Posts Tagged inspiration
Open your mental windows. Let your attitude bathe in the sunshine of optimism. Don’t worry about the possibility of sunburn.
That’s a pretty corny metaphor. Just imagine, however, what would happen if every chronic pessimist on the planet took this advice.
The cost of healthcare would plummet. There would be fewer traffic accidents. The unemployment rate would nose dive. The average human life span would increase by five or ten years. These are just a few of the likely outcomes of a few billion upgraded attitudes.
My optimistic attitude is based on the belief that at the very center of the universe in which we live there dwells a loving kindness that cares about our happiness and well-being.
When I choose to believe and to feel this way, life becomes easier.
Through the eyes of optimism, I see the world as a place full of endless possibilities to express myself positively.
There is a voice in my head that tries to convince me otherwise. I suspect I am not the only person who hears this derisive, discouraging voice. The only difference between most of us in this regard, it seems to me, is how we deal with this voice.
I used to believe the discouraging voice in my head was a friendly voice. I believed it was there to warn me not to try things I couldn’t or shouldn’t do. It has taken a lot of growing through painful experience to learn the critical voice was not my friend most of the time.
On the surface, it would seem an easy task to learn the difference between healthy self-restraint and the paralyzing fear engendered by an over-abundance of self-criticism. Perhaps the messages a person hears as a child from parents and teachers makes a difference in the way he or she responds to their inner critic. A strong self-image provides a safe haven from the twin sirens of doubt and fear.
I have found it helps to express your fears to a friend or to a mental health professional to get an objective view of your thoughts as they relate to accomplishing goals. Most fears, when expressed out in the open, prove to be phantoms made of irrational thinking.
The dream in your heart needs to be nurtured with positive, reinforcing thoughts in order for it to manifest into a concrete reality. It takes a persistent, consistent effort to escape the prison of the jailing voice of discouragement.
Being optimistic is an act of loving yourself and your possibilities. It is an act of flying above the clouds of doubt.
Personal fulfillment and the joy of helping others flow from the fountainhead of optimism.
An attitude of optimism leads to an active life of freedom.
Opportunities for growth and prosperity surround us constantly. Smile. Open your heart and embrace these gifts as they come your way. The loving force at the center of life beckons you to become your highest, happiest, and best self.
I am a guitar string waiting to be plucked.
back and forth.
a pen to write on me.
I am a candle waiting to burst into flame.
When will it happen?
When will I see the clouds break?
When will the sun rain down golden drops
of life-sustaining energy upon the fields?
When will the baby shoots push their heads
above the soil?
When will the gates of heaven open?
When will the smile of God cause
every living thing to grow straight and tall?
Not before I am ready for it to happen.
What you believe to be your upper limit is only the cracked ceiling you have been staring at for too long. You can go higher—Guaranteed.
Surrendering to self-doubt is the same thing as making a deal with the devil. Instead, make a deal with your dream and soar.
God never says, “I hear ya’ knockin’ but you can’t come in.” Keep knocking.
If you want to be great, stop trying to fit in.
The greatest challenge is to enjoy the process of getting from here to there.
Don’t judge yourself by the bad things you’ve done. Focus on the good thing you are about to begin.
Get to know the genius inside you on a first name basis.
It is necessary to develop a tough mind as we mature, but not at the expense of a sensitive heart.
The secret to lasting happiness is a heart full of love connected to a mind full of positive thoughts.
We are all born with a natural curiosity to explore the world around us and the world within ourselves. This innate curiosity is often most evident in children. As we grow older, there is a tendency to lose touch with this curiosity as survival needs, responsibilities, and pressures to conform literally choke the life out of our thirst to know more.
Nature hates a vacuum. If we are not moving forward, we are automatically moving backward, even though it may seem we are standing still. Within us, there is an urge to expand. We must make a conscious choice to move forward; to expand. If we don’t, the default choice of moving backward and becoming smaller will automatically be engaged.
It takes an act of will to grow, to reach your highest potential. It takes courage, determination, and perseverance to blaze your own path. But the rewards, in terms of personal satisfaction, far outweigh the risks.
Self-determination, self-actualization, and freedom require, along with the above, discretion, discernment, and self-examination. You were born to be a pioneer, an innovator, a creative force for your own happiness and the people around you. The path stretches ahead as far as you can see. You only need to take the first step; then travel down that road, one step at a time.
