Showing posts with label Success Goals and Inspire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Success Goals and Inspire. Show all posts

Friday, July 03, 2020

Lisa Kudrow Vassar Commencement Speech - How To Find Your Reason?

Lisa Kudrow one of the famous and loved character from popular tv series Friends.

This Motivational Speech is about Finding Your Reason in life during her commencement speech at the vassar college. Lisa Kudrow talks about the incident which led her into starring on TV series Friends as Phoebe and how did she succeed.

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Please watch: "You've been told Lie. Watch This and You will Never Look at Life The Same - JAMES WILDMAN Motivation"

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Monday, May 01, 2017

100 percent is Attitude?

OH! 100 percent... So good listen that everyone wants 100 percent and it is also good to have 100 percent. Yes. In life everyone wants 100 percent for him/herself. Why should one thinks that he/she wants only 99 percent. There such example of how attitude becomes 100 percent.

Let's check one mathematical expression for how Attitude=100.
If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 then...

Then  S-K-I-L-L = 63 percent (19+11+9+12+12)
          S-U-C-C-E-S-S = 89 percent (19+21+3+3+5+19+19)
          K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E = 96 percent (11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5)
          H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K = 98 percent (8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11)
          M-E-D-I-T-A-T-I-N = 110 percent (13+5+4+9+20+1+20+9+15+14) 
          P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E = 115 percent (16+15+19+9+20+9+22+5)
          P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y = 154 percent (16+5+18+19+15+14+1+12+9+20+25)
          and finally
          A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E = 100 percent (1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5)

Sometimes it is good to have more then 100 percent but it is not necessary that all time having more will be helpful. It is like having Overconfidence or like having some sort of Ego.

Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope this post maybe helpful to you and it helps you to fulfill your dreams and goals. Share this article with your friends and please leave a reply below in  a comment box. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How Much Do Parents Love And Sacrifice For Their Child?

Once upon a time there was a huge apple tree. A little boy used to come and play near the tree for many years, he would search for juicy apples, play alongside the tree and rest under the shade. The tree was so happy after meeting this little boy with bundle of joy.

One day the boy approach the tree with a sad face. The tree was surprised. "Come and play with me", the tree asked the boy. "I am no longer a kid to play around trees" the boy gave dirty look at the tree. "I want toys, I need money to buy them". "Sorry, I do not have money, but you can pick all my apples and sell them" replied the tree in a calm voice. The boy grab all the apples and left.

Spring has gone and autumn came by but there was no sign of the boy. One morning the tree saw it's friend, the little boy had grown up into a big man. "Come and play with me" the tree said. I can't play, I have a family now. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me? the man replied. "Sorry I do not have any house, but you can chop my branches to build your house". The man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see his friend smiling again.

The man returned one evening. "Come and play with me" the tree said. "I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?" said the man "Use my trunk to build your boat". He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.

The man returned after many years. "Sorry my boy, but I do not have anything for you anymore. No more apples neither branches nor a trunk for you to climb on", the tree said with a pain in its voice. "No problem, I do not have any teeth to bite and I am too old to climb trees" the man replied. "I just need a place to rest after all these years". the man replied."Old tree roots are the best place to lean on, come sit down with me and rest". The man sat down, the tree was glad and smiled with tears.



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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why Do We Take Someone Else Advises And Not Our Parents?

This is a story of a guy who wants to start his own business or wants to invest in stock market. He just wants to quit his own job because he was tired of doing the same work over and over again. It all happens when suddenly one day a quote flashes on his screen.

The quote was from "CHARLES BUKOWSKI", Factotum, 1975. It was a very famous quote : 
"How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 am by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?"

This quote made so much influence on his mind that from that day he could not concentrate on his job and had started analyzing on doing some business and also he was taking advises from people around. After doing so much searching and taking advises one day he finally decides to quit his job and start his own business or something else but not the job so that he can enjoy his own life and be grateful to the things going around and most importantly made lots of money for himself to enjoy life as well also give his parents life they might have dreamed about when they were young.

The guy started taking advises from different people. First of all he ask them to give their opinion on whether "They would like to do their own business or will they just continue doing the work for somebody else?" The responses he got for this question were quite interesting.

Someone told that "It is hard for them to start his own business. It requires financial security."
Someone told that "It takes courage to start the business and it might not end up well."
Someone told that "They don't have any knowledge in business then how is it possible for them to do so?"
Someone told that "They don't have financial background so that they can not even think of it."
Someone told that "What business should I start? I don't have any idea on what should I do."

These are some of the responses that he got from different people.
There is one common thing we can see from the responses that they are having lack of self confidence and also they are afraid to take the risk.

After taking their opinions he also take some advises from the people so that he might find some useful stuff and can utilize that in future. Now here is the main thing. The guy has taken advises from so many people but he didn't ask his parents who have also lived their life and may faces so many challenges. We can take advises from the people and also they will give but it is not sure that the advise they are giving is right or genuine. While if we ask from our parents then surely they will try their best to give us the proper advise and we can blindly believe it. We can blindly accept it and it is always genuine. So why do we take someone else advise when we can take the best advise from our parents?.

Lastly I would like to mention that our parents makes so many sacrifices for us. Sometimes we don't even know what they might have let go for themselves so that we can get the best or whatever we want. So, I think first we need to take advise from our parents and then we can also take other people's advise.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Change in Season, Change in Routine

Adapting to change requires extra energy. With the carefree days of summer coming to an end and the fall season looming before us, children getting ready to return to school, people start to buckle down to prepare for winter - all this requires changes to our routine. Too much change can lead to negative stress and poor health. Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery with so much energy to spend at any given time. When the energy is used up, we have to recharge it by taking rest which restores our batteries. Regular routines require less energy and our batteries last longer. But when we have changes in our habits, we use extra energy called "adaptive" energy. Think about the time you moved into a new house. Things you used to take for granted, for example, the location of your vacuum cleaner or where to hang certain jackets or even where the light switches are, now require thought. We've all been there. What is easy in the old house requires thinking in the new.

When we have too much adapting to do at any one time, we can feel tired and get cranky. Perhaps you have just moved, changed jobs, and you have to get the children ready to return to school. We can feel uptight, stretched like a rubber band and lose our patience with others.

What can we do when we're too stretched? Here are three simple strategies for managing our way through a change in season requiring a change in routine.

Strategy #1: make a list of action items.

1. Brainstorm - a simple and easy strategy is to take out a piece of paper and write down everything you have to do in the upcoming week. I find doing this on a Sunday while looking at the week ahead works best for me.

