Achieving Greatness: How to Become a Leader

April 20, 2017

Listen to episode 154 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Achieving Greatness: How to Become a Leader. Edited & adapted from “Getting On” by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The leaders of the world (be it in business, science, or the arts) have ever been precedent breakers. Timid people, no matter how able, never make leaders. Fearlessness and originality are characteristic of all leaders of progress. They have no reverence for the old simply because it is old; with them it is always a question of pushing forward, of improving on the past, instead of slavishly copying it.

Men and women who have blazed new paths for civilization have always been precedent breakers. It is ever the individual who believes in their own idea; who can think and act without a crowd to back them; who is not afraid to stand alone; who is bold, original, resourceful; who has the courage to go where others have never been, to do what others have never done, that accomplishes things, that leaves their mark on their times.

Do not be afraid of being original. Do not be a copy of your father, your mother, your grandparents; which would be as foolish as it would be for the violet to try to be a rose. Every person is born to do a certain work. If you try to do some other person’s work, you will be a failure. Great men and women never copy one another. A master mind cannot be made to fit a pattern or conform to set routine.

Every strong person’s achievement is an outgrowth of their individual ideas. What you manufacture or sell, the conduct of your business, the book you write, the picture you paint, the sermon you preach — this is the expression to the world of what was wrapped up inside you, not in someone else.

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Forgiveness: The Key to Freedom & Happiness

April 18, 2017

Listen to episode 153 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Forgiveness: The Key to Freedom & Happiness. Edited & adapted from “The Ideal Made Real” by Christian D. Larson.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: To forgive everybody for everything at all times, regardless of circumstances, is the first step towards complete freedom. In the past, many have looked upon forgiveness as a virtue; but, in reality, it is a necessity.

We have often given our highest praise to those who possess the spirit of forgiveness and have thought of such people as being self-sacrificing in the truest sense of the term — because we did not know that the act of forgiving is the simplest way to lighten one's own burdens.

According to our old conception of forgiveness, the person who forgives denies themselves a privilege, the privilege of indignation and revenge; for this reason we have looked upon them as heroes or saints, thinking that it could not be otherwise than heroic and saintly to give up the supposed pleasure of meting out revenge to those who seemed to deserve it.

However, according to our new view, the person who forgives is no more saintly than the one who insists upon keeping clean, because in reality the act of forgiving simply constitutes a complete mental bath. When you forgive everybody for everything you cleanse your mind completely of every wrong thought or negative mental attitude that may exist in your consciousness.

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How to Be an Intelligent Conversationalist

April 13, 2017

Listen to episode 152 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be an Intelligent Conversationalist. Edited & adapted from “The Man Who Pleases and The Woman Who Fascinates” by John Albert Cone.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: In all countries where intelligence is prized, a talent for conversation ranks high among accomplishments. To clothe the thoughts in clear and elegant language, and to convey them impressively to the mind of another, is no common attainment. The man or woman who is an intelligent, tactful conversationalist, commands one of the most essential elements of a successful life.

While all of us may have certain defects which we cannot wholly overcome (however earnestly we may try), we can, if we will, re-form our conversation. We can so train ourselves that good nature, consideration, and benevolence will always have a place in our intercourse with others. We can, if we will, use good English, and we can avoid the temptation, so common, to talk of persons rather than of things.

Theoretically, we despise gossip; but, in practice, most of us add our mite to the common fund. We may not be ill-natured, and the sweet charity that "thinketh no evil" may have a home in our hearts; yet sometimes, if we are not watchful, it may fall asleep, and bitterness, or the spirit of spitefulness come creeping stealthily to the surface.

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The Eight Pillars of Prosperity (Energy) - James Allen

April 11, 2017

Listen to episode 151 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Eight Pillars of Prosperity (Energy). Edited & adapted from a book of the same title by James Allen.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Energy is the informing power in all doing in every department of life — whether it be along material or spiritual lines. The call to action, which comes from the lips or pen of every great teacher in every school of thought, is a call to us to rouse our sleeping energy, and to do vigorously the task at hand.

Even the teachers of contemplation and meditation never cease to rouse their disciples to exertion in meditative thought. The advice of one of the Great Teachers to his disciples, “Keep wide awake”, tersely expresses the necessity for tireless energy if one’s purpose is to be accomplished, and is equally good advice to the salesperson as to the saint.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”, and liberty is the reaching of one’s fixed end. To get more energy we must use to the full that which we already possess. Only to the person that puts their hand vigorously to some task does power and freedom come.

“Still waters run deep,” and the great universal forces are inaudible. Where calmness is, there is the greatest power. Calmness is the sure indication of a strong, well-trained, patiently disciplined mind. The calm person knows their business, be sure of it. Their words are few, but they tell. Their schemes are well planned, and they work true, like a well-balanced machine. They see a long way ahead, and make straight for their object.

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Saving Time | Productivity | Making the Most Out of Life

April 6, 2017

Listen to episode 150 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Saving Time | Productivity | Making the Most Out of Life. Edited & adapted from The Aim of Life by Philip Stafford Moxom.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Today, I want to talk with you of time and how to save it. Why should we save time? Because time is opportunity for life, and time lost cannot be recovered; it is lost forever. Each moment comes to us rich in possibilities, bringing to us duty, privilege, and the call for achievement. All life is condensed into the moment that we call "now," and the wasting of a moment is, for that moment, the wasting of a life.

"Dost thou love life?” said Poor Richard, “then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." The chief interests of life are moral and spiritual; all else is scaffolding and instrument; all else takes its significance from these. Not knowledge and achievement, but character and destiny, are life’s fundamental concerns; and in relation to these, time has a transcendent value.

"We all complain," said Seneca, “of the shortness of time; and yet we have more than we know what to do with. Our lives are spent either in doing nothing at all (or doing nothing to the purpose), or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them."

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Reincarnation & Living Without Regrets | Prentice Mulford

April 4, 2017

Listen to episode 149 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Reincarnation & Living Without Regrets. Edited and adapted from Thoughts are Things by Prentice Mulford.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The tendency of many people after they are a little "advanced in years" is to look backward with regret. The "looking" should be the other way--forward. If you want to go backward in every sense (mental and physical), keep on cultivating the mood of living regretfully in your past life.

It is one chief characteristic of the material mind to hold tenaciously to the past. It likes to recall the past and mourn over it. The material mind has a never-ending series of solemn amusement in recalling past joys, and feeling sad because they are never to come again.

But the real self, the spirit, cares relatively little for its past. It courts change. It expects to be a different individual, in thought, a year hence from what it is today. Indeed it is willing a thousand years hence to forget who it is today, for it knows that this intense desire to remember itself for what it has been retards its advance toward greater power and greater pleasure.

Do you want forever to bear with you the memory and burden of pain, especially when such burden brings more pain and deprives you of pleasure? It is like a bird that insists on carrying with it always the shell from which it was hatched. If you have a sad remembrance, fling it off. If you can't fling it off, demand that the Supreme Power provide aid to help you do so, and such aid will come.

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Classical Music & Composers: Prophets of the Invisible

March 30, 2017

Listen to episode 148 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Classical Music & Composers: Prophets of the Invisible. Edited and adapted from The Rhythm of Life by Charles Brodie Patterson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Our work tells the story of our inner life. If it is the work of a Michael Angelo, a Leonardo da Vinci, a Beethoven, or a Wagner, then such work must be a true expression of that person’s highest self. There is no way for you to attain lasting greatness save through the development of your own innate powers and possibilities.

