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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Excerpts from "Orchestrating Attitude"

Here's some good stuff from a great little booklet by Lee J. Colan called "Orchestrating Attitude":

    "Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  - Viktor E. Frankl, Psychologist and Holocaust Survivor

...even in the worst situations - a victim of a natural disaster, prisoner of war, target of abuse or when hit by a string of unfortunate circumstances - your attitude is something you can always control!

...a landmark study shed light on the ultimate benefit of a positive attitude...participants who were more positive lived an average of 10 years longer than other participants.

Our attitude is our personal boomerang to the world - whatever we throw out will come back to us.

...we rarely make neutral choices. Each choice has a positive or negative consequence for us at some level.

...I like to write the word "responsibility" as response-ability. As humans we have the unique ability to respond.

When you simply react, your emotional instinct is in control with little thought of the long-range conseqences. When you respond, your brain is fully engaged and your self-awareness is high. You have the long-term consequences in mind.

Thoughts...directly influence our beliefs.
Beliefs directly influence the words we choose to speak...
Words reflect our commitments...
Commitments inluence our choice of actions.
...Our actions directly influence theresults we achieve.

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

Yes, bad things do happen, and sometimes they "just show up." However, it is our interpretations that make a situation negative. A situation doesn't drag us down; the way we think about it does.

Henry Ford said "Whether you think you can or cannot, you're right."

YOU are in control of what you think! No one else on earth has this power unless you give it away.

Our experiences are much less important than how we choose to think about them... Facts are facts, but the view you take is your choice.

Think the best ALL the time. What's the harm?

If you find yourself having a negative thought, say "STOP!" out loud, and replace it with a positive thought. Saying "STOP!" out loud is important so you can actually hear yourself controlling your own thinking.

When you change the way you look at things, things change the way they look.

..."lucky" people get the best of themselves and others by focusing on:
Forgiveness vs. Anger
Others vs. Self
Opportunities vs. Problems
Gratitude vs. Envy
Abundance vs. Scarcity
Today vs. Yesterday
Building up vs. Breaking down
Humor vs. Drama
Controllable things vs. Uncontrollable things
Giving vs. Taking

The more you focus on the "positive side of life," the more you will attract these things. Focus on forgiveness and you will find the world forgiving. Focus on the comedy life offers and your life will be full of laughs. On the other hand, focus on the drama life offers and your life will be a soap opera.

...luck is 90% preparation and 10% opportunity.

Ask yourself, "Do my words reflect a commitment to being joyful, helping others, creating win-wins, keeping things in perspective, seizing the moment, continuously learning, embracing change?"

"How can I make the most of this situation?"

"How can I ask questions to get the best from myself and others?"

     "It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question". - Decouvertes

     "If you don't make things happen, then things will happen to you." - Roman Virgil

The rewards go to those who let their actions rise above their excuses.

    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

Since adversity has an uncanny knack of paralyzing us, it becomes critical to keep moving through it.

Studies are showing that gratitude is the most common characteristic amongst the happiest people.

    "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." - Helen Keller

    "When you are in a bd mental state, think of your mind as a bad neighborhood.  Don't go in there alone." - Unknown

Life is your performance. There are no dress rehearsals for the performance we call life.  We get one chance to perform our life's symphony.  No one delivers a perfect performance. We can all expect to miss a note or two, but we should all strive to learn, grow and improve.  Being our best is more about the journey than the destination.

    "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson

Cheer Up! 17 reasons it's a great time to be alive.

“The world has never been a better place to live in,” says science writer Matt Ridley, “and it will keep on getting better.” Today, in a world gripped by global economic crisis and afflicted with poverty, disease, and war, them’s fightin’ words in some quarters. Ridley’s critics have called him a “denialist” and “shameful” and have accused him of “playing fast and loose with the truth” for his views on climate change and the free market.

Yet Ridley, 54, author most recently of The Rational Optimist, sticks to his guns. “It is not insane to believe in a happy future for people and the planet,” he says. Ridley, who’s been a foreign correspondent, a zoologist, an economist, and a financier, brings a broad perspective to his sunny outlook. “People say I’m bonkers to claim the world will go on getting better, yet I can’t stop myself,” he says. Read on to see how Ridley makes his case. Brilliant or bonkers? You decide.

