13 September 2016
I have always been delighted at the prospect of
day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps
a bit of magic waiting
somewhere behind the morning.
the people, and happy they alone,
who can call today their own;
They who are secure within can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have
is the enemy of accomplishment. Calm strength that arises from a deep and
inexhaustible source is what brings success.
will succeed best when you put the restless,
anxious side of affairs out of mind, and allow
the restful side to live in your thoughts.
Why do we need to feel that we are in
control? It's simple. For most
people, control equals a perception of
safety. Think back to our cave-dwelling
ancestors and thunder: If we understand
it, we can control it; if we can control it, it
won't hurt us. We use the same kind of
magical thinking about our health: If I
can control all of my risk factors for disease,
I won't get sick. Unfortunately, this is a
fallacy. We all know people who lived
healthy lives and died young, and we all know
people who smoked heavily and ate poorly and
lived to a ripe old age.
Let me tell you a story that is based on an old
Chinese tale. A sixty-year-old man who has
never owned a car wins a new car in a
fund-raising lottery. All his friends tell
him how lucky he is because now he can visit his
kids more often and go to the market or movies
whenever he wants. His only response is
"Lucky? Maybe yes, maybe
no." A few weeks later, he has an
accident in the new car and ends up in the
hospital. His friends tell him that this
is a tragedy, that he should never have driven
and how unlucky it was that he won the new
car. His response is, "Unlucky?
Maybe yes, maybe no." While he is in
the hospital, there is an electrical fire in his
house. If he had been there, he surely
would have died. His friends tell him how
lucky he is to have been in the hospital and
that he will recover from the accident but that
he would be dead if he had been at home.
His response is, "Lucky? Maybe yes,
story can go on forever, but the important message is that
we really don't know what the long-term outcome of any
event or choice will be. We base choices on our
imagined projections of outcomes. In doing so we may
hedge our bets on the basis of past experience, but we
really don't know what will happen. How many great
ideas and how many business plans fail?
How much control do we actually have in the big picture of
our lives? I would say very little, if any.
This can be either disturbing or liberating. It is
disturbing and scary if lack of control makes you feel
unsafe or if fear prevents you from taking risks and
trying new things. It squashes creativity and
prevents you from living fully.
However, having no control can be liberating if you relax
and accept this concept. Living life this way leads
to wonder and curiosity; it is the basis of creativity and
personal growth. This also decreases fear of death,
as death is not within our control. It is the
ultimate unknown. Just live life, do your best, and
enjoy the moments that life brings.
I am not suggesting that you throw all caution to the wind
and just walk around saying, "I have no
control." Societal and moral rules were created
to enhance our capacities to live together and minimize
harm to others. After all, I am not ruling out the
idea of heaven and hell, so hedge your bets in the
direction that feels right to you.
I do know that the more in touch we are with the one-self
and the more detached we become from the day-to-day self
of worrying, the more open we can be to change and
creativity. The more you can accept this, the less
fear you will have.
If you can accept this lack of control, you can accept
anything that arises and accept that it may be good or bad
and you won't know for some time to come, if ever.
Therefore, nothing begins to appear as bad. Life, as
Helen Keller said, can be a "daring adventure,"
and all events can become learning experiences.
You get to choose the world you want to live in. It
can be a house of fear and constriction or a house of
mystery and creativity. Do you choose anger or
compassion about your frailties and the frailties of
others? In your world will it be the fear of death
or the joy of life? It is that simple.
power of those beliefs was tested in July 2009,
when Lee was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. As
Lee and his wife, Kathy, navigated his diagnosis,
illness, and treatment, he discovered that he did
not fear death, and that even as he was facing his
own mortality, he felt more fully alive than ever
before. Deeply inspiring, Enjoy Every
Sandwich distills everything Lee learned about
how we find meaning, purpose, and peace in our
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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George Dawson was born on January 18, 1898. He
was just eight years old when he had his first job and
twelve when "his daddy rented him out to a white
man." His brothers and sisters learned to
read at a school "for colored
children." George didn't get to go to
school because he was the oldest child and and had to
work. He married in 1926 and was a father in
1927. He held a variety of odd jobs including
chopping wood, working in a sawmill, and building
levees. He laid ties for the railroad in east
Texas, swept floors, cleaned houses, and for most of
his working life ran machines that pasteurized milk at
Oak Farms Dairy.
George got by without reading for ninety-eight years
and simply trusted people who paid his wages and his
wife who read the bills. In 1996 at age
ninety-eight, George Dawson decided he was tired of
fishing and it was time to read. When his
teacher started him with six letters, he interrupted
him and said, "No, son, I want to see all of them
so I can put them together." He learned his
ABCs in just a day and a half and moved on to phonics,
breaking the words into pieces and sounding out the
parts. He impatiently said, "No, son, I
want to say something that makes sense."
For four hours every day, Monday through Friday, the
determined man sat in the same seat in the second row.
At the end of the first month he could write his name,
and after almost two years, he could read at a
third-grade level. He read the Scriptures aloud
at Holiness of God if they asked him. He's now
over one hundred, but he's still excited about life
and still learning.
Everyone should take a lesson from George
Dawson: keep learning, and you'll live longer
and have more fun on the trip. Not only that,
but psychiatrist Smiley Blanton says he has never met
a senile person, regardless of age, who did three
things: (1) stayed active physically, (2)
continued to grow mentally, and (3) developed a
genuine interest in other people. Doing these
things will enable you to maintain your mental
capabilities, regardless of age. Psychiatrist
Frank Minirth agrees with the observation that
Alzheimer's is a disease, but senility, in most cases,
is the result of a long series of poor choices.
