Week 15 Gratitude

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
Have you used one to say “thank you?”
William A. Ward

Have you thanked someone today? Have you thanked the creator? Have you thanked yourself? Have you expressed any kind of gratitude lately? Two of the most important first words we learn as children as it relates to gratitude are please and thank you. As we grow older we realize that there are different levels of gratitude which must be expressed. Each stage in our life should teach us the importance of being grateful.
Why should we be grateful? Why express thankfulness? The answer can be found in the Bible, Paul’s epistle to the Thessalonians, 1st Thessalonians 5:18  Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
This answer is our blueprint for a successful life. Paul did not say to be thankful when we have everything in order, when we receive the promotion, when we win the lottery, when our children are doing the right thing, when the refrigerator is full, when we have found the love of our life, when our bank account has millions of dollars but no matter what the situation we are to be thankful.  Maybe like me you are thinking, what does Paul know? He  is not living through some crazy situations that we are going through with the economy, the kids acting up, the husband is never at home, the wife is angry, the job is not fulfilling, some have no job, the challenges with the business. Yes he is aware of them all hence the reason he says give thanks. Giving thanks changes the situation.

What are the benefits of giving thanks? Glad you asked.

1.  When we show that we are thankful our family, friends and co-workers are loyal to us and are ready and willing to assist in different situations.
2.  When we show appreciation to our circle of friends’ they draw closer to us and they will assist us without hesitation.
3. We receive many blessings and gifts when we are grateful, in other words what we appreciate appreciates.

How can I have an attitude of gratitude?

1. Keep a gratitude journal. List at least 5 things you are grateful for each day
2. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, library, shelter, or hospital.
3. Give of your talents and skills to an organization.
4. Show your spouse/partner appreciation – write and leave thank you notes. Should they call to say they are running late, thank them for letting you know, please do not be upset.
5. Be grateful to your friends – send a surprise note or card just because.
6. Be grateful to your co-workers – Say thank you to them, be sincere and specific when you show them appreciation.
7. Be thankful for your parents. Remember you chose them and they are the reason you are where you are at the present time. – A phone call or a visit will show you care.
8. Thank your customers and clients for business. A hand written note, email or birthday card can go a long way.
9. Thank people for excellent service. The mailman, the UPS man, the FEDEX man, the delivery guy, the waiter.
10. Employers – Show employees appreciation in front of their peers. Handle problems/challenges in private.
11. Show appreciation to the children – Thank them for making the right choices. Kisses, hugs and compliments go a long way. Thanking the children will instill in them the importance of being grateful.
12. Be confident in the decisions you make on a daily basis.
13. Be thankful for your body. Thank you God for healthy lungs.

Gratitude increases our money, joy, peace and love. Be grateful. Thank you.

Week 14 Persistence

In the Mastermind Key Mastermind Alliance for 31 days we focused our attention on persistence, Scroll III of the Greatest Salesman in the World. Like food we have taken in this chapter three times a day for a total of ninety-three times for the month. In some instances some of us may have read it more than was required. This specific Scroll has given me renewed strength for my journey.
Mandino in his wisdom gives us the formula for success in Scroll 1 he lets us know that we are beginning a new life, yes there are lots of opportunities, there will be challenges but be patient because we are equipped with knowledge and instinct but we must develop good habits. In Scroll II he lets us know that we are to greet each day with love in our heart this quality alone will help us succeed and in Scroll III we must persist until, in order to succeed.
Why do we need this characteristic in business and in life? What is it about this characteristic which makes some give up and others continue with such dogged tenacity no matter what. What is it to persist? Webster defines to persist as to continue to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop.
In the movie October Sky, Homer is excited when he witnesses the launch of the Soviet Union Sputnik 1 orbiting the sky. A young man from Coalwood, Virginia, Homer is awestruck and now has a dream in his heart to build rockets, his father however has a different dream for him. Homer is aware that his father would prefer if he works in the coalmine as he and many others continue to do but Homer has a different vision for his life. He teams up with three friends with similar passion to builds rockets. He enters the school fair and is chosen to attend the National Science Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana. It should be noted that Homer experienced many failed attempts at building rockets. His project is a resounding success at the Fair. Ms. Riley his teacher has been a constant source of inspiration and support for the boys. After many challenges including their arrests the rocket boys continue to work on their passion. Their final launch is the rocket (Miss Riley named after their teacher) reached an altitude of 30,000 feet. Homer’s father showed up for the launch and was given the awesome opportunity of releasing the button for the launch. It is at this time that he is finally proud of his son having not supported him in the past. Homer showed us that it is possible to achieve ones dreams but we must persevere no matter what.

In preparation for stepping into uncharted waters the following steps will assist in staying persistent to achieve one’s dreams and goals.
1. It is never too late to go after one’s dreams and vision.
2. Set crystal clear goals. Be specific about the outcome. Write it down, just as we did in our Definite Major Purpose (DMP).
Make the commitment and go after it.
3. Stay focus.
4. Strategize to achieve the goal/dream. Make the plan and work the plan until.
5. Remember a team is vital to achieving the dream whether it is a mentor, coach or partner.

Remember a Mastermind group will assist in staying on course as it relates to creativity, encouragement, discipline and focus.

