Monthly Archives: May 2019

Life Is A Baseball Game

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photo credit: Nick Jio @nocholasjio – unsplash

Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day to day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.   – Ernie Harwell

We all know that life is not easy and many of us were not given the rules growing up. Many of us go through life hitting and missing. Sometimes we make it to first base or even a home run and other times we just keep striking out. Sometimes we think we are doing ok and life is good, but then a curveball gets thrown at us that we didn’t see coming and we think “Wow, where did that come from?”

So much of life is our perspective on things and circumstances; it’s how we see things through our personal lenses. Our lenses may be dusty and need some cleaning. We may think that others have it good, but we are living in a funk. When we look in the mirror, who do we see? Do we see someone who is positive, and moving forward or are we saddened or angry at what we see? Maybe we wonder what life is all about and what our purpose really is here.

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.  – Bob Feller

The following analogy is inspired by a leadership talk given by leadership speaker Jerry Harteig.

The Game of Baseball

There is an order to baseball. The pitcher throws the ball and the batter needs to try to hit the ball outfield so that he can get to first base and second, third and finally,  home base. What the hitter doesn’t do is run to 3rd base and back to 2nd or 1st base. The objective is to take each base in order. So how is life like baseball?

First Base = The Foundation: who we are, our character

Second Base = Our Relationships: Family, friends, community

Third Base = Our Career, our professional and academic spheres

Home Base = Our purpose

First Base

In life, who we are, our character, our values, our priorities make up our foundation. We win from within. Everything we do spreads out from who we are and what we believe and value. Character is the foundation and nothing will ever rise higher than our character in life. In baseball, although the players may play over a hundred games in a season, they spend far more time preparing and training than they do playing the game. Some players, unfortunately, take short cuts (or think they are taking short cuts), but really there are no short cuts in life.

We can not get to second base or do very well there if we have not prepared first base well. If second base is relationships, then the health of our relationship is dependant on the strength of our character. We always need to play by the rules – be honest and trustworthy. Before we can influence others in a positive way, we must first be able to lead ourselves. A person’s character can look like a sinkhole – you can’t see the underneath, the limestone, instability of the soil. the one day, out of the blue, a sinkhole opens up because the foundation wasn’t solid.

Second Base

We need relationships, we depend on them, but we can’t go about things backward. Some people put all their energy and focus into their work or other activities and then realize later that they had neglected second base: relationships. The game of baseball is clear: we go to second base before third base. We should develop and prioritize relationships over outside endeavors, over careers and business. It is much better to follow the correct order than to have to go back and do damage control.

Some may say that they have no idea how to build and maintain relationships in any sphere because they never learned how or because their past was so disastrous or traumatic. This may be true, but the past is the past and this is now. We are responsible for what we do now. None of us is perfect and we all have emotional scars. But we can learn new information and begin new ways of relating. All relationships are built on trust and truth so, we can start there. Two rules we can follow are:

  • Value others more than ourselves
  • Forgive what we can’t forget

Third Base

Third base in life is all about what we do when we are out in the world. It is the application of our character, values, and beliefs in professional, academic or social settings.  Who are we at work or at school? Do our actions line up with who we say we are? Do we have integrity? Do we do what we say we will do? Are we dependable? Can our employers, colleagues, and customers count on us to deliver? Are we honest? Are we a team player? Do we build up, rather than tear down? All of these questions speak to our competence or performance.

Whatever we do in our lives will be reflected in our performance. It will be reflected in how people view us and in the rewards or promotions we receive.  Any cracks in character, like cracks in cement, will be exposed eventually. So how can we do well at third base?

  • Do more than is expected every day. If you do the minimum, you will get the minimum.
  • Do something every day to add value or expand your skills
  • Seek solutions rather than fixate on the problems
  • Learn new skills
  • Fail and learn to love it
  • Don’t sit on today’s successes; tomorrow is a new day
  • Bring your talent to the table

Other Rules in Baseball: The Lines

In baseball, there are boundary lines such as the foul lines. These are clearly delineated and going out of bounds brings a penalty. In life, we have the opportunity to draw the lines because we have the pencil. But the question is, who is influencing the lines? Are the lines influenced by the media, by our society, by our schools and other educational institutions, or by whom we spend our time around? Who is holding the pencil?

Of course, there are some solid lines that we follow, like laws, for instance. And other lines are dotted lines, like lines we draw for ourselves, but not for others. But the lines we draw are boundary lines to keep us in and other things out. Stepping outside these foul lines bring consequences for us and often others. So if we are going to play the game of life (or baseball), we need to have foul lines and respect them in order to increase our chances of winning.

