Live today. Don’t wait to be happy tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes only today is here to live, love, and be grateful for.

Tomorrow never comes only today is here to live, love, and be grateful for. Live today. Don't wait to be happy tomorrow.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Jerry Spinelli

I was listening to Tony Robbins last night talking about how some of us find success but not fulfillment.

We often think we are not enough and true happiness comes with “more.” If we just get the right “more” we will be happy and fulfilled. Happiness and fulfillment don’t come from what we can get, buy, accomplish, it comes from our progress. Do we have meaning and purpose? I took my dog for a walk this morning.  A morning walk is a time for reflection on the abundance I have in my life. That the streets are safe to walk, that there are sidewalks, that my dog is healthy enough to walk and so am I. There is so much to be grateful for. I sip the coffee my husband made and was waiting for me when I got back from my walk. A small pleasure, we had a laugh this morning, another small pleasure.

There is so much to enjoy, and there is so much to complain about. This is our choice, do we complain or are we grateful for all the good in our lives. No matter what the circumstances are in our lives we choose to be happy or not. We may not be able to choose a lot of things in our lives but our reaction to all the bounty and beauty even if it isn’t as much bounty or beauty as we hoped for is a choice. The sunrise is beautiful, and we get one every day.

We eat and drink every day; we can enjoy this simple pleasure or wish it was in a better locale with better company. Even when we eat alone we should enjoy our own company. Things can and will be different, but will they be better? Isn’t a cup of coffee in Tuscany still just a cup of coffee, and aren’t our thoughts still our thoughts, and our companions still our companions?

What makes some people live fulfilled lives? Often these aren’t remarkable lives, they are happy lives. These are people who sing while they do their laundry, and whistle while they walk.

Plan for tomorrow, live for today.

Tomorrow – a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation, and achievement is stored. Unknown

The most terrible thing that could happen to us is we realize our dreams but don’t find fulfillment? How could this happen we ask ourselves. The answer according to all the gurus seems to be that because we take ourselves with us wherever we go our set point of gratitude, happiness, and fulfillment is always there. If we didn’t feel fulfilled with one hundred dollars in our pocket, what makes us think we’ll be fulfilled with more?

We feel entitled, but entitled to what? Happiness, joy, and gratitude are available to each of us no matter where we are born or what our circumstances. People live happy grateful lives in circumstances we can’t imagine. They are grateful for one more day, one more meal, one more laugh.

Unmet expectations are one of the things that hold us back from happiness. My husband told me the other day he doesn’t like arguing. It’s true some of our conversations get heated; some of our points of view are diametrically opposed. What about the fact we are lucky to have someone to share a point of view with? What about the fact we aren’t talking to four walls, listening to a clock tick?

There seems to be no middle ground anymore. If you aren’t for us, you are against us. What happened to you have some good ideas, but I don’t like them all. You have a point, but some of what you say is ridiculous. Don’t we all think that, even if we don’t say it?

Today is all we have, we aren’t promised tomorrow. If we don’t enjoy today because we are waiting for that perfect time, perfect accomplishment, perfect purchase, perfect person, perfect whatever far off in the future how will we ever be happy? We are missing our life, it is today. If we enjoy today, it is likely we will also enjoy tomorrow with whatever it brings. If we don’t enjoy today why would we think we will be grateful, happy, and joyful tomorrow?

Tomorrow never comes, because when it gets here it is today. Are we enjoying today?

My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. Charles Dickens

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Notes from a Friend: A Quick and Simple Guide to Taking Control of Your Life Paperback – Aug 1 1995

by Tony Robbins (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews


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Small pleasures. Enjoy the moments; our lives are made of big and small moments.

Enjoy the moments; our lives are made of big and small moments. Small pleasures.

Relish the small pleasures in life. Life becomes celebration. Dilip Kumar

A long weekend spreads before us. I have to ask myself do I enjoy my life as much as I think I should. Do I notice and do enough to create pleasurable moments?

Last night someone on TV was saying he loves to sit out in the evening as purple twilight shifts to dark and watch the bats come out. My daughter says she has seen bats swooping around our back yard occasionally. I don’t remember seeing any. A small pleasure I’ve missed.

I thought about not writing a post today. I slept in, but then I thought why should I miss this small pleasure?

