Albert Einstein: Thoughts on Science, Religion & Life

September 18, 2018
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Listen to episode 301 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Albert Einstein: Thoughts on Science, Religion & Life. Edited and adapted from the writings of Albert Einstein.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you are having trouble sleeping, try our Living Hour sleep meditations, which combine the relaxing sounds of the ocean or rain with a binaural beat track and 50 positive affirmations to send you off into a deep and rejuvenating sleep. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/ocean. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the writings of Albert Einstein.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

“There are only two ways to live your life: one as though nothing is a miracle, and the other as though everything is a miracle.”

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge — for knowledge is limited, while imagination encircles the world.”

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when we contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if we try merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

“Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty. Never regard study as duty but as a wonderful opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty, in the realm of the spirit, for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community — to which your later work belongs.”

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether they are the garbage man or the president of the university.”

The Charm of Civility & The Industrious Personality

September 13, 2018
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Listen to episode 300 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Gaining the Round Above, a Guide to Personal Efficiency by Gustavus S. Kimball.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get access to full trascripts of our podcast delivered right to your smart phone by becoming our patron today, and for as little as $3 a month. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Gaining the Round Above, a Guide to Personal Efficiency, by Gustavus S. Kimball, published in 1918.

Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practiced in our social intercourse, give greater charm to the character than a display of great talent and accomplishment.

There is no better working capital today for an individual seeking their way in the world than civility, for it makes friends and friends you must have. Civility is courtesy and refinement. It is politeness. It is consideration for other people — that is to say, intelligent altruism in small matters.

Much of the charm of a magnetic personality comes from a fine, cultivated manner. One must know exactly what to do, and be able to do just the right thing at the right time. We speak nostalgically of the charm of the old school. The quaint courtesy of men and women of earlier generations had a refining and softening influence upon even the rudest person. Good judgment and common sense are indispensable to those who are trying to acquire this magic power.

Good taste is also one of the elements of personal charm. You cannot offend the tastes of others without hurting their sensibilities. Most of us can manage to forget ourselves enough to observe the ordinary conventions of life. In fact, our very selfishness forbids actual rudeness. But thoughtfulness in little things, the considerate word of "thanks," the general use of the word "please," the giving of a cordial greeting and a gracious smile, the unobtrusive kindness that seeks no return, the gracious deference to age or ill health; these are all apt to be lacking, unless we possess naturally (or have acquired by self-discipline) the forgetfulness of self which makes the real charm of the thoughtful person.

The Two Great Obstacles to Health, Happiness & Success

September 11, 2018
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Listen to episode 299 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Two Great Obstacles of Health & Success. Edited and adapted from Dynamic Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin.

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Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: THERE are two great obstacles along the path to health and success. They are fear and hate. Not only do they bar your path to success, not only do they break down your health, but they also destroy all happiness and peace of mind. They are the most negative of all negative qualities, and give rise to the most negative of thoughts and the most destructive emotions. They break down the fabric of the character, destroy the nervous system, and create disharmony and disturbance which effectually keep success, health, peace of mind, and happiness at a distance.

There has never been a truly great figure in the world's history that has harbored fear. On the contrary, the truly great have always been distinguished by their faith and courage. Great characters, accomplishers of great achievements, the truly successful, know full well that they can only do great deeds, or accomplish mighty purposes, to the extent that they are able to banish fear and hate from their minds and lives.

Fear is the deadly enemy of accomplishment. It paralyzes effort, destroys initiative, and corrodes the mental machinery. Fear and worry go hand in hand, the one produces the other. Worry never yet succeeded in overcoming a difficulty, neither has it ever succeeded in elucidating a problem. All it can do is destroy health, wreck happiness and peace of mind, and make our difficulties more difficult to overcome and our problems less easy to solve.

Fear, worry, care — what a terrible trinity! How destructive they are, what numberless lives they have marred and ruined. Mental gifts, high achievement, a university education, help from friends and relatives, even genius, all are in vain, all are rendered futile, if the mind is allowed to entertain fear. Unless fear is cast out of your life, there can be no success. Entertain fear in your mind and you slam and bolt the door on all achievement; you sound the death knell of your hopes and ambitions.

Concentration and Meditation | Swami Paramananda

September 6, 2018
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Listen to episode 298 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Concentration and Meditation. Edited and adapted from Concentration and Meditation by Swami Paramananda.

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 break free meditations can help. To learn more, please visit LivingHour.org/breakfree.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Concentration and Meditation by Swami Paramananda, published in 1921.

WE all possess the faculty of concentration, but with the majority it is instinctive and automatic, not conscious. Even among the animals, we see how a lion or tiger will gather their strength by a moment of absolute stillness before they spring upon their prey.That automatic, instinctive power of concentration is embedded in every living creature. But until we can gain conscious command over our mental and spiritual forces, we can never have complete concentration.

When the scattered mind is gathered together, it is like a bright searchlight, and by it we are able to investigate the latent powers which we possess, but of which we are not now wholly aware. And as we grow more conscious of these hidden forces and learn to use them, we become more and more proficient with them.