2. Categories - next, list these action items into categories. That's all you have to do. You don't need to put a priority to your list or allocate time required to perform your actions. Just list them under your categories. For example:
Week of: September 12

Category #1: Meetings

1. Parent/Teacher
2. Doctor's appointment
3. Interview with George

Category #2: Personal

1. cardio class - 4 x
2. spa - fall tune up special
3. girl friends over

Category #3: Household

1. Clean out storage
2. Get bedroom painted
3. Prepare for BBQ

Category #4: Calls/Emails

1. Mom
2. Gail, Sue, Sarah
3. Business contacts
4. Workshop participants

3. Review - tape this list to the bulletin board, refrigerator, or place it in your day timer. Don't worry about when you're doing these things. The list will make you conscious of the actions required. At the end of the week, review how you did. You'll be amazed!

Strategy #2: Build in rest and repair. 
When we have too many demands on our time, we are in overdrive and the body is in the sympathetic state of alert. When we stay too long in the sympathetic alert state using too much energy, we burn out. Burning out leads to diminished health and wellbeing and we start a downward spiral leading to more stress.

The best way to prevent burnout is to do the opposite. Build in some gaps between activities and move in the direction of under-drive. How can you do this? Give yourself a break; go to the spa and have health and beauty treatments. Slow down. Close your eyes and relax. Have a reflexology treatment, for example. Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the hands, feet, and ears that correspond to every part, gland and organ in the body. When having a reflexology treatment, the body naturally goes into the parasympathetic state of rest and repair where tension is relaxed, circulation is increased, and the body can normalize naturally. Be sure to get your nails done after the treatment - a great way to be forced into sitting and letting the circulation benefits get registered in the nervous system.

Too many demands and pressures, too often and too long, use us up until like the stretched out rubber band, we snap. Too little activity and too little stress with too few demands on us results in a dull system and like the unused rubber band that sits in our desk drawer for years, once taken out to use, it crumbles. We want Eustress which is a Greek word meaning good stress.

We all need some tension in our lives but we want healthy tension - just enough demands and pressures on our system followed by rest and repair is the way to stay healthy. Remember that stress is accumulative which means that the more stress we have, the more stress we tend to get. The same is true with rest and repair. We repair, recharge, and regenerate more quickly when our nervous systems are rested.

Strategy #3: Acknowledge yourself.
Most of us take our gifts and strengths for granted. Because of this, we often forget to acknowledge who we are and what we do to contribute to others. As we would acknowledge others, we should also see and acknowledge ourselves because we are important too. Take a moment and just acknowledge yourself and pat yourself on the back. You're OK, you know. In fact, you're great!

As we move from one season to another, demands and changes in our routines place constraints on our time and energy. Be sure to take care of yourself along the way. If you don't take care of yourself, there is only one end in sight. Poor health. Stay well. Be conscious of the demands on your time and energy. Build in rest and repair. And acknowledge yourself!

By Danielle Gault, Health & HR Development Specialist

RCRT, BA Psych. HRM Post-Grad.

Danielle Gault, writer, trainer, and natural healer, delivers workshops, coaching and healing services in Ontario, New York, and New Zealand. She has written articles published in the Ontario Association of Psychological Type, local newspapers, and for the Reflexology Association of Canada. Danielle believes in a holistic approach to living and uses personality theory, natural healing techniques such as yoga, reflexology and insightful workshops to assist people in addressing their issues in life and striving to live consciously. Her websites are: or contact her at

Monday, March 24, 2014

Focus – How to Get It Done

When ever I find myself feeling frazzled by the distractions and never-ending list of to-dos, the answer to finding peace always come back to focus. “Focus, focus, focus!” my heart would say, while my mind is off racing in a hundred different directions.
Lately, when people ask me, “How are you?” my response has been “Busy”.
It’s true. I have been busy. Yet when I reflected deeper into why I’m busy, I discovered that I am mostly busy thinking about how busy I am.
I mean, yeah, I have a lot of tasks on my plate, but when I observed myself from a place of silent presence, I discovered that a huge amount of my time and energy was spent cycling through my list of growing to-do items in my head.

The end result is that I do get some stuff done, but not nearly as much as I could, if I freed up all this extra energy used in wasted thinking. If I was focused on the task without wasting energy and being overwhelmed, I’m sure that I would have had a better time doing it.
Can you relate? Isn’t it annoying how our brains do that?
Seriously, do you know anyone who’s not busy? I don’t. Even friends of mine who are on sabbaticals–people who are not working–seem to be busy. Doing what? I don’t know. Probably like me, they too are spending a lot of time thinking about being busy. :)
If you think about it logically, there really is no end to being busy. There are always things and unimportant-yet-urgent tasks we can add to the list to keep feeding into this loop of “insanity”.
The cycle of unproductive insanity caused by the illusion of “busy” can only be broken when we consciously and deliberately decide to put an end to it.

Personal Story

I started exploring into the topics of “busy” and “focus” recently after observing that I am not getting very much done in the form of results, both in my personal life and professional life. I’ve also observed that psychologically, I’ve been carrying this heavy feeling of uneasiness, because I am overwhelmed by all that I think I should be doing.
In my personal life, I am surrounded by clutter and disorganization. We moved into this house a year ago, and many moving boxes are still unpacked—ugly boxes in our closet, office, and the garage. Our guest bedroom has an entire wall stacked with boxes containing unknown objects of more “stuff”.
In a corner, I had stacked all the unused baby things my son has grown out of. My original intent was to list them for sale on “Craig’s List” (online classifieds), but I never got around to it. So for the past 6 months, every time I walk by and see the stash, it’ll add to the anxiety of “more tasks to do that I don’t have time for”.
In my professional life, I have created so many projects for myself that I am unable to focus on any one in particular. I’m dabbling in so may things, as a result, I’m not making very much progress in any one direction. Additionally, my focus is constantly being pulled away towards other shiny opportunities in the marketplace.
To avoid the pain of “not getting things done” and feeling overwhelmed, I found myself procrastinating, and purposely scattering my attention to unimportant actions that provided instant gratification and a way to escape from the illusions of this moment.
To distract myself–in between feeling overwhelmed with to-dos and taking a little action–I would browse random blogs, refresh facebook, and check email every 7 minutes.
Afterwards, I would feel bad for having wasted so much time doing unproductive things, that I’d work extra hard, and usually late into the night. This destructive cycle caused a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.
This continued for a few weeks, until I finally hit a breaking point. In the problem solving article, I detailed the simple tool I used to regain clarity and perspective again. Through the baby steps I’ve taken in the past two weeks, I’ve had many personal breakthroughs and victories.

Focus Victory #1: “Craig’s List Stash”

On Saturday, I woke up and decided that I was putting an end to my “Craig’s List Stash” problem. I bounced out of bed, told my husband what I was up to, asked for his support, and got to work.
While he took care of our son, I put my imaginary blinders on (so I don’t get distracted) and focused on the task. In a matter of a few hours, I took photos of everything I wanted to sell, researched pricing, and put all the listings online.
By the time Sunday was here, every major item I had listed online was sold. I placed everything else unsold in a box to be donated.
It felt so good!

