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25 Quotes: Thinking Differently From the Crowd

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photo credit: Rob Schreckhise @robschreckhise -unsplash

“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice”. – Steve Jobs

Crowd thinking is nothing more than pressure to fit in or conform. When you think differently than most people, when you choose to go a different path, it is not easy. Society, in the form of media, schools, peer groups all seem to protest status quo thinking and embrace what is current or trendy, without considering whether or not is good, right or the best for us. When we go against the grain of collective thought, we feel somehow different (even if people still like us and accept who we are). We feel somehow isolated because we can no longer think like everyone else.

Choosing to go against the grain, to evaluate information, and measure up what we are taught against what is true may not be popular, but it can make the difference between living our life authentically, true to ourselves and living for others. It can mean the difference between living just to live for each day and living a life of meaning and purpose.

Here are some quotes to inspire you to be true to yourself be more, and live more. I hope it inspires you to be the authentic you that no one else can be.

(1) There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.” – Michel de Montaigne

(2) “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”  Stephen R. Covey

(3) “Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.”  – Carlos Fuentes

(4) “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” –  Malcolm Forbes

(5) “It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.”  – Mark Twain

(6) “It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box” – Timothy Farris

(7) “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking”. – Albert Einstein

(8) “The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person. – Steve Jobs

(9) “I don’t care about being right. I care about success, and doing the right thing.-= Steve Jobs

(10) “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice”. – Steve Jobs

(11) “The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before. – Albert Einstein

(12) “Being different and thinking different makes a person unforgettable. History does not remember the forgettable”. ~Suzy Kassem

(13) “When you’re the only sane person, you look like the only insane person”. ~Criss Jami

(14) “We spend so long trying to be what other people want, that when we look in the mirror, we see a stranger”. ~Anthony T. Hincks

(15) “So you’re a little weird? Work it! A little different? Own it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!” ~Mandy Hale

(16) “When you want to do something that isn’t the ‘norm’ you will be made to feel like you have a problem and if you hear it often enough then you start to believe it too”. ~Radhika Vaz

(17) “Everybody wants to make a difference, but nobody is willing to be different”. ~Andy Andrews

(18) “I’m different than everyone else because everyone else is not me”. ~ Julian Aguilar

(19) “The psychology of individual creativity is about at least three different things. First, creativity is about thinking differently. Second, creativity is about feeling differently. Third, creativity is about focusing, or committing, differently”. ~Max McKeown“

(20) “Just because a person chooses to express themselves in an extreme way doesn’t mean they have an extreme personality.” ― Susane Colasanti,

(21) “Being different was good, I liked it and I wouldn’t change myself for anyone”. Not ever.” ― Amanda James, The Calico Cat“

(22) “Being yourself is more important than being different.” ― Udai Yadla
(23) “Dandelions are just friendly little weeds who only want to be loved like flowers.” ― Heather Babcock
(24) “Tell them a lie big enough, they’ll worship you as a sage. Tell them a truth big enough and they’ll mock you.” ― Abhijit Naskar
(25) “Always refuse to be like the others! The more you become similar to the others the more you will be useless because there are already plenty of the others!”
Mehmet Murat ildan
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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, and the pursuit of 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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Building The Leader In You

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photo credit: Jehyun sung @jaysung – unsplash

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

What Is Leadership?

It has been said that everything rises and falls on leadership. And what is leadership but the “art of Influence“? We are all leaders at certain points and periods in our lives whether we realize it or not. There will always be people over whom we have an influence to some degree; this is indisputable. But the question arises, what kind of influence do we or will we have? People around us are watching us. Our children are watching us, our colleagues are watching us and our friends and acquaintances are watching us.

Everything we do or say will have an impact on other people. People want to know if we are honest and trustworthy. They want to see if we are dependable and loyal. By our very words and especially our actions, we are influencers in our entourage. Do our actions match our words?  The degree to which people will listen to us, take us seriously and even follow us will depend on the degree to which we “walk our talk'”.

Building The Leader In You

You may say to yourself “I am not really a leader”, but I will tell you that many times when we are influencing others, we are, in some manner, leading them. We may not feel we are leading, but leadership is less about position or authority than it is about having an impact. In our spheres of influence, we are either impacting in a positive way or a negative way. And there is a ripple effect to this influence because we not only impact those close to us, but these people will, in turn, impact those in their spheres of influence. So leadership or influence can have ever-expanding ramifications around us.

Knowing this should cause us to think about what kind of impact (if at all) we are having. Sometimes we may think that our words, actions, and decisions might not make a difference because our sphere of influence is so limited. But just as a tiny pebble tossed into a lake makes a small insignificant splash and then causes ripples to expand out, so too will our smallest of actions move outward beyond what we imagine.

