Category Archives: Motivationals

Finding Goodness in Everyday Things

Dental floss monster

Image by -Kj. via Flickr

My dentist said something very insightful today (he was referring to my flossing habits but it only took me a heartbeat to think of all the profound universal applications ) – “If you don’t enjoy something then you’ll never get any goodness from it.” So ridiculously true!

Every day we do things, run of the mill stuff like vacuuming your carpet, responding to mails, going to the gym or flossing your teeth. Things we have to do or SHOULD do. Things we don’t necessarily enjoy and in some cases loathe. If we lack enjoyment of these small actions we find less goodness in life but if you look at it another way then doing these things are not joyful because we haven’t found something we like about it and therefore strive against it or procrastinate or deprioritize (yes, I just made that word up).

So.. my homework assignment for you is:

1.  Pick any three of the things that you HAVE to or SHOULD do or WANT to do regularly but don’t necessarily enjoy.

2.  Now take a moment to acknowledge any barriers you have against these actions and once you acknowledge that push it aside and try to forget all the reasons you don’t do it and all the reservations you have against it.

3.  Next visualise how this thing can improve your life, perhaps take a few minutes to do a bit of googling about the positive contributions that this action of doing will bring to your life.

4.  Think really hard about these positive aspects and try to find something that you like or could like about doing this thing that you don’t enjoy, something that could make it fun for you.

5.  Once you’ve decided what you like about it you can positively reprogram yourself.  Every time the negative thought pops into your head – push it out with the positive thought that you have picked.

It’s almost like in Peter Pan where they have to find happy thoughts that are stronger than their fear of flying.  We can use positive reprogramming to systematically do more and at the same time get more goodness in our lives by finding joy in the little things.

So next time you’re doing something you hate or that you have to do or that you want to do (whichever the case may be)… try to find something you enjoy about it so you can get some goodness from it.




Quotes Worth Remembering

Kierkegaard Quote

Image by M.V. Jantzen via Flickr

“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.” – Samuel Johnson

“One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.”- Erich Fromm

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

“Strong people make as many mistakes as weak people. Difference is that strong people admit their mistakes, laugh at them, learn from them. That is how they become strong.” – Richard Needham

“Love measures our stature: the more we love, the bigger we are.There is no smaller package in all the world than that of a man all wrapped up in himself.” – William Sloane Coffin

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. …When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.” – William Arthur Ward

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“There are no facts, only interpretations.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” – Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” – George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“We have art to save ourselves from the truth.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

“He who has a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.” – Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” – Voltaire (1694-1778)

“All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.” – Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix

“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti

“When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honors on your head.” – Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)

“In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.” – Paul Dirac (1902-1984) “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) “When ideas fail, words come in very handy.” – Goethe (1749-1832)

“In the end, everything is a gag.” – Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) “The nice thing about egotists is that they don’t talk about other people.” – Lucille S. Harper

“You can pretend to be serious; you can’t pretend to be witty.” – Sacha Guitry (1885-1957)

“Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.” – Voltaire (1694-1778)

“When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.” – Mae West (1892-1980)

“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.” – Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)

“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” – Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)

“Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.” – Thomas Jones

“What other people think about you is none of your bussiness.” – Dalai Lama

“Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things.” – Epictetus (55-135 A.D.)

“Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” – Oscar Wilde.

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of old ones.” – John Cage

“True friends stab you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”-Winston Churchill

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” Hunter S. Thompson

Never underestimate your opponent. – Sun-Tzu

“Know what I pray for? The strength to change what I can, the inability to accept what I can’t and the incapacity to tell the difference.”
Calvin (Calvin & Hobbes)

“Only when the last tree has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught; Only then, will you find that money cannot be eaten.” Cree Indian Prophecy

“It is better to break one’s heart than to do nothing with it.”– Margaret Kennedy

“We are, many of us, a planet orbiting somebody’s sun, unconscious of a lonely moon, orbiting our planet.” -Robert Braul

Some love stories are short stories, but they are love stories none the less.

Borrow money from pessimists – they don’t expect it back.

Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film!

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

There is a light at the end of every tunnel….just pray it’s not a train.

All Men Are Animals; Some Just Make Better Pets.

The only reason that I talk to myself is because that I’m the only one whose answers I accept.

Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.

Don’t let your victories go to your head, or your failures go to your heart.

The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it’s open.

The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

Don’t waste your time on a guy that isn’t willing to waste his time on you.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways.

A Breakdown of The Four Agreements

A couple of years ago an amicable neighbour shoved a small book into my hands and told me that I would enjoy reading it.  He was absolutely right.  Reading the book brought a lot of positive changes to my life.  It changed the way I thought about certain things, the way I interacted with people.  Since then I have recommended this book to many of my closest friends and even went out and bought two of my own copies – both of which are travelling the globe somewhere.

The Four Agreements was written by Don Miguel Ruiz.  The agreements are derived from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native Southern Mexicans.  Wise people indeed.  The book provides wonderful insights and once read guides your life into a greater understanding of yourself and those you interact with.

I would recommend this book to anyone since there is no one person who would not benefit from applying these codes to their lives.  Even though it is a small and easy to read book I know that many simply don’t have the time to sit and read – so for those people I would like to offer a breakdown of the Agreements and how they can be used in your life.

