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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Creating a Meaningful Life

Efforts and Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction John F. KennedyI just had to share today’s story about Jack LaLanne. This probably dates me but I remember when Jack was a frequent personality on television!

As a young person, I have to admit that I never had a sufficient measure of appreciation for Jack LaLanne. Now, as a person who has recovered from some significant health issues, I wish Mr. LaLanne could have been a personal mentor! He understood health and he understood that all else in life shrinks in importance to health.

Not all of us are blessed with perfect health and I have found that everything else in life craters when our health is compromised!

We all have an important personal mission to accomplish with our life. We need to have the best health possible to make that happen!

In addition, we need to have a personal map of what our mission is and the steps that we will need to take to facilitate the accomplishment of our personal mission.

And sometimes…we need a mentor. Several individuals that I do not know personally serve as mentors to me! Their example, their stories, and their own personal missions inspire me and help me understand what I need to do in my efforts to serve the world through my own personal mission!

I hope you are inspired by today’s story and that you are working everyday to help your own personal mission find its fulfillment!

Jack LaLanne tribute: An inspiring story for seniors and advisors


Jack LaLanne, America’s first health and fitness guru, died Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011 at the age of 96. When I read the article scroll across the newsfeed, it caught me off guard. Usually, when someone dies in their 90s, it’s no surprise. But Jack LaLanne was no ordinary person. He was something of a superman.

In the spring of 2008, I had the great fortune of sitting down with LaLanne for a video interview. At the time, LaLanne, a spry 93, was in New York City promoting his new book, “Fiscal Fitness: 8 Steps to Wealth & Health from America’s Leaders in Fitness and Finance.” LaLanne co-wrote the book with financial expert Matthew J. Rettick. They explained to me how seniors can best upgrade their physical and fiscal health and how those two seemingly diverse topics actually go hand in hand.

In the July 2008 issue of Senior Market Advisor, we ran a story entitled “Super Seniors.” It should come as no surprise that Jack LaLanne was our lead senior in that feature.

As I wrote about LaLanne then:

“People of a certain generation–those growing up in the ’50s and ’60s–remember a familiar figure greeting them from their early morning television sets. Wearing a jumpsuit, sporting a physique carved like a Greek statue, he jumped, lunged and flexed muscles that most people didn’t know existed, all the while barking commands at the audience to get off the couch and join him in this foreign activity called exercise.”

When I spoke to LaLanne in 2008, he wore one of his trademark exercise outfits. When he shook my hand, my hand stung afterwards. He had continued an intense daily exercise regimen and maintained a sharp mind as well as a steadfast attitude regarding fitness and finances.

“Say you’re a multimillionaire, but you’ve got a big belly, health problems, your sex life is gone, you have aches and pains–what good is your money?” he told me in 2008. His words, which were spoken roughly six months prior to the financial meltdown, cast a chilling truth to what LaLanne saw as America’s excesses.

While exercise is his specialty, in writing “Fiscal Fitness,” he explained to me the similarities to being healthy financially and physically. “In both cases, you need to have a plan. So many people are financially bankrupt. It makes you sick. They spend money on this and that, with no plan of what they’re doing. They get to 30 or 40 years old, in debt up to their ears. They need a plan and part of that plan is going to an expert to get out of a financial rut.”

Jack LaLanne had a plan and he stuck to it through self discipline and hard work. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes of his: “How do you build up your bank account? By putting something in it every day. Your health account is no different. What I do today, I am wearing tomorrow. If I put inferior foods in my body today, I’m going to be inferior tomorrow; it’s that simple.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2011/01/25/jack-lalanne-tribute-an-inspiring-story-for-senior

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Simplifying Your Life….

There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth Leo TolstoyI have several stories that I will share over the next few weeks about starting over and simplifying your life. Today, however, I share a story that I hope will inspire many! Enjoy!

Raquel Galford’s story

I had a defining moment in which my life shifted dramatically. I worked in an office where I had the same co workers for 15 years. We had been through marriages, deaths, births, graduations together. We were like a small family. I loved the comfort that this familiarity offered me.