If we want to build the leader in us we will need to fight two battles:

The Internal Battle

We all know that working on ourselves, growing and improving is important, Very few will deny that growth is important t(whether we choose to develop ourselves or not). We all know that we need to be able to govern ourselves before we can lead well. However, the problem is that we tend to overestimate how well we are doing. We are quite adept at deceiving ourselves. We are often blind to our weaknesses and overestimate our strengths. We need others to open our eyes to our own weakness.

If we want to have a positive influence on others, we must first obtain internal victories. The internal victories come before the external victories. We must first change how we think on the inside before we can see change on the outside. It is a battle that we need to engage in continuously.

The External Battle

While most will agree that internal growth is important, what we may not be prepared for is the external battle, the opposition we will surely face. In general, our society likes it when we conform to the world and stay the way we are. It doesn’t like movers and shakers. It is not particularly fond of people who think about and question the status quo. Whenever we seek to try and change things, we shouldn’t be surprised by the wall that goes up against us because the status quo doesn’t like change.

To prepare for and fight this battle of mediocrity, we will need to band with like-minded people, those who share the same goals and who are on the same path. It is always good to have reinforcements because the status quo critics will try to say that they are right and we are wrong. They will be more than willing to show us why we should be satisfied with the way we are. In fact, the critics are afraid of change, both in themselves and in others.

A Leader’s Uniform

A leader wears a very unique kind of uniform that enables him or her to navigate through the rough waters of conflict, busyness, indifference and general messiness of life. This same uniform is available to us all, but wearing it will not be easy.

Have a Soft Heart and Thick Skin

In order to make a difference in people’s lives and in society, in order to be able to influence people around, a leader needs these two qualities: a soft heart and thick skin. So toughness on the outside, the ability to weather the storms, and a tender-hearted inside are crucial tools in the leader’s toolbox.

Building Thick Skin

So how do we develop this thick skin? The tough mindset and posture come from having proper thinking and self-knowledge. It comes from knowing who we are and what we stand for. Being thick -skinned also means having a proper perspective on things and not being easily swayed by opinions or events. We could almost call it an “outside ” view or even ‘”helicopter” view of life. Having thick skin means not taking ourselves or others and events too seriously.

To have proper thinking we need to control the story we tell ourselves about who we are, about what our purpose is and what our values are. We need to control what comes into our mind (and guard it jealously and also what we choose to think and believe. We need to always be aware that circumstances do not determine what happens to us, but that what we think and do, determine what happens. roper thinking enables us to take the gut shots of life not as defeats, but as challenges and lessons.

Remember, thick skin means, above all, having perspective. It means not getting caught up in emotional traps and endless and pointless arguments. It means keeping the focus, keeping the main thing, the main thing and not succumbing to distractions and emotional hijacking.

Have A Soft Heart

The other side of the uniform of a leader is a soft (or tender) heart. Please understand that I am not talking about being a pushover or a “carpet”. Rather, a soft heart maintains our humanity and connection to others. Where thick skin allows us to maintain focus and perspective, a soft heart allows us to be compassionate and share in the pain and struggles of others. a soft heart allows us to empathize and keeps us humble (two other important leadership qualities).

It is very hard to have a positive and transformational influence over people when they can not feel our humanity. If all they see (or sense) is a tough exterior and business-like mindset, then they will not be very willing to trust us or follow us. It has been said that if call yourself a leader but no one is following, then you are just out for a walk.

Parents, who have been given the responsibility of raising children ( and future adults), will have difficulty influencing change in the behavior in their children if all the children see is the tough, authoritative and no-nonsense exterior. Bosses and supervisors who do not seek to connect with their employees and listen to them will likely generate disgruntled and uncooperative behavior from them. A balance between a tough exterior and a  soft, humble interior is the true uniform of a leader.

Be Principled

Self-mastery is crucial to leadership and self-mastery stems from a solid foundation of strong principles. These principles, if built on a solid foundation of values, will affect and influence every sphere of our lives. Three of the most important spheres which are guided by our principles are:

  • Our character
  • Our tasks (what we do and how well we do it)
  • Our relationships

These three spheres come from the New York Best-Selling book:  Launching a Leadership Revolution by authors Orrin Woodward  and Chris Brady

Having solid principles allows us;

  • To know what is true and what is not and how to tell the difference
  • To not be swayed by the winds of society and the media
  • To make bold decisions
  • To be authentic
  • To confront reality
  • To confront ourselves

Create A Ripple Effect

Everything we do impacts the world around us. Even a small action or word can affect our lives. Whether we realize it or not, we are like pebbles being thrown into a lake which then create concentric ripples further and further out from the original splash (point of impact). The question is, what kind of ripple effect do we want to create in our lives and the lives of those around us? Our ripple effect can be a positive and impactful one, or it can be an unimpactful one. It is really up to us.

