Fundamental choices are what we build our life on. Are we happy with the direction our life is going? Do we need to make a fundamental choice to change it?

Are we happy with the direction our life is going? Do we need to make a fundamental choice to change it? Fundamental choices are what we build our life on.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. John C. Maxwell

How do we make fundamental choices that change our lives? We know people who make fundamental choices they quit smoking and this time it worked. What is the difference between when it works and when it doesn’t? According to Robert Fritz in The Path of Least Resistance, there are ways we avoid making effective choices.

Choice by possibilities – choosing only what seems possible or reasonable.

Choice by indirectness – choosing the process instead of the result.

Choice by elimination – eliminating all other possibilities so that only one choice remains.

Choice by default – the “Choice” not to make a choice, so that whatever results happen seem to occur without choices.

Conditional choice – imposing preconditions on choices.

Choice by reaction – choices designed to overcome a conflict.

Choice by consensus – choosing by finding out what everyone else is willing to recommend and following the results of that poll.

Choice by adverse possession – choice based on a hazy metaphysical notion about the nature of the universe.

We can choose results we want to see manifested or we can make choices based on what we want to avoid. If we can have a clear vision of what we want to create and then actually say the words, “I choose to have…

We have different kinds of choices to make. We have primary choices which are choices about major results. A primary choice is about some result we want in itself and for itself. It is not a step to something else it is the thing itself. It is the ultimate goal it might be something like a superb relationship, a beautiful home, or a wonderful vacation.

Secondary choices help us take a step toward our primary choice. Booking the tickets for the vacation, going on date nights, and going to the gym.

Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision. Tony Robbins

A fundamental choice is a choice upon which primary and secondary choices rest.  A fundamental choice is a choice in which we commit ourselves to a basic life orientation or state of being. When we have made a fundamental choice about the way we want our life to be all other choices support that choice.

When I made the primary choice to be a writer something changed from when I was just hoping, wishing, and thinking I would write someday. I can’t put my finger on it but reading this book has crystallized that being a writer is a primary choice for me. Getting married was a primary choice and having children was a primary choice. Going into business for ourselves was a primary choice.

The more we are willing to make fundamental choices in our lives about the direction we want our lives to take the more control we have in our life. We can’t control the outcome of many things but we can control the direction. If we are in a reactive response we are waiting for circumstances to make us happy. If we are creating our own lives we are creating our own satisfaction and we are happy from the inside out. When we make fundamental choices to be true to ourselves we may deal with the circumstances differently to remain true to ourselves regardless of what the circumstances are.

The four fundamental choices Robert Fritz offers in his book The Path of Least Resistance are:

To be the predominant creative force in our life.

To be true to ourselves.

Health (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual).

Freedom

He says we should not assume that we automatically want to make these fundamental choices. He says if we make the choice for these four fundamental choices circumstances may change slowly or quickly as the structural tendencies of our life work to fulfill these choices.

What choices do we need to make? Are they fundamental choices, primary choices, or secondary choices?

You have a choice. A single choice, whatever that choice may be, you have to live with the consequences it brings. That’s all. A Choice. G. Gutierrez

One of the most important things that I have learned… is that life is all about choices.  On every journey you take, you face choices. At every fork in the road, you make a choice. And it is those decisions that shape our lives. Mike DeWine

We’re making decision right now that shape our lives. Even indecision is a decision. What’s going on today is a result of the choices we’ve made in the past. Toni Sorenson

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book, and a special thank you to those that leave a comment on Amazon. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

Are we choosing what we want? Are we letting life choose for us? Are we happy with the choices?

Are we letting life choose for us? Are we choosing what we want? Are we happy with the choices?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you don’t do the choosing, life will choose for you, and it may not be the choice you want. Robert Anthony

In the smorgasbord of life are we choosing what we want or what we don’t want? Do we say, “Well I don’t want to be poor, sick, or homeless instead of rich, healthy, and well housed?”

I’ve been the person that found asking for what I want, and sometimes even stating it, has been tough. We may even put processes in place we think should give us what we want without actually stating what it is we want.

I look at my writing as an example. I developed the habit of writing when my husband brought home a laptop and I used it every night at the kitchen table and developed the habit of writing. I never asked myself what do I want to accomplish with my writing, what do I want it to become? At that point maybe it was too much to know. Maybe I needed to learn that I could stay on the path of writing without knowing or thinking too hard about where that path would or could lead.

