Emotional Intelligence & Interpretive Dance

June 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Soul Growth & Spiritual Evolution (Theosophy)

June 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dare to Laugh & Live | Douglas Fairbanks’ Healthy Lifestyle

June 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Related Motivational Podcasts:

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

June 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

A Fool is one who cannot conceal their Wisdom.

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

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

Well done is better than well said.

Necessity never made a good bargain.

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

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

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

Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.

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

Fish & House Guests stink in 3 days.

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

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

Related Inspirational Podcasts:

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Positive Success Principles: Integrity, Laughter & Love

June 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

Related Motivational Podcasts:

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Originality & The Rich Mentality (Prosperity Mindset)

June 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Get a Real Education (Knowledge & Individuality)

May 30, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Vitality & The Power of Posture (Bernarr Macfadden)

May 25, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Key to Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

May 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Confucius Wisdom | The Best Quotes & Sayings

May 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The individual who conquers themselves is the mightiest warrior.

Silence is the true friend that never betrays.

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

Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.

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

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

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

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

To love a thing means wanting it to live.

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

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

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Yoga & The Science of Breath (Pranayama Yogic Breathing)

May 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Inspirational Podcast: What is Karma Yoga?

The Industrious Spirit | Failure is Not an Option

May 11, 2017

Listen to episode 160 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Industrious Spirit (Failure is Not an Option). Edited & adapted from the lecture Self-Made Men by Frederick Douglass.

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

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

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

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

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The Self-Made Man & Woman - Frederick Douglass

May 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Overcoming Pain & Sorrow (The Nature of Evil)

May 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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The Positive Psychology of Success (Being Successful)

May 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Politeness: An Etiquette Guide for Gentleman & Ladies

April 27, 2017

Listen to episode 156 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Politeness: An Etiquette Guide for Gentleman & Ladies. Edited & adapted from Hints on Common Politeness by Daniel Clement (D.C.) Colesworthy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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College vs. The School of Life (The Road Less Traveled)

April 25, 2017

Listen to episode 155 of the Inspirational Living podcast: College vs. The School of Life (The Road Less Traveled). 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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Wired to Create Greatness | Going From Good to Great

April 20, 2017

Listen to episode 154 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Wired to Create Greatness (Going from Good to Great). 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.

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Forgiveness: Healing Your Spiritual & Emotional Self

April 18, 2017

Listen to episode 153 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Forgiveness: Forgiveness: Healing Your Spiritual & Emotional Self. 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

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

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

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

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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Inspirational Music & Composers: The Rhythm of Life & Love

March 30, 2017

Listen to episode 148 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Inspirational Music & Composers: The Rhythm of Life & Love. 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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