All greatness comes from within, but in order to benefit humanity or the world, it must take form in the world, and the tree must become known by its fruit. It is expected of all that each shall live their own life, and live it to the full on every plane of being, from the material plane to the spiritual plane, so that each person will, eventually, contain within themselves the full record of all life, because they have lived to the full on every plane of being.

Rhythm and melody are both true expressions of our inner life, but they must become fully expressed in our outer life, so that there may be the perfect correspondence between inner and outer. The greatest composers will ever resort to the inner, but they will seldom if ever be unmindful of the outer form.

The vision is first, the form is last, and the composer who tries to reverse this order will never be able to produce great or soul-satisfying music; Mozart and Beethoven both employed a great variety of rhythm because they were true interpreters of what might be called the higher or celestial music. But no composer however great has ever been able to reach the limit of musical rhythm, because the rhythm of music comes to us from infinity itself. Therefore, it must have an infinity of variety.

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The Spiritual Power of Words | Warren Felt Evans

March 28, 2017

Listen to episode 147 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Spiritual Power of Words. Edited and adapted from The Mental Cure by Warren Felt Evans.

Spiritual Podcast Excerpt: The whole soul is sometimes in the words we utter, especially when, to use a common expression, they come from the heart, that is, from a love of life. The outward material body is not who we are, and is not a necessary part of humanity. It is the mind that defines you. And the mind is composed of two departments: love and intellect---which are outwardly manifested as affection and thought, and ultimately expressed in the words we say.

Your words are charged with the very life of you -- the vital force of your soul. They affect not only the mind, but they sink into the interior depths of our being. They are not like leaves loosened from the trees by an autumn wind, and strewn upon a lake to float upon its surface. They have spiritual gravity, which causes them to sink into the hidden depths of the spirit.

Words are the index of character. They enclose within them our thoughts, and the tone with which they are spoken indicates the state of our affections. The utterance of a single word can reveal the love, fear, or hate that lurks within it, and, as such, our life and character are laid open to public view. By the effect of our words, others can perceive the cause. The heart is the fountain; words are the stream. If the fountain is clear as crystal, the issuing spring will be the water of life.

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How to Be Bold, Free & Courageous | Conquering Fear

March 23, 2017

Listen to episode 146 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be Bold, Free & Courageous | Conquering Fear. Adapted from How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: THE most destructive force in the world is FEAR. Almost all failure and almost all crime can be traced to one form or another of this most prevalent evil. Fear is the father of doubt, and doubt is the murderer of success. It shows itself in many forms, from the physical fear which is part of our animal inheritance, to the more subtle and dangerous forms which attack our mental life and sap our strength at its very foundation.

Mental fear is more treacherous because it often clothes itself in fair disguises. As prudence, or caution, or the normal instinct of self-preservation, it masquerades so successfully that one often deceives oneself. Prudence and caution and the instinct for self-preservation are necessary and useful if they are inspired by reason, and not by fear — for fear cripples and destroys, it does not help.

Fear has absolutely no place in human life and development. It is an entirely extraneous and harmful emotion. It is born of an exaggeration (by the imagination) of the power of other things or conditions, until we believe it to be superior to our power. It is an entirely false and misleading attitude of mind. At the moment of crisis, when our need is the greatest, it betrays us to the very danger we fear by robbing us of the very qualities of mind which we need to overcome it.

Fear destroys mental balance. Under the influence of fear, you cannot perceive clearly, imagine truly, reason logically, nor act usefully. The only thing in the world worth fearing is FEAR.

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How to Drink Wine | Carpe Diem & Omar Khayyam

March 21, 2017

Listen to episode 145 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Drink Wine | Carpe Diem & Omar Khayyam. Edited and adapted from Heretics by G.K. Chesterton.

The sound rule for wine drinking is like many other sound rules — a paradox. Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it, or you will be like the grey-faced gin-drinker in the slum; but drink when you would be happy without it, and you will be like the laughing villager of Italy. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world.

For decades the shadow and glory of a great Eastern figure has lain upon our English literature. Fitzgerald's translation of Omar Khayyam has concentrated into immortal poignancy all the dark and drifting hedonism of our time. Of the literary splendor of that work it would be merely banal to speak; in few other books has there been anything so combining the gay pugnacity of an epigram with the vague sadness of a song. But of its philosophical, ethical, and religious influence (which has been almost as great as its brilliancy), I should like to say a word, and that word, I confess, is one of uncompromising hostility.

There are a great many things which might be said against the spirit of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and against its prodigious influence. But one matter of indictment towers ominously above the rest — a genuine disgrace to it, and a genuine calamity to us. This is the terrible blow that this great poetry has struck against sociability and the joy of life.

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The Quickening | Breakthrough Growth & Self-Development

March 17, 2017

Listen to episode 144 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Quickening | Growth & Self-Development. Edited and adapted from New Thought Healing Made Plain by Kate Atkinson Boehme.

New Thought Podcast Transcript: There is an all-pervasive analogy between things physical and things metaphysical, and so I can infer that there is a Quickening in the mind of Man (in the mind of Woman) for which preparation is made. For a long time the mind is vague and neutral in its action, but all the while it is growing, developing, forming for the Quickening.

In other words, we are not yet fully individualized, and we must prepare to take a step upward into a higher individualization. We must make ready for the mental Quickening. All our vague and superficial thinking is really working to an end in which it shall take on orderly arrangement around a central thought and become positively organic — for what is true of the embryo is equally true of the embryotic individual, the human being. And after the Quickening comes the birth into a higher life.

All along the line of Evolution things are being born again upon the next higher plane. The one-celled organism is born again as the two-celled, the three-celled, the many-celled organism, and so Life sweeps on in its upward trend. The sadness, the questioning, the dull monotony, the drawbacks, the heart sickness, are all phenomena of the embryotic life and must be lived through patiently and hopefully, if we would reach the Quickening which is close at hand. Grief, pain, and trouble are the pangs of gestation and pass away when the embryo attains its growth.

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A Guide to Health & Life | Naturopathy | Mahatma Gandhi

March 14, 2017

Listen to episode 143 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Guide to Health & Life | Naturopathy. Adapted from “A Guide to Health” by Mahatma Gandhi.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: We have got into the habit of calling in a doctor for the most trivial diseases. And where there is no regular doctor available, we take the advice of mere quacks. We labor under the fatal delusion that no disease can be cured without medicine. This has been responsible for more mischief to humankind than any other evil.

It is, of course, necessary that our diseases should be cured, but many cannot be cured by medicines. Not only are medicines often useless, but at times even positively harmful. For a diseased person to take drugs and medicines is often as foolish as to try to cover up the filth that has accumulated in the inside of our house. The more we cover up the filth, the more rapidly does putrefaction go on.

The same is the case with the human body. Illness or disease is Nature's warning that filth has accumulated in some portion or other of the body; and it would surely be wise to allow Nature to remove the muck, instead of covering it up by the help of medicines. Those who take medicines are often rendering the task of Nature doubly difficult.

It is, on the other hand, quite easy for us to help Nature in her task by remembering certain elementary principles — by fasting, for instance, so that the toxins may not accumulate all the more, and by vigorous exercise in the open air, so that some of the pollutant may escape in the form of perspiration. And the one thing that is supremely necessary is to keep our minds strictly under control.

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Building Self Confidence: Change Your Limiting Beliefs

March 9, 2017

Listen to episode 142 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Building Self-Confidence: Change Your Limiting Beliefs. Adapted from “Success Through Thought Habit” by Benjamin Johnson.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Have confidence in yourself. Believe in your ability to do big things. Only by having faith in yourself, can you compel others to have faith in you. Think big thoughts and back them up with big deeds. You can, if you will. And you will.

Many a little seed has longed to develop and send a little shoot up toward the sunshine. But growth has always been delayed until suddenly the outer wall that limited its growth is burst apart! Many lives are in the same condition: the wall of thought that limits them must be burst before real growth can occur.

The one great infallible rule to be learned when you desire to think constructively, is that the conditions you desire will exist for you in just the proportion that you are capable of developing your own natural powers. If you persist in drawing a line of demarcation between yourself and that which you desire, or if you feel that a certain person is responsible for what you are to obtain, or that a certain condition dependent on other people is necessary for your development, then just so long will you be kept from making the progress that you should.

To say feebly, "Yes, indeed, I was full of enthusiasm when I started in the work, but one thing after another went wrong until I just thought I would stop trying and get out while I could," shows that your backbone has never been developed at all; otherwise every obstacle would have spurred you on to greater effort.

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Self-Knowledge & The Mystery of Golf | Arnold Haultain

March 7, 2017

Listen to episode 141 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self-Knowledge & The Mystery of Golf. Adapted from the book The Mystery of Golf by Arnold Haultain.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: Golf is one of the best schools for mind and manners. The person who would attain self-knowledge should frequent the links. If one seriously attempts the task, one will (quote) "find oneself" in golf. Few things better reveal a person to themselves than zealous and persistent efforts to decrease their handicap.

That profound and ancient maxim “know thyself,” a maxim so ancient and profound that it was said to have descended from heaven, might be inscribed on the portal of every Golf Club. Even it might be said that Tennyson's trinity of excellences (self-knowledge, self-reverence, and self- control) are nowhere so worthily sought, or so efficacious when found, as on the links.

To some this will sound like foolishness; but to golfers it’s an obvious truism. For golf must be played "conscientiously”. The duffer imagines that at the very most it only requires a good "hand and eye" and some sort of knack. A good eye and a very large amount of skill it certainly does need; but the player who thinks that these are the Alpha and Omega of golf will be apt to remain a duffer a long while.

Between this Alpha and this Omega is a whole alphabet. Golf requires the most concentrated mental attention. It also requires (just as concentrated) a moral attention. The moral factors in the game are as important as the physical. The player who succumbs to temptation will have to succumb to defeat.

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The Key to Love | Spirituality & Mystical Wisdom

March 2, 2017

Listen to episode 140 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Key to Love | Spirituality & Mystical Wisdom. Adapted from The Key to Health, Wealth & Love by Julia Seton.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: The reason we do not have love is because we do not know how to get it. Everyone in this world does exactly the best as he or she knows how. When we know better, we will do better. Life as an initiation requires us to learn how to live alone and not be lonely. But it should not take anyone a lifetime to get this lesson; the whole lesson of life may be in one hour's passing — not dragged through endless years of effort and strife.

We want love. Nature demands it, for latent in every soul is the recognition that love is the fulfilling of the law. Without the softening and vivifying influence of love, all that is best in human expression sinks into oblivion. The world has need of the lover, the poet and the minister. It has a great place for these tender souls who pass along with their very beings the intensifying singular power of life — in all and through all.

The great healer, the great physician, the great actor, the truly great individual, in any expression of life, is the great lover. We must have all this energizing power alight within our souls so that (touch life where we may), we shall not sink down into the dull gray of the commonplace, and pass along the dead within us.

Those who have come into real Love never rest, for their whole life is filled and vitalized with a new divine power; they have heard the Universe’s call in the depths of their own being. They have within them from the first, all for which the rest of the world is striving, and their sense of the divine Love is so strong that it includes all humanity.

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How to Build a Business Startup | Entrepreneur Psychology

February 28, 2017

Listen to episode 139 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Build a Business Startup: Entrepreneur Psychology. Adapted from The Power of Mental Demand, and Other Essays by Herbert Edward Law.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The difference between those who achieve mediocre success and those who rise high above it is in this mental resolution, this development of a purpose, this pushing of a business. It is not necessary to the creation of a great business that you understand and realize at the beginning the complicated problems that you will have to meet and master. But it is essential that you recognize the necessity of doing each thing as it arises to be done, and doing that thing well, doing it the best within your power.

Whether you are a master of mechanics or of media, you became so by learning one thing at a time. The person who now controls great interests may have seen the time when they had only the slightest knowledge of the interests they now so easily direct. Remember that the exercise of a faculty increases its power. Thus as you exercise the faculties called out and required in building your business, their power to meet conditions grows.

Having resolved on your business, now proceed to push it and push it with every hour that you devote to business. Do it thoughtfully; put into it every mental force that you have at your control. The constant association, the high resolve with the efforts that sustain and back it up, give you added strength for the problems and duties of tomorrow.

Having once resolved upon or desired a calling, a vocation, a business, you will naturally be drawn to it. There is a direct force that carries you towards the object of your desires. Every day you are both consciously and unconsciously working to an end. And if the end is the building of your business, then every day will find you doing those things which advance you step by step in that direction.

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Personality & The Art of Conversation | Social Etiquette

February 23, 2017

Listen to episode 138 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Your Personality and Your Speaking Voice: How to Develop Them by Clare Tree Major.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: The very life of our great republic is founded on the right of every individual to their personal liberty in so far as it does not limit the liberty and happiness of others. The essence of liberty is liberty of thought and opinion, and life will remain an unsolved problem to you until you are willing to allow to everyone the degree of liberty of thought and opinion you reserve to yourself.

Take your conversation seriously. But that doesn't mean always be serious. Heaven forbid! Rather, treat the art of conversation as an art really worth cultivating. Notice things which occur in your daily life and treasure them as incidents with which to enrich your talk. Read with the definite intention to remember, not simply to pass the time. Enrich your mind that you may have something on which to draw to interest others and to give as your share in conversation with kindred spirits.

Feel about your conversation as you would about a sport or game (tennis, golf, football, swimming); try to be at your best and pride yourself on your degree of accomplishment. It is out of the question that conceit should arise from such a course, for the conceited person is not a good conversationalist. Conceit sees only the talker themselves, while the very foundation of good conversation is consideration of others.

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Thought Power: Gratitude, Joy & Being Successful

February 21, 2017

Listen to episode 137 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Thought Power: Gratitude, Joy & Being Successful. Adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson.

Success Podcast Excerpt: The attitude of gratitude is closely related to that of contentment and is one of the greatest of all mental states; and the reason why is found in the fact that no mind can be right (nor think constructively) unless it is filled with the spirit of gratitude.

The fact is that new life is coming to us every day and with it new opportunities. Every moment therefore is richer than the one before; but if this coming of new life and new opportunities does not add to the richness and value of our own personal life, there is a lack of gratitude. And where gratitude is lacking, the mind is more or less closed to the many good things that are coming our way.

The grateful mind, however, is always an open mind, open to the newer, the higher and the better, and therefore invariably coming into possession of more and more of those things. The entire race is moving forward with the stream of continuous advancement; better things therefore are daily coming into the life of each individual. If we do not receive them, the reason is that our mind is more or less closed on account of the lack of gratitude.

So let us remember that the mind must be grateful for everything in order to be open to the reception of new things and better things. We simply cannot receive better things unless we are truly grateful for that which we already possess. This is the law in this matter, and it is a law that will stand up to the most rigid analysis.

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Learn Thai Culture | Basic Thailand Travel Guide Podcast

February 16, 2017

Listen to episode 136 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Learn Thai Culture: Basic Thailand Travel Guide Podcast. Adapted from the work of Ajarn David.

Expat Travel Podcast Excerpt: If you are planning a trip to Thailand, whether it be as a tourist, business person, or English teacher, your success in The Land of Smiles will depend on more than learning a bit of the Thai language. More importantly, it will involve understanding the nuances of Thai culture—especially the complicated but ubiquitous issue of face saving and loss of face.

Westerners can understand the concept of face saving when it involves obvious humiliation. But there are hundreds of not so obvious situations where face issues are at play and the foreigner is (more often than not) blissfully ignorant until it’s too late. For example, it is obvious to many foreigners who live in Thailand that we should always be humble in victory, and never (even in good-natured fashion) jokingly rub it in when winning a game or argument. Less obvious though is how our “why” questions cause a Thai person to feel a loss of face.

Most Americans, Canadians, and Brits don’t realize how much we abuse why questions. However, if you think about it a little, you will begin to see how frequently we use why questions not because we are seeking the unknown but because we are trying to coerce an apology, or an admission of guilt, forgetfulness, or stupidity. Because nearly all Westerners do this, nobody takes too much offense.

However, Thai people do not fancy this manipulative game we foreigners play with why questions. They see it (often rightly) as an attempt to make the other person lose face. So, if you want to maintain good relationships in Thailand, you’ll be wise to scale back your why questions.

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Hints for Lovers on Valentine’s Day (Psychology of Love)

February 14, 2017

Listen to episode 135 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Hints for Lovers on Valentine’s Day. Adapted from the book “Hints for Lovers” by Arnold Haultain.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: It is not well to either confide or to confess too much. A very small rock will wreck a very big ship, and a very small slip will spoil a very long life.

The surest test of a waning love is that it begins not to concern itself when it sees its object suffer. The surest test of a dead love is that it forgets how to be jealous.

With women, love is a river, ever flowing, from the brook in girlhood to the estuary of womanhood. Like a river, too, a woman's love is fed by all the streams it meets. On the other hand, with man, love is a geyser. The obsession of the male heart by one woman ousts from it all other women. However, to the young woman, men continue to be men. That is to say, a man dives headlong into love. A woman paddles into it. And the woman's hesitation at the brink of the stream exasperates the floundering man. In short, a man's heart is captured wholly and at a stroke. A woman's heart surrenders itself piece by piece.

In love, a woman is generally cool enough to calculate pros and cons; a man, in a similar plight, is incapable of anything but folly.

In love, as in all things, indecision spells ruination.

There is no question too subtle, too delicate, too recondite, or too rash, for human eyes to ask or answer. And he who has not learned the language of the eyes, has yet to learn the alphabet of love. Besides, love speaks two languages: one with the lips; the other with the eyes. The eye tells more than the tongue. If eye and tongue contradict one another, believe the eye.

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Overcoming Disabilities & Hardship (Inspirational Stories)

February 9, 2017

Listen to episode 134 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Disabilities: Inspirational Stories. Adapted from the book “A Cheerful Philosophy for Thoughtful Invalids” by William Horatio Clarke.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: As the bruising of fragrant flowers causes them to give forth a more ethereal aroma, so in our own lives, the good qualities may be brought forth by means of the afflictions which seem to press the life out of us. The corn is ground to obtain the meal, and the wheat for the flour. The maple-tree is tapped for its sap, and the sugar-cane is crushed for its syrup and saccharine crystals. The quartz is pulverized for the gold and silver, while the ore is purified by fire.

Through such processes is the immortal nature in which our real individuality resides often developed and made useful, and it is thus saved from the changes connected to the disorganization of the physical body; for we exist as individuals, independent of the apparently adverse conditions of the earthly frame.

The object for which we were created is the development and attainment of a true character in which every virtue shall prevail; and such a character must be ours, notwithstanding our frail physical constitutions. The virtues are developed through trials and temptations. Honesty is proved by not yielding to fraud, deceit, and dishonesty. Purity is developed through the combat when immoral temptations are resisted, and patience is attained through the long endurance of suffering.

To those of us who are confined to the boundaries of our rooms, so familiar with every crack in the ceiling overhead and weary of forming faces and new patterns from the outlines of the figured wall-paper, it is impossible to realize that we are journeying through space on a revolving earth at the rate of nearly seventy thousand miles an hour. Yet we are travelling onward daily and yearly toward the object for which we were created, which, through every hindrance, will certainly be accomplished, as surely as the earth revolves on its axis through its orbit, bringing the annual New Year — notwithstanding the many mistakes which we have made.

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The Inward Life: Courage, Virtue & Self-Esteem

February 7, 2017

Listen to episode 133 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Inward Life: Courage, Virtue & Self-Esteem. Adapted from the book “Courage” by Charles Wagner.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: These lines are not written for any particular class of people. I seek to speak of those things which are common to all, being day by day more convinced that the nature of humanity is everywhere identical. However, I have not been able to avoid thinking more especially of those whose morning is gloomy and whose youth was hard.

Goethe declares in his history of his life that "what we desire in our youth we possess abundantly in our old age." An astonishing saying, and one which seems inconsistent with truth; but if we look at it more closely, such is not the case. We do, indeed, apply ourselves with ardor to the pursuit of that which we desire; and, whether our ambition be noble or the reverse, it is seldom that we do not end by fulfilling it, in part at least.

Our life is eventually stamped by our ideal. No one, therefore, can watch the tendency of their desires too carefully. What we most often lack in youth is the knowledge of what it is wisest to desire. To wish for vain things is to take a will-o'-the-wisp for our guide along the road. How many of us have wandered in this way after these uncertain lanterns of light, which promised happiness but led us into the swamps.

I should like to make you desire the things that are real, that are worth being loved and acquired by stress and toil; and among all these things there is nothing to be compared with force. Force is itself a virtue; and by virtue I understand every power that excites in us an intenser life, and joy, and hope.

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Proverbs, Poetry, Wisdom & Genius (William Blake)

February 2, 2017

Listen to episode 132 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Proverbs, Poetry, Wisdom & Genius. Adapted from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” by William Blake.

Literary Podcast Excerpt: As I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius (which to Angels look like torment and insanity), I collected some of their proverbs: thinking that as the sayings used in a nation, mark its character, so the Proverbs of Hell, show the nature of Infernal wisdom better than any description of buildings or garments.

How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way, Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.

Those who desire but act not, breed pestilence.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Dip those in the river who love water.

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise person sees.

Those whose face gives no light, shall never become a star....

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How to Stop Judging People & Accept Others As They Are

January 31, 2017

Listen to episode 131 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Stop Judging People & Accepts Others As They Are. Adapted from the book: “Success Through Thought Habit” by Benjamin Johnson.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: Occasionally, we find people so well trained that they never express blame. No, indeed, they would not be so vulgar. They just feel it and think it and keep it corked up inside, never dreaming that every act and every look is showing their state of mind just as well as any words they might use and is making others quite as uncomfortable.

A philosopher, who had mastered many of life’s problems and was noted for his poise, was one day asked why he paid no attention to either flattery or ridicule. "Because," he answered, "a person can neither be praised nor insulted. I know what I am, and do not allow the opinion of others to affect me."

When asked how he managed to get so much good out of life, and to find so many fine qualities in others, he said: "I have been trained since early youth to look upon human beings as I would on the animals in the forest. Each may be perfect of its kind though utterly unlike some other animal. Consequently, I do not expect the hare to have the courage of the lion, or the fox to be like the deer, or the bear to be as the marmoset. In the farm yards, I know the cow gives milk and is useful for that reason. The oxen have great strength and do their share by hauling heavy loads, while the horses carry us about in comfort.

So among my friends I see each has their sphere of usefulness and each is developing according to their capabilities and not according to what I might think or advise, and I am content."

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Vintage Lifestyle & Being Well-Dressed

January 26, 2017

Listen to episode 130 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Vintage Lifestyle & Being Well-Dressed. Adapted from the book: “The Man Who Pleases, and the Woman Who Fascinates” by John Albert Cone.

Lifestyle Podcast Excerpt: There is an old Spanish proverb that says, ''No woman is ugly who is well dressed." And, of course, Shakespeare has said that “the apparel oft proclaims the man.”

I believe in dress. I believe that God delights in beautiful things, and as nothing is more beautiful than the human form, I believe that that mode of dressing the form and face which best harmonizes with our personal beauty is that which pleases best the Divine.

What one wears is accepted as an index of one's character. Whether this is as it should be or not, it is true; and we all feel, more or less, that coarseness or refinement finds visible expression in apparel as in no other way. "Surely," says The Boston Journal, "nothing so intensifies the personality as the clothes one wears; through association they become a part of us, help to identify us, even in some peculiar, reactionary way, serve to control our mental states."

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The Secret of Life & My Success (Elbert Hubbard)

January 24, 2017

Listen to episode 129 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Secret of Life. Adapted from work by Elbert Hubbard that appears in The American Bible by Alice Hubbard.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Be a creator, not merely a creature and a consumer. Nature is the best guide of which we know, and the love of simple pleasures is next, if not superior, to religion. A wise person does not need advice, and a fool will not take it. We flatter only those we fear — the highest applause is silence.

We are brothers and sisters to all who have trod the earth. We want to do what is best for ourselves, and we have discovered that what is best for ourselves is best for others. No one is damned eternally as long as they try. Inaction is only a gathering together of forces for the coming leap: the fallow years are just as natural, just as necessary, as the years of plenty. To know the worst is peace — it is uncertainty that kills.

The secret, which I am about to tell you, is the most valuable and far-reaching of any known to human kind. It is the key to health, happiness, wealth, power, success. It is the open sesame to Paradise, here and now. A secret is something known only to a few. But often the best way to retain a secret is to let others help you to keep it. Just as the only way to retain love is to give it away — art and religion the same.

This secret, which I am about to impart, will cause no thrill, save in the hearts of those who already know it. And all I can do for you, anyway, is to tell you the things you know, but which possibly you do not know you know until I tell you....

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What’s Wrong with Schools & Education in America

January 19, 2017

Listen to episode 128 of the Inspirational Living podcast: What’s Wrong with Schools & Education in America. Adapted from the essay “What’s the Matter with Education?” by William George Jordan.

Educational Podcast Excerpt: Sometime in the years of the future, we shall look back on the education system of the 20th and early 21st century with the same feeling of revulsion as we now regard the superstitions of the Middle Ages. These are hard words, but they are calmly and deliberately chosen. Such words would be insanely foolish and wantonly unjust if not substantiated by proof. They would be incendiary, useless and dangerously unsettling were no better way provided. But there is a better way, there is a new model.

The failure of education is not limited to America; it extends over the whole civilized world. The most vital problem before humanity today is a true system of education, for it is only as we train individuals and peoples to think, to use their minds and all their other powers to their highest efficiency that we shall find any adequate solutions to our other problems: be they mental, moral, social, political, economic, or industrial. We are failing miserably to solve them today because we have not been able to bring the trained minds of a trained people to bear upon them. We have been relying on the trained minds of a few leaders to carry and control the masses.

This is a deeply personal question to every individual. It determines the character of the world in which you live, and that of your children and all those dear to you. We are all going through life on but a small percentage of the mental powers that should be ours. Even our senses, through which all the raw material of thought enters the mind, are actually weak, dull, drugged, and deadened.

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The Courage to Be Successful

January 17, 2017

Listen to episode 127 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Courage to Be Successful. Edited and adapted from The Power of Mental Demand, and Other Essays by Herbert Edward Law.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: In every walk of life, it is so vital to have courage for duties, for achievements — for living — that, lacking it, there is no depth of failure in which we might not descend. There is no heritage of infamy so black as the taunt of cowardice — for courage is will power; it is determination that is unflinching. It is the power that achieves.

Cowardice, on the other hand, is predetermined failure. Courage, even physical courage, is not merely the absence of fear of bodily harm or suffering. Courage is a positive quality, a continuing force. The effort which attempts and fails, and makes no second attempt, is not a display of courage, but of its opposite. Courage is never conquered; it never gives up; it never admits defeat; it never apologizes; it never puts the blame of failure on something else.

Courage is persistence; courage is pluck. Courage is luck, because with courage, success and the achievements we desire are brought into existence — wrung as it were from fate or chance.

Courage surrounds itself with successful forces in the same way that a resolute and skillful commander brings to bear all of their intelligence, skill, and effort for the protection and strengthening of their position. Courage implies thoroughness, forethought, deliberation, tact. Courage is identified with actions rather than words.

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Artists, Writers & The Habit of Work (Achieving Greatness)

January 12, 2017

Listen to episode 126 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Artists, Writers & The Habit of Work (Achieving Greatness). Adapted from the book “Work” by Hugh Black.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Careless slovenly work is responsible for more failures in art than any other cause. Blindly trusting what they call their genius, many a gifted artist has never come to success because they have never learned to toil. It is one of the subtlest temptations in all productive work, whether it be painting pictures, or writing books, or pursuing any subject of study, to simply rely on happy inspirations, with the result that casual efforts alternate with long spells of indolence.

There is no finer lesson from the lives of many scientific workers than that of the patient investigation and tireless labor with which they pursue their branch of truth. Darwin refers to this as a necessity if we are to advance any science at all. To accept our work as part of our duty, to cultivate it as a habit, is to safeguard our lives from many a mistake and error, and even from many a sin.

Every individual must bring themselves into discipline before they become a perfect instrument for their work. No great work of art is possible without previous training in the art of work. When the habit of industry is ingrained in your nature, you have mastered the art, although your methods of working may be peculiar to yourself.

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Overcoming Fear, Anxiety & Worry (Orison Swett Marden)

January 10, 2017

Listen to episode 125 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Fear, Anxiety, and Worry. Adapted from the book Pushing to the Front by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The monster of worry dogs us from the cradle to the grave. There is no occasion so sacred but it is there. Unbidden it comes to the wedding and the funeral alike. It is at every reception, every banquet; it occupies a seat at every table. No human mind can estimate the havoc and ruin wrought by worry. It has ever forced genius to do the work of mediocrity; it has caused more failures, more broken hearts, more blasted hopes, than any other one cause since the dawn of the world.

Did you ever hear of any good coming to any human being from worry? Did it ever help anybody to better their condition? Does it not always--everywhere--do just the opposite by impairing the health, exhausting the vitality, lessening efficiency? Think of the homes which it has broken up; the ambitions it has ruined; the hopes and prospects it has blighted!

If there is any devil in existence, is it not worry, with all its attendant progeny of evils? Yet, in spite of all the tragic evils that follow in its wake, a visitor from another world would get the impression that worry is one of our dearest, most helpful friends, so closely do we hug it to ourselves and so loath are we to part from it.

