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Bessie Wrote This In 1904…

Tuesday

WHAT CONSTITUTES SUCCESS

He has achieved success who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who has left the world better than he found it,
whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others
and given them the best he had;
whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

—Bessie Stanley 1905 (more)                                              .

How To See The World As Beautiful

Wednesday

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

—Max Ehrmann  1927

Have You Tried This Personal Approval Test?

Friday

THE GUY IN THE GLASS

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

—by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934
more about Dale Wimbrow

Do You Keep Yours In A Chest?

Wednesday

LIFE

Life is a gift to be used every day,
Not to be smothered and hidden away;
It isn’t a thing to be stored in the chest
Where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your best;
It isn’t a joy to be sipped now and then
And promptly put back in a dark place again.

Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of
And one that the humblest may well make the most of.
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
Wear it and use it as much as you may;
Don’t keep it in niches and corners and grooves,
You’ll find that in service its beauty improves.

—Edgar Guest

 

Your Attitude Is Only Necessary Today…

Monday

ATTITUDE

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight.

I have responsibilities to fulfill today.

I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy
or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad
that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up
or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends
or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work
or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school
or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework
or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body, and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped,
and I am the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

Today, my attitude is the difference. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

—Author Unknown

 

Does Risk Hold You Back?

Tuesday

RISK

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self,
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss,
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.

—William Arthur Ward

 

What Are You Building Today?

Saturday

THE BUILDER

I saw them tearing a building down,
a team of men in my hometown.
With a heave and a ho and a lusty yell,
they swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

And I said to the foreman,
“Are these men skilled?”
“Like the ones you’d use
if you had to build?”

He laughed and said, “Oh no, indeed
the most common labor is all I need.
For I can destroy in a day or two,
what takes the builder years to do.”

So I thought to myself
as I went on my way,
which one of these roles
am I willing to play?

Am I the one who is tearing down,
as I carelessly make my way around?
Or am I one, who builds with care,
to make the world better…because I was there?

—Author Unknown

Be Thankful For What We Are Not?

Saturday

BE THANKFUL

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

—Author Unknown

Is This The Best LOA Poem?

Tuesday

MY WAGE

I bargained with Life for a Penny,
and Life would pay no more,
however I begged at evening,
when I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
he gives you what you ask,
but once you have set the wages,
why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
only to learn, dismayed,
that any wage I had asked of life,
life would have paid.


—Jessie B. Rittenhouse  (published in 1918)

They Said It Couldn’t Be Done

Friday

IT COULDN’T BE DONE

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.”

—Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest (August 20, 1881, Birmingham, England – August 5, 1959, Detroit, Michigan) (aka Eddie Guest) was a prolific American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People’s Poet.

In 1891, Guest came with his family to the United States from England. After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared December 11, 1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902. For 40 years, Guest was widely read throughout North America.

From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o’ Livin’ (1916) and Just Folks (1917). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title.

How To Tell If You’re a Leader

Thursday

LEADERS vs. FOLLOWERS

When leaders make a mistake, they say, “I was wrong.”
When followers make a mistake, they say, “It wasn’t my fault.”

A leader works harder than a follower works, yet has more time;
a follower is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.

A leader goes through problems and resolves them;
a follower goes around problems but never gets past them.

A leader makes and keeps commitments;
a follower makes and forgets promises.

A leader says, “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be”;
a follower says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”

Leaders listen;
followers wait until it’s their turn to talk.

Leaders respect those who are superior to them and try to learn from them;
followers resent those who are superior to them and try to avoid them.

Leaders feel responsible for more than their job;
followers say, “That’s not my job.”

Leaders say, “There may to be a better way to do this”;
followers say, “That’s the way it’s always been done around here.”

—Author Unknown

Failure Reconsidered

Monday

When was the last time you failed to reach a desired objective, became displeased with yourself, then discovered later that the failure actually turned out to be a necessary or valuable lesson? It’s happened to all of us. If you are unable to recall such an instance maybe this poem will help.

FAILURE DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE A FAILURE.

Failure doesn’t mean you’re a failure,
it does mean you haven’t succeeded yet.

Failure doesn’t mean you haven’t accomplished something,
it does mean you have learned something.

Failure doesn’t mean you’ve been a fool,
it does mean you have a lot of faith.

Failure doesn’t mean you’ve been disgraced,
it does mean you were willing to try.

Failure doesn’t mean you don’t have it,
it does mean you have to do something in a different way.

Failure doesn’t mean you’re inferior,
it does mean you’re not perfect.

Failure doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your time,
it does mean you have a reason to start fresh.

Failure doesn’t mean you should give up,
it does mean you should try harder.

Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it,
it does mean it will take a little longer.

Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you,
it does mean he has a better way.

—Rehana Moammadi

Your Comfort Zone

Friday

By far, one of the most difficult challenges necessary to BreakThru previous achievement levels and reach new success plateaus is to escape from our self imposed comfort zone…or zones. We all have them.

MY COMFORT ZONE

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I couldn’t fail,
the same four walls and busy work were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
but I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like money, jewels and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
but deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath and stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you’re in a self-made comfort zone afraid to venture out,
remember that all winners were once with similar doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Greet your future with a smile. Success is there for you!

—Author Unknown

The Value of Long Term Goals

Saturday

BRIGHT HORIZONS

We should be glad for distant things,
For beauty ‘round the bend;
For highways that lead on and on
With never any end.

Be glad for goals just out of reach,
The challenge of a star,
The glory of a distant light
That beacons from afar.

For hopes and dreams are built on
That enchanted distant mile,
And far-off bright horizons
Make the road today wothwhile.

—Helen Lowrie Marshall

To Work or Not To Work…

Tuesday

WORK

I ask no odds of any man,
I am not one that follies sway.
I am the source of my rewards,
I do my work each day.

The fruit of trees, the grain of fields,
Wherever use and beauty lurk—
The good of all the world belongs
To him who does his work.

It matters not if rich or poor,
This is the future’s great command,
Who does not work shall cease to eat;
Upon this rock I stand.

Though work bring naught of power nor wealth
Spare me from want of common needs,
And give a share of manly health,
A few good friends, of honest deeds;

And till death’s peaceful slumber nears
A life of undishonoured years.

—Max Ehrmann

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