The Duty of the Scholar | Baccalaureate Sermons

July 20, 2017

Listen to episode 180 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Duty of the Scholar | Baccalaureate Sermons. Adapted from The College and The Higher Life by Elmer Hewitt Capen.

Inpsirational Podcast Excerpt: The question, “What is the significance of higher education and what is the proper function of the educated individual?” ever recurs. To be sure, the educational problem has been in a sense worked out, and we have come to take for granted the facilities and instruments of higher learning. But the financial outlay for these is enormous, and is increasing year by year, and the procession of college graduates is large, and growing in volume every day.

We thus often hear the queries, "Why?" and, "To what end?" To answer such question will be the aim of today’s talk. Nor does it seem to me that the task is a difficult one. The answer certainly is given in the words of one of Jesus’s immortal parables: "Behold the sower went forth to sow."

It is not the scholar's business to reap great rewards and to gather in rich harvests. Your place is at the beginnings of things. You lay the foundations. You set up principles. You give out without any thought of what is to come back to you.

As a teacher you must impart; as a leader you must go before; as an inspirer, you must have the power of touching other lives and filling them with new impulses; and in every possible way you must prepare the world for harvests that can only be gathered in some far-off future when your very name shall have passed from human remembrance.

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Your Hidden Talents | Commencement Speeches & Addresses

July 18, 2017

Listen to episode 179 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Your Hidden Talents | Best Commencement Addresses/Speeches. Adapted from The College and The Higher Life by Elmer Hewitt Capen.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Every individual should look within and around. You should make an inventory of what you have, and consider how the things in your possession are related to the things you would wish to acquire — how being and doing are parts of the same abiding reality and are to be present in every achievement. Thus, and thus only, can you properly interpret the everlasting commands of your soul.

Let me remind you that your talent, your endowment of intellect and moral perception, is a gift. This is what you brought with you into the world. It affords no ground for vanity, nor even of self-congratulation. You have no more right to pride yourself upon it than people have to pride themselves upon inherited wealth.

It should rather make you humble; though of course it may invite to gratitude. It may make you thankful that you are thus gifted and set apart. But even though you may be conscious of unusual power and means of accomplishment, it affords no reason for elation. It is only so much to start with.

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The Value of Being Thrifty | Money, Success & Generosity

July 13, 2017

Listen to episode 178 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Value of Being Thrifty (Money & Generosity). Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Theodore Thornton Munger.

Success Podcast Excerpt: There was a time when Americans were considered a thrifty people. However, that time has long since passed — which seems entirely natural, as thrift is more apt to be a phase than a characteristic of the life of a nation — a habit more than a principle. Thrift pertains to details. It is both our glory and our fault that today we are impatient of details.

Our courage prompts to risks; our large-mindedness invites to great undertakings — both somewhat adverse to thrift, because great undertakings are for the few, while thrift is for all. Large enterprises make the few rich, but the majority prosper only through the carefulness and detail of thrift.

I begin by insisting on the importance of having money. Speculate and preach about it as we will, the main factor in civilized society is money. As the universe of planets needs some common force like gravitation to hold them to their place, so society requires some dominating passion or purpose to hold its members in mutual alliance. Money supplies this end. Without some such general moving force, society would be chaotic; people could not work together, could achieve no common results, could have no common standards of virtue and achievement.

The famous English novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton once said: "Never treat money affairs with levity; money is character." And indeed character for the most part is determined by one's relationship to money. Find out how one gets, saves, spends, gives, lends, borrows, and bequeaths money, and you have the character of the person in full outline. "If one does all these wisely," said Henry Taylor, "it would almost argue a perfect individual."

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Being a Gentleman | The Art of Manhood & Manliness

July 11, 2017

Listen to episode 177 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Being a Gentleman (The Art of Manhood & Manliness). Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Theodore Thornton Munger.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Every man should desire above all else to be regarded as a gentleman. There once was a time when the greatest offense you could levy on man was to call him not a gentleman. But today we struggle to even understand what the term gentleman means. So today we will search it with definitions.

