You are Special!

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My Dad gave me lots of advice. I was wise enough to listen.

Dad had every reason to be pessimistic about the world. He was shot down over Germany during WWII while piloting a B-17, interred in a POW camp and lost his hearing. His career as a pilot was finished due to war injuries, and he was born with the name Shirley. Yes, I said his name was Shirley. It would be easy to fall into the muck and wallow in self-pity but that was not his style.

My Dad was a die-hard optimist. Life was good and every day was special.

When I started my business, one of the best things Dad told me was “always remember to make people feel special.” Dad grew up with a desire to help and to enrich the lives of others. He succeeded.

Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to tell you his or her story. You just need to listen.

This is not so surprising. What IS surprising is that more people don’t realize this. When you care about people, and show a genuine interest in their welfare, your life is all the better.

Try this with clients, friends and, most of all, family. Make today the start of a change in your lifestyle. Make someone’s day.

Make someone feel special.

Leave everyone you meet feeling valued. Ask about their day; ask about their lives; just ask and then listen.

Expect little and give much…you will be amazed. The gift of giving someone a sense of self worth is beyond measure. Now that’s special.

It’s a God Thing!

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My workout sessions at the YMCA are a time for me to plug in the head phones and let the sweat flow. It may not sound  glamorous, but I love it.

Last night, a sweet older lady using a walker called out to me as I finished my workout. She wanted me to know how much she enjoyed watching me on the treadmill because I looked so happy and peaceful.

Her few kind words meant more to me than I can adequately describe.

For a moment, I would have sworn it was my Mother talking to me. It was just the kind of encouragement that my Mom would give to me when she was alive. I was honestly awestruck. It’s a God thing when these momentary gifts are given to us as a  remembrance of loved ones gone to glory.

It was an unusual thing to say to say to a complete stranger but I thanked her for her encouraging words and then I thanked Jesus for my precious Mom who I miss daily.

Be Kind Anyway

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Some days I still have the capacity to be shocked.

People of faith tend to be the ones who disappoint the most. I expect more of them, but this is pretty unrealistic even in the best of times.

I’m not totally jaded, I still expect good behavior from everyone although this is often not the case. If I were honest, I am probably just as guilty.

I revert to the words of Mother Teresa “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”  When wronged, we must let it go and forgive as we take a step forward in faith.

To dwell on the negative is self-defeating. And the thing I refuse to be is defeated!

Today…I will be kind anyway.

 

Anger Management

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Of all the human emotions, the one that I have the most problem with is anger. I just don’t get it.

I work in a profession involving mood swings, emotional decisions and highly charged situations. I have yet to see anger solve anything and typically it causes everyone to loose all rational thought. Rancor reigns and it is just so unnecessary.

I truly believe that issues can be resolved through a thoughtful process of communication. We may not always agree, but we can agree to politely disagree. It’s called civility. I wish there was more of it.

Yes…Jesus was angry on a few occasions but not typically so. His message was love, love and more love. In fact, Jesus extols the truth that love is the greatest commandment.

My father was a survivor of WWII and a former POW in a Nazi camp. The Nazi army marched my Dad and his fellow soldiers all over Germany and Poland. My Dad spoke of carrying the officers guns for them when they tired. How’s that for a witness of God’s love? My Dad always said “Kill them with kindness” and he meant it.

I endeavor to do so.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)

 

Because I’m Happy

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The singer, Pharrell’s, new song is making a mark on the music industry with its cheerful message and snappy tune. It is one of those songs that once you hear it…you keep singing it all day long.

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with a prolific Christian author, humorist, speaker, and generous soul to soak up knowledge and insight into the publishing industry. But this was not what made the weekend a success.

What made my weekend so remarkable was Patsy Clairmont’s encouragement. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear some grace-filled words of inspiration and optimism. It made me happy.

Merriam-Webster dictionary described encouraging as “causing a hopeful feeling.” I soaked up all the great advice Patsy offered and it was a spectacular weekend because she exudes joy. I found hope. My soul soared and my life changed from her kind words. I realized how important this can be in a world full of hurt.

To some extent, all of us have been beaten down which can lead to a defeated mentality. Sharing time with someone who exudes joy and happiness and wants to share is life-changing.

I hope today you will share happiness with someone and give them a joy-filled moment in their day. It matters. People need this. I need this.

Because I’m happy.