Tag Archives: readings

The Road Not Taken – Views on Choices

A lot of people struggle with what a decision can mean in your life. It is natural to have concerns about going down one path or not, and what it could mean. The reality is you can never predict what will happen in your life, so go with the flow…. Easier said than done.

This graphic based off the poem The Road Not Taken is by the incredibly talented artists at Zenpencils.com For their full article click here, or have a look below at this great piece.

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

60 Amazing Inspirational Quotes to Change How You Think

Est. Reading Time 3-5min.

I really like these quotes found on Marc and Angel Hack Life. They are all about the power of changin how you think. You dont need to remember them all, but ask yourself some of these questions and see where the they take you.

  1. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  2. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  3. Don’t think of cost.  Think of value.
  4. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  5. Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know.
  6. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  7. If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Think twice before reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
  8. Making one person smile can change the world – maybe not the whole world, but their world.
  9. Saying someone is ugly doesn’t make you any prettier.
  10. The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well.
  11. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.
  12. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.
  13. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  14. As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.
  15. Making a hundred friends is not a miracle.  The miracle is to make a single friend who will stand by your side even when hundreds are against you.
  16. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go and move on.
  17. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, etc…
  18. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
  19. Don’t choose the one who is beautiful to the world; choose the one who makes your world beautiful.
  20. Falling in love is not a choice.  To stay in love is.
  21. True love isn’t about being inseparable; it’s about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.
  22. While you’re busy looking for the perfect person, you’ll probably miss the imperfect person who could make you perfectly happy.
  23. Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.
  24. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  25. In life, if you don’t risk anything, you risk everything.
  26. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  27. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  28. There isn’t anything noble about being superior to another person.  True nobility is in being superior to the person you once were.
  29. Trying to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
  30. You will never become who you want to be if you keep blaming everyone else for who you are now.
  31. People are more what they hide than what they show.
  32. Sometimes people don’t notice the things others do for them until they stop doing them.
  33. Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do.
  34. Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not mean you are alone.
  35. Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off.  It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can.
  36. Anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you.  It takes someone really special to stay in your life and show how much they love you.
  37. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don’t save it for a special occasion; today is special.
  38. Love and appreciate your parents.  We are often so busy growing up, we forget they are also growing old.
  39. When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you.
  40. Learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.
  41. When someone tells you, “You’ve changed,” it might simply be because you’ve stopped living your life their way.
  42. Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.
  43. Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, then let them be.  Happiness is a choice.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.
  44. When you’re up, your friends know who you are.  When you’re down, you know who your friends are.
  45. Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you.
  46. If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.
  47. No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.
  48. The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
  49. Many people are so poor because the only thing they have is money.
  50. Learn to appreciate the things you have before time forces you appreciate the things you once had.
  51. When you choose to see the good in others, you end up finding the good in yourself.
  52. You don’t drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.
  53. It’s better to know and be disappointed than to never know and always wonder.
  54. There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.
  55. Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within.
  56. If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past.  If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.
  57. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.
  58. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  59. Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
  60. If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Make Yourself Think

Today I found this website called “Makes Me Think”. It is full of interesting short quotes about various topics of the day. This one struck me…

Today, I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. “So,” I tried to delicately ask, “What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?” “Well,” she responded, “What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?” MMT

 

Find more on the site

Start With a Kindling by Evan Williams

Most people have not heard of Evan Williams, but you sure would know the companies he has helped create, been CEO for etc. Twitter and Blogger anyone?  On his blog, which is hosted by Blogger and has a link to his Twitter account (great self promotion), he wrote a short piece about getting things started. It is a beautifully written short post. It all starts with good kindling…

Original Post here

Starting a company is like starting a fire—harder than it sounds, and you have to do things in the right order.

 

To start a good fire, you need kindling. Something that will catch easily.
You can fail if you have great logs to burn but no kindling to get them started. On the flip side, if you only have newspaper and dry twigs, you’ll be off to a quick start, but your fire won’t last long.
There aren’t many fuels that start easily and burn hot and long. So starting with kindling and then transferring the heat to something bigger is key.

Also, lighter fluid helps—but only for a short while and only if applied at the right time. Be careful.