Week 13 The Observer

About two months ago in the Master Key Mastermind Alliance we were introduced to the idea of giving no opinion, simply be the observer, not just the observer but the non-judgmental observer. Why non-judgmental? We all know that most of us may observe and then pass judgment in our minds? No one may have heard but the energy and time utilized here can be used for a greater purpose. I recall a similar exercise years ago when I took a class in spiritual science. I must say since that time I realize to some degree I have been an observer, but our assignment has deepened my understanding and awareness of the observer. Why non-judgmental? We all know that most of us if not all have an inner critic or inner observer that is always ready and willing to critique. No one may have heard but the energy and time utilized here can be used for a greater purpose. During stressful situations the mind quickly jumps into high gear ready and willing to rectify the situation but this is definitely the wrong prescription. To be in the observer seat is to relinquish control and experience the ride of a lifetime, that is certainly great news, that energy could be used for a greater purpose.
What is an observer? Or who is an observer? Webster describes an observer as a person who sees and notices someone or something. What have I seen and what have I noticed while in this awesome position of observing as we continue this exercise ten weeks later?
I am so glad you asked. The lessons were incredible. The observer position afforded me the opportunity to be present, to be in the now, to see, feel and experience the limitless power of God beyond what I can think, dream or even imagine. This power that is all knowing, available anytime, anywhere can assist with every dream and vision in other words. The power can co-create with me to see the dreams and visions all come to fruition. A short video from one of my teachers will explain the importance of being in the now.

As I continued the assignment there were many more lessons to learn:

1, The Sit-ins: This is one of the most important aspects of being an observer. It is here that revelations occur.
2. A deeper level of awareness and better understanding.
2. Clarity as it relates to all life situations.
3. The truth of any and every situation is revealed.
4. My constant companion, the inner observer whose habit was that of critiquing and commenting on everything all day long was now becoming more positive and optimistic. No more derogatory remarks. When the ugly remarks would show up I would thank my inner voice for sharing and choose a positive thought. (Law of Substitution). I have chosen over the last 2 months to turn my inner voice into an encourager, a cheer leader if you will.
5. When the holiday season was over a few questions came to mind as it relates to the observer? This was the real test as to whether I was observing my true behavior.
a) Am I accepting compliments with ease and grace?
b) Am I grateful when friends spend time with me?
c) Did I accept gifts with ease?
d) When I receive gifts, am I happy and grateful or am I thinking of the gift I should give in return.
In asking these questions I realize that this is part of observing and I recognize that to some degree I have been blocking my blessings.
Simple steps to become an excellent Observer
1. Check in and see where there is tension in the body.
2. Breathe in slowly and deeply.
3. Breathe into the feeling wherever it is located in the body and let and release the breath.
4. Notice the feeling – no judgment please
5. Continue breathing until there is a shift in the way you feel. Note the peaceful feeling.
Over the years I have heard there is power in silence this assignment has proved this statement very true. Be an observer, it maybe the keys to all success.

Week 12 Adjusting the sails

                              2015                                      It is 2 days away from the completion of the next step I must attain in order to stay abreast of the 2015 deadlines stated in my DMP.  Normally when a deadline is looming and it seems I would not make it I would be upset, a tad angry and call myself names, not this time. I have grown in the last three months and the critical question I choose to ask myself is what one thing can I do right now to stay the course and achieve my goals?

             The first thing that comes to mind is, ” I will persist and develop my skills as the mariner develops his, by learning to ride out the wrath of each storm.”  This week I found comfort in those words because I know when the mariner is out at sea he cannot give up but must continue riding out the storm or he would never make it to his destination. In moving the date three months out means I am resetting the sail giving me the opportunity to learn additional skills knowing that when the time comes I will be better equipped to handle any situation.

             Having made this adjustment, as I continue on this journey towards my destination, faith believing, I understand that there may be times when I would have to make even further adjustments much like the mariner who has to adjust his sails. The winds at times may be favorable and yet there are times it maybe unfavorable but in the words of the great Jim Rohn, “ The same wind blows on us all. The economic wind, the social wind, the political wind. The same wind blows on everybody. The difference in where you arrive in one year, three years, five years, the difference in arrival is not the blowing of the wind but the set of the sail.”

The Master Key Mastermind Alliance continues to give me the necessary tools for my journey. When the wind changes and it does I must always remember to thank Markj, his fabulous wife Davene, the rest of the team and the guides for putting together this course where we learn the importance of our thoughts, (thoughts can make us or break us), giving and receiving, having no opinions, gratitude just to name a few.  A special thank you to Markj for heeding the call on his life to assist us in setting and resetting our sail.

Week 11 Gentle Reminders

This is a test. Your attention please. This is a test. This is only a test. These simple yet powerful words are usually spoken when the fire alarm system is tested at work. These tests I believe occur far too frequently. Oops, my apologies, no opinions please.
It’s week 11 of the Master Key Master Mind Experience and one would think that if I am at almost the half way point life should not present all these tests or challenges as I prefer to call them. I now understand that going through the Mastermind experience does not preclude me from the tests but equips me so I am better able to pass the tests. It seems as though life wants to ensure that I am learning the lessons so I can move to the next level.

This week life demanded that I remember and embrace the following lessons:

• Be aware
• Be more aware
• Be still and know
• Be persistent
• Be creative
• Be happy
• Be positive
• Be consistent
• Believe
• Forgive
• Have faith
• Watch your thoughts, no negative thoughts please

And the greatest and most difficult lesson of them all was, learn to say no. There is power in the word no. The word no can save your life. It saved my life this week.

Be blessed.