Jogging might work the same way for some people. When they take up running they may not think one day they will be part of the Boston Marathon. My family and I signed up to do a little 5k marathon and last year it was canceled but this year they are going ahead so we are to be part of a “Virtual” marathon.

I can remember at times being asked, “What do you want to eat?” All I knew is what I didn’t want and that isn’t very helpful. What if we wander around the smorgasbord of life and look at all the choices and each one isn’t what we want, but we can’t articulate what we do want so we can’t figure out how to bring what we do want into our life.

Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90% of all your happiness or misery. H. Jackson Brown

One of the lessons I’ve learned from painting is a limited palette is often more pleasing than using every color. I picked up the book, “Color Harmony for Artists” by Ana Victoria Calderon and she creates a 28 color palette for paintings. The book is page after page of a picture and the 28 colors she chose for the palette. Why did she choose 28 colors? I haven’t found an explanation in the book for why the number is 28 and that probably is not important. What it does do is give a starting point for creating our own color scheme and putting a limit on it so instead of reaching for one more discordant color we pick one from our palette. I haven’t been working with her concept that long but color harmony in paintings is part of what makes a painting work or not work.

The choices we make in our life are what make our life work or not work. I’ve started working out my own 28 color palette and when I look at my colors I can’t choose the ones I don’t want. I have to make choices of what colors I am going to choose. Am I going to mix colors or use them from the tube?  Is the color scheme going to be warm or cool, complementary, triad, split complementary, or some other choice? If I like the look of the 28 colors together in my notebook chances are I will like the color harmony of whatever I paint.

Sometimes we don’t choose because when we do we are responsible for that choice. The only way to get what we want is to choose and be responsible and if that choice doesn’t work out be willing to make another choice. Every day we can choose to feel blessed, grateful, excited, happy, and thankful for the choices we have.

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Heraclitus

We are free to choose our paths, but we can’t choose the consequences that come with them. Sean Covey

You have a choice each and every single day. Choose to feel blessed. Choose to feel grateful. Choose to be excited. Choose to be thankful. Choose to be happy. Unknown

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Planting what we want to reap. Making things better. Bringing the worst out in people.

Bringing the worst out in people. Making things better. Planting what we want to reap.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut. Stephen Covey

Yesterday was a day of April showers. The spring bulbs are up and the Star Magnolias are blooming in all their glory. This is my favorite time of year and my cousin who lives in California was telling Mom her spring starts in January. That sounds perfect, but spring whenever it comes is welcome.

I was reading about a word for green called “Dog Barking Green” because even the dogs are happy to see the new shoots that come with spring. Don’t our hearts lighten in spring? Wasn’t it terrifying when we watched Game of Thrones and winter was always coming and they didn’t know how long it would last? Years went by without winter and then when winter came they didn’t know how long they had to be prepared for and it seemed they were never prepared enough. How could we prepare for a winter we didn’t know when would end?

It is easy to think things should be different. It is not easy to know what is the difference that makes things better instead of worse. In our hubris, we think we know. Some of us think it would be better if we got back to normal. We think decisions being made are not the right ones. Some of us think the cure is worse than what we are being saved from.

The load some are being asked to bear is more than is reasonable. No matter what happens in life there are always some who do well and some who do worse. As they say, there is never an ill wind that doesn’t do somebody some good. It is easy to get sucked into rhetoric on either side. The middle view is so much less attractive it seems and yet when we live our lives in the middle isn’t that when life works the best.

When you act within the darkness of lies and untruth you attract experiences towards yourself that are equally as disturbing. Unknown

I digress, what about spring because spring is what we need. New beginnings, new expectations, and new directions always seem so great but we don’t always like where new directions lead us. Who do we trust for our information, who do we trust for news? We think we don’t know the whole story about anything and those who want us to believe their side, tell us what they think will convince us they are right.

What seeds are we planting? What germinates will grow. What we tend will flourish but is what flourishes what we want to harvest? My son put it succinctly last night: when we are individualists we take the power and control we have and we can live our lives in a way to bring about the best results. When we are waiting for someone else to fix things we have given up our power and even if they do fix things, will they fix things to our satisfaction? Isn’t it better to use our own power to build our own lives?

People looking to profit off of others, is real, but can we live our lives in a way to keep ourselves out of the clutches of such people? We may do our best and still come into the clutches of some, but if we take control of our lives we can often overcome mistakes and missteps. Expecting society to change so there are never people looking to take advantage of, step on, or just be mean and nasty doesn’t seem reasonable.

