I can’t get her out of my head by Kalki Koechlin

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I can’t get her out of my head. The TV, the internet, and the newspapers are constantly updating her status, and bit by bit releasing more and more details of her violent gang rape so that each day the picture in my head gets a little more gruesome. Maybe it’s because I’m living here in Delhi at the moment, and have myself been experiencing difficulty getting around at night alone, using cabs and autos, feeling that unnerving gaze as I wait on the road or walk to the corner shop, feeling like prey to an animal about to pounce. Maybe it’s because of the increasing injustices against women I’m reading about in the papers, the Guwahati molestation case, the rape and murder of Pallavi Purkhayastha, the girls who got arrested for their facebook status, and now, the Delhi outrage. Maybe it’s because most of the women I know do not depend on their husbands, boyfriends or relatives to chaperone them wherever they go, most of the women I know don’t have their own chauffeur driven cars, and most of the women I know are young, independent and attractive. Maybe it’s because somewhere I know the scary truth that this could have happened to a friend, to a relative or to me. Whatever the reason, since I read about this Sunday’s gang rape horror, I haven’t been able to get her out of my head.
What do I do? What do any of us do? Apart from be outraged, talk about it, and write about it like I’m doing? What else can I do? I’ve been wracking my brain about what to do. Protesting on the streets, but who are we protesting against? Our government? The government we voted for? Our nation? The ‘democratic’ nation which each of us is a part of? Don’t get me wrong. We must complain. We must make loud protests, we must put immense pressure on the authorities to take immediate action. Safety is not a priveledge for those who have drivers, those who stay in gated communities, those who don’t venture out at night or don’t take public transport. Safety concerns all of us. It is a basic human right. It has to change now, this minute. The streets should be safer at night, from tonight. If we have enough police to make sure our seatbelts are fastened and we don’t cross red lights during the day, then we have enough police to be patrolling the roads at night. We need the laws to be tightened now, we need police to act faster, and catch the culprits more often so that the law can be taken seriously right now.

But there is something else we can do, which can change the nation’s attitude towards women, if each of us takes part in it. Each one of us individually needs to review how we treat each other and respect one another as equal human beings, no matter what our gender.

We must in every cultural, social and political way, prepare the way for the modern Indian woman because she is not the woman that most Indian men grew up with at home. Mothers pamper, mothers cook great food, mothers stay inside. The woman of today’s generation, may not know how to cook, may want to earn her own living and may choose who she wants to marry (if she wants to marry at all). Of course I’m generalizing, but you have only to look at how the youth behave in front of their parents and how they behave with their peers to realize that there is a huge generation gap that makes for people to hide their true selves and change frivolously to suit the company in which they find themselves. So until we stop hiding under our social guises, the reform starts at home, with parents treating children equally and accepting their differences, and their choices. It continues to apply to schools and education, boys and girls should be treated equally, should be encouraged to work together on school projects. Boys should not see the girl as a strange, mysterious ‘other’ species only to be stared at and not talked to, wondered about, shown in small spurts almost teasingly, locked away most of the time and eventually conquered by the patriarchal system of marriage or simply by pure physical dominance. Then, of course, there’s our entertainment, our television and our films, which often portray the ideal woman just like our mothers, perfect cooks and virginal beauties. And for sexual relief we are served the “item” girl, shown as property bought to entertain and satisfy men’s sexual urges. Where are our real, present day women portrayed on screen? Where is the woman who goes to work, shares a place with her boyfriend, takes public transport and goes for a drink or a movie on the weekend? In our on screen fictions the ‘modern’ girl is rich enough to have a chauffeur driven car and the ‘conservative’ girl is so poor and pious that she doesn’t need anything but a man as answers to her prayers. Where are our women vegetable vendors, cab drivers, construction workers, writers, artists, students or porn downloading youth? How often are they represented on our screens?

So yes, we blame the government and the authorities, yes we put pressure so this girl gets some justice, so the arrests are made, so the attackers are severely punished. But what next? How to we prevent this from happening again and again and again? We have a lot of work to do. Countrywide, we have rape cases that are going on, girls as young as our own daughters, women as old as our mothers, raped by somebody’s brothers, fathers and sons. We have an epidemic that has spread across the nation and cannot be controlled by law and order alone, but also by it’s people. By each and every one of us.

