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!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Ever think that living a healthy lifestyle is out of your grasp because your sweet tooth keeps overpowering your good intentions? Maybe your battle is with time and you feel like you'll never achieve a life where everything is harmonious. I have one little tip that can help improve your life tremendously—in all areas.
Commit to the 80/20 rule. Focus on your 80%. Leave 20% for flexibility.
Here's how it works:
1. Go for the 80/20 rule with food.
With this rule in mind, you can stay motivated and realistic. Choose healthy foods 80% of the time, or most of the time, and only indulge that sweet tooth 20% of the time or less. It's a good place to start. When you make the majority of your food choices healthy ones, your body will begin to crave the healthier choices. By thinking about the 80/20 rule, you can give yourself some freedom and flexibility to be human, but you'll be reminding yourself that most of your choices should be healthy.
2. Go for the 80/20 rule with exercise.
Only skip exercise 20% of the time. If you want to take a day off from exercise, that’s OK, but commit to exercising most days of the week.
3. Go for the 80/20 rule with your precious time.
Follow Stephen Covey’s advice and “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule those priorities.” Devote 80% of your day to your most important priorities. What things, if you accomplished them, would move the dial for you on your big goals?
Sometimes we can entangle ourselves in the little stuff, but at the end of the day, we don’t feel like we were truly productive. Start your day with the major stuff, and let go of the minor stuff until your more important priorities are accomplished.
4. Go for the 80/20 with your mind.
Work on that voice inside your head this year. Are most of your thoughts positive? While it would be fabulous to be 100% positive, 80% is a good place to start. Practice making your mind a positive place the majority of the time. Your thoughts determine how you feel—so why not choose the positive?
5. Go for 80/20 with your life.
Do yourself a favor this year and toss out that life balance concept, it can make you chase perfection which is unobtainable. Lean your life toward what matters to you most. Make sure the majority of your time is spent on what you value most. Doing so will make you happier and you will feel a sense of calm because what you value internally will match the external.
by Chris Freytag
Posted by The Youngs at 9:28 AM
Friday, February 21, 2014
You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.
This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…
1. The average human life is relatively short.
We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.
2. You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.
Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.
Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.
And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
3. Being busy does NOT mean being productive.
Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.
Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.
Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.
4. Some kind of failure always occurs before success.
Most mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.
If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful. The solution to this problem is making friends with failure. You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.
Bottom line: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. (Read The Success Principles.)
5. Thinking and doing are two very different things.
Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Knowledge is basically useless without action. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.
And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.
6. You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.
Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.” It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.
Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.
7. Some people are simply the wrong match for you.
You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down. You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material. If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them. If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition. There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.
8. It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.
It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.
Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU. (Read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.)
9. What you own is not who YOU are.
Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need. That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.
You have to create your own culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.
Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is. “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.” And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important.
10. Everything changes, every second.
Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason. It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day. It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.
Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives. A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event. And these events are always happening.
However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So when life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.
What else would you add to this list? What important life lessons do you often forget? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
by Marc Chernoff, www.marcandangel.com
Posted by The Youngs at 9:12 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
I want to be happy, you want to be happy - everyone wants to achieve this mysterious state of bliss.
Happiness binds the entire universe together. The actions and motives of every living human being are driven by our desire for it. But what sets apart the truly happy tribe from others is that they've made the conscious choice to be happy.
Happy people have learned that happiness starts with ourselves; specifically, it sprouts from our thoughts. With just a couple thoughts, you too can join the tribe of happy people all over the world! Start with these five:
1. This too shall pass.
When we're in the throes of a powerful emotion or situation, life can feel bleak and hopeless. When life pushes you down — whether you're dealing with a broken heart, a bruised ego, or an embarrassment — you can counter any thoughts coming up with this one thought:
This too shall pass.
This thought takes the permanence out of the negative emotion or situation and creates space to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Grow your wisdom: Life is in a constant state of flux, and everything will pass.
2. You are not alone.
It's common to get our feet stuck in deep and dark mental places. In dealing with disease, divorce, death or downsizing, it's easy to become consumed by your grief, and it's easy to feel like no one has ever felt as bad as you might feel right now. Guess what? Someone else has — practically every living being has felt that exact emotion at one time or another.
You are never alone.
Emotions are like storms; no matter how dark and turbulent, they'll clear and sunny skies will rise again.
3. Other people have good intentions.
It's easy to think the worst of others. I'm guilty of this, but really it's just my own mind being pessimistic and negative. This pessimism sets me off into an unpleasant mental spin.
Try thinking of others in a positive light.
Assume that they have good intentions. Appreciate and savor your relationships and the love you have to give and receive from others.
4. There's a bright side to every situation.
Changing your perspective can do wonders for your mood and for the mood of those around you. Let's say you begrudgingly must spend the day driving to a distant appointment; instead of grumbling the entire way there, look on the bright side. It might be a beautiful day for a drive! Enjoy the fresh air and listen to some music.
