The One And Only

October 24, 2013

I was doing some reflecting recently as I celebrated an anniversary. I spent the first 25 years of my life in the New York City metro area, and now have spent 22 years here in Buffalo. I did some reminiscing of the music, sports, and events from that time and listened to some of the songs that help me remember my first days here.

There was one song that was not very popular, but I loved the sound and message. It’s called “The One and Only” by Chesney Hawkes. It was very popular in Europe at the time, but never went too far here in the U.S. However, the song was all over the waves of the small radio stations between New York and Buffalo.

The chorus of the song goes like this…

I am the one and only
Nobody I’d rather be
I am the one and only
You can’t take that away from me

Not only have I been reminiscing about my feelings during this move 22 years ago, but this theme has also been especially prevelant on my mind. God is clearly showing me that I am a unique creation of His that He is very proud of…even during the times where I am not so proud of this creation.

I challenge you to think this way today. Be joyful that you are a one and only creation of the Creator of all things. Rremember that no one can ever take that from you.

I am not recommending that you see yourself as better than anyone else. We are all unique creations. Simply see yourself as God sees you and be proud that you can be called a son or daughter of God. No one can be a better you than you can. Once again…no one can take that away from you. Enjoy the blessings : )


How To Change Negative Circumstances

August 9, 2013

Do you have negative circumstances in your life? Unfortunately, we all do to some extent. Even us positive, optimistic people have obstacles we must deal with. God even says in the Bible that all humans will encounter these difficult situations at some time.

One pertinent question is… how do we deal with these negative situations? You may also ask… Is there a way we can avoid them? How can we turn them into a positive? All of these are excellent questions, and I will address each one in this article.

Before I answer these questions, I will say that too many people try to handle these negative situations externally. Either they blame something or someone else, or they try to find solutions by controlling the people or situations that caused the difficulty in the first place. They are trying to solve the problem from the outside. This is NOT the correct way to turn a negative situation around.

The best way to change negative circumstances is to focus on the inside.You may be able to control the situation in some way. However, you have full control of your own thoughts. And it’s using this control wisely that changes the situation most quickly and effectively. It’s a fact, that you are what you think. When you think negatively about a person or a situation, you are only allowing more negativity to enter the picture. However, when you think positively, even about a negative situation, you are setting the process in motion to change the situation quickly.

I’m sure you are familiar with the theory of displacement. For example, if you have a glass of muddy water, how do you change it so there is clear water in the glass? You cannot just dump the water out because much of the dirt will still remain. Instead, you need to run a constant stream of clean water through the glass. Eventually, the clean water replaces the muddy water until all of the dirt is cleaned out, and the water is clean. I have read in several books how the same is true for our thoughts. It is very difficult to just dump the negative thoughts out of our minds. This is because much of the lodged into our subconscious mind. In order to be removed, the positive thoughts need to clean out the negative ones. This only happens with a steady stream of healthy, positive thoughts.

What are some ways to help displace negative thoughts with positive ones to help change the negative situation? I will mention those that have been suggested to me and have worked wonders in helping me succeed…
Prayer – If you only practiced prayer to change a negative siutation, it would be good enough. God is in control of everything. Asking Him to solve your negative situation is like someone asking you to remove a piece of dust from a table. The Bible says that God is waiting for you to ask for His help and blessing, and He is ready and willing to provide for His children. Prayer is also effective, because it provides peace and a sense of power to you. To know completely that the negative situation is in God’s hands and control is empowering, and it helps us move on with the poise and confidence we need to do our part.

Visualization – Earlier I mentioned displacing negative thoughts from the subconscious mind. One of the most effective ways to do this is by visualization. This is because the subconscious cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined event. When you visualize a situation in the ideal, as you want it to be, your mind takes a hold of it, and you begin to think and act according to the picture that you hold. Knowing this, take time whenever you can through the day, and visualize the situations in your life as you want them to be, and as you think they should be. Hold this picture in your mind as often as possible. Experience it with all five senses in as much detail as you can. Ultimately, you start becoming that picture. Your actions work together with your new-found faith. This not only results in finding solutions, but allows you to a act in a confident, positive manner that effects all aspects of your life in an unbelievable way.

Positive Emotion – This step goes hand in hand with the previous ones.Even a negative situation can be changed if you demonstrate love, joy, peace, and all of the other fruits of the Spirit. Keep your emotions high, and you will magnetically attract the positive outcomes you are seeking. You will also be a positive light for others, and will make negative situations difficult to occur in the first place.

Take Inspired Action – I touched upon this already, but when your faith is strong, your thoughts are confident and positive, and your emotions are high, your actions automatically follow in the same manner. Just be sure to take those actions whenever you see the opportunity. Also, you’ve heard that the best defense is a great offense? When you practice these steps above, you are doing all you can do to prevent negative situations from happening. In fact, you are causing the opposite effects. You are instead setting yourself for blessings and miracles.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, negative situations cannot be completely avoided. The sooner they are dealt with, the sooner they disappear. The best way to deal with them is to avoid fighting them, and instead by changing your thinking to alter the situation. When you follow the steps above, you will be able to quickly resolve negative situations in your life, and create many more positive ones. Enjoy the blessings!


