Gratitude

How Important Is Hope?

I have been nicknamed a Pollyanna my whole life.   According to Webster, a Pollyanna is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. It defines me to a tee.

For many like myself, it is used to describe a person who finds only the good in people and the good in all circumstances.

My friend of almost 20 years was telling me about a situation where someone she knew did some pretty insane things. I listened and then said one thing positive in her friend’s defense. My friend looked at me and said, “Man, you can find a flower in a field of weeds.” Okay, so I took creative liberties here. She probably said that I could find a flower in a pile of shit.

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I have to admit that she made me laugh and she made me think. Thinking and overthinking is what I do best. Reflection to me is the key to understanding ourselves and therefore making the changes needed to make better choices.

In trying to understand why I tend to give people and situations the benefit of the doubt, the word hope keeps popping into my head. I hope that people will be kinder. I hope that people will do the right thing. I hope that our children and their children will do better and be better.

A world without hope is a very sad place. Some may consider me naive. Others may consider me a sucker or gullible. The truth is that I would rather be scammed and taken advantage of by a person or two than to be guarded and suspicious of everyone I meet.

Perhaps by living in my world, those people will learn a little something from me then go on to find the good in others. At least this is what I hope.

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Click on the link below to get a copy of my book “12 Way To Discover What Makes You Tick”, available now on Amazon.com.

I not only hope you find value in it, I know you will!

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Why Would I Buy A Book About Me?

Life is a gift. It is fragile and it is short. Take the time to know yourself. We spend much of our early life in school learning to read, conquer math and study history.

We then learn a job, how to maintain our car, operate our electronic devices and various other tasks required to get along in our world.

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How much time do you take to really get to know yourself? To understand how you ‘tick’? Along with knowing yourself, how much time do you take to really understand others and learn how they ‘tick’? Perhaps if you make this an integral part of your life, you will learn from both your successes and your failures. You will become more aware, and understand why you repeat your mistakes without taking responsibility for some of your choices.

I have found that if you take time to really get to know yourself and the world in which you live, your life will be more fulfilling and give you the happiness and peace that you truly want and deserve.

For a small investment, my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, could be just what you need to start the journey towards making decisions that you can feel good about.

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Isn’t it time you invested in yourself?

Click this link to get your copy of the book that could have been named, Finally There Is A Book About Me!

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Is There Really A Cosmic Plan?

I love this quote from Michael Josephson who is an inspirational speaker among his many other accomplishments. He borrowed the quote from Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”.

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It is really difficult to smile and be happy when a relationship ends, a family pet dies or close friends move away. It is, however, easy to feel only sadness, disappointment and loss.

I firmly believe that people come into our lives for a reason. And not all of these relationships are meant to be with us forever. This doesn’t mean that the time together should be looked at as a failure. A good introspective question would be, “Am I better off having had this experience?” Or, “Even if things ended badly, did good things happen from the time together?”

I try to be pragmatic when faced with breakups, displacement, and change. Some may say, “I am not emotional enough” or “it’s easy for me to just walk away”. I, however, don’t see it quite that way. I believe that I feel deeply. I mourn, I cry and I question. What I don’t do is hold on. Yes, that’s right, I move on. After all if we didn’t experience and accept change, we would all be living in the house we where we born.

President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” People say that life is a journey, yet too many are afraid of actually making the necessary changes to really live a full life.

Are you one of the many who are afraid to make a career change? Do you stay in a toxic relationship because you are afraid of being alone? When your family pet passes are you so afraid of having another broken heart that you don’t want to love another pet?”

Year-after-year if you find your life is not where you want it to be; if you wake up each morning and wonder why you are where you are; if you are more unhappy than happy on a balance scale, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?????

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Whether you believe there is a cosmic plan or a random plan, don’t sit around wishing for a different life. Figure out what you need to do to make changes. We are on this earth for a limited amount of time.

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Isn’t it time for you to take more control over your own destiny? Need to get a jump-start? Want to understand why you stay stuck? Need a little help in learning more about yourself and your decision making? Then you need my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick which is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Simply click on the link below to order your copy. Give yourself a gift. I guarantee it will be the best $8.95 you have spent in a long time!

