It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
Here we are the day after Christmas and soon we will bid farewell to 2013. It has been a heck of a year with many highlights especially the accomplishments of so many of you, my friends and family. It also has had its challenges as I had three unrelated surgeries and an extended hospital stay due to my heart failure and pneumonia. Fortunately my mind does not dwell on the pain and distress accompanying my medical adventures rather it lingers on the good people I met and the new friends I made. 2013 has also been a year of personal adjustment as I have tweaked my activities to more realistically stay within my capacity to perform.
While I have not made any 2014 resolutions I am committed to a healthier lifestyle. The 20 some pounds I have lost have been great and I need to work to keep from gaining them back. I have again learned that healthy diets include tasty foods and tjat the potato chip and snack industry will survive without my business. My current physical rehab program has identified some physical areas that I can work on in the months ahead as I return to my daily workout regimen at the YMCA.
Here a few thoughts I picked up from author Marc Chernoff that I think will help. He wrote:
Do you need help focusing on what matters most?
Real happiness and success comes from the quality of your attitude, your relationships, and the emotions you experience each day. That’s where the questions below come in.
What is the most important thing I can do today for my own well-being?
If you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.
Every new day is a chance to change your life. Work on making life all that you want it to be. Work hard for what you believe, and keep your dreams big and your worries small. Figure out how you can best serve yourself today.
Remember, you never need to carry more than you can hold, just take one small step at a time. And while you’re out there today making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too.
What can I do to make a positive difference in the lives around me?
Being a genuinely good person, helping others, and leaving the world better than you found it is what a truly rich life is. Knowing deep down that you counted – that someone else’s life would not have been as well off without you in it – that’s priceless. That’s something worth working for.
There are many small, simple actions you can make to profoundly impact your family, your community, and the world. So do your best to leave everything you touch today a little better than you found it.
What do I appreciate about my life right now?
As Socrates once said, “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”
Do not waste all your happiness by overlooking everything you have for everything you wish you had. If you do, you will never have enough. Instead, appreciate the goodness that is already yours, and you will instantly find a lot more to smile about.
Appreciate the good people and things around you, and you’ll soon find many more of them around you. Truly appreciate your life, and you’ll find that you have more of it to live.
What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.
The church was celebrating Communion. During the "children's sermon," the minister was talking about Communion and what it is all about. "The Bible talks of Holy Communion being a 'joyful feast'. What does that mean? Well, 'joyful' means happy, right? And a feast is a meal. So a 'joyful feast' is a happy meal. And what are the three things we need for a happy meal?"
Little Johnny put up his hand and said, "Hamburger, fries, and a regular soft drink?"
"The secret of success is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake those, you've got it made."
The newlyweds entered the elevator of their Miami Beach hotel. The operator, a magnificent blonde, looked at them in surprise and said, "Why, hello, Teddy, how are you?"
A frosty silence prevailed until the couple reached their room, when the piqued bride demanded: "Who was that woman?!"
"Take it easy, honey," said the groom, "I'm going to have trouble enough explaining you to her."
It used to be only death and taxes were inevitable. Now, of course, there's shipping and handling, too.
At a wedding rehearsal, the minister told the father of the bride, "As you give your daughter's hand to the bridegroom, you should say something nice to him."
The father, a grocery store manager, took the advice. During the wedding ceremony, he placed the bride's hand on his son-in-law's arm and said, "No deposit, no return."
"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet."
Wouldn't be great if:
...a person would feel as good at 50 as he did at 17, and he would actually be as smart at 50 as he thought he was at 17.
...doing what was good for you would be what you enjoyed doing the most.
...pro baseball players would complain about teachers being paid contracts worth millions of dollars.
...people would always have good reasons to be optimistic.
...the mail would always be early, the check would always be in the mail, and it would be written for more than you expected.
...first impressions wouldn't count for nearly as much as ultimate performance.
...the better food tasted, the less calories it would have.
...warranties would be for 13 months and products would fail at 12.
You can't turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.
The Smith's were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. Their line had included Senators and Wall Street wizards. Now they decided to compile a family history, a legacy for the children. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose -- how to handle that great-uncle who was executed in the electric chair. The author said he could handle that chapter of history tactfully.
The book appeared. It said that "Great-uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties and his death came as a real shock."
Life's like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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