Inspirational Thought Of The Day. Collected by Magic Mike Berger. 


Inspirational quotes to motivate you, to make you feel happy, or better about yourself, or to help with obstacles. I know everyone has hard days,you don't feel well, or you lock your keys in your car. Some days are just harder than others. I hope that these little pieces of inspiration help you get through those tough days! Some are combined with famous art or meaningful photos. All are meant to make you smile.

Some are combined with famous art or meaningful photos.

Thoughts by Siddhartha Guatama, Jesus of Nazareth, Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and Albert Einstein stay at the top. New ones are added after those.

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world."
- Siddhartha Guatama Buddha.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Seek, and you will find.  Knock and the door will be opened to you."
- Jesus of Nazareth.

"To make others happy, practice compassion.  To make yourself happy, practice compassion." - His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

I wanted to learn how to fly when I was six years old and had many dreams of flying, so I went to the library to look for the ancient knowledge. The librarian thought I meant magic. I wish you could experience the magical, creative moments I have felt in my audiences, performing for people for 50 years, because of that. - Magic Mike Berger This is a long page with 250 photos, including famous art, that is still being loaded. I urge you to let it all load. Relax. Enjoy this page and tell friends. Come back to see updates. Use this sound controller, below, to lower volume or turn off the piano concerto.






 

Song

I am glad daylong for the gift of song, For time and change and sorrow; For the sunset wings and the world-end things Which hang on the edge of tomorrow.

William Stanley Braithwaite

SONG

In the depth of my soul there is a wordless song.

Kahlil Gibran

SONG

Sing a song, give your world a lift. Sing it loud, sing it proud, put a smile upon your lips. Rest your mind, relax your soul and reach for the stars. Nothing puts you in heaven quicker than when you sing a song.

Deborah Ann Smith

PETS

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.

Samuel Butler

PETS

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.

Jeff Valdez

PETS

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does."

Christopher Morley

CHANGE

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

Confucius

CHANGE

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

Karen Kaiser Clark

CHANGE

Don't be afraid to give up the good for the great.

Kenny Rogers

SOUL

Some tension is necessary for the soul to grow, and we can put that tension to good use. We can look for every opportunity to give and receive love, to appreciate nature, to heal our wounds and the wounds of others, to forgive, and to serve.

Joan Borysenko

SOUL

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.

Douglas MacArthur

SOUL

The soul is made of love and must ever strive to return to love. Therefore, it can never find rest nor happiness in other things. It must lose itself in love. By its very nature it must seek God, who is love.

Mechthild of Magdenburg

OPTIMISM

I am optimistic and confident in all that I do. I affirm only the best for myself and others. I am the creator of my life and my world. I meet daily challenges gracefully and with complete confidence. I fill my mind with positive, nurturing, and healing thoughts.

Alice Potter

OPTIMISM

My sun sets to rise again.

Robert Browning

OPTIMISM

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.

Christian D. Larsen

DREAMS

Nothing happens unless first a dream.

Carl Sandburg

DREAMS

Hitch your wagon to a star.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

DREAMS

Dream big dreams! Imagine that you have no limitations and then decide what's right before you decide what's possible.

Brian Tracy

ACTION

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ACTION

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action."

Benjamin Disraeli

ACTION

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.

Joel Barker

 

PRAYER

Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.

Samuel M. Shoemaker

Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.

John Aikman Wallace

Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.

Phillips Brooks

FRIENDSHIP

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.

Henry Ward Beecher

A friend that you have to buy won't be worth what you pay for him, no matter what that may be.

G. D. Prentice

Friendship is like credit, you need it to get through life.
However, you can't put a value on friendship like you can with free credit score reports.

Anonymous

Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends.

Cindy Lew

RESENTMENT

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.

Buddha

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Gandhi

Put love first. Entertain thoughts that give life. And when a thought or resentment, or hurt, or fear comes your way, have another thought that is more powerful -- a thought that is love.

Mary Morrissey

LIFE

The value of life lies, not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them: a man may live long, yet live very little. Satisfaction in life depends not on the number of your years, but on your will.

Michel de Montaigne

It is not length of life, but depth of life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.

Jawaharlal Nehru

The courageous don't live forever, but the timid don't live at all.

COURAGE

I do not ask to walk smooth paths nor bear an easy load. I pray for strength and fortitude to climb the rock strewn road. Give me such courage and I can scale the hardest peaks alone, and transform every stumbling block into a stepping stone.

Gale Brook Burket

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.

Raymond Linquist

"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize." -Robert Hughes

LEARNING

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

Henry Ford

Learning is finding out what you already know, Doing is demonstrating that you know it, Teaching is reminding others that they know it as well as you do. We are all learners, doers, and teachers.

Richard Bach

CHILDREN

What's done to children, they will do to society.

Orlando A. Battista

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

Franklin P. Adams

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.

Hodding Carter

AGING

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.

George Burns

Age does not depend upon years, but upon temperament and health. Some men are born old, and some never grow up.

Tryon Edwards

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

Les Brown

ACTS OF LOVE

If you have much give of your, if you have little give of your heart.

Arab Proverb

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.

Eric Hoffer

Because your heart is where my love is at.

Keith Sweat

Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

THIS MOMENT

Right now, this moment, is the time to celebrate by dancing beneath the warmth of the sun.

Gary Barnes

To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every second is of infinite value.

Johann von Goethe

HEALING

Pleasant words are a honeycomb sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24

Believe and the healing will come.

Gary Barnes

Positive attitudes - optimism, high self-esteem, an outgoing nature, joyousness, and the ability to cope with stress - may be the most important bases for continued good health.

Helen Hayes

SELF

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go unto the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.

Alan Alda

He only is a great man who can neglect the applause of the multitude and enjoy himself independent of its favor.

Joseph Addison

The last quarter of a century of my life has been pretty constantly and faithfully devoted to the study of the human race - that is to say, the study of myself, for in my individual person I am the entire human race compacted together. I have found that there is no ingredient of the race which I do not possess in either a small way or a large way.

Mark Twain

WISDOM

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.

James Oppenheim

A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.

Unknown

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Confucius

ENTHUSIASM

Expressing your enthusiasms can add years of creative life to your time on earth.

Marsha Sinetar

A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.

Charles Schwab

Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no mater how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.

Og Mandino

DREAMS

Nothing happens unless first a dream.

Carl Sandburg

Hitch your wagon to a star.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dream big dreams! Imagine that you have no limitations and then decide what's right before you decide what's possible.

Brian Tracy

KINDNESS

The best portion of a good man's life is in his little nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.

William Wordsworth

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Aesop

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.

Arthur Helps

SMILES

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia


Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart. Anthony J. D'Angelo


GOALS

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.

J.C. Penney

Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.

Les Brown

THREE STEPS FOR POSITIVE GOAL SETTING

As I conduct my Time Management Seminars all over, my audiences consistently tell me they want more out of life. Almost everyone I speak with has a yearning for improving several aspects of their lives. They have dreams and goals about their future as yet unrealized.

Many come to the end in life with those visions unrealized, pictures in their minds only.

Achieving goals helps us to get the "want to's in our lives. Life ought to be more than just achieving the "have to's".

I offer three important tips to help increase the probability of achieving your dreams, getting more of what you want in your life.

1. Put your goals into writing. There is something powerful about writing out what you want, getting your dream out of your head and on to a piece of paper. It then seems more realizable. It's a stonger affirmation of what you are working towards rather than having a vague, wispy notion floating around in your head.

An even stronger tool is to prepare a goal scrapbook. Nothing fancy. Get a three-ring binder and fill it with notebook paper. Then get a picture of each your goals and paste them into your new goal scrapbook. You ca go to the car dealer and get a brochure of the new car you want. Visit a travel agent and pick up brochures of your ideal vacation's destination and add that. Clip a picture of your dream house out of the newspaper's real estate section and add this as well.

Then, each night, review your goal scrapbook and see a picture of what will surely be coming to you. It's like viewing a crystal ball and seeing your future.

2. Quantify your goals. Many do not get what they truly want in their lives because they are too vague about what they want. It is not enough to say, "I want more money" or "I want to be rich". Instead, if you write, "I want $10,000", you now have a clear target to shoot for.

