Inspirational Living: Life Lessons for Success & Happiness
Motivation for Living Each Day to the Fullest

Motivation for Living Each Day to the Fullest

August 15, 2019

Listen to episode 397 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Joy of Living Each Day to the Fullest. Edited and adapted from A Way of Life by Sir William Osler.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: I have told you that my success philosophy for life is to live for the day only, to disregard thoughts of the future and the past. But now let us speak of the day itself! What first? Be your own day-captain! and sigh not with Job for any mysterious intermediary. Prepare to lay your own firm hand upon the helm. Get into touch with the finite things of the day, and grasp in full enjoyment that sense of mastery in a machine working smoothly.

Join the whole creation of animate things in a deep, heartfelt joy that you are alive, that you see the sun, that you are on this glorious earth which nature has made so beautiful, and which is yours to conquer and to enjoy. Realize, in the words of Browning, that "There’s a world of opportunity for joy spread round about us, meant for us, inviting us."

What are your morning sensations — for remember that they control the day. Some of us are congenitally unhappy during the early hours; but the person who feels on awakening that life is a burden or a bore has been neglecting their machine, driving it too hard, stoking the engines too much, or not cleaning out the ashes and clinkers. Or they've been indulging too much in the ways of Bacchus.

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A Way of Life | A Success Philosophy for Daily Living

A Way of Life | A Success Philosophy for Daily Living

August 13, 2019

Listen to episode 396 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Way of Life | A Success Philosophy for Daily Living. Edited and adapted from A Way of Life by Dr. William Osler, a founding professor of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Every person has a philosophy of life in thought, in word, or in deed — one that has been worked out in themselves unconsciously. Among the very best, they may not know of its existence. With the very worst, they may pride themselves as some kind of paragon. As this philosophy grows with our growth through adulthood, it cannot be taught to the young in formal lectures.

Why then should I trouble you? Because I have a message that may be helpful. It is not philosophical, nor is it strictly moral or religious, and yet in a way it is all three. It is the oldest and the freshest, the simplest and the most useful.

My message is but a word, a Way, an expression of the experience of a plain man whose life has never been worried by any philosophy higher than that of a farmer or shepherd. I simply wish to point out a path in which the wayfaring soul, though a fool, cannot err. Not a system to be worked out painfully, only to be discarded; not a formal scheme; simply a habit as easy or as hard to adopt as any other habit, good or bad. 

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How to Get What You Want | Making Dreams Come True

How to Get What You Want | Making Dreams Come True

August 8, 2019

Listen to episode 395 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Get What You Want | Making Dreams Come True. Edited and adapted from How to Get What You Want by Orison Swett Marden.

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Motivational Podcast Excerpt: You are victory organized. You were born to conquer, to play a magnificent part in life’s great game. But you can never do anything great or grand until you have such a conviction of yourself and your ability.

How often do we hear it said of some person, “Everything they undertake succeeds,” or “Everything they touch turns to gold?” Why? Because that person is constantly picturing to themselves the success of their undertakings, and they are backing up their vision by their efforts.

By clinging to their vision (by vigorous resolution and persistent, determined endeavor) they are continually making themselves a powerful magnet to draw to them their dream. Consciously or unconsciously, they are using the divine intelligence or force by which every human being may mold themselves and their environment according to the pattern in their mind.

Wake Up! How to Get the Morning & Day Started Right

Wake Up! How to Get the Morning & Day Started Right

August 6, 2019

Listen to episode 394 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Wake Me Up! How to Get the Day Started Right. Edited and adapted from Nerve Control and How to Gain It by H. Addington Bruce.

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Motivational Podcast Excerpt: I imagine that there are some of you who would say that things haven’t been going well with you lately — that you are nervous, easily tired, easily irritated. You may have been to the doctor, but they found nothing organically wrong with you. The doctor didn’t even find it necessary to modify your diet.

You yourself feel that the trouble is more mental than physical. You are worried by business conditions; the high cost of living weighs on your mind; you dread the bill collectors; etc.

You appreciate that worry will not mend matters for you. But what are you to do? If you could only afford to get away from everything for a while, you feel that you would be all right again. But you cannot leave your work.

There IS however one thing that you CAN do, at your own home, in the morning, that can change your mindset and avert the worry. It is a very simple thing...

Beauty, Truth & The Upanishads | Rabindranath Tagore

Beauty, Truth & The Upanishads | Rabindranath Tagore

August 1, 2019

Listen to episode 393 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Beauty, Truth & The Upanishads. Edited and adapted from The Realisation of Life by Rabindranath Tagore.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Every day our science is penetrating into the region formerly marked on the map as unexplored or unexplorable. Our sense of beauty is similarly engaged in ever pushing on from its conquests. Truth is everywhere, therefore everything is the object of our knowledge. Beauty is omnipresent, therefore everything is capable of giving us joy.

In the early days of human history, we took everything as a phenomenon of life. The science of life then began by creating a sharp distinction between life and non-life. But as science is proceeding further and further, the line of demarcation between the animate and inanimate is growing more and more vague. In the beginning of our understanding, the sharp lines of contrast were helpful to us, but as our comprehension becomes clearer they gradually fade away.

The Upanishads have said that all things are created and sustained by an infinite joy. To realize this principle of creation, we have to start with a division — the division into the beautiful and the non-beautiful. The apprehension of beauty has to come to us with a vigorous blow to awaken our consciousness from its primitive lethargy, and it attains its goal by the urgency of the contrast.

Fight Fatigue: How to Work with More Energy & Focus

Fight Fatigue: How to Work with More Energy & Focus

July 30, 2019

Listen to episode 392 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Fight Fatigue | Working with More Energy. Edited and adapted from Nerve Control and How to Gain It by H. Addington Bruce.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest monthly patrons: Martin Paulden, Kellie at Prime Intention, and Tessa. Become our patron for as little as $3 a month and you’ll gain access to our entire archive of nearly 400 podcasts, as well as full transcripts. You’ll also gain access to our patron-only series Our Sunday Talks, which deals with topics related to spirituality and spiritual growth. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited an adapted from Nerve Control and How to Gain It by H. Addington Bruce, published in 1919.

IF you have work to do — as I trust you to — do your work in the right spirit. That is, do it gladly, recognizing work for what it really is, one of the greatest blessings of existence.

Often we hear people say, "I wish I did not have to work at all." If they had their wish, they soon would regret it. For they would discover, as thousands have done, that entirely to abstain from work means mental and physical ill-health. People must work if they would keep well.

"That is all very fine," I hear someone objecting, "but there is quite a difference between working and working too hard. If I hate to work, it is because I have to work too hard. My work exhausts me."

There is, of course, such a thing as working too hard. If you are obliged to do that, I am indeed sorry for you. But are you sure that it is your work that exhausts you? May it not be that the real trouble is that you fail to keep yourself in proper fitness to do your work without becoming exhausted? This is a point many do not take into consideration. They attribute to overwork bad effects which actually result from some other cause.

The Power of Visualization | The Genie of the Mind

The Power of Visualization | The Genie of the Mind

July 25, 2019

Listen to episode 391 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Power of Visualization | The Genie of the Mind. Edited and adapted from The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier.

Inspirational Podcast ExcerptThere is a very real law of cause and effect which makes the dream of the dreamer come true. It is the law of visualization — the law that calls into being in this outer material world everything that is real in the inner world. Imagination pictures the thing you desire. VISION idealizes it. It reaches beyond the thing that IS, into the conception of what can be. Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.

Make your mental image clear enough, picture it vividly in every detail, and the Genie-of-your-Mind will speedily bring it into being as an everyday reality. This law holds true of everything in life.

The keynote of successful visualization is this: See things as you would have them be instead of as they are. Close your eyes and make clear mental pictures. Make them look and act just as they would in real life. In short, day dream — but day dream with a purpose. Concentrate on the one idea to the exclusion of all others, and continue to concentrate on that one idea until it has been accomplished.

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Attracting the Good Things of Life | The Secret of the Ages

Attracting the Good Things of Life | The Secret of the Ages

July 23, 2019

Listen to episode 390 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Attract All the Good Things of Life. Edited and adapted from The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: William James, the world-famous Harvard psychologist, estimated that the average person uses only 10% of their mental power. We have unlimited power — yet we use but a tiny portion of it. Unlimited wealth is all about us, and we don’t know how to take hold of it. With giant-like powers slumbering within us, we are content to continue in our daily grind — eating, sleeping, working — plodding through an existence little more eventful than the animals' — while all of Nature, all of life, calls upon us to awaken, to bestir ourselves!

The power to be what you want to be, to get what you desire, to accomplish whatever you are striving for, abides within you. It rests with you only to bring it forth and put it to work. Of course you must know how to do that, but before you can learn how to use it, you must realize that you possess this power. So our first objective is to get acquainted with this power within.

Psychologists and metaphysicians the world over agree: the Mind is what counts. You can be whatever you make up your mind to be. Within you is a power which, properly grasped and directed, can lift you out of the rut of mediocrity and place you among the best who live: the entrepreneurs and scientists, the writers and artists, the doctors and teachers— the DOERS and the THINKERS. It rests with you only to learn to use this power which is yours.

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Meditations on Living a Joyful & Creative Life

Meditations on Living a Joyful & Creative Life

July 18, 2019

Listen to episode 389 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Meditations on Living a Joyful & Creative Life. Edited and adapted from Happiness Road by Alice Hegan Rice.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: “Dare to launch out on life's uncharted sea, for in you the Great Pilot, the Great Adventurer, the Great Poet, the Great Inventor, the Great Musician, the Great Artist, is making Its quest for individual experience. Genius springs from the soul that dares to drink at the fountains of inspiration in the Garden of Life.”

Whatever discouragement we may feel as to our ability to be of use in the world should be minimized when we realize that no one has ever had our exact inheritance and environment, and that we may be fitted to perform a task no one else can accomplish. Such a thought fires the imagination and makes us eager to discover just what our peculiar mission in the world may be.

The instinct to create springs directly out of the unconscious mind. And the finer the model presented, the finer the thing produced. Thomas Edison said: "As I analyze my reactions to thoughts and ideas which appear in my mind, I feel that the mere fact that I have an idea is proof that the same source that gave me the idea will also show me how to work it out, provided I hold on."

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Overcoming Loneliness & Enjoying Solitude

Overcoming Loneliness & Enjoying Solitude

July 16, 2019

Listen to episode 388 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Loneliness & Enjoying Solitude. Edited and adapted from Happiness Road by Alice Hegan Rice.

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Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Happiness Road by Alice Hegan Rice, published in 1942.

One of the hardest stretches we are called upon to tread in life is the one we travel alone. As long as we march shoulder to shoulder with a comrade, we can often make the grade. But in the deepest experiences that the soul can know, we must, of necessity, go alone.

The tragic loss by death of loved ones, the permanent physical separation or spiritual estrangement from friends, the isolation caused by prolonged illness, come to us all and must be accepted with what faith and courage we can muster.

The primordial need for companionship, for understanding, seldom finds its perfect fulfilment. Often the greatest individuals are the loneliest, rising like mountain peaks in solitary grandeur above their fellow citizens.

How to Travel on Happiness Road | Life Lessons

How to Travel on Happiness Road | Life Lessons

July 11, 2019

Listen to episode 387 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Travel on Happiness Road. Edited and adapted from Happiness Road by Alice Hegan Rice.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: What is the true nature of happiness? We know one thing for certain. Happiness is not a mere temporary, selfish pleasure that excites and exhilarates for a moment, but it lies in a state of mind. Also we know that there is a technique in attaining it. Yet while we devote years to the study of the arts, we give little attention to the most important of all the arts: that of achieving a happy life.

There are brilliant men and women the world over who have attained greatness in their respective fields, yet who in their secret souls are dissatisfied, thwarted, and disillusioned. They have been so busy achieving personal ambitions that they have overlooked the supremely enjoyable obligation of finding happiness.

On the other hand there are radiant personalities who go singing their way through life, sometimes under the most trying circumstances, yet whose very happiness helps and blesses all with whom they come in contact. They have learned that happiness is a by-product of right living and thinking.

In ordinary circumstances, we start out in life being happy. Children are happy under a blazing tropic sun or in the freezing blasts of the arctic. They build toy houses on the edge of a volcano or play tag on a battlefield. But with maturity comes knowledge and with knowledge fear. It is then that we must trust no longer to Nature, but consciously take control of our lives and live according to a fixed purpose.

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Awakening the Beauty & Greatness Within You

Awakening the Beauty & Greatness Within You

July 9, 2019

Listen to episode 386 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Awakening the Beauty & Greatness Within You. Edited and adapted from The Hidden Happiness by Stephen Berrien Stanton.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Many are the beings in us that are never born — many the lives beating their wings against our bars, seeking a freedom that we forbid. Until some enthusiasm is unleashed within us, we do not realize how partially, how timidly we have lived.

