Daily Ramblings – Daily Quotes

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Hope everyone is having a terrific Sunday. As I’ve stated before today is my “do nothing day”. This doesn’t mean I do absolutely nothing. It means that today I do whatever I feel like doing, without a schedule, without a reminder, and most importantly I take a day off from the gym.

Today’s quotes are below. One is about following your own dreams and not letting others influence you. Another is about being the best you can be, regardless of what you do in life. The final is just plain funny. Happy Sunday WordPress!

“Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.” – Robert G. Allen

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

“If at first, you don’t succeed… so much for skydiving.” – Henny Youngman

See you tomorrow!!

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quotes

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“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama

“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.” – Dalai Lama

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

Happy Earth Day! I hope everyone is having a terrific weekend.

I wanted to post these quotes from the Dalai Lama. They offer advice about being positive and having a positive vision, being grateful and how it helps us see everything in a more positive light, and kindness.

I start my day with my gratitude journal (5-minute journal). It really makes a difference when you start your day thinking about how grateful you are for the many things that are already in your life. I end my day the same way, thinking about all of the great things that happened and expressing my gratitude for the privilege of living on this Earth one more day.

Have a great day everyone! See you tomorrow!

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quotes

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A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius

“Actions prove who someone is, words just prove who they want to be.” – Unknown

“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.” – Mark Twain

If you want to avoid being fooled by someone, watch what they do and ignore what they say. All of these quotes are ones I’ve come across from time-to-time, but I never really applied them until I was in the Army for about 10 years. This was also the time I finished Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Every action you take is a demonstration of what you really want, who you really are, and what you are committed to. Use these quotes as a way to gauge your own commitment. Do you do what you say you will do (to yourself) or are you just talking to make yourself feel good? You can apply these to goals you’ve set for yourself, things you’d like to do for yourself or others, habits you’d like to be rid of or build, anything at all.

One of the things I truly believe in is the conscience. We all have this internal compass that tells us what is right and what is wrong. This “voice” is also good at telling us what we should be doing. If you really listen to this voice, it will get louder as time passes. If you ignore it, it will become so silent that you won’t hear it at all. We all know smoking, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and eating refined sugars and flours are horrible for us, but we continue to do what we know deep down is totally wrong because we are too weak to change the patterns we’ve established for ourselves. This is where your actions are louder than your words, even the ones you tell yourself.

As a veteran of the Army for over 20 years, one of my regrets was the use of tobacco. The Army is full of folks who chew tobacco, smoke tobacco, and “dip” tobacco. Dipping is the use of snuff like Skoal or Copenhagen tobacco. This is what I used to do for the greater part of my 21-year career. I’m not proud of it. It literally took me 10 tries over a 12-year period to break this habit. I wanted to quit and I did. The same goes for alcohol. The Army likes to drink, so does corporate America. What did I do? I drank right along with everyone. Again, another habit I wanted to quit, not just for personal reasons, but also for spiritual ones. Alcohol was much easier to quit than tobacco.

The point I’m trying to make here is that we all have our vices. They aren’t just about the physical things. What about addictions to junk food, caffeine, soda, refined sugar, and flour? Whatever your addictions or bad habits are, commit to dropping the ones that are the worst for you and stick with quitting them. You have to want it more than someone else. You can have someone nag you all day long, but if you don’t want to quit, you’ll just do it when they aren’t around, or leave them instead of the habit.

The key is to really commit to something you want to do, not what someone else wants you to do. If you want to exercise, don’t talk about it–do it. If you want to quit smoking or limit your alcohol intake, don’t talk about it–do it. If you want to start some big project like writing a book, starting a blog, or run a marathon, don’t talk about it–do it. It’s a great way to really measure what you really want vs. what you are just dreaming about. Get out there and execute. The integration this brings (when you actually do what you say you are going to) is very liberating.

As a reminder, the workout section of my blog will begin on Monday, the 24th. I hope this inspires some people to get out there and exercise. It is so important to remain healthy and enjoy a really good quality of life.

I’ll be back again tomorrow with more quotes…

Daily Ramblings – Update for Followers and Readers

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All thanks so much for the comments, likes, and the rest.