3.Set a deadline. Did you ever set a New Year's resolution and never achieve it? Most people have. And most people fail to achieve their dreams because they did not include a deadline with their goal. Deadlines move us to action.

When we fail to include a deadline for our goal, when we commit to achieving it "as soon as possible", the goal winds up in our "as soon as possible" pile of things I will do another day, which is probably never. Why? Because we all too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. The items that have deadlines for completion tend to bubble up in priority and importance so that we take action and achieve them.

Having written out the goal, placed a picture in our goal scrapbook, quantified it, and set a deadline, we can now break that goal down into its little component pieces so that achievement becomes realistic and manageable.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. No goal achievement is a leap across some huge canyon. Many are intimidated and driven away from going after what they really want in their lives for fear they will have to take a giant leap across that canyon and, hey, what if I don't leap far enough? Disaster.

Let's say you have a goal to get an additional $10,000 in savings two years from today. Make up a picture of your new bank statement two years from now showing the additional $10,000 in your account. The goal is in writing. It is quantified and a deadline has been set. Now you can break that goal into its little steps for achievement.

To get $10,000 over the next two years requires getting an additional $5,000 per year. A year is made up of twelve months, so that means you need to get approximately $400 per month. A month is made up of four weeks, so that's $100 per week. And a week is made of, let's say, five business days. That's $20 per day. (I have not added in interest to these calculations just for simplicity.)

I don't know about you, but the notion of going out in the world tomorrow and getting an extra $20 is a whole lot more realistic and certainly a whole more doable than getting $10,000. Getting the entire $10,000 is the leap across the canyon. It scares me. $20 is the single step. That's something I can handle. Now the goal seems realistic and is realizable.

But until you write out your goal, quantify it, and set a deadline so that you break it down to its small steps, it will forever appear to be too big a stretch and therefore unattainable. But every time you follow these three steps and break the goal down, you will always find that you have within your control what it takes to accomplish that next step. And once you begin, you are on your way!

Dr. Donald E. Wetmore Professional Speaker

You can't hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can't catch fish unless you put your line in the water. You can't reach your goals if you don't try.

Kathy Seligman

The superstition that all our hours of work are a minus quantity in the happiness of life, and all the hours of idleness are plus ones, is a most ludicrous and pernicious doctrine, and its greatest support comes from our not taking sufficient trouble, not making a real effort to make work as near pleasure as it can be.

Lord Balfour

If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.

Khalil Gibran

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.

John Ruskin

Impossibilities are merely things which we have not yet learned.

Charles W. Chesnutt

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.

Charles Dickens

CHALLENGES

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.

Bernice Johnson Reagon

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.

Darwin P. Kingsley

COMPETITION

You must sacrifice, train, do everything possible to put yourself in a position to win. But if you consider second or third a failure, I feel sorry for you.

Joe Falcon

The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be only sustainable competitive advantage.

Arie de Geus

Enjoy the successes that you have, and don't be too hard on yourself when you don't do well. Too many times we beat up on ourselves. Just relax and enjoy it.

Patty Sheehan

Everything changes, nothing remains without change.

- Buddha

The Miracle

"The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth." - Chinese Proverb

Mystical Sensation

"The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the source of all true science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms, this knowledge, this feeling is the center of true experience."

- Albert Einstein

"All your strength is in your union, All your danger is in discord."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Things We Want To Hear...

"The things we want to hear are usually the things we don't need to hear.

The things we don't want to hear are usually the things we need to hear."

- Khalifa Abdur-Raheem

The Things We Want To Hear... Part 2 - Tales From The 'eeenyverse"

"The things we want to hear are usually the things that take us to a galaxy far, far away from God, family, friends and co-workers - inside our own 'eeenyverse.'

The things we don't want to hear are usually the things that, if we listen to them, will take us very close to God.

Our perception of what is good to listen to is mostly based on what feels good to the senses, the ego, the mind, the body, the emotions, the sex drive and the food appetite.

Rarely do we give an open ear with an open heart to information which is good for our soul's evolvement. We are mostly creatures of flesh possession with little or no interest in the needs of the soul.

Just remember that the needs of the soul require depriving the ego, the mind, the emotions and the senses of their fun fest. But, and this is a big but - When we deprive them (ego, mind, emotions, et. al.) of their rulership over our life, we automatically enter into a warp drive stream of good vibes which speeds us closer and closer to God. And the closer we get to God, the better we feel.

Goodness and mercy will find you and chase you for the rest of your life!!! :-)

There are millions of degrees of closeness to God and each one has a special feeling which more than makes up for the loss of the false temporary gratisfaction that comes from those things we are asked to give up for the good of our soul - for the good of the whole."

- Khalifa Abdur-Raheem 6-12-00

When we want to ascend past circumstances and situations, we must be willing to adjust our attitudes and our reactions to a frequency that is well beyond the limitations we face.

We must be flexible in saying, 'let me humble myself,' to be able to receive a new and fresh perspective in the middle of the unwanted difficulty. That is, if we hope to be able to escape the strangle hold it has on our life.

It's kind of like the pilot who does NOT adjust his flight path while in a nose dive. Soon enough, he will find his nose kissing the ground in a non user friendly way."

- Khalifa Abdur-Raheem

Teaching Without Words . . .

"The softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.

That without substance can enter where there is no room.

Hence I know the value of non-action.

Teaching without words and work without doing are understood by very few."

- Lao Tsu Tao Te Ching 43

"Be glad for life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to look up at the stars." - Henry Van Dyke

Worry is like a rocking chair--it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. - Dorothy Galyean

Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey! - Barbara Hoffman

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything. -Mary Hemingway

EXPECT THE BEST

Noelle came to work worried about her roommate, Jana, who didn't come home the night before and didn't call. That wasn't like Jana, and Noelle was worried.

But Noelle's worry did not benefit Jana, and it harmed Noelle. Worry put stress hormones into her bloodstream, which isn't healthy. It suppressed her immune system. If she worries a lot, it will damage the inside of her arteries, which can end in a heart attack or stroke many years hence. Needless worry is a cost without a benefit. And it's not pleasant.

If you are worrying and want to stop, first ask yourself if there's anything you're going to do about the situation. If not, then start wondering what good things might be happening. Do not try to stop worrying.

Research by Daniel Wegner, PhD, of the University of Virginia has repeatedly shown that trying to suppress thoughts only results in thinking the thought more. If you try to suppress a thought hard enough, that thought can become an obsession.

Try to stop worrying and you'll worry even more. What you want to do is give your mind a bone to chew on, but a different bone. Worrying is imagining something bad happening. Simply imagine something good happening, and there will be less room in your mind for imagining something bad happening. Your mind has its limits, like the RAM of a computer. Give it enough to do, and it won't have the free space to do anything else.

If worrying is a habit for you, it won't go away immediately. Every time you start to worry, ask yourself what good might be happening. And keep asking and wondering and then leave it at that-an open-ended possibility. Do this and something good will be happening to you: You'll feel better and you'll be healthier.

By the way, Jana had a wonderful time.

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

Brian Tracy

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.

Heroditus

Joy is not in things, it is in us.

Richard Wagner

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.

Leonardo Da Vinci

"Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed." -Unknown

Man's power of choice enables him to think like an angel or a devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, mind will create and manifest.

Frederick Bailes

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

Positive not Negative

Happy not Sad

Succeed not Fail

Constructive not Destructive

Freedom not Confinement

Leader not Follower

Confident not Insecure

Truth not Fiction

Embrace not Withdraw

Accepting not Judgmental

Strong not Weak

Future not Past

Build not Destroy

Forward not Backward

Fearless not Fearful

Quality not Quantity

Half Full not Half Empty

IT IS MY CHOICE - I HAVE CHOSEN!

Anne Boisvert

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, help to make earth happy like the heaven above.

Julia A. Fletcher Carney

Most people live, weather physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.

William James

What one has to do, usually can be done.

Eleanor Roosevelt

When people say to me: "How do you do so many things?" I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel: "How do you do so little?" It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.

Philip Adams

Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.

Robert F. Bennett

Love received and love given comprise the best form of therapy.

Gordon William Allport

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

An occasional compliment is necessary, to keep up one's self-respect. When you cannot get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one. - Mark Twain

Compassion for myself is the most powerful healer of them all. - Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D.

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. - Booker T. Washington

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. - Buddha

Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, help to make earth happy like the heaven above. - Julia A. Fletcher Carney

Love received and love given comprise the best form of therapy. - Gordon William Allport  

LESSEN THE STRESS

Learn to live simple, focusing on what's truly important

Don't be afraid of your passion

Don't answer the telephone during dinner

Stop trying to please everybody. Start pleasing yourself

Carve out an hour a day for solitude

Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal

For every "yes" let there be a "no"

Don't squander precious resources, time, creative energy, emotion

Allow an extra half-hour for everything you do

Always carry something interesting to read

Breathe deeply, and often

Drink pure spring water - lots of it

Always opt for comfort

Cultivate gratitude

Be instead of Do

Exchange security for serenity

Luxuriate in your senses

If you don't love it, live without it

Let Mother Nature nurture

Go to bed at 9 o'clock twice a week

Move, walk, dance, run, find a sport you enjoy

Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation, reflection

Strive for realistic deadlines

Approach problems as challenges

Nurture friendships

Honor your aspirations

Savor beauty

Cherish your dreams

Search for your Authentic self until you find it - Unknown

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." -Mildred Barthel

Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. - Hans Margolius

When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite. - William Blake

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. -Euripides

Here are 10 tips to keep yourself in balance:

1. Exercise. A well-rounded fitness routine includes strength training, aerobic conditioning, and flexibility. Critical to your success in staying balanced is to make exercise a TOP PRIORITY in your life - and staying committed to it. Being fit helps you to enjoy life. It increases mental sharpness and physical endurance. An energized body helps give you a positive outlook on life, plus you look great, feel great, and reduce your risk of disease.

2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water helps transport vital nutrients, regulates body temperature, eases digestion, keeps joints supple, cleans out your body, keeps skin healthy and young.

Not drinking enough leads to dehydration, resulting in headaches, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, and foggy memory. Not drinking enough water can lead to excess water weight, because our bodies will store water outside our cells. That's where you feel bloaty and heavy.

Water helps the liver do its job more efficiently, namely in metabolizing fat. If you're not consuming enough water, your liver has to work overtime with its other primary function: detoxifying the body. Water helps maximizes the liver's efficiency of both jobs, so you keep your insides clean, your weight healthy, and get rid of fat.

3. Life is perfect, even if you don't think it is. God deals you a hand every day. What you get is what you get. Your job is to do the best you can with the hand you're dealt. That doesn't mean you have to "lie down and play dead." What can you do better to make your life MORE perfect? Know that you can create your dreams, no matter how difficult life can be at times.

4. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Helen Keller once said, "Life is either a series of adventures, or it is nothing." We all have this shield of armor that protects us from some aspect of life. This shield is your comfort zone. And that comfort zone is a haven for disintegration. When you take off this armor, the only thing you're risking is GROWTH, a wonderful life, high energy, and a leaner body.

5. Be a daily visionary. Visualize your goals and your dreams - every day. Take a five-minute break from your computer, stop off on the side of the road in between sales meetings, and create a motion picture on the screen of your mind of your goals, your dreams, of how you'd like your life to be. Visualize yourself already in possession of your wishes.

6. Feed your body well. Your diet can help prevent illness and disease. Some 300,000 deaths per year are a result of poor lifestyle choices, and nutrition habits is one of those poor choices. 1) Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, 2) Eat at least 4 balanced meals a day, 3) Eat a variety of fruits and veggies - in different colors. These colors will give you a greater spectrum of valuable disease-fighting nutrients.

7. Live in the present. Yesterday's gone. Tomorrow never comes. Be fully present each moment and free yourself from the ball-and-chain of yesterday and tomorrow. Everything is always in the present moment, so live it fully.

8. Live with integrity. You talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? Being in integrity means you really are who you appear to be. How you live your life is reflected in your commitments, your values, your beliefs, your sense of right and wrong. When you live in harmony with what you believe in, you have peace and happiness flowing into your life.

9. Develop high self-esteem. You already know how you benefit from a high self-esteem. People who you care about benefit, too. Let go of your emotional baggage, treat yourself with respect. Your attitude - how you think, feel, and act - mirrors how you feel about yourself.

10. Live respectfully. You are NOT at the mercy of your circumstances. George Bernard Shaw said, "The winners in life look for the ideal circumstances, and if they cannot find them, THEY MAKE THEM." Are YOU letting your present results and circumstances control YOU? Are YOU making things happen? - Garrett J. Braunreiter, CSCS The Energy Coach

Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself, and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use. - Peter Mere Latham

We all make mistakes. When we say, "We are sorry", we should recognize that our behavior has caused another sorrow, and try not to repeat it. - Gary Barnes

A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life. - William Arthur Ward

There's no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man that didn't tell you all about it? - Kin Hubbard

People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to. - George Allen

Nature gave men two ends -- one to sit on, and one to think with. Ever since then man's success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most."

- Robert Bloch

5 CLASSIC STEPS TO CLEAR THE PATH IN FRONT OF YOU

You need to go. The time has come. You have decided to leave! You've been doing the same thing for so long now. It's lost its interest, vitality and doesn't seem to hold a future for you as perhaps, it once did.

You put your things together and look outside the window. There used to be a road there. Yesterday, before you decided that you wanted something more, something different, a clear path lay outside your home. Now, it's either gone or so well covered that you're going to need to be very resourceful to locate it once again.

Here are five classic steps you can take to clear the path in pursuit of your goals and objectives.

1. Establish An Interest

Yesterday, the mundane road was visible in that you could see it. Now, your interest has significan'tly changed and waned off somewhere else.

Generally, when we get to the cross road in our life where we want more than we are currently getting, we start to look for (viable) alternatives. Invariably, come up with ideas and ideals based upon our interests. We know we like doing certain tasks, jobs and recreational activities that lead us to thinking more around the concept of enjoyment.

What's in it for you? What are you currently lacking in your life? Is it job interest, partner/spouse, flexibility, desire to be your own boss, freedom, family, assets or a host of other possibilities?

Whatever it is you must have more than a fleeting interest in it. You are looking to enhance your life and your lifestyle. This will require all your energies. It is due to the shedding of your own skin why the path now seems to be gone. Your choice has brought about the fact that you must now deal with unfamiliarity. Your interest must be huge in that you must really go down this path and carve your preferred lifestyle for yourself.

2. Look At Your Options

For the moment the path is, at best, well covered. At any rate, you can't see it. There may be several paths out there. All aren't visible to you at first glance. You need to look long and hard to find these paths. They will all be foreign to you (unless you've been down them before). Therefore, you may not recognize them even if you stumble over them.

You must create possibilities. You need to create something from nothing. It sounds almost magical, but it's not. Create plans, contingencies and a strong nexus between yourself and each one of them. Ensure that your options are based on point number one, your interest. If it holds no interest for you then it has no foundation. Without foundation, it has almost a zero chance of getting off the ground.

It can take a while to fully examine all your options, but it is paramount to do so. When you do this some paths, in varying breadth and condition will begin to become visible. You'll need a clear view before giving the option serious consideration. If it is not clear enough then work on it some more. If clarity is still a problem then you may want to discard this option.

3. Leave Your Luggage At Home

Just as traveling at an international airport, too much luggage will slow you down, get in your way, cloud your thought, and make your trip less comfortable than it needs to.

When implementing such big decisions you need to be free of distractions and other hindrances to achieving your goals and objectives. Such hindrances could be negative vibes from family and friends. You will most likely get some of this at some point along the way. Use passive detachment and don't let it bother you.

By far the biggest and most dangerous unwanted baggage we take with us is ourself. As we put the feelers out into unchartered waters, we tend to step cautiously. It is unknown, therefore we don't know what to expect. However, the danger with this is slipping back to familiar turf. Security is something we must shake if we are going to clear a new path for us. Please be painstakingly aware that you can be your own worst enemy if you drop back to the devil you know too readily.

4. Take Necessary Tools With You

To clear the path you'll need to take along as many high quality useful tools that you can muster. A positive mental attitude and total belief in your choice is paramount. Together, they are not enough on their own, but they go a long way in giving you strength and focus as you venture out on your very own "Yellow Brick Road".

