Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

A Happy Marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short Andre Marois

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience — trial and error.

Here are 10 principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

  1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  3. If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
  4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
  5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth — i.e., someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope — almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” — when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges and bringing up the past. They remember that they married an imperfect person — and so did their spouse.
  10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

Today’s article was written by Mitch Temple and is shared from the following website: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/daily-living/keeping-romance-alive/ten-secrets-to-a-successful-marriage

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I attribute my success to this: I never gave nor took an excuse Florence Nightingale

Is your passion another person’s seeming disdain? If so, be sure to read on…  We all have a calling. Our heart speaks to us and gently attempts to guide us. I hope today’s story will inspire you to listen to your heart, find what your mission is supposed to be, and realize success in its truest of forms!

Florence Nightingale entered the hospital and was appalled and horrified by what she saw. Wounded soldiers lay on straw mats that lined the room like coffins waiting for burial. The floor was covered with dirt and blood. There were no hospital gowns: the men still wore their uniforms. As Nightingale passed them, each soldier tried to act stern and tough, but their boyish faces betrayed unmistakable pain. Those who were able to conquer their convulsions lay still, as if dead.

These were the hospital conditions in Scutari, Turkey during the Crimean War. Florence and a group of nurses were sent to this hospital to help make the hospital a more efficient place. The first change Florence made was scrubbing all the injured men’s clothes. Then, she spent her own money buying bandages, operating tables and other basic necessities for the hospital. Her nurses cleaned the whole hospital so there were no more germs and this helped to stop contamination and spread of disease. She is a hero because she changed the hospital and saved lives with her determination and hard work.

Florence Nightingale also changed the profession of nursing forever. Nursing was once an occupation with little respect: people didn’t think you needed any special training or skills to do it, and most nurses were poor and uneducated. It was very unusual for Florence, who came from the upper class, to work in a hospital. The hospital conditions were more sanitary after she reorganized everything. Funds and donations flooded into hospitals and the patients received better care. Hospitals around the world were changed forever, and caring for the sick became an honorable profession.

Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820. Although Italian born, she grew up in London, England where her education included the study of Greek, Latin, German, French and Italian. Her father taught her history and philosophy while her governess schooled her in music and drawing. As part of an upper class family, Nightingale and her her sister were expected to grow up as proper ladies who would “devote themselves to their family, husband, society, entertainment and cultural pursuits” (Bullough, 1993).

She was driven by a different dream. She believed that her attraction to nursing was God’s will, or “a calling,” and because of that she made many personal sacrifices to pursue her professional life with intensity.

Her family disapproved of her decision to take up the nursing profession, which was seen in her day as a vocation for lower classes, one carried out under harsh conditions in dirty hospital environments. The family’s disappointment did not deter her from her goal, and at the age of 33, having studied nursing for nine years, Florence began caring for the sick.

In 1853, she was asked to work at the Harley Street Nursing Home. There, she made improvements that included better organization and training for the staff, and she implemented a system that piped hot water to every floor. She also created a lift to bring patients their meals (Falkus, 1980).

The Crimean War began and the British army was unprepared to accommodate British battle injuries and casualties in Crimea. This led to disasters such as cholera, lack of supplies, and inadequate sanitation. British Secretary of War, Sidney Herbert asked Nightingale to take nurses and help the hospital in Scutari, Turkey. On October 21, 1854 she set out for the hospital with the 38 nurses she had trained.

The state of the hospital in Turkey was horrendous but

even more challenging was the hostile attitude the nurses received from the doctors. Many did not even allow nurses inside the wards! It wasn’t until the Battle of Inkerman, during which the British suffered many casualties and the hospitals became overcrowd that the doctors were forced to ask for help.

Nightingale used her own money to make the hospital a cleaner, healthier and more efficient place for patients. She brought in basics including bandages, extra clothes, 200 scrub brushes and better food. She also took all the dirty clothing outside the hospital to be washed.

She sent reports back to London about ways to improve conditions and assumed care of the patients at night, moving about each floor comforting patients with a lamp in hand. This intimate relationship with her patients earned her the affectionate title of “Lady with the Lamp.”

Though the male hospital team often resented her power to affect change, the troops were so grateful to her that they raised a special fund to allow her to continue her work.

Through selfless devotion and sheer determination, Florence Nightingale transformed the profession of nursing forever. She gave dignity and honor to what continues to be a female-dominated profession and revolutionized hospital conditions, making them more organized and above all, sanitary. Largely because of her efforts, funds and donations flood into hospitals, allowing patients around the world to receive better care.

