Tag Archives: Inspiration

Thoughtless thoughts

“Your thoughts do not care about you. They only want to perpetuate themselves.”

Gary Schneider 

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Animated brain scan.

Always be mindful of what you’re thinking whether it be in deep thought or just a fleeting thought, because your thoughts have tremendous power behind them. Studies have shown that the mind can control your heartbeat, your blood pressure, body temperature, bodily pain, etc. Under our own initiative, our brain can produce important cells, tissues, amino acids, antigens, and many other bodily elements just like it does every day automatically. Just like the food we eat produces the kind of physical health we have, what our brain produces gives us the kind of mental health we have. What’s very important to remember is that our brain is responsible for basically our entire health, so make it a habit to always feed your mind with positive thoughts. If you’re wondering where the positive thoughts come from that feed the brain, well they come from the soul. The two are intricately woven together working as the source and the power behind all we do.

I encourage you to read this very informative article entitled: 10 Amazing Examples of Mind Over Matter at http://tinyurl.com/n3hskva

A shining example

“He who finds diamonds must grapple in mud and mire because diamonds are not found in polished stones.  They are made.”

~ Henry B. Wilson  

A scattering of "brilliant" cut diam...

A scattering of “brilliant” cut diamonds.

To become something that is brilliant from every angle, from within and without, sometimes you must live a life in the dirtiest place on earth. This place is not a happy place nor is it a comfortable place, yet it is the only place that can crush you into someone that is invincible, beautiful, resilient, and admired. It’s a place that no one would ever choose for themselves to exist in. Living there is difficult, depressing, sad, dark, and often lonely. But if one can endure the elements long enough that this place continually throws at you, then you will surely be something much greater than what you were before you entered. Great people are not born, they are made — just like a stone that over time and through excruciating painful forces becomes a polished gem that is the most cherished of all. To find these kinds of people (the gems), you must look in places that are not so inviting or even easy to find. I know this, because I am one of those people who have endured this place that I speak of, and I am proud to say that I have become a better person from every angle, from within and without, and hopefully for all time. 

Love thy enemy

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on the Isle of Wigh...

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of the hardest things to do is love your enemy. If you really ponder the fact that all our enemies are just like we are in that they desire the same things we desire. They want freedom, power, peace, love, a place to call their homeland, money, religious rights, etc. just like we do. But for many centuries, people have been fighting amongst themselves and with other cultures and nations creating havoc, unspeakable tragedies, and untold sufferings. What can we attribute this to? Is it because men dominate world affairs and women don’t? Is it because humans are more animalistic than they are spiritual? Is it because this is man’s destiny — to always be at war? Whatever the reason, it’s pitiful that people of all races, religions, and creed do not look for ways to live in harmony as much as they look for ways to become more powerful and destructive. If people in power took the time to look into the hearts of their “enemies” perhaps they would find the answers the perplexing questions posed above. Peace to all.

Managing mistakes

“The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.”

~ Wang Yang-Ming (1472-1529) Chinese Philosopher

Wang Yangming (1472–1529), considered the most...

Wang Yangming (1472–1529), considered the most influential Confucian thinker since Zhu Xi.

Correcting mistakes you’ve made is more important than making them in the first place. We all know that life isn’t perfect, so there’s no point in trying not to make any mistakes. Instead, be very aware of all the mistakes you make in life so that you can make sure you don’t make them anymore. This is very simple in theory to understand but not so easy to physically do. I suppose it’s because humans are creatures of habit and can’t easily change or adapt themselves to a new environment. The ones that can will surely succeed in ways that most cannot. Part of being a wise person is knowing where and when to navigate in the path of life. The mistakes we have made (and will continue to make!) in life will teach us how to be wise as souls and happier as people. To me, life is simply about trying to be better human beings, and to be better we must constantly be sharpening our souls so that we can live renewed lives as much as possible.

A parable: Comfort and Riches

Because I enjoyed this story so much, I wanted to share it with you. It was originally posted by Stuart at: http://thechangeyourlifeblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/the-comfort-riches-parable/

A poor man reached middle age without becoming the success he envisioned as a young man. He decided early the next morning he would ask a rich friend of his what the secret of success was.

