Thursday September 15, 2016 #829
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”
Imagine if you could let go of your human emotions of pettiness, jealousy, revenge … and focus instead on the equally human emotions of caring, kindness and understanding. If even some of the time when you are feeling normal but destructive negative emotions towards someone, you can intentionally shift your focus and offer kindness instead, you take control and ensure you and the people around you benefit. There is no gain in indulging negative impulses. Use your power to choose, and choose kindness.
Tuesday September 13, 2016 #828
“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
~Neil deGrasse Tyson
Learn and give. Two behaviors, a philosophy of living, which can change your life and those around you for the better. There are so many opportunities to gain knowledge if we are intentional, pay attention, and seek to learn from every interaction and experience. In that learning, there are always opportunities to share our knowledge with others to help them grow or to resolve issues they may be facing.
So easy, so beneficial. Choose to learn and give a little today.
Friday September 9, 2016 #827
“The more you expect from life, the more your expectations will be fulfilled. By laughing, you do not use up your laughter, but increase your store of it. The more you love, the more you will be loved. The more you give, the more you will receive. Life proves that truth every hour, every day. And life continues to surprise.”
~Dean Koontz (from Life Expectancy)
I love the never-ending abundance life has to offer us. The quote is brilliant and true. Expect more, laugh more, love more, and give more. All of these things will come back to you in ever increasing abundance. Life is a miracle – live it like you know it is!
Thursday September 1, 2016 #826
“You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”
~Maria Semple (from Where’d You Go, Bernadette)
It is amazing to hear so many people talking about how bored they are with their day, their job, their partner, their life! Never have human beings had more interesting and exciting opportunities to learn, grow, develop, and contribute. It is a paradox that the more we have to experience, and the more choices we have, the more “bored” we seem to become. It is fully within our power to make our lives interesting and exciting and fulfilling. We must make the choice to both understand what interests us and then go out and put ourselves in situations where we can be engaged and fully present. It’s all out there – go get it!
Thursday August 25, 2016 #825
“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.”
~Phillip Pullman (from The Amber Spyglass)
In our ever more polarized world, we see constant effort to label people who do not share our world view as “evil” or at least as people to avoid. This is incredibly damaging to our society, community, workplaces and families. Instead of falling into this insidious negative impulse, seek to be a unifier by avoiding such labels and look for those things that can bring us together rather than separate us. In almost all cases, the people you may be vilifying actually have far more in common with you than you realize. We will never improve our world by creating separation through labels. It is only by seeking common ground that we will come together to solve real problems.
Tuesday August 23, 2016 #824
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
~Margaret Atwood (from The Penelopiad)
Every day there are obstacles that come between us and what we aspire to achieve. You can become frustrated and retreat into anger, self-pity, blaming others, or passive-aggressive behaviors. None of these move you forward, but rather ensure failure and frustration. Instead, seek to understand the obstacle. Is it self-imposed? Is it possible to persuade or negotiate your way through? Do you require assistance or new skills to navigate through? Or is it simply impenetrable?
Be like water. Be prepared to flow around or, chip away at the obstacle until you wear a way through. You are unstoppable!
Thursday August 18, 2016 #823
“The world will knock you down plenty. You don’t need to be doing it to yourself.”
Life will deliver enough unintentional and intentional challenges to your sense of worth without you overly beating yourself up for your transgressions large and small. When (not if) you make mistakes, have the courage to both take responsibility for them, and also to be confident that these mistakes do not define you. Strike a balance of confidence and humility, and you’ll find that you can focus more on being the best of who you are instead of on the worst you are capable of being.
Tuesday August 16, 2016 #822
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
We possess the amazing ability in almost any situation to choose to be optimistic, cheerful and happy. While it is not possible to always remain positive and cheerful when faced with tragedy and even normal life challenges, we can choose how we react to these realities of our existence. First, choose not to ignore them, but to embrace the feelings in the moment, honor them, and if appropriate, utilize the love of family or friends to help navigate these feelings. If not appropriate or no one is available, then we must navigate this on our own. Focus on what we can control, take action to deal with what we can, and then courageously and with intention, move on. Reflect on positive and nurturing people and circumstances in our lives, and begin to intentionally focus on being cheerful, even if you have to act “as if”, until the act becomes reality. It isn’t easy at first, which is why we must practice this process during smaller challenges whenever we can so we can be prepared and trained to navigate the larger challenges of our lives when they inevitably occur.
Thursday August 11, 2016 #821
“One of the most important things I’ve learned in life is to ignore most of what people say. I watch what they do instead.”
Most people are skilled at projecting the image of themselves they want the world to see. Social media has provided a unique platform for image creation. We are able to post the pictures, the comments, and the links to people and ideas we want the world to see – all a well-scripted image of ourselves. But is this really who we are? And as you peruse other people’s Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Instagram, or other accounts, are you viewing the real person, or just the image they want to project? This is why we must engage physically and watch others’ behaviors. It is not what we say or what we post that tells the story of who we are. It is our actions. So watch others’ actions to determine who they really are, and be sure to act in the ways you want to be perceived, much as you post in the same way.
Wednesday August 9, 2016 #820
“Anyone that encourages intellectual, emotion, artistic or spiritual growth is worth keeping. Don’t let them go.”
Reflect on the people with whom you regularly spend your time – both physically and mentally. Among them, who contributes positively to your life – intellectually, emotionally, artistically, or spiritually? These contributions may be easy or they may be challenging to handle, but if they are positive, be sure to create more time for these people in your life. How can you create this time? By turning away those people who subtract from these elements of your life – which drain you with their negativity or drama with no redeeming contributions. You must learn to say no to these people, in order to create the time to say yes to those who energize you.
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