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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The key to transforming yourself -- Robert Greene

Published on Oct 23, 2013

Why do we fixate on the things we
can see immediately when we crave change? In this passionate talk Robert
Greene shares the key to transforming ourselves and also talks about
his own personal transformation and his path to becoming a bestselling

About Robert Greene

Robert Greene is the
internationally best-selling author of The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of
Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War and The 50th Law (with rapper 50
Cent). His books have been translated into 17 languages. He has worked
in New York as an editor and writer at several magazines; and in
Hollywood as a story developer and writer. He has lived in Brixton,
Paris, and Barcelona; speaks several languages and worked as a

He tweets as @RobertGreene

Friday, March 21, 2014

Progress is impossible without change

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who
cannot change their minds, cannot change anything."
— George Bernard Shaw: Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quotes and Poster Art

Purposeful Path

Photo: The halfway point in any fundraising campaign is pivotal and we are almost there.  With another $1,580 we will reach that important marker in our year-end appeal.  Can you make a contribution to help us reach this goal?  We would be so appreciative.

Anyone who makes a contribution of any amount will receive a free digital copy of our revised New Year's Naikan booklet -- a truly unique collection of reflections to help make the New Year's transition as meaningful as possible. 

We call our work "a natural approach to mental wellness".  If it is "natural", why do we need to study and practice it?  Because we have forgotten some of what we once knew. Because coping well with the ups and downs of life is not at all easy. Because we have been misguided and confused. Because much of what we naturally do requires effort and practice if we are to do it well. Please help us to continue sharing this profoundly empowering material with the world.

Our sincere appreciation to those who have already supported our year-end campaign. Your New Year's booklet will be sent out on Monday.  

May we all fall in love with life again in the new year. May we look for win/win solutions and live as though our days were numbered.

Photo: Attention is a skill of great value, for it shapes the experience of our lives.  Once we become conscious of what we are paying attention to, we have the opportunity to direct our attention.  We can pay attention to our disappointment, or we can pay attention to a butterfly in the afternoon breeze.  We can pay attention to our anxiety, or we can pay attention to delicate flavor of our cup of tea.  

In the end -- of a moment, a day, a life -- it is our attention that offers us the experience of joy or sorrow, of worry or gratitude.  If you don't want to sink into a life of depression, anxiety, and complaint, learn to work with your attention.

A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness with Gregg Krech
Starts September 19th


Photo: What's the difference between what you say is important and what you do with your time?

Photo: Don't just stay busy.
You can stay busy with things all your life that will be meaningless when you are about to die.
Find something important -- something meaningful to do.
And do it today.  
For just 15 minutes.  Or even just 5 minutes.
Those few minutes may become a seed,
and blossom into something that you will be proud to leave
as your legacy to the world.

Photo: I'm excited about our annual Taking Action online course which starts on Wednesday (tomorrow).  It's amazing to see how much people can get done in 30 days when they have great tools, a supportive community and clear intention.  Please join us:
Photo: Taking Action Starts May 29th
- 30 days Distance Learning Course
- Online course with video, audio, discussion forum, readings, daily assignments
- Supportive community
- Conducted by Gregg Krech, author and leading authority in Japanese Psychology

Is there something in your life that needs to happen?
Register today (don't procrastinate, that's the problem)

Procrastinating to Get Things Done

Photo: We can't think our way to competence.
We have to practice.

Photo: Wandering without a plan can be amazing.  No agenda to consult,  goal to chase, plan to follow -- just intuition and whim at the helm.  Punctuating our busy days with mini breaks can make a huge difference in our stress level and our enjoyment of life.

But living every day without a sense of purpose can be altogether different.  Rather than enjoying our explorations, we may feel lost and confused about what to do with our time.  We can become stressed and fatigued without an inner compass to guide us.  

The Living on Purpose program begins on Thursday, Jan. 9th.  For 30 days we will explore the question of purpose together, not from an objective perspective but from a very personal one.  Each day you will have an opportunity to examine this issue for yourself, through daily exercises, readings and online discussions.  

Join our global classroom as we each explore how we want to spend our 30,000 days.  Call us if you have any questions -- 1-800-950-6034.

Photo: Many of us look forward to the fresh-startness quality of the new year.  We can feel inspired and hopeful by the clean slate of the next 12 months. Whether we rally around well thought-out resolutions and goals, or just turn our minds and hearts in a positive direction, the new year can help us to make some positive changes.

But ending the year on a positive note can be the first step toward a good new year.  What steps will help you to wrap up 2013 in a satisfying way?  Greetings, surprises, and kind gestures of all sorts lift the spirits and set a friendly and upbeat tone for the transition. And charitable giving is often done during the very final days of the year as well. 

With only two days left in the year, we hope that you will make time to contribute to the organizations that you value.  The ToDo Institute has been promoting an empowering approach to mental wellness for over 20 years. If you have found value in our work, please support our efforts with a tax-deductible contribution today.  Thank you! 

With warmest new year wishes from the ToDo Team!

Photo: Look not at the faults of others,
at what they have done
or left undone;
rather, look at what you
yourself have done 
or left undone.
[verse 50]
Buddhist Dhammapada

photo credit Samuele Storari

Photo: In ordinary life we hardly realize
that we receive a great deal more
than we give, and that it is
only with gratitude that life becomes rich.
It is very easy to overestimate
the importance of our own achievements
in comparison with what we owe others.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
In ordinary life we hardly realize
that we receive a great deal more
than we give, and that it is
only with gratitude that life becomes rich.
It is very easy to overestimate
the importance of our own achievements
in comparison with what we owe others.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 Photo: Only that day dawns to which we are awake.
-Henry David Thoreau
 “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”
― Thomas Merton
Photo: “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” 

– James Baraz”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the thing you didn’t do then by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain
Photo: “Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.”
― Louis L'Amour
Photo: Taking Risks

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the thing you didn’t do then by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain

As we get older, we’re less inclined to take risks. We tend to play it safe. But Mark Twain nudges us towards our dreams. Consider this: If you don’t do something, you’re left only with a collection of thoughts and feelings –regret, speculation about what might have happened, etc. . . If you do take action, you end up with a real life experience. That experience, in all likelihood, will include an assortment of joys and sorrows. But it’s real life. So when we move forward and take action we trade a basket of feelings and thoughts fora real life experience. Which will it be?
 Photo: A leading educator in Morita Therapy offers a
month-long distance learning program to help you overcome procrastination and get
things done. This program can help you to take action and move forward in the real world.
Register today! 
Program starts Wednesday May 26th.

Is Life Getting in your Way?

Gregg Krech, an author and leading authority on Japanese Psychology,

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Change anything! Use skillpower over willpower: Al Switzler at TEDxFremont

Published on Dec 4, 2012

  How do you break
down mental barriers and beat the willpower trap?

Al Switzler,
cofounder of VitalSmarts, researches methods for driving sustainable,
measurable behavior change. 

Switzler is coauthor of four NYT
bestsellers, including Change Anything.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Manage Your Day To Day

In this episode Miguel chat's with Jocelyn Glei author of Managing Your Day To Day.

Topics Covered:

1. The importance of good habits and daily routines.

2. Managing interruptions.

3. Scheduling time off.

4. Becoming more creative.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Changing Circumstances


The universe is change; life is what thinking makes of it. 
– Marcus Aurelius

We cannot change the past, but we can reshape the future. Young people have the opportunity to create a happier, better future. - Dalai Lama

It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it. – Epictetus

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
– Sherlock Holmes


The universe is change; life is what thinking makes of it. 
– Marcus Aurelius

Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. - anon.


"Formula for success: Rise early, work hard, strike oil."
John Paul Getty

"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."
Dale Carnegie


"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Thomas Edison


"Men are born to succeed, not fail."
Henry David Thoreau

" The odds of hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it."

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
Nelson Mandela


"One secret of success in life is for a man to be
ready for his opportunity when it comes."
Benjamin Disraeli


Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe. 
Norman Vincent Peale

Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking. Bernard M. Baruch


Making a success of the job at hand is the best step toward the kind you want. Bernard M. Baruch


If one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagines, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. 
Henry David Thoreau


Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other. Erma Bombeck


Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. Dale Carnegie


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. Albert Einstein


The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. Theodore Roosevelt


The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Mark Twain


I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things.
Walt Disney


Success depends upon previous preparation,
and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.


The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business,
and success only a subsequent consideration.


As a general rule the most successful man in life is
the man who has the best information.
Benjamin Disraeli


The secret of success is constancy to purpose.
Benjamin Disraeli

Through perseverance many people win success out of what
seemed destined to be certain failure.
Benjamin Disraeli

"One fails forward toward success."
Charles F. Kettering


"No one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or 'get rich' in business by being a conformist."
J. P. Getty



I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” -Albert Einstein

“It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested. But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness, when it is devoted to no good end, forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing. So it is—the life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it. Just as great and princely wealth is scattered in a moment when it comes into the hands of a bad owner, while wealth however limited, if it is entrusted to a good guardian, increases by use, so life is amply long for the one who orders it properly.”
-Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
(Source of the quote above)


“Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don't aim at success -- the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run -- in the long-run, I say! -- success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”
 -Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning