Viewing entries tagged
positive thinking


"Pain Is Inevitable; Suffering Is Optional..." (Quote by Haruki Murakami)

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(1 minute, 52 second read)

The Buddha taught that suffering arises when we have attachments to things that we desire. Whether this is in material objects, relationships, or various pleasure in life, the issue is that everything is transient and ultimately, loss is inevitable. We cannot always have the "thing" we want to buy, the trip we want to take, the person who doesn't love us back or that "not-good-for-us-but-wonderful-something" that we wish we could eat, drink, ingest or do.

Buddhism also teaches us that the only constant is change. As long as we draw breath, nothing about our lives is fixed or permanent. When you desire something, you are attempting to control it or make it happen

This is going against the forces of the universe and is a recipe for anxiety, depression, frustration, disappointment and other unpleasant emotions when you are not able to have or achieve that which you desire. This is the cause of suffering.

It is virtually impossible to completely eliminate desire. You can desire water when you're thirsty or food when you're hungry. The conundrum is that when you try to stop desiring something, you're still desiring to stop desiring.

What is most important is to eliminate attachment and desire as much as possible. This is how to end suffering and find true freedom from all anxieties, worries, and troubles.

When I first heard this idea, I thought, "How are we not supposed to feel attached to our children or other loved ones?" It took a while for me to realise that we can love without attachment because they're like comparing apples and frogs. They're not at all the same. We can love our children (and others) for who and what they are without feeling attached to a desire for those relationships to be a certain way.

Sometimes it means letting go of people you love, even if it's your children or other family members. Staying attached to a relationship that isn't working will only bring distress and toxicity to your life.

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One significant game-changer in releasing attachment and suffering is in the stories we tell ourselves. A relationship breaks up and we say things like, "I'll never find someone so wonderful again." Or "I'll never be happy again." Or "I'll never get over this."

As long as you choose to think such negative thoughts, you're right, you'll never be happy or find that "someone wonderful." It is up to you to create positive thoughts and to focus on good possibilities and keep your vibration high so you can attract like-minded positive people and situations that will light up your life.

Let go of your negative thinking. Let go of the sad-sack stories. Focus on the good in your life and stop fretting about the past or worrying about the future, for neither exists. The only reality is this present moment, this one, right here, right now. You can choose to make it a happy, positive, blessed moment of gratitude in your life. Or you can suffer through it by dwelling on what's wrong, what you're lacking or will never have.

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Feeling Uncertain About Your Future?

I know how it is to feel like you’re immersed in nothing but question marks. Whether it happened suddenly or by stealth, your life seems to have taken a turn down a road that’s dark and thick with trees so you can’t get a glimpse of what lies ahead.

It can leave you feeling uncertain about everything and fearful about not knowing what lies ahead.

But the truth is, we never know what lies ahead, not beyond the very moment in which we are standing. We make plans and we think that they’ll turn out as we expect. Even though we know sometimes it doesn’t happen like that, usually we keep moving forward on the assumption that things will go according to plan.

And we’re shocked when they don’t. Or we’re hurt or feel like we’ve failed. Or we’re afraid because we feel like we don’t have any control over our lives.

In reality, control is an illusion. It’s really just about having a plan and believing it’s going to go as you want. But other things come into play and things happen that you hadn’t anticipated, or perhaps you had but you thought you might be able to stop them.

You have this moment, and only this moment. The only truth that exists is the one that you experience right now. 

Everything can change in the next five minutes or the next breath. Things come out of the blue; life happens and the only thing we know for sure is that change is a given.

When you feel like you can’t stand the not knowing, just remember that you never really ‘know’ anyway. You’ve only got a plan, but there’s never any guarantee that it will turn out as you want it to do. 

When you accept this and just be open to going with the flow and seeing how it will all turn out, you’ve done yourself the biggest favour in the world. Now you don’t have disappointment, because you’ve given up expectation. Now you don’t have fear of the unknown because you’re happy to see whatever comes and view it as an adventure.


