• I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” Age 5
  • I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either. Age 7
  • I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back. Age 9
  • I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again. Age 12
  • I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. Age 14
  • I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me. Age 15
  • I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice. Age 24
  • I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures. Age 26
  • I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there. Age 29
  • I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. Age 30
  • I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it. Age 42
  • I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note. Age 44
  • I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others. Age 46
  • I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 47
  • I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on and it will be better tomorrow. Age 48
  • I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours. Age 49
  • I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone. Age 50
  • I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 51
  • I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills. Age 52
  • I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. Age 53
  • I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58
  • I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62
  • I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. Age 64
  • I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people,
    And doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. Age 65
  • I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. Age 66
  • I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer. Age 72
  • I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. Age 74
  • I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.  Age 76
  • I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 78


*borrowed from some wise person, somewhere

I am very much a fan of the “Practical Tips for Productive Living” messaging by Marc and Angel. There are some precious simple yet profound nuggets of wisdom. Some are great reminders while other nuggets are new ways of thinking for me. So much of life is truly stepping outside of our selves and teaching our mind what it should and shouldn’t focus on. Always positive! If one needs to rehash a negative experience then set a time limit as those thoughts can have profound and negative impacts on our attitudes and behaviors.

  1. When you hear only what you want to hear, you’re not really listening. Listen to what you don’t want to hear too. That’s how you grow.
  2. You often waste your time waiting for the ideal path to appear. But it never does. Because you forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting.
  3. You will never feel as confident as you want to feel. Stop believing that you should feel more confident before you take the next step. Taking the next step is what builds your confidence.
  4. Distractions will get the best of you if you let them. Study your routines, figure out where your time goes, and remove distractions. You become a true master of your life when you learn how to master your focus—where your attention goes.
  5. You don’t give yourself enough credit sometimes. Remember that time you thought you couldn’t make it through? You did, and you’ll do it again. Don’t let your challenges get the best of you. Appreciate how far you’ve come. You’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too. Give yourself credit for your resilience.
  6. Your response is always more powerful than your circumstance. A tiny part of your life is decided by completely uncontrollable circumstances, while the vast majority of your life is decided by your responses. Where you ultimately end up is heavily dependent on how you play the hands you’ve been dealt.
  7. New, good habits don’t form overnight. It takes roughly 66 days to form a habit. So for the next nine weeks, look at the bright side of your life, and you will rewire your brain. Then apply this same principle to other areas of your life. (Angel and I build small, life-changing habits with our students in the “Goals & Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy.).

Lonely Souls

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:11-12

In his lifetime Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting. Today he’s known for his passion and artistic genius. And he’s remembered as a lonely soul. In a letter to his beloved brother, Theo, Vincent wrote:


‘Our inward thoughts, do they ever show outwardly? There may be a great fire in our soul, and no one ever comes to warm himself at it; the passers-by see only a little bit of smoke coming through the chimney and pass on their way. Now, look you, what must be done? Must one tend that inward fire, have salt in oneself, wait patiently yet with how much impatience for the hour when somebody will come and sit down near it, to stay there maybe?’

What great fire has God impressed upon your soul? Do passers-by see more than just a little bit of smoke? Are you tending the fire?

Van Gogh expressed his passion in his art. Look for the best expression of your passion that will honor and glorify God.

– Steve Arterburn

The passions are the winds that fill the ship’s sails. Sometimes they submerge the ship, but without them, the ship could not sail.- Voltaire

– excerpted from New Life Daily Devotional

For those familiar with the Myers – Briggs  personality research and testing, you might find this YouTube video intriguing. Although not many in this world are INFJ, it is amazing the depth of research put into the study of our unique personalities. I encourage you to do a little research into the personality that you are.


Check out the INFJ personality summary from 16personalities.com below.

INFJ Personality (“The Advocate”)

The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats, they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.
INFJ personality

Help Me Help You

INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King

INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that INFJs need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw. INFJs take great care of other’s feelings, and they expect the favor to be returned – sometimes that means giving them the space they need for a few days.

