Changing our minds is the power within us to change our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

How long do we need to wait until we see results? When do we see the results of what we are doing? When do we see the results of what we are planting? It is taking so long to realize our dreams, or did we quit dreaming a long time ago? Are we not reaching goals because we haven’t set them? My husband and I have set a goal to go to England in 2024.

We sometimes want to do things and that is our goal, “wanting to do things, not doing things.” I wonder if this is what I have done with the trip to Europe I’ve been thinking about since High School. I still think of it as a trip to Europe, not a specific country, or a group of countries, that starts at one point and ends at another.

How many of us have done this with our lives? We want success but it is hazy and off into the future, with no definition. If we haven’t defined what success would be in our lives how can we get it? If we are honest with ourselves haven’t we gotten what we’ve aimed at, what we specifically wanted and went after? Sometimes when we’ve gotten what we thought we wanted, we found we didn’t want it after all. We divorced people we at one time said we couldn’t live without. We leave professions we worked hard to get into. We sell our dream home.

The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps. Steve Maraboli

When we were young we thought if we made the kind of money we are making now, we’d be rich. Many of us are rich; we don’t recognize it as rich, because to be rich, we have to have more than anyone else. Because of the society, we have built we can go anywhere we want to if we can pay the fare. We don’t need to own our own boat, plane, or even automobile. We go to the grocery store and food from around the world is at our fingertips. We didn’t have to plant it, tend it, or harvest it and yet we can put it in our basket and take it home.

Growing up we heated our house with wood and cooked with wood. How easy it is to turn the burner on and have instant heat. To make a cup of coffee in the morning was a big deal growing up. Mom had to start the fire before she could boil the water to make the coffee. Mom and Dad had to milk the cows before we had cream. They had to raise and kill the pig before curing the bacon, raise the chickens, gather the eggs, grow the wheat, harvest it, and bake the bread before a bacon and eggs breakfast could be made.  

There was a degree of self-sufficiency most of us don’t have anymore, but there was also a great deal of work. My post gets out to you with very little effort on my part. I put it out into the world and how it finds its way to those who read it is a miracle of technology and innovation. There is no way I could do it by myself.

How often do we hear someone lament, or lament ourselves we’re just a cog in a wheel? We can look at that negatively or positively a wheel with just one cog broken is a broken wheel. The regular person has never had a life so good with everything we have at our fingertips. Most of us are not locked into specific jobs or professions except by our own choosing.

How much better could our life be if we made a conscious choice to make it better? If we treated people the way we want to be treated what would that look like? Do we need to treat ourselves better? We make sure our dog doesn’t get a grape or chocolate because it isn’t good for her and yet don’t we sometimes fill ourselves up on things we know aren’t good for us?

What if the thoughts we think are where we hurt ourselves the most? Could it be that if we think better thoughts we have a better life even if nothing on the outside changes?

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein

Change your thinking. Change your life! Your thoughts create your reality. Practice positive thinking. Act the way you want to be, and soon you will be the way you act. Les Brown

Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that buys and reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

It takes perseverance, guts, and determination to get through the hard things in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It always seems impossible until it is done. Nelson Mandela

Last night at the gym I listened to an audible book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. He founded businesses in the Dot Com era, a tough time for new startups – when confidence was low and money was tight. It isn’t a book only for those who want to start their own business. Starting and running a business isn’t easy even if it is only a small business, nor is building a family an easy enterprise, and family is more fragile than business.

We watched Julia Roberts and George Cluny in their latest movie the other night. She keeps talking about the big mistake in her life that George Cluny takes as marrying him, and her daughter sometimes takes as having her. Finally, in one scene Julia Roberts admits her big mistake was giving up on her marriage because she thought she was losing herself and would never accomplish her goals if she stayed in the marriage. Now with a grown daughter, that has just graduated from university, and a career in the art world that may or may not be as satisfying as she thought it would be, she realizes she gave up on what would have been the best part of her life, her marriage.

Ben Horowitz in, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” knows he isn’t always putting his family first and he also knows that it is the most important thing to him. His father said to him one day, “Do you know what is cheap? Flowers. Do you know what is expensive? Divorce.”

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. Helen Keller

We can’t always keep from failing at business, marriage, and life, but we can be the one that does our best until the end. We can say we won’t be the one that gives up on… We will have to accept someone else’s choice but we don’t have to let giving up be our choice. Many men are bitter because their wives gave up on their marriage and asked for a divorce. The men, I think, feel they were so busy fighting to keep the wolf from the door, to build a life for their wives and children that maybe their wives felt neglected. But, couldn’t she see what they were doing they were doing for the family? How would any of us feel if we’ve given our lives in the service of those we love, not philandering, not gambling the life savings, drinking or using drugs, but in the trenches working often at hard and difficult jobs to provide for our families? We would likely feel unappreciated and bitter.

It is never good to let ourselves get bitter, it is understandable how some succumb to this, but if we can get better and not bitter isn’t this winning at the game of life? There will always be hard things to face in life. Hard things don’t seem to be distributed evenly; some people face harder things in life than others. Whatever is ours to face we must face, and if we can do it with as much courage as we can muster, and persevere through hard times as we get to better times, we will likely feel good about the life we’ve lived. It might not be a particularly happy life, but there is something to be said for living an honorable life. If we can look at ourselves in the mirror and know even though we’ve had missteps and failures, and not always made the best choices, we did the best we could with what we had, and when we knew better, we did better. Isn’t that the definition of a good life worthy of the effort to persevere?

It’s always too soon to quit. Norman Vincent Peale

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich

Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end. Roy T. Bennett

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those that read my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

We want to get better, improve, and make progress, but what do we want to get better at?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Do your best, and be a little better than you are. Gordon B. Hinckley

We read a book and it resonates with us, we might even think we got this. We can remember some of the talking points and we use them impressing everyone with our new outlook on life. It might be easy to impress a few people and even ourselves for a while, but does our life reflect the philosophy we are parroting? This is what catches up many people. Living up to the advice we give is hard, but trying to impress others is easy.

How many of us when we listen to people speak, especially those that preach to us about how we should change our lives, be more environmentally conscious, be more virtuous, generous, or have more of a heart for the poor and down trodden would like to take a peek in their lives and see how they measure up using their own yardstick?

It’s a good question, how do we measure up using our own yardstick? Are we able to meet the expectations we expect of others? I recently heard someone talking about someone’s child being, “So rude” and I questioned if their own children were so much better when the short time I spent with the child she was well-mannered, easy to be with, interested in what was going on, and contributing to the conversation in an intelligent way. I’m thinking what a nice young lady she’s growing up to be. I wonder are we looking at the same child. Of course, the time I spent with her was short and she could be on her best behavior, but kids can’t be expected to only be on their best behavior to be a good kid. We might be setting the bar too high and then no one is good enough.

We can get into conversations we don’t see eye to eye on, but we aren’t even having the same conversation. That happened between my son and husband at dinner the other night. I said, “You aren’t talking about the same thing.” This happens at my house all the time, and between my husband and me, often. Is this something we’ve developed over the years so we aren’t having, “Me too” conversations?

There is nothing wrong with making a good impression in fact it is encouraged but it is a letdown when we meet someone, we are so impressed with their ideas, what we think their life is about, and then we find out their life is more of a train-wreck than our own.

You’ve got one job, and that is to get better. Derrick Rose                                               

There is no one that has more theories about relationships, marriages, or raising children than those who are on the sidelines instead of in the trenches. Wayne Dyer said he had theories about raising children, until he had children, and then he had children but no theories.

I had a neighbor when we first moved in who called himself a fancy gardener. I took it as a poke at my attempts at gardening, but he never planted one tree, shrub, or flower all the while he lived in the house. My yard is not a work of art but the backyard is full of trees and shrubs. I’m not happy with how my front garden looks except perhaps for brief moments in the spring. It is a labor of love that doesn’t get enough labor, but hope springs eternal, and I have high hopes that one day it will become what I envision.

No matter what yardstick we use to judge ourselves we will find ourselves coming up short of our expectations. Wouldn’t it be sad if we were all we thought we could be, because what would we do for the rest of our lives if we had nothing left to learn, nothing left to do and aspire to, and nothing to improve? Life is growth and I think we need to find ways to grow and develop until the end of our lives, if we are to be happy, and be a blessing to ourselves and other people.

Seeking pleasure and happiness is not a good way to live our lives because many of the things that we must get through, to look back on our lives with pride, did not bring us happiness at the time. Some of the things we’ve done to feel pleasure and fleeting happiness do not fill us with pride when we look back on them. Life is about choices and the better our choices, the better our lives will be, and some of the hardest choices give us the best lives. Will our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren be proud of the person we became? I think that is a measure to aspire to.