Life Is Ironic…Don’t You Think?

August 2, 2013

Yes, I’m stealing part of a line from the Alanis Morissette song. It’s one of my favorite songs ever, and I hum it often, especially as I live through the ironies that this life brings us.

What’s the irony for me now? I’m a teacher on summer vacation. This is the time I dream about all year. It’s the time I have the freedom to focus more on my passions that I can’t do as much during the school year, like this blog for example. I am so happy with how this blog has grown and the positive impacts it has had on people (thank you for sharing those impacts, by the way). So with this time, I can take it to a totally higher level, right?

It hasn’t worked out that way. In fact, I’ve spent less time here and doing other hobbies in these past few weeks than I have during my busiest times of school. I will say that, as good it has been to have this free time, this summer vacation has been a struggle. I won’t get into detail, but things have caused a strain with my wife, finances, etc, and I have felt an unusual level of frustration.

At this point, my regular readers are saying…but wait a minute…don’t you preach positive thinking, mind power, high emotion, faith, etc on this site? How can you be talking about difficulty and frustration? I will say that those things happen to the best of us, even the most positive optimistic people. God says ALL of us WILL have trials and obstacles in life. I’ve had a period where I’ve had to face a few more.

Here is where the irony lies….even though I am struggling and have been down and frustrated at times, IT’S ALL GOOD! As things things are happening, I am seeing how some of the pieces are starting to fit together. I am seeing that these obstacles are taking me closer to my goals instead of bringing me away from them. That’s where positive thinking and faith come in.

If you are struggling now and feel like the accomplishment of your goals is nowhere in sight, I challenge you to have faith. Try and see how the obstacles now are actually setting you up for success. Something that helps me is to think of past obstacles or difficult situations. Think of how you got through them, and how certain events were actually setting you up for the success you were looking for. Then have the faith of knowing that the same thing is happening for you now.

I apologize to my regular readers who have come here looking for uplifting information lately, only to find another blank each day. It is my goal to write here most days, but the other distractions have taken me away from that. However, I hope this inspires you today. Obstacles are unavoidable, but if you maintain positive thoughts and demonstrate faith, you will know that it is all for your good, and actually taking you where you want to go if you simply allow it. I look forward to writing again soon. Have an excellent day!


Feeling Better About Yourself Is As Easy As ABC

July 21, 2013

Throughout my life I have been lucky enough to be able to travel and drive long distances to see relatives, the country, etc. Each time we take another trip new memories are created, and old ones are brought to the front of my mind.

There is a game that we often played, and still sometimes do today. It’s called the alphabet game. The object is to pick a topic, like animals, food, movies, or whatever, and name one that starts with A. Then the next person says one that starts with B, and so on.

I was having a very difficult day a few days ago (yes, even the best of us positive, optimistic people struggle sometimes). I was looking to find something to bring me back up, and I found a gem.

The article I read suggested using the ABC game to come up with positive words about yourself. It may be difficult for some, but contrary to popular believe, you ARE allowed to say nice things about yourself. I tried it, and didn’t have too much difficulty coming up with words for each letter of the alphabet. Even X was usable, as I improvised with words like xtra special, xtra nice, etc.

Does this exercise work? Yes, and it works almost immediately. I went through two rounds of the game, thinking of positive words starting with each letter of the alphabet to describe myself. Within minutes I felt far better about myself, and was right back to being my normal, positive self. I did this in mid-afternoon, and the rest of my day was happy and pleasant. In fact, according to theme of the article, this is exactly the purpose of the game…to help you feel more positive emotions about yourself, and about life as a whole. The reason being is that when you are at a high emotional level, you set yourself up for the positive outcomes you seek.

I share this exercise with you and challenge you to use it. Use it if you are feeling down, but also when things are good. This morning I used this as a gratitude exercise and came up with with words from each letter of the alphabet of things I am grateful for. The positive feelings surfaced quickly and easily, and now remain as I go through my day.

The more things you can be positive about and think about, the more things will go your way. The more you maintain positive emotions, the more you will set yourself up for blessings. I am constantly looking for ways to do this and to share, and as mentioned earlier, I believe I hit the jackpot with this one.

What great things do you have to say about yourself? Answering that question should be as easy as ABC. Enjoy the blessings : )

If you are interested, here’s a link to the article…http://www.discoveringpeace.com/abraham-hicks-and-the-emotional-grid.html


An Amazing Way To Make Someone’s Day

April 24, 2013

The other day, I had a few extra minutes before leaving to work. I decided to check my Facebook timeline. As I read the notes from the past 12 hours, I found a wonderful compliment from a friend about something I had written. It was a heartfelt compliment, and it meant the world to me. My entire day was affected.