Your two big plans; i.e. your "Personal Plan" & "Business Plan" will have ideally been created as a part of Step Two (Looking At Your options). These two plans are your guides. The steps you are now taking are just a part of what you have designed for yourself in them both.

You wouldn't arrive in a foreign city without an accurate up-to-date street guide. Ensure your life plan commands the same respect and stock up on the tools of the trade.

5. Check Out The Scenery As You Go

It's very important to see what lies in front of you. The last thing you need is to find a gaping big manhole under your feet with nowhere to go, except down. Pay attention to where your choices bring you.

Check on your speed of travel. Are you accomplishing what you set out to do at the beginning in the required time frame? Is anything getting in your way? Are you actually ahead of time?

As you progress, look at the world around you. Familiarize yourself your new surroundings. Look at ways to improve performance based on what is already known to you coupled with what you pick up along the way.

This is your life. Don't ever stop developing ways to clear the path that lay before you. As you go and learn more, it becomes ever so much more enriching. You deserve the best. Make sure you settle for nothing less...EVER!!!

Ideas for success - Darren

Failing doesn't make you a failure. Giving up, accepting your failure, refusing to try again 'DOES'!  - Richard Exely

DO YOU WANT TO GIVE UP?

WE HAVE GOALS -- things we want to accomplish. And we really do want to accomplish them; we're not trying to fool anyone or pump things up. But sometimes we give up on our goals. Why?

All goals have obstacles to their achievement, things in the way. These are problems or difficulties we meet on the way to the goal that we must handle in order to achieve the goal.

What makes us give up is when it looks like we won't be able to overcome the obstacles. They seem too big or too numerous. When we feel sure we can't do it, we tend to give up.

What are the alternatives to giving up? Below are three. They are stated simply. Please do not discount them because of their brevity or simplicity. The fact that they are stated simply and briefly merely makes them easier to use and therefore more powerful, not less.

GET HELP. There are people who want to help you. Enlist their aid. The more help you get, the sooner you'll succeed.

TACKLE THE OBSTACLES ONE AT A TIME. When you try to tackle all the obstacles, or just look at all the obstacles at the same time, it can overwhelm you. The feeling of being completely outgunned can take the wind out of your sails before you even get started. Pick one obstacle -- an easy one -- and tackle that first. Don't even think about the rest of them. It's likely that after you've tackled one obstacle, you'll be in a better, stronger position to handle the next one, and so on.

GET SOME TRAINING or knowledge that will make you more able to deal with the obstacles. Read, study, practice. As you gain in ability, the obstacles shrink in comparison.

Next time you are overwhelmed by obstacles, try one, two, or all three of these alternatives to giving up. You'll find they work. Using them, you'll discover new strength and zeal to keep your dream alive and accomplish your goal.

- Adam Khan

It is my observation that being beaten is often a temporary condition, that giving up is what makes it permanent.

- Marilyn Vos Savant

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

- Confucius

The supreme value is not the future but the present. The future is a deceitful time that always says to us, "Not yet", and thus denies us. The future is not the time of love: what man truly wants he wants now. Whoever builds a house for future happiness builds a prison for the present.

- Octavio Paz

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.

- Napoleon Hill

A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.

- H. Stanley Judd

If I had to define life in a word. It would be: Life is creation.-

Claude Bernard

The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions.

- Alan Cohen

"One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas - and you have to work through it all." -V.S. Naipaul

To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions.

- Sam Keen

How do you know so much about everything? was asked of a very wise and intelligent man; and the answer was 'By never being afraid or ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant.

-Lord Billingsley

The loftier the building the deeper the foundation must be.

- Thomas Kempis

Capture the moment, whover you are. None of us is here forever.

Adrian

A man's doubts and fears are his worst enemies.

- William Wrigley Jr.

All the discontented people I know are trying to be something they are not, to do something they cannot do.

- David Grayson

I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware, I sit content, And if each and all be aware, I sit content.

- Walt Whitman

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt  

We are largely the playthings of our fears. To one, fear of the dark; to another, of physical pain; to a third, of public ridicule; To a fourth, of poverty; to a fifth, of loneliness... for all of us, our particular creature waits in ambush.

- Horace Walpole

All worthwhile men have good thoughts, good ideas and good intentions, but precious few of them ever translate those into action.

- John Hancock Field

The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.

- Charles M. Schwab

"True greatness has its seat in the heart...it must be elevated by aspiring to great things and by daring to think yourself capable of them."

- Abigail Adams

"Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night."

- Leo Aikman

That man is happiest who lives from day to day and asks no more, garnering the simple goodness of a life.

- Euripides

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.

- Bruce Lee

I realized that if what we call human nature can be changed, then absolutely anything is possible. And from that moment, my life changed.

- Shirley MacLaine

Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.

- Norman Vincent Peale

Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.

- Henry Van Dyke

When the archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull's eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim -- improve yourself.

- Gilbert Arland    

No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Failure is never fatal and success is never final.

- LaShawn Evans

The best to secure future happiness is to be as happy as is rightfully possible today.

- Charles W. Eliot

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

- Barbara De Angelis

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

- Karen Kaiser Clark

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.

- William Arthur Ward

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

- Tom Bodett

You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you have really lived were the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

- Henry Drummond

He who does not hope to win has already lost.

- Jose Joaquin Olmedo

There is no such thing as can't, only won't. If you're qualified, all it takes is a burning desire to accomplish, to make a change. Go forward, go backward. Whatever it takes! But you can't blame other people or society in general. It all comes from your mind. When we do the impossible we realize we are special people.

- Jan Ashford

Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.

- Dale Carnegie

Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air... but only for one second without hope.

- Hal Lindsey

Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.

- Bernadette Devlin

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have.

- Norman Vincent Peale

Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.

- Madeline Bridges

All worthwhile men have good thoughts, good ideas and good intentions, but precious few of them ever translate those into action.

- John Hancock Field

Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.

- Samuel Smiles

 

No man is a failure who is enjoying life.

- William Feather

Our doubts are traitors; and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

- William Shakespeare

Believing in fate produces fate. Believing in freedom will create infinite possibilities.

- Ayn Rand

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

- Helen Keller

Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.

- Barbara De Angelis

No age or time of life, no position or circumstance, has a monopoly on success. Any age is the right age to start doing!

- Gerard

Today I forgive all those who have ever offended me. I give my love to all thirsty hearts, both to those who love me and to those who do not love me.

- Paramahansa Yogananda

 

The action of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.

- John Locke

I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline... I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - this greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle victorious.

- Vince Lombardi

 

One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.

- Albert Einstein

 

Character is the foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character. Without character, all effort to attain dignity is superficial, and results are sure to be disappointing.

- R. C. Samsel

What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Fear is an insidious virus. Given a breeding place in our minds... it will eat away our spirit and block the forward path of our endeavors.

- James F. Bell

With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp.

- Jim Loehr

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

- Albert Einstein

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.

- Doris Mortman

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.

- Lao-Tzu

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer's always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

- Nora Roberts

Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act.

- George W. Crane

Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny.

- David O. McKay

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

- Arthur C. Clarke

Some people say I have attitude - maybe I do... but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does - that makes you a winner right there.

- Venus Williams

Your greatness is measured by your kindness - Your education and intellect by your modesty - Your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices - Your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others.

- William J. H. Boetcker

When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

- Harriet Beecher Stowe

You don't get to control any outcome, only every choice you make along the way.

- Stephen C Paul

Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.

- Lorraine Anderson

The man who does not work for the love of work but only for money is not likely to make money nor find much fun in life.

- Charles M. Schwab

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. - Mary Pickford  

Rather than denying problems, focus inventively, intentionally on what solutions might look or feel like... Our mind is meant to generate ideas that help us escape circumstantial traps - if we trust it to do so.

- Marsha Sinetar

Live not one's life as though one had a thousand years, but live each day as the last.

- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.

- Napoleon Hill

Your morning thoughts may determine your conduct for the day. Optimistic thoughts will make your day bright and productive, while pessimistic thinking will make it dull and wasteful. Face each day cheerfully, smilingly and courageously, and it will naturally follow that your work will be a real pleasure and progress will be a delightful accomplishment.

- William M. Peck

Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

- Lord Chesterfield

I have to be wrong a certain number of times in order to be right a certain number of times. However, in order to be either, I must first make a decision.

