Hello!  Another Tuesday has come our way, and it's our pleasure to provide you with another page full of interesting thoughts on life and living.  We hope that you find something very special here for yourself!

8 January 2019      

Riches and Happiness
Orison Swett Marden

Limitations, or Possibilities?
tom walsh

What Are You Working for? (an excerpt)
Deborah K. Heisz

The world will never starve for want of wonders,
but only for want of wonder.  -G.K. Chesterton

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Simple and Profound Thoughts
(from simpleandprofound.com)

How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!
-George Elliston

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.
-Coco Chanel

Respect is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-Annie Gottlieb

Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.
-Albert Schweitzer

  

Riches and Happiness
Orison Swett Marden

Every mind seems capable of entertaining a certain quantity of Happiness, which no institutions can increase, no circumstances alter, and entirely independent of Fortune.  Let anyone compare his or her present fortune with the past, and they will probably find themselves, upon the whole, neither better nor worse than formerly.—Goldsmith.

The youth should be so trained in the science of happiness as to be able to say to a person who has millions of dollars but very little else —"I have set my face towards making a success of life, not merely a success of dollars.  If any one can get more out of life than I can, that person is welcome to it."

What a misfortune to the world, if wealth could produce the happiness which most people think it can!  If wealth were essential, if a person had to be rich to be happy, the wealthy would always be happy and the poor unhappy.

But riches alone do not make people happy or blessed. Money, to make a person happy, must serve one's higher nature, the development of the good in oneself or in others, and not pander to anything which tends to bring out the mere animal in one.

Wealth in the hands of ignoramuses, in the hands of people with coarse tastes and low ideals, does not contribute to real happiness.  The brute qualities lead away from happiness.  No one can be really happy who does not have a high ideal and a grand life purpose.

Most people are deluded with the idea that happiness consists in gratifying desires.  They do not realize that "desire is as insatiable as the ocean, and clamors louder and louder as its demands are attended to."  "There is no satiety in riches," said a Roman philosopher.

Gratification, satisfaction of our selfish cravings, only increases our real soul-hunger.  Principle alone can give permanent happiness; material things are ever changing, ever elusive; there is no permanency, no endurance in them.

One of the greatest disappointments of many rich people is that they have not been able to purchase happiness with money.  The powerlessness of money to purchase happiness has
disappointed more human beings than almost anything else.  People who seek happiness in money are in the position of a man seeking safety on a floating piece of ice, which is drifting with certainty toward the open sea.  What money can buy only satisfies a small part of an immortal being.  We cannot feed upon bread alone.  We all know people who have never amassed riches but who have built up a magnificent bulwark of character, a superb personality; who have never won millions but have become millionaires of character, have accumulated untold riches in priceless friendships, and have been enshrined in a multitude of loving hearts.

They are not rich in money but rich in the things that are worth while, in things which money will not buy.  They have enriched hundreds of other lives by their encouragement, inspiration, their uplifting and ennobling influence.

To be rich in money and poverty-stricken in everything else is to be poor indeed.

from The Joys of Living (1913)

more on happiness
more on wealth

   

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What Are You Working For?
an excerpt
Deborah K. Heisz

The commercial janitorial industry has a notoriously high turnover rate, and in the mid-1990s Jancoa and its competitors faced a common problem: keeping workers. Frustrated, Mary and her husband, Tony, looked for ways to keep workers happier in hopes of slashing their high turnover rate.

“We realized people’s purpose isn’t just about the task they’re doing. It’s about what they’re working for,” Mary says. “What will they do with the money they earn? Is it to give their family a better life? Travel? Spend more time together? When people dream about what they will do in the future, it changes what they do today.”

Based on that realization, Mary and Tony developed an innovative program to help employees identify their goals and dreams and then create a plan of action to achieve them. While employees helped Jancoa succeed, Mary and Tony worked on finding ways to make their employees’ dreams come true.

That initial idea blossomed into a full-blown process now known as the Dream Manager program. Using one-on-one coaching sessions, the program helps employees identify their personal goals—whether that means running a marathon, getting a college degree, buying a home, or even starting their own business. The coaching program includes helping workers create an action plan by identifying measurable goals and implementing ways to reach them.

The Millers’ unusual but successful approach caught the attention of author Michael Kelly and became the focus of his New York Times bestselling book The Dream Manager. That exposure helped introduce the concept on a wide scale, and today Dream Manager programs have been implemented by companies around the globe.

As Mary and Tony’s business has grown, so has their staff of janitorial workers. Today, the company employs more than four hundred people, including a full-time dream manager, who helps keep track of the goals and action plans. The dream manager meets with employees on their first day of work, helps them identify their goals and dreams, and then creates action steps so the employees can achieve them.

Jancoa’s employee turnover rate is now more than 300 percent better than the industry average, and the company hasn’t had to run a help-wanted ad in years. Even better? Business is booming, thanks to their dedicated and hardworking employees. The job hasn’t changed, but the attitude with which their employees approach their work has.

Mary explains that a person’s attitude makes all the difference in life, regardless of the job.  “Every job is so much bigger than the task you do; remembering that, every day, changes the way you approach it,” she says. Focusing on the bigger picture, both with regard to the job and the dreams it helps fund, also makes it easier to let go of the daily drama in the workplace—something that makes any workplace more enjoyable. A positive attitude, she says, adds value to life. “You can choose to make each day fun and meaningful. You may not be able to control what is going on around you, but you can choose to enjoy what you’re doing and remember why you’re doing it.”

from Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy

more on work

   

  

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Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation,
a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind.
Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.

Gary Snyder

   

 

Limitations, or Possibilities?

