Is doubt killing our dreams? Can we be fearless as we go after our goals?

Can we be fearless as we go after our goals? Is doubt killing our dreams?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you have a heartbeat, there’s still time for your dreams. Unknown

When we roll over when the alarm rings, we’ve already started our day off on the wrong foot. Do we ever feel we’ve caught up when we don’t get up on time? Any excuse will do, it’s too dark, the TV was on too late, laughter from somewhere was too loud. 

No matter whom else I may want to blame, the blame ends with me. I didn’t do what I knew I should do. The extra minutes or hour didn’t give me what those extra minutes or that extra hour would have given me to get myself started and fit in my morning routine.

Our life can be just like my morning. We didn’t get to this or that because… It doesn’t matter what our because is, sooner or later we have to accept the fact we didn’t want something bad enough to make a plan, to create a habit, or to do the work to make it happen.

Sometimes we do part of the work and then it stalls. We may need to dig deep to have the courage for the next step. Maybe the next step will cost us time, money, or put our self and our abilities on the line. People will be able to judge our work.

We read of artists who got up the courage to perform in front of people who said don’t quit your day job, you’ll never make it as a… Some of them quit, but some of them went on to become big stars. What is the difference between those who listen when they are told you can’t sing, write, dance, start a business, play a sport, make it in university and those who say I’ll show you?

I’ve never been one of the “I’ll show you types,” but I’ve also never had anyone tell me I couldn’t do whatever.

Good things happen when you start taking small steps toward your dreams. Unknown

This blog came about because of encouragement from my son, “every writer should have a blog.”

“Every novel should have an editor.” It is hard for me to come up with the money to have someone critique my work. I’ve waffled, I’ll edit it as well as I can I tell myself before I pay an editor. I’ve given a date to my son when I hope to publish. There I’ve used that word hope – am I waffling?

My son tells me just put it out there and write the next one. Quit wasting so much time on editing, and editing again.

It took me a long time to send out my novel to a cousin who says she’ll read it. I value her feedback, what she thinks is important to me.

It is easy to let days and weeks slip by without working on our dreams. They often cost money, and that is where we stumble. If we are going to invest in our dream what else is not being invested in?

We often know what the next step is, but we hesitate to take it. Are we more content thinking what might have been, than actually knowing? Is doubt killing our dreams?

If we don’t risk failure we don’t risk success. We must decide we will take the chance to fail often, fail bigger. We can’t expect to achieve our goals if we aren’t willing to put ourselves on the line, mere hope is not a plan. At some point, we must put ourselves out there to sink or swim, and as we do it, again and again, we get okay with winning some and losing some.

If we put enough out there some of it will stick. If we only think we can do one thing it has to be so good that we hesitate, waffle and don’t execute.

We make our dreams come true by doing, not dreaming about doing. What can we do today to move closer to what we want?

Be a fearless person. Do not hesitate to chase after the things that set your soul on fire. Unknown

Put all your excuses aside and remember that you are capable. Zig Zigler

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Suzy Kassem

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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See this image

The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win Hardcover – Jan 9 2018

by Jeff Haden (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 9 ratings


 See all 3 formats and editions

Aspiring to be unoffendable is a work in progress. Finding positive ways to express our feelings is better than using negative ways. Does not expressing our feelings lead to depression?

Does not expressing our feelings lead to depression? Finding positive ways to express our feelings is better than negative ways. Aspiring to be unoffendable is a work in progress.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor. Elizabeth l                                   

Last night was another great night at Toastmasters. It was my fourth Toastmaster’s event in six days so I didn’t have the time to prepare my speech as I had hoped. My kids kept telling me my speech topic on probiotics wasn’t interesting.

In the end, I went with Aspiring to Be Unoffendable.  I should have printed off my post from yesterday instead of just going off the top of my head. In The Elijah List Francis Frangipane says when we allow offense to remain in our hearts, it causes serious spiritual consequences.

In Baby Steps to Happiness John Q. Beaucom tells us, deal with your feelings or become them. Feelings destroy lives. Feelings are also responsible for virtually all creative, heroic effort, and acts of unselfish sacrifice. It is not our feelings that are the problem, but how we deal with them.

It is not the boulders we stumble over, but the stones. We handle big disasters well, it is the little squabbles, hurts, betrayals, annoyances, mockeries, put-downs, and slights that bog us down.

We only have so much emotional energy we are told, and we can use that energy negatively or positively, but when it is gone it is gone. Each new day we get more emotional energy and use it how we wish until it too is gone. This is the choice we have in our lives, how we use our emotional energy.

Doctor’s tell us 85% of all illness and virtually all headaches, ulcers, and backaches are feelings based. There is even a link between feelings and cancer. We choose to spend our emotional energy on fear, anger, or rage or we can spend it on love, happiness, and joy.