 Today’s article was written by Gretchen and is shared from the following website: https://myhero.com/f_Nightingale

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Ways to Live a More Meaningful Life

Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games Babe Ruth10 Ways to Live a More Meaningful Life

It can be easy to run through the maze of life without pausing to think of its meaning.

Does what I’m doing matter?

More importantly, does it matter to me?

Feeling that what you’re doing has a real purpose and meaning that matters to you can make a huge difference in your life. It makes getting up each day the most exciting thing in the world. You can’t wait to get started. Forget trying to force yourself to work hard, it becomes more important to remind yourself to take breaks to eat!

But how can we cultivate a more meaningful life? The answer is usually complicated. It can depend on many factors. I’ve written down 10 ideas that I believe will help you find meaning in your life every day, so that you can’t wait to get up in the morning and see what the day will bring.

1. Know What’s Important

Know what’s important for you. Write down your top 5 things that you believe are the essence of how you want to live life. This can include things like “family time,” or “sing every day.” It could also include more complex ideas, like “honesty” and “simplicity.”

2. Pursue Your Passion

I believe everyone should pursue their passion in life. It’s what makes life worth living, and gives our lives true meaning and purpose. Each time you work on something you love, it creates joy inside you like nothing else. Finding a way to use your passions to give back to the world will give your life ultimate meaning.

If you can’t manage (or aren’t ready) to work on your passion for a living, be sure and make time for it every day. By working on your passion and becoming an expert in it, you will eventually have the opportunity to make money from it. Be ready to seize that opportunity!

3. Discover Your Life’s Purpose

If you had to give yourself a reason to live, what would it be? What would you stand for? What principles do you hold highest? Is your life’s purpose to help others? Is it to inspire others with great works of art, or you words? Finding your life’s purpose is a daunting task, and when I first heard the idea, I had no idea where to start. For methods on discovering your life’s purpose, I recommend Steve Pavlina’s blog entries on the subject. I also recommend reading the article What Makes Life Worth Living.

4. Be Self-Aware

Be aware of yourself and your actions. Remain mindful of what you do at all times, and make sure you are living life according to your principles, your life’s purpose, and what you are passionate about. Review your actions each day, taking stock of those that strayed from your path. Work towards correcting any incidents in the future. Meditation is a great tool for accomplishing this task. It helps us increase our self-awareness throughout the day.

5. Focus

Rather than chasing 3 or 4 goals and making very little progress on them, place all of your energy on one thing. Focus. Not only will you alleviate some of the stress associated with trying to juggle so many tasks, you will be much more successful. Try and align your goal with something you are passionate about, so that there will be an intrinsic drive to work hard and do well.

6. People More Than Things

Often, we are faced with wanting to buy material goods. I recommend you consider carefully what you purchase, and think more about spending your money on experiences with friends and family. Not only will this give deeper meaning to your life by focusing on your relationships rather than material wealth, but you will be a happier person as a result.

7. Live With Compassion

Both for yourself, and others. Keep in mind the following quote:

"One must be compassionate to one's self before external compassion" - Dalai Lama

For some, compassion is the purpose of life, what gives it meaning, and what leads to ultimate happiness.

8. Find a Way to Give Back

Do something that both honors your beliefs and passions, while giving something back to the world. By giving something back, we inevitably find purpose in the act. By cultivating more of these activities, you will find your life has more meaning and purpose behind it.

9. Simplify Your Life

By simplifying your life, you’ll have more time to do what fulfills you and gives your life meaning. It can also help reduce stress and make your overall life easier to manage. It can also greatly improve your productivity. If you’ve never tried to simplify things before, it really is a great feeling.

10. Set Daily Goals

In the morning, before you start your day, create a list of 3 goals that you find fulfilling and meaningful. Make sure they adhere to your set of principles and beliefs. Tackle the hardest things first! Don’t make this list too long. By placing too many things on the list, you’ll feel the urge to multi-task, which is not good, or you’ll feel overwhelmed, which isn’t good either. By trying to do less, you’ll end up doing more.

Doing all of these things at once may seem daunting, but you can pick one thing at a time and slowly incorporate the ideas into your life. Life is about the journey, not the destination. Living a life of purpose gives both fulfillment and meaning to your journey.