There's always a bright side.
So find it and drive out those negative thoughts. Happiness is here right now. In fact it's never been anywhere else but here. Clear the dark storm clouds and rediscover the bright blue sky waiting underneath.
Now smile. It’s not so bad.
5. Slow down and breathe.
Actually, say this aloud in your head over and over throughout the day.
Slow down and just breathe.
We need this constant reminder. Focus on one thing at a time try to infuse each moment with your attention and presence. Without conscious breathing your life will become riddled with anxiety and turmoil. Make your day a moving meditation.
by Tina Williamson
by Tina Williamson
Posted by The Youngs at 3:35 PM
Friday, February 14, 2014
Bob Marley (Robert Nesta Marley OM) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist. He was the frontman, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands: The Wailers (1964 – 1974) and Bob Marley & the Wailers (1974 - 1981). He is the most widely known performer of ska/reggae music, and is often credited for helping spread Jamaican music to the worldwide audience.
Here are some of his best quotes:
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
“Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfect -and I don't live to be-
but before you start pointing fingers...make sure your hands are clean!”
but before you start pointing fingers...make sure your hands are clean!”
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
“None but ourselves can free our minds.”
“One love, one heart, one destiny.”
“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
“Don't gain the world and lose your soul,
Wisdom is better than silver or gold.”
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”
“If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you're not worthy. ... Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”
“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”
“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”
“Don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.”
“The good times of today are the sad thoughts of tomorrow.”
“I don't stand for black man's side, I don't stand for white man's side, I stand for God's side.”
“The winds that sometimes take something we love, are the same that bring us something we learn to love. Therefore we should not cry about something that was taken from us, but, yes, love what we have been given. Because what is really ours is never gone forever.”
“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there.”
“Live for yourself and you will live in vain;
Live for others, and you will live again.”
Live for others, and you will live again.”
“When one door is closed, don't you know that many more are open.”
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds.”
None but ourselves can free our minds.”
“Judge not unless you judge yourself.”
“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?”
“The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”
“Love would never leave us alone.”
“You have to be someone.”
“You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it. You say you love sun, but you seek shelter when it is shining. You say you love wind, but when it comes you close your windows. So that's why I'm scared when you say you love me.”
“Though the road's been rocky it sure feels good to me.”
“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight.”
“Overcome the devils with a thing called love.”
“You can fool some people some times but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”
“It's your own conscience that is gonna remind you that it's your heart and nobody else's
that is gonna judge.”
that is gonna judge.”
“You can't find the right roads when the streets are paved.”
“Your worst enemy could be your best friend and your best friend your worst enemy.” Your Best Friend Your Worst Enemy”
“Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.”
“Me only have one ambition, y'know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together - black, white, Chinese, everyone - that's all.”
“In this bright future you can't forget your past.”
“The day you stop racing, is the day you win the race.”
“To love is to risk, not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in my life is to risk nothing.”
“You just can't live that negative way. You know what I mean. Make way for the positive day. Cause it's a new day...”
“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.”
“Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny.”
“Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but its everything in between that makes it all worth living.”
“She may not be the most popular or prettiest but if you love her and she makes you smile… what else matters?”
“If you get down and you quarrel everyday, you're saying praises to the devil, I say.”
“When the race gets hard to run. It means you just can't take the peace.”
“Until the end of the world, all whys will be answered, but now,you can only ask!”
“Don't forget your history nor your destiny.”
“Man is a universe within himself.”
“My music fights against the system that teaches to live and die.”
“Money can't buy you life.”
“My future is righteousness.”
“I went deep inside myself. I had time to explore my beliefs and because of that I'm stronger.”
“Light up the darkness.”
“The truth an offense but not a sin.”
Posted by The Youngs at 10:04 AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Relationships are tough. Marriage is a tough bitch. And it’s certainly not for everyone. As a lawyer, I have handled a few divorces. Thank goodness there is such an alternative for people trapped in horrible circumstances. But if you’re inclined to weather sickness and health, richer and poorer — and even if you’ve just met the person with whom you want to be in a longterm romance — bring a short memory and a long sense of humor. You’re gonna need it.
Rid yourself of whatever fantasies you harbor about the bliss of coupled life. They’re not helping. There is no script, so don’t be disappointed when your fairytale gets hijacked.
Didn’t Jesus say something about forgiving someone not just seven times but seventy times seven? That would be 490 times….which should last you through your first 6 months. Jesus underestimated because, remember, he wasn’t married.
If you forgive but don’t forget, did you really forgive? I know people who claim to have forgiven but still use every available opportunity to bring it up. And if you don’t want to forgive, forgetting works just as well.