Sometimes the small pleasures in life are the sweetest. Karen Marie Moning

Even when our life isn’t going particularly well we can enjoy small pleasures. A friend going through a hard time is enjoying salted caramel lattes. Sometimes when we look back on times that were difficult we also see the small pleasures we managed while dealing with what we had to.

Life is full of small pleasures. We make our lives better if we recognize and include small pleasures in our life. My husband and I have been going for ice-cream over the summer, a small indulgent pleasure.

Our lives slip by quickly whether we enjoy small pleasures or not. If we punctuate our days with small pleasures we make everything better. What small pleasures can we bring into our lives? Are we stopping to smell the roses and all the other wonderful things to be enjoyed?

Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a person in the course of their life. Benjamin Franklin

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Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy Hardcover – Sep 9 2009

by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews


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There is so much to be grateful for. There are so many cogs in the wheel making our life work. Is self-reliance a myth?

Is self-reliance a myth? There are so many cogs in the wheel making our life work. There is so much to be grateful for.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing. W. Edwards Deming

This morning the sunrise is glorious peaking through the houses. If I could have had a clear view I’d have posted the picture this morning. Seeing the sunrise starts the day off right. This day will never come again. This particular day with it’s set of challenges, wins, moments of grace and wonder is ours to enjoy today.

Sometimes we don’t realize what a great day it was until we look back. Sometimes we think I will enjoy every moment, I will remember every moment, but often we can’t. We may try but the moments blur into one another as do the days, weeks, months, and years.

These happy golden moments are ours to cherish. Someday we may walk down memory lane and think of all that’s past. We may smile at who we were what we thought we would do, accomplish, see, explore, and experience. We did some of it but many of us had dreams and fantasies that if something came true something else could not. We’ve picked our way through life, choosing this, choosing that. Hopefully, we are looking back at a life well-lived. Maybe we’ve lived many places or few.

Maybe we’d change things, maybe we wouldn’t. Does it depend on what day we are thinking about it? A path we may wish we’d taken seems clear and uncomplicated now, but it didn’t look like that when we were choosing the path. The clear choice is often only clear in hindsight. We often say we wish we’d bought X stock back when it was cheap. No one knew then it would become what it has. It was in the middle of all the other stocks that might become something.

At the moment of choosing nothing is clear. We choose our partner out of the array on offer. Then we build our life making our choices as the twists and turns and forked paths present themselves. What if there is no right path, no right partner, only choices to make the best of. We can go to work or play golf, but we can’t do both. Most days we go to work.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison

We may long for a life of leisure but they tell us it isn’t as great as we think it will be. Many people who could live a life of leisure fill their lives up with busyness of some sort or another.

My sister says if we all put our troubles on the line and we could take our own troubles or someone else’s we’d take our own troubles back. Maybe it would be the same for our choices.

We’ve built a life and there is much to be grateful for. This morning I thought as I made coffee and heard the shower running. How much we take for granted being able to shower in the morning. Not that many years ago, a bath, not a shower would have been all we could manage and not without a lot of preparation.

I have so much to be grateful for, my cup runneth over. We are so blessed to live with peace and plenty. We turn our stove on and voila we can instantly cook. We don’t have to gather branches to make a fire; we don’t have to kill something before we can eat it. We don’t have to pick something from the garden although it’s lovely if we can.

We may think the prices are outrageous when we go to the supermarket. My son was telling me of someone who decided to see if he could make his own bacon and tomato sandwich and how much it would cost. The cost was pegged at about fifteen hundred dollars. It would also take a lot of preparation.

He had to get the pig and raise it, grow the tomatoes, and wheat for the bread. He had to get started on this sandwich months in advance. It took him about six months to create his sandwich and all the ingredients from scratch.

If one was to be completely self-reliant we would have to create our own fire, our own implements which would make that sandwich harder, more expensive, time-consuming, and challenging to make.

Do we believe the myth and sometimes dream of being self-reliant? It is almost impossible and probably not very desirable to be reliant only on our self.

This is what our supply chain and working together gets us. Food and other products at reasonable prices, available where we live, and whenever we want them. We are told we’ve never had life so good; or appreciated it less. Sometimes it seems we are focused on what is not so good, instead of what is good. Perhaps this is how we got where we are. Had we focused on what we already had, what progress would have been made? Is it looking at what is and thinking why couldn’t it be better, or different that moves us forward?

