The Power of a True Friend

 A day spent with you is my favorite day. So today is my new favorite day Winnie the Pooh

Friendship is a priceless gift – a gift that we should never take for granted. I love today’s story! Often, the most cherished moments of our lives come because of the thoughtfulness of friends. Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are our best bud and sometimes they are a complete stranger. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you get to spend it with some friends!

Wet Pants

— Author Unknown

Come with me to a third grade classroom. There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened.  It’s never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they’ll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, ‘Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I’m dead meat.’

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy’s lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, ‘Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!’

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful… But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else – Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. ‘You’ve done enough, you klutz!’

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, ‘You did that on purpose, didn’t you?’ Susie whispers back, ‘I wet my pants once too.’

Today’s inspiring story was shared from the following website:

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Exercise will change your life, and here’s why…

We do not stop exercising because we grow old - we grow old because we stop exercising. Kenneth Cooper

ONE AFTERNOON not long ago, a friend and I were talking at her dining-room table, and I’ll admit it, we were feeling a bit self-righteous.

We’d gone bowling with her parents, and we both noticed her mom could barely roll the lightest ball down the alley. She struggled with a lot of other tasks, too. We didn’t think of her as an elderly person. But there she was, looking feeble.

“Well,” my friend said, shaking her head, “she doesn’t really exercise.” I nodded knowingly.

The way my friend and I see it, there are two kinds of people: exercisers and everyone else. We — the exercisers — prefer to sweat, not sit. They — we’ll call them “the relaxers” — prefer to read, not run. They think we’re nuts. We think they’re slowly letting themselves wither.

We’ll call this The Great Divide, and my friend and I patted ourselves on the back for being on the right side of it. Then we got up to leave.

“Ouch,” I winced, grabbing at my hamstrings.

“I’m sooooo sore!” she groaned.

And as we hobbled away, we felt decidedly less smug.

ARE YOU laughing at us? Nodding sympathetically? Either way, we’ll hazard a guess: Whichever side of The Great Divide you’re on, you can’t imagine living the other way.

“People internalize an image of themselves as an exerciser or not,” says David B. Coppel, a sports psychologist at the University of Washington.

So before we go any further, I’ll confess. I used to think people like me — who exercise four, five, six times a week — were crazy. Three years ago, in the pages of this very magazine, I described my physical condition as being “what you might expect for someone who types for a living.”

Another confession: Despite the incident at the dining-room table, this article is not going to say exercise is bad for you. Sorry, relaxers.

Because we can hear the complaints already, we will admit that at times, if you go overboard, it can definitely beat you up. OK, it can beat you up even if you don’t go overboard.

But we’re going to explain that, too. So stick with us as we take a run at some of the biggest hurdles to becoming an exerciser.

I’m perfectly fine the way I am, thank you. I’m not even overweight.

The truth is, getting up and moving is good even if you’re thin.

It turns out being sedentary is a health risk. Period. It’s up there with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, even smoking, according to a 2010 article in the Journal of the American Heart Association. In fact, fitness level is a “more powerful predictor” of survival than traditional risk factors, the journal says. That means an active person who’s overweight can have a better prognosis than a thin, sedentary person.


Yes. Exercise:

• Can reduce your risk of getting, or dying from, certain cancers;

• Can delay or avert Type II diabetes, as well as reduce your mortality risk if you have diabetes;

• Can help maintain your cognitive function into old age.

Is that enough? OK, one more thing:

Studies — including one by the American Cancer Society — have shown that sitting itself can take years off your life. It’s not just that you’re burning fewer calories. It’s that certain bodily processes go silent — processes that do things like regulate your insulin and get the fat out of your bloodstream.

“Excessive sitting,” a Mayo Clinic researcher was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “is a lethal activity.”

But I do exercise . . . sometimes.

That’s what a lot of people tell themselves.

In surveys, a consistent 30 to 35 percent of people report moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity. But in the past few years, researchers have begun to outfit study participants with devices that record movement, and the truth has come out: Fewer than 5 percent of adults are doing the recommended level of activity.

Do I really need this? I’m young and healthy.

Yes, says Kevin Conley, a UW radiology professor who has developed contraptions to measure muscle activity as well as something in the muscles called mitochondria. These are the powerhouses, where the body turns fuel into activity.

Conley compared three groups: active adults, inactive adults and the elderly, and looked at fitness in a variety of ways. As expected, the seniors had fewer mitochondria. But so did the inactive adults. In fact, in each area measured, the inactive adults had scores that were close to — or worse than — the old folks.

“Inactivity does the same thing as aging,” Conley says. “It was so astonishing at first I didn’t believe it myself.”

Why should you care? Because it becomes a vicious cycle. Don’t exercise and your mitochondria decline, which makes you less able to move, which leads to fewer mitochondria and so on.

The moral of the story is, you can choose to get old before your time.

But I’m so out of shape.

This is a pet peeve of another local academic, Glen Duncan, associate professor of epidemiology and nutritional sciences at the UW.

