"There is more to life than increasing its speed." - Gandhi
Let’s start with the bitter truth:
You will never be as good as you think you should be.
And life will never be as easy as you expected.
All of us are faced with the same reality. There will inevitably be times when we slip up and fail to meet our (unreasonable) expectations of ourselves. It’ll likely happen quite often too. And if we don’t embrace these slip-ups and failures as necessary lessons learned, we will gradually and unknowingly become self-conscious about everything we’re not doing and achieving according to planned.
Honestly, it happens every day to the best of us—we hopelessly catch ourselves thinking about how we’re falling short.
We worry that we haven’t made as much progress as we thought we would. We worry that we’ll never be as productive as we could be. And our worrying just leads to more senseless worrying.
We worry that we don’t…
- have better-looking bodies
- get to the gym more often
- accomplish more of our goals
We worry that we should be doing…
- something better
- something more amazing
- all those amazing things the people on TV and social media are doing
And so, we’re left feeling guilty that we’re not as good as we should be—that we’re not doing the perfect thing at the perfect time, ever.
The good news is that thoughts like these are natural, because the human mind isn’t perfect—it worries about things. But we can learn to catch and control these thoughts, so they don’t catch and control us.
Letting Go of Our “Perfect Life” Fantasies
To an extent, we all have this lavish idea in our heads about how our lives are supposed to be. We fantasize that we should be living a different and better life…
- A life without procrastination and failure
- A life with spectacular feats of success
- A life of travel and adventure
- A life with perfect friends, family, and partners
And through it all we’re supposed to be smiling too, right?
Wrong! That’s not how life really works. At least not 24/7.
The truth is, we are miraculously flawed human beings living miraculously flawed lives. And the “miraculous” part only transpires when we accept and make the best of what we have.
Close your eyes and reflect on the present reality of your life, and whisper, “I am OK. Life is OK. I will let my present life situation be what it is, instead of what I think it should be, and I will make the best of it.”
The key is to accept the fact that there’s no such thing as a perfect life. There’s no perfect thing you should have already accomplished, and no perfect sequence of things you should be accomplishing right now.
There’s just this moment you’re living through and what you choose to do with it.
And yes, disappointment with this moment, with yourself, and with others is often part of the picture—there’s no escaping this reality.
But what will you choose to do…
You can be disappointed in this moment and do nothing, or you can practice being satisfied with the opportunity to make the very best of it.
Making the Best of Your Ordinary Life
When Angel and I guide our course students through the process of letting go of their “perfect life” or “perfect self” fantasies, we cover a four-step practice for doing so. It’s a simple series of steps that can work wonders at any given moment in time, but it takes some diligence (it’s not necessarily convenient or easy):
- When you feel your “life isn’t good enough” anxiety rising, pause, close your eyes, and notice that you’re in the process of worrying about what you’re not doing, or what you haven’t yet achieved. Notice the feelings of disappointment you have with yourself and your life at the present moment.
- Accept these feelings of disappointment as a part of you, focus on them, and just allow yourself to feel them. As you focus, notice the emotional sensations of this feeling throughout your body.
- Open your eyes, turn your attention to the present moment: what are you doing right now? Put all of your awareness into this moment—be 100% present with the physical and emotional sensations of whatever you’re doing.
- Notice that the present moment is enough—enough for right now. It doesn’t need to be better. It doesn’t need to be anything more. It’s good enough already, in its own unique way. And so are you.
Again, this is a practice—a life-changing daily ritual—and it’s not something any of us will ever be “perfect” at. We just remind ourselves often, and when we forget we remind ourselves again, and we begin again with our practice. One day at a time. (Angel and I build life-changing daily rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of the Getting Back to Happy Course.)
Oh, and this short article, by the way, is as much a reminder to Angel and me as it is a guide for you or anybody else who might find value in it.
We’re all in this one together.
May this moment be as good as we collectively choose to make it.
This Moment: Our Most Precious Resource
As I wrap up here, I’m reminded of something Angel and I have learned the hard way from the most heart wrenching moments of our lives—losing loved ones early and unexpectedly:
Death is an unpredictable inevitability.
Embracing this fact provides a renewed sense of awareness, to realize that we’ve lived a certain number of days, and the days ahead of us are not as guaranteed as the one we’re living through right now. When I think of this I am reminded that every day truly is an opportunity to be grateful for, not in a clichéd kind of way, but to honestly appreciate what we have here, and to admit that we alone are responsible for the quality of our present lives. This makes our self-respect and positive focus evermore important, right here, right now. It leaves no time to wallow in self-pity and self-doubt.
The last thing any of us wants to do is die with regret, hence why respecting the reality of death puts life into perspective. It humbles us and should also deeply motivate us to lead our lives and make the best of it…
Less criticizing and complaining.
More acceptance, appreciation and enjoyment of this blessed yet often ordinary life.
Love where you are right now. You’ve come a long way, and you’re still learning and growing. Be thankful for the lessons. Take them and make the best of things right now.
Most humans are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is - it must be found through exploration.
Most living things belong to a particular soul group and are born knowing their purpose in life. An animal will spend its day foraging for food, taking care of itself and its young, and creating a
home. No one tells an animal to do this, yet it instinctively knows how. Humans, for the most part, are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is.
Purpose gives our life meaning. When you discover your purpose, you can live your life with intention and make choices that serve your objective for why you are here on the planet. Finding your purpose is not always easy. You must embrace life wholeheartedly, explore many different pathways, and allow yourself to grow. Your purpose is as unique as you are and will evolve as you move through life. You don't need anyone's permission to fulfill your purpose, and no one can tell you what that purpose is. Finding and fulfilling your purpose can be a lifelong endeavor. To figure out what your purpose is, ask yourself what drives you – not what forces you out of bed in the morning, but what makes you glad to be alive. Make a list of activities that you wish you were involved in or think about a career path that you would love to embark upon. These are the endeavors that can help you fulfill your purpose and bring you the most satisfaction.
Picture yourself working on projects that don't interest you or fulfill your purpose, yet they help satisfy your basic survival needs. Imagine how living this way each day would make you feel. Next, picture yourself devoting your time to projects that spark your imagination, inspire, excite, and satisfy you. More often than not, these activities are some of the ways that you can fulfill your life purpose. Time spent on these endeavors will never feel like a waste. Live your life with purpose, and you will feel significant and capable because every action you take and each choice you make will have meaning to it.
Do you sometimes feel like your life is too rushed or too complicated?
Do you find yourself longing for a simpler time?
Wikipedia says, "Simplicity is the property, condition or quality of being simple or un-combined. It often denotes beauty, purity or clarity. Simple things are usually easier to explain and understand than complicated ones. Simplicity can mean freedom from hardship, effort or confusion. It can also mean adopting a simpler lifestyle."
There is a plethora of information being thrown at us everyday, options galore and pressure to buy more stuff and do more things.
We are overloaded with decisions that have to be made.
Even if you're an info junkie or someone who thrives on options, there is benefit in slowing down and simplifying your life,
even if only occasionally. Simplifying your life - internally and externally - can free up space and time for you and can lead to more joy and more
Flow. There are many ways to simplify your life.
Here are just a few:
-Limit stuff to what you need and cherish.
-Spend time in nature instead of at the mall.
-Clear out clutter (internally and externally).
-Be willing to say "no".
-Eat simply and healthy.
-Release complicated, unhealthy relationships.
-Let go of worrying about the future and "be here now".
What could you change/release in your life to create more simplicity?
Today will bring you a new awareness, a lesson or a manifestation that you are making progress - IF YOU LOOK FOR IT! No matter how large or small, please record it in your Evidence Journal. It will only take a few moments and will AUTOMATICALLY put you in the Flow.
Honoring All Experiences
It is important when pain comes our way to honor the experience, as it is usually a great teacher.
