The One Principle that Surrounds Everything…Stewardship

I I Research concept with businessman in boat in the middle of the sea and lightly cloudy skies.

I love today’s quote. Life is such a gift! Our ability to be stewards of our lives is such a blessing! God is the giver of all that is good! May we receive all that is good and wisely manage the stewardship that is ours!

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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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The Stories That Bind Us

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. -- Alex Haley

I hit the breaking point as a parent a few years ago. It was the week of my extended family’s annual gathering in August, and we were struggling with assorted crises. My parents were aging; my wife and I were straining under the chaos of young children; my sister was bracing to prepare her preteens for bullying, sex and cyberstalking.

Sure enough, one night all the tensions boiled over. At dinner, I noticed my nephew texting under the table. I knew I shouldn’t say anything, but I couldn’t help myself and asked him to stop.

Ka-boom! My sister snapped at me to not discipline her child. My dad pointed out that my girls were the ones balancing spoons on their noses. My mom said none of the grandchildren had manners. Within minutes, everyone had fled to separate corners.

Later, my dad called me to his bedside. There was a palpable sense of fear I couldn’t remember hearing before.

“Our family’s falling apart,” he said.

“No it’s not,” I said instinctively. “It’s stronger than ever.”But lying in bed afterward, I began to wonder: Was he right? What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy?

It turns out to be an astonishingly good time to ask that question. The last few years have seen stunning breakthroughs in knowledge about how to make families, along with other groups, work more effectively.

Myth-shattering research has reshaped our understanding of dinnertime, discipline and difficult conversations. Trendsetting programs from Silicon Valley and the military have introduced techniques for making teams function better.

The only problem: most of that knowledge remains ghettoized in these subcultures, hidden from the parents who need it most. I spent the last few years trying to uncover that information, meeting families, scholars and experts ranging from peace negotiators to online game designers to Warren Buffett’s bankers.

After a while, a surprising theme emerged. The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.

I first heard this idea from Marshall Duke, a colorful psychologist at Emory University. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Duke was asked to help explore myth and ritual in American families.

“There was a lot of research at the time into the dissipation of the family,” he told me at his home in suburban Atlanta. “But we were more interested in what families could do to counteract those forces.”

Around that time, Dr. Duke’s wife, Sara, a psychologist who works with children with learning disabilities, noticed something about her students.

“The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges,” she said.

Her husband was intrigued, and along with a colleague, Robyn Fivush, set out to test her hypothesis. They developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer 20 questions.

Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?

Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush asked those questions of four dozen families in the summer of 2001, and taped several of their dinner table conversations. They then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests the children had taken, and reached an overwhelming conclusion. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.

“We were blown away,” Dr. Duke said.

And then something unexpected happened. Two months later was Sept. 11. As citizens, Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush were horrified like everyone else, but as psychologists, they knew they had been given a rare opportunity: though the families they studied had not been directly affected by the events, all the children had experienced the same national trauma at the same time. The researchers went back and reassessed the children.

“Once again,” Dr. Duke said, “the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress.”

Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?

“The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family,” Dr. Duke said.

Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.

First, the ascending family narrative: “Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. …”

Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”

“The most healthful narrative,” Dr. Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.

Leaders in other fields have found similar results. Many groups use what sociologists call sense-making, the building of a narrative that explains what the group is about.

Jim Collins, a management expert and author of “Good to Great,” told me that successful human enterprises of any kind, from companies to countries, go out of their way to capture their core identity. In Mr. Collins’s terms, they “preserve core, while stimulating progress.” The same applies to families, he said.

Mr. Collins recommended that families create a mission statement similar to the ones companies and other organizations use to identify their core values.

The military has also found that teaching recruits about the history of their service increases their camaraderie and ability to bond more closely with their unit.

Cmdr. David G. Smith is the chairman of the department of leadership, ethics and law at the Naval Academy and an expert in unit cohesion, the Pentagon’s term for group morale. Until recently, the military taught unit cohesion by “dehumanizing” individuals, Commander Smith said. Think of the bullying drill sergeants in “Full Metal Jacket” or “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

But these days the military spends more time building up identity through communal activities. At the Naval Academy, Commander Smith advises graduating seniors to take incoming freshmen (or plebes) on history-building exercises, like going to the cemetery to pay tribute to the first naval aviator or visiting the original B-1 aircraft on display on campus.

Dr. Duke recommended that parents pursue similar activities with their children. Any number of occasions work to convey this sense of history: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers, even a ride to the mall. The hokier the family’s tradition, he said, the more likely it is to be passed down. He mentioned his family’s custom of hiding frozen turkeys and canned pumpkin in the bushes during Thanksgiving so grandchildren would have to “hunt for their supper,” like the Pilgrims.

