Setting the bar: Think it. Believe it. Speak it.

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For years, I attempted to live by Kratos’ quote: Keep your expectations low and you will never be disappointed. However, if it’s true that you are what you think, and that “Words we speak about an experience become the experience,” then we must set the bar for who we are and what we expect. Our minds and our words should be used to attract positive results. OK, at this point I may lose a reader or four. Hear me, though: I know about the cancer diagnosis. I know about (near) fatal accidents, deadly catastrophes, etc. Truth be told: I don’t view the world through rose-colored glasses. But when the bad stuff happens—because it will—let’s turn the script on its head and, rather than fear the worst, expect the best. Where do we begin? With an attitude of gratitude. And an expectation of favor in the midst of life’s storms. Think it. Believe it. Speak it. And watch favor unfold.

Are you ready to set the bar?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

5 Things Hiking, Life Have in Common

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hiking-life

I never cease to learn or experience something new during my hikes in the mountains, and this past weekend was no exception.

  1. If you want the trails to yourself, you must make tracks: the early bird still gets the worm.
  2. Not every hiker is on a mission to burn calories or achieve a cardio workout: be patient with those in the slow lane (you might end up there).
  3. When you focus less on the ‘mountain,’ you appreciate your bite-size accomplishments: take it one step, one goal at a time (and hydrate often).
  4. Life is about the up (hills), the down (hills) and, sometimes, the smooth sailing: don’t get too comfortable on the latter terrain because this is not where we commonly grow.
  5. You will never know how strong you really are if you don’t push yourself the extra mile: choose a life filled with ‘oh wells’ rather than a life of ‘what ifs.’

What have you recently learned while enjoying a favorite pastime?

Blood, toil, tears and sweat

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The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets
for it but what he becomes by it.
~ John Ruskin

Unless we think of others and do something for them,
we miss one of the greatest sources of happiness.
~ Ray Lyman Wilbur

Fifty percent of employees don’t like their co-workers and the same amount don’t like their bosses.  Additionally, roughly 35 percent don’t like their jobs.  I feel fortunate that I currently don’t fall into any of those categories.  And although my career path is not the most lucrative, I agree with Ruskin’s words.  Of course I want to be paid for my time, but what I’m gaining in experience and knowledge will Someday be my highest reward.  But I also know it means nothing if I don’t think of and do for others at the same time — especially those who have supported me as I’ve pursued my dreams.  Perhaps their job was the hardest of all.

Are you happy with your daily toil?

To die tomorrow or live forever

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[Image credit: Jennifer Ellison]

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

It’s possible I could die tomorrow.  If that were true, I’d spend today with the people most important to me doing what I love the most: likely combing the shell-laden southeast beaches and writing the remainder of my story as a snapshot in time, building memories that will live on long after I’m gone.  There would be no time to sweat the small stuff, but just enough to cram decades of dreams into 24 hours of living.  But if I were to live forever, hopefully I would build upon each life lesson — always thirsting for knowledge, yet passing along to others the wisdom of my experience.  I think when it comes right down to it, however, it’s all about learning to live life to the fullest regardless — of time and of circumstance.  Always living, learning and loving.

What would your today look like if there were no tomorrows?