18 July 2017      

Good day!  We've been given this new today as a gift to us, and we
can definitely make our contributions to others a gift to them with our
actions and our kindness and our giving.  Here's to making your day
one of your best ever by helping others to make theirs great, too!

Affirm Your Intentions
Steve Brunkhorst

A Letter to My (Younger) Self
Trisha Yearwood

Every Positive Contact
tom walsh

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Reality is what I "come up against," what takes me by surprise, the other-than-myself which pulls me up and obliges me to reckon with it and adjust myself to it because it will not consent simply to adjust itself to me.

John Baillie

It's not enough to be right.  That's too little.  It's also important to be strong.  The history of the world shows that more often people who were right lost than won.

Andrzej Milczanowski

There is wisdom in knowing how to play, to touch lightly, uninvolved and uncommitted, on what is pleasurable.

Aelred Graham


Affirm Your Intentions - Achieve Your Goals
Steve Brunkhorst

Affirmations are emotionally driven statements of intention and faith that guide thought and action.  Affirmation comes from the Latin firmus, meaning strong.  Affirmations recognize and assert the existence of personal truths.  These statements can be powerfully effective for developing and strengthening thought patterns, and thus actions, needed to achieve goals.  These thought patterns also attract the situations we affirm to be true.

Use Affirmations Effectively
Affirmations are effective when combined with strong emotions and vivid sensory imagery:  sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.  Effective affirmations state, in present tense, what we want.  At the same time, we are feeling the joy, satisfaction, and gratitude we would feel if each statement had already manifested.

Recall Vivid Imagery and Strong Emotion
An effective way to create mind imagery and emotion is to recall a situation in your life when you actually felt the emotion you want to create.  Recall situations that made you feel joyful, loving, forgiving, excited, happy, accepting, successful, and grateful.

This is the same way emotions surface when we dwell on memories that bring tears, upset, or nostalgic feelings.  When using affirmations, you get to select purposely the emotions you want.  Let these emotions surface and permeate your mind and body.

Practice Positive Affirmations
Belief, imagery, and emotion are essential elements in effective affirmations.  With practice, you will be able to create vivid images and emotions very quickly.  It might also be helpful to begin by affirming the action you are now taking, as in the exercise below.
Here are seventeen sample affirmations for strengthening goal achievement, creativity, confidence and abundance. Practice the affirmations while combining them with compelling imagery and strong emotion.

  1. I reflect on successful experiences, and I let the memories and moments linger.

  2. I enjoy expressing myself freely, confidently, and creatively.

  3. I am grateful for the success and satisfaction that my purpose is bringing to me.

  4. I provide value to those I serve, and I am becoming more abundant each day.

  5. I welcome challenges and changes in my life, and I feel grateful that each change brings new blessings.

  6. I see my goal clearly, and allow myself to receive it with gratitude.

  7. I forgive myself and others, release the past, and move forward with love and confidence.

  8. I am resilient, capable, confident, lovable, and loving.

  9. I allow joy to flow through me, and I rejoice in my self-expression and creativity.

  10. I feel the joy in small accomplishments each day, and I allow myself to be thankful, loving, and peaceful.

  11. I deserve success, am enthusiastic about life, and create my life the way I want it to be.

  12. I allow energy, vitality, adventure, and passion for my purpose to fill my life.

  13. I allow abundance into my life through my actions, gestures, and words, and I receive all that I need.

  14. I accept Divine guidance, and I feel safe, secure, hopeful, and protected by Divine Love.

  15. I celebrate life's peaks and valleys, knowing that every situation provides a lesson I must learn.

  16. I allow every experience to make me stronger, wiser, more capable, more abundant, and more loving.

  17. I savor small victories along the path to my goals, and I reflect deeply on each experience.

Affirm Only Your Intentions
Each day, our minds fill unconsciously with self-talk, echoing thought patterns and beliefs formed during early development.  These might be positive and supportive thoughts.  However, our internal speech can also attract the very situations and feelings we would rather avoid.

Negative, distracting thoughts are actually affirmations working against us.  By becoming aware of these negative affirmations, we can replace them immediately with positive affirmations that focus on what we want.

Create Your Personal Affirmations

After practicing with the affirmations above, create your own affirmations based on what you want to achieve.  It will not help to simply repeat a list of someone else's affirmations that you don't actually believe.  You must own each affirmation as a personal declaration of your intention and faith.

Act on Your Affirmations
Spend time each day with your personal affirmations.  Then take actions that will lead to their realization.  When charged with belief, vivid imagery, and strong emotion, affirmations can be effective and supportive tools that help you move toward the achievements that you desire.

*  *  *  *

Copyright Steve Brunkhorst.
Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life. Contact Steve by visiting AchieveEzine.com

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A Letter to My (Younger) Self
Trisha Yearwood

Dear Trisha,

I've got something to say to you, and I hope you will listen with an open heart.  Don't be so worried about what everybody else thinks of you, and don't think your happiness depends on someone else.  I want you to just trust yourself.  Trust that if you take care of yourself on the inside, follow your instincts, and let yourself evolve naturally, your potential for happiness will be so much greater.

