Inspirational Living: Life Lessons for Success & Happiness
Lifelong Ambitions | Success & The Spirit to Keep Growing

Lifelong Ambitions | Success & The Spirit to Keep Growing

April 25, 2019

Listen to episode 365 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Lifelong Ambitions | The Spirit to Keep Growing. Edited and adapted from Ambition and Success by Orison Swett Marden.

Motivational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Ambition and Success, by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1919.

One of the saddest things in life is to see people who started out with high hopes and proud ambitions settle down in mediocre positions, half satisfied just merely to get a living, to plod along indifferently. What tragedy there is in being content with mediocrity, in getting into a state where one is indifferent to the larger, better things of life!

When you are satisfied with the life you are living, with the work you are doing, with the thought you are thinking, with the dreams you are dreaming — satisfied with the character you are building, with your ideals — you may be sure that you are already beginning to deteriorate.

There is little hope for the person who feels satisfied with themselves, who does not know, “the noble discontent that stirs the acorn to become an oak.” It is our ambition to improve something somewhere every day, to get a little further on and a little higher up than we were the day before — an insatiable passion for bettering things all along the line — that is the secret of human progress.

Self-Respect & Living Up to Our Better Selves

Self-Respect & Living Up to Our Better Selves

April 23, 2019

Listen to episode 364 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self Respect & Living Up to Our Better Selves. Edited and adapted from Work by Hugh Black.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you would like to support our podcast with a one-time donation, you can do so by visiting LivingHour.org/donate. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the book entitled Work by Hugh Black, published in 1903.

Life is more than money and trade, more than business and cash transactions. If there were not more than this in our lives (nobler thoughts and larger endeavors), society could not have existed for so long.

No individual can be wholly paid in money for their work, if it be true work. We cannot buy love, nor pay for it — and without love in all its grades and forms, our social life, and even our business life, are failures. Faithful dealing between people cannot be bought and sold. Such work is a spiritual thing (as well as a material), and money has no currency in such trafficking.

We need an ideal to save our lives from deadly dullness. We need the light of the ideal to inspire us and to ennoble our activities. Otherwise, what poor petty drudgery it all is, a meaningless bending of the neck to the yoke.

We must make all our occupations truly spiritual, inspired by spiritual motives. To spiritual beings like you and I there is no detail of life which doesn’t have spiritual significance. And the failure of our days is due to our neglect of the unseen in dealing with the seen, our forgetfulness to live every common hour in the power of an endless life.

Viewed practically, and put into simple language, the ideal of work is faithfulness — work done according to a high standard which we ourselves set up. The problem is that we have such easy and elastic consciences, and such low selfish standards! What will get by, what will do the turn, is often all that we aim at. We do not put our conscience into our work.

Henry Ward Beecher | Wisdom, Quotes & Inspiration

Henry Ward Beecher | Wisdom, Quotes & Inspiration

April 18, 2019

Listen to episode 363 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Henry Ward Beecher | Wisdom & Quotes. Edited from the works of Henry Ward Beecher.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patron Sharmaine Jennings. Coming up this Sunday, I’ll be starting again the series Our Sunday Talks, exclusively for patrons like Sharmaine. The first 13 episodes will be a complete reading of my book The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life, a thought-provoking and non-dogmatic meditation of this beloved prayer. Learn how you can become our patron at: LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the writings of Henry Ward Beecher.

 “‎Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard taskmaster to yourself — and be lenient to everybody else.”

“No person can tell whether they are rich or poor by turning to their bank book. It is in the heart that riches lie. You are rich according to what you are, not according to what he have.”

“If you harbor any sort of fear, it percolates through all your thinking, damages your personality, makes you landlord to a ghost.”

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”

“Never forget what someone says to you when they are angry — for that reveals their hidden feelings.”

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house…A little library, growing larger every year, is an honorable part of a person's history. It is our duty to have books. A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life…..Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A home without books is like a room without windows.”

The Strenuous Life | Great Speeches, Essays & Addresses

The Strenuous Life | Great Speeches, Essays & Addresses

April 16, 2019

Listen to episode 362 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Strenuous Life | Great Speeches, Essays, and Addresses. Edited from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you have been inspired by our podcast, you can help us spread the word by sharing your favorite episodes on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from a speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1899.

Today I would like to talk with you about the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes to the individual who shrinks not from danger, from hardship, nor from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

A life of ignoble ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack of desire (or power to strive after great things) is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I ask only that what every self-respecting citizen demands from themselves and their children shall be demanded of the country as a whole.

