Courtship & Married Life | How to Choose a Life Partner

May 17, 2018
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Listen to episode 266 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Courtship & Married Life | How to Choose a Life Partner. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to begin today by thanking our newest patrons: Sarah Jordan, Michael Lewis, Jeremy Johnson, and Terry Radigan. If you would like to lend us your financial support by becoming a patron, you can do so for as little as $1 a month. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

All the blessedness, all the utility, efficacy, and happiness of the married state, depend upon its truthfulness, or the wisdom of the union. Marriage is not necessarily a blessing. It may be a bitter curse. It may sting like an adder and bite like a serpent. Its bower is as often made of thorns as of roses. It blasts as many sunny expectations as it realizes.

Every improper marriage is a living misery, and undying death. Its bonds are gated bars of frozen iron. It is a spirit prison, cold as the dungeon of ruin. An ill-mated human pair is the most woeful picture of human wretchedness in the book of life; and yet, such pictures are plenty. Every page we turn gives us a view of some such living bondage.

But a proper marriage (a true interior, soul-linked union) is a living picture of blessedness, unrivaled in beauty. A true marriage is the soul's Eden. It is the portal of heaven. It is the visiting-place of angels. It is the charm of a spirit in captivation with all imaginable beauty and loveliness. It is a constant peace-offering that procures a continual Sabbath-day sweetness, rich as the quietude of reposing angels.

A Brahmin Guide for Living a Noble Life | Brahman Wisdom

May 15, 2018
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Listen to episode 265 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Brahmin Guide for Living a Noble Life. Edited and adapted from The Economy of Human Life, translated from an ancient Brahmin manuscript by Robert Dodsley.

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. With high school and university graduations upon us, you may be looking for the perfect graduation gift. Share a lifetime’s worth of wisdom by giving the new graduate our books of timeless inspirational life lessons—available now in both heirloom hardcover and e-book. Purchase your copies today by visiting our website InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Economy of Human Life, translated from an ancient Brahmin Manuscript by Robert Dodsley, published in 1839.

COMMUNE with yourself and consider for what reason you were made. Contemplate your powers, your wants, and your connections — so that you shall discover the duties of life, and be directed in all your ways.

Proceed not to speak or to act before you have weighed your words, and examined the tendency of every step you will take. By doing so, disgrace shall fly far from you, and in your house, shame shall be a stranger; repentance shall not visit you; nor sorrow dwell upon your cheek.

The thoughtless person speaks at random. They are entangled in the foolishness of their own words. They are like the person who runs in haste and leaps over a fence, only to fall into a pit on the other side, which they did not see — for they plunge suddenly into any action, not having considered the consequences.

Hearken therefore unto the voice of Consideration. Her words are the words of wisdom, and her paths shall lead you to truth and safety.

Gautama Buddha | Inspirational Siddhartha Quotes

May 10, 2018
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Listen to episode 264 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Gautama Buddha | Inspirational Quotes. Edited and adapted from words and thoughts attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the generous financial support of listeners like you. Gain access to our exclusive series on spiritual growth by becoming our patron today. Learn more about the series Our Sunday Talks by visiting LivingHour.org/Sunday. Thank you.

Today’s reading has been edited and adapted from words and thoughts attributed to Gautama Buddha.

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

“Three things cannot hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.”

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”

“To insist on a spiritual practice that served you in the past is to carry the raft on your back after you have crossed the river.”

“Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”

“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.”

“‎Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.”

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

"Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.”

“A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

Be of Good Cheer: The Blessings of Cheerfulness | J.R. Miller

May 8, 2018
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Listen to episode 263 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Be of Good Cheer. Edited and adapted from The Blessing of Cheerfulness by J.R. (James Russell) Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Don’t forget that you can listen to fireside chat versions of our podcast on YouTube. We currently have 900 subscribers and I have a goal of breaking the 1000 mark by the end of the month. So, if you would like to lend me your support, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel today by visiting LivingHour.org/youtube. Or simply visit the YouTube website and search for the Inspirational Living podcast. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Blessing of Cheerfulness by James Russell Miller, published in 1895.

There are many ways in which we may bless others. For example, a ministry of helpfulness is a perpetual benediction. One who feeds the hungry, visits and relieves the sick, the poor, and the orphan, and comforts sorrow, is a blessing to the world. One who speaks words that strengthen, inspire, or comfort others, blesses us all. One who uses their money to do good is also a blessing. But can one be a blessing merely by being cheerful?