Honoring the experiences we have in our lives is an invaluable way to communicate with life, our greatest teacher. We do this when we take time at night to say what
we are thankful for about our day and also when we write in a journal. Both of these acts involve consciously acknowledging the events of our lives so that they deepen our relationship to our
experiences. This is important because it brings us into closer connection with life, and with the moment. Only when we acknowledge what's happening to us can we truly benefit from life's
It is especially important when pain comes our way to honor the experience, because our natural tendency is to push it away and move past it as quickly as possible. We tend to want to brush it under the rug. Yet, if we don't, it reveals itself to be a great friend and teacher. As counterintuitive as it seems, we can honor pain by thanking it and by welcoming it into the space of our lives. We all know that often the more we resist something, the longer it persists. When we honor our pain, we do just the opposite of resisting it, and as a result, we create a world in which we can own the fullness of what life has to offer.
We can honor a painful experience by marking it in some way, bringing ourselves into a more conscious relationship with it. We might mark it by creating a work of art, performing a ritual, or undertaking some other significant act. Sometimes all we need to do is light a candle in honor of what we've gone through and what we've learned. No matter how small the gesture, it will be big enough to mark the ways in which our pain has transformed us, and to remind us to recognize and value all that comes our way in this life.
Do you have any good or bad habits? Watch this video for inspiration.
When things aren’t adding up in your life, begin subtracting. Life gets a lot simpler when you clear the clutter that makes it complicated.
It’s time to focus on what matters, and let go of what does not.
For almost a decade now, Marc and I have been learning to do just that—live a simpler life.
Not simpler as in “meager.” Simpler as in “meaningful.”
We’ve been working on eliminating many of life’s complexities so we’re able to spend more time with people we love and do more activities we love. This means we’ve been gradually getting rid of mental and physical clutter, and eliminating all but the essential, so we’re left with only that which gives us value.
Our overarching goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the things people fill their lives with, leaving us with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing and stress, but instead contemplation, creation and connection with people and projects we love.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we have zero clutter and complications. We’re human and living in the real world with everyone else. We have a home, possessions, computers, gadgets, distractions and occasional busyness. But we have reduced it to make space.
Today, after finishing up a call with a new course student who’s working diligently to simplify various aspects of her life and business, I’ve been reflecting on this simpler life Marc and I have created for ourselves, and I thought I’d share some of these reflections with you.
Some lessons I’ve learned about living a simpler life:
- A simpler life is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. Thus, you are wealthy in proportion to the number of unnecessary things you can afford to live without.
- Simplifying is not merely seeing how little you can get by with, but how efficiently you can put first things first, and use your time accordingly to pursue the things that make a difference and mean the most to you.
- Besides the art of getting things done, there is the often-forgotten art of leaving things undone. The simplicity and efficiency of life relies heavily on the elimination of non-essentials.
- Overcommitting is the biggest mistake most people make against living a simpler life. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with to-do list tasks or distractions. Don’t do this to yourself. Leave space.
- Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There are so many activities that sound fun and exciting. We check Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and see what others are doing and immediately want to add these things to our lives. But before you let these new ideas get the best of you, remember that by adding too many things to your life, you are subtracting space. And that space is vital to focusing on what matters most.
- Distractions are both more tempting and more damaging than we realize. When we fill our lives with distractions, its often because we’re scared of what life might be like without constant social media, TV, video games, snacks, chats, music, etc. Don’t numb yourself with noise. Don’t let distractions hold you back. Control your distractions before your distractions control you.
- You can’t live a simpler life if you’re unwilling to change and let go of what you’re used to.
- Priorities don’t get done automatically. You have to make time for what’s important to you: time with your significant other, time with your kids, time for creating, time for learning, time for exercise, etc. Push everything else aside to make time. By saying no to more things that sound really exciting, you get to say yes to more of what’s truly important.
- Rising earlier helps. A quiet, unrushed morning routine is a gift to treasure. (I awake early so that I have quiet time to read, write, and practice a gratitude meditation.)
- Letting go of old routines and habits and building new ones can be hard, but it’s easier if you do a 30-day challenge. Let go of something for 30 days and see how it affects your life. (Letting go of cable TV was one of the best decisions Marc and I made a few years back—no more continuous, distracting noise in our home, and no more advertisements for stuff we don’t need.)
- Buying more stuff doesn’t solve our problems. Neither does more snack food or another TV program.