Focus Victory #2: Organizing My Office

Saturday evening, after my son was asleep, my project was to tackle my office, so that I can have a clean and organized space to think and work. Since this was the room I spent the most time in, it was important for me to feel peace and ease while being in here.
Instead of treating the task like an annoying hassle (what I used to do and end up dragging my feet to do it), I treated it like a gift for myself–gift of clarity—which motivated me to want to complete it. I felt determined, and gave myself an imaginary deadline, “One hour to get this place cleaned up!” I said.
I grabbed an empty box and moved everything from my desk surface to the box. I then picked up all the toys, books, and clothing off of the floor. In a matter of 10 minutes, I had a clean office space again.

The Power of Focus

In a similar fashion to the above two personal victories, I use the same steps to complete many of the to-do items I have spent many month cluttering my mind with. Tasks such as: getting all our light fixtures replaced (Jeremy did them), organize our closet, unpack moving boxes, de-cluttering the kitchen surfaces, moving forward with professional projects, etc.
The more I practiced these simple steps, the more I realized how much easier it was to just dive into focused action, instead of letting the thought rot in my head. I felt so liberated and empowered. I was no longer sitting around, waiting for the overwhelming thoughts to go away, I was doing something about it.
I learned how easy it was to hone-in my energy and just focus on one thing. Do that one thing with all my attention, and then it’ll be done! Simple. It’s all a matter of intention, decision, and discipline to follow through.

How to Get Things Done

I’ve distilled the steps I’ve been practicing to creating results into the following three steps.

1. Decision

Determination and commitment have power, and having them means that we’re not floating around like a flake.
If you just decide (decide right now) that you will do something, you will more likely take action. If you don’t make any decision, it will likely remain as a thought floating freely in your mind and it will continue to bother you.
Just decide to do one thing today, or decide that you will complete one simple thing this week.

2. Focus

Energy will go wherever we direct it. If we direct all our attention in one direction, progress will be made—this is the power of focus! If we direct our attention in a million directions, the energy given to each direction is so diffused and weak that no one direction will receive enough energy to proceed.
Think of it in another way. We’re on a lake, we want to cross the lake, and there are an unlimited number of boats next to the lake on our side of shore. If we took 2 boats, stuck each leg in a different boat, how long do you suppose it’ll take for us to get across the lake? A long time, right?
Similarly, if we took 4 boats, stuck each one of our arms and legs in a different boat, it would be impossible to cross the lake, right? The obvious answer is that it would be most efficient and effective to pick one boat, jump in it, and keep rowing until we get to the other side of the lake.
While this analogy seems obvious, this is essentially what we do in our lives. We live our lives trying to get across the lake using 4 boats, and we wonder why we can’t get anywhere, and we get frustrated.
No amount of frustration or feeling overwhelmed will make the 4 boats go away. The only solution is to pick one boat and start paddling. This is focus. Choosing one boat is focus. Choosing more than one boat is diffused awareness, and diffused awareness will take you nowhere.
Focused attention is the only way out.

3. Do It!

Once you’ve decided to do something, and decided that you will focus, the next step is to take action. Following our boat analogy above, taking action is the paddling step. Not taking action would be like sitting in a boat, and feeling anxious that you’re still not on the other side.
Once you start paddling, and if you keep focused on paddling, you will eventually get to the other side. Once you land on the other side, you’ll realize how easy it was to cross the lake, and you’ll likely wonder what took you so long in the past to simply: decide, focus and take action.
Getting results is easier than we think.

10 Tips on How To Focus

1. Set Boundaries

Decide in advance how much time you want to dedicate to doing something.
Personally, if I don’t set boundaries, such as “I will stop working at 5pm”, I will easily work until mid-night. Setting boundaries for myself tells my brain the urgency to focus, because my time is limited. By not doing so, I will waste a lot of time.

2. Do the Most Important Thing First

Similarly, I’ve created various rules for myself to better focus. Like the rule, “I won’t check email until I’ve written 500 words today, or I won’t check facebook until I’ve completed the day’s most important task.
This is effective, because not only am I setting boundaries, but also, prioritizing and making sure that tasks important to me always gets completed first.
Personally, if I check email or facebook first thing in the morning, it makes my brain feel scattered and unable to focus.

3. Block Out Sound

This might not be applicable to everyone. I’m pretty sensitive to sound and get easily distracted by random sounds. My solution is to block out noise, by wearing a noise-canceling headphone.

4. Remove Distractions

Clear off your desk where you work from clutter. Close browser tabs (especially the one with email). Turn off notifications. Turn off the phone. I’d even go as far as turning off the Internet for a period of time, to focus on offline work.
Commit to being distraction free for a set amount of time, during which you will only focus on one task. And once the time is up, reward yourself.

5. Create Motivation

Getting clear on your motivation to do things will greatly enhance your ability to focus and get things done. Make sure you know why you need the focus, and get clear on what will happen if you don’t focus.
Did you know that we are more motivated to avoid pain than we are to gain pleasure? So it might help to understand how painful it will be if you didn’t do something. This might be the push you need to focus and move ahead.
For example, when I was wanting to get out of the rat race, I was having a hard time to take action to create the kind of results that would allow me to quit my job. What motivated me most was visualizing an alternate reality where I was stuck in a job I hated for another 10 years.
That image truly scared me and gave me the motivation I needed to take massive action. This blog, for example, is the result of such a massive action. In my story, in less than 8 months of taking consistent focused action, I was able to quit my day job.
Alternatively, you can imagine what life will be like if you took massive action in one direction. Imagine your dream life. Visualize it. Make it real in your mind.

6. Do One Thing At A Time

Pick just one thing to focus on. At any one time, ask yourself, “What is the most important thing I can do out of my list?” Pick one and commit to yourself, “I will commit to focus on this for the next three months (or until it is done) and I will work on nothing else.

7. Create a Focus Ritual

We are creatures of habit. The more we do something, not only does it become easier, but also our brain knows to tune into it.
Writing, for example, requires tremendous focus. So I created a ritual around getting into the focused zone when I write. My ritual goes like this: I sit down with a hot cup of chai/tea/coffee, put on my headphones, turn on “Nawang Khechog” on the iPod, open a new Word document, and BAM, I’m in the zone!
This is a ritual I’ve created for myself over years of practice. The more I repeat my ritual (in the exact order of sequence), my brain is creating and strengthening neuro pathways to facilitate this, making it easier to arrive at the desired experience.
Go ahead and create a ritual where you will be focused. Take baby steps today, and watch it become easier over time.
The new ritual I am currently working on is to wake up early and write for 30 minutes every morning. (I’m still working on the how to wake up early part. *wink*)

8. Alone Time

If you are feeling overwhelmed and mentally cluttered. The best remedy is to take time out and reflect. It is important to do this alone, so you can connect with yourself, and learn to connect with the wisdom within you.
In spending quality alone time, learning, recharging and reflecting, you will gain clarity, understanding, and focus.
If you don’t know where to start, try the problem solving technique of “12 Answers”.
I also recommend meditation—a time where you can sit in silence, and become the silent observer of your mind’s turbulences.

