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It’s Time to Unite

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s time to unite.

Well, it’s always been time, but more than ever, we need to come together NOW. It’s time to stand together – to stand up for one another. It’s time to confront fear and hate with LOVE.

It’s Time to Unite.

Quick Me Ups It's Time to Unite

Photo: Frerieke

Vitriol has always been around – but with the advent of social media shouting matches, hateful words can now reach farther than ever. People can preach hate hidden behind a computer screen without consequence. Sadly, hateful words seem to carry farther and stronger than words of Love & Acceptance. So we need to outnumber them. We need to outshout them.

It’s Time to Unite.

Humanity’s social advancement is a like a pendulum perched atop a tortoise. While it slowly moves forward as a whole, it constantly swings backward and forward. People vote and fight for the rights of a vulnerable minority, but just as their goal is achieved, some group opposed to said minority acts out…

Let's Improve Through Feedback.

Posted by Zak Reid

Constructive feedback is a powerful tool we can use to improve ourselves. When we’re trying to get better in some aspect of our life, putting a lot of energy into it, and focusing constantly on our advancement, it can sometimes be very difficult to judge our improvement objectively.

With kind, encouraging, honest words, friends and family can be our best source of feedback to help us improve. We can also be a great resource for those we care about.

Let’s Improve Through Feedback.

Bruce-Arians-Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals’ Head Coach Bruce Arians is known to be very transparent and open with his players, while notably caring about each of them – this has been a very successful approach.

“Coach them hard and hug them later.” – Bruce Arians

It’s easy to become defensive when somebody critiques our work, so in order to avoid confrontation, the norm is to avoid this situation altogether. But what happens if we’re learning a skill incorrectly, and nobody corrects us? If you learn the activity wrongly the first time, and repeatedly practice it with errors, it will be much more difficult to correct in the future.

Whereas, if while learning a new skill, somebody brings attention to an error in a kind, compassionate manner, it becomes much easier to correct and grow your craft correctly. The path to excellence becomes suddenly easier to follow.

You can also impart this type of change on someone else’s world.

Please note: I’ve decided to talk about constructive feedback in place of constructive criticism. I’m not talking about criticizing somebody else, so I don’t think that word aptly applies to what compassionate, honest feedback entails.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

An example: I’m currently working on a music project with a number of friends. I’ve made a conscious effort with each one of them to indicate that I welcome constructive feedback, and appreciate and value their input. They have each returned in part, and this allows us to have a much more open and transparent collaboration.

“One of the things I’ve learned is to be receptive of feedback.” – Ben Silbermann

Constructive feedback, when welcomed, may sound something like: “I really like this song; I prefer the melody in the first part if you can find a way to continue that.” – “I think that’s a great page design, but it seems like there is too much information for me at once.” – “I think you play that game very well but it seems like you’re always pressing, have you tried slowing down a touch?”

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Ken Blanchard

If we can identify something we think they’re doing well, and something that can be improved – while leaving them space to make changes as they see fit, it can really help.

I enjoy asking for feedback. It’s so easy to get lost in practice, that we can lose an objective view of ourselves and our task. We can’t even see what we’re doing or how we’re doing it. This is exactly when a fresh set of eyes can help us out.

So let’s ask those around us for feedback, and offer our opinion in turn, if solicited. If we can build trusted feedback network and surround ourselves with positivity, we can become the best version of ourselves.

Let’s Improve Through Feedback.

Everyone Has Their Own Truth.

Posted by QuickMeUps

It seems like the Earth is currently engulfed in arguments. There are religious arguments, geographical disagreements, unrest and frustration. I think one thing  seriously lacking is compassion and understanding.

It can be so easy for us to become consumed by our own viewpoint and belief that only we are correct, which can lead us to completely misunderstand our neighbor. If we each see the world through a unique lens, then of course another life will look strange to us through our lens.

We need to step back for a minute and remember that…

Everyone Has Their Own Truth.

Amish family living a much different life than most of us. Everyone has their own truth.

An Amish family living a much different reality than I do. Photo: OttawaAC

“I feel like when people judge me they’re not judging me, because they don’t know who I am.” – Gisele Bundchen

We each have our own unique set of views and beliefs. My beliefs may be very different than yours, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. We each have our own world and truths.

If I can’t understand your thought process, beliefs, or decisions, one thing I can understand is that you’re following what you believe in. You’re following your truth. I may not understand somebody’s actions, but I also see the world from a much different perspective, so their path will seem distorted from my position.

