This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Monday, December 21, 2009

Life Lessons

One day, a group of older, wise and well-experienced men and women from around the world, who had met and conquered many challenges of life, came together to review and explain what they had learned during their lifetimes. Between them all, they had experienced just about every imaginable situation in life - difficulties, challenges, sorrows, happiness, fulfillment, and excitement - that can be had in this life.

When they came to the end of the day, these people who have already been there and done that, identified many lessons that could benefit those of us still making our way through life. Here's a sampling of their advice:

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

When in doubt, just take the next small step.

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

Your job won't take care of you when you're sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

Make peace with your past so it won't mess up your present.

It's OK to let your children see you cry.

Don't compare your life to others. You do not understand what their journey is all about.

Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry, God never blinks.

Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

Over prepare, then go with the flow.

No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words, "In five years, will this matter?"

Always choose life.

Forgive everyone everything.

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

However bad or good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

Believe in miracles.

God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

Your children get only one childhood.

Get outside everyday. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

No matter how you feel, get, dress up and show up.

The best is yet to come.

All that truly matters in the end is that you are loved.

Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

My Mountain

I wrote this several years ago, but thought it fit well with the last post:

(photo by Ken R. Young)

My heavy eyelids
do not need coaxing to close.
The heaviness weighing upon my mind,
caused by a steady stream of struggles and burdens,
has created a forceful desire
for a cerebral pause,
an emotional relief.
The trials of life have left me exhausted.
I can no longer deal with
the incessant stings and jabs
that have afflicted my recent days.
I must depart this consciousness.

Within a few moments
sleep overcomes and blesses my mind
with much needed escape.
Floating, I drift off
through a canvass of billowy clouds
which slowly dissipates
to reveal a stunning view.
Before me lies the awesome magnificence
of a high mountain scene -
peaks capped with snow,
lakes shimmering with reflected sunlight,
and evergreens, aspen and wildflowers
providing a tapestry of strength and beauty
across the landscape.

The sounds of nesting birds,
fluttering leaves, cricking bugs and a gurgling stream,
accentuate the living reality
of my sub-conscious experience.
All the senses are enlivened
as they soak up the joy,
the peace and the power
of this paradisiacal setting.
Is this heaven?
My soul rejoices that I am here!
I reach out to embrace it all,
to consume it
and make it a part of me.

And then it strikes me -
I am basking in the glories of earth.
This earth, which is my home,
my life, my reality.
I realize with surging conviction,
that I love my home,
I love my life and
I love my reality - complete with its struggles and burdens.
For this mountain of beauty
is a symbol of everything that is good
and right in my life.
The love of family and friends,
and the multi-colored palette of earthly blessings
which has painted my life
are represented here.

My inner strength is restored.
Newfound vigor races from the heart
and forces open my eyes.
I look around
and begin recognizing the true sources
of joy in my life.
One by one,
the details of my mountain vision
are re-created in the realities of my life.
The emerging scene is beautiful and breathtaking.
I now see that my life,
colored with love and joy,
as well as tears and trial,
is a marvelous, extraordinary experience.
It is an exciting challenge
to live, to love, to find joy
and embrace it.

by Ken R. Young

For more inspiration on mountains, see also:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On Climbing Mountains

(photo by Ken R. Young)

I've often thought of life and it's struggles and journey as climbing a high mountain. I've had the chance to climb several mountains in my life and am still, as everyone, trying to reach the summit of my own life's mountain. There are many crags and steep slopes, potential dangerous spots to avoid along the trail. But there are also beautiful plants, flowers and trees, wonderful vistas, occasional intriguing wildlife, refreshing streams and waterfalls, places of shade and resting, and many opportunities for using and stretching muscles.

Getting to the top can be an exhilarating experience, both because of the achievement and the great views. Knowing your hard work has paid off is very fulfilling. But sometimes it can be tempting to give up before you reach the top and head back down. I have done that, too.

My friend Steven Kapp Perry offered his thoughts on climbing mountains:

"I recently spent most of a week climbing King's Peak with the scouts--including two of my own sons. It's the highest peak in Utah and a grueling climb, and somewhere about half-way up the nearly vertical rock slide, I found myself wondering, 'Why are we doing this? Is it'

As I looked ahead and saw everyone above me giving their all in the climb, I don't think anyone would have used the word "fun" at that moment.

So why do we climb mountains with these boys? I think it's so they know that they can do hard things. In fact, it's also so we grownups know we can do hard things.

The hard parts of our lives are rarely ever 'fun,' but when we look back on them with perspective, we see how the Lord used them to help us stretch and grow and become better (i.e. more broken and humble and dependent on him) than we were. And they give us confidence that he'll help us through the next challenge.

'Fun' may not be the exact word, but it is worth climbing mountains."

I agree.

Miley Cyrus recently released the song "The Climb", the lyrics from which I think go very well with this topic:

The Climb

I can almost see it
that dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb!

So, we must keep climbing...

Here's a picture of me and my two sons on top of Mt. Timpanogos.

For more good stuff on mountains, see also:

The Frog Race

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began.

Honestly, no one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as: "Oh, way too difficult!", "They will never make it to the top." or, "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one, except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher.

The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult! No one will make it!" More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But one continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower, except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! Then all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out that the winner was deaf!

The wisdom of this story is:
Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you - the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. “There's life and death in the power of the tongue”(Proverbs 18:21). Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

We Are Responsible For Our Happiness

So often we stand in our world of darkness waiting for someone to come along and pull the cord, to open the drapes and let the light in. But since we are free agents we can reach up and pull the curtains apart ourselves - we have control - we are responsible for our happiness - not someone else.

Someone can come along and pull the cord and change the scene, or the feeling, from darkness to light and it makes us happy, but if we always wait for someone else to come along we are dependent on them for our happiness, and they may not come along, or may not come soon enough, or may spend a lot of time searching for the right cord.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

1. A good conscience is a continual Christmas.

2. A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

3. A penny saved is a penny earned.

4. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

5. Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

6. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

7. Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

8. Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

9. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

10. Diligence is the mother of good luck.

11. Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

12. Energy and persistence conquer all things.

13. God helps those who help themselves.

14. Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

15. He that can have patience can have what he will.

16. He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book.

17. He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees.

18. Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?

19. Honesty is the best policy.

20. I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.

21. I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.

22. If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.

23. If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.

24. In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.

25. In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

26. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for dinner. Liberty is a well armed sheep.

27. It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness...there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

28. It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

29. It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow.

30. Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

31. Marriage is the most natural state of man, and... the state in which you will find solid happiness.

32. Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

33. One today is worth two tomorrows.

34. Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.

35. Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.

36. Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

37. The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.

38. The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

39. There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do - the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.

40. When you're finished changing, you're finished.

41. Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.

42. Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.

See also: Benjamin Frankilin and the Thirteen Virtues

Monday, November 30, 2009

You'll Never Walk Alone

(photo by Ken R. Young)

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.

- from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel"

Ghandi Quotes

Born in Porbandar, India, in 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would have been 146 years old today. One of the most recognizable leaders of all time, Gandhi was (and continues to be) revered for his satyagraha — nonviolent civil disobedience — philosophy in leading India to independence and inspiring civil rights and freedom movements around the world. 

Ghandi was often called by the title "Mahatma", which is Sanskrit for "Great Soul".

1. Be the change you want to see in the world.

2. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

3. The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.

4. There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.

5. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

6. Suffering cheerfully endured, ceases to be suffering and is transmuted into an ineffable joy.

7. Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.

8. Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.

9. Nobody can hurt me without my permission.

10. There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.

11. My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.

12. Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.

13. Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

14. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.

15. Just as the body cannot exist without blood, so the soul needs the matchless and pure strength of faith.

16. When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.

17. We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.

18. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.

19. It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

20. You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.

21. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

22. Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

23. The only tyrant I accept in this world is the 'still small voice' within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.

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

25. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.

26. The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.

27. A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.

28. A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

29. In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

30. You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Flying Free

There is a place I call my own
Where I can stand by the sea
And look beyond the things I’ve known,
And dream that I might be free.

Like a bird above the trees
Gliding gently on the breeze.
I wish that all my life I’d be
Without a care and flying free.

But life is not a distant sky
Without a cloud, without rain.
And I can never hope that I
Can travel on without pain.

Time goes swiftly on its way,
All too soon we’ve lost today.
I cannot wait for skies of blue
Or dream so long that life is through.

So life’s a song that I must sing,
A gift of love I must share.
And when I see the joy it brings,
Life’s spirit soars through the air.

Like that bird up in the sky,
Life has taught me how to fly.
For now I know what I can be,
And now my heart is flying free.

