Doing the Right Thing…Is Always Rewarded (Eventually)

 Doing the right thing is like drinking a green smoothie... I may not always love how it tastes but I always Love how it feels. JoAnna Oblander

A NEW JERSEY TEEN GETS AN AMAZING SURPRISE AFTER DOING THE RIGHT THING

RETURN TO OWNER

I recently had a friend tell me the inspiring story of teen named John.  John told my friend his story began when he was 15 and he and his parents were shopping at the mall one weekend. While his parents were at the food court he decided to venture into an electronics store. Since he didn’t have any money, he was window shopping and see what kind of interesting gadgets they had displayed on the shelves. He was looking at an item on one of the shelves when he noticed a brown leather wallet lying upon the shelf beside some of the boxes. He picked up the wallet and took a look inside to see if he could find any identification to identify find the owner of the wallet. As he was looking for the I.D, he noticed the wallet was very heavy, In fact, he discovered there was at least several hundred dollars contained within the wallet.

John admits he day dreamed for a brief moment about how nice it would have been to have been able to buy anything he wanted in the store with all of the money he had found. But then he thought about how he would feel if he, or his dad, or someone he knew had lost their wallet. Wouldn’t he want to get it back? Yes, there was no question; he had to get the wallet back to the rightful owner.

FINDING THE OWNER

John said a couple of minutes later his dad came into the store. He showed his dad the wallet he had found and his dad looked through the wallet until he found the I.D. “Oh” his dad had remarked, “this person looks familiar. Let’s head home and I’ll give the number the call. I am sure they are worried sick over this wallet.”

When they arrived home, John’s dad gave the number a call, gave the man on the other end their address and told him he could arrive at any time that evening to pick up his wallet. What happened next was very surprising to John.

John couldn’t believe who showed up to obtain the wallet. The reason why the man in the picture had looked so familiar was because the owner of the wallet belonged to John’s Principal, Principal Radcliff.  John recalls how thankful and relived Principal Radcliff looked when his dad gave John the wallet to hand back to Principal Radcliff. John recalled the story of how he had found the wallet while browsing in an electronics store. Apparently, Principal Radcliff had just made a large withdrawal from his bank and had went to the mall to buy birthday presents for his daughter, but he had forgotten his wallet when he received a phone call and had to rush home.

JOHN GETS SOME HELP

Principal Radcliff became very fond of John after he returned his wallet. He admired the honesty and integrity of the teen and often gave John advice when he was having issues in school. John says the most amazing thing happened his senior year in high school; he was applying for colleges and having little success. He had good grades, but the most prominent of colleges were looking for more than good grades, they wanted exemplary students.

John says at this point, Principal Radcliff had been promoted to Superintendent Radcliff.  So they didn’t get to talk as often as they did when he and John were in school together, but Superintendent Radcliff still called John on occasion to discuss his future. John said he still remembers the day when Superintendent Radcliff called one evening after John had just received another rejection notice from a college he was really looking to join. “Have you tried Princeton yet, John?” Superintendent Radcliff asked over the phone. John responded that he had not, because he did not feel he had any chance of getting into one of the top schools in the US after being rejected by other colleges “I think you should apply, in fact, I’m going to write you a letter of recommendation. Please attach it with your application.” Superintendent Radcliff responded. John thanked Superintendent Radcliff for his offer; and received the letter from him two days later. John says he went ahead and filled out an application and attached the letter.

Three weeks went by before John received a letter in the mail from Princeton. He expected it to be another rejection letter, but to his surprise, he had been accepted! At the bottom of the acceptance letter was a small note that read, “the one thing that made your application stand out; was your display of honor and integrity; which Superintendent Radcliff spoke so highly about in your letter of recommendation. We look meeting with you soon.” John said he was utterly astonished, but equally excited.

That fall, John began his college classes at Princeton University; and it all went back to a wallet John had found in the store; where he did the right thing.

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How to Create a Life of Integrity

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one Henry David ThoreauHow to live with integrity; with 4 simple habits

Successful people live with integrity. They say what they do and they do what they say. They are trusted by those whom they interact with and they build healthy relationships with consummate ease. These relationships then help them to achieve bigger and better things.

When you live with integrity, you influence, inspire and motivate others; not just with your words but with your actions too. Others see the positive example that you are and attempt to emulate you. When you choose to live with integrity you will experience a number of benefits, including:

  • You become more valuable both as a person and as an achiever. People see your importance and the value you add.
  • You get better opportunities. You become seen as somebody who gets things done. People are more willing to trust you and want to include you in the bigger projects.
  • As the respect and value you command increases, you are better able to pick and choose the projects you wish to work on.
  • The positive relationships which you build, lead to more people being willing to work with you. This allows you to get more done.
  • You get bigger and better rewards both in terms of personal fulfilment and pay and remuneration

How to live with integrity

The following are 4 of the most critical steps to help you live with integrity. If you turn these 4 steps into daily habits you soon begin to see some of the benefits which I have listed above.

1. Make better choices

You make thousands of decisions every day, some big but many small ones. The bigger decisions often get your full attention, allowing you to make a higher quality of decision. Do the small decisions get your full attention too? Usually not, but when you regularly make the wrong decision, it starts to add up to some big problems.

To ensure that you make better decisions on a daily basis, you need to have a clear vision for your life; a clear sense of purpose, and effective goals which will help you to realise your vision and fulfil your purpose. Life is not a set and forget process; you need to consistently remind yourself of your values, purpose and goals. When you do this, they are at the forefront of your mind, allowing you to make smarter decisions which are consistent with the person that you are and the life which you are trying to create.

 2. Develop positive habits

Many of the bad decisions you make on a daily basis will be down to force of habit. Over the years, you will have done things in a certain way until they have become second nature to you. When the situation arises, you don’t think about it, you just resort to habit. Maybe you are always late for appointments, or you consistently work late. In some cases your bad habits might not appear to be a problem for you, but they are usually a problem for others. If you want to live with integrity, you need to replace the bad habits with positive habits.

To develop positive habits, you first need to identify your bad habits. Take a few moments to list all of the bad habits of which you are aware. I would also suggest asking some trusted friends, or family, to help you identify any bad habits whcih you may have missed. Once you feel you have a completed list, go through each habit and write down the long term effects of sticking with this habit. Then, identify a positive habit which you are going to implement in its place and make a plan for how you are going to implement that new habit.

 3. Keep your agreements

Every day you make agreements, both with yourself and with others. At the time of making agreements, you will generally intend on keeping that agreement but in a busy life that often proves to be easier said than done. It may not seem like a big thing when you fail to keep an agreement but every time you break an agreement, you erode a little of the trust between you and the other person. To live with integrity, requires that you keep your word so that you can build trusting and healthy relationships.

Keeping your agreements requires an effective personal productivity system whereby you capture all of your commitments so that you can then process them and act on them. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when it comes to commitments is relying on your memory to keep track of your agreements. Instead of memory, you need a reliable system to record your commitments and the actions you need to take. That way, you don’t need to remember every single commitment; you just need to remember to check your system on a regular basis.

 4. Raise others up

If you want to build a healthy relationship with another person, the best place to start is by finding some way in which you can help them. It could be something as simple as taking a few minutes to listen to their needs. It seems counterintuitive as you probably focus on what you need to get done. But, when you have helped somebody, they see that you have value to offer and you can be trusted. With one quick action you will have taken giant strides towards creating a healthy, new relationship.

To live with integrity is to live as your best self. Each relationship must be seen as bidirectional. By helping others, you help them to feel good about themselves, and you are also helping yourself by creating a healthy new relationship.

When you live with integrity, you live your best life. You respect yourself by living in a manner which is consistent with your values, purpose and goals. These factors guide each decision that you make, thus allowing you to achieve more. You know that you can never truly succeed on your own so you offer the same level of respect to others. You focus on building healthy, supportive relationships which are based on mutual trust and respect. There will be moments when it seems like living with integrity is the most difficult thing but in reality, when you practice the 4 steps, above, the easiest thing you can do is to live with integrity. You will have a great deal of clarity in your life, allowing you make clear, effective decisions and ensuring the important stuff gets done. When you live with integrity, the benefits and the possibilities are endless.

Today’s article was shared from the following website: https://www.coachingpositiveperformance.com/live-with-integrity-4-simple-habits/

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Why Should We Be of Service?

Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others Buddha

For the last two years I have volunteered for a local organization called The Ophelia Project where I mentor teenage girls enrolled in high school. While not well known, I first learned of the organization from another volunteer named Sandy who told me how much she loved the experience. She explained that although it was an eight-month long commitment per year, adding up to about 12 to 15 hours a month, the time spent was some of the most rewarding things she did in her life. Right after that conversation, I got in touch with the director of Ophelia and signed up. Sandy was right — it is a big commitment and quite a bit of work. But she was also right about the benefits.

Looking back over my life I must admit that most of my happiest times have occurred when I was actively engaged in helping others. That’s why it should come as no surprise that it is practically impossible to create a happy, meaningful and rewarding life without being of service to others in some way. Even more, new information about philanthropy shows that serving others ultimately serves us in many ways. Here are the top seven benefits we each gain by compassionate helping.

  1. More happiness. According to Stephen G. Post, professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University in New York and author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping, a part of our brain lights up when we help others. That part of our brain then doles out feel-good chemicals like dopamine, and possibly serotonin. According to Post, “These chemicals help us feel joy and delight — helper’s high.” A common reaction is that “some people feel more tranquil, peaceful, serene; others, warmer and more trusting.” When we volunteer we often give ourselves deeper purpose and meaning and that nearly always leads to greater happiness.
  2. Reduce stress. When we help others our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin, which buffers stress and helps us maintain social trust and tranquility. Along with oxytocin are the other chemicals like dopamine, which is a mood-elevating neurotransmitter. These drugs tend to push aside negative emotions and reduce the stress level.
  3. Relief from pain. A study done by Pain Management Nursing reports that on a scale from 0 to 10 that people’s pain ratings dropped from nearly 6 to below 4 after attending a volunteer training program and leading discussion groups for fellow sufferers. Volunteering takes our mind off our pain and also makes us feel more in control of it.
  4. Longer lifespan. Over 40 international studies confirm that volunteering can add years to your life. In fact, current studies suggest up to a 22% reduction in mortality rates! How much do we have to do? Studies confirm that a regular commitment of as little as 25 hours per year is beneficial.
  5. Lower blood pressure. A study done by Psychology & Aging reports those adults over 50 who volunteered for 200 hours in the past year were 40 percent less likely to have hypertension than non-volunteers. It is believed this is accomplished because of the lower stress, and the effects of being active, social and altruistic.
  6. Reduce mild depression. A study of alcoholics going through AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) points out that those who volunteered to help others were twice as likely to stay clean a year later and their depression rates were correspondingly lower as well. Plus, in many cases mild depression is linked to isolation. Volunteering helps to keep a person in regular contact with others and to help develop a social support system.
  7. Benefit your career. That’s right. A book entitled The Halo Effect by John Raynolds insists that volunteering for the right reasons can so turn your life around that the benefits will extend to your work. Raynolds says, “Remember, when you become involved, when you lead with your heart as well as your head, the result is always good.” Instead of feeling depressed or unfulfilled at work, Raynolds is convinced that you will feel more happy, confident and energized when you find something that makes you feel generous and purposeful — and that of course will spread to every single area of your life.

So does all volunteering prove beneficial? No. Dr. Michael Poulin, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo in New York says, “Helping appears to only be good for you if you really care about those you’re helping.” In other words, feeling resentment or obligation will erase the benefits that we might otherwise receive in both our emotions and our physiology. If you feel exploited in any way, it is better not to take the action than stress yourself out doing something for the wrong reason.

My time as a volunteer isn’t always fun — there is usually time, energy and even money involved — but it is always meaningful and gratifying. Looking back at the times when I helped at a local food distribution service, delivered gifts for seniors, helped a young boy get braces, wrote a check when I could, and so much more, my feelings of contributing to others and my community have always boosted my awareness of the blessings in my life. Plus, I honestly feel that offering words of encouragement, and sharing ideas, on my blog SMART Living 365 is a gift to readers around the world.