  • Bosses be sensitive to women employees and their complaints, take action.
  • Colleagues stand up for the woman who’s being objectified at work, take action.
  • Teachers, encourage your students to mingle and mature together, take action.
  • Mothers and fathers, don’t give special treatment to your sons (or your daughters), take action.
  • Writers and directors, make your stories relevant to today’s men and women, take action.
  • Actors, be brave enough to portray characters that speak their own minds and are not necessarily conventional, take action.
  • Media, don’t let us forget injustices quickly, take action.
  • Politicians, be quiet and take action.
  • Men, respect women who are not like your mothers, take action.
  • Women, don’t let slide even the smallest eve teasing, take action.
  • Neighbours, don’t ignore a cry for help, take action.
  • Bystanders, for God’s sake, take action.
  • People, let’s not live in our bubbles until the injustice affects us directly.

Take action.

REAL SUCCESS…

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Real success will not come overnight!

There are often bumps along the way, but those who are committed to their vision or mission will stay the course. They will figure out how to conquer certain challenges. They do not quit when the going gets rough.

Those who are committed are able to see the big picture, and are patient in getting there. 

There may be lots of unpleasant things to be done on the way toward that big picture. Successful people can take that in stride.

Hard work means that you are willing to put in your dues, and you understand that. Through applying yourself and gaining experience, you will learn many life lessons that are not taught in school.

These life lessons will later become important for other challenges down the road. Hard work also gives you perspective. You are able to realize that most of the best things in life do not come easily.

It is, therefore, through a combination of commitment and hard work that most people realize success. Success is often as simple as a job well done.

Those who understand and achieve in that manner are truly successful.

It does not have to be all that society may portray it to be. And, it is not necessarily marked by materialistic holdings. Success mostly comes from using your gifts to your best ability, working hard on the challenges in front of you, and finding ways to help others. 

 

36 Ways To Feel Good About Yourself.

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Here are 36 ways to start feeling absolutely beautiful right now:

1. Smile. It lights up your face. It triggers happiness in your brain. It makes others feel happy.

2. Remember your posture. Stand up straight. Hold your head high. Throw those shoulders back. You look confident, energetic, amazing!

3. Focus on the best not the worst. Stop staring at the wrinkle or the bulge. Quit comparing yourself to Patty Perfect. Let your “worst” features recede and focus on your best instead. You have far more beautiful features than you see!

4. Be amazed at the wonder of your body. No matter your size, shape, or age, your body is a miraculous temple. Observe how wondrously it operates to house the beautiful person you are.

5. Appreciate your flaws. You are part of the Great Community of Flawed Persons. Welcome to the club. So embrace your flaws as a reminder of your connection to humanity. Flawed is the new perfect.

6. Be expressive. When you are animated and expressive, the fullness of your personality shines through. What could be more beautiful?

7. Get excited. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic and excited about life. Don’t let your concerns about appearance hold you back from embracing the beauty of living. It will reflect back on you!

8. Break a sweat. Get some exercise. Put on that lovely spandex and move your beautiful body. Get an endorphin high. Let your hair get sweaty and greasy. Through the sweat you are shining like star!

9. Practice beautiful movement. Try ballet, tai chi, yoga or some other movement that is fluid and allows your body to respond in beautiful new ways.

10. Acknowledge your inner beauty. Get pen and paper and write down all of the beauty that you do, that you give, that you create, and that you are. You are a powerhouse of beauty.

11. Show kindness. A kind person is exquisite in their beauty. It shines from them like a beacon of hope and peace.

12. Don’t try too hard. Don’t overdo it with make-up or clothes. Don’t spend thousands getting surgery. Don’t exercise yourself to death. When you try too hard, you look desperate. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you feel desperate.

13. Don’t act your age. Your age doesn’t define you or your capacity for beauty. In fact, age ripens you and provides a lushness to your bad, beautiful self! Live the age you feel.

14. Create something. Creativity is the handmaiden of beauty. Creativity is beauty expressing itself through you. Paint, write, garden, scult, cook, sew, decorate — be creative and you will feel beauty spilling out of every pore.

15. Inspire others. As the poet Rumi writes, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Do beautiful things. Live beauty. Be beauty. You will inspire others through your beauty.

16. Stop your thoughts. It’s hard to feel beautiful when your brain is whirring away like a ticker tape with negative thoughts about your appearance or age. When you are trapped in those thoughts, stop yourself and redirect your thinking.

17. See yourself through the eyes of a loved one. View yourself the way those dearest to you see you. Offer yourself the love they offer you. Feel the beauty they feel around you.

18. Connect with the beauty of nature. You are part of the natural world in all of its infinite glory and seasonal changes. As you experience nature, become aware of your connection to the beauty around you.

19. Listen to beautiful music. Certain music speaks to your soul. It touches and enlivens the most spiritual and beautiful parts of ourselves.

20. Make love. No explanation needed.

21. Wear clothes well. If you aren’t a natural at dressing to suit your body type, age, and coloring, find someone to help you find clothing highlight the beauty inside of you.

22. Hug often. Share loving physical touch with friends and family. It’s a beautiful thing!

23. Get enough sleep. You know what lack of sleep does to your appearance, not to mention your mental health. A good night’s sleep is a mini facelift!

24. Dance. Dance alone. Dance with a partner. Dance like no one is watching. Dancing makes you feel like a beautiful child, carefree and happy.

25. Update your make-up. Make sure your make-up doesn’t look dated, too heavy, or just wrong. Sometimes we get stuck in make-up ruts. An new look can highlight your most beautiful features.

26. Have a beautiful mind. Don’t corrupt your mind with ugly thoughts about yourself or others. Don’t dwell on unpleasant things. Don’t watch violence or negative programs or movies. Fill your thoughts with loveliness.

27. Stop smoking. It ages your skin, it smells bad, it’s bad for you, and it doesn’t reflect self-love. Dropping this bad habit will instantly make you feel more beautiful.

28. Be outgoing, even if it’s hard. Initiate conversations. Show interest in people. Make introductions. Smile. Bridging the gap between stranger and friend feels beautiful.

29. Do physical work. If you have a desk job, sometimes you miss the beauty of a task completed with the physical evidence of your accomplishment. Do something physical like washing the car, raking leaves, gardening, etc. to see the fruits of your labor. Moving, working, accomplishing — that feels beautiful!

30. Take care of your teeth. Since you are now smiling often, you want your teeth to look their pearly best. White, clean teeth make you look ten years younger. Plus, it’s hard to smile if you are embarrassed about your teeth.

31. Create beauty around you. Let your surroundings reflect the beauty inside of you. Remove clutter. Clean windows. Add flowers. Let your home be filled with your beauty.

32. Cook a beautiful meal. Well-prepared, healthy, and delicious food prepared by loving hands is beauty for the mouth and the soul.

33. Reduce stress. Anxiety, a furrowed brow, a tense frown, hunched shoulders are all the physical manifestations of stress. Find the cause of your stress and do something to relieve it. Shine the light of your beauty on the situation. It might dissolve.

34. Exude self-confidence. Show the world that you know you are beautiful where it counts. Your self-confidence rises in direct proportion to your self-acceptance. Love the unique and beautiful person you are and share that with the world.

35. Dress up. Life has gotten increasingly casual. Dress up on occasion. In fact, be the best dressed person in the room. Wear red! Turn a few heads.

36. Express gratitude. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you have. The handful of complaints you have about your appearance is nothing compared to the cornucopia of blessings that surround you. Bathe in the beauty of your blessings, and it will transform you from the inside out.

 

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Living a Life of Passion…

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Often times, it takes a tragic event for us to remember to live life with passion. Or perhaps, an “Aha” moment that brings us back to the simplest of ideas. Life is essentially all we have, and why not live it passionately? What good are we to ourselves, and others, if we sail through life without passion?

Most people might attribute the word “passion” to couples in love. But think about the meaning of the word “passion”. Dictionary.com identifies it as, “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.” Those powerful feelings that stir within us are what makes us human. These feelings are what makes us special, as we each have our very own and unique emotions and feelings. These should be embraced and celebrated.

Everyone is affected by different life experiences. What makes us feel passionately, might not make another feel the same way. It is important to do a little soul searching in order to determine where your areas of passion lie.