If I can’t truly understand somebody else’s reality, then why would I be so smug as to pass judgement upon their situation?

It just doesn’t work like that. Each of us have our own truths. We each have a mix of genetics, moods, preconceptions, cultural teachings, and thoughts that influences the morality and logic that we have. What “makes sense” to me may not “make sense” to you.

But that’s OK.
We each have our own truth.

We have different beliefs in the way in which we see the world.

I don’t use the word hate.
I don’t even like saying nor typing it.
I don’t hate anybody.

I wouldn’t hate a child for not being able to drive a car. The child has not grown enough to be able to understand how to drive a car. Spiritually and intellectually this happens everyday. People act upon base emotions, because they’re still in a base position.

So while some people make me very upset, I do not hate them. Even if their actions cause harm to others, I try not to judge them. As wrong as I think some peoples’ actions are, they may come from a very base state, so of course their actions will look extremely wrong to somebody not in the same base evolutionary state.

I don’t carry rancor in my heart.
Hating somebody else hurts us.
I don’t damage me simply because I don’t understand them.

This doesn’t mean that I agree with people hurting one another. This doesn’t mean that we have to accept violence. We can still vote, protest, write, speak and share in opposition to violence, corruption and greed. But we can do all this without hate and judgement in our heart.

So next time you see somebody else with a viewpoint radically different than yours, instead of attacking or fighting with this person, let’s take a moment to realize that while we may strongly dislike their actions, that person is following what they believe in. It may not make sense to us, but let’s try to be compassionate and understanding, just as we would like others to let us live our truths.

“The least amount of judging we can do, the better off we are.” – Michael J. Fox

Everyone Has Their Own Truth.

Hello.

Posted by QuickMeUps

Hi. Hola. Aloha. Salut. Hallo. Ni hao. Konnichiwa. Hello.

Today, let’s say hello. Let’s say hello genuinely. Let’s make an extra effort to say a warm hi to the people we cross paths with. A hello free of the obligation of a response, free of judgement.

Let’s say…… Hello.

Saying hello

A friend from the animal kingdom saying hello. Photo: Rene Mensen

“Send out a cheerful, positive greeting, and most of the time you will get back a cheerful, positive greeting. It’s also true that if you send out a negative greeting, you will, in most cases, get back a negative greeting.” – Zig Ziglar

Hi there. Today I write to simply tell you hello. Let’s give out some great greetings.  Let’s interact warmly with strangers, friends, coworkers, family… everyone our path crosses.

Let’s greet people we see without expecting one in return. If they say hello in response, great, if not, they may have needed the hello more than we realize. Let’s say hi to light up the day of those around us. Join me in making the world a more welcoming place for others.

So, without further ado:
Hello.
I’m happy you’ve made it here today.
I’m happy to share this moment with you.

As normal, after a bit of reflection, I’m feeling Thankful.
So, thank you.

Say hi. Enjoy yourself… remember you Decide your Day.

Say hello. Be welcoming. Smile.

Have a great day!

Hello.  🙂

More Tolerance & Understanding.

Posted by QuickMeUps

You and I are different.
You’re different than your neighbor.
We’re all different, and that’s awesome.
So let’s celebrate our differences.
Let’s embrace different.

Let’s work together for
More Tolerance & Understanding.

Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama holding hands, tolerance. Quick Me Ups

Two amazing, tolerant men: Nelson Mandela & Dalai Lama. Photo: Roland de Bar

“The right of people to differ from us must be preserved.” – Nelson Mandela

Tolerance.

It’s fine that we naturally notice differences in one another. What’s not good is when these differences lead to immediate stereotypes, judging, and even prejudice. You can’t know somebody’s story based upon what they wear or what they believe in.

Closing down and being hostile, or unable to openly converse with somebody because of differences, perceived or real, is not being tolerant. That’s an easy way to create a hostile and unfriendly culture. That’s a sure way to create division and separation.

Tolerance:

“[A] fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.” – Dictionary.com

We’re all different, so let’s celebrate our differences!
Let’s treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated…

“Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

Discrimination and prejudice are a very base emotions. They are easy and comfortable for some. After all, what’s easier than the “they look different than me, I must conquer them” mentality? This unfortunate mentality has plagued humanity for thousands of years (see: religious wars).

As we continue to evolve, I pray that we continue to grow our understanding and acceptance of one another. Understanding and acceptance lead to tolerance, which is a beautiful place to arrive.

