24 May 2016
view is that to sit back and let fate play its hand out and never
influence it is not the way people were meant to operate.
People judge you
by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of
gold, but so has a hard-boiled egg.
often mistake notoriety for fame, and would rather be remarked for
their vices and follies than not be noticed at all.
Harry S. Truman
question we do not see when we are young is whether we own pride
or are owned by it.
Choose the Path That Makes the Best Story
How do we keep from living a life with
regret? In the introduction to this book I
mentioned a woman named Margaret who told me how she
tried to live her life from the perspective of an old
woman sitting in a rocking chair on the porch.
She told me that whenever she had a decision to make
she asked herself this question: "When I am
an old woman sitting in my rocking chair thinking
about my life, what decision will I wish I had
made?" She told me that in almost every
case, the path she should take became clear to
her. Deena Metzger, well-known author and
spiritual guide, put it this way: "Choose
the path that makes for the best story."
This is an interesting but simple way to live a
life with ho regrets. We continually look ahead
and ask ourselves when I am old or when I come to
the end of my life will I regret the step I am about
to make? Will the way I am living now lead
to the path of regret or no regrets?
in my life, as a young adult, I had many opportunities
to do interesting things. As I listened to the
stories of people's lives, I realized that some of my
most significant regrets have to do with the
opportunities I turned away, often because of
fear. One of these moments occurred while I was
in seminary studying for the ministry. On two
occasions I was offered a summer chaplaincy internship
in two of America's great national parks, Grand Teton
and Shenandoah. Nature had always held a special
place in my heart, but I grew up in a large city and I
had never had the opportunity to spend a significant
amount of time in the outdoors.
idea of working in a park was deeply appealing, and
part of me knew the experience would be
invaluable. However, I was involved in a
relationship at the time and worried about being
separated from this person for a few months, so I
turned down the opportunity both times. To this
day, I believe that if I had projected my self ahead
to the old man on the porch, I might have heard myself
say: "If the relationship is strong, it
will survive the absence, but you love nature and may
never be offered this chance again." The
relationship did not last, and the opportunity never
is a more recent example from my life. This past
year a good friend of mine offered me the opportunity
to spend a month in East Africa with 15 other mid-life
men, meeting with tribal elders and camping in the
wilderness. This was a dream come true, but it
was my busiest time of the year, and I would have to
turn down a significant amount of work to take this
trip. This time, I paid a visit to that old man
on the porch. He told me: "When you
are my age, you won't miss the money you lost this
month, but you will carry Africa in your
heart." I took the trip, explored several
fascinating cultures, saw amazing wilderness that I
had never seen before, and missed the presence of my
family, which reminded me of how much they mean to
me. While in Tanzania, I sat with tribal elders
and germinated the idea for this project. My
worry about the interference of a "busy"
schedule almost got in the way of one of the most
important experiences of my life.
most important thing the conversations that led me to
this book taught me about this second secret is to
make sure we try for the things we want in our lives,
because we are unlikely to regret trying and
failing. The second most important lesson is
that if there is a relationship that must be healed,
heal it now. When I ask people about regrets in
their lives, most of them spoke about people in their
lives, about issues not resolved, words not spoken,
broken relationships never healed.
a society where old age is often
seen as weakness, The Five Secrets
is a refreshing reminder that our elders
have much to teach. Izzo writes, "Whenever
I am going to take a trip, I choose hotels
by using a website that taps into the
experiences of hundreds of other
travelers. It occurred to me that one
could apply this same method to discovering
the secrets to living well and dying happy."
How many pitfalls and heartaches could
be avoided if we consulted with travelers
who have taken the road before?
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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throwing more at us than we can handle? Thirty years in
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to Experience Life as a Thrilling Adventure
Adventure isn't hanging on a rope off
of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we
must apply to the day to day obstacles of life--
facing new challenges, seizing new options, testing
our resources against the unknown, and in the
process, discovering our own unique potential.