If you have the right mental attitude, nothing can stop you from achieving your baseball goals. – Felicity Luckey

Home Base

In baseball, the goal is to get as many players to home base as possible. that is the destination and the reason for the game. Likewise, in life, we need a goal or a reason. Otherwise, we are just going through each day randomly, hoping each day will be a good day. But what are we working toward? What is the impact we would like to have? What is the reason for all of our activity? Having a bigger purpose than just getting through life should be the reason and the goal. When we have a clear idea of our purpose or what we are trying to accomplish, then we can line up all our activity with this vision.

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Diana Lynne enjoys traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-frre life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

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25 Quotes: Stop Caring What People Think of You

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“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu

We are all by nature desirous of being accepted, approved and appreciated (Les Giblin – How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People). We all want people to like us and we all hope that what we do or say will be pleasing. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with feeling this way. However, we need to be careful not to allow this natural tendency to become the sole reason we do what we do or control our decisions. Added to this natural desire is the fear of rejection if we are not liked or if we displease people. We get caught in a trap of wanting to live authentically and feeling guilty for not living according to expectations of others.

For some of us, there is a constant fear of what other people will think that many or even all of our decisions are made in order to placate others or being different. Some people are deathly afraid of thinking or doing things in opposition to everyone else. They are so afraid of loss (maybe of a job, relationships or opportunities) because displeasing that they cave in and make decisions that run counter to what they would really like to do. Sometimes this focus on what other people think can even sabotage our future opportunities and rob us of our dreams.

We know that we shouldn’t care about what other people think, but, somehow we continue to care. Somehow we continue to let them affect our decisions and influence the way we think.

Here are some quotes to inspire you not to care too much about what other people think of you.

(1) “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ― Virginia Woolf

(2) “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”— Dr. Seuss

(3) “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”— Dr. Seuss

(4) “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”—Steve Jobs

(5) “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.” ― Erma Bombeck

(6) “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey

(7) “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle

(8) “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu

(9) Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. “― Suzy Kassem

(10) “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ― Marianne Williamson

(11) “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” ― Olin Miller

(12) People who repeatedly attack your confidence and self-esteem are quite aware of your potential, even if you are not.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman

(13) “If you have an over-preoccupation with perception and trying to please people’s expectations, then you can go mad”.– Benedict Cumberbatch

(14) “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”.– Mark Twain

(15) “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing”.– Richard P. Feynman

(16) “I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” ― Michel de Montaigne

(17) “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”— Albert Einstein

(18) “No name-calling truly bites deep unless, in some dark part of us, we believe it. If we are confident enough then it is just noise.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton

(19) “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë

(20) “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

(21) “Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.” ― Emma Michelle

(22) “Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.” ― Emma Michelle

(23) “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.– Eleanor Roosevelt

(24) “There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once she sees her own beauty, everyone else will.” ― Habeeb Akande

(25) “He thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than anyone else he knows.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Diana Lynne loves, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her throughLivingandstuff.ca

 

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How to Stop Worrying About What People Think of You

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photo credit: Tamara Beliis @tamarabellis - unsplash

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu

We are all by nature desirous of being accepted, approved and appreciated (Les Giblin – How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People). We all want people to like us and we all hope that what we do or say will be pleasing. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with feeling this way. However, we need to be careful not to allow this natural tendency to become the sole reason we do what we do or control our decisions. Added to this natural desire is the fear of rejection if we are not liked or if we displease people. We get caught in a trap of wanting to live authentically and feeling guilty for not living according to expectations of others.

For some of us, there is a constant fear of what other people will think that many or even all of our decisions are made in order to placate others or being different. Some people are deathly afraid of thinking or doing things in opposition to everyone else. They are so afraid of loss (maybe of a job, relationships or opportunities) because of displeasing someone that they cave in and make decisions that run counter to what they would really like to do. Sometimes this focus on what other people think can even sabotage our future opportunities and rob us of our dreams.

We know that we shouldn’t care about what other people think, but, somehow we continue to care. Somehow we continue to let them affect our decisions and influence the way we think. So how can we get out of this unproductive behavior? First, it is good to see how it hinders us and then adopt some strategies for breaking out.

What Worrying About What Other People Think Will Do

  • It will sabotage your potential (talents, beliefs, goals, values and well being)
  • It will make you want to play it safe and cause  you to remain fearful
  • It will keep you in the mindset of fearing ridicule and rejection
  • It will prevent you from taking risks
  • It will keep you from being authentic
  • It will not solve your problems and will probably create new ones
  • It will keep you in a people-pleasing cycle
  • It will disempower you

How to Stop

  1. Concentrate on the Present

The present is all we have and really all that matters. When we concentrate on what is happening right now, what we are doing now, then it is hard to think about what other people might be thinking about us. We shouldn’t try to borrow problems that might not even exist. And when we spend our time and energy on other people who probably aren’t even thinking about us, we miss out on the blessings of the present moment.

2. Remind Yourself that Life Is  Short

We know this is true, but very often we get so caught up in busyness and distractions that we forget that we only have one life and that we need to live it well. We simply do not have time to be wasting on worrying about anything. When we care too much about the opinions of others, we are giving control of our life over to them, We are disempowering ourselves. Our time, our life is so precious and we need to live it as we choose and according to our vision.  We do to know how long we have so we need to make it count.

3. Remember that You  Are The Best Expert on Yourself

No other person is an expert on your life but you. What other people think you should do or think about you is completely irrelevant; they are not living your life. You have your own experience,  you know what your hopes and dreams are and what you like and don’t like. Does it really matter what other people think of how you live your life?  And more importantly, it’s it really any of their business?  On the same note, what others may or may not think about you is none of your business either.

4. Keep the Main Thing The Main Thing

This advice from Stephen Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a very important thing to do. When we have a clear focus or vision, when we have clear priorities and guiding values and beliefs, we have no need to care what other people think and we don’t allow them to distract us or by changing our focus. The main thing is the main thing and everything else is a useless distraction. Keep your eyes on the big picture, the long term goals and you won’t worry about the opinions of others.

5. Keep A Healthy Perspective

It is hard to have a clear perspective when you are in the middle of a storm. When you have little to no clarity of vision, values, and beliefs, it is easy to get tossed around by the values and beliefs around you. People will always have opinions and viewpoints based on their own experience, beliefs, and values, which may or may not fit you or your life. One way to have perspective is to imagine what I like to call the “helicopter perspective” Try to visualize everything from thousands of feet above and see if this changes how you see things.

6. Stop Overanalyzing

Overanalyzing is just the action of ruminating over and over. There is nothing positive or productive about analyzing every possible angle. This behavior can lead you down a  bottomless rabbit hole and may even cause you to attribute negative intentions to other people. It could drive you bat crazy as you micro-analyze every action, word, facial expression or decision of other people. And it will most likely give you a very blurry image of reality. Just move on and take everything with a grain of salt.

7. Know that Most People Aren’t  Actually Thinking About You

It is crazy how our imaginations work overtime to create scenarios that don’t even exist. The reality is that people are thinking only about themselves most of the time. We may be thinking that they are analyzing our decisions or behaviors, but, they may actually be thinking of what to make for dinner. And even when they do give us their advice or opinions, these are just based on their own experience and beliefs and may even change. In many cases, they may not even have a vested interest in your life.

8. Remember: You Can’t Please Everyone

If there is one thing that is impossible it is that we can not please everyone. Some people will click with us and others won’t. People will think what they want to think and it is not our job to make them happy or agree with them just to make them happy. Trying to be a people pleaser is a frustrating, futile and energy draining pursuit. It is like spinning our tires trying to move forward. Trying to please people also takes power away from you since it puts what other people think in control of what you will do or say. We should be taking care of ourselves; let others make their own selves happy.

9. Focus On Your Own Goals and Dreams

We only have one life and that one life belongs to us and not others. It is our responsibility to live it in the best way possible. No one should be in the position of controlling or deciding how we will live. Sometimes we feel that just because a person is in a position of authority that they automatically have decision control over our lives, but this is not true. Our goals and dreams belong to us and we decide how our life will play out. By focusing on our goals and dreams, we do not have to be dependant on what others may think about us or wish for us.

The Takeaway

We don’t ever need to care what other people think. It doesn’t matter. Our life is ours to live and it does not belong to others. Don’t give any control over to other people by worrying about their opinions or impressions. You do not need to please anyone or live for others. Most of the time people are not even thinking of us at all.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diane Lynne enjoys traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her at livingandstuff.ca

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25 Quotes On Positive Attitude

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Our attitude is really the only thing we have control over in our life. In a world where so many things happen to us and around us, it is sometimes hard to see clearly and get on top of the circumstances. Many, many people feel disempowered or powerless in the face of adversity imagining that circumstances determine their fate.

