Self improvement

Where have I been?

Lawson gives a big grin to his cousin Jillian.

 

Well, I’ve been away because I was hesitant to write about the things going on in our lives.  I got clearance from “the boss” and so here goes nothing.

Back in November, Michelle got laid off.  When she got laid off, her company car went away as well.  Well thank you very much, cut the income and slap us with a huge unplanned expense at the same time.  Ouch.   We managed.  She got a good used car that is reliable, safe, and fuel-efficient.

Let me go back a little bit in time. (picture Wayne’s World doodly doo motion here)  Back in August, we moved to a new house.  Then in September, we got Lawson. Both of those were rather significant expenditures.  No need to talk numbers, but suffice it to say they were both budget busters.  So, to continue painting the picture….we had two mortgages when Michelle got laid off.  Ouch.

But wait, there’s more!  In December, Marvin, Michelle’s dad began having a serious medical concern.  I don’t have clearance to write about all the details, but suffice it to say it was serious enough to require hospitalization, and at present he is still in the hospital.  (though that may change soon)

Enough with the negative stuff, now for the positive.  As a result of some personal growth training I went through in our days back in Cincinnati, I have learned to try to always identify the opportunity in any given situation, no matter how challenging.  (yes Gator, I  paid attention)  The biggest and most significant positive is the fact that I now am the proud parent of two sons!  Lawson is growing like a weed.  He is in 6-9 month clothes (at 4 months old)  with the sleeves and pant legs rolled up.  He is happy and healthy, and so is Logan.

Logan is almost completely potty trained.  We have had a couple of accidents, but by and large that one can be checked off the to do list.

We also found a renter for the old house.  It was a family whose own home had burned just before Christmas.  They had a need for a 4 bedroom home to rent for a relatively short period of time, and we needed just that.  We gave them our old dining room furniture since theirs was ruined.  That felt pretty good.

Work has been a positive for me as well.  Sometimes hard work does pay off.  I’ve been recognized for what I know and can do, and while I am not at liberty to give specifics, suffice it to say that good things are in the works.

I am grateful to have good friends who are supportive and caring.  In fact, I read something interesting today.  Psychologists have come up with a method to measure happiness.  (Don’t ask how, I have no idea)  In their findings, they determined that a $10,000 raise in pay, on average, raised a person’s happiness by 2%.  A good and trusted friend raised it by 9%.  Also, there was only a very slight difference in the happiness levels of people who were millionaires over those of us who are everyday Joe’s.   It is an interesting article, and here is the link if you care to read it yourself.  One other point the article made was that people who display an attitude of gratitude are measurably happier.

Sure, times are tough for our little family at the moment, but I believe the reason for all of this, while not clear at the moment, is all part of God’s plan, and will have an outcome more positive than I can conceive.  In the meantime, we are paying our bills, looking for opportunities, and being grateful for what we have.

I’d like to request that you please keep Marvin in your prayers.

Thanks for reading.

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Categories: Adoption, Happiness, Life Success, Self improvement | 2 Comments

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and came to the conclusion that the process of committing your thoughts to a more permanent media than mere mental exercise has an effect that is surprising.  My personal opinion is that it forces us to slow down and be more considered about what we are wanting to say and just what exactly is going on in our head.  I’ve written blog posts that have great emotion behind them, and I’ve written posts that are merely the product of my twisted sense of humor.  One thing I have learned is that no matter what the inspiration for writing was at the beginning, my thoughts almost unfailingly take me someplace I didn’t anticipate as my destination when I started to write.

The same friend I mentioned above is considering a change of direction in life that feels like leaping off a cliff.  I have been in positions like that before and can empathize. (there was my “aha moment” just now…I know where this post is going finally)  I’ve written about it before, and I’ll likely write about it again, but when I went through Life Success Seminars’ program, one thing I learned that keeps coming back to me is to be aware and not to let my life’s direction be ruled by fear.  A life ruled by fear is a life of regret. I’m not advocating we all go out and pursue a career in modeling or something equally silly (modeling would be ridiculous for me, maybe not for you), but I am saying that we as human beings are at our best when we push ourselves beyond the confines of our comfort zone.  Nothing new, exciting, or life changing happens if we are always comfortable.  For some, comfortable is a goal in and of itself.  I do not fault them.  For me, I need something more challenging.  Parenthood was one of those moments for me.  I took that leap and have not regretted it for a single second. 