Yes. Joyful living exerts a silent influence for good. It is like a sweet flower by the wayside, which has a benediction for all who pass by. Everyone carries an atmosphere about them. It may be healthful and invigorating, or it may be unwholesome and depressing. It may make a little spot of the world a sweeter, better, safer place to live in. Or it may make it harder for those to live worthily and beautifully who dwell within its circle. We are responsible for this atmosphere.

Our influence may be involuntary in its final effect. We cannot wholly change it from evil to good on any particular day by a mere volition. It is something that belongs to our personality. It is an emanation from our character; and our character is the growth of all our years, what has been built up in us by all the lessons, experiences, impressions, and influences of life, from childhood.

Hence the atmosphere that hangs about us on any particular day is, in a large degree, involuntary. At the same time we are responsible for it. We are responsible for our character — our own hands have made it what it is. If we have trained ourselves to be discontented and unhappy (so that wherever we go we make others about us less happy), we may not blame heredity, or original sin, or environment, for our unfortunate disposition.

Lift Yourself with Love | The Gentle Heart is Strongest

May 3, 2018
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Listen to episode 262 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Lift Yourself with Love | The Gentle Heart. Edited and adapted from A Gentle Heart by James Russell Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. You can now listen to us, along with other inspirational podcasts and music at Shining Bright Radio. Check out their daily programming by visiting them at ShiningBrightRadio.com. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from A Gentle Heart by James Russell Miller, published in 1896.

Gentleness is a beautiful quality. It is essential to all true character. When a person is harsh, cold, unfeeling, rude, and rough in their manner, no one speaks of their fine spirit. When one is loud-voiced, dictatorial, given to speaking bitter words and doing unkindly things, no person is ever heard saying of them, "What a lovely person they are!" They may have many excellent qualities, and may do much good, but their lack of gentleness mars the beauty of their character.

No person is truly great who is not gentle. Courage and strength and truth and justness are essential elements in a strong character; but if all these be in you and gentleness be wanting, your life is sadly flawed. This world needs nothing more than it needs gentleness. All human hearts hunger for tenderness.

We are made for love — not only to love, but to be loved. Harshness pains us. Ungentleness touches our sensitive spirits as frost touches the flowers. It stunts the growth of all lovely things. We naturally crave gentleness. It is like a genial summer to our life. Beneath its warm, nourishing influence beautiful things in us grow.

There always are many people who have special need of tenderness. We cannot know what secret burdens many are carrying, what hidden griefs burn like fires in the hearts of those with whom we mingle in our common life. Not all grief wears the outward garb of mourning. Sunny faces often times veil heavy hearts. Many people make no audible appeal for sympathy, yet crave tenderness as they bow beneath their burden.

The Poetry of Life | Its Meaning, Beauty & Spirit

May 1, 2018
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Listen to episode 261 of the Inspirational Living podcast, The Poetry of Life | Its Meaning, Beauty & Spirit. Edited and adapted from The Poetry of Life by Bliss Carman.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Support our podcast by shopping at our website BookofZen.com for inspirational t-shirts, hoodies, iPhone cases, and more. Visit BookofZen.com to see our new offerings. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Poetry of Life by Bliss Carman, published in 1905.

"The poetry of life," says the book of St. Kavin, "is the poetry of beauty, sincerity, and elation." And when you think about it, it seems reasonable enough that this should be so — since these are the archangel trio to whose keeping the very sources of life are confided. They are the dispensers of happiness, the bringers of wisdom, the guardians of mystery.

That the poetry of life should be the poetry of beauty seems nearly self-evident. The beauty of the world so outreaches and overcomes all its ugliness — is so much more prevalent and vital and persistent. Therefore, what could be more natural that art (life's replica) should care greatly for it also?

As for its sincerity, the poetry of life need not always be solemn, any more than life itself need always be sober. It may be gay, witty, humorous, satirical, disbelieving, farcical (even broad and reckless), since life is all of these. But it must never be insincere. Insincerity in the world of art is an offense of the first magnitude.

Although insincerity in life may be mean and despicable (and indicate a petty nature), insincerity in art is death. A strong person may lie upon occasion, and make restitution and be forgiven, but for the artist who lies there is hardly any reparation possible. Thus forgiveness is much more difficult.

Being the Master of Your Destiny | Fate & Providence

April 26, 2018
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Listen to episode 260 of the Inspirational Living podcast, Being the Master of Your Destiny. Edited and adapted from The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen, published in 1909.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, creator of The MAJESTY meditation program that employs our unique autosuggestion sound method. Learn how you can replace your negative, self-defeating, thoughts with positive ones by visiting LivingHour.org/majesty. To get 30% off the $11.99 purchase price, use the coupon code: inspiration. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen, published in 1909.