We never wish to be defeated, and yet how often our strength of mind or our physical capacities prove inadequate. It is because we have not the full and conscious possession of our whole being. We cannot achieve much unless we have free use of our hands and feet, free use of our eyes and ears, free use of our muscles, and above all free use of our mind and intelligence. But how many of us have the free use of all these? When we would make use of them, we find them hopelessly scattered and rebellious to our will.

The cause of this does not lie in any inherent lack of power, but in our inability to coordinate, and in our lack of a definite singular purpose. We miss the mark because we do not set our aim properly. Once in ancient India there was a tournament held to test marksmanship in archery. A wooden fish was set up on a high pole and the eye of the fish was the target. One by one, many valiant archers came and tried their skill but in vain.

Before each one shot their arrow, the teacher asked them what they saw, and invariably all replied that they saw a fish on a pole at a great height, with head, eyes, etc.; but Arjuna as he took his aim said: "I see the eye of the fish." — and he was the only one who succeeded in hitting the mark.

C.S. Lewis: Inspirational Quotes & Wisdom

September 4, 2018
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Listen to episode 297 of the Inspirational Living podcast: C.S. Lewis: Inspirational Quotes & Wisdom. Edited and adapted from the works of C.S. Lewis.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living Podcast, brought to you by the kind financial support of listeners like you. To learn how you can become a patron, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the works of C.S. Lewis.

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest… No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond… Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road. In that case, the person who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

“Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a person a more clever devil… The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

“Even in literature and art, no person who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring a whit how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

Getting Out of Our Ruts | How to Live Long & Love It

August 30, 2018
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Listen to episode 296 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Getting Out of Ruts | How to Live Long & Love It. Edited and adapted from The Road to Seventy Years Young by Emily Mulkin Bishop, published in 1909.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Discover how you can begin developing a lasting positive Mindset with our MAJESTY meditation program. Visit LivingHour.org/majesty. And use the coupon code “inspiration” for a 30% discount.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from “The Road to Seventy Years Young or The Unhabitual Way” by Emily Mulkin Bishop, published in 1909.

A kind of mental laziness (which for lack of a better term may be called “an inertia of the will”) is, perhaps, the chief cause of old age. It is easy to dawdle mentally, for no action of will is required when the wheels of thought aimlessly revolve in accustomed grooves. Such come-as-you-please thoughts are practically automatic, the undirected response to some stimulus.

Directed thinking to some definite end (which is the only kind of thinking that makes for the retention of mental vigor) requires effort. If you are going to use your mind, use it with all your heart. A virile will takes the initiative. It is pioneering, daring, and definite. Inertia of the will manifests, instead, in such mental habits as treadmill thinking, mooning about, and vain longings.

During the early part of life, the strong stimuli afforded by school and college, study and sports, by the first few years of aggressive business and professional life, are sufficient to keep the brain quite generally active. But as time goes by, the early stimuli no longer stimulate. The result is that the average person of forty years thinks and feels principally in ruts — and thoughts and emotions control their acts.

It is well, occasionally, to take an inventory of our stock of ideas, of our staple lines of thought, and to close out those that have become "dead stock." To make room for the new, out must go the old prejudices, the antiquated ideas, the old business methods. True, this is setting a task that is difficult for some people. But what matter does it make, if growth follows.

Now, it may seem like we are losing a part of our very selves to give up certain long cherished ideas — for our opinions and habits of thought are very intimately associated with our identity. But if our mental furnishings have become shabby, no matter what their associations, they must be discarded. As it’s been said, "Angels must go, that archangels may come."

How to Break Bad Habits | Character Building

August 28, 2018
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Listen to episode 295 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Break Bad Habits | Character Building. Edited and adapted from the book Within You is the Power by Henry Thomas Hamblin.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to by the generous financial support of listeners like you. If you would like to give back to our podcast in the way of a donation, please visit LivingHour.org/donate. Your donation will help ensure the continuation of our podcast for years to come. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Within You is the Power by Henry Thomas Hamblin, published in 1920.

Character building is the greatest object in life. It has been said that character is the only thing we can take with us when we depart this life. That is perfectly true, therefore the object of all religion, mental training, and spiritual development should be the building of character.

A religion that does not build up character is worthless. Those who think that they can slide through life, who make no effort to improve their character, and through believing in a certain creed can miraculously become perfect, simply by dying, are deceiving themselves.

We do not become "perfect" — that is, a person of strong and perfect character — either by believing in a creed or through dying, but by attainment. God helps those who help themselves, and those people who will not strive after better things cut themselves off from all the great and wonderful possibilities of spiritual attainment.

Before, however, thinking about such lofty things as entering the Path of Attainment — and modeling ourselves after the Divine Image — the average person may wish to know how to overcome those bad habits and weaknesses of character which are keeping you down in life, and, possibly, undermining your health.

Most people are conscious of some wrong habits that ought to be overcome, and weaknesses of character which should be eradicated. Possibly they have fought against their habits or weaknesses for years, prayed until they are tired of praying, made innumerable attempts at turning over a new leaf, yet all in vain — for they are as firmly struggling as ever.