Aspire not to have more, but to be more. Oscar Romero

Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference. Denzel Washington

If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third, place. Marcus Tullius Cicero

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those who read my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Who do we think we are? We don’t get what we deserve in life, we get what we negotiate.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. John F. Kennedy

Last night I was listening to Oprah while I painted. She said, if we accomplish anything at all we will be hit with, “Who do you think you are?” This might come from ourselves or from other people, but we have to deal with the fact that we want more out of life than what we have. We want to see, do, have, or accomplish more. Often, a still small voice inside of us is telling us we can do more, have more, and be more, but is it the same voice that makes us hesitate and fearful?

Or, do have two voices, the positive and the negative and they will continue to be at war our whole lives, but we can feed the negative or the positive, we can’t get rid of either of them, but one of them will rule us, and we get to choose which one it will be.

I picked up a book on Tuesday, “Seven Secrets to Profit From Adversity,” by Joe Roberts. In it he tells us we don’t have to be up, to look up. In 1989 he left the streets of Vancouver, B.C. Canada a broken, homeless drug addict. In 1989 all he could do was dream of a better life, but that dream led to overcoming the challenges and obstacles he faced. He learned life doesn’t give us what we deserve, it gives us what we negotiate. He has written a book to help others move toward the change they want to see in their lives.

Who was he to think he could get off the streets and build a better life and be a role model to others? He had a dream. It sounds like that dream came to him in an instant and it took ten years to realize it. Whether we believe it is God that speaks to us, a higher power, a still small voice, or the universe, does it matter what we call it, but haven’t we all heard the voice even when we didn’t heed it?

In business as in life – you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. Chester L. Karrass

We negotiate what we want out of life every day, and one of the people we have to be willing to negotiate with the hardest is ourselves. If we don’t ask enough of ourselves, if we don’t face our fears to go after what we want, and if we don’t develop self-control so we are free from things that control us and destroy our lives, we won’t be happy.

Sometimes the things we want are harmless, but other times giving in to our wants leads us down a dark road. We have to be our own control board throughout our lives. Our challenge might be substances we have to stay away from, toxic people, dangerous situations, immoral acts, overspending, gambling, or taking advantage of people who seem willing to be taken advantage of. If we want to look ourselves in the mirror and feel good about ourselves we have to believe we did the best with what we had most of the time and forgive ourselves for our shortcomings.

Too much of the devil made me do it, does not build a good life. It does not create a life we are proud of. If we put ourselves first too often we may fracture relationships we can never fix. What if we get what we want but we’ve trampled on everyone to get it, our children feel unloved, our spouse is long gone, most of our family is not speaking to us, but when people meet us they are impressed? Isn’t it better to be loved and respected by those that know us than to impress those that don’t know us?

In the end, we are who we are, we can do what we can do, and we’ve made the choices we’ve made. If we are happy with the sum of that at the end of our lives then isn’t that a good life?

Are we winning our negotiations with ourselves?

What we know matters, but who we are matters more. Brene Brown

Don’t negotiate your value with anyone. You’re worth it. Been worth it. Will forever be worth it. Unknown

Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent. William Shakespeare

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those that read my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Gratitude and learning lessons. Trying to control others often backfires. We can only control ourselves.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you wish to succeed in managing and controlling others – learn to manage and control yourself. William J. H. Boeteker

I am back from a beautiful vacation visiting Mom, a sister, and friends. My friend from long ago and her sister, and niece visited wineries. We laughed, sipped wine, bought a few bottles, cooked wonderful dinners, and laughed some more.

We went out to Karaoke where out of a party of five, three sang, and I wasn’t one of them. Some people know how to take lemons and make lemonade, and I am always heartened when I see someone accept the challenges they are dealing with and handle them with humor, optimism, and gratitude.

Last night my husband was setting up a TV in my art studio and he was playing Oprah talking about gratitude. She was talking about how a friend got through the loss of her husband with gratitude. It’s not that she was happy he was gone, but that she was grateful for what they had, and what she still had.

We are all grateful and so is Mom that at ninety-seven she can live in her own home, walk, read, live on her own schedule, and has access to the aids that make life easier. If she ever needs to go into a home we are grateful they are there to meet the needs of those who can no longer live independently.