The word gentleman undoubtedly comes from the Latin gens, meaning tribe or family — hence all the one-sided and incomplete notions that a gentleman is a man of family. It is a good thing to born into a loving family, with inherited tastes and traditions; but birth does not make the gentleman.

The writer Julius Hare famously said that a gentleman should be gentle in everything; at least in everything that depends upon himself — in carriage, temper, construction, aims, desires. He ought, there- fore, to be mild, calm, quiet, temperate; not hasty in judgment, not exorbitant in ambition, not overbearing, not proud, not rapacious, not oppressive.

Other classic writers describe the gentleman as possessing a character that is distinguished by strict honor, self-possession, forbearance, generous as well as refined feelings, and polished deportment — a character to which all meanness, explosive irritability, and peevish fretfulness are alien; to which, consequently, a generous candor, truthfulness, dignity, and self-respect have become natural.

The gentleman is never unduly familiar; takes no liberties; is cautious of questions; is neither artificial nor affected; bears himself tenderly towards the weak and unprotected; is not arrogant; cannot be supercilious; can be self-denying without struggle; is not vain of his advantages; habitually subordinates his lower to his higher self; is (in his best condition) electric with truth, buoyant with veracity.

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Building Character & The Influence of Friendships

July 6, 2017

Listen to episode 176 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Building Character & The Influence of Friendships. Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Theodore Thornton Munger.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: There are many turning-points when the question of success or failure is decided again and again. Life is a campaign, in which a series of fortresses are to be taken; all previous victories and advances may be thrown away by failure in the next. Nearly the last of these is companionship; if one wins the victory here, the reward of a prosperous life of character is within his reach.

At the risk of logically inverting my subject, I will speak first of friendship; and I must beg your patience while I put a foundation under my suggestions. If there were but one general truth that I could lodge in the mind of anyone or all men and women, it would be this: that true life consists in the fulfillment of relations. We are born into relations; we never get out of them; all duty consists in meeting them. The family, the community, the humanity at large — these are the sources of our primary and abiding duties, as well as of our happiness — the sum-total of ethics and spirituality.

It is not enough to love only our own family. Love is a great and wide passion, demanding various food and broad fields to range in. When one is only “all about family" they may have a sound nature, but it will not be a large or generous one; and they will shrink rather than expand with years, and sink into the inevitable sadness that attends old age.

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The 4 Pillars of a Purpose Driven Life

July 4, 2017

Listen to episode 175 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The 4 Pillars of a Purpose Driven Life. Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Theodore Thornton Munger.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Individuals may be divided in many ways, but there is no clearer cut division than between those who have a purpose and those who are without one. It is the character of the purpose that at last determines the character of the person — for a purpose may be good or bad, high or low. It is the strength and definiteness of the purpose that determines the measure of success.

It would be absurd for me to assure you that if you aim and strive with sufficient energy to become a great statesperson, or the head of a corporation, or a famous poet or artist, or any other specific high end, you will certainly reach it. For though there are certain rich prizes that any person may win who will pay the price, there are others that are reserved for the few who are peculiarly fortunate or have peculiar claims.

The Providence which (blindly to us) endows and strangely leads, apportions the great honors of life; but Providence has nothing good nor high in store for the one who does not resolutely aim at something high and good. A purpose is the eternal condition of success. Nothing will take its place:

Talent will not — nothing is more common than unsuccessful men and women of talent.

Genius will not — unrewarded genius is a proverb.

The chance of events, the push of circumstances, will not.

The natural unfolding of faculties will not. Education will not; the country is full of unsuccessful educated people; indeed, it is a problem of society what to do with the young men and women it is turning out of its colleges and professional schools.

There is no road to success but through a clear, strong purpose. Purpose underlies character, culture, position — attainment of whatever sort.

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Happiness, Marriage & A Happy Home

June 29, 2017

Listen to episode 174 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Happiness, Marriage & A Happy Home. Edited and Adapted from Marriage: a Lifelong Honeymoon by Bernarr Macfadden.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Without a home, there can be no true happiness for a man or a woman. No matter how completely one’s ambitions may have been satisfied, we are still an outcast, a vagrant, until we have a home of our own. We cannot know or feel the real, exalted, satisfying happiness that is supposed to come to a human being at some time of their life until independent home conditions are brought into existence.

