Words have power, how we use them is a big responsibility.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our words have creative power. With our words, we can speak blessings over our future or we can speak negative things over our future. Joel Osteen

Does our tongue get us into trouble, not just with other people but with ourselves as well? Do we tell ourselves we’ll never be able to accomplish this, overcome that, or rise above circumstances beyond our control?

We might not be able to stop the thoughts that come into our mind but what if verbalizing them is the problem? What if they are without form and substance until we speak them? What would our speech look like if we only talked about the things we want to come to pass? If we get what we focus on and what we focus on is what we speak about, then maybe talking about being fit instead of fat might make a difference.

We know encouraging words work better than discouraging words with our children. In Toastmasters we give twice as much positive feedback as negative, it is not good to only tell people how great they are, we also want to give them feedback to help them improve so they can develop into better speakers.

We may have to work on how to encourage people to better themselves. If we are willing to work on it for others, are we also willing to work on it for ourselves? If we give life to things by speaking them, we must be careful about what we say. Joel Osteen tells us in, “The Power of I Am” we must not just think good thoughts, but we must declare them. If we think we are strong and healthy it is one thing, but to say it gives it power.

Don’t ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs. Unknown

We don’t have to declare things to others, but it sounds like we must be willing to speak about what we want, and what we expect. It might make a big difference in our lives if we are saying, “Now that I’m getting older, aches and pains are coming.” Not every older person gets aches and pains. What if when we get one we can think this isn’t right, what is causing it, and work to eliminate the cause instead of saying oh well what can I expect at sixty-five, seventy, or eighty-five?

I think one of the secrets to Mom’s health is she hasn’t talked much about aches and pains, and when she’s had them she’s worked to eliminate the cause, not accepted it as something that comes with age. We will die, but what if we can die young at a ripe old age? What if youthful thinking and acting are more important than a number, and our thinking, speaking, and actions can make it so?

What if we are all more powerful than we think we are? Like everything, there is a downside to this. We might in our hubris think of someone unfortunate in whatever circumstances, that if they thought better thoughts, and said better words it would be better for them. Perhaps this is where judge not, lest ye be judged comes into play.

We are often disappointed when we have expectations of others and even ourselves. If we hold ourselves to a standard we can’t meet we will deal with disappointment and if we hold others to standards they can’t meet they will disappoint us as well. We are our own control board we can watch the words we speak, but not the words others speak. We can control our own actions but not the actions of others.  

What if for today I only speak about what I want to happen in my life, the lives of others, and the world? What if thinking before I speak is one of the best changes I can make in my life?

Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well. Robin Sharma

Your words have the power to hurt, to heal, open minds, open hearts and change the world. Never forget the responsibility you have over the words you speak. Steven Aitchison

Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the greatest despair. Sigmund Freud

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back again 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 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 live with the decisions we make. Not making a decision is still a decision, but we lose the power to change our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Keri Russell

As I look at my five-month-old grandson I am looking at a unique human being. We are all unique; the only one of us there will ever be with our distinct characteristics, experiences, and gift to give to the world.

Is it true we each have a gift to give to the world or is this just something we’ve told ourselves? What if we act like it’s true? What if we try to be the best us we can be and do the most good, for the most people? What would our scorecard be so far, and what would we like it to be? Death is closer today than it was yesterday for all of us. In two hundred years no one will know who we were, but we are here, we can make our mark here, and if we have a family we have a legacy we will leave behind.

How do we want to be remembered by the generations that will remember us? Will my grandson remember the grandma that could get him to break out into a big smile? Maybe it is more important that I’ll be able to remember how he smiled and welcomed every experience with enthusiasm. I hope he never loses the joy even as he grows up and becomes a man. I hope I can still make him laugh when he’s twenty-five.

Maybe he’ll read one of my books and say, “Grandma you made me think, or maybe he’ll say, “Things must have been really different when you wrote that book.” I hope they aren’t too different, they’ll be different, but maybe they will be different in good ways. I’ve had opportunities my grandmother’s never had; they lived through tough times I’ve never seen. Their children lived through the prosperity they hoped for, and I hope my children and grandchildren continue to live in peace and plenty.

I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions. Stephen Covey

Do we owe a lot of what we have to the good governance which we have in Canada? We may not approve of all our government does, and the decisions that have to be made, but we aren’t embroiled in civil war, and we could be. We aren’t facing famine, and we could be. Our children get an education most of us couldn’t give them if we had to do it all on our own. We have access to health care that we pay for collectively when we need it.

