Learn Thai Culture | Basic Thailand Travel Guide Podcast

February 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Overcoming Disabilities & Hardship (Inspirational Stories)

February 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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The Inward Life: Courage, Virtue & Self-Esteem

February 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Proverbs, Poetry, Wisdom & Genius (William Blake)

February 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.

Those who desire but act not, breed pestilence.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Dip those in the river who love water.

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

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

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How to Stop Judging People & Accept Others As They Are

January 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Vintage Lifestyle & Being Well-Dressed

January 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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The Secret of Life & My Success (Elbert Hubbard)

January 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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What’s Wrong with Schools & Education in America

January 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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The Courage to Be Successful

January 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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Overcoming Fear, Anxiety & Worry (Orison Swett Marden)

January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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Being Successful - Wisdom of the Optimist

January 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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Affirmations, Inspirations & Positive Thinking

January 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Autosuggestion & Self-Mastery (Emile Coué)

December 29, 2016

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

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

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

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New Year’s Resolutions: Living Your Ideal Life

December 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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Christmas Gifts & Giving (The Spirit of Christmas)

December 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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Spirituality & The Art of Living

December 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Become Enlightened - Cosmic Consciousness

December 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

December 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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The Science of Being Great - Motivation For Success

December 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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Ralph Waldo Emerson - Self-Reliance

December 6, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Choose Your Friends Wisely (True Friendship)

December 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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The Majesty of Calmness - William George Jordan

November 29, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

November 24, 2016

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

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

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

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

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Personal Mission Statements: The Aim of Life

November 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

November 17, 2016

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

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

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

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

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The Importance of Being Kind (The Power of Kindness)

November 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 10, 2016

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

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

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

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

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How to Stay Young & Youthful

November 8, 2016

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

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

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

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Is There Life After Death?

November 3, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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A New Thought Philosophy of Life

November 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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The Secret of Success in Business & Life

October 27, 2016

Listen to episode 104 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Secret of Success in Business & Life. Edited and adapted from “The Power of Concentration” by William Walker Atkinson.

Success Podcast Excerpt: Everyone has two natures. One wants us to advance and the other wants to pull us back. The one that we cultivate and concentrate on decides what we are at the end. Both natures are trying to gain control. This will alone decide the issue. A person by one supreme effort of the will may change their whole career and almost accomplish miracles.

You may be that person. You can be, if you Will to be — for Will can find a way or make one. I could easily fill a book of cases where people who were plodding along in a matter-of-fact way, all at once were aroused and, as if awakening from a slumber, developed the possibilities within them, and from that time on were different persons.

You alone can decide when the turning point will come. It is a matter of choice whether we allow our higher self to control us, or whether we will be controlled by the brute within us. No one has to do anything that they do not want to do. You are therefore the director of your life, if you WILL to be.....

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Seeing God in Nature | Wild Love

October 25, 2016

Listen to episode 103 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Seeing God in Nature: Wild Love. Edited and adapted from Thoughts are Things by Prentice Mulford.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: You are fortunate if you love trees, especially the wild ones growing where the Great Creative Force has placed them, independent of human care. For all things we call "wild" or "natural" are nearer the Infinite Mind — and being nearer the Infinite, they have in them the more perfect Infinite Force and Thought. That is why when you are in the midst of what is wild and natural (in the forest or mountains, where every trace of human works are left behind), you feel an indescribable exhilaration and freedom that you do not feel elsewhere.

You breathe the elements ever being thrown off by the trees, the rocks, the birds, and animals, and by every expression of the Infinite Mind about you. It is healthfully exhilarating. It is something more than air. It is the Infinite Mind, as expressed by all these natural things, which is acting on you. You cannot get this force in a city, nor even in a carefully cultivated garden — for there the plants and trees have too much of our lesser mind in them, the human mind which believes that it can improve the universe.

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The Greatest Life Lesson of The East

October 20, 2016

Listen to episode 102 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Greatest Life Lesson of the East. Edited and adapted from a lecture by Swami Vivekananda.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: We must work, constantly work, with all our power — to put our whole mind in the work, whatever it be, that we are doing. At the same time, we must not be attached. That is to say, we must not be drawn away from the work by anything else. But still we must be able to quit the work whenever we like.

If we examine our own lives, we find that the greatest cause of sorrow is this: we take up something and put our whole energy on it — perhaps it is a failure, and yet we cannot give it up. We know that it is hurting us, that any further clinging to it is simply bringing misery on us. Still, we cannot tear ourselves away from it.

The bee came to sip the honey, but its feet stuck to the honey-pot and it could not get away. Again and again, we are finding ourselves in that state. That is the whole secret of existence. Why are we here? We came here to sip the honey, and we find our hands and feet sticking to it. We are caught, though we came to catch. We came to rule; we are being ruled. We came to work; we are being worked. All the time, we find that. And this comes into every detail of our life. We are being worked upon by other minds, and we are always struggling to work on other minds....

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Being Happy & Successful in Any Career

October 18, 2016

Listen to episode 101 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Being Happy & Successful in Any Career. Edited and adapted from How to Get On by Bernard Feeney.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Suppose that you have already decided and entered on a career, profession, or calling of any kind, which for some reason you cannot give up, I advise you strongly, if you value your peace of mind and wish to save your life from failure, to seek out all possible reasons for loving that career and becoming attached to it. Drive away all craving for what may not be. Turn your mind from it, as from a deadly temptation.

Every beginning is hard. You will, no doubt, chafe and fume for a little at the thought that you are bound for life to something sickening and hateful. But we soon adapt ourselves to the inevitable, no matter how disagreeable it be. Habit reconciles us to it, and companionship after a time disposes us in its favor. There is good in everything, even in a career unwisely chosen. But this good has to be found out; it does not always present itself at first view.

A piece of quartz is a dull, heavy, unshapen lump of earth. Yet when people came to know its value, they dug deep into the earth, and cut their way through rocks, and endangered their lives to obtain it. So, too, with a career. It may be humble, ill-paid, and laborious; it may seem to have no future before it; it may be commonplace and unromantic, as the realities of life generally are. But it is, at least, honest and independent. It does us well to develop steadiness, love of duty, trustworthiness — all of which helps us to keep our homes bright and cheerful....

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Nothing Happens By Chance (The Kybalion)

October 13, 2016

Listen to episode 100 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Nothing Happens By Chance: Hermetic Philosophy. Edited and adapted from The Kybalion.

Philosophy Podcast Excerpt: Stop to think a moment. If a certain man had not met a certain lady, way back in the dim period of the Stone Age — you who are now reading these lines would not now be here. And if, perhaps, the same couple had failed to meet, we who now write these lines would not now be here.

And the very act of writing, on our part, and the act of reading, on yours, will affect not only the respective lives of yourself and ourselves, but will also have a direct, or indirect, affect upon many other people now living and who will live in the ages to come. Every thought we think, every act we perform, has its direct and indirect results which fit into the great chain of Cause and Effect.

I don’t not wish to enter into a discussion of Free-Will, or Determinism, in today’s talk, for various reasons — the principal one being that neither side of the controversy is entirely right — in fact, both sides are partially right, according to ancient Hermetic philosophy....

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Inspirational Quotes & Meditations On Life

October 11, 2016

Listen to episode 99 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Inspirational Quotes & Meditations On Life. Edited and adapted from The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: What can shake your belief in the goodness of humankind? The cruelty of others? Remember that we have come here for each other, and that people act out of ignorance. Have mercy on them. Have faith. Everything happens within a larger Order. You will find this to be true if you watch the world carefully.

Don’t look at things the way wrong-doers do. Don’t look at things as wrong-doers want you too, either. Instead, strive to see things in truth, as they really are.

Never value the things that will force you to lie, lose self-respect, hate, or deceive. Whoever values peace of mind and the health of the soul will live the best of all possible lives. Oh, how peaceful it is to stop looking at what our neighbors say and do and think, and simply strive to bring our own lives into alignment with truth and kindness.

Let us live simply and modestly – and if anyone says that we do not live a simple, modest life, let us not be angry with them, nor change our direction. If we hold to our ideals, we will move through life with purity and peace of mind.

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The Psychology of Business: For Entrepreneurs & Startups

October 6, 2016

Listen to episode 98 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Psychology of Business: Success for Entrepreneurs & Startups. Edited and adapted from The Mental Highway by Thomas Parker Boyd.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: It does not matter whether you are selling the products of your own hands and imagination, or those of others, or whether you are selling knowledge and expertise, your business must eventually be an expression of you — for you are really selling yourself when you are selling your goods or service. You must believe in your business as you believe in yourself.

Your business will flow through certain channels. It will follow the plan you have laid out, much as a house follows its foundation and plan. Having made your plan, you then turn to the materials, and all the materials in the psychology of business are within yourself. Success, when you achieve it, is your own — whether it comes in the form of position, honor, power, happiness, or money.

To succeed, you must be able to inspire others to help you by cooperating with you and by purchasing from you. In its final analysis, all success comes to us through others. This is the key. People band together, not only for protection, but for cooperation. You must realize that they must be motivated and inspired in their desire to cooperate with you and further your success.

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The Inspirational Book of Business (Success Tips)

October 4, 2016

Listen to episode 97 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Inspirational Book of Business (Success Tips). Edited and adapted from The Book of Business by Elbert Hubbard.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The Spirit of the Times — the Zeitgeist, to borrow a word from our German friends — is a constantly progressing entity. The present Spirit of the Times is of a kind unequaled in history. We have thousands upon thousands of men and women who are thinking great and noble thoughts and doing great and splendid work. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs regard themselves as public servants.

Our Zeitgeist is sensitive, restless, alert, impressionable, progressive, and is making for a better future. The entrepreneur who can imagine a better future than now exists is able to throw their vision on computer screens around the world, and the individual who can formulate a better government than we now have is not hanged for their pains, but is allowed to express their dreams.

Public opinion rules. No law that is contrary to the Zeitgeist can be enforced. Judges construe, translate, and interpret the laws to suit the Spirit of the Times. Every person who speaks out loud and clear is impacting the Zeitgeist. Every person who expresses what they honestly think is true is changing the Spirit of the Time.

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Try Love’s Way - The Path of Love

September 29, 2016

Listen to episode 96 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Try Love’s Way. Edited and adapted from Love’s Way by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt
: Try love's way, it holds the great secret of happiness. Life without love is valueless. I once read a story of a sunbeam that had heard there were places on the earth so horrible, so dark, dismal and gloomy that it was impossible to describe them. The sunbeam resolved to find these places, and started on its journey with lightning speed.

It visited the caverns of the earth. It glided into sunless homes, into dark alleys, into underground cellars; it wandered everywhere in its quest to see what the darkness was like, but the sunbeam never found the darkness because wherever it went it carried its own light with it. Every spot it visited, no matter how dark and dismal before its entry, was brightened and cheered by its presence.

The sun is a beautiful symbol of love. It sends its cheering, life-giving ray into the wretched hovel, into the prison cell, as impartially as into the palace. It gives itself as generously, as joyously, to the worst criminal, to the poorest soul who walks the earth, as to the monarch on their throne....

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The Ideal Made Real (Metaphysics)

September 27, 2016

Listen to episode 95 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Ideal Made Real. Edited and adapted from The Ideal Made Real by Christian D. Larson.

New Thought Podcast Excerpt: To understand the scientific relationship that exists between the real and the ideal, the mind must have both the power of interior insight and the power of scientific analysis, as well as the power of practical application; but we do not find, as a rule, the prophet and the scientist in the same mind.

The person who has visions and the person who can do things do not usually dwell in the same personality; nevertheless, this is necessary. And every person can develop both the prophet and the scientist in themselves. They can develop the power to see the ideal and also the power to make the ideal real.

The large mind, the broad mind, the deep mind, the lofty mind, the properly developed mind can see both the outer and the inner side of things. Such a mind can see the ideal on high, and at the same time understand how to make real, tangible, and practical what he has seen....

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How to Be Self-Confident (Self-Development)

September 22, 2016

Listen to episode 94 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be Self-Confident. Edited and adapted from Psychology & Higher Life by William McKeever, published in 1905.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: The self-confident person, of necessity, believes in other people. Old as I am, it stirs me up to put forth greater effort to have people believe in me. The ordinary little child will do their utmost to come up to the standard fixed for them by the expressed opinions of their elders.

The self-reliant person, therefore, is a benefactor of his or her associates. It is such an easy matter to drift down to the level of a gossip, and later to that of a defamer of character, and finally to that of the chronic misanthrope. If one goes about looking for the meanness in other people's character, you can surely find it. But so can you find the good — more of it than you can enumerate in a lifetime.

Happy indeed is the individual who has formed the habit of looking for the good. And so in every clime, we find the stalwart, self-reliant character, who, in the language of the statesman might say: "Master of human destinies am I: Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait."

