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Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.


Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost. – Robert Schuller

If the top scoop slips off, what are the odds he will focus on the scoop on the ground, at the risk of what is left in the cone?

If the top scoop slips off, what are the odds he will focus on the scoop on the ground, at the risk of what is left in the cone? You don’t want to learn that lesson twice!

What does that mean?
This quote is urging us to go against a basic force of human nature. If you drop one thing, what do you look at, the one you dropped, or all the things you didn’t drop?

Just like the kid with the three-scoop ice cream cone, when the top scoop slide off and hits the floor, what do they do? They look down. And they lean over a little bit, and the second scoop falls off.

Have you ever done that? It’s not a lesson you forget. But still, we tend to be like that child, staring at the lost ice cream scoop, at the risk of the remainder of our desert.

Why would we do that? I have no idea. But I’ve done that and seen it plenty of other people do the same thing. The quote urges us to avoid looking at our losses, but instead, to look at what remains.

This is a matter of focus. If you are looking for, and focused on, what has been lost, you will see nothing but loss. That’s not going to be good for your attitude or motivation, is it? Somehow, I doubt it.

Why is focus important?  Continue reading

Posted in accomplishment, creativity, focus, goals, question, thinking | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.


In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities. – János Arany

Is this possible, or impossible? Look more closely, this is a real place, not something from the imagination of MCEscher. Are you tricking yourself into believing that something is impossible?

Is this possible, or impossible? Look closely, it’s a real place, not something from the imagination of MC Escher. Are you tricking yourself into believing that something is impossible?

What does that mean?
This quote is from a poet and writer of ballads in Hungary in the 1800s. Given the way poets tend to write things, this makes perfect sense.

Many things are impossible, given our present knowledge and technology. But dreams are not ruled by the laws of physics, at least most of the time.

And so it is in love, at least according to the poets and the hopeless romantics. But can this romantic notion be applied to a broader definition of love?

Can love conquer all (to paraphrase another quote)? Love of country, love of charity, love of justice? These have prevailed throughout the ages, and I believe they can triumph even in the face of impossible odds.

Why is belief important?  Continue reading

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The opponent of peace of mind is not something external, but within us.


The opponent of peace of mind is not something external, but within us. – Dalai Lama

How much peace of mind would you guess this guy has?

How much peace of mind would you guess this guy has? It’s obviously the computer’s fault.

What does that mean?
Everyone I know is looking for peace of mind. If they have none, they want some. If they have some, they want more. And I include myself in that group. How about you?

The thing that we keep forgetting is that peace of mind is like happiness. It does not exist in the outside world. If we have it, it is because it is within us, not because of our surroundings.

The quote reminds us that we need to stop looking outside of ourselves, and check within if we wish to find what we desire. Peace, happiness, fulfillment, these are the things most of us seek. But none come from outside of ourselves.

We have these things within us, and it is up to us to remember to abandon our pursuits of them outside of ourselves and to remember to seek them within ourselves. It might take some practice, but we can cultivate peace of mind, we just have to do the work.

Why is peace of mind important?  Continue reading

Posted in calm, focus, inspire, knowledge, preparation, relaxation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.


True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future. – Seneca

Could you remain in the present and enjoy the sunset, or would you be thinking of what was going to come next?

Could you remain in the present and enjoy the sunset? Would you be worried, thinking of what was going to come next? One thing at a time, stay focused on the present.

What does that mean?
This quote is about relaxing and being ‘in the moment.’ How often do we hurry to get here or there?

How often do we rush to finish something so that we can then rush to work on the next thing on our list? How often do we spend an evening worrying about tomorrow, instead of relaxing?

Yes, it is important to think about the future, and to plan for it. However far too many of us spend so much time thinking of the future, we ignore the present, until it has become the past.

That time is gone, and if it was spent worrying or being anxious, it was largely wasted. We allowed a perfectly enjoyable moment to slip by while we engaged our overactive, and quite negative, imagination to run away with us.

Why is the present important?  Continue reading

Posted in fear, focus, happiness, preparation, relaxation, worry | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Most people would not see an awful movie a second time, yet they play the same bad memories over and over in their heads.


Most people would not see an awful movie a second time, yet they play the same bad memories over and over in their heads. – Tony Robbins

Ever been that person? Ever been paralyzed or intimidated or just plain scared? All because of a bad memory?

Ever been that person? Ever been paralyzed or intimidated or just plain scared? All because of a bad memory, of something which happened a long time ago? Let it go.

What does that mean?
We’ve all seen a bad movie, once. But do you go back and see it again and again and again? Not usually, right?

That is what this quote is about, the repeated viewing of a bad movie or a bad memory. Neither makes much sense, but many more people go over a bad memory time and time again.

To me, the life/movie is a good parallel, as nearly all of us have a life, and most of us have seen a bad movie. The question becomes why will we refuse to go back to watch a bad movie, but will go back to watch a bad memory?

What if we could walk out of a bad memory, just like we might walk out of a bad movie? It can be done, with varying degrees of success. And a lot of effort. I have done it, and I believe you can as well.

Why is letting go important?  Continue reading

Posted in fear, forgiveness, gratitude, humor, improve, time | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Asking “Is this possible?” is rarely relevant. The real question is, “Is this worth doing?”


Asking “Is this possible?” is rarely relevant. The real question is, “Is this worth doing?” – Andrew Sliwinski

Travelling so fast the plane stretched several inches as it heated up at Mach 3, was it possible? Yes. And the reason it existed was to see things without being seen. Now they are Museum Pieces, as we have Satilites to do that, so now it is no longer worth flying.

Travelling so fast the plane stretched several inches as it heated up at Mach 3, was it possible? Yes. And the reason it existed was to see things without being seen. Now they are Museum Pieces, as we have satellites to do that, so now it is no longer worth flying.

What does that mean?
This is the measure of human ingenuity. So many things which were once considered impossible are now routinely done. The word impossible is almost a punch-line in a barely funny joke.

We humans seem to take the label ‘impossible’ as a challenge. And with amazing regularity, change the impossible into the possible, and then into the practical. That’s just how we roll.

The quote finishes by asking the question of worthiness of the challenge and of the product. Is it possible to build a rocket ship to take people to Mars? Yes, but is it worth doing, given the astronomical price?

Is it possible to get a set of flat-ware made from Titanium? Sure, but is it worth doing, given the expense and difficulty? We can accomplish almost anything we set our minds to do. Do you really need that much strength and lightness?

Why is “Why?” important?  Continue reading

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