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Living Today


teacher with a gun

In recent months, far too many times, another school shooter has wreaked havoc on schools across the country. Children (and many teachers) fear for their lives every day that on this might be the day that it could be their own school that is attacked. Many of the politicians seem to think that arming the teachers with guns might be the best solution.

But is bringing a gun into a classroom the best solution? There are a lot of reasons bringing another gun into the situation might not be best. For instance, where does a teacher keep a gun in the classroom?

On his or her person? Not a good idea in my opinion. The student doesn’t have to bring a gun into the classroom. The gun is already there. All the disgruntled student has to do now is distract and disarm the teacher and the gun is his.

Locked in a desk? Sure. During a stressful situation, a teacher must get the gun out of his or her desk and abandon the frightened students in his or her charge to go after the student.

In an unlocked desk? I don’t think so. Again, it is easy for a student to distract the teacher and get the gun out of the unlocked desk.

And even if the teacher has a gun and knows how to use it, can this teacher face down a student that they probably had in class and shoot the student? It is different for a military person to shoot someone that he or she doesn’t know than it is for a teacher (who is by nature a nurturer) to endanger the life of a student (or former student).
I really don’t believe that putting the gun into the hands of a teacher is the best solution.

Another Solution to the Crisis

Here’s what I feel would be a better solution. First, create federal legislation that hold adults responsible for all weapons that are in their legal possession. The parents should be held responsible to keep their guns under lock and key.

Second, federally paid for public service announcements explaining what can and should be done for students showing signs that an individual student is in mental and emotional distress. In addition, other public service announcements reminding parents to keep their guns out of the hands of anyone under 21 unless directly supervised by an adult. (This includes hunting).

Finally, I propose that teachers be trained on how to distract and disarm a disgruntled student in much the same manner that Jason Seaman did when he threw the basketball and rushed the student in May in Noblesville, Indiana. I believe that this training should be paid for through federal and state grants.

What Can YOU do about it?

I have always believed that if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. So, let me share what you can do to better protect school students. Whether you are for or against gun control is not the issue here. What I am suggesting has nothing to do with limiting the right to bear arms. If you agree (or disagree for that matter) I would love for you to share your comment below.

In addition, I would like you to take it one step further. Contact your state and federal representatives and tell them to cut out the partisan politics. This isn’t about gun control. Next, share this link to this post to your social media, contact your local news outlets and let them know that you care about protecting our country’s children.


cow

One May afternoon, a friend of mine picked his friend from Texas up from the airport and was driving him home when they came upon a cow grazing in the field. The man from Texas said, “what’s that?”
“Why that’s a cow.”
The Texan grimaced. “Oh, well, we have bigger ones than that in Texas.”

dog
Later, they were further down the road when they came across a boy playing with his dog on a school playground.
The Texan pointed at the dog. “What’s that?”
My friend shook his head. “Why that’s a dog, of course.”

We have them bigger than that in Texas,” the man said.

snapping turtle

They got further down the road when they came to a snapping turtle crossing the road.
The Texas now asked the same question he asked before and my friend answered. “Oh, that? That’s a tick.”
The Texan was competing with my friend, and, right or wrong, my friend decided to get the better of his Texan friend.

Who Is Really Your Competition?

I personally have never been one for being competitive. I think that the reason for that has always been that I always lost most competitions that I was in when I was a child. I never was any good at sports so I decided that I didn’t like them.
If there was a drawing I never won those either. Nor did I win drawing or writing contests either. It was as though luck has never been in my favor.
Though I never compete against others, however, there is one person that I do compete with all the time and that is the person that I was yesterday. Today, I want to be a better person than I have ever been. I want to be a better writer, a better wife, a better mother, a better book-sales person, a better teacher than I was yesterday. Sometimes I am and, of course, somedays I am not because I am only human, after all. Doing my best today is always my goal. How about you? Are you being the best you that you can be today?

Need motivation to become a better you? Check out my book Living Today, The Power of Now. Available on Kindle and in Print.