A Parable of Life & Achievement | Self-Growth for Success

August 23, 2018
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Listen to episode 294 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Parable of Life & Achievement. Edited and adapted from It’s Up to You! by Ralph Parlette.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you feel inspired, do tell your friends about us. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from It's up to you! by Ralph Parlette, published in 1918.

I would like you to close your eyes for a moment. Now, imagine that I hold in my hand a glass jar containing little white beans and big black walnuts. I mix them all up. Then I shake the jar. They un-mix. The walnuts go to the top and the little beans go to the bottom.

That always happens. You have seen it happening all your life, all around you, in a thousand different ways. But have you really seen it? Have you ever noticed how many times we have to see a thing before we really see it? Why don’t you try it yourself?

Get a jar, a box, or a bucket, and put into it pebbles, marbles, blocks, or any different-sized things of about the same specific gravity. Mix them in any way, and then shake. Note how more perfectly than human hands can sort them, they will sort themselves just by the shaking. Each object finds its place according to its size.

The littlest ones get on the bottom, the next larger a little higher, the next larger a little higher, and the largest will shake to the top. When they shake into their place they stay there. Go on shaking, but they won't change — the biggest will stay on the top and the littlest on the bottom.

Now, suppose these objects in the jar could talk. Do you see that littlest bean in the bottom? I think if he could talk, he would say, “Help, Help! Help me up. Here I am in the bottom and so unfortunate and low down. I never had a chance like them big ones up at the top. Help me up!”

I say, “Yes, Little Bean, I'll help you. Cheer up and hold tight, for I am going to boost you.” And you see, I will get him clear to the top.

There, you see him up on the top. But the jar shakes. And back to the bottom shakes Little Bean, right where he was before I boosted him. I hear him say, “Hey, I slipped! You try that over again, put me back to the top and I'll stick there.”

“All right, Little Bean, I'll put you back to the top.” So I put him back on top. But he cannot stay on top. I shake the jar, and he shakes right down to the bottom. I can put him up a thousand times, and he will shake right back to the bottom. Why? You know why. I increase his altitude without increasing his dimensions, and he thus reduces to his lowest position!

Know Thyself & The Meaning of Success | Life Skills

August 21, 2018
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Listen to episode 293 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Know Thyself & The Meaning of Success. Edited and adapted from Gaining the Round Above by Gustavus S. Kimball.

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Motivational Podcast Excerpt: During a conversation with a learned and distinguished professor, the question was asked, “What would you do if you had your life to live over?” His reply was: ''First, I would be a better man. Second, I would know more and study more carefully to know my own capabilities. And third, I would cultivate public speaking."

Without underestimating the force of the first or third answers, the second one should be uppermost in the mind of every person who is busy making a career for themselves. It is a great day in our lives when we begin to discover our capabilities and what it is possible for us to achieve. It is often true that we have latent capacities greater than we suspect, and which often lie dormant until some sudden awakening reveals them to us — therefore, every person should study to know themselves and what they are best adapted for in life.

You should take stock of yourself, as it were, for a knowledge of your limitations and possibilities is worth much to you. You must, in a sense, interpret and judge your own capacities from a study of the lives of other people. History is full of records of men and women who discovered somewhat their own capacity. But history has yet to record the individual who fully discovered all they might have been.

Remember that every person in this world is created differently from every other, and the success which some people achieve does not appeal to all alike. The success of some, means nothing to others. The interpretation of life's meaning and vocation reveals itself to you in what you enjoy: the books you read, the company you keep — to where your tastes lead you. Hence these should not be overlooked in selecting an occupation, and in deciding what your life work should be.

While there are many notable examples on record of people, with strong minds, who have shown their natural aptitude very early in life, most of us require years of waiting to discover our bent. The first years of every person's adult life are years of education. Doors do not open to us until we are prepared to enter them — for really we are only valuable, in the best sense, to the business world, to the community about us, when we have grasped life's full meaning and have gained poise of character, power, and self-control. Every person should thus find out from their interests for what they are best adapted, what they desire to do — and then do it with the bravery and enthusiasm which belongs to the bold.

The History & Purpose of Education | Henry Van Dyke

August 16, 2018
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Listen to episode 292 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The History & Purpose of Education | Henry Van Dyke. Edited and adapted from The School of Life.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you have been enjoying our podcast, we would be much obliged if you could help us spread the word by sharing one of our podcasts on your Facebook page, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Or the old-fashioned way of mentioning us to your friends when hanging out together. Thanks in advance.

Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from “The School of Life” by Henry Van Dyke, published in 1905.

Life itself is the great school. Facts are teachers. Experiences are lessons. Friends are guides. Work is a master. Love is an interpreter. Teaching itself is a method of learning. Joy carries a divining rod and discovers fountains. Sorrow is an astronomer and shows us the stars. What I have lived I really know, and what I really know I partly own; and so beginning with what I know and what I own, I move through my curriculum, elective and required, gaining nothing but what I learn, at once instructed by every duty and every pleasure.