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When you wake up in the morning, take a walk over to your door or window. Take a few moments to reflect on what you see. Relish in the uniqueness of what you see, instead of wishing you were seeing differently. If possible, open the door or window and take a breath of fresh air. Whether it is cold or warm where you live, there is something deeply powerful about fresh air. Yet, it is something we all take for granted everyday. We go about our daily life breathing in and out, and yet rarely do we realize the air we breathe.

As you go through your day, appreciate everyone you come in contact with. I know you may be tempted to be rude to that drive through person who was rude and abrupt with you, but don’t do it. Smile, say “Thank you”, and “Have a nice day!”. It may be hard to do in that moment, but as you drive away, you will smile to yourself and feel good, instead of reeling from a nasty encounter.

There are several things you can do for people throughout your day; open the door for people behind you, hold the elevator door open for someone running for it, or pick up the pen that someone has dropped. Whatever you encounter, help people. By the end of the day, you will feel better for it. If you are not sure that this will work, I urge you to give it a trial run for one day. What do you have to lose?

If you are having trouble feeling inspired to live passionately, think back to experiences you have had that evoked these strong feelings in you. For myself, I love to travel and certain places make me understand that I am here to live. There is a beach down the street from my house that I enjoy immensely. I also love to go to nearby coffee shops, where I can hear the locals talk about what’s current in their lives. Perhaps, for you, you are inspired by other people. Surround yourself with these inspirations and you will in turn feel the passion.

If you are passionate about certain activity’s in life, then become involved! If you think you are too busy, I am here to assure you, you are not. Make the time! If you are that passionate about it, it is worth it. Do you like gardening? Or perhaps you prefer building cars. Find a way to work it in your schedule, and find a way to help others in the process. You will be rewarded in the end, although not necessarily with tangible rewards, and these rewards are what help us stay motivated to live with passion.

We all have areas in life we are passionate about. It is important to find these and share them, with ourselves and others if we choose. Living each and every day with passion will come with ease. If it takes a little effort, remember it is worth it! We are only here for a short time, it is important we make the most of it!

 

Overcoming Procrastination

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Know what type of procrastinator you are

You will see from the following six descriptions what type of procrastinator you are.  It’s hard hitting, but it is good to know which type you are in order to overcome procrastination problems.

According to Linda Sapadin (author of The 6 Styles of Procrastination and How Students Can Overcome Them© (Penguin, 1999) with Jack Maguire) procrastinators fall into one of 6 styles:

The six types of procrastinators

  1. Dreamers – This type of procrastinator want to have an easy, laid back life and not have to worry about the real things in life.  They have had many jobs and live in the world of the unconscious where everything is magical and assume they are special in some way.  They make promises they cannot keep and love the pleasure of buying something new, but hate the pain of paying for it.
  2. Worriers – This type has a very small comfort zone and doesn’t like to stray too far out of the comfort zone.  They love the security of their world and constantly fret when faced with fear or change.  They suffer from ‘what if’ syndrome and everything might have a negative consequence.  They put off a lot of things in their life in case something bad happens to them and hate facing a task head on.
  3. Defiers – This procrastinator hates authority and cannot stick to a task given by a manager or someone else higher in authority.  They promise the world but deliver an island.  They tend to withhold on tasks given to them and delay them stating how busy they are and how important their other tasks are.  This strategy gives a feeling of power and can even spill over into relationships.
  4. Crisis Makers – This usually starts at school when the crisis maker has one night to prepare for an exam and they are all traumatised as they haven’t prepared however they are secretly boosting that they can get the work it takes other s 3 months to do in one night.  The pressure and adrenaline spurs them on.  They carry this on to the real world, and quickly find that running on adrenaline every day doesn’t work so they burn out quickly.
  5. Perfectionists – It all or nothing for this type of procrastinator.  It will take ages to get them going but once they do the job will be perfect, only trouble is, what should have taken 20 minutes takes 2 days.  Their self esteem is on the line on every single task they do, because of this they avoid tasks they don’t think they can do perfectly so they miss out.  Again this spills over into their life as well.
  6. Overdoers – The overdoers will take on the world and make your dinner at the same time.  They constantly aim to please and pride themselves on being able to do lots of jobs at the one time.  However they cannot deliver on all their promises simply because they have too much to do and cannot concentrate on one task long enough to do it well.

