CHOICES and CHANGES: Who CARES?

by Al Smith

        For most of my adult life, the only person I really cared about was me.  As a matter of fact, if I had had a website back then, it would have probably been: www.idontgiveash*t.com.  Seriously.  I never really understood what life was about and I didn’t CARE.   I was too wrapped up in the next adventure, the next party, the next paycheck, the next …whatever.  As I grew older and somewhat wiser, I finally began to realize that life is really all about choices and that “My Life is the sum total of all my choices”  

        “A man is apt to forget that in this world he cannot have everything.  A Choice is all that is left to him.”  -H. Mathews

Well, today, I choose to CARE.  I want to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.  You know what?  It is a better way to live. 

Wow!  Did you know that one smile can change someone’s day? A timely compliment can do wonders. Taking a minute to listen to a co-worker or family member can make a huge difference. You just never know how that seemingly small effort on your part, may be the start of something BIG. It can have a positive influence on numerous people. The concepts of Paying it forward and doing Random acts of kindness are still around; we just don’t hear about them as often. We can make a difference. It’s up to us. It’s time to CARE and share.

Okay, I will go first.  I want to Share and pass on some things that have helped me and also the things that I need to be reminded of on a daily basis.  

 1. I am RESPONSIBLE.

2. SMILE – Our gestures are contagious. Smiling is one of the best.

3. Be HONEST – With yourself and others.  “To thine own self be true.  -William Shakespeare

4. Be willing to CHANGE – If  things aren’t going so well, take a look at yourself.

5. Don’t WORRY  -  If you can’t control it, why worry about it?

6.  Become a good LISTENER – We truly connect with others when we are listening.

7.  HELP others – Especially, if you are down and feeling sorry for yourself; go help someone else.

8. Don’t Expect … ACCEPT  –  Expectations of others are pre-meditated resentments.

9. GIVE –  Whenever you can, whatever you can. A perfect gift ask nothing in return.

10. Have ENTHUSIASM – It persuades without pressure.

11. LAUGH (a lot) and have a sense of humor.

12. FORGIVE  -  Forgiveness is letting go of all hopes for a better past.

       It has been proven that it takes approximately 21 days to change or form a new habit. So please (if you choose), give this list a try for 21 days and see for yourself the positive change that is possible. Keeping your mind open to these ideas could possibly make a huge difference in your life and lives of those around you!

     I remember my first PowerPoint presentation after I decided to make some changes and make new choices in my life.  The presentation itself was titled CHANGE and the very first slide said:

Change may start with a “ C “ but real CHANGE begins with ME!

     In today’s economy, we desperately need (PAS) Positive Attitude Solutions. The responsibility for this falls on you and me. If you read anything, hear anything or find that this blog helps you, please PASs it on, and SHARE with others and keep The CARE Movement alive and growing.

     I leave you with this last thought, something I read years ago and continue to read today:

 May I keep the fire of inner commitment alive through this whole, wonderful day, whether my activities are workaday tasks or free-form and creative.  May I choose to make this a great day for me, and those around me.

     It really is about choices and change.  Some will be difficult, some will be necessary and some will be both.  Okay, what do you think?  Do you CARE?  Do you need to make better choices and/or changes in your life?  Are you open to change?  I am looking forward to your comments, suggestions and questions. 

Thanks again for CAREing.

Al

 

 

            

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Dorman August 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Is thine still a word; that’s beyond ‘old school’ isn’t it?

Why did you have to put I am responsible 1st? Like, in what way?

Like you, maturity and life has a way of changing our perspectives. I would like to think I fit the bill for most of those 12. I guess my 13 would be don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself, especially when you start taking yourself too seriously.

Thanks for sharing Al and thanks for calling me out at Lori’s place. Out of all of those comments, did you know there were only 5 people who showed up besides me and one of those was Lori?

Have I seen you today; I don’t think so, wassup?
Bill Dorman recently posted..How does your friendship grow?

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Al Smith August 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Ha ! Thanks Bill. You know I was just messin with you about the comments. When you have good dialogue and comments coming in,I can see it is easy to start commenting a lot. But of course, one would never do that just to boost numbers. Right ? What do i know. I’m trying to get to 30 comments.

I am all for making fun of yourself, like you said. More people need to do this. Let’s lighten up and have some fun, right ? The “I am responsible”, is a reminder to me, that it is up to me. One person can make a difference. CARE and Share.

Thanks again for commenting Bill. feel free to come back as much as you want. Me and you might be able to hit 30 comments. You never know.

Al

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Bill Dorman August 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

I have 37 twitter accounts so I can always count on at least 38 X 2 comments per post (I included my mother too because she likes my stuff, but mothers are like that, right?)
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Ali Mac August 25, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hi Al! What a great list, and a beautiful reminder. If I had to add one, it would be this quote from Steve Marboli:

“Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.”

It makes total sense because it can be easy to be caught up in the feeling of hurt, anger or resentment from those who may treat us bad, but in the end its wasted energy and takes away from those who treat us good. And in the big picture, focusing on the positive people not only strengthens relationships, but it allows us to continue to put that positive energy out there and be the best versions of ourselves that we can for others.

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Al Smith August 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

Thanks Ali. I love that quote. My feeling is that “Forgive” encompasses resentment and anger to a degree. So many good things on resentment. Might even have a separate blog on forgiveness and resentments. Hum ? One of my favorites is an old Chinese saying;

“If you are going to seek revenge, you might as well dig two graves” and

“Hating someone or holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting them to die”

i think that’s how it goes. anyway, thanks so much for the comment and for your support. It means a lot. PASs it on !

Al

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Jk Allen August 25, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Hey Al,

I appreciated this post. It’s always wonderful to hear the transformation from one place in life to the next. You’re obviously in that “next” phase of life. Your passion and energy with this CARE project and making a change in people’s lives is absolute inspirational.

Keep up the great work Al! You have a sideline full of fans cheering you along the journey.

PEACE
Jk Allen recently posted..How to Get to and Maintain a Higher Level of Motivation

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Al Smith August 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

Thanks JK. Really appreciate your continued support and all your help. This really feels right, man, but I know I could not do it without the support, encouragement and help from a lot of people (you, being one of the best).

We all have life experiences and if they can help others, I feel we have a responsibility to share them and offer solutions to some of the problems we face today. So many people do that today. It is a Beautiful thing.

Totally blessed, brother.

Al

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Lori Gosselin August 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

Hi Al,
Sorry to be so late to come over. Family funeral and kids visits have kept me distracted and busy. I’m glad to be here now, though. Your new blog is one of the bright spots of my week!
Just remembering that a smile can change someone’s day was enough to change my thinking as I head into this one! (late, I know, my daughter’s flight out had us up at 5:30 – and I had to go back to bed afterwards).
It sounds like you turned your life completely around, using your past as a springboard to move you to a much better place! Good for you!
Lori
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Al Smith August 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thanks Lori. You never cease to amaze me with you kindness. You are truly a special person. So glad we connected. You always make me smile (Gratitude pendant).

Yes, my life is quite different than it was. So grateful for all the wonderful people in my life and for all all the positive changes and Much better choices I am trying to continue to make. Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. U Rock !

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Kaarina Dillabough August 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

Al, this is such a great post and such a good reminder.

I was LOL at Bill’s comment about “thine”, because my mother’s axiom to me, from a very early age was “This above all, to thine own self be true.” It’s the axiom I live by, in combination with my Mission “To spread joy”.

I love the “be a good listener”. After all, we were given two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we speak. Laughing and smiling…the best medicine on the planet, and something that elevates those around us when we share a smile with them.

Final quote: “Choice not chance determines our destiny.” I choose every day. Sometimes those choices bring difficulty and pain, but regardless of outcome we are each responsible for the choices we make: I am responsible.

Great post! And thanks for the support and friendship over these past few days when I’ve needed it the most. You made me smile:))))) Cheers! Kaarina
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..10 Steps to Boost your Creativity to Benefit your Business and Your Life

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Al Smith August 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

Love your comment Kaarina. Thank you so much. You are one of my new Favorite people I have met on line. So glad we connected. Your passion and heart shine through in all you do, say and write. Keep on Inspiring !

Love that: “Choice not chance determines our destiny”. THAT would be a great blog title.
Ha ! Thanks again for all your support and friendship.

Take CARE.

Al

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Kaarina Dillabough August 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

Ditto back at’cha on the Fave People Al:) And what a lovely compliment: if I can inspire someone’s day, it’s a good day!

When I put that quote in, I didn’t know who said it. Since then, I found out it’s Jean Nidetch, so I’m giving proper attribution to that quote here:)

Take CARE my friend: thanks for all your support and smiles. Cheers! Kaarina
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Stacey Herbert August 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

My oh my….you are on fire here …yes burning up. This was beautiful and I felt your heart. I was going to give my stand outs from the list…except it would have been #1 #2 #3 #4 you get my drift…these are all good solid foundations for living life on a elevated plain! I like the CARE movement…I’m believing it to get wings and fly into the hearts lives and minds of others…we all need to CARE more!
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Al Smith August 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Thanks so much Stacey. Really appreciate the kind words. Like I said on your site, I am glad to have finally made it over there and you are awesome on your videos. You shine with the camera on. Keep on doin it. take CARE.

Al

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Kim Davies August 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Hi, Al.

If there is one thing in your list that has made me through a whole lot of hurdles and has shown people that I do care, am able to forgive, do not worry much, is willing to listen, accept, give and help or have much enthusiasm for life is SMILE. A lot of people has commented about my smile, that it helps brighten their days and that it is one of the things they don’t forget about me. And, I totally loved that and made sure that my smile is in place despite pain, struggles and whatever strife that I am going through.

If people would only smile more, all other good things like caring more, loving more, understanding more or even forgiving more can come so easily.

Thanks for the great list here, Al. Makes me happy there are still people like you (and a guy at that) who really CARE. :)
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Al Smith August 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Thanks Kim. Yes, your smile is awesome. Your sincere words mean a lot, too. Look forward to getting to know you better. Take CARE and keep on Smilin’ !

Al

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Ameena Falchetto August 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This is lovely Al – we all need reminders like this.

I love #3 because that’s what my name means and I am true to it (sometimes to a fault!)

And as Charlie Chaplin said “A day without laughter is a day wasted” …
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Al Smith August 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Thanks Ameena. Great to meet you, too. Been following John for awhile, now we got another blogstar in the Fam, I see. Good for you. Love your site and your posts.
Thanks for the nice words. The laughter thing is a MUST. I have to laugh. Thanks again.

Continued success and keep on smilin that beautiful smile !

Al

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John Sherry September 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

You are setting true standards Al, ones that you are proud to be counted by. This matters! We need people like you determined to stand up and stand by the best in life. We can all say, ‘me me’ or pull together and shout, ‘we we’. There’s more that unites us than ever divides us – you’re the flag bearer. We’re with you. We believe. When’s the ‘Dare To Care’ march setting off ’cause I think it’s time????

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Al Smith September 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Thanks John. Really appreciate the kind words and awesome comment. Beautiful. You continue to inspire with your incredible blog and even your comments. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Really needed this today. Thanks brother.

Dare to CARE is coming soon. Let’s talk.

Al

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