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Spreading joy

Life is best when it is filled with giving. We are, each of us, unique, with our own contribution to make. At the same time, we are part of a greater whole. Giving is what keeps us connected.

When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate a gift given in perfect love and grace. By giving of ourselves, we experience in a profound and undeniable way the joy of that gift.

By sincerely giving, we no longer must merely believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive. By giving of ourselves, we know and experience the reality of that beautiful truth.

Give, not to make an impression, not to fulfill an obligation or to repay a debt, but for the sheer joy of doing so. For it is a joy that will spread far beyond you each time you live and experience it.


Sleep and Worry

If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.


Wanting to win is everything

The most important quality essential to success is perseverance.
It overcomes almost everything, even nature.

Success is connected with continuous action.
It's largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
You're not finished when you're defeated,
you're only finished when you quit.

You can have a fresh start any time you choose,
for "failure" is not in the falling down, but in the staying down.
It's not over until it's over.

If you've got the courage to stick it out, you'll attain your goal.
Winning isn't everything,
but wanting to is.

If at first you don't succeed,
try, try, try again.


Yes, but...

The word "but" is a killer. It kills your dreams. It gives you an endless supply of reasons to live a life of desperation and mediocrity.

"Yes, I'd like to go back to school, but I just can't find the time."

In life, there are either results or there are excuses. Unfortunately, most of us have too many excuses and not enough results. Excuses are worthless. Why do we even bother with them? They make us "feel" better, they allow us to deceive ourselves, they help us to forsake responsibility for our own lives.

"I want to, but... I need to, but... I could be, but..." But what?

To make something of your life, you need to bust some "buts". Get rid of them. For starters, replace "but" with "and". That just naturally makes things more open ended.

"Yes, I'd like to go back to school, and...

...and here's how I'm going to do it."

"But" may make you feel better in the short run by providing justification for your lack of action. Eventually, though, your "buts" become a crutch. "But" is an escape, that too soon becomes a trap.

Go for the results. Forget the excuses.


Freedom: Worth every effort

There is something about freedom that always, eventually, lets the best shine through. Though it is regularly abused, neglected and taken for granted, freedom also provides fertile ground for magnificent achievements.

Most of freedom's greatest achievements go largely unnoticed because they are so wonderfully commonplace. Every day, millions of people make the most of their freedom to fashion lives of meaning and purpose and substance.

There was a time when freedom was all too rare. Even then, there were those who knew that freedom would be worth every sacrifice necessary to achieve it. We are indeed fortunate that so many have given so much, and continue to do so, in the name of freedom. And as such we are obligated to live in our freedom with care and diligence, with respect and responsibility.

Freedom requires effort to secure, to maintain and to fulfill the best of its promises. Freedom, when we truly value and appreciate all its implications, can bring out the very best in us like nothing else can. It's worth every effort.


Real magic

Every day is your opportunity to perform magic in this life and in this world. If the day is dreary, you can brighten it with your words and your actions. If the people around you are in dismay, you can offer them real and sincere encouragement. You can think, and create, and learn, you can build and share and love. What could possibly be more magical?

When difficult situations confront you, you can transform them into magnificent opportunities. The ability to do all this, and so much more, is yours this very day. Just imagine what will happen as you make use of it.

Look around you with a sense of awe at all the positive possibilities. This is a moment like no other, a moment for you to work your own special magic.

Today is a day that can be filled with magic if only you will make it so. Use your opportunity to fill each moment with the real and priceless magic of being fully and positively engaged in life.


Continual change

You can be certain that, at the end of this day, many things will be different than they were when the day began. For the world is always changing, every day, every moment.

You can fight against the changes, and resent them, and worry about them, and complain and fear them. Or you can see the opportunities in those changes, and find ways to put them to positive use.

If you are fearful of change, you'll end up spending a lot of time living in fear, because change is ever present. When you find ways to make change your friend and ally, then your time will be well used in the service of your best possibilities.

Changes can often be frightening, but keep in mind that you've been successfully dealing with changes your entire life. That's how you've learned, and grown, and moved forward.

Look at each change that has come, and no matter how it might seem at first, see if you can find the opportunity in it, the opportunity to move forward. You've already made it through countless changes, you're well equipped for dealing with change, and as your world continues to change, you can continue to make it even better.


What is possible

What is possible goes beyond what is possible at the moment or what has been possible in the past. What is possible also includes everything that can be made possible through effort, discipline, innovation and determination.

When your options are limited, consider what you could do to expand those options. When you're not satisfied with any of the available possibilities, look for ways to make your own more favorable possibilities.