- Shopping isn’t a hobby, and it certainly isn’t therapy. It’s a waste of time and money, and inevitably leads to a cluttered life.
- When we travel lightly, we’re freer, less burdened, and less stressed. This applies to traveling through life too, not just traveling through an airport.
- It’s not how many, or how few, things we own that matters. It’s whether we make those things count. Thus, it’s better to have three good books on your bookshelf that you’re actually going to read rather than 300 you never get around to.
- Decluttering your physical space can lead to a less cluttered mental space. These visual distractions pull on us and distract us in more ways than we often realize. (Read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.)
- Overthinking is one of the most rampant sources of stress and mental clutter. The key is to realize that the problem is not the problem. The problem is the incredible amount of overthinking you’re doing with the problem. Let it go and be free.
- Positivity always pays off in simplifying outcomes. So before you waste it on anger, resentment, spite or envy, think of how precious and irreplaceable your time is.
- Stay out of other people’s drama. And don’t needlessly create your own.
- A simpler, more positive mindset can be created anytime and anyplace with a change in thinking. Because frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress evaporates.
- The simplest secret to happiness and peace in the present is letting every circumstance be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and making the best of it.
- Gratitude always makes life easier to deal with. Because happiness comes easier when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.
- Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along. Waste not a minute on outcomes you can’t control.
- There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of the NEW edition of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- The truth—your truth—is always the simplest path forward. If you listen closely to your intuition you will always know what is best for you, because what is best for you is what is true for you.
- The feeling you get from doing something important (and true) is far better and less stressful than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it.
For the cynics out there who might say the list of lessons above is too long to be “simpler,” there are really only two steps to simplifying:
- Identify what’s most important to you.
- Eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else.
Of course, that advice is not exceptionally useful unless you understand how to apply it to various areas of your life… which is why I gave you the lessons above.
You’ve come a long way, and you’re still learning and growing. Be thankful for the lessons. Take them and make the best of things right now.
For my 18th birthday, many moons ago, my grandfather on my mom’s side gave me four lightly-used flannel shirts that he no longer needed. The shirts were barely worn and in great shape; my grandfather told me he thought they would look great on me. Unfortunately, I thought they were odd gifts at the time and I wasn’t thankful. I looked at him skeptically, gave him a crooked half-smile, and moved on to the other gifts sitting in front of me. My grandfather died two days later from a sudden heart attack. The flannel shirts were the last gifts he ever gave me, and that crooked half-smile was the last time a directly acknowledged him. Today, I still regret the little thing I didn’t say when I had the chance: “Thank you Grandpa. That’s so thoughtful of you.”
This was a huge wake-up call for me—one that has served me well for over two decades now.
And here are eight wake-up calls for you—some important lessons worth learning before it’s too late:
1. You might not have tomorrow to say, “I love you.”
About a decade ago a coworker of mine died in a car accident. During his funeral several people from the office were in tears, saying kind things like: “I loved him. We all loved him so much. He was such a wonderful person.” I started crying too, and I wondered if these people had told him that they loved him while he was alive, or whether it was only with death that this powerful word, love, had been used without question or hesitation.
I vowed to myself then and there that I would never again hesitate to speak up to the people I love and remind them of how much I appreciate them. They deserve to know they give meaning to my life. They deserve to know I think the world of them.
Bottom line: If you love someone today, tell them. If you appreciate someone today, tell them. There might not be a tomorrow. Today is the day to express your love and admiration. (Note: Angel and I discuss this in detail in the Relationships chapter of our NEW edition of 1,000 Little Things.)
2. Your judgments of others are often inaccurate.
You will never know exactly what another person is going through or what their whole story is. When you believe you do, realize that your assumptions about their life are in direct relation to your limited perspective.
Many people you believe to be successful are extremely unhappy. Many people you think have it easy worked their tail off achieve what they have. Many people who appear to be wealthy are in debt because of their extravagant tastes for material possessions. Many people who appear to you to be old and uncool were once every bit as young and hip and inexperienced as you.
