Here’s to a Happy 2015!

With the new year just hours away, lots of people are trying to figure out their resolutions for the new year.  How about “let’s really have a happy new year”?

Here is a list of 9 things that Happy People tend NOT to do.  So, here’s to Bea-ing Positive and Happy in 2015!!

Happy people stay happy because they:

  1. don’t blame others for their problems.  So that means taking responsibility for your actions and your choices.
  2. don’t overact to the present moment.  Remember, “this too shall pass”!
  3. don’t use negative language.  Bea Positive!
  4. don’t feel trapped.  “There is a great future in front of you; you can leave your past behind.”  Joel Osteen
  5. don’t focus on a single passion or relationship.  Diversify and Bea Open to new things and people!
  6. don’t dwell on past failures.   As Joyce Meyer says “I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be”!
  7. don’t spend more time than necessary around unhappy people.  As they saying goes, “misery loves company”, which is truer than you might believe unless you’ve experienced it!
  8. don’t gossip.  Keep your word and confidentiality.
  9. don’t procrastinate.  “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”  William James


See for the entire article “9 Things Happy People Don’t Do”

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Here is a story about an inspiring student, RT. Recently, I had the honor of teaching the last class in his 18-month Medical Assistant associate degree – college mathematics.  From the first day of class, RT admitted that math wasn’t his strongest subject but was bound and determined to learn and master math! Everyday, he would say “we gotta work our brains like we work our muscles!”

So what makes RT so inspiring?

  • RT is 47 years old and decided 18 months ago that he wanted to provide a better opportunity for himself and his family, so he went back to school.
  • He’s a divorced father with four children.
  • He worked 12-hour shifts, 7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m., three days a week while coming to my class.
  • When he wasn’t working shift work, he was doing lawn jobs to make ends meet.
  • He also worked with a Care Giver service helping transport the elderly to and from physical therapy and hospital care.
  • RT is a certified fitness trainer and works out intensely. He plans to work-out with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next summer during football training camp.
  • He never missed a day of class and came in every morning with a smile on his face.

When RT took the final exam, he was the last one to leave. He made the highest grade on the final exam, and he finished with the best overall grade in both math classes I taught that term.  Not bad for someone who was a bit apprehensive and anxious when he started math class.

RT is working on his externship now which is the last requirement before receiving his diploma. His dream is to have his own business using the Medical Assistant degree, fitness training and his own heart of gold. His goal is to help people recovering from surgery, sports injury, accidents or other physical limitations to have a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

I have no doubt that RT will be successful and will touch a lot of lives positively. And who knows . . . we could see the oldest walk-on player for the Tampa Bay Bucs next year!

Bea positive . . . because where there’s a will, there’s a way! Just look at RT!

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana

Tomorrow we remember June 6, 1944 and the significance of this day in World War II history.  I share this because . . . Nazis existed, the Holocaust was real, we helped set free a suffering humanity, I pray there is not another World War.  I’ve included General Eisenhower’s D-Day order and President Roosevelt’s prayer to the American people.  Both are chilling and sobering to read 70 years later and realize the price paid by our American soldiers and the debt we owe them for our freedom.

~General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving the D-Day order on June 6, 1944:

“You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed people of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely….The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

~Franklin D. Roosevelt – June 6, 1944 prayer to the American people:

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.  And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.  Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the scheming of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.



“The fruits of success . . .”

I read this article today and wanted to share with all of you.  We all want to be “successful” and many times we think that money and titles are tangible signs of success.  I’m sure many of you are like me . . . you have (or had) a career that is unnoticed by the world at-large.  However, you’ve probably touched people in ways that have had a lasting and positive impact.

Bea Positive “Bea-lieves” that my life is successful!  I hope you enjoy the article and will share with others!

by Deepak Chopra, MD

An excerpt from “Are You Destined for Success?” November 02, 2013

The fruits of success, as measured in lifelong satisfaction, are far more meaningful. They consist of:

  • Setting a long-range goal and fulfilling it.
  • Building a secure sense of self.
  • Becoming a unique individual.
  • Fulfilling your potential in a satisfying way.
  • Evolving in strength, love, and wisdom.
  • Being of service to others.
  • Living for a higher value that can be described as spiritual.
  • Staying true to yourself.
  • Becoming a role model.
  • Being part of a stable and loving family.
  • Living with dignity.

These are the ingredients of a truly successful life. You can achieve them in parallel to a brilliant career or a career that will go unnoticed by the world at large. Every deeply rooted culture has valued the inner qualities that produce worthy individuals, who are the flower of that culture. If you lack these qualities, becoming a king will still leave you feeling empty and miserable. What I’ve outlined is called the path of wisdom in the East, and it’s worth considering here and now. In a consumerist society driven by the ethic of win-lose, it comes as a relief to know that there is another way.


Home, Sweet Home

I don’t typically speak while traveling on a plane, and definitely not before 7:30 a.m.!!  However, this morning, I made an exception.  The young man next to me, sitting in the middle seat, was so excited to be flying to Tampa.  He had a smile on his face that I will never forget.

Patrick had been flying since 6:30 a.m. Thursday – over 26 hours when I met him.  He started out in Korea, flew to Washington State, from Washington to Minneapolis, and now was on a flight from Minneapolis to Tampa.  Although I didn’t ask, I suspect he is 20 or 21.  He joined the Air Force after graduating high school, and his first tour of duty was in Korea.  Not only had this young man not seen his family in over a year, he was living in another country. 

Patrick joined the Air Force because his grandfather had served in Vietnam.  He told me he loves serving his country and has always wanted to take care of people.  No wonder he is a military police officer!  He was going home for 3 weeks and then would be driving to North Dakota for his 2nd tour of duty.  He loved it so much, he has already decided to “re-up”.

