A friend said he was buying me a glass of wine because he and his wife were touched very deeply by this experience. When they got married they had only 25 or so people in attendance, with no professional photographer. Yesterday there was a photographer that captured pictures of both the Church ceremony and the reception which included individual pictures of every couple in attendance.
Realizing that this event touched the lives of those attending was a blessing. The success and large attendance were only possible by setting goals and having a strong support team to make it a reality. That is how this event developed into a large celebration of 2,393 years of marriage. Anything in life is possible to achieve if you set a goal and have good resources to guide and support your efforts.
One of the many comments I received from my posting on attracting positive people in my life was "I am trying. How do you find them?"
Whenever we give someone an inspirational book, CD, or invite them to come along to hear an inspiration speaker it gives us something in common to talk about. Many have become our network of positive people in our life.
Everyone has gifts and talents to share with others to help them live life to the fullest. This week you may want to spend some time helping one other person benefit from one thing you are doing to live a life of abundance. So many people send group emails on negative events happening in the world. It would be an easy start to forward only send positive information. Who knows how many lives will be touched!
Silence is the foundation of truth. Words are most meaningful when they emerge from silence and when they are received by a quiet mind.
~ Kenneth Cohen
My wife and I made a decision not to look at any news program on television for a week. The results of this experience have been amazing. Thoughts of positive possibilities have not being influenced or discouraged by a barrage of fear based negative news reports. I realize I cannot live in a bubble and it is reality that there are many horrendous happenings in the world today. But there comes a time when I need to separate myself from that in order to create a plan to make a positive difference in my world of family and friends.
We may not be able to change the world but we can change our world. For me the change has to come from within me first. Retirement offers me more control of my time. But I remember the days when the pressure of my job was unrelenting. Finances and family demands didn't allow much time for silence or meditation. This is when it is critically important to make a plan and schedule that time every day.
In our early years of marriage we opened our home to a family member going through a challenging time in her life. At a young age of 17 my wife's niece got pregnant and moved in with us during her pregnancy. Her troubling situation and her interactions with our three children created some very difficult situations. I can recall capturing a few minutes of silence by going in the closet to get a few moments of silence to regroup.
In today's world with information coming to us as soon as we awaken on our telephones, computers and early morning news shows, it can be very difficult to find time for reflective silence. At times there may be extenuating circumstances but truth of the matter is it is often just the day-in and day-out crazy pace of our lives. To make a positive change it will require pre-planning because the outside distractions will quickly discourage you from implementing a new practice.
When I wake up I immediately turn on the coffee maker to brew my first cup of coffee. Right next to my chair I have several inspirational daily meditation books from which I choose short reflective messages to read. This one practice has opened the doors for me to allow a flow of creative ideas to come into my mind.
We can make a positive influence in changing the impact of negative news. It all begins with the decision to start the day with a few silent moments, allowing our minds to open to peaceful and positive input.
It has taken me a long time to appreciate what a nun in grammar school would repeat every day, "Silence is Golden."