One step in front of another gets us to our goal. Then we need a new goal.

One step in front of another gets us to our goal. We need a new goal then.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If it’s important you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. Ryan Blair 

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon telling me that “Secrets and Silence” is now published in paperback. In Canada, we can’t get a proof before publishing. We have to wait until we have published and then purchase an author’s copy to see what it actually looks like in print. My husband purchased a copy and it should be arriving on September 5th-8th.  I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hand.

To be honest, I thought being published would feel different. There is a feeling of emptiness in releasing our work out into the world we might not expect. It is not ours anymore; we are not still crafting, editing, tweaking, and polishing. It is not still full of possibilities, it is what it is. It is done and all the time we spent tweaking, editing, and polishing we need to put into another project, our families, or something.

My two younger sisters and I have a pact that we will each publish a book next September. It is time to make things happen. Now that I realize how user-friendly publishing on Amazon is, and that an Indy author can be just that. We don’t have to pay other people to format it for Amazon Kindle Publishing, the tools provided are easy to work with.

There are many companies willing to work with authors to help them publish their work. If you have been wondering if you can publish your novel, children’s book, or cookbook, etc. without them you absolutely can. If we do it ourselves as Indy authors the quality control of our work falls squarely on our own shoulders. The point I’m making is it can be done and the publishing part on Amazon was not difficult. I was very intimidated by it, but in the end, it was very straight forward. I followed the formatting guidelines and used kindle create to produce the interior of my novel then uploaded it to Kindle. They even have a cover creator tool which I didn’t use.

A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being. James E. Faust

In case you are like me, worried about this step in the process, don’t be. We need to write the best book we can and find people we respect to help us edit it. We can use Pro-writer as an editing tool, publish as an Indy author if we want, or look for a traditional publisher. Writing our book is the hard part, getting the words right, saying what we want to say eloquently, succinctly, and compellingly. Producing a good read is not about publishing.

Becoming a published author is just like any other accomplishment. We then must look around for our next project, challenge, or goal. I have already started on my next project and I am so happy to have the next project to start. If I didn’t know what my next project would be I think I would feel lost and adrift.

We may wonder how prolific authors write so many books. They finish one and start another and they keep doing that until their library of work is impressive. They say we often overestimate what we can do in one year, but we underestimate what we can do in ten years.

The life we are building is our own and we have more control over what we want that life to be than we often think we do. Twenty-four golden hours each day is what we have to work with, and what we do with it, is up to us. Is it true, we can if we think we can?

Make each day your masterpiece. John Wooden

Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future. Oscar Wilde

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. Zig Zigler

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

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

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Life is making decisions. The better we are at making decisions, the better our life will be.

The better we are at making decisions, the better our life will be. Life is making decisions.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I made it and forget about it. Harry S. Truman

It all starts with a decision. Most of our life is because of the decisions we have made. If we want a different life we are going to have to make different decisions. Nothing happens until something happens. We can spend our lives revising and editing but never actually do anything with our work. We can say we are trying to build an audience but unless we have something for people to experience there can be no audience. 

We can have all kinds of excuses for why we are not ready to do something. How many years can we tell ourselves and others we are still editing our novel? We are still practicing, we are still just dating, we still want to start that business but the time isn’t right.

There will be no perfect time to get married, have a child, publish a book, launch a band, start a business, or buy a house. We have now and there is a beginning, middle, and end-stage, and when we get to the end stage of something we need to get ready to launch. Once we launch whatever it is often we need to go back and repeat what we’ve done only faster this time.

Life is full of ups and downs, we think something is a good idea and then we rethink, and we can think ourselves right out of pursuing success. We are never guaranteed success but life is fuller if we have dreams and goals we pursue and see where they go.

If we have zero book sales, and we then publish a book it has potential. If we don’t publish the book it has zero potential even if it is the greatest book ever written. What would a flop look like? Most authors don’t sell more than five hundred copies. Being an author is not about becoming rich and famous, although a few will, and why not us?

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we feel we must do something we must do it. If we sing, write, or create anything we need to do it because it feeds our soul. Once we have completed it, why not share it with the world? We may touch someone’s life and as long as we keep our day job what is the downside?