When we are in the middle of it, does it seem like a choice? Negative feelings can be like a drug. We feel more powerful when we are angry and enraged.

I’ve always thought you can think positive just as well as you can think negative. Sugar Ray Robinson

Expressing our feelings is the opposite of depression. Expressing our feelings means “out with pressure.” Depression means “under pressure.” We repress our feeling at our peril.

We can’t do both at the same time. We can deal with negative feelings through expression. When we express our feelings it is different than becoming them.

Expression is talking, writing, singing, dancing, painting, throwing darts at a dartboard, exercising. Expression is not hitting or screaming. They mean hitting or screaming at the person we are upset about. If we have a punching bag and take all our frustrations out, that would be expression in my book. If we could go somewhere and scream at the top of our lungs without alarming anyone, that would be expression as well.

If we want to find a positive way to deal with our emotions we need to find a way of expression that works for us. The recommendation by John Q. Baucom is to choose one active, and one passive way of expressing ourselves each day.

Journaling has always been one of the ways I express myself. I paint but that is much more sporadic than journaling. Is going for a walk active enough as an outlet? Some of my best thinking happens on walks. Some of the things I’ve figured out in my life happen on walks.

It was during walks that I come to the realization that what offends me some times is a truth about myself I need to embrace. Yesterday I embraced being a liar. If not having grey hair, wearing makeup, high heels, and foundation garments like spanks and push up bras is lying then I am a liar and I embrace it. If wearing red is a signal of fertility – guilty of that too.

If feeling good about myself, makes me a narcissist then I embrace that too. Being part of the privileged people in the world, as I believe almost all Canadians are, I embrace that too. It is not possible to know about or understand every person’s struggle and if that makes me insensitive, inconsiderate, and selfish I embrace that too. If my view of the world is too small I embrace that.

If some people don’t like how I think or express myself, I embrace that too. We are more than our supporters or detractors, and neither should be too important to us. Flattery isn’t that much better than criticism.

We can be offended or perhaps we need to deal with the small nugget of truth we don’t want to accept? When we embrace ourselves warts and all then we can choose what parts of ourselves to improve. As Dr. Phil says “we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.”

Emotion has taught mankind to reason. Marquis de Vauvenargues

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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca like I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate link.

See this image

Baby Steps to Happiness: 52 Inspiring Ways to Make Your Life Happy Paperback – Sep 25 1996

by John Q. Baucom (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews


 See all 2 formats and editions

Overlooking offense, becoming unoffendable. What we say, and what we do reflects back to us. Is feeling outraged an adaptive response?

Is feeling outraged an adaptive response? What we say, and what we do reflects back to us. Overlooking offense, becoming unoffendable.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook offense. Proverbs 19:11

A day of outrage dawns as we hear of costumes offending someone yet again. The fact it was years ago when sensibilities were not so heightened does not seem to matter. We can all take offense and magnify it but how many of us can become unoffendable? What if we can turn the slings and arrows around so they go back to those who sent them?

The Buddha one day said, “Young sir if you purchased a lovely gift for someone, but that person did not accept the gift, to whom does the gift belong?”

The odd question took the young man by surprise, “I guess the gift would still be mine because I was the one who brought it.”

“Exactly so, ”replied the Buddha. “Now, you have just cursed me and been angry with me. But if I do not accept your curses if I do not get insulted and angry in return, these curses will fall back upon you – the same as the gift returning to its owner.”

The young man clasped his hands together and slowly bowed to the Buddha. It was an acknowledgment that a valuable lesson had been learned. The Buddha concluded for all to hear. “As a mirror reflects an object, as a still lake reflects the sky: take care that what you speak or act is for good. For goodness will always cast back goodness, and harm will always cast back harm.”

It isn’t easy to be unoffendable. I took offense yesterday, a podcast was on about lying women. One of the ways we lie is we wear makeup to make ourselves look younger. I admit to wearing makeup, coloring my hair, using deodorant, perfume, wearing high heels, and foundation undergarments. I am a lying woman. Why was I so offended yesterday by two men on YouTube I wouldn’t cast a look at in the grocery store?

Self-acceptance is not always easy, we want to be something other than what we are. We need to own and embrace our own shortcomings, weaknesses, as well as our gifts and strengths. When we become okay with who we are, and what we’ve done, the choices we’ve made, and the life we’ve carved out and own all of it. We may be on our way to becoming unoffendable.

When we are okay with not being perfect, we can become more of who we are, embrace ourselves warts and all. When we are accused of things we can say yes that may be true, but that doesn’t define me. We are more than what someone criticizes us for, and also what they praise us for.

