A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Gratitude is a Force

By William Baldwin

Showing gratitude is basic, down-to-earth, good manners. Saying "thank you" after someone has served you in some way should be as natural as taking a breath. Like the tip you leave a waitress at the restaurant, it's just the right thing to do. When a child offers a timely "thank you" to an adult, it turns heads. No matter how young, the polite tyke transcends age and wisdom, and gains respect with their elders. For a moment the child is an equal. It's an astounding thought when you realize that this happens in response to a simple, two-word phrase "thank you."

Here's the issue at hand. A spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving transcends polite manners. It's more than genteel formality. Gratitude releases energy, power, even an authority that positions you to be better than you were before it was given. As the title suggests, gratitude is a force!

The word thanks and thanksgiving are used 120 times in the Bible. Further, it's a common thread we read in the Psalms. "I will give You thanks in the assembly; Enter His gates with thanksgiving; It is good to give thanks to the Lord." As King David established Israel's government it says he designated certain men, morning and evening "to give thanks to the Lord."

This principle was of such importance that David hired people to sing their gratitude to God all day long. The legendary king was not just being polite. This spirit of thanksgiving was rooted in his soul.

David was a grateful man. It was no coincidence that the sweet singer of Israel was also a successful military strategist. David's grateful spirit made him sweet-but it also made him a force to be reckoned with throughout the ancient world.

America became a similar power using the same principle. In 1621 our pilgrim forefathers paused amidst the turmoil of settling this new land. It was said that there were more graves to bury their dead than huts to house their living. They left England to pioneer a land of freedom but in the beginning, freedom eluded them and disease plagued them. Death was their companion.

In the midst of their trouble after gathering in a scant harvest, they paused and gave thanks. Thanksgiving we call it. It was a harvest season tradition they brought with them from Europe. Here it moved beyond mere formality-more than sheer ritual. This was a sacrifice they chose to give despite their hardship.

As far as I know America is the only nation that proclaims a day of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Is it any wonder that America, like David and ancient Israel, continues to be a force to be reckoned with?

Likewise, a grateful heart becomes equally powerful when we offer thanks. This sacred act becomes especially potent when offered in the midst of life's contrary circumstances. Furthermore, I am convinced that thanksgiving embodies a spiritual law that God established in creation. As surely as the law of gravity draws us to the ground, the law of thanksgiving attracts better situations into our life as we give thanks for our present blessings.

Indeed, favor rests upon those who live in the spirit of thanksgiving. The Bible records how ten lepers came to Jesus asking for mercy. Scripture says, "they were cleansed," of the disease. All ten went their way but one returned to say "thank you." To him, the Lord said, "Your faith has made you whole." I'm not sure the difference between "cleansed" and "whole," but I have the feeling that "whole" is better. A simple "thank you" opened the way for greater blessing. Grateful people get favor. It follows the law of thanksgiving.

Likewise, two good men, Paul and Silas, were imprisoned in a first century prison for sharing their good news. In a dark, rat infested cellar these offenders decided to sing praises to God. One Bible translation says they "gave thanks." As they did the law of thanksgiving was enacted and the prison doors forced open! Rather than run, Paul and Silas stayed put and shared their story with their jailers.

Such is the spirit of grateful people. What prison are you in today? Is it an emotional prison? A financial prison? Are you locked up with guilt, worry, discouragement, or disappointment? Are you imprisoned with a habit you cannot break free from?

I know at least part of the remedy. Begin everyday giving thanks for the good things in your life. Forget about the bad and concentrate on the blessings. As a song says, "Count your blessings." Write them down if you have to. Over time, a force will be released through the gratitude you offer.

And in case you do not think you have anything to be grateful for, what about the last breath you just breathed, and that one, and that one? That deserves a "thank you," don't you think? Start with that and you're on your way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And "thank you" for reading.

William Baldwin submitted this story of gratitude and thanksgiving. You can contact him at billbaldwin@ctc.net

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Think About....

"Calm self-confidence is as far from conceit as the desire to earn a decent living is remote from greed."

 ~ Channing Pollock

Sunday, November 25, 2012

8 Tremendously Important Ways That Gratitude Can Change Your Life

By Leo Babauta

It's amazing how one simple, easy, positive action can change so much in a person's life.

One of the things that has had the biggest effect on my life is the realization of the power of gratitude. Simply giving thanks.

It has affected everything. It has made me a more positive person. A more productive person. A better achiever. A better husband and father and son and brother (at least, I like to think so). A happier person. I'm not perfect, but gratitude has made me better.

Can it change your life as well? I can guarantee it. You might not get the exact same benefits as I have, but there's no doubt in my mind that the simple act of gratitude on a regular basis will change anyone's life, positively and immediately. How many other changes can claim to be that quick, that easy, and that profound?

Let's take a look at some of the ways you can incorporate gratitude into your life, and how it will change your life. These are just some examples, based on my experience and the experiences of others I've talked with, and not all will apply to your life. But pick and choose the ones you think will work for you.

1. Have a morning gratitude session. Take one minute in the morning (make it a daily ritual) to think of the people who have done something nice for you, to think of all the things in your life you're grateful for. You won't get to everything in one minute, but it's enough. And it will instantly make your day better, and help you start your day off right. Can you think of a better use of one minute?

2. When you're having a hard day ... make a gratitude list. We all have those bad days sometimes. We are stressed out from work. We get yelled at by someone. We lose a loved one. We hurt a loved one. We lose a contract or do poorly on a project. One of the things that can make a bad day much better is making a list of all the things you're thankful for. There are always things to be thankful for -- loved ones, health, having a job, having a roof over your head and clothes on your back, life itself.

3. Instead of getting mad at someone, show gratitude. That's a major switching of attitudes -- actually a complete flip. And so this isn't always easy to do. But I can promise you that it's a great thing to do. If you get mad at your co-worker, for example, because of something he or she did ... bite your tongue and don't react in anger. Instead, take some deep breaths, calm down, and try to think of reasons you're grateful for that person. Has that person done anything nice for you? Has that person ever done a good job? Find something, anything, even if it's difficult. Focus on those things that make you grateful. It will slowly change your mood. And if you get in a good enough mood, show your gratitude to that person. It will improve your mood, your relationship, and help make things better. After showing gratitude, you can ask for a favor -- can he please refrain from shredding your important documents in the future? And in the context of your gratitude, such a favor isn't such a hard thing for the co-worker to grant. 

4. Instead of criticizing your significant other, show gratitude. This is basically the same as the above tactic, but I wanted to point out how gratitude can transform a marriage or relationship. If you constantly criticize your spouse, your marriage will slowly deteriorate -- I promise you. It's important to be able to talk out problems, but no one likes to be criticized all the time. Instead, when you find yourself feeling the urge to criticize, stop and take a deep breath. Calm down, and think about all the reasons you're grateful for your spouse. Then share that gratitude, as soon as possible. Your relationship will become stronger. Your spouse will learn from your example -- especially if you do this all the time. Your love will grow, and all will be right in the world.

5. Instead of complaining about your kids, be grateful for them. Many parents (myself included) get frustrated with their children. They are too slow to do things, they have a bad attitude, they can't clean up after themselves, and they pick their nose too much. Unfortunately, sometimes parents will communicate that frustration to their children too often, and the kids will begin to feel bad about themselves. Many parents have done this, and while it's not perfect, it's a part of parenthood. But there's a better way: follow the method above of calming down when you're frustrated, and thinking of reasons you're grateful to your child. Share these reasons with your child. And then take the opportunity to teach them, instead of criticizing them.

6. When you face a major challenge, be grateful for it. Many people will see something difficult as a bad thing. If something goes wrong, it's a reason to complain, it's a time of self-pity. That won't get you anywhere. Instead, learn to be grateful for the challenge -- it's an opportunity to grow, to learn, to get better at something. This will transform you from a complainer into a positive person who only continues to improve. People will like you better and you'll improve your career. Not too shabby.

7. When you suffer a tragedy, be grateful for the life you still have. I've recently lost an aunt, and my children recently lost a grandmother. These tragedies can be crippling if you let them overcome you. And while I'm not saying you shouldn't grieve -- of course you should -- you can also take away something even greater from these tragedies: gratitude for the life you still have. Appreciation for the fleeting beauty of life itself. Love for the people who are still in your life. Take this opportunity to show appreciation to these people, and to enjoy life while you can.

8. Instead of looking at what you don't have, look at what you do have. Have you ever looked around you and bemoaned how little you have? How the place you live isn't your dream house, or the car you drive isn't as nice as you'd like, or your peers have cooler gadgets or better jobs? If so, that's an opportunity to be grateful for what you already have. It's easy to forget that there are billions of people worse off than you -- who don't have much in the way of shelter or clothes, who don't own a car and never will, who don't own a gadget or even know what one is, who don't have a job at all or only have very menial, miserable jobs in sweatshop conditions. Compare your life to these people's lives, and be grateful for the life you have. And realize that it's already more than enough, that happiness is not a destination -- it's already here.

