How Life is Best Measured…

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

I am all about stewardship – in my mind, that means responsibility to create a meaningful life for myself and to be a meaningful part of the lives of my family, friends, and fellowman.

While that includes being responsible, it does not mean that life has to dull and dreary!

I know that it is hard to comprehend, but heaven is truly amazing and enthralling and worth our very best mortal efforts. Life is not about what’s in it for me, me, me. If it is to be meaningful for the duration – both mortality and eternity – it needs to be about what’s in it for us.

None of us knows how much time the Lord will grant us to live on this earth, but I know that we all inherently sense that this gig (called life) is important and is not to be wasted.

The article I am sharing today takes a few minutes to read, but do it anyway. Your life deserves it! Take a few minutes and contemplate on how you can improve and make your life better! I promise you will be blessed for your efforts! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

45 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest

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Learning….It’s Meant to Be for a Lifetime

Ignorance is  voluntary Misfortune   Nicholas LangLearning is meant to be a life-long endeavor. I witnessed during my near-death experience, that learning is a desire that we inherently have. Even in heaven, it was our desire to learn and the increase in intelligence.

I believe that it doesn’t matter whether our learning is through formal schooling or from self-study – it is all valuable. In today’s “Information Age”, all of the information can be a little overwhelming. Yet, my experience has shown me that, with God’s guidance, we are guided to all that we need and all that we can be benefited by.

I hope that you will commit to being a life-long student! Please enjoy today’s story!:

How and Why to Become a Lifelong Learner

For the first twenty-two years or so of our lives, our main “job” is learning. The bulk of our time is spent in classrooms acquiring new knowledge. And then, once we graduate, we feel like the education phase of our lives is done and now it’s time to go out into the world. Have you ever thought about how odd that idea is? That only a quarter of our lives should be devoted to learning, and then we should simply rest on our laurels for the remaining three-quarters of it?

It’s an erroneous idea – but one many have absorbed, at least subconsciously. But school need not be your exclusive provider of learning. Just because you’ve finished your formal education, doesn’t mean that your education is over!

Many, perhaps most, of history’s greatest men were autodidacts – those who devote themselves to self-education, either in addition to or as a substitute to formal schooling. A fantastic example of this is author Louis L’Amour. L’Amour was one of America’s most prolific and manliest fiction writers. During his career he cranked out over 120 dime Western novels as well as several collections of short stories and poems. What makes Louis L’Amour’s story all the more remarkable is that he was almost entirely self-taught.

Louis L'Amour sitting in chair drinking coffee cowboy hat

Lifelong learner Louis L’Amour

Due to family hardships, L’Amour dropped out of school when he was fifteen and spent the next eight years traveling around the American West working odd jobs on cattle ranches, farms, lumber mills, and even mines. To earn extra money L’Amour boxed in small prizefights around the country and earned a reputation as a formidable opponent. While in his twenties L’Amour became a merchant marine and traveled the globe via steamship.

During all this time, L’Amour was voraciously reading books. As soon as he set foot in a new town, he’d locate the local library. If libraries weren’t around, he’d skip meals so he’d have enough money to order books from catalogs. He was also working on his craft as a budding writer, scribbling notes in cheap notepads that he kept with him all the time.

All of his experiences while traveling, all the books he read, and all the notes he wrote laid the groundwork for his later successful career. But even after L’Amour became an established writer, his pursuit of learning continued and rewarded him greatly. He is a perfect example of the fascinating life one can create for himself when he makes the commitment to be a lifelong learner. (If you want to learn more about L’Amour’s lifelong self-education, pick up a copy of his autobiography, Education of a Wandering Man. Super inspiring read.)

 

Not only can becoming a lifelong learner help you earn more money in traditional employment, autodidacticism can be the gateway to self-employment and starting your own business. There are countless examples from history of famous folks who learned how to create thriving businesses without any formal education: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford to name just a few. Countless not-so-famous business owners became successful without ever earning a sheepskin too, simply by teaching themselves what they needed to know and relentlessly tinkering.

You’ll be more interesting and charismatic. Those who met Theodore Roosevelt were always greatly impressed with his ability to hold a conversation with anyone regarding any subject imaginable. Scientists were blown away with Roosevelt’s knowledge of complex theories, socialites were smitten with his witty insights about the latest piece by Oscar Wilde, and cowboys out West respected the “Eastern Dude’s” understanding of desert wildlife. How did Theodore Roosevelt become such a charismatic, conversational dynamo? By developing the ability to speed read and then devouring books like a hungry lion feasting on a fresh kill. While in the White House, he would read a book every day before breakfast. If he didn’t have any official business in the evening, he would read two or three more books, plus any magazines and newspapers that caught his fancy. By his own estimates, TR read tens of thousands of books during his lifetime, including hundreds in foreign languages. As a result, he could connect with anyone, from any walk of life, on something that truly interested the other person.

You’ll be a better leader. Being able to connect with others doesn’t just make you more interesting. It also makes you much more influential. The greater your knowledge base, the more you can meet people where they are, and the greater the stockpile of solutions you have at your disposal to tackle problems and overcome challenges.

You’ll be independent and handy. One thing I admired about my grandpa growing up was all the cool stuff that he knew. He was always tinkering, and it seemed like he knew everything about everything. How to hunt, how to shoe a horse, how to garden (he grew grapes), how to make awesome pancakes. Even after he retired, my grandpa was always learning new things and acquiring new skill sets. For example, he learned how to restore antique horse carriages and old phonograph players. He got so good at it, in fact, that he started restoring antique phonograph players as a small side-business.

Because of my grandpa’s diverse range of skills, when something broke or he needed something done, he could do it himself. He didn’t have to call and pay an expert to do it for him. If he didn’t know how to do it, he went to the library, got some books on the subject, and figured it out.

Lifelong learning keeps your brain healthy. Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Nearly 100 years later science is validating Henry Ford’s quip. Margie E. Lachman, a psychologist at Brandeis University who specializes in aging says, “Education seems to be an elixir that can bring us a healthy body and mind throughout adulthood and even a longer life.” Her research has shown that the more education an elderly person has – whether obtained formally or informally — the better they performed on cognitive tests than other elderly folks who had less education.

Learning new things can also help stave off old-age ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s. One study has shown that older folks who stay cognitively active and curious about the world around them are 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s than those who let their minds lie fallow.

You’ll feel more satisfied with life. In his book Drive, author Dan Pink argues that we need three things to feel motivated about, and satisfied with, our life: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Becoming a lifelong learner fulfills all three of these psychological needs.

When you’re an autodidact you – not your parents, not your professor, not your boss — get to decide what you’re going to learn about. Instead of being a passive consumer of knowledge, you’re actively choosing what you’re learning. In other words, you’re autonomous. As you learn new skills, you’ll enjoy the positive feeling that comes with mastery. And you’ll find yourself with a renewed sense of purpose in life as you set goals for your self-education.

The satisfaction that comes with lifelong learning doesn’t stop there. The more you know about the world, the deeper you can plunge into it, and the more levels of it you can experience. Whether you’re traveling, having a conversation, visiting a museum, watching a movie, or reading a book, your library of knowledge helps you make connections that you would never have otherwise perceived. The more you learn, the more you realize how many references and meanings you’ve missed because the author/speaker simply took that background knowledge, that fluency in cultural literacy, for granted.

Inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/03/18/how-and-why-to-become-a-lifelong-learner/

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Adversity Can Grow Us into Better People

Strength doesn’t come from doing what you Can Do It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you Couldn’tToday’s story has reminded me of how very much I have to be thankful for. I live in a country where clean water is often taken for granted. I don’t have to wonder if I will have food to eat, all I have to wonder about is what will I eat. If I need to go somewhere, I get in my car and turn the key.

Life hands each of us a different story…but no matter what our circumstances, we all have the ability to choose. We choose our attitude. We choose how we will use our resources. We choose how we will treat others. We choose how or if we will use the gifts that God has blessed us with.

What kind of choices are you making? I hope that today’s story will inspire you to be the very best that you can be!

Meet the Wonder Women of Indonesia

Battling the darkness of poverty with lamps, filters and stoves one at a time.

I came to know Rovina Surat, one of our Wonder Women in late 2014.

Living in the driest part of Lembata Island, in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, is already tough to begin with, but the challenge for Ibu Rovina goes beyond the dry well and months of failed harvest.

She is a single mother of two, and had been living in her brother’s living room since her then-husband left for Malaysia in 2012, and never returned. She said that this was rock bottom.

Left to care for her daughters alone, she made ends meet through various creative ways: from renting out her old motorcycle to neighbours, to gathering honey from the forest, to skilfully using a traditional harpoon to hunt squid and sea cucumbers.

Simple dream

In 2014, she joined Kopernik’s Wonder Women program in the hope of realizing one simple dream: to build a home for her children.

At every opportunity, she enthusiastically talked about the d.light S300 solar light, which she always carried with her when hunting for squid before dawn.

This demonstration of simple technology in action worked better than any big budget advertising campaign, and Rovina began to sell more and more technologies.

Within a year and a half, she had saved enough money to start building her house, and in June 2015, she finished.

It is a simple house made of bricks and bamboo, but up on a hill with a million dollar view overlooking the beautiful Flores Sea, mountains, and breath-taking sunset.

To see Rovina standing in front of her house during sunset made me smile – and still makes me smile each time I remember it.

She is such an inspiration.

One villager in her community said: “I’m so proud to see Rovina now. She has transformed from a weeping widow without a house to an inspiring woman in our village.”

“Thanks to her, the whole village doesn’t have to live in complete darkness anymore.”

When asked her what her next dream was, she said she wanted to open her own small kiosk selling everyday goods.

“I used to keep all of my money in a soap tin and bury it in the ground. Now I’m starting to open my own bank account, so I can save more and make this dream come true.”

To see her grow through the journey she’s gone through, and transform from a woman to a “wonder woman”, is one of the most inspiring things about Kopernik’s Ibu Inspirasi programme.

Micro-social-entrepreneurs

Rovina is one of hundreds of “wonder women” in the initiative that has empowered women to become clean energy micro-social-entrepreneurs, connecting life-changing solar lights, clean cookstoves, and water filters with last mile communities in some of Indonesia’s poorest provinces.

More than 80 million people live without any electricity in Indonesia, and many more live with unreliable access to electricity.

Almost 100 million people rely on smoky, fuel-hungry three-stone fires for cooking.

And clean drinking water is often a costly luxury.

There is great demand for affordable, clean energy technologies, especially in the poorest provinces of eastern Indonesia, but geography and demography make energy access a huge challenge.

This is where Kopernik’s Wonder Women Eastern Indonesia initiative comes in.

Equipping women with the skills and resources to become clean energy micro-social entrepreneurs is a viable, sustainable way of connecting these technologies with the people who need them the most.

It creates access to clean energy technologies for last mile communities, allowing people to save money and time spent collecting firewood, buying costly kerosene, boiling water, or buying costly drinking water. It allows them to enjoy improved health and safety.

Not only that, the wonder women like Rovina and Ibu Bekti, get training on financial management, sales and marketing, public speaking, technology use and maintenance, as well as mentoring to motivate them to expand their businesses.

They also get the clean energy technologies on consignment, so they can start their own business without going into debt, and they earn something from every sale.

These women’s determination to help their families and villages, along with their smiles and laughter often seen amid challenging situations, make them truly some of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet.


Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: https://www.ourbetterworld.org/en/story/kopernik-indonesia-wonder-women

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Overcoming Fear…

Your Largest Fear Carries Your Greatest Growth

I believe that fear is an issue that holds many people back from accomplishing – or even trying to accomplish their dreams and those visions they feel in their heart. I love the video below by Brendan Burchard. I hope you will take the time to watch it today. Be inspired! Be the amazing individual you are meant to be! Take the first step today to overcome any fear you have that is holding you back from being your highest self!

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Setting Goals to Change Your Life…What is Holding You Back?

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward Amelia Earhart

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

I love the above quote by Marianne Williamson. We all have a bright light we are meant to share with this world – a light that is enriched by service, love and self-improvement.

What are your fears? Your challenges? No one escapes either fears or challenges but we all have access to the assistance we need – we can daily use the assistance of the Lord. He is there for us and knows how to succor and mentor us successfully through our trials and tribulations.

We have the tools available to us to turn our lives into lives of meaning and triumph!

I hope you will be inspired by today’s story! Please read and enjoy!

Handling Challenges In Life

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades.

So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste.

The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish. So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan? How Japanese managed to keep the fish fresh?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are challenged.

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired & dull, so we need a Shark in our life to keep us awake and moving? Basically in our lives Sharks are new challenges to keep us active and taste better… The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a challenge.

If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily conquering those challenges, you are Conqueror.. You think of your challenges and get energized. You are excited to try new solutions. You have fun. You are alive!

Recommendations for us:

1. Instead of avoiding challenges, jump into them. Beat the heck out of them. Enjoy the game. If your challenges are too large or too numerous, do not give up. Failing makes you tired. Instead, reorganize. Find more determination, more knowledge, more help.

2. God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.

3. Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards.. Don’t stay on the bumps too long. Move on!

4. When you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy, because God has thought of something better to give you. When something happens to you, good or bad, consider what it means. There’s a purpose to life’s events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard.

5. No one can go back and make a brand new start. But anyone can start from now and make a brand
new ending.

Go ahead and start handling challenges in life.

 

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