9. Remember to Breath

As you go about your day, ask yourself, “Am I breathing?” then take a few deep breaths before continuing. Also ask yourself “Am I relaxed?” if the answer is “not really”, then stop for a second and take a deep breath.

10. Enjoy This Moment

After have written 150 in-depth articles on how to be happy, and how to live a good life here on TSN, my advice for you (and for myself) always comes back to this:
Enjoy this moment. This moment is all that we have. It is only in this moment that Life happens. Treasure it, bless it, thank it, and live it. Live it fully … regardless of what you’re doing.

The Building Blocks of a Good Life

Seeing a young child at play always makes me smile. Haven’t you looked at a young giggling face and felt joy, and maybe even a little envy? Wouldn’t it be great to recapture some of that childlike wonder and love of life again?
The truth is, the good life is closer than we think, as close as watching a child play.  But how can watching a child play show us how to live a good life?
Picture in your mind a toddler playing with blocks. They are caught up in the wonder of each block, all the different shapes and colors and sizes.
They take each one in their hand, turning it all around in wonder & joy. There are some blocks that will be their favorites, but if even a favorite one rolls under a couch they will soon let it go & keep playing with the others.

After examining the blocks they have been given, they start experimenting, stacking block upon block to make different creations. If one block doesn’t seem to fit, they just lay it down and reach for another.
When their little tower falls down, they might show a momentary grimace, but then they realize it just means they have the opportunity to build a bigger one. Once they see that all towers eventually fall over, they will knock over their creations themselves so that they can build new ones.
Finally, when it is naptime, they will take one last contented look at all they have done, and nod off to dream of taller, greater towers to come.
But what if it was different? What if the toddler, instead of playing with all the blocks before them, would only pick up the square ones? What if they became fixated on only one favorite block, gripping it so tightly they wouldn’t even build with the others? What if they wailed uncontrollably when one of their towers fell down? What if they became so fearful of a tower falling down, or losing their favorite block, that they stopped playing altogether?

Comparing Blocks to Our Life

How sad that would be. But isn’t that how we often approach life?
We are the children at play; we are all given a set of blocks of all different shapes and sizes. Some blocks we start out with have labels like beauty, strength, & intelligence. Other blocks we acquire, like reputation, wealth, & possessions. Finally, we have the building blocks of roles we play, like career, friend, spouse, & parent.
Each one of us has our own unique set of blocks in this playtime called life– but how do we play with them? Isn’t it easy to spend all our time looking at someone else’s blocks and wish we had them? To get angry when our carefully constructed tower falls down, or stay so fearful of our tower falling down that we stop building at all?
Worst of all, we can fixate so much on one block, like gaining wealth, or finding a soul mate, or being a good parent, that we forget that it’s only a block, one that just like all the others will be tucked back in the box at the end of the day.
Sometimes we even get so confused to think that we ARE the block. We can end up wrapping all our dreams & energy & self-esteem into our job or looks or relationship that we actually lose ourselves, our own identity, along the way.

Understanding Our Blocks – Road to the Good Life

We don’t have to be this way. We can learn from the little children in our midst. Take a step back, and write down a list of all your “blocks”– all the different roles you play in your life. Go ahead. Make a list. My list includes:
  • My body, (middle aged, slightly overweight & out of shape)
  • Intellectual (very)
  • Doctor
  • Friend
  • Writer
  • Spouse
  • Father
  • Geek (& hardcore Apple fan for 30 years)
  • Dry humor (hard “core”– core, Apple, didn’t you get that?) ;-)
  • Mentor, teacher
  • ENTP (my Myers-Briggs personality type)
All of these things are parts of my life–the blocks I get to play with–but they are not me. They are not the eternal core of my soul that will keep living when this few decades of playtime is over.
I need to take delight in all these blocks that God has given me: use them; try them out in different ways; discover everything I can about them. But I don’t need to worry about them or keep too tight a grip on them, for they are all temporary.

Shifting Perspectives

Take, for instance, my building block of being intellectual. That’s a great block, one that I’m thankful for and love to play with. But when I was younger I was too focused on it– I thought it was the only block I had.
As a result, I identified too closely with it– I thought everything I was or ever would be revolved around my intellect. I even let my thoughts focus on the fear of losing my intellect through dementia.
Because I almost exclusively identified with my intellect, I found it hard to relate to anyone except intellectually– it was uncomfortable to hug, difficult to express love, difficult to form emotional bonds at all. As a boy my hero was Mr. Spock, because he didn’t have such lower, mundane, primitive things like emotions.
Fortunately, I’ve learned that though my intellect is a very useful “block” that I enjoy using it’s NOT all there is to me. I am so much more than just my intellect!
And since I’ve learned to loosen my grip on my intellect block, I’ve grown so much as a person. I’ve learned to play with some of my other “blocks” like warmth, empathy & love, and building “towers” in my life that I never would have imagined as a younger man.
Another problem we all have is that of only playing with our favorite blocks. We see the especially shiny or big blocks, the ones that we seem especially good at or that seem really important, and we devote all our time to them.
We don’t think to try out some of the smaller blocks in our box, or ones that seem a little misshapen. For example, the woman who never sings because she knows others are better than her. Or the man who doesn’t try out the management position because he thinks others are better leaders than him. In both examples, they are holding back from playing with all their blocks.
But our all-wise Father wants us to play with all our blocks, experimenting with even the ones that don’t seem to be the “best.”
An example in my own life is my running. Yes, my physical prowess block is never going to win me a marathon, but it doesn’t have to. Just completing my first half marathon at age 45 was an amazing experience, but one that would have never happened if I had only stuck with the blocks that I thought were my best.
I firmly agree that we should invest in our strengths, but to live our lives focusing on only a few blocks, and not trying out all of them, severely limits the height and breadth of the “towers” that we can build.

Playing With Your Blocks

So now, in your mind’s eye, look at all your blocks in the play box of your life. Look at all of them– big and small; important and seemingly not so important. Is there a block that you are holding too tightly, for fear of loss?
Is there one block you’re too focused on, and have wrapped your whole identity up in? Or is there one you’ve not even taken out of the box, because you don’t think it’s good enough?
May I say this to you?
Be a wide-eyed child again! Be free! Be joyful! Play!
Live your life to the full, in freedom and joy playing with all your blocks, so that at the end of your playtime in this life, you and your Father can exchange contented smiles, knowing that you built some really cool towers with your blocks, and that all is well.

