Importance of Turning Stuff Off

Thoughts matter

I believe in the whole business about how your thoughts attract like thoughts. If you’re in a negative mindset, you’re going to experience that which will confirm that negative mindset. I remember decades ago I used to have run-ins with authority figures like bus drivers, it was fairly consistent. A friend of mine said, “You know it’s you, don’t you”. I said, “What do you mean?” and she said, “You’re sending out a signal that’s a delight to people who want to mix it up. They just see you coming and they think I’ll have a go at him because he’s going to rise to the bait. If you let go of your expectation of having a run-in with these people, you won’t have it anymore.” That conversation was an epiphany. I thought, wow, maybe it is me and I decided from then on to consciously expect good encounters, that I would be more smiley or whatever. I’m telling you, the negative experiences started to evaporate.

On gratitude

For me quality of life comes down to whether I am feeling peaceful, unanxious and grateful for the gift of life. Gratitude is the key to happiness I think. The ability to think, to be creative, to have senses that function, to be able to walk, to have freedom of movement. Those are tremendous blessings and sources of joy. Having enough to eat, having shelter, having companionship, having loving people around you; that’s paradise. Clean water, nutritious food, health, mobility; that’s paradise. I don’t think it’s so much a question of being happy or unhappy because each is part of the flow of life.

Prayer

I never miss a day of prayer in my life.  I pray to show my gratitude. When I have  a bad day, I say thank you for the bad day.  I ask for blessings for all people of all religions.  It’s important to have a grateful, thankful heart.

Reflection time

My life is usually fact and hectic.  I need to have my own space to pause and do nothing.  Having this kind of alone time lets me recharge physically and mentally.  It also allows me to think differently.

Daily prayer

My daily prayer is about thanking God for my life today. “For my family and friends, for my new home, for my many blessings, for his healing power pouring forth upon me. I claim it now and pray for miracles, please bless this day for me and everybody in our family and circle of friends, Amen.” On any given day, I’ll either say it with gusto or with a degree of heaviness, even resistance. But I’ll say it anyway. I can’t let myself fall into that ungrateful, self-pitying mode. I also make a habit of daily affirmations; prayers that keep me in that space of gratitude. I want to keep that going because it seems incredibly easy to slip into that complaining, dissatisfied, disgruntled person.

Deprogramming one’s self

Sometimes the characteristics that served me in the business world—a hard charging, driving force — tend not to be the best characteristics for husband and father. So I have made strides in deprogramming myself from the characteristics that are not great to use around the house.

Confronting your weaknesses

Emotional containment was a measure of strength in the Detroit in which I grew up. It wasn’t until I left home and started paying my ‘dues’ that I understood ones real strength is measured in how you confront your weaknesses.

Importance of being secure

I think that many of the most destructive human tendencies probably are spawned by insecurity. Anger directed at others, the need to show that you are smart, imposing excessive amounts of one’s personal control or sense of order on everything….all of these largely result from personal insecurity. So, I think it is vital to work on eliminating the source of any personal insecurity. And, I think it is important to stay very clear about what is in one’s control and what is not. In fact, I think that the world is a lot more interesting place and presents many more opportunities when you’re not trying to impose your will on everything.

Anticipating outcomes

I have gotten better over time at reading situations and anticipating outcomes. This helps me be more effective. I’m still improving; let me give you an example. Recently I gave permission to this construction company to have access to one of our lots to help them access an adjacent lot. Since then, trucks have been wreaking havoc on my lot. I got all pissed off and was telling my friend how disrespectful that was, making a mess of our lot, after I was so cool with them etc.. His response was, “Dude, what did you expect?” Work in process…