How do we make routine traffic stops not turn into fatalities? Most of them do not and we need to remember this even though too many that do are in the news. I think of my dog when we are out for a walk. She reacts to very few dogs, but some of them elicit a response I don’t understand. My little twelve-pound cock-a-poo is agitated and snarling, sometimes at a dog that with one bite would snap her in half. What brings this on? Does the same thing happen to people?

Is there a way to plant what we want to reap and ensure a peaceful outcome to routine events that scare us?

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. Thomas Paine

The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become. Unknown

The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel the evil with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. (Quran, 41:34)

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Serendipity shows up but we have to recognize it.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Serendipity is finding something good without looking for it. Unknown

It has been beautiful lately now that spring is here. I’ve been taking my dog for a nightly long walk. My husband has always encouraged me to walk and listen to something but I resist. I started listening to Jordan Peterson’s book Beyond Order, I really enjoy it, but I miss the thinking I do as I walk. We can’t fill our minds up with other people’s thoughts and have our own.

My husband and I listened to a podcast I’m going to be on this Saturday, the Abracadabra Podcast Author to Author, the host Jasveer Singh Dangi was in conversation with Isabella MacLeod author of Metamorphosis and Nano. She is a former nurse who suffers from a disease I’ve never heard of but sounds like it is related to Lyme disease. These books are a fictionalized journey as she picked up the pieces of her life and puts them back together.

My interest was piqued partly because I love a good story of people overcoming adversity but also because my brother suffers from some strange affliction and we have wondered where it came from. I will listen to the podcast again and look up the name of the disease she has and start going down the rabbit hole of research and see where it leads.

Most discoveries even today are a combination of serendipity and of searching. Siddhartha Mukherjee

Her disease may be nothing like my brother’s. I have no reason to think it is except it is debilitating enough that she can no longer work and so is his. She lives in Eastern Canada and he took a trip out there just before he became ill. I have a feeling and I often go with my feelings and see where they lead. Serendipity is a mysterious force that works in our lives. Serendipity has been defined as, “The accidental discovery that leads to unexpected value.”

In the book The Serendipity Mindset by Christian Busch, he tells us how we can learn to recognize and leverage serendipity to make our lives better. What if the people we think are lucky are using serendipity when it arrives in their lives in ways that unlucky people are not?

How many times has serendipity knocked on my door and I was not aware of it and did not get the gift I was being offered? When the right person looked at moldy bread they recognized something in it and we now have penicillin. To everyone else, it was just moldy bread.

Who knows where my research will lead? How is serendipity working in your life?

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. Lawrence Block

I always leave room for serendipity and chance. Ken Stott

I am a firm believer in serendipity – the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along. David Levithan

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Be the creator of your own life. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want. Be the creator of your own life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on. Albert Einstein

Are we building the life we want by being creators, or are we reacting to the problems we see? How many of us think if we can just solve the problem our life will be better?

Problem-solving is taking action to have something go away. Creating is taking action to have something come into being.

This is the difference between focusing on the problems and focusing on creating what we want. We are focusing on what we think are the ills of society. Are we putting as much into focusing on what we want our society to be as what we don’t want it to be? We know that sometimes we have to do things in the midst of a problem like hunger for instance. Giving food to people in a famine does help but it doesn’t provide food security which is what they need.

The problem with problem-solving as our main way of doing things is even when we are successful we now have the absence of the problem but we do not have the creation of something we wanted.

If we have a problem with weeds in our garden we can pull the weeds but we have not created a beautiful garden just by pulling the weeds. To create a beautiful garden we will have to plant the garden we want and tend it and it can become the masterpiece we create.

We seem to be very good at knowing what we don’t want, are we as good at knowing what we do want? Have you ever gone into the kitchen knowing what you don’t want to eat but if you can’t figure out what you do want or what you will make nothing happens? My husband knows he doesn’t like celery in his soup (or anything else). It doesn’t answer the question, what does he want?

The more we answer the question “What do we want” instead of focusing on what we don’t want the better our life will be. We can create what we want, or at least try. We may hate our job, it’s easy to quit a job, but did that solve the problem or just give us a new and worse problem? What do we want, a new job, a business? Then we need to know what kind of job, or what kind of business? Could we perhaps get a job that would pay our bills and create a business part-time that will feed our spirit? Now we have a win/win we are creating a life, maybe a life we will love.

