Any fact facing us is not as
important as our attitude toward it,
for that determines our successes
always that you have not only
the right to be an individual,
you have an
obligation to be one.
We must accept finite
disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.
Luther King, Jr.
ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love,
which includes not only others but ourselves as well.
Foolproof Formula for Success
When I was asked to give the commencement address at a
nearby college, a friend said to me, "It's
easy. All you have to do is give 'em a foolproof
formula for success!"
It was said jokingly, but the remark stuck in my
mind. And the more I thought about it, the more
convinced I became that there is a foolproof
formula for success, available to anyone wise enough to
recognize it and put it to work.
In American industry the competition for promising
personnel is terrific. Year after year
businesspeople study college records, screen applicants,
and offer special inducements to proven people. What
are they after, really? brains? energy? know-how?
These things are desirable, sure. But they will
carry a person only so far. If one is to move to the
top and be entrusted with command decisions, there must be
a plus factor, something that takes mere ability and
doubles or trebles its effectiveness. To describe
this magic characteristic there's only one word: integrity.
Basically, the word means wholeness. In
mathematics, an integer is a number that isn't divided
into fractions. Just so, a person of integrity isn't
divided against him or herself. They don't think one
thing and say another--so it's virtually impossible for
the person to lie. They don't believe in one thing
and do another--so one is not in conflict with one's own
principles. It's the absence of inner warfare, I'm
convinced, that gives a person the extra energy and
clarity of thought that make achievement inevitable.
Integrity really means having a
certain built-in set of attitudes. Let me give you
Integrity means living up to the best in yourself.
Years ago, a writer who had lost a fortune in bad
investments went into bankruptcy. His intention was
to pay off every cent he owed, and three years later he
was still working at it. To help him, a newspaper
organized a fund. Important people contributed
heavily to it. It was a temptation--accepting would
have meant the end of a wearing burden. But Mark
Twain refused, and returned the money to the
contributors. Seven months later, with his new book
a hit, he paid the last of his debts in full.
Integrity means having a highly developed sense of
honor. Not just honesty, mind you, honor.
The great Frank Lloyd Wright once spoke of this to the
American Institute of Architects. "What,"
he asked, "might this sense of honor be? Well,
what is the honor of a brick; what would be an honorable
brick? A brick brick, wouldn't it? What
would be the honor of a board? It would be a good
board, wouldn't it? What is the honor of a
person? To be a true individual." And
that's exactly what Frank Lloyd Wright was: an
individual true to his own standards and hence to himself.
Integrity means having a conscience and listening to
it. "It is neither safe nor prudent,"
said Martin Luther, facing his enemies in the city where
his death had been decreed, "to do aught against
conscience. Here I stand; God help me, I cannot do
Integrity means having the courage of your convictions.
This includes the capacity to cling to what you think is
right, to go it alone when necessary, and to speak out
against what you know is wrong. In the operating
room of a great hospital a young nurse had her first day
of full responsibility. "You've removed eleven
sponges, doctor," she said to the surgeon.
"We used twelve."
"I've removed them all," the doctor
declared. "We'll close the incision now."
"No," the nurse objected. "We
"I'll take the responsibility," the
surgeon said grimly. "Suture!"
"You can't do that!" blazed the
nurse. "Think of the paitent."
The doctor smiled, lifted his foot, showed the
nurse the twelfth sponge. "You'll do," he
said. He had been testing her for integrity--and she
Integrity means obedience to the unenforceable.
In a way, this is the heart of it. No one can force
you to live up to the best in yourself. No one can compel
you to get involved. No one can make you obey
your conscience. A person of integrity does these
During World War II, when our armies were slashing across
France, an American colonel and his jeep driver took a
wrong turn and ran into an oncoming German armored
column. Both men jumped out and took cover, the
sergeant in some roadside bushes, the colonel in a culvert
under the road. The Germans spotted the sergeant and
advanced on him, firing. The colonel could easily
have remained undetected. He chose, instead, to come
out fighting--one pistol against tanks and machine
guns. He was killed. The sergeant, taken
prisoner, told the story later. Why did the colonel
do it? Because his concept of duty, though
unenforceable, was stronger than his regard for his own
Difficult? Yes. That is why true integrity is
rare, and admired. But in terms of ultimate reward
it's worth all the effort. Just consider a few of
the dividends that integrity pays:
Boldness. Integrity gives a person the
strength to take chances, welcome challenge, reject the
unsatisfactory-but-safe for the unknown-with-chance-for-
improvement. A person of integrity has confidence
and can believe in him- or herself--because that person
has no reason to distrust him- or herself.