We live in an unfair society but do we know how to create a fairer society? We are fortunate to live in one of the best countries in the world and I know some people rail against it and say it’s not that good, you are deluding yourself. But I think we live in Camelot, it isn’t perfect but in the future, we may look back and wish we could get back to what we didn’t think was good enough, or maybe we will look back and say things are still better for most people in Canada than many other parts of the world, and we are continuing to strive to make things better for even more.

Every country is a collection of the people in it; we get to elect our leaders. No matter who leads us we will not be happy with every decision they make. Sometimes leaders have to make hard decisions and good leaders make the decision they think is best to move the country forward. They may not always make the best decision but perhaps having someone who can make decisions is better than not having a direction at all. We are fortunate we don’t need a revolution to change things. Do we need to be careful about the changes we think will be good for ourselves, our country, and the world? Does trying to be too careful lead to indecision?

Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situations. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be. Unknown

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. Roy E. Disney

It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions. 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 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.

It’s easy to be a critic, but if we can be thinkers and doers we can have an impact in our sphere of influence.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It’s easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change. Wayne Dyer

It is so easy to be a critic and I find myself being critical of what is being done to correct problems even though I don’t have a clue how to solve the problem.

I was listening to Wayne Dyer on YouTube last night, he said he had eight theories about raising children but then he had eight children and no theories. Our theories may help us to go forward thinking we know what should be done, but we may find as we tackle whatever issues we have, environment, climate change, population growth, foreign relations, poverty, water scarcity, etc. that our theories fall by the wayside as we move toward one solution and then another. Why do some of us believe we can’t face the challenges ahead of us when we have faced challenges in the past?

Do we think we aren’t as strong as people in the past? Do we think we aren’t as smart as people in the past? Do we think we aren’t as committed as people in the past? Do we think enough people can’t see what is important as they did in the past? Do we think we are the only ones with the right answer? Do we not even agree on what the problems we need to address are?

I think virtue signaling makes us think we’ve done something when we haven’t done anything at all. Nodding our heads or liking something isn’t taking action. We have to take action to make things happen.

Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already. Dave Willis

My son talked me into taking action. I joined the Conservative party so I can be one of the people who decide on who our next Conservative leader will be. It’s better than shaking my fist, and railing against the decisions others make. I might join the Liberal party when it is time for them to choose their next leader as well. I don’t think it is a small thing to stand for election. Most are making a sacrifice to become our leaders; it is a thankless job because everyone thinks they know how to do it better than the leader. No matter what decisions are made, or directions are taken critics are telling them they are wrong.

Yesterday, I railed against the carbon credit system. I don’t think it is a good system. Some people will get rich selling carbon credits and I don’t think they will have done a thing for the environment, but the long view may be that these credits will be a catalyst for real change down the road. It’s so easy to be a critic but coming up with real solutions is not so easy.

If we have to let the critics criticize and the doers do, which one do we want to be? If we can be thinkers that do and doers that think we can better deal with the challenges ahead.

The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doers in one person. Steve Jobs

A leader is always first in line during times of criticism and last in line during times of recognition. Orrin Woodward

If you can’t tolerate critics, don’t do anything new or interesting. Jeff Bezos

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 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.

Better decisions equal better outcomes. Wouldn’t it be great if we always knew what the better decision would be?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future. Catherine Pulsifer

Time spent in nature rejuvenates us. We were invited to the reception of a wedding that took place a year ago. They will be off on their honeymoon in Greece in about a week. With the happy couple will be her grandparents that haven’t been back to Greece in seventy years.

We all have had it hit over our head with the sledgehammer of a worldwide pandemic that life is uncertain and if there are things we want or need to do, to get to it.

We were invited up to a cottage on Saturday and followed the GPS which took us on a scenic tour, but we arrived at our destination. A cabin nestled in the woods with a huge granite rock at its doorstep, and a wide screened-in porch on the back facing the river allowed us to watch a parade of boats cross the river, all shapes and sizes all day long.

What a lovely spot to spend the day and we didn’t get one mosquito bite although they were some of the most giant mosquitoes we’ve ever seen. When we were outside we sat on a deck in the sun and bugs and mosquitoes didn’t bother us. We had a lovely day talking and laughing with friends and the GPS on the way home took us the short way to the highway.

