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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thought for the day....

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

—Brian Tracy

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quote for the day....

The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek.

~Celestine Chua

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thought for the day.....

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it. I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.

~Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quote for today....

My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don’t get right.

~T.H. Huxley

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quote for today...

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

~John Quincy Adams

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quote for the day ....

The proverb warns that “You should not bite the hand that feeds you.”  But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.

~Thomas Szasz

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Surprising Origins and Meaning of the “Pursuit of Happiness”

by Carol V. Hamilton

Originally published 1-27-08

Ms. Hamilton has a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley.

“The pursuit of happiness” is the most famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence. Conventional history and popular wisdom attribute the phrase to the genius of Thomas Jefferson when in an imaginative leap, he replaced the third term of John Locke’s trinity, “life, liberty, and property.” It was a felicitous, even thrilling, substitution. Yet the true history and philosophical meaning of the famous phrase are apparently unknown.

In an article entitled “The Pursuit of Happiness,” posted at the Huffington Post July 4, 2007, Daniel Brook summed up what most of us learned in school: “The eighteenth-century British political philosopher John Locke wrote that governments are instituted to secure people's rights to ‘life, liberty, and property.’ And in 1776, Thomas Jefferson begged to differ. When he penned the Declaration of Independence, ratified on the Fourth of July, he edited out Locke's right to ‘property’ and substituted his own more broad-minded, distinctly American concept: the right to ‘the pursuit of happiness.’ "

Familiar as all this sounds, Brook is wrong on three points. John Locke lived from 1634 to 1704, making him a man of the seventeenth century, not the eighteenth. Jefferson did not substitute his “own” phrase. Nor is that concept “distinctly American.” It is an import, and Jefferson borrowed it.

The phrase has meant different things to different people. To Europeans it has suggested the core claim—or delusion—of American exceptionalism. To cross-racial or gay couples bringing lawsuits in court, it has meant, or included, the right to marry. And sadly, for many Americans, Jefferson might just as well have left “property” in place. To them the pursuit of happiness means no more than the pursuit of wealth and status as embodied in a McMansion, a Lexus, and membership in a country club. Even more sadly, Jefferson’s own “property” included about two hundred human beings whom he did not permit to pursue their own happiness.

The “pursuit of happiness” has led its own life in popular culture. It provided the title for a 1933-34 Broadway comedy written by Lawrence Langner and Armina Marshall. That comedy became a musical of the same title in the 1940s. In the 1980s it was the name of a Canadian rock group whose first big hit was the single, “I’m an Adult Now.” In 1993 the phrase served as the title of a self-help book whose subtitle was “Discovering the Pathway to Fulfillment, Well-Being, and Enduring Personal Joy.” The phrase, coyly misspelled, was appropriated for the title of a 2006 Will Smith movie about upward mobility, the acquisition of wealth, and the triumph of talent over adversity. Blogging on the subject on November 8, 2007, Arianna Huffington lamented contemporary greed, our happy hours and Happy Meals, but concluded, “but the American idea, embedded deep in our cultural DNA, is inspiring us to pursue a much less shallow happiness.” Most recently, in his new book Kids are Americans Too, Bill O‘Reilly erroneously wrote, “the Constitution guarantees us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” He was corrected by an American kid, Courtney Yong of San Francisco, a city O’Reilly often castigates.

If Thomas Jefferson did not coin the phrase, who did? Wikipedia (drawing on, I think, an old edition of the Encylopedia Britannica) attributes its coinage to Dr. Samuel Johnson in his long fable Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, published in 1759. Rasselas is an Abyssinian prince who lives in the Happy Valley, a paradise in every respect imaginable. But the Prince is discontented. Accompanied by his sister Nekayah and a wise, well-traveled poet, he escapes from his utopia and travels around the known world. They visit the Great Pyramid, where a dear friend of Nekayah is kidnapped by Arabs. Wounded by this loss, the Princess laments: “what is to be expected from our pursuit of happiness when we find the state of life to be such, that happiness itself is the cause of misery?”