All progress it is said is created by the unreasonable man. The reasonable person is happy and grateful, thankful for peace, plenty, bounty, and opportunity. The unreasonable person thinks couldn’t we make it better, couldn’t we do it another way, couldn’t we…

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw

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Self Reliance: and Other Essays Paperback – Mar 29 2016

by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Author) 3.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews


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Is gratitude the key to happiness, abundance, and joy? Does gratitude shift our perception so that it changes the world we see? Does gratitude come before joy?

Does gratitude shift our perception so that it changes the world we see? Does gratitude come before joy? Is gratitude the key to happiness, abundance, and joy?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let’s all be thankful. Buddha

As I sit here sunshine floods my den. The birds were singing on my walk, the flowers were blooming, everything is lush and green. The hustle and bustle of the day hasn’t started yet.

My morning reading from Never Get Angry Again by David J. Lieberman talks of the magnitude of gratitude. Don’t we feel better when we count our blessings instead of our angst, troubles, worries, shortcomings, fears, hurts, slights, where we’ve been wronged, how we’ve been misjudged, short-changed, or mistreated?

The more we think about what we have to be grateful for the more we can see we have even more to be grateful for. If we are grateful not only for the good things in our life but for the absence of bad things, our gratitude list grows even longer. Even when things are not as good as we may want, it usually isn’t as bad as it could be.

There are people in this world going through the absolute worst we can imagine, but if it isn’t us we should be grateful. If we have the wherewithal to get through the worst we should be grateful. If we can learn to be thankful for what we already have while we pursue all that we want life can be beautiful, and joyful in every moment. To walk through life on autopilot not noticing the blessings of the day, and the moments that will not come again we miss our life.

We don’t know when our life can be changed forever. Did we enjoy everything, or were we too busy looking down the road for what is coming to enjoy what is here today?

Last night instead of going to Toastmasters my husband and I went for an ice-cream cone. I got the dreamsicle dip instead of chocolate. Ice-cream, what a lovely summer treat on a summer’s eve. We watched young families, older couples in convertibles, a young man and his dog, old friends, and young friends all out enjoying a beautiful summer evening.

This is our life, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by in a flash. If we live our life with gratitude and savor all that there is we can live with love, grace, and gratitude.

If we live as if everything is a miracle our viewpoint will be one way, and if we live as if nothing is a miracle we will see things differently. It is our choice how we view our life, “Same old, same old,” or “This is a wonderful day I’ve never seen before.”

The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become. Robert Holden

Oprah Winfrey tells us if we are thankful for what we have; we’ll end up having more. If we concentrate on what we don’t have, we’ll never have enough.

It is easier to write about always being grateful than to live a life always being grateful, for everything. Are we grateful for the challenges that come our way? They help us grow and every step forward helps us move toward our goals making something bigger and better than our current situation.

When things are going wrong should we take a moment and be thankful for what is going right?

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Never Get Angry Again: The Foolproof Way to Stay Calm and in Control in Any Conversation or SituationHardcover – Jan 9 2018

by Dr. David J. Lieberman Ph.D. (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review


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The pursuit of happiness. Finding meaning, passion, purpose, and joy.

Finding meaning, passion, purpose, and joy. The pursuit of happiness

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; There is only the meaning we give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person. Anais Nin

Yesterday I was listening to a video on YouTube. I don’t know the name of the Harvard professor talking.  He was talking about happiness, marriage, money, and children.

He tells us marriage makes us happier, and happier people are married. A Divorce he tells us also makes us happier. Is the answer to get married, divorced, married, divorced and ride the wave of happiness each of these gives us? He tells us happy marriages are better than good divorces for happiness.

Is the best advice then to improve our marriage but if that is impossible then get a divorce? Doing something to improve our lives feels better than doing nothing. Is it progress that we seek?

People tell us that money does not buy us happiness, but he tells us it does. Money in all their studies does not contribute negatively to happiness. It does not bring more happiness on a continuous rising scale. The amount of money at which most people are happy seems to be about forty to seventy-five thousand, then moving up the scale doesn’t buy much more happiness. Once our basic needs are met, most of our wants are satisfied and we have a little spending money the amount of happiness we may get from more money may be negligible, but never negative. More money does not detract from our happiness it just doesn’t add that much once we have “enough”.   