Today’s article was written by David Loker and is shared from the following website: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-ways-to-live-a-more-meaningful-life.html

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6 Tips to Living a Life with Purpose and Meaning

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others Mahatma Gandhi6 tips to living a life with purpose and meaning

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in helping others.

For it is in giving that we receive — Saint Francis of Assisi

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity —Leo Tolstoy

 

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give — Winston Churchill

 

Making money is a happiness; making other people happy is a superhappiness — Nobel Peace Prize receipient Muhammad Yunus

 

Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person — Goldie Hawn

And so we learn early: It is better to give than to receive. The venerable aphorism is drummed into our heads from our first slice of a shared birthday cake. But is there a deeper truth behind the truism?

The resounding answer is yes. Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.

But it’s important to remember that giving doesn’t always feel great. The opposite could very well be true: Giving can make us feel depleted and taken advantage of. Here are some tips to that will help you give not until it hurts, but until it feels great:

1. Find your passion

Our passion should be the foundation for our giving. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. It’s only natural that we will care about this and not so much about that, and that’s OK. It should not be simply a matter of choosing the right thing, but also a matter of choosing what is right for us.

2. Give your time

The gift of time is often more valuable to the receiver and more satisfying for the giver than the gift of money. We don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all do have time on our hands, and can give some of this time to help others—whether that means we devote our lifetimes to service, or just give a few hours each day or a few days a year.

3. Give to organizations with transparent aims and results

According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not so sure where your money is going.”

4. Find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others

“Selfless giving, in the absence of self-preservation instincts, easily becomes overwhelming,” says Adam Grant, author of Give & Take. It is important to be “otherish,” which he defines as being willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.

5. Be proactive, not reactive

We have all felt the dread that comes from being cajoled into giving, such as when friends ask us to donate to their fundraisers. In these cases, we are more likely to give to avoid humiliation rather than out of generosity and concern. This type of giving doesn’t lead to a warm glow feeling; more likely it will lead to resentment. Instead we should set aside time, think about our options, and find the best charity for our values.

6. Don’t be guilt-tripped into giving

I don’t want to discourage people from giving to good causes just because that doesn’t always cheer us up. If we gave only to get something back each time we gave, what a dreadful, opportunistic world this would be! Yet if we are feeling guilt-tripped into giving, chances are we will not be very committed over time to the cause.

The key is to find the approach that fits us. When we do, then the more we give, the more we stand to gain purpose, meaning and happiness—all of the things that we look for in life but are so hard to find.

Today’s article was written by Jenny Santi and is shared from the following website: http://time.com/collection-post/4070299/secret-to-happiness/

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Worldly Success vs Godly Success

In my estimation, the Master’s great success formula is - First, believe you can do it, Second, look to the Lord for your blessings Third, make the sacrifice, Fourth, expect a miracle. And Fifth, receive the miracle with great humility. I bear witness that this formula is effective in the Lord’s work, and I am persuaded it works everywhere else too. Hartman Rector, Jr.

There is a story of Dr. Tony Campolo, a popular Christian speaker and professor of sociology at Eastern University speaking before a national women’s meeting.  Before he was introduced, the president of that organization read a letter from a missionary who was leading a project for the poor and needed $3,000 more to fulfill the project.  After reading the letter, the president introduced Dr. Campolo, and then asked him to please offer a prayer on behalf of missionary that she would be able to raise the money needed to complete this worthwhile project.

Dr. Campolo looked at the president of the organization and emphatically told her “No!”   The president looked astonished, but Dr. Campolo repeated, “No, I won’t pray that the missionary will be able to raise $3,000.  But here’s what I will doOn this table at the front of the room I’m going to empty all the cash that I have out of my wallet – there, $25.  Now, one by one, I want every woman in this room to come up and empty the cash out of their pocketbooks onto this table.  Don’t anybody write out any checks.  Just empty the cash you have on you out of your pocketbooks.  When we’re done, if there is still any money needed to bring us up to the needed $3,000, I will personally write a check for the remaining amount.

The president of the organization smiled and said, “Oh I get it.  I understand the lesson you’re trying to teach us.”  But Campolo replied, “No you don’t get it, Mrs. President. I put my $25 on the table and you still haven’t put your cash down yet.  Cough it up!”  So the president emptied the cash out of her purse, $250.  And then, one by one, hundreds of women filed up to the table and emptied out all of the cash from their purses.  They set a couple of women to begin counting it as it was being brought forth.  It took a little over an hour to complete the process, so there was really no time for him to deliver the talk that he had prepared. By the end, they counted over $5,000 ($2,000 more than needed).  Dr. Campolo went to the podium, looking out at his audience and simply said, “How dare we ask God to give resources that He has already given us for just such a purpose!