Prayer For Healing

Editor’s Note I am privileged to introduce Rahi to our TSN family. Rahi was my beloved yoga teacher during my 3 months stay in India, and had guided me to bliss on many occasions. To me, she is the embodiment of grace. The following was originally an email she had sent to me, which we edited to share with you here, along with a practical meditation that anyone can do at home. With love, -Tina
An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what's most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: we can live in such a way that they continue, beautifully, in us.~Thich Nhat Hanh
When I saw the horrific scenes of the terrible earthquake and the tsunami that have devastated Japan and its people, my first response was one of deep pain.
All that my family, friends and I could talk about, and keep seeing again and again were the ongoing pain-filled visuals that every TV channel around the world was beaming into every home.
Then came the emails, facebook postings, tweets, phone calls, etc….everyone was reaching out to every other person possible spreading the alarm and concern.
The cataclysmic events in Japan became personal because a dear student and now a fellow yoga teacher was living there. I was desperate to know that he and his family were safe.

I was anxious, restless and quite tense till I heard from him. His message was so calm, thanking me for my concern and informing me not to worry, as he and his fellow countrymen will weather this storm together as a nation.
Something about his calmness rubbed off on me and gave me a window of clarity. I went to my yoga den, sat down with a prayer for healing and started tapping on the acupressure points to calm myself and to lift me out of this downward spiral mode of thinking and feeling.
A few minutes into the tapping and I could visibly feel a change happening within me. And it is then that it occurred to me that I can sit in meditation and ‘send’ the vibrations of healing to Japan and all life forms affected by the devastation.
When I got up I felt the urge to call like-minded friends for a group meditation that evening. Six people turned up and surprisingly all were women! We sat in a circle. Each person placed their right hand—in a giving gesture (palm facing down)—onto the next person’s left hand, which by default was in the receiving gesture (palm facing up, like a bowl).
We started by inhaling freely and exhaling for 12 breaths. A deep calmness started happening within us. Then we visualized our beloved Earth in the center of the circle and focused on Japan and the Pacific region.
We visualized the pain and the enormous energy needed to bounce back to a semblance of normalcy. We started humming (“hmmm”) deeply and continuously for 21 minutes, allowing the vibrations of the heart centre to open up and radiate love, peace, compassion and healing.
When the humming stopped, the image within all of us changed to seeing the earth and Japan radiating joyful life. We held that vision in our hearts for a long time, feeling that something had been transformed. Then we ended with the beautiful Sanskrit chant of ”sarve bahvantu sukhina” which translate to “may peace, may happiness prevail”.
Every one of us in that group felt a deep, soft silence as a presence in that space…it was so compassionate, nurturing and all enveloping…as if the Divine Mother was wrapping us, Japan and the whole of Earth in Her loving arms.
The beauty is that, ever since that experience, whenever I continue to receive more information or visuals about the still occurring devastation, I no longer hook into the collective pain. Japan and the Earth seem to fall into my heart centre and I can feel a deep healing happening in me.
Why am I writing all this in such detail to you? I can give many reasons but the truth is I just feel impelled to do so.
Perhaps the learning is:
  • Don’t add to the collective pain by talking and thinking of all that horror being flashed on our screens.
  • Step aside, meditate and do your bit to raise the healing consciousness of humankind.
While help is pouring in from all corners of the world to rehabilitate the people of Japan, maybe, along with it, a different kind of help is needed to change the present vibrations.
Perhaps if a critical mass meditates, the energy generated can bring about positive changes that we cannot even conceive of?
Perhaps all this needs is to be communicated to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, so that in the coming days we can continue to maintain the healing momentum.

Prayer for Healing Through Meditation

If you felt resonated with the above story, try the following prayer for healing meditation—either as a group or as an individual in the comforts of your home.

1. Group Prayer for Healing Meditation

If you are gathered in a group of 3 or more people, sit in a circle. If you are a couple, sit across from each other. Make the ambience as soothing as possible. Optionally, you can light candles, or play soft calming music (example, sound of water flowing).
  1. Open your left hand, palm facing up. Place your left hand on your left knee comfortably.
  2. Take your right hand, palm facing down, place it, gently, on top of your neighbor’s left hand (the neighbor on your right side).
  3. Sit comfortably and focus on being relaxed. Close your eyes.
  4. Connect everyone’s breathing pattern so that they sync with the same patterns of inhale and exhale. Slowly go into deep breathing with the exhale being longer than inhale. Perhaps do this for 12 breaths so that all of you are in sync with one another.
  5. Visualize the earth in the center of this healing circle.
  6. As you inhale, feel you are taking in Cosmic energy. As you exhale, direct this energy to the earth and specifically to Japan. See the healing happening to the people and all other life forms affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
  7. If you can, hold this visualization for 21 minutes. If not, do it for the maximum time available and comfortable to the group.
  8. Place your palms together in front of your heart center in a prayer gesture (Anjali Mudra). Either say a prayer for healing that all of you know, or silently pray for deep peace and quick recovery to the Earth and to Japan.
  9. Give gratitude to Existence for giving you this great opportunity to be of service.
If you want, make a commitment to do this on a daily basis, as a group or on your own for the next 21 days (or how ever many days you want).

2. Individual Prayer for Healing Meditation

As an individual, you can create a space of love and healing through your own meditation. Similar to the group meditation, create a soothing and comfortable ambience where you can sit. Dim the light, and optionally, light a few candles.
  1. Sit quietly in a place that is calming.
  2. Relax both your hands. Place them naturally in whichever gesture that feels comfortable to you. For example, you can have both palms facing up, or place one hand on top of the other.
  3. Inhale and exhale deeply. Placing your entire focus on your breath.
  4. When you feel relaxed, take your awareness into the heart center (in the middle of your chest, next to your heart).
  5. As you inhale, visualize the cosmic energy and healing light entering your heart center. Feel your heart center opening up.
  6. As you exhale, direct the healing energy—light, love, compassion, and strength—to the earth, to Japan, to the Pacific region.
  7. Visualize yourself sitting in a circle among other healers doing the same thing. All of you sitting together in a ring, encircling the earth and sending healing to the planet.
  8. Hold this visualization for as long as you are comfortable. If you have a hard time visualizing, you can say the words and allow the meditation to happen.
  9. Finish the meditation by bringing your palms together in a prayer position, giving gratitude to Existence for choosing you to be a conduit in its service.
If you found the above meditation to be comforting and relaxing, make it a daily practice for the next 21 days (or how ever many days you would like).
The above prayer for healing meditation is not limited to the current Japan devastation. It can also be adopted to help heal other inner emotional pains you may want to alleviate.

