Archive for November, 2008

Daily Dose

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Right out of nowhere, my 8-year-old son Garrett asked me,


“Dad, why are there more bad things happening in the world than good things?”

“Why do you think that?”

“Well, every time I hear you watching the news it sounds like just all bad things are happening.”

I sat for a moment in silence. I thought about the negatively-slanted-media-bombarded world we live in. We all are getting our dim, dismal, daily dose of disaster, aren’t we?

What to do? Stop reading the paper? Stop watching the news, looking at the evening stock reports? Perhaps, but is there an alternative to living uniformed and ignorant? I believe there is. If our daily dose is our problem, could it also be our solution?

What if we developed a habit of injecting a little mental magic, some positive perception, some spiritual oomph into each day? We wouldn’t let a day pass without feeding our bellies, shouldn’t we also endeavor to daily feed our personal development, program our minds with possibilities, buoy up our hearts with optimism?

Grab a book, listen to a positive pod cast, watch a hilarious YouTube bit, phone an optimistic friend, subscribe to an uplifting blog. Develop a habit of getting your daily dose of power and possibility, brightness, hope and anticipation. Give yourself the gift that inoculates you from the setbacks and worries of our daily disasters. With that positive daily dose of energy and optimism, life will just get better and better and better.

“Hey, good job, Dad! Now can we go watch that cool Nova science program?”


Stop Doing List

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Have you ever written a To Do List? It is no secret that a To Do List is an effective tool for increasing focus and productivity. Some are so obsessive about this, if they accomplish a task that isn’t on their list, they write it down so they can enjoy the satisfaction of checking it off!

How about an idea not so well known? This idea can also have a dramatic effect on how we live and what we accomplish. Business author, Joe Calloway, suggests that along with our To Do List, we should create a To Stop Doing List.

This is a list of things to stop doing; things to stop wasting our time and attention on; things to give up; things to let go of. This list may include grudges we are holding onto, a general attitude of negativity, poor habits, things we do or think or feel, that steal our time and energy. As Joe Calloway said, “…things to stop doing.”

Things to stop doing? Does this sound negative? A photographer friend of mine told me wryly, “Brad, sometimes you need a good clear negative to get a positive picture.”

Anything is a Blessing

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We were preparing the third edition of my book Beyond Illusions for publication when I received a call from my editor. “Brad,” Tom said excitedly. “I just gave a couple bucks to a fellow sitting on the sidewalk asking for handouts. Brad, he’s got a handwritten sign that reads, ‘Anything is a Blessing.’ How cool is that? That’s precisely the point we make in your book.”

Now clearly the man meant that any contribution, no matter how small, anything at all, would be a blessing. He obviously didn’t mean that being down on your luck – especially being homeless – is a blessing; but is it – or could it be?

This man who had apparently been humbled by life to the point of begging was more right than he realized.

Anything is a blessing – anything at all – illness, accident, injury, bad luck – even homelessness – is a blessing, or could be, depending on how we look at it, respond to it, learn from it, and grow from it. (It is said of Christopher Reeves that “Superman” accomplished more in this world after his paralyzing accident than he ever did before.)

Okay, maybe you don’t want to call that really tough situation you are in right now a blessing. I understand. I probably wouldn’t call it a blessing either. How about calling it a challenge? Maybe a test? Hey, how about calling it an opportunity? That works for me; after all, what are opportunities if they aren’t blessings?
The point is, most anything could be, in fact, a blessing – depending on your perception and your perspective.

On second thought, maybe I do that homeless fellow a disservice. Maybe he meant exactly what he said, “Anything is a Blessing.” He was alive. He knew that humanity cared enough to help him out. Even with all the suspicion and distrust directed at beggars and strangers, he knew that there were enough people out there who would take care of him.

Maybe he really didn’t need their money at all.

Maybe he wasn’t homeless.

Maybe he was a messenger.

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Copyright 2008: Brad Barton Presentations, Inc.