Give a smile or steal a smile

You have probably noticed by now that at the end of every post I say, “Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.” There is a reason for that. Every day we have an option to either be the person that gets to make others smile during the day or we are the person that lets the world around us steal that smile from us. Morning to night brings many opportunities to go either way and what we choose often sets the stage for the next day, or even future days to come.

In the past, I was always one of those persons that was deeply affected by the people around me and their moods. I could start off a day in a perfectly happy mood with all the optimism in the world, only to be brought down to the depths of despair by those that I allowed to affect me. It was almost as if I was a sponge that absorbed the environment that I happened to be in, no matter how much I resisted it. I let the world change my smile simply because I did not know how to counter it.

As I moved through life, I had the opportunity to experience life and cultures in many different places. Some cultures were happier, some not so happy. As I started to evaluate those cultures I happened to be in at the moment, I soon realized that there were many who were able to choose and maintain their moods rather than let those around them influence how they were going to feel. The more I observed, the more I started to realize that I had that same power, I just either did not realize it or had not learned that I had that capability.

Obviously things are going to happen to us throughout the day that are going to temporarily affect how we feel. How long that temporary moment lasts is totally up to us as we have the ultimate control. As you go through your day today, will you be that person that let’s your smile change the world, or will you be the person that let’s the world take that smile from you. The decision really is yours and for you I hope it is the former.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify for most podcast sites.

Find the space between your comfort zone and dream

Helen Keller said, “The place between your comfort zone and your dreams is where life takes place.” When I saw this quote the other day, it got me thinking about how many times in life we fail to realize our own true dreams because we simply can’t find the courage to walk across that line that is our comfort zone. We get so comfortable in what we do and who we are that the need to challenge ourselves seems too much of an effort when the status quo is far more simpler.

Like many people, in so many ways I was always one of those people that had a hard time dealing with change. The things I was comfortable with were safe and secure, no matter how mundane they were. Crossing that comfort line meant that there was a risk of failure and I was not comfortable taking that risk. However, I started to see those around me that were expanding on their lives to have experiences that I could only dream of. Inside, I started to yearn for what I was seeing other people do and I needed to make the decision whether or not I was going to be satisfied with a simple life or take a chance on making it spectacular

Fortunately for me I chose the latter. Traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures and ways of life opened my eyes to a world that was beyond my comprehension. Living in another country when I was in the Air Force at an early age gave me confidence that the area outside my comfort zone was okay. I learned to dream big and that failure did not mean the end, it was the stepping stone to something even greater.

Helen Keller was right. Life really does take place between our comfort zone and our dreams. If you have been struggling to find your way out of your own mire, take one small step. Do one small thing differently. Use failures as tools for getting to where you really want to be. It is only then that your dreams can truly become reality.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

What we say matters

Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment and would give anything to take it back? Maybe you said something that happened to be what you were feeling, yet you did not realize the impact that it was going to have on the person on the receiving end. Perhaps you even said it not caring about the consequences, it just happened to be what you were thinking or believed and you just needed to get it out. I would venture to say we have all done this at one time or another.

This past week I was thinking about this particular subject a lot. I was pondering moments where someone said something to me years ago and I could picture them saying it to me as if it were in the present moment. Sometimes hurtful things that never seemed to find their way out of my mind and sometimes things that were encouraging and good advice that I have used throughout life. No matter what the type of message, I would venture to say that the majority of the people who said those things to me had no idea that 20 or 30 years later I still remember the exact words that they said to me as if they were delivered in the current moment.

Our choice of words is especially important when speaking to children. We often do not realize how impressionable they are and how much our words matter. What we say to them could have a more profound impact on how they develop their on self reflection and worth than we even realize. In reality, what we say to adolescents and even adults carries equal importance, as we are in a constant state of mental development as we go through our different stages of our life.

The unfortunate thing is that it is often the negative comments that stay with us the most. They tend to overshadow the positive ones. It is just how our mind operates. When the negative comments outweigh the positive it makes it even more difficult to reconcile those thoughts as we develop our self worth. Getting to the point where we do not care what others think is no easy task, which makes it incumbent on us to think before we speak and consider the consequences that our words may have.

