3 July 2018
You can become blind by seeing each day as a
similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a
miracle of its
own. It's just a matter of paying attention
to this miracle.
never be ashamed to own they have been in the
which is but saying, in
other words, that they are
than they were yesterday.
in magic can force
a poor soul into believing in
government and business.
Do Your Best
Don Miguel Ruiz
There is just one more agreement, but it's the one that
allows the other three to become deeply ingrained
habits. The fourth agreement is about the action of
the first three: Always do your best.
Under any circumstances, always do your best, no more and
no less. But keep in mind that your best is never
going to be the same from one moment to the next.
Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your
best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it
will not be as good. When you wake up refreshed and
energized in the morning, your best will be better than
when you are tired at night. Your best will be
different when you are healthy as opposed to sick, or
sober as opposed to drunk. Your best will depend on
whether you are feeling wonderful and happy, or upset,
angry, or jealous.
In your everyday moods your best can change from one
moment to another, from one hour to the next, from one day
to another. Your best will also change over
time. As you build the habit of the four new
agreements, your best will become better than it used to
Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best--no more
and no less than your best. If you try too hard to
do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is
needed and in the end your best will not be enough.
you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself,
and it will take you longer to accomplish your goal.
But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to
frustrations, self-judgment, guilt, and regrets.
Just do your best--in any circumstance in your life.
It doesn't matter if you are sick or tired, if you always
do your best there is no way you can judge yourself.
And if you don't judge yourself there is no way you are
going to suffer from guilt, blame, and
self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will
break a big spell that you have been under.
There was a man who wanted to transcend his suffering so
he went to a Buddhist temple to find a Master to help
him. He went to the Master and asked, "Master,
if I meditate four hours a day, how long will it take me
The Master looked at him and said, "If you meditate
four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in ten
Thinking he could do better, the man then said, "Oh,
Master, what if I meditated eight hours a day, how long
will it take me to transcend?"
The Master looked at him and said, "If you meditate
eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty
"But why will it take me longer if I meditate
more?" the man asked.
The Master replied, "You are not here to sacrifice
your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be
happy, and to love. If you can do your best in two
hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead,
you will only grow tired, miss the point, and you won't
enjoy your life. Do your best, and perhaps you will
learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live,
love, and be happy."
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Two students, Bill and Mike, moved to new towns
with their parents. Bill disliked his new
community from the first day. He felt the
new school was inferior to the one he had
attended in his former hometown. His new
classmates seemed boring and unfriendly.
"I wish we hadn't moved here," Bill
told his parents. "This is a cold,
dull place, and I'll never fit in."
Mike was far more fortunate. He discovered
that his new school was not only excellent
academically, but provided many interesting
activities and challenges. "I can't
believe how many new friends I made today,"
he stated to his family at the dinner table
after his first day at Miller High.
"I feel as though some of the students have
been my friends forever." Before you
pity Bill for not moving to a town as warm and
friendly as the one Mike moved to, you should
know that they moved to the same town, the same
neighborhood, and they attended the same school!
Why did two young people respond to a similar
situation so differently? Bill tends to
expect the worst in life, whereas Mike is
outgoing and friendly. Mike went to the
new school with a smile on his face and an open
and positive outlook. Mike is a loving
person who lives in a loving world.
The loving person creates a positive
atmosphere. Jill, for example, was a
loving person. She was the friend you
could count on--always ready to listen, to help,
and to comfort. When Jill's mother died of
cancer while Jill was still in high school, she
was surrounded by love, not only from her family
but also from her many friends. Jill's
giving of herself was being returned
ten-fold. Even in great sorrow, she lived
in a loving world.
The loving person can feel hurt, can experience
anger, can be put out at someone for some
reason. These are human emotions.