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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: Life Is Too Short

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photo credit: Felicia Buitenwert @felicialoves – unsplash

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” – Charles Richards

We have all heard this expression: “Life is short”, but do we really believe it or do we live as though we had a thousand years (Marcus Aurelius)? Do we believe what we say or is it just a flippant cliché, a passing phrase that we repeat because we heard it somewhere.? The Bible talks about a lifespan is 4 score and 10 (90 years or so). That is not a long time, is it? Of course, when we are 16, it can seem like a long time because time seems to stand still at that age. It seems like a long way away and puts us into the mindset of thinking that we have”forever” to live.

Life really is shorter than we care to think and sometimes it sends us curveballs that shorten it “prematurely”, or prevent us from doing some of the activities that we talked about doing in the future when we “have more time,” when the kids are grown or when we retire etc.. We put off doing what would like to do, what we dream of doing in order to take care of the busyness of today. We fall into the routines and obligations of our everyday lives, but the clock keeps ticking. The grains of sand in the hourglass sift through the funnel from top to bottom continually and we can not turn the hourglass upside down and start over again.

Today is the only day we have. Yesterday no longer exists (except in our memory). Tomorrow is only hypothetical. It does not exist yet and it is not a guarantee. So what are we doing with our today since it is the only time we have? Each morning we wake up is an excellent opportunity to be grateful for this wonderful gift of being alive. We may have problems and burdens, but we also have life and that is what is most important.

Here are some quotes on the subject of cherishing our time.

(1) You live longer once you realize that time spent being unhappy is time wasted.

(2) Choose to focus your time, energy, and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow into your happiest, strongest, wisest self. – Karen Salmansohn

(3) “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” – Charles Richards
(4) Live as you will wish to have lived when you are dying.” – Christian Gellert
(5) Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.” – Stephen Vincent Benét
(6) “If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.” – Larry McMurtry
(7) “Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Remember ‘Life is too short to be little’” – – Dale Carnegie
(8) “Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” – Michael Leboeuf
(9) “Life is too short. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can. Apologize when you should and let go of what you can.” – Unknown
(10) “Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.” – Zig Ziglar
(11) “Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you’re sure to be right.” – Harry Morant
(12) “We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right. You never know what tomorrow may bring and so we better live this life the best we can and be grateful for everything we have.” – Novak Djokovic
(13) “Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.” Paulo Coelho

(14) “Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.” Benjamin Disraeli

(15) “Life is too short to live on low-fat everything.” Kristin Scott Thomas
(16) “No regrets … just lessons. No worries … just acceptance. No expectations … just gratitude. Life is too short.” Jesse Joseph
(17) “Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.” ― Al Lopez
(18) “Life is a first impression. You get one shot at it. Make it everlasting.” ― J.R. Rim
(19) “The brevity of our lives makes watching TV seem like a symptom of insanity.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
(20) “So have adventures. Go exploring. Drive around at midnight. Feel the wind running through your hair.
Life is so short, my darling. And there’s no day like today.”
Morgan Matson, The Unexpected Everything
(21) “Why just work and live for a happy retirement? Why not work and live for a happy life?” ― Jonathan Anthony Burkett

(22) “Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.” – Victor Hugo

(23) “Life is short, don’t waste time worrying about what people think of you Hold on to the ones that care, in the end, they will be the only ones there.” – Unknown

(24) “Life is too short to waste a single second with anyone who doesn’t appreciate and value you.” – Sarah Dessen

(25 “Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses?” – David Brin

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Diana Lynne loves to travel, pursue self-improvement and 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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How to Bring Out the Best In People

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photo credit: Alexis Brown @alexisbrown – unsplash

“You can get everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
Alan Loy McGinnis

Whether we are talking about employers trying to motivate their organizations, parents trying to motivate their children or teachers trying to motivate their students, the cry is the same “we’re having trouble motivating them” or “we’re having trouble getting them to perform”. Not everyone has this difficulty. There are people who are able to get more for the people they lead. These people seem to have a knack for bringing out the best in people.

The book entitled Bringing Out the Best in People, by Alan Loy McGinnis, lays out twelve principles or guidelines to help people produce extraordinary performance while being ordinary people. These skills help the reader “master the art of motivation” (p. 16).

The Amazing Power of Motivation

The conventional idea of motivation is that all motivation must come from the inside. But is this really true? Think about some things that have motivated you. Perhaps it was watching the Olympics that encouraged you to get out and try a sport. Maybe it was listening to a concert that encouraged you to take up a musical instrument. The fact is, we are influenced and motivated when the motivation (or influence) comes from an inspiring source (be it an event or a person).