The rich friend pointed down a rough path near the edge of town and said walk down that path and you will find the answer. Trusting his friend, the poor man set off down that rough path.

He walked and walked in the hot sun, on and on until he had blisters on his heels. The path twisted this way then that through some low hills, never giving him a good view of how far there was to go. The path was so rough he lost his footing a few times, but he kept on going.

As he turned a bend he saw a sign on the side of the path. As he drew nearer he saw that it said: ‘Not far to go now.’ Encouraged, he continued walking.

A little further he saw another sign that read: ‘Keep going.’ He felt a renewed sense of energy and determination even though he was hot and exhausted.

A little while later he came upon a third sign saying: ‘Nearly there.’ A little stream ran alongside and he decided to take some refreshment before continuing.

After many more hours he sat down for a rest. He was in real discomfort and his ehthusiasm was beginning to wane. Sign after sign had urged him onwards but still he could not see the answer to success. ‘My so called friend has played a joke on me.’ he thought. The answer is not down this path. There’s only discomfort, frustration and endless false promises down this path.

At that moment he decided to head back home and give his rich friend a piece of his mind for making him look like a fool.

Meanwhile, the rich man was sitting on the porch of his beautiful country home waiting for his friend to arrive. A cool glass of lemonade in his hand and an expectant smile on his face.

He waited and waited, until eventually the sun started going down. Disappointed, he walked across the lawn and up to the gate of his house. He opened it and walked down the rough path that ran near a little stream. He stopped at the sign he had erected there. The sign read: ‘You’re here.’

He gazed one last time down the long and winding path but there was no sign of his friend.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

~ Calvin Coolidge

English: Calvin Coolidge.

The purpose of money

“Wealth still failed to impress him; the purpose of money was to purchase one’s freedom to pursue that which was useful and interesting.”

~ H. W. Brands, in his biography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Today’s Lesson: “Letting Go of Attachments”
This goes along with simplifying your life. And the act of simplifying certainly helps you recognize your attachments. You’ll see what I mean when you start to give away a perfectly good suit that you haven’t worn in ten years. Suddenly that suit looks really necessary. But once you do let go, you never look back. And suddenly you are lighter and freer than ever before.

Using this same thinking will help you to not be attached to money. The greatest asset money has is that it allows us to live our lives more richer because of the free time it gives us in life. Enjoying interesting and useful time with good friends, family and loved ones. One must remember to be wise when money and free time are available in excess because they can destroy a person very easily if one isn’t careful. Go find your purpose, and then be wealthy.

Speaking speech

To speak or not to speak? This is the question.

Justice Louis Brandeis, in his compelling opinion nearly seventy-five years ago in the criminal syndication case of Whitney v. California, in which he articulated the premise of what today is known as the “Doctrine of Counterspeech.” Here is a brief excerpt from his opinion (at the URL below):

“When it came to expression that was perceived by some to be dangerous, threatening, or harmful, Brandeis famously wrote, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

English: Photo of Louis Brandeis

Brigham Young University’s 2000 Law Review (archives) titled “Counterspeech 2000: A New Look at the Old Remedy for “Bad” Speech” by Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert. The article has a lot of interesting points worth considering. Tell us what you think and say what you will, while we all get educated from your speech.

lawreview.byu.edu

An excellent idea

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

~ Aristotle

Aristotle (1811) Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice

Aristotle

Such a poignant statement that sums up how we should truly measure ourselves. As I celebrate my 54th birthday today, I will take these words by Aristotle with me as a reminder to live my life each day as someone who lives rightly. Doing so will help me be an excellent human being who has chosen to develop habits that are conducive to a life of excellence. After all, isn’t that what we all want to achieve with our lives? Today, choose to be an excellent person who inspires others to live their life in excellence. This is a most excellent idea. 

It depends upon

“A man is not much if he can’t depend on himself, and nothing if others can’t depend on him.”

~  Benjamin Black

There’s a school of psychology which holds that happiness is subjective. Good or bad things happen in life, but people return to the same base level of happiness. Researchers found evidence that people adapt completely to marriage, divorce, widowhood, birth of a child, and layoffs.

