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Daily Positive Thought

You Get Back What You Give

In human affairs there are efforts and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. – James Allen

This is a very long and convoluted way of saying, you get out of it what you put into it.  It’s a pretty basic life lesson, but it’s one so many seem to be missing.  I see it every day in school; kids think they deserve everything, and they don’t think they need to put forth any effort to get it.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard kids say “Oh Mr. So and So gave me a D.”  No, the teacher did not GIVE you a D, you earned it.  This doesn’t just happen in school, it happens in life too.  So many people think they deserve something for nothing, and a lot of times, they get something for nothing.   There are plenty of people who receive public assistance who need it, and then there are those who use their career.  I can’t tell you the number of students I’ve urged to work hard in school so they can go to college or trade school and get a good job, only to be told that it’s no big deal, they’re going to collect welfare or SSI.  It breaks my heart because to me, there is nothing more satisfying than putting forth your best effort and seeing the end result.  Take pride in yourself, and in your work and put forth the effort and what you get back will amaze you.

The Sound of Silence

If you do not understand my silence you will not understand my words. – Anonymous.

I had a friend when I was younger.  She and I just got each other.  Our conversations consisted of looks, and half finished sentences that left those around us confused.  Many of us have that kind of friend.  You don’t have to talk all the time, you don’t have to be doing anything, you can just be.  It would be nice if everybody could be that way.  If they knew how we felt even when we didn’t tell them.  The thing is, there is no secret skill to this.  Pay attention to the people in your life.  Focus on them, really pay attention.  You should have a fairly decent idea of how they’re feeling without them telling you – and they should be doing the same.  We really need to take some time to focus on the people around us, and make that connection, because if you don’t, you’re never really going to understand them.

Giving Thanks

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank You,” that would suffice. – Meister Eckhart

 

The initial reaction of so many people when they read this, is “I don’t have any reason to be thankful.”  Here’s the thing, you do have so many things to be grateful for.  The fact that your alive is a huge one.  You’re reading this?  Great, that means you can read, and that is something to be grateful for.  Now on the surface you might think those are pretty stupid things to be grateful for.  First, they’re not stupid, but second, once you start thinking about things to be grateful for, you start finding more and more.  Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal of positive thinking.  When you are thankful, or grateful, you are happier.  It makes you healthier (and yes, there are actual studies about this).  It makes you more personable,  it boosts your self-esteem and it just makes you feel better about yourself and the world around you.  Seriously, the list of benefits from being grateful or thankful goes on and on.  It’s such a little thing….giving thanks for what you have, but the benefits are immeasurable.  So start expressing your thanks for who you are and what you have, and reap the benefits of a life filled with gratitude and thanks.

Listen

Listen to your heart. It knows all things. – Paulo Coelho

Sorry  this is so late, I was supposed to do it Friday, but life got ahead of me.  Hey, it happens to the best of us.  So here we go, better late than never.  What does it mean to listen to your heart?  For me, I’m equating your heart to your conscience, intuition, or that little voice inside of you that knows things.  It’s usually right – annoyingly right when you’ve chosen not to listen to it.  But take a second and think about that voice, and the times you’ve listened to it, and worse, the times you didn’t.  How did things work out for you?  Probably not too great.  So when you’re faced with a decision, big or small, and you’re weighing your options take a second to check in with that inner voice and see what it has to say.

Great Achievement

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness. – Napoleon Hill

I really had to think about this quote today – which is why this blog post is so late.  I don’t really think that I’ve achieved anything great.  So if I follow that thought process, that must mean I’m not willing to sacrifice, and I am selfish.  That saddened me, because I don’t like thinking that I’m a selfish person.  Then, I did some more thinking, and I realized that I was equating great achievement with money and fame.  I’m a teacher, I’m NEVER going to make oodles of money, and while I may be a bit selfish (especially when it comes to chocolate), I am not super selfish, and to some extent, I’ve made sacrifices.  Then I really started thinking about achievement – and what that means.  That’s when it dawned on me, as a teacher, and a parent, I’ve achieved some really amazing things.  I am influencing the next generation, and they are capable of accomplishing great things.  I’ve influenced musicians, and actors, scientists, business people and educators.  I may not have achieved “greatness,” but the life of someone I touched most certainly will, and that is pretty cool.