- Jenna Lynn

The Sea: Thoughts and Quotes

(photo by Ken R. Young)

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
-Jacques Cousteau

The waves of the sea, Help me get back to me.
-Jill Davis

Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.
- Michelle Held

May your time be filled with relaxing sunsets, cool drinks and sand between your toes. - Unknown

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. - Kate Chopin

My love, I would like even more;
to be an ocean if you are the wave;
to be a wave, if you are the ocean.
- Nicolas Guillen

If you're lucky enough to be at the beach, you're lucky enough. - Unknown

Moments in paradise, when life touches heaven, include:
1. Walking along a soft, white sand beach while the gentle, rolling tide caresses your feet.
2. Viewing the magnificent splendor of ocean beauty at sunset or sunrise.
3. Sitting near the ocean shore, watching and listening to the breaking waves rolling in.
- Ken R. Young

Sea More at: Beach-Sea-and-Ocean: Quotes-and-Sayings.

Thanksgiving Quotes

1. 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

2. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. - Meister Eckhart

3. Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. - E.P. Powell

4. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

5. Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. - Edward Sandford Martin

6. What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? - Erma Bombeck

7. Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. - W.J. Cameron

8. He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
- J.A. Shedd

9. Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. - Robert Caspar Lintner

10. Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast,
And toast the sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased.
- Alice W. Brotherton

11. Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.
- Wilbur D. Nesbit

12. To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. - Johannes A. Gaertner

13. A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. - Cicero

14. Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. - Seneca

15. Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. - Unknown

16. The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands. - Unknown

17. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. - William Arthur Ward

18. May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
- Author Unknown

19. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" - William A. Ward

20. If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. - Frank A. Clark

21. None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. - Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

22. The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts… nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. - H. W. Westermayer

23. Gratitude is the heart's memory. - French Proverb

24. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. - W. T. Purkiser

25. The unthankful heart...discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! - Henry Ward Beecher

26. We should spend as much time in thanking God for His blessings as we do asking Him for them. - St. Vincent de Paul

27. Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts." - Henri Frederic Amiel

28. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. - Tecumseh

See George Washington's proclamation on Thanksgiving at:

See more quotes on Gratitude at:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Impossible Dream: Ken's Thoughts

In learning how to deal with the struggles in my life, the song “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man of La Mancha” has become a spiritual mantra for my quest to come closer to the Lord by conquering my weaknesses and fighting “the unbeatable foe”. I have thought a lot about the meaning of each line in the song and how it can apply to my life and my quest.

Following the below song lyrics, I review the words of each line in the song with my personal interpretations.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

This is my quest to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far;
To fight for the right without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause!
And I know, if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable stars!

From “Man of La Mancha”
Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh

“To dream the impossible dream”
It’s like a challenge to dare to dream, to accomplish something that may seem to be impossible, either because of our own insecurities and doubts, or because of what is generally accepted in society as being either very difficult or impossible. But taking the step forward in allowing ourselves to dream that which seems impossible, begins to make it possible.

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
- T.S. Eliot

“To fight the unbeatable foe”
Who is the unbeatable foe? Does such a being exist? If anyone, we might think it to be our own selves. Yet our true inner self is the force which is doing the dreaming and the fighting; so it becomes a matter of letting the inner self, or spirit, to become the captain of the army which is fighting. Fighting who? Most likely, that would be Satan. But is he unbeatable? I don’t believe so, though I know he can put up a good fight. He is our enemy and would love us to believe that he is unbeatable, so that we will lay down our weapons and quit trying. When we do that, he has won. But it is we who hold the weapons and wear the armor, and as long as we hold fast to these, we shall beat the unbeatable foe.

"I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." - William E. Henley

“To bear with unbearable sorrow”
Sorrow for sins, mistakes, grief for a loved one’s passing, un-kept promises – there are many ways in which we experience sorrow here on earth. I believe that when we are able to experience the burden of heavy sorrow, we taste a bit of the pain and sorrow the Savior had in our behalf at Gethsemane. He who bore the most unbearable sorrow of all can help us bear the sorrow we must have to overcome, conquer and improve. The extremity of unbearable sorrow can be the launching pad for our journey towards heaven, fueled by the Lord’s atonement and His love for us.

When we look upon our sins and mistakes as things which increased the burden of sorrow which fell upon the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, we can, and should, muster up greater determination to not do anything more which will have added more to His sorrow on our behalf.

