Showing posts from September 15, 2013

A Truly Great Day

What makes the day great is not what it brings you. What makes the day great is what you choose to do with it.

What makes the moment memorable is not the situation. What makes the moment memorable is the way you handle the situation.

You can make any day a great day. And that most certainly includes this one.

Think back to the truly great days you have experienced. You’ll see that those were the days when you were living most authentically, and giving the best of yourself to life.

You can choose to do the same thing today and every day. There’s no need to wait for some special circumstance or condition.

Life is yours, right here and now, and you can make it great. Be yourself, give of yourself, and make for yourself a truly great day.

— Ralph Marston

A Final and Lovely Collaboration

Beloved children's author Ruth Krauss penned more than thirty books for little ones over the course of her forty-year career, but remains best-known as half of one of the most celebrated author-illustrator duos of all time, the other half being none other than Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. Here are some of their choicest bits of childlike wit and helpful advice for adults of all ages.

39 Ways to Live Not Merely Exist

"Too often we go through life on autopilot, going through the motions and having each day pass like the one before it... If you want to truly live life, to really experience it, to enjoy it to the fullest, instead of barely scraping by and only living a life of existence, then you need to find ways to break free from the mold and drink from life. What follows is just a list of ideas, obvious ones mostly that you could have thought of yourself, but that I hope are useful reminders. We all need reminders sometimes."

Positive Momentum

Even if you’re not sure exactly what you’ll do next, go ahead and do what you can do first. The way to establish positive momentum is to get started, and to proceed with determination and commitment.

When you’re in motion, momentum is a powerful positive force that can keep you moving forward. But if you’re doing nothing, the momentum of idleness will work against you and hold you back.

So by all means, using whatever it takes, get yourself going. Even a little bit of effort and forward progress can begin to change momentum in your favor.

Set a small goal and do the work to reach that goal. Then move immediately on to bigger things.

The process of achievement feels good, even though it may be difficult and challenging. Get yourself enjoying and looking forward to that good feeling of making a difference, and put the momentum of achievement on your side.

There is something good and meaningful you can achieve right now, once you choose to make it happen. Get going, get busy making…

Relationships Are More Important than Ambition

Are you an ambitious person? How would you say you measure success in your life? In a society that so often defines worth in terms of material possessions, prestige and money, it can be easy to lose sight of the value that resides in our interpersonal connections and community. Click here to read a variety of studies and stories that illustrate how strong community connections correlate more closely with happiness than the individual success that often accompanies an ambitious lifestyle.

Inside the Mind of the Octopus

Recent research indicates that the octopus, while "only" an invertebrate, is remarkably intelligent. This author ventures to visit with and study one. He quotes Philosopher Godfrey-Smith, "It's remarkable how little we know (about octopuses) ... but we may have to change how we think about the nature of the mind itself to take into account minds with less of a centralized self." Learn more about the hidden world of these intelligent beings.

Allow the Mystery

It is okay not to know. In fact, it is much better to admit you don’t know than to pretend you do.

Accept that you don’t know what will happen. Then embrace all that does happen as it unfolds.

Ignorance is an opportunity to learn, to experience, to see what is truly there rather than what you merely think is there. When you stop denying your ignorance you start allowing your enlightenment.

Authentic genius arises from sincere humility. Let go of the fantasy that you have all the answers and you’ll begin to actually find some.

In knowledge and wisdom there are many possibilities. In mystery there are infinitely more.

Allow the mystery, with confidence. And discover a whole new beautiful world.

— Ralph Marston

Free of Painful Regrets

Your biggest regrets are for opportunities missed. Today is an opportunity, so make sure you don’t miss it.

The way to avoid regret is to take action. Go beyond merely hoping, planning, or wishing, and do it.

Yes, your actions may sometimes bring disappointing results. Even so, you will be much better off knowing you made the attempt.

Instead of always wondering whether or not you could have, find out for sure that you can. Act, learn, adjust and act again, and eventually you will get the results you desire.

Regret for opportunities missed is a pain that is almost impossible to escape. So make the choice today not to create that pain in the first place.

Make full use of the opportunity that is right in front of you right now. And make yourself a life free of painful regrets.

— Ralph Marston

8 Ways To Overcome Your Leadership Blind Spots

"To be a successful leader or entrepreneur, we need to become intimate not only with our strengths but also with our blind spots, those aspects of our personality that can derail us." We all carry with us personal blindspots and biases that can hinder our effectiveness in a position of leadership. In this article, Bruna Martinuzzi helps us rub the proverbial fog from our eyes, bringing to light common blindspots among leaders and methods for addressing them. Read on to get a clearer look at your own inner leader.

Give Joy to Life

The way to reliably experience joy is not to seek it. The way to reliably experience joy is to give it.

You have little control over whether or not joy comes to you. Yet you have complete control over the joy that comes from you.

Don’t try to guess in advance what situations may or may not bring joy your way. Instead, live with the assumption that joy is possible at any time, in any situation.

Don’t depend on success to bring you joy. Live with joy in every moment, and delight in the amazing, overwhelming success it brings into your life.

Whatever you do, you’ll do it better with a joyful heart. The reason joy feels so good is because it is so good and right for you.

Instantly make the world a better place by putting a genuine smile on your face. Give joy to life and get real richness in return.

— Ralph Marston

The Teenager Who Started an Orphanage

On a not-so-uncommon trip to find herself after high school, Maggie Doyne ended up founding an orphanage and building a school in rural Nepal by the age of 23. It started when she made eye contact with an orphan girl in a small village who was carrying a heavy pack of stones to make money. Maggie saw, in that moment, what so many spiritual leaders have tried to distill in their teachings -- she knew that the little girl was no different from her. Maggie used her limited cash to send as many orphaned girls to school as she could, until all she had left was a ticket home. When she got back to the states, she babysat and bake-saled her way to raising enough to open an orphanage. And that was only the beginning.

Living It

What if your difficulty is not as difficult as you imagine? What if it is in fact a blessing?

Instead of assuming the worst, give the power of your imagination to envisioning the best. The future has not happened, so right now you can make it anything you choose.

Imagine that there is life on the other side of your problem, and that it is more beautiful than life is now. Then imagine yourself working your way there.

Imagine that you are stronger, more capable, courageous, purposeful and filled with peace. Imagine what confidence feels like, and suddenly you have it.

Imagine your dreams in rich enough detail that you actually begin to live them. Imagine with so much faith that you make an unwavering commitment to bring what you imagine to life.

What you most vividly imagine, and assume without question, and expect with no doubt, you will in fact experience. Imagine the very best, and get busy living it.

— Ralph Marston

How To Focus A Wandering Mind

"A recent study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert sampled over 2,000 adults during their day-to-day activities, and found that 47 percent of the time, their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing. Even more striking, when people's minds were wandering, they reported being less happy. This suggests it might be good to find ways to reduce these mental distractions and improve our ability to focus. Ironically, mind-wandering itself can help strengthen our ability to focus, if leveraged properly. This can be achieved using an age-old skill: meditation. Indeed, a new wave of research reveals what happens in our brains when our minds wander -- and sheds light on the host of cognitive and emotional benefits that come with increased focus." This article shares more about the mind that wanders and its "remedy".

We Have Never Been Alone

Have you witnessed another person's vulnerability and unabashed surrender to their pain in a way that leaves you in a deep and humbled awareness of your own wounds? In this piece Hannah Brencher writes with a poetry that captures the rawness of our shared human experience, . She reminds us of the bond and companionship that is ironically inherent in one of the most complex human emotions -- Loneliness.