How high can we go if we work on being better today than yesterday?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If we are growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone. John C. Maxwell

Last night I listened to John Maxwell as I painted, he said he was told if he spent five years learning anything he could be a master at it, and he chose leadership. Halfway through his five years, he started seeing progress; people began seeing him as a leader. He changed his question from, “How long will it take, to how far can I go?” That question changed his life, how far can he go? How many more books can he write, and how many more people and organizations can he help?

What if we asked ourselves the same question? How far can we go, how much impact can we have, what difference can we make? Some of us may have a broad reach touching many lives, and some may have a deep reach where we impact fewer people but impact them mightily. We may have little impact outside of our family, but our impact may reverberate, and what seemed small and insignificant may have a wider impact than we think.

The family is the building block of our civilization and we are each part of a family. Do we lift others when we can, encourage them when needed, and help someone get back on course? Are we there in the good times and the bad, with them in glad times and sorrow, can they count on us for an encouraging word and a warm hug?

Success is a continuing thing, it is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else. John C. Maxwell

At the Writers Group on Saturday one of our members wrote what he thought was the perfect book, and he gave it to his editor, who said, “I don’t think there is a market for this.” How great must it be for a writer to think they’ve written a perfect book? He’s written several books and didn’t get into what made that one perfect, but I’m assuming as he wrote each book he tried to make it better than the last until he thought, I don’t know how to improve on this one. It would be a great feeling to develop oneself to that point even if said book never becomes a commercial success.

We don’t know what something will become until we do it; we need to be willing to do something poorly if we ever can do it well. We will make mistakes, fail, and try again to make progress. This is the lesson we can teach our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Play on at whatever we do, and start new adventures throughout our lives.

Mom didn’t start quilting until she was in her eighties. Grandma Moses was in her late seventies when arthritis made continuing with her embroidery difficult, it was suggested she start painting instead.  Her last painting “Rainbow” was completed when she was 101.

If there is something we want to do, or something isn’t working for us anymore and we have to find another creative outlet, why not figure out how to make it happen? We may think it will take ten years to become good at it, but what can we accomplish in those ten years?

What is possible for our lives? We won’t know unless we take the steps to make something happen.

Courage isn’t an absence of fear. It’s doing what you are afraid to do. It’s having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory. John C. Maxwell

The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. John C. Maxwell

The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one. John C. Maxwell

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Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Can we all make a difference, are we doing the best we can with the resources we have?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how our life’s story will develop. Dieter f. Uchtdorf

Yesterday we went to the baptism of our daughter-in-law’s sister’s baby. She was not impressed with the event but we were thrilled to meet this little person. Last Thursday our grandson turned two. It is wonderful to be surrounded by babies. I won’t amass the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren my mother did but if I can create happy memories for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and leave them with a belief that the future can be as good for them as it has been for us, that is my wish.

On our way home our trusty truck sprung a leak in a hose and steam was spewing everywhere. A young man came up to the truck to tell us we had a problem. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because even this problem happening on our way home from the event happened at a better time than it could have. It could have happened on our way to the event and ruined our day, or happened when we had our grandson in the truck.

As our son and daughter-in-law drove me home, and my husband went with the tow-truck driver my son said, “I am thankful every day for the life I have.” He told me he gave a lift to a homeless man on Saturday and heard his tale of woe, and from the sounds of it, when things could get worse, they got worse, and people our tax dollars pay to help, aren’t doing a very good job. Some of the people down on their luck and homeless would accept help, but it seems real help is not easy for them to get.

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Unknown

I’m not in the trenches, I don’t deal with the homeless, but I’ve heard stories, maybe we are trying to help the ones that don’t want to be helped, while the ones we could help to get back on their feet we let slip through the cracks until they too are beyond the little bit of help that would have been needed to tip them back into a life that would give them pride of independence.

We say we give people help, but when we speak to the people who are supposed to be receiving that help, we find they have to fight against a system that appears to kick them when they are down, withhold payments they are entitled to until we take all dignity away from them, and then we wonder why they become bitter and defeated. Is there a communication problem between those helping and those needing the help?