What is possible is not limited to what is convenient or what is comfortable or easy or immediate. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone, to expend some effort, to have some patience, and you'll dramatically increase the positive possibilities.

Possibilities include more than the ready-made solutions, pre-packaged for your convenience. There is more to living your possibilities than simply choosing among the ones handed to you.

The best possibilities are often those that require significant effort and commitment on your part. Be willing to make your own possibilities, and you'll be able to choose precisely the ones you desire.


Change the world

Every day you change the world. Today will be no exception. At the end of this day, things will be different because of what you have done. You will have an impact. What kind of impact will it be? How will you make use of this power you have to change the world?

There is no way to avoid it. The thoughts you think, the words you speak, the actions you take will make a difference. Your choice is whether or not that difference will be a positive one.

The choices you make and the actions you take will bring about results. You have the very real opportunity today to make your world a better place. Who are you to change the world? Indeed, who are you not to? If not you, then who?

This day is not a rehearsal. It is real. What you choose to do with it will have lasting consequences for you and for those around you. It is an awesome responsibility and a tremendous opportunity. Give it the best that you have.


Now you are ready

Stop for just a moment and think a pleasant thought. Relax your mind, your body and your spirit. Find a moment of joy in the beauty of being, right here, right now. Put aside your concerns for a little bit. Experience the depth and wonder of your own existence.

Realize that in this very moment you have everything you could possibly need or want for right now. Settle your spirit into the confidence and assurance which that thought engenders.

Now you are ready for any challenge the world can throw at you. Now you are able to build on the abundance which is already yours. Now you can see your concerns not as problems but as opportunities.

You are alive. You are capable. You are worthy and able. You have at your command a powerful, undeniable force -- the strength to live, to think and to act. Every great achievement is built through thought, action and the passion of being alive. You have everything it takes. Now go forward and make your own special greatness.


You know who you are

Never let the opinions of others define for you who you are or what you can or cannot do. For though other people may sometimes know you well, they can never know you completely.

You know who you are, and what is in your heart, and what you're willing to do. No mere opinion from someone else has the power to hold you back.

Pay attention to what others say if you think it could be of use. Seek to understand and to make yourself understood as well as you possibly can. Yet always keep in mind that the person who knows most about you is you. You know what you can do, and you know why you're doing it, even if no one else understands.

The hurtful, limiting comments say more about the people who make those comments than they say about you. Whatever they may say, you know who you are. Move on confidently forward with the best that you can be.


The last attempt

You will achieve what you fully and confidently expect to achieve, but usually not on the first attempt. The only real failure is an unwillingness to persevere until that last attempt, the one that brings success.

Each time you fall short of the goal is actually a solid step in the direction of that goal. Each attempt makes you that much more prepared to take the next step. You cannot know in advance just how many attempts it will take. Yet you can be sure that each attempt will bring you one step closer to success.

The world is full of great achievements from inventors, musicians, authors, scientists, salespeople, artists, engineers and many others who fell short on the first attempt. How fortunate we are that they had the foresight to keep going until they got it right.

Stopping before you reach the goal does not make the discouragement go away. All it does is make the discouragement permanent. Instead, keep going, keep making the attempt, until you make that last, fulfilling attempt that brings the success you desire.


The best ever

To make this new year the best year ever, start small. Start with one small moment, this one you now have, and put into it all your energy, your enthusiasm, your passion and commitment. Make full use of what you have right here and now, whatever it may be. Though it may not seem like much, this small moment can put you solidly on course for magnificent positive achievement.

To make this new year the best year ever, keep going. Though challenges and disappointments will certainly come your way, you do not have to go their way. At times you will know discouragement, yet there is no value in continuing to be discouraged. There is every reason to continue moving forward, no matter what, for that is the best response to every discouragement.

To make this new year the best year ever, take responsibility for it. Instead of making excuses or assigning blame, put your energy into focused, creative effort, into creating value, into living with purpose.

This new year can be the best year ever. Because it will be for you whatever you are willing to make it.


Energy of frustration

Within every frustration is the power to move forward. After all, you could not be frustrated if you did not also know for certain that things could indeed be better.

The more frustrated you feel, the more you are ready, willing and able to move beyond that frustration with positive and effective action. Though it may be quite painful, frustration also is a powerful motivator.

Frustration has its positive, empowering elements as well as its negative, dismaying ones. Remove the resentment and self pity from your frustration, and what you have left is pure, positive energy. Remove the anger and the blame, and you uncover drive, ambition, persistence. Not only can frustration spur you into action and keep you going, it can do so in ways that enable you to clearly focus on what needs to be done.