It is a sobering thought to realize we are spending our time focusing on the wrong things. How much time do we spend thinking if I could just fix that problem? But, fixing that problem is not what we want, we need to focus on what we want and we may think getting rid of things like problems is what we want but really don’t we want to build and create the life we want.

Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else. Les Brown

Is it true that the more we focus on problems the more problems we get? What difference would it make in our lives if we became builders of our lives instead of problem solvers in our lives? What if we build a happy family instead of trying to fix the problems which we may always have to deal with? We will never see things the same, there will always be challenges, but as we build what we want those differences will not be as important as what we create. We will always have problems but focusing on fixing problems seldom leads to final success.

In fact, focusing on our problems often leads to a problem cycle:

The problem leads to action to solve the problem, which leads to less intensity of the problem, which leads to less reaction to the problem, which leads to the problem remaining, and the cycle continues.  

This is the life cycle of problems. Many of us pride ourselves on our problem-solving abilities. We may even call ourselves creative problem solvers. Problem-solving can be distracting at the same time it gives us the illusion we are doing something crucial and important.

One of the things we are fighting about is if we don’t see the same problem, or the same solution to that problem. How heartless are we if we don’t care about someone else’s pet cause, and how heartless when they don’t care about ours? We can feel the romance of being the individual against the elements, the machine, big government, injustice, inequality, racism, sexism, the division between rich and poor, global warming, and there are more. We certainly have enough problems that everyone can find a noble cause to make them feel good.

Problem-solving gives us a false sense of security. If we didn’t have these big problems to focus on what would we think about, what would we talk about, and how would we let people know how noble we are? Instead of asking ourselves what problems do we want to solve? What if we asked ourselves what do we want to create? If we get more of what we focus on and we focus on problems are we getting more problems to focus on? What if we focus on creating the life we want, we focus on our circle of influence, and as we create the life we want our circle of influence enlarges. What if this is better than focusing on our problems? What if this is what is behind the saying, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for today, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

Imagination and creativity can change the world. Unknown

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. William Plomer

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clark

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read again. Have a blessed life filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book, and especially to those that leave a review on Amazon. I do receive a small percentage of the sales through the Amazon affiliate program.

Embracing the path of least resistance and most reward. Be a creative force in our own lives.

Be a creative force in our own lives. Embracing the path of least resistance and most reward.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Like water I take the path of least resistance. Unknown

Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth and it takes the path of least resistance.

Do we live our lives following the path of least resistance? I remember as kids in the spring we would make paths for the water to run off. If the water was running somewhere we didn’t want it to we would use a hoe and make a little path to get the water running where we wanted it to. This only works if where you don’t want the water to go is not already the lowest point. We know when dealing with water that water takes the path of least resistance and if we can engineer that path we can have water go where we want it.

I think I’ve adopted a path of least resistance in my writing. First thing in the morning I get up turn on my computer, put my dog outside, feed her, pour myself a cup of coffee, and sit down at my desk to write. On Mondays and Thursdays, I write a blog post, and the rest of the mornings I work on my second novel.

The resistance is how early I get up but I have an early bedtime of 10:00 pm so getting up at six is not unreasonable. When I write my blog I need to be sure to get up at six because I need all the time to write my blog. When it is my novel I can turn the alarm off – but I shouldn’t.

Robert Fritz’s book The Path of Least Resistance is about setting our life up for success. We don’t walk through walls or windows we have halls and corridors. If we walk in a forest there is usually a path and if we follow the path it is an easier walk than if we traverse through the forest without one. When we are at the mall and we see a huge escalator there is one for up and one for down. It might be possible to go up the down escalator but it would be tricky and dangerous.

My husband and I see plans for houses we think are not well planned. Instead of halls, you have to walk through a room to get somewhere. We looked at a small house where the bedrooms were located in the basement and to get to the backyard you had to go through one of the basement bedrooms. How frustrating would that be if it wasn’t your bedroom you had to walk through? What if you wanted to have friends over for a barbeque?

One of my sisters designs kitchens her job is not only to design a beautiful kitchen but a functional one. We want a kitchen where the flow makes working in it fun, not frustrating.

In his book, Robert Fritz talks about how some of us walk a circular path. We always start things but we come around to where we were without achieving them. This would be like living in a two-story house without a staircase to the second floor. We need to build a staircase to access our dreams and goals. When we can see the stairs we can start moving up them.

Why do we have lives without a staircase to our dreams and goals? Part of it is probably because our dreams and goals are on the second floor of our lives. We can’t touch them we only dream about them. We don’t see how to reach them. We are missing the stairs that connect our reality to the reality we want.

