All beginnings are difficult, but if you don't start you will never finish. Imagining how great it will be when you are done has always kept me motivated. I see in my minds eye the finished product, the results, and see myself and others enjoying it.
I always make it my practice at various life events, holidays, seasons, etc. in my life to sort of do a review of my life, relationships, etc. For example, on my marriage anniversary I look at the past year and beyond with my wife and consider what I could do to be better, what I may have done wrong. etc.
Well, when this time of year comes around, I often think about gift giving for obvious reasons. In my review I always go back to my fifth birthday.....
There I was in Carvel, we all just enjoyed the birthday ice cream cake and me and all my little friends are sitting around and I start opening the gifts. Then it starts, the moment in time I dread, where instead of just smiling and showing joy at every gift and seeing them as the signs of kindness and friendship they are, I decide to say if I like the gift itself and if I will ever play with it, etc. The memory of that always makes my stomach turn especially when I realize how such words would make others feel.
One of my favorite expressions is "all good". I say it to people when ever I see them.
I like it because depending on how the person hears it, it is either a blessing or a question. If they feel their heart has burdens they need to unload I care to hear, if not it is a blessing for them for all things good!
My family was blessed with a child this last week. One thing that always amazes me is how easily babies smile. They do it for no selfish reason at all and perhaps that is its true power. Their smiles instantly make every one seeing them forget all their worldly problems and smile back.
Most people never stop to think what makes us laugh. It is the "fear of loss of dignity, social embarrassment, exclusion from the group, being fooled/exploited, death, injury, or sex. The more anxiety-prone the subject is, the better it is as a subject for humour."*
Why do it then, why not just forget about laughter?
Well nothing dispels anxiety faster and helps oneself and others around them relieve stress and become more attentive, alive.
Humor therefore is a weapon, it can be used for good and evil. Like all weapons, one must respect its potential for damage.
God has no limits so why should your prayers?
That's what I was thinking when I was in my early teens. I saw how difficult things were for me to grow up even in a good environment, what would it be like for my future wife? Perhaps things may even be more difficult for her. So I decided then to start praying for her, who ever she may be. Years and many prayers later I really think those prayers made a difference. I was the first boy my wife ever went out with and never had to deal with the ups and downs of finding ones match. Her life was filled with turns always leading more positive and spiritual.
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
Last night I had a ball at the emergency room. Party at the ER, well I went in for extreme pains in the upper right abdominal quadrant figuring, there goes the gall bladder, so that was not exactly a party. Yet, what's a person to do while in between grabbing their flank and panting in 10+ pain, well make the people around you laugh who have been up all night under stress and strain.
When you are busy helping others, your own pains and problems are no longer all that big.
PS. In the end all the organs were nice and healthy and they are not really sure what the problem was.
Formal prayer has always been part of my life and has been there for me when I felt so far that I couldn't not even begin to think of how to open my heart. Yet, just talking to God, pouring out my heart has always been something special to me. The feeling of happiness and contentment after having poured out my soul in tears and words is beyond description.
I once met a young woman that told me that when she couldn't speak (for example while in class), she would write to God.
How do you talk to God? We'd love to hear in the comments.