It is a mistake to say, "Today education ends, tomorrow life begins." The process is continuous: the idea turns into the thought, the thought into the action, the action into the character. When the mulberry seed falls into the ground and germinates, it begins to be transformed into silk. This view of life as a process of education was held by the Greeks and the Hebrews — the two races in whose deep hearts the stream of Western progress takes its rise, the two great races whose energy of spirit and strength of self-restraint have kept the modern world afloat.

For the Greeks, the dominant idea was the unfolding of reason, the clarifying of the powers of thought and imagination. The ideal person was one who saw things as they are, and understood their nature, and felt beauty, and followed truth....

William Shakespeare | Quotes & Wisdom | Plays

August 14, 2018
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Listen to episode 291 of the Inspirational Living podcast: William Shakespeare | Quotes & Wisdom | Plays. Edited and adapted from the works of Shakespeare.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. To get our podcast in fireside chat form, which you can pull up on your smart TV, subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Visit LivingHour.org/youtube. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the works of William Shakespeare.

“The fool thinks they are wise, but the wise person knows themselves to be a fool. Modest doubt is the beacon of the wise. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.”

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. Notice how far the little candle throws its beams! So shines a good and kind deed in this weary world.”

“There are some who say that to love thyself is a sin, but it is not so great a one as to neglect thyself.”

“Virtue is bold, goodness is never fearful — while no legacy is so rich as honesty. To be an honest friend, as this world goes, is like one picked out of ten thousand.”

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them. But all know this: to do a great right, we must often do a little wrong.”

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is the winged Cupid painted blind. They who do not love are those who do not show their love.”

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. It is not the stars that hold our destiny, but ourselves.”

“Cowards die many times before their deaths. But the valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that people should fear death, seeing that death is a necessary end, and will come when it comes.”

The Law of Attraction | Truth vs. Nonsense

August 9, 2018
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Listen to episode 290 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Law of Attraction | Truth vs. Nonsense. Adapted from the book Dynamic Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin, published in 1914.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to James Allan for becoming our newest monthly patron. If you would like to join James in becoming a patron, you can do so for a little a dollar month. To learn more about the special rewards our patrons receive, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Dynamic Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin, published in 1914.

There has been a lot of nonsense written and spoken about the Law of Attraction. People have been taught that all they need to do is to adopt a certain mental attitude, think thoughts of success and abundance, and then sit and wait for the abundance of all good things to drop from the skies at their feet. The folly of it is seen when we find that these teachers of "abundance" and "opulence" have to work for a living — by teaching the very thing which, if true, would save them from all the necessity of working.

Suppose that it were true; then what is possible for one would be possible for all, and if all adopted this method of getting a living, then who would till the soil or make our clothes? Would everything we need come from the skies? Even if this were true (and we could draw all that we needed by the power of thought from the blue vault of heaven), then no one would have anything to do; life would become stagnant; and the race would perish from inaction.

Life IS action — and if a person ceases to work, they at once begin to disintegrate, and soon require six feet of earth wherein to cover their bones. When business people retire they often quickly die, and those who (being born with riches) have no necessity to work for a living, STILL have to find some kind of work and interest, in order to prevent themselves from mental and physical decay.

There is no such thing as getting something for nothing. The principle of the "square deal" runs right through life and the Universe. A business person who tries to get something for nothing — who, in other words, fails to give value for money — finally finds themselves without a customer.

Overcoming Troubles & Difficulties | Henry Thomas Hamblin

August 7, 2018
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Listen to episode 289 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Troubles & Difficulties. Adapted from the book The Power of Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or to leave us a review at the iTunes store. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Power of Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin, published in 1924.

WHY is thinking right thoughts so important? It’s important because it influences our actions. It’s important because it builds up character and a steadfast mind. It’s important because upon it our well-being and the success of our whole life depend. It’s important because it is by right thought that we can overcome harmful suggestion.

First of all, we have to realize that thought is the cause of our actions and decisions. It is largely because of this that our circumstances depend upon our thoughts. If, for instance, we do not overcome life's difficulties in our thoughts, then we can never overcome them in actual experience. By this I mean that our difficulties must be boldly met and conquered in thought, if ever we are to hope to overcome them in reality.

In a way, it is good advice to tell people not to dwell upon their woes but to think of pleasant things instead — however, it is liable to lead to a habit of thought almost as destructive as brooding over trouble. This negative application of what is meant to be good advice is responsible for the failure of those who say, “I have tried right- thinking, but it makes no difference.” The reason “it makes no difference” is that it is not right-thinking at all, but actually a form of wrong-thinking.

Such people say, “I never indulge in wrong thoughts about my troubles. I refuse to think about them.” Just so, and it is there where the whole trouble lies. Instead of life's troubles being met boldly and conquered in thought, they run away from them. As soon as the mind comes up against an unpleasant thought — the thought of an irksome duty that must be done or of a crisis that must be faced, or of a difficulty that has to be overcome — the mind dodges it and moves on to something more pleasant.

