Suffering

A friend in college was very close to her aunt who had cancer.

I visited with her at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, a subway ride away from school.

It was emotional, painful for everyone but through it all this woman never complained. She bravely fought even at the end.

When she died, my friend, Marilyn, consoled her loss by doing something meaningful.

She allowed her aunt to live on through her by adopting her aunt’s ability to see suffering of all kinds as transformational.

Those who mean a lot to us in life can live on when we adopt their best traits and live them forward.

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Negativity

Why do we have trouble naming all the things that are good about us and no trouble reeling off a list of our faults?

Conditioning? Upbringing? Loss of confidence?

Every time we can we insult ourselves, we need no enemies.

Don’t say can’t. Or won’t. Don’t accept criticism from anyone (help, yes and that is very different).

To believe negative thoughts is to give them a louder voice.

Focusing on the negative guarantees more of the same.

Accentuate the positive (I can, I will, I’ll learn, I won’t quit, my best is yet to come) and suddenly all things are possible.

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Uncertainty

When a major athlete gets a big contract, it doesn’t mean that they will do their best work.

A recent comparison chart in sports pages of The New York Times confirmed that guaranteed money doesn’t buy guaranteed performance.

And tenured college professors are arguably not better than ones who have to earn their place from contract to contract.

Seeking certainty is not as effective as pursuing excellence.

Uncertainty is your friend.

While no one is making a case for insecurity, guaranteed outcomes seem never to be guaranteed.

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How to Bring About Change

Most people know exactly what they want.

They don’t always listen to it or accept it.

They don’t need an elaborate master plan – they already know.

The problem is a lack of action and too much overthinking.

More emphasis on pushing the start button.

That’s why we call doers doers. They know that action is as important as planning because without it nothing ever changes.

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The Pursuit of Riches

The pursuit of money will not get you money and if, along the way, the pursuer believes it does, that feeling is fleeting.

So, what are we supposed to do, not try to earn more, make more, accumulate more?

It’s been proven again and again – study any successful person and confirm – that pursuing excellence is a faster and more rewarding path to riches.

Accomplishments, happiness then remuneration.

The world is full of people looking in the wrong place for their futures.

Find something you are really passionate about doing pursuing excellence.

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