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” – Helen Keller

If humanity could be more tolerant it would not only stop religious warring, but it would make regular interaction with strangers more enjoyable. Imagine a world of understanding and tolerance – where you may not agree with your neighbor in the slightest, but you respect one another.

It would allow people to express themselves without worrying about bullying / prejudice / racism / fighting, etc. It would allow us to just be. It would allow peace and harmony.

Nelson Mandela a model for tolerance.

Nelson Mandela: After 27 yrs. in prison he emerged preaching tolerance.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

So lets practice understanding, let’s practice tolerance, let’s practice peace.

The next time we feel judgement bubbling to the surface with assumption and prejudice in tow, let’s try to take a moment and stop. Let’s try to be more understanding. Each person is just trying to live their truth the best they know how.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung

Your tolerance may rub off on your neighbor. It may not. But one thing is certain: if you’re not tolerant, you will never spread tolerance.

In these days of division and fighting, we all need a little more tolerance and understanding. We need to focus not on the things that divide us, but on those that we have in common – pursuit of happiness, family, love, community.

“We don’t need holy wars. What we need is tolerance and brotherhood and simple humanity.” – Arlen Specter

More Tolerance & Understanding.

Let's Give Out Compliments Today.

Posted by Zak Reid

You’re awesome.
You’re unique.
You’re you… and that’s a blessing.

Your neighbor is special. So are you coworkers.
Everybody is awesome in their own individual way, so let’s let as many people know as possible. Join me…

Let’s Give Out Compliments Today.

Teacher Helping a Child to Read with Encouragement - via Quick Me Ups

Some of our earliest praise / encouragement comes from Teachers. Photo: Jeff Johnstone

 It’s the gift that doesn’t cost anything. A few words, a genuine smile and BAM, you just made somebody feel good inside. What a great feeling.

But before we tell everybody else how amazing they are, let’s take a step back and compliment ourselves. As cliché as it may sound, the next time you’re in front of a mirror… I challenge YOU to look YOU in the eyes, and tell YOU that YOU are amazing!

It doesn’t need to be a 12 minute Braveheart speech, by yourself, in the bathroom… a couple words of encouragement will suffice. A quick “you’re very creative” / “you consistently arrive on time” / “you’re hair looks great today” / “you have an awesome smile” / “you would be an amazing super hero”… whatever you feel.

Puppy dog staring in the mirror, hopefully with a compliment! - via Quick Me Ups

“They were right, you ARE a good boy.” Photo: Georgia Pinaud

Compliment Yourself, you can do it!

It’s just as this famous funny woman once said…

Can You Help ONE?

Posted by Zak Reid

Sometimes when we look at world problems, they are so large that they are overwhelming to address. How can one person make a big difference in a world of 7 billion? How can I impart positive change in my time here?

Those are hard questions to answer. There are a few people out there that will sacrifice everything and touch many lives, maybe millions, maybe billions… but for the majority of us, our sphere of influence is much smaller. That’s fine, we don’t all need to be up on the world’s stage.

So why don’t we focus on our attention on a much smaller, more realistic, and attainable goal. What if we try to positively influence one life. To try to make a difference, for the better, in the world of ONE person. Can you? Can you help ONE? 

Helping One Other Person Quick Me Ups - Flickr Peretz Partensky

Helping a Woman Cross the Street. Photo: Peretz Partensky

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer

Life is about perspective. What I see as normal, may be amazing to someone else. What I see as opulent, may be boring and old to another person. Much of our perception depends upon our experiences and how we choose to see the world. I choose to see small gestures and individual reactions as important. I choose to Enjoy the Small Stuff.

If I’m checking out at the super market, and I can make the worker smile, I value that interaction. I know that if I help motivate one person and rejuvenate their positivity, it feels great and I think it helps. No, it’s not changing the lives of millions, but it’s helping the life of one. I think that’s important. And who knows – it may even start a Domino Effect, creating a chain reaction of good will.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

It’s very easy to get caught up in our own world – our trials, tribulations, wins and losses. But today’s challenge is to positively impact the life of ONE person. It can be a family member, a person that you know, a stranger, someone in your neighborhood, or someone halfway around the world… but let’s find ONE person, help them and lift them up.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama

So what can we do to help? Simple acts such as: listening to someone who’s hurting or upset, offering to carry something, helping someone across the street, holding a door open, or letting someone ahead of us in traffic helps. Writing a caring email to someone and letting them know that you support, and are there for them, can be a lift to that person’s day.

