Finding the Strength to Love | Spiritual Growth

October 19, 2017
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Listen to episode 206 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Finding the Strength to Love | Spiritual Growth. Adapted Edited and adapted from The Pathway of Roses by Christian D. Larson.

Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: There is nothing to lose but failure, and everything to gain, when we learn to love in a strong, high, universal sense. To begin, love as much as you can; be directly interested in the highest welfare of everybody; feel in the depths of the soul that we are all working together for the greatest good to all humanity; and make this feeling so strong that it thrills every fibre in your being.

But do not love for effect. Love because you feel love. And train yourself to feel love by loving with all the power of love, and in the highest, purest sense you know. Those who try to ascend will go up; those who try to become strong will enter power; and those who try to love everybody with the deepest, highest, strongest love of the soul will daily enter more and more deeply into the very spirit of that love that is love.

And when you are awakened in the world of true spiritual love, real love takes possession of all your feelings and desires; and all your love will eternally love because it is love. From that moment you will constantly receive love from all the world and constantly give love to all the world.

Become a patron of the Inspirational Living podcast to get access to the full transcript and access to the Our Sunday Talks series: http://livinghour.org/patron.

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The Ethical Entrepreneur | Motivation for Entrepreneurs

October 17, 2017
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Listen to episode 205 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Ethical Entrepreneur | Motivation for Entrepreneurs. Edited and adapted from The Book of Business by Elbert Hubbard.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Genius is only the power of making continuous effort. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it — so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a person has thrown up their hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success.

As the tide goes clear out, so it comes clear in. In business, sometimes, prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.

Humankind is under the domain of Natural Law as much as bees. We succeed only by working with others and for others. Success lies in mutual service. This great truth concerning the solidarity of humanity marks a mental epoch in the onward and the upward march. It was hinted at pretty strongly in 1776, and carried into business as an experiment about 1876. It is no longer an experiment.

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Life is Good | Make Your Lives Extraordinary

October 12, 2017
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Listen to episode 204 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Life is Good: Make Your Lives Extraordinary. Adapted from Concentration: The Road To Success by Henry Harrison Brown.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Remember to always mind your own business. Any argument or antagonism, is minding another person’s business. All persons have an equal right as you to think and act as prompted from within. In giving them this right in your thought, you cannot resist anything they do. You will think and act your thought freely. And since Goodness, Truth, and Love, are realities and are all, when you affirm these you will be powerful.

Steel yourself with positive affirmations about life. Don't bark against the bad, but cheer the beauties of the good. When you concentrate on "cheering," you cannot bark. Which shall it be? Will you be a growler, or the one who cheers, in the arena of life?

Stop fighting and begin to love life — all of life. The good and the bad. The joyful and the painful. The successes and the failures. The Universe is wise. The Law of cause and effect is divine. Love the Law. Agree with it. Denials are antagonism. Agree with your adversary, and let Love have sway!

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Success & The True Test of Character | Wealth & Fame

October 10, 2017
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Listen to episode 203 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Success & The True Test of Character. Adapted from The Power of Purpose by William George Jordan.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The great test of individual character is not struggle, but attainment; not failure, but success; not adversity, but prosperity. When Nature wants to put you through the third degree, she places near you the laurel wreaths of victory. She megaphones to you the world's plaudits of success. She parades stacks of newspaper clippings and magazine articles with your portrait. She clinks money-bags in your ears, and she tells you confidentially of the world-changing power of your influence. She smiles on you kindly, and then sends you for your test through “the dark valley of prosperity.”

Few people pass through it immune; few acquire no perversion of mind; few escape fractures of ideals or new dents in character. But if through it all, you remain just as good and simple and lovable as when you began the trip (remain kind, strong, sympathetic, sincere, and unspoiled), Nature is glad indeed to admit she has found a real individual of character — a great man or woman.

It is called “the dark valley of prosperity” because it, so often, dims the vision to the finer realities of life. In the early stages, in the dimness, you cannot see your old friends as they pass. You become afflicted with peculiar muscle spasm which prevents you from extending your hand to someone no longer necessary to you. You acquire a form of memory impairment which prevents you from remembering past favors, and debts of gratitude, due to those who stood by you in your hours of need. You do not notice your increasing chest expansion.