God gives us, so that we can then go and do His work in this world! God blesses us with countless gifts, and if we are filled with His Spirit and allow His love to dwell in the depths of our heart, we then come to realize that all we have is His, and the Lord expects us to use His gifts to reach out to others! To glorify His name through the blessings we have already received.

Unfortunately, our society instills in us a completely opposite lesson. Whatever we have, we’re supposed to save up and use for ourselves. A desire for more, a focus and priority in buying, obtaining more possessions, getting nicer things, bigger homes, fancier cars, the latest fashions in clothes, and I could go on. In many ways, this temptation towards obtaining more and more is the epitome of the American way of life, of a so-called “successful” life. The more we have, the nicer things we possess, the more our neighbors and others will look upon us as “having made it.”

Honestly we could say that if society has to choose one standard by which to determine “success,” it would be wealth! If someone is rich and living comfortably, they are successful. We even overlook or ignore the way one became wealthy. We often see a total disregard for the means of achieving wealth, but instead see a blind adulation on the rich and famous.

Yet, today’s Gospel lesson offers a stark contrast between such worldly success and success in God’s eyes. The Gospel describes a rich man who was so wealthy, that he retires early. He built a huge home. He had enough to live quite comfortably for the remainder of his life.  He simply said to himself, “Soul, you have done quite well.  Take it easy – relax, eat, drink and be merry.”

To be honest, how many of us hear about such a life and envy it?  Most of us would call this person a resounding success! Yet, God looks down and says to the man, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have saved?” Can it be that sometimes what the world sees as success is foolishness to God? Why does St. Paul say that friendship with the standards of the world is contrary to friendship with God?

God is uninterested in money and possessions and status symbols in and of themselves. He takes a keen interest, though, in what we do with the gifts He gives us, in what type of stewards we are with our possessions. Will we be self-centered, gathering only for ourselves and our family, and caring only for our own comfort, or will we understand life as an opportunity to help others – to love our neighbor as ourselves. God understands success from the perspective of divine love, which implies a life of giving, not gathering; of helping, not focusing on oneself. Contrary to society’s worldview, life is not about an individualistic, self-centered pursuit of wealth, fame, and power, where our ego becomes the center of the world!

Here lies the sin of the rich man in today’s Gospel. God calls him a fool because of his egocentric blindness. Regardless of his wealth and prosperity, his comfort and ease in life, the rich man forgot about the essence of life. We all need to understand and say often to ourselves, “Life is not about me!”

Why don’t you say that with me right now, “Life is not about me!”

The rich fool forgot that the greatest treasure of life is God’s love. “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness,” Jesus taught us! Living within this Kingdom of God implies faithfully living a life of sacrificial love, of humble service to others, a life of mercy and grace where we imitate our Lord through our words and actions! Success in God’s eyes may mean raising a family with the fear of God, protecting and nurturing a Christ-centered marriage, caring for aging parents with tenderness and sacrifice! Success in God’s eyes means following His commandments in our everyday lives, walking as Jesus walked, and sharing His love with all those around us. Success in God’s eyes means finding time to commune with Him each and every day – through our prayers, in the worship of our Church, in our participation in the sacraments.

It’s quite interesting to understand that “success” in God’s eyes has nothing to do with an abundance of wealth, fame or power. If we’re wealthy, God will view success in terms of sharing our wealth with those in need.

Remember, Godly success does not depend on how many possessions we have, but on how few possessions we need to be content in life, and thus, in our willingness to joyfully share our abundance with others. Success in the eyes of God does not depend on how comfortable and easy our life is, but on how we ascetically strive without ceasing to sacrifice for others and to bless the lives of others.

It seems quite appropriate that each year we read this Gospel lesson around the time of Thanksgiving, and how it falls today on Stewardship Sunday. The central question we are asked today on Stewardship Sunday is, “How am I using my blessings to glorify God, to support His Church, and to help others?”Success. According to the world, and according to God. Two completely different things. May each of us take care not to become a “fool” in God’s eyes, but to live out our lives as good and faithful stewards of all He has given us

Today’s article is shared from the following website: http://www.schwebster.org/sermons/worldly-success-vs-godly-success

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