I wanted to pass along a quick update to everyone. I’m going to get a little more “scheduled” and formal with this blog. If you haven’t noticed already, I am posting quotes daily on my site. Starting next week, I’ll be offering a daily workout log, documenting the work I do in the gym. Currently, my workout routine is about bulking up, so you’ll only see 4 postings a week (Mon-Tue, Wed off, Thu – Fri, Sat – Sun off).

My workout routines span between 5-week and 12-week cycles. This one was provided by Jim Stoppani (www.jimstoppani.com) and is called “Shortcut to Size”. It is a 4-day, 12-week workout routine, that is broke out over three phases. I start phase two next week, which will be 4-weeks in length.

I want to do this for a few reasons. First, I enjoy a good quote. Second, I want to keep the pressure on myself to continue progressing in the gym and use peer pressure (even virtual peer pressure via my readers) as a way to keep pushing hard in the gym. As I progress I’ll also let you in on my personal goals and come up with some tracking mechanism that you can follow along with if you’re interested.

I hope you enjoy the quotes I find across the web and you enjoy the workout updates I’ll provide. I’ll still post randomly about anything I feel like writing about but also wanted to have some form of rhyme and reason to my blog as well.

Until next time…

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quotes

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“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” – Mark Twain

“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” – Charles E. Kettering

“Learn to give, without ever thinking of a reward. That’s how to find the treasures of heaven.” – Harold Klemp – The Language of Soul

Humor, persistence, and charity are represented in these quotes today. I wish all my readers and visitors a terrific day!

Until tomorrow…

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quotes

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“I call intuition cosmic fishing. You feel a nibble, then you’ve got to hook the fish.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

Until tomorrow….

Daily Ramblings – Problems are Blessings?

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“No problem is given man which is greater than himself. Each being is tested according to his capacity; none are tested beyond it. Each problem which man encounters has a spiritual solution, and each person has his troubles at the point where he is most negative and vulnerable.” – Paul Twitchell – The Shariyat Ki Sugmad

Two Critical Points

This is a quote a came across a few years ago. This quote has two critical points that have proven themselves to be true more often than I can recall. The first is that we are never given a problem that is beyond our capability to solve. The second is that we will always be tested where we are weakest.

This is comforting, isn’t it? If we are never going to be hit with a problem we cannot solve, we have nothing to fear, because regardless of the problem, we will overcome it. Some problems may be overcome in the short-term, while others may take years to get through. The point is that if a problem is no larger than our capacity to solve it, there’s nothing to worry about.

Let’s examine the next point. If we are self-realized, meaning we know ourselves well, then we should be able to predict where that next test or problem is coming right? Well, yes and no. The human mind cannot grasp an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being. Subsequently, God knows you better than you ever will and IT knows exactly where you are your weakest. So, prediction of your next challenge may not be so easy to see.

When are we really learning? Are we driven to God and improvement when things are going our way and easy, or are we driven to God and improvement when things are tough? You guessed it. The learning and growth opportunities are typically brought about when we are presented with a problem and things are tough.

The Good times – The Bad times

This is human nature. We relax and enjoy the times when there are no problems. We get into gear when the problems arise. These periods of rest and challenge fluctuate throughout our lives. God knows when you need a break, God knows when it’s time to test you again, and God knows exactly where you need to be tested.

Why do the tests exist at all? The tests are designed to teach us to be more focused on others than ourselves. They are designed to teach us about divine love. They are designed to teach us how to solve the problems we have so that when others run into those same problems we can help them (We’ve already been there and done that.)

Problems are Blessings

When you really look at it, the rest periods we receive are a blessing, but so too are the rough spots. It really depends on how you look at the situation. The rough spots are stepping stones. These stepping stones are for learning to be greater than we were yesterday. So, enjoy the good times, but also be thankful for the tough times. Without these tough times, we wouldn’t have anything to compare to them and we will miss out on enjoying the really good times that always come.

When we can truly feel blessed when trouble comes we will have finally understood that there are no troubles or rest periods. The life we have been given is a blessing because we have been held in the arms of God the entire time.

Until next time…

Daily Ramblings – Planning

Over the last few weeks, we’ve looked at the 4 dimensions of life. Now, it’s time to discuss how to organize our lives around these 4 dimensions to ensure we stay balanced and improve our effectiveness by addressing each one of these dimensions on a weekly basis. Planning is something that can always be improved and if done correctly, will save you a lot of time and worry in the future, in relation to any activity you do.

Tools

First, let’s discuss the tools that we need before we begin. Obviously, you’ll need a calendar. You’ll also need a pen or pencil. Finally, a paper journal broke out by day or an electronic journal. Here’s what I use:

  • I use Google Calendar for my calendar tool
  • I use Todoist as my cloud-based to do list
  • I use a journal called the Productivity Planner produced by Intelligent Change
  • I use a blank composition book for brainstorming

Reviewing the Previous Week

This is something I learned from the author David Allen who wrote the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. This practice is also provided in the Productivity Planner. It is literally a section in each week of your planner pages. Anyways, to begin, examine anything you’ve received in the last week that you have not processed. This could email you’ve received, voicemails you’ve received, missed calls, social networking responses, any mail you’ve received you haven’t opened or processed, etc. Literally, any input you have not looked at and made a decision about should be the first thing we tackle.

Next, you’ll want to look at your goals and see what steps you’ve completed and what steps are left. Typically, these are multi-step projects that we all track in our heads or on paper. Anyway, you’ll want to look at all the projects you have and what you are doing to move them forward.

Questions to ask during your review:

  • What did I get done last week (wins)?
  • What did I not get done last week?
  • Did I learn anything new last week?
  • What will I commit to this week that will allow me to finish my top 5 tasks?

Planning the upcoming Week

Now that you know what you have to do, it’s time to determine what is really important out of all the things on your to-do list, project list, and goals list. Now that you have determined what your top 5 things are, we next move to our dimensions.

  • How will you schedule learning something new (Intellectual Dimension)?
  • How will you schedule spending some time with your friends and loved ones (Social Dimension)?
  • How will you schedule some time for exercise (physical dimension)?
  • How will you schedule some time for your spiritual activities (spiritual dimension)?
  • These should all be scheduled on your calendar.

Here’s how I’ll tackle my week:

Physical Dimension:

Weight Lifting Mon-Tue; Thu-Fri

Cardio Wed – Sat – Sunday

Social Dimension:

Dinner with Mom and Dad each night; Chatting with my Sister and Brother at least 1 day this week

Intellectual Dimension:

Continue to watch Game Theory on The Great Courses Website; continue reading Kissinger book; continue reading Brooks book

Spiritual Dimension:

Meditate am 10 minutes; 20 minutes pm

Read my Bible morning and evening in conjunction with meditation

Character building – Courage is the character trait I want to work on this week (physical and moral)

Web sites referred to in this posting:

https://www.intelligentchange.com/ This website is the company that sells the Productivity Planner I referred to

www.todoist.com This is the cloud-based to do list I use. I can access on my PC or phone.

http://gettingthingsdone.com/ David Allen’s website for the GTD methodology.

Until next time…

Daily Ramblings – The Spiritual Dimension

The 4th dimension of life is our spirituality. Spirituality involves taking care of that part of us that is devoid of the physical body. It is that essence of who we are—the true self. Some call it Soul, some call it the spark of God, others believe the Soul is non-existent. Regardless of your belief systems, spirituality is the pursuit of beauty, wisdom, connectedness, mindfulness, love, God.

When I consider my spiritual life, I look for my relationship with God. I believe that we are Soul. It is not my Soul or your Soul, but Soul. If we possess Soul, we would have to be something else.

Regardless of your worldview, spirituality is important. You can satisfy your spiritual pursuits by creating music, poetry, writing, or singing. You can attend church, a mosque, a synagogue, or a meeting with like-minded individuals. You can contemplate, meditate, pray, or project.

For me, the most important part of my spirituality is expressing divine love or charity. Giving of one’s self for another is one of the most spiritual things we can do in this life. It involves empathy, dedication, loving, and caring. In some cases, it takes great discipline, maturity, and courage.

I like teaching other people. I like to compliment others when they do something well. I like to help people solve problems. I enjoy reading my Bible and learning the lessons passed along by our creator. I enjoy meditating daily and gleaning the wisdom that is always there, waiting for us to recognize it.

The spiritual dimension of life is an interesting one. In many cases, it is the most neglected of life’s dimensions, until trouble comes. Maybe a financial problem, maybe the health of a relative, maybe our own health goes south and then we reach out to God for help.

The same follows for the previous dimensions. You ignore the mental dimension (learning), your skills will slowly become irrelevant to the marketplace, you ignore the social dimension and you will slowly run out of friends, if you ignore the physical dimension you will lose your flexibility, your ability to fend off sickness, and a whole host of other issues.