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The Enemies of Success | Motivational Affirmations

October 5, 2017
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Listen to episode 202 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Enemies of Success | Motivational Affirmations. Adapted Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The things that hold you down; the things that keep success from your grasp; the things that bring you poverty and "bad luck" instead of wealth; the things that turn happiness and health away from you — what are they? They are the enemies of success, for like everything else, success has its negative elements ever working their way to produce failure.

If success were attained without effort, if it were a natural condition, there would be no failures and there would be nothing to strive for, nothing to gain. All would be inertia. Life is a fight, a worthwhile battle, but mainly with the elements in one's own self.

An understanding of self (with all its moods, possibilities and powers), is the first step towards self-achievement. But more than this is the self-driving power which must be generated and put to use if maximum results are desired. Success comes first to those who believe; to those who believe in self and in pluck rather than luck.

Thousands fail because they are afraid. They are afraid to grasp opportunity; they are afraid to take a higher step; they are afraid to believe and have faith in those who would help them to success or a greater success.

Become a patron of the Inspirational Living podcast to get access to the full transcript and access to the Our Sunday Talks series: http://livinghour.org/patron.

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Creative Originals | Success & Living Up to Your Potential

October 3, 2017
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Listen to episode 201 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Creative Originals | Success & Living Up to Your Potential. Adapted Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: You have the power within you to do something well and to do it like no other person — you have the power of original creation. You are in a world of your own. You can, to a certain degree, develop and enlarge that power so that it will bring you more happiness, money, prestige, or whatever it is you earnestly desire to possess.

Countless thousands are plodding along day by day in the same manner in dead end jobs. Many cling on, trusting to good luck to carry them through. Every success to them is "pull" or just plain "luck." Thousands drift on as ships on the tide, in utter oblivion to the greater prosperity and happiness that would come to them through the proper development of their own talents.

"What's the use?" they ask, and go on blindly in the same old way. "It is so very easy for you successful people to sit back and tell us poor devils how to succeed" is the wail of another person, implying again that luck is a synonym of success and lacking appreciation of the effort, the hard work, the years of concentration that brought the rewards of success.

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How to Build Personal Magnetism | Magnetic Charisma

September 28, 2017
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Listen to episode 200 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Build Personal Magnetism | Magnetic Charisma. Adapted Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: Henry Ward Beecher once said: "There are persons so radiant, so genial, so kind, so pleasure bearing, that you instinctively feel in their presence that they do you good; whose coming into a room is like the bringing of a lamp there."

That is personal magnetism. It is that quality of personality which attracts, causes admiration in others, and is a compelling force to success and good living. A person may be beautiful and brilliant mentally, but if they lack "personal magnetism" they are dull and uninteresting to those with whom they come in contact.

Personal magnetism is the magic flame that lights up the inner soul. It is that wonderful charm which, when properly cultivated and used, is a priceless treasure.

It is true that all things of influence can be made to produce good or evil. The conventional terms "good influence" and "bad influence" pertain directly to the qualities of magnetic personality. This quality is inherent in all of us, yet very few people know of its possibilities or that it can be developed like any other quality of mind.

Once again we are reminded of that great principle: Like produces like. Good influence produces good influence and, inversely, bad influence produces a negative quality.

Become a patron of the Inspirational Living podcast to get access to the full transcript and access to the Our Sunday Talks series: http://livinghour.org/patron.

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Sun Tzu: The Art of War | Leadership and Management

September 26, 2017
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Listen to episode 199 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Sun Tzu: The Art of War | Leadership and Management. Adapted from the classic work by Sun Tzu.

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you value our podcast, don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to us on YouTube. If you feel inspired to leave us a review at the iTunes store, that would be much appreciated too. Today’s reading is a collection of quotes from Sun Tzu’s classic The Art of War, which was written in China during the 5th century B.C.

“If you know your opponent and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not your opponent, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither your opponent nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking your opponent’s resistance without fighting.” “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.”

“When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness, and places confidence in them, they will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders.”

“There are roads which must not be followed, competitors who must not be attacked, positions which must not be contested, commands of the bureaucrats who must not be obeyed.”

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

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Facing the Mistakes of Life | No Regrets & Moving On

September 21, 2017
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Listen to episode 198 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Facing the Mistakes of Life | No Regrets & Moving On. Adapted from The Power of Purpose by William George Jordan.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: There are only two classes of people who never make mistakes — they are the dead and the unborn. Mistakes are the inevitable accompaniment of the greatest gift given to humanity — individual freedom of action.

If we were only a pawn in the fingers of Omnipotence, with no self-moving power, we would never make a mistake, but our very immunity would degrade us to the ranks of the lower animals and the plants. An oyster never makes a mistake — it has not the mind that would permit it to forsake an instinct.

Let us be glad of the dignity of our privilege to make mistakes, glad of the wisdom that enables us to recognize them, glad of the power that permits us to turn their light as a glowing illumination along the pathway of our future. Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom, the assessments we pay on our stock of experience, the raw material of error to be transformed into higher living. Without them there would be no individual growth, no progress, no conquest.

Mistakes are the knots, the tangles, the broken threads, the dropped stitches in the web of our living. They are the misdeals in judgment, our unwise investments in morals, the profit and loss account of wisdom. They are the misleading by-paths from the straight road of truth — and truth in our highest living is but the accuracy of the soul.

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Arthur Schopenhauer: Quotes, Wisdom & Philosophy Talk

September 19, 2017
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Listen to episode 197 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Arthur Schopenhauer: Quotes, Wisdom & Philosophy Talk. Adapted from A Multitude of Counsellors by J.N. Larned.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: The most general survey shows us that the two foes of happiness are pain and boredom. We may go further, and say that in the degree in which we are fortunate enough to get away from the one, we approach the other. Life presents, in fact, a more or less violent oscillation between the two. Needy surroundings and poverty produce pain; while, if we are more than well off, we are bored. Nothing is so good a protection as inward wealth, the wealth of the mind, because the greater it grows the less room it leaves for boredom. . . .

The conclusion we come to is that the individual whom nature has endowed with intellectual wealth is the happiest. Men and women of inner wealth want nothing from outside but the gift of undisturbed leisure, to develop and mature their intellectual faculties, that is, to enjoy their wealth. In short, they want permission to be themselves, their whole life long, every day and every hour. . . .

The value we set upon the opinion of others, and our constant endeavor in respect of it, are each quite out of proportion to any result we may reasonably hope to attain; so that this attention to other people's attitude may be regarded as a kind of universal mania which everyone inherits. In all we do, almost the first thing we think about is, what will people say; and nearly half the troubles and bothers of life may be traced to our anxiety on this score. . . .

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The Power of Being Thankful | Affirmations & Contentment

September 14, 2017
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Listen to episode 196 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Power of Being Thankful. Adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Listen to episode 196 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Power of Being Thankful | Affirmations & Contentment. Adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson.

The appreciative mind has a natural tendency to look upon the better side of things. But this tendency becomes complete only when the optimistic attitude is added. To be optimistic does not mean to think that black is white or that everything everywhere is all right. The true optimist can also see the flaws and the imperfections in life, but he or she gives direct attention to the good side, the better side, and the strong side. And having this larger view, they always know that the strong side is much larger and far superior to the weak side.

The optimist therefore never becomes discouraged, because they know that failure and wrong are only temporary, and that the right finally wins every time. In addition, they know that they can aid the right to such an extent that the victory can be gained now. The pessimist lives in the false and does not see things as they are. Their conclusions are therefore worthless. For this reason, we should never pay any attention to the words of the pessimist, as we shall be misled in every instance if we do.

Instead, we should listen to the prophecy of the optimist, and then put all our ability and all our faith into the possibilities of that prophecy, thereby making it come true. The value of the optimistic attitude in scientific thinking therefore is very great; because to think correctly on any subject, the mind must have the mountain top view, and we must think correctly if we wish to think for results.

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The Creative Spark: Improving Your Imagination

September 12, 2017
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Listen to episode 195 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Creative Spark: Improving Your Imagination. Adapted from Secrets of Mental Supremacy by W. R. C. Latson, published in 1913.

Self-Growth Podcast Excerpt: In no respect, I believe, do people differ so widely as in the power and activity of their faculty of imagination. Hundreds of men and women have walked and sat in an old country churchyard, and no one had observed there anything that was especially interesting or picturesque. But one day there came to the churchyard a man with a fine imagination, a poet. He saw more than mere grass and trees and headstones; and he gave to the world perhaps the most perfect poem in the English language. His name is Thomas Gray, and the poem was the famous “Elegy in a Country Churchyard.”