In 1770 Dr. Johnson used the phrase again in a political essay entitled “The False Alarm.” He began by observing that the “improvement and diffusion of philosophy” among his contemporaries had led to a diminution of “false alarms” about events such as solar eclipses, which once aroused terror in the populace. He predicted that advances in “political knowledge” and the “theory of man” will further erode “causeless discontent and seditious violence.” But while humans are neutral about scientific discoveries, they will never be neutral about politics. “The politician’s improvements,” he observed, in a statement that still resonates today, “are opposed by every passion that can exclude conviction or suppress it; by ambition, by avarice, by hope, and by terror, by public faction, and private animosity.”

What Dr. Johnson called “civil wisdom” was, he wrote, lacking in the English public. Therefore, in another resonant passage, he declared: “We are still so much unacquainted with our own state, and so unskillful in the pursuit of happiness, that we shudder without danger, complain without grievances, and suffer our quiet to be disturbed, and our commerce to be interrupted, by an opposition to the government, raised only by interest, and supported only by clamor, which yet has so far prevailed upon ignorance and timidity, that many favor it, as reasonable, and many dread it, as powerful.”

It seems unlikely that Jefferson plucked “the pursuit of happiness” from the prose of a Tory like Dr. Johnson. Jefferson’s intellectual heroes were Newton, Bacon, and Locke, and it was actually in Locke that he must have found the phrase. It appears not in the Two Treatises on Government but in the 1690 essay Concerning Human Understanding. There, in a long and thorny passage, Locke wrote:

The necessity of pursuing happiness [is] the foundation of liberty. As therefore the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness; so the care of ourselves, that we mistake not imaginary for real happiness, is the necessary foundation of our liberty. The stronger ties we have to an unalterable pursuit of happiness in general, which is our greatest good, and which, as such, our desires always follow, the more are we free from any necessary determination of our will to any particular action, and from a necessary compliance with our desire, set upon any particular, and then appearing preferable good, till we have duly examined whether it has a tendency to, or be inconsistent with, our real happiness: and therefore, till we are as much informed upon this inquiry as the weight of the matter, and the nature of the case demands, we are, by the necessity of preferring and pursuing true happiness as our greatest good, obliged to suspend the satisfaction of our desires in particular cases.

Just the ideas that inspired our intellectual Founders were primarily European imports, so that defining American phrase, “the pursuit of happiness,” is not native to our shores. Furthermore, as the quotation from Locke demonstrates, “the pursuit of happiness” is a complicated concept. It is not merely sensual or hedonistic, but engages the intellect, requiring the careful discrimination of imaginary happiness from “true and solid” happiness. It is the “foundation of liberty” because it frees us from enslavement to particular desires.

The Greek word for “happiness” is eudaimonia. In the passage above, Locke is invoking Greek and Roman ethics in which eudaimonia is linked to aretĂȘ, the Greek word for “virtue” or “excellence.” In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle wrote, “the happy man lives well and does well; for we have practically defined happiness as a sort of good life and good action.” Happiness is not, he argued, equivalent to wealth, honor, or pleasure. It is an end in itself, not the means to an end. The philosophical lineage of happiness can be traced from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle through the Stoics, Skeptics, and Epicureans.

Jefferson admired Epicurus and owned eight copies of De rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) by Lucretius, a Roman disciple of Epicurus. In a letter Jefferson wrote to William Short on October 13, 1819, he declared, “I too am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us.” At the end of the letter, Jefferson made a summary of the key points of Epicurean doctrine, including:

Moral.—Happiness the aim of life.
Virtue the foundation of happiness.
Utility the test of virtue.

Properly understood, therefore, when John Locke, Samuel Johnson, and Thomas Jefferson wrote of “the pursuit of happiness,” they were invoking the Greek and Roman philosophical tradition in which happiness is bound up with the civic virtues of courage, moderation, and justice. Because they are civic virtues, not just personal attributes, they implicate the social aspect of eudaimonia. The pursuit of happiness, therefore, is not merely a matter of achieving individual pleasure. That is why Alexander Hamilton and other founders referred to “social happiness.” During this political season, as Americans are scrutinizing presidential candidates, we would do well to ponder that.

Copyright Carol V. Hamilton - See more at: http://hnn.us/article/46460#sthash.DRVoB8QT.dpuf

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quote for the day....

