College vs. The School of Life (An Education)

April 25, 2017
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Listen to episode 155 of the Inspirational Living podcast: College vs. The School of Life (An Education). Edited & adapted from “The School of Life” by Henry van Dyke.

Educational Podcast Excerpt: Life itself is the great school. Facts are teachers. Experiences are lessons. Friends are guides. Work is a master. Love is an interpreter. Teaching itself is a method of learning. Joy carries a divining rod and discovers fountains. Sorrow is an astronomer and shows us the stars.

What I have lived I really know, and what I really know I partly own; and so beginning with what I know and what I own, I move through my curriculum, elective and required, gaining nothing but what I learn, at once instructed by every duty and every pleasure.

It is a mistake to say, "Today education ends, tomorrow life begins." The process is continuous: the idea turns into the thought, the thought into the action, the action into the character. When the mulberry seed falls into the ground and germinates, it begins to be transformed into silk.

This view of life as a process of education was held by the Greeks and the Hebrews — the two races in whose deep hearts the stream of Western progress takes its rise, the two great races whose energy of spirit and strength of self-restraint have kept the modern world afloat. For the Greeks, the dominant idea was the unfolding of reason, the clarifying of the powers of thought and imagination. The ideal person was one who saw things as they are, and understood their nature, and felt beauty, and followed truth.

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How to Reform Education

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Achieving Greatness: How to Become a Leader

April 20, 2017
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Listen to episode 154 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Achieving Greatness: How to Become a Leader. Edited & adapted from “Getting On” by Orison Swett Marden.

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

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

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

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

Related Motivational Podcasts:

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Living a Purpose Driven Life

Forgiveness: The Key to Freedom & Happiness

April 18, 2017
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Listen to episode 153 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Forgiveness: The Key to Freedom & Happiness. Edited & adapted from “The Ideal Made Real” by Christian D. Larson.

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

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

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

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

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How to Be an Intelligent Conversationalist

April 13, 2017
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Listen to episode 152 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be an Intelligent Conversationalist. Edited & adapted from “The Man Who Pleases and The Woman Who Fascinates” by John Albert Cone.

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

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

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

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The Eight Pillars of Prosperity (Energy) - James Allen

April 11, 2017
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Listen to episode 151 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Eight Pillars of Prosperity (Energy). Edited & adapted from a book of the same title by James Allen.

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

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

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

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

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Saving Time | Productivity | Making the Most Out of Life

April 6, 2017
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Listen to episode 150 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Saving Time | Productivity | Making the Most Out of Life. Edited & adapted from The Aim of Life by Philip Stafford Moxom.

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

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

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

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Reincarnation & Living Without Regrets | Prentice Mulford

April 4, 2017
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Listen to episode 149 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Reincarnation & Living Without Regrets. Edited and adapted from Thoughts are Things by Prentice Mulford.

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

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

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

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

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Classical Music & Composers: Prophets of the Invisible

March 30, 2017
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Listen to episode 148 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Classical Music & Composers: Prophets of the Invisible. Edited and adapted from The Rhythm of Life by Charles Brodie Patterson.

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

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

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

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

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The Spiritual Power of Words | Warren Felt Evans

March 28, 2017
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Listen to episode 147 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Spiritual Power of Words. Edited and adapted from The Mental Cure by Warren Felt Evans.

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

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

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

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How to Be Bold, Free & Courageous | Conquering Fear

March 23, 2017
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Listen to episode 146 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Be Bold, Free & Courageous | Conquering Fear. Adapted from How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major.

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

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

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

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

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How to Drink Wine | Carpe Diem & Omar Khayyam

March 21, 2017
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Listen to episode 145 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Drink Wine | Carpe Diem & Omar Khayyam. Edited and adapted from Heretics by G.K. Chesterton.

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

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

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

Related Inspirational Podcasts:

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The Art of Being Alive (Carpe Diem)

The Quickening | Breakthrough Growth & Self-Development

March 17, 2017
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Listen to episode 144 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Quickening | Growth & Self-Development. Edited and adapted from New Thought Healing Made Plain by Kate Atkinson Boehme.

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

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

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

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A Guide to Health & Life | Naturopathy | Mahatma Gandhi

March 14, 2017
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Listen to episode 143 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Guide to Health & Life | Naturopathy. Adapted from “A Guide to Health” by Mahatma Gandhi.

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

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

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

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

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Building Self Confidence: Change Your Limiting Beliefs

March 9, 2017
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Listen to episode 142 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Building Self-Confidence: Change Your Limiting Beliefs. Adapted from “Success Through Thought Habit” by Benjamin Johnson.

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

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

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

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

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Self-Knowledge & The Mystery of Golf | Arnold Haultain

March 7, 2017
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Listen to episode 141 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self-Knowledge & The Mystery of Golf. Adapted from the book The Mystery of Golf by Arnold Haultain.

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

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

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

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

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The Key to Love | Spirituality & Mystical Wisdom

March 2, 2017
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Listen to episode 140 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Key to Love | Spirituality & Mystical Wisdom. Adapted from The Key to Health, Wealth & Love by Julia Seton.

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

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

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

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

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How to Build a Business Startup | Entrepreneur Psychology

February 28, 2017
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Listen to episode 139 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Build a Business Startup: Entrepreneur Psychology. Adapted from The Power of Mental Demand, and Other Essays by Herbert Edward Law.

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

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

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

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

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Personality & The Art of Conversation | Social Etiquette

February 23, 2017
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Listen to episode 138 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Your Personality and Your Speaking Voice: How to Develop Them by Clare Tree Major.

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

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

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

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Thought Power: Gratitude, Joy & Being Successful

February 21, 2017
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Listen to episode 137 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Thought Power: Gratitude, Joy & Being Successful. Adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson.

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

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

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

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

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Learn Thai Culture | Basic Thailand Travel Guide Podcast

February 16, 2017
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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.

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

February 14, 2017
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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.

Related Inspirational Podcasts:

Love & Marriage Tips

Kahlil Gibran on Love & Marriage

Overcoming Disabilities & Hardship (Inspirational Stories)

February 9, 2017
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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.

Related Motivational Podcasts:

Overcoming Fear, Anxiety & Worry

How to Stay Calm & Motivated

The Inward Life: Courage, Virtue & Self-Esteem

February 7, 2017
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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.

Related Inspirational Podcasts:

How to Live True to Yourself

How to Create an Ideal Life

Proverbs, Poetry, Wisdom & Genius (William Blake)

February 2, 2017
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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....

Related Literary Podcasts:

How to Drink Wine

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

How to Stop Judging People & Accept Others As They Are

January 31, 2017
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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."

Related Self-Help Podcasts:

Sympathy & Understanding Others

The Inward Life