Category Archives: Food For Thought

Our Limitless Potential

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.” – Brian Tracy

We sometimes forget to appreciate the potential of what people can become, as much as what they already are. Of course, you recognize the value within each person’s potential when you notice it, however, by placing your focus on their current abilities, all too often you tend to overlook it. The same applies when you look at your own potential. And as Brian points out, the potential within each of us is so vast, that we can spend our entire lifetime discovering new and hidden gems within.

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Let Go Of Any Past Grievances

“She released her grievances like handfuls of birdseed: They are there, and they are gone.” – Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

I love this idea of holding my grievances in my hands like birdseed. It reinforces the fact that I have the choice to hold on to them or let them go. Additionally, it offers me a vision of what may occur in the “big picture” if I were to let my grievances go–they would be out of my hands, yet still within my view. Finally, after reading this a couple times, I began to imagine my grievances simply disappearing, much like birdseed being consumed by the birds. Of course, I could also look at it as having the ability to simply turn and walk away from them once I let them go. Continue reading

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Slow Down And Live Life Fully

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast–you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” – Eddie Cantor

Life can be busy. And in the midst of the hustle and bustle of it all, I am often surprised when I happen to notice even one single marvelous wonder out of the plethora of wonderful things around me at that very moment. At times I tend to get in a hurry, missing much of “the scenery” of life. Being so busy and preoccupied tends to leave me lost on paths I forgot why I was going down–or had not even intended on going down–in the first place. Continue reading

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Your Happiness Lie Within You

“Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness. Carry a vision of heaven in your hearts, and you shall make your name, your college, the world, correspond to that vision. Your success and happiness lie within you. External conditions are the accidents of life, its outer wrappings. The great, enduring realities are love and service. Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulty.” – Helen Keller

Here we are presented with yet another message that our happiness in life is in our power, it is within our grasp–namely, “our success and happiness lie within us.” Helen’s message is similar to so many other messages that tell us to seek happiness within ourselves through service, love, and compassion to others. Of course, this puts the ball in our court–the way we approach the world determines whether or not we are happy or not, whether or not we are successful.

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Complaining Does Not Help

“If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out. Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.” – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Randy may seem a bit harsh on those of us who spend our time whining and complaining in life. But when you consider the seriousness of wasting our precious time and energy complaining, as well as the negative side effects that come from it, it is probably the most effective way to pull us out of a passive life, filled with complaining, and help us to actively participate in the life we have before us.

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Living In Joy

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” – Swami Satchidananda

What is joy? It is not something we have to seek after, for it is already inside us. It is a state of mind. It is understanding and acceptance of life and of who we are at this very moment. It is peace and contentment. In the midst of all the chaos around us, it is the calm serenity that we feel inside. And it is contagious, as Swami notes–others will involuntarily become overcome with it just by being in its presence. So if our time on this world could end at any minute, “why not die happily, laughing?”

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Teach By Example

“A good example is the best sermon.” – Benjamin Franklin

As a parent, these words strike an important note in my heart. The things I do, and the examples I set, resonate through the lives of those who observe and learn from me–primarily my children. If I tell them not to use bad words, and then use them myself, the message they get is that it is ok to speak them. If I tell them to respect others, but then turn around and show disrespect towards someone, guess what they learn. Continue reading

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Coping With Challenging Times

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin

When we suffer pain and disappointment or other challenges, it is easy to feel as if we suffer alone, and that our sufferings are perhaps “unprecedented in the history of the world.” But as James points out, it is usually through the commonality of our sufferings and pains, that we come to realize just how connected and similar we all are. Continue reading

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Dwell On The Positive Aspects Of Your Day

“Every day you either see a scar or courage. Where you dwell will define your struggle.” – Dodinsky

Because evil exists in this world, bad things happen. There are crimes, death, destruction, persecution, suffering, and sadly more. But the truth remains that there is much more good in this world than bad. There is love, compassion, empathy, brotherhood, beauty and wonder, and so much more, and it is up to us where we want our focus to “dwell.”

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Recognize And Affirm Your Beliefs

“Real courage is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. Doing the unpopular thing because it’s what you believe, and the heck with everybody.” – Justin Cronin, The Summer Guest

It is not always easy going against the current and standing up for what we believe in. By doing so, we are faced with ridicule and exclusion and often times appear too proud and defiant. But throughout the course of our lives, there are times in which real courage is demanded of each of us. And if I can do the right thing simply because it is what I believe–even when no one is looking, or even if it is unpopular–I become a man of integrity, a man of character.

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