Who among us would teach their children that the easy life is to be the first consideration in their eyes, to be the ultimate goal after which they strive? If you are rich and are worth your salt, you will teach your children that though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness — for wisely-used leisure means merely that those who possess it (being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood) are all the more bound to carry on some kind of noble work in the sciences, the arts, in exploration of some kind — work of the type the world most needs, and the successful carrying out of which reflects great honor upon themselves and helps or inspires others.

We do not admire the person of timid peace. We admire the individual who embodies victorious effort; the one who never wrongs their neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those vigorous qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Road Signs on the Road to Happiness | Life Lessons

Road Signs on the Road to Happiness | Life Lessons

April 11, 2019

Listen to episode 361 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Road Signs on The Road to Happiness. Edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Visit our website BookofZen.com for inspirational t-shirts and gifts – all featuring my own original sayings inside a classic zen enso circle. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Working with God by Gardner Hunting, published in 1934.

Did you ever start out on a road trip of a hundred miles or more, from a height which gave you a view of the whole road you had to travel, from beginning to end? It would be a high mountain indeed that would give you such a view.

There are doubtless places in the Rockies from which we can see the country for long distances, sometimes perhaps for fifty miles, maybe much more. Sometimes the air is so clear that distant things seem much closer than they actually are. Sometimes we can actually see the road itself, its twists and turns, its straight stretches, its climbs and descents, its bridges, the towns along the way, even the detours, so far ahead that we can anticipate nearly all the conditions we shall have to meet on the way to where we plan to go.

But usually the road ahead of us is not so clear. Usually we get out a road map and study it, and lay out our route by what somebody else (the mapmaker) tells us is the most practical, the most direct, the easiest way. Then we get reports from some website as to the condition of rods, shortcuts, points of interest, places to find food and shelter, the safe, comfortable highways to follow — all based on 1st-hand experience in driving over the route we intend to follow.

The Secret of Doing Really Great Things | Success Habits

The Secret of Doing Really Great Things | Success Habits

April 9, 2019

Listen to episode 360 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Secret of Doing Really Great Things. Edited and adapted from Working With God by Gardner Hunting.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. You know, I like reading all kinds of books, but lately I’ve been reading biographies of people who have achieved great things, whether it be in the arts, sciences, or business. If you don’t have the time to read the full autobiographies of great women and men, well, you don’t have to. Instead, you can check out Blinkist, the knowledge-boosting app that takes the best key takeaways, the need-to-know information, from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes of reading or listening time.

Two very good biographies that you can find on Blinkist are Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Harriet Tubman (The Road to Freedom) by Catherine Clinton.

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

It is almost funny sometimes how we get ourselves all primed with good intentions to love and trust, to give out what we want to get back, to do unto others what we want them to do unto us, and then the minute we find some "trouble" bobbing up in an unexpected way, we get all upset, and confused, and scared, and grasp at the first thing that suggests itself for getting even, for getting our own way, for avoiding humiliation, for "saving face." It would be funny if it weren't so tragic! How we do despair at our failures, when we ought to laugh at ourselves.

It seems sometimes that when troubles face us, our first impulse is to fight, resist, snarl, scratch, bite, strike, crush. We find it hard to understand why things have turned out the way they have. We grow desperate with a sense of our own uncontrollable emotions, our ingrained weaknesses, our wretched inconsistencies.

If you are like me — or rather if I am like you (which I am inclined to believe I am) — we both often wish that we could find some idea to cling to, some phrase that we could repeat, some reminder of our principles that we could use on all occasions when "trouble" appears and that would start us off just right in dealing with it — some formula or recipe for immediate "first aid" that we might act upon until we had time to think, until we could bring up our reserves of experience and conviction and seasoned wisdom. Sometimes I think that that is what everybody wants most: a formula (a brief rule) for first aid when facing life’s problems.

What is a Life Worthwhile? | Finding Purpose

What is a Life Worthwhile? | Finding Purpose

April 4, 2019

Listen to episode 359 of the Inspirational Living podcast: What is a Life Worthwhile? | Finding Purpose. Edited and adapted from The Art of Being Alive by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patron Norman Grills. For those thinking about becoming a patron, you might be interested to know that I am going to be resuming the exclusive patron series Our Sunday Talks on Easter, April 21st. And the first episodes of the new series are going to be a complete reading of my book The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life, which was published in 2008 and I am currently re-editing.

You can gain access to the Our Sunday Talks series, as well as full transcripts to our entire podcast archive, for as little as $3 a month. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the book entitled The Art of Being Alive by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, published in 1914.

"The Life Worthwhile" differs in the minds of individuals. That which seems worthwhile to one person may seem unendurable to another; and so any analysis of the subject must be made from a purely personal standpoint, and must not be considered an effort to lay down arbitrary laws for all people to follow.

