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Word Changes Or Sunny-mantics

April 4, 2019

We cannot control that which comes our way, but we can control how we respond.  In order to respond in a way that keeps you climbing your mountain, start with having a positive attitude.

In Dr. Viktor Frankl famous book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, he shows us that one can endure the unendurable and unimaginable, and still have a positive attitude.  He did this and witnessed this when he was in Auschwitz.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Change your words and change your outlook

A positive attitude can be attained and maintained by reframing the thoughts and words we say to ourselves and others.  Changing your thoughts through word changes, will produce a different mindset, attitude, and mood.  Then you can continue to make progress or you will be stuck where you are or worse.

Here are some examples

We are often asked “How is life treating you”? That question creates a mindset of us as victims of circumstance. The question really should be “How are you treating life”?  Thinking that way creates a positive attitude shift.

“It did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” – Viktor Frankl speaking of himself and other inmates of Auschwitz from “Man’s Search for Meaning”

I once asked someone how they were late one afternoon, having sensed that he was troubled about something.  He said, “not so good, it’s been a tough day, tomorrow might be better”.  I said “today’s not over, why wait until tomorrow”.  His face went from a frown to a big smile.  He said enthusiastically “you’re right, Thank you”.

I have a good friend named Steve.  Whenever I spoke to Steve, his greeting was “Hello” and instead of the standard “how are you”, he would say, “tell me something good”.  So if you were feeling down and were about to kvetch if he asked how you were, now you didn’t or couldn’t.  You stopped and thought about something that was good in your life, and there always is.  This causes a tremendous attitude shift and sets the tone for at least the rest of the day.

These are a some examples of those seemingly small word changes that often produces a big change.  Some of these word changes might be called semantics.  Instead let’s call them “sunny-mantics”

Heart and Soul

Using the comment box share any Sunny-mantics you use or have heard

What Is Doing Good?

March 12, 2019

In the last post it was said “we do good by doing a good”.  That might raise the question of just what is good or a good?

We know, it comes under the headings of kindness, compassion, a listening heart, charity,…….

So how do you do good or a good, or know what is good?

Let’s start with

“That which is hateful to you, do not do unto others” – Hillel.

Make a list of “that which is hateful to you”.  As you make the list, think of the times that those things were done to you and how that made you feel.  Keep in mind that done to you also means said to you.  Remember the list and let it be a guide as you are about to do to another or say to another.

Just like the development of any good habit, with enough repetition, you won’t have to consciously refer to the list.

The people you come into contact with might consciously or unconsciously pick up that same habit.  Wouldn’t that be good!

Never forget in all you say and do to elevate yourself.  Never allow an unkind to cause you to respond in kind.

Here are some things I’m sure we would all not find hateful done unto us and therefore these are good to do unto others

Always wear a smile

Make someone smile or laugh

Actually listen to the answer when you ask someone how they are and respond accordingly

tell someone who matters to you, that they do and how much

stay in touch and return phone calls, texts, emails……

Keep promises

Visit the sick


Give charity

By using the comment box, Please share with me and the other readers what else you think belongs on the list

Heart and Soul


P.S. I wrote this as a reminder to you as well as to myself.

The Best-Est, Cont’d

February 26, 2019

As was said in the last post, your quest to be the best (est) starts with “Love your fellow as yourself”.  In order to properly “love your fellow”, you have to love yourself first.  What fellow wants you to love them as yourself, if you don’t love yourself?

To love yourself begins with internalizing through constantly reminding yourself of the words of the Grandfather, “No one ever was or ever will be made just like you.  You are a gift and have a gift.  G-d gave you life and gave us you for a very, very special reason”.

In other words, you matter.  You are not just matter, it’s you that matters.

You are here on purpose for a purpose.  While you may not know your specific purpose, know this, It’s to do good by doing a good.  So by endeavoring to always do good, you will accomplish your specific purpose sooner or later.  You will accomplish it even though you may not know it.  That’s okay because you’re doing good and that’s all that matters.

Always doing good by doing a good is like shooting an arrow at a target with a very large bullseye.  Every good done is a bullseye.

The more good you do, the more you will love yourself, and be truly able to love your fellow.

Then you will be the Best-Est you.  You will love being you.

When the great Rabbi Zusha was on his deathbed, He was surrounded by family, friends, and students. They saw him crying and asked if he was crying because he feared death. He explained that he wasn’t afraid of dying. He was afraid that when he died and met G-d, he wouldn’t be asked why he wasn’t more like Moses or Abraham; he would be asked why he wasn’t more like Zusha.

Heart and Soul


The Best-Est

February 7, 2019

This is a story about a young boy, let’s call him Isaac, who like so many others wanted to be the Best, at least at something.

He came home from his first day in kindergarten so very excited and happy.  His Mother asked him what he was so happy about.  He told her that he “was the Tallest in the class”.  The next year, when he came home from his first day in the First Grade, he was sad.  His Mother asked him why he was sad.  He said that he was “no longer the Tallest”.

A little later that year, in P.E., they had a race.  He came home that day happy again.  Why, because he was the Fastest.  A little later that year, there was a race for the whole grade.  He came home sad that day.  Again, his Mother asked him why he was sad.  He said that he was “no longer the Fastest”.