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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.

Now take on the day!

Do You Have Passion In Your Life?

Six years ago I lived in a house, was in a relationship, had a job I liked and co-parented two adorable dogs. I enjoyed many activities and was blessed with good friends and a close-knit family.

And yet with all of the above I felt emptiness and a lack of real purpose. On one of my daily walks I found myself wondering why I wasn’t happier. As a side note, in general I am a “glass half full” kind of gal.

I let my mind wander trying to understand what was missing. The word passion kept coming to mind. Although I enjoyed my life, I didn’t feel passionate about it.

After about a month of walks during which my mind drifting in and out of the ‘lack of passion’ idea, I decided to change how I looked at the world.

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I started visualizing more, clearing my mind more and opening myself up to new and different ideas. I enrolled in a meditation class and talked with more people who were creative, not just concrete, as I tended to be.

To make a long story short (although it is a bit late for that), I now live in a one-bedroom apartment; I am single; I am retired from my day job, and I have NEVER been happier. Oh, and I still co-parent my dogs.

Why am I happier? Because I found my passion. Now, this did not happen overnight. It did however start with a single thought. It went something like this, “Roni, you need to open your mind and your heart to new ideas.” How did I do this? I committed to the universe that I wouldn’t say no or close doors to new directions that my life might take.

I began journaling my thoughts. This led to blogging, then to creating videos. I wrote inspirational stories, offered motivational exercises and shared thought-provoking situations.

After several months, I was encouraged by several friends to consider actually authoring a book, as I pen this blog, my first book has just been published!

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We are on this earth for a short period of time. Although one doesn’t need to quit jobs, divorce spouses or move to far-away places in order to find his or her passion, the truth is that passion and purpose gives our lives more meaning and pleasure.

If you are living a life presently devoid of passion, think about what you can do to incorporate passion into your life. And then reap the benefits.

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Why Do People Call Life A JOURNEY?

Life is a journey. It’s an easy catch phrase for explaining all we must go through in order to gain the wisdom that seems to come in the third chapter of our lives.

Greeting cards, tee shirts, and inspirational material all refer to life being called a journey to help those people who feel “life is just a challenge” and “what’s the use”.

Journeys worth taking come with some predictability, some surprises, and if we are really lucky interesting stories that can be shared with our family and friends.

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One of the best journeys I have taken was to Europe when I was in my 30s. My friend and I planned to visit France, Italy, and Switzerland. We had three weeks to see cities and countrysides. We talked about tours. We talked about scheduling our days to get the most out of our adventure. Then we made the decision to only make two reservations: the first night and the last night in Paris. With that in mind we purchased materials to help us navigate our journey.

We knew we wanted to spend a limited time in big cities. We were both excited to explore the countryside where we were privy to castles, small villages, and areas where the locals live. I made it my personal mission to have an éclair in every town. By the end of our trip I became quite an expert regarding quality éclairs. Long walks and an occasional bike ride kept me from outgrowing my clothes.

When I recall this trip I think about my life. The truth is that not every plan we make is actually realized.

There have been many times that I felt lost. There have been many times when I wasn’t happy with my life. I believe when we are young we can’t see the value in making mistakes or making bad choices; we only feel disappointment and confusion.

If we are fortunate, we learn that all we have gone through actually makes us who we are. It is hard to appreciate success without failure. It is difficult to understand loss without love. And for many it is hard to believe good times can happen while going through extremely bad times.

I have a friend who had lived through a few really bad years. Every conversation with her was about how she didn’t want to go on because life had so little pleasure to offer. Her pain was unbearable having experienced major losses.

Less than two years later she is quick to laugh and smile. She is upbeat, positive, and feels her life has meaning. This is not to say her life is without sadness and challenges. What happened to cause such an extreme change? She took control by making decisions that give her peace and security. This is so empowering.

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We don’t always have an easy journey. It is rare to live through decades without experiencing loss and sadness. It isn’t the journey that makes a difference in who we become, it is our reaction to it.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation that knocks you on your ass, try to find something positive about it. When life shits on you find the humor in it. And most of all, look for the lesson so you come through your journey a better and wiser person.