Circumstances and events can sometimes be overpowering and the solutions or the outcome are not always clear. Things happen. Life happens. One day does not resemble the day before or the day after. We wonder why things happen and why they happen to us. It is often hard to see the big picture when you are driving through the mud.

Our attitude really does make us or break us in any situation or set of circumstances. Here are some quotes on the subject of attitude that I hope will inspire you:

(1)  “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”. – Charles Swindoll

(2) “A ship is always safe at shore, but that’s not what it’s built for.” —Albert Einstein

(3) “We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” —Marilyn Monroe

(4) “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” —Bruce Lee

(5) “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in your life.” —Winston S. Churchill

(6) “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron

(7) Well, if it can be thought, it can be done, a problem can be overcome. ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

(8) “Every day, it’s important to ask and answer these questions: “What’s good in my life?” and “What needs to be done?”– Nathaniel Branden

(9) There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”– Albert Einstein

(10) “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”– Helen Keller

(11) “An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.”– Brian Tracy

(12) “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”– Mahatma Gandhi

(13) “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character”. – Albert Einstein

(14) “Whatever happens, take responsibility”. Tony Robbins

(15) “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out”.  – John Wooden

(16) “Your problem isn’t the problem, it’s your attitude about the problem”.  – Ann Brashares

(17) “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better”.  – Abraham Lincoln

(18) “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. – Stephen Covey

(19) “When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails”.  – H. Jackson Brown Jr

(20) “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind”.  – Joyce Meyer

(21) “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.  – John C. Maxwell

(22) “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”. – Lao Tzu

(23) “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it”.  – Thomas Jefferson

(24) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”.-  Zig Ziglar

(25) “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Diana Lynne loves traveling, learning and  living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

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Stand Strong And Carry On

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photo credit: Jack Cain @jackcain – unsplash

“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” —Vernon Howard

I don’t know where you are in your life journey or what trials you are going through. I don’t know what opposition you have faced or are currently facing. I don’t know about the countless days and nights that you might have cried yourself to sleep wondering when your ordeal and pain will go away. Perhaps you feel alone in what you are going through. I do not know. But what I do know is that this message is for someone. I do know that someone out there needs encouraging words. Someone needs to hear that there is hope beyond the pain.

Pain and discouragement are lonely trials even when we are surrounded by well-meaning friends and family. The helplessness we feel cuts deep inside and it feels like it will never get better. It may even feel like we have been abandoned by others and left to deal with our hurt alone. Maybe you are facing a serious illness, maybe you have lost a cherished loved one or maybe you are facing betrayal and rejection. Whatever you are going through I would like to offer words of encouragement to you.

You Are Not Alone

Sometimes we may feel alone, but in fact, we are never really alone. There is hope and there are brighter days. I would like to share the hope that I have and what sustains me through each day both good and bad (I am not suggesting that you have to believe as I do). Like everyone, I have had heart crushing trials. I have been in the depths of despair (as the heroine Anne of Green Gables would call it). I have hurt. But, alongside me, I have strength and encouragement. My Hope is Jesus Christ. He has sustained me and brought me through impossible trials. When I thought everything was hopeless, He gave me solutions. and this is what I want to say to you. No matter how desperate or painful your situation, Jesus offers his hand to you, offering to pull you out.

 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn. Isaiah 54:17 

Be Strong and Courageous

I love the symbolism of the lion. It represents strength and courage. We are also called to be strong and courageous. In fact, the Bible tells us;

“You were not given a spirit of fear, but (one) of power, of love and of sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7

Life’s circumstances and especially people will try to bring us down and tell us that we are unworthy, unlovable and not good for anything. Some people will heap piles of lies and hurt on top of us in order to crush us. They may use words or they may use physical power. Either way, people who do this are trying to build themselves up by making us small. Crushing life circumstances also can also overpower us. But, in spite of all of this, we are called to be strong and courageous. We were not born to be a victim; we were born to be victorious. This Spirit of power, love and sound mind is the Holy Spirit of Jesus. It is what gives us the strength to fight courageously. Without it, the struggle is much harder.

My dear friend, I am encouraging you to rise up out of the ashes, to put on this armour of strength and know that you can have the greatest warrior on your side. Life may throw flaming arrows of poison at you, but you can have the shield of faith to deflect them. When David (the shepherd boy) was confronting Goliath, it was this very Spirit of strength that enabled him to slay an adversary of formidable size and strength.  This very Spirit was the warrior working for him and this Spirit can strengthen you as well.