The scientist in the laboratory, the painter in the studio, the preacher in the pulpit, the lawyer in the courtroom, the teacher in the classroom, the carpenter on the building site, all feel that they are living a life worthwhile. And indeed so long as there is deep interest, enthusiasm, and pleasure in the life we are living that life is worthwhile.

The world is made interesting by its variety of inhabitants, with their varying ideas and occupations. People it with one kind of human being, all bent on the same object and doing the same kind of work, or following the same kind of pleasure, and earth would become intolerably monotonous. Even the frivolous things, the mistaken things, and the wrong things which people do, are sometimes worthwhile because they lead those who are engaged in them to knowledge of their worthlessness.

How Successful People Think, Grow, and Win

How Successful People Think, Grow, and Win

April 2, 2019

Listen to episode 358 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How Successful People Think, Grow, and Win. Edited and adapted from How to Win Success by B.F. Austin.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: If that statement of the Bible is correct that says the individual who rules their own spirit is greater than one who takes a city, who shall say that the possession and retention of faith, hope, patience and love amidst life's trying scenes, is not as great an achievement as the building of the lofty pyramid. May there not be a majestic structure of character as well as of bricks and granite?

Let us all then note the true standard of success. Let us seek especially the growth and development of our own powers — not despising great achievements (not unduly valuing achievements which the world calls great), but looking on them as no more, at best, than proofs of that spiritual unfoldment in which life's true success must always be found.

How is Success Won? One great secret of success is found in Concentration. This consists in centering our thoughts upon a single object and holding this object in the mind's eye persistently. The thoughts, purposes, will power, effort and resources of every life should be united in some single great object.

A life unified, united, concentrated, dominated by one great purpose, becomes mighty, while a life with a thousand diverging purposes must necessarily be weak. Gunpowder exploded in the open air is comparatively ineffective and harmless because the energy let loose takes a thousand different directions. So with the inherent energies of any life. Divide them and you weaken them. Unite them into one purpose, as the energy of gunpowder is united in the rifle barrel, and the effect is mighty.

Motivation for Initiative, Success & Concentration

Motivation for Initiative, Success & Concentration

March 28, 2019

Listen to episode 357 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Motivation for Initiative, Success & Concentration. Edited and adapted from Making the Grade by C.V. Mosby.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Now is your last chance to get all 3 of our inspirational eBooks, featuring the best of our podcast, totaling 150 life lessons, for just 10 dollars. To take advantage of this special ebook sale visit LivingHour.org/ten. The sale ends on Sunday.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Making the Grade by C.V. Mosby, published in 1917.

Resistance gives way to superior force continuously applied upon a given point. This is a law of physics and also a law of life. Concentrate your energy and you burn a way through opposition. One of the chief difficulties in life consists of not being able to concentrate. Few people when they work throw their entire energy into the task.

Go into a store or a factory and take note of the employees. You will find most of them working in a lackadaisical manner, doing just enough to keep up a semblance of being busy and thereby escape a reprimand from the manager. The clock is watched assiduously and as soon as closing time arrives, nothing can keep them one minute longer than is necessary to put their stocks in order and get away.

Lack of concentration is one of the great contributing factors among those who cannot make the grade. Concentration is no easy task. It demands the most carefully trained will and a powerful determination. Thinking must always precede the act.

If we act with concentration, we must think in the same way. And let it be said here that well-trained, concentrated thinking comes only after much effort has been expended upon it. To think correctly is hard work. If you do not believe me, try to concentrate your mind on a given object for five minutes; exclude all extraneous matter and think upon that one subject continuously. Try this for a time and you will be astounded at the magnitude of the task. 

Inspiration for Generosity, Contentment & Companionship

Inspiration for Generosity, Contentment & Companionship

March 26, 2019

Listen to episode 356 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Generosity, Contentment & Companionship. Edited and adapted from Our Sunday Talks by James J. Owen.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the generous financial support of listeners like you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Our Sunday Talks by James J. Owen, published in 1883.

REAL, downright unselfish, generous natures ought to be more numerous than they are — that is, natures who can feel an unselfish joy in the prosperity of others, even though their own lot may be a hard one.

Some people are so constituted that they are happy only in proportion as others are miserable. In other words, though they may possess a reasonable measure of wealth and those material things that are supposed by many to be wholly essential to happiness, their joy is dimmed in the presence of someone who possesses a larger measure of those same material goods.

They must possess more than their neighbor, or else the mean little cross-eyed demon of envy nestles in their bosoms and robs them of their peace of mind.

It requires no great amount of magnanimity of character to be generous to the downtrodden; but it does really take a large nature to be charitable and unselfishly generous towards the ostentatious and purse-proud — those people whose only merit is in the husk and not the kernel.

We can all be generous towards the dead. Even those who in life we cared the least for (and who were least worthy of our respect) call forth a heart-throb of sympathy now that they are gone. It is only then that we think of their virtues, and even chide ourselves for not being more generous to their imperfections when living.