THERE is, and always has been, a widespread belief in Fate, or Destiny — that is, in an eternal and inscrutable Power which apportions definite ends to both individuals and nations. This belief has arisen from long observation of the facts of life.

People are conscious that there are certain occurrences which they cannot control, and are powerless to avert. Birth and death, for instance, are inevitable, and many of the incidents of life appear equally inevitable. Men and women strain every nerve for the attainment of certain ends, and gradually they become conscious of a Power which seems to be not of themselves, which frustrates their puny efforts, and laughs, as it were, at their fruitless striving and struggle.

As we advance in life, we learn to submit, more or less, to this overruling Power which we do not understand, perceiving only its effects in ourselves and the world around us — and we call it by various names, such as God, Providence, Fate, Destiny, etc.

Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, Worry, Fear & Anxiety

April 24, 2018
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Listen to 259 of the Inspirational Living podcast, Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, Worry, Fear & Anxiety. Edited and adapted from Nuggets of New Thought by William Walker Atkinson.

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind support of listeners like you. Learn how you can support the work we do, by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Nuggets of New Thought by William Walker Atkinson, published in 1902.

There is something attractive to me about slang and the pat phrases that are passed along from one to another on the street. Many of these phrases condense in a few words certain practical truths that one could use as the basis for a sermon, an essay, or even a book. They are the practical experiences of the people crystallized in a catchy phrase.

For example, the phrase "Forget it!" seems to me to contain much practical common sense, and if people would put it into practice there would be many more brighter faces — many more lighter hearts. What's the use, anyhow, of carrying around a long face or a heavy heart, just because way back in the past something "went wrong". Even if we "went wrong" ourselves (and most of us have), what's the use? Forget it!

Of course we won’t forget the experiences of the past, and we don’t want to. That's one of the things we are living for — gaining experience. When we have really learned a thing through experience, we never forget it — it is a part of us. But why bother about the memory of the pain, the mortification, the "slip-up," the heartache, the wounded feelings, the misplaced confidence, the thing done in the wrong way, the chance we let slip by, the folly, the sin, the misery, the "might-have-beens," and all the rest. Oh what's the use? Forget it I say; just forget it.

Advice for Young Adults | Life Coach Lessons

April 19, 2018
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Listen to episode 258 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Advice to Young Adults | Life Coach Lessons. Edited and adapted from Increasing Personal Efficiency by Russell H. Conwell.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today by sending a special thanks to all of our patrons. My notebook broke down a few days ago, and I needed to buy a new computer to continue producing this podcast. The financial support from patrons has made the purchase of this new notebook easier for me. So, thank you, again. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Increasing Personal Efficiency by Russell H. Conwell, published in 1917.

A life is divine when duty is a joy. The best work we ever do is the work we get pleasure from doing. And the work we are likeliest to enjoy most is the work we are best fitted to do with our talent.

There is nothing in the world except marriage that we should be slower to take upon ourselves than our life-work; therefore, think much, read much, inquire much before you assume any life career. When you have decided what is best fitted for you, pursue it ceaselessly and courageously, no matter how far distant it may be, how arduous the labor attending it, or how difficult the ascent. The greater the difficulty surmounted, the more you will value your achievement and the greater power you will have for keeping on with your work after you have reached your goal.

Do your utmost to find a friend who is older than you, and consult with them frequently. And give every person your ear, for the humblest in station (and those with little knowledge in certain matters) may see a few things more clearly than others, and may be well stored with what you most require. Take each person's advice, but act according to your own judgment.

Teachers should be the best advisers of those about to enter upon their life-work, and no service of the schoolmaster or professor can ever be more helpful than that of helping a student to choose a career.

How to Become a Great Lover of Life | And of Death

April 17, 2018
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Listen to episode 257 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Become a Great Lover of Life & Death. Edited and adapted from The Key to Health, Wealth & Love by Julia Seton.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The way to get love is to give it, and true love is simply empathy and understanding — when you can take time from your own personal desires and activities to find what another person wants or needs, feeling within yourself the very pangs of their own deep longing, then eagerly, willingly, helping them to get those things which will satisfy their soul and make them bigger and better because of your assistance — you love this person, and by these actions have passed into true love; you love them with the love that heals and binds and blesses.

The way of life is joy, through love and service. We must give and do for others, not alone in our own way, but in the way they can receive and appreciate. No one can ever die alone who has lost his life in the life of humanity, for every bit of your long life of love-giving will come back to you in your closing days, to walk beside you and comfort your farewell to the world. Human love in the form of a loved one is the True personal God.

The Ancients lost the true idea of the personal God, and humankind has forgotten the true teachings. Humanity and its old teachers have only the dead letter left to worship. "God is Love" they say, but they forget to see God reflected in the human form. The personal God has become to them some far-off Majestic being, too high for human touch, and too cold for the warmth of needy lips and clinging caresses.

Today, we must find the personal God in the world of form around us: in the sky, in the sea, the trees, the earth, the flowers, the world of bird songs. All life speaks to us in God's own voice.

Motivation for a Marvelous Life | Inspirational Speeches

April 12, 2018
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Listen to episode 256 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Motivation for a Marvelous Life | Inspirational Speeches. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I'd like to start today with a special thanks to our newest patrons: Ava Michelle, Andrew Schmidt, Zacharia Titus, April Hugie, Zahra Shikara, and Miim D. If you would like to become our patron and get your very own private podcast feed with full transcripts to all of our episodes, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today's reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines and L.W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

Men and women of vision and determination, you are wanted. Turn your steps into the highway of noble aim and earnest work. There are prizes enough for every successful worker, crowns enough for every honorable head that goes through the smoke of conflict to victory.

There is within you an upspringing of lofty sentiment which contributes to your elevation, and though there are obstacles to be surmounted and difficulties to be vanquished, yet with truth for your watch-word, and a drive toward noble purposes and indefatigable action, you may crown your brow with imperishable honors.

Although you may never make an earth-shattering discovery, bring about a great political revolution, be the founder of a republic whose name shall be a "distinguished star in the constellation of nations," (even if your name may never be heard beyond the narrow limits of your own neighborhood), yet your mission is none the less a high and holy one.

In the moral and physical world, the consecrated cause of truth and virtue calls for champions, and the field for doing good is "white unto the harvest;" and if you enlist in its ranks, and your spirit faints not, you may write your name among the stars of heaven. Beautiful lives have blossomed in the darkest places, just as pure white lilies full of fragrance do on the slimy, stagnant waters.

No possession is so productive of real influence as a highly cultivated intellect. Wealth, birth, and official station may (and do) secure to their possessors an external, superficial courtesy; but they never did, and never can, command the reverence of the heart. It is only the men and women of large and noble soul (who blend a cultivated mind with an upright heart) who earn the tribute of deep and genuine respect.

The Art of Healthy Thinking | Food for Thought

April 10, 2018
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Listen to episode 255 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Healthy Thinking | Food for Thought. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Thinkers rise upon us like new stars — a few in a century. The multitude run after them, and eat the crumbs that fall from their table. They follow them by instinct; they adopt their theories and accept their thoughts at sight. Indeed, the majority swallow whole what they eat, wheat or chaff, meat or bone, nut or shell. They do not masticate their mental food; they do not examine the facts they learn; they do not digest their knowledge. If they did we should not have schools of thought, sects, parties, but one grand lyceum of individual thinkers; every one making their own use of their knowledge, forming their own conclusions, and working out their own kind and degree of culture. We read enough to have a generation of philosophers.

Dull thinkers are always led by sharp ones. The keen intellect cuts its way smoothly, gracefully, rapidly; the dull one wears its life out against the simplest problems. To perceive accurately and to think correctly, is the aim of all mental training. Heart and conscience are more than the mere intellect. Yet we cannot tell how much the clear, clean-cut thought, the intellectual vision, sharp and true, may aid even these.

Some say that we never feel until we see, and when the object disappears, the feeling ceases. So we cannot exaggerate the importance of clear, correct thinking. We should eat, drink, sleep, walk, exercise body and mind, to this end. Just so far as we feel, we often make dolts and idiots of ourselves. We cast away our natural armor and defense. The designing make us dupes; we are overreached by the crafty, and trodden under foot by the strong.

Undigested learning is as oppressive as undigested food; and as in the dyspeptic patient, the appetite for food often grows with the inability to digest it — so in the unthinking patient, an overweening desire to know often accompanies the inability to know to any purpose.

Today's podcast is sponsored by the Molekule air purifier, whose breakthru technology is capable of destroying air pollutants at the molecular level ­­-- including allergens, mold, bacteria, and airborn chemicals. Visit them at Molekule.com.

The Little Things Lead to Big Things | Mindfulness

April 5, 2018
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Listen to episode 254 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Little Things Lead to Big Things | Mindfulness. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. For as little as $3 a month, you can get your very own private podcast feed with full transcripts to all of our more than 250 podcasts. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L Haines & L.W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

The little things in life are not to be dismissed. For want of a nail the horseshoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; for want of a horse the rider was lost. Every pea helps to fill the bowl. Little and often fills the purse. Moments are the golden sands of time. Every day is a little life; and our whole life is but a day repeated. Those, therefore, who dare lose a day, are dangerously profligate; those who dare misspend it, desperate.