Death of a spouse, for instance, is a terrible event characterized by a radical drop in happiness, but in the year that follows happiness rises, and within two years happiness returns to normal and may even rise above the baseline (as the subject gets caught in another hedonic cycle). A similar hedonic pattern follows most negative events—and positive ones too. People get over them. In almost every unhappy situation that people are faced with, the happiness level reverts to the baseline. 

Because people have the strength to eventually rebound after any tragedy, they can depend on themselves, and others can depend on them to get them through the difficult times in life. Choose to be a happy person no matter what happens in your life and people will know they can depend on you. It just depends on you.

Happiness is a Choice

Seeing the unseen

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.”

~ Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

Cover of "The Story of My Life"

Cover of The Story of My Life

Such a powerful statement by someone who faced so many difficult challenges in her life. This is how Helen overcame her physical “blindness” to the world around her and enabled her to see things in such a way that most who have sight cannot. Everyone is either born with or faces some deficiencies in their life, so learning how to properly overcome them is essential to living a life that is physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. To learn how to do this, just read Helen Keller’s book entitled, “The Story of My Life” and you’ll be uplifted, overjoyed and renewed with life. Then all you’ll need to do is share your new found abundance for life with everyone you can, and you’ll see your deficiencies disappear for good. You will then become the master of your life. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! Today is Christmas, a time for people to be with their families and dear friends as they relish the time together on this day of reverence and remembrance   It’s also a time where we reflect on the year that is coming to a close and when we make promises to ourselves to make the next year better than the last.  I encourage you to make the effort during this most cherished time of the year to be a better person who makes a difference in other people’s lives. To be a person who takes better care of them self and cares for the ones you love just as much as you care for yourself. And mostly to become a person who lives a life beyond reproach and encourages others to live their life with zest and zeal, kindness, joy, and vigor.

Here is something to think about as you ponder what you can do to change your life for the better. My advice to you is to live and love in the NOW. The truth is found in the moment NOW and is soon forgotten in the mad dash for NEXT… planning, hoping, worrying, dreaming, leaving the truth unnoticed when it is right NOW to be had in all its glory and wonder.

Christmas

Thinking intelligently

“The essence of intelligence would seem to be in knowing when to think and act quickly, and knowing when to think and act slowly.”

~ Psychologist Robert Sternberg

How we react to something determines the outcome of a certain situation which can have a great impact on us immediately or some time after. It all depends on how quickly or slowly you act. How you act–and react–shows how intelligent you really are. Smart people typically don’t get themselves in trouble because they have thought about what their actions will manifest and the consequences they’ll have to live with thereafter. So, next time you’re in a situation that requires critical thinking and quick judgement, try your best not to make a decision either too quickly or too slowly. Whatever you decide though, make sure your course of action is based on how it effects the lives of those involved in your decision. It will end up being the best decision of all.

Golf balls, pebbles, sand and coffee

“The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee”

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with GOLF BALLS. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of PEBBLES and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of SAND and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced TWO CUPS OF COFFEE from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that:

1. This JAR represents your life.

2. The GOLF BALLS are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

3. The PEBBLES are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

4. The SAND is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Spend more time enjoying your hobbies. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the sink disposal. TAKE CARE OF THE GOLF BALLS FIRST–THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER. Set your priorities. THE REST IS SAND.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the COFFEE represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

People should spend more of their time thinking about what is most important in their lives and about those who are closest to them, then spend the remainder of their time doing things for and with those people.

Do you love you?

“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”

~ Alain De Botton

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

To be happy in life, we ultimately need to be in love with ourselves. Sometimes the only person in the world who loves you like you want to be loved–is you. If you’re buying expensive gadgets to bring you fulfillment, or using people to get something from them, or overextending yourself financially to gain acceptance from others, then you will never be ultimately satisfied with your life. If you only desire to have many things that eventually become dust in the wind or only want what one day will crumble to the sea, then you will never have what can remain with you and within you for as long as you live…Love. Nothing lasts forever and everything changes. If you can accept this and live your life according to this absolute, then you can begin to fully understand just how much more sweet love, respect and expression really are to your being. Always love yourself and life more than the dependency for material things which aren’t a source for true love at all.