How do we pursue a spiritual life? Simple. Follow whatever your belief system is to its fullest extent. If you are an Atheist, you live your life to the fullest, because this is the only one you get. If you are a Christian, you help others, go to Church, pray, and all the rest. The same follows for any other worldview you hold. Follow the dictates of your worldview and dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to it. No half measures, no excuses, no deviation. Truly embrace the religion you hold dear. If you disagree or have any doubts about your religion’s view of reality than it’s time to find a new one. When you move on to that next one, dedicate yourself to it. Put it all on the field.

How I pursue spirituality in my life. I read my bible when I get up in the morning, then meditate for 20-30 minutes. I also record any dreams I remember, as soon as I wake up. I attend religious meetings once a month and attend larger meetings when they are scheduled every 3-months or a year. I read religious books constantly (typically I read 3 books simultaneously). I read my bible again before I go to bed and meditate again for 20-30 minutes.

Meditation is something anyone can do, regardless of religion. In many cases, meditation will augment your religious studies by focusing your attention more on the various topics you may be learning. It also expands your consciousness so you can solve problems, understand why something is occurring in your life, or experience a deeper love of life. If you’re new to meditation I would start with either the Calm mobile app or the Headspace mobile app. They can be found on iTunes or Google Play. Both of these apps start with guided meditations and move on from there into more advanced techniques.

If you haven’t tried this before, you may want to start keeping a dream journal. Here’s a great article you can read that will point you in the right direction for what to write in your journal, heck even references to various dream journals you can buy on Amazon. (see http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/dream-journal.html)

What other ways can we expand our spirituality? Well, you can study other religions, read other Bibles from worldviews that are different from your own. You can participate in charitable events like volunteering at a soup kitchen. If you would like to study other religions here are a list of worldviews you can start with:

Judaism

Muslim

Buddhism

Jainism

Zoroastrianism

Shinto

Hinduism

Christianity

There are much more, but these are some of the more popular religious systems today. Read about their history, their holidays, the key tenets of their belief systems, and anything else that interests you. At a minimum, you’ll be more open to other religious faiths and understand why they believe the things they do.

If you wish to contribute your time or money to a charity, there are huge lists to choose from on the Internet. I would recommend choosing a charity that is near and dear to your heart. Maybe you want to help the homeless, help battered women, help people with special needs, veterans, or work with animals or animal shelters. Whatever your cause, you can find it out there and volunteer.

Another area that is interesting is the practice of performing random acts of kindness. I discovered this site a few years ago, and have been acting out on some of the ideas and stories that are published there. Here’s their website if you are interested: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ I’ve really gained a lot of joy from doing some of the things they suggest. You are only limited by your imagination.

In closing, remember that you cannot help others if you cannot support and take care of yourself. Loving yourself is not selfish, but necessary if you are to love and give to others. Try some of these things I’ve mentioned in this and my other articles on the 4 dimensions of life. Send me a note if any of them bring you results.

Until next time…

Daily Ramblings – The Social Dimension

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Human beings are definitely social entities. We all want friends. Most of us want to be with our families. We enjoy our children. We enjoy going out and doing things with our loved ones and friends. The list goes on and on.

The Social Dimension of life is yet another part of the four dimensions of life described by Steven Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This dimension is critical to effectiveness because it requires that we interact with others. We have to listen. We have to make our point. We have to keep our agreements. We have to protect. We have to love others. We have to serve others.

Here are some key points. The habits that address this dimension are Habit 4, Habit 5, and Habit 6. All of these habits compose what Covey calls the public victory. Habits 4, 5, and 6 are dependent on a person’s ability to do Habits 1, 2, and 3. Habit 4 is “Think Win-Win.” Habit 5 is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Habit 6 is “Synergize”.

Habit 4

Let’s start with thinking win-win. In order for us to survive as a species, we all have commitments and agreements we enter into. To make money, we have to show up to work on time, perform our jobs to our employer’s satisfaction, and interact with others to accomplish the goals of our employer. This requires that we agree to certain things in exchange for certain things. We also make commitments to the phone company, the bank, the utility companies and so on, that we will pay a certain amount of money each month at a specified time for the services these entities provide us. Beyond these common agreements, there are other agreements that we also have committed to.

