The Secret of a Great Life | Shifting Your Consciousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harnessing the Spiritual Power of Love | Joan of Arc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Enigma & Adventure of Life and Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exercises in Concentration | Developing the Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cultivating the Midas Touch | The Power to Prevail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving | The Power of Being Grateful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Smiling Heart | The Power of a Sunny Smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the Looking Glass | Your World as a Mirror

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Success Principles | What You Need to Succeed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Started Upon the Road to Success | Careers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Religion of Every Day Life | Attaining Harmony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wisdom & Destiny | Maurice Maeterlinck | Inspiration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Leadership Challenge | How to Be a Leader

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making the Most Out of Life | Motivational Self-Help Talks

October 23, 2018
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Listen to episode 311 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Making the Most Out of Life. Edited and adapted from Ready Money by George H. Knox.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Have you ever wanted to read the inspirational material that I deliver to you each week? Well, you can get access to the transcripts of our entire archive of over 300 podcasts by becoming our patron today. You’ll also get your very own private podcast feed, with every transcript delivered right to your phone. You can gain access for as little as $3 a month. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Ready Money by George H. Knox, published in 1905.

What is nerve? Nerve is that which enables a person to hang on and either lose everything or win out. It is undertaking more than ordinary things. It is taking big risks on one's own ability. It is holding the fort against all-comers. It is doing the thing which the ordinary person thinks is impossible. It is setting your standard twice as high as your colleagues would set it for you, and then reaching it. It is burning your bridges behind you and staking your all on your own endeavor.

It is taking chances that are not chances — to ordinary people the risk would be enormous, but the man and woman of nerve is not even taking chances because they know they can carry the thing through and do not allow themselves to become side-tracked, or even annoyed by the people who say it can't be done.

Nerve consists not only in undertaking a hard task, but in everlastingly and unflinchingly standing by your work when your friends have given up in despair. That is the truest test of nerve. It is nerve that gives us our airplanes and Atlantic cables below the ocean. It is nerve that belts our continents with railroads and enables entrepreneurs to build up enterprises that astonish the world.

Nerve is that which enables one to calmly and unflinchingly face an unpleasant task, or a seemingly unendurable condition, when duty requires it.

Don't jump to the conclusion that people are trying to cheat you. It is all right to be businesslike; you must be. But it is all wrong to be unbusinesslike. It is all wrong to tie your business up in such a way that you have to depend either upon the honesty or the judgment of someone else to enable you to succeed in fulfilling your promises.

Overcoming Your Only Enemy | Self-Empowerment

October 18, 2018
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Listen to episode 310 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Your Only Enemy. Edited and adapted from Self-Investment by Orison Swett Marden.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Let us help you achieve a deep, inspirational sleep with our new sleep meditations, each of which includes 50 transformational affirmations over a background of either ocean waves or gentle rain. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/sleep.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Self-Investment, by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1911.

We can make our minds art galleries of beauty or chambers of horror. We can furnish them with anything we please. We think in mental images. They always precede the physical realities. Our mental pictures are copied into life, etched upon our character. Our whole physical economy is constantly translating these images, these mental pictures, into our lives.

A thousand times better to allow thieves into your home and steal your most valuable treasures, to rob you of money or property, than to allow the enemies of your success and happiness — discordant thoughts, disease thoughts, morbid thoughts, jealous thoughts — to enter your mind and steal your comfort, rob you of that peace and serenity without which life is a living tomb.

Whatever you do or do not do for a living, resolve that no morbid, discordant, sick thoughts shall get access to your mind. Everything depends upon keeping your mental faculties clear and clean. Keep the holy shrine of your mind, God’s temple, pure and free from all your thought enemies.

A discordant thought, a morbid mood, when once harbored, breeds more discordant thoughts and more gloom. The moment you harbor the one or the other it will begin to multiply a thousandfold, and grow more formidable.

Do not have anything to do with discord or the offspring of morbid moods. They spoil everything they touch. They leave their wretched impression on everything. They rob one of hope, happiness, and efficiency. Tear down all the dark pictures from your mind, all the black images. Dispel them. They only mean mischief, failure, paralysis of ambition, and the death of hope.

We must stand on guard at the door of our thoughts; keep out all the enemies of our happiness and achievement. We have no real enemies except those which live in our own minds, which are generated by our own passion, prejudice, and selfishness.

Self-Reliance: The Key to Self Respect | Personal Growth

October 16, 2018
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Listen to episode 309 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self-Reliance: The Key to Self-Respect. Edited and adapted from Self-Investment by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you enjoy our podcast, you’ll love our book Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons, available in beautiful heirloom hardcover. Learn more by visiting InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Self-Investment by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1911.

The average person is capable of independence and self-reliance, yet comparatively few people ever develop their ability to stand alone. It is so much easier to lean, to trail, to follow somebody else, to let others do the thinking and the planning and the work. One of the worst faults of the typical person is that (if they do not possess commanding talents in some particular direction) they usually do not think it worthwhile to make the most of what they have.

Do not think that, just because you are not a born leader, you are a born follower. A lack of great commanding qualities of leadership is no reason why you should not cultivate what you have. We never know what resources or possibilities of strength are ours until we put our powers to the test. Many a person has proved themselves a great leader who did not seem to be so naturally — who showed at first very little evidence of self-reliance.

Leaders do not copy. They do not reflect the opinion of the majority. They think. They create. They make their own program and carry it out.

How few people stand for anything in particular! The majority are merely so many individuals in the census; they help make a little larger crowd; but how few of us stand above or beyond our fellow citizens and are self-sufficient!

Almost everybody you see is leaning on something or somebody. Some lean on their money, some on their friends; some depend upon their clothes, their pedigree, their social standing; but how seldom do we see someone who stands fair and square on their own feet; who goes through life on their own merits, and is self-reliant and resourceful.

In later life we never quite forgive those who have allowed us to lean upon them, for we know that it has deprived us of our birthright. A child is not satisfied when a parent shows them how to do a certain thing. But watch the joy on a child’s face when by actually doing it they have conquered the thing themselves. This new sense of conquest is an added power that has increased their self-confidence and self-respect.

Just Be Glad | Life is a Song | Christian D. Larson

October 11, 2018
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Listen to episode 308 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Just Be Glad | Life is a Song. Edited and adapted from Just Be Glad by Christian D. Larson.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Christian D. Larson’s book “Just Be Glad,” a book which I also read a different selection from in last week’s episode of Our Sunday Talks. So, if you enjoy today’s reading and would like to hear more from Christian D. Larson, become our patron for as little as $3 a month to gain access to the Our Sunday Talk series. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Whether you believe that life was made for happiness or that happiness was made for life, matters not. The fact remains that they alone can live the most and enjoy the best who take for their motto — just be glad.

Whatever comes, or whatever may fail to come, this one thing you should always remember — just be glad. Though every mind in the world may give darkness, continue to give your light; and though all may be lost, so there seems nothing more to give, forget not to give happiness.

The one great thing to do under every circumstance and in the midst of every event is this — just be glad. Wherever you may be, add sunshine. Whatever your position may be, be also a human sunbeam. What a difference there is when the sunbeam comes in; therefore why should your sunbeam remain without?

There is a sunbeam in every heart. Why hide it at any time? Does not the world need your smile? Is not everybody made happier and better when in the presence of a radiant countenance? Do we ever forget the face that shines as the sun? And does not such a memory continue to give us strength and inspiration all through the turnings and complexities of life?

We are not here to give sadness, but joy. We were not made to hide our souls in a dark thunder cloud, but to let the spirit shine in all its splendor and beauty. We are made to make life an endless song, and the sweet refrain of that beautiful song is — just be glad.

When things go wrong, just be glad. It is sunshine that brings forth the flowers from the cold and soggy earth. It is light-heartedness that lifts the burdens of life. It is the smile of human sweetness that dispels the chilly night of isolation and brings friendship and love to the bosom of the yearning soul.

The Law of Giving First | Success Talks | Inspiring You

October 9, 2018
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Listen to episode 307 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Law of Giving & Receiving | It Works. Edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you enjoy our podcast, please help us spread the word by sharing your favorite episodes on Facebook or Twitter. A positive review at the iTunes store or Google Play would also be much appreciated. Thank you.

Today’s reading is a continuation of last week’s reading on How to Transform Your Life, and has been edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting, published in 1934.

There's a lot of talk these days about the power of thought, and some people are disposed to sneer at it. But there's more in it than these persons suppose, and they suffer because they don't realize its power.

Consider this, can you do anything without first thinking about it? Is any discovery or invention, any work of art or book, any newspaper or tool, any manufacturing or any crime, any deed (good or bad) ever performed without some one's first thinking about it? In other words, everything that you do is first an idea in your mind. That is where it is first "created."