“These traditions become part of your family,” Dr. Duke said.

Decades of research have shown that most happy families communicate effectively. But talking doesn’t mean simply “talking through problems,” as important as that is. Talking also means telling a positive story about yourselves. When faced with a challenge, happy families, like happy people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming the hardship. This skill is particularly important for children, whose identity tends to get locked in during adolescence.

The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.

Today’s article was written by Bruce Feiler and is shared from the following website: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/fashion/the-family-stories-that-bind-us-this-life.html

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The Power of Diligence

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools Confucius

DILIGENCE. Do you always do your best? Do you remain focused on your goals? How often have you given up when things seemed difficult?

In 2007, I finished my doctorate in World Religions and became Dr. Kennedy, or “Dr. Terri K.” as my friends are calling me. As a busy entrepreneur, I had to be focused to get the work done in-between leading corporate workshops, speaking at events, coaching private clients, teaching yoga classes, and writing this column and other articles. It wasn’t easy and often required me to sacrifice “play-time” such as catching the latest movie, for “cerebral time” which usually included taking an exam or researching for another paper. Since it was a goal I wanted to achieve, I worked steadily on it over the last few years. It took diligence.

Diligence (from the Latin, industria) is defined as “devoted and painstaking effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent personal attention; a decisive work ethic; a zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work.” It is the opposite of negligence. The Psychomachia (“Battle for the Soul”) – an epic poem written by the ancient Latin poet Prudentius (c. 410) – outlines diligence as one of the Seven Contrary Virtues. The others are humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience and generosity. Practicing these virtues is alleged to protect one against temptation from the Seven Deadly Sins, with each one having its counterpart – hence the term “contrary.” In this context, diligence is said to fight against “sloth.”

Sloth is not a word we often hear in modern vernacular. However, in ancient times it had a rather strong meaning. Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas defined sloth as “sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good… [it] is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses man as to draw him away entirely from good deeds.” Basically, sloth can be equated with procrastination and physical and/or intellectual laziness. A sloth also happens to be a medium-sized mammal from South and Central America. Let me give you a word-picture… A sloth looks somewhat like a bug-eyed monkey. It sleeps from 15 to 18 hours a day and moves only when necessary – and then very slowly, about 0.5 to 1 foot per minute. It has a very large, slow-acting stomach, and usually eats, sleeps and even gives birth hanging from tree branches. It comes to the ground, to urinate and defecate, only about once a week. I hope this does not remind you of anyone you know!

Just as we perform “due diligence” in business when evaluating a prospective investment, you should perform due diligence on your own life. Are you at times exhibiting sloth-like behavior? Have you gotten lazy in any area of your life – in what you eat or how you communicate with your partner? Are you putting things off “for a later date” or quitting when things get tough? As my Mom says, “Time will go by – you might as well make the most of it.” This is your life… make it count! If you have debt, clean it up. If your energy is low, take control of your health. If you’re in a bad relationship, end it now. If you have a dream in your heart, start pursuing it today! Avoid negligence in your own life. Monitor your activities. Develop a zealous commitment to prosperity. Sometimes we want things to simply be given to us – like having the hope of winning the lottery. Well, as Benjamin Franklin said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

ACTION STEPS:

  • Evaluate your habits. Develop a check-list for your life covering the five dimensions of Power Living: spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and environmental. Determine whether your habits are supporting your growth in those areas.
  • Set reasonable goals. If you want to change something, then make a commitment. See the big picture and then take small steps. Congratulate yourself along the way as you hit milestones.
  • Stay focused. Success is based on perseverance. Keep your personal vision at the forefront of your activities. Work on your agenda instead of allowing other random people’s agendas to work on you.
  • Learn from mistakes. Failure provides a greater challenge to personal diligence than success. If things don’t go quite the way you planned, learn from the detour – you can still get to the destination!AFFIRMATION:Today, I act with diligence.I understand that I have the power to create prosperity in all areas of my life. The choice is mine. Every day I work on sharpening my tools so I can perform at my personal best. I set reasonable goals and take consistent action. I push past obstacles and learn from unplanned detours. I am devoted to self-less service and unconditional success.Today, I act with diligence.

Today’s article was written by Teresa  Kay-Aba Kennedy and is shared from the following website: http://www.power-living.com/blog/2009/05/01/the-power-of-diligence/

 

 

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How to Become Your Best Self

The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday Unknown

11 Ways To Become Your Truest & Greatest Self

Being precisely who you are, at your highest level, is your ticket to magnetizing the things you want most in your life. This is true for your love life, career, relationships, prosperity, health, and so on. It’s also the magic formula that will enable you to make a more powerful contribution to this world than you ever thought possible.