Another of the great promoters of self-confidence, as well as of long life and happiness, is love. Everyone should by all means fall in love with something or somebody, or, better yet, with everybody...

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How to Be Successful & Influence Others

September 20, 2016

Listen to episode 93 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be Successful & Influence Others. Edited and adapted from The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: In every moment of life, we are changing to a degree the life of the whole world. Every person has an atmosphere which is affecting every other. So silent and unconsciously is this influence working, that we may forget that it exists. All the forces of Nature — heat, light, electricity, and gravitation — are silent and invisible. We never see them; we only know that they exist by seeing the effects they produce.

In all Nature, the wonders of the "seen" are dwarfed into insignificance, when compared with the majesty and glory of the "unseen". In a thousand ways, Nature constantly seeks to lead us to a keener and deeper realization of the power and the wonder of the invisible. Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or for evil — the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of our lives. This is simply the constant radiation of what we really are, not what we pretend to be.

Every individual, by their mere living, is radiating sympathy, or sorrow, or morbidness, or cynicism, or happiness, or hope, or any of a hundred other qualities. Life is a state of constant radiation and absorption; to exist is to radiate; to exist is to be the recipient of radiations. There are men and women whose presence seems to radiate sunshine, cheer, and optimism. You feel calmed and rested and restored to a new and stronger faith in humanity.

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Mental & Physical Fitness (Self-Help)

September 14, 2016

Listen to episode 92 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Mental & Physical Fitness. Edited and adapted from Assuming Responsibilities by Douglas Fairbanks.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The person who rises in the morning from a healthy slumber and plunges into the bath after some vigorous exercise is prepared to undertake anything. Their world seems fair, and though the sun may not be shining literally, it is to all intents and purposes. Thus, they go swinging along with a cheery smile, carrying the message of hope and joy to all those with whom they come in contact.

Of course, mental fitness is equally important to physical fitness. And the character of a man and woman expresses itself by the books they read. Every well-informed person since the invention of the printing press has been a close reader of a few books that stand out from among the many. We read of Lincoln devouring the few books he had over and over again and studying from cover to cover and word for word the Webster's dictionary of his day.

As the poet Robert Heath once wrote, "A few good books, digested well, do feed the mind." Feed the mind! That's the idea — but how shall we feed it? The answer is easy — with something worthwhile — something that will inform and inspire. We can cram our minds to the point of indigestion with useless, frivolous information, just as easily as we may cram our stomachs with certain foods that tear down rather than build up.

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Character Building & The Law of Reciprocity

September 13, 2016

Listen to episode 91 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Character Building & Self-Development. Edited and adapted from The Rhythm of Life by Charles Brodie Patterson.

Podcast Excerpt: Everything in life depends upon the great law of reciprocity, of giving and receiving. We give of our possessions, and through doing this enter into larger possessions. Nature exacts of us no indiscriminate giving, but a wise, orderly, benevolent giving that considers both the object and the end of the giving.

There is a wise way of doing everything, and if that way is known and followed, we get the best results. The body is strengthened and renewed when the mind chooses exercise of a normal, natural kind to strengthen alike all parts of the body. In this way, the health of the body is being worked out, and it is being saved from weakness, pain, or disease.

That which holds good as regards the body, holds good in a larger way concerning the mind. The weak or negative minded person need never hope to develop a strong, vigorous mind, as long as they continue to allow their mind to dwell upon the negative things of life.

If we would bring strength out of our weaknesses, it must come from a continuous effort toward clear, concise, positive thinking. Strength of mind can only come through a concentrated use of the mind. Mental work is as necessary for the strengthening of the mind as physical work is for the body.

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How to Be a Gentleman and Lady (Style & Grace)

September 1, 2016

Listen to episode 90 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be a Gentleman & Lady. Edited and adapted from The Man Who Pleases and The Woman Who Fascinates by John Albert Cone.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: It is almost the definition of a gentleman and lady to say that they are ones who never inflict pain. They carefully avoid whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom they are with, keeping an eye on the sensibilities of all their company. They are tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absurd. They avoid unreasonable allusions on topics which may irritate; they are seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome.

Another delightful trait of the true lady and gentleman is that they make light of favors when they bestow them, and seem to be receiving when they are conferring. They never speak of themselves except when compelled, never defend themselves by a mere retort. They have no ears for slander or gossip; are scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with them, and interprets everything for the best.