We have so much to be grateful for, even if things are bad, they could be worse. We may want to live a life without challenges, but the challenges are where we learn things we may learn no other way. We may face a challenge and understand how relationships turn sour over seemingly small things, small things to us, not small things to someone else.

Power is not controlling other people. Power is controlling ourselves. Trying to control other people is the first sign that you are entirely out of control. Controlling others is what weak people think power looks like. Unknown

We can’t know how people will react to something until it happens, we may think we know how we will react but we won’t know for sure until we have to deal with it. Will we be optimistic and grateful when we are brought to our knees when our health takes a turn with a dire prognosis?

Will we be able to stand by our family if they make bad decisions and end up in situations we thought impossible? Will we be there for them in their time of need? What does being there for them in their time of need look like? Can we find a way to help but not enable, encourage but not control, and be with them in their pain even though we can’t carry their burden? Can we help someone get on the right track knowing it won’t be as quick as we’d like, and setbacks are likely? Can we believe in them when they might have a hard time believing in themselves?

If we only love someone when it is easy we have to ask ourselves if our love is as strong, deep, and enduring as we thought it would be. We all love easy love, loving our five-month-old grandson is easy, what if he disappoints us, or himself in the years to come? It is hard to live a life where we don’t make mistakes and disappoint ourselves and others.  We all make mistakes and missteps, we do things, and say things that hurt others, and they do things and say things that hurt us. This is all part of the human condition.

Can we be grateful we have people in our lives even if they hurt and disappoint us? Can we keep people in our lives when we hurt and disappoint them? One of our big problems in life is the unmet expectations of people we love, people we vote for, and people who make decisions that affect our lives. Are we expecting them to be better than they can possibly be? We live in a country where peace and plenty are all around us, and we can still make decisions that mess up our lives, but we also have enough resources that most people can rise above bad circumstances.

It seems to me, we can’t help someone else do something they haven’t made up their mind to do, and they can’t help us. We hear about people who turned their life around with the help of… the key is they turned their life around. We can’t turn their life around for them, and they can’t turn our life around for us. We have to be okay with their decisions to go forward even if it isn’t the way we want them to go forward. The freedom we all have is to choose even when we aren’t making the best choice. We might not understand the lesson someone else has to learn, or even the lesson we have to learn.

What if we need to be grateful we are capable of learning the lesson we are to learn?

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Brian Tracy

He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. Lao Tzu

Control is an element of weakness and insecurity. You truly cannot control anyone or anything other than your effort and attitude. Sylvester McNutt

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those that read my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Self-control is how to build a great life. With self-control we build self-respect.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. Burn Philips

How big of a role does self-control play in our lives? We need to control our actions, thoughts, money, the words we say, and how we say them. We are watching the celebration of a woman’s life that was all about self-control. I am reading that Prime Ministers that met with her weekly had no idea what her politics were.

Queen Elizabeth was above petty politics because she was the Queen and met with each Prime Minister no matter what party was in. To have lived a scandal-free life reigning for seventy years she must have had immense self-control. She was an example of someone exercising great self-control throughout her life as she performed the duties of a monarch.

We may not be kings and queens of a realm but we are kings and queens of our lives and households. The more self-control we exercise the better our lives will be. We may use other words to describe self-control such as willpower, discipline, and determination. The true definition of self-control is to control one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. We subdue our impulses in order to achieve longer-term goals.

There are signs that our self-control is slipping. We become agitated, irritable, and impatient, have difficulty concentrating, and unwanted thoughts come into our minds.

Self-control is an area where practice makes perfect. The more we practice self-control the better we get at it. We can replace bad habits with rewarding or positive behaviors. We need to take care of ourselves by eating well, sleeping well, and getting enough exercise to have the energy to practice self-control.

We can look back on our lives and see where self-control or a lack of it changed the direction of our lives. If we use self-control when it comes to money when opportunities arise we will have the means to take advantage of them. Our relationships will be better if we don’t say the first thing that pops into our minds. If we are careful what we say about other people we will not be embarrassed when it comes around to the person we were gossiping about.

We were brought up with, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is very hard to live by, especially with the vitriol that is being put out in the media. But, what if we practice not saying anything about anybody that is not positive? Maybe we can acknowledge, “I don’t think that’s the best way to do things,” and leave it at that. As I write this I wonder if I could actually do this, even for a day.

