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I think we have probably all read that e-mail that talks about a “Reason, A Season, or a Lifetime”. In case you haven’t or you’ve forgotten how it goes, or you just want to read it again for inspiration I am posting it in the You’re A Miracle Blog.

Sometimes when you have reached a point that you thought for sure a friend was in the “Lifetime” category, you find out otherwise. They sort of slip from that category into the reason or season categories. This can be painful. How do you deal with a friend you’ve had for what already seems like a lifetime who turns around and attacks you, attacks your character. It’s one thing to attack someone’s actions, and an entirely different thing to attack one’s character.

So what do I do when my character is attacked? It takes everything I have not to strike back. Not to attack back and tell them where their character sucks. Ironically the mere act of doing what they have done in these situations is a direct reflection of a character that sucks.

There are so many little phrases that come to mind, 2 really stand out. First I have learned that I have to ask G-d what he (or she J) would have me do in this situation. What kind of man would you have me be? Then I have to keep asking. Literally all day long because my mind keeps going back to how hurt I am by this. It would be different if it came from someone I wasn’t close to. Even in the very specific case that I am writing about I am talking about a person whose opinions are so mass produced that I shouldn’t give them any credence at all by rights. Buy “Rights” have nothing to do with it. This is about feelings. Feeling pass and we move on. I found that yesterday by asking G-d to be with me, by asking G-d constantly to help me be the man G-d would have me be, I was ok. In fact things worked out strangely enough that my phone was unable to accept e-mail yesterday and I was with a new client where it just wasn’t necessary for me to have internet access on my own computer. I could have asked, I purposely didn’t. This enabled me to focus on my work, and I had possibly one of the most productive days of my career to date. No exaggeration. The client could not believe what I was able to accomplish in a day. I came home and there were some e-mails to respond to. Including one additional one from my former friend. I sent him one final response and finished it by saying that there would be no more e-mails from me and no more friendship between us. This of course makes me sad. It’s true – I’ll get over it.

The second phrase comes to mind here. Pray for him. Most people hear this and say “WHAT?!”. Why would I do that? I read the perfect answer to that question in the book I am reading now called “The Committed Life“. Let’s say you are dealing with a negative, bitter, angry person. Let’s just say that ok? The obvious thought is to stay as far away from someone like that as possible. Of course this is exactly what that person is trying to accomplish. Somebody like this pushes people away ironically because they are afraid of being alone. So if I see to it that no one can come close to me then I can blame others for my unhappiness and take no responsibility of my own for it. Of course it isn’t until I do take responsibility for it that I find the power to do something about it. As long as it is everyone else’s fault there is nothing I can do about it. As miserable as that is, in many respects it is much easier because I can just sit on my couch blaming the world for my unhappiness instead of actually making the effort to change. Changing takes great effort – especially to change at the core levels. Most of us have to have some sort of traumatic experience in order to bring about that deep a desire to change. A near death experience – drug addiction, a terrible accident, or worse than anything the loss of a dear loved one.

So what/how/why do I pray for someone like this? The answer is actually simple as described in the book referenced above. Let’s say I pray and ask G-d to make this person happy? Let’s say I pray and say, “G-d please bring this person all of the happiness they would really like to have in life”. Now let’s just say that my prayers are answered? Let’s say this person finds real happiness in his or her life? So much so that he or she changes at the inner core? What will happen? For one they might just leave you alone forever out of shame. Or, they might come back sincerely remorseful for whatever harm they’ve caused you. You might just lose an enemy and gain a friend in one shot. So yeah, I’m praying like hell for him!

G-d please bless him and give him all of the happiness he can possibly enjoy in life! Amen!

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There are some confessions we have to make. In fact, I’ve learned that we have to confess everything to someone, but not all things to everyone. Some confessions will hurt the ones we love and only serve our own selfish desires to be relieved of the guilt. Maybe even merely the guilt we feel about feeling the way we do. Not necessarily loving someone else, but even being angry at the person we love. Telling the person we are angry at that we are angry at them is only going to hurt them and spread more frustration and anger. When I discuss my frustrations with someone else I don’t tell the person I am frustrated with that I am discussing those frustrations with others. Even if I know I am doing everything for the purpose of being a better friend, husband, son etc.. The buck stops here. I can decide how to react to things, and what things to discuss and with whom. The goal for me is to see how I can take every situation and turn it into (if it isn’t already) a situation in which I can make the world a better place. By reacting to anger with love. By reacting to frustration with love. By treating pain with love. By healing every ailment with courtesy, kindness, justice, and love.