What the world most needs is a spirit of humanity that can anticipate death in the exercise of nobler sympathy and charity — one that does not wait till the pale specter sets its seal upon the heart of a fellow being to send forth an impulse of sympathy on their behalf.

Rejuvenate Yourself | The Power of Silence

Rejuvenate Yourself | The Power of Silence

March 21, 2019

Listen to episode 355 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Rejuvenate Yourself | The Power of Silence. Edited and adapted from Growth in Silence, the Undertone of Life by Susanna Cocroft.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today with a special announcement. Thanks to the generosity of our patrons, my daily video series 30 Seconds to a Beautiful Life is being made available to everyone on our YouTube Channel.

This series was previously only for our patrons, but the feedback from them has been that it should be made available to everyone. So to view this daily motivational video series, subscribe to our YouTube Channel at LivingHour.org/youtube. To become a patron yourself, visit LivingHour.org/patron.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Growth in Silence, the Undertone of Life by Susanna Cocroft, published in 1917.

What a breeze of pure exhilaration there is when we open the eastern windows of the morning to the new day! The new day! Its surface is unruffled! Yesterday has gone into the west — only the thoughts of that day which make for eternity have been traced upon its pages. The mantle of rest and silence has tenderly covered it, while the night has borne it hours away! The soft night wind has lulled it to dreamless, lasting sleep.

Leave it in peace — today, tomorrow are before us. With the dew of morning, all vegetation drinks in new life, new growth. The buds fill the air with fragrance. The birds nigh burst their throats in the ecstasy of a new song. Life is swelling, pulsing, from every crack and crevice. Mental forces adjust themselves under the cover of the night, and thoughts (that in the evening were confused) by morning are clear and unruffled, ready for a fresh beginning.

Do not stir up the contention of yesterday — carve the future on the clear surface of today. Have you awoken solitary and downcast, heavy hearted, with drooping shoulders, clouded face, and careworn brow — a discordant note, out of harmony with the song of the universe? Well, then lift your chest, head, and eyes — fill the lungs to overflowing with pure fresh air. Then be passive — listen.

The Art of Happiness | Contentment & Joy | Inspiration

The Art of Happiness | Contentment & Joy | Inspiration

March 19, 2019

Listen to episode 354 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Happiness. Edited and adapted from the book Happiness by Hugh Black.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. The topic of today’s reading is the art of happiness. To explore additional advice (beyond our podcast) on how to achieve lasting happiness in your life, check out Blinkist, the knowledge-boosting app that takes the best key takeaways, the need-to-know information, from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes of reading or listening time.

Two very good books on happiness that you can find on Blinkist are The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor and The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

Right now, for a limited time, Blinkist has a special offer for our audience. Go to Blinkist.com/living to start a free 7 day trial.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the book “Happiness” by Hugh Black, published in 1911.

There is an art of happiness, which is like the art of living. No list of rules can cover all the ground — for life does not go in straight lines, and never runs exactly according to schedule. There is also the personal equation, the peculiar angle from which each person looks at life.

Now, it’s true that no art can be taught beyond certain broad principles and general rules. The rest has to come through constant practice and through the enrichment of the mind, aided by inspiration and example and a little counsel. It’s also true that some get more from teaching than others — though all can get something, if only through the opportunity to reconsider methods and examine results.

Everyone will probably acknowledge that they have not completely mastered the art of happiness, and that they might have made more of their lives if they had known better. So, with that in mind, there are some general rules I’d like to lay down, each of which will apply to many people, though (of course) not to all.

Guardian Angels, Fairies & A Love That Lifts Us Up

Guardian Angels, Fairies & A Love That Lifts Us Up

March 12, 2019

Listen to episode 352 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Guardian Angels, Fairies & A Love That Lifts All. Edited and adapted from Little Builders by Dorothy Grenside.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patrons Mariama Alice Sheriff and Elaine Estenson. If you would like to give back to this podcast and financially support the work I do, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Little Builders by Dorothy Grenside, published in 1916.

When those we love have laid aside their earthly coats and are what the world calls "dead," we speak of them as Angels, yet they were Angels just as much before. It was only that we could not see the shining of their Spirits, because an earthly coat lay in between.

I want you always to remember to look inside the coat until you see the Angel's Light within, for an angel is only someone who is learning to bring God's message to others. Each Angel, in turn, is helped by others who are nearer to God, and they as well are guided by a Greater One above.

