It's been a long time coming... but I needed to get back to my blog page. It got me thinking about how long since I've done a post and that I need to be more active in doing more. This is from an article that I gave my students to complete their Blog #7 assignment in my classes - "21 of The Most Inspirational Quotes. Find the article HERE.
This thought - "It is always the simple that produces the marvelous", is one that I connected with this past weekend. So many simple things that I try and do with my wife, our kids and even our dog. We went out to dinner Friday night, the 4 of us - me and my wife and our two adult children. We normally don't do that too often any more due to so many different schedules, but for this time it sure was a nice treat being out with them. My wife and I also took our dog out for a walk Sunday - actually more of a run at our local middle school track. It was cold and windy, but watching him sprint back and forth across the football field a couple of times was a lot of fun. The simple things like that ALWAYS bring me a lot of peace, joy and a reminder as to what's really important.
The second one that I connected with is about making our future now! I'm working on this so that some ideas and dreams that I have can become my reality sometime soon. Amazing to think about how much time I've let go by without going after these dreams and goals. But, instead of letting this thought get me down (which I've done for so many years), I'm working on starting to make them happen now. I don't care that I'm 52 years old, I still can make things happen in my life today. Doesn't matter my age. What matters is that I start and things will change for the better soon. The key for my students is to realize just because they are young and seem to have all the time in the world - which we all know isn't really true... we don't know how much time we have. The younger we are when we start going after dreams and goals - the more time we will have with living them into reality! :-)
"My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." — Oprah Winfrey
What a great way to start thinking for the start of 2016. There are certain people in the world that we should listen to, Oprah is one of them. The results that she has in many areas should show us that listening to her might help us in some way. Some people may not like her, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn valuable lessons from. I for one, like her and admire her for what she has done throughout her life and I realize she has some valuable lessons that I can learn from.
There are two huge lessons in this quote. First, we are indeed responsible for our own life. We can think on our own, make choices on our own, get up and do things, go places, connect with people we want to connect with, choose our career that we want to go after, choose what we say, etc., the list goes on and on and on. It all has to do with our habits and our thinking. The input we put into our heads, the information that we choose to let affect us – that is what helps or hurts us as we go through life.
The second part is equally as important. Those choices and decisions we make, not only affects us in the here and now, but it also sets the table so to speak about where we go in our future too. It’s so important to recognize the fact that the choices, thoughts, decisions, etc., that we make today, does indeed affect the direction of our tomorrows.
The sooner we take responsibility for ourselves and our futures, the sooner we can go into a great direction that will make a difference in our lives. It also makes a difference with each and every person we come into contact with too as we do affect others. Notice, we affect others – as other people affect us too. It’s a fine line of how much we let others affect us and our lives. We have to look towards surrounding ourselves with good people. Those that add value to our lives and are a positive influence on us. This helps in our making decisions and choices that truly affects our lives and our futures. It’s true on the other side too. If there are people that influence us that take away value, that affect us negatively – there are results that come with those relationships too.
Always remember this too – we affect others as well. Are we adding value to others? Or are we taking value away from them? Which one do you want to be? A few good thoughts to get us going into 2016.
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." – Mae West
This is one thing that I think most people understand about life. Or at least if you didn’t, you should. We truly need to understand the fact that we don’t get out of this life alive! Mae is right, if we do it right, once will indeed be enough.
Throughout our lives there are so many things that happen that affect us and our future. From the decisions our parents make when we are little and can’t decide things for ourselves, to those that we make as we get older. Those choices and decisions, both major and minor, affect not just us but it also affects those around us too.
We need to remember that since we only get one shot at life here on earth, we need to do some things differently in order to do it right. Life is the school that we are in and everyday is the classroom. There comes a simple yet very important fact about the need for us to learn everyday in life. There are constant lessons that help guide us along the way of trying to live this one life that we have in the correct way.
Everyone has different views of how to “do it right.” That is both the beautiful and harsh thing about life is that it’s up to us. There is no manual that we have to follow page by page. But if there were, here would be a couple of the chapters in that book (in my case it would be the book on life for dummies) J
One would have to be about the fact that our lives are up to us to live. We have the total responsibility on how to live our lives, what direction we want to go in, the thoughts and ideas that come into our heads, and definitely the action needed to do things is totally up to us. The fact that we need to guard our thoughts and ideas that come into our minds is a crucial one. It has been said that the most valuable space in the world is the six inches between our ears. Yet most people, including me, don’t guard and protect that half a foot of space enough. It’s never too late to post a guard to the entrance of our minds along with realizing the power of the things that go on in between our ears that affect our entire life.
