Friday, December 31, 2010

taking inventory

Dear Readers,

In keeping with the tradition of taking inventory of what lessons have been learned during the past year, I would like to offer my year end thoughts:

First: Know that the sun rises every single day even after the darkest night. Decide to be there to watch the sunrise.

Second: Remember that the Creator is benevolent. Look to this day for all the gifts brought to you that are seldom acknowledged. An exquisite flower, a crisp breeze, a star twinkling in the midnight blue sky, the scent of a pine tree, a purring senior cat, a bonfire to gather around, fresh sheets and pillowcases, water to refresh, and the ability to look and appreciate all the extraordinary beauty the world has to offer.

Third: Be in the moment. Stay in the moment, moment by moment. The present is all we have. Longing for the past and worrying about the future are fruitless endeavors.

Fourth: Cherish hellos and goodbyes. Neither is long enough, so make the most of each one.

Fifth: Welcome change even if it's an uninvited guest. Know that you could be entertaining "angels" unaware. Change is the one constant. Make friends with it.

Sixth: Embrace the real you. There is no one else like you in the Universe. You are truly one of a kind and put here for a higher purpose.

Seventh: Learn to love the mundane task. By polishing your skills through repetition, repetition, repetition you will shine with the stars.

Eighth: Allow others to speak and you simply listen. Good exercise in self-control and personal development.

Nine: Accept the inevitable because it always is.

Ten: Express gratitude daily for the acquaintances, friends, and loved ones the Universe has gifted you with in your life. These are your true priceless treasures.

Eleven: Memorize the following statement: Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things are changing. God alone is changeless. Patience attains the good. –St. Teresa of Avila

And, a good thought to follow every day by Henry Drummond states:

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not deter or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Be Your Very Best Always,

Judy Williamson
Director of the Napoleon Hill World Learning Center at Purdue University Calumet

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

101 Questions that Empower You

Are you asking the right questions? Inspiring minds want to know. The right question can be just the right prompt to inspire you to action, gain better perspective, or help you make the most of any situation.

Here is a set of 101 of my favorite questions that I draw from whether it’s to shape my day, solve a problem, figure out next steps, or get “on path.”

1.What’s the way forward?

2.What do you want your life to be about?

3.Who do you want to be and what experiences do you want to create?

4.How does that serve you in terms of who you are and who you want to be?

5.Are you giving your best where you have your best to give?

6.What do you want to accomplish?

7.What do you want to do more of each day? … What do you want to spend your time doing more of?

8.What do you want to spend less time on?

9.If this situation were to never change, what’s the one quality I need to truly enjoy it?

10.If not now, when?

11.If not you, who?

12.What’s right with this picture? (if you always ask, “What’s wrong with this picture?”, this is a nice switch)

13.How can you make the most of the situation? … If there are no good options, what’s the best play I can make for this scenario?

14.Who else shares this problem? … Who would solve this problem well? (a great way to find models and learn from the best)

15.What would do?” … How would I respond if I were Bob Hope? … Leonardo da Vinci? … Guy Kawasaki? … Seth Godin? … etc. (this is a great way to come up with new ideas or plays for your situation)

16.What are you pointing your camera at? (a simple way to direct your day on a scene by scene basis)

17.What’s good enough for now?

18.What can you be the best at in the world?

19.What’s the most effective thing for me to focus on?

20.Are you asking the right question? … Is that the right question?

21.How is that relevant?

22.What’s that based on?

23.What’s the goal? … What are the goals?

24.What would success look like?

25.What do you need to be successful? … What do you need to be successful in this situation?

26.Is it working? … Is it effective?

27.What do you measure? … What are the metrics?

28.What are the tests for success?

29.How do you know it’s working?

30.How do you know when you’re done?

31.What did you expect?

32.Are you creating the results you want?

33.Does it matter?

34.Will it matter in 100 years?

35.Is it worth the effort?

36.What actions have I taken? … What steps have I tried? ( a great sanity check when you’re testing your ability to take action)

37.What’s next?

38.What do you want to do?

39.What’s best for you?

40.What’s the best thing for now?

41.What’s your next best thing to do?

42.Is that a good idea?

43.So what? Now what?

44.What’s the problem?

45.What’s the threat?

46.What’s the concern?

47.When do you want it by? … You want what by when?

48.Who needs to do what when?

49.Who needs to do what differently?

50.Who should do what when?

51.What would you have them do differently?

52.What’s wearing you down?

53.What’s lifting you up?

54.Why do you get up in the morning and come to work?

55.What do you want to experience? … What do you want to experience more of?

56.What are you trading? … What are you trading up for?

57.What did you learn that you can use next time?

58.What would you do differently next time around?

59.Where’s the growth?

60.What would people pay you for?

61.Do you want to run towards or away from the problem?

62.How big is the pie, how big is your slice?

63.Does it make business sense?

64.Is it business critical?

65.What’s our capacity?

66.What’s our constraint?

67.What are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?

68.What’s our core business?

69.What does the market want?

70.Is it push, pull or indifferent?

71.What’s the trend?

72.What to cut back on?

73.What does the pro know that you don’t? (this is a good way to figure out if knowledge or insight can make a difference)

74.Now what are you going to do about it?

75.Can you teach it to someone else?

76.How can I use this?

77.What do you want to say?

78.What’s the right thing to do?

79.Is now the right time?

80.Is this the right forum?

81.How much time do you have?

82.What are you making time for?

83.How much time should you make for it?

84.What can you do all day long?

85.What are you spending the bulk of your time on?

86.Does your schedule reflect your priorities?

87.If you had all the time in the world, how would you spend your time?

88.If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend it?

89.Where are we on the map?

90.What would make life more wonderful for you?

91.How can you chunk it down?

92.How fast can you do it?

93.What’s the impact?

94.What would you like to have happen? … What would you like instead?

95.What’s the opposite of that?

96.How might that be true?

97.What are you seeing that I’m not?

98.What did you see, what did you hear?

99.What’s the writing on the wall?

100.What’s their story?

101.Who’s stopping you? … What’s stopping you? … What’s holding you back?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

101 Most Inspiring Quotes• ~

101 Most Inspiring Quotes•

Quotes on Life (21 quotes)

•Quotes on Change (3 quotes)

•Quotes on Past, Present and Future (14 quotes)

•Quotes on Purpose (3 quotes)

•Quotes on Dreams and Passion (27 quotes)

•Quotes on Imagination & Creativity (2 quotes)

•Quotes on Goals (7 quotes)

•Quotes on Attitudes and Mindsets (40 quotes)

Quotes on Life

© rebecca-lily

1.“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

2.“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

3.“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

4.“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

5.“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

6.“We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot

7.“There’s no next time. It’s now or never.”

8.“For every effect there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect, as there is no end to the latter.”

9.“When you don’t get what you want, you suffer. If you get it, you suffer too since you can’t hold on to it forever.” – Peaceful Warrior, on the fallacy of attachment

10.“There are no ordinary moments. There is always something going on.” – Peaceful Warrior

11.“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

12.Every moment you get is a gift. Spend it on things that matter. Don’t spend it by dwelling on unhappy things.

13.Everything around us is made up of energy. To attract positive things in your life, start by giving off positive energy.

14.Don’t put off living to next week, next month, next year or next decade. The only time you’re ever living is in this moment.

15.Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. – Mark Twain

16.Life is a gift. Never forget to enjoy and bask in every moment you are in.