The 6 steps of overcoming procrastination

  1. Write it down: Write down your to do tasks for the day and realistically assign a time value to each one of them. Start at the top and work your way through them until all your tasks for the day are finished.  Do not reward yourself with the Internet, reading, TV, or anything else until all tasks have been done. Pretty soon, if you practice this every day, you will develop a new habit and you will soon be known as the person who gets things done. Remember do not reward yourself at all until all tasks are completed.
  2. Stop making it a drama: If you get into the mode of thinking this is terrible, it’s never going to work, I am going to look foolish, what’s the point anyway – STOP! literally stop your mind from chattering and focus on the positive outcomes of what the task will achieve.
  3. Do it now: As soon as you get a task to do, don’t think just take the first thing in your mind that needs to be done and get going with it.  It’s easier to roll a snowball down a hill when you have already made the snowball, it’s the starting of making the snowball that’s the problem.  So do anything at all to get going and pretty soon things will start to snowball and the task will be complete.
  4. Let go of the adrenaline rush: People who do things at the last minute actually thrive on the adrenaline rush.  However, you cannot expect to live like this every day of your life.  It’s good to recognise that you like this adrenaline rush and it’s quite exciting but it’s time to try another way. Get your adrenaline rush elsewhere.  Go jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet (with a parachute of course!).  Leave the adrenaline rush where it should be and start to work a different way to get your tasks complete. You can get smaller adrenaline rushes by assigning deadlines for yourself.  For example when you have been given two weeks to do something, give yourself a week to do it and create your won deadline.  This way you will get finished a week early.  If you do this religiously with every task you will, again, develop, a new habit of completing things early.  However, a note of caution here: if you are going to do this for a boss, make sure you finish the task within the week but hand it in to your boss 2 days before the deadline, this way the boss will not start to pile things on you as they see you are someone who can get things done quick.
  5. Stop trying to perfect the world: You cannot be perfect, it is literally impossible.  Your perception of perfect is someone else’s perception of imperfect. If you are a perfectionist, you might be proud of it, but it stops you doing things in life, you might not try new things as you are not able to perfect them. To overcome being perfect try doing things the wrong way, try being late for an appointment, try dropping a cup onto the floor so it breaks – get out of the mold of being perfect, your life will change forever. When you take on new tasks do so with an open mind, but take them on, don’t think that you might not be able to make it perfect just take it on and start straight away.  It’s all about developing a new thinking pattern toward your tasks.
  6. Learn to say NO!: Stop taking on too much work.  You will learn in life that there are times when you have to hold up a hand and say NO! You can’t do everything and to do something to a satisfactory level you have to be realistic about the amount of work you can take on.  When you have taken on a certain number of tasks it’s time to stop any more work from being piled on you and gently remind the people who are trying to pile the work on you that you’ve got enough for now. Saying No will also empower you and give you much more satisfaction and confidence in yourself.

I hope it has helped you in some way.  Let me know your thoughts on this.

How to end procrastination today

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The best way to learn how to stop procrastination is to know what the professionals do. No I am don’t mean productivity professionals but I am talking about people who are professionals at wasting their time.

In this post I will tell you about those mistakes and how to avoid them so that you can help yourself put an end to procrastination.

It’s a promise that if you followed these advice then you will never be a procrastinator.

