the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
first question to be answered by any individual or any social
group facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be
met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.
comes not alone by removing the outward causes and occasions of fear, but
by the discovery of inward reservoirs to draw upon.
I could fill a book with stories of people who forgot themselves
into health and happiness. For example, let's take the case
of Margaret Tayler Yates, one of the most popular women in the
United States Navy.
Mrs. Yates is a writer of novels, but none of her mystery stories
is half so interesting as the true story of what happened to her
that fateful morning when the Japanese struck our fleet at Pearl
Harbor. Mrs. Yates had been an invalid for more than a
year: bad heart. She spent twenty-two out of every
twenty-four hours in bed. The longest journey that she
undertook was a walk into the garden to take a sunbath. Even
then, she had to lean on the maid's arm as she walked. She
herself told me that in those days she expected to be an invalid
for the balance of her life. "I would never have really
lived again," she told me, " if the Japanese had not
struck Pearl Harbor and jarred me out of my complacency."
"When this happened," Mrs. Yates said, as she told her
story, "everything was chaos and confusion. One bomb
struck so near my home, the concussion threw me out of bed.
Army trucks rushed out to Hickam Field, Scofield Barracks, and
Kaneohe Bay Air Station, to bring Army and Navy wives and children
to the public schools.
the Red Cross telephoned those who had extra rooms to take them
in. The Red Cross workers knew that I had a telephone beside
my bed, so they asked me to be a clearinghouse of
information. So I kept track of where Army and Navy wives
and children were being housed, and all Navy and Army men were
instructed by the Red Cross to telephone me to find out where
their families were.
"I soon discovered that my husband, Commander Robert Raleigh
Yates, was safe. I tried to cheer up the wives who did not
know whether their husbands had been killed; and I tried to give
consolation to the widows whose husbands had been killed--and they
were many. Two thousand, one hundred and seventeen officers
and enlisted men in the Navy and Marine Corps were killed and 960
were reported missing.
"At first I answered these phone calls while lying in
bed. Then I answered them sitting up in bed. Finally,
I got so busy, so excited, that I forgot all about my weakness and
got out of bed and sat by a table. By helping others who
were much worse off than I was, I forgot all about myself; and I
have never gone back to bed again except for my regular eight
hours of sleep each night. I realize now that if the
Japanese had not struck at Pearl Harbor, I would probably have
remained a semi-invalid all my life. I was comfortable in
bed. I was constantly waited on, and I now realize that I
was unconsciously losing my will to rehabilitate myself.
"The attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the greatest tragedies
in American history, but as far as I was concerned, it was one of
the best things that ever happened to me. The terrible
crisis gave me strength that I never dreamed I possessed. It
took my attention off myself and focused it on others. It
gave me something big and vital and important to live for. I
no longer had time to think about myself or care about
A third of the people who rush to psychiatrists for help could
probably cure themselves if they could only do as Margaret Yates
did: get interested in helping others. My idea?
No, that is approximately what Carl Jung said. And he ought
to know--if anybody does. He said: "About
one-third of my patients are suffering from no clinically defined
neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their
lives." To put it another way, they are trying to thumb
a ride through life--and the parade passes them by. So they
rush to a psychiatrist with their petty, senseless, useless
lives. Having missed the boat, they stand on the wharf,
blaming everyone except themselves and demanding that the world
cater to their self-centered desires. . . .
However humdrum your existence may be, you surely meet some people
every day of your life. What do you do about them? Do
you merely stare through them, or do you try to find out what it
is that makes them tick? How about the postal delivery
person, for example--they travel hundreds of miles every year,
delivering your mail; but have you ever taken the trouble to find
out where he or she lives, or asked to see a snapshot of his or
her family? Did you ever ask if he or she gets tired, or
What about the grocery boy, the newspaper vendor, the chap at the
corner who polishes shoes? These people are human--bursting
with troubles, and dreams, and private ambitions. They are
also burning for the chance to share them with someone. But
do you ever let them? Do you ever show an eager, honest
interest in them or their lives? That's the sort of thing I
mean. You don't have to become a Florence Nightingale or a
social reformer to help improve the world--your own private world;
you can start tomorrow morning with the people you meet!
What's in it for you? Much greater happiness! Greater
satisfaction, and pride in yourself! Aristotle called this
kind of attitude "enlightened selfishness."
Zoroaster said, "Doing good to others is not a duty. It
is a joy, for it increases your own health and
happiness." And Benjamin Franklin summed it up very
simply--"When you are good to others," said Franklin,
"you are best to yourself."
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
Willing to Be a Little Outrageous to Get What You Want!
Lisa Jimenez, M.Ed.
psychologists say, "If a child has not had a serious
fall within the first year of life, they are being too
closely guarded." Now you might not agree with
that statement in regards to children, but that statement
needs to be said for our adult lives. Have you had a
serious fall in the past year? If not, is it because
you're being too closely guarded? Are you too
cautious? Too safe? Too practical? Too
lack of courage is costing you - a lot! It is your lack of
courage that keeps you from greater profits, more intimate
relationships, and a life you love!
good news is one act of courage--in any area of your
life--has a powerful affect on all the other areas of your
life. Your career, your marriage, your friendships
need just one outrageous act to bounce you out of a rut
and into a more abundant, courageous life!
one of my recent speeches, after sharing with my audience
about the time I moved to Hawaii by myself at the age of
18, I asked them to yell out the most outrageous thing
they've ever done in life. After a short pause a man
yelled, "I once bought a sailboat, and I didn't know
a thing about sailing!" Another shouted,
"I walked away from a six-figure income to start my
own business!" A lady called out, "I
backpacked in Europe for a summer!" another shouted,
"I met a man in a bar and married him--and we're
still happily married today!"
synergy in that room was magical! As we relived our most
outrageous acts of courage, we began to paint a path to
is like a muscle. It's weak until it's worked out. But it
doesn't take long to build this courage muscle into a
strong, fit, powerful force!
are your most outrageous acts of courage? Think
about them. Relive them. And let these
memories from the courageous side of you help empower the
possibilities of today.
courageous act leads to another. It creates a
is the one thing you are willing to do right now that's a
little outrageous to get your courageous muscles back into
it! And watch opportunity begin to open up in all areas of
your life. There's something about being willing to
go all out that reminds us of just how big and abundant
life can be. This one act of courage is your first step
that will lead you to a courageous mentality and life of
it a great and prosperous day.
Jimenez M.Ed. Lisa Jimenez has helped thousands of top
salespeople shatter their self-limiting beliefs and
finally get the breakthrough success they want.
Wilferd A. Peterson
to the art of listening is selectivity. You stand guard at
the ear-gateway to your mind, heart and spirit. You decide
what you will accept. . .
the good. Tune your ears to love, hope and courage.
Tune out gossip, fear and resentment.
the beautiful. Relax to the music of the masters; listen to
the symphony of nature -- hum of the wind in the treetops, bird
songs, thundering surf.
with your eyes. Imaginatively listen to the sounds in a
poem, a novel, a picture.
critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas,
philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind.
with patience. Do not hurry other people. Show them
the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how
much you disagree. You may learn something.
with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen; put
yourself in the other person's place and try to hear his or her
problems in your heart.
for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask
questions. Everyone has something to say that will help you
creatively. Listen carefully for ideas or the germs of
ideas. Listen for hints or clues that will spark creative
yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest
aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better
person within you.
with depth. Be still and meditate. Listen with the ear
of intuition for the inspiration of the Infinite.
Life in this world moves very quickly these days, and things
change sometimes faster than we're able to keep up with.
Sometimes something that ends up being harmful to us is a part of
our culture for years before we realize the harm that's being
done--just look at how long cigarettes were a normal part of life
until we realized how damaging they were to our health, and
then add to that the amount of time it took us to reach a point at
which not smoking is more "normal" and acceptable than
smoking, and you see that we're not always very good at
recognizing serious problems even when they're staring us right in
the face (or entering our lungs and causing serious health
These days, we still have our share of damaging addictions to
chemicals such as methamphetamine and alcohol and tobacco, but we
also have in our societies several new addictive tendencies that
can be ignored because they seem so harmless--mostly because they
don't have any serious physical side effects that we can
witness. But these addictions are taking over many people,
especially the young, and making life much more difficult for
them. Unless we do something to help the young people combat
these addictions, it seems quite certain that they're going to
develop the addictive sides of their personalities much more
strongly than other aspects of who they are, and that may make
things much more difficult for them in the future.
In working with high school students over the last few years, I've
found that many students who have cell phones have become addicted
to sending and receiving text messages. I've watched
students sit though entire classes learning absolutely nothing
because they're so focused on keeping their cell phones hidden,
while surreptitiously glancing at the screen every thirty seconds
or so to see if they've received a new message. And when
that new message does come, they do everything they can to reply
to it without getting caught, taking their minds even further from
the work at hand.
Their lack of ability to focus on the task at hand (learning) is
very real, and it has a strong effect on the work that they do and
the grades they receive. These effects in turn affect
intrinsic elements of their beings, such as their self-esteem,
self-image, and confidence. In addition, according to a CBS
News article from this April, “The problem here is we don’t
get the nonverbal training that we need for later in life, on a
job interview, talking with a friend, consoling friends,” said
child psychologist David Swanson. “We’re missing that along
If I told you that you were much more likely to get into a car
accident if you were to play a video game while driving, you
probably wouldn't play the game, right? Unfortunately,
people aren't nearly as likely to give up their cell phones.
A recent article from England states: "Drivers texting
while driving, on the other hand, are 23 times more likely to be
involved in an accident." Twenty-three times is a huge
increase, yet many people aren't willing to give up their texting
in order to focus on their driving.
