Flipping the Facts

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.”—Aldous Huxley

Good morning! When Donna submitted this quote, I knew it would have to be the
subject of one of our Good Mornings. I think this quote speaks to one of the
core issues many self-improvement programs miss. We can’t “ignore the facts” as
we strive to create a better life. While positive thinking is a great tool, if
we ignore the facts, we set ourselves up for disappointment.

To change our lives for the better, we must methodically work through our “life
clutter” while maintaining a positive attitude, realizing that we are taking
control of our futures. A positive attitude shouldn’t be something we brainwash
ourselves to have. A truly positive attitude is born when we take action, take
responsibility, and start regaining control of the many areas of our lives.
We can learn a lot by looking at the flipside of this. If our attitudes aren’t
positive, then we can assume that we are either :

1. Trying to brainwash ourselves without dealing with core issues
2. Not taking action
3. Not regaining control
4. Ignoring the facts
5. Not taking responsibility.

Those five ingredients are the mixture required for a lasting, positive outlook.
Some might argue that our outlook relies on external events. In cases of
tragedy, this is often true. But in our day-to-day stresses and anxieties, I
would disagree. One of my favorite quotes has always been, “Two men look out the
same prison bars, one sees mud, the other sees stars.” In this example, the
external is the same—but the focus of the two men is different. We control our

Your Turn:
Where in your life have you been pushing to have a good attitude without taking
into account “the facts?” Which of these five areas could you improve on today?

1. Not brainwashing yourself into a positive attitude by ignoring core issues

2. Taking action
3. Regaining control
4. Facing the facts or
5. Taking responsibility.

What is a step you can take in the next hour in one of those areas?

Today’s Affirmation:
I am actively regaining control of every area of my life.

Continue reading

Learn– then let go

When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of
the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom.
The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.—Hugh White

Good morning! When I was about sixteen, I had one of those “light-bulb” moments.
As a teen, I battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (and still do today), but at
that point I had not yet been diagnosed and my thoughts and emotions were all
over the board. I often felt discouraged, would beat myself up, or feel
guilty—many times for things that were completely outside of my control.

I also lived in a very small town, about 300 residents in all. There was a local
cafe where many people would cluster and discuss the town gossip. I was amazed
at how much of this gossip focused on the negative and on the past. As I
listened, I realized that in my mind, I was doing much the same thing. I was
rehashing the past, feeling guilt for it, and losing the present moment as I
battled something from yesterday.

The “light-bulb” moment came when I asked myself, “How would my life change if I
spent nine-tenths of that time focusing on changing the present instead of
rehashing the past?” Not only did I ask the question, I began living the answer.
My life changed in phenomenal ways. By living in the moment, yet learning from
the past, the concept of regret became a rare one for me, because I was making
today count.

At sixteen, I didn’t realize that moment would become the first building block
for living a content and complete life. I didn’t know that would be the building
block for the Change Your Life Challenge program that has helped over 100,000
women find the same contentment in all areas of their lives.

Your Turn:
What if you spent nine-tenths of the time when you think about the past,
changing the present? I know you would realize wonderful things. Try it this for
thirty days. This simple concept can revolutionize your life.

Today’s Affirmation:
I learn from the past, but I don’t sit in detention …instead I move forward
and maximize the moment.

Continue reading

Costly Comparisons

Your life is what you make it.—Nana Messler

Good morning! I had an interesting conversation with a girlfriend the other day.
She was telling me about this woman who “has it all.” My friend perceives this
woman as having the perfect and caring husband; beautiful, talented and
respectful children; a well-kept and beautiful home; and the woman herself is
beautiful with a great attitude. The description concluded with an exclamation
like: “I just hate her!” (said tongue-in-cheek).

I started laughing. She asked me what was so funny. I posed this question: “If
this woman had an awful husband, ugly children, a shack, and a bad
attitude—would that make YOUR life better?”

She asked me what that had to do with anything. I proceeded to ask her why she
was spending so much time analyzing this woman’s life. What possible purpose did
it serve? She explained that if this woman could “have it all” then certainly
she could as well. “But what if this woman didn’t have it all?” I pressed on.
“Would that mean you couldn’t have it all?”

Whether this woman owned a llama farm, was an attorney, First Lady, or the first
female President of the United States has no bearing on my friend’s life. Each
moment she spent looking at this woman and comparing their lives was taking her
focus off where it needed to be—her own life. Whatever this woman’s life looks
like is completely irrelevant to all of us. It doesn’t change our own life one
iota. The only thing that can change our lives is us. As Nana’s quote states,
“Your life is what you make it,”—not what others make it.

