Where is your focus?

As a young girl, attending summer camp, we sang a song with the following lyrics:  It’s a poor man who can’t see the beauty in the sun and the wind and the rain.  And it’s a sad man who can love his neighbor and always finds cause to complain.  The lyrics remind us of two things: our lives are enriched when we notice beauty all around us and diminished when we search for reasons to dislike and complain about others. We only need to look for it.


As Jack Canfield reminds us: “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them.” We have a choice. We can focus on the beauty in life, or we can concentrate on the ugliness. Make the choice to seek the things that bring you happiness.

What is your response to a red light?

What is your response to a red light? Is it something like – just my luck, I am always stuck in traffic, if that person ahead of me would have been a little faster…? Or is it something like this – great I can take a moment and relax, look at the sunshine, or the rain drops on my windshield, I can take a breath and give thanks for all the good things in my life.

If your response is like the first one, adopt the attitude of the second, for our response is a choice and the more times we choose to be frustrated and angry the more we are frustrated and angry. If we choose peace, calm and gratitude our lives become filled with moments of serenity.

Years ago I clipped the following out of a magazine:

If I Had My Life Over by Nadine Stair

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously.

I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

Let me know how you respond to traffic lights? Post here.

Reframe Failure into Feedback

In my post two weeks ago, I talked about how fear of failure can stop us from taking action on our dreams. When you take action and your plans fail, reframe failure into feedback.  You now have information to make adjustments and take a new course of action.


You’ve most likely heard the story of Thomas Edison and how he reframed each attempt to create the incandescent light bulb.  When his colleague remarked about another failure Edison remarked “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.” Lucky for us he was willing to see it as feedback and didn’t give up.

Success is failure in progress. – Albert Einstein

Describe a time when you have or could use failure as feedback.  Post it here.