 

 

harbin-ice-festival

China Travel Preparations

Early next year I am off to China for several months. I hope to see a lot of the real China, as well as the usual tourist hot spots that I have wanted to see for ages, e.g. Terracotta Soldiers in Xi’an. Due to the packs of dogs that run wild at night in some Chinese towns, I have had to have the first of three rabies injections. It knocked me for six over Christmas. My Christmas Eve night was spent shivering in my bed whilst wearing full pyjamas, a hoodie with the hood up under my duvet with the heating on. My bones were physically freezing. I felt better after 24 hours, but alas I did not get to see Santa drop off my presents which usefully involved thermal gear for the trip.

Our first point of call is the Ice Festival in Harbin. This time of year Harbin is an AVERAGE -25oC. Yes that’s Average. However such freezing temperatures allow for one of the greatest shows on Earth. Apparently it has to be seen to be believed and I cannot wait to see it. They build an entire city out of ice. They use both traditional methods as well as laser and chainsaw cutting. It will be one of the first and biggest highlights of the trip. I just hope that feeling of cold from the rabies does not reappear once in Harbin.

My Chinese Visa is currently being processed which I found out is an expensive process for UK citizens looking for a multiple entry visa. With all the fees etc it is just under £100. And that is with going direct to the embassy and not through an agent. Either way it’s worth it as it will be an experience of a lifetime. I have been to Hong Kong and Macau before, but never the mainland. I imagine Hong Kong is a good way to gently get you used to China. It has all the Chinese signs and people but it also has the British influence so many people and businesses speak English. Same with Macau, however its Portuguese. Every road sign has Chinese and Portuguese. I know some Spanish so the wording is similar when written down. Being a casino based economy also means the place is setup for English visitors.

Rural China is a whole different ball game. You need to know some Chinese I have been told. Hopefully by going to the larger cities at first, will mean I can familiarise myself with the basics along with what I have learnt, which should stand me in good stead. At worst I have some good friends from Shanghai who may be receiving some phone calls.

Overall I cannot wait for China. It is such a huge and varied landscape with some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the world, a thing often overlooked. Yunnan providence looks to be a particular natural highlight. With just two more jabs to go it’s all getting very close and I can not wait to see what awaits me there.

Lonely Planet China (Country Guide)

UK READERS – China (Lonely Planet Country Guides)

How to Make a More Awesome You – 101 in 365 challenge

Many people will tell you that to achieve any goal in life it is about breaking the goal down into small defined steps. I am a great believer in this, if you have a goal however “ridiculous” you think it maybe then to achieve it all you have to do is work out what you need to get it, and break down the steps of how to reach this.

Take the 100 push up challenge. At the beginning it sounds ridiculous to be able to do this if you can only do 10 push ups or less. But with the challenge you build up and make it all the way to 100 using small incremental steps that make you better.

Randy Grayson talks about this concept as “Kaizen”. He talks about an American basketball coach called John Wooden.

Randy says, “If you’re no fan of basketball, you have no idea who this is, but all you need to know is that he was exceedingly successful using the principle of Kaizen.  If you would like to know more, check out this website:  http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/Wooden.htm.  Here’s a little quote for you, “The John Wooden-coached UCLA teams scaled unprecedented heights that no future organization in any sport is likely to approach. Under the masterful guidance of Wooden, the Bruins set all-time records with four perfect 30-0 seasons, 88 consecutive victories, 38 straight NCAA tournament victories, 20 PAC 10 championships, and 10 national championships, including seven in a row.”

When asked what his incredible success was due to, he once replied, “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.  When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning.  Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made.  Don’t look for the big, quick improvement.  Seek the small improvement one day at a time.  That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.”

Breaking things down to improve something about yourself can be a very powerful tool in helping motivate yourself to achieve your goals. In this vein is the superb website 101in365. It is a website created by Jenn Vargas, a self confessed compulsive list writer, with the idea of making a “More Awesome You” by defining 101 steps, small or large to complete in 365 days. It is a great challenge and one which will give you a great sense of accomplishment when stuck to.

UPDATE: See our interview with Jenn Vargas here

The aim of 101in365 is to help you develop, track, and accomplish your goals in 365 days or less. You also have the huge support of the community on the site, which as anyone knows having others to egg you on and being around inspiring people helps inspire and motivate you. So it is time to apply some Kaizen and achieve what you want in life this year, starting today.