You probably don't think you need to hear this.  Mama and Daddy brought you up to be independent, intelligent, and educated.  And you are.  I'm proud of the way you've stuck with your music, even though the odds were against you.  But there's another part of you that's less independent.  You're hearing everyone ask, "When are you going to get married?"  The friends who didn't tie the knot right out of high school are doing it now, after college.  Somewhere inside you, you think that's the way it's supposed to be.

There are going to be times when your gut instinct is telling you something isn't right, and you're going to go ahead with it anyway.  If you keep that up, I know exactly what's going to happen.  In about a year, you'll be standing in the back of a church with Daddy, getting ready to walk down the aisle.  Daddy's going to say, jokingly, "We can duck out the back door if you want to."  You won't dare tell him that's what you want to do.

Everybody will be sitting there, everything will have been paid for, and there will be a ton of cake to eat.  You'll be afraid of the embarrassment of calling it off.  And so you'll get married--for all the wrong reasons--to a wonderful guy.

There's another way of living, and it has brought me a sense of peace that I want you to have.  Know that God has a plan for your life.  Turn your life over to him every day.  Stop looking outside yourself for validation and approval--you're letting other people define your happiness.  Instead of trying so hard to manipulate life, take care of yourself on the inside.  Then all of those other attributes you're so desperately seeking will find you naturally.

Your forty-two-year-old future self


* * * *

Extraordinary women share the wisdom they wish they'd had when they were younger through letters to their younger selves.  Read letters from Maya Angelou, Olympia Dukakis, Madeleine Albright, and many more women as they share their insight with their younger selves.


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Always think on the bright side--no matter what life brings
to your day.  You'll gain a treasure within your soul
that no worry or hardship can ever take away.

Isaac Purcell



Every Positive Contact

I woke up this morning with these three words on my mind.  It's very rare that something like that happens to me, but it did today.  And with those three words were many other ideas about the concept, mostly centered on the idea that every positive contact that someone has with someone else helps that person to grow in positive ways, and that our characters and principles are developed by the number and type of contacts that we have with other people, and that the more positive contacts we experience, the more positive we grow as human individuals and as members of the human community.

We all follow this principle in our lives, whether we recognize it or not.  If we want an animal to accept us, we generally don't try to make it like us immediately; instead, we walk up to it slowly, trying to pet it at first, and we don't worry if it shies away or walks away.  Then, the next time we see it, we try to add another positive contact to our relationship with it, until eventually there are enough positive contacts built up that the kitten or puppy or lizard trusts us, and will allow us to be close to it.

And while people certainly aren't animals (though some may argue with the statement), we often follow similar principles in our relationships with others.  As a teacher, for example, I never try to get my students to like or trust me during the first class--I just try to be genuine and sincere and do my job well.  If they're going to trust me, that's a dynamic that has to be built over time.

There are other people in my life with whom I don't have as much contact, or with whom contact tends to be negative if they're negative people or if I get angry or upset with them.  In these cases, it really is up to me to start adding positive contacts with them, slowly but surely, if I want to repair a relationship or establish a positive one.  There have been times when I've had arguments with people, and it's taken quite a bit of time to re-establish the positive side of the relationship.  When I try to accomplish this, I simply try to build the numbers of positive contacts--simple "hellos" or kind acts or compliments or asking favors--until the scale tips back over to the positive side.

If we could keep a tally of the positive contacts that we initiate over the course of our lives, it could be something that could show us just what kind of impact we can make in this world.  Each encounter to which we contribute in positive ways is a contribution to the peace and love and hope of the world, even if in a very small way.  But as we add ten, twenty, one hundred, one thousand such contacts over the course of months or years, we'll know for sure that we have made contributions to the lives of others that have helped them to feel confidence, hope, peace, or balance, or that have helped them to learn important things about themselves or the world.

What positive contacts can you make today?  When you have contact with any other person in your life, whether they're people you like or don't like, what kind of positive things can you contribute to the world, be it a small compliment, a sincere thank you, or a piece of encouragement?  The world is in need of positive energy and hope and love, and the best way for us to contribute to those elements of the world is to consciously add something positive to each encounter, to each contact.  The more we do so, the more natural it will become, and the more widespread the ripple effect will be--our contributions will grow further than we can imagine, and all we have to do is start somewhere.


One 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 series that has explored not just the things that exist and that happen around us, but also our reactions to those things. The first five years of the column are now available exclusively on Kindle.



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That some good can be
derived from every event
is a better proposition
than that everything
happens for the best,
which it assuredly
does not.

James K. Feibleman

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:  a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.   You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.  But if you
focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.


Time is a flowing river.  Happy those who allow themselves to be carried,
unresisting, with the current.  They float through easy days.
They live, unquestioning, in the moment.

Christopher Morley


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