The Power of Faith

What is faith? Faith is often thought of in conjunction with religion, however in a broader sense it may also be seen as trust
or belief without proof and can be synonymous with hope, conviction and expectation.

The Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. So what does that really mean? Many times we’re so focused on what we can see and touch. We’re focused on what we consider to be “real”. But what is truly real?

Most of us have faith that we’ll wake up tomorrow. And most of us have faith that we our bodies will take care of its necessary functions like digestion, elimination and breathing. We have faith without even thinking about it.

However, if we pay close attention, we can see evidence of faith in our lives on a much larger basis.  In my life journey I’ve learned I can’t plan for everything that may happen. In fact, the more I plan or think I’m in control the more things go awry.

The times I’ve let go and trusted things will be handled in my favor are the times when I attracted exactly what I needed.

Many years ago, during my early days in New York City, there was a time I thought I might become homeless. I was deeply in
debt and I didn’t have funds to pay my rent. I was driving myself into a frenzy trying to figure out any way to make enough to pay rent. I created a list of some legal and some not so legal ways to make some quick cash.

And then the strangest thing happened. I received an envelope in the mail when I was at my largest breaking point. In
the envelope were two things, a letter and a small booklet. The booklet was “The Daily Word”, which is a monthly pamphlet with a daily spiritual message. There was also a letter with a number to call for prayer. I called that number and spoke to a woman who had the most soothing voice and demeanor.

We spoke about my dilemma and then she asked if she could pray for me. I said yes. When I got off of the phone I had sense
of calmness. I also had complete faith that everything would be alright.

Before the week was over I received a callvfor an interview for a job paying much more that I was making. I was also able
to get a part time job to take care of my immediate expenses. Was this a coincidence? What do you think?

I still have no idea who sent me the envelope. However, what I learned from that experience is that GOD wants to provide for us even more than we want to take care of ourselves. HE will provide. We just have to trust and know.

Writer and Director, Julia Cameron, says she has learned faith is about trust and action. You must take some kind of step to put your faith into action. If you pray for oranges you may get apples, but those apples will be exactly what you needed.

I put my faith into action by making that phone call. And I was rewarded.

What about you? How powerful is your faith? What steps have you taken? I’d love to hear your story.

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How to Make the Most of a Bad Situation

Today’s job environment is one of the most stressful ever. You’re expected to do more with less and in quicker time. What can you do when you’re feeling completely stressed out by your job’s demands? Here are some tips to help make a bad situation better.

Break your day into segments.  Breaking your day into segments can make it more manageable. Instead of 9am-5pm, try breaking it into three segments, 9am-11:30am, 11:30-2:00pm and 3-5pm. Setting goals for each segment can help to make your
day go quicker and with less stress.

Compete with yourself. Competing with yourself throughout the day helps to keep you more motivated.

Take courses to improve your leadership and management skills. Improving your management skills will help to keep you advancing and it also increases your marketability.

Do pleasurable activities outside of work. Taking advantage of your time off and doing what you enjoy helps to make your work days more bearable.

Get a quick workout.  Exercise can boost endorphins which help to reduce stress, improve your mood and help you feel
calmer. I used to take a 30 minute trip to the gym during my lunch break which helped me feel better prepared to handle the rest of my day.  If you don’t have the time to workout, a 15 minute walk is a wonderful way to get out of the office and clear your head.

Talk to someone you trust. If you have a social network at work, talking your problems through with your co-workers may help you feel at ease and even find the solution to your problem that you’ve been missing.

Don’t bring your job home. No matter what happens at work, as soon as you leave the office start to think about things that you enjoy. There is no reason to carry your work problems home with you.

Life is short. Remember to enjoy it. Family, friends and the things that make you happy should always be incorporated into your time away from the office.

And remember, I am here for you if you need me.

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Does the American Dream Still Exist?

Wikipedia says the American Dream is the national ethos where freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1]

The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life.