Friends, food, and laughter in a beautiful setting, what a wonderful way to spend a day. When we don’t spend time in nature we don’t realize how much we miss it. Finding balance in our lives is not easy and it is easy to focus on what needs to be done so much that other facets of our lives are neglected. We may be going through stages of our life we don’t like. Not seeing eye-to-eye may seem like we live with contrarians.

The hardest decisions in life are not between good and bad or right and wrong, but between two goods or two rights. Joe Andrew

We’ve never seen eye-to-eye on everything, that is why we have opinions, but it seems opinions have become more contentious, as the sides we take have become more us against them. Instead of realizing we don’t see eye-to-eye on a small part of a big subject, we are talking as if we don’t see eye-to-eye on anything.

It seems we used to be flexible about agreeing on the big picture but not on all the small details, now we are discussing small details like they are the big picture. Perhaps I am not correct, but it seems to me everything is causing us to become more polarized in our views, us against them is rearing its head more as we settle into armed camps of believing we don’t all want a good society even if we don’t all agree what makes a good society. We think our mistakes, missteps, and errors in thought are understandable, but we can’t understand others’ mistakes, missteps, and errors in thinking and judgment.

Where is the idea that other people mean well even if they are misguided? Why do we now have to believe in “Science” but only one kind of science, and not the other views that are questioning hypotheses and assumptions? We might find in one conversation we are on the right side, and with another group of friends or family, we are on the wrong side of their thinking.  

Maybe to get along we just nod and smile without interjecting our opinion. We are blessed to live in a country where we can have dissenting opinions and for the most part, we all get along finding common ground on what is most important.

I sometimes think we live in “Camelot” and hope we can continue to live in peace and prosperity. Even as I say it I know prosperity is not evenly distributed and we have issues with homelessness, and other social ills we don’t know how to deal with.

Life is not getting easier for most people, but looking backward we may think life was easier for people when it really wasn’t. We don’t know how hard it was keeping families together in the past? Relationships were still fraught with hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Keeping things together, putting a roof over a family’s head, and providing the necessities have always been a struggle for some and easier for others.

Our view of life is not the only view. We might think we should all be seeing life the same, but how can we when we have different circumstances, challenges, beliefs, and perspectives? We can’t walk in another person’s shoes so we will never see things exactly how they see things, and they will never see things exactly how we see things, and we need to be okay with that.

Do we want to control others when we can only control ourselves? If only they thought right or did things our way, life would be better for all of us. Making decisions and living with the consequences is how we all have to live. Better decisions equal better consequences, but we don’t always know which is which.

We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions. If we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals. Stephen Covey

Sometimes it’s the smallest decision that can change your life forever. Keri Russell

Consider every choice carefully, no matter how small, for it will affect the bigger decisions you make. Jim George

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 for reading my books. 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.

Harness the compound effect in your life. It is working in your life but is it working for you or against you?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Smart, small choices + consistency + time = radical difference. Darren Hardy

In October of 2020, I wrote about the compound effect. The theme at Toastmasters was “Looking Forward” where do we see ourselves in five years. I said I wanted to be a grandma, have more novels published, and a line of children’s books written, illustrated, and published. I’m beginning to make audacious goals, for too many years I wasn’t willing to commit to any goals at all. Darren Hardy in the compound effect tells us decisions shape our destiny and the effect of our decisions compound.

We’ve all heard if we set a little money aside in our youth and watch it grow with compound interest it will outgrow our savings at an older age. Our habits compound, if we eat 100 calories more than we burn off every day it will compound into something we won’t be happy with. If we do a little exercise every day it will compound into something we are happy with.

We often think it is big things that shape our lives, the big decisions we have or haven’t made and they are important, but the little things we do daily are what we have real control over.

Taking control of our life, our finances, and our fitness may seem daunting. I was looking at mutual funds we started long ago. The good thing about them was we could put in a small amount of money every month. The bad thing is they charge a 2.69% fee to do it. A couple of years ago I took some money out of it and put it in a self-directed TFSA investment account and bought some good Canadian dividend stock. I am told that by reinvesting my dividends I can watch the magic of compound growth over the next few years. Marc Lichtenfeld author of “Get Rich With Dividends” tells us the secret is to hold the stock long enough to see the compound effect work instead of selling and buying something that looks more promising. Buying and selling cause many to lose money in the stock market. The buy-and-hold folks, holding good strong dividend companies are who make the money over time. They aren’t fancy stocks, they chug along, but it is the chugging along decade after decade that makes the money. Dividends, paid upon dividends, paid on the dividends-dividends add up.

It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds of thousands or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Darren Hardy

Since going the Indie Author route I’m not waiting for a publisher to tell me if my work will be published, or if the sales weren’t good enough on my first book they wouldn’t publish the second one. I’m now working on my third novel and my second children’s book. I am producing the work, making it the best I can, and putting it out into the world. Where it goes once it is out in the world I don’t know, but I’ve done what I have control over by creating it.

Remember the experiment with a glass of water where we keep doubling the amount of water and the glass is only half full when the next time it doubles it is full to overflowing. This is one of the reasons we get disheartened when we watch the small imperceptible growth of one drop becoming two drops, and two drops becoming four until eventually, one half becomes full. Often we give up before we start seeing results thinking it will never become anything at this rate, but because we quit we don’t know what it could have become.

Too often we sabotage ourselves by not accomplishing what we want to. We talk ourselves out of doing it; we think we don’t risk failure if we don’t try. But we can’t risk success if we aren’t willing to risk failure. Those who do well in life often embraced good habits, and those good habits compounded over time, and by having the courage to risk failure, they achieve success.

We can rest assured the compound effect is working in our lives. Is it working in a way we are happy with?

The complete formula for getting lucky: Preparation (personal growth) + attitude (belief mindset) + opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + action (doing something about it) = luck. Darren Hardy

The real cost of a four-dollar-a-day coffee habit over 20 years is $51,833.79. That’s the power of the compound effect. Darren hardy

A daily routine built on good habits and discipline separates the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful. Darren Hardy

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 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 sales through the Amazon affiliate program.

Our choices define our lives. When we make better choices we live better lives. Choose wisely.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The choices we make dictate the life we lead. Unknown

How many times have we quit when we should have kept going, and kept going when we should have quit? I’d be surprised if we can’t all think of times we should have kept going and other times we kept trying to make something happen that was never going to happen. Knowing which situation we are in can be the difficult part.

My son-in-law tells me of someone he knows who got a friend a job. It sounds like a good job, he was sick for a few days and when the guy who got him the job called him he said he wasn’t going back to work. This sounds like a situation where perseverance was needed, maybe the job and he wasn’t well suited. What he probably should have done is keep the job until he found something else so he could do the other things young men his age should be doing, finding a partner, and building a future.

Sometimes we have things we prefer to do, but they don’t always pay the bills and help us build a life. Writing is one of those things. There are people who make a lot of money off of the books they write, but most authors do not. This doesn’t mean we should give up writing, it might mean we should keep our day job.

Writing feeds my soul but the fact it can be a pastime, interest, and hobby instead of giving me my daily bread is freeing. It’s a side hustle that I enjoy, my life is better for doing it, and my life is opening up in ways it wouldn’t without it.

My life would be so much poorer without writing and art. I am blessed to have time for these pursuits.

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

Some people can pursue artistic careers without a day job to pay the bills. Some may say the day job as insurance will keep you from reaching your full potential because you have a backup plan which means you aren’t all in. I do think I’ve found my niche, something that feeds my soul, something that is part of my life but not my whole life.

We all have to decide what “The Good Life” is to us. Last night sitting outside with my husband, daughter, son-in-law and new grandson it felt like we are living the good life. A long conversation with Mom and one of my sisters over the weekend, planting my garden, trying a new coffee my son-in-law found, and listening to my son’s seminar as I made breakfast, and coffee out with my husband. All of these add up to a wonderful weekend.

Is everything perfect? Define perfection. We can’t have everything; we often have to choose between two goods, and sometimes between the best of not-so-goods. Life is a choice and we come to forks in the road where we can only choose one path, the worst thing to do is not choose and stagnate where we are. We made those kinds of choices when we got married, had children, started a business, or changed jobs. Everything we do in life changes us and those we don’t do change us too. Life is about growth, change, and the decisions we make each day create our life. Those decisions might not seem big at the moment but over time going for a walk over not going for a walk, eating an apple instead of a chocolate bar, drinking water instead of soda, and not reacting to everything that irks us adds up.

It is unlikely we will be proud of every choice we make. Sometimes we can go back and make a different choice, sometimes we can’t. The more wisely we choose the better our tomorrow will be.