If you want to make a chair, or a plan, or a sailboat, or a printing press, or a bomb, or a broom, it must first take shape in your mind, as an idea. As a matter of fact, the idea of a thing is the real creation of it. The physical putting it together afterward is a mere copy of the idea in your mind.

We are accustomed to think that a certain amount of time and energy is required to make the visible copy of the idea — the visible chair, or plow, or broom. But the more perfectly we think it out (that is, create it as a complete idea in mind), the more quickly and perfectly we can create it in visible form. And as we think it out better and better, we find that we require less and less time to make the visible thing, and less and less energy.

Newly invented machines, for instance, are usually crude, cumbersome, heavy, and require a lot of power to operate them. But as they are perfected (that is, as they are thought out) they become lighter, simpler, more efficient, are operated by less power, and do their work more quickly.

During this process, the time always comes when the thing that once took a long period and much labor to make is made at a speed so high that the production is in some cases almost instantaneous. If, when we began making this thing, we had understood all the laws of its making, we could have made it instantaneously without going through the process of learning how. But that would have been a miracle! Exactly.

The Dalai Lama on Life, Religion & Education

October 4, 2018
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Listen to episode 306 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Dalai Lama on Life, Religion, and Education. Tibetan Buddhism.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind financial support of our patrons. Learn how you can support our work, and gain access to full transcripts, by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the writings and talks of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others. I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.”

“Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well.”

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world, until we make peace with ourselves.”

“There is a saying in Tibet: ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’”

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

“No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

 “To remain indifferent to the challenges we face is indefensible. If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant. What we must do therefore is to strive, and persevere, and never give up.”

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation.”

“The true hero is one who conquers their own anger and hatred…..In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.”

How to Transform Your Life | Start Today

October 2, 2018
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Listen to episode 305 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Transform Your Life | Start Today. Edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting.

Take advantage of Blinkist's 7 day free trial for our listeners by visiting: http://www.blinkist.com/living

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Why not have what you want? Have you settled down with a notion that you can't get it? Are you accepting a disappointment as something you must suffer through? Do you look at the thing that you really desire as being far beyond your reach? Do you carry around with you a heartache because you think your heart's desire is finally and forever denied you?

Do you look on yourself as being down and out, with no chance to get back? Do you think you are too poor to buy the things you like or even the things you need?

Have you done something that you think has brought a penalty upon you — sickness, poverty, loss of freedom, grief?

Well, before you give it all up as hopeless, won't you just hear me out a little way to see if your case is as bad as you think it is? I am not trying to sell you anything or to teach you anything or to persuade you of anything, but just want to share with you the ideas that changed the life of a man who used to think as you do, and who thought he had good reason to think so, but who has found out that he was mistaken and that life is not hopeless at all; and who believes that what helped him may help somebody else who is under a cloud similar to the one that he once lived under. Many things you want most are now within your reach.

It has been said that if a person were to offer a hundred dollar gold pieces for sale on the street at 5 dollars each, there would be few buyers, because nearly everybody would leap to the conclusion that the seller was a fraud. If you study the real reason why people instinctively feel that way, you will find in it the very secret of success in getting what you want.

You have heard it said a thousand times that "you can't get something for nothing." You may or may not think that you believe this to be true, but it is true, whether you believe it or not; and everybody deep down in their inner nature knows it is true. That's why we are shy of any promise that promises too much. That's why you are probably skeptical about the promise of what I am sharing with you today.

But just let this idea get a foothold in your mind: If it is a law that I cannot get something for nothing, then it must be true of this law, as it is of all genuine laws, that it works both ways. It must be true that I cannot give anything without getting something for it. Ever think of that?

The Magic Voice Within You | Creative Power

September 27, 2018
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Listen to episode 304 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Magic Voice Within You | Creative Power. Edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today with a special thanks to our newest patrons: John Lichieoveri, James Allen, and Soncerae Beam. If you would like to lend your support to our podcast by becoming patron, you can do so for as a little as $1 a month. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

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

THERE is a remarkable little book called "Finding Youth," by Gertrude Nelson Andrews, that tells the story of a man who lost his job when he was sixty years of age, after a lifetime of faithful service to others. In despair, he did not know which way to turn to make a living for himself and his family. In his own trade, printing, no place was open for him; and he knew no other trade. Want and the shame of failure stared him in the face. But through a chain of circumstances that makes up the body of the story, he found within himself a creative faculty, which he began to use. He found that by giving attention to this creative urge he could reconstruct his work and his life. He found that by giving heed to its suggestions and dictates he could reconstruct his youth. And he did. He built a new career for himself, and happiness, and prosperity.

