Two Ways To Start Your Day Off Right!

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Believe me, despite the fact that I spent the better part of nearly 30 years in radio hosting a morning show, I am by no means a morning person. I’ll bet that most of you would say the same. If you’re one of those people that starts the day like a complete zombie, let me offer you two suggestions to try.

The first might seem a little weird, but I’ve seen expert after expert emphasize the importance of starting your day by drinking a glass of water. Now, hear me out. I’m not suggesting that you forego your morning rush of caffeine. Far from it. I’m merely telling you that experts suggests YET AGAIN that you drink that nice tall, cool glass of H2O first.

They offer many reasons why this is so crucial. First, they say that the time you spend in bed — anywhere from seven to nine hours, depending on your sleep needs — is a long time to go without water. Because of this, you may be dehydrated and crabby when you wake up in the morning. Water can help with that.

Also, health experts say that drinking at least 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning can boost your metabolism by 24 percent. I don’t know about you, but my metabolism could sure use a boost.

Secondly, start your day with a grateful heart. Before you think about all the things that you need to tackle for the day, just spend a few moments giving thanks. Be grateful you are alive for another day. Be grateful you have a roof over your head. Be grateful for a nice warm place to lay your head at night. Give thanks for all the opportunities the day ahead will present. Just give gratitude a chance to overtake your mood. Trust me, it’s a serious attitude adjustment. And when you start your day feeling overwhelmingly blessed, you can’t help but have a great day.

So, try those two things to start your mornings this week, and see if that doesn’t make a big difference in your attitude and overall well being. I’ll be right there with you!

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5 Ways to Be Selfless This Year

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Take a minute to think.

Think about all the problems in the world.

Now, think about all the problems in your life.

Chances are, what causes most if not all of those problems?

Selfishness.

All the quarrels, all the fighting, all the discord, all the conflict in the world can usually be traced back to one thing.

Selfishness.

Now, flip the script.

Think about how different the world would be if we all starting putting others first. Wouldn’t we start seeing FEWER quarrels, fewer fights and less discord?

So, how do we starting putting others first? How do become truly “selfless” in this selfish world? Here are five ways:

1/Practice gratitude. When you learn to truly appreciate all that you have and all that you have been given, you unleash a powerful ability…the ability to bless others. Really taking the time to count your blessings can fill your heart so much that you can’t help but put others first.

2/Learn to forgive and forget. To err is human right? Aren’t we all human? Haven’t you hurt others? Then why not forgive? The selfless person sees the situation from the other person’s perspective. Everyone has a reason for why they do what they do, right? When you can start to try to understand where that person is coming from, you can start to forgive them. Besides, God sent His only Son to die a painful death on the cross so that you could be forgiven. If He did that for you, shouldn’t you try to forgive others too?

3/Widen your horizons. Being selfless starts with seeing beyond your personal concerns. If you’re constantly consumed by your own problems and situation, you won’t have the time or energy to act selflessly. Having a greater awareness of the world is the first step to becoming more selfless. Listen when other people are talking. Yes – really listen! Don’t let your mind wander when someone is confiding in you about his or her troubles, or telling you an exciting story. Watch what’s going on around the world in the news. Sympathize with those who are suffering.
4/Consider other people’s feelings. If you understand how someone else feels, you’ll be more likely to feel empathy for that person. Try to put yourself in the other person’s situation. If you were the one experiencing the problem, how would you feel? How would you want to be treated?

5/Really Invest Yourself in Others. Again, take the time each day to really sit down and listen to at least 2 or 3 people. Ask them what’s going on in their life. Get them to open up to you. Be there with a listening ear, an attentive heart, and make them feel like they are the most important person in the world.

It really doesn’t take alot to be more selfless. We just have to be willing to put ourselves, our situation, and our concerns aside, and focus on others. That’s what makes life worth living. What’s the old saying? “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

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How To Create Lasting Happiness

The Power of Gratitude

Do you know what two of THE most powerful words in the English language are? Thank you. Yes, thank you. Do you know why? Because when you are genuine in saying “thank you”, you unlock a powerful thing…gratitude. When people feel that gratitude, they feel blessed. And is there any greater feeling in the world?

The incredible thing about this is that we ALL have the ability to unlock this amazing power! All it takes is three little words…stop, look, and listen. Remember when you were little and you arrived at the school crosswalk? They always told you to “stop, look, and listen” and then you can go. Well, the same holds true for gratitude. All you have to do is STOP and realize ALL there is to be grateful for….the very fact that you’re here now reading this is something to be grateful for. Each moment is a gift. And each moment contains within it opportunities. Opportunities to bless others. Then of course, you LOOK. Look around you for ALL you have to be grateful for. If you live in America, you are richer…much richer…than 90 percent of the world’s population. Things we take for granted, things they would LOVE to have…fresh running water, air conditioning, electricity….just to name three. Look at the sunshine, nature, your family…you are literally surrounded by visual reminders of your blessings. Then LISTEN. If you stop and look, then you can really listen….listen to the birds singing praise to their creator, listen to the rain, listen to the washing machine cleaning your clothes.  How poor would your life be without those and SO many other things?

And then GO. With a heart full of gratitude, you can bless others. Speak words of encouragement. Perform a kind act. Take time to listen to someone and make them feel valued. See, gratitude unlocks joy. It’s the ultimate attitude adjustment. Gratitude is a gift. It’s one of the biggest gifts we have. Each moment is a gift, and each moment contains within it opportunity for gratitude, and opportunity to SPREAD gratitude. Because when we spread gratitude by sincerely expressing our thanks, what are we doing? We are conveying appreciation, validation, and respect to others. Who doesn’t want those? Those are some of THE most cherished gifts we can give. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Everyone wants to feel validated. Everyone wants to be respected. And we have the power to give them those things…if we can have that “attitude of gratitude”

You might think that it’s the happy person who is grateful, but I would counter that it’s the grateful person who is happy! So, give THANKS right now, and spread some happiness!

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5 Simple Ways to Be Happy Now!

 

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When I used to be on the radio, this was one of my absolute favorite segments to share. I loved it so much, in fact, that I saved it in a drawer in my bedroom. Now, I’m excited to share it with you. It is packed with SO much practical wisdom!

Aristotle famously said that rituals define who we are. And scientific research backs that up! You can actually take charge of your own happiness and even boost it by doing certain things. Researchers at the University of California Riverside reviewed some 51 different studies that tested attempts to increase happiness through different types of positive thinking and they found that the following practices can SIGNIFICANTLY enhance your happiness:

1/BE GRATEFUL: Many in those studies were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that people reported a LASTING increase in happiness…over weeks and even months…after implementing the habit. And even more surprisingly, they didn’t even have to send the letter! Yes, even when people just wrote the letters but never sent them, they STILL reported feeling happier! One of my favorite quotes is: “It’s not the happy person who is grateful, it’s the grateful person who is happy!”

2/BE OPTIMISTIC: Another practice you should try is optimistic thinking. Now before you roll your eyes, let me explain. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future. For example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling…and then they were told to describe that image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people also reported increased feelings of well-being.

3/COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS: People who practice writing down three (just 3) good things that have happened to them each and every week showed a significant boost in happiness. See, focusing on the positive actually gives you reasons to be glad.

4/USE YOUR STRENGTHS: One particular study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then they were asked to try to USE those strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try to tell jokes or funny stories to cheer up sad friends. Doing that helps YOU as much as the other person!

5/COMMIT ACTS OF KINDNESS: Yes, it IS more blessed to give than receive. Those behind this list have an iPhone app called “Live Happy Now” that you can download on iTunes to boost your well being. But if you don’t want to download the app, just pay for someone’s meal behind you the next time you hit a drive through.

Try implementing these, and you might just feel your heart swell… kinda like this:

Why I’m grateful I was fired from my job of almost 13 Years

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May 1st (“May Day” will always have a special meaning from now on), I was quickly and decisively dismissed from my longtime job at iHeart Media, Panama City after almost 13 years. I was the morning show host for almost that entire time and I had a pretty big name in our local community. Not to mention, this is the year I celebrate my 30th year in radio broadcasting. To say it was a shock is an understatement. However, after the initial gut punch disappeared, I realized something. This is something my wife and I had been praying for!

Yes, you read that right. It was an answered prayer. See, I had lost much of my passion for radio since I had been asked to assume several different positions- You know, the whole “do more with less” model that the business world has made the “new normal”.

I was doing a radio show, programming the station, doing social media for two stations, and serving as public service director for all the stations. I was tasked with helping to sell endorsements for my show, make public appearances as often as possible, and be available on weekends for programming duties.  I’m probably leaving something out, but I think you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, there were days that I really felt great about what I did. I loved serving the community and relished the opportunity to leverage my high local profile to make a difference. Those days, however, were the exception. It was just not the same as when I got into radio and I was really able to focus on expressing myself, and entertaining and blessing others. THAT was what I really enjoyed.

My wife and I had been praying that God would give us clarity on whether this job was where He wanted me to be. I always felt like I was destined for more than this, but I just
wasn’t sure where or how God wanted me to use the talents He’s given me to serve Him. I just knew that every time my wife Leanne and I talked about doing other things and letting me “spread my wings”, I was always limited because of my many job responsibilities. So, when we got the news that this job was no more a part of our lives, we took it as an answered prayer. Not only that, but if I would have quit, we would be in a much worse financial position.

Now, just like this blank computer screen I’m filling with these words, my future is wide open. The possibilities are many, and with God’s guidance, continued prayer
and support from so many like you reading this, I can focus on exactly how God wants to use me. It’s scary, but at the same time, pretty exciting to say the least!
And for THAT, I’m very grateful. And gratitude is a very powerful thing. Let me explain…

William Arthur Ward said “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings”.
Now to say that this is an “ordinary opportunity” is really understating it. I have a tremendous, powerful, once in a lifetime opportunity ahead of me. For that I give THANKS! I’ve learned that a thankful heart is a full heart. One of my favorite quotes is “It’s not the happy person who’s grateful, it’s the grateful person who is happy”. Not only that, but science PROVES that gratitude is essential to our overall happiness.

In several studies, participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that people reported a lasting
increase in happiness…over weeks and even months, after implementing the habit. Not only that, but studies show that people who practice writing down just
THREE good things that have happened to them every week showed a significant boost in happiness. See, it really IS the grateful person who is happy!

William A. Ward said “God gave you a GIFT of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used ONE of those to say “thank you”? Start doing it today and feel the blessings overflow.

Meanwhile, this grateful guy will talk to you soon. Right now, I just want to say THANK YOU for reading this AND for being part of my new journey. I can’t WAIT for what’s ahead!