Posts tagged ‘love’

April 8, 2012

Respect Versus Judgment

In this time of multiple religious celebrations, I feel that it is best to foster respect over judgment. Religious affiliation can be a significant portion of our own identity, or to the identities of those with interact with. When we discover that we are speaking or interacting with someone that has differing beliefs, it is best to lead with respect. Every human being is deserving of respect. It does not serve own interests to judge another person as being “less than ourselves” if that person holds a belief that is at odds with the beliefs that we hold dear and true. Regardless of religious association, there are many ideals that can be considered “universal truths” or ideas that are almost universally appealing. These ideas include:

  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Appreciation
  • Trust
  • Truth
  • Honor
  • Respect

I am sure that there are likely many more that we could all agree are common values.

So if you choose to celebrate Easter, Passover, or you celebrate other religious traditions or if you do not celebrate any religious traditions, I want to extend my respect to you as a part of the human family.

Much love to you all!

March 11, 2012

Think from the End and Have Fun Along the Way.


One of my favorite quotes from Wayne Dyer is “think from the end”. If you want to live the life of your dreams, you need to know what the life of your dreams is.

Here is a simple exercise to help you “think from the end”. Get out some writing paper or get out your word processor, it is time to get ready to write! First, set aside some quiet time to reflect. This reflection will not work if phone calls/ family members would repeatedly interrupt you or if you are preoccupied on a report that is due tomorrow. Once you have found a quiet time and place, close your eyes and imagine what you want in your life. Take some time to explore your true wants and desires. For this exercise, remember that you are worthy of anything and anything is possible. Once you are able to imagine your perfect day in such clarity that it runs like a video in your head, it is time to write it down. Write your vision with as much detail as possible. Explain how your perfect day would start. Include the people that you would interact with. List your feelings as you move through this imagined day. Your description should include details of the sights, sounds and smells of the day.

When you have finished this exercise, you have created the destination that you wish to achieve. You can now start working on the road map of getting you there. You future vision can assist you in creating goals and can help you with further self-reflection.

What beliefs would I need to change to achieve my perfect life?

What habits would I need to implement on a daily basis to get where I want to go?

How would I need to think to achieve my goals?

What actions can I take to start moving forward?

Life is always a great adventure. Have fun along the way!

March 8, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks and appreciation goes to Jay Rando for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I am very grateful for this award. Thank you for the encouragement to keep writing. Thanks to all of you who have been reading “Influence Versus Control”. I am glad to be a part of the blogging community.

Here are the rules to the awards: Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them when you create a post on the award. Share 7 things about yourself. Pass the award on to 15 people you know who have blogs that you follow and enjoy. Contact those people that you have nominated.

More on the Versatile Blog Award

7 things about me: (Andrew Gilbert)

  1. I have an incredible wife who is an artist/ muralist (
  2. I am a proud father of Connor who has started writing a book at 8 years old (
  3. I am a proud father of Aidan, who had probably taught me the most about love and whose early struggles in life facilitated my “cynical recovery”.
  4. As an occupational therapist, I have created a program to teach handwriting / penmanship to Kindergarten students (see and
  5. I love surfing
  6. I enjoy mountain biking
  7. I play guitar, bass and a little bit of drums

When creating this list, I realize that I have defined myself by what I do. However, from my blog postings I feel that it may appear evident that I am doing my best to replace previous cynical thought processes with appreciative, forward thinking, thankful, compassionate and grateful practices.

15 Blogs nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award

I am amazed at how many good blogs there are “Wordpress”. I know that there are more than 15 blogs out there who are deserving of the “Versatile Blogger” award. Two of the blogs that I read regularly and
 are already on Jay’s list.

I wish that I could include everyone on my list of 15. However, like Jay Rando, I choose to list those blogs that I have been following for a longer period of time.

My 15 nominated and most favorite blogs are:

  1. – My first “follower”. This is a gratitude blog from a good friend.
  2. -Great art!
  3. – Good advice for self improvement
  4. – Healing Health and Inspiration
  5. – Mr. P’s math blog
  6. – A “Journey to Enlighten”
  7. – “Inner Peace Transformations”
  8. – A great source of good literature
  9. – A description of one’s Journey to be the best they can be.
  10. – Author of a children’s book with good life lessons
  11. – Great perspective and advice
  12. – Great quotes and awesome mazes!
  13. – “Have a Dream” – A very positive guy.
  14. – “It’s All About Learning” This is a great blog for educators.
  15. a lot of amazing photos

Thank you to all of you!

-Andrew Gilbert

March 3, 2012

I Intend to Feel Good!

Image On of the books that I keep going back to has been Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “Power of Intention”. I feel that the overall message of the book is very helpful in framing the benefit of a positive mindset. If you are more of a pragmatist, this book may read as too metaphysical, it which case I would suggest reading “Learned Optimism” by Martin Seligman.

If I could sum up the book in one sentence, it would be “I intend to feel good.” Our thoughts are directly related to what we wish to create. Dr. Dyer explains that we are either moving towards source/ creation, or away from source / creation. In other words, we can choose to move towards love or choose to move away from love. We can choose to look at the world optimistically, or pessimistically. We can choose to appreciate the value of everything in our lives through the habits of gratitude, forgiveness and compassion or we can choose to de-valuate our world through the habits of blame, judgement and resentment.

I do not have control over the world around me. I do have control on how I choose to feel.

I intend to feel good!

February 27, 2012

Forgiveness, it is within our Control

Many people view forgiveness as something that is important for another person to do for us. Many times we may hear ourselves and others request, “please forgive me” or state, “I can’t believe she will not forgive me”. The forgiveness of others is definitely not something that we can control. Although the forgiveness of others can help heal an aspect of a relationship, we can only control our own ability to forgive.

Forgiveness is an important habit /attribute for our own sense of wellbeing. Forgiveness allows us to “clear the slate” and let go of resentment and frustration. Forgiveness allows us to stop “holing on” to a perceived insult or injury.  Some people I know have stated that they are resistant to forgiving someone since they feel the act of forgiveness will encourage the other to continue engaging in wrongdoing. But forgiveness is for our own selves. It allows us to move on from a challenging situation. It allows us to dump the negative data set that we have been collecting and to change our emotional filter of continuing to gather data to reinforce our feelings of anger, resentment and contempt. Forgiveness is not forgetfulness. If someone has harmed us repeatedly in the past, we can forgive that person and let go of our emotional baggage while making the conscious decision of not letting that person hurt us again in the same way.

For example, there is one person that has been a part of my social circle for a long time. Many years ago, that person repeatedly spread gossip and rumors about me. Then, that person started rumors about other people that were close to me. Needless to say, this situation caused me a lot of anger, frustration and resentment. When I finally decided to forgive this person, my life got better. Now, when I run into this person, I no longer have a visceral emotional response. I am able to be cordial and no one in the room feels any tension. I do not actively seek out that person for validation or socialization nor have I forgotten this person’s tendency to spread rumors. What is important is that I have healed and I have moved on.

Resentment is a feeling that can cripple a relationship. Once we have started to resent someone, we typically hold onto the justification for that resentment. Forgiveness is the panacea for moving past our past resentments. Once we have forgiven that person, we can relive ourselves from the emotional baggage from that situation. This can help us objectively evaluate the situation or the relationship to determine if it continues to be beneficial to our personal interest.

Forgiveness can be valuable in situations where we know that we are the person that has made a mistake. If we know that we have made a mistake and that we are willing to do everything possible to move towards healing, forgiving ourselves can help us move forward. In this case, we can only hope that the other person can forgive us.

February 13, 2012

Gratitude versus Entitlement

As a parent of two young children (seven and eight years old), I feel like I am constantly experiencing the struggle between gratitude and entitlement. If you have children around this age range, I am sure that you experience this dynamic as well.

Last week, we decided to go to Chuck E. Cheese. I had a bag of tokens left over from our last trip to allow for each child to have at least 90 minutes of game play. While they were playing, they were having fun and enjoying each moment. When it was time to leave, a curious thing happened (actually, not so curious if you have kids around this age). They both wanted more! They wanted ice cream. They wanted more tokens. If you listened to the tone of how their needs were being expressed to me, you may have gotten the impression that I was shirking my responsibilities for fulfilling their basic human rights.

When I started to reflect on this, I actually found the situation somewhat amazing. Here were two loving, kind and spirited human beings who were experiencing dissatisfaction since they could not have more. Both of these people entered the gaming area with something of substance. Their game tokens were free to them. There was nothing required of them beforehand to earn this fun event. It was just supposed to be a good time.

The more I thought about this, I realized that I battle with my own inner 8 year old on a regular basis. In our daily life, most of us start the day with wealth and abundance. Most of us have air to breath, shelter to stay warm, clean water to drink and adequate food to eat. For these daily necessities, we could all benefit from feeling satisfaction and gratitude. However, most of us (including myself) take these things for granted. These things are similar to my kid’s tokens, we get so use to having them that we can forget that they are special. Not only can we forget to feel gratitude for the basics, we may feel dissatisfied for not having more. We may feel frustrated that our morning coffee is cold, our car that gets us to work is too old or we did not get the exact birthday present that we expected. We may feel that we are all entitled to more than the basic necessities of life.

When we get our kids to get ready for bed, my wife and I often lay down with them for a little while to help him feel safe and secure. During these moments, we are all appreciating the basics of family life. We say “I love you”, we share hugs and we talk about all the good things that happened during the day. We experience gratitude for each other and for the moment.

The next time that you are stuck in a long line for you morning coffee, remember that you can choose to experience gratitude that you have enough money for coffee. The next time that you have a frustrating experience at work, remember that you can choose to be appreciative to have a job. The next time you feel frustrated when you kids are clamoring for ice cream at Chuck E. Cheese, you can choose to experience gratitude for the love that those children have brought into your life.

Influence:   The more grateful you are, you increase your chances of other’s appreciating your gratitude. If you are frequently grateful for what you receive at work or from your friends, there is a greater chance that those around you will continue to share their friendship, support and good ideas.

Control:   Only you can control how grateful you feel. Gratitude is a chosen response that can be developed into a habit. If you feel that it is a challenge to experience gratitude for everyday things, experiment with keeping a gratitude journal where you force yourself to list at least five things you are grateful for.

Pragmatic Explanation:   When you are grateful for another person’s generosity, you are providing that person with a social reward, which will increase the likelihood of future generosity.  Additionally, adopting a focus of gratitude encourages you to collect data of all the good that you see in the world, which can improve your overall worldview.

Metaphysical Explanation:   Gratitude elevates you energy love so you are more in alignment with the creative force of the universe. Being more in alignment will cause more good to come to you.

February 6, 2012

Love is the answer, no really it is… and giving helps too.

“The love that we give away is the only love we keep” – Elbert Hubbard

Yes, I know that the title of this blog may sound trite, cliché or overused, especially to a recovering cynic (like myself) or if you are a die-hard pragmatist.

But it is true.

If you want more health and happiness in your life, you need love.

Think about it.

You cannot be happy without love. You cannot be completely healthy unless you are happy.

I believe most of us know what it is liked to beloved by another person. It is awesome! We feel safe, warm, appreciated and confident. In literature, song lyrics and popular culture, there is strong evidence that humans want to be loved.

I feel that the ironic twist of the fascination with being loved is that it misses the true origin of love. Love is a creative force. Love is giving unconditionally to others. Love is striving to create a better life for the people that we love. Love is the desire for others to have a sense of wellbeing and contentment.

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.” Wayne Dyer

The giving of love is an education in itself.Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have any doubt on the importance of love and giving, just think about times that you have striving to receive something (time, attention, affection, acknowledgement, etc.) from another person. In these times, you may be dependent on that other person for your feelings of wellbeing. You may feel impatient or slightly dissatisfied. You have thoughts to the effect of “if only they….”

On the other hand, if you focus is what you can give to another person, your focus is on the other person and your aspiration that they feel loved or supported. From you loving actions, you may feel loving, kind or generous.

As an adult, my concrete example of this is the Christmas gift exchanged. I am always appreciative of the generosity that I receive from others, but I experience more joy when my children open their presents and jump up and down with joy.

Control: We can only control how loving we are. We cannot control if others love us or not. In fact, the more that we try to make others love us, the more resistant they may be to our intentions.


Influence:  The more loving you are, the greater positive influence you will have on others around you. If you don’t believe me, try going to the supermarket with a positive loving attitude and say hello and thank you often. I am almost sure that you will make at least one person smile. As Ghandi said “Be the change that you want to see in the world”, he challenged us all to “bring it”. If you want a more loving world, bring more love to the world.


The Pragmatist Explanation:  Love is just cause and effect. Love is a creative force that gives. When you give you create value for others. When you create value for others, there is a greater chance that someone would want to give back to you.


The New Age Explanation:  When you are loving, you vibrate at a higher frequency and the universe aligns to that higher frequency.

Whichever explanation to the importance to love that you want to choose, so be it.

If you are an incurable pessimist, I can report that I did my best to get the word out.


January 30, 2012

Patience, Practice and Persistence

Patience, Practice and Persistence

“Losing is just Learning to Win…” – Robert J Bautista

“Dont mistake slow progress for failure” – Mazemangriot

“There is no failure, only feedback” – Jay Rando

One of the reasons that intrinsic motivation is important for us to achieve our long-term life goals our complete a major project is that it may take a long time to achiever our goals. There are so many examples of people working for years for their “overnight success to happen.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote two different books that speak to this point. In “The Tipping Point”, we learned that for many new ideas, there is a point at which an idea goes “viral”. In “Outliers”, we learned that Bill Gates and the Beatles spent about 10,000 hours practicing the skills that made them famous.

If we love what we do, we are not dependant on success being just around the corner. If we quit, we have lost. If we practice, we learned from any feedback that we receive along the way to achieving our goals.

Success is enjoying the journey and experiencing gratitude everyday.

Practice what you love. Persist in your actions. Be patient for the possible rewards for your actions.

We can control our actions, our responses and what we choose to experience as success.