It is important to know where we want to go by setting goals. But, goals that are just floating in the air above us without a way to make them concrete in our lives are very frustrating.  I remember when our house was being built my husband and I looked at the hole in the ground that would become our basement. It looked so small but eventually as we saw the house take shape and the partitions dividing the rooms were put in we had everything we were promised even though it didn’t look like that basement was big enough for the house we purchased.

If we want to do anything we need to be able to break it down into sizable chunks of actions we can take. We need to know which actions need to be taken first, which actions should follow, and if we follow the steps taking each action and doing what is needed we will arrive at a place where we have completed that goal. Often completing one-goal leads to the setting of another goal. Sitting down every day and writing will accumulate words on a computer. Eventually, we will have the accumulated number of words we set as our goal.

We can pat ourselves on the back but all we have is an accumulation of words. There are new goals to be set. There are new steps to be taken but we have accomplished one goal. We need to make sure our goals are broken down into small enough steps that we can see when we have finished that goal. We could write and write every day forever accumulating words without asking our self what we are going to do with them. Sometimes the goal is only to write. If we keep a journal the goal is to write in our journal, to document our life, and to sort out our thoughts and feelings on paper.

We need to know what we want to do, we need to form a plan of action breaking our goal down into small steps, and then we have to take each of the steps. We will not do this perfectly, we may fail, but we need to pick ourselves up revise our plan, and keep going. Maybe we made our steps too big; we might need to adjust the size of our steps. Was our goal too small and we needed to set new goals? We may have a goal that seemed so important but a new bigger, better goal is taking its place. We may get back to that first goal later or maybe never. This too is part of life.

Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force. Lao Tzu

We may think we are always arriving back at where we started but maybe we are on a circular path that takes us up a steep path and our circular path is getting us where we need to go by a more scenic route. When we are driving up a mountain we don’t take steps, we take a circular route and though it is longer it gets us where we want to go.

When we evaluate our progress we need to make sure we are not too hard on ourselves. Are our expectations of where we should be reasonable? Have we made progress just not as much progress as we wanted? Did we face failure and the success is that we are not still wallowing in that failure? Are we comparing the best of someone else’s life to the worst of our own and feeling bad about our own?

We need to walk our own path, slay our own dragons, and climb our own mountains. The important things in life often don’t come with accolades. Plumbers have saved more lives than doctors. It is as creative to make a good soup as painting. Creating a family and raising the next generation is the most important role we take on, and we forget it at our peril.

Will we be like water and take the path of least resistance? Does this mean we cannot direct its path?

Taking the path of least resistance is always helpful and peaceful, which is always in line with your life’s purpose. If your current work area is different than your purpose then you will face extra challenges. Hina Hashmi

Any path will get you there – choose the path of least resistance and move foreward. Michael Eric Jones

There is no need to use force. Instead, create a path of least resistance, and gravity will do the rest. Michael Dunlap

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life Paperback – Illustrated, April 22 1989

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Change your thoughts and you change your world. Are our thoughts making our lives better or worse?

Are our thoughts making our lives better or worse? Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Positive anything is better than negative nothing. Elbert Hubbard

How should we start our day is an important question? If we start it complaining we might complain all day. There is a story in the book, “A Complaint Free World.” A stranger shows up in a town he stops at the Shopkeeper’s shop asking for food and lodging and they turn him away. He stops at the poor Baker’s bakery and the Baker makes him a meager dinner and gives him his bed to sleep in.

The next morning the stranger gives thanks to the baker and tells him, “Whatever you do first this day you will continue all day.” The Baker is unsure of the meaning of this strange comment, but he starts baking a cake for the stranger to take with him using up his meager supplies. As he uses up two eggs, four more appear, as he used the last of the flour more appears. Overjoyed at his good luck he starts baking all manner of delicacies and customers line up to purchase his creations. In the evening tired and happy, and his cash register overflowing, the Baker is approached by the miserly Shopkeeper.

“How did you get so many customers today?” the Shopkeeper demands. The Baker shares his story of the stranger and his strange blessing in the morning. The Shopkeeper and his wife run after the man they had refused to help the night before. “Gentle Sir,” they say. “Please forgive our rudeness last night. We must have been out of our heads not to help you. Please allow us to share our hospitality with you.” Without a word, the man joins them back on the road to town.