Life, after all, offers its share of
disappointments, troubles, worries, and sorrows
for each of us. We cannot expect
continuously happy days. But the loving
person refuses to allow negative emotions to
become dominant. The loving person can
forgive another who may have hurt him or
her. The loving person goes for a long
walk or becomes involved in an activity that
takes his or her mind off the feelings of anger
or frustration that may be threatening his or
her peace of mind. Loving people clear the
air by talking with the person with whom they
may be angry, and then perhaps offer a hug or a
handshake in reconciliation. Regardless of
the degrees of stress or confusion they must
undergo, those people's worlds continue to be
Try a smile instead of a scowl. Expect the
best and not the worst. Do your utmost to
be understanding and to care for the people in
your life. The "Bills" of this
world often find things to complain about
throughout their lives. The
"Mikes," on the other hand, not only
look for the best but help to create that best
through their own attitudes and integrity.
The loving person, from youth to old age, lives
in a loving world and leads a full and happy
life, finding the strength to face problems and
tragedies because of the loving world they
Dr. Glenn Mosley wrote the following in an
article entitled "Love and
Friendship": "Love is more than
sentiment; it is a need, a hunger, a thirst that
is perfectly natural. No one can live
happily without giving and receiving love.
It is the fulfilling of the law, and the
fulfilling of life. We must understand
Jesus' teachings on love. . . . 'God is love,
and those who abide in love abide in God, and
God abides in them.' In other words, to
the extent that we let this divine activity hold
sway in us we become a portion of the divine
heart of God."
It may sometimes seem difficult to be open to
others who may seem cranky, ill-tempered,
selfish, and hostile. Yet, a loving person
realizes that understanding another's problems
and frustrations can help to open the way to
compassion. A loving person, living in a
loving world, knows that the miracle of love can
find a way to pass the "impassable"
human relations obstacle.
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are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
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from them what you will, and disagree with
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Try to be mindful,
and let things take their natural course. Then your mind
become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool.
of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool,
and you will
clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many
wonderful things come and go, but you will be still.
I know some people who,
I'm sorry to say, probably will never be happy.
They're living on the same planet as the rest of us,
have the same opportunities as those people around them,
know people who are very similar to the people everyone
else knows, and whose bodies function just as well as
other people's bodies, yet they look at the world in
dark and depressing ways. They don't see
opportunity, but rather limitations. They don't
see other people as potential friends or at least fellow
travelers to the grave; rather, they see them as threats
or at the very most as wastes of their time.
Sometimes I feel that the main goal in life is to be
happy, and from happiness, all other good things will
spring. The truly happy person is more likely to
serve others, to feel hope and compassion, to love
others unconditionally, because they don't have a lot of
emotional needs that they expect others to
fulfill. They're happy because they see the world
as a bright and beautiful place, and they're right there
in the middle of it. And they're happy because
they've made the most of their opportunities, and
they're grateful for having had them. And they're
happy because they've spread love to others, even in
very small ways that may seem insignificant to other
people who probably aren't all that happy because they
need to judge all the things that other people do.
happiness which we receive from ourselves is greater
than that which
obtain from our surroundings. . . .The
world in which a person lives shapes itself chiefly by the
way in which he or she looks at it.
As I grow older and
older, I realize that most of my happiness depends
upon me and not just on the ways that I see the
world, but also on the ways that I act in the
world. I can see the world as a wonderful
place, but if I don't contribute to that wonder, I'm
pretty sure that I won't be happy. Therefore,
I'm busier in some ways than many other people who
have hours a day to spend in front of the television
or computer screen, but I'm busy doing things that I
love doing, so that's okay. (I still need
rests from these things, though, but that's for next
week!) I don't feel obligated to contribute
and I don't feel that others judge me harshly if I
don't contribute, but the ways I feel when I do
contribute make it all completely worthwhile.
I've also learned to keep my expectations fairly
low, not because I don't think that others are
capable of meeting high expectations, but because my
judgment doesn't help other people to grow and
thrive and be happy themselves. I don't know
where other people are in their journeys, and
there's no justification for me to expect them to be
at certain points that they may or may not have
reached yet. They are where they are, and it's
my responsibility--especially with my students--to
find out where that is and meet them there rather
than expecting them to meet me where I am.
It was probably a mistake to pursue happiness;
much better to
still better to create happiness
for others. The
more happiness you created for others
the more would be yours—a
solid satisfaction that no one could ever take away from you.