We give credit where credit is due and for all of our knowledge, wisdom, and successes we give credit to God, The Universe, A Spirit of The universe – whatever you want to call it. For our failures we can attribute that we did not rely on the source. We did not rely on our creator because when we rely entirely on our creator success is inevitable. Isn’t it also true that many of our failures are only failures in our perception? Isn’t it true that we find out later most of the time that what we once thought was a failure was simply a derailment that got us onto the right track where we otherwise may have gone off to the wrong one? Maybe it is fair to say that there really are no failures other then the failure of our perception – the failure on our own parts to recognize a situation for what it is? Just a situation. This to shall pass (Not my words of course).

The ultimate outcome of expressing my frustration about someone I love to another person should be that I find the guidance and the assurance that I need that everything is going to be ok for starters. Next I should learn where my conduct has been poor. Where my conduct may have lead another to react poorly to me. Because I can only change my own conduct. With this knowledge I can re-enter the relationship a new man. I can see where I can do right, and I don’t need to be concerned with where the other has done wrong. That is their responsibility. I will never be able to make another see their part in things – they have to do that on their own. By focusing on what I can give – what I can bring to the relationship I am empowered and the universe WILL give me what I want – it’s inevitable. So if I am giving love I will definitely get love in return. I just can’t be caught up in “how” I will get it, I just have to trust that I will get it.

Confess everything to someone, but not all things to everyone and most of all.. be careful who you confess to!

Faults are easy to find if you look for them. Look for people’s Assets – I guarantee you’ll find yourself surrounded by them!

Have you ever known a person who spent or seemed to spend most or all of their time gossiping? Most of that time is spent finding fault with people and then sharing with others of course while the person is not there to defend himself or herself. This is the lowest form of conversation – vexatious to the spirit; this person will suck the life out of you almost every time you speak to them.

Try spending the whole day finding and talking about the assets you can see in a person. Make a point of greeting every person with a warm and friendly smile, even if you don’t like them. Yes this is fake – but just because you don’t like a person doesn’t mean you have to rob them of their happiness by letting them know it. Of course it also means you don’t pursue a relationship with them unless you are sincerely trying to find out more about them for yourself so that you can understand them better and then by seeing their assets you might come to like them. They might just become your best friend. When you pray for someone you don’t like to become a better person that prayer might just be answered. That person may go from being an enemy to a friend – a double win for you!

With the right outlook on life you can really accomplish anything you want to. You can be unstoppable. Nothing can stand in your way. Every dream, hope and vision of yours can become a reality. So what blocks us from these things? Anger, Jealousy, gossip – nothing is more of a waste of time than gossip. Always keeping my mind’s eye on the image of what I want my life to look like, inside and out it becomes easier and easier to see which things help me get closer to that picture, which things take me away from it, and which things don’t really get me anywhere. Then as I see things through this filter it is a simple matter of choice – which direction do I want to go in today. The more often I chose to do things that take me in the direction of my image, my “Whale” as I put it in a recent Daily Motivator, the faster I get there. It’s that simple.

So what about people? Again it’s simple – each and every person I spend time with falls into 1 of 3 camps – they either motivate and inspire me to reach my goals, or they drag me down – away from my goals, or they don’t move me one way or the other. Another simple choice, really – who do I want to be around? Which camp do I want to be in today?

You’re A Miracle! Get Excited about today!

Daily motivator # 95 is about choosing your mentors. Whom do you choose and how do you choose them? Yes you want to find people who have what you want, but what does that mean? I think it means that I want to find the people who have the experience that I want. When I’m at work I want a boss who is willing to teach me what I need to know in order to do a better job. If my boss isn’t doing that, I want to go outside of that job for the experience I am looking for.

When I choose my friends. I want to choose people who have experiences that are interesting to me. People who can show me how to live a better life. This means not just aligning myself with someone who has a good message, but someone who actually lives that message to the best of their ability. If someone is telling me that it is important to be on time when I make a commitment to be somewhere, and they aren’t themselves making a commitment to be places on time, for myself I have to reconsider if this is the right person to be aligning myself with.