We are a product of the choices we make, not the circumstances we face. Roger Crawford

Life is all about making choices. Always do your best to make the right ones, and always do your best to learn from the wrong ones. Unknown

Every choice that we make creates consequences, consequences in the lives of others and we experience them in ourselves, those same consequences, every choice that we make.  And by the way the choices that you might think are the most important are not always the most important. Gary Zukav

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, or see archives and 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 and Amazon. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage through the Amazon Affiliate program.

Moral high ground. Agreeing to disagree. Seeing hope despite the darkness.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings. Albert Einstein

We don’t agree on many things. We don’t agree with co-workers, neighbors, experts, our government, our spouses, our kids on many levels and many subjects. We have to be okay with not agreeing because what is the alternative? Someone compelled to believe what we believe doesn’t work because compelling someone to act like we are right, doesn’t change the way they think, in fact, this probably leads to passive-aggressive behavior. When we can’t openly disagree we act out our disagreement in other ways.

There are times we should stand our ground and make our point. We also have to know when we’ve made our point. When there is nothing more to be gained except to ruin what we have, what we are standing up for.

Agreeing to disagree is the resolution of a conflict that requires all parties to tolerate the opposing positions, even when they do not accept it as the best choice. We can’t always get what we feel is the best choice because the other party does not feel it is the best choice. Expecting everyone to agree and go through life without disagreeing on what the correct response is; is not the correct response.

The problem appears to me to be how to stand down when we’ve taken a stand without ruining what we had before we took the stand. Often people don’t stand up for what they think is right because they fear the cost of standing up is too high. There is also a cost to not standing up, and there is a cost to not realizing when we’ve made our stand and it is time to stand down.

Maintaining high moral ground is a tough thing to fight. I’m reading that when 3.5% of the people get behind a non-violent movement change happens. One of the ways to destroy such a movement is for it to descend into violence, for people with nefarious purposes, and rabble-rousers to get involved that are looking for a fight.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Unknown

We know in our personal relationships that maintaining high moral ground puts us in the winning position, but when we allow our temper to get the best of us, often we lose any ground we’ve won.

It’s a good place to live, on moral high ground. It’s a good place to build our society, and raise our children. Moral high ground isn’t perfect; it isn’t about not making a mistake as a people, a family, or a government. It is doing the best we can, most of the time with what we had at the time. Looking back we may think if we knew then what we know now we’d have made a different decision. That is the human condition we didn’t know what the unexpected consequences of our actions would be.  

Building families, societies, and countries is a messy business. We make decisions with unintended consequences. There are winners and losers and everyone is not happy with outcomes. Everyone would not be happy if the outcome was different.

If we stand on moral high ground, everyone may not think we are right, but when we can look ourselves in the eye and think we’ve done the best with what we had and tried to do the most good for the most amount of people that’s a good way to live a life. Two sides don’t have to agree and they can both think they are standing on moral high ground.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. Winston Churchill

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Desmond Tutu

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

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

Thank you to those who read my books. 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.

Everyone is writing a book, are you? Are you worried you might offend someone?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next. Nora Ephron

Last night at Toastmasters one of the new members has written four books. I’ve written three, and another lady is taking a course to help publish hers. We had this conversation when there were only a few of us in the meeting. Everyone has a story to tell and maybe the more people tell their stories the more we will understand each other.

What if we could understand people’s thoughts and feelings stated in their own words? If we could understand how they believe things they’ve done, said, left undone, or unsaid were interpreted or misinterpreted. Would we be so quick to label them as this or that?

Joe Rogan comes to mind. We can listen to his conversations because he has a podcast and he’s had it for years. He discussed a word that is forbidden to say and he is now in trouble. I don’t believe we should live in a country and interact with people and some people can say something others cannot. Now, I know people do say things amongst themselves and that would be fine. But, this word is in the songs our children sing, but they can’t sing the word. We have to be absolutely crazy to think this is OK.

Don’t use the OK sign while you complain because that supposedly has connotations and overtones. We may not agree when people stand up for something that it is exactly what they are standing up for. We don’t understand other people’s sensitivities and what is important to them. Being told, “you have to or else,” is a red flag to some, and good behavior to others. Who is right, who is wrong? What happened to agree to disagree, what happened to the middle way?

The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say but what we are unable to say. Anais Nin

I said to my husband yesterday, “We both believe in the concept of equality, we don’t agree with what that is.” Equal opportunity, versus equal outcome, who is right? How can we ever get an equal outcome?