Persistence. Integrity often shows up as an
unshakable single-mindedness of purpose, a tenacity that
refuses to give up. "Never give in!" said
Winston Churchill. "Never, never, never,
never. In nothing great or small, large or
petty--never give in except to convictions of honor and
good sense." And he never did.
Serenity. People of integrity, I've noticed,
are shock-resistant. They seem to have a kind of
built-in equanimity that enables them to accept setbacks,
or even injustices. Harry Emerson Fosdick tells how
Abraham Lincoln was warned by his friends not to make a
certain speech while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in
1858. Lincoln replied, "If it is decreed that I
should go down because of this speech, then let me go down
linked to the truth." He was serene. He
did go down, but two years later he became president.
There are many other benefits that integrity brings a
person: friendship, trust, admiration,
respect. One of the hopeful things about the human
race is that people seem to recognize integrity almost
instinctively--and are irresistibly attracted to it.
How does one acquire it? I'm sure there's no pat
answer. I think perhaps the first step is schooling
yourself to practice total honesty in little things:
not telling the small lie when it's inconvenient to tell
the truth; not repeating that juicy bit of gossip that is
quite possibly untrue; not charging that personal phone
call to the office.
Such discipline may sound small, but when you really seek
integrity and begin to find it, it develops its own power
that sweeps you along. Finally you begin to see that
almost anything worth having has an integrity of its own
that must not be violated.
A foolproof formula for success? Yes. It's
foolproof because--regardless of fame, money, power, or
any of the conventional yardsticks--if you seek and
find integrity, you are a success.
A book to help people stay
in love with life by Arthur Gordon. This
collection of Gordon's short stories will
bring back the gift of joy, wonder, and hope
to all who read it. From life's littlest,
often over-looked moments to the important
days we all hope to enjoy, Gordon finds a way
to express such warmth and comfort that zeros
in on the heart. This book has been around for
40 years but now is available on line for a
new generation of readers.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
for your free daily spiritual or general quotation ~ ~ Sign
up for your free daily meditation
of Our Own Good Fortunes
Ralph Waldo Trine
take and to live always in the attitude of mind that compels
gladness, looking for and thus drawing to us continually the best
in all people and all things, being thereby the creators of our
own good fortunes.
CHEERFULNESS, looking on the bright side of things, seeing the
humorous side of situations when others see only the
"too-bad," the "provoking," the
"spasm," the "isn't-it-terrible," is a matter
of habit quite as much as it is a matter of aptitude.
If one lacks the habit he fails in one of the most
important or even essential qualities of his life; so, on the
other hand, to cultivate it to its highest is to become possessor
of a quality in life most eagerly to be sought.
The optimistic, cheerful, hopeful habit of mind and thought is
continually putting into and keeping in operation silent subtle
forces that are continually changing from the unseen into the
seen, from the ideal into the actual, and attracting to us, from
without, conditions of a nature kindred to the type of thought
force that we give birth to and set into operation.
Ordinarily we find in people those qualities we are mostly
looking for; if we show to them our best, their best will open and
show itself to us.
There is no quality that exerts more good, is of greater service
to all mankind during the course of the ordinary life, than the
mind and the heart that goes out in an all embracing love for all,
that is the generator and the circulator of a genuine, hearty,
wholesome sympathy and courage and good cheer, that is not
disturbed or upset by the passing occurrence little or great, but
that is serene, tranquil, and conquering to the end, that is
looking for the best, that is finding the best, and that is
inspiring the best in all. There
is, moreover, no quality that when genuine brings such rich
returns to its possessor by virtue of the thoughts and the
feelings that it inspires and calls forth from others and that
come back laden with their peaceful, stimulating, healthful
influences for him.