Perspective is one of the most important aspects of our lives.  How do we see things?  How we see them does more to determine the effect they have on us than what they really are sometimes.  And how we look at the world can go a long way towards causing us to be happy or frustrated, content or discontent, optimistic or pessimistic.  The world is what it is, and most of the time we can do nothing to change how it's going--but we can change how we look at it.  And most of us are able and willing to make those changes, but what would our lives be like if we can always see the inherent positive even in situations that seem to be incredibly negative?

It took me a long time to realize just how much of my own attitude towards life depended on me, myself.  I always thought that somehow life was being unfair, as if it had something against me personally.  I always saw setbacks as terrible things, not ways in which I might be being redirected.  If I applied for a job and didn't get it, it upset me very much--whereas today, I would look at the situation as life telling me there's something else out there that's better.  If I liked a woman and no relationship developed, I rarely saw that perhaps it was better that way because we might not have been as compatible as I had thought.

   

Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there
more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.

Hugh Allen

   
I deal with many students of all ages who talk about little but the limitations they see in life.  They don't have the abilities, the looks, the money, the right ethnicity, the brains to do the things they want--or so they say.  Unfortunately, many of them are looking at not just the big picture, but the huge picture:  I can't be a doctor because I don't have $100,000 for college.  What they don't look at is that they can start classes at a community college to make a start on a medical degree, or they can even start at a university part-time.  Sometimes, our possibilities can give us a start towards our major goals--and I've seen almost no situations in which a long-term possibility can't be worked towards with small steps.  (They do exist, of course, but there are very few of them!)

And if someone starts on their path towards being a doctor by taking courses at a community college, that's definitely taking advantage of a possibility and not simply a limitation.  The situation can be expressed as "I don't have enough money to go to the university full time," or it can be explained as "I have an opportunity to take care of many of my basic courses here while I put money aside for the university."  It's all in the ways that we look at things, as well as the ways that we take them.

Many of our perceived limitations come about because we get far too focused on time for our own good.  If something doesn't happen immediately, it seems, we feel that it's not happening fast enough, that we're wasting time because of limitations.  But the truth is that sometimes, the time that we spend doing other things is just as valuable to us as the time we would spend doing what we had planned to do.  When I got laid off from the high school I taught at, it took me more than four months to find my next job, and I didn't get hired by quite a number of schools where I had applied.  But I ended up getting a teaching job in a fascinating place where I learned a great deal that I never would have learned otherwise from people I never would have met if I had been offered one of the other jobs.  My limitation (no work) actually turned out to be an opportunity (new and different place)--I just needed to be patient and look at the situation in positive ways.
    

The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
the optimist, the opportunity in every difficulty.


L.P. Jacks

    
That's not to say that every lay-off is fair or good.  It's not to say that if something terrible happens, we should smile and say, "Oh, good!"  But when we accept any situation for what it is, even the bad situations come with their silver linings, so to speak.  Once we accept it, we can look for the opportunities inherent in the new situation.  Did someone break up with me?  Then I now have the opportunity to meet new people and do lots of things on my own, without checking with someone else first, and that may be interesting to me but not to my now-ex.  Does my family have very little money?  It may not be fair that I have to get a job while my friends are playing sports in high school, but I'm learning skills early that will help me a great deal in life, and I'm learning how to handle my own money.

Once my wife and I were hiking on a small mountain in New Hampshire.  We passed an interesting group of people who were also hiking--and half of them were blind.  The group was training to go to Mt. Kilimanjaro to hike to the top (you can read about one such group here).  Most people would consider blindness to be a severe limitation that would preclude them from attempting such a feat, but they knew that they had an amazing opportunity, and they took advantage of it.
   

Inside yourself or outside, you never have to
change what you see, only the way you see it.

Thaddeus Golas

   
We have to be willing to bend with situations if we're to deal with our limitations.  We can't always conquer limitations--sometimes they just cause us to walk a different road that can also be full of wonder.  My fear of heights kept me off a lot of trails when I lived at the Grand Canyon, but the other trails that I took instead were amazing themselves.  My lack of ability in advanced mathematics kept from doing quantitative research when I was working on my doctorate, but the qualitative research that I did instead was tremendously rewarding.

The next time that you start thinking about limitations that are keeping you from doing what you want to do, perhaps it would be a good idea to consider just what possibilities are being opened up to you to do what you should be doing.  The ways that we look at situations do a great deal to determine how we respond to them, especially emotionally.  I hope to keep my perspective healthy and keep in mind that usually when a door closes, another door or even a window opens instead.  I can stand there and complain about the closed door, or I can go find out what the open door has to offer.

   
More on perspective.

   
   
  

   

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Our rushing and our busyness create a fog layer that encloses us, surrounding us with thicker and thicker layers externally and building denser and denser fog layers within.  Pretty soon, we have lost touch with that which guides our lives.  We need contact with our spirituality to be the people we would like to be.

Anne Wilson Schaef

  
The future requires openness to all spiritual knowledge.  You may prefer one religion, but there are many paths to the center and we need all the help we can get.

People who believe there is only one path limit themselves.  They find safety in spiritual rigidity.  They memorize phrases and mindlessly repeat them, confusing faith with obedience.  They threaten damnation, they hurl insults in the name of God.  They cannot feel the love of the prophets they quote.  They preach limits in the realm of the unlimited.

The message of the spirit throughout the world is the same.  It is a message of love, tolerance, compassion, respect, optimism, and a profound understanding of the meaning of community.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey
   

  

Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone.  It has created
the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created
the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.


Paul Tillich

    

  

   

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