Wednesday, October 31, 2012

#821 The most beautiful thing

It began in mystery and it will end in mystery, but what a rare and beautiful country lies in between.  ~Diane Ackerman

I feel as though I have lived many lives, experienced the heights and depths of each and like the waves of the ocean, never known rest. Throughout the years, I looked always for the unusual, for the wonderful, for the mysteries at the heart of life.   ~ Leni Riefenstahl

We awake, if ever at all, to mystery. ~ Annie Dillard

The real mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced.  ~J.J. Van der Leeuw

We are so impressed by scientific clank that we feel we ought not to say that the sunflower turns because it knows where the sun is. It is almost second nature to us to prefer explanations . . . with a large vocabulary. We are much more comfortable when we are assured that the sunflower turns because it is heliotropic. The trouble with that kind of talk is that it tempts us to think that we know what the sunflower is up to. But we don't. The sunflower is a mystery, just as every single thing in the universe is. --Robert Farrer Capon

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.  ~ Albert Einstein

- What do you wonder about?
- How can some mystery help to enhance our lives?
- How can this wonder lead to enrichment and, perhaps, empowerment?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#820 To make life more meaningful

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.    ~ Marcus Aurelius

The quality of life is determined by its activities.  ~ Aristotle

I'm not naive. I realize that quality of life and income are inextricably bound together, but sooner or later we're going to have to ask ourselves whether it is possible to make life more meaningful without charging it to Visa.  ~ Daron Hicklin

It's obvious that the key problem facing humanity in the coming century is how to bring a better quality of life - for 8 billion or more people - without wrecking the environment entirely in the attempt.   ~ E. O. Wilson

How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life?
  ~ Charles Lindbergh

No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them.  ~ Alan B. Watts

Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.   ~ Dorothy Height

- What, in your mind, are the criteria for a quality life?
- What hinders many people from achieving it?
- What steps could you take to enhance the quality of your days?

Monday, October 29, 2012

#819 Things that we share in the world

I don't know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.  ~ John Glenn

After an orange cloud — formed as a result of a dust storm over the Sahara and caught up by air currents — reached the Philippines and settled there with rain, I understood that we are all sailing in the same boat.   ~Vladimir Kovalyonok (Astronaut)

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.  I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.  I didn't feel like a giant.  I felt very, very small.  ~ Neil Armstrong

Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up.  ~ Roger B. Chaffee

For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.   ~ Donald Williams

- When did you experience a profound love for nature?
- What has nature taught you,.. how has she affected your perspectives?
- What are the significant priorities for the survival of our planet?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

#818 You have the answer

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.  ~ Jane Austen

And remember, no matter where you go there you are.  ~ Confucius

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart.  I am.  I am.  I am.  ~ Sylvia Plath

You have the Answer.  Just get quiet enough to hear it.  ~ Pat Obuchowski

- How much do you truly listen to yourself when making important decisions?
- How authentic are you as you live out your life?
- How can you cultivate greater personal enrichment?

Friday, October 26, 2012

#817 That single spark of divinity

The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.  ~ Maria Montessori

The unique personality which is the real life in me, I can not gain unless I search for the real life, the spiritual quality, in others.  ~ Felix Adler

Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.  ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Part of having a strong sense of self is to be accountable for one's actions. No matter how much we explore motives or lack of motives, we are what we do.  ~ Janet Geringer Woititz

If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature.  ~ Bruce Barton

- How would you describe your personality?
- How has observing several others helped you to understand yourself?
- How can you live out your life with vitality, utilizing your distinguishing characteristics?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

#816 The splendor of a sudden thought

In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration.  ~ Ernest Newman

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.  ~ Jack London

I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning.  ~ Peter De Vries

Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.  ~ Igor Stravinsky

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.  ~ Aaron Copland

Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.  ~ Leonard Bernstein

Stung by the splendor of a sudden thought.  ~ Robert Browning

- When were you last inspired?

- To what extent can you develop a mindset and regimen where inspiration may happen on most days?