Defining yourself

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”

~ Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein 2 Shankbone Metropolitan Oper...

Harvey Fierstein

When you listen to others who tell you what kind of person you are (or aren’t), you lose something very important — your own view of yourself. Although it’s important to listen to others who critique you, it’s more important to define yourself by your own measure. You know yourself better than anyone else and you see yourself like no one else does — from the inside out. If you’re going to listen to anyone, just make sure they are people you admire, respect and trust. With their help, you can become someone who others look up to and desire to be like. Just make sure you are in control of how you see yourself, otherwise you will never be all you can truly be. How do you define yourself?

The greatest gift of all

“The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your life. It is the only thing that will ever truly be yours.”

~ Tiffany Loren Rowe

The very best gift of all is one you give to yourself. It’s one that no one can take away from you and is free to give. Because of this, you should treasure it like a room full of gold and diamonds and enjoy it as if it really were. What is this gift? It’s loving and believing in yourself.  That’s it! Something so simple to imagine doing but something that many of us don’t do at all. Be one of those who rewards yourself with the very best gift of all — self love and a belief that you can become the person you want to be. Think about how you want to wrap your gift and then surprise yourself with this beautiful gift without hesitation. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, so do it soon. This is my gift to you.

The Eternal Gift

The rainbow rule

The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you finish the work.

~ Pat Clifford

If you have a child(ren) in your life, then be sensitive to the fact that time won’t wait for you to find time to spend with them. Make a daily effort to spend time with your offspring so they can grow up in a way that you want them to grow up. Children are directly effected by how much effort we put into their lives. This effort comes from your commitment to make the time to help them become people you will be proud of and who will be proud of you for all the time you give to them. The best use of your time is the time you give to others; so make sure you give more time to the ones you bring into this world than those who don’t matter as much to you in the end. Put children before your work so they can enjoy the many colors of the rainbow and more importantly, your colors.

Rainbow Children

I am dynamite!

“I know my fate. One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous — a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no (mere) (wo)man, I am dynamite.”  

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche

How do you overcome and trascend your own life challenges? It’s only done by withstanding the immense pressures and difficulties of life. It’s also accomplished by having undergone a refining and shaping process which leaves you shining like a bright star in the deepest of night. Strive everyday to be a beacon of light in someone’s dark world and you’ll see your own world be void of darkness.

There is an interesting soliloquy in the play ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare that captures the vicissitudes and promethean challenges of our life’s own challenges and experiences:

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to dream; Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause….”

~ Hamlet Act 3: Scene 1 (Hamlet speaking this on his entry to Act 3, Scene 1)

Finding yourself

“Life on the open road is liberty….to be alone, to have few needs, to be unknown, everywhere a foreigner and at home, and to walk grandly and solitarily in conquest of the world.”

~ Isabelle Eberhardt

Isabelle Eberhardt

Isabelle Eberhardt

Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. Finding your way through life requires that you do it alone sometimes so that you can become strong enough to endure and bear all the burdens that life brings you. Finding yourself along life’s journey is something that makes you complete and gives you a sense of fulfillment. Take the experiences you encounter on this journey and keep them with you at all times so they can be a shield of armor to protect you from all the arrows life throws at you.  Then you’ll be able to wander this world with confidence and with a commanding presence. Now, go conquer the world with your shield and show others how to do the same.

Superhero status

“Every man has an obscure respect for courage in others, especially if it is moral courage, the rarest and most difficult sort of bravery… It makes the very brute understand that this man is more than a man.”

~ Passage from Life of Christ

Perhaps the most difficult thing for people to do is live a life that is full of moral courage. Most people aren’t even courageous at all let alone possess the kind of courage that makes powerful people think twice about how effective their kind of courage is. Do your best to increase and improve yourself in such a way that you are known by all people for your moral courage. With it, you’ll be able to make life around you so much better. Maybe to those around you, you’ll be considered a kind of superhero. Super (Moral) Courageous.

Nature Blooming

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for use of his illustration.