If you are married, you commit to taking care of your partner, remaining in the relationship, and being true to them. These are the implied commitments we make when we take our vows or holy sacraments. What about chores, paying the bills, fixing the cars, getting up to feed the baby, and all of these little mini-agreements. Win-Win agreements mean that both parties are satisfied with these agreed-upon relationships. The Husband wins and the Wife wins. When we keep our word, perform something nice for our partner without any expectation of reward, we make a deposit in what Dr. Covey calls the “emotional bank account”. Think about it. Isn’t it nice to come home to find a clean home, the smell of a meal permeating the kitchen, and your wife smiling when you walk in the door? To flip the tables, isn’t it nice when you are in bed and sick, to have a husband waiting on you hand and foot to take care of you and your responsibilities while you get well? This is the Win-Win habit.

Habit 5

Seeking first to understand, then to be understood is all about communication. This habit dictates that we listen and speak in the same proportion that we have a mouth and two ears. It is more than active listening (uh huh, etc.), or even reflective listening (so you are saying this, is that right?). It is empathic listening, which Covey describes as really being able to sense what another person is saying by the combination of what they say and more importantly what they do not say. It also involves non-judgement. It is truly offering what Covey calls psychological air. The ability to discuss anything without judgment or interruption until you truly understand what the other person is communicating. Once you have confirmed your understanding, then, and only then, do you get to make your point. Interestingly, Covey states that if you truly follow this method of listening, many times there is nothing to add on your side because you ultimately end up agreeing with them. If not, both parties are both very open to one another’s ideas and are really geared up to committing to a win-win solution to a problem.

Habit 6

Synergy occurs when we can create more together than we could working alone. The best example of this is having a child. A man or women could not produce a baby on their own. They need the opposite to do this. In this case, 1 + 1 = 3. This is synergy. But it is even more dramatic when you have more than one person. In these cases, you could have 1 + 1 + 1 = 5, 10, or 1000. The state of synergy is all about a team of people who interlock like a puzzle. Each contributes their special talents to the team’s efforts to create things that no one or two people could create themselves.

People vs. Things

One more point as we wrap up this week’s installment to the Four Dimensions. Things don’t take a lot of time, but people do. It takes time to build a relationship of trust. It takes time to cultivate a long-term relationship. People need time.

If this article accomplishes anything, I would hope it would inspire people to take care of their relationships. Spend time with your kids, spend time with your wife or husband, spend time with your good friends or lovers. Really spend time with them.

When you go out to eat with a loved one, put the cell phone away. I swear to God. If you go to any restaurant today, it is guaranteed you’ll see two people sitting in front of one another looking at their phones. Not talking, but texting and interacting on social media. Is there anything more upside down than that? I hate to tell you this folks, but the people you think are your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn aren’t. There is a caveat to this: If it’s your Mom, Brother, Sister, cousins, wife or husband, that’s the exception. At best, and I really mean at best, these folks are electronic pen pals. You are not going to establish a meaningful relationship with someone by clicking like on a funny video they posted yesterday or retweeting a quote they posted. You build relationships, meaningful relationships by doing things that are meaningful to them.

Going to a Star Wars movie when your girlfriend isn’t into that isn’t a gesture that builds a relationship unless she is going to please you. Going to a “girly movie” that she will enjoy, even though you don’t, is what I’m talking about. Doing something for someone else because you love them and you know they enjoy those things is what matters. Particularly if you do not expect anything in return. Making your wife a nice breakfast on Sunday morning, even if you can’t cook that well is another example. Bring home flowers just because. Going shopping with her and watching how her eyes light up when she sees a dress she wants or a nice pair of shoes. Going to a coffee shop and letting her tell you about her week and just listening. Spending time with your Mom and Dad, hanging out with your brother, taking your dog for a walk (Animals are people too). Hopefully, you get the gist of this.

Putting this into Action

Plan your week and identify the people you want to spend time with. Real time. Maybe it’s a night out with your wife. Maybe it’s helping your brother with a home project, followed by a home-cooked meal. Maybe it’s playing Scrabble with your Mom or watching a movie with Dad. Whatever your ideas are, plan them out and commit to going and leaving more than enough time to really spend a good amount of time with the important people in your life. It all pays off, believe me. It all comes back to you.

Until next time…