His mom, grandmother, great-grandmother and grandfather were in Tampa waiting for Patrick.  He told me his great-grandmother calls him “# 1” because he is her first grandson.  His sister is going to college in south Florida, and the whole family was driving down after he landed.  But he was totally fine with the last 3 hour flight and anticipating the 4 hour drive to Miami . . . because he was going to be home and with his family.

When we touched down in Tampa, Patrick gazed out the window and shook his head.  I could see he was fighting back the tears.  He praised God for bringing him home – FINALLY!  For some reason, as he started out of his seat and into the aisle, we hugged just for a moment.  He practically ran to the shuttle that takes passengers from the gate to the “landside terminal”.

By the time I got off the shuttle, I saw the happy, tear-filled reunion.  Mom was already taking a picture of Patrick and his great-grandmother on her smartphone.  You could see the pride in his grandfather’s eyes to finally see and hug Patrick again.   After 29 hours of flying, waiting in airports, sitting in the middle seat . . . very humbling when I think about all of my travel woes and my “crazy relatives”!

Bea thankful for your family . . . Bea thankful you have a home and it’s in the U.S. . . . and always remember to Bea Positive!

Why I love sports . . .

 “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”  Jimmy V. (Jimmy Valvano, whose 1983 NC State basketball team won the NCAA tournament against long odds.)

I have always been a very competitive person and possess the will to win.  Which is probably why I love sports . . . what is more competitive than watching a team or individual play and win.  But with every winner, there is also a loser.  What I appreciate the most is at the start of every game,  neither team (or individual) expects to lose.  As Herm Edwards says, “You play to win the game.” 

Champions never stop preparing, practicing, training, studying their competition, believing they can win.  I just watched a thrilling game where the Atlanta Falcons finally won a play-off game.  Tony Gonzalez, their Hall of Fame Tightend,  has been in the league 16 years and just experienced his first ever play-off win.  Down to the last tick on the clock, both teams kept playing and believing they could win.

Coach Mike Smith said at the post-game press conference “we always maintain a positive attitude.  We may be nervous, but we’re confident.”  Even with 31 seconds left in the game, and down 27-28, the Atlanta Falcons believed they could win the game – and they did!

Your “championship game” could be your next one, so keep training, practicing, “Bea-lieving”, “Bea Positive” and “Bea Ready”! 

And in the inspirational, unforgettable words of Jimmy V.  “Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.”

Be Like a Turtle!

“Try to be like a turtle – at ease in your own shell.” — Bill Copeland

How many of you have ever wished , or wish, that you were someone else? I spent months and years wishing I was taller, thinner, blonder, prettier, more patient, a better singer, independently wealthy, etc., etc., etc.  I wasn’t “at ease in my own shell” and wanted out!

To me, a turtle is “slow, heavy, carrying around a big burden, born looking old, a loner”. Every now and then we see “General Patton”, a gopher turtle that lives in the conservation area around our neighborhood. He is always alone, looks ancient and just plods along. Let’s face it, he’s not the most glamorous of God’s creatures. We live in a fast-food, instant messaging, 24/7, 4G world – turtles can’t keep up with the pace … they’ll get run-over, won’t they?


“General Patton” our neighborhood turtle




Why “Bea Positive” believes we should be like Turtles:

1. Turtles have a “shield of protection” from all predators, all the time.

• My choice is the strongest shield of all – the Lord, Jesus Christ!

2. Turtles are cold-blooded, which means they control their temperature through external means, are able to function over a wide internal temperature range.

• Enjoy the warmth of basking in the sun, the warmth of holding someone dear close, the warmth of a smile.

• Try to be flexible and adaptable across wide “temperature” ranges. This isn’t easy when the “wide temperature ranges” include changing circumstances and people.

3. Turtles are slow movers.

• Remember who won the race in “The Hare and the Tortoise”? “Slow and steady progress wins the race”.

4. Turtles have good eyesight and excellent sense of smell.

• Enjoy the colors and splendor of the living creatures, plants and people around you. Stop and smell the roses or lilies or magnolias or fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies!

5. Turtles can’t crawl out of their shells.

• In the famous words of Popeye, “I ‘yam what I ‘yam”. You are stuck with yourself, so you might as well enjoy and “be at ease in your own shell”!!

Remember to “Bea Positive” and share your “positive” spirit with others – it really is contagious!

New Month . . . New Attitude

April’s birthstone is the diamond, which symbolizes innocence.  No wonder the diamond is the first choice for a new engagement ring — the celebration of new love and a new life!  And it should come as no surprise that the birth flowers are the daisy and sweet pea, more beautiful signs of Spring.

With the start of April tomorrow, nature is already providing signs of new beginnings all around me. 

  • In the southeast, we see Dogwoods and Redbuds blooming as well as Azaleas and Amaryllis
  • John’s mom’s orchids are blooming as a reminder of her love.
  • Here in Riverview, FL, the Sand Hill Cranes are proudly walking their new “babies” throughout the neighborhood.
  • In our own backyard, the Bluebird family is back building a new nest!

New beginnings, new attitudes! I think they go hand-in-hand.  With a new month ahead of us, let’s continue the “Optimism” from March.  Remember to “Bea Positive” because positive attitudes are contagious!  To spur your new attitude, enjoy “New Attitude” by Patti Labelle and have a great week!

March is National Optimism Month

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.    ~ Winston Churchill

Did you know that the month of March is National Optimism Month?

What a great way to celebrate “Bea–ing Positive” all month long!  And two more reasons to be optimistic in March:

  • Daylight Savings Begins 3/11
  • Spring Begins 3/20


Think Positive




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