When there is frustration, there is opportunity. Where there is frustration, there is an underlying positive energy that's anxious to spring into action. Don't let your frustration get the best of you or get you down. Instead, know that it's positively compelling you to move forward, and make use of the considerable energy that your frustration gives you to do just that.


The little things

Do something nice for yourself today. Pick one little trivial, insignificant thing that you would normally get very upset about, and just let it go.

Save yourself the frustration, the aggravation, and the wasted time of worry and fretting about something that doesn't really matter anyway. Simply have the grace to let it go.

It could be an insult or a criticism from someone else. Instead of defending yourself against it or striking back, just let it go and let its negative influence on you quietly dissolve into nothingness.

Or it could be some little something that you've decided is very annoying to you. Instead of putting your energy into being annoyed, choose to ignore it and put your efforts into something more positive, productive and genuinely enjoyable.

Think for a moment about how utterly ridiculous it is for you to let the little things get you down. Give yourself and your world the priceless gift of your own vibrant life by rising happily above those petty, insignificant little annoyances.



Others can guide you, teach you, and encourage you. Yet what you truly know is whatever you experience for yourself.

When you understand and appreciate the true value of experience, then every experience indeed becomes valuable. The good times and the not-so-good times all bring with them the golden treasure of experience.

Be willing to live through whatever life sends your way, and you will grow stronger with each passing moment. Be thankful for the opportunity to experience whatever may be happening, and the experience you gain will serve you well.

You are more capable, more knowledgeable, more effective than you've ever been before. And with each new experience, that positive and valuable growth continues.

Delight each day in the experience of life. Treasure it, learn from it, live it and use every moment to reach ever higher.


Value you put in

Anything worth accomplishing is going to take some long, difficult and sustained effort to reach. Yet even though the goal may be a long way off, the benefits of working toward that goal begin to be yours immediately. For the value of accomplishment is in the accomplishing. The reward is not so much in what you obtain as in the person you become in the process of obtaining it.

No matter how difficult the journey may be, it makes all the difference in the world when that journey is leading to a destination you have chosen. By setting your sights upon where you intend to be five years from now, for example, and by committing yourself to following that path, you immediately add value to even this day and this very moment.

The commitment, the discipline, the focus and the effort are indeed their own rewards. And they begin to be yours the moment you decide to begin. Though at first you may wish you could reach the goal without having to work your way past the challenges, you'll soon realize that such a thing would be worthless. For it is precisely the value you put into any accomplishment that gives it value to you.


Again and again

Those thoughts and deeds that become a permanent part of you are the ones that are repeated again and again. A single act of kindness is good, yet one kindness after another after another makes kindness a valuable and unceasing part of you.

A single disciplined effort will bring its positive reward. And much more so will a habit of focus and discipline bring a lifetime of achievement after valuable achievement.

If you hear, or read, or see something once you may very well forget it. When you are exposed to it over and over again it finds a permanent place within you.

It's a simple technique that's available to anyone, and used by those who are most consistently successful. When you want to instill something into your life, keep on repeating it until it is securely and enduringly there.

If you can do it once, you can do it again. Keep doing it long enough, and it will become a part of you.


Effortless effort

Much of the difficulty involved in any effort is in fighting against your own reluctance to undertake that effort. Let go of that reluctance, and the effort becomes effortless.

Many of the things you think of as fun require just as much exertion, focus and commitment as those things you think of as work. Yet the fun things you do willingly, enthusiastically, in a real sense effortlessly, while the work you often look at as a chore that you'd rather avoid.

Imagine how much more effective you'd be if, instead of dreading and fighting against certain tasks, you simply got them done. And think of how much worry, stress and anxiety you'd avoid by taking such an approach.

All it really requires is a simple change in thinking. Rather than seeing any effort as something to be resented and avoided, just jump enthusiastically into the experience of it and get it done.

Stop fighting against your own unique and incredible ability to make things happen. See your efforts as effortless, and experience how much more powerful and effective they become.



Power of imagination

It will take you to places you could otherwise not go, and teach you things you could otherwise not know. It is your imagination, and it is one of the most powerful gifts you have.

Imagine anything, and in a very real sense you have already begun to make it real, to give it life. For everything you've ever done, or said, or created or become, was first an object of imagination.

It may seem that imagination is unrealistic, but that cannot be. For truly it is imagination that drives reality itself, as what is real continues to spring from what is imagined.

Imagination alone does not make something happen. Yet imagination makes it possible. Imagination can also make it better and more valuable. For imagination allows you to create and test, question and revise, improve and expand using nothing other than your mind and your time.

Imagine a better you, a better situation, a better life, a better world. And use the positive power of your imagination to make it happen.



To be continued...