I just want to let you know that you don’t have to go it alone and fight in your own strength.

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

The Power of Love

There is nothing stronger in this world than the power of love. Love is the opposite of fear. Fear cannot withstand the strength of love. Out of fear come all sorts of negative emotions such as hate, anger,  and jealousy, but fear is at the root. Where does love come from?  Love is the very essence of God. It is who he is. Out of Love comes both Truth and Life. Fear has no power in the presence of love. I have seen the power of love operate in the face of fear and hate and seen it overcome what looked like impossible situations.  You probably have as well. It is this power that enables us to look beyond our pain (how we feel) and reach out to do something totally against what we feel like doing. This power also reveals Truth to us. It tears back the curtain of lies and shows us who we are and our true value.

Jesus is love. He gives us Life. His Spirit gives us the strength to love powerfully, both ourselves and others. He is Truth. The world will speak lies about us and try to sabotage our identity and value, but the Truth is power. Once we have encountered Truth, we can never go back to the powerless lies. We can become strong and bold. It is this love, this Truth that gives us the power to shake off the abuse, the sense of helplessness and to know that we can be victorious in our struggles.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”.

Keep Rolling On

You have been given this life as a gift. It is yours to enjoy and to share with others. You are here for a reason. You are meant for greater things. God has given you a mission, a calling. No matter what you believe or don’t believe, I encourage you to carry on and walk tall. The gut shots will come because life is full of gut shots, but they can be learning and strengthening experiences rather than defeating calamities. I hope that you know: This too shall pass

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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog, Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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25 Quotes On Reading For Success

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photo credit: Aaron Burden @aaronbursden – unsplash

You may be just a book away from a new life. Your goals and dreams may be hiding in books you have yet to read. So, what is holding you back? Is it fear? Is it your past school experiences? Is it what people have told you? Have you believed that you were a poor reader or that reading is boring?  This message is about highlighting how books can transform and even change the course of one’s  life. It is for all of us. It is for those who have dreams of raising a great family, for those who want to start the business of their dreams, for those who want to get the education they didn’t finish get when they were younger and for those want to make changes in their lives. It is for everyone and it may just one book away.

In our society (schools and workplaces), people are measured according to their potential (what they think a person can do based on present performance). It is an unfortunate categorization because the reality is that everyone has potential and cracking open a book may be the very thing that will open the door to new possibilities.  We always have potential and there is always more room for improvement. Unlocking our potential may be just a book away.

Here are some quotes on reading for success:

(1) “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Harry Truman

(2) “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.” – Mark Zuckerberg

(3) “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”     –   Napol;eon Bonaparte

(4) “I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson

(5) “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Frederick Douglas

(6) “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” – Bill Gates

(7) “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” – Abraham LincolnJ

(8) “Drink deeply from good books.- John Wooden

(9) “Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” – Warren buffet

(10) “By reading books, you lose your old self and you find your new self! To read is to travel from self to another self!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

(11) “I still buy actual books. The smell, having it in your hands – there’s really no substitute.”
Nathan Fillion
(12) “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
(13) “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau
(14) “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
(15) “I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” – Gary Paulsen
(14) “I guess there are never enough books.” – John Steinbeck
(15) “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury
(16) “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz
(17) “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller
(18) “We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.” – Jules Verne
(16) “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
(17) “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Joseph Brodsky
(18) “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adler

(19) “Successful people have libraries. The rest have big screen TV’s.” Jim Rohn

(20) “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” Haruki Murakami

(21) “Books don’t change people; paragraphs do, sometimes even sentences.” John Piper

(22)“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin

(23) “Books, like friends should be few and well chosen.” Samuel Johnson

(24) “The books we read answer questions we didn’t even know existed.” Axel Marazzi

(25)“If you want to improve yourself, read a book.” J. Millard Simpson

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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Why Reading Is the Key to Opportunities

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photo credit: Annelies Genen @anneliesgenyen - unspash

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. —Vera Nazarian

You have what it takes. You have the potential. Your dreams are real and your life is for living. So, what holds you back? Is it fear? Is it past experiences? Is it what people have told you?  Now before you think I am just talking about becoming a highly successful business magnate, let me be clear – this message is about what each one of us can do to realize our potential. It is for all of us. It is for those who have dreams of raising a great family, for those who want to start the business of their dreams, for those who want to get the education they didn’t finish get when they were younger and for those want to make changes in their lives. It is for everyone.

In our society (schools and workplaces), people are measured according to their potential (what they think a person can do based on present performance). It is an unfortunate categorization because the reality is that everyone has potential. It is not just for the select go-getters. It is also unfortunate that many people do not realize the potential that is inside of them.  We will always have potential and always more room for improvement. Unlocking our potential may be just a book away.

Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. —Tomie dePaola

We Were Born to Live, We Were Born to Be Free

Frederick Douglas, a former slave who was deprived of education until his mid-teens, understood potential by the very fact that he was deprived of the opportunity to develop it as a child. On freedom, and education he said:

I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do what I wanted.

Feedom is a road seldom travelled by the multitude.

Some know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it.”

Frederik Douglass’s story is inspiring. He was only first given the opportunity to read in his teens and then the whole world opened up to him. Reading took him out of slavery and into freedom. Through reading, he was able to realize and develop his potential and make an impact around him.

Reading is the single most important thing we can do to get where we want to g and be who we want to be. It is key to having a satisfying career, to having healthy relationships, to being financially secure and even financially free. Reading brings freedom in all areas of our life.

But what do we think of about reading in general? Here are common responses:

  • It is just entertainment
  • It is for passing the time
  • It is boring (and sometimes hard)
  • It is hard to concentrate

These are very typical thoughts about reading. And the statistics on reading are quite telling. The following are American Statistics, but they are probably similar elsewhere:

  • 56% of youth read 10 or more books a year.
  • 50% of American adults can not read a book written at an 8th-grade level
  • 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a minimum wage.
  • 6/10 households do not buy a single book in an entire year.
  • 85% of juvenile offenders have reading problems.

Wow!! Those statistics are shocking!  All that potential never allowed to blossom because of lack of reading skills, lack of opportunity to read or disinterest in reading.

It is books that are the key to the wide world; if you can’t do anything else, read all that you can. —Jane Hamilton

Reading Is the Door to Freedom

Frederik Douglass knew first hand the enormous power of ignorance to put wealth into the hands of those who dominate the ignorant. He knew that true freedom starts with an educated and fertile mind and the ability to think critically.

Frederik Douglass was a slave with no access to knowledge or education. Like his fellow slaves, he did not know how much of a slave he was until he learned this through reading. Ignorance brings slavery. Education is the great equalizer; it can transform poverty and change the trajectory of our lives.

For Frederick Douglass, the difference between freedom and slavery was literacy. Because he learned to read, his eyes were opened and he was able to see the reality of slavery and ultimately work with people to fight against it to help free the people.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Richard Steele

We Need to Be Teachable

There is a saying that goes like this: when the student is ready the teacher will appear. It is all a matter of desire and attitude. If we do not value the learning possibilities from reading (or find it boring and difficult), we are not ready to benefit from the wealth of knowledge, which can dramatically change our lives, found within the pages.

No teacher (or book) can teach a disinterested student anything. No one who does not read can benefit from the potential found in the pages of a book. And, as we saw from the statistics, there is a direct correlation between reading and money earning potential and living standards.

Attitude is everything and will determine our life path. Our attitude toward reading will make the reading experience pleasant and profitable or it will turn it into a necessary chore. And it is a learned skill. We learn to have a good attitude; we have to choose it and work at it. We may think that reading is: boring, just for entertainment, or just a time filler, but, as long as we hold on to these attitudes toward reading we are, essentially, holding ourselves back from a lot of opportunities to grow and see our lives become transformed.

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. —Mark Twain

Reading Children Need Reading Role Models

Many people view education as a period of life when we go to school and then when that period is done, they stop pursuing education. Many, many adults have never read a book after graduating from high school or college. In fact, only 30% of adults have read an entire book since graduating. It is this view of education that is part of the problem. Not only that, our children see right through us. They hear from us that they should learn to read, but they observe parents who don’t ever read.

Now before you get to thinking it is the parent’s fault for not reading, please know that I understand the difficulties. We no longer live in the world the Frederik Douglass lived in. There is so much competition for our children’s attention. Raising children to be avid readings is a huge challenge, but not one that is insurmountable. It really comes down to the priorities we set and our determination to help children become lifelong learners.

The Takeaway

Reading is a pleasure and a treasure. Opening books to read is like paying yourself in future currency. It is like already planning for the things you will one day do. Opening up books is preparation for having healthy relationships, career opportunities and travel opportunities. There is so much potential found inside the pages of inspiring and transformational books. I hope you have been inspired to take on the challenge of reading books for life.