Another chapter for sure would have to be about other people. How important it is to have good people around us that help us throughout life instead of hinder and cause problems for us throughout life. Who we hang out with directly affects those thoughts and ideas that get into our heads for sure. But we also need to love people where they are at and understand they too are on their own path in their lives. They too struggle with things as we all have those struggles and issues that we must deal with for sure every day in our lives. This does not mean that we should let their issues and problems get in the way of our journey that we must continue on. Doesn’t mean we can’t try and help them, be there for them, listen to them, etc., but we cannot let others negatively affect us in going in the direction that we know we must go towards.
Obviously there would be many more chapters and the cool thing is there are those chapters that we are in charge of writing in our own book of our own lives. What is your book all about? What direction are you heading in? What are you going after in your days that you have left? Listen to my podcast and I will tell you more of what I’m going after along with hopefully helping you figure out what you are going after in your life. Always let me know any thoughts and ideas that you have that can help others, including me on this journey we are all on together.
"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The ideas inside of us are what will be coming in our future – along with the thoughts, ideas and experiences we have had in our past – those help us form the thoughts and ideas today that will be potentially there in our future. It’s up to us to act on those and start making them happen.
I think I have put too much weight (at times) on things that have happened to me from my past. Instead, I know now that I should be internalizing those thoughts into action now for a very bright future. The things that lie ahead of us without our action to add to it are really nothing. What lies in front of us in the future – it needs us to be a major part in that – we are the ones that only can make it happen. What’s inside of us is that magic that will take the things in front of us and add life to it.
Pam, who is a friend of mine saw this quote and mentioned “I totally agree...I think what is inside you determines what lies in front of you.” I think she is totally right. In fact since we have control of what is inside of ourselves, we have total control of those things that are in our future. Now, we are not in control of things that will happen to us, things that happen in the world that affect us, along with not being in control of others that will affect us. You know what’s coming next – we are in total control of how we respond to all those things that happen to us.
So knowing that what’s inside us is what helps bring clarity to our futures, why not set out today to begin working on the things that are inside of us?? I know it’s something that I need to continue to work on throughout my life. There are so many ways to do that – reading, changing our thinking, fixing bad habits, strengthening body, mind, soul along with improving and strengthening our relationships too.
Another big thing I think is to really try and figure out where your heart is at with what you want to do with your life. The sooner you ask this the better you, your future, your loved ones, and everyone you come into contact with will be better. As soon as we start working on these things, our present and our future will start opening up with more opportunities. What are some things we can do right now in these areas and others too? I know what I’m working on – do you? I just know I have to do more.
“You can’t change the past, but you can learn and start it again.” - - Wilson Kanadi
The past can still have a big affect on each of us, since each of us does indeed have a past. This past that we have gone through has a lot of examples for us to either get better in our present and future; or to struggle and have problems.
We all should be able to agree upon the fact that we cannot change our past. Hopefully we all can agree on the fact that we can and should learn from it. It’s a totally different story for us to do just that. Honestly, this has been a struggle for me throughout my lifetime and I am still finding myself working hard to learning lessons that have not only happened to me, but have been repeated many times. The old saying ‘lessons repeated until lessons learned’ would be one that fits me for sure.
One of the many things that stuck out to me with this is the last part about starting again. It hit me that I can literally re-write my future past, with decisions and choices that I make today. In other words, each second that goes by in my life (and yours) becomes my past. If I choose to make some corrections, think differently, act differently, then my past becomes different. It changes for me. It will not be the same old, same old past with me not learning lessons, not making changes, still doing the same things I’ve always done and gotten the same results I’ve always had in my life.
The other key ingredient about this – my future will change too. The important part about this for all of us, is to get started on the changes that are necessary as soon as possible. That way our past will provide great and wonderful moments that will help us with our tomorrow’s. It will also help us to help others so that they also can learn from their past so that their tomorrows can be positively different too.
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
There is a reason that Nelson Mandela had such a huge impact on the world was that education was one of his cornerstones of having a meaningful life. He was right about education being the most powerful weapon that can change the world. First and foremost, it can change our world for sure. When our world changes, we can than have a changing affect on other people too.
There's a saying that when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. That's one of the many things that education allows us to do. Education opens up so many doors for us too. The doors that open inside of us are some of the more important ones and what I mean by that is an education always helps us learn so much about ourselves. Of course there are doors that open up to other things and other people in life too, but I really think the internal ones sometimes are the most important.
Also remember, when we are talking about an education, it's not just from the traditional school. Of course our K-12, college, certification programs, the trades, military, etc., are all important ways of gaining an education. I think the real "education" that is out there for us to learn from is the one we get from life itself. Our regular education helps us get there, but then we have to pay attention and have a clue about what we can learn from life too.