If you’re more ambitious – volunteering your time or making a donation are great ways. For more ideas, zenhabits.net has created a nice list of 25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being Today, but if those aren’t enough, there are even bigger lists: 100 Ways to Serve Others.

Can you help ONE today? Sometimes if we’re open and willing, the opportunity will present itself – we see someone obviously in need of help. Other times, we must create a way in which to help. Will you help with me? 

I try to regularly support those around me – both physically and online. But today I will also make the goal to help in ONE way that I don’t regularly help: my goal is to reach out to the Internations.org (international expat community) Chilean group and volunteer my time/money to help with one of their ongoing projects for the under-privileged. I will keep you updated and let you know how it goes!

“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” – Sai Baba

I hope you can help someone, good luck!

Can You Help ONE?

Let's Practice Peace.

Posted by Zak Reid

“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa

Peace: it can define the relationship between two countries; it can define the relationship between two people; it can define our relationship we have with ourselves.

At this moment there is much unrest in the world and too many places where peace is not present. As we look to the war zones, most of us just wish it would stop. We wish that peace would return. We wish that we all could just get along.

But as I think of global peace I also think of personal peace. I think of community. I ask myself: am I being peaceful? Are you?

Let’s Practice Peace.

Young Iraqi boys showing the peace sign Quick Me Ups

Let’s Practice Peace. Photo: Christiaan Briggs

“First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” – Thomas a Kempis

To be honest with you, I’m not going to fly to Ukraine to broker peace. I’m not heading to Israel, nor Syria, nor Iraq. Most of you probably won’t either. But we can still help.

We can help grow peace by practicing it in our daily lives. We can help build peace in our community. Little things grow it. Helping others, smiling, acceptance, being patient, these things create a sense of a caring community. This grows peace.

I think that our patience is an important factor in how peaceful we are. If somebody does something we don’t like, how do we respond? If we get angry or aggressive, we have lost our peace.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

It’s important to remember that we’re all humans. We all make mistakes. And we’re all really just doing the best that we can. Even the person that acts in a way that upsets you is doing his/her best, maybe they’ve just lost their way. I try to remember to be compassionate towards these people. I try to remember to be peaceful towards these people.

We sometimes even get upset with ourselves. We can lose patience and peace within. It’s an important factor in our overall patience & peacefulness: Be Peaceful with Yourself.

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha

As countries continue warring, I encourage you to let it inspire you to be more peaceful. Let’s do the opposite of war and spread kindness, patience, acceptance, community, and love.

If we have peace with ourselves, it allows us to walk with peace in our day. It allows us to make a more pleasant community for everyone. If we are strong in our peace, then we can control how outside events influence us. If we find ourselves with rage and yelling, we have lost our peace, and need to work to get it back.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll

If you feel motivated help financially there are many different organizations you can support including the War Child and Red Cross: Where it is Needed Most funds. If you want to help, but in a different way, help make your community a better place for others.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Helped Many Lives - Quick Me Ups

Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Photo: Robert Pérez Palou

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa

A few days ago, my girlfriend was walking home after work. It was dark out and was getting cold. As she got closer to our home, she noticed a car pulled over on the side of the road, in front of a bus stop, in rush hour traffic, and an older man looking distraught. His car had died and he didn’t know what to do. Cars were honking and he was very nervous.

She offered to help and began pushing the car. All this happened in front of a bus stop where his car had died, which was full of people, and nobody offered to help. They apathetically watched as she struggled to push a car by herself and the man struggled to steer it.

Eventually a young couple and another gentleman offered help, but this was after my had almost been hit by a speeding van in the process. Eventually, all together they got the car safely on to a small street and started it. Shortly after this chain of events I met up with my girlfriend and she kept commenting about how shocked she was that people just stood by watching.

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

If we want there to be peace in the world we need to be more like the girl pushing the car, and less like the others honking and speeding past. We need to create peace in our world. If we all do this, in every corner of the world, we can grow peace. It’s not the type of peace that will stop these wars tomorrow, but it’s the kind of peace that helps prevent war in the future.

Let’s use this current unrest and lack of peace to inspire us to Practice Peace. I think more and more people are tired of the fighting, tired of violence and tired of hate. History is full of wars, but we’ve come a long ways and I hope as more of us accept one another, and strive for peace , that our future will begin to reflect this.

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let’s Practice Peace.

Stay Thankful.

Posted by Zak Reid

I believe that saying Thank You is very important. It’s important to tell the people close to us how much we appreciate them, but also to say thanks for the bigger picture. To say Thank You for the life you have and the opportunities you have access too, even if they can sometimes be hard to see.

We’ve talked about how important it is to Be Thankful.

But, with how the world works, we may be thankful one minute, and preoccupied with something else the next moment. Let’s try to Stay Thankful.

Stay Thankful Be Thankful Quick Me Ups Beautiful Nature Reminder

The beauty of nature can remind us to Stay Thankful. Photo: Sebo106

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – Dalai Lama

Remembering to take a moment and say thanks can bring a calm contentedness. A relaxing, tranquil state of happiness. Gratitude allows us to be humbly happy. It allows us to acknowledge that the universe is bigger than ourselves.

“A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise.” – Baha’u’llah

Thankfulness is a state of mind. It is a point of view. It’s a decision. After a small car accident, some people shout obscenities because their car is damaged, while others say thanks that the damage was material not physical.

We will all have accidents and bad moments, whether they be physical or emotional, and it’s up to us to decide whether to say Thank You for the lesson, and to grow from it, or to brood and stay resentful.

I choose to be Thankful.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha

To Stay Thankful is to see the world through a different lens. To see the world from a position of gratitude and appreciation. This life is one. The majority of us will work for most of our lives, and even if your current situation is not your dream situation, you can still decide to be Thankful and happy for what you have. You can still enjoy your adventure. Decide what your dream looks like, work to get there, but enjoy the journey a long the way.

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” – Hansa Proverb

I choose to be and Stay Thankful. I choose to say thanks and remember. I’m Thankful that as I write, reflect and grow, you are reading this with me. We are all on this journey together. I’m Thankful for the journey and I’m Thankful I get to share it with you.

Stay Thankful.

Good News Friday III.

Posted by Zak Reid

We’re back for a new dose of some positive stories.

Good News Friday III.

paralyzed1n-3-web

Young Man Moves His Paralyzed Hand.
In keeping to the theme of highlighting a medical advance comes the story of a Ian Burkhart. Ian is a young man who, due to a swimming accident, broke his neck and become paralyzed. He decided to work with Ohio State University on a new technology they were developing and Dr. Ali Rezai installed a small chip in Ian’s brain, in the area responsible for the motor ability and control of his hand. With this chip and sensors they can essentially bypass the damaged part of Ian’s system and allow the brain to communicate directly with his arm. Recently, while conducting a test, Ian was able to move his arm simply by thinking!

water particles

Water Molecules are Affected by Our Thoughts.

There was a famous series of experiments done on water in the 1990’s by Dr. Masaru Emoto. He and his team would either expose to water to positive words / prayers / music, etc., or to negative influences, then they would freeze the water and photography the crystalline structure. It’s a very simple yet powerful example when you see the difference between the “hateful” water crystals and their “loving” counterparts. The positively affected water has a very pleasing shape and structure and you can see a big difference. With the human body made up of 60% water, it really makes one wonder about the influence of positivity / negativity on our own system! You’re awesome.

Fasting for 3 Days can Reset your Immune System.

I’ve never fasted but this is a very interesting story and could be of great help to some people out there. New research has shown that by fasting for three days, the body “flips a regenerative switch” and begins creating new white blood cells. This could be great news for everybody with weak immune systems due to age or sickness. It seems that the more we learn about our body, the more amazing it truly is.

enhanced-buzz-15404-1361898264-1

Young Man Walking 10 Miles in Snow Gets Job.

Great work ethic is still out there! A young man, Jhaqueil Reagan, was trudging through the snow in Indianapolis when he came upon restaurant owner Art Bouvier, and asked for directions. Jhaqueil was heading to a job interview, and when Art indicated that he was still 6 or 7 miles away, he said Ok and kept marching on. The young man didn’t have any money for the bus, so he had left his home 2 hours early in order to assure he would arrive in time for interview.Mr. Bouvier was so taken aback by the young man’s demeanor, determination, and attitude, that he helped the young man to the interview, helped him with money for food, and offered him a job. Obviously Jhaqueil was not expecting any of this, and was taken aback, but is happy, thankful, and now employed.

To summarize: medical advances are leading us closer and closer to overcoming paralysis, our thoughts influence the world around us, our body is more amazing than we knew, and there are heart warming stories everyday that we don’t always hear. Sometimes the noise of the negative overpowers the music of the positive, but let’s keep sharing these great stories to spread hope.

Good News Friday III.