This went on and on with spelling bees, I.Q. tests, other contests in P.E., best looking, and………

Now he was sad a lot of the time.  His Mother reminded him that his Grandfather, was a very learned and wise man.  She took him to see his Grandfather.  He told his Grandfather why he was sad.

His Grandfather told him that he knew of the one thing that he could be the very best of in the whole wide world.  Young Isaac was so excited to hear what that was.  His Grandfather told him that “you could be the very best you ever.  No one could be better at being you and who you are meant to be than you.  No one ever was or ever will be made just like you.  You are a gift and have a gift.  G-d gave you life and gave us you for a very, very special reason.

Isaac asked him, what was the gift and reason?  He was told “Let’s start with “love your fellow as yourself”*, and when you’re ready we’ll talk some more”.

Isaac was now so excited and the sadness melted away as he believed and followed his Grandfathers words and advice.  He never forgot his Grandfathers words.

The Grandfathers words are a lesson and reminder that applies to each and every one of us, young or not.  Internalize and carry this thought with you every day.

Heart and Soul

To be continued

*Leviticus 19:18



Give or Receive?

January 22, 2019

A recent psychological study confirms that which we all have heard so many times.

“it is better to give than receive”

96 college student participants were given $5 each day for five days.  They were to spend it on something identical each of the five days.  Some of the students, randomly selected, were told to spend it on themselves and some on others.  Over the time of the study the participants happiness was measured through self-reporting, beginning just before the study began..  Those that gave to others became happier.  Those that spent it on themselves, not only didn’t become happier, their happiness decreased.

Let this serve as another reminder, that true and lasting happiness doesn’t come from getting things.  So, whenever you’re feeling down, the cure is reaching out and giving to another or the giving of yourself to another.

Of course that approach might mean you’re giving with an ulterior motive.  Even if that’s the case, it’s still a good start.  Practicing giving regularly, will eventually lead to doing it automatically, with no ulterior motive.  Then you will be following Maimonides advice

“do what is right because it is right”

Imagine a world where more and more people took that advice.  As young people today would say “how cool would that be”?

“My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” – Marlo Thomas

“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” – Douglas A. Lawson

“To give and then not feel as one has given is the very best of all ways of giving.” – Max Beerbom


Heart and Soul



Resolutions, Resolutio, Resolut……….

January 9, 2019

As we begin another New Year, we make promises/resolutions to ourselves with an eye towards reaching our dreams and goals.

We begin the New Year with lots of enthusiasm towards reaching those dreams and goals.  Inevitably, for most, that enthusiasm wanes over time.

So how do we keep that enthusiasm burning?

There are lots of new beginnings.  There is a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day, hour, minute……  Each new is another opportunity to reignite the enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the last new.  If we celebrate each new as another opportunity, we can renew that enthusiasm and keep it burning.  So cherish the new of every new and especially every moment.  With every new remind yourself of your dreams and goals.  With those reminders you will keep the enthusiasm in the present.  Renew with each and every New.

 “The beginning is embedded in the end, and the end is embedded in the beginning”. – Sefer Yetzirah 1:7

Most Important – be grateful for each New that you are given!

A reminder lesson from the Tightrope Walker who said when asked how he gets across

“It’s simple. Before I begin, I find an object on the other end and focus on it. I don’t dare take my eyes off the object while I’m walking. I don’t look to the right; I don’t look to the left. As long as I focus on my goal, I make it across”.

With every step and progress you make towards the goal congratulate yourself


Happy and Meaningful 2019

Heart and Soul

Healthy and Happy New Year 2019!!

January 1, 2019

Yes, it’s been a long time since I have written and posted anything.  A recent event reminded me of how much I miss writing and posting for all of you.  I was reminded of how much joy it brings me.  I sincerely hope it brings a little more light to your days as well.  So expect more from me this New Year.

So, let me begin the return with this wish for all

Healthy and Happy New Year!!*

As we begin another new year, another new, another beginning, we look forward to all that we wish for.  The good that we wish for ourselves, is the good that we wish for others and vice-versa.

For this New Year, let’s do more than just wish.  Let’s plan on making this a “Happy New Year”.  Let’s make this the year where our deeds make our wishes reality.  A year where we tap into “all of our possibilities” and potential to become the human we were destined and created to be. A year where we each do our part to make our world a better one.

All that we need and the world we all wish for is in our hands.

Many years ago there was this great old wise man, a seer, who was coming to a town to speak.  His reputation preceded him so many people waited with great anticipation for his arrival and then went to hear him speak.  Among them, was this one young and skeptical man, who went simply to challenge the wise man.  After the wise man spoke, there was a Q&A. When it was the young mans turn, he put out his cupped hands and asked the wise man what was in his hands. The wise man replied, “two little birds”, which was correct. The young man was impressed, but he was still skeptical, so he asked whether they were dead or alive. The wise man knew that if he replied, “they’re dead”, the young man would open his hands and the birds would fly away. If he replied “they’re alive”, the young man would crush the birds in his hands. The wise man’s reply was simply

“the answer is all in your hands.”

Healthy and Happy 2019

Heart and Soul

*edited from previous New Year posts

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