Taking up grievances robs us of peace. Unknown

What some of these unhappy men say they want or comment on, I doubt they want. What I think a lot of them want is they want to take bombshells and turn them into wives, and they want wives to be bombshells. They overlook good wife material because they aren’t bombshells. If they do get a bombshell they complain about the attention she attracts, and the attention she may want. Lots of pretty ordinary people clean up well. But amidst the reality of life, we don’t look ready for a photoshoot. 

Women have choice now, and we don’t have to marry men who would have had an easier time getting married in the not too distant past. Women with more choice give men less choice. Is it better than it was? For some of us, it is. For some of us it isn’t, but don’t we make out of life what we want? Like Margaret Atwood says in The Handmaids Tale “Change is not always better for everyone.”

I can understand why some of the men don’t like it. I admit many women are not using their choice well. We have to navigate these turbulent times but it is my hope we will come out the other end better than we were.

Complaining you can’t get the kind of woman you want means you need to step up or become more realistic. Fantasy men and women don’t actually exist.

When we choose someone we choose the story that goes with them. We choose their strengths and their weaknesses, and they choose ours. We will disappoint them, and they will disappoint us. Dealing with disappointment is part of life.

We all need to find joy in the small moments of our day. This morning on my walk a swirl of fog was in our path. We walked through it and when I looked back I could no longer see it. Was it a trick of the light? Was I seeing something that wasn’t there? It added something to my walk.

We need to find our peace, joy, and contentment in common hours, and if we are lucky enough to have a partner to share our life with we need to accept them the way they are. We can spend our life upset over little irritating things they do. In the end, we can live with them and love it, live with them and hate it, or leave. No one would still be in a relationship if they didn’t accept some things about their partner they don’t like. That’s the prices of admission to being a couple.

Maybe wearing an Aladdin costume wasn’t the politically correct choice one could make. At a Halloween party, I dressed as a skunk. Does that say anything about me?

The journey of forgiveness begins on the inside, then moves into responsibility for one’s mistakes, and finally, one becomes almost unoffendable. Hour of Power

Coming on strong with your outrage can have the opposite reaction of what you want. Rebecca Reczek

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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 3 images

Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better Paperback – Apr 14 2015

by Brant Hansen (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews


 See all 4 formats and editions

What’s the matter with being proud? Exchanging pride for dignity. Embracing humility.

Embracing humility. What's the matter with pride? Exchanging pride for dignity.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

What does it mean to be humble? Humility is often given a bad rap, it is associated with being too passive, submissive, or insecure. Instead, humble people are confident, competent but not boastful; they let their actions speak for themselves. To be humble is not to think less of oneself, but to think of oneself less.

  • According to Forbes, there are thirteen habits of humble people:
  • They aim their focus outward, as they try to learn more about the situation.
  • They retain relationships. Studies show humble people are more likely to help friends than their prideful counterparts. Studies of companies reveal that those with humble people in leadership positions had a more engaged workforce and less employee turnover.
  • They make difficult decisions with ease. Since humble people put other’s needs before their own. They make decisions based on shared purpose rather than self-interest.
  • Put others first. Humble people know their self-worth. As a result, they don’t need to cast themselves before others. Humble people share credit and wealth.
  • They listen. Humble people actively listen. They don’t try to dominate the conversation or talk over other people. They are eager to understand because they are curious.
  • They are curious. Humble people seek knowledge; they are perpetual learners and realize they don’t have all the answers.
  • They speak their minds. They say what needs to be said, they are not afraid of being wrong.
  • The say thank you
  • They have an abundance mentality. They don’t believe that for one person to win another must lose. They know there is plenty of opportunities to go around and finding it just necessitates collaboration, communication, and hard work.
  • They start sentences with “You” rather than “I”. Humble people put others at the forefront. Humble people brag about others, while the prideful people brag about themselves.
  • They accept feedback. Humble people are receptive to feedback and actively seek it as a pathway to improvement.
  • They assume responsibility
  • They ask for help

Where are we on that list? Life is about becoming, not necessarily about who we already are. If we become proud of how humble we are, guess what now we are back to being prideful.

Pride is “A feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by others.” Don’t we want that? But then there is “A feeling that you are more important or better than other people.” This is what we don’t want.

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves. Emily Bronte

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6

We might believe there is nothing wrong with feeling satisfaction for our accomplishments. Buddhist psychology says suffering is generated when we cling too tightly to things that will inevitably pass. If we focus on always achieving bigger and better things we become addicted to external levels of gratification. Can we exchange pride for dignity?  Dignity is not dependant on success or failure, circumstances, or what others think of us. When we have dignity we don’t have to prove anything to anyone, not even ourselves. We can experience dignity when we live with integrity, regardless of the outcome.