Think about Winston Churchill, who, against all odds, was able to rally the nation of England, though it was a sitting duck, to stand up to the Nazi threat. And England was able to call this moment in time “her finest hour”.

Everyone longs to be inspired, to be a part of a vision. It is erroneous to think that people are unmotivated (p.18). it is more accurate to say that a  person is not motivated in a particular situation.  Bored school children and “uninspired ‘workers have something in common. they uninspired by their environment and tasks. So, if we want to motivate people we need to find out what fuel their engines, so to speak, what would ignite the spark plugs.

Expect the Best, Get the Best

If we want to bring out the very best in people around us, we need to first and foremost believe in and expect the best from them. We need to see the potential in them and draw it out. focusing on the strengths of the person. There was a play written by George Bernard Shaw called The Pygmalion which illustrates this concept of bringing out the best in people. In the play, the main character is Eliza who seems to have nothing going for her. She is uneducated, poor with seemingly very little in the way of gifts and talents. One day a professor decides to take her under his wing and transform Eliza into a lady.

Through patient teaching and profuse encouragement, the professor gradually brings out Eliza’s talents and cause her to truly believe that she is an educated lady. He focused on her strengths, uncovered hidden talents, and built her up into something so much better than she ever imagined. This is the power of expecting the best to get the best.

Motivating People

How often do we hear teachers and parents alike lament how difficult it is to motivate children and teenagers. How frequently do we hear people speak about their job or job environment being unmotivating and that they feel disheartened to try harder? When we think about motivation, we tend to think of terms of ourselves being motivated to do a thing or lacking the motivation as if it were all on our shoulders. Teachers, parents, and employers try everything they know how to do to “get people to perform”.

However, the concept of motivation is more complex than simply ” I want to this or I don’t want to do that.  Other factors are in play. Sometimes failure to be motivated is a result of a clash between needs and expectations. Sometimes there is a difference in the belief system or values or between what one person considers important versus another person. And we can not forget that just as people change and grow, so do needs and perception of needs. Motivating other people should necessarily include dialogue about what is important to each person and their needs at any given time.

Set the Bar High

Bringing out the best in people should also include having high expectations of their potential. that is to say, we should believe that they are able to go above and beyond where they are currently at. Setting the bar high for people requires this solid belief that they have both the potential and the ability to reach their potential. With regards to people that we oversee such as children, employees or students, we need to give a clear portrayal of what is expected as well as a clear direction of how to reach these expectations for their benefit.

To help people reach their potential, we may need to step into the role of mentorship to provide encouragement, course correction, and feedback. We need to have a long term vision and see the path ahead (have an objective perspective) in order to help the other person avoid the landmines and press on to achieve what we believe they can achieve.

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”
Alan Loy McGinnis

Failure Must Be Part of the Plan

No matter who we are leading or influencing, people are people. they will trip up and fall. They can also get back up and continue on their way. When we are seeking to bring out the best in people, we should create an environment that sees failure as a necessary step to success in whatever the person is trying to accomplish. Failure and setbacks need to be factored in and even encouraged.

It is useful to help people see that failure such as rejection, errors, mishaps, and poor judgment or whatever else classifies as a step backward, are learning experiences necessary for course correction and doing better the next time. People naturally tend to see failures as somehow reflecting on their own ability or lack thereof, so it is very important when helping people to be better, to encourage them to see failure as positive.

What to Do

How can we take concrete steps to motivate, encourage performance, and embrace failure as positive? The very best way is to notice and point out any successes. Highlight and praise even the smallest achievements going in the right direction and minimize (but not ignore) and negative performance. Be on the lookout (be a scout) for improvement in any shape or form.

Of course, as was explained, failure must be recognized as integral to success, but it is also not to be overemphasized especially in a negative light. The whole point is to help people become more confident in their abilities and believe that they can improve and succeed.

What Not to Do

Avoid flattery

It is one thing to highlight achievement and notice improvement. It is a whole different matter to praise for the sake of praising. Flattery flatters no one and can be very destructive to the relationship. People can see through the veneer of the superficiality of flattery and they will not appreciate you for doing this and, probably they will trust you less as well.

Don’t compare

No one, I repeat, no one appreciates being compared to other people. Comparing people sends the message that they are not good enough, that they have not met our standards. In their mind, it also sends them the message that the person they are being compared to is somehow better than them.

Avoid Manipulation

Manipulation can take different forms: overt manipulation through threats and bribes or covert (less obvious) manipulation in the form of guilt imposition, or passive-aggressive behavior. Manipulation is controlling and operates in complete opposition to the goal of bringing out the best in people.