When they arrive at the Shopkeepers’ home a sumptuous meal is prepared. He sleeps in a luxurious room. The next morning the Shopkeeper and his wife are bouncing in anticipation of the blessing to be bestowed upon them. Sure enough, the stranger thanks them and says, “Whatsoever you do first this morning, you will continue all day.” The Shopkeeper and his wife rush to their store. Expecting a large number of customers for the day, the Shopkeeper grabs the broom and begins to sweep the floor, the wife counts the change in the till. He sweeps and she counts. She counts and he sweeps. Try as they might they cannot quit counting and sweeping until the day is done.

Both the Baker and the Shopkeeper received the same blessing. The Baker starts his day in a positive and generous way and receives great abundance. The Shopkeeper starts his day in a negative and self-serving way and derives nothing. The blessing is neutral. Our ability to create our lives is neutral. We need to use it however we wish knowing we will reap what we sow.

It’s your thoughts behind the words you speak that create your attitude. Jeffrey Gitomer

It is hard, but we need to remember when people lash out at us it is their hurt they are projecting onto us. We need to be careful we in turn don’t inflict this on someone else and the cycle goes round and round until the last person on the receiving end is lashing out at a helpless child or animal.  

People attempt to hurt others because they are hurting. Sometimes instead of taking hurtful words personally can we understand the hurt behind the words and treat them with understanding? We cannot live in peace if we allow someone else’s negativity to affect our lives and turn us into a negative force as well. Are we finding a positive, grateful way to start our day that sets the tone for the rest of it? Perhaps this is why we greet each other with, “Good Morning.” A good morning leads to a good afternoon, which leads to a good evening resulting in a good day.

One of the worst quotes I’ve seen is, “My attitude is a result of your actions! So if you don’t like my attitude blame yourself.” Even if it is true, expecting someone else to change instead of ourselves is giving our power away.  We can’t turn someone else into a positive person and it is their negativity getting us down, isn’t it? Telling someone else they need an attitude adjustment in my experience never works but telling ourselves we need one, might. It won’t work every time. It is hard to ignore buttons that get pushed by master button pushers, but over time we can think about why those buttons get pushed so easily.

We are often hurt when someone calls us selfish, but what if we didn’t take our own interests into account? That is how we get used and abused not standing up for ourselves, not knowing when to say no, not having enough self-interest in our own lives to build it in a positive manner. Living a good life, full of self-interest is making life better for everyone because when everyone lives a better life so do we.

I was thinking about the small town ten miles from where I grew up. The amount of work it must have taken to create the services that were there for us kids growing up? When someone raised funds to build something that would help their kids they also helped other kids. Many parents coach teams so their children can be on one. What they do to help their kids, helps many kids.  Often this is self-interest and community service rolled into one. What if one of the most selfish things we do is help other people because we are in turn helped? What if giving to get is how the world works. It isn’t about us not getting, it is that we help others to get, and they, in turn, help us to receive. The more we help others to get what they want the more we will get what we want. What if changing our thoughts can change our lives?

Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us. Earl Nightingale

Never whine, never complain, never try to justify yourself. Robert Greene     

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. Lao Tzu

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao Paperback – Illustrated, Jan. 1 2009

by Wayne W. Dr. Dyer (Author)4.7 out of 5 stars 2,257 ratings


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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 5 ratings


Appreciation is the antidote to complaining. What we focus on increases so we should focus on what we want not on what we don’t.

What we focus on increases so we should focus on what we want not on what we don't. Appreciation is the antidote to complaining.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will increase in your life. Unknown

Is appreciation the antidote to complaining? If what we appreciate increases in our lives, what if what we complain about will also increase in our life, and the more we complain the more it increases? We can’t be grateful and complain at the same time. Yesterday the neighbor’s son had his dog on our lawn and he was acting as if he wanted her to go pee. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this. My little dog was going crazy so I picked her up and walked outside, and said. “Please don’t have your dog pee on our lawn.” He said, “Okay.”

I didn’t consider my request for his dog to not pee on our lawn to be a complaint. I was asking for something instead of complaining about it. In my own mind, this is the answer to complaining. Often we see things and they are not right. What are we to do about them? We think the answer is to complain. How will anything become how we think it should be if we don’t complain? We think by complaining we will be the change we want to see in the world.