With self-discipline, most anything is possible. Theodore Roosevelt

We have lost a great example of how to conduct ourselves in the world. This might mean we need to find other examples of good conduct, and even aspire to be good examples ourselves.

Now that I am a grandma I can see that not saying anything is a virtue. People need to figure out their own lives, make their own decisions, and chart their own course. They have their own thoughts and opinions that differ from ours and that has to be okay. Arguing with them will not change their mind; in fact, it may make their position become more rigid as they feel they must defend it. If we can be an example of living with dignity and grace, choosing the right thing over the easy, exhibiting self-control, and even though we will not do it perfectly we will be an example to our children and grandchildren.

We will show our children and grandchildren it is possible to live with dignity and grace, it is possible to see the best in people, and it is possible to take a longer view and subdue our impulses to make the future better. We often regret words said in haste, actions we take without thinking, and habits that don’t help us get what we want. The more we develop self-control the better our lives will be and we will be more of an example to others.

Telling others to control themselves doesn’t work, but controlling ourselves is where our power lies.

Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage. Thucydides

A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering. Dalai Lama

You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those who read my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

We are a reflection of all the choices we have made. If we want better results, we need to make better choices.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

I started reading The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday at the beginning of the year. What a great idea to read one uplifting message every day, except I haven’t read it every day, but I still enjoy it even though I am not doing it right.

Does it matter if I read the July 8th message on September 12th, does it change the message? No, it does not. What matters is that we bring good ideas into our lives and that we act on them. If we could follow everything in The Daily Stoic we would be better people. Joan Didion wrote, “The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.”

We will never take advantage of every opportunity and make the best decision every day of our lives. That is probably an expectation that cannot be met. But we can try to live our lives in such a way that we are proud of ourselves most of the time and we make the best decision most of the time and can look ourselves in the eye when we look in the mirror, most of the time.

We were having a conversation about commitment last night and our son-in-law was relating a conversation he’d had with one of his friend’s mothers who said she didn’t think living together is the same commitment that marriage is. Getting the male view now that I have a married son, and son-in-law is different now these young men are feeling the weight of being the head of the family. If you don’t follow, how can I lead? This is one of the questions they are asking not just of their relationships but of relationships and society in general.

Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice. Unknown

Commitment is getting through the tough stuff and persevering when we want to give up. Marriage is a partnership and it works best with mutual love and respect but also when one is the head, and one is the heart in the relationship. We don’t like the word obey; it makes us feel like children. When I watched an episode of The Crown, Princess Elizabeth insisted that the word obey was in her marriage vows. It didn’t go into why this was important to her.

My son-in-law said to our daughter, if we are in a burning building I need you to follow my direction, you have to trust me, we can’t be arguing about the best way forward, just do as I say. If we can’t trust our husbands to make the best decisions for our family, why were we interested in marrying them?

Do we want someone that tells us to do the dishes instead of writing our blog, of course not. Most of marriage is a conversation about how we want to proceed, and what is the best course to take, but sometimes we need a decision made, and that is when the leadership of the husband comes into play. There is security in knowing that we don’t have to look after everything, we have a partner that is looking out for the well-being of the family.

When women can afford to stay home with their children and still have a good standard of living I think a lot of us will take that option. I may be wrong, but I do believe that most women want to have children, that it fulfills us in a way nothing else can.

Life is not perfect, children are orphaned, and women are widowed. Even though it may not be popular, I believe traditional marriage gives most people the best chance at happiness, success, and security. We need to develop our character, no matter what other choices we make in life if we are to be happy with what we have done with our lives at the end of it.

Some day we will reach the end of our lives. It will be over, no more choices; will we be happy with the ones we made? The more we are happy with the choices we make, the more we will feel it was a life well-lived. I think this is the goal, to get to the end of our lives and feel we did the best with what we had. To feel we lived a life with few regrets.

This doesn’t mean we get to tell people how to live their lives. Everyone gets to make their own choices; we only get to control ourselves. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t better choices and encouraging people to make better choices is wrong.

You are free to make whatever choice you want, but you are not free from the consequences of the choice. Unknown

Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: We are what we chose to be. Graham Brown

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

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, and see archives or comments click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Gratitude and humility are said to be the antidote to superiority. The more grateful we are the more humble we become, and the more humble we become the more grateful we are.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

My mantra is: Humble yourself. Discover what your monsters are. Be honest with yourself. Terry Crews

I’m reading “High-Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard. I set it aside to read something else and now I am finishing it. I’ve come to a section called High-Performance Killers beware of three traps, superiority, dissatisfaction, and neglect.