This is a tale told to me by my son, of a homeless man asking him if he thought he could get a job in the industry my son is in. He would need some training but it is an industry looking for workers and skilled work with a future. If he gets a hand up will he take it? How many people we see are looking for a hand-up, not a handout? How could we use the money we spend on the homeless to make a real difference? Are we making a real difference now but not hearing the success stories?

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate. To have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller

Be someone’s strength. Be someone’s inspiration. Be someone’s reason to never give up. Unknown

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Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. if you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Staying the course, being true to ourselves, making things better by making a difference.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

Is it easier to give up than to stay the course? One of the things that sustains us when we want to give up is the habits we’ve created. We are told we can count on our habits more than our willpower.

Is it easier to create bad habits than good ones? We have to be careful we create the habits that will sustain a good life and not result in a bad one. When we realize something isn’t working for us how easy is it to change our direction, to regroup, and go forward in what we hope will work better for us?

We need to ask ourselves these questions throughout our lives. Is it easier to look at someone else’s life and see the change in direction they need but hard to see it in our own life? How often do we say to ourselves if I were them? Why is it easier to know what someone else should do than what we should do ourselves?

If we don’t keep on doing what we know needs to be done it will be our own life that suffers. What price will we pay if we don’t write our book, sing our song, or create whatever calls out to be created? What if we don’t stand up for what needs to be stood up for?

We create order out of chaos, but order is not created randomly. A pile of car parts in a garage will never randomly end up in the right place and the car rebuilt without effort by the car builder. When I see restored cars I appreciate only a small part of the effort it took to rebuild that car because I don’t know how much work and money went into it.

We are told we should only give up one dream for a greater dream. If we give up on our dreams without a bigger dream what kind of a life do we end up with? How many women give up on a dream in the workplace to create a family?

The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. William Wordsworth

Creating a family is the one lasting thing we have, the one we can leave behind, and the one that builds on itself. If some of our dreams get put aside for family then I think the greater dream wins. We have to be careful we don’t think just because we have a family we can’t do anything else, but we also have to be careful we don’t think going after what we want means we have to give up on family.

If we are lucky at eighty we will be surrounded by family, and their accomplishments will be part of what makes us proud. They might be the one that fulfills a long-lost dream. They might be the one that finally attains the pinnacle of success, and we might have played a part in that.

We will be as proud, and maybe even prouder of what our children or grandchildren accomplish than if we accomplished it ourselves. Because they are the legacy we leave behind, our contribution to the greater good, and the progress of the future.

As I write this my grandson asked me to read him the puppy books. He didn’t sit on my knee long enough to finish them both and he was off on another adventure. He plays the piano as I write. It takes longer to accomplish things with him but everything is brighter and more fun because of him.

We must leave our world in a good place because of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Can we agree on what makes a better world?

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Maya Angelou

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest of intention. Kahlil Gibran

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To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Are we strong and courageous? Courage and strength are needed to live a good life. What would it take for our life to be an example of courage?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it you cannot
consistently perform the others. Aristotle

If we are to live good lives we have to have a degree of courage. We have to
stand by our convictions and be impeccable with our word. Do our best, and act on our well-chosen values. We will demonstrate a commitment to good causes by active participation. We will refuse the temptation to comply with, assist with, or ignore dishonest, coercive, cruel, bigoted, wasteful, or deceptive words or practices encountered during our everyday activities. We will be willing to speak truth to power to right a wrong. Doing the right thing may be a defining moment in our lives. We may courageously overcome or at least control bad habits and addictions.

That is a tall order and none of us will probably be consistently courageous
in everything we do. We will make mistakes of judgment.  We will believe things that are not true and may even feel others have no right to their opinion if they do not believe what we believe. Even though we won’t be perfect we will lead better lives if we are more courageous than if we are not.

We may truly believe we are doing the right thing and be wrong. We may find as life goes forward that going with accepted beliefs is not correct. Who do we listen to when deciding what the right course of action is?

There is so much information on so many topics we may not know what to believe or who to listen to. Epistemology: How do you know that what you know is true? How do we know what someone tells us is true, or what we read or listen to is true? What about conflicting stories, news reports, and biased arguments that may be based on a kernel of truth?

It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it is what we know that
ain’t so. Will Rogers

The sincerity of one’s belief, the volume or frequency with which it is stated, or assurances to “believe me” should not be rationally persuasive. It is hard to sift through everything we know, hear, and read. Is it possible to get comfortable with uncertainty and knowing we don’t know, instead of thinking we know things, we can’t know?

Even when we don’t know for sure what the truth is, can we be courageous in
our questions and our actions?

By what criteria do we evaluate reasons? How are those criteria themselves
evaluated? What is it for a belief to be justified? What is the relationship
between justification and truth? Harvey Siegel

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Mark Twain

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know
nothing. Socrates

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Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

If we are wise we will know what changes are good and which ones are not, but who is that wise?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. Confucius

How many of us got up today wondering why we can’t quit changing our clock ahead and back again every year? Pick a time and stick with it. If we can’t get our time back on permanent daylight saving, and I don’t know anyone who likes the switch, how can we make changes we don’t all agree on?

B.C. passed legislation in 2019 allowing it to ditch the switch, but it has not been implemented yet. Ontario passed a bill in 2020 to stay on Daylight Saving Time permanently.

One day this foolishness will be over, but change is often slower than we want unless it is faster than we want. How often do we think we are living with everything going just right? Would perfection look the same for everyone? One of the problems I think we have is when we start getting comfortable we find our comfort is causing other people’s discomfort. As they work to get more comfortable we become more uncomfortable and the cycle continues.

At our writer’s group on Saturday, the conversation on how to write about sensitive issues was so interesting we didn’t get to our workshop on writing. It takes courage to be a writer, but it especially takes courage to write about sensitive issues. As writers, we ask whose story is being told and do we have the right to tell it.

I wonder how many writers stories are not being told because they worry how their story will be received and so don’t put it out there? How many writers like me skirt issues they would like to delve into? Are we becoming a less courageous society? Ignorance sometimes passes for courage, and that is not what I am talking about. The problem with free speech is some will misuse it; the problem with not having free speech is everyone is muzzled.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. Anatole France

If important questions don’t get asked where does that take us? If questions get asked in a way that some will find hurtful, where does that take us? If no one asks the questions out loud, but whispers about issues where they deem it safe to do so, where does that take us?

Civilization is a balance of rights and responsibilities. We don’t live in a perfect society but do we appreciate how good it is, and how bad it could be? How many decisions are we away from it being better, but how many decisions are we away from it being worse? Do we agree on what would make it better, and do we agree on what would make it worse?

Most of us, I think, agree that being in one time zone for the whole year would make things better. It is a small change, and I hope to see it become a reality.

Other changes might bring more good. We won’t agree on all of them, they might not be good for everyone, and how do we weigh who benefits and who loses?

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety. Abraham Maslow

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how you life’s story will develop. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Living our best life is about choice, we have to choose between what can only happen now, and what can happen later.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. John C. Maxwell

Stretching ourselves too thin often doesn’t accomplish what we want it to. We want to keep all our balls in the air, everyone and ourselves happy, but instead of getting everything done, we might end up spinning our wheels.

If it is true that the first twenty percent of what we do gives us eighty percent of our results, how can we focus on the effective twenty percent? I’ve been thinking about this with my morning writing which goes between the blog two mornings and writing a novel the rest of the week.

When I started the blog it was seven days a week, then I cut it down to two days a week because I didn’t have time for any other writing, and now I am cutting it down to one day a week.

How effective can we be if we set our minds to it? Parenting and grandparenting are not the areas to cut our input. Children and relationships need time and attention. We don’t have effective conversations because we’ve set aside twenty minutes for an important conversation. If we want an effective conversation, especially with a teenager we should take them on a long road trip, and not fill the space with the radio or audiobooks, but let the conversation flow however haltingly.

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Keri Russell

We can have relationships with many people, but most of us won’t have many close friends. We will have a few important people in our lives and the more time we spend with them the better.

Life is always about choice, where we spend our time is important. I’m spending more time with my grandson and less time writing. These wonderful months are passing by quickly, he’s almost two, and I don’t want to look back with more books written wishing I’d spent more time with him. I’m spending more time with him and getting less writing done, and I’m sure I will never regret that.

Your life is a result of the choices you have made. If you don’t like your life, start making better choices. Ziz Ziglar

Life is a chess match. Every decision that you make has a consequence to it. P. K. Subban

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. Roy E. Disney

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Thank you for reading my books and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

If what we fear most is what we most need to do, what would our life look like if we did it?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

80% of value is achieved with the first 20% of effort. Pareto principle

Is it possible to work less, worry less, succeed more, and enjoy life more? A book I picked up yesterday, Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch tells me it is. If it is true that a small amount of energy leads to most of the great things in our lives, and a small portion of our time leads to most of our happiness and fulfillment what if we spent our lives pursuing that 20 percent?

We need to know what we want, nothing happens without a goal to aim for and a plan to get there. We then need to know what actions are proven to give us the majority of our happiness and fulfillment.

Of course, we can’t do everything, so simplifying our life down to where we are doing the important things, the worthwhile things, and the things that make us happy, prosperous, and wise should be the best use of our time. If we know what those things are wouldn’t we be doing them, and if we do know them and aren’t doing them, why aren’t we, and if we don’t know what they are, why don’t we?

You know in this book of wisdom about living the good life it is going to be most of the things we’ve always heard we should do, but a lot of us don’t do. Save ten percent, get up early, eat right, exercise, marry the right person, be the right person, and forgive people for their trespasses against us.

Life is simple, but we complicate it by not doing the important things first. We love dessert, and if we indulge twenty percent of the time, we can probably get away with it. I’m going to read this book, but just reading books without implementing what is in them doesn’t change our lives. If we want to be in the twenty percent of people who do well, we need to do what the eighty percent aren’t doing and we might find we have areas of our lives we are better at than others.

Strive for excellence in few things rather than good performance in many. Richard Koch

Health, fitness, family, and finances are the four areas that pay big dividends. If we can be healthy enough, fit enough, happy enough, and rich enough to live to the end of our life then isn’t that a good life and a good goal?

How healthy do we have to be to die young, at a ripe old age? How rich do we have to be to not run out of money no matter how old we get? How do we create meaning and purpose during all those years?

These are the questions we should be asking ourselves, we have people in our families that are either an example or a cautionary tale, and we should be making decisions about our future life while we still have time to have an impact on that future. One financial book said we can have a steak, hamburger, or cat food retirement. We might aim for steak and get a hamburger retirement and that’s okay but how low can you go, might not be a good strategy for retirement.

I do think some of the scare tactics making us believe we will never have enough are not good either. We will never be younger than we are today, but there are decisions to make so the future can be as good as it can be. What if one of the things we do in our life is weigh our options, will this make life better in the future or worse, and do the things that will make it better, and don’t do the things that will make it worse?

It is unlikely in life we will ever feel, at least for long that we have 100% of what we want, and often we have to satisfy ourselves with 80% of what we want in spouses, jobs, businesses, or other areas of life.  We need to be careful not to see the missing 20% and go after it only to find out later we should have stayed with our original 80%.

What do we want, and what do we need to do to get it? How would getting or doing the things we want, change our life? If we know what it is, have we put it on our to-do list? But, are we putting 80% at risk to go after a missing 20%?

It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau

The important thing is the 80/20 rule: 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This means that if you’re doing ten tasks, two are going to be vastly more important than others. Brian Tracy

Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power. Lao Tzu

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more, and have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts, click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

If we think we can’t, we can’t, if we want to do anything we must move in the direction of our dreams.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. Gail Devers

Yesterday, I went to Value Village and looked through the books – if you buy four you get the fifth one free, and I had six books. As I looked through the books wondering which one to put back, I looked at the smallest book costing $1.79, so I thought, I’ll just take it too.