There is no one, however frail or full of failure (no one however strong and pure of heart) who has no Guardian Angel to shelter them with wings of love. I think that if two people love, it is because their Angels have seen and loved each other first, and that a picture of their love reflects within the hearts of the children whom they guard. So, if you quarrel with the one you love, I fear you raise a veil of mist between these two Angels' faces. Mist: grey mist of quarreling and hate! Blow it away with a tender breath of Love and let the Sunlight of the Angels’ Joy be yours.

Just as an Angel guards each one of us with loving, watchful care, so I think that a little spirit watches over every flower and tree — one who grieves when the flower is trampled on, or when the tree is rooted from the ground. I fancy that these little guardians paint each petal of a rose; perhaps they lays their color in the heart at eventide, and leave it through the summer night, until the tender dew washes the rosy stain throughout the opened petals.

Thoroughness: The Key to Success in Business & Life

Thoroughness: The Key to Success in Business & Life

March 7, 2019

Listen to episode 351 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Thoroughness: The Key to Success in Life. Edited and adapted from The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. To celebrate the approach of Springtime, the season of rebirth, I have partnered up with Fiverr.com to offer a special deal on our inspirational e-books. That includes Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons, Everest: 50 Motivational Life Lessons, and Evermore: 50 Life Lessons for Spiritual Growth.

Right now you can get all three of these e-books together in one package for only $10. And for an extra $5 you can also get our MAJESTY meditation program.

To take advantage of this special deal, go to LivingHour.org/ten. Thank you.

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

THOROUGHNESS consists in doing little things as though they were the greatest things in the world. That the little things of life are of primary importance, is a truth not generally understood. And the thought that little things can be neglected and thrown aside is at the root of that lack of thoroughness which is so common and results in imperfect work and unhappy lives.

When you understand that the great things of the world, and of life, consist of a combination of small things, and that without this aggregation of small things the great things would be nonexistent, then you begin to pay careful attention to those things which you formerly regarded as insignificant. You thus acquire the quality of thoroughness, and become a person of usefulness and influence — for the possession or non-possession of this one quality may mean all the difference between a life of peace and power, and one of misery and weakness.

Every employer knows how comparatively rare this quality is — how difficult it is to find people who will put thought and energy into their work, and do it completely and satisfactorily. Bad workmanship abounds. Skill and excellence are acquired by few. Thoughtlessness, carelessness, and laziness are such common vices that it shouldn’t appear strange that, in spite of "social reform," the ranks of the unemployed continue to swell — for those who skirt their work today will, another day (in an hour of deep necessity) look and ask for work in vain.

The Power of Purpose and Joy of Accomplishment

The Power of Purpose and Joy of Accomplishment

March 5, 2019

Listen to episode 349 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Inspiration for Perfect Poise & Personal Honor. Edited and adapted from The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen.

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Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Concentration is power. But dispersion is weakness. Destruction is a scattering, while preservation is a uniting process. Things are useful and thoughts are powerful to the degree that their parts are strongly and intelligently concentrated. Having a purpose is to have a highly concentrated thought. All the mental energies are directed to the attainment of an object, and obstacles which intervene between the thinker and the object are, one after another, broken down and overcome.

Purpose is the keystone in the temple of achievement. It binds and holds together in a complete whole that which would otherwise lie scattered and useless. Empty whims, ephemeral fancies, vague desires, and half-hearted resolutions have no place in purpose. In the sustained determination to accomplish, there is an invincible power which swallows up all inferior considerations and marches direct to victory.

All successful men and women are people of purpose. They hold fast to an idea, a project, a plan, and will not let it go. They cherish it, brood upon it, tend and develop it. And when assailed by difficulties, they refuse to be beguiled into surrender. Indeed, the intensity of the purpose increases with the growing magnitude of the obstacles encountered.

Inspiration for Perfect Poise and Personal Honor

Inspiration for Perfect Poise and Personal Honor

February 28, 2019

Listen to episode 348 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Inspiration for Perfect Poise & Personal Honor. Edited and adapted from Making the Grade by C.V. Mosby.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. For inspirational t-shirts and gifts, be sure to check out our website BookofZen.com. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Making the Grade by C.V. Mosby, published in 1917.

BALANCE is necessary in all things. Nature demands and preserves an equilibrium. Get out of balance and you are in danger of a fall. A well-ordered and successful life consists of being able to preserve your poise, and keep it in tune and harmony with nature. Confusion is caused by a loss of mental balance, and failure comes to a life that is not well poised.

It is amusing to see so much energy wasted upon things over which we have no control, like complaining about the weather. “This is the hottest day ever” is hurled at you again and again on a summer morning by some fuming, fussy neurotic — when a glance at the thermometer would convince anyone that the temperature is pretty normal.

“I am dead tired, utterly worn out, worked to death,'' is said repeatedly, day after day, by people who are perfectly normal in every way except for a lack of poise. Haste, extravagant statements, fussing and fuming, does nothing but burn up your gasoline. You stand still all the time, but your engine is running at top speed.

