Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.
My wife and I completed our 2019 Dream Board on New Year’s Day. It is now hanging on the wall in our office.
I was encouraged when several of our grandchildren called to let me know they were working on their Dream Boards. Reading about the statistics regarding why New Year’s Resolutions don’t last long, I encouraged them to start an annual practice that I know is successful. A full 35% of resolutions are broken before the end of January. Apparently, distractions and the busyness of daily life create the obstacles. In the survey taken at the end of any given year only 23% of New Year’s resolutions were kept.
Even during these retirement years things constantly happen in my life that distract me from my goals. As I stated in my previous posting my success rate last year was 50% in spite of the many challenges throughout the year. The following practices help me to keep a higher percentage rate of success.
Accomplishing a higher rate of success than the national average of kept resolutions becomes a reality because we are very passionate about those dreams. It is exciting to create experiences that enrich our lives and the lives of our family.
I am a very visual person; our Dream Board encourages me to keep moving forward to bring those desired experiences into reality. Those dreams could be easily forgotten if they were just written in a notebook and put away in a desk drawer.
Regardless of setbacks I keep the faith. Like most of us I like to have control of events and outcomes. I have to remind myself to “Let Go and Let God.” To support my efforts in manifesting these goals I often have to make adjustments in my strategies and priorities. That is not difficult as long as I keep reminding myself of my intentions and goals.
Whenever “a dream comes true,” I immediately express my gratefulness in my journal. We also celebrate in some special way. It is truly a gift that our family is participating in the Dream Board. Sharing our success with them enhances our excitement.
Now that holiday celebrations are over you may want to spend some time this weekend to complete your 2019 Dream Board. Making that extra effort can tremendously increase your success rate in accomplishing those resolutions for 2019.
“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” --Meister Eckhart
When we entered into married life 51 years ago the love and excitement we had for one another colored our ambitions and fueled endless possibilities for building the life of our dreams. We were blessed to experience several years of living out that dream. But in all relationships, it is inevitable that disillusionments and disappointments will happen. But in any committed relationship it is important to put forth the effort to work things out. As we were taught in Marriage Encounter, this effort leads you to true joy.
This past year has offered us many challenges although not specifically with our relationship with one another. But there were outside forces like major unexpected expenses from dental work, automobile and home repairs. A minor scratch coming from a fall my wife had caused cellulitis necessitating a hospital stay and then surgery on her elbow. Then on a less personal level there was the constant negativity in the news and the hostile political environment of our country.
So yes much of this year has been focused on solving problems. So as 2019 approaches I welcome the gift of opportunity that this New Year has to offer. Today is the day that I set aside a block of time to pull out many of the tools I have shared with my followers to create a life of abundance.
Every day in spite of what is happening in my life and in the world, I spend time to write in my grateful journal. I then read and reflect on several resources of inspirational material. Today I’d like to focus on the reading from
Daily Word. “I perceive a new possibility and make it a reality. As I enter the new year, I utilize my imagination to perceive possibilities that are not currently visible.”
Every year my wife and I write down everything we would like to experience in our life for the new year. We than select the ones that are most important to us and put pictures of those on our Dream Board. Since our Dream Board is displayed in a visible place in our office. We see it daily and remind ourselves what we are committed to make happen in our lives. The things posted do not magically happen, but often do manifest with our effort and determination. Looking at the results of “our dreams” for 2018 year some people may say this is not effective because only 50% of what we had posted happened. With all of the challenges of this past year I think 50% is fantastic!
You may want to take advantage of the positive energy that will happen at New Year’s Eve celebrations as the 2019 is ushered in. Spend some time during the next few days and write down what you would like to attract in your life and post that on your Dream Board.
“Anything you really want, you can attain, if you really go after it.” – Wayne Dyer
The following words are heard often during the Christmas season, “Making a list and checking it twice.” Unfortunately many people do not use this magical childhood belief throughout the year. Many self-help authors and even the bible support this concept.
Then the Lord told me and said, “I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance.”
Habakkuk 2 1-3
“Decide what you want, write it down, review it constantly, and each day do something that moves you toward these goals”.
I personally believe and seek signs before making major decisions in life and I write down what I hope to manifest.
I have always made a list of the things I want to attract in my life. When things would automatically fall into place, I knew I was on the right tract.
At a young age I had written that I wanted to own a house before I got married. I envisioned this house would be a double so that I could live in one side rent free. I stayed focused on that goal and fortunately I got a few breaks with investments in the stock market. I purchased my double within months of my return home from a tour of duty in the Army.
I always believed that marriage would be a tremendously important decision in my life. In preparation I practiced some of the principles I have shared with my readers. I wrote down the qualities I wanted in that person I wanted to attract and with whom I would live out a lifetime commitment.
A sign of the power of this tool of writing down what we want to attract in our lives was later confirmed and truly amazed both of us. Unknown to either of us was the fact that we both worked in the central city and occasionally went to the same church to pray for the same thing, the right person to marry with whom we could fully share our lives.
When I came home after being drafted and stationed in Europe for two years many of my friends were married and having children. I dated one girl that I had known in the past, but it did not work out. Than coincidentally or providentially friends of ours arranged a blind date with Jeanne for a company dance, and as they say, “The rest is history!”
Yes, 51 years later I have to say it was the best decision of my life.
In my blog posting last week I talked about the rocker given to me by my grandfather one Christmas. Check out this picture with two rockers under our Christmas tree. The other one was given to my wife as a gift when she was two years old. We both kept these treasured gifts we received as 2-year-olds and decided to put our rockers under our Christmas tree. This is symbolic of the many treasures we each brought to our relationship that bridged the gap of differences.
As we get closer to the end of the year and start anticipating a fresh start and a new opportunity to live life to the fullest, you may want to take some time to make a list of what you would like to attract into your life.
A great leader also has the ability to make people an inch taller in his presence.
N. R. Narayana Murphy
Throughout this Christmas season I have been given many gifts that did not need to be opened. They came in the presence of family and friends and time to visit with many we have not done so in years. Our time together gifted us with the sharing of great memories and future hopes and dreams. These are truly the gifts that will last throughout the coming year.
The presents we are given will certainly be appreciated but many will not be remembered several years from now. The memories of the family gathering together to celebrate one another’s presence will be remembered. That is why my wife and I put so much energy into preparing the traditional family meal with courses that were served by our ancestors. When our grandkids are served oyster dressing, dirty rice, green beans, and sweet potatoes with marshmallows along with the turkey and ham we will let them know about our ancestors who introduced the traditional foods always served on Christmas Day.
I was blessed growing up with loving grandparents who took delight in spoiling me, not so much with material abundance but by generously giving me their time and presence. They gave me the gift I needed growing up. They listened to me and encouraged me in my outlandish schemes and endeavors, in spite of my many childhood misadventures.
This year I thought about my grandfather and was reminiscing about the one and only actual Christmas present he gave to me. It is the rocker that you see in the picture under our Christmas tree. That rocker was given to me 75 years ago. I cherish it. It rekindles the good memories of my grandfather. He could have become a sad broken man. His wife and baby died in the birth of their 8th child. He was a farmer in the country and had no one to take care of the children. The family was separated, and several were raised by different members of his family. As a child growing up I did not know much about his history. I only knew I loved being with him. He was a very humble, peaceful man. He had an enthusiasm for life. He was very calm and good-natured. I always felt he really listened to me as we sat together while he whittled pieces of wood.
Since he never earned much money, he could not afford to give presents for Christmas. All of the grandchildren would sit on his lap on Christmas Day to receive a hug and get a crisp dollar bill.
In the society we live in today so much focus is on material things. An enormous amount of energy goes into getting the right gift. Unfortunately most people do not remember the gifts they received just last year. I am not saying gifts are meaningless, but traditions and stories create the lifetime of memories.
Christmas Day offers a great opportunity to share “our stories” with family and friends. It is also a good time to give each person the gift of listening and being fully present as each opportunity arises.
Nobody knows what anticipation is anymore. Everything is so immediate.
There is an energy available to all of us during this time of the year. It’s powerful anticipation. Regardless of our spiritual faith practice this energy affects all of us. For the children it is waiting for Christmas morning to open their presents. Gathering family and friends during the holidays has been traditional for both of our biological families. It is a tradition we have carried forth and will hopefully pass on to future generations. Jeanne and I have also incorporated a program for Advent of viewing a short daily video on John’s Gospel as we anticipate the new birth on Christmas Day. I must admit though that a tremendous part of our anticipation during this season evolves around preparation for the Christmas day gathering of our children and grandchildren.
I realize there are many people who are not blessed with family or even close friends in their lives, but the energy is still out there to tap into. We find this time of year also creates in us a desire to have special time with close friends. So we just get our calendar out and make sure it happens.
I had an experience yesterday of how much influence this energy has on people’s lives. It was late last night my neighbor was putting Christmas lights on his house. I told him I wish I had that much energy. I said to him “You never seems to get tired!” He said “No, I am tired, but my wife said we were the last undecorated house on the block.” Apparently, she did not want to miss out on the festive energy in the neighborhood.
Once the day arrives and the presents have been opened there is then the opportunity to use the energy of the new birth in our own lives to create a life of abundance.
There have been many challenges this year that have at times discouraged me to share my true beliefs with others. This has been a year of attending many funerals of family members and friends. It has been a year of medical challenges for my wife and friends. It has been a year of putting aside focusing on my Dream Board postings. Sometimes life just happens but blessings always show up and that’s what this season of anticipation is giving to me.
I am preparing myself for the new year by my daily practices of journaling, reading inspirational material and viewing the daily video on scripture. You may want to take advantage of the powerful energy of anticipation and write down a few things you plan on doing to create a life of abundance. You will be creating presents for yourself that will keep on giving throughout the year.
“It's a good place when all you have is hope and not expectations.”
I have been told in the past “You teach what you need to learn!” I do not see myself as a teacher when I write articles for my blog. I see it more as just sharing my story. I must admit though I am learning from my readers by the comments I receive.
The following insight struck a nerve because I immediately started reflecting on how this has created a block in my positive approach to creating a life of prosperity. Prosperity for me is not only defined by financial success, but also includes the emotional and spiritual aspects of life as well as living each moment to the fullest. The following is a reader’s comment to last week’s posting on Attitude.
“Positive Pops: Attitude is important but please meditate on the word “expectations” because I think I have had to face that in many areas in my life. It can be a positive or negative aspect in your life depending on your attitude that you decide to choose. Therefore expectation comes first and then I decide what to choose. Kind of what comes first the chicken or the egg. So glad you are back.”
I realize I have been blessed with having a great attitude about life. I have trained myself to focus on the positive regardless of how overwhelming the challenges may be. However reflecting on the word “expectations” I realize this is an area in which I definitely need some growth because it can certainly create a block in my living a life of abundance and prosperity. For example, I started writing this blog because my wife could not get me to write in a Grandparent’s book that was given to me when our first grandchild was born 18 years ago. At one point I was also encouraged by my spiritual director to write my story in a blog and that could be my story for my family.
This new initiative in my life, my Positive Pops Blog, created a whirlwind of expectations three years ago. A few friends started to call to tell me they enjoyed my postings. After that a few people I did not know commented on different topics and said it was helpful to them. That now sparked the success drive in me. A strong ego and a natural positive approach to life fueled this drive. I used these natural gifts to attract a much larger audience. So I set a goal that I would have 2,500 weekly visitors. That is when I realized my expectations were out of control because once that happened, I started to focus on having 3,000 readers.
Expectations have always been an issue for me. In my career in sales I developed a Creative Marketing approach to increase sales. Because of the success I was having I expected everyone to use this same approach to marketing. I experienced much disappointment when I would travel to other areas of the country and there was very little interest in this marketing strategy.
I had the same high level of expectations when we were in leadership in the Church. We were so excited about the experience of being a team in Marriage Encounter. When other couples were invited to be a part of this leadership, I could not understand how they could turn it down.
This same high level of expectations often leads to disappointment with family and friends. My awareness is now heightened in my realization that this is definitely an area on which I need to continue to reflect and make positive changes.