A big part of what I write about is sharing ideas that can lead to a happy, peaceful and meaningful life for each of us. Even though there are lots of ways to do that, and some of them seem incredibly obvious, if you’re any thing like me you appreciate being reminded of ideas that often slip under the radar or are routinely taken for granted. Volunteering and serving others are like that. So even if you already know that volunteering offers huge benefits, if you haven’t done it in a while, it’s definitely SMART to make it a regular part of your life.

Today’s article was written by Kathy Gottberg and is shared from the following website: volunteering7-reasons-why_b_6302770.html.

Kathy Gottberg believes in living healthy, authentic, fearless and SMART. Follow her journey at SMART Living 365.com.

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How to Autograph Your Life with Excellence

Every job is a self portrait of the Person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence UnknownHere lived a great street sweeper who did his job well

I had been working much too long on this job. I guess things could have been worse. I certainly wasn’t doing hard labour. But going door to door asking questions as a representative of the federal government wasn’t the most satisfying position either. It was August. It was hot. I had to wear a tie.

‘Hello. My name is Bob Perks and we are doing a survey in this neighbourhood.’

‘I’m not interested! Good bye!’

You can’t imagine how many times I heard that. I finally caught on and began with

‘Before you slam the door, I am not selling anything and I just need to ask a few questions about yourself and the community.’ The young woman inside the doorway, paused for a moment, raised her eyebrows as she shrugged her shoulders confused by my rude introduction.

‘Sure. Come on in. Don’t mind the mess. It’s tough keeping up with my kids.’

It was an older home in a section of the valley where people with meagre income found affordable shelter. With the little they had, the home looked comfortable and welcoming.

‘I just need to ask a few questions about yourself and family. Although this may sound personal I won’t need to use your names. This information will be used’

She interrupted me. ‘Would you like a glass of cold water? You look like you’ve had a rough day.’

‘Why yes!’ I said eagerly. Just as she returned with the water, a man came walking in the front door. It was her husband.

‘Joe, this man is here to do a survey.’ I stood and politely introduced myself.

Joe was tall and lean. His face was rough and aged looking although I figured he was in his early twenties. His hands were like leather. The kind of hands you get from working hard, not pushing pencils. She leaned toward him and kissed him gently on the cheek. As they looked at each other you could see the love that held them together. She smiled and titled her head, laying it on his shoulder. He touched her face with his hands and softly said ‘I love you!’

They may not have had material wealth, but these two were richer than most people I know. They had a powerful love. The kind of love that keeps your head up when things are looking down.

‘Joe works for the borough.’ she said.

‘What do you do?’ I asked. She jumped right in not letting him answer.

‘Joe collects garbage. You know I’m so proud of him.’

‘Honey, I’m sure the man doesn’t want to hear this.’ said Joe.

‘No, really I do.’ I said.

‘You see Bob, Joe is the best garbage man in the borough. He can stack more garbage on the truck than anyone else. He gets so much in one truck that they don’t have to make as many runs’, she said with such passion.

‘In the long run,’ Joe continues, ‘I save the borough money. Man hours are down and the cost per truck is less.’

There was silence. I didn’t know what to say. I shook my head searching for the right words. ‘That’s incredible! Most people would gripe about a job like that. It certainly is a difficult one. But your attitude about it is amazing.’ I said. She walked over to the shelf next to the couch. As she turned she held in her hand a small-framed paper.

‘When we had our third child Joe lost his job. We were on unemployment for a time and then eventually welfare. He couldn’t find work anywhere. Then one day he was sent on an interview here in this community. They offered him the job he now holds. He came home depressed and ashamed. Telling me this was the best he could do. It actually paid less than we got on welfare.’

She paused for a moment and walked toward Joe. ‘I have always been proud of him and always will be. You see I don’t think the job makes the man. I believe the man makes the job!’

‘We needed to live in the borough in order to work here. So we rented this home.’ Joe said.

‘When we moved in, this quote was hanging on the wall just inside the front door. It has made all the difference to us, Bob. I knew that Joe was doing the right thing.’ she said as she handed me the frame.

It said: If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ Martin Luther King

‘I love him for who he is. But what he does, he does the best. I love my garbage man!’