The First Agreement

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Be honest with yourself and others.  Speak with integrity.  Don’t make promises or commitments you can’t keep.  Don’t lie.  Remember too that just because something is true that doesn’t mean you have to say it.  Think about your words rather than just blurting them out.  Say only the things you really mean.  Avoid causing unnecessary hurt and pain to others because of your own thoughtless words.  Don’t speak out in anger or resentment – compose yourself and speak the truth instead.  Don’t speak ill of others or yourself.  Don’t give in to the temptation to gossip.

In the long run venomous words will compromise you.  Let your words be guided by truth and love.  Words carry great power and can cause great hurt and great joy.  Use your words wisely.

The Second Agreement

Don’t Take Anything Personally

This is perhaps the hardest agreement of all.  Every single day people we encounter may do or say things that we tend to take personally.  After all how can you not take things like insults, rejection and personal slights personally?  You have to realise however that no matter how a person acts, reacts or what they say or don’t say, do or don’t do – none of it is really because of or about you or who you are or what you have done.  It is simply a projection of their own reality.

To a certain extent we all live in our own heads.  You have no idea what is really going on in someone else’s head nor what fuels their actions.  It is very important for your own peace of mind to be able to distance yourself from becoming subjective to someone else’s reality – even when you or they believe that what they do or say is following the truth.  When you reach a point where you can stop and realize that sometimes what is happening has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person then you regain your own power.

Eventually you will learn that you can filter the negative and use the positive.  It lends you an immunity to the suffering you will endure because of the opinions and actions of others and you stop being a victim.  I’m not saying you should discard the opinions of others, they can be invaluable,  you just have to learn which opinions can be used constructively and which can’t.

The Third Agreement

Don’t Make Assumptions

Misunderstanding is the mother of all f*#k-ups.  There are few things of greater importance than clear communication.  We all tend to fill in the blanks and make assumptions and as a result you may think that you are on the same page as the person you are communicating with when in truth you are on the same page… but in an entirely different book.

Don’t make assumptions about what someone else is saying or doing, be very clear in your own communications and if there are any areas you are unclear on then ask for clarification.  Sometimes you may be afraid to do so for some reason or another but by not doing so you are setting yourself up for inevitable failure.  Find your courage and ask the questions you need to ask.  Most people will respect your initiative.  Ask yourself if there is anything in your own statements or actions that could be misread; if there are then you need to fill in the blanks before a misunderstanding occurs.  Express what you really want.  By doing that you are minimising the room for drama and awkwardness and error.

The Fourth Agreement

Always Do Your Best

You can’t always win and you can’t always be perfect but you can always do your best.  You best today is not necessarily going to be the same as your best tomorrow since there are many things that influence us on a daily basis.  You have to take your capabilities into account and you have to stop beating yourself up over things you can’t possibly have done any better.

When you have done your best you will never have the regret that you didn’t give that 10% more.  You will know that you gave it everything you could no matter what anyone else (or the voice inside your head) says.  After all – we simply can’t do better than our best.  Choose the things you want to do and have to do then go ahead do it to the best of your capability.  By applying yourself 100% you won’t have to deal with regret or remorse.  Stop judging and recriminating yourself.  Even if your best isn’t good enough then at least you’ll know that it really was the best that you could do and you can move on with a clear conscience.  By living each day to the fullest and silencing the negative voices in our heads we open up a door to greater fulfilment in life.

If you have enjoyed this summary click on the image above, it is linked to the amazon website where you can purchase your own copy of this amazing book.

For Information on Miguel Ruiz and please visit his website

Further Reading:

Seeking Freedom by Misty Summers

Assumptions by Michael Ruiz Jr

Sacred Time Management – HeatherAsh Amara

Who’s kissing you now? – Barbara Emrys

Putting the ‘pro’ back in ‘productive’

We all have those days where the world is an endless black abyss. On these days (when pulling the cover over one’s head or phoning in sick seems like the only option) we have to pull as much light and energy into ourselves as we can and start doing things. It isn’t always easy because the truth of the matter is that life is constantly testing us. Without these trials and tribulations we would never grow. We would stagnate in the situations we have carved in life. We would be deprived of the wealth of emotion and experience that life has to offer.

There is a reason for the saying – “If you want something done, you have to do it yourself”. It is especially true when applied to our own states of mind. When we apply ourselves and put those minds in the right state (hence put our minds to it) we can achieve practically anything. The first step is to adopt positive attitude. It is that attitude which draws the goodness of the world towards us. Negativity draws more negativity. By adopting a positive outlook in life we open a door to increased productivity. Furthermore, it helps decrease our stress levels, thereby increasing our physical and spiritual well-being – improving our overall happiness – which in turns leads to even more positivity and greater productivity.

The bottom line is – just do it.

Whether you have been dying to start a new project, take up a sport or hobby or branch out to other fields… stop dreaming and start doing. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t start somewhere. For those who feel frustrated because life isn’t fulfilling all your desires – I would recommend that you read ‘The Alchemist‘ by Paulo Coelho. It is a magical parable addressing the need and ability to fulfill our destinies.

The world is our oyster. When we choose something, something real, and pursue it with faith and hope, then in turn “everything in the universe conspires to help you fulfill your destiny”. Feed your souls. Open your eyes. Smell the roses (unless you suffer from hay fever in which case make sure to take your tablets first…). Most importantly – get out of bed and get living.

With love,

%d bloggers like this: