Charisma: How to Create a Powerful Personality

January 17, 2019
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Listen to episode 336 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Charisma: How to Create a Powerful Personality. Edited and adapted from Personal Efficiency by James Samuel Knox.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you’ve already broken those New Year’s resolutions, I’ve got a fix for a brighter 2019. Get my new daily video series 30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life delivered every day right to your smart phone. This new motivational series is one of the benefits you get by becoming our podcast patron at the $3 a month level or above. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Personal Efficiency by James Samuel Knox, published in 1920.

I once went to see a famous speaker deliver a talk. After it was over, I thought to myself, "That man has the most striking personality." Then I asked myself what that really meant. "What is a striking personality?" And the following thoughts came to my mind: "Someone who is kind, courageous, diplomatic, bold, honest, enthusiastic — someone who seems to possess an unconquerable will."

These qualities which I’ve named are positive qualities. Therefore, a striking personality is produced by developing the positive qualities and eliminating the negative ones. Each positive quality has for its opposite a negative quality, just as light has darkness; heat — cold; good— bad; honesty — dishonesty; courage — fear, etc.

If you wish to have magnificent personality, begin to live positive qualities. Say: "I can, I will, and I must," where previously you said "I can't". Do that and at the end of the year you will be doing things with ease which it was absolutely impossible for you to do at the start. Remember that as surely as the sun shines, you possess these positive qualities — although they may be covered up and almost hidden by the mountain of negative thoughts which you’ve permitted to pile up.

Go prospecting for the nuggets of gold which lie hidden in your own life, waiting to be liberated from the weight of the melancholy boulders that have been permitted to accumulate. It takes desire, it takes faith, it takes confidence to eliminate the debris. But it can be done.

Motivation: The Secret of Getting Things Done

January 15, 2019
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Listen to episode 335 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Secret of Getting Things Done. Edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. During my holiday break, I had a long 18 hour plane flight to endure. But not one to let time go to waste, I took advantage of that international flight to boost my knowledge with some condensed books from Blinkist.

If you aren’t familiar with Blinkist, it’s a popular self-development app that takes the best key takeaways, the need-to-know information, from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes of reading or listening time.

A couple books that I particularly enjoyed listening to on my long flight were Start with Why by Simon Sinek and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. You can listen to them too, because right now, for a limited time, Blinkist has a special offer just for our audience. Go to Blinkist.com/living to start a free 7 day trial.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.

Today I would like to share with you the secret of getting things done. You also will learn a self-motivator that is so powerful it will subconsciously force you to action, for it is in reality a self-starter. Yet you can use it at will. And when you do, you will overcome procrastination and inertia.

If you are someone who does things you actually don't want to do, or if you don't do the things that you do want to do, then today’s talk is for you. Those who achieve greatness employ this secret of getting things done.

So, what is this great secret? Simply this: DO IT NOW! As long as you live, never say to yourself, "DO IT NOW!" unless you follow through with the action.

Whenever you want to do something and “DO IT NOW!” flashes from your subconscious to your conscious mind, immediately take action.

The Best of Plato | Inspirational Philosophy | Quotes

January 10, 2019
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Listen to episode 334 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Best of Plato | Inspirational Philosophy. Edited and adapted from the works of Plato.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patrons John Lynem, Ken Ferrell, and Rauno Roosilill. Coming up next Monday, I will be starting our new 2019 patron series “30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life,” a daily video series where I get your day started with a motivational message from the classic inspirational authors that we feature on this podcast.

To become our monthly patron and gain access to this new series, visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the Greek philosopher Plato.

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

“Wise people speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men and women are afraid of the light.”

“No matter how hard you fight the darkness, every light casts a shadow, and the closer you get to the light, the darker that shadow becomes.”

“The price good people pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil politicians.”

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to education by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of their own genius.”

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

“Courage is knowing what not to fear….Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”

Ushering in a New Year of Happiness & Sunlight

January 8, 2019
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Listen to episode 333 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Ushering in a New Year of Happiness & Sunshine. Edited and adapted from Nuggets of New Thought by William Walker Atkinson. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Our holiday break is almost over, so today will be the last re-broadcast from the patron series Our Sunday Talks. I’ll be delivering a brand new podcast on Thursday. Coming up on Monday, our new daily video series “30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life” will begin. Get access to this series by becoming our patron for as little as $3 a month. Learn more at: LivingHour.org/patron.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Nuggets of New Thought by William Walker Atkinson, published in 1902.

There is plenty of sunshine in life, if you only look for it. And there is plenty of shadow in life, if you only look for it. But in the things that seem all shadow to others, you will find the sunshine if you but train yourself to always look for it.

It is true that what may seem bright sunshine to you, others will find nothing but shade — for they are afflicted with a mental cataract that shuts out all the rays of the sunshine of life. But when you learn to love the sunshine and look forward to seeing it always, you seem to draw it to you.

The Law of Attraction brings to you your share of the sunshine with which the world is plentifully supplied. But, if you fall into the habit of looking for and expecting the shadow, the shadow will always be found.

It is astonishing what a change of Mental Attitude will make. Change your Mental Attitude, and the whole world seems to change. It is like taking off the dark glasses that have caused the world to seem gloomy, and seeing the brightness and colors of the world.