All boys and girls, as they approach maturity, yearn first of all for happy homes of their own. They may change after maturity; unhealthy environments may pervert their true nature, but if left to the dictates of their inner selves, they will grow up yearning more and more for this first essential element of life’s happiness.

The home is the foundation of all that is good, true, and exalted. It is the foundation of civilization; if it falls and disappears from society, with it must go all that is best in human life. Within the home, you will find the culmination of all your social, physical and spiritual yearnings. It is the home that brings out all that is best and true and noble in human character.

True happiness, therefore, cannot be found outside the realm of home life. It encircles the true home like a halo; it cannot be found anywhere else. I admit that home and happiness rarely go together in the present unhealthy state of civilization. But this is not the fault of the home. It is the fault of those who try ineffectually to make the home.

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Living Your Golden Age (The Youthful Edge)

June 27, 2017

Listen to episode 173 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Living Your Golden Age (The Youthful Edge). Edited and Adapted from Turn Back the Years by Harry J. Gardener.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: In ancient history, the time when Pericles lived was called The Golden Age. But in in today’s talk, I am referring to something far different. I am applying the term Golden Age to that state in life (which can be any age), where you have reached complete control of your personality.

In order to remain young, it is essential that you be young. And by that I mean, you must be adaptable. You should be able to pick up and dash off to a concert or party at a moment's notice, not hem and haw about how you're going to arrive late or that you're really too tired to go, or what you'll wear. You should have the capability to go away for a weekend the moment you get a sudden, unexpected invitation, or you should be able to adapt yourself immediately in event of a surprise meeting with some old friend.

Spontaneity is one of the prime points in being youthful. The minute you settle permanently into the same easy chair to watch the same TV show, wearing the same pajamas and pair of slippers, the same lamp over your shoulder, from that moment on you are doomed to old age just as surely as if all your friends had uttered the sentence themselves and as if Time were your executioner.

So be alive, be joyful, and if you can't be happy, at least never show your unhappiness, or wear it like a bleeding heart on your sleeve. People don't want to hear your troubles any more than you want to hear theirs. Change your events in your social calendar from week to week. Try to see lots of different people, and never go the same places with the same faces week after week if you can possibly avoid it.

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Emotional Intelligence & Interpretive Dance

June 22, 2017

Listen to episode 172 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Emotional Intelligence & Interpretive Dance. Edited and adapted from How to Develop Your Personality by Clare Tree Major.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: HAVE we forgotten how to feel? Life today is so external that it almost seems as though we have. However, our personal ideal will not be realized unless every part of our nature is developed, the emotional as well as the physical and mental. We must know how to feel, to feel keenly, but also to control our feelings.

Are you looking at a beautiful painting? Don't merely catalogue it in your mind. Sit down before it and let it sink into your soul. See the sunset as a real thing, not as exquisite painted coloring. Go up on the hill-top with the artist. Sit with them there until the vision they saw of the opening of the heavens thrills your own feeling into responsiveness.

There are some feelings that we can neither put into word nor into action, and they are sometimes the very deepest, most sacred feelings of which the soul is capable. There are unconscious depths from which our more familiar and external characteristics spring.

Did you ever stand alone on the seashore and let the song of the mighty ocean fill your soul with its transcendent melody? You look out to the horizon across the roaring, foaming billows, and you know that far, far beyond your vision still rolls and tosses this great mass of living water. And your soul is thrilled with a sense of the insignificance of the trivialities of life, and some glimpse of the destiny of humanity comes to you, so that you go home conscious of a strange uplift that helps you to see above and beyond the petty annoyance of the daily grind, that helps to keep you in that perfect poise which is the essence of individuality.

It is in moments like these, when all that is external is forgotten, when the inner self is bathed in the glory of its natural life, that we gain the perspective that is needed if we are to make of ourselves all we are capable of becoming.

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Soul Growth & Spiritual Evolution (Theosophy)

June 20, 2017

Listen to episode 171 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Soul Growth & Spiritual Evolution (Theosophy). Edited and adapted from Self-Development & The Way to Power by L.W. Rogers.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today with some special news. Starting this Sunday, June 25th, we will be launching a new podcast exclusively for our patrons at The show is called “Our Sunday Talks” and it will deal with topics related to spirituality from both Eastern and Western perspectives.

While we do touch occasionally on the spiritual on the Inspirational Living podcast, the Our Sunday Talks series will focus on this aspect of life, including discussions on the soul, mystical experiences, enlightenment, love, God, prayer, and much more.

This weekly podcast will be released every Sunday and be available exclusively to those listeners who are sponsoring the Inspirational Living podcast at the $3 a month level or higher. If you are currently sponsoring our podcast at the dollar a month level, you can gain access to the new series by upgrading your donation to the $3 a month level.

If you haven’t become a patron of our podcast yet, and would like to gain access to the upcoming Our Sunday Talks series, you can do so today by going to: I look forward to seeing you among our Patreon community.

Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from Self-Development and The Way to Power by L.W. Rogers, published in 1916.....

It is the natural right of every human being to be happy — to escape all the miseries of life. Happiness is the normal condition, as natural as the landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to suffer, and it is only because of our ignorance that we do suffer. Happiness is the product of wisdom. To attain perfect wisdom, to comprehend fully the purpose of life, to realize completely the relationship of human beings to each other, is to put an end to all suffering, to escape every ill and evil that afflicts us. Perfect wisdom is unshadowed joy.

Laugh and Live | Douglas Fairbanks’ Healthy Lifestyle

June 15, 2017

Listen to episode 170 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Laugh and Live: Douglas Fairbanks' Healthy Lifestyle. Edited and adapted from the work of Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: We must also remember that out of energy and enthusiasm comes something else that must not be neglected ... in fact it must be cultivated and guarded from the very beginning . . . laughter. The mere possession of energy and enthusiasm makes us feel like laughing. We want to leap and jump and dance and sing. If we feel like doing so, don't let us be afraid to do it.

Get out in the air and run like a child. Jump ditches, vault fences, swing the arms! Never fail to get next to nature when responsive to the call. Indeed, we may woo this call from within ourselves until it comes to be second nature.

When we rise in the morning, let us be determined that we will start the day with a hearty laugh. Laugh because you are alive, laugh with everything. Let yourself go. That is the secret — the ability to let one's self go! If you follow this religiously you will be surprised how successful the day will be. Everything gives way before it. There is one thing in this good old world that is positively sure — happiness is for all who strive to be happy — and those who laugh are happy.

Everybody is eligible — you — me— the other guys and gals. Happiness is fundamentally a state of mind — not a state of body. And mind controls. Indeed it is possible to stand with one foot on the inevitable "banana peel" of life with both eyes peering into the Great Beyond, and still be happy, comfortable, and serene — if we will but so much as smile.

It's all a state of mind, I tell you — and I'm sure of what I say. That's why I have taken up my proverbial fountain pen. Do you ever laugh? I mean do you ever laugh right out loud — spontaneously — joyfully. Well, if you don't, you should. Start off the morning with a laugh and you needn't worry about the rest of the day.

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The Art of Self-Mastery | Success via Self-Control

June 13, 2017

Listen to episode 169 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Self-Mastery (Success via Self-Control). Edited and adapted from The Kingship of Self-Control by William George Jordan.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Every person has two creators — their God and themselves. Our first creator furnishes us with the raw material of our lives and the laws in conformity with which we can make that life what we will.

The second creator — ourselves — has marvelous powers we rarely realize. It is what we make of ourselves that counts. When someone fails in life, they often will say, “I am as God made me.” But when they succeed, they proudly proclaim themselves “self-made”.

We are placed into this world not as a finality, but as a possibility. Our greatest enemy is: ourselves. In our weakness, we are a creature of circumstances; in our strength, we are the creator of circumstances. Whether you be victim or victor depends largely on you. No one is truly great merely for what they, but ever for what they may become. Until you are truly filled with the knowledge of the majesty of your own possibility, you are merely groping through the years.

To see our lives as we might make it, we must go up alone into the mountains of spiritual thought, as Jesus went alone into the Garden, leaving the world to get strength to live in the world. We must there breathe the fresh, pure air of recognition of our divine importance as an individual. And then with mind purified and tingling with new strength, we must approach the problems of our daily lives.

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Ben Franklin’s Wisdom (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

June 8, 2017

Listen to episode 168 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Ben Franklin’s Wisdom. Edited and adapted from Poor Richard’s Almanack, a yearly publication produced by Benjamin Franklin from 1732 to 1758.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: If you could have Half your Wishes, you would double your Troubles.

Anger is never without a Reason, but seldom with a good One.

Tomorrow, every fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes.

A Fool is one who cannot conceal their Wisdom.

Think of three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.

Pride dines on Vanity, sips on Contempt. The Proud hate Pride – in others, that is.

Well done is better than well said.

Necessity never made a good bargain.

The Sun never repents of the good it does, nor does it ever demand compensation.

Fear to do ill, and you need fear nothing else.

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.

Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.

Glass, China, and a Reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended.

Fish & House Guests stink in 3 days.

Wink at small faults; remember that you have great ones.

Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

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How Success is Won (Integrity, Laughter & Love)

June 6, 2017

Listen to episode 167 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How Success is Won (Integrity, Laughter & Love). Edited and adapted from How Success is Won by Bernarr Macfadden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: My message today is sent forth with the hope that it will enthuse you who are struggling at the bottom of the ladder of life, and that it may help you to understand that the greatest rewards are easily within reach of those who are willing to struggle on persistently, with a definite and unswerving aim continuously in view.

In the strongest terms, I want to emphasize the importance of interest in your work. I maintain that without it success was never achieved by anyone. The one straight road to success is to learn to love your business. You can do best that which you love best. If you have started in a business which you cannot learn to love, then you should go into some other business. You will never succeed in our age of competition unless you can find real pleasure in your work.

The mere making of money is not a sufficient incentive. You must find your highest enjoyment in the task itself. No person who works along that line can fade. That is my judgment based on my own experience and observation. Determination, persistence, attention to detail, in fact nearly every necessary characteristic in accomplishing results in any sphere of life, depends upon love for your work.

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Originality & The Rich Mentality (Prosperity Mindset)

June 1, 2017

Listen to episode 166 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Originality & Rich Mentality (Prosperity Mindset). Edited and adapted from a lecture that was delivered by Harriet Hale Rix, at the Hotel Brighton, Washington, D. C., in 1914.

Self-Improvement Podcast Excerpt: I would like to make a statement here at the very beginning and have you plant this statement, this idea, in your heart as you would a seed: to grow. My statement is this: That the more difficult the situation is, the higher you will rise if you think correctly about it.

Let us make a familiar and close communication with the heart of the affairs, so that in the future (when we may need to be strong under great pressure or temptation) we may, through this correct thinking about it, be buoyed up and comforted.

This is an excellent rule and true of all our activities, especially of prosperity, that when you think correctly about a thing, you are master of the situation and no evil in it nor loss nor limitation can hold you down or bind you.

The question you probably are asking is, “Well, how am I to know what the correct thinking is, about a particular situation?” I believe that the only answer to this is to think about the circumstances (whatever they may be) in terms of health, joy, freedom, and prosperity.

Prosperity does not consist in the things you possess, in the money you have in the bank. In fact, we might say (from a metaphysical standpoint) that if you absolutely understand prosperity, you have no need of a large bank account.

Prosperity is a way, a mode, of thinking. So is poverty. You are poor if you class yourself this way, and you are rich if you can think rich thoughts, thoughts that are constructive, optimistic, unlimited: these instantly crown you successful.

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How to Get a Real Education (Knowledge & Individuality)

May 30, 2017

Listen to episode 165 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Get a Real Education (Individuality). Edited & adapted from Every Man His Own University by Russell H. Conwell.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: A distinct university walks about under each person’s hat. The only men and women who achieve success in the other universities of the world, and in the larger university of life, are those who have first taken graduate courses and post-graduate courses in the university under their hat. It is in this traveling university that observation furnishes a daily change in the curriculum.