They tell us pride is shame driven. It is considered one of the seven deadly sins. We have all met people who were arrogant and had an over-inflated view of themselves. They repel rather than attract us. Pride is driven by poor self-worth and shame. Why would we need to feel superior unless we felt so badly about our self? We look for flaws in others as a way to conceal our own. We use criticizing others as a defense against recognizing our own shortcomings.

Pride prevents us from acknowledging our human vulnerabilities. Pride often makes us too uncomfortable to apologize, ask for forgiveness, or acknowledge our own wrongdoing. If we have dignity we realize we don’t have to be perfect, we can show humility and vulnerability by asking for forgiveness, acknowledging our imperfections, and taking responsibility for our actions. We can acknowledge our strengths and our weaknesses, and not feel diminished because we are not perfect. W can hold ourselves up with the dignity of simply being human. We don’t need anything else to be of worth and value. We might be inclined to pursue excellence because it feels meaningful, but it does not define us as a person.

When we substitute pride for human dignity we disconnect from others. When we affirm our dignity and allow others their dignity we can honor ourselves and connect with others as equals. We don’t need to carry the burden of pride. Can we choose dignity for ourselves, and recognize and acknowledge the dignity in others? Can we exchange pride for dignity?

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone. C.S. Lewis

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, dignity, 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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People by [Hicks, Donna]
Kindle App Ad

Follow the Author

Donna Hicks+ Follow

Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People Kindle Edition

by Donna Hicks (Author)5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews from Amazon.com |

Be the first to review this item

Building our life with gratitude, humility, and positivity.

Building our lives with gratitude, humility, and positivity.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Every person that you meet knows something that you don’t. H. Jackson Brown Jr

There is always something to be grateful for. My son brought home a summer malady of some sort, which he passed onto me. I have been sleeping in and getting over it. I am still waiting for that morning when I feel like myself again. I am grateful I am getting better, I am grateful it wasn’t worse, I am grateful I will soon be myself again.

What I have is hardly anything at all, just a little inconvenience. Yet, it has altered my morning routine, my gym routine, and my dog walking routine. Perhaps I’m using it as an excuse to not do my morning routine. Any excuse will do when we want an excuse.

Last night as my husband and I drove home from shopping we noticed the sunset was very unusual. The sky was pink, then, blue, then yellow, with what looked like rays spreading out from the setting sun. We delight in nature’s majesty when we glimpse a sunrise, sunset, or a majestic storm. We feel there is a power that orders our life.

We have so many things in our lives we do not agree on. Even areas where we seemed to have a commonality in earlier years we are diverging in our beliefs. We don’t trust that others with diverging beliefs than ours feel just as right and justified in how they see things. They also feel they are doing God’s work if they believe in God, or they are doing something for humanity, or the planet.

If people don’t see things exactly as we see them we seem to feel they have to be wrong. What happened to try to see both sides? This is what I try to do, and it puts me on the outside of everyone it seems. Sometimes it seems trying to see both sides put us on neither side, we seem weak, undecided, pulled in all directions. Seeing both sides gets us dismissed from those who are staunchly polarized.

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up. Jesse Jackson

When we take any idea to the farthest it can go, it often is not what we want. We want the middle way, what makes sense for most of us. We want freedom, but freedom comes with more responsibility. When we live within limits set for us by our society, religion, or family we may feel restricted. When we live by our own rules, we have to set up our own controls. No one gives us a bedtime but we must still get enough sleep to function. No one tells us what we must eat, but if we don’t eat properly we will not be healthy. No one tells us we must exercise, or what relationships we can have, or places we can go or must stay away from. We must determine these things ourselves.

Self-control is the greatest gift we give ourselves. It is the only way to live a good life. We need to control all aspects of our life, thoughts, deeds, those we interact with, what we consume as books, media, news, how we spend our time, what form of occupation we pursue, what we aspire to, our hobbies and interests.

Building a good life is a big responsibility. The more responsibility we accept for the life we’ve built, and the life we want to build the more we are likely to be satisfied at the end of it. We are where we are, we are who we are, and we have talents, gifts, and opportunities. What choices we make daily, determines our life.

Will we live a life of gratitude and forgiveness, or poor me and grudge-holding? Are we getting the chip off our shoulder, or adding to the lumber pile on our back? Would we be described as loving, understanding, empathetic, encouraging, and kind? Are we easy to talk to? Are we a good listener? Do we have good advice but only give it if we know they want it?

Of course, we aren’t perfect, but we can look at our lives and see it going in a positive or a negative direction. Are our relationships getting better? Or are we at a point where we need to learn patience, understanding, and get through a hard time to get through to love at a higher level?

We can’t look at our lives at a low point and compare it to someone else’s at a high point. We are where we are, the lessons we have to learn may be ones that bring us to our knees. We may have thought we had things to teach, but find we have things to learn about our self we have a hard time accepting.