When you feel lost, it’s all about your perspective. You don’t really know any more or less for having a plan or not - because life will continue to unfold as it’s going to do. Be at peace with this moment and the rest will take care of themselves. 

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If Your Words Are Not Helpful, Keep Them to Yourself

I really can't stand negative and fearful talk. I don't see any point in it. What good can possibly come from that? None. But it can cause a whole lot of damage.

I've known a few people like that in my life. It's one thing to have a conversation with someone about specific concerns during the decision-making process, when many factors need to be taken into account. But once there is a decision, there is absolutely no point in going on and on about all the possible things that could go wrong.

The only thing worse than offering an unsolicited opinion is offering an unsolicited opinion that is destructive, whether or not that was the intent. Speaking without specifically having positive intentions is a dangerous road to travel.

It sucks when there you are, already doing battle with your fears, shoving them aside as best you can, when people start launching them back in your face. What if this doesn't work? What if that fails? What are you going to do if...

Maybe you've now got yourself into something that you can't easily undo, and you must carry on with your plan. But there are those Negative Nellies who seem to think it's necessary to keep feeding your fears. For some reason, they keep asking, "What if your worst fear comes true??"

Or perhaps you have an idea, a dream. Bravely, you share your excitement and your plans with someone. And the response is, "That will never work." Or "What's the point?" or "You wouldn't be able to do that."

Your heart sinks. You feel deflated. You agree, "What's the point?" and you give up before you've even tried.

There will always be those people who burst your bubble, or who focus on fear and pessimism, and who feed these to you as often as they can get you to choke them down. I'm sure it's their own fears, failures, shattered dreams and bad experiences that make them say such things.

But whatever it is that drives them to do this, you must never let anyone else shoot you down. Tell them how you feel. Tell them to keep their negativity to themselves and if they have nothing good to say, nothing positive, useful, helpful - or at least innocuous - then tell them not to bother saying anything at all.

Negative, fearful talk just weighs people down, holds them back, and keeps them stuck. And if you are one of those people who just has to fret and worry out loud, telling people all the things they should be fearing, or that might go wrong, or if you keep offering unsolicited negative opinions, stop.

It's one thing to raise legitimate concerns. It's another to keep harping on all the negatives after a decision has been made.

Be positive. Be uplifting. Be encouraging. Especially if you know the listener is already concerned about the same issues and is trying to move forward and overcome the obstacles. Your added negativity will only make the situation worse.

As humans, we are already primed and ready to be fearful, to worry, or to be anxious, and especially when it comes to anything pertaining to our survival. Fear takes away our power, and when we feel disempowered, we become less productive, more stressed and more anxious.

When someone keeps reminding you that you might fail, or that everything will go wrong, it's easy to slide into that kind of thinking, making it oh, so much easier to attract the thing you fear the most because you are no longer feeling strong or confident. And that can affect your ability to make good decisions.

It is not loving or helpful to remind people that their biggest fear might become a reality. If you have to say anything at all, give them strength by encouraging them, focusing on their strengths, or strategizing about how to handle potential pitfalls. Remind them of their courage and their ability to stay calm and focused. Help them find solutions. Focus on the possibilities and remind them that they are powerful, resourceful people.

If what you have to say in any conversation is not going to be helpful, or at least innocuous, then keep it to yourself.

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Your Words Don't Tell the Whole Story...

Think about the people in your life...just take a moment and contemplate anyone who comes to mind, whether they're positive thoughts or negative ones...

Go ahead; think of a few more. The ones who make you want to tear your hair out, the ones you want to see all the time, the ones you avoid like the plague... just briefly think of each one and move on to the next...

Did you get a good sampling? I hope so.

Now, what happened while you were doing that? I'll bet you were thinking about how each one made you feel. You'd remember one and feel all oatmealy (warm and mushy), you'd think of another and feel your blood begin to boil, and there were probably some in between, or even a bit of both.

You were not likely thinking about this or that specific thing that they did with you or for you. As your memory took you from one person to the next, you wouldn't have been thinking about them at all. Chances are, you were just feeling about them. Because that's what's important to us.

When you leave the lives of people with whom you've interacted, whether for three days, two weeks, or by moving, drifting apart, or departing this Earthly existence, first and foremost, you will be remembered for how they felt because of the way you treated them. The specific memories will come next.

The way you treat people will leave an impression, and it is the most important element in any sort of relationship, no matter what that relationship is. It might only be your occasional dealings with a little old lady you see in the village as she's walking her dog. It could be your sister or your neighbour or the grouchy man who runs the post office.

Have you ever been itching to share your favourite places or events with people who didn't really want to go? But you said "Pretty please" or maybe you didn't - but at any rate, they finally agreed to go, and you could tell they hated every minute of it?

Or have you ever been with people who said and did all the right things, perhaps they fed and housed you, or had to drive you to appointments or whatever, but you felt that it was out of obligation and you just knew they didn't really want to do it?

I'm sure that like most people, you can relate to these and other similar situations. And no doubt when you remember those situations, the first thing you do is remember how you felt. It doesn't matter whether those people showed up, attended the event with you, said please and thank you, said it's no trouble at all, or insisted they were happy to help.

The only thing that you're really left with are feelings that aren't very nice. 

Words don't always say very much. Imagine this: A man gazes lovingly at his wife while she reads the paper. He reaches over and lays his hand gently on her arm. Softly, he says, "I love you, honey.

She looks up from her paper, turns to him and you can see her face soften into a warm smile as she says, "I love you, too." You might guess how he feels in that moment. What a lucky guy!

Now same scenario again. Husband gazes at wife, loving rests his hand on her arm and says he loves her. She doesn't look up from her paper. She continues reading. There's a noticeable pause and he's not sure she heard him but before he can repeat it, and without looking up from her paper, she says in a tone as flat as a pancake, " you, too."

He's probably not as happy as the other guy.

It's not what you do for people; it's how you do it. It's not what you say; it's how you say it. Is it with a sour attitude? Is it with "I'll get you for this" in your mind? Or is it with a loving heart, and a willingness to bring joy to someone's life?

The size of the gesture is irrelevant. Whether or not it's something huge and expensive and time-consuming, or something very teeny like remembering a favourite little treat.

It is not what you do for someone, or what you say that is important. It is how you do whatever you do, or how you say whatever you say that matters, because that is what will trigger an emotional response in the person on the receiving end of it.

Think about how you would like to be remembered and let this be reflected in all you say and do.

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Your Perspective Changes Everything

Once upon a time, there was a man who was traveling on a pleasantly warm day. He walked for many miles and eventually saw a little house at the side of the road, where there was a woman working in the garden.

"Good morning, Ma'am," the traveller called with a cheerful grin.

The woman looked up from her work. Peering at the man suspiciously from under her sunhat, she squinted in response.

"I'm just on my way to the next town," he continued without missing a beat.  "I was wondering, could you tell me, please, what kind of people I'll find when I get there?"

The woman's face puckered as if she'd just eaten acid-covered lemons. "Oh, they're awful!" she said, shaking her head in disgust.

"Really?" said the man in surprise, waiting to hear more. But the woman returned to her work in silence.

After a few moments, the man went on. "What's so awful about them?"

Frowning and pursing her lips, the woman looked up with an exasperated sigh, obviously not appreciating the interruption. "They're terrible. They're miserable, unfriendly. You can't trust 'em as far as you can throw 'em! You'd do well to stay away and go somewhere else!" she warned.

"Well!" said the man, raising his eyebrows.  "Thank you very kindly. I wish you a good day."

"It'll be just as awful as those people are! I have all this work to do, and in this blistering heat, too!" she scowled.

The man nearly disputed her comment on the weather, as it was only pleasantly warm. But he thought better of it, tipped his hat and carried on.

A little while later, he came upon another little house at the side of the road. A woman sat on her front porch, rocking in an old chair with a cat in her lap.

"Good morning, Ma'am!" he called.

"Oh, good morning to you, sir!" she called back. Gently putting the kitty on the porch, she rose and walked down the path to meet him. "I'll bet you could use a cool drink," she offered, opening the gate.

"Why, yes, Ma'am, I really could. Thank you," he replied.

"Please sit down in the shade on the porch and I'll be back in a minute," she offered, gesturing toward her chair.

The woman returned a few moments later with two tall glasses of icy lemonade, "Where are you headed, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Oh, just up the road to the next town," he replied. "Tell me, what kind of people will I find when I get there?"

"Oh, they're lovely!" the woman enthused. "Very kind and helpful! The friendliest people you could hope to meet anywhere!"

Sipping on his lemonade, the man smiled.

(Photo courtesy of Johan Stydom, 

Delicious Bits

The smell of freshly mown grass. Or lilacs, roses or freesia. Or my favourite - star-gazer lilies. Their powerful scent is intoxicating and fills a room for several days.

Bread baking, or a spice cake full of ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Or rich chocolate brownies, warm and gooey just out of the oven.

A slice of lemon - oh, and eating the whole thing like an orange... yummmm... I know, it's not for everyone but my mouth waters every time I think of it. I love sour and am not keen on sweet except in small doses now and then.

Crisp, just barely ripe Macintosh or Granny Smith apples - oh, my... how I love them but they do not love me so I cannot eat them. But I do still love that delightfully fresh scent.

The crackling of a fire, quietly glowing and warming those near enough to enjoy its hypnotic dance. The silent drifting of huge, fat, fluffy flakes of snow, falling softly against a moonlit backdrop of winter.

The soft and sweet warmth of a little scrap of life in the form of a kitty, curled up and sleeping on my lap or nestled against my chest as I lie on my side...I miss this more than many things; it is not possible for me to have a kitty right now but I cuddle other people's kitties sometimes and let me pretend that they're mine.

Being curled up under a thick duvet in a darkened room, early in the morning and listening to the soft, steady sound of a summer rain lullaby. Pulling the duvet up a little higher, snuggling down a little deeper, knowing you can lie there as long as you want and listen to the sweet music outside...

Gazing at water, a lake with swans and geese gliding across it like tiny feathered sailboats. Watch them long enough and you become transfixed. Or an ocean, with beautiful waves gently rolling toward the shore, one after another, their rhythmic splashing against the sand the sweetest music you've ever heard.

The feel of your sleeping child's even breath kissing your neck as you hold that little person close, stroking silky soft hair and so filled with love you think you'll burst.

Warm sun on my skin, gentle, like a hug from the universe. Cheery little birds, going about their bird business as they chat and sing amongst themselves, decorating the air with pretty notes that drift and float. 

The sounds of certain words, especially Italian or Spanish words. They can make even the nastiest thing sound romantic, erotic, sensuous.  

Music. Sweet, sweet music.... found in words of love or the most tender caresses. Laughter, blissful smiles, a joyful heart singing a crystal clear, sparkling melody.

Hugs. Wonderful, squooshy, celebratory, passionate, warm, consoling, excited, I hurt more than I can stand it, I love you more than you know, I'm so happy to meet you, delicious hugs, hugs for every occasion, create an occasion to have a hug, have several and enjoy every perfect moment and let them heal your wounded soul.

Berries. Mmm, berries. Big, juicy strawberries, so sweet, and raspberries, or plump and perky little blueberries, bursting in your mouth.  

Water. Fresh, beautiful clear water, icy cold, life-giving, rejuvenating as it slides down your parched throat on a busy day, a dry day, a hot day - just any day.

Water. Hot, steaming, bubbling and scented as you slide your weary body into a huge tub and soak away all your troubles, your stresses, your aches and your pains. Thinking only of how wonderful it feels to lie there, in quiet candlelight as you rest a while.

Waking up and having been given another day. A glorious gift. Too precious for words. And the best way to acknowledge that gift is to spend as much of it in enjoyment and awareness of life's beauty and magic as you can manage.

They're everywhere.  All you have to do is notice.



"A Journey of a Thousand Miles..."