Books are not the original sources of power. It is observation (which may bring to us wide experiences, deep thinking, fine feeling, and the ability to act for oneself) that is the true dynamo of power. Without observation, literature and meditation are shower and sunshine upon unbroken soil.

The only true schools and colleges are those which persuade the students under their charge to see more perfectly what they are looking at, to find what they should have been unable to observe had it not been for their school instruction.

You can't make a good arrow from a pig's tail, and you can seldom get a worthwhile man or woman out of one who has gone through the early part of their life without having learned to be alert when listening and seeing. How to observe should be the motto, not only in the beginning of our life, but throughout our career.

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Vitality & The Power of Posture (Bernarr Macfadden)

May 25, 2017

Listen to episode 164 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Vitality & The Power of Posture. Edited & adapted from Vitality Supreme by Bernarr Macfadden.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: The great need of today is the same as it ever was. We need stronger, more capable men; healthier, superior women. Force is supreme — the driver of all humankind. And it is force that stands back of efficiency, for efficiency, first of all, means power. It comes from power, and power either comes directly from inheritance or it is developed by an intelligent application of the laws that control the culture of the physical body.

The value of efficiency is everywhere recognized. The great prizes of life come only to those who are efficient. Those who desire capacities of this sort must recognize the importance of a strong, enduring physique. The body must be developed completely, splendidly. The buoyancy, vivacity, energy, enthusiasm and ambition, ordinarily associated with youth, can be maintained through middle age and in many cases even to old age.

If your efforts are to be crowned with the halo of success, they should (whenever possible) be spurred on by the powers that accompany physical excellence. As such, the great value of maintaining the body in a proper position cannot be too strongly emphasized.

Human beings are the only animal that walks erect. We are the only animal in whom old age brings a forward bending of the spine. The hanging head, which is the attitude of hopelessness (and which is caused to a very large extent by the mental attitude that goes with approaching old age), no doubt does a great deal to quicken physical decline.

Therefore it would be wise to remember the very grave importance of a straight, erect spine. Each day of your life should be, to a certain extent, a fight for the best that there is in life and a struggle to hold the spine as nearly erect as possible. If you are sitting in a chair, sit up straight, head back, chin in. If you are walking or standing, the same rule should apply.

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Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

May 23, 2017

Listen to episode 163 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness. Edited & adapted from a speech by David Starr Jordan.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Among the inalienable rights of Americans, as history has taught us, are these three: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." So long as we are alive and free, we will, in one way or another, seek that which gives us pleasure — hence life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in essence the same. But the pursuit of happiness is an art in itself. To seek it is not necessarily to find it, and failure may destroy both liberty and life. Of some phases of this pursuit, I wish to speak today.

My message is an old one. If by good chance some part of it is true, this truth is as old as life itself. And if it be true, it is a message that needs to be repeated many times to each generation of citizens. It is one of the laws of life that each acquisition has its cost. No organism can exercise power without yielding up part of its substance.

The natural law of transfer of energy is the basis of human success and happiness. There is no action without expenditure of energy, and if energy be not expended, the power to generate it is lost. This law shows itself in a thousand ways in the life of the individual. The arm which is not used becomes feeble. The wealth which comes by chance, weakens and destroys. The good which is unused turns to evil. The charity which asks no effort "cannot relieve the misery it creates."

The truth which someone else has won from nature or from life is not our truth until we have lived it. The only things that become real or helpful to anyone are those which have cost the sweat of our brow, the effort of our brain, or the anguish of our soul.

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Confucius Wisdom | The Best Quotes & Sayings

May 18, 2017

Listen to episode 162 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Confucius Wisdom (The Best Quotes & Sayings) Edited & adapted from The Analects of Confucius.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

A person who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

When anger rises, think of the consequences. It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.

The individual who conquers themselves is the mightiest warrior.

Silence is the true friend that never betrays.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest. Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and Third, by experience, which is the bitterest.

Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.

To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect their work must first sharpen their tools.

A person who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at their door.

To love a thing means wanting it to live.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieved; when true knowledge is achieved, then the will becomes sincere; when the will is sincere, then the heart is set right; when the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; and when the national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world.