- How could these inspirations manifest themselves?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#815 A daily trilogy

How fit to employ all the heart and the soul and the senses forever in joy!   ~Robert Browning

- To what extent could this quote be a daily mantra for you?
- What did you do yesterday which combined all three?
- What could you do today? 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#814 Working or playing

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.   ~ James A. Michener

- How much are you tempted to categorize the different dimensions of your life?
- To what extent do the diverse aspects of your life merge in a delightful synthesis?
- How can you pursue excellence today in a comprehensive way?

Monday, October 22, 2012

#813 Catch the good

To improve the golden moments of opportunity and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of living.  ~ Samuel Johnson

- What golden moments of opportunity lie within your reach?
- What goodness?
- How can you improve upon the artistry that is your life?

#812 A fine mingling

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. - Henry Ellis

- What, in your mind, may need to be released?
- Held more firmly?
- What is important to you as you live out your daily life?

#811 Culture as human spirit

Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit. ~ Matthew Arnold

No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

One ought every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. ~ Goethe 

- What do you value about several cultures of which you are a part?

- What song, poem, painting, words... have enriched you?

- How has culture been a source of strength and inspiration for you?

- What positive quality could you contribute to a negative culture?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

#810 Windows for nurture

We seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves... We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own . . . We demand windows.   ~ C.S. Lewis 

- Through whose eyes have you seen?

- Through whose imaginations?

- Through whose hearts?

- What windows have, and will you enjoy?

Friday, October 19, 2012

#809 Being and becoming

We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being.  As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have, for their usefulness.   ~ Thomas Merton

Life, is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.   ~ Myrna Loy 

- What do you do?

- Who are you as a person?

- What are you becoming?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

#808 Lift your spirits

Exercise is labor without weariness.  ~ Samuel Johnson

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.   ~ Cicero

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!  ~ Jillian Michaels

- How much do you like to exercise?
- What forms does it take?
- How can you resolve to include more of it and enjoy the workout? 

#807 Deeds, not words

Deeds, not words shall speak me.   ~ John Fletcher
Do not be wise in words - be wise in deeds.  ~ Jewish Proverb

- How much do you 'practice what you preach'?
- Whom do you admire who lives out his/her life with vitality?
- What are several of your convictions which you would like others to see through your daily life?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

#806 Piercing words

Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.  ~ Aldous Huxley

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.
  ~ John Maynard Keynes

- How much do you like to write and wrestle with words?
- Who are several of your favorite authors?
- What several speakers left indelible impressions?

#805 The best pharmacy

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people. ~ Elizabeth Berry

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~Hippocrates

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson

The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system. ~Robert C. Peale

It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician. ~Meryl Streep

- Where does most of your food come?

- How much do you try to avoid processed foods?

- How can you try to enrich your diet and your health?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

#804 No wealth but life

There is no wealth but life.  ~ John Ruskin

- How much does material wealth tempt you?
- How rich is your life with the vital ingredients of a vibrant life?
- What are those life giving ingredients?

#803 The wealth of a soul

The wealth of a soul is measured by how much it can feel... its poverty by how little.  ~ Sherrilyne Kenyon

- How much do you 'feel' the experience of your daily life?
- How much do you feel for the people around you and their experiences?
- How can you nurture your feeling side a little more?

Monday, October 15, 2012

#802 Having few wants

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.  ~ Epictetus

- How content are you with your possessions?
- How many unfulfilled wants and desires do you have?
- What can you do to desire less and feel more content with your life?

#801 Rich with time

Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.  ~Margaret Bonnano

- How much time do you have?
- How well do you prioritize your time?
- How can you enrich your life by spending some of your time more wisely?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#800 To admit it is superhuman

It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution.  ~ Alvin Toffler

To err is human; to forgive, divine.  ~ Alexander Pope

To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.  ~ Hubert H. Humphrey

If one is going to err, one should err on the side of liberty and freedom.  ~ Kofi Annan 

To err is human; to admit it, superhuman.  ~ Doug Larson

The road to wisdom? Well, it's plain
And simple to express:
And err
And err again
But less
And less
And less.  ~ Hiet Hein

- How daring are you in the face of new challenges?
- How forgiving of others when they make mistakes?
- How honest with others about your shortcomings?

