2013 Thought for the Day Archive
Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
- Louisa May Alcott
Sometimes we embark on lofty goals. At times we may doubt whether we will actually reach them. In these moments of uncertainty, stay hopeful and do your best every day to move closer toward achieving your final outcome.
Today, take a moment to look up and believe in your highest aspirations.
Everyone has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.
- Jeremy Collier
Life circumstances are not merely determined by luck or chance. Our will and perseverance influence final results. Success is attainable – however, we need to want success and work toward it every day.
Today, put in the effort…remember that your effort will positively impact your final outcome!
There is no impossibility to him who stands prepared to conquer every hazard. The fearful are the failing.
- Sarah J. Hale
Believe in yourself and in the resources available to you. Know, deep inside, that whatever happens, you will have the motivation, strength, and resources to make it through. Do not fear failure, bumps in the road, or challenging situations. Let go of fear and worry…it is destructive. Instead, live life and know you are prepared to live - as it is.
Today, have faith, there is no impossibility.
Our greatest glory consist not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- Oliver Goldsmith
We all fall at some point in our lives. We are learning and doing our best. Therefore, we cannot expect it to be perfect all the time. If we learn from our falls, mistakes, and poor judgments, then we can become wiser, stronger, and better tomorrow. Success is achieved not by staying down when you fall. Success is achieved by rising and picking yourself up after you fall and believing you are capable of success.
Today, if you fall, pick yourself up. Your effort and journey is not over yet!
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
- Booker T. Washington
Take a moment to reflect on your success. I am sure you have achieved many goals in life. However, reaching a goal is just the tip of the iceberg. Your will and determination to overcome obstacles along the way has proven to be the means of your success.
Today, reflect on your success. Know that you have the strength and determination you need to make it through whatever obstacles come your way.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
- Patrick Henry
Do not let the past determine what you will accomplish today or in the future. Let’s say you tried to accomplish something in the past but despite your best effort at the time, you had difficulty achieving your goal. Try to let the previous experience go. Today is different and perhaps you are more prepared and have better resources to support your effort.
Today, focus your attention on today and the future and let go of whatever happened in the past.
Purpose is what gives life a meaning.
- C. H. Parkhurst
Setting something as a goal gives life meaning and motivates us to do our best in any situation. Life without purpose is dull, whereas, life with purpose is vibrant, full, and satisfying. What do you want to accomplish today, this year, or in your life? Set a goal and start to pursue it!
Today, recognize a goal you have created in your life and relish in the feeling of having purpose in your life.
The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
- Robert Cushing
Cold and danger are sometimes inevitable. We can do our best to organize life so it is smooth and predictable. However, sometimes (no matter how hard we try) life cannot be organized and smooth. In these situations, it is best to go for it and have faith that you will be okay and everything will work out fine in the end. That initial leap into a new behavior or situation may be scary and unsettling but have faith in yourself, persevere, work hard, and you will make it.
Today, if you have been waiting for that perfect moment to start something new, consider going for it…don’t be afraid…sometimes we need to scramble.
The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
Make a serious and sincere effort to be the person you aspire to be. We are all striving for self-improvement on some level. We have the ability to change but we must go beyond thinking and act accordingly. Think seriously about what you want to change and how you want to appear, then make it happen by making your actions reflect your desired outcome.
Today, make a sincere effort to be the person you desire to be!
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
- Vincent van Gogh
I think we all have a tendency to stay within our comfort zone. It can be unsettling to attempt new and unknown situations. However, some of life’s greatest experiences come from stepping outside of our comfort zone and having the courage to try something new. We can accomplish anything we set our minds to, so do not limit yourself. Life offers so many incredible opportunities – we just need to have the awareness to see them and the courage to achieve them!
Today, have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone. How did it feel? What did you learn?
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.
- Elbert Hubbard
Every situation gives us an opportunity to learn. Of course we try to avoid error but we are not perfect. If a mistake occurs acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on. Do not live your life thinking that you must be perfect in every situation. Put your best effort forward and if you make a mistake or you feel like you could have done better, learn from it and make every attempt to avoid the same error in the future.
Today, put your best effort forward. If your day is less than what you hoped for, learn from it and try your best again tomorrow.
Happiness is not a goal, but a by-product.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Happiness is in the moment and in your actions. If you constantly view happiness as something to achieve, then you may never attain it.
Instead, feel happiness in this moment. Happiness is here, we just need to become aware of it and open to receiving it.
Today, in this moment, smile, open your heart and feel happy. There is no need to look any further.
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
- Henry David Thoreau
The positive qualities that make you distinctive require hard work. Building a strong character requires more than good intentions, we must act to build admirable qualities. If someone compliments your character, you can take great pride knowing that it is a reflection of your hard work. Building a strong character requires more effort than falling into poor character traits. Do not settle for mediocre. Work hard and strive for excellence!
Today, do something that helps you build strong character traits.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.
- Vince Lombardi
Whatever goal you are pursuing, believe in yourself and know that you have what it takes to be successful. Strength and knowledge are important factors that contribute to success. However, when strength and knowledge are lacking, will can carry you through.
Today, use the tools you have to achieve success!
We must be willing to relinquish the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
- Joseph Campbell
Being goal-oriented and planning for your life is a good thing. However, we must be flexible and willing to accept life’s twists and turns. Sometimes life does not unfold exactly has we planned, which can be hard to accept at times. In these situations, we must reorganize our plan and believe that everything will work out - our ultimate goal is still attainable.
Today, if life is not going as planned, reorganize and keep an open mind to what life is offering.
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
- Agnes Repplier
True happiness lies within. Do not get caught up in looking for happiness in things around you. Instead, take time to cultivate happiness within yourself. At times it may not be easy. We may feel frustrated and expect more. When it is hard, try to find even a sliver of happiness within yourself. Focus on the happiness you feel and not what makes you feel unhappy. In time, that sliver of happiness will grow immensely.
Today, find happiness within yourself...focus on it and let it grow!
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau
Every so often we should take a moment to evaluate whether we are living the life we envisioned. If we have gone astray, we should make every effort to adjust so we are moving in the direction of our dreams once again. Do not feel discouraged, rather walk confidently toward the life you intended.
Today, take a moment…are you living the life you imagined?
Obstacles are great incentives.
- Jules Michelet
Obstacles can certainly take us by surprise and shake things up. However, if we let go of the anxiety, anger, and sadness, obstacles will encourage us to act…and that is an incredible opportunity for new and brighter beginnings!
Today, think of any obstacle as a great incentive.
Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.
- Chinese Proverb
Reflect on your actions and how you present yourself. Do you lead by example? Do you expect the same of others that you expect of yourself? Whatever your role (colleague, spouse, parent, etc.) remember that actions can have greater impact than words. For example, if you want your children to read during the summer so they do not lose their skills, then make sure they see you reading and enjoying the time spent reading.
Today, when you give advice, look at whether your actions are giving the same message.
Problems have only the size and the power that you give them.
We cannot control when problems or challenges arise. However, we can control how we respond to problems or challenges. Have you ever noticed that a minor obstacle can escalate into something greater if we start worrying and obsessing about it? Therefore, when life presents situations that are challenging, take a moment to identify what the problem is and possible solutions. Try not to overreact. Respond thoughtfully, knowing that everything will work out.
Today, recognize challenges as they arise, respond in a way that cultivates a healthy resolution, then let the problem go…you no longer need to worry about it.
All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seems impossible.
--Orison Swett Marden
To accomplish great things, we must fix our gaze on a lofty goal, one that may seem impossible at times, but always achievable. Having the desire to change behavior toward something healthy and positive is a way of fixing your aim and valuing a healthier life.
Reflect on your life and recall other goals that you have accomplished (i.e. education, career, parenthood, marathon, musical instrument, surviving an illness, etc). Focus on one goal that really sticks out for you and think about it from beginning to end (or present). In the beginning, you may recall feeling ambitious about your pursuit…and maybe even a little nervous about how you would pursue your goal. You may recall thinking it through and preparing yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically for the commitment you were making. And then, as you started changing behavior, routines, etc. you may recall the need to stay focused with your gaze fixed on the day’s tasks and overall goal. Then, after days, weeks, months, and years of hard work and spurts of accomplishment, you achieve your goal.
Behavior change is attainable. If you are in the process, hold onto your ambition (no matter what) and keep moving closer to your goal every day. Yes, you may have a lofty goal, but you have achieved other lofty goals and you can achieve this too! Get excited about it…plan and prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally…stay focused on your new routine and way of thinking…behaving. Yes, there will be distractions and resistance along the way, but if you are prepared, focused, and committed, you will move past the distractions and resistance. Anything is possible…aim, commit, prepare, and stay focused.
Are you committed, prepared and focused today?
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
--John Quincy Adams
Changing old behaviors can be difficult at times. We each have personal obstacles that threaten to stand in our way and challenge certain aspects of our journey. How do we deal with difficulty and obstacles?
Of course at times we may feel intimidated by difficulty or doubt our ability to overcome obstacles. However, in truth, we all have what it takes to get through these moments – one moment at a time. We are courageous enough to face difficulty and will persevere through obstacles.
When we decide to change a behavior and move toward a healthier lifestyle, we have courage - courage to accept our dependence and courage to act and change our behavior. Or perseverance drives us forward and soon obstacles are bumps rather than overwhelming mountains. Believe in yourself. Be courageous and persevere through the goal you have set.
In what way can you be courageous and persevere today?
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
There are many things about behavior change that we have no control over. For example, the intensity of cravings. However, we do have control over some aspects of recovery. For example, how we respond to cravings and how we manage behavior change (i.e. counseling, support, meetings, exercise, meditation, pharmacotherapy, etc.).
Take a moment to think about the aspects of your life and behavior change that you can control and determine how you want to handle and cope in certain situations. Coping skills are much easier to execute when you identify them and have a plan. Stay committed to your plan, make minor adjustments as needed, and "do what you have to do" to achieve your plan.
Today, identify what you need to be successful in your behavior change. Write it down and hold yourself accountable and make it happen!
Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.
Preparing to change and maintain a new behavior requires dedication, commitment, and energy. Today, lighten your load and replenish your energy by simply feeling joyful.
Joy uplifts us when we are tired and strengthens us when we are feeling depleted with life’s demands. Seek out joy today – laugh, walk, dance, sit in the sunlight – and hold onto it. Choose to stay in the presence of joy throughout the day.
How will you experience joy today?
A complete revaluation takes place in your physical and mental being when you’ve laughed and had some fun.
- Catherine Ponder
Life is full of responsibilities. Often times we can get caught up in the seriousness of life. Working hard and being responsible is important but it is also important to release stress and tension, which can be done through laughter. Innocent laughter can make us feel good physically and emotionally.
Today, in the mist of your busy schedule, seek out a chance to laugh!
When people make changes in their lives in a certain area, they may start by changing the way they talk about that subject, how they act about it, their attitude toward it, or an underlying decision concerning it.
- Jean Illsley Clarke
If you are considering making a behavior change, start to think and act as if you already made the change. Changing your thoughts and actions about the subject can decrease any anxiety you may feel about starting and increase your self-esteem and confidence.
Today, consider an area you would like to change and start by thinking and acting as if you already made the change. Feel confident knowing that you can handle any situation.
May 31, 2013
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
- Pamela Vaull Starr
We only have one life to live, so live it fully! Are you where you want to be in life? If not, recognize your dreams and make a plan to achieve them. Do not doubt yourself or get distracted. Stay focused and your dreams will become reality!
Today, set the intention to follow your dreams.
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life has too many obstacles for you to be one of them. Have you ever limited your success by thinking that you cannot achieve something or do not deserve to be successful? Do not stand in your way of being successful.
Today, recognize your positive qualities and let them shine!
There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
The practice of letting go is challenging. However, when you let go of things beyond your control, you will experience freedom, relief, and happiness. As you go through each day, recognize the things you have control of, then direct your energy and effort to those things you can change. You may find that you accomplish much more in life by changing the things you can and letting go of the things beyond your control.