What if we think we are understanding, kind, compassionate, but find others think we are self-involved, judgmental, and inconsiderate? What if we don’t think of our self as disrespectful but someone else does? Is pride the problem, and humility the answer?

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility. Rabindranath Tagore

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, humility, 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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 2 images

Humility: The Secret Ingredient of Success Hardcover – Oct 1 2016

by Pat Williams (Author), Jim Denney (Author) 4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews


 See all 2 formats and editions

Can we become unoffendable? What do we get out of being offended?

What do we get out of being offended? Can we become unoffendable?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good. Mark Manson

My aim is not to offend, most of the time. Yet I seem to be offending some of the people I love, a lot. How many of us feel righteous in our indignation. As one Pastor puts it, sometimes Christian subculture trains us not to have a chip on our shoulder, but a lumberyard. Our buttons are constantly being pushed, what are we supposed to do? This isn’t just a Christian thing or a religious thing, it’s a political thing and a general life and family thing.

Are we easily offended; we live in a culture right now where everyone seems to be looking for something to be offended about. If we don’t see eye to eye with them on everything they are offended. There doesn’t seem to be room for someone else’s viewpoint. Politically people are each on their side of the spectrum and offended by anyone else’s point of view. What happened to live, and let live? What happened to you have your point of view and I have mine? What happened to we’ll have to agree to disagree?

What are we to do with this lumberyard upon our shoulder? Aren’t we making ourselves ready to go up in flames at any moment?

Those who are determined to be “offended” will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt. Christopher Hitchens

According to Ken Wert the founder of M2BH here’s a test to see if we are too easily offended.

  • Do you explode in fits of anger over little things?
  • Do others say you make mountains out of mole hills?
  • Do you frequently take things the wrong way?
  • Do others feel they have to “walk on eggshells” around you?
  • Do others consider you “high maintenance”?

If so, your hypersensitivity is robbing you of happiness.

He gives us ten ways to stop taking everything so personally.

We can talk ourselves out of being offended by asking ourselves some questions.

Does this really matter? What’s the big deal? Did they really mean it the way we just took it? Were they really trying to hurt us? What are they really trying to say? When I grew up we used to say, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

We can put ourselves in the offender’s shoes.

There is a big benefit if we do this often enough we may become “too noble to give offense.” Didn’t we learn to not judge someone until we’d walked a mile in their shoes?

Assume a benevolent motive.

Can we assume someone’s language is clumsy, even ill-advised, but coming from a good heart? Can we hear the idea and ignore how clumsily it was expressed?

Practice detachment

When our identities are too closely tied to our opinions, and our opinions are disagreed with we may feel like our opinions we have also been rejected. We feel the core of ourselves is being pushed aside and crushed. If we want to overcome hypersensitivity we must realize our opinions are not who we are. The more we can detach our ideas from our identity we can live a happy fulfilling life with less opportunity to feel offended.

Learn humility

A well known religious leader once said that whenever he hears that he has offended someone, his first response is to stop and think if, in fact, he may have said or done something that gave the impression of an offense. If he found that he had indeed said something that could be construed as offensive. He would then seek out the offended person and apologize for the misconstrued word or deed. Humility is the friend of inner peace, and peace is a friend of happiness.

Love truth more than being right

If the truth, no matter who possesses it is more valued than the perception that you are the one who knew it first, then opposition to our thoughts and beliefs will be inoffensive no matter how offensive the other person is trying to be. If we are not emotionally attached to our position because we are looking for truth then, the truth will set us free. Opposition to our opinion will not be offensive it only allows us to further look for the truth.

Overcome self-centeredness

Everything is about me is a mentality that provides fertile soil for being frequently offended. Every word out of every mouth, every action or inaction, every look or lack of eye contact, all that is done or undone, all motives and intentions become a reflection on us. Wow, that’s a huge burden to carry.

If everything is reduced to how it affects us, when we reside at the center of everything, it is no wonder we are so frequently offended. We need to move away from the center of everyone else’s life. We need to allow most of life to be indifferent to us. My bad mood isn’t about you, and yours most likely isn’t about me. We are all entitled to our opinions, and your opinion does not need to match mine.

Reserve judgment and seek first to understand

Finish the discussion. Let the talk continue to its natural conclusion. So often we jump to conclusions, we assume ill intent, we create meaning to a word that then hurts and offends. We should resist the urge to jump to conclusions and we should delay judgment until the conversation has run its course. We may find there was no offense meant by the time we get to the end of the conversation.

Accept imperfection

When we are offended that others do not rise to our level of expectation we will spend a good part of our life being offended. We need to allow others to be human. We all have foibles, inconsistencies, idiosyncrasies, personality, and character flaws. We need to not be so judgmental of the imperfections of others. Can we relax, breathe, let go?