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

~ Maureen Dowd

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thought for today....

You will find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.

~Lydia M. Child

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You Have Wealth Under Your Nose

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don't have.

"Bo, this girl in my office is real looker,” the guy told me. "She's so different from my wife. It's not just the fact that she looks like Anne Curtis. I'm head over heels for her because she's also understanding, intelligent, tender—so many things that my wife is not.”


Guys, trust me on this. Somewhere along the way, you'll find a woman who will be more charming. More alluring. More thoughtful. A better cook. Greater sex appeal. A more efficient housekeeper. Richer. And you will find a woman who will need you and pursue you and go loka over you more than your wife ever did.

Because no wife is perfect.

Because a wife will only have 90% of what you're looking for.

So adultery takes place when a husband looks for the missing 10%.

Let's say your wife is melancholic by nature. You may find yourself drawn to the pretty clerk who has a cheery laugh no matter what she says: "I broke my arm yesterday, Hahahaha…”
Or because your wife is a homebody in slippers and pajamas, smelling of garlic and fish oil, you may fall for a freshly smelling young sales representative that visits your office in a sharp black blazer, high heels, and a red pencil-cut skirt. 

Or because your wife is the quiet-type (a rare find), your heart may skip a beat when you meet an old college flame who has the makings of a talk show host like Oprah.

But wait! That's only 10% of what you don't have.

Don't throw away the 90% that you already have!

That's not all. Add to your wife's 90% is the 1000% that represents all the years that you've been with each other. The storms you've weathered together. The unforgettable moments of sadness and joy as a couple. The many adjustments you've made to love the other. The wealth of memories that you've accumulated as lovers.

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don't have. But faithfulness happens when you start thanking God for what you already have.

But I'm not just talking about marriage.

I'm talking about life!

About your jobs. About your friends. About your children. About your prayer groups. About your lifestyles.

Are you like the economy airline passenger that perennially peeks through the door of the first class cabin, obsessed with what he's missing? "They've got more leg-room! Oh my, their food is served in porcelain! Wow, their seats recline at an 80° angle and they've got personal videos!” I guarantee you'll be miserable for the entire trip!

Don't live your life like that.

Forget about what the world says is first class. (Do you know that there are many first class passengers who are miserable in first class—because they're not riding in a private Lear Jet?)
My main message: If you start thanking God for what you have right now, wherever you are is first class! 

You have wealth under your nose. Thank Him.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

Sunday, June 15, 2014


By Catherine Terry Ashton

One of my earliest childhood memories was that of waiting outside our house for my Dad to come home from work in the evening. We had a long gravel driveway leading to the side of our house and on that same side yard stood a big tree. The tree had some low limbs that we could climb even when we were young - 4 or 5 years old.

My brother, Bob, and I would wait for our Dad by climbing up and sitting in a branch of that tree until we could see Dad's car start to pull into our driveway and hear the sound of the gravel beneath the wheels. When that time came, we would jump down from our tree branch as fast as we could and run over to Dad's car. We couldn't wait for him to get out of his car!

I still remember the excitement I felt each night anticipating Dad pulling into our driveway, then getting out of the car and giving us, first, his big signature grin and then, quickly after, scooping us up in his arms for the coming home hug. I was so, so happy to get that hug from Dad, I think I probably would have camped out forever - or at least since breakfast time - to receive that warm, loving hug!

When he gave that hug, I could feel how much he loved us in his strong yet gentle, confident and secure embrace. I am so grateful to my Dad for this wonderful memory of his coming home from work. He had several familiar games and rituals he would always play with Bob and me that magically said, "I love you," "You are special to me," "You are my joy," and "Now this is our time together."

When Dad became ill just a few years after that and couldn't communicate his love for us in words or even hugs any longer, I still had those memories of his "coming home from work to be with us" scenes to draw upon for confidence and the continued assurance of his love.

It has now been nearly twenty-five years since my Dad has passed away, yet the memories of him from my early childhood continue to be a marvelous source of inspiration to me. I remember the great times we had together when I was young; his vibrant smile, the silliness of his jokes, and the playful humor of his rituals.