Today’s inspiring story was written by Bob Parks and is shared from the following website: http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/achievement/sweeper.shtml

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How to Examine Your Life to Find Meaning

The unexamined life is not worth living Socrates

It is important for us to examine our motivation in our day to day life. – Dalai Lama

What does that mean?
Why do we do the things that we do? What are our motivations? What are the reasons behind our actions? How often do you ask yourself about these things? Can you tell yourself why you just did whatever it was that you did?

While it sounds like I’m talking in circles, can you really explain why you did anything you did yesterday? What were your motivations? When the phone rang, you answered it. Why? Because you’re trained to behave that way? Or because you’re waiting on a call? Were you being polite? Have you ever thought about it?

While a phone call may be a bit on the trivial side, there are plenty of other things we do each day. Why do we do them? What are our reasons? What are our motivations? Do we really want to do these things, and are we doing them for reasons that are proper, given our values and beliefs?

Why is self-examination important?  
You can imagine I believe this to be a very important and worthwhile activity, given the sub-title of this blog. Examination of our life, I would hope, includes an examination of our motivations. We know, again, I hope, what we have done. But do we know why we did it?

Saying that you did it because it is a habit is a useful excuse or reason, however it is not a motivation. Why is it a habit? Why did you start doing it, and why do you still do it? Does it still serve you, or do you have better ways to achieve those ends now?

By examining our lives, by looking into why we do things, we can begin to uncover our motivations. One can do the right thing for the wrong reasons, and be lauded. But is that the way you want to live your life?

By examining yourself and determining your motivations, you can start to change what you don’t like, and put additional emphasis on those things you do like. I believe it’s a worthwhile endeavor, do you?

Where can I apply this in my life?
Let us begin with the chain of events that leads to action. We believe something to be right or wrong. When we see something that matches or violates our beliefs, we are motivated to do something. This leads to action. Or, going backwards, our actions depend on our motivations, which rely on our beliefs or values.

Note that I didn’t list reasons or excuses in there. They usually are walls we erect between motivation and action, designed to prevent anyone from probing any deeper. If someone sees you do something and asks why you did that, do you usually respond with your actual motivation, or do you give a reason or an excuse?

I think that most of us will give a reason or an excuse, rather than get into a discussion of motivations. Why? Because it’s opening a can of worms. One answer leads to two more questions. Pretty soon, they’re asking why you believe something, or have a certain value. Not a conversation most of us are comfortable having, is it?

However, for the purposes of this post, that’s exactly what we have to do. That, in my opinion, is exactly what this quote is all about. Why did you cross the road? Was it to get to the other side? Why was that? Did you have someplace to go, or were you trying to avoid someone who looked scary?

This is something that could take hours, so I would recommend you pick one thing each day to examine. How does one pick an action? If you do something that feels a little weird, something of which you are a little ashamed, or something you feel you might not be doing for the right reasons, that might be something to examine. Anything you think is probably wrong would also be a candidate, right?

How does one do an examination? I would start like I did with the ‘cross the street’ example above. Start asking “Why?” over and over again. Throw in the rest of the questions (The 5 W’s), [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ws ] and pretty soon you are going to get some answers.

The trick is to keep digging. Don’t stop, especially when you give an excuse or a reason. Those should be red flags to you, telling you to keep digging. Try to find the underlying belief or value that led you to act in the manner you did.

Then you have to figure out if that belief or value is still valid, if it is still true. If it isn’t, it’s time to replace it with something that is true, and better serves you. Something that helps to move you towards the best possible you.

If, at one point in time, you believed the only way you could make friends was to smoke with them, I would ask if that is still true. Can you make friends through any other shared activity? Could you modify that belief to say that you can make friends through any shared activity, and no longer have smoking tied to friendship? Would that make quitting a little easier?

If you don’t examine your life, you will live a random life, like a feather in the wind. Going any way the wind blows. There may be times for that, but I prefer to examine my life, and modify it to suit my purpose. What you do is up to you, but I hope you have a new idea and some new tools to play with.

Today’s article was shared from the following website: https://philosiblog.com/2012/09/16/it-is-important-for-us-to-examine-our-motivation-in-our-day-to-day-life/

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