Related Inspirational Podcasts:

The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Wiiliam Blake's Heaven & Hell (Proverbs)

Yoga & The Science of Breath (Pranayama Yogic Breathing)

May 16, 2017

Listen to episode 161 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Yoga & The Science of Breath (Pranayama Yogic Breathing). Edited & adapted from The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath by William Walker Atkinson.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: To breathe is to live, and without breath there is no life. Not only are we dependent upon breath for life and health, but all animal life must breathe to live, and plant life is likewise dependent upon the air for continued existence.

The new-born baby draws in a long, deep breath, retains it for a moment to extract from it its life-giving properties, and then exhales it in a long wail, and lo! its life upon earth has begun. The old senior gives a faint gasp, ceases to breathe, and life is over. From the first faint breath of the infant to the last gasp of the dying grandparent, it is one long story of continued breathing. Life is but a series of breaths.

Breathing may be considered the most important of all of the functions of the body, for, indeed, all the other functions depend upon it. A person may exist some time without eating; a shorter time without drinking; but without breathing their existence may be measured by a few minutes. And not only are we dependent upon Breath for life, but we are largely dependent upon correct habits of breathing for continued vitality and freedom from disease.

An intelligent control of our breathing power will lengthen our days upon earth by giving us increased vitality and powers of resistance. On the other hand, unintelligent and careless breathing will tend to shorten our days, by decreasing our vitality and laying us open to disease.

Humankind in its normal state had no need of instruction in breathing. Like the lower animals and the child, we breathed naturally and properly, as nature intended us to do, but civilization has changed us in this and other respects. We have contracted improper methods and attitudes of walking, standing, and sitting, which have robbed us of our birthright of natural and correct breathing. We have paid a high price for civilization.

Read the full transcipt here: The Science of Breath: Pranayama Breathing Exercises

Related Inspirational Podcast: What is Karma Yoga?

The Industrious Spirit (Self-Development)

May 11, 2017

Listen to episode 160 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Industrious Spirit (Self-Development). Edited & adapted from the lecture Self-Made Men by Frederick Douglass.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: My theory of success is simply this: that successful people are men and women of work. But in awarding praise to industry as the main agency in the production and culture of success, I do not exclude other factors. I only make them subordinate. Other agencies co-operate, but industry is the principal one and the one without which all others would fail.

Indolence and failure can give a thousand excuses for themselves. How often do we hear people say, "If I had the mind of this person, or the talent of that person; the health of this one, or the strength of that one; the opportunities of this or of that one, I might have been this, that, or the other," and much more of the same kind of self-defeating talk.

Sound bodily health and mental faculties are indeed very desirable, if not absolutely indispensable. But you need not be a physical giant or an intellectual prodigy, in order to make a successful way in the world. The health and strength of the soul is of far more importance than is that of the body, even when viewed as a means of mundane results. The soul is the main thing.

Each one of us can do a great many things; some easily and some with difficulty, but we cannot build a sound ship with rotten timber. The ship’s design may be faultless; and her canvas sail the whitest, but she will go down in the first storm. So it is with the soul. Whatever its assumptions, if it be lacking in the principles of honor, integrity and affection, it, too, will go down in the first storm. And when the soul is lost, all is lost.

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The Self-Made Man & Woman - Frederick Douglass

May 9, 2017

Listen to episode 159 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self-Made Men & Women. Edited & adapted from a lecture by Frederick Douglass.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: Self-made men and women are those who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, or friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any favoring conditions by which other people usually rise in the world and achieve great results.

In fact, they are the men and women who are not brought up but who are obliged to come up, not only without the assistance or friendly co-operation of society, but often in open and derisive defiance of all the efforts of society, and the tendency of circumstances to repress, retard, and keep them down.

They are the individuals who (in a world of schools, academies, colleges, and other institutions of learning) are often compelled by unfriendly circumstances to acquire their education elsewhere and, amidst unfavorable conditions, to create for themselves a way to success, and thus become the architects of their own good fortunes.