There is an old story about a mountain climber who had trained
many years to reach the highest peak in the western hemisphere,
the Aconcagua located in the Andes Mountains of western Argentina.
He wanted all the glory for himself, so he began climbing by
himself. Eager to reach the top, he did not prepare for camping.
Even though it was growing very late, he decided to keep climbing.
Soon the night grew cold, and heavy darkness fell around him at
a very high altitude. There was no moon, and clouds covered the
stars. The blackness around him was thick, and he lost all
As he was climbing a ridge only 100 meters from the top, he
slipped and fell! Falling rapidly, he only saw blotches of
darkness passing by him. He fell further and further into the
Memories of his life raced through his mind in those moments of
anguish. He thought that he would certainly die. Suddenly, he felt
a jolt that almost tore him in half!
He had taken the precaution to stake himself with a long rope
tied to his waist. In those still moments suspended in the air, he
shouted out, "Help me God! Help me!"
All of a sudden, he heard a deep voice from heaven. It asked,
"What do you want me to do?"
"Do you really think that I can save you?"
"Of course you can save me. You are God!"
"Then I want you to cut the rope that is holding you
There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just
held tighter to the rope. The next day, the rescue team said that
they found a frozen mountain climber clinging tightly to a rope
and hanging. . . two feet off the ground.
Seek Out New Experiences
The word adventure can evoke thoughts of excitement,
discovery, and challenge. Those who value adventure love to seek
new experiences. They celebrate life by welcoming its terrain,
both rugged and smooth. They take responsibility for their journey
with all of its highs and lows.
They thrive on unexpected slips and slides, valleys and
mountains. They fall sometimes, and their faith allows them to
learn from the experience. They climb back up, and create new
Recognize Your Tremendous Potential
As John Amatt suggested, adventure is a way we can choose to
view life. It can also transform the way we experience life.
one way to learn the lessons we came here to learn.
Adventure is not simply traveling and sightseeing. It is
"seeing" from a transformed perspective. There we can
discover our purpose, and accept ourselves as worthwhile people
who have both needs and tremendous potential.
Allow Experiences to be Transformative
A person peers through the misty rainbow decorating a
thundering waterfall hundreds of feet above an endless glacier
valley. Her heart begins to race. Her experience has touched her
beyond the physical senses. All of life's peaks and valleys can be
transformative if we allow them to touch us deeply.
Sometimes we will feel as though we are "hanging on a
rope," unable to see our way--unable to move. Then we must
remember to act with faith. Life will always be a series of peaks
and valleys. We can discover strength in climbing, and resiliency
if we must "cut the rope" and begin again. Life on earth
is an adventure with one chance to live it. That chance exists in
this very moment. Seize it completely!
* * * * * *
© Steve Brunkhorst. Steve is a
professional life success coach, motivational author, and the
editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a
popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets,
and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and
personal life. Contact Steve by visiting http://AchieveEzine.com
Wallpaper! Just click below
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photo's from a fall
day in the Cascade mountains)
x 800 - 1440
leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So it was when my life began;
So it is now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is the father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
the Most of Your Opportunities
Like many other youngsters, I played Little League baseball. I was
a pretty good fielder, but when it came to hitting, I was -- to put it
bluntly -- pathetic. That's because I was afraid of getting hit by
the ball. So, when the pitcher reared back to throw, I'd tend to
back away from the plate.
One day in my little league "career" stands out in my
memory. It was my turn to bat, and I stepped up to the plate to
face one of the best pitchers in the league. This kid
threw hard. Well, he fired a fastball and I swung.
CRACK! By some miracle, I hit the ball and sent a long line drive
between the center fielder and right fielder.
Let me tell you, I was stunned, never having heard that sound come from
MY bat before. So, I began to race around the bases frantically,
chugging as fast as I could. The ball rolled so far that there was
no way the outfielder could retrieve it in time. I could have
crawled around the bases and made it home safely.
Well, after I crossed home plate my teammates jumped all over me.