Likewise, countless people had seen an apple fall from a tree to the ground. But one day a person with a great imagination saw that commonplace thing. His imagination seized upon it, and he propounded Newton’s theory of the law of gravitation, one of the most important achievements in the whole history of human thought. And so we might go on indefinitely. Enough, perhaps, to repeat that the world's masters have always been possessed of fine and daring imagination, and that, without great powers of imagination, there can be accomplished no great or important work of any nature whatsoever.

Perhaps you feel that your own imagination does not always serve you as well as it should. Perhaps you are wishing that it was better — that you could produce in it such improvement as to enable you to create some good and worthy thing in the world. In that case, I am glad to be able to tell you that, of all the powers of the mind, none is capable of being so easily, conveniently, and rapidly cultivated as the imagination. And I may remark that, as in the case of other faculties, the means taken to cultivate the imagination will at the same time train and strengthen your mind in every other direction.

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Sincerity & Authenticity | James Allen Life Lessons

September 7, 2017
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Listen to episode 194 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Sincerity & Authenticity: James Allen Life Lessons. Adapted from The Eight Pillars of Prosperity by James Allen.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Human society is held together by its sincerity. A universal falseness would beget a universal mistrust, which in turn would bring about a universal separation, if not destruction. Life is made sane, wholesome, and happy, by our deep rooted belief in one another.

It is easy for the insincere to imagine that everybody is like themselves, and to speak of the “rottenness of society.” People who cannot see anything good in the constitution of human society, should overhaul themselves. Their trouble is near home. They call good, evil. They have dwelt cynically and peevishly on evil till they cannot see good, and everything and everybody appears evil.

“Society is rotten from top to bottom”, I heard a man say recently; and he asked me if I did not think so too. I replied that I should be sorry to think so; that while society had many blemishes, it was sound at the core, and contained within itself the seeds of perfection.

An individual of profound sincerity is a great moral force, and there is no force – not even the highest intellectual force – that can compare with it. Men and women are powerful in influence according to the soundness and perfection of their sincerity. Morality and sincerity are so closely bound up together, that where sincerity is lacking, morality (as a power) is lacking also — for insincerity undermines all the other virtues, so that they crumble away and become of no account.

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Influence | Prejudice & The Art of Thinking Clearly

September 5, 2017
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Listen to episode 193 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Influence: Prejudice & The Art of Thinking Clearly. Adapted from The Eight Pillars of Prosperity, by James Allen.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: To get rid of prejudice is a great achievement. Prejudices pile obstacles in our way – obstacles to health, success, happiness, and prosperity, so that we are continually running up against imaginary enemies, who (when prejudice is removed) are seen to be friends.

Life is a sort of obstacle race to the men and women of prejudice, a race wherein the obstacles cannot be negotiated and the goal is not reached. Whereas to the impartial person, life is a day’s walk in a pleasant country, with refreshment and rest at the end of the day.

Prejudice causes you to form a conclusion (sometimes without any basis of fact or knowledge) and then to refuse to consider anything which does not support that conclusion. In this way, prejudice is a complete barrier to your attainment of knowledge. It binds you down to darkness and ignorance, and prevents the development of your mind in the highest and noblest directions. More than this, it also shuts you out from communion with the best minds, and confines you to the dark and solitary cell of your own egotism.

Prejudice is a shutting up of the mind against the entrance of new light, against the perception of more beauty, against the hearing of diviner music. The partisan clings to their little, fleeting, flimsy opinion, and thinks it the greatest thing in the world. They are so in love with their own conclusion (which is really only a form of self-love), that they think all people ought to agree with it, and they regard others as more or less stupid who do not see as they see, while they praise the good judgement of those who share their view.

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Sowing & Reaping | Booker T. Washington

August 31, 2017
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Listen to episode 192 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Sowing & Reaping. Edited and adapted from a book by the same name by Booker T. Washington.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: What I am about to tell you now is true of all the pursuits of life. We get out of every venture just what we put into it; no more, no less. To attain success we must put forth hard and honest labor. At the back of all success there is hard, persistent labor. There is no royal road — those who think there is always fail.

No person ever reaped any success in life who did not sow wisely. As each person takes up the serious business of life, they must do something — they must labor and wait. In order to reap something, something must be done. Value for value is the real standard of life's exchange of benefits.

Show me someone who is always grumbling, always finding fault with their condition, never satisfied with their opportunities, and I will show you a person who does not appreciate the opportunities in the environment in which they are to work out their success or failure.

Hard labor is the keynote to success. One of the wisest things Ex-senator B. K. Bruce ever said was that "luck is a fool." So it is. There is no luck; it is all labor and patience.

Every man and woman who wants to succeed must learn the process of overlapping. That is, no person who wishes to succeed should be afraid of doing just a little more than lies in the direct line of their duty. They must be interested in their work and the ways in which it impacts the lives of others.

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Mis-Understanding Ourselves & Others | Miscommunication

August 29, 2017
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Listen to episode 191 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Mis-Understanding Ourselves & Others. Edited and adapted from Ourselves and Others by H. Clay Trumbull.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: We do not fully understand ourselves. We do not fully understand others. We think that others do not understand themselves. We are sure that others do not understand us.

It seems to us that if we understood others better, we should find it easier to get along with them. It seems to us that if others understood us better, it would be easier for them to get along with us. Yet, as a matter of fact, most of our troubles with others grow out of our understanding others, and of our being understood by them.

Indeed, it is through an understanding of one another that most of what we call our "misunderstandings" with one another come. We are often understood by others at points where we (in fact) misunderstand ourselves.

We think ourselves generous; they know that we are selfish. We think ourselves free from vanity or egotism; they know our weakness in that very line. We think ourselves full of kindliness of heart; they know that a vein of unkindliness runs through all our estimates of others. We think ourselves careful and exact in speech; they know that inaccuracy and exaggeration are the rule with us.

We think ourselves uniform in our cheerfulness of spirit; they know that we are moody and impulsive to an exceptional degree. We think ourselves reasonably sensible; they know that we show ourselves weak and silly in the lesser and the larger affairs of life.

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Energy, Authenticity & Character | Creativity & Mind Power

August 24, 2017
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Listen to episode 190 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Energy, Authenticity & Character | Mind Power. Adapted from The Positive Psychology of Success by Newton N. Riddle.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Learn also to cultivate the affections. The emotions are closely allied to the energies. They are a source of life and vitality. Healthy emotional activity is invigorating, energizing, purifying, and elevating. A loveless soul is a dying soul.

The affections give an atmosphere which both receives and communicates influence. A person without love is like a dead planet that receives light, but having no atmosphere cannot convert the light into heat and therefore has no power to sustain life. You would be far better to carry your heart on your sleeve and get scratched once in a while than have no heart at all.

All great personalities have strong emotions, strong affections, strong attachments. If you would have a winning personality, be a great lover. Keep your affections pure and direct them to their proper object; but give them expression. Be faithful in love with your companions, and cultivate a warm, genial friendship for others.

It matters not what your position or calling in life, a strong social nature wisely directed is of great value. It is our greatest charm. It is the secret of many a business and professional success. It opens the door of opportunity. It attracts friends and brings support. It adds much of zest and joy to life, and if we look toward the larger life with the thought of service, or even with the idea of realizing our highest and best, we must love and be loved.

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Native American Wisdom | The Girl & Boy Scouts of America

August 22, 2017
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Listen to episode 189 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Native American Wisdom | The Girl & Boy Scouts of America. Adapted from Indian Scout Talks: A Guide for Boy Scouts & Camp Fire Girls by Charles Eastman.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: To be in harmony with nature, one must be true in thought, free in action, and clean in body, mind, and spirit. This is the solid granite foundation of character.

Have you ever wondered why most great men and women were born in humble homes and passed their early youth in the open country? There a child is accustomed to see the sun rise and set every day; there the rocks and trees are personal friends; the child’s geography is born with them, for they carry a map of the region in their head.

In civilization, there are many deaf ears and blind eyes. Because the average child in the town has been deprived of close contact and intimacy with nature; what they have learned from books they soon forget, or are unable to apply. All learning is a dead language to the student who gets it second hand.

It is necessary that you should live with nature, my friends, if only that you may verify to your own satisfaction your schoolroom lessons. Further than this, you may be able to correct some error, or even to learn something that will be a real contribution to the sum of human knowledge. That is by no means impossible to a sincere observer.

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The Gospel of Good Living | Agnostic Spirituality

August 17, 2017
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Listen to episode 188 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Gospel of Good Living | Agnostic Spirituality. Adapted from “What Must We Do to Be Saved” by Robert G. Ingersoll.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: What do I propose? Well, in the first place, I propose good fellowship — good friends all around. No matter what we believe, let us shake hands and let it go. That is your opinion; this is mine: let us be friends. Science makes friends. Religion and superstition make enemies. Preachers say: Belief is important. I say: No, actions are important. Judge by deed, not by creed.