We are all imperfect. We will continue to say things we shouldn’t say, give looks that are taken the wrong way. We will say things that are taken differently than we meant them. Can we accept our own imperfections and those of others? Can we live and let live. Can we agree to disagree? Can we overlook something because we do not want to add to that lumberyard on our shoulder?

Accept ourselves

If we learn and grow, and improve, we will also give other people room to learn, grow and improve. Self-acceptance will declaw other people’s ability to offend us. When we are not easily offended we have more power to live our own lives because our life is not dependent on their opinion of us. If we can find a way to not take offense most of the time we will not be internally fragile, we will be strong, resilient, powerful, and able to take our place in the world even if most people don’t agree with us, our choices, our ambitions, our goals, and our outlook.

Can we believe that we are okay, and others are okay? They see things how they see things, and we see things how we see things? That sometimes “the truth” is not self-evident, that differing opinions are valid? That questioning is growth?

You can be hurt, not by what others think of you, but by what you think of what they think or you think they think of you.  Mokokoma Mokhonoanoa

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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 3 images

Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better Paperback – Apr 14 2015

by Brant Hansen (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews


 See all 4 formats and editions

Birth order, is it more important than we think?

Is birth order more important than we think?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A child’s birth order is one of the many factors in the formation of a child’s behavior and identity. Unknown

I’m reading a book called The First Born Advantage by Dr. Kevin Leman. I’m a middle child, the middle child of nine in a blended family. I’m also the oldest of Mom and Dad’s five children.

The middle child has a developed or natural ability at compromise. This is I believe true of me, I am the peacemaker. My parents were middle children and pretty easy to get along with, pretty good at seeing other sides of arguments. Pretty good at realizing you need to live and let live.

Could it be that one of the problems we now have is too many only children, firstborn and youngest children and not enough middle children? It seems in politics the middle is missing. The idea of if you aren’t for us you are against us is not middle child thinking. We spent our lives making peace with older, younger and explaining what was meant instead of what was heard. We get nuance.

When I looked at who became American Presidents I was surprised to find that the majority of Presidents have been middle children, firstborns are the second group, seven of the Presidents have been youngest siblings, and there are no only children in the group.

As more of us only have one or two children middle children are missing, where will the peacemakers come from? Is there any truth to birth order differences?

From what I am reading the best marriage partners are the oldest born and youngest born. Both of my children are oldest born/youngest born couples. I suppose it makes sense, they spent their lives in that dynamic making it work for them with siblings, so they are well equipped to make it work in marriage.

Sisters and brothers just happen, we don’t get to choose them, but they become one of our most cherished relationships. Being sisters and  brothers means being there for each other. Unknown

My husband is the oldest child who didn’t have a middle sibling. No wonder I confuse him. One of the problems middle children can have when their marriage partner is the oldest child is they tend to mold themselves around their partner and might not follow their own dreams. In studies of marital satisfaction, middle children fare best. Their sensitive, compromising nature gives them an edge in keeping a relationship healthy.

The highest divorce rates occur when only children marry an only child. Dr. Leman says when marital problems occur later in the marriage it may be because each partner gets sick or weary of the roles they have assumed, many times it points to birth order.

One of the best marriage templates is when an older sister of brothers marries a younger brother of sisters. This would be the same as why the oldest/youngest coupling works.  It would also mean all the problems and frustrations you had in your birth family you will also have to deal with in your marriage.

According to research middle children have the best track record for being faithful. Although we are peacemakers in the family we may have trouble asserting ourselves. The middle children tend to be good listeners. One of the problems middle children have is we tend to be cautious about telling the truth about our feelings because we are worried we won’t be heard, but I also think we are worried about being judged.

This explains so much as I look at relationships that work and those that haven’t stayed together. There are forces at work in our lives we don’t understand, they made us who we are, they make us react to things the way we do. We don’t understand each other because we have never seen that side of life. How could a firstborn understand the dynamic a middle child or youngest child was born into?

Studies show that middle children grow up to be skillful manipulators, successful leaders, and cooperative problem-solvers because they aren’t used to getting their own way. They’re typically more patient, adventurous and open to new ideas, and they’re more likely to affect change than any other birth order. Unknown

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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

The Birth Order Book by [Leman, Dr. Kevin]
Kindle App Ad

Follow the Author

Kevin Leman+ Follow

The Birth Order Book Kindle Edition

by Dr. Kevin Leman (Author)

4.2 out of 5 stars    37 customer reviews

 See all 23 formats and editions

In search of good enough. Accepting challenges. Being all we can be. Progress, not perfection.

Being all we can be. Progress not perfection. In search of good enough.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

Last night at Toastmasters we were having more experienced Toastmasters evaluate less experienced Toastmasters evaluations because we only had two speakers.

The less experienced Toastmaster’s evaluation I was to evaluate ended up to be an extremely experienced Toastmaster. I was thinking what do I say? Evaluating is harder than giving a speech. The goal of the evaluation is to be helpful in the Toastmaster journey.

What should I say, what advice could I give? We get comfortable, we have a style, we need to stretch ourselves, and we need to take on topics and types of speeches that require effort. We also need to stretch ourselves to grow as evaluators.

When it comes to giving speeches are we authoritarian types who need to lighten up, corporate types who need to get more personal, casual types who need to be more organized and formal, or funny types who need to address more serious topics? Maybe we make content instead of delivery important or delivery instead of content. We can mix it up. Do we always use PowerPoint, or never use PowerPoint.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Maya Angelou

Whatever it is we do, we need to step out of our comfort zone. We all have a comfort zone. One of the reasons a lot of us joined Toastmasters is to become comfortable in front of an audience. The person I evaluated later told me he thinks we think he’s more comfortable than he is. That is probably true of most public speakers. We get comfortable being uncomfortable and then we have to push ourselves to be uncomfortable again, and again, and again.

The one thing we need to do is not try to be too perfect, because that is why we don’t give the impromptu speech or table topics. Our table topics master had little time to prepare but he came up with a great Table Topics segment.

Donald Winnicot developed a charming phrase in the 1950s, “The good enough parent.” We can apply that phrase and attitude to every part of our life. It doesn’t mean “The don’t give a damn parent.” It means we are doing our best, but we know our best won’t be perfect. We don’t agonize over our shortcomings, we embrace them and improve but we are also kind and compassionate with ourselves when we don’t meet our own standards. If we are kind and compassionate with ourselves we can extend this to others.

Donald Winnicot realized that the pursuit of perfection is counterproductive and it is much better to be in search of good enough. It sounds like we’ve given up, what kind of person settles for good enough? When we are willing to risk failure, we can risk success. It isn’t perfection we should be after but progress.   

If we are willing to be good enough Toastmasters, parents, employees, employers, entrepreneurs, people, we can grow and develop throughout our lives. By allowing ourselves to not be perfect we can take the chances that allow ourselves to progress. Isn’t it progress we after, the progress that will build “the great life?” Can accepting good enough and continuing to improve lead to growth we didn’t think we could attain?

If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Dylan Wiliam

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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 5 images

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”Paperback – Dec 27 2007

by Brené Brown (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Gender

Unmet expectations the root of heartache. Does lowering our expectations feel like we are giving up?

Does lowering our expectations feel like we are giving up? Unmet expectations the root of heartache.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. Donald Miller

Managing expectations seems to be a recurring theme. Shakespeare said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” I think he is right. Why do some situations cause some people to be ecstatic and others to be unhappy? It seems it’s all because of expectations, our loved one can be in the hospital and we are happy because we thought they were killed in a car crash. In the hospital mending is a better outcome than we expected. If we thought they walked away unhurt then we are devastated because of our unmet expectation.

Some parents are happy they have B students; others are beside themselves if their children are “only” B students. The difference is of course expectations. Some people are happy in marriage and others are disappointed in marriages that seem enviable, this too is because of expectations. If we have too high of expectations of others we will often be disappointed.

Could the secret be that we should have low expectations of others, but high expectations of ourselves? Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.” This seems like good advice to me, we can work on ourselves, we can create better habits, and we can strive to move forward. We need to accept others as they are.

We need to work to become the best we can be. We need to let other people live their lives, make their own decisions, and set their own goals.

How we see life, and our place in society is colored by the cultures we grew up in. We come from cultures where certain things were done, certain things were expected, and certain things were acceptable. Whose expectations get met when culture, religion, male and female expectations get in the mix?  

I am reading there are two notable differences in parenting: The individual versus the collective.

Individualistic cultures emphasize self-sufficiency, while collectivist ones emphasize the dependence of the individuals on the group which they are a part of. Parents generally raise their children with the goal of molding them into effective adults. But the definition of an effective, productive member of society differs from culture to culture.

If people from differing cultures get together to raise children it is easy to see how much difficulty they will likely have seeing eye to eye on parenting.

Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack. Brandon Sanderson

North American society has been heavily predicated on the individual as sovereign.

Jordan Peterson says, “You can’t keep kids safe. The best thing you can do is make them able and courageous. It’s absolutely crucial.” He also tells us, “Life is tragic, and we are all capable of turning into monsters.” By this, I think he means we should be grateful when life is not tragic, and we should also realize that when other people fail us because they don’t meet our expectations, we are capable of that kind of failure and worse.

Controlling ourselves is such a big job, we should do our best to navigate the world and be productive. We need to expect others to do their best and navigate the world, but not try to control, manipulate, or bully them.

Can we manage our expectations by improving our reality by lowering our expectations? Is it possible to accept without reservation and give without expectation? Going forward can we expect the unexpected with a positive attitude toward life?