1. We’re better off now
Compared with 50 years ago, when I was just four years old, the average human now earns nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), eats one third more calories, buries two thirds fewer children, and can expect to live one third longer. In fact, it’s hard to find any region of the world that’s worse off now than it was then, even though the global population has more than doubled over that period.

2. Urban living is a good thing
City dwellers take up less space, use less energy, and have less impact on natural ecosystems than country dwellers. The world’s cities now contain over half its people, but they occupy less than 3 percent of its land area. Urban growth may disgust environmentalists, but living in the country is not the best way to care for the earth. The best thing we can do for the planet is build more skyscrapers.

3. Poverty is nose-diving
The rich get richer, but the poor do even better. Between 1980 and 2000, the poor doubled their consumption. The Chinese are ten times richer and live about 25 years longer than they did 50 years ago. Nigerians are twice as rich and live nine more years. The percentage of the world’s people living in absolute poverty has dropped by over half. The United Nations estimates that poverty was reduced more in the past 50 years than in the previous 500.

4. The important stuff costs less
One reason we are richer, healthier, taller, cleverer, longer-lived, and freer than ever before is that the four most basic human needs—food, clothing, fuel, and shelter—have grown markedly cheaper. Take one example: In 1800, a candle providing one hour’s light cost six hours’ work. In the 1880s, the same light from a kerosene lamp took 15 minutes’ work to pay for. In 1950, it was eight seconds. Today, it’s half a second. In these terms, we are 43,200 times better off than in 1800.

5. The environment is better than you think
In the United States, rivers, lakes, seas, and air are getting cleaner all the time. A car today emits less pollution traveling at full speed than a parked car did from leaks in 1970.

6. Shopping fuels innovation
Even allowing for the many people who still live in abject poverty, our own generation has access to more calories, watts, horsepower, gigabytes, megahertz, square feet, air miles, food per acre, miles per gallon, and, of course, money than any who lived before us. This will continue as long as we use these things to make other things. The more we specialize and exchange, the better off we’ll be.

7. Global trade enriches our lives
By 9 a.m., I have shaved with an American razor, eaten bread made with French wheat and spread with New Zealand butter and Spanish marmalade, brewed tea from Sri Lanka, dressed in clothes made from Indian cotton and Australian wool, put on shoes of Chinese leather and Malaysian rubber, and read a newspaper printed on Finnish paper with Chinese ink. I have consumed minuscule fractions of the productive labor of hundreds of people. This is the magic of trade and specialization. Self-sufficiency is poverty.

8. More farm production = more wilderness
While world population has increased more than fourfold since 1900, other things have increased, too—the area of crops by 30 percent, harvests by 600 percent. At the same time, more than two billion acres of “secondary” tropical forest are now regrowing since farmers left them to head for cities, and it is already rich in biodiversity. In fact, I will make an outrageous prediction: The world will feed itself to a higher and higher standard throughout this century without plowing any new land.

9. The good old days weren’t
Some people argue that in the past there was a simplicity, tranquillity, sociability, and spirituality that’s now been lost. This rose-tinted nostalgia is generally confined to the wealthy. It’s easier to wax elegiac for the life of a pioneer when you don’t have to use an outhouse. The biggest-ever experiment in back-to-the-land hippie lifestyle is now known as the Dark Ages.

10. Population growth is not a threat
Although the world population is growing, the rate of increase has been falling for 50 years. Across the globe, national birth rates are lower now than in 1960, and in the less developed world, the birth rate has approximately halved. This is happening despite people living longer and infant-mortality rates dropping. According to an estimate from the United Nations, population will start falling once it peaks at 9.2 billion in 2075—so there is every prospect of feeding the world forever. After all, there are already seven billion people on earth, and they are eating better and better every decade.

11. Oil is not running out
In 1970, there were 550 billion barrels of oil reserves in the world, and in the 20 years that followed, the world used 600 billion.

So by 1990, reserves should have been overdrawn by 50 billion barrels. Instead, they amounted to 900 billion—not counting tar sands and oil shale that between them contain about 20 times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. Oil, coal, and gas are finite, but they will last for decades, perhaps centuries, and people will find alternatives long before they run out.