Pause for a moment, and reflect on what things have been rattling around in your head that you’ve considered doing but haven’t because of fear; fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of stepping outside your comfort zone.  Maybe it is something as simple as volunteering for a good cause? Maybe you’ve always wanted to play guitar?  Maybe you have the idea for the next great novel gathering dust in an ignored corner of your mind?  The world isn’t changed by extraordinary people necessarily, it is changed by those who show up and give it a shot.  There was a day when your present job was new and unfamiliar.  There was a day when the way you live now was a leap into the unknown.   You survived.  You’ve done it at least once already.  What is keeping you from doing it again?  Maybe you should write a few things down, make them more real and take a step toward making your life just a little bit more rich.  Go ahead, you can do it.

Categories: Adoption, Happiness, Life Success, Parenting, Self improvement | 1 Comment

Modern medicine, tiny bugs and ticking clocks.

As usual, I’m using something going on in my own life to wax philosophic about wider issues. Today is exactly one month after my surgery,
and I am pleased to report that my healing is going remarkably well.  Physical therapy is never a fun thing, but it is a necessary evil and it is proving to me that it is worth the pain and effort. I’ve regained about 95% of my range of motion in my right shoulder and my strength is improving daily. Two weeks ago I couldn’t lift my right arm to shoulder height, period. Now I can not only raise it all the way vertical, but I can do so with a 3 lb weight 45 times. Baby steps are encouraging.

A probable case of swine flu was identified 3.4 miles from my home yesterday. Of course that gets the mind thinking about being more cautious when it strikes that close, and naturally with a 4 month old at home, I’m just a bit more cautious than most.  The swine flu outbreak also got me thinking about the complexities of our natural world. Some of the reports I’ve read indicate that this particular variant of influenza H1N1 is a combination of a human flu and swine flu DNA.  I’m no genetic specialist, but that seems amazing to me. A little microscopic microbe has the ability to mutate in such a way that all of a sudden the entire planet full of billions of people could be impacted.  It makes me realize just how tenuous and fragile life is. I read about the 1918 Spanish flu as a result of this being in the news.  They estimate that 675,000 people in the US died as a result of that outbreak, but 20-40 million people died worldwide. Think about that for just a minute…..20-40 million people died because a virus mutated. I’m not trying to be a scare monger, that is not my point here at all.  What I would like for you to take away from reading this is that we have absolutely no idea when the next thing like this may occur. You have no idea when your particular clock may run out.  It may be 50 years from now, it may be 15 minutes from now.  I suggest that we not live in fear, and not live in ignorant defiance (wash your hands people, it is easy), but instead live in gratitude for what we have and the time we have.

Enjoy the time you have with people you like doing things you enjoy. Life is too important to get it wrong. Keep trying different things until you find what makes you happy.

Categories: Happiness, Self improvement | 1 Comment

Fulfillment.

I’ve been pondering the concept of fulfillment.  I think it means something different to each one of us.  I also think that there are widely varying degrees of fulfillment we are capable of experiencing.   Dictionary.com offers these two interpretations of the word that appealed to me.

1. a feeling of satisfaction at having achieved your desires
2. the act of consummating something (a desire or promise etc)

Somehow I don’t think that definition quite sums up the feeling adequately.  Sure the words are all appropriate, but there is more to it that words simply cannot convey.   I’ll stay conceptual for a few more moments.  For some people achieving that promotion or finally getting that dream car or dream house they’ve always aspired to having are fulfilling things.   For others the moment they finally open their heart and allow the Lord into their lives for the first time is the best way to describe fulfillment.   I’m also quite certain that your position in the linear time line of life has a lot to do with what you find fulfilling.   Did you ace the test?  Did you score the winning point?   Buying your first house, getting married, having your first child, starting a company, retirement, watching your kids succeed…all these things could be fulfilling things for someone.

I would like for you to consider for a moment just what is it that makes something qualify as fulfilling?  I’ve learned that I am quite often not representative of the public at large, but I’ll give you my thoughts on this subject. (hey, you can stop reading any time, no one is forcing you)  I believe that, at least for me, in order for something to be fulfilling, it has to be significant to me in at least two of the three following categories, physical, emotional or spiritual.  If it touches all three, then it is that much more powerful.   We tend to live our lives seldom engaging all three of those categories, and most days only one.  As I sit here and think about the things that have happened in my life that would qualify as fulfilling experiences the most vivid memories are those that engaged all three.