We need to manage our expectations as we navigate through life. Do we expect less and find ourselves surprised and elated, or expect more than life or other people can possibly deliver and be disappointed?

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. Bruce Lee

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, acceptance, 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.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

Expectation Hangover: Free Yourself from Your Past, Change Your Present and Get What You Really Want by [Hassler, Christine]
Kindle App Ad

Expectation Hangover: Free Yourself from Your Past, Change Your Present and Get What You Really Want Kindle Edition

by Christine Hassler (Author), Rankin MD, Lissa (Foreword)

5.0 out of 5 stars    4 customer reviews

 See all 10 formats and editions

We are enough; we need the confidence to believe it. This is our life can we live, laugh, love, and savor all that there is with gratitude and joy?

This is our life can we live, laugh, love, and savor all that there is with gratitude and joy? We are enough; we need the confidence to believe it.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough. Brene Brown

My son says to me yesterday, “Mom you are a problem finder and you passed that onto me.” He didn’t mean it as a compliment but I’ve rolled it over in my mind and I think he’s right, and I’m okay with that. As Dr. Phil say, “We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.

If we are lucky, sensitive, or aware enough to see problems when they are small we can fix, mitigate, or eliminate them. Thinking things will get fixed with no effort is unlikely. Sometimes we try and fix things and make them worse. Sometimes we need to leave well enough alone.

Mom has always said if we look after the little things, the big things look after themselves. In large part, I believe this to be true. This is why one of the key things we can adjust is our attitude. Can we adjust our diet, sleep, exercise? We might not be able to control our stress levels, but we might be able to mitigate them.

Sometimes we busy ourselves to the brink of exhaustion because we don’t know how to relax and spend time with our families. We can control our food intake to the point of anorexia, we can over exercise, over volunteer, and be overly enmeshed in our children’s lives. I bet we can simplify our lives too much as well. Anything can be taken to the extreme, and extremes rarely lead to well-rounded lives.

Are we encouraged to live the well-rounded life? Or are we encouraged to be stars of one sort or another? What would happen if our Olympic athletes opted for balance and well-rounded lives? Maybe this is part of our problem. We are divided and pulled in too many directions.

There are times in our lives when simple and uncluttered lives may work. That is not what is in store for the newly pregnant woman and her husband as they build a family. We have seasons in our lives, and there is a flow. There is a season for sowing and a season for reaping. Are we living in balance with the seasons of our lives? Do we want to reap when we should be sowing and sowing when we should be reaping?

In an article on simplifying our life one of the recommendations is to forget the small stuff. Life is all about small stuff but it seems true we get 80 percent of the results from 20 percent of what we do. So if we focus on tweaking the 20 percent we will be better off. We can do this with anything. Maybe this is why we aren’t exercising. We think we need to dedicate whole hours to it when 20 percent of the amount of exercise we think we should do would suffice. What if instead of rearranging our whole diet we changed 20 percent of it that would make the most difference. It was eliminating cream from my coffee that I believe made the biggest change for me. I had eliminated eating after dinner, but that has crept back into my life and needs to stop.

We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle. Mahatma Gandhi

If instead of thinking we need to change everything we pick the 20 percent that will likely have the most impact we can improve our lives in big ways with small changes.

Decluttering is one of the things we can apply the 20 percent rule to. Some people think even having a junk drawer is too much clutter. Doesn’t everyone need somewhere to put the things that don’t seem to belong anywhere else? When we throw away that little miscellaneous screw we are sure to find where it is missing. Perfection is the enemy of the good. If we are after a good life other people can share with us then good enough may be great.

Of course “Good enough” is open to interpretation. Sometimes we know what good enough is because on an exam “Good enough” is often 75 percent.  We can’t do everything that is recommended but what can we do? What is the 20 percent change in every area that would make the most difference?  Does it seem like too little if we tried to save 2% instead of the 10% they tell us we must save? What if we tried to eliminate 20% of our debt instead of the 100% they say we should get rid of? We eliminated 20% of our clutter. We brought 20% of the exercise into our life they say we need? What if we tweaked our diet by 20%, not giving up all our indulgences, just the 20% that will make the most difference. What dreams can we make come true? How much communication can we have? Can we fit creativity into our lives to feed our soul and still leave room for everything else? How much tweaking can we do to our life so it still resembles our life only 20% better?

I’ve always told my kids don’t give up your good habits. I’ve started indulging in snacks while watching TV in the evening. This needs to be my 20% change. Snacks and treats in the afternoon, but get back to not eating after dinner.

The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. Brene Brown

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, confidence, and joy.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 4 images

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You ArePaperback – Aug 27 2010

by Brene Brown (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 272 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Personal Transformation


 See all 14 formats and editions