Some More tips

The following site, Next Level Workplace,  lists 10 ways to bring out the best in people:

1. Think how, not what – How are they doing?

2. Work it out now – conflict now

3. Just say thanks – simple sincere appreciation

4. Take action inclusively – teamwork and collaboration

5. Turn up the differences

6. Make a point of asking- what do you think?

7. Tell stories – become a positive gossiper

8. Engage people in return – take the time to listen

9. Show your emotions

10. Be the real you

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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 to Bring Out People’s Best

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photo credit: Caroline Hernandez @carolinehdz – unsplash

Bringing out the very best in people is, I would say, both an art and a science. It requires that we follow certain rules and use our natural desire for a relationship to be the very best that we can be and help others do the same. It is a win-win for everyone.

Whether we are talking about employers trying to motivate their organizations, parents trying to motivate their children or teachers trying to motivate their students, the cry is the same “we’re having trouble motivating them” or “we’re having trouble getting them to perform”. Not everyone has this difficulty. There are people who are able to get more for the people they lead. These people seem to have a knack for bringing out the best in people

Here are 25 quotes to inspire you in this direction. Enjoy!

(1) “In order to bring out the best in people, you need to give them your best”. – Omar Suleiman

(2) “Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them”. – Marvin J Ashton

(3) “As a leader of people, you have to be a great listener, a great motivator, be very good at praising and bringing out the best in people.” – Richard Branson

(4) “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”
Alan Loy McGinnis
(5) “You are a manipulator when you try to persuade people to do something that is not in their best interests but is in yours. You are a motivator when you find goals that will be good for both sides, then weld together a high-achieving, high-morale partnership to achieve them.”
Alan Loy McGinnis,
(6) “You can get everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” ― Alan Loy McGinnis
(7) “But the best managers expect their people to make mistakes, and instead of replacing staff constantly, they recognize that it is more efficient to teach people how to cope with their failures and learn from their” ― Alan Loy McGinnis
(8) “People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be – not what you nag them to be”.― Alan Loy McGinnis,
(9) “If leaders can teach people how to handle failure creatively, it may be the most important contribution they can make”.― Alan Loy McGinnis,
(10) ” If they are going anywhere near where you want to go, climb on other people’s bandwagon.”― Alan Loy McGinnis,
(11) “The best way to appeal to emotions is by talking about people, their struggles, conflicts, and eventual triumphs.”― Alan Loy McGinnis,
(12) “Seeing another person succeed somehow inspires us to succeed.” ― Alan Loy McGinnis,
 (13) “Nearly every one of us is starving to be appreciated”― Alan Loy McGinnis

(14) Someone needs your actions to inspire his actions. Never forget, your little broken cake is someone’s daily meal! Care to share your little cake!”- Israelmore Ayivor

(15) “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend”. – King Solomon

(16) “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” –   Stephen Covey

(17) “Inspire people to do things for themselves. Inspire people to think for themselves.”   – Bono

(18) “You can’t inspire people if you are going to be uninspiring.”  -Robert Reich

(19) “Serving and attempting to inspire others is a responsibility, not a choice”.  –   Bill Courtney

(20) “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do”.   – unknown

(21) “When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves”.   – Steve Maraboli

(22) “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”.- John Quincy Adams

(23) “It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven’t been willing to try”.- unknown

(24) “Your success will shine as a light of hope and inspire numbers you cannot total.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

(25) “If somebody can inspire me, it feels really special.” – Bill Sienkiewicz

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, and the pursuit of 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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Life Is Too Short – Let’s Start Living

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photo credit: Nathan Lemon @processrepeat – unsplash

Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been.

We have all heard this expression: “Life is short”, but do we really believe it or do we live as though we had a thousand years (Marcus Aurelius)? Do we believe what we say or is it just a flippant cliché, a passing phrase that we repeat because we heard it somewhere.? The Bible talks about a lifespan is 4 score and 10 (90 years or so). That is not a long time, is it? Of course, when we are 16, it can seem like a long time because time seems to stand still at that age. It seems like a long way away and puts us into the mindset of thinking that we have”forever” to live.

Life really is shorter than we care to think and sometimes it sends us curveballs that shorten it “prematurely”, or prevent us from doing some of the activities that we talked about doing in the future when we “have more time,” when the kids are grown or when we retire etc.. We put off doing what would like to do, what we dream of doing in order to take care of the busyness of today. We fall into the routines and obligations of our everyday lives, but the clock keeps ticking. The grains of sand in the hourglass sift through the funnel from top to bottom continually and we can not turn the hourglass upside down and start over again.