How do you begin? Ask your heart. It is your compass. It will never lead you in the wrong direction. Your heart may tell you things that make no sense. Trust your heart. Have faith in yourself and in life. And have the courage to follow your heart’s desire every day towards more enthusiasm and joy in your life.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. In my opinion, it requires a relationship with a higher power to have the strength and discernment to become your highest, best, and happiest self. In my experience, the best way to foster this relationship is through prayer, meditation, and study. Ask for the things your soul wants and then be ready to receive them.
Chaz Mena is a man of passion. Whether it is creating roles for the stage and screen or spending time with family and friends, there is nothing this forty-one year old, Cuban-American actor does half way.
Chaz was born and raised in Miami, Florida where his earliest memories included scenes of his parents and grandparents telling each other stories of daily life in their long lost homeland of Cuba. Today, the population of South Florida is predominantly Spanish speaking. A large segment of the Hispanic population is Cuban-American. This is the exact opposite of the situation in the early Sixties. At the time, the first waves of Cuban exiles were literally lost in America. Chaz remembers “coming alive” when listening to the colorful stories his family members acted out on the front porch of their two story home in “Little Havana.” In hindsight, Mena realizes that telling these stories in a theatrical style enabled his family members to reconnect with their history and culture. These childhood experiences and an innate drive to tell a story that creates a shared experience have made Chaz Mena the man he is today.
After completing an MFA in Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, Mena arrived back in Miami with eighty thousand dollars in debts from his undergraduate and graduate studies. Even worse, he didn’t have a single lead or personal contact that might lead to gainful employment. It took a full week of sleeping in bed and the encouragement of wife, Ileana, before Mena was able to face the situation. He had been brought up to be a man of action rather than words. This led him to bravely pursue his childhood dream of becoming an actor without worrying about the consequences. Now, the first of many gut-wrenching reality checks Chaz Mena would have to learn to deal with waited unannounced on his doorstep.
By working odd jobs, Mena scraped together a nest egg of three thousand dollars. He set sail for New York City to establish himself as a legitimate, working actor. Chaz leased an apartment and began searching for an agent and acting roles. A few months later, Mena was penniless. All he had to show for his earnest efforts was a case of walking pneumonia. Then, serendipity or something akin to Divine Intervention changed Mena’s fortunes. While auditioning for a stage role, Chaz met the manager of the Spanish Repertoire Theater. The manager, whose name was Gilberto, recognized Mena’s family name. It turned out Gilberto had gone to college with Chaz’s father. He liked the father and enjoyed having his son, who bore a striking resemblance to Gilberto’s old college mate, around. “It made him feel young again,” Mena explains. So Chaz became a regular member of the theater company, which gave him the opportunity to play as many as six roles at a time in classical and contemporary Spanish speaking plays written by Spanish playwrights.
The Spanish Repertoire Theater was the vehicle that launched Mena’s career. He began landing roles on TV and in Independent films. Mena was now living his dream as a respected and well-reviewed New York actor. Yet something was still missing.
Mena says he felt like “a fisherman constantly casting his line for roles with no real anchor. “ It isn’t hard to understand this statement since most actors live from role to role in their working life. One night, as Chaz was lamenting about the situation to his best friend Juan Carlos, something amazing happened. Instead of commiserating with Mena, Juan Carlos came up with an inspired idea. He knew Chaz had been, from early boyhood, a fan and avid reader of the work of Jose Marti, a 19th century Cuban Poet, Humanist, and Revolutionary. Juan Carlos suggested that Chaz write a one man play about Marti and act the role of the man whose ideas were instrumental in helping Cuba win independence from Spanish colonization.
Chaz’s response to his friend’s idea might have been, “Are you kidding?” if not for the fact that Juan Carlos was a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Humanities Council. All Chaz needed was his resume, some head shots, and of course, the play, Juan Carlos explained. He chose to ignore the fact that Chaz had never written anything for the stage or screen before in his life. Nevertheless, the next morning, Mena woke up with the first sentence of the play in his head: “Jose is still with us.”
Nowadays, between stage and screen roles, Mena travels to colleges and universities to enact the one man show with the sponsorship of the Florida Humanities council. As part of the presentation, audience members can ask questions and hear a carefully researched answer from the actor who has brought a great historical figure and his ideas to life. Getting into character, Mena expresses a “Martiano” idea: “That which is beautiful is moral. That which is moral is beautiful.”
If you are an educator and would like to invite Jose Marti to your school, please contact Chaz through his web site http://www.chazmena.com/.