Choose to read, learn, and grow, and your life will
truly be richer and more rewarding.
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presence. . . is an inner experience that never changes.
It's a relationship that's there all the time, even when we're
not paying attention to it. Perhaps the Infinite holds us to
in the same way the earth does. Like gravity, if it ever
we would know it instantly. But it never does.
Some days I feel quite
And some days I feel quite strong;
Tuesday I feel that nothing goes right,
Then Wednesday will come along.
Some days are meant for joyful noise,
On others, I search for peace at home;
On one day, I'll want the touch of friends,
The next I'll just want to be alone.
If I could just know what each day brings,
I might not have so much fear inside
That I might be wasting my precious time,
That life may be passing me by.
Some days, I'll feel alone and scared,
But some days I'll be quite brave;
One day, I'll live my life full and fun,
And one day, I'll find my grave.
I want to let each day be its own,
And let it give to me what it will.
I need to accept what each day brings,
And not try to bend it to my will.
But if things seem too dark and cold,
I need to look for joy and light;
For not all things that my days bring
Are beautiful and right.
Some days are what they need to be,
Some days need effort so I see
The loveliness the world gives me,
The joy, the wonder, the magical--
The flowers, sun, and trees,
The smiles that you share with me.
How we spend our days is,
of course, how we spend
I suppose the
idea of "some days" isn't exactly
original, but it's rather new for me. When I
was trying to think about something to write about
for this issue, the first two lines of this rather
ordinary poem came to me, so I decided to go with
it. There's a big part of me inside that wants
to return to writing poetry--I haven't done so for
years--and perhaps some days are meant for poems.
But the idea of the poem is very important to
me. I know that the inspiration for the poem
is quite real--I attended a cross-country meet with
a group of kids that I've been working with
yesterday, and it was a strange combination of
memories and new experiences, feeling rather useless
and enjoying the atmosphere. In sports, I've
always been a coach; with this group, I'm simply a
volunteer helping out. As a coach, I found the
meets to be much different for me than yesterday's
experience as an onlooker who really didn't have
anything to do there on that day but watch.
As a teacher, some days I feel on, some days I feel
off. On the down days, teaching is difficult
and it's hard to find motivation and
fulfillment. On the good days, everything
clicks and the motivation comes naturally and it's
incredibly fulfilling to be a teacher. It's
the same in my family life and in my friendships and
in other work that I do, such as creating and
maintaining this website.
No one else can decide for
any of us what we'll feel or
think about the day. We
have the power to be as
content or as discontent
as we make up
our minds to be.
I find that my
main interest is to recognize what each day brings
and to roll with it, to flow with it, to accept it
for what it is and let that be my reality without
trying to fight it. If a day brings grief,
then grief is what I need to experience; if it
brings hope, then I'll spend the day feeling
hopeful. From both experiences, I can learn
much about myself and life.
The danger, of course, is that my moods interfere,
and that I'll do something to interfere with what
the day brings. I may be afraid of our
financial situation, and then I'll bring worry to
the day, and I'll spend that day being stressed out
and frantic. And that day wasn't necessarily
meant to be a stressful day--but I've lost the
message of the day because I've brought the stress
with me into it.
On those days, it's important that I recognize
what's going on and do what I can to figure out
what's going wrong and to do something about
it. I may need to discuss the situation with
someone or I may need to take a deep breath or three
and pay attention to my current moment rather than
my fears; I may need to read a special book or poem
that helps me to re-focus my mind and my thoughts so
that I can approach the day in a more positive way.
No matter what happens or does not happen, what comes
or does not come,
resolve that you will extract from every
experience of the day something
something that will
make you wiser and show you how to make
Orison Swett Marden
Some days are
meant for writing; some days are meant for
reading. Some days are meant to spend with
friends; some days are meant to spend alone.
All days bring magic and wonder and beautiful things
to us, so no matter what kind of day we find
ourselves in, it's important that we pay attention
to what's around us and appreciate all that's there,
whether we find ourselves in a weak day or a strong
day, a brave day or a day full of trepidation.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
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and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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or failure depends more
than upon capacity.
Successful people act as though
they have accomplished or are
enjoying something. Soon it
becomes a reality. Act, look, feel
accordingly, and you will be
at the positive results.
How then, do we come in contact with ourselves?
by becoming aware. Isn't that a nice
word--aware? It kind of hits
you right where it
matters, doesn't it? To be aware. To be aware
of everything. To be aware of life. To be
aware of growth, to be
aware of death, to be aware of
beauty, to be aware of people,
flowers, trees. Open
your mind and begin to see and feel! Begin
experience, and don't be ashamed of it! Touch, feel,
you never have before. Keep growing!
Keep consistently growing.
Every moment that you do,
you change. Open your mind, open your
your arms, take it all in. You can keep taking and
and taking, and what is, never runs out.
There's always more. The
more that you see in a
tree, the more that there is to see. You hear
Beethoven sonata, and it leads you to infinity. Pick
up a book of
poetry, and it leads you to beauty. You
love one person,
and that love leads you to
hundreds. Keep growing.
I have never been bored
an hour in my life. I get up every morning wondering what
new strange glamorous
thing is going to happen and it happens at fairly regular intervals.
Luck has been good to me and I fancy she has been good to everyone. Only
people are dour, and when she gives them the come hither with her eyes,
down or turn away and lift an eyebrow. But me, I give her the wink
and away we go.
William Allen White
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