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Community

Sunday Sayings – Truth

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Speaking the truth – is knowing who you are, but is it always the best thing for everybody?

“Don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.” -Lena Dunham

So many around us choose to conceal, hide or change the truth to protect others or enhance ourselves. We are constantly bombarded by fake news, or so-called fake news. Perhaps the reports of fake news could even be fake, themselves. If so, then, what or where is the real truth?

Life isn’t about finding yourself.

Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw
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We create lies, fantasy or untruths based on fear, craving or perhaps even ill-will. We create alternative explanations of reality to cover up our failings, or defer facing things that are unpalatable, in order to escape from feeling negative emotions. A coping or protective strategy?

Can truth be as individual as each person, in all our uniqueness?

Weekly Proverb

Examining any part of the history of Poland suggests that the Polish Proverb has been useful to the Polish population. Sometimes the truth needs to hidden to ensure one’s survival or, another’s survival.

In continually hiding the truth, some people may even begin to lose themselves.

Sunday Sayings

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

Is truth vital in your world?

Moniga Del Garda

What do you make of the proverb and quotes posted today?

I would love to know your thoughts. Join in on the discussion.

Everyone’s opinion is important.

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Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Snobbery and Privilege

Hypocrisy is the essence of snobbery, but all snobbery is about the problem of belonging or exclusiveness.

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“Some people have such good taste they can’t enjoy anything.”
Marty Rubin

“They [Harvard academia] liked the poor, but didn’t like the smell of the poor.”
Chris Hedges

“It was culture as class performance, literature fetishised for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterwards feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about.”
― Sally Rooney, Normal People

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Why are some people Snobs?

Snobs are people who judge people for what they do or how much wealth they have, not for who they are. They fixate on product and performance, not personality or spirit. Snobs might display rigidity of thinking as some well heeled who, despite their expensive educations, came to admire Hitler’s autocratic style of government. The snob pigeonholes people according to superficial criteria such as their birth, their profession, either regarding or disregarding them. Countries with strict class systems are renowned for this. Exclusion may even be based on the way a person speaks.

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Some interesting explanations on snobbery are found here

It is suggested that snobbery is a symptom of social insecurity; that social insecurity may be rooted in childhood experiences, especially feelings of shame at being different, or an early sense of privilege or entitlement that cannot later be realized.

The true answer to snobbery is not to say that there is no such thing as a better or worse person, but to insist that better or worse exist in constantly unexpected places and carry none of the outward signs of distinction. Perhaps the antithesis of snobbery is recognition of those who fail as much as those who succeed?

Is it feasible to recognize everyone for their effort?

“People who hold important positions in society are commonly labelled “somebodies,” and their inverse “nobodies”- both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying the disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without status are all but invisible: they are treated brusquely by others, their complexities trampled upon and their singularities ignored.”
― Alain de Botton

Do you know some people whose self-concept is not so strong that they spend a lot of time making comparisons and judging others, who often fail to come up to their high standards? Is this a form of snobbery?

Or perhaps the do-gooders who are not really keen on the people they help in their everyday lives, at all. It looks good on paper to help the needy and they feel they are doing the right thing, and yet, if the recipients are not grateful for the handout, the donations or assistance abruptly stop .And then there are the group who seek to gain something from handouts, business favours or social favours.

Humans can be poor judges of the worth of others, and thus it may be simpler to be kind, curious, open and imaginative about all we interact with and that includes ourselves.

Snobbery and its contributing factors is Something to Ponder About

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Community

Sunday Sayings – Allies

Definition of an Ally:

to combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.

Allies or Friends can come in many forms. They might support you at the end of the phone, in person, or just by you knowing that they have your back. They make life easier and more pleasant.

You don’t need an abundance of allies, even one or two makes life bearable. Maybe your best ally could be your own self.

Today’s Sunday Sayings focuses on Allies.

Weekly proverb

“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief” -Swedish Proverb

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Swedish friends

Weekly Quotes

“Friends ask you questions; enemies question you.” Criss Jami, (Healology)

“Dude. Every mom is the most annoying human in the universe, but most of them, besides the super-abusive genuinely bad ones, are in your corner.”
― Mary H.K. Choi

Who is your ally?

How do they support you?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What do you have to say?

Something to Ponder About

Several years ago, I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within those succinct few words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.
Mostly anonymous, they are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures, and the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.
They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

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Community

Sunday Sayings

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mothers in Australia for today. I also wish a Happy Mothers Day to those who wanted to be Mothers and couldn’t and all those who have strained Mother – child relationships.

Often it is Mothers or Motherly figures, who have plenty of experience in maintaining perspective as well as minimizing negative emotions. The Dalai Lama does as well.

  • Perspective
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“Disregard small issues.

The most important skill in staying calm is not to lose sleep over small issues. The second most important skill is to be able to view all issues as small issues.”

The Dalai Lama

  • Negative Emotions

“Anger, jealousy, impatience and hatred are the real troublemakers and with them, problems cannot be solved. Though one may have temporary success, ultimately one’s hatred or anger will create further difficulties.”

“Negativity is never the solution.”

The Dalai Lama

Is it Mother’s Day in your part of the World?

Several years ago, I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within those succinct few words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.
Mostly anonymous, they are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures, and the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.
They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

Mental Health

Do You Fit In? Anxiety, Emotions and Friends

Do you sometimes feel misunderstood, or like you just don’t fit in? Is socializing painful or something you avoid? Is mixing at a party or large group a torturous experience?

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If so, you could be suffering from social anxiety? People suffering with this are often introverted by nature and feel that they are constantly being judged negatively by everyone around them. As such, they find it difficult to make new friends or maintain relationships.

These people are often drawn to online friendships, as the cyber world can be anonymous and much less threatening. Without the need for eye contact or body language, contact with others  over the net, can be much less overwhelming on the senses. The written word on its own, can be tolerated by someone with social anxiety, as it can give them the time they need to choose their words carefully and to be sure to express themselves in a way that would not be perceived critically. For this is what someone with social anxiety feels every minute of every day: that they are being negatively judged or critically perceived by others. For some, it destroys everyday life and  they are confined to the only place where there is no anxiety, the sanctuary of a solitary existence at home.

Although there appears to be  a genetic basis to social anxiety and its evil partner depression, there are a number of behaviours that can be un-learnt  just as easily as they  are learnt as a coping mechanism for anxiety.

As a result of these thoughts and anxieties, people with social anxiety have few friends and find making new friendships very difficult and not just because of trust issues. Their fears and negative thinking can render them vulnerable to friendship with toxic people, who in turn, erode their self-esteem and self-concept, even more and it feeds into a vicious circle.

Relationship gurus, such as Marc and Angel, list some common toxic behaviors to social interactions which is useful information for those who have social anxiety and who may wish to improve their social interactions:

1.  Taking everything too personally. – People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them.  The truth is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you.  People’s reactions to you are about their filters, and their perspectives, wounds and experiences.  Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, it’s more about them.  I’m not saying we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback.  I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally when it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of others’ good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own heart, intuition and wisdom as your guide.

2.  Acting like you’re always a victim. – Another toxic behavior is persistent complaining that fuels your sense of victimization.  Believing you’re a victim, that you have no power to exert and no power over the direction of your life, is a toxic stance that keeps you stuck.  Working as a life coach with people who’ve suffered terrible trauma in their lives but found the courage to turn it all around, I know that we have access to far more power, authority, and influence over our lives than we initially believe.  When you stop complaining, and refuse to see yourself as a hapless victim, you’ll find that you are more powerful than you realized, but only if you choose to accept this reality.

3.  Obsessive negative thinking – It’s very hard to be around people who speak incessantly about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the slights they’ve suffered, and the unfairness of life.  These people stubbornly refuse to see the positive side of life and the positive lessons from what’s happening.  Pessimism is one thing – but remaining perpetually locked in negative thoughts is another.  Only seeing the negative, and operating from a view that everything is negative and against you, is a skewed way of thinking and living, and you can change that. Seek out positive people and look out the way they perceive obstacles and problems in their life.

4.  Lack of emotional self-control. – An inability to manage your emotions is toxic to everyone around you.  We all know these people – those who explode in anger and tears over the smallest hiccup or problem.  Yelling at the grocery store clerk for the long line, screaming at an employee for a small error she made, or losing it with your daughter for spilling juice on the floor.  If you find that you’re overly emotional, losing it at every turn, you need some outside assistance to help you gain control over your emotions and understand what’s at the root of your emotionality.  There’s more to it than what appears on the surface.  An outside perspective – and a new kind of support – can work wonders.

5.  Cruelty (or lacking empathy and compassion). – One of the most toxic behaviors – cruelty – stems from a total lack of empathy, concern or compassion for others. We see it every day online and in the media – people being devastatingly unkind and hurtful to others just because they can.  They tear people down online in a cowardly way, using their anonymity as a shield.  Cruelty, backstabbing, and hurting others for any reason is toxic, and it hurts you as well.

6.  Needing constant validation. – Last but not least, people who constantly strive for validation by others are exhausting to be around.  Those men and women who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over and over, and constantly want to “win” over everyone around them, are unintentionally toxic and draining.  Know this.  Overly-attaching to how things have to look to others can wear you out and bring everyone else around you down.  There is a bigger picture to your life, and it’s not about what you achieve in the eyes of the masses.  It’s about the journey, the process, the path – what you’re learning, how you’re helping others learn too, and the growing process you allow yourself to participate in.

What can you do to help someone/be a friend to someone you suspect has Social Anxiety? 

  • Be alert to when they attempt to join into conversations and listen to them with consideration, and without judgement.
  • Be aware that although they might appear rude and abrupt, they would never intend to come across in this way, and it is often their lack of social experiences that make them withdraw, or be incapable of responding appropriately.
  • Accept them the way they are, and always remain positive whilst empathizing.
  • Invite them to social outing without pressure, such as small groups situations or in a situation that they would not find threatening, such as stopping by their desk each day for a quick chat.

Something to Ponder About

Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Have you heard of the Cockroach Theory for Self Development?

From Nigella Feasts on facebook:

4 November 2013 at 21:46Butterfly

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?

He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story:Do not react in life. Always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.

Share with friends and family.

Something to ponder about.

Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Self – Respect – Are we good enough for ourselves?

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Self respect is a basic physiological need. If our basic needs for self- respect are not met, we  may become depressed, socially anxious, withdrawn or stressed. Marc and Angel has some thoughts on this matter this week:

If you ever felt you are not being good enough…

Don’t be too hard on yourself.  There are plenty of people willing to do that for you.  Do your best and surrender the rest.

Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment.  That is all I can ever expect of anyone, including me.” 

Love yourself and be proud of everything you do, even your mistakes, because your mistakes mean you’re trying. It’s better to have a life full of small failures that you learned from, rather than a lifetime filled with the regrets of never trying. Have you ever seen a toddler learn to walk?  They stumble and fall numerous times before getting it right.  Mistakes are learning opportunities.  It takes failure after failure to create success.  So don’t let time pass you by like a hand waving from a train you desperately want to be on.  Don’t spend the rest of your life thinking about why you didn’t do what you can do right now.

If you feel like others are not treating you with love and respect, check your price tag.  Perhaps you have subconsciously marked yourself down.

Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention. So get off the clearance rack.  If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.

Sound advice from Marc and Angel to ponder about.

Read more here: http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/09/18/7-things-fear-has-stolen-from-you/

Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Negative Social Habits that Impede Communication

Marc and Angel talk about:

Cutting out negative habits. This can  make it simpler to foster good relationships by getting to the heart of productive communication, so why not start today?Singapore

1. Focusing on your inner monologue instead of the dialogue in front of you.

When someone is talking to you, you might be thinking:  “What can I say that will sound smart and clever?  I really hope they think I’m intelligent.  I could make a reference to post-modernism.  Wait – what did they just ask me?”  Stay focused on the other person’s words and points.  People rarely mind when you say, “Hmm. Let me think about that for a second.”  Quite the opposite, since it shows that you’re taking the conversation seriously.  If you compose your answers while someone else is speaking, you’re really only having half a conversation. 

2.  Multi-tasking while you chat.

Even if you are a professional multi-tasker, if you’re talking to someone, talk to them, and that’s it.  Don’t browse online, don’t watch TV, don’t update your to-do list, and please, don’t eat while you’re on the phone.  Whether they say so or not, it really annoys the person you’re talking to.  If you really don’t have the time to talk, be honest and find another time, or cut it short. I know I get irritated if someone checks their phone in middle of my conversation with them. It devalues my conversational worth!

3.  Not paying attention to the people you care about most.

Pretending to listen while your mind wanders to your work day, etc.  Do you really think your loved ones can’t tell?  They can.  And even more importantly, they need you to listen sincerely and thoughtfully.  There is no greater gift of love and no greater expression of caring that you can offer the special people in your life, than your undivided time and attention.  You need to remember that ‘love’ is listening, and everyone wants to be heard.  

4.  fishing for compliments or feeling self-conscious

“Oh, I look terrible today.” – after someone compliments you.  “I just threw it together at the last minute.” – when you obviously dressed up.  “I’m really not good at things like this.” – when the people you’re with know you are.  Please.  Stop.  It is ok to accept a compliment, and you don’t need to put yourself down because you are feeling self-conscious.  Just follow the next step.

5.  De-emphasizing compliments with self-effacing remarks.

It’s okay to say “thank you” when you’re complimented.  By making a self-effacing comment, you nearly force the other person to repeat their compliment, which is not a gracious thing to do.  Acknowledging a compliment isn’t snobby – like you’re admitting that you think you’re just grand – it’s a simple courtesy.  Besides, you earned it.

6.  Cutting people off mid-sentence.

The only time this is okay is when you’re in an intense brainstorming session.  Or you’ve got an urgent situation to attend to.  Or you haven’t seen your best friend in months.  Okay, so this habit is kind of elastic, but you get the gist.  Most of the time, interrupting just means that you’re missing the best parts of the conversation.  Plus, you’re showing your chat partner that you value your own thoughts over theirs.

7.  An unsupportive attitude.

The greatest compliment you can give to someone is to believe in them and let them know you care.  When you see something true, good and beautiful in someone, don’t hesitate to tell them that you appreciate it.

8.  Trying to please everyone.

This one is about keeping your sanity.  No matter how loud their opinions are, others cannot choose who you are.  The question should not be, “Why don’t they like me when I’m being me?” it should be, “Why am I wasting all my time and energy worrying what they think of me?”  If you are not hurting anyone with your actions, keep moving forward with your life.  Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, let them be.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody. 

This ideas are sometimes hard to remember as we often slip into well-oiled bad habits again, so to keep them fresh in your mind, print them out and have them in your diary, spaced apart in weekly or thrice dailyintervals. This is what helps me.

I will ponder over whether Marc and Angel’s ideas will be helpful for  you.

Mental Health, Motivational

Thinking Negatively? Why Do We Do It?

Why do we think negatively when we know better?

Because thinking negatively, expecting “the worst,” seeing the downside of positive situations, and even downright expecting failure, all convey a kind of backwards-thinking, emotional insurance policy.

Our desire to want to be right is another common reason we subconsciously choose negative thinking.  Sometimes, as foolish as it sounds, we would rather be right about our negative predictions than have a positive outcome prove us wrong.  And since negative thinking leads to negative actions, or no action at all in many cases, by thinking negatively we create a self-fulfilling  protective prediction for ourselves.

In other words, we think negatively, predict a negative outcome, act negatively, and then receive a negative outcome that fulfills our prediction.

Of course, none of this is what we truly want or need in our lives.

Are you hung up with being right?  Stamp out these negative thinking traps with four ideas from Marc and Angel:

a) Start focusing on the grey area between the extremes.

Life simply isn’t black or white – 100% of this or 100% of that – all or nothing.

Thinking in extremes like this is a fast way to misery, because negative thinking tends to view any situation that’s less than perfect as being extremely bad.

For example:

  • Rather than the rainstorm merely slowing down my commute home from work, instead “it wasted my whole evening and ruined my night!”
  • Rather than accepting the nervousness of meeting a new group of people, “I know these people are not going to like me.”

Since 99.9% of all situations in life are less than perfect, black and white thinking tends to make us focus on the negative – the drama, the failures, and the worst case scenarios.  Sure catastrophes occur on occasion, but contrary to what you many see on the evening news, most of life occurs in a grey area between the extremes of bliss and devastation.

If you struggle with seeing the grey area of a situation, sit down with a pen and paper, write down the best-case outcome, the worst-case outcome, and at least one realistic outcome that falls between the two extremes.  For example, say you’ve been worrying about a new intimate relationship, write down:

  • Worst-case outcome (unlikely extreme):  “The relationship is a total disaster that ends with two broken hearts.”
  • Best-case outcome (unlikely extreme):  “The relationship is total bliss with zero arguments until the end of time.”
  • Realistic-case outcome (highly likely):  “There will be great times, good times, and not so good times, but we will work together, respect each other, and give our relationship a fair chance before drawing any conclusions.”

Make the realistic-case outcome as detailed and long as you like, or list more than one realistic-case outcome.

Giving your mind more options to consider will help reduce extreme emotions and allow you to think more clearly and realistically. 

b) Stop looking for negative signs from others.

Too often we jump to conclusions, only to cause ourselves and others unnecessary worry, hurt, and anger.  If someone says one thing, don’t assume they mean something else.  If they say nothing at all, don’t assume their silence has some hidden, negative connotation.

Thinking negatively will inevitably lead you to interpret everything another person does as being negative, especially when you are uncertain about what the other person is thinking.  For instance, “He hasn’t called, so he must not want to talk to me,” or, “She only said that to be nice, but she doesn’t really mean it.”

Assigning meaning to a situation before you have the whole story makes you more likely to believe that the uncertainty you feel (based on lack of knowing) is a negative sign.

********On the flip-side, holding off on assigning meaning to an incomplete story is a primary key to overcoming negative thinking. ********

When you think more positively, or simply more clearly about the facts, you’ll be able to evaluate all possible reasons you can think of, not just the negative ones.  In other words, you’ll be doing more of:  “I don’t know why he hasn’t called, but maybe…”

  • “…he’s extremely busy at work.”
  • “…his phone battery is dead.”
  • “…he’s simply waiting for me to call him.”
  • etc.

You get the get the idea.  None of these circumstances are negative and all are as plausible as any other possible explanation.

Next time you feel uncertain and insecure, and you catch yourself stressing about a problem that doesn’t exist, stop yourself and take a deep breath.  Then tell yourself, “This problem I’m concerned with only exists in my mind.”

If you do this, you very often can avoid disappointment. Eliminate expectations, and stop yourself inventing rules on how life should be, how then could you be disappointed? Counteract every negative thought with a realistic, positive thought, that is free of expectations, ridiculous rules, and skewed interpretations.  Assign meaning to a situation or experience, way way down the track, if you must, at least that way, you might have more information to base it on, rather than just your initial knee-jerk reaction that is based on premises that life should be perfect.

Being able to distinguish between what you imagine and what is actually happening in your life is an important step towards living a positive life.

Thoughts to ponder over, more strategies to come…..

To be continued…..

Community

How Successful Are You?

You are on own journey. But do you measure how successful you are, by you own definitions? Or everyone else’s?

When you make comparisons, against your friends, family and others, you are bound to feel disappointed, so decide instead to create your own, different measures of success.

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What does success mean to me?

Have you ever honestly asked yourself this question?  Or have you simply adopted your priorities from everyone around you?

Are you crystal clear on what success means for you?

Here are a six ways you could measure success:

  • Are you a Fortune 500 CEO, or in line to become one?
  • Have you won any political campaigns?
  • Have you won any international athletic competitions?  Do you hold any world records?
  • Have you won a Grammy Award?  A Nobel Prize?
  • Do people turn their heads when they see your car?
  • Does your smartphone contacts database have more than 10 celebrities in it?

Here are a six other ways you could measure success:

  • Have you dropped everything to help a friend in need?
  • Did you do any favors today for complete strangers?
  • Have you recently listened to someone else’s story without talking about yourself?
  • Have you spoken up against friends, family and authority figures that were in the wrong by their words or actions?  Even when it was hard to do so?
  • Have you kept silent when you knew you were right, knowing that an argument would be useless?
  • Have you been patient, compassionate, and gentle toward those who have wronged you?  Define yourself, by your own terms. Ponder these wise words from Marc and Angel.Image