Today is the only day we have. Yesterday no longer exists (except in our memory). Tomorrow is only hypothetical. It does not exist yet and it is not a guarantee. So what are we doing with our today since it is the only time we have? Each morning we wake up is an excellent opportunity to be grateful for this wonderful gift of being alive. We may have problems and burdens, but we also have life and that is what is most important. Perhaps if we focused more on realizing how amazing an opportunity we have to be alive, we might focus less on our problems.

There is a saying of Jesus in the Bible: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own”. What wise counsel. We tend to sacrifice the future on the altar of today when the future isn’t even a given. Worrying steals today away from us and it definitely will not solve any of our problems, nor will it give us more life. So why worry and steal joy away from ourselves? By worrying – about our finances, our relationships, our job or whatever, we are not allowing ourselves to live and appreciate the day we have, actually, the only day we have.

Enjoy every moment you have. Because in life, there are no rewinds, only flashbacks. – Anmol Andore

What if you knew that this was your very last day on this earth and that your life would be taken from you? How would you spend this time? For many people, this is, in fact, a reality, but they just don’t know it. I am quite sure that none of us would be concerned with the usual things we complain about or would be spending our time scrolling on Facebook. We probably wouldn’t spend our time bickering with loved ones. Most probably we would value every minute and tell anyone and everyone how much we love them.

Since we really do not know what life has in store for us nor how long we have, maybe it is a good time to take stock of all that we have been blessed with, spend time with the people we are blessed to have in our lives. I am not only speaking of our families but also our neighbors in our communities. Do we actually know them? Do we speak to them? Do we share a little of our time with them?  There are probably many people around us who long to have a conversation to break out of their loneliness. Isn’t that what it means to live? Isn’t really about relationships and connecting?

Each day the sun rises is a new opportunity to seize, savor and share. Each day brings new ideas, experiences, challenges, and solutions. Each day is a new day for doing something different and something meaningful. It is a new opportunity to forgive, to love, to grow, to do something we may have never considered before. Early morning birds singing is a daily reminder of how much we truly have. Every day we have a new opportunity to use and share the gifts and talents we have been given to benefit ourselves and others. The Bible says that God’s mercies are new each morning, which is wonderful news. We have a chance each morning to start over, to begin something new, to repair what was broken and build up our relationships.

Life is a contact sport

And while we are at it, why not live the life we want to live now instead of just talking about it and waiting on the sidelines. Life is not a spectator sport; it is a contact sport, to use an analogy. Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the right time, the right opportunity or circumstances is a sad way to live. There will never be a right time or perfect circumstances because the time is now. You might say that you don’t have the finances or the time, but I will say “where there is a will, there is a way”.  We are not going to necessarily have more time or money later. Life has a funny way of making sure there is always something to occupy us and some “financial responsibility or crisis” to take care of.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying

A palliative nurse listed the most common regrets of the dying and put these findings into a book called “The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.” Here they are:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

There are some very important lessons we can learn from these confessions.

  1. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  2. If it can be done, do it now.
  3. Today is all we have.
  4. Our happiness is our choice and our responsibility
  5. Work is not our life but passion and purpose make life fulfilling
  6. We are responsible for living our own lives, not the lives of others.
  7. Be kind to ourselves  and to others
  8. Prioritize relationships
  9. Don’t be a prisoner of guilt or you will become a prisoner of regret.
  10. Life is a contact sport.

The Takeaway

Life is precious and life is short. In fact, we often do not catch on to how short it actually is. We calculate life in terms of months and years. But what if we measured life in terms of experiences and how well we sowed into the lives of others. What if we changed from living according to the dictates of the calendar to being in charge of the calendar and filling it up with meaningful activities and using it to record cherished moments in time. I hope that you have been encouraged and inspired by this post. May joy be with you always.

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

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, 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 through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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20 Bible Quotes on Joy

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photo credit: Aziz Acharki @acharki95 – unspalsh

What is joy? Joy is a state that is independent of feelings and emotions. It can not be classified in the same category as happiness because it is a state of knowing and understanding that all is well. Joy is independent of circumstances whether good or bad because it is a strength given by God. It is a strength that allows us to withstand the winds of calamity, of poverty, injustice, and anything that comes our way to bring us down.

Joy is profound. It is not a surface feeling and it is not temporary like happiness or sadness. It is an undercurrent, a foundation of strength that gives us the power to carry on in the midst of pain and the power to encourage others who are going through tough times. In fact, the Bible says:

The joy of the Lord is my strength

Here are some quotes on the subject of joy to inspire and strengthen you:

(1) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest.

(2) For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control

(3) .And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

(4) Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

(5) May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

(6) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone.

