Remember in November

As we wrap up our look at forgiveness this month and look forward to November, let’s take a look at what November holds.

November starts with Veteran’s Day on the 11th.  Each year I like to take time to remember those who have served the USA in the armed forces.  My grandfather was a veteran, and I always love seeing the photo we have of him in his uniform before he deployed.  Whether you agree with the concept of war or not, these men and women have agreed to go into battle for each of us, to put their lives on the line and give freely of themselves.  For them I am thankful.

Speaking of being thankful, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the 24th.  Here in America we’re blessed with one day each year to focus on being thankful for who we are, where we are and who we have in our lives.  Despite the challenges of the recent years I’m always amazed at how many things I can still come up with to be thankful for.  There is always something to be thankful for and I appreciate having a day where we can be thankful together.

Do we forget the veterans during our busy days or forget to be thankful throughout the day?  Yes, often we do, so it’s important as we wrap up our talks about forgiveness to ask for our faithful Veteran’s forgiveness for forgetting them and forgive ourselves for not being thankful enough.  Fortunately, each day is a new opportunity to remember the Veterans and other service members still fighting or protecting and to be thankful.

This week, and this month, make sure you thank a Veteran and find something to be thankful for each day.

Surprise! It’s Popcorn!

Not only is October the month of Halloween and all things scary, it’s also national popcorn month.  Not only is popcorn fun, it’s also good for you, unless of course it’s covered in chocolate and other delicious toppings!  Today I’m sharing some yummy recipes, fun ideas and Halloween treats for the whole family.

Sweet:

Agave Kettle Corn

Caramel Corn with Peanuts and Dried Cherries

Popcorn Smores

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Sweet Kettle Popcorn

Vanilla Popcorn

Chocolate Popcorn Clusters

Chocolate Almond Popcorn

Chewy Caramel Popcorn and Pretzel Bars

Savory & Spicy:

Peanut Butter Popcorn

Mexicali Popcorn

Southwest Popcorn

Chili Lime Popcorn

Spicy and Sweet Popcorn

Simple:

Elsie’s Popcorn Balls

Popcorn Garland

Easy Popcorn Balls

Popcorn and Cranberry Garland

Halloween:

Halloween Treats

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

Goody Witches

Silly Popcorn Treats

I want to try out a Candy Corn Popcorn Ball, what about you?

Fear and Success

Halloween is almost here, and one of the things I think of around these times is fear.  Much of Halloween is focused on scaring us and exposing our fears.  Many people actually enjoy feeling scared for the fun of Halloween.  However, sometimes when you’re running a business you will feel fear too.  You will have moments of terror where you’re completely paralyzed by fear.  Usually these moments aren’t invited, usually they’re dreaded.

What can you fear in business?  Fear of failure is one of the biggest fears that people have when they start a business, and even after they’re an established business.  Failure, even when it is viewed as a learning experience and a natural part of the growth process, can be scary!

Some people also fear success.  What?!  Yes, people actually fear being successful, having money and helping people.  Some people are scared that they could actually do something right, something good and be recognized for it.  The truth is that success does come with a lot of responsibility, and many people are fearful of responsibility.

So what can we do when we experience fear of any kind in business?

-Feel the fear and do it anyway:  Yes, take a minute or two and get all wrapped up in that scary feeling, that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.  But then you have to stop and take the action that you’re scared of.

-Just do it: Don’t even stop to think about the fear, don’t let the fear take over, just do it.  We’re not talking life and death situations here, more likely decisions you’ve been putting off or ones that won’t have a big impact over the long run.

-Think about success instead: If you’re not thinking about how wrong it could go, and instead are thinking about how right it could go it will be easier to get past the fear.

-Make a plan: For a compromise between just doing it and thinking about success, you can make a plan for how you’re going to get to the success.  Then you’ve got to act on it!

This Halloween, don’t let the fears get the best of you!  Your success, satisfaction and impact are too important to be taken away by fears.