If we never finish our first project we will not move onto the next one. What if it is the tenth project we put out that will touch someone? What if that tenth project is never put out into the world? What if that person is never touched?

We need to utilize our potential. What good is unutilized potential? No matter how good and productive we are we will never use up all of our potential. We don’t know what we are capable of, and we won’t know if we don’t take a chance and do what we know we must do.

There is a still small voice that whispers to us, do we listen? What if no one throughout history listened to that voice and none of the discoveries or inventions were made? We have the lives we have because of the chances people have taken to try new things, make things better, and invent things that didn’t exist before.

In the middle ages, the thinking of the time was that everything that could be known was known. When we look around we may wonder what is there still to discover, invent, and create. We won’t know until someone discovers it, invents it, or creates it, but when they do it will be evident to us that it would be discovered, invented, or created.

The novel I have been working on for years is going to be published on September 5, 2020. It is pre-released on Amazon. I made a decision and I can now move forward.

Is the person we need to take a chance on, us? Do we have something we want to do, but we hesitate, waiting for… what?

Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. Tony Robbins

Again and again, the impossible problem is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made. Robert H. Schuller

On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died. George W. Cecil

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Secrets and Silence: The Truth Will Set You Free by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

Secrets and Silence: The Truth Will Set You Free Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

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The truth is the best argument. We are all capable of making the winning argument.

We are all capable of making the winning argument. The truth is the best argument.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A relationship with no arguments is a relationship with a lot of secrets. Unknown

Yesterday I went to one of my favorite haunts Value Village. I told myself I went to look at books to see if the books that appealed to me the most had long or short chapters and chapter titles or just numbers. I’m reading online that short chapters are like potato chip chapters. When we are reading we sometimes look at the length of the next chapter before we quit reading. If the chapter is short we say just one more then I’ll stop. We can read until four in the morning by reading one more short chapter. Chapter headings can entice our readers into wanting to know what comes next.  

Last night I finished making my scenes into chapters and giving each a title. I now have 84 chapters and my plan is to read each chapter aloud and record it one last time looking for errors and then get it ready to put on Amazon. It’s exciting and terrifying.

In my search for books, I came across one yesterday How to Argue and Win Every Time by Gerry Spence. Of course, I bought it along with five other books. I try to limit my purchase to five books because if you buy four the fifth one is free – so why not get the free book and I usually want more than five. Yesterday I had my five and then I found a book on writing The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. It went in the cart too. When I got home I found a different edition of the book on my bookshelf but somehow I like the one I just picked up better.

We are living in a time when we need to communicate more about important things but we are making people who make even the small misstep in speech seem like they are pariahs of our society. Not talking about the big problems we have is not helpful. When people cannot vent their feelings, concerns, problems, and fears they often come out in other more destructive ways.

In a book, I read that parents should overlook the language their children use to keep communication lines open. All we need to say is “you can’t say that in my house, or don’t use that tone,” for the conversation to be over. We often have to have long conversations about seemingly nothing before we get to the nugget of truth that needs to be dealt with, understood, or examined. It is why long car rides are good for conversation. After we get through the easy topics in the dark we often talk about more important and personal subjects.

One of the reasons YouTube personalities seem to be doing so well is they talk and they are willing to talk about important and controversial subjects.

When we don’t get our feelings out into the open it doesn’t get rid of the feelings. Those feelings remain seething underneath and cause harm.

Be calm in arguing for fierceness makes error a fault and truth discourtesy. George Herbert

In Gerry Spence’s book How to Argue and Win Every Time he says during infancy and adolescents, the winning argument will already be made. The child will seek his or her freedom and become a butterfly or an ugly moth as they exit the cocoon.

The winning argument will have been love, the losing argument discipline. The winning argument will have been respect, the losing argument manipulation. The winning argument will have been honesty, the losing argument hypocrisy. The winning argument will have been freedom, the losing argument control. To give to the world a child who is capable of joyously blooming is the gift of the successful parent.

We need to figure out how to make people feel loved instead of disciplined, respected instead of manipulated, embrace honesty instead of hypocrisy and freedom instead of control.