They are, in a peculiar sense, indebted to themselves for themselves. If they have traveled far, they have made the road on which they have travelled. If they have ascended high, they have built their own ladder. From the depths of poverty, they often rise. Flung overboard in the midnight storm on the broad and tempest-tossed ocean of life (left without ropes, planks, oars, or life-preservers), they have bravely fought the waves and have risen in safety and life where others (supplied with the best appliances for safety and success), have fainted, despaired, and gone down forever.

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Overcoming Pain & Sorrow (The Nature of Evil)

May 4, 2017

Listen to episode 158 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Pain & Sorrow (The Nature of Evil). Edited & adapted from The Path to Prosperity by James Allen.

Spirituality Podcast Exceprt: The child cries to be an adult; the adult sighs for the lost felicity of their childhood. The poor individual chafes under the chains of poverty by which they are bound, and the rich person often lives in fear of poverty, or scours the world in search of an elusive shadow called happiness.

Sometimes the soul feels that it has found a secure peace and happiness in adopting a certain religion, in embracing an intellectual philosophy, or in building up an intellectual or artistic ideal; but some overpowering temptation proves the religion to be inadequate or insufficient; the theoretical philosophy is found to be a useless prop; or in a moment, the idealistic statue upon which the devotee has for years been laboring, is shattered into fragments at their feet.

Is there, then, no way of escape from pain and sorrow? Are there no means by which bonds of evil may be broken? Is permanent happiness, secure prosperity, and abiding peace a foolish dream? No, there is a way, and I speak it with gladness, by which evil can be slain forever; there is a process by which disease, poverty, or any adverse condition or circumstance can be overcome; there is a method by which a permanent prosperity can be secured, free from all fear of the return of adversity, and there is a practice by which unbroken and unending peace and bliss can be partaken of and realized.

And the beginning of the way which leads to this glorious realization is the acquirement of a right understanding of the nature of evil.

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The Positive Psychology of Success (Being Successful)

May 2, 2017

Listen to episode 157 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Positive Psychology of Success (Being Successful). Edited & adapted from The Psychology of Success by Newton N. Riddle.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: There are elements of genius in every man and woman that if awakened and trained will enable them to do something worthwhile. There are stores of energy and ambition in every brain that if unlocked and given expression in action will supply the force necessary to bring things to pass.

There are germs of goodness and divinity in every soul that if quickened by love and wrought into character will enable them to live a clean, self-respecting, moral life. Awaken the genius, unlock the energies, quicken the divinity in a person, change them from negative to positive, combine their intellect, energy, and conscience in harmonious expression, and you have given to that person the positive psychology of success.

What is Success? What constitutes success? If we are to see things alike, we must have the same viewpoint. Briefly, success is the accomplishment of anything attempted. But we must get a larger view of the subject. We must measure success first from the viewpoint of the individual, and second from their relation to society.

We must measure success in the individual not wholly by their objective achievements in the few years that belong to the earth life, but in the light of the fact that the influence of their life extends far into the future.....

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Hints on Common Politeness (Showing Courtesy)

April 27, 2017

Listen to episode 156 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Hints on Common Politeness (Showing Courtesy). Edited & adapted from a book by the same title by Daniel Clement (D.C.) Colesworthy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: We have fallen on singular times. Who has any true regard for the rights of their neighbor? Where can a really polite person be found? If we do not actually spit in the faces of our friends, we are, every day of our lives, guilty of numberless thoughtless and uncivil acts that greatly displease and annoy them.

Your own pleasure, convenience, and interest should not be taken into consideration when they conflict with the duties you owe your neighbors and society at large. It is a glorious privilege to sacrifice our own selfish interests, if thereby we can promote the well-being of others, and scatter widely and profusely the blessings of life.

By offering these few hints that follow I hope to contribute to the welfare and happiness of my fellow citizens, and scatter more bountifully the sunshine and warmth that spring from elevated affections and sincere politeness.

It is not polite to fret and scold at the petty annoyances of life.

It is not polite to use harsh language when speaking to another person of their faults, however aggravating you may think they be.

It is not polite to seek opportunities for revenge. To forgive and to forget is the true doctrine.

It is not polite to get unnecessarily excited and angry, whatever the provocation may be.

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