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." – Moliere

“To run where the brave dare not go”
At times in our lives, we are faced with the opportunity to stretch ourselves and take steps in directions we have not previously pursued, or down paths that frighten us. The courage it takes to face our fears and to pursue a path that we know will ultimately bless and benefit us, but which may also provide pain and soul-stretching, is tremendous. It requires that we have our eye on the end goal, the reward for blood, sweat and tears. It requires a no-matter-what-it-takes attitude. It requires that we “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

Many who might otherwise seem brave may not dare to go down such paths. Only by inviting the strength of the Lord to be with us can we dare such a venture.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To right the un-rightable wrong”
First off, nothing we do is “un-rightable”, or not able to be made right; unless, of course we deny the Holy Ghost. But we may believe sometimes that the wrong we have done is so bad, or has caused so much damage to ourselves or to others, that we are unable to fully overcome it and be completely forgiven. We need to truly believe in the Savior’s atonement, and to accept its power in our lives. We need to truly believe in ourselves, that we are capable of fully repenting, of being forgiven, and of having a change of heart. We need to look forward to the day that we no longer desire to sin, but seek only after righteousness.

Perhaps life has wronged us in some way we couldn't control, or we have been wronged by others. These types of wrongs can sometimes seem insurmountable, or "un-rightable". We can get so bogged down by their effects, that we are unable to move past them, and ultimately we fall victim to our own acceptance of them in our lives.

Satan wants us to believe that our lives are “un-rightable”. He wants us to accept the wrong situations in our lives as normal, or not worth the effort to remove. But I believe that the reward of increased happiness, spiritual strength and blessings, and the assurance of eternal salvation and exaltation are extremely worth any efforts we take to make our lives right. And, it is important to remember that, in the end, it really is the Lord who makes us right and relieves our burdens; it is through his infinite grace and mercy for us that we can be made right. We only need to take the first step and invite His love, grace and atoning power into our hearts and lives.

"I will write of him who fights and vanquishes his sins, who struggles on through weary years against himself…and wins." – Caroline B. LeRow

“To love pure and chaste from afar”
This is an interesting combination of words, which can have so much meaning. To have love which is pure and chaste for everyone would go a long way to making us more like the Savior. This kind of love given non-discriminatingly to others would change a lot of what we do and what we think. It would serve as a very strong armor in the battle for righteousness and against sin and temptation.

If we could only truly believe that we all are children of God, and that we all have both the right and responsibility to love and be loved in a pure and chaste manner, how could we ever desire to do anything to or with another person that wasn’t pure and chaste? This is the pure love of Christ, of which we all have a portion and need to seek to obtain or develop more.

Sometimes we need to learn to love “from afar”. To recognize that because of our differences, or challenges, or physical separation, our love will sometimes be at a distance. The distance can sometimes be hard to understand, but the love can and needs to be there and continue to grow. Sometimes a pure and chaste love can only occur when it is “from afar”.

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." – Moroni 7:47

“To try when your arms are too weary”

To keep on trying after it seems we have become worn out from trying is a difficult thing to do. Yet, it seems that is where the real reward or benefit comes. The saying, “no pain, no gain”, is true in so many ways.

I’m reminded of the story of a man who was in the Martin Handcart Company, one of the many groups of Mormon pioneers who crossed the plains, who related his struggles and efforts to keep trying when his arms, legs and whole body were too weary from pulling a heavy handcart over the plains and Rocky Mountains. He told of how he would choose a landmark ahead of him and decide that when he reached it, he would quit, because he felt he couldn’t go on any further. After reaching the chosen landmark, he felt as if the cart was pushing him, and so he continued on. He bore testimony that it was the strength of the Lord and his angels that allowed him to go on.

I believe that there is an extra storage of strength for all of us to tap into, when we feel that our own is gone. If our pursuit is righteous, the Lord will “prepare a way for [us] that [we] may accomplish” whatever is required of us (see 1 Nephi 3:7).

To “try when your arms are too weary” is too have an attitude of never giving up, of relying on the Lord for extra strength, and of having faith that we can do it - because the Lord wants us to.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." – Philippians 4:13

“To reach the unreachable star”
By having an attitude of never giving up and having sufficient faith in the strength of the Lord, we are then able to reach heights, or stars, that would otherwise be unreachable to us. This is where the grace of the Lord comes into play – when we not only have done what we can do, but have exercised faith and earnestly sought and invited the Lord to take over and lift us higher.

Our part includes setting high goals, aiming high. A favorite thought of mine is that if you aim for the stars, you may only hit the top of the tree, but if you aim for the top of the tree, you may only hit the trunk. The Lord’s grace, when invited and applied, will allow us to aim for the stars and to hit or reach them.

What is the “unreachable star”? For me, it is to return to live with Heavenly Father in His kingdom and partake of all the blessings of Eternal Life with Him. And to do this with those I love. Sometimes, as I stumble through life, I wonder if I can ever prepare myself enough for that. Do I have what it takes to be worthy of such blessings? Maybe not on my own, but with the Lord’s strength and grace, I believe I do. So, it’s up to me to make room enough for Him and his grace in my life so that I will reach my star.

"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"This is my quest, to follow that star"
That word "quest" seems to really fit how I feel about what I'm after. A pursuit, a journey, a path with a goal. My quest to follow and reach that star is what motivates me onward - it is my purpose for living and for trying. My star is my vision of being complete, strong, purposeful and happy - living with God and those I love. It's a star, though far away, that continues to shine in the sky, twinkling as if to remind me of how pretty it is and how much I really do want to reach it.

So my life's journey must be to continue watching it and following it, and never losing sight of it.

"Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" - Robert Browning

"No matter how hopeless, no matter how far"
Sometimes it can feel almost hopeless in pursuit of a goal which seems so far off or difficult to achieve. But that which is worth having is worth striving for. No pain, no gain. The prize is worth the price. I'm sure if I could only have a constant and clear vision of the glorious award and joy that awaits me in the celestial kingdom, I would do all I could all the time to achieve it. Ah, but that is where faith comes in. We are told and are given testimonies of that glory that we are striving for. It is our faith in the Lord and his gospel which keeps us moving forward "no matter how hopeless, no matter how far".

Building a strong faith and a determination to do what is required - whatever it takes - is what will carry us onward. A determination to not give up, to always get up when you fall, to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. You have to decide in your heart that reaching that star is of utmost importance and that you will not allow yourself to be deterred, slowed down or stopped. Dedication to a goal is the key to achieving it.

I must decide to continue being faithful and dedicated to righteousness and the pursuit of that star, "no matter how hopeless, no matter how far". It may be far, but I am sure it is not hopeless.

"The worth of every conviction consists precisely in the steadfastness with which it is held." - Jane Addams

"To fight for the right, without question or pause"
To fight- that's really what we are doing. We're in a battle against the devil and his cohorts, whose influences are around us everywhere, as well as all the negative situations in our world. It takes courage to go to battle, a courage fed by faith, testimony and a desire for something better. It also requires fear - a fear of what might be if we don't fight. It requires a good deal of confidence and trust in the Lord, our captain, that he will lead us through successfully, and trust in the strength of the armor that he has given us. The gospel itself, the scriptures, prayer, inspiration from the Holy Ghost, our covenants, the commandments, the temple and many other things make up the spiritual armor that we wear into battle.

It's strange how, even though we've been given so much strong, effective armor, that sometimes we choose not to wear it, or we decide to lower our shield. And, somehow we fool ourselves into thinking that by removing the armor or not carrying the shield, we will still be fine and unscathed in battle. Satan knows when our armor is removed and where our weak points are, and he will most assuredly target them.

Sometimes we "question or pause" in battle, when the going gets tough, or we lose faith and confidence. Or, maybe we pause because of an attractive distraction and feed a weakness. When we pause, we stop in our progress. We lose ground and Satan pushes us back. Effort already expended is wasted because we have to fight again to re-gain ground.

To be successful in fighting for the right, we must be so dedicated to the goal and so confident in the Lord and his armor, that we refuse to question or pause - and we march forward.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." - Ephesians 6:13

"To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause"
It seems there really is a battle going on, on the road to heaven. At times we are required to "march into hell", a period or series of very difficult challenges that can and do test our mettle and faith. It's keeping our eyes and thoughts on the "heavenly cause" that can help us through the hell. In facing and overcoming my life's challenges, I have had several marches through hell. The influence and impact of these have been quite strong at times. And although at times I have and do falter, I have an overall desire and will to march on towards heaven, even though I must pass through some hell.

Facing a particular problem, challenge or weakness, and working to conquer it can be very hellish. I have a testimony that Satan is real and he knows our weaknesses. When we pledge to overcome and do better, he pledges to knock down our resolve, and trip us on the way. So, our determination to reach the goal and our constant seeking for divine assistance becomes essential. We must be willing to endure the inevitable trial of our strength, faith and determination, knowing that the prize is worth the price - that reaching heaven is worth suffering through some hell.