An engine needs a governor. Without it, the engine’s value is nil. Instead of serving us, it destroys. The same is true of life. Lack of poise, lack of perfect control of our emotions, lack of order and equanimity, and life becomes chaos. Nothing is accomplished. All the energy and efforts needed in climbing, in making the grades, are burned up while we stand still.

Motivation for Self-Confidence | Be Confident in Yourself

Motivation for Self-Confidence | Be Confident in Yourself

February 26, 2019

Listen to episode 347 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Motivation for Self-Confidence | Success Can Be Yours. Making the Grade by C.V. Mosby.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. The topic of today’s reading is the importance of having confidence in yourself. To explore additional advice on how to build self-confidence, check out Blinkist, the knowledge-boosting app that takes the best key takeaways, the need-to-know information, from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes of reading or listening time.

Two excellent books on self-confidence that you can find on Blinkist are The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, and The Six Pillars of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden.

Right now, for a limited time, Blinkist has a special offer for our audience. Go to Blinkist.com/living to start a free 7 day trial.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Making the Grade by C.V. Mosby, published in 1917.

Faith in one's abilities has removed mountains. But lack of such faith fills one's life with swamps of despondency. You cannot climb successfully unless you have unbounded confidence in your ability to reach the top. Life is one constant succession of suggestions, and it bends in accordance with the trend of those suggestions.

Self-confidence is an auto-suggestion that you have the ability to win, that your ship is sturdy enough to weather the storm, that your motor is strong enough to climb the hill. If you lack this requisite to success, you might just as well get on a sidetrack and content yourself with watching others pass by — for lack of confidence is deadly to success in life.

Self-confidence is termed nerve by some. “That guy or gal has the nerve to win” is frequently said about someone who dares opposition, who defies oppression, who challenges obstacles; but self-confidence is the better term. It simply means that you have faith in your undertaking and confidence in your ability to win.

Motivation in Rhyme | Inspiration to Get Up and Try!

Motivation in Rhyme | Inspiration to Get Up and Try!

February 21, 2019

Listen to episode 346 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Motivation in Rhyme | Inspiration to Get Up and Try!. Edited and adapted from Up and Doing by C.P. McDonald.

Motivational 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, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Up and Doing by C. P. McDonald, published in 1918.

WAKE UP! Dismiss the notion that you're defeated before you’ve hardly gotten into the scrap. Stand on the hill to which you’ve retreated, and plan the contours of your business map. Reorganize your forces for a rally. You too can do what others have done. Let perseverance guide you from the valley, until the game worth winning has been won.

Shake off the dreams that have you shackled, the dreams that have kept you from doing things. Assail the jobs you’ve left untackled, and earn the joy that honest effort brings. You've got to sweat and swelter in the doing, if you expect to achieve and produce. You won’t accomplish anything pursuing the cheater's attitude of "Oh, what's the use!"

Forget the grumbling and the grunting — the whimpering, the whining, and the rest. The one who wins Success by bunting has a chuckle, smirk, and chortle on their chest. Get out into the open — quit the woods. Today, and not tomorrow, is the right time to wake up — buckle down — produce the goods.

WHAT are you waiting for? Why not go after the prizes you think you're entitled to get? Nothing is gained without tears and laughter. And ease is the offspring of labor and sweat. Make up your mind that merely waiting’s a blunder — that action is what the world calls for today. Roll up your sleeves and go at it like thunder, and stake yourself to a claim that will pay.

The Building Blocks of Courage, Strength & Bravery

The Building Blocks of Courage, Strength & Bravery

February 19, 2019

Listen to episode 345 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Building Blocks of Courage, Strength & Bravery. Edited and adapted from Little Builders by Dorothy Grenside.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today by thanking our newest patrons, Daisy Ortiz and Ramon Untalan. If you would like to give back to our podcast, and become a monthly patron, you can do so for as little as $1 a month. To learn more, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Little Builders by Dorothy Grenside, published in 1916.

Whether you are weak, healthy, or strong, depends much upon the kind of thoughts that you allow to rest within your mind. "Thought grows by Thought." Remember that, and you will understand that the way to be healthy and brave is to think of Health and Bravery, and the way to be weak and unhealthy is to fear that weakness and sickness may come to you. So learn to put every fear of pain or weakness right away from you.

If you are weary from the heat and disinclined to work, don't think to yourself, "Oh, how hot it is! — I can’t work anymore;” for such a thought will make your body all the weaker. If you are tired with a long day's work, turn the thought of weariness out of your mind and say to yourself: "My Body is made of Strength, For My Spirit is Strong," and you will be filled with a wave of strength, and weariness will leave you.

When you were a child, you may have been afraid to enter a room that was dark, or sometimes perhaps you woke in the night trembling at shadows across the room. As an adult, you now have different dark fears. But if you remember that "as you thinketh, so you are," and that if you think bravely your body will answer and become built upon solid lines of Courage, no Fear or Cowardice can or will rest within you.

Lifelong Learning: A Course in Character Building

Lifelong Learning: A Course in Character Building

February 14, 2019

Listen to episode 344 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Lifelong Learning: A Course in Character Building. Edited and adapted from Levels of Living by Henry Frederick Cope.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today by announcing a new t-shirt and gift line that I’ve developed called Creed of the Dauntless. The first design is now on sale, featuring a great, motivational quote from Hellen Keller. To see the first t-shirt offering, please visit LivingHour.org/believe. If you order within the next 2 days, you’ll get $6 off the retail price. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Levels of Living (Essays on Everyday Ideals) by Henry Frederick Cope, published in 1908.

With all our learning, the greatest lesson before us is this one: living right —finding our full heritage and filling our places as men and women in the world. If our systems of education fail to teach us how to live, they fail altogether.

The great need of our day is that we shall train the conscience to right moral judgment, that we shall educate all for the business of living, and that we shall so educate all that we shall not only have a generation of bright, smart, money-making people, but that we may have joyful, upright, hardworking, service-minded women and men.

There is little likelihood that our country will fail for lack of business ability. The danger is that we shall fail at the point of character; that we shall fail where failure is fatal to every other kind of success. This is the crucial point.

We would do well to perfect the plans by which we teach citizens the encyclopedia of their bodies, their nation, the world and its history. We should recognize that we must learn to live as truly as we must learn to read, and that the culture of the soul must profit by the wondrous strides that all educational science has made; that all our efforts to produce character must be so wisely directed that we shall secure the best and most enduring results.

One message comes from the lips of every seer, from every page of history. It is that the citizen or nation alone is wise (alone finds enduring life) who sets before commercial supremacy, political power, or fame the learning of the glory of character, the beauty of practical morality. The person who is wise and rich in the things within, possesses a wealth that lies beyond corruption, and their days know no end.

Spiritual Inspiration | Creating a Work that Endures

Spiritual Inspiration | Creating a Work that Endures

February 12, 2019

Listen to episode 343 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Spiritual Inspiration | Creating a Work that Endures. Edited and adapted from Levels of Living by Henry Frederick Cope.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. To get fireside chat versions of our podcast, subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Visit LivingHour.org/youtube. Today’s talk was edited and adapted from Levels of Living (Essays on Everyday Ideals) by Henry Frederick Cope, published in 1908.

In our age of things, we easily forget how large is the place of the ideal and the spiritual. Ever estimating our assets in the concrete, we fail to recognize that our real wealth lies in thoughts and abstract things. The permanent possessions of humanity are spiritual. Not acres nor armies, not banks nor business make a nation, but mighty, compelling ideals and traditions.

Jesus, Buddha, Shakespeare, Browning, Emerson left no goods and chattel, no bonds and mortgages. They left inspirations; they bequeathed ideals. Living first for the soul, their souls survive and remain to us all. The truly great who still stand after the test of the years are those who have lived for the spirit.

This is as true of the worker and the warrior as of the philosopher and poet. All were inspired by glowing visions. They set their affections on things above the trifles for which we struggle and spend ourselves. They lived for glories that are to us invisible; therefore their names endure.

The great undertakings of our own day are possible only under spiritual inspiration. No rewards of money alone can induce someone to steadfastly conduct affairs of great import and enterprise. They are buoyed up by a great hope. Often the very greatness of the task and the sense of serving great ends carries them on. Always they see the worth in the ideal rather than the wage.

We must learn to measure life with the sense of the infinite. We must not think that a person has failed because they have not left money and treasure behind. We must cease to think that we can tell whether work is high or lowly by the size of the wage. We need eyes to see the glory of the least act in the light of the glowing motive.

Sex, Virtue & Problem Solving | Divine Sexuality

Sex, Virtue & Problem Solving | Divine Sexuality

February 7, 2019

Listen to episode 342 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Sex, Virtue & Problem Solving | Divine Sexuality. Edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you have benefited from our podcast and would like to support us with a one-time donation, you’re financial support will help ensure our podcast stays freely online for years to come. To make a donation, please visit LivingHour.org/donate. Thank you.

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

So, have you got a problem? That's good! Why? Because repeated victories over your problems are the rungs on your ladder of success. With each victory you grow in wisdom, stature, and experience. You become a better, bigger, more successful person each time you meet a problem, and tackle and conquer it with a positive mental attitude.

Stop and think about it for a moment. Do you know of a single instance where any real achievement was made in your life, or in the life of any person in history, that was not due to a problem with which the individual was faced?

Everyone has problems. That’s because you and everything in the universe are in a constant process of change. Change is an inexorable natural law. What is important for you to know is this: that your success or failure to meet the challenges of change are dependent upon your mental attitude.

You can direct your thoughts and control your emotions, and thus regulate your attitude. You can choose whether your attitude will be positive or negative. You can decide whether you will affect, use, control, or harmonize with the changes in yourself and your environment. You can ordain your own destiny. When you meet the challenges of change with a positive mindset, you can intelligently solve each problem with which you are confronted.

How do you meet a problem with positivity? Well, if you know and believe the first principal element of a positive mindset: That God is always a good God — then you can effectively use the following formula to meet your problems, regardless of how perplexing they may be....

Success, Failure & The Law of Habit | A New Mindset

Success, Failure & The Law of Habit | A New Mindset

February 5, 2019

Listen to episode 341 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Success, Failure & The Law of Habit. Edited and adapted from How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. The topic of today’s podcast is on the importance of success habits. To go beyond today’s podcast for further listening or reading on habit building, check out Blinkist, the knowledge-boosting app that takes the best key takeaways, the need-to-know information, from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes of reading or listening time.

Two great books on habit building that you can find on Blinkist are Mini Habits by Stephen Guise and The 7 Habits of High Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Right now, for a limited time, Blinkist has a special offer just for our audience. Go to https://blinkist.com/living to start your free 7 day trial.

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

THE world lives, moves, and has its being in obedience to established and unchanging law. The human individual (physically, mentally, and emotionally) is also subject to law. If you understand and work with the law, you are master of your life. If you are ignorant of the law, and so fail to live in harmony with it, you will suffer.

The laws of life cannot be changed. They are beneficial if used, and harmful if disobeyed. For example, there is a natural law that electricity will kill you if it enters your body in sufficient quantity. However, this does not prevent us from gaining all the benefits of the use of electricity, such as light, heat, and locomotion.

Water will drown us, but it will also help to sustain life. Fire destroys, but under our control it warms and serves us. The laws under which these things work must be understood and obeyed. Then that which would otherwise prove harmful becomes a blessing....

The Best Wisdom of Aristotle | Philosophers & Philosophy

The Best Wisdom of Aristotle | Philosophers & Philosophy

January 31, 2019

Listen to episode 340 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Best of Aristotle | Philosophers & Philosophy. Edited and adapted from the works of Aristotle.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you enjoy our podcast, you can help us spread the word by sharing your favorite episode on Facebook or Twitter, or by simply mentioning us to a friend. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the works of Aristotle.

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives — and choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power, and it is not easy.”

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.”

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

“The one who overcomes their desires is braver than the one who conquers their enemies, for the hardest victory is over oneself.”

“To write well, express yourself like the common folk, but think like the wise individual.”

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”

“A friend to all is a friend to none.”

Mastering Your Fate & Destiny | Life Lessons

Mastering Your Fate & Destiny | Life Lessons

January 29, 2019

Listen to episode 339 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Mastering Your Fate & Destiny | Life Lessons. Edited and adapted from The Book of Business by Elbert Hubbard.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get thought-provoking gifts, t-shirts, iPhone cases, and more by visiting our sister website BookofZen.com. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Book of Business by Elbert Hubbard, published in 1913.

The driving theme of Ecclesiastes is moderation. Buddha proclaimed that the greatest word in any language is "equanimity." William Morris said that the finest blessing of life was systematic, useful work. Saint Paul declared that the greatest thing in life was love. Moderation, equanimity, work and love — you need no other physician.

The individual who has achieved success is the one who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much. The secret of success is this: There is no secret of success. Keep your chin up and your head high. We are gods in a chrysalis.

Success is a result of mental attitude, and the right mental attitude will bring success in everything you undertake. In fact, there is no such thing as failure, except to those who accept and believe in failure. Failure! There is no such word in all the bright lexicon of speech, unless you yourself have written it there.

A great success is made up of an aggregation of little ones. These finally form a whole. The person who fills a position of honor and trust has first filled many smaller positions of trust. The leader who oversees ten thousand has had the charge of many small squads. And before that leader had charge of a small squad, they had charge of themselves. The one who does their work so well that they need no supervision has already succeeded. And the acknowledgment of their success is sure to follow in the form of a promotion.

The world wants its work done. And civilization is simply a search for men and women who can do things. Success is the most natural thing in the world. The worker who does not succeed has placed themselves in opposition to the laws of the universe.

The world needs you — it wants what you produce. You can serve it, and if you will, it will reward you richly. By doing your work, you are moving along the line of least resistance — it is a form of self-protection. You need what others have to give — they need you.