17.The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced – Art Van Der Leeuw

18.“My life is my message.” – Gandhi

19.“If wrinkles must be written upon our brow, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old.” – James A. Garfield

20.“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

21.“In the beginning you will fall into the gaps in between thoughts – after practicing for years, you become the gap.” – J.Kleykamp (Regarding meditation)

#Go back to top

Quotes on Change1.“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

2.All great changes are preceded by chaos. ~ Deepak Chopra

3.Change is not pleasant, But change is constant. Only when we change and grow, We’ll see a world we never know. ~From Wisdom of The Orange Woodpecker

#Go back to top

Quotes on Past, Present and Future1.“Don’t let the past steal your present” – Cherralea Morgen

2.“One has to live in the present. Whatever is past is gone beyond recall; whatever is future remains beyond one’s reach, until it becomes present. Remembering the past and giving thought to the future are important, but only to the extent that they help one deal with the present.” – S.N. Goenka

3.“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” – Robin Sharma

4.The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek.

5.“Be present – it is the only moment that matters.” Peaceful Warrior

6.“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” – B. Olatunji

7.“Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.” ~ Ann Landers

8.“Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever”. – Deepak Chopra

9.Don’t put off living to next week, next month, next year or next decade. The only time you’re ever living is in this moment.

10.“There’s no next time. It’s now or never.”

11.“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

12.“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.” – Doug Ivester

13.“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~ Albert Einstein

14.To create more positive results in your life, replace “if only” with “next time”.

#Go back to top

Quotes on Purpose

Image © mikebaird

1.“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life… Therein he cannot be re­placed, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” – Viktor Frankl

2.“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.” – Buddha

3.“One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests.” – John Stuart Mill

#Go back to top

Quotes on Dreams and Passion1.“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

2.“If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose.”

3.“At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve

4.“Do what you love and the money will follow.” – Marsha Sinetar

5.“The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.” – Richard Bach

6.“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman

7.“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

8.“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

9.“No matter where you are in life right now, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are – it is never too late to be who you are meant to be.” – Esther & Jerry Hicks

10.“There’s nothing capricious in nature, and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

11.“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.” – Belva Davis

12.“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

13.“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.” – Les Brown

14.“Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

15.“No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.” – Anonymous

16.“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.” – Doug Ivester

17.“You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” – Pursuit of Happyness (Movie)

18.“History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.” – John Eliot

19.“You will not do incredible things without an incredible dream.” – John Eliot

20.“Instead of thinking about what you are going to do when you retire, think about how you can do that now and make a living from it.”

21.“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.”

22.“Everything you want should be yours: the type of work you want; the relationships you need; the social, mental, and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; the money you require for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; and any requirement that you may (or may not) have for achievement or service to others. If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all. To aim for it requires that you know what you want” ~ Richard Koch

23.“I am not my memories. I am my dreams.” ~ Terry Hostetler

24.“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown

25.“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~ Albert Einstein

26.“Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.” – Yogi Ramen

27.“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

#Go back to top

Quotes on Imagination and Creativity1.“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein.

2.“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein

#Go back to top

Quotes on Goals

Image ©

1.“In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.” – Arnold H. Glasgow

2.“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.” – Greg Anderson

3.“The most important thing about goals is having one.” – Geoffry F. Abert

4.“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

5.“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

6.“Everything is always created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”

7.“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar

#Go back to top

Quotes on Attitudes and Mindsets1.“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas A. Edison

2.“How you think is as important as as what you think”

3.“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” —Lao-Tze

4.“The only limits in your life are those that you set yourself.”

5.“Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.” – Yogi Ramen

6.“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.”

7.“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” – Viktor Frankl

8.“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” – William James

9.“Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” – Henry Ford

10.“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

11.“The degree of responsibility you take for your life determines how much change you can create in it.”

12.“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” – Seneca

13.The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.

14.“A man can do all things if he will.” — Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72)

15.“You can’t get to a place that you don’t believe exists.”

16.“There is always room in your life for thinking bigger, pushing limits and imagining the impossible.” – Tony Robbins

17.“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis

18.“(Tool+Training+Experience) x Mindset = Goal/Success. BUT if your mindset is zero then equation is (100 + 100 +100) x 0 = Failure”

19.“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

20.“Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses.” – Peaceful Warrior

21.“When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

22.“If you believe you can, you can. If you believe you can’t, then, well you can’t.”

23.“Our life experiences often create a limited worldview of what is and what is not possible. Thus to maximize your experience of life, base your dreams outside of your life experiences.”

24.“To create more positive results in your life, replace “if only” with “next time”.”

25.“Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.” – Sir James Dewar

26.“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” ~Ernest Holmes

27.“When a man is wrapped up in himself he makes a pretty small package.” –John Ruskin

28.“There is no teacher who can teach anything new. He can just help us to remember the things we always knew.” – Odyssey of the Mind, Enigma

29.“You have to ‘Be’ before you can ‘Do’ and ‘Do’ before you can ‘Have’.” – Zig Ziglar

30.“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” -Vince Lombarde

31.“Instead of thinking outside the box, just get rid of it.”

32.“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~Winston Churchill

33.“You see things and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and I say ‘Why not?’” ~ George Bernard Shaw

34.“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities” – Terry Josephson

35.“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

36.“If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.” -Norman Vincent Peale

37.“The sky has never been the limit. We are our own limits. It’s then about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our best lives.”

38.“If the grass is greener on the other side, maybe that’s because you’re not taking good care of your grass.”

39.“One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests.” – John Stuart Mill

40.“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Motivational Poems

Motivational Poems

Here are some motivational poems. Some will get you thinking. Some will motivate you to take action. If you find a poem that resonates with you, save it. Enjoy these motivational poems!

Why Not You?

By Steve Maraboli

Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?

Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you?

Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?

Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you?

Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you?

Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you?

Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you?

Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you?

Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you?

Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you?

Today is a new day!

Many will seize this day.

Many will live it to the fullest.

Why not you?


It's The Journey That's Important

By John McLeod

Life, sometimes so wearying

Is worth its weight in gold

The experience of traveling

Lends a wisdom that is old

Beyond our 'living memory'

A softly spoken prayer:

"It's the journey that's important,

Not the getting there!"

Ins and outs and ups and downs

Life's road meanders aimlessly?

Or so it seems, but somehow

Leads us where we need to be,

And being simply human

We oft question and compare...

"Is the journey so important

Or the getting there?"

And thus it's always been

That question pondered down the ages

By simple men with simple ways

To wise and ancient sages...

How sweet then, quietly knowing

Reaching destination fair:

"It's the journey that's important,

Not the getting there!"

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Sure-Fire Ways To Enjoy Every Day Of Your Life

There was a time in my life where I wasn't enjoying it very much. I was so stressed in the pursuit of success that I had in fact lost the joy of living. I spent so much time on the road endeavoring to build a future for my family that I didn't have time for them. In fact, I was so wrapped up in the pursuit of my future that I was in fact missing out on the present.

So as the years went by, and my children and I weren't getting any younger, I paused, just for a split second, and did a review. What I saw wasn't pretty. In fact it utterly disgusted me.

So that is when I gave myself a stern talking to. You need to do that on occasions - and it works really well when you’re looking straight back at yourself in a mirror.

I said, 'Peter, you’re so caught up in the pursuit of success that you’re actually living as a failure. You’re failing yourself. You’re failing your family, and you're setting yourself up for failure in some of the most important areas of your life because of your obsession for success in business. So what's the point of doing the journey, if you don’t take time out to smell the roses? Begin to enjoy every day of your life starting today - and don't forget the ones you love.'