Fate vs. Free Will | Defying Astrology & Circumstance

August 2, 2018
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Listen to episode 288 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Fate vs. Free Will | Defying Astrology & Circumstance. Adapted from the book Within You is the Power by Henry Thomas Hamblin, published in 1920.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get notified of new episodes each week by subscribing to us at the iTunes store, Google Play, or your favorite podcast player. And if you have a spare moment, please do leave us a review. I always enjoy hearing from listeners who have been helped by our podcast. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Within You is the Power by Henry Thomas Hamblin, published in 1920.

Great has been the controversy in the past, over the vexing subject of fate versus free-will. On the one hand, fatalists claim that we are so closely bound to the wheel of fate it is impossible for us to live our lives in any different way than that which is mapped out for us. They can bring a quantity of first-class evidence in support of their claim and believe in their theory with all their heart. On the other hand, the advocates of free-will believe just as whole-heartedly that we are not bound at all, being as free as air. They, too, can bring plenty of evidence in support of their theory, which confirms to them in their belief.

Each school of thought thinks that the other is wrong, yet they cannot both be wrong! Let us therefore examine the subject for ourselves, for it is an important one, being intimately connected with the manner in which we live our lives. First of all, let it be said that they are both wrong, in part, and both right, in part. Humanity is bound to the wheel, yet, at the same time, we have free-will. Let us, therefore, explain this seeming paradox.

It is an ancient truth of mystical teaching that the human being, when it is unevolved and before it is "unfolded," is bound to the wheel of fate very closely. The unevolved human being follows its base desires, thus creating for itself a future from which it cannot escape. When however, we become more evolved and emancipated, we begins to resist following our base desires and strive, instead, to follow higher things. This creates for us a better future and thus we become free in comparison with our former slave state.

We are a slave to fate as long as we are a slave to our base desires. We are, however, free to overcome lower things and thus rise to higher. When we do this, we cease to create a painful future for ourselves and thus become free.

The Art of Life & Living | Ella Wheeler Wilcox

July 31, 2018
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Listen to episode 287 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Life. Adapted from the book The Art of Being Alive by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Today I would like to reach back a couple years to one of our earliest podcasts, and one of my personal favorites. It’s a reading from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, and an essay that is included in our book Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons. You can purchase Evergreen now in e-book and get our 2nd book Everest: 50 Motivational Life Lessons for free. To buy your copy, please visit InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Thank you.

LIFE means action, from the cradle to the grave. There are limitless possibilities in this life to bring into realization whatever hopes or aspirations we desire. If we only but begin…

There is no such thing as inaction during this life. We are continually going forward or backward. You are either stronger or weaker this year than you were last year. You are braver or more cowardly. You are more hopeful or more pessimistic. You are more capable mentally or less so. You have better or poorer command of your forces. You have more efficiency or not as much. You are nearer your goal or farther from it. You are a better human being or not as good. Next year at this time, you will be farther onward or farther backward.

Every thought, every word, and every act of each day is chiseling out the statue you are making of yourself. If you desire to be an expression of the universe’s finest handiwork, you must work with care. Delicate tools are these thoughts of ours, and they must be used with caution.

Every morning say to yourself: "Today I will think of whatever is beautiful, strong, noble, wholesome, and worthy. I will entertain hope, courage, reverence, gratitude, and love as the guests of my heart. I will make thoughts of health at ease in the guest-chamber of my mind, so disease may not enter. I will achieve something worthwhile in my chosen field of endeavor. I will work faithfully, but I will find time to sit alone with thoughts of the universe for a little while, and no worldly ambition or anxiety shall intrude upon that time."

Building Foundations for a Life Worthwhile | Motivational

July 26, 2018
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Listen to episode 286 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Building Foundations for a Life Worthwhile. Edited and adapted from The Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind financial support of listeners like you. To become our patron for as little as a dollar a month, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes, published in 1918.

Personality is the sum of what you are. Personality means character— plus. Many persons have a good character, but a personality signifies something other than honesty, truthfulness, industry, and the like. It embodies all these and something more. Personality implies pleasing, winning ways, graciousness, heartiness, enthusiasm, magnetism.

To have a gracious personality we must cultivate graciousness. To have a personality that radiates the right qualities, we must possess the right qualities. We cannot wear the right kind of personality and be the wrong kind of person. We may indeed have brilliant talents and un-selfish natures, and yet fail to cultivate or exhibit the kind of personality that inspires love and admiration.

Personality may be defined as the right kind of character in the right kind of wrapper. The workshop, the office, the university, and the world have no dearth of men and women of education: people of technical skill, professionals of full-measure ability. But there is a dearth of people possessing these qualifications plus personality. And what the workshop, the office, the classroom and the world needs is just such women and men. It is worthwhile striving to become one of them.

A friend of mine once sent me a series of 11 words as his “Key to Success.” You will notice that the initial letters of each word spell Personality. They are: Persistence, Enthusiasm, Respectful, Systematic, Original, Natural, Alert, Loyal, Imaginative, Truthful, and Youthful. If you want to build up a strong, enduring worthwhile life, you must lay the right kind of foundations such as these.