Have a great day!

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

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25 Quotes On Fun

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Who doesn’t enjoy having fun? There is a saying that says: time flies when we are having fun and it really seems to feel that way. The fun just doesn’t seem to last long enough and before we know it, the time is gone and the fun is over for a while. Of course, we can’t always be having fun – nothing would get done and we probably wouldn’t appreciate the experience since it would become commonplace and ultimately pointless and boring.

Fun has its place and can play important roles in our daily lives. It can make a dull chore more interesting and can motivate us to do more. Fun can break up the seriousness of life’s challenges and even offer solutions. And fun can even be a great teacher and help us to learn in ways that may appear unconventional. Often there is more to fun than simply having fun.

Let’s look at some of the benefits that fun can bring u

(1)  “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” Michael Jordan

(2) “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.” Groucho Marx

(3) “Work hard, have fun and make history.” Jeff Bezos

(4) “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” Dale Carnegie

(5) “Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.” Nina Dobrev

(6) “You have to let go of the rope to have more fun.” Anonymous

(7) “If you obey all the rules you’ll miss all the fun.” Anonymous

(8) “It is actually up to you to decide whether you will have fun or not, that is the bottom line of it.” Anonymous

(9) “There’s no fun in a perfect life. So take a risk. Take a chance. Go where the wind takes you. Have fun.” Jenny C.

(10) “The Four Levels of Comedy: Make your friends laugh, Make strangers laugh, Get paid to make strangers laugh, and Make people talk like you because it’s so much fun.” – Jerry Seinfeld

(11) “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun”.

(12) “Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird”. – Tony Robbins

(13) “Nobody looks stupid when they are having fun”.- Amy Poshier

(14) “As long as you’re having fun and still doing stuff, it doesn’t matter what other people think”. – Nick Carter

(15) “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny”. – Dr. Seuss

 (16)”The reason adults should look as though they are having fun, is to give kids a reason to want to grow up”. – Patch Adams

(17) ” think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better”.

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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog, Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 

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Why You Should Get Serious About Having Fun

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photo credit: Luka Porter @lukaporter – unsplash

 

“Choosing to have a good time with your friends instead of a good time with other people is one of the best decisions you can make. Friends are Awesome and they will always be there for you no matter what.” – Author Unknown

Who doesn’t enjoy having fun? There is a saying that says: time flies when we are having fun and it really seems to feel that way. The fun just doesn’t seem to last long enough and before we know it, the time is gone and the fun is over for a while. Of course, we can’t always be having fun – nothing would get done and we probably wouldn’t appreciate the experience since it would become commonplace and ultimately pointless and boring.

Fun has its place and can play important roles in our daily lives. It can make a dull chore more interesting and can motivate us to do more. Fun can break up the seriousness of life’s challenges and even offer solutions. And fun can even be a great teacher and help us to learn in ways that may appear unconventional. Often there is more to fun than simply having fun.

Let’s look at some of the benefits that fun can bring us.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. –Dr. Seuss

Benefits of Fun

It Can Make You Smarter

Fun by its very nature stimulates the mind and promotes brain growth. It improves memory and concentrations as well as opens us up to new ideas, concept and ways of doing things. Fun helps us to be more creative and also more flexible in how we think. Reading for pleasure is one example of how an enjoyable activity can help us become “smarter” since reading improves our language skills and other abilities as well. Participating in or doing an activity lout of pure enjoyment can help us to be more creative problem solvers, by giving us the environment we need to process information.

It Can Make You Feel Youthful and Energetic

Fun vitalizes and stress drains. Pent up stress drains our energy and can make us tired, impatient and irritable. Stress also has a negative impact on our hormone levels which need to be in shape to feel energetic. So, this is where fun – play- comes in. It doesn’t matter whether its is work, school or home, we need to play. We need to do activities that are enjoyable and stimulating. Everyone, no matter what his or her age, can benefit from becoming child-like again and letting go of pretences, expectations, obligations and whatever else holds us back in order to just have fun. George Bernard Shaw wrote:

We don’t stop playing because  we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

It Reduces Stress and Defuses Tense Situations

Play and having fun are great stress relievers and can even help to diffuse those tense situations where you can literally “slice through the air with a knife”.   Think about family tensions or a business meeting where emotions are high, stakes are high and the wrong word or even look could send the situation into a tail spin. Imagine what having a little fun could do, what a well timed joke or story could do. A little bit of laughter, laughing at ourselves can break up the tension. It is quite hard to be irritable with someone who is having a little fun. Imagine how a little joyful laughter could change the mood of the situation. It is so important not to take ourselves, or anything for that matter, too seriously.