Life can come at you hard. One of the nice things about marriage and relationships is being able to have someone else in the bunker when you’re getting shelled.
If you still have the same desires, opinions and beliefs at age 50 that you did at age 25, that’s your own damn fault. You will not, and should not, be the same person you were then.
Even if you stagnate, the person you’re in a relationship with will change. Don’t fight it. Embrace it, learn from it, be thankful for it.
There is great comfort in believing in something or someone beyond our crude human existence. Explore this belief. Take this journey together.
Travel forces couples to rely on one another in unpredictable ways. It will also broaden your worldview and the way you value your relationship.
I want to go to Australia and you want to go to Maine? Cool. Take lots of pictures. See you in a week.
It seems counter-intuitive, but you will enhance your relationship when you pursue your separate interests.
One of the greatest joys of living is meeting new people. And many of the people you meet will likely make you appreciate your mate even more.
I know a couple who keeps track of the number of times each partner completes a household chore. Don’t do this. It’s exhausting. And childish.
You owe it to each other to be in the best physical health possible. The mental side effects from exercise will also be beneficial.
Take frequent looks in the mirror. Reflect on who you are and the contributions you are making to your relationship. Are you being judgmental? Unfair? Harsh? Hypercritical? Defensive?
This is both the easiest and hardest thing to do on this list. But this simple gesture will pay immeasurable dividends; it will help you grow and it’s just the right thing to do.
Whether it’s a promotion at work or the police officer let you off with just a warning, find every occasion possible to toast your good fortune.
Fill up her car. Let him sleep alone in the bed once in a while. Buy some bacon.
Holding the door, suggesting a movie night, paying attention. The reward for these is greater than the sum of the parts.
Cracking your knuckles, spitting, clearing your throat, picking your nose, chewing ice. These are death by a thousand cuts to your relationship.
When do you ever have an opportunity to really work on qualities that make you a better person? In a strong relationship, you can do it every single day. Qualities like patience, loyalty, compassion, trust.
If you think it’s quaint to brush your teeth while I use the toilet, you’ll change your mind about that eventually. Trust me.
Sex is an important part of any relationship. But for some reason couples don’t want to discuss it unless they are in the throes of passion. Don’t make sex a taboo subject.
We all have insecurities. Your relationship is one place where you should be completely free to reveal these and your spouse should help you overcome them.
This is a cowardly way to communicate. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hint about it.
The toilet seat. Her cell phone. The beat.
Your dirty sock. Your used tissue. The pace.
You weren’t that great and your ex isn’t that hot.
Don’t call each other “stupid.” That’s just stu…. not wise.
Anyone can criticize. A good teammate (See Rule 4) will offer a way out.
To escape or to expand. Either way, it helps.
It doesn’t matter which one of you makes the most money. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the better REO Speedwagon vinyl collection. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the best nickname. It doesn’t even matter which one of you has the coolest food allergy.
Sincerely and often.
You know your wife’s loud mouthed, insane friend Cathy who thinks you have weak bullshit and can’t believe you married her BFF? See below.
No list would be complete without the “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” lesson.
Scrapbooking doesn’t count.
This list alone proves that I am the king of the double standard. When I want to spend money on a new set of golf clubs, it’s a good investment. When my wife wants to spend money on new kitchen countertops, she’s a profligate. It’s not exactly fair.
Have we not evolved as a species or watched enough Dr. Phil to realize our mate does not want to answer the question “How was your day?” the minute he/she walks in the door?
Your marriage license doesn’t give you a free pass to always wear sweat pants and T-shirts.
Could your big toenail puncture a snow tire? Could your breath peel wallpaper? Take care of that, please. I don’t want to have to tell you again.
Don’t touch that broken, ceramic, animated cactus tequila shot glass holder. I’m serious.
At least once. Thankfully, this may be all you need.
Even your creepy Uncle Steve and their psycho cousin Lisa.
So I forgot to stop at the store to get your prescription. Did you have to throw away my ceramic cactus shot glass holder?
Learn to do your own laundry. Know how to cook a meal; how to navigate the grocery store; how to make an online purchase; how to turn off the water to the house; how to erect a Nerf basketball hoop; how to unclog a toilet.
This should be at the heart of everything you do. I have not found a single thing that I have been unable to eventually laugh about. If you know this from the beginning, it makes things a lot more fun.
Don’t yell. Open the door. Help carry the groceries. Cover your cough. Hold your gas.
No one lives on love. You need money. If you earned it, you will almost certainly respect it. If you didn’t earn it, you must respect it even more.
Even and especially when things don’t seem like they need to be acknowledged.
There will be moments when you want to quit, walk out, give up. You can do that. But you will probably be doing so without giving due consideration to the new life that awaits you. Will you be better off in six months? 10 years?
Posted by The Youngs at 11:51 AM