Success Through Self-Reliance | How to Succeed

July 24, 2018
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Listen to episode 285 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Success Through Self-Reliance | How to Succeed. Edited and adapted from The Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. We’ve had such a positive response to our MAJESTY meditation and e-books promotion that I’ve decided to extend the special until the end of the month. To get our Majesty meditation, plus the e-book Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons, plus the e-book Everest: 50 Motivational Life Lessons, all for the one low price of $9.99, please visit LivingHour.org/majesty. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Keys to Success by B. C. Forbes, published in 1918.

Without self-reliance no one can succeed in the largest way. Self-reliance breeds courage, faith, determination, never-say-dieness. Self-reliance inspires a person to do the best that is in them. Without self-reliance, the difficulties that are common to forging ahead cannot be fought and overmatched.

Self-reliance is a well-spring of hope and inspiration and courage. It strengthens the will, the brain, the arm. It is as a strong pole by which you can vault over obstacles. Lose self-reliance, and you become weak, wobbly, vacillating. You balk at even the shadow of difficulty. Admit the danger of defeat, and you are already half defeated.

Archimedes is credited with the declaration: "Give me a lever of sufficient length and a fulcrum to rest it upon, and I would move the world." Our modern Archimedes sets about making the needed lever and fulcrum. They do not wait to have something handed to them: they go after it, and either finds it or makes it.

If you have no faith, no reliance in yourself, how can you expect others to place faith or reliance in you? Aim high and you may hit high. Aim low and you are little likely to hit high. Don't be a Uriah Heep. Strive rather to cultivate something of the Napoleonic mind — Napoleon not only had self-faith, but he inspired among others such confidence that his presence at a battle was accounted to be worth a hundred thousand men.

The Secret of Harmonious Living | Inspirational Life Hacks

July 19, 2018
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Listen to episode 284 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Secret of Harmonious Living | Life Hacks. Edited and adapted from Success Through Thought Habit by Benjamin Johnson.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Occasionally people feel that study of the best gurus will give them what they need, and they seek wildly for the self-development books they think may help them. One such person, who had read many pages of good advice but had failed to improve, went to one of the greatest teachers in the self-help field and said, "I have spent days and weeks fighting against of all sorts of bad habits and I have resisted temptation as hard as I can, but I still find it harder all the time to be better.

The teacher smiled and said, "The reason for your trouble is very clear; you really have been thinking so much of what you wanted to avoid that you have been concentrating on your bad habits rather than your good ones. Now, for a time, just stop weeding your mental garden and affirm Harmony as hard as you can." "But," objected the young person, "what can I study that will help me?" And the teacher replied, "Study Harmony. Eat it, think it, drink it, sing it, breathe it, whistle it---fill your mind with it the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. And, last but not least, demonstrate it in every action."

Friends who watched this young person’s progress spoke of it as remarkable, and that the person’s ability became phenomenal, with a smile that was the most winning they had ever known. When this individual became one of the most successful business people in the town, many called the person lucky--for they did not know of the many hours and days and weeks that this person had spent cultivating the Harmony Habit from which they were now but reaping the reward.

Integrity & Self-Respect | Building Your Personal Brand

July 17, 2018
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Listen to episode 283 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Integrity & Self-Respect | Building Your Personal Brand. Edited and adapted from The Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind financial support of listeners like you. Learn how you can support our podcast for as little as a dollar a month by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes, published in 1918.

A person may lose their earthly all, yet if they retain their self-respect, they can still be rich in the things that count, the things that endure, the things worthwhile. The individual who loses their self-respect (though they may have millions) is poor indeed, a bankrupt, a failure.

Self-respect is one of the basic ingredients that go to make success. If we lose respect for ourselves, we will sooner or later lose the respect of others. Self-respect is not pride. It is not haughtiness. It is that hard-to-define "something" which prevents us from stooping to meanness, pettiness, harshness, bossiness; which resents every form of unfairness; which rebels against injustice; which compels us to have scrupulous regard for the rights and feelings of others.

The self-respecting person cannot flout the self-respect of others, cannot do unto others what they would resent having done to themselves — for they who wound the self-respect of another thereby mar and scar their own self-respect.

But self-respect is not a quality apart. It is not a flower that can be cultivated in a garden overgrown with weeds. It is a virtue that can flourish only in the company of other virtues. The person who cheats, the one whose business is not run honestly, the person whose daily object is to get the better of others, cannot retain the true brand of self-respect.

Such people may strive to convince others — they may even try to delude themselves — that they are entitled to self-respect, and they may, and probably will, demand that others, particularly their subordinates, show them scrupulous "respect" (for those who pose are the greatest sticklers for insisting upon being shown deference). But at heart they will know, or at least suspect, that they are bluffing, that their character does not ring true, that they are not worthy of being shown the respect which they demand of those they lead.

