Difficult circumstances

Don’t let your situation determine how you are. Let yourself decide and determine how the situation is.

Your attitude is never forced upon you by outside circumstances. On the contrary, your attitude is based on the way you choose to respond to whatever may come your way.

You can have a great day by choosing to be the person who will have a great day. You can live this day based on a strong, solid inner intention that never wavers.


What you encounter is important. Yet what’s much more important and influential is the way you encounter it.

It’s easy to blame difficult circumstances for a difficult day. It’s far better to live each day based not on what it brings, but rather on the positive value you choose to give it.

Instead of complaining or bragging about the difficulties, transcend them and live beyond them. Use the power you surely have, to make the best of even the most difficult circumstances.

— Ralph Marston
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Making the effort

When you don’t feel like making the effort, the thing that will help you more than anything else is to go ahead and make that effort. Even when you are too tired or too bored, too distracted or too dismayed, the way out is to get busy and put forth effort.

Wishing for things to be better won’t make things better. What will make things better is taking positive, focused action.


Making excuses won’t make things right. The way forward is to make a real difference by making a real effort.

Just because it’s difficult, uncomfortable and inconvenient, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You have what it takes to take effective action, and that is a powerfully positive thing to do.

Instead of wasting your priceless time with procrastination, make good use of the time that’s now yours. Spend that time making a meaningful difference.

What you get out of life depends on what you get out of yourself. Make the effort, again and again, and give much more beautiful and meaningful life to all of life.

— Ralph Marston
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Your next step

In any undertaking, the first step is vitally important. Just as important, though, is the next step.

It’s great and exciting to make a strong start. Yet what really makes a difference is continuing the effort after the initial excitement fades.


Success is achieved not just by taking the first, impressive and exciting step. Success comes from taking the next step, and the next and the next, until the work is done.

Today is your opportunity, with each thing you’ve started, to take the next step. Today is when success is built.

The next step may not be as glamorous as the first step or the last. Yet it is precisely that next step that will take you from the hopeful beginning to the successful finish.

Honor your commitment by taking the next step. The path to success is here and now, so keep on going and make that success yours.

— Ralph Marston

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Depending on Luck Is for Suckers

The hardest working people tend to be the luckiest. They stay prepared and seek opportunities to capitalize off, in order to move forward. The concept of random luck, like lottery tickets, is reserved for the entitled and inactive (i.e. lazy    folks).

Random sh*t will always happen, that’s a given. The only way to remedy hard   luck is with hard work. The curve balls that life throws you are only going to be   an issue if you haven’t been practicing your swing.

I’m a huge proponent of the alchemy concept. That’s the idea that we can turn anything into a golden opportunity. One of the first things required is to be dramatically less judgmental. We  tend to evaluate things simplistically like, “Is  this what I wanted?” “No” = Bad, “Yes” = Good. This logic is   flawed.


All of us have experienced things we wanted and later regretted; and plenty of us have gone through what we thought was a horrible situation, only to realize it was a defining moment in our life.

Instead of jumping the gun, we should calm down, take  a  deep  breath  and examine our situations thoroughly. Opportunities exist everywhere; they’re not     in plain sight. If they were easy to  find,  there  wouldn’t  be  much  benefit  to finding them. Start digging and asking yourself, “How can I turn this sh*t to  sugar,” you’ll have to be creative, but the ideas that come from within  will astonish you.

There are a million stories of folks who took the momentum of some severe incident, and used it for their benefit. There is so much beauty that can only find its inspiration amongst the ugly of the world. It just requires an open mind that is willing to shed biases and allow itself to roam around seeing the problems from   all angles.

Stop looking at things simplistically; there is no good and bad, and luck is simply the blend of opportunity and preparation. Many of my counterparts have been afforded the same opportunities as me, but weren’t prepared, and that’s why they’re not in my spot (ask them though, and they’ll say I’m   lucky).

Figure out what you want, and prepare for it. Have  faith  in  your  power  of alchemy to turn every opportunity to  gold.