However, I made a decision which would change this forever. They purchased a winning lottery ticket worth 170 millions dollars, I did not choose to play with them due to my home circumstances. My husband, who is now my ex husband, wouldn’t work and so I was trying to make it on 1 income and my child wanted to play soccer. It took all I had to scrape up the amount I needed to get by.

Needless to say, money changes people. Everyone who won left the office. I was devastated. I couldn’t function. My marriage was falling apart. My ex was so angry at me for not playing, he was a gambling addict. I had no idea he had been taking my credit card and getting cash advances for over a year. I felt as if my entire life had fallen apart. I wallowed in self pity for a long while.

Then one day, I had enough so I pulled myself up off the ground, filed for divorce and got a second job so I could buy groceries for us to eat. The road I chose has not been easy. Being a single mom, working 2 jobs, and taking care of bills and the house is very hard at times. There are days I feel overwhelmed but then I look at my son and I remember why I do it.

Since my divorce, I have written a children’s book which has been published, I have discovered a talent for making jewelry and I have worked with an organization that provides free care for Palestinian children who live in refugee camps in Gaza.

I am amazed that out of so much sadness and pain that I emerged a better person than I was before. I now appreciate the fact that people do enter and leave our lives. We are not promised that they get to stay forever. They are on loan to us. I am still learning to really like change. It’s a journey that I must take. ~ Raquel Galford.

.Story shared from the following website: http://goodlifezen.com/how-to-start-over-3-inspiring-real-life-stories/

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Joy & Sorrow…Overcoming Depression

Weeping may endure for a night but Joy comes in the morning Psalms 30:5We all want Joy and we will all experience loss and sorrow. More and more of us seem to be adding the experience of depression to our life resumes.

I have been through depression – the very worst form. I never want to go there again and I have learned that depression does not have to be a life sentence. With the right ingredients, it can almost always be overcome! The catch is the right ingredients. You can’t do the same things you have been doing – there will have to be some changes. Remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! We don’t want to be guilty of insanity, we want to overcome depression!

I believe that more people need to know that anti-depressants are not always effective (for me they made no difference) and that answers do not always come in a prescription bottle.

Today, I share the story of another woman that experienced depression. She now works to help others overcome depression. I hope you will read her story and if you are suffering from depression, I hope you will commit to taking those steps to overcome and defeat your depression!

Depression Story

There is hope! You are worth it!

by Merri Ellen Giesbrecht

I remember not so long ago sitting on my couch unable to form any words with my mouth. My husband asked me questions and I could only muster up enough strength to look back at him with a look of “why don’t you just kill me now?” I couldn’t speak. I was so emotionally exhausted and mentally burnt out from suffering from depression. I could not sleep and would get up in the middle of the night to stare out the window in darkness. I was completely lost in depression.

I was 25 years old and I had suffered a traumatic work related experience that left me in emotional shock and disbelief. I went through anti depressant drugs which didn’t work for me and only made things worse. In fact, they brought on thoughts of suicide instead.

My world had crumbled due to the recent loss of my job thanks to the betrayal of mentors whom I had admired and sought for advice. Problem was their advice got me in hot water. Perhaps I wasn’t strong enough to make my own decision and listen to the warning bells going off in my own head. Now I was devastated.

The ones I admired and trusted had abandoned me. My life was now in pieces and my career as the department’s head stripped away from me thanks to another’s selfish ambition. I forever played the events over and over in my mind and I grew in anger, bitterness and depression.

Their words and actions cut threw me because I had put those leaders on such a high pedestal and when they let me down, I was deflated and incorrectly thought God was unhappy with me. I put those leaders in the place of God and so I thought surely God did not love me to allow such a thing to happen to me.

My family managed to get me outside to walk and get exercise. My father in law and I were walking alongside each other and we looked down and saw coffee cups littered on the ground. He asked me if I thought it was the fault of the coffee shop that their litter was on the ground. I looked at him strangely. Then he reminded me that even though God-fearing people had betrayed me, I should not attach them to God.

Amidst all of this, my husband and I were also expecting our first child. It was hard to feel any joy over the event at the time of my pregnancy. But, I now realize it was God’s perfect timing. My depression was so horrible that I would easily have committed suicide but for some reason could not bring myself to harm an unborn child. It was the child within me that kept me alive.