Make Your Life Count | Motivational Speeches

July 12, 2018
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Listen to episode 282 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Make Your Life Count | Motivational Speeches. Edited and adapted from “Ambition and Success” by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you are a regular listener of this podcast, you’ve probably heard me mention our MAJESTY meditation program. If you’ve thought about purchasing the meditation, but have yet to do so — now is the time to finally give the program a try. To celebrate my birthday tomorrow, I am now offering the MAJESTY meditation + our e-book Evergreen (50 Inspirational Life Lessons) + our e-book Everest (50 Motivational Life Lessons) all for the one low price of $9.99.

In other words, you’re getting $20 worth of free e-books with your purchase of the MAJESTY meditation. To take advantage of this limited-time special offer and begin building a fresh, new positive mindset, visit LivingHour.org/Majesty. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Ambition and Success, by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1919.

Everywhere we see men and women doing the lower, the commoner things, seemingly satisfied to do them all their lives, when they have the ability to do the higher. Many people do not start out with ambition enough to spur them to do big things. They make a large career practically impossible at the very outset, because they expect so little of themselves. They have a narrow, stingy view of life and of themselves which limits their ambition to a little, rutty, repetitive groove.

If I could give you but one word of advice, it would be that which Michelangelo wrote under a diminutive figure on a canvas in Raphael’s studio, when he called on the artist and found him out: “Amplius” (which is the Latin word for “larger”). Raphael needed no more advice. This one word meant volumes to him.

I advise every one of you to frame this motto, hang it up in your room, in your store, in your office, in the factory where you work, where it will stare at you in the face. Constant contemplation of it will make your life broader and deeper. A fine ambition will steady your life. It will hold you to your task; keep you from yielding to the hundred temptations that might ruin you.

What chaos there would be but for a person’s ambition to get up and get on in the world and to improve their condition. Nothing so strengthens the mind and enlarges the horizon of achievement as a constant effort to measure up to a worthy ambition. It stretches the thought, as it were, to a larger measure, and directs the life to finer things.

Health & Success Through Will Power | Motivation Essays

July 10, 2018
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Listen to episode 281 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Health & Success Through Will Power. Edited and adapted from “How to Develop Your Will Power” by Clare Tree Major.

Motivational Podcasts: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Last week I announced the release of our Ocean Sounds Sleep Meditation with Positive Affirmations. We now have added a variation of that meditation, with gentle rain replacing the ocean sounds — giving you two different meditation sounds to choose from. Pick up your copy for the special sale price of $4.99, by visiting LivingHour.org/ocean. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major, published in 1920.

THE human Will may be termed your power to direct your own actions. You are the master of your own destiny when you yourself, the Self, holds the reins.

However, you have three forces to conquer — three forces which must serve you or destroy you. You must control your physical, emotional, and mental attributes. These are your tools, the forces with which you must work to draw from the world the experience you need to make your life complete. Now, what these experiences may be, each person will decide for themselves, but there is but one driving force, the controlling Will.

As a child, the tremendous soul which the world knew as Theodore Roosevelt found itself in a frail, delicate body absolutely incapable of demonstrating the characteristics of its owner. But this same soul refused to inhabit a frail, delicate body as a man, and by sheer persistent will power, built up for itself a physical personality so superior to that of the average man that to mention Roosevelt’s name brings to mind immediately a physical magnetism and power so dominating as to seem a fitting representation of the great man that he proved himself to be.

Roosevelt radiated energy, the energy of dominant WILL. You should think of Will as a force in itself — as really nothing but a force. It is pure energy. It does not choose your way of life (your reason, or intellect, does that). It does not desire things (your inclinations, or preferences, present to your mind for choice the things which cause desire).

Your Will is purely the energy which you use to make these selected desires become your own property. It is the power which the Self (you) sets in motion to obtain that which your intellect and desire approve as the thing you should have.

Positive Affirmations | Ocean Sounds Sleep Meditation

July 5, 2018
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Listen to episode 280 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Positive Affirmations | Ocean Sounds Sleep Meditation. Edited and adapted from Peace, Power & Plenty by Orison Swett Marden.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. For the past several months, a number of listeners have reached out, asking if we could put together a sleep meditation with positive affirmations. I’m happy to announce that this new meditation is now available.

The recording includes soothing ocean waves that I recorded off the Gulf of Siam, and a soft binaural beat track to enhance the mind’s receptivity of the affirmations — all of which will help usher you into a deep, restful sleep, while encouraging creative dreaming to solve problems, inspire new ideas, and build a positive mindset.

We are offering the new meditation for the special sale price of only $4.99. But that promotional price will only be offered for a limited time. Get your copy of the meditation today by visiting LivingHour.org/ocean. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Peace, Power, and Plenty by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1909.

The miracles of civilization have been performed by men and women of great self-confidence, people who had unwavering faith in their power to accomplish the tasks they undertook. The human race would be centuries behind what it is today had it not been for their grit, their determination, their persistence in finding and making real the thing they believed in, and which the world often denounced as chimerical or impossible.

There is no law by which you can achieve success in anything, without expecting it, demanding it, assuming it. There must be a strong, firm self-faith first, or the thing will never come. There is no room for chance in God's world of system and supreme order.

