Tuesday, June 28, 2011

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"Competition will always place your life in the hands of others, while initiative gives you the freedom to choose your own destiny."
- Willard & Marguerite Beecher


From childhood we learn to win by competing. If one marble player wins, the other loses. If our football team wins, the opposition loses. If we earn top honors for the greatest sales volume or number of transactions, our fellow associates don't. We are taught to be competitive - and we learn the lesson well.

In being competitive, however, we must always measure our success in relation to others. First we choose the leader whom we must surpass. Our objective is to exceed the performance of that individual - the current Number One. Then, when we become the leader, we live in constant fear of having our performance exceeded by those striving from below to surpass us.

By always competing, then, we are not free to focus on doing our very best. Everything we do is related to what others have done or may do. A refreshing alternative is to put initiative to work. You freely choose your own destiny, then work to achieve it - totally oblivious to what others around you are doing.

Initiative begins with a delightful vision of yourself achieving what you think is important. Followed up with action, you achieve not only your objectives, but also the thrill and satisfaction of knowing you are in charge

Need information abut the Wilmington, NC real estate market? Visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ to search area listings, find New Hanover County school information, local links and more. And if you have questions or comments, contact me at (910) 619-1501 or russ@russmay.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"Life is not always what the brochure promises."

- Amb Alon Pinkas


So . . . which brochure have you been reading? Maybe it's the one that promises "clear sailing" or "romantic sunsets" or "excitement guaranteed!" Maybe you're into the financial brochures that read "no money down" or "financial freedom in 30 days" or "sell a million dollars a month without leaving home."

For many years now, the brochures of our lives have promised and delivered success, satisfaction, and wealth. It's been a good run. There's another brochure many of us have signed onto - "for better or for worse." Notice that the "for better" comes first, and so it has been for a long time.

Nevertheless, our country experiences cycles, as do our lives. Few of us living today have ever experienced a serious "for worse" part of the national cycle. Yet, it has been those periods in the history of our country that have brought out the best in us. The Great Depression of the thirties was the catalyst for the strong work ethic of the baby boomers. Two world wars taught us to value our freedom.

So, maybe life isn't always "what the brochure promises." If we're entering one of those periods when we are to be tested, so be it. We are a resilient people. While we may have been dozing at the internal security wheel, lulled by the smooth purring of our national economic engine, we are also able to awaken in an instant. Our purpose and principles can quickly be brought to full throttle.

No matter the threat, we are a people united by the brochure's great promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - ready, willing, and able to serve. Be alert and be of service!

Need information abut the Wilmington, NC real estate market? Visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ to search area listings, find New Hanover County school information, local links and more. And if you have questions or comments, contact me at (910) 619-1501 or russ@russmay.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinions of the things that happen." - Epictetus


A well-known motivational speaker once said, "No one knows enough to be a pessimist." He also quoted statistics showing that a very high percentage of the things we worry about are either A) things that never happen, or B) things over which we have no control anyway. His point? Not only do we not have enough information to justify our worries, we also are virtually unable to alter the outcome of most situations.

Our worst fears are generally of the unknown (not enough information). Our imagination runs wild, conjuring up worst-case scenarios. We become fearful, anxious, and even overwhelmed - yet the source of our fear is non-existent (except in our minds).

"Think you can - think you can't - either way you're right."

"As a man thinketh, so is he."

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."

In other words, by your thoughts alone, you control the outcome. Although there exist many risks to our peace-of-mind during this uncertain time, we still have the ability to pursue our very best hopes and dreams. We may find that their achievement requires more effort than usual. Doubt may creep in. Nevertheless, as you have heard many times, "It's all in your head."

Thinking about buyinf or selling a home in the Wilmington, NC area? Want to know what's going on in the Wilmington, NC real estate market? Do you know how low current mortgage interest rates are? Call me or visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ for up to date information.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


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INSPIRATION FOR TODAY: Everyone says it differently, but the message is the same.

Here are three oft-quoted thoughts on "thinking": "You are what you think about all day long." "Your life is what your thoughts make of it." "As you think, so shall you be."


What is a thought? Scientifically speaking, it is nothing more than a random electrical impulse in the brain. If you are relaxing, not focusing on any particular thoughts, your brain continues to fire off those random impulses which, in turn, are triggering random, unfocused thoughts - like the itch on your arm, how hummingbirds fly, or your Aunt Ellen's new car.

What's interesting is that everything in sight of you right now is the result of someone's focused thoughts. The computer screen, the window nearby, and the chair in which you are sitting came into existence as the result of a single focused thought. Henry Ford thought about a V-8 engine for his cars, and then insisted that his engineers create it. Jonas Sauk thought about eliminating polio - and did.

Whether you choose to focus your thoughts or not, your day will be filled with them. They just don't stop. But wait - there's an "Aha!" or a "Voila!" in here for you. Just think of the possibilities when you realize the power of thought - and put it to work for you. The amazing thing about thoughts is that you have complete control over them. You either put these electrical impulses to work for you through focused attention - or they happen anyway, but in a random, impotent manner akin to a static electrical discharge.

Everything tangible in our world today was created by an action, preceded by someone's thought - from a straight pin to a Pentium processor, from a blight-free American chestnut tree to your garage-door opener. So - what thoughts will you be having today?

They don't have to be life-changing or global in scope to make your personal world better. They need only be focused. Just remember, you control your thoughts - and their possibilities are endless.

Choose wisely when picking a real estate agent. Search all available homes for sale in the Wilmington, NC area at http://www.russmay.com/  and check out my latest website at http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau


"Follow the yellow brick road," sang Dorothy and her unusual entourage in The Wizard of Oz, as they marched toward the Emerald City. The road was clear and their direction set. What they didn't know was that the good witch and the joyful munchkins had sent them down a road leading to a wanna-be fake wizard behind a curtain.

Have you ever had friends or family direct you to take a "yellow brick road" of their imagining? If you blindly followed their advice, you may have ended up in your own Emerald City of disappointment. The truth is that you have the power to create and follow a yellow brick road of your own, one that leads to the realization of your dreams.

The hard part is that YOU must also lay the paving stones of that road. You must first decide on a destination, and then be certain that each brick faces in that direction. Along the way, you may be distracted by winged monkeys or a wicked witch of your own making. If you succumb to those distractions, you may look back to find that your paving stones are uneven and lead in the wrong direction.

Only by having your destination clearly in mind will you arrive unscathed by life's many dead-ends and hairpin twists and turns. You must also be committed to the work involved - choosing only the right bricks, having the patience and perseverance to lay them straight, and the strength to avoid life's temptations as you work.

In the words of Thoreau - "If you have built castles in the air . . . "

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


INSPIRATION FOR TODAY: "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." - Henry David Thoreau
"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition." - Samuel Johnson
"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out." - Robert Frost


To affect the quality of anything first requires action of some sort. Affecting is the opposite of passivity. In a passive state we can only BE affected, but we ourselves have no effect on our surroundings or other people. Hold that thought for a moment and consider next the result of your "affecting."

If, as Johnson recites, being "happy at home" is the ultimate result of your ambition, then why are you working so hard? Is there a way to avoid working evenings and weekends? Could you schedule your child's soccer game into the week's plans? Is that next appointment more important than celebrating life with your spouse at anniversary time?

One way to affect the quality of your day, which in turn may result in happiness at home, is to "build a wall," to paraphrase Frost. Keep in mind that walls may limit you if they are constructed of heavy gauge steel and mesh rimmed with concertina wire. Walls can also be formed as a low hedge or a split-rail fence - even more simply as a line in the sand. Rather than limiting us, they become a mere reminder of how far we are willing to go.

As we affect the quality of our life and push our ambition to the limit, we may also make choices about the boundaries of our lives. By choosing sound principles of living, for example, we may say "No" to friendships with those who operate outside our boundaries of accepted activities. We may decline meaningless activities, or the occasional committee appointment, which robs us of our valuable time.

Ambition leads to action. Your ambition leads you to affect the quality of the day through some action. So what is the ultimate result of your ambition transformed into action? Johnson suggests it is "to be happy at home."

In the end, WE are solely responsible for affecting the quality of our individual lives. We must choose wisely.

Choose wisely when picking a real estate agent as well. Search all available homes for sale in the Wilmington, NC area at http://www.russmay.com/  and check out my latest website at http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"Temperance in all things!"
- Harry S Truman

Extreme or Temperate?

You can see it on TV almost every day - extreme football, extreme wrestling, extreme police chases, extreme everything. The TV networks seem to be competing to capture our attention with one-upsmanship to the extreme.
If you're in your 20's to mid 30's, doing things to the extreme may be attractive to you. If you're 35-45, you may be starting to question whether it's necessary to carry things quite so far. If you're over 45, your age of wisdom may have set in - leading you in another direction - towards temperance. The good news is that it's beneficial at any age.

Recently on TV, there was an old interview with Harry Truman at the age of 77. The interviewer David Susskind asked, "To what do you attribute your energy and vitality at age 77?" Truman shot back with noticeable conviction, "Temperance in all things. I take plenty of rest, sleep well at night, and eat the right foods. That leaves me ready to face the challenges of being president."

What a simple word - "temperance." Webster defines it as "moderation in action or thought; restraint; marked by moderation, as in keeping within limits." It does not mean total abstinence or prohibition of action. It is merely a concept that takes into account reasonable, self-imposed limits.
Some see temperance as "clean living." By whatever name, it can bring peace, tranquility, good health, high self-esteem, satisfaction, and financial freedom. What are your self-imposed limits?

When you're searching for Wilmington, NC real estate information, please call me or visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ For information regarding the Wilmington Convention Center, please visit http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You're the Star!

"Your imagination is the preview to life's coming attractions." - Albert Einstein

Do you believe Orville & Wilbur were first to fly because they had a hammer, nails and a free weekend? Think the television was created by accident? Did Bill Gates just stumble upon the software code that has changed the world? Not a chance!

The Wright brothers created the previews of their first flight in the theatre of their minds. Naturally, there were no limitations to their imaginings as they dreamed of flying. Who knows how the dream of television became reality . . . how it was transformed from a mere visualization into vacuum tubes, knobs, and channels?

What went through Bill Gates' mind prior to his early experiments? Surely his first visions were not of a colorful package entitled "Windows 2000." Nevertheless, his vivid imagination took us all from the concept of "1's" and "0's" to today's monumentally complex world of computer software and internet browsers.

What about you? What goes on in your mind's eye while no one is looking? What do you see yourself doing in one, three, or five years? Do you hear a special future beckoning you to create an action thriller from the previews running through your imagination? Is there a stirring inside you that begs to be brought to fruition?

Why not grab some popcorn, a soft drink, and settle quietly into your favorite chair to enjoy the previews of your own imagination? Then, with a clear picture fresh in your mind, create the main attraction - your life!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who Are You?

"If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere . . . else."  - David Campbell, PhD

In the book "Unstoppable" by Cynthia Kersey, a cartoon appears showing a ship loaded with unkempt, bearded galley slaves rowing their life away at full-tilt. One of them says to another, "I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific!"

Chances are good that you work 8-10 hours each day, have 6-8 hours of discretionary time, and sleep 8 hours each day. Whether or not you choose to be specific about your direction in life, it's highly likely that the sun will come up and go down every 24 hours anyway. In other words, "If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere . . . else."

The alternative is really so much easier. In fact, it's downright exciting to think that you can be any "somebody" you want, just by deciding who that somebody will be. Really.

Instead of just fantasizing or daydreaming about the person you'd like to be, start acting like that person. Ask yourself how that person would act, talk, and walk. Begin taking on the characteristics of that person in your daily life, and then be passionate about it.

So often, we create our own limitations but simply fail to be more specific about our direction. We're like the farmer who placed a small growing pumpkin in a mason jar, then rediscovered it at harvest time. When the farmer broke the mason jar, he had a pumpkin which had grown to the exact (limiting) shape of the jar.

We are as limitless as our imagination will allow. When we break the mold - the mason jar - in which we have contained our growth, we will finally learn to fly. In the words of Richard Bach from his book Illusions, "In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Important Message For You & Those You Love -- It Can Wait

Click on this video link -- AT&T Don't Text While Driving Documentary

When you're searching for Wilmington, NC real estate information, please call me or visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ For information regarding the Wilmington Convention Center, please visit http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Make Your Own Wake

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"You can be happy without expecting others to agree with you."
- Kathleen Russell & Larry Wall, from "Achieving Your Dreams"

One of Garth Brooks' tunes goes like this: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained - sometimes you've got to go against the grain!" What is this "grain" we seem to fear going against? Chances are it's really what people will think about us for venturing in a new direction - not some immobile obstacle we cannot physically overcome.
Author/philosopher Wayne Dyer speaks on this topic in one of his programs. He equates our lives to being in a boat and watching the wake it leaves behind as it moves through the water. He explains that the wake is not what powers us through life, it is merely what we leave behind - our history - where we have been.
Often, the "grain" we go against is really someone else's "wake." Others may say something like "That's never been done before," or "We've always done it this way," or "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That's their wake - not yours!
Do you have a dream? Is there something you want to achieve that others might not understand? Don't tell them! It's not necessary to tell anyone what you are doing or planning. If your plan is radical, "they" probably wouldn't understand anyway.
So - live your dream. Plan it, execute it, and enjoy it. Make your own wake!
When you're searching for Wilmington, NC real estate information, please call me or visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ For information regarding the Wilmington Convention Center, please visit http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Make it a great week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:"Opportunities are seldom labeled." - John A. Shedd

From "Wellsprings of Wisdom" by Ralph Woods comes this story:

A successful businessman was invited to address a group of young executives on the subject of opportunities. He began his talk by tacking to the wall a big sheet of white paper and placing a black dot in the middle of the sheet. "What do you see?" he asked, pointing to the paper on the wall. "A black spot," called out everyone in the audience. "Yes, I see a black dot too," replied the speaker, "but none of you saw the much greater expanse of white. This is the point of my talk on opportunities."