Good fellowship, good friends, sincere men and women, mutual forbearance, born of mutual respect: that is what I propose.

We have too many solemn people. Whenever I see an exceedingly solemn person, I know they are an exceedingly stupid person. No one of any humor ever founded a religion — never. Humor sees both sides. While reason is the holy light, humor carries the lantern, and the person with a keen sense of humor is preserved from the solemn stupidities of life and orthodoxy.

I like men and women who have good feelings for everybody; good fellowship. I believe in the gospel of cheerfulness; the gospel of Good Nature; the gospel of Good Health. Let us pay some attention to our bodies. Take care of our bodies, and our souls will take care of themselves.

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The Anatomy of Greatness | The Innovator’s Mindset

August 15, 2017
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Listen to episode 187 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Anatomy of Greatness (Mindset for Innovators). Adapted from “A Philosophy of Success” by Henry Wise Wood.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: What is greatness? This may seem both commonplace and easily answered, but I assure you that it is neither. I speak from the standpoint of admiration of those who make a practical success of their lives: who address themselves to definite objects; and who, striving unceasingly, finally accomplish them. I mean those who make success, not those who fall into it or who trick it away from other people, but who conceive a worthy plan and are ably carry it to a successful completion.

We all agree that humankind is the noblest manifestation of nature; and not because of our physical capabilities is this so, but solely because of our mental supremacy. We are fond of assuming that at birth all people are equal; but if such be the case, equality ceases soon after birth; and this not because of the differences which may exist in social environment, or in educational advantage.

Social environment may polish and a solid education may enlarge, but neither alone can make a successful individual. Education may even stunt or enchain the mind instead of enlarging, strengthening, and inspiring it. In my own case, it required great effort to enable me to break away from the confining influence of many things which had been taught me.

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The Creative Power of Habit: Change Your Life

August 10, 2017
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Listen to episode 186 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Creative Power of Habit: Change Your Life. Edited and adapted from The Wonders of Life by Ida Lyon.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: We idly remark that we are creatures of Habit, and so dismiss the matter from our minds. The vastness of this great truth simply does not impress us. But there is infinitely more to this matter of Habit than we have suspected. It is a great law, one of the primary laws of life.

The question of forming habits is the one question which is of the most vital importance to us, since we are, of necessity, constantly forming habits which are a power for good or evil.

A habit is a dominating power which, when in full control, is master of the situation, and so subtly does it gain control of us that we do not realize what a tremendous power it is, until we try to loose ourselves from its grasp. Even then, we do not stop to think what this power is, or the extent to which we are controlled by it. If anyone cares to take an inventory of their habits, they will be amazed at their number and variety.

We have been taught that no act performed ends with itself, but leaves in the nerve-centers the tendency to do the same thing again. But the immense significance of this truth has not been made apparent to us. We do not stop to consider that it is to Habit (this tendency of the nerve-centers to do the same thing again) that we owe the ability to walk, to talk, to perform all the simple and common acts of life, as well as whatever accomplishments we possess; and that, without Habit, we would literally know nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.

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Life is an Adventure: Dare to Live It (Motivational Speeches)

August 8, 2017
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Listen to episode 185 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Life is an Adventure: Dare to Live It. Adapted from The Open Door by Hugh Black.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: In faithless and bitter moods, people may sometimes say that there is nothing new under the sun, though we know as fact that there is nothing but the new. Dr. Johnson may say that a blade of grass is always a blade of grass whether in one country or another, but we know that there are no two blades of grass alike even in the same field.

Life speaks to us with many voices, and not one of them without significance. It speaks to us in the world without and in the world within, by the infinitely little and the infinitely great. The human comedy appeals to laughter and tears, pity and pride; and above all it calls to us to be more than mere spectators. We too are in the play, and must make our part in it as it goes along unrehearsed.

By faith the human mind makes its journey through the world for knowledge, and by faith the soul makes its journey through life. The true heart is not afraid to make either journey, and tastes the relish of living.

Generations ago artists used to discuss solemnly and tragically the great question of whether life is worth living, and wrote books and articles and poems on the subject. The only answer of any value was that of the rogue, who replied that it all depended on the liver. The jaundiced eye will see everything blurred in a haze of yellow. The value of life will only be known by living, and the adventurous nature has at least all the chance there is.

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Seizing Opportunity: Take Control of Your Thoughts & Life

August 3, 2017
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Listen to episode 184 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Seizing Opportunities: Take Control of Your Thoughts & Life. Adapted from Beginning Right (How to Succeed) by Nathaniel C. Fowler.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: OPPORTUNITY never carries a torch. It travels on byways and along side-streets. It makes no noise. No trumpet sounds its approach. It passes along in the quiet of the starless night. It makes no effort to meet anyone. It never extends a welcome. It minds its own business. But it is ever ready to grasp the hand held out to it, to be a permanent guest in the House of Progress.

Opportunity is in the very air we breathe; it is on the main street, and on the side street, and it inhabits the alley. It may not be as cordial to one person as to another, and it may seem to ignore some districts and occupations; but it is there, everywhere, below the surface, if not above the ground.

Opportunity cannot be seen, unless you are looking for it. To many it seems to be a stranger, and thousands are looking for it and never find it. But it is not the fault of Opportunity. The seeker is often to blame. If opportunity does not appear to be where you are, don't change your environment, but hunt all the more diligently for it.

If, after persistent search, you cannot locate it, then consider a change of base. But remember that where you are may be the best place for you to stay, and it is the best place for you anyway until you see light ahead. Don't plunge from the shadows of the present into the darkness of the future. Stay where you are (even though there seems to be not even reflected Opportunity around you), until you are able to place your finger upon the Opportunity of elsewhere.

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Parenting on Purpose with Love & Logic (Screamfree)

August 1, 2017
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Listen to episode 183 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Parenting on Purpose with Love & Logic. Adapted from Love’s Way by Orison Swett Marden.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Love is the great educator, the great unfolder of youth. As the sun is the only thing that will bring out the exquisite beauty of fruits and flowers, so love is the only thing that will develop the sweetness and the beauty of the child. It is the only power that will call out the true, the beautiful side of its nature.

It is only the hard, coarse, and unlovely qualities of the child that are developed by force and repression. How often would a little kindness and forbearance on the part of a parent or guardian, a little better knowledge of a child’s nature, do wonders for a so-called "bad child" who is considered "incorrigible" or “hyperactive,” a fit subject for psychiatric drugs.

Benjamin Lindsey, a judge and social reformer who had, perhaps, a better knowledge of the nature of the growing boy and girl than any psychologist or expert in child study, says: "The child is a wonderful creature, a divine machine. We have much to expect from them, but they have much to expect from us, and what they return depends largely upon what we give."

The destiny of the child hangs upon its early environment, its parents, teachers and associates. Upon these depend the qualities or characteristics that will be called out of its nature. There are seeds of all sorts of possibilities lying dormant in the boy and the girl. A bad mother or father, a bad teacher, by appealing to the bad in them, will call out the bad. A good parent, a good teacher, by appealing to the best in them, will call out the best.

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The Art of Becoming You | The Power to Be Oneself

July 27, 2017
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Listen to episode 182 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Becoming You | The Power to Be Onself. Adapted from The Aim of Life by Philip Stafford Moxom.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The thoughts that I wish to present to you now gather themselves naturally about two simple propositions: The first of these is: Every one ought consciously to have an aim in life. Whether we are conscious of it or not, everyone has a ruling tendency; but everyone should also have a controlling and persistent purpose in life.

No one has a right to live aimlessly, for no one has a right to abandon reason and self-control, and consent to be a mere waif drifting like a plaything of the winds. We are endowed with powers that make us capable of good and often great achievement. We are gifted with reason and conscience and will, in order that we may both become and do that which is noble and beneficent.

In the mythology of the Greeks, Phaethon aspired to drive the flaming chariot of the sun. The task was beyond his human powers, and his disastrous rashness resulted in his death by a bolt hurled from the hand of Zeus; but the Naiads, who buried him, wrote in his epitaph: "He could not rule his father's car of fire; Yet it was much so nobly to aspire."

The individual who drifts aimlessly through the years from youth to age does not truly live. Indeed, those whose aim is even lower than the highest, less than the greatest, is nobler than those who have no conscious purpose in life. But, besides being ignoble, a purposeless life is inefficient; to aim at nothing is to hit nothing.

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