They are never mean or small in their disputes, never insinuate evil which they dare not say out loud. They have too much good sense to be affronted by insults, and are too busy with enjoying life to remember injuries. They may be right or wrong in their opinions, but they are too clear-headed to be unjust.

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Inspirational Life Lessons For Adults (Young & Old)

August 30, 2016

Listen to episode 89 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Inspirational Life Lessons for Adults (Young & Old). Edited and adapted from Our Sunday Talks by James J. Owen.

Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: The materialist may balk at talk of the soul — for they view the physical world as the all in all of the universe. They see reality only in those coarser forms of matter that appeal to the physical senses. In fact, they deny the existence of any and everything that their senses cannot grasp, forgetting that there may be keener senses than those of their own organism.

We use the term "coarser forms of matter" because to the undeveloped mind, those are the only forms that make an impact upon the senses. But science is constantly unfolding new and imponderable forms of which the senses take no note. Traversing the field of matter, it enters a new and unexplored domain which seemingly lies outside the boundaries of matter. And here in a maze of subtle forces and forms, the unfolded mind is lost in wonder and reverence.

We should therefore be modest in our denial or rejection of what we do not know to be true. Comparatively speaking, there is very little that we can know of anything save the simplest rudiments. Whoever dogmatically asserts that a thing is NOT so, because they do not KNOW it to be so, simply advertises their ignorance to the world — and that goes for scientists as well as religious preachers.

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Sleep better and more peacefully the whole night through. Visit today's sponsor Ettitude (makers of fine organic bedding and accessories) at the following link: Inspirational Sleep.

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Simple Life Habits & Cultivating Joy

August 25, 2016

Listen to episode 88 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Simple Life Habits & Cultivating Joy. Edited and adapted from The Simple Life by Charles Wagner.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Wherever life is simple and sane, true pleasure accompanies it as fragrance does uncultivated flowers. Even when this life hard, hampered, devoid of all things ordinarily considered as the very conditions of pleasure, the rare and delicate plant, joy, flourishes there. It springs up between the flags of the pavement, on an arid wall, in the fissure of a rock. We ask ourselves how it comes, and whence: but it lives.

No one seems to doubt the immense human interest attached to joy. It is a sacred flame that must be fed, and it throws a splendid radiance over life. The individual who takes pains to foster it accomplishes a work as profitable for humanity as those who build bridges, pierce tunnels, invent technology, or cultivate the ground. To order one’s life so as to keep (amid toils and suffering) the faculty of happiness, and be able to propagate it in a sort of salutary contagion among one’s fellow citizens, is to do a work of fraternity in the noblest sense.

To give a simple pleasure, smooth an anxious brow, bring a little light into dark paths, is truly a divine office in the midst of this poor humanity. But it is only in great simplicity of heart that one succeeds in fulfilling it.

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Sleep better and more peacefully the whole night through. Visit today's sponsor Ettitude (makers of fine organic bedding and accessories) at the following link: Inspirational Sleep.

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The Importance of Poetry, Wanderlust & Nature

August 23, 2016

Listen to episode 87 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Importance of Poetry, Wanderlust & Nature. Edited and adapted from Life's Enthusiasms by David Starr Jordan, founding president of Stanford University.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: It may be true that those who wander widest, lift no more of beauty's jealous veils than those who from their doorway see the miracle of flowers and trees. However, it is also true that the experiences of the traveler cover a wider range and fill their mind with a larger and more varied store of remembered delights.

The very names of beloved regions call up each one its own picture. The South Seas: to have wandered among their green isles is to have seen a new world, a new heaven and a new earth. The white reef with its whiter rim of plunging surf, the swaying palms, the flashing waterfall, the joyous people, and above all the volcanic mountains, green fringed with huge trees, with tree ferns and palms, the whole tied together into an impenetrable jungle.

The Sierra Nevada, sweeping in majestic waves of stone, alive with color and steeped in sunshine. Switzerland, India, Norway, Alaska, Japan, Venice, the Caribbean Islands. Even now as I write, they rise before me an endless series of pictures, magnificent in effect, in form and color.

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Sleep better and more peacefully the whole night through. Visit today's sponsor Ettitude (makers of fine organic bedding and accessories) at the following link: Inspirational Sleep.

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