We are “used up” not by what uses us, but by what wastes us. Variety of work makes us untiring, just as we never weary of nature’s greenery. Time brings fulfilment only to that which fills time to the full. There need be no fear of outcome when all our powers are engaged. Whatever mode of life gives play to our largest interests is our proper field of endeavor. We are cut out for the career that inspires our enthusiasm. If we have been our most, we shall have done our best.

The goal of life is immanent in each moment (each thought, word, and act) and does not have to be sought apart from these things. It consists in no specific achievement but the state of mind in which everything is done, the quality that is infused into existence. The function of you and I is not to attain an object but to fulfill a purpose; not to accomplish but to be accomplished.

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Motivation for Confidence, Courage & Leadership

Motivation for Confidence, Courage & Leadership

July 4, 2019

Listen to episode 385 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Motivation for Confidence, Courage & Leadership. Edited and adapted from The Conquest of Worry by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Courage is the ability to continue to struggle in spite of setbacks, the determination to triumph over difficulties which most people would consider impossible. The real measure of a person is shown by their power of resistance, the point at which their courage breaks or doesn’t break. History is full of the deeds of men and women who won out against heavy odds through their indomitable wills.

If you can continue to struggle in spite of reverses, if you can keep the flag of courage flying through the darkest days of your life, no enemy can defeat you.

To cultivate courage, you must think courage, you must hold the courage ideal. To be a king or queen, you must think like a king or queen. To be brave, you must think courageous thoughts. Like creates like. The constant affirmation of power will create power.

Courage is a confidence born of a consciousness of power. It is an overpowering belief in your ability to meet any and all emergencies, to cope with obstacles, to master every situation that may confront you.

You can cultivate courage through self-respect, self-faith, self-confidence. Anything which makes you think more of your ability, gives you more courage. No one can be courageous who does not believe in themselves.

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How to Enlarge Your Mind & Live More Abundant Life

How to Enlarge Your Mind & Live More Abundant Life

July 2, 2019

Listen to episode 384 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Enlarge Your Mind & More Abundant Life. Edited and adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: The attitude of kindness is one of the greatest states of mind. Kindness enlarges our inner awareness, thus promoting the enlargement and expression of life.

It also creates the tendency to give one's best, and there is nothing that brings forth greater life and power so quickly and completely as giving your best in all things and at all times.

Both the soul and the mind, with all their powers and possibilities, tend to unfold themselves through the actions of a strong, whole-souled attitude of kindness. In fact, no one can begin to unfold a larger life and receive the greater richness from within until they begin to give (through the attitude of kindness) all that which they already have in their personality. And the more you give of the richness of your own life, ability, and power, the more you will receive from the limitless realms within you.

However, giving is not giving unless it comes from the heart, and it must invariably be an act of expression for some great purpose. Your expressions, either of thought or action, will not open the way for inner unfoldment unless you give richly through a fuller and larger expression. And in all such expressions, you must feel kindly.

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The Power of Now | Living Life to the Fullest Today

The Power of Now | Living Life to the Fullest Today

June 27, 2019

Listen to episode 383 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Power of Now | Living Life to the Fullest. Edited and adapted from The Joys of Living by Orison Swett Marden.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The reason why our lives can, at times, feel disappointing and ineffective, is because we do not really live in the day. We do not concentrate our energy, our ambition, our attention, our enthusiasm, upon the day we are living.

Resolve to enjoy yourself today. Enjoy today, and do not let the shadows of tomorrow, the forebodings, and the things you dread, rob you of what is yours today — your inalienable right to be happy today.

Just have a little heart-to-heart talk with yourself every morning, and say: "It does not matter what comes or what goes today, what happens or what does not happen, there is one thing of which I am sure, and that is, I am going to get the most possible out of the day.

I am not going to allow anything to rob me of my happiness. I do not care what comes; I shall not allow any annoyance, any happening, any circumstance which may cross my path today, to rob me of my peace of mind. 

I will not be unhappy today, no matter what occurs. I am going to enjoy the day to its full, live the day completely. This day shall be a complete day in my life. I shall not allow the enemies of my happiness to mar it. No misfortune in the past, nothing which has happened to me in days gone by, which has been disagreeable or tragic, no enemies of my happiness, shall be a guest in my spirit's sacred enclosure today.

Only happy thoughts, joy thoughts — only the friends of my peace, comfort, happiness, and success — shall find entertainment in my soul this day.

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Learning from Criticism | Personal Development

Learning from Criticism | Personal Development

June 25, 2019

Listen to episode 382 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Learning from Criticism | Personal Development. Edited and adapted from A Life of Character by J.R. Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you have benefitted from this podcast and would like to support us with a one-time donation, you can do so by visiting LivingHour.org/donate. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from A Life of Character by J.R Miller, published in 1894.

Perfection in life and character, should be the aim of everyone. Our prayer should ever be, to be fashioned into spotless beauty. No matter what the cost may be, we should never shrink from anything that will teach us a new lesson, or put a new touch of loveliness into our character.

We get our lessons from many teachers. We read in books, beautiful lines which set great tasks of attainment before us. We see in other lives, lovely things which inspire in us noble longings. We learn by experience, and we grow by exercise. We may get many a lesson, too, from those among whom we live. People ought to be a means of grace to us. Mere contact of life with life is refining and stimulating.

The world, of course, is not always friendly to us. It is not disposed always to pat us on the back, or to pet and praise us. One of the first things a young person learns when they leave home, where everyone doted on them — is that they must submit to criticism and opposition. Not everything they do receives commendation. But this very condition is healthy. Our growth is much more wholesome in such an atmosphere, than where we have only adulation and praise.

We ought to get profit from criticism. Two pairs of eyes should see more than one. None of us have all the wisdom there is in the world. However wise any of us may be, there are others who know some things better than we know them, and who can make valuable and helpful suggestions to us — at least concerning some points of our work.

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June 21, 2019

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How to Cultivate the Spirit of True Happiness

How to Cultivate the Spirit of True Happiness

June 20, 2019

Get inspired with episode 381 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Cultivate the Spirit of True Happiness. Edited and adapted from Happiness by Hugh Black.

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Inspirational Podcast TranscriptHappiness is the net result of an individual’s whole reaction to life. It is an inward state, affected no doubt by outward conditions, but not completely dependent on them. It is a feeling of the heart, and an attitude of the soul.

Life is not a matter of surroundings merely, and a change of environment will not give a change of self. In the busy market, in a crowded street, with the roar of life in the ears and brain, people have known an interior peace that nothing could disturb.

So, when we speak of the foes of happiness, we are forced to look deeper than to outward fortune. We have to look within, where each must find the fountain of good for themselves.

Happiness or unhappiness depends much on disposition, and disposition means the way we look at things and the way we comport ourselves. In common speech we say of a person that they are their own worst enemy, or that they are the enemy of no one but themselves. It suggests that the problem is a deeper one than one of environment.

There are two factors often overlooked when dealing with this subject. One is that perhaps the biggest part of a person’s environment is themselves. After all, I have to live with myself, and I may be a difficult person to live with. I have to submit to the influence of my own thoughts, and habits, and general view of life.

Nikola Tesla Wisdom | My Inventions | Autobiography

Nikola Tesla Wisdom | My Inventions | Autobiography

June 18, 2019

Listen to episode 380 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Wisdom of Nikola Tesla | My Inventions. Edited and adapted from the writing of Nikola Tesla.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patrons Stanley Oahimin and Daniel McGehee. By becoming patrons, Stanley and Daniel now get access to 100 additional podcasts from our archive that are no longer available in our current public list — as well as full transcripts to every episode. To get that same access, become our patron today. You can do so for as little as $3 a month. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the writings of Nikola Tesla.

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and yet be quite insane.”

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

 “If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”

“Be alone, that is the secret of invention. Be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

“My brain is only a receiver. In the Universe, there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”

“What we now want is closer contact and a better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife... Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment.”

“Everyone should consider their body as a priceless gift from one whom they love above all — a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and a mystery beyond human conception, one so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it.”

How to Succeed in Business & Life | Your Will Power

How to Succeed in Business & Life | Your Will Power

June 13, 2019

Listen to episode 379 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Succeed in Business and Life. How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get the best of our podcast in heirloom hardcover or e-book by visiting the website InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major, published in 1920.

Many years ago I went to see an Indian scholar give a lecture on reincarnation. He said that the real, indestructible You, the self, is like a person shut up in a tall tower, and that each recurring life is another window let into the tower, giving you more and more light on your own problems, while at the same time opening up to your enlightened gaze a greater and greater stretch of the landscape of truth.

