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Someone should do something

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If you’ve ever thought:

“Someone should do something!”

Remember: You’re someone.

You may not be able to do everything, but you can always do something.

Don’t let what you can’t do stand in the way of what you can do.

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Skip and volume control

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If you’ve ever listened to a song and turned it up because you enjoyed hearing it so much, know that you essentially have (and use) this ability to the experiences that happen in your life.

Your attention is your “volume control”. Whatever you focus on gets louder.

So when something comes on that you don’t like, do you turn it up? No. You skip it.

And this is what you can do with those tired, old, negative thoughts in your head. You skip them.

And you keep skipping until you can settle on something worth listening to — and hopefully, worth turning up.

Skip and volume control. Use as needed.

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Life is not a competition

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale

Never give up on what you desire in life just because someone else appears to have an easier time getting what they desire or is making progress more quickly than you are.

Remind yourself as necessary that life is not a competition and that some people will always make progress more quickly than others. That’s life.

But your life, your circumstances, and your goals are your own. Don’t let the simple fact that others are working on and achieving their goals deter you from working on and achieving your own.

Always remember that every little step you take towards a goal — no matter how small — is progress.

Related:

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Parachutes

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I’ve said it before, if all I do is write posts that simply make people nod yes, then I’m not really doing much to make people think or change the way they look at things.

“It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.” — Aristotle

It is those things that make us pause and evaluate how we feel about them — whether we agree or disagree or just want to think about in more depth over time — that really make a difference in our lives.

If we aren’t challenged by something, we aren’t changed by it.

You can see a million of these motivational quotes and pins go by and quickly think “yup!”, but do they really do anything but reassure you of what you already think, feel, or know about something?

“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.” — Michel de Montaigne

It’s the posts that make you go, “Wait. I’m not sure I agree.” or “I hadn’t thought about it like that before.” that really help make changes in your life or your way of thinking.

I should also once again point out that we don’t have to agree on something to get along.

And, if done respectfully, I like to be challenged because it helps me see things from another perspective. I may even update something I wrote to reflect new insights.

“I don’t like to talk much with people who always agree with me. It is amusing to coquette with an echo for a little while, but one soon tires of it.” — Thomas Carlyle

What I write doesn’t always apply to every situation or scenario. And it can’t possibly reflect things I haven’t thought about before.

“Things that I felt absolutely sure of but a few years ago, I do not believe now. This thought makes me see more clearly how foolish it would be to expect all men to agree with me.” — Jim Rohn

That’s where being open to other perspective helps.

“One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.” — Lao Tzu

If all you do is surround yourself with people and things that reflect your views 100%, and you have no tolerance for those who think or act differently, it gives you a distorted view of the world.

“If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary” — Winston Churchill

“Minds are like parachutes they only function when open.”

“You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway.” — John Steinbeck

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The journey is the reward

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The reward for travel is as much about what the act of experiencing new things makes you think (and feel), as it is about moving from one place to another.

Travel is not so much about the distance between departure and destination as it is about the journey. Don’t assume you have to travel far or somewhere exotic to reap the benefits inherent in the process.

Many people are guilty of failing to explore places that are easily within their reach simply because they take these places for granted or assume they know what they will find when they get there.

They fail to realize that the journey is as much of a reward as the destination.

Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride. Take a drive.

However you do it, don’t be guilty of not exploring places that are easily within your reach. And remember to remain present for the journey.

Some of people’s best thoughts happen in the shower. Others come from going to places one has never been.

You never know where the inspiration for that next best thought or idea will come from. It might just be down that path you’ve never gone down before.

The reward for travel is as much about what the act of experiencing new things makes you think (and feel), as it is about moving from one place to another.

Originally published on: Apr 12, 2014 @ 15:40
Republished on: May 30, 2015 @ 13:40

The secret of the Fountain of Youth

It’s not so much how many wrinkles or how much hair you have that makes you seem old, it’s how you act.

Enthusiasm and an energetic spirit go a long way in giving one a youthful presence.

“Being youthful is an inside job. Think about what youth is. It’s kids, kids are enthusiastic, energetic, interested, optimistic, engaged, and curious. If you’re not all of those things, you can have no lines on your face and a 32 inch waist, and no one is going to call you youthful.” — Rob Lowe

Nothing makes you seem quite as old and used up like talking about how old and used up you are. And nothing reinforces in your mind how old you are as catering to these kinds of conversations with others.