You may want to note a few areas in which you have expectations in yourself and others and how that is holding you back from living a life of abundance.
For the past two months I followed my typical routine of writing in my grateful journal and then reading inspirational and spiritual material. This has been my routine for years. The last three years I took this routine a step farther by selecting a word to which I was particularly drawn and expand that thought to create a posting for my blog. Then something strange happened. Week after week went by and nothing surfaced for me to share with others.
I just accepted the fact that my blog had come to an end. I visited with my spiritual director and she said “You share yourself in your blog and that has not come to an end. You are on a mini vacation so just relax and you will know when to start posting on your blog again.“
While I was on this mini vacation, I refused to check my site to get the statistics on how many people were going to my website to read my past postings. This weekend I was pleasantly shocked to learn that 2,400 people a week are still checking into my website.
Encouraged by the words of my spiritual director I am writing once again. The following insight in particular boosted my incentive to activate Positive Pops. “Man creates because of his attitude. Man hinders because of his attitude. The importance of keeping the river running and flowing...when we have a bad attitude, it creates a dam. Everything stops. This is why people cannot get beyond it many times. So, you have a glow in life that others learn from, a good attitude.”
Those words were given to me, but I truly believe they can be beneficial for everyone. Having a good attitude can change everything.
When we eat breakfast out, I usually tip at a higher rate than the minimum expected tip. The service is typically as good as a luncheon meal at half the cost. Last week our waitress obviously did not enjoy the work she was doing. Her attitude and service were terrible. Just a little smile would have gone a long way. Yes, I still tipped her, but I would be very surprised if she remains in the service industry. Her attitude will certainly affect her success.
You may want to select one of the following quotes on attitude and post it to inspire you to take an inventory and see how you’re doing!
A note to all who have been checking into my website for new material: I appreciate your patience and that you did not give up on me. I am excited to be back doing what I love to do…sharing my story that was initially intended only for my grandchildren.
Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.
I overheard a conversation in the grocery store about the terrible things happening all around the country. I thought to myself how amazing it is that they missed some of the good news that is out there! Just this week there were several uplifting articles in the newspaper. Ironically the positive news is not headlined. However, it is there, usually not quite as obvious as I think it could be! I typically find “good news” because I urgently search to balance the constant deluge of bad news that dominates broadcasts and social media.
· Unemployment rate fell again reaching a record low of 3.4%. At the same time the construction industry employed 303,000 more workers nationally compared to 2017.
· America has a massive truck driver shortage. About 51,000 more drivers are needed to meet the demand of Amazon and Walmart. Efforts are being made to allow 18-year-olds to drive trucks across the country. Great salaries will be offered for entry level young people.
· Wall Street closed higher again this past week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at an all-time high.
· The US economy logged its best performance in nearly 4 years. Output expanded 3.2 % in the first half of 2018.
· A friend called to let me know about the positive message etched on the glass bathroom door at the hotel in which he is staying. The following message covered the full length of the door: Have a Great Day! Be Grateful
· Food and Wine magazine surveyed supermarkets that it considers “regional gems.” Dorignac’s, a local supermarket in our area, is listed as a “supermarket hero” and is listed in the top 10 in the country.
The last two items may seem somewhat trivial but in my way of thinking they reinforce the point that great things are happening all around us, but one dose of the evening news can destroy anything positive and refocus our thoughts and outlook in a very negative way.
There are many other life-changing positive things happening around the country. I would like to offer encouragement to my readers to share in my comment section one positive thing that is happening in your area of the county. You will be helping good news travel like the flow of fine wine instead of traveling like molasses.
Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You, and you alone, can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving.
We are living in a time of abundance much greater than our parents or grandparents could have ever imagined. I can understand their fear of letting go of any material possession because they did not have the resources to replace anything. Today we have so much “stuff” many people are renting storage units to hold on to possessions that they are not using. The current self-storage industry statistics that the annual industry revenue is $38 billion and there are 50,000 units in the country.
In addition to storage units many families never park their car in their garage because it is filled with “stuff” they may need. I was amazed by a family who had most of their 4-car garage filled with possessions their married children were not using. On an emotional level this is holding on to the past. On a physical level this keeps our daily environment cluttered. It is blocking energy of both emotional and financial abundance.
