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Barbara J. Henry

You Make a Difference!

Your questions, opinions, decisions, everything you do, is important, because you make a difference!

Have you ever decided to withhold your opinion because you thought it would not matter in the final outcome?
Do you keep your questions hidden inside because  you do not think they are important enough to ask?
Have you stayed home during local or national elections thinking your one
vote would not matter that much, or affect  the outcome?
Do you ever keep major decisions a secret because you think they impact  no  one  but  you?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, you need to know that you are important,  and what you do or fail to do, affects not only you, but those around you as well. Your questions, opinions, decisions, everything you do, is important, because you make a difference.

It is probably sobering, but we are all connected in many ways, and when this fact is fully understood, I believe we will become more concerned about and considerate of each other.

The great writer John Donne said it best in his  “Meditation 17″: ‘No man is an island, entire  of  itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less… Any man’s death, (actions, inactions, paraphrased added) diminishes me because I am involved…, and therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls;  it tolls for thee.”
Each of us matters; we have unique perspectives, talents, and gifts, and when we fail to express our uniqueness-share what we have been given- the ‘Whole’ suffers a great loss.

Remembering Donne’s words will help you to feel a sense of pride as you share whatever it is you alone possess.

Share your comment in the space provided.

‘Waiting,’ a Time to Grow and Serve

Waiting for your ‘ship to come in’ is the best time to grow by serving those in your network.

All too often we get discouraged and become disgruntled because things are not happening in our lives and careers as quickly as we think they should, and there may be justification for us to think  as we do.
Oftentimes, we have done all the work and paid all of our dues, but still the calls don’t come and the letters, texts, and emails are non-existent.
During  these times, it is so easy to lose hope, courage, and we consider ‘throwing in the proverbial towel.’ We just want a break already! After all, everything that we were told to do, we have done, but alas, our situation does not change.

What to do in times like these? How do you keep your hopes and dreams alive when all you see is more of the same inaction, and hear more of  your
sighs of disappointment?

These questions plague me now as they have in the past, and I thankfully remember what I did in the past to add more meaning to my life when it appeared that no change would  ever come.
In the past, when  no action seemed apparent on the surface, I engulfed myself  in serving others; I consciously decided to help others, if and when I could, make their dreams come true.

Frequently, we assume that delays  in  our lives or careers mean failure, but more often than not, there is no delay at all, but rather a conflict in timing.
Yes, in timing,  my timing, your timing,  and the timing that has been perfect  throughout time.
I must remember when I don’t get what I should when I think I should, that there is a “universal time” for all things to occur, and I  must trust that timing in my life and affairs.

During the “waiting period”,  there is so much that I can do.
For example, I can focus on some area in my life that needs improvement, and I can  consciously work on growing or enhancing that area. Who knows, it may be just what is needed for me to fully appreciate what I am waiting on when it finally arrives.
Growing the self is always in season, therefore  personal development is always needed.

As I wait for my ship to come in, I can also help as many as possible reach their goals, and fulfill their dreams.
Doing this takes courage, generosity, and a genuine concern for others. But, by doing these things,  I believe we will not only improve the lives of others, we will also expand so that when our ship finally does arrive, we will be able to fully appreciate all of its contents.

Consider adopting this perspective in the future when it appears that ‘waiting’ has taken over your life.

Please leave  your comment. I would like to know what you think about this post.

10 Ways to Become Your (own) Best Friend

“You should treat yourself as well as you treat your best friend!”

The phrase ‘best friend’ is a familiar one to all of us, and if I were to ask you to define the term, it would not be difficult to do.
Most of us are fortunate enough to have had friends all of our lives, and some of us still have our friends from childhood as our best and most trusted allies.

Over the years you  have confided in your friends and they in you.
You have fought, made up, and grown closer as a result of your battles.

I need to ask you a couple of questions here: Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your best friend? Are you as happy in your company as you are in the presence of your most trusted confidante?
I believe you need to be as kind to yourself  as you   are to those close to you, and until you are able to to do so, you need to keep working on your friendship with you.

Here are 10 things that will help you to improve your relationship with yourself, and as a result, all of your other relationships will also improve:

1.Accept yourself: You must come to terms with who you are  and learn to like yourself as you are. You can not give others what you do not have.

It took me a while to get this one right. You see, for  the longest time while growing up , and even into my adult years, I was quite uncomfortable with my Oriental  features; I did not like my eyes, nor my high cheek bones that made my eyes appear even more slanted.
It took a lot of living, as well as support from my mom and other loved ones, to get me to the point where I was able to accept my uniqueness;

2. Love yourself: This is difficult to do if you have not accepted who you are, how you look;

3. Forgive yourself: Too often we are very hard on ourselves for something we did or failed to do in the past. Instead of being so unforgiving toward yourself, you should determine what if anything you can do now to set things right, and begin doing it as soon as possible;

4. Protect yourself: It is important to protect yourself  from the negative influences that are so prevalent in our society. Not only must you protect your physical self, you need to protect your emotional, mental, and psychological self as well, just to name a few;

5. Discipline yourself: This seems easy enough, but how often do you consciously think about the need to physically exercise or to exercise discipline in your  life?