Living Today cover 2

Living Today, The Power of Now Get Your Copy Today!

• Be aware of and focus on the Now
• Obtain fire Starting Focus
• Change Bad Habits to Good Habits
• Create a Time and a Place to Dream
• What “Don’t Worry really Means
• Learn to Build a Better Today by Building on Past Experiences
• Overcome Fear and Find Faith
• Let Go of the Past
• Value Forgiving yourself and others
And much, much more


 

pinocchio

Why is it that when you’re a child, you want to grow up, but when you’re an adult, you wish you were a kid again?

My Mom has a picture of me when I was about seven years old ironing some of my doll clothes on my play ironing board. I remember playing house when I was little.  I played that I was the Mom and my dolls were my children. I couldn’t wait until I was a “grown-up”.

Now, here I am, and often, I wish I could go back to those days when I was a young child. why is it that when we are growing up, we can’t wait to grow up and then as adults, we wish we were young again. Why can’t we just enjoy where we are right now?
Have you ever seen the movie Click? In that movie, the protagonist played by Adam Sandler clicked through his entire life and ended up with a life that he never really lived.
Too often, we all put ourselves on auto pilot like this.

Get Off Autopilot, Live in the Here and Now

The truth is, we can make “living today” a habit. Like all habits, this one takes time to make automatic, so we need to find ways to remind ourselves several times during the day to enjoy the moment. Here are several ways that we can do just that.
One of the most common ways to remind ourselves to do this or any habit is to put up post-it notes to remind ourselves to be present in the moment.
Another way we can do this is to program our phones to give us a reminder to be present.

Finally, we need to look at ways to shake things up. I am constantly looking at what I am doing and how I can improve the way I do it.
In addition to “changing to keep us motivated”, another more important reason to change exists. Change keeps us on our toes and when we’re on our toes, it stimulates our brain. Have you ever heard that if you don’t use it, you lose it? Well, that’s exactly what happens with our brains when we live on automatic or habitually, our minds become sluggish. Sluggish minds deteriorate.

Being aware of what we do is the first step to the kinds of change that excite us.
What changes can you make in your life that will help you live today? For insights in how you can live each day to the fullest, read my book Living Today, The Power of Now.

Living Today cover 2

Living Today, The Power of Now Get Your Copy Today!

Today, and only today, you have the power of now, and it is strongest when you know that you are on the right path.
• Be aware of and focus on the Now
• Obtain fire Starting Focus
• Change Bad Habits to Good Habits
• Create a Time and a Place to Dream
• What “Don’t Worry really Means
• Learn to Build a Better Today by Building on Past Experiences
• Overcome Fear and Find Faith
• Let Go of the Past
• Value Forgiving yourself and others
And much, much more


blue skies

I remember my first day of the first grade. I remember getting up early and being excited to go to school I remember how much I enjoyed learning to read and how much of a challenge learning to write was for me. I loved school. I enjoyed it most of my elementary years in school. I missed very few days of school because I loved it so much.

As I got older, though, I gradually grew to dislike school and it became harder for me to get up in the morning to go to school Now mind you, it wasn’t because I couldn’t get up in the morning. I remember when there were snow days and the announcer told us that the school doors would not open that day, I was up early to make the most of every day.

Sometimes we just get bored.

It has been true every day. When something was new and exciting, I will get up early and throw myself into my day. However, as time goes on, the excitement wains. Why is that? One reason this happens is that when we get familiar with something it becomes mundane and common and the excitement goes out of what had once been exciting.
What can you do about this? How do you keep the fire burning? Sometimes we can keep the fire burning by making a game of a certain aspect of a project. For instance, let’s say that you have a project where you must do numerous menial tasks that are boring. Instead of dreading the project or procrastinating starting the project, count how many of these tasks you can do during a specific length of time. Next, put this number on a graph and then the next day see if you can do more of those tasks in the same length of time. Keep doing this every day until you finish the project.

Other times we burnout.