On the other hand, the peevish, gloomy, grumbling, panicky,
critical—the small—cast a sort of deadening, unwholesome
influence wherever they go. They
get, however, what they give, for they inspire and call back to
themselves thoughts and feelings of the kind they are sufficiently
stupid to allow a dominating influence in their own lives.
People ruled by the mood of gloom attract to themselves
gloomy people and gloomy conditions, those that are of no help to
them, but rather a hindrance.
The cheerful, confident, tranquil in all circumstances are
continually growing in these same qualities, for the mind grows by
and in the direction of that which it feeds upon.
This process of mental chemistry is continually working in
our lives, bringing us desirable or undesirable conditions
according to our prevailing mental states.
The course of determining resolutely to expect only those things
which we desire, or which will be ultimately for our larger good,
of thinking health and strength rather than disease and weakness,
an abundance for all our needs rather than poverty, success rather
than failure, of looking for and calling from others the best
there is in them, is one of the greatest aids also to bodily
health and perfection. As
a rule one seldom knows of those of this trend or determination of
mind complaining of physical ailments, because they are generally
free from the long list of ailments and disabilities that have
their origin in perverted emotional and mental states, that by
being regularly fed are allowed to externalize themselves and
become settled conditions.
This attitude of mind is the one also that carries us through when
the dark day comes and things look their worst.
It enables us to take the long view, to throw the thought
on beyond the present day, difficulty, or depression to the time
when it will have worked itself out all well and good.
Such times come to all.
We must be brave and bravely take our share.
is how we bear ourselves at such times that determines our real
worth and use, whether we have stamina, backbone, courage—real
character—and if at such times we can stand unfaltering,
uncomplaining, desirous of neither sympathy nor pity, patient but
resolute, and doing today what today reveals to be done and so
ready for the morrow when it comes, there can be but one outcome.
The Higher Powers of all the universe stand back of such a
life, they uphold it, they sustain it, they stamp it with success,
they crown it with adoration and with honour.
The Wayfarer on the Open Road; click
here for your free copy.
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
picture that appears
in the new
window, and choose
"Set as background."
photo's from a spring
day in Kootenay National Park)
x 800 - 1440
years, the people of Canyon Bluff have shared the stories
of the Nogglz, their own version of the monsters in the
closet. "If you don't behave, the Nogglz will come
and get you and carry you down into the mines,"
they've told their children. Of course, they were just
stories. Nobody could have stayed alive in an old mine for
six decades. But when one of their own is brutally
murdered one cold November night, it may be time to come
to terms with the sins of their fathers and their own ties
to the town's dreadful past. And for the sheriff and his
deputy and the state troopers who are called to the town
to deal with the murder, an ordinary day becomes an
extraordinary battle for simple survival.
I write things just to tell a story, but I just can't help
mentioning some life lessons, even in a novel about
creatures running amok in an old mining town in the
Colorado mountains. Nogglz is available in
print by clicking
here, or as a Kindle e-book by using the link to the
left. Using the mining town as the setting is a
tribute to my mother, who grew up in a tiny mining town
herself, and who has never left there in her heart.
The insight we gain from solitude has very
little to do with
the amount of time we spend alone. It has a lot more
with the quality of time we spend with ourselves.
Jan Johnson Drantell
often look at my life as segments, as chapters in
the story that I'm living out day after day.
There are many times in my life when it seems pretty
obvious that one chapter is ending, while another is
beginning. Sometimes it's the result of
something rather dramatic, such as a job change or a
move to another place; other times, the changes are
much more subtle, such as not seeing a certain
friend nearly as much, or improving the way I do my
job or changing the way I eat.
No matter what the change, though, it's fascinating
to think of starting anew in life. I know many
people who don't really know what it's like to start
anew, because they're afraid of letting go of the
past, afraid of venturing into the unknown and
taking what probably will be significant
risks. But when I look at such changes as
chapters, I realize that with any change that I go
through in life, I have the benefit of bringing
along with me all my prior learning and experience,
but I also have the possibility of leaving behind me
all of the negative experiences and feelings.
As I write new chapters in my life through my words
and deeds and actions and reactions, I really do
have a choice as to how I want the new chapter to
I also keep in mind that in many ways, I'm creating
more than one book and living through the chapters
of several books at a time. After all, the
book of my relationships moves on to new chapters at
different times than does the book of my work.
I may learn something very important about how I
relate to other people at one time, yet learn
something important about my job--or move on to
another job--at a completely different time.
While I begin the next chapter of the book of my
spirituality next week, I may be stuck in the same
chapter of the book of my intellectual growth until
I like to see these books as reflections of growth,
not simply as changes. I like to see the
chapters as having positive progressions as I leave
behind unhelpful habits and limited ways of thinking
and destructive ways of treating other people, and
move on to doing helpful things, thinking more
productively and positively, and treating other
people in constructive ways. It really is my
choice, of course, because I choose if I'm going to
learn and grow, or if I'm going to stay stuck in the
same patterns that hold me back and hold me down.
How many of us would like to imagine starting a new
job and immediately getting stuck in old habits of
complaining and being bored and getting stuck in
ruts? How many of us would want the new job to
turn into exactly what the old job was after a month
or two, except for a different setting and different
people around us? But that's exactly what
happens to many, many people in the world who don't
use the job as an opportunity to write new
stories--stories about being helpful to their
co-workers, about excelling at what they do instead
of doing adequate work, about learning all they can
about their job and responsibilities and getting
really good at it all.
How many of us would like to move to a new city and
have our lives become exactly what they were in the
old city after a few weeks? Wouldn't we rather
be taking advantage of new opportunities and seeing
new things and learning about our new
environment? Unfortunately, many people move
to a new city and spend their free time with the
same old TV shows or video games, never finding out
just what the new place has to offer. They
follow the same patterns that they followed in the
previous chapter, and this new chapter becomes a
repeat of the last one, with simply a different
setting and different names.
Thinking about life in chapters is helpful to me
because in times of trouble or stress, I can always
remind myself that this chapter, too, shall come to
an end. After I was laid off at a school
during the recession (all of the teachers who had
advanced degrees were let go because they were
paying us a bit more), for example, the chapters that
I had to write were difficult, at best, though still
positive. I keep in mind, though, that the
difficulties will come to an end as long as I
persevere and do my best to make the most of my
Thinking this way also helps me to excel in whatever
I do, because I know that I don't necessarily need
to see myself as building a strong life--which would
look like an overwhelming task--but as creating
strong chapters that comprise the overall whole of
my life. And positive parts work together to
create a positive whole.
We can start a new chapter any time we want.
We can end the previous chapter with the words
"And then he or she decided that a change was
needed, and started. . . ." The new
chapter would begin perhaps with words like,
"Although it was difficult at first, she or he
soon started to see the positive results of the
changes in life." And after that, we
would talk about the difficulties that the changes
caused and then the positive results of it
all. Starting a new chapter doesn't have to be
an intimidating, ominous task; it can simply be a
few minor changes in habits or attitude or
Our lives are made up of chapters, and we all go
through our lives writing many different books at
once. Once we're aware of this dynamic,
wouldn't it be nice to be writing our own new
chapters instead of hanging around and hoping that
life writes them for us? It definitely is
within our power to be doing so.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
In the twelve years of livinglifefully.com's existence, this
essay series has been a mainstay of the weekly e-zine--a
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People must be
able to cut
a knot, for everything cannot
they must know
disengage what is
from the detail
in a word,
they must be
and their lives.
A Psalm of Life
WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG
MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!--
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
If I am walking with two other people, each of
them will serve as my
teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them,
and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
a year of one-sentence reminders
of ways that we can
make the most of our lives each day that we live.
New expanded edition!
Book - Kindle
novel of life and learning; Walker's fascinating journey
will remind you of all that is good in this world.
Book - Kindle
Read Chapter One
David agrees to
give 70-year-old Hector
a ride west, he can't imagine the lessons he'll learn
about his life.
Book - Kindle
Read Chapter One
and spending, we lay waste our powers," wrote
Wordsworth over 150 years ago. And we're still doing
Book - Kindle