12. We are the luckiest generation
This generation has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, and travel than any in history. Yet it laps up gloom at every opportunity. Consumers do not celebrate their wonderful field of choice and, according to psychologists, say they are “overwhelmed.” When I go to my local superstore, I do not see people driven to misery by the impossibility of choice. I see people choosing.

13. Storms are not getting worse
Not at all. While the climate warmed slightly last century, the incidence of hurricanes and cyclones fell. Since the 1920s, the global annual death rate from weather-related natural disasters (that is, the proportion of the world’s population killed rather than simply the overall number) has declined by a staggering 99 percent.

The killing power of hurricanes depends more on wealth than on wind speed. A big hurricane struck the well-prepared Yucat√°n in Mexico in 2007 and killed nobody. A similar storm struck impoverished Burma the next year and killed 200,000. The best defenses against disaster are prosperity and freedom.

14. Great ideas keep coming
The more we prosper, the more we can prosper. The more we invent, the more inventions become possible. The world of things is often subject to diminishing returns. The world of ideas is not: The ever-increasing exchange of ideas causes the ever-increasing rate of innovation in the modern world. There isn’t even a theoretical possibility of exhausting our supply of ideas, discoveries, and inventions.

15. We can solve all our problems
If you say the world will go on getting better, you are considered mad. If you say catastrophe is imminent, you may expect the Nobel Peace Prize. Bookshops groan with pessimism; airwaves are crammed with doom. I cannot recall a time when I was not being told by somebody that the world could survive only if it abandoned economic growth. But the world will not continue as it is. The human race has become a problem-solving machine: It solves those problems by changing its ways. The real danger comes from slowing change.

16. This depression is not depressing
The Great Depression of the 1930s was just a dip in the upward slope of human living standards. By 1939, even the worst-affected countries, America and Germany, were richer than they’d been in 1930. All sorts of new products and industries were born during the Depression. So growth will resume unless prevented by wrong policies. Someone, somewhere, is tweaking a piece of software, testing a new material, or transferring the gene that will make life easier or more fun.

17. Optimists are right
For 200 years, pessimists have had all the headlines—even though optimists have far more often been right. There is immense vested interest in pessimism. No charity ever raised money by saying things are getting better. No journalist ever got the front page writing a story about how disaster was now less likely. Pressure groups and their customers in the media search even the most cheerful statistics for glimmers of doom. Don’t be browbeaten—dare to be an optimist!

For more on Ridley, visit rationaloptimist.com.

See also:
Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy"

Monday, March 12, 2012

You Can If You Think You Can!

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.

- C. W. Longenecker

Friday, March 9, 2012

I Control My Life

I control my life. I control my happiness. If I'm not happy, it's on nobody's shoulders but my own. Reality isn't what the box in the living room says reality is, reality is what I choose it to be. Lack, limitation & scarcity are a mindset...just as wealth, abundance, prosperity, joy & infinite possibilities are - which one should I choose to believe? It doesn't matter what I'm told to be true, all that matters is what I know to be true.

Often times I've heard, "hope for the best, expect the worst." Why? Why not expect the best and achieve even better? Fears like limitation, are an illusion. They pretend to exist if I let them. I believe I am, exactly what I am - now it's up to the rest of the world to catch up and see it for themselves. I am the only thing that can stop me. Live through love. Dream the impossible.

- Joe Buys

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Luck o' the Irish: Blessings

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here are some familiar and some not so well known Irish blessings. Whether it's in our blood, by association or just by interest, I think we all have a bit o' Irish in us. I qualify in all of those areas!

Erin Go Bragh! (Ireland Forever)


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.

May the good earth be soft under you
when you rest upon it,
and may it rest easy over you when,
at the last, you lay out under it,
And may it rest so lightly over you
that your soul may be out
from under it quickly,
and up, and off,
And be on its way to God.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Dear Lord,
Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am,
and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope...
And though I come not within sight
of the castle of my dreams,
teach me to be thankful for life,
and for time's olden memories
that are good and sweet.
And may the evening's twilight
find me gentle still.

May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.

May the light of heaven shine on your grave.

If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.

May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Wishing you always...
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire

May neighbours respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

May the smile of God light you to glory.

May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.

May the blessing of light be on you—
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Mush! Begorrah!