It is said that, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  This is attributed to Lao-Tzu, a brilliant Chinese philosopher who wrote a lot about the Tao.  More correctly, the proper translation from Chinese is "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet."

I love both of these statements.  At first glance, they might seem to have almost identical meanings.  They are thought to be interchangeable but in fact, each is quite different from the other.

Let's take a look at the less-well-known but correct translation first.  "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet."  This is such a beautiful statement.  It's filled with optimism and hope.  It's about looking at where you are, right here, right now, accepting what is, accepting where you're standing now, and not looking behind you, leaving the past where it belongs.

It's about seeing what needs to change in yourself or your life.  It's about preparing for forward movement, for growth.  It's brilliant.  It's exciting.  It's empowering.  It's filled with anticipation.

It leads straight to the more widely known version:  "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  This is also very beautiful.  It teaches patience, determination and perseverance in the face of a goal that seems so far away.  It teaches gentleness in the art of change.  You don't have to do it all at once.

It offers hope and encouragement to anyone who is on a difficult path, especially when there is the temptation to give up, or not even start in the first place.

Being aware of what's beneath your feet, and what's at that thousand-mile point will help you to decide where to place your foot with that first step, and all the others that follow.  That first step begins taking you away from where you are now, from what lies beneath your feet.

And if you just keep lifting your foot and putting it down, one foot in front of the other, you will continue to move further away from where you are now, and with each step, a little closer to where you want to be.

Do not fear putting your foot down in the wrong place.  This happens sometimes when you look down at your feet, rather than ahead at your destination but you can correct the problem.  Keep focused on the destination; your feet will follow your eyes.

First:  take a good look at what lies beneath your feet.  Where are you now?  What do you need to accept about your situation?  What is your current reality?  What do you want to change about it?

Second:  It begins with that first step.  Once you know your destination and you have a clear vision of it in your mind, lift a foot and set it down again.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other and in time, you will be where you want to be.

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Positively Positive

I don't read the paper.  I don't listen to the news.  In fact, I'll go a step further.  I won't read the paper and I won't listen to the news.  There's so much torment and tragedy, murder and misery, nothing but story after story about man's inhumanity to man, about horrible accidents, Acts of God that cause death and destruction.  Do I really need to hear every possible rotten, awful thing that has happened out there?  Does it add anything to my life? Will I be worse off for not knowing about these terrible incidents?


I figure that if there's anything I really need to know, like the sky is falling or Armageddon's happening after dinner on Tuesday, someone will tell me.  I told a journalist friend once that I thought I ought to start up a newspaper that was full of only good news.  He said it wouldn't sell because people want the blood and guts (my words, not his, but that was the general idea).  He said good news doesn't (or wouldn't) sell papers.

I think it would.  Some of us want to be surrounded by positivity.  Some of us want to know the good news, the happy events, the wonderful moments and miracles that are happening in the world.  Some of us want to be uplifted by the beauty that exists in the perfect stories of love and kindness that are taking place around us, especially when they happen between strangers.

Some of us prefer to be connected with light and lovely positive energy that allows growth and movement, rather than heavy, oppressive negative energy that keeps us stuck and stagnant

I refuse to give attention to the negatives in my life or my environment, above and beyond what is absolutely essential in order to deal with certain issues.  Beyond that, negative thoughts are chased away and replaced by positive ones.  If I find myself wandering into contemplations about anything that is distressing or upsetting - particularly if it's nothing I am able to change - I dismiss it, focusing instead on what I want - and not on what I don't want

I've spent - or rather wasted - far too much of my life enduring and choking on negatives already.  I refuse to give that rubbish any more of my precious moments because they would only harm me.  They would not add anything to my life; they would only take from it.  Well, they would if I let them.  But I won't.

Instead, I am immersed in sparkling, radiant, shimmering, positive energy of the purest kind. I will not feed the demons that thrive on negative energy; I let them starve to death, bloody tormentors that they wish they could be, if only I would allow them to ravage my life the way they used to do.  They tore and clawed at it until it was in shreds, lapping at the dark red pools beneath the carcass of any dreams I might have had.

No, there is no room for them in my life, my heart, any part of my being and they are unwelcome beasts.  I have banished them from the sacred space that is Me.  I am far more powerful than they could ever hope to be and they shall not destroy me again, nor shall I allow any more destruction of my time in this life.

Why would I choose to do anything else?  Unless, of course, I had some burning desire to destroy my own life, my own happiness and wellbeing.

I have complete control over what I think and how I respond to anyone or anything.  I have complete control in deciding where to focus my attention and energy.  I can choose to make my life better - or worse.

I know what I'm choosing.  How about you?


Tigger Is My Hero

 "Hallooooooooo!" as my enthusiastic hero would say, whilst bouncing into the room on his spring-coiled tail.

If you haven't had the pleasure of 'meeting' Tigger, you don't know what you're missing.  He's one of the best role models on the planet.  He came bouncing (on his tail, coiled into a spring) into the Hundred Acre Wood one day, bringing with him a colourful burst of energy and a zest for life that Christopher Robin's friends had never seen before.  "I'm Tigger!" he announced.  "T- I- double-guh-err.  Tigger!"

He sums himself up quite well in the Tigger song... (Do yourself a favour and enjoy this delightful one minute video before reading further!)

One of Winnie-the-Pooh's best friends, Tigger is about as extroverted and cheerful as anyone can be.  Occasionally, there is one mishap or another because of his excessive enthusiasm, or his overly optimistic beliefs about what he can do - without ever having tried, and when he does, it often goes awry.

All the others who live with him in the Hundred Acre Wood have varying reactions to his boisterous bouncing.  Pooh is patient and tolerant of pretty much anyone and anything.  Easy-going and non-judgemental, he accepts Tigger for who he is, including his faults (and Tigger is not aware of any of them).

Always saying that Tigger is very large, Piglet is a little nervous in his presence (but then, he's always a little nervous about something).  He's never quite sure what Tigger is going to do next and worries that he'll cause some terrible disaster (because...well, it's a common occurrence!).

Roo looks up to Tigger with hero-worshipping adoration. Eeyore, as gloomy and depressed as anyone could be while still drawing breath, is quietly envious, wishing he could be as happy as Tigger but believing - and accepting - that misery is his lot in life.

And then there's Rabbit. Not all sweet and cuddly like you'd think someone called Rabbit should be. Oh, no. He's a curmudgeon of the first order. As curmudgeonly as they come. Short-tempered and irritable on his best days, he's got absolutely no patience for Tigger's enthusiasm and bouncing and is always telling him to go away, or stop bouncing, or both. But Tigger is oblivious to Rabbit's dislike of him. He carries on being his lovable Tigger Self, unaware that his effervescence is driving Rabbit over the edge.

One day, Tigger excitedly bounces his way through Rabbit's garden, accidentally ruining it while innocently being himself. Thoroughly fed up, Rabbit devises a plan to lose Tigger once and for all in the misty woods. But Rabbit is the one who ends up lost (and frightened - and with a lot to think about) when it is Tigger who rescues him "...because Tiggers never get lost!"

And aren't we lucky that they don't! Think of the Tiggers in your life. You know the ones. Those delightfully cheerful, ever-optimistic people who brighten up even the most miserably dark day, sometimes just with a few bubbly words and a big, broad smile. Or those playful, childlike people who love a good dose of silliness, and who do their best to make you giggle. How do they do it? How do they put on those big smiles and seem so genuinely happy all the time? Don't they have problems, too?

Of course they do. And Tigger does, too. He takes a lot of criticism and gets a lot of grief from his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, and bad things happen to him, just as they do to his friends. But he's got a great attitude. If things ever get him down, he refuses to stay there. He chooses to look at the bright side, to focus on finding the joy in life, to see the good in all situations. He's a brilliant role model for children and adults alike.

Many of us could stand to be a lot more like Tigger. Personally speaking, I work at that every day.

And to that, my fuzzy striped hero would say, with his big Tigger smile, and an even bigger Tigger bounce, "Woo-hoo-hoo-HOOOOOOO!!"

Need A Dream? Get One. The Dream Store Is Always Open.

Do you have a dream? Maybe even a few? I hope so. But I know it's possible that you don't.

Perhaps you had one that died. And if that's the case, what happened to it? Did you or someone else kill it? Or did it die from neglect?

It is our natural state to dream. Little kids are always fantasizing, dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up They use their imaginations and make up games all the time. They're creative, inventive, loaded with ideas and possibilities.


Somewhere along the way, after a lot of disillusionment and crushing disappointment, they turned around and saw that their dreams had disappeared. There was no more fantasizing. No more believing in possibilities, or even in themselves. Their journeys had become flat, lifeless, boring.

So one pointless step after another, they plod on through life, shoulders drooping, head hanging, wondering why they should bother at all, except to get the bills paid and muddle through the long string of unexciting, uninspiring days that lie ahead.

Insert a dream into that picture, a vision for something wonderful, something fulfilling and rewarding that lies ahead and you get a completely different feeling.

Suddenly, everything has colour again. There is a reason to get through those days. There is excitement, anticipation, planning and hoping. Everything looks brighter because life has meaning and purpose again.

When you have dreams, they'll always be a reflection of some big part of who you are. In pursuing those dreams, you're on a path that leads you to greater self-awareness, self-expression and creativity.

With each new dream you have, you discover even more about yourself. You explore, reach, stretch, and get a little closer to becoming all you're meant to be.

As a hypnotist, I've seen some pretty amazing things that can be achieved in the body because of the power of the mind. So even if you have a dream that you think is impossible, keep dreaming, even if for no other reason than "it feels good." It transports you to a beautiful, happy place, alters the chemistry in your body and lifts your spirits.

We have enough misery in life; it's great to have some fun and be on the lookout for happiness wherever we can find it. So what if you're 68 years old and everyone thinks you're nuts to still dream of being a rock star someday? Put on those leathers, strap on your guitar and scream till you're hoarse, all the while envisioning the sea of faces in front of you, the tens of thousands who have come to hear your music.

Have you forgotten how to dream? I've been there - more than once. For most of my life, every dream I ever had was blown to smithereens so I gave up bothering after a while. I went so long without having one, I didn't even think about them any more.

But then I changed my life. And suddenly, dreams began to spring up again out of nowhere. Now I'm actively digging for them and I've got so many, I can't keep track. They motivate me, inspire me, encourage me as I'm motoring along through my insanely busy life. They are the reason I work crazy hours and have my hand in so many pots, I've lost count.

My days revolve around pursuing my dreams, which makes me happier than I could ever begin to describe. I'm truly blessed in that everything I do for "work" is just a natural part of who I am, so it doesn't feel like work. I'm just living somewhere on the continuum of my dreams which have been realised to a great extent in some ways, but not in others - yet! - and I look forward to watching them unfold.

Having been dreamless for such a long time, it makes me even more appreciative for the many dreams I have now, especially as I'm seeing them become my reality. I don't even care about the ones that died or were beaten to death so long ago.

I wish that at those times, I'd have seen that I just needed to get a new dream. I wouldn't have suffered so much, wouldn't have felt that terrible aching loss and the emptiness that go with grieving for something that never will be.

But that was before I knew any better.

I don't want to hear about how it hurts to dream and have it be taken from you. Stop dwelling on the past. Just because previous dreams were shattered, it doesn't mean the next one will be, too. And if it is, you'll survive.

If you don't have a dream right now, get one. You can go to the Dream Store. It never closes. There's an endless selection of dreams, in every shape, colour and magnitude imaginable. And guess what? Dreams are free. They let you take as many as you want. They don't even care if you stuff your pockets with them, only to take them home and stash them away for later.

Okay.  Now you know there's no excuse for not having a dream.  If you don't have one, do yourself a really enormous favour today, before you go to bed tonight. Go on now. Get yourself a dream.