There have been times where my mouth overrode my brain and what came out was not what I had intended. Once said you can not take it back. You can only work to explain what you may have meant. We should always consider that there is a chance that what we say may be something that the person receiving our comments may have to live with for the rest of their life. That makes it important for us to consider if our need to say what is on our mind is worth the impact that it may have. It is as simple as thinking before we speak.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or in iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and most podcast sites.

It doesn’t take much to do a lot

Have you ever had those moments where you feel like life has been good to you and you want to find a way to give back, but you just don’t have the means or know how? How about the feeling that life has not been that good to you and you are looking to put a little Karma out into the world to try and get a little back for yourself? The desire to give is great but you feel like you just don’t have anything to give.

Those are thoughts that many of us face throughout our lives at one point or another. What we sometimes fail to realize is that there are people who have everything and still fail to give. The desire to do what we can with what we have is something personal that has to be developed within our own hearts and minds.

In the third year of our Bring Smiles to Seniors program, I thought about this a lot. There were many who were sending us cards on a regular basis, some even more than regular. People who felt the need and compassion to be a part of this amazing smile journey that we are all on. I started noticing people that were an active part of our social media pages who were commenting that they would love to help but just did not have the means. What they failed to realize was that they were helping just by participating and sharing the word about what we were doing. This gave me an idea.

We had a need to get cards that were donated to us decorated. I came up with the idea of creating decorating packets that consisted of cards, decorating pens, stickers and a return postage paid envelope to return the decorated cards to us. This way those who wanted give back only needed to give of their creativity and time to make a difference in a senior’s life. There was risk that the cards would go out and never come back again and initially that seemed to be what might be happening. But I believed in humanity and the desire to give and my fears were eventually laid aside. Now we have many people decorating cards for us. It is those very people that have contributed to our delivering over 100,000 cards since we began the program in March 2016. The feedback regarding what it has done for their own lives has been heartwarming.

Even those of us who may think that we have nothing to give always have something. Opening a door, helping someone across the street, offering support or just commenting on posts are all something. None of those things cost us anything. Finding our own way to contribute within our means is not only good for the world, it is good for our soul as well.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

#inspiration #inspirationalposts #inspirationalmessages #morningswithron

Sometimes we just need a little headspace

Have you ever had those moments in your life where you feel like your head has completely filled up and it just can’t take on one more thing? Life is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at you and you wonder how you are going to deal with whatever else is may bring. Although research says that we only use a small percentage of the total capacity of our brain, to us it feels full and it is at times exhausting.

For me, this has been the case lately. Balancing my full time job, leading Bring Smiles to Seniors, family responsibilities, social obligations, writing my blog and recording and editing my podcast has caused me to take pause. I know I have the stamina to do it all, but trying to find a way to add a little headspace where I can just breathe sometimes proves to be difficult. Suddenly, an unexpected moment happens that gives you just the shot in the arm that you were looking for.

At a recent work event out of town some of my colleagues were sharing with me an app they use called Headspace. It basically teaches you how to create headspace, tune out the noise and allow the mind the opportunity for time to rest. I have heard of meditation over the years but never really considered it with any great interest. Mostly because I wondered where I would find the time to fit it in. While I am in the early stages with Headspace, I think that it could be something that changes my life. If the early indications of the effect prove true, I know that it will.

It is amazing what happens when you just stop for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be hours or even half hours. Five minutes to give the mind a rest and let the traffic noise in your head go by provides a bit of rejuvenation that helps to get through he day. I am sure as that time expands and I become more experienced with the process, those minutes will expand and I will find even more benefit from the exercise.

It is important to pay as much attention to our mind as we do to our bodies to ensure that both stay in harmony and working order. They are both the vessels that give us the opportunity to navigate this thing we call life. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed and in need of a little headpsace, find the technique, app or process that works for you. Let five minutes become ten, twenty and more. Be good to you brain and I can assure you in turn it will return the favor.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and at anchor.fm/morningsithron.

#inspiration #inspirationalmessages #inspirationalposts #morningswithron

Risks are the pain and joy of life

As we go through life we are presented with many opportunities to make decisions. Taking the time to evaluate those decisions is prudent and wise. Being scared to make a decision is natural, but often keeps us from enjoying the fruits of what that decision may bring us. A quote that I heard by Sherry Lansing who was the first female to head a movie studio got me to thinking. She said, “If you take risks, you are going to be wrong as much as you are right. That’s the pain of life and the joy of life.”