For those of you out there who are parents, you already know this, but for any of you who stumbled upon my blog because you were looking for information about adoption, let me target you for just a minute.  Since we adopted Logan in December of 2008, I have had more moments of fulfillment in that 4 month period than during any prior period I can recall.  I waited a long time to become a parent, and much of my reasoning was that I was never convinced that the benefits outweighed the costs.  Let me tell you, from the perspective of a reformed skeptic, the benefits absolutely overwhelm the costs.   I’ve had magical memorable moments in my life.  Witnessing bighorn sheep head butting on a sheer cliff face in Rocky Mountain National park, swimming within an arms reach of a nurse shark I did not know was there,  and many more.  They all pale in comparison to holding your child for the first time.  I was lucky enough to hear Logan’s first cries, and hold him just minutes after he was born.  I will never forget the relief I felt when I heard him scream for the first time at 5:58 pm on December 15th.  I will cherish the times he has fallen asleep on me.  I vividly remember the first time he smiled at me because he recognized me.  And I cannot wait until the first time I hear him call me Daddy.  Children, whether they are yours biologically or not, are an amazing mixture of physical, emotional and spiritual.  Ask any parent, and I bet they will tell you that the best and worst times in their lives revolved around their kids.   Life before kids seems like I had been watching a 12 inch black and white tv and now that I’m a dad, I’m watching an 75 inch color HDTV.  The difference is that dramatic.   For any of you potential adoptive fathers out there who wonder if you can accept a child that is not your genetic material as your own, I hope you find it in your heart that you can.  I don’t know how I could have ever doubted my ability to do so.  I love that little guy more than I ever thought possible.

In fact, I think I’ll go watch a little Logan TV…..on a 7 inch black and white screen…..how ironic.

I posted a few new pictures taken yesterday in the back yard,  just follow the link on the right side.

Fulfillment as I see it.

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Categories: Adoption, Happiness, Parenting, Self improvement | Tags: , | 7 Comments

How do you define success?

I would like to give credit to the site where I found this which officially makes this not plagiarism.

http://deesinbox.com/2009/01/09/ohhh-this-is-goooood-charlie-schulz-philosphy/

She claims that this is a philosophy from Charles Shultz, creator of the Peanuts comic.  I don’t have any proof of that, and one of her commenters claimed it was not, so I will not claim to know one way or another.

You don’t have to actually answer the questions….just ponder them.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the ‘headliners’ of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But, the applause dies..

Awards tarnish.

Achievements are forgotten

Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think  of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials..the most money…or the most awards.
They simply are the ones who care the most.

Pass this on to those people w ho have made a difference in your life, like I did.

”Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!’

Categories: Happiness, Self improvement | Leave a comment

Old friends

One of the things that I have learned with age and experience is that you cannot put a price on the value of a good friend.   Both Michelle and I participated in a process that helped us to discover the things in life that are important to us.  We each realized that a quality friendship with a person whom you trust is something that enriches your life and makes life just a little bit better.   Michelle has renewed friendships she had let lie fallow for many years (hey Kim) and could not believe just how much she missed that person.  I have also been in the process of renewing some friendships, and had a great experience tonight along those lines.

Back in college I had a friend who, as most women are, was more in touch with who she was at the time than I.  To make a long and personal story short, I blew that friendship some 20+ years ago.  I’m sure most of you out there can think of a person from your past who was a friend at one time and whose presence you miss.   Well, I missed the long conversations I used to have with Claudia.   Doing one of those slightly creepy things you can now do given the pervasiveness of Google is search for people.  It isn’t as easy to find women given the cultural habit of changing the last name when they marry.  Fortunately for me, Claudia was still using the same last name, and I found her because she hosts a radio show on a jazz station in San Diego.  (http://www.jazz88.org)  {she hosts the evening drive time show from 5-7 California time….you should listen online}  I have emailed her a few times, and she had graciously allowed me to clear the slate of the past.  Anyway, I was listening to her show today and she announced that the third caller would win tickets to a holiday play.  I called.  I was the right caller.  The fun of shocking her by telling her who I was was worth it alone, but reconnecting by phone was truly fulfilling.

