Greetings, Salutations and a Hearty Hello.

'Ramblings'...'Meanderings' really does sum up what you may find here. A short story, a quote or something philosophical all with very little organization.

It is my hope, that with your interaction, we can experience life more fully through ideas, thoughts and questions. You see working together we are all smarter than each of us individually. And thanks, sincerely thank you for sharing your most valuable asset, time, with me as we Ramble and Meander through these pages.


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Journey: 2011

How many times have we heard, ‘It’s the journey, not the destination that counts’?
How can that be? Surely in the achievement of the goal is where our happiness dwells.
We are, for the most part, a goal driven society.
It is not hard to understand how we have become so destination obsessed.
Goals draw us toward accomplishment and that is a good thing. Much is produced through goal setting.
However we begin to believe that once we drive this, wear that, live in this neighborhood or have $X in the bank that our lives will be complete.
But is that where the real joy is waiting?

I have long tried to comprehend what was meant by the ‘journey’ statement.
I may have, finally, gotten a partial grasp.
I watched a movie called Peaceful Warrior. ( I highly recommend it)
In it a young man, Dan, is taken on a hike up into the hills.
His mentor, Socrates, has promised him ‘the secret of life’ once they arrive at their destination.
For hours they hike and climb, climb and hike all the while conversing, breathing, watching, pushing to the summit.
Laughter, anticipation, joy, weariness, and wonder, absorb the lad as they persist.
Abruptly, Socrates stops and says: “Here it is”, pointing to an ordinary rock at the young man’s feet.
“That’s it? I came all this way for a rock!?”
Bewildered, almost angry Dan questions the significance of the rock.
He learns that the rock, the destination, is of little importance.
“Oh, I never know what I’ll find on these trips.” Socrates interrupts.
”But for hours you have been walking, laughing, guessing and enjoying yourself as we journeyed,
only to be disappointed with what you found, once you ‘arrived.’”

Once we have arrived we may experience less satisfaction than we had imagined.
At times the goal itself holds little contentment, minor reward.
If we take time to reflect on the journey we find that, that is where the real joy resides.
That is where our lives are really spent, in pursuit.
Dan learned that; 'there are no ordinary moments, there is never nothing going on.'
Now, right now, is all we really have, it is a gift; It is called 'the present'.
The most significant purpose of a goal is not what we achieve, rather who we become.
Our goals help us to grow. Choose them with care.
Of course we are pleased with our accomplishments.
Yet that pleasure can be fleeting. The new-ness of 'things' quickly fades.
Our human need is to grow, develop, and become our best and then to use that growth to enrich the lives others.
Whom will you help? What charity do you want to support, what cause to champion?
Perhaps, there is your joy, your continual, growing, living, self-perpetuating delight! Service to others.
We are either growing or dying. We are designed to press forward, to become all we can become.
There is more to do. We can accomplish more, much more. There is more to give, to share. But you can't give what you don't have or share what you don't possess. Through consistent growth we can always become more, so that we may do more.
Somewhere deep inside we recognize this and that yearning, that discontent is our hearts way of saying,
‘Come on; let’s really pour it on this time.’
Those hedonists' in our society who have found fame, only to be lost in drug use, violence and things which sell the
tabloids…..they each were certain that the money, the cars, the jewelry, the celebrity, the destination was where they would find bliss.
They are baffled when they arrive to find emptiness once again and then attempt to fill the void in unhealthy ways. Sadly this path leads to an emotional black hole..
Perhaps this emptiness, this discontent, if understood, could lead to even greater achievements. We each have in us what it takes to be great in our own unique way. Our choices determine which path our Journey will follow.
So, I think I may get it, at least in part.
If we have reached a point, attained a goal, if we have arrived and it’s not as sweet as we had dreamed, maybe, just maybe your heart is saying…
”Come onnnn! You’ve got more than that. That was good, but really….”
If we desire something in this life that we have never had, we are going to have to do something we have never done.
Is it time to pursue some goals that really stretch?
Is a new adventure in your 'present'?
Is someone searching for your inspiration?
In what ways can you enjoy your journey, each day?
How will you share your 'present'?
What’s your heart saying to you?
Mine is saying:
"Keep going. Sure it's hard, I know you want to quit, but you are more than that. You don't yet see all that I have planned for us. Press on. I'll be with you all the way."
I wish, for each of you, a happy, healthy, new year of personal achievement;
A year of contribution of the Gift of You to all your fellow journeymen.

ps: 'Self sacrifice is not noble!'
Be on the watch for:
"Follow Your Heart"
Are you confused? Do you think I may be?  ;-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

.....That Remains the Same

Clustered and crowded into a small home in the damp, dreary November weather an extended family gathers. Scents of turkey, sage dressing and a hint of coal smoke fuse, steamy windows and piles of winter coats on the bed, boots scattered at the door. Laughter and coveys of conversation pause, heads bow and Thanks is given. Family topped the list that day. Health, warmth, safety, sustenance and country were voiced, Amen’s whispered…..