However many people today say that the idea of what the American Dream is has changed over time. In fact, the original dream was a new world with land untold and the opportunity for low cost land to own a farm.

In the 19th century many Jews fled Germany and came to the US for the opportunity of religious freedom.

Our parents and grandparents had the belief in an American Dream where each generation would have improved financial and educational opportunities. However, with the national unemployment rate at 8.3% as of January 2012 and many mid-career Americans unemployed or under employed, the idea of what the American Dream was and is may have to be revised.

The American Dream still exists however; we each have to take individual responsibility to ensure our own employment and career mobility. There are no longer organizations or corporations that will take us on a career journey throughout our entire lives until retirement.

Today’s American dream will have to be made up of employees as individual contractors. We will work in positions as long as they suit our needs or the organizations needs. Retraining ourselves throughout our career is now a necessity. The new employee will have to be aware and prepared for a changing, fluctuating job market.

We can no longer rely on the government to provide or create jobs. In today’s environment priorities will change on a whim of political ideals. And entrepreneurship will be the key to a positive impact on society.

In essence, I believe that America is still the land of Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The notion of an American Dream still exists.

However, for those of us currently in the work force and for generations to come, there will be a much larger need for individual action and direction in choosing a career and having the ability to look over the horizon and anticipate what direction the job market is going.

Can anyone say Green Jobs?

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Know Your Strength

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

This weekend has been a whirlwind of celebrations. My sister in law and one of my very good friends both turned 40. Spending time with close friends and family always reminds me of who I am. When people know you, there can be no pretense on your part.

They intrinsically know your worth and value. They see your power.

The people who’ve been in my life for years can tell right away if I’m living up to all I can be or if I’m settling for less. I believe
many times God uses the people in our lives to get us back in alignment. However, we have to be listening to receive the message. Our guard must be down.

We often forget the inner force that has gotten us to and through so much of the “stuff” in our lives. And when we forget, it allows us to make less effort to live the life we know we are capable of living.

Many times it can be minor things; like completing tasks that we know we need to complete to move our future ahead. It could be something as simple as not returning that phone call you know you need to follow up on. Or not completing that college or job application. Maybe it’s just deciding to watch television and to not prepare for tomorrow.

Whatever it is, it is stopping us from moving forward to a higher plane.

The universe wants to give us our desires. However, we often forget that unlimited source is always on our side. We just have to tap into it.  A few tiny steps lets God know that  we have faith in our ability to achieve what we want.

And as we move closer to God, he moves closer to us. Therein lies our power.

You and I are here to be great. Use your strength to create the best life you can. The life you deserve.

Your power is within.

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The Power of Purpose

It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?

- Henry David Thoreau

Each of us is here for a reason. That reason or purpose many time is deep within. Like a seed waiting to be watered, to develop and blossom.

Some people know or discover their purpose at a very young age. They take every step to get to that place of prominence or importance to impact the world in a big way. Martin Luther King knew he wanted to make a difference in the fabric of American life.

He and his wife, Coretta Scott-King, decided early in their relationship that they wanted to upset what was then considered a normal state of existence. They actually made an agreement to move back to the south after Martin’s graduation from Boston University.

Whitney Houston had an amazing voice at a very young age and her early life was spent in the anticipation that she would do big and great things as she matured.

At the age of twelve, Mother Teresa was convinced she should live a religious life. She ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, first throughout India and then in other countries. When Mother Teresa died she had 610 missions in 123 countries.

However, many of us spend our entire lives not really knowing what that purpose is.

We may just have a feeling that there’s something missing or there’s something we should be doing with our life.

If that’s happening, maybe the universe is trying to speak and give guidance and direction.

How can you tell if you’re living a purposeful existence?

When we’re not on purpose we may get caught up in the drudgery of our daily routine. Your purpose will lift you up beyond the day to day to keep you inspired.

When we don’t know our purpose it can seem as if the world is against us. Your purpose allows you to serve the world and feel the joy of making a difference.

When we’re not sure of our purpose, our actions are something we may do without conscious understanding. When
you’re on purpose the actions you take are inspired by your intention of making an impact.

When we’re not living our purpose, the trials and tribulations of our daily interactions can have a negative impact on our total being, causing frustration, unhappiness and illness.

Purpose will lift you up beyond the day to day tribulations, because you know you have a higher calling which helps you understand good things and bad things will come. It’s a natural fabric of life. However, you’ll respond to situations as
they arise knowing that a greater force will help you through.

Purpose doesn’t have to imply getting out there on a bigger stage. It could be making a difference as a Dad. Maybe your purpose as a teacher is to have a positive impact on a child to stay in school. Or maybe, just maybe,  you lighten up a room with your big smile and help people feel relaxed and comfortable.

Each of us has unique, God given, gifts that we’re to here to share with the world to help make it a better place.

So how does one discover what that purpose is?

By paying attention and noticing what makes you happy. Quiet time spent mediating or a daily journal can also help you realize what begins to take shape in your mind.

Sometimes you’ll just hear a whisper saying, “Maybe I should try that.” Sometimes the sound is as loud as a trombone beating against your chest, “Do that now.”

All of the answers are within. Begin to ask the right questions and you may be surprised at what answers you’ll receive.  Many times we dismiss the answers that come.

Stay aware of your inner voice.

When you begin to follow your inner guidance, you’ll slowly start to change course. You’ll begin to move in a direction that opens up more understanding.

Are you living your purpose? Have you discovered your purpose?

If not, what’s holding you back?

Now is your time.

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Life is an Opportunity

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.

Mother Teresa

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A Purposeful Life

I believe each of us is here for a reason. And that our purpose is something profound within each of us, like a tiny seed waiting to be watered, waiting to blossom.

Some people know or discover their purpose at a young age and they take every step to get to that place of prominence or importance and impact the world in a big way.  Martin Luther King knew that he wanted to make a difference in the fabric of American life.

He and his wife Coretta Scott-King decided early in their relationship that they wanted to change the status quo.

Whitney Houston had that amazing voice at a very young age and her early life was spent in the anticipation that she would do big and great things as she matured.

However, many people spend their entire life not really knowing what their purpose is.

You may have the feeling that there’s something missing or that there’s something you should be doing with your life. If that’s happening, maybe God is trying to speak to you and give you guidance and direction.

How can you tell if you’re living a purposeful existence?

When we’re not on purpose we get caught up in the drudgery of our day to day routine. Your purpose will lift you up beyond the day to day to keep you inspired.

When we don’t know our purpose it seems as if the world is against us. Your purpose allows you to serve the world and feel the joy of making a difference.

When we’re not sure of our purpose our actions are something we do without a conscious understanding. When you’re on purpose the actions you take are inspired by your intention of making an impact in the world.

When we’re not living our purpose, the trials and tribulations of our day to day interactions can have a negative impact to our
mindset and our total being, causing frustration, unhappiness and illness.

Purpose lifts you up beyond the day to day tribulations because you have a higher calling which helps you to see that good things and bad things will come. It’s the natural fabric of life. However, you’ll respond to situations as they arise knowing that a higher source will help you through.

Purpose doesn’t have to imply getting out there on a bigger stage. It could be that your purpose is making a difference as a Dad to your children. Or maybe your purpose as a teacher is to have a positive impact on a child to stay in school and graduate. Or maybe you lighten up a room with your big smile and help people feel relaxed and comfortable.

Each of us has unique, God given gifts, that we’re to here to share with the world to make it a better place.

So how does one discover what their purpose is?

By paying attention and noticing what makes you feel happy when you’re in the moment. Quiet time spent mediating or a daily journal can also help you to see what begins to take shape in your mind as you hear your inner voice.

All of the answers are within. Begin to ask the right questions and you may be surprised at what answers you’ll receive. Pay
attention to that inner voice that speaks to you. Many times we dismiss the answers that come.