Springs are little things, but they are sources of large streams. A helm is a little thing, but it governs the course of a ship. Nails and pegs are little things, but they hold parts of large buildings together. Zeros and ones are little things, but without them we would have no computers. A word, a look, a frown, all are little things, but powerful for good or evil. Think of this, and mind the little things. Pay that little debt - its promise redeem.

Little acts are the elements of true greatness. They raise life's value to its highest power. They are tests of character and indifference. They are the straws upon life's mysterious current, and show the current's way. The heart is found inside them. They move on the dial of responsibility. They indicate our destiny. They help to make the immortal woman and man.

It matters not so much where we are as what we are. It is seldom that acts of moral heroism are called for — rather the real heroism of life is to do all its little duties promptly and faithfully.

The Spirit & Power of Perseverance | Success Talks

April 3, 2018
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Listen to episode 253 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Spirit & Power of Perseverance. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: "Continual drops wear out the stone." So persevering labor gains our objectives. Perseverance is the virtue wanted — a lion-hearted purpose of victory. It is this that builds; constructs; accomplishes whatever is great, good, and valuable.

Perseverance built the pyramids on Egypt's plains; erected the gorgeous temple at Jerusalem; enclosed in adamant the Chinese empire; scaled the stormy, cloud-capped Alps; opened a highway through the watery wilderness of the Atlantic; leveled the forests of a new world; and reared in its stead a community of states and nations. It has wrought from the marble block the exquisite creations of genius, painted on the canvas the gorgeous reproductions of nature.

It has put in motion millions of spindles; harnessed a thousand iron steeds to as many a freighted car, and set them flying from town to town and nation to nation; tunneled mountains of granite, and annihilated space with lightning speed. It has whitened the waters of the world with the sails of a hundred nations, navigated every sea and explored every land. It has reduced nature in her thousand forms to as many sciences; taught her laws; prophesied her future movements; measured her untrodden spaces; counted her myriad hosts of worlds, and computed their distances, dimensions, and velocities.

But greater still are the works of perseverance in the world of the mind. What are the productions of science and art compared with the splendid achievements won in the human soul? What is a monument of constructive genius, compared with the living domes of thought, the sparkling temples of virtue, and the rich sanctuaries of Divine contemplation, which perseverance has wrought out and reared in the souls of the enlightened?

Overcoming Grief, Sorrow, and Pain | Finding Faith

March 29, 2018
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Listen to episode 252 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Grief, Sorrow, and Pain | Finding Faith. Edited and adapted from Comfort by Hugh Black.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: THE world is full of men and women who are carrying burdens of work or care or sorrow, and the burden often seems too heavy for them to bear. The sorest part of the trouble is that it appears meaningless, with no evident relation to life. The result is that there is only a dull bending of the neck for the load, or a listless doing of the duty.

Should the burden seem inevitable, it would be something if we could see some useful purpose in it. The apparent aimlessness of pain is more disabling than the pain itself. Life loses its spring, and the world turns grey, when the eye has no larger vision. The greatest need of humanity is a message of good cheer, of heartening for the daily task. But this cannot come by mere well-wishing and the usual surface consolations — patching another’s grief with proverbs.

It can only be by seeing that the whole of life is reasonable and can be made to show some meaning. For great living, we need to believe in the worth of life. In the face of the almost appalling difficulties that confront faith, we are nevertheless driven to meet them to keep life sane.

At the same time, we can hold our central faith in the worth of life, without having a rounded theory to explain the universe. It is enough that we see cause to take heart of our blessings and to be strong and of good courage.

So, the purpose of today’s talk is not to give a speculative solution of the deep problem of pain, but to show a practical way by which a brave soul can gather courage and strength and comfort. It is to note the fruits which the tree of life can be made to bear.

Motivational Life Hacks: Turning Bad News Into Good

March 27, 2018
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Listen to episode 251 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Life Hacks: Turning Bad News Into Good. Edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to begin today by letting you know that you can now listen to our podcast on Spotify. So, if you listen to music on the Spotify app, you could do me a favor by looking us up in search and then clicking on follow. The more people that follow us on Spotify, the more exposure we’ll receive on the platform. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Working with God by Gardner Hunting, published in 1934.

Bad news is what seems to upset us most in our efforts to live a triumphant life. We try to fulfill the conditions of what we think is our destiny, and then we begin to look forward to receiving the fruits of our labors. When the particular thing we hope for does not materialize at the particular time we hope to get it, we get disappointed and disheartened, rebellious or frightened, and in a panic we turn away from our faith and grasp at doubt — as if doubt were a refuge when faith fails!