- Frank N. Giampietro

Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswerving singleness of purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader.

- Paul J. Meyer

Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.

- Lord Chesterfield

The real you is not your body or your mind, not your ego or any localized experience you can have. Nor are you all these things lumped together. What is the real you, then? To find out is a great challenge, because we are all deeply convinced that the passing show of emotions, thoughts, drives, desires and bodily sensations is the real us.

- Deepak Chopra

Show yourself more human than critical and your pleasure will increase.

- Domenico Scarlatti

Our principles are the springs of our actions; our actions the springs of our happiness or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles.

- Philip Skelton

When looking back, usually I'm more sorry for the things I didn't do than for the things I shouldn't have done.

- Malcolm Forbes

When it is time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.

- Henry David Thoreau

The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping.

- Claudius Claudianus

He who is humble is confident and wise. He who brags is insecure and lacking.

- Lisa Edmondson

We grow because we struggle, we learn and overcome.

- R. C. Allen

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.

- Jack Penn

Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.

- Louis E. Boone

Discoveries are often made by not following instructions; by going off the main road; by trying the untried.

- Frank Tyger

When you approach a problem, strip yourself of preconceived opinions and prejudice, assemble and learn the facts of the situation, make the decision which seems to you to be the most honest, then stick to it.

- Chester Bowles

We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - you can blame anyone but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you're the one who has got to change. It's as simple as that, isn't it?

- Katherine Hepburn

Instead of being aggressive toward a difficulty, be quiet before it, and notice the new feeling.

- Vernon Howard

  Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

- Mark Twain

THE PAST

Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it.

- Marianne Williamson

Appreciation of life itself, becoming suddenly aware of the miracle of being alive, on this planet, can turn what we call ordinary life into a miracle. We come awake to such a realization when we recognize our connection to a spiritual dimension. - Dan Wakefield  

SIMPLE LIVING Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; judge less, love more, and all good things will be yours. - Swedish Proverb

For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it. - Ivan Panin

The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love. - Henry Miller

The only honest measure of your success is what you are doing compared to your true potential. - Paul J. Meyer

Every man is the architect of his own life. He builds it just the way he wants it. However, after he has built what he wants, he sometimes decides that he doesn't like what he has built and looks for someone or something to blame instead of changing himself. - Sidney Madwed

The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent. - Arnold Schwarzenegger

It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage. - George William Curtis

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner. - English proverb

You may feel like dwelling on your limits or your fears. Don't do it. A perfect prescription for a squandered, unfulfilled life is to accommodate self-defeating feelings while undercutting your finest, most productive ones. - Marsha Sinetar

"I can forgive, but I cannot forget" is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a cancel note - torn in two and burned up so that it never can be shown against one.

Henry Ward Beecher

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE

To all the things that are good about me.... And I shall from this day forward,

No longer try to be everything to everybody. Nor will I be someone I'm not.

I shall no longer use all my energies to fulfill the dreams of others while mine go unattended.

I shall use my assertive right to take charge of my life.

I shall never again know guilt, for this pain is self-chosen.

I shall fight the manipulators and their ploys by standing up for myself and my ideals.

I shall insist upon being treated with dignity and demand goodness in my life.

I shall speak the truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others.

I shall be the judge of my behavior, thoughts and emotions, and I shall be responsible for them.

I shall challenge putdowns.

I shall destroy negative thoughts and fears of rejections.

I shall not distress myself with imaginings.

I shall be gentle with myself and strive to be happy.

I shall live positively.

I SHALL BEGIN NOW!

Unknown

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. - Hugh Downs

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie  

IMPERFECT COMPARISONS Do you bemoan the size and shape of your various body parts? Is your hair too thick or too thin or too curly or too straight? Are you too tall or too short?

Who changed the standard from 'perfect the way you were born' to 'perfect the way someone else was born' anyway? It doesn't make any kind of logical sense.

If we judge our appearance by the way someone else looks, or compare it to a standard set by society, then we're not giving our Creator enough credit for knowing what He's doing.

The next time you pass a mirror, stop and have a good long look, then repeat these words, "If it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me!"

2000 Terri McPherson

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. - Thomas H. Huxleu

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to. - Kahlil Gibran  

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security, And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises, And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure... that you really are strong, And you really do have worth. - Veronica A. Shoffstall  

Being positive is looking at every situation from the proper perspective. When we drift off into self pity, remorse, pessimism, or an angry resentful attitude towards any situation; we are no longer able to contribute to the answer. We are living in the problem rather than the answer. When we do this we are wasting good energy that could be used to be productive. Sadness and disappointment are not bad emotions. It's when we dwell in negative emotions that we become an instrument of confusion rather than an instrument of peace. - Annie

DO GOOD ANYWAY People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered - Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives - Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies - Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you - Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight - Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous - Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow - Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough - Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God - It never was between you and them anyway. - Mother Theresa

We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them. - Kahlil Gibran

Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. - Mother Teresa

We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going day in and out. Concentrate on something useful. Having decided to achieve a task, achieve it at all costs. - Arnold Bennett  

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve! - Andrew Carnegie

THORNS AND ROSES

A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully. One day, as he examined it, he saw that the bud would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem. He thought........How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns? Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was ready to bloom, it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The God-like qualities planted in us at birth growing amid the thorns of our faults.

Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential. Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns and find the rose within others. This is characteristic of love... to look at a person and know their true faults. Accepting that person into your life, while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help them to realize that they can overcome their faults.

If we show them the rose, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.

"Love is a heavenly drop spilling from the chalice of life to moderate its bitterness."

"Where the heart is willing it will find a thousand ways, but where it is unwilling it will find a thousand excuses."

Unknown

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. - James Oppenheim  

If the Creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out. - Arthur Koestler

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. - Helen Keller  

What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it. - Jiddu Krishnamurti

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. - Jawaharlal Nehru

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.

Moliere

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. - Abigail Adams  

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. - Foster C. Mcclellan

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heart-felt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other. - Douglas Everett

If you don't like what you're doing, then don't do it. - Ray Bradbury

Almost any idea is good if a man has ability and is willing to work hard. The best idea is worthless if the creator is a loafer and ineffective. - William Feather

There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. - Norman Vincent Peale

Our prayers are answered not when we are given what we ask, but when we are challenged to be what we can be. - Morris Adler

Always make a total effort, even when the odds are stacked against you. - Arnold Palmer

The men who build the future are those who know that greater things are yet to come, and that they themselves will help bring them about. Their minds are illuminated by the blazing sun of hope. They never stop to doubt. They haven't time. - Melvin J. Evans

Sweep away the clouds from the old year. Scrub the mildew of regret off your skin and remove the paint of disappointment from the walls of your heart.

Stand and shine.

Let the world see how wonderful you really are.

- Terri McPherson

The real power behind whatever success I have now was something I found within myself - something that's in all of us, I think, a little piece of God just waiting to be discovered. - Tina Turner

People so seldom say, "I Love You" And then it is either too late, or Love goes; So when I tell you, "I Love You" It does not mean I know you will never go, Only that I wish you did not have to. - Ken Harrington

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use. - Emily Post

Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. - An Indian Proverb

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. - Robert Fulghum

Don't worry about what other people think of you. There are many people, and many perceptions in this world. Be true to you. - Kristie Koch

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. - Harry Truman

A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him. - Alexander Solzenitsyn

Our doubts are traitors; and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. - William Shakespeare

Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer. - Barbara De Angelis

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner. - English proverb

Your Morning Thoughts may determine your conduct for the day. Optimistic thoughts will make your day bright and productive, while pessimistic thinking will make it dull and wasteful. Face each day cheerfully, smilingly and courageously, and it will naturally follow that your work will be a real pleasure and progress will be a delightful accomplishment. - William M. Peck

The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult. - Marquise du Deffand

No age or time of life, no position or circumstance, has a monopoly on success. Any age is the right age to start doing! - Gerard

Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

Circumstances may cause interruptions or delays, but never lose sight of the goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs. - Mario Andretti

Too often people want what they want (or what they think they want, which is usually happiness in one form or another) right now. The irony of their impatience is that only by learning to wait and by a willingness to accept the bad with the good, do we usually attain those things that are truly worthwhile. - William J. Bennet (The Book of Virtues)

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. - William Arthur Ward

There is no such thing as can't, only won't. If you're qualified, all it takes is a burning desire to accomplish, to make a change. Go forward, go backward. Whatever it takes! But you can't blame other people or society in general. It all comes from your mind. When we do the impossible we realize we are special people. - Jan Ashford

Everyone dreams of being the quarterback that throws the last-second touchdown pass to win the game of the century. But to do this, you must be willing to put on the pads, endure the workouts and practice, practice, practice. Even then, there is no guarantee that the pass will be caught or result in a touchdown. Perhaps that's why there are so many more people in the stands then down on the playing field. - John Spomer

MOVE ON... TO SUCCESS!

