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.

Do you have patience?

angry jumpingIn this fast-paced world, people want to have everything right now.  Nobody likes to wait for anything and if they can’t get things instantly, they become impatient.  Instant gratification brings an instant rush and that can feel good for a short period of time, but it isn’t lasting.

Do you ever stop and take a look at how other people are acting?  Do you ever stop and take a look at how you are acting?  Do these instances sound familiar?

  • You have a fit when you are waiting in line for fast food and it is taking forever (maybe 2 min??)
  • You start swearing when the traffic is heavy and nobody seems to be moving?
  • You say something rude to the cashier who seems to be very slow?
  • You get irritated when the waiter or waitress makes a mistake in your order?

We need to slow down and learn how to face life with patience instead of getting all bent out of shape when things don’t go our way as quickly as we think they should.  Accept situations that are out of your control.  Having a fit while waiting in line, getting irritated or making rude comments when people seem to be slow, will not encourage them to work faster.  Swearing at the traffic will not help it move any faster.  Besides there are probably valid reasons for things not moving along quickly.  Maybe that line is slow because there is a staff shortage due to sickness or there was an unexpected rush of customers all at once.  Maybe the traffic is heavy because there was an accident and people were hurt or injured.  Maybe the cashier is slow because she was up all night looking after a sick baby and she is tired.  Maybe the waitress made a mistake because she has a headache or she is under a lot of stress from personal issues.

Besides we all make mistakes and we all have bad days.  What if you were having a bad day and someone got irritated at you because you were slow or made a mistake?  Would that be fair?

Patience is really a virtue that we should work on daily.  I used to get so irritated when I had to wait for anything, but my impatience just caused me to develop a bunch of stress related health problems.  People have heart attacks because they get so stressed out and is it worth it?   Now that I’ve worked hard to become more patient, my life is so much more peaceful.

Do you have patience?

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Really positive affirmations

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONSPositive statements or affirmations have been proven to work effectively for many people.  Numerous articles and books have been written about the power of positive thinking and positive affirmations.

However some people think that positive affirmations are a bunch of nonsense and they don’t really work.  I can agree with that train of thought because when I first starting saying them, I didn’t really think they would work either.  I soon discovered that if I just kept repeating my positive statements and didn’t really think about what I was saying, they meant nothing.  ‘Rote learning’ or memorizing positive statements will not do anything to help you unless you are totally aware of what you are thinking and saying.

I know it is very possible to change your way of thinking because I have done this.  Even if you have spent most of your life thinking negatively as I did, your thoughts can become positive with time and patience.  Doctors tell us that we can rewire the patterns in our brains by controlling our thoughts and this is clearly shown in research where many people have been successful in changing their thought patterns.

In order to make positive changes to your thinking, it is necessary to be:

  • actively be aware of your thoughts
  • actively focus on positive thinking
  • actively stop any negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts
  • actively reinforce positive thinking with positive affirmations
  • actively avoid using words like can’t, won’t, don’t, replace them with can, will and do
  • actively practice your affirmations daily, several times a day

Did I mention the word ‘actively’?  Change only comes when you are actively working hard at it.  Saying positive affirmations without believing what you are saying, will not produce positive results.  Saying positive affirmations without feeling the power behind the words, will not produce positive results.  Living your words is the key to success.  You have to feel what you are saying.  Words without substance are empty.  Fill your thoughts and words with power!   Start saying some REALLY positive affirmations.



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Would your thoughts make you rich or poor?

man with moneyIf someone paid you $100 for each positive thought you had and $10 for each negative thought, would you be rich or poor?

Unfortunately many of us would be poor because we are prone to negative thinking.  Every day we have thousands of negative thoughts going through our minds and only a few positive thoughts.  Some studies show that we have about 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day and about 80% of these are negative.   This creates all sorts of problems for us and wastes a lot of energy.  Negative thinking affects our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Negative thinking can cause problems with work, school and relationships.  Negative thinking can keep people depressed and cause them to make poor choices.  Negative thinking can stop people from reaching their potential in life.  Negative thinking keeps people  down and living in darkness.

It is important that we focus on the positives in life and not on the negatives.  The best way to make our lives better is to change how we think about things.  We can’t always control how we feel, but we can control how we react to our feelings.  It is possible to create a habit of positive thinking.  Believe me, I know.  My thinking was almost entirely negative and now that I actively work hard at being positive, it is hard for me to think in a negative way.

In order to change our negative thoughts, we have to be actively aware of what we are thinking.  Being positive does not come naturally so we have to work at it on a daily basis.

  1. Start being aware of what you are thinking.
  2. Stop any negative thoughts by counting to 10, picturing a stop sign or taking a deep breath.
  3. Ask yourself why you are thinking this negative thought.  Did it come from living in a negative environment, are you depressed, do you have low esteem?
  4. Tell yourself you do not want to think this negative thought.
  5. If this negative thought is repetitive, ask yourself if there is something you can do to eliminate or fix the problem.
  6. Replace the negative thought with a positive thought by rewording your thought.
  7. If possible, say the positive thought out loud to reinforce it.
  8. Practise thinking positive thoughts every day using positive affirmations, talking to yourself in the mirror, writing your thoughts in a journal, meditating, praying.

The best way to keep focused on the positive is by surrounding yourself with positive people, places and things so they will have a positive pull on your life and be a good example for you to follow.  Try hard to eliminate or decrease any time you spend with any negative people and stop going to places or doing things that will make you feel bad.  If the negative people are family members or people you work with on a daily basis, this may be difficult to manage, but you really need to distance yourself as much as possible from people who continue to hurt you and keep you in a negative frame of mind.

Changing your thinking is not a quick or easy process but with lots of work and patience, you can do it.  Remember that habits are hard to break, so once you have created a new habit of being positive, it will be a habit that you will not want to break.

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Are you an 8 cow wife?

How do you rate yourself as a wife on a scale of 1 (terrible) to 10 (terrific)?  If we have good esteem and feel confident in our abilities, we would probably rate ourselves around a 9 or 10.  If we have low esteem and don’t have much confidence in ourselves, we would probably rate ourselves around a 1 or 2.

Many people tend to rate themselves according to what others think of them instead of looking at their natural abilities, talents and skills.  We see ourselves through the eyes of the world, judging ourselves from a wrong perspective and not really seeing our own unique identity.  If others place a high value on us, we will feel worthy.  If others place a low value on us, we will feel unworthy.8 cows

Cow Wife by Patricia McGerr.  It appeared in the Reader’s Digest in February 1988 and has been circulating since them.   The narrator tells a story about a man called Johnny Lingo who went looking for a wife and ended up paying an exorbitant price for her.   In the island where Johnny found his wife, a marriage arrangement was settled in the payment of cows.  Two or three cows would buy a good wife with average abilities, four or five cows would buy a great wife with amazing qualities and just one cow would buy a wife that was plain and not very good at anything.  However, Johnny paid EIGHT cows for his wife and then took her away to his island.  Was she a real beauty or had special qualities?  No, she was shy, full of fears and insecurities and looked sickly.  So why did Johnny pay so much for his wife?  Johnny knew that the size of the dowry put a value on the women.   The wives who were bought with 4, 5 or even 6 cows would boast about themselves and make the ones who were bought for less to feel bad.  He loved his future wife and wanted her to feel good about herself so he placed a high value on her.   The narrator was curious about Johnny and went to the island where he lived with his new wife.   When he got there, he was surprised to see a beautiful woman.   He asked Johnny why the islanders laughed about him and said his wife was homely.  Johnny replied that she was exactly as they described because she was living down to their expectations, however now that Johnny paid such a high price for her, she was living up to his expectations.  He wanted an 8 cow wife and that is exactly what he got.

When people place a high value on us, we will try to live up to that value.  But when people place a low value on us, we will accept it and live down to that value.  It is really important that we place a high value on our loved ones and keep re-affirming that value, so they will have good confidence and strong self-esteem.

  • Are you an 8 cow wife?
  • Do others place high value on you?
  • Do you place high value on yourself?
  • Do you place high value on others?

Here is the complete story of the 8 cow wife:

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Who are you trying to impress?

girl headWe are always trying to impress other people.  Why?  We desperately want other people to like us and we will do almost anything to make a good impression.  Of course we should always dress and act appropriately but not if this means we are pretending to be something that we are not.  We should be presenting a confident person who knows their strengths, accepts their weaknesses and shows people that they are comfortable just being themselves.

Let’s think back a few years, maybe 10, 20 or 30.

  • Do you remember that guy or girl you tried so hard to impress so they would ask you out on a date?
  • Do you remember that friend you tried so hard to impress so they would invite you to join their group?
  • Do you remember that boss you tried so hard to impress so you would get a promotion?
  • Do you actually impress any of them?
  • Do you even remember their names and are they in your life anymore?

Most of the people we try to impress in our lives are not there for very long.  We connect with them for a while and then they are gone.  All our hard work trying to look good and try to convince them that we are worthy of boy headtheir love and attention is soon lost in the sea of life.

When we try to impress other people by not being our real self, it is not comfortable and we just end up hurting ourselves.   It is hard to pretend that we are somebody other than our real self and it doesn’t accomplish anything.  It just creates a false life that doesn’t make us happy or draw people to us.

Instead of trying to impress other people, we need to work hard at building our confidence and increasing our esteem so we will feel good about who we are and love ourselves (not in a vain or egotistical way).   Focus on your strengths, surround yourself with positivity (people, places, things) and just be the best person you can be – the real you!

So, who are you trying to impress and why?

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Change your direction

Where are you headed in life?  Is your path leading you towards something that will bring happiness and success or one that is leading you towards misery and destruction?

If you have a good attitude and a positive perspective, it will keep you heading in the right direction.  If you have a bad attitude and a negative perspective, it will take you in the wrong direction.  We should all take time to consider where we are going in life and how we are going to get there.  Sometimes it is necessary to make some positive changes to avoid disaster.

Here is a story that I heard that shows what happens when we get off course and head in the wrong direction….

shipIt was a foggy night and the ship’s captain saw lights coming towards them from a distance.  Thinking it was another ship that was heading for a collision, he quickly signalled them to change their course 10 degrees west.  The reply came back, “Change your ship’s direction 10 degrees east”.  The captain was a high-ranking official and was upset that anyone would refuse his request, so he signalled back that he was a sea captain with 35 years of experience and he wanted them to change course 10 degrees west.  Quickly the signal came back, “I am a seaman fourth class and you change your course 10 degrees east”.  The captain was enraged and he gave his final warning to the ship, “I am a 50,000 ton freighter.  YOU change YOUR course 10 degrees west”!  The message came back, “I am a lighthouse.  You change your course”! 

Well it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who needed to change their course.  The sea captain thought he was right and didn’t want to budge because he felt he was more important.  This is the problem with a lot of people.  They think they are right and don’t want to make any changes.  However, being right is not what is important.  Instead, doing the right thing is far more important even though it means we may have to admit we are wrong and make some changes.

Stop and think about what you are doing.  Ask yourself where you are heading.  Then change your direction so you will end up where you want to go.

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the day a scale gave me more than a number.

This is a very well written post about beauty from Erin at There’s a Spirit. Woman all need to be reminded that we are all unique and wonderful just the way we are.

There's a Spirit

Today, I ran across a scale that I found to be pretty incredible. Underneath the top where it would read your weight, it said the words “you are beautiful” in purple script.

Okay, so I’m a total sap. I accept that. But it turns out that I’m the kind of sap that just about sheds a few tears in HEB. Because, honestly, this really stuck me. I think that as women we really need things like this in our lives. Because, if you’re anything like me, you probably forget.

I forget that weight is just a number.

I forget that it’s a number only I can see.

I forget that that pound or two fluctuation that I see in my weight isn’t evident to the human eye.

I forget not to let petty things like a number weigh in on my heart.

And I forget…

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Keep your kids out of trouble

reading newspaperI love reading and often I buy books at yard sales or second hand stores.  My lending library is continually growing and I often lend out books to my friends and coaching clients.

A few days ago I was reading a book on parenting and there was an article stuck in the back that was cut out of a newspaper from Sept 1999.  The article was from an advice column, “Ann Landers”, which I used to read when I was younger.

Many people, including myself, thought the column writer was named Ann Landers, however the column was created by another woman, who named it ‘Anne Landers’ to conceal her identity.  When the writer died in 1955, Esther Pauline Friedman took over the column as the new writer and the name was left the same.  Esther Pauline had an identical twin sister who was named Pauline Esther.  This must have been confusing!  Her sister also wrote an advice column under the name, ‘Dear Abby’.  Both columns were very popular and the sisters were always in competition with each other, causing problems with their relationship.