Sound familiar? Many of you were there literally, others in your own childhood homes the scene unfolding in your mind’s eye revealing individual experiences, memories and family.

Many from my reflections are gone, Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles. I miss each of them. Yet, another element which may give cause for thanksgiving is our memory, a simply magnificent treasure. With it we do not merely see the sights; we can wear the warmth, sniff the smells and taste the turkey. We can, one more time, experience the love of family and friends of gatherings past.
So what are your recollections, your souvenirs? What gives you cause for Thanks, today?

Did you know that the word gratitude comes from two Greek words that mean great attitude?
Well…not really. I made that up. But I thought it was pretty good. ;-) Don’t you?

How often do you ponder on specifics for which you are appreciative; Daily, weekly, every once in a while?
In her book, The How of Happiness, Sonya Lyubomirsky states that her laboratory results indicate expressing gratitude once a week is most likely to boost happiness. Isn’t that interesting? Her findings also reveal that variety is the spice of life. By varying and not over-practicing, (everyday in the same way) we prevent becoming bored with routine and thus extract more meaning from it. Isn’t that fascinating? That’s fascinating!
Do you believe that expressing gratitude, as I attempt to do with this ‘Rambling’, can actually attract more for which we may be grateful?

A short, unplanned story in this story:
As I typed ‘That’s fascinating’ in the above paragraph I remembered that today is trash day. Aren’t we fortunate to have, for a few bucks a week, someone who comes to the house and takes away all our trash? Oops rambling again. So I pause to take out the trash and while at the end of the driveway, I check the mailbox. I kid you not; a totaly unexpected check for $202.47 was waiting there for me. Coincidence? Perhaps. I am grateful just the same.

I can’t promise you ‘mailbox money.’ However, I do believe we will experience more joy and satisfaction if, say once a week, we reflect on all our blessings, big and small. Bask in all that has been gifted to you. It is a wonderfully warm and comforting setting.

I seldom reveal that I feel I do something well. Gratitude is an exception. I learned it from my Dad.
I have been blessed with more than I could ever deserve. I have friends (more like family) that have been close to my heart for over 30 years. Our good times and bad have all created lifelong bonds that will never be broken. Few people can make that claim.

My birth family is the most wonderful of any. I have looked around and know that to be a fact.

How it ever came to pass that I should have found the love of my life, as she unloaded my work truck, that that union would result in the daughter who is my constant delight, is one I will never fully understand or feel worthy of.
My ‘Thanksgiving’ runs year 'round, how ‘bout yours?

“Clustered and crowded into a small home….family topped the list that day.” And to this very day, that remains the same.



With love and a full heart I wish, for each of you, a blessed Thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Free To Good Home

We have all seen these ads. I have personally never responded to or placed one. Good for me on the first and why the hell not on the second!?

As I write, a bird squawks in the other room. The thump of cat feet striking the floor, interrupts the rhythmic snoring of an overweight bulldog that could double as a prize sow in a B movie. A cage rattles as the ferret seeks it’s turn at running loose and hauling away anything that has not been nailed to the ceiling or stuffed up my….
Yesterday’s screaming cat fight, in the dining room, produced enough hair to weave a nice pair of winter socks.

A personal review of my creature chronicles has me questioning my sanity.
· There was the dog that ate one of my rodeo plaques.
· An attack rabbit that ate the wiring off of several appliances.
· Another dog that ran around and crapped inside the only new vehicle I have owned.
· Enough cumulative holes in the yard to bury a locomotive.
· Countless books, boots and belts gnawed by eclectic species.
· Trees destroyed.
· Mile after endless mile of pee, poop and puke, all that I paid good money for in its original state.
· Tons of cat, dog, ferret, horse, mouse, hamster, rat, bird, and rabbit feed.
· There is the gaping hole at the bottom of my office door, compliments of the aforementioned B movie star.
· A destroyed $250 money order. (Did get that one replaced..Thanks Sis)
· Debbie’s day planner devoured, gone.
· An historic encounter with a Chupacabra at friend’s house.
· Cat shredded furniture…..the list never-ending, on-going.
Fortunately for each of us my memories have faded and the above is but an inkling of what has transpired.

I do want to say that I am in awe of a cat’s athletic abilities. No, not the landing on the feet thing. It is their phenomenal proficiency at racing backwards and simultaneously barfing endless trails of mice and Meow Mix, which leaves me awestruck.

Feed suppliers around the state love me.
Veterinarians develop goose bumps at the mention of my name.
My Dentist is going to Hawaii….
Oh Yes! The teeth. Did I mention the teeth?
How could I leave out the teeth?
The Animal Keeper of All Time, my wife, has been having some dental work done. A part of the process has involved a temporary, partial. You are way ahead of me aren’t you?
Yes, it is true.
Now speaking with a bit more of an accent, coupled with a greater use of double negatives this incident has left, even, Mrs. Keeper bewildered.

I calculate the current monthly critter costs to equal the payment on a Bentley.

Hey Doc, have a nice time in Honolulu.
Free to Good Home? What do you think?

All said, all done I suppose I would do it all again much the same way.
My Love, loves her animals and truthfully, so do I.
But I do have to add…. about the teeth thing?
I so hope this one bites the dog in the ass. Really.




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Can You Do Really Fast?

Recently there was a contest online. You were to answer this question:
What can you do really fast?
Here is my non-winning entry.

What can I do really fast is an interesting question and rather easy to answer when you are young. Back in ‘the day’ I could sprint with the best. When working as a rodeo clown & bullfighter being fast and light on your feet was more than just a handy skill. It could be lifesaving. But what about when the speed of youth has faded, what is your claim then?
As a natural progression and with very little special training I have become one of the worlds quickest at (drum roll please) ‘forgetting what I was doing’. (Cymbal crash) Please hold your applause until the end. Yes, it appears that my great talent lay dormant for years only to recently be discovered along with the gray hair that had been hiding, just beneath my scalp. Uses for my new found endowment are currently being researched. Thus far little value has been found in the questions at the bottom of the stairs, ‘Did I just come down or was I going up?’, as with the refrigerator query, ‘Putting something in or taking it out?’ My investigation for methods to successfully apply my new found skill will continue. But please excuse me, I must stop for now. I have to write an article about: What I can do really fast.
Where did I put my pen….?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quotes: Imagination and Thinking

“Everything you can imagine is real.” ~Pablo Picasso

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ~Albert Einstein

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ~Dr. Seuss

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Sky's the Limit

When I used to think of discipline, it brought up feelings of dread, of punishment. I think most will agree those are also their first thoughts. If we look a little deeper into the definitions in Webster’s we find:
Discipline: self-command, self-control, self-discipline, self-government, self-mastery, self-restraint, willpower.
Notice how many times ‘self’ is used? So discipline then is something that we can have control over, and when we have control over something, that is a very good thing, if we make the very best use of that control.

Discipline, I have come to believe is the master key to what we wish to gain, become and accomplish with our lives.
So what can we do, be, have? Are there limits?

It was a mostly clear day, just a few scattered clouds in the mid-west sky. Chris had never been to this community before. His job had brought him here, and he had to work on Saturday! As he peered out of his office window he noticed a railroad yard. Chris had always loved trains. Perhaps tomorrow before work, (yes, he had to work on Sunday too) he could drive down and check out the rail yards.
And that is where I met Chris.
It turned out this young man was the embodiment of self discipline.

Now here is a guy hundreds of miles from home, in a place he would never have been, had his work not taken him there, and he was working weekends. So how do I figure him to be one of the most disciplined people I may ever meet?
You see when Chris caught sight of our rail yard that Saturday afternoon he was mere feet from his co-workers, but four hundred feet above the city, traveling about 300 miles an hour in his F/A 18 Hornet. Just moments before they had been pulling a little over 7 G’s as they performed as a part of the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels!
We spent almost an hour together, talking railroad and (whenever I could get him to stop talking about trains) flying.
What type of self-discipline do you suppose it takes to become one of the nation’s √©lite pilots?
Were there days when he wanted to quit, times that he was afraid, that it all seemed just too hard?
My guess is yes. But Chris persevered, he did not quit and his self-mastery has taken him to places he would never have gone to meet people (me) he would never have met. The discipline he has employed over the years now pays him dividends beyond what he could have imagined and memories to last, a lifetime. And most important of all is, who he has become, because of all he was willing to do.
So are the struggles worth the effort?
I only spent an hour with Chris, but I’m certain he would smile and say,
‘Yes sir. The sky’s the limit.’



Be safe, Major Collins.
And thank you for your service.


http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Come on Cowboy, Let's Ride

We are born into greatness, we are conditioned into mediocrity.”

What were your dreams as a child? Did you dream of becoming a Fireman, a Doctor, a Nurse, an Astronaut or a Cowboy? You could be and do anything when you were a child. Then life and all of its advisors began to influence our thoughts and then our beliefs, many of these advisors were well meaning and wanted to save us from disappointment and the harsh realities of life. Slowly we began to subscribe to the idea that life is unfair and we really can’t become any of those terrific things we had so fervently believed in our youthful games.
“Anything the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Hill is one of the most acclaimed success authors of modern day. He spent 20 years studying the lives of the day’s most successful people and this quote is the essence of his findings.
I have a question for you. Actually I have more than one.
What if Hill is right? What if we dream and envision something because we have within us the ability to accomplish exactly that of which we dream? Wow! To me that is exciting stuff, how ‘bout you?
Perhaps our well meaning advisors had just bought into someone else’s lack of belief. There is evidence that life is unfair, if that’s what you look for. However the polar opposite is also true. “If you search you will find...” the ancient text says. So what are you searching for?
Perhaps a better description or definition is that, ‘Life is impartial.’ You see disappointments and difficulties are not reserved just for the poor, or for you.
We all struggle with them from time to time.
Let’s play a game. Like when we were kids. No holds barred, full on, as if anything is possible.
Now with our childlike faith in place, fast forward to today. Life has been wonder-filled and today you are living Your Perfect Day! Remember, everything is possible.
With whom would you share this Perfect Day?
Where would you wake up?
Would you be on an exotic beach by the sea, a crystal clear lake, or high in the mountains?
What is your house like, what and how many vehicles are in the driveway, and what colors are they?
What season is it, sunny or rainy…perhaps you are snuggled in your log cabin, fireplace crackling while the blizzard whistles just outside your window?
Will you be writing a check to your favorite charity, today? If so, to whom and for what amount?
What are the sights the sounds and the smells? Live this day in full color.
So why would I ask you to take this imaginary trip, to Your Perfect Day?
Well you just might be surprised to find that many of the elements of Your Day already exist.
Do we express gratitude for what we already have or do we tend to fo-cuss on what we lack?

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." ~William Arthur Ward

The more we appreciate and express our thankfulness the more we will find to be grateful for. Remember the searching deal? Put the text to the test and see for yourself. Science now supports these findings with what is called the ‘Observer Effect.’ It is a Quantum Physics principle, that states: ‘We find what we look for.’
So it is a choice that we each must make. How do we wish to spend and invest these days which will be called our lives? What do we wish to find?
I invite you to post Your Perfect Day on this blog, as an expression of your gratitude.
As we each share our individual Days we can, collectively, find additional things that we might not have come up with on our own. All of us are better than each of us.
Share your ideas. What do you find exciting and fulfilling? Are there some goals that need to be set to take us closer to the ultimate vision we have for our lives? Get sparkling clear on what Your Perfect Day will look like, so you will recognize it when it arrives.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.”
~ Yogi Berra

Crank up the Firemans siren.
Blast off in your rocket ship.
Dream like a kid again…
Come on Cowboy, Let’s ride!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson
The above is a quote by Marianne Williamson from a movie called 'Akeelah and the Bee'.

"And as we let our own light shine.....as we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

Each of us possess unique talents and abilities, solitary expressions of our individual life experience and personality from which others may draw to live fuller, richer lives. Your gift is yours alone to give. No other human has what you have to share.

"Your playing small does not serve the world..."

We are each meant to light an others way...
Whose life will change because of your influence, whom may you liberate with your courage?
Be bold, shine on.

mj

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Which Comes First...?

The question was: Do your thoughts create your beliefs, or do your beliefs create your thoughts? (See the post 'Your Opine, Please.' just below.)
I shall now attempt to give you my thoughts…beliefs…oh boy here we go! These are merely my viewpoints. Each individuals view on this will be influenced and shaded by personal life experience, environment and association. Therefore I suppose (glad I didn’t say think?) each answer is as special and unique as the person themselves. There never has and never will be another exactly like you! So my answer may not run in the general vein as most of the replies and that is just as it should be….each with his / her own opine.
Perhaps the best way to provide my answer is with a few more questions. Are you up for that?
· Can you believe something without thinking about it?
· How strong could an unthinking belief be?
· From where would we acquire such a belief?
· Can you think something without believing it?
It seems to me that you can have a thought without believing it, but can you really have a belief without thinking about it.
You may think about what you believe, but do you believe every thought?
It is my submission that, as adults, we have to think about something before it becomes a belief. As children our beliefs were instilled, in us, by parents, teachers, preachers and others that were a part of our development. And that guidance is essential to our growth. As thinking adults however we should begin to ask ourselves questions about the beliefs we hold and do we really believe them or are they there by default.
Many of the things of which I was quite certain (beliefs), as a youth, have developed and grown (after personally thinking about them) to support new ideas and philosophies (i.e.: beliefs). I have not abandoned all the teachings of my childhood rather; I have strengthened some and replaced others with more appropriate thoughts and thus beliefs.
So I question again, can you believe something before you think about it? How confident would you be in a belief about which you had not personally contemplated.
Let’s take this exercise for an example.
Are you thinking about your belief…Which comes first?
Well, I hope this has been fun for you. It has been great fun for me.
And now that this reply is complete…
I think I’ll catch a ride with Dee. And you can believe that.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Your opine, Please.

I have for you, this evening, a question.
I love good questions, don't you?
I think ( oh! a clue to the question already ) I think this is a really good question. One with potential for debate of what you believe (yet another clue?).
Hopefully you will feel inclined to take part in this just for fun, while learning, project.
No answer will be considered wrong. Can't say I will brand any right, either.
Just a terrific opportunity to get your thinker thinking. We really do very little true thinking, you know...or at least that's what I think.
Earl Nightingale thought so too.
" Most people, if they said what they were thinking, would be speechless"; that's what Earl said.
So enough blaa blaa, here's your question.
Do your thoughts create your beliefs, or do your beliefs create your thoughts?
That's it.
So, what do you think and believe, or believe and think?
Perhaps you are thinking...He's really lost it this time, and that's OK.
Believe or think what you will.
I eagerly await your speculation and pontification.
I think ( there I go again ) believe this should be really fun.
So have fun!!
Post your answer in the comment/reply section below.
And as always, sincerely, thanks for reading and now playing along.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

'Don't wish things were easier, Wish you were better."

Today I submit a tribute to the life and teachings of Jim Rohn.
I was fortunate to meet him one time. An extraordinary event for me. His handshake, his words, his eyes all conveyed his belief in me, in my abilities. I will never forget the brief time I spent with him.

Mr. Rohn's time in this system ended December 5th 2009, but his philosophy continues to change lives. The few 'Ramblings' I share are deeply influenced by this uncomplicated man. Outside my own father, he has influenced my philosophy more than any other human who was alive during my lifetime.

One of his teachings was; "Borrow all you can borrow. Give credit but borrow other peoples words." One example he would use was a quote from Winston Churchill. "The truth is incontrovertable. Malace may attack it and ignorance may deride it but in the end, there it is." Mr Rohn would then say..." I could stay up all night and not think of that!"

At the final tribute for Mr. Rohn, Darren Hardy gave these closing comments.
They are here for you to hear, in the link below.
Today I borrow, once again, Mr. Rohn's words through Mr. Hardy.
They are principles I believe in.
I hope they may mean as much to you.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkEkxpIEiHc

Thank you Mr. Rohn.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Try Try Again...

However keep in mind...

If at first you don't succeed;

Skydiving is probably not for you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whats my Potential? Perspective?

If I were to wander through a cemetery, what undeveloped potential might I pass, on my walk? Dormant words of hope, comedy or challenge, songs unwritten or unsung lying beneath the sod?

You say; 'But you don't don't understand the problems they had the struggles they endured. Life was too cruel, they could barely survive. The benevolent hand of God passed them by, without pausing.'

Life indeed seems unjust at times. I have attended many pity parties, myself the only guest. And then came a change in perspective.

I have learned that it is in our trials, troubles and tribulations that life develops meaning. Now that doesn't mean I like it or wish for more, but if I am paying attention the lesson is there. In times of illness, love will abound from places untold. In other difficulties, help springs.

We all have our burdens to bear and with some educated perspective our journey may reveal unprecedented joy, fulfilment and spirit.

Take a moment to get a tissue...

Got it?

Watch the video below and be filled with encouragement.

It has been said; "Most people are buried with their music still in them."

What is your potential?

How is your perspective?

Why are you waiting?

Patrick isn't.

www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=9xwCG0Ey2Mg

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Best 10 Years of Your Life

Anytime I run across something really good, I like to share it.
Here is one.
http://darrenhardy.success.com/

I heard Darren speak last year and I can tell you, first hand, He has it going on!
Check out the program he has made available for free. The only cost is the time you invest in yourself. Hey there is some work here, but living an unplanned life can be much more difficult. This is also first hand wisdom.
Hope you take the valuable time and design your next ten years.
Let's make it an exciting ride.

To becoming your best,
mj