I knew a man who had a fine job in New York. He was the editor of a large magazine, a position he had always wanted to have; and his salary was better than any other salary he had ever had. He lived in a suburb, had a very comfortable house to live in; and nice furniture, and congenial neighbors, and many interesting friends.

His work was easy, and he loved it. He was popular and looked up to. He had settled into what seemed a satisfactory career, with every evidence that it was permanent. It gave him an opportunity to write for a living, which was the one thing he wanted most to do. His writings were being accepted and paid for at good rates, and published in good papers and magazines. He was a man to be envied, he thought.

Then suddenly, out of a clear sky, one day he received a note from his employer, the publisher, telling him that his services would not be needed after the following week. He was ousted from his comfortable job. His fine salary stopped. He had to give up his comfortable home. He had to move away from his congenial friends and neighbors. He looked upon that note from his employer which began all this change of circumstances as "bad" news — very, very bad news.

The Joys of Gratitude, Hope, Charity & Kindness

March 22, 2018
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Listen to episode 250 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Joys of Gratitude, Hope, Charity & Kindness. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Today is our 250th episode and I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, who have embraced the uplifting message of this podcast and are striving to live up to your highest potential.

A special thanks also to our patrons, as well as those who have reached out with positive reviews on Facebook, iTunes, and Stitcher. It is your generous financial support and kind words of encouragement that will guide us through another 250 episodes and beyond. Thank you again.

Now on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

Gratitude is rightly said to be the mother of most virtues, because from this one fountain so many rivulets arise; such as reverence, friendship, love, charity, and self-sacrifice.

I am reminded of this in the old story about a poor and aged man, who while busy planting and grafting an apple tree, was interrupted by a young passerby, who said: "Why do you plant trees, when you can’t even hope to eat their fruit?" The old man raised himself up, and leaning upon his spade, replied: "Someone planted trees for me before I was born, and I have eaten their fruit; I now plant for others, so that a memorial of my gratitude may exist when I am dead and gone."

Nothing tenders the heart, and opens the gushing fountain of love, more than the exercise of gratitude. Like the showers of spring that cause flowers to rise from seeds that have long lain dormant, tears of gratitude awaken pleasurable sensations unknown to those who have never been forced from the sunshine of prosperity into the cold shade of adversity — where no warmth is felt but that of kindness; no light enjoyed but that of charity.

Anger Management | Avoid the Temper Trap

March 20, 2018
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Listen to episode 249 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Anger Management | Avoid the Temper Trap. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Motivational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you are ready for a brand new start, ready to turn away from the self-defeating habits of the past, our MAJESTY meditation program can help you achieve greater Mindfulness, Abundance, Joy, Equanimity, Strength, and Thankfulness, while regaining your Youthful outlook toward life.

To learn more, go to LivingHour.org/majesty. And use the coupon code “inspiration” for 30% off the $11.99 purchase price. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

Good temper is like a sunny day; it sheds its brightness on everything. No trait of character is more valuable than the possession of good temper. Home can never be made happy without it. It is like flowers springing up in our pathway, reviving and cheering us. Kind words and looks are the outward demonstration; patience and forbearance are the sentinels within.

If a person has a quarrelsome temper, let them alone. The world will soon find them employment. They will soon meet with someone stronger than themselves, who will repay them better than you can. How sweet is the serenity of habitual self-control! How many stinging self-reproaches it spares us!

When do we feel more at ease with ourselves than when we have passed through a sudden and strong provocation without speaking a word, or in undisturbed good humor. When, on the contrary, do we feel deeper humiliation than when we are conscious that anger has made us betray ourselves by word, look, or action? Nervous irritability is the greatest weakness of character. It is the sharp grit which aggravates friction and cuts out the bearings of the entire human machine.

A Golden Age of Change | The Art of Being Human

March 15, 2018
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Listen to episode 248 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Golden Age of Change | The Art of Being Human. Edited and adapted from the essay On Being Human by Woodrow Wilson.

Inspirational Podcasts: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind support of listeners like you. Learn how you can give back to us and lend your financial support by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Or, to make a one-time donation, go to LivingHour.org/donate. Thank you.

Today’s reading is a continuation of Tuesday’s reading, which was edited and adapted from the essay “On Being Human” by Woodrow Wilson, published in 1897.

I have talked with you about the importance of individuality, and being genuine — which leads us now to the question, “How?” By what means is this self-liberation to be effected — this emancipation from affectation and the bondage of being like other people? Is it open to us to choose to be genuine?