“I get very frustrated when people say things like, ‘I can’t walk up the steps,’ ” he says. “The reason you can’t walk up the steps is because you’re deconditioned, and the reason you’re deconditioned is because you never walked up the steps.”

He pauses. “You did it to yourself.”

Didn’t you hear me? I said I can’t walk up the steps.

OK, don’t walk up the steps (yet). Try strength training. Every local expert we talked to, as well as a number of national groups, say strength training, like weight lifting, can be more important than aerobic activity, especially as we age.

If you don’t maintain your strength, things start to slide. It might be the stairs that give you trouble first. Then it’s flat ground. Then it’s getting out of a chair. Seriously. It happens.

I’m afraid I’m going to hurt myself.

You’re right: When you exercise, you’re putting strain on your muscles, your bones, the whole shebang. But that very stress is what tells the body to build.

Scientifically speaking, says Michael Regnier, a bioengineering professor at the UW, “When you exercise, it stimulates the release of hormones that signal the cells to start protein synthesis.”

When you lift a heavy load, it puts compressive forces on your bones. Those compressive forces tell the bones — uh-oh, we’d better get stronger. It increases their density. Cartilage, as well, gets its nutrients from moving. So you are stressing your body; you’re also building it up.

But I’m afraid I’m really going to hurt myself.

Perfectly reasonable. How many times have you read the warning, “Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program”?

It used to be that health authorities thought it could put people at risk of a sudden heart attack. The advice has always been, take it easy!

Regnier thinks people have followed that advice a little toowell. “They’ve overminimized,” he says.

Health authorities now believe it’s riskier not to exercise. “Sudden death,” a major federal report says, “is, more accurately, a risk of inactivity.”

But I’m too old! Why bother at this point?

Admittedly, when we age, our bodies tend to fall apart on us.

But professor Conley found something interesting with his mitochondria-measuring contraption.

Scientists used to think the decline of those powerhouses was inevitable, and that it started as early as the 40s and 50s.

The bad news is, it is inevitable. The good news is, the inevitable part doesn’t start in middle age. We can stave it off until we’re in our 70s or 80s — if we take the time to exercise.

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8 Ways to Help Others Succeed

A Warrior’s mission is to foster the success of others Morihei Ueshiba


Of all the joys of leadership, helping others succeed is one of the most rewarding and yet many leaders do not show an aptitude for this trait. There are numerous reasons for this from sheer hubris to not wanting underlings to advance beyond them due to insecurity. Probably the most common issue with helping others succeed is that it takes time and effort. Most leaders are so stressed out trying to maximize their own progress, they have little time or energy to perform the tasks that will allow others to blossom.

Here are eight areas where leaders can invest time and energy to find the payoff substantially more than the investment.

1. Become a Mentor

Having a good mentor speeds the development of any professional by 2-3 times the rate that would be achieved if one had to rely on self study and experience. Leaders need to realize that being a good mentor brings numerous advantages not only to the protégé but to himself. Reason: When we coach someone else, we are actually subconsciously coaching ourselves. In addition, the protégé brings information and a point of view that the leader would find hard to obtain without a trusted source of information. Make sure you are actively mentoring at least 2 professionals.

2. Invest Time

Taking time out of your day to coach other people adds perspective and helps prevent burnout. Thinking positive thoughts about what someone could become with the right development is a welcome break from the pressure cooker of critical decisions and time commitments. You will find yourself looking forward to your “people development time” once you get in the habit.

3. Be Accessible

Show by example that it is easy to get through to you. Many top executives insulate themselves from underlings to help manage time. When you demonstrate a willingness to get back to people quickly, it sends a signal that they really matter to you. That translates into improved morale, which directly boosts productivity. It takes a lot of discipline, but if people respect your willingness to be responsive, they will not be likely to abuse the privilege.

4. Empathize In Rough Times

We all go through difficult periods both professionally and personally. When a leader reaches out with moral support during these times, it shows a human side that makes a huge difference. One caveat, however, never reflect sympathy if it is not sincere. People see right through insincere empathy, and it can do more damage than ignoring the problems of people.

5. Get People in the Right Position

At any time, somewhere between 20-40% of professionals are in the wrong job just trying to survive and do their best. When you constantly seek to understand the correct position for individuals, you not only help reduce their personal agony, you improve productivity in giant chunks. This matching process is not a one shot affair. Make it a constant analysis of who could be better placed in another position. Sometimes this will mean a lateral move, or a promotion, or even a demotion. Many people have significantly improved their quality of work life by taking a demotion. It has saved the lives of many professionals.

6. Be a Mirror

When someone has a failing strategy, it is often difficult for the person to even see it let alone know how to change it. You can be helpful at bringing people to reality. Do this in a kind way following the Golden Rule, and you will rarely go wrong. If you avoid getting involved with failing people, you are just letting them drift along with their suboptimal condition, which wastes their precious time and hurts the organization.