The article that I found is a bunch of comments made by young men who are telling parents what they need to do in order to keep their kids out of trouble.   Unfortunately many parents don’t use these principles in raising their children and this is why problems arise.  Parents need to be positive, loving role models who put proper boundaries in place.  Here is the column from Wednesday, September 29, 1999:

Dear Ann Landers: I found this column of yours in my desk drawer. It was dated April 1985. I can’t remember why I clipped it, but the message is one that needs to be repeated. People have a tendency to forget. I hope you will run it again soon. Thanks, Ann. — A.P. from Upstate New York

Dear A.P.: With pleasure. Here it is:

The Rev. C. Galea was assigned to the Guelph Correction Centre for his summer work. While there, he developed an excellent rapport with many young lawbreakers.  He asked the boys for clues as to WHY they had ended up in that institution. He then asked them to draw up a code for parents to follow, zeroing in on specific areas where THEY had failed. Here is what emerged:

1. Keep cool. Don’t fly off the handle. Keep the lid on when things go wrong. Kids need to see how much better things turn out when people keep their tempers under control.

2. Don’t get strung out from booze or too many pills. When we see our parents reaching for those crutches, we get the idea that it is perfectly OK to reach for a bottle or a pill when things get heavy. Children are careful observers and great imitators.

3. Bug us a little. Be strict. Show us who’s boss. We need to know we have some strong supports under us. When you cave in, we get scared.

4. Don’t blow your class. Stay on that pedestal. Don’t try to dress, dance or talk like your kids. You embarrass us, and you look ridiculous.

5. Light a candle. Show us the way. Tell us God is not dead or sleeping or on vacation. We need to believe in something bigger and stronger than ourselves.

6. Scare the hell out of us. If you catch us lying, stealing or being cruel, get tough. Let us know WHY what we did was wrong.  Impress on us the importance of not repeating such behavior. 

7. When we need punishment, dish it out. But let us know you still love us, even though we have let you down. It will make us think twice before we make that same move again.

8. Call our bluff. Make it clear you mean what you say. Don’t compromise. Don’t cave in. And don’t be intimidated by our threats to drop out of school or leave home. Stand up to us, and we’ll respect you. Kids don’t want everything they ask for.

9. Be honest. Tell us the truth no matter what. And be straight-arrow about everything. We can take it. Lukewarm answers make us uneasy. We can smell uncertainty a mile away. The bottom line is that we want you to tell it like it is.

10. Praise us when we deserve it. If you give us a few compliments once in a while, we will be able to accept criticism a lot easier.

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What do you focus on?

little girl thinkingWe live in a world that is full of negativity.  People constantly complain and criticize.  People blame other people for their problems.  People judge others and point fingers.  We hear nasty and rude comments.  All this negativity just brings us down and keeps us from being positive.

There are so many good things in this world but they are often blocked by all the negativity.

It all depends on what you focus on.  Do you focus on the negatives or focus on the positives?  Our brain naturally tends to be negative but we can train it to be positive.  How?

We have to start taking action by:

  • being aware that we are focusing on the negative
  • redirecting our thinking to something positive
  • committing to change
  • practicing daily
  • being patient
  • not giving up when we fail

So what are you focusing on?  What do you think about?  What kind of people do you associate with?  What kind of places do you hang around in?  Surround yourself with positive people, places and things and it will be easier for you to focus on the positives.   Then you will be a positive example for your family, your children, your friends, your co-workers and everyone around you.


The power of love

It doesn’t matter who you are or what age we are.  We all need love.  Boys and girls, men and women from ages 0 to 110!  Everyone!  Everywhere!  What have you done today that shows your loved ones how much you love them?

FRIENDSHIP tiny dogs hugging






Did you give someone a hug?

dogs gossiping






Did you tell someone how much you love them?


Did you smile at someone?

2 baby huskies

Did you visit a friend?

dog and pancakes

Did you cook someone a special meal?

FRIENDSHIP little dog playing chess

Did you spend time with someone?

People don’t always know that we love them.  We have to show them or tell them.  Even if you have never done this, start now, because it is important.   If you have never received love, it may be hard for you to give love to other people but you can still learn how.  It may be hard at first, but it gets easier and it gives you a really awesome feeling.   Just start with a hug, a warm touch on the shoulder, a gentle pat on the back.  Then add some loving words, “Thank you for helping me.  I appreciate you.  You are wonderful.  I love you.”  Look at yourself in the mirror and practice saying these statements out loud.   Then the next step is saying them to the people around you.  You CAN do it!

Love is powerful.  Once you are able to communicate love with your words and actions, it will make you feel good inside and help you build great relationships.   Love is not something we are supposed to keep to ourselves, it is something we are supposed to give away.  So give lots to others and you will be sure to get some back.  What are you waiting for?  Spread some love around!  Start your own love revolution!