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

Who Is Responsible For Why My life Is Not Where I Want It To Be?

Do you ever think about who is responsible for where you are in life? If so, get a mirror. Do you ever wonder why you are in a job that does not fulfill you? If so get a mirror. Have you ever considered the reason that happiness eludes you? Again, go look into the nearest mirror.

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There are always reasons and excuses as to why we were passed up for the promotion, why our partner left us, and why we aren’t where we would truly like to be at this time in our lives. Life after all isn’t always fair.

However, I firmly believe that we all have the ability to chart our own destiny. Unless there is a gun to your back it is you who controls your words, your actions, and your decision-making.

We have become a society that loves to blame everyone for the unfairness that has befallen us…our parents, the schools, the establishment and on it goes.

Life is a series of choices and lessons. Dr. Phil is famous for saying that, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”. So, the next time you wonder who is responsible for your life, go find the nearest mirror and take a hard look at the person staring back at you. Is this person honest with himself or herself? Is this a person with whom you would like to be friends? Is this a person that you respect?

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Get to really know yourself. Learn what makes you tick. Pay attention to your behavior in all situations. Make those changes that you feel need to be made. Hold yourself up to a standard that makes you feel proud of yourself. Learn to accept your shortcomings and take responsibility for your actions.

In my upcoming book, 12 Ways to Discover What Makes You Tick, I address subjects that include among others, facing your fears and conquering your demons. I talk about listening to your inner voice. I give examples and exercises to help guide you to feel confident that you have so much more control over your life than you think.

I encourage you to subscribe to my website and take the time to watch my videos and read my blogs. We all have challenges. We all have insecurities. AND, we all have the ability to improve ourselves, our lives and ultimately find the happiness that seems to elude so many.

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 Can I be a Better Person?

In the 1997 movie As Good as it Gets, Jack Nicholson’s character tells his ladylove, “You make me want to be a better person”. While this might seem corny 18 years later, there is much to think about here.

We all have people in our lives that elevate our behavior. These people take the high road; they show patience and compassion, which we view with awe. Being around them just ups our game. Their kind of energy and behavior is a very positive influence on our lives.

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And then there are the people in our circle that we can truly say, “I don’t like me when I am with you”. In a recent conversation with good friends this very topic came up. I actually broached the subject when I found myself reacting to someone else’s rage by disregarding my ‘good judgment’ and saying things I later regretted. Not that these things didn’t need to be said, but it was the manner in which I expressed myself that I regret.

I take full responsibility for what comes out of my mouth and what flies off the pages. However, it is not lost on me that we all have those people in our lives who can ‘push our buttons’ like no others can.

 

Frog with Large Mouth

There are many articles written (mine included) that give sage advice on how to avoid going down the verbal lane that leaves behind many wounded, including ourselves. Some of the most common bits of wisdom are:

  • Take a time out
  • Don’t use the argument as an excuse to dump years of anger
  • Give the other person the chance to talk
  • Address only the issues
  • Don’t yell or talk in anger
  • Agree to disagree

The truth of the matter is that sometimes these rules just don’t work. Sometimes we have to make difficult choices. Some relationships are simply toxic. And although there can be much sadness in the loss of a friendship, there often is a defining moment when it is VERY clear that changes need to be made. Not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime. When we stop being nice to one another or when we take that person for granted or when we feel there is more anxiety than happiness, perhaps it is time to close this chapter. This is never easy to do, for we often spend endless hours thinking about the good times. We often drag out pictures of silliness and laughter we had once enjoyed. We do this at the same time we question whether we truly want to permanently end all contact.  But in the end, it is in our best interest to use sound judgment and if need be, give ourselves permission to move on.

During our lifetime we teach others how to treat us by what we expect and what we ultimately accept. My personal gauge: I am close to people when I feel ‘good about me’ being in their company. These people don’t demand, they ask. They appreciate, they do NOT keep score.

Each one of us should have our own personal list of what is a deal breaker in our relationships. Spending time with positive people can make us want to be a better person by being around them.

Don’t you agree?

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 I Learn To Live In The Present?

I am at an age where my friends and I are talking about our aches and pains, retirement and the ‘third-act’. Yes, some of us are in the 7th and 8th inning.