Your Turn:
We rarely compare ourselves to those who have less than we do to increase our
self-esteem, but women often compare themselves to those who have more, and so
undermine their own esteem. Today, embrace the concept of looking at your own
life, instead of the lives of others. Don’t be distracted with the destructive
thinking found in comparing yourself to another person—remember, you can never
truly walk in his or her shoes.

Today’s Affirmation:
Today, I only compare myself to the “me” I was yesterday.

Reflection Questions:
Who do you compare yourself to?
How do these comparisons hinder or help you?
How would it feel to let go of measuring your life against the lives of others?

Continue reading

Stones in our paths…

If God sends us stony paths, He will provide us with strong
shoes.—Alexander Maclaren

Good morning! I don’t know about you, but I have certainly had my share of days
when I felt tested to the max. Sometimes it can be hard to keep “a chin up” when
so many things are weighing us down.

I have found that on those tough and stressful days, I am continually taught the
art of letting go, and the art of faith. We can’t control everything—and when we
try to do so, life gets heavy quickly. This simple quote is one of my favorite
reminders. We are equipped to handle what life sends our way—we simply must
learn from the lessons than can teach us, and remember to use the tools that are
given to us.

Your Turn:
Take a moment to reflect on trying times in your past and how you have pulled
through. Make a list and pat yourself on the back for what you have overcome.
Use this to inspire you when life gets tough. If you are in a tough situation
today, remember to let go.

Today’s Affirmation:
Let go and let God.

Inspirations: Consider adding a morning devotion to your Good Morning
routine. There are many great online resources for free email devotionals. Check








Continue reading

How long will you think about it?

 “To think too long about
doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”—Eva Young

Good morning! When was the last time you felt truly overwhelmed? Maybe it was
last week, or last month, or maybe it is right now, this very minute. Have your
“to-dos” piled up so high that they are robbing the joy from your days and
taking the skip from your step?

When we are overwhelmed, we can often trace the feeling to one of four sources:

1. When we fail to allow enough time for the unexpected, tasks pile up and all
of a sudden we find ourselves anxious or struggling to stay above water.

2. There is some specific “to do”
that you just don’t like doing. That single to-do is ignored more than any
others, until it gets to a point of crisis, and must be dealt with.

3. The project seems
insurmountable—since we don’t know where to start, we just don’t start.

Like today’s quote, we confuse
planning with doing, and spend too long in the planning phase and not enough
time in the action phase.

Regardless of the source of your overwhelmed feelings, the quickest way to
release them is through action. Spending even five concentrated minutes on a
task helps us to feel we have control over the “to-do” versus it controlling us.

Your Turn:
Make a list of the things that are overwhelming to you right now. Choose one to
work with this week. Each day, set your timer for at least five minutes and take
focused action. Notice how the action begins to make the anxious and overwhelmed
feelings dissolve.

Today’s Affirmation:

I do not succumb to feelings of being overwhelmed. Instead, I am inspired to
take action.

Going further: Choose one area of your life where you need to stop
planning and start acting. Visit
  and set the stopwatch for five or ten
minutes. Then stop thinking and take action.

Continue reading

What is your vision?

A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without vision is drudgery,
a vision with a task is the hope of the world.”—On the cornerstone of a church
in England, dated 1730. Author unknown

Good morning! I felt so blessed to stumble across this quote that has existed in
stone for centuries and has now traveled across oceans to be shared with us. If
you take the time to read it, and really think it through, there is so much
truth to the simple words. Often, we have great visions—but we do not break down
the tasks in order to complete them. Other times, we have tasks, but we don’t
have a vision or purpose to make them fulfilling. Combine a vision with proper
tasks, and we become engines and vehicles of change.

Your Turn:
What is your vision? Don’t let it be just a dream. Take a few moments today to
consider your action steps. Take the next step.

Today’s Affirmation:
I change the world through my vision and my action steps.

Continue reading


“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward
together in the same direction.”—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Good morning! I was working on finding a quote for this morning and I have to
tell you it was really a toss-up between this one and “I married the first man I
ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up,” said by
former First Lady Barbara Bush. (Thought you might like the chuckle this

Actually, I was quite blessed when I was working on my Good Mornings for
February, as a note came in just as I began to contemplate Valentine’s Day. It
was a note from Good Morning reader Beverly, and she wrote:

I often tell the significant others in my life—family and friends, that I
love them more today than yesterday and less than I shall tomorrow. I do not
remember where I found that quote, but for me it is an affirmation that my love
will continue to grow, develop and expand each day.