I tore myself up inside, attacking myself for trusting the wrong people as my leaders, I remember one early morning around 3am not being able to sleep with all the anger, bitterness and depression. I got up and yelled at God through my window looking outside as the rain poured down. The tears flowed alongside the rain. I got my Bible out and started reading in the Psalms where David is crying out wanting an answer from God as to why his enemies surrounded him. A familiar cry came from within my own heart, “Where are you God!?”

On that early morning and through the tears, I looked up and I saw a vision of God opening His arms out to me and I heard a voice say, “Trust me”. I then remembered Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads,

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (The Message)

Then my mind went to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament who was betrayed by his brothers and thrown into a pit and sold as a slave. Later, his master’s wife accused him of doing wrong to her and he was thrown in jail. I could definitely relate. I read the entire story again of how God was still with Joseph and God used the evil that was done to him for good. God somehow took Joseph from slavery and into the position of governor of the land of Egypt under Pharaoh to save the people from famine. Joseph’s despair later enabled him to bring hope to many.

When my son was later born, I gave him the middle name of Joseph, for my son was my hope child and a constant reminder that God could use the evil that was done to me and turn it into good. I hung on to that hope that perhaps my hardship could one day prevent other people’s hardship just like Joseph did.

My doctor at the time, offered little help other than drugs. Well-meaning people made comments like “you’ll get through this” but that did not provide hope. I soon realized that if I was going to get out of depression, then I had to take the steering wheel and do something about it myself. I couldn’t leave it to time or only to my doctor to help me. I couldn’t blame others for my state of mind. So, I set out determined to find an answer and the answer I found was different than what I heard on the commercials for anti-depressants (no kidding). I started to research medical journals on my own and discovered what truly cures depression.

That seems like ages ago…

However, it was only a few months later that I was able to find joy again. I came out of my pit and these days I look out of my window excited about life. When my husband talks to me, I am excited to answer! My passion is for life. My joy is found in living and in helping others find joy out of depression!

This is where God began to turn the evil into good…
After having coffee with a friend and months after my recovery, she asked me,

“Wow, you’ve come a long way! What exactly do you think helped you get out of depression?”

She had been a loyal friend giving me strength throughout my journey back to joy and had been there through it all. I shared with her the discovery I made of 6 major ingredients that the medical journals reveal to cure depression better than any antidepressant.  They are all ingredients that can easily be implemented. There are some specific guidelines that originate with general lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleeping routines, social cirles and your self-talk (how you talk to yourself).  The website below explains them.

The more we talked, the more we realized that many of our friends and family members were going through the same thing and needed to hear my depression story and what helped me. Perhaps my story could help people around the world!

So, I started out doing research on using the internet for sharing my story. I had no formal training in this whatsoever but that didn’t stop me. I went to work. Soon I was interacting with thousands of people in over 80 countries. I absolutely loved the emails I started to receive from people sharing how their lives became changed after reading my own story and my research on my website.

One woman had been on antidepressant drugs for over twenty years but became depression-free and drug-free after going through my compiled story and research.

Another woman wrote…

“I just want to thank you. These tips have really changed my life in less than a month. I honestly believe that God has brought this website over my path for recovery. The work you done is wonderful and a true inspiration. If I think where I was a few weeks back, I can’t believe I am out of that hole. God will bless you for this wonderful work you are doing. You have inspired me so. Thanks again.”

The act of putting my website together to help others has only helped me further in my moving beyond depression. I am more aware of what to look out for in my life and I am having great joy helping others!

I’ve even found it in my heart to forgive what was done to me. It’s the only way to survive. Do I still feel angry? Sure, from time to time. But, I have learned that anger gets me nowhere. I am now stronger because of what I had to go through; and perhaps smarter. No longer do I put others in the place of God either. That role is only for God. He is the creator of the universe and only He is perfect – no person; only God. The best thing is, not only is God all powerful, He is also personal and wants to know me. Psalm 139 reads,

“God… I’m an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother’s womb.
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body” (excerpted from The Message)

Once you fall into a pit of depression, it can be very hard to get out. But, it is possible and you need to be shown the way like a guide with a flash light through a very dark tunnel. I had friends, family and my hours of research to guide me. If my research and personal experience could help you along your own journey, you are welcome to read about it at: www.cure-your-depression.com

There is hope! You are worth it!