Back to writing books. If each of us writes a book, about one in ten or even less is likely to make money. Sometimes what makes money is seen as a commercial success that doesn’t have as much merit in some people’s eyes as what they consider, “True Art.” Some people would prefer to be seen as, “The true artist,” others would prefer to make money. I don’t think being a commercial success makes you less of an artist just because it’s a commercial success, and just because you aren’t a commercial success doesn’t make it, “True Art.”

There are many gray areas in life, and if we want a successful, and mostly harmonious civilization we will have to live with a lot of gray areas. We will have to accept that even the most well-intentioned people can be awkward and have their words misinterpreted. Staying away from difficult conversations doesn’t make a better civilization. It doesn’t work in families, communities, or countries. Perhaps we have to have the right to feel offended, but does that mean we can take away the freedom or livelihood from those who offend us?

I have a book called “Unoffendable” and I think the more we try not to take offense in life the better our life will be. We now have micro-aggressions people are complaining about. I absolutely believe they occur; some people live their life in a passive-aggressive mode because they aren’t powerful enough to be assertive or aggressive. People aren’t perfect, the stoics wrote about what we are dealing with as people, the bible and other books talk about it. The human condition and coping with the slings and arrows of life is what we have to deal with.

Society will never be perfect because it is made up of people. We may prefer unemotional robots, but we have to deal with people and their imperfections. One of the ways to have an unhappy life is to have unrealistic expectations, and be upset when others don’t live up to them. We can work on ourselves and we will never reach perfection, but trying to fix other people doesn’t work at all.

I usually write about things that frighten me. Otherwise, what’s the point? Kafka once said we need books not to be entertained by them but for them to be like an ax on the frozen sea of our souls. David Grossman

People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument. Will Rogers

If your everyday life seems poor to you, do not accuse it; accuse yourself, tell yourself you are not poet enough to summon up the riches; since for the creator there is no poverty and no poor or unimportant place. Rainer Maria Rilke

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

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

Thank you to those who read 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 make a purchase I receive a percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Self-expression helps us feel capable and lovable does this lead to self-esteem?

Self-expression helps us feel lovable and capable does this lead to self-esteem?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature. Dale Carnegie

I did get my second novel Secrets and Sorrow published in print on Amazon on February 1, 2022. The EBook will be available on February 5th. There was a time when I agonized about whether I should self-publish or try to publish at all.

I know a lot of people look down on people who self-publish, but unless we are a big name or get paid a huge advance for our book we aren’t getting a lot of money put into it to promote it. We still have to be the ones building our readership. If that’s the case why not take full control?

Writing a book is not a sure-fire way to fame and fortune but it does lead to an interesting life with doors opening because of the book we never thought might open. As a speaker we are a little more interesting, someone might want to interview us. Some authors will even become paid speakers.

When we take a chance on ourselves, build the business, create something, find a niche and carve a place out for ourselves our lives take on a dimension they didn’t have before. It isn’t only about the money although if money comes our way it is usually something we are grateful for. The big payoff is our self-development. We become more of who we are meant to be.

There was a time when artisans and creators created everything one at a time. There was no mass production, no big factories. Mass production has done a lot for society but in the history of mankind has only been around for a short time.

What a company like Amazon does for someone like me is give me a place to sell what I’ve created. It is offering this to lots of creative people to market their creations. Technology is giving us opportunities if we take advantage of them. There are so many ways we can develop ourselves, our interests, and our talents. I don’t advocate being a starving artist; I didn’t take that route myself.

There is an idea out there that we don’t need a huge following to make it as an artist, singer, writer, or any other creative endeavor. The idea is if we can get one thousand true fans we can turn our art, writing, or another enterprise into a viable business.

If we’re really committed to growth, we never stop discovering new dimensions of self and self-expression. Oprah Winfrey

The idea is not to make it big on one record, book, or idea but to build a body of work and an audience over time. The best way to do it may be to build a life that pays the bills in another way and have the creative pursuits not have the heavy burden of paying for our livelihood. We hear multiple streams of income are the way to build a great life. The more streams of income we have coming in the less dependent we are on any of the streams, and the more financial stability we can build into our lives.  

If I had to do it over I’d build multiple streams of income early, but we all are where we are, and we have to do the best with what we have. It’s not like multiple streams of income is a new concept but we did what a lot of people do. We thought we would get to that next year and our next years have caught up with us.

