Don’t Assume Anything

Assuming things is a sign of laziness, being casual, not checking to ensure that things work out well, can cause inordinate unhappiness. Check, check, check. Have you ever taken a new friend to a restaurant that turned out to be closed for renovations? Don’t assume you can find a place to stay when you arrive in a strange town. How do you know for certain that the ice on the lake is strong enough to skate on?

Assuming you have the answers can be self-defeating. Ask carefully the necessary questions. Be a free spirit, but be diligent so you can enjoy your freedom without avoidable mishaps. Seek and find out what is true and accurate. We all make mild assumptions every day. We assume there is enough oil and gas in the car, a container of milk in the refrigerator, an extra cartridge for the fax machine, or enough AA batteries for the Walkman. We assume that everyone has been notified about the conference call. We assume that all participants have been sent the agenda for the meeting. We assume our spouse has the tickets, the cash, and the passports. Ask. Check. Have a list so you’ll remember to bring whatever you need to wherever you are going.


Human beings, in trying to accomplish something, should not assume that things have been done in advance. Assume that something hasn’t been done until you know it has been completed to your satisfaction. When we delegate work to others, we should still spot-check, because we are personally responsible. We shouldn’t pass the blame on to others. Especially when things are outside your responsibility, avoid disasters by reconfirming dates, times, places. Be sure you have enough cash for contingencies. Think through the consequences, and plan accordingly. It’s true: success is yours; failure is an orphan.

Making a habit of assuming leads to carelessness and a lack of effectiveness. Instead, anticipate and focus. The more you care, the less you’ll take for granted.

A Small Book About the Big Issues in Life – Alexandra Stoddard


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Make Every Response Gentle

Make every response gentle. Responding gently to each and every remark will create a shift in how you are perceived, a shift in how you perceive the other person, and then a shift in the experience itself.

Not being able to make someone else responsible for how we feel isn’t very appealing when we first learn this idea. It’s tempting to blame someone else for the difficult  situations we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, blaming others stifles our growth, and it means our relationships are dishonest. There is no surer way to destroy a relationship than through blame.


Conversely, there is no surer way to enhance a relationship than through choosing to be gentle. The good news is that this choice is no more difficult than we make it. It can become a habit, a healthy habit, with a little willingness and practice on our part.

When our relationships feel tense, it’s likely due to our own misperception. We have decided, no doubt unconsciously, to take the situation too personally.

Thinking the universe revolves around us is the poison that endangers our relationships. One solution is this: when we are having an experience that feels tense, disrespectful, or unfair, we can decide to respond to it in a gentle way. And we don’t have to actually feel the gentleness, either. We can simply choose to act gentle.

Perhaps this seems dishonest, but I learned many   years ago in recovery that “acting as if” can become the catalyst for real change. “Acting as if” serves as the blueprint for building a better foundation for all of our relationships. It doesn’t mean we are ignoring what happened with the other person; it simply means we have made the choice to not react in a negative way. If we say anything at all, we will choose to say it gently.

It’s not surprising that we struggle in relationships. Being at odds with one another is part of the ego’s learning curve. Tension doesn’t make relationships any less valuable. We are drawn into relationship with individuals who have something specific to offer us, perhaps a difficult lesson or an opportunity for us to serve as their teacher.

There are no accidents. This is so easily forgotten, particularly when we are in the midst of a painful struggle with another person. It’s not the struggle that matters, ever, even though it feels that way. It’s the resolution. It’s the coming together with another person to recognize our oneness, to honor the spirit within each of us. And we can do this best when we are being gentle with one another.

Before responding to any comment that has been made to you, pause for just a moment. In that pause, remind yourself to be gentle with your words. This simple act will transform each individual experience, and thus your entire day. If we practice this simple rule, we will be able to end each day with the certainty that we did no  harm.

Fearless Relationships: Simple Rules for Lifelong Contentment – Karen Casey


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Growing past disappointment

Each disappointment in your life will continue to weigh you down only until you learn and accept what that it has to teach you. The moment a disappointment becomes a learning and growing experience is the moment in which it is transformed into a triumph.


The chance to learn from your shortcomings and grow out of your disappointments is one of the richest opportunities you can ever experience. Adversity is a thorough, effective and highly personalized teacher. The powerful lessons learned in the midst of disappointment will stay with you always.

When you can bring yourself to be grateful for your problems you’ll begin to harvest their positive value. Life is difficult; out of that difficulty grows meaning and beauty. In each disappointment is the seed of fulfillment. Learn what it has to teach and you’ll be moving yourself forward.

Ralph S. Marston, Jr. – The Daily Motivator website at
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Be Open to New Ideas

“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions. —Earl Gray Stevens

Being open to new ideas when you are looking to solve a problem is what true learning (as well as confidence-building) is all about. Believe in your own resources and those of people you trust.

If you try to do it all yourself, micro-manage every detail, and don’t welcome new and innovative ideas from those around you, it’s gonna be hard to make it to the next level, or even survive where you currently are.

It is always wise to get some input from the competent people with whom you’ve surrounded yourself. Unless you want to live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, without a connection to the modern world, you are going to be influenced by everything and everyone around you. Accept the influence, allow it to become a part of you, and let it make you the best you can be. Just be sure to give credit to those people who inspired you.

It makes sense: If you’re secure with yourself, telling someone she had a great idea that you’d like to incorporate would be taken as a compliment. And the truth is that their idea actually did complement yours.

Sometimes the “off the wall” thought, the one you were just messing around with, is the one that makes the biggest impact. I call it playing with ideas; when you do it with other people, you might call it brainstorming. Sometimes someone says something just to be funny or to get a reaction (kids are great at that) and it turns out to be a concept that you totally resonate with.

Sometimes the answers or ideas you need do come from your own head, and you may ignore them if you are being hard on yourself, or your confidence tank is running dry. Learning to be open to your own thoughts, especially during difficult times, is a challenge we all face.

If you are not open to different types of intelligence (ideas from the world around you, and learning by living), your experience and your self-confidence will be greatly limited.

100 Ways to Boost your Confidence



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Live and love in the present

We all have baggage – it comes with life and sticks to us like a limpet if we let it. But, happily, we don’t have to. Your experiences are yours to dwell on, or not, as you wish for even the kind of unpleasant, pernicious memories that crop up in flashbacks post-traumatically can be refused entry to our current happiness, or prospect of happiness. But the Secret of living happily together in the present is to focus on how you both are, individually and together, right now     and decide firmly not to let bad feelings from past relationships – and that includes the past of the one you’re now in – sabotage your potential for present and future  happiness.

Life is now. This moment, this day. It is all we can be sure of. It is yours to enjoy to the best of your ability and your ability is great. Living positively and being aware of the love in your own soul and all around you is a choice you make now and can continue to make as the years roll by. And roll by they will, faster than you can imagine, so it’s vital to  catch the moment and love, love, love with all your heart and mind and  spirit.

The past and future can be your allies in this. By learning from past experiences you can help guide a positive approach  for the two of you together now. By remembering the good parts, you can light up each new day with them. By proactively deciding to avoid re-creating past mistakes in the future and choosing to use the Secrets instead, you create happiness as your lives together unfold.


Refuse to allow the past to irrelevantly cause trouble in the present. You  can’t stop memories popping into your mind,  but you can prevent them from staying there. The first key to living and loving in the moment is to declutter your mind of recurring thoughts and feelings from past bad experiences. It’s necessary to make another decision but as with all the other decisions you’ll be taking throughout the series of Secrets, it’s one that is surprisingly easy to make.   Putting it into action is easy too, but first you need to realize that allowing the past to invade and sabotage your present is a    habit you don’t have to subscribe to. Awareness of this is like an invisible protector through which no nasty memories and feelings that have no relevance today can penetrate.
The present is what matters. You’ve learned how to oust the habit of letting uncomfortable memories sabotage your current relationship. Similarly, beware letting worries about what may or may not happen in the future affect your happiness today.
Life and love is about what’s happening now. The present and future are yours to manage and steer. It is up to you to decide how you react to current aspects of your life together,   and which way you go forwards.
Use what you’ve learned from the past to help you go forwards in your path beneficially. Harness your common sense and wisdom, too, to make decisions, for instance on when it’s best to accept things as they are and when you need to make changes. Be very active in being loving and pleasant to each other and generally as good-natured and caring as  your best self.
Whether it’s acceptance or change that’s needed, act positively, seeing the good there is and bringing love into every move you make, relishing the many blessings you have, appreciating each other to the  full.
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I have a friend who,  for years, has ended all of his conversations and correspondence with the phrase, “The best is yet to come.” This is more than a pleasant platitude. It leaves you with the positive expectation that it’s going to be   a good day.

As our population ages, our society is looking at the prospect of caring for older bodies  and minds. The critical element of the quality of one’s  life is not  how old is your mind and body, but how old or renewed is one’s spirit. We all  know people who are elderly in their spirit in their 20s or 30s. On the other hand, like me you have probably met people in their 80s or 90s who are still young at heart and full of life. I believe the difference lies in my friend’s motto, “The best   is yet to come.”


We become old in our attitudes when we begin to believe that our best days    or the best things in life are behind us. We begin to cling to memories instead of  the expectation of tomorrow. On the other hand, no matter what age we may be,    if we assume “The best is yet to come,” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and will insure us a great day ahead.

We have spoken before in these little visits I call Winners’ Wisdom about the three elements necessary for happiness: Something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. If we can live with the expectation that “The best is yet to come,” we will always have something to look forward to, and we will  find it much easier to identify something to do and someone to   love.

We all have tough times and bad days. The difference lies in how we look at these experiences. Some people view difficulties as the normal course of their existence. Others look at troubles as a brief parenthesis in life that will  be  followed by exciting things and better days.

Remember, we don’t always get what we want, need, or earn. We do, eventually,  get what  we  expect.  Go  through  today  with  the  highest  of expectations, and you will, like my friend, discover that “The best is yet to come.”

Today’s the day!
Wisdom for Winners – A Millionaire Mindset : Jim Stoval
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Change Your Lens

Albert Einstein said that we can’t solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created  it, and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re looking for a solution to any problem, the answer lies outside of your current understanding of what you know to be possible. If we change the lens we’re looking through, we instantly expand our perspective.


A great area to apply this lesson is with  relationships,  whether  it’s  one  with  our  family,  our  friends, our coworkers,  or  our  romantic  partner.  When  a  disagreement  arises,  we  often  jump  straight into how that person doesn’t  understand  US.  We  are  viewing  the  issue  through  a  narrow  lens  called  ME and  thus spend our  time arguing and  defending our  position on why we’re right  and the other person is wrong. All we can see is how the situation affects US, because that’s all that the  limited lens of ME can focus on.  The  other  party  involved  is  often  doing  the  exact  same  thing, fighting for their position and standing firm in their own righteousness. What if, in  the thick  of  an argument, you  could  remove the lens  called  ME and  try on  the lens  called  THEM?  Then you  could see how others are  feeling and  have  more  empathy  for  their  needs  and  what  they’re  experiencing.

While you’re at it, you could put on the objective lens called WE and see the situation simply as it is, without taking anything personally: person A wants this  and  person B  wants  that; now, how do we  come to a consensus that works? Take that up a notch and try on the widest lens called LOVE. This      lens can see only love and will do whatever it takes to bring that love into focus. This is the lens that     begs to ask: how can I BE love in this moment?

Until we are willing to remove our narrow personal lens called ME, we will always see the world through our skewed viewpoint. If we want to create more harmony in our lives and in the world at large, we must be willing to switch out our lens and see things from various perspectives.

 50 Ways to Yay – ALEX PANOS
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