Whole Living: Fear

Halloween is approaching rapidly, and there are tons of shows on TV and movies in theaters about ghosts and other scary things.  Many Halloween related activities are centered around trying to scare someone.  But the feelings of fear that we experience during these manufactured experiences, are often felt during other parts of the year too.  As strange as it sounds, fear is part of who we are.  Rather than avoid fear, let’s discuss the purpose of fear.

Fear is there to let you know you’re walking into something new or something dangerous.   The feeling of fear lets you know that something could go wrong and you could be hurt.  Fear is sometimes aroused for no reason at all though. So what should we do with our fears?

If you’re facing something with potential dangers, decide if the dangers are worth the risk or not.  If you feel fear when you’re about to try your first cigarette, you’re feeling a good fear, the fear is trying to save your life from cancer and addiction.  If you feel fear when you’re exploring caves to find treasure or lost civilizations, you run an understandable risk.

If you’re facing something new and feel fear about how that situation will result, as I’ve said before, change is inevitable.  Some day you will have to face new things.  You need to determine if that new thing will be an unsafe risk or an understandable one.

Feeling fear means “tread carefully,” and not always “don’t go there.”  When you feel fear about a situation, person or activity, before the fear sweeps you away into a frenzy, stop.   If you’re not in a life or death situation, evaluate the fear and what’s going on and decide if feeling the fear for a little while is worth it.

What about you?  When have you felt fear and what have you learned from your fears?

Make a Difference at Home

October 22 is Make a Difference Day. Around America this Saturday people will be gathering to make a difference in their communities, lending a helping hand to everyone.  If you don’t have any events near you, you can start one, or you can just decide to do something different at home.

I believe that the needs at home are just as great, if not greater, than those in the community, for the home creates the community.  So what can you do to make a difference at home?

-Eat together: take one meal each week to eat together, with no sports practices, homework or other obligations surrounding it.

-Talk: it’s possibly the hardest thing to do, but actually talking, sharing your feelings and thoughts, is an important thing that isn’t done very often.

-Offer help: you may not have all the answers, no one does. But, you can at least offer to help with cutting out projects, learning math terms and reading papers.  You can also help by doing the dishes, doing laundry, taking the dog for a walk or just listening.

-Be yourself: the family is always a source of pressure, but if we all tried to be ourselves, and loved each other for who we actually are, sports fans, stay at home dads, or teens with a passion for art, the world would be a happier and better place.

What are you doing to make a difference in the lives of those around you?

Fall Changes

In business just like in fall we have changes to deal with.  Some changes are easier to make than others.   The trees know exactly when to change the colors of their leaves, but how should we know when to change and when not to change?

-Money: If you’re not making money in your business something has to change.  You can make a change in fees, change what you’re doing completely, or just change how you’re selling what you do.

-Mission: If what you’re doing doesn’t line up with your mission, vision or your passions anymore, you’re definitely in need of a change.  I believe that businesses who stay true to a mission or vision have a much better chance of success because they show customers what they’re really about.  If you don’t stay true to that mission you’ll struggle to connect with your customers.  And if you’re not passionate about what you do, don’t expect customers to be either.

-Need Changes: Years ago cassette tapes were the way everyone listened to music, but now we have digital files and no longer need cassettes.  When the need passes, you need to adapt, or change to something else.

-Education: When you learn something new that really impacts your customers or how you do business you should implement changes.  Learning is essential to health and your customers deserve the best. Don’t hold back on what you’ve learned just because you don’t want to change your business.

-Seasons: As things change in nature, things should change in your business.  You won’t do a snow shoveling contest in summer and won’t send umbrellas home as door prizes in the winter.  Use the season changes to your advantage, not against you.

With the fall changes there should be changes in your business.  Why not try a seasonal offering, or learn something new that could benefit your customers immensely?  You may be surprised how much your clients actually like the changes.

Whole Living: Team Players

Starting this week is the baseball World Series.  Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, there’s a lesson to be learned from this sport: one person does not a win make.  Whether you’re in a relationship, single, have kids, work one job or six, have the biggest home or live on the street, you can’t get through this life by yourself.  And you know what?  That’s a good thing!

With other people there are downsides like accountability, stupid drivers, problems, anger, hatred and broken promises.  But, if you learn how to play the game of life, you will win more than you lose.

Learning how to play the game means being active in catching balls (seeing opportunities), throwing the ball (asking for forgiveness), hitting (taking action), and sitting on the bench (getting help).  It also means you have to know your teammates very well, and know when they can and can’t support you, and when you have to support them.

If you can get through the whole year breaking even, you’ve done ok.  If you can get through with a winning score, that’s even better!

So how can you win?  Communicate (both talking and listening); share a hug, smile or pat on the back when it’s needed; don’t miss out on opportunities that practically bang your door down; and look out for those around you.  You’re not alone in this game called life, you’re part of a big team.  Are you doing your part?

Pizza Party

I love pizza, and pizza is a great idea for families, not only can you make it together, you can also customize it to meet a picky family member’s taste buds.

Appetizers:

Calzones, breakfast sandwiches, stuffed, pizza buns, pizza sandwiches, stromboli, quesadillas,

Ideas:

Stuffed crust veggie pie, corn bread deep dish, mini flatbread, garden vegetable piecrust, hawaiian , blt, pizza bagel, bacon cheeseburger skillet, margherita, mini deep dish, west coast grilled vegetable, pizzagna, white pizza, greek, taco, jambalaya, tostada.

Dough:

Whole grain, sourdough, basic dough.

Sweet Snacks:

Ice cream pizza, chocolate chip cookie, chocolate, fruit, dessert.

A Job Well Done

Last week we said good bye to a great man-Steve Jobs.  He passed away after an extended fight with cancer, but before cancer claimed his life he transformed all of ours with his Apple creations and his brilliance in the field of technology.  There have been countless tributes and articles written about Steve Jobs in his passing, and all of them agree that Steve did his work and did it well.  Although he has passed on, the world still remains, all the better because of his contributions.  Steve (quoting Wayne Gretzky) said:

“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning.  And we always will.

If we’re truly going to do Steve Jobs legacy justice, we need to start thinking future thoughts, not focusing on the past.  We need to move from jobs where people are miserable to a place where people are happy, even excited to go into work each day, whether at their office, in their home, a client’s home or at a coffee shop.

So to the leaders of big business and the US government: it’s not working anymore!  Stop trying to make more jobs and start encouraging people to do what they’re good at.  Help them start businesses and not look for nonexistant jobs.  The proverbial puck has moved.

What can you do to move to where the puck is going?  Consider starting a business.  At the very least look into selling on Ebay or Amazon or consulting online.  What are your thoughts on Steve Jobs and where you think the puck will be in the future?

Whole Living: Forgiveness

We’re talking about forgiveness this month on my blogs, Twitter and Facebook, why?   Because forgiveness is a big aspect of whole living.  When you don’t open your heart and mind to the concept of forgiveness, you’re limiting the life you can have, I’m not even talking about the other person.  If you want to live a whole life, you’ll have to learn to live with forgiveness.  If you’re not sure about forgiveness, check out what these wise individuals had to say:

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” George MacDonald

“Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.” Unknown

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” Bernard Meltzer

I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to let the pains of the past limit my future.  It may mean some discomfort now, but if I really want to live in the future, make an impact with my life and truly love and enjoy life, I’ve got to accept forgiveness’s place in life.  Even if you and I were to be absolutely perfect for the rest of our lives, never screwing up and needing to be forgiven, chances are very good with 6 or 7 billion people on the planet with us, one of those people will screw up and need forgiveness before the world ends.

The past does have a purpose, as do the pains.  Everything has a place and purpose in the past, but the past is not the future.  I don’t want my past to be my future so I’m going to do my best to ask for and give forgiveness to those in my life.

What about you?  Which is more important to you?  Your past or your future?