Do you condemn yourself for things which you did - or failed to do - in the past? Everyone does this at some point. However, if you want to lead a successful and productive life, it is imperative that you release the past and not blame yourself for events that have already transpired and cannot be changed.

Ask yourself this question: has "beating yourself up" about the past ever helped you or made you feel better? If your answer is "no," I hope that you'll make a commitment to stop this self-defeating behavior.

The strategy of berating yourself for past conduct solves nothing and only serves to lower your self-esteem. You create a vicious cycle where negative experiences and negative feelings are reinforced, which leads to more negative outcomes and more negative feelings. Is that what you really want?

You are not going to change one bit of your past. It's gone. Learn from your past experiences and move on. You did the best you could given your awareness and understanding of your options at the time. This does not imply that your conduct was praiseworthy; however, you gain nothing from self-condemnation, except feelings of misery and inadequacy.

When you find yourself starting to dwell on past negative experiences, immediately halt and remind yourself: "There is nothing I can do now to change what happened. I learned a valuable lesson and will act in a more constructive way next time."

You see, regardless of what you have done - or failed to do - the only sane approach is to accept it and move forward. The successful individual does not waste precious mental energy dwelling on past events that cannot be changed. Instead, he or she uses past mistakes as learning experiences and springboards to future successes. - Jeff Keller (c) Attitude is Everything, Inc.

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. - William Cullen Bryant

Self esteem is feeling good about yourself in spite of your own imperfections. Self esteem is being able to forgive yourself for not being perfect. Self esteem is built by doing things and trying to achieve them at the best of your ability and not comparing yourself to others to determine your self-worth. There will always be someone that is better than you at something or someone that is not as good as you. So do not compete with others. Compete with yourself. Compare your progress with yourself. True success and true self-esteem comes from within. - ANNIE

Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change. - Jesse Jackson

If you don't have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true? - Oscar Hammerstein

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others. - Nathaniel Branden

The difference between dreams and goals is: Dreams are things you visualize that you would like to have in your life. Goals are things you work toward manifesting in your life. So... turn your dreams into goals and bring them into your life. - Kristie Kusch

There is no easy formula for determining right and wrong livelihood, but it is essential to keep the question alive. To return the sense of dignity and honor to manhood, we have to stop pretending that we can make a living at something that is trivial or destructive and still have sense of legitimate self-worth. A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls. - Sam Keen

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

- William Jennings Bryant

Try to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.

- Sydney Smith

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.

- Frank A. Clark

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie.

Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in the a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... his is a joy to be around."

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself.

She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's.

His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to."

After the children left she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing and arithmetic.

Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it , and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married.

He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong.

You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to become.

- Anthony Robbins

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

- Cicero

Ten Rules Of Love Love of yourself is where you must start You must love yourself within your own heart Love is a treasure that's worthless when hidden For love has no value until it is given Loving and liking are two different things You feel good when you like but with love your heart sings Between lusting and loving there should be no mistake In loving you give, in lusting you take. Love is not something you withhold out of spite Don't use it as ammo when you argue or fight Love's not a contest or some kind of game It need not be equal, nor always the same. Love's not a fire that consumes as it burns It's a path filled with life as it twists and it turns. Love is alive, like a plant it needs care. Neglect it, it withers its branches laid bare. Love's spark cannot travel through connections amiss. You renew each of these when you hug and you kiss. Someone can love you and ne'er give a sign. Be fair with your friends treat them gentle and kind.

Written by - B.W. Behling

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

- Mother Teresa

HOW MUCH DOES PRAYER WEIGH??

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. Visualizing the family needs, she said: 'Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store. Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocerman that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocerman said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?

Louise replied "Yes sir"

"O.K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocerman and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocerman staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."

The customer smiled and the grocerman started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocerman stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list,it was a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands." The grocerman gave her the groceries that he had gathered and placed on the scales and stood in stunned silence.

Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to John as he said, "It was worth every penny of it." It was sometime later that John Longhouse discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.

You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self... Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.

- Jo Courdet

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart... will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessing.

- Henry Ward Beecher

Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted and inspired way.

- Pema Chodron

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.

- John Homer Miller

Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you're no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn't just a means to an end, but a unique event in itself.

- Robert M. Pirsig

 

Forgiveness is something we give without expectations. If we forgive with expectations it is not forgiveness at all. Forgiveness heals our soul and brings us to peace. When we forgive we set ourselves free. Free from judgment of others and judgment of self. So forgive yourself and others as soon as you possibly can. Forgiveness is the key to being a happy and free person. When we harbor resentment we become a prisoner of our own making.  

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. - Brian Tracy

 

OVERCOMERS - NEEDLE IN THE SEA

Every year, the company where I worked organize an excursion trip for all employees to relax and recharge batteries. This year, we went to a beach resort, where everybody had fun frolicking in the sand and sea. One of my staff was bathing after her swim when she discovered, to her horror, that she had lost her gold necklace! Obviously, during the frolic in the sea, it had somehow come undone. When we heard about this, a couple of us started looking for it along the way back to the chalet - hoping against hope she might have dropped it here instead of the sea.

I went all the way to the beach area where we had been swimming. I dove in and tried to figure out where she might possibly have been swimming. I used my feet to feel the sand - the water came just up to my neck. I went over and over again the few spots I believe she had been.

It seemed nearly impossible! BUT, my faith and this never-give-up spirit was so strong - yes! I actually found the gold necklace! As I was going up and down the beach - trying to feel and search with my feet - I actually felt something tangle up with them. I dove down goggles-less and, amidst the murky sea water, grabbed it with my hands and pulled it up!

With the necklace in hand, I ran all the way back to the chalet. Everyone was speechless - they didn't think it would ever be seen again! Even the owner had given up and considered it lost! No on can describe the feelings that went through me when I managed to find that proverbial needle in the haystack !

- Doreen Chia

 

Some people think that successful persons are born that way. I'm here to tell you that a champion is someone who has fallen off the horse a dozen times and gotten back on the horse a dozen times. Successful people never give up!

- Jean Driscoll

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

- Eric Hoffer

   

THE LITTLE THINGS Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

- Dale Carnegie

Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night.

- Irving Berlin

GIVE IT A SHOT

When dreaming of a personal accomplishment, most people make the mistake of waiting...

- Waiting until they've been trained - Waiting till someone say's they are ready - Waiting till they have the proper tools - Waiting till they're better - Waiting till they're hired - Waiting till they've been given the assignment

But some people don't wait for the stage to be set or the curtains to be opened. Some people don't even wait to be chosen by the casting director. Some people just do what they dream about doing, and they do it without pay, assignment, or permission.

I met a guy who spent an entire summer and $500 to mock up what he thought would be a smaller, better case for a portable computer. I asked him what his incentive to do such a thing was - considering the fact that he didn't work for a design firm, no one knew he was doing it, and there was no visible reward awaiting him even if he should be successful. He replied, "Just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it."

Some people don't wait for the state-of-the-art equipment - they just see what they can do with what they've got.

I bring up this 'Give it a Shot' attitude because today is a huge day for my friend Scott Leberecht. It all started a year ago when Scott discovered a new favorite band, Korn. One day we're listening to Korn and Scott says, "Wouldn't it be cool if someday I could do an album cover for Korn?" (Scott's a storyboard artist).

"Yeah, it would be cool," I said, as I thought to myself, "Talk about a long shot. Scott's never designed an album cover for anyone, now he's dreaming about doing it for his favorite band."

Nine months later, instead of going on a three day camping trip with us, Scott stayed at home and worked on a secret project.