Many of you have been making dark dungeons of your minds. You have steadily shut out the sun, and your minds have become musty, damp and mildewed. Across the floor crawl noxious creatures. The slimy form of Fear drags itself slowly along, leaving its track behind. The hideous shape of Jealousy eyes you from one corner — a creature of darkness. The venomous reptile Hate shows its fangs. The vampire Worry flits across the chamber. Fearful shapes are there glowering in the darkness — frightful forms crouch in corners and recesses.

All is gloom, darkness, horror. A fit breeding place for the foul creatures who fear the light — a fit nursery for monsters. Look within the dark chambers of your mind — see what it really is — see what it generates. Look within — look within.

Make Every Moment Count | Unexpected Farewells

January 3, 2019
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Listen to episode 332 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Make Every Moment Count | Unexpected Farewells. Edited an adapted from Week-day Religion by James Russell Miller. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you are looking to reboot your life in 2019 for greater success, health, and happiness, our MAJESTY meditation program can help. Visit LivingHour.org/majesty and get 30% off with the coupon code: inspiration.

Today’s reading was edited an adapted from Week-day Religion by James Russell Miller, published in 1880.

Every hour there are partings, thought to be only temporary, which prove to be forever. One morning a young man bade his wife and child good-bye and went out to his work. There was an accident on the street, and before midday his lifeless body was borne back to his home.

It was a terrible shock, but there was one sweet comfort that came with wondrous power to the crushed heart of the young wife. The last hour they had spent together had been one of peculiar tenderness. Not a word had been spoken by either that she could wish had not been spoken. She had not dreamed, at the time, that it would be their last conversation. And yet there was nothing in it that left one painful recollection, now that she should meet her husband no more.

Through all the following years of loneliness and widowhood, the memory of that last parting was an abiding joy in her life, like a fragrant perfume or a bright lamp of holy peace.

Life is very critical. Any word may be our last. Any farewell, even amid glee and merriment, may be forever. If this truth were but burned into our consciousness, if it ruled as a deep conviction, and had real power in our lives, would it not give a new meaning to all our human relationships?

Would it not make us far more tender than we sometime are? Would it not oftentimes put a rein upon our rash and impetuous speech? Would we carry in our hearts the miserable suspicions and jealousies that now so often embitter the fountains of our loves? Would we be so impatient of the faults of others?

Would we allow trivial misunderstandings to build up strong walls between us and those whom we ought to hold very close to us? Would we keep alive petty quarrels year after year? Would we pass neighbors or old friends on the street without recognition because of some real or fancied slight, some wounding of pride or some supposed injury?

Why Success Means Taking the Hard Road

January 1, 2019
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Listen to episode 331 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Success Means Traveling the Hard Road. Edited and adapted from Volume VI of Harper's Monthly. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Happy New Year and welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Keep yourself inspired and motivated in 2019 by becoming our patron today. For only $3 month you’ll gain access to our upcoming daily video series “30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life”, as well as full access to our podcast transcripts, delivered right to your smartphone. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron.

Today’s reading is another episode from our patron-only series Our Sunday Talks, which was edited and adapted from Volume VI of Harper's Monthly, published in 1852.

There is an aim which all Nature seeks. The flower that opens from the bud (the light that breaks the cloud into a thousand forms of beauty) is calmly striving to assume the perfect glory of its power. And the child, whose proud laugh heralds the mastery of a new lesson, unconsciously develops the same life-impulse, so as  to prove the power it has felt as its own.

This is the real goal of life shining dimly from afar — for our fullest power has never yet been attained. It is a treasure which must be sought (its extent and distance being unknown).

No person can tell what they can do, or suffer, until they have tried. Their path of action broadens out before them. And, while that path appears, there is power to traverse it. It is like the fabled hill of Genius that ever presents a loftier elevation above the one attained. It is like the glory of the stars which shine by borrowed light — each seeming source a tributary to one more distant, until the view is lost to us.

We only know there must be a life-giving center. And to the steady mind, though the goal of life be dim and distant, its light is fixed and certain — while all lesser aims are but reflections of this glory in myriad-descending shades, which must be passed, one by one, as the steps of the ladder on which we mount to Heaven.

People have an unfortunate predilection to pervert whatever God throws in their way to aid them, and thus turn good to evil. The minor hopes which spur us to action are mistaken for the final one. And we often look no higher than some mediocre wish, allowing that to rule us which should have been our servant. From this false view (in turn) rises little exertion, for it is impossible for us to believe in something better.

We all aim at self-control and independence while in the shadow of a power which controls us, whispering to ourselves, "Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther." But how apt is self-indulgence to suit this limit to its own measure, and suffer veneration and doubt to overgrow and suppress the rising hope of independent thought.

A Life Worthwhile Pt. 2 | Inspiring Graduation Speeches

December 27, 2018
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Listen to episode 330 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: A Life Worthwhile Pt.2 | Inspiring Graduation Speeches. Edited and adapted from “What is Worth While?” by Anna Robertson Brown. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Today’s reading is a continuation of our last podcast, which was edited and adapted from What is Worth While by Anna Robertson Brown, and an episode from Our Sunday Talks, a series we offer exclusively to our patrons. Learn how you can become a patron by visiting LivingHour.org/patron.

Pretense, worry, discontent, and self-seeking — these are the things that we may let go. Now, what are the things in life that are worthwhile? — that we should lay hold of, keep, guard, and use? It is worthwhile to be wise in the use of time. In the eternal life there is no waste of years. It is with time that we purchase every- thing that life has of good. It is by the wise use of time that we make ourselves competent for eternity.

