Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Glass is Half-full is a good working philosophy

Concentrating on a positive outcome rather than avoiding a negative one leads to greater persistence, flexibility, creativity, motivation, and satisfaction. In short, expecting success makes us more likely to succeed.

Day's Quotes

When a great genius appears in the world the dunces are all in
confederacy against him.
--Jonathan Swift

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."
- Frederick Keonig

Common sense shows that human life is short-lived and that it is best to make our brief sojourn on this Earth something that is useful to oneself and others.
-Dalai Lama

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day's Quotes

I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.
- Cicero

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.
- Howard Zinn 

The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist 
- Eric Hoffer

Rewire your brain for higher consciousness by paying attention to love, compassion, and joy. 
- Deepak Chopra

In everything, satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures. 
- Cicero

Simple ideas for living well will help minimize your stress.

"When my guru wanted to compliment me, he called me simple; when he wished to chide me, he called me clever."  -Ram Dass

When we complicate our personal philosophy too much it fails to bring us peace.

Having gratitude for the abundance of our life and not focusing on what is missing to complete the "American Dream", is a positive mindset.

Stop attending to the marketing lies that inundate us daily on the radio, on TV, and in magazines; telling us the best car to drive, the best wine to drink, or the greatest vacation spots in the world.  The message is clear that we need to get out our credit cards and join the consumer orgy.  We are told that this is the path to happiness.

Be a man of few wants and you will relax and pay more attention to things that matter like your family,  friends, and your spiritual dimension.

The words of  Rabbi Zelig Pliskin are very similar to the message you might  hear from the Dalai Lama or Psychologist Martin Seligman.

It is a universal message:

"Happiness is a skill that can be learned. The essential factor whether or not you will live a happy life is based less on external factors such as wealth, success and fame, and more on your attitude toward life, toward yourself, toward other people, and toward events and situations."

Martin Seligman offers ways to move beyond simply seeking good feelings, to pursuing a better life. Focusing solely on the positive emotion of happiness isn't enough.

Seligman argues that happiness is only one of five human motivations.

"We abbreviate it as PERMA.
P is positive emotion,
E is engagement,
R is relationships,
M is meaning and
A is accomplishment.

Those are the five elements of what free people chose to do. Pretty much everything else is in service of one of or more of these goals."

"We're trying to do something liberating by saying even if you [are depressed], you don't get consigned to the hell of unhappiness. You can have meaning, accomplishment, engagement and good relationships, even if you are dull on the positive affect side."

Lesson 1. First Splendid Truth: To be happy, you need to consider feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.

These are the elements of happiness.

If you want to boost your happiness, try tackling one element.

Get more “feeling good,” say. Or eliminate a source of “feeling bad.”

Think about whether you “feel right” about the shape of your life. And look for an area in your life where you can create “an atmosphere of growth.”

Lesson 2. Second Splendid Truth: One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

People often focus on the first half of this statement, but the second half is just as important. It turns out, studies show, that happy people are more altruistic, more likely to volunteer, more interested in other people’s problems, and they are also better leaders and better able to bring about changes, when they try to do so.

Lesson 3. Third Splendid Truth: The days are long, but the years are short.

Lesson 4. Fourth Splendid Truth: You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.

Lesson 5. Your body matters.

It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to overlook! Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, get some sunshine, go to a doctor if you need to.

Lesson 6. Happiness is other people.

Philosophers and scientists agree: a KEY to happiness is strong relationships with other people. Building strong bonds should be one of your top priorities in life.

Lesson 7. Outer order contributes to inner calm.

For most people, making an effort to keep surroundings in decent order really pays off in happiness.

Lesson 8. Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have.

Lesson 9. You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.

To make a happy life, you need to know yourself and acknowledge your own nature. For some people, this is a real challenge.

Lesson 10. “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” –Robert Louis Stevenson.

Seniors work to close tech gap - - Nov. 27, 2011

Seniors work to close tech gap - - Nov. 27, 2011:
"From a sociological standpoint, people who don’t connect through social media, email, video chats and smartphones risk social isolation and decreased activity as they age.

Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer has looked at the issue and agrees.

“Older adults need to adopt technology because, to me, those in their 80s who use the Web seem more alert and engaged,” Langer said.

But, she added, “it’s not clear whether more tech use is the cause or the effect of being more active.”"

'via Blog this'

Coaxing the Bell to Ring

File:Deer Park Monastery Bell.jpg
Deer Park Monastery bell in Escondido, California

With body speech and mind in perfect oneness
I send my heart along with the sound of the bell
May the hearers awaken from forgetfulness
And transcend the path of anxiety and sorrow

- Thich Nhat Hanh translation of Buddhist poem.

Be Here Now

Lotus Blossom

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Voices: Common Loon - YouTube

Voices: Common Loon - YouTube: ""

ploaded by on May 19, 2010

Experience the quintessential sound of the North Woods as described by Macaulay Library Audio Curator, Greg Budney.

Illustrated with beautiful photographs by Marie Read: and audio recordings by Steve Pantle.

Learn more about Common Loons at All About Birds:

To explore more audio recordings visit the Macaulay Library:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dalai Lama Quotes

The more adept we become at cultivating an altruistic attitude, the happier we will feel and the more comfortable will be the atmosphere around us. But if our emotions fluctuate wildly and we easily give in to hatred and jealousy, even our friends will avoid us. So even for people with no spiritual beliefs, it is important to have a peaceful mind.

Human beings are not intrinsically selfish, which isolates us from others. We are essentially social animals who depend on others to meet our needs. We achieve happiness, prosperity and progress through social interaction. Therefore, having a kind and helpful attitude contributes to our own and others' happiness.

Love, kindness, compassion and tolerance are qualities common to all the great religions, and whether or not we follow any particular religious tradition, the benefits of love and kindness are obvious to anyone.

It is time to develop a big ‘US’, rather than the old ‘us and them’ that lets us to exploit and bully others on a personal level, and on an international level to wage war. The East must see the West as part of ‘US’ and the North must come to feel that the South is part of ‘US’. We should include the entire world in our concern, wishing all humanity well. If we can do that there will be no room for hatred, thinking of others as enemies. And we will achieve this through education, not through prayer.

Spirituality concerns our own motivation, while secular activity implies working in the world. Because motivation pervades all action, it is important that we have a positive motivation. Whatever we are involved in, whether it's politics, education, medicine, law, engineering, science, business or industry, the nature of our motivation determines the character of our work.

Study and practice are both very important, but they must go hand in hand. Faith without knowledge is not sufficient. Faith needs to be supported by reason. However intellectual understanding that is not applied in practice is also of little use. Whatever we learn from study we need to apply sincerely in our daily lives.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Eternal

Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.

 - Mother Teresa

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quotes to think about later

"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."
- George Washington

Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he
is only completely a man when he plays.
--Friedrich Schiller

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."
- Albert Schweitzer

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

“To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.”
- E. E. Cummings

All systems of morality are based on the idea that an action has
consequences that legitimize or cancel it. A mind imbued with the
absurd merely judges that those consequences must be considered calmly.
It is ready to pay up. In other words, there may be responsible
persons, but there are no guilty ones, in its opinion. At very most,
such a mind will consent to use past experience as a basis for its
future actions.
--Albert Camus

In the course of evolution and a higher civilization we might be able to get along comfortably without Congress, but without Wall Street, never.
- Henry Clews, 1900

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hamburger is killing the Planet

We need to reduce our dependence on animal proteins. Animal protein is not a sustainable part of our diet while the population bomb of exponential growth of humans continues.  Shortages of resources can only grow worse with the the strains already showing -Peak Everything is just around the corner for potable water, oil, agricultural land and so on.

Maler der Grabkammer des Sennudem 001.jpg

Economic vegetarians believe that nutrition can be acquired more efficiently and at a lower price through vegetables, grains, etc., rather than from meat. They argue that a vegetarian diet is rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and carries with it fewer risks (such as heart disease, obesity, and bacterial infection) than animal flesh. Consequently, they consider the production of meat economically unsound.

"Environmental vegetarianism is the practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the indications that animal production, particularly by intensive agriculture, is environmentally unsustainable.  

The primary environmental concerns with animal products are pollution and the use of resources such as fossil fuels, water, and land."

"The world must create five billion vegans in the next several decades, or triple its total farm output without using more land."
- Dennis Avery, Director of the Centre for Global Food Issues

This is a frightening equation considering the amount of skepticism and resistance to change demonstrated by human beings throughout the recent Global Warming debate.  It habits die hard and there are powerful forces on the side of Fossil Fuels, as mentionbed in the Paul Kruigman article in the NYT's declaring that Solar Energy has reached the tipping point and needs to be encouraged.

Environmental vegetarianism can be compared with economic vegetarianism.
An economic vegetarian is someone who practices vegetarianism either out of necessity or because of a conscious simple living strategy: 
a philosophical viewpoint, such as the belief that the consumption of meat is economically unsound or that vegetarianism will help improve public health and curb starvation. 

Economic vegetarians believe that nutrition can be acquired more efficiently and at a lower price through vegetables, grains, etc., rather than from meat. They argue that a vegetarian diet is rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and carries with it fewer risks (such as heart disease, obesity, and bacterial infection) than animal flesh. Consequently, they consider the production of meat economically unsound.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, "massive reductions in meat consumption in industrial nations will ease the health care burden while improving public health; declining livestock herds will take pressure off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base to rejuvenate. 

As populations grow, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry."
To produce 1 pound of feedlot beef requires about 2,400 gallons of water and 7 pounds of grain . Considering that the average American consumes 97 pounds of beef (and 273 pounds of meat in all) each year, even modest reductions in meat consumption in such a culture would substantially reduce the burden on our natural resources."

Physicians John A. McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal D. Barnard, Dean Ornish, Michael Greger and nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell, argue that high animal fat and protein diets, such as the standard American diet, are detrimental to health, and that a low-fat vegan diet can both prevent and reverse degenerative diseases such ascoronary artery disease and diabetes.  A 2006 study by Barnard found that in people with type 2 diabetes, a low-fat vegan diet reduced weight, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol, and did so to a greater extent than the diet prescribed by the American Diabetes Association.

Dean Ornish is one of a number of physicians who recommend a low-fat vegan diet to prevent and reverse certain degenerative diseases.  Ornish is also an author of several very good books promoting his heart healthy diet principles.  Having read his books, I am prejudiced on this side of the argument.  The Vegetarian diet can be seen as a useful tool in staying healthy on an individual
level, a societal level and it allows individuals to do something positive for the Planet's ecosystem.  Individuals can stay healthy and live sustainable lifestyles and empower themselves to help save the Planet.


I have spent a year trying to define what change means to an individual life. Change is a constant.

There are changes we cannot control that happen in the World at large. We can not end a war.
But we can choose our habits and attitudes. This site will focus on improving our performance in the areas of our greatest influence.

Aristotle is often quoted as saying,

"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire."

"We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence is therefore not an act but a habit."

We will work on a checklist of good habits that will help you create the lifestyle of which you dream.

Reason, passion and desire will keep us motivated and help us to choose worthwhile goals. Habits will be the daily actions that move us along our path to a better life. Daily self-management is an art to be learned because lasting changes in peoples' lives start on the inside

There’s no quit in veteran Marquez - Boxing - Yahoo! Sports

There’s no quit in veteran Marquez - Boxing - Yahoo! Sports:
" There is an old poem written by an unknown author called “Don’t Quit” that could have been penned as Juan Manuel Marquez’s personal anthem.

The classy Mexican champion has made a habit over the course of his lengthy boxing career and, indeed, his life, of overcoming significant obstacles.

He grew up, as so many successful fighters do, in impoverished conditions. He fought his way out of that trap to, if not stardom, a point where he leads a very comfortable life. He’ll make a career-high $5 million to face Manny Pacquiao on Saturday in a high-stakes welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena."

'via Blog this'

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - Boxing: ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier loses fight with cancer

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - Boxing: ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier loses fight with cancer: "oe Frazier, the former undisputed heavyweight champ famed for his epic fights against Muhammad Ali, died on Monday after a brief but brave battle with liver cancer. He was 67. The family issued a statement confirming Frazier’s death late Monday night. The boxing icon won an Olympic gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics to launch a brilliant career that spanned almost 20 years but he was best known for fighting Ali in a famed 1970s trilogy of bouts, including the epic “Thrilla in Manila.” He had been under home care after being diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with the advanced liver cancer that took his life, a family friend said.

“I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration,” Ali said in a statement. “My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.” Frazier, nicknamed “Smokin’ Joe"...

'via Blog this'

Friday, November 4, 2011

Learned Happiness

Happiness is a skill that can be learned. The essential factor whether or not you will live a happy life is based less on external factors such as wealth, success and fame, and more on your attitude toward life, toward yourself, toward other people, and toward events and situations. Regardless of your attitudes in the past, you have the ability to change and become a master of happiness.

Today is the best day to improve your skills. Either things will go EXACTLY the way you want -- and then you can focus on the feeling of joy. Or things will NOT go the way you want and you'll have the opportunity to attain greater mastery over your attitude.

Throughout the day, keep asking yourself: "What attitude will enable me to experience joy and empowerment RIGHT NOW?

— Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
(see Preface to 'Gateway to Happiness'

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mankind's Report Card

 20 ways the world has changed since 1st Earth Summit - Politics - CBC News

Sustainability in all Things We Undertake.

The United Nations says humans are more concerned about damage done to the environment than we were 20 years ago — but we're still destroying it faster than we can fix it.

That's part of a snapshot prepared by the United Nations Environment Program in a report called Keeping Track that looks at a wide range of changes that have occurred since the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

The report is designed to be used by legislators at the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio next May.

And far from being a thick report that will just gather dust, Keeping Track is actually a bit of a page-turner, filled with surprising and often encouraging news about our stewardship of the Earth.

The report uses a minimum of text and relies on colourful graphics, charts and satellite pictures to show the major environmental and social changes that have occurred on Earth since the early 1990s, from growing cities in China to the rapidly spreading footprint of Alberta's oil sands.

Changes in the world over the last 20 years.

1. The number of megacities has doubled.
2. The world is eating 26 per cent more meat.
3. Global temperatures continue to rise, with the last 10 years the warmest on record.
4. World industry is 23 per cent more energy efficient.
5. Plastic consumption has skyrocketed — with annual production reaching a record 265 million tonnes worldwide in 2010.
6. The 1990 Montreal Protocol to limit ozone-destroying chemicals is the world's most successful international agreement, producing a 93 per cent drop in the damaging emissions since 1992.
7. Cement production is the fastest-growing source of C02 emissions.
8. The Mesopotamian Marshlands, the largest in the Middle East, are recovering from deliberate draining by Iraq in the 1990s.
9. Saudi Arabia has transformed from an importer of food to an exporter due to irrigation.
10. Environmentally protected areas have increased worldwide by 42 per cent.
11. Fish stock depletion is now one of the most pressing environmental issues.
12. Renewable energy has skyrocketed, with solar energy leading the way — up 30,000 per cent since 1992.
13. Biofuel production — up 300,000 per cent — is converting more land from farming to production of fuel.
14. Organic farming is up 240 per cent since 1999.
15. The Amazon rainforest has been largely destroyed due to drought and farming.
16. Tourism and travel is the world's largest business sector — and ecotourism is the fastest-growing type of tourism, up 20-34 per cent per year.
17. Passenger trips by airplanes have doubled in the past two decades.
18. Clean drinking water access increased to 87 per cent, but widespread sanitation is still slow.
19. 30 per cent more private companies are adopting environmental standards every year.
20. Women's influence is rising with more 60 per cent more seats in national parliaments.


Pop. in millions, 2010

1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Delhi, India
3. Sao Paulo, Brazil
4. Mumbai, India
5. Mexico City, Mexico
6. New York - Newark, USA
7. Shanghai, China
8. Kolkata, India
9. Dhaka, Bangladesh
10. Karachi, Pakistan

Conceive, Believe, Achieve

"Someone has defined genius as intensity of purpose: the ability to do, the patience to wait. . . . Put these together and you have genius, and you have achievement."
- Leo J. Muir

"Only if you reach the boundary will the boundary recede before you. And if you don't, if you confine your efforts, the boundary will shrink to accommodate itself to your efforts. And you can only expand your capacities by working to the very limit."
- Hugh Nibley

"Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one's levels of aspiration . . and expectation."
- Jack Niklaus

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
- General George Patton, Jr.

"The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses."  - Napolean Hill


"The things we accept as normal and enjoy today were considered impossible twenty-five years ago and beyond the power of man to achieve. The early "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon" comic strips were fantastic and considered outside the realm of man's attainment. They were considered figments of man's imagination, but now many of these miraculous, imaginative things have become realities and man is pushing onward toward new and higher goals of achievement. 

We are now mentally prepared for every new invention and advancement in technology and the sciences , but, nevertheless, stand amazed at man's powers to create and achieve. These outstanding accomplishments, which approach the miraculous, to me are unquestioned evidence of man's divine nature. Man has sent up satellites which circle the globe. He has taken the breathtaking, miraculous ride about the earth. He expects to circle the moon and even land man on the outer planets; also he considers feasible floating platforms in outer space as intermediate stations for interplanetary travel."

- Delbert L. Stapley 

"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."
-Dale Carnegie

"A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

"The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests." - Epictetus

"We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best."
- David March

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
Orison Swett Marden