Why have I bothered to relay this long winded story that has no bearing on your life?  If someone popped to mind when I told you about my situation, then you too have an opportunity to renew an old friendship.   It is the holiday season, what better time to find an old friend?

Thanks Claudia for your friendship.  And thank you dear reader for listening to another of my tangents.

Categories: Happiness, Life Success, Self improvement | 2 Comments

The impact just one person can make.

I’ve written before about my near obsession with recycling and making smart little decisions that combine to make a bigger impact on the environment.  Well, I have to thank my brother in law for his vote of confidence in me, because it was a recent email from him that caused me to realize that I do have an impact on those around me.
He had received one of those emails we’ve all seen that are “the sky is falling” type emails claiming you must act quickly or some biblical horror will befall you.  This particular one dealt with the fact that CFL (compact florescent lights) contain mercury.  I don’t want to minimize the situation, yes they contain mercury, and yes mercury is dangerous.  The important lesson we should all learn here is that like most everything else the bulbs can be recycled when they fail.  Please please please do NOT throw them in the trash.  As of last week, Home Depot announced that they will be accepting spent CFLs at their stores for proper recycling…FOR FREE. Props to Home Depot for helping the cause.  Kudos to the marketing guy at Home Depot who realized that if you have a recycling option for the bulbs, where is Joe Consumer likely to go when that bulb burns out and he has to replace it?

Back to my original and larger subject, the impact one person can make.  When my brother in law received that email, he sent it to me and asked if it was true.  I responded, and he forwarded it to the entire laundry list of people who had received the original email.  I’ve  also caused my brother in law to start to think differently about what can be recycled.  He complained to me the other day that he needs two recycle bins now.  That is a good problem to have.

I’ve impacted my wife’s thinking as well.  She quietly tolerates my eco ideas and rarely comments.  A couple of weeks ago I set up my first vermicomposting bin in the garage.  I figured I would keep it out of sight and make sure the little worms got our organic scraps so they would be happy and I would reduce our impact in another way.  Well, she surprised me by saving the potato peelings on a paper towel for the worms the other day.  She asked me if the stale bread should go to the worms or the compost bin, and asked what kinds of things she can put in the worm bin.

My wife and I have been talking about what to do in the baby’s room as far as decorations etc.  Of course we will need to paint.  Naturally, I want to use zero VOC (volatile organic compound) paint.  We were discussing paint colors etc with my sister in law and I started talking about VOCs.  She (my sister in law) rolled her eyes in a dismissive way.  My wife told me later that she had been pulled aside by her sister and asked if she thought that VOCs were really something to pay attention to or if it was just me being a hippie.  Michelle said it only makes sense when given a choice to do the things that exposes you to fewer cancer causing agents.   When you go to a restaurant, if you’re a non-smoker, do you ask to sit in the smoking section? I’ll bet the answer is no.  This is an equivalent situation.  Sure zero VOC paint is more expensive, but not by a lot.  Back to the point, one person influenced the thinking of several others.

The impact I’ve made certainly isn’t world changing, but it is encouraging to see that others do pay attention  to the stuff I share about recycling and the environment.  So, the next time you decide to throw your Coke can in the trash at the grocery store rather than take it home with you and put in the recycle bin pause for a moment and consider who might be watching what you do and learning from it.   If we all make just a few better choices each day, the world becomes a better place every day.

Categories: Environment, Self improvement | Leave a comment

Eco info

In my adult life I’ve always been sort of a closet hippie. (a bald one, but still a hippie) Since moving to the south it has gotten worse or better depending on your perspective. I had a compost pile in KY, but only used it for yard waste. I have a compost container here in TN and I compost kitchen scraps as well as yard waste. I’m also a bit of a recycling fanatic.

With those confessions out of the way, I thought it might be worth a blog post to introduce some of the websites and sources of info I have used to bring myself to the frame of mind where I decided that recycling and the other things I do are not just a treehugger’s duty, but legitimately a good thing for the planet, and our country. I am going to stay away from political discussion because that tends to cause people to glaze over and not listen to content….as does the term hippie and treehugger…..oh well.

It is a proven fact that it takes a significantly reduced amount of resources to convert recycled material to new as opposed to creating all new from raw materials. In the case of aluminum, the refining of bauxite is quite energy intensive. It takes 95% less energy to turn your used Bud Light can into a new one than to make one from ore.

Fact 1

The average American used 650 pounds of paper each year. 100 MILLION TONS of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was actually recycled.

Fact 2

About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%.

Fact 3

Americans use 2.5 MILLION plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away …

Fact 4

Every month Americans throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper (think: Empire State Building). All these jars are recyclable!

Fact 5

Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year! Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s twice the size of Texas and is floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It’s also 80 percent plastic, and weighs in at 3.5 million tons.

Fact 6

Recycling one ton (about 2,000 pounds) of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 mile), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for six months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of pollution.

Fact 7

The 17 trees saved by recycling a ton of paper can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year.

Fact 8

If all our newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250 MILLION trees each year! If every American recycled just one-tenth (that’s one out of ten) of their newspapers, we could save about 25 MILLION trees a year.

Fact 9

More than 20,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of aluminum foil. Believe it not, ALL that foil is recyclable, but not may people realize it so most it goes in the trash!

Fact 10

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours – or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline. In spite of this, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months!

Fact 11

A typical family consumes 182 gallons of pop (aka soda), 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers – make sure they’re recycled!

Sources:
A Recycling Revolution
Ecocycle
Clearwater

New subject: I would love to be able to thumb my nose at the power company because I was able to meet all my electricity needs from solar and / or wind power. Unfortunately I am not made of money. Solar power has been out of the reach of most of us because of its cost. I read something today that gives me hope. There is a company called Sunrgi

They have come up with a revolutionary design for a solar panel. They say the best ideas are the simple ones, and this one is one of those “Duh” <smack yourself in the forehead> kind of ideas. They use magnifying glasses to focus the sunlight on a much smaller area of much more efficient solar cells. The solar cells are what make solar panels expensive. How cool is that?

Ok, enough preaching. If you are interested in learning more about this kind of stuff, then I encourage you to check out some of the links I’ve placed over in the sidebar. —>

Most of these sites are on bookmarked on my pc and I visit them regularly. If you find or know of one that I might like, I would really appreciate it if you would post it in the comments. I promise not to come to your house and critique your carbon footprint.

(yes I am proud of the fact that I regularly fill two recycle bins a week and my garbage can is almost always less than half full.) 🙂

Categories: Environment, Self improvement | 3 Comments

Yesterday’s meeting with the agency.

Well, I had my first solo meeting with our social worker/adoption agency representative.  I was nervous about it going in, because I just wasn’t sure what to expect.  In hindsight it was a very pleasant, almost therapeutic conversation.  Sometimes you just come across people who are easy to talk to, and Penny is one of those people.  I felt good about the whole thing when it was time to conclude.  It did remind me of a couple of things I had learned on my own journey of self improvement, and I found another blog where someone had detailed something that was key to my personal growth.  I thought I’d share it with you in the hope that it benefits you as well.  I find that when I lose focus on these things I inevitably introduce stress and conflict into my life.

I found this on a blog I subscribe to called “Zen Habits”.  (http://zenhabits.net/2008/03/twelve-keys-of-emotional-intelligence/)

So, how does one go about creating a greater sense of emotional intelligence? In this post, I will outline the twelve aspects involved and offer brief descriptions of each:

  1. Awareness. Recognizing individual emotions as they occur, understanding why they occur, and understanding the effects (both good and bad) they have on you.
  2. Control. Resisting impulses and urges (delaying gratification), remaining calm even as chaos ensues, and always thinking clearly when those around you can’t.
  3. Assessment. Knowing strengths and weaknesses, learning from mistakes, and constantly striving to build on what you have in an attempt to make yourself better.
  4. Vision. Creating a sense of direction in your life, having the foresight to anticipate problems/needs before they arise, and paying attention to the details.
  5. Creativity. Thinking outside the box, developing a tolerance for ambiguity, and maintaining an openness to change.
  6. Innovation. Seeking out unconventional solutions to problems, keeping an open mind to novelty in the world, and applying creativity in practical ways.
  7. Ambition. Setting tough but attainable goals, constantly raising the bar in pursuit of excellence, and feeding the need for achievement whenever you can.
  8. Initiative. Taking the first step when opportunity arises, never sitting back because it’s not in your “job description”, and bending the rules (occasionally) when it comes to making progress.
  9. Conscientiousness. Accepting responsibility for personal performance, adopting a focused approach in your work, and understanding that nobody else is to blame for your shortcomings.
  10. Adaptability. Admitting when you’ve failed, remaining flexible in the face of obstacles, and never being too stubborn to change.
  11. Independence. Living with an unshakable sense of who you are, making your own decisions in the face of peer pressure, and acting despite tremendous risk and doubt.
  12. Optimism. Understanding we all make mistakes, choosing to persist no matter how many times you’ve failed, and always remaining hopeful that success is just around the corner.
Categories: Adoption, Happiness, Life Success, Self improvement | Leave a comment

Change your mind and change the direction of your life.