The most reckless spendthrift in the world is the one who squanders time. Money lost may be regained, friendships broken may be renewed, houses and lands may be sold or buried or burnt, but then may be bought or gained or built again. But what power can restore the moment that has passed, the day whose sun has set, the year that has gone?

It awes me when I think of it, that there was a time when you and I were not — when the cycles of eternity swept onward and the stars turned in their courses without the sight or sound of humankind. But now there can never come a time when you and I shall not be. The vast gift of eternity has been laid in your hands and mine — an eternity not wholly to come, but one which is even now here. Shall we not use its hours aright?

The question of life is not, “How much time have we?” — for in each day, each of us has exactly the same amount: we have "all there is." The question is, “What shall we do with it?” Shall we let this priceless gift slip away from us in haphazard deeds, or shall we adopt some plan of saving, and of systematic doing, in our lives? What shall this plan be? How shall we determine what things are worth giving time to? Let us think about this question.

A Life Worthwhile | Commencement Addresses by Women

December 25, 2018
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Listen to episode 329 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: A Life Worthwhile | Commencement Speeches by Women. Edited and adapted from “What is Worth While?” by Anna Robertson Brown. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Wishing all of you a happy and joyful Christmas day. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from “What is Worth While?” by Anna Robertson Brown, published in 1893.

We only have one life to live! We all want to do our best with it. We all want to make the most of it. How can we best get hold of it? How can we accomplish the most with the energies and powers at our command? What is worthwhile?

We all ask ourselves this question. It is especially common upon graduating from university. But our first years out of college are apt to be anxious, unsatisfactory, disappointing. Time slips away in further preparation, in experiment, in useless or misdirected efforts. The world does not prove to be the same that it seemed to be in the quiet college surroundings. Duty is not so clear as then, nor work so well-defined. Life is harder to handle than we thought.

One finds that theories fail, and yet one has not had positive experience enough to know just where the difficulty lies. It is of a few simple things that "my own life has proved true" that I shall speak with you today.

Life is large. We cannot possibly grasp the whole of it in the few years that we have to live. What is vital? What is essential? What may we profitably let go? Let us ask ourselves these questions.

To begin with, what may we let go? Who shall say? By what standard shall we measure? By what authority decide? Each of us must answer that question for ourselves. But when I look about for an answer, I find only one that satisfies me. It is this: We may let go of all things which we cannot carry into the eternal life.

At the Feet of the Master | Jiddu Krishnamurti

December 20, 2018
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Listen to episode 328 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: At the Feet of the Master: Jiddu Krishnamurti. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Today is another special episode from our patron-only series Our Sunday Talks, which has been edited and adapted from At the Feet of the Master by Jiddu Krishnamurti, published in 1910.

In all the world, there are only two kinds of people — those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a person holds, to what race you belong — these things are not important. The really important thing is this knowledge — the knowledge of God's plan for us. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution.

Once you have seen the truth of this, and really know it, you cannot help working for it, and making yourself one with it — because it is so glorious, so beautiful. And because you know it, you are on God's side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.

There are Six Points of Conduct which are specially required for those who are dedicated to the evolution of themselves and others:

1. Self-control as to the Mind.
2. Self-control in Action.
3. Tolerance.
4. Cheerfulness.
5. One-pointedness.
6. Confidence.

Let us begin with Number 1. Self-control as to the Mind. This means control of temper, so that you may feel no anger or impatience; control of the mind itself, so that the thought may always be calm and unruffled; and (through the mind) of the nerves, so that they may be as little irritable as possible. This last part is difficult, because when you try to prepare yourself for the Path of evolution, you cannot help making your body more sensitive, so that its nerves are easily disturbed by a sound or a shock, and will feel any pressure acutely; but you must do your best.

The Best of Rumi Poetry | The Wisdom of Love

December 18, 2018
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Listen to episode 327 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Best of Rumi: The Wisdom of Love. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome the Inspirational Living podcast. We currently are on a holiday break, so today I’ll be sharing with you an episode of Our Sunday Talks, which is our patron-only series with 70 episodes. To gain access to all episodes, as well as our upcoming daily video series “30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life” please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the works of Rumi.

Only the soul knows what love is. What matters is how quickly you do what your soul wants. My soul is racing ahead of me. It says, “The body is too slow for me – I am going.”

There is some kiss we want with our whole lives: the touch of spirit on the body.

Whatever you are seeking, is seeking you. What is planted in each person’s soul will sprout. There is nothing outside of yourself. Look within. Everything you want is there — you are that.

Until you remain blind and deaf I will be invisible. Look for the answer inside your question. Eyes cannot see you. You are the source of sight.

Whatever I was looking for was always you. Your calling my name is my reply. Your longing for me is my message to you. I see my beauty in you. I become a mirror that cannot close its eyes to your longing.

Be foolishly in love, because love is all there is.

Sit, be still, and listen. Hear the passage into silence and be that. You are the seeker, the goal, and seeking itself. Only from the heart can you touch the sky.

There is a window from one Heart to another Heart. Purify your eyes, and see the pure world.  Your life will then fill with radiant forms.

I am Lost in God and God is found in me. Your noise is my silence. At the end of my life (with just one breath left), if you come, I’ll sit up and sing.

A lover wants only to be in love’s presence. The real beloved is that one who is unique, who is your beginning and your end.