6. Pamper  Yourself: Right after discipline? Yes, because they are the flip sides of each other. Let me explain: Discipline is needed to focus on and to achieve a desired goal. If  you act only when you want to , it will take  longer for you to achieve the goal, if it is achieved at all. But when the goal is reached as a result of the discipline you exercised, and the actions you took, a little ‘pampering’  is  acceptable as a reward for completing or achieving the goal.

7. Respect Yourself: You must respect or value yourself ; you should respect and uphold the things that make you who you are: your uniqueness, your value system, the talents and gifts you have been given;

8. Challenge yourself: Like the discipline  you must dole out to yourself when needed, you must also challenge yourself to continue growing, stretching. You should seek ways to promote your personal growth  so that you can always give more value in quantity and quality to those around you;

9. Encourage Yourself: This can come in any form that is needed at any given time. Of course we would like for others to encourage us, but we must be our biggest fan, our most energetic cheerleader;

10. Enjoy Yourself: Enjoying yourself, the things you love doing, even when no one else is around, will help you to become your truest and best friend.
As a result of habitually doing these things to affirm and to improve our lives, we will become better: better people, better friends to others, and equally important, best friends to ourselves.

Please leave a comment to  let me know your thoughts on this post.

Winning Through Disappointments

The way we  handle disappointments in striving toward our goals determines our failures, successes,  as well as the overall quality of  our life.

Each of us has  our share of disappointments as we strive to reach those coveted goals and dreams in life.
It does not matter how motivated or inspired we are about what we hope to accomplish: Disappointments happen, in our personal relationships, our careers,  and in life in general. The way we handle disappointments in striving toward our goals determines our failures, successes, as well as the overall quality of our lives.

As with any disappointment or setback, we must evaluate it closely to see what if anything we did or failed to do, that caused the problem.
Correcting the flaw as quickly as possible, without casting blame or pointing fingers, will minimize the damage as well as the time it will take for us to get back into the fight.
Yes, you will need some time to recover, to regroup, and lick  your wounds, but you must not delay action too long because you know just how damaging inaction or idleness can be to your success.

The next time you are faced with a disappointing situation, try the following action steps to help you get back on track:

1. Acknowledge your feelings, and don’t be too hard on yourself or others who may be involved. This must be done as soon as possible if the situation is going to improve;

2. Determine  what if any role you played in causing the problem;

3. Identify and execute the action(s) you can take now to set things right;

4. Ask help from those for whom there exist mutual support and respect. Doing so will shift most of the stress from you;

5. Find the lesson(s) the experience has to teach you, and use it to help you
in some area of your personal development.

Disappointments will happen; they are a part of life, but you do not have to let them derail your goals and dreams or determine the quality of your life.

Please leave a comment.

Warning! Comfort Zones Dangerous to Self-Growth/ Personal Development

Our goals and dreams will not be realized until we leave our comfort zones and pursue them (goals, dreams) with a tenacity that refuses to  yield!

Are you moving closer to your dreams daily because of  the action you take to make your dreams come true?

Have you left your comfort zone ( s ) far behind because you have a clear vision of your dream? Or, do you cling to those things that comfort like one clings to an old hat or a pair of  worn comfortable shoes?

To realize your dreams, you must be willing to step outside of your area of comfort again and again.
Yes, I know this is scary, but the truth of the matter is, we must grow in all areas of our lives to embrace our dreams. Those soft, cuddly places in our lives, with which we are so comfortable, do not allow us to grow; they keep us where we are: content and comfortable. These two boarders do not budge; they have to be ‘thrown’  out.

No doubt, you have heard this saying: In order to reach your goals, or realize your dreams, ‘you must become comfortable with being uncomfortable’. Our goals and dreams will not be realized until we leave our comfort zones and pursue them (goals,dreams) with a tenacity that refuses to yield!
The more growth, or risks of the right kind, the more discomfort of the right kind, the closer you get to realizing your dreams. This should motivate you to keep stretching and moving forward.

After a certain age, all of our personal growth is from the inside out.  This is exactly what is needed if we are to realize our loftiest dreams.

So, when are you stepping outside of  your comfort zone? Don’t continue holding on to it for dear life!
Release your tight grip so that you can move forward to realize your loftiest dreams and to embrace your true destiny.

I welcome, I read, and I respond to all comments.

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