The downside here is significant. How can you live your life
fully if you're full of regret for having caused an accident that
killed an innocent person because you were texting? How can
you feel proud of yourself when you constantly bend or break the
rules at school in order to sneak out a text message or two per
class? How can you feel pride in your work when you know
that of the three hours you spent on the project, at least
forty-five minutes were spent reading and sending text messages?
Other new addictions include addictions to information,
addictions to television, addictions to video games, and the
like. Each of these addictions have several
similarities--they involve people being passively entertained,
instead of going out and doing something they can be proud
of. They involve people learning to interact with computers
or TV screens, rather than learning how to interact with their
fellow human beings. They involve people squandering the
little time that they've been given on this planet, time that
could be used to do very positive things for themselves and other
And while I fully believe in rest and in taking time for ourselves
to relax and recharge, I know that spending hours and hours in
front of the TV or with the cell phone is losing time that we'll
never get back, and losing opportunities to grow and learn and to
Our new addictions are in some ways even more insidious than some
of our older ones, mostly because we don't see the physical
manifestations of them and because they're so easy to explain away
as simply "pastimes." But if we truly do want to
get the most out of these lives that we've been given, it's
important that we be fully aware of how we spend our time and
I am the poster boy
for overcommitment. And I'm not particularly proud of
that. We all have our weaknesses, and if I look at my life in
the last decade, running too fast has been mine. Oh, I could
justify that it's nearly all good stuff that I run toward--I'm not the
guy blowing two hours watching trash TV or playing two rounds of golf
a week while my sons wonder why Dad never shows up for their games.
I could match my
attendance at kids' games with nearly any parent and come out on
top. I could rationalize that I've never had a nervous breakdown
or resorted to any sort of illicit drug--pop isn't illegal, is it?--to
keep myself going.
Still, I have to
face the reality that I'm far busier than I should be.
The good news is,
I'm changing; the bad news is, that's like a 400-pound man saying he's
going on a diet.
At times, my weeks
have this Houdini quality about them: I bind myself in handcuffs
and crawl into a trunk. The trunk is wrapped with chains.
Then the trunk is dropped to the bottom of the East River to see if I
can break free and swim to the surface without drowning.
Thus far, I've
gotten out of the jam every time, broken the surface of the water just
before my lungs are about to burst.
But though that
might equate to success in the world's eyes, it does not in God's
eyes. Because enslaving ourselves like that asks a price, though
we're often so desperately trying to unshackle ourselves that we don't
take time to notice.
For me, that price
has been a number of things:
A subtle, but
real, loss of patience: When you're tired, anger more easily
gains a foothold on you. It may not be a four-letter-word,
dog-kicking, fist-slamming barrage of anger, but I know it's
there. And I know it sometimes gets used against the people I
love the most.
A subtle, but
real, loss of creativity: When you're tired, you're more apt to
settle for the ordinary when, somewhere deep inside, you might find
A subtle, but
real, loss of control over the more mundane aspects of life:
checking accounts that need more consistent pruning, financial matters
that need more plowing and planting, closets and dressers that need
more consistent weeding.
But the more
serious price has come in the areas that I'm called to make my
priorities: my relationship with God and my relationship with
others, in particular my wife.
I've given time to
both, but it hasn't been the quantity, or quality, they deserve.
Again, I look good on paper: I'm an elder at our church, I teach
Sunday school, I occasionally preach a sermon, I speak to men's
groups. But I know, deep down, that God doesn't want a resume from
me; He wants a relationship with me. And when you wedge
God into your daily planner as if He were just another line on the
To-Do List, that relationship suffers.
Likewise, I could
point out trips I've taken with my wife, presents I've given her,
dinners out we've shared. But I know, deep down, that she'd
trade such things for more consistent "ordinary" time with
me, time that might be nothing more than a walk around the block but
which is given with my full attention, not as some sort of
parenthetical phrase in the midst of a more significant sentence. . .
I've come to learn
that you can't have it all. So you have to decide what you want
and what you're willing to give up. Some people decide what they
want more than anything is to be successful in business and thus are
willing to sacrifice their family to get there. I'm not among
them. . . .
I believe we're
called to give our best to God; our work should be done with gusto and
quality. But we're also called to lives of balance, and when we
get out of balance, our work becomes a legalistic
going-through-the-motions, not something filled with heart. Our
work becomes more important than the people who it's intended
for. Our lives are guided by our heads and not our hearts.
this collection of heartwarming, introspective stories,
you'll find Welch's examinations of the things in life that
are truly important: the people you cherish, the
dreams you share, and the talents God has given exclusively
to you. You'll be reminded of the things that make
life so special: love, friendships, and building
relationships that last a lifetime.
we are harder on ourselves than others are. If we cannot
forgive ourselves, how can we forgive other people? Everyone's
to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, even those things we feel ashamed
about, and learn to accept ourselves for who we are, knowing that
we can always gently work on making improvements. For me,
the true experience of inner peace began only once I was able
to forgive those around me, my parents, and myself.