May 19, 2019



"There isn't a person anywhere who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can."
~ Henry Ford
Ever notice how difficult it is to break out of your routine to take time just for you? Yet, when you do, you experience a sense of refreshment. You're more observant 👀, more aware of your surroundings - if only for a short time.
Those brief periods are when the mind 🧠 is most receptive to creative thinking. The sub-conscious, with its defensive barriers temporarily lowered, is more likely to receive and accept new ideas 💡. Use that time wisely by letting go, giving yourself permission to dream new dreams, to reach for the "brass ring."
You don't have to analyze or give form to those dreams - just allow them to occur. When an idea 💡 begins to grab you and arouses inner excitement, pay attention 👀. Avoid letting your conscious mind scoff at the value of your idea or throw roadblocks in your way. Listen 👂 to your quiet inner voice. Allow what Napoleon Hill describes as "infinite intelligence" to speak to you.
Read Henry Ford's quote again and concentrate on the last seven words, "doing more than he thinks he can." It's what your conscious self "thinks you can do" that is so limiting. Remember the expression "Think you can 👍, think you can't 👎 - either way you're right"? Whatever your conscious self thinks is the limit to your doing - IS the limit. To exceed the limits you have placed upon yourself requires expanded thinking.
To get started, find your own quiet place 🤫 - and go there for just fifteen minutes ⏱ each day. In good weather ☀, sit outside at dawn with a fresh cup of coffee ☕. If you're a night 🌙 person, find a quiet corner after the house is settled for the evening. Let the family know you want 15 uninterrupted minutes - just for you. Close your eyes and begin by clearing your mind of trivia - like wiping off a blackboard - then just let go. You'll be amazed at the results. 😮😁

May 9, 2019

Live With Passion!


"If you're gonna go, go like hell.

If your mind's not made up,

don't use your spurs."

~ "Don't Squat With Your Spurs On!" ("A Cowboy's Guide to Life" by Texas Bix Bender)

When you're ready to ride, don't wear your Nikes 👟. Put on your boots and spurs, and let your horse 🐴 know you mean to ride hard. Then - ride with passion.
How many times have you thought of achieving a dream 🤔 - only to spend more time in the dreaming and planning than in the doing? No problem - we all do it from time to time. The old nemesis - fear of failure and the unknown - haunts all of us occasionally, keeping us from reaching our objective.
Think back to the last time you took action with a burning passion 💪! Were you competing for a gold medal, fighting for your life under adverse circumstances, or vying for the heart ❤ of your beloved? Something was motivating you to the limit, and you refused to quit.
So, what's your passion right now - today? Maybe it's an education 👨‍🎓, a new career, getting in shape 💪, having more freedom, money 💵 & status, or closer family ties. Whatever your desired direction in life, put on your spurs, mount your horse, and hit the trail! There's no greater joy 😃 in life than putting everything you've got into an achievement - and then realizing you've overcome all the obstacles. 
Ride hard, buckaroo! 🤠

May 5, 2019

Would you Enter The Black Door?


"What is more mortifying than to feel you've missed the Plum for want of courage to shake the Tree?"
~ Logan Pearsall Smith
Many years ago, in a country far away, a ruthless dictator terrorized his prisoners. On their execution day, each prisoner was summoned for an audience with the cruel dictator. Standing face-to-face, the dictator gave each condemned man a final choice - to either face the firing squad - or go through the "black door 🚪." 
Having experienced countless episodes of torture and cruelty already, the prisoners invariably chose death over the unknown terror that they imagined must lie beyond the "black door." Finally, the day came when the dictator himself lay on his deathbed. Curious, his inner circle of advisors asked him, "What lies beyond the 'black door'?" His answer? "Freedom!" 😧
Fear, for example, cannot exist in the face of courage 💪. Education 👨‍🎓 denies ignorance any chance of survival. Grief disappears in the presence of peace-of-mind 😌. Discouragement ceases when hope prevails. Wealth 💵 denies poverty its chance.
People are still making that choice today - choosing lives dampened by fear 😖, rather than taking a chance on the unknown beyond the black door 🚪. That awful, scary feeling that comes from "fear of the unknown" is often just enough to keep us from breaking out into the clear light of day ☀ that illuminates our success.
The next time an opportunity presents itself, yet fear threatens to smother success, take time to understand your fear. Make a list of what you fear may happen. Write down the worst that could happen. Next, make a list of the benefits 👍 you would reap by taking positive action. When the benefits exceed the risks, the decision will become clear. 😁
Get in the habit of setting clear, concise daily goals for yourself. As you set and achieve them, you will notice that "fear of the unknown" begins to fade. You will accomplish more in a day than you otherwise would in a month.
Finally, remember one of my favorite and often used quotes: "Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there." 💪😁

May 1, 2019

Maricopa County still fastest-growing county in U.S., Census says

Courtesy of Tim Gallen, Digital Editor, Phoenix Business Journal


People keep moving to Phoenix.

That's the takeaway from new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, which finds the Phoenix metro added nearly 100,000 residents from July 1, 2017, to July 2018.

During that 12-month period, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro gained 96,268 people — good enough to be the second fastest-growing metro in the U.S. behind Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington in Texas, which welcomed 131,767 new people during the same period.

Based on the annual gains, that means an average of 263 people move to the Valley daily.

As of July 1, 2018, metro Phoenix has a population of 4,857,962.

At the county level, Maricopa County was the fastest-growing county in the U.S. last year, according to Census data.

From that same July 2017 to July 2018, time frame, Arizona's most populous county added 81,244 residents. That gain raised Maricopa County's population to 4,410,824 as of July 1, 2018.

While Maricopa County encompasses much of metro Phoenix, the metropolitan area stretches into parts of Pinal County and pushes the metro number higher.

Nationwide, areas in the South and West posted the biggest population gains.

“One interesting trend we are seeing this year is that metro areas not among the most populous are ranked in the top 10 for population growth,” said Sandra Johnson, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division. “Though no new metro areas moved into the top 10 largest areas, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin and Orlando all experienced numeric increases in population since 2010, rivaling growth in areas with much larger populations. This trend is consistent with the overall growth we are seeing in the South and the West.”

Based on the new Census data, metro Phoenix came within 17,428 of surpassing Boston to become the 10th most populous metropolitan area. Unless trends drastically change during the next two years, the Valley likely will pass Boston with the 2020 Census.

Phoenix and Maricopa County long have been a top landing spot for people moving from elsewhere in the U.S. Much of the recent population surge can be attributed to the region's strong economy and healthy job growth.

In December, the Census released state growth data. Arizona was the 4th fastest-growing state from July 2017 to July 2018.

April 28, 2019



"The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift."
~ Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)
Back in the '70s, CB radios 📻 became popular, especially among the nation's truckers. You could tune in Channel 19 and listen to a constant chatter among truckers and others with radios. If you were traveling on an interstate highway 🚘, you could get info on traffic 🚗, weather ☀, wreck scenes to avoid, radar traps, and other useful tidbits. It was like there was a whole other world of activity going on around you IF you had a CB radio. Those who didn't were oblivious to the activity - yet it was still there.
The same is true of the volunteer brigade 🙋‍♀ - those who offer their time and talents to worthy causes without reward. In any given community, there is a work force that operates 24/7 without any expectation of reward. If you're not one of them, you are probably oblivious to their daily actions to serve the community - but they are out there working whether or not you know it.
One example that comes to mind is a recent wreck scene. At 1:00 AM a vehicle traveling at over 90 mph left the road, went over an embankment, and hit the bottom upside down. A witness to the crash was amazed to see about 15 firefighters 👩‍🚒, EMTs 🚑, and rescue squad 🚓 volunteers on the scene within 5 minutes after the wreck was reported. The witness asked in surprise, "Where did you guys come from?" One minute traffic was normal, and those 15 volunteers were in their warm beds. Five minutes later they were saving a life.
There are many ways to make a life-altering contribution to others as a volunteer. Most are not as glamorous as saving a life, yet all contribute to the many unmet needs of community members. Each of us has talents that can be put to use for those in need. A little self-examination will help identify your potential contribution. With all the blessings we enjoy in this country 🗽, each of us should make an effort to reach out to others. Why not join the volunteer brigade today? 🙋‍♀❤

April 19, 2019



"Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you."
~ Spanish Proverb
JUDGE NOT . . .🛑
You know the type - there's a gossip in everyone's life. It may be a friend, an acquaintance, or a total stranger. Regardless, it is the person who shares with you any amount of information about another, either about what they have accomplished, or more often, what they have not 🙁.
Why does a gossip perform his or her service so readily 🤔? Self-aggrandizement is often the culprit. Knowing such valuable information about another as to be able to share it, reasons the gossip, reflects favorably on the provider of such knowledge. In fact, however, gossiping is nothing more than the act of judging others. 👎
When a friend passes ➡ judgment on another, might it be that, in your absence, they also pass judgment on you? In most cases that is true. Thus, one measure of another's character might be the presence or absence of such a tendency. 😮
Steven Covey 📕 (of "Seven Habits..." fame) offers a solution when he says, "If you do not judge others, they will not judge you." In other words, if you are of such character as to never discuss the merits or actions of others, unless they be favorable, it is highly likely that others will reciprocate in kind 😁. If someone makes a negative comment about another, Covey suggests that your reply might be, "That's interesting. He has always spoken very highly of YOU." 😲
Many wise men, in many languages, over many centuries, have repeated and paraphrased the maxim "Judge not, that ye be not judged." It's easy to neutralize the gossip's sting by practicing such clear advice! 😁👍

April 13, 2019



"Cheshire-Puss," . . . said Alice, "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where - " said Alice

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

" - so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

~ from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice had no destination in mind when she began walking 👣 - no goal or objective to be achieved. She just wanted to "get somewhere." Might there be a parallel to that simple lesson in the business of everyday living?
In the average 168-hour week, chances are good that each of us will sleep 😴 for approximately 56 hours. That leaves about 112 hours for work and play. Whether or not we know which direction to take each week, we still have that same 112 hours ⏰.
If we choose a destination for the week - in the form of some personal or business goal - then set out in that direction ⤴, chances are good we will arrive 👍. We will have -0- hours left at the end of the week, and will have achieved our objective.
The reverse is also true. When we allow the week to happen to us, vaguely hoping to "get somewhere," yet having no destination in mind, we still end the week with -0- hours remaining ⏱. The difference, of course, is that we accomplish no worthwhile objective.
How often have we been reminded of the importance of having goals and writing ✏ them down? With clearly defined goals, we can build a road map to our greatest achievements. Without them, we are like a ship 🚢 without a rudder, unlikely to even get out of the harbor without ending up aground on the beach.
Choosing a worthy destination 🚗 for our lives is a simple task. We get to choose any direction that excites and fulfills us. Then, once chosen, we need only construct our own "yellow brick road" to take us there. 😁👍

April 8, 2019

How's the Family?


"Always remember the distinction between contribution and commitment. Take the matter of bacon and eggs. The chicken makes a contribution. The pig makes a commitment."
~ John Mack Carter
OK, sure - you prepare the meals 🍽, maintain the yard 🌳, balance the checkbook $, take the kids to soccer ⚽, wash and iron the clothes 👕, tune-up the car 🚗. You take care of all the daily needs of the family. So - is that your contribution to them, or a contribution to your commitment to them? 💪
Our world today is frantic. As adults, our responsibilities are awesome. Our careers require long and odd hours ⏰ away from family. Our children are lured by television towards needs and desires for more and more material possessions, i.e. logo clothing, "gaming" accessories, makeup, or cool vehicles. Our spouse wonders why there's never enough time for "us." Where will it all end? How can we slow down?
If your family is moving at the speed of life, and there seems to be no end in sight, maybe it's time to take a look at your commitment to all involved. A great place to start is time alone with your spouse - away from home. If possible, that means an overnight or weekend trip. It's a time to re-examine your values, your goals in life, and the direction you would like your family to take. Finally, it's a time to re-commit to the health of your marriage. ❤💍
You may quickly realize that it's a time to simplify your life - and that of your family. That's easy to say - more difficult to accomplish - yet attainable with a firm commitment 💪. If you like the idea of simplification, there are three excellent books that can move you in that direction.
First is a great primer, Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From The Sea." Next, for both men and women is "The Simplicity Reader" by Elaine St. James. Finally, and especially for women, is "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Why not make a new commitment to your family, beginning today? Your contributions will be much more enjoyable! 😁👍❤

March 30, 2019



“Between you and me, sir, I’ll have to see him before I’ll believe he’s invisible.”
~ Lester Cole, screenwriter for “The Invisible Man Returns”

Last year, scientists reported creating an “invisibility cloak.” The device bends electromagnetic radiation around itself, making what ever it covers appear invisible 😨. So far they have only tested the device with microwaves, but the theory may work with visible light, too. In the world of fantasy, young wizard 🧙‍♂ Harry Potter ⚡ already often benefits from a magic invisibility cloak.
How many of us have wondered what it would be like to be invisible? As children 👧, we marveled at the power of anonymity to create havoc, and imagined listening undetected to forbidden conversations. As teenagers, perhaps we longed for invisibility from the difficulties posed during that stage of life. Then, the fantasy of invisibility was a good and fun one, in the spirit of escapism.
But as adults, does the desire for invisibility leave us? By and large, “grown-ups” view invisibility in a negative 👎 light. To be invisible is to be overlooked, unimportant, or even sinister 😈. To be invisible is to be an outsider.
However, from time to time, we all could use a little invisibility - invisibility from the cell phone, from the kids, from being "on call," or just from the chaos 🤯 of modern life. Sure, the fantasy has changed from when we were children. Now we may just long for an hour ⏰ during the day that is all ours, with no interruptions.
So, go find your old invisibility cloak and dust it off. Try it on for an hour ⏰ - and remember just how much fun it is to be invisible! 🙅‍♀

March 24, 2019

Evaluate This!


"It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it."

~ Lillian Hellman

So, when was the last test or exam 📝 that you took? Or have you experienced a recent evaluation of your work? Many of us, even if we're "the boss," have to go through a periodic appraisal of how well we carry out our jobs. Often, this assessment comes from outside - a supervisor "objectively" examines 🔍 our performance. But what if you yourself could take the responsibility for your own evaluation?
The trouble with some people is that they give themselves poor grades 👎, sometimes in spite of the fact that others may highly regard their work. Those who lack confidence in their own ability to lead and to succeed often dismiss evidence that clearly illustrates their potential. If you're not happy with your own work, it simply won't matter how others feel about it.
Remember that feelings don't depend on the facts. Feelings actually create the truth. Think of it this way: your feeling of confidence begins with the feeling 😁, and it's that feeling that then creates the confidence! You become self-assured by first believing in yourself. You don't break out of the starting gate 🏃‍♂, dash first across the finish line, and then begin to believe you're a winner 🥇. That's putting the cart before the horse 🐴!
Beginning with the belief that you will succeed is the first and necessary step toward achieving your goal 🏆. Sometimes you will win and sometimes you will not, that's a fact of life. But as long as you carry your faith in yourself, you'll always possess that potential to win that some people simply lack 🤩. They haven't yet realized that improving their performance begins with improving their feelings about themselves.
Roy L. Smith said, "The man who cannot believe in himself cannot believe in anything else." So choose whatever goal your heart desires, but first choose to believe in your ability to reach it! 😁💚💚💚