(7) Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen.

(8) Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

(9) The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

(10) Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart

(11) .I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with joy.

(12) For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy.

(13) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

(14) .For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning

(15) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit,

(16) So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

(17) I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

(18) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

(19) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
(20) Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, 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 through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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25 Quotes On Leadership

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photo credit: Hudson Hintze @hudsonhintze - unsplash

Have you noticed the lack of leadership around these days?  Whether it is in government, schools or any organization, it seems that vision is lacking and many do not have a clear idea of where they are going.  I don’t need to remind you (you are already aware) of how much “passing the buck” goes on these days. No one wants to take responsibility, it seems, and accountability plays second fiddle to an attitude of “taking care of self first”.

It is time for us to develop a healthy picture of what leadership is and how it can play out in lour lives. Everyone seems to have some idea of what leadership is or should be and certainly we recognize its absence. So, It is helpful to see how leadership or influence is seen through the eyes of different people from a variety of backgrounds and experience.

Here are some quotes for inspiration.

(1) “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

(2) “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

(3) “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn

(4) “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter

(5) “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis

(6) “Leadership is something you earn, something you’re chosen for. You can’t come in yelling, ‘I’m your leader!’ If it happens, it’s because the other guys respect you.” –Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback

(7) “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame basketball superstar

(8) “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy,

(9) “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King Jr

(10) “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair,

(11) “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” – Stephen Covey,

(12) “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett, investor

(13) “You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.” – Henry Ford,

(14) “True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

(15) “Each group and each youngster is different. As a leader or coach, you get to know what they need.” – Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball coach

(16) “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” – Max Lucado,

(17) “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground”. Theodore Roosevelt,

(18) “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” – Tom Landry, former Dallas Cowboys coach

(19) “As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future.” Indri Naozi

(20) “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi

(21) “People have to trust you. You have to build in trust for people.” – Jack Welsch

(22) “We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.” — Queen Victoria

(23) “Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas?”
— Margaret Thatcher,

(24)  “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
— Rosa Parks, civil rights activist

(25() “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
— Warren Bennis, scholar and leadership expert

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

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Diane Lynne enjoys traveling, learning, 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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Why You Should Think Differently From The Crowd

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photo credit: Chuttersnap @chuttersnap – unsplash

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

Crowd thinking is nothing more than pressure to fit in or conform. When you think differently than most people, when you choose to go a different path, it is not easy. Society, in the form of media, schools, peer groups all seem to protest status quo thinking and embrace what is current or trendy, without considering whether or not is good, right or the best for us. When we go against the grain of collective thought, we feel somehow different (even if people still like us and accept who we are). We feel somehow isolated because we can no longer think like everyone else.

Choosing to go against the grain, to evaluate information, and measure up what we are taught against what is true may not be popular, but it can make the difference between living our life authentically, true to ourselves and living for others. It can mean the difference between living just to live for each day and living a life of meaning and purpose.  The following information was taken from and inspired by the book: How Successful People Think,  by International leadership expert, John Maxwell. I hope that this post will inspire you to be more, live a life true to your calling and authentic in every way.

Crowd Thinking Often Means Not Thinking

Crowd thinking is easy and safe, so we believe. It is easier to just go along with the way things are, with the way people are doing things. Why rock the boat and be different? Thinking like the crowd means going along with the current trends and general (collective) thought. It does not require any work, reflection or questioning. It means putting our brain on the shelf and letting it rest while we just accept what everyone else thinks. The trouble is, most of the time, the crowd is wrong.

Crowd Thinking Often Gives False Hope

Crowd thinking often fails to see the big picture because of the fact that it focuses on the now. It is a short term way of thinking that can not offer any hope since it does not have vision and wisdom. What has short term thinking done? Well, for one, it has produced the buy now-pay later mindset and has led millions into personal debt. It is a shallow way of thinking and does little to help us prepare or equip ourselves for the future.

Crowd Thinking Is Slow to Adopt Change

Status quo is the safety zone of crowd thinking. If it works, why change anything?  The collective thought is generally very resistant to change and close-minded to innovation or new ways of doing things. And crowd thinking offers the same worn out excuses:: “It can’t be done”,  “We tried that before”, Why change what works?”, “That would take too much (time, money)”,  “Let’s just stick with the program”.

Crowd Thinking Is Average Thinking

Above average thinking is not found in collective thought.  The crowd way of thinking has to limiting beliefs of can be done or of what is possible; it sets the bar low. Action follows thought and when the way of thinking is limited, clearly, any action will remain limited as well. Great thinkers, innovators and do not think like most people; they question and evaluate. they ask the question; “Why not?”

