“Recognize that it is not really possible to steadily help others when we ourselves are not in good physical, mental, or emotional state. We may be able to carry on for a while, but sooner or later we end up feeling depleted, discouraged, or weak. We cannot keep on giving when we are running on an empty tank. We need to be solid.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor
“Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now. Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time. So whatever you do, hold on to hope. The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord. Let hope anchor you in the possibility that this is not the end of your story – that the change in the tides will eventually bring you to peaceful shores.” ~ Marc Chernoff, Blog
“Breathe in the future, breathe out the past. No matter where you are or what you’re going through, always believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Never expect, assume, or demand. Just do your best, control the elements you can control, and then let it be. Because once you have done what you can, if it is meant to be, it will happen, or it will show you the next step that needs to be taken.” ~ Marc Chernoff, Blog
“The greatest of all miracles is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today. The greatest of all insights is that we cannot be tomorrow what we do not do today. That is why today matters.” ~ John C. Maxwell, Today Matters
“I’ve been told that certain species of fish will grow according to the size of their environment. Put them in a tiny aquarium, and they remain small even at adulthood. Release them into a huge natural body of water, and they grow into their intended size. People are similar. If they live in a harsh and limiting environment, they stay small. But put them someplace that encourages growth, and they will expand to reach their potential.” ~ John C. Maxwell, Today Matters
“When I was teaching basketball, I urged my players to try their hardest to improve on that very day, to make that practice a masterpiece. Too often we get distracted by what is outside our control. You can’t do anything about yesterday. The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. You can do nothing about tomorrow. It is yet to come. However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece… This rule is even more important in life than in basketball. You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better. Only then will you be able to approach being the best you can be.” ~ John Wooden
“When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” ~ John Wooden
“The more alive we feel, the more we can contribute to the lives of others.” ~ Ken Robinson, The Element
“A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself; he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.” ~ James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
“Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Imagine that everyone is enlightened except you.
This strategy gives you a chance to practice something that is probably completely unacceptable to you. However, if you give it a try, you might find that it’s one of the most helpful exercises in self-improvement.
As the title suggests, the idea is to imagine that everyone you know and everyone you meet is perfectly enlightened. That is, everyone except you! The people you meet are all here to teach you something. Perhaps the obnoxious driver or disrespectful teenager is here to teach you about patience, the punk rocker might be here to teach you to be less judgmental.
“Exceptions lead to more exceptions. It’s really easy to justify not doing [a] new habit (or doing an old habit you’re trying to quit) by saying, “Just one time won’t hurt.” Except that it will, because now you think it’s OK to make exceptions. And now you don’t really trust yourself to stick to your promise to yourself. It’s much more effective to not make exceptions — catch yourself if you’re thinking about it and trying to justify it, and remember your motivations. When I quit smoking, I told myself Not One Puff Ever (NOPE).” ~ Leo Babauta, Zen Habits