The path to happiness may lie in turning what we have into enough. So many of us look for ways to spend what money we get and turn it into an obligation. If more money buys us more debt, we have less security and more stress. If more money buys us more security, more opportunity for travel and experiences then we may be happier.

The man who is born with a talent which he is meant to use finds his greatest happiness in using it. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Children are surely what is needed, and one of our greatest sources of joy? According to his study having children and looking after children does not increase our happiness. But, we value what we invest a lot of time and effort into, and children require a lot of sacrifices, investment, time, and attention. We value them, and amidst the drudgery of looking after them, we have moments of immense joy that take our breath away and eclipse all other moments in our life.

It is not happiness children bring to us, they bring work and sacrifice. That work and sacrifice bring meaning. Meaning brings joy and purpose.  A life filled with the aimless pursuit of happiness would not have meaning, purpose, passion, and probably not much lasting joy.

He tells us that heroin brings us happiness. It makes us feel so good, that we no longer pursue any other sources of happiness. We no longer work, take care of ourselves, brush our teeth, etc. We will sit in a corner destroying our lives clinging to this one source of happiness.

A baseball game he gives as an analogy of happiness. We may sit inning after boring inning, no score, in the ninth inning our team hits a home run. Wow, what an amazing game, we are so happy. Eight boring innings are forgotten as we concentrate on the amazing win. We go home and when asked how was the game? We say it was amazing. One of the best games we’ve seen.

This is an analogy to our life with our children, during all the humdrum, sacrifice, crying, cajoling, and struggle. They look up at us with a smile and say, “you’re the bestest.” Our heart melts; it’s been the best day ever. During the heavy lifting years of child-rearing, we may not have a lot of time for other sources of happiness. Like heroin, we may give up almost everything else for our children. Unlike heroin, it doesn’t destroy us, it builds us, it creates the life we are proud of, giving us passion, purpose, meaning, and a legacy to be proud of.

The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion. Terry Orlick

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The Power Of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness Paperback – Dec 26 2017

by Emily Esfahani-Smith (Author) 3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews


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Is happiness a choice? Are we about as happy as we choose to be? If we aren’t happy enough, can we make better choices?

If we aren't happy enough, can we make better choices? Are we about as happy as we choose to be? Is happiness a choice?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness is more than doing fun things. It’s about doing meaningful things. Maxine Lagace

People who live in Ontario and Atlantic Canada are not as happy as the rest of Canada. British Columbia and Quebec are the happiest provinces; Vancouver and Toronto are Canada’s two unhappiest cities.

The reason given for Toronto and Vancouver’s unhappiness is:

Traffic congestion. Waiting in traffic is not likely to increase one’s happiness quotient.

Housing stress: Where will we live and will we still be able to eat causes stress.

High-density unhappiness: People in crowded urban neighborhoods are physically living close together but they don’t necessarily have good social networks.

The reason why people are unhappy in many cases is probably because of their unmet expectations. Maybe we moved to a big city for the opportunity and often the opportunity we find is not necessarily what we were looking for. If we get a better job the cost of living is so much higher we don’t feel better off. We are so busy working we don’t have time to create close social connections.

We are the happiest it seems after age fifty-five. We’ve made peace with the fact we will not be the rising star of whatever we’d hoped for. We’ve built a life, found a partner or made peace with the idea we won’t have one.  A lot of our happiness is not because our life is terrible it is the unmet expectations that make us unhappy.

Maybe we thought we would move to a big city and… What was the and… At one of the Toastmasters meetings, a member said he moved from a small city of six million to Shanghai where there was “opportunity”. He since moved on to the greater Toronto area for “opportunity”.

It is hard to swallow that the secret to happiness in life and our relationships are low expectations. It seems it isn’t how well things are going, but whether they are going better or worse than expected.

To feel big and contented, look down more gratefully and up less longingly. To feel small but ambitious look down less gratefully and up more longingly.  This is our choice would we rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in an ocean? When we move to big cities we probably hoped to become a big fish in the ocean and are unhappy when we are still small fish.

Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. Unknown

After age fifty-five when we start to make peace with who we are and what we’ve accomplished, we become happier. Life is short starts to become a reality, and we are still here. We count our blessings and hopefully they are many, we count our regrets and hopefully, they are few. Life takes on a sweetness because we can’t take life for granted quite as much. A few friends have already been cut down in the prime of their life, and they seemed as healthy and active as us.

Do higher incomes, lower stress, and home ownership lead to greater happiness? It perhaps isn’t how high the income but as Charles Dickens said, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings, and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Managing our life, expectations, finances, attitude, and relationships affect our happiness.

We can be grateful for what we have. Being grateful increases our happiness quotient. Learning when to hold on and when to let go increases our happiness and lessens our stress. Sometimes it is what it is, and we have to be okay with that.

We can choose to stay connected with family, friends, and develop new connections with people through religious or other groups. Personal connection creates mental and emotional stimulation which are automatic mood boosters, while isolation is a mood buster. We can focus our interactions with positive people, and minimize our interactions with negative people. Volunteering is a way to boost happiness by providing a sense of purpose.

If we aren’t as happy as we want to be, what can we tweak in our life to bring more happiness into it? We choose the changes we want to bring into our life. If we don’t make the changes our life calls out for, who do we think will?

Happiness is a place between too much and too little. Finnish Proverb

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, happiness, and love.

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The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT Paperback – Jun 3 2008

by Russ Harris (Author), Steven C. Hayes PhD (Foreword) 4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews


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Gratitude and happiness. Are we happy with how we spend our time? These are our happy, golden years. If not now, when?

These are our happy, golden years. If not now, when? Are we happy with how we spend our time. Gratitude and happiness.

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. Ashley Smith

What happens if we don’t use the gifts we were given? Does a little part or big part of our self shrivel and die? Do we become unhappy, critical, and miserable? We sometimes think when we hear “using our gifts” it means finding a way to be financially compensated for our gifts. We have many gifts we can use to help us in ways that bring joy, contentment, adventure, excitement, and maybe money into our lives. Is one of the mistakes we make only focusing on the money?

How many people make us laugh? That’s a gift. How many people give us an encouraging word, that’s a gift? How many people smile and say good morning? How many people inspire us? Some people inspire us by not believing in us. We’ll show them can be one of the most inspiring attitudes pushing us forward.

We hear about people who need to find their way back to when they felt alive and happy. Often this journey takes them back to when they were young and using their creative gifts. As they became adults they took on the adult mantle of being serious and doing work that would make a living. They were making a living but the joy in life was given up.

We need to find balance in our lives where we have time for what brings in an income and keeps body and soul together, find creative outlets, and use our gifts. The 5 AM Club tells us gifts and talents neglected become curses and sorrows.

We need to build our every day in ways that uplift us, feed our soul, and bring joy to our lives. Work is part of our lives, not our whole life. We don’t make time for ourselves and our interests at our peril.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis

Since I started following the 5 AM Club and getting up at 5:00 my little dog gets a walk at 6:00. What a joy it is to get out in the fresh air, see the beautiful flowers, and enjoy the early morning. It seems like a gift I give myself, why has it taken me so long to do this? We are both better for our morning walk. Elevating my mornings elevates my life, my mood, and my interactions with other people.

This morning my daughter said, “You need to travel, and putting it off isn’t good.”

We think we have all the time in the world. If we look just a few years ahead of us we see where we’ll be. Tomorrow is not promised, it is a gift. The time to do things is now, but taking time off from business seems like one of the biggest challenges. Is it really? Or is it just fear?

What do we want? That is the question a lot of us don’t answer. What if we can have anything we ask for, but we have to ask? We have to figure out how to bring the things into our life we want. First, we have to decide what we want. We have to make a decision. Are we living our life on autopilot?

We worry there won’t be enough money. What if our problem is a lack of imagination, planning, foresight, and implementation? What if adventure is waiting for us to discover, dream, and do? What if using our gifts is the same. What makes us truly happy, feeds our soul and we do just for the sheer love of doing it is waiting for us to discover or bring back into our lives? Are we stopping to smell the flowers? Are we bothering to plant any? Are we hoping to reap what we aren’t sowing? Do we look for happiness in someone else’s garden?

This is our life, the only one we’ll have, are we living our lives the best way we can? Are we wringing all the joy out of it there is? What are we waiting for? Are there things we aren’t doing, that everyone thinks we should want to, but they aren’t that high on our list? Do we need to recognize the joy and beauty in our lives and quit comparing our dreams, goals, and accomplishments to someone else’s? We may have everything we need, everything we want, because we’ve actually built the life we wanted, and love. Are we seeing the beauty and bounty in our lives? Is it with gratitude we meet each wonderful day filled with 24 hours to be filled how we choose?

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today. James Dean

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. Hardcover – Dec 4 2018

by Robin Sharma (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews


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Is gratitude the key to happiness? Is the key to life living with a grateful heart?

Is the key to life living with a grateful heart? Is gratitude the key to happiness?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Anonymous

Is gratitude the key to happiness? Is this why we can go places where people have very little, and yet with broad smiles on their faces they seem in love with life. Can we become grateful for everything in our life? The smell of the coffee before we drink it, the pink of the sunrise as we walk in the morning, the dew on the grass, the profusion of flowers, the song of the birds, the smell of rain. Do we revel in the ability to inhale fresh air in large generous breaths and the rhythm of our footsteps as we walk enjoying the bounty and beauty of nature?

Can we enjoy all of our life? Enjoy the big moments and the small. When we were little we exuberantly enjoyed life, laughing, dancing, singing, running, everything was fun. Where did all that exuberance go?

We couldn’t wait to get out of our parent’s house and start living life. We wanted money to spend, and places to go. Life was an adventure, is it still? We need to somehow keep that zest for life, or get it back. Don’t we all love to be around people who are happy, fulfilled, joyful, adventurous, optimistic, and engaged? Are we one of the people others love to be around?

It’s a question we need to ask ourselves. Is our attitude affecting others in a positive way? Is our attitude affecting our own life in a negative way? Are we grateful for all we have, even if it isn’t what we thought it would be? Are we pursuing our dream for our self or someone else’s dream for us?

Did we somehow get locked into expectations that if we don’t meet we feel like a failure, even if those expectations don’t mesh with what we want out of life? Are we willing to ask ourselves what do we want? For ourselves, our future, our present, our family, our livelihood, our retirement? Are we scared to ask questions because the answers might require something of us we don’t feel prepared to give?

This is our life, the only one we have. If we don’t love it, what needs to change to love our life, our self, our livelihood, our present, our future? What is the change that would need to take place to make it so life could hardly be better than it is?

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Denis Waitley

To be able to have the capacity for gratitude Tomasz Fortuna, a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust said, “You must be able to receive and accept something helpful or good from another person. It helps if this is something you see happening around you from infancy, so you can learn how it works.”

Alex Wood a psychologist and the centennial professor at London School of Economics said, “If someone has grown up in an environment in which they cannot rely on the people who are meant to take care of them, in which their need for love is met with neglect and abuse. I think it would be very difficult for them to experience gratitude, with that particular lens through which to view the world.

Fortuna says in these situations, “What gets mobilized instead is a sense of threat, a fear of annihilation and the feeling of being persecuted, and deprived.”

We can develop gratitude Fortuna says, “Suddenly, the patient, who has felt for a long time that everyone is threatening and that they are being persecuted, discovers something friendly, in an interaction. That is a sign of gratitude where none was seen before and it can be a pivotal moment in therapy. You can see the emotional development of a person; their internal world becomes more enriched, more balanced. It gives us a sense that this work is worthwhile.”

It seems gratitude can be a learned behavior. Some people feel there is a downside to gratitude. That if people are grateful for their bad circumstances it will keep them in servitude, poverty, and abuse. Can’t we be grateful for what we have in our life that is positive even if we live in servitude, poverty, and abuse? Isn’t this where the power lies, to be grateful for what is good, even if it isn’t much. We can still be grateful for food to eat, a place to sleep, the beauty and bounty of nature, love in our lives, kind words. As we appreciate the good we do have, perhaps we can figure out how to bring about the changes our life calls out for. We can be grateful for the strength to bring those changes about.

Is developing an attitude of gratitude one of the most positive things we can do in our life?