How to end procrastination today

  1. Not being focused: If while doing any given task you answered your phone, checked your mail, opened face book, replied to a text message or even went to eat something then you will never finish the task on time. After all you will never feel that you are wasting time because each of these tasks takes less than few minutes but their combined effect results in wasting your time. If you want to be productive then be focused on the task you are doing and don’t do any side task while doing it.
  2. Waiting for the right mood: Lots of procrastinators delay important tasks with the excuse that they are waiting for the mood but the truth is that this mood will never come and if it came it wont last for long. At one day you might find yourself irritated, at another you might find yourself angry while a third day you might find yourself feeling bad. Even if you felt good who told you that these feelings will continue forever? The key to being productive is not to feel good all the time but to keep working even if you are feeling bad, sad or even depressed.
  3. Waiting for the right time: A large group of procrastinators claim that they are waiting for the right time to start but the truth is that they are afraid of failure, they like to stick to their comfort zone or they perceive the task to be very difficult. In order not to hurt their egos they deceive themselves by claming that they are waiting for the right time while in fact they just need to be brave enough to face the truth. The right time is now and If you waited for the right time you will wait forever.
  4. Not having a clearly defined set of tasks: Lots of people procrastinate because they don’t know exactly how to start or what to do. Productive people on the other hand usually have a list of tasks predetermined in their minds before they begin working and that’s why they never waste time thinking about which task to start with.
  5. Are you doing that you hate: Sometimes we blame people for procrastination while they are innocent. In many cases procrastination happens when the person hates the task that he is doing, that’s why most children waste time instead of studying. While not everything that you hate can be avoided still you can make different choices in your life that ensures that you will be doing what you like more than doing what you dislike.

Stick to these tips and procrastination will be a memory

20 New Ways to Judge Others

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Do not judge from mere appearances…” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin

For too long our world has made judgments about others on faulty criteria. As a result, we’ve championed, promoted, and followed some wrong people along the way. We’ve judged others on the color of their skin, symmetry of their cheek bones, salary package, neighborhood of residence, eloquence of speech, designer of clothing, or model of car. We’ve been focused on the wrong things. And have made some terribly awful judgments along the way – both personally and collectively.

Might I take a moment and recommend some new measurements? Some new measurements that are not external in nature, but are internal… measurements that weigh the very heart and soul of humanity. And begin to give us a far better sense of who to trust, who to follow, and who to champion.

20 New Ways to Judge Others.

1. Character in solitude. Our character is best revealed not in the the public eye, but in private. What we do when nobody is looking is the truest mark of our character. And those who display character in the dark will always reflect it in the light.

2. Contentment in circumstance. Often times, contentment remains elusive for both the rich and the poor. It is a struggle for humanity no matter their lot in life. Rich is the man or woman who can find contentment in either circumstance.

3. Courage during adversity. Courage can only be revealed when it is required. And only those who have displayed it and acted upon it during adversity can lay claim to its possession. This adversity can take on many different forms, but courage will always look the same: action in the face of fear.

4. Faithfulness in commitment. Those whose words are true ought to be highly lifted up in our world today. Whether our word is given with a handshake, a contract, or a wedding ring, those who hold true to their oaths are worthy of commendation.

5. Generosity in abundance. To those who have received much, much should be given away. Often times, this abundance comes in forms other than material possessions. And in that way, we each have been given much… and each ought to be generous in our use of it.

6. Graciousness towards others. Those who routinely extend grace to others are among my greatest heroes. They have a healthy realization that this world is largely unfair, that people come from a variety of backgrounds, and that nobody is truly self-made… even themselves. As a result, they are quick to extend grace and mercy to others.

7. Gratitude despite circumstance. Those who can find enough good in any circumstance to express gratitude are typically focused on the right things. And those who are focused on the right things tend to bend their lives towards those things… and draw others along with them.

8. Honesty in deprivation. It is when we are deprived of something desired that honesty is the most difficult. Whether we are deprived of something physical or intangible (like a desired outcome), dishonesty is often used to quickly take gain of something. Those who show honesty during deprivation reveal how highly they esteem it.

9. Hope during heartache. When heartache cuts at such a deep level that simple optimism is not enough… only hope can emerge. When it does, it is undeniably from a source far greater than ourselves. And those who find it, discover one of the greatest powers in the universe.

10. Humility in accomplishment. Those who are quick to deflect praise in accomplishment ought to be first in receiving it.

11. Inspiration in relationship. We are all in relationship with others – sometimes in person, sometimes in print, sometimes in other ways. These relationships should not be used solely for personal gain but for bringing out the best in others. And those who inspire others to become the best they can be should be gifted with more and more and more relationships.

12. Integrity in the details. Integrity is found in the details. Those who show integrity in the little things of life will typically display it in the bigger things as well.

