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

Friday, December 28, 2012

The People Who Make a Difference in Your Life - Charles Schulz' Philosophy

Here is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies ... Awards tarnish ... Achievements are forgotten.  Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special .

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money ... or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most!

by Lee J. Colan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

Here are some great words borrowed from writings by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy:

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live - that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.” - Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness. These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives. (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)

1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.

2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has tremendous health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. 

5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. 

6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to difficult moments is what shapes your character.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan. It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.

7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion. When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.

8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task. Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.

9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic. It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.

10. Commit to your goals. – Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere. When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.

11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us. We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever. 

12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be. If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.

See also:
Pharrell William's "Happy"
Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy"
The Science of Happiness

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Words of Wisdom from Doe Zantamata

Here are some recent words of wisdom by Doe Zantamata.  See more at
DoeZantamataQuotes.com

Sometimes, the challenge isn't to move forward. Ships don't move forward while in the grips of a big storm. To succeed during a storm means just to stay afloat. Don't worry so much about getting ahead. There will be time for that. For now, just get through.

Words are so very powerful, and we never know what state of mind someone is in at any time. You choose your words, but you cannot choose the affect they will have on people. Always speak out of love. True power does not crush others, but helps them to see their own greatness.

Seek good, find good. Seek bad, find bad. Seek truth, find truth.

Every day is Day One. Each day, you choose: what to start, what to end, and what to continue.

Life can either be a thing that happens, or an adventure to be lived. It depends on what you choose to believe.

Starting something new, or making a big change, requires effort, persistence, and motivation... doubt, fear, and worry will only slow you down. Focus on doing your best now, and celebrate every step of the way.

Limitations can only be true as long as we believe in them. Believe in yourself instead. Amazing things will happen.

Somewhere inside you still lives a dreamer who is ready to dream again.

Imagine how different the world would look if help were given more freely than criticizm and judgments were made only after hearing all sides.

Deflated, but not defeated, I awaken. Discouraged, but not destroyed, I rise. Down, but determined, I try again.

There are times in life when we have to deal with awful things; things we just can't ignore. Make sure to give them all the time and attention they need, but not one single second more.

If you can get past the fear of looking a little silly or getting a little dirty, you sure can have a lot of fun here in this thing that we call life.

For self, for others, for decisions, for life...Let love lead the way.

Fear is not an instinct. Fear is learned after pain. Curiosity and awareness are instincts, and will protect much better than fear, while still allowing for trust, and the joyful experiences that fear would only push away.

A person who always worries about the future will only be able to relax once it's all over. That's like not enjoying a movie until the end credits. You'd miss the whole thing.

Not every "hello" is a reason to smile. Not every "goodbye" is a reason to cry.

We don't fight about air because we know there's more than enough for everyone. Imagine how awesome it will be when we finally realize the same is true about everything else, too.

At the right time, a kind word from a stranger, or encouragement from a friend, can make all the difference in the world. Kindness is free, but it's priceless. It's always the right time.

There are some things we just can't do, no matter how much we'd like to. Just make sure "can't" doesn't mean, "Haven't actually really tried yet."

Too often, we carry around those things from our past that hurt us the most. Don't let past pain rob you of your present happiness. You had to live through it in the past, and that cannot be changed, but if the only place it lives today is in your mind, then forgive, let go, and be free.

Sometimes, you did your best, and all you ended up with was a big mess. Don't be sad. You tried. That's really all you can ever do. Rest, regroup, and begin again. You have not failed as long as you keep on trying.

Don't let compliments mess with your mind. Don't let insults mess with your heart.

Pain the the fist that knocks you down. Forgiveness is the hand that helps you back up again.

The realist is one who can see nothing in nothing, because that’s how it is today. The optimist is one who can see opportunity in nothing, because that’s how, through them, it will be one day.

A person will only leave their comfort zone once they decide that magic and adventure outweigh complete certainty and security.

Don't dance like no one is watching. Dance like everyone is watching, and show 'em how it's done.

It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.

It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.

You cannot convince someone to see something that they do not want to see, no matter how much you know it would improve their lives. You have to love and accept them exactly as they are today. If you cannot do that, you have to let them go and find their own way, in their own time, if they ever choose to do so.  Otherwise, you'll be giving them the power over your happiness, too.”


Some doors lead to amazing things. Some doors lead to...well, not much. But the more doors a person tried, the greater the chances are that those amazing things will be discovered. If you try once and succeed, you're amazingly lucky. If you try 1000 times and succeed, you've earned it. The only trick is to keep on trying until it happens.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Power of Positive Perception: Part 2

Continued excerpts from the great little book "Beyond Illusions: The Magic of Positive Perceptions" by Brad Barton:

(for more excerpts, see below)

"It is not how much we do, but how much love put to the doing.  And it is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving." - Mother Teresa

What if we could intentionally alter our perceptions and our reactions and our results - by intenionally deciding what is real - rather than simply accepting the obvious?