The Secret of a Great Life | Shifting Your Consciousness

December 13, 2018
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Listen to episode 326 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Secret of the Great Life | Spiritual Consciousness. Edited and adapted from In the Light of the Spirit by Christian D. Larson.

Spiritual Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’m going on holiday to visit family for the next three weeks, and will be unable to record new podcasts. But as a special gift to you, during this holiday period I’ll be sharing old episodes of Our Sunday Talks, which is a series that we offer exclusively to our patrons.

Coming up in 2019, we will be starting a new patron series “30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life,” which will be a daily video series, where I deliver to you an inspiring message to get your day started. To become a patron and gain access to our special content for patrons, visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from In the Light of the Spirit by Christian D. Larson, published in 1916.

When we examine our mode of living, we shall find that we dwell upon the spiritual side of life only on rare occasions. Most of the time we allow our consciousness to reside upon the personal or material side of life, and it will remain there for days, weeks, or months. We find that during this period our soul activity becomes passive, and consequently the personality does not have the benefit of that greater spiritual power which is necessary in order that we may meet and overcome every problem and condition in life.

This being true, it is important that we learn to live, more and more, upon the spiritual side of consciousness, so that we may gain possession of a larger measure of this higher power, which alone can emancipate the personality and give higher wisdom to the mind and intellect.

We are not here to drift with the stream or to fold our arms passively and say that we will let the best come to pass. The truth is, that if there be anything we want, we must work for it. If we wish to make life ideal, we must make it so ourselves.

The things we desire do not come to us simply through mere passivity or expectation. We are living in an imperfect world, a world which is in the process of growth; therefore, we meet undeveloped conditions on every side. And if we remain in a passive condition, or simply drift with the stream, many of those undeveloped conditions will come into our own world — and not only disturb the order of our personal existence, but produce a great many adverse conditions, both within ourselves and in our environment. For this reason, we must make ourselves stronger than all those conditions; that is, we must rise above adversity both in wisdom and in power; and this is made possible only through the continuous expression of the soul.

Harnessing the Spiritual Power of Love | Joan of Arc

December 11, 2018
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Listen to episode 325 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Harnessing the Power of Love | Joan of Arc. Edited and adapted from Man Limitless by Floyd B. Wilson, published in 1905.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you would like to get a deep, restful sleep, with welcome dreams to solve problems and build a positive mindset, our sleep meditations can help. Backed by the sounds of oceans waves or a gentle rain, our sleep meditations include 50 life-changing affirmations. Learn more by visiting: LivingHour.org/sleep.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from: Man Limitless by Floyd B. Wilson, published in 1905.

Love in one form or another is the motive power of the universe. It is the force that moves men, women, and nations toward advancement — for the achievement of ambitions, for the fulfillment of ideals. Love reaches beyond desire, and yet awakens desire. It blends intellect with aspiration (the mental with the spiritual) and gives the incentive to guard and prolong life, in order that we may grasp more of its hallowed and mystic meaning.

It is universal, and found throughout nature. We see the plant sending its roots down to secure nourishment; and then, having converted this into sustenance, carry it upward to assist growth in the sunlight. It reaches, for it needs to give full expression to its development and beauty — seeming in its own mute way to enjoy itself most when demonstrating vigorous life. Is not this but a plant's expression of love — its silent purpose to attain its own end in the mystery of unfolding?

In animal life, we note a broader development — one that extends to the protecting, caring, and helping of its own kind. It reaches out often to the weak and suffering through almost a human feeling; and, more than that, it recognizes the expression of love from others and rewards it by showing love in return.

My purpose, however, deals with you and I, and whether we can learn something of the creative power of love and its part in helping us to attain our ideals, to uplift our spirit.

The Enigma & Adventure of Life and Death

December 6, 2018
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Listen to episode 324 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Adventure & Enigmas of Life and Death. Edited and adapted from The Adventure of Life by Robert W. Mackenna.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you or someone you know is having trouble with an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, or heroin, our Break Free meditations can help. To learn more, please visit LivingHour.org/breakfree.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the Adventure of Life by Robert W. Mackenna, published in 1919.

The world is full of enigmas, and one of the greatest is life. We know neither what it is nor what its purposes may be, and we are perplexed by the mysteries which it enfolds. But the mysteries, and the difficulties, and the hard problems which it presents should impel us to seek earnestly for their solution rather than drive us into a backwater of indolent apathy.

Half of life's charm lies in its mysteries. If all the enigmas were removed it would be no more interesting than would be a game of chess in which every move is mapped out for the players before they sit down at the board. The existence of the human intellect demands the contemporaneous existence of mysteries — the knife needs the stone to sharpen it.

It is a mighty task to run a Universe, and something far beyond the power of you and I. Most of us find the ordering of our own little portion of life a task more than sufficient for our talents. Let us leave the Universe to God — and seek instead the solution to our own problems. Right at our feet (if we will grope and look), we may find a clue.

Sometimes the clue is fine as gossamer, and now and then we lose it in the tangled and intricate maze of circumstances. But if we can grasp it, and follow it, we shall find that it grows stronger before our eyes, until it becomes a cable strong enough to lift us out of the quagmire of doubt and set us with firm feet upon the high road to knowledge.

The Mystery of Pain & Suffering | Is There a Loving God?