Somehow it doesn’t work that way. We don’t report suicides because the more attention we bring to them the more of them we seem to get. Mass killings might be the same thing and what if bad behavior of all forms is like this. What if seeing and hearing about someone else’s bad behavior gives us a license to act badly as well? In “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell talks about the stickiness factor of things. If only good things had a stickiness factor our society would steadily get better. It seems we are moving in one direction or the other, notice how trash on the street accumulates but when we clean it up it takes quite a while before we see trash on the street again. By keeping our streets clean our neighborhoods are better, safer, and more pleasant places to live.

It seems to me the more people complain about people owning guns and threatening to have those guns taken away, the more people are buying guns and ammunition in case they can’t buy any in the future. We were doing that with toilet paper last year. We might not need toilet paper but if we saw it at the store we bought it in case we couldn’t get it when we needed it.

I am listening to Jordan B. Peterson’s book “Beyond Order.” I love his books. Other people (I think people who haven’t read his books) think he has negative messages. If you read or listen to his books they are not about recent problems in society. He has taken the long view going back to accumulated knowledge from lore, legend, myths, and religion.

Learn to appreciate the things you have before time forces you to appreciate the things you once had.  Unknown

He is talking to each one of us to make our lives better by our actions and our thoughts. He is not talking about how we can better society by pointing out all the unfairness in it. He acknowledges there is unfairness to be sure. We can make our corner better by our thoughts and actions and waiting for someone else to make things better for us never works.

One of the things he points out is when we think people are terrible we are also capable of being as terrible under the right, or wrong circumstances. We are not above the worst behavior. It is a sobering thought, but probably true. Perhaps this is what is meant by, “Judge not, lest yee be judged.” By judging others we might bring about circumstances where we have to prove we would not make the malevolent choice.

Living in peace and plenty we have few reasons to make bad choices. Most of us aren’t fighting over scraps. We have enough for ourselves and our families to live and take their place in the world. It is something to be very thankful for. Not everyone is so fortunate and situations can devolve. We are told if we are grateful for what we have we will always have enough.

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Charles Dickens

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. Zig Ziglar

Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts. Alan Cohen

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life

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Jordan B. Peterson (Author, Narrator), Random House Canada (Publisher)4.9 out of 5 stars 161 ratingsAmazon Charts #1 this week


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Is complaining attracting what we say we don’t want? Is positive prophecy a better way forward?

Is positive prophecy a better way forward? Is complaining attracting what we don't want?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

All you can change is yourself, but sometimes that changes everything. Gary W. Goldstein.

Are we getting what we focus on? Is what we are complaining about showing up in our lives as if we ordered it. I’ll have one of those horrible things, and another helping of unhappiness with pain and suffering for desert. We build our own lives we are told but only the successful admit it.

On Saturday I perused the book isles of Value Village and found a book “A Complaint Free World” by Will Bowen. He suggests we make a commitment to going complaint-free for twenty-one days. Is that even doable? No complaints at all! He says he finally got there and one of the tools he used was a rubber bracelet he moved from wrist to wrist every time he caught himself voicing a complaint.

I found a purple rubber band and put it on my wrist yesterday. I was doing pretty well because I went for a walk with my dog. I painted in my studio but the challenge isn’t when we spend time alone it is when we are with other people. At dinner, I even managed to not complain (I mean I didn’t notice any), but after dinner was another story.

My son, his fiancé, and I talked about, “The Royals.” All we were doing was complaining about people who were complaining.

Am I sure we should never complain?  I was listening to Jordan B. Peterson’s book yesterday on my walk, “Beyond Order.” He talks about not hiding things in the fog. We don’t address things because we don’t want to face the ramifications of confronting a problem head-on. It may be complaining when we address things but one of the things we need to do is know when we address something what do we want the outcome to be. Often, this is why we don’t address things. What is the outcome we want? This is the answer we don’t have and this is what we should work out in our own mind.

Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech was not a complaint. He painted a bright and vivid picture of the change he hoped to see. When we paint a picture of a problem already solved that is not a complaint it is a prophecy of better. What if we brought forward positive prophecies, instead of complaints into our world?

Change your thoughts and you change your life. Norman Vincent Peale

My life as an experiment continues as I focus on what I want instead of on what I don’t want. As I think back over my life knowing what I wanted wasn’t always easy. Sometimes it was easier to drift along because if I stated what I wanted even in my own mind it looked like work. It would be work I was responsible for doing to create the life I stated I wanted. For years I didn’t state I wanted to be a writer because then I would have to step up and write.

When we say we want something we are now responsible for making it happen. It seems daunting but it is also exciting to take charge of our own lives and direct the outcome of our actions. We don’t know what something will become when we start it, but we know if we don’t start it will never be anything.

