This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Here is a list of 15 things that, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress, and suffering — and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress-free and happy — we cling to them.

Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right.
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right — even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the "urgent" need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question from Dr. Wayne Dyer: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control.
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you — situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street, just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and see how much better you feel.

3. Give up on blame.
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.
Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted, and repetitive self-defeating mindsets? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you — especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. As author Eckhart Tolle says, “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.”

5. Give up your limiting beliefs.
Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do and about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

6. Give up complaining.
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things that make you unhappy. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism.
Give up your need to criticize people who are different from you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy. We all want to love and be loved. We all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others.
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard — the moment you take off all your masks and accept and embrace the real you — is the moment people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

Minds only work when open.

9. Give up your resistance to change.

Change is good. Change will help you make improvements in your life and the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss and embrace change — don’t resist it.

10. Give up labels.
Stop labeling those things, people, or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open.

11. Give up on your fears.
Fear is just an illusion; It doesn’t exist — you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

12. Give up your excuses.

A lot of times we limit ourselves with the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves with all kind of excuses — excuses that 99.9 percent of the time are not even real. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them.

13. Give up the past.

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all, life is a journey, not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future and prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

The present moment is all you have and all you will ever have.

14. Give up attachment.

This is a concept that is hard for most of us to grasp (and I have to tell you that it still is for me, too), but it’s not impossible. It will become easier and easier with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all possessions, you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene.

That's not to say you must give up your love for everything, because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another. Attachment comes from a place of fear, while love … well, real love is pure, kind, and selfless. Where there is love there can’t be fear, so attachment and love cannot coexist.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies, their teachers, their government, and their media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voices. They are so busy pleasing everybody that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need … and eventually they forget about themselves.

You have one life — this one right now — you must live it, own it. Don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

22 Reasons Why I Won't Be Voting For Trump

I feel the need, in the spirit of achieving a hopeful POSITIVE outcome, to offer this political posting on my Positive Thinkers Journal blog.

Do you really want this guy running our county?

Here are a multitude of reasons why I won’t be voting for Trump, which are based on verifiable facts, including things he has said and done that prove his negative character and his inability to be a good, positive, and effective leader of our nation:

1. Not a proven leader where it counts for our country. Bluster and insults are not enough when it comes to our economic, spiritual and social futures. Running real estate and casino companies have nothing to do with running a country, creating alliances in Congress, or dealing with foreign allies and enemies. He has shown ignorance on the effects that his tax plan would have on the deficit. Running a lemonade stand is not the same as running a massive citrus farm.

2. Has few actual policies. Presidential contenders typically draft detailed policies that they intend to pursue if elected. Beyond building a “great, great wall” along the southern border and sticking it to China, Trump has released few detailed policies. His website offers just five short position papers.

3. Has scary international politics and inexperience. Trump claimed he would rid the world of the Islamic State by “bombing the s— out of them.”  The problem is that, to be tough, you actually have to know how to win. Toughness without strategy is just bluster. Such nuclear-cowboy actions would slaughter innocent families on an enormous scale. As former defense secretary Robert Gates said people “making these broad pronouncements” simply “don’t know what they’re talking about.” 

He has repeatedly revealed his ignorance on basic matters of national interest. Trump didn’t know what the nuclear triad was when asked in December’s debate, nor in November’s debate that China wasn’t a party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is intended to counter that country’s economic influence. (The nuclear triad is the doomsday force of land-based missiles, long-range bombers and submarine-launched missiles that the President can order used if America is attacked.) Trump has shown ignorance on the difference between the Quds Force in Iran and the Kurds to their west, and on North Korea’s nuclear tests.

His plans to quickly and “humanely” expel 11 million illegal immigrants, to force Mexico to pay for the wall he will build on our southern border, to defeat the Islamic State “very quickly” while as a bonus taking its oil, to bar Muslims from immigrating to the United States — are naive pipe dreams and public relations stunts.

Trump said that the U.S. would be better off “if we had Saddam Hussein and we had Gaddafi in charge."

4. Not a positive leader.  As George W. Bush said, “We do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustrations; we need someone who can fix the problems that cause their anger and frustration.”