One of the things we need to do is listen to what people say and try to understand what they mean even when we don’t see things that way at all. Last night talking to my husband I said one of our problems is we talk about things but we don’t agree on the definition of what we are talking about.

We will make mistakes when we are raising our children and when we are having discussions with people about contentious subjects. We will not always do things that look 100 percent fair from every angle. People are not interchangeable cogs each person is an individual with strengths and weaknesses and we may not all agree about what are the strengths and weaknesses of an individual.

Any parent of more than one child knows that we can’t always treat each child the same. What works for Johnny might not work for Sarah. Sometimes what is effective is expecting more than what someone thinks they can attain but when they attain it they are grateful. A low expectation of our children is unlikely to turn them into the butterfly we and they would like to see them become. Some children are early bloomers and some are late bloomers. We need everyone doing their best in the garden of life to create a good society. It is every generation’s responsibility to build on what has already been accomplished.

We will not be perfect parents, citizens, employees, employers, or spouses but we can do our best to improve our lives within our sphere of influence. Are we willing to have long difficult conversations and arguments that lead to peace and understanding?

Silence is argument carried out by other means. Unknown

A great relationship is about two things, first, find out the similarities, second, respect the differences. Unknown

We understand that we have differences but we also respect the fact that if you focus on the things we have in common you can build a relationship. John Howard

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by GERRY SPENCE (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

The Golden Rule is the best way to live. Is it also what will heal our society?

The Golden Rule is the best way to live. Is it also what will heal our society?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Golden  Rule

We don’t want everyone to look at everything we do in the worst way, and yet don’t we do that to other people? What if we tried to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes? What were they thinking that made them act in that way?

One of the things we all know is if we are going to change our lives for the better, no one else is going to do it for us. No one will fix our problems but ourselves. Psychologists are paid to try to help people take charge of their lives and to change in big and small ways.

One of the problems with blaming others for our problems is that we give them our power. We are waiting for them to change so we don’t have the problem anymore.

If we learn to treat other people the way we want to be treated can we defuse situations? Some people believe it is the only thing that can. Aristotle said if everyone treated everyone as friends we would have no need of government. When instead of turning others into friends we turn them into enemies we have a bigger problem than we started out with.

Haven’t we all heard stories of friends who become friends because of a fight they had when they first met? Could that even happen today with our bullying rules? One of the things we need to do if we are going to live by the golden rule is refuse to get angry. When we allow people to make us angry they win. Sometimes they enjoy seeing us go crazy time and time again as they push our buttons. The antidote is to not react when they push our buttons and then it isn’t any fun for them and we win.

I found The Golden Rule Solution to Racism (as applied to Anti-Semitism) by Izzy Kalman Nationally Certified School Psychologist on the internet. He teaches the Bullies2Buddies system which he created. His aim is to teach individuals to stop being victimized in their personal and work relationships without having to resort to help from the government or lawyers. At his seminars, he demonstrates through role-playing how these same Bullies to Buddies principles can be used to handle prejudice.

We have committed the Gold Rule to memory; let’s commit it to life. Edwin Markham

Except: Bullies to Buddies The Golden Rule Solution to Racism (as applied to Anti-Semitism) by Izzy Kalman

Law Versus Psychology  

What is the main reason for the inadequate progress in reducing prejudice? It’s that we’re trying to solve a psychological problem with a legal approach. The predominant belief in the social sciences is that prejudice exists because the majority population uses its power to create a political system that supports them and keeps weaker groups suppressed. The weaker groups are therefore victims – “the good guys” – and the powerful are the perpetrators – “the bad guys”. A legal solution corrects this unfair situation by passing laws protecting the weaker groups and forcing the stronger to compensate them for having made them suffer. The responsibility is put solely on the powerful side – the perpetrator. No requirements are made of the weaker side since they are the innocent victims.

This legal process is essential for society. However, it is not sufficient. Laws can prevent people from acting badly, but it cannot legislate what people feel and think. Law cannot make people respect each other and want to be friends. Interpersonal relationships is a psychological function, not a legal one. There is a fundamental difference between the legal profession and the psychological profession. In the legal view, when a crime has been committed, one side is the victim and the other side is the perpetrator. But psychology is supposed to be scientific. Science is not about who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Science is about understanding objective reality, figuring out how things work, and making changes if possible.