3. Not trying is why most people fail.
It’s not the mistakes and failures you have to worry about, it’s the opportunities you miss when you don’t even try that hurt you the most. Trying always leads to success regardless of the outcome. Even mistakes and failures teach you what not to do next time. Thus, every outcome is a lesson that makes you stronger and wiser.
In the end, there’s only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the failure to try. The results you achieve are not based on what you plan to do or what you say you’ll do. Your results come from what you actually try and do consistently.
Your life will get better when you get better. Start investing in yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. Make it a priority to learn and grow every day by building positive rituals and sticking to them. The stronger you become, the better your life will feel.
4. Patience does not mean waiting and doing nothing.
Patience involves productive activity. It means doing your very best with the resources available to you, while understanding that the results you seek are worth the required time and effort, and not available elsewhere for any less time and effort.
Patience is the realization that the quality of your life is much more significant than the quantity of things you fill it with. Patience is your willingness to accept and appreciate what you have right now, while you put forth a steady, focused effort into growing toward your dreams and goals.
5. You don’t need anything more to be happy.
Intuitively, you already know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy, fulfilling life. Yet you live in a consumer driven society where your mind is incessantly subjected to clever advertising ploys that drive you, against your better judgment, to buy material goods you don’t need or even want.
At a certain point, the needless material objects you buy crowd out the emotional needs advertisers would like you to believe they are meant to support. So next time you’re getting ready to make an impulsive purchase, ask yourself if this thing is really better than the things you already have. Or have you been momentarily tricked into believing that you’re dissatisfied with what you already have? (Read Soulful Simplicity.)
6. You aren’t perfect, and neither is anyone else.
All humans are imperfect. At times, the confident lose confidence, the patient misplace their patience, the generous act selfish, and the knowledgeable second guess what they know.
And guess what? You’re human—we all are. We make mistakes, we lose our tempers, and we get caught off guard. We stumble, we slip, and we spin out of control sometimes.
But that’s the worst of it; we all have our moments. Most of the time we’re remarkable. So stand beside the people you love through their trying times of imperfection, and offer yourself the same courtesy; if you aren’t willing to, you don’t deserve to be around for the perfect moments either.
7. All the little things make a big difference.
Life isn’t about a single moment of great triumph and attainment. It’s about the trials and errors that get you there—the blood, sweat, and tears—the small, inconsequential things you do every day. It all matters in the end—every step, every regret, every decision, and every affliction.
The seemingly useless happenings add up to something. The minimum wage job you had in high school. The evenings you spent socializing with coworkers you never see anymore. The hours you spent writing thoughts on a personal blog that no one reads. Contemplations about elaborate future plans that never came to be. All those lonely nights spent reading novels and news columns and comics strips and fashion magazines and questioning your own principles on life and sex and religion and whether or not you’re good enough just the way you are.
All of this has strengthened you. All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had. All of this has made you who you are today.
Truth be told, you’ve been broken down a 1,000 times and put yourself back together again. Think about how remarkable that is, and how far you’ve come. You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even yesterday. You’re always growing… stronger!
8. Excuses are lies.
Make no mistake, there is always a lie lingering in between a dream and too many excuses. And the lie is you lying to yourself.
The excuses and explanations won’t do you any good. They won’t add any value to your life or improve the quality of it by even the slightest margin. To fulfill your calling and get where you wish to go in life requires more than just thinking and talking. These feats require focused and sustained action. And the good news is, you’re perfectly capable of taking whatever actions are necessary. You just have to choose to actually do it.
No one else can succeed for you on your behalf. The life you live is the life you build for yourself. There are so many possibilities to choose from, and so many opportunities for you to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Now is the moment to actually step forward.
Now, it’s your turn…
Today, I hope you will have another inspired day, that you will dream boldly and dangerously, that you will make some progress that didn’t exist before you took action, that you will love and be loved in return, and that you will find the strength to accept and grow from the troubles you can’t change. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and wisdom in this crazy world), that you will, when you must, be wise with your decisions, and that you will always be extra kind to yourself and others.
The Easiest Way To Naturally Attract More Money, Love, Success And Happiness Into Your Life Today!"