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott

"And I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest"
To be true to the truth is the key. True in keeping the course and being dedicated to the cause - always - in everything I do. That is a daunting task and a quest in itself. Shakespeare, in his play "Hamlet", said "To thine own self be true". To be true to my own self is to follow the path which my heart and spirit dictates. It is being true to my inner self.

Recognizing that this truly is a glorious quest is also significant. It is glorious in that it is a path to glory. A way to achieve and experience glory.

What is glory, anyway? Without looking it up in the dictionary I would describe it as beautiful holiness, joy in perfection, peace and happiness in ultimate fulfillment. If that is what such a quest is, or leads to, then my inner (own) self greatly desires it. So, to get the rest of me to get there, too, I need to be diligent in following the course and "be true to this glorious quest".

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!" - Joseph Smith, D&C 128:22

"That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest"
To leave this world with a peaceful and calm heart seems to be something everyone desires, yet it doesn't always happen. Many things can keep us from peace, but an inner peace is something that can and should be achieved before we die, no matter what our earthly circumstances. That inner peace is obtained by feeling like we have followed our heart and have tried to become one with God.

In trying to become one with God, I must continue to pursue my quest and reach that star. To know when I am dying or have died that I kept trying, kept improving and worked hard to develop a good relationship with the Lord will allow me to achieve a peaceful and calm heart.

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

"And the world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars"
I have no doubt that I will be well scarred, from the many errors and failed attempts to do my best and overcome weaknesses, by the time I die. Already, I have had many scars. But scars can heal and be removed through the love and atonement of the Savior. I have seen and have faith in that. I need to have greater faith in myself and my abilities to continually seek the power and influence of His atonement in my life.

The vision of a man trudging forward in faith and courage, very visibly beaten up and scarred, and yet brightened by hope and determination, is a powerful picture. It is one in which I want to see myself.

All those who follow this course will most certainly cause a better world - for themselves and for others.

"Bad breaks need not break a good man. They may, with God's help, even make him better." - Neal A. Maxwell

"Still strove with his last ounce of courage"
Down to the last ounce. To have the determination to continue to go forward, using my last ounce of courage, is also very powerful and challenging. Again, I think of that pioneer who continued pulling his handcart until he thought he could no longer, and then recieved heavenly help to go on.

I believe that if we continue to strive and push forward, even when we feel our courage is nearly gone, that we will gain new courage and strength, and be blessed for it. If we fear pushing forward because we think we may not have enough courage or strength to meet the test, and we then choose to stop trying, then perhaps that is when our courage is depleted. To gain greater strength in our physical muscles, we need to work out and exercise them. To gain greater spiritual courage and strength, the same is true.

"So long as man’s courage endures he will conquer; upon the courage in his heart all things depend." - H.G. Wells

I desire to have the determination to always strive to overcome my weaknesses and be a better person, a better husband, father, son, brother, friend and servant of the Lord - no matter what, no matter how much courage I have left. I can see and I can feel that by doing so, I will be able "to reach the unreachable star!"

This is my quest.

- Ken R. Young

P.S. - Here's another quote that makes a good cap to this dissertation:
"In the end the great truth will have been learned, that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize, or rather that the effort is the prize, the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game." - Benjamin Cardozo

Also, see this nice version of the song:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life is an Amazing Journey

This great thought is from my friend Kay Stott:

"Life is an amazing journey; sometimes while climbing it seems like you will never reach the next ridge. Yet, when you finally do, it is so truly amazing to look back and realize where you have been and what great accomplishments you have made, just getting to where you are at this moment! Never give up, the best is always yet to come! Keep the faith and enjoy the moments."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The View at Twin Peaks: Ken's Thoughts

(photo by Ken R. Young)

Situated near the geographic center of San Francisco is a tall hill known as Twin Peaks. It offers the best unobstructed panoramic view of the city and the San Francisco Bay. While on a recent trip to San Francisco, I came upon a picture of this striking view, and was lured into finding my way to the top of this hill. Without consulting a map, I decided to drive to the hill and up to the viewpoint near the summit.

I could see where the hill was, and driving towards it, I determined that it should be quite simple to find a way up. But I soon learned, that although there are many roads leading up the hill, most of them do not reach the top. By taking several wrong turns, I explored many roads and various sides of the hill. Some of the roads looked as though they might reach my intended destination, but had either a dead end or a turn leading back down. At one dead end I was actually able to see the road that led up to the top, but I could not get to it. It was not until I frustratingly drove back down a good portion of the hill, being almost ready to give up, that I discovered and made a turn on to the right road. The right road even had the right name: “Twin Peaks Boulevard”.