December 4, 2018
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Listen to episode 323 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Mystery of Pain & Suffering | A Loving God? Edited and adapted from The Adventure of Life by Robert W. Mackenna.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Brought to you with the kind financial support of our patrons. If you would like to make a one-time donation to our podcast, please go to LivingHour.org/donate. To become a regular monthly patron for as little as 1 dollar a month, visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from the Adventure of Life by Robert W. Mackenna, published in 1919.

Everyone who has devoted a moment's thought to the problems of life must have reflected on the purpose of pain. To the superficial, it must seem a needless phenomenon, an experience calculated to increase the sum total of human misery, but altogether devoid of any beneficial qualities. To them it appears malevolent; an evil thing to be avoided at any cost; an invention of the devil.

Such a view is directly opposed to the truth, for, as a matter of fact, the good qualities of pain more than outweigh the evil ones. Pain is a sentinel which guards the outposts of life for us, and without it the citadel would be more easily overthrown. It is one of the greatest helps to the physician in their work. The presence of pain, indicated by the sufferer, gives an immediate clue to the site of their trouble.

The veterinarian whose patients cannot describe in articulate speech the locality or the nature of the distress they suffer, works at a disadvantage compared with the physician whose patients are human beings. The former must rely on the secondary phenomena of pain to guide them to the site of the mischief. The latter, by a few direct questions, can elicit from the patient not only the precise situation of their pain, but also some knowledge of its character and intensity.

Pain is not malevolent but diagnostic, remedial, and frequently life-saving. It confers benefits upon the individual — and their sufferings, rightly read, may confer benefit upon a multitude. It is also disciplinary and educational. The first child that scorched a finger in the fire has passed into a proverb, and so achieved immortality.

Exercises in Concentration | Developing the Mind

November 29, 2018
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Listen to episode 322 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Exercises in Concentration | Developing the Mind. Edited and adapted from Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock.

Self-Development Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. One last reminder, the special holiday sale on our hardcover books ends on Friday. Order your copies today by vising our website: InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock, published in 1916.

The achievement of focusing the mind on one thing at a time involves not only the energy in striving to do that one thing, but also the ability to put aside other things to make a clear channel for the desired end. The power to focus attention has been the inseparable adjunct to all achievements in business, politics, art, literature, and science. Through this power, women and men of very ordinary ability have risen from poverty to great affluence.

Concentration is a stepping stone to success in any endeavor, and it is a quality of mind which may be developed positively the same as any other mental ability. The value of concentration may be exemplified in the office of a modern business — where you have the constant tapping of keyboards, the ringing of telephones, the voices of employees, calls for interviews, and dozens of other distractions.

Success depends upon our ability to concentrate on the business at hand and put aside the hundred and one things that constantly endeavor to prey upon our limited time. There is as much strain in resisting the non-essential in order to make room for the essential, as in accomplishing the essential object in view.

Many fail, not because they are not able to do one thing well, but because they are unable to concentrate their energies on the one task, ever allowing other things to rob them of time and energy.

Just as the rays of the sun may be focused on a small point by means of a lens and made to produce intense heat, it is also possible to focus the human energies on some object so that the resulting accomplishment will be astonishing, almost marvelous.

Cultivating the Midas Touch | The Power to Prevail

November 27, 2018
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Listen to episode 321 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Cultivating the Midas Touch | The Power to Prevail. Edited and adapted from Mightier than Circumstance by Frank B. Whitney.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you would like to purchase one of our inspirational hardcover books for a 30% discount and get it in time for Christmas, be sure order by this Friday. All books include newly edited essays that I’ve read here on the podcast. Learn more by visiting: InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Mightier than Circumstance by Frank B. Whitney, published in 1939.

Do you know people who have the habit of succeeding in whatever they undertake? Don’t they seem to cultivate the habit of success, just as others seem to cultivate the habit of failure? And yet, have you ever thought of success as a habit that you can acquire?

Well, you can. Each time you succeed, your success makes every subsequent achievement easier. You establish a process of mental activity that anticipates and assures success. Fear of failure is thus overcome, and confidence in success is established. Your mind thinks success, and you move toward success.

The pioneer (no matter the field of endeavor) finds that each time they travel over a new path, their progress becomes easier. In the same way, every time you think of yourself as successful, the easier it is for you to succeed. Thinking the thought of success helps to weaken any thought of failure that may be lurking in your mind.

When you cultivate a consciousness of success, and use it daily while engaged in your work, more and more success will come. Success eventually will become a habit. You will become so used to thinking success, and being successful, that you cannot fail — or if you do fail, it will be but a temporary learning experience.

Many people need to cultivate a confidence in success. They need to feel (when they are inspired by the Spirit within them to do something) that they can accomplish it. They need to know that the very act of attempting to do what Spirit bids them to accomplish carries with it success.

Happy Thanksgiving | The Power of Being Grateful

November 22, 2018
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Listen to episode 320 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Thanksgiving | The Power of Being Grateful. Edited and adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Wishing all of our listeners in the United States a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Taking time out to show gratitude for the blessings in our life is not only important on Thanksgiving, but all the year through. And, as for me, I’m grateful for all of you

Today, I am going to replay one of my readings from the past year on the topic of gratitude and aspiration, which was edited and adapted from Thinking for Results by Christian D. Larson, published in 1912.

The attitude of aspiration causes us to think of the marvels that lie beyond present achievement, and thereby inspires the creation of great thoughts. There must be great thoughts before the mind can become great, and the mind must become great before great results can be secured.