How boring life would be without risk. Never venturing beyond the edge of our comfort zone often leads to a life that is mundane and without excitement. Taking a risk that winds up being a mistake often provides us with the stepping stones and strength that we need to get to something even better. The pain of having gone through the experience proved to have value even though it may be not have brought us joy in the moment.

People have built fortunes on calculated risks and that amount of risk isn’t necessarily for everyone. It often takes risk to be able to reap rewards, but not everyone has the stamina that it takes to ride the highs and the lows that come with the effort. However, a life without pain or joy is hardly a life full of value. Experiencing those moments of good and bad are at the very core of what life is all about.

If we are willing to put ourselves out there and take a chance, we have to do it knowing that failure is always a possibility. It is often the chance of failure that gives us the drive that we ultimately need to see that failure doesn’t materialize . When it doesn’t we experience the joy of success and that provides the fuel that we need to take on the next risk with a little more confidence.

Throughout my life I have taken many risks and chances. Some have paid off, some have failed miserably. However, at the end of the day I can look back and say I lived. With all the twists and turns that have taken place over my 56 years, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. In one of my recent messages I talked about getting to the end of life and not wanting to say I wish I did or I wish I had. If you are willing to take take healthy risk to make your life what you want it to be, then those words won’t even be an option. The words will more likely be, I’m glad I did.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites. 

#inspiration #inspirationalmessages #morningswithron

Have you asked why you can’t stop?

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This quote was on my nephew’s Facebook page (where I get a lot of my inspiration) and it really resonated. In our lives we have things that we do that either have just become habit or for some reason we continue to repeat them over and over. They may be things that we would like to stop doing, but for some reason we can’t figure out why we can’t quit. Many people struggle with many different things such as addictions, bad habits and uncontrolled urges. Although the desire may be there to stop some individuals rarely delve into the reasons why they can’t.

It is quite possible that the first step anyone should take is to evaluate why they do what they do in the first place. What was the catalyst for the beginning, the underpinnings of the continuation and the reason for not being able to stop? Was the time ever taken to truly understand the origins of the action and why that particular occurrence or moment has such a hold?

Many times people have to hit rock bottom before they can “get the monkey off their back”. They have to reach a level of despair that is so deep that the only way is up. We see it everyday in the healthcare world as the country struggles with the opioid addiction and countless lives are torn apart by this terrible tragedy. Many people look upon those who are addicted as mere drug addicts, but something happened in their lives at some point to put them in the place where they find themselves. People often get so entrenched that they just cant find a way out.

We all have things in our lives that we wish we would or could have done differently. However, to change something we have to understand it and that often means that we have to get to the reason why it started in the first place. Every second that happens from the point you are reading this post forward presents you with an opportunity to make life different, to start new beginnings and to create a life that is yours. While we may never be able to forget the past, we can escape it’s hold on us if we just believe in and love ourselves enough to make the effort.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or in iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

#inspiration #inspirationalposts #morningswithron

 

When passion is alive and well

Do you ever wonder what it is that motivates us to do something? That one thing that you know at the core of your very being is the thing that you were meant to do. You go through life with that burning desire, yet there is just never the opportunity for the outlet you need to fulfill that desire. Then, before you know it, the chance to do what you love presents itself in ways that you never knew were possible. Such is the case for me with writing.

From an early age it was a passion. I used to sit in my room at night and write poetry. I would cut pictures out of magazines and then write poetry that matched the pictures. I still have one of my early books that I did when I was about ten years old. When I look back on them they are simple, yet heartfelt and still messages that resonate today.

When I took the chance to start this blog I was faced with all kinds of questions. Am I good enough? Will my messages resonate with anyone other than me? Will it take too much effort? Most of all, will anyone even care? After a little over a year, those fears have now been laid to rest and the passion within me grows even stronger. However, it is not still without fear.

As I face a new week knowing that I have committed to delivering three messages weekly (on top of my podcast) I sometimes am a little fearful that writer’s block will set in and I won’t have anything to say. Yet, life has a way of giving you ideas as you go throughout the week that eventually find their way on paper. The amazing thing is the number of times that I hear from people that I “must have been in their head” that day because the message I delivered was something that that’s they really needed. That in itself is good for the heart and soul.

Years ago I was actually written up in my work evaluation for the quality of my emails. Email was new then and it was not uncommon for people to send emails with spelling and grammatical errors. A wise boss told me that what you write is a reflection of who you are and your capabilities and that emails full of errors were not a good representation of my capabilities. From that point forward I focused of making sure that I double checked everything that I sent. Am I perfect? Absolutely not! Even when I do my posts I can go back and reread multiple times and still find something that I change after the post goes live. I am not and will never claim to be the best writer in the world, but I do know that my messages resonate, simply because you have told me so.

We all have passions within us that are just yearning to come out. Allowing them to live and thrive are not only good for your soul, they are good for the souls that you touch as well. Getting a following is no easy task, but I know that if my post makes a difference in one life, then my job is done and I am motivated to continue that passion for as long as it lives within me. Today I wish the same for you! Find your passion and let it shine.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast on anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify and most podcast sites.

#inspirationalmessages #inspiration #morningswithron #bringsmilestoseniors

Have your 30 minutes of something wonderful!

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If you have ever seen the movie Steel Magnolias then you know this quote well. Shelby says this when she finds out she is having a baby despite her struggle with diabetes. She understood the issues that she could face but she made the choice to enjoy one of life’s beautiful joys despite the risk. My friend and I were talking about this quote the other day and I happened to think about when opportunities in life are scariest and how not taking them could leave me with a lifetime of nothing special.

We all live our lives in varying degrees. Some of us take life by the reins and do everything that we can to make it all that it can be. Some of us live life in fear that if we attempt to do something that we may fail. Others choose the sheltered approach and decide that a lifetime of nothing special was just their destiny. How unfortunate is that?

Every morning when we wake up our life can take many different paths and can be full of land mines that we may not even expect. However, sometimes on the other side of those land mines can be something that can truly makes our life spectacular. Taking the risk that could result in us having that thirty minutes of something wonderful makes navigating those potential landmines worth it.

When I look back over my life there were many instances where I made decisions that didn’t turn out so well. However, there were just as many where I took the option that was in front of me, faced the risk and would up making my life just that much more special. Using my gut as my guide, which rarely lets me down, allows me to live a life that is complete and full rather than one that really is nothing special.

The next time you are facing the option of that 30 minutes of wonderful or a lifetime of nothing special, I hope that you do yourself a favor and choose the former. I always say that we get one chance at life and there are no do overs. We all deserve a life that is fulfilling and amazing. That is my wish for you.,

Have a great day and remember to be the reason that someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple & Google Podcasts, Spotify and most podcast sites.

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Who we are becomes who they are!

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This quote was on a friend’s Facebook page recently and when I read it I thought to myself how meaningful and true, while at the same time simple. I don’t think we have any greater responsibility outside that which we have for ourselves than the responsibility to set an example for our younger generation on what makes kind, cooperative and responsible adults.

I am married to a third grade school teacher and I can tell you first hand some of the stories that make their way home are not only horrifying but astounding in regards to what these children know and present at such an early age. Children are not born unkind, uncooperative or irresponsible, they learn it. In those years where they are most impressionable, our responsibility to give them the tools necessary to become exemplary teenagers and adults is at its most critical. The unfortunate thing is that some of the stories about the parents are equally as horrifying and you wonder how the child stands a chance.

While I have never had children, I have always tried to set an example for my nieces, nephews and those children whom I have had a part of my life in one way or another. My parents and grandparents taught my brother and I to be gentlemen who were compassionate, caring and helpful. They put us both in programs and situations that strengthened our character and allowed us to use the tools they taught us to make others’ lives a little better. Both of us are Eagle Scouts, both served in the military and both have gone on to form our own not for profits. We weren’t born with those traits, we learned them.

One of the unfortunate things in our society is our lack of understanding that education is one of our most important responsibilities. Teaching the generations of tomorrow is  a critical task that deserves the appropriate respect, compensation and funding. However, when budgets get created it is often education that is the first that loses in that process. Children, who are our most precious commodity in a world where they often spend more time with teachers than they do their parents, deserve better. Teachers who are entrusted with preparing the next generation for life deserve better.

How we model ourselves to younger generations is an incredible responsibility. When we do it right we all win. When we fail in that endeavor we all pay the price.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Ron

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple & Google Podcast, Spotify and most podcast sites.

#morningswithron #inspirationalposts #inspirationalmessages

 

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