UnLearn – 101 Simple Truths for Better Life – Humble Poet
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There is considerable research pointing to the importance of self-esteem when dealing with difficult experiences. Recently, however, psychologist Mark Leary and his col- leagues have illustrated that especially in hard times, compassion toward the self is actually more beneficial than self-esteem. Leary explains: “Self-compassion helps people not to add a layer of self- recrimination on top of whatever bad things happen to them. If people learn only to feel better about themselves but continue to beat themselves up when they fail or make mistakes, they will be unable to cope non-defensively with their difficulties.”


Self-compassion includes being understanding and kind toward yourself, mindfully accepting painful thoughts and feelings, and recognizing that your difficult experiences are part of being human. It is also about being forgiving toward yourself when you perform poorly on an exam, make a mistake at work, or get upset when you shouldn’t have. Leary notes that “American society has spent a great deal of time and effort trying to promote people’s self-esteem when a far more important ingredient of well-being may be self-compassion.”

When the Dalai Lama and some of his followers began to work with Western scientists, they were surprised to find that self-esteem was an issue—that so many Westerners did not love themselves and that self-hate was pervasive. The discrepancy between self- love and love for others—between miserliness toward ourselves and generosity toward our neighbors—simply does not exist in Tibetan thought. In the words of the Dalai Lama, “Compassion, or tsewa, as it is understood in the Tibetan tradition, is a state of mind or way of being where you extend how you relate to yourself toward others as well.” When the Dalai Lama was then asked to clarify whether indeed the object of compassion may be the self, he responded: “Yourself first, and then in a more advanced way the aspiration will embrace others. In a way, high levels of compassion are nothing but an advanced state of that self-interest. That’s why it is hard for people who have a strong sense of self-hatred to have genuine compassion toward others. There is no anchor, no basis to start from.”

Even Happier – Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D
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Who Hold the Key to Your Happiness?

No one holds the key to your happiness but you.

I know it can seem sometimes that others have the ability to make us  feel  amazing, or dreadful, but even in those instances there are levels of permissions granted beforehand.


The world doesn’t get to determine what makes you smile. If everyone wants to line up for the new iPhone, but you want to run barefoot through the grass with your niece, you can.

We sometimes take the paths that seem to be the right path for us, simply because we see so many others doing the same. When we walk that journey and don’t feel the happiness that was advertised to us, we can find ourselves even faking it, or digging ourselves in even deeper.

The reality is if we’re not happy with what we have, we won’t be happy with what we get. The grass will always seem greener on the other side, because what we really see is a reflection of our envy.

Unhappiness exists when we forget the things we have to appreciate and focus on the things we don’t have, or focus on how our realities  don’t  match  our fantasies. Fantasies don’t end after a certain tax bracket, we’ll always want  more.

It takes effort to be happy, and to keep it up, but once you find that rhythm, you  can share it with others, and spread it like a germ.

UnLearn – 101 Simple Truths for Better Life – Humble Poet


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Keep Records

If your boss asks you to do something and you make a note of  it—in front of him—he will have a very hard job arguing later that you’ve done it wrong or late.

If you have to submit a report, then drop your boss a quick memo or note outlining the salient facts, very briefly, so there will be no confusion later. Keep a copy. Make sure your boss knows you have kept a copy.

This technique isn’t to cover your back because you are up to no good. Instead it clarifies all issues. If it’s in writing, it makes your job so much simpler, so much easier. Who can argue with a written memo? In fact, such things could be forged, written afterwards, changed, amended, and/or rewritten, but we all assume they aren’t, that they are tamper proof.

It is amazing how often the tiniest detail will cause a major upset—unless you got it in writing in the first place. Keeping records isn’t an anal thing to do, but a sensible precaution. None of us has perfect memory. We all forget things—dates, times, details. Once we have made a note of whatever it is, we can refer to it later. And often surprise ourselves with how badly we have remembered  something.


You will often read in management books the advice to throw away all memo or emails or faxes over a certain age—if you haven’t looked at it in six months then you don’t need it. Rubbish. You hang on to everything. Make more filing space rather than throw anything away, unless and until you are 100 percent certain it is not needed.

The Rules of Work – Richard Templar

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