I see nothing insurmountable in the way, except for those who are hopelessly lacking in a sense of humor. It depends upon the range and scale of your observation, whether you can strike the balance of genuineness or not. If you live in a small and petty world, you will be subject to its standards; but if you live in a large world, you will see that standards are innumerable — some old, some new, some made by the noble-minded and made to last, some made by the weak-minded and destined to perish, some lasting from age to age, some only from day to day — and that a choice must be made among them.

It is then that your sense of humor will assist you. You are, you will perceive, upon a long journey, and it will seem to you ridiculous to change your life and discipline your instincts to conform with the usages of a single inn by the way. You will distinguish the essentials from the accidents, and deem the accidents something meant for your amusement.

The strongest natures do not need to wait for these slow lessons of observation: their sheer vigor makes it impossible for them to conform to fashion, or care for times and seasons. But the rest of us must cultivate knowledge of the world at large, reaching a comparative point of view, before we can become with steady confidence our own masters and pilots.

On Being Human & Genuine | Woodrow Wilson

March 13, 2018
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Listen to episode 247 of the Inspirational Living podcast: On Being Human & Genuine. Edited and adapted from the essay On Being Human by Woodrow Wilson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, or heroin, our powerful new “break free” meditations can help. To learn more, please visit: LivingHour.org/breakfree. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited an adapted from the essay “On Being Human,” by Woodrow Wilson, published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1897.

It has been said, ironically, that the rarest sort of book is the one to be read, and that knack in style is to write like a human being. It is painfully evident (upon experience) that not many of the books which come teeming from our presses every year are meant to be read.

They are meant, it may be, to be pondered. And it is hoped, no doubt, that they may instruct, or inform, or startle, or arouse, or reform, or provoke, or amuse us. But we read, if we have the true reader’s zest for life, not to grow more knowing, but to be less pent up and bound within a little circle. We wish companionship and renewal of spirit, enrichment of thought and the full adventure of the mind; and we desire fair company, and a larger world in which to find them.

When we say that a book is meant to be read, we mean, for one thing, that it is not meant to be studied. We do not study a good story, or a haunting poem, or a love ballad, or any moving narrative, whether it be out of history or out of fiction — nor any well-reasoned argument, even. We do not have to study these things; they reveal themselves. They remain with us, and will not be forgotten or laid aside. They cling like a personal experience, and become the mind’s intimates.

You devour a book meant to be read, not to fill yourself or because you have an anxious care to be nourished, but because it contains such stuff as it makes the mind hungry to look upon. Neither do you read it to kill time, but to lengthen time — living more abundantly while it lasts, joining another’s life and thought to your own.

Such books are written by genuine human beings, and they possess a special tone and temper — or rather, an uncommon spirit touched with a light that shines clear out of some great source of light which not every person can uncover. We call this spirit human because it moves us; quickens a like life in ourselves; makes us glow with a sort of ardor of self-discovery. It touches the springs of fancy or of action within us, and makes our own life seem more quick and vital.

The Royal Path of Life | Integrity & Character

March 8, 2018
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Listen to episode 246 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Royal Path of Life | Integrity & Character. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patrons: Melissa Pascal, Andres Oropeza, Ceyahnai Kuteh, William Elliott, and Mandy & Steven Ponte. If you would like to become our patron and receive a private podcast feed with full transcripts to every episode, please visit: LivingHour.org/patron.

Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, published in 1882. What you can effect depends on what you are.

You put your whole self into all that you do. If that self be small, petty, and mean, your entire life work is paltry; your words have no force; your influence has no weight. If that self be true and high, pure and kind, vigorous and forceful, your strokes become blows, your notes staccatos, your work massive, your influence strong — you can do what you will.

Whatever your position, you are a power; you are felt as a grand spirit; you are as one having true authority. Character creates confidence in people in every station of life. Character is also capital, and much surer to yield full returns than any other capital — for it is unaffected by panics and failures, and fruitful when all other investments lie dormant.

There are trying and perilous circumstances in life, which show how valuable and important a good character is. It is a sure and strong staff of support, when everything else fails. It is the Acropolis which remains impregnable, imparting security and peace when all the other defenses have been surrendered to the enemy.

The higher walks of life are treacherous and dangerous; the lower full of obstacles and impediments. We can only be secure in either, by maintaining those principles which are just, praiseworthy, and pure — and which inspire bravery in ourselves and confidence in others.

The Wisdom of Hermann Hesse | Thought-Provoking Quotes

March 6, 2018
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Listen to episode 245 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Wisdom of Hermann Hesse | Thought-Provoking Quotes. Edited and adapted from the work of Hermann Hesse.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Become our patron to get your very own private feed to our podcast, plus the exclusive patron-only series Our Sunday Talks. With the private podcast feed, you’ll receive the full transcript of each and every podcast, along with the audio. Learn how you can become our patron at LivingHour.org/patron.

Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from the work of Herman Hesse, the author of such classic works as Siddhartha, the Glass Bead Game, and Steppenwolf.

“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise person attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my soul whispers to me.”

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.”

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go.”

“To hold our tongues when everyone is gossiping, to smile without hostility at people and institutions, to compensate for the shortage of love in the world with more love in small, private matters; to be more faithful in our work, to show greater patience, to forgo the cheap revenge obtainable from mockery and criticism: all these are things we can do.”

The University of Hard Knocks | Lyceum-Chautauqua Lectures

March 1, 2018
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Listen to episode 244 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The University of Hard Knocks | Lifelong Learning. Edited and adapted from a Lyceum-Chautauqua lecture by Ralph Albert Parlette.

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you enjoy our podcast, don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to us on YouTube, and spread the word among your friends. Thank you. Today’s podcast was edited and adapted from The University of Hard Knocks by Ralph Albert Parlette, published in 1916.

NOBODY can give us or buy us an education. We earn it in The University of Hard Knocks. Books and Colleges only give us some tools — some of the best tools in the world. We must use these tools in the School of Service.

It is the Service, the Struggle, the Sacrifice, the Overcoming, the Achievement, that brings us the Knowing, the Understanding, the Success, the Happiness, the Strength, and the Greatness of Life. "You who would be greatest among many, let you become the Greatest Servant" — for Greatness is merely the ability to carry great loads, to serve greatly.

You cannot buy a great arm; you earn it in physical service. You cannot buy a great mind; you earn it in mental service. You cannot buy a great character; you earn it in moral service.

Our philosophy of education is based on the belief that we only know what we have lived. We only understand what we have proven in the laboratories of our experience. We can't get something for nothing. We do not learn from books, we learn from bumps and bruises. We learn in the one great school: The University of Hard Knocks.

9 Helps to Happiness | The Path of Happy People

February 27, 2018
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Listen to episode 243 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Nine Helps to Happiness | Happy People. Adapted from Helps to Happiness by the Reverend N. B. Cooksey.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. This past weekend of Our Sunday Talks was perhaps my favorite episode. I read thoughts from James Allen on the power and wisdom of being silent. It’s a lessons that took me many years to learn myself, but has paid great dividends. To learn more about Our Sunday Talks and how you can gain access, please go to: LivingHour.org/Sunday.

Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from Helps to Happiness by the Reverend N. B. Cooksey, published in 1916.

EVERYONE wishes to be happy. That is one thing upon which all can agree. Unfortunately, much of our effort to become happy is lost, because it is made in the wrong way and happiness is expected where it never can be attained. So, let me share with you 9 helps to happiness, which are guaranteed to set you upon a joyful path in life.

Number 1) AMBITION

One of the world's greatest mistakes is that of supposing that complete happiness can be found in the attainment of some one thing, whereas the helps to happiness are numerous. Women and men are compound beings, possessing physical, intellectual, and spiritual natures, each of which have many wants which must be supplied if we are to be happy. If any one or more of these physical, intellectual, or spiritual needs are not satisfied, we are, to some degree, made unhappy.

Happiness is not one great joy to be found in the attainment of one great aim or purpose in life, but it consists of many things, found in a great many experiences and possessions.

Opportunity Knocks | The World is Your Oyster

February 22, 2018
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Listen to episode 242 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Opportunity Knocks | The World is Your Oyster. Adapted from Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock.

Podcast Excerpt: THE world today is full of opportunities. In business, in art, in literature, in every field of endeavor, the call of opportunity is greater than ever before. To the ambitious, the world presents a rich hunting ground, a wide expanse for fruitful endeavor. But to those who lack knowledge and courage, it seems as a great city, walled in by those more fortunate who have gained entrance to its rewards, through fame, fortune, or influence.

The old adage that opportunity knocks once on every person’s door, is, perhaps, so old that it is now out of date. The saying was undoubtedly intended to exemplify the fact that opportunity actually comes to one less often than it is sought. The fields of endeavor are full of opportunities today, but they are ever playing "hide- and-seek" with the ambitious.

The first step toward any success is the grasping of an opportunity. In speaking of opportunity William Gladstone said: "In some sense, and in some effectual degree, there is in every person the material for good work in the world." In every one of us, there is the God-given germ which may be termed our "capacity for usefulness." In every one of us, this quality is capable of being developed, through proper exercise and nourishment.

Today's podcast was sponsored by Audible.com. To get your free 30 day trial, which includes one free audiobook, go to Audible.com/inspirational. Or text the word inspirational to 500-500.