From that day forward I have been on a mission to enjoy the journey- because yes you do have to constantly work at it. I suppose that's one reason I ended up in business with my kids as they have grown up into adults - because I just love spending time with them.

So let me share with you five ways that have helped me to enjoy every day of my life - and I know that if you apply them to your life that you will find yourself in the enviable position(yes I have to pinch myself sometimes) that I find myself in today.

1.Learn to laugh

Laughter is the healer of all ills. Smiling is the balm that soothes and settles. Both are the medicine that sustains a life of joy. Laugh in the face of problems. Laugh in the path of insurmountable odds. Guffaw in the depths of the valleys, and celebrate with wide beams of sunshine streaming from your mouth when standing on the mountaintops.

Learn to laugh at yourself. Laugh when you triumph, and laugh when you trip. But don't laugh at the expense of others. Share jokes that lift. Watch clean comedies that lighten the load. See the funny side, and search for it if you have to, to discover another reason to always laugh.

2.Stop taking yourself too seriously

Why so serious? Stop it today. Lighten up. So many people are so tightly wound that they will either crack up or blow up. Loosen the bonds of seriousness and be free.

There was an actor that appeared on the film scape a number of years back and he called himself ‘Yahoo Serious’. Now the very name, let alone the way he presented himself - well can I simply say this - it was hard to get serious when he was around.

So loosen the screw. Let down your hair. Find a reason to celebrate - for whatever reason - and be free at last from serious seriousdom - the land of the deadly serious - seriously!

3.Surround yourself with winners

I don't keep the company of losers. I'm at a loss why anyone would. The fact is that if you want to win in life, then you need to build around you a company of winners - in your field of endeavor and then others who are winners in their respective fields.

Winners commit winning acts. Winners speak winning words. Winners have winning ways. Winners sometimes lose, but don't stay down. They get up, dust themselves off and go again.

Fill your world with winning books. Watch winning movies. Listen to winning speakers, but most of all associate with winners.

True winners won't compete with you - but will join your cheer squad - cheering you on in your winning pursuit.

4.Make it your daily habit to express gratitude

Gratitude is of vital importance if you wish to remain fresh and vibrant in all your ways. Never take anything for granted. Always say thank you, and in everything you do, enter with an attitude of gratitude.

Show gratitude for another day to breathe, to dream and to fulfill the vision for your life. Hug and kiss your family. Embrace your friends. Cherish your clients. Adore your associates. Write cards. Send positive email communications. Distribute social media comments that lift.

With every moment that you live - make your life an overwhelming expression of thankfulness for being given the most awesome privilege to become the ‘best you’ possible throughout your lifetime here on planet earth. For you were born for a time such as this. It is no mistake. You have a divine appointment with destiny.

5.Pursue your passion with 111% enthusiasm

We're all passionate about something. Trouble is that most of us are so focused on earning a living that our passions are often brushed aside.

But to truly enjoy your life's journey it is imperative that you take time out to identify your strengths and invest time in the pursuit of your passions - the projects, the desires, and the sparks that lights you up on the inside. Then go pursue them with 111% effort and focus.

Don't allow the distractions of life to detract you from your life mission.

P is for progress, power, productivity, profitability, purposefulness, and it's all wrapped up into living a life filled with the pursuit of your passion
Written on 12/18/2010 by Peter G. James Sinclair . Peter is in the 'heart to heart' resuscitation business and inspires, motivates and equips others to be all that they’ve been created to become. Receive your free inhalation of 'motivational' life by subscribing to his Motivational Memo Blog today

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking."

-Albert Camus

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


"Your questions are much more revealing about yourself than my answers will be about me."

Monday, December 6, 2010

a man's reach should exceed his grasp

“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?”

-robert browning

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You’d better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short,

The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask "How are you?"

Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores running

through your head?

You’d better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.

Ever told your child, "We’ll do it tomorrow?"

And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time to call and say "Hi?"

You’d better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift…

Thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before your song is over.

~David L. Weatherford

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4 hour work week.

"Learn to slow down. Get lost intentionally. Observe how you judge both yourself and those around you. Chances are that it's been a while. Take at least two months to disincorporateodl habits adn rediscover yourself without the reminder of a looming return flight."

exerpt from 4hww

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Experiences are the only real currency in this existence

We only go through life once, and I think experiences are the only real currency in this existence. Trying to keep things stable and steady kinda defeats the purpose in my view. Being rich teaches you that money can't buy everything (and that's a lesson you have to learn for yourself to ever really believe it) and being poor teaches you to be resourceful in ways only those who've been there can appreciate.

Monday, November 29, 2010

44 Priceless Moments Money Can’t Buy

44 Priceless Moments Money Can’t Buy

1.Realizing you were smiling the entire time you were talking to someone, right after you hang up the phone.

2.The warm coziness of my own bed after I return home from a long business trip.

3.Playing Rock-Paper-Scissors to settle a decision with one of your friends.

4.When a wild animal is tame enough to eat food right out of your hand.

5.Crying on my sister’s shoulder. Without the help of my family and close friends, I would be lost in a world of emotion, stress, and confusion.

6.Picking and eating fresh fruit right off the tree.

7.The joy of watching a baby smile.

8.The proud look on my 4-year-old son’s face when he learns a new skill.

9.The bittersweet emotions that rush through your body on the very last day of high school.

10.Time with the love of my life. Last May, my husband of 27 years was diagnosed with cancer and given 3 to 6 months to live. We prayed, cried, loved, and laughed. Now, 11 months later, we are still savoring every smile, kiss, and breath. We know these moments will end sooner rather than later, but we are so grateful for the time we do have together.

11.The rush you get when you’re driving on the open road and your favorite song randomly plays on the radio.

12.The comforting sound of my father’s car pulling into the driveway when he finally returns from a long business trip.

13.When my baby girl looked up at me and said, “Daddy!” for the very first time.

14.Seeing two elderly folks who are madly in love. It’s a sight of love that has surpassed the tests of time.

15.Kissing in the rain.

16.The feeling of cool morning grass under your bare feet when you walk out to get the newspaper at sunrise.

17.Beginner’s eyes. You’ll never see it again for the very first time.

18.The sound and sight of ocean waves.

19.The feeling you get inside when you go out of your way to make someone’s day a little brighter. Doing something nice and unexpected for somebody else doesn’t always require money, and often the gesture has more meaning when it doesn’t.

20.A good photograph of a special moment. It transforms the moment into a tangible keepsake and helps make the memory of that moment last a lifetime.

21.A rainbow breaking through the storm clouds on a calm, rainy summer afternoon.

22.The exhilarating rush of adolescent love. Those magical moments of adolescent lust and affection that only you and one other person rightly remember.

23.The little kicks and pokes I feel daily as I enter the last month of my first pregnancy. It’s truly remarkable!

24.Sharing a good laugh with friends and family. Some of the most memorable moments in my life have been moments spent in laughter.

25.The excitement of swinging on a swing as high as you possibly can.

26.The simple fact that I can read the sincerity in her eyes when she says, “I love you.”

27.The awesomeness of skipping rocks across water. It doesn’t matter how old I get, this one never gets old.

28.The tears of joy that flow when you see your beloved for the first time after a 10 month deployment to Iraq. All the months of struggle and loneliness are washed away the second he gets off that plane.

29.The soothing comfort of an old familiar smell. Earlier today pulled into my parent’s driveway after being away for over a year. I could smell familiarity in the air – the scent of the pine tree in the neighbor’s yard. And as I headed through the front door, more familiar smells consumed my senses. Gosh, it feels good to be home.

30.The keen wisdom my grandfather has acquired slowly over the course of 86 years, and the amazing stories and life lessons he shares with me every time I visit him.

31.A first kiss. The sweet rush of butterflies in your tummy when you kiss someone special for the very first time.

32.When you look into the eyes of your best friend and know, without a doubt, that you can trust her. You can see it in her eyes and you can feel it in your heart. She has no ulterior motive.

33.The first sight of daffodils poking through the snow after a long, hard winter.

34.The realization of true love. The warm feeling you get many years after your first kiss when you realize you married the right person.

35.The surreal beauty of watching lightning strike in the distance.

36.An unexpected compliment. It seemed like just another dreary Monday morning, but when she walked into my office and said, “I love your shirt! That color looks great on you,” it brightened the rest of my day.

37.A peaceful, romantic picnic with your significant other on a warm sunny day.

38.The joy of telling an interesting true story. One of the most enticing roles we lead in life is that of a storyteller. There are few things more satisfying than telling a true story that others enjoy listening to.

39.The feeling of self-confidence is unquestionably priceless. It cannot be purchased with money, but it can buy you more opportunities and take you farther than any amount of money ever could.

40.The excitement of a white Christmas.

41.A pillow fight with two of your best friends.

42.When my cat snuggles up on my chest while I’m laying on my back. He’s so warm and fuzzy and cute.

43.Grilled steak and potatoes home-cooked for me by my husband on a lazy Friday night after I’ve had a long week. Nothing beats sitting at home in my pajamas and eating my favorite food, made by the man I love, with the man I love.

44.When the song on the radio ends right as you pull into the driveway.

If you enjoyed these simple pleasures and priceless moments, be sure to check What Money Cannot Buy every day for a quick, fresh dose of positive content

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

These questions have no right or wrong answers.

Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

1.How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

2.Which is worse, failing or never trying?

3.If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

4.When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

5.What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

6.If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

7.Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

8.If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

9.To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

10.Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

11.You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?

12.If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

13.Would you break the law to save a loved one?

14.Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

15.What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

16.How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

17.What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

18.Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

19.If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

20.Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

21.Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

22.Why are you, you?

23.Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

24.Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

25.What are you most grateful for?

26.Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

27.Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

28.Has your greatest fear ever come true?

29.Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

30.What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?

31.At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

32.If not now, then when?

33.If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

34.Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

35.Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

36.Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

37.If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

38.Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

39.Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

40.When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

41.If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

42.Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

43.What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

44.When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

45.If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

46.What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

47.When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

48.What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

49.In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?

50.Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

75 Ways To Stay Unhappy Forever

Dale Carnegie once said, “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It’s what you think about.”

I don’t think anyone could say it any better than that. I’ve watched so many friends search tirelessly for happiness by changing jobs, moving to new cities, pursuing intimate relationships, and tweaking all sorts of other external factors in their lives. And guess what? They’re still unhappy. Because they spend all of their time and money adding positive externals to their lives when their internals are still in the negatives.

So with that in mind, here are 75 ways to stay unhappy forever. Of course, I would highly recommend you read each bullet point and then move swiftly in the opposite direction.

1.Dwell on things that happened in the past.

2.Obsess yourself with all the things that might happen in the future.

3.Complain about problems instead of taking the necessary steps to resolve them.

4.Fear change and resist it.

5.Work hard, do your best and then condemn yourself for not achieving perfection.

6.Belittle yourself.

7.Hang out with other people who belittle you.

8.Try to control everything and then worry about the things you can’t control.

9.Lie to yourself and those around you.

10.Keep doing the same thing over and over again.

11.Be lazy and follow the path of least resistance.

12.Hold onto anger. Never forgive anyone.

13.Always be right. Never let anyone else be more right than you.

14.Compare yourself unfavorably to those who you feel are more successful.

15.Let small issues snowball into big problems.

16.Never learn anything new.

17.Never take responsibility for your own actions.

18.Blame everyone around you.

19.Don’t ask for directions and don’t ask questions.

20.Don’t let anyone help you.

21.Quit when the going gets tough.

22.Be suspicious. Trust no one.

23.Get four hours of sleep every night and convince yourself that it’s enough.

24.Never throw anything way. Even if you don’t use it, hold onto it.

25.Say “yes” to everyone. Fill all your time with commitments.

26.Try to be everyone’s friend.

27.Multitask, multitask, multitask! Do everything at once.

28.Never spend any time alone.

29.Don’t help others unless you have to. Do only the things that benefit you directly.

30.Hang out with people who complain about everything.

31.Focus on what you don’t want to happen.

32.Fear the things you don’t fully understand.

33.Always seek external validation before you consider yourself good enough.

34.Take everything and everyone in life seriously.

35.Spend your life working in a career field you aren’t passionate about.

36.Focus on the problems.

37.Think about all the things you don’t have.

38.Read or watch lots of depressing news from broadcast media.

39.Set lofty goals for yourself and never do anything to achieve them.

40.Never exercise.

41.Only eat junk food and fried food.

42.Never check-up on your health.

43.Setup your lifestyle so it revolves around money.

44.Spend more than you earn and rack up lots of financial debt.

45.Don’t say what you mean. Don’t mean what you say.


47.Never tell anyone how you feel or what you’re thinking.

48.Make sure everything you do impresses someone else.

49.Always put your own needs on the back burner.

50.Get involved in other people problems and make them your own.

51.Make others feel bad about themselves.

52.Watch TV for several hours every day.

53.Gamble often.

54.Stay in the same place. Don’t travel.

55.Don’t play, just work.

56.Let your hobbies go.

57.Let your close relationships go.

58.Never finish what you start.

59.Take everything personally.

60.Do lots of drugs. Drink lots of alcohol.

61.Never say, “I’m sorry.” Never say, “I love you.”

62.Don’t work hard at anything.

63.Always wait until the last minute.

64.Believe that, no matter what, you are entitled to things.

65.Let others make decisions for you.

66.Remember the insults. Forget the compliments.

67.Let it all bottle up inside.

68.Rely on others for everything.

69.Fail to plan.

70.Don’t dream.

71.Don’t think about the future at all.

72.Always disregard other people’s opinions and suggestions.

73.Make promises you can’t keep.

74.Don’t decide on anything, ever.

75.Just keep going and going and going. And never ever stop.

And now that you know what not to do, let me tell you a secret about happiness. Nobody is happy all of the time. It’s perfectly normal to experience considerable fluctuations in your level of happiness from day to day, month to month, and even year to year.

In fact, according to a recent scientific study, overall levels of happiness decline from one’s teens until one’s 40s and then pick up again until they peak in one’s early 70s. So the chances are that your happiest days are yet to come. Hopefully that gives you something to smile about.

5 Simple ways to live a life you love (as feat. in

The quickest way to living a life you love is through learning to love the life you live.

You’re waiting for something to change in your life before you can be happy. You might think if only you had a different partner (or one at all), a better job, or kids that did their homework then surely you’d be happy. Surely then you’d wake each morning with the glow of one living a life worth loving. Enough! Here are 5 ways to get started:

1. Be present – You must be aware of your current existence and that you have control over your perspective. Whether you’re willing away early morning grouchiness or seeing a messy house as a chance to teach teamwork, your choice of perspective will make all the difference between just living and loving.

2. Practice gratefulness – Every day, no excuses. Pretend to be grateful if you must. It’s one of those things that catches up to you quickly as life reciprocates your emotional generosity. Seeing the good in your life will allow you to keep your heart fed while you work to change the more unsavory parts. Try it. Live it. You’ll love it.

3. Pursue balance - As a person given to extremes this has always been a tough one for me. I’ll go from taking great care of myself and communicating well to abandonment and silence as I let work consume me. The pursuit of balance requires constant adjustment as your life shifts but every time I really try for the middle I end up happier about my life. And that’s truly the point.

4. Nurture friendships – You know the people who for some reason or other welcome you into their lives? Treasure them. Make time to spend with them. It is those relationships that you’ll look back on with satisfaction when you get old and begin to wonder what your life was worth. Many of us spend far too much time thinking about how some material possession will improve our lives. An iMac would be nice. A good friend is worth just about everything though!

5. Embrace simplicity – You don’t need to have all your gold-plated ducks in a row in order to love the life you’re living. You don’t need lots of stuff and relationships so driven by drama that you often wish just to be left alone in silence. Instead you might try for a simpler approach and enjoy things because they are useful and not because they are expensive. You might join a friend just to talk and not worry about all the expensive trappings we so often heap on get-together’s. Try for simplicity and if complexity sneaks up on you, so be it. In learning to love the basics you’ll find a wondrous appreciation for the nicer things that come along.

What have you found helps bring you back to the moment you’re in and really start to enjoy the life you’re living right now?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ten Life Lessons from Richard Branson

Richard Branson clearly knows a thing or two about success. At 20, he started a mail order shop, and opened a recording studio a short while later. Now, the Virgin brand boasts dozens of companies and Branson’s net worth is estimated to be more than 3 billion pounds sterling.

As well as immense business success, Branson has personally broken a number of world records for high-speed boat and balloon journeys.

Often witty, always insightful, here are some choice Branson quotes to ponder. Motivation often comes from unique places so if one of these strikes a chord, use it!

1."Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won't make people enjoy life more."

I suppose we all know deep down that money won’t make us happy. Of course, money is nice – it brings freedom and opportunities and can be a wonderful recourse. It can contribute to happiness, even. But happiness itself is another thing – it’s independent of anything else. Buddha wrote, ‘there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.’

2."I enjoy every single minute of my life."

For me, this is the most important thing to remember. When you’re enjoying what you do, you’re more likely to do it well and to be successful. Enjoying every situation is an art, a skill, and can be developed. Maybe it comes naturally to some people, but for most of us, it takes a little practice. But believe me, it will make an enormous difference to the quality of your life.

3."But the majority of things that one could get stressed about, they’re not worth getting stressed about."

I read somewhere that the most common ‘commandment’ given in the bible is not to worry. Being stressed and worried about things is just a waste of energy – it never helps. I highly recommend Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It contains invaluable, practical advice for those of us inclined to worry about things.

4."You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them."

Obviously, we live in a social world, and it is almost impossible to physically cut yourself off from other people. But, how we interact with others is vitally important to our happiness and success. Getting along with people – allowing them to be themselves, bringing out the best, encouraging them – these are the hallmarks of good leaders and good friends.

5."There is no one to follow, there is nothing to copy."

Life is always fresh and new. We are always on the leading edge, and the successes of the future will not rely on old ways of doing things. Thinking outside the box, embracing change, innovating, taking risks – these are the hallmarks of success in all facets of life.

6."I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing."

Money is a by-product. It is not a goal in itself. Those who simply chase money end up with nothing of true value, because money in itself does not add anything to life. Money cannot buy the things that matter most in people – wisdom, serenity, leadership, happiness.

7."I never had any intention of being an entrepreneur."

Funny how things turn out! We certainly need to know where we are going in life, but we also need to remain open to new possibilities. Things have a tendency to change and if we are prepared to sail with the wind, and not fight against it, life can take us on wonderful adventures, and we can end up in the most magical places. I can attest to this in my own life, as I’m sure many readers can.

8."I made and learned from lots of mistakes."

How else can we learn? Think back to when you learned any new skill – driving a car, cooking, learning a language. Of course you messed it up! Taking risks, trying new things, learning – these things always involve making mistakes. So don’t fear mistakes – be proud of them!

9."If you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you're just working."

Someone said that if you enjoy your job, you’ll never have to work another day. Not everyone can go out and ‘indulge their passion’ right away, but there is good to found in all jobs, and if we focus on the good things, looking for that which is pleasing and which, perhaps, we can influence, it will expand. This kind of proactively is the basis of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, another book I highly recommend.

10."Right now I'm just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.

This quote reminds me of a scene from the wonderful British comedy movie, Clockwise. John Cleese’s character is trying to get to a conference but, after many trials and tribulations, he ends up stranded in a monastery. Sitting in a room with a monk, covered in mud, clothes torn, he asks, ‘what should I do?’ The monk simply replies: ‘Have a bath, perhaps?’

We can be so focused on the big picture stuff that we forget that life is a series of moments, each of which has its simple pleasures. Whatever life brings, it is good to be thankful for the many little pleasures each day has to bring.

‘When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love’ (Marcus Aurelius)
Written on 11/24/2010 by Mr. Self Development who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; support him by visiting his blog at or by subscribing to his feed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Will You Regret This When You're 80?

There are so many things I want to do in the short time I'm here. Some of these things scare me, some will challenge me and others are just plain fun.

Unfortunately, life is very short and the older I get the quicker time seems to pass. I'm quickly realizing that I probably won't fit everything in. So how do I choose? How do I pick which things to go for wholeheartedly and what things to leave to someone else?

It comes down to a simple question: "When I'm 80, will I regret __________________?"

The blank could be not doing something or choosing to do one thing over another. It's a simple question and it comes in really handy.

Next time you find yourself struggling over whether or not you're going to do something ask yourself that very question: "Will I regret this decision when I'm 80?" If the answer is no then go ahead with your decision. If it's yes think about how you can make it happen or stick it out until you're done.

Life's too precious to have you get all the way to the end and say "damn I should have done that when I had the chance" or "I really should have let that go" or "I can't believe I didn't take the opportunity when it was presented to me".

Live your life to your best capability. Here are a few areas that you could try to challenge yourself in. Some of these you may have thought of yourself, some of these will be new but what I hope is that it gives you a push to do more and be more with the life you have left.


Have you ever changed jobs? Have you thought about changing jobs? How about your career? The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you make a living. Maybe you've toyed with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur and working for yourself. Will you regret not giving it a chance? Or will you regret going for it?


Have you been eating the same food for the past 20 years? Have you always wanted to try something new but haven't got around to it yet? Are too afraid to try it because "Oh I don't like chickpeas". Go out on a limb and give it a shot. Get a cookbook full of exotic recipes and work your way through it. Make a point of going to different types of restaurants when you go out for dinner.


Do you spend most of your time in the office only to leave your chair to travel back home again where you sit down, watch TV, and "relax"? Try getting out more. Turn off the TV and get outside. Go on a walk or a hike or a drive. Is there somewhere local that you've never been? Too often we see a lot more of foreign places than we do of our own back yard.


Like to play it safe? Worried about things going wrong? It's been my experience that everything always works out. Try something risky like changing careers or quitting your job and working for yourself. Pick up and move half way around the world and see what it's like in another culture, another country or another hemisphere.

5.Doing something crazy

Walk home in the rain in your business suit. Join a polar bear club or sing along with a busker in the streets and see what happens. Be a back up dancer at a karaoke bar. There are a lot of crazy things you can do. Keep it clean, be respectful and I'm sure you'll find you get a burst of energy and excitement from doing it.

6.Being nice

Do something nice for someone else out of the blue and just because. Don't expect anything in return. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate food and toys to an animal shelter. Plant an extra row of vegetables in your garden and donate the produce to a charity. We all think we're nice people but actions really do speak louder than words. Think about it.

