Allow Others to Hold to Their Principles

Reyflection & Inspiration

While you have your own set of principles, recognize that everyone else has a set of principles that guide their decisions and actions, too. Recognize that their principles are, to them, every  bit as valid as yours are to you—even though they might be different from yours.

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You may be pro-life. Others might be pro-choice. You are both operating on a set of principles that are immediately and personally valuable to each of  you

Don’t disparage others for their principles. If you disagree, that’s okay. But respectfully acknowledge that others think differently than you do, and that their thoughts and their principles are also based on deeply held values and personal    convictions.

Recognize, too, that people with different sets of principles and values can still work, live, and play alongside each other quite effectively—if we simply acknowledge and respect others’ principles. Don’t let differing principles stand in the way of potential…

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Money and Happiness

Nobel Prize winner in economics Daniel Kahneman has, over  the past few years, turned his attention to studying happiness. In their research, Kahneman and his colleagues found little support for the connection between wealth and happiness.  According to one of their studies, the results of which were published in Science magazine,

The belief that high income is associated with good  mood is widespread but mostly illusory. People with  above-average income are relatively satisfied with their  lives but are barely happier than others in moment-to- moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not  spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities.  Moreover, the effect of income on life satisfaction seems  to be transient. We argue that people exaggerate the  contribution of income to happiness because they focus,  in part, on conventional achievements when evaluating  their life or the lives of others.

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Surprisingly, some people feel more depressed once they have  attained material prosperity than they did while striving for it.  The rat racer is sustained by the hope that his actions will yield  some future benefit, which makes his negative emotions more  bearable. However, once he reaches his destination and realizes  that material prosperity does not make him happy, there is nothing to sustain him. He is filled with a sense of despair and hopelessness because there is nothing else to look forward to, nothing  that would allow him to envision a future in which he would be  happy.

In making decisions and judgments, we also tend to focus on  the material rather than paying heed to the emotional because  those things that are quantifiable lend themselves more easily  to assessment and evaluation. We value the measurable—material wealth and prestige—over the immeasurable: emotions and  meaning.

Even Happier – Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D
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The Gift of Friends

SOME  DAY   WHEN  YOU  LOOK  BACK  ON  WHAT   HOPE  IS  A  SUCCESSFUL and satisfying life, you will count your wealth not so much in dollars but instead in    the quality, caliber, and number of your   friends.

The word “friend” is thrown about far too loosely in our society. We have a tendency to think of those people with whom we have shared good times as our friends. While many of these people are, indeed, friends in every sense of the word, the best way to judge a friendship is in times of difficulty. Think of those people you would call in the middle of the night if you were facing a dilemma. There are those very special friends that you know you could call at three in the morning with a problem, and they would be there with whatever you need, no questions asked. These are your friends.

It is simple to find people who will gather around you for a party or when times are good, but friendship should be measured by dependability in times of difficulty.

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I remember as a small child being taught a valuable lesson  about  being  careful around strangers. I remember being told, “If you’re ever lost or need     help, look for someone in uniform like a policeman or fireman.” Those un-sung heroes that we too often take for granted have been there and continue to be there when we need them.

Friends are not necessarily those with whom we can agree or those who will   be around us during the best of times. Friends are, instead, those who we respect, and who respect us in times of disagreement while knowing all along that they will  stand  beside  us  in  our  darkest  hour.  Let  us  all  make  it  a  point  today to recognize our true friends and treasure them as the gifts they are for a lifetime.

Wisdom for Winners – A Millionaire Mindset : Jim Stoval
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” There is no Better than Here”

When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply obtain a “there”
that will look better to you than your present “here.”

Many people believe that they will be happy once they arrive at some specific goal they set for themselves. For some the goal may be amassing a million dollars, for others losing those annoying ten-plus pounds, and for still others it is finding a soul- mate. It could be getting a better job, driving a nicer car, or pursuing a dream career. Whatever your “there” is, you may be convinced that once you arrive you will finally find the peace you have always dreamed of. You will finally become fulfilled, happy, generous, loving, and content.

However, more often than not, once you arrive “there” you will still feel dissatisfied, and move your “there” vision to yet another point in the future. By always chasing after another “there,” you are never really appreciating what you already have right “here.” Think of past situations in which you said, “I will be happy when …” and then ask yourself, “Was I really any happier when I actually arrived there?” Perhaps for a brief moment, but the same longing arises, and you must embark on yet another new quest.

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By continuously engaging a cycle of longing, you never actually allow yourself to be in the present. You end up living your life at some point just off in the future. You only have one moment—the one right here, right now. If you skip over “here” in your rush to get “there,” you deny yourself the full range of feelings and sensations that can only be experienced in the present moment.

The challenge is to live in the present. Spiritual teachers from the beginning of time have struggled with the question of how we can live in the present moment—a challenge that has become particularly difficult in the modern world in which we are constantly lured by visions of greater glory, beauty, fame, or fortune and bombarded by unattainable images of how we should strive to be.

It is important to recognize that being human means coming to terms with the age-old drive to look beyond the place where you now stand. On one hand, your life is enhanced by your dreams and aspirations. These are what drive you forward and keep your passions alive, not to mention enable society to evolve.

On the other hand, these drives can pull you farther and farther from your enjoyment of your life right now. In formal education and your job, as well as in your private life, goal setting is a necessary skill. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your circumstances. Your challenge is to focus on the present, and on what we have right now, while simultaneously holding the intention of your future goals.

The secret is to dance on the fine line between living in the here and now while holding in your heart your fondest dreams and aspirations for the future. By learning the lessons of gratitude, unattachment, abundance, and peace, you can bring yourself closer to fulfilling the challenge of living in the present.

IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D
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Be thankful for what you already have

You are searching for certain things to make your life better, but what do you already have that you should be grateful for? What in your life works or is good already?.

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By focusing on what you already have you will increase everything that is good in your life. And by incorporating gratitude into your everyday attitude you will find that the things you want come more easily. It is important to find perspective and begin to make your mind a place that is free from negativity.

When I’m having a tough day or I’ve been so busy I feel like I can’t get a break, I sit down and read my gratitude list, and 10 times out of 10 I feel fantastic by the time I’ve finished reading it!

Sit down, right now! And write a list of all the things you are grateful for and read it every day, the feeling that you generate from doing this will empower and inspire you.

 

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A Home Has No Boss

Love rules at home. No matter who you are or how important your job, home is not run like a business or profession. When either person enters their home, each should do whatever possible to make their partner happy.

The early American novelist Louisa May Alcott wrote that “women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn’t worth ruling.” Home should not be a domestic trap where one partner runs the show and barks orders to the other. I know several women who are afraid of their significant other because the men are demanding perfectionists with impossibly high standards, enforced at the other’s expense. Most of us don’t appreciate being bossed around; we want to be loved and adored.

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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were deeply in love; a journal entry from February 11, 1840, is an intimate glimpse into this happiness: “Really, I do not think it possible for anyone in the world to be hap- pier, or as happy as I am. He is an angel, and his kindness and affection for me is really touching . . . What I can do to make him happy will be my greatest delight.” Through the exchange of kindness and love, the desire to serve is nurtured.

Life runs more smoothly, more gently, and more happily when you forgo the boss role at home.  Love is always humble, generous-spirited, and thoughtful. When we’re nurturing our home life, we’re boosting happiness for ourselves as well as for our soul mate. There should be no hierarchy at home.

Happiness for Two –  Alexandra Stoddard
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Faith

“Faith is a gift of the spirit that allows the soul to remain attached to its own unfolding.”  – Thomas Moore

Have faith in yourself that you will remember your truth and the knowledge stored deep within your soul. There may be moments in which you cannot see your way clear to your truth—moments of darkness and uncertainty. Life can be difficult, and there may be times when you cannot make sense out of it or stay afloat. These are the moments that require faith.

Faith is the lone candle in the darkness when you feel jettisoned out into space, and the invisible net that lies beneath you when you feel as though you may stumble. It is what carries you through those patches of temporary amnesia. Faith is simply believing, without any tangible proof, that although the truth may seem eclipsed at times, it does not disappear forever. It simply lies dormant inside you until you reconnect with your innate wisdom.

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Faith is what carried Maya, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of two, through the painful months after her divorce, when she could not recall how it felt to experience joy. It is what kept Sam, a wealthy entrepreneur, afloat after his factory—and entire life’s investments— burned to the ground in an electrical fire. Faith sustained my friend Ellen during her period of fear and uncertainty when she relocated to Paris, thousands of miles away from her familiar home. All of these people relied on faith as a means of remembering their capability to experience wholeness during those times when wholeness seemed lost to them. It was faith that helped them recall the wisdom stored in their souls.

There are many ways to restore your faith during the dark moments, when the light appears too dim to see and the truth seems too hazy to recall. By surrounding yourself with people who know your personal truth and who are familiar with your authentic self, you can keep yourself rooted to your truth. You can touch base with these people and ask them to remind you of the truth in your moments of temporary amnesia. Thea Alexander refers to these people as “personal evolution tutors.” These tutors can provide you with the sparks of recognition you need at those times when your faith is weak.

My personal evolution tutor is my sister and soulmate Lynn, who keeps me on track. When I was in graduate school years ago, I nearly gave up many times because of all the pressure and endless work. In my darkest moments, when I could not recognize why I was doing this to myself, Lynn reminded me how much I really did want to complete that degree. My temporary amnesia almost allowed me to abort the learning process and to sabotage a dream I had formulated when I was in my right and truthful mind. Lynn, as my personal evolution tutor, reconnected me with my choice by acting as the link to my inner truth.

Another way to keep your faith alive is through touchstones. In your enlightened moments, collect things that connect you to your source. They can be symbols, or objects, or bits of writing or quotes, or anything that brings you back to the place within you that is connected to the universal spirit. In your moments of forgetting, surround yourself with them to remind you of who you are and what you are capable of.

Faith can also be reignited by engaging in any activity that centers you. For some it is prayer, for others breathing, reading, meditating, jogging, drawing, or playing with the dog. These activities can act as mechanisms to pluck you out of your amnesia. What gives you spiritual energy? What acts as your life preserver? What is the motion that will pull you up when you are sinking? Spend some time while you are awake and conscious figuring out what life preserver you can hold on to to keep you above whatever threatens to drag you down.

These are only a few suggestions. You alone know what will help you remember and reconnect with your essence. Find it and treasure it close to your heart to draw upon in those moments when you stray too far from your truth.

IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D

 

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