Everyone we encounter and develop a relationship with is a mentor of some kind. We Engage in relationships with people because of what we learn from being with them. For some people that means lightening up and enjoying themselves – making wise-cracks because they are funny and they make us laugh. Laughter is healing.

For other people it may be discussion of philosophies, theologies, and in simple general terms, living life to the fullest. In these cases we can really learn a lot and so long as everything is kept in perspective and no one is attempting to impose their own beliefs on others everything works really well.

Others may be people who’s lives are substantially occupied with business / career and advancement along those lines. Here we can learn about ambition. As long as we strive for success in this area balanced with success in all other relationships this can be a very rewarding way to live. In fact in a perfect world we can strive for success for one simple primary purpose – to be enabled to provide for others.

Hopefully we can surround ourselves with mentors in each of these areas. Maybe one person in our lives can teach us about all of these things, but I am going to venture a guess that in all likelihood it is going to be several people whom we come to rely on for guidance. When I find myself surrounded by a good healthy balance of these people described above my life can only move in a positive direction over all. Yes of course there will be peaks and troughs and we would not want it any other way because that is of course what gives us perspective. I need to have the lows to appreciate the highs – we all know this in our heads, but do we live this in our hearts? With a support system like the one outlined above and our continued and constant reliance upon it, every low can only be balanced out with a new high because we have the right people to help pick us up when we fall down. And I am not talking about “co-dependence” I am talking about a healthy reliance on others because I humbly recognize that I cannot do this life thing entirely on my own. Over time what happens is the highs get higher and the lows also get higher.

Every once in a while a trendline breaks through and takes us lower than we’ve been in a while. The loss of someone we care about deeply, or in some way shape or form the foundation we stand on falls apart. If I see this happen to someone I care about this means one simple thing – it’s time for a miracle! What does this mean? Read carefully here – It’s time for me to reach out and be the mentor in the relationship. It’s time for me to make sure the person knows I am thinking about them and that I am here for them. The real miracle of this is not that they have me there to help and support them. The real miracle is that I get to see them pull out of a tough situation. These experiences then give me hope for when I go through something similar in the future. We all go through tough times. No matter how positive your thinking, things happen – nobody lives forever and things don’t just keep getting better without some minor set backs along the way. That is an unrealistic striving.

Finally there is another basis on which we can relate to people that I want to bring up. It is the poisonous, vexatious to the spirit idea commonly known as “gossip”. When I am engaged in a conversation with a person and they are talking about other people a red flag goes up in my mind. Are they simply discussing events or is someone who is not present to defend themselves having their character called into question? If it is the latter I find that I do well to change the subject with a specific emphasis on the fact that the person or persons being discussed are not present to put clarity on the issues. That on this basis it is pointless to carry on a conversation about this topic. From here there will be two reactions. Either the person acknowledges and accepts that and moves on, or you will find that they just cannot help but come back to the poison. This is how I begin to see the people that I do NOT want around me. They will will bring me down, forever reaching new lows on a daily basis! LOL!

One of the greatest things about living a life based on spiritual principals is that you develop a support system. A network of people who care about you and who are there for you no matter what. Sometimes they are simply there to lend an ear. Other times they can be there to offer their time and even financial assistance if you need it. These are the kinds of relationship building experiences that we need to have. People say that lending money destroys relationships. It depends. If there is mutual respect then the person who borrowed the money will not wait for the person who loaned it to ask for it to be returned. They will be forthcoming and if for some reason they cannot pay it back, they let the person know that they can’t pay it back and when they think they can. As long as these dynamics are honored then it is not only not a bad thing, it can build the relationship. It builds trust and it gives the people involved the confidence that they have someone in their lives who can be trusted and relied upon to be there for them and to be responsible.

I often like to think along these lines. If everyone in my life knew what I was doing or saying at this moment, would I be ok with it? Would I still be doing or saying that thing? If I have to answer no at any point then I probably should reconsider doing this. One of the great things about living this way is that I never have to worry about remembering what I did or said. So if I find I am talking to someone and the subject of a third person comes up I need to ask myself if I would still be holding this conversation with that person here. If not, I need to change the subject. I have a good friend who loves talking about other people and taking guesses as to what their motives are about certain things. Usually I find that the best way to diffuse this is to change the subject by asking him a question about himself. In fact what is really perfect is that I can take the subject being discussed about the other person and turn it over to the person talking. So if he is telling me about how he thinks someone is ripping someone else off, I can turn that around by asking him if he’s every ripped anyone off. See how that works? Usually we have at least at one time been the things we judge. That’s why we judge them. If not, be careful you may be on the way to becoming the things you judge today.