As I was cashing out the attendant took an interest in the books I was buying, but when he came to the smallest book, “The Ten Secrets of Abundant Wealth,” by Adam Jackson he said, “I wouldn’t read that.”

It seemed like an odd reaction to the little book, that might have something in it that would help a young man build a life. When I got home I took a good look at the book, wondering if he found something offensive in it as he perused the chapters. The chapters: The Power of Subconscious Belief, The Power of a Burning Desire, The Power of Definite Purpose, The Power of an Organized Plan of Action, The Power of Specialized Knowledge, The Power of Persistence, The Power of Controlled Expenditure, The Power of Integrity, The Power of Faith, and The Power of Charity.

It is written as a parable, a young man is walking in the early morning bemoaning his fate of never having enough when he meets an old man who starts talking to him and tells him, “If you don’t believe something is possible it is unlikely it will ever come true.”

They walk a bit and the old man continues, “In my country we believe that every problem brings with it a gift, every adversity contains within it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”

“Hmmmf!” says the young man.

“It applies to everything… even money problems,” said the old man. “Money problems open the path to abundant wealth – riches beyond your dreams.”

There is a lot of work between an idea and bringing that idea to fruition, but doesn’t it all start with an idea? How many people have started a business because of disappointment where they work, or disappointment because they couldn’t do something for their family and they decided I’m not living like this anymore, something has to change?

Be miserable, or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. Wayne Dyer

The old man also tells him that he lives in abundance that people in the past weren’t privileged to live, and many people in the world don’t get to live like this now.

It takes a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance, to get ahead in life, but it is the adventure before us and is what will give our life meaning and purpose and pride in what we accomplish.

I was talking yesterday to a lady who lost everything in late midlife, but she has a great attitude and is pouring her passion into writing. She has written her memoir about marrying a professor when she was sixteen and living on four continents before ending up in Canada, “The Other I” by Zohra Zoberi.

The choices we make determine our life, and when we think we can’t do something our life goes in a different direction than when we say, “I think I can, I think I can.” The more we do the more we find we are capable of.

How many of us have thought of something we wanted to do and only when we see someone else has done it do we realize we could have done it too. If it wasn’t beyond them, why do we think it is beyond us?

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives. Tony Robbins

In faith, there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. Blaise Pascal

There is no man living that cannot do more than he thinks he can. Henry Ford

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more, and have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone who reads my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

We are part of the greatest creation in the world – family.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life feels complete when you’re together with your family. Unknown

Last night my daughter hosted a family dinner in honor of Mom. We talked and laughed late into the night. How wonderful family gatherings are filled with love and laughter. My brother next to me called me after we left Mom’s, telling me he and his family are still going to have the 100th year celebration for Mom we were planning in August. He will do it from his place with a zoom call with all who are interested in joining in. We might end up having a larger celebration than we could have if everyone gathered in one place.

One of the things Mom said about her 100th celebration, “You can have it with or without me.” That we can all get together and talk and laugh whether in person or on a zoom call, it is the getting together, the stories and the laughter that is important. My husband is having group chats with members of his family that live abroad.

Reach out and touch someone, it has never been easier, but maybe the easier things get, the more we don’t do them, because they are so easy, it can happen any time, until it can’t.

My son, who hasn’t yet produced a grandchild expounded on what parents expect of their offspring, who they give so much too, and ask so little of, a grandchild to love and watch take their place in the world.

People who haven’t created a family don’t know what they are missing, or so those of us who have, believe. Who would have surrounded Mom at her bedside if she didn’t have children? Who would surround me at mine if I didn’t have any?

I almost didn’t post today, because sitting with family, enjoying a day off with nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company spreads before me. My daughter is taking her son for a walk, so I turned on my computer.