So here, allow me to present to you my 11 stepping stones toward your truest and greatest self. I hope it’s a helpful reminder of what you already know.

1. Fall madly in love with yourself.

Love is the most powerful energy in existence. Blast yourself with it to full advantage! Beam upon yourself as though you were your own dream lover, ideal mother, precious child, and verrrry best friend. Direct your adoration, light, warmth, healing energy, and nurturing inward, toward Y-O-U. Send yourself the same quality of love you offer to your loved ones. Love yourself actively and you will grow radiant, lighting up the world around you and hence creating a “win-win” for all you encounter.

2. Embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Explore who you are beyond all externally-imposed definitions. Then fully embody, accept, and celebrate who you are. Connect to your wonderfulness: your unique talents, skills, passions, roles, affiliations, personality profile, and one-of-a-kind life experiences. And remember, your soul is a wondrous spark of divinity, connecting you to transcendence, immortality, and dimensions beyond. It’s also the true essence of who you are.

3. Embrace your life’s unique curriculum.

Live in alignment with who you truly are. Be led by the “natural inclination” that’s encoded within your soul. Heed your inner directives. Don’t worry about what other people think. Say no when you need to. Cultivate healthy boundaries everyone in your life, and don’t be afraid to disappoint others when you hold to your intentions and honor your needs. And avoid comparing your life’s unfolding with that of others—we all have our very own train track with our own designated controls, stops, and speed settings.

4. Free yourself through healing and forgiveness.

Healing is the secret to having full access to our life force. Forgiveness means we accept our life’s unique curriculum and the sacred assignment each experience represents. We can even transcend the need to forgive if we proceed instead from radical understanding, compassion, heightened consciousness, and unconditional love. We all have what’s called a “pain-body,” a shadow part of us where all the negativity of a lifetime has built up a residue. When we heal the pain-body, we thrive.

5. Tell your inner critic where to go.

Your inner critic is that voice in your head forever cajoling you to be perfect as opposed to human. As you go to higher levels of who you are, be motivated by love of self as opposed to self-policing. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion. Let inspiration be your fuel rather than self-control. Give yourself a break from your inner judge. Refuse to give power to the bully within.

6. Step into your self-importance.

A healthy version of this much-maligned trait is critical if we are to do anything other than play small. Anyone who has accomplished anything of significance has placed importance upon themselves. It means prioritizing your desires, committing to yourself, and honoring your goals and intentions. It means taking yourself seriously. It means stepping into your full power, splendor, and majesty. It means calmly and humbly being the master of your destiny.

7. Hone your intuition.

Rely upon your sixth sense. It’s your most powerful inner resource. Tap into the divine intelligence and serve ably as your very own psychic. Become a powerful advisor to yourself. Your inner Knowing serves as your high beam headlights. With this additional illumination on life’s road, you can proceed with greater self-assurance, clarity, centeredness, and courage.

8. “Radically Relax” (aka MEDITATE).

“Letting go” on a daily basis is a game-changer. Just 15-minutes is medicine for an entire 24-hour window. A regular practice yields healing along with greater serenity, well-being, and confidence. Your anxiety fades away. Stress is replaced by wherewithal, the capacity to handle life’s demands with grace and aplomb. You grow more patient, less reactionary, and less easily triggered. You deepen your intuition and palpably feel your connection to source.

9. Take care of the temple that is your body.

Treat with awe and wonder the sacred vehicle that is ushering you through this journey called life. Your body is a miracle, without which, you are out of the game of life altogether. Lavish this extraordinary live machine of yours with gratitude for all its amazing functions, every last one of them designed to keep you surviving and thriving. Fuel your body with nutrition, physical movement, replenishing sleep, and pampering. Let your self-care practice be self-love in action.

10. Create a life you adore!

Turn the very life you’re living into a fulfilling, rewarding one you give thanks for every day. From right where you are, create a reality that uplifts and inspires you. Simply do the administration and make the needed tweaks. For when our life supports us at being at our best, we attract the circumstances we are wishing to attract. When we love our lives, we are magnetic for that great relationship, dream job, deep healing, or financial breakthrough.

11. Make the difference only you can make.

The world needs you. Of the billions of people on this planet, only you can offer what only you have to give. Connect to your passions, interests, and to the power of your natural inclination. Make a contribution to those around you accordingly. Moreover, simply being Y-O-U, at your best, will inspire everyone around you and as such serve as a powerful offering to the greater good.

Today’s article was written by Dr. Naomi Pabst and is shared from the following website: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12940/11-ways-to-become-your-truest-greatest-self.html

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