Perhaps your memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be because you don’t do anything to keep it sharp or make it better.

Perhaps the pain or fatigue you feel in your body is a result of not doing much of anything to combat the effects of aging.

“You don’t stop doing things because you get old. You get old because you stop doing things.”

Yes, perhaps you have to make some mental and physical adjustments as you age, but people can do amazing and inspiring things at all ages.

If you simply resolve that “I am now limited because I’m getting old and that’s just the way it is”, you do a disservice to all the things you could still strive for and accomplish if you only tried.

Old-age thinking and old-age acting leads to “old age” much more than our revolutions around the sun.

Keep this in mind the next time someone wants you to identify with being “old” in a way you don’t necessarily agree with.

You can’t stop the clock, but you can do can do much to naturally combat the effects of aging in a negative way.

The secret of the fountain of youth is not in anything that can be bought. The secret of the fountain of youth is a healthy attitude towards aging.

Whatever your age, there’s always room for one more goal, one more accomplishment, one more way to better yourself and the world around you.

Never give up.

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The mock of shame

We live in a culture that suggests “thinking differently” and standing out from the crowd is a good thing, and yet we are often guilty of poking fun of anything or anyone we come across that is “out of the ordinary”.

Perhaps it’s because anything different is an easy target, a conversation starter, and an opportunity for any of us to make obvious observations…

“Oh my god. Look at that person’s…”
“Look at the weird way they…”

We may think we are being funny, but we often state these observations in a way that is critical — and not complimentary — to the person being observed. The fact that these aren’t the sort of things we would feel comfortable sharing verbatim with the person directly is a clear indicator that they’re being said at that person’s expense.

If you truly do admire independent thinkers and those who are true to themselves, remember this the next time you come across someone or something out of the ordinary. It means someone is choosing to be themselves despite immense pressure to fit in and be just like everyone else.

It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to be one’s true self and — as long as someone isn’t harming themselves or others in the process — it should be applauded, not mocked.

If you truly appreciate uniqueness in others, learn to express it in a positive way. Don’t be the person that says they believe that people should be themselves, but when presented with someone or something different, uses it as an opportunity to make fun of that person.

The qualities that make someone unique should be respected — even admired — not ridiculed.

Unique people often have coolest stories. And it might just be that if you knew the reason behind someone’s display of independence, you’d find it inspiring and worthy of praise, not mockery.

And perhaps that “weirdo” sitting behind a laptop in a cafe for 8 hours a day, multiple days in a row, is a badass with an awesome backstory and you just don’t know it.

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Be patient, be consistent, strive to better yourself…

Be patient, be consistent, strive to better yourself and the world around you, and embrace small victories.

With consistency, small victories become big victories.

One day at a time.

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Yes, you absolutely make a difference.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” — William James

Yes, you absolutely make a difference.

But do you know how you make even more of a difference?

Simply by being aware of times that you can do so and then following through with some kind of action.

A kind word, a sincere compliment, a bit of encouragement, a smile, a listening ear, some positive feedback…

These things often take mere moments of our time to give, but can be worth so much to the people on the receiving end.

Accentuate the positive and positivity expands. You don’t have to see it to know it happens, but when you do, it is its own special reward.

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One less idiot

I’m an optimist. I like to see the best in people. I believe human beings are inherently good. I believe people are capable of achieving far more than they believe. I encourage tolerance, kindness, and open minds.

That said, knowing this one simple fact may prove beneficial in getting through life:

Idiots are everywhere.
(And sometimes we are those idiots.)

That probably won’t change.

But what can change is who we are and how we act when we cross paths with idiots. Because, sadly, we often let other idiots turn us into idiots without thinking.

The more we resist the urge to let others control our emotions and our actions in a negative way, the less likely we are to let idiots turn us into idiots (and the happier and more in control of our lives we will be).

Our attitude and how we handle ourselves is always our responsibility.

We may not always know what to do when we cross paths with idiots, but we can always choose the type of person we want to be.

And if you choose not to let an idiot turn you into an idiot, that’s one less idiot there will be in the world.

Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.” — Mark Twain

Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” — George Bernard Shaw

Stop attaching so much weight to being right. In the grand scheme of things, being right is insignificant compared to being happy.” — Deepak Chopra

“Be selective in your battles sometimes peace is better than being right.” — Ritu Ghatourey

One less idiot.

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