Then one day, about a month later, he calls me incredibly excited, "You're not going to believe this, Patrick - are you sitting down? .... Korn wants to use my album cover!"

"What?!!... What album cover??" I had to ask.

Scott explained, "Instead of going camping that weekend, I stayed home and designed an album cover for them. I sent it to their management company and they called me yesterday saying the band loves it and wants to use it."

Well, I'm writing this column on October 15, the day Scott Leberecht's Korn album cover hits the stores. (Scott, you are at the top of my inspiration list. Congratulations!)

Some people don't wait to be asked - they dive in the minute they get the dream.

* Dream of being on TV? - get a video camera and start making your segments.

* Dream of being a syndicated cartoonist? - start creating a daily strip and post it to the web.

* Imagine that some day you'll possess the skills to be a fantastic filmmaker? - bum a camera from one of your friends and shoot a short now. * Want to write for Rolling Stone someday? - go to a concert, write your review and send it in. Better yet, post it to your own website and build your own version of Rolling Stone.

* Can't wait to snag a job with a Big 5 Accounting Firm? - volunteer to do the books of the business next door.

* Want to be a personal finance consultant but got no money or clients? - make up imaginary clients and work with their pretend money for a year.

Somewhere along the line most of us bought the myth that great accomplishments require training, resources, credentials and permission. Great accomplishments require giving it a shot.

Until next time, be great.

- Patrick Combs

OCCUPATION There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen.

- Wayne Dyer

PERCEPTION

It's not what is happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.

- Anthony Robbins  

The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.

- Orison Swett Marden  

RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS I have a little recipe that isn't hard to make But you must always start as soon as you awake. Take a great big mixing bowl and fill it with a smile Mix half a cup of sunshine with good deeds to last a while. Add a pinch of work and play, a pinch of thoughtfulness and care But don't bake it in the oven, just spread it around everywhere.

HAVE A FABULOUS DAY! I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.

With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, "Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves.

"None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make the most of every single day."

Her eyes began to water as she went on, "So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see - it could be a scent - perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please, look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the 'stuff' of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any time... it can all be taken away."

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that we sometimes overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double-dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.

Have a fabulous day! - Unknown

THE FOUR C's Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence, when you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably. -Walt Disney

FAITH When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly. - Barbara J. Winter

ATTITUDE The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. - William James

POTENTIAL The important thing to remember is that the essence of our humanity is the spirit that lies within us. We all have this spirit, and it is a reservoir of tremendous potential. When you tap into this potential, you can move mountains. And if you can't do that, you can still drill right through them. -Rich Ruffalo

EFFORT You find that you have piece of mind and can enjoy yourself, get your sleep, and rest when you know that it was a 100 percent effort that you gave - win or lose. - Gordie Howe  

WILDFLOWERS As you stand in the center of your life's garden, surrounded by the color and greenery you have cultivated, search for the unexpected appearance of wildflowers.

For seeds of affection rarely grow in rigid lines, row upon row.

Copyright 1999 Terri McPherson Windsor, Ontario, Canada tmcphers@mnsi.net

INTEGRITY Integrity is one of several paths, it distinguishes itself from the others because is it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost. - M. H. McKee

LONELINESS People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. - Joseph Fort Newton  

YOURSELF Accept everything about yourself -- I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end -- no apologies, no regrets. - Clark Moustakas

OPPORTUNITIES Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so. - Doris Lessing  

HAPPINESS Thus happiness depends, as nature shows, less on exterior things than most suppose. - William Cowper

YOUTH Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind. You are as old as your doubt, your fear, your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young. - Luella F. Phean

BELIEF People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. - Norman Vincent Peale  

LISTENING Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand. - Sue Patton Thoele

PEACE To be at one with God is to be at peace... peace is to be found only within, and unless one finds it there he will never find it at all. Peace lies not in the external world. It lies within one's own soul. - Ralph W. Trine

TO BE THANKFUL FOR:

The mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

The taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed.

The clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

A lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

The space I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

My huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

The piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I'm alive.

Getting too much email bogs me down but at least I know I have friends who are thinking of me.

- Unknown

Instead of looking at life as a narrowing funnel, we can see it ever widening to choose the things we want to do, to take the wisdom we've learned and create something. - Liz Carpenter

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy. - Wayne Dyer

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. - Albert Einstein

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin  

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind. - Darwin P. Kingsley

I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal - and soon they'll forget my number. - Edith Armstrong  

Self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures. In the assurance of strength, there is strength, and they are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers. - Christian Bovee

MEDITATION: THE ROLE IT PLAYS IN TODAY'S MODERN SOCIETY

Like many people in our world today, I sometimes seem overwhelmed with the things that I have to do in a day. Work, eat, sleep, play, exercise, read, watch TV, love, be loved, answer questions, listen to music, learn something new, and the list goes on and on. How can we fit everything into our crowded schedules? How can we accomplish anything? The answer to this question is learning to let go and go with the flow. But I can't let go of some of the things that are listed here you say. Then learn to Meditate and your path will be easier. But I don't know how to Meditate you say. I will teach you how.

First you must find some time and a place where you can be alone in silence. That means no T.V. or radio and no distractions. Next you must find a comfortable chair to sit in. Once these two items are found, you can begin.

Start by closing your eyes and noticing how tense your body really is. Start to let go of these tensions one by one by relaxing that part of your body. Focus your concentration on that part of the body that has the most tension and let go of that tension first. Take deep breaths and then let those breaths out slowly until the tension is gone. Once you have done this for your entire body, then concentrate on your breathing. Notice how calm it has become.

After this initial session, you will find that you have a renewed sense of energy and you will feel that you can accomplish anything. In fact, you will be able to get more done. This way you can squeeze more life out of life in our Modern society. -Raymond Day

To act with common sense, according to the moment, is the best wisdom; and the best philosophy is to do one's duties, to take the world as it comes, submit respectfully to one's lot, and bless the goodness that has given us so much happiness with it, whatever it is. - Horace Walpole

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than successful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. - Calvin Coolidge

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. - Henri L. Bergson

Do your best every day and your life will gradually expand into satisfying fullness. - Horotio W. Dresser

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. - Pamela Vaull Starr

THE SUCCESSFUL ATHLETE'S DICTIONARY

Successful athletes use a special dictionary. They know that the way they talk to themselves and the way they approach sporting challenges are key factors for success. Read on to find out what is listed, and what is not, in the successful athlete's dictionary.

IN:

Failure - If you do not meet a goal, congratulate yourself on a good effort and then look at what can be improved. Focus on this information during your next practice. And remember, if you were perfect, how would you know what to improve?

Toughness - Weave your goals, focus, attitude, belief, determination, and flexibility into a strong bundle of toughness.

Practice - Use practice to hone skills and push out of your comfort zone, not just "put in time." Be aware of technique. Stir up competition feelings. Each practice is a golden opportunity that only comes around once.

Belief - Belief energizes and strengthens the mind and body. Belief is like a genie in a lamp: it has the power to help make dreams come true.

OUT:

Can't - You write your future when you tell yourself "I can't." Don't rule out the possibility of success.

Giving Up - Giving up can seem tempting when it appears that you might not reach your goal. However, your mind and body store "give ups" which come back to haunt you next time you try!

What if. . . - Instead of creating negative scenarios, replace "What if. . ." with "I will. . . ." Example: "What if I mess up?" can be replaced with "I will give my best effort, one moment at a time." - CJ Lockman Hall, M.A

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. -Malachy McCourt

I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him. - Booker T. Washington

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. - Agatha Christie

WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN'T LOOKING

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked and wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.

- Unknown

Happiness, grief, gaiety, sadness, are by nature contagious. Bring your health and your strength to the weak and sickly, and so you will be of use to them. Give them, not your weakness, but your energy, so you will revive and lift them up. Life alone can rekindle life.

- Henri-Frederic Amiel

FEAR - Fear is like fire. If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled, it will rise up and destroy you. Men's actions depend to a great extent upon fear. We do things either because we enjoy doing them or because we are afraid not to do them. - John F. Milburn

HAPPINESS

May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.

- Richard Evans

BE YOURSELF

Cultivate your own capabilities, your own style. Appreciate the members of your family for who they are, even though their outlook or style may be miles different from yours. Rabbits don't fly. Eagles don't swim. Ducks look funny trying to climb. Squirrels don't have feathers. Stop comparing. There's plenty of room in the forest. - Charles Swindoll

When it is late at night, and you are all alone, nothing to do and feel nobody else wants you just remember there is a place for you ...  

FAILURE - A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else. - John Burroughs

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastro-enterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber and the IRS May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise.

May you find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere in the rush hour in less than an hour, and when you get there may you find a parking space.

May Friday evening, December 31, find you seated around the table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends ushering in a new day. You will find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May you wake up on January 1st, finding that the world has not come to an end, the lights work, the water faucets flow, and the sky has not fallen.

May you go to the bank on Monday morning, January 3rd and find your account is in order, your money is still there and any mistakes are in your favor.

May you ponder on January 4th; How did this ultra-modern civilization of ours manage to get itself traumatized by a possible slip of a blip on a chip made out of sand.

May we relax about the Third Millennium of the Common Era, and realize that we still have 240 years until the dawn of the Sixth Millennium of the Jewish Calendar by which time the computer is long since obsolete and so are we.

May God give you the strength to go through a year of presidential campaigning, and may some of the promises made be kept. May you believe at least half of what the candidates propose, and may those elected fulfill at least half of what they promise, and the miracle of reducing taxes and balancing budgets happen.

May you be awe struck by God's sense of humor as you wrestle with the possibility that a professional wrestler could become president of the United States.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them.

May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues.

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, and may your check book and your budget balance, and may they include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent; but not to your secretary, your nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor.

Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.

- Sophia Loren

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on 280 Interstate. Please be careful!" "Hell," said Herman, "it's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

YOU WILL GO NUTS IF YOU BELIEVE IN LUCK

Successful people are not successful because they are lucky, 'strugglers' do not struggle because they are unlucky, even though it may seem that way. The only reason it may seem that way is because we have been hypnotized to believe in luck... good and bad. We pick up stuff (beliefs, superstitions, and attitudes) from others and behave as if it is true. Behavioral scientists and psychologists call it conditioning. A classical example of highly effective hypnotism.

ALBERT EINSTEIN said, "The most incomprehensible fact about the universe is, that is it comprehensible." That means that nothing in the universe happens by luck or by accident. Just because you may not know what the cause is for success or for struggle, does not mean there is no logical cause. It just means the cause is not known... to you. Why is it that some people are successful even in the worst economy with lousy circumstances and some people continue to struggle even in a booming economy with the best of circumstances? Uh! Uh! Don't say luck.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON (remember him?) said, "Circumstances do not make the man, but rather circumstances reveals man to himself." That means that under the exact same circumstances an open-minded, optimistic person will have a more rewarding result than a narrow-minded, pessimistic person. Optimists are more inclined to have a creative edge over pessimists when it comes to being successful under the same conditions that the struggle-minded struggle...

Professionals in every field of business agree that optimistic, open-minded employees are more creative, more productive, more valuable, more in demand, and are more inclined for greater and more rapid advancement than pessimistic, narrow-minded bellyachers.

Attitude (positive or negative) is an electromagnetic energy that effects mental and physical well-being.

Not everyone has an optimistic or pessimistic attitude about the same things, or the same degree of optimism or pessimism about the same things. Isn't that interesting?

That means......UNDESIRABLE CIRCUMSTANCES AND SITUATIONS ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF YOUR PESSIMISTIC ATTITUDES OR NARROW-MINDEDNESS, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY SEEM THAT WAY. Otherwise, everyone would have the exact same degree of PESSIMISM and NARROW-MINDEDNESS about the same circumstances... AND THEY DON'T. Think about it.

That's why not everyone who is in a wheelchair, or who is sightless, or who is physically challenged in some way considers themselves unproductive or useless. You know who they are.

When you are pessimistic about anything, ANYTHING, you are really possessed by a mechanism (habit) that is directing your mind to think in the limited ways that cause the tense and stressful emotions that screw up your mental, and physical well-being, some way... somehow.

Exhausting and frustrating yourself while looking for the 'right' opportunity that will take you from struggle to success will be futile unless you de-hypnotize yourself from the narrow-minded attitude that brought about struggle in the first place. Otherwise the struggle habit continues to do its thing... whatever opportunity you choose.

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.

WILLIAM JAMES, father of modern day psychology, said, "The greatest discovery of the 20th Century is that our attitude of mind determines our quality of life, not circumstances."

Get it? Attitude, negative or positive, is an energy that effects quality of life, not circumstances. Luck? Bah! Humbug! Got it? Good!

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One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz."

Then he pulled out a one gallon, wide mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" "

No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!" "No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point.

The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all." What are the 'big rocks' in your life? Your children; Your loved ones; Your education; Your dreams; A worthy cause; Teaching or mentoring others; Doing things that you love; Time for yourself; Your health; Your significan't other. Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your life with little things you worry about that don't really matter, and you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.  

Happiness... We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another.

Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are.

After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with.

We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire.

The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.

It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza. He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my "life".

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time...and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.  

In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks, Though medicine gardens of beauty lie near. The masses of peacocks do not find gardens pleasant, But thrive on the essence of poisonous plants.

In similar fashion, the brave Bodhisattvas Remain in the jungle of worldly concern. No matter how joyful this world's pleasure gardens, These brave ones are never attracted to pleasures, But thrive in the jungle of suffering and pain.

We spend our whole life in the search for enjoyment, Yet tremble with fear at the mere thought of pain; Thus since we are cowards, we are miserable still. But the brave Bodhisattvas accept suffering gladly And gain from their courage a true lasting joy.  

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit.

All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.

The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.

When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path.

The power of words....it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

Be Special to others.

The other day I had the opportunity to drop by my department head's office. He's a friendly guy and on the rare opportunities that I have to pay him a visit, we have had enjoyable conversations. While I was in his office yesterday I asked him "Sir, What is the secret of your success?"

He said "two words"

"And, Sir, what are they?"

"Right decisions."

"But how do you make right decisions?"

"One word." he responded.

"And, sir, What is that?"

"Experience."

"And how do you get Experience?"

"Two words"

"And, Sir, what are they?"

"Wrong decisions"

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger.

"God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

FIVE GREAT LESSONS: The Important Things Life Teaches You...

1. Most Important Question During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significan't. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello'. "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. Pickup in the Rain - One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her - generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others." Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole

3. Always remember those who serve. In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.

4. The Obstacle in Our Path In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.

5. Giving Blood Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?" Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood.

Attitude, after all, is everything. Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.

As you got up this morning, I watched you, and hoped you would talk to me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday. But I noticed you were too busy, trying to find the right outfit to wear.

When you ran around the house getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were to busy. At one point you had to wait, fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip instead. I watched patiently all day long. With all your activities I guess you were too busy to say anything to me. I noticed that before lunch you looked around, maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that is why you didn't bow your head. You glanced three or four tables over and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you didn't. That's okay. There is still more time left, and I hope that you will talk to me yet.

You went home and it seems as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done, you turned on the TV. I don't know if you like TV or not, just about anything goes there and you spend a lot of time each day in front of it not thinking about anything, just enjoying the show. I waited patiently again as you watched the TV and ate your meal, but again you didn't talk to me. Bedtime I guess you felt too tired. After you said goodnight to your family you plopped into bed and fell asleep in no time. That's okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you. I've got patience, more than you will ever know. I even want to teach you how to be patient with others as well.

I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer or thought or a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation. Well, you are getting up once again. And once again I will wait, with nothing but love for you. Hoping that today you will give me some time. Have a nice day! Your friend, GOD

A person asked God, "What surprises you most about mankind?"

And God answered:

"That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.

That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.

That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived..."    

Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a "v" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

It has been learned that when a lead bird flaps its own wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "v" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the draft and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It pays to take turns doing hard jobs. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. An encouraging word goes a long way.

Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by a gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead. Then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that....

A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them.

She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.

"No", she said. "He's out."

"Then we cannot come in," they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.

"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"

The woman went out and invited the men in.

"We do not go into a House together," they replied.

"Why is that?" she wanted to know.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!," he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

Quick Bite, a daily inspiration


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