Story is shared from the following website: http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/stories/giesbrecht_m.html

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For Where Your Treasure Is….

For where Your Treasure is, There will be Your Heart also Matthew 6:21There are so many treasures in life…but I can’t think of a single one that has monetary value. The fancier things in life, for me, are not the treasures.

Don’t get me wrong, I love convenience as much as anybody. However, I am perfectly content to give up convenience to have the things that matter most to me: my sweetheart husband, my family, and my friends.

My near-death experience taught me more about what is truly valuable than any earthly experience I have ever had.

As a result, I never want to depart from this world without those I love knowing with every fiber of their being that I love them.

What about you? Do you have anyone you need to express your love to? If so, don’t wait until it’s convenient, make sure you tell them today!

Today’s story is wonderful! I hope you enjoy!:

The Greatest Treasure

Like many career military spouses, I couldn’t wait until my husband retired. My husband and I were probably the worst couple in the active duty Navy to ever go through deployment separations. As much as my husband loved the sea, he missed me with a passion, and as much as I supported him in his chosen career, I hated every moment away from him.

I coped with our separations the best way that I could. I prayed for his safety, wrote letters every day, and I prepared for each deployment in advance. I made up dozens of small notes and packages for him, which I secretly tucked into his sea bag, so that he could discover them when he was out to sea. We both kept separate journals, which we wrote in every day, sharing tidbits of the lives we led apart. To this day those notes are still precious to us.

Finally in 1996 my husband retired from the Navy. We moved back to the Virginia mountains that we loved, unaware that we were diving into the longest separation of our marriage. My asthma made it impossible for me to live in the city, and the only job available for my husband was six-and-a-half hours away in Norfolk, Virginia.

We spent eight months apart. By this time email was available, so we finally were able to share our love every single day. That was our hardest separation, perhaps because we had planned to be together, and we had never planned to be apart. Louie came to visit as often as he could. We drove to be with him on Thanksgiving and Christmas. He continued to apply for jobs in the area in which we hoped to live, and we prayed that soon we would be able to be together as a family again.

One day Louie called me with the good news. He had a job opportunity in southwest Virginia, right in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. We were thrilled! Louie was hired immediately, and we would soon be a family again. There was only one small problem. Louie would have to live in a camper, while our daughters and I lived in a little house an hour-and-a-half away, until we could find just the right house.

Okay, I told myself. I know how to do this. We’ve been separated before. My resolve lasted three days. I turned to my daughters, both old enough to take care of themselves, and I announced, “Okay girls, you’re on your own! I’m going to be with my husband!”

In minutes I was packed, and I was on my way to be reunited with my beloved. I drove over mountain roads through a driving rainstorm. Night-blind and terrified, not even a police road block outside the state prison could keep me from my destination. God bless the Virginia State Police! They waved me through, before I could sob out my entire story.

There’s no doubt in my mind that angels guided me. I’d have never found that campground in the dark by myself. As I drove up, I could see my husband, reading by the light of a tiny lamp, framed by the camper window. I pulled to a halt, nearly killing myself getting out of the car, as he threw the camper door open. Louis’s hand reached out for me, as I stumbled into his arms. Such warmth and affection was worth a journey of a thousand miles!

Louie and I spent a glorious three-and-a-half weeks together. One morning after he had left for work, I sat alone in the camper trying to remember any possession that was as priceless as the time God had given us together. I couldn’t think of a single thing. We moved into that camper and lived there for a year, squeezed together like sardines. It was pure joy! I learned in that year that the greatest treasure I have is the time I’ve been given with the ones I love. The worldly treasures that we gave away? You know, I still can’t recall a single thing.

Written by Jaye Lewis

Today’s story shared from the following website: http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/personalgrowth/Treasure.shtml

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