We’ve all met jerks who thought they were all that, maybe we’ve been accused of being those jerks, thinking we are better than others. Isn’t it true that sometimes we do think we are better than others, we don’t even think we are doing it in the wrong way, but just because we don’t think we are rubbing our success in other people’s faces doesn’t mean they don’t feel we are.

I haven’t figured out if it is worse to think if people tried a little harder they could have a better life, or think they aren’t capable of better, they are doing the best they can. We must watch that bigotry of low expectations doesn’t creep into our thoughts and an air of superiority in our heads.

Yesterday, I went to Dollarama and someone was asking for money outside of the store. I don’t know how to handle this. Should I give when I can to help someone in need? Should I at least ask to hear their story and decide then? I didn’t do either of those, I walked on by. Firstly, I just heard on the radio the city of Windsor, Ontario is talking about banning begging on their downtown streets, it is becoming a problem residents are complaining about. I don’t want to see begging become a common occurrence where I live but is that a lack of empathy? Am I wrong to believe we have social support for people, and begging is not necessary here in Canada?

I listen to Thomas Sowell talk about how in his opinion, (he’s an American economist) welfare has destroyed the family and made women rely on the government welfare check instead of a husband and father to help provide for the family, to the detriment of everyone, but especially children.

I often ask my husband, what does help look like? When are we enabling people to not do for themselves and calling it helping, and when are we not giving assistance to help someone elevate themselves? Right now I hear employers are having a hard time finding workers. If there is work out there to be had, most people won’t think people need to beg if they can get a job.

Superiority draws us in an inch at a time. If we think we are better than another person or group, that is a form of superiority we all understand. If we feel we are so amazingly good we don’t need feedback, guidance, diverse viewpoints, or support that is superiority. If we think we automatically deserve respect because of who we are, our position, or our accomplishments we are feeling superior. It is the last one on Brendon Burchard’s list of knowing when superiority has reared its head that surprised me.

There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. Good pride represents our dignity and self-respect. Bad pride is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance. John Maxwell

He tells us superiority has reared its head when we feel people don’t understand us, our fights and failures aren’t our faults, “they” can’t appreciate our situation, the demands, obligations, or what we face every day.

He also tells us that all isolation is ultimately self-imposed. This can be hard to accept when we feel no one understands our situation. We need to abandon our sense of separateness even in truly difficult situations. We may think we are the only ones to face something terrible, but we are not.

Sometimes we need to look for support groups of others that are facing the same situations. Other people will not understand us better when we stay silent, and yet we have to watch too much “poor me” coming out in our conversations.  When we feel trapped in hardship, we may feel no one understands but we need to be willing to give people a chance, and not put our prickly selves out there. By trying to protect ourselves we end up more isolated and alone.

We are all students of life, no matter where we are on the path there is still a lot to learn. We will never master everything, and there is something we can learn from everyone we meet. Brendon Burchard tells us gratitude and humility are the antidotes to superiority. The more grateful we are the more humble we feel, and the more humble we feel the more grateful we are.

Can we live our lives achieving everything we want or at least attempting to and be grateful, humble, effective, and respectful?

First, I’ve rarely met a high performer who thinks they’re “at the top.” Most feel like they are just getting started. Brendon Burchard

Humility is the surest sign of strength. Thomas Merton

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. Jim Rohn

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Are we focusing on what we want or what we don’t want? Do we get more of what we focus on?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Always remember, your focus determines your reality. George Lucas

On Friday, Canadians celebrated Canada Day and today Americans celebrate Independence Day. Celebrating brings us together because when we live in the same country we share many things, but it doesn’t mean we are alike in everything. We may think what divides us is more important than our shared history and values.

To have groups of people come together in one place and everyone see things the same way doesn’t seem likely. In our own families, brought up with exactly the same values and circumstances we don’t see things the same. Why do we think countries made up of individuals with different cultures, values, and priorities would all see things the same way or are even capable of understanding the other person’s point of view when they are so removed from the other person’s way of life?

I wonder if part of the problem is we are not focusing on what we have control of and instead want to focus on what other people should have control over. Some may think focusing on our life, family, and community is selfish, but it is also where we have an impact. Too often we focus our attention on things we have no control over and have no bearing on our lives. What if we brought our attention back to what is front and center in our lives?

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

It might be easier to spend endless hours discussing how contentious issues should be handled in a country where we have no impact than to talk about issues in our own lives and the lives of our families that need dealing with. How many important conversations are not being had about things we could change to make our own lives better, because we are talking about divisive politics, often not even in our own country?

What would it take to get our own house in order? What if we got rid of the distractions to focus on building the best life we can for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our countries? What if personal responsibility is the way to make every family, community, and country better? What can we do to make our lives better, not what we can point to that someone else should be doing? That is easy, and we all fall into seeing what someone else should be doing instead of what we should be doing, but there is no power in that. The power we have in life is focusing on the change we need in our own lives. If we aren’t getting what we want out of life do we need to change what we are focusing on?

The more you complain about your problems, the more problems you will have to complain about. Zig Ziglar

One way to boost our willpower and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us. Daniel Goleman

Distractions disrupt progress and cancel out the power of focus. LeAura Alderson

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

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

We build a life by the choices we make, if we want a better life we need to make better choices.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

Advice to my son as he gets married.  The world needs strong, good men. It always has needed them and it may need them even more as we face the challenges ahead of us. It isn’t easy being strong in a time when “toxic masculinity” is tossed around. We wouldn’t have the society we have if it wasn’t for strong good men. In saying that I am not saying women have not done their part. Men and women built this society, they stood up to tyranny, they stood up for what was right, and they’ve made mistakes.

Courage is one of the most important virtues it might even be the most important one because without courage how do we stand up for ourselves, others, those we love, and those we want justice for.

Good strong men are not our problem in society they are what is needed to keep us going on an even keel. I grew up with a good strong father who wanted a good life for all his children. Good people want a good life for all their children even the children that don’t fit neatly into boxes.

The children who have it the worst in our society are the ones without good strong fathers in their lives. It isn’t too much masculinity that ruins a lot of lives it is the lack of masculinity in lives and what some people are calling masculinity. Good strong men don’t take advantage of people, they stand up for others. They work hard to elevate themselves and their families, some start businesses where they hire people, build society, and make life better for everyone.

Good strong men have stood up to tyranny. We forget that all men didn’t get the vote that much earlier than women. I believe in the man being the head of the home because women have a big enough job being the heart of the home. I also believe we don’t demand respect, we command respect. A man that commands respect is what all men should aspire to and the type of man all women should aspire to marry and build a family with. A woman that commands respect, is what all men should aspire to marry and build a family with. If we build our families with a man we respect then our children have a father they can respect. If a man respects his wife then his children have a mother they will respect. If we respect ourselves then we will conduct ourselves in ways that continue to garner respect throughout our lives.

We have to be our own control boards, we have to decide how we will conduct ourselves, what choices we will make, and what principles we will stand behind and build our lives on.

If we have faith in ourselves, other people, and faith in a power greater than ourselves we can face the challenges that we will undoubtedly face in life. We don’t know when we may be brought to our knees, dealt an unfair hand, deal with malevolence, or unfairness.

The consequences of the choices you make can change your life in the blink of an eye, be sure of what you do before you do it, sometimes it can’t be undone. Unknown

Life isn’t fair, we don’t all start at the same starting line, we don’t have the same talents, but we have a life to live and make the best of. If we can live a life grateful for what we have, the opportunities that present themselves, the people we love, challenges that will help us grow and become better then hopefully we will get to the end of our lives surrounded by people we love who will know we did our best most of the time, and they will be grateful we were in their lives.

To be a blessing in the lives of our children, grandchildren, and on down the generations is what we should aspire to, and if we aren’t blessed with our own children we can still be a blessing to the generations that follow us.

We weren’t perfect parents; we tried to do the best we knew how to do. It is your turn to take on the mantle of husband and hopefully father. Doing your best is all anyone can ask. It isn’t easy to look in the mirror and ask if you really did your best, but it is an exercise that will help you know if you are building the life you want or if you need to make some changes. If you make the changes that make things better you will feel better about your life, and your life will have a positive trajectory. Keep control of the little things and the big things take care of themselves.

We don’t notice the impact of little choices in the short term that have a big impact on our life over the long term, but over time those choices add up. Unknown

Every choice comes with a consequence. Once you make a choice, you must accept responsibility. You cannot escape the consequences of your choices, whether you like them or not. Roy T. Bennett

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

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

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