While it is so easy to focus on the "black dots" - the immediate tasks that face us each day - how often do you grasp the opportunities that no one else notices in the white space? Don't answer that you haven't the time to notice the white space. Do you ever find yourself daydreaming? When you do, you're visiting that white space. The question is: Do you recognize your ability to bring those daydreams to fruition?

Look around you. Do you find yourself envying what others accomplish? Perhaps you can learn from their example. All they have done is to act on their dreams - to recognize the value of their white space and put it into motion.

So - what's missing in your life? Why not try filling in the blanks - the white spaces - with the achievement of your dreams? Maybe a legal pad and pencil can help. Try making a list of every dream you've ever had. Write them all down, all of them. When you finish, place an asterisk next to the five you would most like to accomplish or experience.

Finally, make those five items the "black dots" upon which you will focus until completed. Once identified, it becomes much easier to concentrate your attention on them. Opportunity knocks!

When you're searching for Wilmington, NC real estate information, please call me or visit my website
http://www.russmay.com/ For information regarding the Wilmington Convention Center, please visit http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Make it a great week!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Better To Attempt and Fail . . .

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor sprits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."                                                                                                 - Theodore Roosevelt


In an old "Peanuts" cartoon, Sally is making a list while Charlie Brown looks on. Sally says, "I'm making a list of all the things I've learned in life..." In the next panel she continues with, "Well, actually, I'm making two lists." Charlie asks, "Why is one list longer than the other?" Holding up the much longer list, Sally explains, "These are the things I've learned the hard way!"

It's easy to chuckle a little at the part about "learning things the hard way," isn't it? We've all done that. There's really a more revealing message though in this simple cartoon.

The short list of things we've learned generally contains lessons that required no effort, or lessons we learned passively, while just listening. For instance, we learned simple courtesies from our first grade teacher. We learned historical names and dates from our history teacher. We learned to tie knots from our scout leader. Our parents taught us to share. The list goes on.

The important list, the one that's much longer, contains the things we've learned from experience. These lessons are endless, and no matter how trifling the lesson, we learned one every time we took action. We dared to try a two-wheel bicycle and crashed - several times. We tried out for the school play - and made fools of ourselves in front of friends.

By attempting - at the possible expense of our pride, our self-esteem, or our physical well-being - we either succeeded or failed (and learned a lesson). It is our actions that produce results and teach us those valuable lessons. Teddy Roosevelt said it right: "Far better to dare mighty things..."

To search all Wilmington, NC homes for sale, please visit my website http://www.russmay.com/ Also, I invite you to visit http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Worry About The Chances You Miss When You Don't Even Try

 Monday Morning Coffee
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY: "You've failed many times, although you may not remember."
  • You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
  • You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you?
  • Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat?
  • Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.
  • R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
  • English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. 
  • Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
  • Don't worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try."

- Full-page ad published in the Wall Street Journal by United Technologies



There's a wonderful story in "Chicken Soup For The Soul" about a 4th grade teacher and a funeral. The teacher had her students fill a sheet of notebook paper with all the things they couldn't do. They wrote furiously for quite a while filling their paper with "I can't do ten push-ups," or "I can't kick the soccer ball past second base," or "I can't get Debbie to like me."

The students were then instructed to fold their papers and place them into a shoebox at the front of the room. The teacher then tucked the box under her arm, and invited the students to follow her out into the playground. There, they each took a turn at the shovel and dug a hole four feet deep. The box was placed in the hole and quickly covered with dirt.

The students then held hands while the instructor delivered a eulogy in memory of "I can't." In it, she noted that "I can't" was survived by his brothers and sister, "I can," "I will," and "I'm going to right away."

"I can't" is a close relative to most of us, yet maybe with a little extra effort we can finally let him go. It won't be easy since he's been such a close relation, yet maybe by dwelling on his brothers and sister and their importance to us - we can!

Remember the unforgettable line from "The Little Engine That Could"? "I think I can - I THINK I can! I THINK I CAN!" Don't forget the last line of our quote for the day. "Worry about the chances you'll miss when you don't even try!"


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great Website For Photographers

Her's a site that photographers of all levels can enjoy. I hope you will http://pixboomba.com/

It offers up some great advice with humor.

I need suggestions for improving this site http://www.wilmingtonconventioncenter.com/ Let me know what you think.