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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.

It’s Internal, Not External

Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitudes. – Dale Carnegie

I can’t stress this enough, and believe me, I say it over and over again with my students.  Your happiness is NOT dependent on other people, and it should not be impacted by the actions and behaviors of other people.  Why would you want to give any one person that much power over you and your life?  What other people say and do, really shouldn’t have any bearing on you and your mood.  People are always going to try and bring you down, or throw off your groove (just ask Disney’s Emperor).  That’s on them.  Don’t let it impact you. Your happiness comes from within.  If you are good with where you are in life, and who you are, you’re going to be happy.  If you’re less than thrilled with your situation, you can change it, and boom – happy!  I know if people are being challenging, it can drag you down, but you have to keep telling yourself, that’s their drama, their problem, their situation, don’t let it be yours.  When people try to rain your proverbial parade, pop up your umbrella and kick them to the curb.  You don’t need that negativity in your life.  Look inside and find your happiness!

It’s a Brand New Day

Every day is a new day, and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on. – Carrie Underwood


It’s actually pretty cool.  No matter how much of a catastrophe your day may have been (and some of mine have been pretty catastrophic lol) when that day is over, it’s over.  You can let go off all that happened and move on to the new day and the new things.  I’m not saying moving on from something is easy.  Letting go can be one of the hardest things you do.  But sometimes, you just have to do it.  Let go of a bad experience, move forward from a relationship that has ended, leave that job that is making you miserable.  It’s hard and it’s scary, but keeping yourself in negative situations and not allowing yourself to find happiness in the new is worse.  Move on to the new and different.  Find the happiness in what’s to come, not what was.

When is it Time to be Happy?

Happiness is not something you postpone or the future; it is something you design for the present. – Jim Rohn

When is it time to be happy?  Can you plan on being happy tomorrow?  Maybe schedule it into our planner for next week, or next month?  No!  The time to be happy is now.  I’m all for planning for the future, but we live in the now, and now is the time to be happy.  Do whatever it takes to to find your happiness in the here and now.  If you’re doing what it takes to be happy now, I’m betting that happiness will follow you into the future.  You can’t schedule happy, and you shouldn’t delay it and push it off for another time.  Take the happiness…no don’t take it, seize it and revel in it!  Be happy now 🙂


Turn Your Dreams into Reality

Dreams are great.  Dreams are amazing.  I love dreams, I love day dreams, and I love visualizing, which to me is kind of a combination of dreams and day dreams.  Those things are great, but how do we make them come true?  How do we get to have all our dreams.  By believing in them 100%, never wavering in that belief, and above all, being committed to their coming true.  If you are not fully committed to your dreams, they are not going to come to fruition.  Let’s take my favorite day dream.  I call it, “How will I spend my winning powerball jackpot.”  This is one of my favorite day dreams.  There is a lot about this day dream coming true that I don’t control.  I don’t control the jackpot, I don’t control what numbers are pulled, and I don’t control how many people may have the same winning number as me.  So with all those things that I don’t control, how do I remain committed to this day dream coming true?  By doing the one thing I can control.  I buy the ticket.  LOL  I know, it’s not a great example, but at the same time, it’s a wonderful example.  I have made a commitment to that particular day dream coming true and I honor that commitment by buying my ticket.  Believe in your dreams and dedicate yourself to them and they will turn into reality.


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