It’s amazing what one compliment can do. For me, I had a good night’s  sleep and an easy schedule at work, so it was probably going to be a good day anyway. However, this compliment put it over the positive edge. Think about days that were not going to be so good. Can you remember a day where you were struggling, and thinking that your efforts weren’t good enough? Then you received a compliment from someone that completely turned your attitude around. All of a sudden you felt like your efforts were completely worth it. I have had many days like this.

Would you like to make someone’s day? Give a heartfelt, sincere compliment. Show someone how much you appreciate them and what they do.  People crave appreciation. Sometimes one word of appreciation can make you a friend for life. It makes a major difference, and you can significantly impact someone’s life in a positive way. It’s also amazing that when you demonstrate gratitude and shower people with sincere compliments, it comes right back at you. You will be appreciated for what you do as well.

Before I close, I will say that I have received many beautiful compliments from my wonderful readers. Every one of them means the world to me, and are absolutely cherished. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that positive encouragement : )

Ok, now I challenge you to think of at least one person you can sincerely compliment today. You have the potential to put a wide smile on someone’s face and totally make their day. I’m quite sure it will put a smile on your face as well. Enjoy the blessings : )


Appreciate Your Beauty

April 13, 2013

I had a difficult week this week. I returned to work, took on some new responsibilities, the work load was non-stop, and I did not sleep well. As a result, I didn’t get some things done that I wanted to. When this happens, I sometimes get down on myself and return to my days of doubt and incompetence, rather than faith and determination. It seems as though countless other people around me are also going through difficult personal times.

The following is a chapter from my e-book “30 Days To A More Powerful Life”. As I thought about my situation and the hurting people around me, God immediately brought this concept to mind. I do not exaggerate to say that, when I re-read this and reflected on it, all of the difficulty from the past week was washed away. I hope the same happens for you, especially if you are going through difficult times or doubt yourself….

One of the most fun and rewarding jobs I ever had was as an announcer for a Christian radio station on Long Island in the early ’90s. During that time I was able to meet several Contemporary Christian Music artists. The one that stands out the most is being able to, not only meet, but spend an entire day with one of my favorite artists at the time named Michelle Wagner.

I was recently reading a book by Joel Osteen. It stresses throughout the book that, because we are creations of God, we are “beautiful” and should see ourselves that way . It reminded me of that day with Michelle Wagner and one of her greatest songs called, “You’re Beautiful”. The song is based on I Peter 3:3-4 which says “your beauty should not come from outward adornment….Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight” It’s main message is that, as long as we are creations of God and remain close to him, we are beautiful and of great worth to Him.

The chorus goes like this…

You’re Beautiful
Like a diamond in the sun you’re so beautiful and you’re becoming brighter
You’re Beautiful
And the world needs so much to see all the treasure in your soul
You’re Beautiful

At that time I led a youth group and gave several talks about this song and its theme. I had the kids think about something they created. A picture or painting they did, a sculpture, anything. Then I had them think about how proud they were of their creation after they completed it. Maybe not everyone thought it was great, but nothing could take the beauty out of the eye of the one who created it.

God feels the same way about us. Maybe not everyone sees us as beautiful. In many cases we don’t see ourselves that way. However, our Creator is very proud of the one of a kind creation He has made. He sees us as beautiful, and as someone that can make a difference for Him.

We are beautiful in God’s eyes, so let us see ourselves that way in our own minds. Let us also use that Godly knowledge to show that beauty to those around us, and remind those in our lives about their beauty as well. With God’s help we can and will make a difference and make this world a “beautiful” one.

Action Plan: Spend several minutes a day focusing on your beautiful, positive qualities. Focus on them throughout the day. Before long, it will be automatic, and you will soon realize others are seeing that beauty in you as well.

I remind you that a free copy of this e-book is available for download on this site. Feel free to check it out and share it.

If you really want to be inspired, I recommend you check out the song and corresponding video here. Have a beautiful day : )


What Are You Talking About?

February 27, 2013

Does it really matter what comes out of your mouth? Seriously, do words make any difference at all? I am learning more and more that words definitely make a difference.

There are several Bible verses that back this up. I was recently reminded of my favorite one recently…do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it would benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

What should we say? To me it’s very simple. Don’t waste your words! Also, avoid saying anything that would bring someone down. I understand that sometimes we need to tell someone things they don’t want to hear. However, there are ways of doing it that will not tear them down. The verse says specifically to use words that will build others up. Compliments and thanks come to mind (please be careful to avoid false flattery though). Also according to the verse, carefully thought out words that would be helpful to anyone who hears them would be considered the right ones to use.

In addition to using the right words towards others, I have been reminded often lately that we must also use the right words for ourselves. We should not be tearing ourselves down with negative self talk, but instead should be using positive words to build ourselves up. I will end with the words a guest speaker at our church left with us a few weeks ago…my mouth makes me miracles or my mouth makes me miserable. From my experience, it is far better to take the first option and follow the advice from the Ephesians verse. You and those around you will be much better for it. Enjoy the blessings : )