It  Builds  Relationships and Strengthens Relationship Bonds

Relationships depend on closeness and interdependence. Fun (play) can strengthen the bonds in our relationships (family, friends, community and work) and build trust. When trust is built up, our support system is also built up. Communication is frequently an area that people struggle with in relationships, but having fun and taking a a less than serious outlook on life can help enormously with communication. When we are having fun, we are naturally more relaxed and more open to the ideas of others as well as more in control of our emotions. Adding a spirit of childlike fun can bring a breath of fresh air to our relationships.

It Helps You to Deal with Problems 

It is hard to find solutions to problems or deal with them when we are locked into them or feel completely overwhelmed by them. We feel so attached to the problem that we can not see it from the outside. But what we really need is a break from problems. Taking a break to just have fun deliberately can be a refreshing way to gain new perspective. We can even turn problem solving in to a game and assign ourselves to a character. Or we can simply give ourselves the permission to take a “vacation” away from our worries and do something that is enjoyable. Just by “getting away” and having fun we can sometimes find new creative solutions that we might not have seen otherwise.  Sometimes problems can even dissipate when we realize that they weren’t so catastrophic after all.

It Clears the Mind

Having fun is a great way to take our mind off of our cares for a bit and clear out all the baggage. It stimulates our brain, increases blood circulations, energizes us and gets us thinking in a different mindset. The focus is enjoyment and the result is that it quite simply gives us a break. Physical activity is a great way to have fun and increase the blood flow as well. when we are having fun doing what we are doing, whatever that activity may be, we get rid of the negative thinking and emotions to make way for new positive ways of thinking.

It Gives Us a Restorative Break

Having fun gives us a restorative break and helps our body and our mind take preventative measures agains exhaustion and burnout. Resting is good, but so is a change of pace. engaging in fun activities whether in a personal context or a professional context allows us to have breathing space away from pressures. It is like taking a mini-vacation.

I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore. – Randy Pausch

10 Ideas to Have Fun

  • Dance around the house
  • Grab a good book to read
  • Have a pillow fight
  • Make pizza or bread
  • Go see a comedy movie or play
  • Invite friends over for a themed dinner
  • Take up a new sport
  • Get outside and walk around town
  • Have a karaoke night
  • Make playDoh and have fun creating

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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog, Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

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25 Inspiring Quotes On Friendship

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photo credit: Julie Johnson @thirdwheelphoto – unsplash

Friendship is such a fragile relationship and quite difficult to develop in today’s high tech, disposable world. We tend to be more high-tech than high- touch. We are often far too busy to have time for friendships and even less to maintain them. But it is worth the time and effort we put in to maintain these relationships. Otherwise, they can slip ever so unnoticeably through the cracks of life.

Friendship is a wonderful gift that is a huge blessing to our lives. Where would we be without friends? Friends laugh with us, cry with us, go on adventures with us. Who else would we like to sit down with for hours over cold coffee with and talk about everything and nothing at all? They are the colors of our rainbow of life. Here are some inspiring and refreshing quotes on friendship. I hope you enjoy them.

(1) “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”– Helen Keller

(2) “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”-Aristotle

(3) “There is nothing I wouldn’t do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.”-Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

(4) “The real test of friendship is can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?”– Eugene Kennedy

(5) “Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”-Charles Lamb

(6) “Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.” -Henry David Thoreau

(7) “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”-Amy Poehler

(8) “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis

(9) “There is nothing better than a friend unless it is a friend with chocolate.” -Linda Grayson

(10) “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”- Marlene Dietrich

(11) “We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is, at last, a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” – Ray Bradbury

(12) “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” – Alice Walker

(13) “Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.”  – Cicero

(14) “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” – Euripides

(15) “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow Wilson

(16) “Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm & constant.” – Socrates

(17) “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Khalil Gibran

(18) “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” – Muhammad Ali

(19) “The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.” – Barbara Kingsolver

(20) “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

(21) “In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.” John Churton Collins

(22) “It’s not what we have, but who we have. Winnie The Pooh

(23) “Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget. – G. Randolf

(24) “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. – Walter Winchell

(25) “The language of friendship is not words but meanings. – Henry David Thoreau

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Diane Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her at livingandstuff.ca

 

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