How to Focus + My Goals

Photo by Andrea D'Aquino. Follow him on facebook and flickr.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of things you want to focus on? Yet, you find it hard to make real progress forward? Perhaps, it’s time to slim down your list and focus on just one or two larger goals. I too didn’t know how to focus until an unexpected conversation with my husband exposed my problem. This is that story.
For New Year’s Eve last year, Jeremy and I were looking for something to do—a traditional party with an actual countdown, mingling with strangers, getting dressed up in swanky outfits, holding champagne, kissing at midnight, etc.
I felt so relieved when we were invited to such a party. “Finally, we’re not going to be orphans this year,” I thought. However, the Universe had other plans for us; something sweeter, something better.

The plan was to put Ryan to bed, have dinner, and then go to the party. As we were having dinner, one conversation after another, we ended up on the topic “What do you want in the New Year? What are your goals? What do you want to focus on?
What started as a simple ten minute conversation over dinner grew into a two hour long, delicious sharing of our hopes and dreams for the future. It was one of the most honest conversations we’ve had. It was beautiful and worth savoring every breath.
One thing that became apparent was how scattered I was in what I wanted. My husband Jeremy had to stop me with “Oh wait, that’s too many things to focus on at once” as I listed all the things I wanted to focus on this year.
Despite my best efforts at simplifying my goals and my understanding that the more we focus on, the more diluted each goal becomes in its realization, I had too many “wants” and sometimes they conflicted with one another.
Using his supreme focus and sharpened managerial skills, Jeremy gently guided me in reorganizing my goals such that they were sorted in a hierarchical structure—with one big goal at the top to focus on, and lots of little goals that went underneath the big goal.
For my business, I had two big goals that were the most important which I will be focusing on. After examining all the loose goals, we determined that any career related goal had to fit under one of the two big goals. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be working on them.
Too many loose goals become a distraction, taking energy away from what matters most. If you don’t have a definite goal, you won’t know what you should be focused on and will end up drifting wherever the wind takes you.
It makes sense: We only have a limited amount of time each day. If we give attention to one thing, that means we now have less attention to give to another thing. Real results are produced as a product of focused attention. Scattered attention, attention focused on too many things can never produce real results.
I often violate this rule, especially last year, when I didn’t have any definite focus. I was floating around. Whenever something came along that sounded attractive, I would dive in and try it out. In the end, they were all distracters. As a result, I didn’t produce much. My heart wasn’t in it and my attention was being split into too many parts for any one part to become potent.
In the year 2010, I dabbled in wedding photography, internet marketing, consulting business, and the good mood blogging contest—all things which were nice to-haves, but took me away from what I wanted most: to create products that can help people, and to grow this happiness blog.
In chapter 1 of Napoleon Hill’s 1925 classic “The Law of Success”, he talks about the vital importance of having a definite purpose —the thing you want to focus on. The thing you want most to become realized.
Here’s a related quote from that chapter,
“Until a man selects a definite purpose in life, he dissipates his energies and spreads his thoughts over so many subjects and in so many different directions that they lead not to power, but to indecision and weakness.
With the aid of a small reading glass, you can teach yourself a great lesson on the value of organized effort. Through the use of such a glass, you can focus the sun’s rays on a definite spot so strongly that they will burn a hole through a plank. Remove the glass (which represents the definite purpose), and the same rays of sun may shine on that same plank for a million years without burning it.
Thinking back to the times when I succeeded in producing concrete results, whether it was my first online business selling apparel, or graduating from university, or starting my blog, or even winning the good mood gig contest, I was completely focused, completely fixated, unwavering, razor sharp, focused on the end result (and on nothing else).
Ah, that’s the key I’ve been searching for, ‘focus’, and having a ‘definite purpose’,” I thought to myself.
I sat back, and watched as Jeremy excitedly helped organize my goals, and to simplify them, so that I can actually focus on just one or two things instead of fifty.
At an hour to midnight, Jeremy said, “You know, we can either go to the party and mingle with a bunch of people we don’t really know orwhile the topic is freshwe can go grab our laptops and organize our goals in a share doc, so we can keep each other accountable. And afterwards we can watch a movie and open a bottle of wine. What do you think?
It was so delicious an idea that there was only one possible answer: Of course, I would rather spend the night doing something personal and meaningful with my life partner.
Since, I had already gotten ready—all dressed up with my hair done and makeup already applied—which I pointed out to Jeremy long enough for him to say “Oooh, ahhh, pretty”, I ran upstairs like a little kid to change into warm comfy house clothes.
I then marched into my office, sat down at my desk, opened a Google doc and started typing. A few minutes later, Jeremy came in with two glasses of freshly opened red wine and his laptop. He sat at the reading chair—where I could see him in the dim shades of the reading lamp.
I had my goals organized in three major categories: professional, personal wellness and couple goals—as per Jeremy’s clever suggestion.
If you are curious, my two professional goals were: product creation and increase site traffic. From that moment on, I made a commitment to myself that everything I work on will fit into one of these categories. If not, I will not do it unless I choose to.
For my personal wellness goals, I had several loose goals. But the number one goal is to live consciously to the best of my ability by redirecting negative thoughts so that I am not stuck in a painful place caused by dwelling on the past or a nervous place caused by worrying about the future.
For couple goals, I wrote down the first thing that came to mind, “alone dates once a month”. I am so silly, I was in complete logical mode and was thinking about the actions to do, instead of the end goal those actions provided.
When Jeremy added his goals to the shared Google doc and it refreshed on my screen, I quickly scrolled to the bottom to his Couple Goals section. He wrote, “End 2011 with a closer relationship than 2010” and under that, he had “2 date nights per month” and “listen instead of argue.
I almost died when I read that- died in a land of happiness, a land of roses and rainbows. Jeremy is just so sweet. He’s always been so much more genuine about our relationship than I and so much more thoughtful. I have a lot to learn from him.
I looked over at him, there beyond my open laptop screen, under the warm lights of that reading lamp, with a kind of fondness that is indescribable. Tears welled up in my eyes. Those simple words on the screen meant and conveyed so much to me.
I jumped up from my desk , skipped like a bunny over to the reading chair in utter joy, and landed promptly in his lap. I pushed his laptop aside, snuggled up real close and said, “I love you babes. Thank you.
In the end, we didn’t do countdowns, or have champagne(we don’t even like champagne). Instead, we had the gift of a night, beyond anything I could have planned—a focused roadmap for this year, wonderful wine, delicious popcorn, priceless moments of connection, and a phenomenal documentary called “The Cove”(which I highly, highly recommend. Beautifully written, moving, uplifting and heart-warming).
Now that is a beautiful start to a new year.
What are your goals for this year? What do you want to focus on?
Consider, going through your list and pick just one or two things to focus on. Give it your whole attention and I am sure your focused attention and dedicated action will cause it to come into reality. I am reminded of a saying, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” It’s all a matter of deciding where to put our focus, and then allocating our time towards action for the fruition of that which we are focused on.
The same formula can be applied towards parenting or to improve a relationship. Focus, focus, focus is the key.
Remember, it is not possible to focus on many things. Pick just one and focus with all your attention to make it a reality, before moving on to the next thing.

Dreams Come True: Story of Audacity

What are your dreams? What are you passionate about?
Around the time I graduated University I became fascinatedwith photography. It became my first passion. I dreamed of becoming a professional photographer.
I loved photography, and dove in head first determined to make my dreams come true. I read books, took countless images, invested in equipments, spent countless hours in Photoshop, attended gallery showings, and took classes on specialized subjects.
I loved photography so much that –at one point- I built a darkroom from scratch, rented a large loft space to have my ideal studio setup and eventually married a photographer – who I admired, because he was so confident with his craft and was among the few successful working photographers I’d met. Most other photographers I encountered all struggled to make ends meet.

The thing I loved about photography was that it gave me a tool with which to express myself emotionally, to do something from the heart, to capture moments of truth -powerful enough to bring me to tears. It increased my capacity to feel, and heightened my awareness and ability to connect with other people.
Some of the most blissful, spiritual, loving, heart-felt moments I’ve ever experienced, happened in the dark room, under the amber lights, by myself, as I witness an image come to life in the developer.
I wanted to share that with you, because it is a big part of where I came from, and my foundation for writing. Actually, I stopped taking pictures, after accidentally discovering that the same creative, powerful, spiritual experiences can be evoked through writing – as I do here (which is my other dream come true story).
I also wanted to share that with you, because I want to tell you what I learned through my experiences of going from amateur to semi-pro in the photography world in a short span of time.
I learned these things in making my photography dream a reality:
  1. People will have confidence in you if you have confidence in yourself.
  2. Persistence pays off.
  3. Practice makes you better
  4. You don’t need a formal education or years of experience to make it. Passion is more important.
  5. It’s mostly about how you view yourself – that’s how the world will perceive you.
  6. Re: Confidence. Fake it till you make it.
  7. Audacity is important
I just want to spend a moment on Audacity, and the importance of it in seeing our dreams come true.
When you are trying to make it in any industry as a newbie, having the guts to approach people you don’t know –despite fear and insecurities- is probably your fastest route to success in that industry.
When I started pursuing photography. I didn’t have much technical knowledge, I didn’t have the experience, I didn’t have the pro cameras, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was a computer geek, who had a burning desire to photograph people.
My dream was to capture images that moved people, to capture a moment of truth, and to have my photos published. I knew it was going to happen, someday, but I didn’t know how. In the mean time, I did everything I could to get my self closer to my dream vision.
When Anthony Bourdain visited Seattle on a book/talk tour, I walked up to him and asked him if I could have 10 minutes of his time. And to my surprise, he said yes. Here’s the photo I took from that day:
I did the same with Douglas Coupland. Here’s his photo:
I did the same with Russell Simmons, but the room was too dark, and the photo didn’t come out.
Right after one of Joshua Roman’s concerts, I ran up on stage and asked if I could take his portrait sometime. I gave him my card and thanked him for considering it. I was so nervous, all I remember is my heart beating loudly, and feeling insecure as others watched me from off stage.
He showed up in my studio a few days later, we jammed it out and got some great photos. We became good friends. My husband and I ended up doing Josh’s publicity photos since 2007. And most recently, he hired me to document his wedding, knowing that I’d never done a wedding before. He trusted me more than I trusted myself.
Here are some photos with Joshua from our earlier sessions:

My goal at the time was to be published, and be taken seriously. And I was able to do that within my first year of shooting. The photos of Joshua were later published by over 50 publications and media outlets – they’ve been on the cover of magazines, used in newspapers, promotional materials and graced the center of concert posters.
One of my Tibet travel photos was published in the book “The Best of Photography 2007”. And an image from my Nepal collection was sold and published by the San Francisco Chronicles.
When you believe strongly in something, or some *seemingly* impossible dream, just go after it, and trust that it will become a reality soon. Your faith in yourself and your craft is vital.
Do everything you can now to get one step closer to your dream. Do it despite fear. Do it despite insecurities. Do it despite no one else believing in you. Do it despite a lack of education or experience. Do it despite not knowing how-to. Just start with baby steps.
When we follow our hearts, magic happens.
Do it, even if sometimes following our hearts mean doing uncomfortable things like walking up to strangers, or saying things that might make us look stupid, or potentially getting caught with our “pants down” for not knowing what we’re doing. We all have those insecurities.
From years of developing a thick skin and doing things that scared me, I do know one thing to be true: when you sincerely take steps towards your goal, regardless of what that goal is, the universe will reward you in unexpected ways which will propel you to surpass your original goal and to reach your dreams.
The trick is to keep going, despite not knowing exactly how we will arrive there, and despite all of these mental tricks we play on ourselves.
The only thing we know right now is the next baby step we can take. Don’t trivialize or demoralize the power of baby steps. It’s important.
It’s important, because baby steps in the direction of our dreams, can mean that we eventually get there. And along the road, someone may surprise us and give us a ride in their car, allowing us to get there faster than anticipated.
People tend to give too much credit to luck, and natural talent. And then we judge ourselves for lacking talent and luck, thus, justifying our lack of action and lack of focus.
I love the saying that luck is the intersection between preparation and opportunity. It truly is. Luck is certainly most kind to those who have actively taken large steps towards their desired destination.

Living In The Moment

I never understood why some people would work late into the night and sleep most of their mornings away, but now that I am sitting here, at 1am, listening to the same song on repeat, I get it.
When the rest of the world is asleep, there are very few distractions. There are no phone calls and no urgent tasks that need to be done at this time of the morning. I can completely focus myself on my work and let my creativity glow.
You may have read The Power of Now, or studied the Sedona method. Both these resources focus on teaching you how to get your mind in the present to forget about your worries and to really live in the moment.
The thing is, if you hear these “Living in the moment” thoughts from others, you’ll likely agree with their teachings, however, it’s hard to fully grasp the truth behind them, and to put them into practice in your own life.