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Being Successful - Wisdom of the Optimist

January 5, 2017

Listen to episode 124 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Being Successful – Wisdom of the Optimist. Adapted from the book Success is For You by Dorothy Quigley.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: If the optimist is a fool who would be wise? If you are a miserable, despondent, unsuccessful individual, get hold of yourself this instant. First get yourself into the condition for success. If possible have a room of your own into which you can go and preserve the sacred and uninterrupted seclusion that would be granted you, if you were meditating or saying your prayers. If you cannot have a place, choose an hour at night or early in the morning when you may be sure of being undisturbed.

If you are despondent, train your mind to be hopeful. If you have no pleasant experiences in your life to recall, imagine the pleasantest things you would like to have happen to you or you would like to do. Picture yourself in a commanding attitude, full of courage and brightness. See your face as radiant with cheerfulness as you can imagine it. Look in the glass and catch your expression. Recall these thoughts, quicken the emotions and sensations of hope and courage.

Go over and over them with the steady persistency of a student bent upon learning a difficult foreign language. Soon your brain cells, nerved with new thoughts, energized with an inspiriting inflow of positive thought-force, will work for themselves, and your Will will will you to think in currents of hopeful and courageous thoughts, and you will view life from a newer and higher plane, and see opportunities you never saw before.

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Affirmations, Inspirations & Positive Thinking

January 3, 2017

Listen to episode 123 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Aspirations, Inspirations & Positive Thinking. Adapted from the book Your Forces and How to Use Them by Christian D. Larsen.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Life is growth and the object of right thinking is to promote that growth. Give less time trying to change the opinions of others, and more time trying to improve your own life. Life becomes the way it is lived; and we may live the way we want to live when we learn to think what we want to think. Create your own thought and you become what you want to become because your thought creates you.

We all know that we are as we think. Then we must think only such thoughts as tend to make us what we wish to be. The secret of right thinking is found in always keeping the mind's eye fixed upon the greater and the better in all things.

Scientific research in the metaphysical field has demonstrated the fact we are what we think, that we become what we think, and that what we think in the present, determines what we are to become in the future; and also that since we can change our thoughts for the better along any line, we can therefore completely change ourselves along any line.

But the majority of us who try to apply this law do not succeed to a great degree, the reason being that instead of working entirely upon the principle that we are as we think, we proceed in the belief that we are what we think we are.

At first sight there may seem to be no difference between the principle that we are as we think and the belief that we are what we think we are, but close study will reveal the fact that the latter is absolutely untrue. You are not what you think you are, because personality, mentality, and character are not determined by personal opinions....

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Autosuggestion & Self-Mastery (Emile Coué)

December 29, 2016

Listen to episode 122 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Autosuggestion & Self-Mastery. Adapted from the book Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion by Emile Coué.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Suggestion, or rather Autosuggestion, is quite a new subject, and yet at the same time it is as old as the world. It is new in the sense that until now it has been wrongly studied and in consequence wrongly understood; it is old because it dates from the appearance of human beings on earth. In fact, autosuggestion is an instrument that we possess at birth, and in this instrument, or rather in this force, resides a marvelous and incalculable power, which according to circumstances produces the best or the worst results.

Knowledge of this force is useful to each one of us, but it is especially indispensable to doctors, judges, lawyers, and to those engaged in the work of education. By knowing how to practice autosuggestion consciously it is possible, in the first place, to avoid provoking in others bad autosuggestions which may have disastrous consequences, and secondly, consciously to provoke good ones instead, thus bringing physical health to the sick, and moral health to the neurotic and the erring, the unconscious victims of earlier autosuggestions, and to guide into the right path those who had a tendency to take the wrong one.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Living Your Ideal Life

December 27, 2016

Listen to episode 121 of the Inspirational Living podcast: New Year’s Resolutions: Living Your Ideal Life. Adapted from the book Joy Philosophy by Elizabeth Towne.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: Whenever you achieve any ideal (small or great), don’t stagnate. Look within and find another Ideal to work for. Your Ideals are inspired for your use. Look eagerly upon them and know that they are Life itself. You do not make your Ideals. They make you—if you keep mentally in touch with them.

Now, perhaps you feel that you are too old; or that your burdens are too great; that you have no time or energy to pursue your Ideals. I say that it is never too late to drop your burdens and use your energy to some joyful purpose. All one has to do is to declare “I have no burdens. Life is a play-ground!“ and stick to it. You have no burdens—they are all a hallucination.

Life is a play-ground of circumstances and situations. Not burdens. That is the TRUTH. Just tell it to yourself until it works its way into your semi-paralyzed mind and makes itself felt. Relax physically and mentally. Lie idly under an apple tree and look up to the blue sky and let your fancy play with the world. You will find a new and happy TRUTH in common things, just as Isaac Newton did.

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Christmas Gifts & Giving (The Spirit of Christmas)

December 22, 2016

Listen to episode 120 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Christmas Gifts & Giving (The Spirit of Christmas). Adapted from the book The Spirit of Christmas by Henry Van Dyke.

Christmas Podcast Excerpt: The custom of exchanging presents on a certain day in the year is very much older than Christmas, and means very much less. Gift giving has been a custom in almost all ages of the world, and among many different nations.

It is a fine thing or a foolish thing, as the case may be; an encouragement to friendliness, or a tribute to fashion; an expression of good nature, or a bid for favor; an outgoing of generosity, or a disguise of greed; a cheerful old custom, or a futile old farce, according to the spirit which animates it and the form which it takes.

But when this ancient and variously interpreted tradition of a day of gifts was transferred to the Christmas season, it was brought into vital contact with an idea which must transform it, and with an example which must lift it up to a higher plane. The example is the life of Jesus. And the idea is unselfish interest in the happiness of others.

The great gift of Jesus to the world was himself. He lived with and for humanity. He kept back nothing. In every particular and personal gift that he made to certain people there was something of himself that made it precious.

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Spirituality & The Art of Living

December 20, 2016

Listen to episode 119 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Spirituality and The Art of Living. Adapted from the book Method of New Thought by Abel Allen.

Podcast Excerpt: Let us realize that the constructive is the only life; that to create is a joy; that to build is life’s purpose and humanity’s function. Let us each remember that the latent possibilities of a divine soul are inherent within us, slumbering perhaps, but only waiting to be called into development and expression.

Let us remember that we can create, that we can build, that we can be a positive force in the world, that we can lift the burden from some struggling life, that we can radiate joy and kindness, gratitude and love from our lives, that we can leave the world a little brighter and humankind a little better than we found it.

Let us not forget that we hear the sweet symphonies of life only as we listen to the voice of our own soul; that we walk in the paths of peace only as we are illumined by the light within; that we see the facts of life aright only as we trust our own inner vision; that these are the true pilots to guide us safely over the turbulent seas of life.

Let us build to these ideals and the world will move forward, some life will be made a little happier, some pathway will be strewn with roses, and we shall feel the glow of a heart at peace with itself.

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How to Become Enlightened - Cosmic Consciousness

December 15, 2016

Listen to episode 118 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Become Enlightened (Cosmic Consciousness). Adapted from a book The Rhythm of Life by Charles Brodie Patterson.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Life is a state of consciousness. The visible world is a mirror of what humanity has felt and thought and done; but it is not a prophecy of what you shall be, for what you shall be is written into the soul of you, and only as you learn to express your own soul-life can you enrich the world in which you live and prepare yourself to receive new mysteries from the kingdom that lives within you.

Without consciousness, there would be no meaning to human existence. Our objective consciousness consists largely of material things, and our thoughts and emotions in relation to them. Consciousness consists, then, of what we feel and what we think, and from such feeling and thinking there comes the outward expression of ourselves in what we do; for our work is a natural expression of both thought and feeling. At times, we seem dominated by thought, and again by feeling.

In our happiest states we use both. The force of our life is in what we feel, while the form which our work takes comes largely through what we think. Our best work is accomplished when head and heart work together in unison. This holds good regarding all planes of consciousness, and this union makes not only for our highest good, but also for the truest expression of our work.

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The Feast of St. Friend (A Christmas Book) - Arnold Bennett

December 13, 2016

Listen to episode 117 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Feast of St. Friend. Adapted from a book by the same title by Arnold Bennett.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: ..... Then on Christmas day itself one will feel that one really has something to celebrate. The festival becomes a public culmination of your daily practice of sympathizing with others. You will not be reminded by Christmas of goodwill, because the enterprise of imaginative sympathy has been your daily affair throughout the year. Christmas provides you with an opportunity to take satisfaction in the success of your enterprise and renew your enthusiasm to correct its failures.

The symbolism of Christmas, at the turn of the year, thus will develop added meaning for you, and all the Christmas customs, some of which produce annoyance among the unsentimental, will be accepted with indulgence, even with eagerness, because their symbolism is now shown in a clearer light. Christmas becomes as personal as a birthday. One eats and drinks to excess, not because it is the custom to eat and drink to excess, but from sheer effervescent faith in an idea.

As we sit with our friends or family, embracing them in the privacy of our heart, permeated by a sympathetic understanding of our shared adventure on this planet hurling through space, and feeling reassured that companionship and mutual understanding alone make the adventure worthwhile—we see in a flash that Christmas, whatever else it may be, is and must be the Feast of St. Friend, a day that stands supreme among the days of the year.

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The Science of Being Great - Motivation For Success

December 8, 2016

Listen to episode 116 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Science of Being Great. Adapted from a book by the same title by Wallace D. Wattles.

New Thought Podcast Excerpt: There is no possibility in any person that is not in every individual; but if they proceed naturally, no two people will grow into the same thing, or be alike. Every person comes into the world with a predisposition to grow along certain lines, and growth is easier along those lines than in any other way. This is a wise provision, for it gives endless variety. It is as if a gardener should throw all their bulbs into one basket; to the superficial observer they would look alike, but growth reveals a tremendous difference.

So of men and women, they are like a basket of bulbs. One may be a rose and add brightness and color to some dark corner of the world; one may be a lily and teach a lesson of love and purity to every eye that sees; one may be a climbing vine and hide the rugged outlines of some dark rock; one may be a great oak among whose boughs the birds shall nest and sing, and beneath whose shade the flocks shall rest at noon, but everyone will be something worthwhile, something rare, something perfect.

There are undreamed of possibilities in the common lives all around us in a large sense; there are no “common” people. In times of national stress and peril the slack-dressed loafer at the corner store and the town drunkard become heroes and statesmen through the quickening of the Principle of Power within them. There is a genius in every man and woman, waiting to be brought forth.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson - Self-Reliance

December 6, 2016

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Listen to episode 115 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance. Adapted from the famous essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Life is now. Power exists not in repose, but in that moment of transition from the past to a new state of being. This is the one fact that the world hates, that the soul becomes; for this knowledge forever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to shame, and shoves the saint and sinner equally aside.

The soul requires self-reliance. Because self-reliance is power. And power is in nature the essential measure of life. We are in desperate need of greater self-reliance throughout our society: in our religions; in our schools and universities; in our work and ways of living; in our governments, and more. Remember to always follow your inner genius and never imitate.

Your own unique talents are something that you can offer others at every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation. But if you try to imitate the talents of another, you will only ever succeed by half. That which you can do best, none but your Maker can teach. And no person yet knows what your gifts are, nor can they, until you have shown them.

This adapted essay is included in our new hardcover book Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons. Learn more at: InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

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How to Choose Your Friends Wisely (True Friendship)

December 1, 2016

Listen to episode 114 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Choose Your Friends Wisely. Adapted from the book Friendship by Hugh Black.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Our choice of friends is one of the most serious affairs in life, because we become molded into the likeness of what we love in our friends. From a purely selfish standard, every fresh bond we form means giving a new hostage to fortune, and adding a new risk to our happiness.Apart from any moral hazard, every intimacy is a danger of another blow to the heart. But if we desire fullness of life, we cannot help ourselves.

We may make many a friendship that ends in hurt, but the isolated life is a greater danger still. Every relationship means risk, but we must take the risk; for while nearly all our sorrows come from our connection with others, nearly all our joys have the same source. We cannot help ourselves; for it is part of the great curriculum of life.

We need knowledge, and care, and forethought to enable us to make the best use of the necessities of our nature. And foremost of these in importance is our choice of friends. We may err on the one side by being too cautious, and too exclusive in our attachments. We may be supercilious, and disdainful in our estimate of others. Contempt always blinds the eyes. Every person is vulnerable somewhere, if only like Achilles in the heel. The true secret of insight is not contempt, but sympathy.

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The Majesty of Calmness - William George Jordan

November 29, 2016

Listen to episode 113 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Majesty of Calmness. Adapted from a book of the same name by William George Jordan.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Hurry is the deathblow to calmness, to dignity, to poise. Hurry means the breakdown of the nerves. It is the royal road to perpetual worry. Everything that is great in life is the product of slow growth; the newer, and greater, and higher, and nobler the work, the slower is its growth, the surer is its lasting success.

Mushrooms attain their full power in a night; oaks require decades. A fad lives its life in a few weeks; a philosophy lives through generations and centuries. If you are sure you are right, do not let the voice of the world, or of friends, or of family swerve you for a moment from your purpose. Accept slow growth if it must be slow, and know the results must come, as you would accept the long, lonely hours of the night — with absolute assurance that the heavy-leaded moments must bring the morning.

Let us as individuals banish the word "Hurry" from our lives. Let us care for nothing so much that we would pay honor and self-respect as the price of hurrying it. Let us cultivate calmness, restfulness, poise, kindness — doing our best, bearing all things as bravely as we can; living our life undisturbed by the prosperity of the dishonest or the malice of the envious. Let us not be impatient, chafing at delay, fretting over failure, wearying over results, and weakening under opposition....

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Thoughts on Nature, Art, Beauty, Lifestyle & Interior Design

November 24, 2016

Listen to episode 112 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Thoughts on Nature, Art, Beauty, Lifestyle & Interior Design. Adapted from Practical Ethics by William De Witt Hyde.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The love of nature, like all love, cannot be forced. It is not directly under the control of our will. We cannot set about it in deliberate fashion, like we set about earning a living. Still it can be cultivated. We can place ourselves in contact with Nature's more impressive aspects. We can go away by ourselves; stroll through the woods; watch the clouds; bask in the sunshine; brave the storm; listen to the notes of birds; find out the haunts of living creatures; learn the times and places in which to find the flowers, gaze upon the glowing sunset, and look up into the starry skies.

If we thus keep close to Nature, she will draw us to herself, and whisper to us more and more of her hidden meaning. The eye — it cannot choose but see; we cannot bid the year be still: our bodies feel, wherever they be: against or with our will. Nor less I deem that there are powers which of themselves our minds impress; that we can feed these minds of ours in a wise receptiveness.

The more we feel of the beauty and significance of Nature, the more we become capable of feeling. And this capacity to feel the influences which Nature is constantly throwing around us is an indispensable element in noble and elevated character.

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Personal Mission Statements: The Aim of Life

November 22, 2016

Listen to episode 111 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Personal Mission Statements. Edited & adapted from The Aim of Life by Philip Stafford Moxom.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The definite trend of your life discovers your real aim; you cannot disguise it except transiently. It is not something outside of you, compelling you this way or that; it is you — the complex of your generic choices and volitions. I dwell on this because it is one of those trite yet tremendous truths which so many forget or ignore, and which has such vital consequences in the destiny of the soul.

Always you are moving somewhere, always you are becoming somewhat; and the direction which you are now taking, the character which you are now forming, the success or failure of your life, is unchangeably determined. The most critical moment in your experience is when you consciously and deliberately ask: "Where am I going; what am I becoming in thought and feeling and character?" Then (if ever) is the choice made, the purpose formed, which henceforth makes your life-story easy to read.

When we step upon the threshold of adulthood, we often ask questions, such as: “How can I best earn a living? What trade or profession shall I learn? What business shall I follow? How can I get an education? How can I make a fortune?" But deeper than all these is the one question that gives meaning to all the rest: “What am I living for? What shall be the supreme purpose and result of my life?"

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How to De-Hypnotize Yourself & Become Intellectualy Self-Reliant (Breaking Away From Groupthink)

November 17, 2016

Listen to episode 110 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to De-Hypnotize Yourself & Become Intellectually Self-Reliant. Edited & adapted from The Philosophy of Self-Help, An Application of Practical Psychology to Daily Life, by Stanton Davis Kirkham.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: While there has been much discussion regarding self-help via hypnosis, apparently no one has recognized the fact that we are all hypnotized, more or less, by the group-think of the world around us. As this is one of the factors which militates against our freedom, there is something to be said of the necessity for de-hypnotization.

The important question is not — can we be hypnotized or not; but being already in a state of hypnosis, how are we to be de-hypnotized and freed from the tyranny of false world-beliefs? Some are in a profound hypnotic sleep and their acts are purely automatic, their opinions wholly reflected. Others are merely in a drowsy state and are obedient only to the hypnosis of certain ideas from which they have never been free. This hypnosis, begun by their parents and by a corrupt education system, has been fostered ever since by the verbose nonsense of the news media and by the pressure of the group-think itself.

There is only one remedy for ignorance and that is enlightenment. But if you do not know you are in slavery, you will not seek freedom. The most hopeless class intellectually are the half-educated who think they are wise. And in this day of the mass distribution of cheap knowledge and half-truths, when everyone has a smattering of information, and people learn from the news media a thousand things which are not true, this class is growing rapidly.

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The Importance of Being Kind (The Power of Kindness)

November 15, 2016

Listen to episode 109 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Importance of Being Kind (The Power of Kindness). Edited and adapted from “The Secret of Success; or, Finger Posts on the Highway of Life,” by John Dale.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Who can estimate the influence of a kind act? It may affect an entire life, or save a soul. Someone once truly said, “Blessed are we when we give joy even, for we do not know where it will end." Who can tell how often the memory of a simple act of kindness will cheer and soften the heart for many years hence?

One of our primary duties while here on Earth is to cultivate a kindly spirit, and seek opportunities to do good and scatter blessings. Be kind to the young, for the trials of life are before them, and in their hours of struggle and discouragement, how much they will be cheered by the bright memories of past kindnesses.

Be kind to the middle-aged, who are carrying the burdens of life in the heat of the day, for sore is their need of the soothing influences that will lessen the friction of their ceaseless work and anxiety.

Above all, be kind to the aged — those who have struggled on amid the storms of life until they have grown weary, as they approach the haven of repose; let them feel that calm skies are above them, and the sunshine of kindly natures about them.

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Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu (Laozi) - Taoist Wisdom

November 10, 2016

Listen to episode 108 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Tao Te Ching. Edited and adapted from Dwight Goddard’s translation of the Lao Tzu’s classic book Tao Te Ching.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: The Tao has three treasures which it guards and cherishes. The first is called compassion; the second is called economy; the third is called humility. A person who is compassionate can 'be truly brave; a person who is economical can be truly generous; a person who is humble can become a useful servant.

If we discard compassion and are still brave, abandon economy and are still generous, forsake humility and still seek to be serviceable, our days are numbered. On the other hand, if we are truly compassionate, in battle we will be a conqueror and in defense we will be secure. When even Heaven helps people it is because of compassion that she does so.

My words are very easy to understand and very easy to put into practice, yet in all the world no one appears to understand them or to practice them. Words have an ancestor (a preceding idea), deeds have a master (a preceding purpose), and just as these are often not understood, so I am not understood.

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How to Stay Young & Youthful

November 8, 2016

Listen to episode 107 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Stay Young & Youthful. Edited and adapted from “The Road to Seventy Years Young or The Unhabitual Way” by Emily Bishop.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: "Sow a thought, reap an act; Sow an act, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a destiny." Dreading decrepitude, infirmity, senility, we hasten their advance by this "thought-act-habit-destiny" process. William James says that it is the old fogyism element that tends to keep ideas unchanged. This old fogyism tendency, which according to his estimate begins to gain mastery over the majority of people by the time they are twenty-five years old, resents the new — the new fact, the new idea, the new methods — while genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving things in unhabitual, unexpected ways.

Unless we offer self-protective resistance to the neural tendencies of our beings, we shall become with the passing years tiresome repetitions of our former selves; each repetition being less vigorous, capable, and attractive than the previous one. Our bodies and our minds will become less buoyant and mobile, less capable of responding to new stimuli; we shall yield more and more to inertia. We shall become "set in our ways" — in a word, unquestionably, old.

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Is There Life After Death?

November 3, 2016

Listen to episode 106 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Is There Life After Death? Edited and adapted from “Does the Soul Exist After Death?” by Swami Abhedananda.

Spiritual Podcast Excerpt: From ancient times there have been thinkers in India who denied the existence of the soul after the death of the body. They are known as Charvákas. They believe that the body is the soul, and that the soul does not exist outside of the body, and that when the body dies, the soul is also dead and gone. They believe in nothing that cannot be perceived by the senses.

The followers of such thinkers are spreading very rapidly, and their number is increasing every day. They are now known as atheists, materialists, etc. According to this class of thinkers, those who believe in the existence of the soul as separate from the body, or in a life after death, are ignorant and superstitious fools, while those who follow their ideas are clever and intelligent beings.

Most of them hold that there is no such thing as a soul. No argument can convince them or change their views, because they will not admit the existence of anything which lies beyond the reach of their senses, or which cannot be perceived by the limited powers of the senses.

They have written volumes after volumes against the existence of the soul, and have tried to stop such useless questions of the mind; but in spite of their efforts, have they succeeded in stopping that innate question, "What remains after death?" — which rises spontaneously in almost every human heart? No.

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A New Thought Philosophy of Life

November 1, 2016

Listen to episode 105 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A New Thought Philosophy of Life. Edited and adapted from “The Message of New Thought” by Abel Allen.

New Thought Podcast Excerpt: The kind and quality of your thought determines the kind and quality of life. Thought is expressed in the personality and molds the outward circumstances of life. It is manifested in life’s results. We receive that which is our due; nothing more, nothing less. We pay the price; we do not get something for nothing. We take out of life only what we put in.

Only as we take to life a full soul, do we live a full life. If we carry into life an empty soul, our reward is a desolate and barren life. Life yields only what it receives. These truths should sink deep into your understanding, as they light the pathway that leads to the art of living.

It follows as a natural sequence that the violation of these laws brings its own swift and relentless punishment. If we break them, Nature sets up her impediments, we are frustrated in our efforts, we fail to reach the real in life. The converse is also true. If we keep them, Nature smiles her approval and we reach out toward the constructive and essential in life.

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