Everything must have not only a cause, but a sufficient cause — a cause as large as the result. A stream cannot rise higher than its source. A great success must have a great source in expectation, in self-confidence, and in persistent endeavor to attain it. No matter how great the ability, how large the genius, or how splendid the education, the achievement will never rise higher than the confidence.

You can if who think you can, and you can't if you think you can't. This is an inexorable, indisputable law. It does not matter what other people think of you, of your plans, or of your aims. No matter if they call you a visionary, a crank, or a dreamer, you must believe in yourself.

Rules of Civility & Civil Discourse | George Washington

July 3, 2018
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Listen to episode 279 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Rules of Civility & Civil Discourse. Edited and adapted from the writings of George Washington.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today with a special thank you our newest patrons: Kevin Steele, Javier Rivera, Martin Nyoike, and Jacob McWherter. If you would like to help support our podcast and get access to free transcripts and the series Our Sunday Talks, visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior, which was written by a 16 year old George Washington, and believed to be based on rules of behavior composed by the French Jesuits in 1595.

Play not the Peacock, looking everywhere about you, to See if people are noticing your dress or virtues.

Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy. And in all situations where Passions run hot, seek to cool and govern them with Reason.

When a person does their Best and fails, do not Criticize them. Do not Blame them for trying.

When you must give Advice or Criticism, consider the timing, and whether it should be given in public or private. Also consider the Manner in which you give it. Above all be gentle.

If you are Corrected, take the correction without Argument. If you are Wrongly judged, correct it later.

Take all Admonitions thankfully at the Time or Place they are given. If the Warning proves Unwarranted, choose a later, more convenient Time, to let the person know.

Do not Make Fun of anything that is Important to others. If you say anything Witty or Humorous, refrain from Laughing at your own joke.

If you Criticize someone else of something, make sure you are not Guilty of it yourself. Actions speak louder than words.

Use no Disparaging Language against anyone, nor ever Curse or Revile them.

Do not be quick to believe Bad Reports about other people.

Do not show yourself glad at the Misfortune of another person, even if they are your Enemy.

Do not go where you are not Wanted. Give not Advice without being Asked; and when desired, do it briefly.

The Soul of a River | Inspirational Nature Essays

June 28, 2018
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Listen to episode 278 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Soul of a River. Edited and adapted from “Little Rivers” by Henry van Dyke.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get the best of our podcast in hardcover or e-book by visiting our book website InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the book “Little Rivers” by Henry van Dyke, published in 1895.

A river is the most human of all inanimate things — and the one most capable of offering companionship. It has a life, a character, a voice of its own, and is as full of good fellowship as a sugar-maple is of sap. It can talk in various tones, loud or low — and of many subjects, grave and joyful.

Under favorable circumstances, it will even sing — not in a fashion that can be reduced to notes and set down on a sheet of paper, but in a vague, refreshing manner, and to a wandering air that goes: "Over the hills and far away…"

For real company and friendship, there is nothing outside of the animal kingdom that is comparable to a river. I will admit that a very good case can be made in favor of some other objects of Nature. For example, a fair argument has been made by those who have fallen in love with the sea. But that is a formless and disquieting passion. It lacks solid comfort and mutual confidence. The sea is too big for loving, and too uncertain. It will not fit into our thoughts. It has no personality, because it has so many. It is, in many ways, a salty abstraction.

There is also a love for the Mountains, which is more satisfying because they are more individual. It is possible to feel a very strong attachment for a certain mountain range whose outline has grown familiar to our eyes — or a clear peak that has looked down, day after day, upon our joys and sorrows, moderating our passions with its calm aspect. We come back from our travels, and the sight of a well-known mountain is like meeting an old friend unchanged. But it is a one-sided affection. The mountain is voiceless and self-possessed. And its very loftiness and serenity sometimes make us the more lonely.

How to Cultivate Courage | Mastering Fear & Anxiety

June 26, 2018
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Listen to episode 277 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Cultivate Courage | Mastering Fear & Anxiety. Edited and adapted from “Thoughts Are Things” by Prentice Mulford.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: COURAGE and presence of mind mean the same thing — for presence of mind implies command of mind. Cowardice and lack of mental control also mean about the same thing — for cowardice is rooted in hurry, the habit of hurry or lack of repose.

All degrees of success are based on courage — mental or physical. All degrees of failure are based on timidity. You can cultivate courage and increase it at every minute and hour of the day.

You can have the satisfaction of knowing that in everything you do, you have accomplished two things — namely, the doing of the thing itself and (by the manner of its doing), adding eternally to yourself another atom of the quality of courage. You can do this by the cultivation of deliberation — deliberation of speech, of walk, of writing, of eating — deliberation in everything.

There is always a bit of fear when there is a bit of hurry. When you hurry to the airport, you are in fear that you may be left behind, and with that comes fear of other possibilities resulting from that. When you hurry to work, or a meeting, or an appointment, you are in fear of some negative consequence of not being on time....

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