13. Kindness to the weak. It is usually the weakest among us that are in most need of our kindness… and yet they receive it the least because they have no way to immediately repay it. When kindness is only shown for the sake of repayment, it becomes an investment and is no longer true kindness. Our true measure of kindness is shown in how we treat those who will never repay us.

14. Love for enemies. Anybody can love a friend. Anybody can love those who treat us well… and everybody does. But it takes a special type of person to extend love towards those who treat us unjustly.

15. Optimism towards others. See the good in everyone. There is simply no way to bring out the best in others if you haven’t seen it first.

16. Perseverance in failure. Failure reveals much about our heart. It reveals our character, our humility, and our perseverance. We will all at some point face failure. And those who get back up and try again ought to be esteemed in our mind.

17. Purity in opportunity. While character is revealed in solitude and integrity is revealed in the details, purity is revealed in the face of opportunity. When dishonest gain (money, power, sex, etc.) presents itself, those who choose purity ought to be praised. Not only do they personally sleep better at night, but they make this world a better place for all of us.

18.Respect for authority. Authority brings order to a world of disorder. Certainly there are numerous examples throughout history (and today) of proper timing in overthrowing authority that oppresses its subjects. But in most cases, authority brings reason and order… and it should be allowed to do so.

19. Responsibility for mistake. From the weakest to the strongest, we all love to pass the blame. I can see it in my 5-year old daughter and I can see it in my government leaders. We are a people that are slow to accept responsibility for our mistakes. This is unfortunate. Because only those who can admit their mistakes have the opportunity to learn from them.

20. Self-control in addiction. We are a people that too often give control of our most precious asset to another. We fall under the influence of substances, possessions, or entertainment. When we do, our life is no longer our own. And those who retain self-control in the face of addiction ought to be recognized as unique and judged accordingly.

And when we all begin to properly esteem, champion, and follow those who lead from the inside… we will make far less mistakes in choosing who to follow.

 

Stop Waiting!

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 People convince themselves that life will be better after they get married, have a baby, then another. Then they are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and they’ll be more content when they are. After that they’re frustrated that they have teenagers to deal with. They will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. People tell themselves that their lives will be complete when their spouse gets his or her act together, when they get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when they retire.

The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now.
 
Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza. He said, “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
 
This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have.
 
Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Keeping Those Special Relationships …

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Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who appreciate having you in theirs – the ones who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways, and who not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be.  These people – your real family – are the ones who truly matter.

Here are tips to help you find and foster these special relationships.

Free yourself from negative people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.

Let go of those who are already gone. – The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need.  When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave.  The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on.  We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are.  So when people walk away from you, let them go.   Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.  It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.

Give people you don’t know a fair chance. – When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow.  Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.  So appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

Show everyone kindness and respect. – Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.

Accept people just the way they are. – In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  So save yourself from needless stress.  Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.

Encourage others and cheer for them. – Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

Be your imperfectly perfect self. – In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.  And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.  Be your imperfectly perfect self around them.  We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are.  And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love about us.

Forgive people and move forward. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.  Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.

Do little things every day for others. – Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.

Pay attention to who your real friends are. – As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Remember, life is kind of like a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess.  And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends in life.  They are the ones who matter most.

Always be loyal. – True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.

Stay in better touch with people who matter to you. – In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.  Stay in touch with those who matter to you.  Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.  Paying attention to these people is a priority.

Keep your promises and tell the truth. – If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.  Remember, love and friendship don’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.

Give what you want to receive. – Don’t expect what you are not willing to give.  Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It works.  It really is this simple.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. – Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.  Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication functioning.  Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.

Allow others to make their own decisions. – Do not judge others by your own past.  They are living a different life than you are.  What might be good for one person may not be good for another.  What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better.  Allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.

Talk a little less, and listen more. – Less advice is often the best advice.  People don’t need lots of advice; they need a listening ear and some positive reinforcement.  What they want to know is often already somewhere inside of them.  They just need time to think, be and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help them find their direction.

Leave petty arguments alone. – Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.  There are many roads to what’s right.  And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.

Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary. – No one has the right to judge you.  They might have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.  No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently.  So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right.  What most people think and say about you isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.

Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. – One   of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving others too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?