7. Develop People – Including Yourself

Make sure every person has a concrete development plan that is not just a string of courses, readings, or seminars. Personal growth is really about helping people rise to their highest possible contribution. Make sure you model personal development yourself. Do not consider that you are too busy for it. Your own development plan should inspire your underlings to have one as well.

8. Write Your Own Eulogy

One helpful exercise is to actually sit down and write your own eulogy. It sounds maudlin, but it is really a helpful exercise. When you crystallize your thoughts about how you would like to be remembered it is easier to see the deltas from your current pathway. Then it is up to you to do something about it.

There are probably dozens of other things a leader can do to help others, but this list of eight things is a great place to start.

Today’s article was written by Robert Whipple and is shared from the following website:

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Tapping the Power of Optimism…

OPTIMISM is the one quality more associated with Success and Happiness than any other Brian TracyWhat is optimism?

Optimism is a hopeful, positive outlook on the future, yourself, and the world around you. It is a key part of resilience, the inner strength that helps you get through tough times.

By definition, optimism helps you see, feel, and think positively. But it has extra benefits you might not know about-optimism helps keep up your physical health too.1

You don’t have to be a “born optimist” to use the power of optimism. In daily life, or when faced with a crisis, you can choose a positive viewpoint to make the most of what life brings your way.

Can you make optimism work for you?

Even if you tend to focus on the negative side of things, “realistic optimism” can work for you.

With realistic optimism, you don’t just expect the best and hope that things will go well. Nor do you let yourself see and expect only the worst. Instead, you look at the “big picture,” the good and the bad. You then:

  • Decide what is realistic to expect.
  • Decide what you can do to make things go as well as possible.
  • Choose to focus on the positives, and on your strengths, as you go forward.

For example, let’s say you are about to have a knee surgery. You can choose to be optimistic about your recovery, rather than let fear or hopelessness take hold. Imagine how you want to feel 6 or 12 months after surgery-strong and active. Picture what you want to be doing, how you want to be moving around. Keep these positive, hopeful pictures in your mind.

A positive attitude can also help you keep up a positive mood, which can help with healing. But optimism alone is only part of a good recovery. It’s also important to know what to do, such as physical therapy exercises, and what to be careful about. And if you need support or advice, you can plan ahead with the right people before the surgery.

When practicing optimism, remember to keep a flexible frame of mind. Expect change, and be ready to adjust to it.

How can you practice optimism?

Whenever you’re having trouble with thinking negative thoughts, expecting the worst, or feeling powerless, try any of these exercises for a few days.

  • Focus on what’s going well. Write down three things that have gone well in the past day. These can be large, like getting a raise, or small, like “I talked with an old friend today.” Describe the cause of each event, and credit yourself for the part you played in it, such as “I made that phone call I’ve been putting off for a long time.”
  • Practice gratitude. Write down three things in your life that you are grateful for. This kind of focus on what enriches your life can help keep your thoughts and feelings more positive.
  • Look for the benefits. Think of a negative event from your near or distant past. Write it down. Now think of something positive that has or could come of it. Write it down. For the positive thought, use larger handwriting or a favorite color.
  • Look ahead. Picture yourself doing something that feels good. Expect good things to happen.
  • Build yourself up. When you need it, lean on others or your faith to build more strength. Say to yourself often, “I am strong.”

* Just a personal note: remember that you can learn to be an optimist! You don’t have to be born one! Start today to see the world in a more optimistic light and keep practicing! I promise that it will be like turning on a light in your life! It may seem dim, at first, but it will get brighter and brighter as you practice!

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Understanding God’s Plan of Happiness

If you understand the great plan of happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness Boyd K. Packer

The Great Plan of Happiness

Questions like “Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” and “Where are we going?” are answered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Prophets have called it the Plan of Salvation and “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). Through inspiration we can understand this road map of eternity and use it to guide our path in this life.

The gospel teaches us that we are the spirit children of heavenly parents. Before our mortal birth, we lived as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father. We were placed here on earth to work toward eternal life. These truths give us a unique perspective and different values to guide our decisions from those who doubt the existence of God and believe that life is not part of an eternal plan.

Our understanding of life begins with a council in heaven. There the spirit children of God were taught his eternal plan, the “great plan of happiness,” as Alma called it. We had progressed as far as we could without a physical body. To realize a fulness of joy, we had to prove our willingness to keep the commandments of God in a circumstance where we had no memory of what took place before our birth on earth.

In our lives here on earth, we would become subject to death, and we would be soiled by sin. To reclaim us from death and sin, our Heavenly Father’s plan provided us a Savior, whose atonement would redeem all from death and pay the price necessary for us all to be forgiven of our sins if we keep his commandments and repent of our sins.

When we understand the Plan of Salvation, we also understand the purpose and effect of the commandments God has given his children. He teaches us correct principles and invites us to govern ourselves. We do this by the choices we make.

We who know God’s plan and have covenanted, or promised, to participate in it must desire to do what is right, and we must do all that we can all our lives. When we have done all that we can, we can rely on God’s promised mercy.

Today’s article is from a talk by Dallin H. Oaks and is shared from the following website:


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