In the book Feng Shui Your Life by Jayme Barrett she states the following:
“Cleaning clutter and cleansing space are the first steps in creating awesome energy within yourself and your surroundings. Just as an artist paints a masterpiece on a fresh canvas, a clean environment is essential for you to implement Feng Shui effectively. If you start with a clean slate, your dreams and goals will manifest much faster and easier.”
My wife should have a master’s degree on clearing out clutter to allow the flow of new energy to come into our home. There is a bag in our office in which we discard the things that are not being used. When it gets filled we bring it to one of the Habitat for Humanity donation bins set up in various locations near our home. Recently she reminded me that some of the shirts I was wearing were getting frayed around the collar. There were other shirts I just never wore. I threw away the old ones and put the good ones in the “recycle” bag.
A few days later we went to the department store and sport shirts were marked down 50% . I decided to purchase two of them to replace the ones I gave away. When I paid the cashier, she said that for today only they were giving an additional 50% off the 50% marked down price. I love a bargain! As insignificant as this experience may seem it reinforced the principle that holding on to things only blocks attracting new things into our lives.
You may want to start at a slow pace by looking at the clothes you have in your closet that you have not worn this year. Gradually remove them, put them in a storage bag, then at the end of the week drop them off to a charitable donation center. The next step would be to look into those hidden spaces where unused things are stored such as the attic, garage or storage units. Decide on one thing at a time that you want to give away. The positive energy flow that can occur when we make even the smallest effort is worth it. It opens the doors to new abundance.
“You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”
Our granddaughter was at our house a few days ago and let me know she was working on her list of affirmations. I then let her review my list. She made the comment that she didn’t know Granny and I were going to New York during the Christmas holidays. This was her response to my affirmation “I am enthusiastic about planning our trip to New York during the Christmas holiday season.”
We then discussed the whole process. I told her it is important that affirmations be written in a way that confirms the intentions will happen. Having a clear intention and elevated emotion will help you succeed in using the powerful tool of affirmations. I explained to her that we may not be going to New York this year and that doesn’t matter. It will happen in the future because I am selecting the hotel, making a list of the plays we will see, and making plans to see the Rockets Christmas show.
I continue to research credible resources to support the tools I suggest that my grandchildren use to help them release negative blocks at an early age. The following quote comes from the book "Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon" by Dr Joe Dispenza, that I am currently reading. It supports the benefits of having intentions and using affirmations to affirm them. It is amazing to realize that there is now scientific evidence that proves it works!
"Changing Your Energy: Combining a Clear Intention with Elevated Emotions. Once you’re in the sweet spot of the generous present moment, where all possibilities exist in the quantum field, how do you turn one or more of those potentials, those immaterial possibilities, into reality in the three-dimensional world of matter?
This requires two things: a clear intention and elevated emotion. Your clear intention is exactly what it sounds like—you must get clear on what it is you want to create, getting as specific as possible, and describe it in detail. Let’s say you want to go on a great vacation. Where is it you want to go? How do you want to get there? Who do you want to go with, or who do you want to meet when you’re there? What sort of accommodations do you want to stay in? What do you want to do or see when you’re there? What food do you want to eat? What do you want to drink? What kind of wardrobe will you pack? What will you buy to bring home? You get the point. Make it detailed—make it as real as you can because you are going to assign a letter as a symbol of possibility to all those conditions.
As you read in the previous chapter, those thoughts, which make up your intention, are the electrical charge you are sending out into the unified field. Now you must combine that intention with an elevated emotion, such as love, gratitude, inspiration, joy, excitement, awe, or wonder, to name just a few examples.
You must tap into the feeling you anticipate you will have when you manifest your intent, and then feel the emotion ahead of the experience. The elevated emotion (which carries a higher energy) is the magnetic charge you are sending out into the field."
Think of a special event that you love celebrating. It may be Christmas, Birthdays or any other special occasion. With that thought in mind use that excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm to write down your list of intentions that you plan on bringing into your life. Then take that list and transform it into affirmations beginning each with “I Am.”