Finally, we also have to remember to be open for learning too. We all know that as hard as life can be, having all the weapons we can have to help ourselves get through life is so important. Having a good education is key. How's your education going these days??
"How you see your future is much more important than anything that has happened in your past." - Zig Ziglar
If you haven't gotten a chance to check out Zig Ziglar - I suggest you do. What a great inspirational difference maker he was.
As I was getting ready for the upcoming week last night, I found his quote. It of course connected with me and I knew I needed to share it for the start of this week. Especially since we are only heading into the middle of the month of January - it's easier to focus on future things in our life since the new year is not really that old.
The things that have happened in our past have happened for sure. What we can do with it is the key. We can certainly dwell on those events, keep thinking about them and what happened so long ago but that is a recipe for causing ourselves problems.
Now - if we do look at what happened in our past, and we learn from it, and we get better from it along with applying those lessons to today's life. The sooner we can learn from our past and get better for today and our future - the better off we will be along with it will be much better for those people that are around us too.
This is something that I have always struggled with during my life and I am continuing to work on it. The one thing for sure is that I haven't given up yet, nor do I plan on giving up. I have found that I need constant reminders of learning from my past, applying those lessons to getting better and looking ahead is the key. So whether it's a little bit of reading something positive. Listening to podcasts everyday (of which I will be highlighting some in the near future), taking some quiet time for reflection, meditation, prayer, deep-thinking, etc. There are so many things that we can do to help us keep locked on our future - with learning from our past and not being locked in the past.
Another key on this point - the younger you are when you get it, the better off you will be. If you got some insights about this topic, don't keep them to yourself - share them with others. Drop me a note so I (and others) can learn from you.
"Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - JOHN WAYNE
In the midst of our Spirit Week for Homecoming here at school and Monday was Wild Western day. What better symbol of the old West - John Wayne. Growing up and still today, I love watching his movies. His grit, courage, work ethic, not putting up with any crap, trying to do what was right, etc., all all things that we need today in this country. Now I know his characters that he played were the ones showing all of those traits, and he like everyone else, had problems in real life. We all do. I still admire him as an actor and a man. Always have. Always will.
When I saw his quote about our tomorrow's hope that we learned something from yesterday.... wow, that is truth right there. Think about it. When we get to our tomorrow, doesn't it make sense that we learned from our yesterday? It makes total sense to learn about the things that we struggled with and the things that went well for us too. That's the great thing about having a tomorrow, we get to start over again. Get better at those things that we didn't do to well and those things that we did do well, keep doing them and get even better at them. However, make sure you work hard at not taking your tomorrow's for granted. There will come a day when you won't have them, with those people that we care about and for ourselves too. It always comes back to the time factor. John Wayne always had a saying about getting up and getting going - he would always say "Let's go, we're burning daylight." So in order to have better tomorrows, I know I have to make my today's better, which will help make my yesterdays and tomorrows good too. What can you do with this statement from the Duke? Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas. By the way - go watch "Rio Bravo" - one of John Wayne's best movies!
"People do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future." - Coach Juan Langford
As soon as I saw this quote, I knew that I had to share it. Not only did I get it out right away on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but then I also knew it would be my quote of the week this week for me and my students.
What a true statement for sure. Our habits - how we spend our time, day in and day out; that is what really dictates our future. If there are certain habits that we know are not getting us where we want to go, then we have to make a change for sure. I heard a great thought the other day on one of the podcasts I listen to. This idea was that we can't stop bad habits by themselves without finding a good habit to replace it with. So instead of focusing simply trying to stop a bad habit or bad time waster, we need to find a better habit or a more productive way to spend our time - something to replace it with.
Another part of this quote should get us thinking about where do we want to go? Where do we see ourselves in the next year, 5 years, 10 years? Without having an idea as to where we want to be, we will find great difficulty in knowing what habits we should focus on to get us there. I look at a bracelet that I am wearing now from a friend and mentor, and it has on it D.I.N.O. This stands for Dreaming Is Not Optional. We always should have new ideas to keep getting better at, always looking to improve ourselves. We need to constantly look ahead to see where we are going. Just like in basketball, we have to keep our heads up.
What are you thinking about this quote and how it connects with you? Any thoughts to share? Any questions that this brings up for you? Let me know - I'd be glad to try and help.
I have been an educator for almost 31 years. It's about time I start sharing lessons that I have learned so that I can help others. I'm into Leadership, Teaching, Coaching Basketball, and being a Difference Maker. Coffee helps me do that :-)