We can light thousands of candles from a single candle,

and it will not shorten the life of the candle.

 Joy never decreases by being shared




There are two types of joy and we often confuse them.

Conditional joy:

Is something we experience when we meet with an external person or circumstance—a party to look forward to, a gift, a trip, an offer, an event, a person’s giving.  It excites us and brings us happiness.  This joy is conditional and dependent on an outside source.  As a result, our experience of that joy is temporary.  Without that source, we experience a lack of joy and often believe we have no access to joy.    


Inner Joy:

Comes from a place inside of us that external conditions cannot create or manage. This joy results from a choice, a decision, a creed we live by that determines our fundamental emotional state, our perception of the world, and our beliefs about who we are and what we are.  It is stable, infinitely regenerating, and fully self sustaining, and cannot be lost or depleted.


We all want to live from a place where external circumstances cannot affect our happiness and joy. However, by definition, life is in a continual state of change.  This we can count on. To ride the tides of change and not be tossed about, we must Choose to be happy.  In choosing to be happy on a continual and conscious basis, that happiness can deepen and translate to inner joy. It’s a choice.


Many people live in the state of I’m happy if…  I’m not happy if…  I’m happy when…  I’m not happy when…  I’m happy because…  I’m not happy because...  Imagine the person who identifies himself based on his job and his income. Imagine him looking at his job and income as his source of happiness, pride, self esteem, and value.  What if, one day, they take away the job?  He no longer has an identity. He feels lost, unstable.  He is no longer proud of himself.  He feels useless, no longer valuable.  His source of happiness and joy disappear, and he becomes a scared, depressed, anxious, or angry person.  


So, how do we shift from depending on external sources for our happiness to having a continual source of inner joy, no matter what changes life brings?


12 Ways to Create and Maintain Inner Joy


  • Change Your Thoughts


When you come home from a bad day at work, do you relive it?  Do you go over and over it, in your mind?  What happens when you do that?  Do you get frustrated, agitated, or angry?  Can you feel your blood boil as you rehash what went wrong, and the injustice of it?  How does that make you feel?  Agitated all over again?  Rather than feeling relieved that the bad day at work is over, you keep it alive.  Rather than creating your happiness, you create your unhappiness.


Instead of reliving the things that went wrong, or the things you didn’t like, look for the positives in the situation. Look for what you learned.  Look for something that inspires you from it, something that will inspire you to change something—in you, in your plan, or in your environment. Don’t look at, talk about, think about, or analyze the poison, unless you want to keep drinking the poison. Rediscover and rewrite a new theme for the day.


  • Find Your Compassion


Compassion is one of the most revered qualities in the human condition. It’s what makes us stand out from the rest of the world’s creatures. Compassion is looking for the core goodness in all people and situations.  We sometimes witness terrible, even horrific things that we don’t understand.  Compassion is the key to navigating life’s dips, twists, and pitfalls.  Compassion helps when we don’t understand why people do what they do.  


With that said, compassion has to begin with us, and for us, before we can have compassion for others.  Self-compassion enables us to give ourselves permission to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, through realizing that—like everyone else—we are human, with faults and flaws. Understanding this heals those deep wounds that life experiences and our decisions from them have created within us. Seeking to understand and have compassion for ourselves helps us to understand and have compassion for those around us.  Compassion teaches us to look for the good in ourselves, so we can share it with others. Being compassionate with ourselves teaches us to treat others in the same way.


We all want things to get better and be better. Compassion teaches us to connect with others where they’re at, and experience a memorable, often teachable moment for ourselves.  From that teachable moment, we change, they change, and things get better. Understanding that we are the biggest roadblocks to our joy enables us to move the road-blocks and feel our inner joy. Learning to be compassionate and learning how to express compassion helps us connect with others. Connecting with others opens our hearts.  Opening our hearts helps us forgive. Forgiving opens the flow of energy.  Opening the flow of energy allows joy. 


Yesterday is no more. One second from now has not happened.

We only have this very moment.  

It is a gift, and the reason I refer it to as “the Present.”


Joseph Binning


  • Discover the Art of Acceptance


Accepting what is by detaching from the outcome, in whatever way it shows up, is an art that takes practice.  Though difficult to learn, once we understand what acceptance is, practicing it will support our opening ourselves to allowing joy. Instead of getting upset about being in traffic, we can appreciate the time it offers us to think, to practice calming breath work, to be away from crowds, work, or stress, to rest, to be in silence, to listen to music or an inspirational audio recording, to reflect on things that make us feel good and things that we want to do, see, or experience.


When we don’t accept what shows up, when we try to control or depend on a certain outcome, we end up stealing our own joy. Allow what is to be.  It is already what it is.  We cannot change what is.  We can instead focus our mind on ourselves and our future visions. When we stop trying to control, complain, or change things outside of ourselves, we free ourselves from burden, stress, frustration, and depression, and we open ourselves to joy.


  • Live Your Truth


Choosing to live in alignment with the desires of your heart and core desires is living your truth. Your truth is not the truth of your spouse or your parent or the person next to you, nor the truth of anyone else in the universe.  Your truth belongs only to you. Being true to ourselves means releasing the lifeline to our egos that try to protect us and compete and defend and prepare for the fight.  

Living in our truth means knowing it and not needing to say it or defend it or convince others of it.  You are not the most important person in the world, but you are the most important person to YOU in the world. Honoring yourself, respecting yourself and the life experiences that led you to your truth, and committing yourself to your truth will allow a natural and easy state of joy to flow freely and abundantly to and in you. It doesn’t matter what others think of who you are, what you believe, how you think, and how you live.  It only matters what you think. Let your true self flow.


  • Be In Integrity


Once you’ve discovered your truth, be one with it, and stand from it.  Say what you mean, let your words mean what you say, and honor what you say. Do the right thing, even if no one is looking. It’s not only for others, but for you. When you don’t say what you mean, when your words don’t mean what you want to say, and when you don’t honor your words, you cause inner conflict, chaos, pain, and even disease within yourself.  Lack of integrity can bring on symptoms in the throat and focal areas, stomach trouble, skin issues, headaches, auto-immune disorders, and other health conditions.  Being in integrity is essential to keeping yourself healthy and open to joy.  It is living life for the highest good of yourself and others.


  • Surrender


To surrender is to yield to the higher good, to give up  fighting, and resisting, to let go of trying to control, clutch, or manipulate.  I’m not talking about quitting or giving up your ideals, goals, and actions.  Most of us have been told to take control of our own destinies.  But have we ever really been in control?  Were we able to stop pain, change, tragedy, or anything?  Or did it happen anyway?


When we realize that we do not walk alone, and if we open ourselves to the universal guidance of our Source, whatever that is for you, we can hear and feel our inner guidance.  We can surrender our belief that we need to hold tight and control.  We can surrender our worry, our anger, our fear, our tension.  To surrender is to allow the natural order and universal principles to continue their cyclical and infinite balance. When we surrender to the guidance of Spirit, the universal energy brings endless chances for us to tap into joy.


  • Connect Deeply with Others


When you contact someone, connect with your eyes.  See the person, not the race, physical scar, flaw, gender, culture, outfit, class, neighborhood, physical ability, or religion.  Look through your heart, from your soul.  Listen with an intention to understand, without thinking about what your reply should be, without letting thoughts distract you.  When you don’t understand, or you’re confused, seek clarification.


Be one hundred percent you, without trying to present an image, expression, or posture.  Be straight, be direct, be honest, be transparent, and be open to letting them see you, feel you, know you, connect with you. When you engage in conversation, share yourself intending to create a bond of mutual vulnerability and trust.  The person you’re engaging with will feel that and respond similarly.  True, honest, interaction with no agenda, pretense, fear, or shield creates a connection that will fill you up inside.  Connecting at a deeper level with others produces a deep, intense, and intimate joy that almost nothing can match.


  • Be Freely and Spontaneously Kind


Do random acts of kindness.  Don’t plan them.  Just follow your spontaneous urges. Where life has blessed you, bless others. Pay it forward.  Make it a habit. Be someone’s miracle. Give anonymously to someone in need. Don’t weigh and measure.  Don’t stop and think.  When the feeling strikes—and it will—offer help, say hello, smile, give.   Give as big as you can.


Attachment to being right creates suffering.

When you have a choice to be right, or to be kind,

make the choice to be kind, and watch

your suffering disappear.


— Wayne Dyer


  • Mind Your Own Business and Mind It Well


Don’t be a busybody.  Don’t be a martyr.  Don’t be everyone’s parent, counsel, or critic.  These cause us to become codependent, enablers, or victims.  These have us waiting for others, being at the effect of others, waiting to cause a reaction in others, receive a response from others, and become attached to an expectation.  Know yourself.  Know yourself well.  Feel the boundary between your business and the business of others.  Don’t fall prey to being pulled into everyone’s opinions, drama, and life dilemmas.  Paying attention to everyone’s business will keep your joy from appearing.  Joy is a byproduct of being centered in your connection with you and your connection to your Source.  Joy disappears when you disconnect and start going into the business of others.  Attend to your own missteps, your own business, your own dreams and discoveries, and your own happiness.  Stay in your own lane, aligned with yourself. Clear the busybody energy of your life to make space for the joy to appear.


  • Discover and Ignite Your Passion


A life without passion is not a life. So many people go through life numb, beaten down, their inner light dimmed, or following others’ instructions, ideals, and passions.  If we are living in any of these scenarios, we are actually slowly dying.  Following our own passion connects us to our own joy.  Know your passion and make it your top priority.


  • Be Present


Scientists say that we have 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day. How many of those thoughts are negative, stressful, worrying, or projecting into the past, future, or someone else?  Most of our thoughts are driven by our unconscious, which are impossible to take control of, because we are not conscious of them.  We become scooped up into the emotions of our unconscious thoughts.  


We can shift this by focusing on being present.  Happiness and joy exist when we stay connected to the present moment.  If we are focusing on the past, or worrying about the future, we skip the joy of this moment.  We practice being present by listening to our breathing, noticing things that are natural, interesting, beautiful, or new, feeling our appreciation for what makes us feel good.  In this moment, inhale, listen, look, taste, touch, feel, smell.  Those are the doorways through which joy enters.


  • Gravitate Towards the Feeling of Joy


We need to know what makes us feel good, to gravitate to those things that make us feel good.  Hold thoughts that make you feel good, look at things that make you feel good, and talk about things that make you feel good.  Notice when you are feeling good and let yourself just be in that feeling.  Feeling good brings you joy.  Feeling the joy brings more joy.  The more we focus on feeling good in each moment, the easier it will be to feel joy.


Find joyful people and get to know them. Find out what creates their joy. Listen to music.  Go on a discovery journey to find what makes you feel good. Get lost in it. Celebrate it. Sing loudly, no matter who hears you. Walk in nature and learn from her. Watch her flowers and smell them. Listen to her. She is the greatest, easiest, purest, and most endless source of joy. Being open to learning new ways to feel joy will bring joy.


Learning how to create the space for joy to be a daily part of our lives is like learning a new language.  It takes a desire to change, a commitment to learning how, and practice. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  If we are always ready to receive, the gifts and messengers will present themselves. Life is in a perpetual state of forward motion. There is no final destination.  It is a continual process that takes us higher and higher.  The journey is never over.  When we let go of the tension from the past and worry of the future, knowing we are always on our way, we make space for joy to exist and expand inside of us.


How much Passion is in Your Life?  

Here are a few exercises to help you:

To increase the effectiveness of this exercise, write the words down and feelings that come up for you. Be honest.  


  • Think about the first moment of your day.  How do you feel? What’s the first word or feeling that comes to you?  What do you do?  Do you bounce out of bed in the morning refreshed and rejuvenated?  Do you hit the snooze button, still tired?  Do you look with anticipation to each brand-new day and something that you’re looking forward to?  Can you not bear the thought of facing another boring, tedious, or difficult day?


  • Think of your work. How you feel about it? Which of these words, or others, match your feeling:  Stimulated, unsatisfied, content, bored, excited, frustrated, enthused, disgusted, inspired, exhausted, happy, uninspired, eager, afraid, so-so, sad, energized, angry, motivated, resentful, satisfied, overwhelmed?  


  • Do you identify what you do for a living as who you are? Would your identity change if you lost your job or your business?  If so, how?


  • Think of each of your relationships, separately, one at a time (romantic/marital, child, parent, sibling, friend, co-worker, business partner, property, investment). How do you feel about each one? What’s the first word or feeling that comes to you? Is it nourishing both of you?  Is it happy and flowing?  Is it filled with unspoken needs, resentments, regrets, doubts, or fears?  In marriages and romantic partnerships, over 60% admit that they’re just not getting what they need, and today’s current divorce rate is 60%.


  • Think about this year.  How do you feel about it?  Are you on the path you set, to take you where you want to bring you what you desire and dreamed of?  


  • Think about your life. What’s the first word or feeling that comes to you?  Do you feel life is an adventure that you get to explore?  Do you feel dis-empowered, soured, or like a coward?  Are you inspired to create opportunities and ideas?  Are you functioning on autopilot, doing the same kinds of things every day?  


  • Think about who you are.  Have you forgotten what you wanted to be, do, see, and experience, before you grew up or got older? Is “who” you are now, who you want to be?  Is who you are now, who you turned out to be, or who you had to be, because of life circumstances?  If so, do you still need to be that? Who do you really want to be?


Passion means “all in with abundance,” and joy directly results from passion.    


If you work for someone, don’t let your job be one that sucks the life out of you.  That is not living all in with abundance.  Choose one that puts life into you, one that fills you. If you have a family, don’t be a part-time parent who fills life up with things instead of moments. Fully engage with life and those you love. Don’t be a spectator, watching from a distance, afraid of being seen or looking foolish. When you play, play full in.  When you Love, Love all the way. Whatever you do, be all in. Don’t stay somewhere out of fear.  Living in fear for three weeks or more creates a habit of being afraid. Fear is the biggest, fastest thief of joy.


Joy is an inside job, and you are the boss of your inside.  


Stop giving your joy away to a life that is not what you want.  That is you stealing your own joy.  The fastest way to deplete your joy is to let life pass while you’re settling for the life you don’t want, rushing to put as much action in a day as possible, so you can feel productive, valuable, worthy, desirable.  Are you staying so busy working for the all mighty dollar that you’re trading moments and memories for things?  Is it time to change and begin choosing moments?  Choose moments that ignite your emotions, that make you feel deeply. Be the best you for YOU. Make it your mission to discover what brings joy to you, and then do, be, see, and experience those things daily, or as often as you can.  Notice when you feel happy on the inside, from inside, for no reason.  That’s joy.  It means we should live life full of joy and passion, all in abundance. Discover and do what brings you joy and watch your joy rise.

Success is measured by your ability to tend to your own joy.


—Abraham Hicks


There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.


Albert Einstein



A miraclefrom the Latin word mirari, meaning “to wonder”—is defined an event or occurrence not explainable by evidence or scientific fact alone. For this very reason, a miracle elicits excitement and wonder. It is a manifestation is beyond the ability of human action alone.  They have reported miracles as far back as recorded research. But do you realize that miracles happen every day? 


Miracles are seen as dramatic occurrences, such as cancer suddenly going into remission, sight being restored, or a missing child being inexplicably discovered and unharmed.  Miracles are quiet, unexplained circumstances. Like suddenly knowing how to navigate a challenge after praying for guidance. Meeting your future partner and knowing destiny has decided for you to be together, Or knowing exactly where to look for something lost.  Miracles may appear as blessings, random events, or luck, depending on the perceived viewpoint and beliefs.  


Not everyone believes in Miracles. Perhaps you don’t believe in miracles, blessings, luck, or randomness.  Maybe you look for scientific explanations, determined to prove occurrences based on clues, data analysis, and physical evidence.


Maybe you believe in miracles, but you’re waiting for grandiose miracles.  “If I can just get a big break, I can make everything right in my life.”  Some of you have been waiting for that miracle and feel you are at the end of your rope, barely hanging on.  My advice?  Let go.


If you stop and look at each and everything that you see and experience in your life, you will realize that miracles are in and around us everywhere, in each day, and in every moment.  A child growing inside of a mother’s belly.  The sun coming up.  The perfectly designed, still standing pyramids.  The stars suspended in the sky.  The earth turning in the galaxy.  Gravity.  Plant life.  The Internet.  Bridges.  Physics.  The central nervous system.  The development, growth, agility, and abilities of the brain and the body itself.  Each time you investigate a mirror, and each time you see another human being, you are witnessing a miracle.  Yet, you don’t see it.


In his article, “Miracle of the Human Body” on the “Walking Giant News Service” website, Deepak Chopra wrote:


“Consider that the human body comprises approximately one hundred trillion cells, about one thousand cells for every bright star in the Milky Way. It takes only fifty replications, starting with the one-celled fertilized ovum to produce those 100 thousand billion cells.  The first replication gives you two cells. The second replication gives you four. The third replication gives you sixteen cells, and so on. By the fiftieth replication, you have one hundred thousand billion cells in your body, and that’s where the replication stops.”


Living in our humanness, racing through our lives, and layered in all our conditioned beliefs and behaviors has taught us to view our physical reality from a place of blindness and deafness to the continual stream of miracles every day. How many times have you said, or heard someone say something like: “It’s Wednesday, hump day; only two more days until the weekend”  “Three more years till I can retire, and then I can relax and enjoy myself and see the world” or “One hour more and then we can go have a drink and unwind?”  We think of our lives as work or play, black or white, stress or pleasure, something to get through, until the real fun can begin. 


Modern day culture worships “Happy Hour,” weekends, parties, holidays, vacations, or retirement as the big things, the good stuff, the rewards. We get excited about seeing actors at the Academy Awards, attending a professional basketball game, touring millionaire homes, having cocktails by the pool, choosing the prettiest and latest makeup, hair and fashion, and having the most expensive toys, fastest cars, and sophisticated cell phones. 

All these can excite on some level. Yet, our holding them in such high esteem, and even worship, while the grandest, most spectacular miracles of all are what we see in the mirror and outside, creates a distorted sense of reality. 


This is the illusion that we have been conditioned to believe that our normal lives, by comparison, are mundane.  
Through this distorted view, we automatically and repeatedly create a sense of lack for ourselves, because we’re afraid of running out of those things we think we really have a need for an exciting, fun life. We end up creating addictions to those things we think we need to survive. 
We waste our energy, our vitality, and our years, wishing and waiting for that great, future moment, when we win the lottery, get that partnership, buy that new house, receive that proposal, win that vote, buy that car.  Then, when we don’t get it, we exhaust ourselves trying another strategy or hoping for a miracle that gets us out of our disappointment, our sense of failure, our financial stress.  Or, we take pills, drink wine, or cosmetically alter our faces or bodies to protect ourselves from job loss, chronic fatigue, aging, illness, depression, sleeplessness, loneliness, or fear of loss and failure. 


  • Did you realize that the sun rose this morning? 
  • Do you understand the miracle that the sun lights up the darkness every day for our entire planet?  
  • Can you even fathom how, with no effort, it rests on a perfect axis, not too close, not too far, but in perfect alignment, to sustain all living things?
  • The mysterious and glorious moon rises every night for each one of us, controls our tides and our seasons, and highlights millions of stars we gaze at and wish upon.  
  • We didn’t get out of bed this morning and fall off the edge of the planet. 
  • We get to live one more day today!


Did you know that by all laws of physics the bumblebee should not be able to fly? An engineering study on the aerodynamics of the bumblebee’s wings determined that their size cannot promote or sustain flight.  Yet they fly.


Were you aware that mothers can detect their baby’s unique scent out of a batch of newborns?  Do you realize that a baby can recognize the smell and voice of its mother immediately from birth?


In all the billions of snowflakes that have ever fallen anywhere, there are no two that are exactly the same. Do you know that snowflakes always have six sides?  Do you ever wonder why?  Did you realize that the human fingerprint also has six sides?


Most regions of the world have four seasons, perfectly timed to foster growth of the new and death of the old. In a natural order, they never change, and they’re never late.  They just are. 



Here is a small test to help you find the miracles in your life today:


Take some deep breaths and close your eyes.  Take an honest evaluation of your life. 


Write as many things as you can think of that you can’t wait to get through or finished with. 


Now, write the things you look forward to. 


Next, make a list of things you take for granted, though you may not understand that happen naturally in the world.  You can use the examples mentioned about, and you can add your own. 


Then, think of and note a recent or distant memory of when you witnessed one of those.  You may call it a coincidence, a lucky occurrence, a random event, a blessing, or maybe a miracle.


Last, think about the ways you might make slight changes in your day, week, month, year, and life that can allow you to insert some time for noticing, witnessing, watching, wondering, observing, and appreciating more of those.



  • Instead of waiting for a miracle, look around.  
  • Instead of seeking scientific proof, gaze at the miracle of life. 
  • Spend some time marveling at our miraculous internal body systems and how they run automatically and independently and efficiently. 
  • Try to grasp the human ability to expand on all that is, our endless opportunities, unlimited chances and surprises that come in each moment. 
  • When you stop racing through your day to pause and ponder the abundance and infinity of miracles happening inside of YOU and in this life in every moment, you will be a witness to even more blessings and miracles.
  •  Don’t wait until Happy Hour to allow your happiness in. 
  • Don’t wait for a party to celebrate life.  Stop waiting for the weekend to search for some magic. 
  • Never again put off noticing the beauty of the forest and streams until the next vacation. 
  • You need not retire to set out on a journey of this amazing world. 
  • This is it, right here, right now.  Your miracles are right in front of you, waiting for you to see them.


Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.    

Wayne Dyer

Develop success from failures.

Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success.

— Dale Carnegie


Unless we maintain a forward-directed focus and a strong belief in our “Self”, it will always be easy to allow our failures to block our progress.


Failures do not identify who we are.  Failures are lessons that teach us what did not work.  

— Joseph Binning


Realizing that there are no mistakes in life without lessons is the first key to seeing that our mistakes, or—as you may refer to it — failure, is an opportunity to learn or experience something new. There are no mistakes without lessons.  Everything happens for a reason, for our learning.


You probably don’t remember learning to walk. But can you imagine what your life would be like if, after your first fall, you had said, “Well, that was a major mistake. I failed.  I guess I’m not meant to walk.  I give up.”  You’d be crawling through life.  Not a pretty picture.  Sounds ridiculous; yet, that’s exactly what you do when you call yourself a failure at something and carry that around in that expanding sack on your back. You know the one I mean. It’s the one you pull out so you can see all the examples of past failures when you tell yourself, “I just knew I’d fail. ”


All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.


— Walt Disney


Most of you have either been to, or heard of, Walt Disney and the famous Disneyland theme parks throughout the world. Walt Disney started as a cartoonist with a great vision. A vision so great most people of his time era couldn’t grasp the concept of. He had created a character and called him Mickey Mouse. He found great success with that character, so great most would have stopped with that accomplishment. He saw a vision he called Disneyland.
They rejected Walt Disney over three hundred times, bankers who thought his idea was absurd. The city of Anaheim rejected his original idea for his theme park, fearing it would only attract riffraff.  But Walt was a man with a strong sense of self. He realized that failure was not the end, just an opportunity to learn what didn’t work and try again. So he did, over three hundred times until he perfected the vision enough for a banker to see it.


In his article “Thomas Edison and Michael Jordan Were Failures” (Under30CEO.com), Scott Cowley writes:


“they considered Michael Jordan one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he ‘single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar’ and yet, to get there, he openly admits to failing more than most. In a famous ad campaign launched by Nike, Michael said that he has, ‘lost almost 300 games’ (that’s more games than many NBA players have court time in)’,  ‘missed over 9000 shots at goal’ (again more shots than an average NBA player even takes), missed 26 times he had the ball passed to him to take the game-winning shot.’


Jordan said that the reason he has succeeded boils down to his constant failure and his use of failure as motivation to shoot for success. Jordan viewed failures as stepping-stones towards success.  His shooting average was just below fifty percent.  So, to score, he would have to take two shots, one to fail and the other two score.”


We considered Thomas Edison the greatest inventor of his time, a man responsible for over one thousand different patents, some of which were refinements of previous inventions, but many were new ideas. Edison is famous not only for his inventions but also for his attitude toward failure. To him, failure was another stepping-stone on the road to success. Unlike Michael Jordan’s rate of one failure for every one success, Edison’s rate of success was significantly lower. Unlike most of us, Edison continued to try again. The famous story tells that Edison failed to perfect the light bulb, despite having made 9,999 attempts. Rather than accepting failure, he said, “I have not failed. I have just found 9,999 ways that do not work.”  His 10,000th attempt was successful.


Can we heed the learning of these two great men and others like them?  Could we use our failed attempts, not to define us or create despair, but as outcomes that showed us what didn’t work, so we could discover a different time or method that does? Can we learn from our mistakes, knowing they are just stepping stones to our successes?

I remember being 18, broke, and alone, with no job, and no place to live, no one to help me. It would have been easy to quit on life, to just give in and give up. But I didn’t. I found thick a field of bamboo that had the perfect clearing in it, just big enough for me to lie down in. Next to the field was a yard full of construction equipment. In it was a cement mixer covered in a tarp. I climbed the fence and stole the tarp and made a tent out of it in the bamboo field. This is where I lived for the next few weeks.

I found a job as a dishwasher in a local department store restaurant. The pay was three dollars per hour. Part of my pay was one meal a day. That was my only meal each day. I would show up early to work so I could wash myself in the sink in the bathroom every day. I kept to myself and didn’t socialize with my coworkers. I told myself, and remind myself to this day, that you have to do what you have to do, to do what you want to do.

Today, I am the founder and CEO of a nationally recognized company. I have traveled the world. Ive been to the top of the Swiss Alps, ate dinner in Paris in the wintertime, walked the streets of Rome, ate in a fishing village in Portugal, and relaxed on the sandy white beaches of the Caribbean, to name a few of the many places I have been. None of this would have been possible if I had listened to my critics, or myself, and decided that I was a failure, even though by many people’s standards, and many people’s eyes, I was.

I had a choice to believe them when they all said I was a failure, or to CHOOSE to not listen to them, and do what I had to do, so I could eventually do what I wanted to do. Making this choice, to not listen to the critics, allowed me to find my way forward to the place I am now. Sharing my story worldwide, to you hoping this will help you find your way forward.

Where in your life can you use your failures to find your way forward?  

I leave you with this quote I am very fond of. I hope it helps.  Now find your way forward.

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.


― J.K. Rowling

These are troubling times we are living in these days. With a raging virus, the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetimes, attempting to cripple us, the opposite is happening. We, as people, are becoming stronger. We are growing closer together.

I had to make a trip to Costco tonight, and it was a sight I had never seen before. Pallets stacked six high in two rows leading into the entrance. I felt like I was being herded into the store like they herd horses into a corral after being caught. Extra workers watching the people entering, scanning the crowd. As you entered, you saw the signs saying what they sold out and what was available toiletry wise. They sold most items out and no date of when you could expect them.

The crowds were smaller today than the past few days. They swarmed Costco with overflowing crowds that they didn’t expect. Thus, the pallets. People seemed preoccupied compared to a “normal” day. People weren’t making eye contact. That stuck out to me the most. People who would normally brush by you or bump into you were keeping their distance. Maybe it was the signs reminding us to keep a “social distance” of six feet between carts.

In one way it was nice. People were polite to each other and waited for you to cross their path instead of just plowing forward in blind oblivion. Everyone either nodded a greeting or gave a forced smile but you could see them all sizing you up asking themselves if you were the one who would get them sick.

Everyone who worked in the store wore rubber gloves. The kind doctors and plumbers wear. Everything smelled like cleaner in the store. Much more than usual. One woman was wearing plastic food serving gloves that were big but kept her hands from touching anything. A few people wore masks and you could see the snickers it drew from some, but you could tell it made them nervous.
They opened alternative check stands, every other one to keep the social distancing. I watched as the checkers cleaned the check stands before opening them up to the customers. Something I have never seen before. Not like this.

There was a nervous tension in the air, and you could feel it. You could see it in the people’s eyes and in their mannerisms. But what stood out the most was people were kind. There was no pushing or shoving, no impatience if someone stopped pushing their cart for a minute, no foul words being hurled for bumping into somebody. Just patience and kindness.

As we all go through this, we must prepare for things to get worse before they get better. Times will get tougher. Things will get harder. It will be more difficult to do some things that we never gave a moment’s thought to before. They will cancel gatherings. Parties will be re-scheduled. They will not play entire seasons. Plays will not perform, and they will not show movies not shown in our homes. Dining out or going to a bar will be a thing of the past for a short while.

It’s times like these that we remember that we are no longer us against them, you against me, right verses left. We are all just neighbors trying to get through this. As best as we can.
You will have choices to make in the coming days that concern your life and the lives of associates, friends, and loved ones. You will weigh the decisions heavily and do the best you can to make the right decisions. This you can count on.

One book I read tells me that “everything I need is already here”. That means you already have the answers to the questions you have. You just need to trust the answer. Trust but do not “blindly” trust. Vet them first. During trying times like these, it’s easy to “hear” the wrong answer based on what we “want” to hear.

Here are a few simple qualifications for the answers to know you can trust them.
1. If it brings harm to another human, it’s most likely the wrong decision. These are times we need to help and not harm each other.
2. If it doesn’t benefit your spirit by enriching you, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Right decisions enrich everyone involved.
3. If it means being “right” verses being “kind,”, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Be kind. It will spread, and we need kindness to spread right now.
4. If it means you live your life in fear, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Live smart, not in fear.
5. If it means taking an us versus them attitude, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Now, more than ever, we need to stick together. It will take ALL of us, side by side, to get through this. And we will.

Last, my advice to all of you is to remember, this too shall pass. It will be like having gallstones. It will be painful and hard to endure, but it WILL pass. Of this, you can be sure.

“YOUR opinion of ME is none of MY business!”

— Joseph Binning



Self-Image is the mental picture one has of oneself, of a kind resistant to change, that depicts, not only details available to aim investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, etc.), but also items that you have learned by the person about themselves, either from personal experiences, or by internalizing the judgments of others.  — Wikipedia


Your self-image comprises four mental pictures:

  1. Physical appearance.
  2. Worth because of what you learned through life experiences.
  3. Goodness, because of internalizing the judgments, thoughts, and views of others about you.
  4. Your total self, because of personal beliefs, perceptions, and illusions you have about yourself.


So the question I’m asking you is, how do you picture yourself?  How do you know if the image you see of you is the real you?  One simple way to find an individual’s self-image is by asking yourself, “What do you believe other people’s opinions are of you?  How do you think others see you?”


Ask yourself if what you do, where you go, what you say, or how you act is to be a part of or having a sense of belonging to something?  Do you do these because they feed your soul?  Do you Love because you need to be Love?  Or, do you Love because you need to Love?


Is your sense of happiness, belonging, or worth only made by someone else’s attention, protection, support, or affection? Are you are seeking validation that you are lovable and worthy of loving from things and people outside of you?  Do you base your feelings on fitting in or receiving attention, acceptance, approval, or praise from someone, or something outside of you? If so, you have not identified and integrated your sense of self, your self-value. News flash: you are not what you do, who you do it for, who you are with, how, when, where you fit in, or what possessions surround you.  You are none of that.


How do you know you have not yet identified or integrated a strong sense of self?

If something breaks, if you don’t accomplish something, or if I make a negative comment, would you experience a sense of feeling lower, loss, anger, or even depression. Here’s an example: If I became angry and called you a name, do you think you would you take it personal?  Let’s be crazy for a moment and pretend that I called you an ugly chair. Would it offend you?

What if I took it further and told you you were the most uncomfortable seat I’d ever experienced? What if I told you how weak your legs were? That your back is rickety, you’re painted an ugly color? Or that you should just put yourself out of your misery and take yourself to the dumpster? It’s crazy, I know.  But I am calling you something you are not or telling you my perception of you. Did you get offended because you believed it?

Probably not. Why? Because it’s not true. You are not a chair; you are human.


You put energy and emotion and thought into others’ opinions. 

When someone, whose respect, approval, attention, or Love is something you want or need, calls you foolish or ignorant, or ignores you, do you have a sense of feeling lower, angry, or depressed.  Why?  Because you want them to approve of you and accept you and talk well of you.  Why?  Because you believe what they believe of you is true!


My perception of you is none of your business. 

People’s perception of you is not complete or correct.  People’s opinion of you doesn’t decide your value. No one’s opinion of you determines your truth.

Your opinion of you is what determines your value and truth, and only you are in control of creating that.

Words have power only if you allow them 

How can someone say something to you, you know isn’t true aka the chair example, but believe it? By not knowing who you are. When you define yourself by the words and decisions of others and don’t take the time and dedication to focus and discover the truth of who you are for yourself, you will be forever sensitive to, and weakened by the words, opinions, and actions of others.  Empower yourself by knowing who you are, what you love, what you want, what you can do, and why you are here.


Take this Self-Image Assessment test

Answer the following questions True or False:

  1. Is my glass empty?
  2. I find I apologize for things, or say, “Sorry.”
  3. Do I often hear myself telling myself “I should” be doing this or that?
  4. I find I have a habit of criticizing myself.
  5. Does what other people think about me affects the way I think about myself.
  6. I relive or over analyze my mistakes.
  7. Do you tell yourself I think I have let people who care about me down?
  8. It seems I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.
  9. Do I believe a partial failure equals a complete failure, and I make do it a lot?
  10. I bend over backwards to please people.
  11. I don’t rarely show my emotions.
  12. I’m not sure I’ve done a good job until someone tells me whether I have.
  13. If I don’t do as well at something as others, it’s because I have to try harder than others.
  14. I believe if I can’t do something well, I won’t do it.


Tally your responses by giving yourself one (1) point for every statement that you answered True.


0-4          You have a positive way of thinking and a positive self-image of yourself. Great job!

5-9          You struggle with negative emotions. Review your good qualities every day.

10-14      You are judgmental of yourself. Challenge yourself to change your way of thinking.


Each of you has a story.

You compose your own story of many beliefs and experiences, including the four self-images each of you has see as ourselves.  Your story dictates how you see yourself. Someone was mean and never apologized, so your hurt feelings turn into resentment, which turns into a wound you carry, which causes you to act mean to others.  You don’t accept the feeling of being forgiven for something you’re ashamed of, so you hold back forgiveness for others.  You gave you the message you were not worthy, so you don’t expect the feeling of being worthy, and you allow others to ignore, condemn, use, or abuse you. 

Your minds create negative chatter.

The problem with having a story based on false information is that the mind tells you what to believe and what to listen to. As you listen, you create your realities, based on your mind chatter, your story, and your self-image.

When you create this reality that says: My life looks like this or: or my life should look like this: or I deserve treatment such as this, you end up not liking yourselves for being mean to others, for holding back forgiveness, for allowing others to mistreat or ignore you.  You mistreat yourself, hold back your own emotional nourishment, and put yourself last.  You know you want to change, but don’t know how, because you’re conditioned to believe this story that dictates whether you are deserving of feeling better.


When you believe that this reality you created is how life is.  

When you’re not aware that you have created this, your life becomes an illusion. Your distorted self-image has been growing for so many years it has become entwined into every part of your being, and you cannot see that it is not real, and that it is not a true reflection of who you are.


What is the ultimate and only reason we don’t have a correct, strong, and high self-image? 


Fear keeps us frozen (see my post titled What I Learned From Being Stuck and Frozen and why you need to read this) sometimes for years—sometimes entire lifetimes. Here’s what I mean by fear.

  • The Fear of Disappointing Someone
  • Fear of Failing
  • The Fear of Being Alone
  • Fear of Being Wrong
  • The Fear of Dying
  • Fear of Making the Wrong Choice
  • The Fear of Being Hurt
  • Fear of Making a Mistake
  • The Fear of Feeling Not Good Enough, Smart Enough, Pretty or Handsome Enough, Strong Enough, Capable Enough, Exciting Enough
  • Fear of Not Being Seen
  • The Fear of Not Being Chosen
  • Fear of Being Thought Strange
  • The Fear of Falling


You might tell yourself that you are not afraid; you are just a caring, realistic, concerned, smart, cautious, or even an intentional person.  But if any of these self-defined characteristics cause you to do things other than what you want to, they are running you.  They are inward drivers dictating your behaviors.


Why are you so afraid—aka worried, thoughtful, realistic, concerned, smart, cautious? 