[Leo Babauta is the owner of ZenHabits.net, a website devoted to providing clear and concise wisdom on how to simplify your life. He's also the author of, The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential, in Business and in Life.]

Friday, November 23, 2012


By Fran Briggs

In India, elephants are used for manual labor. When an elephant is small and weighs approximately 200 pounds, it is securely tied with a heavy-duty rope. In between 'jobs' the elephant tries to break through its limitation. The calf whines, tugs, and even tries to chew through the rope-but it is unable to break free.

Finally, the elephant gives up its will and accepts his circumstances. The elephant believes there is absolutely no chance to free himself and overcome his limitation. In doing so, he misses out on his defining moment.

A defining moment is the exact moment one adopts or accepts a new belief that drastically transforms their life. They accept this new belief as a new truth, regardless if it is true or not. Because the brain accepts repetition of thought and deduction as 'the truth,' the rope reigns sovereign not only in the calf's immediate environment, but in his mind as well.

With this belief deeply embedded in the elephant's mind, his handler came up with an ingenious idea to permanently disempower him. He realized all that was needed was to tie the four-ton animal up with extremely small ropes and he would remain tied. You see in the elephant's mind, any size rope would keep him securely confined.

Don't act like an elephant. Size up and break through the confining ropes in your mind. When you're faced with change, change your perspective. When you're overwhelmed with something new; change your view. Use affirmations, to eradicate limitations and nothing will be impossible for you!

Fran Briggs is the founder of the F. Briggs Group, Personal Growth Facilitators. She is the author of several books and over 300 articles including, "Set Yourself Up for Success!" Ms. Briggs is a "motivational speaker of the inspirational kind." She speaks to audiences of children and adults of all ages and backgrounds, with the aim of inspiring them to their respective levels of greatness. Fran can be contacted atFranBriggs@aol.com  and www.getsponsors.8k.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Think About....

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".

~Mary Anne Radmacher 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Think About....

Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.


Friday, November 16, 2012


By Dr. Brad Swift

You know something that I most enjoy and appreciate about knowing and living true to my life purpose? It's the ability to be inspired into action.

This morning I awoke around 6:30 and lay in bed for a while listening to the singing of the birds outside my window. As I lay there, I noticed I felt odd - a filling leftover from a strange dream I'd had while sleeping. As I became more conscious of the sensation, I decided I didn't want to start my day in such a strange mood, so I continue to lie there but shifted my thoughts from the remnants of the dream to my life purpose.

As I recited my life purpose statement to myself, I began to notice mymood shifting as well. How could I be purposefully, passionately and playfully of service today?, I asked myself, then recalled what I had on mycalendar -- the wonderful clients I'm honored to coach, the Purpose Projects that I'm working on with the Coaches Community, the new Coaches Development Program that is targeted to start next week. Within a few minutes, I found I just couldn't stay in bed any longer. The opportunity to live on purpose was simply too compelling.

Once more I was inspired into action by my life and life purpose. Now, this isn't meant to sound like bragging, so please don't hear it that way. I just wanted to share it with you in case you don't find yourself pulled into your life by your dreams, goals and desires. I know it wasn't so many years ago that the main thing that had me get out of bed most mornings was the need to go pee. There just wasn't anything else going on with my life that was all that inspiring or compelling. But not anymore.

Living a life on purpose is amazing, and it all starts with readiness, willingness, and yes, a commitment to clarify your life purpose so that you can begin to live true to it. So, I ask you: What action could you take this week to become clearer about your life purpose? How will you inspire yourself into action?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Brad Swift is one of the foremost experts on the subject of personal life purpose, having founded the Life On Purpose Institute in 1996. An avid student of the human development movement and New Thought, he specializes in life purpose coaching with individuals and groups. He is the author of: · Coaching to Win: Building Your Business by Building Your Team · Life On Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life -- an award winning finalist in the Self-Help: Motivational division of the Best Books 2007 Awards sponsored by USA News. Check out his website www.lifeonpurpose.com  or contact him coachbrad@lifeonpurpose.com

Friday, November 9, 2012


By Jared Yellin

This past Sunday my family and I went on our annual hiking trip to the Mohonk Mountain Preserve. For those of you who are not familiar with this hike, it is an extremely difficult climb on a treacherous terrain of sharp rocks, small caves, and the ever-so famous "Lemon Squeeze," where you must contort your body in order to squeeze through narrow openings towards the daylight.

Once we arrived at the beginning of the trail, we began to determine who was going to take on this "beast of a climb" and who was going to relax by the lake. There were five risk takers who decided that they would conquer the "Lemon Squeeze," one of which is my cousin, Danny. Danny was inflicted with a stroke upon birth and has a deficit of strength and coordination of one side of his body. Many of the family members, who have experienced the wrath of the Lemon Squeeze on prior occasions, tried their best to coax Danny not to partake in the festivities in fear that he would either get severely injured or simply fail, but Danny would not stand for these recommendations and was determined to participate.

As we began, I made sure to situate myself behind Danny, just in case he had any problems, but I have to admit that I was petrified. This is a difficult climb for someone who is in incredible physical shape, let alone someone who has deficits with half of their body. From the onset of this voyage, Danny was struggling, he fell, he was in pain, but he did not give up. I looked into his eyes and I saw FEAR, but even more importantly, I saw COURAGE. There was a point that he literally fell off a rock and knocked me down with him, but he refused to quit and was determined to finish the climb.

To make a long story short, Danny made it. He finished the Lemon Squeeze, and for the first time in his life did not allow his disability from preventing him to partake in an activity. Was he afraid? Of course he was. He was probably terrified, but his drive for success, his determination to prevail, and his desire for accomplishment allowed him to reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
Now Danny's conquest may have inspired some, or potentially brought a tear to your eye, or may seem to have nothing to do with your current situation, but regardless of the way that you interpreted this story, the message is timely, especially with what we are experiencing as a nation.

I am sick and tired of hearing the line, "It is a bad economy out there, I am so afraid." What is this supposed to mean? I wish that I were as powerful as all of these news stations because they have accomplished their goal by utilizing the power of words to escalate people's fears. What they have done is brainwashed America to be "more careful," when in actuality they have taught us to be more AFRAID. We are scared that we will have to foreclose on our homes; scared that our financial portfolios will go to zero; scared to lose our jobs in fear that we will not have health benefits and a consistent pay check; and scared of a recession or maybe even a depression.

We are living every single moment SCARED about the next step, which has not even taken place and even more FRIGHTENED of the one that will follow. This approach has the capacity to lead our nation into complacency, where people are willing to simply weather the storm and try to "survive." But if Danny were to simply try to "survive" when climbing the Lemon Squeeze, he might have gotten hurt because he would not have had the right attitude to actually succeed. 

This goes for all of you as well, if you are living a life where you can not go to sleep at night or wake up in the morning because of the "economy" then you are going to miss out on the opportunity that I call LIFE. Was Danny careful on this journey? Of course, as should all of you because this is a precarious time in American history, but Danny did not allow this "careful mentality" to prevent him from doing what he intended to do at Mohonk.

I would like to challenge each and every one of you to control your fears. The current situation is unfortunate, but it is NOT LIFE THREATENING, unless you allow it to be. If there is something critical or pertinent to deal with in your life, whether it is a business opportunity, or change in your job, relationships, or living situation, then stop being complacent and do something about it. For Danny, he was sick and tired of being "left out," and instead of allowing his disability and fear to prevent him from achieving his goal, he CONTROLLED his emotions and climbed Mount Mohonk. This past weekend was a pivotal moment in Danny's life, and I encourage all of us to learn from his determination and use our current "circumstances," as a stepping-stone to take action rather than be defeated by our fears.

The famous author Erica Jong says it best, "I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me." So the time is here and the time is now to STOP BEING AFRAID, stop be immobilized by your fears, and join Danny on his quest through the Lemon Squeeze of life. I believe in all of you.

ABOUT THE AUTHORJared Yellin is a motivational speaker, writer, and the founder of Brandentity, which focuses on creating a BRAND + IDENTITY for each individual who participates in one of his programs. Jared is on a quest to start an Identity Revolution, which will enable people to reach their full potential in all aspects of their life and to help you realize what makes you . YOU! Jared can be reached via email jy@mybrandentity.com  or visit his website http://www.jaredyellin.com

Friday, November 2, 2012


One cold evening late in December, a group of alumni who were well established in their careers, got together to visit their old professor. After arriving at his residence, each began to boast of their individual successes, and before long old rivalries began to surface. Their only common thread seemed to be bitter complaints about the stresses each of them experienced in their workplaces and in their daily lives.

The professor listened quietly, then offered his guests a cup of hot chocolate. He went to the kitchen and returned with a large container and an assortment of cups, porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal; some plain looking, some expensive, some quite exquisite, telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When all of his former students had a cup of the chocolate in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were quickly taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the hot chocolate. In most cases the cup is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was the warm drink, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best, most attractive cup...and then you began eyeing and envying one another's cups."

"Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate, the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the warm drink God has provided us. GOD MAKES THE DRINK, NOT THE CUPS.

Enjoy your hot chocolate! And remember: The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."