Sometimes we get so driven by a project or what we had been passionate about that we take ourselves to the point of exhaustion. This happens because we don’t know how to pace ourselves. This sort of thing can happen when we are trying to make major changes and make them too quickly.

This burnout can also happen when what we are doing is not aligned with our true passions. Take a step back and look at what you are doing and decide what isn’t as it should be. If you are doing what you really want to do, perhaps you are just taking on too much. Determine exactly what needs to be done, and then decide what absolutely needs to be done by you.

I watched a documentary about the Beatles and when they decided that being “The Beatles” was no longer fun, they broke up and went their own separate directions. They all remained friends, but their careers took different paths. For a long time, they had been passionate about being “The Beatles” for years, but that had changed, and they had the courage to allow themselves to move on.

You might not need a complete break from the project, but you might just need time to get away. I know that by a certain time during the evening, I almost always reach a point where I am unable to write another word. I know that it is time for me to quit for the evening and leave the writing until the next day. I would then get up in the morning, refreshed and ready to start the day again.

Take the time to celebrate life

So how do we keep our motivation going? How do we maintain a momentum that doesn’t quit? I think the most important thing is that we see ourselves making progress in some way. Another way is that we find new and exciting aspects of our work that keeps us from getting too familiar or burned out from what we are doing. In addition, we need to vary our pace and take time to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Life is short and should be celebrated every time we awaken to a new day. We need to remind ourselves that life should be celebrated.


a path

Recently, I listened to a YouTube video where Jeff Johnson said, “Habits will either create lifestyle growth or inhibit lifestyle growth. “

Most of my life I have been working to improve my habitual life. Here are a few things that I had learned over the years about building good habits and getting rid of those habits that do not contribute to growth.

Made Changes Incrementally

I learned that I needed to get rid of bad habits incrementally rather than trying to do it “cold turkey”. When I quit smoking 27 years ago, I had to stop smoking menthols before I quit smoking all together. Then I went from smoking a pack a day to smoking 15 per day down to 10 per day and so on until I was down to smoking two or three a day, and then I was able to quit.

I broke habits that didn’t bring me growth by first disconnecting with triggers. For instance, I would smoke as soon as I got out of bed. I determined to put off my first cigarette until after I ate breakfast. Once I put off smoking the first cigarette beyond breakfast I then stopped smoking when I drank coffee.

Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones

One of the bad habits that I am trying to break right now regards eating junk food. I decided that I would replace the junk food with fresh fruit and nuts. This is just one step that I am taking to improve my diet. More habit changes are in the works.

Build new habits around habits that are already established. We all have habits that we have already established. I get up, make my bed, take my shower, brush my teeth, and then I write in my journal for fifteen minutes and then I exercise. I am building this new habit incrementally-exercising for five minutes per day weeks 1-3, ten minutes weeks 4-6 twenty minutes weeks 7-9, twenty-five minutes weeks 10-12 and 30 minutes weeks 13-15.

Change Begins in the Mind

Probably the most important aspect of changing habits, however, is the changes that happen in the mind. The most important aspect of changing habits has to do with “why change?” We change because we first become emotionally desperate to change. We change because we need to change more than we need to stay the same.

Know Your Why

Journaling why we want to quit is more important as we become more adept in the habit change than it does when we first start the habit change. As time goes on, we forget how painful the old habit had been. When we are tempted to go back to the old habits, it helps to go back and read what we wrote when we first quit. It reminds us of where we came from and the struggles that got us to where we were now.

Having an accountability partner is helpful. Having a mentor (sponsor) or being part of a group that are trying to change in the same ways that you are, are the powerful social influences in habit change.

What have you personally done to change your own habits? What habits have you changed and how did you do it?


blue skies

One of the things that I got good at last year was getting things done first thing in the morning. I wrote down what I wanted to do and got a lot done. I started doing some work in the afternoon and evening, but I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked especially toward the end of the year. Therefore, I am adjusting my evenings a little more by framing my day. I am ending my day with the morning in mind.
Here is what someone else suggested. I will try to get it into my own words and situation.

