Tag Archives: Maya Angelou

a new story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

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Story.   Your life is a story and throughout the pages of your story are moments of joy, regret, sorrow and excitement.   What do you want others to know about your story?

For some people their story is routine, bland and roughly the same everyday.   Year after year they go to work and come back to a place they call home.  The story repeats itself in the spring, summer, fall and winter.   There isn’t something that creates substantial meaning in their story.   It just moves from one clock tick to the next.  Life becomes more about dealing with the bills, weather and occasional routine disrupters that interfere with most people’s lives,  fixing a broken pipe in the dead of winter, mowing the grass, trying to plant a garden, tripping over a piece of worn carpet, getting to work and getting back, talking with the same group of people, complaining about things that won’t change, listening to the news realizing that the story is the same every night, getting groceries, eating, cleaning up, and life goes on.

Life goes on and living has somehow stopped.   Real goals linger as “should do” items on a dusty shelf.   Beauty gets swallowed into a sea of grey thinking.  The crisp edges of life disappear and are replaced with safe routine.

There comes a time in life where reflection of the life lived  begins to ring louder and louder, and begs the questions, “Did I live?”  For most people there is a deep desire to live a life that does matter that there was some contribution, that there was a story worth sharing with others.

What story do you want your life to tell?   What new story do you want to write?

What would make life interesting rather than routine?   What do you want your story to be about?

Start writing a new story today.

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a shift towards gratitude

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


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What could change if you were more grateful?

It turns out that gratitude is one of the most important attributes of the happy person. Circumstances shape a life, gratitude makes a life. David Horsager the author of the “Trust Edge” writes that the “single greatest commonality of happy people is an attitude of gratitude”.  Why don’t we practice being grateful if that is one of the keys to happiness?

To be a grateful person it takes a bit of humility, ability to listen to others with empathy, to see the potential of others, to see your own potential, to encourage others, and to be genuine.   In a mixed up world that we live into today more people are worried about how “they” fit into the world, how they gain or profit from others.   Being grateful means showing that you care about others and other things that are not materialistic in nature.

Given the violence that was experienced a week ago at a small school in Newtown, Connecticut many people were reminded to be grateful for each moment.   Every moment matters and taking care to be grateful for the preciousness of life is important.

Join a campaign of gratefulness today.   Inspire others with your words or take a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for.     Take a look at a sunset or a sunrise and marvel at the beauty.  Just take a few minutes out of your day to STOP and be grateful.pict0559

Take a look at “The Gratitude Book Project” for 2013 and get ideas on how to be more grateful.    If gratefulness is a direct link to greater happiness then learn how to be more grateful.

Gratitude

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
― Maya Angelou

I know how to do that …

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Maya Angelou

Have you ever been to a conference, lecture, seminar or read a book and said to yourself, “I how how to do that?” and thought I could do that.    It’s not what you know how to do, it is what you do with what you know.    The difference between high performers and the rest is that the high performers take action on what they know.  They do it!  They take action and get results.

So where are you?

Idea
Plan
Action

Many people have great ideas and they’ll tell you all about the great ideas they have.   No plan … and no action.   You may have heard about “the great idea” that someone had.   No action, no results.

A great idea with a plan is at least a step further.   A great plan without any action is just  a plan.

Recently someone was telling me of this book they had written.   It’s written and waiting to be put into an envelope to be sent to a prospective publisher.   Written  and sitting.   Some people would say, “What are you waiting for?”.    Without action you’ll never know what the results would be.

What are you waiting for?

What one great idea do you have that is just waiting for the “right time”?

It is what you do that matters.

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what words …

Sometimes words reach out from the page a grab us.   Sometimes what we read pulls in with a warm embrace.   Sometimes the message finds a soft spot in our hearts.   Sometimes words give us the courage to face another day.   Our words are important no matter what form they may take.

What words comfort you?   What words challenge you?   What words do you use?

“Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is. “, wrote Blaise Pascal.

Thank-you!

Choose your words wisely!

“It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being gratefulfor every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”   Wallace D. Wattles

 

 

are you able?

Are you ABLE?

John Piper wrote a book called “Don’t waste your life”.     We only have once chance to make everyday excellent and that happens when we engage in the activities of the day.   

ABLE

Attitude:  What is your attitude?  positive, optimistic, future facing, journey, risk accepting, happy, joyful, grateful, …

Belief:  Do you have confidence in your abilities?  Do you have the opportunity to use your talents and gifts most of the time?   Do you believe in yourself?

Learning:  Are you making a daily effort to learn more?  Perhaps it is learning about your strengths, your job or other tangible components of your life.   What are you learning that helps you become all that you were designed to be?

Engagement:  Are you actively participating in building the life you were intended to live?

 

No matter what happens in the circumstances of our lives we have exactly one chance to do the right thing.    How often have you read the story where the right thing to do was not the popular thing to do?   How often have you read about a sequence of events that turned tragic because the right thing wasn’t done? 

In many cases the right thing might be managing our attitude when life’s events are not favorable.   Our attitude sets the stage for everything else in our day.    Our attitude sets the stage for everything in our life.

Our attitude can be learned.   We can train ourselves to have the kind of attitude that creates opportunities rather than drowns them.   Attitude is a choice, a moment by moment choice but a choice nonetheless. 

“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”   Robert Collier

Belief in yourself is the first step in creating a remarkable life.    For some people the words of others shaped their self-belief, either for the good or for the bad.  In many cases those words were not words of truth that helped the person grow and discover their possibilities, they were words that tried to injure and defeat. 

Everyone has skills and talents they can use.  Some people fear to use their talents because of the criticism that might follow.   

Restoring self-belief takes work, time and effort.   Start small and build your confidence in little steps.   Then after a few steps look at the progress you have made.  Celebrate the progress.  Believe that you can do more – you can.

“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”  George Santayana (1863 – 1952)

Take the time to learn something new.   Learn something new daily, about yourself, about your world, about your work but learn something new daily. 

The world is changing far too quickly to neglect or put off learning.  Challenge yourself and challenge others make learning fun and beneficial.

Maya Angelou wrote, “love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it”

Engage fully in the life you are living.   Do life with intention.  Live life in full.  When you are engaged in life you are changing the circumstances around you.   You are creating possibilities for yourself.

Are you ABLE?