5. Not a true conservative.  His liberal politics in the past were shown as he favored the economic stimulus plan, the automobile industry bailouts, the bank bailouts and the assault-weapons ban; he has called himself “very pro-choice,” “very liberal” and a backer of “universal health care”; during the 2012 campaign, he criticized Republican Mitt Romney’s harsh immigration rhetoric – and yet he wants to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport 11 million of them?

For those who are truly conservative in politics, a businessman like Trump who is legendary for deal-making should be the last person they would want in the White House.

6. A political party flip-flopper. His party affiliation switched in 1999 from Republican to independent, then to Democrat in 2001, then to Republican in 2009. As recently as 2008, he praised Hillary Clinton, writing that “I know Hillary and I think she’d make a great president or vice-president.” In 2004 he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “I probably identify more as Democrat.” This is the sign of a man guilty of blatant pandering. This from the Republican front-runner.

7. A part of the “establishment” that people say they hate. Just because Trump has never held elective office does not mean he’s out of touch with the political class. Bill and Hillary Clinton attended his wedding. He is a crony capitalist. He’s given a ton of money (mostly to Democrats) to politicians, and sucks up to them like anybody else.

8. His nomination would be the worst outcome for Republicans. It is impossible to predict where the political contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton would end up. Clinton has manifestly poor political skills, and Trump possesses a serious talent for the low blow. But Trump’s nomination would not be the temporary victory of one of the GOP’s ideological factions. It would involve the replacement of the humane ideal at the center of the party and its history. If Trump is the nominee, the GOP will cease to be.

The ideals of the Republican the party that were set by Abraham Lincoln included “human dignity, honored by human freedom and undergirded by certain moral commitments, including compassion and tolerance.”  Where in this do Donald Trump’s antics fit?

9. Will be powerless to do a lot of the things people say they want, to make new laws, alter U.S. strategy. A vote for Trump is a guarantee that actual, realistic changes people say they want will never happen. Instead of translating outraged voices into meaningful action, we will find a candidate who knowingly made promises he couldn’t keep.

10. Attacks anyone who disagrees with him, from journalists to other politicians to Muslims at large — people who have the freedom to disagree with him.  Mr. tough-guy Trump can't handle tough questions about his past and things he has said, and withdrew from Fox News’s presidential debate because he didn’t think host Megyn Kelly would treat him fairly. Trump has called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, and said of an African-American protester, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

11. Crass, rude and offensive.  He repeated a vulgarity that was said as a crass insult to candidate Ted Cruz, and defended it as being a “favor” for a crowd in New Hampshire. He publicly offended candidate Carly Fiorina by saying 'Look at that face!' he cries. 'Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!' and questioned how we could seriously support her because she's a woman. He physically mocked a Times journalist with a disability, ridiculed Senator John McCain for being a P.O.W., made a reference to “blood” intended to degrade a female journalist and compared one of his opponents to a child molester.

On Mexican immigrants he said, "They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists". He has proposed registering all Muslims. Not since the days of the Confederacy have American leaders openly criticized another race or religion. And, there are many more well documented instances of offensive, racist, ignorant and misogynist comments. Such behavior is common to him, just like a school-yard bully.

As Megyn Kelly said in the first GOP debate, “You’ve called women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals.’ … Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees."

"Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?”

12. His character flaws are very evident. Trump is erratic, inconsistent and unprincipled. He possesses a streak of crudity and cruelty. He has a penchant for blaming others for his mistakes, he has put out many several misogynistic and racist tweets, and shown himself to be a man averse to being humbled by his errors and unwilling to learn from them. He describes himself as “a really smart person,” frequently mentioning his Ivy League education. He promises to personally out-negotiate Iran, Mexico, Russia, China and any other international foe. What he does lack is humility, telling a Tonight Show audience that “I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.”

Mr. Trump’s legendary narcissism would be comical were it not dangerous in someone seeking the nation’s highest office — as he demonstrated when he showered praise on the brutal, anti-American president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, responding to Mr. Putin’s expression of admiration for Mr. Trump.

Trump’s persona is very much the overbearing alpha male character he honed as a reality television star.

13. Filed for bankruptcy 4 times in an effort to save his casino businesses. Sometimes bankruptcy is the result of circumstances beyond the control of the business - such as a struggling casino industry (Need I say anything about how honorable an industry this is for a future president to be involved in?) Usually, bankruptcies are a combination of poor judgment and situations beyond control. Not just once or twice, but 4 times?

Outside of bankruptcies, Trump has been involved with a whole slew of other business failures, from an airline to selling meat. Yet, he is considered a good businessman?

14. Hesitant to reveal his tax returns. When Hugh Hewitt, one of the moderators, told Trump that he said he would release his returns a year ago, the candidate replied: “First of all, very few people listen to your radio show. I want to release my tax returns. But I can’t release them while I’m under audit.” On CNN afterward, Trump claimed that the IRS might be auditing him because he’s a strong Christian. What?? 

Trump’s hesitancy to reveal his tax returns will show, as Mitt Romney suggested, "Either he's not as anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay, or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing.”

15. Has been involved in illegal business practices, including being fined for hiring illegal immigrants to work at his properties. His Trump University is being examined for fraud, against which several lawsuits have been filed.

16. Divorced two times because of extra-marital affairs – Trumps marriage to first wife Ivana lasted 14 years. They divorced because of his affair with Marla Maples who had his baby out of wedlock. Two months after the baby was born he married Marla, but then they divorced only 5 years later. He had extra-marital affairs with model Kara Young and future and current wife Melania Knauss while still married to Marla.

Can a man who can’t be faithful to his wife be faithful to his nation?

Only one other president in U.S. history has been divorced, and only once. Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood actor whose actress wife Jane Wyman filed to divorce him in 1948 because of his political ambitions. He married his second wife Nancy Davis three years later and they remained married for 52 years until he died. Not at all a scenario that compares with Trump's philandering caused divorces.

17. A Vietnam draft dodger. Trump received 4 draft deferments while a college student at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, and finally got a medical exemption that staved off the draft. Trump wasn’t drafted because of “bone spurs” in his feet that have since miraculously vanished. Every one of our 44 presidents has had either government or military experience before being sworn in. Mr. Trump, a real estate mogul and former reality-television star, hasn’t served a day in public office or the armed forces.

18. A big, loud mouth, saying whatever the moment needs to rally support. You say you like him because he's not afraid to speak his mind? No, it's more like he speaks your mind. He says what you want to hear. Not that he has the ability or knowledge of how to do anything he says.  That doesn't matter, right?  As long as you can say it in a loud-mouthed way, you must be able to do it, right? And much of what he says is done in a provocative and unprofessional manner.

As former President George W. Bush said, "Strength is not empty rhetoric. It is not bluster. It is not theatrics. Real strength, strength of purpose, comes from integrity and character. And in my experience, the strongest person usually isn't the loudest one in the room."

19. A dishonest man that manipulates the truth.  Polls have revealed that Trump supporters want an outsider because they’re tired of political elites who constantly lie and manipulate the truth.  Yet, Trump has proven to be the most dishonest politician running for president., which called him the “King of Whoppers,” said, “In the 12 years of’s existence, we’ve never seen his match.” Politifact awarded Trump the 2015 Lie of the Year because 65 percent of his statements were mostly false, false or “pants on fire.” Only 1 percent were strictly true.

Trump not only lies, but doubles down on those lies. Examples include saying that Muslims in New Jersey cheered 9/11, that vaccines cause autism, that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States and that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by China to close U.S. factories.

All indications show that Trump is a big phony who says whatever he can, bullying and lying, all for political gain.

20. His claims to be religious are for show and highly suspect of being an effort to win evangelical support. When asked about favorite Bible verses or making references to the Bible, his answers have made it clear that he has a fundamental lack of familiarity with the book.  On Trump's plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, Pope Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel."

21. A poor example for children. Generations of American parents have inspired their children to grow up to be President. But a would-be President who insults women, spews profanity, is on his third wife, and calls anyone who disagrees with him a “loser” may not be someone to look up to.

22. Will accept any endorsement, even the Ku Klux Klan. Trump refused several opportunities to denounce an implicit endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and he even went so far as to claim that he didn’t know David Duke or what he and white supremacy groups stand for. Aw c’mon. There’s much evidence to the contrary.

If the Ku Klux Klan endorses him, what does that say?

There are plenty more reasons, but isn't that enough?  Again, do you really want this guy running our county?

NOTE: The information to compile this list came from various sources, not documented here, but all are verifiable and searchable on Google.