Begin at the End of the Day’s Work

Immediately after work, if I haven’t already done it earlier in the week, I will compile a list of to-dos for the next week. Then I will say yes or no for each item on the list.
Then I complete the list and review my calendar for the week and add tasks accordingly.
Next, I figure out the one thing that I want to do in the morning. That one big thing that I want to do.
Then I write that one thing on a post it not and put it on the corner of my laptop.
Now I outline related content that I want to focus on and add it to the corner of my laptop as well.
Now I review what I did that day. 10 wins, 1 thing to improve and 10 things that I am grateful for.

Attend to Your Usual Evening Routine

Then I attend to my usual evening stuff—cleaning, getting ready for work the next day, social business.

Finally Right Before Bed

Then right before bed, I set up the coffee maker, get ready for bed and then I go over my twelve month and quarterly goals, close my eyes and visualize having accomplished them. And dream about things that I will be doing as a more successful person, how my life and others’ lives will be changed for the better.
Next, I post a question to myself to work on while I sleep, put it on a post-it note, grab some water to drink in the morning, set the alarm and revisit my morning routine.
Then I read an inspirational book until I can no longer read.

And Then in the Morning

When my alarm goes off in the morning, I drink my glass of water, follow my morning routine and then start working on the one big thing that I know will lead me further down the path to my end goals.

Living Today, The Power of Now

In my book Living Today, the Power of Now, I offer similar tips to make the most of each and every day.

 

 


 

success sign post

Up to this point, we have determined our goals, and decluttered time and space, as well as recognizing the need to decrease stress through mindfulness. All this is important, but we also must realize that our time and resources are finite. We could live from moment to moment, spending our time and resources on whatever we fancy in the moment only to discover at the end of our lives that we accomplished little or nothing, or we can create a strategic way to utilize time and resources.

 

By having our goals right in front of us, we can look at what it is that we want to accomplish and determine what it is that we will need to do to make this year the year that we make amazing strides towards accomplishing those goals.

 

Write Down Every Task

 

In order to achieve our goals, it helps to write down all the tasks that we want to accomplish in a day and then go through the list and determine what we can do later, we can delegate, or that we can eliminate from our list all together. Discover what that one thing, and your work will be half done.

 

Decide What’s Most Important to Do Today

 

Once we decide what still needs to be done, we determine what one thing would make the biggest difference in accomplishing our biggest scariest goals. For instance, for me, today, I decided that the best use of my time that would get me closer to my biggest goal (starting my own publishing company) was to draft several of my blog posts for several months. I know what I want to put in these posts, so by getting the drafts out of my head and into a document, I have more space in my head to work on other projects. I wouldn’t finish any of them today, but I would make a major push toward getting them ready for publication. Therefore, that one big thing I want done today is to have the first drafts of thirteen different blog posts written.

Other things that I want to do such as starting to create YouTube videos or finish organizing my files, I am putting off until I get several weeks of post drafts written.

 

Make Prioritizing Part of Your Daily Routine

 

I know I cannot finish all thirteen posts that I have ideas for today, so I know that I will have to do put it off until another day. Tomorrow, I will do the same thing. I will find what it is that I need to work on and try to finish. If I don’t finish the blog posts today, I will continue working on that project If finish it, I will move onto the next project I need to do and continue from there.

 

Begin Prioritizing Today

 

What is the one thing that you can do today to push you toward your big goals? Do you need to outline a plan to complete your goals? Do you need to do research? Do you need to determine the projects needed to reach your big goals? Perhaps you just need to break down a specific project into tasks and begin working on it today. Make this year your best year yet by doing the most important things first.

Living Today, The Power of Now

I share other tips like these in my book, Living Today, the Power of Now. Pick up your copy today.

Available on Kindle (free on Kindle Unlimited)

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072WFW3HZ

Also available in print:

Link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/living-today-the-power-of-now/paperback/product-23261831.html

Living Today cover 2

Living Today, The Power of Now Get Your Copy Today!

 

 

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