Positive thoughts…Positive Life!

Hey Passengers Welcome aboard!  As I help you up I give you the usual business welcome card.  It reads:

Positive Thoughts! Happy Life!

Do something wonderful today, people may imitate it.

Many times we cannot control the circumstances in our life, but we can control our reaction to them. Are you a pessimist or an optimist type of person? Your answer will help determine the quality

of your life, as the “quality of your life is dependent upon the quality of your thoughts.” Keep a positive attitude, and you will find your life easier to bear. There is always room for improvement in our mental attitude. It takes effort and determination to turn life around from negative to positive, but it can be done. Prove it is so in your own life!

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain

Happy Memorial Day weekend…

Welcome passengers!  Welcome aboard!  I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!

You know, I bet you have experienced great moments of happiness and sadness in your own life. What made the difference? Not the situation or circumstances – you did! You are as happy as you choose, or as sad as you allow the circumstances to ruin your day. You cannot buy happiness over the counter in a drug store as prescribed medicine. How do you tap into the source of happiness that will never run dry?One way is to use all your God-given talents to do your very best, even in the smallest acts. You will feel great to know that you gave it “your all!” Remember, sadness is contagious, so is happiness. So “decide” to be happy, and you will see changes.  How about it?

All board, The LifeTrain!!!

A LifeTrain “Mirror” moment…

Hey Passengers, periodically I “SERIOUSLY” have to look into the mirror.  Today I did a little self-talk into the proverbial mirror.  Ease drop for a few, here you go:

Mr. Conductor…Your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

Do not put limits on yourself; others will do that for you. Fight your inner “prison,” and break

Positive Self-talk

through those barriers – real or imagined – to attain the success that is deep within you. Success should not be determined by material things that are shallow and can easily pass away. Your success should be defined by the meaningful goals that you have achieved in life – a satisfying career, a lasting relationship, making a difference in your community, helping others, etc. These are the things that will gladden your soul and have lasting value. Be strong; stay focused on the important things. Maintain hope, and practice resolute willpower. This will be tough to do but very worthwhile in the end!

End of mirror moment…

All Aboard!  The LifeTraian

Don’t Let Last Week Use Up Too Much Of This Week…

…and “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

 

Hey Passengers age is a funny thing, isn’t it? It’s both an internal and external measurement by which many of us, consciously or not, judge our successes and failures, and how we are often judged by others: “she’s so young to be CEO;” “he’s too old to be a quarterback now;” “those guys should have stopped touring years ago;” “how old is that woman he’s dating?”

Measurement is part of our culture.

LIVE | LEARN | LEAVE

Paradoxically, the paths most of us initially choose for our lives usually happen at times when we are the least prepared to understand the significance of our decisions.

It took me until I reached “mid-life” while, simultaneously, hitting rock bottom to finally change the course of my life and, most importantly, to learn how to let go of the “whys,”  “what ifs,” and “if only” that had become my everyday mantras for a while.

It’s not easy to put your past in perspective and ignore cultural measurements, and it can be unnerving to allow yourself the time and space to evolve, but from my experience the mistakes, bad choices, and seemingly insurmountable challenges you may now be facing are truly fixable.

And once you decide you’re ready, you’ll find that it’s cathartic (and, yes, a little frightening) to give yourself some time to find your true path—however you define that for yourself.

The quote in the beginning says not to let yesterday take up too much of today, it doesn’t say: “don’t ever look back.”

I believe that while “never” looking back is a noble goal, it is very difficult for many people to do—especially me—without the kind of awareness that comes only from distance. So I chose a quote that, for me, was accessible, allowing me the space to safely pause and reflect, and then inspiring me to act when I was ready. You, too, will find the right words for you, if you haven’t already.yard

It took many years, a traumatic event, and a couple of near death experiences for me to, essentially, start my life over. And still it was difficult and I was afraid when I made that decision; change is scary regardless of it being “right.”

The simplest realization that “Change Happens” regardless, helped me gain clarity and perspective, and then time gave me the confidence and courage to act. And remember cultural measurement? I measure myself differently now, and I actively learn from people of all ages.

This is my story so far. I encourage you to find your inspiration and motivation to help you on your journey and then perhaps you’ll share your story.

Most importantly, you need to know—not just “believe”—there is a right time for you to change, no matter how hard, no matter your age, no matter the obstacles. If you feel in your heart that you are not where you want to be it is never too late. Be your own light; the universe will wait for you.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!!!

 

The A(wkward) Word…

Hey passengers, climb aboard today as we take a look at eh A word…”Awkward’.  As I help you up into your car off the platform I hand you a white business card with black raised letters that say:

“That was Awkward,” “SO what!!??”.

Don’t you just hate it when you are caught off-guard in an awkward situation? As uncomfortable as they are, awkward situations seem to have a purpose: to alert us of social expectations and boundaries — and motivate us to avoid making the same mistake twice.  Social awkwardness works as a “social early warning system.” People tend to pay extra attention to the social atmosphere during an awkward moment by, for example, being unable to take their eyes off the person who told the off-color joke.

At the same time, they’re acutely aware of their own physical discomfort, be it in the form of a blushing face, a pit in the stomach or a racing heart.

But the advantages of awkwardness have their limit. Consider the people who seem to find nearly every situation awkward or who find such moments so cringe-worthy that they avoid experiences with a high potential for awkwardness, such as first dates or networking events.

“If socially awkward experiences lead one to panic and avoidance, then these experiences can become central to a self-perpetuating pattern of social fear and avoidance,

Whether you burst into the wrong meeting, say goodbye to someone before continuing on the same path or get trapped in a conversation that’s more silence than dialogue, awkward situations are a part of life.

“We all have these [experiences]. The trick is deciding how meaningful they are and how much they’re getting in the way for you. “Typically, it’s not the awkward moments that are the problem, it’s how you interpret them or make sense of them.”  Give this fun video a shot…(some of the best parts are at the end).  Have fun with it!

Week’s End…Embracing Imperfection

Hey passenger’s, well…we made it.  As we close out the week let me share this story with you in case you missed it being passed around the net.  Get some rest this weekend and ponder the following:

Embracing Imperfection

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I’ll never forget what he said. ‘Baby, I love burned toast.’

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night, and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, ‘Debbie, your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone! You know, life is full of imperfect things…and imperfect people.. I’m not the best housekeeper or cook.’

What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults – and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences – is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. And that’s my prayer for you today – that you will learn to take the good, the bad and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt toast isn’t a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship in fact – as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!!”

Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket – but into your own.

See through God’s eyes and feel through God’s heart, and you will appreciate the value of every soul including yourself.

People will always forget what you do, and they will always forget what you say, but they will never, ever forget the way you make them feel.

Have a great weekend!

All Aboard!

Mental Health Week on the LifeTrain (Day 1). But first…

But first, First things first.

 

MERRY MONDAY!

Depression, not the best of topics eh? Never the less, …I have heard, I have listened and …I have felt the need to discuss this from some of my fellow passengers. First, let’s talk about understanding and recognizing signs of those around you who might be dealing with this issue.

If someone close to us is suffering from depression, we may feel isolated. In fact, from what I have researched, depression is a remarkably prevalent disease. As many people suffer from major depression as from other leading chronic conditions.

The only shame is not getting help…

Why then is it so difficult to watch a family member suffer from depression? I very definitely feel that the main part of the difficulty comes from the stigma of mental illnesses, particularly an illness that is often related to “the blues. The cultural assumption is often that if people didn’t want to be depressed they should only get out of bed and do something – And as for us men folk….“Just MAN-UP!”.

But as I suspect we all know now, true depression is much more complex than that. The US’s National Institute of Mental Health states on its website: “Depression is a serious medical condition. In contrast to the normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, clinical depression is persistent and can interfere significantly with an individual’s ability to function.” And being the partner of someone who is depressed and potentially starting to experience difficulty functioning through the daily stresses of every day life can be very difficult.

Dealing with someone who is depressed can be frustrating and well, quite frankly, depressing in and of itself. It’s extremely frustrating to continually reach out to someone who doesn’t seem able to respond or to respond appropriately or consistently. Well, at least one thing as been verified for me and that is, it’s perfectly normal to feel annoyed and angry, and even despairing.

Passengers of the LifeTrain, NOW HEAR THIS! If you have been feeling this way and it is beginning to impact on your own quality of life, support

“NOW HEAR THIS!”

for yourself should be your first priority. Finding a counsellor or support group can make all the difference as you navigate the waters of supporting a family member as he or she grapples with the disease and its results.

The important thing to keep in mind is that depression truly is a disease. Although it’s difficult to change your thinking, if you can come to understand that your loved one truly has limited control over his or her state of mind, and to treat it as an illness and not a lack of desire or willpower, we will be on our way to finding a clearer understanding of the reality of your situation.

Most of all…know that “we” are not alone…heck…as much as I hate to admit it….one time, back in 1934, or was that 1935, I was a bit down myself!

To be continued….

The only shame is not reaching out for help…

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!

n conjunction with today’s post, give this a listen  (CLICK):
http://one.npr.org/?sharedMediaId=513733284:513733286

“Fear”… is a Liar!

Hey Fellow passengers!  I greet you with a smile hug, and a small white business card today.  The black letters read:

“FEAR IS A LIAR!”.

As we kick things off let’s take a look at that old liar, “FEAR”.  It’s so easy to get stuck in it. To let it hold you back.  I have been there at times in my life.  One of the reasons for that is that I made a common mistake.

TRUTH…

And it’s this:

You misinterpret the often little information you have.

It is easy to take very few experiences – or maybe just one – and start seeing them as evidence of something permanent and frightening in your life.  So what can you do instead to reduce your fears?

Here’s what worked for me…

Question your fears and what they are based upon.

Think back to what evidence you have in your memories for a fear and a belief of yours.

Try to see the situation(s) that created your fear with fresh eyes today. Instead of
the way you may usually see them.

Doing this helped me to for example reduce my fear in certain situations.  I looked back at a few situations from my past that formed and fueled that fear.

And I realized these two things:

  • Honestly, I may have just misinterpreted being rejected in some of those situations.

  • I often wasn’t rejected because it was something wrong with what I did but simply because we weren’t realistically a good match for each other. Or because the other person had a bad day or because he or she simply wanted to push me down to feel better about himself or herself in that moment.

Yep…

This was an eye-opening experience and also helped me to understand that everything is not about me and what I do. And that our memories can often be pretty inaccurate and unhelpful if not

reexamined later on.

Our minds love to create patterns and conclusions based on very little evidence or few experiences.

So question your memories and fears from time to time to see them for what they
actually are.

And remember Passengers, “Fear IS a liar!”

All Aboard! The LifeTrain!

It’s Super Bowl Weekend…and the white Elephant in the room is…

DWI

As I help you board the train I hand you a white business card with black lettering.  It simply says…

A designated driver helps you party another day.

Hello LifeTrain passengers, Super Bowl weekend is upon us.  For many folks that means celebrating! Office parties, family get-togethers, social outings, etc. Drinking and driving is especially high during this weekend, thus the reason for this discussion.

Stay alive, don't drink and drive...

Stay alive, don’t drink and drive…

No sense in putting our heads in the ground like an Ostrich or ignoring the proverbial “White Elephant ” in the room.  Time for some real talk.  We mentioned celebration and sometimes that celebration is paired with libation which increases chances for DWI’s.  It happens, and my prayer is it won’t happen to you or a loved one.  Nothing good can come from that.  However, things happen, life happens and if you or a loved one is faced with this situation let’s take a look at a conversation I had recently with my good friend, Attorney Ewing Carter III.

Note:  Even though I am his athletic and academic superior, I do want to thank the attorney for doing these articles.  Trust me, if you ever need a lawyer, these articles will help prepare you for what to expect so…Thank you Attorney Carter for allowing us a peek into the legal world.  However, we will note that this is not to be construed as legal advice.

EC III:  As for the first part of your opening statement, in your dreams dude in your dreams.  However, it is my pleasure to ride and share with you and the passengers here on the LifeTrain…you are doing some good work…especially for a mentally challenged chap like yourself.

Chuckie:  Enough of the pleasantries, Tell me sir…How does the law know if I’ve had too much to drink before I drive?
EC III:  In most all 50 states, if a person is operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, they can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) / driving under the influence (DUI). A key consideration is that you can be impaired by any substance you ingest (alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription drugs). Generally, the “Officer of the Peace “, (policeman, sheriff, DMV officer, park ranger, etc.) can make the decision to stop and investigate a person, if he/she has a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is driving while subject to an impairing substance. Tell-tale signs are: weaving, speeding, driving too slowly, making too wide of a turn, just to name a few.

Chuckie:  What should I do or say if I am stopped for DWI?
EC III:  Be as cooperative as possible. The officer will ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. He will be developing an opinion about “you” to determine to whether further investigation is warranted.  Noted signs of impairment are:  slurred speech, obvious odor of alcohol, disheveled clothing, and bloodshot eyes.

Chuckie:  If the officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test, should I comply, or refuse?
EC  III:  The decision is totally yours to make. However, there are some facts to consider
Driving is a privilege, and not a constitutional right. Because driving is a privilege, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines under what circumstance a person can operate a motor vehicle along
the road and highways of their state.

If you decide to refuse to take the breath test, the DMV will revoke your privilege to drive for a certain period of time. This revocation is generally for one (1) year. However, obtaining a Driving Privilege in order to drive back and forth to work can be obtained from the Court. In North Carolina, again, if you refuse the breath test, there is a 6-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Driving Privilege. Conversely, if you take the test, and your BAC in not excessive, then there is no waiting period for the Driving Privilege.

Well passengers, there you have it…Best case scenario, remember this:

The driver is safer when the roads are dry; the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Think of your future, Think of your date, Then think before making that fatal mistake, Don’t Drink and Drive.

Enjoy the game passengers, remember there is now UBER, Lyft and that one guy who takes one for the team…the designated driver.

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!

Let’s Roll! First Blog of 2017!

Hey Passengers, one question that riders often email me about is something that I constantly must deal with myself:  How do you break out of a motivational slump?

Well, here’s what help me when I get stuck in that zone.

1. Refocus on doing what YOU really, really like to do. 

When you really like doing something then the motivation to do it comes
automatically (most of the time). And when you really want something then it
simply becomes easier to push through any inner resistance you feel.

FOCUS

FOCUS

So if you lose your motivation, ask yourself:

Am I doing what I really want to do?

If not and if possible, refocus and start working on that very important thing
instead.

2. Make a list of upsides. 

Write down all the benefits you will get from achieving something – no matter
how small – like for example having more energy to use as you deep down want
or having enough money to go that dream vacation.

Save that list and then pull it out of the drawer whenever your motivation is
lacking again and review it. Or put it somewhere where you will see it every day
until you reach your dream.

3. Make a list of downsides. 

This is a very effective one. And you can combine it with the list of upsides to give
yourself even more motivation to start moving and get things done.

Ask yourself these two questions:

How will my life look in 5 years if I continue to stay on the same path as now?

How will life likely become worse for me and maybe even for the people
around me?

Try to see the negative consequences as vividly as you can in your mind to
kickstart your motivation to get going for that positive change again.

I hope this helps “US” to start the week off “Super Fantastic” and “MOTIVATED!”

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!!!

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