Arthur Schopenhauer: Quotes, Wisdom & Philosophy Talk

September 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Daily Success Habits: Be Proactive, Decisive & Tactful

July 25, 2017

Listen to episode 181 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Daily Success Habits: Be Proactive, Decisive & Tactful. Adapted from Beginning Right (How to Succeed) by Nathaniel C. Fowler.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: LIFE has three seasons: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. What you did yesterday overlaps into today, and what you do today is carried over into tomorrow. Which is the most important of the three? No single one of them, because any one by itself is incomplete. If you did your duty yesterday, the work of today becomes easier to accomplish. If you attend to the work of today, tomorrow will be open to you and its duties will not be so difficult to perform.

While each day has its place — yesterday, today, and tomorrow — inattention to any one of those days will materially affect the life and action of the remaining two. You cannot recover yesterday. It has passed out of your life forever.

If it was a day of mistakes, they must be corrected today or tomorrow. The importance of today is not vested wholly in today. It is in tomorrow as well. Today is yours. Tomorrow may be. Unless you anticipate the morrow today, tomorrow you will not have tomorrow well in hand.

Individuals of great accomplishment do not consider any one day as all-important. They do today's work not wholly because it is of today, but because it will affect tomorrow. Regret yesterday if you will. Be sorry for your backsliding. You may have lost a day. If you have, you must make it up today and tomorrow.

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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.

Related Motivational Podcasts:

How to Be a Gentleman & Lady

The Power of Courtesy

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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How to Choose Your Friends Wisely

The Limits of Friendship

The Four Pillars & Agreements of a Purpose Driven Life

July 4, 2017

Listen to episode 175 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The 4 Pillars & Agreements 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.

Related Motivational Podcasts:

Living a Purpose Driven Life

Personal Mission Statements

Happiness: The Advantage of Marriage & A Happy Home

June 29, 2017

Listen to episode 174 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Happiness: The Advantage of 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.

Related Inspirational Podcasts:

The Benefits of Growing Older

How to Look Younger