Don’t Expect Gurantees of Success

Note: We recently launched of a seminar series, “Five Things You Must Know To Make Your Life Better.”  As part of that series, one of the things we went over were the “10 Commandments of Changing Habits.” This is one of those “commandments.”

Expect not guarantees of success.

woman-running-through-tape

Setting goals does not guarantee you will get to have the results you want.

However, NOT setting them does guarantee that you will stay where you are.

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Time is Out of Your Control

time-is-passingNote: We recently launched of a seminar series,Five Things You Must Know To Make Your Life Better.”  As part of that series, one of the things we went over were the “10 Commandments of Changing Habits.” This is one of those “commandments.”

Thou shalt accept time is out of thy control.

The process will take more time than you want and it will be more complicated than you prefer – but it will neither take as long as, nor will it be as difficult as you fear.

Conversely, it will feel far better than you expect when you “arrive.”

When the road seems long, keep your eyes on the prize and focus on the benefits, not the effort.

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You Are Not Alone

Note: We recently launched of a seminar series,Five Things You Must Know To Make Your Life Better.”  As part of that series, one of the things we went over were the “10 Commandments of Changing Habits.” This is one of those “commandments.”

Accept thy journey is not alone

People holding hands

You run your own life.

If you want to change it, you have to take responsibility for where you are and where you’re going.

However, realize that those most closely tied to you will have to adjust, and they might – or might not – want to.

Keep others informed.

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Video: Use Gratitude to Build a Better Life

Thank you signIf you want to build a better life, being grateful for the one you already have is a great place to start.

That’s the message Dr. Robert Emmons delivered recently through his work with the University of California-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Emmons, an expert in the field of positive psychology, stressed grateful people empower themselves to construct ever more positive and happy lives.

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Thank You Barbara

If food is what sustains the body, gratitude nourishes the soul.

Today I am well fed.

Having lived in the same community for over 30 years, I believe I carry a relatively high, (hopefully) positive reputation. Within minutes of my home, I can stroll among the redwoods or along a rocky — albeit cold — beach. My house is not a palace, yet it’s not a cardboard box either and my “commute” to work, when not on a plane, consists of four stairs. When subjected to the hassle of airline travel, I often visit beautiful, wondrous locales and speak to and with fascinating people from all walks of life. I am nurtured by strong friendships and even though — like any long-term relationship — we can drive each other crazy, I am still deeply, teenage-style, crazy nuts in love with my wife. My hair is thinner, the brown has been replaced with gray; I grunt a bit more when I move than I did in younger days, but, even if I am forever watching my weight, my health is generally holding up, thank you very much.

I am beyond fortunate — although I forget far too often.

my coloumn on refrigeratorLast night, I was reminded when a reader of this column reached out to me on a social network site and sent me a photograph.

After the passing of his aunt, her family assembled at the house. On her refrigerator, among the collection of magnets and drawings, was an article I had written many years ago called “Five Words to Change Your Life.”

I do not recall if I ever met his aunt, but looking at the refrigerator magnets framed in the small snapshot, I know she had grandchildren and perhaps liked birds. I assume she traveled to Alaska, and she had a fondness for the iconic Dr. Seuss character, the Cat in the Hat (or more likely her grandchildren did). She was most likely a tidy woman. (I make that deduction because my article was cut with clear straight lines and hung level and centered on the refrigerator door.)

Although not directly posted on her refrigerator, like each of us, I know she had dreams, possibilities, and plans; although I do not know what they were. I hope she realized them before she passed.

I also know with certainty that she was loved and that she loved in return.

She could have been my aunt, or yours. Maybe she was.

Although my messages are posted in print near and far, and I am given the privilege of the speaker’s platform, each of us, whether as pebbles or boulders, is tossed into the same lake, spreading ripples in all directions. We touch and we are touched. Should we face final judgment, I am convinced the ultimate criteria will be how we affected those with whom we connected during our lives. For some day in the future, each of us will exist only in the memories and words of the ones we left behind. It is they, not we, who determine our legacy. Paradoxically, we create it, and do so in the present; right now, today, this instant.

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