Explore: Living in the Moment

Recall the times when you felt most alive?
I bet it was when you were with friends or family, maybe on top of the Eiffel Tower, maybe playing a game or a sport, maybe when racing your car or dancing the night away.
I bet it was when your entire being, body and soul were totally immersed in the moment and in the experience. I bet you had zero thoughts focused on worrying about the future or regretting the past.
I am asking you to recall the moments in your life when you felt ecstatically alive, because I believe that you can choose to live this way, most of the time.
You can choose to be completely present-minded, enjoying every moment of right now, second after second, minute after minute. You can’t feel alive in the past and you can’t feel alive in the future. You can only feel alive right now, in this moment.
Why would you want to spend every day worrying about the things that can go wrong? Why would you want to spend every day regretting the past? The sun could burn out, wars could start, you could get robbed or shot, you could lose your job, important relationships could come to an end. Any of these things could happen in the next 5 minutes, but they could also happen in 10 years, or even after your lifetime.
The past will never, ever change. What’s done is done, no matter how hard you wish or how much you think about it. Live and learn, life is a journey and the journey is the destination.
But this moment right now…it’s priceless. Every single moment of right now is a gift. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It may bring happiness and joy, and it may bring bad news.
This doesn’t mean that I am suggesting that you just forget about everything, and live in the moment. We are all unique individuals. What may work for me may not work for you. We all have our path for living happily.
For me, I make plans for the future. I like to think of scenarios that could occur, and I like to have targets to work towards. I like to think back to the past sometimes, and although there are things that I’m not completely happy with, I don’t regret anything. I am the sum of all my experiences, both good and bad. If anything in my past would be different, I would not be who I am today.
I’m scared sometimes. I fear that I won’t be able to build a successful business and that I will not make money. Sometimes I doubt my own abilities, and I wonder if I’m good enough for the world. These are the thoughts that surface when I get in my head too much, and I let that negative social conditioning take control.
My desire to live and to succeed is far greater than my fear of failure. The past is over, and all we can do is learn from them.
The future is uncertain, and it is coming, whether we worry about them or not.
Right now, I’m focused on writing this post and on nothing else. I feel really alive, aware of all my senses and everything around me. I feel connected to the world. And I feel like this is the best way to live, to be, and to experience.
Tomorrow is coming whether I sleep, eat, party or work. It’s a matter of hours and minutes. I could worry about what it will bring, or what could go wrong. But instead, I choose to enjoy being alive right now, to live in this moment, and to trust in myself that I will be able to handle whatever is coming.
Some may see this as fatalistic thinking. Maybe it is, but does that make it right or wrong? I once heard a saying, “There is no right and wrong, only actions and consequences.”
All I know is that constantly worrying about the future and what could go wrong creates massive stress and unhappiness. Not only that, but it also focuses your thoughts and entire being on the negative. Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or not, I really think that you attract what you focus on. You are what you think…

Living Without Regret

Photo by aeschleah
If someone who was important to you died abruptly, would you say to yourself, “I wish I would have . . .”? If something were to happen to you suddenly, wouldn’t you want those you care about to have known how much you appreciated them?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then expressing your deep gratitude to those who have made a significant impact on your life should not be put off any longer. There are several good reasons to start expressing your appreciation to these people now.
  • The sooner you tell them how you feel, the longer they will be able have to take pleasure in the message. Why wait until they’re old or dying? If they do die, there’s no chance at all that they will ever fully appreciate your level of gratitude.
  • You could miss the opportunity of having the pleasure of giving this gift of extraordinary gratitude to someone who has made a real difference in your life.
  • They’ll probably be inspired to help others; in fact, the ripples may very well be felt far and wide, and all because you made these individuals aware of how important they are to you.
I recently took my own gratitude journey and reached out to 44 people who had made the most significant impact on my life. I wanted to deliver my gratitude while I still had the energy and before it was too late and the opportunity was lost. I didn’t want to wait until any of our lives were compromised by ill health or imminent death. So I figured that I should tell these people how much they mattered to me long—hopefully, very long—before that happened and I was left with regrets.

My journey was so gratifying and significant to me and the people who I was able to share my profound expressions of gratitude I began sharing my story with others. I was asked to speak to a couple of the graduate business school classes of one of “my 44,” Dr. Harold Lazarus at Hofstra University.
The audience consisted of young adults, who had full time jobs in addition to their full time evening graduate business school program. By most accounts they might not have related to the importance of gratitude and I was not sure how my message would be received. I could not have been more impressed or more pleased.
Here is one of the many emails I received from the students who shared what the experience of expressing gratitude was like.
Your talk was so thought provoking and I left the class so emotional, but I would say in a good way. As my first person to express profound gratitude to I chose my dad.
He’s someone I really admire and has taught me so many things in life. My dad is such a hard worker – he actually was still at work when I got back to my house after class so I had some time to think about how I was going to approach this assignment. That might have been the hardest part – trying to figure out how to start. It might sound strange, but I was thinking of holding off on talking to my dad for a day. I just didn’t know how to start the conversation, but I was so moved after class tonight that I really wanted to tell him right away what an impact he has made on my life.
As I started to talk to him about what was discussed in class today, I started to cry. We talked briefly today about losing someone you love and I couldn’t imagine life without my dad…and that just stuck in my mind as I started to talk to him. Without hesitation, he gave me a hug and said “you don’t have to say anything, you know I love you.” But I wanted to say what I wrote today in class and after I did he gave me an even bigger hug and said “if I died tonight, I would die so happy. I love you.” It is kind of a morbid thing to say, however after I thought about it I realized that just talking to him for a few minutes made his night (and I guess even his life) happy.
I’m so glad I did it. You’re right – it only took a few minutes to complete but seems to have made a lifetime impact on both myself and my dad. I tell him all the time that I love him, but it felt great to tell him why and I can tell it made him feel good too.
Thank you!
Christina C.
How would you have felt if you were Christina and you did not have this conversation with a parent, sibling, or spouse before it was too late? Imagine how it can affect the rest of your life, like it would Christina’s and her father’s from that day forward.
One expression of gratitude with one person can be the stepping stone for you to express your deep gratitude to those that are really important to you.
You have likely read about the importance of gratitude: the pleasure, the peace of mind, and the deepening of relationships that can be gained from doing so. Although sometimes these positive benefits aren’t a strong enough motivator for action and unfortunately it takes the pain of regret to make us change our habits.
When I recounted my yearlong journey of gratitude in my book, This is the Moment, it was for the purpose of capturing the opportunity to express uncommon gratitude before it’s too late. I didn’t share my journey because I felt anyone should try to replicate it; rather, I wanted to provide the inspiration to create your own path that makes sense for you and the people you want to honor. I strongly encourage you to express gratitude to at least one person and then decide for yourself if you wish to do more.
If you are uncertain and hesitant about how to start your own gratitude journey, please go to my website, and download a free guide that will help you (enter name and email at bottom of page to receive it). If you have already begun to express profound gratitude I encourage you to share your story with our gratitude community.
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