If I am a psychotherapist and you are my client, my job is to help you figure out how you are causing or contributing to your problems and to lead you to a solution. If I am holding someone else responsible for your problems, how can I help you? I have to work with the other person and make them change. On the other hand, if I am a lawyer and you are my client, my job is to hold someone else responsible for your problem and sue them and make them pay. If I am holding you responsible for your problem, I am not helping you. I am working against you. You should fire me and get yourself a good lawyer.

The legal and the psychological roles are therefore diametrically opposed. The legal profession needs clients to see themselves as victims so that someone else can be held responsible; that is how lawyers make their money. Psychology is supposed to get clients to stop seeing themselves as victims and to solve their own problems. But the legal profession has gotten increasingly involved in the mental health professions – and at our own request. For decades we have been actively lobbying for laws to protect victims from abusers and bullies. We have been fighting for laws against inequality. In essence, we have been acting as though the goals of the legal profession and the mental health professions are identical. In reality, they are opposites.

When we combine law with science, science becomes less objective. It becomes less about understanding what is really going on and more about who is the victim and who is the abuser or perpetrator or bully. And victims, of course, are blameless. They have no responsibility to do anything about their situation since it isn’t their fault. Furthermore, when law is combined with science, law takes over. The legal system decides what we are allowed to do and how we’re supposed to do it. If you have to make a decision between doing what you believe to be scientifically correct and doing what’s legal, you had better do the legal thing or you are going to get into trouble. And that is what is limiting the modern approach to discrimination. We are treating the problem like a legal one, in which the victimized minority is encouraged to complain to the courts and the evil majority has to reform itself and make restitution.

Unfortunately, the legal approach doesn’t make people love each other. If I take you to court for being mean to me, is that going to make you like and respect me? Of course not! You will hate me even more and completely lose respect for me. You will also hate the legal system as well. So you will want to get back at me and the system. The only way to get past this brick wall is by realizing that the legal approach that puts all the responsibility on the powerful side and makes no requirement of the weaker is not going to work. If we have to wait for society to get rid of “power differentials” in order for us to be happy, we are going to be miserable forever. Only when we understand that we have something to do with our situation is there any chance of meaningfully achieving good relationships among people.

Izzy Kalman has a few rules we should follow to turn Bullies into Buddies.

Rule 1: Refuse to get angry.

Rule 2: Treat criticism as the words of your best friend.

Rule 3: Don’t be afraid. Fear is felt toward enemies so when we fear someone we have turned them into an enemy.

Rule 4: Don’t defend yourself. Instead of defending yourself make the other person feel heard.

Rule 5: Don’t attack. When we attack we have turned someone into an enemy because we do not attack friends.

Rule 6: Show you are hurt, not angry. When someone hurts us we want them to feel sorry and to apologize to us. Anger brings out anger. Once the other person gets angry they feel we should feel sorry and apologize.

Rule 7: Don’t tell on bullies. It is unlikely we will turn a bully into a buddy after we get them into trouble with the authorities.

Rule #8: Don’t be a sore loser. Life is like a game. No one wins all the time. But if we go into a rage, stay bitter, and try to get back when we lose. We lose triply. Once – when we lost the game. Twice – we lose respect by getting angry and looking like an idiot. Triple – our loss becomes perpetuated as we continue suffering once the game is over. No one likes a sore loser and no one will want to play with us again. Except perhaps to get us into another rage and have us look like a bigger idiot again.

Is living by the Golden Rule an experiment we should try?

Practicing the Golden Rule is not a sacrifice, it’s an investment. Byllye Avery

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given. Unknown

I have something that I call my Golden rule. It goes something like this: ‘Do unto others twenty-five percent better than you expect them to do unto you.’ The twenty-five percent is for error. Linus Pauling

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The Golden Key and Twenty-Two Additional Essays Paperback – Oct. 27 2015

by Emmet Fox (Author)4.8 out of 5 stars 68 ratings

Desire and expectation. Do we desire what we expect, and expect what we desire?

Do we desire what we expect, and expect what we desire? Desire and expectation.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Hope is desire and expectation rolled into one. Ambrose Bierce

It is said we should never desire a thing we don’t expect to get and never expect anything we don’t want. We need to be definite in our desires and steadfast in our expectations.

How exactly do we manage this? Where does worrying about things fit on the spectrum of desire and expectation? We don’t usually desire what we worry about but we often expect what we worry about to happen which is why we are worrying about it.

Expecting the positive even amid the negative is a challenge to positive thinkers everywhere. It is very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of negative thinking and negative expectation. We worry about the financial fallout of the situation we are in.

One of the things that seem to come out of pandemics is some positive changes. We see things differently. Things we say couldn’t happen that we couldn’t manage, happen, and are managed. We pull together in ways we didn’t think we could. We seem to do our best when we meet challenges. When we face challenges that affect the wider world it may put us at our best.

Leaders are made in times of trouble, they rise to the challenge. Decisions have to be made and they have to make them.

Conspiracy theories abound. Motives are questioned. Is it as easy to believe and expect things to get better as it is to question everyone’s motives and expect things to get worse?

Do some people even living in the same circumstances but viewing them differently have their expectations met? Can we focus on the good or the bad at any time in any situation? Is this how life works? Is it as Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but our thinking makes it so?”

To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces – desire, belief, and expectation. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

When we desire something we are telling the universe what we want and according to Thomas Troward’s writings, desire is the masculine principle of the creative process. and expectation is the feminine principle of the creative process. Without both desire and expectation, nothing happens.

If nothing can happen without a first cause, a mind thinking a thought we can see how careful we must be about the thoughts we think. Then we must be careful about what we expect.

If we think about positive things but expect negative things it makes sense we won’t get the positive thing we are thinking about. This may be why so many people say I think positive but nothing ever happens. If we expect the rich to keep getting richer and the poor to keep getting poorer and that is what we believe is happening then aren’t we getting our expectation?

If we can’t see our lives improving, our health getting better, our relationships healing, or being able to live below our means, what are we expecting?

When we hear some of the advertisements that are being played saying “We will get through this because that’s what Canadians do.” Isn’t that what we all need to be telling ourselves?

We can overcome and get through this. We can make things better? Can we also prosper, heal our relationships, and live in health?

What do we desire and what is our expectation?

Expectation means that there is a desire and a belief in the same space. Abraham Hicks

Expectation is the most powerful condition that you can accomplish, because an expectation is a holding of a desire, a clear desire, and a belief about the same thing at the same time. Abraham Hicks

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. Christopher Reeve

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Thomas Troward Complete Collection – Six Books: The Hidden Power; The Law and The Word; The Creative Process in The Individual; Edinburgh Lectures On Mental Science; Dore Lectures On Mental Science; Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning Paperback – May 27 2019

by Thomas Troward (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

Being and doing to have the things we want in life. Who do we want to be, what do we need to do, to get what we want to have?

Who do we want to be, what do we need to do, to get what we want to have? Being and doing to have the things we want in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. Jane Goodall

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. This is a paradigm shift. If we want to improve every day, every year, and every decade we will have to create habits that help us improve.

If our life is created by the sum of our habits then the things we do without thinking have a big impact on our life. It’s not a big decision to get up in the morning and brush our teeth, we just do it. We wash our hands after using the bathroom.

Are the habits we have serving us and are there new habits we could develop that would serve us as well? Are there certain habits we hear about that if we brought them into our lives would make a difference?

Studying every day is a habit that will pay big dividends in our life. If it is true we will be changed most by the books we read, the people we meet, and the challenges we overcome then choosing to read great books on a regular schedule is a habit we can develop. We can choose when and where to read, what kind of books to read and we can go straight to the source for information.

Lives based on having are less free than lives based on doing or being. William James

We can pick and choose mentors from the array of books we can access. It has never been easier to access books. We can get them through virtual library cards. The latest book pick for my book club is on my phone from a virtual library. We can download some books for free.

Making goals is a good habit to develop. It is one I have resisted and I don’t know why I’ve resisted it. When I think about it, the reason must be because I have not wanted to put the responsibility of making a goal happen. It seems like the strangest thing to choose to be goalless but if we know that if we want to achieve something we will have to work at it to make it happen it might be easier to not set the goal.

We may want to be a writer for instance but then we have to write because writers write. We may want to be a musician but then we have to play an instrument because musicians play, singers sing, painters paint, builders build, and developers develop.

If we want anything in life we will have to be what that person is, we will have to do what that person does to have what that person has. The questions we may have to ask ourselves is who do we want to be, what do we need to do, and what do we want to have?

If for instance, we want to have a happy marriage we have to be a happy person in a marriage, and we have to do the things that create a good relationship so we can have a happy marriage.

What are the steps if continually taken would get us where we want to go? Who do we want to be, what do we need to do, to get what we want to have?

It doesn’t matter what the other is being, doing, having, saying, wanting, demanding. It doesn’t matter what the other is thinking, expecting, planning. It only matters what you are being in relationship to that. Neale Donald Walsch

Taking responsibility means never blaming anyone else for anything you are being… doing… having, or feeling. Susan Jeffers

Your mission: Be so busy loving your life that you have no time for hate, regret, or fear. Karen Salmansohn

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A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough by [Wayne Muller]

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A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough Kindle Edition

by Wayne Muller (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars    46 ratings

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We become what we think, we reap what we sow and we must provide service to others.

We reap what we sow, we become what we think, and we must provide service to others.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. John Crosby

We hear about mentors and even when we haven’t been in a structured mentor program we have them in our lives. Our parents were, of course, our first mentors. It is so funny to see little boys, especially with their fathers as they copy everything their father does. If the father crosses his legs the son crosses his legs.

It is one of the big things we have to realize is our kids look up to us and they make life decisions based on ours. Jerry Stiller, Seinfeld star and father of Ben Stiller died. In an interview, he said his father was a bus driver and he based a lot of his characters on his Dad. He asked his father what he wanted to do in life before he became a bus driver. His father said he wanted to be an actor. Jerry Stiller fulfilled his father’s dream.

When we listen to the life stories some people have, we think how could it be different. Bob Proctor is a speaker who worked five years with Earl Nightingale an American author whose talks have been uploaded to YouTube and one of them is called 19 Minutes that Could Change Your Life. Earl Nightingale has been called the dean of personal development.  At 29 he read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and was suddenly struck by the thought… we become what we think about. Everything started to fall into place for him. He finally felt he had the answers to the questions he had been trying to understand since he was a child which was – what is the secret of success?

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. Margaret Mead

He then wrote The Strangest Secret and by 1956 it was a successful book. By 1976 he won the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters. A friend of Earl Nightingale said, “Earl Nightingale never let a day go by where he didn’t learn something new, and in turn, pass that learning, on to others.”

Earl Nightingale’s message is simple: You become what you think, you reap what you sow, and you must provide service to others that you meet.

We may not in real life meet the mentor of our dreams. If we don’t we can find them in books, YouTube, and seminars.

Last evening I listened to Bob Proctor in an interview with Lewis Howes from the School of Greatness. Bob Proctor was asked what five books he would recommend above all others.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

You were born Rich by Bob Proctor

The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science by Thomas Troward

You Squared by Price Pritchett

It is always interesting to find out what books have impacted people’s lives. What they have read and what they haven’t read. If we want to know something we can usually find it in a book.

Reading can have the biggest impact on our life. We can understand what the great minds thought about, what changes they made in their life and what impacted them. Through books, we can learn anything we want to learn. We can change the way we think and the things we do.

Are we happy becoming what we think, reaping what we sow, and are we providing service to others?

A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. Oprah Winfrey

Most people who decide to grow personally find their first mentors in the pages of books. John C. Maxwell

You can teach a student a lesson a day; but if you teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. Clay P. Bedford

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You Were Born Rich

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You Were Born Rich  Audible Audiobook – Original recording

Bob Proctor (Author, Narrator), Gildan Seminars (Publisher)4.6 out of 5 stars 255 ratings

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Knowing ourselves, thinking we know others. Do we ever really know our self or anyone else?

Do we ever really know our self or anyone else?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be. Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday I read an article in which Jada Pinkett Smith says she realized she doesn’t really know her husband Will Smith. Do we ever really know someone else as well as we think we do? People we think are happy are hiding depression. People we think will do well in situations don’t and people we think can’t adapt, will.

We may think we know everything about our spouse or our children but of course, we don’t. How could we? We often don’t even know everything about ourselves. Do we know what we would do or how we would be if our life took an incredible turn for better or worse?

How would we be as a rich person, poor person, former rich person, former poor person, or former healthy person?  We expect ourselves to be able to ride the waves of life and most of us do, but we don’t actually know how we’ll be in a situation we’ve never been in before and if we don’t know how we’ll be, how can we think we know how someone else will be?

It isn’t that people have dark secrets so much as that we are an enigma; we are mysterious, puzzling, and difficult to understand. Most of us don’t have dark secrets that will be found after our death. We don’t have someone hidden in the attic or a body in the basement, but we may shock or surprise people with our actions and we may wonder why they are shocked.

“I never thought you would do such a thing?” What thing is that? Go after a dream they didn’t know we had? Develop a part of ourselves that doesn’t involve work, kids or our relationship. Is it leaving a marriage everyone thought was happy, leaving a job or career that provides a lifestyle, but feels like its choking the life out of us?

If we are always guided by other people’s thoughts, what is the point of having our own? Unknown

A devoted parent leaves and never sees their children again for years. We can’t imagine how it could happen but that is what we don’t know until we are in situations we didn’t think could never happen to us. How will we react when our life gets turned upside down? How will we react to a loss, disaster, sudden fame, fortune, or a diagnosis that changes everything? Sometimes that diagnosis is what we’ve most longed for, a pregnancy but it will change our lives and we must rise to the occasion. Even though we wish everyone would be fabulous parents we know everyone won’t be. We wish having a child would bring every couple closer but sadly it does not.

Someone has said we should try and understand people even though we can never truly know them. Even when we cannot truly understand them perhaps we can have empathy for what they are going through. If we cannot have empathy because we truly cannot put ourselves in their shoes, we truly cannot see things as they must have seen them, or be seeing them, can we be kind, generous, understanding, loving and forgiving?

Even if we don’t know people as well as we think we do, can we love them, appreciate them, and make the best of our time with them. We don’t know how our life will unfold, or how long a person will be in it, but each person that impacts our lives in big and small ways, adds to the tapestry of life.

Instead of thinking, we know everything about someone else should we try and get to know ourselves better? Do we need to accept we will never know anyone as well as we think we do? How well can we get to know our self?

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

Our first job in life as women is to get to know ourselves. I think a lot of times we don’t do that. We spend our time pleasing, satisfying, looking out into the world to define who we are; listening to the messages, the images, the limited definition that people have of who we are. Michelle Obama

I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you. Jennifer Weiner

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The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by [Brené Brown]

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The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are Kindle Edition

by Brené Brown (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars    5,893 ratings

Persistence and resilience. Are we persistent and resilient?

Are we persistent and resilient? Persistence and resilience.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems. Gever Tulley

A new month starts tomorrow and I’m ready for it. This year April ends with the promise of freedom coming and challenges to face that will require persistence and resilience.

Last night my husband and I went for a lovely walk and a fine mist was falling on our way home. This is likely to be a weird but welcome summer. Will soccer fields stay empty this year?

What a shame for people if this was their year to shine at the Olympics or on a sports team. One of the things we need to be is resilient. Many people over the years have had dreams dashed because of things happening in the world.

Don’t we always have something to deal with in our lives? Why are some people resilient and others not so? Is it something we are born with or do we develop it?

Resilience is the capacity to cope with stress and adversity. It comes from believing in our self and at the same time, in something bigger than ourselves. Is resilience a trait we are born with or is it something we develop through behaviors, thoughts, and actions? Can it be learned and developed by anyone?

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Ten ways to develop resilience:

We can’t fix the problem with the same thinking that created it. We need to be honest and figure out why something happened and take the time to come up with a better plan going forward.

We need to master our emotions instead of letting them control us. Resilient people have a positive outlook. They remind themselves they’ve faced setbacks before, they can do it now, and they will do it again.

Resilient people are tough. They know tough times don’t last but tough people do.

Resilient people keep moving forward. Life doesn’t get easier they get stronger, braver, and more courageous. Life is not what happens to them but what happens within them.

Resilient people are prepared. They work on solving problems instead of being paralyzed by negativity. They keep planning for the future even when they have to revise their plans.

Resilient people fail bigger and fail better, they get themselves up and dust themselves off after every failure and move forward.

Resilient people celebrate small wins. They believe in themselves, work hard, take joy in small things, and enjoy life with gratitude for what they have.

Resilient people find ways to care for others because sometimes caring for others is the best way to care for themselves.

Resilient people maintain strong and supportive relationships. They have strong relationships in the good and the bad times because they can be counted on and they also count on other people.

Resilient people search for meaning in their lives. They find passion and purpose in their lives. They see how their life impacts others, and how their life is impacted. They take a broader view and have a larger perspective.

We need to build resilience in our lives because disappointment, failure, and even success can impact our lives in ways we didn’t imagine. We need to rise to face what is ours to face. We’ve got one life and we need to make it count not just for ourselves but for all those around us we impact.

Can we develop persistence and resilience?

A good half of the art of living is resilience. Alain de Botton

It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks. Bob Richards

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

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Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges by [Steven Southwick, Dennis Charney]

Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges Kindle Edition

by Steven Southwick (Author), Dennis Charney (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

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Finding the ‘why’ in our lives. Do we have passion, purpose, and meaning in our lives?

Do we have passion, purpose, and meaning in our lives? Finding the why in our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

He who has a why can endure any how. Frederick Nietzsche

Finding the ‘why’ in our lives. If we can figure out why we want to do something, achieve something, learn something, or acquire something we can figure out how to do it.

Finding the ‘why’ in our life can be like turning a laser beam on. When all of life is full of hazy lazy light we may feel lost and unmoored but if we take that same light and shine it through a magnifying glass its power becomes focused. If a why isn’t clear in our life before we start a family when we hold our bundle of joy, we immediately have a why in our life. We will put in enormous effort to make this baby’s life better. We’ll need a place for our baby to grow up and thrive. We’ll need clean water and good food. Much of our society has been built on the ‘why’ of making things better for our children.

We can’t have a good society of any kind that doesn’t look after our children. Fortunately, children elicit something in us that makes us want to help them, we want to make things better for children even when the children are not our own.

Having children is a ‘why’ we may stumble on or it may be the next stage in our life. It changes the focus of our life in a way we may not have expected. We think our children will fit into our life but instead, we often fit our lives around our children. Are there any pictures that make us smile as much as those of babies and happy families?

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

There are more whys in life than having kids but in my opinion, it is the biggest one. If we are looking for a why in our life to kick start a new direction, path, or season in our life. We can look at our talents, values, purpose, passions, skills, and expertise. When we look at who we are, what we’ve done, what we’d like to do, what needs to be done, and what we are capable of doing we should be able to find something that needs doing, that creates a why. When we find something that needs doing the question may become if not me who?

We have a why in our life now that is constricting our life in big and little ways. Because we know the consequences of getting sick of a novel virus we are careful to keep ourselves and others safe. This ‘why’, is changing the shape of our days. Can we find a personal why in our lives that would alter the shape of our days and help us build a life with more passion, purpose, meaning, and well-being?

Most ‘why’s’ in life aren’t as big as saving lives or bringing forth the next generation. When we ask ourselves some questions we may find clarity. What makes us come alive? What are our innate strengths? Where can we add the greatest value? How will we measure our life?

Are we looking for challenges that stretch as well as inspire us? Can we find a ‘why’ that will lead to a ‘how’?

If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there. Roy T. Bennett

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dream of meeting your heart’s longing. Oriah

The purpose of life isn’t to be happy; it’s to matter, to feel it’s made some difference that we have lived at all. Leo Rosten

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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Simon Sinek (Author, Narrator), Penguin Audio (Publisher)4.5 out of 5 stars 4,817 ratings#1 Best Seller in Industries & Professions