However, when you begin to follow your inner guidance, you’ll slowly start to change course. You’ll begin to move in a direction that will open up more understanding of what your purpose is.

Are you living your purpose? Have you discovered your purpose? If not, what’s holding you back?

Now is your time.

 

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Inspired Living

« You must face your fears and limiting beliefs head-on to develop your self-belief. » Richard Parkes Cordock

The impact of inspiration in our lives cannot be understated. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important facets of a happy, fulfilled life. If you live an inspired life it has a direct impact to other areas. Everyone around you will see it and feel it.

There was a time when I really believed that there was no use for inspiration in my life. I had an excellent career, made very good money and was constantly working harder and harder to keep it all up.

I was so busy working, that I had forgotten how to live. There was a slow, gradual realization that I wasn’t totally happy but I didn’t want to address it, so I pushed it down and worked to hold on to what I had.

I understand now that my reason for not addressing it was the fear that I would then have to do something. I had no idea what that meant. However, there comes a time when we each have to address those things in life that we’ve tried to dismiss.

I knew I wasn’t inspired. How could I get back to those inspirational days, I asked? And that was the first step, asking “How”.

In fact, once you start asking yourself those important questions, your mind will start delivering answers. And once the answers start arriving, you can then move into the next phase and begin taking action to change.

Change is the hardest part. Fear of the unknown can keep us stilted. But…isn’t tomorrow unknown anyhow?

With all of our fervent planning and expectations, there is a total unknown element about tomorrow.

In fact we can only know right Now. So I challenge you to ask, what makes you feel alive? What makes you happy and excited? How can you use this day to make it the best ever?

And as the answers come, begin to take inspired action today. Because, when tomorrow arrives, this day will be gone forever.

 

 

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For 2012

I’m not one for writing resolutions. For me resolutions are too easily broken. However, it’s still early enough in the year for me to make some adjustments to my life in my way of thinking. These thoughts are ideas that I intend to incorporate into my life to stay encouraged:

Stop, slow down and pay attention

There is nothing wrong with me

I am made of perfect, pure light

Let the light shine through

Stop hiding

Step into greatness

Let go of fear

Pay more attention

Listen better

Be quiet more often

Spend more time in nature

Less noise, not more

Stop procrastinating

Relax and let go

God knows what I want and need

It will all be provided

It’s not that serious

No need for fear or worry

Let go of anger

Stay calm

Everything is a lesson

Have gratitude for ALL of the lessons

I intend to have the BEST life possible

I’ve discovered that these words or mantras have a positive impact to how my day begins if I place the list where I can see it first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed.

What ideas would you add to YOUR list for yourself in 2012?

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A Creative Life

As humans our natural inclination is to be creative. You can see examples of our creativity in everything around you.

It’s in the cars we drive, the homes we live in and the television shows we watch.  I live in New York City and once decided to
walk up Broadway from 14th street to 160th street. It was early morning and in the quiet of the city I was amazed at the creativity I noticed in the architecture, window layouts and even the clothes people were wearing.

I wonder why many of us don’t take any time to create the life we want. Instead, we live our lives by default, taking whatever comes our way with no conscious decision on what we truly desire. We begin to believe that the opportunity to create no longer exists.

Some of think that as we get older we have less influence. Our circle of influence may grow smaller.
However, I believe God wants us to continue to be creative and our use our creativity and inspiration to have a positive impact on those around us.

As long as we’re alive, I believe God wants us to continue to create the best life ever. It could be something as simple as having a
positive impact on your grandchild’s life or something as grand as starting your own business.

Either way you are still involved in the universe and making an impact. Creativity keeps your imagination alive and helps you to continue to inspire others.

In fact, I believe that as we inspire others they will in turn become inspired and it will have an enormous impact on communities, organizations and individuals.

So continue to stay inspired and continue to use your God given ability to create your best life ever. You may just inspire someone to do the same.

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