Monday, March 26, 2012

Guard Your Integrity

Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.

Everyday we are faced with situations that challenge our integrity in one way or another. For some, it might be a struggle to find the courage to stand up for what's right. For others, facing adversity might not be challenging at all.

It's easy to make the right choice when we know people are watching. But, are we as quick to make good choices, be honest, or stand up for what's right when no one is around? Do we guard our integrity no matter what the cost?

Integrity defines our character. It's a value we should all be striving daily to develop and strengthen. If we let it fall by the wayside, thinking no one will notice, we are failing ourselves. It's not always easy, but the more we practice doing the right thing, the easier it will become. Anytime we want to incorporate a talent or character trait as part of who we are, it takes practice. Integrity is no exception.

Make sure your integrity is in tact no matter what situation you find yourself in. There is always someone watching, even when you think you're alone. Let your actions make a statement about who you are. It might even help eliminate stress. After all, if you're honest, you don't have to rely so much on your memory.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Be Your Own You

Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy.

We will interact with many people throughout our lives who will influence us in different ways. Some might have a physique we envy, a style we want to adopt, or a talent we want to copy. But if we spend our time copying the lives of others, who will we become?

Although we all have someone we admire, today focus on who you are. What makes you unique? What separates you from the crowd? There are great things about each one of us that we need to take pride in. We need to spend more time saying, "I am proud to be me." And if this phrase doesn't roll off your tongue, you've got some practicing to do!

If you are someone who has a difficult time thinking positively about yourself, enlist the help of a spouse, close friend or family member. People who know and love you are sure to have a list of great and wonderful things to say about you. Just be sure to listen and say "Thank you," when they are done. Don't counteract the positives by disagreeing with them!

Once you have your list of positive features, put it someplace you will see it. Read it out loud. Read it often. If you think of more features, talents, or personality traits, add them to your list. If you receive a compliment, add it to the list. If you learn something new, add it to the list. You can even add one or two things you'd like to improve.

It's good to know what makes you YOU. It's even better to like what makes you YOU! Be proud of who you are. Own who you are. Emphasize your positives and work on the negatives until they become positives. Just make sure who you are is YOU. An original is always worth more than a copy.

Be Yourself

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Using History to Find Our Place in the Present

It's easier to know where you're going in life if you know where you've come from. 
This isn't referring to the birds and bees, but a reminder to look into your family tree.
~ Stacy Coles

Studying the past used to be a confusing path of road blocks and unanswered questions; an intimidating journey that most people didn't dare venture. Today, technology has made family history so easy and convenient that anyone can connect to their ancestors, making it possible for family trees to grow ~ even if you don't have a green thumb.

There are many computer programs on the market that will guide you on your journey through time, giving you tutorials along the way. There are also websites and family history libraries you can go to for technical support. Once you find out how to navigate through your own history, watch how many doors open up and explore the new eras that you are connected to.

Invite your parents, children, or siblings to journey with you as you unleash mysteries of the past. You might find that you have links to royalty in England, or that your relatives were Vikings in Norway. Maybe you'll realize that your love for music comes from your ties to Beethoven, or your talent in cooking is because you're a distant relative of Julia Child.

A family history search might inspire you to try new things when you find out the occupation or hobby of a great, great grandfather/mother. New doors can open to the future by unlocking doors from the past. But, it's up to us to uncover those hidden secrets that our modern-day family members might not even know exist. Our ancestors' experiences and journeys can give us the inner strength and courage we need to find our place in the present.

Family History

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Healing Power of Positive Thinking

Every "brick wall" in life has a silver lining. 
To see it, look beyond the trials we can't change and
 focus on the attitude we can change.

Life dishes out new challenges, trials, and opportunities every day. Regardless of what hand you were dealt today, you have the power to make it a good day.

We all know we are responsible for our actions. But sometimes we forget that we are also responsible for our attitude. When things go wrong, it's human nature to look for someone or something to blame. This scapegoat process tends to feed our anger, frustration, and pain. These negative feelings continue to build until we say or do something we later regret.

The next time we hit a "brick wall" or find ourselves in a situation that is out of our control, (i.e. the death of a loved one, financial distress, loss of a job, a break-up, or fight with a friend), instead of wasting time and energy on wondering what could have been done or focusing on what was lost, look for the silver lining. If there doesn't seem to be one in sight, make a list of the blessings in your life. It might seem minuscule, but it helps to put into perspective what is going well in our lives when all seems lost.

As we review this list of positives, no matter how long or short it may be, other blessings may pop into mind that we hadn't thought of before. Studying this list over time gives us the mental ammunition we need to move forward. Eventually, we are able to see the silver lining of almost any situation. The heavy heart starts to heal; the weight on our shoulders feels lifted; the brick walls come down. As we help ourselves heal mentally and emotionally, we feel better physically.

Our minds are powerful tools. Focusing on the silver lining in bad situations opens the door to self-healing. It allows us to get back to the person we want to be. Positive thinking doesn't happen easily for some, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Brick Wall, Positive Attitude