Live to Fight Another Day

Really though, it is most important for INFJs to remember to take care of themselves. The passion of their convictions is perfectly capable of carrying them past their breaking point and if their zeal gets out of hand, they can find themselves exhausted, unhealthy and stressed. This becomes especially apparent when INFJs find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways.

To INFJs, the world is a place full of inequity – but it doesn’t have to be. No other personality type is better suited to create a movement to right a wrong, no matter how big or small. INFJs just need to remember that while they’re busy taking care of the world, they need to take care of themselves, too.

Notable INFJ persons you may recognize:  Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa

Your Thought Life

The average person has 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day, which equates to 35 to 48 thoughts per minute. Approximately 95 percent of our thoughts today are the same thoughts we thought yesterday. To make matters worse, about 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative ones. Tens of thousands of negative thoughts cycle through our minds day after day after day, poisoning our attitudes and our outlooks, one by one.

Eighty percent of tens of thousands of little thoughts add up to a lot of negative thinking and self-talk. If the majority of our thoughts are positive, then we’ll feel and be more positive, but if the majority of our self-talk is negative? Well, let’s just say the outcome will not be pretty. You see, it is our thoughts that drive our feelings and our happiness, not our circumstances. If our thoughts are negative, our feelings and actions will be negative as well, and altogether those things can lead to a negative life, lacking peace and joy.

For example, if we spend an entire day fuming over our spouse’s flaws and thinking about how he doesn’t meet our needs, we will feel animosity toward him or, at minimum, a lack of love, which leads to outward negative behaviors that might damage the relationship.

If we spend time thinking about how our boss doesn’t appreciate us and constantly telling ourselves how underpaid we are, we will feel discontent at our job, which can lead to a bad attitude, poor performance, or maybe the unemployment line.

If we spend time thinking about what other people think about us, we will feel like we don’t measure up and live with a lack of confidence in who we are, and Whose we are.

If we constantly think about our past mistakes rather than accept God’s forgiveness and mercy, we will feel unforgivable and unlovable and live a life disconnected from the love and acceptance He wants us to embrace.

If we let the critical words a parent said to us when we were children, the rejection or hurtful actions of a spouse, or the judgment of a friend or loved one dwell in our thoughts and define how we think about ourselves, we will feel like worthless individuals incapable of living life with purpose.

If we listen to all this negative self-talk, which is not from God, we might end up sinking in an ocean of discouragement and hopelessness and feeling that we can never swim our way out to peaceful waters.

You see, our thoughts turn into feelings that can easily take control of our lives and steer us in a direction we do not want to go in. Our feelings are persistent and unrelenting constantly whispering to gain dominion over our actions. They can create our destiny, either good or bad, because whatever we are dwelling on in our minds is what will play out in our lives. It is usually our thoughts, not our circumstances, that cause us to sink. This is such an important truth to tuck into our minds. Mark it down: What we think becomes who we are.  (borrowed)

this is being posted as it came from a friend and deeply resonated with me. I thank all of you!



A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The

funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old

newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”    “Oh, sorry, Mom.  Yes, I heard you.

It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly

thought he died years ago,” Jack said…

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were

doing.  He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the

fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make

sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this

business if it weren’t for him.  He spent a lot of time teaching me things

he thought were important. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his

hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no

children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing

over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.  The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture. Jack stopped suddenly…

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said..  “What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must

have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was

‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered

it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had

taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said.

“I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died.  Returning home from

work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on

a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the

next three days,” the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the

package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a

hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return

address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the

box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold

box and an envelope.  Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett.

It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the

letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully

unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the

cover.  Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! – Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was… my time”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared

his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

  1. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way..
  2. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.
  3. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
  4. You mean the world to someone.
  5. If not for you, someone may not be living.
  6. You are special and unique.
  7. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you trust God to do what’s best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.
  8. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
  9. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
  10. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.
  11. Always remember the compliments you received.  Forget about the rude remarks.
  12. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy .
  13. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

To everyone I sent this to     Thanks for your time.”