It’s a New Day

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt

We all know that every day is a new day.  The sun sets, the sun rises – boom, new day.  What is cool about the new day is with it, comes all sorts of new things, and more importantly, an end to the old (and bad) things.  I’m certainly not saying that when you wake up, every horrible thing that has happened disappears from your existence, but the new day gives us a tremendous gift called clarity.  It gives us perspective and allows us to look at things from a distance, even if that distance is 24 hours.  It gives us the chance to form new thoughts, and summon from deep within us, the strength to deal with whatever life may throw at us.  It also gives us an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the good things that have happened.  Give each new day the celebration it deserves and enjoy the gifts that it provides to us.

No I in Team

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. – Mattie Stepanek

We’ve all heard the saying “There’s no I in team,” and trite as it is, it’s very true.  There are times when it’s beneficial to work on your own.  There are times when it’s necessary!  Many great things have been accomplished by people who are working on their own.  However when we work together, that is when the magic can happen.  The idea may come from one, but when the many work together, great things can happen.  Robert Goddard dreamed about space flight, and in fact was credited with creating and building the first liquid fueled rocket.  That was an awesome accomplishment, but it took many people working together, and even competing against one another to get a person into space, and a person on the moon. So yes, work alone if you must and be a team of one, but don’t shut out others who can work with you and help you achieve great things.

The Perfect Gift

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.- Richard Bach

I loved sharing this quote in school today – mostly because it baffled my students.  Most teens are pretty concrete and they see a gift as just that; a gift.  Something that is wrapped up in shiny paper and topped with a pretty bow.  They rip off that bow, tear off the pretty paper, and set out to enjoy the nice little trinket inside.  That’s a gift from the teen, or child perspective.  But think about it from the giver’s perspective.  You shop, and you agonize over the perfect gift.  You think about your friend, their likes and dislikes and then you think some more.  Finally, success!  You’ve found the perfect gift.  Then you search out the perfect card, and you wrap it up perfectly.  Why?  Because when you give someone a gift, you’re giving them more than just the stuff inside the package.  You’re giving them a piece of you, and you’re giving them the biggest gift of all.  You’re giving them happiness.  That’s the real gift to them, and the real gift to you is the giving of the piece of you to your friend.

Happiness and Harmony

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi

 

So often we think if I have this, I’ll be happy, or when I do that, I’ll be happy.  I’m guilty of it too.  We often tie our happiness to things.  But happiness should be internal.  Gandhi really had this one right.   When your thoughts and your actions are in harmony, that is when you are happy.  Think about it you may have lots have happy thoughts, but if you’re working at a job you hate, true happiness will evade you.  To experience true happiness you have to get all of your proverbial ducks in a row.  Marshall your thoughts, talk the talk and walk the walk.  I know it sounds like a bunch of empty platitudes, but think about those times when you have been truly happy….I mean happy to the very core of your being.  I can just about guarantee that you had all those things in sync.  So toss out the negative thoughts, lose the hateful talk and do what you love – and find your happiness.

The Happiness Store

Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a store where you could go in and buy happiness?  I can just see the commercials now.  “Having a bad day?  Down in the dumps?  No need to worry.  Come to the Happy Store and pick yourself up a basket of happiness!”  Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.  There is no handy dandy store you can stop at and pick up some happiness.  Fortunately, there is something better.  There is you.  Happiness comes from within you, and from YOUR actions.  Your happiness comes from you.  Sure there are things other people may do that can impact your happiness. But in the end, only you are responsible for your happiness.  So when the gloomy Gusses of the world try and bring you down, reach deep inside of yourself and do something that makes you happy.  It all comes down to you and the choices you make.  Make the choice and choose Happy.

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