Aspiration concentrates attention upon superiority and therefore elevates all the qualities of the mind into that state. This being true, every effort in life should be directed towards those possibilities that lie beyond our present achievements, if we wish to cultivate and strengthen an attitude of aspiration.

When we are simply ambitious, we proceed as we are and seek to make a mark for ourselves with what power we already possess; but when we are alive with the spirit of aspiration, we seek to make ourselves larger, more powerful, and far superior to what we are now, knowing that a great light cannot be hid, and that anyone with great power must invariably reach the goal they have in view.

The ambitious mind seeks to make a small light shine far beyond its capacity, and through this effort finally wears itself out. The aspiring mind, however, seeks to make the light larger and larger, knowing that the larger the light becomes the further it will shine, and that no strenuous efforts will be required to push its powerful rays into effectiveness.

The Smiling Heart | The Power of a Sunny Smile

November 20, 2018
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Listen to episode 319 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Smiling Heart | The Power of a Smile. Edited and adapted from Creed of the Dauntless by Frank B. Whitney.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get the very best essays from our podcast in 3 heirloom quality hardcover books, including our newest book Evermore: 50 Life Lessons for Spiritual Growth. Order now to get 30% off the retail price. Learn more at our website: InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Creed of The Dauntless by Frank B. Whitney, published in 1931.

Do you know those who smile at life? Have you wondered how they do it? Have you wanted to be one of them? How refreshing it is (after listening to those who believe that the world is growing worse) to find the person who rejoices to be alive!

After seeing someone who thinks that the world owes them a living, how delightful to find the woman and man who seeks to contribute generously to the world's happiness!

Those who frown at life believe that the persons, things, and events of life have the power to make them unhappy. They feel that the world is upon their shoulders and that its woes are depressing them. Their philosophy of life is very simple: the world is all wrong.

However, those who smile at life see mirrored in the world the smile of their own contented hearts. Is it any wonder that they smile? The light within them shines to the very circumference of their world and makes it one of joy and brightness.

Those who smile at life can rightly do so because they have mastered life. It no longer has power to defeat and crush them. It must dance at their bidding. It must sing its happiest song for them. It must yield its most coveted blessings.

Smiling at life may be resolved into a sunny mental attitude. Can you smile mentally? Mental smiling is very simple. It consists merely in entertaining sunny thoughts. You cannot do this mental smiling very long without having your countenance and whole life wreathed in smiles. Your world will be alive with smiles and everyone who comes to you will greet you with a smile.

Through the Looking Glass | Your World as a Mirror

November 15, 2018
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Listen to episode 318 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Through the Looking Glass | The World as Mirror. Edited and adapted from The Palace of Mirrors and Other Essays by Joseph Frank Thompson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. As I mentioned last week, we have just published our latest book: Evermore: 50 Life Lessons for Spiritual Growth. This is the final book in our trilogy, which began with Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons. While Evermore is available in a beautiful hardcover edition, you can also purchase it as an eBook. And for a limited time, you can do so for the special sale price of only $4.99 — which is 50% off the retail price at bookstores. To purchase you copy today, please visit our website: InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Palace of Mirrors and Other Essays by Joseph Frank Thompson, published in 1911.

The world is full of looking-glasses in which we behold our own reflection. Any given mirror may be cracked or otherwise defective (so that the image fails to do us justice), but, more or less, the thing reflected is the thing that is.

The material world abounds in such mirrors. The summer rain is one thing to the farmer, whose heart glows with satisfaction at the thought of the crops that are being nourished, and quite another to the farmer’s children, who grumble their resentment toward the chores that interfere with their holiday.

The falling snow does not look the same to the boys and girls who expect to go sledding, as it does to the homeless who do not know where they may find shelter for the night. To the thirsty traveler, the oasis in the desert, with its cluster of tiny palms and its lukewarm spring, seems fairer than the grandest of groves and the coolest of fountains do to the one who has no need of shade and drink.

We have all observed how easily children obtain enjoyment from the most trivial circumstance when they are already in a happy mood — and how fruitless our own best efforts to entertain them are, when they do not wish to be entertained. It is the same with ourselves.

We get from our surroundings the reflection of our mood. If it is one of discontent and fretfulness, the weather will always be too warm or too cold, and all the beauty of the sky and landscape will be as if it were not so. On the other hand, if our hearts are filled with hope and cheerfulness, we shall be sensitive to all the delights which nature offers to our senses. We shall be conscious of the grandeur of forests and mountains, the peacefulness of meadows, the fairness and fragrance of flowers, and the songs of birds and brooks — while the trifling discomforts, of which we should otherwise complain, will be only topics for jokes and laughter.

Finding the Springs of Hope & Joy | Art, Artists & Poetry

November 13, 2018
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Listen to episode 317 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Springs of Joy | Art, Artists & Poetry. Edited and adapted from The Springs of Joy by Robert F. Horton.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you are looking to buy a Christmas gift that will be treasured for years to come, and perhaps even passed down through generations, now is the time to purchase one (or all three) of our inspirational books of life lessons. Buy now and you can get 30% off the purchase price by using the coupon code LIVINGHOUR30. Learn more at our website InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Springs of Joy by Robert F. Horton, published in 1915.

There is a higher truth. There is a realm of reality which is lifted above the things perceived by our senses and the experiences of human life. There is a joy and light and music in the waters, which do not rise within the city but come from the eternal hills beyond. It is that kind of everlasting joy which I would like to talk about today.