I read once somewhere (I honestly can’t remember where) that there are 3 forms of conversation. The LOWEST form of conversation is conversation about the topic of other people (Gossip). The next level up of conversation is the discussion of events. The highest level of conversation is the discussion of ideas & philosophies. This is why I love “self help” type discussion, reading, and writing. It actually helps people – it certainly never tears anyone down. The discussion of events is ok and often times interesting. The lowest form of conversation (Gossip) only ever has the effect of hurting someone. It is often disguised as an attempt to inform, or warn a person. I’m going to guess that in 99% of those cases the person being warned really doesn’t need the warning. If anything I always become weary of the person doing the “warning”. What’s their motive? Are they warning people about me when they are talking to them? I usually stay away from people like that. My friend mentioned about is sort of an exception. I honestly feel that he has a good heart deep down inside, I just think he lacks the confidence that his own life is interesting enough to talk about. This is kind of a funny story – you talk about denial. I remember that for a time I was sort of forced to have dialogue with a person who I can’t recall ever really speaking about herself. In fact it was usually the same 2 or 3 other people she would always talk about. I would be so turned off any time I had to listen to her. Then one day while she is in the midst of gossiping to me about someone (I hadn’t had the chance yet to re-direct the conversation) and she was one of those people who would go on and on – it was actually very difficult to get her to stop) she explained to me that she had a conversation with one of the very people that she would frequently gossip about. Apparently during this conversation she was describing she had with him the subject of gossip had come up. It was hard to hold back from laughing when I heard this, but she described how she told him she never gossiped about him.

 

So there is really no point in my experience in pointing it out to people. The best thing to do is focus on the people who do appear to enjoy the “level” of conversation that I enjoy. As long as I focus on that, this is what I should attract in my life. Occasionally other types slip in!

  • I am thankful first and foremost for G-d, my higher power, the spirit of the Universe, or whatever you would like to call him/her.
  • I am second thankful for my sobriety because that is literally what has enabled me to have this amazing life I have today.
  • I am Third thankful for my parents who have shown me unconditional love throughout my entire life. Even when I couldn’t see it because I was a bratty, spoiled teenager, they were always there – loving me, guiding me, and ready to give me the help I needed when I was ready to have it. Mother and Father are “God” in the eyes of a child. Remember that the next time you want to yell at your kids.
  • I am fourth thankful for my wife, who loves me unconditionally, guides me, makes sure I take care of myself, and most importantly she is ALWAYS there for me. I am also grateful that she is an AMAZING cook 🙂
  • I am fifth thankful for the rest of my family. I would and do go to great lengths to spend time with them. I love them, and I miss them (they are all on the east coast or in other countries).
  • I am sixth thankful for all of my friends. Friends are people I really think of as family. They are the people I speak with on a weekly basis if not daily. They are the ones who form my surroundings. Surroundings I have worked hard to create based on everything I love, and none of the things I don’t absolutely love
  • I am seventh thankful for everything that has been given to me. All of the material things that make life comfortable. These are the things that enable me to be free to help those that I love because I am not worried about the material things I do not have – I am instead grateful for the things I do have, and I can be an example of this.
  • I am eighth grateful for the things which have been taken away from me. How does the saying go? Thank you for that which you’ve taken away, it frees my hands for the next gift i will receive? Something like that – You get the point!
  • I am ninth grateful for that which has been left behind. Everything I still have after everything that has been given to me, and everything that has been taken away.
  • I am tenth grateful for my awareness. The opportunity to pay attention to the people and the things around me. When you point out my mistakes, you help me grow. When you point out my successes, you encourage me to continue.
  • I am eleventh grateful for my ability to further develop my relationships with people, with God, and with myself. This opportunity gives my life REAL meaning.
  • I am twelfth grateful for the incredible opportunity I have to give back to people. To listen when someone needs an ear, to guide when someone asks for advice, to know when I am not knowledgeable enuogh to give advice, and to be humble enough to admit that. Generally being able to be there for others gives my life true purpose and meaning. It is those acts that will be left behind when I am gone more than anything else!

Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! I love you!


