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Never underestimate the power of a single act of kindness

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Never underestimate the power of a single act of kindness to make a significant difference in someone’s life. A single act of kindness may just be the added lift that someone needs to go from falling to flying.

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Nature abhors a vacuum.

According to the laws of nature and physics, empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural. Wherever there is a void, the universe seeks to fill it.

Turns out Aristotle was primarily right when he said  “Nature abhors a vacuum”.

This expression popped into my head as I wrapped up my cardio session at the gym earlier — and was included in my E is for endorphins post on facebook.

There are two times of day when seemingly random things just “pop into my head”. The first is immediately after waking up (sometimes those thoughts are great — and sometimes, ummmm, yeah!).

And the second most often time this happens, is while I’m at the gym — usually doing cardio (that’s my “meditation time”, which I’ve mentioned in posts like this one).

Although my post to Facebook earlier was intended to be light and fun, I’ve been chewing on it ever since. I know I’ve heard this “nature abhors a vacuum” expression before, but I wasn’t sure where it came from, so I looked it up — and that’s how this post got started.

At least that’s how I initially thought it got started. But then I looked back at something else I posted earlier in the day — a quote by Charles Burke about “Giving thanks” — and realized it felt familiar. While he doesn’t explicitly say the words, Burke’s quote includes this phrase:

“When you give thanks — real, soul-lifting, jubilant thanks — for things you don’t have yet, nature rushes in to fill that vacuum.”

It’s pretty clear my brain was making connections between this quote and Aristotle’s before I was even aware of it. (And I’ve written before about how the subconscious mind will often do this.)

So I was thinking, perhaps there really is some science behind the universe’s general tendency to fill voids — and maybe there’s a way for us to use this to our advantage?

A universal “loophole”, if you will…

I’ve heard it said before that:

“If you want something in your life, acting like you already have it is one of the most immediate ways to get it”.

So perhaps Charles Burke is onto something — what would (or could) happen if one was to be grateful for things one didn’t yet have?

Since it has also been said that our brainwaves turn thoughts into matter, could it not be the case that by acting (thinking) as if we already have what we want, the universe will “see” that void (if one exists) and seek to fill it?

Maybe.

Or maybe this is just some self-help silliness.

But still…

If being truly grateful makes you feel better about life anyway, perhaps that’s even more reason to practice gratitude.

It’s certainly worth trying. Isn’t it?

[jbox color=”gray” icon=”http://zerodean.com/images/quote-icon.png”]Dear Universe!

  • I am grateful that things just keep getting better and better!
  • And for being healthy (and injury free) enough to run my first marathon in 2013!
  • And for overwhelming abundance!
  • And for the amazing people in my life!
  • And for awesome travel opportunities!
  • And for finally meeting (and entering into a relationship with) the woman of my dreams! ;)

And, oh heck, why not — for having the opportunity to finally meet Will Smith — because Will Smith is awesome.[/jbox]

Holy crackers — showing gratitude is fun. :) Who knew!?

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See also my follow-up to this post: “Setting the table of your life.”

An honest enemy is better than a false friend

An honest enemy is better than a false friend. When in doubt, pay more attention to what people do and less to what they say. Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake.

An honest enemy is better than a false friend. When in doubt, pay more attention to what people do and less to what they say. Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake.

“Lieber ein ehrlicher Feind, als ein falscher Freund”

“Better an honest enemy than a false friend” — German Proverb

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Dear Self, I am working on being a better person

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Dear Self,

I am working on being a better person.

Please let me be the type of person who I would respect & admire if I saw them in action. Let me greet each new day as another opportunity to get things right. Let me be open to thinking about things in ways I haven’t thought about them before. Let me find ways to make a positive difference in the world, no matter how small, and act upon them when I am able.

Let me be open to the challenge of change. Let me not shy away from things just because they are difficult. Let me face my fears and do things I would like to do even when they make me nervous. Let me be generous with what I have to give away. Let me remember to be grateful for every second that I get to make choices in my life and act upon them.

Let me make at least one person’s day brighter by having been a part of it. Let me accept my mistakes as learning experiences. Let me learn to love myself, flaws and all. Let me not care so much what others think. And let me be confident in my ability to succeed.

Thank you. — Me

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What I’ve learned about determination & commitment

“Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.” — Robert Brault

20 things I’ve learned about determination & commitment in 333 days.

1. It means focusing on your heart’s desire(s) and not giving up on your goal(s) when you are forced beyond your comfort zone or when inevitable setbacks or disappointments happen.

2. It means focusing on changing the things you can and not complaining about or focusing on the things you cannot.

3. It means taking action and doing what is hard & necessary to get things done and not expecting others to do it for you.

4. It means facing your fears and battling doubts, but refusing to give in to either.

5. It means making mistakes, falling down, or suffering embarrassment — but learning from these experiences and using them to push forward towards your goal — not letting them weaken your resolve or overcome you.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” — Calvin Coolidge

6. It means taking steps every single day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, and no matter how small your steps may be, to move towards your heart’s desires.

7. It means focusing on the bigger picture — making sacrifices and delaying gratification in order to invest in where you intend to go.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. It means letting go of trying to please or be “friends” with everyone.

9. It means potentially (likely) stirring things up, causing a “ruckus”, drawing complaints, or attracting “haters” due to your actions — and pushing forward regardless.

10. It means dealing with the criticism from friends, family, colleagues, competitors, or anyone at any time who may cross your path and judge you or laugh at you or tell you “you can’t” or “you won’t”, but not letting it stand in the way of you and your goal.

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” — Gail Devers

11. It means living with integrity — sticking up for your beliefs & values and being honest with yourself and others — even when it’s uncomfortable or your views or goals appear unpopular.

12. It means constantly seeking ways to improve yourself and your “craft” and better ways to do whatever is necessary to achieve your goal.

13. It means not giving up when a door is slammed in your face or you are told “no” 99 times — instead, you focus on finding alternative paths to your goal — some way, somehow to get to the person behind the 100th door that says “yes”.

14. It means if you are offended, betrayed, or belittled by people who are close to you or you discover others working against you, not letting it derail you from reaching your ultimate goal.

15. It means continually and deliberately reaching beyond your comfort zone and doing what others won’t in order to achieve your goal.

“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” — Thomas Foxwell Buxton

16. It means understanding both your strengths and your weaknesses — and maximizing one while trying to minimize the other.

17. It means fueling your own fire and being a significant source of your own motivation — utilizing your passion for what you’re doing to achieve your goal.

18. It means finding a way, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable what you’re doing may be, to enjoy and learn from the process & journey — to live in the present and appreciate what you’re doing or any positive impact it may have on others.

19. It means believing in yourself and a goal that may appear “unrealistic” or against the odds to many — but knowing deep down that it’s not only possible, but that you can do it.

20. It means living up to your own standards.

Giving up is the easiest thing to do. In fact, many times people are happy to accept quitting as long as one appeared to put in some effort — even if it wasn’t their best — “It’s ok, you did the best you could.”

Some may even tempt you with, “No one will think any less of you for quitting.”, but…

If you’re truly going after your heart’s desires and you truly believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish, then it doesn’t matter what other people think because you’re not doing it for them — you’re doing it for you.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” — William Feather

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