imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

You can be alone AND happy on Valentine’s Day!

We all need love and the purpose of Valentine’s Day is to share our love with each other.  Unfortunately, some people are alone at this time of year, either by choice or circumstance.  They may be dealing with a failed relationship, the loss of family members or a move to a new location.  Whatever the reason, some people find themselves without someone who can give them love or receive love and this can result in feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, unworthiness and even failure.

Society certainly doesn’t make it easy for anyone to enjoy the day without feeling that something is missing.   Big red hearts and advertising are everywhere.  But you don’t have to feel lonely and sad on Valentine’s Day.  You can celebrate the day by looking at things with a different perspective.  Here are some ideas:

  • First, realize that this is just another day.  It is nice to be reminded about love because we don’t always take time in our everyday busy lives to even think about it, but we shouldn’t just focus on one day to show our love for others.  Take this day to think about the people in your life who could use some love – family, friends, co-workers, neighbours – and consider how you can show some kindness to them.  Actually sit down and make a list of things you could do throughout the year to make their lives better.
  • Call someone you haven’t talked to for a while.  Is there a family member that you haven’t communicated with recently.  What about an estranged friend?  If you live close by, invite them to meet you for coffee.  Maybe they are as lonely as you are.
  • Celebrate the day on your own and enjoy your own company.  You really don’t have to be a couple on Valentine’s Day!  This is just something that we are led to believe that isn’t true.  There is nothing wrong with being alone sometimes.  People who are super-busy with family and work would love to trade places with you for a few days and have some peace and quiet.   Read a good book or watch a movie.  Do something you like!  Or take a nice walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Buy yourself a Valentine gift.  Yes, you can indulge yourself in a box of chocolates or candies.  Just don’t go overboard and spend too much money or overeat those sweets.  Get some colourful flowers to brighten your kitchen table.  There is nothing wrong with being good to yourself.   We are all special and we should be nice to ourselves as well as others.

Keep in mind that many people who buy gifts for their loved ones are just doing it because it is expected and not because they are showing their love.  Soon after Valentine’s Day is over, the love is gone and they have gone back to their old habits of being inconsiderate and unkind.  Showing love for just one day is so unimportant, showing love everyday is what is important.

YOU can be alone and happy on Valentine’s Day.  It is all a matter of perspective.  Don’t be upset if you are alone for this one day of the year.  There are 364 more days coming where you can work on building some great relationships.  YOU can be the Valentine in someone’s life every day of the year.  Be the person who is able to love and accept themselves for who they are and pass that love on to other people.

So what are you doing on Valentine’s Day?

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What does love mean to you?

February is the month when we are reminded to love each other.  We see Valentine cards, candy, flowers and all sorts of advertising that penetrate your thoughts with ideas of love.  Even if we are angry or upset with our loved ones, we often overlook these things for a short period of time to bring them gifts or give them a much-needed hug.

So why do we need something to remind us that we should be showing love to others?  We should be walking in love every day of the year, not just Valentine’s day.

Love is powerful and it has a positive effect on ourselves and others.  Love is the glue that can hold families and friendships together.  Love allows us to help other people and this creates a feeling of happiness for everyone.

Let’s start our love walk today!  Let’s start showing kindness to everyone we meet.  Let’s start a kindness ripple in the world.  Are you walking in love?  Are you putting the needs of others before your own?

Love is patient, love is kind………….

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Patience is a virtue

When we plant a garden, we place tiny seeds into the ground and then we wait for something wonderful to happen.  During that time of waiting we water those seeds to make sure they get proper nourishment.  As they grow, we pull out any weeds that may hinder growth and do any necessary pruning.  The end result is a beautiful garden, full of colourful flowers and plants.

But do we have the same patience in our lives as we do when we plant a garden?  Do we wait for things to happen?  Do we take care of our health with the proper nourishment?  Do we try to remove anything that is causing a bad influence or inflicting pain?  The answer is ‘NO’.  We don’t take care of ourselves with as much care because we lack patience.

Society pressures us to want things NOW.  We learn early in life that we need to be surrounded with lots of stuff and spend money on whatever we want because we deserve it.  So what happens?  We spend lots of money believing that we will find happiness and all this does is put us in debt and results in misery.

Patience is a virtue.  It is the ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset.   Learning to be patient is a process that takes time and effort but it is well worth the effort.   Life would be a lot less stressful and we would be a lot happier if we could just learn to be patient.   

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
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Stop making those new year’s resolutions

Why do we make New Year’s resolutions?  Because we know that our lives are in chaos, that changes need to be made and deep down we want to be a better person.  The problem is – we don’t keep those resolutions and we slip back into old habits again.  Why does this happen?

When we make a resolution, it is trying to change something that is superficial.  We want to lose weight so we start dieting or exercising.  We want to quit smoking or another bad habit so we promise ourselves that we will stop.  We want to get our houses cleaned up so we try to sort and organize.  We want to stop spending more money than we make and we try to follow a budget.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is something deeper going on that we should be addressing.  We should ask ourselves why we are doing the thing we don’t want to do.

  • Why are we gaining weight?
  • Why are we smoking?
  • Why are we biting our nails?
  • Why is our house so cluttered?
  • Why do we spend too much money on things we don’t need?
  • Why do we have this bad habit?

We need to check deep inside ourselves and figure out what is causing the problem in the first place.  Is there a relationship issue that needs to be resolved?  Is there an emotional issue that requires professional help?  Do we need an attitude adjustment?  Do we lack the confidence needed to make positive changes?  Do we have supportive people who can give us the push we need to move ahead?

Making change is difficult and we need to understand who we are and why we do the things we do before we can make any lasting changes.  Forget those New Year’s resolutions that you won’t likely keep.  Spend time doing some searching and making positive changes.

 

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Ontario minimum wage increase already causing problems

Is this a surprise for anyone?  It certainly doesn’t surprise me.  Everything is happening as I expected.  Raising the minimum wage in Ontario was not a good idea.  It is unfortunate that people are struggling to make ends meet but this was not the answer.  Someone will always make minimum wage even if they raised it to $100 hour and they will still be at the bottom of the wage scale.

Increasing wages from $11.60 to $14.oo is a big jump and it sounds really appealing but it really won’t make any difference in the long run.  People may have an extra $50 a week in their pockets but where do they think this extra money comes from.  Businesses certainly aren’t covering this increase themselves.  It will come from changes within companies.  Prices will increase and there will be cutbacks.  That extra $50 will be needed to cover an increase in groceries, clothing and everything else with a price tag.

Small companies will be hit hard by this increase and some are already cutting out paid breaks and benefits.  Others will shorten hours which will result in smaller paychecks.  And of course some companies will be forced to close causing employees to lose their jobs and be forced to survive on unemployment while trying to find work.  And what kind of burden will be put on the government and our taxes to support more unemployed people?

On the news this morning, they had great news.  Unemployment rates are down.  Yeah, this is wonderful for today BUT the minimum wage increase is predicted to cost Canada between 60,000 – 90,000 jobs by 2019!  So who wins?  Employees who have a bigger paycheque but spend it all because of increased costs?  Employees who make less money because their hours are cut back?  Employees who lose their jobs?  Companies who are forced to close because they can’t afford to pay more wages?  Seniors and others on limited income who have to pay more for products and services?  Personally I don’t see how anyone wins.

Following is an article that outlines the coming problems.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bank-of-canada-minimum-wage-1.4469912

 

 

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Make volunteering a priority in 2017

There have been many studies done on the benefits of volunteering.  Without a doubt, it has proven to have positive effects on our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.  Volunteering can bring happiness and fulfillment to your life.  It helps you become more confident, connects you to other amazing people, may help advance your career and give you a sense of purpose.

Volunteering not only benefits you, it also benefits the people you are helping.  It brings encouragement and makes them feel more valuable.  By feeling that someone cares, it can change the entire direction of their lives

Families and friends also benefit from your volunteering efforts.  It lets them see love in action and it shows them how volunteering makes a difference.  Anyone who notices your acts of kindness will be affected in a positive way.

However, even if nobody notices what you have done, it still makes a huge difference in your own life.  The real purpose of volunteering is doing something and expecting nothing in return.  We should never volunteer just to get recognition.  Working for an organization that answers calls from people in distress or writing letters to lonely people far away can go unnoticed by others but it will still bring positive benefits to you.

Start the New Year with a resolution that will make an important and valuable difference in your life and the lives of others.  Resolve to volunteer for a local organization and bring in the happiness!  Even 2 hours a month can make a difference to someone.  I have volunteered for years and I know the benefits it brings!

Here is an article on the benefits of volunteering for teenagers.  Being a volunteer and showing a good example to your children will teach them valuable lessons that will enrich their lives.  Get them started young and help them become responsible, caring adults.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320432.php

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Handling stress during the holidays

Christmas is a wonderful season but it can also be a season of tremendous stress.  If you want to really enjoy the holidays, it is important that you take care of yourself and find ways to handle the added pressures that can take away any peace or joy.

  • Consider what Christmas is all about.  Why do we celebrate?  Is it just a holiday or is there something more important?
  • Don’t try to make everything perfect.  Nothing in this world is perfect so stop trying to do the impossible.  If something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, just make the best of things and enjoy yourself anyway.  A burnt pie or a forgotten gift doesn’t have to ruin the day.
  • Don’t spend all your money on unwanted or frivolous gifts and end up in debt.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Those wonderful gifts don’t seem so wonderful when you are paying for them months later.  Spend your time instead investing in the people you love and create some great memories.
  • Take time for yourself and don’t neglect your health.  Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well.  Relax with a good book, take a bath, listen to music and meditate.  If you don’t exhaust yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holidays.
  • Have a good attitude and be forgiving to the people around you.  Try to resolve any differences and work on repairing strained relationships.  Be a positive role model and express thanks for all the great things you have.
  • Plan creative but simple meals.  Get family and friends to help instead of doing everything yourself.  Share the load so you aren’t overburdened.
  • Try to include someone who is lonely in a family experience.  There are many people who don’t have family or friends to share Christmas with.

Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year.  It can be a time of peace and joy.  It can be full of love and warmth.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember what Christmas is all about.  Jesus came into the world to bring us hope.  Hallelujah!!

 

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A Christmas checklist

What is on your Christmas checklist?  Buying presents, preparing for guests, creating a tasty meal plan, attending special events?  These are certainly things that need attention but when we get caught up in all the excitement, we can end up feeling stressed and full of anxiety.

There are a few important things that you should have on your Christmas checklist.  These include:

 

  • HELP  Get family and friends to help.  Think of an aunt, cousin or friend who is bored and would like to help you wrap gifts, clean the house and prepare meals.  Things go faster and are more fun when you have help.
  • FAMILY TIME  Spend time with your family.  In our attempt to create a perfect Christmas, we often neglect our family.  This certainly won’t create a feeling of love and peace in the home.
  • GIFTS  Don’t buy gifts at the last minute.  Watch for special sales all year and pick up the rest early in December so you can get them wrapped and under the tree.
  • SHOPPING TIME  Organize shopping so you aren’t running around in all directions or going out every day for wasting time running out for just one item.  Combine gift shopping with your regular errands and make plans to go several places in one day.
  • DIET  Make sure you eat properly.  When you are rushing around, it is easy to grab fast food or go without meals.  Your family also needs proper meals, so take time to prepare something healthy.
  • RELAX  Book time to relax in your schedule.  Make sure you spend at least an hour each day relaxing.  Read a book, take a bath or just sit and meditate.
  • SHARE LOVE  There are so many lonely, unhappy people, especially at this time of year.  Spread some love around by smiling and saying hello to everyone you see.  You might just get a smile back!

If you want Christmas to be a joyful event, you need to make sure you are not focusing all your attention on gifts and glitter.  Focus on what is important and what the Christmas season is all about.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

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Learn how to fail successfully

We all fail.  This is inevitable.  If we didn’t fail, we wouldn’t be human.  So why do we feel so bad when we fail?

Basically we are programmed to feel bad.  Society makes us think that we need to be perfect in order to succeed in life.   We are led to believe that mistakes are bad and perfection is good.  However, this is wrong.  We are all imperfect and we all make mistakes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this!

We are taught to value what people think of us more that what we think of ourselves.  Actually we shouldn’t care what people think as long we know that we are being a good person and doing the right thing.  Just try to be a better person today than you were yesterday and stop worrying about what people think.

We are taught that winning is more important than losing.  Well someone has to lose, we can’t all win.  So instead of feeling bad for ourselves when we lose, we should be happy for those who win and congratulate them.  Winning is not all it’s cracked up to be.  People who are obsessed with winning are angry, impatient and unhappy.  What a horrible way to go through life!

We are taught to be the first in line.  Everyone can’t be first so why should the rest of us feel bad?  This is ridiculous.  If you are the 35th person, just be patient and enjoy where you are.   If you studied hard for a test and did your best but just barely passed, don’t feel like you aren’t as good as the ones who got top marks.  There is no shame in doing your best.  Just be proud of your accomplishments and don’t compare yourself to other people.

We are taught that being rejected is bad.  The fact is that someone will always reject you.  It could be a friend, a family member, a boss, maybe someone you don’t even know.  You can’t win the love of everyone in the world so stop letting it make you feel bad.  People are people and they will hurt you.  This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you and it certainly doesn’t make you a failure.

Many people go through life feeling like a failure because they have faulty beliefs.   They think there is something wrong with them and this isn’t true.  Everyone fails.  This is how we learn.  Mistakes are just opportunities to learn and we can do this with great success if we keep our mind open.

When you feel like a failure, here are 10 things to focus on:

  1. Tell yourself you are NOT a failure.  Stop your thoughts dead in their tracks.  Don’t allow yourself to zone in on those negative thoughts and beliefs.
  2. Challenge your thoughts.  Ask yourself, “Why do I feel like a failure?  Did I do something wrong or did someone tell me I did something wrong?  Where are these thoughts coming from?
  3. Change your focus to positive thoughts.  Negative thinking is a bad habit.  Consciously be aware of what you are saying and change any negative thoughts to positive thoughts.  “I made a mistake this time but I’m going to try harder next time.” “I was wrong but I can do better.”
  4. Take action.  Write down your thoughts and determine what you can do to avoid making the same mistake again.   Make a plan that take you in a different direction.  Create some goals.
  5. Do research.  There are tons of books, articles and videos about successful people who have struggled with failure.  Listen to what they did to overcome the obstacles in their life and try doing what they did to become successful.
  6. Look for the positive people in your life.  The people you hang out with will make a huge impact on your life.  Surround yourself with family and friends who are loving and supportive.  They will help you through your struggles and encourage you to keep going.
  7. Learn lessons from your mistakes.  There is a lesson to be learned from every mistake you made.  You have the choice to stay stuck in your mistakes and feel like a failure or you can move ahead and use that mistake as a learning tool.
  8. Never give up.  Failing doesn’t make you a failure.  Giving up makes you a failure.  So NEVER give up. Every successful person in this world was a failure at some point but they never gave up.   YOU can be that successful failure.  Create your own story of success and share it with others!

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What are you doing to change the world?

There are certain topics that I am very passionate about.  These include confidence-building, relationships, children, faith, poverty, injustice, violence.  It breaks my heart when I read about people hurting other people, especially when it comes to children.  Every day I hear something that brings a tear to my eyes and sends pain through my heart.  People can be so cruel to each other and even to themselves.  Where is all the love and compassion?

  • We need to examine our lives and figure out what we can do to help people instead of hurt them.
  • We need to watch our words carefully and think before we speak.
  • We need to stop ourselves before we do anything that we might regret later.
  • We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others and try to understand who they really are instead of making a quick, incorrect judgment.
  • We need to support, love and pray for each other.

People often think they can’t do much to change the world by themselves but if we can do just one small thing it can have a ripple effect.  We might never see the end result when we show kindness to another person.  Just a few encouraging words spoken to someone who is broken and defeated can lift them up and help them make positive changes in their lives.

The world is so full of anger, hatred, violence and despair.   We need to do what we can to stop this negativity from growing by showing love to everyone around us.  What are you doing to change the world?

 

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