What are the seeds we are planting in our lives? Are we planting complaints, judgment, disrespect, hopelessness or are we planting encouragement, positive prophecy, respect, and acceptance of what is as we try to build what might be?

We become what we think about. Earl Nightingale

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. Charles Darwin

Why are we Masters of our fate, the captains of our soul? Because we have the power to control our thoughts. Alfred A. Montapert

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted Paperback – Feb. 5 2013

by Will Bowen  (Author)4.6 out of 5 stars 460 ratings

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 5 ratings



Order and chaos finding the balance. Gratitude may be what makes the biggest difference in our life.

Gratitude may be what makes the biggest difference in our life. Order and chaos finding the balance.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant. Tony Robbins

I’ve started listening to Jordan Peterson’s book, “Beyond Order” and reading “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. Jordan Peterson says, “We think we know how to make things better but we often don’t.” Malcolm Gladwell says, “Even when things get better we often don’t know why they improved.”

One of the things that Malcolm Gladwell talks about is how “Fixing the broken window syndrome” in New York City fixed a lot of problems. When we create order out of disorder we make things better. He says when people live in chaos they internalize it and it affects them in ways they don’t even recognize.

During an experiment conducted where volunteers agreed to play the part of prisoners in a makeshift prison or be guards through random draws. The situation degraded quickly. Jordan Peterson tells us we should never believe we are above acting in the most horrific of ways. This also means we are not below acting in the best ways and our environment is more important than we may think.

Sometimes we have control over our environment and sometimes we do not. The outcome of children in a chaotic environment with a strong family is not likely to be as good as the children from a weak family in a good environment. If we live in a society that works we have a lot to be grateful for. It is not something to be taken for granted because it can devolve into something horrible and building it back up again may not be easy.

When we hear about people who have elevated schools, communities, and countries they usually bring about order out of chaos. Discipline, diligence, neatness, and cleanliness, become important. I remember going to school in the early grades and we had to put our hands on our hankie and show our fingernails were clean every morning. What a long time ago that was. Our schools are still orderly and we may lament they aren’t how they used to be but our school system for the most part works and we should be grateful. One of the things Jordan Peterson stresses is we should be grateful for what works in our lives and we should be careful we don’t make things worse with our zeal to make things better.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

We may ask ourselves what would make our society better. We often say we need more equal outcomes. What if there will never be equal outcomes but we can do our best to offer equal opportunities. We know we can’t offer poor kids the opportunities rich kids have. What poor kids have, that rich kids often can’t have is the opportunity to elevate themselves above where they were born. This is an accomplishment only those who can attain more than their parents have, can aspire to.

There is a point above which more will not help us lead a better life. If we are fortunate enough to live at that place where we live in peace and plenty we should be grateful for everyone that has built our society. Our society is not perfect; do we even know what a perfect society would look like? Whose idea of perfection do we go with?

What if we are always trying to balance order and chaos? If we have too much order then creativity is missing, too much chaos and we don’t have a society that works. We can’t count on services being there for us because it takes order for buses to show up at bus stops and schools to be open, clean, and safe. The supply chain that keeps our stores stocked is an amazing accomplishment.

People sometimes complain when gentrification occurs in neighborhoods. The mess gets cleaned up, windows are no longer boarded and the neighborhood becomes safe again. It is no longer a cheap place to live. We are always in a cycle of rebirth and decay. It happens in our own lives, our homes, neighborhoods, and cities.

We may look back and think a moment in time was perfection, and it might have been but change is always coming. New houses become old houses; new generations of children take their place in society. Nothing can stay the same no matter how much we may wish we could hold onto the perfect moments in our lives. We have to let go of where we are to embrace what is coming even if what is coming isn’t what we want because we think our best times are behind us.

If we can enjoy where we are in life, the blessings we have, the opportunities in front of us instead of lamenting about the ones in the past we will live a better life.

Maybe all we can do in our lives is ask ourselves do we need more order or more chaos to have a more balanced life. Are we too creative/chaotic and we aren’t taking care of the other parts of our life, or are we too ordered with no creativity? Is life about as good as it gets and we are too blind and ungrateful to see how blessed we are?

Gratitude makes sense of your past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch heaven. Johannes Gaertner

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Aesop

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Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier Paperback – Illustrated, Nov. 6 2008

by Robert Emmons (Author)4.6 out of 5 stars 121 ratings


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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 5 ratings


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