The author says that this story is not fact but fiction. It doesn't matter, for whichever it is, it is true. We all have a creative faculty within us that will reconstruct our work, and our career, and our youth, if we will pay attention to it and obey it. The trouble is that we do not usually trust this inner urge to create. We haven't any confidence in our own ideas — because they are our own.

Maybe you think this is not true in your case. But stop and review some of your experiences. Don't you often look at some device or plan or object that somebody else has made and see a better way of doing it? Don't you frequently believe you could build a house, run a school, launch a business, sail a boat, play chess, raise radishes — anything that happens to interest you — better than somebody else you see doing it, if you only had time to gain the requisite fundamental information with which to equip your creative impulses?

And haven't you had the experience of thinking of what seemed momentarily a good idea; then discarding it because it was your own, and so couldn't be worth much? — and soon after finding that somebody else had conceived the same idea, used it, put it over successfully, and reaped the profits and the credit that might have been yours? And how cheap you felt, when all you could say to yourself was "I thought of that first. Why didn't I do it?"

The Road to Freedom | What is it to be Free?

September 25, 2018
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Listen to episode 303 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Freedom Talks: What is it to be Free? Edited and adapted from Where Dwells the Soul Serene by Stanton Davis Kirkham.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get fireside chat versions of our podcast by subscribing to our YouTube channel. To subscribe now, simply visit LivingHour.org/youtube.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Where Dwells the Soul Serene by Stanton Davis Kirkham, published in 1900.

THERE is ever in the human mind a longing and desire to transcend the limits of the known — to break boundaries. It is this desire that has led explorers to great new discoveries of unchartered lands and places. But it is in the realm of ideas that it leads us furthest, and reveals the grandest continents; carries us to the more sublime elevations, and lays before us the more majestic panoramas — for it is in the sphere of ideas alone that we may be said to pass all boundaries and be free of limitations. It travels not by the chart but would go where there are no charts; it goes not by the beaten road but follows rivers, and mountain chains, and the shores of continents, like migrating swans — for to follow a traveled road is to see what has already been seen by all women and men; but to make your own road, under the guidance of the Inner Light, is to see and report what no other has seen.

Ah, what a sunny land waits to be revealed when we turn our steps within! There, too, must we cross burning deserts and ascend the rugged cliffs, scale precipices and take our way over ridges and among crevasses; to finally reach the sunny vale — smiling and verdant always — where sparkle limpid streams, where bloom the rose and jasmine, where sing the whistling thrush.

To explore the unknown regions of the mind, to seek that shining land where dwells the Soul, serene — here is a work worthy of the true explorer's mettle. Let us explore this world of thought; let us blaze a path and wear a trail up over the mountains; let us recount our escape from the wilderness, and leave a record of our journey from bondage to freedom.

It is the royal privilege of every person to so live that their life and example shall be an inspiration; to so walk erect and free that others shall be obliged to inquire as to the means of our freedom.

Rejoice Always! Your Right to Be Happy & Contented

September 20, 2018
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Listen to episode 302 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Rejoice Always: Your Right to Be Happy. Edited and adapted from Your Right to Be Happy, by Frank & Marion Van Eps, published in 1922.

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We also truly appreciate those who feel inspired to leave us a positive review at the iTunes store. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Your Right to Be Happy, by Frank & Marion Van Eps, published in 1922.

JOY and happiness is the birthright of every human being; and there is a sure way to realize it. Our capacity for happiness, and our eagerness for it, are evidence of this fact. As the ear is the organ for hearing and the eye for seeing (and their very existence points to hearing and to seeing), so the capacity for anything such as happiness, points to its satisfaction.

A faculty points to its own action and effectiveness. Our capacity for joy proves that our destiny is joy and happiness. If you are not having an experience which aligns with the things to which your nature and constitution point (and which according to reason they require), it is evident that something unnatural must be interfering with you.

Reason shows that the evident purpose of the Creator is that all of us should be happy and satisfied. But how? Where do people miss their way? Why do they not find it? If there is any way of peace and happiness, why has it not been found and followed all these ages? Surely it would seem that all people would rush toward the way that releases them from their burdens, if such a way were pointed out.

But, is it so? Point out to someone what you have found to help bring about a joyful life, and you will not always find that there will be a rush to try the same. People have a habit of objecting, arguing, or hesitating, rather than accepting with eagerness the way of deliverance. Too often they ask that foolish question, “Why is it that way, and not otherwise?”