But of all the fond memories Bob and I have of our time with Dad, the "waiting for him to come home for the evening hug" is to me, the best one of all. And when I think of my Dad coming home, I can still remember the beaming grin he would give us, his long arms smoothly stretching out to hold us, and the feel of his tender hug as he lifted us up off the ground.

Each time I think of it, it's as if my Dad was here with me once more, and I can feel his love inside of me all over again.

Thank you, Dad. I love you!

Catherine Terry Ashton is a small business owner and teacher. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys spending time with family and friends, learning with kids of all ages, and exploring outdoors. She believes that love, play, and a sense of wonder are what we need most, all the way through life.  She can be reached at cltashton at gmail.com

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Five Lessons for Fathers

Excerpted and adapted from “Be a Man!” by Fr. Larry Richards.

1. Husbands are called to love God primarily through their wives. Your wife is the sacrament of Christ to you. You are the sacrament of Christ to your wife. Do at least one unselfish act for your wife every day. Surprise her. When was the last time you treated her the same way you did when you were still trying to get her to marry you?

2. Communicate your love. Make the decision to never let your wife or your kids go to bed or walk out the door without telling them first that you love them—life is just too short! It will change your family. It will change the world. You will never in your life regret that you told your wife and your kids and the people you love that you love them—never. You won't be lying on your deathbed one day saying, "I can't believe that I daily told my loved ones that I loved them. What is the matter with me?”

3. Some people think that the best father you can be is a strong disciplinarian. Absolutely, I agree. But just as much as you discipline your children, you must also build them up. You are the sacrament of Fatherhood to your children just like St. Joseph was the sacrament of Fatherhood to Jesus. Just as God used St. Joseph to form Jesus Christ in His humanity, so too does He want to use you to form your children.

4. You lead by example. You must be a man of prayer. For it is only as a son who listens to his heavenly Father that you can bring the will of the Father to your family. If we are not holy ourselves, then our families will not be holy. It is that simple. God is going to speak to men, women, and children, but He is speaking especially to men to help us be His very image.

5. Many men have let their wives be the spiritual leaders of their families, but this is not the way God created it to be. Now this does not mean that you are the master of your wife and family; it means, like Jesus Christ, you are the servant leader of your family. You need to be the spiritual leader by being a man of sacrifice. You exist to give your life away for others, like Jesus did. That means you give your life for your family first and foremost.

BE A MAN by Fr. Larry Richards is available in softcover, e-book, and audio download: http://goo.gl/MoyjR

Friday, June 13, 2014

Think about....

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.

~William Feather

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ten Choices You Will Regret In 10 Years


“If only…” These two words paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.
Here are ten choices that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, and how to elude them:

1. Wearing a mask to impress others. – If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it. Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you. You don’t have to be perfect to impress and inspire people. Let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.

2. Letting someone else create your dreams for you. – The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find. A big part of this is your decision to stay true toyour own goals and dreams. Do you have people who disagree with you? Good. It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path. Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing. Read The 4-Hour Workweek.

3. Keeping negative company. – Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you. Don’t let them get to you. They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun. When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.

4. Being selfish and egotistical. – A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those who you inspired and shared your love with will remember how you made them feel long after your time has expired. So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.

5. Avoiding change and growth. – If you want to know your past look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future look into your present actions. You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back. If you acknowledge this right now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success. Read The Power of Habit.

6. Giving up when the going gets tough. – There are no failures, just results. Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. Learn what you can and move on. The one who continues to advance one step at a time will win in the end. Because the battle is always won far away and long before the final victory. It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to that glorious moment of triumph.

7. Trying to micromanage every little thing. – Life should be touched, not strangled. Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement. Learn to let go a little before you squeeze too tight. Take a deep breath. When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward. You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going to be headed somewhere great. Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not. It just takes some time to connect all the dots.

8. Settling for less than you deserve. – Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve. Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before. Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again. Don’t settle.

9. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. – The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do. But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t. Read The Last Lecture.

10. Being lazy and wishy-washy. – The world doesn’t owe you anything, you owe the world something. So stop daydreaming and start DOING. Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Take full responsibility for your life – take control. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.