As an individual I have gone through some rather dramatic changes in the past couple of years. I am a much happier person with significantly less stress in my life as a result of the changes I’ve made. When you distill it down to the basics, making life altering changes simply starts by changing your mind. A friend of mine shared his personal philosophy with me, and I heard it repeated enough, and agree with it to the point I thought it worthwhile to share with all of you. The philosophy can be summed up in a single phrase: “Intentions equals results.” On the surface it is not very profound, or so it seems.

Stop and consider for a moment the decisions we make every day, the dull, routine things we do without thinking about it. If you’ve made a decision to be a Christian (taking into account different people define that label differently) when you drive to work in the morning does your behavior on the road reflect your personal commitment? If your intention is to have your actions reflect Christianity, shouldn’t it?

That portion of the philosophy is fairly self evident. Here is the part that isn’t quite so intuitive, it works in reverse. If you didn’t keep your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, then your intention wasn’t really to lose weight. You can change that direction by changing your mind and acting in accordance with your stated intention. It becomes more interesting when you examine your life closely with that phrase in mind. Maybe last night you didn’t feel like being the one to put the kids to bed, and so you sat on the couch watching TV, all the while realizing that because of your inaction, your spouse would have to do so. So what was your intention in that situation? Most would write it off as, “I was just tired and had a hard day at work” or something equally banal. So zoom out on your perspective a bit, do you sit on the couch and let someone else do it in other areas as well? If so, what does that mean about your true intention? What adjective would best describe how you are living your life? Is that who you want to be?

The beauty of this philosophy is that it becomes its own reward in a way. One of my intentions as an individual is to be a good friend to those whose friendship I value. I’ve had people tell me (since I began living by this idea) that they have never had a friend like me. Call it the “Golden Corollary” if you like, because it does resemble the Golden Rule in some ways. If a friend asks for my help, my answer is always yes…..Always. I may have to introduce time restrictions because of other things I’ve promised to do, but I’ll still answer yes, and more importantly, I MEAN yes. Another thing that I consciously decided to change about myself is that when I give my word to someone that I will do something, it will get done, no matter what. Michelle helped me to realize that it was a regular thing for me to say, “Sure honey, I’ll take care of that” especially while I was at work, and then completely forget that I had committed to doing something. Let’s apply my previously described technique of “zooming out” on that example. Because over the course of time I had not kept my promises to Michelle, it undermined trust in our relationship. Because she couldn’t count on me to keep my word she had less reason and less desire to communicate with me. As anyone who is married knows, once communication is compromised you’ve already started to fail.

When I finally realized how my actions had caused the most important person in my life to see me in a way that was not at all what I consciously wanted, I began to examine my intentions. I had thought my intention was to be a good husband, a good provider and a good employee. I had failed utterly on two of the three. I had a good job and made good money, but “providing” is more than just a paycheck. No marriage can survive without the emotional investment of both parties. That aspect I had failed to provide, so I failed on the good husband aspect as well. It was certainly a wakeup call for me.

I attended a seminar that helped me to learn how to refocus my efforts to achieve my intended goals. I cannot say enough good things about the people and the education I received at Life Success Seminars. Thank you Mike Monahan and company! (http://www.lifesuccessseminars.com) I went through the Basic seminar as well as IPI. They changed my life profoundly.

It has taken time and effort on my part to become the man I am today. I’m not a finished product, and I still have my off days. But, my wife knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that I love her and would do anything for her. She also knows that when I say I will do something I will do it, period.  My friends know that I am a man of my word and that all they need to do is ask and if it is within my power to accomplish for them, I will do it. Michelle knows I will always be honest with her, and in return I expect the same. These dramatic changes all started when I changed my mind. I chose to live a life where the results are a product of my intentions, and I am proud of both my intentions and the results.

Change your mind and change the direction of your life.

Categories: Life Success, Self improvement | Leave a comment

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