Most of your conditioning is from birth, by everyone who has had an influence on you, causing you to believe that you are not capable, deserving, self-equipped, or powerful on your own and that you may need acceptance, protection, and to be molded and directed.  This false set of beliefs has hypnotized you into a crippling amnesia that has caused you to forget who you are. (Read my post on Mediocrity * not the life you’re here for, for more.)


Despite what life may have taught you, you cannot find the truth outside of yourself, in someone else, or by applying any external remedy. You cannot solve an internal distortion with an external action. No vacation, medicine, food, job, therapy, or relationship can fix a distorted view of yourself and your reality.


How to find your true Self by sitting, with just your Self.  

The way to get to know who you really are is by taking time by yourself, getting to know your Self.  Get to know the parts of the Real You that has always been—the innocent, wonder-filled, joy-seeking fresh Being that is still You, the You who believed in possibility, the You who dreamed and wished and believed, the You who explored and created and pretended. The who made imaginary houses, travels, and worlds.  Your true SELF has no limits and is unstoppable.


“Humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit in a room alone.”

— Blaise Pascal, French Philosopher

The true You is still in you, and so much more. 

Get to know the new parts you haven’t taken time to know yet or integrate—the parts of You-you are becoming, the parts of you that have grown, developed, clarified, and evolved into, and the parts you are visioning for yourself. How do you see your true self? By taking time alone, separating your true Self from everyone else to find out who you are contrary to the world’s opinions, illusions, and dictations.  That is the path to discovering every wonderful, unique, and minute detail that makes you YOU.


You can create what you wish to believe in concerning yourself, if you Choose.  

Choose in this now moment, and from this moment forward, to create a new reality for yourself.  When something doesn’t end up the way you wanted it to, or thought it should, don’t say, “This always happens to me,” instead ask yourself, “How does this affect me? Who am I being with this thinking?  Is this me?  Am I acting like the person I want to be?  How am I feeling scared, angry, controlled, hurt, wrong, not good enough? How do I want to act?  What new learning am I getting from this thinking?  What outcome do I want? How can I create my outcome? How can I own this now moment?  Ask yourself what is a new way or idea of thinking right now?  How do I want to be in this moment?”


How to free yourself from these fears that affect your actions, routine, thoughts, behavior, body, mood, emotions, freedom.


As you lay in bed at night, before you go to sleep, begin a habit of one or more of these practices to own the good in your Self:

  • Focus on what went right today.  What went well with it? What felt good?  Only good.  Don’t do the “High and Low” game.  Don’t focus on what went wrong.  Only do the high.  What did you learn or discover?
  • Go to a place inside of you that feels gratitude for today, but not for things.  Things are fleeting. Focus on moments.  Moments can stay in the mind and heart forever.  Your moments belong only to you.
  • Create a victory journal and write your victories of the day, great and small. When you’re feeling low, re-read the victories and relive them. Remind yourself of your ability to have them.
  • As you lay awaiting sleep, pay close attention to what you let into your thoughts. Remember, a tire does not go flat all at once. It happens slowly. Thoughts are similar. They gather momentum, no matter which way they go.  Refocus your thoughts toward the positive, appreciative, reflective, to keep them from going sour. Fall asleep with the thoughts of the good in our mind.


Remember to stand on the highest place in your story, not on the bottom.

From the moment you make the choice to create a new reality for your Self, you are no longer a victim. Begin small or big, here or there.  It matters not where.  Just begin.  The Tao Te Ching says, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Take the first step, and then the next, and the next.  It’s Amazing how far you will go and how fast you will grow.

From this day forward, live your life by two rules:

  1. No Regrets. Think about everything you do, and the potential consequences good or bad, BEFORE you do them. Then own them.

  2. Always remember my saying, “Your opinion of Me is none of MY business.”

Do not be a prisoner of other people’s opinions of you. When they say something to you you know is not true (remember the chair example) your new answer should be “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Stand tall in YOUR truth. Your NEW story.


The Universe made only one of you.  

There is only one You and You are Perfect.  The world needs your uniqueness, but only when you are being you, not someone else.  It’s your self-image that you are creating, not a duplicate of someone else.

Life rewards the brave, bold, and clear minded. Embrace who you are, with no fear.

Be who you are boldly.  Always be bold in expressing who you are.

You have boldness, bravery, and clarity in you.

Remember, you were born with it.

Now be Great!

I’ve alway’s had animals as companions in my life so having them was normal. Cats have always been my favorite.

Here is what I have learned from them:

Cats don’t need you.

They don’t jump up and down when you come home.

They don’t eat the couch while you are gone.

They catch things and bring them to you for you to see.

They sleep all day while you are away, and play all night while your trying to sleep.

They only let you touch them if they want, and won’t if they don’t.

They always come home, unless something interesting stumbles onto their path, then they won’t.

If you buy them an expensive toy, they will want to only play with the wrapper.

In life we need to be more like a cat.

We need to Want and not need.

We need to appreciate more then we need to be appreciated.

We need to not to not expect the worse in life, and jump on the couch every now and than.

We need to realize that life’s treasures are best enjoyed when shared with someone.

We need to remember that life is not all about work and we need to play.

We need to set boundaries and standards. Live with no regrets.

We need to be flexable in life that when something interesting comes along we explore it but always return home.

We need to Remember that it’s not always the most expensive toy in life that will bring the greatest joy.

And lastly, if it makes you purrr, don’t fight it, enjoy it.