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ralph waldo emerson

Find the Fun

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever seen the wonderful Disney movie, Mary Poppins? If not you should, but if you did, do you remember the song A Spoonful of Sugar?

find the funIn every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game

It’s right there, the element of fun.  Find the fun, the enthusiasm, find the joy and you’ll you’ll be amazed. Think about any time,  you’ve been doing chores. When you’re dreading them and hating on them, they seem to take forever, and things go wrong and it’s just an all around blechy time.  Now think about a time when maybe you’ve been working with a friend.  You’re joking around, laughing, having a good time.  Maybe listening to some music while you work or something.  I’m betting the work went a lot easier and you accomplished a lot more.
If you’re not enthusiastic about what you’re doing, if you can’t find the fun in it or find the joy in it, your progress will be limited.  You may get it done, but that’s all.  It’ll be done.  I can’t stop thinking about an old time barn raising.  Everyone would come together and work to get the barn or whatever built.  There would be food, and fun, laughter and jokes, and probably a party at the end of the day.  They found the fun and the work went quickly and in a very short time – boom, a barn!
If you have a goal, something that you want to accomplish, you need to approach it with enthusiasm and joy.  You need to find the fun.  Find the enthusiasm and watch as you accomplish something outstanding.


Get Out of the Shadows

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do we really stand in our own sunshine?  What does that even mean?  I’ve been thinking about it a lot today as I was whining and bitching about some work that I have to get done for a class that I’m taking.  I started thinking about what is my sunshine.  Well, the ability to take the class, and learn is get out of the shadowscertainly pretty strong sunshine.  I’m done with the whining (for now anyhow).  I’m going to get out of the shadows, and so should you.

Standing in your sunshine is kind of like doubting yourself, or coming down on yourself. It’s when you say you can’t, or call yourself stupid or criticize yourself for making a mistake.  That’s standing in your own sunshine.  At least in my mind it is.  But you need to stop that and get out of the shadows.

Stop standing in your own sunshine.  Let it shine down on you and warm you and fill you with light.  Let it dazzle you and the world around you.  You won’t have to worry about if you can get out of the shadows.  When you stop blocking your own sunshine, the light that shines out from you will light the world.

Look Inside Yourself

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Originally posted Nov 4, 2011

On the surface, this quote is kind of hard to believe. Where you came from can be so important, it can shape who you are. What lies before us, our goals are also equally as important, it’s what you are shooting for. Then with deeper thought, I kind of started to get it. Yes, where you came from is important, it doesn’t have to define you, or shape who you are. It can, but it doesn’t have to do so. Nor does where you are going have to shape us. look inside yourselfYes, it’s great to have goals, and to focus on them, but it doesn’t have to define you. There will be bumps in the road, and detours and such, but you learn to roll with them. But who you are right now, right this very second, how you feel, how you think, what you believe – your inner strength and fortitude is what does matter. And what is really cool about that, is right now is always changing so it you are not thrilled with who you are right this second, don’t worry, you can change it because the next second is coming.

My thoughts today:

Look inside yourself, that’s something everybody should do on a regular basis.  When you do it, what do you see?  I’m going to be honest, I don’t like what I see.  I see pettiness, judgement, and crankiness.  Of course I can also see kindness, caring and compassion.  I’d like to think that the good stuff overshadows the negative, but I think mostly they just balance each other out. When I started this journey of being a more positive person, I had these pie in the sky visions of becoming this perfect, peaceful person who radiated love and happiness all of the time. As the years have gone by, I’ve realized that I’m not perfect, and I’m never going to be perfect, and more importantly, I don’t want to be perfect.  I want to be me.  When you look inside yourself, who do you see?  I see me.  A perfectly imperfect person who has room to grow and hopefully will always have room to grow.  Look inside yourself, what do you see?

Look on the Bright Side

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always try to look on the bright side of things. I don’t always succeed, but I do always try.  If I’m going to be perfectly honest, it’s easy to look at what has gone wrong rather than what has gone right. I know it is for me.  I think it is for other people too.

I wish I knew why it was like this, I bet if I could figure it out, and figure out a way to change it, I’d be a millionaire 🙂  A couple of years ago, I made the decision to start looking for a new car.  When I was done researching, my plan was to give my old vehicle to my son, who was driving the minivan I got look on the bright sidewhen my kids were 6.  He was 22 at that point, so it was time.  Well one day, on his way to work, he got hit by a person who ran a red light because they were taking a sip from their water bottle.  Thankfully nobody was hurt, but it was the end of the line for Spike the minivan.  Yes my van’s name was Spike.  It was a minivan, it needed a cool name.

My son went into flip out mode because he was going back to school in a few weeks and he needed his car on campus that year to get to his internship. All he could think about was how his life was ruined, his senior year was ruined, and he wasn’t going to be able to do the internship.  Yeah he was incredibly happy that nobody got hurt, but that was the only good thing he took away from that experience.  What good things? Aside from nobody being hurt, we had insurance, as did the other driver, so things were going to be taken care of.  He wasn’t old enough to use the rental car, but I was, so he just used my car and didn’t miss any work at all – except for the day the accident happened.

I bumped up my car search, and while he didn’t have a car to take to school, he had one the second week of school.  He had a much better, safer car than he would have, had Spike survived the accident.  Between what we got from insurance, and what I had saved, I was able to get a new vehicle for myself and give my son my car to use.  And guess what, I didn’t get to spend as much time researching and test driving cars, but that’s okay too.  Bright side, I went back to the dealership where I worked before I started teaching.  I renewed some friendships, and I got a car that I loved.  I could have focused on negatives, but instead, I chose to look on the bright side.  Honestly, it makes life so much more enjoyable!

Don’t Waste Your Time, It’s Too Precious

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

First allow me to apologize for the lateness of this post.  Time just really got away from me today.  I don’t know how, or why, but it did.  So anyhow, let’s talk about anger for a bit.  Please note that I am not saying don’t get angry.  That’s like asking the sun not to shine.  Anger is natural, and anger is in fact, healthy.  What’s not healthy is hanging on to anger.  It doesn’t do you any good at all.  When you hang on to anger, you’re robbing yourself of so much, and it’s going to end up hurting you.  Moreover, it does nothing to the person that you’re angry with.

The kids I work with at school do fairly stupid things on a regular basis.  They act out, say hurtful things, swear, and get into fights. They get mad, and often that anger is directed at the adults in our program.  Guess what? I get angry right back, and I don’t have a problem letting them know that I’m angry.  But then, it’s gone.  The next class period is a clean beginning.  Why?  Because my hanging on to anger isn’t going to change them, and it’s only going to show them the wrong way to behave.  Instead, I’ll talk with them, let then know what I think and why, and then I move on.

Like I said, anger is normal, and expressing your anger is healthy, and necessary.  But don’t hang on to the anger and let it grow within you.  To do so robs you of something precious.  It robs you of your time, your happiness and of your life.  Use the anger, if you must, and channel it into healthy pursuits, but don’t hang on to it.

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