7.Quitting something

We all know that when we say yes to one thing we are saying no to something else. If that committee you're on isn't providing you a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment as it once did, quit. Quit the soccer team if it's no longer fun, quit grad school if it's no longer what you want to do. Quitting is usually seen as a negative thing and to be avoided. However, being deliberate and thoughtful in what you are resigning from will open a large chunk of time that could be better spent.

There are a lot of areas of our lives that unless we really take time to think about them we keep with the status quo. Living life on auto-pilot can be boring and may lead to a life with relatively few rich experiences. I have made it my mission to live deliberately and with purpose so I can look back with, hopefully, no regrets. So far so good ...

Written on 11/21/2010 by Sherri Kruger. Sherri writes at Zen Family Habits, a blog celebrating all things family. Sherri also writes on personal development at Serene Journey, a blog dedicated to sharing simple tips to enjoy life

Friday, November 19, 2010


I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.

Dr. Seuss

US author & illustrator (1904 - 1991)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

24 Things I Learned In 24 Years

1-The Glass If Half-Empty Or Half Full

Whatever way you look at it is how it is. Every situation you are in can be seen from a negative or from a positive perspective. I don’t like negative people, so I always try to see everything from a half-full perspective. It makes life more enjoyable!

2-Complaining Gets You Nowhere

Life is unfair. Get used to it. Sometimes you are the underdog and you get handed the crappiest hand out of everyone. Complaining about how unfair or how difficult something is will not make your life better. It’s going to make you suffer and it’s going to cause others to get seriously annoyed with you.

Don’t complain. Take action and change what’s bothering you!

3-There Is No Free Lunch

Promises of free gifts, free education, free money…99.9% of the time they are a trick. There is always something attached to it, because hardly anyone does something for free.

Don’t count on a free lunch, work hard for your own success. Every now and then you may get lucky and someone will genuinely offer you a free lunch, in that case, enjoy it!

4-Easy Success Doesn’t Exist

Overnight success or instant millions only exist if you win the lottery or inherit a fortune.

Yeah you might get lucky sometimes, or have an amazing idea like the creators of Youtube did. Most of the time it takes a damn long time and a lot of hard work to achieve success. This is not a bad thing, and it’s not a problem at all. Just be prepared to work hard.

5-Girls Are Awesome

Haha, kind of random. But I love girls. They’re so…girly and feminine. They have this awesome energy that makes me feel so alive.

Yeah they can be dramatic, and illogical and confusing…but that’s the biggest reason why they are so awesome. Life would be rather dull without girls

6-Failure Teaches You A Lot About Yourself And The World

Even though I’m just 24, I’ve succeeded and failed more times than most people have in a lifetime.

Initially I always thought that failure was devastating, that it meant I was not a worthy human being and that I should bury my head in shame. Luckily I learned that failure is an essential part of growth and success.

The more you fail, the more you learn and the closer you get to succeeding.

The most important thing to remember about failure can be summed up in this fantastic quote by Will Smith:

“Don’t let failure get to your heart and don’t let success get to your head”.

7-Not Everything Has A Happy Ending

Life is not the movies, and bad things can happen to you. You can get sick, you can have accidents, you can get beat up, you can lose money.

Once again, don’t let it get to you. Keep your heart stainless. If things get bad, move through it as best you can and stay optimistic.

8-There Are Some Really Bad,Evil And Nasty People In The World

Unfortunately not everyone is good. There are some truly nasty, destructive and hateful people out there. They will purposely go out of their way to make you miserable or to destroy what you are trying to build up.

Stay away from those kinds of people and if they don’t want to listen, kick their ass (just kidding)

9-There Are A Lot Of Good People In The World

I would say that there are much more good than bad people. While most people may be inherently good and on a neutral level, there are also many people who go out of their way to make a difference.

These are the kinds of people that you want in your life. Make friends with them, respect them and try and be one of these good people yourself.

10-You Can Live With Less

You don’t need a mansion in every continent, or a Ferrari, or $10 million in the bank.

Although money is certainly nice to have and something to strive for, you can be perfectly happy with a small apartment, great friends, an awesome girl and enough money to pay the monthly bills.

11-Friends Are (Very) Important

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that having a couple of true friends in your life is absolutely essential to your happiness. There’s nothing like having a friend who you can count on, who will do anything for you and who’s always keen to hang out or start an adventure with you.

If you have these kind of friendships, don’t let them fade. Hold on to them because they are priceless!

12-There Is Always Someone Better

There is always someone who is better than you in everything. Even if you are the best in the world at what you do, it’s just a matter of time before someone comes along who will be better than you.

This is not a bad thing at all. Try your best and strive to keep getting better, but don’t get hung up and frustrated because there are others out there who are better than you. That’s going to make you miserable.

13-Even When You Think You Suck, You’re Awesome

There will be times in your life when you feel like a useless douchebag. You may think you suck at something, you may think you are a failure or you may feel like the biggest idiot in the world.

Truth is that everyone feels that way sometimes. No matter how much you think you suck, there are people out there who look up to you and who respect you. You still have awesome qualities…so don’t ever forget that. You’re already perfect!

14-Treat Others As You Want Others To Treat You

Do you believe in karma? Well, whether you do or don’t, I really believe that you will get treated in the same way as you treat others.

If you’re a good person and you’re nice to others, this will likely happen to you. If you’re an ass to people and treat them like crap, at some point it will feel like the whole world is turning against you because you will get back what you sent out.

You will reap what you sow. So sow positivity!

15-Always Expect The Unexpected

Hardly anything ever goes as planned. That’s life and that is what makes life awesome.

You never know at what point your perfect life is going to crumble or at which point your crappy life is going to turn awesome. Try to think about possible situations that could happen and be prepared how to act in case those situations occur.

16-Your Ego Is Your Downfall

Your ego is a nasty thing. It can cause arrogance, over-confidence and stupidity if you’re not wanting to admit you are wrong and still carry on going.

I have learned that it is best to remove my ego from all situations. If I’m doing something purely for validation or pride…I ask myself if there is any other reason why I’m doing it. If not…then it’s just my ego wanting attention and I usually don’t do it.

17-You Can Learn Something From Everyone

No matter how smart or how dumb someone may seem, I really think that everyone has some golden nugget of wisdom to share. Whether it is a way of eating, a handy little trick to get something done or an age-old wisdom…never think that you can’t learn something from someone.

18-You Can Make Something From Nothing

You can start off with absolutely nothing and build a massive empire. You can create products or items that millions of people across the world will use.

You can write articles that hundreds of thousands of people will read. If you can imagine it, you can create it.

19-It’s Nice To Help People

One of the most rewarding things to do in life is to help someone else improve their life in some way.

If you can share your knowledge or skills with someone. Even just help someone out with a place to stay or a loan for them to start a business, you can make a world of difference.

Sometimes a smile is all it takes for you to help someone have a better day.

20- Work Smarter, Not Harder

Ridiculous hard work usually makes you more successful than others.

What will really make you successful beyond your wildest dreams is working ridiculously hard following the smartest and most proven to work methods.

I can work really hard and dig a huge hole in my garden. Will that make me successful? No! (Unless I find gold). But if I work really hard on creating something that everyone needs, that is going to make me wildly successful.

Work smarter, not necessarily harder.

21-Never Stop Learning

Life is one constant school. From the moment you are born you start to learn, and I think the biggest mistake a person can make is to stop learning.

