The following are a series of articles written by Dr. James Melton covering various topics.

Not long ago, Dana and I returned from Denver after attending an art exhibition and visiting friends we have known for years. I was struck with the realization that in all we do and say about our careers, our passions, our living environments, and our finances, friends are truly one of the most important elements in our lives.

The art exhibit was a retrospective of work by Mark Zamantakis at Denver University.

When traveling in France last year, Dana and I spent most of our time in Provence. We were there for one month and not one person asked me what I did for a living. The French people took us at face value. We dined, visited the villages and socialized without discussing business. That’s the French culture and it was refreshing.

The home market is booming. Today’s economy affords us a new opportunity to reevaluate our living environments. In our desert, homes are being built almost faster than we can count—but basically they are all the same. I will certainly acknowledge that any shift from the norm can be difficult—even if it elevates and enhances one’s lifestyle, but why is change so difficult?

You say you can’t change because that’s just the way things are. One of the greatest laws of mind is that of belief. You are the sum total of the thoughts you choose to think, and the thoughts you choose to think form your beliefs. Now, did you get that? I didn’t say that you were your beliefs; that’s not true. It is true that we function in accordance with our beliefs. There is a difference.

We hear so many people say things like,

Throughout life everyone is faced with making choices hundreds or possibly thousands of times each day. It is an innate function of the mind. It cannot be avoided, although many times the attempt is made to do so. Therein lies the dilemma of not wanting to make a choice,

“I told you that this is the way I wanted it done!” Does this sound familiar? Saying this will be one of the most effective ways to lose respect among those that are supervised. This does not address the input of the support staff and validating their ability to think

Have you ever dreamed of building your own home? Perhaps, the retirement is so far away and money is tight that now is not the best time to establish any personal goals. On the contrary, the sooner the better in setting goals and putting the plan into action.