They, too, were amazed by my slugging prowess. I was elated . . .
until, out of the corner of me eye, I saw the catcher from the opposing
team walking toward our dugout. He had the ball in his hand . . .
and he tagged me.
The home plate umpire yelled, "You're out! You missed home
plate." Talk about the agony of defeat -- not to mention the
embarrassment! My home run was snatched away from me. Then,
adding insult to injury, the first base umpire said, "He missed
first base also." Oh, well--at least I touched two of the
How did it happen? Why did I have so much trouble running the
bases and completing the home run? My problem was, I didn't expect
to hit the ball. So when I did, I wasn't
You see, when your expectations are low, it's hard to take advantage of
"the breaks" that come your way. With that in mind, here
are two specific suggestions to help you make the most of your
Adjust Your Attitude
When I stepped up to the plate in those Little League games, I had a
lousy attitude. I kept telling myself, "I'm not a good
hitter," and "I'll never hit the ball very far."
became a self-fulfilling prophecy and, as a result, I rarely hit the
ball. When I did hit the ball into the outfield that day, I was
stunned and ran around the bases like a chicken
without a head. Remember, low expectations lead to disappointing
Are there any areas of your life where you're giving yourself negative
messages right now? If so, it's important to change your attitude immediately. Otherwise, your
performance will remain at a low level.
A positive attitude, by itself, won't guarantee that you make the most
of your opportunities. The next crucial step is preparation.
Because I didn't expect to hit the ball, I didn't study the technique
for running the bases. (There is a proper technique, you know!)
Had I practiced navigating the diamond, I would have been more
successful when I actually hit the ball.
The same is true in your career. Let's say John is a successful
salesperson and has a chance to be promoted to district manager.
What kinds of skills might be important
for him to develop? First, he'll probably be required to do some
public speaking at monthly meetings or sales conventions. If John
isn't already an accomplished speaker, he'd do well to join a group like
Toastmasters to improve his speaking skills.
John may also need help in motivating and managing a staff with diverse
personalities. He can read books, attend seminars and obtain
guidance from other successful managers to develop this skill.
Regardless of his approach, however, if John fails to prepare, he
probably won't make the most of his promotion when it comes; and he may
not even land the promotion at all.
By the way, when should John start to prepare? As early as
possible! The sad truth is, most people start to prepare when it's too
late. If John aspires to be a district
manager, he should start preparing well before he gets the
promotion. That way, he'll demonstrate that he deserves to move up
the ladder and, when he gets the new job, he'll be ready to show his
It all comes down to this: when you combine a great attitude with
thorough preparation, you're sure to hit many home runs!
Jeff Keller is the
President of Attitude is Everything, Inc. For more than 15 years,
Jeff has delivered presentations on attitude and motivation to
businesses, groups and trade associations throughout the United States and abroad. Jeff is also the
author of the highly acclaimed book, Attitude is Everything. For
more information, go to http://www.attitudeiseverything.com
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am willing to put myself through anything;
temporary pain or
discomfort means nothing
to me as long as I can see that the
will take me to a new level. I am interested in
the unknown, and the only path to the unknown
is through breaking
barriers, an often painful process.
Most people sit around, doing the same things
over and over, waiting for some sort of catalyst to come
along and turn them into fulfillment of their potential.
They don’t understand that the catalyst rarely
just comes to them—they must go out in search of it,
and they must actively try to find it.
many people, as soon as they find that catalyst, they
try very hard to put out the flame, because they’re
afraid of what’s going to happen when the flame
engulfs them completely.
They have the opportunity to reach fulfillment of
their potential, yet they shy away from allowing that
potential to break free.
They want complete control over the fulfillment
of their potential, not realizing that it’s only in
the letting go of the control that they can ever find
others, sadly, spend their entire lives running from the
flame, never letting it touch them, for their fear is so
strong that they cannot live fully.
They spend their lives in darkness, fearing the
illumination of the flame that would allow them to see
through the darkness that they choose for themselves."
Lesson on Potential
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