This same analogy might apply equally well to our inner and hidden lives. Each physical, emotional, or mental attribute we bring under the control of our Self is another window let into the dark tower of our imprisonment, a window which not only gives you light with which to clearly and truthfully view the world, but through which also may shine some glimmer of the glory of the triumphant indwelling Self.

The quality of pure matter is Inertia. The quality of pure spirit is Energy. From a combination of the two, worlds are made. You are a world in yourself. You are in your human life a combination of these fundamental parts: spirit and matter. You reflect their fundamental characteristics: Energy and Inertia. That is the beginning and end of your fight: to bring spirit triumphant from under the yoke of matter — to DO, not to give in.

When you put off something until tomorrow that you should do at once, you are giving the reins of self-government into the hands of the material part of you. You are obeying the commands of Inertia. When you take the reins into your own hands, with the definite determination to guide your own life, you are employing the unconquerable force of Energy. You must choose. And the one who thrusts themselves to the very topmost rung of the ladder in life is not the one who chooses Inertia.

You must either sink with your choice of the material, or rise with your choice of spirit. The knife is not sharpened on wood, or the soft things of life. It must be ground on a stone which is harder than itself. So must you, even though the grinding process may sometimes hurt.

Overcoming Disablity & Infirmity | Inspirational Stories

Overcoming Disablity & Infirmity | Inspirational Stories

June 11, 2019

Listen to episode 378 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Disability & Infirmity | Inspirational Stories. Edited and adapted from The Book of Courage by William James Dawson.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If our podcast has inspired you to live a happier, more successful, life, please do let us know by leaving a review at the iTunes store, or you can also email me directly at living[at]livinghour.org. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Book of Courage by William James Dawson, published in 1911.

IT is a common saying that health is one of those possessions that is not valued until it is lost. Like sunshine, fresh air, water, and sleep, it seems less a boon bestowed than our natural heritage. We assume that it is ours beyond all threat of loss, and this in spite of a hundred instances to the contrary. Few people, in estimating the manifold perils of life, trouble themselves over the possibility of a sudden infirmity. And yet the risk is always there.

Now, let us say that this risk turns to reality and some permanent, physical disability afflicts us. What then? Is that the end of our hopes and dreams? No, not ever. History has shown us countless examples of individuals who have, by sheer force of will, made their bodies serve them, and compelled frail or damaged physical machinery to accomplish great purposes.

One popular theory of personality represents the body as a kind of house into which there is introduced a spiritual tenant, commonly known as the Soul. The soul is not so much born with the body as injected into it. It possesses the body, but is no more of the substance of the body than I am of the substance of the bricks, mortar, marble, glass, or woodwork that combine to give me shelter.

This is not only a noble theory, but it is patently a fact. I am represented to the casual observer by my body, and (as like as not) misrepresented. The body is, in reality, no more than a means to an end — just as writing is not thought, but the means of thought. What is more natural than that this personality or soul of mine should be able to impose its will upon the body, and even to overrule its frailties and infirmities?

The Courageous Heart | Developing Your Force & Energy

The Courageous Heart | Developing Your Force & Energy

June 6, 2019

Listen to episode 377 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Courageous Heart | Developing Your Force & Energy. Edited and adapted from Courage by Charles Wagner.

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Motivational Podcast Excerpt: The chief concern of every living creature is to live. To live as well (and as fully as possible) is our primordial instinct — the eternal spring which is hidden beneath all our fleeting aspirations. It is the motive power which drives the world. Everything obeys it: the blade of wheat piercing through the earth and greeting the sun for the first time; the little chicken just freed from the shell; the child opening its young soul to the influences of life on every side.

It is true that people sometimes says that life is an evil thing, and that it would be better if it were not. However, this does not hinder the continuance of life; this does not stop the great invisible impulse which makes for existence; this does not destroy the bacteria of the earth, nor the prodigious life of the ocean.

Life IS: that is the chief fact of the universe; and the vast majority of beings not only accept it, but cling to it with courage or despair.

It is not enough, however, to simply live. The important thing is to live well. The question of living well or badly does not exist for those creatures who are guided by vague instincts, and who could not do otherwise than they do. On the other hand, this question is of paramount importance to you and I.

The Journey of Life | The Cheerful Traveler | Inspiration

The Journey of Life | The Cheerful Traveler | Inspiration

June 4, 2019

Listen to episode 376 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Journey of Life | The Cheerful Traveler. Edited and adapted from The Palace of Mirrors and Other Essays by Joseph Frank Thompson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. To watch free fireside chat versions of our podcast, subscribe to our YouTube channel at: LivingHour.org/youtube. Or just go to YouTube and search for the Inspirational Living podcast.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Palace of Mirrors and Other Essays by Joseph Frank Thompson, published in 1891.

There is an old Turkish proverb that says, “During the pilgrimage, everything does not suit the taste of the pilgrim." When making a long journey on foot, we enjoy many pleasures and endure many discomforts. No two days (and scarcely any two hours of the same day) are precisely alike. The scenery is sometimes varied and interesting; while at other times it is uniform and tiresome. There are long stretches where the road is shaded by trees, and the air is cool with morning dew and sweet with the breath of flowers. And there are also places where we are parched with heat and choked with dust.

Frequently we fall in with companions whose sympathy increases our pleasure, or whose cheerfulness makes us forgetful of our hard-ships. And occasionally we are quite alone, or would like to be and cannot, which is worse.

Such things are to be expected. They happen to every traveler. And the sum of our pleasures will be greater or less according to the kind of experience upon which our disposition inclines us to dwell.

It is so in the journey of life. The one, like the other, has its rough places and its smooth. And no traveler can hope to escape its hardships while enjoying its delights. It lies amid scenes of grandeur and beauty. But it also traverses many regions that are wasted and desolate.

Inspiring Others Rather Than Judging Them | J.R. Miller

Inspiring Others Rather Than Judging Them | J.R. Miller

May 30, 2019

Listen to episode 375 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Inspiring Others Rather Than Judging Them. Edited and adapted from A Life of Character by J.R. Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. With high school and college graduations happening soon, let me remind you that our book Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons makes for a wonderful graduation gift — the kind of gift that a young adult will treasure for a lifetime. Get your copy in heirloom hardcover by visiting InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from: A Life of Character by J.R. Miller, published in 1894.

It is better to have eyes for beauty — than for blemish. It is better to be able to see the roses — than the thorns. It is better to have learned to look for things to commend in others — than for things to condemn. Of course other people have faults, and we are not blind. But then we have faults of our own, and this should make us charitable.

There is a divine teaching on this subject. Jesus said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." But we need to understand just what those words mean. After all, we cannot help judging others. We should be able to read people’s character, and to know whether they are good or bad. As we watch another person’s acts, we cannot help forming opinions about them. And the stronger in character that we grow, the keener will be our moral judgments. We are not bidden to shut our eyes, and be blind to people's faults and sins.

What, then, did Jesus mean by those words? He meant to warn us about making uncharitable judgments. We are not to look for the evil in others. We are not to see others through the warped glasses of prejudice and unkindly feeling. We are not to take on the function of judges, as if people were answerable to us. We are to avoid a critical or censorious spirit. Nothing is said against speaking of the good in those we see and know. It is uncharitable judging and speaking, which Jesus condemns.

Authenticity & The Courage to Be Who You Are

Authenticity & The Courage to Be Who You Are

May 28, 2019

Get inspired with episode 374 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Authenticity & The Courage to Be Who You Are. Edited and adapted from Gaining the Round Above by Gustavus S. Kimball.

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Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Courage is the spirit to begin, and the determination to pursue what has been begun — to do that which is right at all hazards and at any cost. The greater part of the courage that is needed in the world, however, is not of the heroic kind.

Courage may be displayed in everyday life, as well as on heroic fields of action. Our common need is for the courage to be honest, the courage to speak the truth, the courage to be what we really are, and not to pretend to be what we are not.  

Remember also that it is OPPORTUNITY that makes you and your fortune, provided you have learned how to take advantage of the opportunity.

Opportunity comes sooner or later to everyone, but rare is the person who is ready to seize it. It is not luck or natural brilliancy which puts one individual so far ahead in places of trust and honor. You will find they achieved their success by educated and well-directed energy.

For the well-equipped person, the best prizes of life are not hard to obtain, because so few can grasp them. But even if the competition was severe, to the resolute, this should sharpen their efforts rather than weaken them. 

Is it possible for a person of ordinary abilities to attain success today? Most emphatically, yes. Never in the history of this country were there greater opportunities than today. But what the world demands are people of character and preparation.