It must be evident to everyone that we can only maintain joyfulness by living above the actual facts and events of human life. If we are immersed in them (completely immersed), there cannot be perpetual joy. There may be an occasional touch of pleasure. There may even sometimes be rich, transient delights. But human life is so constructed of cares and sufferings and sorrows that (if we are to live completely immersed within it) perpetual joy is impossible.

Very few days can pass for any of us without cares and anxieties, even about the mere way in which we are to live. Complications of business; distractions; intrusions; the worries of the household; a thousand things come pressing in upon us every day and disturb our peace. The apprehension of the future, the anxiety for those we love, things which are perfectly natural and inevitable, will keep care always seated behind us. Therefore, it is evident that joy cannot be perpetual unless it is drawn from a source that is above care.

Now, I hear someone saying, “How is it possible to rejoice if death comes, and those whom we love are taken from us? What possibility is there of joy? Joy cannot be lasting when disease and death are always within reach.” Well, with that being true, it must be perfectly evident that if joy is to be perpetual it must be derived from a source that is also entirely above both death and disease.

But now I hear someone saying that there are also sorrows — sorrows often much keener than cares or physical pains or even bereavements. Sorrows enter into most human lives — hopeless, irreparable sorrows. We miss all we desired; we are disappointed in every plan and scheme; we feel the burden of all this unintelligible world; we listen to the low, sad music of humanity until it seems to move the soul to perpetual tears....

The Success Principles | What You Need to Succeed

November 8, 2018
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Listen to episode 316 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Success Principles | What You Need to Succeed. Edited and adapted from Ready Money by George H. Knox.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I have some important news to announce today. Our new hardcover book Evermore: 50 Life Lessons for Spiritual Growth is now available for purchase. This is the final installment in our trilogy of “Life Lesson” books, which also includes Evergreen and Everest.

To get a 30% discount on all of our books, simply use the coupon code: LIVINGHOUR30. When typing the coupon LIVINGHOUR30 be sure to use all CAPS—that is, all capital letters. To buy your copies today, visit: InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Thank you.

Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from Ready Money by George H. Knox, published in 1905.

I WISH that every person might cultivate in their lives an invincible determination to do and to be. Why shouldn't everyone be a magnificent success? Why shouldn't people discover their great possibilities, and a magnificent personality which can grow and blossom like a beautiful flower? Why shouldn't people take up the study of enthusiasm and make good will, progress, and enterprise part of their law of life?

This great world is big enough, and good enough, and grand enough for every man and woman to succeed in. And it is possible for every person on earth to rise higher and higher in the scale of life until this earth is a perfect paradise.

Think of the desire we may cultivate, and the inspiration which could be ours if we would but appropriate the enthusiasm, the courage, the energy, and the zeal that the great people of every age have left as a blessed heritage to humankind. Think of the glory of putting heart and soul, and inspiration and zeal, into your work, and making it the pride of your life and the admiration of the world.

It's the only way a person can reach their potential, and obtain the blessings that follow. It's the only natural way to live. Think of what it all means! Not simply that you will profit from your work (success means vastly more than profit). It will mean that you have conquered, and have achieved your place in the world. It will mean a greater personality, a greater usefulness, the realization of your hopes, and a heritage you can leave to the world which will encourage future generations of women and men.

Getting Started Upon the Road to Success | Careers

November 6, 2018
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Listen to episode 315 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Getting Started Upon the Road to Success. Edited and adapted from Ready Money by George H. Knox.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Don’t forget that our podcast is also available on YouTube. To subscribe to our YouTube Channel, visit LivingHour.org/youtube. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Ready Money by George H. Knox.

When one thinks of the thousands who have succeeded without even a ghost of a chance, we in this glorious age of progress ought to feel ashamed. My friend, are you discouraged? Do you think your lot is hard? — that times are not like they used to be, or that you have no chance? Let me urge you to stand up in the strength of your own vitality, and resolve with all the power in your being that there will be one more light, one more guide-post, one more successful life; that, if someone has to fail, that someone shall not be you.

There isn't a profession that hasn’t been glorified by someone who at first was no greater than you. I care not what your occupation may be, you can make such a start, and follow that start with such a future, and such a life, that you will have immortalized your name, and made for yourself a monument that will reach the sky.

Don't wait until you are a Napoleon before you begin. You might as well wait until you become a skillful swimmer before going into the water. It's waiting to do something great, or waiting to make up your mind, or waiting to get good and ready, that finds people getting old without a purpose.

All the magnificent conflicts, defeats and victories, and nearly all the preparation, come after the start. The start is the supreme moment — the supreme test of strength.

Thousands are standing on the bank shivering instead of jumping in and becoming warm by their own activity in the water. Thousands never start because they are afraid they can’t make a go of it. Thousands more never start because they don't see ahead to the reward. And thousands never start because they think they haven’t been offered enough for their services.

One reason is as bad as another. What difference does it make to the dead person whether they were killed intentionally or by accident? What difference does it make why one doesn't start if they never do?

Are you disheartened? Are you afraid to make a start for fear that you will fail, and your subsequent condition be worse than your first? Such feelings are common to all successful women and men, for they have all had their misgivings at times. But every person has success within themselves, and to start is to win half the battle. A start toward usefulness is a start that no one has ever yet made in vain. Every person and every genius in all history started before they could actually do the thing. We learn by doing, and we learn in no other way.