Today, look at whether you are worrying about anything beyond your control, let go of worrying and redirect that energy toward something you can control.
It only takes one person to change your life - you.
- Ruth Casey
If you are thinking about changing something about your life, do not wait for the perfect time or situation to start the process. Organize your thoughts, stay motivated, and move into action. Look inward to find the strength to start and maintain change on a daily basis. Use resources around you to facilitate the process but understand that you ultimately determine the final outcome.
Today, remember, you have more than you think!
Difficulties, opposition, criticism-these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it.
- Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Being faced with difficulties, challenges, criticisms, etc. provide us an opportunity to grow and deepen our self-awareness. How do you respond to situations that challenge you? You may have an initial moment of shock or perhaps worry but be sure not to get stuck in negative feelings. Trust that you have the strength to make it through any challenge and you will benefit from the experience in the end.
Today, welcome any situation that challenges you. Trust that it is a good opportunity and will have a positive outcome.
I can stand what I know. It’s what I don’t know that frightens me.
- Frances Newton
Starting something new can be both exhilarating and scary. It is easier to follow a path that is clear and predictable; however, even these paths are not free from obstacles. It takes courage and faith to follow a path that is uncharted. Do not fear the unknown, you have the strength and resources you need to navigate through...one step at a time.
Today, welcome the known and unknown equally. Move forward with confidence, one step at a time.
In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid.
- Simone de Beauvoir
Life can be challenging. Unexpected obstacles can shake us up and leave us feeling confused and anxious. In these moments, we need to try to accept the change and move forward. Thinking positively and welcoming new opportunities can reduce feelings of fear and defeat. Resisting the obstacle and change, will only leave us feeling exhausted and frustrated in the end.
Today, if you are faced with change, accept it, stay positive, and welcome new opportunities.
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.
- Mother Teresa
Life is busy with many demands. It requires us to have a fair amount of energy so everything can run smoothly. What do you do to cultivate the energy you need to get through life on a daily basis? It may be exercise, prayer, sleep, time with family, etc. Think about the things in your life that that nourish your mind, body, and spirit and be sure to practice whatever it is on a regular basis. We have to feed the fire in order for our internal flame to keep burning brightly.
Today, take a little time to nourish your mind, body, or spirit.
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.
- William Arthur Ward
Imagine yourself as you wish to be – walking with confidence, freedom, and fearlessness; managing stress or frustration with exercise and effective communication; socializing with ease and appreciation; feeling peaceful and content. Understand that your dreams are attainable. Allow your dreams to guide your intention and actions. Dream to live as a healthier person today and always – free, confident, and content. Believe that imagination and dreams are achievable.
Set an intention and use the power of thought to facilitate your efforts in changing behavior. Imagine and dream exactly how you want to be with the new behavior change. Close your eyes, visualize, and feel handling life without negative behaviors. Play-out certain situations in your mind so when you are confronted with them, you will be prepared on how to respond as you would desire to.
What are your dreams? Use your imagination today to achieve success and become what you dream of.
Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.
- Viktor Frankl
Goals provide us with direction and give purpose to our actions in life. We are called to make decisions that impact the outcome of our goals. We decide how to act and our actions will ultimately move us closer to, or further from, achieving our goals.
When we establish the goal to change behavior, we are called to act and make decisions every day that will determine whether we are successful in changing the behavior. Sometimes the decisions we need to make are obvious and clear but sometimes they are unclear.
Our goal to change behavior can be facilitated by our drive or passion to live healthier. What do you value? What inspires you to move forward and act in a purposeful way? Acknowledge your drive and use it to push yourself forward in those moments when changing behavior is difficult, when decisions are not clear, or when you feel overwhelmed and just tired. Find strength in your drives – they will propel you in the right direction.
What are your goals? What are your drives? How are they impacting your life, today?
Open your mind and your heart to be still.
Aaahhh, the hustle and bustle of everyday life – shopping, dinner parties, traveling, families, and friends, etc. It is exciting but also very busy, demanding, and sometimes, stressful.
Regardless of what is going on in your life now – allow yourself to stop and be still – for one moment. Choose your moment of stillness - when you first wake up, before falling asleep, after work, etc. In your moment of stillness, allow your mind and heart to rest in peace and stillness. Simply focus on your breathing – breathe in peace and stillness, breathe out worry and tension. If it is difficult to focus on your breath, open your mind and heart to gratefulness. Choose one thing you are grateful for – your health, the health of your loved ones, your freedom, your career, your child, your spouse, your friend, etc. Breathe in gratefulness for one thing in your life – for one moment.
Someone told me last night, “the days are long but the years are short.” Practice moments of stillness and appreciate life.
When will you have your moment of stillness today?
There are three kinds of people in the world, the wills, the won'ts and the can'ts. The first accomplish everything; the second oppose everything; the third fail in everything.
- Eclectic Magazine
Reflect on your greatest accomplishments in life. What was your attitude and frame of mind? You probably had a strong drive and belief that you would accomplish your goal (a “will” person). At times, we may feel discouraged and doubt whether we can accomplish something but try to re-program your way of thinking. Strive to maintain a can-do attitude and soon it will not be a matter of “if”, it will be a matter of “when.”
Today, get yourself in a can-do frame of mind.
There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures.
- Josiah Gilbert Holland
Slow down, especially if you tend to rush through life. As you embark on a new journey, plan and be thoughtful about how you will accomplish your goal. Once you establish a plan, move forward one step at a time. The pace of your journey does not need to be fast, as long as you are moving forward, you will get to where you want to be and your success will endure.
Today, don’t rush. Be thoughtful and diligent about moving forward in your journey…one step at a time.
Energy and persistence conquer all things.
- Benjamin Franklin
Cultivate energy in your life by exercising, eating well, getting enough rest, being optimistic, etc. Life is not always easy. However, if we have energy and use it to persevere, we can accomplish any goal or task…no matter how big.
Today, cultivate energy by exercising, eating well, getting enough rest, or being optimistic.
Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon Bonaparte
When embarking on a new behavior change or anything in life, take the time you need to think and develop a plan. Once you have a plan that is ready to implement, then move into action! Do not get caught up in rethinking your plan. Trust that you are prepared and move forward!
Today, do not doubt yourself…if it is time for action, then move forward. Do not lose momentum!
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore guard accordingly.
- Marcus Aurelius
Happiness and contentment are not achieved through material things alone. Thinking positively and being optimistic are qualities we can foster that will contribute toward true happiness in life.
Today, think positively and recognize how the quality of your thoughts impact your feelings.
To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says:"Leave no stone unturned."
- Edward Bulwer Lytton
Life is a journey and takes many twists and turns. If you rush through your journey, you will miss some incredible opportunities. Therefore, do not rush. Instead be mindful and alert and consider all potential opportunities…you will certainly find what you are seeking.
Today, take your time. What opportunities (or stones unturned) do you see?
Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.
- Benjamin Franklin
Feeling happy and content is a wonderful feeling! We might think that happiness lies within possessions and circumstances. However, happiness is not guaranteed even with all the possessions and the best circumstances. Therefore, where do we find happiness? It lies within our personality, behavior, and way of thinking. If we recognize the good that we have in our lives, we will feel content and happy (the opposite is also true). Therefore, cultivate happiness by changing your perspective, way of thinking, and behaving.
Today, identify three things that are good in your life.
You will never "find" time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.
We all have improvements we want to make in our lives. If we find ourselves procrastinating, remember that there is never the perfect time to act. We must start somewhere – just start and move forward one step at a time. If you want something to happen, you must make it happen. If it is important enough to you, then you will find the time and energy to make it work…you may find you have more time than you think.
Today, make time to start something you have been delaying. Just start, the rest will fall into place.
Welcome every new and difficult problem in life as a new opportunity to wrestle and win — and to gain new experience and new power.
- L H. Murlin
Life can be unpredictable. Sometimes we are faced with moments that really shake our lives and we are faced with learning to cope with difficult situations. You are not alone. Lean on family, friends, and support systems that ground you. And in the midst of coping, force yourself to stay positive – believing that there is something good you will gain from the darkness you may feel.
Today, gain insight and new power from any difficult problem you encounter.