Paint a Picture with Words

I heard a story recently, it went something like this….

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room’s only window

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

Sometimes we are best able to encourage people not by what we see, but in what we see for them.  What pictures are your words painting for your friends and family today? Are your words a picture of encouragement?

How are you encouraging others today?


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Do you have Brave thoughts?

In July of 2011 I wrote a post about tuning in and listening to the words you use when you talk to yourself.  The title was You are Exactly what you Think and I am in need of a refresher. Want to know who you are? Tune in to the conversation inside your head. Your thoughts accurately reflect who you think you are.

I read a statement last week that said something to the effect that the worst thing someone could say to us in an argument is something we already fear (or know) to be true.  The voices in our head know the truth.  The voices know if we are procrastinating. They know when we lie (to ourselves or others). The voices also know how to trick us into believing untruths about ourselves.  This, my friend is where it all gets tricky; because our minds can spin an event to the positive or to the negative.

Does your mind always spin to the negative? Do you take every event and put yourself in the most negative position?

The good news is – you can change!

Sure, you learned a habit. Perhaps it came from your parents. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism. Why you developed it isn’t as important as discovering how you can change. It is time to embrace the new and improved (i.e. positive) you!

What I want to you start for this week is to begin a regimen of saying good things to yourself.

Make sure they are positive statements, not negatives masquerading as positives. For example, ‘I won’t be negative’ is a negative statement masquerading as a positive.

Ten times each day make a positive statement to you (and mean it). You will feel better about yourself by weeks end. Because you are what you think you are…think yourself into a more positive you!

Here are a few statements to get you started:

  • I’m making progress.
  • I can handle this.
  • I’m willing to try.
  • I am in control of this.
  • I am excellent at … writing/singing/problem solving
  • I have a fantastic … mind/talent/ability with people
  • I keep trying.
  • I’ll get it.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about positive problem solving. So come back tomorrow.


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Put on a Happy Face

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”  ~Herm Albright

You’ve seen the type, the perky always excited about life person that everyone hates to see coming.  Their good mood puts you in a worse mood because nobody can be that happy about life.   Well, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to have the perky positive attitude most of the time.  All it takes is a little effort.

There are times when life is treating you good, things are going your way and it’s easy to be happy and friendly toward everyone.  Then there are times when you just don’t feel positive about life.  Circumstances have gotten you down and you just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.   Sometimes the best thing to do then is just put on a happy face.  “Fake it ’til you make it” is one saying that I’ve heard.

Now, I’m not saying that you should be fake and insincere.  I’m just saying that there are things you can do when you are feeling down that will improve your mindset.

  • Make a list of everything you have to be thankful for.  Soon you will find that it’s almost impossible to keep a negative attitude while thinking about all the positives in your life.
  • Smile and laugh.  You’ve heard that laughter is contagious.  And it works.  It’s hard to be down when you are laughing.
  • Meditate.  Find a quiet place and take a few minutes to breathe deeply and clear your mind.  You might find with greater focus that it is easier to see the positive side of circumstances.
  • Remove yourself from the situation.  This might be easier said than done, but sometimes you will be able to leave the place that is making you miserable and go to a place where you are happier.
  • Exercise.  It is a known fact that exercise releases endorphins that will improve your mental outlook.  So take a walk, ride your bike or attend that new aerobics class at the gym.

With a little practice, you can be that person that consistently has a positive outlook.  Your life will be better for it.

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Rules to Live by…

Today I want to share with you some of my rules to live by.  Please note these are my rules. I challenge you to make your own list.

  1. Know your values in life and start living by them;
  2. Be curious about life and the things that happen around you;
  3. Don’t give your power away by letting others dictate how you feel;
  4. Say ‘I Love You’ and mean it when you say it;
  5. You do not know what someone else thinks. So, ask them (and really listen to the answer);
  6. Always admit to your mistakes and try to make it right;
  7. Enjoy the great outdoors everyday;
  8. Take responsibility for your life (including mistakes);
  9. Believe in your ability to change your circumstances;
  10. Trust your instinct;
  11. You can’t change the past, stop letting it ruin your future;.
  12. Do not gossip.
  13. Believe in your own higher power, nobody else’s.
  14. Listen to others, don’t just sit thinking about what you want to say when they stop talking;
  15. Stay in touch with the people who matter to you;
  16. Don’t compare yourself to others, this is your path not theirs;
  17. Prepare in advance for your own confidence;
  18. Hug as much as you can;
  19. Cut down on your TV time;
  20. Love your partner with everything you have, but do not depend on them for anything;
  21. Learn to argue fair;
  22. Give everyone one chance. They may surprise you;
  23. Exercise you mind and body everyday;
  24. Never forget to say Thank You (and mean it);
  25. Embrace learning; Learn something new every day and teach something every day;
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Train Your Brain to Always Be Positive

Every day cannot be the best day of your life.  There may actually be days that suck! How do you let these days go and regain your positive outlook?  Believe me; I understand that what I am about to say will sound completely silly to you.  However the reality is you CAN think your way out of whatever negativity is taking over your brain.

You can train your brain to always think positive and you can teach yourself to always react in a positive way. Is it easy – nope! Is it worth the effort – ABSOUTELY! Here is the trick. Begin your day by answering these questions:

– What am I happy about today?

– What am I excited about today?

– What could I do today to feel more happy and excited?

– What am I grateful for in my life?

– What could I do to feel more grateful?

– What do I love?

– Who do I love?

– Who loves me?

– What am I proud of today?

– What am I enjoying most in my life?

– What am I committed to today?

– What can I give or share today?

– What can I do today to connect with my family?

– What can I do today to connect with people?

– What can I do today to make it a successful day?

– What can I do today to be healthy and take care of my body?

Before bed answer these questions:

– What have I given today?

– What have I learned today?

– What did I accomplish today?

– What are the good things that happened today?

– What did I do wrong today? How can I fix it?

– How can I make tomorrow a better day?

Make this a daily ritual.  You can think your way into a positive attitude.

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