 

 

You’re already here at www.youre-a-miracle.com

Here is my online community: http://tinyurl.com/nerd-community

I hope to see you there

If all I ever do is promote myself then I will likely wind up surrounded by other people looking to promote themselves. You get what you give. If, on the other hand I set out to help others, then I wind up surrounded by people who are all motivated, like me to help others. Which do you think is more valuable to the world at large?

I’ve been talking a lot lately about surroundings, specifically whom I’m surrounding myself with. It’s important that I surround myself only with positive people. People who want to make a difference. People, who instead of complaining are looking for a solution. How do I go about creating and building this network of people? By using all of the things we’ve been talking about. Look and listen. Pay attention. Notice how people talk and what they are talking about. Are they dramatic or matter of fact? Are they promoting people or are the constantly warning you about people, or even worse, putting others down? There’s another important point here. When I go out I should not go out selfishly seeking people who can get me what I want. Instead I should go out looking to find people that I can help to get what they want. If you believe as I do in the principle of “you get what you give” then you can see very clearly where this path leads. What also happens when I do this is I find a wider variety of people that I begin to add into my network of family, friends, and colleagues. This applies in all areas of my life – not just business. With this wide variety of people at my disposal I am able to help more people because I know more people who have a varied set of skills among them. If I only search for people who have what I need, I end up with a small base of skills tied into my needs – a selfish approach. If I build a network of people based instead on what I can provide both from my own skill set as well as from my network, my network expands and I become more valuable to others. Now I wind up having an easier time finding the help that I need when I need it, in any area.

So I build my network with the goal in mind of helping others and what I get in return is a lot of people who can help me when I need it.

One of the things I get excited about today is meeting new people. Mike Dooley (www.tut.com) says that you should always be doing “something”. If I am unemployed and I sit at home then it is likely nothing will happen. But if I get out there and do “something” then “something” will happen. What I think this translates to in terms of actual experience is that by getting out there and doing “something” I will very possibly meet other human beings. As I meet these strange beings, I will begin to develop relationships with them. We talk about the laws of attraction like they are some mystical phenomenon. Here’s an example I like to use where the laws of attraction are very obvious and practical in nature. If I get out there with a positive attitude then 2 things begin to happen. One, I am out there doing something and two I am out there with a positive attitude. Well by being out there and doing something with a positive attitude I am going to attract people to me. This isn’t mystical and it isn’t metaphysical. It’s literal. Aren’t you attracted to people with a positive attitude? Isn’t that why you are reading this? Don’t you like reading something positive? So if I am out there with a positive attitude, then I am going to attract people to me. More than likely these are going to be other people with a positive attitude or at the very least a desire to be around those with positive attitudes in order to learn how to have ones themselves.

Coming to the point, when I attract people to me in this manner they will come with all kinds of opportunities. In Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the magic, Mike Dooley talks about an example of a guy who takes a job at a restaurant waiting tables even though he really needs to earn more money than this job affords. I am very roughly paraphrasing this. The guy does the job with gratitude and a great attitude. This gets noticed and eventually attracts the attention of the right person and he is ultimately lead from this experience to a very successful career.

When we get out there we get an opportunity to meet people. We begin to build relationships with them. This is very important in business and it is even more important (and I think often overlooked) in our personal lives. We don’t think of “networking” in our personal lives, but I propose the following. That we should be networking in our personal lives very much like what we do in business, but with a different end in mind. In my personal life my ultimate goal is to grow as a person. To learn to be more loving, caring, courteous, kind. To be a better husband, friend, son and so on. So shouldn’t I be “networking” or for that matter looking to surround myself with people who serve as an example of these things? If I recognize that someone I know is really respectful of his wife and instead of talking about what a “this” she is or a “that” she is he is talking about what an amazing partner she is – that’s the person I want to be around to learn how to be a better husband. On the other hand when I encounter the person bad mouthing his wife, I want to encourage him if I can to focus on what he can do to improve his relationship with his wife and a good first step might be to stop bad-mouthing her to his friends.

So I start to think about the people I want to surround myself with in business and in my personal life. The simple generic answer is to surround myself with positive people. Summarizing and taking it one step further I want to look for people who serve as an example to me of what I want to become. Then I can start asking them for guidance – this of course take a very important key life ingredient to be able to ask someone for guidance or help..

Shhh – don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret..

humility

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