So simple and so obvious. Had I only looked at a map before beginning my hilltop journey, I would have easily been able to start on the right road, and make it to the top a lot sooner. Perhaps stubbornness or pride played into that – I’m a man, you see, I don’t need directions! As I drove up, I could see that this was the road I had been searching for, and had full confidence that it would lead me to the top. The drive going up was not easy – both steep and winding – and yet each new bend and increased level of elevation offered previews of the fantastic view that was to come.

How happy I was to finally reach the top and take in the beautiful views! Blue skies allowed clear vision for many miles stretching across the San Francisco Bay Area. The majestic city, the Golden Gate Bridge, the pretty bay dotted with islands and sailboats, and the green hills of the north and east bay areas all played part in the awesome visual experience.

The journey up to this spot was long and frustrating (more than it needed to be!) and at times, fraught with dead ends, downturns, steep inclines, and winding curves. I’m sure there are many people who have taken this journey and experienced breakdowns or flat tires, or for some reason were not able to make it to the top. There are probably also many others, who having heard of this viewpoint, did not feel it was worth the time or the effort to make the journey, and never came, never saw. Then there are also those who are unaware that such a place exists. And, like me, I’m sure there are others who have tried to make their way up without the help of a map, but who got lost on the many roads that don’t lead to the top, and at some point gave up.

It struck me, as I enjoyed the view at the top, how similar this all was to life’s experience. Following directions, taking the right road, not giving up, learning from mistakes, being willing to come down a bit in order to rise again better, and conquering the steep and winding road ultimately will lead us to success and happiness.

- Ken R. Young

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Summary and Quotes

(photo by Ken R. Young)

This includes excerpts from the book by Richard Bach:

Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight – how to get from shore to food and back again.

More than anything else Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.

After failing several times to improve his flight, and crashing into the water, he sank low. The weight of failure was heavy on his back. He vowed he would forget this foolishness and be a normal gull.

Discovering the key to overcoming his failures (adapting his wingspan to that of a falcon’s short wings), he tried again and succeeded! The speed was power, the speed was joy and the speed was pure beauty. His vows of a moment before were swept away.

Such promises are only for the gulls that accept the ordinary. One who has touched excellence in his learning has no need of that kind of promise.

How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!

Jonathan discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short.

The most important thing in living was to reach out and touch perfection in that which he most loved to do.

Proverb: “The gull sees farthest who flies highest”.

The only difference between the normal gull and those who seem special and gifted is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it.

Oprah Winfrey Quotes

1. Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

2. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.

3. Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

4. Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.

5. If you want to accomplish the goals of your life, you have to begin with the spirit.

6. Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

7. My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

8. Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

9. Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

10. The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

11. The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

12. The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.

13. The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.

14. Turn your wounds into wisdom.

15. Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.

16. Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have.

17. What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.

18. Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.

19. You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.

20. The big secret in life is that there isno big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quotes from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

1. It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

2. To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation.

3. We have to take advantage when luck is on our side, and do as much to help it as its doing to help us. Its called the principle of favorability. Or beginners luck.

4. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such speed. It feels an impulsion ... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond the horizons.

5. What's the world's greatest lie? It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.

6. When you want something with all your heart, that's when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It's always a positive force.

7. I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we're living now.

8. In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty, nor impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.

9. There is only one way to learn. It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.

10. The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of this wisdom.

11. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them.

12. Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.

13. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there's no need at all to understand what's happening, because everything happens within you.

14. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the master work. Now, I'm beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I'm happy at least that I didn't wait twenty years.

15. When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

One Ship Sails East

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(photo by Ken R. Young)

Swedish translation:

Ett skepp seglar österut,
Och ett annat västerut,
I samma vind som blåsar,
Det är seglens uppsättning,
Inte vindens riktning,
Som bestämmer hur det seglar.

Liksom havets vindar,
Är tidens vågor,
När igenom livet vi går,
Det är själens uppsättning,
Inte lungn eller strid,
Som bestämmer vart vi når.

- översatt av Ken R. Young

See also One Ship Sails East: A Journal For Positive Thinking

For more inspiration on sailing, see also:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

1. All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.

2. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

3. As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

4. As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

5. Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?

6. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

7. Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

8. Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams.

9. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

10. Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

11. Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

12. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

13. If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.

14. Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.

15. In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

16. It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.

17. It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

18. It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

19. It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

20. Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

21. Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

22. Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.

23. None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

24. Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.

25. Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.

26. Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

27. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

28. Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.

29. The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.

30. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

31. There is no remedy for love but to love more.

32. There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.

33. Truths and roses have thorns about them.

34. We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

35. What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. What you get by achieving your goals is to as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

36. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

37. He is the best sailor who can steer within the fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

1. A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.

2. But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.

3. Every calling is great when greatly pursued.

4. Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.

5. Have the courage to act instead of react.

6. He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.

7. If I were dying my last words would be: Have faith and pursue the unknown end.

8. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.

9. Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.

10. One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

11. The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.

12. The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.

13. The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.

14. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing.

15. To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

16. To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.

17. Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

18. We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.

19. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.

Maya Angelou Quotes

1. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

2. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

3. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

4. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.

5. I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

6. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way s/he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

7. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

8. We are here to love each other. That is why you are alive. That is what life is for.

9. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue.

10. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.

11. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

12. I have no modesty.  Modesty is a learned behavior.  But I do pray for humility, because humility comes from the inside out.

13. Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

14. If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.

15. Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.

16. When the great American poet, the late Maya Angelou, reflected on her life and learnings she said, "I've learned that...

  1. no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  2. you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
  3. regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
  4. making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'
  5. life sometimes gives you a second chance.
  6. you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
  7. whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
  8. even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
  9. every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
  10. I still have a lot to learn.
  11. people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Booker T. Washington Quotes

1. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

2. Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.

3. Character is power. Character, not circumstances, makes the man.

4. There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.

5. Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.

6. The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.

7. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

8. I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement, if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day, and as nearly as possible reaching the high water mark of pure and useful living.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Og Mandino Quotes

1. Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do. It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities. You are special. Act it. Never neglect the little things.

2. Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ''tomorrow'' on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ''If I had my life to live over again. ''Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!

3. Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.

4. Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

5. Remember that you cannot build your pyramid in twenty-four hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal / to do the best you can, enjoy this day, and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished.

6. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.

7. Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success.

8. Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long. Mistakes are life's way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.

9. Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.

10. Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.

11. Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider yourself defeated again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life's blueprint. Smile!

12. The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.

13. Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.”

14. Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow.

15. 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.

16. Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintop. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discovered without trouble. There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.

17. Sound character provides the power with which a person may ride the emergencies of life instead of being overwhelmed by them.

18. The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish good results while the strongest, by dispersing his effort over many chores, may fail to accomplish anything. Drops of water, by continually falling, hone their passage through the hardest of rocks but the hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar and leaves no trace behind.

19. The great difference between those who succeed and those who fail does not consist in the amount of work done by each but in the amount of intelligent work.

20. Treasure the love you receive above all. It will survive long after your good health has vanished.

21. Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Norman Vincent Peale "The Power of Positive Thinking"

1. Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes up his mind to do. We are capable of greater things than we realize.

2. 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.

3. Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.

4. Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.

5. Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don't take yourself so seriously.

6. The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.

7. You can have peace of mind, improved health and an ever-increasing flow of energy. Life can be full of joy and satisfaction.

8. It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship.

9. Change your thoughts and you change your world.

10. The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.

11. Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

12. Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory.

13. Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure.

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

15. Imagination is the true magic carpet.

16. Be humble, be big in mind and soul, be kindly; you will like yourself that way and so will other people.

17. It's always too early to quit.

18. If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.

19. If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.

20. There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.

21. The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. -Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Confucius Says:

1. A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

2. 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.

3. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

4. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

5. If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.

6. If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it's OK. But you've got to shoot for something. A lot of people don't even shoot.

7. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

8. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

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

10. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

11. The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

12. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.

13. The object of the superior man is truth.

14. The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

15. The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.

16. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

17. The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

18. There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.

19. They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

20. To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

21. Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.

22. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

23. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

24. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Walt Whitman Quotes

1. A great city is that which has the greatest men and women.

2. A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.

3. After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.

4. All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.

5. Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.

6. I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.

7. I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.

8. I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends.

9. If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred.

10. Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.

11. Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

12. Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.

13. Simplicity is the glory of expression.

14. The future is no more uncertain than the present.

15. The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.

16. The great city is that which has the greatest man or woman: if it be a few ragged huts, it is still the greatest city in the whole world.

17. To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.

18. We convince by our presence.

19. When I give, I give myself.

20. Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.