Welcome to my thoughts on Living with Joy, Purpose, and Conscious Choice.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Here, I share my thoughts on spiritual power, relationships, simple living, managing stress, work-life balance, career decisions, money, politics, the environment, and much more.

See my self-help articles including How to Move On and How to Succeed, browse my large collection of Inspirational Quotes, and sign-up for my free Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote email and my Positive Affirmation of the Day email.

The content of all my blogs/websites consists entirely of personal opinion.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Play to win, but be a good loser.

Question: Dear Sir, I read your post on anger which stated that accept with gratitude what life throws at you, however, is it really possible?
Its easy to say that accept what life throws at you but how to really do this? When you take a task at hand it is with an expectation that you will come out with flying colors and of course you will feel terrible when things don't go your way. You had put in efforts so that things could go your way, you can extract from life what you want. Otherwise why would anyone put any efforts?

My Answer:

As they would say in children's sports, "Play to win, but be a good loser."

Team sports really do create quite a good mini-model of life. Some days you win. Some days you lose. If you don't accept today's loss with grace and courage, you never get to play (and win) tomorrow.

Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is.
- Vince Lombardi

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's one of life's great paradoxes ...

Accepting with gratitude whatever life throws at us is critical to happiness.

Yet without a goal and commitment, life lose much of its value.

The best we can do in the face of this paradox is to play to win, but be cheerful in defeat, and be ready to play again.

May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Further reading:

Quotes about Winning

Quotes about Play

Quotes about Attitude

Quotes about Anger

Quotes about Gratitude

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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Break Old Patterns of Action

I do it. You do it. Most of the actions each of us take every day are based on reacting to a situation, rather than carefully considering it.

If we encounter a situation that feels different from anything we have ever encountered, we may actually stop to think before we act. But generally whatever happens feels familiar, even though this exact thing never happened before. And we instinctively take the same action we took in apparently similar situations.

For example, if we are approached by a person with a limp dressed in shabby clothes, we KNOW that person is a panhandler, and ignore the possibility that they need directions, or have useful information to share with us.

As an exercise in breaking habitual patterns of action, stretch yourself by...

1. Attending a worship service of a different denomination than your own - preferably one you don't feel at all called to - and listen attentively and openly to every word.

2. Attending a political rally of the "other" political party and listening attentively and openly.

3. Taking a walk in a neighborhood where predominately "other" kinds of people live. Shop in a neighborhood store. Listen openly to the conversations around you. Be conscious if you feel fear, and examine what concerns you.

4. Inviting your least favorite relative to lunch, and just listening to their ideas and values without interrupting, arguing, or even expressing your own differing point of view.

Further reading: Quotes that Make You Think

Insightful Quotes

Quotes about Transformation

Quotes about Values

Quotes about Belief

Quotes about Religion

Friday, November 25, 2011

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Miracles Need Both God and You

Every miracle needs two participants - God and you.

There are two things you need to do to begin a miracle. First, you need to have a genuine unselfish intention for the outcome. Second, you must do everything within your own earthly power to facilitate the miracle. Everything else is God's job.

To illustrate this, let me re-tell a very old story.

For years a man prayed each day, "Please God, let me win the lottery." After receiving no response whatever, he finally asked, "God, why have you forsaken me? All I asked was just to win the lottery."

The skies opened and a powerful voice answered, "Jacob, Jacob, meet me halfway. At least buy a lottery ticket."

I re-tell this story because it is cute, and not because winning the lottery is an appropriate miracle to ask for. But the takeaway is, "Meet me halfway." Don't expect God to do what you are able to do for yourself. God's part of the job is to do everything you don't have the ability to do for yourself.

Let's look at an example. Three people have cancer.

1. The first person says, "I'll have the surgery and the chemo. Who needs God."
2. The second says, "If I pray hard enough, I don't need modern medical treatments."
3. The third says, "My part of the miracle is the surgery and the chemo. I am meeting God halfway, and the rest of the miracle is God's job."

I would be that third person, believing that God expects us to use the earthly tools He has given us as our commitment to meet Him halfway.

If modern medicine offered no options, I would travel to Lourdes or to John of God to fulfill my part of meeting God halfway.

A miracle doesn't have to be about a life-or-death crisis. All of life is composed of smaller miracles. For each of those miracles meet God halfway - even if that just means standing in the rain and getting wet to get a better look at one of God's miracle rainbows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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Quotes about Wealth and Power

Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world
doesn't mean you are wiser
than when it reached only to the end of the bar.
- Edward R. Murrow

No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
- Robert A. Heinlein

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.
- Mark Twain
Twain makes an important point about the power of big-media, but I disagree with his conclusion. I believe that it is crucial that we fight back against the powerful corporate-sponsored media. - jlh

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,
people will eventually come to believe it.
- Joseph Goebbels (Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany)

We have the best government that money can buy.
- Mark Twain

When we blindly adopt a religion,
a political system, a literary dogma,
we become automatons. We cease to grow.
- Anais Nin

I distrust those people who know so well
what God wants them to do,
because I notice it always coincides
with their own desires.
- Susan B. Anthony

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain (attributed)

The presence of those seeking the truth
is infinitely to be preferred
to the presence of those who think they've found it.
- Terry Pratchett

Politicians and diapers need to be changed regularly,
usually for the same reason.
- Anonymous

Always listen to the experts.
They'll tell you what can't be done and why.
Then do it.
- Robert Heinlein

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain,
and most fools do.
- Benjamin Franklin

Experience demands that man is
the only animal which devours his own kind,
for I can apply no milder term to
the general prey of the rich on the poor.
- Thomas Jefferson

What people often mean by getting rid of conflict
is getting rid of diversity,
and it is of the utmost importance
that these should not be considered the same.
- M. P. Follett

If a man is proud of his wealth,
he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
- Socrates

Almost any sect, cult, or religion will
legislate its creed into law
if it acquires the political power.
- Robert A. Heinlein