Lessons Learned Through Quotes; Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin was a man of action. Over his lifetime, his curiosity and passion fueled a diverse range of interests. He was a writer (often using a pseudonym), publisher, diplomat, inventor and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

His inventions included the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin stove. Franklin was responsible for establishing the first public library, organizing fire fighters in Philadelphia, was one of the early supporters of mutual insurance and crossed the Atlantic eight times. Self-development was a constant endeavor throughout his incredible life.

Benjamin Franklin was clearly a man who knew how to get things done.

14 Action Inducing Lessons 

Less Talk, More Action



“Well done is better than well said.”


Talk is cheap. Talking about a project won’t get it completed. We all know people who constantly talk about the things they are going to do but rarely ever take that first step. Eventually people begin to question their credibility. Taking action and seeing the task through to completion is the only way to get the job done.

 

Don’t Procrastinate



“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”


This is probably one of the first quotes I remember hearing as a teenager. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, Benjamin Franklin was not a man hung up on procrastination. He was a man with clear measurable goals who worked hard to turn his vision into reality. What are you putting off till tomorrow that could make a difference in your life today?

 

Be Prepared 



“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”


You need a plan to accomplish your goals. Charging in without giving any thought to the end result and how to achieve it, is a sure way to fall flat on your face. Think like a boy scout. Have a realistic plan of attack and a systematic approach for getting where you need to be.

 

Don’t Fight Change 



“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”


Whilst many of us don’t like change, others thrive on it. Either way change is inevitable. The stronger we fight against it, the more time and energy it consumes. Give up the fight. Focus on proactively making positive changes, instead of having change merely thrust upon you. Wherever possible, try to view change as a positive instead of a negative.

 

Get Moving



“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”


There’s a reason we use the expression, movers and shakers. Movers are the ones who take action, the people who get things done, while the immovable are sitting around scratching their heads wondering how others could possibly be so successful. Which group do you want to belong to?

 

Avoid Busywork



“Never confuse motion with action.”


We are always running around doing things. We rush from one meeting or event to the next, sometimes without achieving a great deal. At the end of the day, how much of our busywork are we proud of? How much of that running around improves anyone’s life (including ours) for the better? Make your motion mean something.

 

Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes 



“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”


If we fear making mistakes, we become scared to try new things. Fear leaves us nestled in our comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone rarely leads to greatness. Taking risks and giving yourself permission to make mistakes, will ultimately lead you to whatever your version of success may be.

 

Act Quickly on Opportunities 



“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”


Opportunities are everywhere. The trick is being quick enough and smart enough to seize them when they arise. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that something won’t work or can’t be done, allow yourself the freedom to ask what if?

 

Continue to Grow 



“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”


We all have vices of some description. The key is to keep them under control or preferably eradicate them entirely. Be kind to those around you, whether they are neighbors, family, co-workers or friends. Never accept that you have finished growing as a person.

 

Keep Going 



“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”


Have you ever looked at a successful entrepreneur or businessperson and thought how lucky they are? Most of the time, luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work and sacrifice on the other hand have everything to do with it. Successful people deal with failure. They tackle their demons head on. They pick themselves up and keep going.

 

Know Yourself 



“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”


Understanding ourselves is not easy. Sometimes we just don’t want to see ourselves for who we really are. It’s much easier to hold onto a romanticized version of ourselves or to simply view ourselves through other people’s eyes. Start by being brutally honest with yourself. Follow through with understanding, compassion and acceptance.

 

Don’t Self-Sabotage



“Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?”


We spend so much time worrying about other people hurting us, yet fail to comprehend the damage we inflict on ourselves. If you are using negative self-talk, lying to yourself or indulging in addictive behavior you are self-sabotaging. Life can dish up enough challenges without us adding to the mix. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would a best friend.

 

Don’t Give Up 



“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”


Achieving our goals can be downright exhausting. There will be days when you want to give up. There will be times when your energy levels flat line and you wonder why you bother getting out of bed. Yet you push forward, day after day because you believe in yourself and you have the determination and strength to back up that belief.

 

Wise Up 



“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”


Benjamin was definitely onto something with this one. Who hasn’t had the thought – I wish I could know then, what I know now? Unfortunately there is no time machine; there is no going back. The key is to wise up as early as you can to start forging a life of purpose, achievement and happiness.