There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues… are created, strengthened, and maintained. Winston Churchill

We had happy news on Valentine’s Day, I became a great-aunt again, to a wonderful, healthy, baby boy. The family circle continues and we are part of an unbroken line. No matter what we do, no matter what we accomplish, I don’t believe there is a greater joy than beholding the hope and promise in a baby’s face.

We all want the world to be better for our children and grandchildren, and we have to believe it is possible to build a better world, but do we know what a better world looks like? Do we think a life of ease and plenty will build a better society? Have not the best societies been built on sacrifice for the greater good? What would it mean if we said we were going to live our lives with the greater good in mind? That we would expect to look back at the end of our life and be proud of the decisions we made, the hardships we endured, and the opportunities we passed up for something greater?

Building a marriage and a family is that choice and if we knew the sacrifices we would make at the beginning we might not tread that path, but who, when they see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren think it was all for naught? We need to take the long view in life and know that moments of happiness come, but if we are always chasing happiness we might miss true contentment for a life well lived.

For in the end, what if what we are most proud of is some of the things we most hated while we were going through them? We were with someone in their hardest time, which was also our hardest time. We stood up against something wrong when standing up for it was not popular, and we endured when we wanted to give up. Decisions over time build our life and those decisions will be what we are proud of or ashamed of. Sometimes it is the choice between bad and good and we make the wrong choice we are later ashamed of, but sometimes the choices are between two good choices, or between two bad choices, and we have to make the best of what we choose.

When it is time to choose, if we always keep our family first in our hearts and choose what will be best for them in the long run, will we be prouder of our choices than if we don’t?

Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Paul Pearsall

In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, bridge to our future. Alex Haley

The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. C.S. lewis

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Is gratitude the greatest of all virtues and the parent of all others?

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you. Knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. Brian Tracy

Is the good life within reach of all of us? The Super Bowl was played last night, and on display were many people we are sure are living the good life. Lives of extraordinary wealth and advantage were on display. Wouldn’t we love to be a fly on a wall in some of the homes of the rich and famous and find out what it’s really like? We’ve gotten more information than we ever wanted about some famous families, and how many of us think we’d like to exchange our lives for theirs?

Would it surprise us to know everyone has problems or surprise us if some families don’t have problems? Living the good life is not about never having problems, never facing adversity, or never having problems become public. Living the good life, in my mind, is dealing with what is ahead of us and what is behind us. Jim Rohn tells us not to ask for easy but to ask to be better. Better able to withstand the storms of life and know what we must do and to do it.

Jordan Peterson tells us to be the strongest person at our parent’s funeral and this means if we are lucky enough to have siblings we will each have someone to lean on. Having faith to lean on gets many through the hard parts of life and many find faith in the hardest parts of life.

Finding meaning in a rapidly changing world, disintegrating families, and social upheaval is to grab onto what is good and true and carve out a little space for ourselves and those we love. Inside our little space, we build our little world and although we venture out to the wider world we need to keep our little space wholly our own, and though we treasure our family and friends, they are not ours to keep forever, and whether they are with us for a long time or a short time we need to treasure what we had and go on without them.

Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. Roy T. Bennett

Only those who can go forward after loss can lead a good life because we will always have to go forward after loss until the end of our lives. There is always loss, loss of a dream, loss of a loved one, loss of things the way they were, the way we were comfortable with them. Change is the only constant and the better we are at riding the roller coaster of life the better our lives will be.

When we listen to other people’s stories, what they’ve overcome, and what dangers they’ve faced, we are sometimes in awe of what we hear. What gets some to the end of their life facing hardships without becoming bitter, and others who didn’t appear to face such hardships become warped and bitter and difficult to be around?

Can we afford to be bitter and hard to be around when we are old and dependent on others? A pleasant personality in old age would help a great deal in dealing with that difficult time of life. An attitude of gratitude if we cultivate it early will we still have it in the end? I think it’s possible, I’ve seen it in others, and it makes me hope I can cultivate it in myself. Does gratitude sweeten even the smallest moments and lead to a life of joy?

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, of giving and forgiving. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. Doris Day

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. William Arthur Ward

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts, click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the purchase price through the Amazon affiliate program.