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Gratitude: Increase Happiness with the Simple Act of Giving Thanks Paperback – Dec 21 2017

by Joanne Hillyer (Author)5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews from Amazon.com | Be the first to review this item


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This is our life, there is no dress rehearsal. Are we the change we want to see in the world? Let’s have a positive revolution.

Let's have a positive revolution. This is our life, there is not dress rehearsal. Are we the change we want to see in the world?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. Gandhi

We went to a wedding on Saturday and on the table as we walked in a sign said. “There is no dress rehearsal, this is our life.” It was a great wedding planned by the groom. He did a great job.

From the groom, I got the idea he thought, his bride thought he couldn’t plan a great wedding. That being a man… he couldn’t pull it off. Pull it off he did,

Why do we have crazy expectations that certain people need to do certain things? Why do we assume things, we know we shouldn’t?

Yesterday I went to one of my favorite haunts looking for used books. I’d been there recently and left empty-handed. I’d seen a book I’ve kept thinking about so I went back to see if it was still there. It was, and I saw another little book called Handbook for the Positive Revolution by Edward de Bono.

The author says it is all too easy to complain, grumble, criticize and attack. This is our highly acclaimed “Western tradition of the critical search for the truth.” Most of the great revolutions have been negative, meaning they have been “against something.”

I like Edward de Bono’s idea of a positive revolution. His positive revolution consists of five principles. Why five, because we have five fingers on our hand and each finger represents a principle. The hand is the symbol of the positive revolution.

The thumb represents the first principle “Effectiveness.” Without effectiveness there are only dreams, nothing is accomplished unless we set out to do something, and do it. Effectiveness is the thumb because it is the thumb that makes our hand effective.

The index finger represents the second principle “Constructive.” The direction of the revolution is positive, not negative, constructive, not destructive. The index finger is the finger we use to point out the direction we are going in.

The second finger represents “Respect”. Respect covers the way we react to all other human beings, and I would add nature, and all things. Respect covers values and feelings. The second (middle) finger is the longest and respect is the most important principle. If we can’t be positive and respectful towards people, nature, etc. what is the point?

The third finger represents “Self-Improvement.” We all have the right and the duty to make ourselves better. This is both the energy of the revolution and its purpose.

The little finger represents “Contribution.” Contributing in a positive way is the essence of the positive revolution. Not what we can expect or demand, but what we can contribute. The little finger reminds us that even if our contribution is small, small contributions add up to big effects.

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Gandhi

This is a revolution that we participate in by making our lives better, by making contributions. This is not a revolution where we point fingers at others, where we notice what someone else should be doing. We need to have positive expectations not of what others can contribute but what we can. Sometimes we enjoy being negative. We enjoy criticizing, blaming, and attacking. There is a degree of self-indulgence in negativity, it is easy and cheap. It requires nothing from us. Being negative is neither heroic nor intelligent.

Of course, we need to be able to think critically, but we value it too much, and we esteem it too much. What if we put being constructive on a much higher level than being negative? It is so much easier to tear others ideas down than to come up with our own ideas and actions to make things better. Isn’t achievement one of life’s most endurable joys?

What if instead of just criticizing things we ask, “How can this be done better?” When we see how things can be done better, what if we then ask, “What can be my contribution to making it better?”

We often think we are not in a position of power so what can we do? We can be an example, indeed we are an example, whether we want to be one or not.

There are three levels of contribution:

What do we contribute to our self?

How are we making ourselves better? Self-improvement is an important way to contribute to life. We become the change we want to see in the world. We sow the seeds we want to reap.

What do we contribute locally?

What do we contribute to our family, friends, community, and where we work? If we can contribute to more positive relationships in our families, communities, and workplaces this is a change whose effect ripples out much further than we may imagine. Indeed, it may be the biggest change we can make.

What do we contribute to our country and the world?

We may not think we are contributing to the country and the world when we do our part to create things, grow things, and produce things that are used outside of our smaller local circle. Even educating our children contributes to our community, country, and world. Everything is either negative or positive, the more positives we bring to our lives creates the ripple effect spreading positivity. In reverse, the more negativity we bring to our lives spreads more negativity in a ripple effect throughout our communities and the world.

It is our choice to be negative or positive. If we choose to be more positive in our lives, communities and the world will benefit. Even small things like not using plastic straws and drinking from disposable water bottles make a difference.

We all need to be the change we want to see in the world. If not us, who? If not now, when?

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. Gandhi

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed, filled with gratitude, positive contribution, and love.

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Handbook for a Positive Revolution: The Five Success Principles for Personal and Global Change by [de Bono, Edward]
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Are we are the change we need to see in the world? If we don’t do it, who do we think will?

If we don't do it, who do we think will? Are we the change we need to see in the world?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Be the change we want to see in the world. Gandhi

On Sunday I watched Church of the Rock Pastor Mark talk about prosperity. He believes in prosperity and says money is the most talked about thing in the bible. He doesn’t believe in the prosperity principles as taught by the Evangelical American Churches with their private jets, republicanism, and focus on consumerism.

We are given our daily bread and according to Pastor Mark, we are given seeds to plant. The problem we have is many of us “Eat our seeds.” Our forefathers went through famines and they still protected the seeds because they knew if they didn’t have anything to plant there would be no harvest, and all would perish.

Most of us have lived lives of abundance, even if not as much abundance as someone else. When is enough, enough? This morning I looked through my closet for a white sweater and even though I have a few, I didn’t have what I wanted.

Part of me wants to wander up and down the mall finding the sweater I don’t have. The one I think would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe. The one I probably won’t wear that much, or will it be the one I do wear? Most of us have closets full of clothes and yet we only wear a small portion of what is hanging in it.

I have never gone to a clothing store when I couldn’t think of a single addition I could make to my wardrobe. Buying never seems to be a problem; the problem is spending money that should be put somewhere else. This is the money I think Pastor Rick is telling us is “Our seed money.” The money that should be put to better use, if the money is invested it will grow, or the money, if given to charity, will help someone else.

Frugality used to be a virtue, now we call people cheap if they don’t spend. What kind of life would we have if we bought everything we needed, and we used what we bought? We replaced what was worn out, but we didn’t have a collection of the things we think we’ll use, only the things we do use, only the clothes we do wear.

Entitlement is such a cancer, because it is void of gratitude. Adam Smith

How simple can our lives become and still have everything we need, and use? People are downsizing or right-sizing as some call it. One of the things I wanted was a bigger yard. As I look out at my yard I think of the extra work a bigger yard would be, the one we have is not kept as well as we would like. I do think two hundred, four hundred, and six hundred square foot condos are too small. Yet people are living in them, thriving in them, and finding ways to creatively use their space to build happy, productive, lives filled with passion and purpose.

When did we get the idea we could only be creative in an abundance of space? We used to paint with a few well-chosen colors. From those few colors, we could mix any other colors we wanted. I look at the paints I have and many of them are drying up from lack of use because like my closet, everything is not being used. We paint more harmonious paintings when we use a limited palette. We have better wardrobes when we have limited items that work with each other, instead of lots of clothes that don’t go together. Every item can be beautiful on its own, but if they don’t work together we don’t actually have a wardrobe, just a bunch of individual items.

When we lament we don’t have enough, whether that lament is about lack of time, lack of money, are we focusing on the wrong things? Should we instead be focusing on what we do have, the abundance we do have, the opportunities, the gifts, the bounty and beauty of life?

If we get more of what we focus on, focusing on what we don’t want will give us more of what we don’t want. If we focus on what we do want, are grateful for what we do have, we will get more of it. Is this one of the reasons the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer? When we focus on our lack, we get more lack. We get more lack of opportunities, more lack of prosperity, more lack of time, and more lack of love.

If we focus on what we have to be grateful for, what we can do, changes we can make, how life can be better, do we get more of what we focus on? When we wait for someone else to do what needs to be done, who do we think will do it?  If we all look around and see what we can do, and do it. The change will happen, one small change at a time. That may be all it takes to take charge of our lives, future, and world.

If what we think the world needs is to plant more trees then shouldn’t we find a spot and plant a tree? If we all wait for someone else to do what needs to be done, we will get more of waiting for someone else, and it will never get done. If we all do what we can, everything will get done.

Is there something we know someone should do? Is that someone us?

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse. Paul Coelho

Gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty. Doris Day

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude and love.

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Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude: Gratitude JournalPaperback – Sep 16 2017

by Pretty Simple Press (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews


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