I thought that was so beautifully articulated. And what is Valentine’s Day? It
is a time when we articulate our feelings toward our loved ones. Often it is
done through browsing for the perfect card, but why not take a moment today and
write a special handwritten note? Then take it a step further and make an effort
to verbally express and affirm your love as Beverly does.

My daughter and I have a fun routine that started when she was around four years
old. Somehow in one of our phone calls (I was traveling) we ended up (in our
ever-competitive way) bantering back and forth with “I love you” statements. I
had said I love you, she had responded with the same, and I had said “I love
you, plus one.” This has led to many variations over the years: “I love you more
than mountains are high;” “I love you more than every number plus itself
squared.” My daughter finally took the cake with, “I love you more than more.”
Ever since we have bantered and shared our affection through creative “I love
you” statements, and I anticipate many more wonderful years (in between her not
talking to me in her teen phase) of “I love you” statements.

Your Turn:
How often do you say “I love you,” to those you love? Do the words roll off your
tongue in routine, or are they said with heartfelt meaning? Think of ways you
can articulate and share your feelings for those you love. Take a moment today
to write a handwritten note and express your love to someone.

Today’s Affirmation:
I express my love for others easily and often.

Continue reading


When problems arise, don’t get furious, get curious. Anonymous

Good morning! I have always been an advocate of asking questions. My friends will tell you that whenever I meet someone, I ask them so many questions they would likely think I am an attorney. As you know, I am not – but I am a knowledge-seeker. I love to learn about people, about places, about anything. I love to see how other people think, why things exist and how they got there.

Today’s quote stresses the importance of “questions” in our lives. I think one skill we could all benefit from is that of asking more questions. When something goes wrong, instead of getting upset, we could ask: How did this happen? Why did this happen? Did I contribute to it in any way? Is there something I could do differently? What are other ways this situation could have turned out? The questions are endless and they will be much more productive than anger.

Your Turn: Today, try to ask 100 questions to yourself or those around you. At the end of the day, evaluate how much you have learned by having a “questioning” attitude versus an “I already know the answer” attitude.

Your affirmation:
Each day I learn something new.

Continue reading

When there isn’t a song in your heart…

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway Emory Austin

Good morning! Oh the truth in Emory’s statement…. how I wish it wasn’t so! But it is true – we have natural “highs” and “lows” and some days there isn’t a song in our heart. So what we do on those days? How do we embrace life and be positive on the days when the “spark” just isn’t there? We do just as Emory suggests – we “sing anyway.” And we sing loud enough to wake up that spark.

One of the things cognitive therapy reveals is that when we consistently “act as if” we “become.” Sometimes we have to force a behavior in order to do it consistently enough to internalize it. On our “down days” it is more important than ever to en-gage in behaviors that fight the negativity in our minds and the sadness in our souls.

You don’t have to accept a mediocre day. You don’t have to accept a mediocre life. In fact, I en-courage you to accept nothing but the best. Sure, you will have days that start out “low.” Fight back. Sing. In any given moment you have the power to change your day. You have undoubtedly heard the quote “Fake it until you make it.” On those “low” days, shout out your affirmations. Write them over and over. Even if they don’t feel sincere, keep say-ing them. Our words have power, and they have the power to transform the mediocre into the mag-nificent.

Your Turn:
Draw the rooms of your life like an architect would draw a floor plan. In each “room” write down what potential you have and how you might grow.

Your Affirmation:
I have the power to transform the mediocre into the magnificent.

Continue reading


“Life is a competition not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves.” —David B. Haight

Good morning! During the last Olympics, my daughter and I talked a lot about what “being a Champion” means. When I read this quote, I felt it truly embraced what it means to be Champion in life. If each of us were to embrace this quote, how could we not feel good come nightfall?Few of us will ever compete in an arena such as the Olympics. However, each day we compete in the arena of life and self-improvement. If we embrace the teachings of today’s quote, a personal gold medal is within our reach.

Your Turn
: Do one of the following today:

* live a stronger, better, truer life
* master some weakness of yesterday
* repair a mistake
* surpass yesterday

Your Affirmation: I become stronger everyday.

Continue reading