Always keep reading, books are awesome. Keep interacting with people, make connections, learn new skills. Keep trying new things, do something that you have never done before.

22- Fight Club Is The Most Awesome Movie Ever

Out of the hundreds of movies I have seen in my life, my best and favorite still reigns as Fight Club.

It has inspired dozens of bloggers to write articles about it. I’m pretty sure it has inspired thousands of men around the world to change their lives. On top of it all, it’s a movie you can watch every year of your life without it ever getting boring!

23-Your Health Is Everything

All the success, fame, money and friends in the world mean nothing if your health is so bad that you can’t enjoy life.

Take good care of your body and your health by exercising, meditating and eating healthy!

24-Good Or Bad – It’s Awesome Being Alive

I don’t understand people who say “Life sucks” or “Life is unfair”.

Life is the most awesome thing that you have…ever. Yeah it may be difficult, it may seem impossible to get anywhere and you may have been dealt crappy cards.

But as long as you are alive you have the possibility to achieve anything you want. The mere fact of being able to see, smell, hear, touch and taste is incredible.

Enjoy the awesomeness of life, and appreciate every moment that you have!

posted by Dirk (Diggy) the writer behind UpgradeReality.

Muhammad Ali’s Powerful Guide to Punching Through the Wall

“I’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.”

“I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.”

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

I’m guessing Muhammad Ali doesn’t need a long introduction. As an amateur he won the Olympic Gold. He then went on to become a three-time World Heavyweight Champion.

And in 1999, Sports Illustrated and the BBC named him as “the Sportsman of the Century”.

But what can we learn from one of the best boxers of all time?

Well, here are five tips from Muhammad Ali on how to break through the barriers in the world and in your mind.

1. Take a risk.

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

To get what you really want you will pretty much always have to take risks. Of course, that can be scary.

So how can you overcome this, take a leap and take the risk? I don’t have some simple and easy solution. But I do have a few tips.

Really, really want it. When you really want it simply becomes easier to push through the inner resistance you feel. You are so motivated to achieve whatever it is you want that the risk may be scary but smaller than your desire.

Ask yourself: what’s the worst that could happen? We often build big, negative fantasies in our heads of what may happen if we do something. Huge scary monsters. But probably 90 percent of what you fear never comes into reality. This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

Detach from the outcome. When you are actually doing and taking the risk in real-time detach from the outcome. Just focus on what’s in front of you. Things will become easier. You’ll create less inner anxiety and pressure for yourself. And you will perform better because you are totally focusing on what’s right in front of you and not weighing yourself down with a lot of self-created negativity and doubts.

Every time you take the leap and take a risk – even if things might not go your way that time – you can build confidence in yourself. By getting more experiences where you took action instead of sitting on your hands it will over time becomes easier to start moving in the direction you desire and take a chance.

2. Steer clear of self-sabotage and creating inner obstacles.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

This is a big problem because often you don’t even know that you are for example self-sabotaging. You think that the thought loops that spinning around in your head is reality. But you can’t predict the future. But you are so stuck in your thoughts that you believe them as if they where the absolute truth.

Again, one way to gain a sober perspective is to ask: what’s really the worst that could happen? And then you can make a plan to handle that worst case scenario if it were to come into reality.

Another important thing here is to do what you think is the right thing [2] in life as much as you can. Why? Because when you do that you start to build an image of yourself as someone who deserves the good things that come to him/her. Self-sabotage comes from thinking that you on some level simply aren’t worthy of what you want. So you sabotage for yourself along the way to get yourself back into the place or level of success you feel you deserve. So you have to make yourself feel more deserving.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. But you choose to go and work out instead of lying on the couch and watching TV. You choose to be kind instead of petty or judgemental. You choose to take a chance instead of not taking it. And a lot of the time you might not do the right thing. But by just increasing the number of times you do it during your week little by little you can really change how you view yourself. And over time this habit can become stronger and stronger.

Now, another essential thing to avoid self-sabotage and creating mind-monsters is this…

3. Keep your self-talk positive.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

If you are always negative and down on yourself it will be a lot more painful and sometimes pretty much impossible to achieve what you want. Keeping the self-talk in your head positive is essential. You can make that easier to by following the tips above.

Another helpful thing is just to be mindful of how you think about things. To say “Stop!” and cut off negative thought threads before they become strong. Just cut them off as often as you alert enough to do so. And replace them with more positive thought spirals by asking yourself questions like “What’s awesome about this?” and “What can I learn from this?”.

Keeping your self talk positive may seem cheesy or uncool. But beating yourself up all the time is far worse and really not helping you at all.

Plus, the thing is that your self-talk is contagious. Because how you talk to yourself affects how you feel. And as we know from bumper stickers, enthusiasm (and any other feeling) is contagious. And as we know from Ali, this self-talk can also start to seep out into what you say out loud too.

As you interact with people, there is always a social feedback loop. People tend to treat you as you see yourself and as a reaction to how you make them feel. Someone with very positive self-talk will probably be perceived as confident and positive and therefore be treated a certain way. Someone who thinks s/he is a loser and is always down on him/herself may be met with sympathy but also irritation or simply that people tend to avoid that person.

And since people and support is essential to just about any success you may desire your self-talk – and how you talk out loud – becomes very important.

Now, the social feedback loop is about what you really feel about yourself. Not that you repeat affirmations all day that you don’t believe in. So you need to start doing the right thing too, because positive real-life experiences have a deeper impact on how you feel about yourself than just making the self-talk more positive. At least in my experience.

4. Don’t make a big deal out of it.

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

So you create a more positive self-image by doing the right thing and keeping your self-talk more positive. But it’s also a good thing to not go overboard. To not grow a huge ego and come off as arrogant or well, like a jerk.

This may be a bit counter-intuitive but not making a big deal out of what you are good at have some big benefits.

Less defensiveness and negativity. I could for instance create a big ego around the fact that I have many readers on this blog. And that would feel awesome for a while. But sooner or later my head would become too big and I would come off in negative way. And if people would question what I am saying I would start to feel more and more threatened and nervous. Because I would have a big image to live up to and defend each day. I think it’s a lot easier to keep the self-talk positive but also just be a guy who knows some stuff, has done some things and write about all of that.

Makes the doing easier and more enjoyable. If you think it’s a big deal then it becomes a big deal. And things become unnecessarily hard and complicated. You start to create monsters in your mind again. Your ego may want you to think that it’s big, big deal because it means that you are a big, big deal too. That effect is enjoyable but makes the doing harder and less fun after a while as the inner pressure starts to ramp up.

5. Use your emotional leverage to succeed.

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

If you are here or have an interest in personal development then you have probably hit a point sometime in your past where you said “Enough of this! Something has to change”. Or you felt like you hit rock bottom. Now that isn’t fun. But as Ali says, it’s also there you can find that extra motivation and power to push through.

If you were unhealthy and overweight you feel like you never want to go back to that again. If you didn’t get anything done, procrastinated all day and felt like crap you don’t want to go back to that. If you were buried in a mountain of debt you want to never go back to that place or headspace again.

When you have had enough you will find a way to change your life. And I’m not saying that you should be driven by a fear to never return back to where you were. But to simply remind yourself of how it where back then when things get tough. And realize that yes, it may be hard right now. But it is temporary. And it’s definitely better than it used to be.

Your worst times may not be fun at all when they are happening. But later on they can be some of the most helpful and powerful experiences of your life.

Posted By Henrik Edberg On November 12, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

5 Basic Factors for Happiness, According to Carl Jung.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day -- or List Day, or Quiz Day.

This Wednesday: 5 basic factors for happiness, according to Carl Jung.

One of my chief intellectual interests, along with happiness, is a subject that I call "symbols beyond words." And on that subject, no one is more fascinating than Jung.

I recently read the very interesting collection, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters. In 1960, Jung was interviewed by journalist Gordon Young, who asked, "What do you consider to be more or less basic factors making for happiness in the human mind?" Jung answered:

"1. Good physical and mental health.

2. Good personal and intimate relationships, such as those of marriage, the family, and friendships.

3. The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature.

4. Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work.

5. A philosophic or religious point of view capable of coping successfully with the vicissitudes of life."

Jung also added, “All factors which are generally assumed to make for happiness can, under certain circumstances, produce the contrary. No matter how ideal your situation may be, it does not necessarily guarantee happiness.”

I did disagree strongly with Jung on one point -- when he said, “The more you deliberately seek happiness the more sure you are not to find it." I know, Carl Jung vs. Gretchen Rubin! But though many great minds, such as John Stuart Mill, make the same point as Jung, I don't agree.

I find that the more mindful I am about happiness, the happier I become. Take the five factors Jung outlined above. By deliberately seeking to strengthen those elements of my life, I make myself happier.

What do you think? Do you agree with the five factors? And do you find that mindfully pursuing happiness makes you happier, or less happy?

* I love looking at book jackets, and in particular, looking at many book jackets for the same book. (I get a real kick out of looking at gallery of foreign jackets for The Happiness Project.) This collection of covers for Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was fascinating.

* The holidays are approaching fast. If you're giving The Happiness Project, email me at grubin at gretchenrubin dot com, and I'll send you a personalized, signed bookplate for the recipient. Or one for you! Just be sure to include your mailing address. Feel free to ask for as many as you want, and yes, they're free.

Gretchen Rubin is a best-selling writer whose new book, The Happiness Project, is an account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier. On this blog, she shares her insights to help you create your own happiness project.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

50 things I've learned in 50 years, a partial list in no particular order

Thursday, January 03, 2008

50 things I've learned in 50 years, a partial list in no particular order

I’m turning 50 next week. So I thought I’d take the opportunity here to list 50 things I’ve learned in 50 years—truths gleaned from experience and the words of others that guide, inspire and sometimes haunt me:

1. It’s better to sing off key than not to sing at all.

2. Promptness shows respect.

3. You can’t avoid offending people from time to time. When you don’t mean it, apologize. When you do mean it, accept the consequences.

4. The first person to use the expression “Get a life!” in any dispute is the loser.

5. The medium is not the message. Those who issue blanket condemnations of any form of communication—be it TV, tabloids, text messages or blogs—simply aren’t paying attention.

6. The most valuable thing to have is a good reputation, and it’s neither hard nor expensive to acquire one: Be fair. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Be generous. Respect others.

7. Prejudice and bigotry is hard-wired into us. You can’t overcome it until you acknowledge it.

8. Don’t be bothered when people don’t share your tastes in music, sports, literature, food and fashion. Be glad. You’d never get tickets to anything otherwise.

9. Cough syrup doesn’t work.

10. Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act.

11. The Golden Rule is the greatest moral truth. If you don’t believe in it, at least try to fake it.

12. Keeping perspective is the greatest key to happiness. From a distance, even a bumpy road looks smooth.

13. You can’t win arguing with police officers or referees, but every so often you can fight City Hall.

14. It’s not “political correctness” that dictates that we try not to insult others’ beliefs and identities. It’s common decency.

15. It may not feel like it, but it’s good luck when you have people at home and at work who aren’t afraid to tell you when you’re wrong.

16. It’s 10 times easier to fall in love than to stay in love. And no matter what the sad songs say about romance, broken hearts do mend.

17. Don’t waste your breath proclaiming what’s really important to you. How you spend your time says it all.

18. Keeping an open mind is as big a challenge as you get older as keeping a consistent waistline.

19. It’s never a shame when you admit you don’t know something, and often a shame when you assume that you do.

20. Wounds heal faster under bandages than they do in the open air.

21. Fear of failure is a ticket to mediocrity. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not pushing yourself. And if you’re not pushing yourself, you’re coasting.

22. Anyone who judges you by the kind of car you drive or shoes you wear isn’t someone worth impressing.

23. Grudges are poison. The only antidote is to let them go.

24. If you’re in a conversation and you’re not asking questions, then it’s not a conversation, it’s a monologue.

25. In everyday life, most “talent” is simply hard work in disguise.

26. Great parents can have rotten kids and rotten parents can have great kids. But even though biology plays a huge role in destiny, that’s no excuse to give up or stop trying.

27. Four things that most people think are lame but really are a lot of fun: barn dancing, charades, volleyball and sing-alongs.

28. Two cheap, easy self-improvement projects: Develop a strong handshake and start smiling when you answer the phone.

29. When something that costs less than $200 breaks and it’s not under warranty and you can’t fix it yourself in half an hour, it’s almost certainly more cost-effective to throw it out.

30. Most folk remedies are nonsense, but zinc really does zap colds.

31. Physical attraction is nice, but shared values and a shared sense of humor are the real keys to lasting love.

32. To keep dental visits regular, schedule your next appointment on your way out from your last appointment.

33. The 10-minute jump start is the best way to get going on a big task you’ve been avoiding. Set a timer and begin, promising yourself that you’ll quit after 10 minutes and do something else. The momentum will carry you forward.

34. Laundry day is much easier when all your socks are the same and you don’t have to sort them.

35. Candor is overrated. It’s hard to unsay what you’ve said in anger and almost impossible to take back what you’ve written.

36. Goals that you keep to yourself are just castles on the beach. If you’re determined to achieve something, tell people about it and ask them to help you stick with it.

37. Mental illness is as real as diabetes, arthritis or any other disease, and no more disgraceful. It’s the stigma that’s disgraceful.

38. In crisis or conflict, always think and act strategically. Take time to figure out what the “winning” outcome is for you, then work toward it.

39. All the stuff you have lying around that you’ll never want, need, wear or look at again? It just makes it harder to find what you do want, need or intend to wear. File it, donate it or throw it out.

40. Exercise does not take time. Exercise creates time.

41. Almost no one stretches, flosses or gives compliments often enough.

42. It pays to keep handy a list that includes a trusted plumber, electrician, locksmith, appliance repair specialist and heating contractor. When you really need one is no time to start looking.

43. The store-brand jelly, cereal, paper goods, baking supplies and pharmacy products are good enough.

44. When you mess up, ’fess up. It’s the fastest way, if there is one, to forgiveness.

45. When you’re not the worst-dressed person at a social event, you have nothing to worry about.

46. Be truthful or be quiet. Lies are hard to keep track of.

47. Your education isn’t complete until you’ve learned to take a hint.

48. There’s a good reason to be secretive about your age. People tend to assume things when they know how old you are. “Oh, he’s turning 50,” they might say, for example, “probably full of cranky self-lacerating aphorisms that he thinks qualify as wisdom.” (See "Bored, Tubby, Mild," an animated editorial cartoon along these lines)

49. Whatever your passion, pursue it as though your days were numbered. Because they are.

50. Readers love lists. You got to the bottom of this one, didn’t you?

"Change of Subject" by Chicago Tribune op-ed columnist Eric Zorn contains observations, reports, tips, referrals and tirades, though not necessarily in that order. Links will tend to expire, so seize the day. For an archive of Zorn's latest Tribune columns click here. An explanation of the title of this blog is here. If you have other questions, suggestions or comments, send e-mail to ericzorn at