"It isn't what happens to us that affects our behavior.  It is our interpretation of what happens to us." - Stephen Covey

"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." - Theodore Rubin

"Pearls lie not on the seashore.  If you want one, you must dive for it." - Chinese Proverb

It is one of the great gifts of being human.  We are not only aware, but we are aware that we are aware.  We can, therefore, challenge our own perceptions.

All the magician has to do is limit the audience's perspective and divert them from challenging that perception.  Magic is the power to change reality by creaing new facts.

Much of what we perceive as negative is illusion.  The circumstances, the events themselves, may be real, but our interpretation of them as negative, could that be an illusion?

You can hardly find an opportunity for greatness that does not at first appear to be a disaster!

It is our perception of circumstances that governs end results.

We must have adversity and challenge if we are to realize our potential.  Who would Nelson Mandela be without apatheid?  Who would Abraham Lincoln or Clara Barton be without the Civil War?  Who would Winston Churchill be without the threat of the Third Reich?

Beleive in magic; not rabbits that come out of hats magic, but real magic - magic that comes out of looking beyond the obvious facts and challenging our interpretations of reality.

What if we... kept our minds open to the idea that our interpretations of difficult situations - even apparent disasters - are probably inaccurate and therfore limiting?  We would realize the wonderful truth that any difficult situation, even an apparent disaster, could be our finest hour. It all depends on our prespective.

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

We can orchestrate good results directly from difficult, even painful circumstances when we recognize that bad situations don't provide opportunities; bad situations are opportunities.

What discoveries have you already experienced as a result of a painful loss?  What growth and gain, though wrought through sorrow and pain, is yet to be uncovered?

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant." - Horace, 12 B.C.

We are generally closed to better options when we are satisfied with our current situation.  Typically, we will not search for a higher path as long as the path we are on is comfortable and easy to negotiate. 

Where is that higher path?  It's not out there, it is in here.  It is inside out hearts and minds.  Viktor Frankl said, "When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves."  And how can we change ourselves?  By changing our interpretations - our perceptions.  This is not just about being positive this is about being causative.  A causative agent is someone who creates or causes positive change through the deliberate use of the power of positive perception.  This process is more - much more - than being positive.

Stuff happens that causes trouble, discomfort, even great agony; kicks us square in the solar plexus and knocks the wind out of us.  But is this bad?  It feels bad, it looks bad, it might even smell bad, but is it by definition bad?

In the final analysis nothing is "bad" unless we give up and let it be "bad" - and let it stay "bad".

"...everything can be taken fom [us] but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way... to decide how you want to perceive circumstances, rather than just adopt the interpretations that others promote or even what your own experience proposes, but instead make a conscious decision to make a better choice regardless of how unreasonable that choice might seem." - Viktor Frankl

When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.

When life deals us a blow and we accept responsibilty for finding good in it, we shift from being a victm of circumstance, to being a causative agent.  This place of free will is a difficult but richly rewarding place to live.  We advance from being simply positive to being causative.

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and freedom." - Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Tough stuff is going to happen regardless of how we decide to regard it.  We can curl up in a corner and try to avoid it.  We can resist it. We can endure it.  We can bury it. We can regret it and hate life because of it.  We can even choose to go about life as if it hadn't happened.  Or we can change our perspective, search for the good in whatever happens and accept the truth told by Paul the Apostle, "...these things shall all work to your good."

"...I perceived, at last, that all my problems, discouragements, and heartaches, are, in truth, great opportunities in disguise.  I will no longer be fooled by the garments they wear for mine eyes are open.  I will look beyond the cloth and I will not be deceived." - The Scroll Marked IV, The Greatest Salesman In The World, by Og Mandino

To get some real magic going, look at your situation honestly and acknowledge how tough, disappointing, miserable, or painful it really is.  That's the obvious part.  Then do what isn't so obvious.  Say 'That's good" - say it out loud - and see how that shifts your energy.  Then watch how that energy shift puts you in a different place - a different level of thought - maybe a different mood.  From that more creative perspective, you will be empowered to discover what is good about it.

To assume without examination that something is bad, assumes that it shouldn't have happened.  This defies the power of the human spirit.  It denies the power of positive perception.

I suggest that bad things don't happen to good people.  Inconvenient things, troubling things, painful things even horrifying things happen, but nothing bad.  How can I say that there is nothing that is bad?  Because bad is not a thing. It is not a thing and it is not an event - and it is not a condition.  It is a perception.  Good is also a perception.  So let us entertain the perspective that "it's all good" as long as we are willing to perceive and proceed accordingly.

"Laughter is a bit like changing a baby's diaper.  It doesn't fix the problem permanently, but it makes everything okay - for a little while." - Michael Pritchard

"Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else." - Will Rogers

Part 3 to come...
------

To see more excerpts from Brad Barton's  book, see:

The Power of Positive Perception: Part 1
The Power of Positive Perception: Part 3

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Trials and Miracles

"Many times we pray for a miracle for God to take it all away. But maybe that miracle is you, and who he is molding you to become." - Julia Hunter