Being Truly Thankful
Our gratitude deepens when we begin to be thankful for being alive and living the life we are living.
It is difficult for most of us to access this level of consciousness as we are very caught up in the ups and downs of our individual experiences in the world. The thing to remember about the world, though, is that it ebbs and flows, expands and contracts, gives and takes, and is by its very nature somewhat unreliable. If we only feel gratitude when it serves our desires, this is not true thankfulness. No one is exempt from the twists and turns of fate, which may, at any time, take the possessions, situations, and people we love away from us. Ironically, it is sometimes this kind of loss that awakens us to a thankfulness that goes deeper than just being grateful when things go our way. Illness and near-miss accidents can also serve as wake-up calls to the deeper realization that we are truly lucky to be alive.
We do not have to wait to be shaken to experience this state of being truly thankful for our lives. Tuning in to our breath and making an effort to be fully present for a set period of time each day can do wonders for our ability to connect with true gratitude. We can also awaken ourselves with the intention to be more aware of the unconditional generosity of the life force that flows through us regardless of our circumstances.
Written By Matt Morris -
This is a question I hear from many people several times a week. My answer has evolved with technology and the ability for you to practice some online networking but my principles behind it remain the same and are critical to your success.
You may be resistant to building a network for business because you associate it with schmoozing, insincerity and an icky selfish feeling. With that said, when I answer your question, “How do I build a network?”, you’ll see that if you build a network for business correctly, you won’t be worried about any of that.
In the past, old-school networkers were transactional. They pursued relationships thinking solely about what other people can do for them. Relationship builders, on the other hand, try to help others first. They don’t keep score, and they prioritize high-quality relationships over a boat load of meaningless connections. This is what I like to call relationship networking.
2 skills are required when building a network for business (or even personal, for that matter)
- Walk in the other person’s shoes. You need to be able to understand the other person’s perspective or how they view the world.
- Begin with the GIVE in mind. Transactional relationships are all about WIIFM (what’s in it for me). This idea flips that on its head. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking you to let go of all your own interests. However, studies have shown that those who spend some genuine time and interest in finding shared interests have proven to be better at building a network for business.
So now that I’ve covered the skills needed for building a network for business, let’s move on to the tips to guarantee success.
6 Tips to Building a Network for Business
1. Focus on the correct people. The secret to networking isn’t to attend a networking event and pass out as many business cards as you can. In fact, I don’t even carry business cards! I see people come out to events and just start handing out business cards like candy while paying no attention to who they’re even giving them to. The goal is to focus on the people who can help your career and who have shared interests with you.
2. Make it a win/win. I mentioned this above but feel it’s important enough to reiterate again and again… never come off as a schmoozer. Focus on the other person’s needs and help them meet them. They’ll want to help you too. It’s human nature.
3. Connect the dots. Sometimes, you’re going to meet people who you can’t help directly or who can’t help you. You should still try to introduce them to others who can help them. Some of the best networkers I know are connectors. They’re remembered well by many.
4. Lead with the GIVE. In networking situations, people expect you to ask them for help. Turn that around on them and watch the results.
5. Use social networks. Online networking is critical nowadays! Millennials can’t even imagine life without it. Honestly, I can’t either. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are powerful tools you can use to connect in a personal way to people all over the world. Online networking is a great way to broaden your network and share what’s important to you.
6. Keep the contact warm. I’m sure this has happened to you too. An old friend reached out to you out of the blue who you haven’t heard from in years and asks you to buy something they’re pitching. Frankly, nothing pisses me off more than that. Don’t be that guy. After you choose the right people to network with, remember to stay in contact with them.
EXPLORE THESE WWW LINKS by Laura Lee for more information............then share it with others
BAD relationships, Dealing with lost faith in love, Divorce and recovery, Falling in love, Finding love again, Finding love late in life, Fort Collins writer, getting past your past, How to believe in love again, How to find love again, Lost love, Love and forgiveness, Love and tragedy, love as your top priority, Midlife love, Renewed faith in love, self-compassion and love, Self-respect and love, taking a risk for love, Traumatized by love
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