I want to be happy,
but I don't want to be so at the expense of
others--I don't want to find my happiness in the act
of defeating others or making them less than they
are. I want to be happy, but I can't just
simply sit around and wait for the world to make
me happy--I need to take an active role in finding
and maintaining the happy states in my life. I
know that I would not be happy doing something like
going to the beach every day for the rest of my life
and sitting in the sun. That's a very
enjoyable pastime now and then, but it doesn't make
for a life. I'll never be happy watching
television for hours every day--then I'm passively
taking in other people's work, other people's
perspectives, other people's creativity.
I'm fortunate to have identified some of my
strengths, and the things that I'm strongest at are
the things that I'm using right now to contribute to
others. I'm a good runner, so I'm volunteering
my time to help coach a kids' track and
cross-country team. I'm good at languages, so
I'm teaching languages right now as my main source
of income. I'm good at reading and
interpreting literature, so I've spent many years
teaching others to do the same thing in my English
classes. I'm good at writing, so I'm trying to
write as much as I can in ways that may or may not
help others--I can't control whether those ways
actually do help others, but I can put my stuff out
there for others to access, and let life take care
of the rest.
The life that is sharing in the interests, the
welfare, and the happiness
of others is the one that is
continually expanding in beauty
and in power and, therefore, in
Ralph Waldo Trine
Perhaps the key to all
my efforts are the last seven words there:
"let life take care of the rest."
I've identified my strengths and I'm using them, but
happiness would still be hard to find if I had high
expectations about how people react to what I
do. As a teacher, I don't get disappointed in
students who don't understand what I'm teaching, for
that disappointment would drag me down.
Rather, I look for other ways to present the
material so that they may get it easier. As a
coach, I don't expect every runner to improve their
times by certain amounts--instead, I'm glad when
they put forth the effort because I know that not
everyone's mind and body are ready for the type of
running that we're doing. My happiness does
not depend on their performance, though I do make
every effort that I can to help them to improve.
There are things that I'm bad at, too, and I do not
let those things erode or deteriorate my
happiness. I accept my lack of ability and do
the best I can in those areas, and I even try to
improve in them, but I don't beat myself up about
them if I don't perform to certain standards.
While I'm quite good at painting the walls of a
room, I'm not very good at all at painting
pictures. That's okay. I'm quite good at
encouraging other people, but I'm not good at all at
meeting strangers, except in certain well-defined
situations. That's okay--I'll never be a
social butterfly, but I can live with that. If
my social calendar were fuller, I wouldn't have time
to do many of the other things that I do.
I want to be happy, and it's important that I do the
things that will make me happy and that I do my best
to add something positive to the lives of
others. That will give me the sense of
accomplishment and satisfaction that will help me to
be happy, as long as I don't mess it up by adding to
the mix expectations that probably can't be
met--which would lead to my disappointment, which
would diminish my happiness, etc., etc. My
happiness is within my reach because I determine
whether I'm creating the conditions in which it can
thrive or not, and I determine just what I need to
do to make happiness a real part of my life.
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ought for our own good to have access to nature and knowledge
of it. To my mind, it is monstrous that any child should
grow up without
some acquaintance with nature, and above all I would say without
opportunity for intimate knowledge of some individual plants and
Creator gives us
Comes with every new day,
The gift of breath, the gift of life,
Opportunities in a vast array.
How do we count our blessings,
Through the choices life can bring?
Is it through joyful lessons?
Or the fears to which we cling?
Are we learning to show gratitude,
For the victories over human pain?
By honoring the feeling choices,
We grasp the will we've regained.
Can we change our focus,
With no need to defend?
Acknowledging joy and sorrow,
Without judging foe or friend?
Tomorrow promises the fullness
Of every human way to know:
How we master each challenge
Determines our balance -
reflecting how we grow.
The Promise of Tomorrow
people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that
face the light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road
We feel that the road to technology. . . . has led modern society to
a damaged and seared
earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a
rush to destruction,
and that the road to spirituality represents the slower path that
native people have traveled and are now seeking again?
The earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still