Yesterday I read a post that said our best and most productive years are between 50 and 80. Unfortunately, a lot of us are just getting to the best years of our lives when we retire. Sometimes retirement gives us opportunities but sometimes we buy the idea we are old and a has-been, of little worth with not much to offer. We have what we’ve always had to offer if we will offer it.

My aunt lived until 97 and said, “I’m going to live until I die.” She meant she was living with passion and purpose. I think she still bowled into her nineties. She took up figure skating as a senior. Life will be over one day, for all of us, but we can make the most of it while we can. What is calling out for us to express? Do we want to paint, write, quilt, build something, or grow something? Whatever it is if we find a way to bring it into our lives even in some small way, a dimension will be added to our life that may pay dividends we can’t even imagine.

Self-expression is a vital part of understanding life and enjoying it to the full. Oliver Bowden

Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment. Pearl S. Buck

Art is a platform where self-expression should not be limited. I’m here to inspire. There is no age-limit to that. Shania Twain

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

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories 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 purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program

Knowing what we can control and operating within our sphere of influence leads to the good life.

Operating within our sphere of influence and knowing what we can control leads to the good life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Don’t let the things you can’t control affect the things you can control. Unknown

How much of what we do or don’t do is controlled by fear? When does it hold us back from things we want to do, be, have, or become?

I’m on the verge of releasing the sequel to Secrets and Silence called Secrets and Sorrow. I wonder, but try not to worry about how it will be received. It won’t make a ripple in the ocean of books available, but it is a big thing to me. It is another accomplishment and if we keep adding accomplishments to our life we end up with full rewarding lives.

We don’t get to control what others think of us or our work, but we can control our work to the degree we can. We can control our attitude and our actions. How others treat us, what they think of us, if they help us or try to hold us back we have no control. In many cases, people have the power and control over us we give to them. If we have a boss that doesn’t see our potential and appreciate our contribution we can get another boss or start our own company. Instead of holding us back their negativity towards us may spur us to develop a life that is better.

Some people in their early lives were told they wouldn’t amount to much and instead of letting that kill their spirit they used it to spur them on to show that the person who said it was wrong. It is probably true whether we think we can or we think we can’t accomplish something, we are correct.

Many of us want things we can’t control and that is futile. We are not in control of whether we live a long healthy life although we can do things to make it more possible. We are not in control of whether we get rich or famous although once again we can do things that might make it a possibility. We are not in control of whether people like us, approve of us, want to be our friends or our life partners. Here again, we can do what makes it more likely by doing our part to be good friends, potential life partners, and do our best in our work.

You can’t control other people. You can only control your reactions to them. Unknown

There are things in life we have absolutely no control over, things we have some control over, and things we have complete control over. Too many of us spend our time worrying about things we have no control over and little time thinking about what we have complete control over.

Some people may take this to mean they should not keep informed about world events. There is a difference between being informed and railing against what we can’t change to such a degree there is no energy to look after what we have complete control over.

Some writers have used this time of angst to write and publish books; some say the angst and turmoil have made it so they can’t write. If we want to influence things on a greater scale we need to work from our positions of influence. We need to start with what we can do. Many people who become influential never set out to become influential they set out to do the best they could with what they had. They built up their life to such a degree that others looked at them and said. How did you do that? We want you in politics, we want to read your book, and we want to know how you could accomplish so much.

Lots of people want to be rich and famous but these are by-products, not the end themselves. We become rich because we do things that help other people and they pay us and we help more people and more people pay us. Singers and songwriters become rich because we love their music and buy their songs to enrich our lives. Sports players are the same providing entertainment. People buy our books for the same reason, to have something to read. Sometimes we buy a book to have it on our bookshelves even if we don’t read it. I have The Complete Works of Shakespeare and I would thumb through it more but the print is so small I need to buy another one I can actually read.

We have so much that is possible in this life if we concentrate on what we can control, what we can somewhat control, and leave what we can’t control alone. As we look after the first two we might even become one of the people whose sphere of influence grows.

Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Our focus and energy need to be on the things we can control. Attitude, effort, focus – these are the things we can control. Tim Tebow

One of the most rewarding and important moments in your life is the moment you finally find the courage to let go of what you can’t change. marcandangel

Never regret being a good person, to the wrong people. Your behavior says everything about you, and their behavior says enough about them. marcandangel

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

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. 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.