Friday, October 12, 2012

#799 Unspeakable Dawn

The purpose of life is to fight maturity. - Dick Werthimer

You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.  ~ Ogden Nash

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable.  There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.  ~ Victor Hugo

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.  ~ Mark Twain

The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible.  ~ Judith Regan 

- How can one best remain youthful in perspective and outlook?
- What steps can you take to lighten up and enjoy life a little more?
- How mature are you?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#798 Barren and fruitful

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit. ~ Anton Chekhov

- How much do you appreciate your life, both in trying and pleasing times?
- How do you try to cultivate your productivity?
- What mindset helps you through the highs and lows?

#797 We hope and know

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it. ~ Goethe

- Are your branches green or barren?

- When have you experienced life in all its vibrant beauty?

- How can you cultivate the assurance that this vitality will return again?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

#796 Stay strong

Follow your honest convictions, and stay strong.  ~William Thackeray

- What are some of your closest convictions?
- When have you experienced difficulty in staying strong?
- Where can you show a little more strength in the short term?

#795 The aim of life

The aim of life is self-development.  To realize one's nature perfectly- that is what each of us is here for.  ~ Oscar Wilde

What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself.   ~Hecato, Greek philosopher

Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world.   ~Miguel de Cervantes

-What factors have helped you to gain a greater understanding of yourself?
-How well do you know yourself?
-What can you do to continue your self-development?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

#794 Something of worth

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.  ~ Michelangelo

Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.  ~ Thomas A. Edison

- What are some of the vain promises of this world?

- What, do you think, is your true worth and value?

- What can you do to enrich your intrinsic value?

Monday, October 8, 2012

#793 Values and priorities

There is no such thing as work-life balance. I don't know about you, but I only have one life and every moment is about living my values and balancing my priorities - wherever I am.  ~ Rhoberta Shaler

- What is important for you to achieve in your 'one life'?

- What are several of your dominate values which deserve expression daily?

- What priorities need to be balanced on a daily basis?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

#792 Suffering

Suffering! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.  ~ Anatole France

- Anatole France places suffering on a high pedestal.  Why is suffering 'good'?
- How does one suffer well?
- When has suffering been an endurance and redemption for you?

#791 Joys and fears

Thanks to the human heart by which we live; thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears.  ~William Wordsworth

- When has your heart lead you to see the tenderness in life?

- The joys?

- The fears?

- What are you grateful for in your life?

Friday, October 5, 2012

#790 A quality life

There are three ingredients to the good life; learning, earning, and yearning. ~ Christopher Morley

- Currently, what area of learning interests you?

- For what do you yearn?
- What would you suggest is another important element of the good life?

#789 A little kindness

The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.  ~ William Wordsworth

- What person comes to your mind who exemplifies the quote?
- In what little ways have you shown kindness and love?
- Where could you direct more of the same over the near future?

#788 The good life

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. ~ Socrates

- To what extent are you living the good life?
- People have diverse ideas about what comprises 'the good life.'  What is your understanding?
- What can you do to cultivate more of this desirable life?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

#787 Sing a song

A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.   ~Joan Walsh Anglund

-How likely are you to have a song in your heart?

-What are the obstacles to a personal contentment?

-What can you do to cultivate more cheer for yourself and others?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

#786 Connected with everything

A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world.

The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it - aliens. 

But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything.   ~ all quotes by Alan Watts

- What myths come to your mind?
- To what extent do you think the prevailing myths have separated us from nature?
- When have you connected with nature on a spiritual level?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

#785 First in one's own

The world comes to us in an endless stream of puzzle pieces that we would like to think all fit together somehow, but that in fact never do.

The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.  ~ (quotes by Robert M. Pirsig)

- What puzzles you about life?
- How do you try to make sense of the world?
- Improving the world first begins with a personal understanding of who you are and how you interact within every day life.   What convictions do you have within your heart and head which could lead into tangible actions?

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#784 Seeking personal peace

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.

To live for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.  ~ both by Robert M. Pirsig

- Where do you find a personal peace?
- How often do you aspire to reach some distant dream, goal?
- How can you focus more on your every day life and encounters to bring you the peace and contentment you seek?

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Monday, October 1, 2012

#783 Turning one's life around

I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity... I didn't feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not - more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.  ~ Beverly Sills

-  How did Sills turn her whole life around and achieve a new serenity?
-  How can this perspective enhance one's life?
- What is an important lesson you have learned in your ongoing maturity?