How the Crowd Thinks

  • Follow the rules
  • Don’t ask questions
  • Don’t be different
  • Think of your image
  • Don’t be foolish
  • It can’t be done / It’s never been done
  • It will be too hard / too complicated
  • We don’t have time
  • Stay inside the lines
  • Yes, but….
  • We tried that before

“Chances are, if you are following the crowd, you’re following the wrong path.” Bob Proctor

How to March to a Different Drummer

The proverbial marching to a different drummer has some merit. Sometimes people explain odd (or nonconformist) behavior in someone with the flippant “oh, he (or she) just walks to the beat of a different drummer. It is our way of explaining away what we don’t understand or don’t really want to accept in another person. But how many people in the world have walked to this different drum beat? I can think of a few: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Winston Churchill, Crazy Horse, Socrates.. and the list can go on

Before Joining the Bandwagon, Think

Every day or week it seems that there is something new to believe, to do, or to buy. The information circulates and builds momentum until it becomes popular.  sometimes people jump on the bandwagon without reflection. Do you remember the ice bucket challenge? There is an example of everyone following without really understanding or at least asking themselves why they were participating in something like that. Those who do not follow the crowd, choose to do what is best, not what is popular at the moment.

Learn New Ways of Thinking

Expose yourself to other people, cultures, or segments of society to see through their eyes. Be open to new ideas and viewpoints. You do not have to agree or change your own, but you can be open-minded enough to learn from them. Expose yourself to other people’snew backgrounds, experiences, and interests. It is very hard to evaluate our own way of thinking if it is not measured up against different ways of thinking and new ideas.

Re-evaluate Your Own Thinking Regularly

If we fail to re-evaluate how we think and why we think this way, if we fail to measure our way of seeing things with new information, ideas, and perspectives, then we are just choosing to remain in a rut. We are, in fact choosing to remain close-minded. Maybe what we thought last month needs to be changed. Maybe we were wrong. But how will we know unless we hold it up against outside information? If we are right and our way of thinking is good, it will stand the test.

Do New Things in New Ways

We can’t just stay on the proverbial sofa and expect to grow. Growth requires risk-taking. It requires gathering up the courage to leave what is comfortable and try new things. Maybe it will require doing the same things we have always done but in new ways. Maybe it will mean asking new questions about old problems. Perhaps it will mean using our own brain cells and creativity to challenge what we have thought to be true and right.

The Takeaway

Be more. Do more. Think more. Act more. Action preceded by a thought. When we change the way we think, when we begin to understand why we think certain ways and consider where our thoughts come from or what the influence is, we can begin to get free from other people”s thinking and expectations and start living the life we were meant to live.

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

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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 Rascal Thinking

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Our greatest fear should not be that we won’t succeed, but that we will succeed at something that doesn’t matter – D.L Moody

Have you ever thought of yourself as a rascal? Have you ever been frustrated with the crowd-think and carbon copy culture? Do you have a sense that there is so much more and that we need to be doing something of significance? How much do you value comfort and safety? How much do you live for the opinions and ideas of others?  Have you ever wondered about those great men and women in history who made a difference and impacted how we live today? What did they have and how did they think?

Here are some quotes on how to think like a rascal;

(1) You wouldn’t worry so much about what others thought of you if you only knew how seldom they did.

(2)Unless one is at heart a rascal, I think he becomes a little better in many ways by assuming leadership.”
Louis L’Amour

(3) When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.

-Dr. Carter G. Woodson

(4) A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

-Dr. King

(5) “I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”

–Thomas Payne

(6) Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
– Albert Einstein

(7) The revolution will not be televised.
– Unknown

(8) Failure is not when you fail. Failure is when you quit.”
-Orrin Woodward

(9) There is no such thing as trying. You either do it or don’t.”
-Ed Stewart

(10) Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut until you know what you are talking about.”
-Ed Stewart

(11) The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
-Mahatma Gandhi

(12) To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
-Oscar Wilde

(13) You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
-Henry Ford

(14) Where facts are few, experts are many.
-Donald R. Gannon

(15) There is no better measure of a person than what he does when he is absolutely free to choose.
— Wilma Askinas

(16) Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
-Churchill

(17) Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
-Scott Adams“

(16) Leaders need to be what they want to see.” John Maxwell

(17) Would the kid you were, admire the person you are?

-Chris Brady

(18) Keep Moving Forward.
Walt Disney

(19) BRING IT!”-Orrin Woodward

(20) People of integrity expect to be believed, and when they are not, they let time prove them right.” – author unknown

(21) I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
-Herbert Bayard Swope

(22) None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(23) Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

(24) The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.
-Pearl S. Buck

(25) If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.
-Andrew Carnegie

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

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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 through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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