While most of my friends are dealing with non-life threatening issues at this point, one isn’t. She has recently been told that she has a couple of health related illnesses that are in fact, life threatening.

About three months ago I had hand surgery that has caused me much pain and limitations (my dominant hand). Not only have I had to depend on my loved ones for simple tasks, and call on my patience (one of my biggest challenges), I have also questioned whether I even wanted to continue to write and publish my book.

After reading a very personal and very self-reflective letter from my friend this morning, I am writing for the first time in three months. Her very wise words cannot be ignored.

Many of us spend time reminiscing about the past, living in the present and dreaming and fantasizing about the future. She is very much only in the present.

Her analogy is about a train we are born on. People get on and off throughout our lives. The ride brings us joy, sorrow, expectations, hellos, goodbyes and farewells. She goes on to say that because we don’t know when it will be our turn to get off this train and leave our seat empty, the best we can do is make beautiful memories, reap success and love, and let yourself be loved.

 

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She went on to end with most importantly thanking God for the journey. And her final words were to thank me for being a passenger on her train.

I have always wondered what I would say and do when I face the 9th inning of my life. I would like to think that I will face it with grace and dignity. My friend has now set my bar even higher. While taking care of herself, she is also taking care of the important people in her life. A very loving and unselfish thing to do. I am in awe and very inspired by her to make my time meaningful, elevate those around me and make the most of my journey.  This is a wake-up call to me.

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Be good to others, be good to yourself.

Why Can’t I Slow Down And Enjoy My Life?

“Slow down and appreciate what’s good in your life.” These are the final words that Brittany Maynard said to the reporter from People Magazine. The article was about her decision to end her life due to her having incurable cancer.

Wise words from a 29 year old. This didn’t become her philosophy when she found out she was sick. This was her lifestyle her entire life. She lived each and every day to the fullest. She probably did more in her short years on this earth then many do who live a much longer time.

When you think about your own life, how are you doing in this area? The area that addresses getting the most out of all you do.

Someone told me when I was very young that unless you are really ‘present’, the experiences you have aren’t fully experienced.  Being young, this was lost on me. NOT ANY MORE!

I really try to pay attention to my surroundings. I try to be aware and observant of the sounds, the smells and the joys around me. I tend to see positive, not negative things. I tend to find as many blessings that can be found.

I have been called a Pollyanna, or someone whose head is in the sand. However, that doesn’t bother me. I know the world can be a scary place. I understand that bad things happen to good people.

I am NOT unaware of evil, nor am I so naive that I think everyone has good intentions. What I am, though, is someone who chooses NOT to have that interfere with or ruin my life. And, since I am a relatively happy person who is relatively well-adjusted and living a satisfying life, I honestly am good with my views.

When you look at your own life. When you think about your ‘happy and appreciation factor’,  how are you doing?

Perhaps you might benefit from Brittany’s wisdom: “Slow down and appreciate what’s good in your life.” That is, while you can.

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Rest in peace Brittany. You left this world a little bit better. Thank you.

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How Do I Let The People In My Life Know How Important They Are to Me?

A very good friend and I spent a little time this week texting our appreciation of each other. Nothing too long or too involved. We simply wrote how lucky we both felt to have each other as a friend. We made mention of the fact that we have been there for each other during challenges as well as celebrations.

It felt good at the time, but what surprises me is that it stayed with me for many days. I see all the time, various FB acknowledgements of appreciations and blessings regarding family and friends. Most of them are generic. More often than not, the person posting will say, “And you know who you are.”

So, this got me thinking. How are you doing in the personal compliment department? A phone call, a text, an email, or better yet, an in-person chat. When was the last time you thanked an individual for supporting you, or giving you a shoulder to cry on?

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I believe most of us don’t take enough time to let the people in our lives really know how much we value them. And, if I am wrong and you are someone who does share your gratitude with your loved ones, pat yourself on the back.

A mass email or FB post is nice, however a message sent directly to an individual who has made a positive difference in your life has much more meaning and value to that person.

Try it. What you will most likely find out is that it will make that person’s day as well as your own. I know it made my day.

What are your thoughts?

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.