The Religion of Every Day Life | Attaining Harmony

November 1, 2018
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Listen to episode 314 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Religion of Every Day Life. Edited and adapted from The Will to be Well by Charles Brodie Patterson.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today by thanking our two newest patrons, Glenn Webb and Gretchen Elizabeth. I’d also like to thank those of you who have reached out to me recently to let me know the positive impact that this podcast has had on your life. If you would like to contact me, you can always do so by sending an email to living (at) livinghour (dot) org. Or you could leave a review at the iTunes Store or Google Play, and I’ll be sure to read it there. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Will to be Well by Charles Brodie Patterson, published in 1906.

To live naturally in any age means to adjust yourself naturally to your environment, and to the requirements of your being. When we live naturally, we live harmoniously. Unnaturalness in any degree creates discord. But God lives in every life — lives fully, unfailingly, despite apparent setbacks.

Nothing can really separate us from God. And by God I mean the great Universal Life that is in us, through us, and above us — the Universal Love that floods our being whenever we are open to it.

We are living in a world where a constant readjustment is required. The demands of today are inadequate for tomorrow. It is through meeting new difficulties that we develop new powers — through overcoming that we grow strong. It is only through the facing and fighting of perplexities and troubles that we come to know life as it really is — that we truly learn the lessons of life.

Each encounter awakens fresh powers of adjustment or resistance — for even resistance has its place at certain times. Everything indeed has its place: the so-called "evil" — the shadows, as well as the good — and the light. There are times when effort — real struggle — is required, and other times when we find genuine good in giving ourselves up to the current.

There is a time, too, for serious consideration of the vital things of life — a time to ask ourselves honestly if we are in a right relationship with things and people — with our daily environment. This adjustment to things and people is the true religion of life. Harmonious adjustment is, indeed, all there is in life.

Wisdom & Destiny | Maurice Maeterlinck | Inspiration

October 30, 2018
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Listen to episode 313 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Wisdom & Destiny. Edited and adapted from Wisdom & Destiny by Maurice Maeterlinck.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. For unique fashion and gifts, don’t forget to check out our website BookofZen.com. Each item includes one of my original sayings inside zen enso circle, and all sales go to support this podcast.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Wisdom & Destiny by Maurice Maeterlinck, published in 1906.

In every age there should be some people who dare to speak, and to think, and to act as though all people were happy — for otherwise, when the day comes for destiny to throw open to all people the garden of the promised land, what happiness shall the others find there, what justice, what beauty or love?

It may be urged, it is true, that it is best, first of all, to consider our most pressing needs, yet this is not always wisest. It is often better to seek, from the start, that which is highest. When the flood waters threaten the home of a farmer in Holland, there is a pressing need to safeguard one’s own cattle and grain; but the wisest farmer races to the top of the dyke, summoning all neighbors, and thus meet the flood, and do battle.

Humanity up to now has been like an invalid tossing and turning on a couch in search of rest. And yet words of genuine consolation have come only from those who spoke as though humanity were freed from all pain. For, as we all were created for health, so were we created for happiness; and to speak of humanity’s misery only (though that misery be everywhere and seem everlasting) is only to say words that fall lightly and soon are forgotten.

Why not speak as though humankind were always on the eve of a great certitude, of a great joy? By doing so, we are led by our finest instincts, though we never may live to behold the long-wished-for tomorrow. It is well to believe, that we need but a little more thought; a little more courage, love, and devotion to life; a little more eagerness; and one day the portals of joy and of truth will be flung wide open.

Let us hope that one day all people will be happy and wise. And though this day may never dawn, to have hoped for it cannot be wrong. Regardless of what may come, it is helpful to speak of happiness to those who are perpetually gloomy — so at least they may learn what happiness means.

The Leadership Challenge | How to Be a Leader

October 25, 2018
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Listen to episode 312 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Leadership Challenge | How to Be a Leader. Edited and adapted from Leadership by George H. Knox.

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Motivational Podcast ExcerptMore men and women should place upon their heads a crown of leadership that will inspire to the impossible. However, that is a headgear that doesn't stay on by itself. If you can reach the sublime heights of leadership, you can wear the crown with ease, but if you shrink from the task before you, it will become a burden that will crush you to the earth.

Leadership is a magic word — a marvelous attainment — but the price you pay for it is tremendous. The splendid thing about it is that the more you pay the more you get. The more you give in, the more you have left. Pay but a small price, and the returns are meagre, but pay the supreme price of leadership, and your reward is genius and immortality.

When a person aspires to leadership, you need to forget some things. You should forget those who envy you, those who would pull you down and trample you under their feet, thereby hoping to gain a foothold for themselves. You must forget that there is such a thing as loafing or lounging or wasting time. If a person has a life of ease, they can have nothing else. If you have this, you can't have that.

You must pay the price of being thorough; of being a master of time, of method, and of concentration. Never, on penalty of your crown of leadership, get to the position where you think you don't need further preparation. Cease to prepare, and you cease to grow. Cease to grow, and you begin to dwindle. When you cease to be better, you cease to be good. You become but a weed in the garden of prosperity.

You must cultivate nerve and enthusiasm and concentration, and a great faith, and a great zeal that passeth understanding. You must cultivate patience and then more patience. Not the patience that idly waits, but the patience that knows that when the best that can be done has been done, if the result doesn't come today, it will tomorrow.