8 Tiny Ways to Improve Your Life – A lesson from Alastair Humphreys

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

Many of the regular readers know of Alastair Humphreys. Motivational speaker and the man who cycled around the world for four years, he has also written some great articles. One of which I will like to share with you today, as I thought it was fantastic. In it he talks about the idea of small steps giving you big changes in your life and your outlook of it. In the same way that you can get the same out of a microadventure as you can a full on around the world expedition.

In that same vein, interior designers always say start with your bedroom in redecorating, as it is the first thing you see and the last thing at night and because of this can have a huge effect on how you feel as you go to bed and wake up.

Here is an extract from Alastair’s post “8 tiny ways in which I’m improving my life” (original here). Additional bolding of words added:

First the list, then the explanations:

Time
TV
Shower
Photo
Run
Read
Press ups
Pause

1. Time. If you get up a mere 10 minutes earlier each day, and go to bed 10 minutes later you will have created for yourself 5 extra days per year. That’s almost one extra year, gratis, in a lifetime. How much would you give for 5 extra days each year? You don’t need to pay: this is time for free. Time to be used. Free time!

2. Turn off your TV. Give this a try: do not turn on your TV for a day. Come home from work and use those evening hours to do something different, something creative. Once you’ve mastered a day without TV, try a week…

3. Have a shower. Sound advice indeed! But take a cold shower every day. It will save the planet, save you cash, and it feels great too! It sounds unpleasant, and the first step is pretty daunting. But once you’re in you realise it’s not so bad. And you feel so good once you have finished. Apart from being a great metaphor for much of what I try to do in life, a cold shower also sets you up well for the day. If you can endure something bad just moments after leaving your warm, cozy bed then the rest of the day will be a breeze in comparison! I’ve been doing this for a month or two now and reckon I have mastered it. I’ve now moved to showering outside under the hosepipe as my way of ramping up the challenge a bit, but I can appreciate that that may make me sound like a bit of a weirdo! Whether that will last into the winter remains to be seen…

4. Take a Photograph Everyday for a Year. I began doing this as my New Year’s Resolution for 2009. I started it to improve my photography skills. But I have come to value the challenge for the daily dollop of self-discipline it requires and because it forces me, however dull my day, to look around for something positive or interesting or beautiful. There is always something.

5. Run. Go for a run before breakfast. If you hate running go for a walk, or a bike ride. I find this a bit like the cold shower: when I wake up I don’t want to get out of my nice bed and go running. But I never ever regret it once I’ve done it. It doesn’t need to be long, just long enough to stir the blood, blow away the cobwebs, freshen you up, and remind you that you are alive and need to get on with life! If you don’t have time then just get off the Tube or bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way to work.

6. Read. Use the time you’ve saved by getting up 10 minutes earlier and by turning off your TV to read more. Most of us want to read more books. But by setting myself a quantifiable target (to read one book of fiction and one book of non-fiction every month) I have become more focused about getting stuck into all those books I want to read. Need some ideas of books to read? Try the 100 Greatest Adventure Books of all time for starters. Or one of my books!

7. Press ups. Another metaphor for my lessons from the road (think big, start small): if you do two press ups today, then three tomorrow (and so on), then eventually you’ll be able to do 100 consecutive press-ups… Sound interesting?

8. Pause. When I boil the kettle I used to do what most normal people do: see how many press ups I could do before the kettle clicked. (Waiting for toast to pop I would do sit ups, and I can do ten chin ups on my kitchen bar in the time the espresso machine takes to make a cup of coffee.)
But now I have a different tactic. Now when I am waiting for the kettle I take a seat, close my eyes, sit very still and just pause. I spend so much of my time rushing around that, to my surprise, I have come to really value these brief pinpricks of calm in my day. I try to empty my mind, but of course it continues racing on. Yet in the couple of minutes of quiet I feel my mind really starting to settle and to sift through the maelstrom for the good ideas, the important thoughts for the day.

If you like to read more from Alastair Humphreys, check out these other posts and his blog.

Alastair Humphreys – Do Lecture – 4 Years Around the World on a Bike

Alastair Humphreys – The Why of Adventure

Books by Alastair on Amazon: