Appreciation

IS IT REALLY JUST LUCK?

I have been playing a relatively new sport called pickle ball. It has similar qualities to tennis, racket ball and Ping-Pong. I have joined a new group of people who, like me, have given up some of our more active sports to find this one that is less strenuous on the knees and back.

There is a very sweet lady that plays several times a week who always proclaims after a perfect over head shot to the corner of the court, “Oh that was just lucky.” I have a good friend who was recently offered a fabulous opportunity to write a technical book in the 6th decade of her life. Her constant mantra is, “How did I get so lucky?” Really? She has worked her butt off learning, teaching and gaining more knowledge in her field than almost everyone she knows. Luck? I don’t think so!

luck-shamrock-horseshoe

And then there is my grandson who has a beautiful three-point swish shot on the basketball court. I challenge anyone to call his shots lucky as he has been practicing his skills on the court at almost every opportunity throughout the past seven years.

Basketball

There is no question that it seems as if others get the “jump ball” while we struggle. I am not disputing that luck can be a factor in some circumstances. There are people who have connections that elude some of us. Sometimes it is simply being in the right place at the right time. However, there is no question that practicing, gaining knowledge and networking works its magic.

So why then do we call our hard work and opportunities luck? I worked for a wise man many decades ago who liked to say, “Luck is opportunity meeting preparedness.” Consider what this means.

A close friend has a daughter who has more talent than many singers who have been at it as long as she. Does she have frustrations? Are there times she feels life just isn’t fair? Absolutely! However, she continues to practice her craft and live her passion; she does not give up.

Are books flying off the shelves by writers with the same or less talent than mine? Definitely! Are there authors with more talent who can’t get a break? No question! The truth is that sometimes it isn’t logical why some people are successful and some are not. Who is to say what success means? We may have different definitions. For some, success can be the effort.

Books Flying Through the Sky

 

The key is to practice your craft and live your passion while finding joy in what you do. By all means, don’t compromise your dreams. Do the things that give you pleasure along with what is necessary to pay for your lifestyle.

Please don’t compare yourself to others. You are uniquely you. The next time you are tempted to say someone is lucky, think about how much time and work they have invested to be at the right place at the right time.

Now go take on the day!!!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick will help give you insights and understanding as to why you make the choices you do. Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you perspective? You have much to gain and little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.   #self-respect, #kindness, #communication, #diversity #openness, #understandingothers,#Luck, #solvangusa.

How Do We Deal With Loss?

therapy-loss

This past week several of my friends experienced loss. A good friend recently lost her husband; another is having a service for the father of her children; another is visiting the cemetery on the anniversary of her daughter’s passing, and yet another has lost her precious dog. If we are fortunate to live a long life, we will experience loss due to death. When it comes to mourning and dealing with loss, there is absolutely no formula, right or wrong way to cope with it.

For example, one of my friends does NOT want any communication for several days. Another is reaching out to her friends by sharing her sadness in writing. Another friend plans to take a hiatus to spend time away from her home.

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There is an expectation that loss of a loved one, family pet or marriage will cause varying degrees of tears, heartbreak, depression and loneliness. No one would expect less.

loss-of-pet

What happens though when the loss is subtle? This could be a move to another area, ending a toxic friendship or quitting a group that you have belonged to for a long period of time. Although these are not necessarily life altering, we still feel a sense of loss and sadness. Whether this pertains to a routine you had established or friends you had met, the end result is emptiness.

Although we all deal with disappointment, loss and change differently, my advice is to find balance. We all have the capacity to work through tough times. We all have the ability to make our lives better. For some this process requires small steps. Rely on your faith, your friends, a group, a book and your inner strength, as you don’t need to do this alone.

So, how do we deal with loss? We accept it, respect it, and ultimately find ways to live with it.

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.roni-kugler_final_low-res-2

With the holidays upon us consider giving my book as a gift to friends, family, co-workers or those who can benefit from understanding themselves and therefore their actions. That’s pretty much everyone, don’t you agree?

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your #interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.

 

#loss, #balance, #faith, #change, #whatmakesyoutick.

Do Your Friends and Family Feel Valued?

On a recent walk, a new friend approached the subject of my book. She had recently read it and offered some great suggestions regarding what she thought was an untapped audience for me.

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Later that evening while texting her, I told her that I appreciated her input. She wrote back to me and simply said, “Thank you for always making me feel acknowledged and important.”

Dog comforting cat

There is a commercial on TV where people with psoriasis (a skin disease) simply say, “See me.” It occurred to me that the simple act of being in tune and paying attention to others is so important. It is not enough to simply hear and value what they say, but more importantly to tell them how much we appreciate their views and opinions.

hand-to-ear-listening

When you talk with your children or grandchildren, are you paying attention with half an ear? Are you listening to them while texting a friend? When you were a child, did the adults in your life give you their full attention? Or were they watching a TV show or peering over a newspaper while you spoke? When you meet a friend to see a movie or shop are you ALWAYS checking your phone?

There have been so many studies researching what children really need from their parents. As it turns out, children don’t need more games or toys, but quality time spent with mom and dad. I don’t believe this pertains solely to kids. At all ages we want the people we spend time with to be in the moment with us.

Dr. Phil mentioned on a TV episode that he recently had lunch with a friend who was constantly checking his phone during their time together. After a short period of time, in total frustration, Dr. Phil stood up to leave. He told his friend that clearly the person on the phone was more important than he was. He finished by saying; “When you want to spend time with me, let me know.” And then he left.

couple-texting

The next time you are at a friend’s house put your phone in your purse or jacket. The next time you spend the day with your children or grandchildren refrain from texting your friends and encourage them to do the same. Truly, is there anything more important than paying attention to the people in your presence who have chosen to spend their time with you?

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.  #mindfulness, #appreciation, #gratitude, #kindness.

What is Really Important in our Lives?

I had arranged to have professional pictures taken of my son, daughter-in-law and grandson. We met at a local park that has rolling green grass and a white picket fence…a beautiful setting for this event.

park-and-white-fence

The four of us hammed it up as the camera continuously clicked. We mixed it up by taking turns as mother and son, grandson and grandma, and various other combinations. We laughed, played and just enjoyed the time together.

When I was growing up, pictures were processed at a studio where we would spend a fortune to get prints. In this generation, a small thumb drive containing all the pictures is inserted into a laptop for easy upload.

When we finished the 30 minute shoot, I took my laptop out of my car and laid it on the trunk. The external hard drive was attached to my computer by cable. After our photographer completed the upload and left us, my laptop began to slip off the car. While the laptop was saved, the hard drive went crashing to the ground. This relatively thin plastic device was no match for the asphalt parking lot.

crash-laptop

All four of us were now looking at three pieces that used to be one. The first words out of my mouth were, “Oh crap, my entire world was just lost!” (I am pretty sure I cleaned up my language since my grandson was present.) Without missing a beat my son said, “Mom, your entire world is still right here.” He was obviously referring to himself and the rest of our family.

It didn’t take me long to put this incident in perspective. Files can be retrieved. Pictures can be reproduced through I Cloud or whatever other devices on which we save important documents. Friends, family, our pets are what should be called our world as they cannot be replaced.

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We went on to have dinner, talk about our week and enjoy our time together. I went home pressed the hard drive parts together and used duct tape to keep it closed. This solution worked, and I was pleased. I then looked at the pictures we had taken which made me smile. The take away: Toys, objects and souvenirs are all replaceable. Keep life in perspective and don’t sweat the small stuff. This was a reminder to me to do just that!

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments. #cherishyourlovedones, #keepliveinperspective, #don’tsweatthesmallstuff.

Take Time To Enjoy The Game!

I have been attending my grandson’s basketball games for almost seven years now. I go to support him. I go because I love to watch the game. I go because it inspires me to see kids grow from the experience of team sports. But I mainly I go to watch these youngsters truly enjoy themselves.

Basketball

The thing that impresses me most about many of the kids is their commitment to playing each point as if the championship was on the line. Often, with minutes left to play and their team losing by more points than they could possible make up, the kids continue to give 100 percent. It amazes me how intently they concentrate on each play.

I believe we can learn a lot from these children.    Take a look at your own life. Whether it is your job, your relationship or an activity, what percent do you give? Parents often tell their children that they can achieve anything they want if they simply apply themselves. It has taken me six decades to believe these words.

Against all odds, I wrote a book and it has been published. When I started the journey, my main commitment was that I would give 100 percent of myself. And I did. Whether I sell 100 copies or a million (I do like that number) I know that I did my best work and that is good enough.

Don’t let anyone discourage you from fulfilling your passion and living your dream. When it comes to the important things in your life, remember to treat them as if the championship was on the line. You won’t regret it!

BASKETBALL-IN-VS-DUKE

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments

What Can I Say That Will Help a Friend Deal With Loss?

I just received a heart-wrenching email from a friend of several decades. She asked me to give her any words of wisdom that could help her cope with the impending death of her beloved husband of 35 years.

I have had the privilege of watching the two of them work through challenges, raise children, and build a wonderful life together. After they retired, they traveled and they basked in the love of several beautiful grandchildren. They accomplished these things as a couple.   My friend has shared a bed and a home with this man for more than three quarters of her life. And now it is unimaginable for her that he will no longer be here and that she will be alone.

Lonely Lady

Words of wisdom? There aren’t any. I do however feel somewhat guilty that I am envious of her. She is suffering and she is scared. What could I possibly be envious of, you ask?

To have this level of loss means that she has experienced a level of love that most of us can only dream about. To experience a great love is a gift. Most of us can only hope that we find the one person who will laugh at the same silly things, cry together when facing sadness, and have each other’s back when the world seems like a scary place. Not for a day. Not for a week. But for a lifetime.

There are no words of wisdom. No one can say anything magical to lessen the pain. No one can do anything to make the loneliness go away. All we can do for each other is be a loving, supportive, soft place to land.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

During our lifetime, if we are truly blessed and extremely lucky, we will find that one special person who is the love of our life.

My dear friend has found this. And now she must find a way to say goodbye. She needs to find the strength to live her life without Larry. And she will. Life will be much sadder for a while. Life will be much lonelier for a while. The truth is, she will never totally heal from the pain she is now feeling.

Hopefully within time her children her grandchildren her friends and the memories that she and her husband have shared will bring her joy and comfort.

I am sure if you were to ask both of my friends what they would advise other people to do, it would be to laugh and play more. Let go of the small stuff. Keep an open heart. In other words be happy.

Cheerful senior couple blowing bubbles in park

We are given a very short time on this earth. Make the most of it while you can. Let go of grudges. Be less angry. Be kinder. It doesn’t matter what the next guy does. Hold yourself up to a higher standard.

We don’t get to choose how and when we die. We do however get to choose how we live and how we love!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

Why Is It Important to Take Inventory Of Our Lives?

There probably isn’t one person walking the face of the earth that hasn’t experienced sadness, disappointment or hardship. It comes with the territory of living. Conversely, I am confident these same people have experienced great joy and blessings.

A few months ago my son and daughter-in-law received a text from their 12 years-old that no parent ever wants to get. It read, “My school is on lock-down, we are on the floor with the lights off. I am so scared. I love you.” Thank God this ended well as the threat to the school was a prank.

A very close friend lost a nephew due to a drug over-dose. Another has a brother who is in and out of the hospital with one emergency or another. And if that isn’t enough, another close friend experienced a fall that is causing her much distress and discomfort.

My purpose isn’t to be depressing. It is to illustrate that we all have people in our lives that are going through trying times.

On the upside, my family and friends recently joined together to celebrate my grandson’s Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13. This summer I will be attending several weddings and meeting a close friend’s granddaughter for the first time. I am also in the process of achieving several goals that I set for myself several years ago.

Why is it important to take inventory of the good, the bad and the ugly? To get perspective. There are many sayings and poems that attest to this. A few that come to mind are “You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain”, “Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” and “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”.

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It is very easy to let life bring us down, but it isn’t always easy to find the courage and fortitude to keep going when bad things happen to us our family and friends.

I handle life’s struggles this way: When I hear that someone has died, I wish him or her a safe journey. I then think about the birth of a baby. This helps me cope with the cycles of life.

cute-sleeping-baby

Next time life throws bad things your way; remember that life also provides stunning sunsets, awesome mountains, children laughing and beautiful moments.

sunsets

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

 

On Which Side Of Life Do You Look?

I tend to be that person who rolls out of bed in a good mood. I don’t just start walking slowly, I get up running full-throttle.   (Some of my friends find this obnoxious.) This morning however I felt anxious, overwhelmed and a bit blue.

When I got into the car to run errands, I found myself getting into a funk as I became increasingly impatient with the other drivers on the road. At the point where I came close to leaning on my car horn, I decided instead to turn on the car radio and surf channels. I chose to listen to a station that featured Broadway tunes.

Musical notes

One of the first songs that I heard was from the movie and play Monty Python. The song was Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.

My transformation from grumpy to happy was almost immediate. It was hard for me NOT to be affected by the upbeat rhythm and cheerful lyrics. I am not sure if I actually smiled or I simply felt that I smiled.

This got me thinking about how easily we can go from one mood to another. Depressing news. Negative talk radio. Witnessing an accident. Each of these experiences on their own can cause negative feelings. Weddings. Births. People laughing. Each of these on their own can cause positive feelings.

Yes life has its challenges, and for many it doesn’t work to just think happy therefore be happy. However, and this is a big however, it doesn’t hurt to think happy. Watch happy. Listen to happy.

Life will always be comprised of ups and downs. If we can find a way to maximize the ups we can train ourselves to look for and find the good; we can then choose not to dwell on the little things that can put us in a funk.

ups-and-downs

Each day find something that makes you happy. Take time to search look for a flower among the weeds. Instead of allowing noisy kids to annoy you, focus on their innocent faces. Determine if simply listening to classical or upbeat music lifts your spirits.

Enjoy the results of your new outlook on life!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will teach you how to look on the bright side of life and improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

 

Are You Enjoying The Ride You Are On?

When my son was barely four, I took him to a local carnival at the park. There were about ten rides for children his age. We waited in line for the first ride. His hands were up and moving in excitement and he had a big grin on his face in anticipation. As soon as the gate opened he ran to one of the small cars and climbed in. Just as this ride was beginning my kid pointed to a different ride. It was as if he couldn’t wait for the ride to end so he could go on another one. This went on for several rides. While on the train ride a bit later he was yelling that he wanted to go on the boat ride next. Without even thinking, I yelled, “Ryan, enjoy the ride you are on!”

When the train ride finished we took a break to get a drink and some fries. Although he was just a small kid, he was beginning to understand some concepts of reasoning. I wanted to make this a teachable moment. Actually, I wanted him to vividly remember the day.

carnival-rides

I asked him about the first ride he went on: Did he like it? What was the color of his car? Did it go straight or did it go up and down? He really couldn’t answer any of my questions. I assured him that he was going to go on all the rides before we left the park. I then asked just one thing from him: “Whatever ride you are on pay close attention to what you are doing.” I told him that at the end of the day I wanted him to tell me how one ride differed from another and why he liked one more than another.

I continued to remind him each time he came around the turns to have fun. His body slowed down to the point where he was beginning to live in the moment and enjoy the ride he was on.

I am guilty of having wished away a work week to get to the weekend. I have, on more than one occasion, counted the days until vacation. As a kid I would mark off my calendar in anticipation of summer vacation. My mother told me that I was wishing away my life by doing this. I realize now that I had spent too many years thinking of future events, not the life event I was experiencing at the time.

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I remind myself often to enjoy the ride I am on. After all, life is comprised of little incidents, big occasions, forgettable moments and memorable times.

Sick days happen. Bad stuff happens. Disappointments happen. Life has its ups and downs. REALLY enjoying the good times will help balance the not-so-good times.

Life goes by so quickly. If you aren’t taking time to “smell the roses”, try doing it. Make each moment last. Don’t just walk through your life. Laugh harder. Smile bigger. Be silly. Have fun…not just from time to time, but each and every day that you can.

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My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will teach you how to enjoy YOUR ride and improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

 

How Do You Measure Success?

Two weeks ago I published my first book. Since then I received many emails and texts congratulating me on this accomplishment.

We all measure success differently. Some people look at their salary as a measure of success. Other people look at the title on their business cards. Still others, the fancy cars they drive, how many flat screen TVs they have or how many trips they take.

illustration-of-a-measuring-scale-Stock-Illustration-balance

I understand that we are a society that is materialistic and our value system is tied into money and toys.

I received two emails recently that mean the most to me. One is from a long time friend who wrote, “Congratulations. While good friends and family can help you, it was your belief in yourself and the initiative to attain this goal that made it happen”. And my nephew wrote, “Hearty congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment! Not many people write anything and publish it”.

I have had conversations with friends who only want to know how many books I have sold. To them it appears that success is simply associated with numbers.

Numbers

When you think of your own life, how do you measure your success? Is it being a good parent or loving son or daughter? Is it by the good deeds you do? Or living up to your commitments?

Perhaps if people measure success by attaining their passions or being a good friend they would find more satisfaction and happiness. I know for me, my success comes from giving 101% to the book I started several years ago and knowing that I did good work.

cat hugging dog

Please follow me on my website, Roni.kugler.com for more inspirational blogs and videos.

My book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is now available on Amazon. Com. Just click on the link below to get your electronic version.

http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

A paperback version will be available at the end of September.